[Event "Moscow FIDE GP"]
[Site "Moscow"]
[Date "2017.05.21"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Gelfand, Boris"]
[Black "Ding, Liren"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E11"]
[WhiteElo "2724"]
[BlackElo "2773"]
[Annotator "Lenderman,A"]
[PlyCount "70"]
[EventDate "2017.05.12"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "RUS"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 179"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.07.12"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.07.12"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{Hello everyone! This is GM Aleksandr Lenderman presenting you the final Game
of the Day of Moscow Grand Prix! And the choice is easy here. The fight for
first place ended with Ding Liren winning a decisive game against Boris
Gelfand. So, without further ado, let's get to it.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5
4. Bg2 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Be7 6. Nf3 O-O 7. O-O Nbd7 8. a4 a5 9. Qc2 c6 10. Na3 Ne4 $5
{A very rare move already. In an earlier game betwen Gelfand and Tomashevsky,
10...Bd6 was played and Black had to suffer a bit before eventually getting a
draw.} (10... Bd6 11. Ne1 Qe7 12. Nd3 e5 13. cxd5 Nxd5 14. Bxd5 cxd5 15. Nb5 e4
16. Nf4 Nf6 17. Rfc1 {Gelfand-Tomashevsky Moscow Grand Prix} (17. Qb3 $5 {
was maybe an improvement.})) 11. Bf4 $146 {The only other game I could find
after 10...Ne4 in my database was with 11.Be3!? in a game between two very
strong players.} (11. Be3 f5 12. Ne1 g5 13. f3 Nd6 14. Nd3 Qe8 15. c5 Nf7 {
Hertneck,G (2572)-Bareev,E (2719) Germany 2002, was a very complex battle.})
11... g5 {The typical logical follow-up after the ...Ne4 idea is to play on
the kingside.} 12. Be3 (12. Bc1 $5) 12... f5 13. Rad1 Bf6 14. Nb1 Qe7 {I think
Black is already happy here. He has got a very interesting unbalanced position
for Black with play for 3 results. And Ding is extremely good in positions
like this too.} 15. Nc3 b6 16. Ne5 $5 {A very interesting, ambitious move, and
probably not the only one.} (16. b3 $5) 16... Nxe5 17. dxe5 Bxe5 18. Bxb6 Qb4 {
Not the only move in the position but the most direct.} (18... Nxc3 19. bxc3
Ba6 20. cxd5 cxd5 21. Bxa5 Rfc8 $44 {was also a possible sample line.}) (18...
Bxc3 19. bxc3 Ba6 20. Bxe4 $14) (18... Ra6 19. Bd4 Bxd4 20. Rxd4 {is also
roughly equal.}) 19. Nxe4 fxe4 20. cxd5 $2 {So far both sides have played good
precise and principled chess. However, now, Gelfand seems to miscalculate or
misevaluate something because he doesn't quite seem to have enough for the
sacrificed material. Sometimes last rounds can be tricky even for the most
experienced players. Gelfand was probably really hoping to win this game to
tie for 1st since the difference between tying for first and tying for 3rd in
a massive tie is huge in terms of Grand Prix points. So maybe he decided to
take a gamble in this game he normally wouldn't have. It didn't work in his
favour in this game though.} (20. Be3 Qxb2 21. Qxb2 Bxb2 22. Bxg5 Ba6 23. cxd5
(23. Rd2 {This first might be a bit more accurate though.} Bc3 24. Rc2 {
and no more Rac8}) 23... cxd5 (23... Bxe2 $2 24. dxc6 $16) 24. Rd2 $15 {
seems more or less normal for White and very close to equal.}) 20... Qxb6 21.
Qxe4 Qxb2 (21... Qc7 22. dxe6 Rb8 {is also good for Black, but what Ding did
was better.}) 22. dxc6 Bc7 $17 23. Rd7 Bxd7 24. cxd7 Qf6 $19 {Honestly
speaking I'm not totally sure what exactly Gelfand missed since in each move
Black seemed to have other alternatives to get a good position.} (24... Ra6 {
also wins.}) 25. Bh3 Rab8 26. Qxe6+ Qxe6 27. Bxe6+ {Trying to save things in
the endgame thanks to many pawns for the rook, but White's problem is that
Black's rooks are too active and the d7 pawn isn't going anywhere thanks to
the bishop and rooks stopping it.} Kg7 28. Rc1 Kf6 29. Bg4 Bd8 30. Rc6+ Kg7 31.
Bh5 Rb2 32. Rc8 Rd2 33. Be8 Bb6 34. Rb8 Rf6 35. e3 g4 {And with that, Ding
wins the Moscow Grand Prix clear first. Congratulations to him!
Congratulations also to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov for a very strong clear 2nd
place with +2 and continuing his monstrous form and also now being in
excellent position to get one of the top 2 spots in the overall Grand Prix
standings.} 0-1
[Event "Tbilisi FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.09.03"]
[Round "1.14"]
[White "Sambuev, Bator"]
[Black "Wei, Yi"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E20"]
[WhiteElo "2529"]
[BlackElo "2748"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "47"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:40:51"]
[BlackClock "0:04:35"]
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. d4 Bb4 5. g3 O-O 6. Bg2 dxc4 7. O-O {This
position is usually reached via the Nimzo-Indian move order in the Romanishin
line: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.g3 (Nf3) d5.} Nc6 8. a3 Be7 ({Here is a
game by the Ukranian legend himself:} 8... Bxc3 9. bxc3 Na5 10. Rb1 b6 11. Ne5
Bb7 12. Bxb7 Nxb7 13. Nxc4 c5 14. Qd3 {with approximate equality, Romanishin,O
(2595)-Pachman,L (2485) Moscow 1977}) 9. e4 Na5 10. Be3 {For the sacrificed
pawn White has a strong center and the possibility to attack on the kingside.}
Rb8 {If you open your Megabase you will see that Black has scored a fantastic
75% from the four games played so far. However, Sambuev, who is a brave
attacker, did not fear the statistics but liked the position instead.} 11. Qe2
b5 12. Rad1 Bb7 $146 ({At the previous World Cup Karjakin won an important
game after} 12... a6 13. d5 Qe8 14. Rfe1 Nb3 15. Bf4 Rb7 16. h3 Nc5 {although
nothing was clear at this stage of the game Onischuk,A (2662)-Karjakin,S (2762)
Baku 2015}) (12... c6 {ws also tested. After} 13. Ne5 Bb7 14. f4 Qc7 15. g4 Nb3
16. g5 Nd7 17. Nxd7 Qxd7 18. f5 exf5 19. Rxf5 Rbd8 {Black held the fort and
went on to win in Santiago,Y (2335)-Mekhitarian,K (2487) Campinas 2011}) 13.
Ne5 {Getting ready.} ({The central break was still possible} 13. d5 $5 {
for example} exd5 14. e5 Ne8 15. e6 $5 fxe6 16. Bxa7 Ra8 17. Qxe6+ {with
initiative.}) 13... a6 14. g4 {This is how White attacks in these positions.
The important kingside defender is removed.} Ne8 {Inaccurate.} ({Wei could
(should) have traded an attacking piece instead with} 14... Nd7 $5 15. f4 Nxe5
16. dxe5 Qc8) 15. d5 exd5 16. Nxd5 Nd6 (16... Bd6 $5 17. f4 {is compensation
for White though playable.}) 17. g5 Bxd5 ({From a hindsight Black probably
feels bad for not giving the material back with} 17... Bxg5 $5 18. Bxg5 Qxg5
19. Nd7 Rbe8 $1 {with the point} 20. Nxc7 Bxe4) 18. Rxd5 c6 ({Here} 18... Bxg5
19. Bxg5 Qxg5 {is bad due to} 20. Nc6) 19. Rdd1 Qc7 20. Qh5 {Sambuev achieved
a lot in his kingside preparation and Wei has to be extremely careful.} g6 $2 {
That is not careful enough!} ({One interesting idea was to trade some stuff
with} 20... c3 21. bxc3 ({However} 21. Bf4 $1 {ruins Black's plans and gives
White strong and probably decisive attack after} cxb2 ({Or} 21... Ndc4 22. Rd7
$1) 22. Rd3) 21... Ndc4) (20... Rfd8 {wuld be answered in a similar way} 21.
Bf4 $1) ({The best defense is the computer move} 20... Rbd8 {when now} 21. Bf4
{is not as great due to} ({However} 21. Ng4 {keeps great attacking prospects
for White.}) 21... Ndb7 $5) 21. Qh6 $1 {The queen looks angry here.} Nxe4 {
Apparently, Wei was counting on this forcing continuation but it has a flaw.} (
21... c5 {would be met with} 22. Bf4) ({The kingside weaknesses are obvious in
the line} 21... Rfd8 22. Bf4 Bf8 23. Qh3 Bg7 24. Ng4) 22. Nd7 $1 (22. Bxe4 Qxe5
{would win for Black.}) 22... Nd6 ({After} 22... Rbd8 {White can win with
either} 23. Bd4 ({or the immediate} 23. Bb6) 23... f6 24. Bb6) 23. Bh3 $1 {
A great move! It is all about the attack. I suspect this is what Black missed.
The bishop takes under control the vital f5 square.} (23. Nf6+ $2 {would be
huge disappointment after} Bxf6 24. gxf6 Nf5 $1 {This is why the bishop came
to h3 in the game!}) ({Black would be also fine after} 23. Nxf8 $6 Bxf8) 23...
Rfd8 24. Rd4 $1 {There is no way out.} (24. Nf6+ {would have won material but
would not be as good after} Bxf6 25. gxf6 Ne8 26. Bf4) (24. Rd4 {A possible
finish would have been} Rxd7 25. Rh4 f5 26. Qxh7+ Kf8 27. Qxg6 Nf7 28. Rh7 {
and White mates soon.}) 1-0
[Event "Tbilisi GEO"]
[Site "Tbilisi GEO"]
[Date "2017.09.06"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Fedoseev, Vladimir3"]
[Black "Inarkiev, Ernesto"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B34"]
[WhiteElo "2731"]
[BlackElo "2702"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Be2 O-O 8.
Nb3 d6 9. g4 a6 {Fedoseev didn't like this move and thought he was better
after this.} (9... Be6 10. g5 Nd7 11. h4 Nb6 12. f4 Nc4 13. Bxc4 Bxc4 14. Qf3
Nb4 15. Rh2 Qc7 {Tomczak,J (2585)-Moranda,W (2588) Poland 2015}) 10. h4 $146 (
10. g5 Nd7 11. Qd2 b5 12. h4 Bb7 13. h5 Rc8 14. f4 Na5 15. hxg6 hxg6 {Wu,C
(2377)-Escalante Ramirez,B (2302) Khanty-Mansiysk 2016}) 10... b5 11. h5 b4 12.
Nd5 e6 (12... Nxe4 $6 13. hxg6 fxg6 14. Qd3) 13. Nb6 Rb8 14. Nxc8 Qxc8 (14...
Rxc8 $5 15. Bxa6 Rb8) 15. Qxd6 e5 16. O-O-O a5 17. hxg6 hxg6 18. g5 Rd8 19. Qc5
Nd7 20. Qd5 Nb6 21. Qb5 Nd5 22. Qa4 {An important queen maneuver according to
Fedoseev.} Nxe3 23. fxe3 Qc7 24. Bc4 Nd4 25. Nxa5 Ra8 26. exd4 Qxc4 27. Nxc4
Rxa4 28. dxe5 Re8 29. Kb1 Bxe5 30. Nb6 Ra7 31. Nd5 Kg7 32. Rh3 Ra4 33. Rdh1 Rd8
34. Rh7+ Kg8 35. Ne7+ Kf8 36. Nc6 Re8 37. Rh8+ 1-0
[Event "FIDE World Cup 2017"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "2017.09.06"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Grachev, Boris"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B29"]
[WhiteElo "2804"]
[BlackElo "2654"]
[Annotator "TA"]
[PlyCount "79"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 d5 4. e5 Nfd7 5. e6 (5. d4 e6 6. dxc5 Nc6 7. Bf4
Bxc5 8. Bd3 h6 9. Bg3 g5 10. h3 a6 11. Qd2 b5 12. a3 Bb7 13. O-O Qe7 14. Ne2
Rg8 15. c3 h5 16. Ned4 h4 17. Bh2 {1-0 (34) Mozharov,M (2555)-Najer,E (2646)
Moscow 2014}) 5... fxe6 6. Bb5 {[#] Black must now prevent Ng5. B29: Sicilian:
2 Nf3 Nf6 (Nimzowitsch Variation)} Nc6 (6... a6 $142 7. Bxd7+ Bxd7) 7. O-O g6
$146 ({Find the theoretical novelty and annotate with similar games:} 7... Qc7
8. Re1 Nd4 9. Nxd4 cxd4 10. Ne2 e5 11. c3 Qb6 12. Qb3 {1-0 (22) Peuraniemi,P
(2474)-Krasevec, A (2292) ICCF corr 2000}) 8. Qe2 {The position is equal.} Bg7
9. Qxe6 Nb6 (9... Nde5 $1 $11 {keeps the balance.} 10. Qxd5 Qxd5 11. Nxd5 Nxf3+
12. gxf3 Kf7) 10. Bxc6+ $16 bxc6 11. Qxc6+ Bd7 12. Qxc5 d4 13. Ne4 (13. Nxd4
Rc8 $17) 13... Rc8 14. Qa3 O-O 15. d3 ({Wrong is} 15. Qxa7 $2 Bc6 $19) 15... h6
16. Re1 Kh7 (16... Rf7 $16 17. Bd2 (17. Qxa7 Ra8 $11) 17... Rxc2) 17. c4 ({
And not} 17. Qxa7 Rxf3 18. Bxh6 (18. gxf3 Ra8 $11) 18... Kxh6 $11) 17... dxc3
18. Nxc3 Bc6 19. Qxe7 ({White should play} 19. Rxe7 $18 Rc7 20. Rxc7 Qxc7 21.
Ne4) 19... Bxf3 20. gxf3 Rc7 21. Qxd8 Rxd8 22. Bf4 Rf7 23. Be3 Bxc3 24. bxc3
Rxd3 25. Bd4 Nd5 26. Rad1 Rdxf3 27. c4 $36 {Black is under strong pressure.}
Nb4 28. Rd2 R3f4 $2 (28... Rc7 $16 {keeps fighting.} 29. Re3 Rxe3 30. Bxe3 Kg7)
29. Re8 $18 g5 $2 (29... Rf8 30. Rxf8 Rxf8) 30. Be5 {White is clearly winning.}
Rg4+ 31. Kf1 Nc6 32. Bb2 Rgf4 33. Rh8+ Kg6 34. Rd6+ Kf5 35. Rxc6 Kg4 {[#]} 36.
h3+ $1 Kxh3 37. Rhxh6+ Kg4 38. Rhf6 Rb7 39. Be5 Kf3 40. Bxf4 {Precision: White
= 68%, Black = 48%.} 1-0
[Event "FIDE World Cup 2017"]
[Site "Tbilisi GEO"]
[Date "2017.09.09"]
[Round "3.1"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Bu, Xiangzhi"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C55"]
[WhiteElo "2822"]
[BlackElo "2710"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "74"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 Nc6 4. Nf3 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. Bb3 {Prophylaxis
against 6...d5-d5.} ({In case of} 6. c3 d5 7. exd5 Nxd5 8. Re1 Bg4 {White can
hardly go for the e5 pawn as if} 9. h3 Bh5 10. g4 Bg6 11. Nxe5 Nxe5 12. Rxe5
Nb6 $1 {Puts a question on the bishop on c4 and the pawn on d3.}) (6. Re1 {
is the other prophylactical move.}) 6... d6 ({In comparison to the
above-mentioned line} 6... d5 {is less effective. White goes} 7. exd5 Nxd5 8.
Re1 (8. h3 {is a calmer way to play the position.}) 8... Bg4 9. h3 Bh5 10. g4
Bg6 11. Nxe5 Nxe5 12. Rxe5 {and his bishop and pawn on d3 are safe. True,
Kasparov tried this as Black against Kramnik in Novgorod 1995, but Carlsen and
Bu probably knew something more about the position.}) 7. c3 Be6 8. Re1 Qd7 9.
Nbd2 Rab8 $146 {A novelty and a somewhat mysterious move, which prepares...
d6-d5! The point is that after the trade on d5 Black often has problems with
his e5 pawn. Bu wants to meet the Bb3-a4 idea with timely b7-b5, thus breaking
the pin and safeguarding the pawn.} ({Previously only} 9... Rad8 {has been
tested with slow positional battle after} 10. Nf1 h6 11. h3 a6 12. Ng3 Rfe8 (
12... d5 $5) 13. a4 {Lorenzini,M (2482)-Vajda,L (2612) Istanbul 2012}) 10. Bc2
{A typical retreat to keep the tension.} d5 $5 {Here we go. Black sacrifices
his central pawn like in the Marshall line of the Ruy Lopez.} 11. h3 {And the
World Champion rejects the offer. With this move White covers the g4 spot and
threatens Nf3-g5.} ({Apparently Carlsen disliked the black pieces getting too
close to his king. After} 11. exd5 Bxd5 (11... Nxd5 {is also possible but a
far inferior version of the game continuation for Black after} 12. Nxe5 Nxe5
13. Rxe5 Bd6 14. Re1) (11... Qxd5 12. Nc4 Nd7 13. Bb3 {looks awkward for Black.
}) 12. Nxe5 (12. Nc4 $5) 12... Nxe5 13. Rxe5 Bd6 14. Re1 Ng4 {is probably the
move that annoyed Carlsen, although} (14... Rfe8 {should give Black
compensation for a pawn similar to the Marshall Gambit.}) 15. Nf1 {seems solid
enough for White. Black however has compensation for a pawn after} Rbe8) (11.
Ng5 Bg4 {gives nothing to White.}) 11... h6 (11... dxe4 {was also possible} 12.
dxe4 h6 13. Qe2 {where White is a little better.}) 12. exd5 {Nor Carlsen
snatches the pawn, but he misses an important detail.} Nxd5 13. Nxe5 Nxe5 14.
Rxe5 Bd6 15. Re1 {This is inaccurate.} ({Trickier was} 15. Re4 $5 {when} Bxh3 {
no longer works due to} ({Which means that Black has to search for
compensation with} 15... Nf6 $5) ({Or} 15... f5) 16. gxh3 Qxh3 17. Nf3 Rbe8 18.
Rh4 $1) 15... Bxh3 $1 {This detail! Black has either a guaranteed draw or a
strong attack!} 16. gxh3 Qxh3 17. Nf1 {Carlsen decides to play for a win!} ({
A draw would be forced after} 17. Qf3 Bh2+ {is perpetual at once after} 18. Kh1
Bg3+ 19. Kg1 Rbe8 $5 {A winning attempt.} (19... Bh2+ {is perpetual at once
after} 20. Kh1 Bg3+) 20. Re4 $1 ({Not} 20. Rxe8 $2 Rxe8 21. fxg3 Re3 {and
Black wins.}) 20... Bh2+ {and perpetual.} ({Black cannot play for a win} 20...
f5 $2 21. Qxg3)) 17... Rbe8 18. d4 {An inaccuracy according to Bu. The idea is
Bc2-e4-g2 to cover the king.} (18. Bb3 c6 19. d4 {might transpose into the
game.}) ({The Chinese grandmaster suggested instead} 18. Bd2 {This is also the
computer's suggestion which claims equality. A possible line runs:} g5 19. Rxe8
Rxe8 20. d4 c6 21. c4 Nf6 22. Be3 Ng4 23. Bf5 Bh2+ 24. Kh1 Bd6+ {with
perpetual. Of course, this is just a fragment of the possibilities for both
the sides, although it is clear that Black has all the fun.}) 18... f5 $1 {
This not only stops White's intentions but prepares a rook lift along the
sixth rank.} 19. Bb3 ({Another exciting computer line runs} 19. f4 Bxf4 20. Bb3
Bh2+ 21. Nxh2 Qg3+ 22. Kf1 Qh3+ 23. Kf2 (23. Kg1 Qg3+) 23... Qxh2+ 24. Kf1 Qh1+
{with perpetual.}) 19... c6 20. f4 ({It is too late for} 20. Bd2 {For example}
Kh7 21. Re2 Rf6 22. Ng3 Rg6 23. Qf1 Qh5 {and Black's attack seems crushing.})
20... Kh7 {Rf8-f6-g6 is in the air.} 21. Bxd5 $2 {Unsurprisingly, Carlsen got
low on time and had to make difficult decisions with less and less resources.}
(21. Re2 $1 {was best instead with the idea to get rid of the queens after}
Nxf4 22. Rh2) 21... cxd5 22. Re3 ({If} 22. Re5 {both} g5 ({And the simple}
22... Bxe5 23. dxe5 g5 24. Qxd5 gxf4 {provide Black huge attack for free.}))
22... Rxe3 23. Bxe3 g5 $1 {Very powerful play by Bu! Perhaps Carlsen
underestimated this move. Now besides the rook, the f-pawns enter the attack.
And a pawn may tip the attacking balance in Black's favor!} ({White would have
evacuated his king after} 23... Rf6 24. Kf2 Qh4+ 25. Ke2) 24. Kf2 ({Here is a
line where the f-pawn speaks for itself:} 24. fxg5 f4 25. Bf2 ({Or} 25. Qc2+
Rf5 26. Bxf4 (26. Bf2 f3 $1 27. Bh4 hxg5) 26... Bxf4) 25... f3) 24... gxf4 25.
Qf3 {The most resilient.} ({White is getting mated after} 25. Bd2 Qh4+ 26. Ke2
f3+ $1 {For example:} 27. Kxf3 Rg8 28. Qc2 Qg4+ 29. Kf2 Bg3+ 30. Nxg3 Qxg3+ 31.
Ke2 Qg2+ 32. Kd1 Qf3+ 33. Kc1 Rg1+) 25... fxe3+ 26. Nxe3 Qh2+ 27. Kf1 {Black
regained the pawn and is in fact up in material. He also kept a huge attack
and is obviously winning.} Rg8 ({Black avoids any complications possible after
} 27... Qxb2 28. Re1 Qxc3 29. Qxd5) ({Right after the game Bu thought that the
text move was a mistake and he suggested} 27... Bf4 {or}) (27... Rf6 {but ...
Rg8 is fine.}) 28. Qxf5+ Rg6 29. Ke1 {Missed by Bu.} (29. Re1 {would not help
neither after} Kg7 30. Qd7+ Kh8 31. Qd8+ Rg8 32. Qf6+ Rg7 33. a3 (33. Nxd5 Qg2#
) 33... Kg8 34. Ng4 Qh3+) 29... h5 {Bu slips a step away from the win. With 20
minutes on the clock against seconds for his opponent the Chinese GM loses his
calm.} (29... Kg7 $1 {would had won. The position is very complicated and
there are plenty of checks but Black can escape those-} 30. Qd7+ Kh8 31. Qd8+
Kh7 32. Qd7+ Rg7 33. Qf5+ Kh8 34. Rc1 (34. Rd1 Rg1+ 35. Nf1 Bg3+ 36. Qf2 Qxf2#)
(34. Qc8+ Rg8 35. Qf5 Rg1+ 36. Nf1 Qxb2) 34... Rg1+ 35. Nf1 Qxb2 {and Black
wins.}) 30. Kd1 {Played with five seconds on the clock!} ({Carlsen missed a
chance to complicate matters with} 30. Rd1 $1 {Bringing the rook into the game.
} Kh6 31. Rd2 Rg1+ 32. Nf1 Qf4 33. Qe6+ Rg6 34. Qe8 {Black is still much
better, but not certainly winning.}) 30... Kh6 {Now it is practically over.
Black combines the advance of the h-passer with the attack against the enemy
king to wrap the game up.} 31. Nc2 h4 32. Ne1 h3 ({Still avoiding the small
fish} 32... Qxb2) 33. Nf3 Qg2 34. Ne1 Qg4+ 35. Qxg4 Rxg4 36. Nf3 Rg1+ $1 {
A neat finish of a brilliant game!} 37. Nxg1 h2 0-1
[Event "Tbilisi GEO"]
[Site "Tbilisi GEO"]
[Date "2017.09.12"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C43"]
[WhiteElo "2728"]
[BlackElo "2772"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. Bd3 d5 5. Nxe5 Nd7 6. Nxd7 Bxd7 7. O-O Bd6 8.
Qh5 ({This looks similar to the more often played} 8. c4 c6 9. cxd5 cxd5 10.
Qh5 {e.g.} O-O 11. Qxd5 Bc6 12. Qh5 g6 13. Qh3 Bb4 14. Be3 Re8 15. Bxe4 Rxe4 {
½-½ Huebner,R (2599)-Jussupow,A (2636) Altenkirchen GER 1999}) (8. Nc3 {
is also more popular than the text move.}) 8... Qf6 {A move that has been
played by Kramnik, so Ivanchuk must have seen it before. Nonetheless he spent
38 minutes here on the clock.} (8... Nf6) 9. Be3 $5 {Only played once before.}
(9. Qxd5 Bc6 10. Qc4 O-O-O 11. Be3 Rhe8 {and White's kingside looks vulnerable.
}) ({Normal is} 9. Nc3 Qxd4 10. Be3 Qe5 11. Qxe5+ Bxe5 12. Nxd5 Nf6 13. Bf4
Bxf4 14. Rfe1+ Kf8 {as in Lu,S (2619)-Wang,Y (2718) China 2016}) 9... O-O-O
$146 {After 34 minutes. Now we're on unique territory.} (9... Bf5 10. f3 g6 11.
Qh6 Bf8 12. Qf4 Bd6 13. Qh6 Bf8 14. Qf4 {½-½ Iordachescu,V (2564)-Landa,K
(2570) Reggio Emilia 2006}) 10. Nc3 ({Here engines don't see a big problem with
} 10. Qxd5) 10... Nxc3 11. bxc3 Qe6 12. Rfe1 f6 13. Bd2 Qg8 14. Rab1 Kb8 15. h3
b6 16. Ba6 g5 17. Qf3 $2 {An unfortunate square. Maybe Ivanchuk made the
typical mistake of playing the second move in a line he had planned?} ({
Better was} 17. c4 dxc4 {and only then} 18. Qf3 Bc8 19. Bxc8 Rxc8 20. a4 {
when it's unclear.}) 17... g4 {Of course. Black opens lines towards the enemy
king.} 18. hxg4 Bxg4 19. Qxf6 Rf8 20. Qh4 h5 $6 (20... Rf5 $1 {threatening 21.
Rh5 was powerful. It's not easy to defend this for White, e.g.} 21. Be2 Bxe2
22. Rxe2 Qg6 {with a strong attack.}) 21. Bg5 Rh7 (21... Qg6 22. Bd3 Bf5 23.
Bxf5 Qxf5 24. Re2 Kb7 {was still good for Black.}) 22. Re3 Bc8 23. Bxc8 Kxc8
24. Rbe1 Qg6 25. Be7 $1 Bxe7 26. Rxe7 Qxc2 27. Qg3 Rxe7 28. Rxe7 Qc1+ 29. Kh2
Qf4 30. f3 a5 31. Re5 Qf7 $6 (31... Qd2 32. Qg7 Rd8 33. Re7 Qxc3 34. f4 Rd6 {
was equal.}) 32. Qh3+ Kb7 33. Rxh5 $6 (33. Qe6) 33... a4 $6 (33... Qf4+ 34. Qg3
Qd2 {And Black has the advantage again!}) 34. Rh7 Qf4+ $2 {But now it's not
good.} (34... Qe8 {is fine.}) 35. Qg3 {The rook ending just wins for White.} a3
36. Qxf4 Rxf4 37. Re7 Rf6 38. Re3 Rh6+ 39. Kg1 Ka6 40. f4 c5 41. f5 1-0
[Event "Tbilisi GEO"]
[Site "Tbilisi GEO"]
[Date "2017.09.12"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C50"]
[WhiteElo "2789"]
[BlackElo "2783"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "112"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. c3 a6 7. a4 h6 8. Re1 O-O
9. h3 a5 {"I got surprised by Sasha's idea. It seems as Black is losing time,
but it is important to stop the b2-b4 advance before going for Bc8-e6."
(Vachier-Lagrave)} (9... Re8 10. Nbd2 Be6 11. Bxe6 Rxe6 12. b4 Ba7 13. Qc2 {
Anand,V (2786)-So,W (2812) Leuven 2017}) ({Vachier-Lagrave already played in
Tbilisi against the other possibility:} 9... Ba7 10. Nbd2 Ne7 ({Instead} 10...
Be6 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12. b4 Qe8 13. Nf1 Nh5 14. Be3 {is what the big guys are
discussing these days, Karjakin,S (2773) -So,W (2810) Saint Louis 2017}) 11.
Bb3 Ng6 12. d4 Re8 13. a5 c6 $146 14. Bc2 Be6 15. Nf1 Qc7 16. Ng3 Rad8 17. Be3
Qb8 18. Qc1 Qc8 {which was already featured in our "Blunder of the Day." This
move allows a very typical (for this line) sacrifice.} 19. Bxh6 $1 {and White
soon won in Vachier-Lagrave,M (2804)-Khusenkhojaev,M (2455) Tbilisi FIDE World
Cup 2017}) 10. Nbd2 Be6 11. Bb5 $146 {"I decided to try my luck in this
opposite-colored bishop position." (Vachier-Lagrave)} ({Black is fine after}
11. Bxe6 fxe6 {followed by Qd8-e8-g6 and Nf6-h5-f4.}) 11... Na7 12. d4 Nxb5 {
A must.} ({After} 12... exd4 13. cxd4 Bb4 {White will save the bishop with} 14.
Bd3) 13. dxc5 Na7 14. b3 Re8 {Grischuk can be happy with the opening outcome.
The position is approximately equal. Vachier-Lagrave now starts to squeeze
something out of it.} 15. cxd6 Qxd6 16. Ba3 Qa6 {The queen is somewhat
misplaced here but this is only temporary.} ({I really doubt that Black
considered the computer's best choice} 16... c5) (16... Qd8 $6 {would allow}
17. Nxe5 Bxb3 ({Or} 17... Bxh3 18. Nxf7 $1 {with a tempo.}) 18. Qxb3 Rxe5 19.
Rad1 {and White is clearly better.}) 17. b4 ({Here} 17. Nxe5 {is no longer
good as after} Bxh3 18. Nxf7 Bg4 {as the knight is trapped.}) 17... axb4 18.
cxb4 b5 19. Bb2 Nc6 {Brings the knight back into the battlefield.} ({Worse was
} 19... Nd7 20. Nxe5 Nxe5 21. Bxe5 Nc6 22. axb5 Qxb5 23. Bxc7 {when White wins
a pawn.}) 20. Nxe5 Nxb4 21. Re3 $5 {Playing for a win (or with fire). The rook
is transferred for a kingside attack.} ({Objectively correct was} 21. axb5 Qxb5
22. Rxa8 Rxa8 {when everything disappears and the game should peter out in a
draw.}) 21... bxa4 22. Rg3 Red8 $1 {Active prophylaxis against White's
attacking intentions. Grischuk plays for a win despite the time deficit on his
clock.} ({The passive prophylaxis} 22... Kh8 {would have allowed the queen
shift} 23. Qf3 {and although the computer claims that Black's chances are
somewhat higher after} Qd6 24. Ndc4 Qe7 {this is not a position which the
human being wants to play. With the black pieces I mean.}) ({In case of the
immediate} 22... Kh7 {White can change his mind and regain the pawn with} 23.
Rga3) 23. Qf3 $1 {Nevertheless!} Kh7 (23... Rxd2 {is of course a blunder due to
} 24. Qxf6) 24. Ndc4 {Going all in.} Nc2 {"I felt I should be lost here,
although I could not see a clear win for him." (Vachier-Lagrave)} 25. Rxg7+ $1
{The long diagonal is cleared and the question is: can White break through?} ({
The moves cannot be transposed. If} 25. Nc6 {Grischuk may just defend with} Rg8
{leaving the majority of the white pieces hanging.}) 25... Kxg7 26. Nc6 $1 {
Clears the long diagonal and keeps the black queen away.} Nd4 $1 {Grischuk
blitzed this!} (26... Qxc6 $2 {would be a blunder. After the forcing} 27. Qxf6+
Kf8 28. Qh8+ Ke7 29. Bf6+ Kd7 {White has a choice of wins. The trivial one is}
30. Rd1+ ({But there is also the brilliant} 30. Ne5+ Kd6 31. Be7+ $1 Kxe7 32.
Nxc6+ Kd7 33. Nxd8 Nxa1 34. Qd4+ $1 Kc8 35. Nxe6)) ({Another defensive idea was
} 26... Rg8 {but after} 27. Qxf6+ Kh7 28. N4e5 {White has plenty of
compensation for the exchange.}) 27. Nxd4 {The bishop should stay on the board.
} (27. Bxd4 $2 {loses after} Rxd4 $1 28. Nxd4 Qxc4) 27... Bxc4 ({It is
understandable that with less than two minutes on the clock Grischuk does not
want to enter a line like this:} 27... Qxc4 28. Nc6 $1 Rg8 ({Suprisingly, the
position is approximately balanced even after} 28... Qxc6 29. Qxf6+ Kf8 30.
Qh8+ Ke7 31. Bf6+ Kd7 32. Rd1+ Kc8 33. Qxd8+ Kb7 34. Qd4 Bb3) 29. Ne7 Kh7 30.
Nxg8 Nxg8 31. Qg3 {Here best is} Nf6 ({Instead} 31... f6 {allows} 32. Rc1 Qa2
33. Rxc7+ Bf7 34. e5 {with attack, which actually might also end in a draw
after say} Re8 35. exf6 Qb1+ 36. Kh2 Qg6 37. Qf3) 32. Bxf6 Rg8 33. Qf3 Qb3 {
and Black is a little better.}) ({In case of} 27... Rxd4 28. Bxd4 Bxc4 {
White has a cute way to force a draw with} 29. Rxa4 $1 Qxa4 30. Qxf6+ Kf8 31.
Bc5+ Kg8 32. Bd4 {and despite the extra rook Black cannot avoid the repetition.
}) 28. e5 {Also played instantly. The computer does not approve it though.} ({
Instead it seems the fantastic resource:} 28. Nf5+ Kh7 29. Nxh6 $3 {With the
key idea} Kxh6 $2 ({However Black does not have to accept the "gift" and can
instead defend the knight with} 29... Rd6 $1 {Then after a possible} 30. e5 Qb5
31. exd6 Qxb2 32. Re1 Qd2 ({Or} 32... Kxh6 33. Qxa8 cxd6 34. Qxa4 {which is
similar.}) 33. Rd1 Qxh6 34. Qxa8 cxd6 35. Qxa4 {the game should end in a draw.}
) 30. Bxf6 {and Black is helpless despite the free rook! For instance a move
like} Qe6 {reveals the mating pattern that White can use:} ({Relatively best is
} 30... Qd6 31. Qe3+ Kh7 32. Qg5 Qxf6 33. Qxf6 {although White should of
course win here.}) 31. Qf4+ Kh7 32. Qh4+ Kg6 33. Qg5+ Kh7 34. Qg7#) 28... Rg8 {
Bringing the rook into the defense and ambushing the white king.} ({However,
this is not good enough for a win. The best move was:} 28... Nh7 29. e6 {Then}
f6 $1 {with good winning chances. For example:} ({But not} 29... Bxe6 $2 30.
Nxe6+ Kg8 31. Qg3+ Ng5 32. Nxd8 Rxd8 33. h4 {when White wins.}) 30. e7 ({Or}
30. Nf5+ Kh8 31. e7 Re8 {which might give White some practical chances.}) 30...
Rg8 (30... Re8 31. Re1) 31. Re1 Qa5 32. Bc3 Qd5 {and Black was able to
consolidate and should win the game.}) 29. Nf5+ ({Black's idea is revealed in
the line} 29. exf6+ Kh7 30. Qe4+ Rg6 {and Black is better.}) 29... Kh7 (29...
Kf8 $4 {would end the game abruptly after the "long" move} 30. Qa3+) ({There
is another forcing and beautiful draw after} 29... Kh8 30. e6 $1 Qxe6 31. Nxh6
Bd5 (31... Rg6 32. Qxa8+) 32. Qxf6+ Qxf6 33. Bxf6+ Kh7 34. Nxg8 Rxg8 35. Rxa4
Rxg2+) 30. Ne7 Rab8 {Now it all ends peacefully!} ({The last winning attempt
was} 30... Ne8 31. Nxg8 Kxg8 {True, in this case Black should be ready to
place his king in font of a discovered check after} 32. Qg4+ Kh7 33. Qe4+ Kh8
34. e6+ f6 {Nothing is clear in this position yet, and still the impression is
that White should have enough resources to keep the balance. Some lines:} 35.
Bc3 $5 {With the idea} (35. e7 $5) ({Black defends after} 35. Qg6 Qxe6 36.
Qxh6+ Kg8 37. Qg6+ Ng7) (35. Rc1 a3 36. Ba1 Bd3 37. Qf3 Kg8 38. Bxf6 Nxf6 39.
Qxf6 Rf8 40. Qxh6 Qa5 41. Ra1 a2 42. e7 Re8 43. Qe6+ Kg7 44. Rxa2 {Just a
fraction of all the possibilities for both the sides.}) 35... Rb8 36. Qg6 Qxe6
({Or perpetual after} 36... Bxe6 37. Rxa4 Qxa4 38. Bxf6+ Nxf6 39. Qxf6+ Kh7 40.
Qe7+ Kg6 41. Qxe6+ Kh7 ({Since} 41... Kh5 $4 42. Qf5+ Kh4 43. g3#) 42. Qe7+)
37. Re1 Be2 38. Qxh6+ Kg8 39. Qd2 {with probable draw.}) 31. exf6 Qb7 ({
The obvious capture} 31... Rxb2 $2 {loses after} 32. Qe4+ Kh8 (32... Rg6 33.
Nxg6 Qxf6 (33... fxg6 34. Qe7+ {is mate.}) 34. Nf4+ Kh8 35. Qxc4) 33. Qh4 $3
Kh7 34. Nxg8 Kxg8 35. Qxh6) 32. Qxb7 Rxb7 33. Nxg8 (33. Rxa4 $6 Rd8) 33... Rxb2
34. Rxa4 Kxg8 35. Rxc4 Rb6 36. Rxc7 Rxf6 {The smoke has cleared. White emerged
up a pawn from the mess, but it is insufficient for a win as all the pawns are
on the same flank.} 37. Rc5 Kg7 38. g4 Rf3 39. Kg2 Ra3 40. f3 Ra2+ 41. Kg3 Ra3
42. h4 Rb3 43. h5 Ra3 44. Kf4 Ra4+ 45. Kf5 Ra3 46. f4 Rf3 47. Rc6 Rf1 48. g5
hxg5 49. h6+ Kh7 50. Kxg5 Rg1+ 51. Kf5 Rh1 52. Ke5 Rxh6 53. Rxh6+ Kxh6 54. Kf6
Kh5 55. Kxf7 Kg4 56. Ke6 Kxf4 1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.09.16"]
[Round "33.3"]
[White "Ding, Liren"]
[Black "Rapport, Richard"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E18"]
[WhiteElo "2771"]
[BlackElo "2675"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:49:26"]
[BlackClock "0:30:32"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 {The Queen's Indian was to be expected in this
game.} 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Ne4 8. Bd2 Bf6 9. Re1 {"I
prepared very well for this game. Up to here was preparation." (Ding)} ({
White can also save the bishop} 9. Be1 d5 10. Qc2 Nxc3 11. Bxc3 Nd7 12. cxd5
exd5 13. b4 c5 14. dxc5 bxc5 15. Bxf6 Qxf6 16. Bh3 {as in Vitiugov,N (2724)
-Inarkiev,E (2723) Moscow 2017}) 9... a6 $146 {"Very strange move" (Ding)} ({
The only predecessor saw:} 9... d5 10. cxd5 exd5 11. Rc1 Nd7 12. Qc2 Re8 13.
Bf4 Nxc3 14. bxc3 c5 15. dxc5 Nxc5 {Black could hardly complain here, but we
do not know what did Ding prepare in this line Adamski,J (2415)-Kruszynski,W
(2285) Polanica Zdroj 1979}) (9... Nxd2 {was the alternative} 10. Qxd2 d6) 10.
Ne5 ({"I realized he wants something like"} 10. Qc2 Nxd2 11. Qxd2 d6 {"and
decided not to play that slow" (Ding)}) 10... Nxc3 (10... Nd6 {looks too
passive after} 11. Bxb7 Nxb7 12. Bf4) 11. Bxc3 Bxg2 12. Kxg2 d6 {"After this
move, his position is very passive." (Ding)} ({"Black should have played"}
12... c5 {(Ding)}) 13. Ng4 Be7 (13... Nd7 14. e4 {is better for White.}) 14. e4
b5 $1 {Rapport is trying to put up a good fight on the light squares. This is
the only way to challenge White's center.} (14... d5 {is just bad due to} 15.
exd5 exd5 16. Qf3 c6 17. cxd5 cxd5 18. Ne3) 15. Qe2 bxc4 16. d5 {Making sure
that Black will have problems with the c7 pawn.} (16. Qxc4 Nd7 {is also good
for White, but not as good as in the game.}) 16... Qc8 {This allows the next
powerful move.} (16... e5 {is horrible from a positional point of view} 17.
Qxc4) 17. e5 $1 {Not the first time the Chinese GM carries out a central break}
exd5 (17... dxe5 {simply loses to} 18. Qxe5 f6 19. Qxe6+) ({Perhaps} 17... Qb7
18. Rad1 Nd7 {was the most tenacious. Although White has} 19. Kg1 $1 {and if}
Nc5 20. Nf6+ $1 {with a strong attack.}) 18. exd6 cxd6 {The only move.} ({
Both players probably saw the amazing line:} 18... Bxd6 19. Qf3 c6 20. Nh6+ $1
Kh8 (20... gxh6 21. Qf6 {is inevitable mate.}) 21. Qf6 $3 gxf6 22. Bxf6#) 19.
Qxe7 {Once again White threatens Ng4-h6+!} d4 ({If} 19... Qxg4 {then White
will first kick away the black queen and only then trap the rook.} 20. f3 (20.
Qb7 {is not the way to do it after} Nd7 21. f3 Qf5 22. g4 Qc2+ {Black is fine.}
) 20... Qf5 (20... Qc8 21. Qg5 f6 22. Qxd5+ {picks up the a8 rook.}) 21. g4 $1
Qc2+ 22. Re2 Qg6 23. Qb7) 20. Qe4 (20. Bxd4 {was more accurate with a large
advantage for White after} Qxg4 21. Qxd6 Nc6 22. Bc3 $1 {White has the better
minor piece and less pawn islands.}) 20... Qc6 $1 {A nice tactical resource
from Rapport. "I missed this move. I thought I am winning instantly.
Fortunately, it was still much better for me." (Ding)} (20... Nc6 21. Bxd4 {
is simply an extra piece for White.}) 21. Bxd4 ({White's problem is that after
} 21. Qxc6 Nxc6 22. Bd2 f5 {his knight would be trapped.}) 21... f5 22. Qxc6
Nxc6 23. Ne3 (23. Rac1 $5 fxg4 24. Rxc4 {is also a big advantage for White.})
23... Nxd4 24. Rad1 {At the end of the day, Rapport regained the piece, but
his pawn army makes an ugly impression.} f4 {Best again.} ({Passive defense
cannot save Black.} 24... Nb5 25. Nxc4 Rad8 26. a4) (24... Nc6 25. Nxc4 d5 26.
Rxd5 Nb4 27. Rd7 $1 {should be winning as well for the first player.}) 25. Rxd4
fxe3 26. Rxe3 Rab8 27. Re2 c3 ({Or} 27... d5 28. Rxd5) 28. bxc3 Rb6 29. Rb4 $1
{White is not only a pawn ahead, but he also has more active rooks and after
this move-better pawns. The outcome of game is more or less determined.} Rxb4 (
{Forced as} 29... Rc6 30. Re7 Rf7 31. Rb8+ Rf8 32. Rbb7 {lets the fat piggies
in the garden.}) 30. cxb4 Rb8 31. Rb2 {The rest is easy. Ding activates
everything that he has and starts pushing his outside passer.} Kf7 32. Kf3 Ke6
33. Ke4 d5+ 34. Kd3 Kd6 35. a4 Rb7 36. f4 h5 37. b5 axb5 38. axb5 Kc5 39. Rc2+
$1 {A nice final touch.} Kxb5 (39... Kb6 {does not help neither} 40. Kd4 Rd7
41. Rc5) 40. Kd4 ({The pawn endgame was also won by force.} 40. Rb2+ Kc6 41.
Rxb7 Kxb7 42. Kd4 Kc6 43. f5 Kd6 44. h3 Kc6 45. g4 hxg4 46. hxg4 Kd6 47. g5 Kc6
48. f6 gxf6 49. g6) 40... Rf7 41. Kxd5 {Rapport resigned as his king is too
far away to help the pawns.} 1-0
[Event "Tbilisi GEO"]
[Site "Tbilisi GEO"]
[Date "2017.09.19"]
[Round "6.1"]
[White "So, Wesley"]
[Black "Ding, Liren"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C50"]
[WhiteElo "2810"]
[BlackElo "2777"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "94"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 {The Italian game is extremely popular in Tbilisi.}
({The last time these players met it was the Spanish game:} 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4
Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. Nbd2 Nc5 10. c3 Be7 11. Bc2
d4 12. Nxd4 Nxd4 13. cxd4 Qxd4 14. Nf3 Qxd1 15. Rxd1 O-O 16. Be3 {and a draw
many moves later, So,W (2775)-Ding,L (2778) Shanghai 2016}) 3... Nf6 4. d3 Bc5
5. c3 d6 6. O-O O-O 7. Re1 a5 ({So has some negative experience after} 7... a6
8. Bb3 Re8 9. h3 h6 10. Nbd2 Be6 11. Nf1 Bxb3 12. Qxb3 d5 {So,W (2812)-Carlsen,
M (2832) Paris 2017. But who does not against this opponent?} 13. Be3 Bf8 14.
Rad1 Na5 15. Qc2 c5 {So,W (2812)-Carlsen,M (2832) Paris 2017}) 8. Nbd2 Be6 9.
Bb5 Qb8 $146 {A nice novelty. The queen comes out "a la Rubinstein."} ({
Previously} 9... Na7 {was tried} 10. Ba4 b5 11. d4 Bb6 12. Bc2 c6 13. a4 {
Mayer,J (2057) -Pripoae,N (2343) corr. 2003}) 10. Nf1 Qa7 {The point behind
Ding's play. The queen is active on the a7-g1 diagonal.} 11. Be3 Bxe3 12. Nxe3
Ne7 {Ding can be happy with his opening novelty. He managed to equalize.} 13.
a4 ({Or} 13. Ba4 Ng6) 13... Ng6 14. Bc4 Bxc4 {"Ding offered a draw here. But I
wanted to play a few more moves." (So)} 15. Nxc4 Qa6 16. g3 {To restrict the
black knights.} Rfe8 17. Qb3 $1 {So is famous for squeezing chances literally
from every single position. The queen trade is the best way to get something
out of the position.} Nf8 18. Qb5 Qxb5 $6 {An inaccuracy.} ({Ding would have
avoided many unpleasant moments if he had not traded the queens himself.} 18...
Ne6 {For example} 19. Qxa6 Rxa6 20. b4 b6 21. bxa5 bxa5 22. Reb1 Nd7 {with
equality.}) 19. axb5 b6 20. Ra3 {Now it is better for White. He has extra
space and can mount pressure along the half-open file.} Ne6 21. Ne3 ({In case
of the immediate} 21. Rea1 {Black can defend with} Nc5 {For example} (21...
Rad8 $5) 22. b4 Nxd3 23. Nfd2 (23. bxa5 bxa5 24. Nfd2 Nc5) 23... Rab8 24. bxa5
bxa5 25. Rxa5 d5) 21... Nc5 22. c4 a4 23. Rea1 {I believe So should have tried
to keep both knights alive.} ({In the line} 23. Nd2 g6 ({The queenside knight
cannot leave his stand} 23... Ne6 24. Rea1 $1) ({Neither can the kingside one
leave:} 23... Nfd7 24. Nd5 $1) ({If} 23... Kf8 $5 24. Rea1 Ra5 25. Nc2 (25. Kf1
$5) 25... Ng8 26. f3 {the play will be similar.}) 24. Rea1 Rac8 {White has a
clear plan of taking the a-pawn. First he bring the king closer to defend his
d3 one.} 25. Kf1 Kg7 26. Ke2 Ng8 {Next he sends the e3-knight to attack the a3
pawn.} 27. Nd5 f5 28. Nc3 {The knight on d2 would be the watchdog in these
lines, not letting the black one jump on b3. Black's task would have been
extremely difficult.}) 23... Nb3 $1 ({If} 23... Ra5 {the above-mentioned plan
will work after} 24. Nd2 Kf8 25. Kf1 $5 Ke7 26. Ke2 Kd7 27. b4 axb3 28. Rxa5
bxa5 29. Rxa5 b2 30. Ra3 {and the b2 pawn is doomed.}) 24. Rd1 Rec8 25. Nd2
Nxd2 26. Rxd2 {It is still very unpleasant for Black, but not as much as with
all the knights on the board.} Nd7 27. Rd1 Nc5 28. Nd5 Kf8 29. f4 {The
wonderful knight on d5 supports the kingside expansion too.} ({Please note
that in case of} 29. Rda1 Ra5 $1 {is mandatory} ({As} 29... Nb3 $2 {allows the
cute trick} 30. Nxc7 $1)) 29... Ra5 ({Once again, the trick can be seen after}
29... f6 30. Rda1 Nb3 31. Nxc7 $1) 30. Nb4 Raa8 ({Here} 30... f6 {was possible,
for example} 31. Nc6 Raa8 32. Kf2 Ke8 33. Ke3 Kd7) 31. Kf2 Ke8 32. Ke3 f6 33.
f5 Kd7 $1 {"Very wise decision to keep his queenside pawns defended." (So) We
have already seen what might happen on the c7 square if Black is not careful.}
34. g4 Rh8 35. h4 h6 $1 {Ding needs an open file on his own.} 36. Nd5 {Since
both players are short of time, So does not hurry to force things yet.} ({
Indeed} 36. Rg1 Kc8 37. g5 hxg5 38. hxg5 Rh3+ 39. Kd2 Kb7 {yields White
nothing.}) 36... Ra5 ({Black always has to watch out for the b-pawn advance.}
36... Kc8 37. b4 $1 Nb3 38. Nc3) 37. Rg1 Kc8 38. g5 {Now he decided to force
it. More practical would have been to wait for two more moves and only then to
decide when to open up.} (38. Ne7+ Kb7 39. Ng6 Re8 40. g5 h5 $1 {would have
sealed the kingside (and the draw).}) 38... hxg5 39. hxg5 Rh3+ 40. Kd2 Nb3+ 41.
Kc3 {So, So did take the practical decision not to pull the you-know-who by
the tail and to get the half point.} ({So believed no. He saw the following
lines:} 41. Rxb3 axb3 42. gxf6 gxf6 43. Rg7 {"Unfortunately Black has
counter-attack here"} ({"If I play a passive move like"} 43. Kc3 Rh7 44. Nxf6
Rf7 45. Nd5 {"I would win also the b3 pawn, but it will be a draw as the
b-pawns are doubled". (So)}) 43... Rh2+ 44. Kc3 Ra2 45. Rxc7+ Kb8 ({However,
So's intuition did not fail him. After the correct} 45... Kd8 $1 46. Rc6 Raxb2
({But not with the other rook, as White will get an additional chance to
sacrifice his knight for the b2-pawn. For example} 46... Rhxb2 47. Rxd6+ Ke8
48. Re6+ Kf7 49. Rxf6+ Kg7 50. Rg6+ Kf7 51. Rxb6 Rb1 52. Rb7+ Kf8 53. Rb8+ Kg7
54. b6 b2 55. Kb3 Rc1 56. Nc3 b1=Q+ 57. Nxb1 Rxb1+ 58. Kxa2 {and White wins.})
47. Rxd6+ Ke8 $1 {Yes, at this direction, away from the white king!} 48. Re6+
Kf7 49. Rxf6+ Kg7 {The game should end in a draw. Here is a sample line:} 50.
Rxb6 Rb1 51. Kb4 b2 52. Rg6+ Kf7 53. Rf6+ Kg7 54. Rg6+ {Black cannot deviate
from it:} Kh8 $4 ({Or} 54... Kf8 55. Rf6+ Ke8 56. Re6+ Kd7 57. Re7+ Kd8 58. Rg7
Rc1 59. Rg8+ Kd7 60. Rg7+ Ke8 61. Nc7+ Kd8 62. Ne6+ {with another perpetual
check.}) 55. Nf6) 46. Rc6 Raxb2 47. Rxb6+ Kc8 {"which should be enough for a
draw." (So) Actually, in this final position White has a fantastic win:} 48.
Rxd6 Rb1 ({Or} 48... Rhc2+ 49. Kb4 Rb1 50. Kc5 $3 b2 51. Kb6 $1 {and White
mates.}) 49. Kb4 $3 {Once again this move.} b2 50. Nb6+ Kc7 51. Rd7+ Kxb6 ({Or
} 51... Kb8 52. Kc5 Ra1 53. Kc6 {and Black is getting checkmated again.}) 52.
c5# $1) 41... Nd4 42. gxf6 Rh2 43. Nxb6+ (43. fxg7 $4 {would allow a
study-like mate} Rc2+ 44. Kb4 c5+ 45. bxc6 Nxc6#) 43... cxb6 44. fxg7 Rc2+ 45.
Kb4 Rxb2+ 46. Kc3 Rc2+ 47. Kb4 Rb2+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "Tbilisi GEO"]
[Site "Tbilisi GEO"]
[Date "2017.09.20"]
[Round "6.2"]
[White "Ding, Liren"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2810"]
[BlackElo "2777"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "116"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
[WhiteClock "0:21:30"]
[BlackClock "0:25:28"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Be7 5. Nf3 {After the difficult defense
yesterday Ding wants to play for a win without much risk. The Catalan is the
perfect weapon for his intentions.} O-O 6. b3 {A rare move.} b6 ({Granda
Zuniga solved the opening problems differently:} 6... dxc4 7. bxc4 c5 8. O-O
cxd4 9. Nxd4 Nfd7 10. Bb2 a6 11. Nc3 Qc7 12. Rc1 Nc5 13. e3 Nc6 14. Qe2 Bd7 15.
Ne4 Na4 16. Ba1 e5 17. Nb5 axb5 18. cxb5 {1/2-1/2 (18) Iturrizaga Bonelli,E
(2614)-Granda Zuniga,J (2639) Pamplona 2010}) 7. O-O Bb7 8. Nc3 Nbd7 9. Bb2 c5
10. Ne1 $1 $146 {A fighting novelty. The Catalan is known for the long
diagonal, so why not use it?} ({Compare this to} 10. cxd5 Nxd5 11. Nxd5 Bxd5
12. dxc5 Nxc5 13. Rc1 Bf6 14. Bxf6 Qxf6 15. Qd4 Qe7 16. Qe3 Qb7 17. Rfd1 Rac8
18. Ne1 {1/2-1/2 (18) Hernandez Guerrero,G (2506)-Gonzalez Zamora,J (2502)
Mexico City 2016}) 10... cxd4 {So, on his turn, uses the moment when the white
knight is gone.} 11. Qxd4 Bc5 {Tempting, but it does not equalize.} ({The
computer suggests} 11... Nc5 {instead, although the position arising after} 12.
cxd5 exd5 13. Rd1 {is not everyone's cup of tea. The isolani might become a
weakness in the long run and the white knight from e1 can be transferred to f4
to prove that.}) 12. Qf4 Bb4 {In order to ease the pressure against the d5
spot.} 13. Nd3 Bxc3 14. Bxc3 Qc8 {This was So's idea. The exchanges on the
long diagonal are inevitable but Ding finds a way to keep the pressure.} 15.
Rfc1 $1 dxc4 16. Bxf6 Nxf6 17. Rxc4 Qb8 18. Qxb8 Rfxb8 19. Ne5 Bxg2 20. Kxg2
Ne8 21. Nc6 {"I got the dream Catalan position" said the Chinese GM. Indeed,
the knight on c6 is a monster (first proven by Botvinnik) and thanks to it
White has good control of both the open files.} Rb7 22. Rd1 Kf8 23. e4 {
The pieces look awesome, so it is time to improve the pawns.} (23. b4 $5) 23...
Nf6 24. f4 b5 $1 {So opens some air for his rooks.} 25. Rcd4 g6 26. Ne5 ({
The trades will relieve Black's position:} 26. Rd8+ Rxd8 27. Rxd8+ Kg7) (26.
Kf3 $5 {with the idea to advance the g-pawn deserved attention though.}) 26...
h6 $6 {Any pawn push is a potential weakness.} (26... Rc7 {was simpler and
better instead.}) ({Or even} 26... Rc8 {although this seems less precise after}
27. Rd8+ Rxd8 28. Rxd8+ Kg7 29. Kf3 {with a somewhat better position for White.
}) 27. Rc1 Ke8 28. Kf3 Nd7 29. Nd3 $1 {The knight is stepping on the black
rooks' toes, so White keeps it.} a5 30. Rc6 {Both players were running low on
time and White decided not to force matters.} (30. f5 $5 {to create a second
weakness deserved attention, to which Black would have probably defended with}
exf5 31. exf5 Ra6) 30... Ke7 31. a3 ({Once again} 31. f5 $1 {deserved serious
attention. Moreover, Black would lack the above-mentioned Ra8-a6 resource now.
After} exf5 32. exf5 gxf5 (32... Nf8 33. Nc5 $1 {looks grim for Black.}) 33.
Rd5 a4 34. b4 Rg8 $1 35. Rxf5 Rg6 {Black can possibly defend, but his position
remains very unpleasant.}) 31... Raa7 32. Ke3 Nb8 $1 {"This came as a surprise
for me." (Ding)} ({Most likely the Chinese GM expected} 32... Rc7 33. Rdd6 Rxc6
34. Rxc6 {with good control of the situation.}) 33. Rc8 Nd7 34. Rc6 ({In case
of} 34. Rh8 {Black can even ignore that pawn and go for counter play of his
own with} Rc7 $1 35. Rxh6 Rc3) 34... Nb8 35. Rc8 Nd7 36. Nc5 Nb6 $6 {The last
critical moment of the game.} (36... Nxc5 37. Rxc5 b4 38. a4 Rc7 39. Rdc4 {
was still unpleasant for Black but objectively much better than what happened
in the game.}) 37. Rc6 ({"There is no mate after"} 37. Rh8 $1 Rc7 38. Rdd8 Rxc5
{(Ding). However, if we prolong the line a bit} 39. e5 f5 40. Rb8 Rc8 41. Rbxc8
Nxc8 42. Rxc8 {we shall see that White keeps a large advantage without any
risk. Will he win this is another question, but it is definitely nice playing
such positions. First, So may not defend it and Ding can advance into the next
round outright. Second, even if Back defends it he will have to spend an
enourmous supply of energy and nerves, which would matter for the rapid match
tomorrow.}) 37... Rc7 $1 {The knight trade is definitely an achievement for
Black.} 38. Rxb6 Rxc5 39. e5 g5 {Trading pawns is always good for the defender.
} (39... a4 40. b4 Rc3+ 41. Rd3 Rb3 $1 {would have held the draw as well, as}
42. Rxb5 $4 {even loses to} Rd7 $1 43. Rxb3 axb3 {and suddenly the b-pawn will
queen.}) 40. Rd3 gxf4+ 41. gxf4 Rc2 42. h3 Ra2 {The same trading policy.} 43.
b4 axb4 44. axb4 Rh2 45. Ke4 Rc7 46. Rxb5 Rc4+ 47. Rd4 Rc7 $1 ({Much better
than} 47... Rxd4+ 48. Kxd4 Rxh3 49. Rb7+ {when the b-pawn would cause Black
headache.}) 48. Rc5 {The last winning try.} ({Or} 48. Ra5 Rc3 {with equality.})
48... Rxc5 49. bxc5 Rc2 50. f5 exf5+ 51. Kxf5 Rxc5 52. Rd6 Rc1 53. Rxh6 Rf1+
54. Ke4 f6 ({Checks from far away would also split the point.} 54... Re1+) 55.
exf6+ Rxf6 56. Rxf6 Kxf6 57. h4 Kg6 58. h5+ Kxh5 1/2-1/2
[Event "Tbilisi GEO"]
[Site "Tbilisi GEO"]
[Date "2017.09.25"]
[Round "7.3"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Ding, Liren"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A13"]
[WhiteElo "2802"]
[BlackElo "2771"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 {Ding played his beloved Catalan yesterday and now
it is Aronian to show his version of the things - the Reti way.} d5 4. Bg2 dxc4
5. Qa4+ Bd7 6. Qxc4 c5 7. Ne5 Qc8 8. Qd3 Nc6 9. Nxd7 Nxd7 ({The other capture
is also playable} 9... Qxd7 10. Qxd7+ Kxd7 11. Nc3 Be7 12. b3 Rac8 13. Bb2 Rhd8
14. e3 Ke8 15. Ke2 b6 {although White can claim a slight advantage thanks to
his bishop pair, Yu,Y (2744)-Wang,Y (2699) Huocheng County 2017}) 10. Qb3 $146
{A seemingly harmless novelty.} ({Grischuk managed to outplay Wojtaszek after}
10. Qb5 Nde5 11. f4 a6 12. Qa4 Nd7 13. Bxc6 bxc6 14. Na3 Nb6 15. Qe4 {Grischuk,
A (2737)-Wojtaszek,R (2749) Doha 2016. Apparently both sides prepared this
line heavily.}) 10... Be7 {Ding's play is very simple: finish the development,
use the half-open d-file and the d4-outpost for his knight.} 11. Nc3 O-O 12.
O-O Rd8 13. d3 {If the game opens somehow Aronian may try to use his bishop
pair. But this never happens in the game.} Nb6 14. Be3 (14. Rd1 $4 {with the
idea to prepare e2-e3 would not be nice after} Nd4) 14... Nd4 15. Bxd4 {
White would love to keep the bishop alive, but the knigth is too great to stay
in the center.} ({After} 15. Qd1 Qd7 {followed by Ra8-c8 Black is doing great.}
) 15... Rxd4 16. Rfc1 {Aronian tries to make use of the half-open c-file.} ({Or
} 16. Rfd1 Qd7 {with equality.}) 16... Rd7 17. a4 {Attacking the only piece
that is a bit exposed from Black's position. The pawn wants to run all the way
to b7.} Qd8 18. a5 Nd5 {Now the other black knight is great.} 19. Nxd5 {
For a moment at least.} exd5 20. d4 cxd4 21. Rc2 {The light-squared bishops
are harbingers of the draw. Further exchanges lead the game towards the
logical outcome.} g6 22. Bh3 Rc7 23. Rac1 Rxc2 24. Rxc2 b6 ({There is no need
to complicate things with} 24... Qxa5 25. Qxb7 Re8 26. Rc7 d3 $1 27. exd3 Bc5 {
which is also equal after say} 28. Bf1 (28. Rxf7 {is more exciting (and risky
for White) after} Qe1+ 29. Bf1 Re7) 28... Rf8 29. b4 Qxb4 30. Qxb4 Bxb4 31.
Rxa7) 25. Bg2 Rc8 {Returns the pawn but achieves the desired material balance.}
26. Rxc8 Qxc8 27. Bxd5 Qf5 28. Qc4 bxa5 29. b3 d3 {To free the bishop.} 30.
exd3 Bd8 31. Qe4 {None of the sides can make real progress.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "IOM Open-Masters 2017"]
[Site "Douglas"]
[Date "2017.09.22"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D36"]
[WhiteElo "2799"]
[BlackElo "2803"]
[Annotator "Tiger"]
[PlyCount "133"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. Qc2 (6. e3 Bf5 $1 (6...
Be7 7. Bd3 {is a clear improvement on the main game (for White) as} h6 8. Bh4
Nbd7 9. Nge2 Nh5 10. Bxe7 Qxe7 11. Qd2 {is more dangerous for Black than it
would be had White already committed the queen to c2.} Nb6 12. f3 $14 {
Mamedyarov,S (2765)-Adams,M (2750) Sharjah Grand Prix 2017, can be found on
the Chessbase homepage with my comments.}) 7. Qf3 Bg6 8. Bxf6 Qxf6 9. Qxf6 gxf6
10. Nf3 Nd7 11. Nh4 Be7 12. Ne2 Nb6 13. Ng3 Bb4+ 14. Kd1 Na4 $2 15. Ngf5 {
lead to a nice win for White in Carlsen,M (2851)-Kramnik,V (2801) Stavanger
2016, a game that has been extensively commented on by Mihail Marin in CBM. Is
if fair to believe that Kramnik had an improvement prepared here? I believe so.
}) 6... h6 7. Bh4 Be7 8. e3 O-O ({I always thought the point of this line is
to continue} 8... Nbd7 9. Bd3 Nh5 10. Bxe7 Qxe7 {aiming to meet 0-0-0 with
0-0-0, and after having played h6 it seems a bit dangerous to invite opposite
side castling.}) 9. Bd3 Re8 10. Nge2 Nh5 (10... Ne4 $6 11. Bxe7 Qxe7 12. Bxe4
dxe4 13. Ng3 f5 {Horrible but necessary...} 14. O-O {and in Kuzubov,Y -
Hayrapetyan,H Al Ain 2015, faced with the threat of f3, Black self-destructed
with} Qg5 $6 (14... Na6 {is the better move here, when White has too keep up
the pressure in order to gain some advantage:} 15. f3 $1 (15. a3 Nc7 16. f3
exf3 17. Rxf3 Rf8 18. Qf2 Be6 19. Re1 Rad8 20. Nxf5 Bxf5 21. Rxf5 Rxf5 22. Qxf5
Rxd4) 15... Nb4 16. Qd2 exf3 17. Rxf3 Be6 18. Re1 Rf8 19. a3 Nd5 20. Nxd5 cxd5
21. Ne2 g5 22. Nc1 $1 {and with the knight arriving at e5, White can look
forward to the somewhat easier game.}) 15. Rae1 h5 {, allowing} 16. Qb3+ Be6
17. Qxb7 {with a winning advantage for White.}) 11. Bxe7 Qxe7 12. h3 (12. O-O
Nd7 13. Rae1 Nf8 14. Nc1 Nf6 15. Nb3 Ne6 16. f3 a5 17. Na4 Qd8 18. Nbc5 Nf8 $1
{Both White's knights strive to occupy c5, so there is no need to exchange one
of them.} 19. Qb3 $1 b5 $5 20. Nc3 Ne6 21. Nxe6 Bxe6 22. Qc2 (22. Rc1) 22...
Qb6 23. Qf2 a4 24. Rc1 b4 25. Ne2 Ra5 26. h3 c5 $1 {was a high level
instruction in how to play this line with Black, although White eventually won,
in Nepomniachtchi,I (2750)-Kramnik,V (2810) Zurich Korchnoi CC Blitz 2017.})
12... a5 {This move and the next is the start of a cat and mouse game, where
Black is trying to give away as little information as possible, while
discouraging White from castling long, whereas White is trying to set the
stage for a good moment to do just that.} 13. a3 (13. g4 Nf6 14. Ng3 c5 $1 {
as in Novotny,M (2219)-Konopka,M (2424) Zdar nad Sazavou 2007, showed the
downside of evacuating the knight from e2.}) (13. O-O-O $6 b5 14. Kb1 Nf6 {
leaves White quite discoordinated and vulnerable to Nb8-a6-b4.}) 13... Nd7 14.
Na4 Qh4 15. g3 Qd8 16. g4 Nhf6 17. Ng3 {Black cannot play c5, so the knight
can move.} Nf8 18. O-O-O {Ambitious.} b6 {Kramnik is looking for a way to get
counterplay without leaving a weak square on c5. I completely symphatize with
this.} (18... b5 $5 19. Nc5 N6d7 20. Kb1 Nxc5 21. Qxc5 {looks like a nightmare
for Black, as the queenside will be blockaded. But looking at the whole board
situation it is far from clear:} Qf6 $1 (21... b4 22. a4) 22. Rh2 b4 23. a4 Ba6
{and Black's counterplay is no slower than than White's.}) 19. Kb1 Bd7 20. Nf5
c5 $6 {This natural move is the right one, but the timing is wrong:} ({The
engine suggests} 20... Rb8 {with "a small advantage" and it seems correct. The
point is that it is hard to find a good move for White:} 21. Rhg1 (21. Ka1 {
is again the engine, but if we accept that this move is the best, then indeed
Rb8 must be an improvement.}) (21. Nc3 b5 22. Ne2 b4 23. a4 b3 $1 {With the
idea of ...Rb4}) 21... c5 $1 22. dxc5 Bxa4 23. Qxa4 bxc5 {is a crucial
attacking-tempo better for Black, compared to the game.}) 21. dxc5 Bxa4 22.
Qxa4 bxc5 23. Bb5 (23. h4 c4 $1 24. Bxc4 Re4 25. g5 $1 N8d7 $1 {is messy. After
} 26. gxf6 Rxc4 27. Ne7+ Kf8 28. Qb3 Rb8 29. Qd3 Nxf6 30. Nxd5 Rc5 31. Nf4 {
the game is still unclear.}) 23... Re6 24. Qc2 Rb6 $5 {This allows Caruana to
set the bishop on b5 in a cement foundation, but Black can deal with it.} ({
The only way to avoid this scenario is to play} 24... a4 $1 {and the only
reason not to play this move is that one is afraid of} 25. Qxc5 {Perhaps
Kramnik calculated that} Rc8 26. Qa7 (26. Qb4 Rb8 $36) 26... Ra8 27. Qc5 {
is a draw!?}) 25. a4 $1 Ne6 26. h4 {White's attack hits first.} Nc7 27. Qxc5 $1
{This wins a pawn, but more important; the d4-square for the knight.} Nxb5 28.
axb5 Qb8 $6 {This is the first mistake in the game. With the queen behind the
rook the threat against b2 is not strong enough to distract White's forces
from attacking:} (28... Rab8 $1 29. Ne7+ $1 (29. Nd4 Ne4 30. Qc2 Nd6 31. Ka1
Nxb5 32. Nc6 Qc7 33. Rc1 Re8 34. Rhd1 Re4 $132) 29... Kh8 30. Nc6 Qc8 $1 (30...
Qc7 31. Qd4 R8b7 32. Nxa5 Rb8 33. Rc1 Qd7 34. Nc6 R8b7 35. g5 $40) 31. Qd4 R8b7
32. Nxa5 Rb8 33. Rc1 Qxg4 34. Qxg4 Nxg4 35. Nc6 R8b7 (35... Re8 36. f3 Nxe3 37.
Rc5) 36. Nd4 Nxf2 37. Rc8+ Kh7 38. Rhc1 $14 {I'm not sure how to evaluate this
position with precision. The doubled b-pawn is very dangerous, but Black will
have counterplay.}) 29. g5 Rxb5 30. Qc2 Ne4 31. Ne7+ Kh8 32. Rxd5 $1 Rxd5 33.
Nxd5 Qe5 34. Rd1 Rd8 35. Rd4 Rxd5 36. Rxe4 Rd1+ $1 37. Ka2 Qd5+ 38. Qc4 hxg5 (
38... Kh7 {immediately, might have been strong, in order to leave the (weak-er)
h4-pawn on the board.}) 39. hxg5 Kh7 40. Qxd5 Rxd5 $16 {I'm not sure about the
details in the rest of the endgame, but it seems that Black had a tough job to
defend it.} 41. f4 Kg6 42. Rd4 Rb5 43. Ka3 Kf5 44. b3 f6 45. Ka4 Rb7 46. Rc4
Ra7 (46... fxg5 47. Rc5+) 47. Rc5+ Ke4 48. Rxa5 {This looks like the losing
move.} Re7 $2 ({Instead} 48... Rf7 49. g6 (49. gxf6 gxf6 50. b4 Kxe3 51. f5 Kd4
52. Rc5 Ra7+ 53. Kb3 Ra1 $11) 49... Rb7 50. f5 Kxe3 51. Rc5 Kd4 52. b4 Rb8 {
leads to a position from where I see no way forward for White.} 53. Kb3 (53.
Rc7 Ke5 54. Rxg7 Kxf5 55. b5 Kg5 56. Ka5 f5 57. b6 Kf6) 53... Rb7 54. Rc1 Ke5
55. Rf1 Rb8 56. Ka4 Ra8+ 57. Kb5 Rb8+ 58. Kc5 Rc8+) 49. gxf6 gxf6 50. Ra6 Kf5 (
50... Rf7 51. Re6+ Kf5 52. Re8 Ra7+ 53. Kb4 Rb7+ 54. Kc3 Rc7+ 55. Kb2 Rb7 56.
Rc8 Ke4 57. Rc3 {and it seems to me that Black is in a kind of zugzwang
(although those with more time at their hands will have to find the truth
about that).}) 51. Rd6 $18 Ra7+ 52. Kb5 Rb7+ 53. Kc4 Rc7+ 54. Kd4 Rb7 55. e4+
Kxf4 56. Rxf6+ Kg5 57. Rf5+ Kg4 58. Kc4 Re7 59. Rd5 Kf4 60. e5 $1 Kf5 61. b4
Ke6 62. b5 Ra7 63. b6 Rb7 64. Rb5 Kd7 65. Kd5 Kc8 66. e6 Kd8 67. Kc6 1-0
[Event "Moscow FIDE GP"]
[Site "Moscow"]
[Date "2017.05.18"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Ding, Liren"]
[Black "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A29"]
[WhiteElo "2773"]
[BlackElo "2795"]
[Annotator "Ding Liren"]
[PlyCount "104"]
[EventDate "2017.05.12"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "RUS"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 179"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.07.12"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.07.12"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{My games against Maxime are always interesting and highly complicated. This
one is no exception.} 1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6.
O-O Nb6 7. Nc3 Be7 8. a3 O-O 9. b4 Re8 {All theory so far. With the text move
Black deviates from the main line after 9...Be6, but I was well prepared since
he had played this before.} 10. e3 $5 {An unusual move, but during the
preparation I found it really deserved a try. The main idea is to control the
d4-square, and threaten b5.} (10. d3 Bf8 11. Be3 Bg4 12. Bc5 Nd4 13. Nxd4 exd4
14. Ne4 c6 15. Bxf8 Rxf8 16. Nc5 Qe7 17. Re1 Nc8 18. Qd2 Rd8 19. Rac1 Nb6 20.
Qf4 Be6 21. Qe5 Rac8 22. Nxe6 Qxe6 23. Qxe6 fxe6 24. Rc5 Nd5 25. e3 dxe3 26.
fxe3 Rd6 27. d4 a6 28. Kf2 Re8 29. Rd1 Nf6 30. Bf3 Nd7 31. Rcc1 Rf8 32. Ke2 Kf7
33. a4 Ke7 34. Rc2 Nb6 35. b5 axb5 36. axb5 Nd5 37. bxc6 Rxc6 38. Rxc6 bxc6 39.
Rc1 Kd6 40. Be4 h6 41. Rc2 Ra8 42. Kd2 Ra1 43. Rb2 Ra3 44. Bxd5 Kxd5 45. Rb7 g5
46. Rh7 Ke4 47. Rxh6 e5 48. Re6 Rd3+ 49. Kc2 Kxe3 50. Rxe5+ Kxd4 51. Rxg5 Rf3
52. Rh5 c5 53. Rh4+ Kd5 54. Kd2 c4 55. Rh5+ Kd4 56. Rh4+ Kd5 57. Rh8 Rd3+ 58.
Kc2 Rf3 59. Rd8+ Kc5 60. Rc8+ Kb4 61. Rb8+ Kc5 {1/2-1/2 (61) Dubov,D (2660)
-Vachier Lagrave,M (2804) Doha QAT 2016}) 10... a6 {The logical reply, since ..
.a5 is no longer good.} 11. Qc2 Bg4 (11... Be6 {will be met by} 12. Rd1 {
threatening d4.}) 12. Ne4 {Not only preparing Nc5, but also sets up a
potential sacrifice.} f5 $1 {Accepting the challenge!} (12... Qd7 {is natural,
but has a drawback:} 13. Nc5 Bxc5 14. bxc5 Nd5 15. Bb2 Rad8 16. d4 e4 17. Ne5
$1 Nxe5 18. dxe5 Bf3 19. Bxf3 exf3 20. Qe4 $14) 13. Nc5 e4 14. Ne1 Be2 15. d3 (
15. Nxb7 {is possible, too:} Qd5 (15... Qd7 16. d3 Bxf1 17. Bxf1 $1 Rab8 18.
Nc5 Bxc5 19. Qxc5 $1 $14) 16. d3 Bxf1 17. dxe4 Qc4 18. Bxf1 Qxc2 19. Nxc2 fxe4
$13) 15... Bxf1 16. Kxf1 Bxc5 17. bxc5 Nd7 $1 {A very strong move! Much better
than the normal looking 17...Nd5.} (17... Nd5 18. dxe4 fxe4 19. Bxe4 Nf6 20.
Bg2 $36) 18. dxe4 fxe4 (18... Qe7 $1 {is stronger. Not only attacking the
c5-pawn, but also going for the exchange of queens:} 19. exf5 Qxc5 20. Bb2 (20.
Qb3+ Kh8 21. Qxb7 Nde5) 20... Qxc2 21. Nxc2 Rad8 22. Bd5+ Kh8 23. Bxc6 bxc6 24.
Nb4 Nc5 25. Rc1 Ne4 26. Bc3 {with approximate equality.}) 19. Bxe4 Qe7 (19...
Nf6 20. Bg2 {transposes.}) {Here comes the first critical moment. I was about
half an hour up on the clock, I believe White should be better, but the
position was very hard to play. I spent about 50 mins on the next 3 moves,
still couldn't find the best continuations. Maybe 21.Bb2 or 22.Ng2 is
objectivly better.} 20. Bxh7+ Kh8 21. Bg6 (21. Rb1 $2 Nd4) (21. Bb2 Qxc5 22.
Bc3 $1 Ne7 23. Rc1 Qc6 (23... Nf6 24. Bd3 Ned5 25. Bxf6 Qxc2 26. Bxg7+ Kxg7 27.
Rxc2) 24. Kg1 Nd5 25. Ba1 Qxc2 26. Bxc2 c5 27. Nf3 b5 28. Rd1 $14) 21... Rf8
22. Rb1 (22. Ng2 Qxc5 23. Qe2 $1 Rf6 24. Nf4 Nf8 25. Bc2 Rh6 26. h4 $40) (22.
Nd3 $4 Qf6) 22... Nxc5 (22... Nde5 23. Bh5) 23. Ng2 {This is the position I
wanted. White keeps the queens on the board, the knight heads to the f4-square
and I also have Rb4-Rh4 if possible.} Rad8 {Black must try to exchange the Bg6.
} ({But the obvious} 23... Ne5 {is wrong:} 24. Rb4 $1) (23... Qd6 {is the
right move:} 24. Nf4 Ne5 25. Bb2 Rxf4 26. Bxe5 Rxf2+ 27. Kxf2 Qxe5 28. Rb4 Rf8+
29. Kg2 Ne6 30. Rh4+ Kg8 31. Bh7+ Kf7 $11) 24. Nf4 {Returning the favour.} ({
A better move is} 24. Bb2 Ne5 25. Nf4 $16) 24... Ne6 $1 {Now I can't keep the
strong knight, although I get a pawn as compensation.} 25. Rxb7 Ne5 (25... Nxf4
{is called for.} 26. exf4 Qe6 $1 27. Bb2 Nd4 28. Bxd4 Rxd4 29. Rxc7 Qh3+ $1 (
29... Rfd8 30. Qf5 $1 $16) (29... Qd5 30. Rc5 $1) 30. Ke2 (30. Kg1 $4 {even
loses:} Rfd8 $19) 30... Qg4+ 31. Ke3 $1 Rd1 32. f3 (32. Rc5 Re1+ 33. Kd4 Re2)
32... Qe6+ 33. Be4 Rfd8 $13) 26. Bb2 {Again returning the favour.} ({After} 26.
Be4 $1 {White is nearly winning, although I can't believe it... For example}
Nc5 27. Rb4 Rxf4 (27... a5 28. Rb5 Nxe4 29. Qxe4) 28. exf4 Ned3 29. Qe2 Nxb4
30. Qh5+ Kg8 31. Bh7+ Kf8 32. Qf5+ Qf6 33. Qxc5+ Qe7 34. Qxe7+ Kxe7 35. Bb2)
26... Nf3 {Again he missed a good chance to equalise. It seems as if he wants
to keep as many pieces on the board as possible. On the contrary, I didn't
mind simplifying the position.} (26... Nxf4 27. exf4 Nxg6 28. Qxg6 Qd7 $1 29.
Kg2 Qd5+ 30. f3 Rd7 $11) 27. Bh5 $1 {Finally seizing the chance.} Nxf4 28. gxf4
$1 (28. Bxf3 $2 Nd3 29. Rxc7 Rd7 30. Qc6 (30. Rxd7 Qxd7 31. Bd4 Qh3+ (31... Qf7
32. Qc6) 32. Kg1 Ne1 33. Bxg7+ Kxg7 34. Qc3+ Rf6 35. Be4 $11) 30... Rxf3 31.
Qxf3 Rxc7 32. Qh5+ Kg8 33. Qd5+ Qf7 34. Qxd3 Qc4 $11) {Suddenly it seems
White's pawn majority f4-e3-f2 is controlling important squares and files and
I didn't see Black's counterplay...} 28... Rd2 29. Qc3 {One step in the wrong
direction.} (29. Qc6 $1 {is simpler:} Rxb2 $8 30. Rxb2 Qxa3 31. Qc1 Qd3+ 32.
Kg2 Nh4+ 33. Kh3 Nf5 34. Rd2 $18) 29... Nxh2+ 30. Kg1 {Spoiling the winning
advantage!} (30. Ke1 $1 {is hard to play, at least I have to spot Black's
resource after 30.Kg1...} Rd7 31. Qc6 Rfd8 32. Be2 Qh4 (32... Kg8 33. Ra7) 33.
Rxc7 Rxc7 34. Qxc7 Rg8 35. Qd7 Qh7 36. f5 $18) 30... Rxf4 $3 {A great move.
Both in appearance and actual value.} (30... Rd7 31. Qc6) (30... Rfd8 31. Qe5)
31. Qxg7+ $8 (31. Qxd2 $4 Qg5+ 32. Kh1 Qxh5 33. Qd8+ Kh7 34. exf4 Qh3) 31...
Qxg7+ 32. Bxg7+ Kxg7 33. exf4 Kh6 34. Kxh2 (34. Be8 {To keep the bishop is
another try.} Ng4 35. Ra7 $1 Nxf2 36. Rxa6+ Kg7 37. Kg2 Ne4+ 38. Kf3 Nd6 39.
Bc6 Kf6 40. a4 Rc2 41. a5 Ke7 42. Bd5 Rc5 $14) 34... Kxh5 35. Rxc7 Kg4 $1 ({
Of course not} 35... Rxf2+ 36. Kg3 Ra2 37. Rc5+) 36. Kg2 Rd3 37. f3+ ({After
the game, I thought 37.f5 was winning but missed 37...Kg5!} 37. f5 $5 Kg5 $8 (
37... Kxf5 $2 38. Rc5+ Kf4 39. Ra5 Rd6 40. Ra4+ Kf5 41. Kg3 Rg6+ (41... Rd3+
42. f3 Rd6 43. Ra5+) 42. Kf3 Rc6 43. Ra5+ $18) (37... Rxa3 $2 38. f6 Ra5 39. f7
Rf5 40. Rc4+ Kg5 41. Rc5) (37... Kh5 $2 38. Rh7+ Kg5 39. f6) 38. f6 Kg6 39. f7
Kg7 $11) 37... Kh5 {Made things much more complicated. With the pawn on f3
instead of f2 Black can take the f4-pawn.} (37... Kxf4 38. Rc4+ Kf5 39. Ra4 Rd6
40. Kg3 Rg6+ $1 41. Rg4 (41. Kf2 Rb6 42. Ke3 Rb3+) 41... Rxg4+ 42. fxg4+ Kg5
43. a4 a5 $11) 38. a4 (38. Rc5+ $1 {is the critical move. Black can barely get
a draw with very accurate play.} Kh4 39. f5 (39. Ra5 Rd2+ 40. Kf1 Kg3 41. Ke1
Rd3 (41... Rd6 42. Ke2 Kxf4 43. Ra4+ Kf5 44. Ke3 Re6+ 45. Re4 Rb6 46. Rf4+ $1
$18) 42. Ke2 (42. Rxa6 Kxf4 (42... Rxf3) 43. Ke2 Re3+ 44. Kd2) 42... Rxf3 43.
f5 (43. Rxa6 Rxf4 44. a4 Kg4 45. Ke3 Rf3+ 46. Ke4 Rf4+ 47. Ke5 Rf5+) 43... Kg4
44. Ra4+ Kg3 45. Rxa6 Rxf5 $11) 39... Rd2+ 40. Kf1 Kg3 41. Ke1 Rd3 (41... Rd6
42. Ke2 Kf4 43. f6 Re6+ 44. Kf2 Rxf6 45. Rc4+ Kf5 46. Ke3 Re6+ 47. Re4 Rb6 48.
Rf4+ Ke5 49. Ra4 Rb3+ 50. Kf2 $18) 42. Ke2 Rxf3 43. Ra5 Kg4 44. Ra4+ Kg3 45.
Rxa6 Rxf5 46. Ke3 Kg4 47. a4 Rf3+ $1 (47... Re5+ 48. Kd4 Kf5 49. Ra8 Re1 50.
Rf8+ $18) (47... Kg5 48. Rb6) 48. Kd4 Rf4+ 49. Kd5 (49. Ke5 Rf5+ $1) 49... Kg5
$1 (49... Rf5+ 50. Kc4 Rf4+ 51. Kb5 Rf5+ 52. Kc6) 50. a5 Rf5+ 51. Kc6 Kh6 $1 (
51... Kg6 52. Kb6) 52. Kb6 (52. Ra8 Kg7) 52... Rg5 53. Ra8 Rg6+ 54. Kc7 (54.
Kc5 Rg5+ 55. Kd6) 54... Rg7+ 55. Kd6 Rg6+ 56. Ke7 Rg7+ 57. Kf6 Rg6+ 58. Kf5
Rg5+ 59. Kf4 Rb5 60. a6 Kg7 $11) 38... Rd4 39. Rc5+ Kh4 40. Kf2 Rxa4 41. Ke3 a5
42. Rg5 Ra3+ 43. Ke4 Ra4+ $1 {An important check. After that it's easy.} 44.
Ke5 Rb4 45. Rg4+ Kh5 46. f5 Rb5+ 47. Ke6 Rb6+ 48. Ke7 Rb7+ 49. Ke6 Rb6+ 50. Kf7
Rb7+ 51. Kg8 Rb8+ 52. Kg7 Rb7+ {Draw agreed. Although there are many mistakes
involved, I still think it's a good game and the most memorable one for me in
the tournament. Since inaccuracy and mistakes in such a complicated position
are inevitable. At least, not all draws here were boring.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Douglas ENG"]
[Site "Douglas ENG"]
[Date "2017.09.28"]
[Round "6.6"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Sethuraman, S.P."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C82"]
[WhiteElo "2794"]
[BlackElo "2617"]
[PlyCount "101"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]
{"I guess it's just a game but it hasn't happened for so long." - Anand on
playing a compatriot.} 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 ({Anand said he had seen the two games
Sethuraman played before with the Open Spanish.} 9. Nbd2 Nc5 10. c3 Be7 11. Bc2
d4 12. Nb3 (12. cxd4 Nxd4 13. Nxd4 Qxd4 14. Nf3 Qxd1 15. Rxd1 O-O {Vachier
Lagrave,M (2785)-Sethuraman,S (2639) Gibraltar 2016}) 12... d3 13. Nxc5 dxc2
14. Qxd8+ Rxd8 15. Nxe6 fxe6 16. Be3 Rd5 {Bacrot,E (2697)-Sethuraman,S (2639)
Gibraltar 2016}) 9... Bc5 10. Qd3 O-O 11. Nbd2 f5 12. Bc2 Qd7 13. Nb3 Be7 {
"Clever," said Anand about Black's last two moves. White has a theoretical
position with the extra move Qd3, and "he's challenging me to do something
useful with that move."} (13... Ba7 14. Be3 Bxe3 15. Qxe3 Nd8 16. Nc5 Qe7 17.
Nxe6 Nxe6 18. Rad1 c6 19. Qb6 Qd7 20. Nd4 Nxd4 21. Qxd4 Ng5 22. Qh4 h6 23. f4
Ne4 {½-½ Pilnik,H-Euwe,M Buenos Aires 1947}) 14. Nbd4 Nxd4 15. cxd4 f4 (15...
c5 16. dxc5 Bxc5 17. Be3 {"and my extra move actually means something."}) 16.
Bd2 {"I think for the moment I am anticipating his threats." Anand said that
Black is very comfortable here.} Bf5 17. Qb3 ({No need for} 17. Bxf4 Ng3 18.
hxg3 Bxd3 19. Bxd3 {(Anand)}) 17... Be6 (17... Bg4 $2 18. Bxe4) (17... g5 18.
Bb4 Bxb4 19. Qxb4 g4 20. Nh4 {Anand}) 18. Bb4 Bxb4 19. Qxb4 Bg4 20. Qb3 Kh8 21.
Rfe1 Be6 {"It's quite sophisticated what he's doing but at the same time it
gives a strange impression what he's doing with his bishop." (Anand)} 22. Rad1
c6 23. Bd3 Bg4 24. Bxe4 dxe4 25. Rxe4 Be6 26. Qc3 Qd5 ({Anand thought that
after} 26... Bd5 27. Ree1 Rae8 {Black has full compensation.}) 27. Ree1 Qxa2
28. Qxc6 {Now "it's getting really challenging for him."} Bd5 29. Qd7 Rad8 30.
Qh3 Rde8 31. Ng5 h6 32. Ne4 ({Anand started calculating} 32. e6 {but didn't
see what to do after} Re7) 32... Qxb2 33. Nf6 Be6 34. Qh5 Bf7 35. Qh4 ({
Anand saw} 35. Qg4 gxf6 36. exf6 Rg8 37. Rxe8 Bxe8 38. Qxf4 {and he thought
"game over" until he saw} Qc2) ({He also felt} 35. Qxf7 Rxf7 36. Nxe8 {might
be winning.}) 35... Rd8 36. e6 Rxd4 37. Rb1 {Missed by Sethuraman, who was
down to four minutes vs 10 for Anand.} Qa2 38. Ra1 Qb3 39. exf7 Qxf7 40. Ng4 (
40. Ne4 {and 41.f3 is also good (Anand).}) 40... Qg6 41. Ne5 ({More accurate
was} 41. Qe7 {(Anand)}) 41... Qd6 42. Nf3 {Because the clock doesn't give
additional time Anand made not one but two extra moves to be sure he wasn't
flagging here!} Rd5 43. Qe7 Qxe7 44. Rxe7 Rf6 45. h4 b4 46. Rb7 a5 47. Re1 Rf8
48. Ree7 {White's rook on b7 nicely controls both black pawns on the queenside.
} Rg8 49. Kh2 Rdd8 50. Ne5 Kh7 51. Nd7 1-0
[Event "Douglas ENG"]
[Site "Douglas ENG"]
[Date "2017.09.28"]
[Round "6.2"]
[White "Emil Sutovsky"]
[Black "Fabiano Caruana"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B18"]
[WhiteElo "2683"]
[BlackElo "2799"]
[PlyCount "110"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 e6 8. Ne5
Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 Nd7 11. Bf4 Qa5+ 12. c3 Ngf6 13. O-O Be7 14. Nc4 Qd5
15. Ne3 Qb5 16. c4 Qa5 17. b4 $1 {Typical Sutovsky aggression!} Qd8 (17... Qxb4
18. Rfb1) (17... Bxb4 18. c5 $1 {and the Black pieces are bottled up, but the
compensation is still very unclear.}) 18. d5 $1 Nf8 (18... cxd5 19. cxd5 Nf8 {
is not a better version since White will use the c-file first.} 20. Rac1 exd5
21. Bc7 $1 Qd7 22. Be5 {and White will get his d-pawn back favorably.}) 19. h5
exd5 20. Nef5 Ne6 21. Be5 O-O 22. Nxh6+ $5 (22. Rad1 {slower buildup was also
possible.}) 22... gxh6 23. Nf5 Ng7 (23... dxc4 $1 24. Nxh6+ Kg7 25. Nf5+ Kh7 {
Naturally, the computer has no fear of walking onto the diagonal.} 26. Qb1 Qd3
{gives the piece back, but with advantage after} 27. Nxe7 Qxb1 28. Raxb1 Nd5)
24. Nxh6+ Kh8 25. Nf5 dxc4 26. Qf3 Qd3 27. Qxd3 cxd3 28. Nxe7 Nfxh5 29. g4 Rfe8
30. Rae1 Kh7 31. Bxg7 Kxg7 32. gxh5 Kf6 33. Re3 Rxe7 34. Rxd3 Re5 35. Rf3+ Ke6
36. Rh3 Rh8 37. h6 Rg5+ 38. Kh2 Rg6 39. Re1+ Kd7 40. Rd1+ Kc7 41. h7 Rg7 42.
Rdd3 b5 43. Rdf3 Rgxh7 44. Rxh7 Rxh7+ 45. Kg3 Kb6 46. Rf6 Rh1 47. Rxf7 Rg1+ 48.
Kh4 Ra1 49. f4 Rxa2 50. f5 a5 51. bxa5+ Rxa5 52. Rf8 b4 53. Kg4 Kc7 54. f6 Kd7
55. Rc8 Ke6 1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.09.29"]
[Round "7.2"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Jones, Gawain C B"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C78"]
[WhiteElo "2799"]
[BlackElo "2668"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:44:17"]
[BlackClock "0:12:23"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 {"I noticed that
Gawain started to play this recently and decided to check my old notes."
(Caruana) However, the Archangelsk might not have been such a wise choice as
Caruana has played it successfully as both colors.} 7. c3 d6 8. a4 Rb8 9. d4
Bb6 10. a5 ({Here is a recent example of Jones's play} 10. axb5 axb5 11. Qd3
Bd7 12. Be3 h6 13. dxe5 Nxe5 14. Nxe5 dxe5 15. Nd2 O-O 16. Rfe1 {1/2-1/2 (16)
McShane,L (2644)-Jones,G (2660) Llandudno 2017}) 10... Ba7 11. h3 O-O ({
White won a very one-sided game after} 11... h6 12. Be3 Ra8 13. dxe5 Nxe5 14.
Nxe5 dxe5 15. Qxd8+ Kxd8 16. Bxa7 Rxa7 17. Bxf7 Nxe4 18. Bg6 {Caruana,F (2827)
-Lagno,K (2530) Caleta 2017}) 12. Be3 Ra8 13. Re1 h6 14. Nbd2 exd4 ({Here a
successful holding example for Black-} 14... Re8 15. Nf1 exd4 16. cxd4 Rxe4 17.
Ng3 Re7 18. Qd2 Qf8 19. Rec1 Bd7 {and the game later ended in a draw, Karjakin,
S (2786)-Caruana,F (2772) Loo 2013}) 15. cxd4 Nb4 16. e5 $146 {Strictly
speaking, a novelty. However, the American GM was well prepared for it. "Peter
(Svidler) made a video on this line, but missed an important detail. I was
very happy that he entered this line as it is extremely sharp." (Caruana)} ({
Caruana has checked this very recent game as well:} 16. d5 Bxe3 17. Rxe3 c5 18.
dxc6 Nxc6 19. e5 Nxe5 20. Nxe5 dxe5 21. Rxe5 Ra7 {and Black had no problems at
all, Grandelius,N (2644)-Jones,G (2660) Linares 2017}) 16... Nfd5 ({Weaker is:
} 16... dxe5 17. dxe5 Nfd5 (17... Bxe3 18. exf6 Ba7 19. fxg7 {leaves the black
king badly exposed.}) 18. Bxa7 Rxa7 {When the rook on a7 is concern. For
example:} 19. Ne4 Nf4 20. Qc1 $1 Nbd3 ({Or} 20... Nfd3 21. Qe3 $1 Nxe1 22. Rxe1
Ra8 23. Nf6+ $1 {with decisive attack after} gxf6 24. Qxh6) 21. Qe3 Nxe1 22.
Nxe1 $1 {hitting both the rook on a7 and the knight.}) 17. Ne4 Nxe3 ({Maybe}
17... Bb7 {at once is better, although White can re-think and save his bishop}
18. Bd2) 18. Rxe3 Bb7 19. e6 $1 (19. Rc1 Rc8 20. e6 {is Svidler's move order.})
19... Nd5 {More or less forced.} ({White's attacking possibilities are
demonstrated after} 19... fxe6 20. Nfg5 $1 hxg5 ({Or} 20... Bd5 21. Nxe6 Bxe6
22. Bxe6+ {with strong attack on the light squares.}) 21. Bxe6+ Rf7 (21... Kh7
22. Qh5#) 22. Qh5 {and White wins.}) ({On} 19... Bd5 {the same} 20. Neg5 $1 {
is excellent for White, for example} Qf6 (20... hxg5 21. e7) 21. Bxd5 Nxd5 22.
exf7+ Rxf7 23. Re6 Qf5 24. g4 Qf4 25. Re4 Qf6 26. Nxf7 {and wins.}) 20. exf7+ {
"When I saw him hesitating I felt I might get my analysis at work. I
understood that Black is trying to get into Svidler's analysis." (Caruana)} Kh8
21. Re1 Rxf7 22. Rc1 Rc8 ({Perhaps the lesser evil was} 22... Rf8 {although
after} 23. g3 {with the idea Nf3-h4 White has strong attack on the light
squares (Caruana)}) 23. Nfg5 $1 {Practically closing the line.} Rf5 $2 {
"From here I was playing on my own."(Caruana) Not a bad place to start a game..
.} (23... hxg5 {is mate after} 24. Qh5+ Kg8 25. Nxg5 Qf6 26. Qh7+ Kf8 27. Qh8#)
({Svidler's recommendation ran} 23... Re7 24. Qg4 {And Caruana did not bluff.
He had it all in his notebook. Now} Qd7 {is spectacularly refuted by} ({
Caruana also revealed why he entered the whole thing. Svidler missed that}
24... Qe8 {pinning the rook, can be refuted by prophylactical-attacking} 25.
Kh2 $3 {with the main point being} Bxd4 ({If} 25... Rd8 {the nice maneuver} 26.
Qf5 g6 27. Qg4 $1 {lead to decisive attack as to} hxg5 {both} 28. Bxd5 $1 ({Or
} 28. Qxg5 $1 {should win for White.}) 28... Bxd5 29. Nf6 {leave the black
king naked. You already noticed that in this line Black cannot capture on e1
with a check.}) 26. Bxd5 Bxd5 27. Nxd6 {and White wins as there is no Re7xe1+})
25. Qxd7 Rxd7 26. Nxd6 $1 {winning at least the exchange-} Rxd6 (26... cxd6 27.
Rxc8+ Bxc8 28. Re8#) 27. Nf7+ Kh7 28. Nxd6 cxd6 29. Rxc8 Bxc8 30. Bxd5 {
and winning the game too.}) 24. Ne6 {It is a forced win, the black pieces are
too vulnerable.} Qd7 ({The winning motifs occur over and over again-} 24... Qh4
25. Qg4 Qxg4 26. hxg4 Rf7 27. Bxd5 Bxd5 28. Nxd6 {(Caruana)}) 25. Qg4 Qf7 ({Or
} 25... Qxe6 26. Ng3) 26. Rxc7 $1 ({Also good was} 26. Nxc7 $1 Rxc7 27. Rxc7
Qxc7 28. Qxf5) 26... Rxc7 27. Nxd6 {Again it is this squre, this knight and
slightly different fork.} (27. Nxc7 {wins as well.}) 27... Rxf2 {Here White
spent some time and came up with deeply calculated line to wrap the game up.} (
{If} 27... Qf6 28. Nxf5) 28. Nxc7 {Refusing to take the queen with a check!} ({
Caruana was afraid of the alternative kngiht fork after} 28. Nxf7+ Rcxf7 29.
Nd8 (29. Qg3 {is what he considered, but apparently the game continuation is
neater.}) 29... Rf1+ 30. Rxf1 Rxf1+ 31. Kxf1 Ne3+ {Still, White wins after} 32.
Ke2 Nxg4 33. Nxb7 Nf6 34. Nc5) 28... Qf6 ({Or} 28... Qxc7 29. Re8+ Kh7 30. Qe4+
g6 31. Kxf2) 29. Nxd5 Qxd4 ({If} 29... Bxd5 30. Bxd5 Rf1+ 31. Rxf1 Bxd4+ 32.
Kh2 Be5+ 33. g3 {"is the only winning move, but good enough" (Caruana)}) 30.
Qxd4 Bxd4 31. Re4 Ba7 32. Nb6 (32. Nb6 {Black resigned as he will be down a
whole piece after} Bxe4 33. Kxf2) 1-0
[Event "Douglas ENG"]
[Site "Douglas ENG"]
[Date "2017.09.29"]
[Round "7.1"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A07"]
[WhiteElo "2827"]
[BlackElo "2702"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]
{"There were no big mistakes. I think it was pretty accurate, the game."
(Vidit)} 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. O-O e5 5. d3 Ne7 6. e4 {"I was out
of my book here." (Vidit)} O-O 7. exd5 Nxd5 8. Re1 Nc6 9. Nc3 ({Vidit expected
} 9. Nbd2) 9... Nde7 ({After} 9... Nxc3 10. bxc3 {Vidit said he might be
struggling to develop Bc8.}) 10. Rb1 a5 11. b3 $5 {Another surprise for Vidit.}
(11. a3 Nf5 (11... a4 $5 12. Re4 f5 13. Rxa4 Rxa4 14. Nxa4 f4 {Carlsen}) (11...
Re8 {Vidit}) 12. b4 axb4 13. axb4 Nfd4 14. Nd2 Be6 15. b5 Na5 {Ding,L (2760)
-Hammer,J (2628) Sharjah 2017}) 11... Re8 $146 (11... Nf5 12. Bb2 Nfd4 13. Nxd4
exd4 14. Nd5 Be6 15. Nf4 Bf5 16. Ba3 Re8 {Romm,M (2450)-Krzyzanowski,W (2411)
corr. 2014}) 12. Bb2 Nf5 13. Nb5 (13. a4 $5 Nfd4 14. Nxd4 Nxd4 15. Nb5 {Carlsen
} c6 {Vidit}) 13... a4 $1 {Otherwise Black will be worse (Vidit).} 14. c4 (14.
d4 Ra5 $5 (14... e4 15. Ne5 e3 $5 {Carlsen}) 15. c4 e4 {Vidit}) 14... axb3 15.
axb3 Nd6 $1 {"Black is fine." (Vidit)} 16. Ra1 (16. Nc3 Bf5 17. c5 $6 Nc8 {
Vidit}) 16... Rxa1 17. Bxa1 (17. Qxa1 Nxb5 18. cxb5 Nb4 {Vidit}) 17... Nxb5 18.
cxb5 Nd4 19. Bxd4 exd4 {Carlsen thought Black is slightly better here.} 20.
Rxe8+ Qxe8 21. Qc1 Bd7 22. Qxc7 Bxb5 23. Bf1 Bc6 24. Qf4 ({Vidit expected} 24.
Bg2) 24... Bxf3 (24... Qd8 $1 25. Bg2 $6 Qd5 26. Ne1 Qe6 $1 {Carlsen}) 25. Qxf3
Qc6 26. Qd1 b6 27. Bg2 Qe6 28. Bb7 Bf8 29. Qf3 Kg7 30. Qf4 Qf6 31. Qxf6+
1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.09.30"]
[Round "8.1"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C78"]
[WhiteElo "2799"]
[BlackElo "2827"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "70"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 {A psychological
challenge. Carlsen repeats the line that gave Caruana a full point without
fight yesterday!} 7. c3 d6 8. a4 Rb8 9. d4 Bb6 10. a5 Ba7 11. h3 O-O 12. Be3
Ra8 13. Re1 h6 14. Nbd2 {This is what I wrote: "Here a successful holding
example for Black"-} Re8 {"What I did was safer than what he (Gawain Jones
yesterday) did." (Carlsen)} ({In case you forgot it, this is what happened
yesterday:} 14... exd4 15. cxd4 Nb4 {[#]} 16. e5 $146 Nfd5 17. Ne4 Nxe3 18.
Rxe3 Bb7 19. e6 $1 Nd5 20. exf7+ Kh8 21. Re1 Rxf7 22. Rc1 Rc8 23. Nfg5 $1 Rf5
$2 24. Ne6 {and White soon won, Caruana,F (2799)-Jones,G (2668) Chess.com Isle
of Man International 2017 [Bojkov, Dejan]}) 15. g4 $146 {A novelty! "But still
I did not feel safe after what he did...It is extremely dangerous (for Black)"
(Carlsen)} ({The predecessor's game was the one of...Caruana, yes! It saw:} 15.
Nf1 exd4 16. cxd4 Rxe4 17. Ng3 Re7 18. Qd2 Qf8 19. Rec1 Bd7 {and the game
later ended in a draw, Karjakin, S (2786)-Caruana,F (2772) Loo 2013}) 15... Qe7
({Caruana's intentions are revealed after say normal development with} 15...
Bb7 16. g5 $1 hxg5 17. Nxg5 Re7 18. Ndf3 {followed by Nf3-h4-f5(g6) and then
goal, match, game...}) 16. Nf1 ({Here} 16. g5 {will be met with} hxg5 17. Nxg5
Nd8 {(this is the primary reason why the queen moved.)}) 16... Nd8 {Regrouping
for the defense and the counter-attack.} 17. Ng3 c5 {Strking in the center. Or
else the flank attack might become fearsome.} ({Say something passive like}
17... c6 18. Qd2 Bd7 19. Bxh6 $5 gxh6 20. Qxh6 Nh7 21. Rad1 {and have fun
analyzing this!}) 18. Qd2 ({The computer suggests to prevent Black's next with
} 18. Bd5 $5 Nxd5 19. exd5 {with a pull, for example} cxd4 20. cxd4 e4 21. Bf4
{It is not about the pawn that White wins, but about how cramped black pieces
are which secures him the advantage.}) 18... c4 {Carlsen felt good afte this
move.} 19. Bc2 Nh7 {Caruana went into the thinking tank (more than 38 minutes).
"Good thing rarely come form such lenghty thought" (Carlsen)} 20. b4 {Caruana
decided to either close the queenside or bring the bishop back in busyness. He
had a bunch of alternatives.} (20. Rad1 {does not impress after} Nc6) (20. Red1
$5 {to play in the center himself. For example} Qf6 21. Kg2 Ne6 22. Nf5 {
and White seems somewhat better.}) ({From the above-mentioned line we see that
} 20. Kg2 {could be quite useful, so that} Qf6 {does not come with tempo. Then}
21. b3 cxb3 22. Bxb3 Be6 23. dxe5 dxe5 24. Bd5 {looks good for White.}) 20...
cxb3 {Of course. Otherwise White will have a pleasant one-sided-(kingside)
play.} 21. Bxb3 Be6 22. Bc2 {Black's next moves are logical and obvious. "He
must have missed a lot of things." (Carlsen)} ({Indeed. Both} 22. Nf5 Bxf5 23.
gxf5 Rc8 24. Kh2) ({And} 22. Bd5 {were better alternatives which would have
kept some edge for White.} Rc8 23. dxe5 dxe5 24. Nxe5 Bxe3 25. Rxe3) 22... Rc8
23. Bd3 Nb7 $1 {Usually this is quite a bad square in the Ruy Lopez but in the
concrete example it hits the weak pawn on a5.} 24. Rec1 {Too passive.} ({
Perhaps White should have defended with} 24. Nf5 Qc7 25. Ra3 {with the idea}
Nxa5 ({And if} 25... Bxf5 26. gxf5 Nxa5 27. Qa2) 26. Nxd6) 24... Qd8 25. Qb2 ({
Here} 25. Nf5 {is not as effective as in the line from above due to} Bxf5 26.
gxf5 Nxa5 27. Qa2 exd4 ({Or} 27... Bb6) 28. cxd4 Rxc1+ 29. Bxc1 Nc6 {and Black
takes over the initiative. But maybe this was the lesser evil for Caruana.})
25... Nxa5 {Carlsen won a pawn and the frustrated Caruana quickly loses.} 26.
Nd2 d5 $1 {The white pieces had left the center and the central break is still
a great opportunity.} (26... Ng5 $1 {was not bad neither.}) 27. Re1 (27. dxe5
Bxe3 28. fxe3 {is a nightmare of course.}) ({As well as} 27. exd5 Bxd5) 27...
Bb8 28. exd5 Bxd5 29. Bf5 Rc6 {Black does not need to force anything.} (29...
exd4 {was also good with the nice tactical line} 30. Bxd4 Rxe1+ 31. Rxe1 Ng5
32. Bxc8 Nc4 33. Nxc4 Nf3+ 34. Kf1 Bxc4+) 30. Qa3 Nb7 31. Rad1 exd4 32. Bxd4
Ng5 {Ironically, it is Black who mates on the kingside.} 33. c4 ({Or} 33. Rxe8+
Qxe8 34. Kh2 Qe2 $1) ({If} 33. Kh2 Bf4) 33... Rxe1+ 34. Rxe1 Be6 35. Qe3 {
Allows a trick, but White's position was hopeless anyway.} Bf4 {The knigth
forks win the queen.} (35... Bf4 36. Qc3 (36. Qxf4 Nxh3+) 36... Bxd2 37. Qxd2
Nf3+) 0-1
[Event "Chess.com Isle of Man International"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.10.01"]
[Round "9.5"]
[White "Jones, Gawain C B"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C45"]
[WhiteElo "2668"]
[BlackElo "2803"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "64"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. e5 Qe7 7. Qe2 Nd5 8.
c4 Ba6 9. Nd2 g6 10. Nf3 ({Harikrishna played instead} 10. b3 Bg7 11. Nf3 O-O
12. Qb2 Nb6 {and got compensation for a pawn after} 13. Qa3 Qxa3 (13... c5 $5 {
however seems more appropriate with the white king in the middle.}) 14. Bxa3
Rfe8 15. O-O-O Bxe5 16. Nxe5 Rxe5 17. Bb2 {Harikrishna,P (2750)-Tomashevsky,E
(2696) Moscow 2017}) 10... Qb4+ 11. Kd1 Ne7 {"I think this is almost a novelty,
and a strong one." (Kramnik)} 12. Qc2 $146 {Technically, this is the novelty.}
({In comparison to} 12. Qd2 Qb6 13. Kc2 Bg7 14. b3 c5 {with approximate
equality in Alonso,S (2499)-Paveto,K (2424) Buenos Aires 2015}) 12... c5 {
Kramnik was happy with the opening outcome. Jones's king remained in the
center and in order to keep it safe he will need to spend some tempos and
trade the opponent's queen.} 13. Bd3 Bg7 14. Re1 O-O 15. Qb3 ({White could
also try to escape on the kingside, but there are some other problems after}
15. Ke2 Bb7 16. Be4 Bxe4 17. Qxe4 Nc6 {The e5 pawn is as very often in the
Scotch vulnerable. Say} 18. Kf1 Rae8 19. Bf4 d6 (19... Qxb2)) 15... Nc6 (15...
Qb6 {at once was also good.}) 16. Bd2 (16. Qxb4 {works well for Black after}
Nxb4 17. Bf1 Rab8 18. a3 Nc6) 16... Qb6 17. Qxb6 axb6 {"It is clear that Black
is doing more than well, but I need to stop White from consolidating."
(Kramnik)} 18. Kc2 Rad8 19. a3 ({Perhaps Jones could have defended without
this weakening move. Like} 19. Rad1) 19... d6 {Opens the game before White
gets ready.} 20. exd6 Rxd6 21. Bc3 ({If} 21. Rad1 Bxb2 {wins material, for
example} 22. Bf4 Bxa3 23. Bxd6 cxd6 24. Ra1 Nb4+ 25. Kd2 (25. Kc3 Bb2+ $1)
25... Bb2) ({Kramnik believed} 21. Bf4 $1 {was critical and intended to go for
the highly original} Rf6 ({If Black wants to play correct chess, then} 21...
Nd4+ {is his move with slight advantage after} 22. Nxd4 Rxd4) 22. Bxc7 g5 {
idea. Objectively speaking, the couter-original play with} 23. Re4 h5 24. Bxb6
g4 25. Bxc5 $1 gxf3 26. Bxf8 {would have put a shadow on this.}) 21... Na5 {
" I think he missed this move." (Kramnik)} 22. Bxg7 (22. Bxa5 bxa5 {"is not an
option (for White), he is just much worse." (Kramnik)}) 22... Kxg7 23. Nd2 ({
White's best chance seems to be} 23. Kc3 Rfd8 24. Be2 Nc6 25. Rad1 Nd4 26. Nxd4
cxd4+ 27. Kd3 {although Black is certainly better here too.}) ({Kramnik spent
a lot of time calculating the consequences of the aggressive} 23. Re7 {White's
idea is revelaed in the beauiful line} Rfd8 ({Instead the former world
champion planned} 23... Kf6 {with the idea} 24. Rxc7 Rfd8 25. Be2 (25. b4 $1 {
is best with good draw chances.}) 25... Bc8 26. b4 {Now this is coming too
late-} Bf5+ 27. Kb2 $2 (27. Kc3 $1 {and it is not yet clear how is Black
winning.}) 27... Rd2+ 28. Nxd2 Rxd2+ 29. Kc1 Nb3# {(Kramnik)}) 24. Ne5 Kf6 25.
Rxf7+ Kxe5 26. Re1+ Kd4 27. Rf4# {(Kramnik)}) 23... Rfd8 {Now the problems
along the d-file are more than obvious.} 24. Re3 Bc8 $1 {This is the
problematic piece for Black in the Scotch. But Kramnik found an elegant
solution for it. The bishop joins the attack and it becomes irresistable.} 25.
Kc3 {The alternatives are no better:} (25. Rae1 $2 {loses to} Bf5 26. Ne4 Bxe4
27. Bxe4 Nxc4) (25. f3 {is bad after} Bf5 26. Ne4 Bxe4 27. fxe4 Nc6) (25. Nf3 {
drops a pawn after} Rxd3 26. Rxd3 Bf5 27. Ne1 Nxc4) 25... Bf5 26. Bxf5 Rxd2 27.
Be4 ({The last critical line was} 27. Rd3 {(Kramnik) when the win could be
like this-} gxf5 28. Rxd2 Rxd2 29. Kxd2 Nb3+ 30. Kc3 Nxa1 31. f4 (31. b4 cxb4+
32. axb4 f4 {to open the road for the king} 33. Kb2 Kf6 {(Kramnik)}) 31... Kg6
32. g3 h5 33. h4 Kf6 34. b4 cxb4+ 35. axb4 Ke6 36. Kb2 b5 37. cxb5 Kd5) ({
Objectively best was} 27. b4 gxf5 28. bxa5 Rxf2 {although Black is a clear
pawn ahead and should be technically winning.}) 27... R8d4 28. b3 ({Or} 28. Bd5
c6 29. b4 cxd5 30. bxa5 bxa5) 28... Rxf2 29. Rf3 Re2 30. Bd5 c6 $1 {Calculated
well in advance.} 31. Bxf7 ({Or} 31. Rxf7+ Kh6 32. Bf3 Re3+ 33. Kc2 Nxb3) 31...
Nb7 $1 32. b4 Nd6 {The bishop is trapped.} 0-1
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.06"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Li, Chao B"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E60"]
[WhiteElo "2809"]
[BlackElo "2735"]
[Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"]
[PlyCount "89"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 e6 4. Nc3 c5 5. d5 d6 6. e4 Bg7 7. Nge2 exd5 8. cxd5
Nbd7 9. Ng3 h5 10. Be2 Nh7 11. Be3 h4 12. Nf1 O-O 13. Qd2 Re8 (13... a6 14. a4
f5 15. exf5 gxf5 16. Bh6 Re8 17. Bxg7 Kxg7 18. Ne3 Qf6 19. g4 {Vidit-Bai, 2017,
favoured White.}) 14. Bh6 Bd4 $1 {Li Chao does well by keeping his best minor
piece on the board.} 15. Ne3 $5 a6 $1 {Great timing.} ({Aronian was inviting}
15... g5 16. Nf5 Ne5 17. Ng7 Re7 18. Nh5 f6 19. Nb5 $1 {with great
complications that might turn out to be favourable for White.}) 16. Nc2 ({
Now, as the b5-square is covered,} 16. a4 g5 17. Nf5 Ne5 18. Ng7 Re7 19. Nh5 f6
{looks fine for Black, who plans to answer} 20. f4 {with} Ng4 $1) 16... Be5 17.
Bf4 (17. a4 g5 $1 {again traps the white bishop.}) 17... b5 {Black has
achieved this all-important advance.} 18. O-O Bxf4 19. Qxf4 Ne5 20. Qh6 g5 21.
g3 ({The logical} 21. f4 {is a double-edged proposition. Black will be happy
to sac the h4-pawn,} gxf4 22. Rxf4 Qg5 23. Qxg5+ Nxg5 24. Rxh4 {to keep full
control over the critical e5-square, along with clear queenside prospects.})
21... hxg3 22. hxg3 Qf6 23. Qh2 Ng6 24. Ne3 Bd7 25. Kg2 Kg7 26. Rh1 Rh8 27. Qg1
Qe5 28. Qf2 Nf6 29. Raf1 Nh5 30. Rfg1 {White is 100% on the defensive, and Li
Chao decided to strike while the iron was hot.} Nhf4+ $5 ({Something has to be
said in favour of} 30... Rae8 {as there isn't much White can do with his
position.}) 31. gxf4 Bh3+ 32. Rxh3 Nxf4+ 33. Kf1 Nxh3 34. Qg3 Nxg1 35. Qxe5+
dxe5 36. Kxg1 c4 37. Nf5+ Kf6 38. d6 Ke6 39. a4 {In the endgame two rooks are
usually worth more than three minor pieces, and here Black also has an extra
pawn.} Kd7 ({He needed to stay cool:} 39... Rhb8 $1 {is only a temporary
inconvenience.} 40. axb5 $2 (40. Kf2 Kd7 41. Ke3 Kc6 {liberating the rook from
its defensive duty.}) 40... axb5 41. Nxb5 Ra1+ 42. Kf2 Rc1 $1 {this one is
very easy to miss. Black keeps his c-pawn alive and because of that he can
bury the white bishop.} 43. Na3 Rxb2 $19) 40. axb5 axb5 41. Nxb5 Ra2 (41... Ra4
42. Nc3 Rb4 43. Nd5 Rxb2 44. Bxc4) 42. Bxc4 Rxb2 43. Nc7 Rhh2 44. Bb5+ Kd8 45.
Ne3 {Somewhat surprisingly the players agreed to a draw here. Despite his
inaccuracy on move 39, Li could have still gone on.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.06"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Riazantsev, Alexander"]
[Black "Harikrishna, Penteala"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E34"]
[WhiteElo "2654"]
[BlackElo "2737"]
[Annotator "Roiz,M"]
[PlyCount "166"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. cxd5 Qxd5 6. e3 c5 7. Bd2 Bxc3 8.
bxc3 {This continuation usually leads to a long strategic battle with mutual
chances.} (8. Bxc3 cxd4 9. Bxd4 Nc6 {is very safe for White, but Black is very
close to full equality.}) 8... O-O 9. Nf3 Nc6 (9... b6 $5 {looks somewhat more
flexible. In that case Black can choose between a few possible setups.}) 10. c4
Qd6 11. Bc3 $5 {Maintaining the tension in the centre is the most natural
decision.} (11. dxc5 {was seen in a very old classical encounter between 2
World Champions:} Qxc5 12. Rb1 e5 13. Ng5 h6 14. Ne4 Nxe4 15. Qxe4 Rd8 16. Rb5
Qe7 17. Be2 b6 $15 {Alekhine,A-Euwe,M Netherlands 1937 Black was fine.}) 11...
cxd4 12. exd4 $8 b6 ({It made some sense to sac a pawn in order to fix control
over the d5-spot:} 12... b5 $5 13. cxb5 Nb4 14. Qb3 Nbd5 $44) 13. Be2 Bb7 14.
O-O Rac8 15. Rfd1 {Choosing the posiioning of rooks is one of tougher tasks in
chess. This time Alexander is focused on over-protecting his hanging pawns.} ({
The ambitious} 15. Rad1 $5 {might pose Black more problems:} Rfd8 16. Rfe1 Ne7
17. Ne5 Ng6 18. Bd3 Nf4 19. Bf1 $14) 15... Ne7 $1 $146 {A decent novelty - The
knights is heading for g6 or f5, whereas the Bb7 is getting more useful.} ({
The previously played} 15... Qf4 16. g3 Qe4 (16... Qd6 $5) 17. Qb2 Ne7 18. d5
$1 exd5 19. Bxf6 gxf6 20. Rd4 Qe6 21. Re1 $36 {(Kahn,E - Sendur,A Budapest
2001) put Black in a danger.}) 16. Qb3 (16. Ne5 Ne4 17. Bb2 f6 18. Nf3 Rfd8 19.
Rac1 Qd7 $132) 16... Rfd8 (16... Qf4 $5 17. Qa3 Ng6 18. Bb4 Rfd8 19. d5 exd5
20. Qxa7 Rb8 $132) 17. Ne5 (17. a4 Nf5 18. a5 Bxf3 19. Bxf3 Qf4 20. axb6 axb6
21. Qxb6 Nh4 {The activity of Black's pieces is worth a pawn.}) 17... Ng6 ({
More to the point was} 17... Nf5 $1 18. Bb2 Qe7 19. Rac1 Nd7 {White's pieces
are be tied with protecting the Pd4, so Black's position looks solid.}) 18. Bb2
{IN his turn, Alexander unnecessarily wastes a tempo or prophylaxis.} ({
A more energetic try was} 18. a4 Qc7 19. a5 Nxe5 20. dxe5 Ne4 21. Bd4 Nc5 22.
Qc3 $14) 18... Nd7 $2 {Pentala is playing passively and inviting serious
troubles.} ({Instead, Black should have continued:} 18... Qc7 $1 19. Nxg6 hxg6
20. a4 Ne4 $1 21. a5 Qf4 $132) 19. Nxg6 hxg6 20. a4 $1 {Now Black cannot do
much against the advance of the a-pawn.} Nf6 21. a5 {The weakness of the
b6-pawn makes Black's position difficult.} Qc7 22. axb6 axb6 23. Rab1 $2 {
Removing the rook from the a-file is a serious concession.} ({A much better
move was} 23. Bc1 $1 Ne4 24. Bf1 $1 ({But} 24. Be3 {is less promising:} b5 $1
25. cxb5 Nc3 26. Rd2 Nxe2+ 27. Rxe2 Bd5 $14 {and Black gets excellent drawing
chances due to the strong Bd5.}) 24... Rd7 (24... Nd6 25. Bf4 $16) 25. Be3 $16
{neutralising any of his opponent's counterplay and putting strong pressure on
the Pb6.}) 23... Ne4 $1 {GM Harikrishna doesn't miss a golden opportunity for
activating the pieces.} 24. Rbc1 ({Now it was too late for} 24. Bc1 Ba6 25. Qf3
Nd6 $11) 24... Qf4 25. f3 (25. Qe3 Qxe3 26. fxe3 Rc7 27. Bd3 Ra8 $11) 25... Nf6
$2 {An unsuccessful choice - the knight is restricted and doesn't support
Black's counterplay.} ({The precise} 25... Nd6 {would maintain the balance:}
26. d5 exd5 27. cxd5 b5 28. Rxc8 Rxc8 29. Bxb5 Nxb5 30. Qxb5 Qe3+ 31. Kh1 Rc2
32. Qxb7 Qe2 33. Rg1 Rxb2 $11) 26. Rc2 ({Another move which deserved serious
attention was} 26. Ra1 $5 Qc7 27. Bc1 $16 {, and Black is doomed to a passive
defence.}) 26... Qc7 27. Bc1 b5 {This attempt to change the unfovaurable
course of game was fully justified in the game, but it was a bluff!} ({It made
sense to simplify matters by means of} 27... e5 $1 28. Be3 exd4 29. Bxd4 Rd6
$14 {and Black's defensive task is getting easier.}) 28. c5 $2 {Now Black is
out of danger.} ({Instead, White could have won a pawn:} 28. Rb2 $1 Rb8 29.
cxb5 Nd5 30. Rc2 $16) 28... Bd5 29. Qb4 Bc6 {The position is about equal, but
Black's play is easier due to full control over d5.} 30. Bg5 Nd5 31. Qb2 ({
In the event of} 31. Bxd8 Nxb4 32. Bxc7 Nxc2 33. Bd6 Ra8 34. Rd2 Ne3 35. Kf2
Nd5 36. Rb2 Nc3 37. Ke3 {White should be able to hold this endgame, but it's
slightly better for Black.}) 31... Re8 32. Ra1 Ra8 {Of course, both sides do
not want to lose control over the only open file.} 33. Rcc1 Qb7 ({Perhaps,}
33... Nf4 $5 34. Bf1 Ra4 35. Qd2 Nd5 $15 {would offer Black more winning
chances.}) 34. Bd2 Rxa1 35. Rxa1 Ra8 36. Ra5 $6 {An inaccuracy.} ({A better
try was} 36. Kf2 Rxa1 37. Qxa1 b4 38. Bc4 b3 39. Qb2 Ba4 40. g3 {Black would
be unable to make any progress.}) 36... Rxa5 37. Bxa5 b4 {Now the Ba5 is
definitely misplaced.} 38. Bc4 Ne3 39. Be2 b3 $15 {Obviously, the Pb3 is
putting White under strong pressure.} 40. Bd2 Nf5 41. Bc3 Bd5 42. Qc1 Ne7 43.
Bb2 {The passer is blocked, and Black has to find a cosntructive plan. The
next few moves are not of much value.} Nc6 44. Qc3 Kf8 45. Kf2 Ke7 46. Qd2 Qb8
47. h3 Kf8 48. Bd3 {Of course, White is sitting and waiting.} Kg8 49. Qe1 Qf4
50. Qe3 Qh4+ 51. Kg1 Qd8 52. Kf2 Qa5 53. Qe1 Nb4 54. Bb1 Qb5 55. Qc3 Qa4 56.
Kg1 ({More accurate might be} 56. h4 $5 {, keeping the king closer to the
centre.}) 56... Kf8 57. Kf2 Nc6 58. Kg1 Ke8 59. Kf2 Kd7 60. Qd2 Kc8 61. Qc3 Na5
62. Bd3 Bc4 63. Bb1 Nc6 64. d5 $2 {Alas, Alexander doesn't withstand the
pressure. This move is connected with a blunder.} ({At the same time, the
patient} 64. Qd2 {would mostly likely enable White to achieve a draw.}) 64...
Bxd5 65. Qxg7 $2 {Mistakes rarely come alone! Of course, this move is
logically connected with the previous one.} ({The stubborn} 65. Bd3 e5 66. Qd2
{would still leave White with some drawing chances.}) 65... Qh4+ $1 {I guess,
this check was overlooked by Alexander. The lack of harmony in White's camp
starts to tell.} 66. g3 (66. Ke2 Qg3 $19 {is even worse.}) 66... Qxh3 67. Qf8+
Nd8 68. Qh8 {A sad necessity. The resulting endgame is completely lost.} Qxh8
69. Bxh8 Nb7 $19 {The second pawn falls.} 70. Ke3 Kd7 71. f4 Nxc5 72. g4 f5 $1
{Restricting the b1-bishop and securing the e4-spot for Black's minor pieces.}
73. gxf5 exf5 74. Bd3 Kc6 75. Be2 Na4 76. Bd1 Kc5 77. Bd4+ Kb4 78. Bg7 Be4 79.
Bf8+ Kc4 80. Be2+ Kd5 ({Another move which was good enough was} 80... Kc3 $19)
81. Bd1 b2 82. Bb3+ Kc6 83. Bxa4+ Kb7 0-1
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.06"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "Radjabov, Teimour"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2775"]
[BlackElo "2724"]
[Annotator "Radjabov,T"]
[PlyCount "80"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{Who would have thought that out of a so-called boring opening, we would get
into very sharp play at some point, I managed to outcalculate my opponent in
the sharp struggle. Anyway, let's look at the game!} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3
d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. c5 Nh5 8. Bd3 Nxf4 9. exf4 c6 $5 {
Not the most usual way to play this position, Black normally starts with ...b6.
Here Anish started to think longer, remembering what was the difference and he
remembered it right, but we considered the ensuing position as normal for
Black.} 10. Qc2 {Came after a long think.} h6 11. O-O Qc7 12. Ne5 {This idea
makes all the difference, otherwise the game would follow the normal path by
g3.} Nxe5 13. fxe5 Bd7 (13... b6 {instead of the text move deserves attention,
but we thought that it's a possible way for Black, not showing his cards
earlier than needed.}) 14. a3 {White can start with f4, b4 and so on.} b6 15.
b4 bxc5 16. bxc5 f6 17. f4 Rab8 {This was all going by my notes, Black should
not rush with ...f5 or ...f6xe5 and keep the tension in the centre as much as
he can. ...Qa5 comes next and White should decide what he is doing, Anish
spent a lot of time here, maybe around an hour!} 18. g3 Qa5 19. Ne2 {Here
Anish offered a draw, which in normal circumstances and normal time, I would
probably accept, but in these conditions where he had less time and probably
felt uncomfortable playing this position, I decided that it was my chance and
that I had to play on.} Be8 (19... Bc8 $5 {The computer's suggestion is
probably even easier, Black goes for ...Ba6 and the position is always good
for Black.}) 20. Bg6 $2 {This is already a real mistake, which came quite fast
from Giri, I did not expect this move. White should probably play calmly or go
for exf6} (20. h3 {I was expecting this more, but maybe exf6 is the right way
for White,}) (20. exf6 $1 Bxf6 21. g4 $1 {and even although the position is
unclear of course, White is by no means worse.}) 20... Bxg6 21. Qxg6 Qd2 $1 {
An important manoeuvre, the queen is very annoying on e3. Now Black has the
upper hand: around 1 hour more on the clock and all the pleasures of deciding
between the middlegame or pleasant endgames with the b-file occupied.} 22. Rf2
Qe3 {White is already in serious trouble practically; the centre is hanging
totally.} 23. Qg4 {I would call it a mistake if practically this would be easy
to face. I saw ...Kf7 here as well as ...Rf7, but I concentrated my
calculations on ...Kh8 and ...Kh7 somehow. I was sure I had to keep the queens
on, which is a mistake, but in the game it proved to be a crucial decision!} (
23. Rc1 {Practically maybe the way, but a very hard move to play, a3 is
hanging and even ...Qe4 secures a stable advantage for Black.} Qe4 $1 $15 (
23... Qxa3 24. Kg2 {with chances to save the game.})) 23... Kh7 $2 {This
played out nicely in the game but objectively it's a mistake.} ({I
miscalculated the line after} 23... Kf7 $5 {The most simple to play the
position without risk and just press for the rest of the game with easy plans
like ...Rb2-Rfb8 and Bd8-a5} 24. f5 (24. Qh5+ g6 $1 $17) (24. Qf3 Qxf3 25. Rxf3
Rb2 26. Nc1 Rfb8 $15) 24... fxe5 25. Qg6+ Kg8 $19) (23... Rf7 $5 {could have
been even stronger, but when I saw the line over the board, I could not
somehow believe it works. But it does!} 24. Qxe6 Rb2 25. Re1 Bd8 $1 {and here
I told my self why? Why go for this when I am not sure if it works or not, if
I have a stable advantage with ...Kh7 and ...Kf7.}) 24. Qxe6 Rbe8 25. a4 $4 {
Blunder. This came as a complete surprise, but in time pressure it's not easy
to make the right decisions. Anish probably missed the queen move that came
later.} (25. Qxc6 fxe5 26. Qxd5 exd4 27. Rd1 {Here in my calculations I saw
that I have ...Rd8 but thought that ...d3 was good, when White can just take
with the rook!!! and avoid the pin on the g1-a7 diagonal by ...Bxc5!} Rd8 (
27... d3 28. Rxd3 $1 {Of course!} (28. Qxd3+ Qxd3 29. Rxd3 Bxc5 $19)) 28. Qe5
Qxe5 29. fxe5 Bxc5 30. Rxf8 Bxf8 {Slightly better still, but it's not the kind
of convertible advantage.}) (25. Qf5+ {was also much better than the move in
the game:} Kh8 {I was planning this. I thought I was slightly better. But in
fact I have to make a draw.} (25... g6 26. Qd7 fxe5 27. Raf1 exd4 28. f5 {
and it ends in a draw, but Black should be accurate}) 26. e6 Bd8 27. Rd1 Rxe6
28. Rd3 Qe4 29. Qxe4 dxe4 30. Rb3 f5 $11) 25... fxe5 26. Qxe5 Qd3 $1 $19 {
Now the white queen is trapped and the position is hopeless due to the fact
that the knight on e2 and the d4-pawn together with White's king are extremely
weak and impossible to defend. Also the queen is almost trapped.} 27. Qh5 Bf6
28. Raf1 {Here it was maybe easier to play simple moves, but I thought I was
winning by force, which proved to be correct, otherwise ...Kg8 or ...Re3 or
some other move putting more pressure on White to make decisions, would be
just winning calmly.} g6 29. Qg4 h5 30. Qd7+ Re7 31. Qd6 {This is all forced!}
Kg7 $1 32. Nc1 Qf5 $1 {An important move, I was playing to trap the white
queen, which in the end was not successful, but White had to weaken his king
in order to protect the queen on d6.} 33. Rd1 {To play Re2 next and try to
rescue the queen.} Rfe8 $5 {But I was very excited by the idea of ...Bxd4!!} (
33... h4 $3 {The computer suggests this as easier, but probably any black move
is enough to win the game. It is impossible to play this position as White, d4
hanging, the king weak, the queen almost trapped and the knight is completely
out of play. There is nothing to do here with White, ...hxg3, ...Qh3 are
threatening.}) 34. Qxc6 Re1+ 35. Rf1 Bxd4+ $3 (35... Rxd1 36. Rxd1 Qc2 {
Possible but hard to know if it's completely winning.}) (35... Rxf1+ $5 36.
Rxf1 Bxd4+ 37. Kg2 Qe4+ 38. Kh3 Kh6 $3 $19 {and Black goes for ...Qf5, ...Re3
and ...h4 with a winning position.}) 36. Rxd4 Rxf1+ 37. Kxf1 (37. Kg2 Ree1 $19
(37... Qc2+ 38. Kh3 (38. Kxf1 Qxc1+ 39. Kg2 Re2+ 40. Kh3 Kh6 $19) 38... Rh1 $19
)) 37... Qh3+ 38. Kf2 Qxh2+ 39. Kf1 Qh1+ 40. Kf2 Re1 {White can't escape with
the king, ...Qf1 is threatening mate, or ...Qg1, ...Re3. I was very happy
about this game. Starting the tournament with a win is a great pleasure and
for a long time I had not had such a start! It proved to be important for my
overall result I think!} 0-1
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.07"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Inarkiev, Ernesto"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D30"]
[WhiteElo "2800"]
[BlackElo "2707"]
[Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"]
[PlyCount "39"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. Bg5 Bb4+ 5. Nbd2 {Shak specialises in obscure
and risky gambit lines of the Queen's Gambit Declined.} dxc4 6. e3 ({The main
line runs} 6. Qc2 b5 7. a4 c6 8. Bxf6 gxf6 9. g3) 6... b5 7. a4 c6 8. Be2 (8.
Qc2 Bb7 9. Be2 Nbd7 10. O-O O-O 11. b3 c3 12. Ne4 h6 13. Bh4 $5 (13. Bxf6 Nxf6
14. Nxc3 $11) 13... g5 14. Nxf6+ Nxf6 15. Bg3 c5 {Nakamura-Morozevich, 2013.})
8... Nbd7 9. O-O Qb6 10. Qc2 Bb7 11. b3 c3 12. Nb1 c5 13. Nxc3 cxd4 14. Nxb5
Rc8 (14... O-O {seems more natural.}) 15. Qb2 a6 16. a5 $1 Qc5 17. exd4 {
Inarkiev played the opening reasonably well and stood to equalise until he
chose an unfortunate square for his queen.} Qf5 $2 (17... Qe7 18. Ne5 $5 h6 (
18... axb5 19. Bxb5) 19. Rfc1 O-O) (17... Qc2 18. Qxc2 Rxc2 19. Bd1 Rc8 20. Bd2
$1 Be7) 18. Bd2 Be7 19. Nc3 O-O $4 {One move isn't a relaible indication of
bad form, but how does a Super-GM blunder his queen like that?} (19... h6 20.
b4 O-O 21. b5 $16) (19... e5 $5) 20. Nh4 1-0
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.07"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Radjabov, Teimour"]
[Black "Eljanov, Pavel"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E16"]
[WhiteElo "2724"]
[BlackElo "2739"]
[Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Nc3 c6 8. e4
d5 9. exd5 $1 {A modern treatment of this well-known variation.} cxd5 10. Ne5
O-O 11. O-O Nc6 12. Bf4 {A relatively fresh idea.} (12. cxd5 Nxe5 13. d6 (13.
dxe5 Nxd5 14. Rc1 Nxc3 15. Bxc3 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 Qc8 17. Qf3 {leaves White with
only the smallest of advantages.}) 13... Nc6 14. dxe7 Qxe7 15. Bg5 h6 16. d5
Na5 $1 {Anand-Carlsen, WCh Sochi, 2014}) 12... Na5 13. Rc1 (13. Bg5 $5 {
is counterintuitive - why move the bishop again - but it brought White success
in van Wely-Tkachiev} Rc8 (13... Ba6 $5) 14. Bxf6 Bxf6 15. cxd5 Bxd5 16. Nxd5
exd5 17. Re1 $14) 13... dxc4 14. Bxb7 Nxb7 15. Nxc4 {This isn't your
Grandfather's IQP position. Seemingly White has committed a cardinal sin of
trading his light-squared bishop, but he's not playing for a kingside attack
just yet. Black has his own set of problems: an awkward Nb7 and general
weakness of the light squares caused by b7-b6.} Bb4 (15... Na5 16. Ne3 $1 {
aiming at d4-d5.}) 16. Bg5 $1 {It's all about the d5-square.} Nd6 17. Nxd6 Bxd6
({It's undertandable Pavel didn't want to weaken his king. Possible lines,
such as} 17... Qxd6 18. Bxf6 gxf6 19. Ne4 Qd8 20. Rc4 Be7 21. Nc3 Rc8 22. Ra4
$1 a5 23. d5 {did seem unnerving.}) 18. d5 $1 exd5 19. Nxd5 Be5 20. Bxf6 Bxf6
21. b4 {What we have here is a symmetrical pawn structure in a open position,
with Black supposedly keeping a better minor piece. So, why isn't this equal?
The answer to this mystery lies in the activity of the white pieces and
Black's struggles to find a safe square for his queen.} Qd6 ({Suppose, he does
everything by the book:} 21... g6 22. Qf3 Bg7 {hides the bishop,} 23. Rfd1 Qg5
{lets the queen out,} 24. h4 Qe5 25. Rc7 b5 {improves the queenside pawn
structure,} 26. Re7 Qd6 27. Rd7 $1 Qe5 28. Kg2 {and then what? Black is
practically out of moves. Sample lines to illustrate his problems are:} h5 (
28... a6 29. Nb6 Rab8 30. R7d5 Qe7 31. Nd7) (28... a5 29. bxa5 Rxa5 30. Ne7+
Kh8 31. Nc6) 29. Re7 Qd6 30. Rb7 Qe5 31. a3 $1 ({not even} 31. Rxb5) 31... Rae8
32. Rxb5 {with a decisive advantage for White everywhere.}) 22. Qf3 Rac8 23.
Rcd1 $1 {There was no way that Teimour was going to trade rooks.} Rfe8 24. b5
$6 {The one and only inaccuracy by Radjabov until time trouble.} ({Instead,
the prophylactic} 24. Kg2 $1 {would pose an interesting dilemma to his
opponent: should Black just stay put or should he attempt a bailout?} Be7 $5
25. Rfe1 Bf8 26. Ne7+ Bxe7 27. Rxd6 Bxd6 28. Rxe8+ Rxe8 29. Qc6 Re6 30. Qa8+
Bf8 31. a3 Re7 {Can this be held? White will certainly try his best.}) 24...
Be7 25. Rd4 (25. Rfe1 Bf8 26. Ne7+ $4 {now meets with} Rxe7 27. Rxd6 Rxe1+ 28.
Kg2 Bxd6 $19) 25... Bf8 26. Rfd1 Rc5 $2 {An unfortunate idea.} ({It was high
time to work out a queen trade,} 26... Qe6 27. Kg2 (27. Rg4 Qe2) 27... Qe2 28.
Ra4 Qxf3+ 29. Kxf3 {and Black doesn't have to fear losing the a-pawn:} Rc5 ({or
} 29... Rc2 30. Rxa7 Bc5 31. Ne3 Rc3) 30. Rxa7 Rxb5 31. Nc7 Rf5+ 32. Kg4 Ree5
$11) 27. a4 Qe6 28. Rg4 Kh8 ({Black falls victim to the back rank weakness
after} 28... Qe2 $2 29. Qxe2 Rxe2 30. Nf6+ Kh8 31. Rd8) 29. Rf4 Kg8 30. h4 Rc2
31. Kg2 h6 32. h5 {Pavel seemed to have run out of useful moves, and, possibly,
the clock had become an issue as well.} Rcc8 33. Rdd4 $3 {Powerful
centralisation, reminiscent of the classic game Spassky-Fischer, Mar del Plata
1960.} Bc5 34. Rde4 Qd7 35. Rg4 $1 Kf8 (35... Kh8 36. Nf6) 36. Ref4 {A little
hesitation that spoils it a bit.} ({Already,} 36. Rxg7 $1 {was decisive:} Rxe4
(36... Kxg7 37. Qc3+ f6 38. Nxf6) 37. Rg8+ $1 Kxg8 38. Nf6+ Kg7 39. Nxd7 Re6
40. Qg4+ Kh7 41. Ne5 $1 Rxe5 42. Qxc8 Rxh5 43. Qd7 Kg6 44. f4 {and the rest is
automatic.}) 36... Bd6 ({Pavel's best chance was} 36... Red8 37. Rxf7+ Qxf7 38.
Rf4 Rd7 39. Rxf7+ Rxf7 40. Nf4 Kg8 41. Qd5 Re8 {White should win, but it would
take some time.}) 37. Rd4 (37. Rxg7 $1 Bxf4 38. Rg8+ {the same motif again.})
37... Qb7 38. Rxg7 $1 {Finally Teimour lands a mortal blow.} Be5 (38... Kxg7
39. Rg4+ Kf8 40. Rg8+ Kxg8 41. Nf6+ Kf8 42. Qxb7 Rc7 43. Qd5 Re6 44. Qa8+ Kg7
45. Ne8+) 39. Rg8+ Kxg8 40. Nf6+ Bxf6 41. Rg4+ {Despite the uncertain finish,
this game is a masterpiece by Radjabov.} 1-0
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.08"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Eljanov, Pavel"]
[Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B92"]
[WhiteElo "2739"]
[BlackElo "2742"]
[Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"]
[PlyCount "79"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{The 3rd round of the Geneva FIDE GP and Radjabov is the only player on 2/2,
while everybody else is trying to catch him!} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4.
Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 $5 {A move that has a positional reputation, but may
create complicated and agressive positions, as we will see in the game!} e5 7.
Nb3 Be7 8. Be3 Be6 9. Nd5 Nbd7 {Threatening to take on e4.} (9... Nxd5 $5 {
keeping the bishop is another way to play this} 10. exd5 Bf5 11. Qd2 {it is
important to avoid ...Bg5 once and for all} (11. a4 {was played in the oldest
game I found with this quick Nd5 idea: back in 1945!} Nd7 12. a5 Bg5 $1 {
and Black is already confortable, the e3 bishop is an important piece} 13. Bg4
Bxe3 14. Bxf5 Ba7 $1 15. Qg4 g6 16. Bxd7+ Qxd7 17. Qxd7+ Kxd7 18. c4 Rhc8 19.
Nd2 f5 $15 {0-1 (43) Stulik,V-Opocensky,K Prague 1945, and Black is simply
better.}) 11... O-O 12. O-O Bg6 13. a4 $1 (13. Rac1 $6 {I played this move in
a game, but didn't get any advantage} a5 $1 14. a4 Nd7 15. Bb5 f5 16. f4 (16.
f3 $5 {was better}) 16... Nf6 17. g3 Ng4 18. c3 Bf6 (18... Be8 $1 $15 {would
be very annoying, threatening to take and play a4. If I take on e8, then I
have problems controlling the queenside properly (...Rxe8! and ...Qc7 with ...
Qc4 ideas)}) 19. Rce1 h5 20. Qe2 Nxe3 21. Qxe3 h4 22. Nd2 $11 {1/2-1/2 (36)
Mekhitarian,K (2550)-Oparin,G (2617) Abu Dhabi 2016}) 13... Nd7 14. a5 h6 15.
c4 Rc8 16. Rac1 {and White had great play on the queenside in this game} e4 $6
(16... Re8 {should be better}) 17. Qb4 Qc7 18. Rfd1 Nc5 19. Bf4 Bg5 20. Bxg5
hxg5 21. Nxc5 dxc5 22. Qd2 $16 {½-½ (45) Di Berardino,D (2494)-Leitao,R
(2636) Joao Pessoa 2013, followed with either b4 or Rc3-Rb3-Rb6.}) (9... Nxe4
$2 {is simply bad} 10. Bb6 Qc8 11. Nc7+ Kf8 12. Nxa8 Nd7 13. Be3 $16) 10. Qd3
O-O (10... Bxd5 11. exd5 O-O 12. g4 $1 {The idea seen in Eljanov's game was
found and tried for the first time by Alexander Khalifman in round 16 of the
FIDE World Championship back in 1999, against one of the world's best Najdorf
specialists - Boris Gelfand. Khalifman used it with success and went on to win
the tournament!} Nc5 13. Nxc5 dxc5 14. O-O-O e4 15. Qd2 Bd6 16. g5 Nd7 17. h4
Ne5 18. h5 {and the scary pawn avalanche comes with deadly effects} Rc8 $2 (
18... f5 $1 {was the only chance to survive} 19. gxf6 Qxf6 20. Rhg1 $16) 19.
Rh4 $1 c4 {Gelfand tries direct counterplay by sacrificing two pawns, but
White takes the material and remains well defended} 20. Rxe4 c3 21. bxc3 Qa5
22. Kb1 Rxc3 23. Bd4 $18 {1-0 (39) Khalifman,A (2628)-Gelfand,B (2713) Las
Vegas 1999}) 11. a4 $5 {A flexible move, that is almost always useful in this
variation.} (11. O-O {is the most common move here} Bxd5 12. exd5 Ne8 (12...
Rc8 $5 {threatening Nb6} 13. c4 Ne8 14. Rac1 (14. g3 $5 Bg5 15. f4 exf4 16.
gxf4 $13 {with an unclear position}) 14... b6 15. Kh1 (15. Bg4 $5) 15... Bg5
16. Qd2 Bxe3 17. Qxe3 a5 18. Nd2 f5 $15 {0-1 (52) Dastan,B (2519)-Saric,I
(2618) Minsk 2017, and Black got a perfectly fine position.}) (12... Nb6 $6 13.
c4 a5 14. a4 $1 Nfd7 15. Bd2 $1 {hitting a5} Nc5 16. Nxc5 dxc5 17. Bc3 Bd6 18.
b3 $16 {and White has a clear plan to play Rae1, Bd1-Bc2, with amazing
prospects on the kingside}) 13. a4 Bg5 14. a5 Bxe3 15. Qxe3 Nef6 16. c4 Rb8 17.
