Games
[Event "Gashimov Memorial"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.04.23"] [Round "3"] [White "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E68"] [Annotator "Aleksandr Lenderman"] [PlyCount "132"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] {Welcome everyone! This is GM Aleksandr Lenderman with the analysis of the Game of the Day of round three at the Gashimov Memorial. And what a sharp battle it was! Eljanov-Mamedyarov is one of the most epic games I've seen in recent times, with huge swings in evaluations at critical moments. That's completely understandable when the position is as complicated this one was. Without further ado, let's go through it.} 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. O-O O-O 5. d4 d6 $5 {Black opts for the dynamic double-edged King's Indian defence.} (5... d5 {is more solid of course, leading most likely to Symmetrical Grunfeld positions.}) 6. c4 Nbd7 7. Nc3 e5 8. e4 exd4 9. Nxd4 Re8 10. b3 {Eljanov spent 4 minutes here roughly, probably since he already had a game from this position where he also played 10.b3 against Svidler. However, ultimately he decided to test Mamedyarov's preparation, which shows how much faith he had in his own analysis in this line.} a6 $5 {Mamedyarov deviates first. Actually Mamedyarov had already had this position with black against Vladimir Kramnik in a rapid event in Geneva.} (10... Nc5 {was Svidler's choice. } 11. f3 c6 12. Be3 d5 13. Nxc6 bxc6 14. Bxc5 dxc4 15. Qc2 Be6 16. f4 Ng4 17. e5 $6 (17. Rad1 $1 {is the computer's preference and likely Eljanov's prepared improvement.} Qb8 18. bxc4 Bf8 19. Bd4 c5 20. Bf2 Bxc4 21. Rfe1 $14 {White is slightly better since after e5, he will have control of the d5 square and active pieces, while Black's f8 bishop will be restricted.}) 17... Bf8 $132 { And from this double edged position the game ended in a draw in a few moves.1/ 2 (25) Eljanov,P (2719)-Svidler,P (2732) Germany 2014}) 11. Be3 Rb8 12. a4 $5 $146 {Now Eljanov, after some thought, deviates from Kramnik's choice. The point of course is prophylaxy against c5 followed by b5 counterplay. Also this is a novelty according to my database.} (12. Qd2 {was Kramnik's choice.} c5 13. Nde2 b5 14. Qxd6 Ng4 $44 {Black has good compensation here for the pawn, and after a long battle, Black won in 67 moves, 0-1 Kramnik,V (2803)-Mamedyarov,S (2753) Geneva 2013}) 12... a5 {Played after roughly a 20-minute think, which meant Mamedyarov was out of his preparation at this point. a5 is a logical move though, since now that White played a4, Black has full control of the c5 square outpost. Possibly it was a little bit more accurate though to start with Nc5.} (12... Nc5 13. f3 a5 14. Ndb5 Nfd7 {And here Black has time to stabilize his position. His next idea is b6 followed by Bb7. Also starting with b6 instead of Nd7 deserved attention.} (14... b6 15. Qc2 c6 16. Nd4 Bb7 $132)) 13. Ndb5 b6 14. Qc2 Nc5 15. Rad1 $1 $14 {Just in time White gets Rad1 in, which not only gets his rook in the game, but also prevents the move c6, which would free up Black a little bit. Also the reason why the rook from the a-file goes to d1, is because on a1, b1, or c1 it has no prospects, while the rook on f1 might be potentially good on e1, protecting the center, or f1, helping with a kingside attack.} Bb7 16. f3 Qe7 17. Rfe1 Rbd8 18. Bf2 $6 (18. Nd5 {Might've been a little bit stronger to not let Black's king away plus it places White's knight on a strong active square.} Nxd5 19. cxd5 c6 20. dxc6 Bxc6 21. Bf1 $14 {The point now is...} d5 22. Bxc5 Qxc5+ 23. Qxc5 bxc5 24. Nc7 $1 Re5 25. Nxd5 Bxd5 26. Bc4 $1 {And White wins a pawn.}) 18... c6 19. Nd4 Qc7 {Maybe it was better to keep the queen on e7, to keep White's kingside expansion at bay.} (19... Nfd7 $5) 20. g4 Nfd7 21. Bh4 Bf6 22. Bg3 Na6 23. Na2 Ndc5 24. f4 Qe7 25. g5 Bg7 26. h4 f6 $1 {Beating White to the punch. Otherwise White will play f5 sooner or later and really squeeze Black.} 27. gxf6 Bxf6 28. h5 Qg7 $1 {The game is getting sharp now and both players were starting to get low on time so some inaccuracies are about to appear.} 29. Bf2 Nc7 {Getting the knight back into where all the action is.} 30. hxg6 hxg6 31. Nc3 N7e6 ( 31... Rd7 $5 {With idea of Rf7 was an interesting way to build harmony for Black.}) 32. Nce2 Nxd4 {A little bit accommodating.} (32... Nf8 $5 {Trying to keep White's knights from duplicating each other was also an idea.}) 33. Nxd4 Rd7 34. Nf3 $1 Bc8 35. e5 $1 {White starts playing very powerful chess.} dxe5 36. fxe5 (36. Nxe5 $5 {was also interesting but complicated.}) 36... Rxd1 37. Qxd1 Be7 38. Nd4 Bg5 $6 {In huge time pressure and in a complicated position it's understandable that Black makes an inaccuracy, although the move Bg5 looks completely logical.} (38... Qh6 $1 {Would at least make Bxc6 not as appealing for White.} 39. Bxc6 (39. Nxc6 Bg5 {And now Bg5 would be logical. However, after Nxc6, e6 isn't as easy to get in for White. The position is still very complex.}) 39... Qg5+ 40. Bg2 Bb7 41. Nf3 Qf5 $44 {Black has a good initiative here thanks to his very active pieces.}) 39. Bxc6 $1 Rf8 40. Nf3 Qh6 41. Bxc5 $1 {White continues to play very precise chess. Black is in trouble now.} bxc5 42. Qd5+ Kg7 43. e6 $1 Rf5 $6 {[#] Objectively a wrong move, but it created just enough practical trouble for White to confuse matters and by a miracle it worked great for Black. Once again this example shows how sometimes objectively move that aren't the mathematical best work best thanks to the practical value of making it more difficult for the opponent to play.} (43... Be7 {Objectively this was a bit more tenacious though White is still much better here.}) 44. Re5 $4 {And now, just a few moves away from winning, White makes a blunder which tragicly spoils all the great work he's done to reach this position.} (44. e7 $1 {was just simply winning.} Rxd5 45. e8=Q Rd8 (45... Rf5 46. Qxc8 Be3+ 47. Kg2 Qh5 48. Qd7+ Rf7 49. Qe6 $18) 46. Re7+ Bxe7 47. Qxe7+ $18) (44. Qd6 {was also probably winning.}) 44... Qh3 $1 {Probably missed by Eljanov. Suddenly it's anyone's game.Probably he only expected the more forcing moves.} (44... Be3+ $2 45. Kg2) (44... Bf6 $5 {was also giving Black excellent drawing chances.} 45. Rxf5 Qe3+ 46. Kg2 gxf5 47. Bd7 Ba6 48. e7 Qxe7 49. Qxf5 Qe2+ 50. Kg3 Bb7 $11) (44... Rxe5 $2 45. Qxe5+ Bf6 46. Qc7+ $18) 45. Qxc5 Qg3+ 46. Kf1 {[#]} Rxf3+ $1 {Black sees he has at least a draw, and also has a chance to potentially to play for more. Whenever we see a line like that, where a draw is guarnateed and there might be more, there is usually a very good chance there might be an opportunity to play for more, it often pays off to continue. The reason is that the risk is low, since you have a draw at hand, and you also have the opportunity toi hope for more.} (46... Bxe6 {Was also possible.} 47. Rxf5 Bxf5 48. Qa7+ $11) 47. Bxf3 Qxf3+ 48. Qf2 Qd1+ 49. Qe1 Qd3+ 50. Qe2 Qg3 51. Qe4 $6 (51. Rxa5 {is still complicated but looks like it draws. } Be3 {Was probably what Eljanov was afraid of.} 52. Qb2+ $1 Kh7 53. Qf6 $1 { Not an easy geometry to see though. White is probably worse without this idea, but now the queen attacks and defends the key squraes and Black has nothing better than to give a perpetual.}) 51... Qh3+ $6 (51... Bh4 {Should've been played right away.}) 52. Qg2 Qd3+ 53. Qe2 Qg3 $1 (53... Qh3+ $11) 54. Qe4 $6 ( 54. Rxa5 $1) 54... Bh4 $1 {Black correctly realizes he has enough initiative to play for more than a draw.} 55. Qe3 Qh2 $1 56. Rd5 $6 {Potentially putting the rook on a bad square.} (56. Qa7+ {Might be a little bit more tenacious.}) 56... Qh1+ 57. Ke2 Qe1+ 58. Kf3 Qg3+ 59. Ke2 Qe1+ 60. Kd3 $5 {I don't think Eljanov is actually trying to avoid a draw anymore. I just think Eljanov saw some lines he didn't like after Kf3 where Black can play for a win and changed his mind. It's a tough call, since after both moves he's probably losing, but maybe Kd3 offered better practical chances.} (60. Kf3 Bxe6 61. Qe5+ Kf7 62. Qf4+ Bf6 63. Qc7+ Be7 64. Qf4+ Kg8 65. Qb8+ Bf8 $19 {Should also be winning for Black in the long run.}) 60... Qd1+ $1 61. Ke4 $5 {Good practical try in my opinion.} (61. Kc3 Bf6+ $19) (61. Qd2 Qxb3+ 62. Qc3+ Qxc3+ 63. Kxc3 Bxe6 64. Rxa5 (64. Rb5 g5 65. Kd4 g4 66. Ke4 Bd8 $17) 64... Be1+ $19) 61... Bb7 62. Ke5 Bxd5 63. cxd5 (63. Qf4 {Also doesn't help.} Qf3 64. Qxh4 Qf5+ $19) 63... Be7 $1 {Actually the only winning move. That's what I meant by saying Ke4 was a good practical try. Be7 is a very strong move which keeps both White's pawns at bay and White's king activity at bay as well. Now White is just lost.} (63... Bf6+ $4 64. Kd6 $16) (63... Qa1+ $2 64. Kd6 $11) 64. Qa7 Qe2+ 65. Kf4 {[#]} g5+ { Still never too late to blunder with...} (65... Kf6 $4 66. Qd4+) 66. Kg3 Kf6 { And now White is out of chances and about to be attacked by Black's remaining pieces. A great battle, and great comeback by Mamedyarov and great start for him in the tournament. On the flip side, a very big pity for Eljanov who had started with 2/2 and came so close to starting 3/3... but one bad move spoiled it for him.} 0-1 [Event "4th Shamkir Chess 2017"] [Site "Shamkir"] [Date "2017.04.24"] [Round "4"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Harikrishna, Pentala"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C77"] [WhiteElo "2811"] [BlackElo "2755"] [Annotator "Tiger Hillarp-Persson"] [PlyCount "83"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 {As far as I can see, this is the first time Kramnik has entered the Ruy Lopez from the white side, in a very long time.} ( 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. Re1 d6 7. c3 Na5 8. Bb5 a6 9. Ba4 b5 10. Bc2 c5 {Why give this line? Explanation follows after 8.c3 in the game.}) 3... a6 $1 {Harikrishna also has the Berlin Defence on the repertoire, but to play it against Kramnik? I don't think so.} 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 (6. Re1 { is still the main move, but after} b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. c3 (8. a4 {is the most challenging move for those who prefer to avoid the gambit.}) 8... d5 {no one above 2600 has lost with the black pieces in the last half year.}) 6... b5 7. Bb3 d6 (7... O-O {is played far less. Perhaps since} 8. a4 {is an option again. } (8. Nc3 d6 9. a3)) 8. a3 {White must save the light squared bishop. And since the other options have been found to set Black few(er) problems, this seemingly meek move has become the latest fashion.} (8. Nc3 $6 Na5 $1) (8. a4 Bd7 $1 {is a neat point behind 7...d6. After} 9. c3 Na5 10. Bc2 c5 11. d4 Qb8 12. Bg5 h6 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. axb5 axb5 15. dxc5 dxc5 16. Qd5 Qc8 17. b4 Be6 18. Qxc5 Qxc5 19. bxc5 Kd7 $1 {Black was doing very well, in Morozevich,A (2680) -Vitiugov,N (2715) 32nd ECC Open 2016, and went on to win.}) (8. c3 O-O 9. Re1 Na5 10. Bc2 c5 {is a position that can also arise in the Prussian Defence (3. Bc4 Nf6).}) 8... O-O (8... Be6 {is an idea that is usually better when White has already played h3. Then after} 9. Bxe6 fxe6 {I assume White ought to be a bit better here, although it is far from clear (to me) how.} 10. c3 O-O 11. Nbd2 Qd7 12. Re1 Rae8 (12... Nd8 $5) (12... Nh5) 13. a4 $14 {Pavlidis,A (2530) -Schwarz,D (2290) European Rapid 2016}) 9. Nc3 {There are few positions in chess where there are more than 4-5 decent moves, but in this position there are no less than 7 perfectly reasonable moves for Black! It is also notable that this position was reached 4 times in the last WCh match between Karjakin and Carlsen, with Magnus, as Black, scoring three draws and one win.} Nb8 $5 { The start of the Breyer-plan. Black is aiming for a harmonious set-up with Nbd7 and Bb7, before continuing - usually - with Re8, Bf8, g6 and Bg7. For someone who has played the Pirc/Modern for many years, it gives rise to a kind of deja vu; haven't I seen something similar somewhere?} (9... Be6 10. Be3 d5 11. Bg5 $1 {has scored well for White.}) (9... Na5 10. Ba2 Be6 {was played by Carlsen in two of the WCh games.} ({Playing Chigorin-style with} 10... c5 { , makes more sense when White has spent time on moves like c3 and h3. Here White is ready to fight for the d5-square immediately:} 11. b4 Nc6 12. Nd5 $36 {This is possibly the reason why Carlsen played Nb8, c5, Nc6 in an earlier game. Here it actually helps White to have the bishop kicked back to a2.}) 11. b4 (11. d4 Bxa2 12. Rxa2 Re8 13. Ra1 Nc4 14. Re1 Rc8 15. h3 h6 16. b3 Nb6 17. Bb2 Bf8 18. dxe5 dxe5 19. a4 c6 20. Qxd8 Rcxd8 21. axb5 axb5 22. Ne2 Bb4 23. Bc3 Bxc3 24. Nxc3 Nbd7 25. Ra6 Rc8 26. b4 Re6 27. Rb1 c5 28. Rxe6 fxe6 29. Nxb5 cxb4 30. Rxb4 Rxc2 31. Nd6 Rc1+ 32. Kh2 Rc2 33. Kg1 {1/2-1/2 (33) Karjakin,S (2770)-Carlsen,M (2850) WCh 2016}) 11... Nc6 12. Nd5 Nd4 13. Ng5 Bxd5 14. exd5 Nd7 15. Ne4 f5 16. Nd2 f4 17. c3 Nf5 18. Ne4 Qe8 19. Bb3 Qg6 20. f3 Bh4 21. a4 Nf6 22. Qe2 a5 23. axb5 axb4 24. Bd2 bxc3 25. Bxc3 Ne3 26. Rfc1 Rxa1 27. Rxa1 Qe8 28. Bc4 Kh8 29. Nxf6 Bxf6 30. Ra3 e4 31. dxe4 Bxc3 32. Rxc3 Qe5 33. Rc1 Ra8 34. h3 h6 35. Kh2 Qd4 36. Qe1 Qb2 37. Bf1 Ra2 38. Rxc7 Ra1 {0-1 (38) Karjakin, S (2770)-Carlsen,M (2850) WCh Rapid TB 2016}) 10. Ne2 {The start of the most famous manoeuvre known to chess. Then end station is g3, where the knight is bolstering e4, stopping Nh5, and making sure that a future Bg4 will be truly kicked with h3; all this while not being in the way of any other pieces.} Nbd7 {Harikrishna is going for a more traditional interpretation of the Breyer set-up.} ({Carlsen preferred} 10... c5 11. Ng3 Nc6 12. c3 Rb8 13. h3 a5 14. a4 b4 15. Re1 Be6 16. Bc4 h6 17. Be3 Qc8 18. Qe2 Rd8 19. Bxe6 fxe6 20. d4 bxc3 21. bxc3 cxd4 22. cxd4 exd4 23. Nxd4 Nxd4 24. Bxd4 Rb4 25. Rec1 Qd7 26. Bc3 Rxa4 27. Bxa5 Rxa1 28. Rxa1 Ra8 29. Bc3 Rxa1+ 30. Bxa1 Qc6 31. Kh2 Kf7 32. Bb2 Qc5 33. f4 Bd8 34. e5 dxe5 35. Bxe5 Bb6 36. Qd1 Qd5 37. Qxd5 Nxd5 {1/2-1/2 (37) Karjakin,S (2770)-Carlsen,M (2850) WCh Rapid TB 2016}) 11. c3 ({If Black is worried about the Nb6/c5-plan that Kovalev used against Kobalia (see next comment), it makes sense to play} 11. Ng3 {first.} Nb6 (11... Nc5 12. Ba2 Be6 { is probably the reason why Kramnik choose the move order with c3 first.}) 12. Bd2 c5 13. Ba5 $5) 11... Bb7 {This quite logical move seems new. If we compare the position with the classical Breyer system, then White has played d3 instead of d4, has added a3, avoided h3 and can play the knight to g3 without going Re1 first. Black should be ahead on tempi, but not having played d4 is something of an advantage for White, who is more flexible and doesn't have to worry about tactical operations revolving around a weak e4-pawn.} (11... Nb6 12. Ng3 c5 13. d4 Qc7 14. Re1 a5 15. h3 Bd7 16. Bd2 a4 17. Bc2 Nc4 18. Bc1 Rfc8 {led to a very complex fight, in Kobalia,M (2646)-Kovalev, V (2562) Gjakova 2016.}) 12. Ng3 c5 13. Re1 Rc8 {Black would love to get a chance to force the exchange of the c-pawn for White's d-pawn.} 14. Nf5 $5 {This move changes the flow of the game and takes it into unclear waters.} ({I would only consider} 14. Ba2 {or}) (14. Bc2 {Both look quite reasonable.}) 14... c4 $1 15. dxc4 ({If } 15. Bc2 cxd3 16. Bxd3 Re8 17. Bc2 {, then} Nc5 18. Bg5 Bf8 {and Black's pieces are too harmonious for White to even dream of an advantage.} 19. Nd2 g6 20. Ne3 Be7 21. Bxf6 Bxf6 22. a4 Bg5 $11) 15... Bxe4 ({Black can also consider } 15... bxc4 16. Bc2 Nc5 {, but after} 17. Bg5 Rc7 18. Bxf6 Bxf6 19. Qxd6 { Black doesn't have enough compensation for the pawn.}) 16. Nxe7+ (16. Nxd6 $2 Bxd6 17. Qxd6 Nc5 {leads to a total collapse on the light squares.}) 16... Qxe7 17. cxb5 axb5 18. Bg5 $1 {This must be played before Black gets to shut it out of the game with h6.} Nc5 19. Ba2 {Ambitious.} (19. Bc2 Bxc2 20. Qxc2 Ne6 { looks about balanced.}) 19... h6 20. Bh4 $5 {I might be overly pessimistic here, but to me this seems like burning bridges. The bishop will be terribly passive on g3, so the natural thing to do would be to go} (20. Bxf6 Qxf6 21. Re3 {Still, Black has no complaints here, so I guess Kramnik's choice was in harmony with the bishop retreat to a2. He is aiming for complications.}) 20... g5 $1 21. Bg3 Bh7 ({Usually the bishop is better off at g6, from where it supports h5 and leaves the h7-square for other pieces:} 21... Bg6 {After} 22. Bb1 Nfe4 23. Nd2 d5 24. Nf3 f6 25. Qxd5+ Kg7 {Black has a nice initiative for the pawn.}) 22. Qe2 (22. Bb1 $5) 22... Kg7 $1 {[#] Black's plan is to evacuate the knight from f6, play f6 in order to bury the bishop on g3, and then occupy the light squares. White needs to come up with an antidote to this scenario.} 23. Rad1 {If Kramnik played this with the express intention of what is coming next, then this is one the greatest moves I have ever seen.} (23. Qxb5 $2 Nd3 { and the b-pawn falls.}) (23. Nd4 $5 Qd7 24. Nb3 Nce4 25. Nd2 Nc5 26. Bb1 { is another way to get some grip on the light squares. If Black is unable to move the central pawns forward, they could turn out to be weak in the end.}) 23... Nfe4 $1 24. Rd5 {!!!??!?} ({White doesn't have the time to play} 24. Qxb5 {, since} f5 $1 {leaves Bg3 in mortal danger, and} 25. h3 Rb8 26. Qe2 f4 27. Bh2 Na4 28. Rb1 Nec5 {is game over-ish.}) ({To play something like} 24. h3 { , is paramount to resignation:} f5 25. Bh2 f4 26. Bb1 Qb7 27. Nd2 Nf6 {and Black has the most terrible domination.}) 24... f5 {[#] This looks so natural and so strong. How to stop oneself from playing such a move?} ({I would have played} 24... f6 $1 {, so:} 25. Bb1 f5 {and we get a position similar to the one in the game. How is the sacrifice here? I would not be able to make a precise evaluation over the board.}) (24... Rfe8 {might be the most flexible move, planning on f5 while opening a slot for the king on f8. It seems to me (and the engine) that Black is just clearly better here.}) 25. Rxe5 $3 { Daring and genius in one move. I presume Kramnik realized he was sliding into a bad situation and decided to change the course of the game, whatever the price.} ({This is much more tricky than} 25. Rxd6 $6 Nxd6 26. Qxe5+ Qxe5 27. Bxe5+ Rf6 $1 {when there is no obvious way for White to get full compensation. With no queens on the board, this would be far easier for a human to handle.}) 25... dxe5 26. Bxe5+ Nf6 $6 {Not a big mistake, but a step in the wrong direction. Black should find a way to exchange one of the bishops as fast as possible. The best way to do that is:} (26... Kg6 $1 {avoids the pins and prepares for Bg8...} 27. Bd4 $1 Bg8 $1 {Now the price to avoid the exchange is too high:} 28. Bxg8 (28. Bb1 Kh7 29. Qxb5 Nb3) 28... Rxg8 29. g4 $5 (29. Qxb5 g4 30. Ne5+ Kh7 $19) 29... Rge8 30. gxf5+ Kh7 31. Qc2 Qb7 (31... Qd7 $5) 32. f6 Qd7 $17 {Even here there are still traps to watch out for, so from a practical point of view Kramnik's move was brilliant.}) 27. Qxb5 $1 {Picking up a pawn, so as to make the queenside mobile.} Nce4 28. Bd4 Rfd8 {What to do now?} 29. h3 $1 {What a cool move. It is still not clear what Black should do, so airing the king cannot be wrong.} Rb8 30. Qe2 {There seem to be so many good moves for Black, but which one wins?} Bg8 $6 (30... Re8 {is what Karpov would have played. Over protecting the knight on e4, gives more freedom to the rest of the pieces.} 31. b4 Bg6 32. Qb2 Kh7 33. c4 Rbd8 {...Botvinnik would have liked this one.} 34. c5 {and finally, Black is ready for} g4 $1) 31. Bb1 Qb7 (31... Rb3 32. Ba2 $1) 32. b4 Re8 33. c4 {A few moves ago Black only had one problem; how to get out of the pin and get his pieces active. Now there is a second issue. The pawns are starting to look menacing.} Qc6 $2 {This move allows White to get fully coordinated.} ({The last chance for an advantage was} 33... Qa6 $1 {, but things are still not as clear as the engine would like you to think:} 34. b5 $5 (34. Qb2 Bxc4 35. Rc1 Bd5 36. Rc7+ Kg8 37. Bxe4 fxe4 38. Nh2 Nh5 39. Ng4 Rb7 $17) 34... Qd6 (34... Qxa3 $6 35. Bxe4 Rxe4 36. Qd2 Rbe8 37. Ra1 $44) 35. Qb2 Bxc4 36. a4 Ra8 {(There might be something better here)} 37. Bxe4 Rxe4 38. Rxe4 fxe4 39. Ne5 Be6 (39... Rd8 40. Nc6) 40. b6 Rxa4 41. Nc6 Rxd4 42. Nxd4 Kf7 43. b7 Nd7 44. Nxe6 Kxe6 45. Qg7 {and White will probably get a draw.}) 34. Qb2 {With this move Black's position goes from hard-to-handle to just worse.} Rbd8 $6 (34... Kh7 $1 {is a good chance for Black, but after} 35. c5 {, Black still needs to find a few exact moves:} (35. Be5 Rbd8 36. Nd4 Qxc4 37. Nxf5 Rd2 38. Nd6 Rxb2 39. Bxb2 Qb3 40. Bxf6 Qxb1 41. Rxb1 Nxd6 42. a4 $132) 35... Bf7 $1 (35... Nd7 $6 36. Nd2 Bd5 37. Nf1 $36) 36. Ne5 Qd5 37. Nxf7 Qxf7 38. f3 Ng3 39. Be5 Nfh5 40. Kh2 Qd5 41. Qc3 Nf1+ 42. Kg1 Nfg3 43. Bxb8 Qd4+ $1 44. Qxd4 Rxe1+ 45. Kf2 Re2+ 46. Kg1 Re1+ $11) 35. c5 (35. b5 Qd6 36. Rc1 Rc8 37. Bxe4 Rxe4 38. c5 Qe7 39. c6 {is even better. Black is balancing on the abyss.}) 35... Qe6 36. b5 $5 (36. Rc1 $1 g4 37. hxg4 fxg4 38. Bxe4 Rxd4 39. Qxd4 Qxe4 40. Qxe4 Rxe4 41. Nd2 Re2 42. Nf1 $14) 36... Kf8 $2 ({ Black's last chance was} 36... Qb3 $1 37. Qa1 Kg6 $1 38. Bxf6 (38. b6 Nd7 39. Rc1 Rc8 40. c6 Nxb6 41. Bxe4 fxe4 42. Bh8 Qf7 43. Ne5+ Rxe5 44. Qxe5 Qe6 $11) 38... Nxf6 39. Rxe8 Rxe8 40. Bxf5+ Kg7 41. Nd4 {and this unbalanced position, to my surprise, seems to be in balance.}) 37. c6 g4 $2 {This accelerates the ending, but White's pawns were too advanced for a remedy to be found.} 38. hxg4 fxg4 39. Bxe4 $1 gxf3 ({Or} 39... Nxe4 40. Rxe4 Qxe4 41. Bg7+ Ke7 42. Qf6#) 40. Bxf6 Rd6 41. Bg7+ Kf7 42. Be5 {and Harikrishna resigned. A marvelous swindle by Kramnik!} 1-0 [Event "Gashimov Memorial"] [Site "Shamkir"] [Date "2017.04.25"] [Round "5"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E05"] [Annotator "Tiger Hillarp-Persson"] [PlyCount "130"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. c4 e6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 Nf6 (3... dxc4 {here or on the next move, is the other direction the game can take.}) 4. Nf3 Be7 5. O-O (5. cxd5 $6 {is a strategical mistake before Black has committed to b6. After} exd5 6. O-O O-O 7. d4 c6 8. Nc3 Bf5 {is hard for White achieve e4, while the Carlsbad minority attack, with b2-b4-b5 is almost impossible to get working. Black is already a bit better.}) 5... O-O 6. d4 (6. b3 b6 {After this move cxd5 becomes a possibility. The point is that light squares has been weakened and if Black answers with exd5, then after Nf3-e5 Black will have little choice but to play c5 at some stage and accept a couple of hanging pawns.} (6... d4 7. e3 c5 8. exd4 cxd4 9. d3 Nc6 10. Re1 {leads to a Benoni set-up with colours reversed, which would be a formidable weapon in the hands of someone who wants to create an unbalanced game.}) (6... c5 7. e3 (7. Bb2 $5 d4 8. e3 Nc6 9. exd4 cxd4 10. Re1 $1 {is another Benoni inspired line where the drawing tendencies are low.} (10. d3 e5 {and the bishop makes no sense on b2.})) 7... b6) 7. Bb2 (7. Nc3 Bb7 8. d4 Nbd7 9. Bb2 Rc8 10. cxd5 Nxd5 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12. Qd3 c5 13. e4 Bb7 14. Rad1 (14. Rfd1) 14... cxd4 15. Nxd4 Nf6 16. Qe2 Qe8 {as in Kramnik,V (2805) -Aronian,L (2785) 8th London Classic 2016, was not without complications.}) 7... Bb7 8. cxd5 Nxd5 (8... exd5 9. d4 Nbd7 10. Nc3 Re8 11. Rc1 {scores quite well for White, perhaps not because White's position is better, but since it is harder to handle Black's structure for a human.}) 9. d4 Nd7 (9... c5 { was played by Aronian and could be the better move.