Tuesday 26 January 2021

Beat them while they're young

 Magnus Carlsen suffered a spectacular loss to Andrey Esipenko in Round 8 of the Tata Steel Masters. Carlsen played a risky line of the Sicilian, and then missed a tactical trick which won Esipenko a pawn. Despite Carlsen's attempts to complicate the position, the 18 year old GM had enough of an advantage to covert on move 39. This was the first time they had played, which makes the win even more meritorious. 

In the aftermath of the game, a picture began circulating of an 11 year old Esipenko with Carlsen, at a tournament in Russia. Seeing the picture I can't help wondering if Carlsen missed a trick of his own. He should have suggested they play a few blitz games together, and then crushed Esipenko enough times, so that in any future meetings, Carlsen would already have the advantage!

Esipenko,Andrey (2677) - Carlsen,Magnus (2862) [B84]
83rd Tata Steel Masters Wijk aan Zee NED (8.1), 24.01.2021

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