Rfb1 Qc7 18. Nd2 $36 {1/2-1/2 (59) Carlsen,M (2838)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2803)
Karlsruhe 2017, with good potential on the queenside.}) 11... Bxd5 (11... Nxd5
$5 {has to be tried in future encounters} 12. exd5 e4 $1 {forced and good} 13.
Qd2 {looks more logical} (13. Qxe4 Nf6 14. Qd3 Bxd5 15. O-O $13 {White has a
better structure, but Black has good activity, the position should be balanced}
) 13... Bf5 14. g4 Bg6 15. h4 h6 {with a very complex position} (15... Bxh4 $2
16. g5 $18) 16. O-O-O (16. g5 $5 h5 17. O-O-O $13) 16... Bxh4 17. Rh3 $40) 12.
exd5 Nc5 $6 {A typical move changing the structure, that also stops White from
expanding on the queenside. On the other hand, White obtains a strong passed
pawn on d5, and a perfect scenario to play with c4 and g4!, castling queenside.
} ({A similar precedent was:} 12... Rc8 13. a5 Nc5 14. Nxc5 dxc5 15. c4 e4 16.
Qc2 Bd6 17. O-O (17. g4 $5 {would be also possible here, like Eljanov played})
17... Qc7 18. g3 Rce8 19. Rfc1 Nd7 20. b4 f5 $36 {0-1 (25) Castrillon Gomez,M
(2210)-Vazquez,G (2443) Medellin 2017, and Black already has a strong
initiative.}) (12... Ne8 $1 {preparing ...f5, has never been tried before, and
should be a good move.}) 13. Nxc5 dxc5 14. c4 Qc7 15. Qc2 Rae8 $6 (15... e4 {
perhaps should be better, because if White plays the same g4 now, then Black
may decide where to place the a8-rook.}) 16. g4 $1 $16 {A good moment to play
this move, because Black has already removed the rook from a8, meaning White
will have more freedom to castle queenside. Also, Black will never be able to
expand with ...f5 anymore, as usually happens in this pawn structure. White
definitely won the opening battle here and has a good advantage.} e4 {This had
to be played sooner or later.} 17. O-O-O Bd6 18. g5 Nd7 19. Kb1 Ne5 20. h4 $1 (
20. Qxe4 $6 {there is no need to take this pawn, as it helps Black} Nc6 $5 $44
{followed by ...Nb4. White would also have an advantage here, but Black has
time to breathe now.}) 20... Nf3 21. Rh3 $6 (21. h5 $1 {would be very strong.
The problem is that Black only starts the counterplay on the queenside after
white decides to take on f3 (something he will do whenever he wants)} Qd7 (
21... f6 {is the computer's suggestion, and does not solve all the problems}
22. Bxf3 exf3 23. h6 g6 24. gxf6 Rxf6 25. Rhe1 $16 {and Black has problems
defending his king, and at the same time watching the passed d-pawn, Bg5 is
coming next}) 22. a5 {another problem is that Black can't even play ...Rb8 for
...b6, because e4 is hanging} Qc7 23. Bxf3 exf3 24. Bd2 $1 Re2 $2 25. h6 g6 26.
Qc3 $18 {followed by Qxf3.}) 21... Qd7 $1 {I guess Eljanov missed this. In any
case, he is still better.} 22. Rhh1 Qe7 (22... f5 23. gxf6 Rxf6 24. h5 $16 {
also looks good for White.}) 23. Bxf3 exf3 24. h5 b5 $1 {Counterplay gets
there in time.} 25. cxb5 axb5 26. axb5 Qd7 (26... Rb8 $5 $132) 27. Qd3 (27. Rh4
$5 Qxb5 28. h6 g6 29. Bf4 {not an easy move! now Qc3 is the real threat,
because ...Be5 is no longer possible} Bxf4 30. Rxf4 f6 $1 31. Rxf3 (31. Rxf6 $2
Rxf6 32. gxf6 Kf7 $3 {and Black has very strong counterplay with ...Re2 next} (
32... Re2 $4 33. f7+ $1 Kxf7 34. Qc3 $18 {with a decisive attack})) 31... Re2
32. Rb3 $1 Rxc2 33. Rxb5 Rxf2 34. gxf6 $16 {should be good for White, but
Black is fighting.}) 27... Rb8 28. h6 g6 (28... Qxb5 $2 29. Qc3 $1 $16) 29. Bd2
Rxb5 30. Bc3 Rb3 31. Rhe1 {Preparing Qxf3.} (31. Qxf3 $2 Be5 $1 $36 {and Black
grabs the initiative.}) 31... Qg4 {Forced.} 32. Re4 Qxg5 (32... Qf5 $5 33. Kc2
Rfb8) 33. Qxf3 Be5 $2 (33... Qxh6 $1 {was necessary} 34. Qf6 Rxc3 {and Black
is totally in the game, with decent compensation} 35. Qxc3 Qh5 $44 {followed
by ...Qf5.}) 34. Rxe5 Qxe5 35. d6 $2 (35. Bxe5 $1 {was winning on the spot}
Rxf3 36. Bc7 $18 {followed by d6, should be a very sad endgame for Black.})
35... f6 $1 36. d7 Rxc3 37. Qxc3 Qe7 $2 {Probably in severe time trouble, Ian
throws away a study-like defence to draw this very difficult game. In the
post-game interview Eljanov said that after 34.Rxe5 Qxe5 35.d6, it was already
hopeless for Black, meaning he also did not realize that Black is not losing
the rook endgame, which is totally understandable.} (37... Qxc3 $1 38. bxc3 Rd8
{it was very hard to understand that Black does not lose this position, with
an outside passed pawn for White (since c5 will fall in a few moves)} 39. Kb2
Kf7 40. Kb3 Ke6 41. Kc4 Rxd7 42. Rxd7 Kxd7 43. Kxc5 g5 44. Kd5 (44. Kb6 g4 45.
c4 f5 46. Kb7 Kd6 47. Kb6 Kd7 $11) (44. f3 Kc7 $1 (44... Ke6 $1 {is also enough
}) (44... f5 $2 45. Kd5 g4 46. fxg4 fxg4 47. Ke4 Kc6 48. Kf4 Kc5 49. Kxg4 Kc4
50. Kf5 Kxc3 51. Kf6 Kd4 52. Kg7 Ke5 53. Kxh7 Kf6 {and Black loses by one tempo
} 54. Kg8 $18) 45. Kd5 Kd7 46. c4 f5 {now the advance is well-timed, because
White already pushed his pawn and Black will be able to grab it and come back
in time to the kingside} 47. Ke5 g4 48. fxg4 fxg4 49. Kf4 Kd6 50. Kxg4 Kc5 51.
Kf5 Kxc4 52. Kf6 Kd5 53. Kf7 Ke5 54. Kg7 Ke6 55. Kxh7 Kf7 $11) 44... g4 45. Ke4
Ke6 46. c4 f5+ 47. Kf4 Kf6 $1 {provoking the c-pawn} 48. c5 Ke6 49. c6 Kd6 50.
Kxf5 Kxc6 51. Kxg4 (51. Kf6 Kd6 52. Kg7 Ke6 53. Kxh7 Kf7 $11) 51... Kd6 52. Kf5
Ke7 $11) 38. Qb3+ Kh8 39. Qd5 $18 {Now it's all over.} Rd8 40. Rd3 {and Black
resigned, because of the Re3 threat. Eljanov moves to 2nd place with 2/3, and
Radjabov keeps the sole lead in Geneva with 2,5/3!} (40. Rd3 g5 (40... Qe1+ 41.
Ka2 Qa5+ 42. Ra3 $18) 41. Re3 Qxd7 42. Qxd7 Rxd7 43. Re8#) 1-0
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.08"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Rapport, Richard"]
[Black "Jakovenko, Dmitrij"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E20"]
[WhiteElo "2694"]
[BlackElo "2703"]
[Annotator "Krasenkow,M"]
[PlyCount "172"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d5 6. cxd5 {A harmess move. As
a rule, the Karlsbad pawn structure with White's bishop on g2 creates no
problems for Black. White doesn't want to go for the gambit continuation} (6.
Nf3 dxc4) 6... exd5 7. a3 {Asking Black's bishop to take on c3 or retreat to
e7. The drawback of this move is clear: it wastes a precious tempo.} (7. Nf3 {
is more common but after} c6 {Black's bishop will be able to retreat to d6, e.
g.} 8. O-O Re8 9. a3 Bd6 {This line, seen in a number of games, is hardly
promising for White.}) 7... Bxc3+ {This exchange is the simplest way to
equality.} ({The position after} 7... Be7 {often arises from other move orders:
} 8. Nf3 (8. e3 c6 9. Nge2 Bf5 10. O-O Re8 11. f3 Bd6 (11... Bf8 $142) 12. e4
dxe4 13. fxe4 Bxe4 14. Rxf6 Bxg2 15. Rxd6 Qxd6 16. Kxg2 $14 {1-0 (48) Meier,A
(2280)-Ankerst,M (2115) Germany 2007}) (8. Nh3 c6 (8... Bf5 9. O-O Re8 10. Nf4
c6 11. h3 h5 12. e3 Qc8 13. Kh2 g6 $132 {1/2 (28) Ivanisevic,I (2614)-Bacrot,E
(2709) Novi Sad 2009}) 9. O-O (9. Nf4 Na6 10. O-O Nc7 11. Qc2 Ne6 12. Rd1 Bd6
13. Nxe6 Bxe6 14. b4 Rc8 15. Bg5 {1/2 (15) Berkes,F (2664)-Raznikov,D (2484)
Zalakaros 2015}) 9... a5 (9... Re8 10. Nf4 Bd6 11. f3 Bc7 12. b4 h6 13. Kh1 Bf5
14. Re1 Bb6 15. Na4 Nbd7 16. Bb2 Bc7 $132 {1/2 (60) Gajewski,G (2577)-Lenic,L
(2569) Dresden 2008}) (9... Nbd7 10. Nf4 Re8 11. b4 a6 12. Nd3 Nb6 13. Qb3 Nc4
14. Rd1 Bf5 $132 {1/2 (34) Jovanic,O (2533)-Tratar,M (2493) Nova Gorica 2010})
10. Nf4 Re8 11. b3 Na6 12. f3 c5 13. Be3 b6 14. dxc5 Bxc5 15. Bxc5 Nxc5 16.
Ncxd5 Nxd5 17. Qxd5 Bb7 18. Qxd8 Raxd8 19. b4 Nb3 20. Ra2 Nd2 21. Rf2 Re3 $44 {
1/2 (33) Ivanisevic,I (2638)-Brkic,A (2586) Jerusalem 2015}) 8... c6 9. O-O (9.
Qc2 a5 10. O-O Be6 11. Bf4 Nbd7 12. Rad1 Re8 13. Ne5 Nb6 14. h3 Nfd7 15. g4 Nf8
$11 {1/2 (22) Sedlak,N (2572)-Tiviakov,S (2663) Al Ain 2012}) 9... Re8 (9...
Bf5 10. Nh4 Be6 11. f4 Ne4 12. f5 Nxc3 13. bxc3 Bc8 14. Qd3 Nd7 (14... Bxh4 15.
gxh4 Qxh4 16. Rf4 $44) 15. Nf3 Bd6 16. Nd2 Nf6 17. e4 dxe4 18. Nxe4 Nxe4 19.
Bxe4 $14 {1-0 (33) Pfleger,H (2545)-Keene,R (2465) Elvetham Hall 1979}) 10. Ne5
Nbd7 11. f4 Nf8 12. e3 Bd6 13. b4 Bf5 14. g4 Bxe5 15. fxe5 Bxg4 16. Bf3 Bxf3
17. Qxf3 N6d7 18. Qxf7+ Kh8 $13 {0-1 (71) Slipak,S (2444)-Bachmann,A (2543)
Villa Martelli 2013}) 8. bxc3 Ne4 $5 9. c4 c6 (9... Nc6 $5) 10. cxd5 cxd5 $11
11. e3 (11. Nf3 Re8 {[%cal Re4c3]}) 11... Bd7 (11... Nc6 12. Ne2 Bf5 13. O-O
Rc8 {is comfortable for Black but Dmitrij Jakovenko choses another arrangement
of his pieces.}) 12. Ne2 Bb5 13. O-O Re8 14. Re1 Nc6 15. f3 Nf6 16. g4 $6 {
[%mdl 32] This "active" move just weakens White's position.} (16. Nf4 $11)
16... Bxe2 (16... Bc4 $5 {[%cal Yb7b5]}) 17. Rxe2 Rc8 18. Qd3 h6 19. Bd2 a6 20.
Kh1 $6 {White starts an unjustified kingside attack, which Black successfully
parries.} (20. Rb1 $142 b5 21. a4) 20... Na5 21. Rg1 Nc4 22. Bc1 Rc6 (22... Re6
$142 $5 23. h3 Qc7 24. e4 Qg3 {[%cal Rd5e4,Rf6g4]}) 23. h3 b5 (23... Qc7 24. e4
Qg3 $6 25. exd5) 24. e4 dxe4 25. fxe4 Rd6 26. Rd1 Rd7 (26... Nd7 27. Bf4 Nc5
28. Qc3 Na4 29. Qa1 $13) 27. g5 $6 (27. Bf4) 27... Nh5 $1 28. Qf3 (28. gxh6 $2
Rxd4 29. Qxd4 Ng3+ 30. Kh2 Qxd4 31. Rxd4 Nxe2 $19) 28... g6 29. gxh6 Rxd4 {
White's centre has been ruined, and Black starts exploiting numerous
weaknesses in White's position.} 30. Rf1 Ne5 31. Qf2 Rd1 (31... Rd3 32. Re3) (
31... f6 $5) 32. Bb2 Rxf1+ 33. Bxf1 Qg5 34. h7+ Kxh7 35. Bxe5 Qxe5 36. Qxf7+
Kh6 {[%csl Rf1,Rh1]} 37. Rg2 Qe6 38. Qxe6 Rxe6 $17 {[%mdl 4096]} 39. a4 (39.
Bd3 Nf4 40. Rg3 Nxd3 41. Rxd3 Rxe4 $19 {_|_}) 39... bxa4 40. Kh2 Rxe4 (40...
Rf6 $5 41. Kg1 Rf3) 41. Ra2 (41. Bd3 Re6 42. Ra2 Re3 43. Bxa6 a3) 41... a5 $6 {
Allowing White's bishop to b5 is not a good idea.} (41... Nf4 $142 42. Bxa6 Rb4
) 42. Bb5 Nf4 43. Ra3 {Preparing Bb5xa4, which was not possible yet.} (43. Bxa4
Re2+ 44. Rxe2 Nxe2 $19) 43... Kg5 (43... Nd5 $5 44. Bxa4 Nb6 45. Bc6 Rc4 46.
Bb5 Rc5 47. Bf1 a4 {although Black's b6-knight is not perfectly placed.}) 44.
Bxa4 Kh4 $6 {This loses the a5 pawn, too.} (44... Re5 $142) 45. Bb5 g5 46. Rxa5
Re5 {This pin looks formidable but Black can't improve his position.} 47. Kh1
Rd5 48. Kh2 Rd2+ 49. Kh1 Kxh3 50. Bf1+ {The position is drawish now but Black
keeps trying.} Kh4 51. Ra4 Kg3 52. Ra3+ Kf2 53. Bc4 Rd4 (53... g4 54. Ra2 Rxa2
55. Bxa2 g3 56. Bd5 $1 Nd3 57. Bc6 Ne1 58. Bg2 $1 Nf3 59. Bh3 $11) 54. Ra2+ Kg3
55. Ra3+ Kh4 56. Bf1 g4 57. Kg1 g3 58. Ra1 Kg4 59. Re1 Rd2 60. Ra1 Rb2 61. Kh1
Nd5 62. Bg2 Nf4 63. Bf1 Kf3 64. Kg1 Nd5 65. Bh3 Ne3 66. Re1 Rc2 67. Ra1 Re2 68.
Bf1 Rb2 69. Bh3 Rc2 70. Re1 g2 71. Be6 (71. Bxg2+ $2 Rxg2+ 72. Kh1 Rd2 {
is theoretically winning for Black.}) 71... Rc3 72. Bh3 Kg3 73. Be6 $1 {
Accurately played.} (73. Bd7 $2 Nd5 $19 {[%cal Yd5f4]}) 73... Kf3 (73... Ra3
74. Bd5 $1 Nxd5 75. Re3+ $11) (73... Rd3 74. Bd5 $1 Nc2 75. Rb1 Rxd5 76. Rb3+
$11) 74. Bh3 Rc2 75. Be6 Rc6 76. Bh3 Rc3 77. Bd7 (77. Be6 {was simpler.}) 77...
Nd5 78. Bh3 Nf4 79. Bxg2+ Nxg2 80. Rf1+ $2 {This "natural" check is losing.} ({
White had a draw after} 80. Re8 Rc1+ 81. Kh2 Nf4 82. Rf8 {etc.}) ({Even} 80.
Ra1 {was enough: if} Kg3 {then} 81. Kf1 Re3 82. Rb1) 80... Kg3 81. Rf8 (81. Ra1
Ne3 {caging White's king and then encircling it, e.g.} 82. Re1 (82. Kh1 Ng4 83.
Rg1+ Kh3 84. Ra1 Nh2 {[%cal Yh2f3]} 85. Kg1 Kg3 86. Rb1 Rc2 $19 {[%cal Rh2f3]})
82... Ra3 $22 83. Rc1 (83. Kh1 Ng4) 83... Ng4 84. Kf1 Re3 85. Ra1 Nh2+ 86. Kg1
Re2 $19) 81... Rc1+ 82. Rf1 Rc6 (82... Ne1 $1 83. Kh1 Ra1 84. Rg1+ Kf2 $19) 83.
Ra1 (83. Rf8 Rc1+ 84. Rf1 Ne1 $19) 83... Ne3 84. Rb1 (84. Re1 Rc3 {[%cal Ye3g4,
Yg4h2,Yh2f3]}) 84... Rc2 85. Re1 Ng2 {[%cal Yg2h4,Yh4f3] This is as good as} (
85... Ng4 $19 {[%cal Yg4h2,Yh2f3]}) 86. Rd1 Nh4 0-1
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.09"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Hou, Yifan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C65"]
[WhiteElo "2742"]
[BlackElo "2666"]
[Annotator "Szabo,Kr"]
[PlyCount "97"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nbd2 O-O 7. Qe2 Re8 8.
Nc4 Nd7 9. Bd2 Nb6 {A rare, but logical move. Black would like to exchange the
active c4-knight.} (9... Bd6 {is more common, for example} 10. O-O-O (10. h4
Nf8 11. h5 Ne6 12. O-O-O c5 13. Qf1 f6 14. Nh4 Nd4 15. c3 Nc6 16. Nf5 Bxf5 17.
exf5 h6 18. g4 Bf8 19. Qe2 Qd7 20. Be3 Rad8 21. Qc2 $14 {Caruana-Karjakin,
Wijk aan Zee 2016, and thanks to the light-squares, White is more comfortable.}
) (10. g4 Nf8 11. Ne3 Ne6 12. Nf5 a5 13. h4 a4 14. Ng5 a3 15. b3 Bc5 16. Nxe6
Bxe6 17. Qf3 Bf8 18. Ke2 c5 $11 {Anand-Giri, Bilbao 2015, with a balanced
middlegame.}) 10... Nf8 (10... b5 11. Ne3 a5 12. Nf5 a4 13. Bg5 f6 14. Be3 Nc5
15. g4 Be6 16. Kb1 b4 $132 {Caruana-Nakamura, Moscow 2016, and Black has an
attack too.}) 11. Ne3 Be6 12. Kb1 Qd7 13. Ng5 f6 14. Nxe6 Nxe6 15. Nf5 g6 16.
Nxd6 cxd6 17. g3 Nd4 18. Qf1 Qg4 19. Be3 Qf3 20. h4 d5 $13 {Giri-So Wesley,
Leuven 2016, with an unclear position.}) 10. Na5 $146 {The first new move in
the game.} ({The greedy} 10. Ncxe5 $2 {could have been met by} f6 11. Nc4 Nxc4
12. dxc4 Bf5 $1 $17 {and White is in trouble.}) ({Or} 10. Nfxe5 Bd4 11. f4 Nxc4
12. Nxc4 b5 $132 {with a sharp middlegame.}) (10. Ne3 a5 11. h4 Bd4 (11... f6
$5) 12. O-O-O Be6 13. Kb1 f6 14. g4 Bxe3 15. Qxe3 Bxg4 16. Rdg1 Bxf3 17. Qxf3
Kh8 18. Qg3 Re7 19. f4 $44 {Howell-Adams, Bournemouth 2016}) 10... Qe7 11. a3
Bd6 12. h4 {An ambitious move. White doesn't play the natural 0-0, he
immediately goes with his h-pawn.} Na4 13. h5 {A brave decision, White
sacrifices the b2-pawn.} Qf8 ({The engine immediately suggests} 13... Nxb2 $5 {
, but this is not a human move. For example} 14. a4 b6 15. Nxc6 (15. Nb3 b5 16.
axb5 cxb5 17. h6 g6 $15) 15... Qd7 16. Nb4 Nxa4 17. h6 Bxb4 (17... g6 $2 18.
Nd5 $1 $16) 18. Bxb4 g6 $15 {and Black looks safe with a pawn up.}) 14. Nc4 b5
15. Nxd6 cxd6 16. b3 Nc5 17. Nh4 {White continues his kingside play.} Ne6 ({
I like the active} 17... d5) ({or even} 17... f5 $5 {too.}) 18. Nf5 c5 19. O-O
Nf4 20. Qf3 g6 $1 {This is the point of Black's previous move.} 21. g3 $1 {
White also increases the tension!} Bxf5 (21... Nxh5 $4 {loses immediately,
because of} 22. Bh6 $18 {and the queen is trapped.}) (21... gxf5 $5 {was the
other option,} 22. gxf4 fxe4 23. Qxe4 (23. dxe4 Kh8 $13) 23... Rb8 $13 {
followed by ...Bb7 with a double-edged fight.}) 22. gxf4 Bd7 23. Kh2 {A
straightforward move, prepares for Rg1.} f6 24. Rg1 Kf7 {Black's idea is
regrouping with ...Qe7, ...Rg8.} 25. Rg3 Qe7 26. Rag1 Rg8 27. R1g2 {White
frees the g1-square for his king.} Rh8 28. Kg1 Rag8 29. b4 c4 30. Be3 Bc6 31.
Rh2 a6 {This move seems useless, but Black can't do anything.} 32. Kf1 ({
Probably} 32. hxg6+ $1 {was stronger,} hxg6 33. Rxh8 Rxh8 34. Qg4 Rg8 35. f5
$40 {with a dangerous attack for Black.}) 32... Qe8 $2 {Too passive.} (32...
exf4 33. Bxf4 Qe6 {was safer.}) 33. Rh4 Qe7 34. fxe5 dxe5 35. d4 $1 {This is
the point! White starts his break-through is the centre.} exd4 36. Bg5 $3 {
A great tactical blow! White doesn't take back the pawn, because the B is
stronger on g5 and he is threatening Rf4.} ({In the event of} 36. Bxd4 g5 $1 {
and it is still not easy to continue the pressure on f6.}) 36... Rf8 37. Rf4
Ke6 38. Qg4+ $1 Kd6 39. e5+ $1 $18 {Another strong reply! White opens the 4th
rank for the R.} Kc7 40. Bxf6 Rxf6 41. exf6 Qf7 42. Rxd4 Qxf6 43. Qf4+ {
White simplifies, Black's position is hopeless.} Qxf4 44. Rxf4 gxh5 45. Rg7+
Kb6 46. Rf6 h4 47. Rh6 Rd8 48. Rf7 h3 49. Rff6 1-0
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.09"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Svidler, Peter"]
[Black "Adams, Michael"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2749"]
[BlackElo "2736"]
[Annotator "Sumets,A"]
[PlyCount "79"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nf3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. Qc2 c5 8. cxd5
({Another interesting continuation is} 8. Rd1 cxd4 9. Rxd4 Qa5 10. Bg3 b5 $5 {
Levon has found an interesting pawn sacrifice.} ({I don't think that White has
any advantage after} 10... Nb6 11. Nd2 dxc4 12. Bxc4 (12. Nxc4 Nxc4 13. Bxc4
Bd7 14. O-O Rfd8 $11) 12... Nxc4 13. Nxc4 Qa6 14. O-O Rd8 15. Rxd8+ Bxd8 16.
Ne5 Bd7 17. Nxd7 Nxd7 18. Rd1 Nf6 {Vachier Lagrave,M (2686)-Adams,M (2722)
Istanbul 2012 1/2 (36), White's advantage is negligeable and Michael easily
made a draw.}) 11. cxb5 Bb7 12. Bd3 (12. Be2 Rfc8 13. O-O Bb4 14. Qb1 Bxc3 15.
bxc3 Ne4 16. c4 Nc3 17. Qc2 Nxe2+ 18. Qxe2 Rxc4 19. Rxc4 dxc4 20. Qxc4 Nb6 $11)
12... Nc5 13. Ne5 (13. O-O {and the opponents agreed to a draw in Bacrot,
E-Aronian,L 2011.}) 13... Rfc8 14. O-O Nxd3 15. Qxd3 a6 16. a4 Nh5 17. Bh4 Bc5
18. Nxd5 Bxd5 19. Rxd5 Qxa4 20. Rd8+ Rxd8 21. Bxd8 Qxb5 22. Qxb5 axb5 $11 {
Inarkiev,E (2660)-Aronian,L (2784) Skopje MKD 2015 1/2 (58)}) 8... Nxd5 ({
It would be interesting to know what Peter had in mind after} 8... cxd4 {
I believe that it is the most reliable continuation and Black can easily get
an equal position.} 9. exd4 (9. d6 {was played once. Despite the fact, that
White won this game, I think that Black's chances are not worse.} dxc3 10. bxc3
(10. Rd1 Nd5 11. dxe7 Qxe7 12. Bg3 Qb4 13. bxc3 Qxc3+ 14. Qxc3 Nxc3 15. Rd4 Nb6
16. Kd2 Nxa2 17. Be2 a5 $15) 10... e5 11. dxe7 Qxe7 12. Bg3 Qc5 $6 (12... b6 $1
13. Be2 Bb7 14. O-O Ne4 $15) 13. Rb1 a6 14. Be2 b6 15. O-O Bb7 16. Qa4 Rfe8 $11
{Kempinski, R (2528)-Krainski,A (2271) Bydgoszcz 2000 1-0 (39)}) (9. Nxd4 $2 e5
10. Nf5 exf4 11. d6 Bxd6 12. Nxd6 fxe3 13. fxe3 Ng4 $17) (9. dxe6 $6 {My
computer and I don't see full compensation for the sacrificed piece.} dxc3 10.
exf7+ Rxf7 (10... Kh8 $5 11. bxc3 Nd5 12. Bg3 Qa5 {seems to be good for Black
as well.}) 11. bxc3 Nd5 12. Bc4 N7b6 13. Bb3 Be6 14. Rd1 Qc8 15. Be5 Nc4 16.
O-O Ndb6 17. Nd4 Bg4 18. f3 Bd7 $17 {Isigkeit,H (2421)-Sawiniec,D (2411) ICCF
2008 0-1 (61)}) 9... Nxd5 10. Nxd5 exd5 11. Be2 Bb4+ 12. Bd2 Bxd2+ 13. Qxd2 Nf6
14. O-O $11 {1/2 (14) Van Wely,L (2643)-Asrian,K (2566) New Delhi/ Teheran 2000
} Bg4 15. Rfe1 Rc8 16. Ne5 Ne4 17. Qb4 Bxe2 18. Rxe2 Qc7 19. Rae1 Rfd8 20. Qb3
h6 21. h3 Ng5 22. f3 Ne4 {1/2 (22) Maiwald,J (2471)-Cyborowski,L (2510)
Germany 2015}) 9. Nxd5 exd5 10. Bd3 Qa5+ (10... h6 11. dxc5 {This seems to be
the strongest continuation} ({After} 11. O-O {Black could play} c4 $5 12. Be2
b5 13. Rad1 Bb7 $132) 11... Nxc5 12. O-O Bg4 13. Bf5 ({Vladimir could have
played} 13. Bh7+ Kh8 14. Bf5 {probably he wants to win a tempo after possible
moves ...Bxf3 gxf3 and then Kh1, Rg1 attacking the h6-pawn}) 13... Bxf3 14.
gxf3 Ne6 15. Bg3 Qb6 16. Rfd1 Rfd8 17. Be5 Rac8 18. Qe2 Rc6 19. f4 Nc7 $6 (
19... Nc5 20. Bh3 Bf6 21. Bxf6 Rxf6 22. Rd4 Ne6 $11) 20. Rd3 Bf6 21. Rb3 $14 {
Fedoseev,V (2690)-Jakovenko,D (2718) Minsk BLR 2017 1-0 (45)}) 11. Qc3 Qb6 ({
It seems to me that Black could equalise after} 11... Qxc3+ 12. bxc3 Nf6 (12...
c4 $6 13. Bc2 f5 14. a4 Nf6 15. Ne5 Ne4 16. Bxe4 fxe4 17. Ke2 {White has
better chances}) 13. O-O Ne4 14. Rfc1 Be6 15. Rab1 b6 16. h3 f6 17. a4 Bd6 $6 (
17... g5 $5 18. Bh2 c4 19. Bxe4 dxe4 20. Nd2 Bd5 21. a5 Kf7 22. axb6 axb6 23.
Rxb6 Ra2 24. Nf1 Rd8 $44) 18. Bxe4 Bxf4 19. Bxh7+ Kxh7 20. exf4 $14 {Bruzon
Batista,L (2643)-Oparin,G (2609) Linares ESP 2017 1/2 (38). Black has some
small compensation for the sacrificed pawn.}) 12. a3 $146 {Now if Black plays .
..c4 then White can answer Bc2.} (12. O-O c4 {Since Black traded knights and
White doesn't have a plan, which is connected with Ne5, Bg5, f4, etc, Black
can play ...c4.} 13. Be2 $6 (13. Bc2 $2 Bb4 14. Bc7 Bxc3 15. Bxb6 Bxb2 $17) (
13. Bb1 $142) 13... Nf6 14. Qc2 g6 15. b3 Bf5 16. Qd1 Rac8 17. bxc4 dxc4 18.
Rc1 c3 $17 19. Bd3 Bxd3 20. Qxd3 Nd5 21. Bh6 Rfd8 22. Ne1 $2 g5 {0-1 (22)
Mihajlov,S (2185)-Houska,J (2414) Caleta 2014}) 12... cxd4 ({Even here the
computer recommends} 12... c4 13. Bc2 {It 's obvious that White's bishop
should be placed on c2, but it is not clear if White has chances to get an
advantage.} Nf6 14. O-O Be6 15. Ng5 (15. Ne5 Nh5 16. Bg3 Nxg3 17. hxg3 Rfd8 18.
Rae1 Rac8 $11) 15... Bd7 16. Be5 (16. Rae1 Rfe8 17. Be5 h6 18. Nf3 Rac8 {
Black has a plan connected with ...b5, ...a5, ...b4 and it is not easy to
recommend a plan for White.}) 16... h6 17. Bxf6 Bxf6 18. Nh7 Rfe8 19. Nxf6+
Qxf6 $11) 13. Qxd4 Nc5 14. Bc2 Qb5 (14... Qa6 15. Be5 f6 16. Bg3 Rd8 17. Bc7
Ne6 18. Qh4 Nxc7 19. Qxh7+ Kf8 (19... Kf7 $4 20. Rc1 Qb6 21. Bg6+ Ke6 22. Rxc7
Qxc7 23. Nd4+ Kd6 24. Nb5+ $18) 20. Qh8+ Kf7 21. Qh5+ Kf8 $11) 15. Be5 f6 16.
Bg3 Qc4 $2 {After this mistake Black is in big danger.} ({I think that Black
should have played} 16... Rd8 {and the position which has arisen is rather
equal.} 17. Rd1 (17. Bc7 Rd7 18. Bg3 Rd8 $11) (17. Qd2 $6 Qxb2 18. Bxh7+ $4 (
18. O-O Ne4 19. Bxe4 (19. Qc1 $142 Qxc1 20. Rfxc1 Bd7 21. Bb3 Bc6 $17) 19...
Qxd2 20. Bxh7+ Kxh7 21. Nxd2 d4 $17) 18... Kxh7 19. Qxb2 Nd3+ $19) (17. b4 Ne6
18. Qd2 a5 19. Bd3 Qb6 20. Rb1 axb4 21. axb4 d4 $11) 17... g6 18. h4 (18. b4 $6
Ne6 19. Qd3 Qxd3 20. Bxd3 a5 $15 {and White has some problems}) 18... Be6 19.
h5 Ne4) 17. Rc1 Qxd4 {This leads to a difficult endgame with an isolated pawn.
I think that Michael should have kept queens on the board.} (17... g6 $5 18.
Qd2 Qa6 19. Nd4 (19. Qxd5+ $2 Be6 20. Qd1 Bc4 21. b4 Rfd8 $17) 19... Bd7 20. f3
Rfe8 21. Kf2 $14) 18. Nxd4 a5 {Black prevents b4, but now White can play Nb5.}
(18... a6 19. b4 Ne4 20. Bb3 Rd8 21. Bc7 $1 (21. Rc7 Kf8 22. Bf4 Nd6 23. Ke2
$16) 21... Rd7 22. Ba5 Bd8 23. f3 Ng5 24. Bxd8 Rxd8 25. Kf2 Kf8 26. Rc5 {
White should win this endgame.}) 19. Nb5 Rd8 ({Probably Michael evaluated the
position after} 19... Be6 $5 20. Nc7 Rac8 21. b4 Rxc7 22. Bxc7 Rc8 23. bxc5
Rxc7 24. Bb3 $16 {as hopeless but it seems to me that other continuations are
even worse.}) 20. Nc7 Ra7 21. Rd1 Kf7 22. Nxd5 {White just won a pawn without
any compensation.} b5 {In searching for counterplay.} 23. O-O Bf8 $6 (23... g6
24. Nxe7 Kxe7 25. Rxd8 Kxd8 {White should easily win it.}) 24. Bxh7 {White has
gained a second pawn, Black's position is hopeless.} g5 ({Of course Black
can't win the bishop due to} 24... g6 25. Bxg6+ Kxg6 26. Nf4+ $18) 25. h4 Be6
26. e4 gxh4 27. Bxh4 Bxd5 28. Rxd5 Rxd5 29. exd5 $18 {White has 2 extra pawns
and the bishop pair and despite the weakness of his b2-pawn, Peter easily won
the game.} Na4 30. Rc1 Rd7 $1 {This is Black's best chance. Michael found a
way to win the d5-pawn, but his position is still hopeless.} (30... Nxb2 31.
Rc6 Bxa3 32. Bxf6 Nc4 33. Bd4 Rb7 34. g4 {Black can't stop the g4-pawn.}) 31.
Rc6 $1 Rxd5 32. Rxf6+ Kg7 33. Bc2 $1 Nxb2 34. Rg6+ Kf7 35. Rf6+ Kg7 36. Rb6 $1
Bc5 (36... Bd6 37. Rb7+ Kf8 38. g3 Bxa3 39. Bf6 Nd3 40. Bb3 $18) (36... Bxa3 {
Black can't take on a3 due to} 37. Bf6+ Kf8 38. Rb8+ Kf7 39. Bxb2 Bxb2 40. Bb3)
37. Rb7+ Kf8 38. Bg6 Bd4 39. Be7+ Kg8 40. Bf6 1-0
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.10"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Eljanov, Pavel"]
[Black "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A29"]
[WhiteElo "2739"]
[BlackElo "2761"]
[Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"]
[PlyCount "76"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 (1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 {You will soon understand why I
am showing this variation...} Nc6 5. Nc3 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Bc4 O-O 8. Bb3 d6 9.
h3 Na5 10. O-O b6 11. Re1 Bb7 12. Bg5) 1... Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5
5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Bc5 $5 {It's amazing how Grischuk constantly comes up with
new ideas. This move has been played many times already, but the strongest
player who tried it was 2200, after which it mostly happened in beginners'
games. There were some recent correspondence games, which Grischuk probably
used to find it. He is trying to play the usual Bc4-line that White plays
against the Accelerated Dragon (with reversed colors).} 7. O-O (7. Nxe5 {
would be something to consider, but it turns out to be harmless} Nxc3 8. bxc3 (
8. Bxc6+ bxc6 {Black has decent compensation in both cases (dxc3 or bxc3)} 9.
dxc3 (9. bxc3 Qd5 10. Nf3 Bh3 $44) 9... Qe7 $5 $44) (8. Nxc6 $4 Qf6 $1 {
hitting the queen and mate in f2} 9. dxc3 Qxf2+ 10. Kd2 Qxg2 $19) 8... Nxe5 (
8... Bxf2+ $2 {this kind of move is known to be a mistake, because the king is
safely placed, while White in the meantime has a strong centre and the bishop
pair} 9. Kxf2 Nxe5 10. Rf1 $16 {followed by Kg1, and d4-e4}) 9. d4 Bd6 10. dxe5
Bxe5 $11 {and Black is very happy with the better structure. Soon c6 will be
played, and the g2 bishop will be neutralised.}) 7... O-O 8. d3 (8. Nxd5 {
was played in correspondence chess, a couple of years ago} Qxd5 9. Ng5 Qc4 $5 {
was the original move played} (9... Qd8 {is acceptable, but runs into} 10. Nxh7
$5 Re8 {threatening to move the c5-bishop} (10... Kxh7 $2 11. Qc2+ Kg8 12. Qxc5
$16) 11. Ng5 (11. h4 $5 f6 12. Qc2 $13 {followed by Qg6, the position remains
very unclear (and weird!)}) 11... Qxg5 12. d4 (12. Bxc6 $5 bxc6 13. d4 Qh5 14.
dxc5 Bg4 $44 {should offer good compensation to Black}) 12... Qh5 13. dxc5 Rd8
14. Bd2 Nd4 $36) 10. b3 Qg4 11. Qc2 {White has to do this, otherwise Black is
simply fine} Bxf2+ 12. Rxf2 Qxg5 13. Bxc6 bxc6 14. Qxc6 Bh3 15. d3 Qe7 16. Be3
Rfc8 17. Qe4 f6 $13 {1/2-1/2 (30) Golubenko,A (2198)-Zakharov,Y (2229) ICCF
2015, again with original play, that should be balanced.}) (8. Nxe5 {runs into
the same theme} Nxc3 9. bxc3 (9. Nxc6 $2 Nxd1 10. Nxd8 Bxf2+ 11. Kh1 Bg4 $1 $17
) 9... Nxe5 10. d4 Bd6 11. dxe5 Bxe5 $11 {and Black should be happy after ...
c6.}) 8... Bb6 9. Na4 {Similar to the Accelerated Dragon, White gets the
bishop pair (there are many lines where Black plays ...Na5). In the other hand,
Black obtains very good central control.} Re8 10. Bg5 (10. b3 {would be
similar to how Black plays the Accelerated Dragon (...Na5, followed by ...b6, .
..Bb7). Good news for Black is that there was no need to lose a tempo with ...
h6 (h3), since the bishop is still on c8 (please read the analysis before the
1st move!), and the bishop also went directly to g4, without 'stopping' at e6,
as happens in the Dragon.} Bg4 11. Bb2 Qd7 {followed by ...Rad8, and Black is
totally fine} (11... Nd4 $5 12. Nxb6 axb6 13. Nxd4 exd4 14. Re1 c5 15. Qd2 Qd7
$11 {and there is nothing to complain about in Black's position.})) 10... Qd6
11. Nd2 Qg6 $1 {The queen finds an excellent square here.} 12. Ne4 (12. Bxd5 $5
{was possibly better than the game} Qxg5 13. Rc1 Bh3 (13... Ne7 {more solid}
14. Bg2 c6 {threatening ...Bc7 at some point} 15. Nxb6 axb6 16. a4 {to stop b5}
Nd5 17. Nc4 Qd8 $11 {with balanced play}) 14. Re1 Rad8 (14... Ba5 $5) 15. Bxc6
bxc6 {with interesting play.}) 12... Bg4 $1 (12... f5 {there is no need to
play this} 13. Nec5 Qxg5 14. Bxd5+ Kh8 15. Rc1 $13 {I like Grischuk's decision
better, to bring about ...Be6 and ...Rad8 quickly (he played ...Bg4 first to
provoke h3).}) (12... Be6 $5 {also perfectly fine, but ...Bg4 should be an
improved version, h3 may be a weakness in some variations.}) 13. h3 Be6 14. Bd2
Rad8 $15 {Now Black is already to be preferred - everything is harmonious, ...
f5 is coming and he has ...Bc8 whenever a knight arrives on c5.} 15. Kh2 Kh8
16. a3 f5 $1 17. Nec5 Bc8 {All of Grischuk's forces are heading towards the
centre - e4 is unstoppable, unless White himself plays it, which was a way
that Eljanov could try and complicate matters.} 18. b4 (18. e4 Nf6 $1 (18...
fxe4 {is the solid way to deal with this} 19. Bxe4 Qf7 $15 {and moves like ...
Nd4 are coming, Black is doing fine}) 19. exf5 Bxf5 $1 (19... Qxf5 $5 $15) 20.
Nxb7 (20. Nxb6 axb6 21. Nxb7 Rd5 $3 {defending the c6-knight very creatively}
22. Bxd5 Nxd5 {Black wants to pick up the knight with ...Bc8} 23. Qf3 {forced}
Nd4 $3 24. Qxd5 Qh5 25. h4 Be6 $1 26. Qg2 Nf3+ 27. Kh1 Nxd2 28. Rfe1 Nf3 29.
Re3 Bd5 $19) 20... Rxd3 21. Nxb6 Bxh3 $3 {an amazing move, instantly spotted
by the computer. The idea is to distract the bishop and maintain a strong
initiative, with two pawns for the piece. I think it is almost impossible for
a human to find all these moves, specially considering White remains with the
pure bishop pair} 22. Bxh3 axb6 $17 {threatening Nd4} 23. Rc1 Nd4 24. Rc3 Nf3+
25. Qxf3 Rxf3 26. Rxf3 Qh5 27. Kg2 Qf7 $1 $19 {followed by ...Qd5.}) 18... e4
$1 19. e3 $2 (19. dxe4 $1 fxe4 20. Qb1 (20. Qc2 {a very ugly move to make
(allowing ...Nd4), but that is the computer's suggestion} Nd4 (20... Qh5 $5 21.
Nxb6 Nd4 $36 {looks ugly for White}) 21. Qc4 e3 22. Bc1 $13 {and miraculously
White is ok, according to the computer}) 20... Nd4 21. Bxe4 $2 (21. Nxe4 Bf5
$17) 21... Qh5 $19) 19... Bxc5 $1 {Eljanov's position simply collapses now, ...
b6 and ...Ba6 are coming.} (19... exd3 $2 20. Nxb6 axb6 21. Nxd3 $14 {and
White is even slightly better.}) 20. Nxc5 b6 21. Nb3 Ba6 $19 22. Nc1 Ne5 {
Now it's all over, Black starts picking up material and has a dominant
position.} 23. Qa4 Bxd3 24. Nxd3 Nxd3 25. b5 (25. Qxa7 $2 Ra8 26. Qb7 Qe6 27.
b5 Ne5 $1 $19 {and White should resign.}) 25... h5 26. Qc2 Qd6 (26... h4 $1 27.
gxh4 Qf6 {with a devastating attack, but Grischuk wanted to keep it simple.})
27. h4 Qe5 28. Kg1 Re6 29. a4 Kh7 30. Ra3 Rdd6 31. a5 c5 {Starting serious
action on the queenside, where Black holds all the advantages as well.} 32.
bxc6 Rxc6 33. Qd1 Nf6 $1 {A good moment to remove the knight, not only to
defend h5, but also because Bc3 is not possible anymore.} 34. axb6 axb6 35. Qb1
Red6 {The problem is that White can never activate his bishops, not to mention
the material disadvantage.} 36. Rb3 Ng4 37. Bb4 Rd5 38. Be1 Rc1 {And White
resigned. A very convincing game from Alexander Grischuk, who joins Radjabov
in the lead! On the 12th of July, they both have White - against Aronian and
Harikrishna, respectively. A lot of action yet to come in the final four
rounds, stay tuned!} 0-1
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.10"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Harikrishna, Penteala"]
[Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B81"]
[WhiteElo "2737"]
[BlackElo "2742"]
[Annotator "Quintiliano,R"]
[PlyCount "102"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e6 {Maybe this move
was already a surprise for Harikrishna, as in this position Nepo always played
the other black main option,} ({which is} 6... e5 7. Nde2 h5) 7. g4 Be7 {
Once I played this position and after the game I realised that maybe 7...Nfd7
saves an important tempo for Black:} (7... Nfd7 8. g5 (8. Bg2 {transposes to
other lines}) 8... b5 $1 {the point is that Black can postpone ...Be7 in order
to accelerate the counterplay on the queenside} 9. a3 Bb7 10. h4 (10. Be3 Nb6
$1 {with the bishop on e3, ideas like ...Nc4 can be annoying, and also Black
has another subtle threat} 11. f4 N8d7 12. f5 $2 e5 13. Nb3 Na4 $1 {[%csl Yc3,
Re4]} 14. Nxa4 Bxe4 $17 {Muzychuk,M (2491)-Ivanchuk,V (2733) Cap d'Agde Karpov
qual 2nd rapid 2013 (10) 0-1}) 10... Nc6 11. Be3 (11. Nxc6 $6 {this only helps
Black, as now the bishop is improved on c6 and it becomes obvious that the
right square tor the rook is b8} Bxc6 12. Be3 Be7 13. Qd4 O-O 14. O-O-O Rb8 $1
15. h5 Nc5 16. h6 e5 $1 17. Qd2 g6 {Barbosa,E (2438)-Mareco,S (2581) American
Continental 11th 2015 (6) 0-1 and Black is ok -}) 11... Rc8 $5 {still avoiding
...Be7, and looking for typical ideas in the c-file} 12. f4 (12. Nxc6 Rxc6 $1 {
[%csl Gc3] I had analysed this position around 2015, when the move 11...Rc8
had not yet been played, but now there's a practical example:} 13. Qd4 Ne5 14.
O-O-O Nc4 15. Rh3 Qc7 16. Bd2 Nxd2 17. Rxd2 Qb6 18. Qd3 g6 $2 (18... Be7 $142)
19. e5 $1 {[%cal Yd2d8,Yc3e4] now White's pressure along the d-file is very
strong} Rc7 (19... Be7 20. Ne4 d5 21. Nf6+ Bxf6 22. gxf6 $16) 20. exd6 Rd7 21.
Nxb5 $5 axb5 22. Qxb5 Qxb5 23. Bxb5 Kd8 24. Bxd7 Kxd7 25. Rb3 $16 {Blomqvist,E
(2567)-Nasuta,G (2448) London Classic op 8th 2016 (4) 1-0 despite the bishop
pair, Black has lost many pawns and his position is very difficult to play -})
(12. Qd2 {seems fail to put any problem for Black, for example} Nce5 {[%csl
Gc4][%cal Yd7b6]} 13. f4 Nc4 14. Bxc4 Rxc4 15. O-O-O Qc7 {[%csl Ye4][%cal
Gc4c3]} 16. Nde2 (16. f5 Rxc3 $1 17. fxe6 fxe6 18. Qxc3 Qxc3 19. bxc3 Nc5 $44)
16... Nc5 $1 17. Bxc5 Qxc5 18. Qd3 Be7 {[%cal Yb5b4] and Black probably
already has the easier game, with the initiative coming soon on the queenside})
12... Na5 $1 $36 {[%cal Yb7h1,Yc8c1];Stocko,J (2326)-Kozul,Z (2619) Split op
6th 2016 (4) 0-1}) 8. g5 Nfd7 9. h4 (9. Be3 {is another move order, as} Bxg5 $2
{is bad in view of} 10. Nxe6 $1 fxe6 11. Qh5+ g6 12. Qxg5 $16) 9... b5 10. a3
Bb7 11. Be3 Nc6 12. Qd2 O-O ({Three days later, the same position was reached
between Harikrishna and another strong Russian GM:} 12... Rc8 13. Nxc6 Bxc6 (
13... Rxc6 $5) 14. h5 ({my game went} 14. O-O-O Nc5 15. f3 O-O 16. Kb1 Rb8 {
Mekhitarian,K (2556)-Quintiliano Pinto,R (2403) Latin Cup-A 6th 2015 (7) 1/2-1/
2 now putting the rook on the right square, but compared with the lines shown
in the notes to Black's 7th move, I had wasted a tempo} 17. h5 a5 18. Na2 $1
$16 {[%cal Yg5g6,Yh5h6] and Black's counterplay is easily stopped, while White
will be playing h6 or g6 in the other side}) 14... O-O 15. O-O-O Nc5 16. f3 a5
17. Bxc5 $6 (17. h6 $5) 17... dxc5 18. Qxd8 Rfxd8 19. Bxb5 Bxg5+ {Harikrishna,
P (2737)-Grischuk,A (2761) Geneva FIDE GP 2017 (7) 1/2-1/2 and Black has no
problems anymore -}) 13. O-O-O Nc5 14. f3 ({Recently, White played} 14. Nxc6
Bxc6 15. f3 {and now} Qb8 $1 {[%csl Ga8][%cal Ya6a5,Yb5b4] seems a very good
idea, as the queen supports Black's pawn advance and the rook stays in the
a-file, where it can be very useful} ({definitely an improvement over} 15...
Rb8 {Oparin,G (2604)-Gelfand,B (2724) Zuerich Chess Challenge Blitz 6th 2017
(5) 0-1}) 16. h5 a5 17. Nb1 $2 {Hansen,M (2452)-Sethuraman,S (2647) Hastings
Masters op 92nd 2016 (6) 0-1} Rc8 $1 18. g6 $2 Bxe4 $1 {[%cal Yc5b3]} 19. Bxc5
Rxc5 20. fxe4 Bg5 $19) 14... Rb8 $1 {In some positions the rook is better
placed on c8, from where the threat of ...Rxc3 is very strong, but in this
position it belongs on b8, as for Black it is essential to support the pawns
on the queenside in order to generate counterplay.} 15. Kb1 (15. Nxc6 {seems
interesting, as after} Bxc6 {White can continue with} 16. h5 a5 17. h6 (17. b4
$5) (17. Na2 {this position shows how each tempo is very important in this
position, as compared with my game against Mekhitarian, White's king is not on
b1 yet, so Black can play} b4 $1 {and the position becomes sharp} 18. axb4 axb4
19. Nxb4 $4 Qa5 $19 {with the king on b1, this idea would not be possible})
17... g6 18. Na2 Qc7 (18... b4 $2 19. axb4 axb4 20. Nxb4 Qa5 21. Qc3 $1 $18 {
[%csl Gd2,Rg7][%cal Yb4c6]}) 19. Kb1 Rfd8 20. Be2 $13 {Oparin,G (2604)-Gelfand,
B (2724) Zuerich Chess Challenge Blitz 6th 2017 (5) 0-1}) 15... Nxd4 16. Bxd4
Bc6 17. Bh3 $5 {There is an interesting idea behind this move, but it looks
like Black has enough counterplay to be ok.} (17. Qh2 $1 {[%cal Yd4c5] was an
unnexpected way to put Black under pressure} Nd7 (17... Qa5 18. Na2 $1 {
[%cal Yb2b4,Gd4c3]}) 18. g6 $1 {and the attack is coming fast, for example} e5
(18... fxg6 19. h5 g5 20. h6 g6 21. Bg7 Rxf3 22. Bh3 Nf8 23. Rhf1 Rxf1 24. Rxf1
Bd7 25. Qf2 Qe8 26. Qd4 $18) 19. gxh7+ Kxh7 (19... Kh8 20. Be3 a5 21. Nd5 b4
22. a4 $1 $16 Bxa4 23. b3 Bc6 24. Nxe7 Qxe7 25. Qd2 {[%csl Rd6]}) 20. Be3 b4
21. axb4 Rxb4 22. Na2 Rb8 23. Rg1 a5 24. Qg2 Rg8 25. Bc4 $16) 17... a5 18. b4
$2 {This move is in accordance with the previous move for White, but both
players missed a strong idea for Black.} (18. Na2 $142 {stopping ...b4.}) 18...
axb4 19. axb4 Nd7 $2 ({Blacks fails to explore the tactical ideas in this
position,} 19... Ra8 $3 {was very good, and now White has no choice but to
launch an attack on the other side, creating some wild complications, very
difficult to calculate and evaluate over the board:} 20. g6 $1 (20. bxc5 $2
dxc5 21. Be3 Qa5 $19) (20. Kb2 Nd7 21. Ra1 (21. g6 Ne5 $1 {[%csl Gc4]} 22.
gxf7+ Kxf7 23. Bxe5 dxe5 24. Qxd8 Rfxd8 25. Kb3 Rd4 $17) 21... Nb6 22. Bxb6
Qxb6 $17) 20... hxg6 21. h5 $1 Bg5 (21... e5 {is even better for White} 22.
Bxc5 dxc5 23. hxg6) (21... Qc7 {loses in a beautiful way} 22. hxg6 Qa7 23. Na4
$3 Qxa4 24. Bxe6 $1 {[%csl Ga2][%cal Yh1h8] with an unstoppable mate}) 22. Qh2
{in this very critical position, Black should play} (22. f4 Qc7 $1 23. fxg5 Qa7
24. Nxb5 (24. Ne2 Qa2+ 25. Kc1 Nxe4 $44 {seems dangerous for White}) 24... Qa2+
25. Kc1 e5 $1 26. bxc5 exd4 27. Qxd4 Bxb5 $13) 22... gxh5 $1 (22... Qe7 $6 {
only the computer can save this} 23. hxg6 Bh6 (23... Qa7 24. Na4 $1 {[%cal
Yh1h8,Gh3e6]} Bh6 25. gxf7+ Rxf7 26. Bxe6 Qxa4 27. bxc5 $18) 24. bxc5 Qa7 25.
Na4 $1 Qxa4 $2 (25... e5 $3 {is the inhuman solution}) 26. gxf7+ Kxf7 27. Bxe6+
Kxe6 28. Qxd6+ Kf7 29. Rxh6 Qa2+ 30. Kc1 gxh6 31. Qf6+ Ke8 32. Qxc6+ Ke7 33.
Qd6+ Ke8 34. Bg7 $18) 23. Bxc5 (23. Rhg1 Bf6 24. e5 $1 dxe5 25. Bxc5 Qc7 {
is also complicated, for example} 26. Bxf8 $2 {White is a R and N up, but now
follows an impressive and forced attack} Qa7 27. Kc1 Qa1+ 28. Kd2 Rd8+ 29. Ke2
Bxf3+ $3 30. Kxf3 Qxc3+ 31. Ke4 (31. Rd3 e4+ $1) 31... Rxd1 32. Rxd1 Qc6+ 33.
Ke3 Bg5+ 34. Ke2 Qxc2+ $19) 23... Qc8 $1 {[%cal Yc8a6]} 24. Bb6 {[%cal Yb6a5]}
Bf6 25. Rd3 Bxe4 $1 26. fxe4 Bxc3 27. Ba5 Qc4 $13) 20. g6 $1 $40 {Now White
gets in first.} e5 (20... hxg6 21. h5 $1 {this thematic idea, known from
Mikhail Tal's great attacking games, is the point: White sacrifices the pawns
to open the path towards Black's king} gxh5 22. Bxg7 $1 $18 {with a mating
attack.}) 21. gxf7+ {Understandable, White wants the e6-square for his bishop,
from where it can help both attack and defence.} (21. gxh7+ $5 {has an
interesting tactical point, but with correct play should be a draw} Kh8 22. Be3
Nb6 23. Bh6 $1 Bf6 $1 (23... gxh6 24. Qxh6 $18 {[%cal Yd1g1]}) (23... Nc4 24.
Bxg7+ $1 Kxg7 25. Rdg1+ $18) 24. Qxd6 Qe7 $1 25. Bxg7+ $1 Kxg7 26. Rhg1+ (26.
Rdg1+ $5) 26... Kxh7 27. Qxc6 Qxb4+ 28. Kc1 Qa3+ 29. Kb1 Qb4+ $11) 21... Rxf7
22. Be3 $13 {This position is difficult for both players, as both sides has
their weaknesses to take care of.} Kh8 (22... Rxf3 23. Be6+ Kh8 24. Rhg1 {
[%cal Yd2g2] seems a little dangerous for Black.}) 23. Rhg1 Nb6 24. Be6 (24.
Bxb6 {seems safer, eliminating the dangerous knight:} Rxb6 25. Be6 Rf4 (25...
Rxf3 26. Rxg7 $1 Kxg7 27. Rg1+ Kh8 28. Qg2 $18 {[%csl Gg7,Gg8]}) 26. h5 {
and this position seems even, as it's probably very difficult to make progress
with either side.}) 24... Nc4 25. Qe2 Rf6 ({The engine indicates the unexpected
} 25... Qf8 $1 {as the best option, which would be very annoying for White} 26.
Bxf7 (26. Bxc4 bxc4 27. Qxc4 d5 $1 {[%csl Rb4][%cal Yb8b4]} 28. Qxc6 d4 $1 $19)
(26. Nd5 Bxd5 27. Bxd5 Nxe3 28. Qxe3 Rxf3 $15) 26... Qxf7 $17 {[%csl Rb1]
there are many options for White here, but it's clear that Black has a good
compensation, because now his kingside is well defended and the attacking
options on the queenside remain attractive.}) 26. Bxc4 bxc4 27. Qxc4 Qa5 $6 (
27... Rxf3 28. Qxc6 Rxe3 29. Qc4 $1 Rc8 30. Qf7 Bf6 31. Nd5 Rxe4 32. h5 $1 {
[%cal Gh5h6]} Rh4 $1 (32... h6 33. Rg6) 33. Rh1 Rxh1 34. Rxh1 h6 35. Rf1 Bg5
$13) 28. Kc1 {In general, such positions are very difficult to calculate, so
White makes the practical decision to refuse Black's piece sacrifice.} ({
However,} 28. Qxc6 $1 {could have been played} Qxb4+ (28... d5 29. Qe8+ $1 {
maybe this was the resource missed by both players} Rf8 30. Qxe7 Rxb4+ 31. Kc1
Qa3+ 32. Kd2 Rd4+ 33. Bxd4 Qxe7 34. Nxd5 $18 {with too many pieces for the
queen}) 29. Kc1 d5 30. Qc7 d4 31. Nd5 Qb2+ 32. Kd2 dxe3+ 33. Ke2 Qb5+ 34. Rd3 {
and White is just clearly better, for example} Rb7 $8 35. Qxe5 Bd6 36. Qd4 $16)
28... Qa3+ 29. Kd2 d5 $1 {Black's position becomes very active, but
Harikrishna is able to keep things under control.} 30. exd5 $1 (30. Nxd5 Bxd5
31. exd5 Rxf3 32. Bc5 Bxc5 33. Qxc5 Rf4 $36 {[%csl Rd2] this position can be
dangerous to play with White, because his king is more exposed.}) 30... Bxb4 (
30... Rxb4 31. Qa2 $1 {is a nice resource} Qxa2 32. Nxa2 Ra4 33. Nc3 $18 {
[%csl Ra4,Rc6]}) 31. dxc6 Bxc3+ 32. Ke2 (32. Qxc3 $4 Rd6+ $19) 32... Bd4 $1 33.
Rd3 Qa8 34. Rxd4 $1 {Again the best idea.} ({instead,} 34. Bxd4 exd4 35. c7
Re8+ 36. Kf2 Rc6 {is dangerous for White, as now he is the side with a more
exposed king to queen+rook attacks.}) 34... exd4 35. Bxd4 Re8+ 36. Kf2 Qxc6 {
The best practical decision, liquidating this very interesting battle into a
rook endgame with a pawn down, but a drawish one.} (36... Rg6 $2 {is easy to
see that keeping the material is a bad deal for Black} 37. Rxg6 hxg6 38. Qf7
Rg8 39. Qxg6 $18) 37. Qxc6 Rxc6 38. Rxg7 Rxc2+ 39. Kg3 Rc4 40. Rg4+ Rxd4 41.
Rxd4 {I'm not totally sure about this endgame, but if without the h-pawn for
Black it's a draw, so this one should be also.} Kg7 42. Kg4 Re1 43. Rd7+ Kh6
44. Rd6+ Kg7 45. f4 Rg1+ 46. Kf5 h5 $11 {[%csl Gh4][%cal Yg1g4]} 47. Rd7+ Kg8
48. Ke6 Rg6+ 49. Ke5 Rg4 50. f5 Rxh4 51. Rd8+ Kf7 1/2-1/2
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.10"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Hou, Yifan"]
[Black "Rapport, Richard"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C55"]
[WhiteElo "2666"]
[BlackElo "2694"]
[Annotator "Roiz,M"]
[PlyCount "88"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 e5 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 h6 5. O-O d6 6. c3 g6 {Richard chooses a
somewhat risky, but less explored setup.} 7. Re1 ({More energetic is} 7. d4 $1
Qe7 (7... Bg7 8. dxe5 dxe5 9. Qxd8+ Nxd8 10. Nxe5 $16) 8. Re1 Bg7 9. Nbd2 O-O
10. h3 Kh8 11. a4 Bd7 12. a5 a6 13. Bd3 Rae8 14. Nf1 $14 {Radjabov,T - Amin,B
Doha QAT 2016}) 7... Bg7 8. h3 O-O 9. d4 {Now, when Black's development is
almost completed, this advance is less promising for White.} Nd7 $146 {
Transferring the knight to b6 is an interesting idea, but it yields White time
for consolidating the centre.} ({But} 9... Nxe4 $6 {is dubious:} 10. dxe5 Ng5
11. Bxg5 hxg5 12. e6 $16 {Andriasian,Z - Lomsadze,D Jermuk ARM 2012}) ({
However,} 9... exd4 {is safer:} 10. cxd4 d5 11. exd5 Ne7 12. Nc3 Nexd5 13. Ne5
c6 $11 {Antipov,M - Marholev,D Marianske Lazne CZE 2009}) 10. Na3 (10. Be3 $5 {
looked somewhat provocative, but inviting the knight to c4 is a typical idea
in the Ruy Lopez. The play might continue:} Nb6 11. Bb3 Na5 12. Bc2 Nac4 13.
Bc1 exd4 14. cxd4 c5 15. b3 cxd4 (15... Na5 16. Be3 $14) 16. bxc4 d3 17. Qxd3
Bxa1 18. Nc3 $36 {and White's initiative more than compensates for the
exchange.}) 10... Nb6 11. Bb5 ({Another natural retreat -} 11. Bb3 Re8 {
would more or less force White to release the tension in the centre, and after}
12. dxe5 Nxe5 13. Nxe5 Rxe5 14. Bf4 Re8 {Black is close to equalising.}) 11...
Bd7 12. Be3 $6 {Losing control over the e4-pawn could have invited some
troubles.} ({Instead, Hou Yifan should have played} 12. dxe5 Nxe5 13. Nxe5 dxe5
14. Bxd7 Nxd7 15. Be3 Qe7 16. Qb3 $14 {putting Black under some positional
pressure.}) 12... Kh7 $6 {Richard is returning the favour.} ({A stronger move
was} 12... f5 $1 13. Qb3+ Kh7 14. exf5 gxf5 15. dxe5 dxe5 {and the potential
play along the g-file might cause White definite problems.}) 13. dxe5 dxe5 14.
Nc4 Qe7 ({A more accurate try was} 14... Nxc4 15. Bxc4 Na5 16. Bd3 b6 17. Qe2
Qe7 $11) 15. a4 Rad8 16. Qe2 {In the resulting position with a symmetrical
pawn structure White's chances are preferable due to better coordination
between the pieces.} Nxc4 17. Qxc4 Qf6 18. Bxc6 {This ''greedy'' decision
changes the favourable course of game.} ({It was better to maintain the
tension by means of} 18. Qe2 a6 19. Bc4 Be6 20. b4 $14 {and Black is doomed to
a passive defence.}) 18... Qxc6 19. Qxc6 Bxc6 20. Bxa7 Rg8 $1 {It looks like
this strong move was underestimated by Hou Yifan. It turns out that Black is
able to push f7-f5 and activate both of his bishops.} 21. a5 (21. Bc5 b6 22.
Bb4 f5 23. a5 Bxe4 24. axb6 cxb6 25. Ra7 Rge8 26. c4 Kg8 27. Bc3 Bf6 $11) 21...
f5 22. exf5 gxf5 {Now most of Black's pieces are very active.} 23. Red1 $2 {
White cannot afford such a passive move.} ({In the event of} 23. Nxe5 Bxe5 24.
Rxe5 Rxg2+ 25. Kf1 Rd2 26. Re7+ Kg8 27. Rxc7 Rg6 $11 {Black would obtain
enough counterplay for a draw, but White had no reason for rejecting it.})
23... Ra8 ({Another move which was good enough was} 23... Rxd1+ $1 24. Rxd1 Bf6
25. Ne1 Ra8 26. Bc5 Rxa5 $17 {achieving a big positional advantage.}) 24. Be3
f4 25. Bd2 {A sad necessity - this is the only way to avoid a loss of material.
} Bf6 $1 {Now Black's pieces are dominating over the board.} ({Richard
correctly rejected} 25... e4 26. Ne1 Be5 27. c4 $1 Bxb2 28. Bxf4 Bxa1 29. Rxa1
$15 {and Black's material advantage doesn't guarantee anything yet.}) 26. Ne1
Rg7 $2 {This inaccurate move could have spoiled all the advantage!} ({The
correct way was} 26... Bxg2 27. Nxg2 f3 28. Be3 Rxg2+ 29. Kh1 Kg6 30. Rg1 Rxg1+
31. Kxg1 Kf5 $17 {and the activity of Black's king might become a decisive
factor.}) 27. c4 Rag8 ({In comparison to the above-mentioned note, now it's
too late for} 27... Bxg2 28. Nxg2 f3 29. Kh1 Rxg2 30. Bc3 $1 Rag8 (30... Kg6
31. Rg1 Rxg1+ 32. Kxg1 e4 33. Bxf6 Kxf6 34. b4 Ke5 35. Rd1 $11) 31. b4 $1 Bh4
32. Bxe5 Bxf2 33. Rd7+ Kg6 34. Bxc7 Kf5 35. Rf7+ Ke4 36. Rf4+ Ke3 37. Ra3+ Ke2
38. Ra2+ Kf1 39. Ra1+ Be1 40. Rxf3+ Ke2 41. Rxe1+ Kxf3 42. Rc1 $11) 28. Kf1 $2
{A decisive mistake.} (28. a6 $1 {White has missed a golden opportunity of
activating the pieces and saving half a point:} Bxg2 29. Nxg2 Rxg2+ 30. Kh1
bxa6 31. Rxa6 Bh4 32. Bc3 Bxf2 33. Bxe5 Rg1+ 34. Rxg1 Rxg1+ 35. Kh2 f3 36. Rf6
$11) 28... Bxg2+ 29. Nxg2 f3 $1 ({Of course, not} 29... Rxg2 $2 30. Ke2 Bh4 31.
Rf1 {and White's king is extremely safe.}) 30. Be3 e4 $1 {The last precise
move.} (30... Rxg2 31. Ke1 Kg6 32. Kd2 e4 33. a6 bxa6 34. Rxa6 Rd8+ 35. Kc2
Rxd1 36. Kxd1 Kf7 {was also winning, but the text is more convincing.}) 31. Ra3
Be5 (31... Bxb2 {was also good enough:} 32. Rb3 Be5 33. Rxb7 Kh8 $19) 32. Rb3
c6 {GM Rapport reasonably doesn't hurry.} 33. Bd4 fxg2+ 34. Kg1 Rd8 $19 {
The rest is easy.} 35. Rbd3 Rgd7 36. Bxe5 Rxd3 37. Re1 Rg8 38. h4 Rh3 39. Bh2
Rxh4 40. Rd1 Rg7 41. b4 e3 42. fxe3 Rxc4 43. Be5 Rgg4 44. Bd6 h5 0-1
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.10"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Inarkiev, Ernesto"]
[Black "Salem, AR Saleh"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B90"]
[WhiteElo "2707"]
[BlackElo "2638"]
[Annotator "Quintiliano,R"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
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 Nxd5 {This option is much less played than 10...Bxd5,
but the fact that Inarkiev has a good score in that line could have influenced
Salem in his choice.} (10... Bxd5 11. exd5 {is the main line, as the knight
seems more useful to play against White's pawns advancing on queenside.}) 11.
exd5 Bf5 {The thing is that here White has a clear plan to follow, pushing his
queenside pawns to grab space or create a passed pawn. This is the
straightforward plan, but in this game Inarkiev shows a different approach for
White.} 12. Be2 Rc8 {This move was used once by Nakamura to beat Caruana.} (
12... Be7 {is the most played, in general White follows the same plan} 13. O-O
O-O 14. Na5 Qc7 15. c4 {[%cal Yb2b4]}) 13. c4 ({That game went} 13. Rc1 Qh4+ $5
{a good move to force weaknesses in White's camp} 14. g3 Qf6 15. O-O Be7 (15...
h4 $2 16. g4 Bh7 17. Bg5 Qg6 18. Bd3 $18 {[%csl Rg6]}) 16. Na5 $1 {[%csl Yb7]
[%cal Gc2c4,Gb2b4] A typical manouevre in this variation, On a5 the knight
exerts pressure on b7 and frees the path for the b-pawn in order to play c4-b4.
} Rc7 17. Bd3 O-O 18. c4 Bxd3 19. Qxd3 Re8 20. b4 Bf8 {Caruana,F (2774)
-Nakamura,H (2784) Moscow Tal Memorial 8th 2013 (4) 0-1} 21. Nb3 {[%cal Yc4c5]}
Rec8 22. a4 $14 {and White has the easier game.}) 13... Qh4+ $5 14. g3 $146 (
14. Bf2 Qf6 15. O-O Be7 16. Na5 Rc7 17. b4 Qg6 {[%cal Yf5h3]} 18. Be3 O-O 19.
Rac1 e4 20. f4 Bh3 21. Bd1 h4 $2 22. c5 $36 {Yagupov,I (2372)-Pulpan,J (2368)
28th Czech Open E 2017 (7.5) 1-0}) 14... Qf6 {[%cal Gh5h4] Black hopes to
exploit White's last move in his favour with h4-ideas.} 15. Na5 Rc7 16. O-O-O
$5 {This is an unexpected but very interesting move, which shows White's
agressive ideas. At first sight, the white king seems to be in a dangerous
position, but it's not easy to see how Black can exploit this. Besides, White
has now finished his development and is ready for active actions.} Be7 ({
for example} 16... b5 $2 17. Nc6 $16 {[%cal Yd2a5]}) 17. Rhf1 $1 {[%cal Yg3g4]
As said, White has mobilised all his forces quickly and is now looking for
concrete ideas.} Qg6 18. b3 {A good move, giving the b2-square for his king.}
O-O ({Knowing the game's continuation} 18... e4 $1 {seems to be better:} 19.
fxe4 (19. g4 $2 hxg4 20. fxg4 Bxg4 21. Rg1 Ne5 $17) (19. f4 Nc5 {[%cal Yc5d3]})
19... Bxe4 {and as Black is playing moves like ...Ne5 or ...Bf6 soon, there's
nothing better than} 20. Bd3 Bxd3 21. Qxd3 Qxd3 22. Rxd3 Bf6 $11) 19. h4 $1 {
A very nice idea, which puts Black face to face with a challenge, and Salem is
not the kind of player who refuses a good fight...} (19. g4 hxg4 20. fxg4 Be4 {
seems ok for Black.}) 19... Qxg3 $2 {But now Black's position becomes very
dangerous, as White can develop the initiative while gaining time.} (19... e4
$1 {looks like the better option again, but Black needs to play precisely after
} 20. g4 $1 hxg4 21. h5 $1 Qf6 $1 {[%csl Ra1]} (21... Qxh5 22. Rh1 Qg6 23. fxg4
Bxg4 24. Bxg4 Qxg4 25. Qh2 f5 26. Rdg1 $18) 22. Bd4 Qh4 (22... Qg5 23. fxg4
Qxd2+ 24. Kxd2 Bh7 25. b4 $14) 23. Rh1 Qg5 24. fxg4 Bh7 (24... Qxd2+ 25. Kxd2
Bh7 26. b4 $14) 25. Qxg5 Bxg5+ 26. Kb2 Re8 27. b4 Nf6 $132 {[%cal Ye4e3,Gf6e4]}
) (19... Rfc8 20. Rg1 Nf6 21. Bg5 $36 {[%cal Yg3g4]}) 20. Rg1 {Inarkiev
sacrifices two pawns, but in return obtains a promissing attack and the open
h-file.} Qxh4 21. Rh1 Qf6 22. Rxh5 $40 Bg6 (22... e4 {now seems dangerous} 23.
Bd4 Ne5 24. Rdh1 g5 $8 (24... g6 $2 25. Rh8+ Qxh8 26. Rxh8+ Kxh8 27. Bxe5+ dxe5
28. d6 $18) 25. Rh6 Bg6 26. fxe4 Qf4 {Black is able to exchange queens but his
position remains difficult after} 27. Qxf4 gxf4 28. Bh5 $1 Bg5 29. Bxg6 Bxh6
30. Bxe5 fxg6 (30... dxe5 31. Bf5 Kg7 32. d6 Rc5 33. Nxb7 $18 {[%csl Yc4,Yd6]
[%cal Yd6d8]}) 31. Bxd6 f3+ 32. Kd1 $16) (22... g6 23. Rg1 {[%cal Ye3g5]} Re8
24. Bg5 Qg7 25. Bxe7 $18 {[%cal Gh5f5]}) 23. Rh2 Qf5 $1 {Using mating threats
along the diagonal, Black manages to close the h-file using his pieces.} 24.
Kb2 Nf6 25. Rdh1 Nh7 26. Bd1 $1 {[%cal Yd1c2] This nice manoeuvre shakes
Black's defensive setup.} Bf6 (26... Qb1+ 27. Ka3 Qf5 28. Qc3 $1 {[%cal Yd1c2]
renewing the threat} Bf6 29. Bc2 e4 30. Qd2 {transposes to the game.}) 27. Bc2
e4+ 28. Ka3 Qxf3 {Black's position is already quite difficult.} 29. Bd1 Qg3 (
29... Qf5 30. Bh5 $18) 30. Rh3 {Increasing the pressure along the h-file.} Qe5
31. Bf4 Qf5 32. Qh2 {[%cal Yd1h5] Bh5 is coming and it seems pretty difficult
for Black to avoid material losses.} Rd8 (32... Be5 33. Bxe5 Qxe5 34. Rxh7 $18)
33. Bh5 b6 $1 {The best chance.} 34. Bxg6 (34. Nc6 $2 Rxc6 $1 {[%cal Gf5a5]})
34... fxg6 35. Rxh7 Kf7 $5 {As the knight cannot go to c6 (36.Nc6? Rxc6! 37.
dxc6 Qa5#), Black tries to gain a tempo avoiding Rh8 with check.} (35... bxa5
36. Rf1 $1 Kf7 37. Qh1 $1 $18 {[%cal Yf4h6]}) 36. Bh6 $6 {But now Black has
chances, although his position is very difficult.} (36. Rf1 $1 bxa5 37. Qh1 $1
{[%cal Gf4d6,Gf4h6] was a nice way to finish} Qd7 38. Bg5 {and Black is
totally lost.}) 36... Rg8 37. Qg2 bxa5 $2 {This makes things easier for White.}
(37... g5 $3 {[%csl Ya5,Yh6][%cal Gf5h7] was the amazing resource, and
suddenly three white pieces are hanging!} 38. Bxg7 (38. Bxg5 Qxg5 39. Qxg5 Bxg5
40. Nc6 Bf6 {this endgame seems even better for Black}) (38. Rxg7+ Rxg7 39. Rf1
Qe5 $17) 38... Rxg7 39. R7h6 {[%cal Yh1f1]} Rg6 40. Rh7+ Rg7 41. R7h6 $11) 38.
Rf1 {Now Black is totally lost again.} Qe5 39. Bg5 {[%cal Yf1f8,Yh7c7] Too
many pins!} Qf5 40. Bxf6 Kxf6 41. Rhh1 Re7 42. Rhg1 Ke5 43. Qg3+ {Despite one
inacurracy at the end, when Black had an amazing defensive resource, I think
it was a great attacking game by Inarkiev, with an interesting example of how
to open lines towards the black king in this variation.} 1-0
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.12"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Harikrishna, Penteala"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A29"]
[WhiteElo "2809"]
[BlackElo "2737"]
[Annotator "Roiz,M"]
[PlyCount "76"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nb6 7. O-O Be7 8.
d3 O-O 9. Be3 Be6 10. Rc1 f5 {This is one of most ambitious ways of handling
the position - Black is aiming to prove that White's dark-squared bishop is
somewhat vulnerable.} ({Another common continuation -} 10... Nd5 {had been
seen in the practice of both players previously:} 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12. Qa4 (12.
Nd2 $2 Bxg2 13. Kxg2 Qd5+ 14. Kg1 Qxa2 $17 {Nakamura,H (2787)-Harikrishna,P
(2763) chess.com INT 2016}) 12... Re8 13. Rfd1 a6 14. a3 Bf6 15. Nd2 Bxg2 16.
Kxg2 Nd4 17. Bxd4 exd4 18. Ne4 c6 $11 {1/2 (46) Aronian,L (2784)-Topalov,V
(2754) Stavanger NOR 2016}) 11. a3 Kh8 {This prophylactic move can be
automatically made in various English positions (reversed Sicilian!).} ({
The aggressive} 11... f4 {exposes the key e4-spot, and that might invite
trouble. For instance,} 12. Bd2 Qd7 13. Ne4 Rf5 14. b4 fxg3 15. Nxg3 Rff8 16.
b5 $16 {1-0 (31) Wang Yue (2723)-Mamedyarov,S (2757) Beijing CHN 2013}) ({
The following game also illustrates well how effective White's initiative on
the q-side might be:} 11... Bf6 12. Nd2 Kh8 13. b4 Rb8 14. Bc5 Ne7 15. b5 $36 {
1-0 (43) Kamsky,G (2741)-Svidler,P (2769) Thessaloniki GRE 2013}) 12. b4 a6 13.
Re1 $146 {This move looks somewhat mysterious, but its main idea was justified
in the game!} ({The previously played} 13. Bc5 Bg8 14. e3 Bxc5 15. bxc5 Nd5 16.
Qd2 Qe7 17. Ne2 Rab8 18. Nh4 Qf6 $132 {Caruana,F (2791) - Giri,A (2752)
Stavanger NOR 2014 led to a balanced play.}) 13... Qe8 {Pentala is intending
to place his queen on the kingside, so White's king might be under some
pressure.} ({Another possibility was} 13... Nd5 $5 14. Nxd5 Bxd5 15. Bc5 Bd6
16. e4 (16. Qc2 f4 17. Nd2 Bxg2 18. Kxg2 Qd7 $132) 16... fxe4 17. dxe4 Be6 $11)
14. Qd2 Bd6 $6 {This natural move locks the d-file and allows White to seize
the initiative.} ({More to the point was} 14... Rd8 15. Bxb6 cxb6 16. Qe3 Bf6
17. Qxb6 Qe7 18. Qe3 Bg8 $44 {and Black's bishops provide decent compensation
for a pawn.}) 15. Bxb6 $1 cxb6 16. d4 {Levon doesn't miss the chance! Now
Black has serious problems to solve.} exd4 $6 ({In the following short line
White benefits from having the rook on the e-file:} 16... e4 17. d5 $1 exf3 18.
exf3 {and Black's position collapses.}) ({The same can be said about} 16... Rd8
17. d5 Bb8 18. e4 fxe4 19. Rxe4 Bf5 20. Re3 Bg4 $14 {even though here White's
advantage isn't that big. Indeed, it was the lesser evil!}) 17. Nxd4 Rd8 (17...
Be5 {was hardly any better:} 18. Nxc6 bxc6 19. Qe3 Bc7 20. Nd5 Bxd5 21. Qxe8
Raxe8 22. Bxd5 $16 {- Even though there are bishops of different colours, the
endgame is very difficult for Black.}) 18. Nxe6 Qxe6 19. Qa2 Qh6 {Pentala is
aiming to complicate matters.} ({The alternative -} 19... Qxa2 20. Nxa2 Rc8 21.
Red1 Rfd8 22. e3 {would lead to an unpleasant endgame, where White's
light-squared bishop is extremely powerful.}) 20. f4 $2 {Luckily for GM
Harikrishna, Levon loses all sense of danger...} ({Instead, the natural} 20. e3
$1 g5 21. Nd5 b5 22. f4 gxf4 23. Nxf4 $16 {would secure White a big positional
advantage.}) 20... a5 21. b5 Bc5+ {That's the point! The vulnerablity of the
dark squares in White's camp starts to tell now.} 22. e3 $2 {Alas, Levon fails
to cope with a sudden change of course!} ({He had to play} 22. Kh1 Bf2 23. bxc6
Bxg3 24. h3 Bxe1 ({Perhaps, a stronger try is} 24... bxc6 25. Red1 Bxf4 26. e3
Bxe3 27. Rxd8 Rxd8 {obtaining 4 pawns for a piece. However, even in this event
after} 28. Rd1 Rxd1+ 29. Nxd1 Bc5 30. Qf7 {White is OK}) 25. c7 $1 Rc8 26. Rxe1
Rxc7 27. Nd5 {White would be able to maintain the balance, at the least.})
22... Ne5 $1 {Now Black has too many threats!} 23. Rcd1 (23. Nd5 Nd3 24. Rcd1
Nxe1 25. Rxe1 Rd6 $19) 23... Ng4 24. h3 Nxe3 ({There was the even simpler}
24... Bxe3+ 25. Kf1 Nh2+ 26. Ke2 Bxf4 $1 27. gxf4 (27. Rxd8 Rxd8 28. gxf4 Qh5+
29. Ke3 Qh4 $19) 27... Rfe8+ 28. Kf2 Qh4+ $19) 25. Rxd8 Rxd8 26. Kh2 g5 {
This aggressive choice makes Black's task tougher.} (26... Qd6 27. Qe2 Nxg2 28.
Qxg2 (28. Kxg2 Bxa3 29. Rd1 Qe7 $19) 28... Bxa3 29. Rd1 Qe7 30. Rxd8+ Qxd8 31.
Qxb7 g6 $19) 27. fxg5 Qxg5 28. Qe6 ({A more stubborn try was} 28. Nd5 Nxd5 29.
Bxd5 f4 30. Qa1+ Qg7 31. Qxg7+ Kxg7 32. Rd1 fxg3+ 33. Kxg3 Bxa3 {- the
resulting edngame is winning for Black, but the task is still not trivial.})
28... f4 29. Ne4 Qg7 30. g4 Nc2 {This move doesn't spoil anything,} ({but
White would immediately resign after} 30... Nxg2 31. Kxg2 Qb2+ 32. Kh1 f3 $19)
31. Rf1 Nd4 32. Qf6 Qxf6 33. Nxf6 Bxa3 34. Bxb7 Bd6 {Eventually the a-passer
easily decides the game.} 35. h4 a4 36. g5 a3 37. Kh3 Be5 38. Kg4 Nc2 0-1
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.12"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Li, Chao B"]
[Black "Eljanov, Pavel"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E12"]
[WhiteElo "2735"]
[BlackElo "2739"]
[Annotator "Krasenkow,M"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. a3 Bb7 5. Nc3 d5 6. Qc2 {This order of moves
is mostly used to prevent} (6. cxd5 Nxd5 7. Qc2 Nxc3) 6... dxc4 {A principled
reply.} ({In the event of} 6... Nbd7 {White is ready to continue} 7. cxd5 Nxd5
8. Nxd5 ({or} 8. Bg5)) ({or} 6... Be7 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Nxd5 {etc.}) 7. e4 c5 8.
Bf4 $5 $146 {[%cal Rc3b5][%mdl 8] A surprising novelty at such an early stage.}
(8. d5 {has been played in dozens of games. A classic example:} exd5 9. exd5
Bd6 10. Bxc4 O-O 11. O-O h6 12. Re1 a6 13. a4 Nbd7 14. b3 Qc7 15. h3 Ne5 16.
Nh4 Rfe8 17. Bb2 Qd7 18. Re2 Rad8 $11 {1/2 (38) Lautier,J (2645)-Karpov,A
(2775) Groningen 1995}) (8. dxc5 {is quite harmless. A recent correspondence
game:} Bxc5 9. Bxc4 Nbd7 10. O-O Qc7 11. Bd3 a6 12. Bg5 Ng4 13. Qe2 h6 14. Bh4
Bd6 15. Bg3 Bxg3 16. hxg3 Qc5 $11 {1/2 (23) Vodicka,M (1889)-Hatsek,W (1925)
Lechenicher SchachServer 2013}) 8... a6 $1 (8... cxd4 9. Nb5 Bxe4 (9... Bc5 10.
Nc7+ Ke7 11. Qxc4 $14) 10. Qxc4 Bxf3 11. Nc7+ Ke7 12. gxf3 Nd5 13. O-O-O $1
Nxc7 14. Bxc7 {leads to a complicated position, in which White's development
advantage and Black's "centralised" king are more important than Black's extra
pawn.}) 9. Bxc4 b5 10. Bb3 cxd4 11. Rd1 Qb6 $6 (11... Nc6 $142 $1 12. O-O Rc8 {
, and White must prove his compensation for the pawn.}) 12. Nxd4 Bc5 13. Nf3
Nbd7 $6 (13... Nc6 $142 14. e5 (14. O-O Nd4 $5) 14... Nh5 15. Bg5 Nd4 (15... h6
$143 16. Ne4 $1) 16. Nxd4 Bxd4 17. Qd2 h6 $1 18. Be3 Bxe3 19. fxe3 O-O $13) 14.
O-O Rc8 {And now it is not easy for Black to complete his development.} (14...
O-O $6 {runs into} 15. e5 $1 Bxf3 16. gxf3 Nh5 17. Rxd7 Nxf4 18. Ne4 Rac8 19.
Ng5 Ng6 (19... g6 20. Qd2 $16) 20. Rxf7 $1 Rxf7 21. Bxe6 Rcc7 22. Rd1 $16) 15.
Qe2 Qc6 $2 (15... O-O {is relatively better but Black is in trouble anyway:}
16. e5 Nh5 17. Be3 {[%cal Rd1d7,Rg2g4,Yd1d6,Yf3g5]} Qc6 18. Bc2 $1 $16) 16. Bd5
$1 {Black probably saw this move but underestimated its consequences.} Qb6 17.
Bxb7 Qxb7 18. e5 Ng4 {[%csl Rg4] This knight will become Black's headache but
he had little choice:} (18... Nh5 19. Bc1 {[%cal Rg2g4,Yc3e4]}) 19. Ne4 Be7 20.
Nd6+ Bxd6 21. Rxd6 Nc5 22. Nd2 (22. h3 Nh6 23. Bxh6 gxh6 24. Rfd1 {was good
enough, too. However, Black can't parry the h2-h3 threat anyway.}) 22... h5 23.
b4 Na4 24. Ne4 O-O 25. h3 Rc4 26. Re1 $18 f5 27. exf6 Nxf6 28. Nxf6+ Rxf6 29.
Rd8+ Rf8 30. Qxe6+ Qf7 31. Rxf8+ Kxf8 32. Qd6+ Kg8 33. g3 Nc3 34. Re7 Qf5 35.
Be5 1-0
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.12"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Inarkiev, Ernesto"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C87"]
[WhiteElo "2742"]
[BlackElo "2707"]
[Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 $5 {I have played
many games in this system, and I think it's a great way to play more flexibly
against the Ruy Lopez, without entering forced lines with the standard 6.Re1.}
d6 (6... b5 {is the most common reply} 7. Bb3 d6 8. a4 {is the move I have
always liked, trying to play c3-Bc2 quickly, without allowing Na5-c5 (which
Black may still play, but he needs to take some care)} (8. a3 {but this is the
current fashion, with numerous games, and a very important recent one} O-O 9.
Nc3 {Here Black has played seven different moves in high-level games! just to
show how rich the position is} Nb8 10. Ne2 Nbd7 11. c3 Bb7 12. Ng3 c5 13. Re1
Rc8 14. Nf5 c4 15. dxc4 Bxe4 16. Nxe7+ Qxe7 17. cxb5 axb5 18. Bg5 Nc5 19. Ba2
h6 20. Bh4 g5 21. Bg3 Bh7 22. Qe2 Kg7 23. Rad1 Nfe4 24. Rd5 f5 25. Rxe5 $1 {
a very creative approach by the ex-world champion. He ended up winning the
game on the 42nd move} dxe5 26. Bxe5+ Nf6 27. Qxb5 $40 {1-0 (42) Kramnik,V
(2811)-Harikrishna,P (2755) Shamkir 2017}) 8... Bd7 9. c3 Na5 (9... O-O 10. Bc2
$1 {stopping Na5-c5, is the main idea. We will get a position very similar to
this current game} Re8 11. Nbd2 Bf8 12. Re1 b4 13. a5 g6 14. Bb3 Be6 15. Ba4
Bd7 16. Nf1 $13 {1/2-1/2 (116) Caruana,F (2794)-Svidler, P (2757) Moscow 2016,
with interesting play.}) 10. Bc2 c5 11. d4 Qb8 $1 {an important move to defend
the a8-rook - this was played in the 4th round} (11... Qc7 $6 12. axb5 {
and Black is forced to take with the bishop to avoid b2-b4} Bxb5 13. Re1 $16)
12. Bg5 h6 13. Bh4 (13. Bxf6 {this move has been tried three times} Bxf6 14.
axb5 $6 (14. dxe5 dxe5 15. Qd5 Qc8 $5 (15... Nb7 $5 16. axb5 Be6 17. Qc6+ Bd7
18. Qd5 Be6 19. Qd1 axb5 20. Rxa8 Qxa8 21. Na3 Qa5 (21... b4 $5) 22. Nxb5 $1
Bc4 23. Nd6+ Nxd6 24. Qxd6 Bxf1 25. Kxf1 Qb5+ 26. Ke1 $44 {1-0 (61) Navara,D
(2703)-Caruana,F (2779) Rhodes 2013 with good compensation; Navara went on to
win the game.}) 16. Nxe5 Be6 17. Qd6 Be7 $6 (17... b4 $1 $44) 18. Qd1 Qc7 19.
axb5 axb5 20. Nf3 O-O 21. Nbd2 $16 {1-0 (59) Khairullin,I (2629)-Gustafsson,J
(2629) Bangkok 2016 and White slowly consolidated.}) 14... axb5 15. dxc5 dxc5
16. Qd5 {now it simply fails for White, and Black achieves an advantage} Qc8
17. b4 (17. Nxe5 $2 {now this loses} Be6 18. Qd6 Ra6 $1 $19 {winning the
knight, this is the difference}) 17... Be6 18. Qxc5 Qxc5 19. bxc5 Kd7 $1 20.
Na3 Kc6 21. Rab1 Rhb8 $17 {0-1 (63) Morozevich,A (2683) -Vitiugov,N (2718)
Novi Sad 2016, with a big advantage in the endgame.}) 13... Be6 14. Nbd2 O-O
15. Re1 (15. h3 {also didn't create problems for Black} Rc8 16. Bg3 cxd4 17.
cxd4 Nh5 $1 18. Bh2 Nf4 19. axb5 axb5 20. Bxf4 exf4 21. Bd3 Nc4 22. Qe2 Rxa1
23. Rxa1 Bf6 $132 {1/2-1/2 (39) Ponomariov,R (2742)-Caruana,F (2774)
Thessaloniki 2013, and Caruana found enough counterplay.}) 15... cxd4 16. cxd4
Rc8 17. h3 Nc6 $1 {after major simplifications, equality prevailed} 18. axb5
axb5 19. Rxa8 Qxa8 20. Bxf6 Bxf6 21. d5 Nb4 22. dxe6 Nxc2 23. exf7+ Kxf7 $11 {
1/2-1/2 (30) Grischuk,A (2761) -Aronian,L (2809) Geneva SUI 2017}) 7. c3 {
allowing him to bring the bishop directly to c2 whenever it's needed.} O-O 8.
h3 Re8 9. Re1 Bf8 10. Nbd2 (10. c4 $5 {An original try from the 2016 world
title challenger. It has been repeated five times already in practice. The
idea is to have harmonious development (Nc3 especially), at the same time
avoiding ...b5. Naturally, the d4-square gets weakened, but h3 is very
important to avoid ...Bg4} Nd7 11. Be3 Ne7 12. Nc3 c6 13. b4 $1 Ng6 14. Bb3 h6
15. a3 (15. d4 $1 $14 {was a very natural way to claim an advantage}) 15... Nf6
16. Ra2 (16. c5 $5 $14) 16... a5 17. Qb1 Nh5 18. Ne2 Qf6 $36 {1-0 (51)
Karjakin,S (2769)-Amin,B (2661) Baku 2016; followed by ...Nhf4. With a couple
of imprecise moves, Karjakin handed over the initiative to Black, but ended up
winning the game.}) 10... b5 11. Bc2 h6 (11... Bb7 {is a good move that was
played against me, and I reacted so poorly that in a few moves I had a bishop
locked in on b1!} 12. a4 $5 (12. d4 $1 {transposes to a Zaitsev line, with the
correct tempi, because even though White played d3 and d4, he also brought the
bishop to c2 (without Bb3)}) 12... h6 13. Nf1 (13. b4 $1 $14 {with the idea of
Nb3}) 13... d5 $1 {Black is doing fine already} 14. Qe2 (14. exd5 Nxd5 15. axb5
axb5 16. Rxa8 Qxa8 17. d4 $11 {should lead to massive simplifications}) 14...
b4 15. Ng3 (15. a5 $1 $13 {an important move, to avoid my opponent's plan})
15... Na5 $1 {suddenly I have problems to avoid b3, and cxb4 (although
probably necessary), looks ugly as well} 16. Nf5 $2 (16. cxb4 Bxb4 17. Bd2 Bxd2
18. Qxd2 dxe4 19. dxe4 Qxd2 20. Nxd2 Rad8 $36 {and Black has a slight
initiative}) 16... b3 17. Bb1 Bc8 18. N3h4 d4 19. cxd4 exd4 $17 {0-1 (42)
Mekhitarian,K (2544)-Vajda,L (2617) Albena 2013, and it's clear I lost the
game without a chance :).}) 12. a4 b4 13. a5 $1 {A good move to win space on
the queenside - not only the weakness on a6 is now fixed, but most importantly,
there is no ...Na5 anymore (after ...Rb8 let's say).} Rb8 14. Nc4 g6 $6 {
It feels like Black has to play in the centre before White comfortably plays
d4.} (14... Bd7 {was the precedent} 15. Bd2 bxc3 16. bxc3 Qc8 17. Nh2 (17. d4
$5 $14 {was more logical and direct, White keeps a small edge always}) 17...
Be6 18. Ba4 Qb7 19. Ng4 Nxg4 20. hxg4 Red8 $1 (20... Bxc4 $2 {this is not
something White should be worried about, because the light squares become a
big problem, and ...d5 will never be played} 21. dxc4 Re6 22. g5 $5 $16) 21.
Bc2 d5 22. exd5 Bxd5 23. Ne3 (23. g5 $5 $40) 23... Bb3 (23... Be6 $11) 24. Rb1
Bxc2 25. Qxc2 Qa8 $11 {1-0 (41) Naiditsch,A (2689)-Lenic,L (2625) Reykjavik
2015}) (14... bxc3 15. bxc3 d5 {is a typical reaction in these positions, but
White always has something to play for} 16. exd5 Nxd5 (16... Qxd5 $5) 17. Bd2
f6 18. d4 $5 exd4 19. Rxe8 Qxe8 20. Nxd4 Nxd4 21. cxd4 $40 {and White has
propects for an attack on the kingside, with a move like Qf3.}) (14... d5 $5 {
is also possible.}) 15. Bd2 bxc3 16. bxc3 Bg7 17. d4 $1 $14 exd4 18. cxd4 Nb4
$6 (18... d5 $1 {was good, trying to exchange a pair of rooks or a pair of
knights} 19. Nce5 $1 (19. exd5 $6 Rxe1+ 20. Qxe1 Qxd5 $11 {and Black is doing
ok}) 19... Nxe5 20. Nxe5 Bb7 21. Ba4 Re6 {looks weird, but whenever White
plays exd5, Black is fine} 22. Rb1 $1 Ba8 $1 $13 {with an unclear position} (
22... Nxe4 $2 23. Nd7 $1 Bxd4 24. Be3 $16)) 19. Bb1 d5 20. Nce5 $1 {
Threatening Bxb4 followed by Nc6.} Re6 (20... dxe4 21. Bxb4 Rxb4 (21... exf3
22. Nc6 $18) 22. Ba2 $1 {nice move} (22. Nc6 $2 Qd6 $1 23. Nxb4 exf3 24. Rxe8+
Nxe8 {and Black has amazing compensation} 25. Qe1 {forced, to defend b4 and
win a tempo on e8} Nf6 $17) 22... exf3 23. Bxf7+ $40 {with a very strong
attack.}) 21. exd5 Nfxd5 22. Qc1 $1 $16 Qf8 23. Be4 {White has a very strong
initiative, safer and better placed pieces.} Rb5 (23... f5 $5 {an ugly
positional move, but perhaps White's initiative had to be parried somehow} 24.
Bxd5 Nxd5 25. Qc4 Rb5 {trying to stabilise with ...Qe8} 26. Rab1 Qe8 27. Rxb5
Qxb5 28. Qa2 {threatening Rb1 with deadly effect} Qb7 29. Rc1 $16 {Black still
has problems to coordinate.}) 24. Rb1 c6 (24... f5 {allows a different idea now
} 25. Bxb4 $1 Nxb4 26. Bc2 $1 Nxc2 27. Qxc2 Rxb1 28. Rxb1 {and Black remains
in deep trouble:} Qd6 29. Qb3 $1 Kh7 30. Rc1 Bd7 31. Qb7 $18) 25. Qc4 Qd6 26.
Rb3 $1 {The rook will swing over to the kingside in many lines.} Bf8 27. h4 $5
{Bringing another soldier to the battle, more logical than the unclear 27.
Nxf7!?} (27. Nxf7 $5 {shows White's potential on the kingside} Kxf7 28. Ne5+
Kg8 (28... Rxe5 {doesn't help} 29. dxe5 Qe6 30. Rf3+ Kg7 (30... Ke8 31. Bb1 $1
$18 {followed by the devastating Rf6!}) 31. Bxg6 $1 $18 {f8 falls or White
wins the queen with Rg3}) 29. Bxg6 Rf6 (29... Rxg6 30. Nxg6 Qxg6 31. Rg3 Qxg3
32. fxg3 $18 {should be equally hopeless, with such an open king}) 30. Rg3 Bg7
31. Be4 {threatening Bxb4 Rxb4 Bxd5+! winning a piece} Be6 32. Qc1 $40 {
the attack continues, and should be more than enough since he already has two
pawns for the piece.}) 27... c5 $2 {Black's position was already vulnerable
with the pawn on c6, now it totally collapses - ...cxd4 is not even a threat,
because the c8-bishop is hanging.} (27... Nf6 {The position is difficult
anyway, but this was the last chance for Black to try some regrouping; it
turns out that the knight on d5 is not ideally placed} 28. Bb1 Qd5 29. Qc3 $1 {
threatening Bxh6 and Rxb4} Re8 (29... h5 $2 30. Ng5 Re7 31. Ne4 $16) 30. Bxh6
Be6 31. Rb2 Bxh6 32. Rxb4 $16) 28. h5 $1 $18 g5 29. Bf5 (29. Bxg5 hxg5 30. Nxg5
$18 {was also devastating, followed by Rg3 and taking on f7.}) 29... Ne7 30.
dxc5 $1 Rxc5 31. Bxb4 $18 Nxf5 32. Bxc5 Qxc5 33. Qxc5 Bxc5 34. Rc3 {A fine
game by Nepo, now at 3.5/6, trailing by half a point the current three leaders:
Radjabov, Grischuk and Harikrishna!} 1-0
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.12"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Svidler, Peter"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A14"]
[WhiteElo "2749"]
[BlackElo "2800"]
[Annotator "Ftacnik,L"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 b6 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. d4
Bb7 9. Re1 {With the increasing number of top games by strong players in
databases the fight for an advantage in any opening position becomes an uphill
struggle. Svidler is trying the less usual rook move in order to avoid the
well trodden paths of the 9.Bb2 line.} (9. Bb2 Nd7 (9... c5 10. dxc5 Bxc5 11.
Nbd2 Nd7 12. a3 N5f6 (12... Rc8 13. Rc1 Be7 14. e4 Rxc1 15. Qxc1 N5f6 16. e5
Nd5 17. Nc4 Qb8 18. Qd2 Rd8 19. b4 Nf8 20. Nd4 Nc7 21. Qe2 Bxg2 22. Kxg2 Qb7+
23. Qf3 Nd5 $11 {0-1 (67) Gelfand,B (2743)-Aronian,L (2795) Moscow 2016}) 13.
b4 Be7 14. Rc1 Rc8 15. Qa4 Rxc1 16. Rxc1 Qa8 17. Rc7 Bd6 18. Rxd7 Bc6 19. b5
Bxd7 20. Bxf6 gxf6 21. Qg4+ Kh8 22. Qd4 Qd5 $11 {0-1 (43) Aronian,L (2792)
-Kramnik,V (2801) Zuerich 2016}) 10. Re1 (10. Nbd2 N5f6 11. Qc2 Rc8 12. Rac1 c5
13. Qb1 Rc7 14. dxc5 Rxc5 15. Rxc5 Bxc5 16. b4 Be7 17. a3 Qa8 18. Rc1 Rd8 19.
Ne1 Bxg2 20. Nxg2 a5 21. Nf3 axb4 22. axb4 $11 {1/2-1/2 (57) Nakamura,H (2760)
-Aronian,L (2815) Beijing 2012}) 10... N5f6 11. Nc3 c5 (11... Bb4 12. Qc2 Bxc3
13. Qxc3 Be4 14. Red1 Qc8 15. Bf1 Nd5 16. Qe1 Bxf3 17. exf3 Qb7 18. Rac1 c6 19.
f4 a5 $11 {1/2-1/2 (46) Grischuk,A (2774)-Kramnik,V (2777) Berlin 2015}) (11...
Rc8 12. e4 Bb4 13. Qc2 c5 14. Rad1 cxd4 15. Nxd4 Rc5 16. Ndb5 Ba6 17. a3 Bxc3
18. Nxc3 Qc7 19. b4 Rc4 20. Qd2 Rc8 21. e5 Nxe5 22. b5 $18 {1-0 (29) Almasi,Z
(2688)-Bruzon Batista,L (2681) Varadero 2016}) 12. e4 cxd4 13. Nxd4 Ne5 (13...
Bc5 14. Re2 Qb8 15. Rd2 a6 16. Qe2 Ra7 17. Re1 Ne5 18. Kh1 Qa8 19. f4 Ng6 20.
Nc2 $14 {1/2-1/2 (40) Grischuk,A (2750)-Aronian,L (2781) London 2015}) 14. Qe2
Bc5 15. Ncb5 a6 16. Rad1 axb5 17. Nxe6 Qe7 18. Nxf8 Kxf8 19. Bd4 b4 20. f4
Bxd4+ 21. Rxd4 Qc5 $19 {0-1 (24) Giri,A (2782)-So,W (2770) Paris 2016}) 9... c5
10. e4 Nf6 11. Nc3 Nc6 {Mamedyarov is playing very well in mature years and
has even reached 2800 level. Thus he is not afraid of complications as
compared to the safer line after trading on d4.} (11... cxd4 12. Nxd4 Qc8 13.
Bb2 Rd8 14. Rc1 Nc6 15. Nd5 exd5 16. Nxc6 Bxc6 17. Bxf6 dxe4 18. Qh5 Bxf6 19.
Bxe4 g6 20. Qe2 Rd6 21. Qf3 $11) 12. d5 (12. e5 Nd5 13. Nxd5 exd5 14. h4 h6 $11
) 12... exd5 13. e5 $5 (13. exd5 Nb4 14. Bg5 h6 $11) 13... Ne8 {It is much
easier to analyse the daring line 13...Ne4!? at home with a computer than to
take the risk in a real game.} (13... Ne4 $5 14. Nxd5 Nb4 15. Nxb4 cxb4 16. Ng5
Qxd1 17. Rxd1 Nc3 18. Rd7 Bxg2 19. Kxg2 Rfe8 $11) 14. Nxd5 Nc7 15. Nxe7+ Qxe7
16. Nh4 $1 {Svidler used to be in top 5 in the world and his choice of the
best move shows he still has a very good feel for the position.} (16. Ng5 Rad8
17. Qc2 g6 18. Qb2 Ne6 19. Ne4 Nb4 $11) 16... Qe6 17. Bg5 (17. Bb2 $1 Rab8 18.
Qe2 $14) 17... h6 18. Bf6 $6 {The desire to use the excess of pieces on the
kingside for an attack is very commendable, but it does not work the way the
first player would like.} (18. Bc1 Rad8 19. Qh5 Bc8 20. f4 Nd4 21. Bb2 $11)
18... gxf6 19. Qh5 fxe5 (19... Rfe8 20. Qxh6 fxe5 21. Qg5+ Kf8 22. f4 $14) 20.
Nf5 Qg6 $6 {[%mdl 256] Black is a very strong tactician, but that does not
necessarily make you excellent in defensive tasks. In all honesty it is very
tempting to go into a simplifying continuation that is safe and promises
chances in an endgame with an extra pawn. The computers insist that
objectively the stronger move was 20...Bc8 with prospects for a bigger
advanatge.} (20... Bc8 $1 21. Bxc6 (21. g4 Qf6 22. Qxh6 Qxh6 23. Nxh6+ Kg7 24.
Bxc6 Kxh6 25. Bxa8 Nxa8 $17) 21... Qxf5 22. Qxh6 f6 23. Re4 Qh7 24. Qxh7+ Kxh7
25. Bxa8 Nxa8 $17) 21. Qxg6+ fxg6 22. Bxc6 gxf5 (22... Rxf5 23. Bxb7 Rd8 24.
Re2 Nb5 25. Rae1 $15) 23. Bxb7 Rae8 24. Rad1 {White was a bit lucky to get
away from a dangerous adventure with a bishop sacrifice with only a scare. The
chances for a successful defence are good as Black has an exposed pawn on the
e-file.} Kg7 25. Bc6 Re7 26. h3 {This move might not have been the most
accurate, but only engines can criticise it with any confidence. Black will
not get far with sensible moves.} (26. Re3 $1 h5 27. Kg2 Rf6 $15) 26... Kf6 (
26... e4 $1 27. Bd7 Rff7 28. Bc6 Ne6 $17) 27. Rd6+ Re6 28. Red1 e4 29. a4 Rf7 (
29... h5 30. h4 Rf7 $15) 30. f4 exf3 {A clear sign that Mamedyarov is losing
part of his belief in full succes for this game.} (30... h5 31. h4 Rg7 32. Kg2
$15) 31. Bxf3 Rfe7 32. Kf2 Rxd6 (32... Ne8 33. Rd8 $11) 33. Rxd6+ {The
position is dangerously close to equality as Black finds it hard to make
progress in converting his extra pawn into anything tangible.} Kg7 (33... Ne6
34. h4 f4 35. g4 Rg7 36. Rd5 $11) 34. Be2 Ne6 35. h4 f4 36. g4 (36. gxf4 Nxf4
37. Bc4 Ng6 38. Kg3 $11) 36... Nd4 37. Bc4 Re3 38. Rd7+ Kg6 39. Rd6+ (39. Rxa7
Rf3+ 40. Ke1 Re3+ 41. Kf2 $11) 39... Kg7 40. Rd7+ Kg6 41. Rd6+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.13"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Radjabov, Teimour"]
[Black "Svidler, Peter"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A34"]
[WhiteElo "2724"]
[BlackElo "2739"]
[Annotator "Lenderman,A"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{Today the choice was clear to me, since we had a decisive game on one of the
top boards, and also it was a nice, clean game by Radjabov, who is in
excellent form in this tournament.} 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 (2... g6 3. Nc3 d5 4.
cxd5 Nxd5 {is another common line for Gr黱feld players, but these days many
players don't want to venture here, since White has a lot of additional
dangerous options here.}) 3. Nc3 d5 {As far as I know, the most common way for
Grünfeld players to play against this White's move order.} (3... g6 4. d4 cxd4
5. Nxd4 d5 {is also a common way for Gr黱feld players to play, but still, I
think White has some pressure here if he knows the line well.} (5... Bg7 6. e4
{leads to a Maroczy Bind Structure, which most Gr黱feld players wouldn't want
to play, since this is basically suffering for most of the game, and there
aren't as many dynamic options for Black here.})) 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e3 (5. e4 {
is also a very common move here, after which Black usually plays ...Nb4 and
leads to very sharp positions.} Nb4) 5... Nxc3 {Definitely not the only move
here.} (5... e6 {As far as I know this is the most common alternative, which
will most likely lead to an IQP (isolated pawn position), where White has the
isolated d4-pawn but will have attacking chances.} 6. d4) (5... Nc6 {isn't
played as often because of the unpleasant...} 6. Bb5 {After which Black will
probably still have to eventually play ...e6, but now he has allowed a
slightly annoying pin, and therefore some concessions.}) (5... g6 {is also not
as accurate, right away, since here after a strong queen move, disturbing
Black's harmony, he has to make some annoying concessions, for example...} 6.
Qa4+ $1 {This is already unpleasant for Black.} Bd7 (6... Nc6 7. Bb5 $14) 7.
Qb3 $14) 6. dxc3 {And this is the first somewhat surprising move. Almost
exclusively White plays bxc3. However, Radjabov, one of the leaders at +2,
playing Svidler, who has 3.5/6, half a point behind, decided to put the ball
in Black's court to try to create some kind of a battle in a dry position.
That,along with the fact that as far as I can tell, Svidler doesn't like
positions that are too dry. One game that comes to mind is Karjakin-Svidler
from the 2015 World Cup Finals, where Svidler just needed a draw to win the
finals, as he had been leading 2-1, but wasn't able to defend a slightly
unpleasant but tenable position. This no doubt had an impact on Radjabov's
decision to play this kind of a position this round. Needless to say, it paid
off big time for him in this game.} Qxd1+ (6... Qc7 {Perhaps this deserves
attention. This is already a rare position though.}) 7. Kxd1 Bf5 {This move is
designed against a quick e4. It's an interesting option but definitely not the
only option.} (7... Nc6 {is an alternative which Nepo tried against Vidit in
the last Olympiad. He'd also tried ...b6 the game before against Wang Yue.} 8.
e4 b6 9. Kc2 Bb7 10. Bf4 f6 11. Rd1 e5 12. Bc1 (12. Bg3 $5 {Maybe this move
here or somewhere earlier was a possible improvement for Radjabov.}) 12... Na5
13. Bb5+ Kf7 14. Rhe1 a6 15. Bc4+ Nxc4 16. Rd7+ Be7 17. Rxb7 Rhb8 18. Rxb8 Rxb8
19. b3 Nd6 20. Nd2 b5 $11 {1/2 (37) Vidit,S (2669)-Nepomniachtchi,I (2740)
Baku AZE 2016. Black equalised comfortably and went on to draw without
particular problems.}) (7... b6 8. e4 Bb7 9. Bb5+ Bc6 10. a4 a6 11. Bxc6+ Nxc6
12. Kc2 e6 13. Rd1 Be7 14. Bf4 Ra7 15. Nd2 $14 {1/2 (47) Wang Yue (2728)
-Nepomniachtchi, I (2719) Moscow RUS 2016. Here White has some pull, in a game
which ended up being a draw in 47 moves.}) 8. Nd2 Nc6 9. e4 {So, White got in
e4 anyway, but Black's idea was to force White's knight to d2 first, so that
White has a harder time developing his bishop on c1.} Be6 {This is according
to my database a novelty, and possibly not the best one.} (9... Bd7 {was
played by the late Walter Browne all the way back in 1979.} 10. Kc2 O-O-O 11.
Nb3 e6 12. Be3 b6 13. Ba6+ Kc7 14. a4 Ne5 15. f3 Bd6 16. Be2 Bc6 17. Nd2 f5 {
1/2 (42) Andersson,U (2560) -Browne,W (2540) Banja Luka 1979; with a complex
game, which ended up in a draw in the end. But certainly both sides could
probably make subtle improvements before.}) 10. Kc2 g6 (10... O-O-O {This move
deserves attention as well, since it stops Bc4 because of ...Rxd2!. However,
White has annoying options here as well.} 11. Nb3 (11. Bc4 $4 Rxd2+ $19) (11.
Nf3 $5 {is also interesting, trying to induce the move f6 at some point.} f6
12. Be3 b6 13. Ba6+ Kb8 14. Bf4+ Ka8) 11... b6 12. Ba6+ Kb8 13. Bf4+ Ka8 14.
Rhd1 Rxd1 15. Rxd1 g6 16. Nd2 Bg7 17. Bc4 Bxc4 18. Nxc4 Rd8 19. Rd5 $14 {
White has a slight pull here, but it certainly looks like Black should be able
to hold.}) 11. Bc4 Bd7 {Now it's starting to look like Black's strategy didn't
work. He's losing too many tempi and White is putting his pieces on decent
squares.} (11... Bxc4 12. Nxc4 $14 {is also slightly unpleasant though. White
has a plan with Be3 and a4 after ...b6. Black's bishop is a slight problem, in
where it's very useful.}) 12. Nb3 b6 13. a4 {An important move, not only
thinking about playing a5, but also preparing to play Bb5 after ...Ne5.} Ne5
14. Bb5 a6 $6 {But this move already seems like a real inaccuracy. I don't
think it was necessary to create additional weaknesses.} (14... Bg7 15. Bf4
O-O-O {still seems tenable for Black.}) 15. Bxd7+ Nxd7 16. Be3 e6 17. Rhd1
O-O-O 18. Nd2 $16 {Now White already has a serious advantage. White's knight
is getting back to c4, its dream square, while Black is tied down to the
weakness on b6. In general, the main reason White wanted to swap off the
light-squared bishops was because he wanted to have his knight unopposed on c4,
where it can't be bothered by Black's bishop, and also sometimes the white
knight and bishop are redundant on the light squares.} Be7 19. Nc4 Kb7 20. a5
$1 Rhf8 {The problem for Black is that...} (20... b5 $2 {only makes things
worse because of...} 21. Nd6+ Bxd6 22. Rxd6 $18 {and Black is just collapsing
here with his weaknesses.}) 21. axb6 Nxb6 22. Na5+ Kc7 23. Bf4+ Bd6 24. Bh6 $1
{A very important decision here. White didn't want to trade off the dark
squared bishops since then he would not have enough fire power to really apply
maximum pressure on Black's weaknesses.} (24. Rxd6 Rxd6 25. Nb3 (25. Rd1 Nc8
26. Nc4 Rfd8 27. b3 f6 28. Nxd6 Nxd6 {and since the pawn endgame is going to
be drawn, Black will be able to untangle himself eventually with ...Kc6, and
even though he's worse, he can still fight here.}) 25... c4 26. Nc5 Ra8 27.
Nxa6+ Kc6 28. Bxd6 Kxd6 29. Rd1+ Kc6 30. Nb4+ Kc5 {would have won a pawn for
White, but Radjabov correctly assessed that in this position Black would have
better chances o holding than in the game, since he was able to get his pieces
very active and trade off or eliminate his weaknesses just at the cost of a
pawn. This is still promising for White but it shows incredible patience not
to go for this line, which I'm sure Radjabov saw.}) 24... Rfe8 25. Nb3 {
Black still won't be able to avoid material loss in the long run, but here he
also keeps his active bishop, while Black's bishop on d6 is quite restricted
and can't do much.} Ra8 26. Be3 Nd7 27. Ra5 Kc6 28. Rda1 Kb6 29. R5a4 Rec8 30.
Na5 Be7 $6 {Loses in one move, but the position was already probably lost.} (
30... Kc7 31. Nc4 Be7 {would have prolonged the game, but White should still
be winning.} 32. Rxa6 (32. Bf4+ {Though the computer even doesn't want to take
the pawn.} Kb7 33. Na5+ Kb6 34. Rd1 Ra7 35. Nc4+ Kc6 36. Ra3 {and due to the
deadly threat of Na5+ with a mating attack, Black is already forced to play
the pathetic...} e5 37. Bxe5 Nxe5 38. Nxe5+ Kc7 39. Rd7+ Kb8 40. Rb3+ Ka8 41.
Rd1 {But this is equivilant to resignation.}) 32... Rxa6 33. Rxa6 {should be
enough for a winning advantage.}) 31. Rb4+ {Black resigned since is losing
after} (31. Rb4+ Kc7 32. Rb7+ Kd8 33. Rd1 Rc7 34. Nc6+ {and Black will lose at
least a piece. A very nice game by Radjabov and this puts him in a commanding
position to be able to win this tournament.}) 1-0
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.13"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Riazantsev, Alexander"]
[Black "Li, Chao B"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D94"]
[WhiteElo "2654"]
[BlackElo "2735"]
[Annotator "Sumets,A"]
[PlyCount "167"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 d5 4. e3 g6 5. Nf3 Bg7 6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O dxc4 8. Bxc4
Bg4 9. h3 Bxf3 10. Qxf3 Nbd7 11. Rd1 e5 {To find more information about this
position, see my article in CBM.} 12. d5 e4 $8 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14. Qxe4 Nb6 15.
Rb1 (15. Qc2 Nxc4 (15... cxd5 16. Be2 Rc8 17. Qb3 Qc7 18. Bg4 Rcd8 19. Bd2 Nc4
20. Bc3 Na5 21. Qc2 d4 22. exd4 Bxd4 23. Rac1 Bxc3 24. Qxc3 Qxc3 25. Rxc3 Nc6
26. Kf1 $14 {1-0 (67) Svane,R (2570)-Oleksiyenko,M (2643) Sharjah UAE 2017. It
is well known that usually R+B are stronger then R+N, but Black shouldn't lose
this game.}) 16. Qxc4 cxd5 17. Rxd5 Qb6 18. Qd3 Rad8 (18... Rfd8 19. e4 Bd4 20.
Be3 (20. Qf3 $5 Rxd5 21. exd5 Rd8 22. Bf4 Qxb2 23. Rd1 $44) 20... Bxe3 21. fxe3
{1/2 (21) Buhmann,R (2641)-Ragger,M (2686) Vienna AUT 2016}) 19. e4 Bd4 20. Qf3
Rc8 21. a4 Rc2 22. a5 Qb4 23. Bh6 Qxb2 {Black regains the pawn and levels the
game.} 24. Rf1 Bg7 25. Be3 b6 26. axb6 axb6 {1/2 (26) Dubov,D (2660)-Sutovsky,
E (2650) Poikovsky RUS 2017}) (15. Bb3 cxd5 16. Qf3 Qf6 17. Qxf6 Bxf6 18. Rb1
Rac8 (18... Rfd8 19. Bd2 Nc4 20. Bc3 Kg7 21. Bxf6+ Kxf6 22. Rd4 $14 {Narayanan,
S (2536)-Kojima,S (2399) Douglas ENG 2016 1-0 (72)}) 19. Bd2 Rfd8 20. Ba5 d4
21. e4 Rc5 22. Bxb6 axb6 23. Rd3 $14 {Malakhov,V (2694)-Yu,R (2548) China 2014
1-0 (37)}) 15... Qd6 $6 {An interesting continuation, but I'm sure, after this
game, Li Chao will not play it again. I don't see if White can get something
after 15...Re8 and ...Nxc4.} (15... Re8 16. Qc2 Nxc4 (16... cxd5 17. Bb5 Re6
18. Qb3 Qh4 19. Bd2 Rd8 20. Be2 h5 21. Rbc1 Qa4 22. Rc7 Qxb3 23. axb3 $14 {
Barbosa,O (2592)-Burnett,R (2345) Arlington 2014 1/2 (74)}) 17. Qxc4 Re5 (17...
Be5 $2 {Probably there is something wrong with the notation and Peter played
17...Re5 instead of 17...Be5} 18. d6 (18. b3 Rc8 19. Bb2 $16) 18... Re6 {
1/2 (18) Banusz,T (2588)-Prohaszka,P (2554) Fano 2013}) 18. e4 (18. d6 {
leads to an equal position:} Re6 19. d7 Qc7 20. e4 Rd8 21. Qd3 Re7 22. Bg5 {
1/2 (22) Neuman,P (2470)-Sanders,I (2338) Pardubice 2015}) 18... Qe8 19. Be3
Rxe4 20. Qb3 cxd5 21. Rxd5 b6 {1/2 (21) Martinovic,S (2531) -Sumets,A (2614)
Zadar 2013} 22. Rbd1 Rc8 23. Rd7 Re7 $11) 16. Bb3 cxd5 (16... Nxd5 {As you can
see, Black is OK after 17.Bxd5 cxd5 18.Rxd5 Qa6 but I don't see a good move
for Black after 17.Qf3.} 17. Qf3 $1 (17. Qd3 $5 Qe7 18. Bxd5 cxd5 19. b3 $14) (
17. Bxd5 cxd5 18. Qxd5 Qa6) 17... Qe7 18. Bxd5 cxd5 19. Rxd5 Rad8 20. b3 Rxd5
21. Qxd5 b6 (21... Rd8 22. Ba3 $1 $16) 22. Bb2 Rd8 23. Ba3 $1 Rxd5 24. Bxe7 Rd2
25. a4 $16) 17. Qd3 $1 $146 {This is a very logical novelty, White wants to
finish his development and then he can take on d5. If Black protects his
d5-pawn then White can play Bd2, Ba5. As we could learn from the game Malakhov,
V-Yu,R China 2014, White doesn't mind playing endgames with opposite coloured
bishops. I think that Black should have played 15...Re8 instead of 15...Qd6.} (
{White doesn't have any advantage after} 17. Bxd5 Nxd5 18. Rxd5 Qa6 19. a3 (19.
b4 Qxa2 20. Rd2 Qa4 (20... Qa6 $1 21. Bb2 Rfe8 $11) 21. Qxb7 Rad8 22. Qc7 Rc8
23. Qa5 Qxa5 24. bxa5 Bc3 25. Rd7 $14 {1-0 (40) Aleksandrov,A (2612)-Mu,K
(2294) New Delhi 2012. Black should make a draw.}) 19... Rad8 $44 20. Qf3 $2
Qe6 $1 21. e4 Rxd5 22. exd5 Qe1+ 23. Kh2 Re8 $1 $17 {Shulman,Y (2617)-Li,C
(2669) Ningbo 2011 0-1 (31)}) 17... a5 {It seems to me that Black should
include ...a5, a3 or White will play Bd2, Ba5.} (17... Rac8 18. Bd2 Nc4 19. Bc3
Rfd8 20. Bxg7 Kxg7 21. Qd4+ Qf6 22. Qxa7 $16) (17... Qe7 18. Bd2 Rfd8 19. Ba5
d4 20. e4 $16) 18. a3 Qe6 {Black has to choose among many continuations which
lead to different difficult positions. It is tough work for everybody.} (18...
a4 19. Ba2 Qc6 20. Bd2 Rfd8 21. Bc3 $1 (21. Rbc1 Nc4 22. Bc3 b5 23. Bxg7 Kxg7
24. Qc3+ Qf6 25. Rd4 $14) 21... Bxc3 22. bxc3 Rac8 23. Rb4 $16) 19. Bd2 Rfc8 ({
If Li Chao could use a computer than maybe he would prefer} 19... Rfd8 {
with the following line:} 20. Be1 a4 21. Ba2 Rac8 22. Ba5 Rc5 23. Bb4 $1 (23.
Qd2 Rdc8 24. Bxb6 Qxb6 25. Bxd5 Rc2 26. Qd3 Bxb2 (26... Rxb2 27. Bxf7+ $16) 27.
Be4 Qb3 28. Qxb3 axb3 29. Bxb7 R8c3 30. Bd5 Bxa3 31. Bxb3 $14 {Black should
make a draw.}) 23... Rcc8 24. e4 Qxe4 25. Qxe4 dxe4 26. Ba5 Rxd1+ 27. Rxd1 Rc6
28. Rd8+ Bf8 29. Re8 $16 {Black's position is unpleasant.}) 20. Be1 Rc5 21. Ba2
Nc4 22. b4 axb4 23. Bxb4 $16 Rcc8 {Alexander could have chosen among different
positions with advantage and I think that he has made the right choice.} 24.
Bb3 $1 b5 25. Qxd5 Qxd5 26. Rxd5 Nxa3 27. Bxa3 Rxa3 {It is very difficult to
assess correctly White's chances to win the game.} 28. Rd7 $5 ({The computer
prefers to take on b5} 28. Rxb5 Ra7 29. g3 Rcc7 {In this case Black would
protect the f7-pawn.}) 28... Rf8 29. Rb7 Bc3 30. g4 {It is obvious that sooner
or later White will win the f7-pawn, he has 3 pieces, which could attack it
and Black has only 2 defenders.} b4 31. h4 h6 32. g5 {I think that White
shouldn't hurry playing g5 and f4} (32. Kg2 {I would prefer to put the king on
g3 and then play g5.} Kg7 33. Kg3 Ra5 34. Rd1 Ra3 35. Bc4 Be5+ 36. Kg2 $16 {
threatening Rdd7 and Rxb4.}) 32... hxg5 33. hxg5 Ra5 34. f4 Bd2 35. Kf2 Rc5 {
Black has some counterplay, so the next moves are forced.} 36. Rd1 ({Or} 36.
Rb2 Rc3 37. Bxf7+) 36... Rc3 37. Bxf7+ Rxf7 38. Rb8+ Kg7 39. Rxd2 {So, White
has won a pawn and there are no more opposite coloured bishops. However now
the b4-pawn is more a passed pawn than a weakness. The position which has
arisen seems to be drawish.} Re7 40. Re2 (40. Rxb4 Rcxe3 {is a draw.}) 40... b3
41. Rb4 Rd7 42. Kf3 Re7 43. Re1 Rd7 44. Re2 (44. Kg4 Rdc7 45. e4 R7c4 46. Rxc4
Rxc4 {with the following ...Rb4. It leads to a draw.}) 44... Re7 45. Rb6 Kf7 {
White doesn't have a way to improve his position, so Black can wait.} 46. Kf2
Kg7 (46... Re6 47. Rb7+ Re7 48. Rb5) 47. e4 {I don't see other plans. White
sacrifices the pawn but he trades rooks and his king can penetrate on e5. The
computer doesn't like 47.e4 but it doesn't propose any idea, that can help
White to win the game.} Rf7 48. Re3 $8 Rxf4+ 49. Kg3 Rxe3+ 50. Kxf4 Rc3 (50...
Rd3 51. Ke5 Re3 52. Rb7+ Kg8 53. Rb5 Kf7 54. Rb4 Rf3 55. Rb7+) 51. Rb7+ Kg8 52.
Rb5 {Alexander doesn't need to hurry.} Kf7 53. Ke5 Ke7 54. Rb7+ Kd8 55. Kd6 (
55. Kf6 Rc6+ 56. Ke5 (56. Kg7 $4 Rc7+ $19) 56... Rc3) 55... Kc8 56. Rb4 Rd3+
57. Ke6 Kc7 58. e5 $1 (58. Kf7 Rd7+ 59. Kxg6 Rd6+ 60. Kf7 Rb6 61. Rxb6 Kxb6 62.
g6 b2 63. g7 b1=Q 64. g8=Q Qxe4 $11) 58... Rf3 $6 ({The easiest way to make a
draw is} 58... Kc6 59. Kf6 Kc5 60. Rb8 Rf3+ 61. Kxg6 Kd5 62. Rb5+ Kc6 63. Rb4
Kd5 $11) 59. Ke7 Kc6 60. e6 Kd5 61. Kd7 Rd3 62. Rb7 Ke5+ $6 {Objectively the
position is still drawish, but it is only mathematics. In practice, in an
overwhelming number of cases, White will win the endgame. So 62...Ke5 could be
assessed as 'the last mistake, which leads to a lost position'.} (62... Kc5+ $1
{and Black shouldn't use tablebase to prove that the position which has arisen
is drawish.} 63. Ke8 (63. Ke7 Kc6 64. Rb8 Kc7 65. Rb4 Kc6 66. Kf7 Rf3+ 67. Ke8
Kc5 68. Rb7 Kc6 69. Rb8 Rh3 70. Kf7 Rf3+ 71. Ke7 Re3 72. Rc8+ Kd5 73. Rd8+ Ke5
74. Rd2 (74. Rb8 Kf5 75. Rb5+ Re5 76. Rxe5+ Kxe5 77. Kf7 b2 78. e7 b1=Q 79.
e8=Q+ Kf4 $11) 74... Kf5 75. Kd7 Kxg5 76. e7 Kf5 77. e8=Q Rxe8 78. Kxe8 g5 $11)
63... Kc6 64. Rb8 Rh3 65. Kf7 Rf3+ 66. Kxg6 Kd6 {The strong b3-pawn helps
Black to save the game.} 67. Rb6+ Ke7 68. Kh6 Rh3+ 69. Kg7 Rc3 70. g6 Rh3 71.
Kg8 Rd3 72. g7 Rf3 $11) 63. Ke7 Kd5 64. Rd7+ Ke4 65. Rxd3 Kxd3 66. Kf6 b2 67.
e7 b1=Q 68. e8=Q Kd4 69. Qxg6 {According to the Nalimov tablebases the
position is drawish. However, the distance between 'drawish according to the
Nalimov tablebase' and draw is huge. I think that it is impossible to play
such endgames precisely and if I couldn't look at tablebase I would believe
that White's position is winning.} Qb8 70. Qg7 Ke4 71. Qh7+ Kf3 $2 (71... Kd4)
(71... Ke3) 72. Qf5+ Kg2 73. Qd5+ Kh3 74. g6 Qf8+ 75. Kg5 Qe7+ 76. Kh6 Qe3+ 77.
Kh7 Qe7+ 78. g7 Qh4+ 79. Kg6 Qg3+ 80. Kf6 Qh4+ 81. Kf7 Qf4+ 82. Ke7 Qh4+ 83.
Ke8 Qe1+ 84. Kd7 1-0
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.14"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C95"]
[WhiteElo "2761"]
[BlackElo "2800"]
[Annotator "Lenderman,A"]
[PlyCount "117"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{Today there were many very interesting games, but in the end I chose the draw
between Grischuk and Mamedyarov on one of the top boards, since not only it
was very critical for the standings, but also it was truly a great battle
between two fighting players.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O
Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 {Mamedyarov decides not to threaten playing the
Marshall with 0-0 and commits to a slower Ruy Lopez.} (7... O-O 8. c3 (8. a4 {
White can also play the popular slower line a4.}) 8... d5 {would be the
Marshall Gambit, the top guest at the top level, especially by Levon Aronian,
Magnus Carlsen, and Peter Svidler.}) 8. c3 ({Sometimes on} 8. a4 {Black has
the option of} Bd7 {right away.} (8... Bg4 {or this})) 8... O-O 9. h3 Nb8 {
The other popular line, the Breyer, which is very solid for Black and avoids
very concrete lines.} 10. d4 Nbd7 11. Nbd2 Bb7 12. Bc2 Re8 13. Nf1 Bf8 14. Ng3
g6 15. a4 (15. b3 $5 {This is also an alternative in this still very
theoretical position, and interestingly enough, this move was featured by the
exact same players back in 2006.} d5 (15... Bg7 {Of course Black doesn't have
to play the concrete ...d5 move, and can play the solid move ...Bg7.}) 16. Bg5
$1 h6 17. Bh4 $1 g5 18. Nxg5 hxg5 19. Bxg5 exd4 $1 20. e5 $1 Rxe5 21. Rxe5 Nxe5
22. cxd4 Nc6 $1 23. Qd3 $1 {1/2 (34) Grischuk,A (2710)-Mamedyarov,S (2728)
Moscow 2006 CBM 116 [Lukacs/ Hazai]. Here White has a very strong attack, but
in the end this battle in 2006 ended also as a draw.} (23. Nh5 $1 {is still
the main line, but the consequences are unclear.})) 15... c6 (15... c5 $5 {
was played by Kamsky against Grischuk} 16. d5 c4 17. Bg5 h6 18. Be3 Nc5 19. Qd2
h5 {0-1 (101) Grischuk,A (2748)-Kamsky,G (2720) Nalchik 2009 CBM 130 [Marin,M].
And after a complex battle White ended up actually losing, but his opening
seems decent enough here.}) 16. Bg5 h6 17. Be3 Qc7 18. Bd3 {Grischuk is the
first one to deviate, both from his own game against Mamedyarov, and in
general from Mamedyarov's previous opponents.} (18. Qd2 {is an interesting
alternative, played by Navara, also against Mamedyarov.} Kh7 19. Bb3 exd4 (
19... Re7 $5) 20. cxd4 Nxe4 21. Nxe4 Rxe4 22. Bxh6 $2 {This was a basque game,
so that explains this blunder.} (22. Bxf7 $16) 22... Bxh6 23. Ng5+ Bxg5 24.
Qxg5 Qd8 $19 {Though after futher adventures White actually won this game.} 25.
Qg3 Rxe1+ 26. Rxe1 d5 27. Qd6 Nf8 28. Qe7 Qd7 29. Qh4+ Kg7 30. Re7 Qd8 31. Qg5
Bc8 32. Rxf7+ {1-0 (32) Navara,D (2734)-Mamedyarov,S (2747) Huai'an CHN 2016})
18... Bg7 19. Qc1 Kh7 20. b4 $146 {The logical and consistent approach and
according to my database this is a novelty. The other game I saw White didn't
play very logically and let Black get control of the centre and quickly
control of the game.} (20. b3 Rac8 21. Ra2 Re7 22. Nh2 $6 d5 $15 {0-1 (42)
Muller,A (2095)-Donaldson Akhmilovskaya,E (2410) Elista 1998. Black got
control and won the game later.}) 20... Rac8 (20... Rad8 {might be an
alternative but in general I think these kinds of positions are easier to play
for White than Black.}) 21. Qd2 exd4 $5 {Black decides to change the course of
the action and tries to create counterplay.} 22. cxd4 Nb6 23. axb5 {Not the
engine's top choice, but a logical idea trying to either get d4-d5 and the
d4-square for one of his pieces, or opening the a-file.} (23. Bf4 $1 {Komodo
prefers this.} Nxa4 $2 (23... bxa4 24. e5 {leads to similar problems as after
23...Nxa4.}) (23... Qd7 {To try to defend against e5.} 24. a5 Nc4 25. Qa2 Re6
26. Rad1 $16 {seems very difficult for Black, but maybe it's not so trivial to
break through right away.}) 24. e5 {Is just bad for Black.} dxe5 (24... Nd5 25.
exd6 Qd7 26. Nh5 $18 {Here also White has a decisive attack. Black's pieces
are misplaced and not defending the king.}) 25. Nxe5 $18 {White is crashing
through here.}) 23... cxb5 (23... axb5 24. Bf4 $16 {seems inferior for Black.})
24. d5 Nfd7 (24... Nc4 $5 25. Bxc4 bxc4 $1 {might've been a better way for
Black to create counterplay.} 26. Bd4 c3 27. Qc2 (27. Qf4 Qe7) 27... Qc4) 25.
Bd4 Ne5 (25... Qd8 {would also be a solid alternative where White is better
thanks to the space and more active pieces but Black still has some
counterplay on the c-file.}) 26. Nxe5 dxe5 27. Rac1 Qd6 28. Bc5 Qf6 29. Nf1 Nd7
30. Rc2 Rc7 31. Qe3 Rec8 32. Nd2 Qf4 33. d6 $6 {Up to here Grischuk played
brilliantly, but here maybe he got a bit materialistic and carried away with
the tempting option. However, this move looks like it spoils his advantage.} (
33. Nb3 {seems to offer very good winning chances for White.} Qxe3 (33... Bf8
34. Rec1 Qxe3 35. fxe3) 34. fxe3 Bf8 35. Rec1 Kg8 36. d6 Nxc5 $8 (36... Rc6 37.
Na5 $18) 37. bxc5 (37. Nxc5 $5 Bxd6 38. Nxb7 Rxc2 39. Rxc2 Rxc2 40. Bxc2 Bxb4
41. Nd8 $16 {looks like very good winning chances for White.}) 37... Rd7 38. g4
$16 {with long lasting pressure. Black is in for a very unpleasant defence.})
33... Nxc5 $1 {Could it be that Grischuk missed this?} (33... Rc6 34. Nb3 $16 {
was maybe what Grischuk expected in likely mutual time pressure.}) 34. dxc7
Qxe3 35. Rxe3 Ne6 $1 {The only move but sufficient. Maybe this was the move
Grischuk missed from afar.} 36. Nb3 (36. Nf3 {might've been a better
unconventional try, to at least not let Black play ...Bf8 very quickly.} f6 37.
Re1 Bf8 38. Rb1 {and at least White is in time to defend the key b4-pawn.})
36... Bf8 37. Be2 (37. Na5 $5 Ba8 38. Nc6 {was also a very interesting
practical try, since here Black actually has to find a very difficult computer
move to hold the balance.} Kg7 $3 {The point of this move is to improve the
king position and wait to see what White does. If he takes the e5-pawn, then
he wants to be able to take the b4-pawn without the f7-pawn hanging. This
would hold the balance.} (38... f6 $2 {is very natural but it actually loses
for Black.} 39. Nd8 $3 Nxd8 (39... Nxc7 40. Ne6 Bd6 41. Be2 $18 {is also
easily winning for White.} Bb7 42. Nxc7 Rxc7 43. Rxc7+ Bxc7 44. Rd3 Bc6 45. Rc3
$18) (39... Nd4 40. Ra2 Rxc7 41. Rxa6 $18 {is a more prosaic win.}) 40. cxd8=Q
Rxd8 41. Rc7+ $18 {White is winning here since he has penetratedBlack's
position. White will win some pawns and Black's pieces are very passive.} Kg8
42. Bc2 $1 Bxb4 43. Rd3 $1 $18) (38... Bd6 39. Nb8 $1 Bb7 (39... Nd4 40. Ra2)
40. Nxa6 $1 Bxa6 41. Rc6 Bxb4 42. Rxa6 Bc5 43. Re1 {with some winning chances
for White and no risk.} Nd4 44. Kf1 Rxc7 45. Rb1 b4 46. Bc4 $14) (38... Bxc6
39. Rxc6 Bxb4 40. Rxa6 $14) (38... Rxc7 39. Nxe5) 39. Nxe5 (39. Re1 Rxc7 40.
Rec1 Rd7 {is also close to equal}) 39... Bxb4 $11) 37... Bxb4 38. Bg4 Rxc7 39.
Rxc7 Nxc7 40. Rd3 Ne8 $6 {The last move before time control, probably a bit
inaccurate, as it makes the draw slightly more difficult.} (40... h5 $1 41. Rd7
hxg4 42. Rxf7+ Kh6 43. f3 $3 {would probably secure equality though.} (43. Rxc7
Bxe4 44. hxg4 Bd3 $1 {Here Black is the only one with winning chances.}) 43...
Bxe4 44. fxe4 Ne8 45. hxg4 Nd6 46. Rd7 Kg5 $11 {with a balanced endgame.}) 41.
Rd7 Nd6 42. f4 $1 {Last winning attempt for White.} Bc8 43. Rc7 (43. Ra7 $5 {
might've offered White slightly more practical chances:} Bxg4 44. hxg4 Bc3 (
44... Nxe4 45. fxe5 $16) (44... Kg8 45. fxe5 Nxe4 46. Rxa6) 45. fxe5 Bxe5 46.
Kf1 $1 (46. Rxa6 Nxe4 $11) 46... Kg7 47. Nd2 {might still offer White very
slight winning chances.}) 43... Bxg4 44. hxg4 Kg8 $1 {This resource wouldn't
be as effective after 43.Ra7.} 45. fxe5 Nxe4 46. Rc8+ Kg7 47. Ra8 Bc3 48. Kf1
Bxe5 {Now this is a simple draw for Black.} 49. Ke2 (49. Re8 $6 Kf6) 49... Kf6
50. Rxa6+ Kg5 51. Kf3 Nf6 52. Ra7 Nxg4 53. Rxf7 Bc3 54. Rb7 Ne5+ 55. Ke4 b4 56.
Nd4 Nc4 57. Kd3 Ne5+ 58. Ke4 Nc4 59. Kd3 {And a draw by 3-fold repetition. A
great battle by two great fighters. There were some inaccuracies in time
pressure but it's much easier for me sitting next to my Stockfish figuring
these details out than working these details out at the board under heavy time
pressure and in general with big stakes on the line.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.14"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Hou, Yifan"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B85"]
[WhiteElo "2666"]
[BlackElo "2775"]
[Annotator "Ftacnik,L"]
[PlyCount "136"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e6 7. O-O Be7 8. f4
O-O 9. Kh1 Qc7 10. Qe1 {The line with 10.Qe1 is a dangerous weapon in the
Scheveningen Variation. Black will get counterplay, but White's concentrated
pieces on the kingside will represent great attacking potential.} (10. a4 Nc6
11. Be3 Re8) 10... Nc6 11. Be3 Nxd4 12. Bxd4 b5 13. Qg3 Bb7 14. a3 Rad8 15.
Rae1 Bc6 16. Bd3 Qd7 $5 {A very interesting development in a well known
position. Attention shas hifted from the older move 16...Qb7 to the clever
idea 16...Rd7 followed by ...Qd8 to this clever move. Black players are
getting very good results with counterplay in the centre.} (16... Qb7) (16...
Rd7) 17. Rf3 (17. Ne2 g6 18. Qe3 Ng4 19. Qg3 Nf6 20. Qf3 Ne8 21. Qe3 Bf6 22.
Bxf6 Nxf6 23. Nd4 $15 {1/2-1/2 (58) Dragun,K (2594)-Grachev,B (2639) Moscow
2016}) (17. Nd1 Nh5 (17... g6 18. Ne3 Nh5 19. Qh3 Nxf4 20. Rxf4 e5 21. Qh6 f6
22. Rg4 $18 {1/2-1/2 (38) Schroeder,J (2521)-Korneev,O (2582) Heusenstamm 2016}
) 18. Qg4 Nf6 (18... g6 19. Ne3 Nf6 20. Qf3 Qc7 21. f5 e5 22. Bc3 Kh8 23. Ng4
Nxg4 24. Qxg4 $11 {0-1 (32) Brkic,A (2584)-Bosiocic,M (2567) Mali Losinj 2016})
19. Qg3 Nh5 20. Qh3 Nxf4 21. Rxf4 e5 22. Rg4 exd4 23. e5 g6 24. e6 Qe8 $15 {
0-1 (37) Liu,Q (2510)-Popov,I (2653) China 2015}) (17. b4 Nh5 18. Qg4 (18. Qh3
Nxf4 19. Rxf4 e5 20. Rg4 exd4 21. e5 g6 22. e6 Qe8 $11 {1/2-1/2 (60) Saveliev,
A (2369)-Grachev,B (2658) Sochi 2017}) 18... Nf6 19. Qh3 e5 20. fxe5 Qxh3 21.
gxh3 dxe5 22. Bxe5 Rfe8 23. Bg3 $11 {1-0 (41) Kosteniuk,A (2537)-Charochkina,D
(2366) Sochi 2016}) (17. Na2 Nh5 18. Qf2 e5 19. fxe5 dxe5 20. Bxe5 Nf6 21. Bxf6
Bxf6 22. e5 Be7 23. Nb4 $14 {1/2-1/2 (62) Harika,D (2535)-Ushenina,A (2458)
Khanty-Mansiysk 2017}) 17... e5 $1 {This counterblow was enabled by the
location of the black queen. Black hopes to get enough compensation for the
pawn.} (17... g6 18. f5 exf5 19. Rxf5 Ne8 20. a4 (20. Rf3 Ng7 21. Ref1 $14)
20... Ng7 21. axb5 axb5 22. b4 Rde8 23. Bxg7 Kxg7 24. Bxb5 Bxb5 25. Rxb5 Bf6
$14 {1/2-1/2 (60) Stukopin,A (2586)-Ramirez,A (2550) Saint Louis 2017}) 18.
fxe5 Nh5 19. Qh3 (19. Qf2 dxe5 20. Bxe5 f6 21. Bg3 Nxg3+ 22. Rxg3 Bd6 $11)
19... Qxh3 20. Rxh3 Nf4 21. Rf3 Nxd3 22. cxd3 (22. Rxd3 dxe5 23. Bxe5 f5 24.
Rxd8 Bxd8 25. Bd6 Re8 $11) 22... dxe5 23. Bxe5 {The landscape has changed
radically. Instead of defending against White's attack Black will be hoping to
prove full compensation with active pieces and the bishop pair.} b4 (23... Rfe8
24. Bc7 Rd7 25. Ba5 Bf6 $11) 24. axb4 Bxb4 25. Rc1 Rc8 (25... a5 26. Kg1 Rfe8
$11) 26. h3 (26. Ne2 $1 Bb5 27. Rxc8 Rxc8 28. Bc3 Bc5 29. Rg3 $14) 26... f6 27.
Bg3 (27. Na2 Bxe4 $1 28. dxe4 Rxc1+ 29. Nxc1 fxe5 30. Rxf8+ Kxf8 $11) 27...
Rfd8 28. Bf2 Bb7 29. Kh2 {Hou is a bit helpless and thus moves the king away
from the a8-h1 diagonal.} (29. Be1 Rd7 $11) 29... f5 $1 {The dynamic potential
of Black's position is substantial, now White must be careful not to lose the
extra pawn.} 30. Ra1 (30. Rxf5 Rxd3 31. Rf3 Rd2 $15) 30... fxe4 31. dxe4 Rd2
32. Nd5 Bf8 {Giri had probably started dreaming about turning the tables and
was not satisfied with a small advantage after grabbing the b2-pawn.} (32...
