Thursday, December 9, 2010

McShane vs Carlsen

McShane played the English against Magnus Carlsen. Magnus chose the ...Nh6 line which is not as well known but still an interesting alternative. Magnus played the novelty 9...Ne5 which is not necessarily bad but at mortal level this feels like a very comfortable position for white. McShane said about the position that white wants to keep some initiative on the queenside because if black gets developed he should stand well.

I would like to add that the ...Nh6 line was well known to me because the retired Icelandic GM Jon L Arnason used to play this line and I had looked at it when preparing for a game against him in the Icelandic Team Blitz Championship. He had good results with this line in his playing days. The key stuff to know here (which I had analysed and known about before the Marin book) is to play d4 like McShane did and know about the c5 idea as in Andersson-Van der Wiel. Also ...Nh6 a move earlier can be met with h4!? as white hasn't castled. These ideas (other than h4!?) can be seen in the notes below, as is my game against GM Jon L Arnason in this line.

GM Jon Arnason recently turned 50 and a blitz tournament to honor him will be held next sunday!

Marin covers this line. ...Ne5 isn't mentioned but ...Nxd4 and ...Bd7 are covered. Also the early Nh6 (a move before Magnus played it) is given a ?! and answered with 6.h4!

Both Marin and Strategical Opening Repertoire quote a game by Botvinnik in this line against Gligoric.

It would be interesting to know if McShane booked up using the Marin books!?!?

Also I am very happy for McShane. I used to be teammates with McShane in the Icelandic league and he has visited Iceland many times as well for tournaments. He couldn't be a nicer guy, one of the most polite and sincere chess players I've met. I am also 100% positive he would be much much higher rated had he not spent so much time on his academic studies. On the other hand I think doing that is a very healthy choice so not at all criticising him for that!

1 comment:

  1. I just saw this post, sorry for a late comment. Would you recommend both Marin books for a relatively new-to-the-English player? I've been following Avrukh's 1. d4 book on the Catalan and loving it, and I heard from Dennis M. that the Marin books on the English by the same publisher are fantastic as well, and that inspired me to check out some lines. Would you recommend I pick them up, or no?