[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.06.02"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey "]
[Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime "]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D87"]
[Annotator "user"]
[PlyCount "75"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Bc4 ({
Альтернативные пути:} 7. Nf3 c5 8. Be3 Qa5 9. Qd2 (9. Bd2)
9... Nc6 ({или} 9... Bg4)) ({и} 7. Be3 c5 8. Qd2 {.}) 7... c5 8. Ne2 Nc6 9.
Be3 O-O 10. O-O {Диаграмма} b6 ({Популярна
следующая линия.} 10... Bg4 11. f3 {.} ({Черных
устраивает вариант} 11. d5 Na5 12. Bd3 c4 13. Bc2 Bxc3 {.})
11... Na5 ({встречается и} 11... Bd7) 12. Bd3 {.} ({
Анатолий Карпов и Гарри Каспаров (матч на
первенство мира 1987, Севилья) испытывали
продолжение} 12. Bxf7+ Rxf7 13. fxg4 Rxf1+ 14. Kxf1 Qd6 15. Kg1 {.}
({Другая возможность:} 15. e5 Qd5 16. Bf2 Rf8 17. Kg1 Bh6 18.
dxc5 Qxe5 19. Qd3 Qf6 20. Rf1 Qe6 $1 21. Nd4 Qxa2 22. Qe4 Rf7 $11 {
(Каспаров).}) 15... Qe6 16. Qd3 Qc4 {. У черных
компенсация за пешку.}) 12... cxd4 13. cxd4 Be6 14. d5 ({
еще вариант:} 14. Rc1 Bxa2 15. Qa4 Be6 16. d5 Bd7 17. Qb4 e6) 14...
Bxa1 15. Qxa1 f6 {. У белых инициатива за качество.})
11. dxc5 Qc7 12. Nd4 Ne5 13. Nb5 Qb8 14. Be2 ({Возможно} 14. Bd5 Ng4
15. g3 Nxe3 16. fxe3 {. Черным лучше продолжать} a6 ({
либо} 16... Bh3 {.}) ({Последовавшее в партии
Маттиас Блюбаум - Спиридон Наэм (ч-т мира до
20 лет, Афины 2012, 1-0)} 16... Bb7 $2 {привело к
разгрому:} 17. c6 Ba6 18. Rxf7 $1 Rxf7 19. Bxf7+ Kxf7 20. Qd5+ Kf8 21.
Rf1+ Bf6 22. c7 Qe8 23. Rxf6+ Kg7 24. Rc6 Bb7 25. Qe5+ Kf7 26. Re6 Qf8 27.
Rxe7+ $1 Kg8 28. Qe6+ Kh8 29. Rf7 Qh6 30. Rf3 Rc8 31. Nd6 Rxc7 32. Qe8+ Kg7 33.
Qf8#)) {Диаграмма} 14... bxc5 $1 {Новинка.} ({
Недостаточно для уравнения последовавшее
в партии Райнер Кнаак - Любомир Фтачник
(Братислава 1983, 1-0)} 14... a6 $6 15. Na3 {.}) 15. Rb1 ({После
} 15. Bxc5 a6 {у черных хорошая компенсация за
пешку.}) 15... a6 16. Na3 Qc7 17. f4 Rd8 18. Qc2 Ng4 19. Bxg4 Bxg4 20. f5
gxf5 21. Nc4 e6 22. h3 Bh5 23. exf5 exf5 24. Bg5 f4 {Максим
освобождает диагональ для белопольного
слона.} 25. Qf2 ({После} 25. Bxd8 Rxd8 {черные слоны
компенсируют качество.}) {Диаграмма
Действия соперников до этого момента
трудно усилить. Француз ошибается.} 25... f3 $2 ({
Наиболее жесткая реакция -} 25... Rd4 $5 {с
такими вариантами. 1)} 26. Bxf4 ({2)} 26. Nb6 Re8 27. Qh4 Re2
28. cxd4 Bxd4+ 29. Kh2 $1 ({проигрывает} 29. Kh1 $2 {ввиду} f3
30. g3 Qe5 $1) 29... Qc6 30. Rg1 Bg6 31. Bxf4 Bxb1 32. Qg4+ Bg6 33. Qxe2 Bxg1+
34. Kxg1 Qxb6 {с ничейным эндшпилем.}) 26... Rxf4 27. Qxf4
Qxf4 28. Rxf4 Bxc3 {. В этом остром окончании шансы
белых несколько выше.}) ({Удовлетворительно
} 25... Re8 {.}) 26. Bxd8 Rxd8 27. Qh4 fxg2 28. Rfe1 Bf3 29. Re3 Bc6 30. Rbe1
Rf8 31. Ne5 Bd5 {Диаграмма} 32. Rg3 $1 {Грозит взятие
на g7.} f6 $1 {Единственная защита.} ({На} 32... Kh8 $2 {
решает} 33. Rxg7 Kxg7 34. Qg5+ Kh8 35. Qf6+ Kg8 36. Ng4 {.}) ({Не
помогает} 32... f5 $2 {ввиду} 33. Nd7 $1 Qxd7 34. Re7 {.}) 33. Nd3
Bxa2 $2 {Проигрывает без борьбы.} ({Упорнее} 33...
Kh8 {. Правда, после} 34. Nf4 Bf7 35. Rxg2 {белые близки
к цели.} (35. Rxg7 $2 Kxg7 36. Qg3+ Kh6 $1 {упускает
перевес})) ({или} 33... Bf7) 34. c4 $1 Qd6 35. Nf4 Qd4+ 36. Kh2 Bxc4
{Диаграмма} 37. Qh6 $1 {Карякин использует
связку.} f5 38. Nh5 1-0
[Event "Altibox Norway Chess"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2018.06.05"]
[Round "7.3"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2789"]
[BlackElo "2760"]
[Annotator "Hess, R"]
[PlyCount "80"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "France"]
[BlackTeam "India"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "FRA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "IND"]
{In recent years, Viswanathan Anand has been counted out many times. His
rating has dropped to 2760 and out of the world top 10, yet he won a World
Rapid title. Even as he approaches 50 years old, no player can underestimate
him, lest they fall victim to a game like this. Against MVL in Norway, Anand's
play was practically perfect.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O
Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. c3 Be7 (9... Bc5 {was played by Anand
over 20 (!) years ago in games against Kamsky and Polgar. A quick filter of
top games in this line indicate it's an outdated option. Anand did defeat
Sethuraman from the White side of this line at the 2017 Isle of Man tournament.
}) 10. Nbd2 O-O 11. Re1 Nc5 12. Nd4 Nxd4 13. cxd4 Nd3 (13... Nxb3 {is a bad
decision, since the bishop on b3 stares into a wall. White quickly prevents
Black from playing ...c5, leaving him with a permanent weakness in the form of
a backward pawn.} 14. Nxb3) 14. Re3 Nf4 {The knight's tour continues. Anand is
not ceding control of the c-file that easily!} ({MVL had mainly looked at the
following game, where Black seemed to have several opportunities to improve
with ...c5 breaks:} 14... Nxc1 15. Rxc1 a5 16. f4 g6 17. a4 Rb8 18. Bc2 Qc8 19.
Nb3 bxa4 20. Nxa5 c5 {Short,N (2656)-Tukhaev,A (2551) Kolkata 2018}) 15. Nf3
Bg4 16. h3 Bh5 17. Rc3 $146 (17. Bc2 Ne6 18. Bf5 c5 19. dxc5 Bxc5 20. Rd3 Qb6
21. Be3 Bxe3 22. Rxe3 d4 23. Re1 Rad8 {Ye,J (2545)-Norri,J (2400) Helsinki 1992
}) 17... Ne6 18. g4 (18. Be3 f5 {may look similar to a possibility in the game,
but after} 19. exf6 Bxf6 20. g4 {Black has additional space for the bishop on
the retreating diagonal.} Be8) 18... Bg6 19. Be3 {MVL's last few moves aim to
prevent ...c5.} a5 (19... f5 20. exf6 Bxf6 21. Rac1 {remains a fight, but
perhaps Black would prefer to have control of the c6 square with the bishop on
e8.}) 20. Bc2 ({MVL didn't like} 20. Rac1 c5 21. dxc5 b4 22. R3c2 Bxc2 23. Rxc2
d4 24. Bxd4 a4 25. Bxe6 fxe6) 20... Bb4 21. Rb3 f5 22. exf6 (22. a3 Be7 23.
Rxb5 fxg4 24. Bxg6 gxf3 {is extremely suspicious for White, whose king is
exposed beyond repair.}) (22. Qb1 {is one of those weird moves hoping to pile
up on the diagonal, but Black has tactical resources because of White's
overextended kingside.} f4 (22... c5 23. gxf5 Bh5 {is extremely messy.}) 23.
Bxg6 hxg6 24. Qxg6 (24. Bc1 c5) 24... Ra6 $1) 22... Bxc2 23. Qxc2 Qxf6 24. Ne5
c5 $1 {Anand has great foresight here; he could have kept material level and
played for an attack on the kingside, but he holds nothing back.} (24... Rad8
25. Nc6 (25. Qf5 {leads to an ending where White has decent drawing chances,
but it'd be a tough road ahead.}) 25... Rd6 26. Nxb4 axb4 {is bad for White.
The knight on e6 absolutely dominates the big pawn on e3, and White's shaky
kingside does him no favors.} 27. Rxb4) 25. Nd7 (25. a3 a4 26. Rxb4 (26. Rd3
cxd4 27. Nd7 Qg6 $1 28. Nxf8 Rxf8 {when the pin on the rook is devastating.}
29. axb4 dxe3 30. fxe3 Ng5) 26... cxb4 27. Nd7 Qf3 28. Nxf8 Rxf8 29. Qc6 Nf4 (
29... Ng5 30. Bxg5 Qxf2+ {is no less than an immediate repetition, though
Black can certainly play on with} 31. Kh1 Qxb2) 30. Bxf4 Rxf4 {is better for
Black, though White can try to survive the endgame after} 31. Qe8+ Rf8 32. Qe6+
Kh8 33. Qe3 {where Black is much preferred in a number of continuations.})
25... Qf7 (25... Qh4 26. Nxf8 Rxf8 27. dxc5 Qxh3 $6 (27... Rf3 28. Qd1 Rg3+ 29.
fxg3 Qxg3+ {leads to a forced draw:} 30. Kf1 Qxh3+ 31. Kf2 (31. Ke2 $4 Qg2+ 32.
Kd3 Nxc5+ 33. Bxc5 Qe4#) 31... Qh2+ 32. Kf3 Qh3+) 28. Qd1 {Anand}) 26. Nxf8
Rxf8 27. Qf5 $6 (27. a3 c4 (27... a4 28. Rxb4 cxb4) 28. axb4 cxb3 29. Qxb3 {
"In hindsight this is what I should have done: look for equality." (MVL). He
certainly has a point, but it's always an uphill battle.} (29. Qc6 a4 30. Qxd5
Nf4 {The outside passed pawn and permanent threat of a4-a3 is trouble for
White.}) 29... Qf3 {keeps Anand in charge, despite the temporary pawn deficit.}
) 27... cxd4 28. Qxf7+ Rxf7 29. Rxb4 ({Both players missed} 29. a3 $1 Nc5 30.
Rxb4 axb4 31. Bxd4 Nb3 32. Rd1 {with equality.}) (29. Bc1 Nc5 30. Rg3 Ne4)
29... axb4 30. Bd2 {"Somehow I thought this was fine for me but I forgot about
b3 completely." (MVL)} b3 {After this, Anand's path to victory was pretty
straightforward.} 31. axb3 Rf3 32. b4 (32. Ra3 Rxh3 33. b4 Rxa3 34. bxa3 {
is a winning ending for Black, thanks to ideas with ...d3 as well as the
outside h-pawn.}) 32... Rd3 33. Re1 Kf7 34. Bc1 Rxh3 35. Re5 Rd3 36. Kf1 Rd1+
37. Re1 Rxe1+ 38. Kxe1 g6 39. f4 Nd8 40. g5 Ke6 0-1
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.06.04"]
[Round "?"]
[White "So, Wesley "]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus "]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D13"]
[Annotator "user"]
[PlyCount "87"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Bf4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Nf3 {Диаграмма
} a6 {Магнус играл так с Грантом Мелкумяном
(ч-т мира по блиц, Эр-Рияд 2017, 0-1).} ({Ведущие
гроссмейстеры чаще предпочитали} 6... Bf5 {.}) ({
Стоит отметить ход} 6... Nh5 {, принесший
победу Яну Непомнящему над Магнусом
Карлсеном (Лондон 2017).}) 7. Rc1 Bf5 8. e3 Rc8 9. Be2 e6 10.
O-O Nd7 ({Альтернатива -} 10... Bd6 {.}) 11. Na4 Be7 {
Диаграмма} 12. h3 $5 {Новинка.} ({На} 12. a3 {черные
создают контригру путем} g5 $1 13. Bg3 h5 {.}) ({
Встречалось и} 12. Nc5 {.}) 12... O-O ({Пешечное
наступление} 12... g5 $5 13. Bh2 h5 {происходит в
лучшей для белых редакции, но вполне
возможно.} 14. Kh1) 13. a3 Na5 14. Nc5 $1 Nc4 {Карлсен
отвечает симметрично.} (14... Nxc5 15. dxc5 Rxc5 $4 16. Rxc5
Bxc5 17. b4 {проигрывает фигуру}) 15. b4 {Диаграмма}
Nxc5 $6 {Малозаметная неточность.} ({Шансы на
уравнение давало поддержание симметрии:}
15... b5 $1 16. a4 $5 a5 $1 {.}) 16. dxc5 Nxa3 17. Nd4 Be4 18. f3 Bg6 19. Qb3
Nc4 20. Bxc4 dxc4 21. Qxc4 {Диаграмма} Qe8 $5 {Ферзь стал в
засаду, чтобы подготовить освобождающий
удар е6-е5.} ({Логичен размен чернопольных
слонов} 21... Bg5 {, попутно оживляя ферзя.
Сильнейшая реакция -} 22. Rfd1 $1 ({В случае
естественной игры белых -} 22. Bxg5 Qxg5 23. e4 Rfd8 24.
Nb3 {- черным удается создать контригру путем
} Qe3+ 25. Kh1 b5 $1 26. Qc2 f5 $1 {.}) 22... Bxf4 23. exf4 Qf6 24. Nb3 Rfd8
25. Na5 b5 26. Qe2 Qxf4 {Диаграмма} 27. Nc6 $1 Re8 28. Qe5 {. За
пешку у белых доминирующая позиция.}) 22. Bg3 $1
{Уэсли не торопится.} ({Идейно выглядит
подрыв} 22. c6 {, однако в варианте} e5 $1 23. Bxe5 bxc6
24. Nxc6 Bxb4 25. Qxb4 Rxc6 26. Qd4 f6 27. Qd5+ Re6 {черные близки
к спасению.}) ({Другой вариант -} 22. Rfd1 e5 $1 23. Bxe5
Bxc5 24. bxc5 Qxe5 25. e4 {. Максимум, чего здесь могут
достичь белые, - разменять одну пешку на
две после прорыва с6-с5. Но даже в этом
случае с тремя пехотинцами против
четверых на одном фланге черные получат
большие шансы на ничью.}) 22... e5 23. Nb3 $1 ({Со не
соблазняется пешкой, поскольку после} 23. Bxe5
$6 Bxc5 24. bxc5 Qxe5 {его преимущество испаряется.})
{Диаграмма} 23... Bd8 $2 {Ведет к проигранной
позиции.} ({Черным необходимо
активизировать белопольного слона.
Рассмотрим возможные варианты.} 23... Bf5 24. Bxe5
$1 {(здесь уже надо бить)} Be6 25. Qc3 Bxb3 26. Qxb3 Bxc5 27.
Rxc5 Rxc5 28. Bxg7 $1 {. У белых перевес. Для
уточнения его размеров требуется объемный
анализ.}) (23... Kh8 $6 24. Bxe5 Bxc5 25. Bxg7+ Kxg7 26. Qc3+ $1 f6 27.
bxc5 {. Белые стоят на выигрыш.}) ({Лучшая
защита -} 23... h6 $1 {. Игра может развиваться
следующим образом:} 24. e4 Kh7 $1 25. Bxe5 Bxc5+ 26. Nxc5 Qxe5
27. Qd5 ({в случае} 27. f4 Qe7 28. f5 Bh5 {слон ускользает
}) 27... Qf4 28. Qxb7 {Диаграмма} a5 $1 {Спасительный
подрыв. Амбициознее} 29. Kh1 $1 ({Продолжение} 29.
bxa5 $6 Rxc5 30. Rxc5 Qe3+ 31. Kh1 Qxc5 32. a6 Qa3 33. a7 f5 $1 34. e5 Bf7 $1 {
ведет к позиционной ничьей.}) ({В случае} 29. Qb6
{черные изыскивают динамические ресурсы:}
Rfd8 $1 30. bxa5 {.} ({Неудачно} 30. Qxa5 $2 Ra8 $1 31. Na6 Rd2 32. Kh1
f5 $1 33. e5 $2 Qg5 34. Rg1 Rxg2 $1 35. Rxg2 Qxc1+ {. Черные
создают решающие угрозы.}) 30... Rd2 $1 ({на} 30... Rb8
$6 {перевес дает перекрытие} 31. Nb7 $1) 31. Nd3 Qg5 32.
Nf2 Rxc1 33. Rxc1 Rxf2 34. Kxf2 Qd2+ 35. Kg3 Qg5+ 36. Kh2 Qf4+ {с
вечным шахом.}) 29... Rb8 {.} ({Продолжение} 29... Qe3
30. Rcd1 $1 axb4 31. Nd7 {ведет к аналогичной
ситуации.}) ({Красив вариант} 29... Rfd8 $5 30. bxa5 {.} (
{Вероятно, сильнее} 30. Nd3 $1 Rxc1 31. Nxf4 Rxf1+ 32. Kh2 {
. Скорее всего позиция черных защитима, но
нужен отдельный анализ.}) 30... Rb8 $1 31. Qe7 Rd2 32. Rcd1
Rc2 33. Rg1 Rb5 $1 34. Nd7 Rh5 $1 35. Nf8+ Kg8 36. Qd7 {Диаграмма} Bf5
$1 37. Qxf5 (37. exf5 $4 Rxh3+ 38. gxh3 Rh2#) 37... Rxf5 38. Rd8 Qc7 39. Re8 $1
Qc6 40. Nd7+ Kh7 41. Nf8+ {с вечным шахом.}) 30. Qa6 Ra8 ({не
годится} 30... axb4 $4 31. Nd7) ({или} 30... Rxb4 $4 31. Nd3) 31. Qc4
axb4 32. Qxb4 {. У черных хорошие шансы отстоять
ничью, несмотря на отсутствие пешки,
поскольку борьба ведется на одном фланге.})
24. Qd5 Qb5 25. Bxe5 {Диаграмма} Be7 ({Безнадежно} 25...
Qxb4 $2 26. Bd6 Re8 27. c6 {.}) 26. Qd2 $6 ({Жестче} 26. Na5 $1 b6 27.
Nb7 {.}) 26... Rfd8 27. Bd6 Bf6 28. e4 h6 29. Nd4 Bxd4+ 30. Qxd4 Re8 31. Rfe1
Kh7 32. g4 $1 {Со зажимает оппонента.} f6 33. f4 {
Диаграмма} Qc6 $6 ({Не стоит злоупотреблять
компьютерными вариантами, но здесь это
уместно. Компьютер подчас держит даже
столь беспросветные позиции, как сейчас у
черных. Вот как это ему удается:} 33... Bf7 34. f5 a5
$1 35. bxa5 Ra8 36. Rb1 Qxa5 37. Kf2 Qa2+ 38. Rb2 Qa6 39. Rb6 Qa2+ 40. Re2 Qa7
41. h4 ({или} 41. Reb2 Qa1 $1) 41... Qa3 $1 42. c6 ({на} 42. Rxb7 {
также выручает} Qc1) 42... Qc1 $1 43. cxb7 Ra1 44. Kg3 Qh1 45. Bc5
h5 $1 46. g5 fxg5 47. hxg5 h4+ 48. Kf4 Rf1+ 49. Ke3 Bh5 {Диаграмма}
50. Rh6+ $1 gxh6 51. Qd7+ Kg8 52. Qxe8+ Bxe8 53. b8=Q Qg1+ {. Черные
объявляют вечный шах. Красочная игра!}) 34. f5
Bf7 35. h4 Ra8 36. Rc2 a5 37. g5 Bh5 {Диаграмма} 38. g6+ $6 {Со
последовательно осуществляет зажим, но в
данный момент следовало отклониться от
намеченного курса и перейти к решительным
действиям.} ({Прямолинейное} 38. gxf6 $1 {проще
всего решало исход борьбы. Например:} Rg8 39. b5
$1 Qxb5 40. Rb2 Qd7 41. Kh2 a4 42. Qd5 Ra7 43. Rg2 {.}) 38... Kh8 39. b5 $6 ({
А здесь к цели ведет} 39. e5 $1 {, хотя еще
требуется точность.}) 39... Qxb5 40. Rb2 {Диаграмма}
Qc6 $6 {Финальная оплошность.} ({Максимально
затрудняло задачу белых} 40... Qd7 $1 41. Qd5 Qc6 $1 {
, и все же они могут победить:} 42. Qd3 $1 Bg4 $5 ({
после} 42... Ra6 {белые проводят эффектный
штурм королевской крепости:} 43. e5 $1 fxe5 44. Rxe5
Rxe5 45. Bxe5 Ra8 46. Qe3 $1 Kg8 47. Qb3+ Kh8 48. Bxg7+ $1 Kxg7 49. Qf7+ Kh8
50. Qh7#) 43. Rb6 Qd7 ({не помогает и} 43... Qa4 44. e5 Qf4 ({или
} 44... Rad8 45. e6) 45. Rf1) 44. Rf1 $1 ({упускает выигрыш} 44.
Qd5 $2 Bxf5 45. Rxb7 Qe6) 44... a4 45. Qd5 Ra7 46. Qf7 $1 {(решающее
вторжение)} Rd8 47. Qxd7 Rxd7 48. c6 $1 Rxd6 49. c7 {.}) 41. Rb6 Qc8
42. Qd5 a4 43. Rxb7 Rg8 44. c6 {Угроза c6-c7 с последующим
Rb8 неотразима.} 1-0
[Event "Altibox Norway Chess"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2018.06.05"]
[Round "7.3"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C83"]
[WhiteElo "2789"]
[BlackElo "2760"]
[Annotator "Hess, R"]
[PlyCount "80"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "France"]
[BlackTeam "India"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "FRA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "IND"]
{In recent years, Viswanathan Anand has been counted out many times. His
rating has dropped to 2760 and out of the world top 10, yet he won a World
Rapid title. Even as he approaches 50 years old, no player can underestimate
him, lest they fall victim to a game like this. Against MVL in Norway, Anand's
play was practically perfect.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O
Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. c3 Be7 (9... Bc5 {was played by Anand
over 20 (!) years ago in games against Kamsky and Polgar. A quick filter of
top games in this line indicate it's an outdated option. Anand did defeat
Sethuraman from the White side of this line at the 2017 Isle of Man tournament.
}) 10. Nbd2 O-O 11. Re1 Nc5 12. Nd4 Nxd4 13. cxd4 Nd3 (13... Nxb3 {is a bad
decision, since the bishop on b3 stares into a wall. White quickly prevents
Black from playing ...c5, leaving him with a permanent weakness in the form of
a backward pawn.} 14. Nxb3) 14. Re3 Nf4 {The knight's tour continues. Anand is
not ceding control of the c-file that easily!} ({MVL had mainly looked at the
following game, where Black seemed to have several opportunities to improve
with ...c5 breaks:} 14... Nxc1 15. Rxc1 a5 16. f4 g6 17. a4 Rb8 18. Bc2 Qc8 19.
Nb3 bxa4 20. Nxa5 c5 {Short,N (2656)-Tukhaev,A (2551) Kolkata 2018}) 15. Nf3
Bg4 16. h3 Bh5 17. Rc3 $146 (17. Bc2 Ne6 18. Bf5 c5 19. dxc5 Bxc5 20. Rd3 Qb6
21. Be3 Bxe3 22. Rxe3 d4 23. Re1 Rad8 {Ye,J (2545)-Norri,J (2400) Helsinki 1992
}) 17... Ne6 18. g4 (18. Be3 f5 {may look similar to a possibility in the game,
but after} 19. exf6 Bxf6 20. g4 {Black has additional space for the bishop on
the retreating diagonal.} Be8) 18... Bg6 19. Be3 {MVL's last few moves aim to
prevent ...c5.} a5 (19... f5 20. exf6 Bxf6 21. Rac1 {remains a fight, but
perhaps Black would prefer to have control of the c6 square with the bishop on
e8.}) 20. Bc2 ({MVL didn't like} 20. Rac1 c5 21. dxc5 b4 22. R3c2 Bxc2 23. Rxc2
d4 24. Bxd4 a4 25. Bxe6 fxe6) 20... Bb4 21. Rb3 f5 22. exf6 (22. a3 Be7 23.
Rxb5 fxg4 24. Bxg6 gxf3 {is extremely suspicious for White, whose king is
exposed beyond repair.}) (22. Qb1 {is one of those weird moves hoping to pile
up on the diagonal, but Black has tactical resources because of White's
overextended kingside.} f4 (22... c5 23. gxf5 Bh5 {is extremely messy.}) 23.
Bxg6 hxg6 24. Qxg6 (24. Bc1 c5) 24... Ra6 $1) 22... Bxc2 23. Qxc2 Qxf6 24. Ne5
c5 $1 {Anand has great foresight here; he could have kept material level and
played for an attack on the kingside, but he holds nothing back.} (24... Rad8
25. Nc6 (25. Qf5 {leads to an ending where White has decent drawing chances,
but it'd be a tough road ahead.}) 25... Rd6 26. Nxb4 axb4 {is bad for White.
The knight on e6 absolutely dominates the big pawn on e3, and White's shaky
kingside does him no favors.} 27. Rxb4) 25. Nd7 (25. a3 a4 26. Rxb4 (26. Rd3
cxd4 27. Nd7 Qg6 $1 28. Nxf8 Rxf8 {when the pin on the rook is devastating.}
29. axb4 dxe3 30. fxe3 Ng5) 26... cxb4 27. Nd7 Qf3 28. Nxf8 Rxf8 29. Qc6 Nf4 (
29... Ng5 30. Bxg5 Qxf2+ {is no less than an immediate repetition, though
Black can certainly play on with} 31. Kh1 Qxb2) 30. Bxf4 Rxf4 {is better for
Black, though White can try to survive the endgame after} 31. Qe8+ Rf8 32. Qe6+
Kh8 33. Qe3 {where Black is much preferred in a number of continuations.})
25... Qf7 (25... Qh4 26. Nxf8 Rxf8 27. dxc5 Qxh3 $6 (27... Rf3 28. Qd1 Rg3+ 29.
fxg3 Qxg3+ {leads to a forced draw:} 30. Kf1 Qxh3+ 31. Kf2 (31. Ke2 $4 Qg2+ 32.
Kd3 Nxc5+ 33. Bxc5 Qe4#) 31... Qh2+ 32. Kf3 Qh3+) 28. Qd1 {Anand}) 26. Nxf8
Rxf8 27. Qf5 $6 (27. a3 c4 (27... a4 28. Rxb4 cxb4) 28. axb4 cxb3 29. Qxb3 {
"In hindsight this is what I should have done: look for equality." (MVL). He
certainly has a point, but it's always an uphill battle.} (29. Qc6 a4 30. Qxd5
Nf4 {The outside passed pawn and permanent threat of a4-a3 is trouble for
White.}) 29... Qf3 {keeps Anand in charge, despite the temporary pawn deficit.}
) 27... cxd4 28. Qxf7+ Rxf7 29. Rxb4 ({Both players missed} 29. a3 $1 Nc5 30.
Rxb4 axb4 31. Bxd4 Nb3 32. Rd1 {with equality.}) (29. Bc1 Nc5 30. Rg3 Ne4)
29... axb4 30. Bd2 {"Somehow I thought this was fine for me but I forgot about
b3 completely." (MVL)} b3 {After this, Anand's path to victory was pretty
straightforward.} 31. axb3 Rf3 32. b4 (32. Ra3 Rxh3 33. b4 Rxa3 34. bxa3 {
is a winning ending for Black, thanks to ideas with ...d3 as well as the
outside h-pawn.}) 32... Rd3 33. Re1 Kf7 34. Bc1 Rxh3 35. Re5 Rd3 36. Kf1 Rd1+
37. Re1 Rxe1+ 38. Kxe1 g6 39. f4 Nd8 40. g5 Ke6 0-1
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2018.06.07"]
[Round "9.2"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C65"]
[WhiteElo "2822"]
[BlackElo "2778"]
[Annotator "Hess, R"]
[PlyCount "95"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]
[WhiteClock "1:37:15"]
[BlackClock "1:23:37"]
{Heading into the final round of the Altibox Norway Chess tournament, Fabiano
Caruana was tied for first with Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, and Wesley So.
As the only player with the White pieces, Caruana had to be the favorite.
Nakamura had Black against Aronian, who dominates their head-to-head matchup.
Carlsen's game against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was over almost as soon as it
began. That left Caruana with the opportunity to press for a win against So,
whom he defeated in the first round of the Candidates.} 1. e4 {By no means a
surprise, but Caruana used the Catalan to dispatch So in Berlin.} e5 2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. O-O Nd4 6. Nxd4 Bxd4 7. Ba4 (7. Nd2 a6 8. Ba4 b5 9. Bb3
d6 10. Nf3 Bb6 11. a4 Rb8 12. axb5 axb5 13. c3 O-O {Vachier Lagrave,M (2789)
-Nakamura,H (2769) Stavanger 2018}) 7... c6 8. c3 Bb6 9. Na3 d6 10. Bc2 Be6
$146 (10... O-O 11. Nc4 Bc7 12. Bg5 d5 13. Ne3 dxe4 14. dxe4 h6 15. Bh4 Qxd1
16. Rfxd1 Be6 {Van Foreest,J (2609)-Leko,P (2679) Germany 2018}) (10... Bg4 {
would be a useful move if it forced the queen to a bad square, but here it
pushes the queen to e1, where after an eventual f-pawn move (following Kh1)
she will move to g3 or h4.}) 11. Qe2 h6 12. Kh1 g5 {In addition to overlooking
an immediate path to equality, So creates lasting weaknesses in his position.}
({Carlsen and MVL thought} 12... Ng4 {was very obvious and Black is at least
fine. An important point is that} 13. f3 {is met by the decisive} (13. h3 Qh4)
(13. g3 h5) 13... Nxh2 $1) 13. Nc4 Bc7 14. Ne3 d5 15. Re1 {"I just didn't see
a move." (Caruana)} (15. a4 {Agdestein. This would give Caruana a head start
on his queenside initiative. One major drawback is that the knight does not
have the f1 square to retreat to, meaning} d4 {would force the knight to a
square where it can be captured. Certainly not the end of the world, but
limiting.}) 15... Qe7 16. a4 O-O-O 17. Rb1 d4 18. Nf1 Bb6 $6 {"A strange move.
" (Caruana)} (18... Rdg8 {or}) (18... Rhg8 {and pushing the pawns made more
sense, Caruana felt. Black is better.} 19. cxd4 exd4 20. b4 {"isn't real
counterplay because b5 is met by c5." (Caruana)}) 19. Bd2 Bg4 (19... dxc3 20.
bxc3 Ng4 21. Ne3 {Caruana} (21. h3 $5 h5 {keeps the initiative coming. The
point is that capturing the knight leads to an open h-file and a blossoming
attack.} (21... Nxf2+ 22. Kh2 {and Black must sacrifice some material for the
attack [with Rxb6 being the threat, removing the guard of the knight on f2].}))
) 20. f3 Be6 21. Ng3 (21. c4 {is a plausible move, permanently eliminating the
chance of opening the center. However, it becomes unclear how White unleashes
an attack on the queenside, whereas Black is ready to start pressing on the
kingside.}) 21... Rhg8 (21... Rdg8 22. a5 Bxa5 23. cxd4 Bxd2 24. Qxd2 exd4 25.
Qa5 a6 26. Qe5 Qd8 27. Ne2 {Caruana}) ({Agdestein suggested} 21... h5 22. Bxg5
h4 23. Nf5 (23. Nf1 Rdg8) 23... Bxf5 24. exf5 dxc3 {with the idea} 25. bxc3 $2
(25. Qxe5 Qxe5 26. Rxe5 Nh5 27. Bxh4 {is good for White}) 25... Nh5 $1 {
and Black wins.}) 22. b4 g4 $6 {Caruana thought this was a bad move.} ({
Caruana thought that} 22... h5 {was more correct.} 23. a5 Bc7 24. cxd4 exd4 25.
b5 h4 26. Nf1 g4 (26... Nh5 27. bxc6 bxc6 28. Ba4) 27. f4 (27. bxc6 bxc6 28.
Ba4 {allows Black to open the kingside. For example, the following is too
crazy to calculate:} gxf3 29. Qxf3 Ng4 30. Bxc6 Ne5 31. Bb7+ Kd7)) 23. a5 dxc3
24. Bxc3 Bd4 25. Bxd4 Rxd4 26. b5 c5 27. Bb3 {A very important idea! Caruana
intended to secure control of the c4 square, since Black can't afford to swap
bishops with the f5 square a permanent outpost for the White knight.} h5 (27...
gxf3 28. gxf3 {when the open g-file is blockaded and difficult to make use of
for So.} (28. Qxf3 Ng4 {is looking worrisome for White.})) 28. Nf5 Bxf5 29.
exf5 Re8 30. Rbc1 {Caruana had 5 minutes left on the clock here vs 20 minutes
for So - without increment.} ({Caruana "kind of regretted" not including} 30.
b6 a6 31. Rbc1 {with nagging pressure on c5, which can't be defended by a pawn.
}) 30... gxf3 (30... b6 31. axb6 axb6 32. Qa2 {is trouble for Black, who has
problems on the a-file and on the f7 square.}) ({Caruana said he would have
played} 30... Kb8 31. b6 a6 ({can Black afford to allow White to capture on
a7? It doesn't appear to be the end of the world. Meanwhile, Black is trying
not to waste any tempi while gaining the momentum. A very double-edged
position.} 31... gxf3)) 31. Qxf3 Red8 32. Bc4 ({Huge complications arise after
} 32. a6 Rxd3 33. axb7+ (33. Qxb7+ Qxb7 34. axb7+ Kxb7 35. Bxf7 Kb6 {and
Black's king is active - Caruana}) 33... Kb8 (33... Qxb7 34. Rxc5+ Kb8 35.
Qxb7+ Kxb7 36. Bxf7) 34. Qc6 Ne4) 32... e4 33. dxe4 (33. a6 Ng4 {is
pandemonium.}) 33... Qe5 (33... Rxe4 34. Be6+ $1 fxe6 35. Rxe4 Nxe4 36. Qxe4 {
is good for White, since he has an attack and should go up a pawn.}) 34. Bxf7
Rd3 35. Qf2 R8d4 36. Bd5 Kd7 37. b6 $6 {"I was a bit confused and I panicked."
(Caruana)} ({He saw} 37. h3 {but didn't like} Rd2 38. Qg1 (38. Qe3 R4d3)) ({
Caruana said he "didn't want to leave the back rank" but} 37. Rxc5 {was
entirely possible:} Kd6 (37... Ng4 38. Qh4 Rh3 39. Be6+) 38. Rcc1 Ng4 39. Qh4)
({"If I wanna wait, why not just} 37. Bxb7 {" (Caruana)}) 37... axb6 38. axb6
Ng4 39. Qg1 (39. Qh4 Rh3 $3 40. Be6+ Ke8 41. Qxh3 Nf2+ 42. Kg1 Nxh3+ 43. gxh3
Rd2 {Caruana. Clearly he overlooked the Rh3 tricks!}) 39... Kd8 $6 ({The best
chance was} 39... Rd2 40. Rf1 h4 41. Rxc5 (41. h3 R4d3 42. hxg4 h3) 41... Kd6 {
"And now I can play} 42. f6 {and it just becomes a total mess." (Caruana)}) 40.
h3 $4 (40. Bxb7 Rd2 41. Rf1 {still is great for Caruana.}) 40... Rxh3+ 41. gxh3
Rd3 $4 {Despite having reached move 40, So only used four seconds on this move.
Caruana had also only considered this move when he played his 40th move.} ({
So could have forced a draw and a tiebreak on Friday with five players with}
41... Rd2 $1 42. hxg4 hxg4 43. Qg2 Qh8+ 44. Kg1 Rxg2+ 45. Kxg2 Qh3+ 46. Kf2
Qf3+ 47. Kg1 Qg3+ {with a draw.}) 42. Qg2 $1 {The only move, but the winning
move.} Rg3 43. hxg4 Rxg2 44. Kxg2 h4 45. Kf3 Qg3+ 46. Ke2 h3 47. Rg1 Qh4 48. e5
1-0
[Event "FIDE Candidates"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2018.03.27"]
[Round "14"]
[White "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C43"]
[WhiteElo "2767"]
[BlackElo "2784"]
[Annotator "Caruana,F"]
[PlyCount "138"]
[EventDate "2018.03.10"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "14"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{This was the climax of three weeks of chess, months of preparation and
thirteen hard fought previous games. My tournament had its ups and downs, but
thanks to a fortunate win the previous day, I entered the final round half a
point ahead of my closest rivals, Mamedyarov and Karjakin. My tiebreaks were
worse than both of theirs, so I wasn't sure a draw would be enough to win the
event, but at the same time I didn't want to burn my bridges playing for a win.
I also felt that Alexander would be eager for a fight.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3.
d4 {Although this move isn't a usual part of Grischuk's opening repertoire, I
wasn't entirely surprised. I realized that this variation, which leads to an
unclear, playable and fluid game, might suit his style, so I was at least
mentally prepared for this possibility.} Nxe4 4. dxe5 d5 5. Nbd2 Nxd2 ({
Interestingly, I was faced with this variation just two weeks later against
Vitiugov. In that game I chose to play a new move:} 5... Qd7 $5 {, and in the
end I won that game.}) 6. Bxd2 Be7 7. Bd3 {I was already not so familiar with
this position, but my moves seemed easy to play, so I continued to play
naturally.} ({All I could recall was seeing a game by Nepomniatchti recently,
where he played a slightly more passive continuation:} 7. Be2) 7... c5 8. c3
Nc6 9. O-O Bg4 {This was already a big choice. It is very attractive to pin
the knight, but I had to make sure I wouldn't run into a powerful e6 after my
bishop retreats to h5.} (9... Be6 {was perhaps more circumspect, although then
White can consider mixing it up with} 10. b4 $5) 10. Re1 Qd7 (10... O-O {
would be less accurate. For example, White could consider posting a bishop on
f5, which would be very annoying:} 11. h3 Bh5 12. Bf5 $5) 11. h3 Bh5 12. Bf4 {
This came as a surprise, but it's probably an excellent move.} ({Now I'm well
prepared for} 12. e6 $2 fxe6) (12. Qc2 Bxf3 13. Bf5 Qc7 14. gxf3 Nxe5 {also
doesn't work out well for White.}) (12. b4 $5 {was the move I was mainly
concerned with. The variations become very complex, but I felt that my
position would be okay after} cxb4 13. cxb4 O-O 14. Qb1 (14. Qc2 $2 Bxf3 15.
Bxh7+ Kh8 16. Bf5 Nd4 $1 {is a nice trick.}) (14. g4 Bg6 15. e6 $5 fxe6 16.
Bxg6 hxg6 17. b5 Nd8 18. Ne5 Qe8 19. Qc2 {is an unusual and slightly
concerning pawn sacrifice. Here I was mainly looking at moves like 19...Bh4,
but strongest is} Bd6 $1 20. Nxg6 Rf6 {with an excellent position}) 14... Bxf3
15. Bxh7+ Kh8 16. Bf5 Qc7 17. gxf3 g6 $1 {A very important move.} (17... Nxe5
$2 18. Qd1 $1 {is surprisingly already busted for Black}) 18. Bc2 Nxe5 {
, and the position is unclear, but no worse for Black.}) 12... Qe6 $1 {This
move looks strange, but I came to it by the process of elimination. I need to
prevent e6 once and for all, and although the queen is not a good blockader,
there was no alternative.} ({My first instinct was to play} 12... Nd8 $2 {
, but then I noticed a strong response:} 13. g4 Bg6 (13... Ne6 14. gxh5 Nxf4
15. e6 $1 Nxe6 16. Ne5 {is likewise very strong}) 14. e6 $1 Nxe6 15. Ne5 {
, with a huge attack.}) (12... O-O 13. Qc2 Bg6 (13... Bxf3 14. Bxh7+ Kh8 15.
Bf5 $1 Be4 16. Qxe4 {also doesn't work out for Black.}) 14. Bxg6 hxg6 15. Rad1
{felt like strong pressure for White, because d5 is a weakness and the
possibility of e6 is always in the air.}) 13. a3 $6 {Far too slow. It was here
that Grischuk started to drift with his play.} (13. Qc2 $2 Bxf3 14. Bf5 $2 Be4
{is an important trick, winning a piece.}) (13. Be2 {was the most challenging
move. Here I saw two options:} O-O $5 {offers an exchange sacrifice, but White
is not obligated to accept it.} (13... Bg6 {is playable, but White can perhaps
hope for a slight edge after} 14. Bg3 O-O 15. Nh4 {getting the advantage of
the bishop pair.}) 14. Nd4 (14. Qd2 {prepares Nd4, and would lead to a very
messy situation after} Rfe8 15. Nd4 cxd4 16. Bxh5 dxc3 17. bxc3 d4) 14... Bxe2
15. Nxe6 Bxd1 16. Nxf8 Ba4 (16... Bc2 17. Nd7 Nd8 18. e6 Nxe6 19. Bd2 Rd8 {
also offers decent compensation.}) 17. b3 (17. Nd7 $2 Nd8 {traps the knight})
17... Bb5 18. a4 Bd3 19. Nd7 Rd8 20. e6 fxe6 21. Ne5 Nxe5 22. Bxe5 Bc2 {
This position is likely to end in a draw.}) 13... O-O 14. b4 h6 {Covering g5,
which will be useful in many lines in the future. Also making sure h7 no
longer ever hangs.} ({I couldn't decide on whether to play h6 or} 14... b6 {
, and probably both are fully playable.}) 15. Bg3 {White has many options, but
in every case Black is comfortable.} (15. bxc5 Bxc5 16. Be2 Rad8 17. Nd4 Bxd4
18. cxd4 Bxe2 19. Rxe2 Rc8 {is at least equal, but I would even prefer Black's
position slightly.}) 15... b6 16. Nd4 $6 {I felt during the game that this was
a positional mistake, leading to a comfortable situation for Black.} ({A
better move was} 16. Be2 Bg6 17. Nh4 Bxh4 18. Bxh4 d4 {, with a complex and
roughly balanced position.}) 16... Bxd1 17. Nxe6 fxe6 18. Raxd1 c4 {It's
important to play this before White goes for c4 himself. Now the pawn
structure is very favorable for me: all of White's queenside pawns on the dark
squares are vulnerable, and his bishop on g3 is extremely passive. The only
plus for him is that whenever I open up the position, his light-squared bishop
will become powerful.} 19. Bc2 (19. Bg6 b5 20. f4 Bd8 $1 {and next ...Ne7
kicks the bishop from g6.}) (19. Be2 a5 {is likewise unpleasant for White, and}
20. Bg4 Nd8 {is only temporarily inconvenient. Soon I'll play ...g6 and ...h5.}
) 19... b5 {Preparing ...a5 without allowing b5.} 20. a4 (20. f4 $6 a5 {
would soon become critical for White, because ...axb4 and ...d4 would
completely undermine his queenside.}) 20... a6 21. f3 $1 {A strong and
necessary defense.} (21. f4 {, preparing f5, is most natural, but after} Rac8
$1 {Black prepares ...d4 and White will fall apart. For example} (21... d4 $2
22. Be4 {is clearly wrong.}) 22. axb5 axb5 23. f5 d4 $1 24. cxd4 Nxb4 {, with
a winning position.}) 21... Bg5 $6 {Too academic. I needed to be more daring
to keep the advantage.} ({Now} 21... Rac8 22. Bf2 {leads nowhere.}) (21... Nxb4
$1 {was the most testing move:} 22. cxb4 Bxb4 23. Re2 Be7 24. axb5 axb5 25. Rb1
b4 {, and White will have to defend accurately against the three passed pawns.
I didn't really consider sacrificing, however, because the game continuation
looked so attractive.}) 22. Bf2 $2 {This mistake is very serious, and seems to
be the difference between a draw and a loss.} (22. h4 $1 Bf4 23. Bxf4 Rxf4 {
I understand why Grischuk didn't want to give away his bishop pair, but White
is already close to equal after} 24. Bg6 {For example,} Rc8 (24... Ne7 25. h5)
25. Kf2 d4 26. axb5 axb5 27. cxd4 Nxb4 28. Rb1 Nd5 29. Rxb5 Rxd4 30. Reb1 {
, with a likely draw.}) 22... Bf4 23. Bc5 Rfd8 24. Bd6 Bg3 25. Re2 g5 {When I
played 21...Bg5 I saw this position, and I was very happy to get it. White is
almost completely paralyzed, due to the dominant bishop on g3. However, it is
still difficult to make progress.} 26. Kf1 Kf7 27. Bc7 Re8 28. Bd6 Rac8 {
A strange move. We were both low on time, so I was a bit unsure of what to do,
but placing a rook on c8 is certainly not the way.} ({I should have started by
placing my pawn on h4, which is useful in many variations down the road. Most
concretely, often White will play Rxd5 and e6, and with the pawn on h4 the
bishop will be defended.} 28... h5 $1 29. Ra1 h4 30. Bb1 Red8 {, and sooner or
later White will slowly die.}) 29. Ra1 Red8 30. Bb1 {As usual, when time gets
low, Grischuk continues to play very well.} Rd7 ({I could still place my pawn
on h4 before deciding what to do next:} 30... h5 31. axb5 axb5 32. Ra6 h4 {
and here} 33. Rb6 Rd7 34. Rxb5 Ra8 {is not something I should worry about.})
31. Ra3 (31. axb5 axb5 32. Ra6 {was a better defense. I was planning} Ra7 {
, but after} ({Perhaps} 32... h5 $5 {is again the best move.}) 33. Rxa7+ Nxa7
34. Ra2 Nc6 35. Ra6 {White's position becomes a bit easier to hold.}) 31... d4
{I was extremely happy to get this move in at an opportune moment. We were
both short on time, but now the play becomes forced:} 32. axb5 axb5 33. cxd4
Nxd4 34. Rea2 Nc6 35. Be4 Bxe5 36. Bxc6 (36. Bc5 Kf6 {is also very bad for
White.}) 36... Rxd6 37. Bxb5 {Black has a serious advantage, due to the
strength of the passed c-pawn and the weakness of White's king. The weakened
dark squares around White's kingside make a direct attack very likely in the
future. The next few moves were played in heavy time trouble, which led to
some poor decisions.} Rd1+ (37... c3 $1 {was strongest:} 38. Ba4 (38. Rc2 Rb8
39. Ra5 Kf6 {leaves White tied up, and likely to lose the b-pawn.}) 38... Rcd8
39. b5 Rd3 {and White is paralyzed and facing ideas of ...Bd6.}) 38. Ke2 Rg1
39. Ke3 Rb1 $2 ({Direct play was again best:} 39... c3 $1 40. Rc2 Rd8 {with a
decisive edge. For example} 41. Ra7+ Kf6 42. Rd7 Rb8 43. Bd3 Rxb4 {with a
position similar to the game.}) 40. Ra7+ $2 {The last move of the time control,
and it is both an extremely natural and a poor one.} (40. Ra8 $1 Rxa8 41. Rxa8
Rxb4 42. Ba4 {This is difficult to decide on, since White condemns himself to
a pawn down position where he will suffer for a very long time. However,
trading rooks is absolutely necessary to keep any drawing chances alive.})
40... Kf6 {And now I could finally get up from the table and check the other
games. I was pleased to see Karjakin had already drawn, and Kramnik and
Mamedyarov were playing a drawn ending. I felt very safe that a draw would be
enough for tournament victory, but of course with a much better position, I
continued to play.} 41. Bd7 Bf4+ 42. Ke2 (42. Kf2 Rd8 {is essentially the same
as the game.} (42... c3 $2 {looks very beautiful, but misses the win after} 43.
Re2 $1 (43. Bxc8 $2 Rb2+ {on the other hand, leads to a pawn promotion.})))
42... Rd8 43. Rc2 ({At this moment, I think Alexander realized that} 43. R2a6 {
runs into an exchange sac:} Rb2+ 44. Kf1 Rxd7 $1 45. Rxd7 c3 46. Rc6 c2 {
and the pawn is unstoppable. Black will be a piece ahead.}) 43... Rxb4 (43...
Rg1 $1 44. Kf2 Rd1 {is even stronger, and would be immediately winning, but I
saw no reason to just take the pawn and win slowly.}) 44. Bc6 c3 {A pawn up,
and still with a positional advantage. I knew I was completely winning, and
around this point I saw Kramnik and Mamedyarov agree to a draw. A draw would
have been enough for me, but I couldn't bring myself to offer it in such an
overwhelming position.} 45. Rd7 Rc8 {Of course, no trade of rooks.} 46. Be4 h5
{I might as well place the pawn on h4 before deciding on what to do next.
White has no ideas, so it was only a question of time until I broke through.}
47. Kd3 Rb2 48. Ke2 h4 49. Rd1 Ke5 50. Ra1 Rd8 51. Rd1 Rdb8 52. Ra1 Bd2 53. Ra6
Rd8 54. Rc6 Rb1 55. Kf2 Ra1 56. Rc4 Rd4 57. Rc8 Rb4 58. Ke2 Kf4 59. Kf2 Rbb1
60. Rf8+ Ke5 61. Bd3 Rb2 62. Ke2 Re1+ 63. Kf2 Rc1 64. Rxb2 cxb2 65. Rb8 Bc3 66.
Be4 Bd4+ 67. Ke2 Kf4 68. Rb4 e5 69. Rb7 Kg3 {And after this, Grischuk resigned
and I secured qualification to the 2018 World Championship match!} 0-1
[Event "Gashimov Memorial 5th"]
[Site "Shamkir"]
[Date "2018.04.23"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B23"]
[WhiteElo "2843"]
[BlackElo "2744"]
[Annotator "Nielsen,PH"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2018.04.19"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AZE"]
[EventCategory "21"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{The tournament in general, but for Magnus especially had a very quiet start
with Topalov's win over Navara being the only deceisive game. The pairings
gave Magnus 3 Blacks vs. the Azeri players not leaving much scope for
creativity, however in round 5 things were about to change:} 1. e4 {
Quintiliano,R} c5 {Radek stays loyal to his compratiot inviting his favourite
Najdorf variation.} 2. Nc3 d6 {Najdorf players have to use this move order as
e.g.} (2... Nc6 {can be met by} 3. Nf3 $1 {intending 4.d4.}) 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4
{A nice and fitting touch, as this move order vs. the Sicilian was favoured by
Vugar Gashimov.} Nc6 5. Qd2 $5 {Magnus unleashes a rare and original concept,
completely novel at top level. During Wijk Aan Zee 2017 I received an email
from Greek IM Ioannis Simeonidis suggesting this setup as an interesting
anti-Najdorf concept and offered it to Magnus to test his concept! At first it
reminded me of Greek hubris. After all how likely is it that you can come up
with a meaningful and new setup at move 5 in one of the most tested openings
historically in chess? GM, Khenkin, the commentator at the event formulated it
with classic Soviet iron chess logic: "Chess-wisdom suggests only moving each
piece once in the opening, especially the queen, however the World Champion
seem to have his own rules". First sight however is deceptive: White has an
interesting concept in mind, and very similarly to Fischer-Random chess the
players now have to adapt to problems completely untested previously in
practice.} Nf6 {Logical and common-sense, but Ofitserian took a much more
concrete approach when facing Paravyan in the Russian Junior championship 4
days later harassing the white queen with} (5... g6 6. b3 Bh6 $5 {White
however did not budge and went} 7. f4 Nf6 8. Bb2 e5 {Quintiliano,R: '?!'} (8...
O-O $142 {Quintiliano,R} 9. O-O-O a5 10. Bb5 Qb6 $132) 9. g3 O-O 10. O-O-O {
and won a complex fight. This is what fascinates the most with Simeonidis
variation, that an oasis of creativity existed in territory believed to have
been long mapped out.}) 6. b3 e6 {On the same day in the Budapest Spring Open
but 3 hours later due to the time difference, Kotronias faced} (6... g6 {
but got an excellent position after} 7. Bb2 Bg7 8. O-O-O O-O 9. f3 Qa5 10. Kb1
Be6 11. Nge2 {As in the actual game it's noteworthy that the surprised player
acts with typical Sicilian moves, while in the game played 4 days later,
Ofitserian most likely influenced by the computer, tried a setup aimed
specifically at the possible defects of White's concept.}) 7. Bb2 a6 {Again
typical Sicilian style.} ({Quintiliano,R: 'Knowing how the game goes,'} 7... d5
$5 {intending ...Bb4 was a more concrete approach. Quintiliano,R: 'maybe is a
worthy try'} 8. exd5 {Quintiliano,R} exd5 9. O-O-O Be6 10. Nge2 Qa5 {The point
is that despite the isolated pawn, Black has open lines and more freedom to
develop the pieces} 11. Kb1 Bc5 12. Nf4 O-O-O $13) 8. O-O-O b5 9. f3 {The
position reminds one of a Rauzer, however the white bishop being on b2 and the
knight on g1 instead of d4! At first this sounds considerably more passive
from whites perspective, but the bishop on b2 not only attacks in the long
diagonal but also provides additional safety for the white king. While a
knight on d4 would just be exchanged now on g1 it can consider various routes
of attack.} h5 $6 {Preventing g4 makes perfect sense, but} (9... Be7 10. Kb1 {
is the obvious reply, but then after} (10. g4 Nxg4 $1 {is a nice trick as} 11.
fxg4 Bg5 {wins the white queen.}) 10... h5 {Black has a slightly improved
version of the game.} (10... O-O {Quintiliano,R} 11. g4 Bb7 {with typical and
double-edged Sicilian positions, despite there are some differences of normal
lines, the Bb2 being the most clear one, Black should have the usual
counterplay ideas.})) 10. Nh3 $1 {Till this move, the general concept was
mapped out in preparation, but here the World Champion demonstrates his level,
adopting to the specifics of the position excellently. The g5-square very
rarely being a relevant square for a white knight in the Scheveningen style
Sicilian is of no importance. Like in chess 960 what matters is adapting to
the new situation, and the combination of Black's last move weakening the
g5-square and White's knight being on g1 prompted this unusual approach.} Be7
11. Ng5 h4 $6 {Again logical and typical, however for this specific position
just not very relevant.} 12. f4 Bb7 13. Kb1 Rc8 14. Be2 $1 Qc7 15. Rhe1 $1 {
While White's two last moves might appear unimpressive, Be2 almost feeling
passive, looks are again deceptive. White quietly finishes his development in
essence claiming he can improve his position meaningfully before the eventual
confrontation, while Black cannot. Black's position is much worse than it
looks. Normally ...Nb4 and ...Qa5 would create counterplay, exchange
sacrifices on c3 being part of the equation, but with the white bishop being
on b2 such action by Black would be completely pointless, and ...Nb4 simply
being answered by a white a3. Especially the knight at c6 seems misplaced
blocking both the bishop on b7 and the rook on c8. The relevant question would
be, why did Black put it there? But who could resist free development
harassing the opponent's queen at move 4?} Nh7 16. Nxh7 Rxh7 17. g4 $6 {
At the press conference Magnus explained that he saw the indeed crushing 17.
Nd5! but thought his position so dominating that sacrifices were not even
neccesary.} (17. Nd5 $1 {Still the knight sacrifice was the best way, as after}
exd5 18. exd5 {Black's position is close to hopeless as giving back the piece
is positional bankruptcy, but} Nb8 {loses instantly to} 19. Bd3 $1 {with} Rh5
20. Rxe7+ $1 {being the principal tactical point.}) 17... hxg3 18. hxg3 Bf6 19.
Bd3 Rh8 20. g4 $6 {A strange coincidence. Magnus' only inaccuracy in the game
was g4; unfortunately it was possible to play twice! Unlike move 17 here
simplicity was in order, figthing for the open file with} (20. Rh1 $1 {would
have given an overwhelming edge.}) 20... Nd4 21. Re3 Kf8 22. Ne2 $1 Nxe2 23.
Rxe2 {Despite the exchanges of minor pieces, the difference in king safety
still gives White the much more pleasant position.} Bc3 $2 (23... Bxb2 24. Kxb2
Qc5 $1 {was Black's best chance to minimise the damage, but in time pressure
Radek finally goes astray.} (24... Rh4 $1 {Quintiliano,R} 25. g5 Qc5 {[%cal
Yc5d4]} 26. Kb1 (26. Rh2 Rxh2 27. Qxh2 Ke7 28. Kb1 Qe3 $132) 26... d5 $5 27.
exd5 Bxd5 28. Rh2 Rxh2 29. Qxh2 g6 $14 {despite White's position still looking
easier, Black is fighting well and has real chances to equalise.})) 24. Bxc3
Qxc3 25. Qe3 Rc5 {Allows a tactical blow, but after} (25... Qc5 26. Qg3 {
Black is passive without counterplay while f5 and g5 follow for White with an
overwhelming edge.}) 26. e5 $1 dxe5 27. fxe5 Rh1 28. Rxh1 Bxh1 29. Rh2 Rxe5 ({
If} 29... Bb7 {then} 30. Rh8+ Ke7 31. Qg5+ {mates.}) 30. Rh8+ $1 Ke7 31. Qa7+ {
And with 32.Rxh1 following next, Black being a piece down resigned. Magnus'
shift of pace not only lasted to the upcoming free day's soccer tournament
scoring all 6 six goals for the winning team, but also for the remainder of
the tournament with crucial wins over first the leader Topalov and then with
the black pieces against Anish Giri eventually securing overall victory.} 1-0
[Event "FIDE Candidates"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2018.03.24"]
[Round "12"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Ding, Liren"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D41"]
[WhiteElo "2809"]
[BlackElo "2769"]
[Annotator "Ding Liren"]
[PlyCount "86"]
[EventDate "2018.03.10"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "14"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{This game was played at the 12th round of the Candidates tournament. I had
just spoiled a winning position against Alexander Grischuk in the previous
round and scored my 11th continuous draw. So I didn't have much in the way of
expectations this time.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 c5 {I deviated
from 4...c6 which was played in the 4th round and went for a line which became
popular thanks to the influence of Vladimir Kramnik.} 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 Nxc3
7. bxc3 cxd4 8. cxd4 Bb4+ 9. Bd2 Bxd2+ 10. Qxd2 O-O 11. Bc4 Nd7 12. O-O b6 13.
Rad1 (13. a4 {is considered as the main line, but hard to get any advantage
also.}) 13... Bb7 14. Rfe1 Rc8 15. Bb3 Re8 {The idea behind this quiet rook
move is simple, to control the e-file in case of d4-d5.} (15... Nf6 $2 16. d5
exd5 17. exd5 Qd6 18. Nd4) 16. h3 (16. d5 $5 exd5 17. exd5 Nc5 18. d6 Bxf3 19.
Rxe8+ (19. gxf3 Qd7) 19... Qxe8 20. gxf3 Qd7 (20... Qc6 $5) 21. Re1 Ne6 22. f4
Rc5 $13) 16... Nf6 {Now ...Nf6 is possible.} 17. Qf4 (17. d5 exd5 18. exd5
Rxe1+ 19. Qxe1 Qd6 (19... Nxd5 $2 20. Qe5 Rc5 21. Ng5) 20. Nd4 g6 (20... Re8)
21. Nb5 Qc5 22. Nxa7 Re8 23. Qd2 Bxd5 24. Bxd5 Nxd5 25. Qxd5 Re1+ 26. Kh2 Rxd1
27. Qxd1 Qc7+ 28. g3 Qxa7 $11) 17... Nh5 {It's important to prevent the idea
d4-d5 followed by e4-e5.} (17... h6 $6 18. d5 exd5 19. e5 $1 Nd7 20. Nd4 Nc5
21. Nf5 Rc7 22. Nd6 Rf8 23. Qe3 $36) 18. Qh2 (18. Qe5 Nf6) 18... h6 {Until now
I'm still following in the footsteps of Kramnik. Here my opponent came up with
a new move over the board.} 19. Ne5 {White is threatening d4-d5 or Nc4 now.} (
19. d5 exd5 20. exd5 Rxe1+ 21. Nxe1 Qf6 22. Nd3 Ba6 $1 23. Qe5 Bxd3 24. Qxh5
$11 {So,W-Kramnik,V}) 19... Nf6 {The knight can do little at the edge of the
board, so after some thought I decide to bring it back.} 20. Qf4 b5 $1 {
Depriving his knight of the c4-square and at the same time threatening ...a5...
a4.} 21. Re3 (21. Nxf7 Kxf7 22. e5 a5 23. exf6 Qxf6 24. Qd6 Rc6 25. Qd7+ Qe7
26. Qxe7+ Kxe7 $11) 21... Rc7 {To prevent Rg3.} (21... a5 $5 22. Rg3 Kf8 $13)
22. Nd3 (22. Rg3 $2 Nh5) 22... Rc3 {I want to exchange a pair of rooks to
release the pressure on the kingside.} (22... a5 23. Nc5 a4 24. Bc2) 23. Nc5 ({
I was a bit worried about} 23. e5 Nd5 24. Bxd5 Bxd5 25. Rg3 {but after} Kf8 $1
{Black stands well.}) 23... Rxe3 24. Qxe3 (24. Nxb7 $2 Rxe4) (24. fxe3 Qe7 $11)
24... Bc6 $11 {Now with the knight on c5, I have to beware of the potential
e4-e5 followed by Ne4.} 25. Rc1 Qb6 26. f3 {With the text it's clear that
White will no longer play e5.} (26. e5 $5 Nd5 27. Qg3 Ne7 $1 {clears the way
for the bishop} 28. Qg4 Kh8 $13) 26... Rd8 {Improving my position slowly.} 27.
Kf2 a5 28. g4 (28. Nxe6 $5 {leads to a drawish ending} fxe6 29. Bxe6+ Kf8 30.
d5 Qxe3+ 31. Kxe3 Bd7 (31... Bxd5 32. Rd1 $14) 32. Bxd7 Nxd7 33. Rc7 Ke8 34.
Kd4 a4 35. Rb7 Rc8 36. Rxb5 Rc2 37. e5 Rd2+ 38. Ke3 Rxa2 39. e6 Rxg2 40. exd7+
Kxd7 $11) 28... a4 29. Bc2 $6 {A step in the wrong direction. e2 is the better
square for the bishop.} (29. Bd1 Nd7 30. Nd3 Bb7 (30... Nb8 31. Be2 Be8 32. d5)
31. Be2 Qd6 32. Kg2 $13) 29... Nd7 $1 30. Bd3 (30. Nd3 Bb7 31. Bb1 Rc8 $15)
30... Nxc5 31. Rxc5 b4 {After the exchange of knights, the pawns start pushing.
Also my opponent was in time trouble, he had around 15 minutes at that point,
while I had 40.} 32. Bc4 {It's understandable that my opponent doesn't want to
stay passive, but after the text I have many decisive plans to support the
pawns, for example ...Rb8, ...b3 or ...b3 followed by ...a3.} (32. h4 $142 Be8
33. Bb1 b3 34. axb3 axb3 35. Qc3 b2 36. e5 Rb8 37. h5 Kf8 $1 38. Rc7 Ba4 39.
Ke2 Ke8 40. Kd2 Bd7 $17) 32... Bd7 (32... Be8 {is also possible:} 33. d5 b3 34.
axb3 a3 35. dxe6 a2 36. exf7+ Bxf7 37. Bxf7+ Kh8 $1 38. Qc3 a1=Q 39. Qxa1 Qxc5+
40. Kg3 Qc7+ $19) 33. g5 (33. h4 {is also hopeless:} Rb8 34. g5 hxg5 35. Qxg5
b3 36. axb3 axb3 37. h5 Qd6 $1) 33... hxg5 34. Qxg5 Be8 $1 (34... Rb8 {is less
clear:} 35. Qe7 Be8 36. Qc7 b3 37. Qxb6 Rxb6 38. axb3 axb3 39. Bd3 b2 40. Bb1)
35. Qe7 b3 36. axb3 a3 {That's the point behind my 34th move. Maybe this idea
was missed by my opponent.} 37. b4 Ra8 38. d5 {A nice try, unluckily loses to
the most straight forward way.} (38. Ra5 Qxd4+ 39. Kg2 Rxa5 40. Qxe8+ Kh7 41.
bxa5 Qxc4 42. Qxf7 Qe2+ 43. Kg3 Qe1+ 44. Kg2 Qxa5 $19) (38. Ba2 Qxb4 $19) 38...
a2 39. dxe6 a1=Q 40. exf7+ Bxf7 41. Bxf7+ Kh7 {It's important that the c5-rook
gets pinned.} 42. Qh4+ Qh6 43. Rh5 Qa7+ {The only winning move, but it's
simple enough，so White resigned. Finally I scored a win after the long
drawing streak in classical time control (20 games...), I was relieved.} (43...
Qd4+ $4 44. Kg2 Qdd2+ 45. Qf2 $11) 0-1
[Event "Tata Steel-A 80th"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee"]
[Date "2018.01.15"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C42"]
[WhiteElo "2767"]
[BlackElo "2811"]
[Annotator "Szabo,Kr"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2018.01.13"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "13"]
[EventCountry "NED"]
[EventCategory "20"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 183"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.03.14"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.03.14"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. c4
c6 9. Qc2 Na6 10. a3 Bg4 11. Ne5 Bf5 12. b4 Nc7 $146 {A novelty by Caruana.} (
12... f6 13. Nf3 Bg6 14. Nc3 (14. c5 $5) 14... Nxc3 15. Bxg6 hxg6 16. Qxc3 $11
{Leko-Ivanchuk, Monte Carlo blind rapid 2006, with a balanced position.}) 13.
f3 Bg6 {A nice solution to the pin.} 14. c5 (14. fxe4 $2 {does not work, as
there is} Bxe5 15. dxe5 dxe4 $17 {followed by ...Qd4.}) ({In the event of} 14.
Nxg6 fxg6 15. fxe4 dxe4 16. Rxf8+ (16. Bxe4 $2 {loses immediately, as} Bxh2+ $1
17. Kxh2 Rxf1 $19 {and Black is winning,}) ({or} 16. Be2 $2 Qh4 17. g3 (17. h3
Qg3 $19 {followed by ...Qh2 mate.}) 17... Bxg3 $1 18. hxg3 Qxg3+ 19. Kh1 Rxf1+
20. Bxf1 Qe1 $1 21. Kg1 Rf8 $19 {with a decisive attack.}) 16... Bxf8 $132 {
with a complicated position.}) 14... Bxe5 15. dxe5 Ng5 ({Still} 15... a5 $5 {
was also possible,} 16. Bb2 (16. fxe4 $2 {is bad again} dxe4 $17 {and Black is
better.}) 16... Ng5 {is transposing to the text move.}) 16. Bb2 d4 $2 {A
mistake, which allows White's subsequent attack on the kingside.} (16... Nge6
17. f4 Bxd3 18. Qxd3 {transposes to 16...Bxd3.}) (16... Bxd3 17. Qxd3 Nge6 18.
f4 g6 19. f5 gxf5 20. Rxf5 Qh4 21. Nd2 a5 22. Raf1 {and White's position looks
more tempting, however the engine isn't afraid of anything.}) ({Or even} 16...
a5 17. f4 Bxd3 18. Qxd3 Ne4 {was also possible and Black is not worse.}) 17. f4
$1 {White immediately starts his kingside play.} Nd5 {The only move, but White
is better here too.} 18. fxg5 Ne3 19. Qd2 Bxd3 20. Qxd3 Nxf1 21. Kxf1 Qxg5 22.
Nd2 $1 {White continues the development, doesn't think about the material.}
Qxe5 {Black gets some pawns, but the two pieces are stronger, than the rook.}
23. Nf3 ({The engine suggest} 23. Nc4 $1 {, but the human move is 23.Nf3 to
protect the h2-pawn.} Qxh2 24. Qxd4 f6 25. Nd6 $16 {and finally White has a
clear advantage.}) 23... Qh5 24. Qxd4 f6 25. Qc4+ Kh8 26. Bc1 $1 {After 24...
f6 the bishop is already useless on the a1-h8 diagonal. He prepares for Bf4-d6.
} Rfe8 27. Bf4 a5 28. Bd6 axb4 29. Qxb4 Qd5 (29... Qf7 {was more solid, however
} 30. Kf2 Ra7 31. a4 $16 {is also unpleasant for Black.}) 30. Qxb7 h6 (30...
Qd3+ $1 {was a better chance to win the a3-pawn,} 31. Kg1 Rxa3 32. Rxa3 Qxa3
33. h3 $1 {A great cool-blooded reply!} ({The greedy} 33. Qxc6 $2 {could have
been met by} Qc1+ 34. Kf2 Qc2+ $1 35. Kg3 Qg6+ $11 {with perpetual checks.})
33... Qe3+ 34. Kh2 Qe4 35. Qd7 Ra8 {and White should be better, but it is
still not clear how the knight can attack the c6-pawn.}) 31. Kg1 $1 {Now White
keeps the a3-pawn.} Ra4 32. h3 Rc4 33. Qb2 Qd3 34. Ra2 $1 {A nice reaction to
protect the 2nd rank.} Qd1+ 35. Kh2 Rc1 36. a4 {Black doesn't have any threat
on the first rank.} f5 (36... Qh1+ 37. Kg3 $18 {and the white king is safe.})
37. Qb7 f4 38. Bxf4 Rxc5 39. Rd2 Qxa4 40. Qf7 Rg8 41. Be5 Qc4 42. Rd6 $1 {
A smart finish to the game!} (42. Rd6 $1 Qc1 (42... Qxf7 43. Rxh6#) 43. Rd8 $1
$18 {and mate on g7!}) 1-0
[Event "FIDE Candidates"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2018.03.10"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Ding, Liren"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A18"]
[WhiteElo "2794"]
[BlackElo "2769"]
[Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"]
[PlyCount "43"]
[EventDate "2018.03.10"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "14"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. e4 $1 {This is a good move order if your opponent
usually plays setups with ...Nf6 and ...e6. We now enter positions that don't
have a particular pattern, but are very independent from typical openings} d5
4. e5 (4. cxd5 $5 {is a different approach} exd5 5. e5 Ne4 6. Nf3 Be7 $5 {
the pawn sacrifice is interesting} (6... Bf5 7. Be2 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Qb3 Nc6
10. Nxd5 Bc5 11. Ne3 $1 $16 {1-0 (41) Matlakov,M (2714)-Santos Latasa,J (2567)
Minsk 2017}) 7. Qa4+ (7. Nxe4 dxe4 8. Qa4+ Nc6 9. Qxe4 Be6 $44) 7... Bd7 8. Qb3
Nc5 9. Qc2 Bg4 10. d4 Ne6 11. Be3 Bxf3 12. gxf3 c5 $1 $132 {1-0 (73)
Kryvoruchko,Y (2703)-Debashis,D (2518) Dubai 2018}) 4... d4 5. exf6 dxc3 6.
bxc3 Qxf6 {A lot has been investigated in this line recently} 7. d4 b6 (7... e5
$5 {is a concrete approach, tried by Aronian himself in 2014 against Grischuk.
This move is fine, but Black has to be precise.} 8. Nf3 Nc6 9. Bg5 Qg6 10. d5
Nb8 11. h4 h6 $1 {Karjakin didn't have problems against Anand with this move.}
(11... Nd7 $6 12. Bd3 e4 13. h5 Qf5 14. Rh4 $3 {and suddenly the black queen
is lost.} exd3 15. Rf4 $18 {1-0 (40) Grischuk,A (2792)-Aronian,L (2815)
Stavanger 2014}) 12. h5 Qa6 $1 $146 13. Be3 Nd7 14. Bd3 Ba3 15. O-O Qd6 16. Nh4
O-O {Black wants to achieve a strategically better position with ...Nf6 and ...
Bc5} 17. Nf5 Qf6 18. Ng3 Qh4 {and a repetition of moves was agreed:} 19. Nf5
Qf6 20. Ng3 Qh4 {½-½ (20) Anand,V (2782)-Karjakin,S (2760) London 2017}) 8.
h4 $5 $146 {As expected, Aronian starts to show aggression right from the
first round in the Candidates tournament. He will play Bg5 like in the line
with 8.Nf3, but in some cases here he may play Rh3 and the knight may go to e2
as well.} (8. Nf3 Bb7 9. Be2 Bd6 10. Qc2 $6 {makes Black's life easy.} Qg6 $1
11. Qxg6 hxg6 12. h3 Nd7 $11 {½-½ (45) Mager,D (2283)-Gustafsson,J (2640)
Germany 2018, with a comfortable endgame.}) 8... Bb7 9. Bg5 Qf5 10. Bd3 Qa5 11.
Kf1 $1 {A smart way to defend the g2-pawn and to run away from ...Qxc3+. The
position becomes very original after the last few moves, and it is not easy to
find a clear and safe plan for Black, he has so many development possibilities,
that it is hard to choose. I would say White's opening experiment is going
well so far.} Nc6 (11... Bd6 $5 {preparing ...Nd7 and ...0-0 was possible.})
12. Rb1 (12. Rh3 $5 f6 13. Bd2 O-O-O 14. a4 $1 {similar to the game, the queen
feels somewhat weird on a5. A sample line would be:} e5 15. c5 {[%csl Ra5]}
bxc5 16. d5 Ba6 (16... Rxd5 $4 17. c4 $18) 17. Rb1 $1 Bxd3+ 18. Rxd3 Qa6 19.
Qg4+ Rd7 20. Rb5) 12... f6 13. Bd2 O-O-O (13... Qa3 $5 {avoiding a4 was
interesting} 14. Qh5+ g6 15. Bxg6+ hxg6 16. Qxh8 Qxa2 17. Rd1 Qc2 $1 $44 {
with decent compensation for Black.}) 14. a4 $1 {Trying to make the black
queen look uncomfortable there on a5.} e5 15. c5 (15. Rh3 $5 exd4 16. cxd4 Bb4
{was Aronian's suggestion for Black after the game on the 15.Rh3 line. White
has an interesting sequence now:} 17. d5 Bxd2 18. Rb5 $1 Qa6 19. dxc6 Bxc6 20.
Qxd2 Qxa4 21. Rb1 Qxc4 22. Ne2 {and the position remains complex} (22. Bxc4 $6
Rxd2 {is just fine for Black})) 15... Bxc5 16. Rb5 Qa6 17. Rh3 Bxd4 $1 18. Be2
(18. cxd4 $2 Rxd4 19. Ne2 Qxa4 $17 {and Black has four pawns for the piece,
and can play this position for a win.}) 18... Rd6 $6 (18... Ba8 $1 {giving b7
for the queen - a very original move} 19. Nf3 (19. Rb2 Qb7 20. cxd4 Nxd4 $132)
(19. cxd4 Nxd4 20. Rb2 Nxe2 $132) 19... Qb7 20. cxd4 Nxd4 21. Rb2 {In any case,
I feel that Black's position is great after he takes on e2 and plays with the
opposite-coloured bishops.} Nxe2 $132) 19. Rb1 (19. Rb2 $1 {is the computer
suggestion, with advantage for White. During the press conference, Aronian
said he wasn't sure how to evaluate the position after Black's 21st move:} Qa5
20. cxd4 Qd5 21. dxe5 Nxe5 22. Nf3 $16 {Black has many interesting moves here,
like ...Re8 or ...Nd3.}) 19... Qa5 20. Rb5 Qa6 (20... Bxc3 {runs into a pretty
move (that both players mentioned in the press conference)} 21. Rd3 $1 Rxd3 22.
Bxd3 Ba6 23. Bxc3 Qxc3 24. Ne2 Qa3 25. Rb3 Qxa4 26. Bf5+ Kb8 27. Rxb6+ cxb6 28.
Qxa4 Bxe2+ 29. Kg1 $16) 21. Rb1 Qa5 22. Rb5 1/2-1/2
[Event "46th GM 2018"]
[Site "Dortmund GER"]
[Date "2018.07.14"]
[Round "1.4"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C42"]
[WhiteElo "2757"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "120"]
[EventDate "2018.07.14"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Bf5 {A Chinese
specialty. This line has been played by aces like Wei Yi, Li Chao and Ni Hua.
The reigning women's world champion Ju Wenjun has also used the line.} 7. O-O
Be7 8. Re1 O-O 9. Nc3 {Not the main line, but Nepomniachtchi had already
played it before.} ({The main continuation is} 9. c4 {and after} Nc6 10. cxd5
Qxd5 11. Nc3 {here a couple of examples of the modern practice:} Nxc3 12. bxc3
Rae8 13. Bf4 Bxd3 ({or} 13... Bd8 14. c4 Qd7 15. Bxf5 Qxf5 16. Qd2 Na5 17. Rec1
$5 {as in Anand,V (2776)-Li,C (2728) Sochi 2017}) 14. Qxd3 Bd6 {with slight
advantage for White in Anand,V (2767)-Wei,Y (2743) Wijk aan Zee 2018}) ({
The second main option is} 9. Nbd2 {which avoids the doubling of the pawns.
However, this move allows the retreat} Nd6 {when Black is happy to trade his
less active bishop for the strong counterpart on d3. After} 10. Nf1 Bxd3 11.
Qxd3 c6 {the position is approximately equal, Salem,A (2642)-Yu,Y (2760) chess.
com INT 2018}) 9... Nxc3 10. bxc3 Bxd3 11. Qxd3 Nc6 ({The aforementioned game
of Nepomniachtchi saw} 11... Nd7 12. Rb1 ({but White can try} 12. c4 $5) ({or}
12. a4 $5) 12... Nb6 13. Qf5 Re8 14. Bg5 f6 15. Bf4 Bd6 16. Rxe8+ Qxe8 17. Bxd6
cxd6 18. Qf4 {1/2-1/2 (18) Nepomniachtchi,I (2751)-Jobava,B (2687) Tbilisi 2017
}) 12. Re2 a6 13. Bf4 (13. c4 dxc4 14. Qxc4 Qd6) 13... Qd7 ({It looks logical
to proceed with} 13... b5 {to block the doubled pawn comletely after Nc6-a5-c4,
but Black is not prepared for this and} 14. a4 Rb8 15. axb5 axb5 16. Ra6 {
will give White the initiative.}) 14. Rae1 Rfe8 15. h4 $146 {A novelty. White
wants to use the control of the open file to create kingside threats.} ({
This improves on} 15. g3 h6 16. h4 Bd6 17. Bxd6 Rxe2 18. Rxe2 Qxd6 {with
equality, Malinovsky,K (2396)-Brecka,I (2323) Czechia 2013}) 15... h6 {This
stops Nf3-g5 for good.} ({The obvious} 15... Bd6 {to swap off the rooks would
be met with} 16. Ng5 g6 17. Bxd6 Rxe2 ({Or} 17... cxd6 18. h5) 18. Qxe2 Qxd6
19. h5 {with initiative on the kingside.}) 16. Qe3 {As a result, White took
control of the open e-file. The question is if he will manage to convert it
into something tangible.} b5 ({The rooks are definitely better than the queen
after} 16... Ba3 17. Qxe8+ Rxe8 18. Rxe8+ Kh7) 17. h5 {Intending Nf3-h2,
followed by Qe3-g3 with a double attack against both the h6 and c7 pawns.} Rac8
$1 {Giri anticipates White's plans.} 18. Nh2 b4 ({White still has all the play
after} 18... Bf8 19. Qxe8 Rxe8 20. Rxe8 Nd8 21. Bg3 $1 ({This is even better
than the immediate gain of a pawn after} 21. R1e7 Qxe7 22. Rxe7 Bxe7 23. Bxc7
Ne6)) 19. Qg3 {First round, very solid opponent, risk-free position...
Nepomnichtchi plays safe.} ({More enterprising would have been} 19. Bxh6 $5
gxh6 20. Qxh6 Bf8 21. Qg5+ Kh8 22. Ng4 {with full compensation for the piece.
Apparently both players believed that} Rxe2 23. Rxe2 f6 $1 24. Nxf6 Qg7 25. Qf5
Ne7 26. Qe5 Ng8 {should be good enough for Black to hold.}) 19... Bd6 20. Ng4
$1 {Setting up a trap.} (20. Rxe8+ {is innocuous after} Rxe8 21. Rxe8+ Qxe8 22.
Bxd6 cxd6 23. Qxd6 Qe1+ 24. Nf1 Qxc3) 20... Kh8 {Rejected!} ({Instead} 20...
Bxf4 $4 {would have lost to} 21. Nf6+ $1 Kh8 22. Qxf4 gxf6 23. Qxh6+ Kg8 24.
Re3 $1 Rxe3 25. Rxe3) 21. Rxe8+ {Perhaps White cashed out his advantage a tad
too soon.} ({There was an argument for} 21. Bxd6 {with the main idea} cxd6 ({
Better is} 21... Rxe2 22. Rxe2 cxd6 23. Qf4 {although Black still needs to be
careful. For instance} bxc3 $2 {allows once again} ({Stronger would be} 23...
Kh7 $1 {although White retains the initiative after} 24. Ne3) 24. Nxh6 $1) 22.
Ne3 $1) 21... Rxe8 22. Rxe8+ Qxe8 23. Bxd6 cxd6 24. Qxd6 Qe1+ 25. Kh2 Qe6 $1 {
A key defensive idea which Giri obviously planned in advance.} ({This time}
25... Qxc3 $2 {would have put Black in an awkward situation after} 26. Qf8+ Kh7
27. Qxf7 Qxd4 28. f4 {as the black king is too loose.}) 26. Qf8+ (26. Qxe6 fxe6
27. cxb4 Nxb4 {is equal.}) 26... Kh7 27. Ne3 bxc3 28. Qc5 {The end of the
forcing line leaves some advantage for White, but reduced the material, which
brings Black closer to the draw.} Qf6 29. Qxc3 ({The other way of playing it
was} 29. Qxd5 Nxd4 30. Kg1 Ne2+ 31. Kf1 Nf4 32. Qe4+ Kg8 33. g4) 29... Qxf2 30.
Qxc6 Qf4+ $1 {Another important intermediate check.} ({Giri is correctly
avoiding} 30... Qxe3 31. Qxd5 Qf2 32. Qe4+ f5 (32... Kg8 33. d5) 33. Qe5 {
with good winning chances for White.}) 31. g3 {The only way to keep the play
going.} ({As} 31. Kh1 Qxe3 32. Qxd5 Qe1+ {is perpetual check.}) 31... Qxe3 32.
Qxd5 Qf2+ 33. Kh3 ({Or} 33. Qg2 Qxd4) 33... Qxc2 {Good enough for the point to
be split, but some practical problems remain.} ({Even better was} 33... f5 {
to limit the white king. There is no way to avoid the draw, for example:} 34.
c4 Qf1+ 35. Kh4 Qf2 36. Kh3 Qf1+ 37. Qg2 Qd1 $1) 34. Qxf7 Qc8+ 35. Kg2 Qc2+ 36.
Qf2 Qe4+ 37. Kg1 {White retained an extra pawn, but the centralized black
queen saves him.} a5 {Intending to push that pawn all the way to a3.} 38. a4
Kg8 39. Qa2+ Kf8 40. Qc4 Qg4 {The time control move made Black's task more
difficult.} ({Better was} 40... Qe3+ 41. Kg2 Qe4+ 42. Kf2 Qf5+ 43. Ke3 Qxh5 {
when the draw is close.}) 41. Qc5+ Kg8 42. Qd5+ Kh7 43. Kf2 Qd1 44. Qe4+ Kg8
45. Qe6+ ({It is too early for} 45. d5 Qxh5 46. Ke3 Qg5+ 47. Kd4 Qxg3 48. Kc5
Qc7+ {and Black survives.}) 45... Kh7 46. d5 Qxa4 $2 {The tough grinding
brings fruits.} ({A couple of more intermediate checks were required to save
the game:} 46... Qd2+ $1 47. Kf3 Qd1+ 48. Ke4 Qxa4+ 49. Ke5 Qa1+ 50. Kd6 {
The white king is there to help the passer, but Black now has one on his own-}
a4 {and it should be a draw.}) 47. d6 Qc2+ 48. Kf3 $2 {Inexplicable!
Nepomniachtchi gives away the fruits that he patiently planted.} ({White would
have won with} 48. Ke3 $1 Qc3+ ({There is no time to advance the pawn} 48... a4
49. Qg6+ $1 Qxg6 50. hxg6+ Kxg6 51. d7) 49. Ke4 Qe1+ ({Or} 49... Qc6+ 50. Qd5
Qa4+ 51. Ke5 {and White should win.}) ({If} 49... Qc2+ 50. Kd4 $1 {would be
good.} ({But not} 50. Kd5 Qb3+ $1 {when the white king is sticking to his
queen and can't let it go.}) 50... Qd2+ 51. Kc5) 50. Kd5 Qd2+ 51. Kc6 Qc2+ 52.
Kd7 {The white king is save and his pawn is faster. For a move, but one move
means the world in chess-} a4 53. Qg6+ Qxg6 54. hxg6+ Kxg6 55. Ke6 a3 56. d7 a2
57. d8=Q a1=Q 58. Qd3+ Kh5 59. Qf3+ Kg6 60. Qf5#) 48... Qd3+ {The white king
can no longer help the passer and it all ends peacefully.} 49. Kg2 ({Since} 49.
Kf4 Qf1+ (49... Qd2+ {would also do.}) 50. Ke5 Qe2+ 51. Kd5 Qa2+ {forces
perpetual.}) 49... Qc2+ 50. Kh3 Qc6 51. Qf5+ Kg8 52. d7 Qd6 53. Kh2 a4 54. Qg4
Kf7 55. Qxa4 Ke7 {Well calculated till the draw endgame.} ({The computer does
not want to give up the pawn and suggests instead:} 55... Qd2+ 56. Kh3 Qd5) 56.
Qe4+ Kxd7 57. Qg4+ Ke8 58. Qxg7 Qd2+ 59. Kh3 Qd7+ 60. Qg4 ({The pawn endgame
after} 60. Qxd7+ Kxd7 61. Kg4 Ke6 62. Kf4 Kf6 63. g4 Ke6 64. Ke4 Kf6 {is a
textbook draw.}) 60... Kd8 1/2-1/2
[Event "46th GM 2018"]
[Site "Dortmund GER"]
[Date "2018.07.15"]
[Round "2.4"]
[White "Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter"]
[Black "Duda, Jan-Krzysztof"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B52"]
[WhiteElo "2672"]
[BlackElo "2737"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "70"]
[EventDate "2018.07.14"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ {According to my Megabase, this is the first time
that Nisipeanu uses the Moscow line.} Bd7 {The most solid choice.} ({Perhaps
Nisipeanu spent the major part of his preparation on} 3... Nd7 {which is what
the Polish GM used in his latest games.}) 4. Bxd7+ Qxd7 5. O-O Nf6 6. Re1 ({
Duda faced previously} 6. Qe2 Nc6 7. c3 e6 8. d4 cxd4 9. cxd4 d5 10. e5 Ne4 11.
Be3 Be7 12. Ne1 f6 13. f3 Ng5 14. Nd3 Nf7 15. f4 O-O 16. Nd2 Rac8 {Zawadzka,J
(2391)-Duda,J (2539) Lublin 2013}) 6... Nc6 7. c3 e6 8. d4 cxd4 9. cxd4 d5 {
Getting into a French type of position but without the potentially bad bishop
on c8. White, on his turn,is enjoying extra space.} 10. e5 Ng8 ({The knight
can be posted more actively as well:} 10... Ne4 11. Nbd2 Nxd2 12. Bxd2 Be7 13.
Rc1 O-O 14. Rc3 Rfc8 15. h4 Bd8 {as in the recent game Nakamura,H (2769)
-Grischuk,A (2766) Paris 2018}) 11. a3 Nge7 12. Nc3 h5 {An important move
which secures control on some valuable outposts.} (12... Nf5 13. g4 $5) 13. Bg5
Nf5 14. Rc1 {Occupying the open file and thus producing a novelty.} Be7 {
Equalizing in full.} 15. Bxe7 Qxe7 16. Qd3 {With the threat Nc3xd5.} ({The
other idea was} 16. Ne2 O-O-O 17. b4 Kb8 18. Qd2 Qd7 19. b5 Nce7 {when Black
is also OK.}) 16... O-O-O {The king is relatively safe on the queenside. At
the same time Black is ready to push his g-pawn asap.} (16... O-O {allows the
trick} 17. Nxd5) ({Whereas} 16... g6 17. b4 {is playable but does not offer
too many prospects to Black.} O-O 18. Ne2 Rac8 {with approximate equality in
Lagerman,R (2354) -Gunnarsson,J (2437) Reykjavik 2008}) 17. Na4 Kb8 18. Nc5 ({
It was not too late for} 18. b4 $1 {with the idea to meet} g5 {with} (18... Rc8
{is equal. and now either} 19. b5 ({or} 19. Nc5 g5 20. b5 Na5 21. Nd2) 19...
Na5 {In both cases White chases away one of the black knights from the center
and the game will remain balanced.}) 19. b5 Na5 20. b6 a6 21. Rc7 Rd7 22. Rec1
Nc4 23. Nc5 $1 {with advantage for White. For example:} Rxc7 24. bxc7+ Kxc7 (
24... Qxc7 25. Rb1) 25. Nd2 Nxd2 (25... b5 26. Nxa6+) 26. Qxd2 Kb8 27. Rb1)
18... g5 19. Rc3 {Nisipeanu must have miscalculated somewhere.} ({This was the
last moment to go for} 19. b4 g4 20. b5 Na5 ({There is no} 20... gxf3 $2 21.
bxc6 b6 (21... bxc6 22. Rb1+ Ka8 23. Rb7) 22. c7+ $1) 21. Nd2 {Black is good,
but White has not much to complain of neither.}) 19... g4 {Snatching the most
important central pawn.} 20. Nd2 Ncxd4 21. Rec1 Rc8 (21... h4 22. Ndb3 Nxb3 23.
Nxb3 Rc8 {was also possible.}) 22. Nf1 Rc6 ({On} 22... h4 23. Ne3) 23. Ng3 Ka8
$1 ({Avoiding any discovered attack tricks like} 23... Rhc8 24. Nxf5 Nxf5 25.
Na6+) 24. Nxf5 Nxf5 25. b4 ({More stubborn was} 25. Nb3 Rxc3 26. Qxc3 {at
least holding the open c-file in control.}) 25... Rhc8 26. a4 b6 27. Nb3 Rxc3 {
Simple play. Duda will either win the open file or trade all the major pieces,
which is equally good for him.} 28. Rxc3 Rxc3 29. Qxc3 Kb7 30. a5 ({The most
resilient} 30. b5 Qc7 31. Qxc7+ Kxc7 32. Kf1 Kd7 {should also lose slowly for
White.}) 30... Qd7 $1 ({Avoiding even the slightest glimpse of hope after}
30... Qc7 31. a6+ Kb8 32. Qxc7+ Kxc7 33. b5 {when the black queenside pawns
are vulnerable.}) 31. Nd4 Nxd4 32. Qxd4 {Either the queens will be traded after
} Qc7 33. g3 Qc1+ 34. Kg2 Qc4 {or the Black pawns will come into motion in
case of} 35. Qb2 d4 0-1
[Event "46. Sparkassen Chess-Meeting 2018"]
[Site "Dortmund"]
[Date "2018.07.14"]
[Round "1.3"]
[White "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Black "Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2792"]
[BlackElo "2672"]
[Annotator "KGBesenthal"]
[PlyCount "92"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. e3 Bf5 7. Qf3 Bg6 8.
Bxf6 Qxf6 9. Qxf6 gxf6 {Despite a miniscule advantage here with a slightly
better structure, Kramnik was still willing to work.} 10. Nf3 Nd7 11. Nh4 Be7
12. Ne2 f5 13. g3 Bxh4 14. gxh4 {but there's not much to work with.} Nf6 15. f3
Ke7 16. Rg1 Nh5 17. Kf2 Rae8 18. b4 f4 {With a pawn sacrifice Black opens his
light-squared bishop.} 19. Nxf4 Nxf4 20. exf4 Kf6 {This looks good - Black
finds a strong square for his king. The black king is not vulnerable and
covers the possible invasion squares of e7 and g7 perfectly. With the king
close to the centre, White must also watch out for possibilities for it to
advance further if he's not careful.} 21. a4 Bf5 22. Ra2 Re7 23. Re2 Rxe2+ 24.