}) 10. Re1 c5 11. e4 N5f6 12. Nc3 {(Ever noticed how few really strong GM:s there are who place their knight on d2 when c3 is an option?)} cxd4 13. Nxd4 Ne5 14. Qe2 $1 Bc5 (14... Qxd4 15. Nd5 Qc5 16. Rac1 Qd6 17. Nxe7+ (17. Bxe5 $5 {might be even stronger.}) 17... Qxe7 18. Bxe5 Rac8 19. Bb2 {and White will continue with f3 and enjoy the bishop pair in an endgame with pawns on both sides.}) 15. Red1 Qe7 16. Na4 Bxd4 17. Bxd4 Nc6 18. Be3 Rfd8 19. Nc3 Qb4 20. Qb2 Ng4 21. Bf4 Nce5 22. a3 Qc5 23. Na4 Qb5 24. Nc3 Qc5 25. Na4 Qb5 26. h3 Nd3 27. Rxd3 Rxd3 28. hxg4 Qxb3 29. Bf1 {and White went on to win, in So,W (2820)-Onischuk,A (2665) ch-USA 2017.}) 6... dxc4 {I dare say that noone understands the Catalan better than Kramnik, so it is well worth noting which line he chooses with the black side.} 7. Qc2 ( {The other main line goes} 7. Ne5 {, when Black most reliable counter was seen today on a adjacent board:} Nc6 8. Bxc6 (8. Nxc6 bxc6 9. Na3 {has also been played a lot, but it leads to terribly forced variations where it seems to me that Black is not doing worse.}) 8... bxc6 9. Nxc6 Qe8 10. Nxe7+ Qxe7 11. Qc2 c5 12. Qxc4 cxd4 13. Qxd4 e5 14. Qh4 Qb7 15. Nc3 Be6 16. Bg5 Nd5 17. Nxd5 Qxd5 18. b3 f6 19. Be3 Qb5 20. Rfe1 a5 21. f3 Rfc8 22. Kf2 a4 23. Qe4 axb3 24. axb3 Rxa1 25. Rxa1 Qxb3 26. Ra8 Rxa8 27. Qxa8+ {and draw was soon agreed.}) 7... a6 8. a4 (8. Qxc4 b5 9. Qc2 Bb7 10. Bd2 {was a line that attracted a lot of attention for many years. However Black came up with a very solid anti-dote with} Be4 11. Qc1 Bb7 $1 {when White has been unable to set Black any real problems.} (11... c6 {is a new continuation for those who shun draws before move 15.})) 8... Bd7 9. Qxc4 Bc6 10. Bf4 (10. Bg5 {has been more popular. A recent game went} Bd5 11. Qc2 Be4 12. Qc1 h6 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. Nbd2 Bxf3 15. Nxf3 a5 16. Qc3 Nc6 17. Rad1 Nb4 18. Ne5 c6 19. e4 Rc8 20. Ng4 c5 21. Nxf6+ Qxf6 22. e5 (22. d5 $5) 22... Qe7 23. d5 exd5 24. Bxd5 Rcd8 {with a balanced game; Adams,M (2760)-Harikrishna,P (2755) Du Te Cup 2017 (although White soon went wrong and lost).}) 10... a5 {This has gone for main- to sub-line in a short time. Black is planning to exchange Bc6 for Nf3 at an opportune moment and then argue the bishop pair is of little use when the opponent has such a wonderfully harmonious pawn structure.} (10... Bd6 {has taken over as the most common. Aronian played two games on the black side lately:} 11. Qc1 Bxf4 (11... a5 12. Nc3 Na6 13. Bd2 Nb4 14. Qb1 Bxf3 15. Bxf3 c6 16. Rd1 Qe7 17. Ne4 Nxe4 18. Qxe4 Rfd8 19. Bc3 Rd7 20. Rd2 Qd8 21. Rad1 Be7 22. h4 Rb8 23. e3 Nd5 24. Qc2 Qc7 25. Kg2 g6 26. h5 {and White had managed to ge an initiative, in Ding Liren (2760)-Aronian,L (2785) Sharjah Grand Prix 2017.}) 12. Qxf4 Qd6 13. Qc1 Bd5 14. Nc3 Nc6 15. e3 Nb4 16. Qb1 (16. a5 $5 Qe7 17. Nxd5 Nbxd5 18. Ne5 $14) 16... Qe7 17. a5 c5 18. Nxd5 Nfxd5 19. e4 Nc7 20. dxc5 Qxc5 21. e5 Qe7 { Eljanov,P (2755)-Aronian,L (2780) 79th Tata Steel GpA 2017. Black had solved the opening problems and went on to win.}) 11. Nc3 Nbd7 12. Qd3 {In this part of the game, play is all about whether White gets to play e2-e4. White threatens to play e4.} Bb4 {Black stops e2-e4.} 13. Rfe1 {White threatens to play e4.} Re8 {Black can answer e2-e4 with Nc5, so he takes a moment to prepare some activity of his own (e6-e5).} 14. Qc2 {Now e2-e4 is in the making, again.} (14. e4 $2 Bxc3 15. bxc3 Bxe4 $1 16. Rxe4 $2 Nc5 $17) 14... Bxf3 { Black finally decides to exchange the bishop. There was no good way to stop e4 anymore.} (14... Bxc3 $6 15. bxc3 Be4 16. Qb2 h6 (16... c5 17. Ng5 {and Black regrets the insertion of a4 and a5 since his queenside is quite weak.}) 17. Bf1 b6 18. Red1 Bb7 19. Ne5 {and White has been able to keep the bishop pair without compromising the pawn structure, so White is better.}) 15. Bxf3 c6 { This structure arise in most of the games in this line. White has more space and the bishop pair, but Black lacks weaknesses and has a nice outpost on b4. Some might find this position to be boring, but at this stage I was basically jumping up and down from the excitement of seeing two such great players dealing with it.} 16. Red1 $1 {Black has exchanged the bishop on c6, so White no longer needs the rook on e1 in order to play e4. Now White plans to improve the knight...} (16. Na2 $2 Bxe1) 16... Qe7 17. Na2 Bd6 18. Bxd6 Qxd6 19. Nc1 { Around this point in the game something goes wrong, but I really struggle to see what it is. Kramnik's moves all seem reasonable.} Nd5 20. e4 Nb4 21. Qc3 e5 (21... f5 $6 {aims to wrestle control of d5 from White, but it is a double edged victory. After} 22. Nb3 {a5 remains weak and e6 is a new target.}) ({ If Black tries to ride out the game in passive manner with} 21... Qe7 {, then White will play} 22. Nb3 {and follow up with Bg2 and f4 before deciding on how to continue. Black has no good way to solve the problem with the weak a5-pawn (apart from keeping the rook on a8 and the queen on e7), since b6 just creates a new set of weaknesses (White will immediately re-route the knight on b3 to d3 or e3).}) ({Perhaps the whole set-up with queen on e7 and rook on a8 is too passive and Black should try} 21... Rad8 22. Nb3 Qc7 $5 {The advantage of such a set-up is that Black only needs one piece to keep an eye on a5. White keeps a slight advantage, but needs to come up with an active plan.}) 22. Nb3 Qe7 23. Bg2 exd4 24. Rxd4 {As I'm watching this game live, I'm prone to exclaim the opening to be a slight success for White, so it will be very exciting to see if I'm right. How will Kramnik deal with the a5-weakness and the Bg2/f4/ e5-plan?} Nf8 $5 {Here the knight is out of harms way when White starts throwing the f- and e-pawns forward and it can also challenge the rook on d4. Black's dream scenario is to be able to exchange a couple of knights and enter a N+Q vs. B+Q endgame. The N+Q has a tendency to be quite good here, especially if White has weakened his queenside.} ({Black would like to solve his problems with} 24... b6 {, but then, after} 25. Rad1 Nf6 26. f3 c5 27. R4d2 Red8 28. Bf1 {White is basically a pawn up, since the pawns on the queenside are immobile. Also, the knight on b4 is out of play, the bishop will find an excellent square on c4 and later on in the endgame c4 is a juicy square for the white knight.}) ({Considering how the game continues, Black could try something drastic, like:} 24... Nf6 25. f3 $1 h5 $5 26. Rad1 h4 {Hard to believe in though.} 27. Qc5 $5 $14) 25. Rad1 Red8 26. R1d2 $5 {A very tricky move. So simply threatens to take on d8 and then a5 and perhaps he guessed the Kramnik would be reluctant to touch the b-pawn.} (26. e5 {is more forceful and leads to some initiative for White after} b6 27. f4) 26... Ne6 $2 {Such a move means that Kramnik is not in good shape.} (26... g6 {would prepare exchanges on d4, so as not to invite the knight to f5. However, after} 27. Rxd8 Rxd8 28. Nxa5 Ra8 29. Nc4 Rxa4 30. Rd1 {White is still much better.}) (26... b6 $1 { After} 27. e5 {White has some initiative still, but Black is close to equality. }) 27. Rxd8+ Rxd8 28. Nxa5 Ra8 29. Nc4 Rxa4 30. Nd6 {Now Black is in trouble. White's pieces could not be better placed, while the knight on b4 is suddenly without support.} Ra1+ 31. Bf1 Na6 $1 {A persistent move.} ({If instead} 31... c5 {, then} 32. Kg2 Nc6 33. Bc4 b6 34. b4 $1 Ra8 35. Nf5 Qc7 36. bxc5 bxc5 37. Bd5 {looks hopeless for Black. For instance:} Re8 38. Nxg7 Nxg7 39. Qxc5 Rc8 40. Rc2 {wins two pawns for White.}) 32. Kg2 Nac7 {I often meet players who think that there is some inherent value in pieces protecting one another. Indeed, it might seem like strong players have a tendency to keep everything connected. "Seem" is the operative word here. Harmony and mutual protection is not the same thing. But, if there is a weak square somewhere and one side directs the knights towards that square, it is not uncommon for these knights to protect one another. It is a consequence of another factor; of coordination. Here the knights protect each other because the knight on e6 is a pillar in the defence and if you try to protect it from c5, then the knight can be kicked with b4.} 33. Nf5 Qe8 34. Bc4 {White's pieces are all one great squares. It is unlikely that Black can defend this.} Ra8 35. Rd6 $5 (35. Nd6 Qe7 36. Nxb7 {wins a pawn, but So prefers to keep the pressure.}) 35... Qf8 36. Rd7 Re8 37. Qe5 $1 {A very strong move, since it forces Black to enter a position that is lost. The engine likes a number of move better, but from a human point of view this is just the best; not allowing any curved balls from Black.} b5 ({ The best defence was} 37... g6 {, when 38.Nd6 is good, but} 38. Qf6 gxf5 39. exf5 Qg7 40. Qxg7+ Kxg7 41. fxe6 Nxe6 42. Rxb7 {looks like a sure road to victory. This is probably why So played Qe5.}) 38. Ba2 g6 {This should lose immediately. However, the alternative} (38... Na6 39. Ra7 Nac5 {is not much better:} 40. b4 Na4 41. Rxf7 Qxf7 42. Nd6 Qf6 43. Qxf6 gxf6 44. Nxe8 Kf8 45. Nxf6 $18) 39. Ne3 $2 ({Here So could have ended the game with} 39. Rxf7 $1 Kxf7 (39... Qxf7 40. Nh6+) 40. Qxc7+ Kf6 41. Qxc6 $1 gxf5 42. exf5 {and White is winning since} Kxf5 {falls on} 43. Bxe6+ Rxe6 (43... Kf6 44. Bd7+) 44. Qf3+) 39... Re7 40. Rxe7 Qxe7 41. Ng4 Qg5 (41... Qd8 42. Nh6+ Kf8 43. Qh8+ Ke7 44. Qxh7 Ng5 45. Ng8+ Ke8 46. Qh4 $16) 42. Nf6+ Kh8 43. Nd7+ Qxe5 44. Nxe5 Nd4 45. Bxf7 $18 c5 46. f4 c4 47. Kf2 Kg7 48. Ke3 Nb3 49. g4 Nc5 (49... Na1 50. g5 Nc2+ 51. Kf3 Ne1+ 52. Kf2 Nd3+ 53. Nxd3 Kxf7 54. Ne5+ Ke7 55. Ke3 $18) 50. h4 Na4 51. b3 cxb3 52. Bxb3 Nc5 53. Bd1 h6 54. Nc6 N7a6 55. Kd4 Ne6+ 56. Ke5 Nec5 57. Bc2 b4 58. Nd4 g5 59. hxg5 hxg5 60. f5 Nd7+ 61. Kd6 Nf6 62. e5 Nxg4 63. Ne6+ Kh6 (63... Kf7 64. Nxg5+ Kg7 65. Ne6+ Kf7 66. Bb3 Nh6 67. f6 $18) 64. f6 Nb8 65. Ba4 Kg6 {and the game ended. Whether on time or because 66.Be8+ followed by f7 wins, I don't know. Anyway, a great game. There is still life in the Catalan.} 1-0 [Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2017"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2017.04.29"] [Round "8.3"] [White "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D90"] [WhiteElo "2745"] [BlackElo "2772"] [Annotator "Alex Yermolinsky"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Qb3 Nb6 6. d4 Bg7 7. e4 Bg4 (7... Bxd4 {is high on the not recommended list.} 8. Bh6 Be6 9. Qc2 c5 10. Nxd4 cxd4 11. Rd1 $16 {Novoselski-Djuric, 1990}) 8. Bb5+ c6 9. Ng5 $1 {The ownership of this unexpected idea belongs to Illescas, although he lost to Negi in 2010. Ever since, it has drawn a lot of attention from top players: Nakamura, Topalov, Aronian, Navara etc..} O-O 10. Be2 Bxe2 (10... Bc8 11. h4 $1) 11. Nxe2 {Somehow the d4-pawn survived.} Na6 $5 {Shak is not the kind of man to back down, but what follows requires Black to walk a tightrope - perhaps, not the most optimal strategy when the tournament victory needs to be secured above anything else.} ({Wojtaszek had already had a game in this line. His opponent (Jumabaev, 2016) chose wisely:} 11... h6 12. Nf3 Na6 13. Be3 {White has a normal opening advantage, and the pawn on h6 may cause Black some headache later in the game, but, more importantly, he's not getting mated any time soon. }) 12. Qh3 h6 13. Nf3 h5 14. Rg1 Nb4 $2 {I am not familiar with this move.} ({ All I know is that Sutovsky played} 14... Nd7 {twice in 2013. The thematic} 15. e5 {is best, and this is what Cheparinov used against Sutovsky:} ({Emil survived against Jakovenko after} 15. g4 Nf6) 15... Nb4 16. g4 Nc2+ 17. Kf1 Nxe5 18. Nxe5 Bxe5 19. gxh5 Qc8 20. Rg4 Qf5 21. dxe5 Rad8 22. hxg6 {Here Black played the unfortunate} Rd1+ (22... fxg6 23. Nf4 Rd1+ {was the right move order. According to the engines, this, like near every other forced line in today's chess, should end in a draw.}) 23. Kg2 Ne1+ (23... fxg6 24. Qb3+) 24. Kg3 Qf3+ 25. Kh4 Qxf2+ 26. Kg5 {and White is winning. An absolute brilliancy from Ivan Cheparinov. I know the Short-Timman king walk was instructive, but in that game Black could barely move his pieces. This one has a much higher degree of difficulty.}) 15. g4 $1 {Radoslaw is not going to be denied!} Qd7 ( 15... Nc2+ 16. Kf1 Nxa1 17. gxh5 Qd7 18. Qh4 {doesn't really change anything.}) 16. Qh4 $1 Nc2+ 17. Kf1 Nxd4 {Rejecting the rook must not have easy to Mamedyarov.} (17... Nxa1 18. gxh5 {[#] Here Black won't be able to save his king without suffering heavy losses. One line goes as follows:} Bf6 (18... Nc2 19. hxg6 fxg6 20. Ng5 Rf6 21. Qh7+ Kf8 22. e5 Rf5 23. Qxg6 Rxg5 24. Rxg5 e6 25. Qxc2) (18... Nd5 $5 19. exd5 cxd5 20. hxg6 fxg6 21. Ng5 Rf6 22. Qh7+ Kf8 23. Nf4 Qf5 24. Nge6+ Rxe6 25. Nxe6+ Qxe6 26. Rxg6 Qg8 27. Rxg7) 19. Bg5 Bg7 20. h6 $1 Bf6 21. Bxf6 exf6 22. Ng3 $1 (22. Qxf6 $4 Qh3+) 22... Kh7 23. Qxf6 Qh3+ 24. Rg2 Qxh6 25. Ng5+ Kg8 26. Nf5 {curtains.}) 18. Nexd4 Bxd4 19. gxh5 Bf6 20. Bg5 {Looks to me White just got himself a free ride.} Bxb2 21. Re1 Qd3+ 22. Kg2 f6 23. Bh6 g5 {A desperate attempt to stop the flood.} 24. Nxg5 $1 {When the levee breaks....} Rf7 25. Nxf7 Kxf7 26. Re3 Qc2 27. Rg3 Bd4 28. Rg7+ Ke6 29. Qg4+ Kd6 30. Be3 Bxe3 31. Qg3+ 1-0 [Event "Gibraltar Masters 15th"] [Site "Caleta"] [Date "2017.01.29"] [Round "6"] [White "Short, Nigel D"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B11"] [WhiteElo "2675"] [BlackElo "2827"] [Annotator "Sumets,A"] [PlyCount "141"] [EventDate "2017.01.24"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "10"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [SourceTitle "CBM 177"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.03.16"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.03.16"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e5 Ne4 5. Ne2 Qb6 6. d4 e6 7. Ng3 c5 8. Bd3 Nc6 $6 $146 {A strange novelty, which should be evaluated as '?' or at least as "?!'. I think that Fabiano just confused something.} ({Up to the moment Black is OK after} 8... Nxg3 9. hxg3 cxd4 (9... Nc6 10. c3 cxd4 11. cxd4 Bd7 12. Bb1 Be7 13. O-O Rc8 14. Re1 O-O 15. Bg5 Qxb2 16. Bxe7 Nxe7 17. Bd3 Qa3 18. Re3 $44 Rc3 $4 19. Qb1 $4 (19. Bxh7+ $1 Kxh7 20. Ng5+ Kg6 (20... Kg8 21. Qh5 Re8 22. Qxf7+ Kh8 23. Qh5+ Kg8 24. Rae1 $18) 21. Qg4 Rxe3 22. Nxe6+ Kh6 23. Qg5+ Kh7 24. Qxg7#) 19... h6 $15 {Grischuk,A (2785) -Riazantsev,A (2700) Moscow ch Blitz 2013 0-1 (52)}) 10. g4 (10. a3 $6 Nc6 11. b4 Bd7 12. Bf4 h6 13. g4 O-O-O 14. O-O (14. g5 $2 hxg5 15. Rxh8 Bxb4+ 16. axb4 Rxh8 17. Bxg5 Rh1+ 18. Bf1 Nxb4 19. Qd2 (19. Nxd4 Qxd4 $19) 19... Qb5 $19) 14... g5 15. Bg3 Be7 16. Qd2 Rdg8 17. Be2 h5 $17 {Solak,D (2632)-Eljanov,P (2723) Kocaeli 2014 1/2 (57)} ) 10... Nc6 11. a3 Bd7 12. Kf1 f6 13. Qe2 O-O-O 14. b4 Nxe5 15. Nxe5 fxe5 16. Qxe5 Bd6 17. Qxg7 Rhg8 18. Qxh7 Rxg4 19. Bd2 e5 $15 {Carlsen,M (2855)-Grischuk, A (2747) ICC INT 2016 1-0 (43)}) (8... cxd4 {Another line is not reliable for Black} 9. Nxe4 dxe4 10. Bxe4 Bb4+ 11. Kf1 $6 {White could have continued to develop his pieces after 11 Bd2!} (11. Bd2 $1 Bxd2+ 12. Qxd2 Qxb2 13. O-O { White has excellent compensation for a pawn} Nc6 (13... Qc3 14. Qg5 O-O 15. Qh4 h6 $8 16. g4 Qc5 17. g5 Qe7 18. Qg3 $16) 14. Rab1 Qc3 15. Qxc3 dxc3 16. Rfd1 Ke7 17. Bxc6 bxc6 18. Nd4 $16) 11... Nd7 12. Kg1 f6 13. exf6 Nxf6 14. Bd3 O-O 15. Qe2 Bd6 16. Ng5 e5 17. Bc4+ Kh8 18. Nf7+ Rxf7 19. Bxf7 Bg4 $44 {Maximov,D (2492)-Goh,W (2451) Budapest 2011 1-0 (31)}) 9. Nxe4 dxe4 10. Bxe4 cxd4 { This is a typical bad position, which Black can get when playing the French Defence.} ({Black could have tried to trade the knights:} 10... Nxd4 $5 11. c3 $1 (11. O-O Bd7 $1 (11... Nxf3+ 12. Qxf3 Be7 13. Qg3 $16) 12. c3 Bc6 13. Ng5 Bxe4 14. Nxe4 Nc6 15. Bf4 Rd8 16. Qe2 $14) 11... Nc6 (11... Nxf3+ 12. Qxf3 Be7 13. Qg3 g6 14. Bh6 $16) 12. O-O Bd7 13. Qe2 Be7 14. Rd1 h6 15. Bf4 O-O-O 16. b4 cxb4 17. Be3 Qa5 18. cxb4 $16 {with a very strong attack.}) 11. O-O Bd7 12. a3 {Black's problem is that he has no plan. He can't castle because he will be mated; he can't try to trade light-squared bishops because he will lose the d4-pawn.} h6 13. Re1 Rd8 14. h3 {Nigel doesn't need to hurry. In any case, Black can only wait.} g6 15. b4 Bg7 16. Bf4 ({Nigel could have played} 16. Rb1 {because the consequences of ...Nxe5 are favourable for White:} Nxe5 17. Nxe5 Bxe5 18. Bxg6 Qc7 19. Be4 $16) 16... Ne7 $1 {In order to avoid huge problems, Fabiano decided to sacrifice a pawn.} ({The consequences of lines such as} 16... O-O 17. Qd2 g5 18. Bg3 Qc7 19. Bd3 Ne7 20. h4 $1 $18) ({or} 16... g5 17. Bg3 Bc8 18. Qd3 a6 19. Rad1 $16 {aren't cheerful for Black.}) 17. Qxd4 Qxd4 18. Nxd4 $16 Ba4 19. Nf3 Nd5 (19... g5 $5 {Black could get some counterplay by attacking the e5-pawn. After 19.... g5} 20. Bc1 b6 21. c4 O-O 22. Bb2 $16) 20. Bd2 Bb5 21. Bxd5 $1 {A very strong move. Black can play 21...exd5 or 21.... Rxd5. In both cases his position is lost.} Rxd5 (21... exd5 22. Be3 a6 (22... b6 23. a4 Bc4 24. a5 bxa5 25. Rxa5 a6 26. Bc5 $18) 23. Bc5 Rc8 24. Nd4 Bd7 25. Re3 $16) 22. a4 Bd7 $8 (22... Ba6 $4 23. b5 $18) (22... Bc4 $4 23. Re4 $18) 23. c4 Rd3 24. b5 O-O 25. Re3 $6 (25. Red1 $1 {White wants to get control over the d-file or to take the second pawn on a7.} Rc8 (25... Rd8 26. Be3 Be8 27. Rxd3 Rxd3 28. Bxa7 $18) 26. Be3 Rxd1+ 27. Rxd1 Be8 28. Bxa7 Rxc4 29. Rd8 Kf8 30. Rb8 $18) 25... Rxe3 26. Bxe3 $16 {White is still much better but Nigel missed a good possibility to win the game.} Ra8 27. Rd1 Be8 28. Bc5 f5 $5 {It's not easy to recommend anything to Black.} (28... Rc8 29. Bxa7 Rxc4 30. Rd8 Kf8 31. Rb8 $18) 29. exf6 Bxf6 30. Bd4 Be7 (30... Kf7 31. Bxf6 Kxf6 32. Kf1 $16 { White has an extra pawn and a better pawn structure. He should win the endgame. }) 31. Re1 Bf7 32. Ne5 a6 33. c5 $1 axb5 34. axb5 ({Nigel could have won immediately after} 34. c6 $1 bxc6 (34... bxa4 35. cxb7 Rb8 36. Rb1 a3 37. Nd7 a2 38. Rb6 $18) 35. Nxc6 Bd6 36. axb5 Ra3 37. Rd1 Bf8 38. Be3 Rb3 39. Rd8 $18) 34... Be8 35. b6 Rd8 36. c6 $5 ({The computer indicates the following line} 36. Be3 $5 Rd5 (36... g5 37. c6 bxc6 38. b7 Rb8 39. Rb1 c5 40. f3 Bf6 41. Nc4 Bg6 42. Rb3 Bc2 43. Rb6 $18) 37. c6 Rxe5 38. cxb7 Bd6 39. Rc1 $18) 36... bxc6 37. b7 {Short transforms his advantage into a winning endgame with an extra exchange. It wasn't easy to understand that Black has no moves after} (37. Bc3 $1 {a very easy move for a computer.} Bf6 38. b7 Rb8 39. Rb1 c5 40. Rb6 $18) 37... Rb8 ({Or} 37... c5 38. Rb1 Rb8 {- game}) 38. Rb1 c5 39. Nd7 (39. Bc3 $1 { Once again Bc3 leads to an easy victory.} Bd6 40. Nd3 c4 41. Nc5 Bxc5 42. Be5 Ba7 43. Bxb8 Bxb8 44. Rb4 $18) 39... Bxd7 40. Be5 Re8 41. b8=Q Rxb8 42. Rxb8+ Kf7 43. Rh8 {According to the computer, Black has chances to draw.} h5 44. Rh7+ Kf8 $2 ({The last chance was} 44... Ke8 45. Rg7 g5 46. f3 $16 {I think that White should win the endgame.}) 45. Bd6 $1 Bxd6 46. Rxd7 Be5 47. g3 c4 48. Kf1 {White's king is heading to d3, then Black will have to choose between losing the c-pawn or g-pawn. In any case his position is lost.} c3 49. Ke2 Ke8 50. Rd1 Ke7 51. Kd3 Bf6 52. Ra1 Kf7 53. Ra7+ Ke8 54. Ke4 $18 Kd8 55. Ra4 Ke7 56. Rc4 Kd7 57. Kd3 Ke7 58. Rc7+ Ke8 59. g4 $1 hxg4 60. hxg4 {If White pushes g5 then he can even sacrifice an exchange on g7.} Be5 61. Rc5 Bf6 62. g5 $1 Bg7 (62... Be7 63. Re5 Kd7 64. Kxc3 Kd6 65. Kd4 $18) 63. Rc8+ Kd7 (63... Kf7 64. Rc7+ Kg8 65. Rxg7+ Kxg7 66. Kxc3 Kf8 (66... e5 67. Kc4 Kf7 68. Kd5 e4 69. Kxe4 Ke6 70. f4 Kd6 71. f5 $18) 67. Kd4 Kf7 68. Ke5 Ke7 69. f4 $18) 64. Rg8 Bd4 65. f3 Be5 66. Rxg6 Kd6 67. Rg8 Ke7 68. Rc8 Bf4 69. Rc5 Bd2 70. Rc7+ Kd6 71. g6 1-0 [Event "Gibraltar Masters 15th"] [Site "Caleta"] [Date "2017.01.30"] [Round "7"] [White "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Adams, Michael"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2796"] [BlackElo "2751"] [Annotator "Lenderman,A"] [PlyCount "109"] [EventDate "2017.01.24"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "10"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [SourceTitle "CBM 177"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.03.16"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.03.16"] [SourceQuality "1"] {Welcome everyone! This is GM Alex Lenderman with the report of the round 7 Game of the Day for the Gibraltar Festival. It was not easy to choose between many great games this round, but in the end I decided to choose a key battle between two elite players on board 2, since I thought Maxime (Or MVL) played a very nice game against the Berlin against a very strong and solid GM Michael Adams, who has a lot of experience in the Berlin with both colours.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 {So, with that move white basically is willing to go into the true Berlin endgame. Lately this approach has sort of gone out of fashion since Black has been doing quite well lately in the Berlin endgame, and White has been trying his luck with 4.d3 after 3...Nf6, or 5.Re1 after 4...Nxe4, not to mention the Giuoco Pianno (Italian Game) which has become quite topical at the top level and is very similar to 4.d3 Ruy Lopez.} ( 5. Re1 {was featured twice in the Magnus Carlsen against Sergey Karjakin match, and in the first game in that line (third game of the match), Magnus got a slightly more pleasant position, put pressure on Sergey, and came very close to winning that game before the game ended as a draw.}) 5... Nd6 6. Bxc6 { Not entirely forced, but it's by far the most popular move here of course. White has some sidelines here as alternatives but most likely with proper play for Black, they don't give much for White.} (6. dxe5 Nxb5 7. a4) (6. Bg5 { are some possible alternatives.}) 6... dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 {And now we have the tabiya of the Berlin Endgame. Both White and Black have tried many different approaches from here on.} 9. h3 {In an earlier round MVL also had this position with White against Indian Grandmaster Gupta, and Gupta chose 9.. .Ke8. Black seemed to have a decent position before somewhere around moves 20-25 he started to lose the thread. But I think MVL probably had subtle improvements over that game also. MVL is one of the biggest specialists in the pure Berlin endgame from the White side as far as I know and does not lose faith in White's position despite practice showing good results for Black.} Be7 $5 {This move isn't all that popular. However, it has been played several times at a high level, in particular by top GM and theoretician, GM Pavel Eljanov. Now, the interesting thing here is first that Pavel Eljanov played this move with Black against Adams in the Tata Steel, and in fact Pavel outplayed Michael in that game and was in fact completely winning before the game ended in a draw. Then, Pavel also played this move against MVL. So, it's obvious that both these players are very familiar with 9...Be7. So therefore this game is a true theoretical debate.} (9... Ke8 {This move is a much more frequent guest at the top level.} 10. Nc3 h6 11. Rd1 Bd7 12. Bf4 Rd8 13. a4 $5 {Interesting plan, which frankly I haven't seen too frequently in the Berlin before.} h5 14. a5 Be7 15. a6 b6 16. Ng5 Bc8 17. Rxd8+ Bxd8 18. Rd1 Be7 19. Nce4 h4 20. Re1 Kf8 21. c3 f6 (21... c5) 22. Nf3 Kf7 (22... Bd8) 23. exf6 gxf6 24. Bxc7 Bxa6 25. Ra1 Bd3 26. Neg5+ $1 {Maybe Gupta missed this.} fxg5 27. Ne5+ Ke6 28. Nxd3 Nd6 29. Bxd6 Bxd6 30. Rxa7 c5 31. Kf1 c4 32. Ne1 Bc5 33. Nf3 Rg8 34. Ra1 g4 35. Re1+ Kd6 36. hxg4 Rxg4 37. Re8 b5 38. Rh8 {From here on it's a technical win for White.