Carlsen vs Godzilla

Does Magnus Carlsen need opening theory?

ChessAnalysisOpeningTacticsChess Personalities
Especially in bullet chess - it seems Magnus Carlsen doesn't need opening theory sometimes ...

Hi all

In my 1.Nc3 research (top secret, confidential), I stumbled across the following interesting bullet game of Magnus Carlsen:

I thought it was quite amusing and actually slightly instructive about the real value of having an extra development advantage. And how to completely lose that advantage with inappropriate but fairly convincing logical play that doesn't involve a piece sacrifice to try and rip open the position more.

Later in the game, White is very generous with the development tempo, and we get the following position:

This might not be something to "try at home". Magnus is playing in what I would call an extreme "hypermodern spirit". Let them construct, for us to destroy later.

Clearly black has set themselves up to be undermined here. White can now choose the most appropriate thing to do as Black clearly has shown their hand and preference also philosophically for classical development. Black clearly has in poker terms "Shown their hand" both concretely and philosophically. The late British GM Tony Miles would be proud.

Final position

Video annotation

Key takeaway points

  • A massive lead in development somehow needs to be made use of - before things get closed
  • Sacrificing a piece in the opening may not be a risky thing to do - it may be the logical thing to do - something which needs celebrating may only have a short shelf life. Otherwise, it can just disappear.
  • When behind in piece development, it seems very logical to try and "close" the position to minimize the opponent's piece development advantage

Hope you enjoyed this blog :). Any likes and follows are really appreciated. Also, I also have some interesting chess courses at to check out.

Cheers, K