Bxe2 a6 25. Ke3 h6 {Taking the g5 square away from the white rook.} 26. Kd2 Ra8
27. a5 Re8 28. h5 Rc8 29. Ke3 Re8+ 30. Kf2 Rc8 31. Ke1 Re8 32. Kd2 Rc8 33. Bd3
Bxd3 34. Kxd3 Re8 35. h4 Rc8 36. Ke3 Re8+ 37. Kf2 Rc8 38. Re1 Ra8 39. Re5 Rb8 {
Black threatens to break with b7-b6. The white rook must return to stand guard
and be ready to counterattack the weakened black pawns in that case.} 40. Re3
Ra8 (40... b6 $2 41. Rc3) 41. f5 Rc8 (41... Kxf5 $2 42. Re7) 42. Re1 Rd8 43.
Kg3 Rc8 44. Kf2 Rd8 45. Kg3 Rc8 46. Kf2 Rd8 {Unfortunately, nothing works.
Every way is blocked.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "46. Sparkassen Chess-Meeting 2018"]
[Site "Dortmund"]
[Date "2018.07.14"]
[Round "1.4"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2757"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "KGBesenthal"]
[PlyCount "120"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Bf5 7. O-O Be7 8.
Re1 O-O 9. Nc3 Nxc3 10. bxc3 Bxd3 11. Qxd3 Nc6 {[#]} 12. Re2 (12. c4 dxc4 13.
Qxc4 $11 {was obvious but 'Nepo' goes a different way.}) 12... a6 13. Bf4 Qd7
14. Rae1 Rfe8 15. h4 h6 16. Qe3 b5 17. h5 Rac8 18. Nh2 b4 {[#]} 19. Qg3 ({
Here an option was} 19. Bxh6 gxh6 20. Qxh6 {and White gains great compensation
for the sacrificed material. Black could fight back (e.g. with Bh4) but
White's h-pawn and ideas of Ng4 lead to a strong attack.}) 19... Bd6 20. Ng4
Kh8 21. Rxe8+ Rxe8 22. Rxe8+ Qxe8 23. Bxd6 cxd6 24. Qxd6 Qe1+ 25. Kh2 Qe6 {
Nepomniachtchi has an extra pawn and does his utmost ot use it.} 26. Qf8+ Kh7
27. Ne3 bxc3 28. Qc5 Qf6 29. Qxc3 Qxf2 30. Qxc6 Qf4+ 31. g3 Qxe3 32. Qxd5 Qf2+
33. Kh3 Qxc2 34. Qxf7 Qc8+ 35. Kg2 Qc2+ 36. Qf2 Qe4+ 37. Kg1 a5 38. a4 Kg8 39.
Qa2+ Kf8 40. Qc4 Qg4 41. Qc5+ Kg8 42. Qd5+ Kh7 43. Kf2 Qd1 44. Qe4+ Kg8 45.
Qe6+ Kh7 46. d5 Qxa4 {After this move, the advantage tilts in White's favour.}
47. d6 Qc2+ 48. Kf3 (48. Ke3 $1 Qc3+ 49. Ke4 Qc6+ 50. Qd5 {The positioning of
the queen on d5 seems to be quite important. Black can no longer attack the
white king from h1, and must avoid a queen exchange.} Qa4+ 51. Ke5 Qa1+ 52. Kf5
Qf6+ 53. Kg4 $18) 48... Qd3+ 49. Kg2 Qc2+ 50. Kh3 Qc6 {Now white can no longer
make progress. Giri has worked out a path to a draw.} 51. Qf5+ Kg8 52. d7 Qd6
53. Kh2 a4 54. Qg4 Kf7 55. Qxa4 Ke7 56. Qe4+ Kxd7 57. Qg4+ Ke8 58. Qxg7 Qd2+
59. Kh3 Qd7+ 60. Qg4 Kd8 1/2-1/2
[Event "46. Sparkassen Chess-Meeting 2018"]
[Site "Dortmund"]
[Date "2018.07.14"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"]
[Black "Meier, Georg"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2733"]
[BlackElo "2628"]
[Annotator "TA"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. c4 b6 2. Nc3 Bb7 3. d4 e6 4. e4 Bb4 5. f3 Ne7 6. Bd3 {[%emt 0:00:01]
LiveBook: 26 Games. A40: Unusual replies to d4} (6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 d6 8. Bd3
Nbc6 9. Nh3 Qd7 10. O-O Na5 11. d5 c5 12. f4 O-O-O 13. Ng5 Ng6 {1-0 (26)
Saduakassova,D (2484)-Ramirez Alvarez, A (2572) Saint Louis 2018}) 6... e5 7.
Nge2 exd4 $1 8. Nxd4 Nbc6 9. Nde2 Ne5 10. a3 Bxc3+ 11. Nxc3 O-O $146 ({
Predecessor:} 11... Nxd3+ 12. Qxd3 d6 13. b4 a5 14. b5 O-O {1/2-1/2 (50)
Wimmer,R (2105)-Hassim,U (2270) ICCF email 2016}) 12. Bg5 f6 13. Bh4 N7g6 14.
Bg3 Nxd3+ 15. Qxd3 d6 16. Nd5 Qd7 {The position is equal.} 17. O-O-O Bxd5 18.
Qxd5+ Qf7 19. Kc2 Ne7 20. Qxf7+ Kxf7 21. Kc3 a5 22. b3 Rfe8 23. Rd2 h5 24. h4
g6 25. Rhd1 Nc6 26. Rd5 Re6 27. Bf4 Ne7 28. R5d2 Nc6 29. Rd5 Ne7 30. R5d2 Nc6
31. Rd5 {Precision: White = 49%, Black = 83%.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "46th GM 2018"]
[Site "Dortmund GER"]
[Date "2018.07.17"]
[Round "3.1"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "Kovalev, Vladislav"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B29"]
[WhiteElo "2782"]
[BlackElo "2655"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "146"]
[EventDate "2018.07.14"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. e5 Nd5 4. Nc3 e6 ({The other main line is} 4... Nxc3 5.
dxc3) 5. Nxd5 exd5 6. d4 Nc6 7. c3 {A simple way of gaining small advantage.} (
{Giri avoids the gambit after} 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. Qxd5 d6 9. exd6 Qb6 10. Qe4+ Be6
11. Qh4 f6 (11... Bf5 $6 12. Bc4 O-O 13. O-O Bxc2 14. Bf4 Qxb2 $2 15. Rac1 $1
Ba3 16. Rfe1 Bg6 17. Rcd1 Bc5 18. Bb3 Bb6 19. Ne5 Nxe5 20. Bxe5 Qa3 21. d7 {
and White won in Doggers,P (2189)-Afek,Y (2387) Tilburg 2003}) 12. Bc4 $6 Bxf2+
$1 13. Qxf2 Bxc4 14. b3 Qxf2+ 15. Kxf2 Bf7 16. c4 Kd7 17. Ba3 a5 18. Nd2 Rhe8 {
and Black held the draw in the blitz game Anand,V (2759) -Mamedyarov,S (2808)
Paris 2018}) 7... cxd4 ({Or} 7... d6 8. Bb5 Be7 (8... c4 $6 {also led to
advantage for White after} 9. O-O Be7 10. b3 cxb3 11. exd6 Qxd6 12. axb3 Qc7
13. Re1 Be6 14. Bg5 Bd6 15. c4 {in Polgar,J (2708)-Sikula,V (2550) /Hungary
2008/EXT 2009}) 9. exd6 Bxd6 10. dxc5 Bxc5 11. Qe2+ Be6 12. Be3 Bxe3 13. Qxe3 {
with favorable version of the isolated central pawn for White, Salgado Lopez,I
(2615)-Kantans, T (2514) Reykjavik 2015}) 8. Nxd4 d6 ({The acceptance of the
pawn sacrifice after} 8... Nxe5 9. Bf4 d6 10. Bb5+ Bd7 11. Qb3 Nc6 12. Qxd5 Qf6
13. g3 Rc8 14. O-O-O {led to advantage for White in Korneev,O (2649)-Recuero
Guerra,D (2315)/ Dos Hermanas 2006/CBM 111 ext}) 9. Bb5 Bd7 (9... Qc7 10. exd6
Bxd6 11. Qe2+ {is unpleasant for Black.}) 10. exd6 Bxd6 11. O-O O-O 12. Nb3 {
A novelty. Technically speaking the game shifted into the French Tarrasch line.
White has the standard minimal advantage thanks to the black isolated pawn.} (
12. f4 {is dubious:} Re8 13. Kh1 Bf8 ({Instead Black would be more than fine
after} 13... Nxd4 14. Bxd7 Qxd7 15. Qxd4 Qb5) 14. Nf3 Bg4 15. h3 Bf5 16. Ne5 {
and Black was good in Repa, J-Lukic,L Winnipeg 1997}) 12... a6 13. Be2 Qc7 14.
h3 (14. g3 Rfe8) 14... Rfe8 15. Re1 Re5 {Not only doubling the rooks on the
open file but setting a small trap in the process.} 16. Be3 ({The obvious} 16.
Bf4 $2 {would lose material after} Rxe2 $1) ({On} 16. Bf3 {Black would most
likely react as in the game with} Rae8) 16... Rae8 17. Bd3 {Patiently stopping
Black's initiative.} ({The bishop would be more aggressive on the long
diagonal. However} 17. Bf3 {is more susceptible to attacks, for example} Ne7
18. Qd2 Nf5 {and if} 19. Bxd5 $2 Rxe3 $1 20. fxe3 Bh2+ 21. Kf2 (21. Kh1 Ng3+
22. Kxh2 Nf1+) 21... Qg3+ 22. Kf1 Qh4 {leads to decisive attack for Black.})
17... g6 18. Qd2 Qd8 19. Nd4 ({If} 19. Bh6 {both} Qe7 ({Or} 19... Qf6 {are
good for Black.})) 19... Nxd4 20. Bxd4 Rxe1+ 21. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 22. Qxe1 {With
careful play Giri prevented any activity along the open file and traded some
pieces. For complete happiness he needs to swap off the queens and the
dark-squared bishops.} Qe8 23. Qd2 ({Apparently the Dutch GM did not believe
that he will have realistic winning chances after the immediate trade} 23.
Qxe8+ Bxe8 {but this line was allowing his to grind as long as he likes
without any risk of a loss.}) 23... Be5 24. Be3 ({After} 24. Bxe5 Qxe5 25. Qe2
{Black will certainly reject the second trade and activate the queen instead}
Qf4) 24... Qe6 25. f4 {Sooner or later this move will be needed. In the
foreseeable future the f2 square can be used by the white queen. In the
distant future, by the white king. Once the queens are gone, and there it goes
all the way to d4 (or b6!)} Bf6 26. a3 {Moving the pawn away from the possible
d5-d4 threat.} ({A concrete line in which this is important arises after} 26.
Bc2 d4 27. Bxd4 Bxd4+ 28. Qxd4 Bc6 {The a2 pawn is hanging and} 29. Bb3 Qe1+
30. Kh2 Qe2 31. Bd5 Qxb2 {leaves White no winning chances.}) 26... h5 $1 {
The pawn is heading to h4 from where it will allow chances for perpetual check,
or may simply separate all the white pawns.} 27. Bc2 Bc6 28. Bf2 {White
continues with preparation.} (28. Qf2 {bumps into} Bh4 $1) 28... Qe7 29. Bd1 {
Seemingly heading to f3.} (29. Bb3 {will be met with} Qe4) 29... Qe6 30. Bc2 ({
Giri spotted the tactical refutation of} 30. Bf3 $2 d4 $1 31. Bxc6 dxc3 {
and Black is already better.}) 30... Qe7 31. Bb6 Qe6 32. Qf2 Qe8 33. Qd2 ({
Once more White cannot trade the dark-squared bishops without allowing any
counterplay:} 33. Bd4 Bxd4 34. Qxd4 (34. cxd4 Qe7 {is equal as well.}) 34...
Qe1+ 35. Kh2 Qe2 {Black does not risk with the active queen. is good for Black,
especially after} 36. Qd3 $6 Qf2 $1) 33... Qe6 34. Bc5 Qe8 35. Qd1 $2 {A
blunder!} ({It was not too late to trade the queens with} 35. Qe3 $1 Qxe3+ 36.
Bxe3 {A separate question is how realistic White's winning chances are after}
h4 {But for sure he can never lose.}) 35... d4 $1 {Kovalev seizes his chance!
Suddenly, tables are turned. It will be White who has the isolated pawns.} 36.
Qd2 ({Both captures are bad. If} 36. Bxd4 $2 Bxd4+ 37. cxd4 ({Or} 37. Qxd4 Qe1+
38. Kh2 Qe2) 37... Qe3+ 38. Kh2 (38. Kh1 $2 Qxh3+ 39. Kg1 Qxg2#) 38... Qxf4+ {
with large advanatage for Black.}) ({And on} 36. cxd4 $2 Qe3+ 37. Kh2 {Black
has a pleasant choice of swithing to the same line with} Qxf4+ ({And the
domination after} 37... Bd5 $1 {when the white bishops are effectively
excluded from the kingside.})) 36... dxc3 37. bxc3 Qe6 {The problem is not
only in the crippled white queenside structure. His king is weak as well.} 38.
Bd4 Bxd4+ 39. cxd4 (39. Qxd4 $2 {loses on the spot due to the usual} Qe1+ 40.
Kh2 Qe2) 39... Qa2 40. Qc3 Qd5 41. Qd2 Qa2 42. Qc3 h4 {Time control is over
and Black can play for two weaknesses. First is white's king, second-the
outside passer that he can create in the coming moves.} 43. Kh1 ({Similar is}
43. Kh2 Qd5 44. Qd2 a5) 43... a5 44. a4 $1 {The best practical chance.} (44.
Qb3 {drops a pawn after} Qa1+) ({Passive defense would have lost slowly after}
44. Kh2 Qd5 45. Qd2 b5) 44... Qd5 {Good decision!} ({Pure queen endgame offers
lots of drawish opportunities after} 44... Bxa4 45. Bxa4 Qxa4 46. f5 $1 gxf5
47. Qc8+ Kg7 48. Qxf5 Qxd4 49. Qxa5 {as the black king is too weak.}) 45. Qd2
b6 {But this is inaccurate due to a small detail.} ({Correct was} 45... Kg7 $1
46. f5 gxf5 47. Qg5+ Kf8 48. Bxf5 Qxd4 49. Qh6+ Ke7 {with serious winning
chances for Black.}) 46. f5 $1 {Giri also grabs his chance.} Kg7 {The only way
to fight for the win.} ({This time} 46... gxf5 $6 {doe snot work as well, as
the black bishop is no longer defended in the line} 47. Qg5+ Kf8 48. Bxf5 Qxd4
49. Qh6+ Ke7 50. Qxc6 {True, Black is not losing even here neither and can
force a draw with} Qa1+ 51. Kh2 Qe5+) 47. fxg6 fxg6 48. Bd1 {The black king is
weak now too and White can hope for a perpetual.} Qf5 49. Kg1 Bd5 50. Bc2 Qf6
51. Qe3 g5 52. Bd3 Kh6 53. Bc2 {White is ready to build a battery along the
b1-h7 diagonal, but this turns out not to be best.} (53. Be2 $1 {was better
with the idea to trade the dominant black bishop. Then} Qf4 (53... Kg7 54. Bf3
Bxf3 55. gxf3 {should end with perpetual sooner or later.}) 54. Qe7 $1 Qxd4+
55. Kh2 Qf4+ (55... Qf2 56. Qd6+) 56. Kh1 Qe4 57. Qf6+ {does not let the black
king out.}) 53... Kg7 54. Bd3 Kh6 55. Bc2 Qf4 $1 {Excellent play. The coming
checks are harmless.} 56. Qd3 (56. Qxf4 gxf4 {is hopeless for White, as his
opponent will soon create an outside passer.}) 56... Kg7 57. Qg6+ Kf8 58. Qd3 {
Sad but true. The queen is needed back home.} (58. Qxb6 $4 {leads to mate after
} Qe3+ 59. Kf1 (59. Kh1 Qxh3+ 60. Kg1 Qxg2#) (59. Kh2 Qg3+ 60. Kg1 Qxg2#) 59...
Bc4+) 58... Kg7 59. Qg6+ Kf8 60. Qd3 Ke7 61. Bd1 Qe4 62. Qd2 Kd6 63. Bc2 (63.
Qxg5 $2 Qxd4+) 63... Qf4 64. Qd3 Kc7 {The king escaped from the danger zone
and Kovalev can start mounting pressure on the kingside.} 65. Qh7+ Kb8 66. Qd3
{This loses.} ({Somewhat counterintuitive, the solution was to lose some
tempos and force Black into his optimal defensive queenside position with} 66.
Qh8+ Ka7 67. Qh7+ Bb7 68. Qd3 {However, without the bishop on d5 White will
always have the d4-d5 resource to cut it away from the kingside. Say} g4 69.
hxg4 Qxg4 70. d5 $1) 66... g4 67. hxg4 Qxg4 68. Qg6 ({Or} 68. Qd2 h3 69. Bd1
Qxg2+ 70. Qxg2 Bxg2) 68... Qxd4+ {Simple play.} (68... Qxg6 {should be also
winning, but Kovalev already wants more. For example-} 69. Bxg6 b5 70. axb5 a4
71. Kh2 a3 72. Bb1 Kb7 73. Kh3 Kb6 74. Kxh4 Kxb5 {marching all the way to b2
looks convincing.}) 69. Kh1 Bb7 {Final preparation before the "coup the grace."
} ({Of course not} 69... Qf2 $4 70. Qd6+) 70. Qe8+ Ka7 71. Bf5 Qd1+ 72. Kh2
Qd6+ 73. Kh1 (73. Kg1 Qc5+) 73... Qg3 (73... Qg3 {White resigned due to:} 74.
Qe2 h3) 0-1
[Event "Dortmund GER"]
[Site "Dortmund GER"]
[Date "2018.07.18"]
[Round "4.3"]
[White "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Black "Duda, Jan-Krzysztof"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A29"]
[WhiteElo "2792"]
[BlackElo "2737"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "2018.07.14"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bb4 5. Bg2 d6 6. O-O O-O 7. d3 Bxc3 8.
bxc3 e4 9. Nd4 exd3 10. exd3 Nxd4 ({Another of the Dortmund participants got
the better position after} 10... Ne5 11. f4 Ng6 12. Rb1 c5 13. Nc2 Rb8 14. f5 {
in Nepomniachtchi,I (2718)-Savchenko,B (2580) Sochi 2012}) 11. cxd4 d5 12. Bg5
c6 {This logical move is a novelty.} ({A predecessor saw Black suffering after:
} 12... h6 13. Bxf6 Qxf6 14. cxd5 Qxd4 15. Rc1 Bf5 16. Rxc7 b5 17. Qf3 Bxd3 18.
Rd1 Qe5 19. d6 Be2 20. Qd5 Qf6 21. Re1 {and the white central passer proved to
be very strong, Socko,B (2631)-Grigoriants,S (2589) Khanty-Mansiysk 2012}) 13.
cxd5 cxd5 14. Qb3 {Sooner or later White will win the d5 pawn. The question is
whether he can make use of the doubled pawns in the future.} b6 15. Rae1 $1 {
Kramnik keeps the pressure.} ({The immediate pawn gain} 15. Bxf6 Qxf6 16. Bxd5
{does not yield much to White after} Bh3 17. Bxa8 Bxf1) ({It seems more
logical to place the other rook on the open file and leave the queenside rook
prepare the advance of the a-pawn. However after} 15. Rfe1 Be6 16. Re5 Rc8 17.
f4 Qd7 $1 {White can not advance the f-pawn and Black is good. Say} 18. Bxf6
gxf6 19. Re2 Rc7) 15... h6 {Duda gets rid of the annoying bishop.} ({Here}
15... Be6 {will be met with} 16. Re5 Rc8 17. f4 {and White keeps the bind.})
16. Bxf6 Qxf6 17. Re5 {Once again skillfully keeping the tension.} (17. Qxd5 {
is not as convincing due to} Be6 (17... Rb8 $5 {can be answered with} 18. Qe5
$1 Qxe5 19. dxe5 Rd8 20. Re3) 18. Qxa8 Rxa8 19. Bxa8 Qxd4) ({If} 17. Bxd5 Bh3
18. Bg2 Bxg2 19. Kxg2 Qxd4 {with most likely draw.}) 17... Be6 $1 {Provoking
the next move and thus weakening the second rank.} ({The other option was}
17... Bb7 $5 {when I suspect that Kramnik would have proceeded with the
grinding with something like} 18. Rfe1 ({Or he might have just grabbed the
pawn at last:} 18. Bxd5 Bxd5 19. Qxd5 Rad8 20. Qe4) 18... Rac8 19. Qa3 a5 20.
Qe7 Qxe7 21. Rxe7 Ba6 22. Bxd5 Bxd3) 18. f4 Rac8 19. Rfe1 ({After} 19. f5 Bd7
20. Bxd5 Rfd8 21. Rfe1 {Black would be happy to trade the bishops with} Bc6) ({
Again, the transition into a pure major piece endgame brings relief to Black,
say} 19. Bxd5 Bxd5 20. Qxd5 Rcd8 21. Qe4 Qd6 22. d5 f6 23. Re7 Qxd5 24. Qxd5+
Rxd5 25. Rxa7 Rxd3 {with a draw.}) 19... Rc7 {The rook is excellent on the
open file, covering both the seventh rank and getting redy to counterattack
along the second. Kramnik needs to make a decision.} 20. Bxd5 {Finally
snatching the pawn.} Bxd5 21. Qxd5 Rc2 {This is what the f2-f4 move was
provoked for. But White now tries to make use of the weakened back rank.} 22.
Re8 {With the threat to trade the rooks and checkmate on the back rank.} ({
Black is fine after} 22. Qb3 Rfc8 23. Re8+ Kh7) 22... Rc8 $2 {It worked. There
was no need to retreat.} ({Better were both g-pawn advances. For example} 22...
g6 $1 23. Qd7 ({Or} 23. Rxf8+ Kxf8 24. a4 Rd2 {with counterplay}) 23... Rxa2 {
and Black should be OK.}) ({Or even} 22... g5 $1 {and if} 23. f5 Rd2 {in both
cases Duda has good chances of splitting the point.} ({White also needs to be
accurate and cannot afford too active play:} 23... Rc3 24. Qa8 $2 Qxd4+ 25. Kh1
Rxe8 26. Rxe8+ Kg7)) 23. Qd7 Rd8 ({Perhaps Black should have tried} 23... Rcxe8
24. Rxe8 Rxe8 25. Qxe8+ Kh7 26. Qe5 Qg6 27. Qe4 Kg8 $1 {although White has all
the play after} 28. d5) 24. Rxd8 Qxd8 {Duda seeks drawing chances in the rook
endgame, but it does not seem enough.} (24... Rxd8 25. Re8+ {would have
transposed to the line from above.}) 25. Re7 Qc8 (25... Qa8 $5 26. d5 $1) 26.
Qxc8 Rxc8 27. Kf2 $1 {An active king is required in the endgame.} ({One should
not let the king to be cut after} 27. Rxa7 Rc2) 27... Kf8 ({White should also
win after} 27... a5 28. Ke3 b5 29. Ra7 a4 30. d5 Kf8 ({Or} 30... Rc2 31. Ra8+
Kh7 32. d6 {and the pawn promotes.}) 31. Kd4 Rc2 32. d6) 28. Rxa7 Rc2+ 29. Ke3
Rxh2 30. d5 {A solid extra pawn and active pieces is enough for the 14th world
champion to convert his advantage.} g5 31. f5 {Calm and patient.} (31. d6 {
should suffice as well} gxf4+ 32. gxf4 Ke8 33. Re7+ Kf8 34. a4) 31... f6 32. d6
Ke8 33. Kd4 h5 34. Kd5 b5 ({If} 34... h4 35. g4 h3 36. Rh7 {and the passed
h-pawn is not dangerous enough to worry White.}) 35. Ke6 Re2+ 36. Kxf6 h4 37.
Re7+ (37. Re7+ {Black resigned as he is getting mated:} Rxe7 38. dxe7 hxg3 39.
Ke6 g2 40. f6 g1=Q 41. f7#) 1-0
[Event "46th GM 2018"]
[Site "Dortmund GER"]
[Date "2018.07.20"]
[Round "5.3"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C78"]
[WhiteElo "2757"]
[BlackElo "2792"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2018.07.14"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 {Quite a rare choice for the former world
champion. Ever since his match against Garry Kasparov people are more or less
accustomed to his Berlin.} 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Bc5 {Already a fresh position for
Nepomniachtchi, who does not have much of experience in the Ruy Lopez. Kramnik
had used the Møller only once before, last year in an important game against
Vishy Anand in Stavanger.} 6. c3 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. a4 {Forcing a concession.} b4
({Black can also chose to give up the open file:} 8... Rb8 9. d4 Bb6 10. a5 Ba7
11. Be3 exd4 12. cxd4 Bg4 13. Qc1 {as in Yu,Y (2760)-Shankland,S (2671)
Liaocheng 2018}) 9. d4 Ba7 10. Bg5 {A novelty. Nepomniachtchi does not want to
test his opponent's preparation.} ({A predecessor saw White grabbing the pawn
with:} 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. Qxd8+ Nxd8 12. cxb4 {Zhao,Z (2567)-Paciencia, E (2440)
Dresden 2008}) 10... Rb8 {Moving the rook away from the dangerous diagonal.} (
10... h6 {only helps White. After} 11. Bd5 Bb7 12. Bxf6 Qxf6 13. a5 O-O 14. Qa4
Nd8 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Bxb7 Nxb7 17. cxb4 {White emerges a pawn ahead.}) 11. Bd5
{Anyway. But Kramnik has something here too.} Ne7 $1 12. dxe5 Nfxd5 ({But not}
12... dxe5 13. Nxe5 Nexd5 14. Nc6 {and White wins.}) 13. exd5 O-O 14. exd6 Qxd6
15. c4 Nf5 {This is the position that Black was heading for. For the pawn he
has the bishop pair and active pieces. Once he opens the position with c7-c6
he will be able to control both central files, as well as the important
diagonals.} 16. Nbd2 ({Probably better was} 16. Qc1 {in order to support the
bishop and keep it active after} Bb7 17. Bf4 Qd7) 16... f6 17. Bh4 Qf4 {
The most forcing continuation after which Kramnik will regain the pawn. But
apparently, he missed an important detail.} ({There were a lot of other
tempting possibilities, like the immediate} 17... c6 18. dxc6 Qxc6 19. b3 Bb7 {
with strong pressure along the diagonals.}) ({Also possible was} 17... Re8) ({
and even} 17... Nxh4 18. Nxh4 Bd7 {followed by c7-c6. In all cases Black would
have had excellent compensation for a pawn.}) 18. Bg3 Nxg3 19. hxg3 Qxg3 {
It seems as White is in trouble and the threat Bc8-h3 will finish him off, but
Nepomniachtchi saw the excellent...} 20. c5 $1 {Which locks the dark-squared
bishop for a long time.} Qg6 (20... Bxc5 $2 21. Ne4 {drops a piece.}) 21. Rc1 {
Now White's task is to permanently lock the bishop into its prison cell and
throw the key into the deepest river. Or sea.} Qf7 ({The active} 21... Bh3 {
plays into White hands as he is generally happy to trade pieces:} 22. Nh4 Qg4
23. Rc4 Qxd1 24. Rxd1 Bd7 {Now there are tempting possibilities: to keep the
dark-squared bishop locked with} 25. b3 ({or to restrain the light-squared
bishop with} 25. c6 Bc8 26. Ne4 f5 27. Nc5)) 22. Ne4 {Supporting the d-pawn.} (
{This is much better than} 22. Nb3 Rd8 23. d6 cxd6 24. Na5 {which may lead to
peculiar draw after} Bg4 $1 25. Nc6 Bxc5 26. Nxd8 Rxd8 27. Rxc5 Bxf3 28. gxf3
Qg6+ {with perpetual.}) 22... Re8 ({Here} 22... Rd8 23. d6 cxd6 24. Nxd6 {
keeps the blockade.}) 23. Re1 Bf5 24. Ng3 $1 {Another brilliant decision.
Nepomniachtchi is ready to part with the excellent central pawn while
maintaining control of the position.} ({The obvious centralization} 24. Qd4 {
gives Black time to regroup with} Rbd8 25. d6 {and later free himself with
timely exchanges in the center. For example:} a5 (25... Bxe4 {might be also
possible-} 26. Rxe4 cxd6 27. Rxe8+ Qxe8 28. Qd5+ Qf7 29. Qd2) 26. Nfd2 Bxe4 ({
Or} 26... Re5 27. Qc4 Qxc4 28. Nxc4) 27. Nxe4 h6 28. Qd3 f5 29. Qa6 fxe4 30.
Qxa7 cxd6 31. Qxa5 dxc5 32. Qxc5 Rd2 {with a likely draw.}) 24... Rxe1+ 25.
Qxe1 Bg4 {Strangely enough, this makes Black's position more difficult.} ({
The pawn was in fact poisonous:} 25... Qxd5 26. Nxf5 Qxf5 27. Qe7 {as the
white pieces do whatever they want. Say} Rc8 ({Or} 27... Qc8 28. Nd4 Qd8 29.
Qe6+ Kh8 30. Nc6 {and wins.}) 28. Nd4 Qe5 (28... Qg6 29. Qe6+) 29. Nc6 {
and White wins material.}) ({However} 25... Bg6 $1 {was more stubborn, keeping
control of the important e4 square.}) 26. Qe4 $1 {Powerful centralization.} h5
(26... Bxf3 27. Qxf3 {is exactly what White wants. He is practically a piece
ahead.}) 27. Nf5 Re8 28. Qd3 Bb8 ({Notice that Black cannot free himself} 28...
Qg6 $4 29. Ne7+) ({Just like before} 28... Bxf5 29. Qxf5 {plays into White's
hands.}) 29. N3h4 {Surrounding the bishop.} Be2 30. Qd2 Bg4 31. Ne3 {A neat
move.} ({In case of the immediate capture Black can get some play with} 31.
Qxb4 a5 32. Qxa5 Qxd5) 31... Bd7 ({Nothing changes} 31... Bc8 32. Qxb4) 32.
Qxb4 a5 33. Qxa5 c6 34. d6 {Poor bishop. Kramnik has won a miryad of
positional masterpieces, but today it is Nepomniachtchi who paints his
masterpiece.} Qb3 35. Qc3 Qxa4 36. Nhf5 Qe4 37. Ne7+ Kh8 38. Qb3 Rf8 39. Qc2 $1
Qxc2 40. Nxc2 Kh7 41. Nd4 1-0
[Event "46th GM 2018"]
[Site "Dortmund GER"]
[Date "2018.07.21"]
[Round "6.3"]
[White "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D05"]
[WhiteElo "2792"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "128"]
[EventDate "2018.07.14"]
1. Nf3 {It must have been hard for both players when chosing the opening.
After all Giri was Kramnik's second in Berlin earlier this year.} d5 2. e3 Nf6
3. d4 c5 4. Nbd2 e6 5. b3 cxd4 6. exd4 Bb4 ({Kramnik faced another move
recently:} 6... Nc6 7. Bb2 g6 8. Bb5 Bg7 9. O-O O-O 10. Re1 Qb6 11. a4 Bd7 12.
c4 a6 13. Bxc6 Bxc6 14. c5 Qc7 15. b4 Ne4 16. Ne5 {with an unclear position,
Kramnik, V (2811) -Nakamura,H (2793) Zuerich 2017}) 7. Bb2 Ne4 8. Bd3 Nc6 9.
O-O Bc3 10. Bxc3 Nxc3 11. Qe1 {Nothing new so far. Here Giri uncorkes a
novelty.} Nb4 {This knight is actually heading to the kingside.} ({A
predecessor saw White getting an edge after:} 11... Qb6 12. Qe3 h6 13. a4 Bd7
14. Nb1 $1 {Eidelmann,V (2049) -Gelzenleichter,S (2188) Wingst 2005}) 12. Nb1
Nxd3 13. Qxc3 Nf4 14. Qe3 Ng6 {End of the maneuver.} 15. c4 {In order to get
some space White needs to allow hanging pawns.} dxc4 16. bxc4 O-O {However,
since two pairs of light pieces have been traded White's central superiority
is not that great. Black can happy with the opening outcome.} 17. Nc3 Bd7 {
Black wants to put pressure on the c-pawn as quickly as possible. Notice that
his knight on c6 is no longer obstructing the rook.} ({Also good was the
fianchettoe-} 17... b6 {when} 18. d5 {can be met with either} exd5 ({or even}
18... Ba6 $5 19. dxe6 Bxc4) 19. cxd5 Bb7 {with approximate equality in either
case.}) 18. Rfd1 {Kramnik on his turn wants to place his rooks behind the
pawns and push one of them further. The central one, preferrably.} Rc8 19. Nd2
{A forced concession.} Nh4 {A good maneuver. The second central pawn will be
put under pressure as well.} 20. Qd3 Nf5 21. Rac1 Qc7 22. d5 {The central
breakthrough: check.} Rfd8 {Prepared for the central breakthrough: check.} 23.
h3 b6 24. Nf3 {Forcing matters.} ({After} 24. Nce4 {Black can simply take the
rook pair for the queen} exd5 (24... Bc6 $5) 25. cxd5 Qxc1 26. Rxc1 Rxc1+)
24... Qxc4 {There is no need to avoid this.} ({Worse was} 24... Qf4 25. dxe6
fxe6 26. Ne2) 25. Qxc4 Rxc4 26. dxe6 fxe6 27. Rd3 ({Nothing yields} 27. Ne5 Rd4
28. Ne2 Rd5) 27... e5 $1 {This subtle move was foreseen in advance.} ({Black
experiences problems after} 27... Rdc8 28. Rxd7 Rxc3 29. Rxc3 Rxc3 30. Ng5 $1)
({He also has to be extremely careful, as whenever a pin is concerned there is
always tactical trouble lurking:} 27... Kf8 $6 28. Rcd1 Ke7 $2 29. Rxd7+ Rxd7
30. Rxd7+ Kxd7 31. Ne5+) 28. Nxe5 ({Here} 28. Rcd1 {is not as impressive as
after} Re8 ({Even better seems the tactical line} 28... Nd4 29. Nxe5 Bf5 30.
Nxc4 Bxd3 31. Rxd3 Ne2+ 32. Nxe2 Rxd3 33. Ne3 Ra3 {when the rook is definitely
not worse than the knights. In fact Black can force a draw if he likes with}
34. Nc1 Rc3 35. Ne2 Ra3) 29. Rxd7 Rxc3 30. Rxa7 e4 31. Ng5 h6 {The white
knight is not comfortable.}) 28... Rd4 29. Rf3 Nh4 30. Re3 Nf5 {The hanging
pawns disappeared and the game is heading towards the logical outcome.} 31.
Ree1 {But Kramnik is looking for trouble.} Be8 32. Ne4 Ra4 33. Rc7 {The same
policy, as agressive as possible.} ({There was nothing wrong with} 33. Rc2) ({
or} 33. Re2 {with equality in both cases.}) 33... Rxa2 34. Kh2 {I assume
Kramnik wanted to prepare g2-g4, followed by Kh2-g3 once that the knight jumps
on h4.} ({It was not too late to split the point with} 34. Ng4 {with the idea
to force perpetual check after} b5 (34... h6 35. Nef6+ {leads to the same.}) ({
The only way to play for the win is} 34... Bf7 35. Ne5 Bb3 36. Nc6 Ra8 37. g4
Nh4 38. Re3 {although this seems more risky for Black than for White.}) 35.
Nef6+ gxf6 36. Nxf6+ Kf8 37. Nxh7+) (34. g4 Nd4 {only helps Black.}) 34... h6
35. Ng4 Kf8 {Now the draw is rejected for good and White finds it hard to
prove compensation.} (35... Bf7 $5 {also seemed fine.}) 36. Rec1 ({More to the
point was} 36. Ne5 $5 {when} b5 {is met with} 37. Nc5) 36... Re2 37. f3 Nh4 ({
Here both} 37... a5 $5) ({or} 37... Nd4 {seem more precise.}) 38. Ngf2 Bg6 39.
Rc8 ({The computer suggests instead the paradoxical} 39. Kg1 Bxe4 ({Black can
still play for a win with} 39... a5 40. Ra7 Rb2) 40. fxe4 Kg8 41. Rxa7 Rf8 42.
Rf1 {with good chances for a draw.}) 39... Re8 40. Kg3 {The last move before
the time-control.} ({Better was the immediate} 40. Rxe8+ Kxe8 41. Rc8+ Kd7 42.
Rg8 Bxe4 43. Rxg7+ Kc6 44. Nxe4 {when Black can play for a win with either} a5
{when his pawns should be faster.} ({Or with} 44... Nxf3+ 45. Kg3 Ne1 46. Kf4
Nxg2+ 47. Ke5 {counting on material.})) 40... Nf5+ 41. Kh2 Nd4 $1 {This is
where the knight belongs.} 42. R1c3 ({Now} 42. Kg3 {does not help at all as
after} a5 43. Rxe8+ Kxe8 44. Rc8+ Kd7 45. Rg8 {Black has} Bf7 46. Rxg7 Nf5+)
42... a5 43. R8c4 Rd8 44. Rc7 Ne6 {Very accurate.} ({The reckless machine
suggests instead} 44... b5 45. Rb7 Bf7 46. Rcc7 Bd5 47. Ra7 b4 48. Rxg7 Nb5 49.
Rae7 b3 {but this is not for any human's liking.}) 45. R7c6 Nf4 46. Rc8 ({
White should have tried his last chance:} 46. Kg3 $1 Nh5+ 47. Kg4 Nf6+ 48. Nxf6
({Or} 48. Kg3 Bxe4 49. Nxe4 Nxe4+ (49... Rxe4 $5 50. Rxf6+ gxf6 51. fxe4 Ke7)
50. fxe4 Rxe4 51. Rxb6) 48... Rxf2 {It is hard to say if he would have saved
himself, but it was a chance.}) 46... Re8 47. Rxe8+ Kxe8 48. Rc8+ Kd7 49. Rg8
Ne6 {Now it a technical win.} 50. Kg3 Kc7 51. h4 Rc2 $1 {Another neat maneuver.
Giri defends everything in an optimal way and his pawns can walk on their own.}
(51... a4 52. Ra8) 52. Ra8 Kb7 53. Rh8 Rc6 54. h5 Bxe4 55. Nxe4 a4 56. Re8 a3
57. Re7+ Ka6 58. Re8 Ka7 59. Nd2 a2 60. Nb3 Rc3 61. Na1 Rc1 62. Rxe6 Rxa1 63.
Re2 b5 64. Kf4 Kb6 0-1
[Event "Dortmund GER"]
[Site "Dortmund GER"]
[Date "2018.07.22"]
[Round "7.4"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Meier, Georg"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C10"]
[WhiteElo "2757"]
[BlackElo "2628"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "53"]
[EventDate "2018.07.14"]
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 {No surprises. Meier remains true to his beloved
Rubinstein French.} 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Nf3 Ngf6 6. Nxf6+ Nxf6 7. Ne5 Bd6 ({In
recent blitz games the German GM also tried} 7... Nd7 8. Bf4 Nxe5 9. Bxe5 f6 {
but this led to a risk-free advantage for the first player after} 10. Bg3 (10.
Bf4 c5 11. dxc5 Qxd1+ 12. Rxd1 Bxc5 13. Bc4 e5 14. Bd2 Ke7 {Karjakin,S (2783)
-Meier,G (2630) chess.com INT 2017}) 10... c5 11. Bc4 cxd4 12. O-O Bd6 {
Dominguez Perez, L (2739)-Meier,G (2628) chess.com INT 2018} 13. Re1 Bxg3 14.
hxg3 O-O 15. Re4 Kh8 16. Rxd4 {Dominguez Perez,L (2739)-Meier,G (2628) chess.
com INT 2018}) 8. Bg5 (8. Qf3 c5 9. Bb5+ Ke7 10. O-O cxd4 11. Bf4 g5 12. Bg3 h5
13. h3 g4 14. hxg4 hxg4 15. Qf4 Rh5 {Dominguez Perez,L (2739) -Meier,G (2628)
chess.com INT 2018}) 8... h6 9. Bh4 O-O 10. Bd3 c5 11. Qe2 {A novelty. White
improves on a game which actually saw a blunder.} ({After:} 11. Nc4 g5 {
White was already losing material:} 12. Nxd6 Qxd6 13. dxc5 $2 ({Better was} 13.
Bg3 Qxd4) 13... Qe5+ 14. Qe2 Qxe2+ 15. Kxe2 gxh4 {and Black went on to win in
Fuss,J (1688)-Pieczka,R (1922) Germany 2012}) 11... Qa5+ {The most forcing
move.} ({Perhaps Black will test} 11... cxd4 12. O-O-O {in the future.}) 12. c3
cxd4 13. Nc4 ({White could have also started with} 13. Bxf6 gxf6 14. Nc4 {
Then if} Qd5 (14... Qc5 15. Qg4+ {transposes into the game.}) 15. Be4 Qc5 16.
Nxd6 Qxd6 17. Qg4+ Kh8 18. Qh4 Kg7 {White can continue the attack with either}
19. O-O-O ({Or} 19. Rd1)) 13... Qc5 (13... Qd5 {might transpose to the line
from above.}) 14. Bxf6 gxf6 15. Qg4+ {transposes into the game.} Kh8 16. cxd4 {
All of this is pretty forced and I suspect that both players had it on their
home computers.} ({Also interesting looks} 16. Qh4 Kg7 17. cxd4 Qb4+ 18. Ke2)
16... Qb4+ 17. Kf1 $1 {An important move. The king stays away from the black
queen.} (17. Ke2 {looks more logical. However, the concrete lines after:} Bc7
18. Qe4 f5 19. Qh4 Kh7 20. g4 b5 21. g5 bxc4 (21... Bf4 $5 {mgith actually be
even better.}) 22. Qxh6+ Kg8 23. g6 Qxb2+ $1 {Lead only to perpetual. For
example:} 24. Bc2 ({Or} 24. Kf1 Qxa1+ 25. Kg2 Qxh1+ 26. Kxh1 Bb7+ 27. Kg1 fxg6
28. Qxg6+ {and White has to do the perpetual.}) 24... Qxc2+ 25. Kf1 Qd3+ 26.
Kg1 (26. Ke1 $4 Ba5+) (26. Kg2 Qe4+ 27. f3 (27. Kh3 $4 Qg4#) 27... Qe2+ 28. Kg1
fxg6 {leads to the same.}) 26... fxg6 27. Qxg6+ {and again White needs to
accept the draw as he cannot use the g-file for his rook.}) 17... Bc7 18. Qe4
$1 {Another important move which drags the pawn on a vulnerable position.} (18.
Qh4 Kg7) 18... f5 19. Qh4 Kg7 {After this move the computers immediately go
bananas, claiming win for White.} ({However, even after the most precise} 19...
Kh7 20. g4 b5 ({If} 20... Rg8 21. gxf5 exf5 22. Qf6 {looks good for White.})
21. g5 {with the cunning idea} Rh8 $1 ({Not} 21... bxc4 22. Qxh6+ Kg8 23. g6
fxg6 24. Qxg6+ Kh8 25. Rg1 $1 {with unavoidable mate.}) 22. Rg1 $3 {White
keeps a strong attack. Say} ({Not} 22. Qxh6+ Kg8 23. Qf6 Qf8 {and Black
defends with good position.}) 22... h5 23. g6+ $1 fxg6 24. Be2 bxc4 ({Better is
} 24... Bd8 {although White keeps strong attack after} 25. Qg3 g5 ({If} 25...
Rg8 26. Ne5 Qxd4 27. Nxg6 Qg7 28. Qf3 Bb7 29. Nf8+ Qxf8 30. Qxh5+ Qh6 31. Qxh6+
Kxh6 32. Rxg8 {with solid extra exchange for White.}) 26. Ne5 Bb7 27. Nf7 Qe7 (
{Or} 27... Rg8 28. Nxd8 Raxd8 29. Qc7+ Kh6 30. Qxb7) 28. Bxh5 {the weak black
king is the key factor of the position.}) 25. Bxh5 $1 {and mate comes soon.})
20. g4 {Opens the files for the major pieces. The attack is unstoppable.} f4 (
20... fxg4 {leads to forced mate after} 21. Qxg4+ Kf6 22. Qh4+ Kg7 23. Rg1+) ({
The preliminary} 20... Bd8 {does not change much} 21. Qh5 Qe7 22. h4 Qf6 23.
Ne5 fxg4 24. Qxg4+ Kh8 25. Rg1 {with winning attack.}) 21. Rg1 Bd7 ({Here}
21... Rh8 {is not as convincing as before due to} 22. Qh5 $1 ({But not} 22. g5
h5 $1) 22... b6 23. g5 Ba6 24. Rc1 {The attack will soon decide.}) 22. Qh5 $1 {
The final touch, which secures the opening of the g-file.} (22. g5 $2 h5 $1 {
would have been awkward for White.}) 22... Rh8 (22... f6 23. Qg6+ Kh8 24. Qh7#)
23. g5 hxg5 24. Qxg5+ Kf8 25. Qf6 Rxh2 ({Or} 25... Rh3 26. Rg7 Qe7 27. Rg8+ {
picking up the queen.}) 26. Rg7 Be8 27. Bh7 (27. Bh7 {Meier resigned due to}
Rh1+ 28. Kg2 Bc6+ 29. f3 {The end of the fast and furious attack. Excellent
preparation by Nepomniachtchi!}) 1-0
[Event "Dortmund GM"]
[Site "Dortmund"]
[Date "2018.07.22"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Kovalev, Vladislav"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2655"]
[BlackElo "2792"]
[Annotator "Efstratios Grivas"]
[PlyCount "208"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Bc4 Bc5 5. Ng5 Nh6 6. Nxf7 Nxf7 7. Bxf7+ Kxf7
8. Qh5+ g6 9. Qxc5 d5 10. O-O dxe4 11. c3 Re8 12. cxd4 Nxd4 13. Nc3 b6 14. Qc4+
Be6 15. Qa4 c5 16. Nxe4 Bd5 17. f3 Bxe4 18. fxe4+ Kg7 19. Qc4 Kh8 20. b4 Rxe4
21. Bb2 Qg8 22. Rf7 Rf8 23. Rxf8 Qxf8 24. bxc5 bxc5 25. Rf1 Qe7 26. Qd5 Kg7 27.
h3 g5 28. Bc3 a6 29. Kh1 Kh6 30. Rb1 Nb5 {(D) [#] Looks like Black is doing
fine, except that White has a nice tactical continuation at his disposal.} 31.
Bf6 $1 Qxf6 32. Qxe4 Nc3 {(D) [#] Black was depending on this fork...} 33. Qf3
$1 Qxf3 34. Rb6+ $1 {The point of the combination that started with 31.Bf6! -
White wins the exchange.} Kh5 35. gxf3 Nxa2 36. Rc6 $1 Nb4 37. Rxc5 Nd3 38. Ra5
Kh4 39. Kh2 Nf4 40. Rxa6 {(D) [#] So White got a winning ending. Well, it is
not such an easy one as someone might think. White has to exchange his h-pawn
and then invade with his king. Black has a drawing set-up with his king on e6/
f6/g6 and his knight on h4- or on e5-squares, controlling important invasion
squares and putting pressure on the white f3-pawn.} Kh5 (40... h5 41. Ra4 $18 {
, loses on the spot.}) 41. Rd6 (41. Ra4 Kh4 42. Ra7 h6 43. Ra2 Kh5 44. Kg3 Nd5
45. Ra8 Nf4 46. h4 $1 Ne2+ 47. Kf2 Nf4 48. hxg5 hxg5 49. Ke3 $18 {, was
another way to prevail.}) 41... Ne2 42. Rd2 Nf4 43. Kg3 Ng6 44. Rd7 h6 45. Rf7
Ne5 46. Rf5 Ng6 47. Ra5 Nf4 {(D) [#]} (47... Nh4 {, loses to} 48. f4 Ng6 49. f5
Nh4 50. Rb5 $18 {.}) 48. h4 $1 Ne2+ 49. Kf2 Nf4 50. hxg5 hxg5 51. Ke3 $1 {
White must invade with his king before Black would set-up his defensive method.
} Ng2+ 52. Kf2 ({Not drawing yet, but of course the natural} 52. Ke4 Kg6 53.
Ra6+ Kh5 54. Ra2 Nh4 55. Rh2 $18 {, was curtains.}) 52... Nf4 {(D) [#]} 53. Ra8
$2 ({But this is a serious mistake, throwing the win away. Good was} 53. Ke3
Kg6 54. Ke4 Ng2 55. Ra6+ Kh5 56. Ra2 Nh4 (56... Nf4 57. Kf5 $18) 57. Rh2 Kh6
58. f4 Kg6 59. Rh1 $1 Nf5 (59... Kf6 60. f5 $18) 60. Rg1 Nd6+ 61. Ke5 Nf7+ 62.
Ke6 Nd8+ 63. Kd6 Nf7+ 64. Ke7 $18 {.}) 53... Kg6 $1 {V. Kramnik is quite
experianced and his knowledge is huge, so he couldn't missed his chance - the
position is now drawn.} 54. Ke3 Ng2+ $1 {Again the only move - the knight has
to be placed on h4.} 55. Ke4 Nh4 56. Ra6+ Kf7 (56... Kg7 {was the other
drawing move.}) 57. Ra2 Kf6 58. Ra1 Ke6 59. Rh1 Ng6 60. Rh6 Kf6 61. Rh7 Nh4 62.
Ke3 Ng6 63. Ra7 Nh4 64. Ra6+ Kf5 65. Kf2 Ng6 66. Kg3 {(D) [#]} Ne5 $1 ({
The only drawing move here. Bad was} 66... Nh4 $2 67. f4 $18 {.}) 67. Ra8 Ng6
68. Rg8 Ne5 69. Rf8+ {(D) [#]} Ke6 $1 ({Accurate, as} 69... Kg6 $2 {was losing
to} 70. Kf2 $1 Nf7 71. Ke3 {, as Black cannot place his knight on h4.}) 70. Kf2
Ng6 71. Rb8 Kf5 72. Rb5+ Kf6 73. Ra5 {(D) [#]} Ne5 $1 (73... Nh4 $2 {was
losing to} 74. Kg3 $18 {. As a guide, when the white king goes to the g-file,
the black knight should be around the e5-square, while when the white king
goes to the e-file, the knight should go around the h4-square.}) 74. Ke2 Ng6
75. Ra6+ Kf5 76. Ke3 Nh4 $1 (76... Ne5 $2 77. Ra5 Kf6 78. Ke4 $18 {.}) 77. Ra5+
Kf6 78. Ke4 Kg6 $1 (78... Ng2 $2 79. Ra6+ Kf7 80. Kf5 Nh4+ 81. Kg4 $18 {.}) 79.
Ra1 Kf6 80. Rg1 Nf5 81. Rg2 Nh4 82. Rh2 Ng6 83. Rh5 Nf4 $1 (83... Nh4 $2 84. f4
$18 {.}) 84. Rh8 (84. Rh6+ Ng6 $1 {, was good as well.}) 84... Ng6 $1 85. Rb8 {
(D) [#]} Nh4 $1 86. Rg8 Ng6 87. Kd4 Kf5 88. Ke3 Kf6 89. Ke4 Kf7 (89... Nh4 {
, was good as well.}) 90. Rb8 Nh4 $1 91. Rc8 Kf6 92. Rc1 Ke6 93. Ke3 Kf5 94.
Rc5+ Kf6 95. Rb5 Ng6 96. Ke4 Nh4 $1 97. Rd5 {(D) [#]} Kg6 $1 (97... Ng2 $2 98.
Rd6+ Kf7 99. Kf5 $18 {.}) 98. f4 {A last try...} gxf4 99. Kxf4 Kf7 100. Kg5
Nf3+ 101. Kf4 Nh4 102. Kg5 Nf3+ 103. Kg4 {(D) [#]} Ke6 $1 ({The last accurate
move, so the knight can be placed in a central square next to its king. Losing
was} 103... Ne1 $2 104. Rd2 $18 {.}) 104. Kxf3 (104. Ra5 Ne5+ $11 {.}) 104...
Kxd5 1/2-1/2
[Event "Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.07.22"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Meier, Georg"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2757"]
[BlackElo "2628"]
[Annotator "Lawrence"]
[PlyCount "53"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
{Of course the question on everyone's lips before the round was whether Nepo
was going to win today and clinch sole first. Let's see if he was up to the
task after surviving a busted position yesterday.} 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3
dxe4 {Georg stays faithful to his beloved Rubenstein French.} 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5.
Nf3 Ngf6 6. Nxf6+ Nxf6 7. Ne5 $5 {reassonably rare although it seems Leinier
Dominguez got the better of Georg in this line earlier this year (albeit in
blitz).} (7. Bd3) (7. c3) (7. Bg5) (7. Be3) (7. g3) (7. Bc4 {have all been
played many times.}) 7... Bd6 {Georg repeats the line he played in his 2nd
game against Dominguez} (7... Nd7 8. Bf4 Nxe5 9. Bxe5 f6 10. Bg3 c5 11. Bc4
cxd4 12. O-O Bd6 13. Re1 Bxg3 14. hxg3 O-O 15. Re4 Kh8 16. Rxd4 Qc7 17. Bb3 e5
18. Rd2 Bf5 19. Qf3 Bg6 20. Rad1 Rad8 21. Kh2 Rxd2 22. Rxd2 b6 23. Qd5 h5 24.
Qd7 Rc8 25. c3 Kh7 26. Be6 Qxd7 27. Rxd7 Re8 28. Bd5 a5 29. Rb7 Rd8 30. c4 Rd6
31. Kg1 Kh6 32. f3 Bb1 33. a3 g5 34. Kf2 h4 35. g4 Kg6 36. b4 axb4 37. axb4 f5
38. Ke3 fxg4 39. fxg4 Kf6 40. b5 Bg6 41. Rc7 Be8 42. Be4 Bf7 43. c5 bxc5 44.
Rxc5 Be6 45. Bf3 Rd4 46. b6 Rb4 47. b7 Rb3+ 48. Kd2 Bxg4 49. Bd5 Rb6 50. Rc6+ {
1-0 (50) Dominguez Perez,L (2739)-Meier,G (2628) chess.com INT 2018}) (7... c5
$5 {has to be critical e.g.} 8. Bb5+ Bd7 9. Nxd7 Qa5+ $5 {is cute} 10. c3 Qxb5
11. Nxf8 O-O-O $3 {with what looks like a fantastic game for Black}) (7... Be7
{looks playable}) 8. Bg5 $5 {also very natural} (8. Qf3 c5 9. Bb5+ Ke7 10. O-O
cxd4 11. Bf4 $44 {looked dangerous for Black but I am sure Georg had an
improvement up his sleeve around here} g5 12. Bg3 h5 13. h3 g4 14. hxg4 hxg4
15. Qf4 Rh5 16. Rfe1 Qh8 17. Nc6+ Ke8 18. Ne5+ Kf8 19. Kf1 Rf5 20. Qxd4 Be7 21.
Bd3 Rh5 22. Rad1 Rh1+ 23. Ke2 Rh5 24. Kd2 Nd5 25. Kc1 Bf6 26. Kb1 Ne7 27. Bc4
Nc6 28. Qd6+ Be7 29. Qc7 {1-0 (29) Dominguez Perez,L (2739)-Meier,G (2628)
chess.com INT 2018}) 8... h6 9. Bh4 O-O (9... Bxe5 $2 10. dxe5 Qxd1+ 11. Rxd1
Nd5 12. Bb5+ c6 13. Bd3 $14 {is very unpleasant for Black to play.}) 10. Bd3 c5
11. Qe2 $5 {I guess this is what Nepo had looked at beforehand.} Qa5+ $5 (11...
cxd4 {is the first move you have to look at} 12. O-O {I think castling short
here is ideal as White avoids any potential attack against the king compared
to long castles in such positions. Now the question is how does Black complete
development?} Be7 $5 13. Rad1 Nd5 14. Bxe7 Qxe7 {and I don't see how White
achieves a serious advantage}) 12. c3 cxd4 13. Nc4 $1 {This is the problem
with inserting Qa5+ here, White has this important move} Qc5 (13... Qd5 $5) 14.
Bxf6 gxf6 {also the point, White manages to wreck the Black kingside. Things
are far from clear though.} 15. Qg4+ Kh8 {White needs to act fast here else
Black will consolidate and have a significant advantage.} 16. cxd4 (16. Qh4 $5
Kg7 17. cxd4 {the reason why 13...Qd5!? might be more precise - Black's queen
isn't hit with tempo} Qb4+ 18. Ke2 $1 {and I'd take White all day}) 16... Qb4+
17. Kf1 $6 (17. Ke2 {as per the previous line seems to be more precise, even
if it looks a bit scary}) 17... Bc7 {is fine, but also} (17... Rg8 $5 18. Qh5
Bf8 19. Qxf7 Qe7 20. Qxe7 Bxe7 {and I find it difficult to believe Black can't
hold this}) 18. Qe4 f5 19. Qh4 Kg7 $4 {unfortunately Georg makes the most
natural move which happens to be the losing move} (19... Kh7 $1 {was correct
after which} 20. g4 b5 $1 21. g5 (21. gxf5 bxc4 22. f6+ cxd3 23. Qe4+ Kh8 24.
Qe3 Kh7 25. Qe4+ Kh8 26. Qe3 {is a cute repetition}) 21... Bf4 $1 (21... Rh8 $5
22. Rg1 h5 23. g6+ $1 fxg6 24. Be2 {is apparently very dangerous for Black})
22. Qxf4 bxc4 23. Qh4 Qd2 $1 24. Qxh6+ Kg8 {and apparently this position is
around level} 25. Be2 Rb8 26. Rd1 Qf4 $11) 20. g4 $1 {the difference now is
that Black's king walks into some nasty threats on the g-file} f4 (20... b5 21.
gxf5 bxc4 22. f6+ Kh8 23. Qxh6+ Kg8 24. Qh7#) (20... Bd8 21. Qh5 Qe7 22. h4 $1
{and White will crash through} fxg4 23. Qxg4+ Kh8 24. Qh5 Qf6 25. Ne5 $18) 21.
Rg1 $1 Bd7 22. Qh5 $3 {Nepo was very switched on. Now Black cannot stop White
opening the king up with g5 and crashing through.} (22. g5 $4 {was Georg's
last trick} h5 $1 23. g6 f6 24. Qxh5 Rh8 {and suddenly it's Black who is close
to winning!}) 22... Rh8 23. g5 hxg5 (23... Kf8 24. gxh6 {doesn't change the
evaluation}) 24. Qxg5+ Kf8 25. Qf6 $1 {and Black is busted} Rxh2 26. Rg7 Be8
27. Bh7 {And with this victory Ian wins the tournament and jumps up to world
number 12. No doubt he'll be looking to consolidate his place in the top 10 in
the very near future.} 1-0
[Event "51st Biel GM 2018"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.22"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Navara, David"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D30"]
[WhiteElo "2842"]
[BlackElo "2741"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "127"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. Bg5 Bb4+ 5. Nc3 h6 6. Bxf6 Qxf6 7. e3 O-O 8.
Rc1 dxc4 9. Bxc4 c5 10. dxc5 ({White did not get much after} 10. O-O cxd4 11.
Ne4 Qe7 12. a3 Ba5 13. Qxd4 Rd8 14. Qc5 Qxc5 15. Nxc5 Nd7 16. Nb3 Bb6 {Bu,X
(2718)-Wei,Y (2734) Hangzhou 2018}) 10... Nd7 11. O-O ({The world champ had
lots of experience with Black as well, e.g.} 11. c6 Ne5 12. Nxe5 Qxe5 13. O-O
bxc6 14. Qe2 Rd8 15. Rfd1 Bb7 {was Giri,A (2790)-Carlsen,M (2863) Shamkir 2015}
) 11... Nxc5 12. Nb5 a6 13. Nbd4 {All of this has been played before and
Navara comes up with a novelty.} b5 ({White did well after} 13... Ba5 14. a3
Bb6 15. b4 Ne4 16. Qd3 Ng5 17. Nxg5 hxg5 18. Qe4 {when the dominant position
of the queen on e4 is a factor, Salem,A (2638)-Peralta,F (2556) Sitges 2017})
14. Be2 $5 {The world champion provokes Black's next.} ({Safer seemed} 14. a3
bxc4 (14... Na4 {might be a possibility as well} 15. Bxb5 axb5 16. axb4 Bb7)
15. Rxc4 Bxa3 16. bxa3 {hoping for an edge in the symmetrical position after}
Nd7 ({Or} 16... Ne4 17. Nc6) 17. Nc6) 14... e5 15. Nc2 (15. a3 {was still
possible, but it would not yield White much after} exd4 16. Nxd4 Rd8 17. axb4
Ne6 18. Bf3 Rb8) 15... Rd8 {The white queen is trapped, but...} ({Of course not
} 15... Ba5 16. b4) 16. Nxb4 {This was on purpose.} Rxd1 17. Rfxd1 {So far
Carlsen collected only a rook and a knight for his strongest piece. However,
he got both the open files for his rooks, the knight on c5 is hanging and
there is also the threat of Nb4-d5.} a5 $1 ({The knight cannot retreat since}
17... Ne6 $2 18. Nd5 {puts the black queen in danger and he would lose
material after} Qd8 19. Nc7) ({Also bad is} 17... Qe7 $2 18. Nc6) ({whereas}
17... Qb6 $6 18. Nd5 Qa7 19. b4 Ne6 (19... Nd7 $4 20. Ne7+) 20. Nxe5 {is
clearly inferior pawn loss compared to the game.}) 18. Nd5 Qd6 19. Nxe5 {
Collecting a pawn as well. White has enough material now, but Navara can also
catch his breath...} Bb7 {...and finish the development.} ({There was an
argument for the exchange sacrifice too:} 19... Qxe5 $5 20. Rxc5 Qxb2 21. Bf3
Be6 22. Ne7+ Kf8 23. Bxa8 Kxe7 {since the black queenside passers are
dangerous.}) 20. Bf3 ({Carlsen suggested} 20. f4 {as "a critical try."}) 20...
Rc8 ({Here} 20... Qxe5 {is not as effective for Black, but still playable after
} 21. Rxc5 b4 22. b3) 21. Ng4 {With the threat of Nd5-f6+} Qf8 (21... Kh8 $5)
22. h4 {Opens air for the knight and restricts the black one.} ({White
apparently disliked} 22. h3 Ne6 {followed by Ne6-g5.}) 22... Nd7 {Correctly
trading one of the active white rooks.} 23. Rxc8 Bxc8 24. a3 h5 (24... f5 {
seems good as well, say} 25. Nh2 Nf6 (25... Ne5 $5) 26. Nf1 Be6 {with an
approximately even game.}) 25. Nh2 g6 {Defending the kingside.} ({Instead, I
believe that Navara should have gone for the white queenside pawns with} 25...
Ne5 26. Bxh5 Nc4 27. Rc1 {and now} Bd7 $1 {when it is not that easy to defend
the queenside. For example} ({but not the hasty} 27... Nxb2 $4 28. Rxc8) 28.
Rc2 ({And if} 28. Nf4 Nxb2 29. Rc7 Qd8) 28... Bf5 {Whenever there is play on
two flanks, the queen becomes stronger.}) 26. Be2 Ne5 {Sacrificing a second
pawn.} ({There was nothing wrong with} 26... Qc5 27. Nf3 b4 ({Or} 27... Kg7)
28. axb4 axb4 {and there is no easy way for White to get his hands on the b4
pawn.}) 27. Bxb5 Bb7 28. Nc3 Qe7 29. Rd4 {Now White tries to get the type of
game that the smaller pieces want. Slowly but surely they are shifted to
optimal positions. In the process they defend each other and try to get closer
to the black king.} Qe6 30. Nf1 Qb3 $1 {Naturally Navara does not like to sit
and wait until the white pieces occupy all the good squares.} 31. Rd2 Nc4 32.
Rd7 $1 {Carlsen sacrifices a pawn on his turn.} ({He cannot reach stability
once that the bishop is traded:} 32. Bxc4 Qxc4 {For example} 33. Rd7 Qc6 34.
Rd5 Qb6 35. Rd2 Qc6 36. f3 Qf6 37. Rd4 Qb6 38. b4 Qc7 39. Ne4 Bxe4 40. Rxe4
axb4 41. axb4 Qc1 {followed by Qc1-e1 with a likely draw to follow.}) 32...
Nxb2 33. Rxb7 Qxc3 34. Be8 {That was the point. White makes it to the kingside.
But is he fast enough?} Kf8 35. Bxf7 Qc6 $1 ({Worse was} 35... Qxa3 36. Bxg6)
36. Rxb2 Kxf7 37. Rd2 $1 {Heading for the stable set up with the Rd4 and pawns
on a4 and h4. Next, the knight will come to help.} Qa4 {Grabbing the h-pawn.} (
{It is extremely difficult to say if Black has better defensive chances if he
includes the move} 37... a4 {Most likely White should find a way to break
through, say} 38. Rd4 Qc2 39. Rb4 Kf6 40. g3 (40. e4 $5) 40... Qd1 41. e4 g5
42. Rb6+ Kg7 43. hxg5 Qd3 44. Re6 Qxa3 45. Ne3 {The united efforts of the
white rook, knight and pawn make his chances better.}) 38. Rd3 Qxh4 39. Rd7+
Kg8 40. Rd4 Qe7 41. a4 {White definitely does not risk to lose. The question
is if he has enough resources to bring his e-pawn into motion.} Qa3 42. g3 Qa1
43. Kg2 g5 44. Nd2 g4 $1 {This looks logical as the pawn helps the queen
create perpetual check ideas.} 45. Ne4 Qc1 {But this is unnecessary.} ({
Simple and good seems} 45... Kg7 $1 46. Nc5 Qa2 {The queen is heading to e2
and if the white knight goes too far away-} 47. Nb7 $6 ({Stronger is} 47. Nd3
Qc2 48. Nf4 {although it is still not obvious how realistic White's chances
for a win are-} Qc6+ 49. Kh2 Kh6 {For example} 50. e4 Qc2 51. Kg2 Qb3) 47...
Qe2 48. Nxa5 $2 {White might suffer} Qf3+ 49. Kg1 h4 $1 50. gxh4 g3) 46. Nf6+
Kf7 47. Nxh5 Qc6+ 48. Kg1 Qc1+ {Right after the game Navara thought that this
was the decisive mistake.} 49. Kh2 Kg6 ({Navara had planned} 49... Qc2 {
but here he noticed that after} 50. Rf4+ Kg6 {the knight is not trapped and}
51. Nf6 {is just over.}) 50. Nf4+ Kf6 51. Ng2 Kg5 $2 {Wrong direction.} ({
The king should have stayed in front of the potential passer:} 51... Qc8 52.
Rf4+ Ke5 53. Nh4 Qc2) 52. Rf4 Qd1 53. Nh4 Qc2 54. Nf5 Qd3 55. e4 $1 {The
problem is not that the pawn moves per se. the problem is that the e3 square
is vacated for the knight and thus the g4 pawn cannot be saved.} Qd7 ({Or}
55... Kf6 56. Ne3+ Ke6 57. Nxg4 Qe2 58. e5 {when White slowly convert.}) 56. e5
Qh7+ ({If} 56... Qd5 57. Ne3 {anyway, since} Qxe5 58. Rf5+) 57. Kg1 Qg6 58. Nd6
Qe6 ({Navara had seen that the pawn ending is losing, but he had also seen that
} 58... Qb1+ {is hopeless:} 59. Kh2 Qh7+ 60. Kg2 Qc7 61. Rf5+ Kg6 62. Rf6+ Kh5
63. Rf4 Kg5 64. Re4) 59. Rf5+ (59. Ne4+ Kg6 60. Rf6+ Kh5 61. Rxe6 $4 {would be
stalemate.} (61. Nd6)) 59... Qxf5 60. Nxf5 Kxf5 61. f4 gxf3 62. Kf2 Kxe5 63.
Kxf3 Kf5 64. Ke3 (64. Ke3 {The endgame is lost by just one tempo:} Kg4 65. Kd4
Kxg3 66. Kc5 Kf4 67. Kb5 Ke5 68. Kxa5 Kd6 69. Kb6 Kd7 70. Kb7) 1-0
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.22"]
[Round "1.2"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Georgiadis, Nico"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A15"]
[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2526"]
[PlyCount "55"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. e3 a6 (4... Be7 5. b3 O-O 6. Bb2 b6 7. cxd5
Nxd5 8. Nxd5 exd5 9. Qc2 c5 10. a3 Nc6 11. Bb5 Bb7 12. O-O Rc8 {Carlsen,M
(2843)-Karjakin,S (2782) Stavanger 2018}) 5. b3 c5 (5... Bd6 6. Bb2 O-O 7. g4
Nxg4 8. Rg1 f5 9. cxd5 e5 10. h3 Nf6 11. Ng5 Qe7 {Nepomniachtchi,I (2729)
-Anand,V (2782) London ENG 2017}) 6. Bb2 Nc6 7. cxd5 exd5 8. Rc1 $1 {Already a
new move, and worked out by Mamedyarov at home.} (8. d4 cxd4 9. Nxd4 Bd6 10.
Be2 O-O 11. O-O Re8 12. Rc1 Bc7 13. Bf3 Qd6 {Froewis,G (2439) -Schwabeneder,F
(2382) Graz 2017}) 8... Bg4 {"Not correct." (Mamedyarov)} (8... Be7 9. Be2 O-O
10. d4 {is "a bad position for Black." (Mamedyarov)}) ({He suggested Black
should go} 8... d4 {but White is still better after} 9. Na4 dxe3 10. fxe3 ({or
} 10. dxe3)) ({The best option might be Danny King's suggestion} 8... b5 {
to prevent Na4 altogether when} 9. a4 d4 (9... b4 10. Nb1) 10. exd4 Nxd4 (10...
cxd4 11. Nxb5) 11. axb5 Bd6 {is actually better Black according to the engine.}
) 9. h3 Bh5 10. Na4 Nd7 (10... Ne4 11. g4 Bg6 12. d3 Qa5+ 13. Nd2 {Georgiadis})
11. Be2 b5 (11... Be7 12. O-O (12. g4 Bg6 13. Bxg7) 12... O-O 13. d4 {
Mamedyarov}) 12. Nc3 Nf6 (12... Nb6 13. g4 Bg6 14. Nxb5 $5 axb5 15. Bxb5 Rc8
16. Ne5 Qd6 17. d4) 13. O-O Be7 (13... Bd6 14. a4 b4 15. Nb1 O-O 16. d4 Ne4 17.
Nbd2 {is also good for White.}) 14. a4 Bxf3 (14... d4 15. exd4 cxd4 16. Nxb5 d3
17. Bxd3 Qxd3 18. Nc7+ Kd7 19. g4 Nxg4 20. Nxa8 Nh2 21. Nb6+ Ke8 22. Rxc6 Nxf3+
23. Kh1 {is an amazing computer line.}) 15. Bxf3 Rb8 16. axb5 axb5 17. Ne2 {
White is clearly better.} Qd6 (17... c4 18. d3) 18. Nf4 Nb4 ({The problem with
} 18... Ne5 {is} 19. Bxe5 $1 Qxe5 20. Nd3 Qc7 21. Nxc5 Bxc5 22. b4) 19. Ba3 Na6
$6 {Tactically there's a problem with this.} (19... O-O 20. d4 c4) 20. d4 b4
21. Bb2 O-O 22. Bxd5 $1 Nxd5 23. dxc5 Nxc5 24. Nxd5 Rfd8 $6 ({Protecting the
knight with} 24... Rfc8 {made more sense but} 25. Nxe7+ Qxe7 26. Qg4 f6 (26...
Ne6 27. Bxg7 $1) 27. Rc4 $1 Ne6 28. Rfc1 Rxc4 29. Rxc4 {still gives White an
overwhelming advantage.}) 25. Qg4 Bf8 26. Nf6+ Kh8 27. Qf5 g6 (27... gxf6 28.
Bxf6+ Bg7 29. Bxd8 Rxd8 30. Rxc5) 28. Ne4+ {With 29.Qxc5 next.} 1-0
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.23"]
[Round "2.2"]
[White "Navara, David"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C80"]
[WhiteElo "2741"]
[BlackElo "2801"]
[PlyCount "88"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5
Be6 9. Nbd2 Nc5 10. c3 d4 11. Bxe6 Nxe6 12. cxd4 Ncxd4 13. a4 Rb8 14. axb5 axb5
15. Ne4 Qd5 (15... Be7 16. Nxd4 Qxd4 17. Qxd4 Nxd4 18. Be3 Nc2 19. Ra7 Nxe3 20.
fxe3 Rc8 {Mazur,S (2459)-Talla,V (2436) Senica 2017}) 16. Nxd4 Nxd4 17. Ng3 (
17. Nc3 Qc4 18. Be3 Nf5 19. Qf3 Nh4 20. Qh3 Be7 21. Rfd1 O-O {De Firmian,N
(2595)-Abdel Megid,M (2370) Luzern 1989}) 17... g6 {"My home preparation."
(Mamedyarov)} 18. Be3 Rd8 (18... c5 $6 19. b4) 19. Bg5 Be7 20. Bxe7 Kxe7 21.
Qg4 $1 {Missed by Mamedyarov, who immediately errs.} Ne6 $6 ({Navara expected}
21... Rhe8 {and White might only have a slight edge.}) 22. Qh4+ (22. f4 {
was also strong.}) 22... g5 23. Qb4+ ({Very strong was} 23. Nf5+ Ke8 {and now}
24. Qh6 $1 Qxe5 25. g4 $1 {as shown by the engine. When looking at this
position, Mamedyarov quickly realized he is lost here.}) 23... Qc5 24. Qe4 Qc4
25. Nf5+ Ke8 26. Qxc4 bxc4 27. Rfc1 Rd2 28. Ra8+ Rd8 29. Rca1 $6 {Losing a
tempo compared to the game.} ({Initially Navara thought it's not much for
White after} 29. Rxd8+ Kxd8 30. Rxc4 Kd7 31. h4 Rb8 {but later he realized
that this is much better compared to the game. After} 32. hxg5 Rxb2 33. f4 c5
34. g3 Kc6 35. Ra4 {Navara pointed out a funny self-mate:} Kd5 36. Ne7#) 29...
Rf8 $1 {Missed by Navara.} 30. h4 Rxa8 31. Rxa8+ Kd7 32. Ra4 Rb8 33. Rxc4 Rxb2
34. hxg5 c5 35. Rh4 Nxg5 36. f4 Ne6 37. Nd6 Rb4 38. g3 c4 39. f5 Ng5 40. Kf2
Rb2+ 41. Ke3 c3 42. Nxf7 c2 43. e6+ Ke7 44. Rc4 Nxf7 1/2-1/2
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.23"]
[Round "2.3"]
[White "Svidler, Peter"]
[Black "Georgiadis, Nico"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B51"]
[WhiteElo "2753"]
[BlackElo "2526"]
[PlyCount "111"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. O-O a6 5. Bd3 Ngf6 6. Re1 (6. c3 b5 7. a4 c4
8. Be2 Bb7 9. axb5 axb5 10. Rxa8 Bxa8 11. Na3 Bxe4 12. Nxb5 d5 13. b3 cxb3 14.
Qxb3 e6 {Svidler,P (2753)-Nepomniachtchi,I (2757) Jerusalem 2018}) 6... e6 7.
a4 b6 8. c3 Bb7 9. Qe2 Qc7 10. Na3 Be7 11. Bc2 Rc8 12. d3 O-O 13. Bd2 Rfe8 14.
Rac1 (14. b4 cxb4 15. cxb4 Qb8 16. Bb3 a5 17. bxa5 bxa5 18. Reb1 Qa8 19. h3 Ba6
{Iordachescu,V (2600)-Sadzikowski,D (2547) Gallipoli 2017}) 14... e5 15. Bb3 d5
16. exd5 Nxd5 ({Svidler preferred} 16... Bxd5 {saying "I have zero hopes of
anything at all."}) 17. Qe4 Nxc3 (17... Nf4 $5) 18. Bxf7+ Kxf7 19. Qf5+ Kg8 20.
Bxc3 Bf6 21. Nc4 Qc6 22. Ncxe5 Nxe5 23. Bxe5 Qd5 24. Re3 Bxe5 25. Rxe5 Rxe5 26.
Qxe5 Qxd3 27. Qe6+ Kh8 28. Re1 h6 (28... Qg6 $5 29. Qd7 Qc6 30. Qe7 {Svidler})
29. h3 (29. h4 $5 {Svidler}) 29... b5 30. Ne5 Qd5 31. Qg4 Kh7 $6 ({Better was}
31... Rd8 {and after} 32. Ng6+ Kh7 33. Nf4 Qf7 34. axb5 axb5 {it's still
unpleasant but probably equal, e.g.} 35. Re5 Rf8) 32. Qg6+ Kg8 33. f3 Qd2 $6 ({
There was actually time for} 33... bxa4 {since} 34. Ng4 {can be met by} Qg5)
34. Qf7+ Kh7 35. Kf1 $1 Qd5 36. Qg6+ Kg8 37. Ng4 Qg5 {Missed by Svidler, so he
might have missed it in the earlier line as well.} 38. Qb6 ({Strong was} 38.
Qe6+ Kh8 39. Ne5) 38... Qd5 39. Nxh6+ $5 ({Even better was to return to} 39.
Qg6 Qg5 {and then} 40. Qe6+ Kh8 41. Ne5) 39... Kh7 40. Ng4 Rf8 41. Kg1 ({
There's no time for} 41. axb5 {as Black was threatening to draw with} Rxf3+ 42.
gxf3 Qxf3+ 43. Nf2 Qg2+ 44. Ke2 Qf3+ 45. Kd2 Qxf2+ 46. Re2 Qd4+ 47. Ke1 Qg1+)
41... Qd4+ 42. Kh1 Bxf3 $1 {The best chance.} 43. gxf3 Rxf3 44. Qe6 Qd3 $6 ({
Georgiadis should have tried} 44... Rxh3+ 45. Kg2 Rh5 {when} 46. Qe4+ (46. Kg3
$5 {Svidler}) 46... Qxe4+ 47. Rxe4 Rd5 {is very close to a draw.}) 45. Ne3 $1 {
Missed by Georgiadis.} bxa4 46. Kg2 Rf6 47. Qd5 {With the black pawns crumbled,
White can easily go for the ending.} Qg6+ 48. Kh1 Rf2 49. Rg1 Qh6 50. Rg3 Qf6
51. Qd3+ Kh8 52. Ng4 Qc6+ 53. Kg1 Rxb2 54. Qd8+ Kh7 55. Qh4+ Kg8 56. Nh6+ {
Black is getting mated.} 1-0
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.23"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B07"]
[WhiteElo "2779"]
[BlackElo "2842"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "158"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Bf4 c6 5. Nf3 Bg7 6. Qd2 O-O 7. h3 ({Nothing
much is} 7. Bh6 Bg4 8. Bxg7 Kxg7 9. Ng5 {½-½ Burdalev,K (2377)-Frolov,A
(2406) Prague 2018}) 7... Qa5 8. e5 {A novelty, which does not provide White
any advantage.} ({Instead, in an earlier game White opted for the sharp} 8.
O-O-O b5 9. a3 b4 10. axb4 {Which also led to complex endgame after} Qa1+ 11.
Nb1 Nxe4 12. Qe3 Nf6 13. Qa3 Qxa3 14. Nxa3 {in Yemelin,V (2522)-Utkin,A (2345)
St Petersburg 2001}) 8... dxe5 9. dxe5 Nd5 10. Nxd5 Qxd2+ 11. Bxd2 cxd5 12.
O-O-O {The opening part did not last long. Straight from the opening a complex
endgame arose which probably made some of the chess fans unhappy. But since
both players are amazing masters of that part of the game as well, the best is
yet to come. [Peter Svidler noted that the endgame is not as comfortable for
White as the typical French endgames from e.g. the Vacuum Cleaner variation
because his pawn is not on f4 (yet). - PD]} Nc6 13. Bc3 e6 {Not worrying about
the light-squared bishop. It will get its chance later.} ({Although} 13... Be6
14. Bb5 Rac8 {was also possible.}) 14. h4 {The position resembles the French
defense, but with a strong black bishop on g7. Both players try to play on
their flanks.} h6 15. Bd3 Bd7 16. Rhe1 Rfc8 17. Rd2 Rab8 18. Rde2 b5 19. Nd4 ({
If} 19. b3 Bf8) 19... b4 20. Nxc6 Bxc6 21. Bd4 Bb5 $1 {The chance for the
bishop had come.} 22. Kd2 (22. Bxa7 $2 {loses material to} Bxd3 23. Bxb8 Bxe2)
({However} 22. Bxb5 Rxb5 23. h5 {looked OK for White.}) 22... h5 {"It's
already slightly unpleasant." (MVL)} 23. f4 ({Here and on the next few moves
Vachier-Lagrave avoids the capture of the a7 pawn. After} 23. Bxa7 Ra8 {
Black will regain the pawn and take control of the open a-file:} 24. Bxb5 ({Or
} 24. Bd4 Bxd3 25. Kxd3 Rxa2 26. b3) 24... Rxa7 {In both cases with some small
advantage for the world champion.}) 23... Bf8 24. g4 $1 {Once more
Vachier-Lagrave searches his chances on the kingside.} (24. Bxa7 Bxd3 (24...
Ra8) 25. Kxd3 Ra8 {is again somewhat better for Black.}) 24... hxg4 25. Rg1 (
25. h5 gxh5 26. Rh1 {"Somehow it felt a bit suspicious." (MVL)}) 25... Bc5 26.
Bxc5 Rxc5 27. Rxg4 Kf8 28. Rh2 ({More precise in order to hold the balance was
} 28. h5 Bxd3 29. Kxd3 gxh5 30. Rh4 Ke7 31. f5 exf5 32. Rxh5 {with likely draw.
}) 28... Bxd3 29. Kxd3 {We are entering the most exciting part of the game, a
four-rook complex endgame.} Rc4 $1 {This is the thing. The white rook is
pinned and experiences difficulties in maneuvering. MVL had missed this.} 30.
h5 gxh5 31. Rxh5 Ke7 32. Rgh4 {A second inaccuracy after which Carlsen
completely takes over the initiative.} (32. Rh6 $1 {was strong with the idea
to release the g4 rook and resume the kingside assault. For example} a5 33. Rf6
a4 34. Rg7 Rf8 35. f5 exf5 36. Rxf5 Re4 37. Rf6 Rxe5 38. Ra6 {when again the
most likely outcome would be the draw.}) 32... Rg8 $1 {The white king is
danger, so MVL needs to part with material.} 33. f5 $1 {In activity we trust!
One cannot allow passive defense in the rook endgame.} Rg3+ 34. Kd2 Rg2+ 35.
Kd1 (35. Ke3 exf5 36. Rxc4 dxc4 37. Rxf5 Rxc2 38. Kd4 b3 {is "resignable"
according to MVL.}) 35... Rcxc2 36. f6+ Kd7 {Moving away from the danger zone.}
(36... Ke8 37. Rxb4 {would have been easier to defend.}) 37. Rxb4 a5 ({Black
has winning chances with all rooks on the board.} 37... Rxb2 $2 {would lead to
a position where it is even White to fights for the win after} 38. Rxb2 Rxb2
39. Rh7 Ke8 40. Rh8+ Kd7 41. Rf8) 38. Rb8 $1 {Vachier-Lagrave activated his
rooks in return and is ready for a perpetual.} Rcf2 39. Ke1 Kc6 $1 {The king
takes care of himself.} ({After} 39... d4 40. Rhh8 d3 {White starts the
perpetuum mobile} 41. Rhd8+ Kc6 42. Rbc8+ {with a draw as the king has nowhere
to hide.}) 40. Rc8+ ({Here} 40. Rhh8 {just pushes the black king towards the
white pawns (or the white king).} Kc5) 40... Kb5 41. Rh7 d4 {With the cruel
intention to turn this pawn into a queen by force. This requires desperate
measures by the French GM.} 42. Rg8 $1 Re2+ ({Once more} 42... Rxg8 $2 43. Kxf2
{is plain wrong for Black.}) 43. Kf1 ({Similar was} 43. Kd1 Rgf2) 43... Rgf2+
44. Kg1 Rf4 ({A quicker win was} 44... Rc2 45. Rxf7 Rfe2 46. Kh1 d3 47. Rd7 d2
48. f7 Re1+ 49. Rg1 Rcc1 {(MVL)}) 45. Rxf7 Rxe5 {More and more pawns leave the
stage. But this does not relief White's problems. His king is weak, constantly
in danger of getting mated, the d-pawn is a monster and the black rooks are
doing whatever they want.} 46. Rc7 {Trying an attack again.} ({Here's an
eternal mating threat:} 46. Rd8 $4 Rg5+ 47. Kh2 Rh4#) ({MVL would be happy to
get rid of the d-passer at once. However, after} 46. Rd7 {some neat
intermediate moves allow Carlsen a chance to win a pawn with} Kc6 $1 47. Rxd4 (
47. Rgd8 $4 Rg5+) 47... Rxd4 48. f7 Rf5 49. f8=Q Rd1+ $1 ({Not the immediate}
49... Rxf8 50. Rxf8) 50. Kg2 Rd2+ 51. Kg3 Rxf8 52. Rxf8 Rxb2 {when Black
should be able to convert.}) 46... Rxf6 ({MVL mentioned} 46... d3 {here.}) 47.
Rb8+ Ka6 ({The black should be careful too} 47... Ka4 $4 48. Rc4#) 48. Rc6+ Ka7
49. Rg8 Rf7 $1 {Saveguarding the king. There is also a threat-put the rook
behind the d-pawn and push it.} 50. Rg6 ({After} 50. Rd6 Re1+ 51. Kg2 e5 {
the pawn duo should win.}) 50... Re1+ {Chasing the king to a dangerous
position.} 51. Kg2 d3 52. Rd6 Re2+ 53. Kh3 d2 ({Also interesting was} 53...
Re3+ 54. Rg3 (54. Kg4 e5 {intending Rf7-f4-d4}) 54... Rh7+ 55. Kg2 Re2+ 56. Kg1
d2 57. Rgd3 Rc7 58. Rxd2 Rc1+ 59. Rd1 Rxd1+ 60. Rxd1 Rxb2 {but these makes
White's life is easier and} 61. a3 {might well be a draw.}) 54. Rg8 Kb7 $1 {
“At this point I was about to give up but then I saw there were some chances.
Not even some chances, probably major chances." (Carlsen)} 55. Rgd8 {Finally
the d-pawn leaves the board. Two more left and the draw will be there.} (55. b3
Kc7) 55... d1=Q (55... Rff2 $2 {allows perpetual} 56. R8d7+) 56. Rxd1 Rxb2 57.
Re1 {Trying to reduce the material to the max.} ({Perhaps White should have at
least for once tried to defend passively with} 57. R1d2 Rxd2 58. Rxd2 Kc6 {
Would he hold, is another question.}) 57... Rf6 58. Rd6 Rxa2 59. Kg3 ({Instead
} 59. Rdxe6 Rxe6 60. Rxe6 Rb2 {is a tablebase win for Black.}) ({However} 59.
Rb1+ Kc7 60. Ra6 {would have kept reasonable drawing chances for White.}) 59...
Rb2 60. Re5 Rb3+ $1 {One more of those little nasty checks that somehow
miraculously turn White's position into a hopeless one. No sourcery here; the
king is simply pushed backwards.} (60... a4 $5) 61. Kg2 ({If} 61. Kg4 Rg6+ 62.
Kh5 Rg8 63. Rg5 Rh3+ {forces a win after} 64. Kg4 Rxg5+ 65. Kxg5 a4) 61... a4
62. Ra5 a3 {And since the white king is on the second rank, Carlsen will
manage to push the a-passer far enough.} 63. Rda6 Rff3 64. Ra7+ ({After} 64.
Rxe6 {Black wins with} Rfc3 65. Re2 Kc6 {followed by Rb3-b2.}) 64... Kc6 65.
R7a6+ Kd7 {One more king dance.} 66. Ra7+ Kd6 67. R7a6+ Ke7 68. Re5 Rfc3 $1 {
A beautiful final touch of a brilliant game.} (68... Rf6 69. Re2 {is less
convincing.}) 69. Rexe6+ Kd7 70. Kf2 ({Nothing helps, although Black still has
to be very careful:} 70. Re2 Kc7 ({But not} 70... Rb2 $2 71. Rxb2 axb2 72. Rb6)
71. Re7+ ({If} 71. Ra4 Rc6 ({But not} 71... Rb2 $2 72. Rxb2 axb2 73. Rb4) 72.
Rf2 Kb7 73. Rf7+ Kb6 74. Ra8 Rc2+ 75. Rf2 Kb7 76. Ra4 Rcb2 $1 ({Once again
avoiding a reef} 76... Rxf2+ 77. Kxf2 Rb2+ 78. Ke3 a2 79. Kd3 {with a draw.})
77. Kf1 Kb6 78. Rf6+ Kb5 79. Ra8 (79. Rfa6 Ra2 $1) 79... Rc3 $1 {and wins.})
71... Kb8 72. Re2 Rc7 $1) 70... Rb2+ 71. Re2 Rh3 $1 ({Very nice, even though}
71... Kc7 $1 {would have also won.}) 72. Kg2 ({Since} 72. Rxb2 axb2 73. Rb6 {
loses to the tactical shot} Rh1 $1 74. Rxb2 Rh2+) 72... Rxe2+ 73. Kxh3 a2 74.