Rxb2 33. Nxb4 Rxb4 34. Rd1 Bxe4 35. Rf4 Rb2 36. Rxe4 Rxf2 37. Re7 $15) 33. b4 (
33. Rf1 Bxd5 34. exd5 Rxb2 35. Rd3 Rcc2 36. Bg3 Rxg2+ 37. Kh1 Rgd2 38. Re3 $11)
33... h6 34. Bc5 $6 {The old wisdom in chess suggests putting your opponent
under pressure, as even the best players may crack. The former world champion
wants to limit the pressure at the cost of a pawn.} (34. Be3 Re2 35. Rd1 Bxd5
36. exd5 Rcc2 37. Bc5 Rxg2+ 38. Kh1 $11) 34... Bxc5 35. bxc5 Rxc5 36. Rb3 {
[%mdl 4096] Black will have an extra pawn, but limited chances to hope for
more than the better side of a draw.} (36. Rfa3 Rd4 37. Rb1 Bxd5 38. exd5 a5
39. Rb7 Rdxd5 40. Ra7 $15) 36... Bxd5 37. exd5 a5 38. d6 (38. Rb8+ Kh7 39. Ra8
Rdxd5 40. h4 $15) 38... Rxd6 39. Rb8+ Kf7 40. Ra8 Rdd5 41. Ra7+ Kg6 42. Ra3 (
42. h4 $1 h5 43. Ra3 $11) 42... Rh5 $5 43. Ra4 Rb5 44. h4 {Both players
understood that getting the pawn to h4 would seriously help White.} (44. Ra3
Kh7 $15) 44... Rb4 45. R4xa5 Rhxh4+ 46. Kg3 Kh7 47. Ra3 (47. R5a6 Rhg4+ 48. Kh3
h5 $15) 47... h5 48. Rf7 Rh1 49. Re3 $2 {All players know the slippery feeling
when defending a worse position. The situation may not get better, but any
serious inacuracy will multiply the burden. White had to find 49.Rf4! with
excellent drawing chances.} (49. Rf4 $1 Rb2 50. Rd3 Kh6 51. Rfd4 $15) 49... h4+
$1 50. Kf2 Rbb1 51. Ree7 $6 {When it rains it pours, Hou did not realise how
difficult the defence would be in the plain rook ending.} (51. Rc7 Kh6 52. Re6+
g6 53. Rc2 Rhf1+ 54. Ke3 Kh5 $17) 51... Rhf1+ 52. Ke2 Rbe1+ 53. Kd3 (53. Kd2
Rxe7 54. Rxf1 Kg6 55. Rh1 Kg5 56. Rh3 Kg4 57. Ra3 g5 $19) 53... Rxf7 54. Rxf7 (
54. Rxe1 Rd7+ 55. Kc2 Kg6 $19) 54... Kh6 55. Kd2 (55. Ra7 g5 $19) 55... Re6 56.
Rf4 Kh5 (56... g5 57. Rf3 Kh5 58. Ra3 Re4 59. Ra2 Kg6 $19) 57. Rf7 Rg6 $1 58.
Rf2 Kg4 59. Ke1 (59. Re2 Kg3 60. Ke1 Ra6 $19) 59... Re6+ 60. Kf1 Rf6 $1 {
Transitioning to a pawn ending is mostly trivial for very strong players. The
defence becomes hopeless as it is fairly easy to force a theoretically won
position.} 61. Rxf6 gxf6 62. Kf2 (62. Kg1 h3 $19) 62... Kf4 63. Kg1 Kg3 64. Kf1
h3 65. Kg1 (65. gxh3 Kxh3 66. Kf2 Kg4 67. Ke3 f5 68. Kf2 Kf4 $19) 65... Kg4 66.
gxh3+ Kxh3 67. Kf2 Kg4 68. Kg2 Kf4 (68... Kf4 69. Kf2 f5 $19) 0-1
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.14"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Aronian, Levon"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A29"]
[WhiteElo "2742"]
[BlackElo "2809"]
[Annotator "Yuffa,D"]
[PlyCount "71"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{Nepomniachtchi decided to use Aronian's own weapon against him.} 1. c4 Nf6 2.
Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nb6 7. O-O Be7 8. a3 ({Usually
White starts with} 8. d3 O-O {and there White has an interesting and slightly
unexpected idea if Black plays too actively:} 9. Be3 Be6 10. Rc1 f5 {This
active and aggressive move provokes White into a response:} (10... f6 {is
quite solid.} 11. a3 $5 {is a positional trap} Qd7 $1 ({if} 11... a5 12. d4 $1
exd4 13. Nxd4 Nxd4 14. Qxd4 $16 {Marin - Strambu, 1-0, 2007}) 12. Ne4 Nd5 13.
Bc5 b6 14. Bxe7 Ndxe7 15. Qa4 $11 {and both sides have equal chances}) (10...
Nd5 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12. Qa4 Re8 13. Rc3 a6 14. a3 Bf6 15. Rc5 {Tomashevsky -
Karjakin, 2015, and instead of} Nd4 16. Rxd5 Nxe2+ 17. Kh1 Qxd5 18. Nd4 Qxg2+
19. Kxg2 Nxd4 20. Bxd4 exd4 21. Qb4 Rab8 22. Re1 $16 {with big chances for
White's success Black should have played 15...Be7, offering a repetition}) (
10... Qd7 11. a3 f6 12. Nd2 Rfd8 {and the computer considers that the position
is absolutely equal}) 11. b4 $5 a6 (11... Nxb4 12. Nxe5 c6 13. Qd2 {is
slightly better for White because of the centre}) (11... Bxb4 $6 {This pawn is
poisoned} 12. Ng5 Bf7 13. Nxf7 Rxf7 14. Qb3 $1 Bxc3 15. Rxc3 Nd4 16. Bxd4 exd4
17. Rc5 c6 18. Rxf5 Qe7 (18... Qd7 19. Bh3 Nd5 20. Rf4 $1 $18) 19. Rf4 Rd8 20.
Bh3 Kf8 21. Rxf7+ Qxf7 22. Qa3+ $18) 12. a3 Kh8 (12... Bf6 13. Nd2 $14 {
is slightly better because of space on queenside and the pressure on c-file})
13. Bc5 (13. Na4 Nxa4 14. Qxa4 Bd5 15. Bc5 Bd6 16. Qc2 {Anand - Hammer, 1-0,
2015. The position is almost equal, but in my view it's a bit easier to play
White there which was proved in the game.}) (13. Re1 Qe8 14. Qd2 Bd6 15. Bxb6
cxb6 16. d4 exd4 17. Nxd4) 13... Bg8 14. e3 $5 Bxc5 15. bxc5 Nd5 16. Qd2 Qe7 {
Caruana - Giri, 1/2, 2014, with mutual chances.}) 8... a5 (8... O-O {is also a
possibility} 9. b4 Be6 10. d3 (10. Rb1 {This is almost useless} f6 $5 (10... a6
11. d3 f6 12. Ne4 Ba2 13. Rb2 Bd5 14. Nc5 {is approximately equal}) 11. d3 a5
12. b5 Nd4 13. Nd2 Qc8 14. e3 Nf5 15. Qc2 a4 {and Black has a slight edge.}) (
10. b5 $5 Nd4 11. Rb1 Nxf3+ {This can be an inaccuracy} (11... f6 $5 $13) 12.
Bxf3 Qc8 13. d3 a5 14. a4 Rd8 15. Qc2 {The position might be equal but it's a
bit more convenient to play White there.}) 10... a5 11. b5 Nd4 12. Nd2 c6 13.
bxc6 Nxc6 14. Rb1 a4 {despite the good pawn structure, White has a lack of
space}) 9. d3 O-O 10. Be3 Be6 11. Rc1 a4 $5 {The most principled and
convincing.} (11... f5 12. Na4 Nxa4 13. Qxa4 $14 {is slightly better for White
because of pressure on the c-file and the threat of an exchange sacrifice on
c6.}) 12. Nd2 ({An attempt to win the pawn immediately leads to sufficient
counterplay for Black:} 12. Bxb6 cxb6 13. Nxa4 e4 14. Ne1 Bg5 15. Rc3 {and
Black at least has a repetition after 15...Bf6} (15. Ra1 exd3 16. Nxd3 Nd4 17.
Nc3 Nb3 $44) (15. e3 $6 exd3 $36)) 12... f5 $146 {It seems to me that this
move is the first inaccuracy for Black. I think that Aronian knew that after
12...Nd5 the position becomes dry and he wanted to create a mess on the board.}
(12... Nd5 {was more solid} 13. Nxd5 Bxd5 14. Bf3 Bxf3 15. Nxf3 Qd5 $11) 13.
Bxb6 cxb6 14. Nxa4 Bg5 15. Nc3 e4 16. Rb1 Ne5 (16... Rf7 17. Nc4 Rd7 18. b3 Bf6
19. Nb5 exd3 20. exd3 Nd4 $14 {and the compensation is already sufficient.})
17. Nb3 Ng4 18. Qc2 ({Black aimed for an attack. It was better to terrorise
the knight on g4 immediately:} 18. h3 $5 Nxf2 19. Kxf2 (19. Rxf2 $2 Be3 $17 {
, threating f4}) 19... Qd6 20. h4 $16 {escaping.}) 18... Be3 19. dxe4 $2 {
Blundering.} (19. Bh3 {was the only move to maintain equality:} Nxf2 20. Rxf2
Qd7 21. Rbf1 f4 22. Bxe6+ Qxe6 23. g4 f3 24. exf3 Rxf3 25. Nxe4 Qxg4+ 26. Kh1
Rxf2 27. Rxf2 Bxf2 28. Nxf2 Qf3+ 29. Kg1 Rf8 $11) 19... Qg5 $2 {Aronian misses
a beautiful pinning idea:} (19... Nxf2 $1 20. Rxf2 fxe4 21. Rbf1 (21. Nxe4 $2
Rc8) 21... Qc7 $1 {The point of conception. The pair of bishops is pinning all
the white pieces.} 22. Bxe4 (22. Nc1 Bxf2+ 23. Rxf2 Rxf2 24. Kxf2 Qc5+ $19)
22... Rxf2 23. Rxf2 Qf7 $1 {...executing ...} 24. Bf3 Bxb3 $17) 20. fxe3 Qxe3+
21. Kh1 Qh6 22. h3 $2 {Wasting the advantage.} (22. h4 {looks a bit more risky
but it works:} f4 23. Qc1 Ne3 24. Rf3 Bxb3 25. gxf4 Nxg2 26. Kxg2 Qxh4 27. f5
$16) 22... Ne3 23. Qd2 f4 24. gxf4 Nxf1 $2 (24... Nxg2 {doesn't make a draw
because} 25. Kxg2 Qxh3+ 26. Kf2 Qh4+ 27. Ke3 Bxb3 28. Qd4 $14 Rad8 29. Qe5 {
looks a bit dangerous, but Black has nothing tangible for the pawn.}) (24...
Rxf4 $1 25. Rxf4 Qxf4 {that's a bit fantastic but Black is ok there a piece
down. White must give up that lead.} 26. Rg1 Bxb3 27. Nd5 Bxd5 28. exd5 Nxg2
29. Qc3 g6 30. Rxg2 Rd8 31. Qd3 Re8 32. Qf3 Qc1+ 33. Kh2 Qc7+ 34. Qg3 Qc4 $11)
25. Rxf1 {Now it's a technical stage. White's central pawn fist is crushing
Black's position.} Bxb3 26. e5 Rae8 (26... Rad8 $5 27. Qe3 Rd7 28. Ne4 Bd5 29.
Nd6 $16 {it's still tough, but not losing yet.}) 27. Ne4 Kh8 28. Kh2 Bg8 29. e3
Re6 30. Nd6 Qh4 31. Qd4 $18 Rg6 32. Rf3 Qe1 33. f5 Rg5 34. h4 Rh5 35. Rg3 Be6
36. fxe6 {This was a game of mutual chances, where Aronian didn't want to
agree to a peaceful flow of the game and played 12...f5!?N. That, probably,
was a mistake despite the less than smooth play of both sides.} 1-0
[Event "Geneva FIDE GP"]
[Site "Geneva"]
[Date "2017.07.15"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Svidler, Peter"]
[Black "Hou, Yifan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D35"]
[WhiteElo "2749"]
[BlackElo "2666"]
[Annotator "Roiz,M"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2017.07.06"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 c5 7. Rb1 {
Peter is emloying a considerably rare continuation, that enables White to
avoid the major simplifications.} ({The main line} 7. Nf3 cxd4 8. cxd4 Bb4+ 9.
Bd2 Bxd2+ 10. Qxd2 O-O {has proved to be very solid for Black.}) 7... Be7 8.
Nf3 (8. Bb5+ {was also recently tested on the highest level:} Bd7 9. Bxd7+ (9.
Nf3 Bxb5 10. Rxb5 b6 11. O-O O-O $11) 9... Qxd7 10. d5 exd5 11. exd5 O-O 12.
Nf3 Bf6 13. O-O b5 $132 {Aronian,L - Vallejo Pons,F Sharjah UAE 2017}) 8... O-O
9. Bc4 {This is the most natural way of development. White's bishop is
supporting the thematic d4-d5 advance now.} (9. Bd3 cxd4 10. cxd4 Nc6 {offers
Black comfortable play due to the pressure on the d4-pawn.}) 9... Nc6 ({
The more modest} 9... Nd7 10. O-O Qc7 11. Qe2 b6 12. d5 exd5 13. Bxd5 Bb7 14.
Bf4 Qxf4 15. Bxb7 Rab8 16. Bc6 $14 {(Vitiugov,N - Miton,K Czech Republic CZE
2013) didn't offer Black a full equality.}) 10. O-O b6 $146 {A natural novelty.
There is no reason for delaying the development of the passive c8-bishop.} ({
The preceding encounter was played almost half a century ago:} 10... Qc7 11.
Qe2 b6 12. Rd1 Na5 13. Bd3 Bb7 14. d5 c4 15. Bc2 e5 16. Be3 $14 {Polugaevsky,
L-Petrosian,T Soviet Union 1970}) 11. d5 $1 {Only this ambitious continuation
might pose Black any problems.} (11. Bf4 Bb7 12. Re1 cxd4 13. cxd4 Rc8 $11)
11... Na5 (11... exd5 12. Bxd5 Qc7 13. Re1 $14 {looks rather passive for Black.
}) 12. Bd3 c4 {This move makes the d5-pawn vulnerable. On the other hand, the
a5-knight is definitely misplaced now.} 13. Bc2 exd5 14. exd5 Bb7 {Black's
main counterplay is based on attacking the Pd5, but the Kg8 is getting more
exposed now.} ({Possibly, a safer try was} 14... Bg4 $5 15. Qe2 (15. h3 Bh5 16.
Re1 Bd6 $132) (15. Bf4 Nb7 16. h3 Bh5 17. Re1 Bd6 $132) 15... Bh5 $1 16. Re1
Bd6 $132 {securing the king and intending to attack the d5-pawn in the long
run.}) 15. Re1 Bf6 $2 {This move is inviting serious troubles - Black
shouldn't let White advance the passer.} ({A much better move was} 15... Qd6 $1
16. Ne5 (16. Rb5 a6 17. Rb1 Rae8 18. Be3 Bd8 $132) 16... Qxd5 17. Qg4 Rad8 18.
Qh3 f5 19. Bf4 Bc8 $1 {, and it looks like White has sufficient play for a
pawn, but hardly more. For instance,} 20. Rbd1 (20. Ng6 hxg6 21. Rxe7 Rfe8 22.
Rxg7+ Kxg7 23. Qh6+ Kg8 24. Qxg6+ Kh8 {with a perpetual}) 20... Qc5 21. g4 Rxd1
22. Rxd1 Bg5 $1 23. Bg3 h6 24. gxf5 Nc6 25. Nd7 Bxd7 26. Rxd7 Ne5 {and Black
is OK.}) 16. d6 $1 {Of course, GM Svidler doesn't miss this chance.} (16. Ba3
$6 {is much weaker:} Re8 17. Rxe8+ Qxe8 18. Qd2 Qd7 19. Rd1 Rd8 20. d6 Bxf3 21.
gxf3 g6 $132) 16... Re8 ({In the event of} 16... Qd7 17. Ne5 Bxe5 18. Rxe5 Rfe8
19. Bf4 Rxe5 20. Bxe5 Re8 21. Bg3 $16 {White's powerful bishops would support
the passer, so Black is in big troubles.}) 17. Rxe8+ Qxe8 18. Bf4 Rd8 (18...
Qd7 19. Nd4 g6 20. Ba4 Nc6 21. Qd2 $16) 19. Bf5 $1 {Now the passer has perfect
support from both White's bishops.} g6 $2 {The decisive mistake.} ({It was
necessary to remove the queen from the back-rank:} 19... Qc6 20. d7 g6 21. Bh3
Bxc3 22. Rc1 {, even though White's initiative lasts there too:} Bf6 23. Qe2
Qe4 24. Qxe4 Bxe4 25. Bc7 Rf8 26. Ne5 $36) 20. d7 Qf8 ({A more stubborn option
was} 20... Qe7 21. Bh3 Bc6 22. Bc7 Rxd7 23. Bxd7 Qxd7 24. Qxd7 Bxd7 25. Be5 $18
{, but White should be able to convert his material advantage into a full
point.}) 21. Bh3 Be4 22. Rc1 {White is not in a rush.} Qc5 (22... Nb7 {offered
no hope either:} 23. Bc7 Nc5 24. Bxd8 Qxd8 25. Qe2 $18) 23. Qe2 Bf5 {Alas,
this move doesn't help Black to release the tension.} 24. Rd1 Bxh3 25. gxh3 Kg7
({Or} 25... Nb7 26. Qe4 Qf5 27. Qxf5 gxf5 28. Bc7 Rf8 29. Nd4 $18) 26. Rd6 $1 {
The most effective.} Bxc3 (26... Nb7 27. Rxf6 Kxf6 28. Be5+ Ke7 29. Bd4+ $18)
27. Ng5 {All Black's pieces are too far away from the king, so White's attack
is unstoppable.} Qf5 28. Qe7 {The rest is just an agony.} h6 29. Ne6+ Kh7 30.
Nxd8 Qxf4 31. Nxf7 1-0
[Event "FIDE Grand Prix Palma 2017"]
[Site "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Date "2017.11.16"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Gelfand, Boris"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B35"]
[WhiteElo "2796"]
[BlackElo "2719"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 {Gelfand often reverts to the Accelerated Dragon
in case that his opponent adopts the Anti-Sveshnikov move order. By doing so
he avoids the Maroczy Bind formation.} 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Bc4
O-O 8. Bb3 d5 {This is how the Israeli GM likes to play, lately.} (8... d6 {
reverts the game back into the normal Dragon where Vachier-Lagrave has a lot
of experience. One example is the following blitz game} 9. f3 Bd7 10. Qd2 Rc8
11. h4 h5 12. O-O-O Ne5 13. Kb1 Nc4 14. Bxc4 Rxc4 15. Nde2 {and the theory had
not yet begun, Vachier-Lagrave,M (2796)-Grischuk,A (2761) Paris 2017}) ({
The genuine Accelerated Dragon players may also choose the line} 8... a5 9. O-O
a4 10. Nxa4 Nxe4 11. Nb5 Rxa4 12. Bxa4 Bxb2 {as in Karjakin,S (2694)-Jones,G
(2567) Heraklion 2007}) 9. exd5 Na5 10. O-O ({An alternative for White is} 10.
Qf3 Nxb3 11. axb3 Bg4 12. Qg3 Bh5 13. d6 exd6 14. O-O {when the weak pawn on
d6 is compensated by the bishop pair by Black, Wei,Y (2753)-Li,C (2744)
Huocheng County 2017}) 10... Nxb3 11. Nxb3 b6 12. d6 {The pawn cannot be
defended on d5 and White hurries to cause some damage to the opponent's
position.} e6 {In return Black postpones the capture hoping that he will have
a better opportunity for that.} ({Apparently, Gelfand was not too excited
repeating the endgame he had an year ago after} 12... Qxd6 13. Qxd6 exd6 14.
Rfe1 Bf5 15. Nd4 Bd7 16. h3 {as in Oparin,G (2616)-Gelfand,B (2725) Moscow 2016
}) 13. Qf3 Rb8 14. Rfd1 $146 {A logical novelty. The question which rook has
always been more difficult than one could imagine. Here the the placement of
the rooks on c1 and d1 has one obvious advantage: they both support the
advance of the pawns. The less obvious plus is that the rook on f1 may fall
victim to a bishop skewer on the a6-f1 diagonal.} ({The only predecessor is a
game of Gelfand himself. He managed to survive after:} 14. Rad1 Bb7 15. Qh3 Nd5
16. Nxd5 Bxd5 17. Bd4 Bxd4 18. Rxd4 Rc8 (18... b5 $5 19. Qh6) 19. Qh6 (19. Qd3
$1 b5 20. Qxb5 ({One disadvantage of the queenside rook sorie is revealed after
} 20. c3 Bc4 {skewering some meat on the diagonal.}) 20... Rxc2) 19... Qf6 20.
Rc1 {although this might have been pleasant to repeat as White, Adhiban,B
(2670)-Gelfand,B (2737) Douglas 2017}) 14... Bb7 15. Qh3 {Gelfand sank into
thought.} Rc8 ({The less obvious advantage of the move Rf1-d1 becomes clear in
the line} 15... Nd5 16. Nxd5 Bxd5 17. Bd4 Bxd4 18. Rxd4 Rc8 19. Qd3 $1 (19. Qh6
Qf6) 19... b5 20. c3 Bc4 {and this bishop attacks only the queen, which moves
away:} (20... Qxd6 21. Qxb5) 21. Qg3 {with advantage for White. Small details
like these form the opening theory for years to come.}) 16. Bd4 Nd5 (16... Rc6
{would be well met with} 17. Qf3 $1) 17. Nxd5 Bxd5 18. Bxg7 Kxg7 19. Rac1 $1 {
Here is the second advantage in action. The white pieces are placed (almost)
ideally to help the passers run. Vachier-Lagrave's novelty worked out quite
well.} b5 (19... Qxd6 $4 {drops a piece after} 20. c4) ({In case of} 19... Rc6
{White has a choice between the sharp} 20. c4 $5 ({And the calm} 20. Qg3) 20...
Bxc4 21. Qg3 {with advantage for White in both cases. But this was perhaps the
lesser evil in comparison to the game.}) 20. Qg3 Qf6 ({Or} 20... Rc6 21. Nd4
Rxd6 (21... Rb6 22. b3 b4 23. Nf5+ $5 Kh8 24. Ne3) 22. Nxb5 {with a solid
extra pawn.}) 21. Nd4 b4 {Trying to keep the pawns blocked. However} 22. c4 $1
{is still very strong.} bxc3 ({If} 22... Rxc4 23. Rxc4 Bxc4 24. Nc6 Bd5 25.
Nxb4 {keeps the extra material.}) (22... Bxc4 $2 {is even worse for Black after
} 23. d7 Rc5 24. b3) 23. Rxc3 Rxc3 $6 {This makes things easier for White. The
two passers are massive.} ({The most resilient way was} 23... Rb8 24. b3 Rfd8 {
although White's advantage is indusputable here as well.}) 24. bxc3 Rd8 ({If}
24... Rc8 25. d7 Rd8 26. Qd6 {and the pawns will resume their motion shortly.})
25. h4 {Another nice touch. One idea is to trade the queens in the proper
moment. The other is to have air for the king in case of any back rank checks.}
e5 26. Nf5+ Qxf5 27. Rxd5 Qe4 ({You have already noticed that} 27... Qb1+ {
is not mate and White should win after} 28. Kh2 Qxa2 29. Qxe5+) 28. c4 {
Keeping the passers together is the best.} (28. Rxe5 $6 Qb1+ 29. Kh2 Rxd6 {
is not that great for White.}) 28... f6 ({The white passer is unstoppable after
} 28... Qxc4 29. Qxe5+ Kg8 30. d7 Qxh4 31. Rb5) 29. Qc3 Qb1+ 30. Kh2 Qxa2 31.
Rd2 {Calm play. MVL knows that the pawns are unstoppable.} ({There was also
the flashy win after} 31. Rxe5 fxe5 ({But why to allow any checks after} 31...
Qxf2 32. Re7+ Kg8 33. c5) 32. Qxe5+ Kg8 33. Qe6+ Kg7 34. Qe7+) 31... Qa4 32. g3
Qc6 33. c5 Rd7 34. Qc4 {Once that the blockade is lifted nobody can stop the
passers.} (34. Qc4 {A possible finish would have been} Kf8 35. Qd5 Qxd5 36.
Rxd5 Ke8 37. c6 Rg7 38. d7+ Kd8 39. c7+) 1-0
[Event "FIDE Grand Prix Palma 2017"]
[Site "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Date "2017.11.19"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A16"]
[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2762"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "53"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 {The Anti-Gruenfeld was to be expected against Giri.
} d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. d3 ({The endgame arising after} 5. e4 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Qxd1+
7. Kxd1 {is very popular of lately, So,W (2812)-Mamedyarov,S (2800) Paris 2017}
) ({But Aronian himself prefers to keep the queens on the board as in a game
against the same opponent an year ago:} 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Ba3 O-O 8. d4
b6 9. Bc4 {Aronian, L (2792)-Giri,A (2782) Leuven 2016}) 5... Bg7 6. Bd2 O-O 7.
g3 c5 8. h4 $146 {A novelty. I have noticed that the creative attacking
players have passion for this move. Before Aronian, there was Larsen.} ({
The standart way of attacking the kingside is} 8. Bg2 Nc6 9. O-O e6 10. Qc1 b6
11. Bh6 Bb7 12. Bxg7 Kxg7 13. Rd1 Rc8 {But this does not yield White much,
Bischoff,K (2504)-Li,C (2711) Germany 2014}) 8... Nc6 {Solid central play by
Giri.} ({We are all curious to see what did the Armenian wizard prepare after}
8... h5) 9. h5 Nxc3 10. bxc3 c4 $1 {This is a must as otherwise White would do
whatever he likes on the kingside.} 11. hxg6 hxg6 12. Qa4 {Swinging over the
queen onto the kingside along the fourth.} Na5 ({Aronian believed that the
strongest move was} 12... Qd5 $1 13. dxc4 ({with the key idea to swap the
queens off after} 13. Qxc4 Qxc4 14. dxc4) ({However, there is the super-sharp
line} 13. e4 Qc5 14. d4 Nxd4 15. cxd4 Bxd4 {which one should enter only after
a week spent with oyur silicon friend.}) 13... Qa5 {chasing the white queen
and in order to trade it.}) (12... cxd3 {looks dangerous at least after} 13.
Qh4 f6 14. Bh6) 13. d4 b6 14. Bg2 Bb7 15. Qc2 {Now White's plan is more than
obvious -- to mate along the open h-file. What Black is doing remains a
mystery.} Qd5 16. Nh4 Qd7 17. e4 e5 {Fighting for the center again.} (17... Bc6
18. Qc1) 18. d5 $1 {No brainer. The center should remain blocked.} Bc8 ({
Similar would be} 18... Ba6 19. f4 {With the idea to meet} (19. Nf3 $5) 19...
Qg4 {with} 20. Bf3 $3 Qxg3+ 21. Ke2 {The queen is trapped and even the tricky}
Nb3 {does not help after} 22. Rag1 Nd4+ 23. cxd4 c3+ 24. Kd1 Qf2 25. Bxc3 {
with a win for White.}) 19. f4 Qe7 ({Once again} 19... Qg4 {is met with} 20.
Bf3 $1 Qxg3+ 21. Ke2) ({While} 19... exf4 20. gxf4 Nb7 21. Be3 {leaves Black
poorly coordinated and centerless....}) 20. f5 $1 {The pawns open the games
for the heavy pieces.} g5 (20... gxf5 {would have led to a disaster after} 21.
Bh3 fxe4 22. Bxc8 Raxc8 23. Nf5 {Black is completely helpless against the
knight on f5. A sample line-} Qd7 24. Qxe4 Rfe8 25. Nxg7 Kxg7 26. Qh7+ Kf6 27.
Rh6+ Ke7 28. Bg5+ Kf8 29. Qh8#) ({But maybe} 20... Qd6 {was more stubborn.})
21. Qd1 $3 {Aronian in action! Guess what is my sissy computer is suggesting?}
({Yeah, it is the retreat} 21. Nf3) 21... gxh4 22. Rxh4 Rd8 ({The defensive
set-up after} 22... f6 {is breached with} 23. Qh5 Rf7 24. Qh7+ Kf8 25. Bf3 $1
Qc5 26. Kf1 $1 {To stop any checks and the rest is clear-} Nb7 27. Rg4 Nd6 28.
Rxg7 Rxg7 29. Qh8+ Kf7 30. Bh5+) ({The king cannot stay on the flank-} 22...
Re8 23. Qg4 Kf8 24. Rh8+ $1 Bxh8 25. Bh6+ Bg7 26. Qxg7#) 23. Qh5 Kf8 ({If}
23... f6 24. Qh7+ Kf8 25. Rg4 $1 {destroys the last defender after} Nb7 26.
Rxg7 Qxg7 27. Bh6) 24. Rg4 Bf6 {This loses on the spot.} ({The last try was}
24... Qd6 $1 {In that case I suspect that Aronian wanted to play} 25. Rxg7 $1
Kxg7 26. Qg5+ Kf8 27. Kf2 $1 ({Not on} 27. Ke2 {since in the line} Ke8 28. Qg7
({Or} 28. Rh1 Kd7 29. Rh6 Qf8 {and Black seems to organize his defense.}) 28...
Qf8 29. Qxe5+ Qe7 30. Qg7 f6 $1 ({Or even} 30... Bxf5 {the king on e2 disturbs
the attack.})) 27... Ke8 28. Qg7 {White's atatck is still very strong. For
example} Kd7 ({Here} 28... Qf8 29. Qxe5+ Qe7 30. Qg7 f6 31. Qg6+ Qf7 32. Rh1 $1
{suprisingly leads to a won endgame down a rook for White!} Qxg6 33. fxg6 Ke7
34. e5 {and Black is helpless.}) 29. Qxf7+ Qe7 30. Qxe7+ $1 {One again White
does not mind trading the queens.} Kxe7 31. Bg5+ Kd7 32. Bxd8 Kxd8 33. Rh1 {
and thanks to the strong pieces and advanced passers White should win.}) 25.
Bh6+ Ke8 26. Rg8+ Kd7 27. d6 $1 {The queen is trapped and Black loses at least
a rook.} (27. d6 Qxd6 (27... Kxd6 28. Rd1+ Kc7 29. Rgxd8) 28. Rd1 Qxd1+ 29.
Qxd1+) 1-0
[Event "FIDE Grand Prix Palma 2017"]
[Site "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Date "2017.11.19"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2762"]
[Annotator "Alex Yermolinsky"]
[PlyCount "53"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 {These days White is having a nice
streak of success in the Anti-Grunfeld setups.} 5. d3 ({Also, the immediate} 5.
h4 {has been seen a lot lately.}) 5... Bg7 6. Bd2 O-O 7. g3 c5 {I'm not a big
fan of this move here. For one thing, this is not a developing move. If you
look at the similar position with reversed colors, Black is doing quite well
with this Bd7 and Qc8 thing, and here with an extra tempo White can really
cause problems for the black king.} ({Both} 7... Nc6 8. Bg2 Nb6) ({and} 7... e5
8. Bg2 Ne7 {seem more suitable to meet White's h2-h4 offensive.}) 8. h4 $1 {
[#] Officially, a novelty. I mentioned in my previous reports how Aronian's
opening preparation blends with his style of play. Levon seems to be getting
his kind of positions nearly every time he has White.} Nc6 ({Surrendering the
g5-square is unpleasant:} 8... h5 9. Bg2 Nc6 10. Ng5 Nc7 {and now White can
even try} 11. Bxc6 $5) (8... h6 {on the other hand, gives White a tempo} 9. Qc1
Kh7 10. h5 g5 11. Bg2 {and how does Black protect his c5-pawn now?}) (8... Bg4
$5 9. Bg2 Nc6 10. Qa4 Nf6 {may be Black's best option. At least, he's well
mobilized, as seen from a sample line} 11. Be3 Rc8 $1 12. Bxc5 Bxf3 13. Bxf3
Ne5) 9. h5 Nxc3 ({I wonder if Black can get away with} 9... b6 10. hxg6 hxg6
11. Bg2 (11. Qa4 Nd4) 11... Bb7 12. Ne4 Nd4 13. Nxd4 cxd4 {or some such play.})
10. bxc3 c4 $1 {An interesting concept from Anish. Too bad he didn't follow
through on his ideas a couple of moves later.} 11. hxg6 hxg6 12. Qa4 {Aronian
is very good in setting his opponents up with positional riddles.} ({The
immediate} 12. d4 {allows Black to strike in the center with} e5 {and there's
d4-d5 in reply to it.}) 12... Na5 $2 {That's exactly what Levon hoped to see.}
({The principled reply} 12... cxd3 {was most likely turned down because of} 13.
Qh4 {Indeed, this had to be the idea behind White's previous move. It takes a
lot of nerve to dismiss the other guy's ideas when he happens to be the
World's #2. Still,} f6 $1 {[#] was fully playable. Nevermind the danger to the
king: we're destroying White's center! The most direct attacking line,} 14. Bh6
(14. exd3 {meets with} Kf7 $1 {and Black is ready to intrercept the h-file,
while his light-squared bishop covers the king from e6. You know what? White
may be worse here.}) 14... Qa5 15. Qc4+ Rf7 16. Bxg7 {is countered by a nice
shot} Be6 $1 ({Anyway, from the theoretical point of view even} 16... Kxg7 17.
Rh7+ Kxh7 18. Qxf7+ Kh6 {is good enough, because White is forced to give a
perpetual.}) 17. Bxf6 $5 exf6 18. Qxd3 Bf5 19. Qd2 Rd8 20. Qb2 Re7 {It looks
like Black has a lot of compensation for a pawn.}) 13. d4 $1 {Now, as the
black knight moved away from the center, Aronian stakes his claim in the
middle of the board.} b6 14. Bg2 Bb7 15. Qc2 {If Black could only have his
c-pawn back on c5, he would have had a normal Grunfeld. As it is, he has no
counterplay to speak of.} Qd5 16. Nh4 Qd7 17. e4 e5 18. d5 Bc8 {Giri just
cleared the b7-square for his knight, but he won't be given the time to
complete his maneuvering.} 19. f4 $1 Qe7 (19... exf4 20. gxf4 Nb7 21. Be3 $1
Nc5 22. Bxc5 bxc5 23. Bf3 {followed by e4-e5 and, of course, Qh2 is decisive.})
({or} 19... Nb7 20. Be3 Qd6 21. Nf3 exf4 22. gxf4 Nc5 23. e5 Bf5 24. Qxf5 gxf5
25. exd6 Bxc3+ 26. Ke2 Bxa1 27. Rxa1 Rfe8 28. Ne5 $18) 20. f5 $1 {[#] The most
energetic.} g5 21. Qd1 $3 {Levon is in the zone!} gxh4 22. Rxh4 Rd8 (22... f6
23. Qh5 Rf7 24. Qg6 {and White only needs to bring the other rook to the
h-file to force resignation.}) 23. Qh5 Kf8 (23... Qd6 24. Qh7+ Kf8 25. Bh6 Bxh6
26. Rxh6 $18) 24. Rg4 $6 {This is the one and only slip-up from Aronian in
this brilliant game.} ({The somewhat counter-intuitive} 24. Qg4 $1 {would wrap
it up soon:} Bf6 25. Rh7 Ke8 26. Bh6 Nb7 (26... Kd7 27. Qh5) 27. Qg8+ Kd7 28.
Qxf7 Qxf7 29. Rxf7+ Be7 30. f6 {etc.}) 24... Bf6 $2 {Very unfortunate.} ({
Anish had a chance to put up stiff resistance:} 24... Qd6 $1 {I can only
assume Levon planned to sacrifice more:} 25. Rxg7 Kxg7 26. Qg5+ Kf8 27. Kf2 Ke8
28. Qg7 {White's attack is formidable, but it's by no means over for Black.})
25. Bh6+ Ke8 26. Rg8+ Kd7 27. d6 1-0
[Event "FIDE Grand Prix Palma 2017"]
[Site "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Date "2017.11.16"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Inarkiev, Ernesto"]
[Black "Li, Chao b"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D85"]
[WhiteElo "2683"]
[BlackElo "2741"]
[Annotator "Alex Yermolinsky"]
[PlyCount "57"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Qa4+ Nd7 ({
Personally, I have always preferred} 7... Qd7 8. Qb3 O-O 9. Nf3 c5 {but recent
developments after a new (to me) move} 10. d5 {leave me worried. For example,}
e6 11. Be3 exd5 12. exd5 b6 {and here} 13. Bb5 $5 {was Nakamura-Vachier
Lagrave, Chess.com Blitz 2016. I wonder what's going on after} Bxc3+ 14. Kd1 (
14. Ke2 $4 Qxb5+ 15. Qxb5 Ba6 $19) 14... Bxa1 15. Bxd7 Nxd7 {isn't Black
supposed to be more than OK here?}) 8. Nf3 O-O 9. Be2 Nb6 $6 {I know I'm not
supposed to treat a 2740 player like a schoolboy, but has Li Chao ever heard
the famous Dr. Tarrasch dictum "Nb6 always stands badly"?} ({Databases contain
hundreds of games with a standard} 9... c5 {and White's results show not more
than a normal few percentage points edge.}) 10. Qb4 Qd6 11. O-O Bg4 $6 {
What is the point of parting with a bishop when Black isn't attacking d4? More
questions that only Li Chao can answer.} (11... Qxb4 12. cxb4 Bg4 {would make
more sense.}) 12. Qb3 $1 c6 $6 {To me, an old Grunfeld hand, this move always
signifies Black's failure to follow through on this great opening's ideas.} ({
No matter what} 12... c5 13. Ba3 Qc6 {had to be tried.}) 13. Rd1 Qc7 14. Ba3
Nc8 15. Rac1 Bxf3 16. Bxf3 Rd8 {[#] Just like that White has obtained a
sizeable advantage without breaking a drop of sweat.} 17. e5 $1 e6 18. c4 Rb8
19. Be4 c5 $6 {A desperate attempt to break out that is doomed to fail.} 20.
Bxc5 f6 21. Bb4 (21. Qh3 {also looked mighty good}) 21... fxe5 22. d5 $1 b6 23.
dxe6 Ne7 {[#]Now the simple, yet elegant finish.} 24. Rd7 $1 Rxd7 25. exd7 Qxd7
26. c5+ Kh8 27. c6 Rc8 28. Qf7 Qd4 29. Bxe7 1-0
[Event "Palma De Mallorca GP 2017"]
[Site "Palma de Mallorca ESP"]
[Date "2017.11.17"]
[Round "2.2"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Inarkiev, Ernesto"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2683"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "2017.11.16"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 c5 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. Qc2
Nc6 9. Rd1 Qa5 10. a3 Re8 11. Nd2 e5 12. Bg5 Nd4 {A topical line.} 13. Qb1 (13.
Qc1 Bf5 14. Bxf6 Nc2+ 15. Ke2 Nd4+ 16. Ke1 Nc2+ 17. Ke2 Nd4+ 18. Ke1 Nc2+ {
½-½ Carlsen,M (2827)-Nakamura,H (2781) Douglas 2017}) (13. Qa4 Qxa4 14. Nxa4
Nc2+ 15. Ke2 Nd4+ 16. Ke1 Nc2+ 17. Ke2 Nd4+ 18. Ke1 Nc2+ {1/2-1/2 (18)
Karjakin,S (2773)-Nakamura,H (2787) Bilbao ESP 2016}) 13... Bf5 14. Bd3 Bxd3 $1
{This was Zumsande's novelty from two years ago.} ({In the stem game,
Kortchnoi refuted Black's play over the board and won in 60 moves vs Karpov.}
14... e4 15. Bc2 Nxc2+ 16. Qxc2 Qa6 17. Bxf6 Qxf6 18. Nb3 Bd6 {Kortschnoj,V
(2665)-Karpov,A (2725) Baguio City 1978}) 15. Qxd3 Ne4 16. Nxd5 $146 {And this
is Aronian's novelty!} (16. Ncxe4 dxe4 17. Qxe4 Qb6 18. Qb1 Ne6 19. Bh4 Bxe3
20. fxe3 Qxe3+ 21. Kf1 Qf4+ 22. Bf2 Rad8 23. g3 Qh6 24. Ne4 Qh3+ 25. Kg1 Nf4 {
0-1 Tarjan,J (2479)-Zumsande,M (2422) Douglas ENG 2015}) (16. cxd5 Nxc3 17.
bxc3 Nb5 18. Ne4 Nd6 19. Nxd6 Bxd6 20. e4 Rec8 {Le,Q (2726)-Yu,Y (2753)
Danzhou 2017}) 16... Nxg5 17. b4 Qa6 18. bxc5 Rad8 19. Nb4 Qa4 20. Qb1 a5 $6 ({
It looks like Inarkiev is the first to have trouble remembering the
preparation. Better is} 20... Nc6 21. Qb3 Qa5) 21. Nd5 Nc2+ 22. Ke2 Ne4 23.
Nxe4 Qxc4+ 24. Kf3 Rxd5 25. g4 f5 26. gxf5 Rf8 27. Qxb7 Rxf5+ 28. Kg3 Rxd1 29.
Rxd1 Nd4 30. exd4 Rf7 31. Qb1 Rf4 32. f3 Qe6 33. Ng5 Qh6 34. Qb8+ (34. Qb8+ {
And resigns because White will both pick up the black queen and checkmate
right after:} Rf8 35. Qb3+ Kh8 36. Nf7+ Kg8 37. Nxh6+ Kh8 38. Qg8+ Rxg8 39.
Nf7#) 1-0
[Event "Palma de Mallorca ESP"]
[Site "Palma de Mallorca ESP"]
[Date "2017.11.17"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B96"]
[WhiteElo "2762"]
[BlackElo "2796"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2017.11.16"]
[EventType "swiss"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 h6 8. Bh4
Qb6 9. a3 Be7 10. Bf2 (10. Qd3 Nbd7 11. O-O-O g5 12. fxg5 Ne5 13. Qd2 Nh7 14.
Nf3 hxg5 15. Bf2 Qc7 {Caruana,F (2807)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2791) Saint Louis
2017}) 10... Qc7 11. Qf3 Nbd7 12. O-O-O b5 13. g4 Bb7 (13... g5 14. h4 gxf4 15.
Be2 Rg8 {Giri,A (2790)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2788) Stavanger NOR 2016 and now} 16.
g5 $1 {is good for White.}) 14. h4 Nc5 15. Bd3 h5 16. g5 Ng4 17. Rhg1 $146 (17.
f5 Nxd3+ 18. cxd3 e5 19. Nc2 Rc8 20. Kb1 d5 21. Rc1 d4 22. Nd5 Bxd5 23. exd5
Qd7 {Konguvel,P (2388)-Niekras,D (2291) Warsaw 2017}) 17... g6 18. Rxg4 hxg4
19. Qxg4 e5 20. Nf3 Rc8 21. fxe5 dxe5 22. Kb1 Rd8 23. Nd5 Bxd5 24. exd5 Nxd3
25. Rxd3 O-O 26. h5 (26. Bg3 Rc8 27. c3 Bd6 28. Nd2 $1 {and the knight goes to
e4.}) 26... Qc4 27. Qh3 Qc8 28. Qxc8 Rxc8 29. Nxe5 Bxg5 30. d6 Bf4 31. d7
1/2-1/2
[Event "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Site "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Date "2017.11.17"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Vallejo Pons, Francisco"]
[Black "Radjabov, Teimour"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E73"]
[WhiteElo "2705"]
[BlackElo "2741"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "74"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Be2 ({Later in the annotations this
game will be mentioned:} 5. f3 O-O 6. Be3 e5 7. d5 c5 8. Bd3 Nh5 9. Nge2 f5 10.
exf5 gxf5 11. Qc2 {and now the key move} e4 $1 12. fxe4 f4 $1 13. Bf2 Nd7 14.
Ng1 Qg5 15. Bf1 Ne5 16. Nf3 Qe7 17. Nxe5 Qxe5 18. O-O-O Nf6 19. h3 Bd7 20. Bd3
a6 21. Nb1 f3 22. gxf3 Nh5 23. Nd2 Nf4 24. Bf1 b5 25. h4 Kh8 26. Rg1 Bf6 27.
Nb3 Rab8 28. Be1 b4 29. Kb1 Ra8 30. Bg3 Rg8 31. Qh2 Rxg3 32. Rxg3 Ne2 33. Qxe2
Qxg3 34. Nc1 a5 35. Nd3 Bd4 36. h5 Qh4 37. Bg2 Rg8 38. Rh1 Qg3 39. Bf1 a4 40.
Kc2 a3 41. b3 {1/2-1/2 Kotov,A-Gligoric,S Zurich 1953}) 5... O-O 6. Be3 {
A look in the database reveals that Radjabov had never faced this move before,
while Vallejo had never even developed the light-squared bishop to e2 on the
previous move.} ({In the Averbakh System White often tries to lure the pawn to
h6 before stepping on e3 with} 6. Bg5 h6 7. Be3) 6... e5 7. d5 a5 8. g4 Na6 9.
h4 {Not really and attack, but more of a defensive prophylaxis. White wants to
control the kingside.} Nc5 10. f3 h5 11. g5 Nh7 ({Very often this knight is
rerouted to the queenside with} 11... Nfd7 12. Nh3 Nb6 {as in Debashis,D (2472)
-Firouzja,A (2456) Doha 2016}) 12. Kd2 $146 {A novelty. The king is often safe
behind the blocked center in these lines.} ({The "normal" way to play it is}
12. Qd2 f6 13. gxf6 {In a recent game from the ETCC White was better after} ({
Or} 13. O-O-O fxg5 14. hxg5 Bd7 15. Nh3 Qe7 16. Kb1 Rf7 17. Nf2 Raf8 18. Rdg1
Rf4 {1/2-1/2 Riazantsev,A (2646)-Amonatov,F (2592) St Petersburg 2015}) 13...
Rxf6 ({However} 13... Bxf6 {seems more natural to play.}) 14. O-O-O Bd7 15. Nh3
{Rodshtein,M (2699)-Kovalev,V (2636) Heraklio 2017}) ({Another option for
White is} 12. Nh3 {for example} Bxh3 {I do not like this...} 13. Rxh3 f6 14.
gxf6 (14. Qd2 $5) 14... Rxf6 15. Qd2 {which looks good for White, Debashis,D
(2472) -Karthikeyan,M (2578) Moscow 2017}) 12... Bd7 {Radjabov proceeds with
the normal development and prepares the opening of the center.} 13. Nh3 c6 14.
Nf2 cxd5 15. exd5 {Vallejo's point. His knights get an access to the wonderful
e4 spot.} ({Or} 15. cxd5 a4 {followed by Qd8-a5 and b7-b5 with strong play on
the queenside.}) 15... f5 ({The computer recommends} 15... b6 {but no real KID
player will allow} 16. Nfe4 {that easily.}) 16. gxf6 Nxf6 17. Bxc5 $6 {A
contraversial decision. The knights will make it to the e4 square, but the
bishop on g7 remains without an opponent.} dxc5 18. Kc2 ({Some of the problems
due to the lack of the white bishop are revealed in the line} 18. Nfe4 Nxe4+
19. Nxe4 Rf4 {when the pawn on h4 becomes vulnerable. After} 20. Qe1 Qb6 21.
Kc2 Bf5 {Black is better.}) 18... a4 (18... e4 $5 {was already interesting,
but before breaking through Radjabov wants to soften the long diagonal.}) 19.
Qd2 a3 20. b3 e4 $1 {Every KID players knows ;-) This idea, reminiscent of the
glorious game Kotov-Gligoric from the Interzonal tournament Zurich 1953, is
the main weapon of every KID player. The Beast on g7 is released and things do
not look rosy for Vallejo at all. To make things worse, he was getting very
low on time.} 21. fxe4 ({Worse was} 21. Nfxe4 Nxe4 22. fxe4 Rf2 {and Black
breaks into the opponent's camp.}) 21... Ng4 22. Nxg4 (22. Nd3 {is too
artifical to be true. After} Bh6 23. Qe1 Ne3+ 24. Kb1 Qe7 {Black develops a
strong attack on the dark squares.}) 22... hxg4 {I could not believe my eyes
when I saw the computer evaluation here (0.00)... Black's play is very easy
and strong. The queen will come out on either f6 or e7, then on the long
diagonal, rooks want to get into the scond file, there's a strong passer on g3.
..} ({Of course not} 22... Bxg4 23. Bxg4 hxg4 {which will make White's defense
easier.}) 23. h5 ({Or} 23. Raf1 Rxf1 24. Bxf1 Qf6 {and the black pieces
dominate the board.}) 23... Rf2 24. h6 ({In case of} 24. hxg6 {Black will
simply ignore the g6 pawn and proceed with his plan:} Qe7 25. Rh7 ({Even the
endgame is bad for White after} 25. d6 Qe5 26. Qd5+ Qxd5 27. cxd5 g3 $1 ({
No need to complicate thing with} 27... Bxc3 {when a curious line that leads
to a draw runs after} 28. Kxc3 Rxe2 29. Rh7 Be8 30. Rah1 g3 31. d7 g2 32. Rh8+
Kg7 33. R1h7+ Kxg6 34. Rh6+ Kg5 35. Rh5+ Bxh5 36. Rxa8 Re3+ 37. Kd2 Re2+))
25... g3 {with big advantage for the second player.}) 24... Be5 25. Raf1 g3 26.
Rxf2 ({Or} 26. Qe3 Rh2 $1 (26... Qf6 27. Nd1 Rxf1 28. Rxf1 Qe7 {looks less
convincing.})) 26... gxf2 27. Nd1 Qf6 28. Rf1 Bd4 29. Nxf2 {Vallejo
understands that the positon is hopeless strategically and tries tactics. But
this only speeds up his defeat.} (29. Bd3 Rf8 30. h7+ Kxh7 31. Rh1+ Kg8 32. Qh6
Rf7 {leads White nowehere neither.}) 29... Bxf2 30. e5 Qxe5 31. Rxf2 Bf5+ 32.
Kd1 (32. Rxf5 Qxf5+ {is hopeless as well.}) 32... Qa1+ {Not the only wy to win
the game, but convincing enough.} 33. Qc1 Qxa2 34. Rxf5 Qxb3+ ({Surely} 34...
gxf5 $4 {would give the win to White after} 35. Qg5+ Kf7 36. Qg7+ Ke8 37. h7)
35. Kd2 Qa2+ {Radjabov repeats the moves once.} (35... a2 {would have won after
} 36. Qa1 Qb4+ 37. Kc2 Qb1+ 38. Qxb1 axb1=Q+ 39. Kxb1 gxf5) 36. Ke1 {Vallejo
deviates, but there is no salvation anyways.} (36. Kd1 Qb3+ {would force
Radjabov to use the winning line from above.}) 36... Qb2 37. Qf4 Qb1+ 0-1
[Event "Palma de Mallorca ESP"]
[Site "Palma de Mallorca ESP"]
[Date "2017.11.18"]
[Round "3.5"]
[White "Hammer, Jon Ludvig"]
[Black "Svidler, Peter"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B51"]
[WhiteElo "2629"]
[BlackElo "2763"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "78"]
[EventDate "2017.11.16"]
[EventType "swiss"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 {This move reveals aggressive intentions. In
the Moscow line both knight moves (3...Nb8-c6) have fighting reputation, while
the bishop cover enjoys the label "safe."} 4. d4 cxd4 5. Qxd4 a6 6. Bxd7+ Bxd7
7. Nc3 e5 {An accurate move.} ({The main thing that Black needs to avoid in
the line is the premature development of his knight:} 7... Nf6 {as the
Boleslavsky pawn structure that arises after} 8. Bg5 Rc8 9. O-O-O h6 10. Bxf6
gxf6 11. Nd5 {favours White, Georgiev,K (2443)-Bernadskiy,V (2559) Sunny Beach
2014}) 8. Qd3 Rc8 ({The other way to play it is} 8... h6 {as in the blitz game
between two living legends} 9. Nd2 Be6 10. Nc4 Rc8 11. Ne3 Nf6 12. O-O Be7 13.
Rd1 O-O {White achieved almost everything he wanted and still has no advantage,
Anand,V (2783)-Kasparov,G (2812) Saint Louis 2017}) 9. Nd2 {The knight is
shifted towards the d5 spot.} Be6 10. Nf1 Be7 11. Ne3 Nf6 {Only now when the
pin Bc1-g5 is not possible does Svidler develop the knight.} 12. O-O Qc7 $146 {
A very interesting novelty backed up by a sound plan.} ({Interestingly, Black
did great in the only predecessor after:} 12... O-O 13. a4 Qc7 14. Bd2 h6 15.
b3 Rfd8 16. Rfd1 d5 $1 {Fernandez Garcia,J (2457)-Alonso Bouza,J (2266) Havana
2009}) 13. a4 Qc5 14. Rd1 O-O {It is not very clear how can White develop
further.} 15. Bd2 ({After} 15. a5 h6 {the ball is back into White's court.}) ({
White's main problem is that the knight jumps on d5 are just bad at the moment
as they both will lead to the sealing of the d5 square and better pawn
structure for Black after} 15. Ncd5 $2 Nxd5 16. exd5 Bd7) ({Or} 15. Ned5 $2
Nxd5 16. exd5 Bd7) 15... Bd8 {The point behind Black's novelty. Svidler brings
the dark-squared bishop to an active position.} 16. Nf5 $2 {A horrible move.} (
{The only chance was in the complications arising after} 16. a5 $1 Bxa5 17.
Ncd5 Bd8 ({Or} 17... Bxd2 18. Nxf6+ gxf6 19. Qxd2 Rfd8 20. Qe2 {with some
compensation for a pawn.}) 18. Bb4 {Now Black has a choice between the sharp}
Qc6 ({And the solid} 18... Qd4 19. Bxd6 (19. Qxd4 exd4 20. Rxd4 Bxd5 21. exd5
Bb6 {favors Black.}) 19... Qxd3 20. Rxd3 {with approximate equality.}) 19. Bxd6
Bxd5 20. Bxf8 Bxe4 21. Qxd8 Rxd8 22. Rxd8 {It's messy.}) ({Black is better
after} 16. Be1 Ba5 17. Qxd6 Qxd6 18. Rxd6 Bxc3 19. bxc3 Nxe4) 16... Bxf5 17.
exf5 d5 {Hammer's opening became a disaster. Svidler has a strong center, good
pieces and there is a weakness on f5.} 18. Rac1 ({There is not enough
compensation after} 18. Bg5 d4 19. Bxf6 Bxf6 20. Ne4 Qxc2 21. Nxf6+ gxf6 22.
Qf3 Qxb2) 18... Bb6 19. Qe2 h6 {A neat move that secures the center.} 20. a5 ({
After} 20. Qxe5 Qxf2+ 21. Kh1 Ng4 {White may easily get mated:} 22. Qxd5 $2 ({
The lesser evil is to give up the exchange} 22. Qg3 Qxg3 23. hxg3 Nf2+ {
but this is also hopeless.}) 22... Qg1+ 23. Rxg1 Nf2#) 20... Ba7 ({Even better
than} 20... Bxa5 21. Qxe5 Rfe8 22. Qf4 {although Black has the upper hand here
as well.}) 21. Na4 Qc6 22. b3 Rfe8 {The central pawns get ready to rock.} 23.
Kh1 Qd7 24. g4 {The only way to create some threats, but with a weak center
those should never work.} d4 25. Qf3 ({Or} 25. h4 Qd5+ 26. Kg1 e4) 25... e4 26.
Qg2 Qc6 27. g5 hxg5 28. Bxg5 e3 {As usual, the central play refutes the flank
attack.} 29. f3 ({If} 29. fxe3 Ne4 $1 (29... dxe3 {should also do.}) 30. Bh4
Qh6 31. Rg1 dxe3 {leaves White completely helpless.}) 29... Re5 30. Qh3 e2 31.
Rg1 d3 $1 {The decisive break.} 32. Nb6 ({White is getting checkmated after}
32. cxd3 Qxc1 33. Rxc1 ({Or loses a piece in case of} 33. Bxc1 Bxg1 34. Bd2
e1=Q 35. Bxe1 Rxe1) 33... e1=Q+ 34. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 35. Kg2 Rg1#) 32... Bxb6 33.
axb6 Rce8 {Possible because of Black's next move.} 34. Bh6 ({Once more the
capture} 34. cxd3 {does not safe White due to} Qxc1 35. Rxc1 ({Or} 35. Bxc1
e1=Q 36. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 37. Kg2 R8e2+ 38. Kg3 Rxc1 {and Black wins.}) 35... e1=Q+
36. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 37. Kg2 R8e2+ 38. Kg3 Rg1+ 39. Kh4 Nd5 {With complete
domination which will sooner or later end with the queen gain. Say} 40. Bd8 Nf4
) 34... Ng4 35. Rxg4 {Now it is a forced mate.} ({While} 35. Qxg4 Qxh6 {
would be an extra rook for Black at least.}) 35... e1=Q+ 36. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 37. Kg2
R8e2+ 38. Kg3 Rg1+ 39. Kh4 Qxh6# 0-1
[Event "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Site "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Date "2017.11.19"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Radjabov, Teimour"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B30"]
[WhiteElo "2780"]
[BlackElo "2741"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 {Radjabov is known for his mastery in the
Sveshnikov/Kalshnikov lines. Thus the choice of Nakamura makes a lot of sense.}
({Even though the American GM managed to win an important game four years ago
in the line:} 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d6 6. N1c3 a6 7. Na3 b5 8. Nd5 Nf6
9. c4 $5 {Nakamura,H (2775)-Radjabov,T (2745) Stavanger 2013}) 3... e6 4. O-O
Nge7 5. d4 cxd4 6. Nxd4 Ng6 7. Be3 Be7 8. Be2 O-O 9. Nc3 ({The alternative was
} 9. c4 Nxd4 10. Bxd4 b6 11. Re1 Bb7 12. Nc3 Bc6 {with solid position for the
seond player in Nepomniachtchi,I (2733)-Lenic,L (2650) Heraklio 2017}) 9... Qc7
10. f4 {This was Nakamura's idea. He drags the opponent into an unfamiliar
position - a Scheveningen type. There is an important difference though: The
black kingside knight is placed on g6 rather than on f6. Who will profit from
that?} Nxd4 $146 ({A predecessor ended quickly in a draw after:} 10... a6 11.
Nxc6 bxc6 12. e5 d6 13. exd6 Bxd6 14. Qd2 Rd8 15. Bd3 Rb8 16. b3 Qa5 17. Ne4
Qxd2 18. Bxd2 Bc7 19. Be3 {1/2-1/2 (19) Kulish,I (2280)-Shumiakina,T (2407)
Moscow 1999}) 11. Qxd4 b6 {The most convincing way to finish the development.}
12. Qd2 ({The computer suggestion} 12. Qc4 Qxc4 13. Bxc4 Bb7 {is harmless for
Black.}) 12... Bb7 13. Rad1 Bc6 (13... Rad8 $5 {intending Be7-c5 also makes
sense.}) 14. a3 Bf6 {Radjabov provokes the advance of the white pawns. Other
options were also possible:} (14... Rad8) (14... Rfd8) (14... d6) 15. g3 {
Nakamura is not advancing the central pawn yet.} ({Indeed} 15. e5 Be7 16. Nb5
Bxb5 17. Bxb5 Rfd8 18. Qf2 d6 {looks OK for Black.}) 15... Rac8 16. e5 {
Only now.} Be7 17. h4 {Grabbing more space. The only piece that does not fit
well in Black's solid construction is the knight. But this might be a minor
concern in case Radjabov manages to free himself with a timely d7-d6 advance
as the steed will get access to the game via the d7 square.} Rfd8 18. h5 ({Or}
18. Ba6 Bb7 19. Nb5 Qb8 20. Bxb7 Qxb7 21. h5 Nf8 22. Qe2) 18... Nf8 19. Ba6 {
The rook should be kicked away from the half-open file.} ({If} 19. Nb5 Bxb5 20.
Bxb5 Qxc2) 19... Rb8 (19... Bb7 {would be answered} 20. Nb5 Qb8 21. Bxb7 Qxb7
22. Qe2 {followed by Nb7-d6 when the Black pieces will start to suffocate soon.
}) 20. Qd6 $1 {What? Nakamura gives a free queen??} ({Apparently White saw
that in the line} 20. Nb5 Bxb5 21. Bxb5 Bc5 ({However, this whole line is not
mandatory and Radjabov can still level the chances with} 21... d6 $1 22. exd6
Bxd6 23. Qe2 Bc5 {with equality.}) 22. b4 $1 Bxe3+ 23. Qxe3 {He would be
clearly better as the pawn is poisoned-} Qxc2 24. Rc1 Qa2 (24... Qf5 25. Qf3 {
is not appealing neither.}) 25. Bc4 Qb2 26. Rf2 {and the queen is trapped.})
20... Bxd6 21. exd6 {It's OK, now the Black queen is trapped. So what was the
exclam for? The beauty? This one too, but it is mainly for the psychology
behind the move. If Radjabov has missed the move he might had become less
confident and eventhough the position remains close to equal this could matter
for his future decision-making.} Qc8 22. Bxc8 Rbxc8 23. a4 {Attacking the
queenside pawns. Black is practically down a piece there (you did not forget
the knight on f8, did you?) and this is what Nakamura will try to exploit.} h6
24. Ra1 (24. a5 {does not yield much after} Rb8 25. Ra1 Nh7) 24... Ba8 {
Not yet a mistake, but this looks very artificial.} ({Radjabov needed to get
the knight out as soon as possible-} 24... Nh7 $1 25. a5 Rb8 26. axb6 ({Or} 26.
Bd4 Nf6 27. axb6 axb6 28. Bxf6 gxf6) 26... axb6 27. Bd4 Nf6 28. Bxf6 gxf6 {
would have led to approximately equal positions.}) 25. a5 Rc6 26. Rfd1 b5 {
This is really wrong. Black must have miscalculated something.} ({Correct was}
26... bxa5 $1 27. Rxa5 ({Or} 27. Bxa7 Ra6 28. Bc5 Bf3 29. Rd3 Bxh5 30. b4 Bg6
31. Rd2 Rc8 $1) 27... a6 28. Rda1 Bb7 {as long as the queenside is safe Black
will have the desired time to bring the kngiht out.}) 27. a6 $1 {This pawn
will cost Black dearly. Now both the black queenside pawns are separated and
will be soon lost.} b4 28. Nb5 Rxc2 29. Rd2 ({Maybe Radjabov was hoping for
some counter-play like this-} 29. Bxa7 e5 $1 30. fxe5 Ne6 31. Bb6 Ng5 $1 32.
Bxd8 Nf3+ 33. Kf1 Nh2+ {with perpetual. Here the knight would be the hero.})
29... Rdc8 30. Nc7 $1 {Perhaps this is what Black missed.} (30. Nxa7 {is not
as clear after} Rxd2 31. Bxd2 Rc2 32. Bxb4 Rxb2 33. Bc5 e5 34. fxe5 Ne6 {
and Black is pretty much alive and kicking.}) 30... Rxd2 31. Bxd2 Bc6 ({
Probably the last chance was} 31... e5 32. fxe5 Ne6 33. Nxa8 Rxa8 34. Be3 {
although then too White should be capable of winning after bringing his rook
out via Ra1-a4(a5)-b4(b5).}) 32. Be3 Nh7 33. Bxa7 Nf6 34. Bc5 Ne4 (34... Nxh5 {
would be similar to the game after} 35. a7 Nxg3 36. Ra6 $1 Be4 37. Rb6) 35.
Bxb4 Nxg3 {The kngith is finally out but still not where it is needed...} 36.
a7 Ne2+ 37. Kh2 Nxf4 38. Ra6 $1 ({No rush to cashout-} 38. a8=Q Bxa8 39. Rxa8
Rxa8 40. Nxa8 Nxh5 {will requre some technical work by the first player.})
38... Be4 39. Rb6 {Now it is easy. The queenside passers decide the game-} Nxh5
40. Rb8 Rf8 41. Bd2 Nf6 42. b4 1-0
[Event "Grand Prix 2017"]
[Site "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Date "2017.11.22"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Tomashevsky, Evgeny"]
[Black "Radjabov, Teimour"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B08"]
[WhiteElo "2702"]
[BlackElo "2741"]
[Annotator "Bojov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "115"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. d4 d6 2. e4 Nf6 {In a must-win situation Radjabov tries to pull out
Tomashevsky from his comfort zone and opts for the Pirc.} 3. Nc3 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7
5. Be2 O-O 6. O-O c6 7. a4 Nbd7 {Allowing the white pawn to a5 is considered
risky.} ({More common moves are} 7... Qc7 8. Bf4 Nbd7 9. e5 Nh5 10. Bg5) ({Or}
7... a5 {followed by Nb8-a6-b4.}) 8. a5 Qc7 ({One of the dangers behind the
pawn on a5 are demonstrated by the lines after} 8... e5 9. dxe5 dxe5 10. a6 Qc7
(10... b6 11. Qd6 c5) (10... bxa6 11. Qd6 Qb6 12. Bc4 {]} (12. b3 {]})) 11.
axb7 Bxb7 12. Be3 {In all of them the timely a5-a6 caused confusion in Black's
army.}) 9. Be3 e5 ({Maybe more promising is} 9... Rb8 10. d5 Nc5 11. Nd2 b6 12.
axb6 axb6 13. Bf3 {as in Yilmaz,M (2531)-Kokarev,D (2635) Moscow 2013}) 10. h3
{Other options for White are} (10. d5 {with the positional threat a5-a6 to
destroy the queenside pawn structure.}) ({Or} 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. Nd2 {followed
by Nd2-c4-d6, or Qd1-b1-a2 and pressure along the a2-g8 diagonal.}) 10... exd4
11. Bxd4 Re8 12. Bc4 Nf8 13. Re1 Be6 14. Bf1 $146 {A logical novelty. White
does not want to trade the pieces but rather leave them step on each other's
toes.} ({An email game saw Black doing well after} 14. e5 Bxc4 15. exf6 Bh8 16.
b3 Rxe1+ 17. Qxe1 Be6 {Yepez Gutierrez,J (2187)-Martins Mesquita,U (2458)
CADAP email 2004}) 14... N8d7 15. Ng5 {If anything White will take the bishop
pair.} a6 16. Qd2 c5 17. Be3 Ne5 18. Bf4 Rad8 (18... Bd7 {is not good because
of} 19. Red1) 19. Nxe6 fxe6 {Tomashevsky won the bishop pair but Radjabov can
be satisfied with his position. The strong bishop on g7 remained and both
knights have good perspectives. All in all it is equal.} 20. Na4 ({After} 20.
Bxe5 dxe5 21. Qe3 Rd4 {the black pawns are an asset rather than weakness.})
20... Nf7 ({An interesting idea is to atatck on the kingside with} 20... Nh5 $5
21. Bg5 Bf6 22. Be2 Bxg5 23. Qxg5 Kh8 $5 {Trying to open as many files as
possible. After} 24. Bxh5 gxh5 25. Qxh5 ({However, White can spoil the fun
with an endgame-} 25. Qf6+ Qg7 26. Qxg7+ Kxg7 27. Rad1 {where he is slightly
better.}) 25... Rg8 {Black has compensation for the pawn.}) 21. Rad1 Nh5 22.
Be3 {A silent draw offer.} ({Similar was} 22. Bh2 Bh6 23. Qc3 Bg7) 22... Nf6
23. Bf4 Qc6 {Repetition rejected. Radjabov needs to win.} 24. Nc3 Kh8 25. b3 h6
26. Bd3 g5 {Objectively however this only weakens Black's position.} 27. Bh2
Nd7 28. Ne2 {White shifts all his pieces onto the kingside.} ({It also made
sense to send the bishop on the kingside with} 28. Be2 $5 Be5 29. Bh5 Rf8 30.
h4 {with nice atatcking prospects for the first player.}) 28... Nfe5 29. f4 $1
gxf4 30. Nxf4 Bf6 31. Kh1 {Both players were rather low on time.} (31. Be2 $1 {
was even stronger here. For example} Qxe4 {drops the exchange due to} ({And if
} 31... Nf8 32. Bh5 (32. Bg3) 32... Re7 33. Rf1 {with White's attack.}) 32. Bh5
) 31... Kh7 32. Rf1 Bg5 33. Qe2 {Now the queen enjoys the hospitable light
squares.} Nf6 34. Nh5 Rf8 {Radjabov is holding narrowly.} ({Worse was} 34...
Nxh5 35. Qxh5 Rf8 36. Bxe5 dxe5 37. Rf7+) 35. Bxe5 dxe5 36. Nxf6+ Bxf6 ({
Similar was} 36... Rxf6 37. Rxf6 Bxf6 38. Rf1 Rf8 39. Bc4) 37. Bc4 Qe8 38. Qg4
Rxd1 39. Rxd1 Rg8 40. Qxe6 {The last move before the time control. With few
seconds left on the clock Tomashevsky takes the practical decision to play an
engame up a pawn.} ({However, objectively speaking White's chances are
connected with the queens as the black king is weak. Correct was} 40. Qf3 $1
Qe7 41. Rd3 {With the idea Qf3-d1 and eventually Rd3-d7. If} Rd8 42. Rxd8 Qxd8
43. Bxe6 {would be already won as White has crushing attack.}) 40... Qxe6 41.
Bxe6 Rd8 42. Bd5 {Another practical decision.} ({Winning a second pawn in
return of the rooks will lead to a draw only:} 42. Rxd8 Bxd8 43. Bc8 Bxa5 44.
Bxb7 {Now an important move is} h5 $1 {in order to nullify White's extra pawn
on the kingside. After} 45. Bxa6 Be1 {The plan is to bring the king on the
queenside to block White's extra pawn and leave the bishop on the kingside to
hold the fort. Here is a possible continuation-} 46. Kg1 Kg6 47. Kf1 Bg3 48.
Ke2 Kf6 49. Kd3 Ke6 50. Kc4 Kd6 51. c3 h4 52. b4 cxb4 53. cxb4 Kc7 {and a draw.
}) 42... Kg7 43. g3 Rd7 44. h4 Bd8 45. Ra1 Kf6 {White kept the rooks but Black
managed to regroup and defend the queenside. Objectively speaking it should
end in a draw. ..} 46. Kg2 Kg6 47. Kf3 Rg7 48. c3 h5 49. Ra2 Kf6 50. Kg2 Kg6
51. Kf2 Kf6 52. Kf3 Kg6 53. b4 cxb4 54. cxb4 Kh6 55. Rc2 Be7 (55... Rc7 $2 56.
Rxc7 Bxc7 57. Bxb7 Bd6 58. b5 $1 (58. Bxa6 Bxb4) 58... axb5 59. a6) 56. Rb2 Bd8
57. Rb3 b6 $4 {A tragical oversight. Radjabov thought that he forces the draw
at once. Alas.. .} ({Instead something like} 57... Rc7 $5 {would have most
likely ended in a draw after say} 58. b5 axb5 59. Rxb5 Rc3+ 60. Kg2 Ra3 61.
Rxb7 Bxa5) ({Or even the semi-waiting move} 57... Kh7 {should have held for
Black.}) 58. b5 $1 {A nasty surprise. The pawn break wins instantly.} (58. b5 {
The pawn is unstoppable after} bxa5 ({And the rook is trapped after} 58... axb5
59. a6 Ra7 60. Bb7) 59. b6) ({Instead} 58. axb6 Bxb6 59. Ra3 Ra7 {followed by
a6-a5 would have been indeed a draw.}) 1-0
[Event "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Site "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Date "2017.11.19"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Harikrishna, Pentala"]
[Black "Vallejo Pons, Francisco"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A21"]
[WhiteElo "2738"]
[BlackElo "2705"]
[Annotator "Sagar,Shah"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. c4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e5 {64} 2. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Bb4 {300} 3. Nd5 {74}
Na6 {[%emt 0:00:33]} (3... Bc5 {is the main move here. 1-0 (34) Aronian,L
(2793)-Anand,V (2786) Leuven 2017}) 4. Nxb4 {556} Nxb4 {[%emt 0:00:59]} 5. a3 {
[%emt 0:00:13]} Nc6 {70} 6. b4 {75 White has the bishop pair and the black
knight has moved twice in the opening. What can be the reason that Black would
be willing to do this? Well the answer is that Black has the centre and he
would like to rapidly complete his development with Nf6, 0-0 and then break
with d5.} d5 $5 {1351 With no knight coming to c3, it makes sense to play this
move. The queen will be safe on d5. Vallejo had already spent 22 minutes on
this move which meant he was out of his prep.} 7. e3 $146 {200} ({Predecessor:
} 7. b5 Na5 8. cxd5 Qxd5 9. Rb1 Qa2 10. Rb4 Be6 11. d3 {½-½ (64) Monte,E
(1713)-Paiva,L (1753) Fortaleza 2012}) 7... Nf6 {267} 8. Bb2 {673} d4 {527
This definitely seems very logical. The bishop is on b2 and the move d4 closes
its diagonal.} 9. Nf3 {361 Hari puts pressure on the centre and threatens b5.}
Bg4 {158} 10. h3 {139} Bxf3 {215} 11. gxf3 {33 Hari's position is
strategically quite dangerous. He has ruined his structure and his hoping that
the bishops will able to get some play going.} (11. Qxf3 {is interesting.} O-O
12. Be2 Re8 13. O-O Qe7 14. Bd1 $13) 11... O-O {257} 12. Qc2 {219} a5 {1001} (
12... Re8 $13 {I do not think Black can be worse here, but at the same time it
is a game filled with rich ideas and all three results are possible.}) 13. b5
$36 {50 White fights for an advantage.} Ne7 {[%emt 0:00:13]} 14. f4 $1 {
690 Hari takes his chance to bring down this e5-d4 structure.} dxe3 {359} (
14... exf4 15. Bxd4 $14) 15. O-O-O $1 {1059 Brilliant play by Harikrishna! All
that he wants is to open the position at all costs.} e2 {351} (15... exf2 16.
fxe5 $36) (15... exf4 16. dxe3 $16) 16. Bxe2 {[%emt 0:00:32]} exf4 {[%emt 0:00:
03]} 17. h4 {159} (17. Bxf6 gxf6 {was possible, but not something that Hari
would like to do if he doesn't see an immediate way of taking advantage. The
bishop on b2 is just too powerful.}) 17... Kh8 {612} ({Black should try} 17...
c6) 18. h5 $16 {414 White has strong compensation.} h6 {1 [#]} 19. Rdg1 $1 {251
} Qd6 {193 [#]} (19... Neg8 {stays solid, but White has all the time in the
world to improve his position, mainly by doubling the rooks on the g-file. So
he should be better.}) 20. c5 $2 {357} (20. Rxg7 $3 {This was a brilliant
sacrifice that Hari missed.} Kxg7 21. Rg1+ Kh8 22. c5 Qe6 23. Bc4 {And Black
has to give up his queen.} Rg8 24. Rxg8+ Rxg8 25. Bxe6 Rg1+ 26. Qd1 Rxd1+ 27.
Kxd1 Kg7 28. Bc4 $18 {It's a perennial pin down the diagonal.}) 20... Qd5 {104}
21. Rh4 {84 Threatening Rxg7 once again.} (21. Rxg7 Qxh1+ $19) 21... Rfe8 {346}
22. Rxf4 {269 White is clearly winning.} Neg8 {[%emt 0:00:24]} 23. Bf3 {
[%emt 0:00:37]} Qe6 {[%emt 0:00:28]} 24. Qc3 {122} Rad8 {337 [#]} 25. Rfg4 $1 {
88} Qf5 {13 Strongly threatening ...Rd3.} (25... Nxg4 26. Qxg7#) 26. Rxg7 {
[%emt 0:00:23]} Re1+ {[%emt 0:00:16]} 27. Rxe1 {138} Kxg7 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 28.
Bxb7 {74} Kf8 {75} 29. f3 {212} Nxh5 {[%emt 0:00:19]} 30. Qe5 {92} Qd7 {
[%emt 0:00:04]} (30... Qxe5 31. Bxe5 $18) 31. Bc3 {[%emt 0:00:53]} Ngf6 {76}
32. Bc6 {[%emt 0:00:26]} Qe6 {[%emt 0:00:53]} 33. Qxe6 {97 The a5 pawn falls,
and with it also the game. A fine display by Hari.} 1-0
[Event "Grand Prix 2017"]
[Site "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Date "2017.11.23"]
[Round "7.1"]
[White "Radjabov, Teimour"]
[Black "Li, Chao"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A10"]
[WhiteElo "2741"]
[BlackElo "2741"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "105"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. c4 g6 2. e4 e5 3. d4 Nf6 {Quite a rare line. Although some strong players,
including Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So have used it successfully (So with both
colors.)} 4. Nf3 {The main move.} (4. dxe5 Nxe4 5. Qd4 {is what Topalov chose
against Wesley So} Nc5) 4... exd4 ({Relevant:} 4... Bb4+ 5. Nc3 Nxe4 6. Qc2 f5
7. Nxe5 c5 {Jakovenko,D (2704)-Kokarev,D (2643) Khanty-Mansiysk 2016}) 5. e5
Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Qe7 7. Bxb4 Qxb4+ 8. Qd2 Qxd2+ 9. Nbxd2 Nh5 10. Nxd4 {An endgame
emerged by force. Black's knight on h5 does not seem particularly happy at the
moment, but White's central pawn may turn a bit overoptimistic.} Nc6 11. N2f3
$146 {And a novelty by Radjabov. The Azeri GM is determined to fight till the
last bullet.} ({The predecessor saw White spoiling the opponent's haircut with:
} 11. Nxc6 dxc6 12. O-O-O Bf5 13. g3 O-O-O 14. Be2 Ng7 {at the expense of the
development, Suba,M (2531)-Jansa,V (2477) Bad Zwischenahn 2008}) 11... b6 {
Now it is all about the e5 pawn. Will it survive or not?} ({Clearly worse for
Black is} 11... f6 12. Nb5 Kd8 13. g4) 12. Nb5 {Before anything the black king
should remain stuck in the middle.} Kd8 13. O-O-O Re8 14. g3 a6 ({So far so
good.} 14... Nxe5 {would be met with} 15. Nxe5 Rxe5 16. Bg2 Rb8 17. Nxa7 {
and the knight on a7 is surprisingly jolly.}) 15. Nbd4 Bb7 ({Here} 15... Nxe5
$4 {would be even worse} 16. Nxe5 Rxe5 17. Nc6+) 16. Nxc6+ Bxc6 17. Bh3 $1 {
A nice "disappearing" move. Before placing his bishop on the long diagonal
Radjabov wants to force the move f7-f5.} ({The immediate} 17. Bg2 {would be
strongly met with} f6 $1) 17... f5 ({Instead} 17... Bxf3 $2 {loses to} 18.
Rxd7+ Kc8 19. Rxf7+) ({If} 17... Kc8 18. Rd3 {would start the pre-programmed
doubling of the rooks on the half-open file and} Bxf3 $2 {would be still a bad
idea due to} 19. Rxf3 Re7 20. Rd1 {with large advantage for White.}) 18. Bg2 ({
Of course not} 18. exf6 $6 Nxf6 {when the black pieces enter the game.}) 18...
b5 19. Rhe1 bxc4 20. Nh4 Bxg2 21. Nxg2 {The central pawn survived and became
extremely valuable. It helps White comfortably maneuver with their rooks and
spoils the party for the black ones.} Rb8 22. Rd4 ({Also good was} 22. f4 Ng7
23. Ne3) 22... g5 ({In case of} 22... c3 {White would keep his pawns intact
with} 23. b3 $1) ({White is also comfortably better after} 22... Ng7 23. Red1
Re7 24. Ne3 Ne6 25. Rxc4) 23. Red1 Rxe5 {Li Chao decided to try the active
defense.} ({Objectively speaking} 23... Re7 {was more stubborn, although after}
24. Ne3 Ng7 25. f4 (25. Nxc4 Rb5) 25... gxf4 26. gxf4 Rf7 27. Rxc4 Ne6 {
White's advantage is undisputable.}) 24. Rxd7+ Kc8 25. Rxh7 Nf6 26. Rh8+ Kb7
27. Rxb8+ Kxb8 28. Ne3 {The superb opening preparation and fine middlegame
play netted White a pawn.} f4 ({Perhaps Black should have tried} 28... c3 29.
bxc3 ({Here} 29. b3 $6 f4 $1 {is not convincing at all.}) 29... f4 30. Nc4) 29.
Nxc4 Re2 30. Rd2 Re1+ 31. Kc2 {Next White activates everything that he has.}
Kb7 ({Similar is} 31... Rh1 32. gxf4 gxf4 33. f3 Rf1 34. Ne5) 32. Kd3 Rh1 33.
gxf4 gxf4 34. f3 Rf1 35. Ne5 Re1 36. Ng4 $1 {A nice regroupment. Radjabov
co-ordinates his pieces with the outside passer. He is winning now.} Nd5 ({
White is perfectly co-ordinated in the rook endgame as well} 36... Nxg4 37.
fxg4 Rg1 38. h3 Rg3+ 39. Ke4 Rxh3 40. Kxf4) 37. h4 c5 ({Anytime that the rook
is placed behind the pawn} 37... Rh1 {there comes} 38. Rh2) 38. h5 Nb4+ 39. Kc4
Rc1+ 40. Kb3 Nc6 41. h6 Nd4+ {Li Chao tries some final tricks.} ({The pawn was
unstopabble anyways-} 41... Rh1 42. Rh2) 42. Ka3 ({Or} 42. Ka4 Rc4+ 43. Ka3
Nb5+ 44. Kb3 Rb4+ 45. Kc2 {and wins.}) 42... Nxf3 43. h7 Nxd2 44. h8=Q Nc4+ 45.
Ka4 Nb6+ 46. Kb3 a5 ({The king escapes after} 46... c4+ 47. Kb4 Nd5+ 48. Kc5)
47. Qf6 a4+ 48. Ka3 Ka6 49. Qxf4 Nc4+ 50. Kxa4 Nxb2+ 51. Kb3 Nd3 52. Qd6+ Kb5
53. a4+ ({White could even fall into the trap with} 53. Qxd3+ c4+ 54. Kb2 cxd3
55. Kxc1) 1-0
[Event "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Site "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Date "2017.11.24"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Gelfand, Boris"]
[Black "Radjabov, Teimour"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E18"]
[WhiteElo "2719"]
[BlackElo "2741"]
[Annotator "Tiger Hillarp Persson"]
[PlyCount "96"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 ({No one has been as persistent about playing} 2... g6 {
as Radjabov, at such a high level, but lately he has turned to more classical
openings. It is a mature decision. The dark squared openings are, generally
speaking, more powerful when your opponent has to spend some time preparing
against classical alternatives.}) 3. Nf3 b6 {This is already a small surprise
as Radjabov usually heads for a QGD-set-up.} 4. g3 Bb7 ({The most popular
continuation (and the main reason why so many try to avoid this opening) is}
4... Ba6 5. b3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Nc3 d5 8. cxd5 exd5 9. Bg2 O-O 10. O-O Re8 {
as in, for instance, Nakamura,H (2785)-Karjakin,S (2780) GCT Rapid Paris 2017.
b2-b3 makes it harder for White to put the rook on c1 without being harrassed,
which is the main reason Black is happy to (soon) lose a tempo with Bc8-a6-b7.
This would not be so much trouble for White if only the bishop could go to b2,
and there we have the reason for the other tempo-loss: Bf8-b4-e7.}) 5. Bg2 Be7
6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Ne4 8. Bd2 {This is a well trafficked crossroad for Black.}
Nxd2 (8... Bf6 {is usually met with} 9. Rc1 (9. Be1 {is a promising
alternative:} c5 10. Qc2 $5) 9... Nxd2 10. Qxd2 d6 {with similar play to the
game.}) (8... f5 9. Ne5 Nxc3 10. Bxc3 Bxg2 11. Kxg2 Bf6 12. Qd3 d5 13. Rfd1 $14
{L'Ami,E (2596)-Tiviakov,S (2677) Wijk aan Zee 2012.}) (8... d5 {is the
traditional way, but after} 9. cxd5 exd5 10. Rc1 {White gets the kind of
position that the 4...Ba6-line (see above) is aimed at avoiding.}) 9. Qxd2 d6
10. Rad1 {I suspect there to be a deep reason why Gelfand prefers this move to
10.e4, but I cannot find it. Apart from e4/d5, it is hard to see a good plan
for White.} ({Beliavsky has experienced the position after} 10. e4 {from both
sides:} Nd7 11. Rfe1 a6 12. Qe2 (12. Rad1 b5 13. cxb5 axb5 14. a3 c6 15. d5 e5
16. dxc6 Bxc6 17. Nd5 {led to equality, in Huebner,R (2570)-Beliavsky,A (2605)
17th Puhajarve Rapid 2016.}) 12... c5 13. d5 e5 14. h4 $1 {I quite like
Beliavsky's plan here.} Rb8 15. a4 Nf6 16. Bh3 {White has played economically
and - compared to our game - has avoided both b3 and Rad1 (which are two moves
that seem less than optimal).} g6 17. Kg2 Kg7 18. Rh1 h5 {This set-up doesn't
turn out well for Black, so an improvement should be sought for around here.}
19. Ng5 Bc8 {A terrible concession for Black. White gets rid of his least
wanted minor piece and keeps a free hand on the kingside, while Black has no
real counterplay.} 20. Bxc8 Qxc8 21. Raf1 (21. f3 $1 Ne8 22. Nh3 Nc7 23. Nf2
$14 {looks more flexible.} b5 24. axb5 axb5 25. cxb5) 21... Rb7 22. f3 Ne8 23.
Rf2 (23. Nh3 Nc7) 23... Bxg5 24. hxg5 f6 {and Black had equalized although
White eventually won, in Beliavsky,A (2605)-Livaic,L (2435) 26th TCh-SLO 2016.}
) 10... Nd7 11. Rfe1 c5 {This is the only central break that comes into
consideration here.} (11... e5 $2 12. Nxe5 $1) (11... d5 $6 12. cxd5 exd5 13.
Qc2 {and White is perfectly coordinated to make life miserable for Black. Next,
after} Re8 14. e4 dxe4 15. Nxe4 {is even worse than it at first seems, for
Black. For instance} Nf6 16. Nxf6+ Bxf6 17. Rxe8+ Qxe8 18. Qxc7 {loses a pawn.}
) 12. e4 {White will soon have to play d4-d5, or run out of constructive moves.
e4 will help in all the structures that might possibly arise then.} a6 13. d5
e5 $1 {So, even though it started as a light-squared opening (Queen's Indian)
Radjabov has managed to get a typical dark-squared-opening pawn structure (Old
Benoni style). He is back on his home turf. It does not matter very much that
Black has the bishop pair here, but Be7 is quite well placed as it keeps Nf3
from accessing h4, from where it would make f5 very hard to achieve. Black is
not to happy about the placement of Bb7, which would be better placed on the
c8-h3 diagonal, but the rook is equally off track on e1.} 14. b3 {If White is
going to stop Black from playing b6-b5, then I see no reason not to play a2-a4
immediately.} (14. a4 $1) (14. Rf1 b5) 14... g6 $1 {Black has two possible
breaks: b6-b5 and f7-f5. The latter is no good unless Black can answer exf5
with gxf5. Ergo: Black's last move.} (14... f5 $4 15. exf5 Rxf5 16. Qe2 {
, followed by Bh3 and Black is completely lost. Radjabov spends a few moves
preparing f5 before taking the leap.}) 15. Rf1 (15. h4 $5 {is a logical move
here. The point is that the exchange of the h-pawns would benefit White
somewhat as f7-f5 would leave the Black king much more exposed than is the
case in the game.} h5 $6 16. a3 {and again it becomes hard for Black to play
f7-f5:} f5 $2 17. Qh6 $18) 15... Bc8 16. Ne1 {Gelfand is following a
traditional script on how to treat such a position. By re-routing the knight
to d3, White finds coordination and is prepared to meet f5 with f4 (aiming for
the e6-square).} Rb8 (16... b5 {After} 17. cxb5 axb5 18. Nxb5 Ba6 19. a4 Bxb5
20. axb5 Qb6 21. Qd3 Ra5 22. Nf3 Qxb5 23. Qxb5 Rxb5 24. Nd2 Nb6 25. h4 {
White seems to hold the balance comfortably. The engine comes up with the
surprising} g5 $1 26. h5 (26. hxg5 Bxg5 27. f4 (27. Nc4 Nxc4 28. bxc4 Rb4 $15))
26... g4 $1 27. Rfe1 Rb4 28. Bf1 f5 {when Black keeps some initiative. So,
perhaps this is the more challenging move.}) 17. a4 f5 $1 {There is no
convincing way for Black to prepare this break further, while it is not
obviously bad, so it should be played.} (17... Bg5 18. Qe2 {and b5 has become
out of the question.}) (17... Kh8 18. Nd3 (18. h4 $6 f5 19. h5 gxh5 $17) 18...
f5 19. f4 Bf6 20. Kh1 Qe7 21. exf5 gxf5 22. fxe5 Nxe5 23. Nf4 Ng4 $13) 18. f4 (
18. Nd3 Bg5 19. f4 exf4 20. gxf4 Bf6 {and White is struggling to keep Black's
activity under the lid. For instance:} 21. exf5 gxf5 22. Bh3 Bg7 23. Kh1 Qh4 {
backfires.}) (18. Nf3 $5 {is not an easy move to play when you just came that
way, but the f3-g5-idea makes it harder for Black to develp his initiative on
the kingside:} Rf7 19. Bh3 Nf8 $5 20. Ne1 {Ha! We don't mind going back again.}
Bd7 21. Nd3 $132) ({If White still had the dark squared bishop on the board,
then} 18. exf5 gxf5 19. f4 Bf6 20. Kh1 e4 {, would be good for him. Here,
however, Black's bishop is too strong and White can only hope for a successful
defence.}) ({The most direct way to fight for the light squares (yes, I mean
f5) is} 18. Bh3 Nf6 $1 19. Nc2 f4 (19... fxe4 20. Be6+ Bxe6 21. dxe6 Qc8 22.
Ne3 Qxe6 23. Qc2 $44) 20. Be6+ Bxe6 21. dxe6 Qc8 22. f3 Qxe6 23. gxf4 exf4 24.
Qxf4 Nh5 25. Qd2 {with a complex game.}) 18... exf4 19. gxf4 fxe4 20. Nxe4 b5 {
The game has opened up and the two most important factors in the position are
Black's activity on the b-file and the weak e6-square. A race to set the
opponent serious threats ensues.} 21. a5 {This move loses a tempo, which is
why I would be reluctant to play it. I'm guessing that Gelfand's reasons for
playing it were much more complex than my reasons for not to.} (21. axb5 axb5
22. Nf3 bxc4 23. bxc4 Nb6 $5 (23... Nf6 24. Nfg5 Nxe4 25. Bxe4 Bxg5 26. fxg5 {
looks pretty equal to me.}) 24. Rc1 Bf5 25. Neg5 Bxg5 26. Nxg5 Qf6 {and White
has some problems to solve in order not to end up in a really depressing
endgame.}) 21... bxc4 22. bxc4 Rb4 23. Rc1 Nf6 24. Ng5 Qxa5 ({Possibly more
precise is} 24... Ra4 $1 {, intending} 25. Nd3 (25. Qe3 $2 Ng4 $19) (25. Ne6
Bxe6 26. dxe6 Qxa5 {is a better version of the game for Black, as the e6-pawn
is well blockaded and rather obstructs White.}) 25... Ng4 $1 {which sets White
some serious problems.}) 25. Nd3 Ra4 26. Qe3 Qd8 ({Black loses important time
here, but the alternative} 26... Re8 27. Bh3 $1 Bf8 28. Be6+ Bxe6 29. Nxe6 {
is even better for White.}) 27. Rce1 {White has the worst behind him.} Bf5 {
Now the game gets very tense. The next few moves are very forcing and I
presume that Radjabov had planned it up to move 33...Ra2, at least.} 28. Bh3 $1
{White's life depends on whether he can tuck a knight in on e6 without it
being exchanged.} (28. Ne6 Qc8 $1 29. Bh3 Rxc4 30. Bxf5 Nxd5 $1 31. Nxf8 Qxf5
32. Qf3 {Yes, we are in sample-line-territory by now.} Kxf8 33. Ne5 Rd4 34. Nc6
Rxf4 35. Nxe7 {is about equal, but only leaves Black with winning chances.})
28... Nxd5 $3 {A splendid move, without which Black would be clearly worse.}
29. cxd5 Bxg5 30. Bxf5 Rxf5 31. Qe6+ Kg7 (31... Kh8 32. fxg5 Qxg5+ 33. Kh1 Ra2
34. Qe8+ Kg7 35. Qe7+ {leads to the game.}) 32. fxg5 Qxg5+ 33. Kh1 Ra2 {
This is the position that Radjabov must have evaluated before playing 28...
Nxd5 (and he must have spotted it at least a move before that, or Bf5 would
not have made much sense).} 34. Qe7+ ({If White is interested in a draw (and
has the time to look at the consequences) then} 34. Qe4 {is the safest bet:}
Qd2 35. Qe7+ Kg8 (35... Kh6 36. Qh4+ Rh5 37. Qf2 Qxf2 38. Nxf2 Rxd5 39. Ng4+
Kg5 40. Nf6 Rf5 41. Ne4+ $14) 36. Qe8+ $11) 34... Qxe7 35. Rxe7+ Kf8 36. Ree1
$1 Rxf1+ {From a human point of view it seems to minimize White's tactical
options to exchange a pair of rooks (and the human view is pretty much spot on
here).} ({After} 36... a5 37. Nf4 a4 38. Ne6+ Kg8 39. Rb1 {things get
complex-on-the-verge-of-out-of-hand:} a3 40. Rb8+ Kf7 41. Re1 Rb2 42. Rf8+ Ke7
43. Ra8 a2 44. Nd4+ Kf6 45. Nxf5 gxf5 {and White can - and should - force a
draw with} 46. Rg1 c4 47. Rg2 Rb1+ 48. Rg1) 37. Rxf1+ Ke7 38. Re1+ $6 {White
is definitely under pressure here and possibly worse. The main problem is that
the knight is awfully placed on d3. White's last move does nothing to remedy
the situation and suddenly Black's advantage becomes clear.} (38. Nf2 $1 Rd2 (
38... a5 39. Re1+ Kd7 40. Ne4 Ra4 41. Nf6+ Kc7 42. Re7+ Kb6 43. Re6 {looks as
dangerous for Black as it does for White.}) 39. Kg2 Rxd5 40. Ra1 {and White
should be able to draw.}) 38... Kd7 {Now, due to the miss in move order, White
is unable to get the knight to e4.} 39. Re3 $6 (39. Kg1 $1 a5 (39... Rd2 $1 40.
Nf2 Rxd5 41. Ra1 Kc6 42. Rxa6+ Kb5 43. Ra7 Rh5 $15) 40. Nf2 a4 41. Ne4 a3 {
and although Black is significantly faster than in the line after 38.Nf2,
White is still able to hold the balance:} 42. Nf6+ Kc7 (42... Kc8 43. Ne4 Kc7
44. Nc3) 43. Ne8+ Kb6 44. Nxd6 Rc2 45. Rb1+ Ka5 46. Ne4 a2 47. Ra1 Kb6 48. h4
h6 49. Kf1 $11) 39... a5 $1 {"Passed pawns should be pushed". ...especially if
they can not be blocked or caught.} 40. Rh3 h5 41. Nf4 (41. Kg1 a4 42. Kf1 Kc7
43. Nf2 a3 44. Ne4) 41... a4 42. Nxg6 a3 43. Rf3 $2 {This makes winning a
simple matter for Black, but it was already too late to save the game.} (43.
Rc3 c4 $1 44. Rxc4 Rb2 45. Ra4 a2 {also wins for Black.}) (43. Nf8+ Kc8 44. Rb3
c4 $1 {A distraction!} 45. Rc3 Kb7 $1 46. Rxc4 Rb2 47. Nd7 a2 48. Ra4 Rb1+ 49.
Kg2 a1=Q 50. Rxa1 Rxa1 51. Nf6 Kb6 {and with the demise of the d5-pawn Black
will win with ease.} 52. Nxh5 Kc5 53. Nf4 Kd4 $19) 43... c4 $1 44. Nf4 (44.
Rf7+ Kd8 45. Rf8+ Kc7 $19) 44... Ra1+ 45. Kg2 a2 $1 46. Ra3 c3 $1 47. Ne2 $6 ({
The fight could have continued a bit longer after} 47. Ra7+ Kc8 48. Nd3 Rd1 49.
Rxa2 (49. Nc1 Rxc1 50. Rxa2 c2) 49... Rxd3 50. Ra6 Kd7 51. Rc6 Ke7 52. Kf2 Kf6
$1 53. Rxd6+ (53. Ke2 Rh3 54. Rxd6+ Ke5 55. Rc6 Rxh2+ 56. Kd3 Kxd5 57. Rc8 c2
$19) 53... Ke5 54. Rd8 (54. Rc6 Kxd5) 54... Rd2+ 55. Ke3 Rxh2 $19) (47. Rxc3
Rg1+ $1) 47... c2 48. Kf2 Rh1 {Taking the pawn on a2 is met with Rxh2+ and
Rxe2, so White resigned.} 0-1
[Event "Grand Prix 2017"]
[Site "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Date "2017.11.24"]
[Round "8.1"]
[White "Gelfand, Boris"]
[Black "Radjabov, Teimour"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E18"]
[WhiteElo "2719"]
[BlackElo "2741"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "96"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 {In a do-or-die game Radjabov would definitely go for the sharp KID,
right?} 2. c4 e6 {Oh, OK, it should be the Benoni then?} 3. Nf3 b6 {Most
likely Gelfand expected the QGD, which Radjabov had played more or less
regularly. Nope, it is the other fianchetto! The QID, that Radjabov has tried
only once, but in a very fresh game.} 4. g3 ({The very fresh game that I
mentioned is from the just finished ETCC where the Azerbaijani players won the
gold. It went} 4. e3 Bb7 5. Bd3 d5 6. cxd5 exd5 7. O-O Bd6 {and later Radjabov
managed to outplay his opponent, Hamitevici,V (2519)-Radjabov,T (2741)
Heraklio 2017}) 4... Bb7 5. Bg2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Ne4 {Gelfand has played
six official game against this line.} 8. Bd2 Nxd2 {But none has ever captured
his bishop at this stage of the game.} ({The main moves are} 8... f5) ({And}
8... Bf6) 9. Qxd2 d6 10. Rad1 ({Another game at the same ETCC that took place
in Crete a couple of weeks ago saw} 10. Qc2 g6 11. b4 Bf6 12. Rfd1 Bg7 13. e3
Qe7 14. a4 c5 15. dxc5 dxc5 16. b5 a5 $1 {and Black was doing fine in Kuzubov,
Y (2690)-Sanal,V (2549) Heraklio 2017}) 10... Nd7 11. Rfe1 c5 12. e4 a6 13. d5
$146 {A novelty.} ({In comparison to} 13. e5 Bxf3 14. Bxf3 cxd4 15. Qxd4 Nxe5
16. Bxa8 Qxa8 17. Rxe5 dxe5 18. Qxb6 Qc8 {with approximate equality, Moroni,L
(2448)-Romanov,E (2636) Llucmajor 2017}) 13... e5 {Now an old QID pawn
structure arises. The question is who is going to attack the center first? Is
it going to be White with timely b2-b4 and/or f2-f4 or Black with the similar
pawn breaks?} 14. b3 g6 15. Rf1 {Prepares the next maneuver.} Bc8 ({If the
game was not that imporatnt for the qualification Black would have most likely
chosen} 15... b5 {with the possible line} 16. cxb5 axb5 17. Nxb5 Ba6 18. a4
Bxb5 19. axb5 Qa5 20. Qd3 Rfb8 {and eventual draw.}) 16. Ne1 Rb8 {Black still
wants to carry out b6-b5.} 17. a4 f5 {Or this one too.} 18. f4 {The situation
is heating up.} exf4 19. gxf4 fxe4 20. Nxe4 {More or less forced.} ({The other
capture passes the initiative into Black's hands:} 20. Bxe4 Nf6 21. Bg2 Nh5 22.
Nd3 Bf6 {followed by Bf6-d4+, Qd8-h4 and why not mate with Nh5-g3!}) 20... b5
21. a5 {Doubled-edged and correct pawn sacrifice!} ({Black takes over the
initiative after:} 21. axb5 axb5 22. Rc1 bxc4 23. bxc4 Rb3) 21... bxc4 22. bxc4
Rb4 {The pawn on a5 is doomed, but this will require the efforts of two of the
major black pieces. While away, they will leave the kingside opened...} 23. Rc1
Nf6 ({The immediate capture} 23... Qxa5 {seems less accuratedue to} 24. Nd3 Ra4
25. Qe3 Ra2 ({Now} 25... Qd8 {will be met with} 26. f5 $1 ({But not} 26. Nxd6
$4 Bxd6 27. Qe6+ Kg7 28. Qxd6 Rf6 {and the queen is trapped!}) 26... gxf5 27.
Nxd6 Bxd6 28. Qe6+ Kh8 29. Qxd6 {with strong initiative for the pawn.}) 26. f5
$1 {The same idea again. White needs the opponent's king opened. After} gxf5
27. Nc3 Ra3 28. Qxe7 Rxc3 29. Nf4 {the attack looks very dangerous.}) 24. Ng5
Qxa5 {Now is better.} 25. Nd3 Ra4 26. Qe3 {But White still has compensation
for the pawn. Mainly because he can use teh light squares for the atatck.} Qd8
({The computer suggests} 26... Re8 {instead but this makes little sense to the
human being who knows he needs more pieces into the defense.}) 27. Rce1 Bf5 $1
{Blocks the dangerous pawn and thus the f1 rook.} (27... Re8 {is too dangerous
due to} 28. f5 $1 gxf5 29. Ne6 Bxe6 30. Qxe6+ Kh8 31. Rxf5) 28. Bh3 $1 {
Gelfand understands that he needs to remove the key defender to be successful.}
({Instead} 28. Qxe7 $2 {woulds have most likely lost after} Qxe7 29. Rxe7 Bxd3
{White's chances are connected with the middlegame and mate.}) ({Also bad
would have been} 28. Ne6 $6 {when Radjabov would happily sacrifice the
exchange with} Qc8 $1 29. Nxf8 Bxf8 {In return for the attack. Now in order to
keep the fire of the assault White needs to go for extreme measures with} 30.
Ne5 $3 {With complete mess.} ({Calm play favors Black who has the bishop pair
and the safer king after} 30. Nb2 Rb4 31. Qe2 Rb3 ({Or} 31... Bg7)) 30... dxe5
31. fxe5 Ng4 32. Qg3 {With the idea} Rxc4 33. h3 Nh6 ({Black may also try to
take over the initiative with} 33... Rd4 $5 34. hxg4 Rxg4 35. Qc3 c4 36. d6 h5)
34. e6 $1) 28... Nxd5 $1 {A powerful defensive resource. Radjabov trades the
active white pieces.} (28... Bxh3 $2 {would have most likely lost after} 29.
Qxh3 Re8 30. Qe6+ Kg7 31. Qf7+ Kh8 32. Ne6 {and wins.}) 29. cxd5 Bxg5 30. Bxf5
{Now it is all forced.} ({Safer was} 30. fxg5 Re4 31. Qg3 Rxe1 32. Nxe1 Bxh3
33. Rxf8+ Kxf8 34. Qxh3 Qxg5+ {when the draw should be the most likely result.
In comparison to the game Gelfand will have a queen instead of a rook, and the
queens are famous for delivering perpetual checks on their own.}) 30... Rxf5
31. Qe6+ Kg7 32. fxg5 Qxg5+ 33. Kh1 Ra2 {For the piece Black has three pawns.
He can hardly lose. But can he win?} 34. Qe7+ ({Attention!} 34. Rg1 $4 {
would be mate after} Rxh2+ 35. Kxh2 Qh4+ 36. Kg2 Qg4+ 37. Kh2 Rh5#) ({However,
keeping the queen on the board was once again best} 34. Qe4 $1 {when the game
should most likely end in a draw as active moves like} Qd2 {would allow
perpetual after} 35. Qe7+ Kh6 36. Qh4+) 34... Qxe7 35. Rxe7+ Kf8 $1 ({Not}
35... Kh6 $2 36. Rxf5 gxf5 37. Re6+ {and it is White who plays for the win.})
36. Ree1 ({Worse is} 36. Rxf5+ Kxe7) 36... Rxf1+ 37. Rxf1+ Ke7 38. Re1+ {
In time trouble Gelfand misses the best chance to co-ordinate his pieces.} ({
Strong was the sudden retreat} 38. Nf2 $1 {when White should safe the half
point after} Rd2 ({Or} 38... a5 39. Re1+ Kd7 40. Ne4 Rb2 41. Nf6+ Kc7 42. Ne8+
Kd7 43. Nf6+ {in this like the knight and the rook were perfectly co-ordinated.
}) 39. Kg2 Rxd5 40. Ra1 {without the a-pawn Black's winning chances are not
that great.}) 38... Kd7 39. Re3 a5 {This pawn is headache.} 40. Rh3 h5 41. Nf4
a4 42. Nxg6 a3 43. Rf3 {Now White loses.} ({the last chance was} 43. Nf8+ $1
Kc7 44. Rb3 c4 45. Ne6+ Kc8 46. Rc3 {with possible draw.}) 43... c4 $1 {
No rush!} (43... Ra1+ {would ahve let the win slip away-} 44. Kg2 a2 45. Rf7+
Kd8 46. Ra7 c4 47. Ne7 c3 48. Nc6+ Ke8 49. Nb4 Rb1 50. Nxa2 Ra1 51. Kf3 c2 52.
Rc7 Rxa2 53. Ke4 {and darw as teh black king does not participate into the
game.}) 44. Nf4 ({Here} 44. Rf7+ {does not help as the king escapes after} Kd8
45. Rf8+ Kc7) 44... Ra1+ 45. Kg2 a2 46. Ra3 c3 $1 {The pawns are unstoppable.}
47. Ne2 ({After} 47. Rxc3 Rg1+ 48. Kxg1 a1=Q+ {White loses also he rook.})
47... c2 48. Kf2 ({Or} 48. Kh3 Re1 49. Rxa2 Rxe2 50. Ra1 Kc7) 48... Rh1 {
An monstrous game by Radjabov! And an epic comeback!} (48... Rh1 {Gelfand
resigned due to the line:} 49. Rxa2 Rxh2+ 50. Kg3 {or anywhere else} Rxe2) 0-1
[Event "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Site "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Date "2017.11.25"]
[Round "9.1"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Jakovenko, Dmitry"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C54"]
[WhiteElo "2796"]
[BlackElo "2721"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "88"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 {The best way to play for a win is to avoid the
Berlin. At least for now...} Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 a6 6. O-O d6 7. a4 {
Vachier-Lagrave used this line successfully in Tbilisi at the World Cup. It
helped him knock out Grischuk and to torture Svidler. Perhaps the former had
some influence on the Frenchman's opening choice as he was trying to surpass
exactly Grischuk in the Grand Prix overall standings.} Ba7 ({In Tbilisi the
Russian Grandmasters were choosing:} 7... h6 8. Re1 O-O 9. h3 a5 10. Nbd2 Be6
11. Bb5 Ne7 (11... Na7 12. d4 exd4 13. cxd4 Bb4 14. Bd3 d5 15. e5 {Vachier
Lagrave,M (2804)-Svidler,P (2751) Tbilisi 2017}) 12. d4 exd4 13. Nxd4 Ng6 14.
N2f3 {Vachier Lagrave,M (2804)-Grischuk,A (2783) Tbilisi 2017}) 8. Re1 O-O 9.
h3 h6 10. Nbd2 {White has the usual minimal advantage from the opening, but
will it be good enough for the win?} Re8 11. b4 Ne7 {Shifting the knight to
the kingside.} 12. Qb3 ({There is nobody to attack on the queenside now.} 12.
b5 $6 axb5 {Moreover, White has to be careful} 13. axb5 $2 Bxf2+) 12... Rf8 13.
d4 exd4 14. cxd4 d5 {One of the points behind the knight retreat on e7.} 15.
exd5 $146 {A novelty in comparion to:} ({The predecessor:} 15. Bd3 dxe4 16.
Nxe4 Nxe4 17. Bxe4 c6 {Urbanik,L (1993)-Zsitva,N (1838) Namestovo 2017}) 15...
Nexd5 {Vachier-Lagrave isolated his central pawn but his pieces got access to
some juicy squares. However, Black can be optimistic as long as he can hold on
to the blockading d5 square.} 16. b5 ({The other idea was to try and lift the
central blockade with} 16. Ne4 {Now} Nxe4 ({However, after the solid} 16... Nb6
$1 17. Bd3 Be6 18. Qa3 Nxe4 19. Bxe4 Nd5 {Black manages to keep control the
situation.}) 17. Bxd5 Nf6 18. Bc4 {Looks good for White. For example very
risky is:} Bxd4 ({Or} 18... c6 19. b5 {when White definitely has pressure.})
19. Nxd4 Qxd4 20. Bb2 Qf4 21. Re3 {with strong kingside innitiative.}) 16...
Be6 ({More precise seems} 16... axb5 17. axb5 Be6 {the lesser pawns on the
queenside, the easier the draw.}) 17. bxa6 bxa6 18. Ba3 Re8 19. Ne5 {Vachier's
play is very aggressive and to the point where Jakovenko has to find only
moves.} Nf4 $1 ({Wrong was} 19... Bb6 20. a5 $1) ({Even worse is} 19... Bxd4 $2
20. Nc6) 20. Ndf3 {Very natural move. But was it the best?} ({It seems as} 20.
Nc6 $1 {was giving more chances. After} Qd7 21. Qf3 {Is a key move in White's
attack. Then} Bxc4 (21... Bxd4 {might transpose after} 22. Rad1 Bxc4 23. Nxc4
Rxe1+ 24. Rxe1) ({If} 21... N4d5 22. Nxa7 Rxa7 23. Nb3 {is serious advantage
for White.}) ({The other knight retreat also looks great for White-} 21... Ng6
22. Bxe6 fxe6 (22... Rxe6 $2 23. Ne7+ {drops the rook on a8.}) 23. Qc3) 22.
Nxc4 Bxd4 23. Rad1 Rxe1+ 24. Rxe1 {leads to a position where besides the loose
pieces, the black rook does not have a move! The only chance is} Bxf2+ (24...
N4d5 {is impossible due to} 25. Nxd4) 25. Qxf2 Nxh3+ 26. gxh3 Qxc6 {with three
pawns for the piece, but Black still needs to prove the draw.}) 20... Bxc4 21.
Qxc4 Qd5 $1 {Jakovenko is known for his defensive skills. This move is once
again best. The endgame is unpleasant, but is Black's best try.} 22. Qxd5 (22.
Qxc7 $2 Bxd4 {lets the black pieces out.}) 22... N6xd5 23. Nc6 {As before the
wite pieces are more active but they are getting less and less.} ({Or the
immediate} 23. g3 {with the idea} Nxh3+ (23... Ne6 24. Nc6) ({Black would have
most likely reverted to the game with} 23... Ng6 24. Nc6) 24. Kg2 Ng5 25. Nxg5
hxg5 26. Nc6) 23... Rxe1+ 24. Rxe1 a5 $1 {Another only move. The idea is to
secure the b6 square for the bishop, thus to allow the rook to come out.} (
24... Bb6 $2 {would be strongly met with} 25. a5) 25. g3 (25. Nxa5 $2 {fails to
} Bxd4) 25... Ng6 ({Much worse was} 25... Nxh3+ $2 26. Kg2 Ng5 27. Nxg5 hxg5
28. Re5 {when White should be winning.}) 26. Nxa7 Rxa7 27. Re8+ Kh7 28. h4 Rb7
29. Nd2 {Now the position completely dries.} ({The last slim chance to play
for the win was} 29. Bc5 {Although here too Black should survive either with}
Rb3 ({Or} 29... Nb6 30. Bxb6 cxb6 31. h5 Ne7) 30. Nd2 Rb2 31. Nc4 Ra2 32. h5
Nh8 {The knight is eagly but the pawn are few...} 33. Nxa5 Rxa4 34. Nc6 Nf6 35.
Re7 Nxh5 36. Rxc7 Nf6) 29... Nc3 30. h5 ({Or} 30. Nc4 Nxa4 31. Nxa5) 30... Nh8
31. Nc4 Nxa4 32. Ne5 (32. Nxa5 {is a draw again.}) 32... Nb6 33. Bc5 a4 {
I was not watching the game live and do not know what happened here. Perhaps
White lost on time? Or was his resignation a result of frustration? Or
something else? Our man there will clarify, thanks MIke!} (33... a4 {It should
be a draw after the forcing:} 34. Nc6 Nd7 35. Ra8 Nxc5 36. dxc5 Rb5 37. Ne5
Rxc5 38. Nd7 Rxh5 39. Nf8+) 34. d5 {[A note that the game did not end, but we
hardly blame our annotator -- the transmission blockages and in this case
errors have become well known in Agon-run events.]} f6 35. Nc6 Nd7 36. Bd4 Rb5
37. Nd8 $2 Rb8 {The pin is deadly. MVL flails about trying for something, but
there's nothing -- M.K.} 38. Bb2 Rxb2 39. Ne6 a3 40. Re7 Nf7 41. Rxf7 a2 42.
Rxg7+ Kh8 43. Rxd7 a1=Q+ 44. Kg2 Qe1 {There is no perpetual since the Black
king can slither via the light squares to safety, so it's time to call it a
day.} 0-1
[Event "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Site "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Date "2017.11.25"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Aronian, Levon"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2780"]
[BlackElo "2801"]
[Annotator "A. Silver"]
[PlyCount "86"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. c3
d5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. Rxe5 c6 12. Re1 Bd6 13. d3 Bf5 14. Qf3 Qh4
15. g3 Qh3 16. Bxd5 {[#]} Bg4 $146 {The novelty. It is interesting this
zwischenzug had never been played before, at least no record exists in Mega
2018.} (16... cxd5 {was played in the 122 previous games in the database.} 17.
Qxd5 Rad8 18. Qg2 Qxg2+ (18... Qh5 19. Be3 Bh3 20. Qh1 f5 21. Bb6 Rd7 22. Qd5+
Kh8 23. Nd2 Bxg3 24. Qxd7 Bf4 25. Qc6 Bxd2 26. Bc5 Rg8 27. Qd5 Bf4 28. Re3 Bxe3
29. fxe3 Qe2 30. Bd4 h6 31. b3 Kh7 32. Qb7 Kg6 33. Qxa6+ Kh5 34. Qc6 Rc8 35.
Qb7 Re8 36. Qf7+ g6 {0-1 (36) Paravyan,D (2525)-Swiercz,D (2645) Moscow 2017})
19. Kxg2 Bxd3 20. Be3 Rfe8 21. Nd2 b4 22. Rad1 bxc3 23. bxc3 {1/2-1/2 (41)
Almasi,Z (2689)-Tomashevsky,E (2743) Reykjavik 2015}) 17. Qg2 cxd5 18. Qxh3
Bxh3 19. Be3 {Granted Black still has a development edge and pressure on the
White squares, but with no queens on board or mate threats, it is hard to
understand why Black would enter this line willingly.} Bf5 20. d4 Rfe8 ({
The back rank pressure isn't really serious, so why not play the minority
attack with} 20... Rfc8 {with the idea of ...b4?}) 21. Nd2 f6 22. Bf4 Bf8 23.
Nf1 Rxe1 24. Rxe1 Rc8 25. f3 Kf7 26. Bd2 h5 27. Ne3 Be6 28. f4 Bd6 29. f5 Bd7
30. Rf1 $36 {White has some pressure.} Re8 31. Rf2 Bc6 32. Ng2 b4 33. cxb4 Bb5
{Black is down two pawns now, but in exchange has a ton of activity. Even if
it is not quite enough compensation objectively, the practical problems for
White extricate himelf from it are not to be underestimated.} 34. Rf3 Re2 {[#]}
35. Bc3 $1 Ke8 36. Rf2 Kd7 37. Nh4 (37. a3 $16) ({Usually the wisdom is to
exchange pieces when ahead in pawns, but here after} 37. Rxe2 Bxe2 38. Kf2 Bd3
39. Ne3 Be4 {White had very little. Ex:} 40. h3 Kc6 41. g4 Kb5 42. gxh5 (42.
Nf1 Bb1 43. a3 hxg4 44. hxg4 Bc2 45. Kg2 Bf4 46. Ng3 Bh6) 42... Bf4 43. h4
Bxe3+ 44. Kxe3 Bxf5 {and White is cut off.} 45. Kf4 Bc2 46. h6 gxh6 47. Kg4
Bd1+ 48. Kf5 h5) 37... Kc6 38. a3 Re8 39. Kg2 Be2 40. Nf3 {White's only ace up
his sleeve is the trap threatening Ne5+! Aronian sees this easily and
sidesteps it.} Bd3 ({To illustrate, if Black played} 40... Re7 $2 {White would
have the winning trick} 41. Ne5+ $1 fxe5 42. dxe5 Bg4 43. exd6 Rf7 $18 {
and now those extra pawns are fatal.}) 41. Ne1 Be2 42. Nf3 {A last try.} Bd3 {
No dice so White accedes to the draw.} 43. Ne1 Be2 1/2-1/2
[Event "FIDE Grand Prix Palma de Mallorca"]
[Site "Palma de Mallorca, Spain"]
[Date "2017.11.22"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Jakovenko, Dmitry"]
[Result "0-1"]
[Annotator "GM Elshan Moradiabadi"]
[PlyCount "88"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
{In what was probably the most important game of MVL's career to this point,
he needed to beat the solid Jakovenko!} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3
Nf6 5. d3 a6 6. O-O d6 7. a4 Ba7 $5 {The Russian's approach to Anand's a4!} 8.
Re1 (8. Na3 {would have been my choice but proabably the two super GMs had
this prepared till the end so MVL chose a line that keeps more pieces on the
board and avoids early exchanges.} h6 9. Nc2 O-O 10. Be3 Bxe3 (10... Ne7 $6 11.
Bxa7 Rxa7 12. Ne3 c6 13. Qc2 $14) 11. Nxe3 Be6 12. Bxe6 fxe6 13. a5 (13. b4 Qe8
{does not seem to offer whole lot}) 13... d5 14. Qb3 Qd6 15. exd5 exd5 16. c4
Kh7 17. Nxd5 Rad8 18. Qxb7 Nxd5 19. cxd5 Qxd5 20. Rac1 Rd6 21. Nd2 Rg6 22. Ne4
Qxd3 23. Ng3 Nd4 24. Rc3 Ne2+ 25. Nxe2 Qxe2 26. Re3 Qd2 27. Qe4 Qxb2 28. Rg3
Rff6 29. Rxg6 Rxg6 30. g3 Qd4 31. Qf5 Qd5 32. Re1 Qxa5 33. Rxe5 Qa1+ 34. Kg2
Qc1 35. h4 Qc6+ 36. Kg1 Qf6 37. Qe4 Qc6 38. Qd3 Kh8 39. Qd8+ Kh7 40. Qd3 Kh8
41. Qd8+ Kh7 42. Qd3 {1/2-1/2 (42) Adams,M (2761)-Eljanov,P (2751) Shamkir 2017
}) 8... O-O 9. h3 (9. Nbd2 Ng4 10. Re2 Kh8 11. h3 f5 {would not be so much fun
at all! Especially when you are desperate for a win!} 12. exf5 Nxf2 13. Rxf2
Bxf2+ 14. Kxf2 d5 15. Bb3 Bxf5 16. Kg1 Bxd3 17. Ne1 Bg6 18. Ndf3 e4 19. Nh2 Ne7
20. Be3 Qd6 21. Nc2 Rad8 22. Qd2 c5 23. Rd1 h6 24. Ng4 Bh5 25. Ba2 a5 26. Qe1
Be8 27. b3 b6 28. Bf2 Bh5 29. Bh4 Rd7 30. b4 axb4 31. cxb4 d4 32. Nce3 Bxg4 33.
hxg4 Ng6 34. Bg3 Qf6 35. Nf5 e3 36. bxc5 bxc5 37. Qe2 Ne5 38. Bb1 Rfd8 39. Bxe5
Qxe5 40. Nh4 Qg5 41. Ng6+ Kg8 42. Qc4+ Rd5 43. Be4 Qxg4 44. Bxd5+ Kh7 45. Qd3 {
1-0 (45) Topalov,V (2761)-Nakamura,H (2787) Leuven 2016}) 9... h6 10. Nbd2 Re8
{The most solid line.} (10... Ne7 11. Nf1 (11. Bb3 {was played twice by MVL
himself.} Ng6 12. d4 Re8 13. Bc2 Bd7 14. a5 c6 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Nc4 Qe7 17.
Qd6 Qxd6 18. Nxd6 Re6 19. Rd1 Rb8 20. Kf1 Re7 21. Nc4 Rbe8 22. b3 Be6 23. Nb6
Bxb6 24. axb6 Rd7 25. Be3 Rc8 26. c4 Rxd1+ 27. Rxd1 c5 28. Ne1 Nd7 29. Nd3 f6
30. Ra1 Ne7 31. Ke2 Kf7 32. Kd2 f5 33. f4 exf4 34. Nxf4 g5 35. Nxe6 Kxe6 36.
exf5+ Nxf5 37. Bg1 Nd4 38. Re1+ Kf6 39. Rf1+ Ke7 40. Re1+ Kd8 41. Be4 Nxb3+ 42.
Kc3 Nd4 43. Bh2 {1-0 (43) Vachier Lagrave,M (2791)-So,W (2810) Saint Louis 2017
}) 11... Ng6 12. Ba2 Re8 13. Ng3 Be6 14. Bxe6 Rxe6 15. d4 Qd7 16. Be3 Ree8 17.
dxe5 dxe5 18. Bxa7 Rxa7 19. Qxd7 Nxd7 20. Rad1 Nc5 21. a5 Raa8 22. b4 Na4 23.
Ne2 Rad8 24. Kf1 f6 25. g3 Ne7 26. Rd2 Rxd2 27. Nxd2 Rd8 28. Nc4 Rd3 29. Rc1
Nc8 30. Ke1 b5 31. axb6 cxb6 32. Rd1 Rxd1+ 33. Kxd1 Kf7 34. Kc2 Ke6 35. Ne3 Nd6
36. f3 b5 37. Nc1 Nc4 38. Nf5 Kf7 39. g4 Nab6 40. Nb3 Nd7 41. Kd3 Nb2+ 42. Kc2
Nc4 43. Kd3 Nb2+ 44. Kc2 Nc4 {1/2-1/2 (44) Giri,A (2782)-Caruana,F (2804)
Leuven 2016}) 11. b4 Ne7 $5 {An interesting idea.} 12. Qb3 {So Black loses a
tempo but how good is the queen on b3?} Rf8 13. d4 exd4 {the typical reaction.}
14. cxd4 d5 15. exd5 Nexd5 16. b5 Be6 $6 {A serious inaccuracy.} (16... axb5
17. axb5 Be6 {seems reasonably more solid! I do not know why Jakovenko chose
such a provocative move.}) 17. bxa6 bxa6 18. Ba3 Re8 19. Ne5 Nf4 {[#] Here
comes the moment of truth!} 20. Ndf3 $6 {A poor practical decision.} (20. Nc6
Qd7 21. Qf3 {is rather artificial but poses more problems.} Bxd4 22. Rad1 Bxc4
23. Nxc4 Rxe1+ 24. Rxe1 {what else?} Bxf2+ 25. Qxf2 Nxh3+ 26. gxh3 Qxc6 27. Qg2
Qxg2+ 28. Kxg2 {Good or bad MVL should have gone for this endgame!}) (20. Ndf3
Bxc4 21. Qxc4 Qd5 22. Qxd5 N4xd5 23. a5 Nc3 24. Bb2 Nb5 25. Nc6 Nd5 26. Rac1
Rxe1+ 27. Nxe1 Re8 28. Kf1 Re6 29. g3 h5 30. Nf3 f6 31. Ne1 g5 32. Nd3 Rd6 33.
Kg2 Re6 34. Rc2 Rd6 35. h4 g4 36. Rc4 Re6 37. Kf1 Nd6 38. Rc1 Nb5 39. Nxa7 Nxa7
40. Nc5 Rd6) 20... Bxc4 21. Qxc4 Qd5 $1 {And Black equalizes easily. MVL tries
some tricks but the position remains close to equal until Jakovenko starts
making inaccuracies.} 22. Qxd5 N6xd5 23. Nc6 Rxe1+ (23... Re2 $1 {makes more
sense.} 24. Kf1 Rc2 25. Rac1 Rxc1 26. Rxc1 a5 $1 {equalizes.}) 24. Rxe1 a5 25.
g3 $1 {Now MVL has a tangible initiative. The e-file is very important and
Jakovenko has been neglecting it.} Ng6 26. Nxa7 Rxa7 27. Re8+ Kh7 28. h4 $1 {
Let's go to the Candidates! Just not yet!} Rb7 29. Nd2 $6 (29. Bc5 Rb3 30. Nd2
{would have posed a lot of difficulties for Black.}) 29... Nc3 30. h5 Nh8 {
an awkward square but the knight will come back to the game soon. Without the
a4-pawn White's hopes to win this game would be close to zero!} 31. Nc4 Nxa4
32. Ne5 Nb6 33. Bc5 a4 {It is time to make a draw but MVL goes all in. He has
never been this close to making it to the Candidates so his choice, regardless
of its incorrectness, is praiseworthy. Any great player would have tried this
regardless of the result!} 34. d5 $2 {Now the position is bad for White but
still manageable.} f6 35. Nc6 Nd7 $2 {gives back White some hope after he had
given up!} (35... Nxd5 36. Nd4 Nf7 37. Ra8 {is better for Black but still very
tenacious.}) 36. Bd4 Rb5 37. Nd8 $4 {A terrible blunder} (37. d6 cxd6 38. Re7
Ne5 39. Bxe5 dxe5 40. Ra7 {should still be a draw.}) 37... Rb8 $1 {A deadly
pin! The game and fate of the Candidates is sealed now.} 38. Bb2 Rxb2 39. Ne6
a3 40. Re7 Nf7 $1 {No miracle this time!} 41. Rxf7 a2 42. Rxg7+ Kh8 43. Rxd7
a1=Q+ 44. Kg2 Qe1 {There is no perpetual! White resigned. MVL fought hard but
a few misses prevented him from scoring the much needed win! I am sure we will
see MVL in the coming Candidates cycles soon! Just not this time!} 0-1
[Event "London Chess Classic"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.12.01"]
[Round "1.4"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A08"]
[WhiteElo "2781"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "87"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 c5 4. O-O g6 5. d4 ({Aronian reached the
Fianchettoe Gruenfeld in a slightly unusual way:} 5. c3 Bg7 6. d4 cxd4 7. cxd4
O-O 8. Nc3 Ne4 {Aronian,L (2799)-Anand,V (2783) Saint Louis 2017}) 5... cxd4 6.
Nxd4 Bg7 7. Nb3 Nc6 8. Nc3 e6 9. e4 d4 10. Na4 O-O 11. c3 dxc3 12. Nxc3 e5 $146
{This logical move is a novelty. Anand opens his light-squared bishop at once.}
({Instead,} 12... Qe7 13. Be3 Rd8 14. Qe2 Nd7 15. Rfd1 b6 {could have brought
Black troubles had his opponent have dared to play} 16. e5 ({Instead} 16. Nd4
Nxd4 17. Bxd4 Bxd4 18. Rxd4 Bb7 {allowed Black a chance to slowly equalize,
Gasthofer,A (2440)-Golod,V (2554) Zuerich 2004})) 13. Be3 {The position is
symmetrical but as White moves first he can claim a slight advantage.} ({
Somewhat trickier is to provoke h7-h6 first with} 13. Bg5 h6 ({The endgame
after} 13... Qxd1 14. Rfxd1 h6 15. Be3 b6 16. Rac1 {is unpleasant for White.})
14. Be3 Bg4 {So that} 15. Qc1 {comes now with a tempo.}) (13. Nd5 {leads
doesn't get White anyhere after} Nxd5 14. exd5 Nd4) 13... Bg4 14. f3 Be6 15.
Nc5 {Nakamura uses the tempo to gain the bishop pair.} ({After} 15. Qe2 b6 {
Black covers the vital c5 point.}) 15... Qe7 16. Nxe6 Qxe6 17. Qd2 ({The
computer's suggestion is:} 17. Rf2 Rfd8 18. Qf1 {when the bishop can go to h3.}
) 17... Rfd8 18. Qf2 {White's position looks promising. He intends h2-h4
followed by f3-f4. If this happens, he would slowly but surely open the
diagonals for his bishops and crush the opponent.} Bf8 $1 {A strong maneuver
by the former world champion! The bishop move discourages the f-pawn advance
and creates play on the queenside.} ({After} 18... Nd4 19. h3 {White would
proceed with the above-mentioned plan.}) 19. h3 Bb4 20. Rac1 ({Bad was} 20. f4
exf4 21. gxf4 Bxc3 22. bxc3 Nxe4) 20... Rd3 {The counterplay that Anand
initiated keeps the white pieces away. Nakamura needs to trade at least one of
the active black rooks.} 21. Rfd1 Rad8 22. Rxd3 Rxd3 23. Bf1 Rd8 24. a3 Be7 (
24... Bxc3 {gives the second bishop prematurely} 25. Rxc3 Nd4 26. Kg2 {and
White can be optimistic about the future.}) 25. g4 {Aggressive, but probably
not best.} ({Once again} 25. f4 {is premature due to} exf4 26. Qxf4 Bd6) ({
If White prepares the advance with} 25. Bg2 {then the rook comes back} Rd3 26.
f4 exf4 27. gxf4 $5 {and} Bd8 {Creates the threat Rd3xe3 followed by Bd8-b6.})
({Please note that the greedy} 25. Bxa7 $2 Nxa7 26. Qxa7 Rd2 {would lead to a
huge attack for Black on the weakened dark squares. Here is a curious line:}
27. Rb1 Qc8 28. Kh1 Bc5 29. Qa4 Nh5 30. Ne2 Rxe2 31. Bxe2 Qxh3#) ({From the
above-mentioned lines it becomes clear that the prophylactical move} 25. Kh2 $5
{might have been White's best. He keeps his options opened, for example} Kg7
26. Nb5 $5 a6 27. Bc4 Qd7 28. Nc3 {with an edge.}) 25... Kg7 26. Kh2 h6 $1 {
Another excellent defensive move.} 27. h4 (27. Nb5 Nh7 28. h4 Qd7 {followed by
Nh7-f8-e6 and then one of the black knights will land on d4.}) ({Once more} 27.
Bxa7 $2 {is bad due to} Nxa7 28. Qxa7 Rd2+) 27... Nd4 {The knight is great in
the center and creates various threats.} 28. g5 {Nakamura forces matters.} ({
One idea behind the centralized knight is demonstrated by the line:} 28. Rd1
Nxf3+ 29. Qxf3 Nxg4+ 30. Kg3 Nxe3 31. Qxe3 Rxd1 32. Nxd1 Qf6 {when Black will
win third pawn for the piece.}) 28... hxg5 29. hxg5 Nh7 30. Bh3 Qb3 31. f4 {
But after the cool:} Nc6 {it transpires that White had only weakened himself.}
32. Nd5 (32. f5 $2 Bxg5) 32... exf4 33. Bxf4 Bxg5 ({The other capture was good
as well:} 33... Nxg5 {Then the forcing line} 34. Rc3 Qb5 35. Bf1 {seems
winning for White but there is} (35. Nxe7 Nxe7) 35... Qa4 36. Nxe7 Rh8+ $1 {
A super-important intermediate check and the white king does not have a good
square.} 37. Kg1 (37. Kg3 $4 Nxe4+) (37. Kg2 $2 Qxe4+) 37... Qxe4 38. Bg2 Qxe7
{Winning a second pawn. Whether it's it a win after} 39. Qe3 {is another story.
}) 34. Bxg5 Nxg5 35. Qf6+ Kh6 {The king is in danger, but how to reach it?} 36.
Bg2 ({There was a beautiful draw instead after} 36. Rc3 Qxb2+ 37. Bg2 Ne5 38.
Rh3+ Nxh3 39. Qh4+ Kg7 40. Qf6+ Kh7 41. Qh4+ Kg8 42. Qxd8+) 36... Nh7 37. Qxf7
Rf8 {A solid choice.} ({It seems as Black will get checkmated after} 37... Qxb2
38. Rh1 Rf8 39. Kg3+ {But after the only move} Kg5 {There is neither mate, nor
salvation. Say:} 40. Qxh7 $2 Qe5+ 41. Kh3 Rh8) 38. Qc7 ({Once again there was
a draw after} 38. Rc3 $5 Qxc3 39. Qxf8+ Nxf8 40. Nxc3) 38... Qxb2 39. Rh1 {
This was Nakamura's idea, but} Qf2 {Keeps the king immobile. Thus the
checkmate with the rook is not going to happen today.} 40. Kh3 {Another try.}
Rf7 {The king is finally safe!} 41. Qg3 Qb2 {Surprisingly this leads to a draw.
} ({Also draw there will be after} 41... Ng5+ 42. Kg4+ Kg7 43. Qh2 $1 Qe2+ 44.
Kxg5 Qd2+ 45. Kg4 Qe2+) ({However Anand could have played on in an endgame up
a pawn after both} 41... Qxg3+ 42. Kxg3+ Kg5) ({Or} 41... Kg7 42. Qxf2 Rxf2 43.
Rb1 Rf7) 42. Ne3 $1 {Excellent co-ordination!} Nf6 43. Bf3 Kh7 ({Or} 43... Ne5
44. Rh2 ({Moves can be transposed} 44. Nf5+ gxf5 45. Rh2) 44... Qa1 45. Nf5+ {
with a draw after} Kh7 (45... gxf5 $4 {is mate after} 46. Kg2+ Nh5 47. Rxh5#)
46. Kg2+ Kg8 47. Nh6+ Kg7 48. Nxf7 Qa2+ 49. Kh3 Qe6+) 44. Nf5 {They agreed to
draw. The lines are similar to the line from above:} (44. Nf5 Ne5 (44... gxf5
45. Rh2 Qxh2+ 46. Kxh2 fxe4 {Stockfish 210617 64:} 47. Bg2 Nd4 48. Kh3 Nc6 49.
a4 Rg7 50. Qh4+ Kg6 51. Bxe4+ Nxe4 52. Qxe4+ Kf6 53. Qf4+ Ke7 54. Qc7+ Kf6 55.
Qd6+ Kf5 56. Qf8+ Kg6 57. Kg4 Ne5+ 58. Kg3 b6 59. Qf4 Nd3 60. Qd4 Nc5 61. Kf3
Rf7+ 62. Kg2 Rg7 63. a5 Ne6 64. Qb4 bxa5 65. Qxa5 Kf6+ 66. Kf2 Rd7 67. Qa4 Rg7
68. Kf1 Rg5 {[%eval 33,32]}) 45. Rh2 Qa1 46. Kg2+ Kg8 47. Nh6+ Kg7 48. Nxf7)
1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.12.03"]
[Round "2.2"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B78"]
[WhiteElo "2789"]
[BlackElo "2781"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "93"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 {It is a nice coincidence
that the two players who revived the Dragon back in 1995 are in London. One is
still playing and the other is a guest of honor. You guessed it right, they
are Vishy Anand and Garry Kasparov.The latter used the Dragon as a secret
weapon to turn the match into his favor. And Nakamura, who has trained with
Kasparov in the past, knows a thing or two about it...} 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8.
Qd2 Nc6 9. Bc4 Bd7 10. h4 h5 11. Bb3 Rc8 12. O-O-O Ne5 13. Bg5 Rc5 14. Kb1 Re8
15. g4 $5 ({Speaking about Kasparov's influence, here is another game of a
player who was working with him:} 15. Bh6 a5 16. a4 Qb6 17. g4 Rxc3 18. bxc3
Nxf3 19. Nxf3 Nxe4 20. Qd3 Nxc3+ 21. Kc1 Bxh6+ 22. Ng5 Bg7 {actually these two
are also in London, Karjakin,S (2771)-Carlsen,M (2881) Dubai 2014}) 15... hxg4
16. f4 Nc4 17. Qd3 Na5 {All theory and now Vachier-Lagrave uncorks a novelty:}
18. Bxf6 $5 $146 ({The only predecessor saw White quickly messing things up:}
18. h5 Nxh5 19. f5 Nxb3 20. Nxb3 Rxc3 21. bxc3 Qc7 {and getting into a worse
position, Misiano,F (2265)-Cacciola,A (2118) Lugano 2015}) 18... exf6 ({
The point behind White's trade is revealed in the line:} 18... Bxf6 19. e5 dxe5
$4 ({Better is} 19... Nxb3 20. Nxb3 Bf5 21. Qd4 Rxc3 22. Qxc3 Bg7 23. Nd4 {
although White has the advantage here as well.}) 20. Qxg6+ Kh8 21. Bxf7 {
and mate is inevitable.}) 19. Bd5 {Vachier-Lagrave keeps the strong bishop
alive.} ({The alternative} 19. f5 Nxb3 20. axb3 {also deserves attention.})
19... Nc6 20. Nxc6 {Now the speed of the game accelerates to the maximum.} ({
Probably critical is} 20. Ndb5 $5) 20... bxc6 ({Instead} 20... Bxc6 21. f5 Bxd5
22. Nxd5 {is not convincing at all. The dark-squared bishop is locked in
prison and White can attack comfortably.}) 21. Bxf7+ $1 ({No time to retreat.}
21. Bb3 Bf8) 21... Kxf7 22. Qxd6 Rxc3 $1 {Liquidates into a rook endgame.} ({
Also interesting was} 22... Rh5 23. Qxd7+ Qxd7 24. Rxd7+ Kf8) 23. Qxd7+ Qxd7
24. Rxd7+ Ke6 ({But not} 24... Re7 25. Rxe7+ Kxe7 26. bxc3 {when Black does
not have enough for the exchange.}) 25. Rxg7 Rf3 {Funnily, this rook lived to
tell its story. And snatch a few more pawns.} 26. Rxg6 Rxf4 27. Rg1 Rxe4 28.
R6xg4 Rxg4 29. Rxg4 {This is it. The ultimate result of the sharp Dragon. A
sharp rook endgame.} f5 {Betting on the passer. It is always a huge trump in
these endgames.} ({Nakamura could show activity with} 29... Kf5 30. Rg1 Rh8 31.
Rh1 Kg4 {as well.}) 30. Ra4 Rg8 31. b3 Rg4 32. Rxa7 f4 $1 {The passer will
cost White the rook at the end. This is why Black coordinates the efforts of
his pieces to run it as smooth as possible.} (32... Rxh4 {might not be losing
but is not the right way.}) 33. Kc1 f3 34. Kd2 Rxh4 ({The rook could have cut
the white king as well:} 34... Re4 {After a possible} 35. Ra4 Re2+ 36. Kd1 Kf5
37. Ra7 Kg4 {it is not even clear who is playing for a win. Therefore, the
logic is that the point should be split equally... Say} 38. h5 ({Worse is} 38.
Rf7 Kg3) 38... Kxh5 39. Rf7 Kg4 40. a4 Re5 41. b4 Kg3 42. Kd2 Kg2 43. a5 f2 44.
a6 f1=Q 45. Rxf1 Kxf1 46. c4 Re7 47. b5 cxb5 48. cxb5 Re2+ 49. Kc3 Ra2 50. Kb4
Ke2 51. Kc5 Kd3 52. b6 Ra5+ $1 53. Kc6 Rxa6 54. Kc7) 35. Ra8 Rh2+ 36. Kd3 ({Or
} 36. Ke3 Rxc2 37. Kxf3 c5 38. Ke4 Rd2 {with the same result as in the game.})
36... Kf5 37. a4 {MVL tries to advance the pawns as far as possible before
sacrificing the rook.} Kg4 38. a5 Rh1 39. Rg8+ ({If the king comes to stop the
pawn with} 39. Ke3 Re1+ 40. Kf2 Re2+ 41. Kf1 Rxc2 {then it will have to soon
abandon the windy position to avoid the perpetual:} 42. a6 Rc1+ 43. Kf2 Rc2+
44. Ke3 Re2+ 45. Kd4 Rd2+ 46. Kc5 Rd5+ 47. Kb6 ({White has to be careful:} 47.
Kxc6 $2 f2 48. Rf8 Rf5 49. Rxf5 Kxf5 50. a7 f1=Q 51. a8=Q Qf3+) 47... f2 48.
Rf8 Rf5 49. Rxf5 Kxf5 50. a7 f1=Q 51. a8=Q {and a draw in the queen endgame.})
39... Kf4 40. Rf8+ Kg3 41. Rg8+ Kf4 42. Rf8+ Kg3 43. b4 {The last try.} f2 44.
Kd4 f1=Q 45. Rxf1 Rxf1 46. Kc5 Rc1 47. Kxc6 {The draw was agreed because of
the line:} (47. Kxc6 Rxc2+ 48. Kb6 Kf3 49. a6 Ke4 50. b5 Kd5 51. a7 Ra2 52. Kb7
Kc5 53. b6 Ra1 54. a8=Q Rxa8 55. Kxa8 Kxb6) 1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.12.04"]
[Round "3.3"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E11"]
[WhiteElo "2805"]
[BlackElo "2760"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Bb4+ {A nasty little check. It invites White to
choose between the Romanishin Nimzo-Indian after 4.Nc3 or put something on d2,
which interferes with his future plans.} 4. Bd2 Be7 5. Bg2 d5 6. Nf3 O-O 7. O-O
Nbd7 8. Na3 $5 {Aronian follows... himself.} ({One of the benefits behind the
bishop position on c3 is that it can be easily attacked. This is what happened
in a recent game by Carlsen:} 8. Bc3 b6 9. cxd5 Nxd5 10. e4 Nxc3 11. Nxc3 Bb7 {
and Black was doing well, Ding,L (2774)-Carlsen,M (2837) Saint Louis 2017}) ({
Another advantageous point behind the position of the bishop on d2 is seen in
case of the normal development with} 8. Nc3 {Black simply captures the pawn}
dxc4 {as there is no Nf3-d2xc4 maneuver. Nakamura risked though against Adams
at the World Cup in Baku 2015 and won the game, but it is evident that after}
9. e4 c5 10. Bf4 Nb6 11. a4 cxd4 12. Nxd4 Bc5 $1 {as Adams played, things were
going into Black's favor.}) ({Therefore the main move is} 8. Qc2) 8... c6 9.
Rc1 Ne4 10. Be3 f5 $146 {Technically speaking a novelty, but the Stonewall
formation is very common for this line.} ({In Wijk aan Zee earlier this year
the Armenian GM won a spectacular positional game after} 10... Bxa3 11. bxa3
Nd6 12. c5 Nc4 13. Rxc4 dxc4 14. Qc2 {Aronian,L (2780)-Giri,A (2773) Wijk aan
Zee 2017}) 11. Rc2 {Now both sides start to regroup and prepare or prevent the
play of the opponent on "their" flank.} a5 {Stops the queenside expansion in
advance.} (11... Bf6 12. b4) 12. Qc1 {The queen takes under control the vital
f4 square and is ready to work along the c-file.} Bf6 13. Rd1 g5 14. Nb1 {
The knight appeared to do nothing on a3; it has to be repositioned.} Rf7 15.
Nc3 Rg7 {Karjakin is ready for some kingside action.} 16. Ne1 {An inaccuracy.}
({The preliminary} 16. Nxe4 $1 {was better and only after} fxe4 (16... dxe4 {
allows} 17. Ne5 $1) 17. Ne1 {followed by f2-f3 to undermine the center. White
would be slightly better in that case.}) 16... Nd6 $1 {A very annoying knight!}
17. b3 $1 {Aronian sacrifices a pawn.} ({After} 17. c5 Nc4 {the important
dark-squared bishop will be traded for the knight. True, there is the
interesting idea} 18. Bxg5 Bxg5 19. f4 Bf6 20. b3 {trapping it, but one can
hardly believe that White would be any better in this case.}) 17... dxc4 18.
Na4 cxb3 19. axb3 Nb5 ({Karjakin has to be careful in order not to allow too
many white pieces freedom. For example} 19... Nf8 20. Nf3 h6 21. Ne5) 20. Nd3 {
Another pawn is offered!} Qe8 {This time rejected.} ({After} 20... Nxd4 21.
Bxd4 Bxd4 {The pin along the d-file gives time to the white pieces to occupy
dominating positions:} 22. e3 (22. Rcd2 $5) 22... Bf6 23. Ndc5 Qe8 24. Rcd2
Nxc5 25. Nxc5 {with nice compensation for the pawns.} ({Or} 25. Qxc5)) 21. Ne5
{The knight did it to e5 outpost anyway.} f4 $1 {But Karjakin shows that he
knows other ways to defend too. Active ones.} ({Worse was} 21... Nxe5 22. dxe5
Bxe5 23. Bxg5) ({And simply bad} 21... Bxe5 22. dxe5 Nxe5 23. Rcd2 Nd7 24. Bxg5
$1 Rxg5 25. Rxd7 {and White wins.}) 22. gxf4 gxf4 23. Bxf4 Nxd4 {The main
point behind Black's sacrifice. Although the open g-file for his heavy pieces
would not hurt neither.} 24. Rxd4 ({Not} 24. Nxd7 $2 Bxd7) 24... Nxe5 25. Rd1 {
The retreat is the best decision at the moment. The rook is too vulnerable.} (
25. Rcd2 $2 {does not work as the back rank is defended and Black can go for
example} Ng6) ({More interesting is} 25. Nb6 {when Black has the interesting
tactical blow} Nf3+ ({Probably even better is the retreat} 25... Nd7 26. Rxd7 (
26. Nxa8 $2 {leads to an edge for Black after} Bxd4) 26... Bxd7 27. Nxa8 Qxa8
28. Rd2 Qe8 {when Black keeps the extra pawn.}) 26. exf3 Bxd4 27. Nxa8 e5 $1 {
Attacking the bishop and preparing Bc8-h3. After} 28. Re2 Bh3 29. Bg3 Bxg2 30.
Kxg2 Qxa8 {The position is roughly balanced.}) 25... Qg6 26. Bg3 h5 {Thanks to
his excellent defense Karjakin developed almost all of his pieces and keeps
white bishops busy on the kingside. Still, the open d-file and the activity
provide Aronian enough for the pawn.} 27. Nb6 Rb8 28. Rcd2 Nf7 {Another
excellent defensive move.} ({The careless} 28... h4 {would give Aronian what
he wants and} 29. Rd8+ Bxd8 30. Rxd8+ Kh7 31. Nxc8 hxg3 32. hxg3 Qf6 33. Be4+
Ng6 34. Qd1 {with the threat e2-e3 followed by Qd1-h5 would provide White
excellent attacking possibilities.}) 29. Qc5 {Aronian is still optimistic
about his position.He plans to trap the black rook on b8.} ({The endgame after
} 29. Qc2 Qxc2 30. Rxc2 e5 31. Nxc8 (31. Ra2 $2 h4) (31. h4 Bf5 32. Ra2 Be7)
31... Rxc8 32. h4 {was the alternative when the bishop pair is once again
providing enough compensation for the pawn.}) ({Even better was} 29. Qb1 Qxb1
30. Rxb1 e5 31. h4 Bf5 {due to the nuance} 32. Ra1 Be7 33. Nc4 {at least
according to the computer.}) 29... e5 ({Operation trapping would be
accomplished after} 29... h4 30. Qxa5 hxg3 31. hxg3 {with the idea Qa5-a7 and
if} Be5 $2 32. Rd8+) 30. Qc4 ({Here} 30. Qxa5 {does not work because of} Bf5
31. Qa7 Rf8 {and Black is ready to start decisive counter-attack.}) 30... Kh8 {
Now h5-h4 is a threat.} ({Otherwise the bishop on c8 may suffer-} 30... Bf5 31.
e4 Bg4 32. f3 Bc8 33. Nxc8 ({But not} 33. Rd8+ $2 Bxd8 34. Rxd8+ Kh7 35. Rxc8
Rxc8 36. Nxc8 h4 {when Black takes over.}) 33... Rxc8 34. Bh3 Rf8 35. Kh1 $1 {
and White dominates on the light squares.}) ({Also} 30... h4 {loses to} 31.
Rd8+ $1 Bxd8 32. Rxd8+ Kh7 33. Qxh4+ Nh6 34. Nxc8) 31. h4 Bf5 32. Nd7 Rbg8 33.
Kh1 $2 {A mistake in time-trouble, which was accompanied with a draw offer.