} b4 39. Rxh4 Rxh4 40. Nxh4 Kc6 41. Ke2 Be7 42. Nf5 Bf6 43. Ne3 {1-0 (43) Vachier Lagrave,M (2796)-Gupta,A (2645) Caleta ENG 2017}) 10. Nc3 (10. Rd1+ {(Adams-Eljanov)} Ke8 11. g4 Nh4 12. Nxh4 Bxh4 13. Nc3 h5 14. f3 f5 15. exf6 gxf6 16. Ne2 Kf7 17. b3 Re8 18. Nf4 hxg4 19. fxg4 f5 {And we can safely say that Black has solved all his opening problems. In fact if anyone can be better it is Black since the game opens up and Black's bishops become very strong.} 20. Rf1 Bf6 21. Rb1 Bd4+ 22. Kh1 $6 (22. Kg2 fxg4 23. hxg4 Bxg4 $2 24. Nd3+ $1) 22... fxg4 23. Bb2 (23. hxg4 Bxg4 24. Nd3+ Kg6 25. Rf4 Re4 $1 { That's the point. And Black consolidates his extra pawn.}) 23... Bxb2 24. Rxb2 Re3 $17 {1/2 (85) Adams, M (2744)-Eljanov,P (2760) Wijk aan Zee NED 2016}) 10... Nh4 {This move to trade off the knights is the main idea of 9...Be7 as far as I understand.} 11. Nxh4 Bxh4 12. Be3 h5 {As far as I understand the point of this move is to try to stabilise the bishop on f5 on the next move.} ( {Stockfish says} 12... Bf5 {is playable in one go, but after it thinks for a little bit, it realises that perhaps White can sacrifice the pawn on c2 for a strong initiative.} 13. g4 $5 Bxc2 14. Rac1 Bg6 15. f4 $44 {and most likely the top players have analysed this position as being quite dangerous for Black from a practical point of view. White is threatening f5, shutting down Black's bishop.} f5 16. Ne2 $1 {And somehow the f5-square is still not going to be very stable, while the black king can still find itself be a little bit vulnerable.}) 13. Rad1+ Ke8 14. Ne2 {Eljanov-MVL, Norway 2016 The purpose of 14.Ne2 is to discourage ...Bf5 by preparing to meet ...Bf5 with Nd4!} b6 { And now Adams takes a different route from Eljanov.} (14... Bf5 15. Nd4 Bh7 16. f4 {and White is probably slightly better.}) (14... Be7 {This move was Eljanov's choice against MVL.} 15. Rfe1 {There might be better alternatives here around moves 15-20 for White as well.} a6 16. Bf4 g5 17. Be3 Bf5 18. Nd4 Bg6 19. e6 {As far as I know if White gets the e6-move in, in the Berlin very often he's happy.} Rd8 20. exf7+ Kxf7 21. Nf3 Bxc2 22. Rxd8 Rxd8 23. Nxg5+ Kf6 24. Ne6 Rd1 25. Bg5+ Kf7 26. Rxd1 Bxd1 27. Bxe7 (27. Nd8+ $5) 27... Kxe6 28. Bd8 Kd6 29. f3 c5 {Black eventually held a draw here, but in fact this endgame was quite unpleasant for Black. He had to play extremely precisely to hold the draw.} 30. Kf2 b5 31. Ke3 b4 32. g4 hxg4 33. fxg4 a5 34. Kf4 c4 35. Bf6 c5 36. h4 Ke6 37. Bh8 Kf7 38. h5 a4 39. a3 Be2 40. Be5 c3 41. bxc3 bxa3 42. c4 Bxc4 43. g5 Bd3 44. g6+ Bxg6 45. hxg6+ Kxg6 46. Ke4 c4 47. Ba1 c3 48. Kd3 a2 49. Kxc3 a3 50. Kb3 Kh7 51. Kxa2 Kg8 52. Kxa3 {1/2 (52) Vachier Lagrave,M (2788) -Eljanov,P (2765) Stavanger NOR 2016}) 15. a4 $5 $146 {According to my database, this is the first novelty, and probably a good one. These days, in such a topical line as the Berlin Endgame, finding a good novelty as early as move 15 is considered a great accomplishment. Although honestly speaking I'm still not 100% sure what the main idea of this novelty is, as I have never analysed this position, and am not familiar with all the subleties here. Most likely it's just an all-around flexible move, which doesn't declare White's intentions as to his plans and waits for Black to make a committal decision.} ( 15. f4 $6 {(Almasi-Melkumyan) Despite the final result, it was clear the opening was a success for Black, as he quickly solved all his problems and even stood better at times.} Ba6 $1 16. Rd2 Rd8 17. Rxd8+ Bxd8 18. Re1 c5 19. Nc3 Bc8 20. Rd1 Bf5 21. Rd2 c6 (21... f6 $1 $15) 22. Kf2 Rh6 23. Kf3 Be7 24. Ne4 h4 25. c4 Rg6 26. b3 Rh6 27. Nf2 Rg6 28. Ng4 a5 29. Bf2 Bc8 30. Ne3 Rh6 31. Rd1 Rh5 32. Be1 Be6 33. Rd3 Bc8 34. Bc3 Be6 35. Ke4 Bc8 36. Rd1 Bd7 37. Rf1 Bc8 38. f5 Bd8 39. Rf2 Rg5 40. Rf4 Rg3 41. Be1 Rxe3+ 42. Kxe3 Bg5 43. Bxh4 Bxf4+ 44. Kxf4 a4 45. Bf2 g6 46. g4 gxf5 47. gxf5 a3 48. Be3 Ba6 49. h4 b5 50. cxb5 Bxb5 51. Bxc5 Bd3 52. Bxa3 Bb1 53. h5 {1-0 (53) Almasi,Z (2689)-Melkumyan,H (2622) Bastia FRA 2015}) (15. Nc3 Bf5) 15... c5 ({Here} 15... Ba6 {would simply be met by} 16. Rfe1) 16. Nc3 {Now that Black weakened the b5-square by playing the move 15...c5, White gets in there with his knight.} Bf5 17. Nb5 Bd8 {Practically Black's only move.} (17... Bxc2 $4 18. Rd2 {is a non-starter.}) ( 17... Rc8 $2 18. Nxa7 {also isn't good for Black.}) 18. Rd2 a6 19. Nc3 h4 { Fixing White's kingside structure. Though, since White wasn't threatening to expand on the kingside just yet, perhaps it was worth taking prophylactic measures against White's queenside play first.} (19... a5 $5) 20. a5 $1 { Now Black's queenside seems vulnerable.} Rh5 21. Rfd1 {Strictly mathematically speaking maybe not the best move, but from a practical point of view I feel like this is the most human move and I think almost all the top players would play this move.} (21. axb6) (21. f4) (21. Ra1 {are all computer choices, but I still like Maxime's choice much more.}) 21... Bh7 $6 {Objectively probably Black's first inaccuracy. But the best solution for Black is probably almost impossible for any human to find.} (21... bxa5 $1 {Apparently this is the computer's top choice, but it seems so unconventional to spoil your structure for no specific reason. And in fact, this is indeed not a good line for Black unless Black finds a very strong follow-up, and this ...bxa5!-move, then this follow-up is probably something that is almost impossible for a human to find.} 22. Bxc5 Rh6 $3 {This is the key point. Now suddenly Black creates counterplay on the queenside and still has a decent game. Without this move Black is much worse.} (22... Bg5 $6 23. Nd5 $1 Bxd2 (23... Rc8 24. f4 Bd8 25. Ne3 $16) 24. Nxc7+ Kd7 25. Nxa8 Kc6 26. Rxd2 (26. Bd6 $5) 26... Kxc5 27. Nc7 {is much better for White, and while Black maybe has drawing chances, even this line is very hard for Black to evaluate, sitting at the board instead of at home with the computer :)}) (22... Be6 $6 23. Re2 $14 {is just a solid positional plus.}) 23. Be3 Rc6 $132 {With the rooks on strong semi-open b- and c-files, suddenly Black creates enough counterplay. So that's why Black spoiled his pawn structure to open up the b- and c-files. To help his pieces become more active. What a brilliant solution!}) 22. Nd5 $6 {Now it's Maxime's turn to slightly return the favour.} (22. f4 $14) 22... Be4 $6 {But Mickey again plays a solid move and doesn't take advantage of a possible unconventional move.} (22... bxa5 $1 {and again, Black has this unconventional move which according to Stockfish creates enough counterplay.} 23. Bxc5 (23. f4 c6 24. Nc3 g5 $1 25. fxg5 Bxg5 26. Bxg5 Rxg5 {Picturesque position. Black has a terrible pawn structure but still since he's up a pawn and has active pieces he's doing fine.}) 23... Rxe5 24. c4 f6 $11) 23. c4 Rb8 (23... bxa5 $1 {Even now, this move is strong.} 24. Bxc5 Bxd5 $1 (24... Rxe5 25. Bd4) 25. Rxd5 c6 26. Rd6 Rc8 {and Black is still more or less holding.}) (23... Rxe5 $6 24. Bf4 $1 $16 {is very strong for White and probably will win the exchange or will give White a very strong positional advantage.}) (23... Bxd5 {It's also probably a good idea to get rid of this knight, as later on this knight will do lots of damage in the game.} 24. Rxd5 Rf5 {and Black is close to equal still.}) 24. f4 Rf5 (24... bxa5) ( 24... Bxd5 {were once again alternatives.}) 25. Nc3 $1 {Now White gets to keep his knight, so from a practical standpoint I think Black's position became more difficult to play.} Bb7 26. axb6 cxb6 27. Rd6 (27. Ne2 $5) 27... Bc7 28. Rd7 Bd8 $6 {After this inaccuracy it seems like Black's position starts to get even more unpleasant. Here Black had to come up with a difficult decision which involved evaluating some key positions and probably the players are somewhat low on time here and certainly it's hard to blame them for not evaluating all the lines perfectly.} (28... Rc8 $1 29. Ne2 Bc6 30. Rxc7 { Possibly Mickey was afraid of this but it turned out Black is doing fine.} (30. R7d2 Rh5 {is a better version than the game.}) 30... Rxc7 31. g4 hxg3 32. Nxg3 Bd7 $1 (32... g6 33. Nxf5 gxf5 34. Rd6 $14 {is a very unpleasant endgame for Black.}) (32... Rd7 $2 33. Ra1 $1 {also doesn't work for Black.}) 33. Rxd7 Rxd7 34. Nxf5 Rd1+ 35. Kf2 Kf8 $132 {and Black gets enough counterplay for equality according to Stockfish.}) 29. Ne2 $1 Rh5 {The only way to defend from the g4-threat, trapping Black's rook.} (29... Be7 $2 30. g4 hxg3 31. Nxg3 $18) 30. e6 $1 {And now the white rook gets very active. Perhaps it's still possible for Black to defend his position with perfect play but it's becoming more and more unpleasant and difficult for him.} (30. R1d6 {was also a possible approach but probably not as effective as Stockfish thinks at first.} Rh6 31. Rxh6 Kxd7 32. Rh7 Be4 33. Rxg7 Bg6 34. Rg8 (34. Nc3 Be7 35. Nd5 Ke6 $11) (34. f5 Bxf5 35. Rxf7+ Ke6) 34... Bc7 35. Rxb8 Bxb8 {where Black has very good defensive chances due to active pieces and White has some pawn weaknesses such as the c4-pawn.}) 30... Be7 $6 {And this move turned out to not be the best.} ( 30... fxe6 $1 31. Rxg7 Be7 $1 32. Rg8+ Bf8 33. f5 $1 {A line like this looks scary but Black can still defend here.} Rxf5 34. Nf4 Kf7 35. Rg4 Be7 36. Rd7 Ke8 37. Rc7 Bd6 38. Rg8+ Rf8 39. Rxf8+ Kxf8 40. Rd7 Bxf4 41. Bxf4 Bc6 $14 { is by no means an absolute forced line, but a line like this shows that Black's position is still probably defensible.}) 31. Rc7 Bc8 32. exf7+ (32. g4 $5 hxg3 33. Nxg3 Rxh3 34. Nf5 Bxe6 35. Rxe7+ Kf8 36. Rb7 $1 Re8 37. Nd6 Rxe3 38. f5 $1 $16 {would also be promising for White, but White has to find a lot of very difficult moves here in this line, and it's not strictly necessary to look for such complicated solutions when a simple one is available, especially in time pressure.}) 32... Kf8 33. f5 $1 {A very nice move, activating White's remaining pieces, the knight and bishop, at the cost of a measly weak pawn.} Bxf5 $6 {This is already definitely a losing move.} (33... Rxf5 34. Nf4 Rf6 $1 {was Black's only defence.} 35. Nd5 Bd8 $1 36. Nxf6 Bxc7 {And now White has to find the only move to even retain an advantage, and it's not a very easy move.} 37. Rf1 $1 {Maybe Maxime saw this all in advance a few moves ago. After all, as far as I know he's one of the best calculators in chess or so I have heard.} gxf6 38. Rxf6 Be6 39. Bh6+ Ke7 40. f8=Q+ Rxf8 41. Rxf8 Be5 42. b3 $16 {and I believe White still has good winning chances here, since he will most likely be able to win the h4-pawn, and then passed pawns are especially very strong in positions with an extra exchange. But still this was Black's best chance.}) 34. g4 {The most straightforward} (34. Ra7 {This move should also win.}) 34... hxg3 35. Nxg3 Bc2 36. Rdd7 Re5 37. Bf4 Bf6 38. Nh5 (38. Ra7 $5) (38. Bxe5 $4 Bxe5 {would be a terrible way to spoil a very well-played game. Here the tables would be turned.}) 38... Re1+ 39. Kf2 Bh4+ 40. Ng3 {White has made move 40, and the rest of the game should be a matter of technique. White has extremely active pieces with a very strong passed pawn on f7.} Re6 41. Bd6+ $6 {But I'm not so sure about this approach. It might be a bit hasty which gave unnecessary chances to Black.} (41. Ra7 $1 {Probably this would be a bit more accurate, disturbing Black's harmony. Black's rook on b8 is actually quite well placed, but now the same idea for White as in the game will work even better for White.} Rc8 (41... Rd8 42. Rxd8+ Bxd8 43. Ra8 Kxf7 44. Rxd8 $18 { This should also be an easy win for White.}) (41... Rf6 $5 42. Ke3 Rc8 { would be a good trap} 43. Bd6+ $4 ({But after} 43. Ne4 {White is completely winning.} Re6 44. Bd6+) 43... Rxd6 44. Rxd6 Bxg3) 42. Bd6+ Rxd6 43. Rxd6 Bf6 44. Rxb6 $18 {Now, with the pawn on b6 hanging Black's position is completely hopeless.}) 41... Rxd6 42. Rxd6 Bf6 {Now Black gets at least a little bit of counterplay. Black had other tries, but they probably should objectively be not quite enough to save the game.} (42... b5 43. cxb5 Rxb5 44. Rxa6 Rb8 45. b4 $18 {isn't quite sufficient.}) (42... Be4 $5 {This move might be the most sturdy defence, since it stops Kf3, and White doesn't have easy progress right away. But I think that slowly but surely White should break through here.}) 43. Rxf6 $6 {Trying to simplify, but I'm not 100% sure if this endgame is winning with perfect defence for Black.} (43. Rd5 $3 {When I gave the computer a chance to think about this position for longer, it found this move, but if White is now forced to find moves like this to win cleanly, clearly then, 41. Ra7! was much cleaner.} Bg6 (43... Bxb2 44. Nh5 Bd4+ 45. Kf3 $1 Bd1+ 46. Kg2 $18 {[%cal Gh5f4,Gf4e6,Gf4g6]}) 44. Nh5 $1 {is the point. Black's harmony is disturbed.} Bxb2 (44... Be7 45. Nf4 Bxf7 46. Rdd7 Re8 47. Kg3 $18 {Here White wins because Black is pinned down.}) 45. Rg5 Bxh5 46. Rxh5 g6 47. Rh6 Kg7 48. Rh7+ Kf8 49. Rc6 $18 {and White wins.}) 43... gxf6 44. Nh5 Rd8 45. Nxf6 Bf5 $6 {I think not the best defence here.} (45... Rd6 $1 {Honestly speaking, after this strong defence which disturbs White's harmony, I actually don't see a clear win for White anymore. In fact it's quite possible that it's not there anymore, and White has blown the win. That's why in chess it's very important to fight until the very end and keep looking for chances, and it's important too even if you have a dominant position to try to not give your opponent unnecessary chances.} 46. Ng4 (46. Nd7+ Kxf7 47. Nxb6+ (47. Nxc5+ Kf6 48. Nxa6 Rd2+ 49. Ke1 Rh2 {and Black has enough counterplay for a draw here.} 50. Rc6+ Ke5 51. Rxb6 Kd4 $1 {and thanks to Black's very active pieces and possible mating threats, White can't win anymore.}) 47... Ke6 48. Nd5 Ke5 $1 49. Rxc5 ( 49. Ke3 Rg6 $1 (49... Rh6 $6 50. Nf4) 50. Rxc5 Rg3+ 51. Kd2 Kd4 $11) 49... Kd4 50. b4 Be4 {and even though White still has some winning chances I think the position is closer to a draw now than White winning.}) 46... Re6 $1 47. Kg3 Bg6 48. Nh6 Kg7 {looks like very close to a draw to me.}) 46. Kg3 $1 {Now the white king gets into the game with a tempo and White starts to consolidate his position. Perhaps it is still possible to save the position but now it would require practically computer-like only moves and still I'm guessing this position is more likely to see White winning than a draw.} Rd6 {Unfortunately a move too late.} (46... Rd2 $5 47. Kf4 ({But after} 47. Ng4 $1 {I think White should still win the rook endgame.} Bxg4 48. hxg4 $1 Rxb2 49. g5 $18) 47... Rf2+ {To be able to meet Kf4 with ...Rf2+ with some counterplay.}) (46... Kg7 { Perhaps this was still a chance for Black.} 47. Ne8+ (47. Ng4 Rd3+ $1 48. Kf4 Bxg4 49. hxg4 Rd4+ $132) 47... Kf8 48. Kf4 Be6 (48... Bxh3 $2 49. Nf6 $18) 49. Ke5 Bxf7 (49... Bxc4 50. Nd6 Bf1 51. h4) 50. Nd6 $16 {and White still has excellent winning chances thanks to his domination but Black is still fighting here.}) (46... Rd4 47. Ng4 Bxg4 48. hxg4) (46... Bg6 47. Nd7+ Kxf7 48. Nxb6+ Ke6 49. Rxc5 $16 {is still not over for Black, but of course it's a much better version than the lines we looked at earlier after ...Rd6 instead of ... Bf5}) 47. Ng4 {Now I really think Black's position is beyond salvation, although I am never sure in such endgames.} Rd4 (47... Re6 48. Kf4 {Now the same defence fails. White king is just in time to be able to get into the game and ...Bg6 will be met with Ne5!} Bg6 49. Ne5 $18) 48. b3 b5 49. Ne5 $1 ({ Of course NOT} 49. Rxc5 $2 Bxg4 50. hxg4 bxc4 51. bxc4 Kxf7 {with a draw.}) 49... Re4 50. Rxc5 bxc4 51. Rd5 Rxe5 52. Rxe5 Bd3 53. b4 $1 {The simplest. White keeps as many pawns on the board as possible, as the black passed c-pawn is harmless with White's active rook stopping it from behind.} c3 54. Rc5 c2 55. Rc7 {A very nice fight between two great players. I really admire MVL's principled approach of going to the Berlin Endgame game after game and not backing down from the challenge even after some unsuccessful games from the White side, and even despite the fact that fashion seems to have gone in the other direction. Even though this wasn't a perfect game, considering the complexity of this game I think this game was played at a very high level. I really enjoyed analysing this game and commenting on it.} 1-0 [Event "Gibraltar Masters 15th"] [Site "Caleta"] [Date "2017.02.02"] [Round "10"] [White "Edouard, Romain"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E21"] [WhiteElo "2613"] [BlackElo "2785"] [Annotator "Navara,D"] [PlyCount "70"] [EventDate "2017.01.24"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "10"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [SourceTitle "CBM 177"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.03.16"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.03.16"] [SourceQuality "1"] {Before the last round, David Anton Guijarro was leading by half a point. Romain Edouard and Hikaru Nakamura were amongst the 8 players who were half a point behind.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 O-O 5. Bg5 c5 6. Rc1 (6. d5 {might lead to a Benoni-like type of pawn structure with mutual chances and no connection to the true Benoni.}) 6... h6 7. Bh4 cxd4 8. Nxd4 d5 9. e3 (9. cxd5 g5 $1 10. Bg3 Qxd5 11. e3 Qxa2 {Cavajda - Peuraniemi, 2012, corr. The game eventually finished in a draw.}) 9... e5 $5 {This idea was (first?) played by GM Alexey Kuzmin back in 1987. Hikaru Nakamura was born in that year, while Romain Edouard is even several years younger.} 10. Nf3 d4 {This idea must have surprised White, who started spending a lot of time. For good reason, as the position is very tricky and any mistake might have serious consequences.} 11. exd4 exd4 12. Nxd4 $6 {This might be inaccurate.} (12. Qxd4 {was probably better.} Qe7+ (12... g5 13. Bg3 Re8+ 14. Be2 Qe7 15. O-O Nc6 16. Qe3 Bxc3 17. bxc3 Qxe3 18. fxe3 Ne4 {Lednev - Peuraniemi, 2011, corr. That game also finished peacefully.}) 13. Be2 (13. Qe3 Qxe3+ 14. fxe3 Ne4 $44) 13... Re8 14. O-O (14. Qd2 $1 g5 15. Nxg5 Rd8 16. Qf4 Bd6 17. Qf3 $1 Bg4 18. Qe3 Qxe3 19. fxe3 Bxe2 20. Nf3 $1 Bxc4 21. Bxf6 {is clearly better for White.}) 14... Nc6 15. Qf4 Bxc3 16. bxc3 (16. Rxc3 $1 Qxe2 17. Bxf6 gxf6 18. Qxh6 $44) 16... Qxe2 17. Rce1 Re4 $1 18. Qc1 (18. Qc7 $1 Qxf3 $1 19. gxf3 Rxh4 $17) 18... Qxf3 19. gxf3 Rxh4 20. Re3 Rxc4 21. Rd1 Rc5 22. f4 Bf5 23. Qa3 b6 24. Qa4 Rc8 25. Rd6 Nd5 26. Re1 Nxc3 27. Qa6 Nb5 28. Rd2 {0-1 (28) Barsov,A-Kuzmin,A (2440) Tashkent 1987}) 12... Qb6 {White is already facing some problems.} 13. Nf3 $6 ( 13. a3 $1 {was stronger, e.g.} Rd8 14. Bxf6 $1 Qxf6 15. axb4 Rxd4 16. Qe2 ({or } 16. Qf3 Qxf3 17. gxf3 {. Still, it is White who has to fight for equality, as his kingside is seriously underdeveloped. True, so is Black's queenside, but he can activate his pieces with tempi (...Nc6, ...Be6).})) 13... Rd8 (13... g5 14. Bg3 Rd8 {is a mere transposition.}) 14. Qc2 g5 $1 {Black can afford to play such a move due to his (prospective) lead in development. White is short of time to attack Black's king.} 15. Bg3 Nc6 16. Bd3 {White is lacking one tempo to complete his development. Black needs to act energetically. Hikaru played very quickly until this moment, but here he spent over half an hour.} g4 $1 17. Nh4 (17. Nd2 Ba5 $5 {creates the threats 18...Nb4, 18...Nd4 and 18... Qd4. Still, White might hold after} 18. a3 Qd4 19. Bh4 {, but he needs to see some tricks like} Ne5 $6 (19... Qxd3 $1 20. Qxd3 Rxd3 21. Bxf6 Bf5 22. Nf1 $1 Rd6 23. b4 $1 Rxf6 24. bxa5 Ne5 $1 {is still slightly preferable for Black.}) 20. O-O $1 Nxd3 21. Nb3 {, regaining the material. Not an easy task!}) 17... Bf8 (17... Ba5 $5 18. a3 Nd4 19. Qb1 Re8+ 20. Kf1 Nb3 21. Rd1 Bxc3 22. bxc3 Nc5 {might have been slightly better for Black, but this is very difficult to assess unless you are analysing the game with a strong engine like me.}) 18. Qb1 $1 {This modest retreat is the best way to parry the threat 18...Nb4.} Re8+ 19. Kf1 {The position is approximately balanced, but Hikaru was in his element. He plays such positions superbly, as I can confirm (too) many times.} Be6 20. h3 (20. Nf5 $1 {is Komodo's choice and perhaps rightly so, but it looks more logical to bring the king into safety.}) 20... Nh5 $1 21. Ne4 {This is not the best move, but White's task was rather hard.} ({Being equipped with Komodo, I tried to discover what happens after} 21. Nf5 {. You are not obliged to read it, of course. I would not if I were just a reader.} Rad8 $1 ({A spectacular line} 21... Nb4 22. hxg4 Nxg3+ 23. Nxg3 Nxd3 24. Qxd3 Qxb2 25. Rb1 Rad8 $1 26. Nd5 $1 Bxd5 $1 27. cxd5 Rxd5 $1 28. Qb3 $1 {might lead to approximate equality. }) 22. Nd5 (22. hxg4 $2 Bxf5 23. gxf5 Nxg3+ 24. fxg3 Nb4 {and the black rooks join the attack with decisive effect.}) 22... Bxd5 23. cxd5 Rxd5 24. hxg4 (24. Bc4 Nxg3+ (24... Rd2 $6 25. Nxh6+ $1 Kg7 26. Nf5+ Kg8 (26... Kh8 $2 27. hxg4 { and there is no check on g3.}) 27. Nh6+ $11) 25. Nxg3 Rd6 26. hxg4 (26. Nf5 g3 $3 (26... Rd2 $2 27. Nxh6+ $1) 27. Nxg3 (27. fxg3 $2 Rf6 28. g4 Qe3 {and White is helpless against numerous threats.}) 27... Rf6 28. Nf5 Bc5 {with a strong attack. White badly misses his kingside rook.}) 26... Ne5 27. Be2 Rd2 {with Black's initiative.}) 24... Nxg3+ 25. Nxg3 Ne5 26. Be2 Rd2 $36) 21... Nxg3+ ({ Computers like} 21... gxh3 22. gxh3 {and now for example} Rad8 {, but it does not look very logical to open the g-file.} (22... Kh8 $5)) ({Even} 21... f5 { might be good, but the exhaustive analysis would also be fairly exhausting.}) 22. Nxg3 Rad8 23. hxg4 Ne5 $1 24. Be2 Bxg4 ({Komodo rightly prefers} 24... Bxc4 $1 {, but the organizers rightly prefer human chess to impersonal computer competitions. And we are thankful to them! White's back rank problems would tell, as the following lines show:} 25. Rxc4 (25. Bxc4 $2 Nxc4 26. Rxc4 Rd2 $1 27. Kg1 (27. Rf4 Qxb2 28. Qxb2 Rd1#) 27... Qxf2+ 28. Kh2 Re3 $1 29. Ngf5 Bd6+ 30. Nxd6 Qxh4+ 31. Kg1 Qf2+ 32. Kh2 Qxg2#) 25... Nxc4 26. Bxc4 {gives Black a pleasant choice.} {, while} Rd2 $1 (26... Qxb2 $6 {allows} 27. Bxf7+ $1 (27. Qg6+ $2 Kh8 $1) 27... Kxf7 28. Qg6+ Ke7 29. Kg1 {with some counterplay.}) 27. Kg1 Qxf2+ 28. Kh2 Re3 $1 29. Bxf7+ Qxf7 {is rather bad for White.}) 25. Bxg4 $2 {This move loses. White probably missed Black's 26th move. He did not have much time left.} ({Both} 25. f3) (25. Nf3 {were better. Black would maintain his initiative, but not more.}) 25... Nxg4 26. Qc2 Bb4 $1 {Black intends 27... Rd2 and there is no sensible way to parry the threat.} 27. c5 (27. Nf3 Rd2 $1 28. Nxd2 Qxf2#) 27... Qa6+ (27... Qb5+ 28. Kg1 Bxc5 $5 {was even quicker, as} 29. Qxc5 {fails to} Qxc5 30. Rxc5 Rd1+ 31. Nf1 Ree1 {with decisive mate(rial gains). But the text is good enough.}) 28. Kg1 Be1 29. Rh3 Bxf2+ 30. Kh1 Re1+ 31. Rxe1 Bxe1 32. Nf3 Nf2+ 33. Kh2 Nxh3 34. Nxe1 Ng5 35. Qc3 Qg6 {White survived the attack, but his position was left in ruins. Being an exchange down with a weak king and no compensation, he respectfully resigned. It is not easy to defeat a solid GM with the black pieces, but Hikaru displayed very powerful play in a must-win situation.} 0-1 [Event "FIDE Moscow Grand Prix 2017"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.14"] [Round "3"] [White "Hou, Yifan"] [Black "Ding, Liren"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2652"] [BlackElo "2773"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "102"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. O-O O-O 6. a4 d6 7. c3 a5 8. Bg5 h6 9. Bh4 g5 10. Bg3 Kg7 {This idea of Kg7 is rather tricky. One of the main points is that the knight on f6 will be defended in certain variations.