Kg3 Kc7 {The king's last dance. Triumphal.} 75. Kf3 Kb7 76. Ra4 Rh2 77. Ke3 Kb6
78. Kd3 Kb5 79. Ra8 Kb4 (79... Kb4 {White resigned as the king will support
the passer after} 80. Rb8+ Ka3 81. Ra8+ Kb2 82. Rb8+ Kc1 83. Ra8 Kb1 84. Rb8+
Rb2 {All the black pieces did a tremendous job. Rubinstein would have enjoyed
the spectacle!}) 0-1
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.24"]
[Round "3.1"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Svidler, Peter"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B94"]
[WhiteElo "2842"]
[BlackElo "2753"]
[PlyCount "52"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 Nbd7 ({For
reference on White's 15th move, here's Dubov-Artemiev, Tbilisi 2017:} 6... e6
7. f4 h6 8. Bh4 Be7 9. Qf3 Nbd7 10. O-O-O g5 11. fxg5 hxg5 12. Bg3 Qc7 {
and now the same idea} 13. Bb5 $5 {and White won in 41 moves.}) 7. Qe2 ({
Another important move is} 7. Bc4 {e.g.} h6 8. Bh4 g6 9. Qe2 Bg7 10. O-O-O O-O
11. Bb3 Qc7 12. Kb1 Rb8 13. f4 e5 14. fxe5 dxe5 15. Nf3 b5 {Nepomniachtchi,I
(2751)-Korobov,A (2678) Poikovsky 2018}) 7... h6 8. Bh4 g6 9. f4 Qc7 ({In his
2015 Najdorf book, Parimarjan Negi had} 9... e5 10. fxe5 dxe5 11. O-O-O Qc7 12.
Nb3 {as his main line. It still is, and Svidler knew that, but since Carlsen
was playing quite fast, he felt it was time to deviate.}) 10. O-O-O {Around
here Svidler started to regret including ...h6, Bh4.} Bg7 11. g4 (11. Kb1 O-O
12. Nf3 e5 13. f5 b5 14. g4 b4 15. Nd5 Nxd5 16. exd5 a5 {Melia,S (2400)
-Travkina,A (2287) Riga 2017}) 11... e5 12. fxe5 ({Svidler mentioned} 12. Ndb5
axb5 13. Nxb5 Qc6 (13... Qa5 14. Nxd6+ Kf8 {is the actual refutation}) 14. Rxd6
Qxe4 {and here, listening to these moves blindfold, Carlsen after just a few
seconds came up with with the beautiful} 15. Re6+ $1 Kf8 (15... fxe6 16. Nd6+)
16. Re8+ $3 {and White wins.}) 12... Nxe5 13. h3 (13. Nf5 $5) 13... Be6 14. Qf2
Nfd7 15. Bb5 $5 {A move that reminds of the Gothenburg variation, but also, as
Anish Giri pointed out, Dubov-Artemiev, Tbilisi 2017! In this case the move is
purely positional.} O-O ({Of course not} 15... axb5 16. Nxe6 fxe6 17. Nxb5 {
and Black can resign.}) 16. Bxd7 Qxd7 ({Svidler didn't like} 16... Nxd7 17. Be7
Rfc8 18. Nxe6 fxe6 19. Bxd6 Qa5 20. Rhf1 Kh8) 17. Nf5 $5 gxf5 18. gxf5 Kh7 ({
After} 18... Bc4 19. f6 Bh8 20. Qf4 Ng6 21. Qxh6 Qe6 22. Rhg1 Bxf6 23. Bxf6
Qxf6 24. h4 Qg7 25. Qg5 Qe5 26. h5 {was Carlsen's intention. He called it
"horrible" for Black.}) 19. Rhg1 Bh8 (19... Rg8 20. Rxg7+ $1 Rxg7 21. Bf6 {
is promising for White.}) 20. Bg3 ({Carlsen spent most of his time on a third
piece sac:} 20. Bg5 $5 hxg5 (20... Bg7 21. f6 $1) 21. Rxg5 Ng6 22. fxg6+ fxg6
23. Qh4+ Kg7 24. Rdg1 {but after} Qf7 $1 (24... Rf6 $2 25. Rh5 Rf1+ 26. Kd2 $1)
25. Qh5 Qf4+ 26. Kb1 Kf7 27. Rxg6 Ke7 {the king runs and now, in order for
White not to lose, he needs to play} 28. Rxe6+ Kxe6 29. Qd5+ Ke7 30. Qxb7+ Ke6
31. Qd5+) ({The players didn't see it immediately for White after} 20. Bg5 hxg5
21. Rxg5 Ng6 22. Rdg1 Bg7 {but the computer goes} ({The best chance is probably
} 22... Rac8) 23. Rh5+ Kg8 24. f6 $1 Qd8 25. fxg7 Kxg7 26. Qd4+ f6 27. Rhg5 Bf7
28. h4 {and Black won't survive this.}) 20... Rac8 21. Bf4 Qe7 22. fxe6 fxe6
23. Qg3 Rg8 24. Qf2 Rgf8 25. Qg3 Rg8 26. Qf2 Rgf8 ({Svidler wasn't sure about}
26... Nc4 27. Rxg8 Rxg8 28. Qe2 {when} b5 29. Qd3 Be5 $5 30. Bxe5 Qg5+ 31. Kb1
Qxe5 32. a4 $5 {is probably equal.}) 1/2-1/2
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.24"]
[Round "3.3"]
[White "Georgiadis, Nico"]
[Black "Navara, David"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E62"]
[WhiteElo "2526"]
[BlackElo "2741"]
[PlyCount "78"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. Nc3 d6 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. O-O e5 8. dxe5
dxe5 9. Bg5 Be6 10. Qa4 Qc8 (10... h6 11. Rad1 Qe7 12. Nd5 Bxd5 13. Bxf6 Bxf6
14. cxd5 Nd4 15. e4 Nxf3+ 16. Bxf3 Rfd8 {Edouard,R (2628)-Bacrot,E (2692) Cap
d'Agde 2016}) 11. Rfd1 Nd7 12. Nd5 e4 13. Ne1 Nb6 14. Qb3 (14. Qc2 f5 15. Rd2
Kh8 16. Rad1 Ne5 17. b3 c6 18. Nf4 Bg8 19. Be7 Re8 20. Bc5 Qc7 21. Qc1 Qf7 {
Akopian,V (2615)-Nijboer,F (2505) Wijk aan Zee 1993}) 14... Bxd5 15. cxd5 Nd4
16. Qe3 Nc4 17. Qxe4 Re8 18. Rxd4 ({Georgiadis didn't like} 18. Qh4 Nxe2+ 19.
Kf1 Nxb2 ({but Navara was planning} 19... Nd6 {when} 20. Be3 {is actually
quite playable for White.})) 18... Rxe4 19. Rxe4 Nd6 $1 {Now Black is much
better but it's not easy to convert the advantage.} ({Georgiadis had expected}
19... Nxb2 20. Rc1 {with good compensation.}) 20. Re3 Bxb2 21. Rd1 a5 {
Georgiadis had missed this plan of running with the a-pawn.} 22. Rb3 (22. Re7
Qd8 $1) 22... Bg7 23. Bf4 b5 24. Rc1 Qd7 25. Nd3 b4 26. e4 Nb5 27. e5 (27. Ne5
Qe8 28. Nc6 Nc3 $1) 27... Rd8 {Navara forgot that his a-pawn will be hanging...
} (27... Re8 28. d6 Nc3) 28. Nc5 Qe8 $6 ({Black should play} 28... Qf5 {when}
29. Nb7 Re8 30. Nxa5 {can be answered by} Nd4 $1 31. Rb2 g5) 29. Nb7 Rb8 30. d6
$5 {With three minutes on the clock Georgiadis decided to go for complications.
} (30. Nxa5 {would have been quite OK for White.}) 30... cxd6 31. Bc6 Qe6 32.
exd6 $2 {But this is clearly wrong.} (32. Bxb5 Rxb7 33. Bc4 Qf5 (33... d5 34.
Bxd5 $1) 34. exd6 Bf6 35. Rd3 {would have been unclear.}) 32... Nc3 33. Rb2 g5
34. Be3 (34. Bxg5 Nxa2) 34... Nxa2 35. Rxa2 Qxa2 36. d7 Bf6 37. Ba7 Rf8 38. Re1
Qd2 39. Kf1 b3 0-1
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.24"]
[Round "3.2"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A04"]
[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2779"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. Nc3 e5 4. e3 Nf6 5. d4 e4 6. Ne5 ({Earlier this year
the French GM held the world champion after} 6. d5 exf3 7. dxc6 fxg2 8. cxd7+
Bxd7 9. Bxg2 g6 10. b3 Bg7 11. Qd6 Qb6 12. Qxb6 axb6 13. Bb2 Bc6 14. O-O Ke7
15. Nd5+ Bxd5 16. cxd5 Rhg8 {Carlsen,M (2843)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2789), Grenke/
Baden-Baden 2018 which I annotated as well.}) 6... g6 7. g4 {Vachier-Lagrave
remembered that he had looked at this move in the past and thought that leads
to rich play, but could not remember much of his analyzes during the game.} h6
8. Bg2 Bg7 9. h3 $1 {The novelty. The idea is to keep all the options open. It
certainly poses a ton of practical problems for both the players.} (9. h4 cxd4
10. exd4 d5 11. g5 hxg5 12. hxg5 Rxh1+ 13. Bxh1 Nh5 14. cxd5 Nxe5 15. dxe5 Bxe5
16. Qa4+ Kf8 17. Qxe4 Qe7 {was the sharp course of the game Movsesian,S (2699)
-Ponomariov,R (2743) Khanty-Mansiysk 2013}) 9... Qe7 (9... O-O) 10. b3 $1 cxd4
({Mamedyarov revealed one of his key ideas in the post mortem. If} 10... Nb4
11. a3 Na6 {with the strong threat d7-d6 White prepared the fantastic:} 12. O-O
d6 13. f4 $1 O-O 14. Ra2 $1 {Followed by Ra2-f2 with an attack for the piece.
"Computer says 0.00 but I like it."}) ({The capture of the central pawn} 10...
Nxe5 11. dxe5 Qxe5 12. Bb2 O-O 13. Rb1 Qe7 14. h4 {leads to bad position
according to Mamedyarov.}) ({Vachier-Lagrave did not consider} 10... d6 {
seriously as it loses a tempo. White is better after} 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. Qc2 ({
Or} 12. O-O)) (10... Nd8 11. O-O d6 12. f4 {would be similar as the last line.}
) 11. exd4 Nxe5 12. dxe5 Qxe5 13. Bb2 d5 ({On} 13... O-O {Black did not like}
14. Qd2 {For example} Re8 ({And} 14... e3 15. Qxe3 Qxe3+ 16. fxe3 {leads to
clear edge for White in the endgame.}) 15. Nd5 {when the queen sacrifice is
forced} Qxb2 16. Qxb2 Nxd5 17. Qc1 Bxa1 18. Qxa1 Nf4 19. O-O {but not as sound
as Carlsen's sacrifice against Navara.}) 14. Qe2 $1 {MVL had missed this.} (14.
Qd2 {can be met with} dxc4 15. Nxe4 Qe6 16. O-O Nxe4 17. Bxe4 O-O) 14... Qe7 ({
After} 14... d4 15. Nb5 (15. Nxe4 {(Mamedyarov) is also good as the d4 pawn
will soon disappear from the board.}) 15... O-O 16. Bxd4 Qf4 17. Qe3 {(MVL)
Black is in very bad shape.}) ({Here} 14... dxc4 $2 {drops a piece due to the
pin} 15. Nxe4 Qe6 16. Nxf6+) 15. cxd5 O-O 16. O-O {Simple and good. The
e4-pawn went too far and White will win it in the coming moves.} ({Mamedyarov
also considered the long castle-} 16. O-O-O Qd6 (16... Bd7)) 16... Re8 ({
After the game Vachier-Lagrave regretted that he did not follow his original
intention:} 16... b6 17. Nxe4 Nxe4 18. Bxg7 Kxg7 19. Qxe4 Qxe4 20. Bxe4 Bb7 {
with chances to defend despite the pawn deficit.}) (16... b6 17. Rad1 $5 {
(MVL) intending d5-d6 is also strong for White.}) 17. Rfe1 Bd7 ({This was the
last chance for} 17... b6 {when the forced line leads to a rook endgame:} 18.
Nxe4 Nxe4 19. Bxg7 Kxg7 20. Qxe4 Qxe4 21. Rxe4 Bb7 (21... Rxe4 22. Bxe4 Bb7 23.
Rc1 Rd8 24. Rc7 Bxd5 25. Bxd5 Rxd5 26. Rxa7 {which players were inclined to
consider more lost than draw for Black.}) 22. Rd4) 18. Nxe4 Nxe4 19. Bxg7 Kxg7
20. Qxe4 Qxe4 ({Black could not find way to improve his pieces after} 20... Qf6
21. Qf3) 21. Bxe4 h5 {"A terrible move, based on oversight" (MVL)} ({Black
should have defended with} 21... b6 22. d6 Rac8 23. Bb7 Rcd8 ({Or} 23... Rc2
24. Rxe8 Bxe8 25. Rd1 Bd7 26. a4 Rc3 27. Bd5 Kf8) 24. Rxe8 Bxe8 25. Re1 {
although the French GM was not optimistic about his chances here neither.}) 22.
gxh5 gxh5 ({Only here did Black realize that his active idea} 22... Re5 23.
hxg6 Rg5+ 24. Kh2 Bxh3 {will be refuted with the zwischenzug} 25. f4 $1 {
For example} (25. Kxh3 $4 Rh8#) 25... Rh5 26. Kg3 fxg6 27. Bf3 {and White wins.
}) 23. h4 $1 {Fixes the pawn on a light square. The rest was easy for
Mamedyarov.} Rac8 24. Bf3 Rxe1+ 25. Rxe1 Kf6 ({The passive defense will not
help-} 25... Kg6 26. Kh2 {followed by Kh2-g3-h4 and then say Re1-g1-g5 would
be soon over.}) 26. d6 ({Not the immediate} 26. Bxh5 Rh8) 26... b6 27. Re7 Rd8
28. Bxh5 Be6 29. Rxa7 Rxd6 30. Kg2 Rd8 31. Bf3 Ke5 32. Ra4 1-0
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.25"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Georgiadis, Nico"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C17"]
[WhiteElo "2526"]
[BlackElo "2842"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "116"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 e6 {Carlsen noticed that Georgiadis does not have any games in a
particular line of the French defense and decided to test his opening
knowledge there.} 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Ba5 6. b4 cxd4 7. Qg4 Kf8
8. Nb5 Bc7 {"A bluff." (Carlsen)} ({Instead} 8... Bb6 {"I know this is the
strongest move." (Georgiadis)} 9. Nf3 Nc6 10. Bb2 Nge7 11. Bd3 Ng6 12. Qg3 f6
13. Bxg6 hxg6 14. Nbxd4 Nxd4 15. Bxd4 Kf7 {as in Inarkiev,E (2683)-Vallejo
Pons,F (2705) Sochi 2017}) 9. Qxd4 ({The world champion knew a recent blitz
game of Mamedyarov which went} 9. Qg3 Nc6 10. f4 a6 11. Nxc7 Qxc7 12. Bb2 Nge7
13. Bd3 Nf5 14. Qf2 {and apparently prepared something there, Fedoseev,V (2724)
-Mamedyarov,S (2809) Moscow 2018}) 9... Nc6 10. Qc5+ Nge7 11. Nxc7 Qxc7 12. Nf3
b6 13. Qd6 $5 {The bluff did not work well. It is even Georgadis who comes up
with an interesting over-the-board novelty.} ({It is interesting that players
knew that the correct continuation is:} 13. Qc3 {"with advantage for White"
(Carlsen)} a6 14. Bd3 Bb7 15. Bf4 (15. O-O) 15... Rc8 16. O-O h6 17. Rfe1 {
Van Haastert,E (2440)-Berelowitsch,A (2549) Belgium 2014}) 13... Qxd6 14. exd6
Nf5 {The pawn is seemingly doomed, but White has foreseen this.} 15. Bf4 f6 16.
g4 Nfd4 17. Nxd4 Nxd4 18. O-O-O e5 19. Rxd4 {All of this has been calculated
by the young Swiss GM when he opted for the novelty. In return for the
exchange he gets the bishop pair, a strong passer and piece activity. The rook
on h8 looks particularly ugly.} ({However, it made sense to postpone the
capture for a move and use Carlsen's suggestion} 19. h3 $1 {which saves the
important pawn. After} Bb7 20. Rxd4 exd4 {White has full compensation for the
exchange in many ways:} 21. Bb5 (21. Bg2 $5) (21. h4 $5) 21... a6 22. Bd7 Rd8
23. Be6 {with an interesting endgame ahead.}) 19... exd4 20. Bb5 Bxg4 ({
Carlsen did not consider seriously the cementing move} 20... Be6 {as after} 21.
Rd1 {followed by Rd1xd4 "White does not risk to lose."} ({White can also save
the g4 pawn, but not with} 21. h3 $6 g5 $1 22. Bg3 h5) ({Better is to save it
with} 21. g5 $5)) 21. Re1 g5 {Opening some room for the pieces with tempo.} 22.
Bg3 Rd8 {Missed by White.} ({Georgiadis was hoping for} 22... h5 23. d7 Kf7 24.
Re8 ({Weaker is} 24. Bc7 Be6) 24... Raxe8 25. dxe8=Q+ Rxe8 26. Bxe8+ Kxe8 {
with a draw in the opposite-colored bishop endgame.}) 23. Re7 h5 (23... Rg8 {
leads Black nowhere after} 24. Rxh7 Rg7 25. Rh8+ Rg8 26. Rh7) 24. h4 gxh4 25.
Bf4 ({The other way to defend was} 25. Bxh4 Rxd6 26. Rxa7 {but then White
parts with his main asset.}) 25... Bf5 {Brining the kingside rook out.} ({
Carlsen did not like this move and suggested instead} 25... a5 $5 {to clear he
seventh rank out of his pawns, thus not allowing White too many passers. The
arising lines are extremely interesting. Most logical seems to bring the king
out:} 26. Kd2 {when after the sequence} ({not} 26. Bd3 Rd7) 26... Bf5 27. bxa5
bxa5 28. Bd3 Bxd3 29. Kxd3 Re8 30. Rb7 h3 {both sides have dangerous passers.
Play may continue:} 31. Kxd4 $1 Re4+ 32. Kc5 $3 ({But not} 32. Kxd5 {when
Black has a study-like win:} Rxf4 33. d7 ({If} 33. Rb8+ Kg7 34. Rxh8 Rf5+ $1 {
The neatest solution.} (34... h2 $1 35. Rxh5 Rf5+ {would also do.}) 35. Kd4 h2
36. d7 h1=Q 37. d8=Q Qd1+ 38. Kc3 Rc5+ {and mate comes soon.}) 33... Ke7 34.
d8=Q+ Kxd8 35. Rb8+ Kd7 36. Rxh8 Rf5+ $1 37. Ke4 h2 {and the pawn queens.})
32... Rxf4 ({Objectively best is:} 32... Rc4+ 33. Kb5 Rxf4 34. Rb8+ Kf7 35.
Rxh8 Ke6 36. Rxh5 Rxf2 37. Rxh3 Kxd6 {when Black preserves winning chances.})
33. Rb8+ Kf7 ({Here} 33... Kg7 $2 34. Rxh8 Rc4+ 35. Kxd5 Rxc2 36. Rxh5 {
is awkward for Black.}) 34. Rxh8 Rc4+ 35. Kxd5 Rxc2 36. d7 h2 {and it all ends
peacefully after} 37. Rxh5 Rxf2 38. Rh7+ Kg6 39. Rh8 Rd2+ 40. Kc6 Rc2+) 26.
Rxa7 Rh7 ({The computer suggestion} 26... Rc8 27. a4 Rxc2+ 28. Kd1 {makes
little sense for a human being. The d6 passer is left almost on its own. Is
the pawn on c2 worth the journey?}) 27. Rc7 Bd7 {A critical moment of the game.
Although Georgiadis was in time-trouble already and Carlsen had more than an
hour on his clock, it is the world champion who misses an important detail.} ({
From afar Black calculated} 27... Rxc7 28. dxc7 Ra8 29. a4 Ke7 30. Bc6 Rh8 {
(rook anywhere)} 31. a5 ({Carlsen's intuition did not fail him. White indeed
wins here with the precise:} 31. b5 $1 {when} Bd7 {is met with} 32. Bxd5) 31...
bxa5 32. bxa5 {and thought he should be winning with} ({Then it dawned to him
that} 32. b5 $1 {is in fact better and he might even lose the game. It might
however be still a draw after} Bd7 33. Bb7 Bxb5 34. c8=Q Rxc8 35. Bxc8 d3 {
as there are almost no white pawns left alive.}) 32... Bc8) ({On} 27... h3 28.
Kd2 {should not change much.}) ({The big question is if Black was winning
after:} 27... Kg8 {which intends Rh7-g7. A possible line is:} 28. Bc6 Rg7 29.
a4 ({But not the other way round} 29. Bxd5+ Kh8 30. a4 $4 Rxc7 31. dxc7 Rxd5)
29... Rg1+ 30. Kd2 Kh8 31. Bxd5 Ra1 32. Re7 {Prepared Bf4-h6.} (32. Bh6 Rxd6)
32... Rxa4 33. Bh6 h3 34. Bg7+ Kh7 35. Bxf6+ Kg6 36. Be5 Rc8 37. Bb3 Rxb4 38.
Rg7+ Kh6 39. Rf7 {Nothing is clear here neither, but the unsafe position of
the black king and the limited material on the board should be objectively
enough for the first player to survive.}) 28. Bc6 $1 {This is what Carlsen
missed.} h3 ({It is too late to revert to the previous line} 28... Bf5 29. a4)
29. Kd2 (29. a4 Rg7 30. Bh6 Bxc6 31. Rxg7 {should also suffice for a draw.})
29... Rg7 {Forcing matters.} ({After} 29... h2 30. Bxh2 Rg7 31. Bxd5 {the
bishops are at least not worse than the rooks.}) 30. Bh6 Bxc6 31. Rxg7 Rxd6 32.
Rg5+ $1 {Another neat move by the Swiss GM.} ({Black was hoping to push after}
32. Rg3+ Kf7 33. Rxh3 Kg6 34. Bf4 Re6 {It is the more or less the same
position as the game except that the h5 pawn is still alive. And} 35. Kd3 $2 {
is not good to} Bb5+ 36. Kxd4 Re4+ {(Carlsen)}) 32... Kf7 33. Rxh5 Bb5 ({
Black cannot keep the h3 passer alive-} 33... Bd7 34. Bf4 Rc6 35. Rh7+ Ke8 36.
Rh8+ Ke7 37. Rh7+ Kd8 38. Rh8+) 34. Rxh3 Re6 35. Rf3 {The opposite-colored
bishops determine the draw outcome, but Carlsen keeps on trying to squeeze
water from stone.} Kg6 36. Bf4 Rc6 37. Bg3 Rc4 38. Rd3 Kf5 39. Rf3+ Ke6 40. Rd3
f5 41. f3 f4 ({Or} 41... Ba4 42. c3) 42. Bf2 Ke5 43. c3 {One more pair of
pawns is traded as well as the rooks. Many people would have accepted the draw
now, but the world champion found one more resource.} Rc6 $1 44. Rxd4 Rh6 45.
Kc1 ({There was another way to the peace:} 45. c4 Bxc4 46. Rxf4 Rh2 47. Ke3
Rxf2 48. Rxc4 Rxf3+ 49. Kxf3 dxc4 50. a4 {(Carlsen) For instance:} Kd4 51. Ke2
c3 52. a5 bxa5 53. bxa5 Kc5 54. a6 Kb6 55. Kd3) 45... Rh3 46. Rd2 Rxf3 47. Bd4+
Ke4 48. Kb2 Rd3 49. Rxd3 Kxd3 50. Bxb6 Ba4 ({Unfortunately for Black, he
cannot win the bishop and save his last pawn from the trade at the same time.
For example:} 50... Ke2 51. Kb3 f3 52. a4 Bc4+ 53. Kc2 f2 54. Bxf2 Kxf2 55. b5
Ke3 56. b6 Ba6 57. Kb3 ({But not} 57. c4 d4 $1) 57... Ke4 58. Kb4 Kd3 59. Kc5 (
{Or} 59. a5 Kd2 60. Kc5 Kxc3 61. Kxd5) 59... Bb7 60. a5 Kxc3 61. a6 ({The pawn
endgame is also a draw:} 61. Kb5 d4 62. a6 Bxa6+ 63. Kxa6 d3 64. b7 d2 65. b8=Q
d1=Q) 61... Bxa6 62. Kxd5) 51. Ba7 f3 52. Bg1 Kd2 ({If} 52... Ke2 53. c4 dxc4
54. Kc3 Bb5 55. a4) 53. Ba7 $1 ({"The only thing White should avoid is"} 53.
Bd4 Ke2 54. c4 Kd3 $1 {(Carlsen) although even this is a draw after} 55. Bf2
dxc4 56. Kc1 Ke2 57. Bg1 f2 58. Bxf2 Kxf2 59. Kd2) 53... Bd1 54. Bc5 Ba4 55.
Ba7 Ke2 56. c4 d4 57. Bxd4 Kd3 58. Ba7 Kxc4 1/2-1/2
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.25"]
[Round "4.2"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Svidler, Peter"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E60"]
[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2753"]
[PlyCount "82"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 c6 4. Bg2 d5 5. Qa4 dxc4 6. Qxc4 Be6 7. Qa4 Bg7 8. Nf3
O-O 9. O-O Nbd7 10. Nc3 Nd5 (10... Nb6 11. Qc2 Bc4 12. Rd1 Nfd5 13. e4 Nxc3 14.
bxc3 Qc8 15. a4 h6 {Dreev,A (2653)-Izzat,K (2484) chess.com INT 2018}) 11. Rd1
N7f6 (11... Nxc3 12. bxc3 Bd5 13. Qc2 Nf6 14. Ba3 Qc7 {Ushenina,A (2443)
-Bodnaruk,A (2446) Sochi 2018}) 12. h3 $6 Qb6 $6 {The only move Svidler played
without thinking but he misses a tactic which Mamedyarov noticed right after
playing h3.} ({After} 12... Qc8 $1 {White has to play} 13. Nxd5 (13. Kh2 Nxc3
14. bxc3 Ne4 {is the tactic; both f2 and c3 are hanging.}) (13. g4 h5) 13...
Bxd5 {and Black has equalized.}) 13. Ne1 Rfd8 (13... Nxc3 $5 14. bxc3 Bd5) 14.
e4 Nxc3 15. bxc3 Qb5 16. Qxb5 (16. Qc2 $5) 16... cxb5 17. Ba3 Bf8 18. d5 Bc8
19. Rac1 (19. e5 Nd7 20. f4 Nb6 21. Bc5 {King} Na4 22. Bd4 b6 {Svidler}) (19.
Nc2 e5 $1 {and Black is fine.} (19... Nd7 20. Nd4 a6 21. Ne6 {Mamedyarov}))
19... e6 20. d6 e5 21. Nd3 (21. f4 Be6 22. Nf3 Nd7 $1) 21... Ne8 22. Nxe5 Be6
23. Rd2 Bxd6 24. Rcd1 Bc7 25. Nd7 Nd6 26. Nf6+ Kg7 27. Nd5 Bxd5 28. Rxd5 Nc4
29. Bc5 a6 30. f4 Rxd5 31. Rxd5 Bb6 32. e5 ({Svidler was very much worried
about} 32. Bd4+ Bxd4+ 33. cxd4 {but Mamedyarov pointed out} Rc8 34. Rd7 Nb6 35.
Rxb7 Rc1+ {and Black might just survive, e.g.} 36. Kh2 Nc4 37. e5 Rc2 38. e6
Ne3 39. e7 Rxg2+ 40. Kh1 Re2) 32... Rc8 33. Bxb6 Nxb6 34. Rd6 Na4 35. Bxb7 Rxc3
36. Bxa6 Rxg3+ 37. Kh2 Ra3 38. Bxb5 Rxa2+ 39. Kg3 Nc5 40. Rd4 Ra3+ 41. Kg2 Ne6
1/2-1/2
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.25"]
[Round "4.3"]
[White "Navara, David"]
[Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D85"]
[WhiteElo "2741"]
[BlackElo "2779"]
[PlyCount "56"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 c5 8.
Be3 Qa5 9. Nd2 (9. Qd2 O-O 10. Rc1 Rd8 11. d5 e6 12. Bg5 f6 13. Be3 Nc6 {
Yu,Y (2759)-Svidler,P (2753) Shenzhen 2018}) 9... Bd7 10. Rb1 Ba4 11. Qxa4+
Qxa4 12. Bb5+ Qxb5 13. Rxb5 b6 14. dxc5 {MVL said he "forgot this is better
for White."} Nd7 (14... Bxc3 15. Ke2 Bxd2 16. Kxd2 Nd7 17. c6 Nf8 {Melkumyan,H
(2620)-Khalifman,A (2632) Moscow 2012}) 15. Ke2 Bxc3 {Navara thought for 43
minutes here because there's a big choice to make.} 16. Nb3 (16. c6 $1 {
was probably best:} Nf8 (16... Nf6 17. Nc4 O-O-O 18. f3) 17. Nf3 $5) (16. Rc1
$5) 16... O-O 17. c6 (17. Rc1 $5) 17... Nf6 18. Kd3 Bb2 19. Nd2 Rfd8+ 20. Kc4
Ba3 21. e5 Rac8 (21... Ng4 $5) 22. exf6 Rxc6+ 23. Kb3 Rd3+ 24. Ka4 Bd6 25. Rb3
Rd5 26. Rb5 Rd3 27. Rb3 Rd5 28. Rb5 Rd3 1/2-1/2
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.26"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C77"]
[WhiteElo "2842"]
[BlackElo "2801"]
[PlyCount "133"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. c3 d6 8. Bg5 (
8. Nbd2 O-O 9. Nf1 d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Ng3 f6 12. O-O Be6 {Caruana,F (2799)
-So,W (2788) London 2017}) 8... h6 9. Bh4 O-O 10. Nbd2 Be6 11. O-O Bb6 12. Re1
Bxb3 (12... Kh7 13. Bc2 Ne7 14. d4 Ng6 15. Bg3 Re8 16. Nf1 Nh5 {Grischuk,A
(2761)-Mamedyarov,S (2800) Paris 2017}) 13. Nxb3 Nb8 14. d4 Nbd7 15. a4 Re8 16.
Qc2 Qe7 17. h3 Rab8 18. axb5 axb5 19. Na5 Bxa5 20. Rxa5 c6 21. Ra7 Qe6 22. Rd1
Nf8 ({Not} 22... Ra8 $6 23. d5 cxd5 24. exd5 Nxd5 25. Rxd7 Qxd7 26. Rxd5) 23.
Rc7 Rec8 24. Rxc6 Rxc6 25. d5 Qc8 26. dxc6 Ne8 $1 (26... Qxc6 $2 27. Bxf6 gxf6
28. Nh4 {is horrible for Black.}) 27. Be7 $5 Qxc6 28. Nh4 Ng6 29. Nf5 Rb7 30.
Bxd6 Rd7 31. Ba3 Rxd1+ 32. Qxd1 Qxe4 33. Ne3 Nf6 34. g3 h5 35. h4 Qc6 36. Bb4
Kh7 37. b3 Qa8 38. c4 bxc4 39. bxc4 Qc6 40. Bd6 Kg8 41. c5 Qe4 42. Qf1 ({
Interesting, and perhaps the last chance for something tangible, was} 42. Be7
$5 Nxe7 43. Qd8+ Kh7 44. Qxe7 Kg6 45. Qd6) 42... Nd5 43. Nxd5 Qxd5 44. Qc1 f6
45. Qc2 e4 46. Kf1 Kf7 47. Qa4 Qd3+ 48. Kg1 Kg8 49. Qa2+ Kh7 50. Kh2 Qd1 51.
Qa3 Qd2 52. Qe3 Qd5 53. Qc1 Kg8 54. Kg1 Kf7 55. Qa1 Kg8 56. Qc1 Kf7 57. Qb1 Ne7
58. Bxe7 Kxe7 59. Qb6 Qd1+ 60. Kh2 Qd4 61. Qb7+ Ke6 62. Qc6+ Ke7 63. Kg2 e3 64.
Qb7+ Ke6 65. Qc8+ Kd5 66. fxe3 Qg4 67. Qd8+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.26"]
[Round "5.3"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Georgiadis, Nico"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A18"]
[WhiteElo "2779"]
[BlackElo "2526"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. e4 d5 4. e5 d4 5. exf6 dxc3 6. bxc3 Qxf6 7. Nf3 Nc6 8.
d4 e5 9. Be2 exd4 10. Bg5 Qg6 11. O-O Be7 ({According to Vachier-Lagrave} 11...
dxc3 {which happened in a recent game is more interesting, for example} 12. Bd3
Qd6 13. Re1+ Be7 {as in Dubov,D (2701)-Nakamura,H (2787) Moscow 2018. "But it
is a draw," added the Frenchman.}) 12. Bd3 {A novelty, which improves on an
earlier game.} ({After} 12. Bxe7 Nxe7 13. cxd4 O-O 14. Bd3 Qf6 15. Qc2 h6 16.
Rab1 {White also got a better position in Foglieni,M (2021) -Fantinel,T (2429)
Bratto 2016}) 12... Qd6 (12... Qh5 {"is too dangerous for Black" (MVL). The
French GM continued the line with} 13. Bxe7 Nxe7 14. Re1 {but was not exactly
sure what he would do after} dxc3 {Most likely it would be:} 15. Qa4+ (15. Rb1
$5) 15... Bd7 16. Qb4 Be6 17. Re5 Qh6 18. Qb5+ c6 19. Qxb7 {with strong
initiative.}) 13. Bxe7 Nxe7 ({White seriously considered the odd-looking} 13...
Kxe7 14. Re1+ Be6 {when} 15. c5 $1 {is strong:} Qxc5 16. cxd4 Nxd4 17. Rc1 {
For example} Nxf3+ 18. Qxf3 Qd6 19. Qxb7 Rhc8 20. Qe4 g6 21. Rc6 Qd7 22. Qb4+
Kf6 23. Qc3+ Ke7 24. Bb5 $1 {and White wins.}) 14. cxd4 O-O 15. Re1 {"This is
just slightly better for White, a very unpleasant position." (MVL)} b6 ({On}
15... Bf5 16. c5 Qd8 ({Not} 16... Qd7 $2 17. Rxe7) ({But Vachier-Lagrave
considered seriously the pawn sacrifice} 16... Qf6 17. Rxe7 ({Now} 17. Ne5 {
does not yield White much after} Rad8 18. Bc4 Ng6) 17... Bxd3 18. Rxc7 Be4 19.
Ne5 {White is a pawn up, but a strong bishop can sometimes compensate for it.}
({Georgiadis also calculated this line, but missed the little tactics} 19. d5
$2 Bxd5 {from afar.} 20. Qxd5 $4 Qxa1+)) 17. Bc4 {White preserves the
advantage.}) 16. c5 Qf6 (16... bxc5 {"is a more serious try" (MVL) when} 17.
dxc5 Qxc5 {Here} 18. Re5 {was the forcing line that Vachier-Lagrave considered
seriously, but at the end of it} ({Georgiades apparently wanted to avoid the
endgame after} 18. Rc1 Qd6 19. Bxh7+ Kxh7 20. Qxd6 cxd6 21. Rxe7 Kg6 {The less
pieces (and pawns) the higher the drawing chances in my opinion, but
apparently Black did not like to defend this.}) 18... Qd6 19. Be4 Ng6 20. Rb5
Qxd1+ 21. Rxd1 {The rook is trapped and} Ba6 22. Ra5 {is a double attack, but
Black has a defense:} Rad8 ({Or even} 22... Be2 23. Re1 Bxf3 24. Bxf3 Rae8 25.
Rxe8 Rxe8 26. g3 {although this is definitely big advantage for White thanks
to the better minor piece.})) 17. Be4 c6 {A blunder, although the alternative
wasn't much better.} ({If} 17... Rb8 18. Ne5 ({Or} 18. Qa4)) 18. cxb6 axb6 19.
Qb1 {The double attack nets White a pawn.} Bf5 20. Qxb6 Bxe4 21. Rxe4 Qd6 {
A good decision according to Vachier-Lagrave.} ({On} 21... Nd5 {White intended
to consolidate with} 22. Qc5 Rfb8 ({There is also the cute line} 22... Qg6 23.
Rae1 Rxa2 24. Qxf8+ Kxf8 25. Re8# {(MVL)}) 23. Qc2) 22. Qc5 Qxc5 23. dxc5 Nd5 {
Next White consolidates his position.} 24. a4 g6 25. g3 Rfb8 26. Rc4 Ra6 27.
Nd4 Rb2 28. Ra3 Kg7 29. Rd3 Ne7 (29... Nf6 {was mandatory according to White
when} 30. Rb3 Ra2 31. Rb7 R2xa4 {loses to} (31... Kg8 {is not completely clear.
}) 32. Rxa4 Rxa4 33. Ne6+ {(MVL)}) 30. Nf3 Nd5 ({If} 30... Ra2 31. Rd7) ({
However} 30... Ra7 {was a decent defensive try when} 31. Ne5 Ra2 32. Rd6 ({
Therefore White needs to play for a win with something like} 32. Rdd4) 32...
R2xa4 33. Rxa4 Rxa4 34. Nxc6 Nxc6 35. Rxc6 {should be a draw.}) 31. Ne5 Rb4 ({
Here} 31... Nf6 {is met with} 32. Rd6) 32. Rxb4 Nxb4 33. Rd7 Kg8 ({If} 33...
Kf6 34. Nxf7 Rxa4 35. Nd8 {an White gets closer.}) 34. Nxf7 Ra5 ({White should
also win after} 34... Rxa4 35. Ng5 h6 36. Nf7 h5 37. Ng5 Ra1+ 38. Kg2 Rc1 39.
Ne6) 35. Ng5 Rxc5 $2 {This hangs a rook but the position was lost anyway.} (
35... Rxa4 36. Rxh7 {also wins.}) 36. Rd8+ Kg7 37. Ne6+ 1-0
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.27"]
[Round "6.2"]
[White "Georgiadis, Nico"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B92"]
[WhiteElo "2526"]
[BlackElo "2801"]
[PlyCount "78"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Be3
Be6 9. Nd5 Nbd7 10. Qd3 Bxd5 11. exd5 Rc8 12. c4 O-O 13. O-O Ne8 14. Qd2 (14.
f3 g6 15. Kh1 Ng7 16. Bg1 Bg5 17. Rad1 h5 18. Nd2 f5 {Karjakin,S (2782)
-Grischuk,A (2766) Paris 2018}) 14... b6 15. Rac1 a5 16. Na1 f5 (16... g6 17.
b4 Ng7 18. bxa5 bxa5 19. Bd3 Nc5 20. Bc2 a4 {Carlsen,M (2853)-Grischuk,A (2771)
Saint Louis 2015}) 17. f3 (17. f4 $5) 17... f4 18. Bf2 Bh4 19. Bd3 Bxf2+ 20.
Qxf2 Nc5 21. Bc2 g6 $5 {"If I play ...g6, I can always play ...g5. If I play ..
.g5, I can never play ...g6 anymore." (Mamedyarov)} (21... g5 22. Nb3 Nxb3 23.
Bxb3 Ng7 24. Bc2 {was what Georgiadis was hoping for.}) 22. Rfe1 Ng7 23. Be4
Qd7 24. Nc2 Nf5 25. b3 Kh8 26. Rb1 Ng7 ({Mamedyarov wasn't sure of} 26... g5
27. a3 Rg8 28. b4 axb4 29. axb4 Nxe4 30. fxe4 (30. Rxe4) 30... Nh4 31. Qxb6 g4
32. c5 g3 {but Georgadis was completely right when he said: "This looks like
mate."}) 27. Na3 Nf5 28. Nb5 Rf6 (28... Ne3 29. Rxe3 fxe3 30. Qxe3 {and White
is OK (Mamedyarov).}) 29. a3 g5 30. Nc3 $2 ({White had to take here:} 30. Bxf5
Qxf5 (30... Rxf5) 31. b4 axb4 32. axb4 Nd3 {and now the point missed by
Georgiadis:} 33. Qc2 $1 Nxe1 34. Qxf5 Rxf5 35. Nxd6 {Mamedyarov}) 30... Nd4 31.
b4 axb4 32. Rxb4 g4 33. Qh4 ({After} 33. Rxb6 {Black has many strong moves, e.
g.} g3 (33... Rg8) (33... gxf3)) 33... Nxe4 34. Nxe4 Rg6 35. fxg4 Nc2 36. Rxb6
Nxe1 37. Nf6 Qg7 38. Rxd6 Rh6 39. Qxe1 Rxf6 0-1
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.27"]
[Round "6.1"]
[White "Navara, David"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D41"]
[WhiteElo "2741"]
[BlackElo "2842"]
[PlyCount "89"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 c5 {Navara said he was a bit surprised
about this.} 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 cxd4 8. cxd4 Bb4+ 9. Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.
Qxd2 O-O 11. Rc1 b6 12. Bd3 Ba6 {Here Navara was "out of book." "I remembered
this was supposed to be the best here." (Carlsen)} 13. Bxa6 (13. O-O Bxd3 14.
Qxd3 Nd7 15. e5 Re8 16. Rc3 Nf8 {Li,C (2725)-Wei,Y (2734) Ningbo 2018}) 13...
Nxa6 14. O-O Rc8 (14... Qe7 15. Qe2 Qb7 16. Ne5 Rac8 17. h4 Nb8 18. Nc4 Qa6 19.
Rc2 Nd7 {So,W (2788)-Dominguez Perez,L (2739) Saint Louis 2017}) 15. Rxc8 (15.
h4 $5 Qd6 (15... h6 $5)) 15... Qxc8 16. Rc1 Qb7 17. Qc2 Nb4 {Navara was
surprised that this move "worked."} 18. Qc4 a5 19. a3 b5 20. Qc7 Qxc7 21. Rxc7
Nd3 22. g3 (22. Rc3 Nf4 {and}) (22. d5 exd5 23. exd5 Rd8 24. Nd4 g6 {are equal.
}) 22... Rb8 {Navara expected it to finish in a draw but then got surprised
about this move.} (22... f5 23. Ng5 b4 24. axb4 axb4 {is equal.}) (22... Ra8 $6
23. Kf1 b4 (23... a4 24. Ke2 Nb2 25. Nd2) 24. Ke2 Nb2 25. axb4 axb4 26. Rb7) (
22... h6 23. Rc3 Nb2 24. Rb3 Nc4 25. Rxb5 Ra8 26. Rb3 a4 27. Rc3 Nd6 {might
also be possible.}) 23. Rc3 {"A winning attempt." (Navara)} (23. d5 exd5 24.
exd5 g6) 23... Nb2 24. Ne5 f6 $1 {With this move Carlsen calculated more or
less everything that follows.} (24... Nc4 $6 25. Nxc4 Rc8 26. Kf1 bxc4 27. Ke2
Kf8 28. Kd2) 25. Nc6 Ra8 26. Rb3 Nc4 27. Rxb5 a4 28. d5 exd5 29. exd5 Nxa3 30.
Rc5 (30. Rb4 Nc2 31. Rb2 a3 ({not} 31... Na3 $2 32. d6 Nc4 33. d7 Nxb2 34. Ne7+
Kf7 35. Nc8) 32. Ra2 Ra6 33. Kf1 Kf7 {is also a draw.}) 30... Kf7 31. Nd4 Ke7 (
{Navara had seen} 31... Ra7 32. d6 Ke8 33. Rc7 Rxc7 34. dxc7 Kd7 35. Ne6 {
followed by 36.Nc5+.}) 32. Rc3 Nb1 33. Rc7+ Kd6 34. Nb5+ Kxd5 (34... Ke5 35.
f4+ (35. Re7+ Kxd5 36. Re1 Nd2 37. Nc7+ Kd6 38. Nxa8 Nf3+ 39. Kf1 Nxe1 40. Nb6)
35... Ke4 36. d6 a3 37. Re7+ Kd5 38. d7 a2 39. Re8 a1=Q 40. Rxa8 Qxa8 41. Nc7+
Kc6 42. Nxa8 Kxd7 43. Nb6+ {Navara}) 35. Rc1 a3 36. Rxb1 a2 37. Nc3+ Kd4 38.
Nxa2 ({Carlsen pointed out a line another drawing that Navara hadn't seen:} 38.
Ne2+ Kd3 39. Nc1+ Kc2 40. Ra1 Kb2 41. Rxa2+ Rxa2 42. Nxa2 Kxa2 43. Kg2 Kb3 44.
Kf3 Kc4 45. Ke4 Kc5) 38... Rxa2 39. Rb7 Ke4 40. Kg2 g5 41. Rxh7 Kf5 42. Rg7 g4
43. Rh7 Kg6 44. Rh4 f5 45. h3 1/2-1/2
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.27"]
[Round "6.3"]
[White "Svidler, Peter"]
[Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A34"]
[WhiteElo "2753"]
[BlackElo "2779"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "62"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nb4 6. Bc4 Nd3+ 7. Ke2 Nf4+ 8.
Kf1 Ne6 9. d3 ({Both games in Georgia went} 9. h4 {One of them was decisive
for the match and continued} Nd4 10. d3 e6 11. Bf4 a6 12. Nxd4 cxd4 13. Ne2 Nc6
14. a3 Bd6 15. Bxd6 Qxd6 16. Qd2 Bd7 17. f4 e5 18. f5 g6 {as was annotated
here on Chess. com; Svidler,P (2751)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2804) Tbilisi 2017})
9... Nc6 ({According to Svidler there is nothing wrong with} 9... g6 10. h4 h5
{The Russian GM in fact was astonished that his opponent never used the idea
in none of their three games.}) 10. h4 g6 11. h5 ({A predecessor saw:} 11. Be3
Ned4 12. Nd5 Bg7 13. Nxd4 Bxd4 14. h5 Bxe3 15. Nxe3 g5 {Krassowizkij,J (2452)
-Clitan,Z (2115) Ditzingen 2017}) 11... Bg7 12. Be3 ({In the press conference
players briefly discusses another way to improve, the clever} 12. Qd2 $1 {
The idea is to trade everything along the h-file and sneak into the black camp
via the h6 square. After} Ne5 ({Perhaps Black needs to proceed with the
development with} 12... Bd7 13. hxg6 {and agree to worsen his pawn structure}
fxg6 ({As} 13... hxg6 $6 14. Rxh8+ Bxh8 15. Qh6 Bg7 16. Qh7 {is excellent for
the first player.})) 13. Nxe5 ({Or the immediate} 13. hxg6) 13... Bxe5 14. hxg6
hxg6 15. Rxh8+ Bxh8 16. Qh6 Bg7 17. Qh7 {the plan is fulfilled and White is
definitely better.}) ({White avoided the natural-looking} 12. h6 Bd4 13. Nxd4
Nexd4 {"which only developes the black pieces" (Svidler)}) ({Also interesting
was} 12. Nd5 $5 Ned4 13. h6 Be5 14. Nxe5 Nxe5 15. Bf4 {which they both liked a
lot for White, although things might not be that clear after} f6) 12... Ned4
13. h6 ({Nothing yields} 13. Nb5 Nxf3 14. Qxf3 Ne5) 13... Bf6 14. Nd5 Bg4 15.
Nxf6+ exf6 16. Bxd4 Nxd4 ({Both players saw the tricky:} 16... Bxf3 17. Bxf7+
$1 Kxf7 18. Qb3+ Ke8 {when Vachier-Lagrave believed that best is:} 19. Qe6+ $1
({Whereas Svidler was tempted by} 19. Bxc5 Bg4 20. Qxb7 Bd7 {although it seems
as Black can hold his position together in this line.}) 19... Qe7 20. Qxe7+
Nxe7 21. Bxf6 Rf8 22. Bxe7 Kxe7 23. gxf3 Rxf3 {with winning chances for White.}
) 17. Qa4+ Qd7 ({Black did not want to play the position after} 17... Bd7 18.
Qa3 Qe7 ({Although MVL was seriously investigating the line} 18... b5 19. Bd5
$1 (19. Nxd4 bxc4 {seems to work well for Black.}) 19... b4 20. Qa6 Bb5 {
Hoping to trap the white queen. Unfortunately for him} 21. Qb7 {creates a
double threat and} Bxd3+ {can be met with the key move} 22. Ke1 $1 {Prevents
the trade of the queens and wins material for White after say} ({Worse is} 22.
Kg1 Ne2+ 23. Kh2 Qb8+ {and Black saves everything.}) 22... O-O 23. Nxd4 cxd4
24. Qxa8 {and White should win.}) 19. Nxd4 cxd4 20. Qb3 {With the queens on,
White should be better.}) ({Svidler expected} 17... Ke7 18. Nxd4 Qxd4 19. Qb3 {
but Vachier-Lagrave calculated that he will lose a pawn after} Rab8 ({It seems
as Svidler's intuition was correct though as Black has the strong resource}
19... b5 $1 {When White cannot capture anything:} 20. Bxf7 $2 {drops a piece to
} (20. Qxb5 $2 {leads to decisive attack for Black after} Rhb8 21. Qc6 Rxb2) ({
And} 20. Bxb5 a6 21. Bc4 Rhb8 22. Qc3 Rxb2 23. Qxd4 cxd4 {regains the pawn
with advantage for Black.}) ({Best would be} 20. Bd5 Be6 21. Bxe6 fxe6 {
with equality as} 22. Qxb5 $2 Rhb8 {does not work again.}) 20... c4) 20. Bxf7
Rhd8 21. Bd5 {and dismissed the line.}) 18. Qxd7+ Bxd7 19. Nxd4 cxd4 20. e5 ({
Correct was} 20. Ke2 Ke7 21. Rhc1 Rhc8 22. Bd5 (22. a4 f5) 22... Be6 {(MVL,
Svidler) with a likely draw.}) 20... fxe5 21. Re1 f6 22. f4 Rf8 23. Kg1 Ke7 24.
fxe5 f5 25. Rh4 f4 ({White was hoping to torture his opponent in the line:}
25... Be6 26. Bxe6 Kxe6 27. Rxd4 Rfd8) 26. Re4 g5 27. Rh5 (27. Rh1 Rf5 28. Kf2
Bc6 {is clearly better for Black.}) 27... Rf5 {Missed by Svidler. Now he
thought for about twenty minutes in order to repair the damage. However...} 28.
g4 ({Perhaps White should have tried} 28. Rxd4 Rxe5 29. Rd5 Rxd5 30. Bxd5 Kf6
31. Bxb7 Rb8 32. Be4 Bf5 {although Black's edge is indisputable here.}) 28...
fxg3 29. Rg4 Raf8 30. Rhxg5 {Svidler realized that he had missed something
else, a mate...} ({From afar the Russian GM thought that he forces a draw with
} 30. Rgxg5 Rf1+ 31. Kg2 {but spotted at the last moment that} R1f2+ $1 {
is a forced mate-} 32. Kxg3 (32. Kg1 Bc6 $1 33. Rxg3 Rf1+ 34. Kh2 Rh1#) 32...
R8f3+ 33. Kh4 Rh3#) ({Neither does} 30. Rxg3 {help after} Bc6 31. Rgxg5 Rf1+
32. Kh2 R8f2+ 33. Kg3 ({Or} 33. Kh3 Rh1+ 34. Kg3 Rg2+ 35. Kf4 Rf1#) 33... Rg2+
34. Kh4 Rh1#) 30... Rf1+ 31. Kg2 Bc6+ (31... Bc6+ {White resigned due to} 32.
Kxg3 Rg1+ (32... R8f3+ {would also do as White needs to part with the rook in
order to avoid mate:} 33. Kh2 R3f2+ 34. Kh3 (34. Rg2) 34... Rh1+ 35. Kg3 Rg2+
36. Kf4 Rf1#) 33. Kh2 Rh1+ 34. Kg3 Rf3+ 35. Kg2 Rxd3+ 36. Kf2 {And now the
rook returns to f3 with the following maneuver:} Rd2+ 37. Kg3 Rg2+ 38. Kf4 Rf2+
39. Kg3 Rf3+ {to win the bishop as well.} 40. Kg2 Rc3+) 0-1
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.29"]
[Round "7.2"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B90"]
[WhiteElo "2842"]
[BlackElo "2779"]
[PlyCount "97"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. f3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. Be3
h5 9. Qd2 Nbd7 10. Nd5 Bxd5 11. exd5 g6 12. Be2 (12. O-O-O Nb6 13. Kb1 Nbxd5
14. Bg5 Be7 15. Bd3 Rc8 16. Rhe1 O-O 17. h3 b5 18. g4 h4 19. Bxh4 Nf4 {Vidit,S
(2707)-Korobov,A (2678) Poikovsky 2018}) 12... Bg7 13. O-O a5 $5 {"I tried a
little experiment in the opening that was a little dubious but gave plenty of
play." (MVL)} 14. a4 O-O 15. Bb5 (15. Nc1 Nc5 16. c3 Qc7 17. Rd1 Kh7 18. Ra2
Ng8 19. Bb5 e4 20. f4 Ne7 {Palekha,A (2421)-Kovchan,A (2536) Serpukhov 2003})
15... Qc7 16. c4 b6 17. h3 Nc5 18. Nxc5 bxc5 19. Ra3 Nh7 20. Rb3 f5 21. Bc6 ({
In hindsight, Carlsen suggested} 21. Qe1) 21... Rab8 {"I think this was a
miscalculation but still it's not so simple." (Carlsen)} (21... Ra7 22. Qe1 {
was "terrible" according to MVL.}) 22. Rb5 f4 23. Bf2 e4 24. Qc2 $1 {Missed by
MVL. "I was counting on that from far away and I was very optimistic about my
chances for sure." (Carlsen)} Qe7 (24... e3 25. Be1 {attacks a5 and g6.}) 25.
Qxe4 Qxe4 26. fxe4 Ng5 27. Re1 Nf7 28. Rb1 Ng5 29. Rxa5 $2 {"Basically I just
missed that the d3-square existed, which is pretty unforgivable." (Carlsen)} (
29. Bh4 $6 Nxe4 30. Be7 f3 {MVL}) (29. Be1 f3 $5 30. h4 Bd4+ 31. Kf1 Nxe4 32.
Rxb8 fxg2+ 33. Kxg2 Rxb8 34. Bxa5 Rb3 {and Black is OK. "Long variation, wrong
variation," - Carlsen.}) 29... Rb3 30. Rb5 Rd3 {"Here I was terrified. It's
coming apart." (Carlsen)} 31. Re1 ({Carlsen really wanted to play} 31. b4 Nxe4
32. bxc5 {but he thought} Rd2 {was very strong. However, it's not completely
clear after} 33. cxd6 Rxf2 34. Re1 Rxg2+ 35. Kxg2 f3+ 36. Kh1 Ng3+ 37. Kh2 f2
38. Rbb1) 31... f3 (31... Bd4 {is also interesting (MVL).}) 32. h4 Nf7 ({
Engines point out that} 32... Rd2 $3 {was a winning move here, and MVL did
consider it. However, after} 33. hxg5 fxg2 34. Be3 {it's very hard for humans
to find the quiet} Rc2 $3 {when Black wins beautifully. As soon as he was told
Rc2 is the winning move, MVL saw why:} ({MVL looked at} 34... Bd4 {but the
simple} 35. Rb3 {just wins}) 35. Bd7 (35. Ra5 Rf3 $1) 35... Be5 $1 36. Bh3 Rf1+
37. Rxf1 Bh2+ $1 38. Kxh2 gxf1=Q+ {Amazing stuff.}) 33. a5 Ne5 34. a6 Rd2 35.
a7 fxg2 (35... Rxf2 36. Kxf2 Ng4+ 37. Kf1 Nh2+ 38. Kf2 Ng4+ {is just a draw.})
36. a8=Q ({Also interesting was} 36. Rb8 Nf3+ 37. Kxg2 Nxe1+ 38. Kf1 Rdxf2+ 39.
Kxe1 Kh7 $1 40. Rxf8 Rxf8 41. a8=Q Rxa8 42. Bxa8 {but Carlsen felt his bishop
was "so terrible" that this could well be lost for White, although a
study-like draw might still exist after} Bf6 43. e5 Bxh4+ 44. Ke2 Be7 45. b4 (
45. e6 g5 46. Kf3 Kg6) 45... dxe5 46. bxc5 Bxc5) 36... Nf3+ 37. Kxg2 Nxe1+ 38.
Kf1 Rdxf2+ 39. Kxe1 Rxa8 40. Kxf2 Rf8+ 41. Ke2 Rf4 42. b4 cxb4 (42... Rxe4+ 43.
Kf3 Rxc4 44. bxc5 {is an obvious draw (MVL).}) 43. c5 Be5 44. cxd6 Bxd6 45. Kd3
Kf7 46. Rb6 Bc5 ({"I'm not really in danger after} 46... Rxh4 {" - MVL. "But
you're not really in danger of winning either!" - Carlsen.}) 47. Rb5 Bd6 48.
Rb6 Bc5 49. Rb5 1/2-1/2
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.29"]
[Round "7.3"]
[White "Georgiadis, Nico"]
[Black "Svidler, Peter"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B90"]
[WhiteElo "2526"]
[BlackElo "2753"]
[PlyCount "56"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6 {Svidler spent
eight minutes on this move...} 7. g4 h6 8. h4 e5 {...and 18 minutes on this
one. Svidler said that when this line in fashion and he played it as White, he
tried all kinds of moves but not h4.} ({He also looked at} 8... d5 {quite
deeply.}) 9. Nf5 g6 (9... Nc6 10. Bc4 Be6 11. Bb3 h5 12. gxh5 Bxf5 13. exf5 Qd7
{Kobalia,M (2677)-Inarkiev,E (2707) Konya 2012}) 10. Nxh6 (10. Bg2 d5) 10...
Bxh6 11. Bxh6 (11. g5 Ng4 12. gxh6 (12. Bc1 Qb6 {was what Svidler had
calculated.}) 12... Nxe3 13. fxe3 Rxh6 14. Qf3 Be6 15. O-O-O Nc6 16. h5 Qg5 {
Kurmann,O (2456)-Fier,A (2573) Basel 2013}) 11... Bxg4 12. f3 ({Svidler
expected} 12. Qd2 Nc6 13. Bg5 Nd4 14. Bg2 Bf3 15. Kf1 {and now} Qd7 ({not
Svidler's} 15... Qc8 16. Bxf3 Nxf3 17. Qxd6) 16. Bxf6 Bxg2+ 17. Kxg2 Qg4+ 18.
Kf1 Qf3 19. Rh2 Qxf6 20. Nd5 Qd8 {is equal.}) 12... Bxf3 13. Qxf3 Rxh6 14.
O-O-O (14. Bc4 Nbd7 15. O-O-O) 14... Nc6 15. Bxa6 (15. Qf2 Nd4 16. Bh3 Nh5 17.
Nd5 Ng3 18. Rhf1 Nxf1 19. Rxf1 f5 {Boemelburg,H-Kosmol,H Germany 1996}) ({
Svidler thought} 15. Bc4 Nd4 (15... Rc8 $5) 16. Rxd4 exd4 17. e5 {was strong
but after} dxc3 (17... dxe5 18. Ne4 g5 19. Rf1 $1) 18. exf6 {he might have
missed} Rh5 $1 19. Qxb7 d5 20. Bd3 Rb8 21. Qc6+ Kf8 22. Qxc3 Rb6 {and it's not
clear if White has enough compensation.}) 15... Rxa6 16. Rhf1 ({Georgiadis
suggested} 16. Rdf1 {but Svidler had spotted} Nb4 $3 {during the game:} 17. a3
d5 18. axb4 dxe4 19. Qe3 Ra1+ 20. Nb1 Rh5) 16... Nd4 17. Rxd4 (17. Qxf6 Qxf6
18. Rxf6 {is good for Black but he should avoid} Rxh4 $6 (18... Ne6 $1 {
Georgiadis.}) 19. Rdf1 Rh7 20. Nd5 Rxa2 21. Kb1 Ra5 22. Rxd6 Rh2 23. Nc7+ Ke7
24. Rdf6) 17... exd4 18. Nd5 Rxa2 $1 19. Nxf6+ Kf8 20. Kb1 Ra5 ({The engine
says} 20... Ra7 {is more accurate.}) 21. Qf4 Kg7 22. b4 Rb5 23. Nd5 (23. Kc1 $5
) 23... f5 $1 {Now everything works for Black.} 24. exf5 Rxd5 25. f6+ Kh7 26.
Qe4 Rhh5 27. Qe6 Qf8 28. Qd7+ Kh6 0-1
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.29"]
[Round "7.1"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Navara, David"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E10"]
[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2741"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "135"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. e3 c5 5. Nc3 a6 6. cxd5 exd5 7. Be2 Nc6 8. O-O
cxd4 9. Nxd4 Bd6 ({Navara did not like} 9... Bc5 10. Nxc6 bxc6 11. Qa4) 10. b3
({Instead} 10. Nf3 O-O 11. b3 Be6 12. Bb2 Qe7 13. Qd3 Rfd8 14. Rac1 Ne5 15. Qd4
{was the course of the game Grigoriants,S (2563)-Matlakov,M (2694) Tallinn 2016
}) 10... Be5 11. Nxc6 {A novelty.} (11. Ba3 Nxd4 12. exd4 Bd6 13. Bxd6 Qxd6 14.
Bf3 {Biljanic,L (2322)-Todorovic, N (2100) Nis 2013}) 11... bxc6 12. Bb2 h5 ({
Black can also play something normal like} 12... O-O) ({or} 12... Bf5 {with a
typical, slightly better position for White thanks to the isolated pair of
pawns on c6 and d5.}) 13. f4 $1 Bb8 ({From afar Navara calculated the line}
13... Bd6 14. Na4 Ng4 15. Qd4 ({but then he saw both} 15. Qc1 $1) ({and} 15.
Qc2 $1 {which are very unpleasant for Black to say the least.}) 15... Qh4 16.
h3 Qg3 17. hxg4 hxg4 18. Qxg7 Rh2 {The Czech GM thought that at least he is
not losing here. Indeed,} 19. Qg8+ $2 {would be mate to the white king after} (
{However White can fight for the advantage with the only move:} 19. Rf2 Qh4 20.
Qh8+ Qxh8 21. Bxh8 Rxh8) 19... Bf8 20. Bf3 Qh4) 14. Na4 Ba7 15. Bd4 {Now
Mamedyarov fixes the isolated pawns and also his advantage.} Bg4 16. Bxg4 hxg4
17. Rc1 Qd6 18. Qc2 (18. Nc5 $5 {was also interesting.}) 18... Bxd4 19. exd4
O-O {The best way to part with the pawn.} ({On} 19... Rc8 20. Rfe1+ Ne4 {
White has the tactical resource} 21. Nb6 Rc7 22. Nxd5 $1) 20. Qxc6 Qa3 21. Qc2
Rac8 22. Qb2 Qxb2 23. Nxb2 {Navara believed that he has enough compensation
for a pawn here but this is hardly the case.} Rxc1 ({The Czech GM suggested
instead:} 23... Rfe8 {when something passive like} 24. Rxc8 ({However} 24. Nd3
{makes things much harder for Black and in order to stay in the game he has to
find some non-trivial resources:} Rxc1 25. Rxc1 Re2 26. Nb4 a5 27. Rc2 Re1+ 28.
Kf2 g3+ $1 29. hxg3 ({Of course not} 29. Kxe1 $4 gxh2) 29... Re4 30. Nd3 Ng4+ {
although White's chances are superior here as well.}) 24... Rxc8 25. Nd3 Rc3
26. Rd1 a5 {would indeed promise Black compensation.}) 24. Rxc1 Re8 25. Kf1 $1
{Missed by Black. Mamedyarov sacrifices the pawn back but increases the
activity of his pieces and maintains the better pawn structure. His queenside
potential passers are particularly dangerous.} ({He was probably hoping for
either} 25. Na4 Re2) ({or} 25. Rc2 g3 $1 26. hxg3 Ng4 27. Nd3 Re4 {when things
are not clear at all.}) 25... Re4 26. g3 Rxd4 27. Ke2 g5 ({Navara regretted
that he did not do this a move later:} 27... Re4+ 28. Kd3 g5 29. fxg5 Nd7 {
when Nd7-e5 comes with a tempo.}) 28. fxg5 ({Back was also worried about} 28.
Rc6 {but hoped he can survive after the tactical line:} Ne4 29. Nd3 gxf4 30.
gxf4 g3 31. hxg3 Nxg3+ {"when I do not lose material at once" (Navara). If} 32.
Ke3 ({Best is} 32. Kd2 Kg7 {when Navara foresaw the trick:} 33. Rxa6 $2 ({
However} 33. b4 $1 {preserves White's winning chances.}) 33... Ne4+ 34. Ke3
Rxd3+ 35. Kxd3 Nc5+ 36. Kd4 Nxa6 37. a4 {with a draw.}) 32... Re4+) 28... Ne4
29. Nd3 Nxg5 30. Nf2 $1 {Also missed by Navara. The knight is working
perfectly from here.} Rb4 31. Rc5 ({Here stronger was:} 31. Rc6 $1 {when Black
cannot save all his pawns:} Ne4 ({Or} 31... a5 32. Ra6 Rb5 33. Nxg4) 32. Rxa6
Nxf2 33. Kxf2 {in comparison to the game White is a valuable tempo ahead.})
31... Ne4 {The best chance is the rook endgame. Very often the weaker side can
save themselves down a pawn or even two.} 32. Ra5 Nxf2 33. Kxf2 Rb6 34. Rxd5
Rh6 35. Ke3 $1 {Excellent decision. Rook endgames are never won with passive
play.} ({After} 35. Kg2 Rc6 36. Rd2 Rc3 {(Navara) Black should indeed survive.}
) 35... Rxh2 36. Ra5 f5 37. Rxa6 Rg2 38. Kf4 Rf2+ 39. Kg5 Rf3 40. Kh4 $1 {
Keeping the things together on the kingside and gaining time to advance the
passers on the other wing. With careful play White should win now.} Kf7 41. b4
Ke7 42. b5 Kd7 43. Ra7+ Kd6 44. Rf7 Rf2 45. b6 Rxa2 46. Rxf5 Rb2 47. Rh5 ({
Mamedyarov could have won faster with the simple} 47. Kxg4 Ke7 48. Kh5 Rxb6 49.
g4 Rb8 50. g5 {(Navara). The pawn has passed the equator and the frontal
defense does not work:} Rh8+ 51. Kg6 Rg8+ 52. Kh6 Rh8+ 53. Kg7) 47... Rb4 48.
Rh8 Ke5 49. Rb8 Kf6 50. Kh5 Kg7 51. Kg5 {White is winning here as well (unless
the tablebase will prove me wrong), but he has to be careful for some things.
In particular, he should never push his pawn to the seventh rank as then even
if he wins the g-pawn it will be a theoretical draw.} Kf7 52. Rb7+ Ke8 53. Kh4
Kf8 54. Kh5 Ke8 55. Rb8+ Kf7 56. Kg5 Kg7 57. Rb7+ Kf8 58. Kf6 Ke8 59. Rb8+ ({
Easier would have been} 59. Re7+ Kf8 (59... Kd8 60. b7) 60. Rf7+ Kg8 61. Rb7
Rb3 62. Kg6 Kf8 63. Rf7+ Ke8 64. b7 {When Black cannot avoid the rook trade
after:} Rb6+ 65. Kg7 Kd8 66. b8=Q+ Rxb8 67. Rf8+ Kc7 68. Rxb8 Kxb8 69. Kf6)
59... Kd7 60. Kg5 Kc6 61. Kh5 Re4 62. Rg8 Kxb6 63. Rxg4 Re3 64. Rg7 Kc6 65. g4
Kd6 66. g5 Ke6 67. Kg6 Rg3 68. Ra7 1-0
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.30"]
[Round "8.3"]
[White "Navara, David"]
[Black "Georgiadis, Nico"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E52"]
[WhiteElo "2741"]
[BlackElo "2526"]
[Annotator "Hess, R"]
[PlyCount "102"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 Nf6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Bd3 b6 7. O-O Bb7 8. cxd5
exd5 9. Ne5 (9. a3 Bd6 10. b4 a6 11. Qb3 Qe7 {is another popular variation.})
9... Nbd7 10. f4 c5 {Georgiadis has experience in this line, having played it
against former 2700+ GM Igor Kovalenko. The result (a loss) had nothing to do
with the opening, which in fact secured him quite a decent position.} 11. Ne2 {
Navara deviates from that game.} (11. Bd2 Ne4 12. Rc1 Rc8 13. Be1 Nxe5 14. dxe5
Bxc3 15. bxc3 f5 16. Qh5 Qd7 17. Rd1 Qe6 18. Qe2 Rcd8 {Kovalenko,I (2702)
-Georgiadis,N (2485) Riga 2015}) 11... cxd4 ({English legend Michael Adams
obtained a better position, before eventually losing, against Fabiano Caruana:
} 11... c4 12. Bf5 g6 13. Qa4 gxf5 14. Qxb4 Ne4 15. a4 f6 16. Nf3 Nb8 17. Qe1
Nc6 18. Bd2 Kh8 {Caruana,F (2787)-Adams,M (2744) Wijk aan Zee 2016}) 12. exd4
Bd6 13. Ng3 Ne4 (13... g6 {is sensible, preventing the knight from hopping to
f5. But at what cost? Georgiadis clearly did not want to weaken his dark
squares and welcome an eventual f4-f5 push.}) 14. Nf5 Ndf6 15. Qf3 {Novelty.} (
15. g4 Bc8 16. Ne3 Bxe5 17. fxe5 Ne8 18. Qf3 Bb7 19. b3 Ng5 20. Qg2 f6 21. Nf5
Qd7 22. Bxg5 fxg5 23. e6 Qc7 24. Rac1 {1-0 (24) Vaisser,A (2540) -Hohler,P
(2218) Kamena Vourla 2012}) 15... Bc7 (15... Bc8 {gives White the two bishops,
but it saves precious time. White is probably best off playing} 16. Ne3 {
when Black is happy to return his bishop to b7, since the bishop on c1 no
longer can develop.}) 16. Be3 Nd6 17. Rac1 Nfe4 (17... Nxf5 $6 {plays into
White's hands.} 18. Bxf5 Ne4 19. Qh3 {is scary for Black, who has to consider
sacrifices at every turn. For example} g6 (19... h6 20. Ng4 {with the threat
of Nxh6} Bc8 21. Bxe4 Bxg4 (21... dxe4 22. f5 f6 23. Nxh6+ gxh6 24. Qg4+ Kh8
25. Qh5 {with a crushing attack.}) 22. Qxg4 dxe4 23. f5 Qd6 24. f6 Qxh2+ (24...
g6 25. Qh4 h5 26. g4 {is straightforward.}) 25. Kf2 g6 26. Rh1 Qd6 27. Rxc7 $1
{distracting the queen and leading to a very direct checkmate down the h-file.}
) 20. Nxf7 $1 Rxf7 21. Be6 Qe7 22. f5 {sees White crashing through.}) 18. Nxd6
{Black breathes a sigh of relief, as his position immediately becomes far more
stable.} (18. Nxg7 $1 Kxg7 19. f5 {deserves serious attention [Navara did look
at it - PD], though without a clear knockout blow such a sacrifice is risky.
Some crazy lines have engine backing.} f6 (19... Nf6 20. Qg3+ Kh8 21. Bg5 {
is simple. The queen is overloaded and White's attack is overwhelming.}) 20.
Qh3 fxe5 (20... Kg8 21. Bh6 Qe7 22. Rf4 Nf7 23. Rxe4 dxe4 24. Bc4) 21. Bh6+ Kh8
22. Bxf8 {should be better for White, who has rook and pawn (and attack) for
two minors. Essential to so many lines is that the bishop on c7 lacks
protection.}) 18... Bxd6 19. f5 Rc8 20. Rce1 f6 21. Ng6 {This move has more
bark than bite, since Black can ignore it.} Re8 (21... hxg6 $2 22. fxg6 Re8 23.
Qh5 {may not lead to mate, but the attack rages on with White winning the no
less than the g7 and f6 pawns.}) 22. Nf4 Bxf4 23. Bxf4 Qd7 24. Qd1 {No longer
dictating the action, Navara opts for a tactical sequence to defend his
overextended f5 pawn.} (24. Be3 Bc6 {with the idea of trading bishops on b5 is
strong. Black would love nothing more than to have a strong knight versus a
relatively weak bishop ending.} (24... Qa4) 25. Qe2 Re7 {with doubling to
follow.}) 24... Qxf5 25. Bb8 Qe6 ({If Georgiadis wanted to secure an advantage
without any risk, he could have played} 25... Qd7 26. Bxa7 Bc6 27. Bxb6 Rb8 28.
Bc5 Rxb2 {The main reason Black would refrain from playing this sequence: the
upside does not appear as high as the game continuation, where that bishop is
trapped.}) 26. Bxa7 Ra8 27. Qb3 Qf7 (27... Rxa7 $2 28. Rxe4 $1 dxe4 29. Bc4 {
nets White a queen for a rook and bishop.}) 28. Qxb6 Re6 29. Qa5 Bc6 30. Rxe4
$6 (30. Bxe4 {saves the bishop, but White goes down no less than a pawn.} dxe4
31. d5 Re5 32. Qb6 Bxd5 33. Bb8 Re6 34. Qd4 Qb7 {and a2 falls.}) 30... dxe4 31.
Bc4 Rxa7 32. Qc5 Rc7 (32... Rd7 {was a winning move, with fantastic geometry
allowing Georgiadis to bring home the full point.} 33. d5 Qh5 $1) 33. Rc1 e3
34. b4 $2 (34. d5 {saved Navara, who would restore material equality by force.}
Bxd5 35. Qxd5 Kh8 36. Re1 Rxc4 37. Qxc4) 34... e2 35. Re1 Kh8 {A completely
understandable move, avoiding all checks on the diagonal. However, Black had
much better.} (35... Rc8 $1 {was the winning idea. Now Black can safely
retreat his bishop to d7, defending both rooks at the same time.} 36. Rxe2 (36.
d5 Re4) 36... Bd7) 36. b5 Qe7 $2 {In timetrouble Geogiadis throws away the
entire advantage.} (36... Bxb5 37. Qxb5 (37. Bxe6 Rxc5 38. Bxf7 Rf5 {is
decisive.}) 37... Qe8 $1 {kept Black well ahead. Georgiadis would keep his
extra material because of the threat of the queen trade.}) 37. Bxe6 {Now major
trades happen, resulting in an easy draw.} Qxc5 38. dxc5 Bxb5 39. Bg4 Rxc5 40.
Bxe2 Ba4 41. Rb1 g6 42. Rb4 Rc2 43. Bd1 Rc1 44. Rxa4 Rxd1+ 45. Kf2 Rd2+ 46. Kf3
Kg7 47. Ra7+ Kh6 48. a4 Ra2 49. a5 Kg5 50. a6 h5 51. Ra8 Kf5 1/2-1/2
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.30"]
[Round "8.1"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C82"]
[WhiteElo "2779"]
[BlackElo "2801"]
[PlyCount "84"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5
Be6 9. c3 Bc5 10. Nbd2 O-O 11. Bc2 Nxf2 12. Rxf2 f6 13. Nf1 {Not the main line.
"I just knew it was an interesting move." (MVL)} (13. exf6 Qxf6 (13... Bxf2+)
14. Qf1 $1 Bg4 15. Kh1 Bxf2 16. Qxf2 Rae8 17. Qg3 Ne5 18. Bd1 {Smyslov,
V-Botvinnik,M Moscow 1943}) 13... Bxf2+ 14. Kxf2 fxe5 15. Kg1 Qd6 16. Ng3 {New.
} (16. Ng5 Bf5 17. Bb3 Ne7 18. Ne3 Rad8 19. Bd2 c5 20. Nxf5 Nxf5 21. Qe2 h6 22.
Ne4 Qb6 23. Be3 Rf7 {Darga,K-Larsen,B Copenhagen 1953}) 16... h6 17. Qe1 Bg4
18. Nh4 e4 19. h3 (19. Nxe4 {fails to} Rae8) 19... Bd7 20. Be3 {MVL thought
this was a serious try for an advantage.} ({After} 20. Nxe4 Rae8 21. Be3 Rxe4
22. Bxe4 dxe4 23. Rd1 Qe6 24. Qg3 {Black is OK.}) 20... Qf6 ({Here Mamedyarov
saw that} 20... g5 {fails to} 21. Nxe4 $1 dxe4 22. Rd1 Qf6 (22... Qe6 23. Bb3)
(22... Qe7 23. Ng6) 23. Rxd7 gxh4 24. Bxe4 {and White is winning.}) 21. Nh5 Qe5
(21... Qf7 22. Nf4 g5 $6 (22... Ne7) 23. Nxd5 $1 Be6 {and now White has the
nice move} 24. c4 $1 bxc4 25. Nc3 gxh4 26. Qxh4 {with a clear advantage.}) 22.
Nf4 ({MVL didn't like} 22. g4 Be8 {but in the analysis he saw that} 23. Ng3 {
might be better for White.}) 22... Rxf4 23. Ng6 Rf1+ 24. Kxf1 Qf5+ 25. Nf4 g5
26. Qg3 Kh7 27. Ke2 gxf4 28. Qxf4 Qxf4 29. Bxf4 {MVL had calculated all this
but he had underestimated} Rg8 $1 30. Kf2 (30. g4 h5) 30... Rf8 31. Ke3 Ne7 32.
Bxc7 Nf5+ 33. Ke2 b4 34. Bf4 ({Just in time MVL noticed} 34. g3 Nd4+ $5 35.
cxd4 Bb5+ 36. Kd2 Rf2+ 37. Kc1 Rf1+ 38. Bd1 e3 39. Kc2 e2 40. Bxe2 Rxa1 41.
Bxb5 axb5) 34... bxc3 (34... Bb5+ 35. Kf2) 35. bxc3 Nh4 36. g3 Ng2 37. c4 Nxf4+
38. gxf4 Rc8 39. Rd1 Rxc4 40. Bb3 Ba4 41. Rxd5 Bxb3 42. axb3 Rc3 1/2-1/2
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.31"]
[Round "9.1"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E65"]
[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2842"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "113"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. Nc3 d6 6. Nf3 c5 7. O-O Nc6 8. e3 {
A rare line.} ({The symmetrical position after} 8. dxc5 dxc5 9. Bf4 Nd4 {
is allowing White a chance to play for a win without much risk, but with not
too may chances either, Matlakov,M (2718)-Jones,G (2640) Wijk aan Zee 2018}) ({
The main line runs} 8. d5 Na5 9. Nd2 {as Carlsen has played recently:} a6 10.
Rb1 Rb8 11. b3 b5 {Carlsen,M (2853)-Nakamura,H (2787) chess.com INT 2016}) 8...
d5 $1 {"Very good move." (Mamedyarov) "White just has to look for equality
there." (Carlsen)} ({Another top game saw fascinating action after:} 8... Bd7
9. b3 cxd4 10. exd4 a6 11. a4 Rc8 12. Re1 d5 13. c5 Bg4 14. h3 Bxf3 15. Bxf3 e6
16. Rb1 Nxd4 17. Qxd4 Ne4 18. Rxe4 Bxd4 19. Rxd4 Qf6 {Nepomniachtchi,I (2721)
-Wang,H (2735) Beijing 2013}) 9. cxd5 Nxd5 10. Nxd5 Qxd5 11. Ne5 Qd6 {The main
point behind the timely d6-d5 is that White cannot include his dark-squared
bishop into the action. Had the central pawn remained on its initial position
White would have had a chance to trade on c6 followed by Bc1-f4! with a tempo.
Now, the bishop simply suffers.} 12. Nc4 ({In a predecessor Black quickly got
the initiative after:} 12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. dxc5 Qxc5 14. Qf3 Ba6 {Mader,L (1880)
-Caliebe,N (1427) Erfurt 2017}) 12... Qc7 13. d5 (13. dxc5 Rd8 14. Qa4 Bf5 {
is excellent for Black thanks to his strong bishops.}) 13... Rd8 {Here and on
the next move Black could have played Nc6-e5 if he "wanted draw" (Mamedyarov)}
(13... Ne5) 14. Bd2 Nb4 {"I am not burning bridges yet, I still have a very
safe position." (Carlsen)} (14... Ne5) 15. Bxb4 cxb4 16. Rc1 a5 {The black
bishop pair can be a huge asset whenever the game opens, but for the time
being Carlsen needs to finish the queenside development.} 17. a3 bxa3 18. bxa3
a4 19. Qd3 Bf5 {"A massive, massive oversight" (Carlsen)} ({Instead the world
champion suggested} 19... Bd7 20. d6 exd6 21. Ne5 {"I guess Black is
marginally better, although it should be drawish" (Carlsen)}) ({Or} 19... Ra6
$5 {to which he did not like} 20. Rb1 $6 {with the same idea as in the game} (
20. Qb1 {might be better} Bd7 21. Rfd1) 20... Bd7 ({However, it seems as
Carlsen have missed the strong maneuver} 20... Rc6 $1 21. Rfc1 Rc5 {followed
by b7-b5 and Black takes over the initiative.}) 21. d6) 20. e4 Bd7 21. Qe3 {
Missed by the world champion. "Maybe I just overestimated my position."
(Carlsen)} Ra6 22. e5 $1 {The central pawn mass comes into motion and the
black pieces cannot co-ordinate themselves.} b5 23. d6 Qb8 24. dxe7 Re8 25.
Rfd1 Rxe7 26. Qc5 Qf8 ({From afar Black missed} 26... Rae6 27. Bd5 {"with a
win" (Carlsen), for example} Rxe5 28. Nxe5 Rxe5 29. Bxf7+ $1) ({"Maybe I
should have played"} 26... Qd8 {(Carlsen) But then there is} 27. Qxb5 $1 {
(Mamedyarov)}) ({Perhaps Carlsen had to go into passive defense with} 26... Bf8
) 27. Ne3 $1 {Missed by White. "Then I am completely busted." (Carlsen) The
threat Ne3-d5 forces Black to give up a pawn.} Be6 28. Qxb5 Raa7 29. Nd5 Bxd5
30. Rxd5 Reb7 31. Qd3 Rb8 32. h4 (32. f4 $5) 32... Qe8 33. Qd4 Qe7 34. f4 Bf8
35. Kh2 {It is not only the extra pawn which makes White's positon so good.
Look at the powerful centralization that he has!} Rab7 36. Qxa4 {Safe approach,
especially in respect to the tournament situation. A draw would be most likely
enough for Mamedyarov for the overall win, therefore he takes away any risk.} (
{Objectively he would do better to keep the queens on the board. Strong was:}
36. Rd6 $1 {heading for an attack with the opposite-colored bishops. For
example:} Rc7 ({Or} 36... Rb2 37. Kh3 $1 {when the f7 pawn will be soon
reached-} Ra2 38. Bd5 Rxa3 39. Rf6) 37. Rxc7 Qxc7 38. Rc6 Qe7 ({If Black keeps
the a4 pawn} 38... Qa5 $1 {then} 39. e6 fxe6 40. Qd7 Qf5 41. Rc7 {with
decisive attack.}) 39. Bd5 Qxa3 40. Bxf7+ {The attack should decide.}) 36...
Qxa3 37. Qxa3 Bxa3 38. Rcd1 {A nasty endgame for Black occurred. Without the
rooks the opponents will immediately agree to a draw. With them, White will
organize threats against the black king.} Be7 39. Kh3 Rc7 ({Normally Black
will be happy to trade as many pawns on the kingside as possible, but} 39... h5
{exposes the h5 pawn after} 40. f5 gxf5 41. Rf1) 40. h5 $1 {The way that
Mamedyarov mounts pressure during the game is impressive.} gxh5 {Trading the
pawn, which could have come to h6 with mating threats.} ({After} 40... g5 41.
Rd7 Rxd7 42. Rxd7 Kf8 {there is} 43. f5 $1) (40... Kf8 {was passive defense
was the other way to try and hold.}) 41. f5 f6 42. e6 Rb3 (42... Kf8 $5) 43.
Rd7 Rbc3 44. Ra1 Kg7 ({The trade is impossible-} 44... Rxd7 45. exd7 Rd3 46.
Ra8+ Kg7 47. Bc6 Rd6 48. Ba4 Rd4 49. Re8 Kf7 50. Bb3+) 45. Ra8 Kh6 46. Re8 Bb4
{It is not clear how can White improve further. If the bishop can find a good
spot, he would be winning, but it is not easy.} 47. Rb8 ({If} 47. Rh8 Be7 48.
Be4 h4 $1 {with the idea} 49. Kxh4 Rxd7 50. exd7 Rc4 {with a draw.}) 47... Be7
48. Be4 R3c4 49. Bd5 R4c5 50. Be4 Rc4 51. Bd5 R4c5 52. Rb7 Rxd7 {Now he can.}
53. Rxd7 Ra5 54. Bc6 ({The rook endgame after} 54. Rxe7 Rxd5 55. Rf7 Rxf5 56.
e7 Re5 57. Rxf6+ {is a draw.}) 54... Ba3 55. Rf7 {So far Carlsen had defended
perfectly and came very close to he draw.} Re5 ({Black should have gone for}
55... Rxf5 56. e7 Bxe7 57. Rxe7 Rc5 58. Bf3 f5 {and during the post mortem the
players were not sure about the evaluation, but Carlsen believed it should be
draw.}) 56. Kh4 $1 {Depriving the black king of the g5 square. "I realized,
that was it" (Carlsen)} (56. Rxf6+ {was the only move the world champion was
calculating and it should be defendable after} Kg5 57. Rf7 Bd6) 56... Bc1 $2 {
Only this is the crucial mistake. Apparently, Carlsen dismissed the position a
tad too early.} ({The line} 56... Re2 57. Rxf6+ Kg7 58. Rf7+ Kh6 59. g4 Rh2+
60. Kg3 {should win for White.}) ({However,after} 56... Bc5 $1 57. Rxf6+ Kg7
58. Rf7+ Kh6 59. Bf3 ({It is important that White cannot bring his pawns into
motion:} 59. Bd7 Bd6 60. f6 Kg6) 59... Be3 {followed by Be3-g5+ Black seems to
build sort of a fortress. For example} 60. g4 ({Or} 60. Bd1 Bg5+ 61. Kh3 Re3
62. Kg2 h4) 60... Bg5+ 61. Kg3 h4+ 62. Kg2 Re3 {The draw seems the correct
result here.}) (56... Bb4 $1 {is similar to 56...Bc5.}) 57. e7 1-0
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.08.01"]
[Round "10.2"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Georgiadis, Nico"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B20"]
[WhiteElo "2842"]
[BlackElo "2526"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "97"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 c5 2. Na3 {Obviously trying to get his opponent as quickly as possible
out of book. Carlsen had never tried this before, at least according to
Megabase.} ({True, in a blitz game he had put something on a3:} 2. a3 Nc6 3. b4
cxb4 4. axb4 Nxb4 5. d4 d5 6. c3 Nc6 7. exd5 Qxd5 8. Na3 Bf5 9. Nb5 {in
Carlsen,M (2837)-Inarkiev,E (2689) Riadh 2017}) 2... g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. c3 d5 5.
exd5 Qxd5 6. Bc4 Qe4+ 7. Kf1 Be6 {Georgiadis turned out to be well prepared
here as well and quickly equalized.} 8. Qa4+ {A novelty.} ({A predecessor saw:
} 8. Bb5+ Bd7 9. d4 Nf6 10. Bd3 Qd5 11. Bc4 Qh5 12. Nb5 Na6 13. Be3 cxd4 14.
Nfxd4 {but Black was doing well here too, Meister,J (2517) -Friedrich,W (2253)
Berlin 2013}) 8... Nd7 9. d4 Ngf6 10. Bg5 ({After} 10. dxc5 O-O 11. Be3 {
Black has a choice between} Rad8 {fighting for the initiative.} ({Or} 11...
Rac8 {in order to return the pawn. For example} 12. Re1 Bxc4+ 13. Nxc4 Qd3+ 14.
Kg1 Ne4 {and Black seems perfectly fine.})) 10... Bxc4+ 11. Qxc4 Qd5 {Playing
it safe.} ({Instead the natural} 11... O-O {was leading to a more complex game.
White can win a pawn with:} 12. Re1 Qf5 13. Rxe7 $6 {but that allows Black too
much and} Nd5 14. Re1 cxd4 15. cxd4 Rfe8 {gives him plenty for a pawn.}) 12.
Re1 e6 {An accurate move.} ({White would get a tiny little bit of an advantage
after} 12... Qxc4+ 13. Nxc4 cxd4 14. Nxd4 Nd5 15. Ne3) 13. Bxf6 Nxf6 14. Qb5+ (
{Perhaps} 14. dxc5 {was a better try, for example} Rc8 15. Re5 Qd7 16. g3 O-O
17. Kg2 {although the white knight on a3 is still somewhat awkwardly placed.})
14... Nd7 ({Not} 14... Qd7 $2 15. Qxc5) 15. Ne5 a6 {Once again very solid play.
} ({Although Georgiadis could have snatched the knight at once:} 15... Bxe5 $1
{If now} 16. Rxe5 ({And risked to grab a pawn with} 16. dxe5 Qxa2 17. Rd1 O-O-O
{as} 18. Nc4 {is strongly met with} Nxe5 $1 19. Qxc5+ (19. Rxd8+ Rxd8 20. Nxe5
$4 Qb1+ 21. Ke2 Qe4+ 22. Kf1 Rd1#) 19... Nc6 20. Nd6+ Kb8 {where Black should
stop the initiative with accurate play. White's problem is that he cannot use
his kingside rook.}) 16... a6 $1 17. Rxd5 axb5 18. Rg5 b4 $1 {where the black
pieces are better prepared for the opening of the game.}) 16. Qc4 ({The world
champion avoids} 16. Qxd7+ Qxd7 17. Nxd7 Kxd7 18. Nc4 Kc6 {with equality.})
16... Nxe5 ({The other capture was also OK-} 16... Bxe5 17. dxe5 Qxc4+ 18. Nxc4
{since after} b5 {White cannot hold his knight on the central outpost} 19. Nd6+
Ke7 {because of the threat Nd7xe5!}) 17. dxe5 Rd8 18. Qxd5 Rxd5 19. f4 {
An endgame emerged where the bishop on g7 does not seem great. Georgiadis
however makes sure this is not the case.} g5 $1 ({Also good was} 19... Ke7 20.
Nc4 b5 21. Nd6 g5 $1) 20. fxg5 Ke7 {The black pieces are much better prepared
for the battle. Georgiadis plays for a win.} ({Weaker was} 20... Rxe5 21. Rxe5
Bxe5 22. Nc4 Bf4 23. h4 Ke7 24. Ke2 {with equality.}) 21. h4 Rxe5 ({It also
made sense to postpone the capture for a move:} 21... b5 $5 22. Rh3 Rxe5 23.
Rxe5 Bxe5 {with slight advantage for Black.}) 22. Rxe5 Bxe5 23. Ke2 b5 24. Nc2
Rd8 (24... f6 $5) 25. Ne1 c4 $1 {Black has posted all his pawns correctly on
the light squares. Thus, they are not obstructing his bishop and they help it
restrict the white knight. The b5-b4 break is always in the air.} 26. Nf3 Bg7
27. Nd2 h6 {Once again playing for a win.} ({If he wanted a draw, Black could
have chosen say} 27... Rd3 28. a4 Rg3 29. Kf2 Rd3) 28. Ne4 {The world champion
is also trying his best.} ({Instead} 28. a4 hxg5 29. hxg5 Rd5 30. axb5 axb5 31.
Ne4 b4 {would have seen everything disappearing with a draw.}) 28... hxg5 29.
hxg5 Rd5 30. a3 a5 31. Re1 Be5 $1 {Open the road for the black king. It is
heading to g6. Once it gets there, the g5 pawn will suffer.} ({It does not
make much sense to open the queenside with} 31... b4 {After} 32. axb4 axb4 {
Black will be happy to see} 33. cxb4 $2 ({However} 33. Ra1 {would cause
problems along the open file. Ironically, the pawn which is in danger is the
one on c4. For example} bxc3 34. bxc3 Re5 35. Ra7+ Kf8 36. Kf3 Rf5+ 37. Kg4 Be5
38. g3 Kg7 39. Ra4 Rf1 40. Rxc4) 33... Bxb2) 32. g3 Kf8 33. Kf3 Kg7 34. Kg4 Kg6
{Black threatens Be5-c7-d8 to win the pawn, therefore the next move is forced.}
35. Rf1 {But now the rook is busy and Black can revert back to the b5-b4
breakthrough idea.} Rd3 ({Perhaps the immediate} 35... b4 36. axb4 axb4 37. Rf3
Rd1 {was better, with chances for a win.}) ({Here} 35... Bc7 {is met with} 36.
Rf6+ Kg7 37. g6 $1) 36. Rf3 Rd1 37. Rf2 Rd5 ({The other option was the rook
endgame after} 37... Re1 38. Nf6 Re3 39. Nh5 Re4+ 40. Nf4+ Bxf4 41. gxf4 e5 42.
Rf1 {Then Black can win a pawn with} a4 (42... exf4 43. Rxf4 Re2 44. Rf6+ Kg7
45. a4 $1) 43. Rf2 exf4 44. Rd2 f3+ 45. Kxf3 Re5 {but I am not sure how good
his winning chances are.}) 38. Nd2 {Carlsen changes the position of his knight
and finally gets some relief for his g5 pawn.} Bc7 39. Nf3 Bd8 40. Nh4+ Kg7 {
would have split the point.} 41. Nf3 Bb6 {Once again trying to beat the
champion!} 42. Re2 Bc7 43. Re4 Bd6 ({Safer was to allow the trade allong the
fifth rank with} 43... Bb6 {Then} 44. Re5 Rxe5 45. Nxe5 Be3 {preserves winning
chances for Black. For example:} 46. a4 ({Or} 46. Nc6 a4 47. Kf3 Bxg5 48. Nd4
Bc1 49. Nxb5 Bxb2 50. Ke3) 46... bxa4 47. Nxc4 Bc1 48. Nb6 Bxb2 49. Nxa4 Bc1)
44. Rd4 $1 {Finally, White manages to get rid of the active black rook. He is
more or less safe now.} Rxd4+ 45. Nxd4 b4 46. a4 (46. axb4 {would be a draw
after} axb4 47. cxb4 Bxb4 48. Nf3 Ba5 49. Ne5 c3 50. bxc3 Bxc3) 46... b3 $4 {
An tragic finish of an excellent game.} ({Georgiadis could have made a draw
with either} 46... bxc3 47. bxc3 Bc7) ({Or} 46... Bc7 47. Nf3 Bd6 48. Nd2 bxc3
49. bxc3 Be5 50. Nxc4 Bxc3) 47. Nf3 {Now he loses both his pawns on the light
squares.} Ba3 {would promote his b-pawn. But this is not the case-} ({If} 47...
Kg6 48. Nd2 Bc7 49. Nxc4 Bd8 50. Ne5+ {is most accurate} ({Or} 50. Nd2 Bxg5 51.
Nxb3) 50... Kg7 51. Kh5 {and White should win.}) 48. bxa3 b2 49. Nd2 1-0
[Event "Corus"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee"]
[Date "2001.01.16"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Kasparov, Garry"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C78"]
[WhiteElo "2849"]
[BlackElo "2790"]
[Annotator "Anand"]
[PlyCount "74"]
[EventDate "2001.01.13"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "13"]
[EventCountry "NED"]
[EventCategory "19"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 081"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2001.03.20"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2001.03.20"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{Kasparov and I had played 40 classical games against each other before this
game. Nonetheless, this game was a first. I had achieved a personal milestone
in December winning the World Championship and this was my first tournament
after that. Of course, in a certain sense, so had Kasparov. "After death" as
he put it in the closing ceremony. He usually turns up late for the game
hoping to avoid photographers, but I noticed this doesn't work anymore. The
photographers simply came to our table 5 minutes later! Anyway, my
ruminations about the game ended and we started to bash out our opening moves.