And Karjakin accepted it!} ({White should have taken the bishop when he could}
33. Nxf6 Qxf6 34. Qc5 {still keeping the compensation.}) (33. Kh1 {Black on
his turn did not realize that the situation has changed and that after} Be7 $1
{He has the initiative. The threat is to kick the queen away from the fourth
rank and grab the h4 pawn. Or even the b3 pawn in some lines. Black has clear
edge as the lines prove it:} 34. e3 ({Or} 34. Qc3 Bxh4 35. Nxe5 Nxe5 36. Rd6
Qg5 37. Qxe5 Bxg3 38. fxg3 Bc2) ({If} 34. e4 Bxd7 35. Rxd7 Bxh4 $1) 34... Be6
35. Qf1 (35. Qc3 Bb4 (35... Bxh4)) 35... Bxb3 {All in all, after a great
defense Karjakin could had taken more than just half a point!}) 1/2-1/2
[Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.04"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E04"]
[WhiteElo "2874"]
[BlackElo "2770"]
[Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"]
[PlyCount "62"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
{The London Chess Classic has got off to a really slow start. With all games
being drawn till now, the players were expected to show some fight in this
round. All eyes though, were on this game, where Vishy was playing against his
nemesis from 2 World Championships-Magnus Carlsen. Since Vishy was playing so
well at this event, this would be a very interesting game.} 1. d4 {No
surprises there. Magnus plays literally everything.} Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 {
With this move, White inclines towards a Catalan.} d5 4. Bg2 dxc4 {Anand plays
a line that has scored really well for Black. He has been a firm adherent of
this line according to the databases. This is not the only move however.} (4...
Be7 5. Nf3 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Qc2 a6 8. Qxc4 b5 9. Qc2 Bb7 10. Bd2 {is one of
the most hotly discussed tabiyas in top level chess. White's main plan here is
to prevent black from playing c5, as if black achieves it, he gets a very easy
game.}) (4... Bb4+ {is another move in this position, and here the move} 5. Nd2
{has scored really well for white. After} O-O 6. Ngf3 b6 7. O-O Bb7 8. Ne5 Nbd7
9. Ndf3 Bd6 10. Bg5 $14 {white has a pleasant position.}) 5. Nf3 {Magnus plays
the most principled move and invites Vishy to accept his pawn sacrifice.} c5 {
Anand agrees, and now we have a sharp position on the board. However, this
isn't the only try here.} ({Previously, Vishy has also tried} 5... a6 {and
after} 6. O-O Nc6 7. e3 Bd7 8. Qe2 b5 9. Rd1 Be7 10. e4 O-O $13 {We get a
position where black has scored well (51% for White), and I can't say that's a
wrong indication. The compensation that white gets in this line is maybe
enough for equality, but nothing more. Over the board, he might create some
complications, but preparation with our silicon friends will negate all ill
effects.}) (5... Nc6 6. Qa4 Bb4+ 7. Bd2 Nd5 8. Bxb4 Ndxb4 9. O-O Rb8 10. Nc3 a6
$14 {is another attempt in this position, but white is slightly better here.})
6. O-O Nc6 7. Na3 cxd4 8. Nxc4 $44 {The Catalan Gambit is one of the few sharp
lines that top players play regularly. I first saw this line in Sofia 2010,
when Anand beat Topalov twice in the same line. But back then, Vishy had
played Ne5 instead of castling. Coming back to this position, we can see that
black's extra pawn on d4 can be attacked, and white has superior development,
with a much stronger LS Bishop. So if white regains his pawn, he have a
definite pull.} Bc5 9. b3 $5 {A surprise from Magnus. A rare and unexplored
line at the top level. The move though is logical. White wants to play Bb2 and
pressurise the d4 pawn. Then he might eventually play a3-b4 and win the pawn
back.} (9. a3 {has seen a lot of games, and has scored a mammoth 80%! Indeed,
after} a5 10. Bf4 O-O 11. Nce5 Bb6 12. Qd3 Nd5 13. Rfd1 Nxf4 14. gxf4 $14 {
White has a definite edge here.}) 9... Qe7 10. Nfe5 Nxe5 11. Nxe5 Nd7 12. Bf4 {
An interesting decision by Magnus.} (12. Nd3 {is definitely a possibility to
be considered, and after} Bd6 13. e3 dxe3 14. Bxe3 O-O 15. Rc1 Nf6 16. Re1 Rd8
17. Qe2 $44 {White gets enough play for the pawn.}) 12... O-O 13. Rc1 {a very
natural move by Magnus. But had he looked further, he could have found a more
combative choice.} (13. b4 $5 {would have put black on the edge. After} Bb6 14.
a4 Nxe5 15. Bxe5 Qxb4 16. Rb1 Qc5 17. Rb5 $44 {White is getting dangerous play.
}) 13... Rd8 {A very robotic move from Anand, missing an oppurtunity to try
for an edge.} (13... f6 {definitely deserved consideration. Black's main idea
here is to play e5, and have a firm support for it. After} 14. Nxd7 Bxd7 15.
Bxb7 Rae8 16. b4 Bxb4 17. Qxd4 e5 18. Qc4+ Be6 19. Bd5 exf4 20. Bxe6+ Qxe6 21.
Qxb4 fxg3 22. hxg3 Qxe2 $15 {Black starts to get some serious play, and white
still has to justify his missing pawn.}) 14. Nd3 {Now the game peters towards
equality. Magnus tries his best to recover the pawn, and Anand tries his best
to prevent it.} Bb6 15. Bc7 Re8 16. Qc2 e5 17. Rfd1 Nf8 18. a4 Bg4 19. Bxb6
axb6 20. h3 Rac8 21. Qd2 {Both players have been playing the best moves till
now, but Black is still slightly better due to the extra pawn.} Be6 $6 {
Anand misses a chance here. While this move is good, he had a better one at
his disposal.} ({It was important to keep the pressure on the e2 pawn with}
21... Bh5 $1 {also x-raying the d1 rook. After} 22. Rxc8 Rxc8 23. f4 f6 24.
fxe5 fxe5 25. b4 Bf7 $15 {Black's extra pawn will start to make its presence
known.}) 22. Nxe5 {Now it is just equal.} Rxc1 23. Rxc1 Bxb3 24. Nf3 Bxa4 25.
Nxd4 Ne6 26. Nf5 Qf6 27. Ne3 Qd4 28. Qa2 Nc5 29. Rc4 Bb3 $1 {A nice shot to
draw the game.} 30. Rxd4 Bxa2 31. Rb4 Re6 {and the players call it a draw.
Black has no way to exploit his extra pawn. A very fascinating game by two
fighters. With respect to Magnus, he clearly has to find a better opening line
if he is to entertain certain winning chances. He did fight a lot in this game,
but Anand was too solid. As for Anand, an excellent game all round. His
opening preparation was too good, and he equalised without a problem. He is
clearly in the groove this tournament. Had he found a couple of critical
continuations, he had ways of putting Magnus under pressure. So clearly a
great performance.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.12.05"]
[Round "4.3"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B48"]
[WhiteElo "2760"]
[BlackElo "2799"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "84"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 c5 {Some years ago it was considered suicidal to try the Sicilian
against Karjakin. But Caruana is not afraid as he had done his homework
carefully [for two days in a row as he was planning to play this line against
Nepomniachtchi! - PD].} 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be3 a6
7. Qf3 {A fashionable reply against the Taimanov. But later Karjakin regretted
on his opening choice and said that "any other line would have been the better
choice. "} ({The main lines remain} 7. Bd3 b5 8. O-O Bb7 9. Re1 Nf6 10. Nxc6
Qxc6 11. Bd4 {as in Carlsen,M (2832)-Grischuk,A (2750) Chess.com Speed Chess
Championship 2017}) ({Or} 7. Qd2 {as Caruana played himself in the following
online game in the Chess.com PRO Chess League:} Nf6 8. O-O-O Be7 9. f3 b5 10.
g4 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Bb7 12. Kb1 {Caruana,F (2817) -Pichot,A (2556) chess.com INT
2017}) 7... Ne5 8. Qg3 b5 9. O-O-O Nf6 10. f4 Neg4 {The knights seem
ridiculously placed but somehow manage to limit the opponent's bishops and
queen.} 11. Bg1 h5 12. e5 ({Nobody has ever tried} 12. h3 {although it might
be more interesting that it seems at a glance:} b4 13. Nd5 $5) 12... b4 {
Everything is coming in time. If Black retreats, he will get destroyed.} 13.
Na4 Nd5 14. Nb3 Bb7 15. Nac5 Bc6 $146 ({A predecessor saw} 15... Rc8 16. Bd3 a5
17. Kb1 Bc6 18. Na6 Qd8 19. Nd4 {with some edge for White, Nepomniachtchi,I
(2714)-Wang,Y (2720) Beijing 2014}) 16. Ne4 {"I was on my own here" (Caruana)}
(16. h3 {simply pushes the knight to a better position.} Nh6) (16. Nxa6 $6 {
is dubious due to} Qc8 17. Nbc5 d6 $1 18. exd6 Bxd6 {when as awkward as it may
seem there is no way to stop the obvious threat of Bd6xf4.}) ({Ditto for} 16.
Bxa6 $2 d6 $1 17. exd6 Bxd6) ({In case of} 16. Kb1 {Black will simply push the
pawn} a5 {with a good game. But perhaps this was White's best option.} (16...
Nh6 $5 {also deserves serious consideration.})) 16... f5 $1 {"It seems as
White wasted so much time that I should be doing great" (Caruana)} 17. h3 {
This is dubious.} ({White loses a pawn after} 17. exf6 gxf6 18. h3 Qxf4+ 19.
Qxf4 Nxf4 {But after} 20. Re1 f5 21. hxg4 Bxe4 22. gxf5 Bxf5 23. g3 $13 {
things are not that clear.}) 17... h4 $1 {"I knew I was worse but I thought I
can get some compensation. But I spoiled everything very quickly." (Karjakin)}
(17... fxe4 18. hxg4) 18. Qe1 fxe4 19. hxg4 Nxf4 20. Rxh4 Rxh4 21. Qxh4 Qxe5
22. Bd4 Ng6 {Another precise move.} (22... Qc7 {would give White a chance to
take over the initiative with} 23. g3 Nd5 24. Qh5+ {and keep the enemy king in
the center.}) 23. Qh3 ({Black would be definitely happy with the endgame after
} 23. Qh5 Qxh5 24. gxh5 Nf4 25. g4 g6) 23... Qg5+ {The opening turned out to
be huge success for Caruana. He is up a pawn, owes a solid center and as a
compensation has way more time on the clock.} 24. Kb1 Bd5 25. Bg1 (25. Be3 $5)
25... Be7 26. g3 Ne5 27. Be2 Nf3 28. Bxf3 exf3 {With the disappearance of the
light-squared bishop Black's advantage became decisive.} 29. Bd4 Kf7 {The king
is well placed behind his pawns.} 30. Nc1 d6 31. Nd3 e5 {Deprives the white
pieces from the good squares.} 32. Bf2 Be6 33. Nxb4 e4 34. Qh1 Rc8 {The same
limitation policy. The knight is in danger.} (34... a5 35. Nc6) 35. Nxa6 Qa5
36. Qh5+ Qxh5 37. gxh5 Bg5 38. Re1 Bc4 39. Nb4 Re8 {No need to hurry, the
pawns are unstopabble.} (39... e3 40. Bxe3 Re8 41. Bf2 Rxe1+ 42. Bxe1 Bd2 $1 {
would be flashier.}) 40. Re3 Bxe3 41. Bxe3 Re5 42. g4 Rg5 0-1
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.12.06"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C48"]
[WhiteElo "2799"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 {The Anti line. This seems to be the only
way to play for a win nowadays. No matter if we talk about the Berlin, or the
Marshall for example.} Bc5 5. Nc3 O-O 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. h3 Nd7 ({Grischuk played
differently against Caruana in Saint Louis-} 7... Re8 8. Ne2 Nd7 9. Be3 Bb4+
10. c3 Bf8 11. Qc2 c5 12. O-O-O Nb8 13. Ng3 Nc6 {with a good position, Caruana,
F (2799)-Grischuk,A (2782) Saint Louis 2017 Apparently Anand was not very keen
to see his opponent's preparation.}) 8. Be3 Bd6 9. Ne2 ({A couple of years
back Caruana defended successfully as Black after} 9. Qd2 c5 10. O-O Nb8 $1 11.
Nh2 Nc6 12. Ne2 Nd4 {Adams,M (2745)-Caruana,F (2802) Shamkir 2015}) 9... Re8
$146 {A novelty. The rook overprotects the e5 square and frees the f8 one for
either the knight for the maneuver Nd7-f8-e6-d4, or for the bishop to defend
the kingside.} ({The other way to bring the knight into the optimal d4 sqaure
was tested in a game by Wesley So also in St. Louis:} 9... c5 10. Ng3 Nb8 11.
Nf5 Nc6 {and then White started a step-by-step attack on the kingside with} 12.
g4 {So,W (2788) -Dominguez Perez,L (2739) Saint Louis 2017}) 10. g4 {White's
plan is always the same: a kingside attack behind the solid center. The
question is is he going to do a piece attack or a pawn-and-piece one.} Nc5 11.
Ng3 Ne6 (11... g6) 12. Nf5 c5 ({Here} 12... g6 {is not effective because of}
13. Nh6+ Kg7 14. g5 {when the knight can be transferred easily from h6 to f6.})
13. h4 a5 {Caruana does not want to castle yet and intends to improve as much
as possible on the kingside.} 14. h5 Ra6 15. Qd2 Nd4 {The rule is that
whenever the knight reaches this square it leads to good game for Black.} 16.
Rh3 ({Worse is} 16. N3xd4 cxd4 17. Bg5 f6 18. Bh4 Bb4 {and Black takes over
the initiative} ({Or} 18... Rb6)) 16... Bf8 17. O-O-O Be6 18. Kb1 f6 ({Perhaps
easier was the immediate} 18... Nxf3 19. Rxf3 c4 {In this case Black is not
worried of} 20. d4 (20. dxc4 Qxd2 21. Rxd2 Bxc4 {is equal.}) ({The only chance
for some edge is} 20. Qe2 cxd3 21. Rxd3 Qc8 {although Black should be OK here
as well.}) 20... exd4 21. Qxd4 Qxd4 22. Bxd4 Bc8 $1 {and the e4 pawn becomes a
target.}) 19. c3 Nxf3 20. Rxf3 c4 21. Qc2 ({Once again} 21. d4 exd4 22. cxd4
Bf7 {is comfortable for Black.}) 21... cxd3 22. Rxd3 Qc8 23. g5 fxg5 24. Bxg5
Bf7 {This allows White some chances.} ({It was better to block that pawn once
and for all with} 24... h6 25. Bc1 Bf7 {when Black may even hope to win it in
the possible endgame.}) 25. h6 $1 {Now there are problems.} gxh6 ({On} 25... g6
$6 {strong will be} 26. Ne3 Rd6 27. Rxf7 $1 Kxf7 28. Qb3+ Qe6 29. Nd5 $1 {
setting up a nice ambush and threatening Rd3-f3+.}) 26. Bc1 (26. Bh4 $5 {
looks good too, but Caruana wants to use the bishop in a more effective way.})
26... Qe6 27. b3 {Not only defending but redeploying the bishop.} a4 28. c4
axb3 29. axb3 Qc6 30. Rg3+ Kh8 31. Rd1 {All of these are more or less forced,
and if not forced logical. Anand continues with the queenside attack:} b5 32.
c5 {And Caruana blocks it.} b4 $6 {In the heat of the battle Anand loses the
thread. This move frees the black queen, but the white one may also make good
use of the c4 square in the future.} ({Apparently, the former world champion
disliked something in the forcing line:} 32... Qxc5 33. Qxc5 Bxc5 34. Rd7 {
But the analysis proves that Black is doing well after both} Be6 ({Or} 34...
Bg6 $5 35. Bxh6 Bf8 {- this last move was the one Anand missed.}) 35. Rxc7 Bxf5
36. exf5 Bd4 37. Rgg7 Ra1+ 38. Kc2 e4 39. Rxh7+ Kg8 40. Rxh6 Ra2+ 41. Kd1 Rd8 {
and this should objectively end in a draw.}) ({On the other hand keeping the
queens on the board is dangerous after} 32... Bxc5 33. Bb2 Bd6 34. Qd3 {
as well.}) 33. Bb2 Bg6 {Another step in the wrong direction.} ({It was still
possible to get rid of the queens with} 33... Qxc5 34. Qxc5 Bxc5 35. Rd7 Bg6 {
True, after} 36. f4 {White has enough initiative to even win a piece after} Bd6
37. fxe5 Bxe5 38. Bxe5+ Rxe5 39. Rd8+ Be8 ({Not} 39... Re8 $2 40. Rxg6 $1) 40.
Ng7 Rxe4 {But since he is forced to swap off the rooks with} 41. Rxe8+ (41.
Nxe8 {is a forced draw due to the perpetual} Re1+ 42. Kb2 Re2+ 43. Kb1 Re1+ {As
} 44. Kc2 $4 {even loses to} Ra2+ 45. Kd3 Rd1+) 41... Rxe8 42. Nxe8 Rg6 {
and it is not certain that White should win this. He has just one pawn left
after all.}) 34. Rd5 Qb5 35. Rg1 $1 {Stops the check on f1. Caruana has built
a solid attacking position and calmly prepares either the capture on e5 or the
f2-f4 blow which would shatter Black's position.} (35. Rxe5 {would be
inaccurate at least} Qf1+ 36. Qc1 Qxc1+ 37. Kxc1 Rxe5 38. Bxe5+ Kg8 {when
nothing is clear.}) 35... c6 ({The king cannot escape} 35... Kg8 36. f4 exf4
37. Nd4 Qa5 ({The flashy} 37... Qf1+ 38. Rxf1 Bxe4 39. Bc1 {is not enough for
Black to save himself neither.}) 38. Qc4 $1 {This is where the queen makes
good use of the c4 square.}) 36. Rxe5 Rxe5 37. Bxe5+ Kg8 38. Bd4 {Perfect
harmony!} Kf7 39. Nh4 {Anand resigned as there will be either f2-f4-f5 coming
or even better Nh4xg6 followed by e4-e5.} 1-0
[Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.09"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A17"]
[WhiteElo "2729"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
{The action at the London Chess Classic has finally heated up! There were 3
decisive games and a lot of drama on all the boards. This matchup would be
interesting, as Anand faced the sole second place in the tournament, Ian
Nepomniachtchi. Nepo has been known to play the English on occasion, so this
no big surprise.} 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. e3 $5 {Just when I thought
a QGD was appearing on the board, Ian goes out of book.} a6 $5 {A very strange
4th move from Anand. I'm not sure I understand its significance yet.} ({
The immediate} 4... c5 {was the best, provoking White to either play d4 or
transpose to a Reversed Benoni. After} 5. d4 (5. cxd5 exd5 6. d4 Nc6 7. Be2
cxd4 8. exd4 Bd6 9. Bg5 Be6 $11 {and any advantage for white is miniscule.})
5... Nc6 6. Be2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. dxc5 dxc4 $11 {Black should have very few
problems here.}) 5. b3 {Ian transposes to a Reti line, which offers White some
chances to have a fight on the board.} Bd6 6. Bb2 O-O 7. g4 $5 {I really
admire Nepo's do or die attitude in all positions. While this has often
backfired, it mostly leads to positions which he enjoys-tactical double edged
slugfests. The computers don't approve, but then, practical defense is much
harder.} ({The more normal way to play the position is} 7. d4 {and after} b6 8.
Bd3 Bb7 9. O-O Nbd7 10. a4 c5 $11 {A rich position is reached, with chances
for both players.}) 7... Nxg4 $1 {Courageous decision by Anand, and the best
one too.} 8. Rg1 f5 $1 9. cxd5 e5 $1 {Giving back the pawn is the best
decision. But then again, practically speaking White's position is easier to
play.} 10. h3 Nf6 11. Ng5 Qe7 12. Qf3 Kh8 $1 {Removing the king from the open
g-file. Now, if White does nothing, Black will eventually gobble d5, and will
be better.} 13. Ne6 Bxe6 {I am not so sure about this move though.} ({The
knight is not as threatening as it appears. It is best to overprotect g7 with}
13... Rg8 $1 {and after} 14. Qxf5 c6 15. f4 cxd5 16. fxe5 Bxe5 17. Qxe5 Bxe6
18. Ne2 Nc6 $13 {Black isn't without his chances here. White's Bishop pair and
strong rook on g1 are compensated by his king on e1 and open files for black.})
14. dxe6 Qxe6 {I initially felt it was innacurate to give up b7, but I was
mistaken. The f5 pawn is more important.} (14... Nc6 15. Qxf5 Nd8 16. Bd3 $40 {
White is getting an easy attack here.}) 15. Qxb7 Nbd7 16. Bc4 Qe7 $13 {Now the
computers claim equality for black, but I am not sure here. The main reason is
that Black's king will never be completely safe due to the powerful Bishop
pair and open g-file, so it is easier to play White here.} 17. Qg2 {Nepo
directs his attention to the kingside, and starts to generate some play there.}
Nb6 $1 {A good move. Anand realises he has to make use of his pieces on the b
and a files and plans a5-a4 to put pressure on White's queenside. This move
also guards the d5 square a bit more.} 18. Be2 a5 19. Bb5 Rad8 {Another strong
move. The White king will now start feeling a little heat.} 20. Qg5 $5 {
One of those attacking moves that Nepo could have done without.} ({Was my
initial idea, so that after} 20. h4 Bb4 (20... Rf7 {is Houdini 5's main
suggestion here, and after} 21. Qg5 c6 22. Bxc6 Qe6 23. Bb5 Be7 24. Qg2 a4 25.
Nxa4 Nxa4 26. Bxa4 Ne4 27. O-O-O {White maintains equilibrium here, though
barely.}) {White has the surprising} 21. O-O-O $1 {and after} a4 22. Nxa4 Nxa4
23. Bxa4 Ba3 24. Bxa3 Qxa3+ 25. Kb1 Rg8 $13 {the position remains tense, and
full of tactical possiblities.}) 20... g6 $1 {Strong move by Vishy. Now White
is invited to show his cards.} 21. Qh6 {Setting up a h4-h5 hook.} Ng8 $1 {
Another strong defensive mobe by Vishy.} 22. Qg5 {White is invited to repeate,
which Nepo doesn't, understandably. But now he does risk losing.} Nf6 23. Rd1
e4 $6 {Now, this was unnecessary from Anand. White now gets serious play on
the long diagonal. But then, this error is a forced result of being under
pressure of defending for a long time, and failing to find a plan here.} (23...
Qe6 $1 {would have forced Ian to look for a draw. After} 24. Ne2 c6 $1 25. Bxc6
Bb4 26. Bf3 Nbd7 27. Qh6 Rg8 28. Qh4 Rc8 $15 {Black is clearly pressing.}) 24.
Qh6 $1 {The best continuation, threatening Rxg6. The difference between this
position and that some moves back is the pathetically weak a1-h8 long diagonal.
} Rg8 25. Ne2 Be5 26. Bxe5 Qxe5 27. Nf4 g5 28. Rxg5 Rxg5 29. Qxg5 Rg8 30. Qh6 {
After a forced sequence of moves, we reach a position where White is a pawn up,
but with a weak king.} Rg7 $2 {A sorry excuse of a move. Anand cracks under
pressure, as he has often done this tournament.} (30... Rg1+ $1 {was the best
move, and White is guaranteed only equality after} 31. Bf1 Nbd7 32. Ne2 Rg6 33.
Qf4 Nd5 34. Qxe5+ Nxe5 $11 {due to the sorry state of his army.}) 31. Bc4 $1 {
Nepo doesn't miss his chances, and claims the advantage here.} Nxc4 $6 32. bxc4
Qb2 $6 {Anand has lost the plot, and the position is lost for him now.} 33. Ke2
a4 34. Ne6 Rf7 35. Nf4 Rg7 36. a3 $6 {Now it is Ian's turn to err.} (36. Ne6 $1
Rf7 37. Nd8 Rg7 38. a3 Qb6 39. Rg1 $18 {would have destroyed Black.}) 36... Ne8
$4 {A final blunder in a bad position.} (36... Qb6 $1 {would have given Anand
some chances to hold the position.}) 37. Qc6 $1 {and Vishy resigned. A great
game by Nepo-aggressive opening preparation, reasonable middlegame play, and
finishing off when it mattered. With this win, he is tied with Caruana on +2,
and has great chances to win the tournament. As for Vishy, another forgettable
outing. This has become more and more common over the past two years-he loses
the plot and the game after getting a better position. One can only hope he
recovers from this loss and catch up to 50%. As they say, an ageing tiger is
still dangerous.} 1-0
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.12.11"]
[Round "9.2"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A43"]
[WhiteElo "2805"]
[BlackElo "2837"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "106"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. d4 e6 2. Nf3 c5 3. g3 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Qb6 {Another creative idea of the
"coffee-house" Bent-the-Great (Larsen). It was used by Nigel Short quite
regularly too.} ({Most of the games see either} 4... Nf6 {which may transpose
into the Sicilian Taimanov/Scheveningen after} 5. Bg2 a6 6. O-O Qc7 7. e4 d6 8.
Nc3 Be7 9. h3 Nc6 {Sjugirov,S (2650)-Alekseev,E (2622) Sochi 2017}) ({or} 4...
d5 5. Bg2 Nf6 6. O-O e5 7. Nb3 Nc6 8. Bg5 Be6 {with a reversed Gruenfeld type
of position, Andreikin,D (2743)-Dubov,D (2666) ICC INT 2016}) 5. Bg2 Bc5 {
The point. Black wants to force a concession.} 6. e3 d5 ({Short played instead
} 6... Nc6 {and after} 7. O-O Nf6 8. c4 {took the central pawn} Nxd4 9. exd4
Bxd4 10. Nc3 Be5 11. Nb5 {but then had to deal with White's strong initiative,
Bates,R (2377)-Short,N (2697) Bunratty 2013}) 7. Qg4 {In return White wants to
exploit the absence of the kingside bishop.} Bf8 8. O-O Nf6 9. Qe2 e5 $146 {
A logical novelty.} ({A predecessor saw} 9... Bd7 10. b3 Nc6 11. Bb2 Nxd4 12.
Bxd4 Bc5 13. Rd1 {Salo,H (2267)-Lehtinen,H (2408) Finland 2013}) 10. Qb5+ $1 {
An important move. White needs to get into an endgame where the center does
not count for that much.} ({The immediate retreat} 10. Nb3 {would allow Black
strong center which cannot be easily attacked.} Nc6 11. Nc3 Bg4 12. f3 Be6 {
You noticed that one of the reasons why the center is so stable is that White
is deprived of the usual maneuver Bc1-g5.}) 10... Bd7 11. Qxb6 axb6 12. Nb3 Nc6
13. Bd2 {Cautiously developing as otherwise the c2 pawn may suffer.} (13. Nc3
$6 Nb4) 13... Bd6 {This seems like and inaccuracy. The center will not be as
stable as Black wishes now.} ({Here} 13... Nb4 {will be met with} 14. Bxb4 Bxb4
15. a3 Be7 16. Nc3 Be6 {when White will attack the center with either} 17. Rad1
({Or} 17. f4)) ({But more accurate was to give the d5 pawn some extra
protection} 13... Be6 14. Nc3 O-O-O {with approximate equality.}) 14. Nc3 Ne7 {
All seems fine, but...} 15. a4 $1 {This comes in time with the strong
positional threat of Nc3-b5.} O-O ({The counter-attack would not save the day:
} 15... Rc8 16. Nb5 Bxb5 17. axb5 Rxc2 18. Bc3 O-O 19. Bf3 {and the black rook
is trapped.}) 16. Nb5 Bxb5 {Alas, forced.} (16... Bb8 {would be strongly met
with} 17. Bb4 Re8 18. Bxe7 Rxe7 19. c4 $1 dxc4 20. Nd2 {and the knights
dominate.}) 17. axb5 Rac8 18. Bc3 {As a result Carlsen ended up in a passive
position.} h5 {I am not sure if this is good policy.} 19. Rfd1 Rfd8 20. Nd2 ({
It made sense to insert} 20. Ra7 Rc7 {first and then} (20... Rb8 21. Nc1 $5)
21. Nd2) 20... h4 21. Nf3 (21. Ra7 $5 {was once again good, with advantage for
White after} hxg3 22. hxg3 Rc7 (22... Rb8 23. Nf3 e4 24. Nd4) 23. Nf3 e4 24.
Nd4 Be5) 21... hxg3 22. hxg3 e4 (22... Ng6 $5 {to keep the center as it is
made sense.}) 23. Ng5 {An ineresting decision by Aronian.} ({There was nothing
wrong with the obvious} 23. Nd4 Ra8 ({Or} 23... Ng6 24. Nf5 Bf8 25. Ra7 {
with large advantage for White.}) 24. Bh3 {Next White will play Nd4-f5 and put
pressure on the black pawns. This will be extremely pleasant to play for the
first player.}) 23... Ng6 24. Ra7 Rb8 ({Or} 24... Rc7 25. Rd2 {followed by the
same maneuver.}) 25. Bd4 {The white pieces are completely dominating. Carlsen
came very close to ending up on a negative score.} Bc5 ({The passive} 25... Bc7
26. Bf1 {followed by c2-c4 and attack against f7 will leave Black no chances.})
26. Bxc5 ({The alternative} 26. c4 dxc4 27. Nxe4 Nxe4 28. Bxe4 Bxd4 29. Rxd4
Rxd4 30. exd4 {was also very pleasant for White.}) 26... bxc5 27. c4 Ne7 ({Not
} 27... dxc4 28. Rxd8+ Rxd8 29. Rxb7) 28. cxd5 Nc8 $1 {A very strong defensive
idea. At the price of a pawn the world champion builds a solid foundation for
a fortress.} (28... Nexd5 29. Nxe4 {would be lost for Black.}) 29. Ra4 $1 (29.
Raa1 Nd6 30. Rac1 b6 {looks rock-solid.}) 29... Nb6 (29... Nd6 $2 30. Bxe4) 30.
Ra3 ({In case of} 30. Raa1 {Black can defend like this:} Re8 31. d6 Re5 32. Nh3
Rd8 {slowly surrounding the d6 pawn.} 33. Ra7 Rd7 34. Nf4 g5 35. Ne2 Ne8) 30...
Nc4 ({Black could have used the idea from above here too} 30... Re8 31. d6 Re5
32. Nh3 Rd8) 31. Rc3 Nd6 $1 {Sacrificing another pawn but making sure that the
knights are optimally placed.} ({Worse was} 31... Nxb2 32. Rd2 Na4 $2 (32...
Nxd5 33. Rxc5 Nd3 34. Rc4 f5 35. g4 {is also promising for White.}) 33. Rc4 Nb6
34. Rxc5 {when White's winning chances are huge.}) 32. Rxc5 Ra8 33. Bh3 {
True to himself, Aronian looks for initiative even in the endgame.} ({The
immediate} 33. b6 {would be met with} Ra6) ({But} 33. Bf1 $5 {followed by
b5-b6 seems like a good way to play for a win.}) 33... Re8 34. Rc7 Kf8 ({
Avoids the trap:} 34... Re5 35. Nxf7 Nxf7 36. Be6 Rxe6 37. dxe6 Ne5 38. Rxb7 {
when White wins.}) 35. b6 $2 {Did Aronian forget about the knight?} (35. Bf1 {
to free the h3 square was needed.}) 35... Re5 36. Ne6+ {Frustration.} ({
Better was} 36. Nxf7 Nxf7 37. Rxb7 Rxd5 38. Rxd5 Nxd5 39. Be6 Nd8 40. Bxd5 Nxb7
41. Bxb7 Rb8 42. Bxe4 Rxb6 {with a draw.}) 36... fxe6 37. dxe6 ({Or} 37. Bxe6
Ra5) 37... Nfe8 38. Rd7 Raa5 39. b4 $2 {Another blunder in the time-trouble.} (
{It was not too late to get to the drawish path with} 39. R1xd6 Nxd6 40. Rxd6
Rad5 41. Rxd5 Rxd5 42. e7+ Kxe7 43. Bc8) 39... Rad5 40. Ra1 Rb5 {Carlsen kept
the extra piece. Now he consolidates and slowly wipes ou the white pawns.} 41.
Ra8 Rxb6 42. Bg4 Rd5 43. Kg2 Rxb4 44. Ra1 Rbb5 45. Be2 {Unfortunately for
Aronian this bishop cannot help the rooks and the e-pawn.} Rb2 46. Bg4 Rdd2 {
It is basically over.} 47. Kh3 Rxf2 48. Kh4 Rh2+ 49. Bh3 (49. Kg5 Rb5+ 50. Kg6
Rh6#) 49... g5+ 50. Kh5 (50. Kg4 Nf6+) 50... Rxh3+ 51. Kg6 Rf2 52. e7+ Kg8 53.
Rxd6 Rh7 0-1
[Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2017.08.02"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Svidler, Peter"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C54"]
[WhiteElo "2773"]
[BlackElo "2749"]
[Annotator "Szabo,Kr"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2017.08.02"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. O-O a6 7. a4 Ba7 8. Re1
O-O 9. h3 Ne7 10. d4 Ng6 11. Nbd2 h6 ({The natural} 11... c6 {was played by
Carlsen,} 12. Bd3 Re8 13. Bc2 h6 14. Nf1 exd4 15. cxd4 c5 16. d5 b5 17. axb5
axb5 18. Ng3 Bd7 19. Be3 Bb6 20. Rxa8 Qxa8 $13 {Kramnik-Carlsen, Stavanger
2017, with an unclear middlegame; later White managed to win.}) 12. Bb3 Re8 13.
Bc2 b5 ({On the same day So Wesley played} 13... Bd7 14. a5 c6 15. dxe5 dxe5
16. Nc4 Qe7 17. Qd6 Qxd6 18. Nxd6 Re6 19. Rd1 $14 {Vachier Lagrave-So Wesley,
Saint Louis 2017, and Black was under pressure.}) 14. b4 $146 {A logical
novelty by Karjakin. White's idea is to play on the queenside with Bb2, c4.} (
14. Nf1 {is the straightforward continuation,} Bd7 15. Ng3 c5 16. Be3 exd4 17.
cxd4 c4 18. Qd2 $36 {Grandelius-E.Hansen, Wijk aan Zee 2017, with the
initiative.}) 14... Bb7 15. Bb2 Qd7 16. c4 {This is the idea of White's setup.
Normally it is very rare that White has 5 pawns next to each other on the 4th
rank.} exd4 $6 {A dubious move, because Black will have problems on b5.} (16...
bxc4 {was better,} 17. dxe5 Nxe5 18. Nxe5 dxe5 19. Nxc4 Bd4 {and Black is also
active,}) ({or even the cool-blooded} 16... Nh5 $5 {is also possible, for
example:} 17. axb5 (17. dxe5 $2 Nhf4 $1 18. exd6 Nxg2 $1 19. Kxg2 Nf4+ $19 {
with a decisive attack.}) 17... axb5 18. c5 Nhf4 $132 {with a complicated
middlegame.}) 17. cxb5 $1 {The right reply!} d3 $6 {Another inaccuracy. At
first sight 17...d3 is a logical intermediate move, because ...Nf4 will come
with tempo. On the other hand the light-squared bishop will be strong on the
a6-f1 diagonal.} ({However} 17... axb5 18. Nxd4 bxa4 19. Bxa4 c6 20. Qc2 $14 {
is also comfortable for White.}) 18. Bxd3 Nf4 19. Bf1 $1 {This is the right
square for the bishop. White sacrifices the e4-pawn, because on the queenside
he will be stronger.} Nxe4 (19... axb5 20. Bxb5 $16 {is also better for White.}
) 20. Nxe4 Bxe4 21. bxa6 Qf5 {Threatening ...Nxh3.} 22. Ra3 $1 {A great move,
White activates his R from the 3rd rank and protects the f3-knight.} c5 23. Nh4
{A strong intermediate move! Now it is not easy to choose for Black where he
will put his queen, moreover Rg3 can be unpleasant at an appropriate moment.}
Qe6 (23... Qg5 $2 {loses, as} 24. Rg3 Qxh4 25. Rxg7+ Kf8 26. Qxd6+ $18 {
and wins.}) 24. b5 $18 {White's queenside pawns are very dangerous. a5, b5 is
his main threat.} c4 25. Bd4 {The best practical move. White frustrates all
counterchances; now he neutralises the a7-bishop.} (25. a5 Bc5) 25... Bxd4 26.
Qxd4 d5 27. Rg3 ({The careless} 27. a5 $2 {could have been met by} Qe7 {
double attack,} 28. Rg3 Ne6 $132 {and White loses the h4-knight, the position
is not easy.}) (27. f3 {was also fine, but} Qd6 (27... Qe7 $2 28. Nf5 $1 $18)
28. Rxe4 Rxe4 29. fxe4 Qxa3 30. Nf5 Ne6 {gives some practical chances for
Black.}) 27... g5 28. f3 Nh5 29. Rg4 Nf6 ({The good-looking} 29... f5 {is also
losing, because of} 30. Nxf5 $1 Qxf5 31. fxe4 $18 {and White is winning.}) 30.
Rgxe4 $1 Nxe4 ({In the event of} 30... dxe4 31. Bxc4 Qe5 32. Qxe5 Rxe5 33. b6
$18 {the pawns reach the 6th rank.}) 31. fxe4 gxh4 32. Rd1 Qxe4 (32... dxe4 33.
Bxc4 $18 {is also hopeless for Black.}) 33. Qxe4 Rxe4 34. Rxd5 c3 35. Rc5 Rxa4
36. b6 Kg7 37. b7 Re8 38. Rxc3 Ra1 39. a7 ({The immediate} 39. Rc8 $4 {would
be a blunder, as} Ree1 $1 {and suddenly the white king is in trouble.}) (39. a7
Rxa7 {and the rook has left the 1st rank, so} 40. Rc8 $18 {and White is
winning.}) 1-0
[Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2017.08.02"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C54"]
[WhiteElo "2791"]
[BlackElo "2810"]
[Annotator "Roiz,M"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2017.08.02"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. a4 d6 7. c3 a6 8. h3 h6
9. Nbd2 Ba7 10. Re1 {This way of handling the Italian is getting more and more
popular.} Ne7 ({A few days later Wesley went for} 10... Be6 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12.
b4 Qe8 13. Nf1 Nh5 14. Be3 Bxe3 15. Rxe3 Nf4 $132 {Karjakin,S - So,W Saint
Louis USA 2017}) 11. Bb3 Ng6 12. d4 {White has a superiority in the centre,
but the Pe4 is under pressure now.} Re8 13. Bc2 {As a result, White has to
move the bishop once again.} Bd7 $146 (13... b5 {was employed by Peter Svidler
in the same event:} 14. b4 Bb7 15. Bb2 Qd7 16. c4 $14 {Karjakin,S - Svidler,P
Saint Louis USA 2017}) (13... c6 {didn't offer Black full equality in the
following top-level encounter:} 14. Nf1 d5 15. Nxe5 Nxe5 16. dxe5 Nxe4 17. Bxe4
dxe4 18. Qxd8 Rxd8 19. Ng3 (19. Be3 $14) 19... Bb8 20. Be3 Bxe5 $11 {Anand,V -
Aronian,L Saint Louis USA 2016}) 14. a5 {Maxime is seizing more space on the
q-side. Now White can choose between different possible routes for the Nd2.} ({
The natural} 14. Nf1 $5 {also deserved serious attention. For instance,} c5 15.
dxe5 dxe5 16. Ne3 Bc6 17. Qxd8 Raxd8 18. Nf5 Ne7 19. Ng3 $1 {, and Black still
has some problems to solve.}) 14... c6 ({In the event of} 14... Qc8 15. Nf1 c5
(15... Bxh3 $2 {doesn't work:} 16. gxh3 Qxh3 17. Qd3 $18 {, and the attack
ends.}) 16. dxe5 dxe5 17. c4 $1 Bc6 18. N3d2 Nf4 19. Ne3 $14 {Black would
suffer from the poor Ba7.}) ({After} 14... Nh5 15. Nf1 Nhf4 16. Ng3 Qf6 17. Be3
$14 {Black's activity on the k-side is only visual.}) 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Nc4 {
Now the vulnerablity of the dark squares in Black's camp cannot be
underestimated.} Qe7 ({Possibly, a more accurate move was} 16... Qc7 $5 {
, intending to meet} 17. Qd6 {with} Qc8 $1 18. Qd3 Qc7 (18... Bxh3 19. Nh2 $1
Be6 20. Nd6 Qc7 21. Nxe8 Rxe8 $14) 19. Be3 Bxe3 20. Qxe3 Be6 $14 {, and Black
is only slightly worse.}) 17. Qd6 Qxd6 $6 {This is a serious concession - the
penetration of White's knight would cause Wesley serious problems.} ({A much
better try was} 17... Qd8 $1 18. Be3 Bxe3 19. Nxe3 Be6 20. Qxd8 Rexd8 21. Rad1
Kf8 $14) 18. Nxd6 Re6 19. Rd1 Rb8 20. Kf1 {Maxim isn't in a rush.} ({Another
promising way of handling the position was} 20. b4 $5 Re7 21. c4 Be6 22. Bb2
$16 {, slowly squeezing the opponent's pieces.}) 20... Re7 21. Nc4 Rbe8 22. b3
Be6 23. Nb6 $6 {An unsuccessful decision - in the resuting closed position
White would hardly benefit from having the bishop pair.} ({A much stronger
move was} 23. Ba3 $1 Bxc4+ 24. bxc4 Rd7 25. Rxd7 Nxd7 26. Rb1 b5 (26... Bc5 27.
Rxb7 Bxa3 28. Rxd7 $16) 27. Rd1 Nf6 28. Rd6 $16) 23... Bxb6 24. axb6 Rd7 25.
Be3 Rc8 $1 {GM So manages to fully consolidate.} 26. c4 (26. Ne1 Rxd1 27. Rxd1
c5 28. c4 Nd7 29. Nd3 {would lead to the same.}) 26... Rxd1+ 27. Rxd1 c5 28.
Ne1 Nd7 29. Nd3 f6 {The position is almost equal - both sides have their
troubles now.} 30. Ra1 Ne7 31. Ke2 Kf7 32. Kd2 f5 $2 {Till now Wesley was
defending very well, but this move enables White to activate the bishops again!
} ({The precise} 32... g5 $1 {would most likely allow Black to achieve a draw:}
33. Bd1 (33. g4 Rc6 34. Kc3 Rxb6 35. Nxc5 Nxc5 36. Bxc5 Rc6 37. Be3 Ng6 $11)
33... f5 34. exf5 Bxf5 35. Bh5+ Kg7 $11) 33. f4 $1 exf4 (33... fxe4 34. Nxe5+
Nxe5 35. fxe5 Bf5 36. Kc3 Ke6 37. g4 Bg6 38. Rd1 Rc6 39. Rd8 $18 {is
completely lost for Black, whose pieces are tied to protecting the weak pawns.}
) 34. Nxf4 g5 (34... Nxb6 {is hardly any better:} 35. Nd5 Rd8 36. Rf1 $16) 35.
Nxe6 Kxe6 36. exf5+ Nxf5 37. Bg1 Nd4 $6 (37... Nd6 {was better:} 38. Re1+ Kf6
39. Bd1 Ne5 $16) 38. Re1+ $6 {Returning the favour.} ({The precise} 38. Bxd4
cxd4 39. Be4 Rb8 40. Bf3 Nxb6 41. Kd3 Nd7 42. Kxd4 Kd6 43. b4 Nf6 44. Re1 $18 {
would yield White a decisive positional advantage.}) 38... Kf6 39. Rf1+ Ke7 40.
Re1+ Kd8 $2 {Alas, Wesley chooses a wrong way for deviating from repeating the
moves.} (40... Kf6 41. Bxd4+ cxd4 42. Rf1+ Ke7 43. Bf5 Rc6 44. Re1+ Kd8 45. Re4
Nxb6 46. Bg4 $16 {looks extremely unpleasant for Black, but the limited
material balance offers Black some drawing chances.}) 41. Be4 $1 Nxb3+ (41...
Nxb6 42. Bxd4 cxd4 43. Bxb7 Rb8 44. Bxa6 $18) 42. Kc3 Nd4 43. Bh2 $1 {Black
cannot avoid the major loss of material, so he resigns.} 1-0
[Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2017.08.02"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Svidler, Peter"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C54"]
[WhiteElo "2773"]
[BlackElo "2749"]
[Annotator "Szabo,Kr"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2017.08.02"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. O-O a6 7. a4 Ba7 8. Re1
O-O 9. h3 Ne7 10. d4 Ng6 11. Nbd2 h6 ({The natural} 11... c6 {was played by
Carlsen,} 12. Bd3 Re8 13. Bc2 h6 14. Nf1 exd4 15. cxd4 c5 16. d5 b5 17. axb5
axb5 18. Ng3 Bd7 19. Be3 Bb6 20. Rxa8 Qxa8 $13 {Kramnik-Carlsen, Stavanger
2017, with an unclear middlegame; later White managed to win.}) 12. Bb3 Re8 13.
Bc2 b5 ({On the same day So Wesley played} 13... Bd7 14. a5 c6 15. dxe5 dxe5
16. Nc4 Qe7 17. Qd6 Qxd6 18. Nxd6 Re6 19. Rd1 $14 {Vachier Lagrave-So Wesley,
Saint Louis 2017, and Black was under pressure.}) 14. b4 $146 {A logical
novelty by Karjakin. White's idea is to play on the queenside with Bb2, c4.} (
14. Nf1 {is the straightforward continuation,} Bd7 15. Ng3 c5 16. Be3 exd4 17.
cxd4 c4 18. Qd2 $36 {Grandelius-E.Hansen, Wijk aan Zee 2017, with the
initiative.}) 14... Bb7 15. Bb2 Qd7 16. c4 {This is the idea of White's setup.
Normally it is very rare that White has 5 pawns next to each other on the 4th
rank.} exd4 $6 {A dubious move, because Black will have problems on b5.} (16...
bxc4 {was better,} 17. dxe5 Nxe5 18. Nxe5 dxe5 19. Nxc4 Bd4 {and Black is also
active,}) ({or even the cool-blooded} 16... Nh5 $5 {is also possible, for
example:} 17. axb5 (17. dxe5 $2 Nhf4 $1 18. exd6 Nxg2 $1 19. Kxg2 Nf4+ $19 {
with a decisive attack.}) 17... axb5 18. c5 Nhf4 $132 {with a complicated
middlegame.}) 17. cxb5 $1 {The right reply!} d3 $6 {Another inaccuracy. At
first sight 17...d3 is a logical intermediate move, because ...Nf4 will come
with tempo. On the other hand the light-squared bishop will be strong on the
a6-f1 diagonal.} ({However} 17... axb5 18. Nxd4 bxa4 19. Bxa4 c6 20. Qc2 $14 {
is also comfortable for White.}) 18. Bxd3 Nf4 19. Bf1 $1 {This is the right
square for the bishop. White sacrifices the e4-pawn, because on the queenside
he will be stronger.} Nxe4 (19... axb5 20. Bxb5 $16 {is also better for White.}
) 20. Nxe4 Bxe4 21. bxa6 Qf5 {Threatening ...Nxh3.} 22. Ra3 $1 {A great move,
White activates his R from the 3rd rank and protects the f3-knight.} c5 23. Nh4
{A strong intermediate move! Now it is not easy to choose for Black where he
will put his queen, moreover Rg3 can be unpleasant at an appropriate moment.}
Qe6 (23... Qg5 $2 {loses, as} 24. Rg3 Qxh4 25. Rxg7+ Kf8 26. Qxd6+ $18 {
and wins.}) 24. b5 $18 {White's queenside pawns are very dangerous. a5, b5 is
his main threat.} c4 25. Bd4 {The best practical move. White frustrates all
counterchances; now he neutralises the a7-bishop.} (25. a5 Bc5) 25... Bxd4 26.
Qxd4 d5 27. Rg3 ({The careless} 27. a5 $2 {could have been met by} Qe7 {
double attack,} 28. Rg3 Ne6 $132 {and White loses the h4-knight, the position
is not easy.}) (27. f3 {was also fine, but} Qd6 (27... Qe7 $2 28. Nf5 $1 $18)
28. Rxe4 Rxe4 29. fxe4 Qxa3 30. Nf5 Ne6 {gives some practical chances for
Black.}) 27... g5 28. f3 Nh5 29. Rg4 Nf6 ({The good-looking} 29... f5 {is also
losing, because of} 30. Nxf5 $1 Qxf5 31. fxe4 $18 {and White is winning.}) 30.
Rgxe4 $1 Nxe4 ({In the event of} 30... dxe4 31. Bxc4 Qe5 32. Qxe5 Rxe5 33. b6
$18 {the pawns reach the 6th rank.}) 31. fxe4 gxh4 32. Rd1 Qxe4 (32... dxe4 33.
Bxc4 $18 {is also hopeless for Black.}) 33. Qxe4 Rxe4 34. Rxd5 c3 35. Rc5 Rxa4
36. b6 Kg7 37. b7 Re8 38. Rxc3 Ra1 39. a7 ({The immediate} 39. Rc8 $4 {would
be a blunder, as} Ree1 $1 {and suddenly the white king is in trouble.}) (39. a7
Rxa7 {and the rook has left the 1st rank, so} 40. Rc8 $18 {and White is
winning.}) 1-0
[Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2017.08.02"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C54"]
[WhiteElo "2791"]
[BlackElo "2810"]
[Annotator "Roiz,M"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2017.08.02"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. a4 d6 7. c3 a6 8. h3 h6
9. Nbd2 Ba7 10. Re1 {This way of handling the Italian is getting more and more
popular.} Ne7 ({A few days later Wesley went for} 10... Be6 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12.
b4 Qe8 13. Nf1 Nh5 14. Be3 Bxe3 15. Rxe3 Nf4 $132 {Karjakin,S - So,W Saint
Louis USA 2017}) 11. Bb3 Ng6 12. d4 {White has a superiority in the centre,
but the Pe4 is under pressure now.} Re8 13. Bc2 {As a result, White has to
move the bishop once again.} Bd7 $146 (13... b5 {was employed by Peter Svidler
in the same event:} 14. b4 Bb7 15. Bb2 Qd7 16. c4 $14 {Karjakin,S - Svidler,P
Saint Louis USA 2017}) (13... c6 {didn't offer Black full equality in the
following top-level encounter:} 14. Nf1 d5 15. Nxe5 Nxe5 16. dxe5 Nxe4 17. Bxe4
dxe4 18. Qxd8 Rxd8 19. Ng3 (19. Be3 $14) 19... Bb8 20. Be3 Bxe5 $11 {Anand,V -
Aronian,L Saint Louis USA 2016}) 14. a5 {Maxime is seizing more space on the
q-side. Now White can choose between different possible routes for the Nd2.} ({
The natural} 14. Nf1 $5 {also deserved serious attention. For instance,} c5 15.
dxe5 dxe5 16. Ne3 Bc6 17. Qxd8 Raxd8 18. Nf5 Ne7 19. Ng3 $1 {, and Black still
has some problems to solve.}) 14... c6 ({In the event of} 14... Qc8 15. Nf1 c5
(15... Bxh3 $2 {doesn't work:} 16. gxh3 Qxh3 17. Qd3 $18 {, and the attack
ends.}) 16. dxe5 dxe5 17. c4 $1 Bc6 18. N3d2 Nf4 19. Ne3 $14 {Black would
suffer from the poor Ba7.}) ({After} 14... Nh5 15. Nf1 Nhf4 16. Ng3 Qf6 17. Be3
$14 {Black's activity on the k-side is only visual.}) 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Nc4 {
Now the vulnerablity of the dark squares in Black's camp cannot be
underestimated.} Qe7 ({Possibly, a more accurate move was} 16... Qc7 $5 {
, intending to meet} 17. Qd6 {with} Qc8 $1 18. Qd3 Qc7 (18... Bxh3 19. Nh2 $1
Be6 20. Nd6 Qc7 21. Nxe8 Rxe8 $14) 19. Be3 Bxe3 20. Qxe3 Be6 $14 {, and Black
is only slightly worse.}) 17. Qd6 Qxd6 $6 {This is a serious concession - the
penetration of White's knight would cause Wesley serious problems.} ({A much
better try was} 17... Qd8 $1 18. Be3 Bxe3 19. Nxe3 Be6 20. Qxd8 Rexd8 21. Rad1
Kf8 $14) 18. Nxd6 Re6 19. Rd1 Rb8 20. Kf1 {Maxim isn't in a rush.} ({Another
promising way of handling the position was} 20. b4 $5 Re7 21. c4 Be6 22. Bb2
$16 {, slowly squeezing the opponent's pieces.}) 20... Re7 21. Nc4 Rbe8 22. b3
Be6 23. Nb6 $6 {An unsuccessful decision - in the resuting closed position
White would hardly benefit from having the bishop pair.} ({A much stronger
move was} 23. Ba3 $1 Bxc4+ 24. bxc4 Rd7 25. Rxd7 Nxd7 26. Rb1 b5 (26... Bc5 27.
Rxb7 Bxa3 28. Rxd7 $16) 27. Rd1 Nf6 28. Rd6 $16) 23... Bxb6 24. axb6 Rd7 25.
Be3 Rc8 $1 {GM So manages to fully consolidate.} 26. c4 (26. Ne1 Rxd1 27. Rxd1
c5 28. c4 Nd7 29. Nd3 {would lead to the same.}) 26... Rxd1+ 27. Rxd1 c5 28.
Ne1 Nd7 29. Nd3 f6 {The position is almost equal - both sides have their
troubles now.} 30. Ra1 Ne7 31. Ke2 Kf7 32. Kd2 f5 $2 {Till now Wesley was
defending very well, but this move enables White to activate the bishops again!
} ({The precise} 32... g5 $1 {would most likely allow Black to achieve a draw:}
33. Bd1 (33. g4 Rc6 34. Kc3 Rxb6 35. Nxc5 Nxc5 36. Bxc5 Rc6 37. Be3 Ng6 $11)
33... f5 34. exf5 Bxf5 35. Bh5+ Kg7 $11) 33. f4 $1 exf4 (33... fxe4 34. Nxe5+
Nxe5 35. fxe5 Bf5 36. Kc3 Ke6 37. g4 Bg6 38. Rd1 Rc6 39. Rd8 $18 {is
completely lost for Black, whose pieces are tied to protecting the weak pawns.}
) 34. Nxf4 g5 (34... Nxb6 {is hardly any better:} 35. Nd5 Rd8 36. Rf1 $16) 35.
Nxe6 Kxe6 36. exf5+ Nxf5 37. Bg1 Nd4 $6 (37... Nd6 {was better:} 38. Re1+ Kf6
39. Bd1 Ne5 $16) 38. Re1+ $6 {Returning the favour.} ({The precise} 38. Bxd4
cxd4 39. Be4 Rb8 40. Bf3 Nxb6 41. Kd3 Nd7 42. Kxd4 Kd6 43. b4 Nf6 44. Re1 $18 {
would yield White a decisive positional advantage.}) 38... Kf6 39. Rf1+ Ke7 40.
Re1+ Kd8 $2 {Alas, Wesley chooses a wrong way for deviating from repeating the
moves.} (40... Kf6 41. Bxd4+ cxd4 42. Rf1+ Ke7 43. Bf5 Rc6 44. Re1+ Kd8 45. Re4
Nxb6 46. Bg4 $16 {looks extremely unpleasant for Black, but the limited
material balance offers Black some drawing chances.}) 41. Be4 $1 Nxb3+ (41...
Nxb6 42. Bxd4 cxd4 43. Bxb7 Rb8 44. Bxa6 $18) 42. Kc3 Nd4 43. Bh2 $1 {Black
cannot avoid the major loss of material, so he resigns.} 1-0
[Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2017.08.03"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A34"]
[WhiteElo "2742"]
[BlackElo "2810"]
[Annotator "Marin,M"]
[PlyCount "78"]
[EventDate "2017.08.02"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 c5 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4 {An extravagant line, leading to
unnatural white play in the hope of retaining the space advantage. Personally
I would not create myself such early problems with the queen safety, leading
most likely to delay in development. I was a witness when Ljubojevic
introduced this line in grandmaster practice (Szirak 1987, see below). I
remember that Adorjan was chasing him during the rest of the tournament
rhaetorically asking: "Ljubo, will you admit I was better?"} Nf6 5. Bf4 {
White prepares the d2-square for the queen hoping to expose the bishop as
little as possible. In the game the latter proved illusory. There is a whole
bunch of alternatives.} ({The bishop is even more vulnerable after} 5. Bg5 Nc6
6. Qd2 Bg7 7. e4 d6 ({Actually Black could already start the chase:} 7... h6 8.
Be3 Ng4 9. Bf4 g5 10. Bg3 Nge5 11. h4 g4 $13) 8. Nge2 O-O 9. f3 Qa5 10. Nd5
Nxd5 11. cxd5 Qxd2+ 12. Kxd2 f6 13. Be3 Ne5 14. Nd4 $14 {1-0 (34) Penzold,A
(2387)-Berebora,F (2437) Germany 2015}) (5. e4 Nc6 {forces the queen to avoid
the desirable retreat to d2 in order to keep the bishop's line of advance open.
} 6. Qd3 Bg7 7. Nf3 d6 8. Be2 O-O 9. O-O Nd7 (9... Bg4 $5 $11) 10. Be3 Nc5 11.
Qc2 Bxc3 12. bxc3 f5 (12... Bg4 13. h3 Bxf3 14. Bxf3 Ne5 15. Be2 Qc7 16. f4
Ned7 $13) 13. exf5 Bxf5 14. Qb2 Qb6 15. Qc1 {Cifuentes Parada,R (2509)-Van den
Berg,A (2267) Leiden 1992 (1-0, 35), and White retained some attacking chances.
}) ({Ljubo's aforementioned game went} 5. g3 Bg7 6. Bg2 Nc6 7. Qd2 {1/2-1/2
(49) Ljubojevic,L (2625)-Adorjan,A (2540) Szirak 1987 CBM 003 [Ftacnik,L]}) ({
Or if} 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. Qd2 Bg7 7. Rb1 O-O 8. b3 Qa5 9. e4 {Black can use his
advance in development to break the centre:} e6 10. Bb2 d5 $36 {Garcia Palermo,
C (2490)-Spangenberg,H (2505) Villa Gesell 1996 (0-1, 30)}) 5... Nc6 (5... Bg7
{allows unnnecessary (even though not bad for Black) complicatons:} 6. Bxb8
Rxb8 7. Qxa7 Qc7 8. Nf3 (8. Nb5 Qxc4 9. Qxb8 O-O 10. Nc3 Qb4 {offers Black a
lot of play on the dark squares and an overwhelming advance in development for
the missing rook.}) 8... Ng4 $2 ({Black should have aimed for counterplay in
the centre.} 8... d5 9. cxd5 O-O $44) {In Dvoirys,S (2553)-Kholopov,A (2294)
Cheliabinsk 2008 (1-0, 39) White's simplest way to an advantage as:} 9. Nb5
Qxc4 10. Qxb8 Qb4+ 11. Nd2 O-O 12. Rc1 Qxb2 13. Rb1 Qxa2 14. Qg3 $18) 6. Qd2 d6
7. e4 Bg7 8. Bd3 $146 ({Deviating from another game of the old specialist of
this variation where White allowed the exchange on f3, increasing Black's
control on the dark squares.} 8. Nf3 Bg4 9. Be2 Rc8 10. Rd1 Qa5 11. O-O Bxf3
12. Bxf3 Ne5 13. Bxe5 Qxe5 14. b3 h5 {1/2-1/2 Ljubojevic,L (2635)-Sax,G (2580)
Tilburg 1989. Of course Black has no problems.}) 8... Ne5 9. Nge2 {White is
close to completing his development but most of his minor pieces are developed
unnaturally.} Nh5 $5 {Immediately questioning the safety of the bishop.} ({
Black could have also embarked the slow mode typical for the Maroczy structure:
} 9... O-O 10. O-O a6 11. Rfd1 Nfd7 {[%csl Gc4,Gd3][%cal Gd7c5]} 12. b3 b5 $5
13. cxb5 Nxd3 14. Qxd3 axb5 15. Rac1 (15. Qxb5 Ba6 16. Qd5 Bxe2 17. Nxe2 Bxa1
18. Rxa1 Qa5 $17) 15... b4 16. Nd5 Nc5 (16... Rxa2 $2 17. Rxc8 $1) 17. Qe3 (17.
Rxc5 dxc5 18. Nf6+ exf6 19. Qxd8 Rxd8 20. Rxd8+ Bf8 21. Bh6 Bb7 $11) 17... Bb7
$13) 10. Be3 Ng4 11. Bg5 h6 12. Bh4 g5 13. Bg3 Be6 {With a few more or less
forced moves Black has ensured his control on the dark squares and the bishop
pair. He has no problems at all.} 14. h3 (14. f3 Nxg3 15. hxg3 Ne5 16. b3 Qa5
17. Rc1 O-O-O $5 $15 {[%cal Gh6h5,Gc8b8,Gd8c8]}) 14... Ne5 ({Actually it was
entirely possible (and most likely better) to keep a knight on e5:} 14... Nxg3
15. Nxg3 Ne5 {If Black feared} 16. Nh5 {but this is inoffensive:} Nxd3+ 17.
Qxd3 Be5 18. g3 $6 Qa5 $36) 15. Bxe5 $1 {Aiming at keeping the h5-knight out
of play. Other moves tend to hand over the initiative to Black.} (15. b3 Nxg3
16. Nxg3 b5 $5 17. cxb5 Rc8 18. Rc1 Qa5 19. Nge2 O-O 20. O-O Rc5 $36) (15. Nd5
Nxd3+ 16. Qxd3 Bxd5 17. exd5 Qa5+ 18. Qd2 Qxd2+ 19. Kxd2 Rc8 20. Rac1 Bxb2 21.
Rb1 Bf6 22. Rxb7 Rxc4 23. Rxa7 O-O $15) 15... Bxe5 16. g3 {White has some
chances to gain even more space but he needs to be careful.} Qa5 17. f4 $2 {
Just careless.} (17. Rb1 $5 Rc8 18. b4 Qd8 19. Nd5 $13 {For instance} Qd7 $6
20. h4 $36 g4 $6 21. O-O $16 {White dominates the centre and Black will find
it difficult transferring the king to a safe area.}) 17... Bxc3 $1 {[%csl Gg3]}
18. bxc3 (18. Nxc3 Nxg3 $19) 18... Qc7 19. fxg5 hxg5 20. Qxg5 Bxc4 21. Bxc4
Qxc4 $17 {White's structure is in ruins and Black's win should be a matter of
elementary technique.} 22. Qd5 Qxd5 23. exd5 Rc8 24. Rb1 b6 25. Rb3 Nf6 26. Ra3
a5 27. Nf4 (27. Rb3 Nxd5 $19) 27... Rg8 28. c4 (28. g4 Rg5 $19) 28... Rxc4 29.
Ke2 Ne4 30. g4 f5 31. Rg1 (31. gxf5 Ng3+) 31... fxg4 32. hxg4 Nc3+ 33. Kd3 Rxf4
34. Rxc3 Rgxg4 35. Rc8+ (35. Rxg4 Rxg4 $19 36. Rb3 $6 Rg3+) 35... Kf7 36. Rb1
Rd4+ 37. Ke3 Rxd5 38. Rxb6 Rg2 39. a4 Rg4 0-1
[Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2017.08.04"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Svidler, Peter"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C84"]
[WhiteElo "2791"]
[BlackElo "2749"]
[Annotator "Roiz,M"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2017.08.02"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. a3
Na5 9. Ba2 c5 10. Nc3 Be6 11. Nh4 ({Previously, Maxim has sucessfully employed
} 11. Bg5 O-O 12. Bxf6 Bxf6 13. Nd5 Nc6 ({Possibly,} 13... g6 $5 14. c3 Bg7 15.
Ne3 c4 $132 {offers Black an adequate counterplay.}) 14. a4 g6 15. c3 Bg7 16.
Ne3 b4 17. a5 bxc3 18. bxc3 Nxa5 19. Bxe6 fxe6 20. Qa4 Nb7 21. Rfb1 $36 {
Vachier Lagrave,M - Piorun,K Caleta ENG 2017}) ({There is the quite harmless}
11. Nd5 Nxd5 12. Bxd5 Bxd5 13. exd5 O-O 14. b4 Nb7 15. c3 Qc7 16. Re1 f5 $132 {
Anand,V -Adams,M Baden-Baden GER 2013}) 11... O-O 12. Nf5 Nc6 13. Nd5 $1 $146 {
An ambitious continuation, which provoked Black to exchange the light-squared
bishop.} (13. Bg5 Bxa2 14. Rxa2 Ne8 15. Be3 Bg5 16. Nd5 (16. Qg4 $5 Bxe3 17.
fxe3 g6 18. Raa1 Kh8 19. Nh4 $14) 16... Bxe3 17. Nfxe3 Nf6 $11 {Hovhannisyan,R
- Piorun,K Gjakova KOS 2016}) (13. Ne3 Nd7 14. Ncd5 Bg5 15. g3 Bxe3 16. Bxe3
Kh8 17. b4 Ne7 18. Nxe7 Qxe7 $11 {Timofeev,A - Matlakov,M Sochi RUS 2016})
13... Bxf5 14. exf5 Nxd5 15. Bxd5 Rc8 {At the moment, White has full control
over the light squares. On the other hand, the unfavourable change of pawn
structure makes it hard to make use of the bishop pair.} 16. a4 $1 {Since
Black's rook has left its initial spot, it definitely makes sense to open the
a-file.} ({A less promising try was} 16. Qh5 Bf6 17. g4 h6 18. Kh1 (18. h4 Bxh4
19. Bxh6 gxh6 20. Qg6+ Kh8 21. Qxh6+ Kg8 22. Qg6+ Kh8 $11) 18... Bg5 19. Be3
Qf6 $132) 16... Bf6 ({Hardly better was} 16... b4 17. Be3 Bf6 18. c4 bxc3 (
18... Ne7 19. Be4 d5 20. cxd5 Nxd5 21. Qb3 Nxe3 22. fxe3 $14) 19. bxc3 Ne7 20.
Bb7 Rc7 21. Bxa6 Nxf5 22. Bd2 $14 {, and White's bishops would support the
passer.}) 17. axb5 axb5 18. c4 $1 {There is a deep strategic idea behind this
move - the stability in the centre favours White, who has a clear attacking
plan on the k-side. At the same time, the d4-spot still doesn't fully belong
to Black's knight.} ({The alternatives were much weaker:} 18. g4 Bg5 19. Be3
Bxe3 20. fxe3 Qg5 21. Qe2 Ne7 22. Bg2 d5 $132) (18. Be3 Nb4 19. Bf3 d5 20. c3
d4 $1 {is by no means worse for Black.}) 18... bxc4 $6 {Opening-up the d-file
would expose the d6-pawn and invite fresh troubles.} ({However, White would be
better in other cases too:} 18... Nd4 19. Qh5 Qe7 20. Ra2 h6 21. Be4 $14) ({Or
} 18... Qd7 19. Qh5 Ne7 20. Be4 d5 21. cxd5 Nxd5 22. Qf3 Rfd8 23. Bd2 $14) 19.
dxc4 Bg5 (19... Nd4 20. Qh5 Nb3 21. Ra6 Nxc1 22. Rxc1 $16) 20. Be3 Kh8 ({
The difference in the effectivity of the bishops is well illustrated in the
following line:} 20... Nd4 $2 21. Bxd4 $1 exd4 (21... cxd4 22. b4 Qd7 23. Qf3
$18) 22. f4 Bf6 23. g4 h6 24. Ra3 $1 Qd7 25. g5 hxg5 26. Rh3 $18 {with a
decisive attack.}) ({Nor does Black's position look attractive after} 20... h6
21. Ra6 Nd4 22. Qg4 $16) 21. Qh5 h6 $2 {Peter is trying to change the
unfavourable course of the game, but Black doesn't get any compensation for
the pawn.} ({The lesser evil was} 21... Bxe3 22. fxe3 f6 23. Rfd1 $1 Qb6 24.
Qf3 Nb4 25. Be4 Rfd8 26. g4 $16 {Black's position lacks any adequate ideas,
whereas White has a clear attacking plan.}) 22. Bxf7 Nd4 23. h4 ({Another
decent way of handling the position was} 23. Bxd4 cxd4 24. b4 $1 e4 25. Be6 Rb8
26. b5 e3 27. fxe3 dxe3 28. Qe2 $18 {, and the b-passer should secure a win.})
23... Bxe3 (23... Qe7 24. hxg5 Qxf7 25. Qxf7 Rxf7 26. g4 hxg5 27. Kg2 Kg8 28.
Rh1 {should be winning for White, though the technical task might not be easy.}
) 24. fxe3 Qf6 25. Ra7 ({There was no reason for rejecting the natural} 25. Bg6
Nc2 26. Rac1 Nxe3 27. Rf3 {, trapping the knight. The play might continue:}
Nxc4 28. Rxc4 d5 29. Rc2 e4 30. Re3 Rb8 31. Qe2 $18 {Despite the powerful
central passers, Black's position is completely hopeless.}) 25... Ne2+ 26. Qxe2
({Another possibility was} 26. Kh2 e4 27. Qxe2 Rxf7 28. Rxf7 Qxf7 29. Qg4 Qxc4
30. f6 $18) 26... Rxf7 27. Rxf7 Qxf7 28. Qg4 {White is a pawn up in a better
position.} (28. g4 $1 {was simpler:} Qf6 29. g5 hxg5 30. Qh5+ Qh6 31. Qxg5 Rb8
32. Rf2 Rb3 33. Re2 Rb4 34. Rc2 Rb3 35. Kf2 $18) 28... Rb8 29. Ra1 $1 Qf6 30.
Qe4 (30. Qg6 Qe7 31. h5 $18) 30... Kh7 {Despite some inaccuracies, White's
position is still winning. Unfortunately, Maxim is committing a blunder and
spoiling all the advantage.} ({The pawn was untouchable:} 30... Rxb2 31. Ra8+
Kh7 32. g4 $18) 31. Ra2 $2 ({The correct move was} 31. h5 $1 Rxb2 32. Ra8 d5 (
32... Rd2 33. Kh2 Rb2 34. Kh3 $18) 33. Qg4 Qg5 34. Qxg5 hxg5 35. cxd5 Rd2 36.
g4 Rxd5 37. Kf2 $18 {, and the resulting rook endgame is completely hopeless
for Black - there are too many weaknesees.}) 31... h5 $1 {Now Black's king is
much safer! It turns out, that there is no way to keep the extra pawn.} 32. Kh2
({The best practical chance was:} 32. g3 Rf8 33. Ra6 Qxf5 34. Qxf5+ Rxf5 35.
Rxd6 Rf3 36. Kg2 Rxe3 37. Rd5 {, but even then after} g5 $1 38. Rxc5 (38. hxg5
Re2+ 39. Kf3 Rxb2 40. Rxc5 Rc2 $11) 38... gxh4 39. gxh4 Kg6 40. b4 Kf5 41. b5
Rb3 42. Rc6 Kf4 {Black is obtaining sufficient counter-play.}) 32... d5 $1 {
Now Black is safe.} 33. Qxd5 (33. cxd5 Rb4 34. Qf3 Qxh4+ 35. Qh3 Qg5 $11) 33...
Qxh4+ 34. Kg1 Qe1+ 35. Kh2 Qh4+ 36. Kg1 Qe1+ 37. Kh2 Qxe3 {The character of
play has drastically changed, so Peter pushes for more.} 38. Qf7 {The simplest.
Now the game ends.} Qf4+ 39. Kh1 Qh4+ 40. Kg1 Qe1+ 41. Kh2 Qh4+ 42. Kg1 Qd4+
43. Kh1 1/2-1/2
[Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2017.08.05"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A34"]
[WhiteElo "2822"]
[BlackElo "2791"]
[Annotator "Quintiliano,R"]
[PlyCount "142"]
[EventDate "2017.08.02"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{This very had fought game had a decisive influence in the final standings, as
Vachier-Lagrave finished half point ahead of Carlsen and Anand, winning the
Sinquefield Cup!} 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e3 Nxc3 6. dxc3
{As usual, Carlsen deviates to the less played lines and aims just to get a
game.} ({In the first round, Aronian played} 6. bxc3 g6 7. h4 $5 Bg7 8. h5 Nc6
9. Ba3 Qa5 {and now} 10. Rh4 $1 {Aronian,L (2809)-Nepomniachtchi,I (2742) 5th
Sinquefield Cup 2017 (1.3) 1-0 an amusing way to develop the rook and at the
same time indirectly to protect the a3-bishop, even Kasparov praised this
idea! The exclamation point is for Aronian's wonderful imagination to find
such ideas in his preparations -}) 6... Qxd1+ 7. Kxd1 {This position reminds
us of one which can be reached in an Anti-Grünfeld, but in that line the pawn
is oin e4. Such positions are, of course, objectively equal, but there are
many plans to follow for each side, which means a strategic battle ahead. In
his time, Ulf Andersson used to outplay strong opponents from these positions,
providing nice examples of positional play.} Bf5 {Pretty natural, avoiding e4.}
8. Nd2 Nc6 9. e4 Bg6 $146 ({We have a nice recent example of how White can get
an advantage in this apparently harmless position:} 9... Be6 10. Kc2 g6 11. Bc4
Bd7 $6 (11... Bxc4 $142 12. Nxc4 b5 $1) 12. Nb3 b6 13. a4 $1 Ne5 14. Bb5 a6 $6
(14... O-O-O $142 15. Bf4 Bg7 16. Ba6+ Kc7 17. a5 $36 Kc6 $5) 15. Bxd7+ Nxd7 (
15... Kxd7 16. Bf4 Bg7 17. Rhd1+ Kc6 18. a5 $1 b5 19. Rd5 Nd7 20. Rad1 Ra7 21.
Nxc5 $1 $18) 16. Be3 {[%cal Ga4a5] Now Black should always have to worry about
a5} e6 (16... a5 17. Nd2 {[%csl Gb6][%cal Yd2c4]}) 17. Rhd1 O-O-O 18. Nd2 $1 {
[%cal Yd2c4] after provoking b6, the knight come back to improve its position
by manoeuvring to c4} Be7 19. Nc4 Kb7 20. a5 $16 {Radjabov,T (2724)-Svidler,P
(2749) Geneva Grand Prix 2017 (7.2) 1-0}) 10. Bb5 Rc8 11. h4 h5 {This move is
probably the best, avoiding White winning space on the kingside.} 12. Re1 e6
13. a4 $5 {One thing that seems remarkable to me in Magnus Carlsen's games, is
how often he uses his rook pawns in order to generate ideas and try to force
his opponents to make concessions.} Be7 ({For example, if Black rushes with}
13... a6 14. Bf1 $5 Be7 15. g3 O-O 16. a5 $1 Rfd8 (16... Bd8 17. Nc4) 17. Kc2
f6 18. Nc4 Bf7 19. Be3 $14) 14. g3 O-O 15. a5 Rfd8 {Vachier-Lagrave cleverly
avoisd forceful or committal moves, and finishes the development with a good
position.} 16. a6 (16. f4 $5 {[%cal Yf4f5]} Kf8 17. Ke2 {[%cal Ye2f2] was a
good way to find a safe place for White's king.}) 16... b6 {Black has achieved
a solid structure on the queenside, but White also has a stable position for
his Bb5 and expects to exploit the a7-pawn in the future, as well as create
pressure with the pieces on Black's pawns.} 17. Kc2 Ne5 $1 {This move makes
White's development difficult, avoiding Nc4.} 18. f4 (18. Nc4 Nf3 19. Re2 Rd4
$3 {I don't know if the players saw this sacrifice, but the engine yes, and it
is very beautiful!} 20. cxd4 Nxd4+ 21. Kd1 Nxb5 {Black has a great
compensation here, for example} 22. f3 Nd4 23. Rf2 Rd8 24. Ke1 Nb3 25. Rb1 f5
$1 $36) 18... Ng4 {[%csl Yg4] The Black knight finds a nice post on g4.} 19.
Kb3 {Again necessary to prepare Nc4.} (19. Nc4 Nf6 $1) 19... f6 {A good move
to prevent another threat: f4-f5.} 20. Nc4 Nf2 (20... e5 {looks playable} 21.
Bd2 Bf7 22. Kc2 Bd6 {with a good position.}) 21. e5 (21. f5 $5 {was another
idea} Bf7 (21... Be8 22. Ka4 $5) 22. fxe6 Bxe6 23. e5 $5 {this is one way to
try to open lines and get some initiative, but after} f5 {Black's position
still looks pretty solid} (23... Kf7 {is also possible, but after} 24. exf6
gxf6 25. Re2 Nd3 26. Bh6 $1 {the only safe square for the bishop} Ne5 27. Rf1
Kg6 28. Bf4 Bd6 29. Bxe5 Bxe5 30. Ka4 Bxc4 31. Bxc4 $14 {it is clearly White
who can play for a win in this endgame, with the better minor piece and the
better pawn structure.})) 21... Ne4 22. Be3 Bf5 ({Of course not} 22... Nxg3 $2
23. Rg1) 23. Rg1 {The pawns are more or less blocked on both sides, and looks
the sort of position where it is difficult for both players to make progress.}
Rd5 24. Rae1 Kf7 25. Bc1 {[%csl Ge4][%cal Yc4e3] With his usual ability to
keep improving his position, Magnus tries to disturb Black's setup by
threating Ne3 or attacking the e4-knight, which is kind of trapped in e4.} Bh7
26. Re3 (26. g4 $1 {would be a timely opening of kingside} hxg4 27. Rxg4 Nf2 (
27... Rcd8 28. Reg1 Bf8 29. Ne3 {[%csl Rd5] suddenly the rook has no squares!}
c4+ $8 30. Bxc4 Ra5 31. f5 $1) 28. Rg3 Nd3 29. Reg1 Rg8 30. h5 $1 {and White's
position is easier, for example} fxe5 31. fxe5 Nxe5 32. h6 $1 Bf6 (32... gxh6
33. Nxe5+ Rxe5 34. Rxg8 Bxg8 35. Bxh6 {[%cal Yg1g7]} Bf6 36. Bf4 $1 {[%cal
Yf4b8]}) 33. hxg7 Rxg7 34. Rxg7+ Bxg7 35. Rf1+ Kg8 36. Nxe5 Bxe5 37. Re1 $16 {
[%cal Yb5c4] Black's situation looks difficult, although maybe it is
defensible.}) 26... Rcd8 {After this move, action begins!} (26... Nf2 {was
safer} 27. Re2 Nd3 28. Be3 Bf5 $11) 27. Bc6 Nf2 $1 (27... Rd1 $2 28. Rxd1 Rxd1
29. Bxe4 Bxe4 30. Rxe4 Rxc1 31. Nxb6 $1 {reveals a nice point about the a6-pawn
} axb6 32. Ra4 $1 (32. a7 $2 Ra1 33. Ra4 c4+ $1) 32... b5 33. a7 bxa4+ 34. Ka2
$18 {[%cal Ga7a8]}) 28. Re2 $1 {Magnus correctly refuses the Greek gift.} (28.
Bxd5 $2 {gives a very active position for Black with the central pawns
advancing strongly, and White's remaining pieces stay badly placed} exd5 29.
Na3 (29. Nd2 Nd3 {[%cal Yc5c4,Ye7c5]} 30. Nf3 d4 31. Re2 c4+ $1 32. Kxc4 dxc3
33. exf6 (33. bxc3 Nxc1 34. Rxc1 Bd3+ $19) (33. Kxc3 Rc8+ 34. Kd2 Bb4+ $19)
33... Bxf6 34. bxc3 Nxc1 35. Ne5+ Bxe5 36. Rxe5 Nd3 $17) 29... Ng4 30. Ree1 Bd3
$17 {[%csl Ga6]}) 28... Nd3 29. exf6 (29. Bxd5 {is still bad} exd5 30. Na3 b5
$1 31. Ka2 (31. Nxb5 Nxc1+ 32. Rxc1 Bd3 $19) 31... Rb8 $17 {[%cal Yb8b6]})
29... gxf6 30. Bb5 {Kind of a sad admission that the rook never can be
accepted.} Rg8 31. Bd2 Rgd8 32. Be3 Be4 33. Rd2 Rg8 34. Ka4 Rgd8 35. Kb3 Rg8
36. Ka2 {Carlsen avoids repetition, but it still seems difficult to create
something, as Black is very solid.} f5 {[%cal Ye7h4]} 37. Rh2 Rc8 38. Rd2 Rg8
39. Re2 $5 Bf3 {Vachier-Lagrave doesn't accept the provocation.} ({But he
could have played} 39... Bxh4 40. Rh2 Bxg3 41. Rxh5 Rg7 $1 (41... Bxf4 $2 42.
Rh7+ Kf8 43. Rxg8+ Kxg8 44. Rxa7 $16) 42. Rh8 {[%cal Yh8a8]} Bxf4 43. Ra8 {
Black has a nice resource now} Rd7 $1 {[%cal Ye4a8]} 44. Bxd7 Bxa8 45. Bxe6+ $1
Kf6 46. Rxg7 Kxg7 47. Bxf5 Bxe3 48. Nxe3 (48. Bxd3 Bd5 $11) 48... Ne5 $11) 40.
Rh2 Bf6 $6 {This move is careless, as now White can disturb the harmony of
Black's position.} (40... Be4 $142 $11) 41. Nd2 $1 Bg4 (41... Be4 42. Nxe4 fxe4
43. Bc6 {now is a better version for White} Rc8 44. Bb7 $1 Rcd8 45. Kb1 $1 {
[%cal Yc3c4] the point is that White is not forced to take on d5, but Black
cannot retreat the rook without terrible consequences because of the e4-pawn}
b5 46. g4 hxg4 47. Rxg4 b4 48. cxb4 Nxb4 49. Bxd5 exd5 50. Bxc5 Nxa6 51. Bxa7
d4 52. f5 $1 e3 53. Re4 $16 {[%csl Yf5,Yh4] Despite the material advantage,
White has two healthy passed pawns.}) 42. Rf1 $1 {[%csl Gg4][%cal Yd2c4]
Another strong move, leaving the g4-bishop with no moves and freeing again the
Nd2.} Rgd8 43. Nc4 e5 $1 {Vachier-Lagrave is fighting on and tries to
complicate matters.} (43... Kg6 44. Bc6 Kf7 45. Rd2 $16 {already looks very
good for White.}) 44. fxe5 (44. Bc6 e4 $1 45. Bxd5+ Rxd5 {again gives enough
compensation for Black, as White's rooks doesn't have open files to operate
and all Black pieces are well placed.}) 44... Bxe5 $2 {But this move involves
a variation which actually is a losing one for Black.} (44... Nxe5 {was the
right move, but Black needs to find a very delicate variation} 45. Bf4 {
[%cal Yc4e5,Gb5c4]} Kg7 $1 46. Ne3 c4 $1 47. Nxd5 (47. Bxc4 Ra5+ 48. Kb3 Nxc4
49. Kxc4 Rxa6 50. Nxg4 fxg4 51. Rhf2 $14) 47... Rxd5 48. Bxe5 Bxe5 49. Bxc4
Ra5+ 50. Kb1 Bxg3 51. Rd2 f4 {[%cal Yg4f5]} 52. b4 Re5 53. Rd8 $14 {White
keeps chances to win, but Black is fighting.}) 45. Bg5 Bxg3 {The best
practical chance.} (45... Rc8 46. Nxb6 $1 axb6 47. Bc4 Ke6 48. Rd2 $18) (45...
Bf6 46. Bxf6 Kxf6 47. Bc6 $18 {[%csl Gd5]}) 46. Rg2 $2 {But this imprecision
throws victory away.} (46. Rd2 $1 {was winning, Black has pratically no moves,
for example} Rf8 (46... Bc7 47. Ka1 f4 48. Bxd8 Rxd8 49. Ne3 {[%csl Rd3,Rg4]}
Bh3 50. Bxd3 Bxf1 51. Nxf1 $18) 47. Ka3 $1 {[%cal Yc4e3] preparing the simple
Ne3, for example} (47. Ne3 Nc1+ 48. Rxc1 Rxd2 49. Nxg4 $18) 47... f4 48. Rxd3
Rxd3 49. Ne5+ $18) 46... Bh3 47. Rxg3 Bxf1 48. Rf3 $4 {But this is already
losing.} (48. Bxd8 {still is a draw} Rxd8 (48... f4 $2 49. Rg1) 49. Rf3 Be2 50.
Rxf5+ Kg6 51. Rg5+ Kf6 52. Na3 $11) 48... Be2 49. Bxd8 ({In the interview
after the game, Vachier-Lagrave said Carlsen was counting on} 49. Re3 {now,
which looks winning, but then Black has} f4 $1 50. Re7+ (50. Rxe2 Nc1+ {
is the detail, as now the Bg5 is not guarding c1}) 50... Kg6 51. Rxa7 (51. Re6+
Kf5 52. Rf6+ Kg4 $19) 51... Rxg5 $1 52. hxg5 f3 53. Rb7 h4 {and after Black to
eliminate the a7-pawn, the remaining passed pawns in kingside are unstoppable}
54. a7 Ra8 55. Nxb6 Rxa7+ 56. Rxa7 Nc1+ $1 57. Kb1 Bxb5 58. Kxc1 f2 $19) 49...
Bxf3 {This endgame is winning for Black, although White still has some tricks
to try.} 50. Bxb6 (50. Bc7 {[%csl Ga7][%cal Yc7b8] was the slow way} Ke6 51.
Bb8 Nc1+ 52. Ka3 (52. Kb1 Rd1 53. Kc2 Rh1 {[%cal Gf3e4]} 54. Nd6 f4 $19) 52...
Rd1 53. Bxa7 Nd3 $1 {[%cal Yd1a1,Yf3d1] suddenly creating a mating net around
White's king} 54. Ka2 Bd5 55. b3 f4 56. Bxb6 f3 57. a7 f2 58. Ne3 Ba8 $1 $18 {
[%cal Yd1e1]}) 50... axb6 51. Bc6 Be4 $1 {Again accurate, eliminating the pin.}
52. a7 (52. Nxb6 Rd8 53. Bxe4 fxe4 54. a7 e3 $19) 52... Rd8 53. Nd6+ {Carlsen
tries all his chances in this desperate position.} Rxd6 $1 54. Bxe4 (54. a8=Q
Rxc6 $19 {is totally hopeless for White.}) 54... Rd8 55. a8=Q Rxa8+ 56. Bxa8
$19 {This endgame is an easy win for Black and Vachier-Lagrave has no problems
to convert the advantage.} Ne5 57. Kb3 f4 58. Kc2 Kg7 59. Kd2 Ng6 60. Kd3 Nxh4
61. Ke4 f3 62. Ke3 Kf6 63. b4 c4 $1 {The last precise move for Black,
deflecting the bishop from the main diagonal.} (63... cxb4 64. cxb4 Kf5 65. Bb7
Kg4 66. Kf2 {could have offered serious chances for White, as is not possible
to manoeuvre the knight without losing the f3-pawn.}) (63... Kg5 64. bxc5 bxc5
65. Bd5 Kg4 66. Kf2 {is the same as 63...cxb4.}) 64. Bd5 Kf5 65. Bxc4 Kg4 66.
Kf2 Ng6 $1 {This move is possible now because the bishop is not attacking the
f3-pawn anymore.} 67. Be6+ Kf4 68. Bf7 Ne5 69. Bxh5 Nd3+ 70. Kf1 Kg3 71. Bf7
Nf2 {A complicated strategic battle, where the World Champion was about to
finish another memorable game, when the tactical nuances drastically turned
the table, and Vachier-Lagrave, with great vision sfor the available resources,
took his chances immediately and scored a crucial win.} 0-1
[Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2017.08.05"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2742"]
[BlackElo "2792"]
[Annotator "Sumets,A"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2017.08.02"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
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 (10. a3 {is the main line, but nowadays it is
considered as the drawish line. For instance this game} Nc6 11. Bd3 Bb6 12. O-O
Bg4 13. h3 Bh5 14. b4 a6 (14... d4 $5 15. b5 Na5 16. exd4 Qd5 17. Re1 Rfe8 $6 (
17... Bxf3 18. Qxf3 Qxf3 19. gxf3 Nb3 20. Rad1 Nxd4 21. Kg2 Rad8 {Black should
equalise}) 18. Rxe8+ Rxe8 19. Rc1 (19. Rb1 $1 Bxf3 20. Qxf3 Qxf3 21. gxf3 Bxd4
22. Be4 $14) 19... Bxf3 20. Qxf3 Qxf3 21. gxf3 Nb3 22. Rc3 Nxd4 $11 {Huebner,R
(2583)-Prusikin,M (2528) Switzerland SUI 2016 1-0 (70)}) 15. Rb1 d4 16. b5 (16.
exd4 Nxd4 17. g4 Bg6 18. Bxg6 hxg6 $11) (16. e4 Bc7 17. Bxc7 Qxc7 18. Rc1 Qe7
$11) 16... axb5 17. Rxb5 Bxf3 18. Qb1 $1 Bc7 $1 19. Bxh7+ Kh8 20. gxf3 Bxf4 21.
exf4 Ne7 22. Rh5 (22. Be4 f5 23. Bxf5 (23. Bxb7 Rb8 24. Rd1 Ng6 25. Rxf5 Nxf4
26. Qe4 Qh4 27. a4 d3 $1 (27... Nxh3+ $6 28. Kg2 Nf4+ 29. Qxf4 Qxf4 30. Rxf4
Rxf4 31. Rh1+ Kg8 32. Bd5+ Rf7 (32... Kf8 $4 33. Rh8+ $18) 33. Ra1 $16) 28. Bc6
Rxf5 29. Qxf5 Nxh3+ 30. Kg2 Nf4+ 31. Kg1 $11) 23... Nd5 24. Rxb7 Nxf4 25. Kh2
Qf6 $11) 22... Ra5 23. Bf5+ (23. Rxa5 Qxa5 24. Re1 Qxa3 25. Qxb7 Kxh7 26. Qxe7
Qxe7 27. Rxe7 Rd8 28. Kf1 d3 29. Ke1 d2+ 30. Kd1 Kg6 $11) 23... Kg8 24. Bh7+
Kh8 25. Bf5+ Kg8 26. Bh7+ {1/2 (26) Inarkiev,E (2727) -Nakamura,H (2786)
Moscow RUS 2017}) 10... Bb4+ 11. Nd2 (11. Ke2 Nc6 12. Qc2 h6 13. Rhd1 Be6 14.
Kf1 Rc8 15. Qe2 Bd6 16. Bxd6 Qxd6 17. Kg1 Ne5 18. Nd4 Ng4 19. Nf3 Ne5 {Bacrot,
E (2700)-Sokolov,A (2594) 1/2 (42) France 2008. Black has got a slightly worse
but very solid position.}) (11. Kf1 {This is a risky continuation. White wants
to play h4, Ng5 and if Black plays ...h6 to prevent Ng5 then he will play Bc2,
Qd3. You can find more about this line if you check the game Jobava,B
-Rustemov Aeroflot op, which is annotated by Rustam Dautov.} Nc6 12. h4 Bd6 13.
Bxd6 Qxd6 14. h5 Qf6 15. Rh4 Qxb2 16. Rb1 Qf6 17. Rf4 Qe7 18. h6 $6 g5 19. Ra4
(19. Rf5 Bxf5 20. Bxf5 Qf6 21. g4 Ne7 22. Nd4 Qxh6 $19 {Adianto,U (2615)
-Mikhalevski,A (2485) Biel 1998 1/2 (57)}) 19... Qf6 20. Bb5 Rd8 {Black will
gain the h6-pawn and White should try to prove that he has enough compensation
for 2 pawns to equalise the game.}) 11... Nc6 12. O-O Be6 {I don't think that
Black should hurry with ...Be6. After Nf3 he could have played ...Bg4. Let's
examine other continuations:} (12... Bd6 {leads to passive and worse positions.
For example} 13. Bxd6 Qxd6 14. Nb3 (14. Nf3 Ne5 (14... Bg4 $2 15. Bxh7+ $16)
15. Be2 Bd7 16. Qd4 Nc6 17. Qd2 Bg4 18. Rfd1 Rfd8 19. h3) 14... Be6 15. Bb5 Ne5
16. Be2 Rfd8 17. Nd4 Rac8 18. Qb3 b6 19. Rfd1 $14 {Pechac,J (2441) -Nowak,K
(2318) Rymanow-Zdroj POL 2017 1-0 (49)}) (12... Be7 {I think that this is the
strongest move. The bishop can achieve nothing on b4 and when compared with 12.
..Be6 13.Nf3 Be7 Black can meet Nf3 with ...Bg4. Hikaru played 12...Be7 in his
next game against Magnus Carlsen.} 13. Rc1 (13. a3 Bf6 14. Nf3 (14. Qc2 g6 (
14... h6 {is possible as well}) 15. Rac1 Be6 16. Nb3 Rc8 17. Nc5 Ne5 18. Bxe5
Bxe5 19. f4 Bg7 20. Nxe6 $11 {1/2 (20) Kortschnoj,V (2634)-Kasimdzhanov,R
(2653) Bled 2002}) 14... Qe7 15. h3 g6 16. Qd2 Be6 17. Rac1 Rfd8 18. b4 a6 19.
Rc2 Qd7 20. Rfc1 Bf5 21. Bxf5 Qxf5 22. Bc7 Rd7 23. Bb6 Qe4 24. Rd1 $14 {
Giri,A (2771) -Karjakin,S (2781) Stavanger NOR 2017 1/2 (76)}) 13... Bf6 14.
Nf3 Qe7 15. h3 g6 (15... Be6 $5 16. Qe2 Rac8) 16. Bb5 Bd7 17. Qxd5 Be6 18. Qe4
Bxb2 19. Bxc6 f5 20. Bg5 fxe4 21. Bxe7 Bxc1 22. Bxb7 Bxe3 23. Bxf8 Rxf8 24.
fxe3 exf3 25. Bxf3 $14 {Carlsen, M (2822)-Nakamura,H (2792) Saint Louis USA
2017 1/2 (94)}) 13. Nf3 Be7 $146 (13... Bg4 {Black can play ...Be6 and ...Bg4,
but everyone would try to play ...Bg4 in one move.} 14. h3 Bh5 15. Be2 Re8 16.
Rc1 Be7 17. Ne5 Bxe2 18. Qxe2 Qb6 19. Rfd1 Rad8 20. Qc2 Nxe5 21. Bxe5 $14 {
Gabriel, R (2255)-Klovans,J (2440) Schwaebisch Gmuend 1993 1-0 (54)}) 14. Rc1
Bf6 15. a3 $5 (15. Qd2 {White could have finished the developing of his pieces
after Qd2, Rd1:} a6 16. h3 Rc8 17. b4 Qe7 (17... d4 18. Rfd1 $1 (18. e4 Be7 19.
a3 Qd7 20. Rfd1 $14) 18... dxe3 (18... Qd5 19. a3 Rfd8 20. exd4 Nxd4 21. Nxd4
Qxd4 22. Rxc8 Rxc8 23. Bxh7+ Kxh7 24. Qxd4 Bxd4 25. Rxd4 {Black has good
chances to make a draw.}) 19. Qxe3 Qe8 20. Qb6 Bd5 21. Ng5 Bxg5 22. Bxg5 $16)
18. a3 Rfd8 (18... d4 $2 19. Nxd4 Nxd4 20. exd4 Bxd4 21. Bxh7+ $16) 19. Rfe1 h6
20. Bb1 {White is slightly better.}) 15... Qe7 ({Of course Black shouldn't play
} 15... d4 $6 {due to} 16. e4 Re8 17. e5 Be7 18. Nd2 $14) 16. b4 a6 17. h3 {
Now Black is OK.} ({I'm not sure if Black can equalise after} 17. Nd4 $5 Nxd4 (
17... Bxd4 18. exd4 Qf6 (18... Nxd4 $6 19. Be3 Nc6 20. Bc5 $16) 19. Be3 Bf5 20.
Be2 Rfe8 21. Rc5 Rad8 22. Qd2 h6 23. Rfc1 $14) 18. Rc7 Qd8 19. exd4 b5 (19...
Bxd4 $6 20. Bxh7+ Kxh7 21. Qxd4 b5 22. Rfc1 $16) 20. Qa1 Rc8 21. Rfc1 $14)
17... Rac8 18. Rc5 $5 {After 18.Qd2 the most likely result is a draw. So Ian
chose another move that provokes ...a5.} (18. Qd2 Rfd8 19. Rfd1 h6 {White is
better but Black's position is very solid.}) 18... a5 $5 (18... h6 {was
possible as well:} 19. Qd2 Rfd8 20. Rfc1 Qe8 21. Bb1 Be7 22. Qd3 $1 g6 (22...
Bxc5 $6 23. Qh7+ Kf8 24. bxc5 f6 25. Bd6+ Ne7 26. Rd1 $16) 23. Bxh6 d4 24. exd4
Bxc5 25. bxc5 Bd5 26. Nd2 $13) 19. Qb1 axb4 20. axb4 b6 $2 {It is not easy to
understand why Hikaru didn't play 20...h6:} (20... h6 21. Rfc1 Ra8 {Black's
position is not worse, he is threatening ...Ra1} 22. Qb3 (22. b5 Ra1 23. Qxa1 (
23. Qc2 $4 Nb4 $19) 23... Bxa1 24. bxc6 bxc6 25. Rxc6 Bb2 26. Bd6 Qb7 27. Bxf8
Bxc1 28. Rxc1 Kxf8 {White should make a draw.}) 22... d4 23. Bc4 dxe3 24. Bxe3
Bxc4 25. Qxc4 $11) 21. Rcc1 g6 $2 (21... Nxb4 22. Bxh7+ Kh8 23. Bf5 Rc4 24. Ne5
Bxe5 25. Bxe5 $14 {It is obvious that White's position is better but Black's
position is not hopeless.}) 22. Ba6 {White wins an exchange and game is over.}
Nxb4 (22... Bf5 23. Qb3 Ne5 24. Bxc8 Nxf3+ 25. gxf3 Bxc8 26. Qxd5 $18) (22...
Ra8 23. Rxc6 Rxa6 24. Bd6 Qd7 25. Bxf8 Kxf8 (25... Qxc6 26. b5 $18) 26. b5 $18)
23. Bxc8 Rxc8 24. Rxc8+ Bxc8 25. Rc1 $18 ({or} 25. Be5 Bxe5 26. Nxe5 $18) 25...
Bf5 26. Qb3 Nd3 27. Rc7 Qd8 28. Bg3 h5 29. Qxb6 h4 30. Bd6 Be4 31. Qc6 Kg7 32.
Rc8 d4 33. Qxe4 1-0
[Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2017.08.06"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A29"]
[WhiteElo "2783"]
[BlackElo "2807"]
[Annotator "Marin,M"]
[PlyCount "57"]
[EventDate "2017.08.02"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Bc5 $5 {In the
past this was played only occasionally. Players with Black probably thought
that treating the Reversed Dragon (meaning with a tempo less for Black) in
such an aggressive way would be too risky. The main idea of the last move is
keeping the knight on d5 without allowing Nxe5 or d2-d4, usually offering
White the initiative.} 7. O-O {A neutral developing move, intending keeping
all the threats in the centre.} (7. Nxe5 {does not look too promising:} Nxc3 8.
bxc3 ({One important point is that with the bishop on c5} 8. Nxc6 $2 {is
impossible due to} Qf6 $19 {[%csl Gd1,Gf2]}) 8... Nxe5 9. d4 Bd6 $5 $146 (9...
Ng4 {Schwierskott,M (2162)-Schmid,F (2087) Bayern 2003 (0-1, 68)} 10. f3) (9...
Bb6 10. dxe5 Qxd1+ 11. Kxd1 c6 {Simurdova,Z (1730)-Pokorna,K (1410) Sec u
Chrudimi 2008 (1-0, 45)} 12. f4 $16) 10. dxe5 Bxe5 11. Qxd8+ Kxd8 $11) 7... O-O
{Fortunately, Black can answer with the same method.} (7... Be6 $2 {leaves b7
undefended:} 8. Nxe5 Nxe5 9. d4 Nxc3 10. bxc3 Bd6 11. dxe5 Bxe5 12. Bxb7 $16)
8. d3 (8. Nxe5 {still does not work.} Nxc3 9. bxc3 (9. Nxc6 Nxd1 10. Nxd8 Bxf2+
$1 $15) 9... Nxe5 10. d4 Bd6 11. dxe5 Bxe5 $11) ({There have been some
developments after} 8. Nxd5 Qxd5 9. d3 (9. Ng5 Qd8 10. Nxh7 Re8 {[%cal Gf7f6,
Gc5e7]} 11. Ng5 Qxg5 12. Bxc6 bxc6 13. d4 Qh5 14. dxc5 e4 $44 {Aronian,L (2799)
-Caruana,F (2807) Saint Louis 2017 (1-0, 52)}) 9... Bb6 10. b4 e4 $5 {It looks
like a good idea to use the temporary activity of the queen and dark-squared
bishop for fighting for the initiative. Otherwise White may be simply better.}
(10... a5 $5) (10... Nxb4 11. Bb2 e4 12. Ne5 $14) (10... Re8 11. Bb2 Qd6 12. b5
Nd4 13. a4 a6 14. a5 Bc5 15. bxa6 Rxa6 16. Nd2 Qg6 17. e3 $14 Bg4 18. f3 $16 {
Gelfand,B (2729)-Inarkiev,E (2702) Nazran 2017 (1-0, 50)}) 11. Ng5 Qd4 12. Be3
Qxb4 13. Nxe4 Bxe3 ({Improving over a game played between the same players one
week earlier:} 13... Bg4 14. h3 Bh5 15. Rb1 Qe7 16. Qd2 $14 {Nakamura,H (2792)
-Karjakin,S (2773) Saint Louis 2017 (1/2-1/2, 34)}) 14. fxe3 Qe7 {The central
pawns are not necessarily strong as Black might have feared in the first game.
They could easily become weak.} 15. Qd2 Ne5 16. Rac1 c6 17. Nc5 Ng4 18. e4 b6
19. Na4 {Nakamura,H (2792)-Karjakin,S (2773) Saint Louis (blitz) 2017 (1-0, 53)
} Qd7 $15 {[%cal Gc6c5,Gf8d8,Gc8b7]}) 8... Bb6 ({This prophylactic move surely
is better than} 8... Be6 9. Ng5 Nxc3 10. bxc3 $14 Bd5 11. e4 $16) ({But it is
not clear how to get an advantage after a neutral move such as} 8... h6 {
One possible continuation is} 9. Nxd5 Qxd5 10. Nd2 Qe6 11. b3 {[%cal Gc1b2,
Ga1c1] with pleasant play, even though not necessarily better an objective
advantage.}) 9. Bd2 ({This apparently modest developing move is more
constructive than} 9. Na4 {, aiming to take the bishop pair, but neglecting
the development and control in the centre.} Re8 10. a3 (10. Bg5 Qd6 11. Nd2 Qg6
12. Ne4 Bg4 13. h3 Be6 14. Bd2 Rad8 15. Kh2 Kh8 16. a3 f5 17. Nec5 Bc8 18. b4
e4 $15 {Eljanov,P (2739)-Grischuk,A (2761) Geneve 2017 (0-1, 38), with perfect
regrouping and active play in the centre.}) 10... Nd4 11. e3 Nxf3+ 12. Qxf3 c6
13. b4 Be6 14. Bb2 Qd7 15. Qe2 Bg4 16. Qc2 Bh3 $11 {Gelfand,B (2728)-Adams,M
(2736) Geneve 2017 (1/2-1/2, 24)}) 9... Bg4 $146 ({I am not sure to which
extent this improves over} 9... Be6 10. Ng5 Nxc3 11. bxc3 (11. Nxe6 {leads to
interesting play:} Nxe2+ 12. Qxe2 fxe6 13. Bxc6 bxc6 14. Qxe5 Qxd3 15. Qxe6+
Kh8 16. Bf4 Rae8 17. Qxc6 Re2 18. Rad1 Bxf2+ $6 19. Kh1 Qf5 20. Rd2 $14 {
But in this line 18...Qa6 looks better, threatening ...Bxf2+ and ...Qxa2
simultaneously.}) 11... Bd7 12. c4 {White's position after the last exchange
looks at least more pleasant. True, there was no need to help the knight
improve its position with the following series of pawn moves.} h6 13. Ne4 f5
14. Nc3 f4 15. Rb1 Qc8 16. Ne4 $14 {Adzic,S (2130)-Nemeth,H (1648) Hungary
2012 (1-0, 31)}) 10. Rc1 ({It remains an open question why not} 10. h3 Be6 (
10... Bh5 11. g4 Bg6 12. Nxe5 Nxc3 13. Bxc3 {wins a pawn. The kingside
weakness does not seem to fully compensate for it.}) 11. Ng5 {with similar
play to that in the previous line. The weakness induced by h2-h3 does not seem
to be so telling.}) 10... Nxc3 {This looks like a concession, but Caruana was
probably not satisfied by the alternatives.} (10... Qd7 $2 11. Nxe5 $16) (10...
f6 11. Qb3 (11. Nxe5 $2 Nxc3 12. Nxc6 Nxd1 13. Nxd8 Nxf2 $17) 11... Be6 12. Ng5
fxg5 13. Bxd5 $14) (10... Re8 11. h3 Bh5 12. Nxd5 Qxd5 {[%csl Ga2]} 13. a4 $5 {
[%cal Gb2b4]} a5 14. g4 Bg6 15. Nh4 {with pleasant play on the light squares.})
11. Bxc3 ({With the bishop on d2 the knight has not enough space for
manoeuvring:} 11. bxc3 Qd7 12. Ng5 (12. c4 Bc5 13. Ng5 Nd4 14. Re1 Rad8 15. Ne4
Be7 $15) 12... f6 $1 $15) 11... Re8 12. b4 {Black is actively developed but
White can start his queenside play without loss of time.} Qd6 {This logical
move does not receive the engines' approval. But the recommended invasion of
the d4-square tends to leave the b6-bishop out of play:} (12... Nd4 13. Bxd4
exd4 14. a4 c6 (14... a6 {may be better but Black's bishop does not impress
after} 15. Re1 {[%cal Gf3d2]}) 15. a5 Bc7 16. a6 $36) (12... a5 13. b5 Nd4 14.
Bxd4 exd4 15. a4 {[%csl Gb6,Gb7][%cal Gf1e1,Gf3d2,Gd2c4] In the long run
White's position may prove easier to play.}) 13. Nd2 Qh6 {Trying to keep the
possibility of a central counter-attack.} (13... Rad8 14. Nc4 Qe6 15. a4 $36)
14. Nc4 (14. a4 Rad8 15. Nc4 $6 e4 $17) 14... Qh5 15. Rc2 {This rook lift
works out well in similar positions, but here it may not be strongest, since
there is no immediate way of activating the queen.} (15. Re1 Rad8 16. Qc2 Bh3
17. Bh1 $14 {The last move reveals another merit of 15.Re1.}) 15... Rad8 16.
Nxb6 cxb6 (16... axb6 17. b5 Nd4 18. Bxd4 exd4 19. Re1 Qxb5 20. Rxc7 $14) {
White has got the bishop pair and the better structure but he needs to play
carefully as Black is very active.} 17. f3 {Due to White's choice on move 15
there was no other way of reducing Black's pressure in the centre.} (17. Rd2 b5
18. a4 a6 19. axb5 axb5 20. Qc2 Bh3 21. Bf3 Bg4 $11) 17... Be6 18. Qd2 b5 19.
f4 {The best way of putting the bishop pair to work.} Bg4 $6 {Obviously
missing White's 22nd move or the 26th move in the next comment.} ({Pawn
reaction in the centre would not offer full equality:} 19... exf4 20. Rxf4 $36)
({or} 19... f6 20. fxe5 fxe5 21. Qe3 $14) ({But Black could try} 19... Bd5 {
for instance} 20. e4 Bc4 21. Bf3 Qh3 22. Be2 f6 $11 {Both sides will find it
difficult to make progress in this static position.}) 20. Bxc6 $1 {Winning a
pawn which will not be as easy to retrieve as Caruana thought.} bxc6 21. fxe5
f6 {Does Black really retrieve the pawn?!} 22. exf6 $3 {People may have
started forgetting that not such a long time ago (a couple of decades) Anand
entered the top arena as a brilliant combinative player.} Rxe2 23. f7+ Kf8 24.
Bxg7+ $1 Kxg7 25. Qc3+ Re5 ({The hidden point of the combination is that} 25...
Qe5 {runs into} 26. Rxe2 $3 Qxc3 27. Re8 Qd4+ 28. Rf2 Qxb4 29. f8=Q+ Qxf8 30.
Rfxf8 Rxd3 31. Rg8+ {The manoeuvre initiated by this move wins the a7-pawn by
force.} Kf7 32. Ref8+ Ke7 33. Ra8 Bf5 34. Rxa7+ $18 {Pawns are equal and even
though his king is temporarily passive, White should convert his clear extra
exchange.}) 26. Qd4 $1 Qg5 27. Rc5 $1 Rxd4 28. f8=Q+ Kg6 29. Qf7+ (29. Qf7+ Kh6
30. Rf6+) 1-0
[Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2017.08.06"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B09"]
[WhiteElo "2773"]
[BlackElo "2742"]
[Annotator "Marin,M"]
[PlyCount "120"]
[EventDate "2017.08.02"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. f4 Bg7 5. Bd3 ({Karjakin's personal way of
avoiding} 5. Nf3 c5 {As a curiosity, he frequently gets good positions out of
the opening but his overall results are poor. And I also remember him winning
only when his position was at least precarious on the way. I wonder why
Carlsen did not consider using the Pirc at least once in the match.}) 5... O-O
({This allows White to fully transpose to a normal line without ...c7-c5. The
critical move order is} 5... Nc6 {examined in the comments to the game
mentioned below.}) 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be2 $5 {A very rare move, implying the loss
of a tempo. But since Black's only constructive plan after ...Nc6 is ...e7-e5,
White can afford to take measures against it.} (7. e5 {Karjakin,S (2785)-Van
Wely,L (2695) Wijk aan Zee 2017 CBM 177 [Marin,M] (1-0, 50)}) 7... Bg4 {
The most natural move.} ({The idea behind White's last move is meeting} 7... e5
$6 {with} 8. dxe5 dxe5 9. Qxd8 Rxd8 10. fxe5 Ng4 11. Nb5 {more or less winning
the pawn since} Rd7 $6 {allows} 12. e6 fxe6 13. Ng5 $16) (7... d5 8. e5 Ne4 9.
O-O $14 {fails to solve the problem of Black's g7-bishop and c6-knight.}) 8.
Be3 ({Objectively} 8. d5 {should be OK, but practically it offers Black a
clear plan for regrouping:} Nb8 9. O-O c6 10. Be3 cxd5 11. exd5 Na6 12. h3 Bxf3
13. Bxf3 Nd7 14. Re1 Rc8 15. Bd4 Rc4 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. Qc1 Qb6+ 18. Kh2 Re8 19.
Be2 Rcc8 20. Bb5 Nab8 $13 {De Firmian,N (2490)-Haik,A (2455) Biel 1986 (1-0,
58)}) 8... Bxf3 {Usually exchanging the bishop without being forced to is a
concession. This situation is no exception, even though concretely the last
move is not bad.} (8... Nd7 {is probably not the best} 9. Nd2 ({The critical
move is} 9. e5 $1) 9... Bxe2 10. Nxe2 {Karavitaki,A (1075)-Darviri,C Porto Rio
2016 (0-1, 53)} e6 $11 {[%cal Gc6e7]}) ({But Black could carry out the central
break at once:} 8... e5 9. fxe5 dxe5 10. dxe5 ({The point is that} 10. d5 {
can be answered with} Nd4 $11 {anyway, for instance:} 11. Nxd4 exd4 12. Bxd4
Bxe2 13. Qxe2 Nxe4 $1 $15 14. Bxg7 $6 Nxc3 15. Bxc3 Re8 16. Be5 Qxd5 $17) 10...
Nd7 11. Bg5 Qe8 $11 12. Nd5 $2 Bxf3 $1 {Now this makes sense in order to
prepare the next move.} 13. gxf3 Qxe5 14. Bf4 Qxb2 $17) 9. Bxf3 e5 10. fxe5
dxe5 11. d5 Nd4 $11 {With such a knight in the centre Black cannot have
problems in any way. It is not clear what went wrong with Karjakin's
preparation, but as mentioned before this looks like a general symptom.} 12.
O-O (12. Bxd4 $2 exd4 13. Ne2 (13. Qxd4 Nxe4 $1 $17) 13... Nxe4 $1 14. Bxe4
Qh4+ 15. Ng3 Be5 $17) 12... c6 ({I would also consider} 12... Ne8 {[%cal Ge8d6,
Gf7f5]}) 13. dxc6 bxc6 14. Ne2 {Karpov,A (2700)-Spassky,B (2650) Candidates
sf1 1974 (9) 1-0 You may agree that the solution chosen by Karjakin to expell
the irritating knight is by far less elegant and effective than in the classic
game} Qc7 15. c3 Nxf3+ 16. gxf3 Nh5 $15 {Both sides have weaknesses but Black
is slightly better developed and his play a bit more natural.} 17. Qd3 Rfd8 18.
Qc4 Rd7 19. Rad1 Rad8 20. Rxd7 Rxd7 21. b4 Qd6 {Since on the next move
Nepomniachtchi will return with the queen, it makes sense to look for
alternatives.} (21... Bf6 $5 {prepares ...Bg5 which would greatly improve
Black's position, but apparently White retains drawing chances:} 22. Qa6 Qd8
23. Qxc6 Bg5 24. f4 $1 (24. Bf2 Rd2 $19) 24... Nxf4 25. Nxf4 Bxf4 26. Bxf4 exf4
27. e5 $132) 22. Qa6 Qc7 ({When playing his previous move Black might have
overestimated his chances after} 22... Qd3 23. Qxd3 Rxd3 24. Bxa7 Rd2 25. Nc1
Nf4 26. a4 $13 {but then changed his mind.}) 23. a4 Bf6 $1 {Even with two
missing tempi this plan offers Black the initiative.} 24. a5 Kg7 25. Qc4 {
It suddenly appears that the tempi loss is relative as the white queen was
doing little on a6.} h6 26. a6 Bg5 27. Bxg5 hxg5 28. Qc5 Kg8 {Black's idea
remains a mystery to me.} (28... Rd2 $5 29. Rf2 Qd6 30. Qxd6 (30. Qxa7 Qd3 31.
Ng3 Nf4 $19) 30... Rxd6 31. Ng3 Rd1+ 32. Rf1 Rd3 33. Nxh5+ gxh5 34. c4 Rb3 35.
Rd1 Rxb4 36. Rd7 Rxc4 37. Rxa7 Ra4 {seems to offer more chances than the game
ending.}) 29. b5 $5 {Not an easy decision to take. White is heading for a rook
ending with a pawn down, in order to secure a draw.} (29. Qe3 {[%csl Gd2,Gg5]}
Qd8 $19 {[%cal Gd7d2]}) 29... cxb5 30. Qxc7 Rxc7 31. Rb1 Rc5 32. Rd1 Nf4 33.
Nxf4 gxf4 34. Rd7 Rxc3 35. Kg2 Rc2+ 36. Kg1 (36. Kh3 Rf2 {looks more
problematic.}) 36... Ra2 37. Rxa7 Kg7 38. Rb7 Rxa6 39. Rxb5 {Even though
Black's structure looks more compact White does not have reasons to worry.} Kf6
40. h4 Ke6 41. Rb7 f5 42. exf5+ gxf5 43. h5 e4 44. h6 e3 45. h7 Ra8 46. Kf1 Kf6
47. Ra7 Rh8 48. Ke2 Kg6 49. Ra4 Rxh7 (49... Kg5 50. Ra7 Kh4 51. Rg7 $11) 50.
Rxf4 Kg5 51. Ra4 Re7 (51... f4 52. Ra5+ $8 (52. Ra8 Rh2+ $19) 52... Kf6 (52...
Kh4 53. Rf5 $11) 53. Ra6+ Ke5 54. Ra5+ Kd6 55. Ra6+ Kc5 56. Ra4 $11) 52. f4+
Kg4 53. Rb4 Kg3 54. Ra4 Rb7 55. Kxe3 Re7+ 56. Kd2 Kf3 57. Kd1 Re8 58. Rb4 Rh8
59. Rb5 Rh5 60. Ke1 Kxf4 1/2-1/2
[Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2017.08.08"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D38"]
[WhiteElo "2809"]
[BlackElo "2810"]
[Annotator "Krasenkow,M"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2017.08.02"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bxf6 Qxf6 7. Qa4+ Nc6 8.
e3 O-O 9. Be2 {This is less favourable here than after} (9. Rc1 Rd8 $6 {
The development of White's rook is more useful, and the f7-point becomes
vulnerable in some lines (see Navara - Leko in this issue).}) 9... dxc4 (9...
Bd7 $5 {is another common move.}) 10. O-O Bxc3 (10... Bd7 {is more accurate}
11. Bxc4 $140 Bxc3 12. bxc3 {avoiding the game line.}) (10... a6 11. Bxc4 {
is hardly satisfactory for Black, as tournament practice shows.}) 11. bxc3 Bd7
(11... e5 {doesn't solve Black's problems:} 12. Qxc4 exd4 (12... Rd8 13. dxe5
Qe7 14. Rfd1 Re8 15. Qf4 a6 16. Bc4 Be6 17. Bd3 Rad8 18. Nd4 $16 {1-0 (65)
Ragger,M (2655)-Paikidze,N (2411) Moscow 2012}) (12... Bf5 13. dxe5 Nxe5 14.
Qxc7 Nd3 15. Rad1 $16 {1-0 (27) Moranda,W (2559)-Rosenthal,D (2413) Germany
2013}) (12... Qd6 13. Rfd1 Re8 14. Qa4 Qe7 15. Bb5 Bd7 16. Nxe5 Nxe5 17. dxe5
c6 18. Be2 Bf5 19. f4 $16 {1-0 (52) Zhukova,N (2456)-Khurtsilava,I (2212)
Chakvi 2015}) 13. cxd4 Bg4 (13... Rd8 14. Rab1 $5) 14. Rab1 Qd6 15. Rfc1 Rab8
16. Qc3 Rfc8 17. h3 Bf5 18. Rb5 Ne7 19. Ne5 $14 {1/2 (84) Gavrilov,A (2425)
-Rzayev,B (2400) Prague 2016}) 12. Qxc4 (12. Bxc4 {leads to the line usually
arising after 10...Bd7. It is more comfortable for Black, who can easily
neutralise White's small edge:} Rfd8 (12... Qe7 13. Qc2 $5 (13. Be2 e5 (13...
b6 14. Qb3 Rac8 15. Rfd1 Na5 16. Qb2 c5 $11 {0-1 (47) Fressinet,L (2687)-Giri,
A (2782) Paris 2016}) 14. Qb3 b6 15. Qc4 Rac8 16. Nd2 Na5 17. Qb4 c5 18. Qa3
Rfe8 $11 {1-0 (62) Fedoseev,V (2601)-Aleksandrov,A (2586) Khanty-Mansiysk 2013}
) 13... Na5 14. Bd3 c5 15. Ne5 Rfd8 16. f4 Be8 17. Qf2 (17. Qe2 Rac8 18. f5 f6
19. Ng4 {0-1 (44) Hansen,C (2621)-Hammer,J (2665) Oslo 2015} h5 20. Nf2 e5 $1 {
I.Stohl}) 17... Nc6 18. Qg3 f5 19. Nf3 Rac8 20. Qf2 cxd4 21. exd4 Qa3 22. Qd2
Bh5 $11 (22... Ne7 $143 23. Rac1 Bh5 24. Ne5 Nd5 25. Bc4 b5 26. Bb3 $14 {
1/2 (32) Ribli,Z (2555)-Movsesian,S (2677) Munich GER 2016})) 13. Qc2 (13. Qa3
Qe7 14. Qxe7 (14. Qb2 Na5 15. Bd3 c5 16. e4 Be8 17. Rad1 cxd4 18. cxd4 Rac8 $11
{1/2 (67) Shankland,S (2661)-Aronian,L (2770) Tsaghkadzor 2015}) 14... Nxe7 15.
Ne5 (15. a4 c5 16. Rfb1 Rab8 17. Ne5 Be8 18. a5 Rdc8 19. Bb5 Rc7 20. Bxe8 Rxe8
21. Nd3 cxd4 22. cxd4 Nd5 $11 {1/2 (45) Sargissian,G (2679)-Fressinet,L (2702)
Douglas 2015}) 15... Be8 16. Rfb1 Rab8 17. a4 b6 18. a5 Nc6 19. Nxc6 Bxc6 20.
f3 Kf8 21. Kf2 Ke7 22. Be2 f6 $11 {1/2 (46) Navara,D (2730)-So,W (2773) Wijk
aan Zee 2016}) (13. Be2 Be8 (13... e5 $5 14. Qb3 b6 15. Rfd1 Bf5 $132 {I.Stohl}
) 14. Qa3 Qe7 15. Qb2 b6 (15... Na5 16. Qb4 $5 Qxb4 17. cxb4 Nc6 18. Rab1 $14 {
1-0 (58) Topalov,V (2798)-Aronian,L (2780) Stavanger 2015 CBM 167 [Stohl,I]})
16. Nd2 Na5 17. Nb3 Nxb3 18. axb3 a5 $11 {1/2 (32) Vachier Lagrave,M (2731)
-Aronian,L (2765) Saint Louis 2015}) 13... Na5 14. Be2 (14. Bd3 c5 15. Ne5 Be8
16. f4 Rac8 17. Qf2 cxd4 18. cxd4 Qe7 $13 {1/2 (50) Sanikidze,T (2537)
-Libiszewski,F (2533) Drancy 2016}) 14... c5 15. Ne5 Be8 16. Qe4 Nc6 17. f4
Rac8 18. Rad1 Qe7 19. c4 f5 20. Nxc6 Bxc6 21. Qe5 cxd4 22. Rxd4 Kf7 23. Rfd1 g6
$11 {1/2 (35) Bu Xiangzhi (2711)-Le Quang Liem (2712) Ho Chi Minh City VIE 2017
}) 12... Rac8 (12... Rfd8 13. Nd2 (13. Bd3 $5 {[%cal Yd3e4]}) (13. Rab1 $5)
13... Rac8 14. Nb3 Qe7 15. a4 a5 16. Bf3 $14 {1-0 (43) Ushenina,A (2438)
-Milliet,S (2356) Reykjavik 2015}) 13. Rad1 (13. Bd3 $5 {[%cal Yd3e4]}) 13...
Rfd8 14. Nd2 (14. Qb3 Na5 15. Qa3 b6) 14... Na5 15. Qb4 b6 16. Ba6 Rb8 17. Ne4
Qf5 18. Bd3 Bc6 19. f3 Bxe4 $2 {[%mdl 16384] A positional mistake. Black
trades his strong bishop and opens up the f-file for White.} (19... Nb7 $14 {
[%cal Yf5a5]}) 20. fxe4 Qg5 21. Rf3 c5 22. Qb2 e5 23. Rdf1 $1 cxd4 24. cxd4 Rb7
25. d5 {[%csl Ra5]} Rc7 26. h4 $1 {Black loses his crucial e5-pawn, after
which White's central pawn avalanche starts crushing his position.} Qxh4 (26...
Qh5 27. Rf5) 27. Qxe5 Qe7 (27... Re7 28. Qc3 Nb7 29. e5 $1 Rxd5 30. Qb3 $16 {
[%csl Rf7]}) 28. Qg3 Qc5 $2 {[%mdl 8192] This loses at once.} (28... Qd6 {
was more stubborn but after} 29. e5 $1 Qxd5 30. e6 Qd6 $8 31. Bh7+ $1 Kxh7 32.
Qxd6 Rxd6 33. exf7 Rd8 34. f8=Q Rxf8 35. Rxf8 $16 {White kept good winning
chances.}) 29. Rf6 $1 {[%cal Rf6h6]} h5 (29... Kf8 30. Rg6 $1 Qc3 31. e5 Qxd3
32. Rxg7 $18) 30. Rh6 $1 Qc3 31. Rxh5 g6 32. e5 $1 (32. e5 Qxd3 33. Qh4 gxh5
34. Qxd8+ $18) 1-0
[Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2017.08.08"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B96"]
[WhiteElo "2807"]
[BlackElo "2791"]
[Annotator "Quintiliano,R"]
[PlyCount "60"]
[EventDate "2017.08.02"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 {The 6.Bg5
variation has always been a very aggressive and principled weapon against the
Najdorf, but in the last two years we have seen its practice growing
considerably among the elite, Caruana being the one who has presented more
interesting and dangerous ideas for White. In this game, he again manages to
surprise his opponent, no less than one of the greatest world specialists in
the Najdorf with the Black pieces.} e6 (6... Nbd7 {is an interesting option
for Black, but curiously MVL never gave a chance to this move.}) 7. f4 h6 {
MVL likes this move before ...Qb6.} (7... Qb6 {used to be the main move, and
at the level of these guys, theory was so deeply developed that the likely
result seems to be a draw. Until recently, when Caruana showed his
prepararions and played} 8. Qd3 $5 Qxb2 9. Rb1 Qa3 10. f5 Be7 11. fxe6 fxe6 12.
Be2 Qa5 13. Bd2 Qc7 14. g4 h6 15. Rg1 $5 $146 {Caruana had studied this
simple-looking but interesting move} (15. Qh3 {[%cal Gg4g5];Gashimov,V (2759)
-Grischuk,A (2736) WchT 7th Bursa 2010 (4.1) 0-1 is one of the points behind 8.
Qd3, and was played in one of the most fascinating games that I've ever seen -}
) 15... Bd7 (15... Nc6 16. g5 $6 {Hector,J (2497)-Sagit,R (2406) SWE-ch
Stockholm 2017 (5) 0-1} Nxd4 17. Qxd4 hxg5 18. Rxg5 Kf8 $15) 16. g5 hxg5 17.
Rxg5 Nc6 $6 {Black focussed just on finishing his development as soon as
possible, but he missed an important idea for White in this process} (17... Rh7
$5) 18. Rxg7 O-O-O $2 (18... Nxd4 19. Qxd4 Rf8 20. Rb3 $1 {a mysterious move,
which I'm totally sure Caruana had prepared, as the rook can be useful in the
third rank for attacking purposes either if Black keeps his king in the centre,
or if he plays 0-0-0}) 19. Ncb5 $1 {after this unexpected blow, Black needs to
find the correct defence to keep things even} axb5 20. Nxb5 Ne5 $8 (20... Qb8
21. Rxe7 $1) 21. Nxc7 Nxd3+ 22. cxd3 Ng8 $2 (22... Rxh2 $1 23. Rxe7 Rh1+ 24.
Bf1 Rf8 $1 {[%csl Gc7][%cal Yf8f1,Yh1f1] and Black is regaining the piece} 25.
Rc1 Kb8 26. Nxe6 (26. Ke2 Rh2+ 27. Ke3 e5 $1 {[%cal Gf6g4] is even dangerous
for White}) 26... Bxe6 27. Bh6 $1 Rxh6 28. Rxe6 Rh1 29. Kd2 (29. Ke2 Ng4) 29...
Nxe4+ 30. dxe4 Rhxf1 31. Rxf1 Rxf1 32. Rxd6 Kc7 $11 {and the variation ends in
a drawish endgame. Modern theory!}) 23. Na8 $1 Kb8 24. Nb6 Bc6 25. Bf4 $16 {
Caruana,F (2808)-Nakamura,H (2785) Norway Chess 5th 2017 (9) 1-0 and White
converted his material advantage -}) 8. Bh4 Qb6 9. a3 Be7 10. Qd3 $5 $146 {
Caruana's new idea for this game, but actually it is not his idea, as he said
in the interview after game that it was a suggestion of his friend, Norwegian
GM Torbjorn Hansen.} ({Earlier this year, another game between the same
players went} 10. Bf2 Qc7 11. Qf3 Nbd7 12. O-O-O b5 13. g4 Bb7 ({Caruana won
another beautiful game against} 13... g5 14. h4 gxf4 15. Be2 $1 b4 16. axb4 Ne5
17. Qxf4 Nexg4 18. Bxg4 e5 {and Caruana now played} 19. Qxf6 $1 Bxf6 20. Nd5
Qd8 21. Nf5 $1 {[%csl Gd5,Gf5][%cal Yf2b6] a surprisingly strong queen
sacrifice, as it's very difficult for Black's pieces to find good squares,
especially the queen} Rb8 $2 22. Nxf6+ Qxf6 23. Rxd6 $16 {Caruana,F (2823)
-Nakamura,H (2779) London Classic 8th 2016 (6) 1-0}) 14. h4 d5 $1 {A typical
Sicilian counter-blow in the centre for Black} 15. e5 Ne4 {Caruana,F (2817)
-Vachier Lagrave,M (2803) Grenke Chess Classic 4th 2017 (5) 1/2-1/2 and Black
is in the way to get a good position -}) 10... Nbd7 {Cautious, Vachier-Lagrave
avoids the complicated lines which mean stepping along a totally unknown path.}
(10... Nxe4 $5 {leads to interesting positions} 11. Bxe7 Nxc3 (11... Qxb2 $5 {
seems kind of risky, but actually Black is not worse in the ensuing
complications} 12. Nxe4 Qxa1+ 13. Kf2 Kxe7 14. Nf5+ $1 exf5 15. Qxd6+ Ke8 16.
Bb5+ $1 axb5 17. Rxa1 fxe4 18. Qe5+ Kd8 19. Rd1+ Bd7 20. Qxg7 Re8 {and despite
White's temporary activity, and some pawns dropping on the kingside, Black has
too many pieces for the queen} 21. Qxf7 Rxa3 {it's likely that Caruana had
studied this endgame a lot, but I like Black's chances}) 12. Qxc3 (12. Bxd6 $5)
12... Kxe7 13. O-O-O Rd8 {White seems to have enought compensation for the
pawn, as he can develop a quick initiative on the kingside} 14. g4 $5 Nc6 15.
Bg2 Nxd4 16. Rxd4 Bd7 17. Rhd1 Rac8 18. Qd2 d5 19. f5 $40) (10... Qxb2 $6 {
even for a strong player like Vachier-Lagrave, this is playing with fire} 11.
Nb3 {[%cal Ga1a2]} Nxe4 $8 12. Nxe4 Bxh4+ 13. Kd2 $1 (13. g3 Bf6) 13... Nc6 $8
(13... O-O 14. Nc3 Bf6 15. Na4 {[%csl Rb2]}) (13... Bf6 14. Nxd6+ Ke7 15. Nc4
Rd8 16. Nxb2 Bxb2 17. Ra2 Bf6 18. g3 $14) 14. Nxd6+ Kf8 (14... Ke7 15. Nc4 Qf6
16. Qd6+ Ke8 17. g3 e5 18. Bg2 $1) 15. Nc4 Qf6 16. g3 {[%csl Rh4] and after} b5
17. Nd6 e5 18. Ne4 Qe7 19. gxh4 $14 {Black can try to fight because of the
exposed Kd2, but objectively White is clearly better.}) (10... Nc6 {This is
possible also.}) (10... d5 $5 {Caruana said this move is also an option for
Black.}) 11. O-O-O g5 $6 {This doesn't look good for Black, and his position
will become somewhat uncomfortable.} (11... Nc5 12. Qe2 Nfxe4 $6 {again this
idea leaves White with a pleasant position} 13. Nxe4 Bxh4 14. Nf5 $1 Nxe4 15.
Qxe4 Be7 (15... d5 16. Nxg7+ Kf8 17. Qe5 f6 18. Qe2 Kxg7 19. g3 $14) 16. Nxe7
Kxe7 17. Bc4 {and White has good compensation} Kf8 (17... Re8 18. Rhe1 Qc5 19.
Bb3 Bd7 20. f5 $36) 18. Rhe1 g6 19. g4 $1 {and still is not easy for Black to
finish development} d5 $2 20. Qe5 Rg8 21. Bd3 $16 {[%cal Yf4f5]}) (11... O-O
12. g4 $36) (11... Qc7 12. Qg3 g5 $6 (12... O-O 13. Be2 Nc5 14. Bf3 {looks
promising for White}) 13. fxg5 Nh5 14. Qe3 (14. Qg4 hxg5 15. Bxg5 Ne5 16. Qh4
Ng6 17. Qg4 Ne5 $11) 14... Qc5 15. Kb1 hxg5 16. Bf2 $14) 12. fxg5 Ne5 ({
Caruana said} 12... Ng4 {could be a better version for Black, but after} 13.
Qd2 $1 {White has the advantage, like in the game} Qd8 (13... Qc5 14. Be2 hxg5
15. Na4 $1 Qc7 16. Bxg5) (13... hxg5 14. Bxg5 Bxg5 15. Qxg5 Nf2 16. Nd5 $1 exd5
17. Nf5 f6 18. Qg7 $18) 14. Nf3 Nge5 15. Bf2 $1 hxg5 16. Be3 b5 $5 (16... Rg8
17. Be2 {[%csl Ge8] Despite his solid position, Black has problems to find a
good place for his king}) 17. Be2 $1 (17. Nxg5 Ng4 18. Nf3 Nxe3 19. Qxe3 Qc7
$44) 17... Rg8 18. Nxe5 Nxe5 19. Bd4 $16 {[%cal Yh1f1,Ye2h5] White has a clear
plan, which is Rhf1-Bh5 and Black is in trouble.}) 13. Qd2 Nh7 {[%csl Gh7]
Black regains the pawn, but the knight is in an awkward position on h7.} 14.
Nf3 hxg5 15. Bf2 ({Caruana also considered} 15. Bg3 Qc7 16. Qd4 f6 {and Black
is kind of solid, but then} 17. h4 $1 {[%cal Yh1h8] is a good way to exploit
the advantage in development opening the h-file} Nf8 18. Be2 gxh4 19. Bxh4 Bd7
{Black is finishing development, but White's pieces enjoys more freedom and
activity, for example} 20. Bf2 Rxh1 21. Rxh1 O-O-O 22. Qa7 Nc6 23. Qe3 $16 {
[%cal Yc3a4,Yh1h6]}) 15... Qc7 16. Be2 $16 {White has a clear advantage, as
his pieces are all well developed and his plan to exploit the advantage is
pretty easy.} Bd7 17. h4 $1 {[%csl Gh7][%cal Yh1h8] In general, when you are
ahead in development, a good way to proceed is to open the position and create
concrete threats, and here the h-file is especially good due to the Nh7.} Rg8 (
17... O-O-O 18. Nxg5 {White just wins a pawn.}) 18. h5 $1 {[%csl Gh5] A good
practical choice, creating a strong passed pawn and keeping the Nh7 passive.} (
18. hxg5 Nxg5 19. Rh5 {also attracted Caruana's attention, and in fact, after}
Ngxf3 20. gxf3 O-O-O 21. f4 Ng4 22. Bd4 {White still definitely has the
advantage, although, as Caruana said, it is not so easy to see how to increase
this advantage} (22. Bxg4 Rxg4 23. Rh7 $14)) 18... g4 $1 {Black should play
this move before White can do it.} (18... O-O-O 19. Nxe5 dxe5 20. g4 $1 {
[%csl Yh5,Gh7] and Black is strategically lost - Caruana.}) 19. Nxe5 dxe5 20.
Bh4 $1 {I like this move because it forces the exchange of the dark-squared
bishops, and White will be able to attack the weak g4-pawn.} Bc6 21. Qe3 Bxh4
22. Rxh4 Qe7 $1 {This is a smart idea by Vachier-Lagrave.} 23. Rxg4 $2 {
Strangely, after taking this pawn, White cannot win the game!} (23. Qg3 $1 {
was better} Qg5+ 24. Kb1 Nf6 {[%csl Ye4,Yh5] Caruana stopped his calculations
at this point, but White keeps the advantage with} 25. Rf1 $1 (25. h6 {is also
good} Rh8 26. Rf1 Rxh6 27. Rxh6 Qxh6 28. Qf2 Ke7 29. Qc5+ Ke8 30. Qxe5 $16)
25... Nxh5 26. Qf2 $1 {[%csl Rf7,Rg4] and now Black is the one who has some
problems to defend his pawns} f5 (26... Rf8 27. Rxg4 Qe7 28. g3 O-O-O 29. Rh4
Ng7 30. Rh7 $16) 27. Bxg4 $1 {and Black is almost lost, for example} Nf4 28.
Bf3 O-O-O 29. exf5 Bxf3 30. gxf3 Qxf5 (30... exf5 31. Qc5+) 31. Qa7 $18) 23...
Rxg4 24. Bxg4 Qg5 $1 {After the exchange of queens, Black is able to creat a
solid blockade and White's material advantage is not enough to win.} 25. Qxg5
Nxg5 26. Bf3 Ke7 27. Kd2 Rh8 28. Rh1 f5 $1 29. Ke3 Kf6 30. b4 b5 {There's no
way to break Black's position. Again, Caruana surprised us with interesting
ideas in the 6.Bg5 Najdorf, but Vachier Lagrave made a surprising escape!}
1/2-1/2
[Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2017.08.09"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B90"]
[WhiteElo "2783"]
[BlackElo "2742"]
[Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"]
[PlyCount "79"]
[EventDate "2017.08.02"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 {According to my
research, Anand has a whopping 2958 performance over 10 classical games with
this move! 5 wins and 5 draws against a 2767 opposition. Not bad, eh?} e5 {
The main response. Black could also mainly play with e6. g6 and Nc6 are also
playable alternatives to face the scary Adams attack!} 7. Nde2 h5 {The most
fashionable move, Black avoids the kingside expansion, at the price of
slightly weakening his own kingside. Now White has two main moves: Bg5 or g3.}
(7... b5 8. g4 $1 {developing with Bg2 and Ng3.}) 8. Bg5 {going for the
exchange right away} (8. g3 $5 {has been seen in a couple of hundred games in
recent practice. Nakamura used it in the same tournament against MVL} Nbd7 9.
Bg2 b5 10. Nd5 Nxd5 11. Qxd5 Qc7 12. Be3 Bb7 13. Qd2 Rc8 14. Nc3 Nb6 $1 {
establishing good control over d5} 15. Bxb6 Qxb6 16. a4 Be7 17. axb5 axb5 18.
h4 O-O 19. O-O Rc4 $132 {½-½ (33) Nakamura,H (2792)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2791)
Saint Louis 2017, with enough counterplay.}) 8... Be6 9. Bxf6 Qxf6 10. Nd5 Qd8
11. Qd3 Nd7 12. O-O-O {White puts his chips on his better development and
prospects for the initiative, while Black sits there with the bishop pair and
a solid pawn structure} g6 13. Kb1 Nc5 (13... Rc8 {Anand scored a great win
against Topalov in 2015} 14. Nec3 Rc5 $6 {a step in the wrong direction, later
it was found that the plan with ...Nc5 (as Nepo played) is the most consistent}
15. Be2 b5 16. a3 Nb6 17. g4 $1 {gets there quickly} hxg4 18. Nxb6 Qxb6 19.
hxg4 Rxh1 20. Rxh1 Bg7 21. Qe3 Qb7 22. Rd1 Qc7 23. g5 Qc6 24. Rg1 Qd7 25. Qg3
Rc8 26. Bg4 Bxg4 27. Qxg4 Qxg4 28. Rxg4 $16 {1-0 (74) Anand,V (2796)-Topalov,V
(2803) London 2015, keeping a very strong positional advantage.}) (13... Bh6
14. g3 Nc5 15. Qa3 b5 16. Nec3 O-O 17. Be2 Rb8 18. b4 $2 {trying to play
similar to the Salem-Areshchenko game} a5 $1 19. Ka1 (19. bxc5 b4 $17 {is
devastating}) 19... axb4 20. Qxb4 Na6 21. Qb3 Qa5 22. g4 h4 23. g5 Bxg5 24.
Rhg1 Nc5 25. Qb4 Bd8 $19 {0-1 (33) Ameir,M (2399)-Wei,Y (2728) Khanty-Mansiysk
2017}) 14. Qf3 (14. Qa3 $5 Bxd5 (14... Bg7 $5) (14... Bh6 $5 {similar to the
Ameir - Wei Yi game mentioned above, keeping the flexibility}) 15. Rxd5 Bg7 16.
Nc3 O-O 17. h4 b5 18. f3 Rb8 19. b4 $1 {a very nice move, connected with a
deep idea} Ne6 20. Qxa6 Nc7 21. Qc6 Nxd5 22. Nxd5 $16 {a great exchange
sacrifice. Now White dominates positionally and he went on to win the game
convincingly} f5 23. Bxb5 {White's queenside looks too open, but Black doesn't
have the right pieces to attack, not to mention the completely passive
g7-bishop} fxe4 24. fxe4 Rf7 25. a4 Rc8 26. Qb6 Qf8 27. Qe3 Bh6 28. Qe2 Ra8 29.
a5 $18 {1-0 (41) Salem,A (2652)-Areshchenko,A (2682) Sharjah 2017}) 14... Bg7
15. Nec3 b5 16. Ne3 O-O 17. Rg1 $146 (17. g4 $5 h4 18. Rg1 Qg5 $2 (18... Bh6 {
was the provocative reply} 19. g5 $5 Bxg5 20. Nf5 $40) 19. Rxd6 Rfd8 20. Rc6 $1
Rac8 21. Rxc8 Bxc8 22. Bg2 Rd4 23. Rd1 Bb7 24. Ncd5 Rxe4 $2 (24... b4 $1 $44)
25. c3 $1 $16 {1-0 (38) Eljanov,P (2757)-Oparin,G (2621) Novi Sad 2016}) 17...
Bh6 18. Ncd5 {Black could have kept the e6-bishop with natural moves like ...
Rc8 or ...Kg7.} Bxe3 (18... Rc8 $5) (18... Kg7 $5) 19. Qxe3 Rc8 20. Be2 Kg7 (
20... Bxd5 21. Rxd5 Qe7 {would be similar to the game.}) 21. f4 Bxd5 22. Rxd5
exf4 23. Qxf4 Re8 $1 24. Rxd6 Qe7 {Black has no problems because e4 is falling
next move.} 25. e5 (25. Bf3 Nxe4 26. Bxe4 Rc4 $1 $15 {the safest, which may
even give Black an edge, with the nice initiative on the e-file.}) 25... Qxe5
26. Qxe5+ Rxe5 27. Bf3 Ne4 {Making things interesting, most likely for White.
I believe Nepo thought the endgame with bishop against knight could be
somewhat dangerous, that's why he forced the exchange.} (27... a5 $1 {Anand's
suggestion in the post-mortem as well, Black doesn't have any problems int he
endgame, all his pieces are well placed.}) 28. Bxe4 Rxe4 29. Rxa6 Re2 30. c3 h4
31. Ra5 b4 $2 {The losing mistake.} (31... Rb8 $1 {was forced, and Black has
enough compensation to equalise. A sample line:} 32. a3 (32. Ra3 {Anand said
in the post mortem he was considering this move} Rd8 33. Rb3 Rd5 $1 {with
excellent counterplay again, f5-g5 is coming}) 32... Rb6 33. Ra7 Rf6 34. Rb7
Rf5 35. Ka2 Kh6 $132) 32. cxb4 Rcc2 33. b3 $1 {Maybe Black overlooked this
idea, and didn't realise White has no problems after Ka1.} Rb2+ 34. Ka1 $18 {
With the queenside safe, the b-pawn may start marching, while Black has to
spend some tempi to grab both g2 and h3.} Rxg2 35. Rxg2 Rxg2 36. b5 Re2 37. b6
Re8 38. b7 Rb8 39. Rb5 f5 40. Kb2 $1 {Bringing the king over to control the
f-pawn and finishing the last hope for Black.} 1-0
[Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2017.08.09"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Aronian, Levon"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A29"]
[WhiteElo "2792"]
[BlackElo "2809"]
[Annotator "Roiz,M"]
[PlyCount "108"]
[EventDate "2017.08.02"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bb4 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O e4 7. Ng5 Bxc3 8.
bxc3 Re8 9. f3 e3 {The players have entered into one of the most complicated
lines of the English.} 10. d3 {Keeping the pawn structure flexible, even
though the presence of Pe3 in White's camp is not to everyone's taste.} (10.
dxe3 Qe7 11. Nh3 Qc5 12. Nf4 Qxc4 13. e4 d6 14. Qd3 Ne5 15. Qxc4 Nxc4 {
Kasparov,G - Sadvakasov,D Astana KAZ 2001, Black was OK.}) 10... d5 11. Qa4 ({
The most popular alternative -} 11. Qb3 Na5 12. Qa3 c6 (12... b6 $5 13. cxd5
Nxd5 14. f4 Bb7 {looks very interesting, but was never tried.}) 13. cxd5 cxd5
14. f4 Bg4 15. Nf3 {seems promising for White, at least according to
statistics.}) 11... h6 12. cxd5 Nxd5 13. Ne4 f5 14. Nc5 f4 15. Ne4 $146 {
GM Nakamura comes up with a natural novelty - the knight is perfectly placed
in the centre.} (15. Bb2 {The only preceding game was played in the Candidates
tournament, where both players played their part too:} Rb8 16. c4 $6 (16. Ne4
$142 b5 17. Qc2 $13) 16... Nde7 17. g4 b6 18. Ne4 Be6 $15 {Svidler,P -
Karjakin,S Moscow RUS 2016}) 15... Rb8 (15... Re6 $6 {is premature:} 16. Kh1 $1
Rg6 17. Rg1 fxg3 18. Nxg3 Kh8 19. f4 {, and the lack of harmony in Black's
camp starts to tell.}) 16. Qa3 {This move looks like a definite concession.} (
16. Rb1 {isn't effective, since after} Re6 17. Kh1 fxg3 {White cannot
recapture with Ne4, whereas} 18. hxg3 Rg6 19. Kh2 b6 {leads to very unbalanced
play.}) (16. Kh1 b5 17. Qd1 fxg3 18. Nxg3 Qf6 $13) 16... Re6 $1 {The rook is
heading for g6 in order to put White's king under strong pressure.} 17. c4 {
A somewhat risky decision.} ({Now, when White's queen has left the 4th rank,}
17. Kh1 {is well met by} fxg3 $1 18. Nxg3 (18. hxg3 $2 Rg6 19. f4 Nce7 $40)
18... Nf4 19. Rg1 Kh8 20. Bf1 Re5 $132 {the strong Nf4 provides Black with
decent counterplay. However, it would be a better practical choice.}) 17...
Nde7 18. Bb2 Nf5 {Once Black spots one of his knights on d4, he would be
firmly in a control.} 19. d4 $1 {This pawn sacrifice is forced from a
strategic point of view - White's major pieces need open files!} (19. gxf4 $6 {
is dubious:} Ncd4 {, and Black's pieces are dominating over the board. The
play might continue:} 20. Rfe1 Ra6 $1 21. Qc5 (21. Qc3 Qh4 $17) 21... b6 22.
Qe5 Ra5 23. c5 bxc5 24. Bxd4 Nxd4 $17) 19... Ncxd4 20. Bxd4 Nxd4 21. Qxa7 ({
In case of} 21. Rad1 $2 Nxe2+ ({Also good enough is} 21... b6 $5 22. Qd3 c5 23.
gxf4 Qh4 24. Qxe3 Bb7 $17) 22. Kh1 Qe8 23. Qd3 Nd4 $1 24. Qxd4 e2 25. Qxa7 Rxe4
26. fxe4 Bg4 27. Rc1 exf1=Q+ 28. Rxf1 fxg3 29. hxg3 c6 $17 {at the end of
complications White would suffer from a terrible pawn structure.}) 21... Nc6 ({
Levon is deviating from the more complicated line:} 21... Nxe2+ 22. Kh1 Bd7 23.
Rfe1 Ra8 24. Qc5 b6 25. Qd5 c6 26. Qd3 Rxe4 $1 27. Qxe4 (27. fxe4 $2 Bg4 28.