} 11. Re1 g4 12. Bh4 $5 {White sacrifices a piece, but Black is under no obligation to take it.} Ne7 $1 (12... gxf3 13. Qxf3 Be6 {and the pressure on f6 is annoying and will last quite some time. White can usually bail out with Qg3-f3 if he wants to, to force Kh7-g7.}) 13. Bxf6+ {Dragging the king to the center looks logical, but perhaps it is not best} (13. d4 Ng6 (13... Bb6 14. dxe5 { obviously doesn't work now}) 14. Nxe5 $1 (14. dxc5 gxf3 $17) 14... Nxh4 15. Nxf7 {is just a huge mess}) 13... Kxf6 14. d4 $6 Bb6 15. Nh4 Kg7 {The weird part of this position is that Black is simply better. The pair of bishops, the pressure on d4, the awkward knight on h4. It's just difficult for White to hold everything in an appropiate way. Hou Yifan decides it is time to shed some material to gain compensation.} 16. Na3 exd4 17. cxd4 Nc6 18. Nf5+ $5 Bxf5 19. exf5 h5 20. Nc2 Qf6 {The double attack was obvious, but White is hoping to create counterpressure.} 21. Re4 Qxf5 22. Bd3 Qg5 {White is fighting back, trying to create an initiative with active pieces to compensate for the pawn.} 23. g3 f5 24. Rf4 Rae8 25. h4 gxh3 26. Qf3 d5 27. Rd1 $2 (27. Rh4 $1 Kh6 $5 { and the game is still far from over}) 27... Re4 $1 {A typical but obvious sacrifice. White must accept the exchange sac but the resulting endgame is very unpleasant.} 28. Bxe4 fxe4 29. Qe3 Rxf4 30. Qxf4 Qxf4 31. gxf4 Ne7 $6 ( 31... Kf6 $1 32. Kh2 Nb4 $1 33. Nxb4 axb4 {with Kf5 coming and that is simply too many pawns.}) 32. Kh2 Ng6 33. f5 Nf4 34. f3 $6 {this gives Black another passed pawn} (34. b4 axb4 35. Nxb4 c6 36. Nc2 {at least attempts to bring the rook back into the game}) 34... c6 35. fxe4 dxe4 36. Re1 Bc7 37. Rg1+ Kf7 38. Rf1 Kf6 {Now it is really over. Black's pieces dominate and there are too many passed pawns for White to handle.} 39. Kg3 Kxf5 40. Ne3+ Kg5 41. Nc4 h4+ 42. Kf2 Nd3+ 43. Ke2 Bf4 44. Nxa5 h2 45. Nxb7 Nc1+ 46. Kf2 e3+ 47. Kg2 e2 48. Re1 Bd2 49. Rh1 Nb3 50. Kxh2 e1=Q 51. Rxe1 Bxe1 0-1 [Event "Moscow Grand Prix 2017"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2017.05.14"] [Round "3.5"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Adams, Michael"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E52"] [WhiteElo "2772"] [BlackElo "2747"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "59"] [EventDate "2017.05.12"] [EventType "tourn"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 b6 5. e3 Bb7 6. Bd3 O-O 7. O-O d5 8. cxd5 exd5 9. a3 Bd6 10. b4 Nbd7 ({Another game of Mamedyarov saw} 10... a6 {A move that Black usually plays anyway and a move that Adams played one move later. Then after} 11. Qb3 Qe7 12. Ra2 Nbd7 13. Re2 b5 14. Nd2 Ne4 15. Nxd5 Bxd5 16. Qxd5 Nc3 17. Qc6 Nxe2+ 18. Bxe2 {with compensation for the exchange in Mamedyarov,S (2736)-Karjakin,S (2762) Baku 2015}) 11. Qb3 a6 12. a4 {This is also a move that White plays sooner or later. It makes sense though to do it immediately as the dark-squared bishop may hop directly to a3. White is happy to trade these of bishops as the one on d6 is clearly superior to the one on c1.} ({Another participant of the Grand Prix in Moscow played against:} 12. Bb2 {recently. After} b5 13. a4 c6 14. Rfe1 Re8 15. a5 Ne4 16. Rad1 f5 {Black's position seemed perfectly fine, Le,Q (2718)-Vallejo Pons,F (2711) Almaty 2016}) 12... Qe7 13. Rb1 (13. b5 {is comfortable for Black after} axb5 14. Nxb5 c5 15. Ba3 Ba6) ({If} 13. Ba3 c6 14. b5 {then Black has the standart reaction} axb5 15. Bxd6 Qxd6 16. axb5 c5 {with equality.}) 13... c6 {Now Adams is ready to meet the minority attack with b4-b5 with axb5 and c6-c5.} 14. a5 {This is the other way to play the position. Anatoly Karpov successfully used this idea to defeat Boris Spassky during their match in 1974. The queenside is blocked thus White can open the center with e3-e4.} Rfb8 {The idea is to create counter play along the "b" file. Maybe Black should have defended with:} (14... b5 15. Nd2 h6 16. e4 dxe4 17. Ndxe4 Nxe4 18. Nxe4 Nf6 19. Re1 (19. Nc5 Rad8) 19... Bc8 {as in Giorgadze,G (2610)-Wintzer,J (2351) Sanxenxo 2007}) 15. axb6 (15. Na4 $5 {to put the knight on c5 was interesting as well.}) 15... Bc8 {Consistent, but dubious.} ({Black could have used the rook into the defense after} 15... Nxb6 16. e4 dxe4 17. Nxe4 Nxe4 18. Re1 Re8 19. Bxe4 g6 {White is better here as well, but Black may hold.}) 16. Qc2 $146 {A novelty by Mamedyarov. We know that he wants to open up the center and the queen is perfectly placed for that. } ({White also got a much better position in a correspondence game:} 16. e4 Nxe4 17. Re1 Ndf6 18. Na4 Bf5 19. Qc2 Bxb4 20. Re2 {Kalchev,J (2498) -MacKintosh,I (2469) corr. 2005}) 16... Nxb6 17. e4 dxe4 18. Nxe4 {The center is opened and Black has very few defenders left on the kingside.} Nxe4 ({If} 18... Nbd5 19. Re1 Qc7 20. Nxf6+ Nxf6 21. Bg5 {and Black cannot avoid the doubling of the pawns on the f-file:} Be7 22. Bxf6 Bxf6 $4 23. Re8#) ({The pawn capture} 18... Bxb4 {does not help at all after} 19. Nxf6+ (19. Ne5 { is also great.}) 19... gxf6 20. Bxh7+) 19. Bxe4 h6 $6 {Another inaccuracy.} ( 19... g6 {looks more resilent although Mamedyarov retains clear edge after} 20. Re1 Qc7 21. Bh6 $1 {Playing for the attack.} ({But not} 21. Qxc6 Qxc6 22. Bxc6 Bb7 {which gives Black decent survival chances.})) 20. Re1 Qc7 ({In case of} 20... Qd8 21. Bxc6 Bb7 {White can win the queen} 22. Re8+ Qxe8 23. Bxe8 Rxe8 24. Ne5 {and even though some chances for a fortress exist White should be able to convert the advantage.}) ({Probably best was} 20... Qf8 {although after } 21. Ne5 Bxe5 22. dxe5 Bd7 23. Be3 {White is clearly better thanks to his excellent pawn structure and bishop pair.}) 21. Bh7+ Kf8 22. Ne5 {It is so easy to bring all the pieces into the attack for White!} Nd5 {This loses on the spot, but there was no defense anyway.} ({Or} 22... Bb7 23. Rb3 $1 { with the threats of Ne5xf7 and Rb3-f3 and Black is helpless. Say} Bxe5 24. dxe5 Re8 25. e6 $1 Rxe6 26. Rxe6 fxe6 27. Rf3+ Ke7 28. Qc5+) 23. Nxf7 $1 {A neat blow to wrap up the game.} Qxf7 (23... Kxf7 24. Qg6+ Kf8 25. Re8#) 24. Bg6 Bf5 ({Everything drops after} 24... Qd7 25. Re8+ Qxe8 26. Bxe8 Kxe8 27. Qxc6+) 25. Bxf5 Nxb4 ({The choice was constant pain after} 25... Re8 26. Bd2 Rxe1+ 27. Rxe1 Re8) 26. Qe4 {There is no defense against the combined attack on the light squares and the open e- and f-files.} Nd5 (26... Re8 27. Be6) 27. Be6 Qf6 (27... Re8 28. Rb3 $1) 28. Rxb8+ Rxb8 29. Qh7 g5 30. Qg8+ {Adams resigned before the discovered check.} (30. Qg8+ Ke7 31. Bh3+) 1-0 [Event "Wijk aan Zee"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Shirov, Alexei"] [Black "Timman, Jan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C43"] [Annotator "Administrator"] [PlyCount "107"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 (3... exd4 4. e5 Ne4 5. Qxd4 d5 6. exd6 Nxd6 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. Qf4 {[%cal Yc1e3,Ye1c1]}) 4. Bd3 Nc6 (4... d5 5. Nxe5) 5. Nxe5 (5. Bxe4 d5 6. Bd3 e4) 5... Nxe5 6. Bxe4 d5 7. dxe5 dxe4 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Nc3 (9. O-O Bf5) 9... Bb4 10. Bg5+ Ke8 11. O-O-O Bg4 12. Rd4 Bxc3 13. bxc3 h6 14. Rxe4 Bh3 (14... Bf5 15. Rh4 {[%cal Yh6g5,Yh4h8]}) (14... hxg5 15. Rxg4) 15. gxh3 hxg5 {[%csl Ya2,Yc2,Yc3,Yf2,Yh2,Yh3,Yh8][%cal Yh3h2,Yh8h3]} 16. Rg1 Rxh3 17. Rxg5 Kf8 18. Reg4 {[%cal Yg7g6]} Re8 (18... g6 19. e6 $1 Rxh2 20. exf7 Rxf2 21. Rxg6 Kxf7 22. Rg7+ Kf6 {[%cal Yg7c7]}) 19. Rxg7 Rxe5 20. Rg8+ Ke7 21. Rc4 c5 ( 21... Kd7 22. Rf4 Re7) 22. Rb8 Rf3 23. Rxb7+ Kd6 (23... Kf6 $1 {[%cal Yf6g6]} 24. Ra4 Rxf2 25. Raxa7 Kg6 {[%csl Yf7][%cal Yb7g7]}) 24. Ra4 Rxf2 25. Ra6+ Kd5 26. Rd7+ Ke4 (26... Kc4 27. Ra4+ Kb5 (27... Kxc3 28. Rd3#) 28. Rdxa7 {[%cal Yc3c4,Yb5b6,Ya4a6,Ya6b6]} Kb6 (28... Re1+ 29. Kb2 Kc6 30. c4 Kd6 31. R4a6+ Ke5 32. Re7+)) 27. Ra4+ Ke3 28. Rd3+ Ke2 29. Rd2+ Ke1 30. Rxf2 Kxf2 31. Rf4+ Ke3 32. Rxf7 {[%csl Ya2,Yc2,Yc3,Yf7,Yh2][%cal Yh2h8,Yf7a7,Ya2a8,Yc3c2]} a5 33. Ra7 (33. Rd7 Rh5 34. Rd3+ Ke4 35. h3 {[%cal Yc1b2,Yb2b3,Yb3c4]}) 33... Ke4 34. Rxa5 Kd5 {[%cal Ye5h5,Yh5h2]} 35. Ra4 Re3 {[%cal Ye3h3]} (35... Rh5 36. h4) 36. Rh4 Rxc3 37. Kb2 Rf3 38. Rh8 Rf7 39. a4 (39. h4 Rb7+ 40. Ka1) 39... Rf4 40. a5 Rb4+ 41. Kc1 Ra4 42. Rh5+ Kc6 43. a6 Kb6 44. Rh6+ Ka7 {[%csl Ya6]} 45. Kb2 (45. Rg6 Rh4) 45... Rf4 (45... Rb4+ 46. Kc3 Rf4) 46. Kb3 (46. c3 Rf2+ 47. Kb3) 46... Rb4+ 47. Kc3 Rf4 48. h4 (48. Kd3 Rd4+ 49. Ke3 Rc4 50. Kd3) 48... Rg4 49. h5 Rh4 50. Kb2 Rh3 (50... Rb4+ 51. Kc1 Rh4 52. c3 Rh2 53. Kb1 c4 54. Kc1 Rh1+ 55. Kc2 Rh2+ 56. Kb1 Rh1+ 57. Ka2 (57. Kb2 Rh3) 57... Rh3 58. Kb2) 51. c4 {[%cal Yh3e3, Yh6g6]} Rh2+ 52. Ka3 {[%cal Ya3a4,Ya4b5]} Rh4 53. Kb3 Kb8 54. Rh7 $18 {[%cal Yh5h6]} 1-0 [Event "Dubai (blitz)"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Short, Nigel"] [Black "Shirov, Alexei"] [Result "0-1"] [PlyCount "72"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 (2... Nc6 3. Bb5) 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nxf7 Kxf7 5. d4 c5 $1 (5... Nxe4 6. Qh5+ g6 7. Qd5+ {[%cal Yd5e4]}) (5... g6 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. Bc4+ Be6 8. Bxe6+ Kxe6 9. f4 {[%csl Ye5][%cal Ye4e5]}) 6. dxc5 Nc6 $1 7. Bc4+ Be6 8. Bxe6+ Kxe6 {[%cal Ye6f7]} 9. O-O Kf7 (9... dxc5 10. Qe2 {[%cal Ye2c4,Yc4e6]}) 10. Qe2 Qe8 11. Re1 (11. Qc4+ Qe6) 11... d5 12. e5 (12. exd5 Qxe2 13. Rxe2 Nxd5) 12... Ne4 13. Nc3 Nxc3 14. bxc3 {[%cal Ye5e6]} Qe6 15. Rb1 Rb8 16. Be3 Be7 17. f4 Rhf8 {[%cal Yf7g8]} 18. Bd4 Kg8 19. Rf1 g5 (19... b6 $1 20. cxb6 Nxd4 (20... axb6 $1) 21. cxd4 Rxb6) 20. fxg5 Bxg5 21. Rxf8+ Kxf8 22. Qh5 Qg6 23. Qf3+ { [%cal Yf3d5]} Kg7 24. Qxd5 Qxc2 25. e6+ Kg6 26. Rf1 Qd3 $2 {[%cal Yg5e3]} ( 26... Nxd4 27. cxd4 Rf8 $1 28. Rxf8 Be3+ 29. Kf1 Qd1#) 27. Qd7 Be3+ 28. Bxe3 Qxe3+ 29. Kh1 Rf8 30. Rg1 $2 (30. Qf7+ $3 Rxf7 31. exf7 {[%cal Yf7f8]}) 30... Ne5 31. Qd6 Rf6 32. h3 (32. e7 Ng4 33. Qg3 Qxg3 34. e8=Q+ Kg5 35. Qg8+ Rg6 36. Qd8+ Kh5 37. hxg3 (37. Qd5+ Qe5) 37... Nf2+ 38. Kh2 Ng4+ 39. Kh3 Nf2+) 32... Nd3 33. Qd5 Nxc5 34. e7 Qxe7 35. Qg8+ Kh6 36. Rd1 Ne4 0-1 [Event "Sarajevo"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Shirov, Alexei"] [Black "Bologan, Viktor"] [Result "1-0"] [PlyCount "93"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 (3. Nxe5) 3... Nxe4 4. Bd3 d5 5. Nxe5 Nd7 (5... Bd6) 6. Nxd7 (6. Nxf7 Kxf7 7. Qh5+ Ke7 8. Qe2 Kf7) 6... Bxd7 7. O-O Bd6 8. Nc3 (8. c4) 8... Nxc3 9. bxc3 {[%csl Yd7]} Be6 {[%cal Yc3c4,Yd5c4]} (9... O-O) 10. Rb1 $1 (10. Qh5 g6 11. Qh6 Qd7 {[%cal Ye8c8]}) 10... Rb8 (10... b6 11. Bb5+ Kf8) 11. Qh5 c6 (11... g6 12. Qh6 Kd7 {[%cal Yc7c6,Yd7c7]} 13. Bg5 Be7 (13... Qf8 14. Qh4 {[%csl Yd7]}) 14. f4 (14. Bxe7 Qxe7 15. f4)) 12. Bg5 Be7 13. Bxe7 (13. f4 Bxg5 14. fxg5 g6 15. Qh6 Kd7) 13... Qxe7 14. f4 Qf6 {[%csl Ye8]} (14... Kd8 15. f5 Bd7 16. f6 gxf6 17. Qh6) 15. Rbe1 Kd8 (15... Kf8 16. f5 Bd7 17. Re5 { [%cal Yf1e1]}) 16. g4 $1 (16. f5 Bd7 17. Re5 Kc7 {[%cal Yb8h8,Yh8b8]}) 16... g6 (16... Kc8 17. f5 Bd7 18. g5 Qd8 19. Qxf7 Qxg5+ 20. Kh1 Qf6 21. Re7) 17. Qh6 Kc7 (17... Bxg4 18. f5 {[%cal Yf5g6]} Kd7 19. fxg6 (19. h3 Bh5 20. fxg6 hxg6 ( 20... Bf3 21. Qe3 (21. Re5 hxg6 22. Rf5 Rxh6 (22... Qe6 23. Qf4 gxf5 24. Bxf5) (22... Qxf5 23. Bxf5+ gxf5 24. Qf6 Rbg8+ 25. Kf2 Be4 26. Qxf7+ Kc8 27. Qe6+ Kc7 28. Qe7+ Kb8 29. Rg1) 23. Rxf6) 21... Rbe8 22. Qxf3 Qxf3 23. Rxf3 Rxe1+) 21. Rxf6 Rxh6 22. Rxf7+ Kd6 {[%csl Yh3][%cal Yc8h3,Yh3c8]} 23. Ree7) 19... hxg6 20. Rxf6 Rxh6 21. Rxf7+ Kd6) 18. f5 Bd7 19. fxg6 Qd6 (19... hxg6 20. Rxf6 Rxh6 21. Rxf7) 20. Rxf7 hxg6 21. Qf4 Qxf4 22. Rxf4 Rh4 23. Re7 Kd6 24. Rg7 Rxg4+ 25. Rxg4 Bxg4 26. Rxg6+ Be6 27. h4 (27. Bf5 Rg8 28. Rxg8 Bxg8 29. Kf2 Ke7 30. Ke3 Kf6 31. Kf4 Bf7 32. Bc8 b6 33. Bd7 c5 34. Bf5 Bh5 35. h4 Be8 36. Bg4 Bg6 37. dxc5 bxc5 38. Bf3 d4 39. cxd4 cxd4 40. Be4) 27... Ke7 (27... Rg8 28. Rxg8 Bxg8 29. h5 Ke7 30. h6 {[%cal Yh6h7]}) 28. Kf2 Bf7 (28... Rg8 29. Rh6) 29. Rg5 b6 ( 29... Rg8 30. Kg3 Rxg5+ 31. hxg5 {[%csl Ye5][%cal Yg3f4,Yf4e5]}) 30. Kg3 c5 31. h5 Rh8 32. Kh4 Kf6 33. Bg6 Bxg6 (33... Be6 34. Rg2 {[%cal Yg2f2,Yh4g5]}) 34. Rxg6+ Kf5 35. Rg5+ Ke4 36. Re5+ Kf4 37. Rxd5 cxd4 38. Rxd4+ {[%cal Yc3c2,Yc2c3] } Kf5 39. Rd7 Rc8 40. Rf7+ Ke6 41. Rf3 Rh8 42. c4 Rh7 43. Rf8 $1 (43. Kg5 Rg7+ 44. Kh6 Rg4) 43... Ke5 44. Rc8 Kd4 45. Rc6 {[%cal Yh5h6]} Rg7 46. h6 Rg2 47. Kh5 {[%csl Ya1,Yh6][%cal Yh6h8]} 1-0 [Event "Moscow"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.18"] [Round "6.1"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B97"] [WhiteElo "2786"] [BlackElo "2751"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "69"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qb6 { "Ian surprised me with this one." (Nakamura)} 8. a3 {"So I decided to just play chess." (Nakamura)} ({The American GM meant that he wanted to avoid the heavy competition of the machines that happens in the Poisoned Pawn variation after} 8. Qd2 Qxb2 9. Rb1 Qa3) 8... Nc6 9. Nb3 Be7 10. Qd2 ({White can also develop the queen in a more Najdorf-way with} 10. Qf3 {although it might be a subject of tempo-gainers for Black after} Qc7 11. O-O-O h6 12. Bh4 g5 13. e5 ({ Black's major idea was} 13. fxg5 Ne5) 13... gxh4 14. exf6 Bxf6 15. Ne4 Be7 16. Qc3 Rg8 17. Nf6+ Bxf6 18. Qxf6 Qe7 19. Qxh6 Bd7 {all of this happened in Yu,Y (2652)-Zhao,J (2580) Xinghua Jiangsu 2011}) 10... O-O 11. O-O-O Rd8 {Now a position typical for the Classical line arises. White tries to attack on the kingside, Black wants to strike in the center as quickly as possible.} 12. Bd3 h6 $146 {A novelty.} ({Only} 12... Bd7 {has been tested before, although it looks a bit slow for Black after} 13. Kb1 Rac8 14. Qe1 Qc7 15. g4 {Sjugirov,S (2444) -Stella,A (2120) Herceg Novi 2006}) ({Nakamura expected} 12... d5 { to which} 13. exd5 Nxd5 14. Nxd5 Rxd5 15. Bxe7 Nxe7 16. Qb4 {looks slightly better for White.}) 13. h4 Bd7 ({Nepomniachtchi believed he should be OK after } 13... Ng4 14. Bxe7 Nxe7 15. Rde1 Bd7 {At some moments h6-h5 to block the kingside is an option. If} 16. Be2 Ne3 {looks good with the idea} 17. Bf3 Nc4 { and the knight is successfully re-deployed for queenside work.}) ({The greedy} 13... hxg5 $2 {is almost never a good idea for Black as the mates on the h-file are for real. Say} 14. hxg5 Ng4 15. Rh4 Nf2 16. Rf1 Nxd3+ 17. Qxd3 e5 18. Rfh1 {and mate.}) 14. Qe2 Kf8 {Black provokes the central push.} (14... Rac8 {is another way to play the position when after} 15. e5 (15. Kb1 $5) 15... dxe5 16. fxe5 Nxe5 17. Qxe5 hxg5 18. hxg5 Ng4 {White's attack seems strong but Black can trade the queens after} 19. Bh7+ Kf8 20. Qf4 Qe3+ {with approximate equality.}) 15. e5 ({Nepomniachtchi was afraid of} 15. Kb1 {when} hxg5 ({On} 15... Ng8 {White attacks for free with} 16. Bxe7+ Ngxe7 17. g4) 16. hxg5 Ng8 { wins a piece but does not stop the step-by-step attack after} 17. Rh8 {The idea is Qe2-h5-h7 and if} Bxg5 18. fxg5 Ne5 19. Qh5 {looks dangerous for Black. } ({Or} 19. Rf1)) 15... dxe5 16. fxe5 hxg5 17. exf6 Bxf6 18. hxg5 Bxg5+ ({ In retrospect Black regretted that he did not capture the knight:} 18... Bxc3 19. bxc3 Ke7 {However, a closer look into the position reveals some problems for the second player after} 20. Rh7 Rg8 21. Bc4 Na5 22. g6 Nxc4 ({Or} 22... fxg6 23. Nxa5 Qxa5 24. Rxd7+ $1) 23. gxf7 {and the black king is not save enough.}) 19. Kb1 Qe3 ({In case of} 19... Bh6 20. Rxh6 $1 {is strong with White's domination after} ({Avoiding} 20. Rdf1 Qe3 $1) 20... gxh6 21. Rf1 Qc7 22. Qh5 Be8 23. Qxh6+ Ke7 24. Nc5) 20. Qh5 Bh6 {It seems as Nepomniachtchi did well. He is a pawn up and has the bishop pair. However, since both the e- and f-file have been opened his king is not feeling comfortable enough.} 21. Rhf1 Be8 22. Rde1 Qg5 23. Qh3 Ne5 {Black believed this to be a mistake. It is funny how differently both players evaluated the position. Nepomniachtchi thought he should be saving this, while Nakamura did not see a defense for his opponent.} ({On} 23... Rxd3 {White intended} 24. cxd3 (24. Qxd3 {is not bad at all neither.}) 24... Kg8 25. Ne4 Qg6 26. Rf3 {with decisive attack.}) ({If} 23... Rac8 24. Ne4 {is also close to won for the attacker. Two lines to prove this:} Qe5 ({If} 24... Qd5 25. Nf6 $1 gxf6 26. Qxh6+ Ke7 27. Qxf6+ Kd7 28. Be4) 25. Nec5) (23... Kg8 {makes things easier for White after} 24. Ne4 Qg6 25. Nf6+) 24. Nc5 {With the clear intention to capture on e6 with the knight. The problem is that Black cannot stop it.} Kg8 {The best defense.} ({Nakamura had seen the win after} 24... Bd7 25. Nxe6+ Bxe6 26. Qxe6 Re8 27. Qb3 $1 Kg8 28. Rxe5 $1 Qxe5 (28... Rxe5 29. Qxf7+ Kh8 30. Qf8+ Rxf8 31. Rxf8#) 29. Qxf7+ Kh8 30. Qg6) ({Also} 24... Ke7 25. Bf5 exf5 26. Rxf5 Qd2 27. Rexe5+ Kf8 28. Ne6+ Kg8 29. Nxd8 Qc1+ 30. Ka2 Rxd8 {looks gloomy for Black (Nepomniachtchi, Nakamura)}) 25. Nxe6 fxe6 26. Qxe6+ Nf7 $2 {Now it is lost for Black.} ({ Nepomniachtchi's last chance was to play the endgame after} 26... Bf7 27. Qxe5 Qxe5 28. Rxe5 Re8 {In the Sicilian it is not unusual for Black to save endgames down a pawn thanks to the bishop pair (or a strong bishop). Say} 29. Rxe8+ Rxe8 30. Bh7+ Kxh7 31. Rxf7 b5 32. Ra7 Re6 {and the g2-pawn might be hurt soon.}) 27. Bg6 {Not bad, but there was an even stronger move.} (27. Ne4 $1 {going for the king would have wrapped the game up quicker:} Qe5 (27... Qd5 28. Qg6 {is easier for White.}) 28. Qg6 {the threat is Ne4-f6+ and there is nothing Black can do about it.} Rxd3 (28... Rac8 29. Nf6+) 29. cxd3 Bg5 30. Nc5 Qxc5 31. Rxe8+ Rxe8 32. Qxf7+ Kh7 33. Qh5+ Kg8 34. Qxe8+ {White wins.}) 27... Kh8 28. Bxf7 Bxf7 29. Qxf7 Qxg2 30. Rg1 Qd2 ({Black is mated if the queen moves too far away from the kingside:} 30... Qc6 31. Re6 Qd7 32. Rxh6+ gxh6 33. Qf6+ Kh7 34. Qg6+ Kh8 35. Qxh6+ Qh7 36. Qf6+) 31. Rd1 Qf4 ({Or} 31... Qe3 32. Nd5 Qe5 33. Rge1 (33. Rde1 $1 {is stronger} Qxd5 34. Re8+ Rxe8 35. Qxd5) 33... Qd6 34. Re6 Rf8 35. Qg6 Qh2 36. Re7 {and White will reach the opponent's king one way or another.}) 32. Qxb7 Rdb8 33. Qe4 Qf8 ({The endgame after} 33... Qxe4 34. Nxe4 Bf4 35. Rd7 Be5 36. c3 {should be won for White.}) 34. Rg6 Ra7 $2 { A blunder.} 35. Qd4 {Black resigned due to the double threat.} 1-0 [Event "Dos Hermanas"] [Site "Dos Hermanas"] [Date "1996.05.27"] [Round "6"] [White "Shirov, Alexei"] [Black "Gelfand, Boris"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B92"] [WhiteElo "2690"] [BlackElo "2700"] [PlyCount "119"] [EventDate "1996.05.??"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "ESP"] [EventCategory "19"] [SourceTitle "CBM 53"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 {[%cal Ge7e5,Ge7e6]} (5... e6 6. Be2) 6. Be2 (6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qb6 8. Qd2 (8. Nb3) 8... Qxb2 9. Rb1 Qa3) ( 6. Be3) 6... e5 (6... e6) 7. Nb3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Kh1 (9. Be3) (9. f4 b5 10. a4 b4 11. Nd5 Nxd5 12. Qxd5 Qb6+ 13. Kh1 Bb7) 9... Qc7 (9... Z0 10. f4) (9... b5 10. a4 b4 11. Nd5 Nxe4 (11... Nxd5 12. Qxd5 Ra7 13. Be3) 12. Bf3 f5 13. Nxe7+ Qxe7 14. Qd5+ {[%csl Ga8][%cal Gd5a8]}) (9... Be6 10. f4 exf4 11. Bxf4) ( 9... b6 10. f4 (10. a4 Bb7 11. f3) (10. Bc4) (10. Bg5) 10... Bb7 11. Bf3 Nbd7 12. a4 b5) 10. f4 (10. a4) (10. g4 Be6 11. g5 Nfd7 12. Bg4 (12. Nd5 Bxd5 13. exd5)) (10. a4 Be6 11. f4 exf4 12. Bxf4 (12. Nd4 Nbd7 13. Bxf4 Ne5 14. Nf5 Bxf5 15. exf5 Rfe8 16. Qd4 Rac8 17. Rad1 h6 18. Bg3 Nc6 19. Qf2 Qa5 20. Bxd6 Bxd6 21. Rxd6 Qb4 (21... Rcd8) 22. Rxf6 gxf6 23. Nd5 Qxb2) 12... Nc6) 10... b5 11. fxe5 dxe5 12. Bg5 Nbd7 13. Bd3 Bb7 14. Qf3 h6 15. Bd2 {[%cal Gc3d1,Gd1e3,Ge3f5] } Nb6 16. Qg3 (16. Rae1) 16... Kh8 (16... Nh5 17. Qg4 (17. Qh3 Nf4 18. Bxf4 exf4) 17... Nf6 18. Qg3) 17. Rf5 Bc8 18. Rxe5 Bd6 19. Bf4 g5 (19... Bxe5 20. Bxe5) 20. Rc5 gxf4 (20... Bxf4 21. Rxc7 Bxg3 22. hxg3) 21. Qh4 Bxc5 22. Qxf6+ Kg8 23. Nxc5 Qxc5 24. e5 {[%csl Gh7][%cal Gf6h6]} Bb7 (24... Nd7 25. Qf5 (25. Qxh6 f5 26. Qg6+ Kh8 27. Qh6+) 25... Re8 26. Qh7+ Kf8 27. Qxh6+ Ke7 28. Qg5+ ( 28. Qh4+) 28... Kf8 (28... f6 29. exf6+ Kd8 30. Qh4) 29. Qh6+) 25. Qxh6 f5 26. exf6 Rf7 27. Qg6+ Kf8 28. Qh6+ Kg8 29. Rf1 Re8 30. Qg6+ Kf8 31. Qh6+ Kg8 32. Bg6 (32. Bh7+ Rxh7 33. Qg6+ Kf8 34. Qxh7 Bxg2+ 35. Kxg2 Qc6+ 36. Rf3 Qxf6 37. Ne4 Qg7+ 38. Qxg7+ Kxg7 39. Rxf4) 32... Qc4 33. Bxf7+ Qxf7 34. Qg5+ Kh8 35. Qh4+ Qh7 36. f7 Rf8 37. Qxf4 Qg6 38. Rf2 Nc8 39. h4 (39. Ne2 Nd6 40. Qe5+ Kh7 41. Nf4) 39... Kh7 40. Kg1 Qh6 (40... Nd6 41. Qe5 Rxf7 42. Qxd6 Qxd6 43. Rxf7+ Kg6 44. Rxb7) 41. Qe5 Qd6 42. Qe2 Kg7 43. Qg4+ Qg6 44. Qd4+ Kh7 45. h5 Qc6 ( 45... Qxh5 46. Rf4 {[%cal Gf4h4]}) 46. Qd3+ Kh8 47. Qf5 Qh6 48. Qe5+ Qg7 49. Qc7 (49. Qf4 {[%cal Gc3e4]}) 49... b4 50. Ne2 Bd5 51. h6 Qg5 52. Qc5 Ne7 53. Ng3 (53. c4 bxc3 54. Nxc3 Rxf7 55. Ne4 Qxh6 56. Rxf7 Bxf7 57. Qxe7 Qe3+ 58. Kh2 ) 53... Qc1+ (53... Qxg3 54. Qxe7 Qxf2+ 55. Kxf2 Rxf7+ 56. Qxf7 Bxf7 57. a3) 54. Nf1 Qg5 55. Ne3 Kh7 56. Nxd5 Qxd5 57. Qxe7 Qd1+ 58. Rf1 Qd4+ 59. Kh1 Kg6 60. Qe6+ 1-0 [Event "Moscow"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.19"] [Round "7"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Salem, A R Saleh"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B12"] [WhiteElo "2785"] [BlackElo "2633"] [Annotator "Bojkov Dejan"] [PlyCount "131"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nd2 {According to Giri this is a rare line as it allows the quick c6-c5 advance.} e6 5. Nb3 c5 ({Another possibility is} 5... Nd7 6. Nf3 Qc7 7. Be2 c5 8. O-O c4 {as in Rublevsky,S (2689)-Fedoseev,V (2673) Novi Sad 2016}) 6. dxc5 Bxc5 7. Nxc5 Qa5+ 8. c3 Qxc5 9. Be3 Qc7 10. f4 { A slightly unusual French pawn structure arises with White having the bishop pair and Black an active bishop.} Ne7 11. Be2 O-O 12. Nf3 Nbc6 ({Salem was not sure if} 12... Nd7 {was better.}) 13. O-O {All of this was part of Giri's prep but now Salem made a new move:} Na5 $146 ({The only game so far in this line ended in a quick draw after} 13... Be4 14. Nd2 Bg6 15. Nb3 Na5 16. Nxa5 { ½-½ Rublevsky,S (2688)-Dreev,A (2654) Warsaw 2012. However Giri believed that White did not have to trade the knights to play for the advantage.}) ({"The computer suggests"} 13... f6 14. exf6 Rxf6 {"but does not like Black here" (Giri)}) 14. Bf2 a6 15. Rc1 Rac8 16. b3 Nac6 {The knight weakened slightly the queenside and can leave.} 17. Qd2 Rfd8 {But this is inaccurate. The rook will be a subject of skewering here.} ({Normal seems to be } 17... Be4 18. Rfd1 f6 {with counterplay in the center.}) 18. b4 $1 {The idea is to push the a-pawn all the way to a5 and make use of the tempo threat Bf2-b6.} ({This is better than the standart} 18. Rfd1) 18... Be4 19. a4 Nf5 { The only way to seek counterplay but Black is one move short.} 20. g4 {This stops Black's idea.} ({In case of} 20. a5 d4 $5 {is a perspective pawn sacrifice which will either bring the knights into life or will force the white pawn on d4 from where it will block the bishop-} 21. cxd4 $6 ({Or} 21. Nxd4 Ncxd4 22. cxd4 Qd7 {when "I never, never win this, because I never win my positions. And because it is blockade" (Giri).}) (21. Ng5 $1 {is best when after} dxc3 22. Qxc3 Bd5 23. Bb6 Qe7 24. Bxd8 Rxd8 {Black does not have enough for the exchange.}) 21... Bxf3 22. Bxf3 Nfxd4 {and Black is fine.}) 20... Nfe7 21. Ng5 {Once again Giri prevents Black's activity.} ({If} 21. a5 d4 {is still the best practical chance for Black after} 22. Nxd4 Nd5) 21... Bg6 22. Bc5 { White is no longer afraid of the d5-d4 advance with the active bishop.} Rd7 { The rook moves away from the dark-squared bishop.