} 1. e4 {Wedberg} e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Bc5 {I have played
this quite often, though not recently. Still after facing it so often in the
World Championship (and preparing for it) I felt that I could play it myself.
I suppose it didn't come as a surprise to him - in Linares 1998 (after I came
off the matches with Karpov and Adams) I used the Caro-Kann against him!} 6. c3
b5 7. Bb3 {I was curious what line he would choose. Both Vlady and Alexei
tried 5...b5 and 6...Bc5, but no one had played the direct Bc5 against him.} d6
8. a4 Bg4 9. h3 Bxf3 {Mickey Adams went for Bh5 in our semi-final in Delhi.}
10. Qxf3 O-O 11. a5 $5 {After a long think. Wedberg: 'Not the standard
approach. White prevents Na5, but gets a slightly weak a5-P in return.'} (11.
d3 Rb8 (11... Na5 {Wedberg} 12. Bc2 b4 13. Nd2 Rb8 14. Qe2 (14. Re1 Qd7 $11 (
14... h6 $6 15. Rb1 $1 $14 {1-0 Leko,P-Garcia,G/Yopal 1997/CBM 60 (51)
[Rodriguez]})) 14... Re8 15. Nf3 bxc3 16. bxc3 Nb3 17. Bxb3 Rxb3 18. d4 $5 (18.
Qc2 Qb8 $1 $13 {0-1 Hansen,S-Hector,J/Skaenninge 1998/CBM 65/[Wedberg] (31)})
18... exd4 19. cxd4 Rxf3 20. Qxf3 $6 (20. dxc5 Rc3 21. Qxa6 $14) 20... Bxd4 21.
Ra2 Nxe4 $44 {1-0 Anand,V-Karpov,A/FIDE-Wch k.o. f 1998/CBM 63/[Anand] (41)})
12. Nd2 {Here Black's next move is specifically to avoid a4-a5} Na5 13. Bc2 b4
{Anand-Karpov Lausanne 1998}) 11... Rb8 $1 {I came to this move by elimination.
Black normally goes for Na5 and b4, but now 11...b4 is met by 12.Bc4 and
Black's a6 weakness will haunt him. So Black has to switch plans. He wants to
play Nd7, Ne7 and f5. However, neither knight move is entirely satisfactory,
so Black first gets his rook out of the way} (11... Nd7 $2 12. Bd5) (11... Ne7
12. Rd1 {/\ d4} (12. d3 {Wedberg} Nd7 13. Nd2 Kh8 14. Qe2 Ba7 15. Nf3 Nc5 16.
Ba2 Ne6 17. g3 Qd7 18. Kg2 Rae8 19. Bd2 f5 $132 {1-0 Sulypa,A-Malaniuk,V/
Donetsk 1998/CBM 68 (36)})) 12. d3 Nd7 13. Be3 {This came as a surprise to me.
I felt that if White swapped bishops, then Black should be OK. Still, White is
a tempo short to prevent f5, so perhaps Black has equalized.} (13. Nd2 Kh8 14.
Rd1 Ne7 15. Nf1 (15. g4 Ba7 {/\ Nc5-e6}) 15... f5) 13... Kh8 14. Nd2 Ne7 15.
Bc2 (15. d4 exd4 16. cxd4 Bb4 {Now it turns out that the a5 pawn can be weak
as well!} 17. Bc2 c5 18. dxc5 dxc5 19. Nb3 Nc6 20. Rfd1 Qe7 $1 {It will be
difficult to actually capture the a5 pawn without allowing White any
compensation, but Black is in no danger here.}) 15... Bxe3 $1 (15... f5 16. d4
f4 17. dxc5 fxe3 18. Qxe3 Nxc5 19. b4 $14) 16. fxe3 $6 {'!?' Wedberg. Wedberg:
'Aggressive as always Kasparov opens an avenue of attack on the black K. The
centre Ps becomes less flexible, but an extra centre P can come in handy if
Black later tries a break with d5 or f5.'} (16. Qxe3 c5 $11) 16... c5 17. Bb3
c4 $2 {I got a bit excited here. Simply Nf6 gives Black a good game Wedberg:
'Black disturbs the cooperation of the White pieces and disrupts the
P-formation.'} (17... Nf6 $1 18. Bd5 $11 {This allows White to maintain the
balance.} (18. g4 $5 $36 {Wedberg: a5 is weak but White can throw everything
at the Black K.})) 18. dxc4 Nc5 (18... b4 {My original intention. White has
only one move to avoid being strangled after Nc5} 19. c5 (19. cxb4 Rxb4 $132)
19... Nxc5 20. Bxf7 $1 {It simply slipped my mind that White could play this.
However, there is no way to exploit the pin.} bxc3 21. bxc3 Nc6 (21... Ng8 {
Wedberg} 22. Qe2 Nf6 23. Bd5 Rb5 $13) 22. Qh5 $1 {Followed by Bd5}) 19. cxb5
Nxb3 (19... Rxb5 $2 20. Bxf7 Rxb2 21. Nc4 $16) 20. Nxb3 Rxb5 21. Qd1 $1 $14 Qc7
22. Ra4 $1 Nc6 $2 {Now Black starts to get into real trouble} (22... Rfb8 23.
Nd2 Rxb2 24. Nc4 R2b3 25. Qxd6 Qxd6 26. Nxd6 f6 27. Rc4 $16) (22... Kg8 $1 23.
Nd2 (23. c4 Rb7 24. c5 dxc5 25. Rc4 Rb5 26. Qc2) 23... Rxa5 (23... Rxb2 24. Nc4
Rb5 25. Qxd6 Rc5 26. Qxa6 $1) 24. Nc4 (24. Rxa5 Qxa5 25. Nc4 Qc5) 24... Rc5 $1
{This seems to give Black enough counterplay to offset his queenside
weaknesses.} (24... Rxa4 25. Qxa4 $14) 25. Qd3 (25. Nxd6 Rd8 26. Rxa6 Rc6)
25... d5 $1 $132 26. exd5 Nxd5 {A sample line:} 27. Rxa6 Nxc3 $1 28. Nd6 Nd5
29. Nxf7 Rc1 30. Qxd5 Rxf1+ 31. Kxf1 Qxf7+ (31... Qc1+ 32. Ke2 Qxb2+ 33. Kf3
Rxf7+ 34. Kg3 Qf2+ 35. Kh2 h6 36. Qxe5 $14) 32. Qxf7+ Rxf7+ 33. Ke2 Rb7 $1 {
Black looks quite close to a draw}) (22... f6 {Wedberg: better according to
Kasparov.}) 23. Nd2 $1 Nxa5 (23... Rxa5 24. Nc4 Rxa4 25. Qxa4 $16 {The knight
on c6 is misplaced.}) 24. b4 Nb7 $8 {With a horrible knight. That evening, we
dined in the hotel restaurant. Kasparov had taken a look at the game and told
me: "This game does neither of us proud! We both missed wins". Let's look at
his win.} 25. Qc2 $2 {'?!' Wedberg.} (25. Rxa6 $1 Qxc3 26. Rxf7 Rg8 {We both
thought this was OK for Black - he takes on b4.} 27. Qf1 $1 {Fritzy suggests
this quickly} Nd8 (27... Rxb4 28. Ra8 $1) (27... Qxe3+ 28. Kh2 Rb6 29. Ra8 $1
$18) 28. Rxg7 $3 Kxg7 29. Rxd6 $1 Qxe3+ 30. Kh1 Qf4 31. Qxb5 {Black has one
last resource.} Nf7 32. Rd3 $1 {The right move} (32. Rd7 Rc8 33. Nf3 {Fritzy
wanted to take on f7, but with the loose pawns, Black should be OK.} (33. Rxf7+
Qxf7 34. Qxe5+ Qf6 35. Qg3+) (33. Nb3 Rc3 $1 34. Qd5 Rxh3+ 35. gxh3 Qf1+ $11)
33... Rc1+ 34. Ng1 Qxe4 $16 {It's not over yet.}) 32... Ra8 (32... Rc8 33. Rf3
(33. Nb3 {Is also good}) 33... Qxd2 34. Rxf7+ Kxf7 35. Qb7+ Kf6 36. Qxc8 Qe1+
37. Kh2 Qxe4 38. Qf8+ $16) 33. Nb3 $1 (33. Rf3 Qxd2 34. Rxf7+ Kxf7 35. Qb7+ Kg6
$1 (35... Kf6 36. Qxa8 Qc1+ 37. Kh2 Qf4+ 38. Kg1 Qc1+ 39. Kf2 Qd2+ 40. Kf3 Qd1+
41. Kg3 Qe1+ 42. Kg4 Qe2+ 43. Kh4 $1 $18) 36. Qxa8 Qc1+ 37. Kh2 Qf4+ 38. Kg1
Qc1+ 39. Kf2 Qd2+ 40. Kf3 Qd3+ 41. Kg4 Qe2+ {With the king on g6, White can't
escape into the kingside}) 33... Qxe4 34. Rg3+ $16 {White has an extra pawn
and attacking chances to boot.}) 25... h6 26. Qd3 Rb6 27. Rfa1 Rc6 28. R1a3 (
28. Qd5 {Leads to the same thing.} Rxc3 (28... a5 29. bxa5 Rc5 30. Qa2) 29.
Rxa6) (28. Rxa6 $1 Rxc3 29. Qd5 $36 {This position is unpleasant for Black,
but if he hangs on stubbornly it isn't easy for White to break through.}) 28...
a5 $1 {Black looks fine now.} 29. Kh2 $2 (29. Qd5 Rxc3 30. Rxc3 Qxc3 31. Qxb7
Qxd2 $11) 29... d5 $1 {Of course, the X-ray on h2 means that White can't
capture.} 30. Qb5 $2 {Having blundered, he made this move very quickly and
forgot that Black can use the same trick again!} (30. Qxd5 $1 Rd8 31. Qa2 Rxc3
32. Nf3 $1 {White should be able to survive here.}) 30... d4 $1 {Wedberg: 'The
backward d-P is growing up.'} 31. bxa5 dxc3 (31... Nd6 32. Qxe5 $1 ({Now} 32.
Qd5 dxc3 33. Nb3 Nc4 {wins}) 32... dxc3 33. Nb3 c2 34. Nc1 $1 {Of course,
White doesn't have to play a6 now.} Re8 35. Qg3 Qe7 36. a6 Nxe4 37. Qf3 Rcc8
38. a7 $132) 32. Nb3 Nc5 $2 (32... c2 $1 {The second moment that Kasparov
mentioned at dinner.} 33. a6 $1 {Annoyed at having missed a "simple" win, I
tried to find a way for White to save the game.} (33. Nc1 {At the post-mortem,
we both assumed that White could defend with this move.} Nc5 34. Rb4 (34. Rc4
Rb8 $19) 34... Na6 $1 {/\ Rb8, Rd8-/+. We agreed that White is lost here.})
33... Nd6 $1 (33... Nc5 34. Rc4 Nxb3 (34... Rb8 $2 35. Qxc5 Rxc5 36. Nxc5 $16)
35. Qxc6 Qxc6 36. Rxc6 c1=Q 37. Rxc1 Nxc1 38. a7 Ra8 39. Kg3 $1 {Going after
the trapped knight} g6 40. Kf2 f5 41. exf5 gxf5 42. e4 fxe4 43. Ke3 $11) 34.
Qd5 {The only way.} (34. Qxe5 c1=Q 35. Nxc1 Rxc1 36. a7 (36. Rd3 Rc6 37. a7 (
37. Rad4 Re8 38. Qf4 Nxe4 39. Qxc7 Rxc7 40. Rd8 Rxd8 41. Rxd8+ Kh7 42. Ra8 Kg6
43. a7 Nc3 $19) 37... Ra8 38. Rad4 (38. Qf4 Nb5 $19) 38... Ne8 39. Qxc7 Rxc7
$19) 36... Ra8 37. Qf4 (37. Rd3 Ne8 $1 (37... Nb5 38. Qxc7 Rxc7 39. Ra5 $1 Nxa7
40. Rda3 $15) 38. Qxc7 Rxc7 39. Rda3) 37... Nb5 38. Rb3 Rxa7) 34... Rc5 $1 (
34... c1=Q {Transposes} 35. Nxc1 Rc5 $1 36. Qd2) 35. Qd2 c1=Q 36. Nxc1 Rxc1 37.
a7 $1 {I was surprised to find that play is forced from here on.} Ra8 38. Qd5 (
38. Ra6 Nc8 39. Rd3) 38... Qc6 (38... Rc6 $4 39. Ra6 $1 $18) (38... Nb7 $6 39.
Rb4 Rc6 40. Rxb7 (40. Qb3 Nd8 41. Rb8 Rxa7 42. Rxa7 Qxa7 43. Rxd8+ Kh7 44. Qd5
Rg6 45. Qa8 Qxa8 46. Rxa8 $11) 40... Qxb7 41. Rb3 Qxa7 42. Qxc6 $11) 39. Ra6 $1
(39. Rb4 Kh7 40. Rb8 Qxd5 41. exd5 Rc8 42. Ra6 (42. Rxa8 Rxa8 43. Ra6 Nc8 44.
Rc6 Ne7) 42... Rxa7 $1) 39... Qxd5 40. exd5 Ne4 (40... Nc8 41. d6 $1 Rd1 42.
Rc3 Kh7 (42... Nxd6 43. Rb3 Rc1 44. Rb8+ Rc8 45. Rxd6 Raxb8 46. axb8=Q Rxb8 $15
) 43. Rxc8 Rxc8 44. a8=Q Rxa8 45. Rxa8 Rxd6 $15 {With the pawn on e5 instead
of e6 (as in Karpov-Hort Waddinxveen 1979), I think White's chances to hold
are quite good.}) 41. Rb6 Rcc8 42. Rb7 {Again, White has chances to hold.
Still, in both endgames arising after Black's 40th move, White would have to
suffer a lot. So 32...c2 was the right move.}) (32... Nd6 33. Qxe5 $1 c2 34.
Nc1) 33. Rc4 $1 {I hadn't overlooked this move, but having rejected 32...c2, I
thought that I might find something here. Wedberg: 'A nice defence by
Kasparov.'} Rb8 34. Qxc6 Qxc6 35. Nxc5 {However, there doesn't seem to be
anything here.} Qb5 {Forcing the draw} (35... Rb2 36. Raxc3 $1 (36. Rcxc3 $4
Qg6) 36... Re2 $1 37. Rc2 Rxe3 38. a6 Ra3 39. R4c3 $1 {Black is forced to
trade rooks.}) 36. Rcxc3 Qe2 37. Nd7 Rb2 1/2-1/2
[Event "Grenke Chess Classic 5th"]
[Site "Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden"]
[Date "2018.04.01"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Hou, Yifan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C24"]
[WhiteElo "2843"]
[BlackElo "2654"]
[Annotator "Roiz,M"]
[PlyCount "121"]
[EventDate "2018.03.31"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[EventCategory "20"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Qe2 {As often happens, Magnus prefers to take
the game into relatively unexplored territory at an early stage.} Be7 {A
somewhat modest choice.} ({The more ambitious way of development would be:}
4... Bc5 $5 5. Nf3 O-O 6. O-O d5 7. Bb3 h6 {Black isn't worse, to say the
least.}) ({Possibly, the most principled was} 4... d5 $5 5. exd5 cxd5 6. Bb5+
Nc6 7. Qxe5+ Be7 8. Nf3 O-O 9. Bxc6 bxc6 10. O-O Bd6 $44 {The powerful bishops
provide Black excellent compensation for the pawn.}) 5. Nf3 d6 {There is
nothing wrong with this natural move, but now the early queen's move is sort
of justified.} ({I guess, more challenging for Magnus would be} 5... O-O 6. O-O
d5 7. Bb3 dxe4 8. dxe4 Nbd7 {and Black is fine, though a long strategic
struggle lies ahead.}) 6. c3 Nbd7 7. Bb3 O-O 8. O-O a5 9. d4 $146 {This
natural move is a novelty.} ({The previously played} 9. a4 {didn't pose Black
serious problems:} b5 10. Bc2 Ba6 11. axb5 cxb5 12. Nbd2 Qc7 $132 {Polgar,J -
Gelfand,B Khanty-Mansiysk 2009}) 9... a4 ({It made sense to postpone the a5-a4
advance:} 9... Re8 $5 10. Nbd2 ({Toothless is} 10. Ng5 d5 11. exd5 Nxd5) 10...
Bf8 $132 {with decent pressure on the e4-pawn.}) 10. Bc2 {Black has managed to
seize some space on the q-side, but White's centre is well protected now.} Re8
{The standard way of relocating the pieces.} (10... b5 11. Re1 Ba6 12. Nbd2 Re8
$132) 11. Re1 Bf8 12. Qd1 {Indeed, the Qe2 is somewhat misplaced, so White to
has to remove it sooner or later.} b5 13. Nbd2 {No doubt, in comparison to the
Classical Ruy Lopez, Black managed to make a lot of progress on the queenside,
so White has no advantage. However, all the pieces are on the board, so the
World Champion can still be satisfied with what he got.} Qc7 ({Once again, Hou
Yifan is deviating from the most ambitious way of handling the position:} 13...
Bb7 $5 14. Nf1 exd4 15. cxd4 c5 16. d5 g6 $132) 14. Nf1 g6 15. Bg5 h6 {A
somewhat weakening move, though Black mostly can do with it.} (15... Bg7 $5 16.
Ng3 c5 17. d5 c4 $132) 16. Bd2 Bg7 17. Ng3 Nb6 18. b3 {This advance is
inviting simplifications, but what else?} (18. Bd3 Nc4 19. Bxc4 bxc4 {would
offer Black an excellent play along the b-file.}) 18... axb3 19. axb3 Rxa1 20.
Qxa1 Bg4 {Both sides have mobilised their forces, so the position is about
equal.} 21. Qc1 $5 {An interesting choice! Magnus is inviting his opponent to
enter into an unbalanced position.} (21. Nh4 exd4 22. cxd4 c5 $132) 21... Bxf3
{Accepting the challenge! Now the position is getting much more complex.} (
21... Kh7 {also looks perfectly playable:} 22. Nh4 c5 23. h3 Bd7 24. d5 Ra8
$132) 22. gxf3 {The change of pawn structure is double-edged: The Kg1 is
getting less safe, but White can use the f-pawn for attacking the opponent's
centre.} h5 23. Bh6 {This move clearly illustrates White's attacking ambitions.
} Qe7 {Not fearing ghosts!} ({Another possibility was} 23... Bh8 $5 24. Kh1 c5
25. d5 Ra8 $132) 24. Bxg7 Kxg7 25. Qg5 Kh7 ({A seemingly more precise move was
} 25... Kh8 $1 {, and then} 26. Ra1 Ra8 27. Rxa8+ Nxa8 28. f4 exf4 29. Qxf4 Nc7
{looks acceptable for Black.}) 26. f4 (26. Ra1 $5 Nfd7 (26... Ra8 $6 {runs into
} 27. Rxa8 Nxa8 28. f4 exd4 29. e5 dxe5 30. f5 $36) 27. Qxe7 Rxe7 28. Ne2 {
would have secured White a small advantage due to control over the open a-file,
but Magnus lays claim to more.}) 26... Nfd7 {I guess, liquidating into an
endgame isn't the best practical decision, even though Black's position isn't
bad at all.} (26... exf4 $5 {deserved serious attention:} 27. Qxf4 b4 $1 28. c4
({After} 28. cxb4 $6 Nbd5 29. Qd2 h4 30. Nf1 Nh5 $15 {Black takes full control
over the dark squares.}) 28... Nbd7 29. Ra1 c5 $132 {and the resulting complex
position contains definite strategic risk for both sides.}) 27. Qxe7 Rxe7 28.
fxe5 dxe5 {Now White's position looks somewhat better due to superiority in
the centre.} 29. Rd1 (29. Ra1 $5 exd4 30. cxd4 c5 31. Ne2 cxd4 32. Nxd4 {
would offer White a tiny advantage, even though the simplifications favour
Black.}) 29... Re8 30. dxe5 {The most consistent. Still, releasing the tension
makes Black's knights much more mobile.} Nxe5 ({Another decent way of handling
the position was} 30... h4 $5 31. Ne2 (31. e6 Rxe6 32. Ne2 Kg7 33. f4 Nf6 34.
e5 Nfd5 $11) 31... Nxe5 32. f4 Ng4 33. Rd6 Ra8 $1 {with sufficient counterplay.
}) 31. f4 Ng4 32. Rd6 Re6 {This is a definite concession - Black loses access
to the open file.} ({The active defence would most likely secure a draw:} 32...
Ra8 $1 33. Rxc6 Ra2 34. Bd3 h4 $1 35. Rxb6 hxg3 36. hxg3 Nh2 37. Rxb5 Nf3+ 38.
Kf1 Nh2+ $11) 33. Rd8 Kg7 34. Nf1 {Till now Hou Yifan has been defending well,
but her next move invites serious troubles.} ({White achieves nothing special
with} 34. h3 Ne3 35. Bd3 Re7 36. Rb8 Nd7 37. Rb7 Kf8 $11) 34... Rf6 $2 {
Alas, after locking the f6-spot Black's position lacks harmony.} ({After the
correct} 34... Nf6 35. Nd2 Re7 36. Rd6 Ra7 37. Bd3 (37. Rxc6 Ra2 $11) 37... Rd7
38. Rxd7 Nbxd7 {White hardly would have real winning chances.}) 35. h3 Nh6 36.
f5 $1 gxf5 37. Ng3 Rg6 38. Kf2 $2 {This inaccurate move oculd have spoiled all
the advantage!} ({A much better one is} 38. Kh2 $1 Rg5 (38... fxe4 39. Nxh5+
Kh7 40. Nf4 Rg5 41. Bxe4+ Kg7 42. Bxc6 {, and White is winning, since the pawn
is untouchable:} Rc5 43. Be4 Rxc3 44. Nh5#) 39. h4 Rg4 40. Kh3 $1 fxe4 41. Bxe4
$18 {and Black cannot avoid the major loss of material.}) 38... fxe4 $2 {
Luckily for Carlsen, his opponent doesn't take her chance!} ({Had she played}
38... Rg5 $1 {Black's problems would be solved. For instance,} 39. h4 Rg4 {
, and White isn't better.}) 39. Nxh5+ Kh7 40. Bxe4 f5 41. Bg2 {Despite the
limited material balance, Black's position is lost - there are too many
weaknesses.} Nf7 42. Rf8 Ne5 43. Nf4 $1 (43. Rxf5 $6 {is weaker:} Nd3+ 44. Kf1
Re6 {, and Black is getting active.}) 43... Rd6 44. Rxf5 Nbd7 45. Ke2 $18 {
Neutralising any counterplay.} Kg7 46. h4 Nf7 47. Be4 Nde5 48. Nh5+ Kh6 49. Ng3
Re6 50. Ke3 {White is slowly improving his position.} Kg7 51. Rf1 Kf8 (51...
Ng4+ 52. Kd4 Nf6 53. Bg2 Rd6+ 54. Kc5 Nd7+ 55. Kb4 $18 {wouldn't change much,})
52. Nf5 Ng4+ 53. Kf4 Nf6 54. Bf3 Nd5+ {That makes White's task easier.} (54...
Nd7 55. Ra1 Nfe5 56. Bh5 Kg8 57. Ra8+ Kh7 58. Ra7 $18) 55. Bxd5 cxd5 56. Ra1
Kg8 57. Ra8+ Kh7 58. Ra7 Rf6 59. h5 {Black is almost paralysed.} Kg8 60. Rd7 b4
61. cxb4 1-0
[Event "Grenke Chess Classic 5th"]
[Site "Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden"]
[Date "2018.04.01"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B48"]
[WhiteElo "2789"]
[BlackElo "2776"]
[Annotator "Szabo,Kr"]
[PlyCount "75"]
[EventDate "2018.03.31"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[EventCategory "20"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be3 a6 7. Qf3 {The
most fashionable line nowadays.} Nf6 (7... Ne5) ({and} 7... Bd6 {are also
common moves.}) 8. O-O-O Ne5 9. Qg3 b5 10. a3 (10. f4 {is the most popular
continuation.}) 10... Bb7 11. Bxb5 $5 {This is a typical sacrifice in this
type of position. Black still hasn't been able to finish his development, so
sometimes White has this breaking move.} Rc8 $1 $146 {A nice cool-blooded
novelty by Anand. Black ignores the b5-bishop, he continues the pressure on
the c-file and he will get back the e4-pawn.} (11... axb5 $2 {is bad obviously,
as} 12. Ndxb5 Qb8 13. Bb6 $16 {and Black is in trouble.}) ({The tempting} 11...
Bxa3 $6 {is dubious, because} 12. Bf4 $1 Bd6 13. Nxe6 $1 fxe6 14. Rxd6 $1 {
What a good tactical blow!} Qxd6 15. Bxe5 Qe7 16. Bd6 Qf7 17. Bd3 Rc8 18. Re1 (
18. f3 Rc6 19. Ba3 $16 {Frolyanov-Khanin, Kazan 2017, and Black can't castle.})
18... Qg6 19. Qe3 $16 {Admiraal-Leenhouts, Belgium 2017, and White has a lot
of threats, he is clearly better.}) 12. Ba4 (12. Be2 $5 {was the another
option.}) 12... Nxe4 13. Nxe4 Bxe4 14. Bf4 Qc4 $1 {The smart solution of the
pin.} (14... Qa5 {is also possible,} 15. Bxe5 Qxa4 {and transposing to the
text move.}) 15. Bxe5 ({In the event of} 15. Bb3 Nd3+ $1 16. Kb1 (16. Rxd3 $2 {
does not work, as there is} Qxd3 $17) 16... Qxd4 17. cxd3 Bg6 $132 {with a
complicated position.}) 15... Qxa4 16. Rd2 {The best way to protect c2.} f6 17.
Bd6 Kf7 18. Re1 Bg6 19. Bxf8 ({Keeping the tension with} 19. Ree2 {was
probably more accurate,} Bxd6 20. Qxd6 Rhe8 21. f4 $36 {and the white pieces
are more active.}) 19... Rhxf8 20. Qd6 Kg8 21. f4 Rfe8 $6 {A straightforward
continuation, but here this is an inaccuracy.} (21... Qc4 $1 {was the correct
reply!} 22. Qxd7 ({or} 22. Kb1 $6 e5 $1 23. fxe5 fxe5 $17 {and suddenly White
is in trouble.}) 22... Bf7 23. Nxe6 Qa2 $132 {with a double-edged fight.}) 22.
Re3 $1 {White activates his rook and controls the important c3-square.} Qc4 23.
b3 {White could consolidate his position, the black queen has to go back.
White's position is promising.} Qc7 24. Qxc7 Rxc7 25. Kb2 Rb8 26. g4 ({Of
course not} 26. c4 $2 {, because of} Rxc4 $1 {.}) 26... Bf7 27. a4 Rc5 28. Ne2
$1 {The knight wasn't already so useful on d4, so White opens the d-file for
the rook.} Rc7 ({In the event of} 28... d5 $6 29. Nd4 $1 {the knight comes
back again, because now the e6-pawn is weak.} Rb6 30. Rde2 $18 {and Black
can't protect the e6-pawn.}) 29. Rd6 $1 Ra7 30. Red3 Be8 31. f5 {Black is very
passive, White can improve his position without allowing any counterplay.
White blocks the dark-squares.} exf5 32. gxf5 Rc8 33. Nc3 Rc5 34. R3d5 Rc6 35.
Ne4 Kf7 36. Rd3 Rac7 37. c4 {Finally the c-pawn also advances.} g6 $6 {Loses
immediately, but Black's position was already bad.} (37... Ke7 38. R6d4 $16 {
followed by Nd6 and Black simply can't play.}) 38. fxg6+ {and Black resigned,
because he loses the f6-pawn.} (38. fxg6+ hxg6 39. Nxf6 $18) 1-0
[Event "Grenke Chess Classic 5th"]
[Site "Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden"]
[Date "2018.04.04"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Naiditsch, Arkadij"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C66"]
[WhiteElo "2784"]
[BlackElo "2701"]
[Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2018.03.31"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[EventCategory "20"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 d6 $5 5. O-O Bd7 6. Re1 Be7 (6... g6 {
trying to achieve the perfect setup with ...g6 allows a quick 7.d4!} 7. d4 Bg7
8. d5 Ne7 9. Bxd7+ Nxd7 10. Be3 O-O 11. c4 h6 (11... f5 {allows Ng5!} 12. Ng5 {
[%csl Re6]}) 12. Nfd2 $1 {building a strong center with f3 and putting all the
hopes on a queenside expansion. The light-squared bishop exchange on move 9 is
very convenient for White in these King's Indian pawn structures.} f5 13. f3 g5
14. Nc3 fxe4 15. fxe4 Ng6 16. g3 $14 {1-0 (26) Caruana,F (2817)-Finegold,B
(2481) chess.com INT 2017}) 7. c3 O-O 8. h3 Re8 9. a4 Bf8 10. Bg5 h6 11. Bh4 g5
$5 {it's always a little bit risky to push this pawn two squares!} (11... Be7
$1 {followed by ...Nh5 ideas was a decent option for Black.}) 12. Bg3 Ne7 13.
Bxd7 (13. Bc4 $5 $13 {keeping all the pieces was interesting.}) 13... Qxd7 14.
Nbd2 {[%cal Gb1d2,Gd2c4,Gc4e3,Ge3f5]} Ng6 15. Nc4 Rad8 16. Ne3 $14 {[%csl Rf5]
This knight is heading to f5.} d5 17. exd5 Bg7 (17... Nxd5 $2 18. Ng4 $1 $16)
18. d4 $5 (18. h4 $5 {was definitely worth considering as well.} Nxd5 (18... g4
19. Nd2 Nxd5 20. Nxd5 Qxd5 21. h5 Nf4 22. Bxf4 exf4 23. Qxg4 Qxd3 24. Ne4 $1
$16 (24. Nf1 $5 $16 {is also fine}) 24... Rxe4 $2 25. Red1 $1) 19. Nxd5 Qxd5
20. hxg5 hxg5 (20... Qxd3 21. gxh6 Qxd1 22. Raxd1 Rxd1 23. Rxd1 Bxh6 24. Rd7
$16) 21. Nxg5 Qxd3 22. Qg4 $40) 18... exd4 19. cxd4 $6 {Not a very pleasant
move to make, but I imagine Caruana was still counting on Black's king being
somewhat weaker until the end of the game.} (19. Qxd4 $1 Ne4 (19... Nxd5 20.
Qxd5 Qxd5 21. Nxd5 Rxe1+ 22. Rxe1 Rxd5 23. Re8+ Kh7 24. Bxc7 $16) 20. Be5 $1 {
a tough move to spot} Bxe5 21. Nxe5 Rxe5 22. Ng4 $3 Rxd5 (22... Qxd5 23. Nxe5
$18) 23. Qxe4 Kg7 24. Ne3 $16) 19... Nxd5 20. Nxd5 Rxe1+ 21. Qxe1 Qxd5 22. Bxc7
Rc8 23. Rc1 Bxd4 {Not expected by Caruana, as he mentioned in the Press
Conference. But as risky as it looks, Black gets the pawn back, without any
disaster happening.} 24. Qd2 Qd7 $1 {Forced and good.} 25. Nxd4 (25. Qxd4 Rxc7
26. Rxc7 Qxc7 27. Qxa7 {allows the typical perpetual check:} Qc1+ 28. Kh2 Qf4+
29. Kg1 Qc1+ 30. Kh2 $11) 25... Rxc7 26. Rxc7 Qxc7 27. Nf5 {The position is
objectively equal, but in practice, Black always needs to take care of his
king, as long as there are queens on the board.} Kh7 28. g3 Ne5 {The knight
shouldn't stay loose like this. The move itself is not a mistake, but
difficult moves have to be found from now on. Caruana considered it as a
practical mistake already.} (28... Qc6 $1 {mentioned by Caruana after the game,
this is one of the consistent moves in the position. Now ...Ne5 may actually
be a nice move, and Black remains solid after all. The knight is strong on f5,
but White needed a specific target to create a direct attack against the
opponent's king.}) (28... Qc5 $1 {demands more calculation, but also works} 29.
Qd7 Ne5 30. Qxb7 Qc2 $1 {[%csl Ra4,Rf5]} 31. g4 (31. Ne3 Qxa4 $11) 31... Qxa4
$11) 29. Qe3 Nc4 $6 (29... f6 $1 {Again, Black has to be careful, but he's
doing just fine.} 30. Qe4 (30. Nd4 Qc4 31. Qe4+ Kh8 32. Kg2 Qd3 $11) 30... Qc6
$1 $11) 30. Qc3 Qe5 31. Qd3 Nxb2 32. Qc2 Qe1+ 33. Kg2 Qd1 34. Qe4 {These last
moves by Naiditsch were a bit too adventurous. Now he had to show some calm
and go for 34...Qd7!, mentioned by GM Jan Gustafsson in the press conference
as a suggestion. This move somehow still holds the position together} Qxa4 $2 (
34... Qd7 $1 {it's always hard to allow a discovered check like this one.} 35.
Qe5 (35. Kh2 Nxa4 36. Qe5 Kg6 $3 $11 {preparing the escape, as well as the ...
f6 move.}) 35... Qc6+ 36. Kg1 Qg6 $11 {still surviving.}) 35. Qxb7 Qa2 36. Ne3
$1 $18 {Suddenly, the black knight is totally out of play (there is Qe4+
against ...Nd3)} Kg7 {Threatening ...Nd3 now.} (36... Na4 37. Nd5 $1 {cutting
off Black's queen's defence of f7} Kg7 38. Qc6 $1 Qa1 {keeping an eye on f6}
39. Ne3 $1 {when Black can not resist the attack with Nf5+.}) 37. Qb4 $1 {
[%csl Rb2] This move serves two purposes: dominate the b2-knight and create a
irresistible attack for White. Qd4+ is a threat here, for example. The black
pieces are completely out of play.} Qb1 (37... Na4 38. Qd4+ Kg6 39. Qe4+ Kg7
40. Qc6 Kh7 41. Ng4 $18) (37... a5 38. Qd4+ Kh7 39. Nf5 Kg6 40. g4 f6 41. Qe4
$18) 38. g4 Kg8 39. Nf5 Qc2 40. Qb8+ Kh7 41. Qb7 Kh8 42. Qe7 $1 {[%cal Ge7f8]}
1-0
[Event "Grenke Chess Classic 5th"]
[Site "Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden"]
[Date "2018.04.06"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Meier, Georg"]
[Black "Naiditsch, Arkadij"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E08"]
[WhiteElo "2648"]
[BlackElo "2701"]
[Annotator "Sadorra,J"]
[PlyCount "66"]
[EventDate "2018.03.31"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[EventCategory "20"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Be7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O c6 8. Qc2
b6 ({Another way to reach the game is} 8... Nbd7 9. Rd1 b6 10. b3 Bb7 11. Nc3)
9. Rd1 Bb7 10. b3 ({The other common line here is} 10. Bf4 Nbd7 11. Ne5 (11.
Nc3 {leads to a well-known equal or drawish position after} dxc4 12. Ne5 Nd5
13. Nxc4 Nxf4 14. gxf4 Qc7 15. e3 Rad8 16. Rac1 c5 17. d5 exd5 18. Nxd5 Bxd5
19. Rxd5 b5 20. Ne5 Nxe5 21. Rxe5 Bd6 $11) 11... Nxe5 12. dxe5 Nd7 13. cxd5 {
now a recent high-level game here went} exd5 $5 14. e4 d4 15. Rxd4 Bc5 16. Rd2
Qe7 17. Nc3 Nxe5 18. Rad1 Bc8 19. h3 {Gelfand,B (2724)-Anand,V (2786) Zuerich
2017, and Black should continue} f6 {where White may have a slight edge but
Black has equalising chances.}) 10... Nbd7 11. Nc3 Rc8 12. Bf4 {Transposing to
a familiar main line rather than going for a more principled pawn break in the
centre.} ({The most principled approach is} 12. e4 $1 Nxe4 (12... c5 $6 13.
exd5 exd5 14. Be3 dxc4 15. d5 $1 Ng4 16. Bf4 cxb3 (16... Bf6 17. bxc4 Ba6 18.
Rac1 Bxc4 19. Ne4 Ba6 {1-0 (36) Grandelius,N (2562)-Firat,B (2423) Athens 2012}
20. h3 $1 Nge5 21. Nxf6+ Qxf6 22. Nxe5 Nxe5 23. Qa4 $16) 17. axb3 c4 18. Rxa7
cxb3 19. Qxb3 b5 20. d6 Bf6 21. Rxb7 Rxc3 22. Qb1 $18 {and White has a
decisive advantage.} Nc5 23. Rxb5 Qd7 24. h3 Nxf2 25. Kxf2 Ne4+ 26. Kg1 Rxf3
27. Rb7 {1-0 (27) Swiercz,D (2645)-Xiong,J (2674) Saint Louis 2017}) 13. Nxe4
dxe4 14. Qxe4 Nf6 15. Qe2 c5 16. dxc5 bxc5 (16... Bxc5 17. b4 $1 Be7 18. Rac1 (
18. Bf4 Qe8) 18... Qe8 19. Ne5 Bxg2 20. Kxg2 Qa4 21. a3 $1 Nd7 (21... Rfd8 22.
b5 $1 a6 23. Nc6 $16) (21... a6 22. Qf3) (21... Qxa3 22. Ra1 Qb2 23. Rxa7 Rfe8
24. b5 $16) 22. Nxd7 Qxd7 23. Qf3 $14) 17. Bg5 {½-½ (17) Konopka,M (2398)
-Farago,I (2410) Hungary 2017} Qb6 18. Ne5 Rfd8 19. Rxd8+ Rxd8 20. Rd1 $14 {
White's position is easier to play - against the weakness on the queenside
light squares - however Black should hold with accurate play.}) 12... c5 13.
Nb5 cxd4 14. Nd6 (14. Nxa7 $2 {is very risky} Rc5 $1 15. Rxd4 Qa8 16. Nb5 dxc4
17. Nd6 (17. Bd6 Bxd6 18. Nxd6 cxb3 19. Qxb3 Bd5 $17 20. Qd3 $2 e5 21. Rh4 e4 {
0-1 (21) Molina,R (2322)-Leitao,R (2601) Rio de Janeiro 2007}) 17... cxb3 18.
Qxb3 Bd5 $17) (14. Rxd4 Rc5 $1 {A typical idea in these positions.} 15. Rad1 a6
16. Nc3 (16. Nd6 $6 Ba8 $15) 16... Qc8 $1 $36 {and it's White who's under
pressure again, especially on the vulnerable c-file.} (16... b5 $5)) 14... Bxd6
15. Bxd6 Re8 16. Nxd4 Nc5 {This position has been reached 2 times before, and
Naiditsch could be very well still in his prep. He shared in a post-game
interview that he got a good position from the opening.} 17. Bxc5 Rxc5 ({
Another way to get a good complex game is} 17... bxc5 18. Nf3 Qb6 19. e3 dxc4
20. bxc4 Be4 $36 {0-1 (42) Krylov,M (2499)-Grachev,B (2660) Moscow 2011}) 18.
Qb2 ({Another continuation that leads to an equal game is} 18. Qd2 Qa8 (18...
Qe7 19. cxd5 Bxd5 $11) (18... e5 $5 19. Nf5 (19. Nb5 $6 Qb8 $1 20. Rac1 Rec8
$36) 19... Bc8 20. Ne3 d4 21. Nd5 Nxd5 22. Bxd5 $11) 19. cxd5 Bxd5 20. f3 Bb7
$11 {0-1 (30) Krishna,C (2326)-Barua,D (2429) Kolkata 2012}) 18... e5 {A
critical moment for White.} 19. Nb5 $6 (19. Nf5 Qd7 20. b4 $1 (20. Ne3 $6 d4
$15) 20... Rxc4 21. Ne3 Rc7 22. Nxd5 Bxd5 23. Bxd5 Nxd5 24. e4 Rc4 $36 {
though White has equal chances, I think Black still has some initiative to
work with.}) ({Naitditsch was expecting another retreat:} 19. Nf3 {after which
he considered some interesting possibilities.} e4 (19... Qc7 20. Nd2 (20. cxd5
$2 {helping Black seize the weak c3-square.} Nxd5 21. Rac1 Nc3) 20... dxc4 21.
Nxc4 (21. Bxb7 c3 $19) 21... Bxg2 22. Kxg2 Qc6+ 23. Kg1 Ne4 $15) 20. Nd4 dxc4
$1 21. Ne6 ({The best way to defend is} 21. bxc4 Qe7 $15 {but White has a long
term weakness giving Black a long-term edge.} 22. Qa3 (22. e3 Ng4 $15) 22... e3
$1 $36) 21... c3 $1 22. Qa3 (22. Qc2 fxe6 23. Rxd8 Rxd8 $17) 22... fxe6 23.
Rxd8 Rxd8 $17) 19... Qb8 $1 $15 20. e3 ({If} 20. Rac1 {White can face
unpleasant pressure after} Rec8 21. Na3 d4 $15) 20... h5 $5 ({Simpler and
better is} 20... a6 21. Na3 dxc4 $1 22. Nxc4 (22. bxc4 Bxg2 23. Kxg2 Qb7+ 24.
f3 e4 25. f4 Qc8 $1 26. Qxb6 Ng4 $40 {[%csl Rg2][%cal Rg4h2,Rc5h5]}) 22... Bxg2
23. Kxg2 b5 $17 {[%csl Rc3][%cal Gf6e4,Ge4c3,Gb5b4]} 24. Nd6 (24. Nd2 Qb7+ 25.
Kg1 Rd5 $1 26. Nf1 (26. Rac1 Red8) 26... Ne4 $17) 24... Re6 25. Nf5 (25. Qa3
Rc2) 25... Qa8+ 26. Kg1 g6 $17) 21. Qe2 a6 22. Na3 d4 (22... Qa8 $5 23. Rac1
dxc4 24. Bxb7 Qxb7 25. Rxc4 Rd5 $15) 23. Nc2 Bxg2 24. Kxg2 Ne4 25. Qf1 h4 $6 {
After this, things get out of control.} ({The best continuation here, and
positionally in general, is to improve the worst-placed piece which in this
case is the c5-rook.} 25... Rc6 $1 26. Nb4 (26. exd4 Rf6 $40 27. f3 Ng5 28. Ne1
Nxf3 29. Nxf3 e4 $17) 26... Rg6 27. Nd5 {So what if there's a knight on d5? It
looks nice but is it doing anything useful according to the demands of the
position? :-)} dxe3 28. fxe3 (28. Nxe3 Rf6 $1) 28... Qc8 $40 {[%csl Rg2,Rg3,
Rh3][%cal Rh5h4,Re4g5]}) 26. f3 Nc3 27. Rd2 (27. Re1 {was more solid} hxg3 28.
hxg3 dxe3 29. Rxe3 $13 {and White is holding as the position starts to
stablise.}) 27... hxg3 28. hxg3 Re6 29. Qf2 Rf6 $2 ({The best but difficult
way to continue the attack which Naiditch later realised is} 29... e4 $1 30.
Rxd4 (30. Nxd4 exf3+ 31. Qxf3 Rf6 {and the queen has to give up control of the
a8-h1 diagonal.}) (30. f4 d3 $17) 30... exf3+ 31. Qxf3 Rg5 $40 {Black's pieces
start to coordinate and create dangerous threats around the white king.}) 30.
exd4 Ne4 31. Qe3 Nxd2 32. dxc5 Nxf3 {So far both players are playing
reasonably well in this crazy position and in mutual time trouble!} 33. cxb6 $4
{Unfortunately, Meier is the first one to crack under pressure.} ({Naiditch
correctly pointed out in an interview that White must play} 33. c6 $1 {
blocking the a8-h1 diagonal for the black queen; then he was planning} Qc8 {
whereupon Black still has good attacking chances. Indeed, with little time on
the clock, it will be challenging to find only-moves in the ensuing play.} 34.
Nb4 (34. Rh1 Qxc6) 34... Qf5 $1 (34... Nh4+ 35. gxh4 Qg4+ 36. Qg3 Qe2+ 37. Kh1
Qe4+ 38. Kh2 Qe2+ $11) (34... Qg4 35. Rh1) 35. Nd5 Qc2+ 36. Kf1 $1 {Here White
has to be brave and play the only move that draws:} Nh2+ 37. Kg1 Nf3+ 38. Kf1
$1 $11) (33. Rf1 e4 $1 34. Nd4 (34. Qxe4 Nd2) 34... Rg6 35. Ne2 bxc5 $40) 33...
Qb7 $1 {A powerful, little move by the queen that creates unstoppable
discovered threats. Upon realising there is no defence, White resigned. An
impressive comeback and a much-needed win for the hometown favourite GM
Naiditsch who disappointedly failed to realise good winning chances in his
previous game. Credit to both players for playing one of the more exciting
games in the 2018 GRENKE Chess Classic!} 0-1
[Event "Grenke Chess Classic 5th"]
[Site "Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden"]
[Date "2018.04.07"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Naiditsch, Arkadij"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B91"]
[WhiteElo "2701"]
[BlackElo "2843"]
[Annotator "Quintiliano,R"]
[PlyCount "84"]
[EventDate "2018.03.31"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[EventCategory "20"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. g3 {For some reason,
games between Carlsen and Naiditsch tend to be very interesting and
complicated. This time, however, Naiditsch aims for a more quiet, positional
struggle.} e5 7. Nb3 {A less played, but still interesting option.} (7. Nde2 {
is the main move, White plans to improve this knight by means of Nd5 followed
by Nec3 or h3-g4-Ng3.}) 7... Be7 8. Bg2 (8. a4 {a normal move to keep Black's
queenside under control, but not a good one in this case, as Black can play}
Nc6 $1 {[%csl Gb4][%cal Yc6b4] and with the b4-square available to this knight,
Black establishes a firm control over d5} 9. Bg2 Nb4 10. Bg5 Be6 11. O-O Rc8 {
Black's development not only protects the important point d5, but exerts
pressure against the c-file; Nd5 is also prevented} 12. a5 {[%cal Ya1a4]} Qd7
$1 {Guo,A (2219)-Quintiliano Pinto,R (2451) SPICE Cup Open 2017 (4.18) 0-1 and
Black is fine -} 13. Ra4 $2 Nxc2 $1) 8... O-O 9. O-O Be6 ({Some recent games
proved that} 9... b5 $5 {is also playable} 10. Nd5 $5 (10. a4 {used to be
considered favourable for White, but times and evaluations change} b4 11. Nd5
Nxd5 12. Qxd5 Ra7 13. Be3 Be6 14. Qd3 Ra8 $5 {the best way to avoid problems
with the a6-pawn under attack in many variations} 15. f4 Qc7 16. Nd2 a5 $1 {
[%cal Yb8a6,Ya6c5];Hou,Y (2652)-Grischuk,A (2750) Moscow FIDE GP 2017 (5) 0-1
and Black is ok -}) 10... Nxd5 11. Qxd5 Ra7 12. Be3 Be6 13. Qd2 Ra8 14. a4 (14.
Na5 $5) 14... Nc6 15. axb5 axb5 16. Rxa8 Qxa8 17. Ra1 Qb7 $11 {Naiditsch,A
(2710)-Vidit,S (2693) ESP-chT CECLUB Honor 2017 (6.2) 1/2}) 10. Re1 {[%csl Gd5]
[%cal Yb3d2,Yd2f1,Yf1e3] Preparing the standard manoeuvre Nd2-f1-e3, typical
in such positions.} ({Naiditsch had also played the main move} 10. a4 Nbd7 (
10... Nc6 $6 {is not so strong now due to the direct} 11. Nd5 $1) 11. Re1 {
now White goes for the same plan without the queenside expansion for Black,
but the time spent on the move a4 allows a good idea. It is nice to remember
the line} (11. a5 {doesn't really prevent Black's counterplay on the queenside}
Qc7 12. Re1 Rfc8 13. h3 h6 14. Be3 b5 $1 15. axb6 Nxb6 {[%cal Yb6c4]} 16. Na5
Nc4 17. Nxc4 Bxc4 $11 {Leko,P (2740)-Topalov,V (2801) Corus Wijk aan Zee 2006
(13) 1/2}) 11... Qc7 12. Nd2 Bd8 $1 {[%cal Yd8a5,Ya5e1] a very nice plan,
Black is improving his bad bishop and at the same time preventing White from
using the d5-square} 13. Nf1 Qc5 14. Ne3 ({Naiditsch's game went} 14. h3 Ba5
15. Be3 Qc7 16. Bd2 Rac8 17. Ne3 {Naiditsch,A (2684)-Sunilduth Lyna,N (2536)
Douglas IoM op 2016 (8) 1-0} Bxc3 $1 18. Bxc3 Nc5 {[%csl Ye4] and Black is
fine, for example} 19. Nd5 $2 Nxd5 20. exd5 Bd7 {[%csl Ya4]} 21. a5 Na4 22. Re3
f5 $1 $36) 14... Ba5 15. Bd2 Rac8 {Wei,Y (2706)-Giri,A (2798) Tata Steel-A
78th 2016 (5) 1/2 and Black had no problems in}) 10... Nbd7 11. Nd2 ({White
had the chance to transpose to the last move's previous lines with} 11. a4)
11... b5 $1 {Although in the positions in which White avoids this move Black
is also ok, allowing it looks even worse for me. Black simply has no problems
and now has more space and possibilities on the queenside.} 12. Nf1 Bg4 $1 $146
{Carlsen shows excellent understanding of this position, this move provokes
weaknesses in the dark squares in White's camp, besides making the Bg2 (even
more) bad.} (12... Nb6 {was played by a Najdorf specialist and also gave a
nice position to Black} 13. Ne3 b4 14. Ncd5 Nfxd5 15. exd5 Bd7 16. Bd2 a5 17.
a3 bxa3 18. Rxa3 a4 19. Bb4 Qb8 20. c3 Bg5 21. Ra1 f5 $36 {Balogh,C (2648)
-Wojtaszek,R (2715) HUN-POL m Budapest 2014 (4.6) 0-1}) 13. f3 (13. Qd2 {
looks very unnatural, but it is probably better as White keeps his position
untouched, and Ne3 is coming in the next move, then he will be able to
correctly replace the queen.}) 13... Be6 14. Ne3 Rc8 15. a3 (15. a4 $5 b4 16.
Ncd5 Bxd5 17. exd5 (17. Nxd5 Nxd5 18. exd5 Bg5 $1 {is a typical idea, looking
to endgames in which the knight will be much superior to the light-squared
bishop}) 17... Rc5 $132 {[%cal Yd7b6,Gd8c7,Yd8a8]}) 15... Nb6 {Black has
solved the positional problem of d5: White is not able to place his knights
there and recapture with a piece, which would be the ideal plan.} 16. f4 $5 {
Necessary to prevent d5.} (16. Bd2 d5 $1 17. exd5 Nfxd5 18. Nexd5 Nxd5 19. Rxe5
Bf6 {[%csl Yc3] and Black regains the pawn with a better structure} 20. Re1
Qb6+ 21. Kh1 Nxc3 22. bxc3 Bxc3 23. Bxc3 Rxc3 $17 {[%csl Ga3,Gc2][%cal Yf8d8]})
16... Re8 (16... exf4 17. gxf4 Re8 $15 {also seems easier for Black due to
White's unstable centre.}) 17. Kh1 Bf8 18. f5 $1 {Black was ready to take on
f4 and exert pressure against White's centre.} Bd7 19. Qd3 {White should keep
an eye on d5. The position remains balanced.} (19. Bd2 Bc6 20. Rc1 d5 $1 {
is very good for Black.}) 19... h6 20. b3 ({Against the direct} 20. Bd2 {
Naiditsch was maybe worried about} Nc4) 20... Bc6 21. Bd2 Qc7 22. Rac1 Qb7 {
Carlsen has improved the queen and is looking for ideas with d6-d5 or pressure
against the e4-pawn.} 23. Ned5 (23. Rcd1 Nbd7 $1 {[%cal Yd7c5] would force a
similar position to the game} 24. Ncd5 Bxd5 25. exd5 (25. Nxd5 Nxd5 26. exd5
Be7 $1 {[%cal Ye7g5]}) {but here Blackalso has the interesting idea} 25... Be7
$5 {[%cal Ye7d8,Yd8b6]}) 23... Bxd5 24. exd5 Nbd7 $1 {[%cal Yd7c5] After the
exchange on d5 the kinight is misplaced on b6, so Carlsen hurries to improve
it, via c5.} 25. Nd1 {[%cal Yd2b4,Gd1e3] White is also trying to improve his
pieces.} (25. Ne4 $5) 25... e4 $5 {Looking for complications, although Black
had another idea which was very good.} (25... Be7 $1 {[%cal Ye7d8,Yd8b6] would
be simple and good} 26. Nf2 (26. Bb4 e4 $1 {[%csl Yd5]} 27. Bxe4 a5 $1 $19 {
[%cal Gd7c5]}) 26... Bd8 27. g4 $5 Bb6 $1 28. Ne4 Nxe4 29. Bxe4 Bf2 $1 30. Re2
Bh4 $15 {[%cal Yh4g5,Gd7c5,Yb7e7] with a pleasant position.}) 26. Qd4 (26. Bxe4
$4 Nc5 $19) 26... Ne5 {The only continuation that makes sense for Black.} (
26... Qxd5 {is harmless} 27. Qxd5 Nxd5 28. Bxe4 N5f6 29. Bb7 Rxe1+ 30. Bxe1 Rb8
31. Bg2 $11 (31. Bxa6 $2 Nc5 {[%csl Ga6]})) 27. Nf2 $2 {After this move White
has problems.} (27. Nc3 $1 {would be better, keeping d5 protected} Nf3 $1 28.
Bxf3 exf3 29. Rxe8 Rxe8 30. Qf4 $1 a5 {[%cal Yb5b4]} 31. b4 $1 (31. Qxf3 b4 32.
axb4 axb4 33. Na2 Ne4 $1 34. Bxb4 Qxd5 35. Rf1 Qb7 $44 {[%cal Yd6d5]}) 31...
axb4 32. axb4 Rc8 $1 33. Qxf3 Rc4 $132 {and the position is unclear}) 27... Nf3
$1 28. Bxf3 exf3 {[%csl Yd5] The d5-pawn hanging forces White to expose his
structure even more.} 29. c4 bxc4 30. bxc4 Re5 $1 {A very practical and strong
move.} (30... Rxe1+ 31. Bxe1 (31. Rxe1 Qb3 {[%csl Ra3,Rc4]}) 31... Re8 32. Kg1
Nd7 $17 {[%cal Yd7e5] is also very unpleasant for White.}) 31. Re3 (31. Rxe5 $2
dxe5 32. Qxe5 Bxa3 $19) 31... Rxe3 (31... Rxf5 32. Qd3 {[%cal Ye3f3]}) 32. Qxe3
(32. Bxe3 Re8 {with the dangerous threat Qb3} 33. Qc3 Qe7 34. Re1 {Black has a
beautiful idea here} Ne4 $3 {seemingly falling into a trap} 35. Nxe4 Qxe4 36.
Bf2 Qxf5 $1 37. Rxe8 Qh3 $1 {[%csl Rg2] and it is mate} 38. Qxf3 Qf1+ 39. Bg1
Qxf3#) 32... Qb2 $1 {The queen's invasion is very unpleasant and puts White
under serious pressure. Nxd5 is already a threat.} 33. Nd3 (33. Qc3 Qa2 34. Qd3
(34. Kg1 Nxd5 $1 35. Qxf3 Qxd2 36. Rd1 Qc3 37. Qxd5 Rxc4 $17) 34... Rb8 $19 {
[%cal Yb8b3,Yb8b2] the rook also comes and White can't avoid material losses.})
33... Qxa3 34. Qxf3 Qa2 $17 {White's position is collapsing, and the time
trouble is just an additional problem.} 35. Bc3 (35. Qd1 {is not better:} Rxc4
36. Ra1 Qc2) 35... Rxc4 (35... Nd7 $5) 36. Ra1 Qb3 37. Bxf6 gxf6 38. Kg2 $2 (
38. Qd1 $1 {would had offered better chances:} Qb5 39. Nf4 a5 $17) 38... Rc3
39. Rd1 (39. Qg4+ Bg7 40. Nf4 {doesn't work:} Qb2+ 41. Kh3 Qxa1 42. Nh5 Qf1+
43. Kh4 Rc4 $19) 39... h5 $1 {One last touch of precision by the World
Champion: Qg4+ is not possible now.} 40. Kh3 Bh6 $19 {The time control was
reached, but it just enough to realise that White's position is hopeless and
lost.} 41. Re1 (41. Qxh5 Rxd3 42. Rxd3 Qxd3 43. Qxh6 Qxf5+ 44. Kg2 (44. Kh4
Qg5+ $1 45. Qxg5+ fxg5+ 46. Kxg5 a5 $19) 44... Qg5 45. Qh3 Qxd5+ 46. Kf2 Qd4+
47. Ke2 a5 $19 {the endgame is a simple win for Black.}) 41... Rxd3 42. Qxh5
Re3 {If 43. Rc1 Rxg3! A typical strategic win by Carlsen, building a sound
position, taking the right opportunity to create some complications that lead
to new weaknesses in his opponent's camp, then exploiting them very
convincingly.} 0-1
[Event "Gashimov Memorial 5th"]
[Site "Shamkir"]
[Date "2018.04.19"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Ding, Liren"]
[Black "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A28"]
[WhiteElo "2778"]
[BlackElo "2744"]
[Annotator "Marin,M"]
[PlyCount "133"]
[EventDate "2018.04.19"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AZE"]
[EventCategory "21"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bb4 5. Bg2 d6 $5 ({Stepping out of the
main theoretical stream continuing with} 5... O-O 6. O-O e4) 6. O-O O-O 7. d3 (
7. Nd5 {is likely to transpose to another main line:} Bc5 (7... e4 $6 8. Ne1
Bc5 9. d3 exd3 10. Nxd3 $14) 8. e3 Bg4 (8... a6 9. b3 Ba7 10. d3 h6 {Turov,M
(2658)-Savchenko,S (2541) Metz 2012 EXT 2013 [Metz (1-0, 41)Alekhine/Primel,D]}
) 9. h3 Bh5 10. d3 Nxd5 11. cxd5 Ne7 12. g4 Bg6 13. d4 exd4 14. Nxd4 $14 {
Izoria,Z (2599)-Akobian,V (2647) Saint Louis 2018 (½-½, 52)}) 7... Re8 {
A neutral move, waiting for White to define his intentions.} (7... h6 {is the
most popular move leading to the usual English struggle.} 8. Na4 (8. Bd2 a5 9.
e3 Bf5 10. Qe2 Re8 11. Rfd1 e4 $132 {1-0 (39) Laznicka,V (2677)-Topalov,V
(2769) Novy Bor 2013 CBM 157 [CB]}) 8... a5 9. b3 Qe7 (9... Re8 10. Bb2 Bf5 {
Svidler,P (2757)-Nakamura,H (2790) Moscow 2016 CBM 172 [Sagar Shah/CB Website]
(½-½, 30)}) 10. Bb2 Bc5 11. e3 Ba7 12. Nc3 {Aronian,L (2786)-Topalov,V (2780)
Moscow 2016 CBM 172 [Mekhitarian,K] (½-½, 58)}) (7... Bxc3 {is more double
edged strategically.} 8. bxc3 h6 (8... e4 9. Nd4 exd3 10. exd3 Ne5 11. f4 Ng6
12. Rb1 c5 13. Nc2 Rb8 14. f5 Ne5 15. Ne3 $16 {Nepomniachtchi,I (2718)
-Savchenko,B (2580) Sochi 2012 (1-0, 32)}) 9. h3 (9. Rb1 Rb8 10. e4 {1-0 (28)
Mamedyarov,S (2657)-Gagunashvili,M (2562) Dubai 2004 CBM 101 [Ribli,Z]}) 9...
Rb8 10. Ne1 Bd7 11. e4 a6 12. Kh2 b5 $132 {Mamedov,R (2688)-Malakhov,V (2713)
Doha 2016 (½-½, 130)}) 8. Bd2 ({In a recent game} 8. Bg5 Bxc3 9. bxc3 h6 10.
Bh4 {led to interesting play, explaining why Black usually prefers 7...h6.} Rb8
({Things are not entirely clear after} 10... g5 11. Nxg5 hxg5 12. Bxg5 Kg7 13.
f4 e4 $1 {but White's compensation is beyond doubt.}) 11. Rb1 Bd7 12. h3 Qe7
13. g4 Nd8 14. Nd2 {Nepomniachtchi,I (2751)-Palac,M (2525) Tbilisi 2017 (½-½,
35) with an initiative for White but a solid black position.}) 8... Nd4 {
This will soon lead to a minimal white advantage with-one sided play.} (8... a5
$5 9. a3 Bxc3 10. Bxc3 a4 11. Qc2 Nd7 $6 {This wastes too much time.} ({
Black should continue developing with, say,} 11... h6 12. Rad1 Be6 {Preventing
d3-d4 with an entirely viable position.}) 12. Rad1 Nc5 13. d4 $14 {Van Wely,L
(2676)-Volokitin,A (2652) Germany 2017 (½-½, 36)}) 9. a3 Nxf3+ 10. Bxf3 Bxc3
11. Bxc3 c6 ({If} 11... Bh3 {(Bachmann,K-Lohse,S Bad Pyrmont 1963 (0-1, 42))
Black could carry out the promising exchange sacrifice:} 12. Bxb7 Bxf1 13. Qxf1
Rb8 14. Bc6 Re6 15. b4 d5 16. b5 d4 17. Ba5 $14) 12. e4 {Anticipating Black's
central; expansion. Paradoxically, the white bishops will be very strong with
the blocked centre.} (12. Bg2 Bd7 13. h3 h6 14. Kh2 Nh7 $6 (14... d5 {offers
Black reasonable play.}) 15. f4 exf4 16. gxf4 f5 17. Qe1 Qe7 18. Qg3 Qf7 19.
Bf3 $40 {Benko,P (2480)-Sherwin,J USA 1976 (1-0, 27)}) 12... Bh3 13. Re1 c5 14.
b4 $14 {White's queenside initiative progresses slowly but consistently while
Black does not have concrete ideas on the other wing.} b6 15. a4 Nd7 16. a5 (
16. b5 a6 {would help Black in the fight for the a-file.}) 16... Be6 ({Even
though} 16... cxb4 {looks like a concession Black would avoid being suffocated
as in the game.} 17. Bxb4 Nc5 18. Bc3 Ne6 $14) 17. Ra3 Rb8 18. b5 $16 Qc8 ({
Wojtaszek complained that he refrained from his initial thought:} 18... Ra8 {
but this would have hardly solved his problems.} 19. Qb3 $1 ({During the post
mortem the only analysed lines went} 19. axb6 axb6 {with equal rights on the
a-file and}) (19. Qa1 a6 {This was Black's idea.} 20. axb6 axb5 {with chances
to equalise.}) 19... a6 {This does not work out well but otherwise White would
double rooks on the a-file and then choose the most favourable moment for axb6
followed by the intrusion.} 20. axb6 axb5 21. Rxa8 Qxa8 22. Qxb5 Qb7 23. Ba5
$16 {Keeping the extra pawn.}) 19. axb6 axb6 20. Re2 Ra8 21. Rea2 Rxa3 (21...
Qb7 22. Qa1 $16 {does not change much.}) 22. Rxa3 Qc7 23. Bg2 Nf8 24. f4 {
After having achieved success on the queenside White opens a new front.} f6 {
Of course Black should restrict the dark-squared bishop as much as possible.}
25. f5 Bc8 26. Bd2 Bb7 27. g4 {The start of the typical Mar del Plata KI
attack, with the difference that here White is better on both wings.} ({
DIng suggested} 27. h4 {as an improvement, probably having in mind that the
bishop could go to h5 after, for instance} h6 28. Bf3 $16) 27... h6 28. h4 Nh7
29. Bf3 Qe7 30. Kf2 Rb8 31. Qc1 Ra8 (31... Qd8 {may have required more
precision to achioeve the same kind of ending as in the game.} 32. Ra7 Qc8 33.
g5 hxg5 34. hxg5 Ra8 35. Rxa8 Qxa8 {One important point is that} 36. Bh5 {
allows} Bxe4 $5 37. dxe4 Qxe4 {with good compensation for the piece.}) 32.
Rxa8+ Bxa8 33. Qa1 Bb7 34. Qa7 Qc7 {Black's queenside is completely paralysed
and the time has come for White to continue his kingside plan.} 35. g5 (35. Kg3
$5 {[%cal Gg4g5]}) 35... fxg5 36. hxg5 Nxg5 ({Initially Wojtaszek complained
about not having preferred} 36... hxg5 {but then could see no big improvement
over the game after} 37. Kg3 Kf8 38. Bh5 Nf6 39. Bg6 Ke7 40. Bxg5 Kd8 $16) 37.
Bxg5 hxg5 38. Bh5 {One of those cases when the good bishop is the one acting
on squares of the same colour as those on which the whole own structure is
blocked. The point is that Black has to prevent Bd8 and Bc6, winning the
passive b7-bishop.} Kf8 39. Kg3 Ke7 40. Kg4 Kd8 41. Bg6 Ke7 ({After reaching
the time control Black understood that the king was of no help on the
queenside, for instance:} 41... Kc8 42. Be8 Kd8 43. Bc6 Bxc6 44. Qxc7+ Kxc7 45.
bxc6 Kxc6 46. Kxg5 b5 47. cxb5+ Kxb5 48. Kg6 d5 49. exd5 (49. Kxg7 {also wins
in principle, but one would have to prove it in the queen ending arising after}
dxe4 50. dxe4 c4 51. f6 c3 52. f7 c2 53. f8=Q c1=Q 54. Qb8+ Ka6 55. Qxe5 $18)
49... e4 50. dxe4 c4 51. e5 $18) ({Or if} 41... Bc8 42. Qxc7+ Kxc7 43. Kxg5 Kd8
44. Bf7 Ke7 45. Kg6 Kf8 46. Be6 Bxe6 47. fxe6 Ke8 $5 48. Kxg7 Ke7 49. Kh7 Kxe6
50. Kg8 $18) 42. Kxg5 Kf8 43. Kh5 $1 {Since Black cannot move with his
queenside pieces and his king is dominated by the bishop, White uses his own
king's freedom to put Black in zugzwang.} Ke7 44. Kg4 Kd8 (44... Kf8 {makes
everything perfect for the quick queen swotch to the kingside:} 45. Qa2 $1 Ke7
46. Qh2 Qc8 47. Qh4+ Kd7 48. Bf7 $18) 45. Bh7 (45. Qa1 Qe7 $11 {followed by ...
Kc7 saves the day for Black.}) 45... Ke8 46. Bg8 g6 $1 {Good or bad Black has
to try this, in the hope of exposing the enemy king and reaching a draw by
perpetual.} 47. Bd5 (47. fxg6 $2 Bc8+ {wins the queen.}) 47... gxf5+ 48. Kf3 $1
(48. Kg3 Qd8 $11 {White cannot avoid the perpetual.}) 48... fxe4+ 49. Ke3 $2 ({
After} 49. Ke2 $1 {the king would have soon escaped checks, with a won
position:} Qc8 (49... exd3+ 50. Kd2 $5) 50. Qxb7 Qg4+ 51. Kd2 Qf4+ 52. Kc2
exd3+ 53. Kb3 d2 54. Qc8+ Ke7 55. Qe6+ Kf8 56. Qxd6+ Kg7 57. Be6 $18) 49... Qd8
50. Bxb7 Qg5+ {The rest is easy.} 51. Kxe4 Qf4+ 52. Kd5 Qf3+ 53. Kxd6 Qf6+ 54.
Kd5 Qf3+ 55. Kxe5 Qg3+ 56. Kf5 Qh3+ 57. Kf4 Qh4+ 58. Kf3 Qf6+ 59. Ke2 Qb2+ 60.
Ke1 Qc1+ 61. Ke2 Qb2+ 62. Kf1 Qc1+ 63. Kg2 Qd2+ 64. Kg3 Qg5+ 65. Kf3 Qf6+ 66.
Ke3 Qd4+ 67. Ke2 1/2-1/2
[Event "Gashimov Memorial 5th"]
[Site "Shamkir"]
[Date "2018.04.21"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Ding, Liren"]
[Black "Topalov, Veselin"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D45"]
[WhiteElo "2778"]
[BlackElo "2749"]
[Annotator "Quintiliano,R"]
[PlyCount "114"]
[EventDate "2018.04.19"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AZE"]
[EventCategory "21"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 c6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Be2 $5 {An interesting
move order, that Ding Liren played two years ago against Wesley So.} Bd6 ({
Of course Topalov would be very happy to transpose to the sharp lines of the
Meran with} 6... dxc4 {but} 7. a4 $1 {frustrates Black's plans.}) (6... b6 {
there is no way to take advantage of White's move order, as I proved with my
own (disastrous) experience} 7. O-O Bb7 8. Qc2 dxc4 (8... Bd6 $142) 9. Bxc4 c5
{it seems that Black developed very actively, but after} 10. Rd1 $1 {[%cal
Yd4d5] White is the one in command} cxd4 11. exd4 $1 (11. Nxd4 $2 {Socko,B
(2646)-Stefansson,H (2574) EU-chT (Men) 16th 2007 (2.1) 0-1} a6 $11 {[%cal
Yb6b5]}) 11... Rc8 12. Qe2 Bxf3 13. gxf3 {[%cal Gd4d5] White is still playing
d5 and Black is always one tempo behind} Bd6 $5 14. d5 Bxh2+ $1 15. Kg2 $1 $36
{Leitao,R (2612)-Quintiliano Pinto,R (2441) Tres Barras Catarinense-ch 2016 (2)
1-0} (15. Kxh2 $2 Qc7+ {[%csl Yc4]})) 7. O-O O-O 8. b3 {Ding Liren deviates
from his game against Wesley and now the game transposes to a most solid
variation.} ({That game went} 8. a4 a5 ({Black had a satisfactory position with
} 8... Qe7 9. b3 a6 10. a5 e5 11. Bb2 e4 12. Nd2 Re8 $132 {Radjabov,T (2793)
-Fressinet,L (2700) Beijing Sportaccord blitz 2012 (11) 0-1}) 9. Qc2 b6 10. e4
Nxe4 11. Nxe4 dxe4 12. Qxe4 Bb7 13. Rd1 Qe7 14. Bf4 $1 {a typical exchange
trying to get control over the dark-squares in the centre, in order to leave
Black with the bad bishop} Rad8 15. Bxd6 Qxd6 16. Ne5 Nxe5 17. dxe5 Qb4 18. b3
$1 Qe7 (18... Qxb3 19. Rdb1 Qc3 20. Qe3 $5 Qxe3 21. fxe3 {[%csl Yb6] looks
unpleasant for Black}) 19. Bf3 Ba8 20. Qe3 c5 21. Bxa8 Rxd1+ 22. Rxd1 Rxa8 23.
Qd3 $14 {Ding,L (2778)-So,W (2775) Shanghai m 2016 (1) 1/2}) (8. Qc2 dxc4 9. a4
e5 10. Bxc4 exd4 11. exd4 Nb6 12. Bb3 Nbd5 13. Bg5 Be6 14. a5 $5 {at first
sight looks like a slightly improved version for White, as he grabs some space
on the queenside and Black does not have a5 for his queen, but in fact he
managed to equalise without great problems after} h6 15. Bh4 Qc8 $1 16. Rfe1
Re8 17. a6 Rb8 $1 $11 {Giri,A (2790)-Grandelius,N (2649) Norway Chess 4th 2016
(8) 1/2}) 8... b6 9. Bb2 Bb7 10. Qc2 Qe7 {The interesting question of this
variation is where is each player going to place his rooks.} 11. Rfe1 (11. Rad1
{is usually played first, although in the next moves the position should
transpose, an interesting line is} Rac8 12. e4 $1 dxe4 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14. Qxe4
Nf6 15. Qh4 c5 16. Rfe1 cxd4 (16... Ne4 {is safer but after} 17. d5 $1 {
White has the initiative}) 17. Nxd4 Bb4 (17... Ba3 $11) 18. Bd3 $1 Bxe1 $2 19.
Bxh7+ $1 Kh8 20. Bc2+ Kg8 21. Rxe1 $40 {[%csl Gg8][%cal Yd4f5];Eingorn,V (2590)
-Shakhov,A (2180) RUS-Cup01 Chigorin Memorial 1997 (2) 1-0}) 11... Rfe8 12.
Rad1 {I like to think that White's next move depends on where Black places the
rook.} Rad8 ({In a crucial game, Topalov played} 12... Rac8 {but now} 13. Bd3
$1 {is the right move} e5 (13... c5 14. cxd5 exd5 15. Bf5 {[%cal Gf5c8] is the
point}) 14. e4 $1 dxc4 (14... exd4 $2 15. exd5 $1) 15. Bxc4 b5 16. Bf1 g6 $5 (
16... a6 17. h3 g6 18. Qd2 Rcd8 19. Qh6 exd4 20. Nxd4 Qf8 $1 {Quintiliano
Pinto,R (2378)-Kaidanov,G (2569) American Continental 10th 2014 (11) 1/2 and
Black had no problems; it was actually White who had to fight for equality
soon -}) 17. Qd2 {looking to the new weaknesses in kingside} Rcd8 18. Qg5 a6
19. h3 exd4 20. Nxd4 Qe5 21. Qxe5 Nxe5 {The position is even, but White
embarked on some nice and sound manoeuvres} 22. Nc2 {[%cal Yf2f4]} g5 23. Bc1
h6 24. Be3 c5 25. f3 Bf8 26. Bf2 $1 {[%csl Yf1,Yf2][%cal Ya2a4,Gc2e3,Ge3d5,
Ge3f5,Rf1a6,Rf2a7];Kramnik,V (2743)-Topalov,V (2813) World-ch Kramnik-Topalov
playoff +2-1=1 rapid 2006 (2) 1-0 although no advantage is apparent, Black was
slowly outplayed -}) 13. Bf1 {Now this is the right square for this bishop,
White is ready for both c5 and e5.} ({The next round saw a quick draw after}
13. e4 Nxe4 14. Nxe4 dxe4 15. Qxe4 Bb4 16. Rf1 Bd6 17. Rfe1 Bb4 18. Rf1 Bd6 19.
Rfe1 Bb4 $11 {Radjabov,T (2748)-Carlsen,M (2843) Vugar Gashimov Mem 2018 (4.3)
1/2}) (13. Bd3 {now allows} e5 $1 14. cxd5 (14. e4 dxc4 15. Bxc4 b5 16. Bf1 a6
{is an improved version of the game Kramnik-Topalov, with the rook already on
d8}) 14... cxd5 15. dxe5 Nxe5 {[%csl Yd3] Even in the event of an isolated
pawn arising on d5, the bishop is misplaced} 16. Nd4 Nxd3 17. Qxd3 Ne4 $11 {
Gelfand,B (2733)-Anand,V (2786) Dortmund SuperGM 35th 2007 (3) 1/2}) 13... c5 (
13... e5 $5 {was played by Ding Liren, and seems ok for Black} 14. dxe5 (14.
cxd5 e4 $1 15. Nh4 $6 Bxh2+ $1 16. Kxh2 Ng4+ 17. Kh3 Ndf6 $40 {Pelletier,Y
(2541)-Gelfand,B (2724) Zuerich Chess Challenge 6th 2017 (7) 0-1}) (14. g3 $2
e4 15. Nh4 Qe6 16. cxd5 cxd5 17. Nb5 Rc8 18. Qd2 Bb8 19. Rc1 g5 20. Ng2 Qh3 $36
{[%cal Yf6g4];Korobov,A (2652)-Ding Liren (2777) 2nd IMSA Blitz 2017 (11.1) 0-1
}) 14... Nxe5 15. Nxe5 (15. Nd4 dxc4 16. Nf5 Qe6 17. Nxd6 Rxd6 18. bxc4 Rxd1
19. Nxd1 c5 $132 {Van Wely,L (2641)-Anand,V (2790) Corus Wijk aan Zee 2010 (13)
1/2}) 15... Bxe5 16. cxd5 cxd5 17. Nb5 Rc8 18. Qb1 d4 $1 {probably the fruit
of Ding Liren's preparation} 19. h3 (19. exd4 Bxh2+ $1 20. Kxh2 Ng4+ 21. Kg3
Qg5 22. f4 Qh5 $13) 19... Ng4 $1 20. hxg4 Qh4 21. f4 dxe3 22. Rxe3 Bxf4 23. Rh3
Qxh3 $1 24. gxh3 Be3+ 25. Kh2 Bf4+ 26. Kg1 $11 {Wang,H (2698)-Ding,L (2781)
Danzhou 08th 2017 (1) 1/2}) (13... Bb4 {trying to stop e4, but then} 14. a3 $1
Bxa3 15. Bxa3 Qxa3 16. cxd5 $1 {preventing dxc4 and c5-ideas} exd5 17. Ra1 Qd6
18. Rxa7 $14 {Carlsen,M (2776)-Aronian,L (2750) Corus Wijk aan Zee 2009 (4) 1/2
}) 14. cxd5 exd5 15. g3 {[%csl Yc5,Yd4,Yd5][%cal Gf1g2,Gf1h3] The resulting
position is a rich positional battle: White has the option of playing dxc5 in
some moment and trying to press against the hanging pawns (after bxc5), play
against the isolani if Black takes on d4 (or after an eventual recapture with
a piece on c5), and in both cases the bishop might have an active role being
repositioned on g2 or h3. Black also has his counter-chances, as the hanging
pawns seem promising for him, with all his forces well centralised, and he can
prepare the advance c5-c4, making use of the queenside majority.} a6 (15... Rc8
{is another option, I like this instructive game of Sasikiran} 16. Qb1 $1 (16.
Bh3 $5 c4 $13) 16... cxd4 $6 (16... c4 $5 17. bxc4 Bb4 $1 18. Nd2 dxc4 19. e4
$1 {leads to many complications}) 17. Nxd4 Bb4 18. Rc1 Ne5 ({Black is not able
to reinforce the pin:} 18... Ne4 $2 19. Nf5 $1 Qe6 20. Nxe4 {[%cal Yf5g7]} Qxe4
21. Qxe4 dxe4 22. Rxc8 Rxc8 23. Rd1 $16) 19. Bh3 Rcd8 20. Red1 Bc5 21. Bg2 $14
{Sasikiran,K (2684)-Brkic,A (2530) CRO-chT1A 17th 2008 (5) 1-0 Black should be
ok with correct play, but there's no doubt that White has achieved the ideal
position against the isolani and has good chances of playing with this small
advantage -}) 16. Bg2 Rc8 17. Qb1 (17. dxc5 $5 {is an interesting moment to
change the structure} Bxc5 (17... bxc5 $2 18. Nh4 $1 {[%csl Yd5][%cal Yh4f5]}
Qe6 19. Qd2 Nb6 20. e4 $1 d4 21. e5 $1 Bxg2 22. exf6 Be5 23. Nxg2 dxc3 24. Bxc3
Bxc3 25. Rxe6 Bxd2 26. Rxb6 $16) 18. Rc1 Ne4 19. Qd3 Ndf6 $11 {Swapnil,S (2407)
-Hillarp Persson,T (2577) Kolkata op 4th 2009 (2) 1/2 despite the isolani,
Black has an active position -}) 17... h6 $146 {The first new move. Black just
waits for White to define his setup while making an useful move.} (17... Rcd8
$6 18. Nh4 $1 cxd4 $2 (18... g6 $142) 19. Nf5 Qf8 20. Nxd6 Qxd6 21. Rxd4 $16 {
[%csl Rd5][%cal Ye1d1];Kanarek,M (2484)-Krzyzanowski,M (2336) Kochan Memorial
25th 2014 (9) 1-0}) (17... c4 {Di Berardino,D (2492)-Aranha Filho,A (2299)
BRA-ch sf Sao Paulo 2010 (2) 1-0} 18. bxc4 dxc4 19. e4 $36) 18. Nh4 (18. dxc5
$5 {was an option, but it leads to some unbalanced positions in which it is
not easy to know who is better, generally both sides have chances} bxc5 19. Nh4
Qe6 20. Ne2 Rcd8 21. Nf4 Bxf4 22. exf4 Qb6 $13 {[%cal Yd5d4]}) 18... c4 $5 {
White's center is not really closed after this move.} 19. Nf5 Qf8 20. Nxd6 $6 {
But Ding Liren missed a good idea.} (20. bxc4 Rxc4 21. e4 $1 {was advantageous
for White, since he will end up with a strong passed pawn in the centre} dxe4 (
21... Bb4 22. e5 $1 Bxc3 23. Bxc3 Rxc3 24. exf6 Nxf6 25. Qxb6 Bc8 26. Rxe8 Qxe8
27. Qa5 $1 $14 {[%csl Gc3][%cal Yf5d6,Yf5e3]}) 22. Nxe4 Nxe4 23. Bxe4 Bxe4 24.
Rxe4 Rxe4 25. Qxe4 {and White has some pressure, for example} g6 (25... Nf6 26.
Qd3 b5 27. d5 $16) 26. Nxd6 Qxd6 27. Qe8+ Nf8 28. d5 $16) 20... Qxd6 21. bxc4
Rxc4 {Black is ok now and even can look optimistically to the future.} 22. a4
Rec8 23. Rc1 h5 24. h3 Nf8 {Black aims to improve his pieces and then his
position also improves.} 25. Qa2 Ne6 (25... h4 $5 {always comes into
consideration.}) 26. Qb3 Qd8 27. Re2 ({White was the one who could had played}
27. h4 $1 {now}) 27... Bc6 28. Rec2 b5 $1 29. axb5 axb5 30. Nb1 Ng5 31. h4 Nge4
32. Na3 Qe7 $1 {Topalov played very interesting chess in Shamkir, and it is
not surprising that he's offering this exchange.} 33. Qd3 (33. Nxc4 dxc4 34.
Qa2 Bd5 {[%cal Yb5b4] is more than enough compensation for Black.}) 33... Rxc2
(33... Nd6 $5 {keeping the offer was an option:} 34. Qe2 (34. Nxc4 dxc4 35. Qe2
Bxg2 36. Kxg2 Nd5 $44 {[%cal Yb5b4]}) 34... Rxc2 35. Nxc2 Nc4 $11) 34. Nxc2 (
34. Rxc2 b4 35. Nb1 Qd7 $17) 34... Bd7 35. Qa3 Qe8 36. Nb4 Rc4 $1 37. Rxc4 (37.
Bf1 $2 Nxf2 $1 38. Kxf2 (38. Bxc4 Nh3+ 39. Kf1 bxc4 $19 {[%cal Re8e4]}) 38...
Ng4+ 39. Kg1 Rxb4 $1 $19 {[%cal Ge8e3]}) 37... bxc4 $17 {[%csl Yc4]} 38. Bc1 $1
{[%csl Ye3] Ding Liren has showed excellent defensive skills and fighting
spirit recently, especially in games in which he is inferior. This move is of
a highly prophylactic nature, White frees his queen without fearing Nxf2 ideas,
by overprotecting e3.} Be6 ({If Black had predicted White's plan to weaken the
pressure, he could had considered} 38... Qe6 {and if} 39. Na6 $2 Qg4 $1 {
[%csl Yd1] is winning} 40. f3 Qxg3 41. fxe4 Qe1+ 42. Kh2 Ng4+ 43. Kh3 Qg1 $19)
39. Na6 $1 Qb5 40. Nc5 $1 {[%csl Ge4] Considering how unpleasant his position
is, Ding Liren is doing everything possible to release the pressure.} Kh7 41.
Nxe6 {This was a very difficult decision to make.} (41. Nxe4 Nxe4 42. Bxe4+
dxe4 $17 {looks desperate for White, despite the opposite-coloured bishops,
due to his very exposed king's position.}) 41... fxe6 42. Bf1 Nxf2 $2 {This is
beautiful but not enough to win. Many other moves would had kept Black's clear
advantage.} (42... Ng4 $1 {[%csl Yf2] is the most simple, f2 is just dropping}
43. f3 Qb8 $1 {[%csl Gg3] maybe this was missed by the players, although it is
not a difficult move} 44. fxg4 Qxg3+ 45. Bg2 Qf2+ 46. Kh2 (46. Kh1 Ng3+ 47. Kh2
Ne2 $19) 46... hxg4 {[%cal Gg4g3] the attack continues and Black is winning,
for example} 47. Qe7 g3+ 48. Kh3 Qf5#) (42... Qb8 {[%csl Yf2,Yg3]} 43. Qb2 Qc7
$17 {also preserves a clear advantage for Black.}) 43. Kxf2 Ne4+ 44. Ke2 $1 {
Ding Liren shows precision handling the defence.} (44. Ke1 Qb8 $1 {[%csl Rg3]
and Black wins} 45. Kd1 Qxg3 46. Qf8 Qg4+ 47. Ke1 Qxh4+ 48. Kd1 Qg4+ 49. Ke1
Qg3+ 50. Kd1 Qg1 51. Qf4 Ng3 52. Ke1 Qxf1+ 53. Qxf1 Nxf1 54. Kxf1 Kg6 $19 {
[%cal Yg6d3]}) 44... c3+ (44... Nxg3+ 45. Ke1 Nxf1 46. Kxf1 $13) 45. Ke1 Qb1 (
45... Qb8 {now White has} 46. Bd3 $1 {and his position is not worse} Qxg3+ 47.
Kd1 Qxh4 48. Qxc3 Qg4+ 49. Kc2 h4 50. Qc7 $1 h3 51. Qe5 $11) 46. Bg2 $1 {
[%csl Ye4] The powerful knight should be eliminated, and the lone black queen
is not able to win the game by itself.} Qc2 47. Bxe4+ dxe4 48. Kf1 $11 Kg6 49.
Kg1 Kh7 ({Black might try to imitate the famous game Short-Timman Tilburg 1991
and bring the king to help the queen, but then} 49... Kf5 {[%cal Yf5g4,Yg4h3]}
50. Qf8+ $1 {prevents this idea} Kg4 51. Qf4+ Kh3 52. Qf1+ Kxg3 53. Qf4+ Kh3
54. Qf1+ Kxh4 55. Qf4+ $11) 50. Kh1 Kh6 51. Kg1 Kg6 52. Kh1 Qd1+ 53. Kh2 Qe2+
54. Kg1 Qd1+ 55. Kh2 Qe2+ 56. Kg1 Qe1+ 57. Kg2 Qe2+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "Gashimov Memorial 5th"]
[Site "Shamkir"]
[Date "2018.04.22"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Topalov, Veselin"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C80"]
[WhiteElo "2749"]
[BlackElo "2814"]
[Annotator "Stohl,I"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2018.04.19"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AZE"]
[EventCategory "21"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{[%mdl 64] After the first 3 rounds with only draws, this is the game which
finally managed to break the deadlock in Shamkir, with Topalov scoring a full
point against the home-crowd favourite. And an exciting encounter it was, full
of complications and tactical turns!} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6
5. O-O Nxe4 {Topalov had a lion's share of the decisive results in Shamkir,
unfortunately for him after two initial wins he finished badly, adding only
zeroes to his scoresheet. Two of them came in the last two rounds, after} (5...
Bc5 6. c3 O-O 7. d4 Ba7 8. Re1 ({The most ambitious and complex move here is}
8. Bg5 {Sutovsky,E (2619)-Bartel,M (2631) Biel 2015 Those willing to take it
up should study Sutovsky's revealing notes to his win with Bartel in CBM 168.})
8... b5 9. Bb3 d6 10. h3 Bb7 11. a4 Ne7 12. Bc2 Ng6 13. Na3 c6 14. Bd3 Re8 15.
Nc2 h6 16. dxe5 $6 ({Opening the a7-g1 diagonal straight away lands White in
an uncomfortable position. His opening hadn't been a success, but with e.g.}
16. axb5 axb5 17. Be3 $11 {, or the immediate}) (16. Be3 $11 {he still holds
the balance and has little to fear.}) 16... dxe5 17. Be3 Bxe3 18. Nxe3 Nf4 19.
Bc2 Qc7 20. Nf5 Rad8 21. Qc1 Bc8 22. Nh2 $6 (22. Ne3 $15) 22... Bxf5 23. exf5
e4 $1 24. axb5 axb5 25. Nf1 c5 26. b3 Nd3 $17 {[%csl Gd3] /-+, Topalov,V (2749)
-Wojtaszek,R (2744) Shamkir 2018}) 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. Be3 {
The open Ruy Lopez is quite rare in Mamedyarov's games and must have been at
least a slight surprise for Veselin, so he decides to sidestep Shakh's
preparation and avoid a battle in the main line.} ({Until now he has played
exclusively} 9. Nbd2 Nc5 10. c3 {, after} Be7 11. Bc2 d4 12. Nb3 d3 13. Bb1
Nxb3 14. axb3 Bf5 {we are at the first theoretical crossroads:} 15. Be3 (15.
Re1 O-O 16. b4 (16. Be3 {transposes to 15.Be3.}) 16... Qd7 17. h3 Rfd8 18. g4 (
18. Bf4 a5 19. bxa5 Rxa5 20. Rxa5 Nxa5 21. Nd4 g5 22. b4 Nc4 23. Bc1 d2 24.
Bxf5 dxe1=Q+ 25. Qxe1 Qd5 26. e6 Qe5 27. exf7+ Kxf7 28. Be4 Re8 29. Nf3 Qe6 30.
Nd4 $44 {/=, Svidler,P (2745)-Mamedyarov,S (2743) Reykjavik 2015}) 18... Bg6 $1
(18... Be6 $2 19. Bf4 $16 {[%cal Ye1e3]}) {White somewhat more often starts
with} 19. Ba2 (19. Bf4 {and now:} {Black has even better results with the more
active} a5 $5 (19... Qc8 20. Ba2 (20. e6 fxe6 21. Ba2 Bf7 22. Ng5 Bxg5 23. Bxg5
Rd6 24. Qf3 Qf8 (24... Qd7 25. Bf4 d2 26. Red1 Rd8 27. Bxd6 Qxd6 28. Bb3 $14)
25. Rad1 e5 26. Bxf7+ Qxf7 27. Rxd3 Qxf3 28. Rxf3 h6 $11 {Schakel,C (2408)
-Tinture,L (2452) email 2017}) 20... a5 21. e6 f6 22. bxa5 Nxa5 23. b4 Nc4 24.
Bxc4 bxc4 (24... Rxa1 25. Qxa1 Qb7 26. Nd2 Ra8 27. Ba2 Qa7 28. Nb3 Qxa2 29.
Qxa2 Rxa2 30. Nd4 c5 31. Nc6 Kf8 $11) 25. Nd2 c5 $6 (25... Qb7 $142 $1 $132)
26. b5 $1 Be8 27. Rxa8 Qxa8 28. b6 Bc6 29. Bc7 Rd5 {Harikrishna,P (2755)-Ding,
L (2778) Danzhou 2016} 30. Qa1 $1 $16 {For more details see the notes to this
game in CBM 174 by Kr.Szabo.}) 20. bxa5 Rxa5 21. Ba2 Rf8 22. e6 (22. b4 Ra4 23.
e6 (23. Qd2 $6 Nd8 24. Bg5 c5 $36 {Caruana,F (2805)-Giri,A (2773) Stavanger
2015 See the notes to this game in CBM 167 by Ramirez Alvarez.}) 23... Qd8 24.
exf7+ Kh8 25. Bd2 h6 26. Be6 Rxa1 27. Qxa1 Bxf7 28. Bxf7 Rxf7 29. Re3 Qd5 30.
Qf1 $1 Rxf3 31. Qg2 Ne5 32. Rxe5 Qxe5 33. Qxf3 Qd6 34. Qe4 $11 {½, Tesic,Z
(2406)-Walter,G (2455) email 2016}) 22... Qd8 23. exf7+ Kh8 24. Qd2 Qa8 25. Nd4
Nxd4 26. cxd4 Bh4 27. Bd5 Qxd5 28. Rxa5 Qxf7 29. Rxb5 h6 30. Bg3 Bxg3 31. fxg3
Qd7 32. Rbe5 Qxd4+ $44 33. Qe3 (33. R5e3 Rf6 34. Qc3 Qb6 35. Qd2 $11 {½,
Sherwood,H (2313)-Sanchez,M (2329) email 2016}) 33... Qxb2 34. h4 Qc2 $44 {
½, Malashenkov,A (2432)-De Jong,J mail 2017}) 19... Qc8 20. e6 (20. Be3 a5 21.
e6 f6 22. bxa5 Nxa5 23. Bc5 Nc6 24. Nd4 Nxd4 25. Bxe7 d2 26. Re3 Rxa2 27. Rxa2
Nf3+ $1 28. Kf1 (28. Rxf3 $2 Bc2 $19) 28... Nh2+ (28... Bc2 $2 29. Bxd8 Bxd1
30. e7) 29. Kg1 $11 {½, Gritsaenko,V (2466)-Walter,G (2452) email 2016}) (20.