Qxd8+ Rxd8 29. gxf4 Rd2 $17) 27... Qf6 28. c5 b5 29. Qd3 Nd4 30. Rad1 $13 {
, and White manages to keep the dynamic balance.}) 22. Qa3 Qf8 (22... g5 23.
Rfd1 Qe7 24. Qxe7 Rxe7 25. h4 $1 Be6 26. Nf6+ Kh8 27. Nd5 Rf7 28. Kh2 $1 {
White would be able to solve the problem of the poor Bg2.}) 23. Qxf8+ Kxf8 {
The subsequent endgame is strategically dangerous for White, who's bishop is
completely out of play now.} 24. Rfd1 ({White's task would be easier after} 24.
gxf4 Nd4 25. Ng3 c5 (25... Ra8 26. Rfd1 Rd6 27. a4 Be6 28. c5 Rdd8 29. Bf1 $11)
26. Rfd1 Rf6 27. a4 $1 Bf5 28. Ra3 Re8 29. Rc1 $11 {, and Black's pieces are
tied with protecting the Pe3.}) 24... g5 25. Nc3 $1 {An excellent idea - the
knight is heading on d5 now, where it would attack the opponent's weak pawns.}
(25. h4 Rg6 26. Kh2 Be6 27. Nc5 b6 28. Nxe6+ Rxe6 29. Rd7 Re7 $15) 25... Re7
26. Nd5 Rf7 27. h4 $1 {White has to liberate the bishop as soon as it possible.
} Ra8 28. a4 Na5 29. gxf4 $2 {This natural exchange turns out to be a serious
mistake.} ({Instead, the precise} 29. Rab1 $1 {would enable White to hold this
unpleasant endgame:} Bf5 ({Both after} 29... Be6 30. Kh2 fxg3+ 31. Kxg3 gxh4+
32. Kh2 Nxc4 33. Rxb7 c6 34. Nc7 Bd5 35. f4 $1 $11) ({Or} 29... Nxc4 30. Rb4 c6
31. Nxf4 gxf4 32. Rxc4 Be6 33. Re4 Bd5 34. Rb4 fxg3 35. f4 $11 {White is in
time to activate the light-squared bishop.}) 30. Rb4 Nc6 31. Rb2 Be6 32. hxg5
hxg5 33. Rxb7 Rxa4 34. gxf4 gxf4 35. Rxc7 Rxc4 36. Rxf7+ Kxf7 37. Nxf4 Rxf4 38.
Rd3 $11) 29... gxf4 30. Kh2 ({In comparison to above-mentioned note,} 30. Rab1
Nxc4 31. Rb4 c6 {leaves White without compensation for a pawn:} 32. Nc7 (32.
Rxc4 cxd5 33. Rb4 Ra5 34. Rdd4 Ke7 35. Rxf4 Rxf4 36. Rxf4 Bd7 37. Rd4 Kd6 38.
f4 Bc6 $19) 32... Rxc7 33. Rxc4 Rf7 34. Rd6 Kg7 $17) 30... Nxc4 $17 31. Rac1 (
31. Bh3 Bxh3 32. Kxh3 Nd2 33. a5 c6 34. Nb6 Rd8 35. Ra4 $17) 31... Nd2 32. Nxc7
$2 {A decisive mistake. White cannot afford to remove his best piece from the
centre.} ({He had tp play} 32. Bh3 Bxh3 33. Kxh3 c6 34. Nc3 $17 {, intending
to put the rooks on the g-file. Black is a pawn up, but it wouldn't be easy to
convert it to a full point.}) 32... Rxa4 33. Bh3 Nxf3+ $1 {Levon is exploiting
the lack of harmony in the opponent's camp. This nice tactical shot decides
the game. The next few moves are forced.} 34. exf3 Ra2+ 35. Bg2 Rg7 36. Rg1 Rg3
37. Kh1 Bh3 {A funny situation - the bishop is trapped.} 38. Bf1 e2 $19 {
Regaining the piece.} 39. Bxe2 Rxe2 40. Nd5 Rxf3 ({A simpler way was} 40...
Bg2+ 41. Rxg2 Rexg2 42. Nxf4 Ra2 $19) 41. Rg6 Re6 42. Rcg1 (42. Rxe6 {was more
stubborn:} Bxe6 43. Rc5 Rh3+ 44. Kg2 Rxh4 45. Kf3 {, but} Rh3+ $1 (45... Rh5 $2
46. Nxf4 Rxc5 47. Nxe6+ Ke7 48. Nxc5 $11) 46. Kxf4 Rh5 $19 {still makes it
quite easy for Black.}) 42... Rxg6 43. Rxg6 Bd7 $1 44. Kg2 Rg3+ 45. Rxg3 fxg3
46. Kxg3 Kf7 {Despite the major simplifications, Black easily wins here.} 47.
Kf4 Ke6 48. Nb4 Be8 49. Nd3 Kd5 50. Nf2 Bd7 51. Ke3 Ke5 52. Ne4 Bc6 53. Ng3 Bd5
54. Kd3 Kf4 {The second pawn falls.} 0-1
[Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2017.08.11"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Aronian, Levon"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C88"]
[WhiteElo "2822"]
[BlackElo "2809"]
[Annotator "Szabo,Kr"]
[PlyCount "103"]
[EventDate "2017.08.02"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4
b4 9. a5 d6 10. d3 Be6 11. Bxe6 {A relatively new idea. White exchanges the
bishops, opens the f-file for Black, but he hopes that the double-pawns on the
e-file will be a weakness for Black.} (11. Nbd2 {is the another main move.})
11... fxe6 12. Nbd2 Rb8 13. c3 ({In the first round Carlsen had this line with
Black too,} 13. Nb3 Qc8 14. Qe2 Nd8 15. d4 exd4 16. Nbxd4 c5 17. Nb3 e5 18.
Nbd2 Ne6 19. Nc4 Nd4 20. Nxd4 cxd4 21. Nb6 Qc6 22. Bg5 Bd8 23. Bxf6 Bxb6 24.
axb6 Rxf6 25. Rxa6 h6 26. Qd3 Rxb6 $11 {Caruana-Carlsen, Saint Louis 2017,
with an equal position.}) 13... Qe8 14. Nc4 $146 {A novelty by Carlsen.} ({
Recently} 14. d4 {was played by Topalov,} bxc3 15. bxc3 exd4 16. cxd4 Rb5 17.
Nc4 Qg6 18. Qe2 Nd7 $13 {Topalov-Adams, Shamkir 2017, with an unclear
middlegame.}) 14... Qg6 15. h3 Nd7 {A typical continuation, Black prepares for
...d5.} ({Nevertheless I prefer} 15... Nh5 $5 {like an active move to play for
...Nf4.}) 16. Be3 d5 17. Ncd2 {Of course White doesn't exchange. The e5- and
e6-pawns became weaker.} bxc3 18. bxc3 Nc5 19. Bxc5 $1 {At first this seems a
strange move. Why does White give up his nice bishop? The knight was exerting
pressure on d3; moreover after removing the knight White has an extra
possibility on the next move.} Bxc5 20. Qa4 $1 {This was the point of White's
previous move.} Rb2 $5 {Ambitious reply!} 21. Rf1 $1 {Very deep move! Carlsen
protects his f2-pawn in advance, now the c6-knight is hanging already.} ({
The careless} 21. Qxc6 $2 {loses immediately, because of} Bxf2+ $1 22. Kxf2
Rxd2+ $19 {and Black is winning.}) 21... Na7 $6 {Too passive a move!} (21...
Qe8 {should have been played, however} 22. Rab1 Rxb1 23. Rxb1 $14 {and White
is more comfortable.}) 22. Nxe5 Qh6 23. Ndf3 Nb5 24. Rae1 $1 {White doesn't
protect the c3-pawn and he solves the problem with a nice idea.} ({Moreover}
24. Rac1 $2 {could have been met by} Rxf2 $1 25. Rxf2 Qxc1+ $19 {and Black
wins.}) 24... Nxc3 ({In the event of} 24... Bd6 25. exd5 exd5 (25... Nxc3 26.
Qa1 $1 $16 {important tempo!}) 26. Qa1 $1 Rc2 27. c4 $1 $16 {White is better
too.}) 25. Qc6 $1 {Suddenly Black has a lot of weaknesses on the queenside.
White is safe, his pieces are active, the white queen is threatening to take
the pawns.} Bb4 26. Kh1 {Probably this is not the strongest move, but a good
practical prophylactic reply. The king moves away from a possible ...Ne2+.}
dxe4 (26... Ne2 27. Rb1 $16 {is similar to the text move.}) 27. dxe4 Ne2 28.
Rb1 {White simplifies the position, so Black's pressure is decreasing.} Rxb1
29. Rxb1 Bd6 30. Qxa6 {Carlsen starts to eat the pawns.} Nf4 31. Qb5 c5 32. a6
{It's time to advance the passed pawn.} Bxe5 33. Nxe5 Qg5 34. Ng4 h5 35. Ne3 {
White is safe.} Nxg2 {Still the best practical chance, otherwise White
promotes his a-pawn without any counterplay.} 36. Nxg2 Rxf2 37. Rg1 Kh7 38. Qd3
{It is important to come back with the queen especially in time pressure.} Qe5
39. Qe3 Ra2 40. Qf4 {The best practical move. White doesn't protect his a-pawn,
he wants to exchange the queens and then he can win without any difficulties.}
Qc3 41. Ne3 Qf6 ({Or} 41... Rxa6 42. Qg5 $18 {and Black has no hope.}) 42. Qxf6
gxf6 43. Rc1 Rxa6 44. Kg2 $1 {Correct reply!} ({The greedy} 44. Rxc5 {could
have been met by} Ra3 {and Black wins the h3-pawn and he survives.}) 44... Ra2+
45. Rc2 Ra5 46. Kf3 Kg6 47. h4 Rb5 48. Ra2 Rb1 49. Rc2 Rb5 50. Rc3 f5 (50...
Ra5 51. Ng2 $18 {is also hopeless for Black.}) 51. exf5+ exf5 52. Rd3 {A very
nice victory by Carlsen!} 1-0
[Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"]
[Site "Saint Louis"]
[Date "2017.08.11"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Svidler, Peter"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A20"]
[WhiteElo "2749"]
[BlackElo "2807"]
[Annotator "Marin,M"]
[PlyCount "87"]
[EventDate "2017.08.02"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 ({It is interesting to compare the line played with
the Keres Variation:} 3. Nc3 c6 4. Nf3 e4 5. Nd4 Qb6 6. Nb3 {Instead of Nc3
White will have Bg2 on board.}) 3... c6 4. Nf3 e4 5. Nd4 Qb6 $5 ({The
classical continuation is} 5... d5 {but recently it was (re-)discovered that}
6. d3 {poses some problems.} (6. cxd5 Qxd5 {offers Black great play.}) 6...
exd3 ({Actually this variation is not new at all:} 6... Bc5 7. Nb3 Bb4+ 8. Bd2
Bxd2+ 9. Qxd2 dxc4 10. dxc4 Qe7 11. Nc3 {Benko,P-Tal,M Curacao 1962 (½-½, 34)
. Strangely it was only after 25 years that White tried this line again and
not until recently did it become popular.}) 7. cxd5 {Ding,L (2773)-Inarkiev,E
(2727) Moscow 2017 CBM 179 [Roiz,M] (1-0, 87)}) 6. Nb3 a5 {Black immediately
starts the fight against the knight.} (6... d5 7. cxd5 cxd5 8. Nc3 Bf5 9. d3
Bb4 {completely transposes to a line from the Keres System, which is known to
favour White. Here is the most mportant classical game:} 10. O-O Bxc3 11. bxc3
O-O 12. Be3 Qc7 ({The modern interpretaion of the line does not change the
evaluation:} 12... Qa6 13. Nc5 Qc6 14. c4 dxc4 15. Rc1 b5 16. dxc4 b4 17. Qb3
a5 18. a3 bxa3 19. Qxa3 Qc8 20. Rfd1 Re8 21. Na4 $18 {Brodowski,P (2442)-Socko,
B (2621) Gorzow Wielkopolski 2014 (1/2-1/2, 36)}) 13. Rc1 Nc6 14. c4 Rad8 15.
Nd4 Nxd4 16. Bxd4 exd3 17. cxd5 Qd7 18. Bxf6 dxe2 19. Qxe2 gxf6 20. Qb2 Kg7 21.
Qd4 $16 {Reshevsky,S-Keres,P Los Angeles 1963 MCL [Dolmatov] (1-0, 41)}) 7. d3
a4 8. N3d2 d5 (8... Bc5 9. O-O $5 {White's better possibilites for rapid
development prevent Black fro using the weakness of the dark squares.} (9. e3
$6 exd3 10. Nc3 Qa6 $15 {Meier,G (2657)-Baklan,V (2618) Biel 2016 (1/2-1/2, 38)
}) 9... e3 10. fxe3 Bxe3+ 11. Kh1 d6 (11... Ng4 12. Ne4) 12. Nc3 Ng4 13. c5 $1
Qxc5 (13... dxc5 14. Nc4 $18) (13... Bxc5 14. Nxa4 $16) 14. Nce4 Qh5 15. Nxd6+
Kd7 16. h4 Kxd6 (16... Bxd2 17. Nxc8 $16) 17. Nc4+ $14) 9. cxd5 $1 $146 {
It makes sense clearing the path for White's minor pieces.} (9. dxe4 {is
premature, making the c4-pawn look like a weakness.} dxe4 10. e3 (10. Nxe4 Nxe4
11. Bxe4 Bh3 $44) 10... Bg4 11. Qc2 Nbd7 12. Nc3 Bb4 13. Ndxe4 Nxe4 14. Qxe4+
Be6 15. O-O O-O $44 16. Qh4 $6 Ne5 $15 17. Nd5 {?!?!} cxd5 18. cxd5 Bg4 (18...
Bd7 $19) 19. f4 Be2 (19... Nf3+ 20. Bxf3 Bxf3 21. Rxf3 Rfd8 $17) 20. fxe5 Bxf1
21. Bxf1 $15 {Topalov,V (2749)-Caruana,F (2808) Paris (blitz) 2017 (0-1, 35)})
9... exd3 ({The difference is that after} 9... cxd5 {White can safely take the
pawn:} 10. dxe4 dxe4 11. Nxe4 Nxe4 12. Bxe4 Bh3 13. Nc3 $16 {[%cal Gc3d5,Gd5f4]
}) 10. O-O cxd5 (10... dxe2 $2 11. Qxe2+ $18 {offers White a decisive attack.})
11. exd3 {The position is more pleasant for White, as he has pressure on d5
and nice minor piece development, but it is early to speak about an advantage.}
Be7 12. Nc3 Qa5 13. Re1 Nc6 14. b4 $1 {An elegant tactical way of taking over
the queenside initiative.} ({A week later White missed this:} 14. Nf3 $6 O-O
15. Bd2 Qa6 16. Bg5 Be6 $11 17. Ne5 Nxe5 18. Rxe5 h6 19. Bf4 a3 20. Rb1 Bd6 $17
{Navara,D (2737)-Caruana,F (2807) Saint Louis (blitz) 2017 (0-1, 34)}) 14...
axb3 (14... Qxb4 15. Nxd5 Nxd5 16. Bxd5 O-O 17. Rb1 Qc5 18. Be4 Rd8 19. Nc4 $14
{[%csl Gb7][%cal Gc1e3]}) (14... Nxb4 15. Rxe7+ Kxe7 16. Ba3 Kd8 17. Qb1 Na6
18. Nxd5 Nxd5 19. Nc4 $18) 15. Bb2 $1 Qd8 ({If} 15... Bg4 {White has a choice:}
{A simpler way is} 16. Nxb3 (16. Qxb3 {may lead to interesting play, with
chances for both sides:} O-O 17. Qxb7 Rfc8 18. Rxe7 Rab8 19. Nb3 (19. Rxf7 Rxb7
20. Rxb7 Qa6 21. Rxg7+ Kxg7 22. Nxd5 Qxd3 23. Bxf6+ Kf8 24. Nb3 Bf3 25. Nf4 Qd6
$13) 19... Rxb7 (19... Qd8 20. Rxf7 Rxb7 21. Rxb7 $16) 20. Rxb7 Qd8 $13) 16...
Qd8 17. Qd2 O-O 18. h3 Be6 19. Ne2 $14) 16. Qxb3 {A strange decision.} (16.
Nxb3 O-O 17. Nb5 $14 {offers White natural play.}) 16... Be6 $6 ({Even
stranger. Why did he refrain from:} 16... Nd4 17. Qd1 Bg4 18. Qb1 O-O 19. h3 (
19. Nxd5 Ne2+) 19... Be6 $11 20. Nxd5 Nxd5 21. Bxd4 Nb4 22. Nb3 Bxb3 23. axb3
Qxd4 24. Rxa8 Rxa8 25. Rxe7 g6 $44 {[%cal Ga8a1]}) 17. Ne2 $16 {[%cal Ge2f4]
Suddenly Black is under serious pressure.} Bb4 $2 $18 18. Red1 {Too slow to
bother Black.} ({The spectacular} 18. Nf4 $1 {would have more or less won:} O-O
(18... Bxd2 19. Nxe6 fxe6 20. Rxe6+ Kf7 21. Bxf6 gxf6 22. Re2 $18 Ba5 23. Qxb7+
Ne7 24. Rxe7+ Qxe7 25. Bxd5+ Kf8 26. Qxa8+) 19. Rxe6 Bxd2 (19... fxe6 20. Nxe6
$18) 20. Rxf6 gxf6 21. Nxd5 $18) 18... O-O $14 {Black is back in the game now.}
19. Nf4 Bc5 $6 {Hoping to get counterplay against f2 after an exchange on e6,
but exposing the bishop.} (19... Bg4 20. Nf3 $14) 20. Nf3 (20. Rac1 $5) 20...
Bg4 21. Rac1 {White's pressure has again become unbearable.} Bxf3 {Hoping to
get drawing chances with opposite coloured bishops.} 22. Bxf3 Nd4 23. Bxd4 Bxd4
24. Rc2 b6 25. Bxd5 $1 {Without knights Black should be entitled to count on a
draw, but this way he is more or less lost.} Ra7 26. Bf3 Re8 27. Ne2 h5 (27...
Bc5 28. d4 $16) 28. Nxd4 Qxd4 29. Rc4 Qe5 30. a4 Qa5 31. Kg2 Rd8 32. d4 {
The start of the end. White is a pawn up and has regrouped perfectly.} Nd5 33.
Rdc1 g6 34. Rc8 Rad7 35. Qc4 Kg7 36. Rxd8 Rxd8 37. Rb1 Nf6 (37... Nc3 38. Rb4
Rc8 39. Qb3 $18) 38. d5 Ra8 (38... Nxd5 39. Rd1 $18) (38... Ne8 {[%cal Ge8d6]}
39. Qd4+ {[%csl Gb6]}) 39. d6 Ra7 (39... Qxa4 40. Rb4 $18) 40. Rd1 Nd7 41. Bc6
Qc5 42. Qd4+ Qxd4 43. Rxd4 Kf6 44. Re4 1-0
[Event "American Continental 13th"]
[Site "Medellin"]
[Date "2017.06.11"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Vazquez, Guillermo"]
[Black "Cori Tello, Jorge Moise"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D76"]
[WhiteElo "2443"]
[BlackElo "2618"]
[Annotator "Vazquez,G"]
[PlyCount "107"]
[EventDate "2017.06.10"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "11"]
[EventCountry "COL"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Nf3 Nb6 7. O-O O-O 8.
Nc3 Nc6 9. e3 Re8 10. Nh4 {Not the main move, but it more or less forces Black
to play e7-e5 because otherwise White plays f2-f4 and Black does not get easy
counterplay. The problem for White is that the knight might get misplaced.} e5
(10... a5 11. f4 $14) 11. d5 Nb4 {Already a surprise for me.} (11... Na5 {
was the only move I knew.}) 12. a3 (12. Qb3 {is another move I considered to
develop quickly, but Black has many options to get a good position, for
instance} Nd3 13. Rd1 Nxc1 14. Raxc1 Bg4) 12... Na6 {Now Black wants to play
e5-e4.} 13. Qc2 {Covering e4.} (13. e4 {allows} c6 {and I think Black is fine
due to the misplaced knight on h4} 14. dxc6 bxc6 {with the clear idea to play
Na6-c5-e6-d4.} 15. Nf3 Qxd1 16. Rxd1 Nc5 $36) (13. Z0 e4 14. Z0 g5 {was the
threat, forcing White to give up the knight.}) 13... Qe7 14. Rb1 {I thought I
could let Black play e5-e4 and for that it would be useful to get the rook out
of the diagonal of the bishop on g7.} (14. e4 c6 {is similar to 13.e4; the
inclusion of Qc2 and ...Qe7 favours White since the queen can still cover b3,
but anyway I considered that Black's position is alright.} 15. dxc6 bxc6 16.
Nf3 Nc5 17. Bg5 Qb7) 14... e4 15. Qxe4 ({I rejected} 15. Nxe4 {because I found
no advantage after the solid} Nxd5 ({the more forcing} 15... g5 16. Nxg5 Qxg5
17. b4 $36 {gives White compensation with a strong centre and Black has
problems getting the knights into the game. I expected White to be better here,
but after} Qe7 18. e4 c6 19. dxc6 bxc6 {the position remains complicated, but
I thought I could play for a win here.}) 16. b4 c6 {and Black can continue
with Na6-c7-b5.}) 15... Qxe4 16. Nxe4 h6 $5 {I underestimated this pawn
sacrifice. Now White has to find a way to deal with g6-g5.} (16... Nxd5 17. Bd2
{with the queens exchanged, I expected Black to have some difficulties playing
c7-c6 because that would allow some ideas with Ne4-d6 winning the bishop pair,
but Black can get enough activity to compensate for it.} c6 (17... Rd8 $5) 18.
Nd6 (18. b4 Rd8 $11) 18... Rd8 19. Nxc8 Raxc8 20. Nf3 Nc5 $11) 17. Nc3 {
I did not really expect to be able to keep the extra pawn, I was just trying
to find a way to return it to activate my pieces.} (17. f4 Bd7 {and I did not
see how to improve my pieces.}) 17... g5 18. Nf3 Bf5 (18... Bxc3 19. bxc3 Nxd5
{is a way to regain the pawn, but now White's rook on b1 is given some activity
} 20. Nd4 $36) 19. e4 Bg6 20. Nd2 {Intending to advance the f-pawn. I still
did not know exactly how to untangle the queenside, but for now Black also has
a problem with the knight on a6, because Na6-c5 allows b2-b4.} Nc5 {I thought
that was a mistake, but Black had a resource I missed.} (20... Rad8 21. f4 Nc5
22. b4 Nd3 $36 {might be an alternative for Black.}) 21. b4 Nca4 $6 (21... Nd3
{is not as effective with the pawn still on f2} 22. Nb5 {and White is ready to
kick the knight away with Rb3 so I thought White was better, but Black had}
Red8 $1 23. Rb3 Nxc1 24. Rxc1 c6 $44) 22. Nxa4 Nxa4 23. Rb3 $14 {White
exchanged a pair of knights and is ready to push the f-pawn.} Rad8 $6 (23... g4
{was necessary}) 24. f4 Bc3 {this does not seem right, but I do not know how
Black can get some compensation.} 25. f5 ({I considered} 25. Rxc3 $5 Nxc3 26.
f5 Bh5 27. Bb2 {to get my bishop active and eliminate Black's most active
piece, but I decided to play f5 first, which was not the same.}) 25... Bd4+ {
And the bishop escapes.} 26. Kh1 Bh5 27. Bf3 $2 {Exchanging the bishops leaves
the e-pawn weak.} (27. Nf3 Bf6 (27... Rxe4 28. Nxg5) 28. Re3 $16) 27... Bxf3+
28. Rfxf3 (28. Rbxf3 Nc3 $36) 28... g4 $6 {This was not necessary.} (28... c5
$5 {is another way to play, which I only noticed after the game when my engine
pointed it out.} 29. dxc6 bxc6 30. Kg2 c5 $13) (28... Bf6 {and White still has
to find a plan.}) 29. Rf4 h5 30. h3 {Now White gets something to play for.} Be5
(30... gxh3 31. Nf3 $14 {and the rook remains on f4 defending e4.}) 31. Rf1
gxh3 32. Nf3 (32. Kh2 $6 h4 $13) 32... Bc3 {Not allowing Re3.} (32... Bg7 33.
Re3 $14) 33. Bd2 $6 (33. Ng5 Bf6 34. Kh2 $14 {and Black still has to find
compensation.}) 33... Bxd2 34. Nxd2 c6 $11 {Now White has to be careful
because Black's pieces get active.} 35. Rd3 cxd5 36. exd5 Nb6 37. d6 Re2 38. g4
{I considered I had to do something active otherwise he can just prepare to
attack my weak pawn on d6.} hxg4 39. Rg1 Kg7 $1 {The king has to get active,
against any other move White even gets a better position.} 40. Rxg4+ Kf6 41.
Re4 {Just going for the draw because I saw no winning attempts for me.} Rxe4 ({
I thought it might be dangerous for Black to try to keep the rooks} 41... Rg2
42. Re1 Kxf5 43. Ne4 {and White gets some ideas with Nc5 attacking b7, but} Nd7
{holds everything and the position remains equal.}) 42. Nxe4+ Ke5 43. Nc5 Rxd6
44. Rxd6 (44. Rxh3 {should also end in a draw, but keeping more pieces on the
board just gives Black some chances to play on with the more active king.})
44... Kxd6 45. Nxb7+ Kc7 46. Na5 Nd5 47. Kh2 Ne3 48. Kxh3 Nxf5 49. Kg4 Nd4 50.
Kg5 Nc2 51. b5 Nxa3 52. Nc6 Nxb5 53. Nxa7 Nxa7 54. Kf6 1/2-1/2
[Event "Biel GM 50th"]
[Site "Biel"]
[Date "2017.07.31"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Hou, Yifan"]
[Black "Bacrot, Etienne"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C65"]
[WhiteElo "2666"]
[BlackElo "2715"]
[Annotator "Hou Yifan"]
[PlyCount "71"]
[EventDate "2017.07.24"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[EventCategory "16"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 180"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. h3 Ne7 8. Re1
c6 9. Ba4 Ng6 10. d4 Bb6 11. Nbd2 Re8 12. Bc2 h6 {Checking the database after
the game I just realised Etienne had faced exactly the same position against
Ponomariov in the 2013 GP, but that game came from an Italian Game.} 13. a4 Bc7
14. Nf1 $1 {Right decision and I was hoping for ...d5 here as any other moves
will give White a typical comfortable position when the knight goes to g3, so
normally Black should be alert to catch the right moment to make some
counterplay in the centre before White stabilises.} d5 $6 {The most practical
decision as any other moves will allow Ng3 with comfortable play although
still the position is still far from clear.} 15. Nxe5 $1 (15. exd5 e4) (15.
dxe5 Nxe4 16. Bxe4 dxe4 17. Qxd8 Bxd8 18. Rxe4 Bc7 {both lines are making no
difficulties for Black.}) 15... Nxe5 {The most natural option but leads to a
forced line which allows White great attacking chances.} ({Here it is
difficult for humans to accept an ugly pawn chain:} 15... dxe4 16. Nxg6 fxg6 {
but somehow things turns out to be quite different as the e4-pawn is limiting
White's piece flexibility; in the meantime Black's own development is coming: .
..Bf5, ...Qd6, ...Rad8 etc.}) 16. dxe5 Bxe5 17. f4 Bc7 18. e5 Ne4 $1 {
Important! Otherwise White will easily exert pressure with the strong e5-pawn.
The position firstly looks pretty fine for Black to me as the light squares
have been blocked; even after White wins an extra pawn the weakness inside the
white position will secure enough compensation for Black. So the only way to
keep an advantage is to maintain the attack towards the king, but how can that
be done without the light-squared bishop?} 19. Bxe4 dxe4 20. Qh5 $1 {This is
the main idea of the whole plan, while exchanging on e5. Strangely enough the
pair of bishops simply cannot be powerful while the "obstacle" e4-pawn is
hanging here. The g3-square is an important square for both the knight and the
rook. White should always be alert to some ...f5/f6 breakthrough which would
solve Black's problems at once.} Be6 21. Ng3 {The key point is to understand
that preventing ...f5/f6 became crucial} (21. Be3 {looks the most natural but
will refuted by} f5 $1 22. Rad1 Qc8 {no continuous attacks}) (21. Rxe4 {
I did not consider this too much, but noticed a nice trick:} f6 $1 {
successfully opens the position which activates the bishop pair.} (21... g6 22.
Qxh6 Qd1 {seems attractive but...} 23. f5 $1 {[%cal Ge4h4] White wins}) 22. Ng3
Bd5 23. Re1 fxe5 24. fxe5 Qd7 $44) 21... Bb6+ (21... f6 {now doesn't work
because of} 22. Nxe4 fxe5 23. f5) 22. Be3 ({Another possibility that drew my
attention is} 22. Kh1 $6 Bf2 23. Rd1 Bxg3 $1 {the most direct way to refute
the line:} 24. Rxd8 Raxd8 25. Be3 Rd3 $44) 22... Qd3 {Obviously the idea of
the ...Bb6 check is to break White's attacking plan and make the game more
concrete.} (22... Qd2 $5 23. Bxb6 ({During the game I was planning to play} 23.
Qe2 {converting into an endgame with an extra pawn which is solid and better
for White. The concrete line goes} Bxe3+ 24. Qxe3 Qxb2 25. Rab1 Qc2 26. f5 Bd5
27. e6 $1 $40) 23... axb6 24. Nxe4 Qxf4 $6 ({somehow I missed the nice little
trap, of course} 24... Qxb2 {is very dangerous for Black}) 25. g3 $1 {the
queen has been trapped!} Qf5 26. Qxf5 Bxf5 27. Nd6 {Material up, with accuracy
White should win this but this is not relevant to us here.}) 23. Nf1 $1 {
Another key move which I found when playing Ng3 earlier.} ({If} 23. Qe2 {
tranposed to the variation of 22...Qd2, but here I already hoped for more then
a better endgame!}) 23... Rad8 24. f5 ({Here I spent for quite some time
trying to find the most accurate way as I felt it was the crucial moment. At
first} 24. Bxb6 $5 {looked attractive to me, but later on I realised there was}
axb6 25. Ne3 Kh7 $1 {-- I gave this exclamatory mark during the game from my
point of view} (25... Bc8 {the position will be vulnerable for Black as I
slowly retreat the queen by Rad1, then f5, Ng4, Re3-g3 and all the pieces are
going to join the fight while there's simply no counterplay for Black except
taking the useless a4-pawn.}) 26. Rad1 g6 $1 {intending ...Kh7} 27. Qh4 Qxe3+
28. Rxe3 Rxd1+ {Although it might be theoretically winning, somehow I decided
to avoid this technical position and went for another path.}) 24... Bb3 25. f6
$2 ({A much tronger move is} 25. e6 $1 fxe6 26. f6 {with a better version of
the breakthrough Black's kingside compared to the game.}) 25... Qd5 $1 {
Etienne calmly found the precise defensive way to come back to the fight.} 26.
Bxb6 axb6 27. fxg7 ({I was aming to go for} 27. Qg4 g6 28. Rxe4 {but just
realised later that Black simply takes on e5:} (28. Qxe4 {will lead to a
slightly better endgame but obviously not the thing I wanted when pushing f5})
28... Rxe5 {and in this position White is everywhere a short of being able to
utilise the f6-pawn to make threats.}) 27... Qxe5 28. Qxh6 Qxg7 29. Qh4 Rd3 $6
{Such a weird position! All the white pieces except the queen are on the back
rank, but in the meantime if the knight and rooks join the game via the 3rd
rank smoothly then the exposed black king will be difficult to defend. Another
important factor is the inactive b3-bishop; if we look at it more deeply it's
doing nothing there if White tries to keep the e4-pawn on the board.} (29...
Rd6 {can beconsidered to be more accurate as it turns out later that defending
along the 6th rank is the right path.} 30. Re3 Rg6 31. Ng3 Re5 32. Rf1 {
White still keeps attacking chances according to the comparison of knight vs.
bishop, but it's far from a clear judgement.}) 30. Re3 (30. Ne3 {is even
stronger but the move I played is also practical.}) 30... Re6 31. Rae1 $5 {
Maintain the pressure again and not get lured to take the e4-pawn.} (31. Rxd3
exd3 32. Qd8+ Qf8 33. Qxd3 Qc5+ {without the e4-pawn rook and bishop have
lines; even more is the wasted tempi let the black queen become powerful.})
31... Rh6 {It is difficult to suggest the best defence for Black.} ({Clearly
the main target will be exchanging queens, so probably the first step is to
bring the bishop back to the centre which could avoid some tempi/checks via e4
in specific positions.} 31... Bd5) 32. Qf4 Rxh3 $2 ({It is actually the last
crucial moment where my opponent needs to search out more tasks for White by}
32... Rf6 33. Qxe4 $1 (33. Qb8+ Kh7 {successfully depriving the queen of
coordination.}) 33... Bd5 34. Qe8+ Kh7 35. g4 $1 {White needs to find this
move before Qxe4 in order to keep a clear advantage.}) 33. Rxd3 Rxd3 34. Rxe4
Be6 35. Ne3 {Finally this knight comes back to a key role after 12 moves. It
cuts the route of the d3-rook and the connection of three pieces is unstopable
now.} Rd8 $2 {Finally the mistake under time pressue.} ({A more stubborn try is
} 35... Rd7 {but will run into a brilliant idea} 36. a5 $1 {opening the a-file,
at the same time making the c5-square available for White's queen whenever
needed.} bxa5 37. Re5 Qh7 38. Rxa5 $18) 36. Re5 1-0
[Event "chess.com IoM Masters"]
[Site "Douglas"]
[Date "2017.09.27"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Adams, Michael"]
[Black "Shirov, Alexei"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C88"]
[WhiteElo "2738"]
[BlackElo "2630"]
[Annotator "Adams,M"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{At one time Alexei was a regular sparring partner, but this was only our
third game in the last decade.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3
b5 ({A small surprise Alexei has normally preferred} 5... d6 {here.}) 6. Bb3
Be7 7. a4 Rb8 (7... b4 {is more common, allowing White the open a-file is a
small concession.}) 8. axb5 axb5 9. O-O O-O 10. Re1 d6 11. c3 ({After} 11. Nbd2
Nb4 {followed by ...c5 looked reasonable for Black.}) 11... Be6 {Otherwise
it's not easy for Black to develop.} 12. Bxe6 fxe6 13. Bg5 (13. d4 $1 {should
be critical here.}) 13... Nd7 ({I was intending} 13... h6 $5 14. Bh4 Nh5 15.
Bg3 {but on reflection it doesn't look too impressive.}) 14. Be3 d5 15. Nbd2 (
15. Ra6 $1 Nb6 16. Qb3 b4 17. Nbd2 {is the most challenging, keeping the
pressure on Black's ugly structure.}) ({I had originally thought that} 15. exd5
exd5 16. Ra6 Rf6 {was very good, but both} 17. Qb3 Nf8 ({and} 17... Kh8 {
intending} 18. Qxd5 Nb4 {are playable.})) 15... Nc5 16. Nb3 Na4 ({I spent some
time on} 16... dxe4 17. Nxc5 exf3 18. Nxe6 Qd7 19. Nxf8 Rxf8 {but there aren't
enough pieces in the attack:} 20. gxf3 Qh3 21. Kh1 Bd6 22. Rg1 e4 23. f4 {
is one way to defend.}) 17. Qe2 Bd6 18. d4 $6 ({This pawn break wasn't a good
idea, although I somehow hypnotised my opponent into playing down my main line
of calculation, so it didn't work out too badly. I didn't see the clever
computer concept} 18. Bg5 $1 Qd7 19. Bh4 {- now White's bishop would be well
placed on g3.}) ({I only considered} 18. Ra2 {to keep the tension which is
less challenging.}) 18... dxe4 19. Nxe5 (19. Ng5 exd4 20. Nxd4 Nxd4 21. cxd4
Qf6 {is nothing special as Black's knight can gravitate towards d5.}) 19...
Bxe5 ({The other capture was also possible} 19... Nxe5 $5 20. dxe5 Bxe5 21. Bd4
(21. Ba7 Ra8 22. Qxe4 Bxh2+ 23. Kxh2 Qd6+) 21... Bxd4 22. Nxd4 Qd5 {looks
likely to lead to mass liquidation.}) 20. dxe5 Nxe5 21. Ba7 Qg5 ({I thought}
21... Ra8 $1 {wasn't very good and my opponent rejected it quickly but in fact
White should be careful there.} 22. Qxe4 (22. Qxb5 $2 Qg5 23. Qxa4 Nf3+ 24. Kh1
Nxe1 25. Rxe1 Rxf2 26. Qxe4 Rxa7) 22... Nd3 (22... Nf3+ $2 23. gxf3 Rxa7 24.
Qxe6+ Kh8 25. Nd4 $16) 23. Re3 {and now either the flashy} (23. Red1 Naxb2 24.
Qxe6+ Kh8 $15) 23... Nac5 ({or the simple} 23... Naxb2 {are fine for Black.})
24. Bxc5 Rxa1+ 25. Nxa1 Nxc5 26. Qd4) 22. Nd4 $1 (22. Bxb8 Nf3+ 23. Kh1 Nxe1
24. Rxe1 Rxb8 25. Qxe4 Qd5 {is about equal.}) 22... Nf3+ (22... Ra8 $2 23. Qxe4
Rxa7 24. Nxe6 $18) 23. Nxf3 exf3 24. Qxe6+ Kh8 25. g3 Ra8 26. Bd4 c5 27. Be3 $6
({I wanted to play} 27. Be5 $1 {but failed to realise all the tactics are in
my favour enabling me to keep the bishop pointed at g7} Rae8 $2 (27... Nxb2 $2
28. Rxa8 Rxa8 29. Bb8 $1 $18) 28. Bxg7+ Qxg7 (28... Kxg7 29. Qd7+ $18) 29. Qxe8
$18) 27... Qh5 28. h4 Nxb2 ({I was happy to get the opportunity to swap rooks
but} 28... Rae8 29. Qc6 {is also not so pleasant} Qf5 (29... Qg4 30. Qxb5 Nxb2
31. Bxc5 Qh3 32. Qf1) 30. Bf4 $1) 29. Rxa8 Rxa8 30. Qc6 Rg8 31. Qxb5 Qf5 $1 ({
After} 31... Qg4 32. Kh2 Nc4 33. Bf4 {Black's knight is in trouble, Alexei's
superior choice gives it a route back into the game.}) 32. Kh2 (32. Qxb2 $4 Qh3
) 32... Nd3 33. Rd1 Ne5 34. Qxc5 h5 ({I was expecting} 34... h6 35. Bd4 Ng4+
36. Kg1 Qe4 {but underestimated the strength of} ({The better} 36... Qxc5 $1
37. Bxc5 Re8 {looks likely to lead to a draw with my king imprisoned.}) 37. Qc7
$1 {when Black is passive.}) 35. Bd4 Re8 $2 ({I was pleasantly surprised when
I got the opportunity to get rid of the knight} 35... Ng4+ 36. Kg1 Qxc5 37.
Bxc5 Re8 {should hold after} 38. Be3 Nxe3 39. fxe3 Rxe3 40. Rc1 g5 {the number
of pawns is fast diminishing.}) 36. Bxe5 Rxe5 37. Rd8+ Kh7 38. Qf8 $18 {
My opponent missed this decisive queen insertion, with only major pieces
remaining Black is not in time to target my king.} (38. Qc4 {with similar
ideas is equally effective} Qc2 39. Qg8+ Kh6 40. Rd6+ $18) 38... Kg6 ({After}
38... Qxf8 39. Rxf8 {picks up another pawn with Black's monarch boxed in.}) 39.
Rd6+ Kh7 40. Rd8 Kg6 41. Qg8 Qe6 (41... Qc2 42. Rd6+ Kf5 43. Qf7+ {mates next
turn.}) (41... Re6 42. Rd7 Qf6 43. Rxg7+ $18) (41... Qf6 42. Rf8 $18) 42. Qxe6+
Rxe6 43. Rf8 {Black resigned, as after capturing on f3 my king can stroll to
the queenside to simplify the conversion.} (43. Rf8 Rf6 {loses swiftly} 44.
Rxf6+ Kxf6 (44... gxf6 45. g4 $18) 45. g4 hxg4 46. Kg3 $18) 1-0
[Event "chess.com IoM Masters"]
[Site "Douglas"]
[Date "2017.09.26"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Howell, David"]
[Black "Mekhitarian, Krikor Sevag"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B22"]
[WhiteElo "2701"]
[BlackElo "2534"]
[Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 c5 2. c3 {David Howell was a very tough opponent to prepare against - he
played many different openings and somehow I wasn't expecting 1.e4 and
definitely not the Alapin Variation, that he had played a lot in the past.
After this small surprise, I chose to play an old line I trusted.} Nf6 3. e5
Nd5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Bc4 Nb6 6. Bb3 c4 7. Bc2 d5 ({I had bad experiences in the
past in this main line, judging it to be too dangerous after for example:} 7...
Qc7 8. O-O $5 Nxe5 9. Nxe5 Qxe5 10. Re1 Qc7 11. a4 $1 d5 12. Na3 a6 13. a5 Nd7
14. d3 $44 {1-0 (44) Jones,G (2667)-Rowson,J (2565) London 2016, with a very
strong initiative and compensation for the sacrificed pawn.}) 8. exd6 e5 9. O-O
Be6 {The idea is to wait for White to define whether he is taking with the
queen or with the bishop on d3 (after the move d4). On the other hand, I
remembered that White had some strong move on the queenside that could give me
problems, and also that I had to be watching the annoying ...Ng5 all the time.}
(9... Bxd6 {is a fine move, but I had an impression that White obtains an
initiative somehow} 10. d3 cxd3 11. Qxd3 Be6 {this is similar to White's 10th
move analysis} 12. Rd1 (12. Re1 {-- 10.Re1}) (12. Bb3 Qe7 13. Re1 Bxb3 14. axb3
O-O {followed by ...f5, Black is doing fine} 15. Na3 f5 (15... Bxa3 $5 16. bxa3
f5 $36) 16. Nc4 Nxc4 17. Qxc4+ Kh8 18. Bg5 Qf7 (18... Qc7 $11) 19. Qxf7 Rxf7
20. b4 e4 $11 {with a balanced endgame: 1/2-1/2 (41) Adams,M (2740)-Wojtaszek,
R (2733) Biel 2015}) 12... Be7 13. Qe2 Qc7 14. a4 O-O 15. Ng5 (15. a5 Nc4 16.
a6 Rfd8 17. axb7 Rxd1+ 18. Bxd1 Qxb7 $11) 15... Bxg5 16. Bxg5 f5 17. a5 Nd5 18.
a6 h6 19. Bc1 b6 $13 {1-0 (63) Gara,A (2354)-Muzychuk,A (2587) Riga 2017, with
an unbalanced position, Black has potential in the centre, but has to watch
White's bishop pair.}) 10. a4 $1 {There it is! Found over the board by my
opponent, after a long think. This typical Alapin move threatening a5 is
usually a problem, because if Black plays ...a5 avoiding it, then the knight
becomes loose and b5 could be a juicy square for that b1-knight.} (10. Re1 Bxd6
11. d4 cxd3 12. Qxd3 h6 {followed by ...Bc7, trying to exchange queens, Black
is fine. The advantage I remembered from my old preparation, is that White had
already chosen Re1 (and I thought Rd1 was an annoying move).}) (10. d4 cxd3 11.
Bxd3 (11. Qxd3 Qxd6 {trying to exchange queens - the endgame is fine for Black
with this strong pawn on e5} 12. Qxd6 Bxd6 13. Nbd2 f6 14. b3 O-O-O 15. Bb2 Be7
$15 {0-1 (51) Potapov,P (2497)-Kovalev,V (2629) Minsk 2017}) 11... Qxd6 12. Qc2
(12. Ng5 Bd5 $11 {followed by ...Rd8}) 12... Rd8 13. Be4 Bd5 14. Re1 Bxe4 15.
Qxe4 f6 16. Nbd2 g6 17. Nc4 Nxc4 18. Qxc4 Qd5 19. Qxd5 Rxd5 20. Be3 Kf7 $15 {
0-1 (63) Pavasovic,D (2568)-Fier,A (2588) Khanty-Mansiysk 2010, and Black is
doing fine again.}) 10... Bxd6 (10... Qxd6 11. Ng5 $1 Bd5 12. a5 Nd7 13. d3
cxd3 14. Qxd3 $14) (10... a6 11. a5 Nd7 12. d4 cxd3 13. Qxd3 Nc5 14. Qe2 Bxd6 {
White has a dangerous initiative on the kingside with Ng5 right now, or even
moves like Nbd2 followed by Nc4.} 15. Rd1 (15. Ng5 $5 $16 {looks very strong})
(15. Nbd2 $5 $16) 15... Qc7 (15... Nb3 $1 $13 {was very good to complicate
matters}) 16. b4 $2 (16. Nbd2 $1 $16 {and Nc4}) 16... Nb3 17. Bxb3 Bxb3 18. Re1
O-O $11 {0-1 (52) Roberson,P (2397)-Bitalzadeh,A (2383) chess.com INT 2017}) (
10... a5 11. b3 $1 {is very problematic for Black} (11. Na3 $5 Bxd6 12. Nb5 Bb8
13. d4 cxd3 14. Bxd3 h6 15. Re1 O-O 16. Qc2 $14) 11... Bxd6 12. bxc4 Bxc4 13.
Re1 O-O 14. Na3 Bd5 15. Nb5 Bb8 16. d3 Re8 17. Rb1 $16) 11. a5 Nd7 12. d4 cxd3
13. Qxd3 Be7 14. a6 $1 {My knight on c6 will feel very loose without the
b7-pawn.} b6 (14... bxa6 15. Qxa6 Rc8 16. Rd1 O-O 17. Be3 Qc7 18. Na3 $16 {
looks very good for White also.}) 15. Re1 $6 (15. Na3 $1 {was more important
right away, Re1 is not necessarily good, since the e-pawn is safe} Bxa3 16.
Rxa3 h6 {avoiding Ng5} 17. Nd2 $1 $16 {with strong Nc4 and Ne4 threats -
meanwhile Black is still not able to castle.}) 15... Rc8 $1 {Defending the
loose knight on c6 is a very good idea.} 16. Na3 Bxa3 17. Rxa3 f6 $2 (17... h6
$14 {was necessary to avoid Ng5 and at the same time, keep the e6-bishop safe.
I didn't want to play this because now ...f6-Kf7 is no longer an option.} 18.
Ra1 Qc7 $5 {threatening ...Nb4 and also ...Nc5 followed by castling.}) 18. Be3
$2 {Now Black suddenly is fine, my opponent underestimated the idea of playing
...Kf7 and keeping it safe.} (18. Nd4 $1 {was critical} Nc5 19. Qg3 $1 exd4 {
is the move that kept my opponent thinking for a long time} (19... Kf7 {
is just horrible for Black (during the game, I thought this was somehow
playable)} 20. Nxe6 Nxe6 21. Bb3 $18 {followed by f4}) 20. Qxg7 Rf8 21. b4 $1 (
21. Bh6 $2 {is not impressive} Rf7 $1 22. Qg8+ Ke7 $19) (21. Bxh7 Qe7 $1 $15 {
and Black survives}) 21... Rc7 22. Qh6 {if I give up the piece by playing ...
Re7, then I'm simply worse. And ...d3 doesn't work either:} d3 23. Bd1 $1 $18 {
[%csl Rc5,Re6]} (23. bxc5 $6 dxc2 24. Rxe6+ Re7 25. Rxe7+ Nxe7 26. Qd2 $14))
18... Kf7 $1 19. Raa1 (19. Nh4 g6 $1 20. Nxg6 $2 hxg6 21. Qxg6+ Ke7 $19 {
and ...Bf7.}) 19... Qc7 {Threatening ...Nb4, something that my opponent missed
having only 1 minute on the clock to make 20 moves before time control (I had
around 40).} 20. Rad1 $2 (20. Qe2 Nb4 $1 $11 {followed by ...Nd5.}) 20... Nb4
$1 21. Qe2 Nxc2 22. Qxc2 Nb8 23. Qa4 Rhd8 $15 24. h3 {It is not clear how to
improve now. My position is definitely better - my pieces are well placed, his
a6-pawn is weak, and most importantly, his minor pieces are badly placed
hitting my solid structure (f3-knight and e3-bishop).} Qc4 $1 (24... Bd5 {
I thought about this, but didn't see how to proceed after} 25. Nd2 $15) 25. Qa3
Qb3 {Exchanging queens is good to make the a6-pawn even weaker.} 26. Qxb3 Bxb3
27. Rxd8 Rxd8 28. Nd2 Be6 29. Ra1 Bc8 $6 (29... Nc6 $1 {avoiding Bxb6 and
trying to expand my kingside majority.} 30. f3 f5 $15) 30. b4 $1 Bxa6 31. c4 $5
{Suddenly White tries to play for some tricks.} (31. b5 {was already good
enough for a draw} Bxb5 32. Rxa7+ Rd7 (32... Kg6 33. Rb7 Nd7 34. Bxb6 $11) 33.
Bxb6 $11) 31... Rd7 32. b5 Bc8 33. c5 bxc5 34. Ne4 {After all the middlegame
mess, I was short on time with less than a minute, like my opponent!} Rc7 35.
Bxc5 Ke6 36. Bxa7 (36. Rxa7 $11 {forced the draw right away.}) 36... Nd7 37. g4
$6 {This was unnecessary chances.} Bb7 38. Ng3 $6 (38. Nd2 $1 {followed by Be3,
setting up a fortress, and also avoiding ideas like Rd3-Rb3, that could try to
win the b5-pawn.}) 38... g6 (38... Rc3 $1 $17 {followed by ...Rb3 and after
winning the b5-pawn, I have chances to push for a win - the opposite coloured
bishops sometimes is good to create attacking patterns, when there are more
pieces.}) 39. Re1 $15 {Here my opponent offered a draw - we both had 30
seconds, but there was a 30-minute bonus coming in the next move (40). I
wanted to play ...Rc2, but for some reason I got scared of Ne2 (that threatens
a fork on d4, but something I can defend in many ways), and besides that, I
was happy with the overall result, because I was playing a very tough opponent,
and also because I had had very bad position in the opening. Still, my
decision to accept the draw was clearly wrong, since I still had something to
play for: if I'm able to win the b-pawn, then White may have a hard time
defending the endgame, specially after his g4 move. Naturally, he has huge
drawing chances, but there was no risk at all for me. Anyway, a very rich game
full of ideas!} (39. Re1 Rc2 $1 40. Ne2 Kf7 41. Rd1 Ke7 42. Re1 Rb2 $17)
1/2-1/2
[Event "Tata Steel Masters"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.01.13"]
[Round "1.6"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Matlakov, Maxim"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C77"]
[WhiteElo "2767"]
[BlackElo "2718"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "105"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 {Anand decided to avoid the
main lines.} b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. c3 d6 8. Bg5 ({Caruana against So chose instead:
} 8. Nbd2 O-O 9. Nf1 {but Black was perfectly fine after} d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11.
Ng3 f6 12. O-O Be6 {Caruana,F (2799)-So,W (2788) London 2017}) 8... h6 {
Questioning the bishop at once is Black's best reaction.} 9. Bh4 g5 10. Bg3 Ba7
$146 {The black bishop is standing on the road of the rooks thus the black one
on a8 ambushes its opponent.} (10... Bb6 11. Nbd2 O-O 12. Qe2 Ne7 13. d4 Ng6
14. dxe5 Nh5 15. O-O-O Nhf4 16. Bxf4 Nxf4 17. Qf1 {as in Alekseev,E (2651)
-Predke,A (2543) Kaliningrad 2015}) 11. Nbd2 ({One point behind Matlakov's
idea is that a move like} 11. a4 {can be simply ignored.}) 11... Na5 12. Bc2
Nh5 {Active play.} 13. a4 {This typical idea is not effective here.} (13. b4 {
first, and only after} Nc6 14. a4 {was more accurate.}) 13... b4 $1 {Matlakov
seizes his chances and takes over the initiative.} 14. cxb4 Nc6 15. b5 Nb4 {
The knight offers Black some extra tactical options.} 16. Nc4 (16. Bb1 {
disconnects the white rook from the queen and the simple} axb5 {leads to
Black's advantage, since} 17. axb5 $2 (17. Qb3 {is better, although Black
looks good after} Bc5) 17... Bxf2+ {is not good for White.}) ({Perhaps the
simple} 16. O-O {was best when the tactical line} axb5 17. axb5 Bxf2+ $2 18.
Bxf2 Rxa1 19. Qxa1 Nxc2 20. Qa4 {self-traps the knight on c2.}) 16... Nxg3 {
Going for a forcing continuation.} ({Also promising for Black seems} 16... g4
17. Nh4 axb5 18. Ne3 ({Worse is} 18. axb5 Bxf2+ 19. Kxf2 Rxa1 20. Qxa1 Nxc2)
18... Bxe3 19. fxe3 Nxg3 20. hxg3 Qg5 {and Black should be somewhat better.})
17. hxg3 g4 18. Nh4 ({No time for a spoiler} 18. b6 gxf3 19. bxa7 fxg2 20. Rg1
Nc6 $1 {favours Black.}) 18... axb5 19. axb5 (19. Ne3 Bxe3 20. fxe3 {would
have transposed to the line mentioned above.}) 19... Bxf2+ {The ambush worked!}
20. Kxf2 Rxa1 21. Qxa1 Nxc2 22. Qa4 Qf6+ {It is important to spoil White's
co-ordination.} ({Instead the immediate} 22... Nd4 23. b6+ Kf8 24. Rf1 {
would allow artificial castling as} Qf6+ $2 25. Ke1 {is bad for Black.}) 23.
Kg1 ({Or else the king would be badly exposed.} 23. Ke2 Nd4+ 24. Ke1 O-O) 23...
Nd4 24. b6+ {A critical moment.} Bd7 {This natural move throws Black's
advantage away.} ({Correct was} 24... Kf8 $1 {Now White cannot grab the pawn}
25. bxc7 $4 {due to the spectacular mate} ({Therefore Anand should have
continued as in the game with} 25. Qd1 cxb6 26. Kh2 Kg7 27. Rf1 {but now} Qd8 {
is an important additional option for Black. True, Anand's knights will have a
lot of fun visiting both outposts on d5 and f5, but Black is a pawn up.}) 25...
Ne2+ 26. Kh2 Qxh4+ $1 27. gxh4 g3#) 25. Qd1 $1 ({Once again} 25. bxc7 {is mate
after} Ne2+ 26. Kh2 Qxh4+ 27. gxh4 g3#) 25... cxb6 26. Kh2 O-O 27. Rf1 {
Now the difference with the above-mentioned line becomes clear. The bishop on
d7 stands on the road of the black queen.} Qg5 ({If} 27... Qe7 28. Qd2 Kh7 29.
Qb4 {regains the pawn.}) 28. Nxd6 Be6 {Now Black has to be careful.} 29. Nhf5
Nxf5 {Drops a pawn.} ({Correct was} 29... Rd8 30. Nxd4 Rxd6 31. Nxe6 Rxe6 32.
Rf5 Qg7 {White is somewhat better, but Black should be able to hold.}) 30. exf5
Bd5 31. Qe2 Qf6 $1 {Practically forced.} ({Since} 31... f6 32. d4 $1 exd4 33.
Qb5 Ba2 34. Rf4 $1 {leaves the black pieces scattered around the board.}) 32.
Qxg4+ {Eight moves later tables have turned, and it is White who has the extra
pawn.} Kh7 33. Ne4 Bxe4 34. dxe4 Rd8 {Correctly activates the rook.} (34... Rg8
35. Qf3) 35. Rc1 Rd4 36. Rc7 Rb4 37. Qe2 Kg7 38. Rc8 Qg5 ({Black has to be
careful not to let the white queen in.} 38... Rd4 $2 39. Qb5 {with the threat
Qb5-e8 could be deadly.}) (38... Kh7) 39. Rc6 Rb3 ({Here and on the next few
moves it made sense to insert} 39... h5 $1 {fixing the white pawns.}) 40. Rc3
Rb4 ({On a hindsight, the queen endgame} 40... Rxc3 $1 41. bxc3 Qd8 {sounds
like a better after-game idea...}) 41. b3 Rd4 42. Rc6 Rb4 43. Qf3 Kh7 {Now
Anand finds a way to consolidate his advantage.} 44. Rd6 $1 Kg7 45. Rd5 {
The rook is perfect on d5. It attacks the black pawns and limits the
opponent's rook.} ({Not} 45. f6+ Kg6 46. Rd8 Qh5+ 47. Qxh5+ Kxh5 48. Rg8 Rxe4
49. Kh3 Re3 {and Black is just in time.}) 45... Qf6 {Now that the queen the
passive, the king can get better.} 46. Kg1 $1 {One idea is to support the
white pawns from the f3 square. Another-to go all the way to c3 and trap the
black rook.} Kh7 47. Qd3 Kg7 48. Kf2 Rd4 ({Or} 48... Kh7 49. Rd6 Qg7 50. Kf3 {
intending g3-g4.} (50. Ke2 Qg4+)) 49. Rxd4 exd4 50. Qb5 Qd8 ({The last chance
was} 50... Qd6 51. e5 Qc7) 51. Qd5 Qf6 (51... Qxd5 52. exd5 Kf6 53. d6) 52. g4
Kg8 53. Kf3 {Black resigned as he loses a second pawn.} (53. Kf3 h5 54. e5
hxg4+ 55. Kxg4 Qg7+ 56. Kf3) 1-0
[Event "Tata Steel Masters"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee"]
[Date "2018.01.13"]
[Round "1.7"]
[White "So, Wesley"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B29"]
[WhiteElo "2792"]
[BlackElo "2804"]
[Annotator "DF"]
[PlyCount "57"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 $5 {This is another exceedingly rare guest in elite
practice.} 3. e5 Nd5 4. Nc3 e6 5. Nxd5 exd5 6. d4 Nc6 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. Bd3 {
I'm not surprised Wesley So decided to avoid the absolute most critical
continuation and try for a positional edge, but I'm not sure what Black's prep
could have been.} (8. Qxd5 $1 {is critical, and I was once privileged to watch
a sharp line being played at a neighbouring board.} d6 (8... Qb6 $6 9. Bc4
Bxf2+ 10. Ke2 O-O 11. Rf1 Bc5 12. Ng5 Nxe5 13. Nxf7 Nxf7 14. Rxf7 Qe6+ 15. Qxe6
dxe6 16. Rxf8+ Kxf8 17. Bf4 $14 {Tan,J-Bach,M Helsingor 2015 , among others.})
9. exd6 Qb6 10. Be3 $5 (10. Qe4+ Be6 11. Qh4 Bxd6 12. Bd3 $14 {is safer}) 10...
Qxb2 11. Bb5 $1 $14 {White retains an extra pawn against best play.}) 8... d6
9. exd6 Qxd6 10. O-O O-O 11. Re1 h6 12. h3 Bd7 13. Be3 {Presumably, Wesley So
had in mind some idea of occupying the d4-square when he made his 8th move,
but it is not possible to execute unless Black helpfully trades the bishops.
With a move such as the one played Black keeps equality.} d4 (13... b6 $6 14.
c3 Rfe8 15. Qd2 $14) 14. Bd2 Rfe8 15. a3 Qd5 {Thematically playing for ...Bf5.}
16. b4 Bd6 17. c4 dxc3 18. Rxe8+ Rxe8 19. Bxc3 Be6 20. Be4 Qxe4 21. Qxd6 Qc2
22. Qd2 {Instead of playing this move it is also possible to offer a draw
immediately.} Qxd2 23. Nxd2 Rd8 24. Re1 Nd4 25. a4 Nc2 26. Rc1 Nd4 27. Re1 Nc2
28. Rc1 Nd4 29. Re1 1/2-1/2
[Event "Tata Steel Masters"]
[Site "chess24.com"]
[Date "2018.01.13"]
[Round "1.4"]
[White "Svidler, Peter"]
[Black "Adhiban, B."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B12"]
[WhiteElo "2768"]
[BlackElo "2655"]
[Annotator "DF"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 Ne7 6. O-O h6 {Not the move I was
intending to recommend in my forthcoming book (!) but nevertheless a main line.
Perhaps it is worth a detailed look!} 7. Nbd2 Bh7 8. Nb3 Nd7 9. a4 (9. Bd2 {
may possibly be a better challenge to Black's ...g5-centric setup (though
obviously Svidler in his preparation thought differently.) Careless play by
Black would be:} Nf5 10. Rc1 g5 11. h3 Be7 12. c4 $14 {and White obtains
essentially what he wants.}) 9... g5 $5 {A very logical novelty (at least
according to my database.)} (9... Nf5 10. a5 Be7 {was played previously, but
as in the last note ...Be7 is met well by c4.} 11. c4 $14 {Azarov,S-Kunal,M
Abu Dhabi 2016}) 10. a5 a6 (10... Nf5 11. c4 $1 g4 12. Nfd2 h5 13. a6 b6 14.
cxd5 cxd5 15. Nb1 $14 {seems concerning, or at least easier to play for White,
as Black's king lacks shelter on either the kingside or queenside, and its
home in the centre will soon come under attack. Maybe best now is ...f6, but
White should be better.}) 11. c3 (11. Bd2 Nf5 12. h3 {looks sensible, keeping
open the option of g4 and also thinking vaguely about the strategically
desirable Ne1-d3 or Qe1/Bb4 plans.}) 11... Nf5 {Now this may be equal as ...
Black will be able to choose between ...c5 and ...f6.} 12. Bd3 (12. c4 $11 {
may proceed like the note to Black's 10th but Black now has b5 covered in the
event of the c-pawns being swapped.}) (12. g4 Ne7 13. Be3 {is advocated by the
engine but after} f6 $1 $13 {I am skeptical.}) 12... g4 13. Ne1 h5 14. Nc2 c5 {
As promised, but White now tries to prove a little something and basically
gets it.} (14... f6 $5 15. f4 Qe7 $132 {may have avoided giving White such
easy play.}) 15. Nxc5 Nxc5 $6 (15... Bxc5 $1 16. dxc5 Nxc5 17. Nb4 Rc8 $11 {
may have been easier.}) 16. dxc5 Bxc5 17. Nd4 $1 (17. Bf4 Nh4 $1 $11 {is a
good wrinkle for Black, exchanging the bishops and bringing his knight to a
great square on g6.}) 17... Bxd4 (17... Nh4 {may once again have been a good
idea. White always lacks f4 due to Black's advanced kingside pawns.} 18. Be3
Rc8 19. Bxh7 Rxh7 20. Qd2 Rg7 $132) 18. cxd4 Rc8 {Reaching a curious position
where White must be better but his position may be a little harder to play.}
19. Ra3 $6 {A strategically well-informed move, thinking about doubling on the
f-file in future, but this proves impossible to arrange.} (19. Bf4 {With the
simple plan of Rc1, since Black's c8-rook currently does more work than the
White a1-rook.} Nh4 {If Black plays ...Ne7 then all the minor pieces come off,
which is in White's interest only.} 20. Bxh7 Rxh7 21. Rc1 $14) 19... Rc7 20.
Bf4 Nh4 21. Qd2 (21. Bxh7 Rxh7 22. Qd2 {is the engine opinion, still trying to
arrange a rook trade with Rc1.}) 21... Bxd3 22. Bg5 Qc8 23. Rxd3 Nf5 {Almost a
perfect fortress. Black has equalised for the second time! Any lingering
advantage the engine gives is purely down to preference for a bishop over a
knight.} 24. Qb4 Kd7 25. Qa4+ Rc6 26. Rc1 Rg8 27. Bf6 Qc7 28. g3 Rc8 29. Rc5
Ke8 30. b4 Qd7 31. Qd1 Rxc5 32. bxc5 Qb5 33. h3 1/2-1/2
[Event "Tata Steel Masters"]
[Site "chess24.com"]
[Date "2018.01.13"]
[Round "1.2"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "Hou, Yifan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C42"]
[WhiteElo "2752"]
[BlackElo "2680"]
[Annotator "DF"]
[PlyCount "127"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 {To my mind, a fairly
underestimated line, and the reason I don't often play the Petroff now.} (5. c4
{is an interesting attempt at playing move-orders, but I think Black is
considered to be fine after} Nc6 $11) (5. d4 {is the main move.}) (5. Qe2 {
was the first game, Carlsen-Caruana.}) 5... Nxc3 (5... Nf6 {would have been an
interesting choice against Giri, considering he has championed the Black side.
From what I understand, the point for White is to avoid the impulse to play
too early against the c8-bishop, because that will simply encourage a
fianchetto and Black will be fine.} 6. d4 Be7 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O Re8 9. Re1 $1 {
The point of this is to force Black to commit his light-squared bishop one way
or another. Even moves that do not obviously do this- such as ...d5- really do
make a decision, because they make the fianchetto rather undesirable. White
can play against either ...Bg4 or ...b6, but should do so in different ways
and definitely should not commit to h3 just yet.} ({Following the immediate} 9.
h3 b6 $1 {Black was soon fine in Vachier Lagrave,M-Giri,A Germany 2012.}) 9...
Nbd7 10. Bf4 {White is slightly better, for instance} Nf8 11. h3 b6 12. Bb5 Bd7
13. a4 $14) 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 {The choice is between this move and Bf4. The
current move allows Black lots of ...Ne5 possibilities, which I believe he
should take.} (7. Bf4 {meanwhile does not gel so well with the rest of White's
kingside attack.} O-O 8. Bd3 Nd7 9. Qd2 Nc5 $11 {for instance seems fine for
Black.}) 7... Nc6 8. Bd3 Be6 {White should play one of the queen moves and
then castle queenside, and I think given that White has played Be3, Black
should castle queenside too. No surprise then that the present game continued
in that way.} 9. Qe2 (9. Qd2 Qd7 {was similar enough and a game of mine:
Jackson-Fernandez, Coventry 2013.}) 9... Bf6 10. O-O-O Qe7 (10... Qd7 {is more
natural to me, not worrying about White's Ng5 ideas, but more concerned with
cuing up ...Bf5 in future.}) 11. Kb1 a6 12. Rhe1 O-O-O 13. h3 Rhe8 (13... h5 {
is trivially easy to recommend in hindsight, but it should have been
reasonably obvious that White wanted kingside space.}) 14. g4 h6 15. Nd2 $1 $14
{Now White is probably a tiny bit better, but obviously an incredible amount
of technique and further errors need to be played out over the board before
White can think about winning.} Bg5 16. f4 Bh4 17. Bf2 Bxf2 18. Qxf2 Qf8 19. f5
{Opting to set Black more direct problems, but ceding the e5-square. While I
am not sure this is the best continuation, it could be the most practical,
especially against slightly lower-rated opposition.} (19. Nf1 {seems more
natural to me, waving the idea of Ng3-h5 around.}) 19... Bd7 20. f6 g6 (20...
Rxe1 21. Rxe1 g5 $11) 21. Be4 Kb8 22. Nc4 Re6 $6 {In practical terms, another
slight mistake. We obtain a similar structure to Carlsen-Caruana, but with the
minor pieces off the board Black faces more difficulties.} 23. Bxc6 $1 Rxe1 24.
Rxe1 Bxc6 25. Na5 Re8 26. Nxc6+ bxc6 27. Qg3 {The engine evaluation of 0.00 is
hopelessly unhelpful for looking at this position. What is important is that
White is marginally more active and has a better structure and advanced
f6-pawn. Giving variations is slightly pointless here, so I shall try and
confine myself to comments only.} Qh8 28. Re7 Rxe7 29. fxe7 Qe8 30. Qe3 Kc8 31.
h4 Kd7 32. Qxh6 Qxe7 33. b3 $14 {White will be able to fix the f7-pawn and of
course a6 is still a weakness also. Doubtless this endgame will be discussed
for a while to come, including fortress possibilities and better White tries,
but the contours of what White must aim for are now clear.} Qe4 34. g5 Qe5 35.
Qf8 Qd5 36. Kb2 c5 37. Qg8 Qf3 38. Qf8 Qd5 39. Qg7 Qf5 40. Qg8 Qf3 41. a4 Qf1
42. Qf8 Qf5 43. Qa8 Qf1 44. Qe4 {Again, in human terms White has acheived
something else- the centralisation of his queen. Black must wait around until
White shows what the next stage of his plan is- though presumably it must be
b4.} Kd8 45. Qg4 {A mini-zugzwang.} d5 46. a5 $1 Qe1 47. h5 {This simplifies
Black's task a little bit, but does not completely give equality.} (47. Qf4 Qe6
48. Qf2 Qe7 49. Qf1 Qe6 50. b4 $14 {is another try}) 47... gxh5 48. Qxh5 Qe6
49. Qh8+ Ke7 50. b4 cxb4 51. cxb4 Kd7 $11 52. Qd4 Kc8 53. Qf6 $5 {Even the
pawn endgame retains certain practical difficulties and would be an ideal
candidate for the next Naiditsch book.} Qxf6+ 54. gxf6 Kd7 55. Kb3 Kc6 $4 {
My educated guess is that this move arose out of a desire to win a moral
battle for tempi. Against 55.Kc3 Black had ...Kd6 in mind, and so it was
natural to try and avoid that 'critical square' with the present move... Well,
we may never know.} ({Black had to play} 55... Kd6 $1 {to draw, and the idea
is of course ...c5.} 56. c4 (56. Ka4 c6 57. Kb3 c5 $11) 56... c5 $1 57. b5 d4
58. b6 Kc6 59. Kc2 $11 {Both kings are stuck.}) 56. c4 {Suddenly White is
completely winning.} d4 (56... dxc4+ 57. Kxc4 Kd6 58. b5 axb5+ 59. Kxb5 Kd7 60.
a6 Kc8 61. Kc6 Kb8 62. a7+ {is even more trivial}) 57. Kc2 Kd6 58. Kd2 $3 {
Amazing tempo play, but stereotyped enough.The idea is that only after Black
recaptures on c5 must White play Kd3! as that position is a mutual zugzwang.} (
58. Kd3 c5 {is once again a draw.}) 58... c6 59. Ke2 {Avoiding the d3-square
for the last time.} Kd7 (59... Ke5 60. b5 $18) (59... c5 60. bxc5+ Kc6 (60...
Kxc5 61. Kd3) 61. Kd2 $1 Kxc5 62. Kd3 $18) 60. Kd3 Kc7 61. Kxd4 Kd6 62. Kd3 Kc7
63. Ke4 Kd6 64. Kd4 {Not an undeserved victory, but a slightly surprising one.}
1-0
[Event "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2018.01.15"]
[Round "3.5"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C42"]
[WhiteElo "2767"]
[BlackElo "2811"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2018.01.13"]
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 {"Funnily enough this is the first time someone plays this against
him." (Anand)} ({Indeed, Caruana's latest game from London saw:} 9. Re1 Bf5 10.
Qb3 Qd7 11. Nc3 Nxc3 12. Bxf5 Qxf5 13. Qxb7 Qd7 14. Qxd7 Nxd7 15. c5 Bxh2+ 16.
Nxh2 Ne4 {Vachier Lagrave,M (2789)-Caruana,F (2799) London 2017}) 9... Na6 10.
a3 Bg4 11. Ne5 Bf5 12. b4 ({Avoiding the rather uninspiring:} 12. Nc3 Bxe5 13.
dxe5 Nac5 14. cxd5 cxd5 {1/2-1/2 (14) Piorun,K (2631)-Wei,Y (2728)
Khanty-Mansiysk 2017}) 12... Nc7 $146 {As usual Caruana is very well prepared
in the opening. He comes up with an interesting novelty.} ({In the predecessor
White did not achieve much after} 12... f6 13. Nf3 Bg6 14. Nc3 Nxc3 15. Bxg6
hxg6 16. Qxc3 dxc4 17. Qxc4+ Rf7 {Leko,P (2740) -Ivanchuk,V (2729) Monte Carlo
2006}) 13. f3 (13. cxd5 {allows an additional resource for Black:} cxd5 14. f3
Rc8 $1 {with the main point being} 15. fxe4 dxe4 16. Rxf5 Ne6 17. Qd1 Nxd4 18.
Bxe4 $2 Rxc1 $1) 13... Bg6 $1 {"He came up with this idea which I idea missed
or did not prepare." (Anand)} ({Apprently, the former world champion spent
most of his preparation on the line} 13... Bxe5 14. dxe5 Bg6 {where he cannot
win the knight with} 15. fxe4 $2 ({But instead White has a couple of promising
options:} 15. Rd1 $5) ({or} 15. Be3 $5) 15... dxe4 16. Be2 Qd4+) 14. c5 {
After long thought White rejects the offer.} ({In the line:} 14. Nxg6 fxg6 $1
15. fxe4 ({Even worse is} 15. c5 Bxh2+ 16. Kxh2 Qh4+ 17. Kg1 Ng3 18. Bb2 {
when Black has a guaranteed draw with} Qh1+ ({Or may chose the even stronger}
18... Ne6 $1 {followed by Ne6-f4. (Anand)}) 19. Kf2 Qh4) 15... Qh4 {(Anand)} ({
Objectively} 15... dxe4 $1 {is stronger with the key idea} 16. Bxe4 ({Better is
} 16. Rxf8+ Bxf8 17. Bxe4 Qxd4+ {with perpetual.} 18. Kf1 Qf6+ ({But Black may
also chose to play on with} 18... Qxa1 19. Bb2 Qa2 20. Bd3 Bxb4 21. axb4 Rd8)
19. Kg1 Qd4+ {with perpetual.}) 16... Bxh2+ 17. Kxh2 Rxf1 {and Black wins.})
16. g3 Bxg3 17. hxg3 (17. Qg2 $1 {might have been missed by Anand.}) 17...
Qxg3+ 18. Kh1 {The Indian GM explained that here Black will always find
perpetual, but one wrong move for White, or rather one missed move might lead
to a loss for him. Indeed, Black seems to have decisive attack after} Qh3+ 19.
Kg1 Ne6 $1) 14... Bxe5 15. dxe5 Ng5 16. Bb2 $1 {An important move. There is a
problem with the knight on g5 and White wants to capitalize on it. Now the
advance of the f-pawn is on the agenda. Caruana needs to react fast.} ({After}
16. Nd2 Bxd3 17. Qxd3 f5 $1 {Black manages to seal the kingside and arrange an
excellent oupost for his knight on e6.}) 16... d4 $5 {This is how to solve the
problem- no knight, no problem as some will say...} ({Here} 16... Bxd3 17. Qxd3
f5 {would be met with the simple} ({Anand expected instead} 17... b6 18. cxb6
axb6 19. Nd2 Nge6 20. f4 {and now} g6 21. f5 gxf5 22. Rxf5 Qh4 {although this
definitely looks very risky for Black.} (22... Kg7)) 18. exf6 {spoiling
Black's pawn structure.}) 17. f4 Nd5 18. fxg5 Ne3 19. Qd2 Bxd3 20. Qxd3 ({
White also checked the consequeces of the sharp} 20. Rf4 Bxb1 ({But later came
to the conclusion he did well not to enter them because of} 20... Qxg5 $1 21.
Rxd4 Rad8 22. Rd6 Be4 (22... Qf5 $1 {is even stronger with advantage for Black.
})) 21. Rxd4 Nd5 22. Rxb1 {"It's not much of a pawn, but it is a pawn" (Anand)}
) 20... Nxf1 21. Kxf1 Qxg5 22. Nd2 Qxe5 {The forced play is over. Caruana will
have a rook and a pawn versus two light pieces which is favorable for White in
this particular position.} 23. Nf3 ({Later on Anand regretted that he did not
go for the line that he originally intended:} 23. Nc4 $1 Qxh2 24. Qxd4 f6 ({Or
} 24... Qh6 25. Nd6) 25. Nd6 {The knight on d6 is a monster which paralizes
both the black rooks.}) 23... Qh5 24. Qxd4 f6 25. Qc4+ Kh8 $1 ({White was
hoping for} 25... Qf7 26. Qxf7+ Rxf7 27. Nd2 {followed by Nd2-c4-d6 (Anand)})
26. Bc1 $1 {The bishop was blunted on the long diagonal. Now it gets back in
business. The d6 square is tempting for either of the white light pieces.} Rfe8
27. Bf4 a5 {Somewhere around here Caruana lost the path.} ({Correct and
obvious was:} 27... Qf5 28. Bd6 Re3 {to double the rooks on the open file.
After} 29. Kg1 Rae8 30. Rf1 Qg6 {Black should be OK.(Anand)}) 28. Bd6 ({
White considered} 28. bxa5 {as well, which seems less promising after} Rxa5 29.
Bd6 Rb5) 28... axb4 $2 {"This is just astonishing! Now I am getting big
advantage." (Anand)} (28... Qg6 $5) 29. Qxb4 Qd5 30. Qxb7 h6 ({Anand
speculated that his opponent might have missed that in the forcing line} 30...
Rxa3 31. Rxa3 Qd1+ 32. Kf2 Qc2+ 33. Kg3 Qg6+ {There is no perpetual because of}
34. Kh3 Qh5+ 35. Nh4 g5 36. Qb4 {and White wins.}) 31. Kg1 Ra4 32. h3 {Getting
air for the king. One important observation by the former world champion was
that with the bishop on d6 he is not even afraid of the sacrifices on f3 as
there will be no perpetual thanks to that piece.} Rc4 (32... Re2 {does not
work due to} 33. Bf8 $1) 33. Qb2 Qd3 34. Ra2 $1 {"I realized that the second
rank is more dangerous than the first one." (Anand)} ({Although he also saw a
win after} 34. Qd2 Qxd2 35. Nxd2 Rc2 36. Nf3 Ree2 37. Ne1 Ra2 38. Rxa2 Rxa2 39.
Nd3 {followed by Nd3-b4xc6.}) 34... Qd1+ 35. Kh2 Rc1 36. a4 f5 37. Qb7 {
Caruana's time trouble did not help neither, but his position is lost anyway.}
f4 38. Bxf4 Rxc5 39. Rd2 (39. Qf7 Rg8 40. Qg6 {would have won as well.}) 39...
Qxa4 40. Qf7 Rg8 41. Be5 Qc4 {Caruana did not wish to see the mate on the
board.} 42. Rd6 $1 (42. Rd6 Qxf7 43. Rxh6#) (42. Bxg7+ $2 {does not work due to
} Rxg7 43. Rd8+ Kh7 44. Ng5+ $4 (44. Qe8 Rg8 {is a draw.}) 44... Rcxg5 45. Qxc4
Rxg2+ 46. Kh1 Rg1+ 47. Kh2 R7g2#) (42. Qe7 {also complicates matters after} Rd5
) 1-0
[Event "80th Tata Steel GpA"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2018.01.24"]
[Round "10.1"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D02"]
[WhiteElo "2834"]
[BlackElo "2792"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "149"]
[EventDate "2018.01.13"]
1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. Bf4 Bf5 4. e3 e6 5. c4 Bxb1 {A lot of authors award
this move with an exclamation mark and state that the resulting positions are
equal. What will follow next did not come as a shocking surprise for either of
the players.} 6. Qxb1 ({The other main options are:} 6. Rxb1 Bb4+ 7. Ke2 ({
In my Megabase there are even 11 games featuring:} 7. Nd2 $4 Ne4)) ({And} 6.
Qa4+ {which worked spectacularly well for Kamsky after} b5 $2 7. cxb5 Be4 8.
b6+ Nbd7 9. bxc7 Qe7 10. a3 {and White was already winning, Kamsky,G (2702)
-Bortnyk,O (2348) ICC INT 2010}) 6... Bb4+ 7. Kd1 Bd6 {Another exclamation
mark according to the French GM Prie.} 8. Bg5 h6 9. Bxf6 {Carlsen deviates of
an earlier game of these two.} ({Some of our readers have probably followed
this game live on the chess.com server:} 9. Bh4 g5 10. Bg3 Ne4 11. Qc2 g4 {
with a fightful draw later, Carlsen,M (2832)-So,W (2815) chess.com INT 2017.
Most likely both players analyzes extensively the arising positions.}) 9...
Qxf6 10. cxd5 $146 {Carlsen improves on a game played by...So!} ({Obviously,
the world champion did not quite like the position arising after:} 10. c5 Bf8
11. Qc2 c6 12. b4 a6 13. Bd3 Nd7 14. Ke2 g5 15. h3 Bg7 16. a4 Qe7 17. Rad1 O-O
18. g4 e5 {So,W (2822)-Wojtaszek,R (2745) Shamkir 2017}) 10... exd5 11. e4 {
The point behind White's play. In the Carlsbad pawn structure White does not
even have a hint of an advantage.} Be7 ({Finally, a positive aspect behind the
king's position on d1. In the line} 11... dxe4 $2 12. Qxe4+ {The move} Qe7 {
does not pin a white king on e1 and White can grab the pawn} 13. Qxb7) 12. Bb5+
{An important intermediate move.} ({The immediate} 12. e5 {allos the queen to
get on a better position with} Qb6) 12... c6 13. e5 Qf4 (13... Qe6 {deserves
attention as well with the same idea} 14. Bd3 c5) 14. Bd3 {Intending Kd1-e2
followed by g2-g3. Black cannot allow this.} c5 $1 15. dxc5 ({On} 15. Ke2 Nc6
$1 {is strong.}) 15... Nc6 {It seems as Black easily hold the equality, and
might even think of something more.} 16. Qc1 Qb4 ({On} 16... Qg4 {White was
likely planning} 17. h3 Qxg2 $2 18. Ke2) 17. a3 Qxc5 18. Ke2 {Carlsen still
wants to get squeeze something out of the position.} (18. Qxc5 Bxc5 19. Ke2 Bb6
{is equal instead.}) 18... Nd4+ ({Perhaps better was} 18... Qb6 $5 {keeping
the knights on the board.}) 19. Nxd4 Qxd4 20. f4 O-O ({After the obvious} 20...
Bc5 {So probably disliked the fact the the white king gets too slippery:} 21.
Qd2 (21. Rf1 O-O {is good for Black.}) 21... O-O ({Or} 21... Qf2+ 22. Kd1 Qd4
23. Kc2 Rc8 24. Kb3) 22. Kf3 f6 23. e6 {which leads to a better version of the
game for White.}) 21. Qd2 Qb6 22. Rhe1 (22. Kf3 $5 f6 23. e6 {might transpose})
22... f6 $1 {Once again Black wants to open the game and get access to the
white king.} 23. e6 $1 {And once more Carlsen rejects the offer.} ({After} 23.
exf6 Bxf6 24. Rab1 {Black would seize the initiative with} g5 ({Or the
preliminary} 24... Rae8+ 25. Kf1 g5)) 23... Qxe6+ 24. Kf3 {For the pawn
Carlsen got open files and diagonals for his pieces. He does not risk much
with the opposite-colored bishops on the board. In fact So needs to be careful
about White's initiative.} Qd7 {Now White's initiative becomes frightening.} ({
Safer was:} 24... Qf7 25. Qe3 ({Or} 25. Bf5 Kh8) 25... Bd6) 25. Rad1 Rad8 26.
Qe3 Bd6 27. Bg6 f5 {If 24...Qd7 looked inaccurate, this seems wrong. Black
practically loses a pawn.} ({The endgame after} 27... Qc6 28. Qe6+ Kh8 29. Qxd5
Qxd5+ ({However} 29... Qc7 $1 {would have kept the game even as both kings
remain exposed.}) 30. Rxd5 {is difficult for Black. He plays without a king.})
28. Qe6+ Qxe6 29. Rxe6 Bc5 ({The lesser evil in comparison to} 29... Bc7 30. h4
{followed by h4-h5 when Black is paralyzed.} (30. Re7 $5)) 30. Re5 Rf6 31. Bxf5
Bd6 ({Maybe a better chance was} 31... Kf7 $5 32. Rexd5 Rxd5 33. Rxd5 Be7 {
intending Rf6-d6.}) 32. Rdxd5 ({Not} 32. Rexd5 g6) 32... Kf7 ({So correctly
avoids the rook endgame after} 32... Bxe5 33. Rxd8+ Kf7 34. Rd7+ Ke8 35. fxe5 (
{Worse is} 35. g4 Bxb2 36. Rxb7 Rb6 $1) 35... Rxf5+ 36. Ke4 Rg5 37. Rxb7 Rxg2
38. b4 {when White should be winning.}) 33. Re4 g6 34. Bg4 $1 {One of those
little moves that make the big difference. Carlsen lures the pawn to h5 to
stop the g6-g5 threat.} h5 35. Bh3 Re8 36. Red4 {The world champion wants to
keep both the rooks on board. But I wonder of he just did not miss Black's
next.} (36. Rxe8 Kxe8 37. g3 {gives Black serious hopes to draw.}) 36... Be5 $1
{A strong defensive resource. So makes it to the g6-g5 push.} 37. Rb4 ({Or} 37.
Rc4 g5) 37... g5 38. g3 b6 $1 ({Weaker was} 38... g4+ 39. Bxg4 hxg4+ 40. Kxg4
Rg6+ 41. Kf3 Bd6 42. Rxb7+ Re7 {with four pawns for the piece White should be
winning.}) 39. Rd7+ (39. Bd7 Re7 40. Bb5 Bd6) 39... Kf8 40. Rh7 $1 {The only
chance to play for a win. One way to fight the drawing tendences in the
opposite-colored bishop endgame is to sacrifice the bishop!} ({Black should
hold after} 40. Rxa7 Bd6 41. Rc4 b5 42. Rc2 (42. Rd4 $2 Bc5) 42... gxf4) 40...
g4+ 41. Bxg4 hxg4+ 42. Kxg4 Bd6 43. Rc4 a5 {One wrong move and So's fantastic
defense fails.} ({Strong was} 43... Rg6+ $1 {with the idea} 44. Kf3 ({Or} 44.
Kf5 Rg7 45. Rh8+ Kf7 46. Rxe8 Kxe8) 44... Bc5 $1 45. Rxa7 Re3+ 46. Kg2 Re2+ {
when Black should have enough counter-play.}) 44. Rc6 {Now Carlsen wins fourth
pawn for the piece.} Kg8 45. Rb7 Be5 46. Rcxb6 Rxb6 47. Rxb6 Bd4 48. Rb5 {
It is funny that the computers evaluate the position as approximately equal.
The human understands though that any of the pawns can become a queen and that
they cannot be stopped from moving.} Re2 49. b3 ({Stronger than} 49. h4 Rxb2
50. Rxa5 Rb3 51. Kh5 {when} Rf3 $1 {complicates matters.} ({Rather than} 51...
Rxg3 52. Rg5+ Rxg5+ 53. hxg5 {which wins for White.})) 49... Rxh2 ({More
resilient is} 49... a4 50. Rb4 Bg1 51. Rxa4 Bxh2) 50. Rxa5 Re2 51. Rd5 Bb2 52.
a4 {The pawns got into motion.} Bc3 53. Kf5 Re8 54. g4 Rf8+ 55. Ke4 Rb8 56. Rb5
{Any time the rooks are traded it is game over.} Re8+ (56... Rxb5 $2 57. axb5)
57. Kd3 Be1 58. a5 {The rest is fine technical work by the world champion.} Bf2
59. b4 Re3+ 60. Kc4 Re4+ 61. Kb3 Kf7 (61... Rxf4 62. Rf5 $1) 62. Re5 Rd4 63. b5
Rd3+ 64. Kc2 Rg3 65. g5 Bd4 66. Rd5 Be3 67. Rd3 Rg2+ 68. Kb3 Bc1 ({Or} 68...
Bxf4 69. Rf3 Rg4 70. a6 Kg6 71. Rxf4 Rxf4 72. a7) 69. b6 Ke6 70. Rd4 Rb2+ 71.
Ka4 Kf5 72. Rb4 Ra2+ 73. Kb5 Bxf4 {Now it all ends with a small a la
Capablanca combination.} 74. Rxf4+ $1 Kxf4 75. b7 1-0
[Event "80th Tata Steel GpA"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2018.01.24"]
[Round "10.4"]
[White "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Black "Matlakov, Maxim"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C54"]
[WhiteElo "2787"]
[BlackElo "2718"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2018.01.13"]
{[Annotations by FM Mike Klein]} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3
O-O 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bh4 Be7 8. Nbd2 d6 9. Bb3 (9. a4 Nh5 10. g3 Nf6 11. Bxf6 Bxf6
12. h4 h5 13. Nh2 g6 14. g4 hxg4 15. Nxg4 Bxh4 16. Qf3 Kg7 {Sethuraman,S (2646)
-Inarkiev,E (2689) Riadh 2017}) 9... Nh5 10. Bxe7 Qxe7 11. Nc4 Qf6 {Anatoly
Karpov won with this move in recent years over IM Sophie Milliet of France on
her home soil (Cap D'Agde 2012).} 12. Ne3 Nf4 13. Bc2 (13. O-O {was the
Frenchwoman's choice, but in order to fend off the kingside attack she made
some pawn concessions and lost in the ending. It seems a little dangerous to
castle directly into the looming knight on f4, so Kramnik goes the other way
with his king.}) 13... Ne7 14. g3 Nh3 15. Qe2 {Now the knight is just kind of
sitting there with no target.} c5 $146 {Now that it is clear that White's king
will end up on the queenside, the top three suggestions by the machine are: ...
b5, ...c5, and ...a5!} (15... Be6 16. d4 Ng5 17. Nxg5 hxg5 18. O-O-O Ng6 19. h4
gxh4 20. Qh5 Rfe8 21. Nf5 Kf8 22. f4 exf4 23. e5 dxe5 24. dxe5 Qxe5 25. Rde1
Qf6 {Rizouk,A (2511)-Vocaturo,D (2574) Barcelona 2016}) 16. O-O-O Be6 17. d4
cxd4 (17... Bxa2 18. dxe5 dxe5 19. Rd7 {and Black's attack is not really
progressing as White controls the open file and the Nh3 is still stranded.})
18. cxd4 Rac8 19. Kb1 Rc7 (19... Rxc2 $1 {is the diabolical suggestion of the
machine.} 20. Kxc2 (20. Nxc2 {and now play switches to the kingside!} Bg4 21.
Rd3 Nc6 {and both Black knights will pile up on f3!}) (20. Qxc2 Qxf3) 20... Qg6
$3 (20... Bxa2 21. b3 d5 $1 {may also be playable but needs a few hours to
work out!}) 21. Ng2 (21. Nd2 exd4) 21... Bxa2 22. b3 f5) 20. Rd2 Rfc8 (20...
Rxc2 {Even with the complete loss of tempo, it is still playable, although
with slightly less venom. Play would be somewhat similar to the previous note.}
) 21. dxe5 dxe5 22. Rhd1 g6 23. Rd6 Rc6 24. Bb3 Rf8 $2 (24... Rxd6) 25. R1d3 $2
(25. Bxe6 Rxd6 (25... fxe6 26. Rd8 {and White is better}) 26. Bxh3 {gives
White a winning advantage.}) 25... Rfc8 26. Rd1 Rf8 {Second chance!} 27. a3 {
Nope!} h5 28. Bxe6 {Finally! Although there is no white knight hopping to g4
now.} fxe6 29. Rd7 Nc8 30. Nc4 Nxf2 31. Ncxe5 $1 {Now Black is in a bad
positional bind.} Nxd1 32. Qxd1 Rc5 33. Qd4 Nb6 34. Rxb7 Rb5 35. Rxa7 Rd8 36.
Qc3 Rc8 37. Rc7 Rd8 38. Qc6 Rb3 39. Rf7 {Black resigned since 39...Qh8 40.
Qxe6 is horrid. Such a complicated struggle that could comprise its own DVD!}
1-0
[Event "80th Tata Steel GpA"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2018.01.26"]
[Round "11.4"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Hou, Yifan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D35"]
[WhiteElo "2767"]
[BlackElo "2680"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2018.01.13"]
1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. cxd5 Nxd5 {The improved Tarrasch was not
really a surprise for the five-time world champion.} 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 c5 7.
Rb1 {A fashionable choice. It stops the standard trade of the dark-squared
bishops via the b4 square. "I would not say that it can revitalize the line,
but at least it is playable." (Anand)} Be7 8. Nf3 O-O 9. Bc4 Nc6 ({Another
plan is} 9... Qc7 10. Qe2 a6 11. O-O b5 12. Bd3 Bb7 13. a4 bxa4 14. Bf4 {
and White was already much better in Carlsen,M (2832) -So,W (2815) chess.com
INT 2017}) 10. O-O b6 11. Be3 Bb7 12. Qe2 cxd4 13. cxd4 Rc8 14. Rfd1 Qc7 15. d5
{"Still prep. We thought this is pleasant for White."(Anand) The central break
is probably Black's main problem in this whole opening.} ({Part of the prep
was the line arising after} 15. Rbc1 Qb8 16. d5 exd5 17. Bxd5 Nb4) 15... Ne5 {
"I somehow could not remember what to do after this." (Anand)} 16. Bb5 ({
"The problem with} 16. Nxe5 Qxe5 17. dxe6 {is} Qxe4 18. exf7+ Kh8 19. f3 Qxc4
20. Qxc4 Rxc4 21. Rd7 Bc5 22. Bxc5 Rxc5 23. Rxb7 {is} Ra5 24. Rb2 ({White can
also try to double on the seventh rank with} 24. Re1 g6 25. Ree7 {but this
should also lead to a draw after} Rxa2 26. Rxa7 Rxa7 27. Rxa7 Kg7 28. Rb7 Rxf7
29. Rxb6) 24... g6 {"followed by Kh8-g7xf7 with equality" (Anand)}) 16... exd5
({Perhaps better was not to hurry with the trade and go} 16... Nxf3+ $5 17.
Qxf3 Bd6 {at once.}) 17. exd5 Nxf3+ 18. Qxf3 Bc5 $146 {Up to here all of this
was seen in a correspondence game.} (18... Qd6 19. Bf4 Qg6 20. Bd3 f5 21. Qg3
Qxg3 22. hxg3 Bxd5 23. Ba6 Bxa2 24. Bxc8 Rxc8 25. Ra1 {and White eventually
won, Grego, L (2217)-Andersen,J (2258) corr. 2011}) ({On} 18... Bd6 {Anand was
planning} 19. h4 {followed by h4-h5. The idea is to force h7-h7 "which is a
concession" and then "harass" the black king with a battery along the b1-h7
diagonal.}) ({White is better also after} 18... a6 19. Rbc1 ({The preliminary}
19. Bf4 Bd6 20. Rbc1 Qb8 21. Bxd6 Qxd6 22. Bc6 {might be even stronger.}) 19...
Bc5 20. Bxc5 bxc5 21. Bc4 {(Anand)}) 19. Rbc1 Qe7 {"A clever idea!" (Anand)} ({
Hou avoids} 19... Rfd8 20. Bg5 {(Anand)}) 20. Bf4 ({"It is a pity that} 20.
Bxc5 Rxc5 21. d6 {does not work, due to} Bxf3 ({Not} 21... Qg5 22. Rxc5 Bxf3
23. Rxg5 Bxd1 24. Re5 {followed by d6-d7 and Re5-e8 and wins.}) 22. dxe7 Bxd1
23. Rxd1 Rxb5 24. f4 $1 f6 25. Rd8 Re8 $1 26. Rxe8+ Kf7 27. Rg8 Kxe7 28. Rxg7+
Ke6 29. Rxa7 Kf5 {and White has no winning chances." (Anand)} ({Or} 29... h5))
20... Bd6 21. Bc6 {The Indian GM was not sure that he had exactly this
position in the prep, but he remembered that the d-pawn was somehow landing on
c6. Thus he was confident.} Bxf4 ({The other defensive set up is} 21... Rc7 22.
Qg3 Bxf4 23. Qxf4 Qd8 24. Bxb7 Rxb7 25. d6 {although White is clearly better
here.}) ({And letting the pawn come to c7 with a bishop protecting does not
seem like a great idea either:} 21... Bxc6 22. dxc6 Bc5 23. c7) 22. Qxf4 Bxc6
23. dxc6 Qc7 ({The former world champion also mentioned the other defensive
set-up:} 23... Rfd8 24. Rxd8+ Qxd8 25. c7 Qd7 26. h4 {when Black can sit and
wait, or go for the active queenside pawn-push with} h6 27. g3 b5 28. Rc5 a5
29. Kh2 Kh7 30. h5 {Anand was not sure of Black can survive this at all, but
he was sure that even if this is possible none will ever repeat this again...
On a hindsight, this was Hou's best chance.}) 24. Rd6 $1 {Saving an active
rook on the d-file is essential for White's winning strategy.} Rcd8 25. Rcd1 h6
({Or} 25... Rxd6 26. Rxd6 Rd8 27. Rxd8+ Qxd8 28. h4) 26. g3 {To defend the
queen and open air for the king.} (26. h4 $5) 26... Rxd6 27. Rxd6 Rc8 ({
Similar would be} 27... Re8 28. Qd4) 28. Qe5 {Now White uses the method of the
two weaknesses to secure the win. Weakness number one for the opponent is the
strong passer that he has on c6. It keeps the black pieces busy and allows
White a chance to use weakness number two: the black king.} (28. Qf5 {"was
winning as well" (Anand)}) 28... b5 {Loses by force, but it is impossible to
offer good advise to Black.} ({There is no escape in the rook endgame after}
28... Kf8 29. Qd5 Qe7 30. Rd7 Qe6 31. Qxe6 fxe6 32. c7 {(Anand)}) ({nor in the
queen edngame after} 28... Rd8 29. Rxd8+ Qxd8 30. c7 Qd1+ 31. Kg2 Qd7 32. Qc3
Qc8 33. Qc6) 29. Qd5 Kh7 30. Qe4+ Kg8 ({Or mating attack after} 30... g6 31.
Rd7 Qxc6 32. Rxf7+ Kg8 33. Qe7) 31. Rd7 Qa5 (31... Qxc6 32. Rd8+ $1) 32. c7 Rf8
33. Qe7 1-0
[Event "Wijk aan Zee"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee"]
[Date "2018.01.26"]
[Round "11"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E34"]
[WhiteElo "2804"]
[BlackElo "2834"]
[Annotator "DF"]
[PlyCount "75"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. cxd5 (5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 {is
another big main line, e.g.} O-O 7. Nf3 dxc4 8. Qxc4 b6 9. Bg5 $11 {, which
was the path followed by Ivanchuk,V-Harikrishna,P Huaian 2017}) 5... Qxd5 6. e3
(6. Nf3 Qf5 $1 $11 {has now become famous, and after some wrangling it has
become clear that only Black can actually have a positional edge in the
endgame, despite his doubled f-pawns!}) 6... c5 7. Bd2 Bxc3 8. Bxc3 cxd4 9.
Bxd4 Nc6 10. Bc3 (10. Bxf6 gxf6 11. Ne2 {is the initial computer
recommendation, but this really isn't that good after say} Bd7 12. a3 Qa5+ 13.
Nc3 Ne7 $11 {Dreev,A -Fedoseev,V Moscow 2014}) 10... O-O 11. Nf3 Rd8 {Else Rd1
is slightly annoying.} 12. Be2 (12. Rd1 Qxd1+ 13. Qxd1 Rxd1+ 14. Kxd1 Ne4 15.
Be1 e5 $11 {is another equal position, where White's bishop pair isn't yet
active enough to give him any advantage.}) 12... Qe4 13. Rc1 Qxc2 14. Rxc2 Nd5
(14... Bd7 15. Nd4 Ne7 $11 {could be worth considering for the future; White's
bishop pair is a lot less scary when there is an extra pair of knights on the
board.}) 15. Ne5 Bd7 {This is the novelty!} (15... Nxe5 16. Bxe5 b6 17. a3 f6
18. Bg3 Bb7 19. O-O Rac8 20. Rfc1 e5 21. Rxc8 Rxc8 22. Rxc8+ Bxc8 23. Kf1 {
somehow led to one of the world's best defensive players being ground down in
Grachev,B-Karjakin,S Antalya 2017; the problem is that White can keep trying
things and never runs any risk at all.}) 16. Nxc6 Bxc6 17. Bd2 Ne7 18. f3 Rac8
19. e4 (19. Ba5 $5 b6 20. Bb4 Nd5 21. Bd2 $14 {prevents Black from playing ...
a6 and ...Bb5}) 19... f6 20. Be3 a6 21. Kf2 (21. Bc4 $5 Kf7 22. Bb3 Bb5 23. Kf2
{and we can still talk about a White edge based on the bishop pair}) 21... Bb5
$1 {Black has equalised again.} 22. Rhc1 Rxc2 23. Rxc2 Bxe2 24. Kxe2 Nc6 $11 {
There is nothing really left to play for. Black can choose between an ...e5
based plan, and a rook-exchange based plan.} 25. b4 Rc8 26. Rc5 b5 27. f4 Kf7
28. a3 Ne7 29. Rxc8 Nxc8 30. Bc5 Ne7 31. Bxe7 Kxe7 32. Kf3 Kd6 33. Ke3 e5 34.
f5 Ke7 35. g4 Kf7 36. h4 Kg8 37. Kf3 h6 38. h5 1/2-1/2
[Event "Tata Steel Masters"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee"]
[Date "2018.01.26"]
[Round "11"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A14"]
[WhiteElo "2753"]
[BlackElo "2787"]
[Annotator "DF"]
[PlyCount "117"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. c4 e6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 Nf6 4. Nf3 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 {This opening is one
of the hardest for me to understand. Whichever side of it I play, I always end
up slightly worse...} c5 (6... d4 {The last comment is even more true when
applied to this variation. I will provide two practical examples, not from the
highest level but nevertheless capable of showing my point.} 7. e3 (7. Bb2 c5
8. e3 Nc6 9. exd4 cxd4 10. Re1 Re8 11. Ne5 Nxe5 12. Rxe5 Nd7 13. Re1 e5 14. d3
$132 {was my own practical experience with this system as Black: Oates,
D-Fernandez,D High Wycombe 2014. Here White's play seems quite easy, because
Black's only constructive plan might be ...a5-a4 but then of course White can
play with Na3.}) 7... c5 8. exd4 cxd4 9. d3 Nc6 10. Re1 Ne8 11. Ne5 Nxe5 12.
Rxe5 f6 13. Re1 e5 14. Ba3 (14. f4 $5) 14... Nd6 15. Nd2 Rb8 16. Ne4 Nf7 $1 {
White-a good friend of mine- had unfortunately slightly lost touch with the
idea of the line in a game with a fellow Fernandez: Horton,A -Fernandez,F
Sitges 2016.}) 7. cxd5 ({Following the equally natural} 7. Bb2 Nc6 8. e3 b6 9.
Nc3 dxc4 10. bxc4 Bb7 11. Qe2 Qc7 12. Rac1 Rfd8 13. Rfd1 Na5 14. Ne1 Bxg2 15.
Nxg2 Qb7 {Black was already marginally for choice due to his pressure on the
half-open d-file in Caruana,F-Aronian,L Saint Louis 2017}) 7... Nxd5 8. Nc3 Nc6
(8... Bf6 9. Bb2 b6 $11 {is probably the most mathematically precise}) 9. Bb2
Nxc3 10. dxc3 Qc7 11. Qc2 b6 12. Bc1 Bb7 13. Bf4 Qc8 14. Rad1 Rd8 (14... f6 $1
{was thematic and equalised with a bit less effort. Presumably Black was
afraid of} 15. Bh3 $1 {but he can re-route and use the long diagonal himself:}
Nd8 $1 {With ...Qc6, possibly ...Nf7, and an eventual ...e5 to come.}) 15. h4
h6 16. Rxd8+ Nxd8 17. Rd1 {Now White has a small something because of the
d-file.} f5 18. Qd2 Nf7 19. Qd7 Bf6 20. Ne5 $1 $14 Nxe5 (20... Bxe5 $5 {
leads to a nice tactical variation.} 21. Bxb7 Qxd7 22. Rxd7 Rd8 23. Rxf7 $1 (
23. Rxd8+ Nxd8 24. Bxe5 Nxb7 25. Bb8 a6 $11 {should eventually get neutralised
as in Mamedyarov-Carlsen, though here the knight is even worse.}) 23... Bxf4
24. Re7 Be5 25. c4 $14) 21. Bxe5 Bxe5 22. Bxb7 Qxd7 23. Rxd7 Re8 24. Bc6 {
Tactically defending the c3-pawn.} a5 (24... Rf8 $1 {is the very surprising
best move.} 25. Rxa7 (25. c4 Rc8 {works as in the next line, since f4 can be
met by ...Bd4+!}) 25... Bxc3 26. Rb7 Ba5 {White is slightly better and will
probably pick up the e6-pawn but it is nothing to write home about.}) (24...
Rc8 25. Bb5 Rc7 {is a good idea, but after} 26. f4 $1 Rxd7 27. Bxd7 Bxc3 28.
Bxe6+ Kf8 29. Bxf5 {it is difficult to be completely certain about the result
of the bishop ending.}) 25. Bb5 Kf8 26. f4 Bf6 27. Rd6 Re7 28. h5 $1 {Creating
various mating ideas.} Bxc3 29. Rxb6 {Now Black will not only lose the pawn
but his remaining ones will still be weak.} c4 (29... e5 $4 30. Rb8+ Kf7 31.
Bc4+ Kf6 32. Rf8+ {is cute}) 30. Rb8+ Kf7 31. Bxc4 Rd7 32. Kg2 Ke7 33. Kf3 Rd1
34. Rb7+ Rd7 35. Rb5 Rd1 36. a3 Rf1+ 37. Kg2 Rd1 38. e3 Rd6 39. Kf3 Rc6 40. g4
(40. a4 {first reduced Black's options even more, but ...a4 was maybe not
something to get worked up about.}) 40... fxg4+ 41. Kxg4 a4 42. Rb7+ Kd8 43. e4
$18 {The position is now completely winning and all the bishop endings are
also hopeless.} Bb2 44. Bb5 Rc7 45. Rxc7 Kxc7 46. bxa4 Bc3 (46... Bxa3 47. a5
$18 {and White will, on his own time, play e5, a6 and Bc4, before ambling
slowly over to the queenside with his king if need be.}) 47. e5 Kd8 48. Kf3 Bd2
49. Ke4 Ke7 50. f5 $1 {The final bit of finesse that Kramnik has made his
opponent demonstrate. The White king needs the d5-square.} exf5+ 51. Kxf5 Bc1 (
51... Bc3 52. Ke4 Ke6 53. Bc4+ Ke7 54. Kd5 Be1 55. e6 Bd2 56. Kc6 {is similar,
just with another White a-pawn}) 52. a5 Bxa3 53. a6 Bc5 54. Ke4 Ke6 55. Bc4+
Kd7 56. Kd5 Bf2 57. e6+ Kc7 58. Bb5 Bh4 59. a7 {White will win the bishop for
his two passers and Black will be way too slow to reach h8 to stop the third
one.} 1-0
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.01.26"]
[Round "4.4"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Batsiashvili, Nino"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C76"]
[WhiteElo "2793"]
[BlackElo "2504"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "55"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6 {Nino Batsiashvili is one of the top
players in the world who regularly upsets high-rated male opponents. Perhaps
her opening choice was inspired by the game Grischuk-Mamedyarov?} 5. c3 Bd7 6.
d4 g6 7. Bg5 {Forcing a concession.} f6 {Self-blocks the dark-squared bishop.}
({The other choice is} 7... Be7 {but then the bishop will no longer be
fianchettoed,} 8. Be3 Nf6 9. Bc2 exd4 10. cxd4 Nb4 11. Nc3 Nxc2+ 12. Qxc2 {
as in Vallejo Pons,F (2717)-Suarez Gomez,J (2474) Linares 2017}) 8. Be3 Nh6 9.
Bb3 {Vachier-Lagrave is not afraid of any black piece landing on g4.} ({
White did not get much after:} 9. h3 Nf7 10. dxe5 Ncxe5 11. Bb3 Nxf3+ 12. Qxf3
Bg7 13. Nd2 a5 14. a4 Qe7 15. O-O O-O {in Ter Sahakyan,S (2577) -Short,N (2688)
Abu Dhabi 2017}) 9... Bg7 ({Black's initiative quickly fizzles out after} 9...
Ng4 10. Bd2 Na5 11. Bc2 Nc4 12. Bc1 {soon both the knight will ingloriously
return home with the support of the other pieces.}) 10. a4 Qe7 11. O-O Nd8 $146
{Batsiashvili uncorkes a novelty.} ({The great Ukranian Malanuik used the same
maneuver only after:} 11... Nf7 12. Nbd2 O-O 13. Bd5 Kh8 14. b4 {And now} Ncd8
15. Re1 Rb8 16. Bb3 Ne6 17. Nc4 f5 {gradually equalizing, Habu,Y (2404)
-Malaniuk,V (2545) Krakow 2013}) 12. c4 $1 {Just like in game Habu-Malanuik
from above, White intends to make use of the d5 square. The difference however
is that he has a better piece for it- the knight.} Ng4 ({After} 12... Ne6 13.
Nc3 c6 {White most likely planned:} 14. c5 $1 ({Rather than} 14. d5 Nc5 15. Bc2
a5) 14... dxc5 15. Bxe6 Bxe6 16. d5 cxd5 17. exd5 Bf5 18. d6 Qe6 19. Bxc5 {
with initiative thanks to the uncastled black king.}) 13. Bc1 exd4 {Just like
Short from above, Black wants to make good use of the e5 square.} ({Not as
good was} 13... Ne6 {when both} 14. h3 ({Or even better} 14. Nc3 exd4 15. Nd5)
14... Nh6 15. Nc3 {lead to White's advantage.}) 14. Nxd4 Nc6 {Only this is
inaccurate.} ({Batsiashvili could (should) have swung the queen to the
kingside at once with} 14... Qe5 $5 15. Nf3 Qh5 {With good play for Black. For
example:} 16. h3 ({Similar is} 16. Nc3 Ne5 $1) ({Here} 16. c5 dxc5 {is not
that effective.}) 16... Ne5 $1 {and as long as the queens are traded Black
should be comfortable-} 17. Nxe5 Qxd1) 15. Nc3 Qe5 {A move too late...} ({
In case of} 15... Nxd4 {there are a couple of strong spoilers for White-} 16.
Nd5 $1 Qe5 ({Or} 16... Qd8 17. Qxd4) 17. Bf4 {with clear advantage for White.})
16. Nf3 Qh5 17. c5 $3 {The French GM nicely exploits the extra move to open
the position.} ({The attempt to harass the black queen at once with} 17. Ne2 $2
{fails to} Nce5) 17... Qxc5 ({After} 17... dxc5 18. Nd5 $1 O-O-O 19. Nf4 {
embarrasses the queen-} Qh6 20. Ne6) 18. Nd5 {The point behind White's play.
There is no kingside initiative for Black and her queen is in fact a concern.}
({Also good was} 18. h3 Nge5 19. Nd5 Nxf3+ 20. Qxf3 Nd4 21. Qd1 Nxb3 22. Qxb3 {
as Black cannot castle-} O-O-O 23. Be3) 18... Ne7 ({Or} 18... O-O-O 19. h3 Nge5
20. Be3 Qa5 21. Nxe5 dxe5 22. Rc1 {with the unstoppable threat of 23. Be3-d2!})
19. h3 Nxd5 ({The retreat is impossible again due to the vulnerable queen-}
19... Ne5 20. Be3 Qa5 21. Bd2 Nxf3+ 22. gxf3 Qc5 23. Bb4 {and once that c7
drops everything falls apart.}) 20. Bxd5 c6 21. b4 $1 {Another energetic blow.
Vachier-Lagrave was definitely not a gentleman today!} Qb6 {Instinctively
Batsiashvili wants to keep her queen closer to the king.} ({Instead} 21... Qxb4
{opens the b-file in White's favour} 22. Ba2 Ne5 23. Rb1 Qc3 24. Nxe5 Qxe5 25.
Rxb7 {when Black is hopeless.}) ({Perhaps the most resilient was} 21... Qc3 {
although here too White has the strong} 22. Ra3 Qxb4 23. Ba2) 22. Bb3 Ne5 23.
Nxe5 {Once that the d-file is opened it is all over.} fxe5 ({White's attack is
pretty after} 23... dxe5 24. Bf7+ $1 Ke7 ({Or} 24... Kxf7 25. Qxd7+ Kg8 26. Be3
Qxb4 27. Rab1) 25. Be3 Qc7 26. Qb3 b6 27. a5 $1 {and Be3-c5 will follow soon.})
24. Qxd6 {With so many open files and diagonals White quickly finished the
sufferings of teh black king.} Qd4 25. Qc7 $1 Rf8 ({If} 25... Qxa1 26. Rd1 Rd8
27. Bg5 Qxd1+ 28. Bxd1 Rc8 29. Qd6 {leads to mate.}) 26. Bg5 Bf6 ({Or} 26...
Rc8 27. Qxb7) 27. Bxf6 Rxf6 28. Rad1 (28. Rad1 Rc8 29. Qxb7) 1-0
[Event "FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "2017.09.03"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Nguyen, Ngoc Truong Son"]
[Black "Adhiban, Baskaran"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A84"]
[WhiteElo "2629"]
[BlackElo "2670"]
[Annotator "Adhiban,B"]
[PlyCount "29"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "GEO"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{For this World Cup, I had missed out on many qualification spots... but
luckily I was awarded the FIDE nominee and I was eager to utilise it to the
fullest extent!} 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 e6 3. c4 c6 $5 {An interesting line.} 4. e3 ({
In the same event, in the same round on the first rapid day (1.3) there
followed} 4. g3 dxc4 5. Bg2 b5 6. Ne5 Bb7 7. O-O a6 8. Nc3 Bb4 (8... Nf6 {
would transpose to the main lines.}) 9. a4 Ne7 10. Ne4 Nd7 $2 {Falling into a
hilarious tactical shot.} (10... f6 11. Nf3 O-O {was totally fine for Black
and White still has to show compensation for the pawn.}) 11. Bd2 $1 Bxd2 12.
Nd6+ Kf8 13. Nexf7 Qc7 14. Qxd2 {(Wei Yi-Sambuev Tbilisi GEO 2017) and White
brought home the point.}) 4... Bd6 {I wonder if there is any difference
between ...f5 and ...Bd6.} (4... f5 {is also the same apparently.} 5. Bd3 Nf6)
5. b3 f5 6. Bd3 Nf6 7. O-O O-O (7... Qe7 {was a better option.}) 8. Ba3 b6 9.
Qc1 a5 $5 (9... Bb7 10. cxd5 $5 {I didn't want to allow this option.} cxd5 11.
Ne5) ({My main concern after} 9... Ba6 10. Ne5 {[%csl Ya6] was that my bishop
would be hanging on a6 in many cases.} c5 11. Rd1 {It is not clear how I
should proceed here.}) 10. Nbd2 {This is definitely wrong as the knight looks
misplaced on d2 and doesn't join in the fight on the centre.} (10. Ne5 c5 {
was my idea.}) (10. Nc3 $14 {gave him a huge plus.}) 10... Ba6 11. Ne5 c5 $1 {
Thanks to White's unambitious play, Black is doing fine here.} 12. Ndf3 Nbd7
13. Rd1 (13. cxd5 {doesn't work due to} Nxe5 14. Nxe5 (14. dxe5 Bxd3 $17) 14...
Bxe5 15. Bxa6 Bxh2+ $17) 13... Rc8 (13... Bb7 $1 {was safer with equality.})
14. Nxd7 {I pend lots of time and was not sure if cxd5 worked or not, So I
decided to take the safer route.} ({White had to play} 14. cxd5 $1 Bxd3 15.
dxe6 cxd4 {was a complete mess.} 16. Nc6 Rxc6 $1 (16... Qc7 17. exd7 Nxd7 (
17... Qxd7 18. Nfxd4) 18. Bxd6 Qxd6 19. Rxd3 $16) 17. Qxc6 Bxa3 18. Rxd3 Nc5
19. Rxd4 Qe7 20. Rc4 $14 {White can push without any risk.}) 14... Qxd7 15.
dxc5 {Here he offered a draw and I felt there wasn't much chance to get
something so I decided to call it a day.} (15. dxc5 Bxc5 (15... bxc5 16. cxd5
Bxd3 17. dxe6 (17. Rxd3 exd5 (17... Nxd5 18. Qc4) 18. Qd1 (18. Bb2 c4 19. bxc4
dxc4) 18... Rfd8 {is fine for Black.}) 17... Qb5 18. Ne1 Be5 19. Nxd3 Bxa1 20.
Qxa1 Rfd8 {with chances for both sides.}) 16. Bb2 $1 {A key move with an
interesting struggle.} (16. Bxc5 Rxc5 {is nothing.})) 1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.01.30"]
[Round "8.2"]
[White "Rapport, Richard"]
[Black "Howell, David W L"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D78"]
[WhiteElo "2700"]
[BlackElo "2682"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "97"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 c6 5. Nc3 d5 6. Qb3 O-O 7. Bg2 Qb6 8. O-O
Rd8 9. Bd2 {A relatively fresh continuation which Giri tested against So two
weeks ago in Wijk an Zee. Before forcing the queen trade Rapport makes an
useful developing move.} ({White did not get anything after:} 9. h3 Bf5 10. Bf4
Na6 11. Qxb6 {(A concession)} axb6 12. cxd5 Nxd5 13. Nxd5 Rxd5 {Li,C (2732)
-Vachier Lagrave,M (2789) Riadh 2017}) (9. Rd1 {is more common.}) ({As well as
the immediate} 9. Na4) 9... Be6 10. Na4 {Forcing the trade of the queens.} Qxb3
11. axb3 Na6 ({There is no time to grab the pawn.} 11... dxc4 12. Nb6) 12. Rfc1
Ne4 $146 {Although this is the main computer move it seems as Howell did not
come deeply prepared for the game. Rapport basically followed the footprints
of Ding Liren from below to achieve comfortable advantage.} ({A novelty in
comparison to:} 12... Ne8 13. e3 h6 14. Ba5 Rdc8 15. Nd2 Nec7 16. Bf1 Bd7 17.
Bxc7 Rxc7 18. cxd5 cxd5 19. Bxa6 Rxc1+ 20. Rxc1 bxa6 21. Rc7 {Ding,L (2777)
-Haddouche,M (2487) Tbilisi 2017}) 13. Ba5 Rdc8 14. e3 g5 {In hindsight this
idea will only weaken Black's position.} ({After} 14... f6 {White would most
likely play as in the game with} 15. Nd2) ({However, there is an argument for
the solid Stonewall set up after} 14... f5 15. Nd2 Bf7 16. cxd5 ({Or} 16. Bf1
Nxd2 17. Bxd2 c5 $1) 16... cxd5 17. Bf1 {Black's chances of equlity are
significantly higher than in the game.}) 15. Nd2 Nxd2 (15... f5 $5) 16. Bxd2 g4
17. Bf1 {Rapport comfortably improved his position and is getting ready to
either open the c-file or for the advance of the queenside pawns.} dxc4 {
Definitely a concession, but what else could Howell do?} ({One major problem
for Black is that he can never move his knight} 17... Nc7 18. Nc5) ({If the
light-squared bishop moves} 17... Bd7 {then} 18. b4 dxc4 19. Bxc4 b5 20. Be2 {
leads to clear edge for the first player.}) 18. bxc4 c5 19. Bg2 $1 {The bishop
had done its job on the f1-a6 diagonal, it is time to go back to the long one.}
Rab8 20. d5 Bd7 ({It makes no sense to provoke} 20... Bf5 21. e4 Bd7 22. Bf4)
21. Bc3 (21. e4 $5) 21... Bxa4 22. Rxa4 {White's advantage is overwhelming. He
has the more active heavy pieces, the better light pieces, better pawn
structure, more space.} Rd8 ({In case of} 22... Bxc3 {White has a pleasant
choice between the obvious} 23. Rxc3 ({Or the less obvious but also strong} 23.
bxc3 $5 {followed by Rc1-b1, Ra4-a5 and a bishop transfer all the way to b5.}))
23. h3 {Prolongs the diagonal for the bishop.} gxh3 ({Since otherwise the pawn
on g4 may drop-} 23... h5 24. hxg4 hxg4 25. Be4) 24. Bxh3 Rd6 25. e4 Bxc3 26.
Rxc3 Rb6 {The only active idea that Howell has. It must have been painful for
the aggressive English GM to search for active moves.} 27. b3 e5 ({Or} 27...
Kg7 28. e5) 28. Rf3 {Not rushing anywhere. There were certainly other
interesting choices.} ({One was to take control of the open file after} 28.
dxe6 fxe6 29. Rd3) ({The other is to use the central mass at once with} 28. f4
f6 29. Be6+ Kg7 30. Ra5) 28... Kg7 29. Ra5 h6 (29... Rd8 {would have stopped
the following maneuver.}) 30. Bd7 $1 {Heading for the b5 square.} Rd6 31. Bb5
Nc7 32. Ba4 {Very subtle! It transpires that Rapport was not that interested
by the black pawns.} ({If he were he would have gone for} 32. Rxa7 Nxb5 33.
cxb5 Rb6 34. Ra5 Rc8 {but the pure rook endgames provide drawing chances to
the defender.}) 32... Na6 33. Rf5 {The bishop on a4 defended the b3 pawn and
White resumes his pawn play.} f6 34. f4 exf4 35. gxf4 Kg6 36. b4 $1 {Rapport's
impeccable play painted a beautiful picture.} Nxb4 ({Or} 36... cxb4 37. c5 Rdd8
38. d6 (38. Bd1)) 37. Bd1 $1 {The bishop is relentless.} Na6 38. Bh5+ Kh7 39.
e5 Rb6 ({Nothing changes} 39... fxe5 40. Rf7+ Kh8 41. fxe5 Rg8+ 42. Kf2 Rb6 43.
e6) 40. Rb5 {Move fourty and thus the most solid option.} ({Other move win as
well, like} 40. d6) ({Or} 40. e6 Kg7 41. Ra2) 40... Rg8+ ({Similar is} 40...
Rxb5 41. cxb5 Nc7 42. d6 Nxb5 43. Rxf6) 41. Kf2 Rxb5 42. cxb5 Nc7 43. d6 Nxb5
44. Rxf6 {The white passers are unstoppable.} Rd8 45. Rf7+ Kg8 46. Rxb7 a6 47.
Rb6 c4 (47... Ra8 48. e6) 48. Rxa6 c3 49. Rc6 1-0
[Event "FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "2017.09.06"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Fedoseev, Vladimir1"]
[Black "Inarkiev, Ernesto"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B72"]
[WhiteElo "2731"]
[BlackElo "2702"]
[Annotator "Quintiliano,R"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "GEO"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Be2 O-O 8.
Nb3 d6 9. g4 $5 {Fedoseev was on fire in the World Cup and played some
intersting games there. This aggressive move was surely not expected by
Inarkiev.} a6 $6 {Black's answer confirms the suspicion, as this move looks a
bit slow against the wild White attack coming on the kingside.} (9... d5 $1 {
looks like the best way to face White's early flank attempts in classical
manner: with active measures in the centre. It would be interesting to see
what Fedoseev had in mind against this move.} 10. exd5 (10. Nxd5 Nxe4 11. Bf3
f5 $1) 10... Nb4 11. Bf3 {now Black should embark on the forced line} (11. d6
$146 Qxd6 $1 12. Bc5 Qf4 $1 $17) (11. Bd4 $146 Nbxd5 12. g5 Nxc3 13. Bxc3 Ne4
14. Bxg7 Kxg7 $15) 11... Bxg4 $1 (11... Nxg4 $6 12. Bc5 $1 $13) 12. Bxg4 Nxg4
13. Qxg4 (13. Bc5 Bxc3+ $1 14. bxc3 Qxd5 {[%csl Gc5,Gh1]} 15. Qxg4 Nxc2+ 16.
Ke2 Nxa1 17. Rxa1 {is the same position with a tempo down for White} Rfd8 {
[%csl Re2] White's position is simply losing.} 18. Qf3 Qc4+ 19. Ke1 Rd3 20.
Qxb7 Qxc3+ 21. Kf1 {Kruener,A-Schlemermeyer,W Berlin op Berlin West 1978 (4)
0-1} Qc4 $19) 13... Nxc2+ 14. Ke2 Nxa1 15. Rxa1 Bxc3 16. bxc3 Qxd5 $15 {
With two pawns up and White's king very exposed, Black is definitely better,
for example} 17. c4 Qc6 18. Nd2 Rad8 19. Qf3 Qc7 20. Rb1 b6 21. Rb5 {Lau,R
(2495)-Goloshchapov,A (2445) Meisdorf op 1996 1-0} Qxh2 $17 {It's difficult to
imagine what Fedoseev had planned against d5, as this line looks pretty good
for Black.}) 10. h4 $146 {A new move, probably discovered over the board.} (10.
g5 {has been played but Black should be fine after} Nd7 11. Qd2 b5 12. h4 b4
$132 {Rabinovich,P-Riumin,N Moscow-ch15 Moscow 1935 1/2-1/2}) 10... b5 (10...
d5 $5 {is not so effective now, but was still the way to equalise.} 11. Nxd5 $1
(11. exd5 Nb4 12. Bd4 $1 Nbxd5 13. g5 Nxc3 14. Bxc3 Nh5 15. Bxg7 Nxg7 $11)
11... Nxe4 12. Bf3 {[%csl Gb6] The insertion of the moves a6/h4 is favourable
for White, who now has the possibility of Nb6} Nf6 (12... f5 13. Nb6 Rb8 14.
Qxd8 Rxd8 15. Nxc8 Rbxc8 16. gxf5 gxf5 17. Rg1 $14) 13. Nb6 Rb8 14. Qxd8 Rxd8
15. Nxc8 Rbxc8 16. c3 b5 $11) (10... a5 $5 {even losing a tempo could be
interesting} 11. g5 Nh5 $1 12. Nd5 $5 (12. Qd2) 12... Bxb2 13. Rb1 Bg7 14. Bb6
Qd7 $13 {It is difficult to say who is better in a such position.}) 11. h5 $40
{White rushes into the opening of h-file; compared with some variations, it's
better to have the pawn still on g4.} b4 $1 {What else? Inarkiev hits on the
opposite side.} 12. Nd5 {Black faces a difficult choice.} e6 $6 {But from now
things starts to become difficult for Inarkiev.} (12... Nxe4 $5 {looks risky,
but Black should be able to hold} 13. hxg6 hxg6 (13... fxg6 $2 14. Qd3 Nc5 (
14... Bxb2 15. Qxe4 Bxa1 16. Nxa1 $16) 15. Nxc5 dxc5 16. Bxc5 Bxb2 17. Rd1 Be6
18. Qe4 Bxd5 19. Rxd5 $16 {[%cal Ge2c4]}) 14. Qd3 Nc5 $1 (14... Nf6 $2 15. Bb6
$1 Qd7 16. Qh3 $1 Re8 17. Be3 $1 {[%cal Gd5b6]} Rb8 (17... Nxd5 18. Qh7+ Kf8
19. Bh6 $19) 18. O-O-O $18 {White's attack is just too strong, for example} Ne5
19. Nxf6+ exf6 20. Bh6 Bh8 21. Qh4 Nxg4 22. Bf4 $1 Bg7 23. Bxg4 Qxg4 24. Qh7+
Kf8 25. Bxd6+) 15. Nxc5 dxc5 16. Bxc5 Re8 {Black is doing fine} 17. Bb6 Ne5 $1
18. Qb3 Qd6 $132) (12... Be6 13. f3 {looks favourable for White}) ({Of course
not} 12... Nxd5 $2 13. exd5 Ne5 14. f4 Nd7 15. Bd4 $16) (12... Rb8 $5 {just
protecting the sensible b6-square deserved attention, but after} 13. hxg6 hxg6
14. f3 {White's prospects looks better again}) 13. Nb6 Rb8 14. Nxc8 Qxc8 $2 (
14... Rxc8 $1 {still could have offered chances} 15. Bxa6 Rb8 16. hxg6 hxg6 17.
g5 (17. f3 d5 $1) 17... Nxe4 18. Qg4 d5 19. Bd3 f5 $5 20. gxf6 Qxf6 21. Bxe4
Ne5 $1 22. Qh4 dxe4 $13) 15. Qxd6 $1 {Fedoseev accepts the challenge.} e5 (
15... Nxe4 $2 {fails} 16. Qf4 Nf6 17. hxg6 fxg6 (17... hxg6 18. O-O-O (18. g5
Nh5 19. Bxh5 gxh5 20. O-O-O $16) 18... Rd8 19. Qh2 $1 Rxd1+ 20. Bxd1 $18 {
[%cal Yg4g5,Ge3h6]}) 18. Qh2 $18 {[%cal Yg4g5]}) 16. O-O-O $16 {White is a
pawn up and retains the initiative on the kingside.} a5 (16... Nxe4 {is still
bad} 17. Qd3 Nf6 18. hxg6 hxg6 19. g5 Rd8 20. Qc4 Nd7 21. Qxa6 $18) 17. hxg6
hxg6 18. g5 $1 {Fedoseev keeps playing energically and gives no time for Black.
} ({for example, if} 18. f3 $2 a4 19. Nd2 Rd8 20. Qc5 Nd7 21. Qc4 Nb6 $132 {
[%cal Gc6d4]}) 18... Rd8 $8 (18... Nxe4 19. Qd5 {[%csl Re4] the knight is lost.
}) 19. Qc5 Nd7 (19... Nxe4 20. Rxd8+ Nxd8 21. Qxc8 Rxc8 22. Nxa5 Ra8 23. Nc4 $1
Rxa2 24. Kb1 Ra6 $8 25. Rh4 {[%csl Re4] Again this knight gives Black a lot of
work.} Nd6 26. Nxd6 Rxd6 27. Rxb4 $18) 20. Qd5 Nb6 (20... a4 21. Bc4 $18 {
[%csl Rf7]}) 21. Qb5 $1 {Despite Inarkiev's attempts to activate his position,
White keeps total control.} Nd5 ({For example} 21... Nd4 22. Nxd4 exd4 23. Bf4
Rb7 24. Qxa5 Qc6 25. Be5 $1 Ra8 26. Bxg7 $1 Rxa5 27. Bf6 {[%cal Gh1h8]} Qxf6 $8
28. gxf6 Rxa2 29. e5 $16) 22. Qa4 $1 {Fedoseev cleverly uses the queen to
blockade the pawns, and Black's tries come to an end.} Nxe3 (22... Nb6 23.
Rxd8+ Nxd8 24. Qe8+ Bf8 25. Qxe5 $18) 23. fxe3 Qc7 24. Bc4 $18 {[%csl Rf7]
[%cal Yc4g8] As well as the material advantage, White also has the attack and
better placed pieces; it's basically over.} Nd4 $5 (24... Rbc8 25. Rdf1 Rd7 26.
Rh2 $18 {[%cal Yh2f2]}) 25. Nxa5 $1 {This forces favourable simplifications
for White, which leaves Fedoseev with no problems to realise his advantage.}
Ra8 26. exd4 Qxc4 (26... Rxa5 27. Qb3 exd4 28. Rdf1 Rd7 29. Rxf7 Rxf7 30. Rf1
$18) 27. Nxc4 Rxa4 28. dxe5 (28. d5 Rxa2 29. Kd2 $1 {[%cal Gd2d3]}) 28... Re8
29. Kb1 Bxe5 30. Nb6 $1 {A last precise manoeuvre.} Ra7 31. Nd5 Kg7 (31... Rea8
32. Nxb4) 32. Rh3 Ra4 33. Rdh1 Rd8 (33... Rea8 34. Rh7+ Kf8 35. Nb6) 34. Rh7+
Kg8 35. Ne7+ Kf8 36. Nc6 $1 Re8 37. Rh8+ 1-0
[Event "FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "2017.09.06"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Black "Demchenko, Anton"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A49"]
[WhiteElo "2803"]
[BlackElo "2645"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "87"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "GEO"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{This is a typical modern day Kramnik game. Relatively fresh opening position,
new ideas found by the World Champion, incessant pressure thanks to one
powerful move after the other, and finally accurate conversion of the
advantage. His 2645 opponent is completely outplayed.} 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3.
b3 {The double fianchetto is getting quite mainstream these days with theory
developing around it.} Bg7 4. Bb2 O-O 5. Bg2 d6 (5... d5 {is a completely
different setup, not one that KID players would go for.}) 6. d4 Nbd7 (6... c5 {
might be a much more interesting choice. There are possilibities of ...Qa5+
and in general Black has a fine position here.}) 7. O-O Re8 {Black is not
playing very actively, ...Re8 already doesn't seem so good.} (7... e5 {is
mainly played} 8. dxe5 Ng4 {[%cal Gg4e5] I have never really liked this move
as White gets a small but stable edge by normal means.} (8... Nxe5 9. Nxe5 dxe5
10. Qxd8 Rxd8 11. Bxe5 $14) 9. c4 Ngxe5 10. Nc3 $14 {I feel that such
positions are always slightly better for White and very pleasant to play.}) 8.
a4 $5 {This move came as a surprise to me. I was expecting something like c4.
Kramnik's explanation can be that Black has done nothing in the centre, so
instead of revealing my cards, I would like to take more space on the
queenside with a4-a5 and so on.} Rb8 $6 {[%cal Gh1a8] Black wants to get away
from ideas like a5-a6 and issues on the long diagonal. However, all these
moves ...Re8 and ...Rb8 seem quite artificial.} (8... e5 {would have been a
normal continuation to Black's last move ...Re8.} 9. dxe5 Ng4 10. Qd2 (10. c4 {
Now this move doesn't make much sense as} a5 $1 {cements Black's superiority
on the dark squares.}) (10. a5 $5 Ndxe5 11. Nxe5 Nxe5 12. Ra2 {a4 becomes
useful in a weird way!}) 10... Ngxe5 11. Nc3 $11) 9. c4 e5 10. dxe5 Ng4 (10...
dxe5 $5 {A very interesting idea.} 11. Nxe5 Nc5 $1 {The pawn on b3 is quite
weak.} (11... Ng4 12. Nxd7 Bxb2 13. Ra2 $1 $16 {The rook on b8 is not exactly
very happy at this point.}) 12. Qxd8 Rxd8 13. b4 Na6 14. b5 (14. Bc3 Ng4 15.
Nxg4 Bxg4 16. b5 Bxe2 17. Re1 Nc5 $1 18. Rxe2 $2 Rd1+ 19. Bf1 Bxc3 $19) 14...
Nc5 15. Nf3 Nfe4 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 $44 {I would rate this as very decent
compensation for Black. His knights are perched on great squares staring at
the weaknesses in White's position.}) 11. a5 {Kramnik gains more space on
queenside.} dxe5 12. h3 Nh6 (12... e4 {was interesting but White will gain the
advantage after} 13. Bxg7 exf3 14. exf3 Nxf2 15. Qd4 $1 Nd3 16. Nc3 (16. Bh6
$16) 16... N3c5 17. Bh6 Qf6 18. Qxf6 Nxf6 19. Ra3 $16) 13. e4 {Kramnik sees
that the weakness of the d4-square is not going to be quite relevant here and
goes for e4, limiting the knight on h6.} f6 {[%cal Gh6f7]} 14. b4 Nf8 15. Nc3
Be6 (15... Qxd1 16. Rfxd1 Be6 17. Nd5 Rbc8 (17... c6 18. Nc7 $16) 18. c5 $14)
16. Qe2 {[%cal Gf1d1] When you have more space, in general you should avoid
exchanges! Soon Black is going to struggle to find good squares for his pieces.
} Qc8 17. Kh2 Nf7 18. Rfd1 c6 19. Bc1 $1 {[%cal Gc1e3,Ge3a7] The bishop will
stand well on e3. This is the speciality of these great players: they know
when and where to shift their pieces. The bishop on b2 was not doing much, so
Vlad gets it to e3.} ({If I was White I would have gone for} 19. Rac1 Bh6 20.
Rc2 Rd8 {Black seems to be doing alright here.}) 19... f5 {Understandably
Black tries to create some play on the kingside.} 20. Be3 b6 21. axb6 axb6 22.
Rac1 $1 {[%cal Gc1c8] Once again a little counter-intuitive. The rook was
already on an open file, so why bring it to c1? Well, the reason is that it
defends the knight against threats like ...f4 and also prepares Nd5 which,
surprisingly, is not easy to stop.} Qc7 (22... Qb7 23. b5 $1 {[%csl Gd5]} cxb5
{[%cal Gg2b7]} (23... c5 24. exf5 gxf5 25. Nxe5 $18) 24. exf5 Bxc4 25. Qb2 e4
26. Nd4 $16) 23. Nd5 $1 (23. b5 $5 $14 {was also interesting here.}) 23... cxd5
24. cxd5 Qe7 25. dxe6 Nxe6 {In such positions the margin of error is not very
huge. White has to play accurately, or else Black consolidates. For Kramnik,
these are just the kind of positions he likes.} 26. exf5 $1 {When you have the
bishop pair, you must open the position.} gxf5 27. Qb5 $1 {Kramnik is very
good at such positions. He calculates the tactics accurately and does not let
his initiative go.} f4 (27... e4 28. Nh4 f4 29. Nf5 Qg5 30. gxf4 Nxf4 31. Bxe4
$1 Rxe4 32. Rg1 $18) 28. gxf4 exf4 29. Rd7 {White's play just flows!} Qf6 30.
Bd2 {There are just three pawns on the board and materially White isn't ahead,
but there is just so much pressure. It's just impossible to dispute the
quality of White's pieces.} Rbc8 31. Rxc8 Rxc8 32. Qxb6 {Winning a pawn. Now
this position might seem wild, but if you look carefully, there is absolutely
nothing that Black can do. White's pieces are perfectly posted and the exposed
nature of Black's king gives Kramnik a winning advantage.} Rc2 33. Qb7 Bf8 34.
Qe4 Qg6 35. Qd5 {[%cal Gd5g8]} Qf6 36. h4 $1 {[%cal Gg2h3,Gh3e6] Bringing the
last piece into the game with great effect. The bishop on h3 will break
Black's final resistance.} Bg7 37. Bh3 Nf8 38. Rb7 h6 39. Bg4 {[%cal Gg4h5]}
Rb2 40. Bh5 Ng6 41. Bxg6 Qxg6 42. Rb8+ Bf8 (42... Kh7 43. h5 Qf6 44. Qe4+ Qg6
45. Qxg6#) 43. Ne5 Rxd2 (43... Qg7 44. Nd7 $18) 44. Rxf8+ {Powerful play by
Kramnik. Demchenko was so dazed by this performance that in the next game when
he had the white pieces, he agreed to a draw in just 10 moves and was duly
eliminated from the World Cup 2017.} 1-0
[Event "FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "2017.09.06"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Navara, David"]
[Black "Cheparinov, Ivan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A18"]
[WhiteElo "2737"]
[BlackElo "2696"]
[Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "GEO"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. e4 {The Flohr-Mikenas system, first played in 1903 and
repeatedly used by the great Aron Nimzowitsch. It is a good weapon against
opponents who are used to playing ...Nf6 followed by ...e6, since it differs
completely from standard Nimzo-Indian, Queen's Indian, etc. positions.} d5 4.
e5 {The most common reply.} (4. cxd5 $5 {has become fashionable lately as well,
and was recently seen in the World Cup finals} exd5 5. e5 Ne4 6. Nf3 (6. Nxe4
$2 {taking the pawn is a bad idea} dxe4 7. Qa4+ Nc6 8. Qxe4 Be6 $1 {with a big
advantage for Black, since White has many weaknesses on the d-file, worse
development and a weak e5-pawn:} 9. Bc4 Bxc4 10. Qxc4 Qg5 11. Qe4 Qxe5 12.
Qxe5+ Nxe5 $17 {0-1 (49) Csonka,B (2263)-Getz,N (2276) Budapest 2010}) 6... Bf5
7. Be2 d4 $5 8. Nxe4 Bxe4 9. Bc4 Bd5 10. Qb3 Bxc4 11. Qxc4 Nc6 12. O-O Qd7 13.
d3 Qe6 14. Qxe6+ fxe6 $11 {½-½ (35) Aronian,L (2799)-Ding,L (2777) Tbilisi
2017, with a balanced endgame.}) 4... d4 5. exf6 dxc3 6. bxc3 Qxf6 7. Nf3 e5 {
The most principled move, but Black has many different ideas. For example:} (
7... b6 $5 8. d4 Bb7 9. Bd3 {threatening the famous Bg5 move trapping the
queen, that works even when Black has ...Bxf3 at his disposal:} h6 (9... Nd7 $2
10. Bg5 $1 Bxf3 11. Qd2 $1 {there is a similar trick in the French Defence.
Here Black survives because the h1-rook is also hanging:} Bxg2 12. Bxf6 Bxh1
13. Bh4 $16) 10. O-O Bd6 (10... Bxf3 $5 11. Qxf3 Qxf3 12. gxf3 Nd7 {with an
unbalanced endgame, both sides having chances} 13. Be4 Rb8 14. a4 $36 {1/2-1/2
(41) Grandelius,N (2649)-Oparin,G (2575) Gjakova 2016}) 11. Nd2 $5 Qh4 12. g3
Qe7 13. a4 $6 (13. c5 $1 bxc5 14. Rb1 Bc6 15. Nc4 $16 {with a very strong
initiative}) 13... Nd7 14. a5 $36 {1/2-1/2 (45) Iotov,V (2518)-Leitao,R (2616)
Baku 2016}) (7... Nc6 8. d4 e5 {transposes to the game.}) 8. d4 Nc6 9. Bg5 (9.
Be2 $5) 9... Qg6 10. d5 Nb8 11. h4 h6 (11... Nd7 12. Bd3 e4 $6 13. h5 Qf5 $2
14. Rh4 $3 {Black is suddenly lost:} exd3 (14... Nc5 {wouldn't help} 15. Bxe4
Nxe4 16. Qe2 $18) 15. Rf4 {and the queen is lost} Nc5 16. Rxf5 Bxf5 17. Nd4 $18
{1-0 (40) Grischuk,A (2792)-Aronian,L (2815) Stavanger 2014}) 12. h5 Qd6 13.
Be3 {Now c4-c5 is a real threat.} Nd7 14. Qa4 (14. c5 $5 {Nepo plays it anyway!
} Nxc5 15. Bb5+ Nd7 16. c4 Qf6 17. Qa4 Kd8 18. Bxd7 $5 (18. O-O $5 $44) 18...
Bxd7 19. Qb3 b6 20. Nd2 $44 {1-0 (41) Nepomniachtchi,I (2732)-Aleksandrov,A
(2565) Khanty-Mansiysk 2017}) 14... Qa3 15. Qb3 a5 (15... Qxb3 $2 16. axb3 $16
{gives White a healthy endgame.}) 16. Qc2 Qd6 17. Bd3 Be7 18. Rd1 a4 $6 {
I think this is unnecessary.} (18... O-O {Cheparinov probably didn't want to
castle before White does the same, since now a pawn avalanche is possible
(that happened in the game anyway!)} 19. Bh7+ Kh8 20. Bf5 b6 21. g4 Nc5 {
with counterplay in the centre, moves like ...e4 may happen, White will need
to castle soon.}) (18... b6 {why not this useful move, if Black didn't want to
castle early? I don't see the point in ...a4.}) 19. O-O O-O 20. Rfe1 b6 21.
Bh7+ Kh8 22. Bf5 Qf6 23. g4 $1 Qd6 24. Bc1 a3 25. Bxd7 (25. Qe2 $1 {keeping
the pressure was very strong, now Black doesn't have ...Ba4 as in the game if
White decides to take on d7 and e5:} Re8 26. Nxe5 Nxe5 27. Bxc8 Rexc8 28. Qxe5
Qxe5 29. Rxe5 Bf6 30. Re4 Bxc3 31. Kf1 $16 {and many endgames are preferable
for White, because of the better structure on both flanks.}) 25... Bxd7 26.
Nxe5 Ba4 27. Qf5 Bxd1 (27... Qf6 $1 {forcing an endgame would have been an
interesting decision} 28. Qxf6 (28. Rd4 Qxf5 29. gxf5 Bc5 30. Rd2 Rfe8 $44 {
with good compensation - Black has the bishop pair, and White has so many pawn
weaknesses}) 28... gxf6 29. Ng6+ fxg6 30. Rxe7 Bxd1 31. hxg6 Rfe8 32. Rh7+ Kg8
33. Bxh6 $11 {with a perpetual.}) 28. Nxf7+ Rxf7 29. Qxf7 Bh4 $1 30. g5 $1 (30.
Rxd1 $4 Rf8 $1 $19 {forcing White's resignation.}) 30... Ba4 $4 {Losing on the
spot.} (30... Bxg5 $1 {was good enough} 31. Bxg5 hxg5 {with a roughly equal
position:} 32. Rxd1 Rf8 33. Qe6 $13) 31. Re7 Bxf2+ (31... Rg8 32. Bf4 $1 $18 {
followed by Be5.}) 32. Kh1 {...and Black resigned in view of Bf4 after ...Rg8.}
1-0
[Event "FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "2017.09.06"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Vitiugov, Nikita"]
[Black "Najer, Evgeniy"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E81"]
[WhiteElo "2724"]
[BlackElo "2707"]
[Annotator "Krasenkow,M"]
[PlyCount "132"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "GEO"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f3 O-O 6. Nge2 a6 7. Bg5 b5 {[%mdl
512] A curious idea. Black pushes his b-pawn without preparation, ready to
sacrifice it.} 8. Qd2 ({In the following game White accepted the challenge and
gradually parried Black's threats; however, Evgeniy Najer definitely had some
improvement in mind:} 8. cxb5 axb5 9. Nxb5 Ba6 10. Nec3 c6 11. Na3 Qb6 ({
possibly} 11... Bxf1 12. Rxf1 Nfd7 $5 {[%cal Yc6c5]}) 12. Qd2 Bxf1 13. Rxf1
Nbd7 14. Be3 Rfb8 15. Rb1 c5 16. Nc2 Qa6 17. Kf2 cxd4 18. Bxd4 Nc5 19. Rfd1 Na4
20. Nxa4 Qxa4 21. a3 Rc8 22. Nb4 Qb5 23. Rbc1 $16 {1-0 (63) Gallagher,J (2558)
-Collinson,A (2405) Birmingham 2000}) 8... Nbd7 9. Ng3 $6 {Now Black gets a
comfortable position.} (9. cxb5 axb5 10. Nxb5 Ba6 11. Nec3 c6 12. Na3 Bxf1 13.
Kxf1 {0-1 (41) Jaster,R-Gruenberg,H (2450) Cottbus 1983} (13. Rxf1 $5) 13... c5
$5) 9... c5 $1 10. d5 Qa5 $6 {Why?} (10... bxc4 $5 11. Bxc4 Rb8 $132) (10...
Ne5 $5 11. cxb5 c4) 11. cxb5 axb5 12. Nxb5 Qxd2+ 13. Bxd2 {After all, White
has won a pawn in quite a comfortable version, trading queens in the meantime.
It is not easy for Black to prove his compensation.} Ba6 14. a4 Rfb8 15. Rb1
Ne8 16. b3 Rb7 17. Kd1 h5 18. Na3 h4 (18... Ne5 19. Bxa6 Rxa6 20. Bc3 $16) 19.
Bxa6 Rxa6 20. Ne2 Ne5 21. Rf1 $2 {There was no need to prevent ...h4-h3. By
trading Black's strong e5-knight, White could have got a clear advantage:} (21.
Bc3 $1 h3 22. Bxe5 hxg2 23. Rg1 Bxe5 24. Rxg2) 21... c4 $1 $132 {[%mdl 64]} 22.
bxc4 (22. f4 Nd7 23. Nxc4 Rxa4 $1) 22... Rxb1+ 23. Nxb1 Rxa4 {[%mdl 4096]} 24.