} (22... Na5 23. Bxe7 Nb3 24. Bxd8 {loses material.}) (22... b6 {drops a pawn after} 23. Bxe7 Nxe7 24. Bxa6) 23. Nf3 {A trap, which was played quickly to increase the psychological effect. ..} Na5 $2 {...and Salem falls into it!} ({However, Black's position is objectively much worse no matter what he plays. Say} 23... h5 24. h3 Na5 25. Nd4 Nc4 26. Bxc4 dxc4 27. f5) 24. Nd4 {This is what Black missed.} Nc4 ({ There is no way back.} 24... Nac6 25. f5) 25. Bxc4 dxc4 26. Bxe7 Rxe7 27. f5 { White is winning. His super knight is laughing at the black bishop which is about to get trapped any second now.} exf5 28. gxf5 Bh5 ({There is not enough for the piece after} 28... Rxe5 29. fxg6 hxg6) 29. Qg5 g6 30. e6 $2 {Just a move away from the win Giri blunders.} ({He saw the winning line:} 30. f6 Qxe5 31. Nf5 $1 Re6 (31... Ree8 32. Rce1 Qxc3 (32... Qxe1 33. Qh6 {is mate}) 33. Rxe8+ Rxe8 34. Nh6+ Kh8 35. Nxf7+ Kg8 36. Nh6+ Kh8 {all the way to here and got afraid of the checks on d4. But the simple} 37. Qc5 {, which he found quickly during the post-mortem, would have put an end of Black's suffering.} ( 37. f7 Qd4+ {is indeed a draw.})) 32. Rce1 Qxc3 33. Rxe6 fxe6 34. f7+ Kh8 35. Qe7 {and White wins (Giri, Salem)}) ({In fact} 30. Qh6 {After} Qxe5 ({Best is} 30... f6 31. exf6 Re4 (31... Rf7 {and this is much better version of the game continuation for White.}) 32. Rc2 {although White should win here.}) 31. Rce1 Qxe1 (31... Qf6 32. fxg6 Rxe1 33. gxh7+ $1 {wins for White.}) 32. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 33. Kf2 {there is no escape from f5-f6 (Giri).}) 30... f6 31. Qxf6 Rg7 $1 { Rebooting...} 32. Rc2 ({Or} 32. Kh1 Qd6 ({or even} 32... gxf5 33. Qh4 $2 Be8 { when Black may go into counterattack.})) 32... Bg4 ({The other defense seems less precise:} 32... Rf8 33. Qh4 ({The sacrifice} 33. Qxf8+ Kxf8 34. f6 { does not work after} Rg8 $1) 33... gxf5+ 34. Rg2 Rxg2+ 35. Kxg2 Bg6 {the super-knight still gives Black hard time.}) 33. Qh4 Bxf5 34. Rg2 Re8 35. Re1 a5 {Salem managed to both save the bishop and avoid being checkmated. Fantastic job!} (35... Bd3 $5 36. a5) 36. bxa5 Qxa5 37. Nxf5 Qxf5 38. Qxc4 {OK, White won a pawn but there are only heavy-lifters left and this should give Black excellent drawing chances.} Rge7 39. Rf2 (39. Rge2 Rf8 {is indeed unpleasant for White.}) 39... Qa5 $1 ({Avoiding the trick} 39... Qh3 40. Rf7 Rxe6 41. Rf6) 40. Rf7 Qb6+ 41. Kg2 $1 {Now White avoids the tricks.} (41. Kh1 Rxe6 {is safe for Black as if} 42. Rf6 $4 Qc6+ $1 43. Qxc6 Rxe1+ {comes with a check.}) ({ Also} 41. Kf1 Rxe6 42. Rf6 $2 Qa6 $1 {is similar.}) 41... Qc6+ $6 {None of the players mentioned the more natural way to trade the queens with:} (41... Qa6 $1 {Why to allow a distant passer to White?! After} 42. Qd5 (42. Qxa6 bxa6 43. c4 Rxe6 44. Rxe6 Rxe6 45. Ra7 Rc6 {is a draw.}) 42... Qxa4 43. Kg3 Qc6 44. Qxc6 bxc6 45. Rxe7 Rxe7 46. Kf4 Kf8 47. Ke5 Ra7 48. Rf1+ Ke8 {Black is very close to holding this.}) 42. Qxc6 bxc6 43. Rxe7 ({The other way to play for the win was} 43. a5 Rxe6 44. Rxe6 Rxe6 45. Rb7 Re2+ 46. Kg3 Ra2 47. Ra7 Ra4 48. a6 g5 49. c4 h5 50. Kf3 c5 {when it is not certain if Black can survive (or if White can win...)} (50... Kf8) (50... g4+ $2 51. Kg3 $1)) 43... Rxe7 {The rook endgames are famous for their drawing tendencies. In this case Black's survival chances should be high, but White also has a fair share of winning chances. Let's call it 50-50.} 44. Kf3 Kf8 45. a5 Ra7 46. Re5 ({White tries to avoid the line} 46. e7+ Ke8 47. Re5 c5 48. Rxc5 Kxe7 49. Ke4 Kd6 50. Kd4 Rf7) 46... Ke7 47. Ke4 Rb7 ({Giri was hoping for} 47... c5 48. Rxc5 Kxe6 49. Rd5 Rc7 50. Kd4 Rxc3 51. Re5+ $1) ({None of the players could find a win after} 47... Ra6 {with the waiting strategy} 48. Kd4 Ra8 49. c4 Ra6 50. Kc3 Ra8 51. Kb4 Ra6 {Perhaps some of our readers will? Or maybe this was the moment in which Black could have survived?}) 48. Kd3 Rb1 ({White should be winning after} 48... Rb2 49. Re2 Rb5 (49... Rb7 50. Kc4) 50. Ra2 Kxe6 51. a6 Rb8 52. a7 Ra8 53. Kd4 (53. Kc4 Kd6) 53... Kd6 54. Ke4 (54. c4 g5) 54... h6 55. Kd4 c5+ 56. Kc4 Kc7 57. Ra6 ) 49. Kc2 Ra1 (49... Rh1 {loses to} 50. a6 Rxh2+ 51. Kb3 Rd2 52. a7 Rd8 53. Ra5 Ra8 54. Kc4 Kxe6 55. Kc5) 50. Kb2 Ra4 51. Kb3 Ra1 52. Kb2 Ra4 53. Kb3 Ra1 54. c4 {Mysteriously, the black rook is misplaced on a1 in comparison to a6.} h6 55. Kb4 g5 56. Re3 {That is the problem. The rook is ready to build a bridge for the a-pawn. White is winning again.} c5+ 57. Kb5 g4 58. h3 gxh3 59. Rxh3 Kxe6 60. Rxh6+ Kd7 61. a6 Kc7 62. Rh8 ({Not the hasty} 62. a7 $2 Kb7 63. Rh7+ Ka8) 62... Kd6 63. a7 Rxa7 64. Rh6+ $1 {Cutting the king along the sixth rank. The game is over.} Ke5 65. Kxc5 Ra8 66. Kb6 1-0 [Event "Moscow Grand Prix 2017"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.16"] [Round "5.1"] [White "Yifan, Hou"] [Black "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B91"] [WhiteElo "2652"] [BlackElo "2750"] [PlyCount "78"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:01:22"] [BlackClock "0:04:39"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. g3 e5 7. Nb3 (7. Nde2 Be7 8. Bg2 O-O 9. O-O b5 10. Nd5 Nxd5 11. Qxd5 Ra7 12. Be3 Be6 13. Qd3 Rb7 14. b3 Nd7 {Adams,M (2747)-Nepomniachtchi,I (2751) Moscow 2017}) 7... Be7 8. Bg2 O-O 9. O-O b5 10. a4 b4 11. Nd5 Nxd5 12. Qxd5 Ra7 13. Be3 Be6 14. Qd3 (14. Qd2 Rb7) 14... Ra8 (14... Rb7 15. Rfc1 Qc7 16. c3 Bc4 17. Qc2 Be6 18. Qd1 Qd8 19. Bf1 bxc3 20. Rxc3 Bg5 {Ponomariov,R (2734)-Safarli,E (2620) Istanbul 2012}) 15. f4 Qc7 16. Nd2 $146 (16. Rfc1 Nd7 17. c3 Qb8 18. Na5 Nc5 19. Qd2 exf4 20. gxf4 Bd8 21. Bxc5 bxc3 22. bxc3 dxc5 23. Nc6 Qc8 24. e5 Bh3 25. Qxd8 Qxd8 26. Nxd8 Bxg2 27. Kxg2 Rfxd8 28. Rd1 f6 29. exf6 {½-½ Leemans,R (2348)-Muzyka,Y (2390) corr. 2007}) 16... a5 17. Rf2 ({Black's 16th move has the idea to move the bishop to a6 after} 17. f5 Bc8 {and} 18. f6 Bxf6 19. Rxf6 gxf6 20. Bh6 Be6 { is not even close to mate (Grischuk).}) 17... f6 (17... Ra6 {is a "superambitious" move "but maybe a bad one" (Grischuk).} 18. f5 Bc8 19. g4 (19. f6 Bxf6 20. Rxf6 gxf6 21. Bh6 Be6 22. Rf1 Rc8 {is still not working for White}) 19... Rc6 20. g5 Ba6 21. Qb3 Rxc2 22. f6 {Grischuk}) 18. f5 (18. Rc1 {Grischuk} ) 18... Bf7 19. Rc1 Na6 20. c4 bxc3 ({After} 20... Nc5 21. Bxc5 Qxc5 22. b3 Bd8 23. Rcf1 Bb6 24. Kh1 Qxf2 25. Rxf2 Bxf2 26. Nf3 {White is not worse (Grischuk). }) 21. Qxc3 $6 {This move, which Hou played without thinking, surprised Grischuk.} (21. Rxc3 Qb7 22. Qb5 Rfb8) 21... Qb8 22. Rff1 Nb4 23. Qc7 Qe8 { Threatening 24...d5, which White cannot really prevent.} 24. Qb7 Rb8 25. Qa7 Ra8 26. Qb7 Rb8 27. Qa7 d5 28. exd5 Nxd5 29. Bc5 $2 (29. Bxd5 Bxd5 30. Rc7 Rf7 {Grischuk}) 29... Ra8 30. Qb7 Rb8 31. Qa7 Ra8 32. Qb7 Bxc5+ 33. Rxc5 Rb8 { Black is winning.} 34. Qxf7+ {Desperation.} (34. Qa7 Ne3 35. Bc6 Qd8 {and White's position collapses.}) 34... Rxf7 35. Bxd5 Kh8 36. Rfc1 Rd7 37. Bc6 Qd8 38. Bxd7 Qxd7 39. Ne4 h5 0-1 [Event "Moscow Grand Prix"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.05.21"] [Round "9"] [White "Gelfand, Boris"] [Black "Ding, Liren"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E11"] [Annotator "Aleksandr Lenderman"] [PlyCount "70"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] {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 {[%emt 0:00:04] Gelfand-Tomashevsky Moscow Grand Prix round} (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 {Was a very complex battle in Hertneck,G (2572)-Bareev,E (2719) Germany 2002}) 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 got a very interesting unbalanced position with 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 sacrifised 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 favor 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 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. Congrulations to him! Congrulations also to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov for a very strong clear 2nd place with +2 and continuing his monsterous form and also now being in excellent position to get one of the top 2 spots in the overall Grandprix Standings.} 0-1 [Event "Moscow"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.21"] [Round "9"] [White "Gelfand, Boris"] [Black "Ding, Liren"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E11"] [WhiteElo "2724"] [BlackElo "2773"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "70"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 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 ({Similar positions to the one that we shall see later in the game can arise after} 8. Qc2 Ne4 9. Bf4 c6 10. Nc3 g5 11. Bc1 f5 12. b3 b6 13. Bb2 Bb7 { as in So,W (2822)-Nakamura,H (2793) Saint Louis 2017}) 8... a5 9. Qc2 c6 10. Na3 Ne4 {Apparently, the Chinese GM was very well prepared to meet this line as Gelfand had used it earlier in the tournament.} ({That game went} 10... Bd6 11. Ne1 Qe7 12. Nd3 e5 13. cxd5 Nxd5 14. Bxd5 $1 cxd5 15. Nb5 e4 16. Nf4 Nf6 17. Rfc1 {and White tortured his opponent for very long time, Gelfand,B (2724) -Tomashevsky,E (2696) Moscow 2017}) 11. Bf4 $146 {A novelty. White lures the black pawn to g5 but this seems useful for Black.} ({Previously White always developed the bishop to e3 at once} 11. Be3 f5 12. Ne1 g5 {You see what we are talking about...} 13. f3 Nd6 14. Nd3 Qe8 15. c5 {with a slight advantage for White in Hertneck,G (2572)-Bareev,E (2719) Germany 2002}) 11... g5 $1 { "Critical move" (Ding)} 12. Be3 f5 {Now the position resembles the Stonewall Dutch with the white knight peculiarly placed on a3. Since Black is usually attacking on the kingside the inclusion of the g7-g5 move should be positive for him.} 13. Rad1 Bf6 ({Black wants to fianchettoe the light-squared bishop but it does not work immediately:} 13... b6 $2 14. cxd5 cxd5 15. Qc6 {and Black is in trouble (Ding)}) ({In case of} 13... Bd6 14. Nb1 Qe7 15. Nc3 { the pawn on g5 is hanging and if} g4 16. Ne1 {followed by Ne1-d3 and Be3-f4 (Ding). This will give White clear domination on the dark squares.}) 14. Nb1 { The knight is useless on a3 and White sends it back into the game.} ({But maybe } 14. Ne1 $5 {was more needed now following Hertneck's plan from above} Qe7 ( 14... b6 $2 {is still not good} 15. cxd5 cxd5 16. Qc6) 15. f3 Nd6 16. c5 Nf7 17. f4 {with a roughly equal, but stable position.}) 14... Qe7 15. Nc3 b6 { "Black is fine here." (Ding) "Black is very good." (Gelfand)} 16. Ne5 {After a long thought White decided to open the position.} ({Gelfand disliked} 16. cxd5 cxd5 {as he lost a lot of tempoes for maneuvers with his queenside knight.}) ({ Ding on the other hand suggested the curious line that he had investigated during Gelfand's thinking:} 16. Nxe4 fxe4 17. Nd2 (17. Ne1 {might also be an idea with f2-f3 to follow.}) 17... Ba6 18. cxd5 cxd5 19. Nb1 Rac8 20. Nc3 Nb8 21. Qb3 Qb4 22. Qxb4 axb4 23. Nb5 Rc2 24. Rd2 b3 {with unclear position.}) 16... Nxe5 17. dxe5 Bxe5 18. Bxb6 ({The sacrifice} 18. Nxe4 fxe4 19. cxd5 cxd5 20. Bxe4 {does not work due to} dxe4 21. Qxe4 Bb8 $1 22. Qxa8 Bb7 23. Bc5 Qf7 { when the white queen is trapped.}) ({Both players spent a lot of time calculating the line} 18. cxd5 cxd5 19. Bxb6 Rb8 20. Bd4 (20. Bxa5 $2 Qc5 { drops a piece for White.}) (20. Nxe4 Rxb6 {is clearly better for Black.}) 20... Bxd4 21. Rxd4 Qc5 {"I was not quite happy with this position." (Gelfand)}) 18... Qb4 $1 ({This is better than} 18... Rb8 19. Bxa5 Qc5 {as White can save the bishop here with} 20. Nxe4 fxe4 $6 21. b4 {(Ding)}) 19. Nxe4 ({Or} 19. Bd4 Bxd4 20. Rxd4 e5 (20... Qc5 {is an important finesse according to Gelfand.}) 21. Na2 Qc5 22. Rdd1 {When Black seems fine (Ding)}) 19... fxe4 20. cxd5 { The culmination of the battle. Unhappy with his position the Israeli GM goes for a piece sacrifice.} ({Gelfans was unhappy with the position after} 20. Be3 Qxb2 21. Qxb2 Bxb2 22. Bxg5 Ba6 23. cxd5 cxd5 {which his opponent considered slightly better for Black. Gelfand disliked his bishop on g2. It was Mikhail Botvinnik who first realized that a fianchettoed bishop on g2 might be worse than the seemingly horrible black bishop on a6. He won a modal game against his great rival Paul Keres on this theme.}) ({White comes short for just a move in the line:} 20. Bd4 Bxd4 21. Rxd4 Rb8 22. Qc1 h6 23. h4 Qxb2 {(Ding)}) 20... Qxb6 21. Qxe4 Qxb2 22. dxc6 ({In case of} 22. f4 gxf4 23. gxf4 Bf6 24. dxe6 Ra7 {Black retains coordination and keeps the extra piece.}) ({The Chinese GM had accurately calculated the forcing line after} 22. dxe6 Bxe6 23. f4 Bb3 24. fxe5 ({Black also keeps his extra piece in the line} 24. Rd7 Bg7 25. Rb1 Qc3 26. Rd3 Qc5+ {(Ding)}) 24... Bxd1 25. Rxd1 {is simly good for Black (Ding)}) 22... Bc7 {"Black's play is very easy: move the queen back and Ra8-b8. " (Ding)} 23. Rd7 $5 {A practical chance, but Ding is merciless.} ({Moves like } 23. h4 gxh4 24. Qxh4 Qf6 {"are only weakening my king in his favor" (Gelfand) }) 23... Bxd7 24. cxd7 Qf6 25. Bh3 ({Or} 25. Qc4 Ra7 26. Qc5 Bb8 27. Rd1 Rd8 28. Qb6 Rc7 29. Bh3 Kf7 {and Black consolidates (Gelfand, Ding)}) 25... Rab8 { White does not have enough for the rook.} ({But not} 25... Ra6 $2 26. Qb7) 26. Qxe6+ {Desperation.} ({Or} 26. Bxe6+ Kg7 27. Bd5 Rb4) 26... Qxe6 27. Bxe6+ Kg7 28. Rc1 Kf6 29. Bg4 Bd8 30. Rc6+ Kg7 31. Bh5 Rb2 32. Rc8 Rd2 33. Be8 Bb6 34. Rb8 Rf6 (34... Rxd7 35. Rxb6 Rxe8) 35. e3 g4 {Congrats to Ding for his wonderful achievement!} 0-1 [Event "LAT-ch 11th"] [Site "Riga"] [Date "1954.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Klasups, Karlis"] [Black "Tal, Mihail"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A85"] [Annotator "Bernstein,O/Primel,D"] [PlyCount "112"] [EventDate "1954.??.??"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "10"] [EventCountry "URS"] [SourceTitle "Tal Games"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2014.03.03"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2014.03.03"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. d4 c6 5. e3 Ne4 $6 {Bernstein: Pr閙atur?} ( 5... Nbd7 $142 6. Bd3 Bd6 (6... dxc4) 7. O-O O-O) 6. Bd3 f5 7. g4 $1 $32 { [%csl Re4] Bernstein: profitant de l'isolement du Ne4, les Blancs attaquent de front la forteresse ennemie} Bb4 (7... fxg4 8. Bxe4 dxe4 9. Ne5 $40 {[%csl Re4, Rg4] Bernstein: Et la position noire n'est plus que ruine}) 8. Bd2 Bxc3 9. Bxc3 O-O (9... Nd7 10. gxf5 exf5 11. cxd5 cxd5 12. Qb3 Ndf6 13. Bb5+ Kf7 (13... Bd7 14. Ne5) 14. Ne5+ Ke6 15. f3 Nxc3 16. bxc3 Bd7 17. Bd3 Bc6 18. O-O Nd7 19. Nxc6 bxc6 20. e4 $40 {[%cal Gb3e6];Bernstein,O-Tartakower,S Ostend-B 1907 (15) 1-0}) 10. gxf5 exf5 11. Bb4 (11. Qb3) 11... Re8 12. Qc2 a5 13. Bc3 Be6 14. c5 b6 15. cxb6 Qxb6 16. Ne5 (16. Rg1 $5 {[%csl Rg7][%cal Ge1e2]}) 16... Na6 17. Qa4 Rec8 (17... c5 $132) 18. Qxa5 Qb7 19. Bxe4 (19. f3 Nac5 20. Qb4 Nxd3+ 21. Nxd3 Qc7 $13 {[%csl Rb4,Re1]}) 19... dxe4 20. O-O Bd5 21. Qa3 (21. Kh1 {[%cal Gf1g1]} c5 {[%cal Ga8a5]}) 21... Rf8 22. Bd2 Rf6 23. Kh1 $5 {[%cal Gf1g1]} c5 24. Qc3 Qe7 $132 {[%cal Ge7h4,Gf6h6]} 25. a3 Re8 26. Nc4 (26. b4 Rh6 {[%csl Rh2][%cal Ge7h4]}) 26... Rh6 27. Rg1 {[%cal Gg1g2]} Qc7 (27... Qh4 28. Rg2 $11 {[%cal Ga1g1]}) 28. Rg2 $1 {[%cal Gc5d4,Gc7c4]} cxd4 29. Qxd4 Bxc4 30. Rc1 Rc6 31. b3 $1 {[%cal Gg2g7,Gd4g7]} Rd6 32. Qb2 Qd7 33. Bc3 $44 {[%csl Rg7]} Rd1+ 34. Rg1 Rxg1+ 35. Rxg1 Bf7 36. Rxg7+ Kf8 37. Rg1 (37. Rxh7) 37... Bg6 38. b4 Nc7 $17 39. b5 $2 $138 Qxb5 $19 40. Bb4+ Kf7 41. Qb3+ Qd5 42. Qc2 Ne6 43. Rd1 Rc8 44. Qa4 Bh5 45. Qa7+ Rc7 46. Rxd5 Bf3+ 47. Kg1 Rxa7 48. Rxf5+ Kg6 49. Rd5 Rc7 50. h4 Rc1+ 51. Kh2 Rh1+ 52. Kg3 Rg1+ 53. Kh3 Ng7 54. Be7 Rh1+ 55. Kg3 Nh5+ 56. Rxh5 Kxh5 0-1 [Event "Gibraltar Masters 15th"] [Site "Caleta"] [Date "2017.01.28"] [Round "5"] [White "Topalov, Veselin"] [Black "Deac, Bogdan Daniel"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E04"] [WhiteElo "2739"] [BlackElo "2572"] [Annotator "Marin,M"] [PlyCount "49"] [EventDate "2017.01.24"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "10"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [SourceTitle "CBM 177"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.03.16"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.03.16"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 dxc4 5. Bg2 Bd7 6. Ne5 Bc6 7. Nxc6 Nxc6 8. e3 Qd7 9. O-O Rd8 $5 {Just as in the game against Adams from the same tournament Romania's biggest talent shows himself aware of the latest theretical trends. The last move increases the pressure in the centre and removes the rook from the g2-bishop's range without exposing the king as in the line which used to be fashionable until recently:} (9... O-O-O {e.g. Pogonina,N (2454)-Koneru,H (2583) Tehran 2016 CBM 171 [Mikhalchishin,A] (1-0, 42). But even though the king is not under the bishop's pressure, its situation is not entirely safe in the centre as it needs two more tempi to get castled short.}) 10. Qe2 {As we will see the threat of retrieving the pawn was mainly intended by Topalov as a way of inducing Black to open the centre with the king still there and not as a direct attempt at restoring the material equality.} ({The move best corresponding to the Catalan Gambit spirit is} 10. Nc3 {ignoring the pawn and continuing developing. But in practice it has not yielded anything concrete.} Be7 ({Since the pawn is not attacked} 10... Nb4 { (Cheparinov,I (2689)-Lu,S (2627) Doha 2016 (1-0, 44)) is premature. White could get a strong initiative in the centre with} 11. a3 Nbd5 12. Qe2 b5 13. e4 Nxc3 14. bxc3 c5 15. Rd1) 11. Qa4 (11. Qe2 {may be a more restrictive move order with respect to our main game.}) 11... Nb4 {Now this is well timed as the pawn was in danger.} 12. Bxb7 Qxa4 13. Nxa4 Rb8 14. Bg2 Nc2 15. Rb1 Na3 16. Ra1 Nc2 17. Rb1 Na3 18. Ra1 Nc2 19. Rb1 {½-½ Ju,W (2580)-Harika,D (2543) Khanty-Mansiysk 2016}) ({Other attempts at retrieving the pawn than the game move are slightly more committal:} 10. Qa4 Nb4 ({better than} 10... e5 { Ftacnik,L (2560)-Yermolinsky,A (2478) Tekirdag 2016 (½-½ , 59)} 11. Qb5 exd4 12. Qxb7 $14) 11. Qxd7+ Rxd7 12. Na3 c5 13. dxc5 Bxc5 14. Nxc4 {White cannot take advantage of his bishop pair due to his incomplete development.} Nd3 ({ Black should not fool around with time as this would allow to White catch up in deevlopment and retain the better chances due to his bishops.} 14... O-O 15. Ne5 Rc7 16. a3 Nbd5 {Csonka,B (2398)-Kozak,A (2365) Hungary 2016 (½-½, 23)} 17. Bd2 $5 $14) 15. b3 O-O 16. Ba3 Bxa3 17. Nxa3 Rfd8 $11 {/=/+ Bai,J (2537) -Bu,X (2715) Shenzhen 2016 (0-1, 48)}) (10. Nd2 {is not too annoying since the knight moves far from the d5-square.} b5 11. Nf3 Be7 12. Qe2 a6 13. Bd2 Nd5 { Saduakassova,D (2428)-Ju,W (2579) Doha 2016 (0-1, 48) Black is perfectly regrouped and White's compensation is rather abstract,}) 10... e5 ({Obviously the only answer as} 10... b5 11. a4 a6 12. axb5 axb5 13. b3 {leads to queenside disaster.}) 11. Nc3 {Now that the centre is likely to open, the knight should take the e4- and d5-squares under control.} ({White's advantage is purely symbolic after} 11. Qxc4 exd4 12. Qb5 Rb8 13. Rd1 a6 14. Qc4 (14. Qf1 Bd6 15. exd4 O-O {Tomashevsky,E (2722)-Bu,X (2698) Novi Sad 2016 (½-½, 76)}) 14... Bd6 15. exd4 O-O 16. Nc3 h6 17. Nd5 Nxd5 18. Qxd5 Rfe8 19. Be3 Ne7 { Andreikin,D (2736)-Lu,S (2619) China 2016 (½-½, 34)}) 11... Be7 {The most logical move as it is best to defend the e-file and keep the d-file clear.} ( 11... Bd6 12. Qxc4 exd4 13. exd4 O-O 14. Rd1 h6 15. Be3 $14 {Shankland,S (2674) -Libiszewski,F (2545) Caleta 2017 (½-½, 40) is an improved version over the same structure in the lines above.}) (11... exd4 {opens the d-file too quickly: } 12. exd4+ Be7 13. d5 Nb4 14. Bg5 $14 {Kraemer,M (2570)-Luther,T (2541) Austria 2016 (½-½, 42)}) 12. dxe5 $146 {Topalov gives up the tension in order to open the centre and avoid any pawn weaknesses.} (12. d5 Nb4 13. e4 { Dziuba,M (2554)-Wang,H (2701) Czech Republic 2017 (0-1, 59)} Nd3) (12. Rd1 exd4 13. Qxc4 O-O {Iturrizaga Bonelli,E (2652)-Moskalenko,A (2488) Moscow 2017 (1-0, 37)}) 12... Nxe5 13. Bxb7 Bb4 ({Deac must have analyzed this position at home as this not a very natural move, wasting a tempo with the king uncastled, is indeed the engines' favourite. Black prevents b2-b3 as after} 13... O-O 14. b3 c6 15. Ba6 Qd3 16. Qxd3 cxd3 17. Bb2 {White retains the more flexible structure and chances for a small but lasting advantage.}) 14. Rd1 Nd3 { This strong knight offers Black entirely adequate play despite White's mobile centre and bishop pair.} 15. e4 Bxc3 ({This is the second idea behind ..Bb4. Black exchanges the knight which threatened to move ahead, for instance} 15... O-O 16. Nd5 {with some initiative.}) 16. bxc3 Qb5 {Without being a mistake, this starts looking a bit like playing with fire.} ({Black should castle while this is still possible:} 16... O-O 17. Bg5 Qe6) 17. e5 Nd5 {Probably overlooking White's answer. Did Deac really believe he had tricked a former World champion into forcing Bxd5?!} (17... Qxe5 $2 18. Qxe5+ Nxe5 19. Re1 Nfd7 20. f4 $18) ({Once again castling is safest:} 17... O-O $1 18. exf6 Qxb7 19. fxg7 Rfe8 $1 (19... Kxg7 20. Qh5 Qc6 21. Be3 a6 22. Rd2 $36 {[%cal Gd2e2,Ge3d4] }) 20. Be3 (20. Qh5 $2 Ne1 $19) 20... Qe4 $15 {with black domination.}) 18. Rb1 $1 Nxc3 $2 ({The trick is that} 18... Qxb1 $2 {loses the queen:} 19. Bc6+ Kf8 20. Ba3+) ({But with his king in the centre Black should not have embarked on forced play. Instead he should have limited the damage with} 18... Qc5 19. Qf3 O-O 20. Bxd5 Qxd5 21. Qxd5 Rxd5 22. Rb7 $14) 19. Qf3 Qxe5 (19... Qc5 $2 20. Bc6+ Kf8 21. e6) 20. Qc6+ Kf8 $2 {Probably a fruit of miscalculation.} ({ Even in a desperate position Black should have maintained the possibility of castling.} 20... Rd7 21. Bb2 Ne2+ 22. Kg2 Nd4 23. Bxd4 Qxd4 24. Bc8 Qxf2+ ( 24... Qd5+ 25. Qxd5 Rxd5 26. Ba6 $18) 25. Kh1 O-O 26. Bxd7 Qd4 27. Rd2 Nf2+ 28. Rxf2 Qxf2 29. Bh3 Qxa2 $16 {Mamedyarov,S (2743)-Nakamura,H (2787) Tromsoe ol (Men) 41st 2014 (11.1) 1-0 White still faces technical problems winning this position. Quite probably the game will simplify to the same type of ending as analysed in:}) 21. Bb2 Ne2+ 22. Kg2 c3 (22... Qe6 {requires a bit more imagination from White:} 23. Qxe6 fxe6 24. Bf3 Nd4 25. Bxd4 Rxd4 26. Rb8+ Ke7 27. Rxh8 c3 28. Rxh7 c2 29. Rxg7+ Kf6 (29... Kd6 30. Rf1 Rb4 31. Be2) 30. Rxd3 c1=Q 31. Rxc7 $1 {Eliminating Black's only passed pawn.} Qxc7 32. Rxd4 $18 { Black cannot prevent the systematic advance of White's passed pawns.}) 23. Ba3+ Kg8 24. Qe4 c2 {This must have been what Deac relied on. It seems that White loses but there is just one move after which he wins.} 25. Rxd3 $1 {Of course. The back rank weakness decides.} (25. Rxd3 Qxe4+ 26. Bxe4 Re8 (26... Rxd3 27. Rb8+) 27. Re1 $18) 1-0 [Event "Gashimov Memorial 4th"] [Site "Shamkir"] [Date "2017.04.21"] [Round "1"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C45"] [WhiteElo "2822"] [BlackElo "2772"] [Annotator "Lenderman,A"] [PlyCount "78"] [EventDate "2017.04.21"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "AZE"] [EventCategory "21"] [SourceTitle "CBM 178"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.05.14"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.05.14"] [SourceQuality "1"] {Hello everyone and welcome to the round one Game of the Day at the Gashimov Memorial. Today the choice was relatively straightforward, since the game So-Mamedyarov was the game with by far the most fireworks. So, let's get to it. } 1. e4 e5 {The first interesting choice. Mamediarov is capable of playing almost any first move, but in this game he goes for the most common at the elite level, 1...e5 against 1.e4.