Bg5 a5 21. bxa5 Bxg5 22. Nxg5 Nxa5 23. e6 Nc4 24. exf7+ Bxf7 25. Nxf7 Kxf7 26.
Re4 c5 27. Re3 Rxa2 28. Rf3+ Kg8 29. Rxa2 d2 30. b3 Qe6 31. Ra1 Na5 32. c4 Qe5
33. Kg2 Nb7 34. Rb1 Qe4 35. Rb2 {½, Begliy,M (2438)-Walter,G (2452) email 2016
} Qe1 36. Rb1 Qe4 $11 {[%cal Re4b1]}) (20. Bf4 {transposes to Harikrishna-Ding
Liren above.}) 20... f6 21. g5 $5 $146 (21. Nh4 a5 22. bxa5 Rxa5 23. b4 Ra6 24.
Bf4 Qa8 25. Qd2 (25. Nxg6 $5 hxg6 26. Bxc7 Rc8 27. Ba5 Nxa5 28. Qxd3 Nc4 29.
Qxg6 Rxa2 30. Qf7+ $11) 25... Qa7 {Shirov,A (2689)-Mamedyarov,S (2743)
Reykjavik 2015 This was Mamedyarov's previous experience with the Open Ruy,
here} 26. Be3 $11 {would have still held the balance.}) 21... a5 22. gxf6 gxf6
23. Nh4 axb4 24. Qg4 f5 25. Qg3 d2 26. Bxd2 Bxh4 27. Qxh4 Rxd2 28. e7+ Rxa2 29.
Rxa2 bxc3 30. Qg3 Nxe7 31. Rxe7 Rd1+ 32. Kh2 Qb7 33. Qg2 Qxg2+ 34. Kxg2 Bf7 35.
Ra8+ Kg7 36. bxc3 Kf6 37. Rxf7+ Kxf7 38. Ra7 $11 {Gerasimov,V (2509)-Walter,G
(2452) email 2016}) 15... O-O 16. Bd4 Qd5 17. Re1 Rfd8 ({Black is also close
to equality after} 17... d2 18. Re2 Bxb1 19. Rxb1 Nxd4 20. Nxd4 Bg5 21. g3 c5
22. Nf5 Qd3 23. Nd6 Qg6 24. h4 Bxh4 25. Rxd2 Be7) 18. h4 $5 {became
fashionable two years ago when Caruana used it to defeat Hou Yifan. Postal
players have meanwhile found effective antidotes:} ({The older continuation}
18. Re3 Nxd4 19. cxd4 c5 20. Bxd3 cxd4 21. Re2 {was tested by Topalov more
than 20 years ago:} Qe6 (21... Bxd3 $5 22. Qxd3 Rac8 $13 {V.Mikhalevski}) 22.
h3 Rac8 (22... Rd5 23. Ne1 a5 24. Bxf5 Qxf5 25. Nd3 h5 26. Rc2 f6 27. exf6 Bxf6
28. Qe2 $36 {Topalov,V (2745)-Piket,J (2630) Antwerp 1997}) 23. Ne1 Rc6 {
Svidler,P (2735)-Motylev,A (2651) Moscow 2004} 24. Qb1 (24. Bxf5 Qxf5 25. Nd3
h5 $11) 24... Bxd3 25. Qxd3 h6 26. f4 Qc8 $132 {Svidler,P (2735)-Motylev,A
(2651) Moscow 2004}) 18... Nxd4 (18... Bg6 $6 19. b4 d2 20. Qxd2 Bxb1 21. Raxb1
Bxb4 22. Qf4 Be7 23. e6 fxe6 24. Qg4 Nxd4 25. Nxd4 Bf6 26. Nxe6 Rd7 27. Re3 $36
{Caruana,F (2804)-Hou,Y (2663) Shamkir 2016 For more details about the whole
line see the extensive notes to this game in CBM 173.}) (18... h6 19. Re3 (19.
Bxd3 Bxd3 20. Qxd3 Qxb3 (20... Bc5 $5 $132) 21. e6 Bf6 $1 $11) 19... Bc5 $5 (
19... Nxd4 20. Nxd4 Bg6 21. b4 c5 22. bxc5 Bxc5 23. Ba2 $36) 20. Bxc5 Qxc5 21.
Bxd3 b4 (21... Bxd3 22. Rxd3 Rxd3 23. Qxd3 Nxe5 24. Qe4 $14) 22. e6 Bxe6 23.
Qe2 bxc3 24. bxc3 Bxb3 25. Re1 f5 26. h5 Bf7 27. Qc2 $44 {Iotov,V (2546)
-Williamson,H (2499) email 2013}) (18... d2 19. Qxd2 (19. Re2 Nxd4 20. Nxd4
Bxb1 21. Rxb1 Bxh4 22. Nf3 Be7 23. Rxd2 Qe4 24. Qe1 Qxe1+ 25. Rxe1 Rxd2 26.
Nxd2 Rd8 $11 {Conde Poderoso,A (2347)-Martin Vazquez,J (2283) email 2017})
19... Nxd4 $5 (19... Bxb1 20. Raxb1 Qxb3 21. e6 fxe6 22. Qf4 Bd6 23. Qg4 e5 $14
{/=}) 20. Qxd4 Qxb3 21. Qf4 Bxb1 22. Raxb1 c5 $132 {½ Broniek,M (2431)
-Boldysh,M (2384) email 2016}) 19. Nxd4 Be4 20. b4 (20. Qg4 Bg6 21. b4 d2 22.
Rd1 Bxb1 23. Raxb1 Qxe5 24. Rxd2 (24. Nc6 Qd6 25. Nxd8 Rxd8 26. Ra1 g6 27. Qg3
Qe6 28. Qxc7 Rd6 29. h5 Bf8 30. Qb7 Bh6 $44 {Apicella,M (2304)-Hofstetter,H
(2387) email 2016}) 24... Qf6 25. Re2 (25. g3 c5 26. bxc5 Bxc5 27. b4 Bb6 $11 {
Stroemberg,H (2364)-Nenneman,D (2000) email 2017}) 25... Bxb4 26. Ne6 fxe6 27.
Rxe6 Qf7 28. cxb4 Rd2 29. Re2 h5 30. Qe4 Rad8 $132 {Bergmanolson,M (2284)
-Panman,H (2319) email 2016}) 20... c5 21. Ba2 $5 (21. bxc5 Bxc5 22. Qg4 Bxd4
23. Rxe4 Bxe5 24. Ba2 Qd6 25. Qh5 Bh2+ 26. Kf1 Qf6 27. Re3 g6 28. Qg4 Qf4 29.
Qf3 Qxf3 30. Rxf3 Be5 31. Rxf7 Kh8 $11 {Zugrav,W (2567)-Hofstetter,H (2387)
email 2016}) 21... c4 22. Qg4 Bg6 23. h5 d2 24. Red1 Bd3 25. h6 g6 26. Qf4 $13
{/+/= is still waiting for practical tests.}) 9... Be7 10. c3 O-O ({After}
10... Nc5 11. Bc2 Nd7 {, the pawn sacrifice} 12. Nd4 $5 Ndxe5 13. Nxe6 fxe6 14.
Nd2 $44 {is really dangerous and Black tends to avoid it - there haven't been
any relevant games in this branch since 2016.}) 11. Nbd2 Nxd2 {A line, which
features older (even way back to the 19-th century!), as well as recent games.}
({In the notes to Caruana-Hou Yifan I concentrated on} 11... Qd7 {and taking
on d2 only on the following move. While being similar, there are some slight
diffferences between these branches, e.g. our game will show Black's Q can
have a different future.} {After} 12. Re1 {Black, apart from taking on d2
followed by Na5, has also} (12. Bc2 Nxd2 13. Qxd2 Bg4 14. Bf4 Bxf3 15. gxf3
Rad8 16. Rad1 ({After} 16. Rfd1 Qe6 17. Qe3 {Hou,Y (2673)-Muzychuk,M (2554)
WChW Lvov 2016} {Black's play can be improved with} Na5 $1 18. b3 c5 $13) 16...
Rfe8 17. Rfe1 g6 18. Bg3 Qh3 (18... Bf8 $142 $5 19. Qg5 Qe6 20. Kg2 Ne7 $13)
19. f4 Bh4 20. a4 $1 Ne7 21. Qe2 c6 22. Qe3 Nf5 23. Bxf5 gxf5 24. Bxh4 (24. Qb6
$2 Re6 25. Re3 Qg4 26. Rd2 Be7 $36 {[%csl Rg3][%cal Rh7h4] Paehtz,E (2464)
-Muzychuk,A (2582) Huaian rpd 2017}) 24... Qxh4 25. axb5 axb5 26. Qg3+ $14 (26.
Kh1 $5 $14)) 12... Rad8 13. Bc2 Bf5 $5 14. Nxe4 Bxe4 15. Bxe4 (15. Ng5 Bxg5 16.
Bxg5 Qf5 $1 17. Bxe4 (17. Rxe4 Qxg5 18. h4 Qh6 19. Rg4 Nxe5 20. Rg5 Qf6 21.
Bxh7+ Kxh7 22. Qh5+ Kg8 23. Rxe5 d4 24. cxd4 Rxd4 $15 {Fons Cervero,F-Sorin,A
(2415) Olot 1992}) 17... Qxg5 18. Bd3 Nxe5 19. h4 Qf6 20. Bxh7+ Kxh7 21. Qh5+
Kg8 22. Qxe5 Qxe5 23. Rxe5 Rfe8 24. Rxe8+ Rxe8 25. Kf1 Kf8 26. a4 Re4 $11 {
Shirov,A (2651)-Tomczak,M (2394) Karlsruhe 2018}) 15... dxe4 16. Qxd7 Rxd7 17.
e6 fxe6 18. Nd2 Ne5 19. Nxe4 Nd3 20. Re2 Rf5 21. Kf1 Kf7 22. Rd2 c5 23. f3 c4
24. Ke2 h6 25. b3 Ba3 26. Rc2 Bc5 27. Rb1 Bxe3 28. Kxe3 cxb3 29. axb3 Nc5 $11 {
Leko,P (2735)-Akopian,V (2694) Astrakhan 2010}) 12. Qxd2 (12. Bxd2 {seems
unnatural, Black equalized rather easily after} Qd7 13. Re1 Rad8 14. Bg5 Bg4
15. Bxe7 Qxe7 16. Bc2 d4 17. Qd3 g6 18. Nxd4 Nxd4 19. cxd4 Bf5 20. Qb3 Bxc2 21.
Qxc2 Rxd4 22. Qc6 Qe6 23. Qxc7 Rc8 24. Qa7 Rd2 25. b4 Rcc2 26. h3 Qf5 27. e6
Qxf2+ 28. Qxf2 Rxf2 29. e7 Rxg2+ $11 {½, So,W (2775)-Ding,L (2778) Shanghai
2016}) 12... Na5 13. Bc2 ({Retreating the B is very natural, but as in the
game Black solved his opening problems, maybe it's time to have a better look
at} 13. Nd4 $5 c5 (13... Nc4 14. Nxe6 (14. Bxc4 dxc4 $5 15. Rfd1 Bd7 16. a4
bxa4 17. Qe2 Qc8 18. Qxc4 c5 19. Nf3 h6 20. e6 Bxe6 21. Qxa4 Qb7 22. Rd2 Rfd8
23. Rad1 Rxd2 24. Rxd2 Qb5 $11 {Bauer,C (2647)-Anton Guijarro,D (2651)
Heraklio 2017}) 14... fxe6 15. Qe2 Nxe3 16. Qxe3 c5 17. Bc2 {[%csl Gc2,Re7]
The position with the ^- is deceptively simple, but White's attacking chances
shouldn't be underrated:} g6 18. g3 c4 19. h4 Rf7 20. Kg2 Rc8 21. Rad1 b4 22.
f4 Qa5 23. h5 $36 {Swiercz,D (2649)-Petrosyan,M (2546) Minsk 2017}) 14. Nxe6
fxe6 15. Bc2 Nc4 16. Qd3 (16. Qe2 $5 Nxe3 (16... Nxe5 17. Bd2 Qd6 18. Rae1 Ng6
19. Qxe6+ Qxe6 20. Rxe6 $14) 17. Qxe3 {can transpose into Swiercz-Petrosyan.})
16... g6 17. Bh6 Re8 18. Qh3 Bg5 19. Bxg5 Qxg5 20. f4 Qe7 21. b3 Na3 22. Bd1 a5
23. Rc1 c4 24. Qg3 Rf8 25. h4 cxb3 26. axb3 a4 $132 {Barbosa,E (2518)-Diaz
Hernandez,H (2388) Lima 2018}) ({Other moves give Black reasonable counterplay
after recapturing on c4 with the b-pawn:} 13. Bg5 Nc4 14. Bxc4 bxc4 15. b4 cxb3
16. axb3 a5 17. Ra4 Bxg5 18. Nxg5 h6 19. Nxe6 fxe6 20. Rfa1 Rb8 21. R1a3 c5 22.
h3 Qc7 23. f4 Rb5 24. Kh2 Qb6 25. Qd1 Qc6 26. Ra2 Kh8 27. Qg4 Rxb3 28. Rxa5 d4
$132 {Yu,Y (2738)-Najer,E (2659) Moscow 2017}) (13. Rfd1 Nc4 14. Bxc4 bxc4 15.
b4 (15. Nd4 Qd7 16. f4 c5 17. Nf3 Rfb8 18. Qf2 Rb5 19. b3 cxb3 20. c4 b2 21.
Rab1 Rb7 22. cxd5 Bxd5 23. Bxc5 {Hunt,A (2288)-Naes,F (2222) Port Erin 1999}
Qb5 $1 24. Bxe7 Bxa2 25. Ba3 Qb3 26. Bxb2 Bxb1 27. Rxb1 Rab8 $17) 15... cxb3
16. axb3 a5 17. Bg5 c5 18. Ra4 d4 19. Ra3 Bxg5 20. Nxg5 dxc3 21. Qc1 Qe7 22.
Nxe6 fxe6 23. Qxc3 Rfd8 24. Rda1 Rd5 $132 {Navara,D (2708)-Polgar,J (2682)
Prague 2010}) 13... Nc4 14. Qd3 g6 15. Bh6 {[%mdl 512] The pawn-sacrifice is
far from clear, but consistent.} ({Black readily equalizes after the softer}
15. Bc1 Bf5 (15... f6 $5 16. Nd4 Qd7 17. exf6 Bxf6 18. a4 c5 19. Nxe6 Qxe6 20.
f4 Nd6 21. axb5 axb5 22. Rxa8 Rxa8 23. f5 Nxf5 24. Qxb5 Ne3 25. Bxe3 Qxe3+ 26.
Kh1 Bg5 $11 {Beth,N (2145)-Vuillemin,G (2178) email 2010}) 16. Qe2 Bxc2 17.
Qxc2 f6 18. Bh6 (18. e6 Re8 19. b3 Ne5 20. Nd4 Bc5 21. Kh1 Qd6 22. Bf4 Qb6 23.
Rfe1 Bxd4 24. cxd4 Nc6 25. Qc3 b4 26. Qd2 Nd8 27. e7 Ne6 28. Be3 Rxe7 $17 {
Korneev,O (2465)-Haba,P (2515) Bad Woerishofen 1992}) 18... Re8 19. Rae1 fxe5
20. Nxe5 Nxe5 21. Rxe5 Bf6 22. Rxe8+ Qxe8 23. Be3 Qe6 24. Ra1 Re8 25. h3 Qe4
$11 26. Qd2 Be7 27. Bf4 Bd8 28. Be3 Be7 29. Bf4 Bd8 30. Be3 {½, Doehner,H
(2252)-Richter,W (2036) email 2009}) 15... Nxb2 {Black is also consistent.} (
15... Re8 16. b3 Na3 (16... Bf5 17. Qe2 Bxc2 18. Qxc2 Nb6 19. Rfe1 c5 20. Rad1
Rc8 21. Qd2 Rc6 22. h4 Re6 23. Qf4 Qc7 24. Qg4 a5 25. a3 Qb7 26. h5 $13 {
/+/=, Aronin,L-Milev,Z Moscow (Central CC) 1959}) 17. Bd1 Bf5 18. Qd2 c5 19.
Be2 Qb6 20. Qb2 (20. Rad1 $5 $14) 20... b4 21. cxb4 cxb4 (21... Qxb4 $5 22. e6
f6 23. Rad1 (23. Bd2 $2 Qe4 $17) 23... Nb5 24. Rxd5 Bxe6 $11) 22. Nd4 Be4 23.
Be3 Bc5 24. Rac1 Rac8 25. Rfd1 Rc7 26. Bf1 h6 27. Qe2 Nb1 28. Qxa6 Qxa6 29.
Bxa6 Nc3 30. Rd2 Nb1 31. Rdd1 Nc3 $11 {Ruggeri Laderchi,G (2345)-De Lorenzo,G
email 1999}) 16. Qe2 (16. Qe3 Nc4 17. Qf4 Re8 18. Ng5 Qd7 $15 {[%cal Ye6f5]
gives White nothing concrete.}) 16... Re8 17. Nd4 {After some thought Topalov
plays the main move.} ({Regaining the pawn} 17. Bxg6 hxg6 18. Qxb2 {can hardly
give White any objective advantage, although he outplayed his opponent after}
Bg4 (18... c5 {is more natural, preparing b4 with << counterplay.}) 19. Nd4 Bf8
$2 ({A misguided swap, Black still has a reasonable position after} 19... Qd7
$13 {[%cal Yc7c5]}) 20. Bxf8 Rxf8 21. Qb4 Qd7 22. Rfe1 Rfe8 23. Re3 Be6 24. f4
Rac8 25. Qc5 c6 26. a4 $16 {Van Haastert,E (2429)-Vedder,R (2261) Netherlands
2015}) 17... Bd7 {White's large plus score in this line stems mainly from
pre-computer times; objectively speaking Black's defensive resources seem
sufficient.} (17... Bf8 18. Bxf8 Rxf8 19. f4 (19. Bxg6 hxg6 20. Qxb2 c5 21. Ne2
Qc7 22. f4 {Seibold,M-Duehrssen,R ICCF corr 1935} f6 $5 $132) 19... c5 20. Nxe6
fxe6 21. Bxg6 hxg6 22. Qxb2 Rb8 23. Rad1 Qb6 24. Qc2 Kg7 25. Rf3 c4+ 26. Kh1 b4
27. Rg3 Rf5 28. Rxg6+ Kxg6 29. g4 Qe3 30. gxf5+ Kh6 31. Qg2 Rg8 $1 $11 {
Romanovsky,P-Tolush,A Leningrad 1938}) ({Weaker is} 17... Qd7 18. f4 Bg4 (18...
f5 19. g4 Bc5 20. gxf5 gxf5 21. Kh1 Bf8 22. Qh5 Qf7 23. Rg1+ Kh8 24. Qh3 Bxh6
25. Qxh6 c5 26. Nxf5 Bxf5 27. Bxf5 $18 {Baczynskyj,B (2370)-Bellin,R (2415)
London 1978}) 19. Qf2 c5 20. f5 Bf8 21. Bxf8 Rxf8 22. Nb3 $1 $36 (22. Qf4 cxd4
23. Qxg4 d3 24. Bb3 Nc4 25. Qd4 Qa7 $17 {Foldi,K (2202)-Fordan,T (2211)
Hungary 2010})) 18. f4 c5 {Black is in no hurry to return with his N and
pursues his own play instead. Indeed, the Nb2 will remain on its post until
move 24.} (18... Nc4 19. Rae1 c5 20. e6 {Yates,F-Gunsberg,I Chester/ Cheshire
1914 Although Black quickly got routed in this game, his defence can be
improved with} cxd4 21. f5 Bxe6 22. fxe6 f5 $1 23. Bxf5 Bc5 24. cxd4 Bxd4+ 25.
Kh1 Qh4 $1 $15) 19. Nf3 Qb6 20. Qf2 ({Black's last move took the sting out of
the impending pawn advance - after} 20. f5 gxf5 ({or} 20... Bxf5 {his Q joins
the defence, attacking the Bh6.})) 20... d4 $5 $146 {[%mdl 8] A novelty in the
spirit of the previous note - Shakh is not worried about White's attack and
furthers his own queenside ambitions.} (20... Nc4 21. Rae1 Bd8 22. Ng5 Na3 23.
e6 Rxe6 $1 (23... fxe6 24. f5 $1 exf5 25. Bxf5 gxf5 26. Qxf5 $1 $18) 24. Nxe6
fxe6 25. f5 (25. Bxg6 hxg6 26. Qg3 Kh7 27. Qh3 Kg8 28. Qg3 $11) 25... exf5 26.
Qg3 {[%cal Rg3e5]} Bc7 27. Qh4 {[%cal Rh4e7]} Bd8 28. Qg3 Bc7 29. Qh4 {½,
Haznedaroglu,K (1990)-Wojcik,W (2185) email 2006}) 21. Bg5 {To further his
attack, White must get access to h4, possibly swapping the dark-squared bishop.
} ({Moves as} 21. Be4 dxc3 22. Bxa8 Rxa8 $17) ({or} 21. cxd4 cxd4 22. Be4 Nc4
23. Bxa8 Rxa8 $36 {[%cal Ye7c5,Yc4e3] pass the initiative unequivocally to
Black.}) 21... dxc3 {Black again opts for the most principled move, increasing
his material plus.} (21... d3 22. Bxe7 (22. Bb3 $5 {is maybe even stronger,
limiting Black's options}) 22... dxc2 (22... Rxe7 23. Bb3 Na4 24. Bxa4 bxa4 25.
Nd2 {[%cal Yd2c4,Yd2e4]} f5 26. Nc4 Qe6 27. Nd6 $44) 23. Bxc5 Qc7 24. Bb6 Qb7
25. Bd4 Bf5 26. Qh4 $132 {[%csl Rg8] Although the Pc2 is strong, Black's K is
seriously vulnerable.}) 22. Qh4 ({Now there will be no B-swap, but Black beats
off the attack after} 22. Bxe7 Rxe7 23. Ng5 $142 (23. Qh4 Rae8 24. Ng5 c4+ 25.
Kh1 f5 $19) (23. f5 Bxf5 24. Bxf5 gxf5 25. Nh4 Nd3 $1 26. Qg3+ (26. Qxf5 c4+
27. Kh1 Kh8 $19) 26... Kh8 27. Nxf5 c4+ 28. Kh1 Rg8 $19) 23... f5 $5 24. Qf3
Rd8 25. Qxc3 h6 26. Nf3 Nc4 27. Bb3 Be6 $17) 22... c4+ {Tempting, but Black
could have also considered keeping c4 free for his knight to rejoin the
defence.} ({An unforced sample line is} 22... Bf8 $5 23. Be4 Bc6 24. Bxc6 Qxc6
25. f5 Nc4 26. e6 Ra7 {/\} 27. Bf6 Ne3 28. exf7+ Rxf7 29. fxg6 {with the
beautiful resource} Rg7 $1 30. gxh7+ (30. Bxg7 Qxg6 $19) 30... Rxh7 31. Qg5+
Bg7 $17) 23. Kh1 Bf8 24. f5 $6 {Now Black shuts out the Bc2.} ({Stronger} 24.
Be4 $1 {with unclear consequences:} f5 (24... Bc6 25. Bxc6 Qxc6 26. f5 $44 {
[%cal Ye5e6] can be really dangerous - the N can't go to c4 anymore.}) 25. exf6
(25. Bxa8 Rxa8 $17) 25... Rxe4 26. f7+ Kg7 $8 27. Bh6+ Kxf7 28. Ng5+ Kg8 29.
Nxe4 Bxh6 30. Nf6+ (30. Qxh6 Bf5 31. Nxc3 Nd3 $17) 30... Kh8 31. Nxd7 Qd8 32.
Qh3 $5 Nd3 33. Ne5 $13) 24... Nd3 25. e6 Bxe6 $8 (25... fxe6 $2 26. fxg6 hxg6
27. Bf6 Bg7 28. Ng5 $18) 26. fxe6 Rxe6 $15 {After the forced piece sacrifice
Black has 4 extra pawns and his king is relatively safe for the time being.
However, the game is far from over.} 27. Rad1 ({Topalov's original intention}
27. Nd4 Rd6 28. Rxf7 {fails to} h6 $1 (28... Kxf7 $2 29. Qxh7+ Bg7 30. Rf1+ $18
) 29. Rxf8+ Rxf8 30. Be3 Qd8 31. Qxh6 Rf7 $19 {[%cal Yf7h7]}) 27... Rae8 (27...
Rd6 $5 28. Qe4 Qc6 $36 {was possibly a simpler choice, Black returns a pawn to
force a queen swap.}) 28. Bxd3 cxd3 29. Rxd3 {[%cal Rg5d8,Rf3g5,Rd3c3]
Material is roughly equal and White has some threats - the game remains
complex and both players have to calculate a lot.} Re4 $6 {Squanders the
advantage, Black had two better moves:} ({The most natural move is} 29... b4 {
, after} 30. Bd8 (30. Bh6 Qb5 31. Rdd1 Re4 32. Qh3 Bg7 $5 $17) {Black has}
30... Qb5 $1 (30... Be7 31. Bxb6 Bxh4 32. Ba5 Be7 33. a3 c2 34. Rc1 bxa3 35.
Rxc2 $11) 31. Ng5 h6 32. Qf4 (32. Nxe6 Qxd3 33. Qf6 Qxf1+ $1 {[]} 34. Qxf1 Rxe6
{and the o^c3 decides the game:} 35. Bc7 c2 36. Bf4 b3 $1 37. axb3 Rf6 38. g3
Rxf4 39. Qxf4 Ba3 $19) 32... R6e7 $142 $1 (32... f5 33. Nxe6 Qxd3 34. Nxf8 Rxd8
35. Nxg6 c2 36. Rg1 Qe4 37. Qxh6 Rd1 38. Ne7+ Kf7 (38... Qxe7 39. Qg6+ Kf8 40.
Qxf5+ $11) 39. Qh5+ Kxe7 40. Rxd1 cxd1=Q+ 41. Qxd1 $11 {should be a draw.}) 33.
Bxe7 Rxe7 34. Nxf7 Qxd3 35. Ng5 (35. Ne5 Qf5 36. Nxg6 Qxf4 37. Nxe7+ Bxe7 38.
Rxf4 a5 $19) 35... Qxf1+ $8 36. Qxf1 hxg5 37. Qc4+ Kg7 38. g3 Rd7 $15 {/-/+}) (
{Also after} 29... Qc5 30. Bd2 cxd2 31. Ng5 Qxg5 $1 (31... h6 32. Nxe6 Rxe6 33.
Rxd2 $11) 32. Qxg5 Re1 33. Rg1 Rxg1+ 34. Kxg1 Re1+ 35. Kf2 d1=Q 36. Rxd1 Rxd1
$15 {Black retains some winning chances without any risk.}) 30. Bf4 $1 {
[%cal Rf3g5]} Be7 {Mamedyarov is still ambitious.} ({Good enough for equality
was} 30... h6 $5 31. Rxc3 g5 32. Nxg5 hxg5 33. Qxg5+ Qg6 $11 {/\} 34. Qh4 Bg7
35. Rg3 $2 Re1) 31. Qg3 ({White avoids tha back-rank ambush} 31. Ng5 $2 Bxg5
32. Qxg5 Re1 33. Rdf3 Rxf1+ 34. Rxf1 Qf2 $1 $19) 31... b4 32. Ng5 Bxg5 33. Bxg5
Qe6 {Black's o^c3 is held in check by the Bg5. Due to his dark-square
vulnerability Mamedyarov seeks a Q-swap, but the position is already easier to
play for White.} 34. h3 Qe5 $6 (34... a5 35. Kh2 $13 {/+/=}) (34... Re1 $142 {
It's important for Black to simplify the position and} 35. Rxe1 (35. Rdf3 Rxf1+
36. Rxf1 Qxa2) 35... Qxe1+ 36. Kh2 Qxg3+ 37. Kxg3 f6 $1 {is still sufficient
for a draw after} 38. Bxf6 Re2 39. a3 Rd2 (39... a5 $5 $11) 40. Rf3 c2 41. Bb2
Rd1 $11) 35. Kh2 Qxg3+ 36. Kxg3 h6 $6 (36... Re1 37. Rxe1 Rxe1 38. Bf6 Re8 (
38... Kf8 39. Kf2 Re6 40. Rd8+ Re8 41. Rxe8+ Kxe8 42. Ke3 $14 {/+/- and with
the pawns stopped, only White can play for a win.}) 39. Rd5 $36 {is already
unpleasant, but the pawn-sacrifice is no better.}) ({Perhaps the best chance is
} 36... a5 $5 $14) 37. Bxh6 Re1 (37... a5 38. Rf6 $16) 38. Rf6 $1 (38. Rxe1
Rxe1 $11 {holds, but White can avoid the swap for the time being.}) 38... R1e6
39. Rf2 $6 (39. Rxe6 $142 $1 Rxe6 40. Be3 $16 {White prepares to cross over to
the queenside with his K, while} c2 {runs into} 41. Rd8+ Kh7 42. Bd4 g5 43. Rc8
Re2 44. Kf3 c1=Q 45. Rxc1 Rxa2 46. Rc7 $18) 39... Re2 (39... a5 $142) 40. Rd5
$1 {Preventing a5 complicates Black's task.} Rxf2 $6 ({The final mistake, far
more resilient was} 40... R2e5 41. Rd7 R8e7) 41. Kxf2 $18 f6 42. Be3 {
Achieving an even better version of the 39.Rxe6 line with Black's pawns going
nowhere and soon to become objects of attack. Shakh's resignation seems a bit
premature, but his position is objectively lost.} 1-0
[Event "Gashimov Memorial 5th"]
[Site "Shamkir"]
[Date "2018.04.23"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B23"]
[WhiteElo "2843"]
[BlackElo "2744"]
[Annotator "Nielsen,PH"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2018.04.19"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AZE"]
[EventCategory "21"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{The tournament in general, but for Magnus especially had a very quiet start
with Topalov's win over Navara being the only deceisive game. The pairings
gave Magnus 3 Blacks vs. the Azeri players not leaving much scope for
creativity, however in round 5 things were about to change:} 1. e4 {
Quintiliano,R} c5 {Radek stays loyal to his compratiot inviting his favourite
Najdorf variation.} 2. Nc3 d6 {Najdorf players have to use this move order as
e.g.} (2... Nc6 {can be met by} 3. Nf3 $1 {intending 4.d4.}) 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4
{A nice and fitting touch, as this move order vs. the Sicilian was favoured by
Vugar Gashimov.} Nc6 5. Qd2 $5 {Magnus unleashes a rare and original concept,
completely novel at top level. During Wijk Aan Zee 2017 I received an email
from Greek IM Ioannis Simeonidis suggesting this setup as an interesting
anti-Najdorf concept and offered it to Magnus to test his concept! At first it
reminded me of Greek hubris. After all how likely is it that you can come up
with a meaningful and new setup at move 5 in one of the most tested openings
historically in chess? GM, Khenkin, the commentator at the event formulated it
with classic Soviet iron chess logic: "Chess-wisdom suggests only moving each
piece once in the opening, especially the queen, however the World Champion
seem to have his own rules". First sight however is deceptive: White has an
interesting concept in mind, and very similarly to Fischer-Random chess the
players now have to adapt to problems completely untested previously in
practice.} Nf6 {Logical and common-sense, but Ofitserian took a much more
concrete approach when facing Paravyan in the Russian Junior championship 4
days later harassing the white queen with} (5... g6 6. b3 Bh6 $5 {White
however did not budge and went} 7. f4 Nf6 8. Bb2 e5 {Quintiliano,R: '?!'} (8...
O-O $142 {Quintiliano,R} 9. O-O-O a5 10. Bb5 Qb6 $132) 9. g3 O-O 10. O-O-O {
and won a complex fight. This is what fascinates the most with Simeonidis
variation, that an oasis of creativity existed in territory believed to have
been long mapped out.}) 6. b3 e6 {On the same day in the Budapest Spring Open
but 3 hours later due to the time difference, Kotronias faced} (6... g6 {
but got an excellent position after} 7. Bb2 Bg7 8. O-O-O O-O 9. f3 Qa5 10. Kb1
Be6 11. Nge2 {As in the actual game it's noteworthy that the surprised player
acts with typical Sicilian moves, while in the game played 4 days later,
Ofitserian most likely influenced by the computer, tried a setup aimed
specifically at the possible defects of White's concept.}) 7. Bb2 a6 {Again
typical Sicilian style.} ({Quintiliano,R: 'Knowing how the game goes,'} 7... d5
$5 {intending ...Bb4 was a more concrete approach. Quintiliano,R: 'maybe is a
worthy try'} 8. exd5 {Quintiliano,R} exd5 9. O-O-O Be6 10. Nge2 Qa5 {The point
is that despite the isolated pawn, Black has open lines and more freedom to
develop the pieces} 11. Kb1 Bc5 12. Nf4 O-O-O $13) 8. O-O-O b5 9. f3 {The
position reminds one of a Rauzer, however the white bishop being on b2 and the
knight on g1 instead of d4! At first this sounds considerably more passive
from whites perspective, but the bishop on b2 not only attacks in the long
diagonal but also provides additional safety for the white king. While a
knight on d4 would just be exchanged now on g1 it can consider various routes
of attack.} h5 $6 {Preventing g4 makes perfect sense, but} (9... Be7 10. Kb1 {
is the obvious reply, but then after} (10. g4 Nxg4 $1 {is a nice trick as} 11.
fxg4 Bg5 {wins the white queen.}) 10... h5 {Black has a slightly improved
version of the game.} (10... O-O {Quintiliano,R} 11. g4 Bb7 {with typical and
double-edged Sicilian positions, despite there are some differences of normal
lines, the Bb2 being the most clear one, Black should have the usual
counterplay ideas.})) 10. Nh3 $1 {Till this move, the general concept was
mapped out in preparation, but here the World Champion demonstrates his level,
adopting to the specifics of the position excellently. The g5-square very
rarely being a relevant square for a white knight in the Scheveningen style
Sicilian is of no importance. Like in chess 960 what matters is adapting to
the new situation, and the combination of Black's last move weakening the
g5-square and White's knight being on g1 prompted this unusual approach.} Be7
11. Ng5 h4 $6 {Again logical and typical, however for this specific position
just not very relevant.} 12. f4 Bb7 13. Kb1 Rc8 14. Be2 $1 Qc7 15. Rhe1 $1 {
While White's two last moves might appear unimpressive, Be2 almost feeling
passive, looks are again deceptive. White quietly finishes his development in
essence claiming he can improve his position meaningfully before the eventual
confrontation, while Black cannot. Black's position is much worse than it
looks. Normally ...Nb4 and ...Qa5 would create counterplay, exchange
sacrifices on c3 being part of the equation, but with the white bishop being
on b2 such action by Black would be completely pointless, and ...Nb4 simply
being answered by a white a3. Especially the knight at c6 seems misplaced
blocking both the bishop on b7 and the rook on c8. The relevant question would
be, why did Black put it there? But who could resist free development
harassing the opponent's queen at move 4?} Nh7 16. Nxh7 Rxh7 17. g4 $6 {
At the press conference Magnus explained that he saw the indeed crushing 17.
Nd5! but thought his position so dominating that sacrifices were not even
neccesary.} (17. Nd5 $1 {Still the knight sacrifice was the best way, as after}
exd5 18. exd5 {Black's position is close to hopeless as giving back the piece
is positional bankruptcy, but} Nb8 {loses instantly to} 19. Bd3 $1 {with} Rh5
20. Rxe7+ $1 {being the principal tactical point.}) 17... hxg3 18. hxg3 Bf6 19.
Bd3 Rh8 20. g4 $6 {A strange coincidence. Magnus' only inaccuracy in the game
was g4; unfortunately it was possible to play twice! Unlike move 17 here
simplicity was in order, figthing for the open file with} (20. Rh1 $1 {would
have given an overwhelming edge.}) 20... Nd4 21. Re3 Kf8 22. Ne2 $1 Nxe2 23.
Rxe2 {Despite the exchanges of minor pieces, the difference in king safety
still gives White the much more pleasant position.} Bc3 $2 (23... Bxb2 24. Kxb2
Qc5 $1 {was Black's best chance to minimise the damage, but in time pressure
Radek finally goes astray.} (24... Rh4 $1 {Quintiliano,R} 25. g5 Qc5 {[%cal
Yc5d4]} 26. Kb1 (26. Rh2 Rxh2 27. Qxh2 Ke7 28. Kb1 Qe3 $132) 26... d5 $5 27.
exd5 Bxd5 28. Rh2 Rxh2 29. Qxh2 g6 $14 {despite White's position still looking
easier, Black is fighting well and has real chances to equalise.})) 24. Bxc3
Qxc3 25. Qe3 Rc5 {Allows a tactical blow, but after} (25... Qc5 26. Qg3 {
Black is passive without counterplay while f5 and g5 follow for White with an
overwhelming edge.}) 26. e5 $1 dxe5 27. fxe5 Rh1 28. Rxh1 Bxh1 29. Rh2 Rxe5 ({
If} 29... Bb7 {then} 30. Rh8+ Ke7 31. Qg5+ {mates.}) 30. Rh8+ $1 Ke7 31. Qa7+ {
And with 32.Rxh1 following next, Black being a piece down resigned. Magnus'
shift of pace not only lasted to the upcoming free day's soccer tournament
scoring all 6 six goals for the winning team, but also for the remainder of
the tournament with crucial wins over first the leader Topalov and then with
the black pieces against Anish Giri eventually securing overall victory.} 1-0
[Event "Gashimov Memorial 5th"]
[Site "Shamkir"]
[Date "2018.04.27"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A29"]
[WhiteElo "2777"]
[BlackElo "2843"]
[Annotator "Stohl,I"]
[PlyCount "86"]
[EventDate "2018.04.19"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AZE"]
[EventCategory "21"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 ({The immediate fianchetto} 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 {gives some extra
options:} d5 (3... c6 {is another topical line, the direct} 4. d4 {seems
harmless;} (4. Nf3 {is the main try to fight for an advantage}) {a recent
example went} 4... e4 5. Nc3 d5 6. Bg5 Bb4 7. Qb3 Bxc3+ 8. Qxc3 O-O 9. f3 dxc4
10. Bxf6 Qxf6 11. fxe4 c5 12. e5 cxd4 13. exf6 dxc3 14. fxg7 Re8 15. bxc3 Nc6
16. Rb1 Re3 17. Kd2 Re7 18. Nf3 Bf5 19. Rb5 Rd8+ 20. Nd4 Nxd4 21. cxd4 Be4 22.
Bxe4 Rxd4+ 23. Bd3 Red7 $11 {McShane,L (2647)-Anand,V (2783) Germany 2018 The
resulting endgame is drawish.}) 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. O-O Nb6 7. d3 Be7 8.
a3 O-O 9. Nbd2 {develops the Nb1 differently, but this is also no novelty.} a5
10. b3 Be6 11. Bb2 f6 12. Qc2 Qd7 {and now:} 13. Nc4 (13. e3 Rfd8 14. d4 exd4
15. Nxd4 Nxd4 16. Bxd4 c5 17. Bxc5 Rac8 18. b4 Nd5 $1 19. Qd3 (19. Nb3 b6 20.
e4 Nxb4 21. axb4 axb4 22. Rfd1 Qc7 23. Rxd8+ Rxd8 24. Bf1 Bxc5 $17 {Thiede,L
(2416)-Graf,A (2624) Germany 2003}) 19... b6 20. Bxd5 bxc5 21. Bxe6+ Qxe6 22.
Qb3 Qf7 $5 23. Qxf7+ Kxf7 24. Nb3 cxb4 25. axb4 axb4 26. Ra7 Ke8 27. Nd4 Rd7
28. Rxd7 Kxd7 29. Rd1 g6 30. Kf1 Rc4 {½, Kuhn,C (1981)-Avdeev,S (2032) email
2011}) 13... Rfd8 14. Rfc1 (14. Rfd1 Qe8 15. d4 $6 a4 $15 {Ponomariov,R (2723)
-Vachier Lagrave,M (2710) Beijing blitz 2011.}) 14... Qe8 15. Nxb6 cxb6 16. Nd2
Rac8 17. a4 Bc5 18. Qd1 h5 19. Nc4 Qe7 20. e3 Bg4 21. Qf1 Nb4 22. Rd1 $5 Bxd1
23. Rxd1 Qf7 {Gordievsky,D (2622)-Vidit,S (2718) Wijk aan Zee 2018} 24. d4 exd4
25. exd4 Bf8 26. Nxb6 Rc2 27. Nc4 b5 28. axb5 a4 29. Rb1 $1 axb3 30. Ne3 $44)
2... Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 ({The Dragon with reversed colours is very
popular, but} 4... Bb4 5. Bg2 {only somewhat less so:} O-O ({Less usual, but
also playable is} 5... d6 6. O-O O-O 7. d3 Re8 8. Bd2 (8. Nd5 $5 Nxd5 9. cxd5
Ne7 10. d4 e4 11. Ng5 {is perhaps more promising}) 8... Nd4 9. a3 Nxf3+ 10.
Bxf3 Bxc3 11. Bxc3 c6 12. e4 Bh3 13. Re1 c5 14. b4 b6 15. a4 Nd7 16. a5 Be6 17.
Ra3 Rb8 18. b5 Qc8 19. axb6 axb6 20. Re2 Ra8 21. Rea2 Rxa3 22. Rxa3 Qc7 23. Bg2
Nf8 24. f4 f6 25. f5 Bc8 26. Bd2 Bb7 27. g4 h6 28. h4 Nh7 $11 {Ding,L (2778)
-Wojtaszek,R (2744) Shamkir 2018 With patient defence Black held his fortress.}
) 6. O-O e4 7. Ng5 Bxc3 8. bxc3 Re8 {featured some recent experiments with} 9.
Qc2 (9. f3 {is the main line of this branch}) {, but they didn't bring White
success after} 9... d5 $5 ({More active, than} 9... Qe7 10. d3 exd3 11. exd3 d6
) 10. cxd5 Qxd5 11. d3 (11. Nxe4 Nxe4 12. d3 Bf5 13. Bf4 Qe6 14. dxe4 Bxe4 15.
Bxe4 Qxe4 16. Qb2 b6 17. Rfe1 Rac8 18. Qb5 Ne7 19. Rad1 c6 20. Qa6 Nd5 $15 {
Dimitrov,R (2493)-Georgiev,K (2596) Skopje 2018}) 11... Bf5 12. Bf4 h6 13. Nxe4
Nxe4 14. Qb2 b6 15. Rfd1 Qc5 16. dxe4 Bxe4 17. Bf1 Re7 18. a4 Rae8 19. Rac1 $2
(19. Qb5 $1 $11 {is still roughly equal.}) 19... g5 $1 20. Bd2 Qf5 21. f3 Qc5+
22. Kh1 Bd5 23. Be1 Bc4 24. e4 Bxf1 25. Bf2 Qc4 26. Rxf1 Qxa4 27. c4 Ne5 28.
Bd4 g4 $17 {Vachier Lagrave,M (2789)-Caruana,F (2784) Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden
2018}) 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nb6 (6... Bc5 $5 {is also viable, Illingworth wrote
an article about this novel line in CBM 181. Since then there haven't been too
many new games, after} 7. O-O O-O 8. d3 {Black also has} Re8 ({Illingworth
concentrated on} 8... Bb6 {proving Black holds his own in the tactical
labyrinth of Dubov-Karjakin, WCup Tbilisi 2017. Black also equalises after} 9.
Bd2 Nxc3 10. Bxc3 Re8 11. b4 Bg4 12. Nd2 Nd4 13. Bxd4 exd4 14. Re1 c6 15. a4 a6
16. Nb3 Qf6 17. Qd2 Re7 18. h3 Be6 19. Nc5 Rae8 20. Nxe6 Qxe6 21. b5 axb5 22.
axb5 c5 $11 {Nepomniachtchi,I (2751)-Aronian,L (2789) chess.com blitz 2017}) 9.
Ng5 Nf6 10. Qb3 Qe7 11. Nd5 Nxd5 12. Bxd5 Nd8 13. Qc4 Bd4 14. Bg2 h6 15. Nf3
Nc6 16. Be3 $5 Bxe3 17. fxe3 e4 18. dxe4 a5 $1 19. a3 Ra6 20. Rac1 Rb6 21. Rc2
Be6 22. Qc3 Rb3 23. Qd2 Rd8 24. Qc1 a4 $44 {The tripled pawns are comical and
Black would have enough compensation even without trying to undertake anything.
As it is, he allowed White to untangle with} 25. Rc5 Rd7 26. h3 Qd8 27. g4 g6
28. Kh1 Kg7 29. e5 Bd5 30. Kg1 Be6 31. Kf2 Qe7 32. Kg1 Rd5 33. Rc4 Ra5 34. Rc2
Bd5 $6 35. Nd4 $1 Nxd4 36. exd4 Rg3 37. Rf3 $1 Bxf3 38. exf3 $16 {Caruana,F
(2799)-Adams,M (2715) London 2017 After regaining the exchange by trapping the
Rg3 White already had a healthy extra pawn. For more details see the notes to
this game in CBM 182 by Fernandez.}) 7. O-O Be7 8. a3 (8. d3 O-O 9. Be3 {
was played in Kamsky-Svidler, Thessaloniki 2013, which I annotated for CBM 155:
} Be6 (9... Re8 10. Rc1 Bf8 11. Na4 Nd4 12. Nc5 {gives Black also the sharper
option} a5 $5 (12... Bxc5 13. Rxc5 Bg4 {and}) (12... Nxf3+ 13. Bxf3 c6 {
are restrained continuations, leading to approximate equality.}) 13. Bxd4 exd4
14. Nb3 g5 $1 15. Qd2 g4 $13 {Granda Zuniga,J (2648)-So,W (2794) Douglas 2016})
10. Rc1 Qd7 ({Svidler's choice} 10... f5 {is perhaps not bad, but more risky.})
11. Re1 (11. Ne4 f6 12. Nc5 Bxc5 13. Bxc5 Rfd8 14. Qc2 Qf7 $5 15. Nd2 Nd5 {
Kashlinskaya,A (2201)-Bukavshin,I (2350) Pardubice 2008} 16. a3 $11) (11. a3
Bh3 12. b4 Bxg2 13. Kxg2 Qe6 14. Ne4 Nd5 15. Bc5 b6 16. Bxe7 Ncxe7 17. Neg5 Qd6
18. Ne4 Qe6 $11 {Carlstedt,J (2432)-Volokitin,A (2632) Berlin blitz 2018})
11... f6 12. a3 Rfd8 (12... Rad8 13. Na4 Rfe8 14. Nc5 Bxc5 15. Rxc5 Nd4 16.
Bxd4 exd4 17. Qc2 c6 18. b4 {Martinez,R (2422)-Sanchez,J (2529) Civitanova
Marche 2012} a6 $11) 13. b4 Nd5 14. Nxd5 Bxd5 15. Bc5 b6 ({Possible
improvements are} 15... Bxc5 16. Rxc5 Ne7 17. e4 Bf7 18. d4 Nc6 $5 $13 {
or the simpler}) (15... a6 $5 $11) 16. e4 $1 Bf7 17. Bxe7 Nxe7 18. d4 exd4 19.
e5 d3 20. exf6 gxf6 21. Nd2 $44 {Lagarde,M (2594)-Fressinet,L (2660) Caleta
2017} (21. Re4 $5)) 8... a5 $5 {This prophylactic move was considered
weakening and long had a dubious reputation. However, there might be more to
it than meets the eye...} ({Far more usual is} 8... O-O 9. b4 Be6 {After} 10.
Rb1 f6 {White has lately tested} 11. b5 (11. d3 {has long been the main move
and I mentioned} a5 {as Black's main reaction in the notes to So-Navara,
Prague 2015 in CBM 167.}) 11... Nd4 12. e3 Nxf3+ 13. Bxf3 {and now:} {And
finally there is} Qc8 $5 (13... Rb8 14. d4 exd4 15. exd4 Re8 (15... Qd7 $6 16.
Re1 Rfe8 17. a4 Bf7 18. a5 Nd5 19. Nxd5 Bxd5 20. Bf4 Rbc8 21. Bg4 $1 f5 22. Bf3
Bf6 23. Be5 Bxe5 24. dxe5 Rcd8 25. Bxd5+ Qxd5 26. Qc2 Qf7 27. a6 $16 {Gelfand,
B (2737)-Edouard,R (2607) Heraklio 2017}) 16. Re1 Bf7 17. a4 Bf8 18. Rxe8 Qxe8
19. Bf4 Qd7 20. a5 Nc4 21. b6 axb6 22. axb6 Bd6 {and White found nothing
better than liquidating with} 23. bxc7 Bxc7 24. Bxc7 Qxc7 25. Nd5 Qd7 26. Nb6
Nxb6 27. Rxb6 Bd5 {½, Nepomniachtchi,I (2751)-Karjakin,S (2783) chess.com
blitz INT 2017}) ({Black can also hold the balance with} 13... Nd5 14. Ne2 (14.
Bb2 a6 $1 15. a4 axb5 16. axb5 Nxc3 17. Bxc3 Bd5 18. Bxd5+ Qxd5 19. Qb3 Rfd8
20. d4 Qxb3 21. Rxb3 exd4 22. Bxd4 Rd5 23. Kg2 Ra5 $11 {Gordon,S (2528)-Alsina
Leal,D (2507) England 2017}) 14... Qd7 15. d4 Rad8 16. Qc2 Kh8 17. Bg2 Bh3 18.
Bxh3 Qxh3 19. e4 Nb6 20. Be3 (20. Qxc7 Rd7 21. Qc2 Qh5 $1 $44) 20... Qe6 $5 21.
d5 Qd7 22. a4 f5 23. f3 fxe4 24. fxe4 Qg4 25. Kg2 Qg6 $132 {Edouard,R (2612)
-Xiong,J (2640) Saint Louis 2018}) 14. Qc2 Rd8 (14... Bf5 15. d3 Rd8 16. e4 Be6
17. a4 Qd7 18. Rd1 a5 19. bxa6 Rxa6 20. Be3 Qc6 21. Qb2 Nxa4 22. Nxa4 Qxa4 23.
Qxb7 Qc6 $11 {Polatel,A (2243)-Guaimare,C (2113) email 2017}) 15. d4 (15. Rd1
Bf5 16. d3 Kh8 17. e4 Bd7 18. a4 c6 19. Be3 cxb5 20. axb5 Be6 21. Qb2 Bc5 22.
Bxc5 Qxc5 $11 {Svoboda,F (2406)-Betker,J (2451) email 2015}) 15... Bf5 16. Qb3+
(16. Be4 Bxe4 17. Qxe4 f5 $1 18. Qxe5 Bd6 19. Nd5 Kh8 20. Nxb6 axb6 21. Qd5
Bxg3 $15 {[%csl Rg1]}) (16. e4 Bh3 17. Rd1 Rxd4 18. Rxd4 exd4 19. Ne2 Qd7 $13)
16... Be6 (16... Kh8 $5) 17. Qc2 Bf5 18. Qb3+ Be6 19. Qc2 Bf5 {1/2-1/2 (19)
Nihal,S (2534)-Vaibhav,S (2544) Reykjavik 2018}) 9. d3 O-O 10. Be3 Be6 11. Rc1
{Natural, but we'll check also the alternatives:} ({Considering Black's
following move,} 11. Na4 {certainly deserves attention:} {Later Black's
efforts concentrated on} Nd5 (11... e4 12. Ne1 exd3 13. Nxd3 Nd5 14. Bc5 b6 15.
Bxe7 Ndxe7 16. Rc1 (16. Nc3 $142 $5 $14) 16... Bd5 17. Bxd5 Qxd5 18. Nc3 Qc4
19. b3 Qg4 ({An enterprising idea is} 19... Qe6 $5 20. Nb5 Rad8 21. Nxc7 Qf5
$44) 20. e3 Qd7 $6 (20... Qf5 $142 $5) 21. Nf4 $1 Rad8 22. Qh5 Ng6 23. Nfd5
Nce7 24. Rfd1 Nxd5 25. Nxd5 $36 {Vidit,S (2723)-Petrosyan,M (2569) Moscow 2018}
) (11... Nxa4 12. Qxa4 Bd5 13. Rfc1 Re8 14. Rc2 Bf6 $5 (14... Bf8 $2 15. Rac1
Nb8 16. Rxc7 Bc6 17. R1xc6 bxc6 18. Rxf7 $1 h6 19. Rb7 Qc8 20. Qc4+ Kh8 21. Nh4
$1 Qxb7 22. Ng6+ Kh7 23. Be4 Bd6 24. Nxe5+ g6 25. Bxg6+ Kg7 26. Bxh6+ {1-0,
Botvinnik,M-Portisch,L Monte Carlo 1968 This beautiful and famous game
discouraged people from playing 8...a5 for quite a while.}) 15. Rac1 (15. Rc5
$5 $14) 15... Nd4 16. Nxd4 Bxg2 17. Nb5 Bc6 18. Rxc6 $5 bxc6 19. Rxc6 $44 {/+/=
}) 12. Bc5 {and now:} {In mail practice Black has been holding his own with} b6
$5 (12... Bd6 13. Rc1 h6 14. d4 $5 (14. Nd2 Rc8 (14... Rb8 15. Ne4 f5 $132) 15.
Ne4 b6 $6 16. Nxd6 cxd6 17. Bxb6 Nxb6 18. Rxc6 (18. Bxc6 $142 $1 $14) 18... Rb8
19. Nxb6 Rxb6 20. Qc2 Qb8 21. Rxb6 Qxb6 22. Rb1 Bb3 23. Qd2 Rb8 24. Rc1 Be6 25.
Rc2 d5 $44 {Kasparov,G (2750)-Georgiev,K (2595) Saint John blitz 1988}) 14...
e4 $142 $5 (14... exd4 15. Nxd4 Nxd4 16. Qxd4 b6 17. Bxd6 Qxd6 18. Rfd1 Rfd8
19. e4 Ne7 20. Qxd6 Rxd6 21. Rxd6 cxd6 22. f4 (22. Nc3 $5 $36) 22... b5 23. Nc3
b4 24. Nb5 bxa3 25. bxa3 $14 {Kasparov,G (2750)-Georgiev,K (2595) Saint John
blitz 1988}) 15. Ne5 f5 16. Nxc6 bxc6 17. Bxd6 cxd6 $5 18. Rxc6 Qb8 $44 (18...
Qd7 $5)) 13. Bxe7 Ndxe7 14. Nc3 (14. Rc1 Qd7 15. Nc3 f6 16. Qa4 Rac8 17. Rfd1
Rfd8 18. e3 Qe8 19. d4 exd4 20. Nxd4 Nxd4 21. Qxe8+ Rxe8 22. exd4 c6 23. b4
axb4 24. axb4 Kf7 25. b5 $11 {½, Vidit,S (2723)-Melkumyan,H (2664) chess.com
rpd INT 2018}) 14... Qd7 15. Qa4 Rab8 16. Qb5 (16. Rfc1 f6 17. b4 Rfd8 18. b5
Na7 19. Rab1 Kh8 20. Qc2 Nf5 21. Qd2 Nc8 22. Rd1 Nce7 23. Qb2 Nd6 24. a4 Bg8
25. Nd2 Qe8 $11 {Degerhammar,R (2475)-Rogos,J (2518) email 2014}) 16... f6 17.
e3 Rbd8 18. Rfd1 Nd5 19. Rac1 Nxc3 20. bxc3 Na7 21. Qxd7 Bxd7 22. d4 Nc6 23.
dxe5 fxe5 24. Ng5 Ne7 25. Bf1 g6 26. Be2 h6 27. Nf3 Ba4 28. Rxd8 Rxd8 29. Nxe5
Rd2 $44 {Kazantsev,R (2376)-Brugger,A (2528) email 2015}) ({Nor can one ignore
} 11. Bxb6 cxb6 12. Nd2 f5 (12... Rc8 13. Nc4 f6 14. e3 Na7 15. Bxb7 Rc7 16.
Bg2 Rd7 17. Qa4 Rxd3 18. Rfd1 Bc5 19. Be4 Rd7 20. b4 $16 {Van Wely,L (2675)
-Mosadeghpour,M (2469) Bandar e Anzali 2017}) 13. Nc4 e4 (13... Bxc4 $5 14.
dxc4 e4 {is more solid, Black is close to full equality.}) 14. Ne3 exd3 15.
Ned5 $1 dxe2 16. Qxe2 Bxd5 17. Nxd5 Bf6 {½, Opocensky,K-Flohr,S Podebrady
1936 Despite the quick draw in this historic game White has obvious
compensation and pressure here.} 18. Rad1 Kh8 19. Rfe1 (19. Rd2 $5) (19. Qb5 $5
) 19... Re8 20. Qxe8+ Qxe8 21. Rxe8+ Rxe8 22. Nxf6 gxf6 23. Kf1 Re5 24. Bd5 f4
$1 25. gxf4 Rf5 $132 {Mueller,H (1764)-Mair,E (1643) email 2013}) 11... a4 $5 {
[%mdl 512] A positional sacrifice, to take this pawn White will have to give
up his important dark-squared B.} ({Otherwise White occupies the a4-square
himself, a model example is} 11... Re8 12. Na4 Nxa4 13. Qxa4 f6 $6 ({We had}
13... Bd5 $142 $5 {above, only the other rook was on c1.}) 14. Nd2 Bd5 15. Qb5
Bxg2 16. Kxg2 Qc8 17. Rc4 Bf8 18. Rfc1 Ra6 19. R1c2 Kh8 20. Nf3 Qa8 21. Ra4 Na7
22. Qb3 b5 23. Rh4 a4 24. Qf7 Re7 25. Qg6 h6 26. Bc5 Rd7 27. Bxf8 Qxf8 28. Nxe5
$1 $18 {Hracek,Z (2625)-Simacek,P (2508) Czechia 2010}) ({In practice Black
also had to fight for equality after} 11... Nd5 12. Nxd5 Bxd5 13. Qa4 $14 {, or
}) (11... f5 12. Na4 $14) 12. Nd2 ({The immediate} 12. Bxb6 cxb6 13. Nxa4 e4
14. Ne1 (14. Nd2 {is also met by} Bg5 $1 $44 {, when} 15. Rxc6 bxc6 16. Nxe4
Be7 $13 {is at best unclear.}) 14... Bg5 $142 $1 (14... Nd4 $2 15. Nc3 Bg5 16.
e3 Nb3 17. Bxe4 (17. Rc2 $5 $16) 17... Nxc1 18. Qxc1 Qd7 19. d4 $40 Qxd4 $2 20.
f4 $18 {Nepomniachtchi,I (2730)-Bocharov,D (2609) Apatity rpd 2011}) (14... e3
15. fxe3 $5 Bg5 {again allows an exchange sacrifice} 16. Rf4 $14) 15. Rc3 (15.
e3 $6 exd3 16. Nxd3 Rxa4 17. Qxa4 Qxd3 18. Be4 b5 19. Qc2 Qxc2 20. Rxc2 Bf6 $15
{Deneuville,C (2206)-Weber,K (2313) email 2014}) (15. Rxc6 bxc6 16. Bxe4 f5 $1
17. Bg2 (17. Bxc6 $6 Rc8 18. f4 Bf6 $17) 17... Ra7 $15) 15... e3 ({Apart from}
15... Bf6 16. Rc1 Bg5 $11 {Black has other interesting options, namely}) (15...
f5 {and}) (15... Qd4 $5 $44) 16. f4 Bf6 17. f5 Bd7 18. Rc1 Nd4 19. Nc3 Ra5 20.
Bxb7 Bxf5 $44 {Zielinski,S (2159)-Kuzmin,K (2167) LSS email 2014}) 12... f5 ({
Ambitious, but Black can change his mind about the sacrifice. Roughly equal is
} 12... Nd5 $5 13. Nxd5 Bxd5 14. Qc2 f5 15. Bxd5+ Qxd5 16. Qc4 Ra5 17. Nb1 Qxc4
18. Rxc4 Bd6 19. Rfc1 Rfa8 20. h3 Nd8 21. g4 f4 22. Bd2 Rb5 23. Bb4 Bxb4 24.
axb4 Nc6 25. Kg2 Rf8 $11 {Leal,P (2343)-Genga,S (2400) email 2013}) 13. Bxb6
cxb6 14. Nxa4 (14. Re1 Bg5 15. e3 Qxd3 16. Bf1 Qd7 17. Nc4 Qf7 18. Nxb6 Rad8
19. Qe2 f4 20. Nbxa4 Bf5 21. Nc5 fxe3 22. fxe3 b6 23. N5e4 Nd4 $1 24. exd4 Bxc1
25. Rxc1 exd4 26. Ng5 Qg6 27. Qe7 b5 $1 28. Bxb5 {½, Recasens Sanchez,J (2048)
-Gudkov,A email 2012} dxc3 29. Bc4+ Kh8 30. Nf7+ Qxf7 31. Bxf7 cxb2 32. Re1
b1=Q 33. Rxb1 Bxb1 $11) 14... Bg5 15. Nc3 e4 16. Kh1 $146 {[%mdl 8] A novelty,
but not necesarily an improvement.} ({This position is not new at the highest
level, last year featured a game with} 16. Rb1 Rf7 $5 (16... Ne5 17. Nb3 Ng4
18. Qc2 (18. h3 $142 $1) 18... Be3 19. dxe4 $2 (19. Bh3 $1 {was already
necessary, although} Nxf2 20. Rxf2 Qd7 21. Rbf1 f4 $1 22. Bxe6+ Qxe6 $44 {
gives Black enough play.}) 19... Qg5 $2 (19... Nxf2 $1 20. Rxf2 fxe4 21. Rbf1
Qc7 22. Bxe4 Rxf2 23. Rxf2 Qf7 24. Bf3 Bxb3 $15) 20. fxe3 Qxe3+ 21. Kh1 Qh6 {
Nepomniachtchi,I (2742)-Aronian,L (2809) Geneva 2017} 22. h4 $1 Ne3 23. Qc1 f4
24. Rf3 Bxb3 25. gxf4 Nxg2 26. Kxg2 Qxh4 27. f5 $16 {For more details see the
notes to this game in CBM 180 by Yuffa.}) 17. Nc4 $5 (17. Nb3 Rd7 $36) 17...
Rd7 18. b3 {[%cal Yc3b5]} Bf6 (18... exd3 19. exd3 Rxd3 20. Qc2 $14) 19. Nb5
Nd4 20. Nxd4 Bxd4 $44) 16... Qd7 {Natural, Carlsen connects his rooks asap.} ({
However, considering the following note, the prophylactic} 16... g6 $13 {or}) (
16... Rf7 $13 {also deserved consideration} {/\} 17. g4 g6 18. gxf5 gxf5 19.
Rg1 Rg7) 17. Rb1 {Unpins the Rc1 after all.} ({However, the active} 17. g4 $142
$1 {would better profit from the previous move:} Bxd2 (17... g6 18. gxf5 gxf5
19. e3 $1 Qxd3 20. Rg1 $36) (17... exd3 18. f4 dxe2 19. Qxe2 Bf6 20. g5 $11)
18. Qxd2 exd3 19. gxf5 dxe2 20. Qxe2 Rxf5 21. f4 $5 $13 {All White's pieces
are active and the position is roughly equal.}) 17... Rad8 18. Nc4 $6 {Black
will easily parry the threat against Pb6.} ({It was stronger to win back some
space with} 18. f4 $1 {, although Black has indisputable compensation after}
Bf6 $44) 18... Qf7 $1 19. b3 (19. Nxb6 $2 Bb3 20. Qe1 exd3 {[%csl Gd3] and the
Pd3 is taboo:} 21. exd3 Rfe8 22. Ne2 Rxd3 $19) 19... exd3 20. exd3 f4 21. Ne4 (
{The engine briefly prefers} 21. Re1 f3 22. Bf1 {, but still doesn't relish
White's position after} Nd4 $36) 21... Be7 22. gxf4 Qxf4 {[%csl Rd3,Ge6,Ge7,
Rf2,Rh2][%mdl 2048] Giri has managed to prevent the f3 advance, but defending
the numerous white weaknesses against Black's active pieces is very difficult.
Carlsen has strong long-term pressure.} 23. a4 {Prevents b5, but allows Black
to activate his knight.} Nb4 24. Qe2 Qh6 $1 {A strong manoeuvre, freeing f4
for other pieces.} 25. Rbd1 (25. d4 $5 $15 {was probably more resilient}) 25...
Nd5 26. Rg1 Kh8 (26... Nf4 27. Qe3 {helps the defence, but a more energetic
try was the immediate}) (26... Rf4 $1 $36) 27. Bf1 ({White could have begun
with} 27. d4 Rf4 28. f3 Rh4 29. Bf1 $15 {The position is unpleasant, but there
is no direct tactical refutation.}) 27... Rf4 28. Ne5 $6 (28. f3 $142 Rh4 29.
d4 {transposes to the previous note.}) 28... Rdf8 $2 ({Carlsen hesitates,
after the stronger} 28... Rh4 $1 29. f3 Ne3 30. Rd2 Nf5 $17 {the knight aims
for d4 and the defence is under great strain.}) 29. f3 Rh4 30. d4 Nf4 (30...
Ne3 {is unconvincing:} 31. Rd3 $15) ({as is} 30... Bf5 31. Ng5 $1 {/\} Bxg5 $4
32. Nf7+ $18) 31. Qd2 Bxb3 {Although White couldn't hang on to his extra pawn,
he has activated his forces and clawed his way back into the game. In the
final phase probably time trouble played an important role.} 32. Rb1 $2 {
Why give up a pawn?} ({After} 32. Rc1 {the outcome of the game remains open;
the greedy} Bxa4 $2 {runs into} 33. Rc7) 32... Bxa4 33. Bb5 (33. Bc4 Be8 $15)
33... Bxb5 34. Rxb5 Qe6 35. Qb2 ({Engines also mention the passive, but more
solid} 35. Rb2 $15) 35... Bd8 36. Ng5 ({Here} 36. d5 $5 {deserves attention,
after} Nxd5 37. Ng5 Bxg5 38. Rxg5 {Black faces serious technical problems.})
36... Qe8 37. Rb3 Bxg5 $6 ({A cleaner solution is the tactical} 37... Rf5 $1
38. Ne4 Rxh2+ $1 39. Qxh2 Rh5 {and Black should gradually win.}) 38. Rxg5 Ne6
39. Rg4 $6 ({White should have avoided the R swap, after} 39. Rg1 $1 Nxd4 40.
Re3 $15 {Black must still work hard for the full point.}) 39... Rxg4 40. fxg4 (
40. Nxg4 Qa4 $17 {doesn't help much.}) 40... Qd8 41. Rh3 $6 ({Hastens the end,
but even after the better} 41. Rf3 Rxf3 42. Nxf3 Qd5 $17 {Black should prevail
in the long run.}) 41... Qd5+ 42. Kg1 Qe4 43. Qb4 Rf6 {The Rf8 has left its
vulnerable square and the N is ready to pounce either on d4, or f4. Further
resistance is futile.} 0-1
[Event "Sinquefield Cup"]
[Site "chess24.com"]
[Date "2018.08.18"]
[Round "1.2"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2822"]
[BlackElo "2766"]
[PlyCount "133"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "Russia"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "RUS"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. Re1 d6 7. a4 Kh8 8. Nc3
Ng8 9. Nd5 f5 10. h3 fxe4 11. dxe4 Nf6 12. a5 (12. Ng5 Nxd5 13. Nxh7 Rf4 $1 {
Was spotted by Aronian! Yes, during his own game, he went into the
confessional booth to give this variation about another game!}) 12... a6 13.
Ra3 Be6 14. Nxf6 Bxc4 15. Nd5 Bb5 16. Be3 (16. b3 {was Caruana's improvement.}
Nb8 17. c4 Bd7 18. b4 {"Is a big improvement compared to the game." -- Caruana}
) 16... Qd7 17. Nd2 Nd8 18. c4 Bc6 19. Qg4 Ne6 20. b4 Rae8 21. Nf3 Bd8 22. h4 {
Showing some symbiosis with the other h4-h5 games, but Caruana said it was
played since he sensed ...Qf7 and ...Bd7 looming and he needed a hiding place
for his queen.} h6 (22... Qf7 23. Ng5) 23. h5 Nd4 (23... Qf7 24. Qg6 Qxg6 25.
hxg6) 24. Qxd7 Nxf3+ 25. gxf3 Bxd7 {"He was definitely slightly better here."
-- Caruana} 26. Kg2 Rf7 27. Rh1 Ref8 28. Bc1 c6 (28... Be6 29. b5 c6 30. bxc6
bxc6 31. Nb6 Bxb6 32. axb6 Bxc4 {and Caruana didn't know if it "would be safe"
for him since ...Bb5 and ...Rb7 might come.}) 29. Nb6 Be6 30. Rd1 Bxb6 31. axb6
Rf6 32. Rad3 Bxc4 33. Rxd6 Rxf3 34. Be3 R3f7 35. R1d2 Kh7 36. Rd7 Rxd7 37. Rxd7
Rf7 38. Rc7 {"It's already unpleasant for him...Black has to find something
concrete or I might slowly win this one." -- Caruana} Be6 39. Bd2 g6 40. Bc3 (
40. hxg6+ Kxg6 41. Bc3 {Caruana chastised himself for not playing this way
right at the time control. The difference? Now when he wins the e-pawn his e-
and f-pawns are mobile.}) 40... g5 41. Bxe5 Kg8 42. f3 Bb3 43. Kf2 Be6 (43...
Bd1 44. Bd6 $1 Rxf3+ 45. Ke1 Rf7 46. Be7 {was the trick, so Grischuk abandoned
his original plan}) 44. Ke3 (44. Bd6 Rd7) 44... Kf8 45. f4 ({Caruana said
something "subtle" like} 45. Bd4 {was preferable since Black can hardly move.
For example} Ke8 ({or} 45... Rd7 46. Rc8+ Kf7 47. Rh8) 46. Bg7) 45... gxf4+ 46.
Bxf4 Ke8 47. Bxh6 Bg4 48. Bf4 Bxh5 49. Rc8+ Kd7 50. Rh8 Bg4 51. Bc7 Rf3+ 52.
Kd4 Rh3 53. Rb8 c5+ $1 {Seen by Caruana but he didn't see a way to stop it.}
54. bxc5 Kc6 55. Bd6 Bd7 56. Ke5 Rh6 57. Rg8 a5 58. Kf4 a4 59. Ra8 Rh4+ 60. Ke3
Kb5 61. e5 Bc6 62. Kd3 Rh3+ 63. Kd2 Rh2+ 64. Kd3 Rh3+ 65. Kd2 Rh2+ 66. Kd3 Rh3+
67. Kd2 1/2-1/2
[Event "Saint Louis USA"]
[Site "Saint Louis USA"]
[Date "2018.08.18"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Vachier Lagrave, M.."]
[Black "Carlsen, M.."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B30"]
[WhiteElo "2779"]
[BlackElo "2842"]
[Annotator "Alejandro"]
[PlyCount "74"]
[EventDate "2018.08.18"]
1. e4 c5 {The first small surprise. Carlsen plays the Sveshnikov Sicilian here
and there, but his usual reply to 1.e4 is, by far, 1...e5 - Carlsen might be
saving his ideas in those variations for Caruana in November, however.} 2. Nf3
Nc6 3. Nc3 {MVL did not want to get in the main lines of the Sveshnikov
Sicilian, a defense that has proven tough to crack in the recent past. The
usual way to avoid it is the Rossolimo with 3.Bb5, but 3.Nc3 also has some
venom.} e5 4. Bc4 g6 $5 {A strange move that has been essayed before. Black
want to fianchetto his bishop, which is ambitious, but not necessarily a bad
approach.} 5. h4 $5 {MVL never shies away from complications, trying to force
the issue against Black's kingside.} h6 (5... h5 {is a disastrous weakening of
the g5 square.} 6. Ng5 Nh6 7. d3 d6 8. Be3 $16) 6. h5 g5 7. Nh2 $5 {The knight
reroutes to control both of the weakened squares: f5 and d5. It is time
consuming, but preventing the breaks will put Black in a passive position.} Nf6
8. d3 d6 9. Nf1 Bg4 {Provoking f3 does not change too much, but it's logical
for Black to not have to worry about Qf3 ever again.} 10. f3 Be6 11. Ne3 Bg7
12. Ncd5 O-O 13. c3 Rb8 14. a4 a6 15. g4 $6 {MVL mentioned in the post-mortem
that he was unsure of this decision, as it takes g4 away from the knight in
the future. It does seem like a questionable move, as it also prevents him
from ever performing the g3-f4 break.} (15. Nxf6+ Bxf6 16. Bd2 $14 {seems safe
enough, and it gives White good chances to fight for an advantage. Black's
problems in the light squares will not disappear, even with a d5 or f5 break,
and White can simply castle (the reason for taking on f6 - not having to worry
about the h5 pawn) and develop his pieces. Black is not in huge trouble, but
White's position is to be preferred.}) 15... b5 16. axb5 axb5 17. Bb3 (17. Ra6
{was White's original idea, but it is extremely risky. Some sample variations:}
bxc4 18. Rxc6 Bxd5 19. exd5 cxd3 20. Nf5 (20. Qxd3 e4 $1 $15) 20... e4 $5 $13 {
The game starts to become very sharp, but White is the one that seems to have
more trouble navigating this complications than Black, who holds the
initiative.}) 17... Ne7 {Suddenly White is facing some difficulties. If the
game opens up via a pawn break on d5, he is underdeveloped and his king
exposed and in the center. MVL pulled the breaks and started to search for
equality.} 18. Nxe7+ Qxe7 19. O-O Qb7 20. Bxe6 fxe6 21. c4 b4 22. b3 Nd7 23.
Qe2 Rbd8 24. Nc2 {Black is the one pressing. He has ideas of putting a knight
on d4 and using the fact that his bishop gains some squares once a trade on d4
happens. White is super solid, however, as he has no attackable weaknesses,
the pawn break of d5 is the only one remaining and is highly ineffective, and
the rooks simply cannot enter. MVL finds a nice setup in which he feels safe.}
Nb8 25. Be3 Nc6 26. Kg2 Rf7 27. Ra4 Rdf8 28. Bg1 {Now White is never afraid of
Nd4, as he can take with the knight and put his bishop on h2.} Bf6 29. Rfa1 Bd8
30. Ra8 Rxf3 {Not much of a sacrifice, but it changes very little.} 31. Qxf3
Rxf3 32. Kxf3 Kg7 33. Ke2 {As both players explained in the post-mortem with
Maurice Ashley, even if Black were to win a rook for the knight, not that this
is remotely achievable, White would still have a total fortress.} Bb6 34. R8a6
Kf7 35. Ra8 Kg7 36. R8a6 Kf7 37. Ra8 Kg7 1/2-1/2
[Event "Saint Louis"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2018.08.18"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2777"]
[BlackElo "2768"]
[Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"]
[PlyCount "57"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
{The Sinquefield Cup has started with a small 'boom', with two decisive games
in the first round. Watching from afar, I was happy when Anand drew his game
without too many problems. Since Naka has always been Vishy's 'boogey'
opponent, this game should serve as a confidence booster for the Madras Tiger.
} 1. d4 {Naka has switched to 1.d4 almost exclusively now. This is a small
surprise for me, considering he is an aggressor first and an accumulator next.
Still, all the Berlins and the Petroffs are suffocating sometimes, so it is
good to see some change.} Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 {The most solid
line in the QGD. Anand nowadays plays more for security and serenity than a
serious attempt to play for a win.} 5. Bf4 {Today's favourite by a large
margin. The old lines have fizzled out due to modern equalising attempts.} (5.
Bg5 {was how Rubenstein, Alekhine and Capa played, but today, due to the
Tartakower defense, this move is seen as second rate. A small illustration} h6
6. Bh4 O-O 7. e3 b6 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Bxe7 Qxe7 10. Nxd5 exd5 11. Rc1 Be6 12. b3
c5 $132 {shows that Black isn't without his chances, Eljanov-Topalov 2016.})
5... O-O {The main move today.} (5... a6 6. c5 O-O 7. e3 Nc6 8. a3 Nh5 9. Bd3
Nxf4 10. exf4 $14 {and only White can be better here, with a substantial space
advantage.}) (5... c6 6. e3 Nbd7 7. h3 O-O 8. Qc2 Re8 9. Bd3 dxc4 10. Bxc4 b5
11. Bd3 $14 {and White has achieved a solid but favourable structure,
reminiscent of the Meran Slav.}) 6. e3 c5 $1 {Carlsen played this against
Anand in the 2014 WCC, and effectively neutralised White's opening advantage.
Since then, this has been quite the rage.} 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. cxd5 {Naka chooses
to simplify, when there are more complex options available.} (8. Qc2 Nc6 9. Rd1
Qa5 10. Be2 dxc4 11. Bxc4 $13 {with a complex position. This should have been
chosen by Naka if he wanted to play for the win.}) 8... Nxd5 9. Nxd5 exd5 {
This position looks optically good for white, as he has succesfully exchanged
a pair of minor pieces and can work against the isolated pawn. However, Anand
has managed to pull his king to safety, and can create threats against Naka's
king if allowed some time. For that reason, I believe Black has more or less
equal chances.} 10. a3 {preventing Bb4+, a move that can be a little annoying
to meet, and hinting at a queenside expansion policy.} Nc6 {The best move in
the position, angling for a quick d4. Black is close to equalising.} 11. Bd3
Bb6 12. O-O Bg4 {Anand retains some pieces in the position, and prepares
standard isolani development.} (12... d4 $5 {is an interesting and forcing
attempt to equalise. Though the engine approves, I personally don't like this
confrontation before developing my pieces. Play goes} 13. e4 (13. exd4 Nxd4 14.
Be5 (14. Nxd4 Bxd4 15. Be4 Qf6 $132 {and Black's active enough to maintain
equality.}) 14... g6 {killing the LSB once and for all on that diagonal.
Komodo gives} 15. Bxd4 Bxd4 16. Bxg6 Bxf2+ 17. Rxf2 Qxd1+ 18. Rxd1 hxg6 19. Rd4
b6 $11 {with a comfortable position for Black, though he needs to play
precisely for few more moves to achieve equality.}) 13... Bg4 14. h3 Bh5 15.
Rc1 Re8 16. Re1 Rc8 $13 {and Komodo gives equality, though a human only
assesses this as unclear. Whats clear to me though, is that if Black wanted to
fight, he should have gone for this line. The position is really unbalanced,
and all three results are possible. This goes to show that Naka's opening
strategy is dubious.}) 13. h3 Bh5 14. Bb5 $5 {a mysterious move by Naka. This
move is made to protect d4 once more, and probably to threathen Bxc6 followed
by b4, fixing the pawns on attackable squares. Still, my feeling is that it is
a bit artificial, as there were some other choices that were perfectly
playable as well.} Rc8 {Anand stops the afforementioned plan, and develops.} (
14... f6 $5 {is a really interesting move suggested by Komodo here. The point
is to protect e5 once and for all. The bishop can also prevent itself from
being exchanged and overprotect d5 from f7. An interesting attempt to maintain
equilibriun. Play continues} 15. Rc1 Qd7 16. b4 Rac8 17. Be2 Rfd8 18. Qb3 Kh8
$132 {and both sides can play on here.}) 15. Rc1 h6 16. b4 Re8 17. Bd3 {
over the past few moves, both sides have made improvements to their position.
Now, my gut tells me Anand makes an innacuracy.} Bxf3 $6 {Unnecessary, though
this equalises in the end. I wouldn't have given up the bishop pair that
easily.} (17... d4 $5 18. g4 $1 Bg6 19. Bxg6 fxg6 20. b5 $14 {and White
retains a nagging edge.}) (17... Qd7 $1 {simple, developing the last piece,
and waiting for White to react. Admittedly, Black doesn't like doubling his
pawns on the kingside, but this doesn't do much harm. After} 18. g4 Bg6 19. b5
(19. Bxg6 fxg6 20. Qd3 g5 21. Bg3 Qf7 $11 {it's hard to see Black losing here,
infact White should be careful not to mess up and allow d4 under favourable
circumstances.}) 19... Na5 20. Ne5 Qe6 21. Rxc8 Rxc8 22. Nxg6 fxg6 23. Qb1 Kh7
$132 {and Black's control of the c-file and possiblity of Nc4 guarantees him
equal chances.}) 18. Qxf3 $1 Ne5 19. Qe2 $6 {This is a mistake, allowing black
to follow his faulty idea and equalise.} (19. Bxe5 $1 Rxe5 20. Qf4 Rxc1 21.
Rxc1 Re6 22. g3 $14 {/=}) 19... Rxc1 20. Rxc1 Nxd3 21. Qxd3 d4 $1 {Now that
the pieces have been vacuumed from the board, its only a draw.} 22. exd4 Bxd4
23. Qd2 Qf6 24. Bg3 Rd8 25. Qe2 Qg5 26. Rd1 Qxg3 27. Rxd4 Qc7 28. Rxd8+ Qxd8
29. g3 {and a draw was agreed. A good start for Vishy, as he comfortably held
Naka to a draw. I admit his Bg4xf3 isn't that convincing, but even after that
innacuracy, I don't see a clear minus for him. Naka on the other hand should
be disappointed after this game. After the form he showed in the Rapid and
Blitz, he should have gone for a win against Vishy here. Still, this is a long
tournament, and this game should act as stimulus for greater things for both
players.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Saint Louis"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2018.08.19"]
[Round "2.3"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A17"]
[WhiteElo "2842"]
[BlackElo "2773"]
[Annotator "Hess, R"]
[PlyCount "175"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
{Whenever the competitors from the 2016 World Chess Championship meet over the
board, it is certain to be a grueling battle. In this game, Carlsen sustained
pressure throughout. Karjakin defended admirably, but he went awry after over
six hours of warding the World Champion off. It's truly exhausting to fight
off an advantage where one mistake can be fatal.} 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 (2. Nf3 Nf6
3. g3 d5 4. d4 dxc4 5. Bg2 Be7 6. Nc3 O-O 7. Ne5 Nc6 8. Bxc6 bxc6 9. Nxc6 Qe8
10. Nxe7+ Qxe7 11. Qa4 {has been played dozens of times. The difference
between this and the game is that the pawn is on a2 rather than a3. The
benefit of having the pawn on a2 is that the light squares are more secure,
leaving less room for a Black counter attack on the queenside.}) 2... Bb4 3. g3
Nf6 4. Bg2 O-O 5. Nf3 d5 6. a3 Be7 (6... Bxc3 7. dxc3 dxc4 {isn't quite quick
enough for Black, who would be in great shape with a knight already on c6.
Here, however,} 8. Qxd8 Rxd8 9. Ne5 {wins back the pawn while keeping the two
bishops.}) 7. d4 dxc4 8. Ne5 Nc6 9. Bxc6 bxc6 10. Nxc6 Qe8 11. Nxe7+ Qxe7 12.
Qa4 c5 13. dxc5 (13. Qxc4 {has been tried multiple times against Karjakin, who
successfully held against Aronian a decade ago:} cxd4 14. Qxd4 e5 15. Qb4 Qe6
16. Bg5 a5 17. Qh4 Nd5 18. Rc1 Rb8 19. Na4 f5 20. O-O f4 21. e4 fxe3 22. fxe3
Rxf1+ 23. Rxf1 h6 24. Nc5 hxg5 25. Rf8+ Kxf8 26. Nxe6+ Bxe6 27. Qxg5 Rxb2 28.
Qxe5 Rb1+ 29. Kf2 Kf7 30. Qh5+ Kf8 31. Qe5 Kf7 32. Qh5+ Kf8 33. Qe5 Kf7 34.
Qh5+ {1/2-1/2 (34) Aronian,L (2737)-Karjakin,S (2727) Sochi 2008}) 13... Qxc5
14. Be3 Qc7 15. Rd1 Nd5 {Karjakin successfully forces the the knights off the
board, leaving the players with bishops of opposite colors. Karjakin must have
been satisfied with the opening - his position looks totally fine.} 16. Bd4 (
16. Nxd5 exd5 17. Rxd5 $4 Qb7 (17... Bb7 18. Rc5 {allows White to escape with
the material, though without the right to castle.}) 18. Qb5 a6 {and two rooks
on the long diagonal will not survive.}) 16... Rd8 17. Nxd5 exd5 18. Qc2 Qe7 (
18... Bh3 {isn't particularly threatening, since White has no real need to
castle.} 19. f3 {and Carlsen will place his king on f2. Here, however, it is
far less simple for White to play Bc3 -- the e3 square is now vulnerable.}) 19.
O-O Bh3 20. Rfe1 Rd7 21. Bc3 (21. e4 dxe4 (21... Re8 22. f3 f5 23. e5 f4 {
is entering complicated territory where White has a clear passed pawn but a
shaky kingside.}) 22. Rxe4 Be6 {looks quite level.}) 21... Re8 22. Rd4 Qg5 {
creatively preventing Rh4 without committing to a pawn move.} (22... h6 23. e4
Qd8 24. e5 {again makes the position more double-egded. Black can't complain
(and might even be preferred), but White's pawns appear to be more mobile in
the near future.}) 23. Qd2 (23. e4 $5 {could have created some legitimate
challenges for Black. For example,} Qh5 (23... Qd8 {keeps everything covered,
though White can once again choose to play} 24. e5) 24. Qd1 Qxd1 25. Rexd1 Rxe4
26. Rxd5 Rxd5 27. Rxd5 {Black is worse here, thanks to the inferior queenside
pawn structure. The fact that a tempo must be spent on making luft does not
help.}) 23... Qxd2 24. Rxd2 {In this queenless ending with bishops of opposite
color, White is the easier side to play. In order to defend d5, Black must
place the bishop on e6, which in turn blocks the rook's access to the file.
Moreover, White controls the pawn break (e4) and can expand more easily.} Be6
25. Red1 Rde7 26. f3 h5 27. Kf2 f6 28. Rd4 Kh7 29. R1d2 (29. Bb4 Rb7 30. e4 {
gains White control of the d-file, but also allows Black to trade off a few
pieces.} dxe4 31. Rxe4 Bf7 32. Rd6 Rxe4 33. fxe4 Re7 {may cost a pawn, but
liquidation occurs. In such an ending, the pawn-down sign still has high
drawing chances.} 34. Rxf6 gxf6 35. Bxe7 Kg6 36. Ke3 Be8 37. Kd4 Bb5 38. Kc5 a6
{looks like a pretty stable setup.}) 29... Bf7 30. h3 (30. Bb4 Re3 {is
annoying to deal with.}) 30... a6 31. Rf4 Kg8 32. Bd4 Kh7 33. Bc3 Kg8 {
Karjakin moves his king back and forth, unafraid of Carlsen's shuffling.} 34.
g4 hxg4 35. hxg4 Kh7 36. Rf5 Rb7 37. Rfxd5 (37. Rd1 {with the intent of an
eventual Rg1 and g5 breakthrough was very worthy of consideration.} Rbe7 38.
Re1 {and White can attempt to inch forward with e3, Bd4, etc. Black would be
unwise to not consider exchange sacrifices on b2.}) 37... Bxd5 38. Rxd5 Kg6 $6
{By no means is this a terrible move, but it does give up another pawn. The
endgame is trickier with Black's rook squaring off against a bishop and two
pawns.} (38... Rc7 {with the idea of heading to c6 keeps Black's queenside
completely defended. However, it also leaves Black without any sort of
activity.} 39. Rd6 Rce7 40. e4 Re6 41. Rd5 Rc6 {and if White does not play g5,
Black will do so.}) 39. Rc5 Rh8 40. Kg3 Rb6 41. Rxc4 Rh1 42. Rc7 Rc1 {
Threatening to exploit the pin with Rxb2.} 43. Rd7 Rc6 {Black has come up with
a stubborn defense. Karjakin, renowned for his resourcefulness, is facing an
uphill battle. Yet there are quite good chances to hold.} 44. a4 {This pawn
should be fixed on a dark square, and a5 is far superior to a3. It limits the
rook on the sixth rank, but also secures a desired landing spot on b6. If the
rook gets there, a trade would create a passed pawn. If the bishop gets there,
it keeps a hold of a5 and cuts the rook off from its protection of the a6 pawn.
} (44. Rb7 $2 {would have thrown away any winning chances. In positions with
imbalances, it is always important to anticipate your opponent returning to a
dynamic with similar pieces (in this case a rook apiece). Here it immediately
results in a draw, but an eye should be kept on this exchange return even if
it does not restore material equality because it can be easier to defend a
position with like pieces.} R1xc3 45. bxc3 Rxc3 {and the a-pawn is can't be
defended.} 46. a4 Rc4 47. a5 Rc5) 44... Rg1+ 45. Kf2 Ra1 46. a5 Ra4 (46... Rxc3
47. bxc3 Rxa5 {most certainly is an incorrect time to give back the material,
because White's king rushes to the aid of the c-pawn.} 48. Ke3) 47. Kg3 Rac4
48. Ra7 (48. f4 {could have been a difficult move for Karjakin to handle.}
Rxc3+ ({Much better is the patient} 48... Rc7 49. f5+ Kh7 50. Rd6 R4c6 51. Rd1
{where White has to prove he can create problems for Black.}) 49. bxc3 Rxc3+
50. Kh4 Rc5 {White can't defend the a5 pawn, but in exchange for that pawn he
is able to force through a passed pawn.} 51. f5+ Kh6 (51... Kh7 52. e4 Rxa5 (
52... Re5 53. Kh5 {is a forced win for White. The activity is simply
overwhelming.} Rxe4 54. g5 fxg5 55. f6) 53. g5 fxg5+ 54. Kxg5 {is an endgame
worth studying. White is clearly much better, but winning? I'll let the
readers take a look :)}) 52. Rd6 Rxa5 53. g5+ Kh7 54. e4 Ra4 55. Rd7 fxg5+ 56.
Kh5 Ra1 {is similarly worth a deep investigation.}) 48... Re6 49. e4 Rc8 50.
Rd7 Rec6 51. f4 R8c7 52. f5+ Kh7 53. Rd8 Rc8 54. Rd3 Re8 55. Rd4 Rc7 56. Kf4
Rce7 57. Rc4 Kh6 58. Kf3 Rd7 59. Bd4 Kh7 60. b4 Rd6 61. Ke3 Kh6 62. Rc1 Kh7 63.
Bb6 Rd7 64. Bc5 Red8 (64... Rd5 {is a cool move to play. The point is that if
White's rook or king move, Black gains an important entry square on the d-file.
} 65. Ba7 {is the best reply.}) 65. Rh1+ Kg8 66. Kf4 (66. g5 fxg5 (66... Rd3+
67. Kf4 Rd1 68. Rxd1 Rxd1 69. g6 Re1 {seems to hold, though a misstep would
hand White a win.}) 67. e5 g6 $1) 66... Re8 67. Re1 g5+ $1 68. fxg6 Kg7 (68...
Re5 {would be a nice way to cut off White's progress, except that now} 69. Rh1
$1 {prevents Black from playing Kg7xg6.}) 69. g5 Kxg6 70. gxf6 Kxf6 71. Rh1 Rf7
{A very nice move, allowing Black's king to rush to the queenside.} 72. Ke3 (
72. e5+ Rxe5 73. Rh6+ Kg7+ 74. Kxe5 Kxh6 {White does not have enough pawns to
win this ending, since the only way to win a6 is to give up the b4 pawn.} 75.
Kd6 Kg6 76. Kc6 Rf6+ 77. Kb7 Re6 78. Bb6 Re4) 72... Ke6 73. Rh4 Rf6 74. Rh7 Rf7
75. Rh5 Kd7 76. e5 Rf1 (76... Kc6 77. Ke4 (77. Rh6+ Kd5) 77... Re6 78. Rh8 Rg6
79. Rc8+ Kb7 80. Re8 Kc6 {is a clever way to hold. The king has nowhere to run
after} 81. e6 Rg4+ {and the checks continue forever. If White tries to
interpose with the bishop} 82. Kd3 Rg3+ 83. Kc4 Rf4+ 84. Bd4 Rgg4 85. Rd8 Re4 {
e6 falls.}) 77. Ke4 Kc6 $2 {A fatal mistake in time trouble. Karjakin had
defended precisely for many moves, but this one did him in.} (77... Re1+ 78.