Kc2 Rxc4+ 25. Nbc3 f5 $15 {Black has regained the pawn while keeping a
positional advantage as White's pawn structure is vulnerable. White must
defend accurately.} 26. Bf4 (26. exf5 $142 gxf5 27. Kb3) 26... Nd7 27. Kd3 Rb4
28. Be3 (28. exf5 gxf5 29. Bg5 $15) 28... Ne5+ (28... fxe4+ $1 29. Nxe4 (29.
fxe4 Nef6 {[%csl Re4][%cal Rd7e5]}) 29... Nc7 $17 {[%csl Rd5]}) 29. Kc2 Nc4 (
29... fxe4 30. fxe4 Nf6 31. Bg5 $1 $15) 30. Bc1 Kf7 31. Nf4 Nc7 32. g4 hxg3 33.
hxg3 Ne5 34. Bd2 Nc4 35. Bc1 Ne5 36. Bd2 Rc4 37. Kb3 Na6 38. Ne6 Bf6 39. Bg5
Nc5+ 40. Nxc5 Rxc5 41. Bxf6 Kxf6 42. f4 Ng4 43. Ra1 Kf7 44. Ra4 Nf6 45. exf5
gxf5 {[%csl Rd5]} 46. Rc4 (46. Rd4 Kg6 $17) 46... Ra5 47. Ra4 $1 {White goes
for a seemingly dangerous knight endgame but correctly evaluates it as drawn.}
Rxa4 48. Kxa4 Kg6 49. Kb5 Kh5 50. Kc6 Kg4 51. Ne2 Kf3 52. Nd4+ Ke4 53. Ne6 Nxd5
54. Kd7 $1 Kf3 55. Nd4+ Ke4 56. Ne6 Kd3 57. Ng5 $1 Kc3 58. Ke6 Ne3 59. Kxe7 d5
60. Ke6 d4 61. g4 $5 fxg4 62. f5 Nxf5 63. Kxf5 d3 64. Kxg4 d2 65. Ne4+ Kc2 66.
Nxd2 Kxd2 1/2-1/2
[Event "FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "2017.09.07"]
[Round "2.2"]
[White "Dubov, Daniil"]
[Black "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A29"]
[WhiteElo "2666"]
[BlackElo "2773"]
[Annotator "Quintiliano,R"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "GEO"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Bc5 $5 {This move
is becoming fashionable after Grischuk used it to surprise Eljanov earlier
this year.} 7. O-O (7. Nxe5 {fails to give advantage for White} Nxc3 8. bxc3 (
8. Nxc6 $2 Qf6 $18) 8... Nxe5 9. d4 Bd6 10. dxe5 Bxe5 $11) 7... O-O 8. d3 (8.
Nxe5 {still doesn't work} Nxc3 9. bxc3 (9. Nxc6 Nxd1 10. Nxd8 Bxf2+ $1) 9...
Nxe5 10. d4 Bd6 11. dxe5 Bxe5 $11) ({but an expert in the English found a
subtle and tricky idea} 8. Nxd5 Qxd5 9. Ng5 $5 Qd8 $6 (9... Qc4 $1 10. b3 Qg4
11. d3 Nd4 $11) 10. Nxh7 $1 {of course this blow caught Black off-guard} Re8 (
10... Kxh7 11. Qc2+ Kg8 12. Qxc5 $16) 11. Ng5 $1 Qxg5 12. Bxc6 $1 (12. d4 Qh5
13. dxc5 Rd8 $132 {[%cal Gc6d4]}) 12... bxc6 13. d4 Qh5 14. dxc5 $14 {Aronian,
L (2799)-Caruana,F (2807) Saint Louis Rapid 2017 (6.2) 1-0}) 8... Bb6 9. Nxd5 (
{Grischuk's game went} 9. Na4 Re8 10. Bg5 Qd6 11. Nd2 Qg6 $1 12. Ne4 Bg4 13. h3
Be6 14. Bd2 Rad8 {Dubov,D (2666)-Karjakin,S (2773) FIDE World Cup 2017 (2.2)
1-0 and Black is already fine}) 9... Qxd5 10. b4 $5 {Dubov came well prepared
to this encounter, as this looks to be the critical test for Black's setup.} e4
(10... Nxb4 11. Bb2 {[%cal Yf3e5] looks favourable for White} e4 12. Nd2 Qh5
13. Bxe4 {[%cal Yd2c4]}) ({Dubov's play impressed me, but in modern days of
opening preparation this doesn't last long, and on the next day of the same
tournament, Wang Hao showed Black's antidote} 10... a5 $1 11. bxa5 (11. Bb2 e4
$1 12. Nd2 axb4 13. Bxe4 Qh5 $11 {[%csl Ya8] to have the a-file open makes all
the difference}) 11... Nxa5 12. Qc2 $2 ({A better move is} 12. Bb2 f6 {but not}
13. Nxe5 $2 Qb5 $1 {[%csl Gb2,Ge5]}) 12... Nb3 $1 13. Rb1 Nxc1 14. Rfxc1 Rxa2
$15 {Gelfand,B (2729)-Wang Hao (2702) FIDE World Cup 2017 (2.3) 0-1}) 11. Ng5
Qd4 $1 12. Ba3 $1 $146 {[%cal Ga3f8,Yb4b5] The position was not unknown to
Karjakin until here, but Dubov found this nice improvement which puts Black
under pressure.} (12. Be3 Qxb4 13. Nxe4 Bxe3 14. fxe3 Qe7 15. Qd2 Ne5 16. Rac1
c6 $11 {Nakamura,H (2792)-Karjakin,S (2773) Saint Louis Blitz 2017 (16.3) 1-0})
12... e3 $1 {Black is already facing a difficult choice, but Karjakin finds
the better practical one.} (12... Nxb4 {looks risky} 13. e3 Qc5 (13... Qc3 14.
Qa4 c5 15. Nxe4 Qxd3 16. Nxc5 $1 Bxc5 17. Bxb4 Bxb4 18. Qxb4 a5 19. Qb2 $16 {
[%csl Yb7] Black is undeveloped and the pressure against b7 is quite annoying})
14. Nxe4 Qa5 15. Bb2 $16 {although nothing specially dangerous is apparent,
White has the better pawn structure, and Black's pieces are badly placed,
which is enough to put him in trouble, for example} Be6 16. Bc3 Qa3 17. Qh5 $1
{[%cal Ge4g5,Ge4f6]} f6 (17... Nd5 {loses a pawn} 18. Ng5 h6 19. Nxe6 fxe6 20.
Bxd5 exd5 21. Qxd5+) 18. Bxb4 Qxb4 19. a4 $1 a5 20. Rfb1 Qe7 21. Nc3 $16 {
[%csl Yb7][%cal Gc3d5] besides the pressure on b7, after a proper d4 the Bb6
is out of play.}) (12... exd3 $5 13. b5 Nb4 $2 (13... Ne5 $1 14. Bxf8 Bg4 $3 {
maybe is the right path to equality, but is extremely difficult to find} 15.
Bxg7 $1 Kxg7 16. Nf3 Nxf3+ 17. exf3 Bf5 18. Qd2 Bc5 19. Rac1 b6 $44 {Black's
compensation should be enough here}) 14. Rb1 dxe2 (14... Nxa2 $2 15. Bxf8 Nc3
16. e3 $1 Qf6 17. Qxd3 {[%csl Gh7]} Bf5 18. Ne4 Bxe4 19. Bxe4 Nxb1 20. Bb4 $1
$18 {[%csl Rb1]}) 15. Qxe2 Bg4 16. Qe4 $1 Qxe4 17. Bxe4 Nxa2 18. Bxh7+ Kh8 19.
Bxf8 $16) 13. b5 exf2+ 14. Kh1 Ne5 15. Bxf8 Kxf8 {Black's position seems to
offer good compensation, with the f2-pawn being very annoying and ideas like
Ng4-e3 available; White should be careful.} 16. a4 $1 {[%cal Ya4a5,Ya5a6,Ga1a4]
Played very quickly, which made me wonder during the game if this was still
Dubov's preparation, but the concept is very clear and important: White can't
allow the rapid mobilisation of Black's pieces, so he looks for active ideas
and direct threats.} a5 17. bxa6 Rxa6 18. a5 $1 Ba7 $2 (18... Rxa5 {was
possible:} 19. Nxh7+ Kg8 20. Rxa5 Bxa5 21. Ng5 Be1 22. Qc1 c6 23. Ne4 Bf5 {
White has a good tactical idea here} (23... Ng4 24. Qf4 Ne3 25. Qb8 $1 {
[%cal Ye4d6]}) 24. Nxf2 $1 Bxf2 25. Qf4 $1 {regaining the piece, but after}
Qxf4 26. gxf4 Nxd3 $1 27. exd3 Be3 28. Rb1 Bxf4 (28... Bxd3 $2 29. Rb3) 29.
Rxb7 Bxd3 30. Bxc6 g5 $14 {this is probably a draw.}) (18... Bxa5 $6 19. Ra4
Bb4 (19... Qb2 20. Rxf2) 20. Nxh7+ Kg8 21. Ng5 Ng4 22. Qb3 {[%csl Rb4,Rf7]} Qf6
23. Nxf7 $1 Be6 24. Qxb4 Rxa4 25. Qxa4 Kxf7 26. Qa7 $18) 19. Qc1 {[%csl Yc7]
White saves important time while improving his pieces at the same time.} Qd8 (
19... c6 {[%csl Ga6] this move is ugly as now the rook stays out of play} 20.
Nxh7+ Kg8 21. Ng5 Ng4 22. Bh3 $1 {keeping everything under control.}) 20. Qf4
$1 (20. Nxh7+ $2 Kg8 21. Ng5 Ng4 $1 {[%cal Ga7e3,Ya6h6] is a variation that
shows how dangerous it might be to go for material in positions where one is
behind in development.}) 20... h6 21. Ne4 (21. Qxe5 hxg5 $11) 21... Qe7 22. Nc3
$16 {[%cal Gc3d5] Thanks to skillful manoeuvres, Dubov has managed to organise
his pieces and to prevent active ideas and counterplay for Black.} g5 $6 {
Such a move is a clear sign that Black's position is unpleasant.} (22... Rf6 {
fails to} 23. Nd5 $1 Rxf4 24. Nxe7 $18 {[%csl Rc8,Rf4]}) (22... c6 {[%csl Ya6]
This was necessary, but almost depressing as the rook is again out of play} 23.
Ne4 Ng4 24. Bh3 {and White is winning the f2 pawn by force} g5 25. Qf3 h5 26.
e3 Kg7 27. Bxg4 hxg4 28. Qxf2 $16) 23. Qc1 {The queen retreats, but in a much
better situation.} Ng4 $2 (23... c6 24. Nd5 $1 Qd8 25. Nb6 $1 {[%csl Yf2]}) (
23... Qd8 24. Nb5 Bb8 25. Rxf2 $16) 24. Nd5 $18 {White don't have any trouble
to realise his advantage now.} Qxe2 25. Qxc7 Rc6 26. Qd8+ Qe8 27. Qxe8+ Kxe8
28. d4 $1 {Very precise.} Kd8 (28... Bxd4 29. Ra4 Ba7 30. Nb6 $1 Rc2 31. Nxc8
Rxc8 32. Rxg4 $18) 29. h3 Nf6 30. Nb6 Rc2 31. Nxc8 {Black is not able to avoid
the trade of rooks and the subsequent loss of the f2-pawn. An impressive
performance by Dubov, who showed excellent opening preparation and a fine
sense for what the position required.} 1-0
[Event "FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "2017.09.07"]
[Round "2.2"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Adhiban, Baskaran"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A28"]
[WhiteElo "2751"]
[BlackElo "2677"]
[Annotator "Adhiban,B"]
[PlyCount "126"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "GEO"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. e4 e5 $5 (3... Bg7 {I wonder what he had in mind
against my KID, I got the answer in the second rapid game!}) 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. d4
exd4 6. Nxd4 Bg7 7. Nxc6 dxc6 (7... bxc6 8. e5 Qe7 9. Qe2 $1 {Nepo being a
Scotch player would be extremely happy with the current position.} Ng8 10. Bf4
{with a clear advantage.}) 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 {The fabled Berlin Endgame with minor
modifications but the presence of the white pawn on c4 makes it quite
comfortable for Black.} 9. Bf4 Be6 {The rest is pure domination and strong
technique on my part, at least until the end!} 10. O-O-O+ (10. Be5 $1 {It is
essential to get rid of the dark-squared bishop.}) 10... Nd7 $1 {Now I have
very comfortable position.} 11. Be2 Bxc3 $5 {I was bit surprised that Nepo
allowed this because now his pawn structure on the queenside is a total mess.
But knowing Nepo he probably put all his hopes on a pawn storm on the kingside.
} 12. bxc3 Kc8 13. Rd2 a5 $1 {Signalling the start of the queenside onslaught!}
14. Be3 h5 $1 {It is always useful to include this and White has to activate
my rook if he wants to get his kingside pawns rolling.} 15. Rhd1 a4 16. f4 Ra5
17. h3 c5 {[%csl Rc4][%cal Gd7b6] The ideal plan has been achieved and c4 is
going to fall soon and White's only hope is the counter on the kingside and
the pressure on the d-file.} 18. g4 hxg4 19. hxg4 Nb6 20. f5 Nxc4 $1 (20...
Bxc4 21. Bg5 Kb8 22. Bxc4 Nxc4 23. Rd8+ Rxd8 24. Rxd8+ Ka7 25. Rd7 gxf5 (25...
Ne5 26. Rxc7 $16) 26. exf5 Ne5 27. Rxc7 {White is the one in the driver's seat
and Black has to be precise to make a draw.}) 21. Bxc4 (21. fxe6 Nxe3 22. exf7
(22. Re1 fxe6) (22. Rg1 fxe6 23. Rg3 Rh1+ 24. Kb2 a3+ {leads to mate.} 25. Kb3
Rb1+) 22... Nxd1 23. Rxd1 (23. e5 c4 $5 {The simplest.}) 23... c4 $1 {[%cal
Ra5e5] and White's pawns aren't as scary as they looked.}) 21... Bxc4 22. Bf4 (
22. Rd7 Ra6 {[%cal Gc4a2] with similar plan to the game.}) 22... Ra6 $1 23. Rd7
Rc6 {The rook is very nicely placed here.} 24. Re7 {Preparing the 7th rank
penetration.} Rd8 $6 {Getting rid of the only threat of White's.} ({A stronger
try was} 24... Bxa2 25. Rdd7 a3 $1 26. Rxc7+ Rxc7 27. Rxc7+ Kd8 {with a clear
advantage.}) 25. fxg6 (25. e5 $1 gxf5 26. gxf5 {would have most likely
finished in a draw.}) 25... Rxd1+ 26. Kxd1 fxg6 27. a3 b5 28. Kd2 Kb7 29. g5 b4
$5 {The time was ripe for this, as making any waiting moves would decrease the
power of this pawn break.} 30. cxb4 cxb4 31. axb4 a3 32. Re5 a2 33. Ra5 Bb3 ({
My trainer suggested this as a better alternative.} 33... Re6 $5 34. Ke3 (34.
e5 Ra6 {[%cal Ga2a1]}) 34... Bd5 $1 {I could have probably found this, If I
had paid more attention :).}) 34. Kd3 Bc2+ {I decided to repeat once.} 35. Ke3
(35. Kd4 Ra6 {[%cal Ga2a1]}) (35. Kd2 Bb1 {[%cal Gc6c4] with a clear advantage.
}) 35... Bb1 $1 {Now no need :).} 36. Be5 Rc4 37. Bd4 Rxb4 38. e5 Rb3+ 39. Kf4
Rb4 40. Ke3 Rb3+ 41. Kf4 Rh3 42. Bf2 (42. e6 Rh4+ 43. Ke5 Re4+ 44. Kd5 c6+ {
wins.}) 42... Rh8 43. Bc5 Rh4+ 44. Kf3 Rh3+ 45. Kf4 Rh4+ 46. Kf3 Rh1 $2 {
A huge mistake throwing away a well played game and essentially the most
crucial error in my World Cup path!} (46... Rc4 $1 {was an easier alternative,
I just understimated his move. Otherwise I would have gone for this!}) 47. e6
Re1 (47... Be4+ 48. Kxe4 a1=Q 49. Rxa1 Rxa1 50. e7 Ra8 51. Kd5 $1 {I missed
this important move which cuts off the black king.}) 48. Be3 {Unfortunately
now there isn't a win anymore!} Rf1+ 49. Bf2 Be4+ 50. Kxe4 Rxf2 51. Kd3 Rf5 52.
Rxa2 Re5 53. Rf2 Rxe6 (53... Kc6 54. Rf6 Rxg5 55. e7+ Kd7 56. Re6 Ke8 57. Ke4 {
with an easy draw.}) 54. Rf6 Rb6 55. Ke4 Kc8 56. Ke5 Rb5+ 57. Kf4 Rb6 58. Ke5
Kd7 59. Rxb6 cxb6 60. Kf6 b5 61. Kxg6 b4 62. Kf7 b3 63. g6 b2 1/2-1/2
[Event "FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "2017.09.08"]
[Round "2.3"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Kuzubov, Yuriy"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2797"]
[BlackElo "2652"]
[Annotator "Marin,M"]
[PlyCount "110"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "GEO"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. Bf4 dxc4 6. e3 b5 {This looks like
the most aggressive answer, but in fact it leads to a position where Black is
just suffering a pawn down in the hope Black's imperfect structure will
prevent him from finding a winning plan.} 7. Nxb5 Bb4+ 8. Nc3 ({By far more
popular than} 8. Nd2 Nd5 9. Bg3 N7b6 10. Qc2 O-O 11. Be2 Ba6 12. Nc3 c5 13.
dxc5 Bxc5 (13... Nxc3 14. bxc3 Bxc5 {Aronian,L (2786)-Anand,V (2762) Moscow
2016 CBM 172 [Marin,M] (½-½, 31)}) 14. Nxd5 Nxd5 15. Bxc4 Bxc4 16. Nxc4 Rc8 {
Gelfand,B (2735)-Grachev,B (2639) Moscow 2016 CBM 171 [Besenthal,K] (1-0, 119)}
) 8... Nd5 9. a3 $5 {This simple move forces Black into releasing the tension
without having beneffited from the pin too much.} (9. Rc1 {offers Black the
time to get coordinated.} N7b6 (9... Nxf4 $6 10. exf4 Nb6 11. Bxc4 $1 {This is
why the exchange is premature! The black bishop is hanging to Qa4+.} O-O 12.
Be2 {Mamedyarov,S (2761)-Aronian,L (2795) Moscow 2016 (1-0, 61)}) {But now the
threat ...Nxf4 is real.} 10. Bg3 (10. Bg5 f6 11. Bh4 O-O 12. Nd2 Ba6 13. Be2 c5
$132 {Kempinski,R (2615)-Kryvoruchko,Y (2682) Poland 2016 (0-1, 38)}) 10... O-O
11. Be2 c5 $11 {Wojtaszek,R (2727)-Grandelius,N (2635) Gibraltar 2016 (½-½,
30)}) 9... Nxc3 10. Qd2 $1 Nd5 11. axb4 Nxf4 12. exf4 Bb7 13. Be2 Nb6 ({
It makes sense to delay castling, in order to place the other pieces on
optiimal positions. If} 13... O-O 14. O-O Nb6 15. Ne5 Qd6 16. Rfd1 Rfb8 17.
Rac1 Qd5 18. Bf1 h6 19. Nxc4 Nxc4 20. Rxc4 $16 {Nakamura,H (2787)-Carlsen,M
(2855) Paris (blitz) 2016 CBM 173 [Besenthal,K] (0-1, 59)}) 14. O-O Qd6 15. Ra5
(15. Rfc1 O-O 16. Ne5 Rfd8 17. Nxc4 Nxc4 18. Bxc4 Qxd4 19. Qxd4 Rxd4 20. f5 Bc8
(20... exf5 21. Bxf7+ Kxf7 22. Rxc7+ Kf6 23. Rxb7 Rad8 24. g3 Rd1+ 25. Rxd1
Rxd1+ 26. Kg2 Rd4 27. h4 $14) 21. fxe6 Bxe6 22. Bxe6 fxe6 23. Rxc7 Rxb4 24. Rd1
Rxb2 25. f3 Kh8 26. Rdd7 Rb1+ 27. Kf2 Rb2+ 28. Kg3 Rg8 29. Rxa7 Rbb8 30. h4 h6
31. Re7 Rbe8 {Gustafsson,J (2630)-Naiditsch,A (2685) Linares 2015 (½-½, 47)
with a drawn ending.}) ({One important point is that with Black's pieces well
placed already} 15. Ne5 {is premature due to} f6 16. Nxc4 $2 Nxc4 17. Bxc4 Qc6
$19) 15... O-O 16. Rc5 (16. Ne5 {is still premature due to} f6) 16... Rfd8 ({
Another game on the same theme went} 16... Rfb8 17. Ne5 Bd5 18. Bxc4 Nxc4 19.
Nxc4 Bxc4 20. Rxc4 Rb7 21. Rfc1 Rab8 22. g3 h5 23. Qd1 g6 {Rambaldi,F (2544)
-Studer,N (2462) Biel 2016 (½-½, 41)}) 17. Rd1 Na4 {Offering a draw by
repetition. This does not really lose two tempi, as the rook also returns to
a5, but under the new circumstances Ne5 will be possible and good.} ({Therefore
} 17... f6 $5 {deserves mentioning} 18. Ne1 Bd5 19. Ra1 {[%cal Ge1c2,Gg2g3,
Gc2e3]}) 18. Ra5 Nb6 19. Ne5 Bd5 (19... f6 $6 {weakens the kingside without
preventing the pawn capture:} 20. Nxc4 Nxc4 21. Bxc4 Qc6 22. Bf1 $1) 20. Rc5
Rab8 21. Ra1 Rb7 22. h4 {White can win the pawn whenever he wants, but this
does not guarantee a win. Mamedyarov decides on gaining kingside space first,
but this is not one-sided.} (22. Nxc4 $6 Bxc4 23. Bxc4 Qxd4 $11) (22. Bxc4 Nxc4
(22... Bxc4 23. Nxc4 Qxd4 $2 24. Qxd4 Rxd4 25. Na5 Rb8 26. Nc6 $18) 23. Nxc4
Bxc4 24. Rxc4 Rdb8 25. Ra4 h6 26. g3 Rb6 27. Qc3 (27. Rxa7 Rxb4 28. Rxb4 Qxb4
29. Qxb4 Rxb4 30. Rxc7 Rxb2 31. Kg2 Rb4 32. Rd7 Kf8 33. d5 exd5 34. Rxd5 {
is just drawn.}) 27... R8b7 28. h4 a6 $14 {The typical position where playing
with Black is not fun, but it may bring half a point home...}) 22... h6 23. Ra6
Qe7 24. h5 Nd7 25. Nxd7 Rxd7 26. Ra3 ({The h5-pawn can easily turn into a
weakness after, for instance,} 26. Bxc4 Bxc4 27. Rxc4 Rd5 28. Ra5 Qh4 29. Rxd5
exd5 30. Rc5 Qxh5 31. b5 Qf5 $14 {White still has has the more pleasant
position, but this time with equal pawns.}) 26... Rd6 (26... Qd8 $5 $11 {
seems to solve all Black's problems at once.} 27. Bxc4 $2 Be4 $15) 27. Bxc4
Bxc4 28. Rxc4 Rdb6 29. Ra4 Qd7 {Finally the typical major piece position with
an extra pawn has arisen.} 30. Ra5 Rb5 31. Qc3 $6 {Typical rapid chess
carelessness.} (31. g3 Qd6 32. Rxb5 Rxb5 33. Rc5 $14) 31... Qd6 $1 {[%csl Gb4,
Gf4]} 32. Rxb5 (32. g3 Rxb4) 32... Rxb5 33. Rxc7 Qxf4 34. Rc5 Rb8 {The worst
is behind already for Black.} 35. b5 (35. d5 {is a better try, but Black has a
foced draw after the accurate} Rd8 $1 (35... exd5 36. Rxd5 Re8 37. g3 $14) 36.
Rc8 Rxc8 37. Qxc8+ Kh7 38. dxe6 Qxb4 39. Qc2+ Kh8 40. exf7 Qe1+ 41. Kh2 Qe5+
42. g3 Qxh5+ 43. Kg1 Qxf7 $11) 35... Qe4 36. Re5 Qb1+ 37. Kh2 Qf1 (37... Qd1
$11) 38. Qc2 Rxb5 $4 (38... Rd8 $5) 39. Rc5 $4 (39. Qc8+ $1 Kh7 40. Qa6 {
pins and wins the rook!!}) 39... Rb8 40. d5 exd5 41. Rxd5 $11 {As sometimes
happens, insisting on playing for a win in a dead draw position will backfire
painfully.} Re8 42. Qf5 Qe2 43. g3 (43. b4 Qe4 $11) 43... Qxb2 {Why not?? It
is for free!!} (43... Qe4 $11) 44. Rd7 Qa2 45. Kg2 a6 46. Rd6 Qc4 47. Kh2 Qb5
48. Qf3 (48. Qxb5 axb5 49. Rb6 Re5 50. g4 Kf8 51. Rb7 $15 {should draw.}) 48...
a5 49. Rd5 Qc6 50. Qd3 a4 51. Rd6 $2 Qc5 $1 {A decisive double attack, winning
the second pawn.} 52. Kg2 Qxh5 53. Ra6 Qg4 54. Qb5 Qe4+ 55. Kg1 Ra8 0-1
[Event "FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "2017.09.08"]
[Round "2.4"]
[White "Najer, Evgeniy"]
[Black "Vitiugov, Nikita"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B28"]
[WhiteElo "2707"]
[BlackElo "2724"]
[Annotator "Ftacnik,L"]
[PlyCount "107"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "GEO"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 a6 3. c3 e6 4. d4 d5 5. exd5 Qxd5 6. Be2 Nf6 7. O-O Be7 8. Be3
cxd4 9. cxd4 Nc6 10. Nc3 Qd6 11. Qd2 {Vitiugov has managed to land in a
position, in which his very early 2...a6 is actually a useful move.} (11. Rc1
O-O 12. Qd2 b6 13. Rfd1 Nb4 14. Bf4 Qd8 15. Ne5 Bb7 16. Bc4 Nbd5 17. Bg3 Nxc3
18. Qxc3 Ne4 19. Qd3 Nxg3 20. hxg3 Qd6 21. Bb3 b5 22. a4 {1/2-1/2 (22) Suetin,
A (2535)-Polovodin,I (2355) Moscow (Russia) 1979}) (11. Nd2 {There are only
two ways of trying to exploit the location of the queen on d6 to gain a tempo.
The knight gets rerouted as it will force the lady from her good location.} Nd5
(11... Nb4 12. Nc4 (12. Nde4 Nxe4 13. Nxe4 Qd8 14. Nc3 O-O 15. Bf3 {1/2-1/2
(15) Ciric,D-Taimanov,M Rostov on Don (Russia) 1961}) 12... Qd8 13. Qb3 (13.
Bf3 Nbd5 14. Bg5 O-O 15. Qb3 Rb8 16. Rad1 b5 17. Ne5 Bb7 18. Bxf6 Bxf6 19. Nxd5
exd5 20. Ng4 Bg5 21. Ne3 Bxe3 22. Qxe3 $14 {1-0 (68) Gufeld,E-Taimanov,M
Leningrad (Russia) 1963}) 13... Nbd5 14. Bf3 b5 15. Ne5 Bb7 16. Nxb5 Rb8 17.
Nc3 O-O 18. Nxd5 Bxd5 19. Qc2 Bxf3 20. Nxf3 Nd5 21. Rfc1 $14 {1/2-1/2 (27)
Balogh,C (2359)-Csom,I (2478) Budapest 2000}) (11... O-O 12. Nc4 Qd8 13. Bf3
Nd5 14. Nxd5 exd5 15. Bxd5 Qxd5 16. Nb6 Qe4 17. Nxa8 Bg4 18. Qe1 Qg6 19. f3 Bf5
20. Nb6 $16 {1-0 (30) Sax,G (2600)-Fernandes,A (2440) Debrecen 1992}) (11...
Qd8 12. Bf3 Nd5 13. Nxd5 exd5 14. Qb3 Be6 {1/2-1/2 (14) Yu,S (2535)-Csom,I
(2464) Budapest 2000}) 12. Nde4 Qd8 13. Nxd5 exd5 14. Nc5 O-O 15. Rc1 f5 $5 16.
Nd3 (16. g3 f4 17. Bxf4 Rxf4 18. gxf4 Bd6 $13) 16... Bd6 17. f4 $6 (17. Bf3 f4
18. Bd2 Be6 (18... Nxd4 19. Bxd5+ Kh8 20. Rc4 $1 Ne6 21. Qh5 $16) 19. Bc3 Qf6
20. Re1 $14) 17... Qb6 18. Kh1 Be6 19. Qd2 Rfe8 20. Ne5 Rac8 21. a3 $11 {
1/2-1/2 (39) Leko,P (2731)-Morozevich,A (2724) Moscow 2014}) 11... O-O {
Black has to castle at some stage and this move leaves open different ways of
building up the defence.} (11... Nd5 12. Nxd5 Qxd5 13. Ne5 Nxe5 14. dxe5 Qxd2
15. Bxd2 Bd7 16. Bf3 Rb8 17. Rfc1 b6 18. Rc7 Bc5 19. b4 Bd4 20. Re1 Bb5 21. Re4
$16 {1-0 (44) Rios,C (2403)-Zuluaga Mancilla,C (2326) Caldas 2011}) 12. Bf4 (
12. Rfd1 Nb4 13. Ne5 Nbd5 14. Bf3 b5 15. a4 Bd7 16. Bf4 Rad8 17. Bg3 Qb6 18.
Nxd5 Nxd5 19. Bxd5 exd5 20. axb5 Bxb5 $11 {1/2-1/2 (60) Videki,S (2385)-Csom,I
(2475) Kecskemet 1993}) 12... Qd8 13. Rfd1 (13. a3 b5 14. Rac1 Bb7 15. Rfd1 Rc8
16. Bd3 Na5 17. Qe2 Nb3 18. Rb1 g6 19. Be5 Qd7 $11 {0-1 (53) Muzychuk,M (2529)
-Ju,W (2568) Beijing 2014}) 13... Nb4 {The importance of the blockading square
d5 is undeniable in positions with an isolated central pawn.} 14. Ne5 (14. Rac1
Nbd5 15. Be3 b5 16. Ne5 Bb7 17. Bf3 Nxc3 18. Qxc3 Bxf3 19. Nxf3 Qd5 20. a3 Qb7
21. Qc6 Qxc6 22. Rxc6 Nd5 $11 {1/2-1/2 (56) Smirnov,T (2288)-Potapov,P (2492)
Moscow 2016}) 14... Nfd5 (14... Nbd5 15. Bf3 Bd7 16. Bg5 Bc6 17. Rac1 Rc8 18.
h3 h6 19. Bh4 Re8 20. a3 Qb6 21. Bxf6 Bxf6 22. Nxd5 exd5 23. Nxc6 bxc6 $11 {
0-1 (44) Neelotpal,D (2463)-Zhang,Z (2645) Doha 2016}) 15. Bf3 {Najer is
following a very sensible strategy of developing all the pieces towards the
centre with maximum impact.} f6 (15... Nxf4 16. Qxf4 Bf6 17. Qe4 $14) 16. Nd3
Nc6 (16... Nxd3 17. Nxd5 exd5 18. Qxd3 Be6 19. Qe3 Bf7 20. Rac1 $14) 17. Be3 (
17. Nxd5 exd5 18. Qc3 g5 19. Be3 $14) 17... Nxe3 {Deciding the best way of
playing this position was leaving Vitiugov with a difficult choice as White
keeps some pull everywhere.} 18. fxe3 f5 (18... e5 19. dxe5 fxe5 20. Qe2 Qe8
21. Rac1 $14) 19. Rac1 {White will abstain from taking the knight on c6 due to
the presence of the bishop pair in Black's hands. Despite everything it seems,
that the position would clearly favour the first player.} (19. Bxc6 $5 bxc6 20.
Na4 Bd6 21. Ne5 $16) 19... Bg5 (19... Qd6 20. Ne2 Nb4 $14) 20. Qf2 (20. Ne2 Ne7
21. Ne5 $16) 20... Kh8 21. Ne2 (21. Bxc6 bxc6 22. Ne5 $16) 21... Bh4 22. g3 Bf6
23. a3 {At this part of the game the computer is delighted by the idea of
restricting the black kingside with h4 and obtaining an advantage.} (23. h4 Qd6
24. Bxc6 bxc6 25. Qf4 $16) 23... Rb8 24. Nc5 $6 (24. h4 $1 a5 25. Bxc6 bxc6 26.
Nef4 $16) 24... Qe7 {The justification for Black is hidden in the timely
advance of the g-pawn with equal chances.} (24... g5 $1 25. Kh1 Qe7 26. Nc3 Nd8
$11) 25. Nf4 Nd8 (25... a5 26. Bg2 Rd8 27. d5 $1 $16) 26. d5 {Najer feels,
that with all pieces on good locations he should try to make progress with a
pawn advance. Black relies on his bishop pair for counterplay.} (26. e4 $5 b6
27. Ncd3 (27. e5 bxc5 28. exf6 Qxf6 29. Rxc5 Nf7 30. b4 $14) 27... fxe4 28.
Bxe4 Nf7 29. Nb4 $14) 26... b6 (26... Be5 27. Qd2 exd5 28. Nxd5 Qd6 29. Qe2 $14
) 27. d6 Qf7 28. Ncd3 $6 {The position is original to the utmost. So it is no
wonder that both very strong players are floundering around without clear
reference to the quality of chosen moves.} (28. Na4 Bd7 29. Rc7 Qe8 30. b3 $11)
28... e5 29. Rc7 Qb3 $2 {Analysing with the help of modern engines can turn
complicated games into a comedy of errors.} (29... Qe8 30. Nd5 e4 31. Re7 Qc6
32. Nxf6 Qxd6 33. Re8 $11) (29... Bd7 $5 30. Bd5 Qe8 31. Ng2 a5 $15) 30. d7 $6
{Najer returns the compliment with a mistake of his own.} (30. Nc1 $1 Qa4 31.
Nd5 e4 32. Bh5 Be5 33. Nf4 $16) 30... Bb7 31. Nc1 Qa4 (31... Qf7 $1 32. Bd5 Qe7
33. Bxb7 exf4 34. Bxa6 fxe3 35. Qc2 Ra8 $11) 32. Nd5 e4 33. Nxf6 $2 {High
tension in the position is not helping either player to get a peaceful
overview of the situation.} (33. Bh5 $1 Be5 34. Qc2 Qxc2 35. Rxc2 g6 36. Be2
$16) 33... exf3 34. Rd4 Qb5 $2 {It would be unjust to be harsh on Vitiugov for
this mistake. The computer engine helps to understand that the different queen
retreat was a better choice.} (34... Qa5 $1 35. Ne8 Ne6 36. Nd3 Nxd4 (36...
Nxc7 37. Nxc7 Rfd8 38. Ne6 $16) 37. exd4 Rd8 38. Rxb7 Qd5 39. Rc7 Rxd7 40. Ne5
Qxe5 41. dxe5 Rd1+ 42. Qf1 Rxf1+ 43. Kxf1 Rxe8 44. Rc6 $11) 35. Ne8 $1 Ne6 36.
Nd6 Nxd4 37. Nxb5 Nxb5 38. Rc2 {White could have even decided to sacrifice the
exchange on c7 in order to make winning the d7-pawn back more complicated.} (
38. Qc2 $1 Be4 39. Qc4 Nxc7 40. Qxc7 Rbd8 41. Nb3 f4 42. gxf4 Bf5 43. Nd4 Rxd7
44. Qxb6 $16) 38... Nd6 (38... Rbd8 39. Rd2 Rf7 40. Nb3 Rdxd7 41. Rxd7 Rxd7 42.
Qc2 h6 43. Kf2 $16) 39. Nb3 (39. Qd2 Ne4 40. Qd4 f2+ 41. Kf1 a5 42. Qxb6 Nf6
43. Qa7 $18) 39... Rbd8 40. Rc7 Rf7 41. Nd4 Rfxd7 (41... Be4 42. Nxf3 Rfxd7 43.
Rxd7 Rxd7 44. Nd4 $18) 42. Rxd7 Rxd7 43. Nxf3 {The elimination of the f3-pawn
was crucial for the success of the position with queen against two pieces.} Ne4
(43... h6 44. Nd4 Rc7 45. Qf1 $16) 44. Qc2 g6 $6 {Opening up the access to the
black king is surely a concession, it definitely helps White to cash in on his
advantage.} (44... h6 45. Nd4 $16) 45. Nd4 (45. Ne5 Rd2 46. Qc7 Bd5 47. Qxb6
$18) 45... Kg7 (45... Nf6 46. Qc4 Nd5 47. Ne6 Kg8 48. Qd4 Kf7 49. Ng5+ Kg8 50.
Qe5 $18) 46. Qb3 Rd6 47. Qc4 Bd5 (47... Rd7 48. Qe6 Nf6 49. Qxb6 $18) 48. Qxa6
Kh6 49. Qc8 Kh5 $6 {Black is not happy with waiting tactics and tries a
kamikaze strategy of a king march. Unfortunately the chances for survival
become even smaller.} (49... Kg7 50. Qc7+ Kh6 51. Qe7 Rf6 52. Qd8 $18) 50. Qc7
(50. Qf8 Rf6 51. Qg7 Rf7 52. Qe5 $18) 50... h6 (50... Kh6 51. Qe7 $18) 51. a4 (
51. Qe7 Rf6 52. Qe5 Bc4 53. h3 $18) 51... Kg4 52. Nb5 Rc6 53. Qf4+ Kh3 54. Qh4#
1-0
[Event "FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "2017.09.09"]
[Round "3.1"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Matlakov, Maxim"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A28"]
[WhiteElo "2799"]
[BlackElo "2728"]
[Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"]
[PlyCount "79"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "GEO"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. e3 Bb4 5. Qc2 Bxc3 (5... O-O {not taking the
knight right away gives White a very good option with} 6. Nd5 $1 Re8 7. Qf5 $5
d6 8. Nxf6+ Qxf6 (8... gxf6 {keeping a tense position is very risky for Black:}
9. Qh5 e4 10. a3 $1 (10. Nd4 $6 Nxd4 11. exd4 c6 12. a3 Ba5 13. b4 Bc7 14. d5
$13 {1/2-1/2 (23) Strikovic,A (2502)-Grigoryan,K (2568) Ruma 2017}) 10... exf3
{looks dangerous, but has to be played} (10... Bc5 $2 11. b4 Bb6 12. Bb2 $1 $18
) 11. gxf3 $44 {looks dangerous}) 9. Qxf6 gxf6 10. a3 Bc5 11. b4 Bb6 12. Bb2
$14 {1-0 (34) Grischuk,A (2785)-Giri,A (2737) Elancourt 2013 with a very
pleasant endgame for White.}) 6. bxc3 $5 {A rare continuation, going into an
interesting and unbalanced position.} (6. Qxc3 {is the most common reply} Qe7 {
Black prepares ...d5, trying to play an Open Sicilian with a good initiative,
since White lost many tempi with his queen:} 7. Be2 (7. d4 $5 Ne4 (7... d6 8.
d5 {should be normally more pleasant for White} Nb8 9. Nd2 O-O 10. Be2 $14 {
followed by 0-0 and b3, Bb2, potentially thinking about an expansion with e4
and f4 later}) 8. Qd3 exd4 9. Nxd4 O-O 10. Be2 Nxd4 11. Qxd4 Qb4+ 12. Kf1 Qe7
13. f3 Nc5 14. h4 $13 {½-½ (51) Mekhitarian,K (2561)-El Debs,F (2523) Rio de
Janeiro 2017, with an interesting position.}) (7. a3 d5 8. d4 exd4 9. Nxd4 Nxd4
10. Qxd4 O-O 11. b4 dxc4 12. Bxc4 $6 (12. Qxc4 {the unnatural Qxc4 was
mandatory to avoid a worse position}) 12... Rd8 13. Qf4 a5 $1 $36 14. Rb1 $2
axb4 15. axb4 b5 $1 16. Bxb5 Nd5 17. Qd4 c5 18. bxc5 Nc7 19. Qc3 Qe4 $19 {
0-1 (63) Shtembuliak,E (2478)-Volokitin,A (2649) Rivne 2016}) 7... d5 8. cxd5
Nxd5 9. Qb3 Nb6 10. d3 O-O 11. O-O Rd8 12. Bd2 Bf5 13. Rfd1 Rd7 14. Be1 Rad8
$11 {0-1 (35) Ahlander,B (2442)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2742) Rhodes 2013}) 6... O-O
7. d3 (7. e4 d6 8. g3 {is another way to develop the f1-bishop} Ne7 9. Bg2 Ng6
10. O-O Re8 11. Rb1 h6 12. d3 c6 13. Re1 b6 14. a4 Bd7 15. Nd2 Be6 16. d4 {
taking the initiative in the centre} (16. Nf1 {would be an ideal plan, but
Black is already in time to push} d5 $1 $11) 16... Rc8 17. a5 $5 bxa5 18. Ba3
c5 19. dxc5 dxc5 20. Red1 Qc7 21. Nf1 $1 {a typical plan in this structure -
White has isolated and doubled pawns, but there is a nice d5-square available
as well} Nd7 $6 (21... Bxc4 {was the most challenging} 22. Ne3 Ba6 23. c4 $44 {
followed by Nd5}) 22. Ne3 Nb6 23. Nd5 Qc6 24. Bf1 $16 {1-0 (34) Eljanov,P
(2718)-Bruzon Batista,L (2677) Havana 2015, despite being a pawn down, White
has tremendous pressure with the d5-knight.}) 7... d6 8. Be2 Re8 9. e4 Ne7 10.
Nh4 Ng6 (10... Nc6 $5 {was totally counter-intuitive, but interesting - ...
Nxe4 is a threat, and Black has ...Bh3 against g3:} 11. g3 (11. Nf5 Bxf5 12.
exf5 d5 $11 {is very consistent for Black}) (11. Nf3 Ne7 {followed by ...Ng6,
avoiding Nh4}) 11... Bh3 $13) 11. Nxg6 hxg6 12. O-O c6 13. f4 $36 {These
English Opening setups normally are very flexible, specially beause of the
bishop pair, and the potential to open up the position.} b5 $5 {Opening lines
on the queenside is smart, since White's structure there is not so stable.} (
13... exf4 $5 14. Bxf4 d5 {was also playable} 15. cxd5 cxd5 16. e5 Qb6+ 17. Kh1
(17. d4 Bf5 18. Qb3 Ne4 $13 {with ...Rac8 or ...Rec8 to come, hitting c3})
17... Nh5 $11 {getting back one of the bishops since the e5-pawn is hanging.})
14. cxb5 cxb5 15. h3 Qb6+ 16. Kh2 Be6 (16... Bd7 $5 {having in mind what
happened in the game, this could have been a better approach.}) 17. a4 a6 (
17... b4 $5 {was playable, opening the c-file for counterplay} 18. cxb4 Qxb4
19. Ba3 Qd4 $13) 18. Qb2 Nd7 19. Rb1 Rab8 (19... Qc7 $1 {keeping an eye on c3
and threatening bxa4} 20. f5 (20. axb5 axb5 {doesn't change much}) 20... gxf5
21. exf5 Bd5 {is perfectly fine for Black} 22. axb5 axb5 {now the a8-rook
comes into play instantly} 23. Qxb5 $2 Rab8 $1 24. Qxd5 Rxb1 $19) 20. axb5 axb5
21. Rf3 f6 $6 (21... Qc7 $1 22. f5 gxf5 23. exf5 e4 $3 {a very nice pawn
sacrifice, giving room for the d7-knight and the e8-rook} 24. dxe4 (24. fxe6
exf3 25. exf7+ Kxf7 26. Bxf3 Nf6 $13) 24... Bc4 $44 {with nice counterplay
against the e4-pawn, ...Nf6 is coming next.}) 22. f5 $1 gxf5 23. exf5 Bd5 $6 (
23... e4 $1 {was the best chance} 24. dxe4 Bc4 $132 {keeping counterplay on
the e4-pawn. And whenever the bishops come off, the king on g8 feels safer.})
24. Rg3 $16 {Now White starts to obtain a strong initiative.} Re7 25. Bh5 $5 {
This bishop restricts the king on g8 and keeps some Bg6 ideas alive for a
direct attack.} (25. Qd2 $1 {threatening Rb4-Rh4-Qh6!, and also c4 right away
- it is very hard to defend.} e4 26. dxe4 $18 {already wins a healthy pawn on
b5}) 25... e4 {I don't like to give the f4-square for White's bishop.} 26. d4 {
Making the d7-knight look very bad.} Bc4 27. Bf4 Ra8 28. Ra1 $1 Rd8 (28... Rxa1
{looked more logical, but it is hard to defend the invasions through the
a-file as well} 29. Qxa1 Qc6 {stopping Qa8+.} 30. Qa3 $16 {[%csl Rd6]}) 29. Ra3
Nf8 30. Qa1 Bf7 $2 (30... Qb7 {avoiding Ra6 for now.} 31. Ra6 $6 b4 $1 $132)
31. Ra6 $1 $18 Qc7 32. Be2 $1 {[%csl Rb5] Suddenly Black's position falls
apart - Bxb5 and Qa3 are very strong threats.} Bc4 33. Bxc4+ Qxc4 (33... bxc4
34. Qa3 $18 {[%csl Rd6]}) 34. Rxd6 {Now it's over - with an extra pawn and
attacking possibilities, White wins quickly, not to mention the very passive
knight on f8.} Nd7 35. Qa7 Kf7 36. Qb7 Ke8 37. Re6 Rxe6 38. fxe6 Qxe6 39. Rxg7
e3 40. Qf3 $1 {The beginning of a very tense match between Aronian and
Matlakov, that was decided in the last blitz game before Armageddon!} 1-0
[Event "FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "2017.09.10"]
[Round "3.2"]
[White "Dubov, Daniil"]
[Black "Artemiev, Vladislav"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B98"]
[WhiteElo "2666"]
[BlackElo "2692"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah/Amruta Mokal"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "GEO"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} c5 {[%emt 0:00:58]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} d6 {[%emt 0:
00:18]} 3. d4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} cxd4 {[%emt 0:00:12]} 4. Nxd4 {[%emt 0:00:00]}
Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:38]} 5. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} a6 {[%emt 0:00:19] Dubov was not
expecting his opponent to play the Najdorf, so he hadn't prepared much for it.}
6. Bg5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e6 {[%emt 0:06:24]} 7. f4 {[%emt 0:00:06]} h6 {[%emt 0:
00:49] Inserting this move has been a recent fashion. It can be useful to play
...g5 in some variations otherwise it is played before going for the ...Qb6
Poisoned Pawn variation.} (7... Qb6 8. Qd2 Qxb2 9. Rb1 Qa3 {The sharpest
"Poisoned Pawn variation" is the most famous line in the Bg5-Najdorf, which
was Kasparov and Fischer's favourite.}) 8. Bh4 {[%emt 0:00:10]} Be7 {[%emt 0:
01:21]} (8... Qb6 9. Qd2 {leads to the complicated Poisoned Pawn variation.} (
9. a3 Be7 10. Bf2 Qc7 11. Qf3 Nbd7 12. O-O-O b5 13. g4 g5 $1 14. h4 gxf4 15.
Be2 Rg8 16. Rdg1 d5 17. exd5 Ne5 18. Qh3 exd5 19. Re1 Kf8 20. Nf5 Bxf5 21. gxf5
Bc5 22. Qf1 d4 23. Nb1 Ne4 24. Bf3 Nxf2 25. Bxa8 Ned3+ 26. Kd2 Nxe1 27. Qxf2 d3
28. Qxe1 Be3+ {0-1 (28) Giri,A (2790)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2788) Stavanger NOR
2016}) 9... Qxb2 10. Rb1 Qa3 11. e5 dxe5 12. fxe5 Nfd7 13. Ne4 Qxa2 14. Rd1 Qd5
15. Qe3 Qxe5 16. Be2 Bc5 17. Bg3 Qd5 18. c4 Bxd4 19. Rxd4 Qa5+ 20. Rd2 O-O 21.
Bd6 f5 22. Bxf8 Nxf8 23. Nd6 Nbd7 24. g4 fxg4 25. Bxg4 Qa1+ 26. Rd1 Qe5 27. Rd3
Nc5 28. O-O Nxd3 29. Qxd3 Bd7 30. Nxb7 Rb8 31. Bf3 Qc7 32. Nd6 Qc5+ 33. Rf2 a5
34. Nb7 Qb4 35. Qe4 Nh7 36. c5 Ng5 {0-1 (36) Najer,E (2687)-Vachier Lagrave,M
(2798) Dortmund GER 2016}) 9. Qf3 {[%emt 0:00:07]} Nbd7 {[%emt 0:02:25]} 10.
O-O-O {[%emt 0:00:16]} g5 {[%emt 0:10:40] The move ...g5 came as a surprise to
Dubov. He was already out of his preparation. But it has already been seen in
nearly 50 odd games, though none on the highest level.} (10... Qc7 {is the
main line.}) 11. fxg5 {[%emt 0:01:05]} hxg5 {[%emt 0:00:10]} 12. Bg3 {[%emt 0:
00:35] Artemiev thinks a lot about his moves. While Vladislav was
contemplating on what he would play, Daniil decided that he would sacrifice
his bishop on b5 if he got the opportunity.} (12. Bxg5 {is the main
continuation} Ne5 13. Qf4 (13. Qe2) 13... b5 14. a3 Nh5 15. Bxe7 Nxf4 16. Bxd8
Kxd8 17. g3 Nh3 18. Rd2 Ke7 19. Bg2 Bb7 20. Nf3 Nxf3 21. Bxf3 Rad8 22. Bg2 Ba8
23. b3 f6 24. Re1 Rh5 25. Re3 Ng5 26. h4 Nf7 27. Ne2 Rh6 28. Nd4 Rh5 29. Ne2
Bb7 30. Nf4 Rc5 31. Bh3 Bc8 32. Ng6+ Ke8 33. Rf2 e5 34. Bg2 f5 35. exf5 Nh6 36.
Bh3 {1-0 (36) Adhiban,B (2590)-Tate,A (2321) Caleta 2014}) 12... Qc7 {[%emt 0:
03:34]} 13. Bb5 $5 {[%emt 0:01:28] Wow! It being an over the board decision
makes this all the more impressive. Dubov's idea in this game was to get such
a complicated position that the thought of a draw was removed from his mind
and he would be prepared for a fully fledged fight.} g4 {[%emt 0:18:27]} ({
Taking the bishop was surely an option.} 13... axb5 14. Ndxb5 Qc5 15. Bxd6 (15.
Bf2 g4 (15... Qb4 16. a3 Qa5 17. Nxd6+ Bxd6 18. Rxd6 Ra6 $13) 16. Qg3 $5 {
practically poses more problems.} (16. Qxf6 Bxf6 17. Bxc5 Nxc5 18. Nc7+ Kd7 19.
Nxa8 Bxc3 20. Nb6+ Kc6 21. Nxc8 Be5 $17 {[%csl Rc8] Black is better here})
16... Qc6 17. Nxd6+ Kf8 18. e5 Nh5 19. Qe3 (19. Qxg4 Nxe5 $17 {[%csl Ga8,Rd6,
Gf8][%cal Ge5g6]}) 19... Ng7 $17 {Black might look better because of the
material superiority, but White has good chances and his pieces are all well
positioned. Black needs to be careful not to fall for any nasty threats by
White.}) 15... Bxd6 16. Nxd6+ Ke7 17. Rhf1 Rxh2 {is interesting} (17... Rh4 $5)
18. Nxf7 $5 Kxf7 19. Rxd7+ Bxd7 20. Qxf6+ Ke8 21. Qf7+ Kd8 22. Rd1 Qe7 23. Qg8+
Qe8 24. Qxg5+ Kc8 25. Rxd7 (25. Qc5+ Bc6 26. Nb5 Rh5 $1 $17 (26... Qh8 27. Nd6+
Kc7 28. Nb5+ $11) 27. Nd6+ Kb8 28. Qb6 Qd7 29. Nc4 Ra6 30. Rxd7 Rxb6 31. Nxb6
Bxd7 32. Nxd7+ Kc7 $17 {This is a very long variation which is of course not
all forced but gives you an idea of what play might look like if it continued
along these lines.}) 25... Kxd7 26. Qb5+ Kd6 27. Qb6+ Qc6 28. Qd4+ Ke7 29. Qg7+
$11 {This will lead to perpetual checks and a draw.}) 14. Qe2 {[%emt 0:04:58]
Of course Dubov wanted Black to take his bishop on b5 at all cost.} (14. Bxd7+
Bxd7 15. Qe2 $13) 14... e5 {[%emt 0:06:05]} (14... axb5 15. Ndxb5 Qc5 16. Nxd6+
Kf8 $13) 15. Nf5 {[%emt 0:02:01]} axb5 {[%emt 0:00:22] Finally! White was very
happy when his opponent took this bishop. It meant that now he could continue
to play the game in aggressive style, just the way he had decided before the
game.} 16. Nxb5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Qc6 {[%emt 0:06:39]} 17. Nbxd6+ {[%emt 0:00:
30]} Bxd6 {[%emt 0:06:03]} 18. Nxd6+ {[%emt 0:00:41]} Kf8 {[%emt 0:04:09]} 19.
a3 {[%emt 0:00:08] Asking Black, what would you like to do now?} Ne8 {[%emt 0:
03:09]} 20. Nf5 $6 {[%emt 0:03:01]} (20. Nxe8 Kxe8 21. Rd5 {[%csl Ge5]} b5 22.
Bxe5 (22. Rhd1 b4 23. Qd3 Rh5 24. Bxe5 bxa3 25. Kb1 $13 {Black seems to be
holding on here.}) 22... Nxe5 23. Rxe5+ Be6 24. Qxb5 Qxb5 25. Rxb5 $13 {
[%csl Ga3,Gb2,Gc2,Re6] Perhaps the evaluation should be closer to equality
than an advantage for Black.}) 20... Ra4 $1 {[%emt 0:04:36][%csl Re4]} 21. Be1
{[%emt 0:11:05] Dubov realised that he was worse here and offered a draw. This
turned out to be the best move of the game as Artemiev thought for a long time
before making his next move.} (21. Rhe1 Ndf6 $17 {[%cal Gc8f5]}) 21... Ndf6 {
[%emt 0:10:57]} (21... Qxe4 22. Qxe4 Rxe4 23. Bb4+ Rxb4 24. axb4 Ndf6 25. Ne3
Be6 $17 {[%cal Gf8e7,Ge8d6] Black should be better.}) 22. Ng3 {[%emt 0:02:04]}
Nxe4 {[%emt 0:03:05]} 23. Rd8 {[%emt 0:01:44]} Be6 $6 {[%emt 0:05:40] With so
many options in the position, Artemiev goes wrong.} (23... Ke7 24. Rxc8 Qxc8
25. Nxe4 Qc4 $1 26. Qxc4 Rxc4 $17) (23... f6 $1 {A difficult choice to make,
this protects the important e5-pawn,which limits White's attacking chances.}
24. Rxc8 (24. b3 Nxg3) 24... Qxc8 25. Nxe4 Qc4 $8 26. Qxc4 Rxc4 27. Nd2 Rc7 $17
) (23... Nxg3 {was also possible.} 24. Qxe5 Rh5 25. Qxg3 Rc5 $17) 24. Bb4+ $1 {
[%emt 0:02:23][%cal Ga4e4] Cutting off the rook.} Rxb4 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 25.
axb4 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Nxg3 {[%emt 0:03:40]} 26. Qxe5 {[%emt 0:00:07] This the
reason why Black should have played f6 instead of Be6} Ke7 {[%emt 0:02:10]} (
26... Nxh1 {This was Artemiev's original intention, but he missed the super
strong} 27. b5 $1 $16 {The queen cannot stay in touch with the e8-knight and
hence Qxh8 would be very strong now.} (27. Qxh8+ Ke7 $19)) 27. Rhd1 {[%emt 0:
02:50]} Rxh2 {[%emt 0:00:29]} 28. b5 {[%emt 0:00:31]} Ne2+ $2 {[%emt 0:00:27]}
(28... Qb6 29. Qxg3 Rh5 30. Qa3+ Qc5 31. Qa8 Qg5+ 32. Kb1 Qxb5 $15) (28... Qc4
29. Qxg3 Rh5 30. b6 Qa4 $17) 29. Kb1 $1 {[%emt 0:00:27]} (29. Qxe2 Qxg2 $13)
29... Qc4 $2 {[%emt 0:00:34]} (29... Qb6 30. Qxh2 $16 {[%csl Re7] This is also
worse for Black but it is playable and much better than what happened in the
game.}) {[%tqu "En","","","","d8e8","A very nice combination.",10]} 30. Rxe8+
$1 {[%emt 0:03:14] A very nice combination.} Kxe8 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 31. Qb8+ {
[%emt 0:00:04]} Bc8 {[%emt 0:00:55]} (31... Ke7 32. Qd8#) 32. Qxh2 $18 {
[%emt 0:00:09] As they say rest is matter of technique.} Nc3+ {[%emt 0:00:31]}
(32... f6 33. Qh8+ Ke7 34. Rd8 $18 {[%csl Re7]}) 33. bxc3 {[%emt 0:00:08]}
Qxb5+ {[%emt 0:00:04]} 34. Kc1 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Qg5+ {[%emt 0:00:29]} 35. Rd2 {
[%emt 0:00:01]} Qa5 {[%emt 0:00:40]} 36. Rd4 {[%emt 0:04:06]} Qg5+ {[%emt 0:00:
44]} 37. Kd1 {[%emt 0:01:13]} Qf6 {[%emt 0:00:17]} 38. Qc7 {[%emt 0:00:21]}
Qf1+ {[%emt 0:00:10]} 39. Kd2 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Qxg2+ {[%emt 0:00:14]} 40. Kc1 {
[%emt 0:00:00]} Qf1+ {[%emt 0:00:34]} 41. Rd1 {[%emt 0:00:12] This was a game
between two of the most talented Russians. And it lived up to the expectations,
with fearless play by Dubov, and some very nice defence by Artemiev, but after
a point he was not able to hold his nerve.} 1-0
[Event "FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "2017.09.10"]
[Round "3.2"]
[White "Fedoseev, Vladimir1"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C48"]
[WhiteElo "2731"]
[BlackElo "2781"]
[Annotator "Szabo,Kr"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "GEO"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb5 Nd4 5. Bc4 Bc5 6. d3 c6 7. Nxe5 O-O (7...
d5 {is the other line, for example:} 8. exd5 O-O 9. O-O cxd5 10. Bb3 Re8 11.
Bf4 Bd6 12. Re1 Qc7 13. Nxd5 Nxd5 14. Bxd5 Bxe5 15. Qh5 Bf5 16. Bxe5 Rxe5 17.
Qxf7+ Qxf7 18. Bxf7+ Kxf7 19. Rxe5 $14 {Bruzon Batista-Baryshpolets, Merida
2015, and White has a promising endgame.}) 8. Nxf7 $1 {The best move!} ({
In the event of} 8. O-O d6 (8... d5 $5) 9. Nxf7 Rxf7 10. Bxf7+ Kxf7 {
transposes to the game (8.Nxf7).}) 8... Rxf7 9. Bxf7+ Kxf7 10. Be3 $1 $146 {
A logical novelty by Fedoseev.} (10. O-O d6 11. Na4 (11. Kh1 Kg8 (11... a6 $5)
12. Na4 Bg4 13. f3 Bh5 14. c3 Ne6 15. d4 Bb6 16. Nxb6 axb6 17. Qe1 Bg6 18. Be3
b5 $13 {Adams-Hebden, Islington op 1991}) 11... Bg4 12. Qd2 Ne2+ 13. Kh1 Nxc1
14. Nxc5 dxc5 15. Qxc1 (15. Raxc1 $2 {could have been met by} Nxe4 $1) 15...
Qd4 16. Qf4 Kg8 $44 {Iv. Saric-M. Petrosyan, Moscow 2017}) 10... Ne6 $2 {
A mistake, which allows White's following attack.} (10... d6 11. Na4 $1 $14 {
is slightly better for White.}) ({Still} 10... d5 $5 {was the most ambitious
reply,} 11. h3 (11. O-O Bg4 $13) 11... Ne6 12. Bxc5 Nxc5 13. e5 Ne8 14. O-O g6
$44 {followed by ...Ng7 with some compensation.}) 11. Bxc5 Nxc5 12. e5 $1 {
This is the point! White has gained some space and Black can't finish the
development easily.} Ne8 13. d4 Ne6 14. O-O ({The immediate} 14. f4 $16 {
was also fine for White.}) 14... d6 15. f4 $1 {White has a strong centre,
moreover the black king is also slightly weak.} dxe5 16. fxe5+ Kg8 17. d5 $1 {
Another strong continuation! White doesn't stop!} cxd5 18. Nxd5 N8c7 19. c4 $1
{Keep the tension! Black can't remove the strong d5-knight.} Bd7 20. Qg4 (20.
Qf3 $5 {was also good,} Qe8 21. Rad1 $16 {and White is better.}) 20... Nf8 21.
Qf3 Ng6 22. Rad1 (22. Nxc7 $6 {was a trap,} Qxc7 23. Qf7+ Kh8 24. e6 $2 Qb6+ {
and Black wins the e-pawn.}) 22... Ne6 23. h4 $1 {Another great move! White
continues the pressure, the h-pawn is not so important for him.} ({The
immediate} 23. Qf7+ Kh8 24. Nf6 $2 {is a blunder, because of} Nxe5 $19 {
and suddenly Black is winning.}) 23... Nxh4 24. Qf7+ Kh8 25. Nf6 $1 {This is
the point of White's 23rd move!} Qb6+ 26. Rf2 ({Still White has to be careful,
because} 26. Kh1 $2 Qxb2 $19 {is winning immediately for Black!}) 26... Ba4 27.
Rd6 ({Probably} 27. Nd5 $1 $18 {was the strongest reply!}) 27... Ng5 $1 {
The best practical chance yet.} 28. Qe7 Nf5 29. Rxb6 Nxe7 30. Rxb7 Ng6 31. Nh5
Ne6 32. Rff7 Be8 33. Rxa7 Rd8 34. Rf1 Kg8 ({In the event of} 34... Nxe5 35.
Nxg7 $1 $18 {is winning for White.}) 35. Ng3 h5 (35... Nxe5 36. Re7 Bd7 37. Rd1
$1 $18 {with unpleasant pins for Black.}) 36. Nf5 Kh7 37. b4 h4 38. b5 Rd2 39.
Nd6 h3 40. gxh3 Bd7 41. Rxd7 Ng5 42. Rf5 Nh4 43. Rxg7+ {What a brilliant
victory by Fedoseev!} 1-0
[Event "FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "2017.09.10"]
[Round "3.2"]
[White "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Black "Ivanchuk, Vassily"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B13"]
[WhiteElo "2803"]
[BlackElo "2728"]
[Annotator "Marin,M"]
[PlyCount "142"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "GEO"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 {Famously used by Fischer,
this line may not suit Kramnik's style entirely, as it has a static character,
at least in the initial phase. But the former World champion may enjoy it
because it ressembles a reversed Queen's Gambit (an opening he plays with
Black).} Nf6 ({Kramnik had also faced} 5... Qc7 {preventing Bf4:} 6. Na3 a6 7.
Nc2 Nf6 8. h3 e6 9. Nf3 b5 10. O-O Bb7 11. Re1 Bd6 12. Bg5 Ne4 13. a4 {Kramnik,
V (2812)-Fedoseev,V (2726) Dortmund 2017 CBM 180 [Moradiabadi,E] (0-1, 29)}) 6.
Bf4 Bg4 7. Qb3 Qc8 {Defending the pawn without placing the queen in the
f3-knight's range.} ({A famous Fischer game went} 7... Na5 $6 8. Qa4+ Bd7 9.
Qc2 e6 10. Nf3 Qb6 11. a4 Rc8 12. Nbd2 Nc6 13. Qb1 Nh5 14. Be3 h6 15. Ne5 Nf6
16. h3 Bd6 17. O-O Kf8 18. f4 $16 {Fischer,R-Petrosian,T Belgrade 1970 (1-0,
39)}) ({The main alternative is} 7... Qd7 {, preparing ...Bd6.} 8. Nd2 e6 9. h3
({Curiously this is more rarely seen than} 9. Ngf3 {when play may continue}
Bxf3 10. Nxf3 Bd6 11. Bxd6 Qxd6 12. O-O O-O 13. Rae1 Rab8 14. Ne5 b5 15. a3 a5
16. Re3 Rfc8 17. Qd1 b4 $132 {Lanka,Z-Kasparov,G Leningrad 1977 (½-½, 49)})
9... Bh5 (9... Bf5 $5 {needs further testing as so far it has been tried only
in lower rated games}) 10. Ngf3 Bg6 ({Most games continue with} 10... Bxf3 {
but this means offering White h2-h3 as an extra tempo. Or maybe he usually
wants to keep the h3-square available for the rook in order to attack h7?!})
11. Bb5 $5 Bd6 12. Bxd6 Qxd6 13. Qb4 $5 $146 Qxb4 14. Bxc6+ bxc6 15. cxb4 $14 {
[%csl Ga7,Gc5,Gc6]}) 8. Nd2 e6 9. Ngf3 Be7 10. O-O Bh5 $5 {A refined move (and
by far not the most popular!) The bishop retreats closer to g6 in order to
neutralise the possible pressure along the b1-h7 diagonal.} ({The main line
goes} 10... O-O 11. Ne5 Nxe5 (11... Bh5 12. Qc2 {already forces Black into
giving up the bishop pair in the long run for instance} Qe8 13. Rae1 Rc8 14.
Qb1 Bg6 15. Nxg6 hxg6 16. Nf3 a6 17. Qd1 Qd8 18. h4 Re8 19. g3 Nd7 20. Re2 Nf8
21. Rfe1 Bd6 22. Bc1 Qc7 23. Ng5 $14 {Zhao,J (2613)-Laznicka,V (2666) Ho Chi
Minh City 2016 (1-0, 53), with some pressure.}) 12. dxe5 Nd7 13. Qc2 g6 {
Ivanchuk probably wanted to avoid such weakening moves, even though in
practice White has not proved anything concrete:} 14. h3 Bf5 15. Bxf5 gxf5 {
Rendle,T (2400)-Howell,D (2611) Hastings 2011 CBM 140 Extra [Friedel,F] (0-1,
36)}) 11. Rae1 (11. Ne5 {is not dangerous now:} Nxe5 12. Bxe5 (12. dxe5 Nd7 13.
Qc2 Bg6 $11) 12... O-O $11) 11... Bg6 $5 {It looks as if Ivanchuk anticipated
Kramnik's 13th move. Since he is going to open the h-file, he does not hurry
with castling yet.} ({In practice there had been nothing wrong with} 11... O-O
{, though:} 12. Ne5 Nxe5 13. Bxe5 Bg6 14. Bxg6 hxg6 15. Qd1 b5 16. Re3 a5 17.
h4 b4 18. g4 a4 $36 {Dzindzichashvili,R (2530)-Karpov,A (2715) Mazatlan (rapid)
1988(0-1, 35)}) 12. Bxg6 hxg6 13. h4 $146 {In the endgame it would be useful
to keep the double pawns as they are (preventing ...f7-f6 followed by ..g6-g5,
for instance), but at this point in the game (and especially with a rook on h8)
the merits of this novelty are slightly questionable.} (13. Bg5 {is not
dangerous and actually led to quick disaster:} Qc7 14. Ne5 Bd6 15. f4 O-O-O $5
16. Qa4 Kb8 17. b4 Rc8 18. b5 Na5 19. Bxf6 (19. Nxf7 Qxf7 20. Qxa5 b6 21. Qa4
Rxc3 $15) 19... gxf6 20. b6 axb6 21. Nd7+ Ka7 $19 {Rittemann,S (2150)
-Svetushkin,D (2621) Travemuende 2011 (0-1, 28)}) ({For} 13. h3 O-O 14. Ne5 {
- Perelshteyn,E (2429)-Atalik,S (2575) Philadelphia 2000 EXT 2002 [Atalik,S]
(0-1, 33).}) 13... a6 {[%cal Gb7b5] Frustrating White of his hopes for a
direct attack against the king, something he had prepared with Rae1.} 14. c4 {
The king's presence in the centre offers some abstract justification for this
break,but concretely there is no way of opening the position under favourable
circumstances. And the rooks should be on e1 or d1 and c1, not as they are. We
can infere that Ivanhuk's move order managed to confuse Kramnik completely.} a5
$5 {Very flexible thinking. After having provoked the weakening of the d4-pawn,
Ivanchuk looks for more.} 15. a3 {And he gets it!} a4 16. Qd3 O-O {There was
no need to stay with the king in the centre anymore, as with the queenside
under tension White cannot think of continuing his attack.} 17. c5 {Since
White cannot sustain this pawn with its neighbouring colleague, this move
fails to ensure a space advantage.} ({More cautious would have been} 17. Rc1
Qd8 18. Rfd1 {even though White would have no trace of an advantage.}) 17... b6
$1 18. cxb6 Qb7 19. Bc7 {With most of the pieces far from the queenside, this
mini-fortress is not fated to resist.} ({White had better chances to achieve
an eventless draw with} 19. Rc1 Qxb6 20. Rc2 Nd7 21. Rfc1 Rfc8 $11) 19... Nd7
$5 {Possibly the most difficult move in the game (see also my article about
difficult moves published on this same DVD!)} ({The point is that} 19... Ne8 {
looks more natural, but for not obvious reasons is less effective.} 20. Rc1
Nxc7 21. bxc7 Rfc8 22. Rc3 Rxc7 23. Rfc1 Rac8 24. g3 Bd6 (24... Na7 25. Rxc7
Rxc7 26. Rxc7 Qxc7 27. Qa6 $16) 25. Kg2 Ne7 26. Rxc7 Rxc7 27. Rxc7 Bxc7 28. Qc2
$11 {In similar lines in the game, the exchanges would take place slightly
differently.}) 20. Rc1 Rfc8 21. b4 {The correct reaction.} ({If, for instance,
} 21. Rc2 Nxb6 22. Bxb6 Qxb6 23. Rfc1 Na7 $1 24. Rxc8+ Nxc8 25. Rc2 Nd6 {
Black is much better regrouped than in the similar exchange line above. And
actually the presence of one rook on each side favours him, as White's b2-pawn
is weak.}) 21... axb3 22. Qxb3 Bxa3 {White seems to be in trouble as after
obstructing the b-file with the knight (...Be7 and ...Nb4 for instance) Black
would win the b6-pawn.} 23. Rc3 $2 ({Actually White had a nice resource:} 23.
Ra1 Be7 24. Rxa8 Rxa8 25. Rb1 Nb4 {Everything according to the plan, is it not?
} 26. Ne5 Nxb6 27. Qf3 $1 {Not entirely. This sudden queen switch offers
chances to maintain the equality.} Rf8 28. Bxb6 Qxb6 29. Nd7 Qxd4 30. Nxf8 Qxd2
31. Nd7 Bxh4 32. Ra1 Nc6 33. Ra8+ Nd8 {Black has a material advantage but his
poor cordination causes him problems proving a constructive plan.}) 23... Be7
$6 {Offering White a second chance of the same nature.} ({For reasons revealed
below a stronger move was} 23... Bf8 $1) 24. Rfc1 $2 (24. Rb1 $1 Nb4 25. Ne5
Nxb6 26. Bxb6 Qxb6 27. Rxc8+ Rxc8 28. Qf3 {is similr to the previous line.
With the bishop on f8 Black could defend f7 from the seventh rank.}) 24... Nb4
25. Ne5 Nxe5 26. Bxe5 (26. dxe5 Na2 $17) 26... Rxc3 27. Qxc3 Qxb6 {Black has
won a pawn and d4 is isolated. It is hard claiming a win yet, but let's put it
this way: Black would be very unhappy if he could not win!} 28. Nf3 Qd8 29. Qb3
Rc8 30. Ra1 Rc4 31. g3 Qc8 32. Kg2 Nc6 33. Qb5 Bf8 34. Ra4 $6 {I believe that
this makes things simpler for Black. Obviously, Kramnik was worried about his
d4-pawn. But it will soon become clear that it would have been better
exchanging queens.} (34. Qa6 $5 Qxa6 35. Rxa6 f6 36. Bf4 Kf7 37. Nd2 Rc2 38.
Nf3 {The d4-pawn is not lost yet.}) 34... Rxa4 35. Qxa4 Nb4 36. Qb5 Qc2 37. Qf1
Qe4 {This is the difference! The queen is very strong on this square and White
will soon be more or less forced to exchange it under unfavourable
circumstances. With rooks Black would not have had this resource.} 38. Qe1 f6
39. Bc7 Nc2 40. Qxe4 {Equivalent to surrendering.} ({But} 40. Qd1 {was not at
all roses:} Bb4 {[%cal Gc2e1]} 41. Kg1 Bc3 42. Bb6 Na3 43. Bc5 Nc4 {[%csl Gf3]
[%cal Gc4b2]} 44. Nh2 (44. Kg2 Nd2 {[%cal Gg6g5]}) 44... Nb2 $5 45. Qc1 Nd3 $1
46. Qxc3 Qe2 $1 47. Ng4 f5 48. Bb4 Qd1+ (48... fxg4 49. Qd2 $17) 49. Kg2 fxg4
50. Qd2 Qf3+ 51. Kg1 e5 {and Black should win.}) 40... dxe4 41. Nd2 f5 {
Black has gained space and the king is heading for d5.} 42. Nb3 Ne1+ 43. Kf1
Nf3 44. Ke2 Kf7 45. Bb6 Bb4 46. Ke3 Ke8 47. Bc5 Bc3 48. Ba3 Kf7 49. Bd6 Kf6 50.
Bc7 Ke7 51. Bb8 Bb2 52. Bf4 Kd8 53. Bd6 Kd7 {After many hesitations, typical
for over-the-board play, especially in decisive games, Ivanchuk decided on
giving up the g7-pawn for the sake of completing the king's centralisation.}
54. Bf8 Kc6 55. Bxg7 Kd5 56. Bf6 Bc3 $1 {[%csl Ga5][%cal Gd5c4]} (56... Kc4 {
is premature due to} 57. Na5+) 57. Ke2 ({Kramnik might have initially planned
retreating with his knight to c1, which is not possible with the king on e3:}
57. Bg7 Kc4 58. Nc1 Bd2+ {but later changed his mind. Anyway, the last move
does not make anything worse than it was.}) 57... Kc4 58. Nc5 (58. Nc1 Bd2 $1
59. Kd1 Bxc1 60. Kxc1 Kd3 61. Kd1 e3 62. fxe3 Kxe3 $19 {[%cal Ge3f2]}) 58... e5
59. Nd7 {Unfortunately the knight does not get in time to take on g6, as White
has other worries now.} exd4 60. Bd8 d3+ 61. Kd1 Bd4 62. Bb6 Bxb6 63. Nxb6+ Kd4
64. Nc8 Ne5 65. Ne7 Ng4 66. Ke1 Kc3 67. Nd5+ (67. Nxg6 Kc2 $19) 67... Kb3 68.
Kd2 Nxf2 69. h5 {Or anything else.} gxh5 70. Ne3 h4 {This was the move I
expected, but Black has of course alternatives.} (70... Ng4 71. Nxf5 Ne5 72.
Nd4+ Kb2 73. Ke3 Nc4+ $1 $19) 71. Nxf5 (71. gxh4 f4) 71... h3 0-1
[Event "FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "2017.09.12"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C43"]
[WhiteElo "2728"]
[BlackElo "2772"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "GEO"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:05] Giri,A: 'Everybody still remembers
the King's Gambit game that Carlsen won, and I think there is no doubt Magnus
wants to keep his 100% score there, so...'} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:00] Giri,A: '!'}
Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:06] It seems as if the Berlin has been replaced by the Petroff
as everyone's favourite drawing weapon at the World Cup 2017.} 3. d4 {[%emt 0:
02:01]} Nxe4 {[%emt 0:00:12]} 4. Bd3 {[%emt 0:00:22]} d5 {[%emt 0:00:21]} 5.
Nxe5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Nd7 {[%emt 0:00:42]} 6. Nxd7 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Bxd7 {
[%emt 0:00:13]} 7. O-O {[%emt 0:00:04]} Bd6 {[%emt 0:00:08]} (7... Qh4 $5 {
has lost its popularity nowadays, though my Dutch teammate Jan Smeets (I am
still in Olympiad mode...) tried it against Tiviakov in Corus 2010.}) 8. Qh5 $5
{[%emt 0:00:16] This queen sortie looks very weird. What exactly are we doing?
Attacking the d5-pawn. Why can it not be just defended with ...c6?} ({Giri,A:
'Statistically the main move'} 8. c4 {is considered to be the main variation.})
8... Qf6 {[%emt 0:02:32] Anish tried to recollect his move and made it. He has
already played two games before with this move. And he has annotated
Carlsen-Wang,Y 2010, in which 8...Nf6 was played.} (8... c6 9. Nd2 (9. Bxe4
dxe4 10. Nd2 {might be something to look into for White.}) (9. Nc3 $5 Nf6 10.
Re1+ Kf8 $13) 9... Nf6 10. Re1+ Kf8 11. Qh4 $14) ({This was annotated by Anish
Giri in detail. Reproduced here is the opening phase of the game.} 8... Nf6 {
Giri,A: 'The d-pawn was attacked, but now'} 9. Re1+ {Giri,A: 'The point. Now
Black has a choice'} Kf8 {Giri,A: 'Strange looking, but main. Black trusts his
better development and hopes it will compensate for the uncomfortable position
of the king. After this game though, I think this trust may be weakened.'} (
9... Be7 {is more solid, but still, life is not so easy after let's say} 10.
Qe2 Be6 11. Nd2 O-O 12. Nf3 Re8 13. Ne5 Nd7 14. f4 Nxe5 15. dxe5 {and Tiviakov
got some (practical) advantage against Socko this year. In the game Black
managed to escape.}) 10. Qe2 {Giri,A: '!'} (10. Qh4 {is played more often, but
Black has a simple way to equalise:} Ng4 $1 {and White has to change the
queens. The resulting endgame is dead equal.}) 10... Ng4 {Giri,A: 'Perhaps
this logical move, which was also considered to be main, is a bit
over-optimistic after all..'} ({The solid} 10... c6 $5 {deserves attention and
should be studied by those who are interested. Still after the critical} 11.
Nd2 Qc7 12. Nf3 Bg4 13. Qe3 $1 Bxf3 14. Qxf3 Bxh2+ 15. Kf1 Bd6 16. Bg5 {
played twice by Sutovsky - maybe not without reason... Life isn't that simple.}
) 11. h3 Qh4 12. Qf3 Bh2+ (12... Nf6 {is mainstream and more solid, but I
believe after} 13. Nc3 c6 14. Ne2 {Black has no attack, but a little bit
uncomfortable king, so White should be slightly better with no risk.}) 13. Kf1
Nxf2 {Giri,A: 'The whole operation is conducted in the spirit of the position,
with the white queenside still undevelopped, but in fact the black pieces are
also not perfect with the rook on h8 and the king on f8, eager to swap places.'
} 14. Qxf2 Bg3 15. Qd2 Qf6+ 16. Kg1 Bxe1 17. Qxe1 Qxd4+ 18. Kh2 Re8 19. Qg3 Qe5
{Giri,A: 'Leads to a lost endgame, which though at first sight seems
interesting for Black. However there was already no way back, because if White
develops, the position is just lost for Black.'} 20. Qxe5 Rxe5 21. Bf4 {
Giri,A: '!'} Re1 22. Bxc7 {Giri,A: 'Here I first thought that the computer
doesn't understand that his queenside is stuck, but then I realized that in
fact the threat is Ba5-d2 followed by Be2 kicking out or winning the rook.'} a6
{Giri,A: 'Only try. Black wants to change the potentially dangerous d3 bishop,
but White has a logical antidote:'} 23. Ba5 Rd1 24. a4 {Giri,A: '!'} Ke7 25.
Bd2 Rc8 26. c3 {Giri,A: '!'} d4 27. c4 g6 28. Be2 {1-0 (38) Carlsen,M (2826)
-Wang,Y (2732) Nanjing 2010}) 9. Be3 {[%emt 0:37:50] Ivanchuk thought for over
half an hour at the board and found this new move.} (9. Qxd5 Bc6 10. Qh5 Qxd4
$11) 9... O-O-O $6 {[%emt 0:34:01] Anish was in a fighting mood and goes for
0-0-0. But objectively this was not the best.} (9... Bf5 $5 $11 {This might
have been a better option.} 10. f3 g6 11. Qh6 Bf8 12. Qf4 Bd6 $11) 10. Nc3 {
[%emt 0:06:15] A strong human move. I call it human because Qxd5 is the one
that computers would prefer.} (10. Qxd5 $5 {was now possible, Ivanchuk must
have thought that the bishop on c6 will be dangerous in future.} Bc6 11. Qh5
$16 {[%cal Gc6g2] Objectively this would have been the best. White is a pawn
up and there is nothing much that Black can do here.}) 10... Nxc3 {[%emt 0:12:
47]} 11. bxc3 {[%emt 0:00:09][%cal Ga1b1,Gb1b7,Ge3g5] White is better here.
Mainly he has the b-file open towards the black king and also threats like Bg5
are in the air.} Qe6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 12. Rfe1 {[%emt 0:02:24]} f6 {[%emt 0:01:
53]} 13. Bd2 {[%emt 0:14:04]} Qg8 {[%emt 0:00:18]} 14. Rab1 {[%emt 0:00:04]
Ivanchuk makes logical moves and mounts the pressure. Both his rooks are on
open files and if he can open up the position in the centre whenever he wants
to with c4.} Kb8 {[%emt 0:09:50]} 15. h3 $6 {[%emt 0:06:46] This move is not
in the spirit of the position.} (15. Qf3 $1 b6 16. Ba6 Bc8 17. Bxc8 Kxc8 18. a4
Kb8 19. c4 dxc4 20. a5 $14 {with a strong attack coming up.}) 15... b6 {
[%emt 0:01:34]} (15... Bc8 $5) 16. Ba6 {[%emt 0:02:07]} g5 {[%emt 0:05:10]} 17.
Qf3 $2 {[%emt 0:05:40]} (17. c4 $5 {looks tricky} dxc4 18. Qf3 Bc8 $5 {Black
should be fine} (18... c6 19. Qxf6 $16) 19. Bxc8 Rxc8 20. a4 g4 {This comes in
time to create counterplay against White's king.} 21. hxg4 h5 22. gxh5 (22. a5
hxg4 23. Qc6 Qh7 $17 {Black is faster.}) 22... Qh7 $132) 17... g4 $1 {[%emt 0:
03:01] Anish finds the best way to create play.} 18. hxg4 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Bxg4
{[%emt 0:03:37]} 19. Qxf6 {[%emt 0:03:13]} Rf8 {[%emt 0:00:33]} 20. Qh4 {
[%emt 0:00:01]} h5 $6 {[%emt 0:01:59]} (20... Qg6 21. Bd3 Bf5 22. Bxf5 Qxf5 23.
Re2 Rhg8 {[%cal Gf8f2,Gg8g2]} 24. Rbe1 Kb7 $17 {Black has a great position,
all his pieces are aiming towards White's king, whereas Black's king is safe.})
(20... Rf5 $1 {is also very strong with the threat of Rh5.} 21. Be2 Bxe2 22.
Rxe2 Qg6 $17) 21. Bg5 $1 {[%emt 0:01:40]} Rh7 {[%emt 0:02:18]} (21... Qg6 {
was strong. The idea is ...Rhg8 with powerful attack. White must do something
about it.} 22. Bd3 Bf5 23. Bxf5 Qxf5 24. Re2 Kb7 $15) 22. Re3 {[%emt 0:05:08]}
Bc8 $6 {[%emt 0:10:36] Exchanging the strong a6 bishop seems logical but it
turns out to be in White's favour. He doesn't have to worry any more about his
king.} (22... Bf5 $1 {was good, at some point this bishop can come on e4
stopping white's rooks in their tracks.} 23. Rbe1 Rg7 24. f4 Be4 {this is the
point of Black's ...Bf5 move.} 25. g3 Qf7 $11 {The game is still on.}) 23. Bxc8
{[%emt 0:01:56]} Kxc8 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 24. Rbe1 {[%emt 0:01:48] White is
consolidating. Soon he would be a pawn up for no compensation. Black has to
hurry up.} Qg6 {[%emt 0:01:20]} 25. Be7 {[%emt 0:05:07]} Bxe7 {[%emt 0:03:06]}
26. Rxe7 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Qxc2 $2 {[%emt 0:00:52]} (26... Kb7 27. Qh2 Rxe7 28.
Rxe7 Rc8 $13 {gives Black good drawing chances.}) 27. Qg3 $1 {[%emt 0:02:16]
This strong move gives White a huge advantage.} Rxe7 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 28. Rxe7
{[%emt 0:00:04] A queen exchange becomes mandatory in order to avoid getting
checkmated.} Qc1+ {[%emt 0:00:02]} 29. Kh2 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Qf4 {[%emt 0:00:05]
} 30. f3 {[%emt 0:01:13]} (30. Qxf4 Rxf4 31. Kg3 $18 {was more accurate.})
30... a5 {[%emt 0:04:30]} 31. Re5 $2 {[%emt 0:02:53]} (31. Rh7 $1 $16 {was
strong and now it's difficult for Black to protect the h-pawn}) (31. Qxf4 Rxf4
32. Re5 $16 {was also good for White.}) 31... Qf7 $6 {[%emt 0:00:10]} (31...
Qd2 $1 {would have given Black a great hope to fight on equal terms.} 32. Re7
Qxc3 $11) 32. Qh3+ {[%emt 0:00:47]} Kb7 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 33. Rxh5 $2 {[%emt 0:
00:37]} a4 $6 {[%emt 0:01:43]} (33... Qf4+ $1 34. Qg3 Qd2 $1 {Black has
excellent counterplay.} 35. Rh7 Rc8 $17) 34. Rh7 {[%emt 0:00:23]} Qf4+ $2 {
[%emt 0:01:32] Anish makes quite a big mistake. From here his position is
irreparable.} (34... Qe8 $13) 35. Qg3 $1 {[%emt 0:00:01] Now ...Qd2 is no
longer possible because of the c7-pawn falling.} a3 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 36. Qxf4 {
[%emt 0:01:06]} Rxf4 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 37. Re7 {[%emt 0:00:45]} Rf6 {[%emt 0:01:
10]} 38. Re3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Rh6+ {[%emt 0:00:21]} 39. Kg1 {[%emt 0:00:12]}
Ka6 {[%emt 0:00:33]} 40. f4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} c5 {[%emt 0:01:24]} 41. f5 {
[%emt 0:03:14] White's pawns are just too fast. Ivanchuk's opening idea with
Be3 was new, but not very dangerous if Giri would have replied with ...Bf5.
But the way Anish played in the game gave Vassily a clear advantge.} 1-0
[Event "FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "2017.09.12"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Rodshtein, Maxim"]
[Black "Fedoseev, Vladimir1"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E16"]
[WhiteElo "2695"]
[BlackElo "2731"]
[Annotator "Quintiliano,R"]
[PlyCount "82"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "GEO"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 (4. Nf3 {in the rapid tie-break this was
played in a similar position} Bb4+ 5. Nbd2 {and now, Fedoseev went for more
double-edged positions} dxc4 $5 6. Bg2 b5 {Rodshtein,M (2695)-Fedoseev,V (2731)
FIDE World Cup 2017 (4.4) 0-1 with a complicated game -}) 4... Bb4+ 5. Nd2 O-O
6. Ngf3 b6 {Very solid, for Fedoseev's style.} (6... dxc4 $5) 7. O-O Bb7 8. a3
{As far as I know, a3 is not so necessary for White, as in general Black
should go back with this bishop anyway.} (8. Ne5 {Is the main move and
Rodshtein recently won a nice technical game with it} Nbd7 9. Qa4 Bxd2 $6 (9...
Bd6 10. Nxd7 Qxd7 11. Qxd7 Nxd7 12. cxd5 exd5 13. Nc4 $1 Be7 14. Bf4 c6 15. Nd6
$1 Bxd6 16. Bxd6 Rfe8 17. Rfe1 Nf8 18. Rac1 Rad8 19. Ba3 Ne6 20. e3 $14 {
Vallejo Pons,F (2717)-Karthikeyan,M (2579) FIDE World Cup 2017 (1.1) 1-0 was
another good example -}) 10. Bxd2 Nxe5 11. dxe5 Ne4 12. Rad1 Qe7 13. Be3 Rfd8
14. Qc2 c6 $2 15. a3 (15. Bxe4 dxe4 16. Qxe4 c5 {[%csl Yb7] offer chances due
the opposite-coloured bishops, but still White is clearly better}) 15... f5 16.
b4 h6 17. f3 Ng5 18. c5 $1 bxc5 19. Bxc5 $16 {Rodshtein,M (2698)-Lopez
Martinez,J (2597) EU-ch 18th Minsk 2017 (3) 1-0}) ({When facing this position,
I have twice played} 8. Qc2 Nbd7 9. Rd1 (9. a3 {was my move on the first
occasion; that game is not in the databases but went} Be7 10. Rd1 c5 11. dxc5
bxc5 12. cxd5 exd5 {and now comes the thematic break} 13. e4 $1 $13 {which
ensures some complications, with chances for both sides; actually, Black opted
for the safe path with} Qc7 14. exd5 Bxd5 15. Re1 Rfe8 16. Nc4 Qb7 17. Nh4 Bxg2
18. Nxg2 $11 {Quintiliano,R (2429)-Leit鉶,R (2632) Jogos Regionais - S鉶
Bernardo do Campo (5) 1/2-1/2}) 9... c5 $5 {This is kind of unusual, but Black
goes for the hanging pawns even with the bishop on b4} 10. cxd5 exd5 11. dxc5
bxc5 12. a3 Ba5 13. e3 Qe7 14. b3 Rac8 15. Bb2 Rfe8 16. Nh4 $6 Qe6 17. Rac1 Bb6
18. Nhf3 h6 {After both sides develop their pieces, White is ready to attack
the hanging pawns} 19. Qb1 $1 a5 20. b4 $1 axb4 21. axb4 cxb4 22. Bxf6 Qxf6 23.
Qxb4 {[%csl Gd5];Quintiliano Pinto,R (2484)-Bu,X (2705) Wch Rapid Doha 2016 (1)
0-1 and in general the objetive evaluation is equal, with White having
practical chances, but in this game he managed to do some magic - but not good
magic -}) 8... Be7 9. b4 c5 $1 {Due to Rodshtein's play not being very
ambitious, Black is able to equalise already.} 10. bxc5 bxc5 11. Rb1 ({
Curiously, this pretty modern position has a precedent in a game between two
classic legends} 11. dxc5 Bxc5 12. Bb2 Nbd7 13. Ne5 Nxe5 14. Bxe5 Ng4 15. Bc3
Rb8 16. Rb1 d4 $1 {Can you to predict who is the player with Black pieces just
by this move?} 17. Rxb7 Rxb7 18. Bxb7 Nxf2 $1 $19 {Rubinstein,A-Alekhine,A
Semmering Panhans 1926 (8) 0-1}) 11... Qc8 12. Bb2 Nbd7 {Fedoseev has finished
his development without troubles, and can look to the future with confidence.}
13. dxc5 {Exchanges in the centre are unavoidable at some point.} (13. Qc2 dxc4
) 13... Nxc5 14. Qc2 Nfe4 {Black starts the improvement of his position.} 15.
Rfc1 f6 {Another good move, decreasing the bishop's scope, and preventing Ne5
ideas for White.} 16. cxd5 Bxd5 17. Nd4 f5 $1 {[%csl Ye4] Firmly keeping the
e4-point, which is a very important one.} ({This looks like a difficult
decision right just after having played f6, but} 17... Nxd2 {would put the
game in White's hands after} 18. Bxd5 exd5 19. Qxd2 {[%csl Yd5]}) 18. Nxe4 {
This opens the f-file, which creates some tension.} (18. Nf1 {[%cal Yf1e3] was
possible, but Black is fine here too} Rb8 $1 19. Ne3 Ba8 20. Ba1 Rxb1 21. Rxb1
Qd7 $11) 18... fxe4 $1 19. Qc3 Rf7 {Not a difficult move, but it is always
nice to see multi-purpose moves, Black protects g7 and prepares to double
rooks in f-file.} 20. Qe3 Qd7 21. Ba1 Raf8 22. f4 {The most solid way to stop
the pressure against f2, but now Fedoseev is able to create complications and
the position becomes very tense.} (22. Rf1 a5 ({Maybe Rodshtein was worried
about} 22... e5 23. Nb5 Ne6 {[%cal Ge7c5] but White has} 24. Bh3 $1 (24. Bxe5
Bc5 25. Nd4 Qa4 $1 26. Rbd1 $2 Rxf2 $1 $19)) 23. Bc3 $11) 22... e5 $5 {
Objectively, the analysis shows that the move is not good, but in practice it
creates a very complicated position in which White needs to be very careful,
and in which Black is always creating threats with an annoying initiative.
Such positions are Fedoseev's speciality.} 23. fxe5 Qg4 {[%cal Ge7g5]} 24. Rf1
h5 25. h3 Qg6 26. Kh2 $6 {The beginning of problems, as now Black can create
more weak squares in White's position.} (26. Rxf7 Rxf7 27. h4 $16 {was safer,
it's not easy to see how Black can create serious threats.}) 26... h4 $1 {
Opening the lines towards White's king.} 27. g4 $2 {Rodshtein doesn't realise
how important it is to keep the rooks in this position, although it's very
difficult to note this during the game, as in general to trade all rooks in
the f-file looks better for the side who is defending.} (27. Rxf7 $1 {was
still better} Rxf7 (27... hxg3+ 28. Qxg3 Qxf7 29. Rf1 Qh5 30. Rxf8+ Bxf8 31.
Bc3 $16) 28. g4 Bg5 29. Qc3 $1 {The point is that now it is not easy for Black
to invade White's position using the queen like in the game, and also White's
rook has some attacking possibilities in the open file, for example} Nd7 30. e3
$16 Nxe5 $2 31. Rb8+ Kh7 32. Qc8 $1 Qd6 33. Kh1 Qxa3 34. Qh8+ Kg6 35. Qh5+ Kf6
36. Nc2 $1 Qc1+ 37. Kh2 $18) 27... Bg5 28. Qc3 (28. Qg1 {On this square the
queen helps the defence, but it is too unnatural.}) 28... Rxf1 $1 {Fedoseev
correctly exchanges all the rooks, seeing the free path for his queen after
that.} 29. Rxf1 (29. Bxf1 {now White can't avoid the trades} e3 {[%cal Rf8f2,
Rg6e4]}) 29... Rxf1 30. Bxf1 Qf7 $1 {Suddenly, White's position looks pretty
difficult to hold.} 31. Nf5 (31. Qxc5 $2 {shows how much White misses the rook
protecting his back rank} Qf2+ 32. Bg2 Bf4+ 33. Kh1 Qe1+ {and mates.}) 31...
Ne6 32. Kg1 g6 33. Nd6 {In practice it is much harder to make a choice for
White.} (33. Ne3 Bb7 34. Qb3 $1 Bd8 $1 {[%cal Yd8b6] and Black continues the
pressure.}) 33... Qf4 34. Bg2 Bd8 $1 35. Nc4 $2 {Such positions are very
difficult to play for the defending side. The defeneder must always be on
guard against one or two threats and find some only moves, while the attacking
side just looks for new tactical motifs and ideas to confuse the defence. With
the time pressure and the tension, what usually happens is that the defence
collapses.} (35. Qe1 $1 {would had kept White in the game, as the queen is
defending all important squares} Bb6+ 36. Kh1 Qe3 37. Qf1 Nf4 38. e6 $1 Bxe6
39. Nxe4 $13) 35... e3 $3 {This nice move wins and was precisely calculated by
Fedoseev.} 36. Bxd5 (36. Nxe3 Bb6 $19) (36. Qxe3 Bb6 $1 $19) 36... Qf2+ 37. Kh1
Qf1+ 38. Kh2 Bg5 $1 {[%cal Rg5f4] Sacrificing another piece, but in return
Black has unavoidable mate, a nice swap!} 39. Bxe6+ Kg7 40. Qxe3 Bxe3 41. Nxe3
Qxa1 {A nice game in typical Fedoseev' style: creating complications from
nothing and keeping the tension until the right moment to invades his opponent
defences. It is also a good example of how difficult these positions are for
the defending side, even for very strong players.} 0-1
[Event "FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "2017.09.15"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Ivanchuk, Vassily"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A13"]
[WhiteElo "2799"]
[BlackElo "2728"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "47"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "GEO"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e6 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 2. g3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} d5 {[%emt 0:
03:23]} 3. Bg2 {[%emt 0:00:13]} dxc4 {[%emt 0:01:44]} 4. Qa4+ {[%emt 0:00:07]}
(4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Qa4+ {The inclusion of knights on f3 and f6 leads to similar
kinds of position but with some differences. One can say that like in the game
Levon would not have been able to get in d4-d5!}) 4... c6 {[%emt 0:00:58]} 5.
Qxc4 {[%emt 0:00:10]} b5 {[%emt 0:03:55] Overall I consider this c6/b5 setup
to be the most active way for Black to play in this position.} 6. Qc2 {[%emt 0:
00:08]} Bb7 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 7. Nf3 {[%emt 0:02:01]} Nd7 {[%emt 0:07:26]} (7...
Nf6 {leads to a common position. But Vassily wanted to make use of the time he
has saved on developing his g8 knight by getting his queenside pieces out and
working.}) 8. Nc3 {[%emt 0:06:33]} Rc8 {[%emt 0:14:08]} 9. O-O {[%emt 0:03:10]}
a6 {[%emt 0:01:37]} 10. d4 {[%emt 0:03:50] Black has made all the moves in
order to play the move c5 and here it would not make sense if you didn't make
that move. As Levon said after the game, that it is difficult to sometimes
admit what you did was not correct and change the plan.} c5 {[%emt 0:42:39]
Vassily made this move after 42 minutes.} (10... Ngf6 11. Ne5 $16 {is already
horror for Black.}) 11. d5 $1 {[%emt 0:00:15] Levon was instantly ready with
his reply. It just took him 15 seconds to make this move. After the game when
he was asked what he thought about the objective quality of the move, he said,
I think it is extremely strong and after this White has a clearly better
position.} exd5 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 12. Nh4 $1 {[%emt 0:03:13] Of course, the
logical folllow up.} Ndf6 $2 {[%emt 0:08:18] After this Black is huge trouble.
Look at his kingside pieces. When are they going to develop?} ({Levon
considered Black's best chance to be} 12... Ngf6 13. Rd1 Be7 (13... Nb6 14. a4
$1 (14. Nxd5 Nbxd5 15. e4 $14) 14... b4 15. a5 bxc3 16. axb6 $16) 14. Nxd5 (14.
Nf5 $1 {is a move that must be considered for sure.} O-O 15. Bxd5 $1 Nxd5 16.
Nxd5 Bxd5 17. Rxd5 $16) 14... Bxd5 $1 (14... Nxd5 15. Nf5 $1 {This is the
strongest move.} (15. Bxd5 Bxd5 16. Rxd5 Bxh4 $14 {is something that White
would have to go into if the move order by Black is correct. i.e ...Bxd5 first
instead of ...Nxd5.}) 15... g6 16. Bxd5 Bxd5 17. Ng7+ Kf8 18. Bh6 Kg8 19. Rxd5
$16) 15. Bxd5 Nxd5 16. Rxd5 Bxh4 17. gxh4 Qxh4 18. Qf5 $36) 13. Rd1 {[%emt 0:
04:31]} g6 $2 {[%emt 0:00:08] Another huge mistake. It was important to at
least complete the development somehow.} (13... Qb6 14. Nxd5 Bxd5 15. Bxd5 Nxd5
16. Rxd5 Ne7 17. Rd3 $16 {White is better, but Black can fight on.}) 14. Nxd5
$1 {[%emt 0:02:21]} Nxd5 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 15. e4 {[%emt 0:00:50]} Bg7 {[%emt 0:
00:18]} 16. exd5 {[%emt 0:00:42]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 17. Qe2+ {[%emt 0:01:32]
} (17. Re1+ {was also possible, but Levon didn't want the rook to leave the
support of the d5-pawn.} Kf8 18. Be3 c4 19. Rad1 $16) 17... Kf8 {[%emt 0:00:01]
} (17... Qe7 18. Qxe7+ Kxe7 19. d6+ $18) 18. a4 $1 {[%emt 0:01:06] Creating a
nice little square for the knight to sit on - c4.} b4 {[%emt 0:00:28]} 19. Be3
{[%emt 0:01:09]} Qd6 {[%emt 0:01:33]} 20. Rac1 {[%emt 0:03:37]} Nd7 {[%emt 0:
00:42]} 21. Nf3 $1 {[%emt 0:00:36] The c4-square is soft and comfortable, so
what are you waiting for? Ah wait, there's also the e4-square!} h6 {[%emt 0:02:
08]} 22. Nd2 {[%emt 0:01:40]} Kg8 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 23. Ne4 {[%emt 0:04:08]} Qf8
{[%emt 0:00:46]} 24. d6 $18 {[%emt 0:00:57] Ivanchuk had enough of this
horrible position and he resigned. One of the main problems is the c5-pawn for
which you have to give up your b7-bishop with ...Bxe4 but after taking the
bishop back, there is nothing positive about Black's entire position.} 1-0
[Event "FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "2017.09.15"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Svidler, Peter"]
[Black "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A34"]
[WhiteElo "2751"]
[BlackElo "2789"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "GEO"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{Peter Svidler and MVL have a very similar opening repertoire, both of course,
being huge opening experts. So when they sat at the board it was realyl a
battle of choosing the line in which the opponent would feel the most
uncomfortable.} 1. c4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} c5 {[%emt 0:01:20]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:02:
41] Peter played this move after quite some thought.} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 3.
Nc3 {[%emt 0:03:14]} d5 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 4. cxd5 {[%emt 0:00:17]} Nxd5 {
[%emt 0:00:04]} 5. e4 {[%emt 0:05:18] As Svidler said, White has many options
at this point. He went for the one that would be the most uncomfortable for
Maxime.} Nb4 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 6. Bc4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Nd3+ {[%emt 0:00:06]} 7.
Ke2 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Nf4+ {[%emt 0:00:06]} 8. Kf1 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Ne6 {
[%emt 0:01:10] This knight diamond movement is quite well known now. Black
makes all of these knight moves in the hope that he would be able to
capitalise on the weakness of the d4 square.} 9. h4 $5 {[%emt 0:04:41] Why
would someone make a move like this? What is the point? The main idea of this
move is to stop Black from playing ...g6.} (9. b4 {is one of the main moves.})
(9. d3 {can be met with a move like ...Nc6 followed by ...g6 putting all the
resources on the d4-square.} g6 $11) 9... Nd4 {[%emt 0:04:38]} (9... Nc6 {
is also possible.}) (9... g6 {The main advantage of the move h4. That ...g6 is
no longer possible.} 10. h5 $1 $16) 10. d3 {[%emt 0:03:29]} Nbc6 {[%emt 0:01:
20]} 11. Nb5 {[%emt 0:00:14]} Be6 {[%emt 0:06:38] After the game Maxime said
that this entire plan with ...Be6 and taking on b5 was played pretty quickly
by him and he didn't like what he did.} 12. Bf4 {[%emt 0:10:03]} Nxb5 $6 {
[%emt 0:02:10]} 13. Bxb5 {[%emt 0:00:52]} Qb6 {[%emt 0:00:32]} 14. Ba4 {
[%emt 0:03:25]} (14. Qa4 Bd7 $5 $11) 14... Qa6 {[%emt 0:16:54]} (14... Qxb2 $2
15. Rb1 Qxa2 16. Rxb7 $18) (14... Bg4 {This was Maxime's main idea. So that he
can now play ...e6, ...Be7, ...0-0 and finish his development. But he had
missed something in the line starting with} 15. b4 $1 e6 (15... cxb4 16. Rc1 {
seems to give White good compensation, but I would say Black's position looks
fine.}) 16. b5 $1 {This was the move that MVL had missed.} Nd4 17. Bc7 $3 $18 {
and it's game over.}) 15. Rc1 {[%emt 0:08:45]} b5 {[%emt 0:07:04]} 16. Bb3 {
[%emt 0:00:24]} Bxb3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 17. Qxb3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} e6 {[%emt 0:00:
16]} 18. Be3 {[%emt 0:00:54] The c5-pawn is very weak. At this point I think
Svidler had every right to believe that his position was very pleasant.} Na5 {
[%emt 0:03:08]} 19. Qc3 {[%emt 0:04:12]} b4 {[%emt 0:04:05]} 20. Qc2 {[%emt 0:
02:02]} Nb7 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 21. Qc4 {[%emt 0:09:08]} Qxc4 {[%emt 0:03:46]} 22.
Rxc4 {[%emt 0:00:12] A queen exchange does not ease Black's situation.} Be7 {
[%emt 0:00:09]} 23. Ke2 {[%emt 0:01:57]} O-O {[%emt 0:02:30]} 24. Nd2 $1 $16 {
[%emt 0:04:54] The knight comes to b3 and the other rook to c1. It looks
really bad for MVL.} Rfc8 {[%emt 0:04:35]} 25. Nb3 {[%emt 0:03:01]} a5 {
[%emt 0:00:17]} 26. a4 $5 {[%emt 0:00:57]} (26. Rhc1 {This is a natural move,
but now the h4-pawn is hanging.} Bxh4 27. Nxc5 Nxc5 28. Bxc5 $14 {White is
surely better as he has won the c5-pawn for the one on h4. However, Svidler
wanted more. He wanted to keep his h-pawn and then win the c5-pawn as well.})
26... bxa3 {[%emt 0:00:19]} 27. bxa3 {[%emt 0:00:08]} a4 {[%emt 0:00:28]} 28.
Nd2 {[%emt 0:03:40]} Nd6 {[%emt 0:02:21]} 29. Rxc5 {[%emt 0:03:13]} Rcb8 {
[%emt 0:00:03] Maxime is creating some threats of penetrating down the b-file.}
30. Rb1 $1 {[%emt 0:00:26]} Rxb1 {[%emt 0:00:12]} 31. Nxb1 {[%emt 0:00:08]}
Bxh4 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 32. Rc6 $6 {[%emt 0:00:57] Peter Svidler did not like
this move. He thought that it gave Black good chances to equalise.} (32. Rc7 $5
{Peter thought this was the better move after the game.}) (32. Nc3 $1 {is the
best. It doesn't create any threats yet, but White is just dominating.} Be7 33.
Rc7 $16 Bf8 34. Bc5 $16 {White has complete control.}) 32... Be7 {[%emt 0:01:
00]} 33. Bc5 {[%emt 0:05:24]} Nb5 $1 {[%emt 0:00:15] This is the move that
Svidler had missed.} 34. Ke3 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Kf8 {[%emt 0:05:38]} 35. Bxe7+ {
[%emt 0:03:49]} Kxe7 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 36. Rb6 {[%emt 0:00:11]} Nd6 {[%emt 0:01:
55]} 37. Nc3 $6 {[%emt 0:00:41] This is one of those moves that you make
naturally. Your knight is on the first rank and you want to develop it.
However, Svidler said after the game that stopping Black's ...h5 was important
and he should have gone g4.} (37. g4 $1 $14) 37... h5 $1 {[%emt 0:00:04] After
this Black has relatively lesser problems.} 38. f4 {[%emt 0:06:36]} (38. Rb4 f6
39. Rxa4 Rxa4 40. Nxa4 Nb5 $11) 38... f6 {[%emt 0:02:58]} 39. Nb5 {[%emt 0:07:
46]} Nxb5 {[%emt 0:01:24]} 40. Rxb5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} h4 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 41.
Rb7+ {[%emt 0:05:50] I have a feeling that White has a small edge here, some
slight pressure, but MVL had already passed the worst and the result would
most probably have been a draw, so the players saved themselves some energy.}
1/2-1/2
[Event "FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "2017.09.16"]
[Round "5.2"]
[White "Ding, Liren"]
[Black "Rapport, Richard"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E18"]
[WhiteElo "2777"]
[BlackElo "2675"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "GEO"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{One of the biggest mistakes, in my opinion, made by Rapport is that he didn't
play for a win or even put the slightest of pressure on Ding Liren with the
white pieces. Now Ding had the white pieces and he wasn't going to take it
easy!} 1. d4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:40]} 2. c4 {[%emt 0:01:19]} e6 {
[%emt 0:00:07]} 3. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:19]} b6 {[%emt 0:00:13]} 4. g3 {[%emt 0:00:
06]} Bb7 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 5. Bg2 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Be7 {[%emt 0:00:16]} 6. O-O {
[%emt 0:00:07]} O-O {[%emt 0:00:04]} 7. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:07]} Ne4 {[%emt 0:00:
06]} 8. Bd2 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Bf6 {[%emt 0:00:04] This is all well known and
has been seen many times and now Ding Liren comes up with a move that has been
played only once before.} 9. Re1 $5 {[%emt 0:00:09] According to the databases
this move has been played only once before between Adamski and Kruszynski.} a6
{[%emt 0:11:43] This is a weird move, the main idea is to make a waiting move,
threaten ...b5 in some instances and also play ...d6 followed by ...Nd7,
without having to worry about Ng5 ideas.} (9... d6 {might have been Rapport's
idea, but it leads to an inferior position after} 10. Ng5 $1 Nxc3 11. Qc2 $16)
10. Ne5 $1 {[%emt 0:16:55] This is a good practical decision, White maintains
slight pressure on the position.} (10. Rc1 {was also possible, but it leads to
normal positions.}) (10. Qc2 Nxd2 11. Qxd2 d6 {[%cal Gb8d7] Followed by ...Nd7
gives Black the bishop pair.}) 10... Nxc3 {[%emt 0:09:05]} 11. Bxc3 {[%emt 0:
00:06]} Bxg2 {[%emt 0:00:21]} 12. Kxg2 {[%emt 0:00:03] White is better
developed. It is a slight edge, but still not so easy to extinguish.} d6 {
[%emt 0:03:48]} 13. Ng4 {[%emt 0:01:57]} Be7 {[%emt 0:01:14]} 14. e4 {[%emt 0:
00:34]} b5 {[%emt 0:06:43] The problem with Rapport is that he can never play
normal chess! He will always try to go for activity.} ({In this position it
could have been better to just finish development with} 14... Nd7 {although
after 15.f4 Black is still worse. But now Ding plays very strong chess.}) 15.
Qe2 {[%emt 0:10:54]} bxc4 {[%emt 0:13:22]} 16. d5 {[%emt 0:01:09]} (16. Qxc4 {
was also possible and perhaps not at all a bad idea, but Ding wanted more.})
16... Qc8 {[%emt 0:05:33]} (16... e5 17. Ne3 $16) 17. e5 $1 {[%emt 0:21:52]
The Chinese player made this move after 22 minutes of thought. He invested a
lot of time in this idea and was able to calculate that he gets a good
position in all lines.} (17. Qxc4 {was also possible.}) 17... exd5 {[%emt 0:04:
22]} (17... Qb7 18. Rad1 $16) (17... dxe5 18. Qxe5 $18) 18. exd6 {[%emt 0:00:
05]} cxd6 $1 {[%emt 0:09:38]} (18... Bxd6 {which looks the most natural is
refuted by a very brilliant little queen move that was seen by Ding.} 19. Qf3
$3 Nd7 (19... Nc6 20. Bxg7 $1 $18) 20. Nh6+ $18) 19. Qxe7 {[%emt 0:08:35]} (19.
Rad1 $16 {was also possible keeping all the advantages intact.}) 19... d4 {
[%emt 0:01:09]} (19... Qxg4 20. Qb7 Nd7 {looks normal but White is better after
} 21. h3 Qf5 (21... Qg5 22. Qxd7 d4 $1 {and now White has to find the only
move to hold the advantage.} 23. Bb4 $1 $18 (23. Bxd4 $2 Qd5+ $17)) 22. g4 {
The knight is lost.} Qg5 (22... Nc5 23. Qxa8 $18 Qd7 24. Qxd5) 23. Qxd7 d4 24.
Bb4 $16) 20. Qe4 $6 {[%emt 0:03:48]} (20. Bxd4 Qxg4 21. Qxd6 Nc6 $1 22. Bc3 $16
{also gives White a very pleasant position.}) 20... Qc6 {[%emt 0:00:22] This
move was missed by Ding. But luckily it spoils nothing. White still has many
ways to keep his advantage.} (20... dxc3 21. Qxa8 cxb2 22. Rab1 c3 (22... Qxg4
23. Rxb2 Nd7 24. Re8) 23. Ne3) 21. Bxd4 {[%emt 0:03:36]} f5 {[%emt 0:01:49]} (
21... Qxe4+ 22. Rxe4 f5 23. Re7 $1 Nc6 (23... Rf7 24. Re8+ Rf8 25. Rxf8+ Kxf8
26. Ne3 $18) 24. Rxg7+ Kh8 25. Rg8+ $1 Kxg8 26. Nh6# {A nice variation
suggested by Surya Sekhar Ganguly on Twitter.}) 22. Qxc6 {[%emt 0:01:13]} Nxc6
{[%emt 0:00:02]} 23. Ne3 {[%emt 0:02:33]} (23. Bxg7 {was also possible, but
Ding decides to keep things simple.}) 23... Nxd4 {[%emt 0:00:16]} 24. Rad1 {
[%emt 0:00:06] White is a pawn down, but all of Black's pawns are weak and
they are soon going to fall one by one.} f4 {[%emt 0:05:37]} 25. Rxd4 {[%emt 0:
01:11]} fxe3 {[%emt 0:00:10]} 26. Rxe3 {[%emt 0:00:02] Such positions are Ding
Liren's forte. As he said after the game, the endgame might not be winning,
but it is extremely unpleasant to play as Black here.} Rab8 {[%emt 0:21:00]}
27. Re2 {[%emt 0:00:06]} c3 {[%emt 0:00:31]} (27... d5 28. Rxd5 $16) 28. bxc3 {
[%emt 0:00:09]} Rb6 {[%emt 0:00:33]} 29. Rb4 $1 {[%emt 0:02:30]} Rxb4 {[%emt 0:
01:58]} 30. cxb4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Rb8 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 31. Rb2 {[%emt 0:01:18]}
Kf7 {[%emt 0:00:20]} 32. Kf3 {[%emt 0:00:55]} Ke6 {[%emt 0:00:35]} 33. Ke4 {
[%emt 0:00:19]} d5+ {[%emt 0:00:31]} 34. Kd3 {[%emt 0:01:15]} Kd6 {[%emt 0:01:
08]} 35. a4 {[%emt 0:00:47]} Rb7 {[%emt 0:02:10]} 36. f4 {[%emt 0:01:05]} h5 {
[%emt 0:01:32]} 37. b5 $1 {[%emt 0:04:34] This move shows good confidence in
your calculation.} (37. Kd4 {was also possible.}) 37... axb5 {[%emt 0:00:32]}
38. axb5 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Kc5 {[%emt 0:00:46]} 39. Rc2+ $1 {[%emt 0:00:06]}
Kxb5 {[%emt 0:00:28]} 40. Kd4 {[%emt 0:00:00] White has given up the pawn, but
cut off his opponent's king.} Rf7 {[%emt 0:00:35]} 41. Kxd5 {[%emt 0:00:55] It
might be a case of premature resignation, but I was quite sure that White
would have been able to convert his advantage.} 1-0
[Event "FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "2017.09.16"]
[Round "5.2"]
[White "So, Wesley"]
[Black "Fedoseev, Vladimir1"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C42"]
[WhiteElo "2810"]
[BlackElo "2731"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "165"]
[EventDate "2017.09.03"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "GEO"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:00] Quintiliano,R} e5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:00]
} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:06] Quintiliano,R: 'The Petroff Defence was present in
almost every round of the World Cup, as its solidity is ideally suited to the
World's Cup format of mini-matches. It was also Wesley's choice in the
previous game of his short encounter with Fedoseev, and that game was a quick
draw.'} 3. Nxe5 {[%emt 0:00:13]} d6 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 4. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:04]}
Nxe4 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 5. d4 {[%emt 0:00:09]} d5 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 6. Bd3 {
[%emt 0:00:04]} Be7 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 7. O-O {[%emt 0:01:17]} Nc6 {[%emt 0:00:
07]} 8. Nbd2 {[%emt 0:02:16] Wesley So saw Anish Giri playing this line and
according to the American, if Anish plays something in the opening you can be
sure that it's solid.} (8. c4 {is the main variation} Nb4 9. Be2 O-O {Anand
has played this variation successfully in past.} 10. Nc3 Bf5 11. a3 Nxc3 12.
bxc3 Nc6 13. Re1 Re8 14. cxd5 Qxd5 15. Bf4 Rac8 16. h3 Be4 17. Qc1 Na5 18. Qe3
Bf8 19. c4 Qd8 20. Ne5 Bf5 21. Qc3 b6 22. Rad1 Qf6 23. Qg3 Nc6 24. Ng4 Qg6 25.
d5 Na5 26. Bxc7 Bc2 27. Rc1 Nb3 28. Rxc2 Qxc2 29. Nh6+ Kh8 {1-0 (45) Anand,V
(2790)-Kramnik,V (2788) Wijk aan Zee 2010}) 8... Bf5 {[%emt 0:00:13]} (8... Nd6
9. c3 Bf5 10. Nb3 O-O 11. Re1 Bxd3 12. Qxd3 a5 13. a4 Ne4 14. Be3 Qc8 15. Ne5
Bd6 16. f3 Nf6 17. Nxc6 bxc6 18. Re2 Re8 19. Rae1 Nd7 20. Bf2 Rxe2 21. Qxe2 Qb7
22. Nc1 Rb8 23. Nd3 Qb3 24. Bg3 h6 25. Bxd6 cxd6 {1/2-1/2 (35) Giri,A (2769)
-Yu Yangyi (2750) Shenzhen CHN 2017}) 9. Re1 {[%emt 0:06:56]} Nxd2 {[%emt 0:00:
11]} 10. Qxd2 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Bxd3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 11. Qxd3 {[%emt 0:00:05]
White has a small edge in this position thanks to the control of the e-file
and some superior development.} O-O {[%emt 0:00:10]} 12. c3 {[%emt 0:09:38]} ({
An instructive top game went} 12. Bf4 {Quintiliano,R} Bd6 13. Bg3 Bxg3 14. hxg3
Qd7 15. Re3 $1 Rfe8 16. Rae1 Rxe3 17. Rxe3 h6 (17... Re8 $2 18. Qf5 $1 {
is a nice trick}) 18. Qb3 Rb8 19. Ne5 Qd6 20. Nxc6 Qxc6 21. c3 a5 22. Qa3 b6
23. Qe7 {Adams,M (2738)-Wang,Y (2737) Baku ol (Men) 42nd 2016 (7.1) 1-0 and
despite the simplifcations, the endgame's practical difficulties proved to be
too much for Black -}) 12... Qd7 {[%emt 0:00:17]} 13. Bf4 {[%emt 0:00:09]} a6 {
[%emt 0:00:06]} 14. Re2 {[%emt 0:06:42] Re3 used to be played earlier and now
it is Re2. I am sure that there is some difference between the two, but not
something very huge.} (14. Re3 Rae8 15. Rae1 Bd8 16. h3 Rxe3 17. Rxe3 f6 18.
Re2 Rf7 19. Nd2 Be7 20. Nf1 Bf8 21. Qf3 Re7 22. Ne3 Nd8 23. Bxc7 Qxc7 24. Nxd5
Qd6 25. Nxe7+ Bxe7 26. Qe4 Bf8 27. Qe8 g6 28. a4 Kg7 29. b4 Qc7 30. Re3 Nf7 31.
Qe6 Qd8 32. a5 h5 33. Qe4 Qd7 34. Qe6 Qd8 35. Kf1 Nh6 36. g4 hxg4 37. hxg4 Nf7
38. Ke2 Ng5 39. Qb6 Qd7 40. Kd3 Bd6 41. Kc2 {1/2-1/2 (41) Kasparov,G (2625)
-Karpov,A (2690) Moscow 1981}) 14... Rae8 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 15. Rae1 {[%emt 0:
00:07]} Bd8 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 16. Nd2 {[%emt 0:05:37]} ({Fedoseev was tested in
this line once again very soon after the World Cup and this time he was
prepared.} 16. h3 Rxe2 17. Qxe2 f6 18. Nd2 a5 19. Qb5 Ne5 20. Qxd7 {1/2-1/2
(20) Jakovenko,D (2710)-Fedoseev,V (2733) Sochi 2017}) 16... Rxe2 {[%emt 0:00:
06]} 17. Qxe2 {[%emt 0:00:05]} a5 {[%emt 0:00:08] Fedoseev was playing his
moves extremely fast and it seemed as if he was very well prepared. As Wesley
said after the game that he was thinking that a draw would most likely happen
and he would have to prepare for the tiebreaks.} 18. Nb3 {[%emt 0:11:57]} (18.
Nf3 f6 19. h4 {was another way to go but after} Rf7 {with the idea of ...Re7,
it should be even.}) 18... b6 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 19. Nc1 {[%emt 0:00:12]} f6 {
[%emt 0:00:07]} 20. a4 {[%emt 0:05:13]} Ne7 $1 {[%emt 0:06:21]} (20... Rf7 21.
Qb5 {White has some pressure.}) 21. Nd3 {[%emt 0:08:27]} g5 {[%emt 0:01:08] An
aggressive approach by Fedoseev} (21... Ng6 22. Bg3 Rf7 $1 {would have been
the best way to kill the game - shake hands and go back home.}) (21... Qxa4 22.
Bxc7 $5 (22. Qe6+ Rf7 (22... Kh8 23. Bxc7 $16) 23. Bg3 $13) 22... Bxc7 23. Qxe7
$14) 22. Bc1 {[%emt 0:03:54]} Ng6 {[%emt 0:06:24]} (22... Qxa4 $2 {
(Quintiliano,R) would show some problems in Black's position} 23. h4 $1 h6 24.
hxg5 hxg5 25. f4 $1 $40) 23. b3 {[%emt 0:10:23]} Be7 $2 {[%emt 0:01:05] After
this move, Wesley takes over and is able to put tremendous pressure on
Fedoseev.} (23... Rf7 $11 {Once again, it's this same idea of ...Rf7-e7 that
gives Black the equality.}) 24. h4 $3 {[%emt 0:03:47] Taking advantage of the
knight being overloaded on g6. Quintiliano,R: 'The most important thing in
this game, besides the excellent technique displayed by White from now, is how
he sensed the opportunity after Black's mistake, calculated with precision and
forced a clearly better endgame. It is a wonderful example of tactics and
calculation supporting strategy and positional feeling.'} gxh4 {[%emt 0:06:33]}
(24... Rf7 {Quintiliano,R} 25. h5 Nf8 26. f4 $1 h6 27. fxg5 hxg5 28. Nf2 {
[%cal Gf2g4]} f5 29. Nd3 $1 $16 {[%cal Gd3e5]}) 25. Nf4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Rf7 {
[%emt 0:22:48] This move arrives but a bit late now in this position. White
has a definite edge.} (25... Nxf4 {Quintiliano,R} 26. Qxe7 Qg4 27. Bxf4 Qxf4
28. Qd7 $1 $16 {[%csl Yd5][%cal Ge1e7] also looks very dangerous for Black.})
26. Qe6 {[%emt 0:08:30] A good practical decision. After this point, only two
results are possible - White wins or draw.} (26. Qh5 {was another option} Nxf4
27. Bxf4 Bd6 28. Bxd6 Qxd6 29. Re8+ Rf8 30. Qg4+ Kh8 31. Re3 Rf7 32. Qxh4 $14)
26... Qxe6 {[%emt 0:01:43]} 27. Rxe6 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Nxf4 {[%emt 0:01:32]} (
27... Nf8 {Quintiliano,R} 28. Rc6 {[%cal Yf4d5]} Bd6 29. Nxd5 Ng6 (29... Ne6
30. Nxc7 $1) 30. Rc4 $16) 28. Bxf4 {[%emt 0:00:03]} Bd8 {[%emt 0:00:50]} 29. b4
$1 {[%emt 0:00:19] Black cannot take as White would get an outside a-passer.
But if he doesn't then his a5-pawn would be weak.} Kg7 {[%emt 0:08:07]} (29...
axb4 30. cxb4 $16 {[%cal Ga4a8]} Kg7 {Quintiliano,R} 31. Rc6 $1 {[%cal Ya4a5]
now the distant passed pawn decides the game} Be7 32. a5 $1 Bxb4 33. a6 Rf8 34.
Bxc7 Ra8 35. Rxb6 Ba5 36. Rb7 Bxc7 37. Rxc7+ Kg6 38. a7 $18) 30. bxa5 {[%emt 0:
03:34]} bxa5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 31. Ra6 {[%emt 0:00:03]} c6 {[%emt 0:00:13]
Quintiliano,R: 'The lesser evil, at least Black avoid the immediate disaster. '
} 32. Rxc6 {[%emt 0:00:04] The material is even and effectively White is a
pawn up because the h-pawns are doubled.} Kg6 {[%emt 0:00:48]} 33. Rc5 {
[%emt 0:03:18]} Rd7 {[%emt 0:05:58] Now the slow grind begins. White has the
better pawn structure, much more active rooks, active bishop and he is clearly
better.} 34. f3 {[%emt 0:02:43]} Kf5 {[%emt 0:00:12]} 35. Bd2 {[%emt 0:02:16]}
Ke6 {[%emt 0:00:25]} 36. Rc6+ {[%emt 0:00:43]} Kf5 {[%emt 0:02:29]} (36... Ke7
37. Be1 h3 38. Bh4 (38. gxh3) 38... Rb7 39. Rxf6 Rb1+ 40. Kh2 Ke8 41. Rh6 hxg2
42. Kxg2 Bxh4 43. Rxh4 Rb3 $16 {Rook endgames are always notorious for their
drawing tendencies.}) 37. Be1 {[%emt 0:02:32]} Kg5 {[%emt 0:00:24]} 38. Rc5 {
[%emt 0:02:45]} f5 {[%emt 0:04:52] Quintiliano,R: 'A new and necessary
concession.'} (38... h6 {Quintiliano,R} 39. c4 $1 Bb6 40. Rxd5+ Rxd5 41. cxd5
Bxd4+ 42. Bf2 Be5 (42... Bxf2+ 43. Kxf2 Kf5 44. f4 $18) 43. Bb6 $18) 39. Kh2 {
[%emt 0:01:19][%csl Gh3] I like this move, it covers the important possibility
of an h3-break and also Black's ambition of getting his king in White's camp
via Kf4-e3 is also stopped as Bd2 is a quick checkmate.} Kh5 {[%emt 0:07:31]}
40. Bf2 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rd6 {[%emt 0:05:34]} 41. Be3 {[%emt 0:14:29]} Bb6 {
[%emt 0:08:05]} 42. Rb5 {[%emt 0:00:21]} Bd8 {[%emt 0:02:36]} 43. Bf4 {[%emt 0:
03:51]} Rd7 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 44. Be5 {[%emt 0:02:07] White has improved his
bishop's position.} Kg5 {[%emt 0:01:03]} 45. Rc5 {[%emt 0:01:38]} f4 $6 {
[%emt 0:02:42] As Wesley said after the game, he was very happy to see his
opponent pushing this pawn on to a dark square. It only meant that if the
players ever went into a bishop endgame, it would be completely lost for Black.
} ({Black should have opted for waiting strategy with} 45... Kg6 46. Kh3 Kg5 {
White has a clear advantage, maybe close to winning, but he has to find the
way to break Black's position.} (46... Kh5 {Quintiliano,R} 47. Rc6 $1 {Black
is running out of moves and falls into a sort of zugzwang} h6 48. Kh2 Kg5 49.
f4+ Kh5 50. Ra6 $22 Rb7 51. Rd6 $18)) 46. Rc6 {[%emt 0:01:39]} Kf5 {[%emt 0:00:
19]} 47. Ra6 {[%emt 0:01:20][%csl Ra5,Rc7][%cal Ge5c7] Now Black's bishop and
rook are tied to the defence of his weak a5- and d5-pawns, White's bishop
controls the vital c7-square which stops Black's counterplay on the c-file.}
Kg5 {[%emt 0:00:52]} 48. Kh3 {[%emt 0:01:10]} Kf5 {[%emt 0:00:23]} 49. Rc6 {
[%emt 0:03:42]} Kg5 {[%emt 0:01:09]} 50. Re6 {[%emt 0:01:34]} (50. Rc5 Kf5 51.
Rb5 {This is some kind of zugzwang for Black.} h5 (51... Kg5 52. Bb8 Kf5 53. c4
$18) 52. Bb8 Ke6 (52... Kg5 53. c4) 53. Bxf4 Ra7 54. Be5 $18) 50... Be7 {
[%emt 0:00:47]} 51. Rc6 {[%emt 0:02:01]} Bd8 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 52. Bd6 {[%emt 0:
00:53]} Kf5 {[%emt 0:07:47]} 53. Kh2 {[%emt 0:01:52]} Rg7 {[%emt 0:07:51]} 54.
Be5 {[%emt 0:01:07]} Rd7 {[%emt 0:01:36]} 55. Rd6 {[%emt 0:01:53] Wesley makes
a big decision here of exchanging rooks. He has made sure that the ensuing
bishop endgame is completely winning for him.} Rxd6 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 56. Bxd6 {
[%emt 0:00:01]} Kg5 {[%emt 0:00:12]} 57. Kg1 {[%emt 0:00:59]} Kf5 {[%emt 0:00:
40]} 58. Kf2 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Kg5 {[%emt 0:01:28]} 59. Kf1 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Kf5
{[%emt 0:04:26]} 60. Ba3 {[%emt 0:00:10] Wesley puts his bishop on the c1-h6
diagonal.} Ke6 {[%emt 0:07:30]} 61. Ke2 {[%emt 0:00:16]} Kf5 {[%emt 0:02:10]}
62. Bc1 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Kg5 {[%emt 0:01:14]} 63. Kf1 {[%emt 0:00:05]} (63. Kd3
$2 {would have been a mistake as Black will get a break-through with} h3 $1 64.
gxh3 Kh4 65. Bxf4 h5 66. c4 dxc4+ 67. Kxc4 Kxh3 $11) 63... Bc7 {[%emt 0:00:27]}
64. Bd2 {[%emt 0:00:11]} Bd8 {[%emt 0:00:28]} 65. Be1 {[%emt 0:00:04] Once the
bishop comes to e1, the white king can move without any worries, as the ...h3
gxh3 break gives him access to the black king.} Kf5 {[%emt 0:00:46]} 66. Ke2 {
[%emt 0:00:02]} Ke6 {[%emt 0:00:14]} 67. Kd3 {[%emt 0:00:12]} Kd7 {[%emt 0:00:
15]} 68. c4 {[%emt 0:00:17][%csl Ga5,Gf4,Gh4] White creates a passed pawn.} Kc6
{[%emt 0:00:20] Quintiliano,R: 'The simple way to win such endgames is
overload the opponent's bishop, which is always having a difficult time
protecting more than one pawn. So the zugzwang will mark Fedoseev's fate and
Wesley executes it in textbook style.'} (68... Ke6 $5 69. Bc3 Bc7 70. Bd2 h6
71. Bc1 Bd6 72. Kc3 Bc7 73. Bd2 Bd6 74. Kd3 Bc7 75. Bc3 Bd8 76. Be1 Kd6 77. Bd2
$18) 69. Bc3 {[%emt 0:00:12]} Bb6 {[%emt 0:04:11]} 70. Bb2 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Bd8
{[%emt 0:00:53]} 71. Bc1 {[%emt 0:01:02]} Bc7 {[%emt 0:00:45]} 72. Bd2 {
[%emt 0:00:04] Zugzwang. It's really beautiful to see how Wesley plays waiting
moves and puts his opponent in a helpless situation. For a dynamic player like
Fedoseev this is a nightmare.} h5 {[%emt 0:00:39]} 73. Bc3 {[%emt 0:00:13]} Bb6
{[%emt 0:01:16]} 74. Bb2 {[%emt 0:00:18]} Bc7 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 75. Ba3 {
[%emt 0:00:15]} Bd8 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 76. Bf8 {[%emt 0:00:07]} Bg5 {[%emt 0:03:
34]} 77. Bg7 {[%emt 0:00:10] Black's bishop is tied up now!} Kd6 {[%emt 0:00:
03]} 78. Be5+ {[%emt 0:00:06] Once again White's bishop arrives on e5 with
great effect.} Kc6 {[%emt 0:00:05]} (78... Ke6 79. Bc7 $18 {[%csl Ra5]}) 79.
Kc3 $1 {[%emt 0:00:08] Zugzwang} Bh6 {[%emt 0:01:01]} 80. Bf6 {[%emt 0:00:06]}
Bf8 {[%emt 0:00:23]} 81. Kd3 {[%emt 0:00:08]} h3 {[%emt 0:00:58]} 82. gxh3 {
[%emt 0:00:04]} Bd6 {[%emt 0:00:10]} 83. Be5 {[%emt 0:01:33] ...and the
f4-pawn falls and with it the game, Wesley played a really good endgame.} 1-0
[Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.01"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A08"]
[WhiteElo "2781"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "ChessBase"]
[PlyCount "87"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "playchess.com"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
[TimeControl "40/6000+30:3600+30"]
1. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:40]} 2. g3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} d5 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} 3. Bg2 {[%emt 0:00:30]} c5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 4. O-O {[%emt 0:00:
30]} g6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 5. d4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} cxd4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 6. Nxd4 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} Bg7 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 7. Nb3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Nc6 {[%emt 0:03:
09]} 8. Nc3 {[%emt 0:01:31]} e6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 9. e4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} d4 {
[%emt 0:03:51]} 10. Na4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} (10. Ne2 e5 11. f4 Qb6 12. Kh1 Ng4 13.
h3 h5 {0-1 (45) Seirawan,Y (2600)-Ljubojevic,L (2610) Roquebrune 1992}) 10...
O-O {[%emt 0:04:36]} 11. c3 {[%emt 0:01:29]} dxc3 {[%emt 0:03:47]} 12. Nxc3 {
[%emt 0:02:13]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 13. Be3 {[%emt 0:06:57]} Bg4 {[%emt 0:08:
09]} (13... b6) 14. f3 {[%emt 0:03:49]} Be6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 15. Nc5 {[%emt 0:
00:35]} Qe7 {[%emt 0:00:44]} (15... Bc4 16. Rf2 b6 17. Qa4) 16. Nxe6 {[%emt 0:
00:55]} Qxe6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 17. Qd2 {[%emt 0:06:14]} Rfd8 {[%emt 0:10:25]}
18. Qf2 {[%emt 0:00:36]} Bf8 {[%emt 0:00:55]} 19. h3 {[%emt 0:06:34]} (19. Rfd1
) 19... Bb4 {[%emt 0:02:52]} 20. Rac1 {[%emt 0:06:51]} Rd3 {[%emt 0:05:29]} 21.
Rfd1 {[%emt 0:00:45]} Rad8 {[%emt 0:02:11]} 22. Rxd3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Rxd3 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} 23. Bf1 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Rd8 {[%emt 0:03:02]} 24. a3 {[%emt 0:
04:20]} Be7 {[%emt 0:04:59]} 25. g4 {[%emt 0:04:06]} (25. Kg2 Kg7 (25... a6 26.
Rd1 (26. Na4 b5 27. Nc5 Bxc5 28. Rxc5) (26. Nb1) 26... Rxd1 27. Nxd1 Qb3 28.
Qd2) 26. Nb5 a6 27. Bc4 Qd7 28. Nc3) (25. Bxa7 Nxa7 26. Qxa7 Rd2) 25... Kg7 {
[%emt 0:07:20]} 26. Kh2 {[%emt 0:19:31]} h6 {[%emt 0:07:42]} 27. h4 {[%emt 0:
06:33]} Nd4 {[%emt 0:01:26]} 28. g5 {[%emt 0:10:20]} (28. Kg2) 28... hxg5 {
[%emt 0:01:57]} 29. hxg5 {[%emt 0:01:28]} Nh7 {[%emt 0:18:41]} (29... Nh5 30.
Nd5) (29... Rh8+ $2 30. Kg1 Nh7 31. Bxd4 exd4 32. Qxd4+) (29... Ng4+ $2 30.
fxg4 Qxg4 31. Qg3 $18) 30. Bh3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} (30. Qg3 Nxg5 $19) (30. f4 Qg4
31. Bg2 Rh8 32. Kg1 Ne6 $15) 30... Qb3 {[%emt 0:01:08]} 31. f4 {[%emt 0:00:30]}
Nc6 {[%emt 0:01:13]} 32. Nd5 {[%emt 0:14:48]} (32. Rg1 exf4 33. Bxf4 Bxa3 34.
bxa3 Qxc3 $17) 32... exf4 {[%emt 0:02:27]} 33. Bxf4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Bxg5 {
[%emt 0:04:37]} (33... Nxg5 $1 34. Rc3 Qd1 35. Nxe7 Nxe4 36. Qc2 Nxc3 37. Qxc3+
Nd4 $17) 34. Bxg5 {[%emt 0:01:01]} Nxg5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 35. Qf6+ {[%emt 0:00:
30]} Kh6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 36. Bg2 $6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} (36. Rc3 Qd1 37. Qf4 $11
Ne5 38. Qxe5 Nf3+ 39. Rxf3 Qxf3 $11) 36... Nh7 {[%emt 0:01:55]} 37. Qxf7 {
[%emt 0:07:09]} Rf8 {[%emt 0:00:56]} 38. Qc7 {[%emt 0:00:37]} (38. Rc3 Qxc3 39.
Qxf8+ Nxf8 40. Nxc3 $11) 38... Qxb2 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 39. Rh1 {[%emt 0:00:30]}
Qf2 {[%emt 0:00:30]} (39... Qe5+ $2 40. Kg1+ Kg5 41. Qxe5+ Nxe5 42. Rxh7 $18)
40. Kh3 $2 {[%emt 0:01:05]} (40. Rf1 Qh4+ 41. Kg1 $11) 40... Rf7 {[%emt 1:01:
24]} 41. Qg3 {[%emt 1:00:30]} Qb2 {[%emt 0:04:50]} (41... Kg7 $1 42. Qc3+ (42.
Qxf2 Rxf2 43. Rb1 Rf7 $17 (43... Nd8)) 42... Kg8 $19) 42. Ne3 {[%emt 0:00:00]}
(42. Kg4+ Kg7) 42... Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} (42... Ng5+ 43. Kg4+ Kg7 44. Kxg5
Qf6+ 45. Kg4 Rf8 (45... Ne5+ 46. Kh3 Kf8 47. Kh2) 46. Qc7+ Rf7 47. Qg3 Rf8 48.
Qc7+ Rf7 $11) (42... Ne5 43. Qxe5 Qxe5 44. Ng4+ $18) 43. Bf3 {[%emt 0:00:00]}
Kh7 {[%emt 0:00:00]} (43... Kg7 44. Nf5+ Kf8 45. Qd6+ Ne7 (45... Ke8 $2 46. Kg3
{[%cal Gh1h8]}) 46. Qd8+ Ne8 47. Nd4 Rh7+ 48. Kg4 Rxh1 49. Bxh1 $11) (43... Ne5
44. Rh2 Qa1 45. Nf5+ gxf5 $2 (45... Kh7 $1 46. Kg2+ Kg8 47. Nh6+ Kg7 48. Nxf7
Qa2+ $11) 46. Kg2+ Nh5 47. Rxh5#) 44. Nf5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} (44. Nf5 gxf5 (44...
Qxa3 45. Kg2+ Nh5 46. Qg5 Qb2+ 47. Kg1 Qa1+ 48. Kg2 Qb2+ $11) 45. Rh2 Qxh2+ (
45... Qc1 46. Kg2+ Qh6 47. Rxh6+ Kxh6 48. Qf4+ Kg7 49. exf5 $18) 46. Kxh2 Nxe4
47. Qh4+ Kg7 48. Bxe4 fxe4 49. Qxe4 $11) 1/2-1/2
[Event "chess.com IoM Masters"]
[Site "Douglas"]
[Date "2017.09.25"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Mekhitarian, Krikor Sevag"]
[Black "Rodshtein, Maxim"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B17"]
[WhiteElo "2534"]
[BlackElo "2695"]
[Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 {The Smyslov Variation - played so
many times by the great world champion Anatoly Karpov. My opponent has a very
classical and solid style, I wasn't surprised he chose this line, aiming for a
long game} 5. Nf3 Ngf6 6. Nxf6+ Nxf6 7. c3 $5 {A modest line, trying to get
the bishop pair and a slight advantage.} Bg4 (7... Bf5 {is risky} 8. Ne5 e6 $2
9. g4 $1 Bg6 10. h4 $16 {with problems for Black.}) 8. h3 Bxf3 9. Qxf3 g6 (9...
e6 {I had one game in mind in this piece formation and pawn structure, that
made me alert going into the position in the game} 10. g3 a5 11. a4 g6 12. Bg2
Bg7 13. O-O O-O 14. Re1 Re8 15. h4 Rc8 16. Bg5 h6 17. Bd2 Rc7 {White is
supposed to have a small edge in the open position with the bishop pair, but I
remembered that Ivanchuk's play was very convincing, doubling on the d-file,
playing ...Nd5 provoking the c4-advance, and at some point advancing the
queenside with ...b5.} 18. Rad1 Rd7 19. Bc1 Qb6 20. Rd2 h5 21. Bh3 Qb3 $1 22.
Qd1 Qxd1 23. Rdxd1 Nd5 24. Bg5 b5 $1 {of course White can improve his play at
so many moments, but I knew that this could be strategically dangerous
sometimes} 25. axb5 (25. Ra1 b4 $1 $15) 25... cxb5 26. Ra1 a4 {Black has a lot
of freedom to press on the queenside now} 27. Bd2 Rc7 28. Bf1 Rb8 29. Bg2 Rd8 {
whenever White takes on d5 to decrease the pressure, then the d2-bishop is
clearly worse than its counterpart on g7} 30. Bf1 b4 31. Rxa4 (31. c4 $1 {
was forced to keep the balance} Nb6 32. Bxb4 Nxc4 33. Rec1 $1 Rdc8 34. Rxa4
Bxd4 35. Ba3 $11 {and White equalises}) 31... bxc3 32. bxc3 Nxc3 33. Bxc3 Rxc3
34. Rd1 $17 {0-1 (97) Alekseev,E (2659)-Ivanchuk,V (2768) Khanty-Mansiysk 2011,
with a very passive endgame to come.}) 10. Bc4 Bg7 11. O-O O-O 12. a4 $5 (12.
Re1 Qd7 13. Bg5 Rae8 14. Re2 Nd5 15. Rae1 $14 {½-½ (43) Poetsch,H (2500)
-Burmakin,V (2578) Schwaebisch Gmuend 2015, was another plan I had in mind,
but I wasn't truly comfortable with Black playing ...e6 and then ...b5-a5-a4
(because of the Alekseev-Ivanchuk game). Perhaps I was too impressed with that
game?}) 12... Qd7 13. Bg5 Nd5 14. a5 {I wasn't sure if this is good for me,
since it allows ...b5 right away, but again I thought that I shouldn't allow
Black's ...a5.} (14. h4 $5 {could have been better, as I played later in the
game} h5 $6 {looks logical, but could be problematic} 15. Rfe1 e6 $2 16. g4 $1
$16 {White is ready for a kingside assault.}) 14... b5 15. axb6 (15. Bb3 $5 {
was more ambitious, sticking to te h4-plan, without opening the queenside for
exchanges:} e6 16. h4 $13) 15... axb6 16. h4 (16. Rad1 $5 {could have been
better right away.}) 16... e6 (16... h5 {was the move I expected} 17. Rae1 e6
18. g4 (18. Bb3 $5) 18... hxg4 19. Qxg4 Ra5 $1 $13 20. h5 $2 Nf6 $3 {a very
nice trick} 21. Bxf6 Bxf6 $17 {now h5 falls, because of the ...Rg5 threat.})
17. h5 {This move creates a small imbalance, that I thought to be profitable
for me. After all is said and done, that's not really true, Black doesn't have
a problem playing h6-g5, and at the same time, my bishop loses a good square
on g5.} h6 18. Bd2 g5 19. Bb3 Rfd8 (19... Rxa1 20. Rxa1 c5 $1 {equalised right
away} 21. dxc5 bxc5 22. Bc1 Rb8 23. Bc2 $11 {during the game I thought this
was good for White, but there is nothing going on after ...Qc7, for example.})
20. Rad1 $1 {Keeping more pieces to create a possible kingside attack. The
rook on a8 doesn't have a way into White's position.} Qc7 21. Qe2 b5 (21... c5
$5 22. dxc5 bxc5 23. Bc1 $11 {similar to 19...Rxa1.}) 22. f4 (22. Bxd5 {
was my initial idea, then I realised that it isn't so good} Rxd5 23. f4 c5 $1
24. fxg5 hxg5 25. dxc5 Qxc5+ 26. Be3 Re5 $1 $11 {I analysed this, being scared
I could be worse, because of my weak king. The computer evaluates this as
equal somehow.}) 22... Nxf4 (22... gxf4 23. Bxd5 {now it is different, because
Black already went for ...gxf4, and didn't have time to begin counterplay with
...c5} Rxd5 24. Bxf4 (24. Rxf4 $6 e5 $1 25. Rg4 Kh8 $132) 24... Qa7 $1 $13 {
preparing either ...e5 or ...c5.}) 23. Bxf4 gxf4 24. Qe4 e5 {Leading to a
drawn endgame.} (24... c5 $1 25. Rxf4 $1 {threatening Rxf7:} Ra6 $1 {I missed
this 'slow' idea. Now I have problems on d4, and generally my king is weaker
than his} 26. Rdf1 Rd7 $1 27. Rg4 cxd4 28. cxd4 Kh8 $1 $132 {with complex play.
}) 25. dxe5 Qxe5 (25... Rxd1 26. Rxd1 Qxe5 27. Qxc6 Re8 28. Qd5 $11 {I was
slightly scared about this position, since my king is weaker, but it should be
ok for White - there is always counterplay on f7.}) (25... Bxe5 26. Rde1 (26.
Qf5 $5 {I thought about something like this as well}) 26... Re8 27. Qf5 Bg7 28.
Rxe8+ Rxe8 29. Rxf4 Re1+ 30. Rf1 $11) 26. Rxd8+ Rxd8 27. Qxf4 Qxf4 28. Rxf4 {
The rest is simple.} Rd7 $11 29. Rf5 Bf8 30. Kf1 Kg7 31. Ke2 Bd6 32. c4 1/2-1/2
[Event "chess.com IoM Masters"]
[Site "Douglas"]
[Date "2017.09.25"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Sargissian, Gabriel"]
[Black "Krishna, CRG."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A85"]
[WhiteElo "2652"]
[BlackElo "2367"]
[Annotator "Meulders,R"]
[PlyCount "105"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 d6 4. Nf3 g6 5. e3 Bg7 6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O c6 8. b4 Qc7
{White has chosen a very modest setup for which I have not been able to find
any examples at a higher level. Black's position is quite solid . the idea of
putting the queen on c7 to prepare for ...e5 is well-known in Old-Indian
positions.} (8... Qe8 9. Bb2 e5 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. Qb3 Kh8 12. Rad1 Nbd7 13. h3
e4 14. Nd4 Ne5 15. Ba3 $14) 9. Bb2 e5 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. e4 fxe4 12. Ng5 Bf5 13.
g4 Qc8 $6 {A fearless decision, probably according to the principle that
against a much higher rated player there is not much to lose.} (13... Bc8 $11)
(13... Bh6 14. h4 Rd8 15. Qb3 Bxg5 16. hxg5 Nxg4 17. c5+ Kf8 18. Nxe4 Bxe4 19.