} 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 {A slight surprise, since Wesley more commonly chooses the Ruy Lopez or the Italian game these days.} exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. e5 Qe7 7. Qe2 Nd5 8. Nd2 {8.c4 is more common, but probably Mamedyarov wasn't surprised by 8.Nd2, since it has also become popular of late, Also, Wesley himself played it in the 2015 Tata Steel against Levon Aronian.} (8. c4 {is more common, after which Black can reply with both 8...Ba6 followed by ...Nb6, or 8...Nb6 straight away, with both having their pluses and minuses.}) 8... a5 $5 {Not yet a novelty, but already we're in rare-move territory. The most common for Black is 8...g6. Aronian tried 8... Rb8!?} (8... g6 {is also a highly theoretical debate after} 9. c4 (9. Nf3 $5) 9... Nf4 (9... Ba6 $5)) (8... Rb8 {was played by Aronian and it seems like it also got him a decent position. However, I'm sure Wesley analysed this position quite deeply and had something better prepared in the event of ...Rb8} 9. c4 Nf4 10. Qe3 Ng6 11. f4 f6 (11... d6 {Perhaps that was stronger.}) 12. Qxa7 Rb7 13. Qf2 fxe5 14. f5 Nf4 15. Qf3 (15. a3 $5 Qf7 16. g3 Nh5 17. b4) 15... Qf7 16. g3 Nh5 17. Be2 Nf6 18. g4 d5 19. g5 e4 (19... Ne4 $5) (19... Nd7) 20. Qh3 Ng8 $4 {A strange blunder.} (20... Nd7 21. Bh5 g6 22. Bxg6 hxg6 23. Qxh8 Nc5 24. O-O Bxf5 $44 {was still very complex.}) 21. Bh5 g6 22. fxg6 Bxh3 23. gxf7+ Kd7 24. fxg8=Q Rxg8 25. Rg1 $18 {1-0 (54) So,W (2762)-Aronian,L (2797) Wijk aan Zee NED 2015. And White later on converted his extra piece.}) 9. c4 {Wesley has his first big think here, for around 10 minutes, which indicates he was at least a little bit surprised by the a5 move, or maybe he was just trying to recall his preparation. Wesley goes for the principled approach. It does seem like the only really logical move though, since sooner or later c4 probably has to be played. The interesting thing though, is now White transposes into a lot of lines with 8.c4 rather than 8.Nd2, and it's possible that Mamedyarov tricked Wesley out of his preparation.} Nb6 10. b3 { And now, a big 30-minute think on the b3-move. Probably Wesley saw the dangers of this move, since it was relatively easy to anticipate Black's replies after b3. However, it's possible that Wesley just couldn't find a great alternative to it. Or maybe he evaluated the position down the line as a position with good compensation for a pawn, which certainly has its merits as well.} (10. Qe3 ) (10. Qe4) (10. g3 {are all adequate solutions but also are slightly less ambitious and give Black easier play.}) 10... a4 11. Bb2 axb3 12. axb3 Rxa1+ 13. Bxa1 Qa3 14. Qd1 {Of course... only move.} (14. Bc3 $4 Qc1+) (14. Bd4 $6 Bb4 15. Qd1 c5 16. Be3 Qb2 $15 {and Black has pressure.}) 14... Bb4 15. Bd3 { When White played 10.b3 he probably had to foresee up to 15.Bd3 and see he's at least ok in all the lines. That, as well as comparing to other possibilites on move 10 explain the 30-minute think on that move.} (15. Be2 $2 {isn't effective since then after} Qa5 $17 {White can't easily break the pin.}) 15... Qa5 {Mamedyarov is still playing extremely fast which shows he's still in preparation. Though while I'm analyzing with perhaps a weaker engine than Mamedyarov, I'm wondering if it's just my engine being not so strong, or perhaps Mamedyarov slightly confused his preparation, since it seems to me that 15...Qa2 is a serious alternative that might even be stronger.} (15... Qa2 $5 16. Bd4 (16. Ke2 d5 {Now ...d5 seems very strong for Black.}) 16... O-O 17. Be3 {and perhaps now} Qa5) 16. Ke2 $5 (16. Bd4 $5 {might be also very interesting, trying to play Qc2.} O-O (16... Bc3 17. Bxc3 Qxc3 18. Qe2 O-O ( 18... Qa1+ $6 19. Bb1) (18... Qc1+ 19. Qd1 Qc3 $11) 19. O-O Re8 $11 {with comfortable equality.}) 17. Qc2) 16... d6 {Mamedyarov's first big think of the game for around 10 minutes.} 17. Qc2 $1 {A very interesting positional pawn sacrifice, which was the main point of Ke2, and possibly planned all along when 10.b3 was played.} (17. exd6 $2 O-O $40 {is extremely dangerous for White. }) 17... dxe5 18. Bb2 Qc5 $1 {Getting his queen out of the danger zone. This move cost Mamedyarov 40 minutes thought.} (18... Nd7 19. Ra1 Qc5 20. Bf5 $44) 19. Nf3 Bg4 {This was a critical position, which probably Mamediarov seriously thought about even before 18...Qc5, when he thought for 40 minutes. Here Black has many interesting choices, but possibly ...Bg4 wasn't objectively the absolute best.} (19... Qe7 {would allow a slightly annoying move,} 20. Be4 Qe6 21. Ng5 Qh6 22. h4 $44 {with good compensation for White since Black is a little bit tied down here.}) (19... g6 $1 {At a high depth the computer really screams for this move, but it seems like a very difficult move to play during the game. Sure, it defends the pawn but it seems meaningless and seems like the e5-pawn is hanging. However Black is doing well in all the lines here.} 20. Nxe5 (20. Bxe5 O-O {is even more dangerous for White.} 21. Bf4 Qe7+ 22. Be3 Nd7 23. Rd1 Ne5 24. Nxe5 Qxe5 25. h3 Bc5 $15) (20. h4 Bg4 {But now that the h7-pawn is protected, the Bg4-move is strong.} 21. h5 $1 Rf8 $1 22. Kf1 Nd7 { and even though White has compensation, it looks like Black is to be preferred slightly.}) 20... O-O {It's a tricky position but Black seems better here.} 21. Be4 (21. Nf3 Re8+ 22. Kf1 Bg4 $36) 21... Re8 22. Rd1 f6 23. Bxg6 Rxe5+ 24. Kf1 Rg5 25. Bxh7+ Kf7 $17) (19... h6 $6 {isn't nearly as effective as g6.} 20. Nxe5 O-O 21. Rd1 Re8 22. Bh7+ Kf8 23. Qe4 Nd5 24. Kf1 $11 {With a mess, which is likely going to end in a pereptual check.}) 20. Bxh7 Nd7 (20... Qe7 21. Be4 ( 21. Bf5 $6 {doesn't work so well anymore for White.} Bxf3+ 22. Kxf3 g6) 21... Qe6 22. h3 Bxf3+ 23. Kxf3 g6 24. g4 $11 {with dynamic equality.}) 21. Bf5 Bxf3+ $1 {The only move not to be clearly worse.} (21... Bxf5 $6 22. Qxf5 g6 23. Qg4 {lets White keep a very important knight on f3 which is very annoying for Black to deal with.} Qe7 24. Rd1 Bd6 25. b4 $1 Bxb4 (25... c5 26. bxc5 Nxc5 27. Qc8+ Qd8 28. Qxd8+ Kxd8 29. Nxe5 Re8 30. Kf3 $16) 26. Nxe5 $1 $18) 22. Kxf3 $5 (22. gxf3 g6 (22... Nf6 {would be quite good for Black.})) 22... g6 23. Bxd7+ ( 23. Ra1 $5 Rh4 $1 24. Kg3 Rd4 $3 25. Bxd4 Qxd4 26. Ra8+ Ke7 27. Bxd7 Qf4+ 28. Kh3 Qh6+ 29. Kg3 Qf4+ {would not be forced but would be a very interestling sample line leading to perpetual check.}) 23... Kxd7 24. Qe4 (24. g3 {In retrospect g3 might've been safer, to tuck the king in on g2, and not have to worry about it being under attack. I think only White can be better here.}) 24... Re8 25. Ke2 {Still objectively ok, but in my opinion playing a little bit with fire.} (25. g3) 25... Kc8 {Black does the right thing and gets his king into safety. It becomes easier for Black from here on, especially in time pressure, which makes it no surprise that White is the one who cracks in the end since his position in my opinion is now a little bit more difficult to play despite the position being objectively equal.} 26. Rd1 f5 27. Qh4 (27. Qe3 $5) 27... Qe7 28. Qg3 ({Of course} 28. Qxe7 {is safer, after which White doesn't really risk losing, but White continues to play very ambitiously and is taking some risks.}) 28... g5 29. Bc3 Bc5 30. Bd2 $6 {And now with low time, White makes the first objective inaccuracy of the game. The bishop ends up being misplaced on d2, while ...f4 is a move Black wants to play anyway in many lines.} ({Either} 30. b4 $5 Bxb4 31. Bxb4 Qxb4 32. Qxg5 Qxc4+ 33. Ke1 $11) ({Or} 30. Ra1 $11 {would still keep the game balanced.}) 30... f4 $1 {Now Black starts to seize the initiative.} 31. Qh3+ Kb7 $6 {Now Black errs in return.} (31... Kb8 $1 32. b4 Bd4 33. b5 e4 {and now bxc6 comes without check and Black's initiative is quicker.} 34. Qb3 (34. bxc6 $6 e3 $1 35. fxe3 (35. Rb1+ Ka8 {doesn't really help White.}) 35... Qe4 $3 {and Black has a decisive attack.} 36. Qf3 Qc2 37. Rc1 Qa2 38. e4 Be3 $19) 34... c5 (34... Bb6 $5 35. bxc6 Qe5) 35. b6 c6 36. Qa2 Qf7 {and Black has very strong initiative which means White has nothing better than to go into an unpleasant endgame with...} 37. Qa7+ Qxa7 38. bxa7+ Kxa7 $15 {where White maybe can draw but has to work for it.}) 32. b4 Bd4 33. Qd3 $6 {In time pressure it's understable that mistakes start coming in bunches, even amongst elite players when the position is so sharp.} (33. b5 $1 {White can create enough counterplay here.} e4 (33... cxb5 34. Rb1 $1 c6 35. cxb5 c5 36. Qf5 {and it's still a mess.} (36. Qh6 Qe6)) 34. bxc6+ Kxc6 35. Qb3 Bb6 36. Qa4+ Kb7 37. Ra1 Qc5 38. Qa6+ Kc6 39. Qa4+ $11) 33... Rd8 (33... Qd7 {might've been slightly more precise.}) 34. b5 Qe6 (34... cxb5 {might've objectively worked though it's hard to blame Black for not going for this in time pressure. Variations that arise here are very complex and almost impossible to work out precisely in time pressure.} 35. Rb1 e4 $1 36. Rxb5+ Bb6 37. Qc2 e3 $5 (37... Qe6 38. c5 (38. Kf1 Kc8 39. c5 Qc6 $1 $17) 38... f3+) 38. fxe3 fxe3 39. Be1 Qe8 $1 {and Black still might be slightly better.}) 35. bxc6+ Kxc6 36. f3 Rb8 37. Be1 g4 38. Rd2 gxf3+ 39. Qxf3+ $4 { And now comes a shocker. Just two moves before making time control, Wesley So makes a game losing blunder. It goes to show us that we're all human, and when we're under pressure most of the game and have to work hard, at some point people crack, even the best of the best.} (39. gxf3 $11 {would still be equal.} ) 39... e4 {And White resigned. I'm not exactly even sure what Wesley missed. Maybe he forgot about the c4-pawn being hanging. Either way, despite the fact that this great battle between two great fighters ended prematurely, I still really enjoyed commentating on this game, since there were a lot of interesting moments starting with the opening stage, and throughout the whole game.} 0-1 [Event "Grenke Chess Classic 4th"] [Site "Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden"] [Date "2017.04.15"] [Round "1"] [White "Hou, Yifan"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2649"] [BlackElo "2817"] [Annotator "Moradiabadi,E"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2017.04.15"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GER"] [EventCategory "20"] [SourceTitle "CBM 178"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.05.14"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.05.14"] [SourceQuality "1"] [TimeControl "60"] 1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:00] In this game, Fabiano kept his decisive-result streak by losing to Hou Yifan. This is the second time a lady has beaten a 2800, if my recollection of chess history is still working!} e5 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 2. Nf3 { [%emt 0:00:00]} Nc6 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 3. Bb5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00: 00] Fabiano opts for the solid Berlin. His Spanish adventure in the Breyer went sour against Zherebukh in the US championship.} 4. O-O {[%emt 0:00:38]} Nxe4 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 5. Re1 {[%emt 0:00:28] Hou Yifan goes for an ultra solid line. This is the problem with the Berlin these days. If White so decides, he or she can kill all of Black's counterplay and reduce his winning chances to zero!} Nd6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 6. Nxe5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Be7 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 7. Bf1 {[%emt 0:00:07]} O-O {[%emt 0:02:22]} 8. d4 {[%emt 0:01:35]} Nf5 {[%emt 0: 00:39]} 9. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:07]} d5 {[%emt 0:00:22]} 10. c3 {[%emt 0:00:43]} Bd6 {[%emt 0:02:58]} 11. Nbd2 {[%emt 0:00:00] A rare line after some thought. Black hopes to achieve a setup with ...Qf6, ...h6 and Nc6-e7, but White is planning to play Bd3 and Nd2-f1-Ng3 to kill all Black's activity on the kingside. The tricky thing about this move is that it is hard to understand if White wants to concede a draw or still has some ambition to play on in this position.} Nce7 {[%emt 0:07:34]} 12. Qc2 $146 {[%emt 0:07:09]} c6 {[%emt 0:05: 30]} 13. Bd3 {[%emt 0:04:07] Transposes to Topalov-Nakamura.} g6 {[%emt 0:02: 12]} 14. Nf1 {[%emt 0:02:19]} f6 $6 {[%emt 0:08:40] I am not sure if I can be a fan of this move. It certainly covers the e5-square but it damages Black's king for the rest of the game and almost kills the idea of any breakthrough or active plan for Black. Now White has a simple play: occupy the e-file and wait! } (14... Ng7 15. Ng3 f6 16. Bh6 Re8 17. Nh4 Bxg3 18. hxg3 Nef5 19. Qd2 g5 20. Rxe8+ Qxe8 21. Re1 Qd8 22. Nxf5 Nxf5 23. Bxf5 Bxf5 24. Qe2 Kf7 25. g4 Bd7 26. f4 Kg6 27. fxg5 fxg5 28. Qe5 Qf6 29. Qh2 Bxg4 30. Re5 Bf5 31. g4 Bxg4 32. Rxg5+ Qxg5 33. Bxg5 Kxg5 34. Qxh7 b6 35. Qb7 Rc8 36. Qxa7 b5 37. b3 Kf4 38. Kf2 Bf5 39. a4 bxa4 40. bxa4 Ke4 41. a5 Rh8 42. Qc7 Kd3 43. a6 {1-0 (43) Topalov,V (2760)-Nakamura,H (2779) Saint Louis 2016}) 15. h3 {[%emt 0:01:59]} Rf7 { [%emt 0:16:03]} 16. Bd2 {[%emt 0:07:09]} Bd7 {[%emt 0:14:10]} 17. Re2 {[%emt 0: 00:00]} c5 $2 {[%emt 0:05:11] A strange decision by Fabiano, which was made too quickly. Black is already in a difficult situation and misses what turns out to be a decisive moment. Caruana's choice does not really cause White any trouble and only exacebrates his own tenuous situation.} ({Black needed to prepare his ...c5 idea with} 17... b6 $1 {If White lashes out with} 18. c4 { then Black plays} dxc4 19. Bxc4 Nd5 20. Rae1 Rc8 {and Black should be ok.}) 18. dxc5 {[%emt 0:09:31]} Bxc5 {[%emt 0:00:04] Now Black is also saddled with an isolated pawn with no obvious compensation.} 19. Bf4 {[%emt 0:00:21]} (19. Ne3 {is also annoying.}) 19... Rc8 {[%emt 0:07:46]} 20. Rae1 {[%emt 0:06:20]} g5 $6 {[%emt 0:14:37]} (20... b5 {followed by ...a5 would have been my choice in this position. Nevetheless, the position remains really bad for Black. Caruana, however decides to go for a 'make or break' direction in my opinion.}) 21. Ng3 $1 {[%emt 0:23:24] A very strong move after a long think. Hou Yifan eliminates Black's only active piece and takes away all of Black's possible play, leaving him with numerous weaknesses.} Nxg3 {[%emt 0:01:11]} 22. Bxg3 {[%emt 0:00:04]} a5 $6 {[%emt 0:06:04] Although I could say this move is weakening, the truth is that it is hard to suggest anything for Black. These pawn moves are more aimed at stopping White than expanding for Black.} 23. Qd2 {[%emt 0:03:04]} a4 {[%emt 0:08:01]} 24. b4 {[%emt 0:02:12]} axb3 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 25. axb3 { [%emt 0:00:03] White's advantage is near decisive. h4, b4, or even c4 may lead to opening the game into an uncomfortable situation for Black.} Ng6 {[%emt 0: 00:00]} 26. h4 {[%emt 0:07:03]} (26. b4 Bf8 27. Bc2 Bc6 (27... Bb5 28. Re3 f5 29. Re6 f4 30. Bxg6 hxg6 31. Bh2 {and White is almost attacking every single pawn in Black's camp}) 28. Nd4 $18) 26... gxh4 {[%emt 0:00:39]} 27. Nxh4 { [%emt 0:00:22]} Nxh4 {[%emt 0:00:57]} 28. Bxh4 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Qf8 {[%emt 0: 00:00]} 29. Qf4 {[%emt 0:05:33]} Bd6 {[%emt 0:00:46]} 30. Qd4 {[%emt 0:00:17] It is really hard to suggest a good move for Black!} Rd8 {[%emt 0:00:18]} 31. Re3 {[%emt 0:08:17]} Bc8 {[%emt 0:02:23]} 32. b4 $1 {[%emt 0:03:24] World women No. 1 player takes her time.} Kg7 {[%emt 0:01:29]} ({She sees that after } 32... Be5 33. Rxe5 fxe5 34. Rxe5 Re8 35. Rxd5 {Her attack on Black's king is decisive.}) 33. Bb5 {[%emt 0:01:17] Now Re8 is a threat that cannot be prevented.} Bc7 {[%emt 0:00:39]} 34. Re8 {[%emt 0:02:07]} (34. Be8 {is simpler and it also looks cute!}) 34... Qd6 {[%emt 0:00:10]} 35. Bg3 {[%emt 0:03:54]} Qb6 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 36. Qd3 {[%emt 0:00:11]} Bd7 {[%emt 0:01:10]} 37. Bxd7 { [%emt 0:04:03]} Rdxd7 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 38. Qf5 $1 {[%emt 0:00:11] The Chinese star had seen through these lines when she played Qd3.} Bxg3 {[%emt 0:00:47]} 39. Qg4+ {[%emt 0:00:05]} Kh6 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 40. Qh3+ {[%emt 0:00:00] A great victory for Hou Yifan.} 1-0 [Event "Grenke Chess Classic 4th"] [Site "Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden"] [Date "2017.04.15"] [Round "1"] [White "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Naiditsch, Arkadij"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C11"] [WhiteElo "2803"] [BlackElo "2702"] [Annotator "Lenderman,A"] [PlyCount "86"] [EventDate "2017.04.15"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GER"] [EventCategory "20"] [SourceTitle "CBM 178"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.05.14"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.05.14"] [SourceQuality "1"] {Welcome everyone! This is GM Aleksandr Lenderman presenting to you round one game of the day. I chose this game between Vachier-Lagrave and Naiditsch as I found it to be a very rich game in no small part thanks to the material imbalance. Games like this always interest me quite a bit, since I'm always fascinated with the fight of material against initiative and other positional factors.} 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 a6 $5 { The first mini-surprise. The most common move here as far as I know is 6...Nc6, although 6...Be7 or 6...b6 are also quite common. 6...Be7 and 6...Nc6 I've played myself more than once in tournament practice.} 7. Ne2 {Of course 7.Be3 is also a serious alternative, in which case Black has a choice of either transposing into the main line with 7...Nc6 or trying to play without committing the knight to c6, by playing 7...b5!? or 7...Qb6!?} Nc6 {By far the most common move here.} 8. c3 {A very logical way of following up the move Ne2, by solidifying the center.} b5 $5 {This move is already quite rare. Much more frequent in practice has been 8...Qb6 or 8...Be7. Radjabov has also once tried 8...f6. Also it's important to note that based on the clocks, it's clear that Naiditsch is still in his home preparation, while Vachier-Lagrave already had around a 10-minute think on move 7.Ne2, meaning that he was probably surprised by Naditsch's choice of lines, in particular 6...a6. After 8...b5, Vachier-Lagrave thought for about 7 more minutes before choosing...} 9. a3 { The idea of this move is prophylaxis against the move ...b4. However it also has a drawback, since after Black plays ...c4, he can get quicker play with ... a5 and ...b4, since the a3-pawn serves as a hook for quick queenside play. However, it seems that if Black does get ...b4 in, he might be already doing quite well, so most likely the move ...b5!? was just very good preparation on Naiditsch's part.} (9. Be3 b4 $1 {I think this was Black's plan in the event of 9.Be3. At first the computer doesn't like the move 9...b4 but then it starts to realize it's quite a good move.} 10. cxb4 (10. dxc5 bxc3 11. Nxc3 Bxc5 12. Bxc5 Nxc5 13. Rc1 O-O $1 14. Nxd5 exd5 15. Rxc5 Qb6 16. Qc1 Bd7 17. Rxd5 Rac8 $36 {Also offers quite good counterplay for Black thanks to the significant initiative for two pawns.}) (10. g3 bxc3 11. Nxc3 Rb8 $11) 10... cxd4 11. Nexd4 Bxb4+ 12. Kf2 (12. Bd2 Bxd2+ 13. Qxd2 Nxd4 $1 (13... Bb7 14. Nxc6 Bxc6 15. Nd4 $14) 14. Qxd4 (14. Nxd4 Nc5 15. Bd3 a5 $11) 14... a5 $1 $11 { And it seems that this plan of trying to trade off the light squared bishops should equalize for Black.}) 12... Nxd4 13. Bxd4 (13. Nxd4 Bc5 $1 $11) 13... O-O $132 {Black gets decent counterplay here with ideas like ...f6 and/or ... Nc5.}) 9... c4 {This move is already almost a novelty: it has been played only in one game according to my database in a game between two 2000 rated players.} 10. g4 {This move is officially a novelty according to my database, and a very logical one. Since the structure is fixed, it becomes clear. Black's space is on the queenside, so he should play on the queenside, while White's only play is on the kingside, therefore g4 is the only move that makes sense. In the other game, 10.f5 was played right away.} (10. f5 $6 exf5 {is probably a bit too optimistic for White and should just be good for Black.}) 10... h5 $1 { This is again the only logical move, since otherwise White's plan becomes too strong. It disturbs White's plans and makes it harder for White to get in his f5.} (10... a5 $6 {would be too slow since...} 11. f5 $1 Bb7 12. Nf4 Qe7 13. Bh3 $16 {and White is way ahead in the race here.}) 11. gxh5 Rxh5 12. f5 $5 { A very interesting pawn sacrifice.} (12. Ng3 {doesn't help White get the f5 break right away because...} Rh8 13. f5 {This move is still a pawn sacrifice.} exf5 14. Nxf5 $2 (14. Qc2 $5 g6 15. h4 {maybe deserves attention.}) 14... Ndxe5 $1 $17) 12... exf5 ({Of course not} 12... Rxf5 $2 {because of} 13. Ng3 $16) 13. Nf4 Rh8 14. Qe2 $5 {Played after a very long think and probably a good move.} ( 14. Nxd5 {was of course possible, and would lead to interesting play as well. One sample line might be...} Nb6 (14... Nf6 $5) (14... Ndb8 $5) 15. Nxb6 Qxb6 16. Qe2 (16. d5 $6 Na5 $17) 16... Bb7 17. Be3 Na5 18. Bg2 Be7 19. Nd2 O-O-O { with very complex play.}) (14. Qc2 {was also possible but I doubt this move is best.} Na5 {and it's not clear what White should do here.}) 14... Nb6 $6 { As tempting as this move is, solidifying the position, it might not be the most accurate.} (14... Be7 $3 {seems stronger since it seems to help Black more in building harmony, while preventing White from achieving his ideal. First of all, the obvious...} 15. Nxd5 {fails because of} (15. Qg2 {The move that would've been excellent after ...Nb6 would now fail to ...g5!} g5 16. Nxd5 g4 $17 17. Nxe7 Qxe7 18. Nd2 Bb7) (15. Rg1 g5 $5 16. Nxd5 g4 17. Bg2 $1 gxf3 18. Bxf3 Bb7 19. e6 {would lead to a crazy mess.}) (15. h4 Nf8 16. Qg2 Ne6 17. Nxe6 (17. h5 Kd7 18. Nxd5 Bb7) 17... Bxe6 18. Qxg7 Kd7 19. Qg3 Qa5 {would lead to a more stable but also very complex position.}) 15... Nc5 $1 16. Nxe7 Nd3+ 17. Kd1 (17. Qxd3 $2 cxd3 18. Nxc6 Qd5 $19) 17... Nxe7 $36) 15. Rg1 $6 { This move was probably the best in the event of 14...Be7 but in this case it seems not quite the best.} (15. Qg2 $3 {This would've been a very strong move, but it's probably very difficult to find. The purpose of this move is both to disturb the opponent's harmony (not allowing Black easy development with ideas like ...Be7, and potentially ...g5, and also, helps White build up his own harmony in the best way.} Qe7 (15... Ra7 16. Be2) (15... Na5 16. Be3 Rg8 17. h4 $44) 16. Be2 Nd8 17. h4 Ne6 18. h5 $36 {and White has a very strong initiative here with ideas like Bd1-c2 and Nh4, and has no bad pieces. Black in the meantime is struggling.}) 15... Ra7 $5 {Played after a 30-minute think by Naiditsch and it certainly deserves a lot of attention since it seems to build up harmony in a very unconventional way. There doesn't seem to be any way for White to crash through Black's position.} (15... Qe7 {with idea of Nd8-e6 was also possible here.} 16. h4 Nd8 17. h5 Ne6 {with complex play.}) 16. h4 (16. Rg3 $1 {was probably the best way to take advantage of Black's slightly slow plan. Now Black can't follow up with ...Na8 right away anymore.} Qe7 {and now Black probably has to revert to the plan which was possible in the previous move.