Kd5 Rd1+ 79. Kc4 Rc1+ 80. Kb3 Re6 {holds. Keeping the opposing rook off the
sixth rank should do the trick to obtain a draw.}) 78. Rh6+ Kb5 79. Rb6+ Kc4
80. e6 $1 {Karjakin must have underestimated this resource, which wins. All
other moves lead to a draw.} (80. Rxa6 Re1+ 81. Be3 (81. Kf4 R1xe5) 81... Kxb4
82. Ra7 Rxe3+ 83. Kxe3 Rxe5+ 84. Kd4 Rxa5) 80... Re1+ 81. Kf5 Rf1+ 82. Ke5 Re1+
83. Kf6 Rf1+ 84. Kg7 {There are no more checks available to Karjakin, as e7
and g1 are both secured by the bishop on c5. There's nothing left to do.} Ra8
85. e7 Re1 86. Kf7 Re4 87. Rd6 Rh8 88. Rxa6 1-0
[Event "Saint Louis"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2018.08.20"]
[Round "3.4"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C55"]
[WhiteElo "2777"]
[BlackElo "2766"]
[Annotator "Hess, R"]
[PlyCount "178"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d3 Nf6 5. O-O O-O 6. c3 d5 7. exd5 Nxd5 8.
Re1 Bg4 ({Anand tried a less active approach against Kramnik, but that did not
go so well:} 8... Be6 9. Nbd2 Bd6 10. Ne4 h6 11. b4 a6 12. a4 Re8 13. Qb3 Nf6
14. Bxe6 Rxe6 15. Be3 Ne7 16. Rad1 Ng6 17. h3 Qd7 18. Nc5 Bxc5 19. bxc5 b5 20.
cxb6 cxb6 21. d4 exd4 22. Bxd4 Rxe1+ 23. Nxe1 Qc6 24. Qxb6 Qxa4 25. Rb1 {
1-0 (25) Kramnik,V (2800)-Anand,V (2776) Moscow RUS 2018}) 9. Nbd2 Nb6 10. Bb5
Bd6 11. h3 Bh5 12. Ne4 ({Last week in the Saint Louis Rapid, So was able to
overcome Anand:} 12. Bxc6 bxc6 13. Ne4 Re8 14. c4 Nd7 15. Bd2 c5 16. Ng3 Bg6
17. Bc3 f6 18. Nh4 Bf7 19. Nhf5 Bf8 20. Qe2 a5 21. b3 a4 22. Qc2 Nb8 23. Ne4
Nc6 24. Nfg3 Nb4 25. Bxb4 cxb4 26. Rad1 Qd7 27. Nd2 axb3 28. axb3 Bc5 29. Nf3
Ra3 30. Ne4 Bd4 31. Rb1 Rea8 32. Nxd4 Qxd4 33. Qd2 Ra2 34. Qe3 Qxe3 35. fxe3
Bg6 36. Nf2 R8a3 37. e4 Rc2 38. Ra1 Rb2 39. g4 Rbxb3 40. Reb1 Rxb1+ 41. Rxb1 c5
{Anand,V (2768)-So,W (2780) Saint Louis 2018 0-1}) 12... Re8 13. Bg5 {I'm not
a particularly big fan of this, as f6 is a useful move for Black. I can't
fathom why Black would not want this inclusion, as it defends e5 and allows
the bishop a retreat to the f7 square. Then again, I'm not entirely sure what
useful move White has here.} f6 14. Be3 a6 15. Bxc6 bxc6 16. Ng3 Bf7 17. c4
$146 ({There's a ton of room for improvement for both sides, by Aronian held
quite easily against Magnus in this line:} 17. d4 Nc4 18. dxe5 Bxe5 19. Nxe5
Rxe5 20. Qc1 Qe8 21. b3 Nxe3 22. Rxe3 Rxe3 23. Qxe3 Qxe3 24. fxe3 Rd8 25. Ne4
Rd3 26. c4 Rxe3 27. Nc5 a5 28. Rd1 Bg6 29. Kf2 Re5 30. Nb7 Be4 31. g4 h5 32.
Rd8+ Kh7 33. Ra8 c5 34. Ra7 hxg4 35. hxg4 Bxb7 36. Rxb7 a4 37. Rxc7 axb3 38.
axb3 Kh6 39. Kf3 g6 40. Rb7 Kg5 41. b4 cxb4 42. Rxb4 f5 43. gxf5 {1/2-1/2 (43)
Carlsen,M (2855)-Aronian,L (2792) Leuven 2016}) 17... Bb4 18. Re2 Bf8 {Of
course the bishop could have retreated in one move, but Grischuk first puts
Nakamura's rook on an awkward square.} 19. b3 c5 {A very good move, shutting
down the queenside and permanently preventing d4.} (19... a5 20. d4 e4 {
looks pleasant for Black as well, but White does seem to have more to work
with than in the game.}) 20. Qe1 (20. Ne4 {aims to win the c5 pawn, but} f5 {
protects the pawn tactically.} 21. Nxc5 (21. Nc3 Bh5) 21... f4) (20. Rd2 a5 21.
a4 {closes down the queenside in Black's favor. The pawns on b3 and d3 are
targets, whereas Black's pawns are harder to attack. The knights are
restricted; it's only a matter of time before Black reroutes a knight to say
c6 (via c8 and a7) and tries to play ...f5.}) 20... a5 (20... Qxd3 $4 {would
lose the queen} 21. Rd1 Qg6 22. Nh4) 21. Rd1 (21. a4 {attempts to close the
position, but now d3 is truly hanging with b3 en prise.} Qxd3 22. Rd1 Qxb3)
21... a4 22. Nd2 (22. Ne4 f5 23. Bg5 (23. Nxc5 f4) (23. Nc3 Bh5) 23... fxe4 24.
Bxd8 exf3 25. Rxe5 Rexd8 {gives Black a large edge. Three minor pieces
outclass an enemy queen.}) 22... Qd7 23. Nb1 axb3 24. axb3 Bg6 25. f3 {
Nakamura tries to solidify his position, but Grischuk has much more room to
operate with. At this point it is clear that Black is calling the shots.} Rad8
(25... f5 26. Bf2 Qd6 27. Nc3 Nd7 {Black remains better, but now he'd have to
take care of his e5 pawn.} (27... c6 28. b4 $1)) 26. Qf2 Qc6 27. Red2 Nd7 (
27... f5 28. f4 {hardly resolves all of White's many issues, but Nakamura
would obtain more activity for his pieces. It's easier to pursure counter play
than it is to sit idly.}) 28. Nc3 (28. h4 {at any moment is a worthy try. If
Black plays ...h5 himself, the f6 pawn can't move without ceding control of
the g5 square. Black can ignore and allow White to play h4-h5, hardly a
devastating threat but also a spatial grab.}) 28... h6 29. Kh1 (29. Ra2 {
is very logical here. There's an open file for the taking, so why not go for
it? The d3 pawn is forever a target, and it may be worth giving up in exchange
for activity down the a-file.}) 29... Kh8 30. Nb5 Bh7 31. Ra2 f5 32. Bc1 ({
Considering that Nakamura was ground down, in retrospect he likely wishes he
tested Grischuk with the chaotic} 32. f4 g5 $1 33. fxg5 f4 34. Ne4 fxe3 35.
Qxe3 {White gets two pawns for the piece, and the remaining pawns are not
particularly healthy.}) (32. Bd2 {is also a decent option, with the intent of
heading to a5 and allowing the second rook access to the a-file if Black
challenges the open file.}) 32... Nf6 33. Nc3 Qb7 34. Rb2 g5 35. Rb1 Qc6 36.
Bb2 Kg8 {Wisely stepping off the long diagonal.} 37. Nf1 (37. Ra1 {and sitting
the queen on c2 seems like an improvement. Black will have a tough time
breaking down White's stubborn defenses, and the rook can protect b3 via a3.})
37... Nh5 {Taking advantage of Nakamura's retreat.} 38. Nd5 Qd6 39. Ng3 c6 $1 {
Forcing an exchange of knights on favorable terms for Black. Grischuk either
is able to undouble his pawns and initiate a pawn trade, or he pushes Nakamura
back before planting his knight on f4.4} (39... Nxg3+ 40. Qxg3 c6 41. Nc3 {
is still good for Black, but the full point will not be easy to get with the
kingside potentially vulnerable and the pawn on c5 an accessible target.}) 40.
Nc3 (40. Nxh5 cxd5 41. cxd5 f4 (41... Bg6 42. Ng3 Qxd5 43. Qc2 {is a fight.})
42. Rbc1 Bg6 43. g4 Bxh5 44. gxh5 Qxd5) 40... Nf4 {Grischuk has a winning
position, but he started to spend a lot of time. Nakamura moved quickly in an
attempt to usher Grischuk into further time trouble.} 41. Qf1 Nxd3 42. Nce2 Qe6
43. Bc3 Rd6 (43... Bg6 {keeps the h5 square off limits, allowing ...e4 to come
next.}) (43... e4 $2 {is too soon, oblivious to White's kingside opportunities.
} 44. fxe4 fxe4 45. Nh5 {with very legitimate compensation.}) 44. Rd2 Red8 45.
Rbd1 Bg6 46. Nc1 Nxc1 47. Rxd6 Bxd6 48. Rxc1 Rb8 (48... e4 49. Qe1 e3 {
establishes an advanced passed pawn that White will be tied down to.}) 49. Ra1
Rxb3 50. Ra8+ Rb8 51. Ra6 Bf8 52. Qe2 Bg7 (52... e4 {again was strong.} 53.
fxe4 f4) 53. Ra7 Re8 54. h4 {Desperation in a tough position, but unnecessary.
Grischuk would have had a much greater challenge trying to crack Nakamura's
setup if this move had not been played.} gxh4 55. Nf1 f4 56. Nd2 Re7 (56... h3
57. Ne4 hxg2+ 58. Kxg2 {is three extra pawns for Black, but most are blockaded
with no evident way of freeing up in the imminent future.}) 57. Rxe7 Qxe7 58.
Ne4 Bf7 59. Kh2 h3 60. gxh3 ({Keeping a compact pawn structure on the kingside
would have increased Nakamura's drawing chances. Even if the pawn on c4 is
lost, it's not that easy for Black to make progress.} 60. Kxh3 Qe6+ 61. Kh2
Qxc4 62. Qb2 Qb3 63. Qa1 (63. Qxb3 Bxb3 64. Nxc5 Bc2 {gives White some chances
to hold, but two pawns is a substantial deficit.}) 63... Qa2 64. Qe1 {and
Black still has his work cut out for him.}) 60... Qe6 61. Qg2 Kh7 62. Qc2 Kh8
63. Qb2 Kh7 64. Qc2 $2 (64. Nxc5 {was necessary. Nakamura needed to snag the
pawn, since after} Qxc4 (64... Qe7 65. Ne4) 65. Nd7 {the e5 pawn falls. Black
is still pressing for a win, but it's not clear if just one extra pawn will do
the trick.} (65. Bxe5 Qxc5 66. Bxg7 Qg5 {and Black wins at least one of the
remaining two pawns after Qg3+})) 64... Qg6 65. Qe2 Be6 66. Qf1 Bf5 67. Qe2 Qh5
(67... Bxe4 $2 68. Qxe4 Qxe4 69. fxe4 {is the game continuation, but with a
pawn on h3 for White. This is a vital difference, since White can rush the
king to f3 and set up a fortress.}) 68. Nf2 Qh4 (68... e4 $2 {would be a way
to exploit White's tied down pieces, except that it's a blunder:} 69. Bxg7 Kxg7
70. Qb2+ {and Black will be fortunate to escape the numerous checks.}) 69. Ne4
Qxh3+ 70. Kg1 Qh5 71. Be1 Bxe4 72. Qxe4+ Qg6+ 73. Kh2 Qxe4 74. fxe4 Kg6 75. Kh3
(75. Kg2 Bf6 76. Kf3 Kg5 77. Bf2 Be7 78. Be1 h5 {and the h-pawn rolls.}) 75...
Kh5 76. Bh4 f3 77. Bf2 (77. Be7 f2 78. Kg2 Kg4 79. Bxc5 Kf4 {is an easy win.})
77... Bf6 78. Be1 Bg5 79. Bf2 Be7 80. Be1 Bd8 81. Bg3 Kg5 82. Bxe5 Bf6 83. Bd6
f2 84. Kg2 Bd4 85. Kf1 Kg4 86. Ke2 h5 87. Kf1 h4 88. Bh2 h3 89. Ke2 Be3 0-1
[Event "St. Louis"]
[Site "St. Louis"]
[Date "2018.08.20"]
[Round "3.1"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2767"]
[BlackElo "2842"]
[PlyCount "75"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Armenia"]
[BlackTeam "Norway"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "ARM"]
[BlackTeamCountry "NOR"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d3 Nf6 5. O-O d6 6. c3 a6 7. Re1 h6 8. b4 Ba7
9. a4 O-O 10. Nbd2 Re8 11. Nf1 Be6 12. Bxe6 Rxe6 13. Ng3 Ne7 14. d4 Ng6 15. Qc2
c6 16. h3 Qc7 17. Be3 d5 18. Nxe5 Nxe5 19. dxe5 Qxe5 20. exd5 {Giving Black a
choice. All three captures are within the realm of possibility.} cxd5 (20...
Qxd5 21. Rad1 Qe5 22. c4 (22. Bxa7 Qxe1+ 23. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 24. Kh2 Rxa7 {would be
a more solid version for Black of the note to the next move})) (20... Nxd5 21.
Bxa7 Qxe1+ 22. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 23. Kh2 Rxa7 {Same.}) 21. Rad1 (21. Bxa7 Qxe1+ 22.
Rxe1 Rxe1+ 23. Kh2 Rxa7 24. Qd2 Re8 25. Qf4 Raa8 26. Nf5 {And Aronian said
this looked better to his post-mortem self than at the board.}) 21... Bxe3 22.
Rxe3 Qc7 23. Nf5 Rae8 24. Qd3 Qf4 25. g3 Qc7 26. a5 Rxe3 27. Nxe3 Qc6 28. Nxd5
Nxd5 29. Qxd5 Re1+ 30. Kh2 Rxd1 31. Qxd1 Qxc3 32. Qd8+ Kh7 33. Qd5 Qxb4 34.
Qf5+ Kg8 35. Qc8+ Kh7 36. Qf5+ Kg8 37. Qc8+ Kh7 38. Qf5+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "St. Louis"]
[Site "St. Louis"]
[Date "2018.08.20"]
[Round "3.2"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2822"]
[PlyCount "121"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Azerbaijan"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "AZE"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. e4 b5 6. e5 Nd5 7. Nxb5 Nb6 8. Be2
Nc6 9. O-O Be7 10. Be3 O-O 11. Nc3 Rb8 12. a3 Bb7 13. Qc2 Na5 14. Rad1 h6 15.
Nd2 Qd7 16. f4 {"Came as a huge relief," Caruana said. Instead, he worried
about setups with Ne4, Bf3, and Qe2.} (16. Nde4 Nd5 17. Bf3 Nxc3 18. Nxc3 $1
Bxf3 19. gxf3) 16... Nd5 17. Nxd5 Bxd5 18. Qc3 (18. f5 exf5 19. Rxf5 Rxb2 (
19... Be6 {was Mamedyarov's concern}) 20. Qxb2 Qxf5 21. Qb5) 18... Rb5 19. Nxc4
(19. g4 Rfb8 20. f5 Rxb2 21. f6 gxf6 22. exf6 Bf8 23. Qxa5 R8b3 $3 24. Nxb3 (
24. Bf2 Rxa3) 24... Rxe2 {is fun with silicon!}) 19... Nxc4 20. Bxc4 Bxc4 21.
Qxc4 Rxb2 22. d5 exd5 23. Rxd5 Qf5 24. a4 Rfb8 25. Rb5 c5 26. Rxb8+ Rxb8 27.
Qd5 Rd8 28. Qc4 Rb8 29. Qd5 Rd8 30. Qc4 a5 {Instead of repeating, Caruana said
this stops all of White's play and he can now proceed himself, although he
didn't have enough to win. Still, that didn't stop him from trying.} 31. h3 h5
32. Rc1 Rd3 33. Kf2 Qg6 34. g3 Qf5 35. Rb1 Ra3 36. Rb3 Rxb3 37. Qxb3 Qxh3 38.
Qb8+ Kh7 39. Qc7 Qe6 40. Qxa5 h4 41. gxh4 Bxh4+ 42. Ke2 Qc4+ 43. Kd2 Qa2+ 44.
Kd1 Qb1+ 45. Ke2 c4 46. Qc3 Qe4 47. Kd1 Qf3+ 48. Kc1 Bg3 49. Qd2 c3 50. Qd4 Be1
51. Qd3+ g6 52. Kc2 Qg2+ 53. Kd1 Qh1 54. Kc2 Qc6 55. Kd1 Bg3 56. Qd4 Qf3+ 57.
Kc2 Be1 58. Qd3 Qc6 59. Kd1 Bg3 60. Qd4 Qf3+ 61. Kc2 1/2-1/2
[Event "Saint Louis"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2018.08.21"]
[Round "4.3"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E06"]
[WhiteElo "2812"]
[BlackElo "2777"]
[Annotator "Hess, R"]
[PlyCount "97"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. g3 dxc4 6. Bg2 O-O 7. Ne5 Nc6 {
This Catalan structure is seen in an another important Saint Louis game.
Karjakin used a variation of this line against Carlsen (throwing in Bb4 and a3
before retreating to e7), with Carlsen ultimately prevailing after many hours
of pressing.} 8. Bxc6 bxc6 9. Nxc6 Qe8 10. Nxe7+ Qxe7 11. Qa4 c5 12. dxc5 Qxc5
13. Be3 Qc7 {[#]} 14. O-O-O $146 {Caruana clearly has done his homework. He
said he found it a few months ago, and it leads to similar positions as
castling kingside except with the king on c1, giving White attacking chances.
He actually referred to this as a "throwaway novelty" and that Black should be
able to equalize with proper play, so he figured he'd get to use this in a
rapid game.} ({Nakamura was able to hold a pawn-down (theoretical) draw
against Svidler at the Palma Grand Prix:} 14. O-O Nd5 15. Bd4 Bd7 16. Qa3 a5
17. Rad1 Nb4 18. Bc5 Qxc5 19. Rxd7 Rab8 20. Rfd1 h6 21. Qa4 Nd5 22. Nxd5 exd5
23. R7xd5 Qb4 24. Qc2 Qxb2 25. Qxc4 Rb4 26. Qc5 Qxa2 27. Qxa5 Rb2 28. Qxa2 Rxa2
29. e3 g6 30. g4 Rfa8 31. Kg2 R8a5 32. h4 Kg7 33. Kg3 R2a3 34. Kf4 R3a4+ 35. e4
Rxd5 36. Rxd5 Ra3 37. f3 Rc3 38. Ra5 Rb3 39. Rc5 Ra3 40. Rb5 Rc3 41. Kg3 Ra3
42. g5 hxg5 43. hxg5 Rc3 {Svidler,P (2763)-Nakamura,H (2780) Palma de Mallorca
2017 1/2-1/2}) 14... Ng4 {Extremely logical, shattering White's pawn structure.
} (14... Bb7 15. f3 Nd5 16. Bd4 {Caruana referred to this as "like the Magnus
game against Sergey," with chances for an attack for both sides.}) 15. Rd2 Nxe3
(15... a5 16. Rhd1 {changes nothing, as capturing on h2 would be a terrible
decision.} Nxh2 17. Qb5 Ng4 (17... f5 18. Qc5 Qf7 19. f3 {traps the knight.})
18. Bb6 Qb7 19. Rd8 {with a decisive attack, since Black's rooks are not
connected.}) 16. fxe3 Rb8 17. Rhd1 {A hard position to understand without
having seen it before. Caruana felt that Nakamura handled the position quite
well having walked into a novel idea.} a5 18. Kb1 (18. Rd4 {invites} e5 (18...
Rb4 {keeps the pawn defended.}) 19. Qxc4 (19. Rxc4 Qb6) 19... Qb7 20. R4d2 Be6
21. Qd3 Qg2 {and Black has the better pawn structure and pressure on the
queenside.}) 18... h6 (18... Qc5 {doesn't quite attack the e3 pawn, since the
a5 pawn is more important.}) 19. Ka1 {Caruana runs his king to the corner, out
of the way of any potential checks. A big issue for Nakamura is that he can't
develop his bishop without allowing Caruana's rooks to infiltrate the d-file.
Of utmost importance to this position is that the knight can't be dislodged
from c3, whereas the bishop does not have a particularly stable square to
operate from.} ({The rook can move forward, but it is in some danger of
venturing too far.} 19. Rd6 Bb7 20. Ka1 Bd5 $1 21. Qa3 Rfd8 22. Nxd5 exd5 (
22... Qxd6 $2 23. Nf6+) (22... Rxd6 23. Qxd6 Qxd6 24. Nf6+ gxf6 25. Rxd6 {
is about level.}) 23. R6xd5 Rxd5 24. Rxd5 Qb7 25. Rd1 a4 {is an "extra pawn"
for White, who actually stands worse. There is no luft for the king and Black
can start going after the kingside pawns.}) 19... Rb4 20. Qc2 Rb8 (20... Bb7
21. Rd7 Qb6 22. Qd2 Bc6 23. Rd8 {is problematic. Black can't afford to swap
queens with the weaker pair of queenside pawns. The knight outclasses the
bishop in such an endgame, since White does not have pawns fixed on light
squares.}) 21. Qe4 Bb7 22. Qd4 Ba8 ({Even if the f7 pawn didn't fall, the
rooks are more powerful than the queen in this position} 22... Rfd8 $2 23.
Qxd8+ Rxd8 24. Rxd8+) 23. e4 Rfc8 24. Qf2 (24. e3 {with the intention of
playing g4 and h4 and then swinging the rook to kingside was mentioned by
Caruana in the post-mortem.}) 24... Bc6 ({Nakamura could have competed for the
d-file now that Caruana removed his queen from d4.} 24... Rd8 25. Qf4 Qb6 {
and Black keeps up the fight on the open file.} 26. Na4 {does not work out,
since the queen is not actually en prise after} Rxd2) 25. Qc5 Be8 (25... Qb7
26. Qxc4 {was referred to as "real compensation, but not 100% compensation for
the pawn" by Caruana.}) 26. Qxc7 Rxc7 {The queenless ending is clearly better
for Caruana. By no means was Nakamura even close to lost at this stage, but
the bishop never finds a stable square. The knight, on other hand, need not
move from its great spot on c3. It's always worth noting that a knight can
attack pieces on both colors, whereas the bishop is inherently limited in this
regard.} 27. Rd6 (27. Rd8 Rcc8 28. Rxc8 Rxc8 29. Rd6 Bc6 {cuts the rook off
from an attack on the a-pawn. Black will rush Kf8-e7 and it's unclear how
White makes any progress.}) 27... Kf8 28. Ra6 {The point stated above. White's
rooks need to keep Black tied down to that a5 pawn.} Rc5 29. Ra7 Rbc8 (29... g5
{needed to be considered, with the idea to play g5-g4 and then swing the rook
to h5. However, White can immediately prevent this with} 30. g4 {himself.}) 30.
Kb1 Rh5 31. h4 Re5 32. Kc2 g5 33. Rf1 Kg7 34. Rb7 Kg6 35. Kd2 f5 {Considered a
very risky move by Caruana.} (35... Kh5 {was mentioned in the post-mortem, but
after} 36. Rf6 {the king might not be able to safely continue its journey.} (
36. Ke3 {also looks good.})) 36. hxg5 fxe4 (36... hxg5 37. Rh1 {leads to a
large attack.}) (36... Bc6 37. Re7 Rd8+ $1 {to push the king back.} (37... hxg5
$2 38. exf5+) 38. Kc1 (38. Ke3 hxg5 39. Rxf5 Rxe4+ 40. Nxe4 Kxf5 41. Nc3 {
"I assume I'm also better here, but it can all be wrong. The bishop will get
kicked around." - Caruana.})) 37. Ke3 (37. gxh6 e3+ {pushes the king back,
which is important for Black's defensive chances. White of course is better,
but after say} 38. Kc1 Kxh6 39. Rf8 Rf5 {Black is still very much in the game.}
) 37... Bc6 (37... hxg5 38. g4 {leads to a mating attack!}) 38. Re7 Rxg5 39.
Rxe6+ Kg7 40. Re7+ Kg6 41. Rd1 Kf6 (41... Rxg3+ 42. Kf4 {with Rd6+ followed by
Re6, with the h6 pawn being lost.}) 42. Ra7 Ke6 (42... Rxg3+ 43. Kf4 {and
Black loses a rook, since Rd6 mate is the threat.}) 43. Rh1 h5 (43... Rh8 44.
g4 Rxg4 45. Rxa5 {"isn't easy, but should be technically winning" according to
Caruana. The rooks can blockade the h-pawn and the king can go feasting on the
queenside.}) 44. g4 Be8 (44... Rh8 45. gxh5 Rgxh5 46. Rxh5 Rxh5 47. a4 {
and White will start scooping up some pawns.}) 45. gxh5 Bxh5 46. Nxe4 Rf5 47.
Ra6+ Ke7 48. Nd6 Re5+ 49. Kd4 1-0
[Event "St. Louis"]
[Site "St. Louis"]
[Date "2018.08.21"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2768"]
[BlackElo "2842"]
[PlyCount "107"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "India"]
[BlackTeam "Norway"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "IND"]
[BlackTeamCountry "NOR"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. d3 Bg7 6. h3 Nf6 7. Nc3 O-O 8.
Be3 b6 9. Qd2 e5 10. Bh6 Qd6 11. Bxg7 Kxg7 12. a4 Ne8 13. Nh2 Nc7 14. Ng4 f6
15. f3 Ne6 16. h4 Nd4 17. h5 g5 18. Ne3 Be6 19. Ne2 Kh8 20. Ng3 Rad8 21. Kf2
Qe7 22. Qd1 c4 $1 {And now the fun begins.} 23. dxc4 f5 $1 {Anand said he did
see this continuation.} (23... Nb3 24. cxb3 Rxd1 25. Raxd1 {"Is obviously very
nice for White," Anand said. Carlsen said, "I can never be better after that."
White controls the open file and has a stranglehold on f5.}) 24. exf5 Nxf5 25.
Ngxf5 Bxf5 26. Qe2 (26. Qe1 {was Carlsen's suggestion.}) 26... g4 27. Kg1 gxf3
28. Qxf3 Bxc2 29. Qg3 Bd3 {Here Carlsen said, "If I get ...Rf4 that would be
really huge and I would be dominating." Hence, Anand's reply:} 30. Rh4 Rd4 31.
Rg4 ({Anand had planned} 31. Rxd4 exd4 32. Nd5 $1 cxd5 33. Qxd3 {but after} Qf6
{he liked Black's counterattack, so instead he bailed out with 31. Rg4.}) 31...
Rxg4 32. Nxg4 e4 33. Qe5+ Qxe5 34. Nxe5 Kg7 35. Rd1 Rd8 36. Nxc6 Re8 37. Kf2
e3+ 38. Ke1 Bxc4 39. Rd4 Bf7 40. g4 a5 41. b4 axb4 42. Rxb4 Be6 43. g5 Bf7 44.
h6+ Kg6 45. Rb5 Ba2 46. Re5 Rxe5 47. Nxe5+ Kxg5 48. Nd7 Bb3 49. Nxb6 Bxa4 50.
Nxa4 Kxh6 51. Nc3 e2 52. Nxe2 Kg5 53. Ng3 h5 54. Nxh5 1/2-1/2
[Event "Saint Louis"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2018.08.20"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C83"]
[WhiteElo "2773"]
[BlackElo "2768"]
[Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"]
[PlyCount "74"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
{The third round of the Sinquefield Cup promised a lot of action, but only one
decisive result. The opening battles were all interesting, and Fabi would have
been slightly disappointed he didn't find anything better in a slightly better
endgame. Grischuk will be happy after a win vs Naka, and Aronian should be
satisfied with his 1.e4 experiment against Magnus. I now turn to Vishy's game,
and it seems that Anand is growing younger, atleast in terms of his opening
choices!} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 $5 {Really interesting decision by
Vishy, to go for the Closed Ruy Lopez, or so I thought! Maybe he's bored to
death by the Berlin and wants to try something new.} 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 {
The Open Spanish, which has undergone a renaissance at the top level. Anand
has played the Berlin almost exclusively nowadays, with some small dabbles in
the Caro-kann and the French. His Sicilian Najdorf has disappeared. But to
take up the Open Spanish, which was his major weapon during the 90s, is a very
good decision. As far as I know, Anand has sparingly played it since then. He
did show during Norway Chess that he plans to use it again, and is clearly
inclining more towards this opening now. There is hope after all at the top
level, with people returning to the roots of the 20th Century.} 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3
d5 8. dxe5 Be6 {We have arrived at the tabiya position of the opening Spanish.
Black gets piece play and a strong Ne4 in exchange for White's e5 wedge and
pressure against d5.} 9. Be3 $5 {Sergey chooses an option that isn't seen as
frequently as others. Clearly he wants to negate any opening surprise by Vishy.
This move is logical, and scores well, but my database shows that players
prefer other moves.} (9. c3 Bc5 10. Qd3 Ne7 11. Be3 O-O $13 {with an unclear
position, Gashimov-Jussupow 2011.}) (9. Nbd2 Nc5 10. c3 d4 11. Bxe6 Nxe6 12.
cxd4 Ncxd4 13. Ne4 Be7 $132 {Was Karpov-Krochnoi 1981. This position clearly
indicates the dynamic possiblities for both sides- White's e5 strong point
counter balanced by Black's control over d4.}) (9. Qe2 Be7 10. Rd1 O-O 11. c4
bxc4 12. Bxc4 Re8 {with a typical position of this line. This system was
recently popularised by Caruana.}) 9... Be7 {The main line.} (9... Qd7 10. Nbd2
Nc5 $5 11. a4 b4 12. Bxc5 Bxc5 13. a5 Nd4 $11 {with a roughly balanced
position.}) 10. c3 O-O {Again Anand chooses the most principled. There were
few other options.} (10... Nc5 11. Bc2 Nd7 12. Nd4 $1 {an enterprising pawn
sac, though White obtains it back by force a few moves later.} Ncxe5 13. Nxe6
fxe6 14. Qh5+ Nf7 15. Qg4 $1 e5 16. Qxg7 Nf6 17. Qg3 $13 {with a crazy
position.Black's centre and queenside expansion is balanced by his weak king
and White's bishop pair.}) (10... Qd7 {is the most interesting move here,
refusing to commit the king. After} 11. Nbd2 Rd8 12. Re1 O-O 13. Nxe4 dxe4 $11
{we reach Karjakin-Ivanchuk,2012. The game was eventually drawn, and the
position doesn't do anything to deny such a result- it is balanced.}) 11. Nbd2
Bg4 {Angling for simplification. I can't fault such a strategy.} (11... Qd7 12.
Bc2 f5 13. exf6 Nxf6 14. Qb1 Bd6 $13 {would have kept a little more fight in
the position, as it is unbalanced, but then, as Black the top players look to
simplify to a draw. This line could have been chosen by Anand if he was a
little more ambitious.}) 12. Nxe4 {Sergey follows suit, and liquidates to a
equal endgame.} dxe4 13. Qd5 $1 {an important move, forcing the queen to make
a decision.} Qxd5 (13... exf3 $5 14. Qxc6 fxg2 15. Qxg2 Qd7 16. Bh6 gxh6 17. h3
h5 18. hxg4 Qxg4 19. Bd1 Qxg2+ 20. Kxg2 $11 {is another way of simplifying.
Black's worse pawn structure is balanced by early access to the d-file. Magnus
could even try to win from here with both colours!}) 14. Bxd5 exf3 15. Bxc6
fxg2 $1 {A good intermezzo.} 16. Rfc1 Rab8 17. a4 b4 $1 {A good move that
guarantees further simplification.} 18. cxb4 Rxb4 19. Bxg2 c5 20. Bxc5 Bxc5 21.
Rxc5 Rxb2 22. Bf1 Be2 23. Rac1 g6 24. R1c2 {Sergey exchanges a pair of rooks
before Black's activity gets serious.} Rxc2 25. Rxc2 Bxf1 26. Kxf1 {Now it's
just a draw.} Re8 27. Rc5 f6 28. Rc6 Rxe5 29. Rxa6 {A very small inbalance has
been created, but rest assured, that soon disappears.} Kg7 30. Ra7+ Kh6 31. Rc7
Re4 32. Rc6 Rxa4 33. Rxf6 Rh4 {Anand forces the draw, though Black has a very
minute edge with a better pawn structure.} 34. Kg2 Rg4+ 35. Kf1 Rh4 36. Kg2
Rg4+ 37. Kf1 Rh4 {and the 3-fold makes this a draw. A very drab middlegame and
endgame spoils an inspirational opening I must say. Sergey must be disgrunted
by his play in this game, but then, after two losses he atleast gets off the
mark. However, this is not how you play as White, and he will hope for a
reversal in fortunes as the tournament progresses. As for Anand, I am happy he
has reinvigorated the Open Ruy Lopez again, but am slightly disappointed that
he didn't press for more against an out of form Karjakin. He has aimed for
solidity in this tournament, and as a chess fan I have mixed feelings.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Saint Louis USA"]
[Site "Saint Louis USA"]
[Date "2018.08.22"]
[Round "5.4"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2767"]
[BlackElo "2768"]
[PlyCount "71"]
[EventDate "2018.08.18"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 c5 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8.
cxd5 Nxd5 9. Nxd5 exd5 10. a3 Nc6 11. Bd3 Bb6 12. O-O Bg4 13. h3 Bh5 14. b4 d4
(14... a6 15. Rb1 d4 16. b5 axb5 17. Rxb5 Bxf3 18. Qb1 Bc7 19. Bxh7+ Kh8 20.
gxf3 Bxf4 21. exf4 Ne7 22. Rh5 Ra5 23. Bf5+ Kg8 24. Bh7+ Kh8 25. Bf5+ Kg8 26.
Bh7+ {½-½ Inarkiev,E (2727)-Nakamura,H (2786) Moscow 2017}) 15. b5 Na5 16.
exd4 Qf6 $146 {Anand: "I've had it in my notes for a while. It's funny because
periodically my seconds would jog my memory, and two or three times I would
play 16...Qd5, thinking that was our improvement over 16...Qf6, and they would
look at me and tell me: no, you mixed it up again! Qf6 is the improvement over
Qd5. So I had this nice note in block capitals saying: NOT QD5!" (...) "It's
quite an important improvement because it kills this particular line."} (16...
Qd5 17. Re1 Rfe8 18. Rxe8+ Rxe8 19. Rc1 Bxf3 20. Qxf3 Qxf3 21. gxf3 Nb3 22. Rc3
Nxd4 {Huebner,R (2583)-Prusikin,M (2528) Switzerland 2016}) 17. Be3 Bxf3 18.
Qxf3 Qxf3 19. gxf3 Rfd8 ({After} 19... Rad8 20. Rac1 g6 {there might be a
tempo-winning Bh6 somewhere (Anand).}) 20. Rfd1 Nb3 21. Rab1 Nxd4 {By now
"Black has pretty much equalized this line." (Anand)} 22. Kg2 Ne6 23. Bf5 Bxe3
24. Bxe6 Rxd1 25. Rxd1 Bb6 26. Bb3 Rd8 27. Rxd8+ Bxd8 28. f4 Kf8 29. f5 a6 30.
b6 Bxb6 31. Bd5 Bc5 32. Bxb7 Bxa3 33. Bxa6 Bb2 34. Bf1 Ba3 35. Ba6 Bb2 36. Bf1
1/2-1/2
[Event "Saint Louis USA"]
[Site "Saint Louis USA"]
[Date "2018.08.22"]
[Round "5.3"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D34"]
[WhiteElo "2777"]
[BlackElo "2801"]
[PlyCount "103"]
[EventDate "2018.08.18"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. g3 Nc6 6. Bg2 Nf6 7. O-O Be7 8. Nc3
O-O 9. h3 Ne4 10. dxc5 Bxc5 (10... Nxc3 11. bxc3 Bxc5 12. Nd4 Bxd4 13. cxd4 Bf5
14. Be3 {½-½ Ilic,D (2376)-Brenjo,S (2522) Kragujevac 2012}) 11. Bf4 $146 (
11. e3 Nxc3 12. bxc3 Bf5 13. Nd4 Be4 14. f3 Bg6 15. f4 Be4 {Bellahcene,B (2286)
-Dastan,B (2247) Albena 2011}) 11... Nxc3 12. bxc3 Bf5 13. Nd2 Re8 14. g4 Bg6
15. e3 Bb6 16. Qb3 Re7 17. Rfd1 Rd7 18. a4 Rc8 19. Rac1 h6 20. Qa2 Bc7 21. Nb3
b6 22. Qd2 f5 23. c4 Bxf4 24. exf4 d4 {Mamedyarov liked his position here.} 25.
Bd5+ (25. c5 $5) 25... Bf7 26. Qe2 fxg4 27. hxg4 Qf6 28. Qf3 Rdd8 29. Nd2 Rf8
$6 ({Mamedyarov wasn't sure about} 29... Nb4 {(the computer's suggestion)} 30.
Ne4 Qe7 31. Bxf7+ Qxf7 {e.g.} 32. c5 $5) 30. Ne4 Qe7 31. Ng3 Qf6 32. Ne4 Qe7
33. Ng3 Qf6 34. Nf5 Kh8 35. Bxf7 Rxf7 36. c5 Rcc7 37. cxb6 axb6 38. Re1 Rf8 39.
Qe4 g6 40. Nxd4 {This quickly liquidates to a draw.} ({Mamedyarov was hoping
for the more interesting} 40. Nxh6 Re7 41. Qh1 {and now perhaps} Rh7 $5) 40...
Qxd4 41. Qxd4+ Nxd4 42. Rxc7 Nf3+ 43. Kf1 Nxe1 44. Kxe1 Rxf4 45. Rc6 Kg7 46.
Rxb6 Rxa4 47. f3 g5 48. Rb7+ Kg6 49. Rb6+ Kg7 50. Rb7+ Kg6 51. Rb6+ Kg7 52.
Rb7+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "Saint Louis USA"]
[Site "Saint Louis USA"]
[Date "2018.08.22"]
[Round "5.2"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C42"]
[WhiteElo "2779"]
[BlackElo "2822"]
[PlyCount "79"]
[EventDate "2018.08.18"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 Nc6
8. Qd2 Be6 9. O-O-O Qd7 10. Kb1 Bf6 11. h4 O-O-O 12. Nd4 (12. Ng5 Bf5 13. Qd5
h6 14. Ne4 Be5 15. Bd3 Be6 16. Qb5 f5 17. Nd2 f4 18. Bd4 Nxd4 19. cxd4 Qxb5 20.
Bxb5 Bxd4 {Aronian,L (2767)-Caruana,F (2822) Saint Louis 2018}) 12... Nxd4 13.
Bxd4 Be5 14. Be2 {"I was already a bit uncomfortable with how I should play."
(Caruana)} Qa4 ({An alternative was} 14... Bxd4 15. Qxd4 Kb8 {because} 16. Qxg7
{allows} (16. Bf3) 16... Bxa2+) 15. b3 Qa5 16. f4 $146 (16. Bxe5 Qxe5 17. f4
Qc5 18. Bf3 h5 19. Kb2 g6 20. Rhe1 Qf5 21. Qd4 {½-½ Walter,G (2452)
-Korabliov,A (2458) corr. 2016}) 16... Bxd4 17. Qxd4 g6 18. h5 (18. g4 $5 {
Caruana} Qc5 19. Qf6 Qf2) 18... Qc5 19. Qd2 Rhe8 20. Bf3 Bf5 21. hxg6 hxg6 22.
Rh7 Re7 $1 (22... Rd7 $6 23. Re1 {Caruana}) 23. g4 ({Now} 23. Re1 {can be met
by} d5 $1 {(Caruana)}) 23... Bd7 24. Re1 Rxe1+ 25. Qxe1 Re8 26. Qd2 Qe3 $1 {
"The last accurate move." (Caruana)} (26... Qg1+ 27. Kb2 Bxg4 $2 28. Qd5 Bxf3
29. Qxf7 {Caruana}) 27. Qxe3 (27. Qd5 Qxc3 28. Qxb7+ Kd8 29. Qa8+ Ke7 30. Qd5
Kd8 {Caruana}) 27... Rxe3 28. Rh8+ Re8 29. Rxe8+ Bxe8 30. Kc1 b6 31. g5 Kd8 32.
Kd2 Bd7 33. Be4 Ke7 34. Ke3 Be6 35. c4 c5 36. Kf3 Bd7 37. Ke3 Be6 38. Kf3 Bd7
39. Ke3 Be6 40. Kf3 1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.08.24"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E20"]
[WhiteElo "2822"]
[BlackElo "2773"]
[Annotator "Hess, R"]
[PlyCount "59"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d5 6. Nf3 dxc4 7. O-O (7. a3 {
would have been an attempt to steer the game back to Carlsen-Karjakin
(Sinquefield round 2) territory, which saw} Be7 8. Ne5 Nc6 9. Bxc6 bxc6 10.
Nxc6 Qe8 11. Nxe7+ Qxe7) 7... Nc6 8. Qa4 Bd7 9. Bg5 {A more challenging move
than retreating the queen, according to Caruana.} ({Caruana was well aware of
this game between two of his competitors from the Saint Louis Blitz.} 9. Qc2
Be7 10. e4 Nb4 11. Qe2 Nd3 12. Be3 b5 13. Ne1 Nxe1 14. Rfxe1 c6 15. Rad1 Rc8
16. d5 cxd5 17. exd5 Qa5 18. a3 exd5 19. Bd2 Bd8 20. Nxd5 Qa6 21. Bc3 Re8 22.
Qd2 Be6 23. Nb4 Qb6 24. Bd4 Qa5 25. Bc3 Qb6 26. Bd4 Qa5 27. Bc6 Rf8 28. Bc5 Bb6
29. Bxf8 Rxf8 30. Bf3 h6 31. Kg2 Bc5 32. Nd5 Qd8 33. Nf4 Bd7 34. Re5 Qc7 35.
Re2 Bf5 36. Nd5 Nxd5 37. Qxd5 Bd3 38. Ree1 Qb6 {So,W (2780)-Anand,V (2768)
Saint Louis 2018 0-1}) 9... a5 {"Probably not the move, but Black is under a
lot of positional pressure. Especially if you don't know the position."} 10.
Bxf6 $146 ({In a game between two talented grandmasters, White made an error
that was not taken advantage of:} 10. Rfd1 $2 Nxd4 (10... Bxc3 {was just great
for Black.} 11. bxc3 (11. Bxf6 Nxd4) 11... Nb4 12. Qa3 Nc2 13. Qb2 Nxa1) 11.
Rxd4 Bxc3 12. Rxd7 Qxd7 13. Qxd7 Nxd7 14. bxc3 f6 15. Be3 Rab8 16. Nd4 Kf7 17.
Nb5 {1-0 (17) Lenderman,A (2600)-Gretarsson,H (2567) Reykjavik 2018}) 10...
Qxf6 (10... gxf6 11. Qc2 {gives Black longterm issues on the kingside. Even if
White does not regain the pawn on c4, the position remains favorable. Good
choices include playing for d5, Qe4 to the kingside, etc.} (11. a3 $2 Nxd4 {
is a free pawn.}) 11... Be7 12. a3 $1 {to prevent Nb4 and prepare the d5 break.
}) 11. a3 Bxc3 (11... Nxd4 $6 12. Qxd7 Bxc3 13. bxc3 Nxe2+ 14. Kh1 Nxc3 15.
Qxc7 b5 {gives Black three pawns for the piece, but the bishop is extremely
strong here and the pawns are potentially vulnerable. White is ahead.}) (11...
Bd6 12. Qxc4 a4 {Caruana considered this a superior alternative, as it does
not give White the control of the b-file.}) 12. bxc3 {Black is looking quite
passive, with no clear way to activate.} Qd8 (12... Ne5 $4 {would work if not
for the queen hanging on f6.} 13. dxe5 Bxa4 14. exf6 {is an extra knight for
White.}) (12... e5 13. Qxc4 exd4 14. cxd4 {hands White a big center and a ton
of space.}) (12... b6 13. Qxc4 Rac8 {keeps everything defended, but the
position is a sad. A human would not volunteer to enter such a position, but
it might be tough to make a dent.}) 13. Qxc4 a4 14. Nd2 (14. Ne5 Na5 (14...
Nxe5 15. dxe5 {is very problematic, as White will simply play Rd1 and control
the board.}) 15. Qb4 {or 15. Qd3 is good for White as well, but Caruana
probably wasn't too interested in making exchanges.}) 14... Na5 15. Qb4 Ra7 {
Karjakin accepts a position with which he can do relatively little, though
this is not foreign territory for him.} 16. Rab1 b6 17. e3 Bc6 18. Bxc6 Nxc6
19. Qb5 Qa8 {Caruana wasn't sure if this is necessary, noting that the rook on
a7 has a hard time returning into the game.} 20. c4 Rd8 21. Rfc1 e5 22. d5 Nb8
$2 {A huge problem with this is that the back rank is exposed.} (22... Na5 23.
Rd1 (23. c5 {no longer works since the queen defends the back rank.} Rxd5) (23.
Qxa4 Nb7 {gives Black great counterplay, even if Black doesn't capture the a3
pawn. Planting the knight on c5 would give Karjakin hope.}) 23... Nb7 24. Ne4 {
with a nagging edge.}) 23. c5 Ra5 (23... Rxd5 24. Qe8#) (23... Qxd5 24. cxb6
Qxb5 25. bxa7 $1 Qxb1 26. Nxb1 {is easily winning.} Nd7 (26... Na6 27. Rc6) 27.
Rd1) (23... bxc5 {is ugly, but Black can try to hold:} 24. Qxc5 Na6 25. Qc6
Rxd5 {and White has the initiative, thanks to the distracting} 26. Rb8+ $1 (26.
Rb7 $1 {is also a funny move that works in White's favor, but is more of a
shock than anything.}) 26... Qxb8 27. Qxd5) 24. Qb2 Qxd5 25. cxb6 cxb6 26. Nc4
Rc5 27. Qxb6 $1 {The less natural move, but the stronger one!} (27. Nxb6 Rxc1+
28. Rxc1 Qb3 29. Rb1 Rd3 (29... Rd1+ 30. Rxd1 Qxd1+ (30... Qxb2 {allows mate}
31. Rd8#) 31. Kg2 {and White will go up a pawn. Caruana stopped analyzing
these variations when he preferred 27. Qxb6.}) 30. Nxa4 $1) 27... f6 $2 {
A losing move in a really tough position.} (27... Rf8 28. Qxb8 Rxc4 29. Rxc4
Qxc4 30. Qxe5) (27... Rcc8 {At first, Caruana thought this equalized. Then he
noticed} 28. Nd6 Nd7 (28... Rxc1+ 29. Rxc1 Rf8 30. Nc8 Qd2 {"doesn't lose on
the spot, but White has so many good moves here." - Caruana} 31. Rc7) 29. Nxc8
Nxb6 30. Ne7+) 28. Rd1 {This move "jumped out" to Caruana, so he didn't bother
calculating anything else.} (28. e4 {was even stronger.} Qd4 29. Qe6+ Kh8 30.
Nd6 {is totally decisive, with both back rank and smothered mating ideas.})
28... Qxd1+ 29. Rxd1 Rxd1+ 30. Kg2 1-0
[Event "St. Louis"]
[Site "St. Louis"]
[Date "2018.08.24"]
[Round "6.1"]
[White "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2766"]
[BlackElo "2842"]
[PlyCount "68"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Russia"]
[BlackTeam "Norway"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "RUS"]
[BlackTeamCountry "NOR"]
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. c4 O-O 5. d4 d6 6. O-O c5 7. d5 b5 8. cxb5 a6
9. bxa6 Bf5 10. Nfd2 Nxa6 11. Nc3 Nb4 12. Nc4 Nc2 (12... Bc2 13. Qd2 Bb3 {
wins back the d-pawn.}) 13. g4 Nxg4 14. e4 Nxa1 (14... Bxe4 {Was the move
Ashley was surprised Carlsen didn't labor over, and Grischuk also thought this
was the best way for Black.} 15. Nxe4 Nxa1 16. Qxg4 f5 {unclear (Grischuk)})
15. exf5 Bxc3 16. bxc3 Nf6 17. Qe2 Re8 {"shocked" Grischuk, as he was
expecting:} (17... Ra4 18. Bh6 Nc2 19. Bxf8 Kxf8 {but} 20. Nb2 {was what
Carlsen missed in his calculations, according to Grischuk}) 18. Bg5 Qd7 19.
fxg6 hxg6 20. Rxa1 (20. Nb6 Qf5 21. Nxa8 Qxg5 22. Nc7 Rc8 23. Nb5 {was winning,
but Grischuk was fearful of ...Nxd5 and ...Nf4}) 20... Qf5 21. Bxf6 (21. h4)
21... Qxf6 22. Qf3 Qh4 23. Qe4 Qf6 24. Qf3 Qh4 25. Qe4 Qf6 26. Qd3 Reb8 27. a3
Rb3 28. Rc1 Ra4 {In many variations, this is the problem: Black keeps getting
in the way of the a-pawn.} 29. Qc2 {Grischuk thought he was winning, which is
why he went for this line, except...} Qf4 $1 {saves the day} 30. Qxb3 Qxc1+ 31.
Bf1 Qg5+ 32. Bg2 Qc1+ 33. Bf1 Qg5+ 34. Bg2 Qc1+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "Saint Louis"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2018.08.21"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B31"]
[WhiteElo "2768"]
[BlackElo "2842"]
[Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"]
[PlyCount "107"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
{The 4th Round of the Sinquefield Cup followed the trend from the previous 2
rounds- lots of fighting chess but only one decisive result. It's nice to see
Fabi regain some form ahead of the WCC 2018, as a hotly contested championship
match is what a hardcore fan wants. This game though, had some intense moments.
It was another meeting between the former and current world champions. Magnus
entered the game in a combative move, as shown by his opening choice.} 1. e4 c5
{Carlsen wants to win, and take sole lead, so it's hardly a surprise that he
opts for the sharpest opening in his arsenal.} 2. Nf3 Nc6 {Interesting choice
by Magnus. No Najdorfs today.} 3. Bb5 $1 {Not so fast dear, says Vishy. Now
the game doesn't enter an Accelerated Dragon/Sveshnikov/Classical Sicilian.
Instead, we've found ourselves in the tabiya lines of the Rossolimo.} g6 4.
Bxc6 dxc6 {The best recapture according to me, as Black's pawns stay in a
tight bunch.} (4... bxc6 5. O-O Bg7 6. Re1 Nh6 7. c3 O-O 8. d4 $14 {is a clear
plus for white- I personally don't see a future for the LS Bishop, and central
control dominates over the Bishop pair.}) 5. d3 Bg7 6. h3 Nf6 {The last few
moves have been self explanatory, so let me now throw some light on the
current position. White has given up the bishop pair, in return he's got 2
pawns in the centre, free development, and the better endgame. Black on the
other hand, has the bishop pair, and control over d4(c3 weakens the d3 pawn a
lot, and d4 only opens up black's DSB). I prefer white here, as it's hard to
see the LS Bishop activating itself anytime soon. Also, White has a clear
target of attack- the queenside pawn mass. On the other hand, Black doesn't
have a target for now.} 7. Nc3 {The most popular move in the position, and
logical too.} (7. O-O O-O 8. Be3 b6 9. Nc3 {is a similar position to the game,
but the king has committed himself already, which is slightly less flexible.})
7... O-O 8. Be3 b6 9. Qd2 $5 {Wow! Vishy is going for it here. The most
aggressive and clearly the best move in the position. Clearly better than the
variation above.} e5 $5 {A gutsy move, and the best rejoinder here. Magnus
knows his stuff in this line. If the pawn isn't taken Black gets a
stranglehold over d4, and if it is then he simplifies.} 10. Bh6 Qd6 {Forced,
as otherwise White takes on g7 and then on e5.} 11. Bxg7 Kxg7 12. a4 $5 {
a very interesting move, and a new one according to my Mega database 2017.
White seizes his chance to prevent b5 and threathens a5-a6 to isolate a7. It
seems to me though, that since black is ahead in development, this plan
shouldn't be too dangerous.} (12. O-O {is the most popular move here. Play
continues} Ne8 13. Nh2 Bd7 14. Rae1 f6 15. f4 $14 {with a slight edge for
white.}) 12... Ne8 {To get to the d4 outpost, and threaten to open the game
with f5.} 13. Nh2 {White wants to play f4 eventually. So he gets his knight of
the way, while threatening to come to g4 and target the h6 and f6 weaknesses.}
Nc7 14. Ng4 f6 15. f3 Ne6 {It seems to me that Vishy hasn't got what he wants
from the opening. The position is fresh and full of potential, but because of
the lack of connectivity of the white rooks and weak d4 square, the position
is equal.} 16. h4 $1 {Clearly the best try here.} Nd4 17. h5 g5 {There goes
White's chances of opening the h-file. Good defense by Magnus. I have a
feeling that black has got the better side of equality.} 18. Ne3 Be6 19. Ne2 {
Regrouping to the f5 square. Both sides are playing the best moves, so I
really can't suggest any alternatives.} Kh8 20. Ng3 Rad8 21. Kf2 {A move that
was long overdue, in my amateurish opinion. The problem with wing expansion is
the counter blow in the center.} Qe7 22. Qd1 c4 $1 $15 {Suddenly Black gets
some very serious play here. It's impossible to point out where Vishy went
wrong, but he's suddenly worse. The a4 move maybe?} 23. dxc4 f5 $5 {Magnus
plays a very good move, but misses an absolute specy.} (23... Nb3 $3 24. cxb3
Rxd1 25. Raxd1 b5 $1 $17 {I won't be surprised if Anand loses this. A position
perfectly suited to Magnus- Imbalances. White isn't lost yet, but it'll take
him a herculean effort to save the game.}) 24. exf5 Nxf5 25. Ngxf5 Bxf5 26. Qe2
(26. Nxf5 $4 Qc5+ $1 $19 {isn't something Anand would miss.}) 26... g4 {
Magnus is putting pressure here, and it isn't on the lower side. I am
surprised that such a creative opening choice by Vishy has led to this.} 27.
Kg1 $1 {Why keep pieces on the board? When defending, exchange is what our
forefathers on the chess board have advised. This is what I thought at first.
On further analysis, Vishy wins out.} (27. Nxf5 Rxf5 28. Qe3 Rdf8 $17 {and the
pressure on the f-file is really intense. I am glad that Vishy's intuition
didn't let him down here.}) 27... gxf3 28. Qxf3 Bxc2 29. Qg3 $1 {Again the
best move. A bystander might think I am hardcore fan of Vishy looking at the
praise I am lavishing on his defence. That is true(!) but I am also admiring
his intuitive defence here. Reason- Komodo understands this a LOT later.} Bd3
30. Rh4 $1 Rd4 31. Rg4 Rxg4 {Sadly, this move takes white closer to equality.}
(31... Rdf4 $1 {Keep the tension. After} 32. a5 Be2 33. Rg5 b5 $15 {I feel
Black has atleast a little something here.}) 32. Nxg4 e4 33. Qe5+ $1 Qxe5 34.
Nxe5 Kg7 35. Rd1 {Anand seizes his chance. Again, impossible to pinpoint where
Magnus went wrong, but his edge has disappeared.} Rd8 36. Nxc6 Re8 37. Kf2 e3+
38. Ke1 Bxc4 {This is more desparation than anything else. Now lets all watch
how efficiently Anand neutralises Black's play here.} 39. Rd4 Bf7 40. g4 a5 41.
b4 axb4 42. Rxb4 {Step 1 - Trade a pair of pawns : Accomplished.} Be6 43. g5
Bf7 44. h6+ Kg6 45. Rb5 Ba2 46. Re5 {Step 2 - Force the trade of rooks.} Rxe5
47. Nxe5+ Kxg5 48. Nd7 Bb3 49. Nxb6 Bxa4 $5 50. Nxa4 $1 Kxh6 51. Nc3 {Step 3 -
get into a theoretically drawn endgame.} e2 52. Nxe2 Kg5 53. Ng3 h5 54. Nxh5 {
Step 4 - Draw accomplished! A fantastic game by both players, fighting tooth
and nail for something tangible that never arrived due to their due efforts
(an oxymoron, but then, thats how it was!). Vishy deserves praise for trying
something different, but he picked Magnus as his test minion, which wasn't the
best choice. Magnus will be angry at himself for missing out on a win here,
but lets be fair to both here- neither deserved it. This game shows positive
signs for Indian fans- the fighter in Vishy has awoken, and I hope to see more
of it in the upcoming rounds.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Saint Louis"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2018.08.22"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2767"]
[BlackElo "2768"]
[Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"]
[PlyCount "71"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
{The fifth round of a Sinquefield Cup produced a lot of creative chess, but
unfortunately there was no decisive result. The closest one got to it was in
Carlsen-So where the World Champion was better, but failed to convert in a
tricky middlegame. This game also had its moments, but Anand's preparation
succesfully negotiated Levon's opening advantage.} 1. d4 {No more 1.e4 from
Aronian!?} Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 {The main line 5.Bf4 QGD.
A sharp opening, but one where black has a clear path to somewhat equal
chances.} O-O 6. e3 c5 {Anand chooses the line that served him well against
Nakamura.} 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Nxd5 {Levon doesn't read my
annotations I guess, or he must have found something extraordinary in the
resulting IQP position. It's hard to believe the best White can do here is
achieve some play against the d5 pawn. Well, exchanging these many pieces
surely brings black closer to equality.} (9. Qc2 Nc6 10. Rd1 Qa5 11. Bc4 {
Personally, I prefer this line to the one Levon played. This gives white
atleast a small edge considering the poor c8-bishop.}) 9... exd5 10. a3 Nc6 11.
Bd3 Bb6 12. O-O Bg4 {Anand re-plays his Naka game, obviously not seeking to
improve on an already tested position. For more info on the preceeding moves
please do check Nakamura-Anand from the first round.} 13. h3 Bh5 14. b4 $5 $146
{Direct play from Levon. Clearly he isn't fooling around with mysterious moves
like Bb5. This is also the move I would play here-logical and strong.} d4 $1 {
The best move in the position. Anand seeks to play in the centre to counter
Levon's flank attack.} (14... a6 $5 {is also a move that deserves attention,
but why play something inferior? After} 15. Rc1 d4 16. Be4 dxe3 17. Bxe3 Bxe3
18. Qxd8 (18. fxe3 Qe7 19. Bxc6 Qxe3+ 20. Kh2 bxc6 21. Qd4 Qxa3 $15) 18...
Bxf2+ 19. Kxf2 Rfxd8 20. Bxc6 bxc6 21. Rxc6 Bxf3 22. gxf3 g6 {and White
atleast gets an imbalance, though it amounts to nothing significant.}) 15. b5
Na5 (15... dxe3 $6 16. bxc6 exf2+ 17. Kh1 bxc6 $16 {is an interesting piece
sac, but as with all such interesting sacrifices it is not the best line
available. White gets a clear plus here due to his fantastic bishops.}) 16.
exd4 Qf6 {Both players are apparently still in their home preparation. All the
preceding moves are logical- Levon is temporarily a pawn up, but Anand is
adding significant pressure to that pawn.} 17. Be3 {Komodo says this is the
best move here, but I am not so sure.} (17. Be5 $1 {Is the move I feel should
have been played. Optically speaking it looks better, and another reason is
that it preserves some winning chances in the position. After} Bxf3 18. gxf3
Qh4 19. Kg2 Rad8 20. Qc2 $14 {White retains a small plus according to me, but
with best play this should be a draw. Still, knowing how ambitious Levon is, I
am surprised he didn't go for this.}) 17... Bxf3 18. Qxf3 {Forced, as} (18.
gxf3 $2 Rad8 $17 {would be a terrible mistake. Is this the reason Levon didn't
go for my variation above. There is a small difference though, the Bishop is
more actively placed on e5, and that makes all the difference.}) 18... Qxf3 19.
gxf3 {We have now arrived at an endame. White should have something here due
to the double Bishops, but because the e3 one is so passive, I feel Black
equalises with best play.} Rfd8 $5 {An interesting answer to the perinneal
problem question-which rook?} (19... Rad8 20. Rad1 g6 21. Be4 Rd7 {is also an
option. I feel Anand's choice makes more sense.}) 20. Rfd1 Nb3 21. Rab1 Nxd4
22. Kg2 Ne6 23. Bf5 Bxe3 24. Bxe6 {An impercievable innacuracy by Levon. I
wouldn't have given up that bishop readily.} (24. fxe3 Nc5 25. Rbc1 b6 26. Rd4
Re8 27. Rc3 Rad8 $11 {is the quicker path to equalit, though if anyone can
play on here, its black.}) 24... Rxd1 $5 {An interesting decison to hand over
the d-file and equalise.} (24... Bc5 $1 {could have been played to play on
here. The tide has turned, and black's bishop has more targets here. With
accurate play by White though, this should be a draw. A sample line} 25. Bd5
Rab8 26. a4 b6 27. f4 g6 28. Rbc1 Kg7 29. Bc6 f5 30. Kg3 {shows Black holding
a microscopic edge, but this is round about equal.}) 25. Rxd1 Bb6 26. Bb3 Rd8
27. Rxd8+ $11 {Agreeing to a draw.} Bxd8 28. f4 Kf8 29. f5 a6 30. b6 Bxb6 31.
Bd5 Bc5 32. Bxb7 Bxa3 33. Bxa6 Bb2 34. Bf1 Ba3 35. Ba6 Bb2 36. Bf1 {and the
players end the game in a draw. A very interesting struggle that had its share
of speculative decisions. I feel Levon will go back unhappy as he was unable
to justify his White pieces today. Vishy's prep is as strong as it has ever
been, and he remains combative. It will be interesting to observe his next
four games.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "chess24.com"]
[Site "chess24.com"]
[Date "2018.08.25"]
[Round "7.4"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2773"]
[BlackElo "2801"]
[PlyCount "111"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Russia"]
[BlackTeam "Azerbaijan"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "RUS"]
[BlackTeamCountry "AZE"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e6 7. g4 h6 8. Bg2 g5
{The second straight day with g4 and g5 for Shak, but that's kind of par for
the course for him.} 9. Be3 Nbd7 10. Qe2 Ne5 11. O-O-O Nfd7 12. h4 Rg8 13. hxg5
hxg5 14. Kb1 b5 15. f4 (15. a3 {was the Cuban's choice, but then the 13th
World Champion played} Bb7 16. Bc1 Rc8 17. Rh3 Ng6 18. Bh1 Nde5 19. Rg3 Be7 20.
Na2 Rh8 {and Kasparov went on to win the blitz game.}) 15... gxf4 16. Bxf4 Bb7
17. g5 Qb6 18. Rh7 O-O-O 19. Be3 Qa5 20. Rf1 Rg7 21. Rxg7 (21. Qh5 Kb8 22. Rxg7
Bxg7 23. Qh7 Bh8 24. g6 $1 Nxg6 25. Rxf7 $14) 21... Bxg7 22. g6 Nxg6 23. Rxf7 {
We arrived at a similar idea to the previous note, but with a little less
teeth with the white queen at home.} Bxd4 24. Bxd4 Nge5 {There's simply no
target on the kingside, so black can now focus his defenses in a compact area,
which is also quite suitable for the knights.} 25. Rf2 Qb4 26. Be3 Nc4 27. Bc1
Kb8 28. Nd1 {It's becoming apparent that even Black's position is now easier
to play.} Rc8 29. b3 Na3+ 30. Bxa3 Qxa3 31. Bh3 Nc5 32. e5 Be4 $1 33. Qe3 Nd3
$1 34. Rf7 (34. cxd3 $2 Bxd3+ 35. Qxd3 (35. Ka1 Rc1+ 36. Qxc1 Qxc1#) 35... Rc1#
) 34... Qc5 (34... Nc5 {is playable since after} 35. Nc3 Bxc2+ $1 36. Kxc2 b4)
35. Qxc5 Nxc5 36. exd6 Rd8 37. Nc3 Rxd6 38. Kb2 Bc6 39. a3 Nb7 40. Rh7 Nc5 41.
Rh6 Kc7 42. b4 Ne4 43. Rxe6 Rxe6 44. Bxe6 Nxc3 45. Kxc3 Kb6 46. Kd4 a5 47. Bd5
Be8 48. bxa5+ Kxa5 49. Kc5 Bg6 50. c3 Bd3 51. Bc6 Be2 52. Bd7 Bd3 53. Bc6 Be2
54. Bd7 Bd3 55. Bc6 Be2 56. Bd7 1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.08.26"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C54"]
[WhiteElo "2768"]
[BlackElo "2767"]
[Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"]
[PlyCount "64"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
{The 7th Round of the Sinquefield Cup produced no decisive result, but a game
that might have a decisive effect on the standings- Magnus was unable to
finish Fabi off, so the latter still leads with 2 rounds to go. This game is
one of the more intriguing ones of the round- Anand looking to break his duck
of wins against Sasha, the latter trying to win and catch up to Fabi.} 1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 {No surprises here. The Guico Piano has effectively
overhauled the Ruy Lopez to become the new No.1 choice among the chess elite.}
Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 d6 {The start of the modern tabiya in chess.} 6. c3 a6 7.
a4 Ba7 {So that b4 doesn't come with tempo.} 8. Re1 O-O 9. h3 {Here, play
proceeds as follows- White tries to achieve d4, and Black does his atmost to
prevent it occuring under favourable circumstances.} h6 10. Nbd2 (10. Na3 {
Makes more sense here- the knight either goes to c2 to support d4, or to e3 to
claim the f5 square.}) 10... Re8 {Grischuk develops his rook to the e-fie,
seeking to pressurise e4 when White tries to play d4. However, he had a more
ambitious plan.} (10... Nh5 11. b4 Qf6 12. Nb3 Qg6 13. Kf1 Be6 14. Bxe6 fxe6 {
and black gets atleast equal chances.}) 11. Nf1 (11. b4 {is more aggressive
here, and makes sense with the knight on d2. Play can go} Be6 12. Bxe6 Rxe6 13.
Qc2 Qd7 {with mutual chances.}) (11. Bb3 {is what I want to play, preserving
the bishop in Ruy Lopez style. Play can go} Nh5 12. Nc4 Qf6 13. Be3 Bxe3 14.
Nxe3 Nf4 15. Nd5 Qg6 16. Nxf4 exf4 17. Nh4 Qf6 {and the position repeats. So
this move isn't playable if white wants to win.}) 11... Be6 12. Bxe6 Rxe6 13.
Be3 Bxe3 14. Nxe3 {Looks good for white here, with a clamp on f5 and d4
queenside space advantage. Sasha however has none of it and equalises quickly.}
d5 $1 15. Qc2 a5 16. Rad1 $146 {A logical novelty. White has a small dot of an
advantage due to better pieces, but the game quickly peters out.} Qd7 17. Qb3
Rd8 18. exd5 Nxd5 19. d4 {Anand equalises befere things get out of hand.} exd4
20. Nxd5 Qxd5 21. Qxb7 {It appears Anand is going to start munching pawns, but
Sasha has a drawing resource.} Rxe1+ 22. Rxe1 dxc3 23. bxc3 {Now its only a
draw.} Qd6 24. Qb5 g6 25. Nd4 Nxd4 26. cxd4 Qb4 (26... Qxd4 27. Qxa5 {if
either side wants to play on, this is it, but after all the vacuuming, I doubt
either wanted to seriously play for a win here.}) 27. Re8+ Rxe8 28. Qxe8+ Kg7
29. Qe5+ Kg8 30. Qe8+ Kg7 31. Qe5+ Kg8 32. Qe8+ Kg7 {and it's a draw by
threefold repetition. A disappointment for the spectators, especially the
Indian fans. Anand seems determined to draw all his games here, and is playing
solidly. However, he has to get his mojo up if he wats to go higher up on the
leaderboard. As for Grischuk, a neat little equalising game as Black, and he
will hope his good run contiues.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.08.25"]
[Round "6"]
[White "So, Wesely"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2780"]
[BlackElo "2768"]
[Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"]
[PlyCount "120"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
{The sixth round of the Sinquefield Cup had a lot of effect on the
leaderboard-Caruana jumped into sole lead by defeating the out of shape
Karjakin. A lot of interesting games, especially this one, provided a lot of
action.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 c5 {Well,
need I repeat myself? The most trendy continuation by White, and Anand has his
equalising weapon ready. This is the third game in black for Anand where he
has faced the 5.Bf4 QGD. Give me something new guys!} 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. cxd5 Nxd5
9. Nxd5 exd5 {Again we arrive at the same structure. I don't know what Naka,
Levon and So see here that I don't. But they are 2800+ players, so they
obviously see a lot more!} 10. a3 Nc6 11. Bd3 Bb6 12. O-O Bg4 13. h3 Bh5 {
All this has been seen previously in this tournament twice!} 14. Bb1 $5 $146 {
So's novelty. The plan is to gang up against the weak kingside using the
Queen-Bishop battery, and to play e4.} (14. Bb5 {was Naka's slightly
artificial surprise against Anand, which didn't lead to much.}) (14. b4 {
was Aronian's direct attempt against Black's play. This too, was diffused
rather easily.}) 14... d4 15. Qd3 Bg6 $1 {The only good move, leading to a
semi forced sequence.} 16. e4 Re8 17. Re1 Qe7 18. Qb5 f6 $1 {Again a neat move
by Vishy. The idea is to conserve the Bishop.} 19. Nh4 $5 {Looks natural, but
White had something better.} (19. e5 $1 Bxb1 20. Raxb1 fxe5 21. Bxe5 Qd7 22.
Bg3 Rxe1+ 23. Rxe1 Rf8 $14 {gives White atleast a little something.}) 19... Bf7
20. Nf5 Qc5 21. Qe2 Ne5 {A series of precise moves by the players. Now So had
his last chance to secure a symbolic advantage, but he fails to do so.} 22.
Bxe5 $11 (22. Bd3 $1 Rac8 23. Rac1 Qf8 24. Qd2 a6 25. b4 Be6 $14 {gives White
some hope of winning, but with precise play Black should draw.}) 22... Qxe5 (
22... fxe5 $1 {is a slightly better way to equalise.}) 23. Bd3 Bg6 24. Qd2 Bxf5
{This exchanges White's strongest piece, and sets up a vacuum procedure.} 25.
exf5 Qd5 26. Qc2 Kf8 27. Re6 $1 {A good try by So to play for an advantage,
but with smart play Anand neutralises it.} Rxe6 28. fxe6 g6 29. Re1 Re8 30. Bc4
d3 $1 {A good equaliser.} 31. Qxd3 (31. Bxd3 $1 {Why not this move? Keeps
queens on the board. After} Rxe6 32. Qc8+ Ke7 33. Rxe6+ Qxe6 34. Qxb7+ Kf8 35.
Qf3 Kg7 $14 {Black should hold, but he should suffer to hold.}) 31... Qxd3 32.
Bxd3 Ke7 33. Bc4 Rd8 34. Re2 Ba5 $1 35. b4 Rd1+ 36. Kh2 Bc7+ 37. g3 Rc1 {
After a lot of provocation Anand gets counterplay against the advanced White
queenside, and it's closer to a draw now.} 38. Ba2 Rc3 39. a4 Bd6 40. b5 Ra3
41. Bd5 b6 42. Ra2 $5 {So doesn't find anything better. Now its a dead draw.}
Rxa2 43. Bxa2 f5 44. Kg2 Be5 45. g4 fxg4 46. hxg4 h5 47. gxh5 gxh5 {After all
this exchanges White gets connected passers, but with the dark square blocade
by Black he can never win.} 48. Kh3 Bf6 49. Bc4 Kd6 50. Kg3 Ke7 51. Kf4 h4 $1 {
Precise.} 52. Kg4 Kd6 53. f3 Ke7 54. f4 Kd6 55. Kf5 Ke7 56. Bf1 Ba1 57. Bh3 Bf6
58. Bg2 Ba1 59. Ke4 Kd6 60. Bh3 Bf6 {And the players agree to a draw. A
fighting game of chess where So had his chances for an edge, but he didn't
take them. as for Vishy, another solid draw with Black leaves him on an even
score with 3 rounds to go. A really exciting finish is on the cards.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Saint Louis"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2018.08.24"]
[Round "6"]
[White "So, Wesley"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2780"]
[BlackElo "2768"]
[Annotator "DF"]
[PlyCount "131"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 c5 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8.
cxd5 ({It barely needs stating that after} 8. Qc2 Nc6 {and either a3 or Rd1,
we enter a theoretical battlefield in which I have annotated many games on
this site, many of which featured either Anand or Nakamura.}) 8... Nxd5 (8...
exd5 9. Rc1 {might be a marginally better version than the game for White,
because the c3-knight often has chances to annoy the Black dark-squared bishop.
}) 9. Nxd5 exd5 10. a3 Nc6 11. Bd3 {Wesley fancies his chances of
impersonating Magnus today, and turning the IQP into (say) a bishop pair, and
slowly constricting his opponent to death.} Bb6 12. O-O Bg4 (12... Qf6 13. b4
Bf5 {might seem principled, but actually any exchanges at all favour the side
battling the IQP.} 14. Bxf5 Qxf5 15. Qb1 $14) 13. h3 Bh5 14. Bb1 {Clearly,
Wesley would like the option to force the d-pawn forward with Ba2, but this
may not be one that he actually wants. The position is now totally equal,
because when Black ventures ...d4 there will be mass liquidations.} (14. b4 $5
a6 15. Re1 {is the most maximalist way to play the position, with e4 being the
response to ...d4.}) 14... d4 15. Qd3 (15. e4 {would be the main way to try
and claim an advantage, if this were appropriate; however it turns out not to
be after} Bc7 $1 16. Bxc7 Qxc7 {and only Black can be better.}) 15... Bg6 (
15... f5 $5 $11) 16. e4 Re8 17. Re1 Qe7 {Keeping the f3-knight and b1-bishop
at home while preparing ...Rad8. As ...Bc7 is firmly within Black's territory,
White will find himself unable to stop it in the long run.} (17... Bc7 $11) 18.
Qb5 f6 $6 {Black strives a little too hard for control.} (18... Bc7 19. Qxb7
Bxf4 20. Qxc6 Rab8 $44 {makes considerable sense to me as a pawn sacrifice.}) (
18... Rac8 {is the machine suggestion, preparing ...Bc7 yet again.}) 19. Nh4 (
19. e5 $1 Bxb1 20. Raxb1 fxe5 21. Bxe5 $14 {gives White an advantage based on
better co-ordination.}) 19... Bf7 20. Nf5 Qc5 21. Qe2 Ne5 22. Bxe5 Qxe5 23. Bd3
{The position is now level again, but as is often the way with the bishop pair,
if Black can avoid making big concessions in the next 10 moves he has good
chances of being better.} Bg6 (23... Kh8 24. Rac1 Bb3 25. Qf1 g6 26. f4 Qe6 27.
Nh4 Rac8 28. Nf3 Ba5 {might be one sequence of moves after which Black begins
taking more control of the game}) 24. Qd2 Bxf5 {Indicating contentment with a
draw, but quite often playing too hard for a draw has adverse results.} (24...
Rac8 $11) 25. exf5 Qd5 26. Qc2 (26. Re2 $14) 26... Kf8 27. Re6 Rxe6 28. fxe6 g6
29. Re1 Re8 $1 {The situation is back under control, and even though Black
needs to sacrifice a pawn to get the queens off on the next move, there isn't
such a big risk of losing anymore.} 30. Bc4 ({Having said that, something like
} 30. h4 Qc5 31. Qe2 $14 {'hinting' at h5, was interesting from a practical
perspective.}) 30... d3 31. Qxd3 Qxd3 32. Bxd3 Ke7 33. Bc4 Rd8 34. Re2 Ba5 35.
b4 Rd1+ 36. Kh2 Bc7+ 37. g3 Rc1 38. Ba2 Rc3 39. a4 Bd6 $11 40. b5 Ra3 41. Bd5
b6 {Black is active enough that if the rooks stay on, all three results might
occur. Therefore White bailed out, but played on, as is the way with such
things:} 42. Ra2 Rxa2 43. Bxa2 f5 44. Kg2 Be5 45. g4 fxg4 46. hxg4 h5 47. gxh5
gxh5 48. Kh3 Bf6 49. Bc4 Kd6 50. Kg3 Ke7 {A interesting choice, but not a
mistake. Black can defend actively, which is preferable to allowing a raid by
White's king.} (50... Ke5 $1 51. f4+ Kf5 $11 {and neither of White's pieces
has any prospects at all.}) 51. Kf4 h4 52. Kg4 Kd6 53. f3 Ke7 54. f4 Kd6 55.
Kf5 Ke7 56. Bf1 Ba1 57. Bh3 Bf6 58. Bg4 Ba1 59. Ke4 Kd6 60. Bh3 (60. Kf5 Ke7
61. Kg5 Bf6+ 62. Kh5 Kd6 {The fortress holds firm.}) 60... Bb2 61. Kd3 Bf6 62.
Kc4 Be7 63. Kd4 Bf6+ 64. Kc4 Be7 65. Kd4 Bf6+ 66. Kc4 1/2-1/2
[Event "Sinquefield Cup"]
[Site "chess24.com"]
[Date "2018.08.25"]
[Round "7.1"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2842"]
[BlackElo "2822"]
[PlyCount "82"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Norway"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "NOR"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]
{This game not only dictated who would lead the Sinquefield Cup; the winner
would be the world's number highest rated player.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 {
Caruana's trusted Petrov has helped him achieve tremendous results. It will be
interesting to see if he switches it up during the World Championship.} 3. Nxe5
d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 Nc6 {The players have followed
theory thus far. Carlsen opts to stray first.} 8. Bc4 (8. Qd2 Be6 9. O-O-O Qd7
10. Kb1 Bf6 {is standard.}) 8... O-O 9. Qd2 Bf5 (9... Ne5 10. Nxe5 dxe5 11.
O-O-O Qxd2+ 12. Rxd2 {is a slightly better ending for White, though this rare
position needs more practical testing.}) 10. O-O-O Qd7 11. Kb1 Rfe8 $146 {
An extremely natural move, planning to retreat the dark-squared bishop and use
the open e-file.} (11... Rae8 {has the same idea, except to put the bishop on
d8. This move runs more of a risk of abandoning the queenside, though it's
difficult to see how White can actually make any dents on that side of the
board.}) 12. h4 Bf8 (12... Bf6 13. Bg5 {doesn't work for Black. Taking on g5
opens up the h-file, whereas there is no good means of protecting the bishop
and leaving it on f6 isn't an option.}) 13. h5 h6 14. Be2 (14. Rdg1 {deserves
attention, as it prepares the kingside assault.}) 14... Bg4 15. Nh2 Bxe2 16.
Qxe2 Ne5 17. Bc1 Qc6 18. f4 Nc4 (18... Nd7 19. Qf1 {Caruana considered this a
possible improvement for him over the game continuation, but White still just
plays g4.} Nf6 20. g4 Ne4 21. Rg1 {or 21. Qf3 with a straightforward attack.} (
21. g5 $2 Ng3)) 19. Qd3 Qe4 ({Considering how poor his position became in the
game, it might have been preferable to sacrifice a pawn here and enter an
ending (if Carlsen accepts it).} 19... d5 $5 20. Qxd5 (20. g4 {ignoring all
else and pushing forward on the kingside is definitely an option, though Black
counters quickly} Qb5 21. Ka1 (21. g5 Re3 22. Qxd5 Na3+ 23. Ka1 Nxc2+ 24. Kb1
Na3+ 25. Ka1 Nc2+) 21... Re6 {with counterplay.}) 20... Qxd5 21. Rxd5 Ne3 {
Black's defensive task will be difficult, but there is evident activity as
compensation for the lost pawn.}) 20. g4 Ne3 21. Rde1 Qxd3 22. cxd3 Nd5 ({
An absolutely ridiculous sequence was} 22... Ng2 23. Reg1 Re2 24. Nf1 (24. g5
hxg5 25. fxg5 Rae8 {would help Black coordinate.}) 24... Ne1 25. Ng3 Rg2 26.
Rxg2 (26. Rxe1 Rxg3) 26... Nxg2 27. Rg1 Nh4 {and somehow that knight is not
getting trapped, though White is still better after} 28. g5) 23. Reg1 Re6 {
The move is so logical in conjunction with Ne7 next, but Caruana overlooked a
tactic. Instead, he should have banked on activity as the best form of defense:
} (23... Re2 24. g5 Kh7 25. Ng4 Rae8 26. gxh6 (26. f5 {is scary to meet over
the board, but Black looks to escape with} hxg5 27. h6 (27. Bxg5 Be7) 27... f6)
26... f5 $1) 24. g5 Ne7 {"I blundered...I thought that after this move he
can't play f5." - Caruana} (24... hxg5 25. fxg5 Rae8 26. Ng4 {keeps Black
stymied. "To defend this, you have to play perfectly until the end of the game.
" - Caruana}) 25. gxh6 Rxh6 (25... Kh7 26. hxg7 Bxg7 27. Nf3) 26. f5 Rh7 (26...
Rxh5 {was why Caruana thought Carlsen could not play like this, but} 27. Ng4
Rxh1 (27... Rxf5 28. Nh6+) 28. Nf6+ Kh8 29. Rxh1#) 27. Ng4 (27. f6 {was what
Magnus's intuition told him to play. Carlsen stated that he's having some
trouble making up his mind and being practical. Thinking can sometimes be bad
for us, apparently!} Nd5 (27... Nf5 28. Rg5 (28. Nf3 {heading to g5,
capitalizing on the awkward placement of the h7 rook.}) 28... g6 29. Rhg1 Nh4
30. R1g4 Bh6) 28. Ng4 Kh8 29. Bg5 {is crushing. Black loses material, since he
can't capture on f6 without getting mated.} gxf6 (29... b5 30. c4 bxc4 31. dxc4
Nb6 32. fxg7+ Rxg7 33. Bf6 {nets an exchange.}) 30. Nxf6 Nb6 31. h6 {ignoring
the rook (for now) with Be3 next is decisive.}) 27... Kh8 28. f6 Ng8 29. fxg7+
Rxg7 30. Be3 ({Unfortunately for Carlsen,} 30. b3 {is too slow.} f5 31. Ne3
Rxg1 32. Rxg1 Ne7 {and the worst is behind Black.}) 30... c5 31. Bf4 (31. Bd2 {
with the idea of c4, Bc3 likely gave White additional chances.} Kh7 (31... f5
32. Ne3 Rxg1+ 33. Rxg1 Ne7 34. Re1 {followed by Ng2-f4 is really awful for
Black.}) 32. Nf2 {heading to g5 with the knight would have caused Caruana a
bit of a headache.} Rxg1+ 33. Rxg1 d5 34. Nh3 Bh6 35. Ng5+ Bxg5 36. Rxg5 {
with a very pleasant endgame for White.}) 31... Re8 32. Ne3 Rxg1+ 33. Rxg1 Re6
34. Nd5 Nf6 35. Nc7 Re2 36. Nb5 Re6 37. Rf1 Kg8 38. Nc7 Re2 39. Nb5 Re6 40. Nc7
(40. Nxa7 Nxh5 {caused Caruana no concerns. He even said "the benefit of
having had a dead lost position is that you don't see ghosts in dead drawn
positions"}) 40... Re2 41. Nb5 Re6 1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.08.26"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D73"]
[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2842"]
[Annotator "Hess, R"]
[PlyCount "116"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 c6 5. Bg2 d5 6. Nbd2 a5 {A rare variation
aiming to play against a queenside fianchetto. Ivanchuk has played this a
couple of times. Carlsen had used such a strategy against Mamedyarov's
compatriot, Teimour Radjabov.} (6... O-O 7. O-O a5 8. b3 a4 9. Bb2 Bf5 10. Ne5
Nbd7 11. Nxd7 Bxd7 12. Bc3 axb3 13. axb3 Bg4 14. Rxa8 Qxa8 15. h3 Bf5 16. Qa1
h5 17. Qxa8 Rxa8 18. Ra1 Rxa1+ 19. Bxa1 Bc2 20. e3 g5 21. Bf1 g4 22. hxg4 hxg4
23. Be2 Kh7 24. cxd5 cxd5 25. Bc3 Kg6 26. Kf1 Kf5 27. Ke1 Nd7 28. b4 e6 29. Nf1
Kg5 30. Nh2 Nf6 31. Bd2 Kf5 32. b5 Bf8 33. Ba5 Be7 34. Bc7 Kg5 35. b6 Bb3 36.
f4+ Kf5 37. Kf2 Bc4 38. Bd1 Bb4 39. Bd8 Ba5 40. Kg2 Bd3 41. Kf2 Ne4+ 42. Kg2
Nf6 43. Kf2 Ne4+ 44. Kg2 Nf6 {1/2-1/2 (44) Radjabov,T (2773)-Carlsen,M (2835)
Wijk aan Zee 2012}) 7. b3 a4 8. Ba3 axb3 9. axb3 O-O 10. O-O (10. Bxe7 {
a check to the queen is not as powerful as a check to the king. This tactic
fails to} Rxa1 11. Bxd8 Rxd1+ {with Black going up a bishop.}) 10... Re8 11. e3
Bf5 12. Qe2 Na6 $146 ({The predecessor was played in the world rapid
championship:} 12... Nbd7 13. cxd5 cxd5 14. h3 e6 15. g4 Be4 16. g5 Bxf3 17.
Bxf3 Nh5 18. Bxh5 gxh5 19. f4 Qb6 20. Bb2 Nf8 21. Qxh5 Ng6 22. Qe2 Ne7 23. Qd3
Nf5 24. Rxa8 Rxa8 25. Ra1 Rxa1+ 26. Bxa1 h6 27. gxh6 Bxh6 28. Kf2 Bf8 29. Bb2
Be7 30. Ke2 Qa5 31. Bc3 Qa2 32. Qb1 Qa6+ 33. Qd3 Ng3+ {0-1 (33) Wojtaszek,R
(2734)-Ivanchuk,V (2726) Berlin 2015}) ({A move like} 12... h5 {would finally
allow} 13. Bxe7 {winning material.}) 13. Ne5 Ne4 14. cxd5 cxd5 15. Nxe4 Bxe4
16. Bxe4 (16. Bh3 {is an interesting option because the bishop on e4 lacks a
clean escape route.} Qb6 (16... e6 17. f3 Bf5 18. g4 f6 19. Nc4 $1 {is a nice
way to exploit the hanging pieces.}) 17. f3 Bf5 18. Bxf5 gxf5 {isn't so bad
for Black, as the kingside is not particularly weak and the doubled pawns are
hard to exploit.}) 16... dxe4 17. Qb5 {Taking control of the d5 square from
Carlsen's queen.} Rb8 18. Qc4 (18. Rfc1 Nc7 19. Qd7 Bxe5 20. Qxd8 Rbxd8 21.
dxe5 Ne6 {is absolutely fine for Black, even if the e4 pawn falls.}) 18... Bxe5
19. dxe5 Qd3 20. Rac1 (20. Rfc1 Rbd8) 20... Qxc4 21. Rxc4 b5 22. Rc6 (22. Rxe4
b4 23. Bb2 Nc5 {would be very bad for White, who loses the b-pawn.}) 22... Ra8
23. Rfc1 (23. Rb6 Kf8 $1 {seems to be the precise move to keep the balance.
Black very much would like to trade the minors and the b-pawns, for even if
the e4 pawn is lost the resulting ending should be a straightforward draw.} (
23... Nc7 24. Bc5 {ties Black down.}) 24. Rxb5 Nc7 25. Rb7 Rxa3 26. Rxc7 Rxb3
27. Rc4 {doesn't even lose the pawn, because of} f5 28. exf6 exf6 {with a draw.
}) 23... Nb8 24. Rc8 Kf8 25. Bb4 Na6 26. Rxa8 Rxa8 27. Ba5 (27. Ra1 Nc7 28.
Rxa8+ Nxa8 29. Ba5 {only temporarily restrains the knight. But what is the
evaluation of this endgame? I recommend looking at this position without an
engine and trying to plot out some potential paths forward.} Ke8 30. Kg2 g5 (
30... Kd7 31. Kh3 (31. f3 $2 Nc7 {can only be better for Black.}) 31... Ke6 32.
Kg4 Kxe5 33. Kg5 h5 34. Kh6 {and despite being a pawn down, White is the
superior side.}) 31. h3 (31. Kh3 h5 32. g4 h4 33. Kg2 Kd7 34. f4 exf3+ 35. Kxf3
Nc7 36. Ke4) 31... Kd7 32. f4 {this is a challenge to the readers: how should
Black continue here?}) 27... Ke8 28. Rc6 Kd7 29. Rb6 Nc5 30. b4 (30. Rxb5 Nxb3
31. Rxb3 Rxa5 {should be a draw with best play, by Mamedyarov had no interest
in going down a pawn.}) 30... Nd3 31. e6+ (31. Rxb5 Ke6 32. Kg2 Rc8 {heads
right for f2.}) 31... fxe6 {Carlsen's pawn structure may be shattered (triple
isolated pawns!!), but he has the edge. White's king lacks space and the f2
pawn is a clear target.} 32. Rxb5 Rc8 33. Rb7+ Kd6 34. b5 Rc1+ 35. Kg2 Rc2 36.
Kg1 g5 (36... Rxf2 {forces a draw:} 37. Bb4+ Kd5 38. Rd7+ Kc4 39. Rxd3 (39. b6
Kxb4 40. Rd8 Rd2 (40... Rb2 41. b7 Rb1+ 42. Kg2 Rb2+ {would force a draw, for
White is the one who might regret playing for more if he's not careful.} 43.
Kh3 Nf2+ 44. Kh4 Kc3 45. b8=Q Rxb8 46. Rxb8 Kd2) 41. Kf1 Rd1+ 42. Ke2 Re1+ 43.
Kd2 Rb1 44. b7 Rb2+ 45. Kd1 Rb1+ 46. Kc2 Rb2+ 47. Kd1) 39... exd3 40. Kxf2 Kxb4
41. b6 Kc3 42. b7 d2 43. b8=Q d1=Q {with an impending repetition for either
side.}) (36... Nxf2 37. Bb4+ Ke5 (37... Kd5 38. Rd7+ Kc4 39. Rc7+ {and wins.})
38. b6 {is great for White, who has a pretty fast passer.}) 37. Rb8 Rb2 38.
Rd8+ Kc5 39. b6 Rb5 40. Kg2 {Somewhat surprising that Mamedyarov would allow
Carlsen to play ...g4 himself, though perhaps he made the right choice!} (40.
g4 Ne5 41. Bc3 Nf3+ 42. Kg2 Rb1 {threatening Rg1+ followed by h5 and g4 mate.}
43. Rh8 (43. Rb8 Rg1+ 44. Kh3 h5 {is the mating net.}) 43... Kc4 44. Bg7 {
is a pretty bizarre defensive setup to stop mating threats.}) 40... g4 41. h3
h5 42. hxg4 hxg4 43. Bc3 {Very importantly stopping Ne5, even at the cost of
losing the passed pawn.} e5 (43... Rxb6 $4 44. Bd4+) 44. Rg8 Kc4 (44... Rxb6
45. Rxg4 Rb3 46. Ba5 Rb2 47. Rxe4 Rxf2+ 48. Kg1 {holds. Black needs to somehow
win the e3 pawn to have a chance at a win, but it's hard to see that happening.
