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Shelby Lyman on Chess: Impressive Performance by the Norwegian Wunderkind

Hint and Explanation: Give and Get a Queen

The road to the world chess championship for 22-year-old Magnus Carlsen has been without the sturm and drang experienced by many past world champions.

The dominant player in the world for several years, Carlsen had little trouble disposing of the reigning champion, Viswanathan Anand, in their recent two-week match in Chennai, India. Anand, clearly past his prime and off his game, is almost twice Carlsen’s age.

A 2-1 favorite, Carlsen pleased chess statisticians with a predictably easy 61/2-31/2 victory.

Determined to be an active champion, the Norwegian wunderkind will be back at the board in January for a tournament in Zurich.

Focusing on opening and early middle-game preparation before the Chennai event, the new champion was clearly confident that he would prevail in the endgame, where the real battle would be fought.

During the match, Carlsen spent a modest 90 minutes a day — outside of the games, themselves — on chess analysis.

Curiously, Carlsen came to Chennai unaccompanied by a second, an unusual approach in elite chess events.

Surrounded by friends and family for personal support, he received assistance on chess matters from Norwegian grandmaster Jon Ludwig Hammer via Skype and e-mail from Norway.

Below is a win by Anton Korobov against Vasif Durarbayli from the FIDE World Cup in Tromso, Norway.

Korobov Durarbayli

1. d4 Nf6

2. c4 e6

3. Nf3 b6

4. Nc3 Bb4

5. e3 Bb7

6. Bd3 O-O

7. O-O Bxc3

8. bxc3 Ne4

9. Ne1 f5

10. f3 Nf6

11. Nc2 Qe8

12. a4 Nc6

13. Rb1 d6

14. Qe2 Qh5

15. c5 dxc5

16. dxc5 Ne5

17. Nd4 Nxd3

18. Qxd3 R(a)d8

19. Qe2 R(f)e8

20. c6 Bc8

21. Nb5 Ba6

22. c4 Qf7

23. Bb2 e5

24. R(b)d1 Ra8

25. f4 exf4

26. Rxf4 Bxb5

27. axb5 Nh5

28. R(f)f1 a6

29. Rd7 Qg6

30. Rxc7 f4

31. Qxh5 Black resings

Solution to Beginner’s Corner : 1. … Rc1ch! 2. Rxc1 Qa1ch! 3. Kxa1 dxc1(Q) mate .