} (16... Na8 $6 17. Qg2 $1 Nc7 18. Rxg7 $1 Bxg7 $6 19. Qxg7 $16) 17. Ng5 Nd8 {and Black seems to be solid enough even though White has obvious compensation.}) 16... Na8 $1 17. e6 {Otherwise Black will blockade the e6-square. Maybe this idea wasn't objectively the most sound, but it was probably worth a try at least in a practical game.} (17. Bh3 Nc7 18. Qc2 Ne6 19. Bxf5 Nxf4 20. Bxf4 Bxf5 21. Qxf5 Qd7 {would lead to a more balanced position.}) 17... Bxe6 $1 {The only move in the position but Naiditsch spent around half his remaining time here, probably trying to make sure he's not losing by force. However, Black seems to be doing very well.} 18. Nxe6 fxe6 { It seems like White doesn't quite have enough compensation, since the key squares for Black are well defended.} 19. Rg6 Nc7 20. Bf4 Bd6 21. Qh2 Bxf4 22. Qxf4 Kd7 ({With} 22... Kf8 {it was also possible to try to hold on to both pawns. Understandably though Black decides to sacrifice his weak pawn on g7 in order to get his king to safety.}) 23. Rxg7+ Kc8 24. O-O-O {Perhaps it was better to put the king on f2 since in the endgame it will be better served closer to the passed pawn.} (24. Be2 Qf6 25. Qg5 Qxg5 26. hxg5 $13) 24... Qf6 25. Qg5 $1 {Otherwise Black will be the one to start the attack with a5 and b4. White is now banking his hopes on the passed pawn.} (25. Qg3 a5 $17) 25... Qxg5+ 26. hxg5 Ne8 $1 $17 {A nice defensive move stabilizing everything.} 27. Rg6 Re7 28. Re1 Kd7 29. Rh6 Rg8 30. Bh3 $6 {The last inaccuracy. Now White is lost. White should've tried to prevent the idea Nd6-e4.} (30. Nh4 $1 Nd6 $6 ( 30... Nd8 31. Ng6 Reg7 32. Nf4 Rxg5 33. Nxe6 Nxe6 34. Rhxe6 $17 {with some saving chances.}) 31. Ng6 {and here White gets some activity.} Ree8 32. Rh7+ Kc8 33. Nf4 Rxg5 34. Rxe6 Rxe6 35. Nxe6 Rg1 36. Rc7+ Kb8 37. Rxc6 Rxf1+ 38. Kc2 $132) 30... Nd6 $19 {The rest is a matter of technique for Black, especially after he makes the time control.} 31. Rg1 Ne4 32. Kd1 Reg7 33. Rh5 Nd8 34. Ke2 Nf7 {White is about to lose his only hope of the position and will be down two pawns for no compensation.} 35. g6 Rxg6 36. Rxf5 {The last chance to muddy the waters.} Rxg1 37. Rxf7+ Ke8 38. Ra7 Rb1 39. Bxe6 Rxb2+ 40. Ke3 Rg3 41. Bxd5 Nxc3 42. Bc6+ Kf8 43. d5 $6 (43. Kf4 {would prolong the game a little bit but probably not for long.}) 43... Rg4 {White is losing more material here. A very nice battle where Arkadij Naiditsch used some excellent preparation to get a very good 3-result battle against a top player such as Maxime Vachier-Lagrave who is always well-prepared. Then he boldly took the challenge, accepted the material and found some very nice defensive resources to neutralize White's initiative. Great game!} 0-1 [Event "Interzonal Tournament"] [Site "Subotica"] [Date "1987.??.??"] [Round "3"] [White "Tal, Mihail"] [Black "Speelman, Jonathan S"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B17"] [WhiteElo "2605"] [BlackElo "2550"] [Annotator "Blatny,P"] [PlyCount "56"] [EventDate "1987.06.22"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "17"] [EventCountry "YUG"] [EventCategory "11"] [SourceTitle "Tal Games"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2014.03.03"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2014.03.03"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Bc4 Ngf6 6. Ng5 e6 7. Qe2 Nb6 8. Bb3 h6 9. N5f3 a5 10. a3 Be7 11. Bd2 $1 Nbd5 $6 12. c4 Nc7 13. Bc2 O-O $6 ( 13... b5 14. Ne5 Bb7 15. c5 Ncd5 16. Ngf3 $16) 14. Ne5 $5 Qxd4 15. Bc3 (15. O-O-O Bxa3 $1 $13) 15... Qd8 16. Ngf3 (16. Rd1 $1 Qe8 $8 17. Qd3 $14) 16... Nce8 17. g4 b5 18. g5 $1 (18. Nxc6 $5 Qc7 19. cxb5 $16) 18... hxg5 19. Nxg5 Ra6 20. Qf3 b4 21. Qh3 $1 g6 22. Bxg6 bxc3 (22... fxg6 23. Nxg6 Kg7 24. Qh7#) 23. Nexf7 Qd2+ 24. Kf1 Rxf7 25. Bxf7+ $1 (25. Nxf7 $2 Kf8 $1 26. Qh8+ Ng8 27. Bh7 Nef6 28. Rg1 Bc5 $1 $13) 25... Kg7 26. Rg1 {/\Nf3+} Qxg5 (26... cxb2 27. Nf3+ Ng4 28. Qxg4+ Bg5 29. Rb1 Qd3+ 30. Kg2 $18) 27. Rxg5+ Kxf7 28. bxc3 $1 e5 1-0 [Event "Interzonal Tournament"] [Site "Subotica"] [Date "1987.??.??"] [Round "8"] [White "Zapata, Alonso"] [Black "Tal, Mihail"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B03"] [WhiteElo "2505"] [BlackElo "2605"] [Annotator "Blatny,P"] [PlyCount "114"] [EventDate "1987.06.22"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "17"] [EventCountry "YUG"] [EventCategory "11"] [SourceTitle "Tal Games"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2014.03.03"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2014.03.03"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. f4 dxe5 5. fxe5 c5 6. c4 $2 Nb4 $17 7. d5 (7. a3 $5 N4c6 8. d5 Nxe5 9. Nf3 (9. Bf4)) 7... Bf5 8. Na3 e6 9. Qa4+ Qd7 10. Qxd7+ Nxd7 11. Nf3 (11. dxe6 Nxe5 12. exf7+ Kxf7) 11... exd5 12. cxd5 Nxd5 13. Bc4 N7b6 14. Bb5+ Bd7 15. O-O Bxb5 (15... Be7 $5) 16. Nxb5 a6 17. Nc3 (17. Nd6+ Bxd6 18. exd6 f6) (17. Na3 c4) 17... h6 (17... Be7 18. Bg5 $44) 18. Ne4 Be7 19. b3 O-O 20. Ba3 Nb4 21. Bxb4 cxb4 22. Rad1 (22. Nd4 g6) 22... Rad8 23. Nd6 Rd7 24. Rd4 Nc8 $3 (24... Rfd8 25. Rfd1 Bxd6 26. Rxd6 $1 Rxd6 27. exd6 $10 {/\} Nc8 $2 28. d7 Nb6 29. Rd6 $16) (24... f6 25. Rfd1 Rfd8 26. Nxb7 Rxd4 27. Rxd4 Rxd4 28. Nxd4 fxe5 29. Nc6 $10) 25. Ne4 (25. Nxc8 Bc5 26. Nd6 f6 27. Rc1 Bxd4+ 28. Nxd4 fxe5 29. N4f5 Kh7 $19) (25. Rfd1 Nxd6 26. exd6 Rfd8 $17) 25... Rfd8 26. Rxd7 (26. Rfd1 $5) 26... Rxd7 27. Rc1 Na7 28. Kf2 Nc6 29. Nc5 Bxc5+ 30. Rxc5 Kf8 31. Ke3 Ke7 32. Ke4 Ke6 33. h4 g6 34. Rc2 Rd5 35. Rf2 Ra5 $19 36. g4 Nxe5 37. Nd4+ Ke7 38. g5 hxg5 39. hxg5 Nd7 40. Nf3 Nc5+ 41. Ke3 Ne6 42. Rg2 Rc5 43. Ke4 Rf5 44. Rg4 a5 45. Ke3 b5 46. Rg2 Rc5 47. Ke4 Rf5 48. Rg4 Kd6 49. Rg2 a4 50. Rd2+ Ke7 51. Rg2 Rc5 52. Ne5 Rc3 53. Rg4 axb3 54. axb3 Rxb3 55. Kd5 Rb1 56. Nc6+ Kf8 57. Nxb4 Nxg5 0-1 [Event "Altibox Norway Chess 2017"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.06"] [Round "1"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C50"] [WhiteElo "2808"] [BlackElo "2781"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "88"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. a4 a6 7. c3 d5 8. exd5 Nxd5 9. Nbd2 Kh8 10. Re1 f6 11. d4 Ba7 (11... exd4 12. Nb3 Ba7 13. Nbxd4 Nxd4 14. Nxd4 {was on the better side for White in Giri-Tomashevsky of September last year. White's pressure stems from the space advantage on the queenside and the weakness on e6. It isn't very serious, and probably black can hold with precise play, but it's much more comfortable to play white.}) 12. dxe5 Nxe5 13. Nxe5 fxe5 14. Nf3 (14. Ne4 {seems natural, but it releases the pressure on e5. Nf3 is a bit more ambitious but it clearly has a couple of problems, mainly the weakness on f2.}) 14... c6 (14... Bxf2+ {was already possible, but not entirely clear} 15. Kxf2 Qh4+ 16. Kg1 Qxc4 17. Rxe5 {and after a forced sequence White's position is still slightly more comfortable. His pieces are a bit more active, even though again, black should be ok.}) 15. Bg5 {Choices aren't easy in chess, and Kramnik presents his opponent with three distinct ones:} (15. Bxd5 $5 cxd5 16. Rxe5 Bg4 {looks a bit dodgy. White will retain extra material (at least one pawn, more if he wants) but his structure on the kingside will be shattered and his king permanently exposed. These kinds of positions sometimes boil down to style, and Kramnik here prefers the initiative.}) 15... Qb6 $6 {Not the most precise. Kramnik ditches the f2 pawn for piece activity and central control} (15... Bxf2+ 16. Kxf2 (16. Kh1 Qd6 17. Re2 Be6 $1 18. Rxf2 e4 {is also wildly unclear}) 16... Qxg5 17. Kg1 Qd8 18. Nxe5 $14 {seems to be a bit better for White}) (15... Qd6 $5 {Keeping the defense on the e5 pawn, now for example:} 16. Bh4 $5 (16. Re4 Qg6 $1 17. Bxd5 cxd5 18. Rxe5 Bg4 19. Kh1 $1 {with a huge mess}) 16... Bg4 17. Bg3 Bxf3 18. gxf3 Rf5 $13) 16. Bxd5 cxd5 (16... Qxf2+ 17. Kh1 cxd5 18. Qxd5 {with e5 falling next, White's king is much safer than Black's.}) 17. Be3 $1 Qxb2 18. Bxa7 Rxa7 19. Qxd5 {Kramnik is a cunning trickster} b6 (19... Qxc3 $2 20. Qd6 $1 Rg8 21. Qb8 {and the rook cannot be saved!}) 20. Rab1 $6 (20. Qc4 {the pawn deserved to live. This move also threatens Ra2, winning on the spot} e4 $1 21. Ra2 Rc7 22. Qxc7 Qxa2 23. Rxe4 $16) 20... Qxc3 21. Rxb6 Raf7 22. Qxe5 Qxe5 23. Rxe5 {White is up a pawn in the resulting endgame, but because of the pressure on f2, the superiority of a bishop over a knight, and the reduced amount of pawns, winning is tough.} Bg4 24. Re3 Kg8 25. Ne5 (25. Rxa6 Bxf3 26. Rxf3 Rxf3 27. gxf3 Rxf3 {is a draw as the rook gets in behind the pawn}) 25... Rxf2 26. h3 Bc8 27. Nc6 Rf1+ 28. Kh2 R1f6 29. a5 h6 30. Ne7+ Kf7 31. Nc6 Kg8 32. Rc3 { White retains some pressure, but now Black can neutralize it and Karjakin has no problems doing so.} Kh7 33. Ne7 Bd7 34. Nd5 Rf5 35. Rd6 Bb5 36. Nc7 Bf1 37. Rd7 Rf2 38. Rg3 R8f7 39. Rxf7 Rxf7 40. Rc3 Rf5 41. Rc1 Bd3 42. Rc3 Bf1 43. Rc1 Bd3 44. Rc3 Bf1 1/2-1/2 [Event "5th Norway Chess 2017"] [Site "Stavanger NOR"] [Date "2017.06.07"] [Round "2.3"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C77"] [WhiteElo "2786"] [BlackElo "2808"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "120"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Bc5 {An Archangel seems to be a breath of fresh air after multiple Berlins and Marshalls.} 6. Nc3 $5 { Something Vishy must have cooked before hand. A specialty of Dominguez, it is very rare compared to 6.c3} b5 (6... O-O 7. Bxc6 dxc6 8. Nxe5 Re8 {recovers the pawn, which makes castling a viable alternative to the move in the game}) 7. Bb3 O-O 8. Nd5 (8. d3 h6 9. Nd5 {is much more common, seen in many of Dominguez's games. Anand has his own idea, involving a pawn sacrifice.}) 8... Nxe4 {Kramnik isn't one to refuse a challenge. Also, any other move lacks justification} (8... h6 9. c3 {with the idea of a quick d4, looks dangerous}) ( 8... Bb7 9. c3 {again might be an issue.}) 9. d3 Nf6 10. Bg5 Be7 11. Nxe7+ Qxe7 12. Re1 {After a more or less forced sequence we arrive at this position. White clearly has compensation for the pawn: two bishops, pressure on e5 and better development. Black must play accurately, but his position is still solid and it is hard to crack any weakness. Sometimes, recovering e5 will not be sufficient for an advantage.} h6 13. Bh4 (13. Bxf6 Qxf6 14. Bd5 Bb7 15. Nxe5 Nxe5 16. Bxb7 Rae8 {is completely fine for Black, even perhaps better for him due to the superior piece placement!}) 13... Bb7 14. c3 Rfe8 15. d4 (15. Nxe5 Nxe5 16. d4 Nf3+ 17. gxf3 Qd6 {gives Black an edge. The crippled pawns on the kingside are worth more than the, for now, uncoordinated bishops.}) 15... e4 16. Nd2 Na5 17. Bc2 g5 18. Bg3 Nc4 {Releasing some pressure off of e4 seems natural, though Black now has to suffer against the activation of some important pieces.} (18... d5 19. h4 {gives White obvious counterplay. The position is still terribly murky.}) 19. Nxc4 bxc4 20. b3 Bd5 21. Be5 $6 { despite recovering the pawn, this move isn't precise} (21. h4 $1 Qe6 22. hxg5 hxg5 23. Qd2 {puts real pressure on g5}) (21. Bxc7 $5 {is also worth considering, as the bishop will hide on a5 without problems.}) 21... d6 22. Bxf6 Qxf6 23. bxc4 Bxc4 24. Rxe4 Rxe4 25. Bxe4 Re8 {Material is even, but Black retains a nagging edge now that his rook controls the only open file and his pieces are slightly better placed.} 26. Bd3 Qe6 27. Bxc4 Qxc4 28. Qb3 Qd3 29. h3 Kg7 30. Rd1 Qe2 31. Rf1 Re6 32. Qd5 Qd2 {The situation hasn't changed. Anand has played very well to get to this position and continues holding on.} 33. Qc4 a5 34. Qxc7 $2 {But this is a mistake. Giving Black the outside passed pawn proves catastrophic.} (34. a4 Re1 {looks dangerous, but after} 35. Rxe1 Qxe1+ 36. Kh2 Qxf2 37. Qxc7 {there isn't anything but a perpetual.}) 34... Qxa2 35. c4 Qd2 36. Qb6 a4 37. Qa7 Qb4 38. f4 Re1 $1 {The transition to the queen endgame is perfectly timed. The Black king is not easily caught in a perpetual check.} 39. fxg5 Rxf1+ 40. Kxf1 hxg5 41. Kg1 Qxc4 (41... a3 {immediately was winning.} 42. Kh2 Qb2 43. Qe7 Qd2 $1 {and wWhite can't prevent the pawn from advancing}) 42. Kh2 Qb4 43. Qe7 Qd2 44. Qa7 Qf4+ 45. Kh1 Qc1+ 46. Kh2 a3 47. Qa5 Qf4+ 48. Kh1 Qc1+ 49. Kh2 Qe3 50. Kh1 f6 $2 (50... Kg6 {made Kramnik's life slightly easier. The point is that White is almost zugzwanged, as the queen has to keep an eye on the kingside and the a-pawn. This is easy for computers to see, but for humans it's a huge headache to calculate queen endgames.} 51. Qa8 Qb3 52. Qg8+ Kf5 53. Qh7+ Ke6 {and the king escapes successfully.}) 51. Qa4 (51. Qc7+ Kg6 52. Qc4 $1 {would have made Black's task much, much harder}) 51... Qc1+ 52. Kh2 Qf4+ 53. Kh1 Qe3 54. Kh2 Kf7 55. Kh1 ( 55. Qa7+ Kg6 56. Qa8 Qb3 $1 {is winning. Black places the king on g7, the queen on f7 and finally pushes a2.}) 55... Kg6 56. Qa8 (56. Qc4 $1 {is still winning for Black, but much, much harder}) 56... Kg7 57. Qb7+ Kg6 58. Qa8 (58. Qd5 $1) 58... Qb3 {Now the pawn advances without problems} 59. Qe4+ Kg7 60. Qe7+ Qf7 0-1 [Event "Interzonal Tournament"] [Site "Subotica"] [Date "1987.??.??"] [Round "14"] [White "Tal, Mihail"] [Black "Marjanovic, Slavoljub"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2605"] [BlackElo "2505"] [Annotator "Boensch,U"] [PlyCount "83"] [EventDate "1987.06.22"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "17"] [EventCountry "YUG"] [EventCategory "11"] [SourceTitle "Tal Games"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2014.03.03"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2014.03.03"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. a4 e5 7. Nf3 Qc7 8. Bg5 Nbd7 9. Nd2 h6 10. Bh4 Be7 (10... g5 $142 11. Bg3 Nc5) 11. Nc4 $5 (11. Bc4 $5) 11... b6 (11... g5 12. Bg3 Nc5) 12. Ne3 Bb7 13. Bc4 (13. Nf5 g5) (13. Ncd5 Nxd5 14. Nxd5 Bxd5 15. Qxd5 Ra7 16. Bxe7 Kxe7 17. Bc4 Rf8 {/\ Nf6+/=}) 13... Qc5 ( 13... Nxe4 14. Nxe4 Bxe4 15. Qg4) (13... g5 14. Bg3 Nxe4 15. Nxe4 Bxe4 16. Bd5 Bxd5 17. Qxd5 {/\ Nf5}) 14. O-O Rc8 (14... g5 15. Bg3 h5 16. f3 $1) 15. Qe2 ( 15. Bxf6 Nxf6 16. Bd5 Nxd5 17. Ncxd5 Bd8 $16) 15... g5 16. Bg3 Nxe4 17. Nxe4 Bxe4 18. Bxa6 Rc7 19. Ra3 $1 (19. f3 {/\ Bf2+/-}) 19... d5 (19... Qa5 20. f3 { /\ Be1}) 20. f3 Bg6 (20... d4 $2 21. fxe4 dxe3 22. Rc3 Qd6 23. Rd1 $18) 21. Rc3 Qd6 22. Nxd5 Rc5 23. Nxe7 Kxe7 24. Rd1 Qc7 25. Bb5 Rd8 26. Be1 $6 (26. Rxd7+ Rxd7 27. Bxe5 Qxe5 28. Re3 Rd1+ 29. Kf2 Rxc2 $16) (26. Rxc5 Qxc5+ 27. Bf2 Qxc2 28. Rxd7+ Rxd7 29. Qxe5+ Kf8 30. Bxd7 Qd1+ 31. Be1 Qxd7 32. Bb4+ Kg8 33. Qb8+ $1 Kh7 34. Bc3 f6 35. Qxb6 $18) 26... f6 27. Rd5 Rxc3 28. Bxc3 Nc5 29. Rxd8 Qxd8 30. b3 Qd6 (30... Ne6 31. Bb4+ Kf7 32. Bc4 Qd4+ 33. Kf1 Qa1+ 34. Kf2 Qd4+ 35. Qe3 Qxe3+ 36. Kxe3 Bxc2 37. g4 $1 $18) 31. Be1 $1 Ne6 32. c3 Nc5 (32... Nf4 33. Qd2 Nd3 34. Bf2) 33. b4 Nd3 34. Qd2 h5 (34... Nxe1 35. Qxe1 Bd3 36. Bxd3 Qxd3 37. a5 $18) 35. Bf2 Ke6 36. Qe3 Nxf2 37. Kxf2 h4 38. a5 bxa5 39. bxa5 Qa3 40. a6 Ke7 41. a7 Bf7 (41... Be8 42. Bxe8 (42. Be2 Qa5) 42... Qa2+ 43. Ke1 Qa1+ 44. Ke2 Qa2+ 45. Qd2 Qc4+ 46. Qd3 Qa2+ 47. Kd1 Qa1+ 48. Kd2 Qa2+ 49. Qc2 Qd5+ 50. Ke1 $18) 42. a8=Q (42. a8=Q Qxa8 43. Qc5+) 1-0 [Event "Dos Hermanas"] [Site "Dos Hermanas"] [Date "1996.05.27"] [Round "6"] [White "Shirov, Alexei"] [Black "Gelfand, Boris"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B92"] [WhiteElo "2690"] [BlackElo "2700"] [PlyCount "119"] [EventDate "1996.05.??"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "ESP"] [EventCategory "19"] [SourceTitle "CBM 53"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 {[%cal Ge7e5,Ge7e6]} (5... e6 6. Be2) 6. Be2 (6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qb6 8. Qd2 (8. Nb3) 8... Qxb2 9. Rb1 Qa3) ( 6. Be3) 6... e5 (6... e6) 7. Nb3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Kh1 (9. Be3) (9. f4 b5 10. a4 b4 11. Nd5 Nxd5 12. Qxd5 Qb6+ 13. Kh1 Bb7) 9... Qc7 (9... Z0 10. f4) (9... b5 10. a4 b4 11. Nd5 Nxe4 (11... Nxd5 12. Qxd5 Ra7 13. Be3) 12. Bf3 f5 13. Nxe7+ Qxe7 14. Qd5+ {[%csl Ga8][%cal Gd5a8]}) (9... Be6 10. f4 exf4 11. Bxf4) ( 9... b6 10. f4 (10. a4 Bb7 11. f3) (10. Bc4) (10. Bg5) 10... Bb7 11. Bf3 Nbd7 12. a4 b5) 10. f4 (10. a4) (10. g4 Be6 11. g5 Nfd7 12. Bg4 (12. Nd5 Bxd5 13. exd5)) (10. a4 Be6 11. f4 exf4 12. Bxf4 (12. Nd4 Nbd7 13. Bxf4 Ne5 14. Nf5 Bxf5 15. exf5 Rfe8 16. Qd4 Rac8 17. Rad1 h6 18. Bg3 Nc6 19. Qf2 Qa5 20. Bxd6 Bxd6 21. Rxd6 Qb4 (21... Rcd8) 22. Rxf6 gxf6 23. Nd5 Qxb2) 12... Nc6) 10... b5 11. fxe5 dxe5 12. Bg5 Nbd7 13. Bd3 Bb7 14. Qf3 h6 15. Bd2 {[%cal Gc3d1,Gd1e3,Ge3f5] } Nb6 16. Qg3 (16. Rae1) 16... Kh8 (16... Nh5 17. Qg4 (17. Qh3 Nf4 18. Bxf4 exf4) 17... Nf6 18. Qg3) 17. Rf5 Bc8 18. Rxe5 Bd6 19. Bf4 g5 (19... Bxe5 20. Bxe5) 20. Rc5 gxf4 (20... Bxf4 21. Rxc7 Bxg3 22. hxg3) 21. Qh4 Bxc5 22. Qxf6+ Kg8 23. Nxc5 Qxc5 24. e5 {[%csl Gh7][%cal Gf6h6]} Bb7 (24... Nd7 25. Qf5 (25. Qxh6 f5 26. Qg6+ Kh8 27. Qh6+) 25... Re8 26. Qh7+ Kf8 27. Qxh6+ Ke7 28. Qg5+ ( 28. Qh4+) 28... Kf8 (28... f6 29. exf6+ Kd8 30. Qh4) 29. Qh6+) 25. Qxh6 f5 26. exf6 Rf7 27. Qg6+ Kf8 28. Qh6+ Kg8 29. Rf1 Re8 30. Qg6+ Kf8 31. Qh6+ Kg8 32. Bg6 (32. Bh7+ Rxh7 33. Qg6+ Kf8 34. Qxh7 Bxg2+ 35. Kxg2 Qc6+ 36. Rf3 Qxf6 37. Ne4 Qg7+ 38. Qxg7+ Kxg7 39. Rxf4) 32... Qc4 33. Bxf7+ Qxf7 34. Qg5+ Kh8 35. Qh4+ Qh7 36. f7 Rf8 37. Qxf4 Qg6 38. Rf2 Nc8 39. h4 (39. Ne2 Nd6 40. Qe5+ Kh7 41. Nf4) 39... Kh7 40. Kg1 Qh6 (40... Nd6 41. Qe5 Rxf7 42. Qxd6 Qxd6 43. Rxf7+ Kg6 44. Rxb7) 41. Qe5 Qd6 42. Qe2 Kg7 43. Qg4+ Qg6 44. Qd4+ Kh7 45. h5 Qc6 ( 45... Qxh5 46. Rf4 {[%cal Gf4h4]}) 46. Qd3+ Kh8 47. Qf5 Qh6 48. Qe5+ Qg7 49. Qc7 (49. Qf4 {[%cal Gc3e4]}) 49... b4 50. Ne2 Bd5 51. h6 Qg5 52. Qc5 Ne7 53. Ng3 (53. c4 bxc3 54. Nxc3 Rxf7 55. Ne4 Qxh6 56. Rxf7 Bxf7 57. Qxe7 Qe3+ 58. Kh2 ) 53... Qc1+ (53... Qxg3 54. Qxe7 Qxf2+ 55. Kxf2 Rxf7+ 56. Qxf7 Bxf7 57. a3) 54. Nf1 Qg5 55. Ne3 Kh7 56. Nxd5 Qxd5 57. Qxe7 Qd1+ 58. Rf1 Qd4+ 59. Kh1 Kg6 60. Qe6+ 1-0 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.06.10"] [Round "4.2"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D45"] [WhiteElo "2793"] [BlackElo "2832"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "69"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:08:51"] [BlackClock "0:04:22"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. e3 a6 {Carlsen challenges Aronian in the Chebanenko Slav, a line which the Armenian GM knows very well and scores excellently in. In fact, according to Megabase he had won all his white games so far!} 6. b3 {Aronian's pet line, although he had tried} (6. c5 {as well:} Nbd7 7. b4 b6 8. Bb2 a5 9. a3 Be7 10. Bd3 O-O 11. O-O Qc7 12. Qe2 {Aronian,L (2754)-Akopian,V (2696) Nalchik 2009}) 6... Bb4 7. Bd2 Nbd7 ({White also faced previously} 7... O-O 8. Bd3 Bd6 9. e4 dxe4 10. Nxe4 Nxe4 11. Bxe4 Nd7 12. c5 { with some advantage for White in Aronian,L (2768)-Inarkiev,E (2675) Jermuk 2009 }) 8. Bd3 O-O 9. O-O Qe7 (9... Bd6 {remains the main continuation when after} 10. Rc1 h6 11. Qc2 {Carlsen won a nice rapid game in Doha} ({However Aronian might have tested him in the line} 11. Ne2 b6 12. Ng3 {as in Aronian,L (2786) -Jakovenko,D (2736) Moscow 2009}) 11... Re8 12. h3 Qe7 13. c5 Bc7 14. e4 e5 15. Rfe1 Qd8 16. exd5 cxd5 17. dxe5 Nxe5 18. Nxe5 Rxe5 19. Rxe5 Bxe5 20. Na4 Be6 21. Qd1 Ne4 22. Be3 Qh4 23. c6 bxc6 24. Rxc6 d4 25. Qc2 dxe3 26. Bxe4 Rd8 27. Rxa6 Qxe4 {0-1 (27) Flores,D (2579)-Carlsen,M (2840) Doha 2016}) 10. Bc2 $146 ( {Deviating from} 10. Re1 a5 11. Ne2 b6 12. Ng3 Bb7 13. Qc1 Rac8 14. Bxb4 axb4 15. a4 c5 {where Black was very comfortable in Matlakov,M (2691)-Andreikin,D (2736) Sochi 2016}) 10... Rd8 (10... b6 {is interesting for Black.}) 11. a3 $1 {"Home preparation from 2003. But during the game I could not actually figure out what I want." (Aronian)} (11. c5 e5 {looks good for Black instead.}) 11... Bxa3 {Carlsen boldly accepts the sacrifice.} (11... Ba5 $2 {is no good to} 12. Nxd5) ({The only reasonable choice was} 11... Bd6 12. e4 dxe4 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14. Bxe4 Nf6 {with slight edge for White.} ({Here Black can hardly capture the pawn-} 14... Bxa3 $2 15. c5)) 12. Rxa3 $1 {The point.} ({White discarded his original thought} 12. e4 dxe4 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14. Bxe4 Bb4 {as he believed he has nothing here.}) 12... Qxa3 13. c5 {As a result of White's piece investment the black queen is temporarily excluded from the game. It also is a strong candidate of leaving the board for good.} b6 {Best.} ({The dangers of Black's position demonstrates the line:} 13... h6 {(generally a useful move)} 14. Nb1 Qa2 15. Bb4 $1 {and the queen is indeed trapped after} a5 16. Nc3 Qb2 17. Na4 Qa2 18. Bb1 {as} Qa1 {drops it anyway to} 19. Bh7+) ({Even worse for Black is} 13... a5 $6 14. Bc1 Qb4 $2 (14... Qa1 15. Qd2 h6 16. Bb2 $1 {would not save the queen neither but is at least more stubborn.}) 15. Na2 Qb5 16. Bd3 { and White wins.}) ({The attempt to free the queen at once with} 13... Nxc5 { would be met with the clever intermezzo} 14. Nb1 $1) ({Finally, the obvious} 13... Qa5 {is met with the even more obvious} 14. Nxd5 Qa2 15. Nxf6+ Nxf6 16. Ne5 {with the threat Bc2-b1 followed by either Bb1xh7+ (a familiar theme) or Ne5-c3 trapping the queen on a3.}) ({The other critical move was mentioned by Aronian} 13... e5 {but it seems as White is better here after} 14. Nxe5 Nxe5 15. Nb1 Qa2 16. dxe5) 14. b4 $5 {A nice practical choice.} ({Aronian could have won the queen with} 14. Nb1 {but he decided not to do so and to play for the initiative instead. Indeed, after} Qa2 (14... Qb2 15. Bc3 Qa2 {gives White an additional resource:} 16. Re1 $5) 15. Bb4 ({But perhaps better is the line given by Short} 15. Qc1 $5 bxc5 16. Nc3 Qa5 17. Nxd5 Qb5 18. Nc7 Qb7 19. Nxa8 Qxa8 {with advantage for White.}) 15... bxc5 16. Nc3 Qb2 (16... Qxc2 17. Qxc2 cxb4 18. Na4 a5 19. Qxc6 Ba6) 17. Na4 Qa2 18. Bb1 Qxb1 19. Qxb1 cxb4 {Black takes plenty of stuff for his strongest piece and the position will be very unclear.}) 14... Ne4 ({After} 14... Qb2 {White has a lot of ways to harrass the queen and play for initiative, for example} 15. Na4 (15. Ne1 $5) 15... Qa2 16. Ne5 (16. Nc3 {could repeat the moves.}) 16... Nxe5 17. dxe5 Nd7 18. cxb6 { and since Black did not solve the problem of the queen yet, White's play is easier.}) ({As usual, lining the queen with the bishop on d2 is not a good idea for Black:} 14... Qxb4 15. Nxd5 Qc4 16. Ne7+ Kf8 17. Nxc6 Re8 18. Nce5 Nxe5 19. Nxe5 Qd5 20. cxb6) 15. Nxe4 dxe4 16. Bxe4 ({"At first I saw this":} 16. Ng5 Nf6 17. f3 bxc5 18. bxc5 h6 19. Nxf7 Kxf7 20. fxe4 {"but this is very stupid. This cannot be more than a play for a draw." (Aronian)}) 16... Rb8 $1 { The best defense.} ({The line} 16... Bb7 17. Qc2 Nf6 ({Or} 17... f5 18. Bd3 a5 19. Bc4 Nf8 20. Ne5 {and Black has barely any moves.}) 18. cxb6 Nxe4 19. Qxe4 Qa2 20. Ng5 {is extremely dangerous for Black. The main point is that} Qxd2 $6 {loses to} 21. Qxh7+ Kf8 22. Qh8+ Ke7 23. Qxg7 Rf8 24. Qe5 Qc2 25. Ne4 { with the threat Qe5-d6+ and Ne4-f6 mate.} Rad8 26. Nc5 $1 {A beautiful positon. Despite the extra rook Black has no defense!}) ({In case of} 16... a5 {White was planning} 17. bxa5 (17. b5 $5 {was also foreseen by the Armenian GM who believed Black refutes this with} bxc5 18. bxc6 Nf6 19. c7 Rd5 $1 {but if we continue the line a bit we can see that White still enjoys his position after} 20. Bxd5 Nxd5 21. Qb1 $1) 17... bxa5 18. Bxc6 Ba6 19. Qa1 $1 {with advantage.}) 17. Bxh7+ $1 {Aronian needs no further invitation.} Kxh7 18. Ng5+ Kg8 ({ The Armenian saw the spectacular win after} 18... Kg6 19. Qg4 f5 20. Qg3 Kf6 21. d5 $3 {Black is helpless, check the lines:} ({Not} 21. Nh7+ Kf7 22. Ng5+ Kf6 {with repetition.