The bishop on a5 is actually quite limited in scope, but can't yet be trapped.}
Ra2 49. Bd8 Kd6 50. Rc4) 45. Rc8+ Kd5 46. Rd8+ Kc5 47. Rc8+ Kxb6 48. Rb8+ Kc5
49. Rxb5+ Kxb5 {And now there's no path to progress, for the Black king can't
enter and attack f2.} 50. Kf1 Ka4 51. Ke2 e6 52. Kf1 Kb3 53. Ba5 Kc2 54. Ke2
Nc1+ 55. Ke1 Nd3+ 56. Ke2 Nc1+ 57. Ke1 Nd3+ 58. Ke2 Nc1+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "Saint Louis"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2018.08.26"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2822"]
[BlackElo "2768"]
[Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"]
[PlyCount "78"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
{The 8th Round of the Sinquefield Cup was surprisingly without a decisive
result, despite Grischuk's 1.f4 and Naka's twin pawn sac. Fabi maintains his
lead with a draw against Anand and looks to be the favourite to lift the
trophy tomorrow. The following game is again a 5.Bf4 QGD. Not so surprising
anymore.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 c5 7. dxc5
Bxc5 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Nxd5 exd5 10. Bd3 {It makes no sense to try write
something new about the preceding moves- I have almost exhausted my vocabulary
trying to describe this system! Everyone wants to test Anand's preparation in
this line. A pity we aren't seeing more Catalans and Meran Slavs anymore. Fabi
has introduced a slight twist here- He has played Bd3 without a3. This allows
Bb4+. Whether this is dangerous remains to be seen.} Bb4+ $1 {This move
couldn't be played in the earlier games as it would drop a piece. Here it
makes sense, as White has excluded a3. This troubles his development.} 11. Nd2
Nc6 (11... d4 $5 {is a very interesting and aggressive try by Black. But it
has no follow-up from Black's pieces. Play can go} 12. Qc2 h6 13. O-O Nc6 14.
a3 Bd6 15. Bxd6 Qxd6 16. Nc4 Qe7 $13 {With a complex position.}) 12. O-O {
The plus point of this move order, is that White can get in a3 and b4 with
tempo if he wants. The minus, is that Black has the retreat square e7
available. From there, he can go to f6, pressurising d4, and guarding e5
against hostile forces.} Be7 13. a3 {Now we see that b4 doesn't come with
tempo.} g6 {Denting the d3-bishop.} 14. Rc1 Bf6 {The Bishop can next go to g7,
allowing the queen to develop freely.} 15. b4 Qe7 $5 {VIshy prefers not to
challenge the pawn.} (15... a5 16. b5 Ne5 17. Nf3 Nxd3 18. Qxd3 Bf5 19. Qd2 Qb6
$13 {Again, a complex position, but I would take Black without a doubt.}) 16.
Nf3 Rd8 17. h3 {Restricting Black's c8 Bishop. I feel white has an edge here,
mainly due to the Better prospects for the LSB.} Ne5 $1 {Exchange when you are
low on squares for the pieces.} (17... a6 18. Rc2 Be6 19. Qd2 Rac8 20. Rfc1 Qe8
$14 {also gets black closer to equality, but white has better prospects in
this line.}) 18. Nxe5 Bxe5 19. Qd2 a5 $1 {Finally the strike on the queenside.}
20. bxa5 $5 {Interesting decision. White agrees to a damage in structure.} (20.
Bxe5 $1 Qxe5 21. bxa5 d4 22. Bc4 Qxa5 23. Qxa5 Rxa5 24. Rfd1 $14 {is a better
way of doing it, but Black is still fine here.}) 20... Bxf4 $1 21. exf4 Qxa3 $1
{a5 will fall later.} 22. Ra1 Qd6 23. Rfb1 {What looked like a bad positional
decision by Fabi is infact insightful. By holding back the Bc8, White plans to
add pressure to the position after Be2-f3.} Qf6 24. Ra2 Rd6 {Good defense by
Anand. For all the pressure White has on b7, he has to worry about the
weaknesses on a5 and f4. Also, lets not forget that at the moment, all of
Black's pieces are atleast doing a little something.} 25. Rc2 Rc6 26. Rxc6 $5 {
This move indicates a safety first approach by Fabi.} (26. Rb5 $1 {forces
Black to be precise. After} Qd4 27. Qe3 Qxe3 28. fxe3 Be6 29. Rxc6 bxc6 30. Rc5
Kf8 $14 {White has some pressure in the endgame.}) 26... bxc6 27. Qb4 Qd8 $1
28. Ra1 Ba6 29. Bxa6 Rxa6 30. f5 d4 $1 {Active defense by Anand. After
exchanging the LSBs he proceeds to use his connected passers to create
counterplay.} 31. fxg6 hxg6 32. Rd1 Rxa5 33. Rxd4 Rd5 34. Re4 Rd1+ $5 {Anand
doesn't want to stop drawing.} (34... c5 $1 {and Black suddenly forces White
to be precise. After} 35. Qb5 Qd6 36. Qe8+ Kg7 37. g3 Rh5 $15 {Black gets some
serious play here.}) 35. Kh2 Qd6+ 36. Qxd6 Rxd6 {Now its a draw.} 37. Re7 Rd2
38. Rc7 Rxf2 39. Rxc6 Ra2 {and a draw was agreed. A very interesting opening
debate followed by some surprising middlegame ideas gave us a cracker of a
match. It's too sad Anand couldn't press with the line I mentioned, but I am
happy (and he is too, I hope) that his opening preparation survived another
test succesfully. As for Fabi, another half point that takes him closer to the
title must give him some confidence ahead of the match against Magnus.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.08.27"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A54"]
[WhiteElo "2767"]
[BlackElo "2766"]
[Annotator "Hess, R"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d6 {Both Aronian and Grischuk needed to win this final round
to tie for first place, so Grischuk deserves credit for eschewing topical
variations in favor of this offbeat opening.} 3. g3 Nbd7 4. Bg2 e5 5. c4 c6 6.
Nc3 e4 (6... Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. e4 {is common.}) 7. Nh4 ({Relevant:} 7. Ng5 d5
8. cxd5 cxd5 9. f3 h6 10. Nh3 exf3 11. exf3 Bb4 12. O-O O-O 13. Nf4 Nb6 14. Qb3
a5 15. Nd3 Be7 16. a4 Nc4 17. Nb5 Bd7 18. Bf4 Rc8 19. Na7 Ra8 20. Nb5 Rc8 21.
Na7 Ra8 22. Nb5 {1/2-1/2 (22) Grachev,B (2628)-Morozevich,A (2683) Moscow 2016}
) 7... d5 8. O-O (8. cxd5 cxd5 9. Qa4 {is actually quite awkward for Black.} (
9. Qb3 {is not a good enough means of pressuring the d5 pawn.} Nb6 10. a4 Be7
11. a5 Nc4) 9... Be7 {is met by} (9... g6 10. Bg5 {creates problems with the
d5 pawn.}) 10. Nf5 {giving White the two bishops advantage and the better game.
}) 8... Bb4 9. cxd5 cxd5 10. f3 $146 ({White was a tad better before things
went south in the following game:} 10. Nf5 O-O 11. Qb3 Bxc3 12. Qxc3 Nb6 13.
Ne3 Be6 14. b3 Qd7 15. a4 Rfc8 16. Qb4 Rc6 17. Ba3 a5 18. Qd2 Nc8 19. Rfc1 Ne7
20. f3 Rxc1+ 21. Rxc1 Nc6 22. g4 h6 23. h3 Qc7 24. Bb2 Re8 25. Rf1 Qb6 26. Qd1
exf3 27. exf3 Bd7 28. Re1 Ne7 29. Ba3 Ng6 30. Bc5 Qc7 31. Qd2 Nf4 32. Rc1 Nh7
33. h4 b5 34. Bf1 bxa4 35. bxa4 Qb8 36. Re1 Qd8 37. Bd6 Ng6 38. Bg3 Nxh4 39.
Qf2 Ng6 {Kovalenko,I (2642)-Kabanov,N (2501) Moscow 2014 0-1}) 10... Bxc3 11.
bxc3 O-O (11... exf3 12. Bxf3 {is a bad transition for Black. White will play
Qb3, Bg5, reroute the knight, etc. and go after the d5 pawn.}) 12. Ba3 Re8 13.
Nf5 Nb6 14. Nd6 Nc4 (14... Re6 15. fxe4 (15. Nxc8 Nxc8 {and despite White
having two bishops versus two knights, I prefer Black. The knights have
outposts whereas the bishops lack particularly strong diagonals.} (15... Qxc8
16. Bh3 Qxc3 17. Bxe6 Qxa3 {gives Black sufficient compensation of a knight
and pawn for a rook.})) 15... dxe4 16. c4 Rxd6 17. Bxd6 Nxc4 18. Bf4 {is good
for White. Black has compensation, but certainly not full equality.}) 15. Nxc4
dxc4 16. fxe4 Nxe4 17. Qc2 Qd5 18. Rxf7 $5 {Going for it all! A really great
practical decision considering the alternatives were unattractive and Grischuk
was approaching time trouble. Aronian didn't think he had an advantage, but he
knew it would not be easy for Grischuk to wriggle free from his powerful
bishop with an open kind and mere minutes on the clock.} (18. Rf4 Bf5 19. Raf1
Bg6 {Black's strangehold over the center can hardly be challenged. White's
dark-squared bishop has no future and the backward pawn on e2 is a potential
target.}) 18... Kxf7 (18... Qxf7 19. Bxe4 {is what Aronian was looking for.
The bishop and pawn are worth the rook, since Black is behind in development
and there is pressure on the kingside. Black would consider giving up another
pawn in order to secure counterplay.} Bh3 {If White gets greedy, the
punishment will be swift:} 20. Bxh7+ Kh8 21. Bg6 Qe6 22. Bxe8 Qe3+ 23. Kh1 Rxe8
{leads to mate.} 24. Rg1 Qf2) 19. Rf1+ Bf5 (19... Kg8 $2 20. Bxe4 {is possible,
with mate on f8 preventing Black from capturing on e4.} Qh5 (20... Qxe4 21.
Qxe4 Rxe4 22. Rf8#) 21. Rf4 {with the initiative.}) 20. g4 g6 21. Qc1 Kg7 (
21... Re6 $1 {was a useful defensive move. The rook patrols the sixth rank,
and can more easily form a doubled rooks on the g-file.}) 22. gxf5 gxf5 23.
Bxe4 fxe4 24. Qf4 h6 25. Qc7+ (25. Kf2 $3 {is one of the last moves to come to
mind, but it makes sense to evade the impending attack. On the g-file the king
is in harm's way. Black can transition to a position like in the game, but the
king on e1 is in a worse location than on e3.} e3+ 26. Ke1 Rg8 27. Qc7+ Kh8 28.
Bd6 Rg6 29. Be5+ Kg8 30. Qe7) 25... Kh8 $2 (25... Kg6 26. Rf4 (26. Bd6 {
no longer is effective without a check for the bishop.} Rac8 27. Qd7 Rcd8 28.
Qg4+ Qg5 {is an exchange-up ending for Black.}) 26... Rg8 {and Grischuk's king
has the h5 square to run to. Rac8 actually threatens to trap the White queen,
forcing a trade.}) 26. Bd6 Rg8+ 27. Kf2 Rg6 28. Be5+ Kg8 29. Ke3 {White may
not be better, but Grischuk's pieces are stuck. It didn't help that he had
such little time left.} Rd8 (29... Re8 {was necessary so Black could
eventually retreat to e7 with the queen.} 30. h4 Qe6 {threatening Qh3+} 31. Kd2
(31. h5 Qh3+ 32. Kd2 e3+ {wins.}) 31... Qe7 32. Qxc4+ Qe6 {and Black is still
kicking, though the endgame looks extremely tough.}) 30. Qe7 {Now Aronian is
winning.} b5 (30... Qd7 31. Rf8+ {wins the queen.} Rxf8 32. Qxd7) 31. h4 a5 32.
h5 Rg5 33. Rf6 Rxe5 34. Rg6+ 1-0
[Event "chess24.com"]
[Site "chess24.com"]
[Date "2018.08.27"]
[Round "9.2"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2842"]
[BlackElo "2777"]
[PlyCount "193"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Norway"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "NOR"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. d4 e6 3. c4 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 b6 7. Bd3 dxc4 8. Bxc4
Ba6 9. Qe2 Bxc4 10. Qxc4 c5 11. dxc5 bxc5 12. O-O Nc6 13. Rac1 Rc8 14. Ne5 Qb6
15. Nxc6 Rxc6 16. b3 h6 17. Rfd1 Qb7 18. h3 Rfc8 19. Na4 Nd7 20. Rd2 Nb6 21.
Nxb6 Rxb6 22. Rcd1 Bf6 23. Rd7 Qa6 24. Qe4 e5 25. Bxh6 Re8 26. Qg4 Qxa2 27. e4
Qxb3 28. Be3 Rb7 29. R7d6 Be7 30. R6d5 Bf8 31. Bxc5 Bxc5 32. Rxc5 Qe6 33. Qe2
Rd7 34. Rxd7 Qxd7 35. Rd5 Qc7 36. Qd2 Ra8 37. Rd7 Qc4 38. f3 Qc5+ 39. Kh2 Qc6
40. Rd6 Qc5 41. Ra6 Qe7 42. Qe3 Kh7 43. Kg3 Qb7 44. Qa3 f6 45. Kh2 Qc7 46. Qa1
Qb7 47. Qa5 Qd7 48. Qa2 Qe7 49. Qf2 Qb7 50. Qa2 Qe7 51. Qd5 Rb8 52. Qa5 Rb7 53.
Qe1 Qd7 54. Qh4+ Kg8 55. Qf2 Qf7 56. Qa2 Qxa2 57. Rxa2 Kh7 58. Ra6 Kg6 59. h4
Kh5 60. Kh3 Rf7 61. g4+ Kh6 62. Kg3 g5 $2 (62... Kg6 63. g5 Kh5 64. gxf6 gxf6 {
is one way to avoid White's king's advancement.} 65. Kh3 Rf8 $1 66. Rxa7 Rg8 {
and here's one fun line:} 67. Ra6 Rg1 $1 68. Rxf6 Rg3+ $1 69. Kh2 (69. Kxg3 {
stalemate, and we're not done with that idea!}) 69... Rg8 $1 70. Rf5+ Kxh4 71.
Rxe5 Rg2+ $1 {again!} 72. Kh1 Ra2 {and it's a draw due to the mate threats
coming up after ...Kg3. Amazing.}) 63. h5 Kg7 64. Kf2 Rb7 65. Ra3 Kh6 66. Ke3
a5 67. Rxa5 Rb3+ 68. Kf2 Rb2+ 69. Kg3 Kg7 70. Ra7+ Kg8 71. Ra1 Kg7 72. Rf1 Ra2
73. Rf2 {The rook builds the first of several shelters.} Ra3 74. Rd2 Ra7 75.
Kf2 Kf7 76. Ke2 Rb7 77. Rd3 Ra7 78. Kd2 Ke6 79. Kc3 Ke7 80. Kc4 Rc7+ 81. Kb5
Rc1 82. Rb3 Kf7 83. Kb6 Rc2 84. Kb7 Rc1 85. Kb8 Kg8 86. Rb6 Kg7 87. Rb7+ Kg8
88. Rc7 {Another shelter, and the idea that Nakamura missed.} Rb1+ 89. Kc8 Rb3
90. Kd7 Rxf3 91. Ke6 Rf4 92. h6 Kh8 93. Rb7 Kg8 94. Rg7+ Kh8 95. Kf7 Rxe4 96.
Kg6 Ra4 97. Rh7+ {Nakamura stared away from the crowd for a few minutes,
realizing that after 97...Kg8 98. Re7 and all the pawns fall, beginning with
f6.} 1-0
[Event "Saint Louis"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2018.08.27"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C83"]
[WhiteElo "2768"]
[BlackElo "2801"]
[Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"]
[PlyCount "117"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
{The last round of the Sinquefield Cup finally produced two results of
decisive importance- Aronian and Carlsen managed to win and catch up to
Caruana who drew his game. This forces a playoff between the three of them to
determine a winner. This game was also interesting, as if Anand won, he had
chances of entering the race for the playoffs.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 {
No Guico Piano today.} a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 {The Open Ruy Lopez, the
latest line to be revitalised at the top level.} 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6
{We have arrived at the tabiya position.} 9. Nbd2 {The most popular, ableit
not the only continuation.} (9. Qe2 Nc5 10. Rd1 Nxb3 11. cxb3 Be7 12. Nc3 O-O
13. Be3 $14 {was the famed Caruana-Giri 2016 that added popularity to the Qe2
line.}) (9. c3 Nc5 10. Bc2 Bg4 11. Re1 Be7 12. Nbd2 Qd7 $14 {with a complex
position, but a position where White has slightly better chances.}) (9. Be3 Bc5
10. Bxc5 Nxc5 11. c3 Nxb3 12. axb3 O-O $13 {with a typical middlegame position.
}) 9... Nc5 10. c3 Be7 $5 {Shak prefers to leave the bishop alone.} (10... Nxb3
$1 11. axb3 d4 $1 12. Ne4 dxc3 13. Qe2 Bxb3 14. Nxc3 $44 {with enough
compensation for white. Still, I would take black here.}) 11. Bc2 d4 $1 {
the most principled break in the position.} 12. Nb3 d3 $5 {very principled.} (
12... dxc3 13. Nxc5 Bxc5 14. Be4 $1 Qd7 15. a4 $14 {has White taking a small
edge here. The game continuation seems slightly more precise to me now.}) 13.
Bb1 Nxb3 14. axb3 Bf5 15. Re1 $5 {Simple development is best here. I can't see
Anand having much of an edge here though.} (15. Be3 O-O 16. Nd4 Nxd4 17. cxd4
c5 18. Bxd3 cxd4 19. Bxf5 dxe3 20. fxe3 $13 {was also an interesting attempt
to play for a win. I admit White's pawn structure is nothing to brag about,
but atleast he has the better Bishop and open files to use.}) 15... O-O 16. Be3
Qd5 $5 {Aggressive as always.} (16... f6 $5 {an interesting attempt to break
up the bind in the centre.} 17. e6 Re8 18. Bd4 Bd6 19. Bxd3 Nxd4 20. cxd4 Bxe6
21. Be4 $13 {is unclear, though I would take white here any day.}) 17. Bd4 d2
18. Re2 $6 {An unnecessary rook lift to the second rank.} (18. Qxd2 $1 Bxb1 19.
Raxb1 Qxb3 20. h3 $14 {and White has very good play here.}) 18... Bxb1 19. Rxb1
$6 {Again, wrong recapture.} (19. Qxb1 Nxd4 20. cxd4 Bb4 21. Nxd2 Qxd4 22. Nf3
Qd5 $13 {and White has got his pieces in a tangle, eventhough the comps claim
he has a slightly better position.}) 19... Nxd4 20. Nxd4 Bg5 21. g3 c5 $1 {
with energetic play Shak has managed to equalise.} 22. Nf5 Qd3 23. Nd6 Qg6 24.
h4 $1 Bh6 25. h5 $1 {Now Anand's on the charge. Allowing the knight to d6 has
given White good chances for a lasting initiative. This is a clear example of
misunderstanding by the computer- It initially claimes Black is fine before
going on a circular path of change in evaluation. My evaluation doesn't
change-Black has equalised, but has to be careful.} Qxh5 26. Rxd2 $1 {A good
exchange sequence by Anand.} Qxe5 $1 {The only move, and the best one in the
position.} 27. Rd5 Qf6 28. Ra1 {Now White has got some play based on the
active knight and weak a-pawn.} g6 29. Ne4 Qc6 30. Nxc5 Rfe8 31. b4 Bf8 32. Nd7
Re6 33. Ne5 Qe8 34. Nd7 h5 35. Qf3 Qe7 {All the previous moves require no
additional comments- both sides have made meaningful additions to their
positions.} 36. Nc5 Rf6 37. Qe4 Qxe4 38. Nxe4 $14 {After a long sequence of
semi forced moves we arrive at an endgame. White has better chances here due
to a superior minor piece, but it's hard to exploit this due to Black's well
placed defensive fortifications.} Rc6 39. Nd2 $5 (39. Kg2 $1 Rac8 40. Nd2 Re6
41. Nf3 Re2 42. Rxa6 Rxb2 43. Rd7 Rxc3 44. Rf6 $14 {gives White a lot of
activity, and should have been looked at by Vishy.}) 39... Re8 40. Kf1 Rf6 41.
Nb3 Re4 42. Rd8 Kg7 43. Ra8 Ree6 44. Nd4 Rd6 45. Kg2 $14 {Again, there has
been no change in evaluation over the past few moves, but if there is anyone
who has improved his position, it is Shak. He prepares to exchange off a pair
of rooks to get closer to a draw.} Be7 46. Re1 Rd8 47. Ra7 Bxb4 $1 48. Ne6+ $1
{the only serious try that peters out in the end.} Rxe6 49. Rxe6 Bc5 50. Rc7 (
50. Rb7 $1 {is another unnatural engine suggestion. the point being that White
wins both the queenside pawns after Rxa6. Play can go} Rd2 51. b4 Bxf2 52. Kf3
Rc2 53. Ree7 Kh6 54. Rxf7 $14 {with only a nominal edge to White.}) 50... Rd2
51. Rxg6+ $5 {Agreeing to a draw here.} (51. b4 Bxf2 52. Kf3 Bg1 53. Rxa6 $13 {
was the last chance to get something here, but black is still doing fine.})
51... Kxg6 52. Rxc5 Rxb2 53. Rc6+ f6 54. Rxa6 Rc2 55. Rb6 Rc1 56. Rb7 Rc2 57.
Rb6 Rc1 58. Rb7 Rc2 59. Rb6 {And the players repeat moves three times to end
the game in a draw. A very good opening struggle by both players lead to a
technical middlegame, where Anand had the slightly better chances. However,
Shak defended accurately and forced a draw. A good game, and a fine tournament
for both players.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.09.25"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Ragger, Markus"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C54"]
[WhiteElo "2771"]
[BlackElo "2686"]
[Annotator "Surya"]
[PlyCount "93"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "India"]
[BlackTeam "Austria"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "IND"]
[BlackTeamCountry "AUT"]
{2006 Turin was the last Olympiad where Anand played for India. After a huge
gap finally the Tiger is back which is a tremendous boost for the team.} 1. e4
e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 {Italian nowadays is as popular as Spanish specially at
top level.} Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. Bg5 {Although this was first played in
1841 but only got huge popularity after MVL recently started using this idea
heavily in this position as well as in some other similar position. I
personally had this position few times as white with a4-a5 included.} h6 7. Bh4
Be7 {This was the old conception that after this black has no issues hence Bg5
ideas were not that popular. Thanks to MVL's effort it is now clear that
though black is still fine here white does have many interesting tries.} 8.
Nbd2 d6 9. a4 Nh5 10. g3 $5 {A rare and very interesting idea from my good
friend Sethu. He used this idea to beat Inarkiev in last World Rapid at Saudi.
The point is white simply protects the bishop and asks black to show his plans.
} (10. Bg3 {MVL played this against Kramnik which is when this whole Bg5 line
started picking up rapidly. Since then many games have been played with tries
from both sides.} Nxg3 (10... g6 {is the latest trend from black side which
was seen in Hari - Inarkiev and Sethu - Giri}) 11. hxg3 Nb8 12. Nf1 c6 13. Ne3
Na6 14. g4 {was the MVL - Kramnik game from where it all started}) 10... Nf6 {
a natural response. Now black threatens g5. Another interesting move is Bh3
which I am sure was prepared too.} 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. h4 {That is the idea of
this whole g3 business! White gives up the bishop and tries to launch a
kingside attack.} Ne7 (12... h5 {was the Sethuraman - Inarkiev game} 13. Nh2 g6
14. g4 hxg4 15. Nxg4 Bxh4 16. Qf3 {and white had good compensation: 1-0 (69)
Sethuraman,S (2646)-Inarkiev,E (2689) Riadh 2017}) 13. Nh2 {the most natural
way to follow. White has pretty much straightforward plan in this line} d5 14.
Bb3 {From human point of view this is most natural. However, engine insist
taking on d5} (14. exd5 Nxd5 15. Qf3 Be6 {is dynamically balanced. I like
Anand's choice more as it has better practical value.}) 14... c6 (14... d4 {
a counter intuitive suggestion from machine. Why would anyone give up the
center and open the diagonal for the bishop! Practically it could be easier to
play from white side irrespective of the computer evaluation} 15. Qe2) 15. Ng4
Qd6 16. Qf3 Bxg4 17. Qxg4 {Both sides are playing very logically. White's
bishop is clearly stronger than its counterpart but black holds the center
very strongly and there is no kingside attack coming either.} g6 {Not sure if
this was needed right away} (17... Rad8 {Black could play g6 later at anytime})
18. h5 {after 10min of thought Anand decides to close the kingside and make
the black bishop further passive.} g5 {a committal decision but fairly
justified one. Black agrees to lock the dark square bishop totally but makes
sure kingside is completely closed. His solidity in center always compensates
the passiveness of his minor pieces.} (18... Bg7 {would have changed the
charactastic of the position completely} 19. hxg6 fxg6 20. O-O-O {can get wild
soon}) 19. Qf3 (19. Qe2 {with similar idea as in the game is also doable})
19... Bg7 20. g4 {now the position is completely closed at kingside. both f4
and f5 squares are weak but white will get his knight faster towards f5 as
compared to black knight getting to f4. Thus, black's knight must not jump and
rather stay at e7 from where it controls both f5 and d5. White's bishop is
also stronger than its counterpart. However black still has a solid control
over center which compensate all other things. As long as he can maintain that
there is nothing to be worried about.} Rad8 21. Ke2 $5 {Its debatable where
the king would be ideal. It does look safe at e2 as of now} a5 22. Rhd1 Rd7 23.
Nf1 Rfd8 (23... Qc7 $5 {now that white moved the knight black perhaps could
have gone for harassing the b3 bishop.} 24. Qe3 (24. Ne3 Qb6) 24... Rfd8 {
with a balanced position}) 24. Ne3 (24. Ng3 $5 {its not clear how to break
further but if I had to pick a colour I would pick white}) 24... Qf6 $2 {
A strategical error. Only way for white to make some progress is to open up
the game but with queens on board it would have been very difficult to do so.
Now it would be much easier to create play on queenside and suddenly the king
on e2 becomes so much active.} (24... Qc7 {just keeping the queen on b6 would
suffice to stop white from opening another front. For the moment its not clear
how white will breakthrough. The position remains balanced.}) 25. Qxf6 $1 {
of course!} Bxf6 26. Ba2 (26. Bc2 {with the same idea of b4 but this time
unstoppable}) 26... Bg7 (26... Ra8 $5 {would have been more tenacious.
Stopping b4 for the moment. Although white has all the time to regroup and
play b4 eventually}) (26... dxe4 {changing further major pieces doesn't solve
the problem of passive minor pieces that black has.} 27. dxe4 Rxd1 {now both
Nd1 and Rd1 are good for white} 28. Rxd1 (28. Nxd1 {and no need to calculate
any furher variation} Nc8 29. f3 $14) 28... Rxd1 29. Kxd1 {white still keeps
some pressure}) 27. b4 {Anand goes for the straightforward plan} (27. Rdb1 {
in order not to give black a chance to swap rooks} Nc8 (27... Ra8 28. Bb3 $14 {
White can still slowly transfer the bishop to c2 and eventually break on
queenside}) 28. b4 dxe4 29. dxe4 axb4 30. cxb4 Rd4 $132) 27... axb4 (27... d4
28. Nc4) 28. cxb4 dxe4 29. dxe4 Rd4 $6 (29... Rxd1 {Good or bad this was the
last chance to swap both rooks and black had to opt for it.} 30. Rxd1 (30. Nxd1
Rd4) 30... Rxd1 31. Nxd1 {it is psychologically difficult to take the call
from black side if he should aim for this position but judging by the
alternative black had this is clearly better choice.} Nc8 32. b5 $1 cxb5 33. a5
$1 {is one of the typical idea when white will take on b7 no matter what} Kf8 (
33... Ne7 34. Bd5 $1) 34. Bd5 Ke7 (34... Nd6 $4 35. Bxb7 $18) 35. Bxb7 Na7 36.
Ne3 $16 {White is clearly better. If he can win or not that is not important
from practical point of view. Nevertheless, this is still much better than
what happened in the game.}) 30. b5 Rxd1 31. Nxd1 $1 {Subtle. Now that there
is no more Rd4 trick Anand refuses to exchange rooks.} (31. Rxd1 Rxd1 32. Kxd1
cxb5 33. axb5 Nc8 34. Nf5 Bf8 {Here black can just escape}) 31... Bf8 (31...
Rd4 32. Ne3 $1 {is a nice way to finish} Rxe4 (32... Rxa4 33. Bxf7+) 33. bxc6
Nxc6 (33... bxc6 34. Bc4 $18) 34. Bd5 Rb4 35. Bxc6 bxc6 36. a5 $18) 32. Ne3
cxb5 33. axb5 Nc8 34. Bd5 Nd6 35. b6 $1 {giving no chance to escape. Anand at
ease. Once he gets initiative somehow, he makes it look so simple and easy.}
Rc8 36. Ra7 Rb8 37. Kd3 $1 {most direct way once again} (37. Ra5 {also equally
strong}) 37... Nc8 $8 38. Bxb7 Nxb6 39. Bd5 $1 {the final touch} Rd8 (39...
Nxd5 40. exd5 $18) 40. Rb7 Nc8 41. Rb8 $1 {Now black is competely stuck} Re8
42. Bc6 Bd6 (42... Rd8+ 43. Nd5) 43. Ra8 Rf8 44. Nf5 Ne7 45. Nxd6 Nxc6 46.
Rxf8+ Kxf8 47. Nf5 {A fine positional masterpiece by Anand.} 1-0
[Event "Batumi GEO"]
[Site "Batumi GEO"]
[Date "2018.09.26"]
[Round "3.2"]
[White "So, Wesley"]
[Black "L'Ami, Erwin"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C65"]
[WhiteElo "2776"]
[BlackElo "2639"]
[PlyCount "103"]
[EventDate "2018.09.24"]
[WhiteTeam "United States of America"]
[BlackTeam "Netherlands"]
[BlackTeamCountry "NED"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 d6 5. O-O g6 6. d4 Bd7 7. d5 Ne7 8. Bxd7+
Nxd7 9. c4 Bg7 10. Be3 h6 11. Nfd2 f5 12. f3 f4 13. Bf2 g5 14. Nc3 Ng6 15. c5 {
A thematic idea in what has become a King's Indian-type structure.} Nxc5 16.
Bxc5 dxc5 17. Qb3 b6 18. d6 $1 {Pawn sac number two to grab control of d5 and
also open the d-file.} Qxd6 19. Nc4 Qc6 {With compensation.} 20. Rfd1 Nf8 {
So did not like this move after the game. Black may "dream" of d4 for the
knight but his position is too loose to have that kind of time.} (20... Rd8) (
20... h5) 21. Rd5 Ne6 (21... Qe6 22. Nb5 Rc8 23. Nxa7 Ra8 24. Nb5 Rc8 25. Qa4)
22. Nxe5 Bxe5 23. Rxe5 c4 24. Qa3 Kf7 25. Rf5+ Kg6 26. Nd5 Qc5+ 27. Qxc5 Nxc5 {
Black achieves and endgame but his king is still not out of danger.} 28. Rf6+
Kg7 (28... Kh5 {Takes guts but actually avoid getting harassed more by the
rooks.} 29. Rc1 $14) 29. Rc6 Rhe8 30. Rxc7+ Kg6 31. h4 Rad8 $2 (31... gxh4 32.
Nxf4+ Kg5 {Again the brave king was needed, but Black is still significantly
worse.}) 32. h5+ Kxh5 33. Nf6+ Kh4 34. Nxe8 Rxe8 35. Kh2 g4 36. Rh1 g3+ 37.
Kg1+ Kg5 38. Kf1 Rd8 39. Ke2 Ne6 40. Rxc4 Nd4+ 41. Ke1 h5 42. Rc7 Kg6 43. Rc3
Kg5 44. Rd3 h4 45. Kd1 a5 46. a4 Rd6 47. e5 Rd8 48. Rd2 Kh5 49. Re1 h3 50. gxh3
Kh4 51. e6 Nxe6 52. Rxe6 1-0
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.09.26"]
[Round "3.2"]
[White "Harikrishna, Pentala"]
[Black "Preotu, Razvan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B53"]
[WhiteElo "2743"]
[BlackElo "2513"]
[Annotator "Surya"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "India"]
[BlackTeam "Canada"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "IND"]
[BlackTeamCountry "CAN"]
1. Nf3 c5 {In recent times Preotu was mostly responding 1...c5 against Nf3} 2.
e4 {Hari simply transposes to Sicilian but with this move order he simply made
sure he has to see only Sicilian and not 1...e5 which was the other line
Preotu plays.} d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4 {Not a big surprise. Recently Hari beat
Navara by playing this line} Nc6 (4... Nf6 5. Be2 Nc6 6. Qe3 {Was the actual
move order of Hari - Navara game}) 5. Qe3 {Not as popular as Bb5 but since it
has already played by Hari before and then followed by Andreikin it will soon
gain more followers.} Nf6 6. Be2 {Now we are back to Hari - Navara game.} Bg4 {
There are many ways black can chose his setup and this is one of them. Both
Hari and Andreikin faced this move as white against Navara and Korobov} 7. O-O
e6 (7... g6 {was David's choice} 8. Rd1 Bxf3 9. Bxf3 Bg7 10. c4 Qc7 11. Nc3 $14
{1-0 (33) Harikrishna,P (2732)-Navara,D (2727) Prague 2018}) 8. Rd1 Qb8 {
A novelty but not clear why the queen should be better placed on b8 after all.}
(8... Be7 9. c4 Qc7 10. Nc3 a6 11. b3 O-O 12. Bb2 {was seen in the game....
1-0 (39) Andreikin,D (2702)-Korobov,A (2667) Minsk 2018}) 9. c4 Be7 10. Nc3 O-O
11. b3 {white achieved his typical setup with more space and enjoys slightly
better position.} Bd8 {getting the bishop to a better diagonal} 12. Na4 {
Hari didn't want to allow Bb6. However, in the process black now gets d5
tactically.} (12. Qd3 $142 Bb6 {Probably this is something Hari didn't like as
white is not really threatening to take on d6 yet.} (12... Ba5 13. Bb2) (12...
Nb4 13. Qd2) 13. Bg5 $1 $14 {now that black bishop is not protecting f6 knight
this causes some trouble for black. Its not much but white still maintains
some pressure.} (13. Qxd6 Bc7)) 12... d5 $1 13. h3 (13. exd5 exd5 14. cxd5 Re8
15. Qd2 Nxd5 $132 {As the knight is on a4 now e2 bishop hangs.}) 13... Bh5 (
13... Bxf3 $1 14. Bxf3 d4 {This way black could solve his problems in the
center.} 15. Qe2 (15. Rxd4 $2 {Not only it doesn't work on general ground but
also loses tactically on the spot.} Nxd4 16. Qxd4 Ng4 $1 $19) 15... Nd7 {
The position remains dynamically balanced.}) 14. g4 (14. cxd5 {Now there was a
chance to grab the pawn. However, it involves certain amount of complications
and things are not that obvious or else Hari would have surely taken the pawn.
He likes to grab pawns in general : )} exd5 15. exd5 Re8 16. Qd2 $1 Ne4 (16...
Ba5 17. Qb2 {Cannot be the reason to refuse the pawn grab.}) 17. Qf4 $1 (17.
Qe1 Bf6 {also not very clear}) 17... Bc7 18. Qh4 {looking from far this may
look scary over the board.} Nf6 (18... Bh2+ {doesn't really work for number of
reasons but one has to pay attention during the game}) 19. dxc6 (19. Bg5 {
Also strong but this is not the way human brain works specially when seeing
such lines from far.} Rxe2 20. Bxf6 Bxf3 21. Qg5 {is the point} Qf8 22. gxf3
$16) 19... Rxe2 {[%eval 60,0] In a tournament game it is natural to stop here
and rather look for something less complicated way before. Of course, while
analysing and with computer everything essentially comes down to numbers and
in this case that is} 20. Bb2 $1 Re4 21. Qg5 h6 22. Qb5 bxc6 23. Qxb8+ Rxb8 24.
Bxf6 gxf6 25. Rd7 $14 {After series of precise moves white finally got into a
pleasant endgame.}) 14... Bg6 (14... dxe4 15. gxh5 exf3 16. Bxf3 {Looks much
easier to play from white side.}) 15. e5 {Hari in his usual style keep things
under control.} Ne4 16. Ba3 Be7 $6 (16... Re8 $1 {Black had to stick to his
active pawn sacrifice strategy here also.} 17. cxd5 exd5 18. Rxd5 Bc7 19. Bb5 (
19. Bb2 Nf6 $1) 19... a6 (19... Nf6 20. Rc5 Bd6 21. Rxc6 $1 bxc6 22. Bxd6 Qxb5
23. Nd4 $36) 20. Bxc6 bxc6 21. Rd7 Bxe5 (21... Nf6 22. Rd6 $5) 22. Nxe5 Qxe5
23. Bb2 Qg5 {Black should be able to hold here}) 17. cxd5 $1 {The correct way.
Now black will be forced to accept a bad pawn structure.} exd5 (17... Bxa3 18.
dxc6 b5 19. Nc3 Bc5 20. Nd4 $16) 18. Bxe7 Nxe7 19. Nc5 {White got clear
advantage with black having limited counter play. rest part of the game Hari
plays flawlessly.} Rd8 20. Rac1 Nc6 $2 {It was already worse but this mistake
makes it irreparable.} 21. Na6 $1 Qc8 (21... bxa6 22. Rxc6 $18) 22. Nd4 $18 {
There are simply too many threats white has in this position.} Nxd4 23. Rxd4 (
23. Rxc8 $4 {Turns the table} Nxe2+ 24. Qxe2 Raxc8 25. Nb4 Nc3 $19) 23... bxa6
(23... Qd7 24. Nb4 $18) 24. Rxc8 Raxc8 25. Bxa6 {I told earlier! Hari likes
pawns :) Although here it was also partly in order not to let black double on
'c' file.} Rc3 26. Qe1 Rxh3 27. Qa5 Rf8 28. Rxd5 h5 29. Bf1 Rc3 30. Rd8 Rc8 31.
Rxf8+ Rxf8 32. gxh5 Bxh5 33. e6 1-0
[Event "Batumi GEO"]
[Site "Batumi GEO"]
[Date "2018.09.27"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E03"]
[WhiteElo "2827"]
[BlackElo "2771"]
[PlyCount "51"]
[EventDate "2018.09.24"]
[WhiteTeam "United States of America"]
[BlackTeam "India"]
[BlackTeamCountry "IND"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 dxc4 5. Qa4+ Nbd7 6. Qxc4 a6 7. Be3 $146 {
A novelty prepared before the game, directed against 7...c5.} (7. Qc2 c5 8. Nf3
b5 9. Ne5 Nd5 10. Nxd7 Bxd7 11. Bxd5 exd5 12. dxc5 Bc6 13. O-O d4 14. Bf4 Qd5
15. f3 d3 16. exd3 Qxc5+ 17. Qxc5 Bxc5+ 18. Kg2 Bd4 19. Nc3 Kd7 20. Rae1 {
Giri,A (2752)-Anand,V (2767) Wijk aan Zee 2018}) 7... Bd6 8. Qc2 O-O 9. Nh3 $5
e5 10. O-O h6 11. dxe5 Nxe5 12. Nc3 Qe7 13. Rad1 Re8 14. Nf4 c6 15. Bd4 g5 $5 {
After a 15-minute think, Anand decides that he needs to play actively, even
though his kingside is weakened this way.} 16. Nd3 Nxd3 17. Rxd3 Be5 18. Qd2
Bf5 19. e4 Bg6 20. f4 {Of course.} gxf4 $2 {A miscalculation.} ({Also after}
20... Bxd4+ 21. Rxd4 gxf4 22. gxf4 Rad8 {White is better.}) 21. Bxe5 $1 Qxe5
22. gxf4 Qc5+ 23. Kh1 Nxe4 24. Nxe4 Rxe4 {This looks quite nice, but also
fails tactically.} ({The problem was} 24... Bxe4 25. Bxe4 Rxe4 26. Qg2+) 25.
Rg3 $1 Rd4 26. Qe3 (26. Qe3 {White wins a piece:} Kh7 27. f5 Bxf5 (27... Bh5
28. Rh3) 28. Rxf5 Rd1+ 29. Rf1) 1-0
[Event "Batumi GEO"]
[Site "Batumi GEO"]
[Date "2018.09.27"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Adams, Michael"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D41"]
[WhiteElo "2820"]
[BlackElo "2712"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "2018.09.24"]
[WhiteTeam "Azerbaijan"]
[BlackTeam "England"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "AZE"]
[BlackTeamCountry "ENG"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 c5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 cxd4 8.
cxd4 Bb4+ 9. Bd2 Bxd2+ 10. Qxd2 O-O 11. Bc4 Nd7 12. O-O b6 13. Rad1 Bb7 14.
Rfe1 Rc8 15. Bb3 h6 (15... Nf6 16. Qf4 Re8 17. h3 Nh5 18. Qe5 Nf6 19. Qf4 Nh5
20. Qg4 Nf6 21. Qf4 {½-½ So,W (2780)-Wei,Y (2729) chess.com INT 2018}) 16. h3
Re8 17. Re3 Qf6 18. Qe2 Qf4 19. g3 $146 (19. Ne1 Red8 20. Nd3 Qf6 21. d5 exd5
22. e5 Qf5 23. e6 fxe6 24. Rxe6 Nf8 25. Re7 Rd7 {Sakaev,K (2619)-Hera,I (2527)
Budva 2009}) 19... Qc7 20. d5 exd5 21. exd5 Rxe3 22. Qxe3 Qc5 23. Qf4 Qc3 24.
Nd4 Re8 25. d6 Nf6 26. Kh2 Qb2 27. Nc2 Qc3 28. Nd4 Qb2 29. d7 $1 Rd8 30. Nf5
Be4 (30... Rxd7 31. Rxd7 Nxd7 32. Nxh6+) (30... Nxd7 31. Nxh6+) 31. Nd6 Bg6 32.
Nc4 $1 Qe2 33. Ne5 Kh7 34. g4 {Black is helpless.} b5 35. Qe3 Qb2 36. Kg1 b4
37. Nxg6 (37. Nxg6 fxg6 38. Qe7) 1-0
[Event "Batumi GEO"]
[Site "Batumi GEO"]
[Date "2018.09.30"]
[Round "6.4"]
[White "Adhiban, Baskaran"]
[Black "Jakovenko, Dmitry"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2668"]
[BlackElo "2747"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "96"]
[EventDate "2018.09.24"]
[WhiteTeam "India"]
[BlackTeam "Russia"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "IND"]
[BlackTeamCountry "RUS"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. a3 b6 7. Qc2 Bb7 8. Rd1
dxc4 9. e4 {Adhiban, of course, goes for the most aggressive way to play.} b5
10. h4 $5 {If you are in doubt about what to play these days, push your h-pawn.
} Nbd7 (10... a5 11. Ng5 $13) 11. Ng5 Nh5 12. Bc1 h6 13. Nxb5 $1 hxg5 14. hxg5
Bxg5 (14... g6 15. g4 {regains the piece with a strong attack.} (15. Be2 {
also looks good.})) 15. Rxh5 Bxc1 16. Qxc1 Nf6 (16... Bxe4 17. Bxc4 $14) 17.
Rh3 Nxe4 18. Bxc4 {The material is even but the Black king is slightly exposed.
} Qg5 19. Qxg5 Nxg5 20. Rh5 Ne4 21. f3 g6 22. Re5 Nd6 23. Bd3 Nxb5 24. Rxb5 Bd5
25. b4 Rfd8 26. Ra5 Kf8 27. Rc1 c6 28. Bc4 (28. Ke2 $14 {And slowly improving
the position would be a nightmare for Black.}) 28... Rd7 29. Ke2 (29. Bxd5 $5 {
This was an improvement over what Adhiban played in the game.} cxd5 30. Rc6 $16
{As Adhiban said during the post-game interview, he saw this move, but he
didn't go for it because he didn't see a clear path for himself to improve the
position. But no direct path was required. You just keep playing this better
position.}) 29... g5 30. Ke3 Ke7 31. Ra6 Rb8 32. Rc3 Rb6 33. Ra5 Bxc4 34. Rxc4
f6 35. Rc1 Kd6 36. Rh1 Rb5 37. Rxb5 cxb5 38. Rh6 f5 {The position is just
equal now.} 39. Rh8 Rc7 40. Kd3 Rc6 41. Rd8+ Ke7 42. Rb8 Rb6 43. Rxb6 axb6 44.
g4 f4 45. Ke4 Kd6 46. Kd3 Kd5 47. Kc3 Kd6 48. Kd3 Kd5 1/2-1/2
[Event "Douglas ENG"]
[Site "Douglas ENG"]
[Date "2018.10.22"]
[Round "3.9"]
[White "L'Ami, Erwin"]
[Black "Harsha, Bharathakoti"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B09"]
[WhiteElo "2639"]
[BlackElo "2492"]
[PlyCount "71"]
[EventDate "2018.10.20"]
1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. f4 Bg7 5. Nf3 c5 6. Bb5+ Bd7 7. e5 Ng4 8. Bxd7+
(8. e6 fxe6 (8... Bxb5 $6 9. exf7+ Kd7 {was Seirawan's idea}) 9. Ng5 Bxb5 10.
Nxe6 Bxd4 {is one of the messier lines, and while White doesn't have to go
into it, there's} 11. Nxd8 Bf2+ 12. Kd2 Be3+ 13. Ke1 Bf2+ {which would have
been yet another queen sac on the Isle of Man!}) 8... Qxd7 9. d5 dxe5 10. h3 e4
11. Nxe4 Nf6 12. Nxf6+ Bxf6 13. O-O O-O 14. Be3 Bxb2 15. Ne5 Qc7 16. Rb1 Bxe5
17. fxe5 Nd7 18. e6 fxe6 19. dxe6 Rxf1+ 20. Qxf1 Rf8 21. Qc4 Ne5 22. Qe4 b6 23.
Kh1 Kg7 24. Re1 Nc6 25. Qh4 Rf5 26. Bh6+ Kg8 27. Rd1 Nd4 28. Qe4 {Black has
defended just fine, but now makes a very subtle slip.} Qc8 $2 (28... Qb8 {
looks nearly the same, but the difference is that} 29. c3 {can now be answered
by} Re5 30. Qd3 Nxe6 {and the attack is fizzling.}) 29. c3 Rh5 (29... Nc6 30.
Qxc6 $1 Qxc6 31. Rd8+ Qe8 32. Rxe8+) (29... Nb5 30. Qc6 $1) 30. cxd4 Rxh6 31.
d5 g5 32. d6 $1 exd6 33. Rxd6 Qe8 34. Qd5 Kg7 35. Rd7+ Kg6 36. Qe4+ 1-0
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.10.26"]
[Round "7.12"]
[White "Shirov, Alexei"]
[Black "Le, Quang Liem"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B68"]
[WhiteElo "2636"]
[BlackElo "2715"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "111"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 {The Classical Sicilian
against Shirov?! Daring! Why not something dull instead? Maybe next time...} 6.
Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 a6 8. O-O-O Bd7 9. f4 Be7 10. Nf3 b5 11. Bd3 b4 12. Ne2 Qc7 13.
h4 $146 {A logical novelty. White advances on the side where he is expecting
to meet the opponent's king.} ({The less convincing:} 13. Ned4 Nxd4 14. Nxd4
Qb6 15. Nf3 Ng4 16. Bxe7 Kxe7 {was played instead in Nayhebaver,M (2456)
-Demchenko,A (2671) Lisbon 2018}) 13... a5 ({The immediate} 13... h6 14. Bxf6
Bxf6 15. g4 {would only speed White's attack.}) 14. h5 h6 {Now he can win the
bishop pair.} 15. Bxf6 (15. Bh4 O-O {is good for Black.}) 15... gxf6 {Getting
into the typical Classical pawn structure. The solid pawn shield in the middle
protects the black king.} ({However, there was an argument for:} 15... Bxf6 $5
{when Black likely feared} 16. Bb5 (16. g4 b3 $1 17. axb3 (17. cxb3 Ne5+) 17...
a4 {looks excellent for Black.}) 16... Be7 17. Kb1 a4 18. c4 {with a bind.})
16. Kb1 Rb8 ({Here} 16... b3 $2 17. cxb3 {leads Black nowhere.}) 17. f5 {
The plan against this pawn structure is to weaken it as much as possible with
this advance, eventually trade on e6, and put as much pressure against the e6
pawn. Once it moves, the white knights will have access to the juicy central
outposts.} e5 ({In case of} 17... a4 18. fxe6 fxe6 19. Nf4 Ne5 20. Nd4 {
Black already has difficulties with the pawn and will have to defend it with}
Kf7) 18. Nh2 $1 {It is very common that the h-pawn disappears in the Classical
Sicilian. The unusual thing in the game is that it happens on the h6 square.}
a4 ({Since it cannot be adequately defended:} 18... Kf8 19. Ng4 Kg7 20. Rh3)
19. Ng4 Na5 20. b3 Bc6 21. Nxh6 d5 $1 {This is why Black is willing to part
with the pawn. Le gets central counterplay.} 22. exd5 Bxd5 23. Ng4 {The knight
needs to leave the h6-square as soon as possible.} ({It is hanging there, for
instance in this line:} 23. Rhg1 e4 24. Nf4 exd3 25. Nxd5 Qxc2+ 26. Qxc2 dxc2+
27. Kxc2 axb3+ 28. axb3 Rxh6) 23... axb3 ({Now} 23... e4 {fails to} 24. Nf4 $1)
({And} 23... Bxg2 24. Rhg1 Bf3 (24... Bc6 25. Ng3 {and once the knight
occupies the e4 square White should be clearly better.}) 25. Qe3 Bxg4 26. Rxg4
Bc5 27. Qh3 {is an advantage for White too.}) 24. cxb3 Bxg2 25. Rhg1 Bc6 {
Black regained the pawn but his counterplay on both the queenside and the
center petered out. It is Shirov who is controlling the center.} 26. h6 ({
Also good was} 26. Ng3 Rd8 27. Qe3 {preparing to put something on the e4
square.}) 26... Nb7 {The knight is heading to the center.} 27. Qe3 {But its
road is cut.} Ra8 ({Tactics work for White after} 27... Bc5 $2 28. Nxf6+ Ke7 ({
Or} 28... Kf8 29. Qg5 Bxg1 30. Rxg1 {and Black is helpless.}) 29. Qg5 Bxg1 30.
Nd5+ {and wins.}) ({As well as after} 27... Nc5 28. Nxf6+ (28. Bc2 $5) 28...
Bxf6 29. Qxc5) 28. Be4 {Probably Shirov's only inaccuracy in the game.} ({
He could have kept the knight away from his queenside with:} 28. Rc1 $1 Nd6 29.
Ng3 {followed by Ng3-h5!}) 28... Nd6 29. Ng3 Nb5 {Now White is practically
forced to part with the exchange.} 30. Rc1 Nc3+ 31. Rxc3 bxc3 32. Rc1 Bxe4+ 33.
Nxe4 {White's game remains still far more pleasant. After all the black rook
on h8 does not take part in the play.} Qa5 ({Better looked} 33... Kf8 34. Rxc3
Qd7 35. Qf3 Qa7 36. a4 (36. Qg2 Rd8) 36... Qb7 37. Ka2 Rd8 {with chances for a
successful defense.}) 34. a4 Rb8 35. Rxc3 {Setting a trap.} Qa6 {into which Le
does not fall.} (35... Qxa4 $4 36. Nexf6+ Kf8 (36... Kd8 37. Rd3+) 37. Rc8+ $1)
36. Kc2 O-O {Castling on move 36? Better late than never, but not in this case.
..} ({For good or for bad, Le should have kept playing with his king in the
middle.} 36... Rd8 37. Rc4 Kf8) 37. Nxe5 $1 {Not only grabbing a pawn but the
exchange too.} Kh8 {There is nothing else.} (37... fxe5 $4 38. Qg3+ {is mate})
({As well as} 37... Rfc8 $2 38. Qg3+ Kf8 39. Qg7+ Ke8 40. Qxf7+ Kd8 41. Qg8+
Bf8 42. Qxf8#) 38. Nd7 Rxb3 39. Kxb3 {White is up a piece and a pawn. The rest
is technique, although Shirov has to be careful with his exposed king.} (39.
Rxb3 {was also sufficient for the win after} Rd8 40. Ndc5) 39... Qb7+ 40. Nb6
Rb8 41. a5 Qd7 ({On} 41... Qd5+ {I suspect that Shirov planned a Steinitz/
Short sortie of the king with} 42. Ka4 $1 Qa2+ 43. Kb5 $1 Qb1+ 44. Ka6 $1 Qf1+
45. Ka7 $1 {and his majesty is taking care of himself.}) 42. Qd3 Qxf5 43. Nc5
Qh5 44. Nb7 {Little tactics to defend everything.} ({Although there was
nothing wrong with} 44. Qe3 Qd1+ 45. Kc4) 44... Qg4 (44... Rxb7 45. Rc8+ Bf8
46. Rxf8#) 45. Nd6 {Back to the center!} Qe6+ 46. Ndc4 Bc5 47. Qg3 Rg8 48. Qc7
Bd4 49. Rg3 {It is impressive how well and beautifully Shirov coordinated his
troops.} Re8 50. Qd7 Qe1 51. Qg4 Qb1+ 52. Ka4 $1 ({It is never too late to
spoil an excellent game.} 52. Ka3 $4 Bc5+ 53. Ka4 Qb4#) 52... Qa1+ 53. Kb5 f5
54. Qxf5 Qe1 55. Rg4 Qd1 56. h7 1-0
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.10.28"]
[Round "9.3"]
[White "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B97"]
[WhiteElo "2769"]
[BlackElo "2780"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "127"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qb6 8. Nb3
Nbd7 9. Qe2 Qc7 10. O-O-O b5 11. a3 Be7 ({Another plan is:} 11... Bb7 12. g4
Be7 13. Bg2 O-O-O 14. Rhe1 {Iljiushenok,I (2532)-Kokarev,D (2595) Cheliabinsk
2018}) 12. g4 h6 13. Bh4 Rb8 $146 {The most topical Najdorf move is a novelty.
The bishop remains on c8 in order to let the rook work along the b-file. Only
after b5-b4 will it get there.} ({An email predecessor saw sharp tactical
struggle after:} 13... Bb7 14. Bg2 Rc8 15. Kb1 Nxe4 16. Bxe4 Bxh4 17. Bxb7 Qxb7
18. f5 e5 {with compensation for a pawn, Bernal Varela,N (2116)-Comes Dumoulin,
R (2109) FICGS email 2010}) 14. Be1 {Grischuk opens the road for his h-pawn,
and in the meanwhile tries to spoil the opponent's plan.} g5 {Ditto for your
ideas, mate!} ({Actually,} 14... b4 {was possible, since the forcing line} 15.
axb4 Rxb4 16. Nd5 $2 ({However, White can prepare the knight jump with} 16. Kb1
$5) ({Or} 16. Bg2 $5) 16... Nxd5 17. exd5 Rxb3 {works well for Black.}) 15. f5
Ne5 16. h4 $5 {Grischuk sacrifices a pawn in order to open files.} Nfxg4 17.
hxg5 Bxg5+ 18. Bd2 Bf6 ({Probably somewhat safer was:} 18... Rg8 19. Bxg5 hxg5
20. Rh7 (20. Kb1) (20. Bh3 Nf6 21. Rhf1)) 19. Rh5 {To cut the supporters.} ({
Weaker would be} 19. Bh3 h5) 19... Rg8 20. Bh3 Qc4 $1 {The best defense.
Vachier-Lagrave practically sacrifices the pawn back but enters an endgame.
White's threats are far more serious than it seems.} ({For example neither:}
20... Bb7 $6 21. fxe6 fxe6 22. Rxe5 $1 Nxe5 23. Bxe6) ({Nor:} 20... Bd7 {
allow Black normal development due to} 21. Bxg4 Rxg4 (21... Nxg4 22. Rg1) 22.
Rxh6) 21. Bxg4 ({In case of:} 21. Qg2 {Black has the trick:} Nd3+ $1 22. Kb1 ({
Worse is} 22. cxd3 Qxb3 23. Bxg4 b4 24. axb4 Rxb4 25. Be1 Rxg4 $1) 22... Ndf2
23. Re1 Nxh3 {and he gets rid of the nasty bishop.}) 21... Nxg4 22. Qxc4 bxc4
23. Na5 Ne5 24. Bf4 {Grischuk's initiative continues in the endgame. Most of
the black pawns are under pressure.} ({Not the hasty} 24. Rxh6 $6 Bd8 25. b4
cxb3 26. Nxb3 Nc4 {with clear edge for Black.}) 24... Rg4 {Best play by the
French GM as well.} ({White is better after} 24... Be7 25. Bxe5 (25. Rxh6)
25... dxe5 26. Nc6) 25. Bxe5 dxe5 ({Black cannot hold the bishop pair-} 25...
Bxe5 26. Nxc4 Ke7 $2 27. Nxe5 dxe5 28. Rxh6 exf5 29. Rh8) 26. Kb1 {In order to
reach the h-pawn Grischuk needs this move.} ({A curious and beautiful line was
possible after:} 26. Nxc4 Bg5+ 27. Kb1 exf5 28. Nxe5 fxe4 29. Nc6 Rb6 30. Rxh6
Rh4 31. Rhd6 Bd7 32. Rxd7 Rxc6 {with probable draw.}) 26... Rh4 ({Here} 26...
exf5 27. Nxc4 {would have most likely led to the above-mentioned line after} ({
Although White has an additional choice-} 27. Rxh6 Rg6 28. Rxg6 fxg6 29. Rd6
Ke7 30. Nxc4 Be6 31. Nd5+ Kf7 32. Rxa6 Bxd5 33. exd5 g5 {True, this does not
seem convincing. It is not the quantity of the pawns that matter that much in
such positions, but their quality. The black passers seem faster.}) 27... Bg5
28. Nxe5 fxe4 29. Nc6) 27. Rxh4 Bxh4 28. Nxc4 {White finally regains the pawn
but also keeps the initiative.} Kf8 $1 {It is Vachier-Lagrave's term to
sacrifice the pawn for the initiative.} ({There were other alternatives-} 28...
Bf6 $5 29. Rh1 Bg7 30. fxe6 Bxe6 31. Ne3 {when White is a bit better.}) ({Or}
28... f6 $5) 29. fxe6 Bxe6 30. Nxe5 Bf6 31. Nc6 Rc8 32. Nd5 $1 {Thanks to this
little tactical trick the game proceeds.} Rxc6 ({Maybe it was easier to play
with both bishops on the board after} 32... Bg5 33. Nd4 Bg4 34. Re1 Re8 {
with compensation for a pawn}) 33. Nxf6 Kg7 ({The rook endgame} 33... Ba2+ 34.
Kxa2 Rxf6 35. Rh1 {is gloomy for Black.}) 34. Ne8+ Kf8 35. Nf6 Kg7 {Do not be
surprised to see Grischuk repeating the moves every once in while to gain time
on his clock.} 36. Nd5 ({Similar is} 36. Rf1 Kg6) 36... h5 37. b3 Bg4 {After
creative and interesting play by both players an interesting endgame emerged
where Black compensates for the pawn due the advantage of the bishop over the
knight.} 38. Rg1 Re6 ({Better was:} 38... Kh6 $5 39. Kb2 (39. Kc1 Re6) 39...
Kg5 {With the outside passer still alive Vachier-Lagrave hardly risks to lose.}
) 39. Nf4 Rxe4 40. Nxh5+ Kg6 41. Ng3 Re3 42. Nh1 $1 {You did not expect that,
did you? But the knight is not shy of making one step back in order to make
two forward!} Kh5 ({The other way to play it was:} 42... f5 43. Nf2 Kg5 44. Kc1
(44. Kb2 Re2) 44... Re2 45. Nh3+ Kf6 46. Nf4) 43. Kc1 f5 44. Nf2 {Now Grischuk
skillfully squeezes every little bit out of his pieces.} Re2 45. Nd3 Kg5 46.
Rf1 Re4 47. Kd2 Re2+ 48. Kc3 Re4 49. Kd2 Re2+ 50. Kc3 Re4 51. Rg1 Re2 ({Not}
51... f4 $2 52. Nf2 Re3+ 53. Kd4 Rg3 54. Ne4+) 52. b4 {The pawns are moving.}
f4 53. a4 f3 54. b5 axb5 55. axb5 Kh4 56. b6 Re8 57. Rh1+ ({There was an
alternative play for the win with:} 57. Nf2 $5 Bc8 58. Rg7 Re2 59. Rg8 Ba6 60.
Rg4+ Kh5 61. Ra4 Bc8 62. Ra8 Bb7 63. Ra7 Rxf2 64. Rxb7 Rf1 65. Kd4 f2 66. Ke3
$1 Rc1 67. Kxf2 Rxc2+ 68. Ke3 Rb2 69. Ke4) 57... Kg3 ({The study-like idea}
57... Bh3 {Self-pinning would not work after} 58. Nf4 Kg3 59. Nxh3 Kg2 60. Nf2
({Instead} 60. Ng5 Kxh1 61. Nxf3 Rb8 {is a draw only.}) 60... Kxf2 61. Kb4 Kg2
62. Rb1 f2 63. c4 Re1 64. Rb2 {and once the white rook sacrifices itself for
the black pawn the white passers will be unstoppable.}) 58. Rg1+ Kh4 59. Kd4
Bf5 {Finally, after almost five dozens of moves Vachier-Lagrave cracks under
the pressure.} ({Correct was} 59... Rd8+ $1 60. Ke4 (60. Kc5 Rc8+ 61. Kb5 Bd7+)
60... Re8+ 61. Ne5 (61. Kf4 Rf8+) 61... Bc8 {with most likely draw.}) 60. b7
Bxd3 61. cxd3 (61. Kxd3 {would have let the win slip away after} f2 62. Rf1 Kg3
63. c4 Rb8) 61... f2 ({The black king is cut too far away after:} 61... Rb8 62.
Ke3 Rxb7 63. Kxf3) 62. Rf1 Kg3 ({Similarly to the previous note, the black
king is too far away after} 62... Rb8 63. Rxf2 Rxb7) 63. Kc5 Kg2 64. Rb1 (64.
Rb1 {Vachier resigned not wishing to see the rest-} Re1 65. Rb2 Re8 66. d4 Kg1
67. Rb1+ f1=Q (67... Re1 68. b8=Q) 68. Rxf1+ Kxf1 69. d5 Ke2 70. d6 Ke3 71. d7
Rg8 72. Kd6 Kd4 73. Kc7) 1-0
[Event "FIDE Women's World Championship"]
[Site "chess24.com"]
[Date "2018.11.03"]
[Round "1.9"]
[White "Aliaga Fernandez, Ingrid Y"]
[Black "Gunina, Valentina"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B10"]
[WhiteElo "2194"]
[BlackElo "2497"]
[Annotator "DF"]
[PlyCount "88"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Peru"]
[BlackTeam "Russia"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "PER"]
[BlackTeamCountry "RUS"]
1. e4 c6 2. c4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. cxd5 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nxd5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Bb5 g6 8.
Qa4 Nb6 9. Bxc6+ bxc6 10. Qxc6+ Bd7 11. Qe4 (11. Qc5 Bg7 12. O-O O-O 13. Re1
Re8 14. d4 Rc8 15. Qg5 Bc6 $15 {Melero Morales,J-Cenal Gutierrez,R Asturias
1995}) 11... Bg7 $5 ({Black can also try and repeat moves with} 11... Bf5) 12.
O-O Rc8 13. d4 (13. Re1 Bc6 14. Qe2 O-O 15. Ne5 Ba8 16. d3 Nd5 17. Bd2 Nb4 {
Black has fantastic play for the pawn in Li Chao2 (2732)-Laznicka,V (2647)
Riyadh KSA 2017}) 13... Bc6 14. Qe2 Bxf3 $5 {Here comes Gunina's improvement} (
{In a previous game Gunina had played the natural} 14... O-O 15. Rd1 Qc7 (15...
Nd5 16. Nxd5 Bxd5 17. Ne5 Ba8 18. b3 Qd5 19. f3 Rfd8 20. Be3 $11 {1/2-1/2 (31)
Artemiev,V (2459)-Maletin,P (2596) Tyumen RUS 2012}) 16. Ne5 Qb7 17. Nxc6 Rxc6
18. Bf4 {And the game later ended in a draw between Skripchenko,A (2453)
-Gunina,V (2497) Batumi GEO 2016}) 15. Qxf3 Qxd4 16. Be3 Qb4 17. Rab1 O-O 18.
Qb7 e6 19. Qxa7 Nc4 20. a3 Qb3 21. Qa4 Qb7 22. Qb5 Qxb5 23. Nxb5 Nxb2 24. Rfc1
Rxc1+ 25. Rxc1 Rb8 26. Rc2 h5 27. Nd4 Bf8 (27... Nd1 $1 {Forces a beneficial
trade of minor pieces.} 28. Rc1 Nxe3 29. fxe3 Rb2 30. a4 $1 (30. Ra1 Bh6 31.
Re1 Bf8 32. Ra1 Bc5 {With the threat of e6-e5- it is easy to see that the
black minor pieces dominate the position.}) 30... Ra2 31. Rc4 g5 {White does
not have an easy task ahead of her.}) 28. Nc6 Rb3 29. g3 Nd3 30. Kf1 Rxa3 {
Although Gunina has won a pawn, things are still not so easy. White's pieces
are nicely co-ordinated and all the pawns are on the same wing which makes the
creation of an effective passed pawn very difficult.} 31. Ke2 e5 32. f3 f5 33.
Bg5 Kf7 34. Nd8+ Ke8 35. Ne6 Bd6 36. Nc7+ Kd7 37. Nb5 Rb3 38. Nxd6 Kxd6 39. Rc8
Nc5 $2 (39... Nb4 $1 40. Rd8+ Kc7 {The path to victory is subtle.} ({Not} 40...
Kc5 41. Be3+ {The black king cannot pass.}) 41. Rg8 Nc2 42. Rg7+ Kd6 43. Rxg6+
Kd5) 40. Rd8+ Nd7 (40... Kc7 41. Re8 Nd3 42. Re6) 41. Rg8 Rb2+ 42. Ke3 Nb6 $5 {
A devilish move.} 43. Rxg6+ $6 ({Ironically it was even easier to play the safe
} 43. Kd3 Kd5 44. Rd8+ Kc5 45. Be3+ Kc6 46. Bxb6 Rxb6 47. Kc4 Rb2 48. Rg8 {
With a danger free rook and pawn ending.}) 43... Kd5 {White has recovered the
pawn and now the half point is within her sights} 44. Rg8 $4 ({The only way to
save the game is} 44. Rf6 {but its good enough} Kc4 (44... Nc4+ 45. Kd3 Nd6 46.
Rf8 Rxh2 47. Be7 $1 Nb5 48. Rxf5 Ke6 49. Rg5 {A draw is on the cards.}) 45.
Rc6+ $1) 44... Kc4 {Suddenly the white king has no way to escape - what a
devilish trap!} 0-1
[Event "chess24.com"]
[Site "chess24.com"]
[Date "2018.11.04"]
[Round "2.4"]
[White "Hamid, Rani"]
[Black "Muzychuk, Anna"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C88"]
[WhiteElo "1935"]
[BlackElo "2564"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "50"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Bangladesh"]
[BlackTeam "Ukraine"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "BAN"]
[BlackTeamCountry "UKR"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. h3
Bb7 9. c3 $6 (9. d3 $1 {Is a more typical move-order.}) 9... d5 $1 10. exd5
Nxd5 11. d3 ({White swiftly gets into trouble after} 11. Nxe5 Nxe5 12. Rxe5 Nf4
$1) 11... Bf6 12. Bc2 b4 $1 13. c4 Nde7 14. Nbd2 Nf5 15. Nf1 Ncd4 16. Nxd4 Nxd4
17. Be3 Re8 18. Ng3 Bg5 19. Qd2 Bxe3 20. fxe3 Qg5 21. Kh2 Re6 22. Rad1 $2 Rg6
23. Ne4 Bxe4 24. dxe4 Nf3+ 25. gxf3 Qg3+ 0-1
[Event "chess24.com"]
[Site "chess24.com"]
[Date "2018.11.05"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Khukhashvili, Sopiko"]
[Black "Harika, Dronavalli"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C42"]
[WhiteElo "2316"]
[BlackElo "2498"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "143"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Georgia"]
[BlackTeam "India"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "GEO"]
[BlackTeamCountry "IND"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Qe2 Qe7 6. d3 Nf6 7. Nc3 Qxe2+ 8.
Bxe2 g6 9. Nb5 Na6 10. Be3 Bd7 11. d4 c6 12. Na3 Nc7 13. O-O Ncd5 14. Bd2 Ne4
15. Rfe1 Nxd2 16. Bc4+ Be6 17. Bxd5 Nxf3+ 18. Bxf3 d5 19. Nb1 Kd7 20. Nd2 Bg7
21. c3 Rae8 22. b4 Kd6 23. Nf1 Re7 24. Ne3 Rhe8 25. Re2 Bh6 26. Rae1 Bg5 27. a4
h5 28. h3 Kd7 29. Kf1 Kd8 30. Nd1 Bf5 31. Rxe7 Rxe7 32. Rxe7 Kxe7 33. Ne3 Be6
34. Ke2 Kd7 35. Nc2 Kd6 36. Ne1 b6 37. Nd3 f6 38. g4 hxg4 39. Bxg4 f5 40. Bf3
Bf6 41. Bg2 g5 42. f4 Bc8 43. Ke3 Ke6 44. Bf3 Be7 45. Ne5 c5 46. b5 cxd4+ 47.
cxd4 a6 48. Be2 axb5 49. Bxb5 Ba3 50. Nd3 Kf6 51. Kf3 Bd6 52. Bc6 Be6 53. Ne5
gxf4 54. Kxf4 Ba3 55. Bd7 Bc1+ 56. Kf3 Bb2 57. Ke3 Bc1+ 58. Kd3 Bg8 59. Bc8 f4
60. Ke2 Bh7 61. Nd7+ Ke7 {Things looked like they were settling in for a
peaceful draw and both players would be headed to the blitz tie-breaks.} 62.
Nxb6 Kd6 $2 ({Everyone expected the natural} 62... Be4 63. Bg4 Kd6 64. a5 Kc6
65. Nc8 Be3 66. a6 Bxd4 67. a7 Kb7 68. h4 {when the game is likely to fizzle
out into a draw.}) 63. a5 $1 Bb2 $4 {Simply unbelievable!} (63... Kc7 64. Be6
Bb2 65. Nxd5+ Kb7 {The bishop pair should still secure the draw.}) 64. Bb7 $4 {
A terrible oversight!} (64. a6 $1 {The pawn will simply walk through to its
coronation square.}) 64... Bxd4 65. Nc8+ $2 (65. Bxd5 $1 {The bishop is
untouchable} Bxb6 66. axb6 Kxd5 67. b7) 65... Kc7 66. a6 $4 {She, who blunders
last loses the game.} (66. Bxd5 Kxc8 67. Kf3 Be5 68. h4 Bg6 69. Kg4 Kc7 70. h5
{Is also completely drawn.}) 66... Be4 67. Ne7 f3+ 68. Kd2 f2 69. a7 Bxa7 70.
Ba6 Bg2 71. h4 Bc5 72. Ng6 0-1
[Event "chess24.com"]
[Site "chess24.com"]
[Date "2018.11.03"]
[Round "1.10"]
[White "Paehtz, Elisabeth"]
[Black "Alinasab, Mobina"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D23"]
[WhiteElo "2495"]
[BlackElo "2236"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "161"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Germany"]
[BlackTeam "Iran"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "GER"]
[BlackTeamCountry "IRI"]
1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 dxc4 4. Qa4+ Nc6 5. e3 Nd5 6. Qxc4 Bf5 7. a3 Qd6 8.
Nbd2 Nb6 9. Qc3 e6 10. Be2 Be7 11. O-O O-O 12. b3 Bf6 13. Bb2 Rfd8 14. Rad1 Bg6
15. h3 Qe7 16. Bb5 Rd6 17. Nc4 Nxc4 18. bxc4 a6 19. Ba4 Rdd8 20. Bc2 Bxc2 21.
Qxc2 {The opening has worked out exceedingly well for Paehtz who enjoys an
easier position with free movement for her pieces.} Nb8 $2 {The start of
black's woes -moving backwards with the pieces is not the solution - now white
can advance the pawns in comfort.} ({It is most tempting to break out with}
21... e5 22. d5 Na5 23. a4 $1 (23. Nd2 {allows Black to break with} b5 $1)
23... b6 24. Nd2 b5 25. cxb5 axb5 26. axb5 Rxd5 {White is still a little
better.}) 22. e4 Qe8 23. e5 Be7 24. d5 $1 h6 25. Nd4 $1 {A brilliant move} exd5
26. cxd5 $1 {The most accurate continuation.} (26. e6 c5) 26... Rxd5 27. Qb3 $2
(27. e6 $1 {In all likelihood, this move would have netted the point for Paehtz
} Rc5 $1 (27... fxe6 28. Nxe6) (27... f6 {Is unsatisfactory on account of} 28.
Nf5 $1 Rxd1 29. Rxd1 c5 (29... Nc6 30. Rd7 $1)) 28. Qb3 Nc6 29. Nxc6 bxc6 30.
Rd7 {With a tremendous compensation for the pawn.}) 27... Rc5 28. Nf5 ({
Perhaps Paehtz was counting on a simple advantage with} 28. Qxb7 {However
White has nothing after the simple} Nc6 $1) 28... Bf8 29. a4 $2 {Too slow!} (
29. Qg3 Kh7 30. Nxh6 {Leads to a pretty repetiion after} gxh6 31. Qd3+ Kg8 32.
Qg3+) 29... Nc6 30. f4 $2 Qe6 $1 31. Qxe6 fxe6 32. Ng3 Rc2 33. Ba1 Rd8 34. f5
exf5 35. Nxf5 Rxd1 36. Rxd1 Re2 37. Kf1 Re4 38. g4 Rxa4 39. e6 Re4 40. Rd7 Rxe6
(40... g6 $1 41. Ng7 Bb4 $1) 41. Bxg7 Ne7 42. Bxf8 Kxf8 43. Rxc7 Nxf5 44. gxf5
Re7 45. Rc8+ Kg7 46. Kg2 Kf6 47. Rh8 Kg5 $2 (47... Kxf5 $1 48. Rxh6 Ke5 49. h4
Kd4 50. h5 a5 51. Rg6 b5 {The two pawns are superior.}) 48. Kf3 Re5 49. h4+
Kxf5 50. Rxh6 Re6 51. Rh7 b5 52. Rb7 Kg6 $4 {An instructive mistake} (52... Rc6
53. Rh7 Rc3+ 54. Kf2 Kg6 55. Ra7 Ra3) 53. Kf4 $2 {Paehtz blunders in return.} (
{White could have saved the game} 53. Kg4 Re4+ 54. Kg3 Ra4 55. Rb8 $1 {The
black king must not be allowed to get to h5}) 53... Kh5 $1 54. Rb8 Rc6 55. Rh8+
Rh6 56. Rb8 $4 (56. Rg8 $1 {All is still not lost, cutting off the king would
still save the game.} Kxh4 57. Rg1 Rf6+ 58. Ke5 Rb6 59. Kd5 Rf6 (59... Kh3) 60.
Kc5 Kh3 {With good drawing chances.}) 56... Kxh4 57. Ke5 Kg3 58. Kd5 Kf3 59.
Re8 Rh4 60. Re6 Ra4 61. Kc5 Rc4+ 62. Kd5 Ra4 63. Kc5 b4 64. Kc4 a5 65. Kb3 Ra3+
66. Kb2 Re3 67. Ra6 Re5 68. Kb3 Ke3 69. Rd6 Rc5 70. Ka4 Ke4 71. Rd1 Rh5 72. Rg1
Rf5 73. Rd1 Re5 74. Rd2 Rd5 75. Rh2 Ke3 76. Rg2 Rc5 77. Rh2 Kd3 78. Rh3+ Kc2
79. Rh5 Rc4 80. Rc5 Rc3 81. Rc8 0-1
[Event "chess24.com"]
[Site "chess24.com"]
[Date "2018.11.03"]
[Round "1.25"]
[White "Tokhirjonova, Gulrukhbegim"]
[Black "Kashlinskaya, Alina"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C42"]
[WhiteElo "2435"]
[BlackElo "2477"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Uzbekistan"]
[BlackTeam "Russia"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "UZB"]
[BlackTeamCountry "RUS"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 Nc6
8. Bc4 $5 {An unusual placement of the bishop.} (8. Qd2 Be6 9. O-O-O Qd7 10.
Kb1 a6 11. Nd4 Bf6 $2 (11... Nxd4 $1) 12. Nxe6 fxe6 13. g4 h6 14. f4 {gave
white a great position in Borisek,J (2578)-Dive,R (2297) chess24.com 2018}) (8.
Bd3 Be6 9. Qe2 Bf6 10. O-O-O Qe7 11. Kb1 a6 12. h3 O-O-O 13. Rhe1 h5 14. Nd2
Ne5 15. Bxa6 bxa6 16. f4 Nc6 17. Qxa6+ Kd7 {and now} 18. f5 {0-1 (39) Nijboer,
F (2510)-Kashlinskaya,A (2459) Amsterdam NED 2018} (18. Ne4 $1 {would have
given White a dangerous intiative})) 8... O-O 9. Qe2 Ne5 10. Nxe5 dxe5 11. Bd3
$6 {This feels wrong} Be6 12. O-O-O Qe8 13. Kb1 f5 14. Bc4 Qf7 15. Bxe6 Qxe6
16. Qb5 b6 17. Rd5 Bd6 18. Re1 Rae8 19. Qc6 Qg6 20. Bc1 Qh5 21. Qc4 Kh8 22. h3
Qg6 23. g3 Qh5 24. Qf1 Qf3 25. Rd3 Qc6 26. Rdd1 a5 27. h4 a4 28. a3 h6 29. c4
Bc5 30. Rd5 Qf6 31. Be3 Bxe3 32. fxe3 Qg6 33. Rd7 Qxg3 {Black has slowly taken
control over the position and stands much better.} 34. Rxc7 f4 $2 {
Unbelievably this tempting move is completely wrong.} ({Kashlinskaya needed to
be greedy and calmly grab that material.} 34... Qxh4 35. Qg1 Qf6 36. Rd1 Rd8 {
Repudiating the white attack.}) 35. Qg1 $1 {Excellent defence by Tokhirjonova.}
Rd8 $1 ({Its not ideal to play} 35... Qxg1 36. Rxg1 {as Black must use some
time to defending the g7 pawn.} Rg8 37. exf4 exf4 38. Rf7 Re4 39. h5 Rxc4 40.
Rg4 {and only White stands better.}) 36. exf4 exf4 37. Rce7 $1 Rd2 38. h5 $2 {
Bold but technically incorrect.} ({White's best bet was to play} 38. Re8 $1
Rxe8 39. Rxe8+ Kh7 40. Qxb6 {With Qe6 in the air, the position is incredibly
scrappy.}) 38... Rg2 $2 (38... Qxg1 39. Rxg1 f3) 39. Qxb6 f3 $4 {Kashlinskaya
continues forward oblivious to the danger in her home camp.} (39... Kh7 $1 40.
Re8 Rxe8 41. Rxe8 Qh3 42. Qb8 Rg1+ 43. Ka2 Ra1+ 44. Kxa1 Qf1+ 45. Ka2 Qxc4+)
40. Re8 Qf4 $4 ({Unbelievaly black can carry on the fight with} 40... Kh7 $1 {
Although after the accurate} 41. Qd4 Qf4 42. R1e4 $1 Qf5 43. Rxf8 Qxf8 44. Rf4
{the position is pretty hopeless.}) 41. Qd8 {Game over.} 1-0
[Event "chess24.com"]
[Site "chess24.com"]
[Date "2018.11.03"]
[Round "1.19"]
[White "Zhu, Jiner"]
[Black "Javakhishvili, Lela"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B36"]
[WhiteElo "2379"]
[BlackElo "2477"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "76"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "China"]
[BlackTeam "Georgia"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "CHN"]
[BlackTeamCountry "GEO"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 g6 5. c4 Nf6 6. Nc3 d6 7. Be2 Nxd4 8.
Qxd4 Bg7 9. Be3 O-O 10. Qd2 Be6 ({Another thematic idea is to march the a-pawn
as far as it will go.} 10... a5 11. O-O a4 12. Bd4 Be6 13. f4 $1 {Although
black still had some opening problems to solve after} Qa5 14. Rad1 Rac8 15. b3
axb3 16. axb3 b5 17. Bxf6 Bxf6 18. Nxb5 Qxd2 19. Rxd2 {White was a pawn up in
Yu Yangyi (2759)-Bu Xiangzhi (2718) Hangzhou CHN 2018}) 11. Rc1 a5 12. f3 a4
13. Kf2 $5 {An interesting choice even if its not entirely clear how the king
is better on f2 than on g1.} Nd7 14. Rhd1 Nc5 ({Perhaps the more principled}
14... Qa5 {is preferable.} 15. Nd5 Rfe8 16. b4 axb3 17. axb3 Qxd2 18. Rxd2 Ra3
19. b4 b6 $14 20. g3 (20. Nxb6 $2 {Loses to} Nxb6 21. Bxb6 Bh6 $19) 20... Kf8
21. Rd3 (21. Nxb6 Nxb6 22. Bxb6 Bc3 23. Rd3 Bxb4 $11) 21... Ra4 $11 {1/2-1/2
(35) Martinez Alcantara,J (2545)-Guseinov,G (2654) Barcelona ESP 2018}) 15. Nd5
Kh8 $6 {The start of a misguided plan.} 16. Kg1 f5 $2 {This is a standard pawn
break in this structure but here it is probably a tad premature.} ({Playing
more slowly is passive but less risky} 16... Re8 {With the idea of Qa5.}) 17.
exf5 gxf5 $6 18. Nf4 Bf7 ({Black cannot afford to play} 18... Bg8 {on account
of} 19. Nh5 $1) 19. Qc2 $5 Qb6 $5 {On general principles this feels wrong,
when one has an exposed king its always a good idea to have the queen within
touching distance.} 20. Qxf5 $5 ({Trying to dominate the black queen is
another positional approach.} 20. Rd2 $5 e6 21. Qd1 Rad8 22. Rb1 {Planning to
kick the knight away from c5.}) 20... Bg8 21. Qg4 Rxf4 $2 {Javakhishvili
panics and sacrifices the exchange but for better or worse she needed to play}
(21... Qxb2 $1 22. Nh5 $1 Be5 23. f4 Be6 24. Qf3 {The position is still very
complicated, play might continue} a3 25. Kh1 $1 {and both sides have things to
worry about.}) 22. Qxf4 Qxb2 23. Bxc5 $1 dxc5 24. Qe4 $1 Qxa2 25. Rb1 a3 $4 ({
Black can still fight by bringing her final piece into the fray.} 25... Ra6 26.
Rd8 Bd4+ 27. Kh1 a3 ({Not} 27... Re6 28. Rxg8+ $1) 28. Bd3 Rg6 29. Bc2 Qxc4 30.
Bb3 Qa6 {Black still has a few tricks up her sleeve.}) 26. Rxb7 Re8 {White is
firmly in the driving seat.} 27. Kh1 Bf6 28. Qd3 {What a picture! Funnily
enough the black queen is completely paralysed.} Bf7 29. Ra7 Bb2 30. Bf1 Bg6
31. Qe3 e6 32. h4 $1 {There is still no way out for that queen.} Rg8 33. h5 Bf5
(33... Bxh5 34. Qxe6) 34. Rad7 e5 35. Rd8 Be6 36. Qg5 e4 37. Rxg8+ Bxg8 38. Rd8
e3 1-0
[Event "chess24.com"]
[Site "chess24.com"]
[Date "2018.11.05"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Zhukova, Natalia"]
[Black "Ni, Shiqun"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A11"]
[WhiteElo "2375"]
[BlackElo "2436"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "130"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Ukraine"]
[BlackTeam "China"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "UKR"]
[BlackTeamCountry "CHN"]
1. c4 c6 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. e3 d5 4. Qc2 g6 5. Be2 Bg7 6. O-O O-O 7. d4 b6 8. b3 Bb7
9. Bb2 Nbd7 10. cxd5 cxd5 11. Nc3 Rc8 12. Rfc1 Ne4 13. Qd1 Nxc3 14. Bxc3 e6 15.
a4 Qe7 16. a5 Rc7 17. a6 Ba8 18. Qd2 Rfc8 19. Ne1 Bf8 20. Rc2 Qd8 21. b4 Nf6
22. f3 Bc6 23. b5 Be8 24. Bb2 Bd7 25. Rac1 Ne8 26. Bd3 Nd6 27. Qe2 Rxc2 28.
Rxc2 Rxc2 29. Nxc2 Qc8 30. Na3 Bh6 31. Kf2 Qd8 32. g3 Qc8 33. Kg2 Bf8 34. e4
dxe4 35. fxe4 Bg7 36. e5 Ne8 37. Qe4 Bf8 38. Qb7 Qc7 39. Nb1 Bc8 40. Qxc7 Nxc7
41. Ba3 Bxa3 42. Nxa3 Bd7 43. Kf2 Kg7 44. Ke2 {The position looks very safe
for Zhukova, in fact its difficult to believe anything can go wrong.} f5 45.
Kd2 {The king abandons its post and heads on an ill-fated journey.} g5 46. Kc3
$2 h5 47. Kb4 $2 Nd5+ 48. Kb3 Nc7 49. Bc4 ({It was not too late to admit the
mistake and head back to the kingside.} 49. Kc3 $1) 49... h4 50. Kb4 hxg3 (
50... g4 $1 51. Kc3 hxg3 52. hxg3 f4 {Would lead to a straightforward win.})
51. hxg3 f4 52. gxf4 gxf4 53. Kc3 $2 (53. Be2 Kg6 54. Nb1 Kf5 55. Nc3 {Would
keep the game going.}) 53... Kg6 54. Kd3 Kg5 55. Ke4 $1 (55. Ke2 Kg4 56. Kf2 f3
{Looks like a disaster.} 57. Bf1 Kf4 58. Bd3 Be8 {Leaves white in zugzwang.})
55... Kg4 56. Be2+ Kg3 57. Bf1 f3 58. Ke3 f2 59. Be2 Kg2 60. Kf4 f1=Q+ 61.
Bxf1+ Kxf1 62. Kg5 Nxb5 63. Nc2 Ke2 64. Kf6 Kd2 65. Nb4 Kc3 0-1
[Event "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"]
[Date "2018.11.08"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Galliamova, Alisa"]
[Black "Goryachkina, Aleksandra"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D47"]
[WhiteElo "2432"]
[BlackElo "2534"]
[Annotator "Shahid Ahmed"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "rr4k1/p1qn1pp1/2B2n1p/2p1bN2/1p2P2B/8/PPQ2PPP/1K1R1R2 b - - 0 22"]
[PlyCount "12"]
[EventDate "2018.11.03"]
{[#]} 22... c4 (22... b3 23. axb3 Rxb3 24. Qxb3 Rb8 25. Bb5 a6 26. Ne7+ Kf8 (
26... Kh7 27. Rxd7 Qxd7 (27... Nxd7 28. Qxf7 $18) 28. Bxd7 Rxb3 29. Bf5+ $18) (
26... Kh8 27. Bxf6 Rxb5 (27... Nxf6 28. Qxf7 $18) 28. Bxe5 $18) 27. Nd5 Qa5 28.
Nxf6 Nxf6 29. Bxf6 Bxf6 30. Rd7 Be7 31. Qa4 $18) 23. Bxa8 Rxa8 24. f4 Bxf4 25.
Rxd7 Nxd7 26. Ne7+ Kh8 27. Nd5 Qc5 28. Nxf4 1-0
[Event "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"]
[Date "2018.11.03"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Koneru, Humpy"]
[Black "Toubal, Hayat"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D31"]
[WhiteElo "2548"]
[BlackElo "1870"]
[Annotator "Shahid Ahmed"]
[PlyCount "91"]
[EventDate "2018.11.03"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. e3 f5 5. Bd3 Nf6 6. Nge2 Bd6 7. f3 b6 8. O-O O-O
9. b3 Ba6 10. Bb2 Qe7 11. Qd2 Bb7 12. a3 a5 13. Na4 Nbd7 14. Rfc1 Rfc8 15. Nxb6
Nxb6 16. c5 Bxh2+ $2 {is definitely a mistake. Black should have kept the
bishop alive.} (16... Bc7 17. cxb6 Bxb6 $11 {although white has an edge here,
this is much better than the game.}) 17. Kxh2 Qc7+ 18. Kg1 Nbd7 19. Bc3 h6 20.
Nf4 ({Another option was} 20. b4 axb4 21. axb4 $16 {White is angling for a b5
break in this position when the c5 passed pawn would be much more superior
than missing h2 pawn}) 20... Nf8 21. Bc2 g5 22. Nd3 Ng6 23. Ne5 Ne7 $2 {
is certainly the fatal mistake of the game. Now the e5 knight becomes a
monster knight.} (23... Nxe5 24. dxe5 Nd7 25. Qd4 $16) 24. Kf2 Kg7 25. a4 {
before launching an attack on the Kingside, Humpy locks down the Queenside to
prevent any chance at a counterplay} Rf8 26. Rh1 {now it's just a matter of
technique and timing which we know it to be Humpy's acumen because of her well
placed knight at e5, double bishop and the rook on h1.} Neg8 27. Rag1 Ne7 28.
Ke1 Rh8 29. Kd1 Bc8 30. g4 fxg4 31. Nxg4 Nxg4 32. Rxg4 e5 33. Rg2 Be6 34. dxe5
Rhf8 35. Rxg5+ hxg5 36. Rh7+ Kg8 37. Qh2 Qd8 38. Rh8+ Kf7 39. Qh5+ Ng6 40. Rh7+
Ke8 41. Bxg6+ Bf7 42. Bxf7+ Kd7 43. Be6+ Kxe6 44. Qg6+ Rf6 45. exf6 Qf8 46.
Re7+ 1-0
[Event "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"]
[Date "2018.11.04"]
[Round "1.2"]
[White "Toubal, Hayat"]
[Black "Koneru, Humpy"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D02"]
[WhiteElo "1870"]
[BlackElo "2548"]
[Annotator "Shahid Ahmed"]
[PlyCount "92"]
[EventDate "2018.11.03"]
{This was the second game in the first round match. Humpy had won her game
with white pieces. She just needed a draw in this match to advance.} 1. d4 d5
2. Nf3 c5 3. e3 Nf6 4. Nbd2 Nbd7 5. b3 g6 {the usual way to play here is e6
and Be7. However Humpy decides to fianchetto her bishop which is much more
ambitious.} 6. Bd3 Bg7 7. Bb2 O-O 8. O-O b6 9. Qe2 Bb7 10. c4 Rc8 11. Rac1 e6
12. Rfd1 Qe7 13. h3 {the position is symmetrical in nature and filled with
quite a lot of tension. It really depends on who plays well from this position
to get advantage. This is an ideal strategy in such a must-win situation.
Considering the fact that Humpy is 670 points rated above ahead of her
opponent, it is highly probable that she will come out on top.} cxd4 14. exd4
Bh6 15. Rc3 (15. Rc2 {was a better way to get out of the pin.}) 15... Rfd8 16.
Ne5 $2 {is a mistake, because after an exchange on e5, Black can easily have
her knight at e4 and the pawn cannot be taken because the rook on d1 will be
hanging.} (16. Rc2 {even though this should have been played on the previous
move, this is still playable. Thus White rectifies her mistake.}) 16... Nxe5
17. dxe5 Ne4 18. Bxe4 dxe4 19. Nf1 Bf4 (19... Rxd1 20. Qxd1 Rd8 21. Qe2 Bf8 $17
{to make sure white does not get an easy c5 break}) 20. Rc2 Qc5 21. Re1 (21.
Ne3 {the knight needed to be brought into action and White must not give up
the d3 square easily.} Rxd1+ 22. Qxd1 Bxe3 23. fxe3 Qxe3+ 24. Rf2 {much better
than what transpired in the game for White.}) 21... Rd3 $17 22. Qg4 Bxe5 23.