Bxg4 Qf7 20. Bxe5 Qxb3 21. axb3 Na6 22. Bd6+ Kg7 23. Rfe1 $16) 14. gxf5 Qxf5
15. Bc1 h6 16. Ncxe4 hxg5 17. Nd6 Qe6 18. Bxg5 $2 $14 (18. Nxb7 $1) 18... Na6 (
18... Nbd7 19. Qd2 a5 20. bxa5 Nc5 21. Be3 Nce4 22. Nxe4 Nxe4 23. Qb4 $14) 19.
Rb1 (19. a3 e4 20. Nxb7 Nh7 21. Bg4 Qxc4 22. Be7 Bxa1 23. Na5 Qd5 24. Bxf8 Rxf8
25. Qxa1 Qg5 26. h3 $16) 19... Rad8 (19... c5 $2 20. Bxf6 Bxf6 21. bxc5 $16
Rab8 (21... Nxc5 $4 22. Bg4 $18) 22. Bg4 $16) 20. c5 $16 Nc7 (20... Qxa2 $6 21.
Bxf6 Rxf6 22. Bc4+ Qxc4 23. Nxc4 Rxd1 24. Rfxd1 Rf4 25. Rd8+ Kh7 26. Nd6 Nxb4
27. Rd7 $18) 21. Rb3 $2 {I think this is where White misses his big chance.} (
21. Bc4 $1 Ncd5 22. Nxb7 Rd7 23. Nd6 $16) 21... Ncd5 22. Nxb7 Rb8 23. Nd6 Rxb4
24. Rxb4 Nxb4 25. Bxf6 $6 {White would probably have liked to hang on to the
two bishops, but even so Black seems to have enough counterplay.} (25. f3 Kh7
26. a3 Nbd5 27. Qa4 Nf4 28. Bc4 N6d5 29. Qxc6 Qh3 30. Bxf4 Nxf4 31. Rf2 Qh6 32.
Bf1 e4 33. Nxe4 Bd4 34. Qd7+) 25... Rxf6 26. Bc4 Nd5 27. Re1 Rf4 $11 28. Re4
Bf8 29. Qe2 Rxe4 30. Nxe4 Kg7 31. Qf3 Be7 32. Nc3 Bxc5 33. Bxd5 cxd5 34. Nxd5
Bd4 35. Kf1 e4 36. Qb3 Qf7 37. Ne3 Qf3 38. Ke1 Qh1+ 39. Nf1 Qg2 40. Qg3 Qxg3
41. Nxg3 Be5 42. Ke2 Bf4 43. h3 Bxg3 44. fxg3 Kf6 45. a4 a5 46. Kd2 Ke6 47. Kd1
Kd6 48. Ke2 Kd5 49. Ke1 (49. h4 Ke6 50. g4 Kd6 51. Ke3 Ke5 52. h5 gxh5 53. gxh5
Kf5 54. h6 $18) 49... Ke5 50. Kd2 Ke6 51. Kc1 Kd5 52. Kc2 Ke5 53. Kd2 1/2-1/2
[Event "chess.com IoM Masters"]
[Site "Douglas"]
[Date "2017.09.26"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Howell, David"]
[Black "Mekhitarian, Krikor Sevag"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B22"]
[WhiteElo "2701"]
[BlackElo "2534"]
[Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 c5 2. c3 {David Howell was a very tough opponent to prepare against - he
played many different openings and somehow I wasn't expecting 1.e4 and
definitely not the Alapin Variation, that he had played a lot in the past.
After this small surprise, I chose to play an old line I trusted.} Nf6 3. e5
Nd5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Bc4 Nb6 6. Bb3 c4 7. Bc2 d5 ({I had bad experiences in the
past in this main line, judging it to be too dangerous after for example:} 7...
Qc7 8. O-O $5 Nxe5 9. Nxe5 Qxe5 10. Re1 Qc7 11. a4 $1 d5 12. Na3 a6 13. a5 Nd7
14. d3 $44 {1-0 (44) Jones,G (2667)-Rowson,J (2565) London 2016, with a very
strong initiative and compensation for the sacrificed pawn.}) 8. exd6 e5 9. O-O
Be6 {The idea is to wait for White to define whether he is taking with the
queen or with the bishop on d3 (after the move d4). On the other hand, I
remembered that White had some strong move on the queenside that could give me
problems, and also that I had to be watching the annoying ...Ng5 all the time.}
(9... Bxd6 {is a fine move, but I had an impression that White obtains an
initiative somehow} 10. d3 cxd3 11. Qxd3 Be6 {this is similar to White's 10th
move analysis} 12. Rd1 (12. Re1 {-- 10.Re1}) (12. Bb3 Qe7 13. Re1 Bxb3 14. axb3
O-O {followed by ...f5, Black is doing fine} 15. Na3 f5 (15... Bxa3 $5 16. bxa3
f5 $36) 16. Nc4 Nxc4 17. Qxc4+ Kh8 18. Bg5 Qf7 (18... Qc7 $11) 19. Qxf7 Rxf7
20. b4 e4 $11 {with a balanced endgame: 1/2-1/2 (41) Adams,M (2740)-Wojtaszek,
R (2733) Biel 2015}) 12... Be7 13. Qe2 Qc7 14. a4 O-O 15. Ng5 (15. a5 Nc4 16.
a6 Rfd8 17. axb7 Rxd1+ 18. Bxd1 Qxb7 $11) 15... Bxg5 16. Bxg5 f5 17. a5 Nd5 18.
a6 h6 19. Bc1 b6 $13 {1-0 (63) Gara,A (2354)-Muzychuk,A (2587) Riga 2017, with
an unbalanced position, Black has potential in the centre, but has to watch
White's bishop pair.}) 10. a4 $1 {There it is! Found over the board by my
opponent, after a long think. This typical Alapin move threatening a5 is
usually a problem, because if Black plays ...a5 avoiding it, then the knight
becomes loose and b5 could be a juicy square for that b1-knight.} (10. Re1 Bxd6
11. d4 cxd3 12. Qxd3 h6 {followed by ...Bc7, trying to exchange queens, Black
is fine. The advantage I remembered from my old preparation, is that White had
already chosen Re1 (and I thought Rd1 was an annoying move).}) (10. d4 cxd3 11.
Bxd3 (11. Qxd3 Qxd6 {trying to exchange queens - the endgame is fine for Black
with this strong pawn on e5} 12. Qxd6 Bxd6 13. Nbd2 f6 14. b3 O-O-O 15. Bb2 Be7
$15 {0-1 (51) Potapov,P (2497)-Kovalev,V (2629) Minsk 2017}) 11... Qxd6 12. Qc2
(12. Ng5 Bd5 $11 {followed by ...Rd8}) 12... Rd8 13. Be4 Bd5 14. Re1 Bxe4 15.
Qxe4 f6 16. Nbd2 g6 17. Nc4 Nxc4 18. Qxc4 Qd5 19. Qxd5 Rxd5 20. Be3 Kf7 $15 {
0-1 (63) Pavasovic,D (2568)-Fier,A (2588) Khanty-Mansiysk 2010, and Black is
doing fine again.}) 10... Bxd6 (10... Qxd6 11. Ng5 $1 Bd5 12. a5 Nd7 13. d3
cxd3 14. Qxd3 $14) (10... a6 11. a5 Nd7 12. d4 cxd3 13. Qxd3 Nc5 14. Qe2 Bxd6 {
White has a dangerous initiative on the kingside with Ng5 right now, or even
moves like Nbd2 followed by Nc4.} 15. Rd1 (15. Ng5 $5 $16 {looks very strong})
(15. Nbd2 $5 $16) 15... Qc7 (15... Nb3 $1 $13 {was very good to complicate
matters}) 16. b4 $2 (16. Nbd2 $1 $16 {and Nc4}) 16... Nb3 17. Bxb3 Bxb3 18. Re1
O-O $11 {0-1 (52) Roberson,P (2397)-Bitalzadeh,A (2383) chess.com INT 2017}) (
10... a5 11. b3 $1 {is very problematic for Black} (11. Na3 $5 Bxd6 12. Nb5 Bb8
13. d4 cxd3 14. Bxd3 h6 15. Re1 O-O 16. Qc2 $14) 11... Bxd6 12. bxc4 Bxc4 13.
Re1 O-O 14. Na3 Bd5 15. Nb5 Bb8 16. d3 Re8 17. Rb1 $16) 11. a5 Nd7 12. d4 cxd3
13. Qxd3 Be7 14. a6 $1 {My knight on c6 will feel very loose without the
b7-pawn.} b6 (14... bxa6 15. Qxa6 Rc8 16. Rd1 O-O 17. Be3 Qc7 18. Na3 $16 {
looks very good for White also.}) 15. Re1 $6 (15. Na3 $1 {was more important
right away, Re1 is not necessarily good, since the e-pawn is safe} Bxa3 16.
Rxa3 h6 {avoiding Ng5} 17. Nd2 $1 $16 {with strong Nc4 and Ne4 threats -
meanwhile Black is still not able to castle.}) 15... Rc8 $1 {Defending the
loose knight on c6 is a very good idea.} 16. Na3 Bxa3 17. Rxa3 f6 $2 (17... h6
$14 {was necessary to avoid Ng5 and at the same time, keep the e6-bishop safe.
I didn't want to play this because now ...f6-Kf7 is no longer an option.} 18.
Ra1 Qc7 $5 {threatening ...Nb4 and also ...Nc5 followed by castling.}) 18. Be3
$2 {Now Black suddenly is fine, my opponent underestimated the idea of playing
...Kf7 and keeping it safe.} (18. Nd4 $1 {was critical} Nc5 19. Qg3 $1 exd4 {
is the move that kept my opponent thinking for a long time} (19... Kf7 {
is just horrible for Black (during the game, I thought this was somehow
playable)} 20. Nxe6 Nxe6 21. Bb3 $18 {followed by f4}) 20. Qxg7 Rf8 21. b4 $1 (
21. Bh6 $2 {is not impressive} Rf7 $1 22. Qg8+ Ke7 $19) (21. Bxh7 Qe7 $1 $15 {
and Black survives}) 21... Rc7 22. Qh6 {if I give up the piece by playing ...
Re7, then I'm simply worse. And ...d3 doesn't work either:} d3 23. Bd1 $1 $18 {
[%csl Rc5,Re6]} (23. bxc5 $6 dxc2 24. Rxe6+ Re7 25. Rxe7+ Nxe7 26. Qd2 $14))
18... Kf7 $1 19. Raa1 (19. Nh4 g6 $1 20. Nxg6 $2 hxg6 21. Qxg6+ Ke7 $19 {
and ...Bf7.}) 19... Qc7 {Threatening ...Nb4, something that my opponent missed
having only 1 minute on the clock to make 20 moves before time control (I had
around 40).} 20. Rad1 $2 (20. Qe2 Nb4 $1 $11 {followed by ...Nd5.}) 20... Nb4
$1 21. Qe2 Nxc2 22. Qxc2 Nb8 23. Qa4 Rhd8 $15 24. h3 {It is not clear how to
improve now. My position is definitely better - my pieces are well placed, his
a6-pawn is weak, and most importantly, his minor pieces are badly placed
hitting my solid structure (f3-knight and e3-bishop).} Qc4 $1 (24... Bd5 {
I thought about this, but didn't see how to proceed after} 25. Nd2 $15) 25. Qa3
Qb3 {Exchanging queens is good to make the a6-pawn even weaker.} 26. Qxb3 Bxb3
27. Rxd8 Rxd8 28. Nd2 Be6 29. Ra1 Bc8 $6 (29... Nc6 $1 {avoiding Bxb6 and
trying to expand my kingside majority.} 30. f3 f5 $15) 30. b4 $1 Bxa6 31. c4 $5
{Suddenly White tries to play for some tricks.} (31. b5 {was already good
enough for a draw} Bxb5 32. Rxa7+ Rd7 (32... Kg6 33. Rb7 Nd7 34. Bxb6 $11) 33.
Bxb6 $11) 31... Rd7 32. b5 Bc8 33. c5 bxc5 34. Ne4 {After all the middlegame
mess, I was short on time with less than a minute, like my opponent!} Rc7 35.
Bxc5 Ke6 36. Bxa7 (36. Rxa7 $11 {forced the draw right away.}) 36... Nd7 37. g4
$6 {This was unnecessary chances.} Bb7 38. Ng3 $6 (38. Nd2 $1 {followed by Be3,
setting up a fortress, and also avoiding ideas like Rd3-Rb3, that could try to
win the b5-pawn.}) 38... g6 (38... Rc3 $1 $17 {followed by ...Rb3 and after
winning the b5-pawn, I have chances to push for a win - the opposite coloured
bishops sometimes is good to create attacking patterns, when there are more
pieces.}) 39. Re1 $15 {Here my opponent offered a draw - we both had 30
seconds, but there was a 30-minute bonus coming in the next move (40). I
wanted to play ...Rc2, but for some reason I got scared of Ne2 (that threatens
a fork on d4, but something I can defend in many ways), and besides that, I
was happy with the overall result, because I was playing a very tough opponent,
and also because I had had very bad position in the opening. Still, my
decision to accept the draw was clearly wrong, since I still had something to
play for: if I'm able to win the b-pawn, then White may have a hard time
defending the endgame, specially after his g4 move. Naturally, he has huge
drawing chances, but there was no risk at all for me. Anyway, a very rich game
full of ideas!} (39. Re1 Rc2 $1 40. Ne2 Kf7 41. Rd1 Ke7 42. Re1 Rb2 $17)
1/2-1/2
[Event "chess.com IoM Masters"]
[Site "Douglas"]
[Date "2017.09.26"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Howell, David"]
[Black "Mekhitarian, Krikor Sevag"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B22"]
[WhiteElo "2701"]
[BlackElo "2534"]
[Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 c5 2. c3 {David Howell was a very tough opponent to prepare against - he
played many different openings and somehow I wasn't expecting 1.e4 and
definitely not the Alapin Variation, that he had played a lot in the past.
After this small surprise, I chose to play an old line I trusted.} Nf6 3. e5
Nd5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Bc4 Nb6 6. Bb3 c4 7. Bc2 d5 ({I had bad experiences in the
past in this main line, judging it to be too dangerous after for example:} 7...
Qc7 8. O-O $5 Nxe5 9. Nxe5 Qxe5 10. Re1 Qc7 11. a4 $1 d5 12. Na3 a6 13. a5 Nd7
14. d3 $44 {1-0 (44) Jones,G (2667)-Rowson,J (2565) London 2016, with a very
strong initiative and compensation for the sacrificed pawn.}) 8. exd6 e5 9. O-O
Be6 {The idea is to wait for White to define whether he is taking with the
queen or with the bishop on d3 (after the move d4). On the other hand, I
remembered that White had some strong move on the queenside that could give me
problems, and also that I had to be watching the annoying ...Ng5 all the time.}
(9... Bxd6 {is a fine move, but I had an impression that White obtains an
initiative somehow} 10. d3 cxd3 11. Qxd3 Be6 {this is similar to White's 10th
move analysis} 12. Rd1 (12. Re1 {-- 10.Re1}) (12. Bb3 Qe7 13. Re1 Bxb3 14. axb3
O-O {followed by ...f5, Black is doing fine} 15. Na3 f5 (15... Bxa3 $5 16. bxa3
f5 $36) 16. Nc4 Nxc4 17. Qxc4+ Kh8 18. Bg5 Qf7 (18... Qc7 $11) 19. Qxf7 Rxf7
20. b4 e4 $11 {with a balanced endgame: 1/2-1/2 (41) Adams,M (2740)-Wojtaszek,
R (2733) Biel 2015}) 12... Be7 13. Qe2 Qc7 14. a4 O-O 15. Ng5 (15. a5 Nc4 16.
a6 Rfd8 17. axb7 Rxd1+ 18. Bxd1 Qxb7 $11) 15... Bxg5 16. Bxg5 f5 17. a5 Nd5 18.
a6 h6 19. Bc1 b6 $13 {1-0 (63) Gara,A (2354)-Muzychuk,A (2587) Riga 2017, with
an unbalanced position, Black has potential in the centre, but has to watch
White's bishop pair.}) 10. a4 $1 {There it is! Found over the board by my
opponent, after a long think. This typical Alapin move threatening a5 is
usually a problem, because if Black plays ...a5 avoiding it, then the knight
becomes loose and b5 could be a juicy square for that b1-knight.} (10. Re1 Bxd6
11. d4 cxd3 12. Qxd3 h6 {followed by ...Bc7, trying to exchange queens, Black
is fine. The advantage I remembered from my old preparation, is that White had
already chosen Re1 (and I thought Rd1 was an annoying move).}) (10. d4 cxd3 11.
Bxd3 (11. Qxd3 Qxd6 {trying to exchange queens - the endgame is fine for Black
with this strong pawn on e5} 12. Qxd6 Bxd6 13. Nbd2 f6 14. b3 O-O-O 15. Bb2 Be7
$15 {0-1 (51) Potapov,P (2497)-Kovalev,V (2629) Minsk 2017}) 11... Qxd6 12. Qc2
(12. Ng5 Bd5 $11 {followed by ...Rd8}) 12... Rd8 13. Be4 Bd5 14. Re1 Bxe4 15.
Qxe4 f6 16. Nbd2 g6 17. Nc4 Nxc4 18. Qxc4 Qd5 19. Qxd5 Rxd5 20. Be3 Kf7 $15 {
0-1 (63) Pavasovic,D (2568)-Fier,A (2588) Khanty-Mansiysk 2010, and Black is
doing fine again.}) 10... Bxd6 (10... Qxd6 11. Ng5 $1 Bd5 12. a5 Nd7 13. d3
cxd3 14. Qxd3 $14) (10... a6 11. a5 Nd7 12. d4 cxd3 13. Qxd3 Nc5 14. Qe2 Bxd6 {
White has a dangerous initiative on the kingside with Ng5 right now, or even
moves like Nbd2 followed by Nc4.} 15. Rd1 (15. Ng5 $5 $16 {looks very strong})
(15. Nbd2 $5 $16) 15... Qc7 (15... Nb3 $1 $13 {was very good to complicate
matters}) 16. b4 $2 (16. Nbd2 $1 $16 {and Nc4}) 16... Nb3 17. Bxb3 Bxb3 18. Re1
O-O $11 {0-1 (52) Roberson,P (2397)-Bitalzadeh,A (2383) chess.com INT 2017}) (
10... a5 11. b3 $1 {is very problematic for Black} (11. Na3 $5 Bxd6 12. Nb5 Bb8
13. d4 cxd3 14. Bxd3 h6 15. Re1 O-O 16. Qc2 $14) 11... Bxd6 12. bxc4 Bxc4 13.
Re1 O-O 14. Na3 Bd5 15. Nb5 Bb8 16. d3 Re8 17. Rb1 $16) 11. a5 Nd7 12. d4 cxd3
13. Qxd3 Be7 14. a6 $1 {My knight on c6 will feel very loose without the
b7-pawn.} b6 (14... bxa6 15. Qxa6 Rc8 16. Rd1 O-O 17. Be3 Qc7 18. Na3 $16 {
looks very good for White also.}) 15. Re1 $6 (15. Na3 $1 {was more important
right away, Re1 is not necessarily good, since the e-pawn is safe} Bxa3 16.
Rxa3 h6 {avoiding Ng5} 17. Nd2 $1 $16 {with strong Nc4 and Ne4 threats -
meanwhile Black is still not able to castle.}) 15... Rc8 $1 {Defending the
loose knight on c6 is a very good idea.} 16. Na3 Bxa3 17. Rxa3 f6 $2 (17... h6
$14 {was necessary to avoid Ng5 and at the same time, keep the e6-bishop safe.
I didn't want to play this because now ...f6-Kf7 is no longer an option.} 18.
Ra1 Qc7 $5 {threatening ...Nb4 and also ...Nc5 followed by castling.}) 18. Be3
$2 {Now Black suddenly is fine, my opponent underestimated the idea of playing
...Kf7 and keeping it safe.} (18. Nd4 $1 {was critical} Nc5 19. Qg3 $1 exd4 {
is the move that kept my opponent thinking for a long time} (19... Kf7 {
is just horrible for Black (during the game, I thought this was somehow
playable)} 20. Nxe6 Nxe6 21. Bb3 $18 {followed by f4}) 20. Qxg7 Rf8 21. b4 $1 (
21. Bh6 $2 {is not impressive} Rf7 $1 22. Qg8+ Ke7 $19) (21. Bxh7 Qe7 $1 $15 {
and Black survives}) 21... Rc7 22. Qh6 {if I give up the piece by playing ...
Re7, then I'm simply worse. And ...d3 doesn't work either:} d3 23. Bd1 $1 $18 {
[%csl Rc5,Re6]} (23. bxc5 $6 dxc2 24. Rxe6+ Re7 25. Rxe7+ Nxe7 26. Qd2 $14))
18... Kf7 $1 19. Raa1 (19. Nh4 g6 $1 20. Nxg6 $2 hxg6 21. Qxg6+ Ke7 $19 {
and ...Bf7.}) 19... Qc7 {Threatening ...Nb4, something that my opponent missed
having only 1 minute on the clock to make 20 moves before time control (I had
around 40).} 20. Rad1 $2 (20. Qe2 Nb4 $1 $11 {followed by ...Nd5.}) 20... Nb4
$1 21. Qe2 Nxc2 22. Qxc2 Nb8 23. Qa4 Rhd8 $15 24. h3 {It is not clear how to
improve now. My position is definitely better - my pieces are well placed, his
a6-pawn is weak, and most importantly, his minor pieces are badly placed
hitting my solid structure (f3-knight and e3-bishop).} Qc4 $1 (24... Bd5 {
I thought about this, but didn't see how to proceed after} 25. Nd2 $15) 25. Qa3
Qb3 {Exchanging queens is good to make the a6-pawn even weaker.} 26. Qxb3 Bxb3
27. Rxd8 Rxd8 28. Nd2 Be6 29. Ra1 Bc8 $6 (29... Nc6 $1 {avoiding Bxb6 and
trying to expand my kingside majority.} 30. f3 f5 $15) 30. b4 $1 Bxa6 31. c4 $5
{Suddenly White tries to play for some tricks.} (31. b5 {was already good
enough for a draw} Bxb5 32. Rxa7+ Rd7 (32... Kg6 33. Rb7 Nd7 34. Bxb6 $11) 33.
Bxb6 $11) 31... Rd7 32. b5 Bc8 33. c5 bxc5 34. Ne4 {After all the middlegame
mess, I was short on time with less than a minute, like my opponent!} Rc7 35.
Bxc5 Ke6 36. Bxa7 (36. Rxa7 $11 {forced the draw right away.}) 36... Nd7 37. g4
$6 {This was unnecessary chances.} Bb7 38. Ng3 $6 (38. Nd2 $1 {followed by Be3,
setting up a fortress, and also avoiding ideas like Rd3-Rb3, that could try to
win the b5-pawn.}) 38... g6 (38... Rc3 $1 $17 {followed by ...Rb3 and after
winning the b5-pawn, I have chances to push for a win - the opposite coloured
bishops sometimes is good to create attacking patterns, when there are more
pieces.}) 39. Re1 $15 {Here my opponent offered a draw - we both had 30
seconds, but there was a 30-minute bonus coming in the next move (40). I
wanted to play ...Rc2, but for some reason I got scared of Ne2 (that threatens
a fork on d4, but something I can defend in many ways), and besides that, I
was happy with the overall result, because I was playing a very tough opponent,
and also because I had had very bad position in the opening. Still, my
decision to accept the draw was clearly wrong, since I still had something to
play for: if I'm able to win the b-pawn, then White may have a hard time
defending the endgame, specially after his g4 move. Naturally, he has huge
drawing chances, but there was no risk at all for me. Anyway, a very rich game
full of ideas!} (39. Re1 Rc2 $1 40. Ne2 Kf7 41. Rd1 Ke7 42. Re1 Rb2 $17)
1/2-1/2
[Event "chess.com IoM Masters"]
[Site "Douglas"]
[Date "2017.09.27"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Adams, Michael"]
[Black "Shirov, Alexei"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C88"]
[WhiteElo "2738"]
[BlackElo "2630"]
[Annotator "Adams,M"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{At one time Alexei was a regular sparring partner, but this was only our
third game in the last decade.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3
b5 ({A small surprise Alexei has normally preferred} 5... d6 {here.}) 6. Bb3
Be7 7. a4 Rb8 (7... b4 {is more common, allowing White the open a-file is a
small concession.}) 8. axb5 axb5 9. O-O O-O 10. Re1 d6 11. c3 ({After} 11. Nbd2
Nb4 {followed by ...c5 looked reasonable for Black.}) 11... Be6 {Otherwise
it's not easy for Black to develop.} 12. Bxe6 fxe6 13. Bg5 (13. d4 $1 {should
be critical here.}) 13... Nd7 ({I was intending} 13... h6 $5 14. Bh4 Nh5 15.
Bg3 {but on reflection it doesn't look too impressive.}) 14. Be3 d5 15. Nbd2 (
15. Ra6 $1 Nb6 16. Qb3 b4 17. Nbd2 {is the most challenging, keeping the
pressure on Black's ugly structure.}) ({I had originally thought that} 15. exd5
exd5 16. Ra6 Rf6 {was very good, but both} 17. Qb3 Nf8 ({and} 17... Kh8 {
intending} 18. Qxd5 Nb4 {are playable.})) 15... Nc5 16. Nb3 Na4 ({I spent some
time on} 16... dxe4 17. Nxc5 exf3 18. Nxe6 Qd7 19. Nxf8 Rxf8 {but there aren't
enough pieces in the attack:} 20. gxf3 Qh3 21. Kh1 Bd6 22. Rg1 e4 23. f4 {
is one way to defend.}) 17. Qe2 Bd6 18. d4 $6 ({This pawn break wasn't a good
idea, although I somehow hypnotised my opponent into playing down my main line
of calculation, so it didn't work out too badly. I didn't see the clever
computer concept} 18. Bg5 $1 Qd7 19. Bh4 {- now White's bishop would be well
placed on g3.}) ({I only considered} 18. Ra2 {to keep the tension which is
less challenging.}) 18... dxe4 19. Nxe5 (19. Ng5 exd4 20. Nxd4 Nxd4 21. cxd4
Qf6 {is nothing special as Black's knight can gravitate towards d5.}) 19...
Bxe5 ({The other capture was also possible} 19... Nxe5 $5 20. dxe5 Bxe5 21. Bd4
(21. Ba7 Ra8 22. Qxe4 Bxh2+ 23. Kxh2 Qd6+) 21... Bxd4 22. Nxd4 Qd5 {looks
likely to lead to mass liquidation.}) 20. dxe5 Nxe5 21. Ba7 Qg5 ({I thought}
21... Ra8 $1 {wasn't very good and my opponent rejected it quickly but in fact
White should be careful there.} 22. Qxe4 (22. Qxb5 $2 Qg5 23. Qxa4 Nf3+ 24. Kh1
Nxe1 25. Rxe1 Rxf2 26. Qxe4 Rxa7) 22... Nd3 (22... Nf3+ $2 23. gxf3 Rxa7 24.
Qxe6+ Kh8 25. Nd4 $16) 23. Re3 {and now either the flashy} (23. Red1 Naxb2 24.
Qxe6+ Kh8 $15) 23... Nac5 ({or the simple} 23... Naxb2 {are fine for Black.})
24. Bxc5 Rxa1+ 25. Nxa1 Nxc5 26. Qd4) 22. Nd4 $1 (22. Bxb8 Nf3+ 23. Kh1 Nxe1
24. Rxe1 Rxb8 25. Qxe4 Qd5 {is about equal.}) 22... Nf3+ (22... Ra8 $2 23. Qxe4
Rxa7 24. Nxe6 $18) 23. Nxf3 exf3 24. Qxe6+ Kh8 25. g3 Ra8 26. Bd4 c5 27. Be3 $6
({I wanted to play} 27. Be5 $1 {but failed to realise all the tactics are in
my favour enabling me to keep the bishop pointed at g7} Rae8 $2 (27... Nxb2 $2
28. Rxa8 Rxa8 29. Bb8 $1 $18) 28. Bxg7+ Qxg7 (28... Kxg7 29. Qd7+ $18) 29. Qxe8
$18) 27... Qh5 28. h4 Nxb2 ({I was happy to get the opportunity to swap rooks
but} 28... Rae8 29. Qc6 {is also not so pleasant} Qf5 (29... Qg4 30. Qxb5 Nxb2
31. Bxc5 Qh3 32. Qf1) 30. Bf4 $1) 29. Rxa8 Rxa8 30. Qc6 Rg8 31. Qxb5 Qf5 $1 ({
After} 31... Qg4 32. Kh2 Nc4 33. Bf4 {Black's knight is in trouble, Alexei's
superior choice gives it a route back into the game.}) 32. Kh2 (32. Qxb2 $4 Qh3
) 32... Nd3 33. Rd1 Ne5 34. Qxc5 h5 ({I was expecting} 34... h6 35. Bd4 Ng4+
36. Kg1 Qe4 {but underestimated the strength of} ({The better} 36... Qxc5 $1
37. Bxc5 Re8 {looks likely to lead to a draw with my king imprisoned.}) 37. Qc7
$1 {when Black is passive.}) 35. Bd4 Re8 $2 ({I was pleasantly surprised when
I got the opportunity to get rid of the knight} 35... Ng4+ 36. Kg1 Qxc5 37.
Bxc5 Re8 {should hold after} 38. Be3 Nxe3 39. fxe3 Rxe3 40. Rc1 g5 {the number
of pawns is fast diminishing.}) 36. Bxe5 Rxe5 37. Rd8+ Kh7 38. Qf8 $18 {
My opponent missed this decisive queen insertion, with only major pieces
remaining Black is not in time to target my king.} (38. Qc4 {with similar
ideas is equally effective} Qc2 39. Qg8+ Kh6 40. Rd6+ $18) 38... Kg6 ({After}
38... Qxf8 39. Rxf8 {picks up another pawn with Black's monarch boxed in.}) 39.
Rd6+ Kh7 40. Rd8 Kg6 41. Qg8 Qe6 (41... Qc2 42. Rd6+ Kf5 43. Qf7+ {mates next
turn.}) (41... Re6 42. Rd7 Qf6 43. Rxg7+ $18) (41... Qf6 42. Rf8 $18) 42. Qxe6+
Rxe6 43. Rf8 {Black resigned, as after capturing on f3 my king can stroll to
the queenside to simplify the conversion.} (43. Rf8 Rf6 {loses swiftly} 44.
Rxf6+ Kxf6 (44... gxf6 45. g4 $18) 45. g4 hxg4 46. Kg3 $18) 1-0
[Event "chess.com IoM Masters"]
[Site "Douglas"]
[Date "2017.09.27"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Eljanov, Pavel"]
[Black "Kasimdzhanov, Rustam"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B04"]
[WhiteElo "2734"]
[BlackElo "2676"]
[Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"]
[PlyCount "66"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 Nf6 {The Alekhine Defence - first seen in a game between Napoleon
Bonaparte and Madame de Remuset, in 1802! The defence is solid, but doesn't
have the best reputation, since White has freedom to play in many different
ways and achieve a confortable position without much effort.} 2. e5 (2. d3 {
not the most ambitious response} Nc6 {Napoleon used to like his horses!} 3. f4
e5 $1 4. fxe5 Nxe5 5. Nc3 Nfg4 $2 {a greedy idea by the Emperor - his opponent
takes advantage of it!} 6. d4 $1 {[%csl Rg4]} Qh4+ 7. g3 Qf6 8. Nh3 $2 {
returning the favour - now the horses begin to do some damage:} (8. Bf4 $1 $18
{would win a piece by force}) 8... Nf3+ 9. Ke2 Nxd4+ 10. Kd3 Ne5+ $1 11. Kxd4
Bc5+ $1 12. Kxc5 Qb6+ 13. Kd5 Qd6# {0-1 (13) Madame de Remusat-Napoleon I
Paris 1802, not so bad!}) 2... Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 dxe5 5. Nxe5 c6 6. Be2 (6.
Bd3 $5 {I played this move once, with the idea of stopping ...Bf5:} Nd7 7. Nf3
N7f6 8. h3 Nb4 9. Bc4 Bf5 {Black manages to develop the bishop, but now I can
win some tempi on his knight:} 10. Bb3 e6 11. a3 Nbd5 12. c4 Nb6 13. Nc3 Ne4
14. Ne2 $5 Be7 15. g4 Bg6 16. Nf4 $36 {1-0 (28) Mekhitarian,K (2563)-Aranha
Filho,A (2324) Pocos de Caldas 2016}) 6... Nd7 (6... Bf5 {would be the natural
response. This move has been played by Robert Markus, a strong grandmaster who
has scored some wins lately with the Alekhine} 7. O-O Nd7 8. Nf3 e6 9. c4 N5f6
10. Nc3 $1 (10. Bf4 Qb6 11. Qc1 Be7 12. Rd1 h6 {stopping Nh4 is advisable:} 13.
Nc3 O-O 14. c5 Qd8 15. b4 a6 16. Nd2 Nd5 17. Nxd5 exd5 18. Nb3 Re8 19. a4 Nf8
20. Qb2 Ne6 21. Bg3 Bf6 $15 {0-1 (50) Palac,M (2573)-Markus,R (2673) Mali
Losinj 2017, and Black is doing fine with the constant pressure on d4.}) 10...
Ne4 11. Qb3 Nxc3 12. bxc3 Qc7 13. Nh4 Bg6 14. g3 b6 15. a4 Bd6 16. a5 O-O 17.
Nxg6 hxg6 18. Be3 $14 {0-1 (36) Wang,H (2680)-Markus,R (2652) Novi Sad 2016,
despite the result, White is very comfortable with the bishop pair in this
open position.}) 7. c4 (7. Nf3 {is another way to play it} N7f6 8. O-O Bg4 9.
Ne5 $5 Bxe2 10. Qxe2 e6 11. c4 Ne7 12. Rd1 Ng6 13. Nc3 Qc7 14. g3 $36 {1-0 (52)
Sasikiran,K (2684)-Rozentalis,E (2599) Warsaw 2008; followed by h4, White
achieves a good initiative.}) 7... Nc7 (7... Nxe5 $6 {achieves one of Black's
objectives - exchange a minor piece in a position where he has less space, but
allows the creation of a weakness on c6, and leaves Black behind in
development:} 8. cxd5 Ng6 9. dxc6 bxc6 10. Bf3 Bb7 11. O-O $16 {should be
unpleasant: 1/2-1/2 (25) Robson,R (2522)-Ramirez,A (2594) Richardson 2011.}) 8.
Nf3 $1 {With a space advantage, it is advisable to keep as many pieces as
possible.} g6 9. Nc3 Bg7 10. O-O O-O 11. Bf4 Nf6 $6 (11... c5 $1 {trying to
undermine White's centre} 12. d5 e5 $5 {It is always a risky decision to allow
the strong d5-passed pawn, but Black is in time to establish a blockade on d6
and expand the kingside:} 13. Bg5 f6 14. Be3 Rf7 (14... f5 $1 {and Black is
ready to play ...Ne6 against d6.} 15. d6 $2 {this is one of the rare cases
that advancing your passed d-pawn in the middlegame is not good} Ne6 $1 $17 {
with ...Nd4 next}) 15. a3 Bf8 16. Rb1 Ne8 17. b4 b6 18. Nd2 Nd6 19. Nde4 $14 {
1/2-1/2 (31) Degraeve,J (2540)-Miles,A (2584) Mondariz 2000}) 12. h3 {Now
White gradually improves his position, and Black doesn't have a clear break (..
.e5 or ...c5 would be suggestions, but it's hard to make it happen now).} Bf5
13. Be5 Ne4 14. Bxg7 Kxg7 15. Re1 Nf6 $6 {I don't get this move - exchanges
should favour Black and ...Nxc3 even creates weaknesses in the white structure
(of course it also strengthens the centre, but that's not a big issue).
Moreover, White doesn't have Rab1 (because of the black bishop).} (15... Nxc3 {
should be good} 16. bxc3 f6 {followed by ...Qd7 and bringing the rook to the
centre} 17. Qd2 $16) (15... Qd6 $5) 16. Qd2 $16 Qd6 17. Rad1 Rad8 18. Qe3 Rfe8
19. Ne5 {Black is about to watch White advance all his pawns with g4, f4 and
slowly suffocate him.} Qb4 20. a3 $5 (20. Rd2 $1 {would be fine as well, with
an excellent position, but Eljanov doesn't want to waste time and goes for the
most ambitious. Honestly, it doesn't look necessary to sacrifice a pawn and go
for complications when you have a huge advantage.}) 20... Qxb2 21. Na4 $6 (21.
g4 $1 {would justify the pawn sacrifice} Bc8 22. Na4 Qc2 23. Nc5 $18 {[%csl
Rc2] the black queen is in trouble.}) 21... Qc2 22. Nc5 Qb2 $2 (22... b6 $1 {
was the last chance for Black:} 23. Ncd3 $1 (23. Rd2 $6 Ncd5 $1 24. cxd5 Nxd5 {
and White can't move the queen which is defending the d2-rook} 25. Qh6+ $1 (25.
Qg5 $2 Qc3 $1 $17) 25... Kxh6 26. Rxc2 Bxc2 27. Nxf7+ Kg7 28. Nxd8 bxc5 29.
Ne6+ Kf7 30. Nxc5 Rb8 $132 {with counterchances}) 23... Bxd3 24. Rxd3 {
threatening Bd1} Qa4 25. Bd1 Qa6 26. Nxc6 Rd6 27. Ne5 Nd7 $16 {and Black tries
to resist, but the central pawns look scary.}) 23. Rd2 Qb6 24. Qc3 {Rb2 is a
real threat.} Ne4 25. Nxe4 Bxe4 26. d5 $1 $18 {[%cal Gc3g7]} (26. c5 $4 Nd5 $1
$17 {suddenly Black solves all his problems, and keeps an extra pawn with ...
Qc7 next.}) 26... f6 27. c5 $1 {Now it's over.} Nb5 (27... Nxd5 28. Rxd5 $18 {
wins a piece.}) 28. Bxb5 Qxb5 29. a4 Qa6 30. d6 Bf5 (30... exd6 $2 31. Ng4 $1 {
is the key, there is no good way to defend f6:} Re6 32. Rxe4 $18) (30... Bd5 {
was still losing, but perhaps the best practical chance too:} 31. Ng4 e5 32.
Rde2 $1 {threatening Rxe5} Qc4 33. Qb2 Qxc5 34. Nxf6 $1 $18) 31. g4 $1 exd6 32.
Rxd6 Rxd6 33. cxd6 Rxe5 (33... Rxe5 {it would be pointless to keep on playing:}
34. Rxe5 fxe5 35. Qxe5+ Kg8 36. gxf5 $18 {the d-pawn decides the game in a
couple of moves.}) (33... c5 {it was the best chance, getting the pawn on d6,
but probably wouldn't change the outcome of the game} 34. gxf5 Qxd6 35. Nf3 $18
{Black may obtain three pawns for the piece, but his king remains vulnerable.})
1-0
[Event "chess.com IoM Masters"]
[Site "Douglas"]
[Date "2017.09.27"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Praggnanandhaa, R."]
[Black "Howell, David"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B12"]
[WhiteElo "2500"]
[BlackElo "2701"]
[Annotator "Praggnanandhaa,R"]
[PlyCount "127"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{This was my first win against a 2700+ opponent.} 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5
4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 Ne7 6. O-O c5 7. c4 dxc4 $5 (7... Nbc6 8. dxc5 d4 {This is
the mainline.}) 8. Na3 Nbc6 9. Nxc4 Nd5 10. dxc5 $6 $146 {This was played over
the board.} (10. Bg5 $5) 10... Bxc5 11. Bg5 Qc7 12. Rc1 O-O 13. Qb3 (13. a3 h6
14. b4 $5 Bxf2+ 15. Rxf2 hxg5 16. b5 g4 17. bxc6 gxf3 18. Bxf3 bxc6 19. Nd6 $44
) (13. Nh4 $5) 13... h6 14. Ne3 $6 (14. Be3 Be7 $15 (14... Nxe3 15. Nxe3 Bxe3
16. Qxe3 {transposes to the game})) 14... Bxe3 $6 {Now he thought for 25
minutes.} (14... hxg5 $1 {I thought I had many options.} 15. Nxd5 (15. Rxc5 Nf4
$17) 15... exd5 16. Rxc5 Qe7 $1 {I missed this move during the game} 17. Qc3 (
17. Rfc1 g4 18. Nd2 Rfd8 $1 $17 19. Rxd5 $2 Rxd5 20. Qxd5 Rd8 $19) (17. Qxd5 $2
Rfd8 18. Qc4 g4 19. Ne1 Nd4 {[%cal Yd4e2]} 20. Bd3 b5 $19) 17... Rac8 $15) 15.
Bxe3 Nxe3 16. Qxe3 Qb6 $1 17. Qxb6 axb6 18. a3 Be4 (18... Bg4 $5 19. h3 Bh5 (
19... Bxf3 20. Bxf3 Nxe5 21. Bxb7 $11) 20. Rc3 $11) 19. Nd2 Nd4 20. Rfe1 Bd5
21. Bd3 Rfd8 22. Rc3 g5 $1 23. Ne4 Bxe4 24. Rxe4 (24. Bxe4 $4 Ne2+ $1 $19)
24... Ra5 25. b4 Rad5 26. Bc4 R5d7 (26... Rc8 $5 27. Bxd5 Rxc3 28. h4 $1 Nc6 (
28... Nf5 29. Bxb7 Nxh4 30. a4 Ra3 31. Bc6 $11) 29. Bxc6 bxc6 30. hxg5 hxg5 31.
Re3 $11) 27. Bf1 Nf5 28. g3 Rd1 29. Kg2 Ra1 30. Bd3 Kg7 (30... Ne7 $5 31. h4
Nd5 32. Rb3 $11) 31. h4 gxh4 $2 (31... Rd4 32. Rxd4 Nxd4 33. hxg5 hxg5 34. Be4
Nb5 35. Rc8 Rxa3 36. Rb8 Rb3 37. Rxb7 Rxb4 38. Rxb6 (38. Bc6 Nd4 39. Be8 Kf8
40. Bxf7 Rb5 41. Bh5 Rxe5 42. Rxb6 $11) 38... Rxe4 39. Rxb5 $11) 32. Rg4+ Kh7
33. Bxf5+ exf5 34. Rxh4 Re8 35. Rc7 Kg7 36. Rxb7 $6 (36. Rd4 $3 {The engine's
suggestion} Rxe5 37. Rdd7 Kg6 (37... Rxa3 38. Rxf7+ Kg6 39. Rg7+ Kf6 40. Rh7 $1
Kg6 41. Rcg7+ Kf6 42. Rf7+ Ke6 43. Rxb7 $18) 38. Rxf7 Re6 $1 39. Rg7+ Kf6 40.
Rh7 Ke5 41. Rc2 $1 Rc6 $1 (41... Rxa3 $2 42. Re2+ Kd6 43. Rxe6+ Kxe6 44. Rxh6+
Kd7 45. Rxb6 Kc7 46. Rb5 $18) 42. Re2+ (42. Rxc6 $2 bxc6 43. Rxh6 c5 $13) 42...
Kd5 43. Rd7+ Kc4 44. Re3 $18) 36... Rxe5 37. Rxb6 Rxa3 38. Rbxh6 Re4 39. Rh7+
Kg8 40. Rh8+ Kg7 41. R8h7+ Kf8 (41... Kg8 42. Rxe4 fxe4 43. Rh4 e3 44. fxe3
Rxe3 45. Rh6 Rb3 46. Rb6 Kg7 47. b5 Kf8 48. Rb7 f5 49. b6 Ke8 50. Rb8+ Kd7 51.
b7 Kc6 52. Rf8 Rxb7 $11) 42. Rh8+ Ke7 (42... Kg7 $11 {This is even easier way
to draw. The king will not be exposed.}) 43. Rc8 Rb3 $2 (43... Ra2 $1 44. Rc4
Re5 45. Rh7 Kf6 46. Rc7 Ree2 $1 {Now he has this move.}) 44. Rc4 Re5 45. Rh7 $1
Rb5 (45... Kf6 {Best try} 46. Rc7 Rxb4 47. Rcxf7+ Ke6 48. Ra7 $18) 46. Rc7+ Ke6
47. Rh6+ f6 48. Rc6+ $18 Ke5 49. Rhxf6 R3xb4 50. Rfe6+ $6 (50. Rcd6 $1 {
[%cal Yf6e6] This move wins on the spot.} Rd5 (50... f4 51. g4 $18) 51. f4+ Ke4
52. Rxd5 Kxd5 53. Rxf5+ $18) 50... Kd4 51. Rcd6+ Rd5 52. Rxd5+ $4 (52. Ra6 $18)
52... Kxd5 53. Re2 {I thought this position is winning.} f4 $4 {He was in time
trouble.} (53... Rb7 $1 54. f3 (54. Kf3 Rb4 $11 {[%cal Ya4h4]}) 54... Rb8 55.
f4 (55. g4 fxg4 56. fxg4 Rg8 $11) 55... Rf8 $1 $11) 54. g4 $18 Rb3 55. f3 Rb8
56. Re4 Rf8 57. Kf2 Rf7 58. Ke2 Rf6 59. Kd3 Rf8 60. Ra4 Rb8 61. Rxf4 Rb3+ 62.
Ke2 Ke5 63. Rf5+ Kd4 64. Kf2 1-0
[Event "chess.com IoM Masters"]
[Site "Douglas"]
[Date "2017.09.28"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Huschenbeth, Niclas"]
[Black "Almasi, Zoltan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C37"]
[WhiteElo "2596"]
[BlackElo "2707"]
[Annotator "Roiz,M"]
[PlyCount "72"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. f4 {Niclas chooses one of most aggressive and considerably less
explored openings.} exf4 3. Nf3 h6 {Black has a wide choice of possibilities,
but Zoltan's way of handling the position seems very ambitious - now it would
be difficult for White to regain the pawn.} 4. d4 g5 5. Nc3 Bg7 6. g3 fxg3 7.
hxg3 d6 8. Be3 {The most consistent - White is over-protecting the key d4-pawn
and getting ready for queenside castling.} (8. Bc4 $6 {is dubious, even though
it was seen in a top-level game a long time ago:} Nf6 9. Qd3 Nc6 10. Bb3 Bg4
11. Rf1 {Morozevich,A - Leko,P Frankfurt GER 2000} {Now had Black played} O-O {
White would have faced serious problems:} 12. Be3 (12. Nxg5 Qe7 13. Be3 Rae8
$17) 12... Qe7 13. O-O-O Na5 14. e5 Nxb3+ 15. axb3 dxe5 16. dxe5 Nh5 17. Nd5
Qe6 18. Nxc7 Qc6 $17) 8... Nc6 ({The other natural continuations are:} 8... Nf6
9. Qd3 Ng4 10. O-O-O c6 11. Re1 Nd7 12. e5 $44 {Short,N - McShane,L London ENG
2011}) (8... Bg4 9. Be2 Nd7 {Shulman,Y - Formanek,E Connecticut 2007} {Now
White should have played} 10. Nd2 $1 Bxe2 11. Qxe2 Ngf6 12. O-O-O $44 {
obtaining decent compensation for the pawn.}) 9. Qd2 Bg4 10. Nh2 $6 $146 {
An unsuccessful innovation. White's setup loses its harmony.} ({The previously
played} 10. Bg2 {looks much more natural and offers White good play for the
pawn:} Nge7 11. O-O-O Qd7 12. Rdf1 f5 13. Nh2 $44 {Nielsen,P - Krnan,T Berlin
GER 2015}) 10... Bd7 $6 {Zoltan is playing too passively. Now White's last
move is fully justified.} ({More to the point was} 10... Bh5 $1 11. g4 Bg6 12.
O-O-O Nf6 13. Bg2 O-O {- in this case White wouldn't get much for a pawn.}) 11.
O-O-O Nf6 12. Bd3 ({There was a more aggressive of of extending the initiative:
} 12. e5 $5 dxe5 13. dxe5 Nxe5 14. Bd4 Bc6 15. Bb5 O-O 16. Qe2 $44 {inviting
promising complications.}) 12... Ng4 $2 {Unexpectedly, swapping knights
favours White, whose centre is becoming stable.} ({A better move was} 12... O-O
13. Nf3 ({After} 13. Rdf1 $6 Nb4 {Black manages to release the tension.}) {
and only then} 13... Ng4 {maintaining the balance. For instance} 14. Bxg5 hxg5
15. e5 dxe5 16. Bh7+ Kh8 17. Be4+ Kg8 18. Nxg5 Nxd4 19. Bh7+ Kh8 $11 {and
White has to force a draw by perpetual.}) 13. Nxg4 Bxg4 14. Rdf1 O-O ({
Possibly, the lesser evil is} 14... Ne7 {, though} 15. Bc4 f6 16. Qg2 c6 17. e5
$1 {still offers White a powerful attack.}) 15. Nd5 {All White's pieces are
joining the attack.} f6 16. Bc4 $6 {The first step in a wrong direction -
there was no reason for removing the bishop from such a good location.} ({
The precise} 16. Qh2 $1 Be6 ({But} 16... Qd7 {is even worse:} 17. Bc4 Be6 18.
Qh5 Ne7 19. Nxf6+ Rxf6 20. Rxf6 Bxf6 21. Qxh6 Kf7 22. e5 $18 {with a crushing
attack.}) 17. Nf4 $1 Bf7 18. Nh5 Bxh5 19. Qxh5 Qe8 20. Qf3 {would have offered
White full control over the light squares and put Black in a critical
situation.}) 16... Be6 17. Bb3 $6 {Niclas is playing too slowly and letting
Black consolidate.} ({Instead, the energetic} 17. Qe2 $1 Rf7 18. Kb1 Qd7 19.
Qh5 $40 {would have still posed Black serious problems.}) 17... a5 {As a
result, Black manages to develop some counterplay on the opposite side.} ({
Another possibility was} 17... Qd7 $5 18. Ba4 a6 19. Kb1 b5 20. Bb3 Rae8 $132)
18. Nxc7 {This move isn't that bad, but the character of play definitely
favours Black now.} ({It was possible to maintain the tension by means of} 18.
c3 $5 Ne7 $1 ({After} 18... a4 19. Bc2 Rf7 20. Qd3 {looks scary, since White
has great attacking potential.}) 19. Nxf6+ (19. Qd3 Nxd5 20. exd5 Bg4 $132)
19... Rxf6 20. Rxf6 Bxb3 21. Rfxh6 Bxh6 22. Bxg5 Bg7 23. axb3 Qf8 24. Qh2 Qf3
25. Bxe7 a4 $132) 18... Bxb3 19. Nxa8 Bc4 20. d5 Ne7 {Zoltan is sensibly
avoiding the simplifications.} (20... Qxa8 21. dxc6 Bxf1 22. Rxf1 bxc6 23. Qxd6
$11) 21. Nb6 Bxf1 22. Rxf1 f5 23. Re1 $2 {This is the mistake which invites
real troubles.} ({Had White played} 23. Qd3 $1 fxe4 24. Rxf8+ Qxf8 25. Qxe4
Qf1+ 26. Kd2 Nf5 27. Qe6+ Kh7 28. Qe4 $11 {a draw would be the most probable
result.}) 23... fxe4 24. g4 (24. Qxa5 Nf5 25. Qb4 Nxg3 $19) 24... Ng6 25. Qxa5
Ne5 $19 {The g4-pawn falls, so Black's passers should decide the game.} 26. Kb1
(26. Qb4 {was equally hopeless:} Nxg4 27. Qxe4 Nxe3 28. Qxe3 g4 $19) 26... Nxg4
{The rest is a matter of simple technique.} 27. Bc1 Ne5 28. Qb5 g4 29. Nc4 Qh4
30. Rxe4 Qh1 31. Rxe5 dxe5 32. Ne3 g3 33. d6 g2 34. Qd5+ Kh8 35. Nxg2 Rf1 36.
Qd2 Rd1 0-1
[Event "chess.com IoM Masters"]
[Site "Douglas"]
[Date "2017.09.29"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Bogner, Sebastian"]
[Black "Naiditsch, Arkadij"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B33"]
[WhiteElo "2599"]
[BlackElo "2702"]
[Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Qb6 {The Grivas variation of the
Sicilian Defence - the central idea is to avoid main lines and play an
unbalanced attacking position. Black quickly develops his queen to put the
white knight in a more passive position, and as far away as possible from the
black king.} 5. Nb3 Nf6 6. Nc3 e6 {White has many setups at his diposal,
Bogner chooses a very aggressive one, trying to pose problems for Black
immediately.} 7. Be3 Qc7 8. a3 $5 {Preparing the kingside pawn avalanche,
avoiding ...Bb4 first.} a6 (8... d6 9. f4 Be7 {Naiditsch chose to delay ...Be7;
this game was slightly different. Normally I believe Black should start
pushing a6-b5-Bb7 before anything in these dynamic Sicilians.} 10. Qf3 a6 11.
g4 b5 12. g5 Nd7 13. h4 Bb7 14. h5 b4 15. axb4 Nxb4 16. O-O-O Rc8 {threatening
...Na2+} 17. Qf2 $1 (17. Bd3 $6 d5 $1 18. Kb1 Nxd3 19. cxd3 dxe4 20. dxe4 O-O
$36 {0-1 (39) Wang,T (2385)-Zhao,J (2616) China 2017, with great play for
Black, many lines open against the white king, and a5-a4 or Nb6-Nc4 to come.})
17... d5 18. f5 dxe4 19. Kb1 $40 {with a complex position, and good prospects
for White:} Nd5 20. Nxd5 Bxd5 21. c4 Bxc4 22. Rc1 Ne5 (22... Bxb3 23. Rxc7 Rxc7
24. Be2 $16) 23. Bxc4 Nxc4 24. Nc5 $1 Nxe3 25. Nxe6 $18) 9. f4 d6 10. g4 b5 11.
g5 (11. Bg2 Nd7 12. Qe2 Nb6 {already trying to invade on c4} 13. a4 b4 14. Nd5
$2 {getting too excited, Black is able to defend} exd5 15. exd5 Ne7 16. O-O-O
Bd7 17. Nc5 Nxa4 18. Nxd7 Kxd7 19. g5 Qa5 20. Bh3+ Kc7 $19 {0-1 (32) Van Osch,
M (2309)-Bok,B (2596) Germany 2017}) 11... Nd7 12. h4 Bb7 $6 {Natural, but I
think it is the start of Black's problems.} (12... Rb8 $5 {is a playable idea,
trying to play ...b4 to take with the rook in some cases} 13. Qf3 Be7 14. O-O-O
(14. Qf2 $5 {waiting for Black to castle (when the pawn avalanche would be
stronger)} Na5 $5 (14... Nb6 $5)) 14... b4 15. axb4 Rxb4 $132 {and only then
the bishop comes to b7.}) 13. h5 Nb6 (13... Rc8 14. Bh3 (14. Qf3 $6 b4 $1 15.
axb4 Nxb4 16. Rh2 d5 $1 $132) 14... b4 15. axb4 Nxb4 16. O-O {trying to play
f5 with a deadly attack} d5 {kind of forced to avoid f5 (because of ...Qg3+)}
17. e5 Nc5 18. Nd4 $16 {with a good positional grip.}) 14. Qf3 b4 $2 15. Qf2 $6
(15. axb4 $1 {was even stronger} Nxb4 16. Qf2 {the problem is that ...Nc4
doesn't work properly (without the pawn on b5)} Nd7 (16... Nc4 17. Bxc4 Qxc4
18. Na5 Qc8 19. O-O-O $18 {with a devastating initiative on both flanks,
whereas Black's attack is going nowhere}) 17. O-O-O d5 18. f5 $1 $18 {this is
the same position from the Wang - Zhao analysis (Black's 6th move), but here
White has two extra tempi! (in that game, Black already had ...Be7 and ...Rc8
played).}) 15... bxc3 16. Bxb6 Qc8 17. bxc3 {White's position is also good,
but this is trickier than 15.axb4!} Be7 (17... h6 $5 {trying to vacant the
e5-square for the knight} 18. g6 fxg6 19. hxg6 Be7 {followed by 0-0, similar
to the game.}) 18. O-O-O O-O 19. g6 $6 {This helps Black.} (19. Rg1 $1 {
trying to play f5. For example:} a5 20. f5 $1 a4 21. Nd2 d5 22. Nb1 $1 $18 {
with the queenside safe for a few moves, White can go all in on the kingside.})
19... fxg6 20. hxg6 h6 {The f8-rook opens up and White mustn't forget to be
careful on the queenside because of his weakened king.} 21. Bh3 Rb8 (21... a5
$1 $132 {with a strong counterplay, and it is not clear how is White going to
attack} 22. a4 {similar to the game, but Black may try to play Ba6-Bc4 right
away, without ...Rb8.} Ba6 $1) 22. a4 a5 $5 (22... Ne5 $5 {would create
complete madness over the board} 23. Ba7 $1 (23. Nd4 $2 Rf6 24. fxe5 Rxf2 25.
Bxe6+ Kh8 26. Bxc8 Bxe4 $17 {and Black gets the piece back, with attacking
potential}) 23... Ra8 $5 (23... Nxg6 24. Bxb8 Nxf4 25. Bxd6 $1 Nd3+ 26. Rxd3
Rxf2 27. Bxe7 Kf7 28. Bc5 Bxe4 29. Bxf2 Bxd3 30. Nc5 $18 {should be winning
for White, although the kingside pawns may be dangerous}) 24. Nd4 Rf6 25. Bxe6+
Rxe6 26. Nxe6 Qxe6 27. fxe5 dxe5 $44 {who knows what's going on here?}) 23.
Rhe1 Ba6 {Threatening ...Bc4.} 24. e5 Nxe5 (24... dxe5 $5 {looked very
appealing as well; the computer recommends Re4 now (stopping the very strong ..
.Bc4 idea harassing White's knight on b3).} 25. Re4 $13) 25. Bxa5 {Threatening
Qa7! hitting the bishop and the e5-knight.} Kh8 $6 (25... Bg5 $1 {was a superb
tactical resource:} 26. Rd4 Nxg6 $3 27. Bxe6+ Qxe6 28. Rxe6 Nxf4 $1 {a cool
queen sacrifice, now ...Nxe6 followed by ...Nxd4 is unstoppable, again with an
unclear position.} 29. Kb2 Nxe6 30. Qg1 Nxd4 31. Qxd4 Bf4 $13) 26. Qg3 $1 {
[%csl Re5] Now Black is in trouble.} (26. Qa7 $2 Nc6 $1 $19 {now it works,
without ...Kh8 it fails because of Bxe6+ Qxe6 Qxb8! followed by Rxe6.}) 26...
Bc4 27. fxe5 Bg5+ $2 {The final mistake.} (27... Qc6 $5 {was the last change
to fight} 28. Bb4 $1 Bxb3 29. cxb3 Rxb4 30. Bxe6 {the computer says White is
winning, but it doesn't look that simple.}) 28. Kb2 {Now White's king is safe,
and Black is a piece down.} Bf4 29. Qg1 Bxe5 30. Rxe5 $1 $18 {Without much
thought, White has to eliminate the strongest attacker Black has.} dxe5 31. Bb4
Rf3 32. Bg2 Rg3 33. Qh2 Re3 34. Qg1 Rg3 35. Qf2 Rxg6 36. Be4 Rg4 37. Nc5 {
All the pieces are joining the attack, and the black king is very weak on h8.}
Qe8 38. Qe3 Rf4 39. Nd7 Qh5 40. Rh1 Rxb4+ 41. cxb4 {In a lost position, and
having passed the time control on move 40, Black resigns.} 1-0
[Event "chess.com IoM Masters"]
[Site "Douglas"]
[Date "2017.09.29"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Jones, Gawain CB"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C78"]
[WhiteElo "2799"]
[BlackElo "2668"]
[Annotator "Szabo,Kr"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. c3 d6 8. a4
Rb8 9. d4 Bb6 10. a5 Ba7 11. h3 O-O 12. Be3 Ra8 13. Re1 h6 (13... Bb7 {is the
other move.}) 14. Nbd2 exd4 ({In the next round Caruana also played this
against Carlsen,} 14... Re8 15. g4 $5 Qe7 16. Nf1 Nd8 17. Ng3 c5 18. Qd2 c4 19.
Bc2 Nh7 20. b4 cxb3 21. Bxb3 Be6 22. Bc2 Rc8 23. Bd3 Nb7 $132 {Caruana-Carlsen,
Douglas 2017, with a double-edged fight which Black later managed to win.}) 15.
cxd4 Nb4 16. e5 ({1 month ago Grandelius played} 16. d5 {against Jones,} Bxe3
17. Rxe3 c5 18. dxc6 Nxc6 19. e5 Nxe5 20. Nxe5 dxe5 21. Rxe5 Ra7 22. Qe2 Rd7
23. Ne4 Nxe4 24. Qxe4 Rd4 25. Qc6 Qd6 26. Qxd6 Rxd6 $11 {Grandelius-Jones,
Linares 2017, with an equal position.}) 16... Nfd5 17. Ne4 Nxe3 (17... Bf5 $5 {
was the alternative choice.}) 18. Rxe3 Bb7 19. e6 Nd5 20. exf7+ Kh8 (20... Rxf7
$5 {was another option,} 21. Nfg5 $1 hxg5 22. Qh5 Bxd4 23. Rd3 $1 (23. Nxg5 {
leads to a draw,} g6 24. Qxg6+ Rg7 25. Qe6+ Kh8 26. Qh6+ Kg8 $11) 23... c5 24.
Nxg5 g6 25. Qxg6+ Rg7 26. Qe6+ Kf8 27. Bxd5 Bxd5 28. Qf5+ Bf6 29. Nh7+ Rxh7 30.
Qxh7 Bg8 $13 {with a complicated position.}) 21. Re1 Rxf7 22. Rc1 Rc8 23. Nfg5
$1 {A very nice tactical move! White opens the diagonal for his queen toward
the kingside.} Rf5 $2 {An error in reply!} (23... hxg5 $2 {loses immediately,
because of} 24. Qh5+ Kg8 25. Nxg5 g6 26. Nxf7 gxh5 27. Nxd8 Rxd8 28. Rxc7 $18 {
and White wins.}) (23... Re7 $1 {was still the best,} 24. Qg4 $1 (24. Qh5 Qe8)
24... Qf8 (24... Qd7 $2 {is bad, as} 25. Qxd7 Rxd7 26. Nxd6 $1 $18 {This is
the point! White is winning.}) ({or} 24... Qe8 25. Kh2 $3 $40 {What a
wonderful prophylactic move! Now White is threatening Nxd6 and ...Rxe1 is not
with check!}) 25. Ne6 Qe8 26. Ng3 $36 {with a strong initiative.}) 24. Ne6 $1
$18 Qd7 25. Qg4 $1 {Another strong reply!} Qf7 (25... Qxe6 26. Ng3 $18 {
is also bad for Black.}) 26. Rxc7 $1 {White completely crushes Black's
position!} Rxc7 (26... Nxc7 27. Nxd6 $18 {is also losing for Black.}) 27. Nxd6
Rxf2 28. Nxc7 (28. Nxf7+ {was also winning,} Rcxf7 29. Qg3 $18) 28... Qf6 29.
Nxd5 Qxd4 30. Qxd4 Bxd4 31. Re4 Ba7 32. Nb6 {Great victory by Caruana!} 1-0
[Event "chess.com IoM Masters"]
[Site "Douglas"]
[Date "2017.10.01"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Akobian, Varuzhan"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E61"]
[WhiteElo "2662"]
[BlackElo "2799"]
[Annotator "Krasenkow,M"]
[PlyCount "86"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 d6 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 g6 4. Nc3 Bf5 {This risky system has been played by
Fabiano Caruana several times.} 5. d5 {[%cal Yf3d4] One of the principled
replies, although not too dangerous. White seizes the centre but Black is
ready to undermine it.} Bg7 6. Nd4 Bd7 7. e4 O-O 8. Be2 e6 (8... c5 {is hardly
good here:} 9. Nc2 (9. Ndb5 a6 10. Na3 b5 $1 $132 {S.Atalik}) 9... Na6 (9... e5
10. g4 Ne8 11. h4 f5 12. Bg5 Bf6 13. gxf5 gxf5 14. Rg1 Kh8 15. exf5 Bxf5 16.
Ne3 Bxg5 17. hxg5 Bg6 18. Bd3 $16 {1/2 (69) Navara,D (2727)-Krzyzanowski,M
(2400) Wroclaw 2014}) (9... a6 10. a4 Ne8 11. Bg5 f6 12. Be3 f5 13. exf5 gxf5
14. Qd2 Nf6 15. O-O Be8 16. Bh6 $16 {Ftacnik-Stratil, CZE-chT 1994}) (9... e6
10. O-O exd5 11. exd5 Na6 12. Bg5 h6 13. Bf4 Ne8 14. a3 $14 {1/2 (28)
Kovacevic,B (2434)-Biliskov,V (2325) Bol 2013}) 10. O-O Nc7 11. Bf4 ({or} 11.
a4 a6 12. a5 Rb8 13. Be3 b5 14. axb6 Rxb6 15. b4 Rxb4 16. Nxb4 cxb4 17. e5 Nfe8
18. Na2 a5 19. Bb6 Bxe5 20. Bxa5 Bxa1 21. Qxa1 $14 {1/2 (63) Stocek,J (2580)
-Dausch,R (2387) Germany 2006}) 11... a6 12. a4 b5 13. axb5 axb5 14. cxb5 Rb8
15. Na3 $16 {1-0 (32) Bukavshin,I (2648)-Zablotsky,S (2525) Sochi 2015}) (8...
e5 {is probably more accurate than 8...e6:} 9. dxe6 $5 {- see 8...e6} (9. Nb3
a5 (9... c6 10. Bg5 h6 11. Bh4 cxd5 12. cxd5 g5 13. Bg3 b5 14. Qb1 b4 15. Nd1
a5 $132 {1-0 (45) Ftacnik,L (2565)-Stocek,J (2545) Slovakia 2002}) 10. Be3 Ne8
11. g4 Qh4 12. Nd2 Na6 13. h3 f5 14. g5 fxe4 15. Ncxe4 Nc5 $132 {1/2 (80)
Ftacnik,L (2532)-Czebe,A (2485) Slovakia 2010}) (9. Nc2 a5 (9... Na6 10. b4 Ne8
11. c5 dxc5 12. Bxa6 cxb4 13. Bxb7 Rb8 14. Nxb4 Rxb7 {0-1 (57) Gyimesi,Z (2594)
-Czebe,A (2485) Hungary 2010} 15. Ba3 $14) 10. g4 Na6 11. h4 Nc5 12. Bf3 c6 13.
g5 Ne8 14. Be3 {1-0 (54) Goganov,A (2608)-Elfimov,K (2102) Voronezh 2015} Nc7
$13)) (8... Na6 $5 {not yet committing to ...c7-c6 (c5) or ...e7-e6 (e5)} 9.
Be3 (9. f4 c6 $1 $132 (9... c5 $6 10. Nc2 Nc7 11. O-O a6 12. a4 Rb8 13. a5 b5
14. axb6 Rxb6 15. Bf3 e6 16. e5 $16 {1-0 (33) Jankovic,A (2548)-Czebe,A (2468)
Harkany 2008})) (9. O-O Nc5 10. f3 a5 11. Bg5 h6 12. Be3 Kh7 13. Qd2 e5 14. Nb3
b6 15. Nxc5 bxc5 16. g4 Ng8 17. Kg2 Bf6 $11 {[%cal Yf6g5] 0-1 (41) Ding,L
(2702)-Jobava,B (2711) Beijing 2012}) 9... Nc5 (9... c5 $5 10. Ndb5 Bxb5 11.
cxb5 Nc7 12. O-O a6 13. bxa6 bxa6 14. f3 Nd7 15. Qd2 Qb8 16. Rac1 Qb7 17. Kh1
Rfb8 18. b3 Qb4 $132 {1-0 (48) Kasimdzhanov,R (2680)-Dizdarevic,E (2491)
Sarajevo 2003}) 10. f3 e5 (10... a5 11. Qd2 e5 12. dxe6 fxe6 13. O-O b6 14.
Rad1 Qe7 15. Bd3 Rf7 16. Bc2 $14 {1-0 (23) Ragger,M (2682)-Dobrov,V (2518)
Graz 2016}) 11. Nb3 b6 12. Nxc5 bxc5 13. g4 h5 $1 14. h3 Nh7 15. Qd2 h4 16.
O-O-O Bf6 17. Rdf1 Bg5 $11 {0-1 (51) Syvalahti,T (2121)-Kulaots,K (2570)
Finland FIN 2016}) 9. Bg5 {A good alternative to} (9. dxe6 $5 fxe6 10. O-O (10.
Be3 Nc6 11. Nc2 Qe7 12. Qd2 a6 13. O-O Rab8 14. b4 Ne5 15. Rad1 b5 16. c5 $14 {
1/2 (80) Gupta,A (2637)-Bortnyk,O (2588) Abu Dhabi 2016}) 10... Na6 (10... e5
11. Nc2 Be6 12. Bg5 Nbd7 13. Qd2 Kh8 14. f3 Bg8 15. b4 Rf7 {1/2 (41) Gelfand,B
(2723)-Morozevich,A (2721) Monte Carlo 2006} 16. Rad1 Nf8 17. c5 $14) 11. Nb3
b6 12. Be3 e5 13. Qd2 Nc5 14. Nxc5 bxc5 15. Bg5 $14 {0-1 (78) Korchmar,V (2422)
-Zvjaginsev,V (2661) Minsk 2017}) 9... h6 10. Be3 (10. Bh4 $5 exd5 (10... e5
11. Nc2 g5 12. Bg3 Nxe4 13. Nxe4 f5 14. Bd3 fxe4 15. Bxe4 $14) 11. cxd5 Re8 12.
f3 c5 13. Nb3 a6 14. a4 b6 15. Nd2 Bc8 16. Nc4 Ra7 17. O-O Rb7 18. Kh1 g5 19.
Bf2 $16 {1-0 (39) Polugaevsky,L-Gurgenidze,B Baku 1961}) 10... exd5 11. exd5
Re8 12. Qd2 Kh7 {It was not necessary to protect the pawn immediately but} (
12... Na6 $5 {was not enough for equality either:} 13. O-O (13. Bxh6 $6 Ne4 14.
Nxe4 Bxh6 15. Qxh6 Rxe4 16. Qd2 Qf6) 13... Nc5 14. f3 $14 ({but not} 14. Bxh6
Nfe4 15. Nxe4 Nxe4 16. Qe3 Nc5 17. Qd2 Ne4 $11) 14... Nh5 $5 15. Bxh6 Bxh6 16.
Qxh6 Qf6 17. Qd2 Nf4 18. Rfd1 {, and Black's initiative should be parried.})
13. O-O-O $6 {White has completed his development and intends to start a
kingside attack.} ({However,} 13. O-O Na6 14. Rae1 Nc5 15. f3 $14 {is safer.})
13... Na6 14. h4 Nc5 15. h5 g5 16. f3 Kg8 17. g4 Rb8 {A loss of time.} (17...
c6 $142 $132) 18. Rhe1 c6 19. Kb1 cxd5 20. cxd5 a6 21. Bd3 Nxd3 22. Qxd3 Rc8
23. Nde2 $6 {White underestimates Black's counterplay.} (23. Nc2 $142 {but the
position remains unclear after} Nxg4 $1 (23... b5 $143 24. Bd4 $14 {when Black
can't play 24...b4}) 24. fxg4 Bxg4 {e.g.} 25. Bd4 Bxh5 26. Bxg7 Kxg7 $13 {
[%cal Rh5g6]}) 23... b5 $1 {[%mdl 128]} 24. Ng3 (24. Bd4 $2 b4) (24. a3 $1 {
was a must but after} Qa5 $1 {[%cal Yb5b4] the initiative belonged to Black.})
24... Rc4 $6 (24... b4 25. Nce4) (24... Qa5 $142 $1 25. Nge4 Nxe4 26. Nxe4 Qb4
27. Bd4 f5 $1 28. gxf5 Qxd4 29. Qxd4 Bxd4 30. Rxd4 Bxf5 $17 {This difficult
line shows how complicated the position is; therefore both players can't avoid
mistakes.}) 25. Bd2 $1 $13 Rf8 26. Nf5 Bxf5 27. Qxf5 b4 $6 (27... Qc8 $13) 28.
Ne2 Nd7 29. Rc1 $6 (29. b3 Rc8 30. f4 $1 $36) 29... Rxc1+ 30. Rxc1 a5 31. Ng3
Re8 32. Re1 (32. f4 $1) 32... Nc5 33. Rxe8+ Qxe8 34. b3 a4 35. Bxb4 (35. Ne4 $1
$11 {e.g.} axb3 36. axb3 Nxb3 37. Bxb4 Qb8 38. Nxd6 $1 Qxb4 39. Qxf7+ $11)
35... axb3 36. axb3 Qb8 37. Bxc5 dxc5 38. Ne4 Qxb3+ 39. Kc1 Bd4 40. Kd2 $2 (40.
Nd2 $1 Be3 41. Qc8+ Kg7 42. Qxc5 $3 $11 {was the last, study-like defense.
After the text move Black gets a mating attack.}) 40... c4 41. Qc8+ Kg7 42. d6
Qd3+ 43. Kc1 Be3+ 0-1
[Event "chess.com IoM Masters"]
[Site "Douglas"]
[Date "2017.10.01"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Hou, Yifan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C01"]
[WhiteElo "2794"]
[BlackElo "2670"]
[Annotator "Sumets,A"]
[PlyCount "105"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d3 {I don't think that Anand
will play this line frequently.} Nf6 6. d4 d5 7. Bd3 Be7 {I think this is a
little bit passive.} ({I would prefer} 7... Bd6 {Black controls the e5-square
and he doesn't allow White to play Bf4:} 8. O-O (8. Qe2+ Qe7 9. Qxe7+ Kxe7 10.
Bg5 h6 11. Bh4 g5 12. Bg3 Be6 13. Bxd6+ Kxd6 14. Nc3 c6 $11 {Muzychuk,A (2523)
-L'Ami,E (2615) Wijk aan Zee 2010 1/2 (53)}) 8... O-O 9. h3 h6 10. Nc3 a6 11.
Ne2 Re8 12. Bf4 Nc6 13. c3 Bxf4 14. Nxf4 Qd6 15. Qc1 Ne4 16. Bc2 Bf5 $11 {
Ivanisevic,I (2611) -Martinovic,S (2565) Mali Losinj CRO 2017 1/2 (58)}) 8. O-O
O-O 9. Re1 ({White can prevent ...Bg4:} 9. h3 $5 c5 (9... Nbd7 10. Re1 Re8 11.
Bf4 c6 12. c3 Bf8 13. Nbd2 g6 14. Qc2 a5 15. a4 Bg7 16. Nf1 $14 {Ivanov,A
(2513)-Kamsky,G (2706) ICC INT 2014 1/2 (41)}) 10. dxc5 Bxc5 11. Nbd2 Nc6 12.
c3 Qd6 $2 (12... Bb6 13. Re1 Re8 14. Rxe8+ Qxe8 15. Nf1 $14) 13. b4 Bb6 14. Nc4
{1/2 (14) Leniart,A (2480) -Gleizerov,E (2519) Suwalki POL 2017. White has a
big advantage after} Qc7 15. Nxb6 axb6 16. Re1 $16) 9... Bg4 10. Bg5 Nbd7 11.
Nbd2 Re8 12. c3 c6 13. Qc2 (13. Qb3 {This move seems to be harmless, but even
here you can find some novelties with computer assistance:} Qb6 ({Probably
Black should play} 13... Qc7 14. h3 Be6 15. Nf1 h6 16. Bh4 Nh5 $11) 14. Ne5 (
14. h3 $5 Bh5 (14... Bxf3 15. Nxf3 $14) 15. Ne5 (15. Nh4 $1 Bf8 16. g4 Bg6 17.
Nxg6 hxg6 18. Bf4 $14) 15... Nxe5 $11 {1/2 (13) Arapovic,V (2392)-Dizdarevic,E
(2493) Neum 2011}) 14... Nxe5 15. Rxe5 Be6 16. Re2 Nh5 17. Bxe7 Rxe7 (17... Nf4
$1 {was the only way to equalize} 18. Re3 Nxd3 19. Rxd3 Rxe7) 18. g3 Ree8 19.
Rae1 Nf6 20. Qc2 $14 {Malisauskas,V (2490)-Gdanski,J (2435) Manila 1992 1/2
(29)}) 13... h6 {Now Black cannot play ...Bh5, ...Bg6:} (13... Bh5 14. Ne5 ({
Probably White should play} 14. Re2 $5 h6 (14... Nf8 15. Rae1 Qd6 16. h3 Rad8 (
16... Bg6 17. Nh4 Bxd3 18. Qxd3 $14) 17. Bh4 Bg6 18. Bg3 Bxd3 19. Qxd3 Qd7 20.
Ne5 Qc8 21. Nxc6 $16 {Lintchevski, D (2553)-Dmitrenko,V (2353) Pardubice 2011
1-0 (46); and White easily won the game.}) 15. Bf4 Nf8 16. Rae1 Ne6 17. Bg3 Bd6
18. Bf5 Bg4 19. Bh4 Be7 20. h3 Bxf5 21. Qxf5 $14 Nd7 $2 22. Rxe6 fxe6 23. Qxe6+
Kf8 24. Bg3 $18 {Ovetchkin,R (2556)-Lintchevski,D (2450) Plovdiv 2008 1/2 (49)}
) 14... h6 15. Bf4 Nxe5 16. Rxe5 (16. Bxe5 $1 Nd7 17. Bg3 Nf8 {and Black has
good chances to equalise the game}) 16... Bd6 17. Rxe8+ Nxe8 18. Bxd6 Nxd6 $1
19. Re1 Bg4 20. h3 Be6 21. Nf3 Qf6 22. Qe2 Re8 $11 {Demidov,M (2521)-Fedoseev,
V (2731) Sochi RUS 2017 1/2 (59)}) 14. Bf4 Nh5 (14... c5 15. h3 Be6 16. dxc5
Nxc5 17. Bb5 Bd7 18. Bxd7 Qxd7 19. Nb3 {This position reminds me of the line 1.
e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.exd5 exd5 6.Bb5+ Bd7 7.Bxd7+ Nxd7; I would
evaluate it in White's favour.}) 15. Be5 $1 Bg5 $146 {This novelty doesn't
help Black to level the game. Let's examine other continuations:} (15... Nxe5
16. Bh7+ Kf8 17. Nxe5 Nf6 18. h3 Be6 19. Ndf3 Bd6 20. Re3 Rc8 (20... g6 21.
Bxg6 fxg6 22. Qxg6 Qe7 23. Ng5 $1 hxg5 (23... Qg7 24. Nxe6+ Rxe6 25. Qf5 Rae8
26. Rae1 Qg5 27. Ng6+ Kg7 (27... Kf7 $2 28. Nh8+ $1 Kg7 29. Qxg5+ hxg5 30. Rxe6
$18) 28. Qxg5 Rxe3 (28... hxg5 $4 29. Rxe6 $18) 29. Qxe3 Rxe3 30. Rxe3 Kxg6 31.
g3 $14) 24. Rf3 Bxe5 25. dxe5 Qg7 26. Rxf6+ Bf7 27. Qf5 Kg8 28. f4 $1 $16) 21.
Rae1 c5 22. Bf5 Bxf5 23. Qxf5 $14 {Glek,I (2515)-Dolmatov,S (2595) Dortmund
1992 1-0 (66)}) (15... Bxf3 16. Nxf3 Nxe5 (16... Nhf6 17. Re2 Bf8 18. Rae1 Qb6
19. Bf5 $16 {Bus,M (2375)-Schmidt,W (2440) Lubniewice 1993 1-0 (35)}) 17. Bh7+
Kf8 18. Nxe5 (18. dxe5 $1 Nf4 19. Qf5 Ne6 20. g3 $5 (20. Bg6 $6 Bf6 21. exf6
fxg6 22. Qxg6 Qxf6 $11) 20... Bc5 21. Rad1 Qd7 22. Nh4 $1 g5 $8 23. Nf3 Kg7 24.
Qc2 $14) 18... Nf6 19. Re2 Bd6 20. Rae1 Qc7 21. f4 Re7 22. Bd3 {1/2 (20) Bus,M
(2375)-Brynell,S (2470) Copenhagen 1993}) 16. h3 $1 (16. Bh7+ Kh8 17. Bf5 Bxf5
18. Qxf5 Kg8 19. Nxg5 hxg5 {Black should level the game.}) 16... Bxf3 {Black
has got an unpleasant situation; she should have tried to find the most
reliable worse position:} (16... Nxe5 17. Rxe5 Bxf3 18. Nxf3 Rxe5 19. Nxe5 Nf6
20. g3 Nd7 21. Bh7+ Kf8 22. f4 Bf6 23. Re1 $16) 17. Nxf3 Bf4 (17... Nf8 18. Qb3
$5 (18. c4 $5 Nf4 19. Bf5 $14) 18... Qd7 19. h4 Bf4 20. c4 $1 dxc4 (20... a6
21. cxd5 cxd5 22. g3 f6 23. Bxf4 Nxf4 24. Bf1 $14) 21. Bxc4 Ng6 22. g3 Bxe5 23.
dxe5 $16) (17... Nxe5 18. Rxe5 {- 16...Nxe5}) 18. Bh7+ Kh8 19. Bxf4 Nxf4 20.
Bf5 Qc7 21. Bxd7 $1 {Just in time. White takes control of the e-file.} Qxd7 22.
Ne5 Qe6 (22... Qc7 $2 23. Qf5 $18) 23. Re3 Kg8 ({Hou Yifan doesn't want to
play the rook endgame after} 23... Ng6 24. Nxg6+ Qxg6 25. Qxg6 fxg6 26. Rae1
Rxe3 27. Rxe3 Rb8 28. h4 $1 $16 {The endgame which has arisen is very
unpleasant for Black, probably her position is lost.} (28. Re7 $6 g5 $1)) 24.
Rae1 Qc8 $6 25. Nxf7 $1 Rxe3 26. Rxe3 $1 (26. fxe3 Nxh3+ $1 {The only way to
continue resistance:} 27. gxh3 Kxf7 28. Qh7 Qh8 $5 {Definitely, it is not the
best square for the queen, but Black needs to have the g8-square for his king.}
(28... Qg8 $5 {leads to an interesting endgame:} 29. Qf5+ Ke7 30. e4 Qe6 31.
Qxe6+ Kxe6 32. exd5+ Kxd5 33. Re7 g5 34. Rxb7 a5 {Black has good chances to
save the game due to the active position of his king}) 29. Qf5+ (29. Rf1+ $6
Ke7 30. Qf5 Rf8 31. Qe5+ Kd7 $11) 29... Kg8 30. e4 Rf8 31. Qe6+ Kh7 32. exd5
Rf6 33. Qe4+ Rg6+ 34. Kf1 cxd5 35. Qxd5 Qc8 {Due to the vulnerable position of
the opponent's king, Black has a chance to save the game.}) 26... Kxf7 27. Rf3
$16 {White gets an extra pawn.} Kg8 (27... g5 $2 28. Qh7+ Ke8 29. g3 Nxh3+ 30.
Kh2 $18) 28. Rxf4 Qe6 29. Qf5 ({White could have tried to trade rooks, but the
consequences of} 29. Rf3 Re8 30. Re3 Qf7 31. Qe2 Rxe3 32. Qxe3 Qf5 $16 {
are not so clear.}) 29... Re8 (29... Qe1+ 30. Kh2 Qe8 31. Rf3 {is joyless for
Black. White can push his h- and g-pawns and get a winning position.}) 30.
Qxe6+ Rxe6 31. Kf1 a5 32. Rf3 Rg6 33. a4 Rd6 (33... b5 34. axb5 cxb5 35. Rf5
Rd6 36. Ke2 {White has an extra pawn and an active rook. He should win the
game.}) 34. Ke2 Rd8 35. Kd3 {This is the best square for the white king.} Rb8
36. Rf5 b5 {If Black waits then White will play g4, f4, Re5, f5.} 37. axb5 Rxb5
{Black wants to trade pawns after ...a4, ...Ra5, ...a3.} 38. Kc2 Rb7 (38... a4
39. Kb1 Rb3 40. Ka2 $18) 39. f4 Rb8 40. g4 a4 41. Re5 (41. Kb1 $5 Rb6 42. Ka2
$18) 41... Kf7 42. f5 Ra8 43. Re6 Rc8 44. Re5 Ra8 (44... g6 45. fxg6+ Kxg6 46.
Re6+ Kg5 47. Kb1 $18) 45. h4 a3 46. bxa3 Rxa3 47. Kb2 $18 Ra8 48. g5 hxg5 49.
hxg5 Rb8+ 50. Kc2 Rh8 51. Re6 Rh5 52. g6+ Kf8 53. f6 1-0
[Event "chess.com IoM Masters"]
[Site "Douglas"]
[Date "2017.10.01"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Sutovsky, Emil"]
[Black "Grandelius, Nils"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C88"]
[WhiteElo "2683"]
[BlackElo "2653"]
[Annotator "Sutovsky,E"]
[PlyCount "99"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{Nils plays the most principled Najdorf and Marshall lines - why did I play 1.
e4 then? Well, because I always play 1.e4!} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 (3. Bc4
{keeps being popular, and justly so. But probably these Giuocci Piani are too
subtle for me...}) 3... a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 {
The topical continuation. From time to time White challenges Black's memory in
the Marshall - but I was looking for a real battle - but of course not only a
desire to fight, but good preparation was required.} b4 9. d4 d6 10. dxe5 Nxe5
(10... dxe5 {used to be the main line for many years - but Black failed in his
attempts to fully equalise there. Of course, the line is very much alive, but
the ball is rather in the black court.}) 11. Nxe5 dxe5 12. Qe2 {A new approach,
recently tried in several games. The line with 12.Qf3 has been covered by the
top players (and the Marshall is played almost exclusively by the
grandmasters!), but White found other ideas...} a5 13. Rd1 (13. Nd2 {was tried
in Ragger-Grandelius earlier this year, but Black does OK there.}) 13... Ba6
14. Qf3 Qe8 {Here comes the novelty.} ({I expected} 14... Qc8 {as was played
in Giri-Ding. The computer will indicate 0.00 as an evaluation in all the
lines here, but I had my own opinion about the position after moving it for a
few hours on the wooden board. The move made by Nils is also playable, and I
did check it during my preparation.}) 15. Be3 $5 {Engines slightly prefer 15.
Bg5, but again I had my own opinion here - and it came as a surprise to the
Swedish grandmaster, who spent quite some time before coming up with the
logical reply} Qc6 16. Nd2 Bc5 {Tempting, but not the strongest. 16...Rad8 or
16...Bb7 were the moves I had analysed - while from now on I was also on my
own.} 17. Bd5 $1 {Of course if it works, it should be played - but it was not
so clear during the game. However the temptation to get the e4-square for the
knight was too strong.} Nxd5 18. exd5 Qb6 19. Bxc5 Qxc5 20. Ne4 {Most logical,
but my pet friend advises that 20.Rac1 followed by 21.c4 was stronger. It
seems to be correct!} Qb6 (20... Qe7 {seemed much more logical during the game,
but I liked my position after} 21. d6 cxd6 22. Nxd6 {The computer holds it
somehow, and actually prefers not to hurry and start with 20.Rd2! I am not
sure I would be able to contain myself...}) {Here I took another long think.
Of course, 21.d6 is very tempting, but it is also a very responsible decision.
Especially, when I have another nice options like 21.Qf5 or 21.c4 - but, as
you could already guess by now - I chose the most tempting option. Not the
best one according to his Majesty the computer, but I never pretended to play
perfect chess!} 21. d6 cxd6 (21... Bb7 $1 {would preserve the balance. Of
course, 22.dxc7 is harmless now - although it would be the strongest option
with equality, whereas} 22. d7 Rad8 (22... Qc6 23. Nc5 $1 {was one of the
important lines I saw}) 23. Rd2 {is strongly met by} Kh8 $1 {threatening f7-f5,
and if} 24. Qe2 Qc6 {Black wins a pawn and stand clearly better. Now when you
look at it with the computer it seems so easy, but my opponent spent nearly
half an hour here. During this time I also kept calculating the lines, and
this sequence didn't cross our mind. Sometimes things are more complex than
they look.}) 22. Rxd6 Qc7 {Now White has a lot of tempting options, but
neither of them brings an advantage.} 23. Qf5 ({For quite some time I
considered} 23. Nf6+ gxf6 24. Qxf6 {and now if} Qxc2 (24... Bb7) (24... Rfd8)
25. Qg5+ Kh8 26. Qxe5+ f6 27. Rxf6 Rxf6 28. Qxf6+ Kg8 29. Qe6+ Kg7 30. Qe5+ Kg6
31. Qd6+ Kg7 32. Qd4+ {and finally get his rook or deliver mate after} Kh6 33.
Re1 {but then I realised, he can play 24...Bb7 or 24...Rfd8, and I don't have
anything more than a draw. Hence I preferred the move in the text.}) 23... Bb7
{Black has finally mobilised his pieces, but it is White to move!} 24. Ng5 g6
25. Qxe5 $1 (25. Qh3 h5 {looked tempting for a while, but White doesn't have
any breakthrough - while playing the move in the text I already spotted a
beautiful combination.}) 25... Qxc2 {That was played quickly to my elation.} ({
I was not sure how big my advantage is after} 25... Rac8 26. Rad1 h6 $1 (26...
Qxc2 27. Nxf7 $1 $18) 27. Nf3 Bxf3 28. gxf3 Qxc2 {Now, I know how big it is.
It is 0.00. But Nils grabbed the pawn on c2 quickly, missing the following
combination.}) 26. Nxh7 $3 {One of the most unusual combinations I have ever
managed to play. It may seem not so complex, but in fact the motif is very
unusual, and the decisive move is hard to spot in advance. Well, I should not
try to convince you - take a look yourselve!} Kxh7 27. Rd4 $1 Kg8 {Only move.
27...f6 loses quickly, while 27...g5 is refuted with a nice geometrical motif:}
(27... g5 28. Qxg5 Qg6 29. Qh4+ $1 Qh6 30. Qe7 $1 $18) 28. Rh4 f6 29. Qe6+ {
Only here my opponent realised he might be in trouble.} Rf7 ({After} 29... Kg7
30. Rc4 $1 {the difficult move to spot in advance. White changes the direction
of attack and wins a piece back with some dividend. However, after} Qf5 31.
Rc7+ Kh6 32. Qe3+ $1 (32. Qxf5 gxf5 33. Rxb7 Rfb8 $1 {and after mass
liquidation, we'll get 3 vs 2 in the rook endgame, where double f-pawns do not
make a draw much more complex, even if the defensive task is unpleasant.})
32... g5 $1 (32... Qg5 33. Qh3+ Qh5 34. Qd7 $1 {Black is going down} Bd5 (34...
Rad8 35. Qg7+ Kg5 36. h3 $1 {with mate to follow soon}) 35. Qg7+ Kg5 36. Rf1 {
and the house divided won't stand.}) 33. Rxb7 Rae8 34. Qg3 {Of course, it is a
much better version for him, compared to what actually happened in the game,
but Black's position is still very unpleasant.}) 30. Qh3 $1 {Another point of
the combination. So, in one line it was Rc4, changing the direction, and in
this one Qh3 - now using the opposite side of the board. Cruel computers
destroy the magic, claiming Black still could hold a draw here.} f5 ({After}
30... Re7 $1 31. Rh8+ (31. Rf1 {I can improve my position slowly, but after}
Bd5 32. Rh8+ Kf7 33. Rxa8 Bxa8 34. Qh7+ Kf8 35. Qh8+ Kf7 36. Qxa8 Qxb2 {
it is still a draw.}) 31... Kf7 32. Rh7+ Ke8 33. Rxe7+ Kxe7 34. Qh7+ Kf8 35.
Qxb7 Rd8 {It is true. I just have to say we both hadn't seen it, and of course,
Nils used all his time, trying to find the defence, but with just two minutes
left he made the move in text.}) 31. Rh8+ Kg7 32. Qh6+ $1 (32. Rh7+ Kg8 33.
Rxf7 Kxf7 34. Qh7+ Kf6 35. Qxb7 Re8 {and Black should hold - was the line
planned by Nils, but I found the stronger way.}) 32... Kf6 33. Rxa8 Bxa8 34.
Qh8+ Rg7 35. Qxa8 {Now his king is too exposed, and he is not in time to bring
his rook into play!} Qd2 $1 {The only move not to lose at once.} (35... Rd7 36.
Qh8+ $1) (35... Re7 36. Qf8+) (35... Qxb2 36. Qd8+ Re7 37. Re1) 36. h4 Rc7 37.
Qh8+ {The most important thing is to have his king under attack. The pawn on
a5 can wait.} Ke6 38. Qe8+ Kf6 39. Re1 {Finally the rook joins the game.} Kg7
40. Qe5+ Kg8 41. h5 $1 {After the time control I took my time and found the
cleanest path to a victory.} gxh5 42. Re3 Qd7 43. Rg3+ Kh7 44. f4 $1 {Now my
king will be guarded against the checks, and I simply snatch all the pawns or/
and deliver mate.} Rc4 45. Kh2 $1 (45. Rg5 Qd4+ $1) 45... Qf7 46. Rg5 Re4 47.
Rxf5 Rxe5 48. Rxf7+ Kg6 49. fxe5 Kxf7 50. Kg3 {I like this game a lot. Yes, it
was not as smooth as I initially thought, but the unusual combination was
quite complex, and even if Black could have held it with brilliant defence
does not make take away much of the impression. But of course, it is just a
subjective feeling. Still I hope you enjoyed the game and my attempt to convey
the way I felt while playing.} 1-0
[Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.03"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B78"]
[WhiteElo "2789"]
[BlackElo "2781"]
[Annotator "ChessBase"]
[PlyCount "93"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "playchess.com"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
[TimeControl "40/6000+30:3600+30"]
1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} c5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} d6 {[%emt 0:
00:30]} 3. d4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} cxd4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 4. Nxd4 {[%emt 0:00:30]}
Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 5. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} g6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 6. Be3 {
[%emt 0:01:27]} Bg7 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 7. f3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} O-O {[%emt 0:00:30]
} 8. Qd2 {[%emt 0:00:45]} Nc6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 9. Bc4 {[%emt 0:03:34]} (9.
O-O-O d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. Bd4 Bxd4 13. Qxd4 Qb6) 9... Bd7 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} 10. h4 {[%emt 0:02:18][%cal Gh4h5]} h5 {[%emt 0:01:27]} 11. Bb3
{[%emt 0:01:21]} Rc8 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 12. O-O-O {[%emt 0:00:30]} Ne5 {[%emt 0:
00:30]} 13. Bg5 {[%emt 0:00:52]} Rc5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 14. Kb1 {[%emt 0:01:48]
[%csl Gc5][%cal Gd8c8,Gb7b5]} Re8 {[%emt 0:00:56]} 15. g4 {[%emt 0:11:03]} (15.
Rhe1 {1/2-1/2 (63) Anand,V (2725)-Kasparov,G (2795) New York 1995 CBM 049
[Anand,V]}) (15. Bh6 {1/2-1/2 (58) Karjakin,S (2771)-Carlsen,M (2881) Dubai
2014}) 15... hxg4 {[%emt 0:07:03]} 16. f4 {[%emt 0:03:41][%cal Gf4f5,Gh4h5]}
Nc4 {[%emt 0:07:04][%csl Gc4,Ge2][%cal Gd2e2]} 17. Qd3 {[%emt 0:04:23][%csl
Gd3]} (17. Qe2 {- the most popular move, and quite successful, although the
computers think ...Na5 is okay for Black.} Na5 {[%csl Ga5,Gb3][%cal Ga5b3]})
17... Na5 {[%emt 0:53:06][%csl Ga5]} (17... Qc8 $1 {[%csl Gc4,Gc8,Gf5][%cal
Gc7c4,Gd7f5,Gc8d7]} 18. Bxf6 Bxf6 19. h5 g5 20. Nd5 gxf4 21. Nxf6+ exf6 22.
Rdf1 d5 23. Rxf4 Rxe4 24. Rxf6 Qe8 25. Qd1 Qe5 {0-1 (25) Rudd,J (2345)-Jones,G
(2549) Liverpool 2008}) 18. Bxf6 {[%emt 0:13:42]} exf6 {[%emt 0:05:56][%cal
Gf4f5]} (18... Bxf6 19. e5 dxe5 (19... Nxb3 20. Nxb3 {[%cal Gb3c5,Ge5f6]} Bf5
21. Qd4) 20. Qxg6+ {[%csl Gg6][%cal Gb3g8]}) 19. Bd5 {[%emt 0:09:17][%csl Gd5]}
(19. f5) 19... Nc6 {[%emt 0:02:54]} (19... f5 $1 20. exf5 Bc6 21. Bxc6 (21.
Nxc6 bxc6 22. Bb3 Rxf5) 21... Nxc6 22. Nxc6 bxc6 23. fxg6 Bxc3 24. bxc3 Qf6 $11
{[%cal Gc5c3,Ge8b8,Gb8b1]}) 20. Nxc6 {[%emt 0:10:22]} (20. Ndb5 $1 Be6 21. Bxe6
Rxe6 22. f5) 20... bxc6 {[%emt 0:07:29]} 21. Bxf7+ {[%emt 0:00:49]} (21. Bb3 d5
(21... Bf8)) 21... Kxf7 {[%emt 0:01:11]} 22. Qxd6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Rxc3 {
[%emt 0:00:35][%csl Gc3][%cal Gb2c3,Ge8e7]} (22... Rh5 23. Qxd7+ Qxd7 24. Rxd7+
Re7 25. Rxe7+ Kxe7 $132) 23. Qxd7+ {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gd7]} Qxd7 {[%emt 0:00:
30]} 24. Rxd7+ {[%emt 0:00:30]} Ke6 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gd1][%cal Gh1d1]} 25.
Rxg7 {[%emt 0:03:36][%csl Ge4,Ge6,Gf4,Gh4]} (25. Rhd1 Bf8 {[%csl Gd1]} 26. bxc3
Rb8+ 27. Ka1 (27. Kc1 Ba3+ 28. Kd2 Kxd7) 27... Ba3 {[%cal Ga3b2]} 28. Rxa7 (28.
Rd8 Rxd8 29. Rxd8 Bc1 $17 {[%csl Ga1,Gg4][%cal Gc1f4]}) 28... Bb2+ 29. Kb1 Ba3+
30. Ka1 Bb2+ $11) 25... Rf3 {[%emt 0:02:45]} 26. Rxg6 {[%emt 0:01:59]} Rxf4 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} 27. Rg1 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Rxe4 {[%emt 0:01:03]} 28. R6xg4 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} Rxg4 {[%emt 0:03:20]} 29. Rxg4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} f5 {[%emt 0:00:
30][%csl Gf5][%cal Gf5f1]} 30. Ra4 {[%emt 0:04:27]} Rg8 {[%emt 0:06:35]} 31. b3
{[%emt 0:02:47][%csl Gb1]} Rg4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 32. Rxa7 {[%emt 0:00:31]} f4 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} 33. Kc1 {[%emt 0:02:20]} f3 {[%emt 0:01:29]} 34. Kd2 {[%emt 0:
00:31][%csl Ge4,Gh4][%cal Gg4e4]} Rxh4 {[%emt 0:00:36]} (34... Re4 $1 35. Ra4
Re2+ 36. Kd3 Ke5 37. Ra8 Kf4 38. Rf8+ Kg3) 35. Ra8 {[%emt 0:04:27][%cal Ga8f8]}
(35. Ke3 f2 36. Kxf2 Rh2+ 37. Ke3 Rxc2 38. Kd3 Rh2 {[%cal Ge6d6]}) 35... Rh2+ {
[%emt 0:02:13]} 36. Kd3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Kf5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 37. a4 {[%emt 0:
01:54]} Kg4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 38. a5 {[%emt 0:02:08][%csl Ga5]} Rh1 {[%emt 0:01:
29]} 39. Rg8+ {[%emt 0:02:53]} Kf4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 40. Rf8+ {[%emt 0:00:30]}
Kg3 {[%emt 1:00:30]} 41. Rg8+ {[%emt 1:09:09]} Kf4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 42. Rf8+ {
[%emt 0:02:13]} Kg3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 43. b4 {[%emt 0:01:44][%csl Ga5,Gb4]} f2 {
[%emt 0:01:08]} 44. Kd4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} f1=Q {[%emt 0:00:00]} 45. Rxf1 {
[%emt 0:00:00]} Rxf1 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 46. Kc5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rc1 {[%emt 0:00:
00]} 47. Kxc6 (47. Kxc6 Rxc2+ {[%csl Gc2]} 48. Kb6 Kf4 49. a6 Ke5 50. a7 Ra2 {
[%cal Ga2a7]} 51. Kb7 Kd6 52. a8=Q Rxa8 53. Kxa8 Kc6 {[%csl Gb4]}) 1/2-1/2
[Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.04"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E11"]
[WhiteElo "2805"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "ChessBase"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "playchess.com"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
[TimeControl "40/6000+30:3600+30"]
1. d4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 2. c4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} e6 {[%emt 0:
00:30]} 3. g3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Bb4+ {[%emt 0:00:30]} 4. Bd2 {[%emt 0:00:30]}
Be7 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 5. Bg2 {[%emt 0:00:30]} d5 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gb4,Ge7]}
6. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} O-O {[%emt 0:00:30]} 7. O-O {[%emt 0:00:30]} Nbd7 {
[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gc2][%cal Gd1c2]} 8. Na3 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Ga3]} c6 {
[%emt 0:01:32]} 9. Rc1 {[%emt 0:01:01]} Ne4 {[%emt 0:04:07][%cal Ge4d2]} 10.
Be3 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Ga3][%cal Ge7a3]} f5 {[%emt 0:13:54][%csl Ga3,Ge3]} (
10... Bxa3 11. bxa3 Nd6 12. c5 Nc4 13. Rxc4 dxc4 14. Qc2 {1-0 (43) Aronian,L
(2780)-Giri,A (2773) Wijk aan Zee 2017}) (10... a6) 11. Rc2 {[%emt 0:13:39]} a5
{[%emt 0:09:00]} 12. Qc1 {[%emt 0:03:12][%csl Ga5]} Bf6 {[%emt 0:06:04][%cal
Gb2b4]} 13. Rd1 {[%emt 0:07:57][%csl Ge7][%cal Gd8e7]} g5 {[%emt 0:04:30][%cal
Gh7h4]} (13... Qe7) 14. Nb1 {[%emt 0:01:35][%csl Gb1,Ge7][%cal Ga3b1,Gd8e7,
Ge7g7]} Rf7 {[%emt 0:07:38]} (14... Qe7) 15. Nc3 {[%emt 0:06:25]} Rg7 {[%emt 0:
00:30]} 16. Ne1 {[%emt 0:02:45][%csl Ge1]} (16. Nxe4 $1 {[%csl Ge4]} fxe4 {
[%cal Gf5e4]} (16... dxe4 17. Ne5) 17. Nd2 {[%csl Ga8,Gc8,Gd7,Gd8,Gf3,Gg7]
[%cal Gf2f3]}) 16... Nd6 {[%emt 0:05:57]} 17. b3 {[%emt 0:00:48][%csl Gb3]} (
17. c5 Nc4 {[%cal Gc4e3]}) 17... dxc4 {[%emt 0:09:30][%csl Gd5][%cal Gd5c4]}
18. Na4 {[%emt 0:14:43]} cxb3 {[%emt 0:00:48]} 19. axb3 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl
Gd4]} Nb5 {[%emt 0:05:50]} 20. Nd3 {[%emt 0:02:42][%csl Gd4][%cal Gb5d4]} Qe8 {
[%emt 0:08:45][%csl Ge8]} (20... Nxd4 $5 21. Bxd4 Bxd4 {[%csl Gc8,Gd7][%cal
Gd1d8]} 22. e3 Ba7 (22... Bf6 23. e4) 23. Rcd2 (23. Ne5 Qf6 24. Nc4 f4) 23...
Qe7 24. e4 (24. Nab2)) 21. Ne5 {[%emt 0:07:39]} f4 {[%emt 0:03:45][%cal Ge3d2,
Gb5d4]} (21... Nxe5 22. dxe5 Bxe5 23. Bxg5 $14 {[%csl Gg8]}) 22. gxf4 {[%emt 0:
00:53]} gxf4 {[%emt 0:00:30][%cal Gg7g2]} 23. Bxf4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Nxd4 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} 24. Rxd4 {[%emt 0:01:45]} Nxe5 {[%emt 0:00:30][%cal Gg7g1]} 25.
Rd1 {[%emt 0:11:33][%csl Gd1][%cal Gf6d4]} Qg6 {[%emt 0:02:23][%cal Gg6g2]} 26.
Bg3 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gg3]} h5 {[%emt 0:00:30][%cal Gh5h4]} 27. Nb6 {
[%emt 0:00:39][%csl Ga8]} Rb8 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 28. Rcd2 {[%emt 0:08:59][%csl
Gd2][%cal Gd2d8]} Nf7 {[%emt 0:02:13][%cal Gh2h4,Gf6h4]} 29. Qc5 {[%emt 0:10:
19]} (29. Qb1 Qxb1 30. Rxb1 e5 $15) 29... e5 {[%emt 0:11:40][%csl Gc8]} (29...
h4 30. Nc4 hxg3 31. hxg3 {[%csl Gb8,Gc8]} b6 (31... e5 32. Qa7 {[%csl Gb8]})
32. Qxc6 Ba6 33. Qxe6 Kh8 {[%csl Gg1]}) 30. Qc4 {[%emt 0:00:38]} Kh8 {[%emt 0:
04:51]} 31. h4 $6 {[%emt 0:05:18][%csl Gh4]} (31. Nxc8 $1 Rxc8 32. Rd7 h4 $6
33. Be4 $1 {[%csl Gf7][%cal Ge4g6,Gd7f7]}) 31... Bf5 {[%emt 0:02:21][%csl Gf5]}
32. Nd7 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Rbg8 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 33. Kh1 {[%emt 0:04:41]} (33.
Nxf6 Qxf6 34. Qc3 Rg4 $36) (33. Kh1 Be7 34. Nxe5 (34. e4 Bxd7 35. Rxd7 Bxh4 {
[%csl Gg2,Gh4][%cal Gc4h4,Gg6g2]}) (34. e3 e4 {[%csl Gh4][%cal Ge7h4]} (34...
Bb4 {[%csl Gb4][%cal Gb4d2]} 35. e4 (35. Rb2 Rd8 {[%cal Gd8d1]}) 35... Bg4) 35.
Rg1 (35. Qf1 Bg4) 35... Bd6) 34... Nxe5 35. Bxe5 Qxg2#) 1/2-1/2
[Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.05"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B48"]
[WhiteElo "2760"]
[BlackElo "2799"]
[Annotator "ChessBase"]
[PlyCount "84"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "playchess.com"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
[TimeControl "40/6000+30:3600+30"]
1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} c5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} e6 {[%emt 0:
00:30]} 3. d4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} cxd4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 4. Nxd4 {[%emt 0:00:30]}
Nc6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 5. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Qc7 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 6. Be3 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} a6 {[%emt 0:00:30][%cal Gd1d2]} 7. Qf3 {[%emt 0:01:09][%cal
Rf3g3]} Ne5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} (7... Nxd4 8. Bxd4 b5 9. Qg3 {[%cal Rf8d6,Rg3g7]}
Qxg3 10. hxg3 {1-0 (50) Karjakin,S (2762)-Dubov,D (2661) Berlin 2015}) (7... b5
8. Nxc6 Qxc6 9. Bd3 {1-0 (23) Karjakin,S (2766)-Ezat,M (2490) Doha 2015}) 8.
Qg3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} b5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} (8... h5 9. O-O-O (9. f3 b5 10. O-O-O
d6 11. f4 Ng4 12. e5 dxe5 13. fxe5 Nxe3 14. Qxe3 Bd7 15. Be2 g6 16. Qf3 Rc8 17.
Rhf1 Rh7 18. Kb1 {1-0 (42) Karjakin,S (2767)-Giri,A (2768) Tashkent 2014 CBM
163 [Havasi,G]}) 9... h4 10. Qh3 b5 11. f4 Nc4 12. Bxc4 Qxc4 13. Rhe1 {1-0 (25)
Karjakin,S (2765)-Johannesson,O (2273) Antalya 2017}) 9. O-O-O {[%emt 0:03:31]}
Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 10. f4 {[%emt 0:03:25]} Neg4 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gg4]}
11. Bg1 {[%emt 0:01:06]} h5 {[%emt 0:00:30][%cal Gf6e4,Gc8b7,Gb5b4]} 12. e5 {
[%emt 0:12:51][%csl Ge5,Gf6]} (12. h3 b4 {[%csl Gb4]} 13. Na4 (13. hxg4 bxc3
$17 {[%csl Gb2,Gc3][%cal Gf6e4,Gf6g4]}) 13... Nxe4 $17 {[%csl Ge4]}) (12. Bd3
b4 13. Nce2 Bb7) 12... b4 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gb4][%cal Gb4c3]} 13. Na4 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} Nd5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 14. Nb3 {[%emt 0:06:13][%csl Ga4,Gb6,Gd1,
Gd5][%cal Rd1d5,Rb3a5,Rb3c5,Ra4b6,Ra4c5]} Bb7 {[%emt 0:00:34]} 15. Nac5 {
[%emt 0:09:55][%csl Gc5][%cal Gc5b7]} Bc6 {[%emt 0:04:52][%csl Gg5][%cal Rg7g5]
} 16. Ne4 {[%emt 0:06:45]} f5 {[%emt 0:19:44]} 17. h3 {[%emt 0:26:00]} (17.
exf6 {[%csl Gf6]} gxf6 18. h3 {[%csl Gh3]} Qxf4+ 19. Qxf4 Nxf4 20. Nbc5) 17...
h4 {[%emt 0:07:58]} 18. Qe1 {[%emt 0:00:30]} fxe4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 19. hxg4 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} Nxf4 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gf4]} 20. Rxh4 {[%emt 0:02:58]} Rxh4
{[%emt 0:06:53]} 21. Qxh4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Qxe5 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gc1,Ge8]}
22. Bd4 {[%emt 0:00:37]} Ng6 {[%emt 0:01:57][%csl Gg6,Gh4][%cal Gd4e5,Gg6h4]}
23. Qh3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Qg5+ {[%emt 0:03:12][%cal Gg5c1]} 24. Kb1 {[%emt 0:00:
36]} Bd5 {[%emt 0:17:00]} (24... a5 {[%csl Gd4][%cal Ga5a4,Gb3d4,Gd4c6,Gd4b5]})
25. Bg1 {[%emt 0:11:34][%csl Gg1]} (25. Be3 Qh4 {[%csl Gh3]}) 25... Be7 {
[%emt 0:03:45][%cal Ge7f6]} 26. g3 {[%emt 0:06:26][%csl Gg3]} Ne5 {[%emt 0:05:
50][%csl Gf3][%cal Ge5f3]} 27. Be2 {[%emt 0:01:43]} Nf3 {[%emt 0:01:08][%csl
Gd5,Gd7,Ge4,Ge6,Gf3]} 28. Bxf3 {[%emt 0:02:40]} exf3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 29. Bd4 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} Kf7 {[%emt 0:08:29]} 30. Nc1 {[%emt 0:00:58][%csl Gc1][%cal
Gc1d3,Gd3f4]} d6 {[%emt 0:12:33]} 31. Nd3 {[%emt 0:01:13]} e5 {[%emt 0:02:09]
[%csl Gf7]} 32. Bf2 {[%emt 0:00:36]} Be6 {[%emt 0:01:10][%csl Gd6,Ge5][%cal
Ge6g4]} 33. Nxb4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} e4 {[%emt 0:00:35][%csl Gb4,Ge4]} 34. Qh1 {
[%emt 0:07:28][%csl Gf3][%cal Gh1f3,Ge4e3]} Rc8 {[%emt 0:04:29][%csl Ga5][%cal
Gb4c6,Ga6a5]} 35. Nxa6 {[%emt 0:01:27]} (35. Qg1 a5) 35... Qa5 {[%emt 0:04:25]
[%csl Ga6]} 36. Qh5+ {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gh5]} Qxh5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 37. gxh5
{[%emt 0:00:30]} Bg5 {[%emt 0:00:55][%csl Ge4,Gf3][%cal Ge4e3]} 38. Re1 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} Bc4 {[%emt 0:01:15][%cal Gc4a6]} 39. Nb4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Re8 {
[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Ge3,Ge8][%cal Ge4e3]} 40. Re3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} (40. Be3
Bxe3 41. Rxe3 f2 {[%csl Gf1][%cal Gf2f1]}) 40... Bxe3 {[%emt 1:01:04]} 41. Bxe3
{[%emt 1:00:30][%csl Ge8]} Re5 {[%emt 0:00:00][%cal Ge5h5]} 42. g4 {[%emt 0:00:
00]} Rg5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 0-1
[Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.06"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C48"]
[WhiteElo "2799"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "ChessBase"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "playchess.com"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
[TimeControl "40/6000+30:3600+30"]
1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Nc6 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} 3. Bb5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gc4]} 4. d3 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} Bc5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 5. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} (5. Bxc6 dxc6 6.
Nbd2 (6. Be3) (6. h3) (6. O-O)) 5... O-O {[%emt 0:01:03]} (5... Nd4) 6. Bxc6 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} dxc6 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gc2,Gd3,Ge4]} 7. h3 {[%emt 0:00:30]
[%cal Gg2g4]} (7. Nxe5 Qd4) 7... Nd7 {[%emt 0:01:23]} (7... Re8 {0-1 (46)
Caruana,F (2799)-Grischuk,A (2782) Saint Louis 2017}) 8. Be3 {[%emt 0:00:30]
[%csl Gc5,Gc8,Ge3]} Bd6 {[%emt 0:02:03][%csl Gd6]} 9. Ne2 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Re8
{[%emt 0:00:43]} 10. g4 {[%emt 0:02:36]} Nc5 {[%emt 0:02:31]} 11. Ng3 {[%emt 0:
03:03]} Ne6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 12. Nf5 {[%emt 0:00:55]} c5 {[%emt 0:00:50][%csl
Gc5,Gd4,Ge5][%cal Ge6d4]} 13. h4 {[%emt 0:03:39][%csl Gh4]} a5 {[%emt 0:05:01]
[%csl Ga5]} 14. h5 {[%emt 0:00:45][%csl Gf7,Gg4,Gg7,Gh5,Gh7]} Ra6 {[%emt 0:02:
53][%csl Gb6,Gd6][%cal Ga6h6]} 15. Qd2 {[%emt 0:13:08][%csl Gd2]} Nd4 {[%emt 0:
05:47][%csl Gd4,Gf3][%cal Gd4f3]} 16. Rh3 {[%emt 0:01:55][%csl Gd4,Gh3][%cal
Gh3f3]} (16. N3xd4 cxd4 17. Bg5 f6 18. Bh4 Rb6 {[%csl Gb2,Gb6][%cal Gb6b2]} 19.
b3 Bb4) 16... Bf8 {[%emt 0:08:37]} 17. O-O-O {[%emt 0:10:39]} Be6 {[%emt 0:06:
34][%csl Ge6]} (17... Qd7 {[%csl Gd7]}) 18. Kb1 {[%emt 0:04:48][%csl Ga2,Gb1]}
f6 {[%emt 0:06:57][%csl Gd4]} 19. c3 {[%emt 0:23:56]} (19. h6 g6) 19... Nxf3 {
[%emt 0:14:53]} 20. Rxf3 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gd1,Gf3]} c4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} (
20... h6) 21. Qc2 {[%emt 0:08:31]} (21. dxc4 Bxf5 22. exf5 (22. Qxd8 Bxe4+ 23.
Kc1 Rxd8 24. Rxd8 Bxf3 25. Bc5 Rd6) 22... Rd6 {[%csl Gd1,Gf3,Gh1][%cal Gd6d1,
Gh1d1]}) 21... cxd3 {[%emt 0:02:06]} 22. Rxd3 {[%emt 0:01:01]} Qc8 {[%emt 0:00:
30]} 23. g5 {[%emt 0:06:45]} fxg5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 24. Bxg5 {[%emt 0:00:30]}
Bf7 {[%emt 0:01:17][%cal Gc8e6]} 25. h6 {[%emt 0:09:25]} gxh6 {[%emt 0:04:17]
[%csl Ga6,Gg5,Gh6][%cal Gf8h6,Ga6h6]} (25... g6 $2 26. Ne3 {[%cal Ge3d5,Gd5f6]}
) 26. Bc1 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gc1]} Qe6 {[%emt 0:03:49][%csl Ga2,Ge6,Gf7]} (
26... Rg6 {[%cal Gc8e6]}) 27. b3 {[%emt 0:01:29]} a4 {[%emt 0:04:27]} 28. c4 {
[%emt 0:00:58]} axb3 {[%emt 0:01:00]} 29. axb3 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gc1]} Qc6 {
[%emt 0:05:17][%csl Gb5,Gc6,Ge4][%cal Gc6e4,Gb7b5]} 30. Rg3+ {[%emt 0:05:05]
[%csl Gg3]} Kh8 {[%emt 0:03:04][%csl Gh8]} 31. Rd1 {[%emt 0:03:29][%cal Gc6e4,
Gc2e4]} b5 {[%emt 0:02:12]} 32. c5 {[%emt 0:01:07]} (32. Bb2) 32... b4 $2 {
[%emt 0:06:50][%cal Ga6a5,Ga5c5]} (32... Qxc5 33. Qxc5 Bxc5 34. Rd7 Bg6 35.
Bxh6 Bf8 36. Bxf8 Rxf8 37. Rxc7 $11) 33. Bb2 {[%emt 0:00:43]} Bg6 {[%emt 0:08:
28][%csl Gg6]} (33... Qxc5 34. Qxc5 Bxc5 35. Rd7 Bg6 36. f4 $14 {[%cal Gb2h8]})
(33... Ra5 {[%csl Ga5]} 34. Rd8 {[%csl Ge5][%cal Ge8d8,Gb2e5]} Rxc5 (34... Qxc5
35. Rxe8 Qxc2+ 36. Kxc2 Bxe8 37. f4 $14) 35. Bxe5+) 34. Rd5 {[%emt 0:02:07]
[%csl Gc5,Ge5]} Qb5 {[%emt 0:02:00][%csl Gb5][%cal Gb5f1]} 35. Rg1 {[%emt 0:01:
03][%cal Gh8g8]} c6 {[%emt 0:01:10][%csl Gc6][%cal Ga6c6]} (35... Kg8 $16) 36.
Rxe5 {[%emt 0:00:49][%csl Ge5]} Rxe5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 37. Bxe5+ {[%emt 0:00:30]
} Kg8 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 38. Bd4 {[%emt 0:01:50]} (38. Bb2 $1 {[%csl Gd2,Gd4,Gd8]
[%cal Gc2d2,Gd2d4,Gd4d8]} Qxc5 39. Nxh6+ {[%cal Gh6g8,Gf8h6,Gc2c5]}) 38... Kf7
{[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gf7]} 39. Nh4 {[%emt 0:01:35]} (39. Nh4 Ke8 40. Nxg6 hxg6
41. e5) 1-0
[Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.08"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C45"]
[WhiteElo "2781"]
[BlackElo "2837"]
[Annotator "ChessBase"]
[PlyCount "145"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "playchess.com"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
[TimeControl "40/6000+30:3600+30"]
1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Nc6 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} 3. d4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} exd4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 4. Nxd4 {[%emt 0:
00:30]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 5. Nxc6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} bxc6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 6.
e5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Qe7 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 7. Qe2 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Nd5 {[%emt 0:
00:30]} 8. h4 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gh4]} (8. c4 Nb6) 8... Bb7 {[%emt 0:05:06]
[%csl Gb7]} (8... d6 9. c4 Nb6 10. exd6 Qxe2+ 11. Bxe2 cxd6 {1/2-1/2 (48)
Nepomniachtchi,I (2732)-So,W (2812) Leuven 2017}) 9. c4 {[%emt 0:14:42]} Nb6 {
[%emt 0:01:57]} 10. Rh3 {[%emt 0:03:39]} Qe6 {[%emt 0:06:32][%csl Gc3][%cal
Gb1c3]} (10... O-O-O 11. Bg5 f6 12. exf6 gxf6 13. Qxe7 Bxe7 14. Be3 d5) 11. f4
$6 {[%emt 0:03:46]} (11. Nc3) 11... O-O-O {[%emt 0:09:24]} 12. a4 {[%emt 0:13:
37]} d5 {[%emt 0:16:03][%csl Gd5,Ge1]} (12... d6) 13. a5 {[%emt 0:14:44][%csl
Gc4]} Nxc4 {[%emt 0:01:51]} (13... Nd7 14. a6 Ba8 15. Be3 {[%csl Ge3]} f6 16.
Bxa7 fxe5 17. Nc3 Bd6 18. O-O-O $132) 14. b3 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gc4]} Bb4+ {
[%emt 0:02:49][%csl Gc4][%cal Gc4a5]} 15. Kf2 {[%emt 0:07:23]} (15. Kd1) 15...
Nxa5 {[%emt 0:13:36][%csl Ga5]} (15... Bc5+ {[%csl Gc5][%cal Gc5f2]} 16. Ke1 (
16. Kg3 Bg1 17. a6 {[%csl Ga6]} Ba8 {[%csl Ga8]} 18. bxc4 h5 19. Rh1 {[%csl
Gh1][%cal Gg3h3]} Qg6+ 20. Kh3 (20. Kf3 Qg4#) 20... Qf5+ 21. Kg3 (21. g4 $2 {
[%csl Gg4]} hxg4+ 22. Kg3 (22. Qxg4 Rxh4+ 23. Kxh4 Bf2+ 24. Kh3 Rh8+ 25. Kg2
Qxg4+) 22... Bd4 {[%csl Gb1][%cal Gd4a1,Gf5b1]} 23. Bb2 Bxb2 24. Qxb2 g5 {
[%csl Gg3][%cal Gf4g5,Gf5f3,Gh4g5,Gh8h1]}) 21... Qg6+ $11 22. Kh3 Qf5+) 16...
Bb4+ 17. Kf2 $11) 16. Bd2 {[%emt 0:00:37]} c5 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gc5]} (16...
Bxd2 17. Nxd2 $18 {[%csl Ga5]}) 17. Rxa5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Bxa5 {[%emt 0:00:30]}
18. Bxa5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Qf5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 19. Nc3 {[%emt 0:07:05]} Qxf4+ {
[%emt 0:01:36]} 20. Kg1 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gf1,Gh3]} Rhe8 {[%emt 0:08:57]}
21. Nb5 {[%emt 0:04:49]} a6 {[%emt 0:07:31]} 22. Rf3 {[%emt 0:05:49]} Qxe5 {
[%emt 0:05:57]} 23. Qxe5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Rxe5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 24. Bxc7 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} Ree8 {[%emt 0:03:28]} (24... f6) 25. Bxd8 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Rxd8
{[%emt 0:00:30]} 26. Na3 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gf7][%cal Gf3f7]} Rd7 {[%emt 0:
00:30]} 27. Bd3 {[%emt 0:00:44]} Kd8 {[%emt 0:00:30]} (27... g6 28. Rf6 {
[%cal Gf6a6,Gd3a6]}) 28. Bxh7 {[%emt 0:11:53]} g6 {[%emt 0:02:13]} 29. h5 {
[%emt 0:02:00]} gxh5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 30. Rf6 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Ga6,Gf6,Gf7,
Gh5]} Ke7 {[%emt 0:02:17]} 31. Rb6 {[%emt 0:00:50]} Rc7 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 32.
Nc2 {[%emt 0:04:51]} a5 {[%emt 0:03:21]} 33. Ne3 {[%emt 0:00:55]} c4 {[%emt 0:
01:30]} 34. Bc2 {[%emt 0:02:05]} Bc6 {[%emt 0:04:56]} 35. bxc4 {[%emt 0:00:30]}
dxc4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 36. Ra6 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Ga6,Gc2,Ge3][%mdl 1]} a4 {
[%emt 0:01:35]} 37. Bxa4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Be4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 38. Ra5 {
[%emt 0:04:38]} Ke6 {[%emt 0:03:13]} 39. Rxh5 {[%emt 0:01:07]} c3 {[%emt 0:01:
03]} 40. Bb3+ {[%emt 0:00:37]} Kd6 {[%emt 1:00:51]} 41. Bc2 {[%emt 1:01:42]}
Bxc2 {[%emt 0:01:07]} 42. Nxc2 {[%emt 0:01:08][%csl Gc3,Gg2][%mdl 1]} Ke6 {
[%emt 0:03:24]} 43. Kf2 {[%emt 0:00:00]} f5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 44. Rh3 {[%emt 0:
00:00]} Ke5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 45. Rd3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Kf4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 46.
Rd4+ {[%emt 0:00:00]} Kg5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 47. Kf3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rc8 {
[%emt 0:00:00]} 48. Ra4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rc7 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 49. Ra8 {[%emt 0:
00:00]} Kf6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 50. Ra6+ {[%emt 0:00:00]} Kg5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 51.
Nd4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rc4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 52. Ne6+ {[%emt 0:00:00]} Kf6 {
[%emt 0:00:00]} 53. Nf4+ {[%emt 0:00:00]} Ke5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 54. Nd3+ {
[%emt 0:00:00]} Kd5 {[%emt 0:00:00][%mdl 1]} 55. Ra2 {[%emt 0:00:00]} (55. Ra5+
$1 {[%cal Ga5d5]} Kd4 (55... Kd6 56. Rxf5 c2 57. Nc1 Ke6) (55... Ke6 56. Ra2
Kd5 57. Rc2 Kd4 58. Nf4 Ke5 59. Ne2 {[%csl Gc3]}) 56. Nf4 {[%csl Gd5][%cal
Ga5d5]} Rc8 57. Ne2+ Kc4 (57... Kd3 58. Ra3 {[%csl Gc3][%cal Gf3f5]}) 58. Ra3)
55... Kd4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 56. Nc1 {[%emt 0:00:00]} c2 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 57. Ra5
{[%emt 0:00:00]} Rc3+ {[%emt 0:00:00]} 58. Kf4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rc8 {[%emt 0:
00:00][%mdl 1]} 59. Rxf5 {[%emt 0:00:00][%csl Gf5]} (59. Ra3) 59... Re8 {
[%emt 0:00:00][%csl Gf4][%cal Ge8e1]} 60. Rf7 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Re1 {[%emt 0:00:
00]} 61. Rd7+ {[%emt 0:00:00]} Kc3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 62. Rc7+ {[%emt 0:05:09]}
Kd2 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 63. Nb3+ {[%emt 0:02:49]} Kd3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 64. Nc5+ {
[%emt 0:01:13]} Kd4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 65. Nb3+ {[%emt 0:02:46]} Kd3 {[%emt 0:00:
00]} 66. Nc5+ {[%emt 0:01:29]} Kd4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 67. Nb3+ {[%emt 0:00:30]}
Kd3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 68. g4 {[%emt 0:01:09]} Rf1+ {[%emt 0:00:00]} 69. Kg5 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} Rb1 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 70. Nc5+ {[%emt 0:00:30]} Ke3 {[%emt 0:00:
00]} 71. Nb3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Kd3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 72. Nc5+ {[%emt 0:00:30]}
Ke3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 73. Nb3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 1/2-1/2
[Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.09"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A17"]
[WhiteElo "2729"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "ChessBase"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "playchess.com"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
[TimeControl "40/6000+30:3600+30"]
1. c4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} (1. Nf3 d5 2. e3 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. b3 Be7 5. Bb2 O-O 6.
Nc3 c5 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Qc2 Nc6 9. h4 $5 $146 {1-0 (43) Karjakin,S (2760)-Anand,
V (2762) Moscow 2016}) 1... Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 2. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} e6 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} 3. Nf3 {[%emt 0:01:08]} d5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 4. e3 {[%emt 0:00:
30]} a6 {[%emt 0:06:34]} 5. b3 {[%emt 0:01:27]} (5. d4 dxc4 6. Bxc4 b5) 5...
Bd6 {[%emt 0:02:10]} 6. Bb2 {[%emt 0:00:51]} O-O {[%emt 0:00:30]} 7. g4 $146 {
[%emt 0:00:43][%csl Gd5][%cal Gg4g5]} (7. d4 b6 8. Bd3 Bb7 9. Qc2 Nbd7 {
1/2-1/2 (39) Kortschnoj,V-Osnos,V Kiev 1964}) 7... Nxg4 {[%emt 0:03:13][%cal
Gg1g8]} 8. Rg1 {[%emt 0:01:46]} (8. cxd5 exd5 9. Nxd5 Nc6) 8... f5 {[%emt 0:02:
18]} (8... Nf6 9. cxd5) 9. cxd5 {[%emt 0:04:45][%csl Gd5]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:30]
[%csl Gb2][%cal Gg1g8]} (9... exd5 10. h3 Nf6 $6 11. Nxd5) 10. h3 {[%emt 0:03:
00]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:49]} 11. Ng5 {[%emt 0:02:08][%csl Ge6][%cal Gg5e6]} Qe7 {
[%emt 0:03:33]} 12. Qf3 {[%emt 0:04:12]} (12. Qc2) 12... Kh8 {[%emt 0:07:00]
[%csl Gh8]} 13. Ne6 {[%emt 0:04:31]} Bxe6 {[%emt 0:02:45]} 14. dxe6 {[%emt 0:
00:30][%cal Gb8c6,Gf3f5]} Qxe6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} (14... Nc6 15. Qxf5) 15. Qxb7 {
[%emt 0:06:43]} Nbd7 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 16. Bc4 {[%emt 0:00:36][%csl Ga6,Gc4,Gc7]
} (16. O-O-O) (16. Bxa6) 16... Qe7 {[%emt 0:00:36][%csl Gb7]} 17. Qg2 {[%emt 0:
01:35][%csl Gg7][%cal Gg1g7]} Nb6 {[%emt 0:04:44]} 18. Be2 {[%emt 0:01:48]
[%csl Ga6]} a5 {[%emt 0:00:58][%cal Ga5a4]} 19. Bb5 {[%emt 0:01:48][%csl Gb5]
[%cal Ga5a4]} Rad8 {[%emt 0:03:13][%csl Gg7][%cal Gd6a3,Gg2g7]} 20. Qg5 {
[%emt 0:01:00][%csl Gg5][%cal Gg5f5]} g6 {[%emt 0:01:01]} 21. Qh6 {[%emt 0:03:
04][%csl Gg6][%cal Gg1g6]} Ng8 {[%emt 0:05:55]} 22. Qg5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Nf6 {
[%emt 0:00:30][%cal Gg5h6]} 23. Rd1 {[%emt 0:10:09][%cal Gd2d4]} e4 {[%emt 0:
12:35]} (23... Ba3 24. Ba1 {[%cal Ga1h8]}) (23... Qe6) 24. Qh6 {[%emt 0:04:29]
[%csl Gh8][%cal Gg1g6,Gf6g8,Gb2h8]} Rg8 {[%emt 0:02:09][%cal Gg8g6]} 25. Ne2 {
[%emt 0:09:50][%cal Ge2f4,Gf4g6]} Be5 {[%emt 0:03:49][%csl Gb2]} 26. Bxe5 {
[%emt 0:01:06]} Qxe5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 27. Nf4 {[%emt 0:00:30][%csl Gb5]} g5 {
[%emt 0:06:12]} (27... Qxb5 28. Nxg6+ Rxg6 29. Rxg6 {[%csl Gf6,Gg7]} Rg8 30.
Rxg8+ (30. Rxf6 Rg1#) 30... Nxg8 31. Qe6 {[%csl Gb6,Gg8]} Qc5) 28. Rxg5 {
[%emt 0:02:53]} Rxg5 {[%emt 0:05:43]} 29. Qxg5 {[%emt 0:01:27]} Rg8 {[%emt 0:
00:30]} 30. Qh6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Rg7 {[%emt 0:03:51]} (30... Rg1+ 31. Bf1 Nbd7)
31. Bc4 {[%emt 0:01:58][%csl Gc4]} Nxc4 {[%emt 0:11:18]} (31... Rg1+ 32. Ke2) (
31... Nbd7 32. Ke2) 32. bxc4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Qb2 {[%emt 0:01:15]} 33. Ke2 {
[%emt 0:01:11]} a4 {[%emt 0:03:25]} 34. Ne6 {[%emt 0:08:43]} Rf7 {[%emt 0:00:
48]} 35. Nf4 {[%emt 0:06:02]} Rg7 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 36. a3 {[%emt 0:02:16][%cal
Gb2f6][%mdl 1]} Ne8 {[%emt 0:07:40][%csl Ge8]} (36... Qxa3 37. Qxf6) (36... Rg8
37. Rb1 Qxb1 (37... Qe5 38. Rb5 Qd6 39. Rxf5 $18) 38. Qxf6+ Rg7 39. Qf8+ Rg8
40. Ng6+ hxg6 41. Qh6#) (36... Ng8 37. Qe6 {[%csl Ge6]} Qxa3 38. Qxf5 $18 {
[%csl Ge4]}) (36... Qb6 $1 37. d3 {[%csl Gd1]} Qb2+ 38. Rd2 Qc3 39. Ne6 Rg2 40.
Qf8+ Rg8 41. Qb4 exd3+ 42. Rxd3 Qe5 43. Nf4 $16) 37. Qc6 {[%emt 0:04:09][%csl
Ga4,Ge8]} (37. Qc6 Nd6 38. Qxa4 {[%csl Gd1,Ge2]}) (37. Rg1 $6 Rxg1 (37... Qc2)
38. Qf8+ Rg8 39. Ng6+ hxg6 40. Qh6#) 1-0
[Event "chess.com IoM Masters"]
[Site "Douglas"]
[Date "2017.09.23"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D36"]
[WhiteElo "2799"]
[BlackElo "2803"]
[Annotator "Marin,M"]
[PlyCount "133"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 181"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. Qc2 h6 {Traditionally
inserting ...h7-h6 was supposed to help White retreat with his bishop on a
safer square and simply weaken Black's kingside. But lately Black has
discovered a few positive aspects of this move.} 7. Bh4 Be7 8. e3 O-O 9. Bd3
Re8 10. Nge2 ({In my article for CBM 156 I examined the position arising after
} 10. Nf3 Nbd7 11. O-O Ne4 {when ...h7-h6 is useful.}) 10... Nh5 {This plan is
traditionally combined with castling long. But with the pawn on h6, Black can
also use it with the king on g8 already. The effects of ...h7-h6 are far from
one-sided. In the early phase it will ensure the king's knight some stability
on f6, but if White manages to carry out g2-g4, h2-h4 and g4-g5, weakening the
kingside may prove dangerous for Black. Black should not delay this knight
move as White might soon play f2-f3 (part of his main plan anyway) and then
answer ...Nh5 with Bf2.} 11. Bxe7 Qxe7 12. h3 {A half waiting move, but
already a partial committment to castling long. The way I understand it, White
intends keeping his king in the centre until Black plays ...Nbd7, in order to
avoid a later ...Na6 as in some lines below.} ({Kramnik had faced} 12. O-O {
in a blitz game.} Nd7 13. Rae1 ({Actually this position was known a long time
ago:} 13. h3 Nf8 14. Rae1 g6 15. e4 $6 {Black is well regrouped against this
pawn break.} dxe4 16. Bxe4 Be6 17. g4 Nf6 18. Bg2 Qd6 19. Qd2 Kg7 20. Rd1 Bd5
21. Ng3 Ne6 $17 {Boutteville,C-Tartakower,S Paris 1954 (0-1, 42)}) 13... Nf8
14. Nc1 {Unlike in the classical game, White tries combining pressure on the
queenside and in the centre.} Nf6 15. Nb3 Ne6 16. f3 a5 17. Na4 Qd8 18. Nbc5
Nf8 $1 {It is useful to avoid the knight exchange, as after the planned ...
b7-b5 one of White's knights will be superfluous from the point of view of the
fight for the c5-square.} 19. Qb3 b5 20. Nc3 Ne6 21. Nxe6 Bxe6 22. Qc2 Qb6 23.
Qf2 a4 24. Rc1 b4 25. Ne2 Ra5 26. h3 c5 27. dxc5 Rxc5 28. e4 Nd7 $11 {
Nepomniachtchi,I (2751)-Kramnik,V (2811) Zuerich (blitz) 2017 (1-0, 79)}) ({
As mentioned before,} 12. O-O-O {is slightly premature:} Nf6 13. Ng3 ({This is
too slow to be dangerous but even against the standard attack with} 13. h3 {
Black can react in the same way:} b5 14. g4 a5 15. Ng3 a4 16. Kb1 a3 17. b3 Na6
$132) 13... b5 14. Kb1 a5 15. Nf5 Bxf5 16. Bxf5 a4 17. g4 a3 18. b3 Na6 19. h4
Nb4 20. Qe2 Ne4 (20... g6 21. Bd3 Nxd3 22. Rxd3 b4 23. Na4 Ne4 $15) 21. Rc1 (
21. Bxe4 dxe4 22. g5 $40) 21... g6 22. Bxe4 dxe4 23. g5 h5 $1 $15 {
Javakhishvili,L (2461)-Arabidze,M (2379) Doha 2016 (0-1, 42)}) 12... a5 $5 {
Black gladly embarks on the half-waiting game. The advance of the a-pawn is
useful in many cases. If White castles short (which is less recommendable
after h2-h3), the a-pawn would slow down the minority attack. And if White
castles long, Black can continue with the familiar ...b7-b5 and so on.} ({
Even though it looks like a flexible move,} 12... Nf6 {has the drawback of
depriving Black of ...Qh4 after} 13. O-O Nbd7 14. Ng3 Nf8 15. Rfe1 Bd7 16. a3
Qd6 17. Rad1 Rad8 18. b4 Rc8 19. e4 $5 dxe4 20. Ncxe4 Nxe4 21. Nxe4 Qc7 22. Re3
$14 {White has some space advantage and chances to create kingside threats.
With his next move Black underestimates the latter aspect.} Be6 $2 {Jacimovic,
D (2428)-Sablic,B (1997) Obrenovac 2010 (1-0, 47)} 23. Nf6+ $1 gxf6 24. Rg3+
Ng6 (24... Kh8 25. Qc1 {more or less mates.}) 25. Bxg6 Kh8 (25... fxg6 26.
Qxg6+ Kf8 27. Qxf6+ Qf7 28. Qxh6+ Ke7 29. Rg7 $18) 26. Bf5 Qf4 27. Bxe6 fxe6 (
27... Rxe6 $16) 28. Rg6 Rg8 29. g3 Rxg6 30. Qxg6 Qg5 31. Qf7 $18) ({And if}
12... Nd7 {then of course} 13. O-O-O) 13. a3 {This would be completely natural
if White intended castling short and then starting his queenside attack. But
the way the game goes, it weakens the queenside, offering Black additional
attacking ideas.} (13. g4 Nf6 14. Ng3 {takes the knight away from the
d4-square at a moment when the king is still in the centre.} c5 $5 (14... Na6
15. a3 c5 $5) 15. Nce2 c4 16. Bf5 Nc6 17. O-O b5 18. Nf4 g6 19. Bxc8 Raxc8 20.
Qd1 Qd6 21. Qf3 Ne4 $15 {Novotny,M (2219)-Konopka,M (2424) Zdar nad Sazavou
2007 (0-1, 44)}) ({Trying to cope without a2-a3 by playing} 13. Na4 {at once
does not lead anywhere after} Qb4+ 14. Nec3 $2 Qxd4) 13... Nd7 {Now that Black
has a queenside target, he can return to the normal course of development.} 14.
Na4 (14. O-O Qh4 $5 {sets up unpleasant kingside pressure.}) (14. O-O-O b5 {
offers Black a strong initiative.}) 14... Qh4 $5 {Another refined manoeuvre
typical of Kramnik. In principle, his intention seemed to be retreating with
the queen to d8, but before that he wanted to make sure White was not castling
short after all.} ({But} 14... Qg5 {is a worthy alternative with similar ideas.
} 15. g4 (15. O-O Ndf6 16. Kh2 Qh4) 15... Nhf6 16. Ng3 (16. O-O-O Ne4 17. Nf4
Qe7 18. h4 b5 19. Qxc6 Ra6 20. Qc2 Bb7 21. Kb1 Rc8 22. Qe2 Rc4 $5 $36) 16...
Qf4 17. Qe2 Qc7 $13) ({If} 14... Qd8 {at once he might have been worried about}
15. O-O $5) 15. g3 {Deciding on which square the enemy queen is molesting most
is not easy:} (15. g4 $5 Nhf6 16. Ng3 Ne4 17. Bxe4 (17. Nxe4 dxe4 18. Bxe4 Nf6
19. Bg2 Rxe3+) 17... dxe4 18. O-O-O (18. Nxe4 b5 19. Nac3 Bb7) 18... Qe7 19.
Kb1 Rb8 20. Rc1 Nf6 21. Qc5 {with some light pressure.}) 15... Qd8 {Now, of
course, castling short is not appealing at all.} 16. g4 Nhf6 17. Ng3 Nf8 18.
O-O-O b6 {The start of a consistent plan, which Kramnik will execute in
imperfect form, though.} ({The more adventurous} 18... Ne6 $5 19. Kb1 b5 {
was also viable:} 20. Nc5 Nxc5 21. Qxc5 b4 22. a4 (22. Qxc6 Rb8 23. a4 Bd7 24.
Qc2 b3) (22. axb4 axb4 23. Qxb4 Ne4 24. Nxe4 dxe4 25. Bc4 Ba6 $36) 22... Ba6
23. Qxc6 Bxd3+ 24. Rxd3 Re6 25. Qc2 Rc8 26. Qb3 Rec6 $44) 19. Kb1 ({In
Sicilian positions with castling on opposite sides Wite would think of} 19. g5
hxg5 20. h4 {but here it does not seem offering realistic attacking chances:}
g4 21. h5 Bd7 22. h6 g6 $15) 19... Bd7 20. Nf5 c5 $6 {Prematurely carrying out
the correct idea.} ({Since the b-file was likely to open, Black should have
prepared the pawn break with} 20... Rb8 21. Rhg1 ({One important element is
that White does not seem to be able to use the available tempo for speeding up
his kingside attack:} 21. h4 Nxg4 22. h5 Bxf5 23. Bxf5 Nf6 24. Rhg1 Ne6 25. Rg2
Kh8) 21... c5 {Now this is very strong.} 22. dxc5 (22. g5 hxg5 23. Rxg5 Ne6 24.
Rg2 c4 25. Be2 Kf8 26. Rdg1 g6 {and Black's attacking chances are more
realistic.}) 22... Bxa4 23. Qxa4 bxc5 24. h4 ({A similar idea to that in the
game} 24. Bb5 $2 {loses a piece to} Qb6) 24... c4 $1 {This is also possible
only with the rook on b8.} 25. Bxc4 (25. Be2 c3 26. b3 Re4 27. Rd4 Ne6 $40)
25... Qb6 $1) 21. dxc5 Bxa4 22. Qxa4 bxc5 23. Bb5 (23. h4 $16 {is also strong.}
) 23... Re6 24. Qc2 {White has used the favourable moment for activating his
pieces. Black's pawns are really "hanging".} Rb6 $6 (24... Qb6 $6 25. a4 Rd8
26. h4 Nxg4 27. Rhg1 h5 28. Nxg7 Kxg7 29. f3 $40) ({But Black should have
fought against White's stabilising on the light squares at any cost with} 24...
a4 $1 25. Qxc5 (25. Bxa4 Rb6 $40 {[%cal Ga8a1,Gb6b1]}) 25... Rc8 26. Qa7 Ra8
27. Qc5 Rc8 $11 28. Qd4 $6 Rb8 29. Bd3 Reb6 30. Rd2 Ne6 $36) 25. a4 $14 {
Black has to try hard to find counterplay now.} Ne6 26. h4 Nc7 {It is
essential to dislocate the bishop.} (26... Nxg4 27. Rxd5 $1) 27. Qxc5 Nxb5 28.
axb5 Qb8 $2 {This unnatural move loses a pawn and basically the game.} ({
Things would not be entirely clear after} 28... Rab8 29. Ne7+ Kh8 30. Nc6 Qc8 {
for instance} 31. Qd4 R8b7 32. Nxa5 Rb8 33. Nc6 R8b7 34. g5 $6 Rxb5 $1) 29. g5
$16 Rxb5 30. Qc2 Ne4 31. Ne7+ Kh8 32. Rxd5 Rxd5 33. Nxd5 Qe5 34. Rd1 Rd8 (34...
hxg5 35. hxg5 Re8 36. f4 Qf5 37. Ka1 {preparing Rh1+ and Qh2, leaves Black
under a nasty pin and with his king exposed along the h-file.}) 35. Rd4 Rxd5
36. Rxe4 Rd1+ {Black needs to get a tempo for exchanging on g5, as otherwise
gxh6 would decisively weaken his king. But this will lead to a hopeless rook
ending.} 37. Ka2 Qd5+ 38. Qc4 hxg5 39. hxg5 Kh7 40. Qxd5 Rxd5 41. f4 Kg6 42.
Rd4 Rb5 43. Ka3 {White has a solid kingside structure and a clear target on a5.
Black can never activate his king that much to generate adequate counterplay.}
Kf5 44. b3 f6 45. Ka4 Rb7 46. Rc4 Ra7 (46... fxg5 47. Rc5+ Ke4 48. Re5+ Kf3 49.
fxg5 $18) (46... Rb6 47. Rc5+ Ke4 48. Rb5 Rc6 49. Rb7 fxg5 50. Rxg7 gxf4 51.
exf4 Rb6 52. Rg5 Kxf4 53. Rxa5 {[%csl Rf4][%cal Ga5h5] The king is cut off
horizontally, the game is over.}) 47. Rc5+ Ke4 48. Rxa5 Re7 49. gxf6 gxf6 50.
Ra6 Kf5 {Resigning was a worthy alternative already, but Kramnik probably
needed some time to digest his earlier mistakes.} (50... f5 51. Ra5 {
inevitably defends e3 with Re5 as if} Re6 52. Re5+ Rxe5 53. fxe5 Kxe5 54. b4
$18) 51. Rd6 Ra7+ 52. Kb5 Rb7+ 53. Kc4 Rc7+ 54. Kd4 Rb7 55. e4+ Kxf4 56. Rxf6+
Kg5 57. Rf5+ Kg4 58. Kc4 Re7 59. Rd5 Kf4 (59... Rxe4+ 60. Rd4) 60. e5 Kf5 61.
b4 Ke6 62. b5 Ra7 63. b6 Rb7 64. Rb5 Kd7 65. Kd5 Kc8 66. e6 Kd8 67. Kc6 1-0
[Event "London Classic 9th"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.01"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D27"]
[WhiteElo "2837"]
[BlackElo "2799"]
[Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"]
[PlyCount "108"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 182"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 {Caruana successfully relied on the Queen's Gambit
Accepted in his match with Grischuk, Champions Showdown, St. Louis 2017.} 3. e3
{The quietest line. White makes sure to get his pawn back.} ({Alexander
focussed on} 3. e4) 3... Nf6 4. Bxc4 e6 5. Nf3 c5 6. O-O a6 7. Be2 $5 {Typical
Magnus. This move is way down the list of White's options.} Nbd7 {Caruana is
careful to sidestep Carlsen's preparation.} (7... cxd4 8. exd4 Nc6 9. Nc3 Be7
10. Be3 {was seen in Aronian-Caruana, Sinquefield Cup 2017. While the position
of Be2 doesn't lend a hand to White's usual attacking ambition on the kingside,
he can choose a different plan. Fabiano reacted quickly} Ng4 $5 ({not allowing
White to expand after} 10... O-O 11. Ne5) 11. Bf4 Nf6 {defended a slightly
worse position very successfully, and later took advantage of Levon's blunder.