Bxe5 Qxe5 24. Ng3 Rcd8 {Notice how Humpy did not rush to play f5. First she
brings all her pieces into action before going for f5.} 25. Rce2 f5 26. Qg5 Qg7
27. Rc2 h6 28. Qc1 R8d7 29. Qa3 Rd1 30. Rc1 Rxe1+ 31. Rxe1 Qc3 32. Rc1 Qd2 33.
Nf1 Qg5 34. c5 bxc5 35. Qxc5 f4 36. Qc4 (36. Qxg5 {would not have made any
major difference.} hxg5 37. Kh2 Kf7 $19) 36... Qd5 (36... e3 {leads to a
quicker finish.} 37. f3 Bxf3 38. Qxe6+ Rf7 39. Rc2 e2 $19) 37. Qc2 Kh7 (37...
e3 {is still working.} 38. f3 Qd3 $19) 38. Qe2 h5 39. Qb2 Qg5 (39... e3 40.
fxe3 f3 $19) 40. Kh2 Ba6 41. Qa3 Bxf1 42. Rxf1 f3 43. gxf3 Qf4+ 44. Kg2 exf3+
45. Kh1 Qg5 46. Rg1 Rd1 0-1
[Event "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"]
[Date "2018.11.08"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Zhu, Jiner"]
[Black "Pogonina, Natalija"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C26"]
[WhiteElo "2379"]
[BlackElo "2465"]
[Annotator "Shahid Ahmed"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "b2b2k1/1q3pp1/3p4/1r1PpPP1/2p1B3/2P2QK1/1P6/2BR4 w - - 0 30"]
[PlyCount "13"]
[EventDate "2018.11.03"]
{[#]} 30. Qh5 {is definitely winning however} ({A quicker win was} 30. f6 Rxd5
(30... gxf6 31. Qf5 Rxd5 32. Qh7+ Kf8 33. g6 Ke8 34. g7 $18) (30... g6 31. Qh1
Be7 32. Qh3 $18) 31. Bxd5 $18) 30... Rxb2 31. f6 gxf6 32. Qh7+ Kf8 33. g6 Rb3
34. g7+ Ke7 35. g8=Q Rxc3+ 36. Kh2 1-0
[Event "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"]
[Date "2018.11.07"]
[Round "2.2"]
[White "Atalik, Ekaterina"]
[Black "Muzychuk, Mariya"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A57"]
[WhiteElo "2445"]
[BlackElo "2545"]
[Annotator "Shahid Ahmed"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "1rr3k1/p3pN1p/bn1nPbpB/3p4/6Q1/P1q3NP/B4PP1/1R1R2K1 b - - 0 27"]
[PlyCount "4"]
[EventDate "2018.11.03"]
{[#]} 27... Qxa3 28. Nh5 (28. Nxd6 Qxd6 (28... Qxa2 29. Nh5 Be5 30. Nf5 $18) (
28... exd6 29. e7 $18) 29. Bf4 Qd8 30. Bxb8 Rxb8 31. Bxd5 $18) 28... Ne4 29.
Nf4 $19 (29. Bb3 {was a better continuation.}) 0-1
[Event "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"]
[Date "2018.11.07"]
[Round "2.2"]
[White "Koneru, Humpy"]
[Black "Zawadzka, Jolanta"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2548"]
[BlackElo "2407"]
[Annotator "Shahid Ahmed"]
[PlyCount "156"]
[EventDate "2018.11.03"]
{Since Humpy drew round 2.1 game, a win was required to advance to round 3. A
draw meant tie-break matches to be played.} 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3
dxc4 5. e3 a6 6. Bxc4 b5 7. Bd3 Bb7 8. O-O c5 9. Qe2 Nbd7 10. Rd1 Qb8 11. b3
Be7 12. Bb2 O-O 13. Rac1 Rc8 14. Bb1 Nb6 15. dxc5 Rxc5 16. Nd2 Qe8 17. Nce4
Nxe4 18. Nxe4 Rxc1 19. Rxc1 Rc8 20. Rxc8 Qxc8 21. Qd3 Nd5 22. Ng3 g6 23. Ne4
Qc6 24. f3 f6 25. h4 {is an overambitious attempt by Humpy who should have
tried to keep the status quo in this equal position.} Qb6 26. Bd4 Qa5 27. Kf2
e5 28. Bc5 (28. Bb2 {was still okay and playable.} Qb6 29. Ke2 f5 30. Nc3 $15)
28... Bxc5 ({Better was} 28... f5 29. Nd6 (29. Bxe7 fxe4 30. fxe4 Nxe7 31. Qd7
Kf7 32. Qxb7 Qd2+ $19) 29... Bc6 30. b4 Qd8 31. e4 Bxd6 32. Bxd6 Qxd6 33. exd5
Bxd5 $17) 29. Nxc5 Bc6 30. h5 f5 31. hxg6 hxg6 32. g4 ({Alternative was} 32. e4
Nf4 33. Qe3 Qd8 34. g3 Nh3+ 35. Kg2 Qd1 36. exf5 Qxb1 37. Qxe5 gxf5 38. Qb8+
Kh7 39. Qc7+ Kg8 40. Qd8+ $11) 32... Qd8 33. Ne6 $2 (33. gxf5 Qh4+ 34. Ke2 b4 (
34... Qh2+ 35. Kd1 gxf5 36. Kc1 Qg1+ 37. Kb2 Qxe3 38. Qxe3 Nxe3 39. Nd3 $11)
35. Kd2 Qf2+ 36. Qe2 Qxe2+ 37. Kxe2 Nc3+ 38. Kf2 Nxb1 39. Nxa6 gxf5 40. Nxb4
$15 {keeps some hope alive}) 33... Qh4+ 34. Ke2 Qh2+ (34... e4 {could have
finished things early} 35. Qd4 exf3+ 36. Kd1 (36. Kd2 Qf2+) 36... Qh8 $19) 35.
Kf1 Qh1+ 36. Kf2 Qh2+ 37. Kf1 b4 38. Nc7 Qh1+ 39. Kf2 Qh2+ (39... e4 40. fxe4
Qh2+ 41. Kf1 Qxc7 $19) 40. Ke1 Qg1+ 41. Kd2 Qf2+ 42. Kc1 Qe1+ 43. Kc2 Nxc7 (
43... Nxe3+ 44. Kb2 e4 45. fxe4 (45. Qd8+ Kf7 $19) 45... fxe4 46. Qd8+ Kf7 $19)
44. Qc4+ Nd5 45. Qxc6 Qe2+ (45... Qc3+ 46. Qxc3 Nxc3 $19) 46. Kc1 Qxe3+ 47. Kb2
Qd4+ 48. Kc1 Qc3+ 49. Qxc3 Nxc3 50. Bd3 e4 51. Bc4+ Kg7 52. gxf5 gxf5 53. fxe4
fxe4 54. Bxa6 Nxa2+ 55. Kd2 Kf6 56. Ke3 Ke5 57. Bf1 Nc3 58. Bc4 Nd5+ 59. Kd2
Kd4 60. Ke2 Nf4+ 61. Kf2 Ng6 62. Ke2 Ne5 63. Bb5 Nf7 64. Kd2 Nd6 65. Bf1 Ke5
66. Ba6 Kf4 67. Ke2 Nf5 68. Bc4 Ng3+ 69. Kf2 e3+ 70. Ke1 Ke4 71. Ba6 Kd4 72.
Bc4 Ne4 73. Ke2 Nc5 74. Bg8 Nd3 75. Bc4 Nf4+ 76. Ke1 Kc3 77. Kd1 e2+ 78. Ke1
Kc2 0-1
[Event "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Date "2018.11.06"]
[Round "10.14"]
[White "Zhu, Jiner"]
[Black "Pogonina, Natalija"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C26"]
[WhiteElo "2379"]
[BlackElo "2465"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "71"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "China"]
[BlackTeam "Russia"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "CHN"]
[BlackTeamCountry "RUS"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 $5 {A surprise for Pogonina.} Nf6 3. g3 Be7 (3... d5 $5 {
Is recommended by the textbooks as the way forward for black.} 4. exd5 Nxd5 5.
Bg2 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bc5 7. Ne2 O-O 8. O-O Nc6 9. d3 Bg4 10. h3 Be6 11. c4 Qd7 12.
Kh2 Rad8 13. Be3 Bxe3 14. fxe3 Ne7 15. Nc3 f5 $11) 4. Bg2 O-O 5. Nge2 c5 $6 {
An unusual choice} 6. d3 d6 7. h3 Nc6 8. f4 $1 {There is no subtletly with
this opening here --white just wants to pawn storm the black king.} Rb8 9. a4
a6 10. f5 h6 $6 {This seems a bit odd, giving White a "hook" to open lines via
the g5 square.} ({Better was to save that tempo and play actively with} 10...
b5 11. axb5 axb5 12. O-O b4 13. Nd5 Nxd5 14. exd5 Nd4 $11) 11. O-O b5 12. axb5
axb5 13. Nd5 Nxd5 14. exd5 Nd4 15. c3 $5 {A creative move by young 15 year old
Zhu} Nxe2+ ({It would not have been so foolhardy to play} 15... Nxf5 16. Be4 g6
17. g4 Ng7 $1 18. Bxh6 {Although Black has returned the extra material, she
will have some tremendous co-ordination after} f5 $1 {Black's counter attack
has arrived with powerful effect.}) 16. Qxe2 Bb7 $6 {Pogonina underestimates
the bind that Zhu is brewing.} (16... Bg5 $5 17. h4 (17. Bxg5 Qxg5 18. Qf2 b4
19. c4 g6 20. f6 Bf5 21. h4 Qg4) 17... Bxc1 18. Raxc1 f6) 17. Be4 Bf6 18. h4 $1
Re8 19. Qh5 Ra8 20. Rxa8 Bxa8 21. Kh2 $1 c4 22. dxc4 bxc4 23. Kh3 ({Zhu could
have also played the stunning} 23. g4 $1 {Open the door} Bxh4 24. f6 $1 {
Open another door!} Bxf6 {One more!} 25. g5 $1 hxg5 26. Bxg5 $1 {White keeps
throwing material for black to take.} Kf8 (26... Bxg5 27. Qxf7+ Kh8 28. Qg6
Bf4+ 29. Rxf4) 27. Qh8+ Ke7 28. Qxg7 {with mate in 27 according to the machine.
}) 23... Qa5 24. Qf3 Rb8 $2 (24... Qd8 $1 {Would have prolonged the battle for
longer.} 25. Be3 (25. Qh5 Qa5 {Leads to a merry dance.} 26. Rd1 Qa4 27. Rh1 Qa5
28. Qf3 Qd8 29. Be3 Bb7 {Despite black's craftiness, she is simply waiting for
the attack to happen.})) 25. g4 Rb5 26. g5 hxg5 27. hxg5 Bd8 28. Rd1 Qa7 29.
Kg3 $5 {A very nice touch.} Qb7 30. Qh5 Rxb2 31. f6 gxf6 32. Qh7+ Kf8 33. g6
Rb3 34. g7+ Ke7 35. g8=Q Rxc3+ 36. Kh2 1-0
[Event "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Date "2018.11.07"]
[Round "11.7"]
[White "Atalik, Ekaterina"]
[Black "Muzychuk, Mariya"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A57"]
[WhiteElo "2445"]
[BlackElo "2545"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "80"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Turkey"]
[BlackTeam "Ukraine"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "TUR"]
[BlackTeamCountry "UKR"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. Qc2 Na6 5. a3 bxc4 6. e4 g6 7. Bxc4 Nc7 8. Nf3
Bg7 9. O-O d6 10. h3 O-O 11. Nc3 Rb8 12. Rb1 Nd7 13. Bf4 Nb6 14. Ba2 Ba6 15.
Rfd1 Qd7 16. e5 Nb5 17. Ne2 Rfc8 18. e6 fxe6 19. dxe6 Qb7 20. Qd2 c4 21. Bh6
Bf6 22. Ng5 d5 23. Qf4 Nd6 24. Ng3 Qc7 25. Qg4 c3 26. bxc3 Qxc3 {White is on
the verge of reeling in the point and moving on to the third round -- all that
is needed is some precision!} 27. Nf7 $1 Qxa3 28. Nh5 (28. Nxd6 {Would have
settled matters rather quickly.} Qxa2 (28... exd6 29. e7 $1) (28... Qxd6 29.
Bf4 Be5 30. Nf5 Qc7 31. Bxe5 Qxe5 32. Nxe7+ {gives white a great material
advantage.}) 29. Nxc8 (29. Nh5 {Is also crushing but reserved for people with
Tal-like attacking powers.}) 29... Rxc8 30. Nh5 Be5 31. Qg5 Bd6 32. Nf6+ Kh8
33. Ra1 Qe2 34. Nxd5 {is winning.}) 28... Ne4 29. Nf4 $4 {A terrible blunder}
Qxa2 30. Nxg6 Qxf2+ 31. Kh1 Qe1+ $3 {Kishi Kaisei- "Wake from the death and
return to life". After this beautiful blow its all over for Atalik.} 32. Rxe1
Nf2+ 33. Kh2 Nxg4+ 34. hxg4 hxg6 35. g5 Bc3 36. Re3 d4 37. Rh3 d3 38. Rf1 d2
39. Rf6 exf6 40. gxf6 Bxf6 0-1
[Event "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Date "2018.11.06"]
[Round "10.6"]
[White "Galliamova, Alisa"]
[Black "Goryachkina, Aleksandra"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D47"]
[WhiteElo "2432"]
[BlackElo "2534"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "121"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Russia"]
[BlackTeam "Russia"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "RUS"]
[BlackTeamCountry "RUS"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Nf3 Nbd7 6. Bd3 dxc4 7. Bxc4 b5 8. Bd3
Bd6 9. Qc2 Bb7 10. e4 e5 11. Bg5 h6 12. Bh4 O-O 13. O-O-O {A novel idea by
Indian grandmaster Baskaran Adhiban, white focuses on striking quickly in the
centre, with a well-timed capture on e5, followed by Nf3/d4 and f2-f4. Its a
bold idea and a surprised Goryachkina had to navigate the opening minefield on
her own.} Qb8 $6 {The wrong square - the queen is clumsily placed here.} ({
In the only game in this variation} 13... Qe7 $1 14. Kb1 a6 15. dxe5 Nxe5 16.
Nd4 $5 g6 17. f4 Nxd3 18. Rxd3 Bxf4 19. e5 $1 Bxe5 20. Re1 Rae8 $2 21. Nf3 Qb4
22. a3 $1 (22. Rxe5 $2 {1/2-1/2 (41) Adhiban,B (2671)-Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son
(2618) Hamedan IRI 2018}) 22... Qg4 23. h3 Qf4 24. g3 Qf5 25. g4 Qf4 26. Nxe5
Rxe5 27. Ne2 {Black must sacrifice the exchange to avoid losing material.}) 14.
Kb1 b4 15. Na4 (15. dxe5 $1 Nxe5 16. Bxf6 gxf6 17. Nxe5 fxe5 18. Ne2 $16) 15...
Re8 16. Nc5 $2 (16. dxe5 Bxe5 17. Rhe1 c5 18. Nxe5 Qxe5 19. Bg3 Qe7 20. f3 {
White has good attacking chances.}) 16... exd4 17. Nxb7 Qxb7 18. Nxd4 c5 19.
Nf5 Be5 $2 {Superficially active the bishop is merely a target on e5,
vulnerable to f2-f4 attacks.} 20. Rhf1 $1 Qc7 21. Bb5 $1 {Black is in
tremendous trouble} Reb8 $2 (21... Rab8 {Is not possible either because of} 22.
Bxf6 $1) ({The natural} 21... a6 {does not work on account of.} 22. Bxd7 Nxd7
23. f4 Bxf4 24. Qf2 $1) 22. Bc6 ({Wihte can also finish the game with} 22. Bxd7
$1 Nxd7 23. f4 {Now white can play} Bf6 (23... Bxf4 24. Ne7+) 24. Rxd7 Qxd7 25.
Bxf6 gxf6 26. Rd1 Qe6 27. Qe2 Kh7 28. Qh5 $1 Qxe4+ 29. Ka1 Qxf4 30. Qxf7+ Kh8
31. Qg7#) 22... c4 23. Bxa8 Rxa8 24. f4 Bxf4 25. Rxd7 $3 {This spectacular
blow puts the game in the bag.} Nxd7 26. Ne7+ Kh8 27. Nd5 Qc5 28. Nxf4 Qb5 29.
Qe2 Nb6 30. Bf2 b3 31. a3 Rd8 32. Bxb6 axb6 33. Nd5 Qc6 34. Qf2 Qe6 35. Nc3 f6
36. g3 Rd3 37. Qf5 Qe8 38. e5 fxe5 39. Qf8+ Qxf8 40. Rxf8+ Kh7 41. Kc1 Kg6 42.
Rb8 Rf3 43. Rxb6+ Kf5 44. a4 Rf2 45. a5 Rc2+ 46. Kb1 e4 47. Rd6 Rf2 48. Rd1 e3
49. Re1 Rxh2 50. a6 Rd2 51. a7 Rd8 52. Rxe3 Kg4 53. Kc1 g5 54. Nd5 Ra8 55. Re7
Kxg3 56. Nb6 Rf8 57. a8=Q Rxa8 58. Nxa8 h5 59. Nb6 h4 60. Nxc4 h3 61. Rh7 1-0
[Event "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Date "2018.11.08"]
[Round "12.1"]
[White "Hoang, Thanh Trang"]
[Black "Lagno, Kateryna"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A48"]
[WhiteElo "2448"]
[BlackElo "2556"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "126"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Hungary"]
[BlackTeam "Russia"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "HUN"]
[BlackTeamCountry "RUS"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Bf4 Bg7 4. e3 O-O 5. h3 c5 6. c3 d6 7. Nbd2 Nc6 8. dxc5
dxc5 9. Qc2 Be6 10. Be2 h6 11. O-O Qc8 12. Rfd1 Rd8 13. Bh2 g5 14. Ne5 Bf5 15.
Qb3 Nxe5 16. Bxe5 Qe6 17. Qxe6 Bxe6 18. Bf3 Bd5 19. c4 Bxf3 20. Nxf3 Ne4 21.
Bxg7 Kxg7 22. Kf1 Kf6 23. Ke2 e6 24. Nd2 Nxd2 25. Rxd2 Rxd2+ 26. Kxd2 Rd8+ 27.
Kc3 h5 28. a3 a5 29. Rb1 b6 30. b4 axb4+ 31. axb4 Ra8 32. bxc5 bxc5 33. Rb5 Ra2
34. Rb2 Ra3+ 35. Rb3 Ra2 36. Rb2 Ra1 37. Kd3 Ra3+ 38. Kc2 g4 39. hxg4 hxg4 40.
Rb3 Ra2+ 41. Rb2 Ra1 42. Kd3 Ra3+ 43. Kd2 Ke5 44. f3 g3 45. Rb7 Ra2+ 46. Kd3 f5
47. Rb5 Rxg2 48. Rxc5+ Kd6 49. Rc8 Rg1 50. Rg8 e5 51. Rg6+ $2 {A panicky move
that not only loses time but encourages black to play the correct idea!} (51.
Rg5 Kc5 52. Ke2) 51... Kc5 52. Rg5 $4 ({White can save the game by abandoning
the weak c4 pawn and instead concentrating on winning the g2 pawn.} 52. Ke2
Kxc4 53. f4 e4 54. Rc6+ $1 Kb3 55. Rb6+ {And the rook will drive the king away.
}) 52... g2 $1 53. Ke2 Ra1 {A very instructive endgame.} 54. Rxg2 Ra2+ 55. Kf1
Rxg2 56. Kxg2 Kxc4 57. e4 f4 {There is nothing to be done, white is lost.} 58.
Kh3 Kd3 59. Kg4 Ke3 60. Kf5 Kxf3 61. Kxe5 Kg3 62. Kd6 f3 63. e5 f2 0-1
[Event "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Date "2018.11.06"]
[Round "10.1"]
[White "Ju, Wenjun"]
[Black "Krush, Irina"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D20"]
[WhiteElo "2568"]
[BlackElo "2434"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "99"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "China"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "CHN"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e4 e5 {Historically black's most popular choice} 4. Nf3
Bb4+ 5. Nc3 exd4 6. Qxd4 $5 {A very conservative choice.} (6. Nxd4 {Is more
principled}) 6... Qxd4 7. Nxd4 Nf6 8. f3 Bc5 ({Black has also tried} 8... Bd7
9. Bxc4 Nc6 10. Nxc6 Bxc6 11. Be3 Nd7 12. O-O-O Bxc3 13. bxc3 f6 {With a pair
of bishops and flexible pawn majority white stood slightly better in Beliavsky,
A (2660)-Charbonneau,P (2490) Mallorca (Spain) 2004}) (8... a6 {Might be a
better way to start mobilise the queenside} 9. Bxc4 O-O 10. Be3 b5 11. Be2 {
but the black bishop is not particularly well placed on b4, for example} c5 {
is well met with} 12. Nc2) 9. Be3 Nc6 10. Nc2 Bxe3 11. Nxe3 Be6 ({Black would
love to hold onto the pawn with} 11... Ne5 {but} 12. Nb5 {is a good answer!})
12. Bxc4 $1 ({Inaccurate is} 12. O-O-O Ne5 $1 13. Nb5 Ke7 $1 14. Nxc7 Rac8 $11
{1/2-1/2 (41) Robson,R (2680)-Priyadharshan,K (2462) Saint Louis USA 2015})
12... Bxc4 ({It is also interesting to allow the trade of bishops on e6 with
the logic that it will be much easier to prevent the advance of the kingside
pawns. However making such strategical concessions is not optimal!} 12... O-O-O
) 13. Nxc4 O-O-O 14. Rd1 Nd7 15. Ke2 Nde5 $2 {White has one plan and it is a
very simple one to advance the kingside pawns and this gives moves gives white
a free hand to begin her pawn advances.} ({Controlliing the pawn advance f3-f4
} 15... Nc5 $1 {was preferable.} 16. Nd5 Rhe8 17. g4 $1 (17. h4 f5 $1) 17...
Ne6 18. h4 b5 19. Nce3 Kb7 {Black's activity will start to make trouble.}) 16.
Nxe5 Nxe5 17. f4 Nc6 $6 {Again, the black knight keeps getting in the way of
its pawns.} 18. Ke3 f6 (18... h5 19. h4) 19. h4 Rxd1 $2 {With every piece
exchange it becomes and easier and easier for Ju to advance those passed pawns.
} (19... Nb4 $1) 20. Rxd1 Rd8 21. Rc1 Rd7 $2 {Simply too passive. Krush waits
for her fate, once again active measures were necessary.} (21... Nb4 22. a3 Nd3
23. Rc2 c6 24. g4 Ne1 $14) 22. g4 h6 23. Nd5 Ne7 $2 {Another error.} 24. Nxe7+
$1 Rxe7 25. f5 $1 {Ju Wenjun plays the rook ending perfectly.} Kd8 26. g5 hxg5
27. hxg5 fxg5 28. Rg1 Ke8 29. Rxg5 Kf7 30. Rg2 $1 Rd7 31. e5 Rd1 32. Kf4 Rf1+
33. Kg5 Ke7 34. e6 c6 35. Kg6 Rf3 36. b4 $6 {The only inaccuracy. Best was} (
36. Rd2 $1 Rg3+ 37. Kh7 Rg5 38. Rd7+ Ke8 39. Rxb7 Rxf5 40. Kxg7 {Black's pawn
structure is ruined.}) 36... a6 $4 {The nail in the coffin.} ({The last chance
was} 36... b6 37. Rd2 (37. Rg1 Rf2) 37... Rg3+ 38. Kh7 Rg5 39. Rd7+ Ke8 $1 (
39... Kf6 40. Rf7+ Ke5 41. e7) 40. Rxa7 {This is the problem, Black gets to
maintain a better structure} Rxf5 41. Kxg7 Rf4 {White is still winning but
black may have some chances to fight on.}) 37. Rd2 Rg3+ 38. Kh7 Rg5 39. Rd7+
Ke8 40. Rxb7 Rxf5 41. Kxg7 Rf4 42. Kg6 Kd8 43. Kg5 Rf2 44. a4 Rf1 45. a5 Rf2
46. Rd7+ Ke8 47. Rc7 Kd8 48. Rxc6 Rb2 49. Rb6 Ke7 50. Kf5 1-0
[Event "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Date "2018.11.07"]
[Round "11.2"]
[White "Koneru, Humpy"]
[Black "Zawadzka, Jolanta"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D48"]
[WhiteElo "2548"]
[BlackElo "2407"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "156"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "India"]
[BlackTeam "Poland"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "IND"]
[BlackTeamCountry "POL"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. e3 a6 6. Bxc4 (6. a4 c5 {
Transposes to more standard Queens gambit accepted lines.}) 6... b5 7. Bd3 Bb7
8. O-O c5 9. Qe2 Nbd7 10. Rd1 Qb8 11. b3 Be7 (11... Bd6 12. h3 O-O 13. Bb2 Rc8
14. Rac1 cxd4 15. Nxd4 h6 16. Nf3 {Black has good development.}) 12. Bb2 O-O
13. Rac1 Rc8 14. Bb1 Nb6 15. dxc5 Rxc5 16. Nd2 Qe8 17. Nce4 Nxe4 18. Nxe4 Rxc1
19. Rxc1 Rc8 20. Rxc8 Qxc8 21. Qd3 Nd5 22. Ng3 g6 23. Ne4 Qc6 24. f3 $6 ({
It would have been safer to play} 24. a3) 24... f6 25. h4 $2 {This looks like
an insignificant error but in fact White is rather carelessly weakening her
own king. Black has better piece co-ordination on account of the excellent
knight on d5 and white's poor bishop on b1.} Qb6 26. Bd4 Qa5 27. Kf2 e5 ({
Better was the sneaky} 27... Qc7 28. Kg1 e5 29. Bb2 Qb6 30. Bc1 {White is
forced to put the minor pieces on awkward squares.}) 28. Bc5 $2 (28. Bb2) 28...
Bxc5 (28... f5 $1 29. Nd6 Ba8 30. a3 (30. g3 Qc7) 30... Qd8 31. e4 Bxd6 32.
Bxd6 Qxd6 33. exd5 Bxd5 {Picks up some material}) 29. Nxc5 Bc6 30. h5 f5 $1 31.
hxg6 hxg6 32. g4 $2 {Koneru pushes forward oblivious to the dangers that lies
ahead.} Qd8 $3 {An excellent backward queen move.} 33. Ne6 $2 (33. Kg3 {
Unfortunately fails to} Qd6) (33. Kg2 Qe7 {The knight is trapped.}) ({The only
way to save the game is to play} 33. gxf5 $1 Qh4+ 34. Ke2 Qh2+ 35. Kd1 gxf5 $1
36. Kc1 Qg1+ 37. Kb2 $1 (37. Kd2 {Would be a mistake because of} Qf2+ 38. Qe2
$4 Qxe2+ 39. Kxe2 Nc3+ $1 {winning a piece}) 37... Qxe3 38. Qxe3 Nxe3 39. Nd3 {
With good drawing chances.}) 33... Qh4+ 34. Ke2 Qh2+ 35. Kf1 Qh1+ 36. Kf2 Qh2+
37. Kf1 b4 $1 {The winning shot.} 38. Nc7 (38. Ke1 Bb5 $1) 38... Qh1+ 39. Kf2
Qh2+ 40. Ke1 Qg1+ ({Black had a killer blow in} 40... e4 41. fxe4 Nc3 $3 42.
Qd8+ {and now the king can run away from the checks with} (42. Qc4+ Kh8 43.
Qd4+ Kh7 $1) 42... Kf7 {hiding in plain sight!}) 41. Kd2 Qf2+ 42. Kc1 Qe1+ 43.
Kc2 Nxc7 $6 (43... Nxe3+ $1 44. Kb2 {Now black can win the game with the very
quiet} Kh7 $1 {The problem is that white is in some form of zugzwang, she
cannot maintain her perfect defence.} 45. gxf5 (45. Ne6 Bb5) 45... gxf5 46. a4
e4 47. fxe4 fxe4 48. Qd6 Nc4+ 49. bxc4 Qc3+ 50. Ka2 Qa3#) 44. Qc4+ Nd5 45. Qxc6
Qe2+ 46. Kc1 Qxe3+ 47. Kb2 Qd4+ 48. Kc1 Qc3+ 49. Qxc3 Nxc3 50. Bd3 e4 $2 51.
Bc4+ (51. Bxa6 $1 {Might be white's best shot.} fxg4 52. fxg4 Kf7 53. Kb2 Nd1+
54. Kc1 Nf2 55. Be2 e3 56. Kb2 Kf6 57. a3 bxa3+ 58. Kxa3 {The passed b-pawn
may give white some chances to hold.}) 51... Kg7 52. gxf5 gxf5 53. fxe4 fxe4
54. Bxa6 Nxa2+ 55. Kd2 Kf6 56. Ke3 Ke5 57. Bf1 Nc3 58. Bc4 Nd5+ 59. Kd2 Kd4 60.
Ke2 Nf4+ 61. Kf2 Ng6 (61... e3+ $1 62. Ke1 Nd3+ 63. Ke2 Nf4+ 64. Ke1 Kc3 65.
Bg8 e2 66. Bc4 Kc2 {Was a quicker way to end to the game!}) 62. Ke2 Ne5 63. Bb5
Nf7 64. Kd2 Nd6 65. Bf1 Ke5 66. Ba6 Kf4 67. Ke2 Nf5 68. Bc4 Ng3+ 69. Kf2 e3+
70. Ke1 Ke4 71. Ba6 Kd4 72. Bc4 Ne4 73. Ke2 Nc5 74. Bg8 Nd3 75. Bc4 Nf4+ 76.
Ke1 Kc3 77. Kd1 e2+ 78. Ke1 Kc2 (78... Kc2 {White resigned because after} 79.
Bg8 Kd3 80. Bc4+ Ke3 {White must either abandon her bishop or succumb to
checkmate.}) 0-1
[Event "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Date "2018.11.07"]
[Round "11.4"]
[White "Muzychuk, Anna"]
[Black "Bodnaruk, Anastasia"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B31"]
[WhiteElo "2564"]
[BlackElo "2426"]
[Annotator "Me"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Ukraine"]
[BlackTeam "Russia"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "UKR"]
[BlackTeamCountry "RUS"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. O-O {After winning the first game of the
match, Muzychuk chooses the solid Rossolimo system.} Bg7 5. c3 Nf6 6. Re1 O-O
7. d4 d5 8. e5 Ne4 9. Bxc6 bxc6 10. Nbd2 Nxd2 ({Black also has an interesting
line at her disposal} 10... Bf5 $5 11. Nh4 e6 12. Nxf5 exf5 13. Nf1) (10...
cxd4 11. cxd4 c5 12. dxc5 Nxc5 13. Nb3 Nxb3 14. Qxb3 {with equality.}) 11. Nxd2
f6 (11... cxd4 12. cxd4 c5 13. dxc5 Qc7 14. Nf3 Qxc5 {Is very well known
theory.}) 12. e6 $1 {The most principled try. Muzychuk assesses that even if
the e6 pawn were to be lost it has such a cramping effect on the two bishops
it is worth the potential risk.} cxd4 13. cxd4 Qd6 14. Nb3 f5 (14... Bxe6 15.
Bf4 $1 Qxf4 16. Rxe6 f5 17. Qe2 {Does not promise black too many winning
chances.}) 15. Bd2 f4 16. Rc1 Rb8 ({Bodnaruk needed to take that gamble and
play the greedy} 16... Bxe6 17. Qe2 (17. a3 f3 $1) 17... Bd7 18. Qxe7 Qc7 19.
Ba5 Qc8 {Black is holding on for grim life but where is there is life there is
hope.}) 17. Qc2 $1 Rb6 $2 18. Ba5 Ra6 19. Qd2 f3 20. g3 Rf6 21. Bb4 Qd8 22. a3
Qf8 ({Black should have perhaps tried} 22... Bxe6 23. Nc5 Bc8 24. Nxa6 Bxa6 25.
Bxe7 Qd7 26. Kh1 Rf7 27. Bg5 {But the position remains extremely difficult.})
23. Rc3 Bh6 24. Qd1 Rb6 25. Nc5 a5 26. Bxa5 Rxb2 27. Nd7 {A flawless display!}
Bxd7 28. exd7 Rd6 29. d8=Q Rxd8 30. Rxf3 Qe8 31. Bxd8 Qxd8 32. Rb3 Rd2 33. Qg4
Bf8 34. Qf4 1-0
[Event "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Date "2018.11.07"]
[Round "11.5"]
[White "Ni, Shiqun"]
[Black "Kosteniuk, Alexandra"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C93"]
[WhiteElo "2436"]
[BlackElo "2543"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "107"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "China"]
[BlackTeam "Russia"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "CHN"]
[BlackTeamCountry "RUS"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3
O-O 9. h3 h6 10. d4 Re8 11. Nbd2 Bf8 12. Bc2 Bb7 13. a3 Nb8 14. b3 c6 15. Bb2
Nbd7 16. a4 Qc7 17. Bd3 g6 18. Qc2 Bg7 19. c4 bxc4 20. Bxc4 exd4 21. Bxd4 Re7
22. Re2 Rae8 23. Rae1 Kh7 24. Qb2 c5 25. Bc3 Nh5 26. Bxg7 Nxg7 27. Qc2 Nh5 28.
Re3 Nhf6 29. Qd3 Nb8 30. Bd5 Nc6 31. Bxc6 Bxc6 32. Qxa6 Nxe4 33. Nxe4 Rxe4 34.
Rxe4 Rxe4 35. Rxe4 Bxe4 36. Nd2 Bb7 37. Qb5 Bc6 38. Qc4 Qe7 39. b4 d5 40. Qxc5
Qxc5 41. bxc5 Bxa4 42. f4 g5 43. Kf2 Kg6 44. Ke3 Kf6 45. Nf3 Bd7 46. Nd4 Ke7
47. g4 Bc8 48. Nc6+ (48. f5 $1 {Black is powerless to stop the white king
arriving on d4.}) 48... Ke8 49. Nb4 f5 $1 {When you are material down, you
swap pawns not pieces...It might be a cliche but its good advice!} 50. Nxd5 Kd8
51. Nf6 Kc7 52. Nd5+ Kd8 53. Nf6 Kc7 54. Nd5+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Date "2018.11.07"]
[Round "11.14"]
[White "Pogonina, Natalija"]
[Black "Zhu, Jiner"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A80"]
[WhiteElo "2465"]
[BlackElo "2379"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "89"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Russia"]
[BlackTeam "China"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "RUS"]
[BlackTeamCountry "CHN"]
1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Bf4 g6 4. e3 Bg7 5. Bc4 e6 6. O-O O-O 7. a4 h6 8. a5 d6
9. h3 Qe7 10. Nc3 Kh7 11. Bh2 a6 12. Qe2 Nbd7 13. Ba2 e5 14. dxe5 Nxe5 15. Nxe5
dxe5 16. Rfd1 Bd7 17. Bd5 Bb5 18. Nxb5 Nxd5 19. Na3 Rad8 20. Rd2 e4 21. c3 g5
$2 ({When there is one open line in the position, the first thing one must do
is control that file. Chess can sometimes be that simple!} 21... Rd7 22. Nc2
Rfd8 23. Nd4 Nf6 24. Rad1 Ne8 {White will have a hard time winning this
position.}) 22. Nc2 Be5 $4 {A terrible blunder} ({It was still not too late to
start making a challenge on the open file.} 22... Rd7) 23. Bxe5 Qxe5 24. Rad1
Rd6 25. Qc4 $1 Rfd8 26. Qb3 $1 b5 27. axb6 Rxb6 28. Nb4 c6 29. Nxc6 $1 {
White soon won without much trouble.} Rxc6 30. Rxd5 Rxd5 31. Rxd5 Qe6 32. c4 f4
33. Qb7+ Kg6 34. b3 fxe3 35. fxe3 Rb6 36. Qc7 Qf6 37. Kh2 Re6 38. Qd7 g4 39.
Qc8 h5 40. Qg8+ Kh6 41. c5 Rc6 42. Qe8 g3+ 43. Kxg3 h4+ 44. Kh2 Kg7 45. Qd7+
1-0
[Event "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Date "2018.11.08"]
[Round "12.6"]
[White "Saduakassova, Dinara"]
[Black "Stefanova, Antoaneta"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C55"]
[WhiteElo "2474"]
[BlackElo "2490"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "60"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Kazakhstan"]
[BlackTeam "Bulgaria"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "KAZ"]
[BlackTeamCountry "BUL"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 h6 5. O-O d6 6. c3 g5 7. Be3 $6 {It feels
a little bit early to commit the bishop to this square.} ({The most critical
is of course to play} 7. d4 $1 g4 {now an interesting attempt is} 8. Ne1 $5 (8.
Nfd2 exd4 9. cxd4 Nxd4 10. Re1 Bg7 11. Nf1 Nc6 12. Nc3 Ne5 13. Bb3 O-O 14. Ng3
Re8 15. Bf4 Nh7 16. Qd2 Ng5 17. Kh1 Be6 $14 {1-0 (72) Karjakin,S (2782)
-Mamedyarov,S (2808) Leuven BEL 2018}) 8... Nxe4 9. f3 d5 10. Bb5 gxf3 11. Nxf3
Bg7 12. Nxe5 Bxe5 13. dxe5 Be6 14. Nd2 Nxd2 15. Bxd2 Qd7 16. Be3 a6 17. Qa4 Rb8
18. Be2 Nxe5 19. Qd4 Ng6 20. Bh5 Rh7 21. Rae1 Qc6 22. Bd2 Kd7 23. Rxe6 fxe6 24.
Bxg6 Re7 25. Bxh6 Rg8 26. Bf7 e5 27. Qf2 {1-0 (27) Fitzsimons,D (2325)-Collins,
S (2452) Dublin IRL 2018}) 7... Bg7 8. Nbd2 O-O 9. d4 Qe7 10. Qc2 Kh8 11. dxe5
dxe5 12. b4 b6 13. a4 a5 14. b5 Nd8 {Perhaps surprised by the opening,
Saduakassova begins taking passive choices.} 15. Nb3 $2 (15. Ba2 $1 Bb7 ({
The point is that after the aggressive} 15... Ng4 {White can simply answer with
} 16. Nc4 $1) 16. Rfe1 Ng4 (16... Nh5 17. Nc4 $1 Kg8 18. h3 Nf4 19. Rad1 {
Black will have problems activating the queenside pieces.}) 17. Nc4 $1) 15...
Bb7 16. Bd3 Nh5 17. c4 $2 f5 18. Bc1 c5 $1 {From here on now, Stefanova
conducts her attack flawlessly.} 19. Re1 g4 20. Nfd2 f4 21. Nf1 Ne6 22. Bb2 Qh4
23. Rad1 g3 24. fxg3 fxg3 25. hxg3 Nxg3 26. Nxg3 Qxg3 27. Bc1 Nf4 28. Bxf4 Rxf4
29. Bf1 Raf8 30. Rd3 (30. Nc1 Rh4 {and mate is unavoidable.}) 30... Qxe1 0-1
[Event "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Date "2018.11.06"]
[Round "10.10"]
[White "Socko, Monika"]
[Black "Alinasab, Mobina"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D29"]
[WhiteElo "2463"]
[BlackElo "2236"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "68"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Poland"]
[BlackTeam "Iran"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "POL"]
[BlackTeamCountry "IRI"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e3 Nf6 4. Nf3 {A speciality of Italian grandmaster
Michele Godena} a6 $5 5. Bxc4 b5 6. Bb3 {Whilst there is nothing wrong with
this retreat, moving the bishop back to b3 does makes it very difficult to
advance the e3 pawn to e4.} (6. Bd3 {Is another possibility.} Bb7 7. a4 b4 8.
Nbd2 Nbd7 9. O-O e6 {Now the most principled try is} 10. e4 $5 {planning to
meet the principled pawn break} c5 {with} 11. e5 $1 Nd5 12. Nc4 {and now} Be7 (
{Should black play} 12... cxd4 13. Bg5 Qc7 14. Rc1 {with a sharp position.})
13. Bg5 $5) 6... Bb7 7. O-O (7. a4 Nbd7 8. O-O e6 9. Qe2 Be7 10. Nbd2 O-O 11.
Rd1 Qb8 12. e4 c5 13. e5 Nd5 14. Ne4 cxd4 15. Bg5 Bxg5 16. Nexg5 h6 (16... Nf4
$1 {0-1 (54) Jumabayev,R (2547)-Godena,M (2551) Khanty-Mansiysk RUS 2010}))
7... e6 8. a4 b4 9. Nbd2 Nbd7 10. Qe2 $6 ({Perhaps the energetic} 10. e4 {
was in order as black does not have time to be greedy.} Nxe4 $2 (10... Be7 11.
e5 Nd5 12. Ne4 O-O (12... c5 13. Bg5 $1)) 11. Nxe4 Bxe4 12. Re1 Nf6 13. Rxe4 {
This is the point!} Nxe4 14. Qc2 Nd6 15. Qc6+ Ke7 16. Bg5+ f6 17. Re1 {White's
attack is just devastating.}) 10... c5 11. Rd1 Be7 12. e4 cxd4 13. e5 Nd5 14.
Ne4 $2 {White gets in a real pickle after this move.} ({White needed to not
overthink things and play} 14. Nxd4 O-O (14... Nf4 $2 15. Qg4 $1 Nxg2 16. Qxg7
Rf8 17. Nc4 {Would win for white.}) 15. Nc4 {With equality.}) 14... Qb8 ({
Black can also play very calmly with} 14... O-O 15. Rxd4 a5 $1) 15. Ng3 d3 16.
Qe1 $2 {Losing time} ({Socko was afraid that after} 16. Rxd3 {Black could play}
Nc5 {but white can hold the balance with a well-timed exchange sacrifice.} 17.
Bxd5 Bxd5 18. Rxd5 exd5 19. Nd4 O-O 20. Ngf5 Qc7 21. Bh6 $1 gxh6 22. Qg4+ Bg5
23. Nxh6+ Kh8 24. Qxg5 {With a complicated positon.}) ({Unfortunately} 16. Qxd3
{loses a pawn to} Nxe5) 16... O-O 17. Bc4 Nc5 18. Bxd3 {Once white loses the
bishop pair, things start lurching from bad to worse.} Nxd3 19. Rxd3 Rc8 20.
Ne4 a5 {Alinasab is in complete control and white's position quickly falls
apart.} 21. Bg5 Bf8 22. Rc1 h6 23. Bd2 (23. Bh4 Nf4 24. Re3 Ba6 25. Rxc8 Qxc8 {
White's position is utterly miserable.}) 23... Ba6 24. Rd4 Qb6 25. g4 $4 Rxc1
26. Bxc1 Be7 (26... Rc8 27. g5 hxg5 28. Bxg5 Rc2 {Black is in full control.})
27. g5 h5 28. Ng3 g6 29. Ne4 Rc8 30. Rd1 Bb7 31. h3 Rc2 32. Rd2 Qc7 33. Rxc2
Qxc2 34. Qd2 $4 Qxe4 0-1
[Event "Khanty Mansiysk"]
[Site "Khanty Mansiysk"]
[Date "2018.11.09"]
[Round "19.2"]
[White "Muzychuk, Anna"]
[Black "Stefanova, Antoaneta"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C42"]
[WhiteElo "2564"]
[BlackElo "2490"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "51"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Ukraine"]
[BlackTeam "Bulgaria"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "UKR"]
[BlackTeamCountry "BUL"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 {Stefanova varies from her standard repertoire.} 3. Nxe5 d6
4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 (5. Nc3 {Is Muzychuk's usual weapon of choice.}) 5... d5 6.
Bd3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. c4 c6 9. Qc2 Nf6 {Stefanova shows her unfamiliarity with
the opening and commits an inaccuracy.} ({One of black's main ideas is to
throw in} 9... Na6 10. a3 {The most theoretical is} (10. Bxe4 dxe4 11. Qxe4 Re8
12. Qc2 Nb4 13. Qc3 Bf5 {gives black undoubted compensation.}) 10... Bg4 ({
Those wanting to play the position aggressively can try} 10... f5 $5) 11. Ne5
Bf5 12. b4 {Theoreticians can also emulate Fabiano Caruana's footsteps with}
Nc7 13. f3 Bg6 $1 {with a complicated position in Anand,V (2767)-Caruana,F
(2811) Wijk aan Zee NED 2018}) 10. c5 $5 Be7 (10... Bc7 $5) 11. Bf4 h6 12. h3
b6 13. Nbd2 bxc5 14. dxc5 Qa5 $2 {The queen is off-side here.} ({It would have
been preferable to try and eliminate the danger with} 14... Ba6 15. Rac1 Bxd3
16. Qxd3 Nfd7) 15. Rac1 Nfd7 $4 {Black's minor pieces get incredibly tangled
up after this move. With three pieces "sleeping" it is no surprise that
Stefanova's position collapses very quickly.} (15... Ba6 {was again preferable.
}) 16. Nb3 Qa4 ({Admitting that the queen sortie was a mistake brings no joy
either.} 16... Qd8 17. Rfe1 Ba6 18. Bh7+ Kh8 19. Bf5 Bf6 20. Nbd4 {The knight
on b8 will not get out any time soon.}) 17. Rfe1 $1 {Taking control over one
of the open lines.} Qxf4 18. Rxe7 Rd8 19. Rce1 Nf8 20. Re8 ({Another beautiful
line runs} 20. Bh7+ Nxh7 21. Re8+ Rxe8 22. Rxe8+ Nf8 23. Rxc8 g6 24. Nbd4 a5
25. g3 Qe4 26. Qd2 {Black can barely move.}) 20... Qc7 21. R1e7 Bd7 22. Bh7+
Kh8 23. Ne5 Bxe8 24. Rxc7 Nxh7 25. Rxf7 Kg8 26. Qg6 1-0
[Event "Khanty Mansiysk"]
[Site "Khanty Mansiysk"]
[Date "2018.11.09"]
[Round "19.1"]
[White "Zhai, Mo"]
[Black "Ju, Wenjun"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A20"]
[WhiteElo "2352"]
[BlackElo "2568"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "100"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "China"]
[BlackTeam "China"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "CHN"]
[BlackTeamCountry "CHN"]
1. c4 e5 2. g3 c6 3. Nf3 {White is treating the position as a reversed Alapin
and using the move g2-g3 as an extra tempo. The idea is to lure the pawn to e4
and then attack it with Nc3 and Bg2.} e4 4. Nd4 Qb6 $5 {Steering the game away
from well-known territory} ({After the more traditional} 4... d5 5. cxd5 $1
Qxd5 6. Nc2 $1 {is considered the most challenging.} Nf6 7. Nc3 Qe5 8. Bg2 Bc5
9. b4 $1 Bd6 10. Bb2 Qe7 11. O-O Bf5 12. d3 $1 exd3 13. exd3 O-O 14. Re1 Qd8
15. Ne4 Be7 16. Qf3 Bg6 17. Nxf6+ Bxf6 18. Bxf6 Qxf6 19. Qxf6 gxf6 20. Re7 $16
{1-0 (45) Adams,M (2709)-Christiansen,J (2492) chess24.com 2018} Bxd3 21. Ne3
Na6) 5. Nb3 ({Another alternative is} 5. e3 Nf6 6. Nc3 d5 7. Qc2 Bd7 8. a3 Be7
9. b4 O-O 10. Bg2 a5 11. c5 Qc7 12. Na4 axb4 13. axb4 Bg4 {Black has no
problems in Hammer,J (2701)-Tari,A (2553) Altibox Norway Chess Qualifier 2016})
5... Nf6 6. Bg2 d5 7. cxd5 a5 $5 (7... cxd5 8. O-O Nc6 9. d3 $1 {White must
begin to open up lines to exploit black's lack of development.} Bf5 10. Be3 (
10. Bg5 {1-0 (27) Negro,R (2167)-Lena,L (1634) Arco ITA 2017}) 10... Qd8 11.
Nd4 Nxd4 12. Bxd4 Be7 13. Qa4+ Qd7 14. Qb3 O-O 15. Nc3 $16) 8. a4 $6 {This
move is positionally suspect, granting black long term-control over the b4
square. With her lack of space, Zhai needs to start treading very carefully.} (
{White can not be greedy and play} 8. dxc6 $4 {as} a4 {wins a piece.}) (8. d3
$5 {Would pose some tricky questions} a4 9. N3d2 exd3 10. O-O cxd5 $1 (10...
Be7 11. Nc4 $1 Qc5 12. d6 {Makes life difficult for black.}) 11. exd3 Be7 12.
Nc3 $1 Qa5 13. Re1 Nc6 14. b4 axb3 15. Bb2 Qd8 16. Nxb3 O-O 17. Nb5 $14) 8...
cxd5 9. O-O Na6 (9... d4 $6 10. Na3 $1) 10. d3 (10. Nc3) 10... Nc5 11. Nxc5 $2
{This exchange favours black} (11. Nd4) 11... Bxc5 12. dxe4 dxe4 13. Nc3 ({
Shutting in the bishop doesn't promise white an advantage either.} 13. e3 Bf5
14. Na3 O-O 15. Bd2 $1 Rfd8 16. Qc2 Rac8 17. Bc3 Rd3 $11) 13... e3 $1 14. fxe3
Bxe3+ 15. Kh1 ({Ironically it was probably better to play} 15. Bxe3 $1 Qxe3+ {
The queen is misplaced on e3.} 16. Kh1 O-O 17. Rf4 $1 Be6 (17... Qb6 18. Qd4 $1
{This is the key to white maintaining the balance.}) 18. Qd4 Qxd4 19. Rxd4 $11)
15... Bxc1 16. Rxc1 O-O 17. Nd5 (17. e4 {Is another way for white to deal with
the threat of Ng4.} Be6 18. Nd5 Bxd5 19. exd5 Rfc8 20. Rxc8+ Rxc8 21. Qd2 Ne8 {
Black's knight will play Nd6 and blockade the d6 square.}) 17... Nxd5 18. Qxd5
Qxb2 19. Rxf7 $5 {A great attempt at mixing things up but the mark falls a
little short of its target.} Rxf7 20. Rf1 Bf5 $1 21. Rxf5 Qc1+ 22. Rf1 Qc7 23.
Qb3 Kf8 24. Qa3+ Qe7 25. Rxf7+ Kxf7 26. Bd5+ Kf8 27. Qf3+ Qf6 28. Qa3+ Ke8 29.
Kg2 Rc8 30. Qd3 $2 ({White should maximise her chances as much as possible.}
30. Bxb7 $5 Rc3 31. Qa2 Kf8 32. Qd2 Rc5 33. Bd5 Qe5 34. Bf3 Qf6 35. Qd7 {
Black has still a tonne of work in front of her.}) 30... Qe5 31. Bf3 $2 ({
Once again the b-pawn must not survive.} 31. Bxb7 $1 Rc3 32. Qa6) 31... g6 32.
h4 $4 {Ju begins to consolidate her pieces in a very impressive manner.} (32.
Bxb7 Rc7 33. Bf3 Rc3 34. Qd2 h5 35. h4) 32... Rc7 $1 33. Qb3 Kf8 34. Qd3 Kg7
35. Qd8 Rf7 36. Qb6 Re7 37. Qd8 Qc5 38. Qb8 Qd4 39. Qc8 Qe5 40. Qd8 Qc5 41. Qb8
Qc7 42. Qa8 h6 43. Bd5 $4 {White is seeing ghosts,there is no checkmate.} Rxe2+
44. Kf3 Re7 $1 45. Qg8+ Kf6 46. Qh8+ Rg7 47. Qf8+ ({White is completely lost
even after} 47. Qxh6 Qc3+ 48. Kg4 Qc8+ 49. Kf3 Qf5+ {nets black the point.})
47... Ke5 48. Ba2 Qc6+ 49. Ke2 Qe4+ 50. Kd1 Rd7+ 0-1
[Event "WCh Women 2018"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"]
[Date "2018.11.19"]
[Round "6.1"]
[White "Ju, Wenjun"]
[Black "Lagno, Kateryna"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2568"]
[BlackElo "2556"]
[Annotator "Johannes Fischer"]
[PlyCount "71"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. g3 c6 5. e4 d5 6. cxd5 cxd5 7. e5 Ne4 8. Nge2
Nc6 9. Bg2 Bg4 10. f3 Nxc3 11. Nxc3 {A novelty in a rare line. 11.bxc3 weakens
the white pawn position, but supports the white centre. After this exchange we
arrive at an interesting position with mutual chances.} Be6 12. f4 Qb6 13. Bxd5
Rd8 14. Bxe6 fxe6 {An unusual position: the black bishop is almost locked out
of the game, but White's king is exposed and d4 is weak.} 15. Be3 Qxb2 16. Ne2
Bh6 {With the threat of 17...Nxe5.} 17. Bf2 g5 {Black wants to free the bishop,
but now her king is also exposed.} 18. Rb1 Qa3 ({Black probably didn't want to
get involved with} 18... Qxa2 19. Nc3 Qc4 20. Qh5+ Kd7 {but after} 21. Ne2 gxf4
22. Qxh6 f3 {the position looks balanced.}) 19. Qb3 Qa5+ 20. Kf1 gxf4 21. gxf4
Rf8 22. Qf3 $6 {This position is fantastically complicated and White opts for
the "safe" way, covering the f4 pawn.} ({More energetic was} 22. Qxe6 Bxf4 23.
Rxb7 {but the white king does not look to happy after} Qa4 {Even so, White
keeps a small edge, according to engines, with} 24. Kg2) 22... Qxa2 23. Kg2 Qd5
$6 {Now Black falls back on safety and swaps queens.} ({More aggressive and
better was} 23... Rg8+ {E.g.} 24. Kh3 Qc2 25. Qh5+ Rg6 26. Rhg1 Qd3+ 27. Kh4
Kd7 28. Rxb7+ Kc8 29. Rb2 {In this unusual position, engines give Black only a
small advantage, but the exposed white king and Black's passed a-pawn are very
concrete trumps.}) 24. Qxd5 Rxd5 25. Rxb7 Bxf4 26. Rc7 Nd8 27. Rxa7 Rd7 28. Ra8
Rb7 29. Rha1 Bh6 30. R1a2 Kf7 31. Rc2 Kg6 32. Ra3 Kg7 33. Rg3+ Kf7 34. Rf3+ Ke8
35. Rh3 {And again White plays it safe.} ({After} 35. Rxf8+ Kxf8 36. Ng3 Rb3
37. Ne4 Ke8 38. Rc8 {Ju had one final chance, e.g.} Kd7 39. Ra8 Rb5 40. Nc5+
Kc7 41. Ra7+ Kc6 42. Kf3 {and White is nearly winning}) 35... Rg8+ 36. Rg3
1/2-1/2
[Event "FIDE Women's World Championship"]
[Site "Khanty Mansiysk"]
[Date "2018.11.19"]
[Round "46.1"]
[White "Ju, Wenjun"]
[Black "Lagno, Kateryna"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E61"]
[WhiteElo "2568"]
[BlackElo "2556"]
[Annotator "Houska"]
[PlyCount "71"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "China"]
[BlackTeam "Russia"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "CHN"]
[BlackTeamCountry "RUS"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. g3 $5 {A crafty move-order to avoid the
Grunfeld Slav, it is, after all very difficult to hit a moving target.} c6 ({
Black can take the game into theoretical Grunfeld waters with} 4... d5 5. cxd5
Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nb6 7. Nf3 Nc6 ({Or} 7... O-O) 8. e3 {with a very position
familiar to nearly everyone.}) 5. e4 $5 {This is the whole point to White's
sneaky move-order} (5. Nf3 d5 $5 {would take the game into the solid Grunfeld
slav, something Ju is keen to avoid.}) 5... d5 $5 6. cxd5 ({White could also
maintain the tension with} 6. e5 Ne4 7. Nge2 {would lead to a pawn sacrifice
after} (7. cxd5 $5) 7... Bg4 8. Bg2 Nxc3 9. bxc3 dxc4 10. h3 Bf5 $5 11. g4 $5
Bc8 12. O-O h5 13. Nf4 hxg4 14. hxg4 e6 15. Nh3 Nd7 16. Ng5 {White is
manoueving the knight towards the weak d6 square.}) 6... cxd5 7. e5 Ne4 8. Nge2
$5 Nc6 9. Bg2 Bg4 10. f3 $6 ({It was objectively better to accept the ensuing
exchanges and follow in the footsteps of GM Mamedyarov with} 10. h3 Nxc3 11.
bxc3 Bxe2 ({Otherwise the bishop will need to retreat all the way home to}
11... Bc8 12. Rb1 Na5 13. Nf4 e6 14. h4 Nc4 15. h5 {With a dynamic position.})
12. Qxe2 e6 13. Rb1 b6 14. h4 h5 15. Bg5 Qc7 {Now white should play} 16. O-O ({
The blunt} 16. g4 $2 hxg4 17. Qxg4 Nxe5 18. dxe5 Qxc3+ {1/2-1/2 (27)
Mamedyarov,S (2733)-Libiszewski,F (2500) San Sebastian ESP 2011}) 16... Na5 17.
Rfc1 Nc4 {and now White can improve her position with the sophisticated} 18.
Qf3 Rc8 19. Bf1 Qb7 20. Kg2 {White is working on the basis that it is not easy
for black's king to find a safe spot.} O-O 21. Qf4 $1 (21. Bd3 f5 $1) 21... f5
{is not possible now that the white queen is protected on f4.}) 10... Nxc3 11.
Nxc3 {A novelty} ({An earlier game had continued} 11. bxc3 Bd7 12. Qb3 Bc8 13.
h4 h5 14. O-O O-O 15. f4 e6 16. f5 $1 {with an advantage for white in
Skomorokhin,R (2436)-Kotenko,P (2396) Izhevsk RUS 2010}) 11... Be6 12. f4 Qb6
$1 {Lagno starts to force matters.} 13. Bxd5 (13. O-O Qxd4+ 14. Qxd4 Nxd4 15.
Nxd5 O-O-O 16. Nc3 Bf5 17. Be3) ({After} 13. Be3 {Lagno can afford to be
greedy with} Qxb2) 13... Rd8 $2 {A true maximalist move inviting complications.
} ({It would have been safe and better} 13... Bxd5 14. Nxd5 Qd8 $1) 14. Bxe6
fxe6 {The position is very chaotic, the momentum is with black but the bishop
on g7 is locked out of the game.} 15. Be3 $1 Qxb2 16. Ne2 Bh6 17. Bf2 $2 {
White is overthinking things.} ({Of course not} 17. O-O {when Black has the
cheap tactic} Nxe5 $1) (17. Qb1 $1 {It is now time to control the chaos and
take the game into the endgame where the absence of the black bishop will
start to take its toll.} Qa3 18. Qb3 (18. Kf2 {is possible but not so simple.})
18... Qxb3 19. axb3 Bg7 20. h4 $1 {Lagno will be condemned to passive defence
for the rest of the game.}) 17... g5 $1 {But of course! The bishop has been
given the keys to its own cell.} 18. Rb1 Qa3 19. Qb3 {Too late!} Qa5+ 20. Kf1
gxf4 21. gxf4 Rf8 $6 ({Black can roll with the punches and play} 21... Bxf4 22.
Nxf4 Nxd4 23. Qe3 $1 Qxa2 24. Rd1 {With a mess on the board}) 22. Qf3 $4 {
Sensing the danger white rushes the queen to protect her vulnerable king but
this is a big mistake allowing black a nice tactical blow.} ({Intstead, Ju had
to let go of the fear and embark on her own counter-attack} 22. Qxe6 $1 Bxf4
23. Rxb7 Qa4 {The computer recommends the subtle} 24. Kg2 Bxe5 $3 (24... Qc2
25. Kh3 $1) 25. Rhb1 $1 (25. dxe5 $4 Qe4+ $1) 25... Bd6 {The position is just
MAD!}) 22... Qxa2 $2 ({Missing} 22... Bxf4 $3 23. Nxf4 $2 (23. Rxb7 Rc8 $1)
23... Rxd4 $1 24. Bxd4 Nxd4 25. Qe3 Qxa2 26. Re1 Qc4+ 27. Kg2 Nc2 {Black is
winning.}) 23. Kg2 Qd5 $2 {It is wrong time to neutralise the dynamic in the
position} (23... Rg8+ 24. Kh3 Qc2 25. Ng3 Nxd4 26. Bxd4 Rxd4 27. Qh5+ Qg6 28.
Rxb7 {Black is simply winning.}) 24. Qxd5 $1 {Now crisis has been averted and
both sides are safely equal.} Rxd5 25. Rxb7 Bxf4 26. Rc7 Nd8 27. Rxa7 Rd7 28.
Ra8 Rb7 29. Rha1 Bh6 30. R1a2 Kf7 31. Rc2 Kg6 32. Ra3 Kg7 33. Rg3+ Kf7 34. Rf3+
Ke8 35. Rh3 Rg8+ 36. Rg3 1/2-1/2
[Event "Khanty Mansiysk"]
[Site "Khanty Mansiysk"]
[Date "2018.11.21"]
[Round "48.1"]
[White "Ju, Wenjun"]
[Black "Lagno, Kateryna"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E70"]
[WhiteElo "2568"]
[BlackElo "2556"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "136"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "China"]
[BlackTeam "Russia"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "CHN"]
[BlackTeamCountry "RUS"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Bd3 O-O 6. Nge2 c5 7. d5 e6 8. Bg5 $5
{An unsual line.} h6 9. Bh4 exd5 10. Nxd5 $5 {This time it is Ju that controls
the pace.} ({The most natural recapture would be} 10. exd5) 10... g5 $6 {
In light of how quickly Lagno gets into difficulties, its probably a good idea
to delay this advance until white has castled.} (10... Nc6 $5) 11. Bg3 Nxd5 $6
{This makes Lagno's queenside development difficult.} (11... Nc6 12. h4 $1) 12.
cxd5 Bxb2 13. h4 $5 (13. Rb1 Bg7 14. h4 {gives Black an extra option of
playing.} f6) 13... g4 ({It is brave soul (or a computer) that would dare to
hand over all their dark squares.} 13... Bxa1 14. Qxa1 f6 15. hxg5 hxg5 16. Kd2
{and sure enough after} Kg7 {White can play the devastating} (16... c4 17. Bc2
$1) (16... Qe7 17. Rh6 Qg7 18. Qh1) 17. Bxd6 Qxd6 18. Rh7+ Kg8 19. Qh1 f5 20.
Qh5 {with a brilliancy award.}) 14. Rb1 Bg7 15. O-O Re8 16. Nf4 {The prospect
of a knight landing on h5 causes Lagno to understandably panic.} c4 $2 ({
Black could have played} 16... Nd7 17. Nh5 Nf6 18. Nxg7 Kxg7 19. Re1 {The
position still doesn't look very pleasant for black.}) 17. Bxc4 Rxe4 18. Bd3 ({
Ju could have attacked the rook in a different manner.} 18. Qc2 $1 {After the
defensive} Re5 {White has the blow} (18... Re8 19. Nh5) 19. Ne6 fxe6 20. Bxe5
Bxe5 21. Qg6+ Bg7 22. dxe6 Qe7 23. Rb5 Nc6 24. Rd1 {Black cannot stop the
rooks from penetrating into the position with decisive effect.}) 18... Re5 19.
f3 h5 20. Be2 Qd7 21. Rb4 ({Lagno's position looks incredibly shaky and
unsurprisingly there is a breakthrough in the form of} 21. fxg4 hxg4 22. Ne6 $1
fxe6 23. Bxe5 dxe5 24. Bxg4 Qe7 25. Rc1 Bd7 26. Rc7 {White is simply crushing
it.}) 21... Na6 22. Re4 Rxe4 23. fxe4 Nc5 $1 24. e5 $5 (24. Bd3 {is possible
as the black position will fall apart after} Nxd3 25. Qxd3 $1 Qe7 26. Nxh5)
24... dxe5 (24... Bxe5 25. Nxh5 $1) 25. Nxh5 Ne4 $1 26. Be1 (26. d6 $1) 26...
f5 27. Nxg7 Qxg7 28. Bd3 Bd7 29. Bxe4 fxe4 30. Bg3 Rf8 31. Re1 Bb5 32. Qb3 Bd3
33. d6+ Qf7 34. Qc3 Qe6 35. Qxe5 $2 {Throwing away the win.} ({Ju should have
simply played the calm} 35. Qc7 Rf7 $1 (35... Qf7 {Black's problem is that the
white king is dead safe and the d6 pawn is just too strong.} 36. Rc1 e3 37. d7
Qf6 38. Qxb7 Bf5 39. Rc8) 36. Qd8+ Kh7 37. Rc1 Bc4 38. Qg5 Rf5 39. Qe3 Bd5 40.
Rc7+ Rf7 41. Qf2 Rg7 42. Kh2) 35... Qxe5 36. Bxe5 Kf7 37. g3 Ke6 38. Bf4 b5 $2
(38... Rf5 $1 {The h-pawn must not be allowed to advance.} 39. Rc1 e3 40. Bxe3
Kxd6 41. Bxa7 {Once again in a rook and opposite coloured endgame, black has
good chances to draw.}) 39. h5 a5 40. h6 b4 41. Rc1 a4 42. Rc7 $1 b3 43. axb3
axb3 44. Re7+ Kd5 45. Rb7 e3 46. Rxb3 $1 Ke4 47. Kg2 e2 48. Rb4+ ({Ju misses
the study-like win} 48. Rb7 e1=N+ $1 49. Kf2 Nf3 {Black's extra piece is
useless but only if white steps accurately.} 50. Re7+ $1 {The rook needs to
get to e8 with tempo.} Kf5 (50... Kd5 51. d7) 51. h7 (51. d7 Ra8 52. Bd2 $3 (
52. h7 Bb5 {White's king is caught in a terrible mating net.} 53. Ke3 Ra3+)
52... Ra2 53. Re2 $3 {More beauty.}) 51... Kg6 (51... Ra8 52. Bc1 Bc4 53. Bb2 {
This tie the bishop is protected on b2 by the future queen on h8.}) 52. d7 $1)
48... Kd5 49. Kf2 Re8 $1 {Lagno has been given her final respite and she does
not let the draw slip.} 50. Bd2 Rf8+ 51. Bf4 Re8 52. Bd2 Rf8+ 53. Rf4 Rxf4+ 54.
Bxf4 Ke6 55. Ke1 Kd7 56. Be5 Ke6 57. Kd2 Kd7 58. Bc3 e1=Q+ 59. Kxe1 Kxd6 60.
Kd2 Bh7 61. Ke3 Ke6 62. Kf4 Kf7 63. Kxg4 Bc2 64. Kf4 Bb1 65. g4 Bc2 66. g5 Bb1
67. Ke5 Bc2 68. Kd6 Bb1 1/2-1/2
[Event "Khanty Mansiysk"]
[Site "Khanty Mansiysk"]
[Date "2018.11.23"]
[Round "50.1"]
[White "Ju, Wenjun"]
[Black "Lagno, Kateryna"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D20"]
[WhiteElo "2568"]
[BlackElo "2556"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "135"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "China"]
[BlackTeam "Russia"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "CHN"]
[BlackTeamCountry "RUS"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 {A surprise, Kateryna Lagno has never played the Queens
Gambit accepted except to use it to make a quick draw with a friend. Despite
the surprise, Ju was unfazed and continued as if it were all in her
preparation.} 3. e4 Nf6 4. e5 Nd5 5. Bxc4 Nb6 6. Bd3 ({There is a famous
repetition aftr} 6. Bb3 Nc6 7. Nf3 Bg4 8. Ng5 Bxd1 9. Bxf7+ Kd7 10. Be6+ Ke8
11. Bf7+ {1/2-1/2 (13) Mkrtchian,L (2450)-Lagno,K (2537) Jermuk 2012} Kd7 12.
Be6+ Ke8 13. Bf7+ {1/2-1/2 (13) Mkrtchian,L (2450)-Lagno,K (2537) Jermuk 2012})
6... Nc6 7. Ne2 Bg4 $5 {Not such a popular move but Lagno is taking a
calculated risk that Ju will not punish her out of the opening.} 8. f3 Bh5 9.
Nbc3 (9. e6 $5 {Shutting in the f8 bishop would be the most critical move but
Ju has not been playing in such an aggressive manner.}) 9... e6 10. Be3 Bg6 11.
Bb5 (11. Be4 Bxe4 12. fxe4 Be7 13. O-O {White has a pleasant position.}) 11...
Be7 12. Bxc6+ bxc6 13. Nf4 Bf5 ({Black can play actively with} 13... Nc4 {
Play may continue with} 14. Qe2 {After all the black bishop on g6 is going
nowhere.} Nxe3 15. Qxe3 Qb8 $1 16. Nxg6 hxg6 17. O-O-O Qb6 18. f4 Rb8 (18...
O-O 19. h4 $1 {Suddenly there is a big fight on the board.}) 19. Rd2 O-O 20. h4
Bb4 21. a3 $5 Bxa3 22. bxa3 Qb3 23. Ra2 {White should be able to survive}) 14.
Qe2 ({It was also possible to play with the dynamic} 14. g4 Bh4+ 15. Kf1 Bg6
16. Kg2 {White keeps a nice bind.}) 14... O-O 15. O-O h6 16. Rac1 {Ju plays
all the happy moves very quickly.} Qd7 17. Rfd1 a5 18. Ne4 Nd5 19. Nc5 {
A very natural manouevre} ({It was also possible to simplify the position with
} 19. Nxd5 cxd5 20. Nc5 Bxc5 21. Rxc5 {White counts on the pressure against
the c7 pawn to secure an advantage.} Rfb8 22. g4 Bh7 23. Bf2 Rb7 24. Be1 $1 {
Killing the black counterplay on the b2 pawn.} a4 25. h4 Rab8 26. Bc3) 19...
Bxc5 20. Rxc5 Nxf4 21. Bxf4 Rfb8 22. Qd2 Rb5 23. Rxb5 cxb5 24. Rc1 a4 25. a3 c6
26. Rc5 Rc8 27. h3 ({After} 27. g4 {Black can play the quirky} Bb1 28. Qf2 Ba2
{The bishop will head to either c4 or d5.}) 27... Bg6 28. Be3 Bf5 29. Qc1 Bd3
30. Rc3 Bg6 31. Kf2 Bf5 32. h4 (32. g4 Bg6 33. Kg2 Kh7 34. Bf2) 32... h5 33.
Qd2 Qd5 34. Rc5 Qb3 35. Qc3 {Ju gambles that the rook and bishop ending will
be better for her as Lagno will be condemned to passivity} Qxc3 ({Black can
leave the pawn to its fate with} 35... Qd1 36. Rxc6 Rxc6 37. Qxc6 Bd3 38. Kg3
Qe1+ 39. Bf2 Qh1 40. Qe8+ $2 Kh7 41. Qxf7 Bf1 {White maybe forced to take a
perpetual check.}) 36. Rxc3 Kf8 37. Kg3 Ke8 38. Kf4 Kd7 39. g4 Bg6 40. Rc1 Rb8
41. Rg1 $5 {A very clever move} Rh8 ({The tempting} 41... b4 $2 42. gxh5 Bxh5
43. Rxg7 bxa3 44. bxa3 Rb3 $2 45. Rg5 $1) (41... hxg4 {Gives white some hope
after} 42. fxg4 b4 43. h5 Bd3 44. Bd2 bxa3 45. bxa3 Rb3 46. Bb4 Be2 {White may
have some chances on the basis of the outside passed pawn.}) 42. Bf2 Rg8 43.
Be1 Rh8 44. Rg2 Rg8 45. gxh5 Bxh5 {Black's problem is that the bishop is now
shut in a cage on h5.} 46. Rg5 g6 $2 {Once again Lagno locks her bishop out of
the game! Not a good choice.} (46... Bg6 47. h5 Bd3 48. Rg2 Ke8 49. Rg1 Rh8 50.
Rxg7 Rxh5 51. Rg8+ Kd7 {With a likely draw.}) 47. Bb4 Rh8 48. Bc5 Ke8 49. Rg3
Rh7 50. Rg1 Kd7 51. Bb4 Rh8 52. Re1 Rg8 53. Re3 $2 {Lagno breaks free with the
dastardly} ({White needed to keep control} 53. Kg5 $1 Ke8 54. Re3 Rh8 55. Rc3
Kd7 56. Kf6 Ra8 {Unfortunately the black pawn is poisoned as after} 57. Kxf7 ({
However white will still be able to torture black for a long time with} 57. Kg7
) 57... g5+ $1) 53... g5+ $1 54. hxg5 Bg6 55. Re1 Rh8 $1 {White's extra pawn
counts for nothing.} 56. Kg3 Bf5 57. Bd2 Rh3+ 58. Kg2 Rh4 59. Be3 Rh8 60. Rc1
Bh3+ 61. Kg3 Bf5 62. Bf2 Rh3+ 63. Kg2 Rh5 64. Be3 Bh3+ 65. Kg3 Bf5 66. Kg2 Bh3+
67. Kg3 Bf5 68. Kg2 1/2-1/2
[Event "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Date "2018.11.20"]
[Round "47.1"]
[White "Lagno, Kateryna"]
[Black "Ju, Wenjun"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E04"]
[WhiteElo "2556"]
[BlackElo "2568"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "117"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Russia"]
[BlackTeam "China"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "RUS"]
[BlackTeamCountry "CHN"]
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 c5 4. O-O Nc6 5. d4 e6 6. c4 dxc4 {Transposing into
a Catalan which can arise after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 c5 6.
0-0 Nc6} 7. dxc5 Qxd1 8. Rxd1 Bxc5 9. Nfd2 $5 {A sideline that was first
played by Ju Wenjun herself, whether this was done deliberately is a mystery.}
(9. Nbd2 c3) 9... Na5 $5 {Holding on to the pawn.} 10. Na3 Bxa3 11. bxa3 O-O ({
More to the point is} 11... Bd7 $1 {Developing the problem piece on c8.} 12.
Bb2 Rc8 13. Bc3 b6 14. Rdc1 Rc7 $5 (14... O-O 15. Bxa5 bxa5 16. Nxc4 Bb5 17.
Nxa5 Bxe2 {Ju Wenjun (2559)-Guo Qi (2447) Yangzhou CHN 2016 now white could
have played} 18. Nc6 {with a slight advantage.}) 15. Bxa5 (15. Bb4 Kd8 $1) (15.
Rab1 O-O 16. Bxa5 bxa5 17. Nxc4 g6 18. Nxa5 Rfc8 {And the extra pawn is not
worth too much.}) 15... bxa5 16. Rxc4 Rxc4 17. Nxc4 Ke7 18. Nxa5 Rc8 19. Nb3
Ne8 (19... Rc2 $5) 20. Rc1 Rxc1+ 21. Nxc1 Nd6 22. Kf1 Nc4 {1/2-1/2 (22)
Dominguez Perez,L (2739)-Anand,V (2768) Saint Louis USA 2018}) ({Another
fighting option is} 11... Nd5 12. Ne4 O-O 13. Bd2 b6 (13... Nc6 $5 14. Nc3 Rd8
15. Rab1 b6 (15... f6 {Fressinet,L (2645)-Edouard,R (2638) Nimes FRA 2018}))
14. Rac1 Rb8 $1 15. Nd6 Rd8 16. e4 Rxd6 17. exd5 f6 {was fine in Bluebaum,M
(2643)-Buhmann,R (2567) Austria AUT 2017}) 12. Ne4 e5 {After a long think
Lagno played} 13. Bd2 Nxe4 14. Bxe4 Nc6 15. Bc3 Be6 16. Bxc6 bxc6 17. Bxe5 Rfd8
18. Bc3 f6 ({Perhaps} 18... Rd5 $1 19. Rab1 (19. Rxd5 cxd5 20. Rb1 Rd8 21. e3
f6 22. Kg2 {Black will suffer but should hold.}) 19... f6 20. Rxd5 cxd5 21. Rb7
Rd8 22. e3 h5 $1 {as} 23. Rxa7 {concedes the b-file.} Rb8 $1) 19. f3 Kf7 20.
Kf2 Rxd1 21. Rxd1 Rb8 {Visually the position looks fine for both sides. Black
has a double passed c-pawn but it is nicely blockaded. The big problem is that
black's bishop on e6 is very poorly placed it has neither a target nor a
comfortable place to go. The situation is still a draw but black has to tread
very carefully.} 22. g4 {Wind it up and watch it go!} c5 23. h4 h6 24. a4 Ke7
25. a5 Rb7 ({Black should play} 25... Rd8 26. Rb1 Bc8 27. Kg3 Kd7 28. g5 ({
The calm} 28. Rh1 Kc6 $1 29. g5 hxg5 30. hxg5 fxg5 31. Rh7 {Looks very
promising for white but black has the resource} Re8 32. e4 g4 $1) 28... hxg5
29. hxg5 fxg5 30. Kg4 Kc6+ 31. Kxg5 Rd5+ 32. Kf4 g5+ 33. Kg3 g4 $1 {A great
move, now} 34. f4 {is bad because of} Rh5 $1) 26. Rg1 Rd7 27. g5 hxg5 28. hxg5
Kf7 29. gxf6 gxf6 30. Rh1 {Lagno's play is exemplary.} Kg7 31. Rb1 Kf7 32. Rb5
Rc7 33. Rb8 Re7 34. Rh8 $1 {Excellent play, Lagno's switch from one side of
the board to another manages to confuse Ju.} Kg6 35. Rf8 Rf7 36. Rg8+ Kh7 $2 ({
The only way to save the game is to play} 36... Rg7 37. Rd8 Rd7 38. Rf8 (38.
Rc8 Rd3 $1) 38... Rf7 39. Rg8+ Rg7 40. Re8 Bd7 41. Re4 {With excellent chances
for a draw.}) 37. Rd8 Kg6 38. Rd6 Re7 39. Rc6 Kf7 40. Rxc5 Rd7 41. Rc6 f5 $2 {
Allowing the white monarch a path into the position.} ({Passive defence could
have offered more resistance.} 41... Re7 42. Kg3 Rd7 43. Kf4 Rd1 44. Ra6 Rd7
45. Rc6 Re7 46. Ra6 Rd7 {Perhaps black will hold.}) 42. Ke3 Re7 43. Kf4 {
White's king entering the position can only spell one thing - trouble.} Rd7 44.
Rc5 Rd8 45. Rb5 Rd7 46. a6 Kg6 $2 {Hastening the end.} (46... Re7 47. Bb4 Rd7
48. Kg5 {Black is in zugzwang.}) 47. Ke5 Re7 48. Rb7 Re8 49. Rxa7 Bf7+ 50. Kd4
Rxe2 51. a4 Re6 52. Kc5 Be8 53. Rg7+ Kh6 54. a7 Ra6 55. Re7 Rc6+ 56. Kb4 Rc8
57. Rb7 Ra8 58. Rb8 Bc6 59. Rb6 1-0
[Event "Khanty Mansiysk"]
[Site "Khanty Mansiysk"]
[Date "2018.11.22"]
[Round "49.1"]
[White "Lagno, Kateryna"]
[Black "Ju, Wenjun"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B31"]
[WhiteElo "2556"]
[BlackElo "2568"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "64"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Russia"]
[BlackTeam "China"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "RUS"]
[BlackTeamCountry "CHN"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. O-O Bg7 5. Re1 e5 $5 {we will see the
speculative wing gambit essayed by Fabiano Caruana in London...?} 6. a3 {
Not quite!} (6. b4 Nxb4 7. Bb2 a6 8. a3 {was how the play in London played out
Caruana,F (2832)-Carlsen,M (2835) London ENG 2018}) 6... Nge7 7. Nc3 $5 ({
Backing out of} 7. b4) 7... O-O 8. Bc4 d6 9. d3 ({It might be simpler for
Lagno to emulate her opponent's style and play in a more straightforward
manner.} 9. Nd5 $5 Nxd5 10. Bxd5 h6 11. d3 Kh7 12. c3 f5 13. exf5 $1 gxf5 14.
b4 $1 {Now is the time to strike on the wing.} cxb4 15. axb4 Qf6 16. h4 f4 17.
d4 exd4 18. b5 {The mess is in white's favour.}) 9... h6 10. Nd5 Kh7 11. c3 f5
12. exf5 $1 ({No-one is going to like playing} 12. b4 f4 {Even if the computer
thinks its going to be okay!}) 12... gxf5 13. b4 ({If you pledge, don't hedge!
White's position has been building up to this move and when the time comes,
Lagno loses bottle and backs out.} 13. Ng5+ $5 Kg6 14. Nf3 {Ju would need to
play with the king on g6 in order to avoid a repetition.} Nxd5 15. Bxd5 Qf6 16.
b4 Ne7 17. Bb3 b6) 13... Ng6 14. b5 $2 {Removing all the central tension from
the position, now Black's centre is secure.} Na5 15. Ba2 Be6 16. Qa4 b6 17. Bd2
Rg8 18. Rad1 Qd7 {Objectively this position is very difficult for Lagno, there
is no clear plan.} 19. Nh4 $2 ({Perhaps the best thing to do is wait and see
with} 19. Kh1 {until Ju decides to initiate active operations.}) 19... Bh8 $5 (
{Black could have finished the game off with the disruptive} 19... c4 $1 20.
Nxg6 Bxd5 {wins}) 20. Nxg6 Rxg6 21. Qh4 Rag8 22. g3 Qf7 23. c4 Bf6 24. Nxf6+
Rxf6 25. f4 Rg4 26. Qh3 Rfg6 27. Rf1 Qg7 28. Kh1 $4 ({The only move to save
the game is} 28. Qh5 Bc8 29. Rf2 (29. Kf2 exf4 30. Bxf4)) 28... Bc8 29. Qh5
Bb7+ 30. Kg1 Rxg3+ 31. hxg3 Rxg3+ 32. Kf2 Rg2+ 0-1
[Event "Khanty Mansiysk"]
[Site "Khanty Mansiysk"]
[Date "2018.11.23"]
[Round "51.1"]
[White "Lagno, Kateryna"]
[Black "Ju, Wenjun"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E04"]
[WhiteElo "2556"]
[BlackElo "2568"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "102"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Russia"]
[BlackTeam "China"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "RUS"]
[BlackTeamCountry "CHN"]
1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 c5 4. O-O Nc6 5. d4 e6 6. c4 dxc4 {[%emt 0:00:06]}
7. dxc5 {170} Qxd1 {7 Repeating the opening from game two} 8. Rxd1 {[%emt 0:00:
01]} Bxc5 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 9. Nbd2 {11 Lagno sticks to the main-line this time.
} (9. Nfd2 {happened in their game 2 encounter.}) 9... c3 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 10.
bxc3 {[%emt 0:00:03]} O-O {[%emt 0:00:28]} 11. Nb3 {134} Be7 {Ju sticks to the
tried and tested lines.} (11... Bb6 12. Ba3 Re8 13. Nfd2 $1) 12. c4 Bd7 13. Bb2
Rfd8 14. Nfd4 Rac8 15. Nb5 {White is playing to obtain the bishop pair.} ({
White doesn't gain too much after} 15. Nxc6 Bxc6 16. Rxd8+ Bxd8 17. Rd1 Bxg2
18. Kxg2 Kf8 19. Bd4 Rxc4 20. Bxa7 Be7 21. Bd4 Ne8 22. Rc1 Rxc1 23. Nxc1 Bf6
24. Bc5+ Be7 25. Bd4 Bf6 26. Bc5+ Be7 27. Bd4 {½-½ (27) Saduakassova,D (2474)
-Ju,W (2561) Batumi OL 2018}) 15... b6 16. Nd6 Bxd6 $6 ({It was more accurate
to play} 16... Rc7 17. Rac1 Nb4 18. Nb5 Bxb5 19. Rxd8+ Bxd8 20. cxb5 Nxa2 21.
Ra1 Nc3 {and the position soon fizzled out to a draw in Bogner,S (2586)-Can,E
(2605) Rome ITA 2017}) 17. Rxd6 Be8 18. Rd3 Nb4 19. Rxd8 Rxd8 20. Bc3 a5 $5
$146 ({Both} 20... Nc6 {and 20...Na6 had been tried in earlier games.}) 21. Nd2
Bc6 {Played after long thought.} (21... Na6 $1 {Had a nice point that after}
22. Rb1 Nc5 {is possible} 23. Nb3 ({Now} 23. Rxb6 {would be a blunder on
account of} Na4 24. Bxa5 Nxb6 25. c5 Rxd2 {Black wins material.}) 23... Na4 24.
Ba1 Rc8 25. Rc1 Bc6 $1 {Black should be equal.}) 22. a3 $1 {An excellent move
opening the a-line.} (22. Bxc6 Nxc6 23. Rb1 $1 Nd7 {Black is passive but solid.
} 24. Ne4 Kf8 25. f3 Rc8 $1) (22. Bxb4 axb4 $1) 22... Bxg2 23. axb4 axb4 24.
Bxb4 Bb7 25. f3 $2 ({More incisive was} 25. Ra7 $1 {maintaining the pressure.}
Rd7 26. f3 h6 27. Kf2 {and black is struggling to find a plan.}) 25... Ra8 $1
26. Rxa8+ Bxa8 27. Kf2 Nd7 28. Ke3 f6 29. Ne4 Kf7 30. Nd6+ Ke7 $1 31. Nc8+ Kd8
$1 {Well calculated, the opposite colour bishop is simply a draw, Lagno tries
but it's not possible to magic something out of nothing.} 32. Nxb6 Nxb6 33. Ba5
Kc7 34. c5 Kc6 35. Bxb6 Kd7 36. g4 e5 37. f4 exf4+ 38. Kxf4 Ke6 39. h4 g6 40.
g5 f5 41. Bc7 Bb7 42. Bd6 Bc6 43. Kg3 Bb7 44. h5 Ba6 45. hxg6 hxg6 46. Kf3 Bb7+
47. Ke3 Bc6 48. Kd4 Bb7 49. Kc3 Bc6 50. Kb4 Kd7 51. Ka5 Bd5 1/2-1/2
[Event "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Date "2018.11.23"]
[Round "53.1"]
[White "Ju, Wenjun"]
[Black "Lagno, Kateryna"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B06"]
[WhiteElo "2568"]
[BlackElo "2556"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "China"]
[BlackTeam "Russia"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "CHN"]
[BlackTeamCountry "RUS"]
1. d4 d6 2. Nf3 g6 3. e4 Bg7 4. Bc4 e6 5. O-O Ne7 6. a4 {Ju resorts back to a
line she employed in her 2018 World championship match against Tan Zhongyi.}
O-O ({In that championship match Ju faced} 6... Nd7 7. c3 a5 8. Re1 b6 9. Na3
h6 10. Bd3 Bb7 11. Nc4 O-O 12. Qe2 {with a level position in Ju Wenjun (2571)
-Tan Zhongyi (2522) Chongqing/Shanghai CHN 2018}) 7. c3 Nd7 8. a5 Rb8 {Lagno
begins to play as quickly as possiible in order to stress Ju Wenjun out. It's
a common technique in blitz chess. Chess is after all war!} 9. Qe2 {Ju
continues to play solidly.} b6 $5 {A curious decision, curious in the sense
that opening the a-line might give white some chance to exchange pieces on
that line.} 10. axb6 axb6 11. Bf4 Bb7 12. Nbd2 h6 13. h4 $6 {Ironically in
preventing the advance g6-g5, White begins to take some risk. Its risky
because white not only creates a target in the h4 pawn but it also concedes
the g4 square.} Nf6 14. Bg3 {Ju plays ultra-solidly, refusing to make a
comittment.} d5 15. exd5 Nfxd5 {White's position is stable but the pawn on h4
has created weaknesses.} 16. Be5 Nf5 17. Bxg7 Kxg7 18. g3 {The repair work is
in operation.} Nf6 {Opening the diagonal and stopping the checks.} (18... c5
19. dxc5 bxc5 20. Qe5+ Nf6 21. Rfd1 Qe7 22. Bf1 {With g3-g4 in the air.}) 19.
Ba6 Ba8 20. Bd3 {The way Ju begins to neutralise any potential danger is
especially instructive.} Nd6 $6 {Lagno cannot see a clear path forward and
opts to prevent exchanges that will follow after a piece arrives on e4.} (20...
c5 $1 {was the way to go} 21. dxc5 bxc5 22. Nc4 (22. Ne4 $4 {fails to} Rxb2)
22... Nd6 23. Nce5 Qc7 {It will not be easy for white to neutralise the
weakness of the a8-h1 long diagonal.}) 21. Rfd1 Nd7 22. Ne4 Nf5 $5 23. Ned2 g5
$6 {Ju's rock solid strategy begins to pay dividends.} (23... c5 24. dxc5 bxc5
25. Be4) 24. hxg5 hxg5 25. Be4 $1 {Now white can make the desired trades and
it will be the black king that suffers. The repair work is completed.} Qf6 26.
Bxa8 Rxa8 27. Rxa8 Rxa8 28. Kg2 $1 {When a draw is sufficient it is sensible
to play to control the dynamics of the position.} (28. Ne4 {would net a pawn
but allow Lagno some threats along the h-file. No need for that kind of drama
when a draw is sufficient to bring home the title.} Qh6 29. Nexg5 Rh8 30. Kg2
Nd6) 28... Rh8 29. Rh1 Rxh1 30. Kxh1 Nd6 31. Ne5 Qh6+ 32. Kg2 Nf6 33. Ndf3 Nfe4
34. Nh2 Qg6 $4 {With not much time on the clock Lagno makes a tragic error in
a level position.} (34... Nf6 $1 35. Nhg4 Qh5 {would of course be very much
equal.}) 35. Nxg6 1-0
[Event "Khanty Mansiysk"]
[Site "Khanty Mansiysk"]
[Date "2018.11.23"]
[Round "52.1"]
[White "Lagno, Kateryna"]
[Black "Ju, Wenjun"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A08"]
[WhiteElo "2556"]
[BlackElo "2568"]
[Annotator "Jovi"]
[PlyCount "98"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Russia"]
[BlackTeam "China"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "RUS"]
[BlackTeamCountry "CHN"]
1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 c5 4. O-O Nc6 5. d3 {A change of tack, Lagno
switches to playing the King's Indian with colours reversed.} g6 6. Nc3 Bg7 7.
e4 dxe4 8. dxe4 Bg4 ({It's also possible to trade queen with} 8... Qxd1 9. Rxd1
Bg4 10. Be3 Nd7 $1 11. h3 Bxf3 12. Bxf3 Nd4 13. Bxd4 Bxd4 14. Nd5 (14. Be2 $2
Bxc3 $15 {0-1 Lie,K (2265)-Gershon,A (2255) Menorca 1996}) 14... Rd8 15. c3 $10
Be5 {the position is equal.}) 9. Be3 (9. h3 Qxd1 10. Rxd1 Bxf3 11. Bxf3 Nd4 {
Is the tactical point of black's play but after} 12. Bg2 {it is risky to be
greedy with} Nxc2 13. e5 Nd7 14. Bxb7 Rd8 15. e6 fxe6 16. Rb1 {With
compensation.}) 9... Nd7 10. h3 Bxf3 11. Bxf3 O-O 12. Bg2 Nb6 13. Bxc5 Nc4 14.
Nd5 Nxb2 15. Nxe7+ Nxe7 $1 {The simplest.} ({Lagno can also play the stylish}
15... Qxe7 16. Bxe7 Nxd1 17. Bxf8 Bxa1 18. Rxd1 Kxf8 19. Rxa1 Rd8 20. e5 $1 {
Black will still have problems to solve.}) 16. Qxd8 Rfxd8 17. Bxe7 Rd2 18. Rac1
({Missing the surprising} 18. e5 $1 Rxc2 19. Bxb7 Re8 20. Bf6 Bxf6 21. exf6 Re6
(21... Rd2 22. Rac1) 22. Rac1 Rxc1 23. Rxc1 Rxf6 24. Rc7 {White can have some
advantage based on the long range power of the bishop.}) 18... Rc8 19. Bg5
Rdxc2 20. Rxc2 Rxc2 21. Rc1 Rxc1+ 22. Bxc1 Bd4 23. Bf1 $4 {Tiredness sets in
Lagno forgets there are two people playing chess, missing the snake in the
grass. Sometimes we are blind to the obvious.} ({White can also play} 23. Kf1
$5 {but will have an easier game after} Na4 24. e5 Nc3 25. a3 b5 26. f4 a5 27.
Ke1 b4 $1) (23. Bxb2 {was the safest and the simplest. A "Sliding doors"
moment.}) 23... Nd1 $1 {An excellent pawn to win!} 24. Kg2 Nxf2 25. Kf3 Nd1 26.
Bc4 Nc3 27. Bd2 ({It was possible to double-bluff black with} 27. Bb2 Nxe4 $6 {
Aha I have tricked you! Cries black in delight but I have} 28. Bxf7+ $1 {
responds white. Chess can be extremely fun when you talk to your pieces :)}
Kxf7 29. Bxd4 Ng5+ 30. Kg4 Ne6 31. Bxa7 {White will once again have a slightly
better ending.}) 27... Na4 28. Bd5 b6 29. Bf4 Nc3 30. Bb3 Kg7 31. e5 a5 32. e6
fxe6 33. Bxe6 b5 34. Bc7 ({White can try and bail out with} 34. Bd2 Kf6 35.
Bxc3 Bxc3 36. Bd7 b4 37. g4 Be1 38. Kf4 $1 {White must not let Black to easily
get to the fourth rank.} Bd2+ 39. Ke4 Kg5 40. Kf3 Kh4 41. Kg2 $1) 34... Kf6 {
With not much time, Lagno begins to panic and play on instinct.} 35. Bd7 a4 36.
Ba5 $4 {Now the game is lost.} (36. Bd6 $1 {Stopping the advancing pawns was
necessary.}) 36... Nxa2 37. Bxb5 a3 38. Ke4 Bb2 39. Bc4 Nc1 40. Bd2 a2 41. Bxa2
Nxa2 42. Kd3 Bc1 43. Ba5 Ba3 44. Kc2 Bb4 45. Bd8+ Be7 46. Ba5 Nb4+ 47. Kd2 Bd6
48. g4 Nc6 49. Bb6 Ke5 0-1