The whole affair took 110 moves!}) 8. Nc3 b6 $5 (8... b5 {seems obvious, but
there lies the point of Carlsen's idea.} 9. e4 b4 10. e5 bxc3 11. exf6 Nxf6 ({
But} 11... cxb2 $6 {is much worse:} 12. fxg7 bxa1=Q $2 13. gxh8=Q {The same as
in the similar position of the Meran Variation: the four queens on the board
make the weak black king the decisive factor in the battle.}) 12. bxc3 {
With his bishop on e2, instead of d3, White is much better suited for
subsequent play with Ne5 and Bf3.}) 9. e4 cxd4 10. Nxd4 Bb7 11. Be3 $5 {
Still in Magnus's preparation. Now he offers a pawn sac.} ({The immediate} 11.
f3 {would have pointed Black in the right direction:} Qb8 $1 12. Be3 Bd6 13. g3
h5 $5) 11... Bc5 {With this move Caruana accepts a slightly worse position.} ({
One wonders about} 11... Nxe4 12. Nxe4 Bxe4 13. Bf3 Bxf3 14. Qxf3 Bc5 {Clearly,
White has some play, but is it enough to claim an advantage? Practical testing
is awaited.}) 12. f3 $14 {There are many classical examples, some from
Kramnik's games, of White benefiting from his g2-f3-e4 pawn chain. Black's Nf6
and Bb7 are restricted.} O-O 13. Qe1 ({The more direct} 13. Qd2 Rc8 14. Na4 Be7
15. b4 b5 16. Nb2 {would leave Black searching for a suitable square for his
queen, while a2-a4 won't be long in coming.}) 13... Rc8 14. Qf2 b5 15. Rac1 Qe7
{Now possible, as the Bc5 can retreat along the other diagonal.} 16. a4 ({
I figure Kramnik would have preferred} 16. Nb3 Bxe3 17. Qxe3 {eyeing that
a5-square.}) 16... bxa4 17. Nxa4 Bd6 $6 {A surprising choice.} (17... Ba7 {
was safe, as} 18. Nf5 $2 exf5 19. Bxa7 fxe4 {loses a pawn for White.}) 18. Nb3
Bc6 19. Nc3 Rb8 20. Na5 Ba8 21. Nc4 Bc5 22. Rfd1 Rfc8 23. Na4 $6 {True to his
style of play, Magnus seeks some clarification, but taking his knight to the
edge of the board cost him a big chunk of his advantage.} ({The logical choice
would have been} 23. Ra1 {to hit the weak pawn. White can also have plans for
central expansion, such as in} Bxe3 24. Qxe3 Nc5 25. Nd6 Rc6 26. e5 Nfd7 27. f4
) 23... Bxe3 24. Qxe3 Qb4 $1 {A timely activity to interfere with White's
plans.} 25. Qa3 {This was expected from Magnus Carlsen.} (25. Nc3) 25... h6 26.
Kf1 ({White could have accomplished more simplification with the help of a
little tactic} 26. Ncb6 $5 Qxa3 27. Rxc8+ Rxc8 28. bxa3 Nxb6 29. Nxb6 Rb8 30.
Nxa8 Rxa8 31. Rc1 $14) 26... g5 27. Rc3 a5 28. Qxb4 axb4 {A welcome pawn
structure change if you're a Caruana fan. Still, White is a little better, and
Magnus is Magnus.} 29. Rcc1 Kf8 30. Na5 Ke7 31. Kf2 Rxc1 32. Rxc1 Ne8 33. Ke3
Nd6 34. Nc5 Rc8 35. Nab3 f5 $6 (35... Ne5 {would have prevented White from
trading rooks, which he needs to accomplish if he's serious about hitting that
b4-pawn.}) 36. Nxd7 Rxc1 37. Nxc1 Kxd7 38. Nd3 $6 ({It is surprising to see
Carlsen neglecting a chance to win a clean pawn after} 38. Bd3 fxe4 39. fxe4 {
and there's no stopping the threat of Na2. Truth to tell, White would still be
a long ways from winning the game.} e5 40. Na2 Kc7 41. Nxb4 Kb6) 38... fxe4 39.
fxe4 Ke7 40. e5 ({Another option was} 40. Bf3 g4 41. Bxg4 Bxe4 42. Bf3 Bxd3 43.
Kxd3 e5 $14) 40... Nf5+ 41. Kf2 Nd4 42. Bd1 b3 43. Nb4 Bd5 44. g3 (44. Nxd5+
exd5 45. Ke3 Nf5+ 46. Kd3 Ke6 47. Bxb3 Kxe5 {An outside passer is always
useful in B vs N endgames, but here Black is well centralised and therefore
should hold.}) 44... Bc4 45. Ke3 Nf5+ 46. Ke4 $6 (46. Kd2 {seemed more
promising:} Kd7 47. Bf3 Kc7 48. Kc3) 46... Kd7 47. g4 {This pawn will be a
target for Black's counterplay.} Ne7 48. Kd4 Bf1 49. Bxb3 Be2 50. h3 Bf1 51.
Nd3 Nc6+ 52. Kc5 $5 {A fancy way to reach a draw that seened inevitable anyhow.
} Bxd3 53. Ba4 Be4 54. Kb6 Bd5 {Of course Black cannot unpin, but he can wait
for the white pawn to come to b5, and then his knight can move away.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "London Classic 9th"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.03"]
[Round "2"]
[White "So, Wesley"]
[Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E60"]
[WhiteElo "2788"]
[BlackElo "2729"]
[Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"]
[PlyCount "53"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 182"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 {The Anti-Grünfeld recipe, commonly used on the top
level since Kramnik-Shirov, Casorla (9) 1998.} d6 ({The same opponents had a
game in 2015 that went into a Modern Benoni after} 3... e6 4. e4 c5 5. d5 d6 6.
Nc3 Bg7 7. Nge2 exd5 8. cxd5 O-O 9. Ng3) 4. e4 e5 5. Ne2 c5 $6 {The Old Benoni
is a rare guest in grandmaster games.} 6. d5 Nbd7 $6 {The knight is misplaced
here.} ({Grischuk-Nepo, World Blitz 2013 went} 6... h5 7. h4 Bh6 8. Bxh6 Rxh6
9. Qd2 Rh8 10. Nbc3 Na6 {and White applied a typical positional squeeze to win
in 39 moves.}) 7. Nbc3 a6 8. a4 $6 {I don't see why White should even bother
with preventing b7-b5. A pawn sac with the black pawn on e5 would be
unthinkable even for the most die-hard Benko fan.} (8. h4 h5 9. Be3 $16 {
I don't get it. What does Nepo see in this position?}) 8... Nh5 9. g3 {
Normally in the S鋗isch KID White doesn't play like this.} ({If only White
kept his a-pawn where it belonged, he would have been happy to accept the
upcoming pawn sac.} 9. Be3 Bg7 10. g4 Nf4 {Absolutely forced.} 11. Nxf4 exf4
12. Bxf4 Bd4 13. Qd2 Ne5 14. Be2 Bd7 15. h4 {as it is, Black would get chances
after} Qb6) 9... Bg7 10. h4 $5 ({Another interesting move was} 10. Bh3 O-O 11.
O-O {anticipating} f5 12. exf5 gxf5 13. Qc2 {In that case, same as in the game
Black suffers the consequence of his early developing with Nbd7, as Bc8
remains blocked.}) 10... f5 11. exf5 gxf5 12. g4 $1 fxg4 13. fxg4 Nf4 14. g5
O-O 15. Ne4 Nb6 $1 {Ian grabs a chance to get that knight out of the way.} 16.
N2g3 {The correct approach. White needs to keep the situation from getting out
of control.} ({The point was} 16. a5 $2 Nxc4 $1 17. Nxf4 exf4 18. Bxc4 Re8 {
with a strong attack.}) 16... Bd7 17. Rg1 Kh8 18. Bd2 (18. Nxd6 Bxa4 19. Nxb7
Qc7 20. Rxa4 Nxa4 21. Qxa4 Qxb7 22. Ne4 Rab8 $13) 18... Nc8 {On the face of it
Wesley's kingside advantage should ensure a long-term edge for White, but
playing such positions takes a very subtle approach.} 19. Nh5 $2 {I don't like
this plan. Trading pieces just feels wrong.} ({Suppose we start with} 19. h5 h6
20. g6 Qc7 {and now White, whose king appears to be safe, can try the other
side:} 21. a5 Ne7 22. b4 $6 Nf5 23. bxc5 dxc5 24. Nxf5 Bxf5 25. Qf3 {only to
find himself under pressure after} b5 $1) (19. a5 Qc7 20. h5 $1 {only now when
the black queen no longer attacks the g5-pawn.} h6 21. Qc2 Ne7 22. O-O-O b5 23.
Ne2 $1 {So much for the positional squeeze. Instead, White is trying to get to
the black king!} b4 24. Nxf4 exf4 25. gxh6 Bxh6 26. Kb1 Nf5 27. Qd3 $16) 19...
Bf5 20. Neg3 (20. Nef6 Nxh5 21. Nxh5 Ne7) 20... Qd7 21. Nxg7 Qxg7 22. Nxf5 Rxf5
23. Qb3 Na7 24. Qb6 {A disappointing finish.} ({I guess Wesley was not quite
happy with allowing} 24. O-O-O b5 {but White might still be better.}) 24... Nc8
25. Qb3 Na7 26. Qb6 Nc8 27. Qb3 1/2-1/2
[Event "London Classic 9th"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.04"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E11"]
[WhiteElo "2805"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 182"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Bb4+ 4. Bd2 Be7 5. Bg2 d5 6. Nf3 O-O 7. O-O Nbd7 {
Black has been solid in this line, which resembles the Closed Catalan, only
with the white bishop misplaced on d2.} 8. Na3 $5 {Aronian always seeks a new
path. The development of the knight to the edge of the board takes care of the
c4-pawn and allows White to get his major pieces out.} c6 9. Rc1 Ne4 10. Be3 f5
{Sergey took a bit of time here. Normally he's not a big fan of the Stonewall
formation.} ({Levon already had an occasion in this line to showcase his
positional skills:} 10... Bxa3 11. bxa3 Nd6 12. c5 Nc4 13. Rxc4 $1 dxc4 14. Qc2
{Aronian-Giri, Tata Steel 2017.}) (10... b6 {is supposed to be met with} 11.
cxd5 cxd5 {but White didn't get so much out the c-file in Gozzoli-Meier, 2017:}
12. Bf4 Ba6 13. Bc7 Qe8 14. Ne1 Bxa3 15. bxa3 Qe7) 11. Rc2 a5 {Sergey wanted
to stop White's expansion on the queenside.} ({Alternatively he could have
invited it:} 11... Bf6 12. b4 Qe7 13. c5 {counting on the counterplay with} b6
$1) 12. Qc1 Bf6 13. Rd1 g5 14. Nb1 (14. Ne5 $5 {is what White always wants to
do in the Stonewall. It's not really a pawn sacrifice here, as} Nxe5 (14... Qe7
$5) 15. dxe5 Bxe5 16. f3 {gets it back. The position after} Nd6 (16... f4 {
is very risky:} 17. fxe4 fxe3 18. cxd5) 17. Bxg5 Bf6 18. Bxf6 Qxf6 19. e3 {
is slightly better for White, who will try to get a hold of dark squares, such
as in} Bd7 20. c5 Nf7 21. f4 e5 22. Nc4) 14... Rf7 15. Nc3 Rg7 16. Ne1 {
Aronian continues to manoeuvre.} ({A standard method in such positions is} 16.
Nxe4 fxe4 17. Nd2 {I think Levon was concerned with the future of his knight
after} ({or} 17. Ne1 {with the same idea, although in that case Black can try
the surprising} b5 $5 18. cxb5 cxb5 19. f3 Bb7) 17... Rf7 (17... a4 $5) 18. f3
exf3 19. exf3 a4 {but then White can try the direct} 20. f4 $5 gxf4 21. gxf4)
16... Nd6 17. b3 ({Anotrher surprising line that didn't see the light of the
day was} 17. c5 Nc4 (17... Nf7 $11 {may have been the reason Aronian didn't
want to close the position.}) 18. Bxg5 Bxg5 19. f4 Be7 20. b3 b5 21. bxc4 bxc4
$13) 17... dxc4 18. Na4 ({After} 18. bxc4 Nxc4 19. Ne4 Nxe3 20. Nxf6+ Qxf6 21.
Qxe3 {White has enough compensation, but Black counters with} e5 {before White
can clamp down on that square.}) 18... cxb3 19. axb3 Nb5 20. Nd3 $5 {One
cannot accuse Levon Aronian of not trying. The second pawn is offered.} Qe8 {
Sergey thought better of that.} ({Both} 20... Nxd4 21. Bxd4 Bxd4 22. Rcd2 Qe7)
({and to a lesser extent} 20... Bxd4 21. Bxd4 Nxd4 22. Rb2 Qe7 23. e3 Nb5 24.
Rbd2 {were playable.}) 21. Ne5 f4 22. gxf4 gxf4 23. Bxf4 Nxd4 24. Rxd4 Nxe5 25.
Rd1 Qg6 26. Bg3 h5 {At first sight White's situation looks critical, but both
players realised that the threat of h5-h4 was only good to win a piece, not to
checkmate the white king.} 27. Nb6 Rb8 28. Rcd2 Nf7 ({Here is a line to
illustrate the point.} 28... h4 29. Rd8+ Bxd8 30. Rxd8+ Kh7 31. Nxc8 hxg3 32.
hxg3 Qf6 33. Be4+ Ng6 34. Qd2 {White is only down the exchange with a solidly
protected king, which cannot be said about its black counterpart.}) 29. Qc5 $5
{Aronian insists on "losing" a piece.} ({He could have played} 29. Qc2 {
to take care of the problem on the g-file.} Qxc2 30. Rxc2 e5 31. Nxc8 Rxc8 32.
h4 {White has compensation, but hardly more.}) 29... e5 {Agaijn, Karjakin says
thanks, but no thanks.} (29... h4 30. Nc4 hxg3 31. hxg3 b6 {otherwise it's
hard to save the Rb8 from the attack by the white queen.} 32. Qxc6 Ba6 33. Qxe6
Kh8 34. Rd7 Bxc4 35. Qxc4 {is objecively about equal, but it's harder to play
for Black, particularly when low on time.}) 30. Qc4 Kh8 31. h4 $6 {After the
game Levon expressed his regret at letting the formerly bad Bc8 live.} ({
Indeed,} 31. Nxc8 Rxc8 32. h4 {was a better choice.}) 31... Bf5 32. Nd7 Rbg8
33. Kh1 {With this move Aronian offered a draw. By his own admission, Levon
"cheated" a bit, as no such offers should remain part of chess competition.} (
33. Nxf6 Qxf6 34. Qc3 Rg4 {already slightly favours Black, who aims to have a
go at the white king, e.g} 35. Qxa5 $2 Rxh4 $1 36. Bxh4 Qxh4 $19) ({In the
game continuation} 33. Kh1 $2 {Black had a large, if not outright decisive
advantage. Karjakin said he didn't see} Be7 $1 {saving the bishop and
preparing the shot on h4.} 34. e3 (34. e4 Bxd7 35. Rxd7 Bxh4 {as the 4th rank
is now blocked.}) 34... e4 $1 35. Rg1 Bd6 $19) 1/2-1/2
[Event "London Classic 9th"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.05"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B48"]
[WhiteElo "2760"]
[BlackElo "2799"]
[Annotator "Hillarp Persson,T"]
[PlyCount "84"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 182"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{After overcoming my initial instinct of commenting on all the other games, I
finally settled on this one. The result did play a part in my decision.} 1. e4
c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 (5. Nb5 d6 6. c4 Nf6 7. N1c3 a6 {
leads to a Maroczy setup.} 8. Na3) 5... Qc7 ({The main reason for Black's move
order is to avoid} 5... a6 6. Nxc6 bxc6 7. Bd3 d5 8. O-O {which leads to a
rather un-Sicilian position that demands a lot from a defensive point of view.}
) 6. Be3 ({For a while White scored well with} 6. Ndb5 Qb8 7. Be3 a6 8. Bb6
axb5 9. Nxb5 Bb4+ 10. c3 Ba5 11. Nc7+ Qxc7 12. Bxc7 Bxc7 13. Qg4 g6 14. Bb5 {
, but I always considered this to be a bluff. Black should be winning and it
is a relief for me to see that White has scored horribly from this position in
the last year.}) 6... a6 7. Qf3 $5 {This move popped up already in the early
2000's, but didn't catch on until a decade later. Since then it has even
challenged 7.Qd2 for the most-popular prize and it is easy to understand its
charm. The 7.Qd2-lines can be answered by one thousand sharp lines, whereas
here play becomes more linear and easier to remember. White will plonk the
queen down on g3 and take it from there.} (7. Qd2 Nf6 8. O-O-O {has been
played in a few thousand (not exaggerating this time) tournament games. Lately
Black has preferred} Be7 {to the alternatives. One critical line goes} 9. f3 b5
10. g4 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Bb7 12. g5 (12. Kb1 $5 {has been played by Caruana
himself.}) 12... Nh5 13. Be5 Qxe5 14. Qxd7+ Kf8 15. Qxb7 Qb8 {and Black was
doing all right in - among others - Khairullin,I (2651)-Jumabayev,R (2564)
Moscow 2014.}) 7... Ne5 {Black has tried virtually everything under the sun
here:} (7... Nf6 8. O-O-O Ne5 9. Qg3 b5 10. f4 Neg4 11. Bg1 {leads to the game.
}) (7... Bd6 8. O-O-O Be5 {looks rather forced and "unnatural" and Caruana had
this position with White only a year ago:} 9. g3 $5 Nge7 10. Qe2 O-O 11. f4
Bxd4 12. Bxd4 Nxd4 13. Rxd4 e5 14. Rd1 exf4 15. e5 $1 {White has a strong
initiative and Black is struggling to find some coordination.} f3 16. Qxf3 Qxe5
17. Bg2 d6 18. Rhe1 Qg5+ 19. Kb1 Be6 20. Qxb7 d5 21. Nxd5 Nxd5 22. Bxd5 Rab8
23. Qc6 $16 {Caruana,F (2810)-Movsesian,S (2675) chess.com IoM Masters 2016})
8. Qg3 b5 $5 {This is a very rare move order. Almost everyone and his dog plays
} (8... h5 {when again we get a position with many possibilities. This is one
of the lovely side effects of playing the Taimanov Sicilian, instead of
any-other-Sicilian.} {The most common move here is} 9. O-O-O ({The game
Swiercz,D (2645)-Durarbayli,V (2605) 28th Carlos Torre Mem 2016, saw a ton of
preparation being meted out before things turned vague:} 9. Bf4 $5 d6 10. Bg5
$1 {This idea is quite dangerous for Black. Now the h-pawn is caught in limbo,
dreaming about how nice it would have been to still be able to go to h6.} b5
11. f4 {This is the "most wanted" engine line.} h4 (11... b4 12. Ncb5 axb5 13.
fxe5 $16) (11... Nc4 12. O-O-O {and White has some kind of accelerated
Bg5-Najdorf where the h5-pawn has gone on a wild goose chase.}) 12. Bxh4 b4 (
12... Ng6 13. Bg5 b4 14. Nd1 $14) 13. Ncb5 axb5 14. fxe5 Bd7 15. O-O-O Rxa2 (
15... Qc5 $5) 16. Nb3 (16. Bxb5 Qa5 17. Bxd7+ Kxd7) 16... Rxh4 17. Qxh4 dxe5
18. Bd3 $14) {when} 9... h4 10. Qh3 b5 11. f4 Nc4 12. Bxc4 Qxc4 13. Kb1 Bb7 14.
Rhe1 Rc8 15. Nb3 b4 16. Na4 Bxe4 $17 {worked beautifully for Black, in
Abdumalik,Z (2420)-Fier,A (2565) St Louis Spring Classic B 2017. It looks to
me like 9.Bf4 is the more dangerous move.}) 9. O-O-O ({This time} 9. Bf4 d6 10.
Bg5 {makes no sense due to} h6) 9... Nf6 10. f4 Neg4 (10... Nc4 11. Bxc4 Qxc4
12. e5 Nd5 13. Nxd5 Qxd5 14. Nb3 Qc4 (14... Qc6 15. Rd6 $1) 15. Kb1 $16 {
[%csl Rc5][%cal Gg3f2]}) 11. Bg1 h5 {I have played h5 under much worse
circumstances. Now e4-e5 can be met with b5-b4 followed by Nf6-somewhere
without the knight on g4 falling prey to the queen.} 12. e5 (12. a3 $6 h4 $1
13. Qf3 Bb7 {is difficult for White. For instance} 14. h3 Nh6 15. Qe3 Rc8 16.
e5 Nh5 {[%cal Gf8a3,Gh5g3] is hugely advantageous for Black. Even ignoring the
threat of Bxa3, White is over-stretched and Black's knight are about to find
excellent outpostss}) (12. Bd3 {is also critical:} Bb7 13. e5 (13. h3 $5 h4 14.
Qf3 Nh6 15. Qe3 Rc8 16. Kb1 Bc5 17. e5 Nh5 {is quite unclear.}) 13... b4 14.
Na4 Nd5 15. h3 Nh6 16. f5 $1 h4 $5 (16... Be7 $132) 17. Qxh4 Qxe5 18. fxe6 $6 (
18. Be4 $1 {, intending} Be7 19. Qe1 {avoids the exchange of queens, which
should be high on White's wish-list.}) 18... dxe6 19. Kb1 Be7 20. Qe1 Qxe1 21.
Rxe1 Ng4 {Henderson de La Fuente,L (2410)-Romanov,E (2625) 21st OIBM 2017, and
only Black could be better.}) 12... b4 $1 13. Na4 $5 {If you are a fan of
statistics then this is your choice. I am guessing Karjakin had stronger
reasons; like fighting for control of the dark squares, c5/b6.} (13. Nb1 Ne4
14. Qe1 Bb7 15. Nd2 (15. h3 Nh6 16. Nd2 Nxd2 17. Qxd2 Rd8 $13) 15... Nxd2 16.
Rxd2 {For once we reach a position where the engine is optimistic about
White's chances.} g6 $5 {An ambitious move.} (16... Be7 {looks like the solid
candidate:} 17. Kb1 Rd8 18. h3 Nh6 19. Bf2 O-O $1) 17. Kb1 Be7 18. Bd3 Nh6 19.
Be4 Rd8 20. Bf2 Bxe4 21. Qxe4 d5 22. exd6 $6 (22. Qf3 $14) 22... Rxd6 23. Qa8+
Rd8 24. Qxa6 O-O $44 {Oparin,G (2605)-Najer,E (2705) 70th ch-RUS HL 2017.})
13... Nd5 ({After} 13... Ne4 14. Qe1 Bb7 15. Nb3 $1 {Black is struggling to
find a way to meet Nb6, while keeping his Ne4 stable when Bd3 comes.}) 14. Nb3
{Karjakin's plan is to occupy the c5-square and - if Black is not careful -
perhaps even manage to exchange the dark squared bishops. However good this
sounds, it seems like something goes wrong for White around here.} ({Earlier
games went} 14. h3 {and this seems like the better move.} Nh6 15. Bd3 g6 {
and there have been two games from this position in the last few years:} 16.
Kb1 (16. Be4 Bb7 17. Qf3 Nf5 $2 (17... Rc8 $5) 18. Nxf5 gxf5 19. Bxd5 Bxd5 20.
Rxd5 exd5 21. Nb6 {was absolutely horrendous for Black, in Fier,A (2580)
-Leenhouts,K (2485) 9th Batavia GM 2017.}) 16... Bb7 17. Nb3 $2 (17. Be4) 17...
Bc6 18. Nac5 a5 $5 (18... Nf5 $1) 19. Ne4 $15 {Rodi,L (2335)-Borges,G (2205) I
Duchamp Int Open 2017}) (14. Nf5 $5 Bb7 15. Nd6+ Bxd6 16. exd6 Qxd6 17. Nb6 Rd8
18. Nxd5 Bxd5 19. Bc4 O-O 20. h3 Nh6 (20... Nf6 21. Bd4) 21. Bxd5 exd5 22. Qf3
Rc8 23. Rxd5 Qc7 24. Rc5 {is pretty much forced and completely equal after} Qd6
25. Rxh5 Rc4) (14. Kb1 $5) 14... Bb7 15. Nac5 {This turns out to be a
questionable victory, but it was already too late to turn to other plans. The
Sicilian is an unforgiving opening for those who do not play the best move;
the difference between doing fine and being worse is often hard to discern.}
Bc6 $1 {Now Black is ready to continue with a6-a5-a4.} 16. Ne4 ({This was the
last opportunity to kick Ng4 back before it is too late.} 16. h3 $1 Nh6 17. Ne4
$1 Nf5 18. Qf3 {and the position remains about balanced.}) 16... f5 $1 17. h3
$2 (17. exf6 $1 gxf6 18. h3 {is the best chance here, but after} Qxf4+ $1 (
18... Nxf4 19. Qe1 $13) 19. Qxf4 Nxf4 20. Rd4 Bh6 {Black is better. The
central pawn mass and the well coordinated minor pieces will control the game:}
21. Kb1 Ne5 22. Na5 Bxe4 23. Rxe4 Nd5 24. Be2 Ke7 25. Bc5+ d6 26. Bxb4 Rag8 27.
Bf1 f5 28. Rxe5 Nxb4 $36 {A very sample-ish line.}) (17. Nd6+ Bxd6 18. exd6
Qxd6 {and not only is f4 a goner, but the queens will have to come off too.})
17... h4 $1 18. Qe1 fxe4 $1 (18... Nh6 19. Nd6+ Bxd6 20. exd6 Qxd6 21. Kb1 Qxf4
{is also better for Black, but after} 22. Nd4 {White can mess things up much
more than in the game.}) 19. hxg4 Nxf4 20. Rxh4 Rxh4 21. Qxh4 Qxe5 {White's
centre has crumbled and he doesn't have anything to show for it.} 22. Bd4 Ng6
$1 23. Qh3 Qg5+ 24. Kb1 {A difficult situation for Black, in the sense that
there are plenty of good moves that keep an advantage, while it is difficult
to see which move is best. In those situation it is generally a good idea to
play a good move.} Bd5 {...and this is a good move. Perhaps} (24... d5 {or}) (
24... Nf4 {is better, but it would take a lot of time to decide which is
better and why.}) 25. Bg1 (25. Be3 Qh4 26. Qxh4 Nxh4 27. Nc5 a5 $17) 25... Be7
26. g3 {It is hard to come up with good advice for White, but this is not it.
Now the light squares are further weakened.} Ne5 27. Be2 Nf3 28. Bxf3 exf3 29.
Bd4 Kf7 30. Nc1 d6 $1 {If this was a movie, the camera would zoom in on the
bishop's sweaty face as he hears a shout in the distance: "The pawns are
coming. Run!"} 31. Nd3 e5 32. Bf2 Be6 33. Nxb4 e4 34. Qh1 Rc8 35. Nxa6 Qa5 36.
Qh5+ Qxh5 37. gxh5 Bg5 38. Re1 Bc4 (38... Bd2 $1 39. Rxe4 Bf5 {wins tons of
material.}) 39. Nb4 Re8 40. Re3 Bxe3 41. Bxe3 Re5 42. g4 Rg5 0-1
[Event "London Classic 9th"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.06"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D70"]
[WhiteElo "2805"]
[BlackElo "2789"]
[Annotator "Krasenkow,M"]
[PlyCount "50"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 182"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nb6 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. Be3 O-O 8. Qd2
e5 9. d5 c6 10. Rd1 (10. h4 {is the main theoretical move but the text
continuation looks quite promising.}) 10... cxd5 (10... Re8 11. dxc6 Qxd2+ 12.
Rxd2 Nxc6 13. Bb5 Be6 14. Nd5 Rad8 15. Bxc6 bxc6 16. Nc7 Rxd2 17. Bxd2 Re7 18.
Nxe6 Rxe6 19. Nh3 $14 {1/2 (41) Krassowizkij,J (2438)-Vocaturo,D (2600)
Griesheim GER 2017}) 11. exd5 N8d7 {This move allows the most comfortable
development of White's knight; however, other continuations are not quite
sufficient for equality, either, according to recent practice:} (11... Nc4 {
exchanging White's undeveloped bishop, is hardly appropriate:} 12. Bxc4 Qh4+
13. Qf2 Qxc4 14. Nge2 Na6 15. b3 Qb4 16. O-O Bd7 17. d6 $14 {1-0 (50)
Polivanov,A (2383)-Zaksaite,S (2278) Katowice POL 2017}) (11... Re8 12. Ne4
N8d7 13. Nh3 Nf6 14. Nhf2 Nxe4 15. fxe4 f5 16. Be2 f4 17. Bc5 Nd7 18. Ba3 $14 {
1/2 (41) Postny,E (2620)-Sarkar,J (2415) Sitges 2016}) (11... Bf5 12. h4 h5 13.
Nh3 N8d7 (13... Qxh4+ $2 14. Nf2 Qd8 15. g4) 14. Nf2 Nf6 15. Bg5 Qd6 16. Be2
Rfe8 17. O-O Rac8 18. Nce4 $14 (18. g4 e4 19. Bf4 Qc5 20. gxf5 e3 $13 {1/2 (44)
Martinovic,S (2532)-Burnoiu,N (2400) Arad 2015})) (11... Qh4+ $5 12. Bf2 (12.
Qf2 $5) 12... Qb4 13. h4 N8d7 14. h5 Nf6 15. Rh4 e4 16. hxg6 hxg6 17. fxe4 Re8
$44 {0-1 (46) Wojtaszek,R (2744)-Dominguez Perez,L (2726) Beijing 2014}) 12.
Nh3 $1 (12. h4 Nf6 13. h5 $6 Nxh5 14. Bh6 f5 15. Bxg7 Kxg7 16. d6 Be6 $17 {
0-1 (37) Geirnaert,S (2451)-Hovhannisyan,M (2509) Schelle 2015}) 12... e4 {
[%mdl 512]} (12... Nc4 $6 13. Bxc4 Qh4+ 14. Nf2 Qxc4 15. b3 Qa6 16. Nd3 Nb6 {
1-0 (29) Lenaerts,L (2204)-Guido,F (2367) Vienna 2015} 17. O-O $16) (12... Nf6
13. Nf2 Bd7 14. Be2 Rc8 15. O-O Nc4 16. Bxc4 Rxc4 17. Bxa7 b6 18. Qe3 Rc5 19.
d6 $16 {1/2 (57) Van Kampen,R (2636)-Bok,B (2586) Amsterdam 2014}) 13. fxe4 (
13. f4 $6 Nf6 14. Nf2 Ng4 15. Nxg4 Bxg4 16. Be2 Bxe2 17. Qxe2 Rc8 18. O-O Bxc3
19. bxc3 Nxd5 $15 {1/2 (24) Delchev,A (2604)-Ghosh,D (2531) Kavala 2015}) 13...
Ne5 {Theoretically, Black's compensation for the pawn is not fully sufficient
but in practice this blockade is not easy to lift, and the position remains
double-edged.} 14. Nf2 f5 ({The series of exchanges after} 14... Nbc4 15. Bxc4
Nxc4 16. Qe2 Nxe3 17. Qxe3 Qb6 18. Qxb6 axb6 {is rather favourable for White,
e.g.} 19. O-O Bd7 20. h3 h5 21. Nd3 Rfe8 22. Nb4 Be5 23. Rf3 Kg7 24. Nc2 Bxc3
25. Rxc3 Rxa2 26. Rc7 Ba4 27. Rf1 $16 {1-0 (75) Bologan,V (2672)-Cheparinov,I
(2678) Poikovsky 2013}) 15. Bc5 $6 {It was probably better to leave the bishop
on e3, preventing ...f5-f4.} (15. Bg5 $5 Qe8 16. Bb5 Bd7 17. Bxd7 Qxd7 18. O-O
f4 $6 (18... Nec4) 19. Bxf4 Nec4 20. Qc1 Nxb2 21. Qxb2 Rxf4 22. Qb3 Raf8 23.
Ne2 R4f7 24. g3 Na4 25. Nf4 Nc3 26. Ne6 $16 {1/2 (75) Georgescu,T (2468)-Gupta,
A (2630) Cappelle-la-Grande 2014}) (15. b3 $5 {, preventing ...Nb6-c4, looks
the most appropriate:} Bd7 (15... fxe4 16. Ncxe4) 16. Be2 Rc8 17. Bd4 f4 18.
Bf3 Qh4 19. Ne2 Bb5 20. Bxe5 Bxe5 21. O-O h5 22. Rfe1 Nd7 23. Nd4 Ba6 24. Rc1
$14 {1/2 (36) Heimann,A (2548)-Mikhalevski,V (2536) Lingen 2015}) 15... Rf7 16.
Be2 f4 17. Bf3 $6 {Not a good antidote to ...f4-f3 but White's position is
quite dangerous in other cases, too, e.g.} (17. O-O f3 $5) ({or} 17. b3 f3 18.
gxf3 Qh4) 17... Nbc4 18. Qe2 b6 $6 (18... Qh4 {was even more dangerous} 19. O-O
$140 g5 $40) 19. Bd4 Ne3 20. Bxe3 fxe3 21. Qxe3 {Black has excellent
compensation for two pawns: a pair of bishops, blockade, active pieces.} Qf8 {
This move practically forces a draw.} (21... Nxf3+ $5 22. gxf3 Ba6 {[%csl Re1]}
) 22. Be2 $1 {[%cal Re1g1]} (22. O-O $6 Nxf3+ 23. gxf3 Rxf3 24. Qe2 Be5 $40)
22... Bh6 23. Qd4 Bg7 24. Qe3 Bh6 25. Qd4 Bg7 1/2-1/2
[Event "London Classic 9th"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.06"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C48"]
[WhiteElo "2799"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "Hillarp Persson,T"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 182"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 (3. Bc4 {has never been more popular, but the Ruy
Lopez still leads to more complex positions and is the more ambitious option.})
3... Nf6 {The Berlin Defence is known to be super solid since the time when
Kramnik used it to win a World Championship Match against Kasparov. I believe
it was Julian Hodgson who pointed out that the downside of playing 1.e4, is
that it is not defended.} 4. d3 $1 {My "!" might seem a bit puzzling, but it
is the only way to keep a reasonable amount of pieces left on the board while
not ending up with a swap of the e-pawns.} ({The old main line} 4. O-O Nxe4 5.
d4 (5. Re1 Nd6 6. Nxe5 Be7 7. Bf1 {is another, more popular, line. It seem to
me like squeezing water out of a stone. But, let us be clear, I can only get
away with such a statement because I'm strong enough to have some inkling of
what I am saying, while not being strong enough to actually understand what I
am saying. Really, much of what goes on in these games is beyond our
understanding; especially how hard it is to actually handle these things over
the board without an engine as help. The drawing tendencies in the Berlin are
impending and it takes a whole lot of energy, focus and knowledge to be able
to win against another strong player here. This is what the game is like today.
It is a struggle with the thinnest of margins.}) 5... Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5
Nf5 {is not seen often between the top players. Only Vachier Lagrave seems
happy to play this in long games nowadays.}) 4... Bc5 {The bishop is not very
well placed here if White takes on c6, but against every other setup this is
its optimal post.} 5. Nc3 {This move is generally played in tandem with a
Bxc6-followed-by-long-castling-strategy.} ({Caruana usually plays} 5. c3 {
, when lately} O-O 6. O-O Re8 7. Bg5 {has done very well for White.} h6 8. Bh4
a6 9. Bc4 {leads to a position that can arise from the Giuoco Piano, minus the
rook on e8. Because of this detail, Black should avoid} Na5 {due to} (9... g5
10. Bg3 Ba7 11. Nbd2) 10. Bxf7+ Kxf7 11. b4 $14) (5. O-O Nd4 {gives Black an
easy game.}) (5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nbd2 {has been popular too, but in the last year
Black has done well with} Be6 $5 7. O-O Bd6 8. d4 Nd7 9. dxe5 Nxe5 10. Nxe5
Bxe5 11. f4 Bd4+ 12. Kh1 f5 {The engine likes the position for White after} 13.
Qe2 {, but it could be a superficial evaluation:} O-O 14. Rd1 Qe7 15. Nf3 Bc5
16. Re1 Rae8 17. exf5 $2 (17. e5 h6) 17... Bd5 $1 18. Ne5 Rxf5 $15 {Robson,R
(2665)-Nakamura,H (2790) ch-USA 2017, and Black went on to win.}) 5... O-O 6.
Bxc6 dxc6 {Caruana has lost two rapid games against Grischuk from this
position, but he seems to have faith in it still.} 7. h3 (7. Ne2 Re8 8. h3 Nd7
9. g4 Bb4+ $5 10. Kf1 {I find it hard to believe that this move fits in with
White's setup.} (10. Bd2 Bxd2+ (10... Bf8 $1) 11. Qxd2 c5 12. O-O-O $13) 10...
Bf8 11. Ng3 Nc5 12. Be3 f6 13. Nf5 {White's plan looks menacing, but if Black
can defend (which should be quite possible) then the bishop pair could become
a factor in the latter part of the game.} Ne6 14. Rg1 Kh8 15. h4 g6 16. Nh6 Qe7
$17 {and White's attack came to a complete halt as g5 is met with Bxh6 and h5
with ...Bxh6 followed by ...g5; Caruana,F (2795)-Grischuk,A (2780) Champions
Showdown G30 rapid 2017.}) 7... Nd7 {Black starts rearranging his minor pieces.
The knight is headed for e6 and the Bc5 will be solid on d6 or tucked away on
f8. It will be difficult for White to open up the position without
simultanesly opening a Pandora's box of awesome bishop power.} ({Having seen
the course the game takes, I went back to this moment to ask myself if there
is no way for Black to get the bishop to f8 in one go. Indeed there is:} 7...
Re8 8. Be3 Bf8 {intending a fast Nf6-d7-c5-e6, will win a tempo for Black
compared to the game if White continues along the same lines. In a blitz game
Caruana made use of a different version of the same plan we will soon see:} 9.
a4 a5 10. O-O b6 (10... Nd7) 11. Nd2 Be6 {As I understand it, the bishop
should only go here when f6 has been played (so that it can retreat to f7).} (
11... Nd7) 12. Ne2 Nh5 13. g4 Nf6 14. Ng3 {The plan is back on track.} Nd7 15.
Kh2 g6 16. Rg1 Be7 {Black is drifting.} 17. Nf5 Bg5 18. Nf3 Bxe3 19. fxe3 Kh8
20. Qe1 c5 21. b3 gxf5 $2 22. gxf5 Bxf5 23. exf5 e4 24. Ng5 Ne5 25. Kh1 f6 26.
Ne6 {and White went on to win, in Caruana,F (2800)-Nakamura,H (2785) chess.com
Speed 3m+2spm 2017. It is a nice illustration of the g4/Nc3-e2-g3-f5 plan.}) 8.
Be3 $1 Bd6 9. Ne2 Re8 10. g4 Nc5 ({Grischuk's idea} 10... Bb4+ {is not out of
the question here.}) 11. Ng3 Ne6 {White would like to push the pawns forward
on the kingside, but as long as Bc8 keeps an eye on g4, it is not possible ot
play h4, while g4-g5 doesn't solve the problem as h4 is still (annoyingly)
answered with ...Bg4. However, this is why the knight was rerouted to g3. It
will act as a plug on f5 and allow White to continue to push the pawns. Ergo,
there is no reason for Black to keep the c8-g4-diagonal open anymore.} ({
The engine likes} 11... g6 {, but it looks illogical to give White something
to bite into on the kingside. I don't trust it.}) 12. Nf5 c5 {Now White's
options in the centre have been radically diminished. It's an all eggs in one
basket situation where the basket is the kingside.} 13. h4 a5 14. h5 Ra6 $5 {
A flexible way to get the rook to participate.} (14... Bd7 $6 {is a sorry
excuse for a move. Not only is the bishop not fulfilling any function on d7
that it didn't carry out from c8, but also it is more in the way of the other
pieces. Never play Bc8-d7 or Bc1-d2 unless you have a clear idea of why you
are doing it.}) 15. Qd2 {Black's pieces are in good spots and no further slow
improvement is in sight, so it is time for some activity.} Nd4 $1 16. Rh3 Bf8
$1 {It is often good to retreat the bishops to the last rank when the opponent
has active knights which lack real outposts. This is such a case. The bishops
could actually not be more active than they are (while not stepping on the
toes of the other pieces); not without a majot change in the pawn structure.}
17. O-O-O Be6 {Finally Anand decides to move the bishop. As I said before; I
like the bishop on c8. Both} (17... a4 {and}) (17... b5 {, look promising for
Black and more flexible. Still, it is not a bad move, at all.}) 18. Kb1 f6 {
Anand has built a convincing case against Caruana's setup and it is White who
has to find equality.} 19. c3 $1 {If you have a chat with the pieces they will
all say: "The knight on d4 is too strong. It has to go."} Nxf3 20. Rxf3 c4 $5 {
Black is much happier in a position where he gets to play c4, than one in
which White gets to do it first.} (20... Qd7 21. c4 {looks like a strategic
improvement from White's point of view. However, it is not easy to neutralise
Black's initiative after} Kh8 22. Rg3 Rb8 {[%cal Gb7b5]}) (20... h6 {is the
engine's favourite move, but it has long-reaching negative consequences in
that the knight is now safe on f5, while g7 becomes a future weakness. White
can put all his resources into the defence for some time and then aim to play
d2-d4 at an opportune moment.}) 21. Qc2 $6 (21. g5 $1 {White cannot enter an
endgame without taking the g7-g6 option away from Black first. Otherwise the
knight will be kicked back. One way to achieve this is} Qxd3+ 22. Qxd3 cxd3 23.
gxf6 gxf6 24. Rxd3 {and since Nf5 is as strong as the opponent's bishop, this
is an equal position.}) 21... cxd3 22. Rxd3 Qc8 {Black has managed to keep the
bishop pair and White has little in the way of compensation.} 23. g5 $1 {
White must immediately mix things up, before Black gets time to exchange a
pair of rooks and run for the ending.} fxg5 24. Bxg5 Bf7 $5 ({Perhaps even
better is} 24... h6 25. Bc1 Bf7 {, when the h5-pawn looks weak, while it is
unclear that White can pose any real threats to Black's king.} 26. Rg3 Kh8 27.
Rd1 a4 $1 {and with ...Qe6 coming next, White is in trouble.}) 25. h6 $1 gxh6
26. Bc1 {Now, objectively speaking, Black is still better, but White has
significantly more ideas to play around with as Black's king has become much
more exposed.} Qe6 27. b3 a4 $2 ({This lets Caruana back in the game. It was
necessary to forestall c3-c4 with} 27... b5 $1 {when, after} 28. Bb2 a4 29.
Rg3+ Bg6 30. f3 axb3 31. axb3 h5 {Black is clearly better.}) 28. c4 $1 {
With this move White achieves a state of stability on the queenside. It is a
temporary stability, but that is all he needs in order to get in some decent
threats of his own.} axb3 29. axb3 Qc6 $1 (29... Rea8 30. Bb2 Ba3 31. Qd1 $1
Bxb2 32. Kxb2 Ra2+ 33. Kc3 $18) 30. Rg3+ Kh8 31. Rd1 b5 $1 32. c5 ({My eye was
immediately caught by} 32. Bb2 $5 bxc4 33. Rd8 $1 {, but Black seems to be
able to defend in more than one way.} Ra5 34. Nd4 $1 (34. Qc3 $4 Qxe4+) 34...
Qb7 35. Ne6 (35. Rxe8 Bxe8 36. f4 {is also "=" according to the engine.}) 35...
Be7 36. Rxe8+ Bxe8 37. f4 Bc6 38. Bxe5+ Rxe5 39. Qc3 Bxe4+ 40. Kb2 Ba3+ {
is one way. Easy to spot. (Not.)}) 32... b4 $2 {A second mistake and this time
there is no coming back.} ({Instead} 32... Qxc5 33. Qxc5 Bxc5 {was right.
White has some pressure, but it doesn't really go anywhere. One possible
defence is} 34. Rd7 Be6 35. Rxc7 Bxf5 36. exf5 Bd4 37. Rgg7 e4 38. Bb2 Bxb2 39.
Kxb2 Rf6 40. Rxh7+ Kg8 41. Rhg7+ Kh8 {with a draw.}) 33. Bb2 {Suddenly Black
is in a lot of trouble. The e5-pawn is shaky and the king depends on it for
survival.} Bg6 (33... Ra5 $1 {is a better defence, but this time} 34. Rd8 {
is stronger:} Qxc5 35. Rxe8 Qxc2+ 36. Kxc2 Bxe8 37. f4 Rc5+ 38. Kd3 Bg6 39.
Bxe5+ Kg8 40. Ne3 {and Black has a very difficult time.}) 34. Rd5 $1 Qb5 {
A tricky move (the only one) that has a counter-attack in mind.} 35. Rg1 c6 $4
{For someone of Anands calibre, this qualifies as chess-blindness. It is quite
obvious that one cannot let the e5-pawn fall without, at least, being able to
take the bishop out of circulation (sacrifice the exchange).} (35... Rae6 36.
f4 {is also much better for White, but Black can fight on.}) 36. Rxe5 Rxe5 37.
Bxe5+ Kg8 38. Bd4 Kf7 39. Nh4 {A prosaic move that threatens Nxg6 followed by
e4-e5. There is no defence anymore. Although Anand's play deserved a better
fate, Caruana had excellent timing in creating his counterplay.} 1-0
[Event "London Classic 9th"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.08"]
[Round "6"]
[White "So, Wesley"]
[Black "Aronian, Levon"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C88"]
[WhiteElo "2788"]
[BlackElo "2805"]
[Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"]
[PlyCount "76"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 182"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4
b4 9. d4 d6 10. dxe5 dxe5 {Levon has been relying on this capture} ({instead of
} 10... Nxe5 {ever since he lost to Nakamura in the Sinquefield Cup 2013.
There's a different opinion, though. Ding Liren recently won a nice game
against Inarkiev in FIDE Grand Prix in Palma, and there have been efforts from
Carlsen and Svidler to uphold this line.}) 11. Nbd2 Bc5 12. a5 Be6 $5 {The
newest idea.} ({Levon twice tried} 12... Ng4) ({While others, including
Caruana, Tomashevsky and Svidler, have preferred the restrained} 12... h6) 13.
Bxe6 {Surprisingly this has never been played before, at least not in high
profile games.} ({Dominguez-Aronian, St. Louis Blitz 2017 saw} 13. Qe2 Qe7 14.
Bc4 Nd4 15. Nxd4 Bxd4 16. Nb3 ({White doesn't get anywhere after} 16. Bxa6 Qc5)
16... Rfd8 17. Nxd4 Bxc4 18. Nf5 Qe6 19. Qf3 Ne8) 13... fxe6 14. Qe2 {It seems
like White is about to take all the commanding squares, but Black has active
counterplay.} Ng4 $5 15. Rf1 Bxf2+ ({Another option was} 15... Nd4 {but Levon
must have seen the good reply} 16. Qc4 $1 (16. Nxd4 Rxf2 $1 17. Rxf2 Qxd4 {
is Black's main idea.}) 16... Qd6 17. h3 {Now Black has to go all the way.}
Nxf3+ (17... Nf6 18. c3 bxc3 19. bxc3 Nxf3+ 20. Nxf3 $16) 18. Nxf3 Nxf2 19.
Rxf2 Qd1+ 20. Qf1 Qxc2 {he seems to be getting enough pawns, but} 21. Qe1 Bxf2+
22. Qxf2 Qxe4 23. Be3 $14 {allows White to keep enough material on the board,
which is critical for success in battles between two minor pieces and a rook.})
16. Rxf2 Nd4 17. Qc4 $2 {Wesley chooses the wrong square for his queen.} ({
Black would be under some pressure to prove his compensation after the correct
} 17. Qd3 Nxf2 18. Kxf2) 17... Nxf2 18. Kxf2 Qh4+ ({In turn, Levon misses the
best move} 18... Qg5 $1 {The only way for White to untangle would be} 19. Kg1 {
but then Black gets his material back:} Rxf3 20. Nxf3 Nxf3+ 21. Kh1 Qh5 {
The knight is taboo, as} 22. Qxe6+ Kh8 23. gxf3 {loses to} Qxf3+ 24. Kg1 Qd1+
25. Kg2 Qe2+ 26. Kg1 Qe1+ 27. Kg2 Rf8) 19. Kg1 Qg4 ({Possibly} 19... Qf4 {
was better.}) 20. h3 $6 {Again, Wesley So is not precise with his calculations.
} (20. Qd3 Rad8 21. h3 {would bring Black's attack to its end.} Nxf3+ ({Else,}
21... Qg3 22. Nxd4 Qe1+ 23. Kh2 Rxd4 24. Qg3 Qxg3+ 25. Kxg3 Rfd8 26. Nf1 Rxe4
27. Be3 Rc4 28. Rc1 Rd5 29. Nd2 Rc6 30. b3 Rxa5 31. Nc4 {holds the black
rooks' activity in check.}) 22. Nxf3 Rxd3 23. hxg4 Rd1+ 24. Kf2 {There's a
question whether White can win this, but he'll have his chances.}) 20... Qg3
21. Qd3 Rxf3 $1 {Aronian was not going to miss that. The following is forced.}
22. Nxf3 Rf8 23. Nxd4 Qe1+ 24. Kh2 Rf1 25. Qxf1 Qxf1 26. Nf3 c5 {On paper
White has enough for a queen, and his king is safe, but the pin on the back
rank holds him down.} 27. b3 $6 {Wesley decides to address this issue, even at
the cost of some pawns.} ({Objectively, White is safe after} 27. c3 b3 28. c4
Qd1 29. Nxe5 h6 $11 {but it's impossible to play this position for a win.})
27... Qd1 28. Bb2 Qxc2 29. Bxe5 Qxb3 30. Rf1 h6 $2 {Aronian shows too much
respect to White's non-existent threats.} (30... Qc2 $1 {would have kept White
from activating his rook.} 31. Kg3 (31. Ng5 h6 $19) 31... c4 32. Rf2 Qxe4 33.
Rd2 Qg6+ 34. Kf2 Qe8 {leaving Black with decent chances of victory.}) 31. Rf2
$1 {Just at the last moment Wesley's rook breaks out into the open.} c4 32. Rd2
c3 33. Rd8+ Kf7 34. Rc8 Qb1 35. Rc7+ Ke8 36. Rc8+ Kf7 37. Rc7+ Ke8 38. Rc8+ Kf7
({There is no escape for the king, as can be seen from} 38... Kd7 39. Rc7+ Kd8
40. Nd4 Qxe4 41. Nxe6+ Ke8 42. Nxg7+) 1/2-1/2
[Event "London Classic 9th"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.09"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A17"]
[WhiteElo "2729"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "Nepomniachtchi,I"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 182"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 {As a rule Vishy prefers the move ...e5, but one day
previously the game Anand-Karjakin had been played, in which Sergej
comfortably equalised in one of the sharp variations after 1.c4 Nf6 2.c4 e6. I
could well imagine that my opponent approved of the way to solve the opening
problems demonstrated by Karjakin and that he would now gladly repeat it with
Black - in any case his second move came as no great surprise to me. In der
Regel bevorzugt Vishy den Zug ...e5, aber einen Tag vorher wurde die Partie
Anand-Karjakin gespielt, in der Sergej nach 1.c4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 in einer der
scharfen Varianten komfortabel ausglich. Ich konnte mir gut vorstellen, dass
mein Gegner den von Karjakin demonstrierten Weg, die Eröffnungsprobleme zu
lösen würdigte und ihn nun gerne mit Schwarz wiederholen würde - in jedem
Fall war für mich sein zweiter Zug keine große Überraschung.} 3. Nf3 d5 4.
e3 (4. d4 Nbd7) 4... a6 $5 {An ambitious plan. Ein ambitionierter Plan.} ({
One more frequently sees Öfter spielt man} 4... c5) ({or oder} 4... Be7) 5. b3
{With the pawn still on d2 the dark-squared bishop will look very good on the
long diagonal. Mit dem Bauern noch auf d2 wird der schwarzfeldrige Läufer auf
der großen Diagonale sehr gut aussehen.} Bd6 (5... c5 6. Bb2 Nc6 {seems to me
to be more logical, but in any case Black's decision is consistent. scheint
mir logischer zu sein, aber die schwarze Entscheidung ist in jedem Fall
konsequent.}) 6. Bb2 O-O 7. g4 $5 $146 {White reveals his aggressive plan! I
made this move which I had already planned rather quickly. Even in the
positions with the black pawn on c6 the thrust g2-g4-g5 often proves itself to
be justified - all the more so for the present position in which the d5-pawn
will be hanging, (which means that for White this action is not linked to any
loss of material for him). Weiß offenbart sein aggressives Vorhaben! Diesen,
schon zuvor geplanten Zug, machte ich ziemlich schnell. Sogar in den
Positionen mit dem schwarzen Bauern auf c6 erweist sich der Vorstoß g2-g4-g5
oft als gerechtfertigt - umso mehr gilt es für die aktuelle Stellung, in
welcher der Bauer d5 hängen wird (was heißt, dass diese Aktion des
Anziehenden für ihn mit keinem Materialverlust verbunden ist).} Nxg4 {I think
this principled continuation is correct. Ich denke, diese prinzipielle
Fortsetzung ist richtig.} ({Neither Weder} 7... Nc6 8. g5 Ne4 9. Rg1) ({
nor noch} 7... dxc4 8. g5 Nfd7 9. Bxc4 Nc6 10. Ne4 {looks satisfactory - in
both cases White has a promising initiative sieht zufriedenstellend aus - in
beiden Fällen hat Weiß vielversprechende Initiative.}) 8. Rg1 f5 {White will
soon be able to exploit this weakening of the e6-square. Diese Schwächung des
Feldes e6 wird Weiß demnächst ausnutzen können.} ({Unclear play followed
Zum unklaren Spiel führte} 8... Nf6 9. cxd5 e5 10. Qc2 Bg4 11. Ng5 (11. Be2
Nbd7 12. O-O-O $13) 11... Bh5 12. Bd3 {. A thorough analysis of this position
can take up several days, so here I will limit myself to only a few possible
variations: . Eine ausführliche Analyse dieser Stellung kann mehrere Tage in
Anspruch nehmen, deshalb begrenze ich mich hier nur mit ein paar möglichen
Varianten:} g6 13. Nce4 (13. Nge4 Nbd7) 13... Nxd5 (13... Nbd7 14. Ng3 $36) 14.
Bc4 Nb6 15. Nxh7 Kxh7 16. Ng5+ Kh6 17. Be2 $1 Qe8 (17... Qxg5 18. Rxg5 Kxg5 19.
f4+ $18) 18. Bxh5 Kxh5 $5 {(Steinitz would be happy) (Steinitz wäre zufrieden)
} 19. f4 N8d7 20. O-O-O Kh6 21. f5 Kg7 22. d4 $44) 9. cxd5 e5 10. h3 Nf6 11.
Ng5 Qe7 12. Qf3 ({There was an alternative in Eine Alternative bestand in} 12.
Ne6 Bxe6 13. dxe6 Nc6 14. Qf3 {- unlike in the game, in this case the option
e5-e4 (see annotation to next move) in would in this case not be available to
Black. - im Unterschied zur Partie stünde dann dem Schwarzen die Option e5-e4
(s. die Anmerkung zum nächsten Zug) in diesem Fall nicht zur Verfügung.})
12... Kh8 {Vishy does not accept the provocative invitation to play e5-e4. Die
provokative Einladung, e5-e4 zu spielen, nimmt Vishy nicht an.} ({But perhaps
this thrust was worthy of consideration: Aber vielleicht war dieser Vorstoß
doch beachtenswert:} 12... e4 13. Qg2 Nbd7 14. O-O-O (14. Ne6 Rf7 {should not
really frighten Black. ist für Schwarz nicht wirklich furchterregend}) 14...
Ne5 15. d3 (15. Kb1 Bd7 16. Be2 Rae8 17. f4 exf3 18. Nxf3 Nxf3 19. Bxf3 Rf7 $13
) 15... Nxd3+ 16. Bxd3 exd3 17. Rxd3 g6 18. h4 Bd7 19. Kb1 Rae8 20. f3 $36) 13.
Ne6 Bxe6 ({It is hard to believe that anybody would decide on Es ist schwer
vorstellbar, dass sich hier jemand für} 13... Rg8 $5 {here. Things could then
continue: entscheiden würde. Weiter könnte dann geschehen:} 14. Qxf5 c6 (
14... Nc6 15. Qf3 Nb4 16. Rc1 $14) 15. f4 (15. e4 cxd5 16. exd5 Nc6 $1 $15)
15... cxd5 (15... Nbd7 16. Bc4 b5 17. dxc6 bxc4 18. cxd7 Bxd7 19. fxe5 Bxe6 20.
exd6 Qxd6 21. Ne4 Qh2 22. Qg5 h6 23. Qg6 Bf7 24. Qg3 Qxg3+ 25. Nxg3 $16) 16.
fxe5 Bxe5 17. Qxe5 Bxe6 18. Ne2 Nc6 19. Qg5 $14 {- the Bb2 is really scowling
at the opposing kingside. - der Bb2 wirft auf den gegnerischen Königsflügel
einen recht bösen Blick.}) ({In the event of Im Falle von} 13... Rf7 14. Qxf5
Nxd5 15. Nxd5 Qxe6 16. Qxe6 Bxe6 17. Bc4 {only the hard to find move kann
Schwarz nur mit dem schwer zu findenden Zug} Ra7 {can allow Black to fight on:
weiter kämpfen:} 18. Nb6 Bxc4 19. Nxc4 Nc6 20. Ke2 Ra8 21. Raf1 Kg8 22. f4 $14
) 14. dxe6 Qxe6 (14... Nc6 15. Qxf5 {and thanks to his bishop pair White has a
comfortable advantage. und dank seines Läuferpaares hat Weiß einen bequemen
Vorteil.}) 15. Qxb7 Nbd7 16. Bc4 $6 {This active move is not particularly
effective. The bishop on c4 will soon have to leave its position again, whilst
the e7-square is optimally suited to the black queen - it is correctly placed
there for the exchange of bishops which Black wishes and at the same time
overprotects the g7-point. Dieser aktive Zug ist nicht gerade wirkungsvoll.
Der Läufer c4 wird seine Position bald wieder verlassen müssen, während das
Feld e7 für die schwarze Dame optimal geeignet ist - dort steht sie für den
vom Nachziehenden erwünschten Läufertausch richtig und überdeckt
gleichzeitig den Punkt g7.} (16. O-O-O {would perhaps be somewhat too
optimistic: wäre vielleicht etwas zu optimistisch:} Qe7 17. Kb1 Ba3 18. Ba1
Nb6 $132) ({, but it was worth considering the cold-blooded , aber Beachtung
verdiente das kaltblütige} 16. Bxa6 {, e.g. , z. B.} e4 17. Bc4 Qe8 (17... Qe5
18. f4 $1 exf3 19. Qxf3 Ba3 20. Bxa3 Rxa3 21. Qg3 $14) 18. Qc6 (18. Qb5 Rb8 19.
Qxf5 Ne5 $44) (18. Nb5 Qe7 (18... Bh2 19. Rg2 Nc5 20. Bxf6 Rxf6 21. Nxc7 Nxb7
22. Nxe8 Be5 23. Nxf6 Bxa1 24. Nd5 $16) 19. Nxd6 Qxd6 20. Qd5 (20. Qb5 $5 c5
21. Qb7 Rfb8 22. Qd5 Qxd5 23. Bxd5 Nxd5 24. Bxg7+ Kg8 25. Be5+ Kf8 26. Bxb8
Rxb8 27. Rg5 Ne7 $11) 20... Qxd5 21. Bxd5 Nxd5 22. Bxg7+ Kg8 23. Bxf8+ Kxf8 24.
Rg5 Ne7 {, and the black knights have several lovely outpost squares. , und
die schwarzen Springer verfügen über mehrere schöne Vorpostenfelder}) 18...
Rb8 19. f4 exf3 20. Qxf3 Ne5 21. Qg2 Qe7 22. Be2 {- Black has sufficient
compensation for the missing pawn. - für den fehlenden Bauern hat Schwarz
keine ausreichende Kompensation.}) 16... Qe7 17. Qg2 Nb6 18. Be2 a5 19. Bb5 {
At last this bishop finds a place from where to come alive. Endlich findet
dieser Läufer seinen Platz im Leben.} ({It is not possible to recommend Nicht
zu empfehlen war} 19. Qg5 $6 a4 (19... g6 20. h4 $36) 20. Rc1 (20. Qxf5 a3 21.
Bc1 e4 $15) (20. bxa4 Nxa4 21. Nxa4 Rxa4 $15) 20... axb3 21. axb3 g6 22. h4 Qe6
23. h5 Rg8 $15) 19... Rad8 $11 {The black pieces are well placed, but the
advantage of the bishop pair and the slightly better pawn structure allow
White to remain optimistic. Die schwarzen Figuren sind gut platziert, aber
der Vorteil des Läuferpaares und die etwas bessere Bauernstruktur erlauben
dem Anziehenden, seinen Optimismus beizubehalten.} 20. Qg5 g6 {Although this
move weakens the long diagonal it is the safest. Obwohl dieser Zug die große
Diagonale schwächt, ist er der sicherste.} ({The alternative Die Alternative}
20... f4 {was more risky. war mit mehr Risiko verbunden.} {A possibility then
would be, e.g. Möglich wäre dann z. B.} 21. O-O-O h6 22. Qg6 Ba3 23. Bxa3
Qxa3+ 24. Kb1 Qe7 25. exf4 (25. Bd3 a4 26. exf4 exf4) 25... e4 (25... exf4 26.
Rde1 Qf7 27. Qxf7 Rxf7 28. Kc2 $14) 26. f3 exf3 27. Rde1 Qf7 28. Qxf7 Rxf7 29.
Rgf1 Rxd2 30. Rxf3 $14) 21. Qh6 Ng8 22. Qg5 Nf6 {Anand takes the correct
decision, to do without the exchange of queens. Otherwise White could have
concentrated on attacking the isolated queenside black pawns without having to
fear any counterplay. Anand trifft die richtige Entscheidung, auf Damentausch
zu verzichten. Andernfalls hätte der Anziehende sich dem Angriff den
vereinzelten schwarzen Bauern am Damenflügel widmen können, ohne ein
Gegenspiel fürchten zu müssen.} 23. Rd1 {White resists the almost
unconquerable desire to repeat moves and clears the a1-square for his bishop -
in the hope of becoming active later Weiß widersteht dem fast
unüberwindbaren Wunsch, die Züge zu wiederholen, und macht das Feld a1 für
seinen Läufer frei - in der Hoffnung, später aktiver zu werden.} e4 $6 {
Vishy insists on exchanging the dark-squared bishops, but as a result the Nc3
enters the play forcefully. Vishy besteht auf dem Tausch der schwarzfeldrigen
Läufer, aber dafür kommt der Nc3 jetzt mit großer Kraft ins Spiel.} ({
After Nach} 23... Qe6) ({or oder} 23... Bb4 {the position would remain
dynamically balanced. bliebe die Stellung in dynamischem Gleichgewicht.}) 24.
Qh6 Rg8 25. Ne2 Be5 26. Bxe5 Qxe5 27. Nf4 {This is the position I was aiming
for when I played 23.Rd1. An dieser Stellung orientierte ich mich, als ich 23.
Rd1 zog.} g5 $1 ({There would be the passive but pretty resilient Passiv, aber
ziemlich zäh wäre} 27... Qxb5 28. Nxg6+ Rxg6 29. Rxg6 Rg8 30. Rxg8+ Nxg8 31.
Qe6 Qc5 (31... a4 32. bxa4 Nxa4 33. Rc1 Nb2 34. Qc6 $1 Nd3+ 35. Kf1 $18) (31...
Nd5 32. Qxf5 Ngf6 33. d3 $16) 32. f3 $5 (32. d3 exd3 33. Rxd3 Kg7 {and it
really looks as if Black manages to restore the coordination between his
pieces. und allem Anschein nach gelingt es dem Schwarzen, die Koordination
zwischen seinen Figuren wiederherzustellen.}) 32... exf3 33. Kf2 f4 (33... Ne7
34. Qf6+ Kg8 35. h4 (35. Rg1+ Ng6) 35... Qb5 36. d3 $16) 34. Rg1 (34. Kxf3 fxe3
35. dxe3 Qh5+ 36. Qg4 Qf7+) 34... fxe3+ 35. dxe3 Qf8 {with a tenable position.
mit haltbarer Stellung.}) 28. Rxg5 Rxg5 29. Qxg5 Rg8 30. Qh6 Rg7 $2 {A strange
decision. Eine seltsame Entscheidung.} ({There was no doubt that Black should
have acted in a more enterprising fashion: Zweifelsohne hätte Schwarz
unternehmungslustiger agieren müssen:} 30... Rg1+ 31. Bf1 Nbd7 32. Ne2 Rg6 (
32... Rh1 33. Ng3 Rg1 34. Qg5 $16) 33. Qh4 (33. Qf4 Nd5 $1 34. Qxe5+ Nxe5 35.
Nd4 c5 36. Nxf5 Nf3+ 37. Ke2 Ng1+ $11) 33... Qd6 {and the activity of the
black pieces should be sufficient for equality, e.g. und die Aktivität der
schwarzen Figuren sollte für Ausgleich ausreichen, z.B.} 34. Ng3 (34. d4 Qb4+
(34... exd3 35. Ng3 Ne5 36. Bg2 c5 37. Kf1 d2 38. Qf4 Qd3+ 39. Kg1 Qc2 40. Rxd2
Qxd2 41. Qxe5 $44) 35. Rd2 c5 $13) 34... Ne5 35. Be2 Nd3+ 36. Bxd3 exd3 37. Kf1
(37. Rc1 Qd5 $8 38. Kf1 (38. Rxc7 Qh1+ 39. Nf1 Qf3 40. Ng3 f4 41. Qxf4 Rxg3 42.
Rc8+ Ng8 43. Rxg8+ Rxg8 44. Qe5+ Rg7 $11) 38... Ne4 39. Nxe4 fxe4 40. Qf4 (40.
Rxc7 Qg8 $1 $19) 40... Qh5 $11) (37. Qf4 Qd5 38. f3 (38. Kf1 Ne4 39. Kg1 (39.
Nxe4 fxe4 40. Qf8+ Rg8 41. Qf6+ Rg7 42. f3 Qd7) 39... Ng5 $13) 38... Qc5 $13)
37... Ne4 38. Kg2 Qc6 $11) 31. Bc4 {Now in the event of ...Rg1+ the white king
can simply go to e2. Jetzt kann der weiße König im Falle ...Rg1+ einfach
nach e2 gehen.} Nxc4 ({The exchange of all the minor pieces by means of Der
Tausch aller Leichtfiguren mittels} 31... Nfd5 32. Ke2 Nxc4 33. bxc4 Nxf4+ 34.
Qxf4 Qc5 35. d3 $16 {could not solve Black's problems either konnte die
schwarzen Probleme auch nicht lösen.}) 32. bxc4 Qb2 33. Ke2 a4 34. Ne6 ({
The hasty Das hastige} 34. Rb1 $2 {would throw away all the advantage: würde
den ganzen Vorteil wegwerfen:} Qxb1 35. Qxf6 h6 $1 $11) 34... Rf7 35. Nf4 ({
Here I might almost have decided in favour of Hier hätte ich mich beinahe für
} 35. Nd8 Rg7 36. Rg1 {but at the last moment I discovered the reply
entschieden, endeckte aber im letzten Moment die Erwiderung} Ng4 $1 37. hxg4
Qc2 {and the struggle continues - although in this case too White has an
enormous advantage, his position no longer looks so monolithic. und der Kampf
geht weiter - obwohl Weiß auch in diesem Fall über einen riesigen Vorteil
verfügt, sieht seine Stellung nicht mehr so monolit aus:} 38. f4 Qd3+ (38...
exf3+ 39. Kxf3 fxg4+ 40. Ke2 Qxc4+ 41. Kd1 $18) 39. Ke1 Qxd8 40. Qe6 Qh4+ 41.
Kd1 fxg4 42. f5 $16) 35... Rg7 36. a3 {White prevents a4-a3. At the same time
he somewhat perfects the idea from the previous variation. Weiß verhindert
a4-a3. Gleichzeitig vervollkommt er etwas die Idee aus der vorherigen Variante.
} Ne8 ({In the event of Im Falle von} 36... c5 37. Ne6 Rf7 38. Nd8 Rg7 39. Rg1
{it is no longer helpful to have the idea of locking off the g-file with hilft
die Idee der Abriegelung der g-Linie mit} Ng4 {on account of nicht mehr wegen}
40. Qd6 $18) ({The only possibility of putting up any resistance consisted of
Die einzige Möglichkeit, Widerstand zu leisten, bestand in} 36... Qb6 37. d3 (
37. Rb1 Qxb1 38. Qxf6 h6 39. Qxh6+ Kg8 40. Qe6+ Kh8 41. Qxf5 Rg1 $11) 37...
Qb2+ 38. Rd2 Qc3 39. Ne6 Rg2 40. Qh4 Kg8 41. dxe4 Qxc4+ 42. Kf3 Rg6 43. Rd8+
Kf7 44. Ng5+ Kg7 45. Rd4 Qc6 $16) 37. Qc6 {This eliminates the dangerous
a4-pawn. The rest is a question of quite simple technique and my opponent
decided not to test my ability in that respect. Der gefährliche Bauer a4 wird
damit beseitigt. Der Rest ist Sache der ziemlich einfachen Technik, und mein
Gegner hat sich entschieden, mein Können in dieser Hinsicht nicht zu testen.}
1-0
[Event "London Classic 9th"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.09"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B96"]
[WhiteElo "2760"]
[BlackElo "2789"]
[Annotator "Quintiliano,R"]
[PlyCount "118"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 182"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 {As a Najdorf
player, I think that Bg5 is one of the biggest problems that Black has to
solve, with a lot of theory and sharp positions. So, Vachier Lagrave's games
in this variation always draw my attention.} e6 ({Curiously, some strong and
experienced grandmasters like} 6... Nbd7 {here, but Maxime has never played
this, at least up till now}) 7. f4 h6 8. Bh4 Qb6 {Maxime really trusts in this
Delayed Poisoned Pawn variation, as he has played it very often and against
some well prepared guys, like Giri, Nakamura and Caruana, with a very good
score.} 9. a3 ({Najer challenged Vachier Lagrave with the principled} 9. Qd2 {
but Black was not afraid of the complications} Qxb2 10. Rb1 Qa3 11. e5 dxe5 12.
fxe5 Nfd7 13. Ne4 Qxa2 $1 {Najer,E (2687)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2798) Dortmund
44th 2016 (5) 0-1 Black grabs as many pawns as possible with the queen, and if
he suceeds in surviving against White's initiative, everything is fine. In
this game, he did it -}) 9... Be7 10. Bf2 ({A few months ago, Caruana
surprised him with} 10. Qd3 $5 {Caruana,F (2807)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2791)
Sinquefield Cup 5th 2017 (6) 1/2-1/2 but his idea hasn't found followers since
then, I have also annotated that game -}) 10... Qc7 11. Qf3 Nbd7 12. O-O-O b5
13. g4 {This position has been played many times over recent years, and now
there's an important choice to make.} Bb7 {In the recent games Vachier Lagrave
has opted for developing the bishop.} (13... g5 {was how he played when facing
this position for the first time, but after} 14. h4 gxf4 {White unleashed} 15.
Be2 $1 {a move that had been tested in correspondence games, and MVL was not
aware of them. The main goal is that besides the strong threat of g4-g5, the
g4-pawn is protected against ...Ne5 ideas} Rg8 {Giri,A (2790)-Vachier Lagrave,
M (2788) Norway Chess 4th 2016 (2) 0-1} (15... b4 $5 {was tried by Nakamura,
but after} 16. axb4 Ne5 17. Qxf4 Nexg4 18. Bxg4 e5 {[%csl Yf4][%cal Gc8g4]
Caruana was one step ahead in the preparation} 19. Qxf6 $1 Bxf6 20. Nd5 Qd8 {
and now comes the amazing} 21. Nf5 $3 {Caruana,F (2823)-Nakamura,H (2779)
London Classic 8th 2016 (6) 1-0 On seeing this position at the board, one
starts to realise how well placed White's minor pieces are and how difficult
is to find a good plan for Black. The problems proved be too much even for
such a resourceful player as Nakamura -} ({instead of the materialistic} 21.
Nc6 $2 Bxg4 22. Nxd8 Bxd8 {with un unclear endgame in which the bishop pair
ensures good chances for Black to hold the game})) {and according to Vachier
Lagrave, White could have started a powerful attack with} 16. g5 $1) 14. Bg2 {
White develops the bishop in order to make harder for Black the thematic break
on d5.} (14. h4 {has also been tried here, but Black has more than one move to
reach a good position} Nc5 (14... d5 $1 {also is totally in accord with the
position and Sicilian ideas} 15. e5 Ne4 16. Rh3 Nxf2 17. Qxf2 b4 $5 {Black is
ready to take the iniative} 18. axb4 Bxb4 19. f5 $1 {and White is ready to
strike back!} Nxe5 20. fxe6 O-O $1 {Caruana,F (2817)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2803)
Grenke Chess Classic 4th 2017 (5) 1/2-1/2 with a vivid battle that offers
chances for both sides -}) 15. Bd3 {Konguvel,P (2388)-Niekras,D (2291) Warsaw
Najdorf Memorial op-A 15th 2017 (6) 1/2-1/2} d5 $1 {The same idea} 16. e5 Nfe4
{and Black is fine.}) 14... g5 {Vachier Lagrave improves on his own play from
his only defeat in this variation in recent games.} ({That game went} 14... Rc8
15. Kb1 g5 16. Qh3 $1 Nc5 $2 ({in the notes on the game, GM Meier analyses the
strange move} 16... Nh7 $5 {that was played in correspondence games and looks
like the best option}) 17. Rhe1 {White has developed all his pieces and is
ready to take active measures in the centre} h5 (17... gxf4 18. g5 Nfd7 19. g6
$1 $40) 18. Nf5 $1 {[%csl Gf5][%cal Ye1e8,Yd1d8];Nakamura,H (2779)-Vachier
Lagrave,M (2804) London Classic 8th 2016 (7) 1-0 and White's attack was strong
and precise -}) (14... d5 $2 {is not good anymore, and after} 15. exd5 Nxd5 16.
Nf5 $1 {the point behind 14.Bg2 becomes clear.}) 15. h4 {Karjakin also shows
excellent preparation, as this principled move was also played by Yu Yangyi
and Naiditsch.} (15. f5 {closes the kingside and didn't give any advantage to
White} e5 16. Nb3 h5 $5 17. h3 Rc8 18. Rhe1 {Henriquez Villagra,C (2517)-Salem,
A (2656) Wch Rapid Doha 2016 (6) 1/2-1/2} {Black could had reached a better
position with} hxg4 19. hxg4 a5 $1 $17 {[%cal Ga5a4,Gb5b4]}) (15. Qh3 {
Compared to Nakamura-Vachier Lagrave, Black has a totally adequate response now
} O-O-O $1 {suddenly, the black king is safe and White's play on the kingside
looks unjustified} 16. Ndxb5 $2 {embarking on an attack that doesn't work} (16.
f5 e5 17. Nb3 h5 $1 $36) 16... axb5 17. Nxb5 Qc4 18. Na7+ Kb8 19. Rd4 Qa6 20.
Rb4 Nc5 $1 {there's no way back for White, so he went for} 21. e5 Nfe4 22. Bxc5
dxc5 23. Nc6+ Qxc6 24. Bxe4 {but after} cxb4 25. Bxc6 Bxc6 $19 {Kulaots,K
(2597)-Santos Ruiz,M (2473) EU-ch 18th Minsk 2017 (3) 0-1 Black's pieces
cooperated very well against the queen, and he won easily -}) 15... gxf4 16. g5
{White rushes to open the kingside, the only way to take advantage of the
development.} Ne5 $1 {[%cal Yf6d7] Black should vacate the d7 square for the
other knight.} 17. Qxf4 hxg5 $146 {The way how Vachier Lagrave solves his
problems looks so natural, that it makes one wonder why in the previous 2
games in this position Black played other moves.} (17... Nfg4 {is perhaps more
ambitious and double-edged} 18. g6 $1 Rf8 19. Bg3 h5 $1 20. gxf7+ Rxf7 21. Qd2
Nc4 22. Qe2 Rc8 $1 23. Rd3 $1 {Yu,Y (2662)-Sethuraman,S (2553) Wch U20 52nd
2013 (6) 1-0 And the position is very complicated. Both sides should be very
careful with the opponent's threats. Such positions offers winning chances,
but one mistake is enough to lose control -} (23. Nxe6 Qb6 {[%cal Gc4e3,Yg4f2,
Yd6d5]})) (17... Nh5 $6 {[%csl Gh5] looks the most risky, as the knight stands
misplaced} 18. Qd2 (18. Qe3 $142 Nc4 19. Qf3 $14 {[%csl Gh5]}) 18... hxg5 19.
hxg5 O-O-O {Naiditsch,A (2702)-Guliyev,N (2545) Pyramides FFE GP op rapid 2012
(3.2) 1-0} 20. Bf1 $1 {[%csl Gc4][%cal Yf1e2] a subtle and strong manoeuvre
that prevents ...Nc4 and prepares to harass the knight with Be2:} Rdg8 21. Rg1
Qd8 22. Be3 Ng7 23. Kb1 Kb8 24. Qf2 $14) 18. hxg5 Rxh1 19. Rxh1 Nfd7 20. Kb1
O-O-O $11 {When watching the game, I was impressed with how Vachier Lagrave
made Black's challenges in this variation look easy to solve. Black has
finished the development, his king is safe and the knight is solidly placed on
e5, securing a nice position. Besides, the e4- and g5-pawns offer some
optimistic chances for the ensuing endgame.} 21. Rh3 {Karjakin had at least
two interesting plans in this position.} (21. Nf3 $1 {would be good to play
against the blockader on e5, and Black's life is not that easy, at least if he
is hoping to play for a win} Rf8 {good prophylaxis} (21... Nxf3 22. Bxf3 Ne5
23. Bh5 $1 {[%csl Yf7]} Rf8 24. Bd4 $1 {again looking to eliminate the
annoying knight} Kb8 25. Be2 {[%cal Yh1h7] and it is still White who is
fighting for the advantage}) (21... Kb8 22. Rh7 {[%cal Yg5g6] g5-g6 is a very
unpleasant threat, even after} Nf8 23. Rg7 Nfg6 24. Qg3 Rf8 25. Nxe5 Nxe5 26.
Bd4 $36 {White keeps some pressure}) (21... Rg8 {[%csl Yg5] counter-attacking
against g5 seems natural} 22. Bd4 $1 Kb8 (22... Nxf3 $2 23. Qxf3 {[%csl Rf7]})
23. Bxe5 Nxe5 24. Nxe5 $1 dxe5 25. Qxf7 Rxg5 26. Bf1 Bc8 27. Rh7 Bd8 $14 {
forcing the trade of the queens, and despite White keeping some advantage,
Black should be able to hold}) 22. Rh7 Qd8 $1 {[%csl Yg5] Now Black looks
better organised to protect his position and to attack his opponent's
weaknesses} 23. Bh3 (23. Nxe5 Nxe5 24. Be3 Rg8 25. Rh5 {is harmless for Black})
23... Nxf3 (23... Kb8 24. Nxe5 Nxe5) 24. Qxf3 Ne5 25. Qh5 Kb8 $1 (25... Bxg5 $2
{contains a very dangerous and unexpected trap} 26. Nd5 $1 {[%cal Rf2b6]} Nd7
27. Bg3 $1 exd5 28. Bxd6 $40) 26. Bg3 {now the following sequence is almost
forced} Bxg5 27. Bxe5 dxe5 28. Rxf7 Rh8 (28... Rxf7 $5 {could be a good
practical solution} 29. Qxf7 Bxe4 $1 30. Qxe6 $1 Bb7 31. Qxe5+ Ka8 $14 {
White is a pawn up but I believe that Black has good chances in this endgame,
specially because of the reduced number of pawns}) 29. Qg4 Bc8 30. Qg1 $1 {
[%csl Ra7]} Be7 31. Qg3 Bd6 $14 {White can still look for something due
Black's exposed king and the weak pawns, but Black should be fine with correct
defence, also because the bishop pair covers many important squares}) (21. g6
$5 Rg8 $1 {keeps everything under control for Black, although the main line is
very complicated} 22. gxf7 Rxg2 23. Nxe6 Qc4 $1 24. Rh8+ $1 (24. f8=Q+ $2 Nxf8
25. Nxf8 Qf7 $3 26. Qxf7 Nxf7 $19 {[%csl Rf2,Rf8]}) 24... Nf8 25. Nxf8 Qf1+ 26.
Be1 $1 (26. Ka2 Rxf2 $19) 26... Qxf4 (26... Qxe1+ 27. Ka2 Rf2 28. Qh6 $1 Rxf7
29. Qe6+ Kc7 30. Ng6 $1) 27. Ng6+ Kd7 28. Nxf4 Rg1 29. f8=Q Rxe1+ 30. Ka2 Bxf8
31. Rxf8 Bxe4 32. Nxe4 Rxe4 $11) 21... Kb8 22. Be3 Rg8 23. Rg3 Rg7 {Of course,
White's position should still be fine, but with the last moves Vachier Lagrave
has protected f7 and started to press against g5, even with the position
remaining objectively equal, in a practical game it seems that White is about
to feel uncomfortable.} 24. Bh3 {[%cal Gh3e6]} Rh7 (24... Nf8 $5 {[%cal Yf8h7]}
) 25. Qf2 Nc5 {[%csl Ye4] And so there's also e4 to take care of.} 26. Bg2 Qc8
$1 {[%cal Gc8g8,Gc8h8,Ye7d8,Yd8c7,Yd8b6] A nice move, now the queen can be
directed towards the kingside, and the bishop has the excellent route d8-b6 or
d8-c7 to be improved.} 27. Bc1 (27. Nb3 $5 {would stop both plans, but at the
price of damaging the queenside structure; it is not an easy decision.}) 27...
Bd8 28. Nf3 Ng6 $1 {Karjakin has gone for Nf3 too late, as in this position
the knight is not forced to be on e5.} 29. Nd4 Ne5 30. Nf3 Ng6 31. Nd4 {
One more draw in London?} Bb6 {....no!} 32. Be3 Ne5 33. b3 {A clear signal
that White's position is already slightly unpleasant, I'm pretty sure that
Karjakin would prefer not to play this move.} (33. Nf3 $2 {is bad due to} Nc4
$17 {[%csl Gb6][%cal Gb6g1] and the dangerous Bb6 prevents White from
retreating his one to c1.}) (33. Nb3 {was the better option} Nc4 34. Bd4 Qc7
35. Nd2 $1 {and White keeps everything under control} Ne5 36. Rh3 $11) 33...
Rh4 {Vachier Lagrave steadily increases the pressure.} 34. Nde2 $1 {Karjakin
is also showing his defensive skills.} Qc7 35. Bd4 Ncd7 $1 {Forcing
advantageous exchanges for Black.} (35... Nxe4 $2 {would be a terrible mistake}
36. Nxe4 Bxe4 37. Bxe4 Bxd4 38. Qxd4 d5 39. Nc3 $1 dxe4 40. Nxe4 $14) 36. Bxb6
$6 {We know from his match against Carlsen that Karjakin displays really
impressive skills when resisting in passive defensive positions, and here he
goes for it. However, this endgame will be a bit too much, even for him.} (36.
g6 $5 {looks interesting} fxg6 37. Bh3 Nc5 {Black remains a pawn up, although
after} 38. Bxe6 $5 Nxe4 $1 39. Nxe4 (39. Bxb6 Nxf2 40. Bxc7+ Kxc7 $17) 39...
Bxd4 40. Nxd4 Bxe4 $13 {the nature of the endgame has changed, it looks
sharper and can offer practical chances for White.}) 36... Qxb6 37. Qxb6 Nxb6
38. Nd4 Ng6 $1 {[%cal Yb6d7,Yd7e5,Gg6f4] This knight has been alternating
between e5 and g6 many times in this game, always posing problems for Black.
Now, it heads for f4, and the other knight will replace it on e5, with great
pressure on White's camp.} 39. Kc1 {The monarch runs to help its forces in the
centre.} Nd7 40. Kd2 Nf4 41. Ke3 (41. Bf3 {does not keep the bishop alive at
all} Ne5 $17) 41... Nxg2+ $1 {Sometimes, we become a bit hypnotised by such
beautiful knights on good squares, but not strong players like Vachier Lagrave:
he understands that without this bishop, White's defence is harder, and the
e4-pawn is weaker.} 42. Rxg2 Rh3+ 43. Kd2 {And White is even more passive than
before.} (43. Nf3 $4 Ne5 44. Rf2 Ng4+ $19) 43... Ne5 44. Nde2 {The only
acceptable move in this difficult position.} (44. Rf2 Rg3 {[%cal Rg3g5]}) (44.
Rg1 {looks another playable option, but Black has a way to keep improving the
position} Ka7 $1 45. Rg2 Kb6 $17 {[%cal Yb6c5]}) (44. g6 $5 {was maybe the
last practical chance} fxg6 45. Rf2 (45. Nxe6 Nf3+ 46. Ke2 Nh4 $1 $19 {[%cal
Gh4g2,Rh3c3]}) 45... Bc8 46. Rf6 $15) 44... Nf3+ 45. Kc1 Nh4 46. Rg1 Ng6 {
Black still hasn't made much progress, but in such endgames you don't really
need this: just keep playing good moves and making sure that your opponent is
in an unpleasant position. In general, nerves, time and the difficulty of the
position decide the issue.} 47. Kd2 Kc7 {Finally, the king finds a useful
function: To protect the f7-pawn.} 48. Nd4 Kd7 49. Rf1 Ke7 50. Rg1 Ne5 51. Rg2
Ba8 52. Nde2 {Now, further improvements are possible.} (52. Rg1 {would offer
more chances}) 52... Nf3+ 53. Kc1 Rh1+ $1 {After bringing his king to the
centre, Vachier Lagrave chases White's king away.} 54. Kb2 Nh4 55. Rg4 Ng6 56.
Nf4 {Losing a pawn, but what else? There's no good advice for White here.} (56.
Ng3 Rh3 {[%cal Yg6e5]} 57. Nge2 Ne5 58. Rg2 (58. Rg3 Rxg3 59. Nxg3 Nf3 {
[%csl Rg5]}) 58... Rh4 {[%csl Re4]}) (56. Rg3 Rh4 57. Nd4 (57. Re3 Rg4) 57...
Ne5 $1 (57... Bxe4 58. Nxe4 Rxe4 59. Nc6+ {[%cal Yc6b8] with some chances}) 58.
Nf3 Nxf3 59. Rxf3 Rg4 $17) 56... Nxf4 57. Rxf4 Rg1 58. Rh4 Rxg5 59. Kc1 d5 {
Black is totally winning and with the e- and f-pawns passed and connected, the
technical task is not exactly difficult, so Karjakin decided to call it a day.
A nice win for Vachier-Lagrave, and the game had great theoretical value, as
even if White plays the correct plan, Black seems to be prepared to hold his
position against this aggressive variation.} 0-1
[Event "London Classic 9th"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.10"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D13"]
[WhiteElo "2837"]
[BlackElo "2729"]
[Annotator "Hillarp Persson,T"]
[PlyCount "80"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 182"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. Nf3 ({After 4...Nc6 in today's game, we get a position that is similar to}
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Nc3 Nf6 {but there is actually a big
difference here, as the knight is more aggressively positioned on c3, than one
would be on f3. One reason is that} 5. Bf4 Nc6 6. e3 a6 {can be met with} 7.
Be2 $5 ({rather than} 7. Nf3 {when} Bg4 {is comfortable for Black.})) 1... c5
2. c3 {At such a high level, this move has mostly been played in blitz games.
It is a I'm-inviting-you-to-a-Slav-with-opposite-colours-move, that is to say
a tricky move against those who don't have the Slav in their repertoire with
either White or Black. Nepomniachtchi hasn't played the Slav for almost a
decade, so it makes a lot of sense for Carlsen to play like this.} d5 {This
move is the equivalent of "calling" in poker. Saying: -So, you want to play
the Slav a tempo up? Go ahead, please.} ({The other respectable continuation is
} 2... Nf6 3. d4 e6 {a setup that Carlsen had a close encounter with only a
short time ago:} 4. Bg5 d5 5. e3 h6 6. Bh4 Nc6 7. Nbd2 a6 8. Bd3 Be7 9. O-O Nd7
10. Bxe7 Nxe7 11. Ne5 cxd4 12. exd4 Nxe5 13. dxe5 Bd7 14. Re1 Rc8 15. Nf3 {
Carlsen,M (2825)-Xiong,J (2630) chess.com IoM Masters 2017, with a promising
position for White,.}) 3. d4 cxd4 {And Black calls again, forcing White to
enter an Exchange Slav, where he is unable to play the most critical lines
(due to the early development of the knight to f3).} 4. cxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Nf6 6.
Bf4 Nh5 $5 {Black chooses a rather rare line, probably wanting to avoid a
theoretical battle after} (6... Bf5) ({or} 6... a6) 7. Bd2 Nf6 8. e3 {I often
complain that Bc1-d2 and Bc8-d7 are sad excuses for moves, but here White got
it for free and it does free the c1-square for the rook.} e6 ({Ideally, Black
would like to play} 8... Bf5 {but after} 9. Ne5 $1 {Black has to deal with a
number of annoying ideas, of which g2-g4 is only one.}) 9. Bd3 $1 {If White is
to gain a promising game, then there is no way around playing e3-e4.} (9. Bb5
Bd7 10. O-O Bd6 {and there is no way to make headway on the queenside.}) 9...
Bd6 10. e4 dxe4 11. Nxe4 Be7 {Although this leads to a standard setup for
Black, it was somewhat surprising to me, as it seems that White has gained a
tempo in the process (Bd2).} ({Karpov was one of the greatest handlers of this
structure and I believe that he might have chosen} 11... Nxe4 12. Bxe4 Ne7 $5
13. O-O O-O {After} 14. Qc2 (14. Bxh7+ $2 Kxh7 15. Ng5+ Kg6 16. Qg4 f5) (14.
Ne5 h6 15. Re1 {might be a better setup aiming to lift the rook to the third
rank.}) 14... h6 15. Ne5 Rb8 {, followed by ...b5 and ...Bb7, or just ...Bd7,
Black is doing fine.}) 12. O-O O-O 13. Qc2 {I would not place my queen here,
but Magnus has a 300 ELO-point margin over me, so I guess it is good. Possibly
he wanted to force Black into some kind of concession on the kingside.} (13.
Qe2 {is the natural place for the queen in this structure (as I see it).})
13... h6 ({With the bishop on e7 Black ususally plays} 13... g6 {If White
continues like in the game with} 14. Rad1 Bd7 15. a3 Rc8 16. Nc3 a6 {then it
seems to me that it is harder for White to create threats against Black's king.
} (16... Nd5)) (13... Nxe4 14. Bxe4 f5 $2 (14... g6 15. Bh6 Re8 16. Rad1) 15.
Bxc6 bxc6 16. Rfe1 $16) 14. Rad1 Bd7 (14... Nxd4 15. Nxd4 Qxd4 16. Bc3 Qb6 17.
Nxf6+ Bxf6 18. Bxf6 gxf6 19. Qd2 Kg7 20. Bb1 {leaves White with a nasty
initiative on the diagonal.}) 15. a3 Rc8 {Black has no complaints after the
opening. The queen seems to be misplaced on c2.} 16. Nc3 $1 a6 {Black is
obviously happy with his position and chooses to play an ambitious plan,
involving b7-b5-b4. Other possibilities were} (16... Nd5) (16... Na5) ({
and my favourite (Karpov-inspired) plan:} 16... Bd6 {intending ...Ne7 and ...
Bc6.}) 17. Qc1 $5 {Magnus finds a way to make the queen's position count for
something. Perhaps he had the whole setup planned and this is indeed the most
challenging idea against h7-h6!?? It seems far-fetched.} Re8 18. Rfe1 Bf8 19.
Bf4 {White has managed to get coordinated and it is time for Black to act
before White starts attacking.} b5 $1 20. Qd2 b4 21. axb4 Nxb4 22. Ne5 $1 ({
Most mortals would hang on to the bishop with} 22. Bb1 {but Carlsen correctly
assesses that it is the dark squares that matter most in the attack.} Nbd5 23.
Ne5 Bb5 {and Black is more than comfortable.}) 22... Nxd3 23. Qxd3 a5 {This is
either a very confident move or a wish to play with fire. White can continue
to build up on the kingside as long as he hasn't lost all control of d5, so
Black's simplest defence is to challenge that:} (23... Bb5 $5 24. Nxb5 (24. Qf3
Bc4 $1) 24... axb5 25. Qxb5 Nd5 {holds no danger for Black. The knight on d5
is wonderful, while White's extra pawn on b2, is a target.}) 24. Qf3 $1 {
Suddenly Black is faced with a series of more serious threats. Both Bf4-g3-h4
and h4 followed by Bg5 can become annoying. The biggest tactical weakness in
Black's position is the pawn on f7, so the best defence probably involves
protecting that pawn once more...} Bb4 $2 {This leaves the king far too
exposed.} (24... Qe7 $1 {, is the right move, in order to be able to move the
knight from f6 without inviting a catastrophe on f7:} 25. Nxd7 Nxd7 (25... Qxd7
$5 26. Bxh6 a4 {followed by ...Nd5, leads to a position that is very hard for
White to win (since all the pawns are on the "wrong colour").}) 26. d5 Nc5 {
is balanced.}) 25. Re3 ({Carlsen's move is not bad at all, but possibly a
stronger one was} 25. Bxh6 $1 {It is quite untypical for such a strong player
to miss such a shot (so perhaps he didn't). The point is that after} Bxc3 26.
bxc3 gxh6 27. Qg3+ {Black cannot go to f8:} Kh7 (27... Kf8 $2 28. Rd3 $1 Bc6 (
28... Ke7 29. Qg7 Rf8 30. d5 $1) 29. Qf4 Ke7 30. c4 {and Black has no defence
against d4-d5.}) 28. Nxf7 Qe7 29. Qd3+ Kg7 (29... Kg8 30. Qg6+) 30. Ne5 {
and Black has no way to avoid giving back material. For instance} Rf8 31. Qg6+
Kh8 32. Qxh6+ Qh7 {and the best way to take the exchange is} 33. Ng6+ Kg8 34.
Qg5 Qh5 35. Qxh5 Nxh5 36. Nxf8 Kxf8 {followed by} 37. d5 $1 {when Black will
not be able to create enough counterplay with the a-pawn. Perhaps Carlsen saw
some of this and decided that he didn't like the look of that a-pawn and that
it was just as good to just build.}) 25... Bxc3 26. bxc3 {This positional
transformation favours White. Now, not only are the threats on the kingside,
but also c4/d5 becomes a factor.} Ba4 $1 {Usually I don't watch the comments
or the inteviews with the players, but this time I was sent a short piece
where Carlsen talked about the game. He was searching to explain his feeling
about the game and he said: "I failed to predict a single one of his moves",
which is a strong indication that he was not his normal self today. Especially
the next few moves are puzzling.} 27. Ra1 $6 {This allows Black to get the
bishop back in the defence.} ({A much stronger move was} 27. Rc1 $1 {when the
bishop is rather weird on a4, whereas} Qxd4 {, doesn't work due to} (27... Rf8
$1 28. Rd3 Nd5 29. c4 $1 (29. Bd2 f6 30. Ng6 Re8 {is not so clear.}) 29... f6
30. Ng4 Nxf4 31. Qxf4 {and the central pawns, combined with Black's awkward
pawn structure, leave White with an advantage.}) 28. Ra1 $1 Qb6 29. Bxh6 $1 {
with disastrous concequences for Black.}) 27... Bc2 $1 28. h3 $5 {Many are
reluctant to play such a move since the rook might go there later. However,
giving the king some breathing space, means that White is more free to use the
rook on a1, as there are no more back rank mates.} Bf5 $2 ({The most tenacious
defence could have led to serious complications:} 28... Nd5 $5 29. Bxh6 Qe7 $1
(29... Bg6 30. c4 Nxe3 31. Bxe3 Bf5 32. c5 Qd5 33. Qh5 Re7 34. Rxa5 f6 35. Ng6
Bxg6 36. Qxg6 Ra8 {is the kind of line that the engines give as "=", but where
it is far easier to play the White side.}) (29... f6 30. Bxg7 fxe5 31. Bxe5 $40
) 30. Bxg7 (30. Qg3 f6 31. Re2 Rxc3 32. Nf3 Qc7 33. Bd2 Qxg3 34. fxg3 Rc6 35.
Rxa5 {is a position where White's extra pawn doesn't count for much.}) 30...
Kxg7 31. Qg4+ Bg6 (31... Kh6 32. Rf3 Bg6 $1 33. c4 Bh5 34. Nxf7+ Qxf7 35. Rxf7
Bxg4 36. cxd5 Bh5 37. Ra7 exd5 38. R1xa5 $11) 32. Rf3 Nf6 33. Qg3 {and White
has dangerous compensation for the piece. Still, it is not clear that White
has a way forward.}) (28... Rf8 29. Rc1) 29. g4 $1 {There were probably a few
who thought that Magnus would win at this stage and I/he would have thought so
too.} Bh7 30. c4 $6 ({It is truly strange that Carlsen didn't play} 30. g5 Nd5
31. Nxf7 $1 {Suffice to say, that White gets a huge attack. After} Qb6 32. Nd6
Nxe3 $1 (32... Rf8 33. Nxc8) 33. Qxe3 h5 34. c4 {White is dominating. It is
quite out of character for Carlsen to miss something like this. It seems like
he wasn't able to think clearly today.}) 30... Nd7 {Although this doesn't
solve all of Black's problems, it is clearly an improvement to be able to
exhange the menace on e5.} 31. Nc6 $2 (31. c5 $1 Nxe5 32. Bxe5 f6 33. Bd6 Ra8
34. Qc6 {would have kept a rather large advantage for White.}) 31... Qf6 32.
Nxa5 Nb6 {Now White's pieces are all in the wrong places. If only one could
play c5 and Na5-c4-d6...} 33. c5 $2 Rxc5 $1 {Missing such a move is truly
demoralizing.} 34. dxc5 $2 {Here Carlsen seems to lose his will to fight. Now
one mistake follows another.} (34. Be5 Qxf3 35. Rxf3 Rc2 {is very unpleasant
for White, but was nethertheless necessary.}) 34... Qxa1+ 35. Kh2 Qxa5 36. Qc6
$2 (36. cxb6 Qxb6 {is no fun for White, but not quite lost yet.}) 36... Qa4 {
Forking the queen and the bishop and the game is over.} 37. Qxa4 Nxa4 38. c6
Nb6 39. c7 f6 40. Rb3 Nc8 {A good day for Nepomniachtchi. He was lucky to
escape and win, but luck usually comes to those who deserve it.} 0-1
[Event "London Classic 9th"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.11"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A33"]
[WhiteElo "2729"]
[BlackElo "2789"]
[Annotator "Fernandez,D"]
[PlyCount "38"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 182"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{It was always unlikely that there would be significant adventures in a game
between an outright leader, and someone who could not catch them. Thus, the
game went as expected.} 1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 (
5... g6 {could be slightly more interesting; notwithstanding that Black has no
strong incentive to win, he could still try and do so. Ruling out all kinds of
'safe' e3 setups is a logical way to do this. Then White might have to play a
Maroczy bind, which he might well be reluctant to do.} 6. Bf4 $6 Bg7 7. e3 Nh5
{and White might even be worse already.}) 6. Bf4 d5 7. e3 {Not the most common
setup for White by any means, but seen in a disproportionate number of
super-GM games, for instance we have seen Boris Gelfand, Magnus Carlsen, Wei
Yi and Wesley So play the White side; meanwhile MVL, Kramnik, Svidler and
Ponomariov have taken the black pieces... I am guessing, but I suspect the
appeal for White is that Black's critical strategies involve Bb4xc3, and the
resulting structural damage will only persist for a certain length of time, i.
e. Black has to play fast.} Bb4 (7... Nxd4 8. Qxd4 $14 {has understandably
never appealed to anyone, even if the ending after} dxc4 9. Qxd8+ Kxd8 10. Bxc4
Bd7 {is nowhere near as bad as it looks (...Rc8, ...Bb4, ...Ke7, ...Rhd8)}) 8.
Be2 (8. Nxc6 {may be strategically richer, and has been seen in practice.} bxc6
9. Qa4 Bxc3+ 10. bxc3 O-O {Now White should develop his bishop, and we shall
examine one example of each deployment.} 11. Be2 (11. Bd3 {could improve, and
then the logical move is} a5 $1 (11... dxc4 $6 12. Bxc4 Nd5 13. O-O Nxf4 14.
exf4 {when both sides have rather slapdash structures but White's bishop might
be a tiny bit better, and ideas like Rd1, Qa3-d6 are just around the corner.})
12. c5 (12. O-O Ba6 13. Rfd1 {may leave White with slightly more prospects.})
12... Ba6 13. Bxa6 Rxa6 14. Qd4 Ne8 $36 {Unfortunately, while the computer
sees no problems for White, it is next to impossible for him to generate any
actual play - this would not be the case if at some point he had taken on d5
and/or the light squared bishops were still on.} 15. Rb1 f6 16. Qd3 Ra7 17. Rb6
e5 18. Bg3 Qd7 19. O-O Nc7 20. c4 Qe6 21. Rc1 Re8 22. Qc2 a4 23. cxd5 Nxd5 24.
Rbb1 Nc7 25. Rd1 Nb5 26. Rbc1 a3 $15 {0-1 (52) Banusz,T-Rodshtein,M, Minsk 2017
}) 11... Ne4 {Gaining full counterplay and one suspects this was preparation.}
12. Rc1 Qe7 13. cxd5 cxd5 14. Qb4 Qf6 15. Qd4 Re8 16. Qxf6 Nxf6 17. c4 e5 18.
Bg3 Bb7 19. f3 Rac8 20. Kf2 Nh5 $1 (20... Ba6 21. cxd5 Bxe2 22. Kxe2 Nxd5 23.
Bxe5 {could be something}) 21. Rhd1 Nxg3 22. hxg3 dxc4 23. Rxc4 Rxc4 24. Bxc4
Kf8 $1 $11 {The last good move. A draw was shortly agreed in Gelfand,B-Vachier
Lagrave,M, Caleta 2017}) 8... Bd7 {Indicating, perhaps, a desire to take on c4
and not be left with a bad c-pawn on a (half) open file.} (8... O-O 9. O-O Bxc3
10. bxc3 Re8 11. Bg5 h6 12. Bh4 g5 13. Bg3 Ne4 (13... e5 $5 $132) 14. Qc2 (14.
Bf3 $14) 14... e5 15. Nxc6 (15. cxd5 Nxd4 16. cxd4 exd4 17. Rad1 Bf5 $132)
15... bxc6 16. cxd5 cxd5 17. Rfd1 Bf5 $15 {Bu,X -Svidler,P, Tbilisi 2017}) 9.
Ndb5 e5 (9... O-O {is also legal}) 10. Bg5 a6 11. a3 axb5 12. axb4 Rxa1 13.
Qxa1 dxc4 14. O-O (14. Nxb5 {could have been played, but even assuming it
wasn't all preparation, move 14 was the last moment I am willing to believe
White noticed the move repetition that was about to take place.}) 14... O-O 15.
Rd1 Qe7 16. Nd5 Qe6 17. Nc7 Qe7 18. Nd5 Qe6 19. Nc7 Qe7 1/2-1/2
[Event "London Classic 9th"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.11"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A43"]
[WhiteElo "2805"]
[BlackElo "2837"]
[Annotator "Fernandez,D"]
[PlyCount "106"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 182"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 e6 {Earlier on in the Festival, in the open tournament, I employed this
move order rather than ...Nf6 so as to permit the wrinkle 2.c4 Bb4+ followed
by an ...f5 setup. The order also dodges the Nc3 Dutch and allows a quick ...
c5 against Nf3 or g3. However, of course, the French must be in your
repertoire.} 2. Nf3 c5 3. g3 (3. e4 {Some kind of Sicilian that is not the
Dragon or Classical must also be in your repertoire. If you are a Najdorf
player, you must be willing to play ...e6 rather than ...e5 setups.}) 3... cxd4
4. Nxd4 Qb6 (4... d5 {is main, and seems to equalise straightforwardly since
White cannot really arrange to play c4 under desirable circumstances.}) 5. Bg2
Bc5 6. e3 (6. c3 Nf6 7. O-O d5 8. Nd2 {intending e4 is another valid way to
play, though it sacrifices a pawn in various ways}) 6... d5 7. Qg4 $6 $11 {
e3 goes with c4. In spite of this move appearing to force some concessions,
maybe White should have stuck to the plan.} (7. O-O Nf6 8. c4 $36 {was
probably the way to ask some probing questions.}) 7... Bf8 {Trying to play
without weaknesses.} (7... g6 {is not ridiculous either.}) 8. O-O Nf6 9. Qe2 e5
(9... Nc6 {avoids the doubled pawn scenario.}) 10. Qb5+ Bd7 11. Qxb6 axb6 12.
Nb3 Nc6 13. Bd2 Bd6 14. Nc3 Ne7 15. a4 O-O (15... Rc8 $11 {delays Nb5 by a
tempo which may be important. Certainly since the rook came here anyway in the
end this was a more internally consistent order.}) 16. Nb5 Bxb5 17. axb5 $14 {
It seems to me that White has nevertheless managed to get a little something,
though the position continues to be strategically confusing.} Rac8 18. Bc3 h5
19. Rfd1 Rfd8 20. Nd2 {White has an advantage, but as so often with the bishop
pair in closed positions it is hard to work with it. White chooses a logical
plan of trying to get the knight to g5.} (20. Ra7 {appeals somewhere round
here; as White I would probably like to double rooks on the a-file, exchange
one pair of them, arrange the bishops on e1 and d1 and maybe play toward g4.
(As every grandmaster knows, the bishops control most squares from the back
rank. Thus, you will often see them win the bishop pair and then store the two
boys away on e1 and f1.)}) 20... h4 (20... Ne8 21. Nf3 f6 {deserved
consideration.}) 21. Nf3 hxg3 22. hxg3 e4 {Keeping the game strategically
messy.} (22... Ne4 $14 {was playable, but admits to being worse.}) 23. Ng5 (23.
Nd4 $14 {was a much better move, not being constrained by his own previous
plan of putting the knight on g5. For instance} Be5 24. Bh3 Rb8 25. Ra4 {
and White will ultimately play for c4.}) 23... Ng6 24. Ra7 $14 {So White has
acheived what I wanted anyway. It would have been much more fitting to
annotate this game as a White win, but Black reminds us that there is still a
lot going on in the game strategically (e.g. the idea of ...Be5.)} Rb8 25. Bd4
Bc5 26. Bxc5 bxc5 27. c4 Ne7 (27... Re8 $14 {was better according to the
engine, but would be depressing to play. As a human you want all your pieces
to be doing some work, and here the knight on g6 isn't performing well.}) 28.
cxd5 Nc8 29. Ra4 Nb6 30. Ra3 Nc4 31. Rc3 Nd6 32. Rxc5 Ra8 33. Bh3 {Probably a
step in the wrong direction, even if the computer sees no problem. The problem
is that White is now playing for strings of (albeit high level) tactical
tricks.} (33. Nh3 $14 {was the right idea, if not the right implementation:
this knight should be on f4 or d4 or something, not playing for tricks on the
kingside.}) 33... Re8 {Playing with the motif of trapping the knight.} 34. Rc7
Kf8 (34... Re5 $4 {runs into a forced piece sacrifice:} 35. Nxf7 Nxf7 36. Be6
Rf8 37. Rxb7 $18) 35. b6 (35. Be6 {was tempting but Black will just ignore it.}
Re7 36. Rxe7 Kxe7 37. Bh3 Rh8 $11) 35... Re5 36. Ne6+ (36. Nxf7 $11 {was a
better way to give up the piece and now White probably keeps dynamic equality})
36... fxe6 37. dxe6 Nfe8 38. Rd7 Raa5 {Now Black has completely turned the
tables and gets to finish the event above 50%!} 39. b4 (39. R1xd6 Nxd6 40. Rxd6
Rad5 {was objectively best but in a human game this ending would be absolute
hell to defend.}) 39... Rad5 40. Ra1 Rb5 $17 {Now the knights and e5-rook hold
White's play back while the b5-rook takes stuff.} 41. Ra8 Rxb6 42. Bg4 Rd5 43.
Kg2 Rxb4 44. Ra1 Rbb5 45. Be2 Rb2 46. Bg4 Rdd2 47. Kh3 Rxf2 48. Kh4 Rh2+ 49.
Bh3 g5+ 50. Kh5 Rxh3+ 51. Kg6 Rf2 52. e7+ Kg8 53. Rxd6 Rh7 {Finally either
taking the pawn or setting up mating tactics (...Rg7 and either ...g4 or ...
Kf7)} 0-1
[Event "London Classic 9th"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.11"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C50"]
[WhiteElo "2782"]
[BlackElo "2788"]
[Annotator "So, Wesley"]
[PlyCount "66"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 182"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{London was cold, snowy, sleety, rainy and windy. Although I fought hard in my
games I couldn't seem to create much heat. What to do? People seem to think
that strong players can and should win whenever they want. My guess is the
people who think that have never played the best chess players in the world in
a lengthy tournament. Everyone fights to the death and more often than not, a
win or loss can hang on one single move. Anyway, I had some great battles that
did not end decisively and now I was at the last game. My last chance and I'm
playing black against the great Anand. Hope dies hard and of course I had a
flickering hope that I might crack a win this time but hey ... I'm sure Vishy
did too.} 1. e4 (1. c4 {was a strong possibility too. From time to time Vishy
plays this, with good results.}) 1... e5 {I considered other options in move 1,
like Caro or French but since I'd prepared 1...e5 mostly for this tournament,
I decided to stick with it.} 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 {I was happy to see this move.
I'd prepared mostly for 3.Bb5, but before this tournament I'd prepared a DVD
for ChessBase in the Italian Game. In looking at the material for the work and
familiarizing myself with the typical ideas, plans, and setups, I also noticed
that it's not easy for White to claim a clear cut advantage when Black knows
what to do.} Bc5 4. O-O {The slow classical setup. For the time being, White
just wants to castle and develop his pieces.} ({Earlier this year Peter
Svidler tried the older variation against me, but in that game I equalized
well:} 4. c3 Nf6 5. d4 exd4 6. e5 d5 7. Bb5 Ne4 8. cxd4 Bb6 9. Nc3 O-O 10. Be3
Bg4 11. h3 Bh5 12. Qc2 Bg6 13. Qb3 Ne7 14. O-O c6 15. Bd3 Nf5 16. Rae1 Nxd4 17.
Bxd4 Bxd4 18. Nxe4 dxe4 19. Bxe4 Bxe4 20. Rxe4 Bb6 21. e6 Qe7 22. exf7+ Qxf7
23. Re6 Kh8 $11 {1/2-1/2 (29) Svidler,P (2749)-So,W (2810) Saint Louis 2017})
4... Nf6 5. d3 O-O {Here Black already has a flexible choice, with ...a6,...a5,
...d6, or ...h6 all playable alternatives. I like 5...0-0, as I keep the
option of going d7-d5 in one move and I am not necessarily afraid of the pin
Bg5.} 6. a4 ({Just the previous day, I'd been very impressed by Vishy's game:}
6. c3 d5 7. exd5 Nxd5 8. a4 (8. Re1 Bg4) 8... a6 {Both 8...a5 and 8...Nb6
looks good too.} 9. Re1 Bg4 10. h3 Bh5 11. Nbd2 f6 12. Ne4 Ba7 13. b4 Kh8 14.
Bd2 Nce7 15. b5 axb5 16. axb5 c6 $11 {with no problems. Black's play here
looks so convincing that in fact if Vishy went for this I wouldn't have minded
playing the exact same line starting with 8...a6 against him!} 17. Ng3 Be8 18.
Bxd5 cxd5 19. c4 Bc5 20. Rxa8 Qxa8 21. d4 exd4 22. Nxd4 Bxd4 23. Rxe7 Bc5 24.
Rc7 Bb6 25. Re7 Bc5 26. Rc7 Bb6 27. Re7 {1/2-1/2 (27) Vachier Lagrave,M (2789)
-Anand,V (2782) London 2017}) ({With both our kings castled short} 6. Bg5 {
does not look dangerous, after} h6 7. Bh4 {Black can just go} g5 8. Bg3 d6 9.
c3 {And here there are many possibilities, but I like} a6 {to reserve a safe
square for my bishop.}) (6. h3 {is possible too. Black can play} d5 7. exd5
Nxd5 {but it's not the best timing, as d3 is solidly protected. So I would
prefer 6...d6.} 8. Nbd2 $14) (6. Re1 Ng4 7. Re2 {gives Black the extra option
of} Nd4 $5 ({Or perhaps even better is} 7... Kh8 8. h3 f5 $1 {1-0 (57) So,W
(2770)-Giri,A (2785) Bilbao 2016}) 8. Nxd4 Bxd4 9. h3 Nf6 {with
simplifications.}) (6. Nbd2 {is okay too, but it blocks the bishop from
developing. Black can play} d6 7. c3 a5 8. Re1 Be6) (6. Nc3 {is not scary,
Black plays} h6 {to prevent Bg5 then} 7. Nd5 d6 $11) 6... h6 {A slight
move-order subtlety.} (6... a5 {is natural, but I assume he would go} 7. Bg5 {
which gives White extra possibilities, as now the b5 square is weak. Levon
played 3 games in 2017 with} h6 8. Bh4 Be7 {but I'm not particularly convinced
and I haven't analysed it deeply enough either.}) ({If} 6... d6 7. c3 {
threatens to trap my bishop, so} a5 8. Bg5 {and again the b5 square is weak,
but the position does not look clear at all to me.} h6 9. Bh4 g5 10. Bg3 {
I have no idea what is going on here. The difference with the pawn on a5 is
that after} Ba7 11. Na3 {White always has the option to gain time by jumping
on b5, while if I leave my bishop on c5 then its vulnerable to d3-d4.}) (6...
a6 {is another very serious possibility, but for this game I wanted to put my
pawn on a5.}) 7. c3 (7. a5 {is worthy of interest. White threatens a5-a6 so} a6
8. c3 d6 {gives a slightly different pawn structure.}) 7... a5 {I like this ...
a5 setup. Black fights for every bit of space in the queenside and controls
the dark squares very well.} 8. Nbd2 (8. d4 {gives Black many possble options:}
exd4 (8... Bb6 9. dxe5 Nxe4) 9. cxd4 Bb6 10. e5 d5 ({Or} 10... Ne8 11. Nc3 d6 {
seems to hold out well.})) 8... d6 9. h3 Be6 {Trading pieces is welcome for
Black. Other options I considered were:} (9... Re8 {with the idea of Be6 while
avoiding the doubled-pawns.} 10. Re1 Be6 11. Bb5 {is the downside, as our
knight is pinned. Black can play 11...Nd7 or 11...Bd7 with some theory
involved.}) ({Or} 9... Ne7) 10. Re1 (10. Bxe6 fxe6 {looks a little worrying to
me because of the doubled-pawns. But Black controls enough space and should be
able to fight sucessfuly.} 11. Re1 d5 ({Or} 11... Qe8 12. Nf1 Nh5)) 10... Bxc4
11. Nxc4 Re8 12. Be3 {With g5 under my control he does not have really
anything better than to exchange dark-squared bishops.} Bxe3 13. Nxe3 Qd7 ({
The freeing break} 13... d5 {does not work yet} 14. Qb3 $1 dxe4 (14... d4 15.
cxd4 exd4 16. Nf5 $14) 15. dxe4 Nxe4 16. Qxb7 Re6 (16... Qd7 17. Rad1 Nd6 18.
Nc4 $16) 17. Rad1) ({But I considered} 13... Ne7 {which is fine.}) 14. Qb3 Ne7
{I was starting to get worried over my c4-b5 light squares though closer
analysis shows White is not fast enough to exploit it. Then I decided to
transfer my knight to a better square.} ({Funnily enough} 14... Nd8 {is a
serious alternative here, given by the computer. I did not seriously consider
it during the game, but I can't find any way for White to do anything. Once my
knight gets to e6 then to f4, or c5 I consolidate.} 15. Nc4 (15. Nd5 Nxd5 16.
exd5 f5) 15... Ne6 16. d4 exd4 17. cxd4 Nf4 18. e5 N6d5 $11) 15. Nc4 Ng6 16.
Rad1 {I thought this was too slow, but the position is so sterile anyway.} ({
I told Vishy after the game that I thought} 16. Re3 {might be a bit better for
White, as he is faster on the e-file.} b6 17. Rae1 Nh5 $1 18. Kh2 (18. d4 Nhf4)
18... Nhf4 {but the computer disagrees with me anyway and it turns out that he
has problems with my knight on f4.}) (16. d4 exd4 17. Nxd4 b6 $11) (16. Qb5 {
does not lead anywhere as ...b6 is sufficient, or} c6 17. Qb3 Qc7) 16... b6 17.
Qc2 {Again this looks slow. I thought his queen was just fine where it was but
it might be needed to protect the kingside from Nf4 sometimes.} (17. d4 exd4
18. Rxd4 Re6 {gives White problems along the e-file.}) (17. Qb5 Nf4 $11) 17...
d5 {I could play other moves, such as Qc6 or Nh5 but generally if d6-d5 works
I should just go for it.} 18. exd5 ({Slightly more precise is} 18. d4 {using
the fact that my queen is vulnerable. After} exd4 19. Rxd4 Qc6 20. exd5 Rxe1+
21. Nxe1 Nxd5 22. Qe4 Nde7 $11 {it is completely equal.}) 18... Qxd5 19. b3 {
I was a little surprised with this as now its clear that I have no problems
whatsoever.} ({I expected} 19. Ne3 Qc6 (19... Qb7 20. Nc4 {draw.}) 20. d4 $11)
19... Rad8 {Centralizing the rooks.} 20. d4 exd4 21. Rxd4 Rxe1+ 22. Nxe1 Qa8
23. Rxd8+ Qxd8 {By now I realize that Vishy is probably happy to force the
draw.} 24. Qd3 $6 {This is not the best way though as the queen can be kicked
by my knights with Nf4, Nd5 etc.} (24. Nd3 Nd5 {might be a bit uncomfortable
for White.}) (24. Qd2 Qxd2 25. Nxd2 Nf4) ({I thought} 24. b4 {is the simplest,
to trade pawns and weaken my queenside.}) 24... Qe7 $1 {It is wise for Black
to keep queens for now.} ({I calculated this long line:} 24... Qxd3 25. Nxd3
Nd5 26. b4 Ngf4 (26... Nxc3 27. bxa5 bxa5 28. Nc5) 27. bxa5 bxa5 28. Nc5 Ne6
29. Ne4 (29. Nxe6 fxe6 30. Nxa5 Nxc3 {leaves me a pawn up.}) 29... f5 30. Ng3
g6 31. Ne2 Nef4 32. Nxf4 Nxf4 {But then it turns out I am not even winning a
pawn:} 33. Ne5 $1 Ne2+ (33... Kg7 34. c4) 34. Kf1 Nxc3 35. Nxg6 Nxa4 36. Ne7+
Kf7 37. Nc6 $11) 25. Nc2 Nf4 26. Qd2 N6d5 27. Kf1 (27. Kh2 Qe2 28. g3 Qxd2 29.
Nxd2 Ne6 30. c4 Nb4 31. Nxb4 axb4 $15) 27... Nxc3 28. N4e3 $2 {The losing
mistake. He still had a lot of time here. Obviously on a good day he would
have surely spotted 28.Nxb6, but in London, Vishy and Michael Adams were a bit
out of form.} (28. Nxb6 $1 {might be enough for a draw.} cxb6 (28... Qg5 29.
Ne1) 29. Qxc3 Qe2+ 30. Kg1 Qd1+ 31. Kh2 Ne2 32. Qc8+ {The point of the knight
sacrifice.} Kh7 33. Qf5+ $11) 28... Ne4 29. Qd4 c5 30. Qd1 Qf6 {Being quite
low on time, I chose a logical looking move.} ({Black wins right away after}
30... Qh4 $1 31. Ng4 Nxh3 $1 (31... f5 32. Qd7 Qh5 {wins too, albeit a more
complicated one.}) 32. gxh3 (32. g3 Qg5) 32... Qxh3+ 33. Kg1 Nc3 34. Qd8+ Kh7 {
and White's king has no defense. I spotted 31...Nxh3! but I just couldn't
believe that it wins on the spot! Maybe I need to have more belief in myself.}
35. Nh2 Ne2+ 36. Kh1 Qf5 $19) 31. Ng4 ({Resistance could've been much tougher
with} 31. Qd7 {threatening Qe8 check.} Kh7 32. f3 Ng3+ 33. Kf2 Qh4 34. Qg4 $17)
(31. f3 Ng3+ 32. Kf2 Qh4 {is a bit different as White has no Qg4.}) 31... Qc3
32. Nce3 h5 33. Nh2 Qb2 {Here Vishy had to resign, as he will inevitably lose
a second pawn. An unexpected win for me! It's quite difficult to win with the
Black pieces against players of this caliber. You need to be in really good
form, or your opponent in really bad form. As I missed chances against
Nepomniatchi and Aronian earlier in the tournament, this win was received with
a big sigh of relief!} 0-1
[Event "London Classic 9th"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.11"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Adams, Michael"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A29"]
[WhiteElo "2799"]
[BlackElo "2715"]
[Annotator "Fernandez,D"]
[PlyCount "135"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 182"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{Saving the best to last, here is the effort by Fabiano Caruana, who needed to
win in order to again catch 'the man who knows nothing' in the tournament lead.
As such, the game begins with a reversed Dragon.} 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3
Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Bc5 7. O-O O-O 8. d3 (8. Nxd5 Qxd5 9. Ng5 {
had already been seen by Caruana from the other side of the table, and the
game may have inspired him.} Qd8 10. Nxh7 Re8 11. Ng5 {The knight is protected
by d4-tricks!} Qxg5 12. Bxc6 (12. d4 Qe7 13. dxc5 Qxc5 14. Qa4 {could be a new
direction for White to investigate}) 12... bxc6 13. d4 Qh5 (13... Qe7 14. dxc5
Qxc5 15. Be3 $14) 14. dxc5 e4 15. h4 Qg4 (15... Bg4 $11 {is best according to
our silicon friends- if he chooses Black can take back on c5 in a better
version than 13...Qe7.}) 16. Bf4 Qh3 17. Qd4 Bg4 18. Qe3 Rad8 19. Rad1 $14 {
Aronian,L-Caruana,F, Saint Louis 2017, where the compensation was close to
vanishing into thin air.}) 8... Re8 9. Ng5 Nf6 (9... Nxc3 {These structures
are always evaluated as equal by the machine, but in my experience they are
always better for one side or the other. A good indicator of whether Black is
better is whether he has traded his dark-squared bishop for the knight.} 10.
bxc3 Be7 {Now here are 2 sample lines, one where Black ends up better and one
where White does. The point is not that Ne4 is better or that Nf3 is but that
the position contains a vast number of apparently minor nuances, such that one
side will on balance of probabilities understand them better over the next 5
moves.} 11. Ne4 (11. Nf3 Be6 12. Rb1 b6 13. Qa4 Qd7 14. Ng5 Nd4 15. Qd1 Bxg5
16. Bxg5 Nc6 17. Qa4 Bd5 18. f3 $14 {Every rule has an exception.}) 11... Be6 (
11... Rb8 12. Be3 b6 13. c4 Bb7 14. Nc3 Nd4 15. Nd5 Qd7 16. Nxe7+ Rxe7 $15) 12.
Be3 f6 13. Nd2 Bd5 14. Bxd5+ Qxd5 15. Qb3 Qxb3 16. Nxb3 Kf7 $11 {A genuinely
equal position, but maybe it is easier to play for Black as in the Wesley So
game.}) 10. Qb3 Qe7 {Black holds the balance well.} 11. Nd5 Nxd5 12. Bxd5 Nd8
13. Qc4 Bd4 14. Bg2 h6 15. Nf3 Nc6 16. Be3 {A violent winning attempt.} (16.
Nxd4 {As before, trading the knight for the dark-squared bishop is not often a
good idea.} Nxd4 17. Re1 Bg4 $15) (16. e3 $11) 16... Bxe3 17. fxe3 e4 (17...
Nd8 {is an interesting option, trying to set up the stereotypical arrangement
with ...Be6(-f7) and ...f6.}) 18. dxe4 a5 19. a3 Ra6 20. Rac1 Rb6 21. Rc2 Be6
22. Qc3 Rb3 23. Qd2 Rd8 24. Qc1 a4 25. Rc5 {Black still has compensation, but
the problem is that he is now 'likely' to 'forget' to take the material back.}
(25. Rc3 Qd6 26. Rxb3 Bxb3 27. Qc3 {made sense too}) 25... 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 (
33... Nxe5 34. Rxc7 Nxf3+ 35. Bxf3 Rd7 $11) 34. Rc2 Bd5 {Getting maybe a
little carried away with strategic purity. It turns out that for tactical
reasons White can now keep the pawn.} 35. Nd4 Nxd4 36. exd4 Rg3 37. Rf3 $1 $14
{That's just it. The rook is entombed and White's pawns have been untripled (!)
} Bxf3 38. exf3 c6 (38... Rb5 39. Kh2 Qh4 40. Qf4 Rxg2+ 41. Kxg2 c6 $14 {
was the most sophisticated way of giving back the exchange, setting up an
outpost for the rook on b3 and the queen on d5.}) 39. Kh2 Rxg2+ 40. Kxg2 Rd5
41. Rc4 c5 42. Rxc5 Rxd4 43. Qc3 {Now White has almost solved all his
structural issues and Black's best bet is in fact the queen ending.} Qd8 (43...
Rd3 44. Qxd3 Qxc5 45. Qc3 Qb6 $16) 44. Rc8 Qb6 45. Re8 {Leaving Black's pieces
stuck and introducing the idea of Rxb7 in various lines.} (45. Rb8 Rd1 {
is not a good way to introduce that idea}) 45... g5 46. Re7 Kg8 (46... Kf8 47.
Rxb7 {leads to another probably winning queen ending.}) 47. e6 $1 {The best
conversion, forcing a queen rather than rook ending on pain of mate.} fxe6 48.
Qc2 Kf8 49. Rh7 Qc6 {The only way to defuse the pressure.} 50. Qxc6 {With a
probably winning rook ending, but see Black's 58th.} (50. Rh8+ Ke7 51. Qh7+ Kd6
52. Rd8+ Kc5 53. Qc2+ Rc4 {is not an obvious win, so Black takes the queens off
}) 50... bxc6 51. Rxh6 Kf7 52. Kg3 Rd2 53. Rh7+ Kf6 54. Rb7 Ke5 55. h4 (55. Rb4
{may have been more precise to cut out ...Kf4.}) 55... gxh4+ 56. Kxh4 Kf4 57.
Rf7+ Ke3 58. Kg3 Rd1 (58... Rxb2 59. Re7 {was Black's best chance:} c5 60.
Rxe6+ Kd4 $16 {and the jury may still be out}) 59. g5 $18 Rg1+ 60. Kh4 Rg2 61.
Rf6 e5 62. g6 Rxb2 63. Kg5 Rg2+ 64. Kh6 Rh2+ 65. Kg7 c5 66. Kf7 c4 67. g7 Rh7
68. Ra6 {More moves could have been played, but White has shown enough. This
move eliminates the pawn on a4 and gets back to cover the c-pawn just in time.}
1-0
[Event "London Classic 9th"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.11"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2760"]
[BlackElo "2781"]
[Annotator "Fernandez,D"]
[PlyCount "62"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 182"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 c5 (6... Nbd7 {
is of course also played...}) 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Nxd5 exd5 10. a3 {
Today will be one of those days: no massively special preparation, just a
brief attempt to prove a static-based plus and if it doesn't work then agree a
draw.} Nc6 11. Bd3 Bb6 12. O-O Qf6 (12... Bg4 {has been Nakamura's previous
choice in this position.} 13. h3 Bh5 14. b4 a6 15. Be2 $1 {The move the
engines want, with the visually appealing idea of Ra2-d2. It also ties down
the Qd8 and prevents d4. It is not unreasonable to suspect that this may have
been a wrinkle Karjakin had in mind. It has been played in a smattering of
2500 or low 2600 games but no elite ones.} (15. Rc1 d4 16. g4 Bg6 17. e4 $13 {
White eventually prevailed in a strategically extremely murky game in Svidler,
P (2741)-Harikrishna,P (2758) Shenzhen 2017. At one point Black channelled his
inner Petrosian and actively sacrificed an exchange on e6...}) (15. Rb1 d4 {
was seen in the previous Nakamura game. This move initiates simplifications
and equalises.} 16. b5 axb5 17. Rxb5 Bxf3 18. Qb1 Bc7 19. Bxh7+ Kh8 20. gxf3
Bxf4 21. exf4 Ne7 22. Rh5 Ra5 23. Bf5+ {1/2-1/2 Inarkiev,E-Nakamura,H Moscow
2017}) 15... d4 $6 16. exd4 Bxf3 17. Bxf3 Qxd4 18. Be3 {Maximalism, trying to
get the position with the weakened Black queenside structure without allowing .
..Qxf4.} ({If we're honest about it, even} 18. Bxc6 {leads to a slight plus.}
Qxf4 (18... bxc6 19. Qxd4 Bxd4 20. Rac1 Rac8 21. Rfd1 $16) 19. Bxb7 Rad8 20.
Qg4 $14 {and Black may have something for the pawn but 1) it's not enough and
2) a6 is also under attack.}) 18... Qxd1 19. Rfxd1 Bxe3 20. fxe3 Rfe8 (20...
Rfd8 $14) 21. Kf2 Re7 (21... Kf8 $14) 22. Bxc6 bxc6 23. Rd6 $16 {Dreev,A
-Chandler,M, Hastings 2000}) 13. b4 h6 (13... Bf5 {seems a bit more natural to
me}) 14. b5 Nd4 {Notwithstanding the very last note, it is clear that this
visually impressive move was preparation. I suspect from the reaction that
White was not still in his preparation.} 15. h3 (15. Nxd4 Bxd4 16. Rc1 {
Critical.} Bb2 $8 (16... Bb6 17. Bb1 d4 18. Qd3 {and Black drops a pawn}) (
16... Be5 17. Qa4 Bxf4 18. Qxf4 Qxf4 19. exf4 $14 {and Black's position looks
nasty to have to defend in an actual game}) 17. Rc7 Bxa3 18. Bb1 (18. Qa4 $5
Bd6 19. Bxd6 Qxd6 20. Rfc1 $14 {Personally, I think White's compensation here
is more than adequate, and so this ...Nd4 idea is not an equaliser. There is
of course room for debate.}) 18... Bd6 19. Qc2 g6 20. Bxd6 Qxd6 21. Ba2 Bf5 22.
Qc5 Qxc5 23. Rxc5 $11 {Flores,D-Onischuk,A Khanty-Mansiysk 2009}) 15... g5 (
15... Be6 $11) 16. Nxd4 {Notwithstanding minor evaluation shifts later, the
game was now essentially guaranteed to be drawn. The weakness of the Black
pawn structure is mitigated by ...Bxd4 and then fully compensated for by the
open g-file.} gxf4 17. Qf3 Bxd4 18. exd4 Be6 $11 19. Rfe1 Kh8 20. Re5 Rg8 (
20... Rac8 21. Bf5 $14 {was the wrinkle White intended, but at 2700 level this
is essentially a cheapo.}) 21. Rae1 Rg7 22. g4 Rag8 23. Kf1 Rg5 24. Bc2 Rc8 25.
Qd3 Kg8 26. Bd1 Kg7 27. Bf3 b6 28. Kg2 Rh8 29. Qd2 Rc8 30. Qd3 Rh8 31. Qd2 Rc8
1/2-1/2
[Event "EU-chT (Men) 21st"]
[Site "Heraklio"]
[Date "2017.10.28"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Ftacnik, Lubomir"]
[Black "Duda, Jan Krzysztof"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D85"]
[WhiteElo "2546"]
[BlackElo "2706"]
[Annotator "Ftacnik,L"]
[PlyCount "132"]
[EventDate "2017.10.28"]
[EventType "team-swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "GRE"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 182"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
[WhiteTeam "Slovakia"]
[BlackTeam "Poland"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "SVK"]
[BlackTeamCountry "POL"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. Nc3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 O-O 8.
Be2 c5 9. O-O b6 {Black has quite a few moves at this juncture with 9...Nc6
leading the parade as the most often tested idea. The development with ...b6
became popular with some strong players.} 10. Bg5 Bb7 11. Qd3 {In comparison
with the other b6-line White has saved time by not having to play Rb1. There
is no clear consensus as to what should be the Black's best plan.} Qd7 (11...
Qc7 12. Rad1 e6 13. d5 e5 14. Qe3 Nd7 15. Be7 Rfe8 16. d6 Qc6 17. Bc4 b5 18.
Bd5 Qc8 19. h4 Bf6 20. Bxf6 Nxf6 21. Bxb7 Qxb7 {1-0 (31) Khairullin,I (2630)
-Mamedyarov,S (2756) Moscow 2015} 22. Ng5 $1 $14) (11... h6 12. Bh4 (12. Be3
cxd4 13. cxd4 e6 14. Rad1 Nc6 15. d5 exd5 16. exd5 Ne7 17. Qa3 Nxd5 18. Bc4 Qe7
19. Qxe7 Nxe7 20. Rd7 Bxf3 21. gxf3 Nf5 $11 {1/2-1/2 (69) Alburt,L (2505)
-Tukmakov,V (2540) Decin 1977}) 12... Qd7 13. Rad1 cxd4 (13... e6 14. d5 exd5
15. exd5 c4 16. Qd2 Na6 17. Bxc4 Rac8 18. Bb3 g5 19. Bg3 Bxc3 20. Ne5 Qf5 21.
Qe2 {1-0 (21) Greenfeld,A (2560)-Rechlis,G (2510) Tel Aviv 1996} Bxe5 22. Qxe5
Qxe5 23. Bxe5 Nc5 24. Bf6 $14) 14. cxd4 e6 15. Qe3 (15. d5 Na6 16. Qb1 exd5 17.
Bb5 Qd6 18. exd5 f5 19. Rfe1 g5 20. Nxg5 hxg5 21. Bxg5 Qb4 22. Qxb4 Nxb4 23. d6
$16 {1-0 (49) Alburt,L (2505)-Jansa,V Decin 1977}) 15... Qa4 16. Rd2 Nd7 17.
Bd1 Qa5 18. Bb3 Rac8 19. Rfd1 g5 20. Bg3 Nf6 21. d5 exd5 22. e5 {0-1 (57)
Gelfand,B (2700)-Tseshkovsky,V (2510) Ulcinj 1997} Ne4 $17) (11... Ba6 12. Qe3
Qc7 13. Bxa6 Nxa6 14. d5 e5 15. Qe2 Nb8 16. Nd2 Nd7 17. a4 a6 18. Rfb1 Rfc8 19.
h3 Bf8 20. Nc4 $16 {1/2-1/2 (28) Otero Acosta,D (2510)-Bacallao Alonso,Y (2526)
Santa Clara 2014}) (11... Nd7 12. Rad1 cxd4 13. cxd4 Re8 14. Qe3 Rc8 15. Rc1 a6
16. Rxc8 Qxc8 17. Rc1 Qa8 18. Rc7 Nf6 19. d5 Bxd5 20. exd5 Nxd5 21. Qc1 Nxc7
22. Qxc7 b5 $11 {1/2-1/2 (50) Shimanov,A (2480)-Safarli,E (2527) Mersin 2008})
12. Rad1 (12. Qe3 cxd4 13. cxd4 Nc6 (13... Rc8 14. Bh6 Bh8 15. Qf4 Nc6 16. Bc4
e6 17. Rfd1 Na5 18. Ne5 Qe7 19. Bb5 a6 20. Be2 Nc6 21. Ng4 Nxd4 22. Rxd4 e5 23.
Rd7 $16 {1-0 (26) Wells,P (2489)-Boric,M (2377) Germany 2010}) 14. Rad1 Rfc8
15. Bh6 Bh8 16. Qf4 Qc7 17. Qh4 e5 18. d5 Nd4 19. Rxd4 exd4 20. Bf4 Qd7 21. Ng5
h5 22. g4 $13 {1-0 (32) Ivanov,S (2574)-Nepomniachtchi,I (2483) Moscow 2005})
12... e6 (12... h6 13. Bf4 cxd4 14. cxd4 Ba6 15. Qe3 Bxe2 16. Qxe2 Nc6 17. d5
Na5 18. Be5 Rac8 19. Bxg7 Kxg7 20. h4 Kh7 21. Rd4 $16 {1-0 (41) Veingold,A
(2410)-Oltra Caurin,R (2390) Mislata 1995}) 13. Qe3 {The first really
independent move is not bad, but the white score after the critical
continuation 13.d5 is a boring 100%!} (13. d5 $1 exd5 14. exd5 c4 (14... Ba6
15. c4 Qa4 16. Rd2 Nd7 17. Rc1 Ne5 18. Nxe5 Bxe5 19. Bf3 Bb7 20. d6 Bxf3 21.
Qxf3 Qd7 22. Be7 Rfe8 {1-0 (44) Vera Gonzalez Quevedo,R (2530)-Saldano Dayer,H
(2335) Ubeda 1999} 23. Re1 $16) 15. Qd2 Rc8 (15... Re8 16. Bxc4 Na6 17. Rb1 Re4
18. Bb5 Qd6 19. Rfd1 Nc5 20. Bh6 Bh8 21. c4 $16 {1-0 (39) Ehlvest,J (2505)
-Pribyl,J (2405) Tallinn 1985}) 16. Bh6 Bh8 17. Qf4 Na6 18. Bxc4 Re8 19. Ng5
Be5 20. Qh4 b5 21. Bb3 Nc5 22. f4 $16 {1-0 (32) Hartston,W (2485)-Sax,G (2590)
Tallinn 1979}) 13... Qa4 (13... Qc6 14. Bd3 Nd7 15. Rb1 $14) 14. Bh6 {
Positionally the idea of trading the strong fianchetto bishop is well
justified, but the engine is pleading for the more ambitious pawn advance 14.
e5!} (14. e5 $1 Nd7 (14... Qxa2 $6 15. dxc5 $16) (14... Qc6 15. h4 Rc8 16. h5
$14) 15. h4 h5 16. Rb1 $14) 14... Nd7 15. Bxg7 Kxg7 16. e5 Rac8 {Duda could
have even taken on a2, but Black must be careful when violating the principles
of sound development.} (16... Qxa2 17. Nd2 Qa4 18. Nc4 Qc6 (18... cxd4 19. Rxd4
Qc6 20. Qg5 f6 21. exf6+ Nxf6 22. Ne5 Qc7 23. Bd3 $14) 19. d5 exd5 20. Nd6 Rfe8
(20... d4 21. Qg3 $16) 21. Nxe8+ Rxe8 22. f4 $14) 17. Rd2 (17. h4 Qc2 $1 (17...
h5 18. Ng5 $16) 18. h5 Qe4 $11) 17... b5 (17... Qa3 18. dxc5 Nxc5 19. Rd4 Qxa2
20. Rh4 h5 21. Rxh5 gxh5 22. Qg5+ $11) 18. dxc5 Bd5 $2 {The superstrong Polish
grandmaster seemed to have forgotten about the dangers to the kingside. Black
can simply not afford such a generous loss of a tempo.} (18... Nxc5 19. Rd4
Qxa2 20. Ng5 h5 (20... h6 21. Rh4 Rh8 22. Qf4 $18) 21. Bxb5 Qa5 22. Bc4 $14)
19. Rd4 Qxa2 (19... Qa5 $1 20. Ng5 Rxc5 21. Nxh7 Rxc3 22. Qg5 Rh8 23. Nf6 Qd8
24. Rh4 Rxh4 25. Nh5+ Rxh5 26. Qxd8 Rxe5 27. Bxb5 $16) 20. Rh4 Rh8 (20... h5
21. Rxh5 $1 Rh8 (21... gxh5 $2 22. Qg5+ Kh8 23. Qh6+ Kg8 24. Bd3 f5 25. Qg6+
Kh8 26. Ng5 $18) 22. Rxh8 Rxh8 23. Bxb5 Bxf3 24. gxf3 Qd5 25. Re1 Rh5 26. c4
Qxc5 27. Bxd7 $16) 21. Bxb5 Nxc5 (21... Rc7 22. Bxd7 Rxd7 23. Qh6+ Kg8 24. Ng5
Qd2 25. Rd4 Qe2 26. Ne4 $18) 22. Qh6+ $6 {The obvious check with the queen on
h6 is not a bad move, the problem is that Qg5 is even more devastating.} (22.
Qg5 $1 Kg8 (22... h6 23. Qf6+ Kg8 24. Ng5 $18) 23. Qf6 Rf8 24. Ng5 Qc2 (24...
Qa5 25. c4 Bb7 26. Rd1 $18) 25. Rf4 Ne4 26. Rxe4 Bxe4 27. Be8 $18) 22... Kg8
23. Ng5 Qd2 (23... Rc7 $2 24. Nxh7 $18) 24. Rd4 Qxc3 (24... Qc2 25. Rf4 Qxc3
26. Nxf7 Ne4 27. Nxh8 Qxe5 28. Nxg6 hxg6 29. Bd7 $18) 25. Rf4 Rf8 (25... Qxe5
26. Nxf7 Qg7 27. Qxg7+ Kxg7 28. Nxh8 Rxh8 29. Rc1 $16) 26. Rxf7 $1 {The
defender has overdone it with optimism in the middlegame, the punishment is
severe.} Rxf7 27. Nxf7 Bxg2 $6 {[%mdl 256] Black knows that his survival
chances are minimal so he tries the schock method. Objectively the strongest
line was immediately 27...Qb4! with a poor position.} (27... Kxf7 28. Qf4+ Kg8
29. Be8 Kg7 30. Qf6+ Kh6 31. Qxh8 $18) (27... Qb4 $1 28. Nxh8 Qxb5 29. Rc1 Bb7
30. Nxg6 hxg6 31. Qxg6+ Kf8 32. h4 $18) 28. Kxg2 {I spent more than 10 minutes
navigating the complex position with many lines. It was an obvious choice to
look at 28.Nxh8! as the priority line, but in the heat of battle I missed that
30.Ng6 leads to mate.} (28. Nxh8 $1 Bxf1 (28... Qh3 29. Qg5 $1 Kxh8 (29... Bxf1
30. Qd8+ Kg7 31. Qf6+) 30. Rc1 $18) 29. Qf4 h5 30. Nxg6 Kh7 31. Qf7+ Kh6 32.
Ne7 $18) 28... Qb4 29. Qg5 {White has reverted to making second best choices,
but the best winning idea 29.Ra1 was too ingenious for him to spot and
seriously consider!} (29. Ra1 $1 Qg4+ (29... Qxb5 30. Nxh8 Qd3 31. Rc1 $18) 30.
Kf1 Qd4 31. Qc1 Kxf7 (31... Ne4 32. Nh6+ Kg7 33. Ng4 g5 34. Ra4 Rc8 35. Qxg5+
Nxg5 36. Rxd4 $18) 32. Rxa7+ Kg8 33. h4 (33. Re7 Qxe5 (33... h5 34. Rc7 Qd5 35.
Kg1 $18) 34. Qd2 Qd5 35. Re8+ Kg7 36. Qc3+ $18) 33... Qb4 34. Qc4 Qxc4+ 35.
Bxc4 Kf8 36. Rc7 Na4 37. Bxe6 $18) 29... Kxf7 30. Qf6+ Kg8 31. Be8 {The bishop
move is not bad, but even stronger was the transfer to f3. The win is slipping
away one step at the time.} (31. Be2 $142 $1 Qb7+ (31... Qe4+ 32. Bf3 Qf5 33.
Rc1 Qxf6 34. exf6 Kf7 35. Rxc5 Kxf6 36. Ra5 $18) 32. Bf3 Qf7 33. Rc1 Nd7 34.
Qxf7+ Kxf7 35. Rc7 Rd8 36. Bc6 Ke7 37. Rxa7 $18) 31... Qg4+ 32. Kh1 Qf5 33.
Bf7+ Kf8 34. Qxh8+ Kxf7 35. Qxh7+ Kf8 36. Qh8+ {After the exchange of the
queens the ending should be very difficult for Black, but actually he is not
without chances. It was much better to activate the rook with the precise idea
36.Qh6!} (36. Qh6+ Kf7 37. Rc1 $1 Qxf2 (37... Qxe5 38. Qh7+ Kf8 39. Qxg6 $18)
38. Qh7+ Kf8 39. Qxg6 Qf3+ 40. Qg2 Qxg2+ 41. Kxg2 Nd3 42. Ra1 Nxe5 43. Rxa7 $18
) 36... Kf7 37. Qf6+ (37. Qa8 Qxe5 38. Qxa7+ Kf6 39. Qa1 $16) 37... Qxf6 38.
exf6 a5 39. Rc1 (39. Kg2 a4 40. Rc1 Nd3 41. Rc4 a3 42. Ra4 $16) 39... Nd3 40.
Rc7+ Kxf6 41. Kg1 $6 {Of course the king should have gone forward, but it was
not clearly winning at all.} (41. Kg2 $1 a4 42. Ra7 Kf5 43. Rxa4 g5 $16) 41...
a4 42. Rc3 Nf4 43. Rc4 Kf5 44. Rxa4 e5 45. Ra3 g5 46. h3 Ng6 47. Kg2 {The last
chance to really fight against the idea g4 was to attack the knight on g6 with
47.Ra6!?} (47. Ra6 $5 Nh4 (47... Nf4 48. Kh2 $16) 48. Kh2 Kf4 49. Rf6+ Nf5 50.
f3 e4 51. fxe4 Kxe4 52. Ra6 $16) 47... g4 $1 48. hxg4+ Kxg4 49. Rg3+ Kf5 50.
Kf3 Nf4 {This position is better, but can objectively not be won. A rare
escape for Black from a position that was really difficult!} 51. Rg8 Ne6 52.
Ke3 Ng5 53. Kd3 Ne6 54. Re8 Nf4+ 55. Ke3 Ne6 56. Ra8 Ng5 57. Rf8+ Ke6 58. Kd3
Nh7 59. Rh8 Nf6 60. Kc4 Ne4 61. Rh2 Kf5 62. Kd5 (62. Kd3 Nf6 $16) 62... Nc3+
63. Kd6 Kf4 64. Rh4+ Kf3 65. Rh3+ Kxf2 66. Rxc3 e4 1/2-1/2