} (22... Kg8 $2 23. Nxe6)) 21... Re8 (21... cxd5 22. c6) ( 21... exd5 22. Qd6+ Kxg5 23. e4+ Kh5 24. Qf4 {and mate.}) (21... e5 22. Ne6 $1) ) 19. Qh5 Nf6 $1 (19... Nf8 20. Qxf7+ Kh8 21. Qe7 {drops the rook on d8 and the game at once.} Bd7 22. Nf7+) 20. Qxf7+ Kh8 21. Qc7 (21. Qe7 Re8) 21... Bd7 22. Nf7+ Kh7 {"I thought that Magnus played really well here." (Aronian)} 23. Nxd8 Rc8 {This is the difference in comparison to the line from above. The knight on d8 is in trouble.} 24. Qxb6 ({White's position is so strong that he can even go for} 24. Qf4 Rxd8 25. e4 {and keep some edge.}) 24... Nd5 25. Qa7 ( {Aronian rejected} 25. Qb7 {due to} Rxd8 26. e4 Bc8 (26... Nf6 27. Bg5 { is a better version of the game continuation for White.}) 27. Qxc6 Ne7 { "when it is still unclear"} 28. Qc7 Rxd4 29. Bc1 {although White is definitely in the driver's seat.}) 25... Rxd8 26. e4 Qd3 ({White expected} 26... Nf6 27. Bg5 Qxb4 28. e5 Qxd4 (28... Kg6 $5 {might be interesting as well when after} 29. h4 Qxd4 30. exf6 gxf6 31. Qb6 Bc8 {White is definitely better, but is he winning?!}) 29. exf6 gxf6 30. Qc7 Rc8 31. Bxf6 Qxf2+ 32. Rxf2 Rxc7 33. Be5 { "which should be very unpleasant for Black" (Aronian)}) 27. exd5 ({"If I am blind I am going to lose the game"} 27. Bg5 $2 Qxe4 28. Bxd8 Nf4 {and Black mates (Aronian)}) 27... Qxd2 28. Qc7 Qg5 29. dxc6 (29. d6 $5) 29... Bc8 (29... Be8 30. Qb7 $1 {is an important detail (Aronian)}) 30. h3 {Prepares the introduction of the rook into the game. For example} (30. Re1 Qd2 31. Re3 $4 Qd1+) 30... Qd5 ({White expected} 30... e5 31. f4 exf4 32. Qxf4 Qxf4 33. Rxf4 { "Maybe White is winning, maybe he is not" (Aronian)}) 31. Rd1 e5 (31... Rf8 $5 {was a very interesting defensive idea trying to escape with perpetual after} 32. Qd6 Qb3 33. Rd2 Qxb4 34. Qxf8 Qxd2 35. Qxc8 Qc1+ 36. Kh2 Qf4+) 32. Rd3 exd4 ({Perhaps the world champion should have defended the position after} 32... e4 33. Rg3 Qxd4 34. Rxg7+ Qxg7 35. Qxd8 Qa1+ 36. Kh2 Qe5+ 37. g3 Qf5) 33. Qe7 Bf5 $2 {In a difficult position Carlsen errs.} ({The last chance was the unhuman} 33... Rg8 {although it is highly questionalble if Black can survive after} 34. Qh4+ Kg6 35. c7 (35. Rxd4)) 34. Rg3 Bg6 (34... Qg8 35. Qh4#) (34... Rg8 35. Qh4#) 35. Qh4+ 1-0 [Event "Stavanger"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.10"] [Round "4.3"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2785"] [BlackElo "2796"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:19:03"] [BlackClock "0:04:41"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bd3 {A little known sideline.} ({Similar was} 6. Be3 Ng4 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bc1 Nf6 9. Bd3 e5 10. Nde2 Be7 11. O-O O-O 12. Ng3 Nbd7 13. a4 Nc5 14. Be2 Be6 {Grischuk,A (2750)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2795) Moscow RUS 2017}) 6... e5 7. Nde2 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Ng3 (9. f4 Nbd7 10. Kh1 b5 11. a3 Nc5 12. Ng3 Be6 13. fxe5 dxe5 14. Be3 Nfd7 {Ponomariov, R (2723)-Karjakin,S (2660) Cuernavaca 2006}) 9... Be6 10. Nd5 Bxd5 $146 (10... Nxd5 11. exd5 Bc8 12. c3 f5 13. a4 a5 14. Re1 Na6 15. Qc2 g6 {Hanio,J (2372) -Falatowicz,P (2378) corr. 2012}) 11. exd5 g6 {This wouldn't be playable with the pawn on h6 as in Grischuk-MVL.} 12. c4 (12. Bh6 Re8 13. Re1 Nbd7 14. c4 Bf8 15. Bd2) 12... Ne8 13. Bh6 Ng7 14. b4 Nd7 15. Rc1 a5 16. a3 axb4 17. axb4 Ra3 ( {The immediate} 17... f5 {is problematic:} 18. c5 dxc5 19. d6 Bxd6 20. Bc4+) 18. Ne4 $1 {Improving the knight's position is key here.} (18. c5 dxc5 19. d6 Bxd6 20. Bxg6 hxg6 21. Qxd6 Ra6 22. Qd5 Nf6 {Nakamura}) 18... f5 19. Nc3 e4 20. Be2 Bg5 21. Bxg5 Qxg5 22. c5 Ne5 23. c6 Nh5 24. Bxh5 gxh5 25. Kh1 $1 {Very strong because it gives White ideas of f2-f3 or f2-f4. MVL missed this when he played 23...Nh5.} Qh4 (25... Ng4 26. f3 Ne3 27. Qd2 f4 28. Rg1 $1 {wins.}) ( 25... Nd3 $5) 26. Qd4 Ng4 27. h3 f4 28. Kg1 {"It looks somehow threatening but it's an illusion." (Short)} e3 29. hxg4 hxg4 30. cxb7 exf2+ 31. Rxf2 g3 32. Rxf4 Qh2+ 33. Kf1 1-0 [Event "Stavanger"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.10"] [Round "4"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A21"] [WhiteElo "2771"] [BlackElo "2786"] [Annotator "Alex Yermolinsky"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Bb4 3. Nd5 Bc5 4. e3 Nf6 5. b4 {Anish doesn't quit on his ideas.} Nxd5 6. bxc5 Nf6 7. Nf3 Nc6 {The old lion smells the trap.} ({ Giri-Grischuk, Moscow Grand Prix 2017, went} 7... Qe7 8. Be2 $1 e4 9. Nd4 Na6 { and here Anish missed a great idea} 10. O-O $1 ({Instead he went crazy with} 10. g4 {and soon was forced to fight for a draw in a pawn down endgame.}) 10... Nxc5 11. Nf5 $3 Qe5 12. Nxg7+ Kf8 13. Rb1 Kxg7 14. Bb2 Qe7 15. f3 {with huge attack against the hopelessly pinned Nf6.}) 8. Be2 O-O 9. Bb2 d6 {By playing like this Black simply accepts a slightly worse position.} 10. cxd6 cxd6 11. O-O Re8 12. a4 b6 13. d3 Bg4 14. h3 Bh5 15. g4 Bg6 16. Nh4 Rc8 17. Nxg6 hxg6 18. Bf3 g5 (18... Nd7 19. Ba3 Qf6 20. Bd5) 19. Bg2 Nd7 20. f4 gxf4 21. exf4 { [#]} Nc5 {One of those small mistakes that leads to grave consequences.} ({ Black had to prevent the white bishop from coming to d5, and that could have been accomplished by} 21... Qh4 $1 22. fxe5 Ndxe5 23. Qd2 Qg3 {Eventually White will have to trade queens and be content with a mere endgame advantage.}) 22. fxe5 dxe5 23. Bd5 Rf8 (23... Re7 24. Qf3 Qc7 25. g5 $16) 24. Qf3 Qd7 25. Bc3 Ne6 26. Rae1 Ne7 27. Rxe5 Nxd5 28. Rxd5 Qxa4 29. g5 $6 {very consistent, yet inaccurate.} ({A player with an eye for a king hunt would quickly spot} 29. Rh5 $1 Rc5 30. Be5 f6 31. Qf5 Ng5 32. d4 {winning the exchange and the game in short order.}) 29... Rc5 (29... Qa3 30. Bf6 {favors White, but it's a game.}) 30. h4 Rxd5 31. cxd5 Nc5 $2 {Vishy appears to be off his best form.} ({The only way to continue was} 31... Qxh4 32. dxe6 Qxg5+ 33. Qg2 Qe3+ 34. Rf2 Qc1+ 35. Qf1 Qg5+ {and it doesn't seem to be totally hopeless.}) 32. g6 $18 Qd7 ( 32... Qxh4 33. gxf7+ Kh7 34. Kg2 Qg5+ 35. Kf2) 33. Bb4 {Now White will win by playing d3-d4.} 1-0 [Event "Stavanger"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.12"] [Round "6"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A21"] [WhiteElo "2805"] [BlackElo "2786"] [Annotator "Tiger Hillarp-Persson"] [PlyCount "94"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. c4 {This is rare occurance for Caruana who usually starts out with 1.e4.} ({ It is worth comparing what happens in the game with the not purely fictional line:} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 d6 7. Nf3 Nbd7 8. e3 (8. g3) 8... Re8 9. b4 e5 10. Be2 c6 {when we get a position that will arise later in this game, but with Black to move.} (10... e4 $1)) 1... e5 {I have heard GM:s saying that the problem with the English is - in order - 1.. .e5, 1...c5 and 1...e6, and then there is nothing wrong with 1...Nf6 or 1...c6. Further down on the list 1...b6 and 1...g6 argues about which one is the most respectable.} 2. Nc3 ({When Mihail Marin wrote his wonderful books on the English, he chose to recommend} 2. g3 {as the second move here. The only downside to leaving out Nc3, is that Black can play the immediate} c6 3. d4 (3. Nf3 e4 {is another fashionable possibility.}) 3... e4 $5 4. Nc3 d5 {and Black seems to be doing fine.}) 2... Bb4 $5 ({Another Bb4-line arises after} 2... Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bb4 {This line was already at the center of attention in the classic Wch match between Kasparov and Karpov, in 1987. Their 2:nd and 4:th game (with Kasparov as White) both went} (4... d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5) 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O e4 7. Ng5 Bxc3 8. bxc3 Re8 9. f3 $1 {Lately White has been scoring very well here and Caruana was able to score a nice win against Anand in the Moscow Candidates 2016 (a game that has been excellently commented on in CBM by Mihail Marin). He was possibly hoping to repeat this line.} exf3 10. Nxf3 d5 11. d4 dxc4 12. Qc2 h6 13. Bf4 Ne4 14. Rad1 Bf5 15. Ne5 Nd6 $6 16. e4 Bh7 17. Qe2 $14 {Caruana,F (2794)-Anand,V (2762) Moscow 2016.}) (2... c6 {is not as good here as after 2.g3, as} 3. Nf3 $1 d6 4. d4 {leaves Black with little choice but to play either the Old Indian or a sideline of the KID.} Nd7 5. e4 $14) 3. Nd5 (3. g3 Bxc3 4. bxc3 $1 (4. dxc3 d6 5. Bg2 Nc6 6. Nf3 Nge7 {is even nicer for Black.}) 4... d6 $1 5. Bg2 Ne7 $5 {and Black is well organized to deal with any central set-up that White might choose. The knight is more flexible on e7 than on f6 and it is a good reason to try Bb4 before Nf6.}) 3... Bc5 (3... Be7 $5 4. d4 (4. g3) 4... d6 5. e4 Nf6 6. Nxe7 Qxe7 7. f3 exd4 8. Qxd4 Nc6 {is another insteresting line, where White has to decide where the queen is best placed. 9.Qc3 seems to be the consensus, but in a game against Ginger GM in 2015 I came to the conclusion that e3 looked like a better square: } 9. Qe3 O-O 10. Ne2 {This is why I didn't want my queen on c3.} a5 11. Nc3 Nb4 12. Qd2 Nd7 13. a3 Nc6 14. Nd5 Qd8 15. Qc3 f5 16. exf5 Ne7 17. g4 Nxd5 18. cxd5 Qh4+ 19. Kd1 Ne5 $2 (19... Nc5 20. Be3 Bd7 $13) 20. Bf4 $16 {Hillarp Persson,T (2521)-Williams,S (2439) London 2015}) 4. Nf3 c6 5. Nc3 d6 {Anand reached this position no less than five times in 2016 and obviously has a lot of faith in its soundness.} 6. e3 (6. g3 Nf6 7. Bg2 O-O 8. O-O Re8 9. d3 (9. d4 exd4 10. Nxd4 a5 11. b3 Bg4 12. h3 Bh5 13. Bb2 {, looks a bit better for White, to me, but Black's pieces are active and I can understand why this kind of position would suit Anands active style.}) 9... h6 10. Na4 Bb4 11. a3 Ba5 12. b4 Bc7 13. e4 Bg4 $132 {Caruana,F (2820)-Anand,V (2775) 8th London Classic 2016}) (6. a3 Nf6 7. e3 (7. Na4 e4) 7... e4 (7... Bb6 $5) 8. Nd4 O-O 9. d3 d5 10. cxd5 cxd5 11. Be2 Qe7 12. b4 Bb6 13. O-O Rd8 {, was perhaps somewhat more comfortable for White, in Topalov,V (2760)-Anand,V (2775) Champions Showdown 2016.}) 6... Bb4 $1 7. d4 Nd7 ({It seems that Anand either has lost faith in or got bored with} 7... Bxc3+ 8. bxc3 e4 9. Nd2 Nf6 {Nakamura played the principled} 10. Ba3 {and only got half a point out of two:} (10. f3 exf3 $6 (10... Bf5 $5) 11. Qxf3 O-O 12. h3 Qa5 13. Bb2 (13. e4 $1) 13... Qf5 $132 {Nepomniachtchi,I (2740) -Anand,V (2775) 10th Tal Mem 2016}) 10... b6 (10... O-O 11. c5 $5 d5 12. Be2 Re8 13. O-O b5 14. Bc1 a6 15. a4 Qd7 16. f4 ({It seems to me (and the engine) that something like} 16. axb5 cxb5 17. f3 exf3 18. Rxf3 {, intending a sacrifice on f6, surely must be much better for White.}) 16... exf3 17. Nxf3 Ne4 18. Ne5 $6 Rxe5 19. dxe5 Nxc3 20. Qc2 Nxa4 21. e4 Qe8 22. Bd3 $2 d4 $1 { and Black went on to win, in Nakamura,H (2775)-Anand,V (2775) Champions Showdown 2016.}) 11. f4 $6 (11. f3 $1) 11... c5 $1 12. Be2 h5 13. Qc2 Bf5 14. g3 Nc6 15. h3 Qd7 {and White was lucky to escape with a draw, in Nakamura,H (2775)-Anand,V (2775) Champions Showdown Rapid 2016. Nimzowitsch could rise from the dead just to get a chance to play this position from the black side.}) 8. Qc2 {A sensible way to avoid the doubled pawn on c3.} Ngf6 9. a3 Bxc3+ 10. Qxc3 O-O 11. Be2 Re8 12. b4 {This pawn move always make me cringe on the inside. I'm not saying that it is bad, but when Black starts shuffling his pieces around on the light squares it might be nice to still have this pawn on b3. I guess there are a few GM:s who feel with me, but the majority seem to value space more than any vague notions about light squares.} e4 $1 {[%cal Ge5e4] This is one of those moves that you shouldn't hesitate to make. It is clearly the best Black can hope for with this pawn structure.} 13. Nd2 d5 $1 { This is where I first logged in to watch the games and I felt something had gone wrong for Caruana. (...and I also felt that the b4 pawn might have been happier on b3, so that White could play Ba3 and perhaps Qc3-b4-d6.)} 14. a4 ({ The engines love - if that is the right word - to play} 14. c5 $5 {, but although White gets a free hand on the queenside, the same is basically true for Black on the kingside. Also, should White choose to play 0-0-0, it is still possible to apply the can opener with b6 and a5.} Nf8 15. h3 Ng6 16. a4 Bd7 17. b5 Nh4 18. Kf1 (18. O-O Qc8 19. Kh2 Nxg2) (18. Rg1 Qc7) (18. g3 Nf3+ $1 19. Nxf3 exf3 20. Bxf3 cxb5 {and Bc1 is a hundred miles awar from a life.}) 18... h6 {and with Nf6-h7-g5 coming next, White must start wondering whether it will be enough to get a rook down to b7? (The answer is: probably not.)}) 14... dxc4 $1 {[%cal Gd5c4] If White had more pressure on e4, this would not be recommendable, but in this situation Black is better developed, has a wonderful square for a knight on d5 and does not have to worry about e4.} 15. Nxc4 Nb6 $1 16. Na5 (16. Ne5 Nfd5 $1) (16. O-O Bg4 $1 17. Bxg4 Nxg4 18. h3 Nf6 19. Bd2 {and the engine wants me to believe that the position is almost equal. Well... after} Nfd5 20. Qb3 Nxc4 21. Qxc4 Re6 22. b5 Qd7 23. Qb3 a6 $1 24. bxc6 Rxc6 25. Rfc1 Rac8 {I would under no circumstances want to play the White side. }) 16... Nbd5 (16... Nfd5 17. Qd2 Qg5 {looks very promising too.}) 17. Qd2 Qc7 18. h3 Re6 $5 {[%cal Ge8e6] A lovely move that has more than one function. ON one hand it is ready to attack the kingside at any moment, but also it might come in handy if White continues with b4-b5.} 19. Ba3 (19. Nc4 Ne8 20. b5 cxb5 (20... a6 21. bxa6 b5 $5) 21. axb5 Nd6 22. Nxd6 Rxd6 23. Bb2 Rg6 24. Rc1 Qd6 25. Kf1 Be6 26. Rc5 Qd7) ({White's natural plan is to play b4-b5, but when Black's pieces are so well organized and active, it tends to backfire:} 19. b5 $6 cxb5 20. axb5 Bd7 $1 21. Ba3 b6 22. Rc1 Qb8 23. Nc6 Qe8 {and pawns will fall.}) 19... a6 20. Nb3 $6 {This knight is feeling a bit lost. It was well placed on a5, but there was no way forward. Now it seeks greener pastures, but it turns out to be no better than the last one. In the mean time Anand improves his forces coordination further.} Ne8 $3 {[%cal Gf6e8] Another great move. From d6 the knight keeps and eye on e4, c4 and f5, while it makes b4-b5 harder to play for White. It also opens the road to g6 for the rook. You cannot ask for more of one move.} 21. Nc5 Rg6 22. g3 ({It's horrible to leave the f-pawn behind in this way, but} 22. Kf1 Nd6 {was not an option.}) 22... Nd6 23. a5 {This move looks like a sign of desperation. Not only does White give up all future counterplay on the queenside, but also the bishop on a3 gets completely entombed. I would normally give such a move a "?!", but I trust that Caruana had better reasons that my engine and I can whip up in five minutes.} Bf5 $1 24. Qc2 Re8 25. O-O-O Qc8 (25... Ra8 $5) 26. g4 Bd7 27. Kb1 f5 $5 {[%cal Gf7f5]} ({There is some kind of mute, unformulated guideline, that tells me to attack the g4-pawn with} 27... h5 {rather than move the f-pawn. Perhaps it is because I prefer to keep my pawns in one long chain. However, in this position, Anands choice makes even more sense as it opens the f-file towards f2.} 28. Rh2 hxg4 29. hxg4 Bxg4 30. Rdh1 f5 $17) 28. gxf5 Rf6 29. Rdg1 Bxf5 30. h4 Ref8 31. Rh2 Kh8 {It seems that Anand is keeping the tempo up as Caruana feels the pressure from the clock.} ({Here I see no defence against} 31... Qc7 32. Rhg2 Bc8 $1 {and the f2-pawn falls:} 33. Bc1 (33. Bd1 Nb5 $19) ( 33. Bf1 Qf7) (33. Rxg7+ Qxg7 34. Rxg7+ Kxg7 {is utterly hopeless for White who has only one active piece.}) 33... Rxf2) 32. Qd2 Rg6 33. Rxg6 hxg6 $5 {This makes things a bit harder, but in time pressure it is almost impossible for White to find the defence.} (33... Bxg6) 34. h5 $1 g5 35. h6 g6 36. Bb2 $6 { After this move White is irreversibly lost. The only chance was to try to exchange Be2 for another piece than Black's bishop:} (36. Bd1 $1 Bg4 37. Bb3 Bf3 $1 38. Qc1 {and White can try something with Bxd5 and then queen to g3. Still, Black should win with g4 and then Rf8-f5-h5.}) 36... Bg4 $1 37. Bf1 Kh7 38. Ka1 Bf3 {To quote Italo Svevo, White's position has become the "tomb of its (sic) good intentions". The rest is just a demonstration of how helpless White is.} 39. Rh3 g4 40. Rg3 Rf5 41. Na4 Qf8 42. Nb6 Qxh6 43. Nxd5 cxd5 44. Qc1 Qh1 45. Qc7+ {This loses fast, but everything else loses almost as fast.} Rf7 46. Qxd6 Qxf1+ 47. Ka2 Be2 {[%csl Rb2][%cal Gf3e2] White has no way to deal with Bc4+, followed by Qd3, so he resigned.} 0-1 [Event "Norway Chess 2017"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.14"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2808"] [BlackElo "2832"] [Annotator "Hess, R"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:56:02"] [BlackClock "0:00:11"] {Kramnik was happy to have the white pieces against Magnus, as he's faced the World Champion with black in many of their recent games.} 1. e4 e5 {In the post-game interview Kramnik admitted that he was expecting Carlsen, who sat at just 2.5/6, to play a Sicilian.} 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 {The Italian game continues to be played at the game's highest level. Kramnik, who plays both 1. d4 and 1. e4, remains one of the toughest players to prepare for.} Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. O-O a6 7. Re1 (7. Bb3 {is the most common continuation, but Kramnik had a particular position in mind when he entered the Giuoco Piano.}) 7... Ba7 8. a4 O-O 9. h3 Ne7 10. d4 Ng6 11. Nbd2 c6 12. Bd3 {Kramnik referred to this as a "dangerous move" for it prevents Black from playing d5. White's idea is to maneuver the knight to g3 and keep the center protected. If Black is forced to sit passively, then he certainly is worse.} Re8 $146 {The game's first new move.} ({Previously tried was} 12... exd4 13. Nxd4 Re8 14. N2f3 Bd7 15. Bc2 d5 {which resulted in a draw in Sjugirov,S (2660)-Eliseev,U (2606) St Petersburg 2016.}) 13. Bc2 h6 14. Nf1 exd4 {Carlsen likely became tired of sitting and waiting.} (14... d5 15. exd5 e4 16. Ne5 cxd5 17. Nxg6 fxg6 18. Bf4 {provides White a longterm structural advantage. Sure, at the moment Black is not doing that badly, but White will plant his knight on e3 and eventually chip away at the Black center. The pawn on e4 can be undermined by a timely c4 and f3 will also be an idea to spring free the bishop.}) ({A patient continuation, which still slightly favors White, is} 14... Qc7 15. Ng3 Bd7 16. Be3 c5) 15. cxd4 c5 (15... d5 16. e5 Ne4 17. Ng3 {the essential point of this move - as compared to N1d2 - is that it prevents Black from playing Bf5. Liquidation, even at the cost of the d-pawn, often optimizes Black's equalizing chances.} (17. Bxe4 dxe4 18. Rxe4 {is an extra pawn in exchange for compensation on the light squares. White claims a temporary advantage but Black's quick development and pressure on the d4 pawn gives him a decent game.}) (17. N1d2 {should also be considered, but White needs to keep an eye on the tactic} Nxe5 {which doesn't work out.} ( 17... Bf5 18. Nxe4 Bxe4 19. Bxe4 dxe4 20. Rxe4 Qd5 {is a nice blockade. White is slightly better thanks to the extra pawn, but Black is incredibly solid.}) 18. Nxe5 Rxe5 19. Nxe4 (19. dxe5 Nxf2 {allows chaos to ensue, and I think it would only favor Black. Test the lines for yourself!}) 19... Rxe4 20. Bxe4 dxe4 21. Rxe4 Bf5 {and Black is an exchange down with the best-case scenario of holding a draw.}) 17... Nxg3 18. fxg3 {is good for White. The doubled pawns are an asset, as g3-g4-g5 is a threat and the open f-file will allow pressure on the kingside.}) 16. d5 (16. Be3 cxd4 17. Bxd4 {according to Kramnik is pleasant for White, but nothing special.}) 16... b5 17. axb5 axb5 18. Ng3 ({ Kramnik felt that} 18. b4 {was premature.} cxb4 (18... Bd7 19. Rxa7 $1 Rxa7 20. bxc5 dxc5 21. e5 {is a problem. Carlsen would have nothing better than to sacrifice his knight and rely on the queenside passers as compensation.}) ( 18... Bb7 {Kramnik suggested this strange move, but I doubt even he takes it that seriously. The exchange sacrifice on a7 no longer works since d5 is under threat, but now White can consider the typical kingside initiative.}) 19. Be3 Qc7 {and despite the odd placement of Black's pieces, Kramnik wasn't sure if he had anything here. After further review, in my estimation all he has is the slightly worse chances.}) 18... Bd7 19. Be3 Bb6 (19... Qc7 20. Qd2 c4 21. Bxh6 {looks very dangerous for Black, as Kramnik correctly pointed out in the postmortem. But Carlsen would have the fantastic intermezzo} c3 $1 {freeing the c3 square for the queen to simultaneously attack and defend. The flurry of tactical sacrifices gives Black excellent chances.} 22. bxc3 gxh6 23. Qxh6 Qxc3 24. Rac1 Bxh3 $1 25. Qxh3 Bxf2+ $1 26. Kxf2 Ra2 27. Re2 Nf4 {Is a messy variation. It's no wonder the computers tend to give positions like this straight zeros.} 28. Qf5 Nxe2 29. Nxe2 Nxe4+ 30. Bxe4 Qxc1 31. Ng5 Rxe2+ (31... Qc5+ 32. Kg3 Ra7 {is not for the faint of heart. The minor pieces are preferred, but only if they coordinate well to pressure the enemy king.}) 32. Kxe2 Qc4+ 33. Kf2 Qd4+ {with a likely draw.}) 20. Rxa8 Qxa8 21. b4 Qa7 (21... Rc8 22. Qd2 {keeps both the pin and kingside threats alive.}) 22. Qa1 $1 { A really nice move. Queen exchanges should favor White, whose pawn mass in the center attacks pieces when they push forward.} Qc7 $2 {Played quickly, because - as Magnus told Kramnik after the game - Carlsen just missed White's next move.} (22... Ra8 23. Qxa7 Rxa7 24. Rd1 {White's initiative here has grown tremendously. The pin on the dark squares coupled with the threat of capturing on c5 and playing e4-e5 is a lot to handle.}) (22... Qxa1 23. Rxa1 Rb8 24. bxc5 Bxc5 (24... dxc5 25. Rd1) 25. Bxc5 dxc5 26. Ra7 {optically looks great for White, but those queenside passers are also a great deal to handle.}) 23. Bxh6 {The only reason Carlsen would miss such a move is if he is in poor playing shape. It obviously undermines the protection of the knight on f6 by capturing an important kingside pawn. A strange oversight.} cxb4 24. Bxg7 Qxc2 (24... Kxg7 25. Nh5+ {is lights out.} Kh6 (25... Kf8 26. Qxf6 Bxf2+ 27. Kxf2 Qxc2+ 28. Kg3) 26. Qc1+ Kh7 27. Nxf6+) 25. Qxf6 Qxf2+ (25... Bxf2+ {was the last real chance to salvage a half point. [Carlsen thought it was hopeless and felt that taking with the queen would give better practical chances - PD.]} 26. Kh2 Bxe1 (26... Qc3 27. Re2 Qxf6 28. Bxf6 Bc5 ({Kramnik mentioned} 28... Bxg3+ 29. Kxg3 {but this is just great for White. Material may be equal, but pawn structure and minor piece placement clearly favor White.}) 29. Nh5 {keeps Black fighting, but of course White has excellent winning chances. Most of Black's pawns and pieces are paralyzed, whereas White can move more freely.}) 27. Bh6 Qc3 28. e5 {with mate on g7.}) 26. Kh2 Bd8 27. Qxd6 (27. Qb2 Qxb2 28. Bxb2 {is also good for White, but Kramnik has no reason to liquidate rather than attempt to deliver checkmate.}) 27... Nh4 28. Nxh4 Bxh4 29. Nh5 {Apparently Carlsen missed this move, too. A bad day at the office for the highest rated player in the world.} Bxh3 (29... Qxe1 30. Qh6 {leads to forced mate.}) 30. Rg1 (30. Kxh3 $2 Qxe1 {and it is Black who wins.}) 30... Bg5 31. Bf6 Bg4 (31... Bxg2 32. Qg3 $1 {was an amazing winning resource, and the only one at that.} (32. Rxg2 $2 Qh4+ {is a draw by repetition.} 33. Kg1 Qe1+ 34. Kh2 Qh4+ {is a draw by repetition.}) 32... Qxg3+ 33. Kxg3 {and both bishops are en prise.}) (31... Be3 32. Kxh3 Bc5 33. Rf1 {is the easiest way to end complications.}) 32. Bxg5 Bxh5 33. Qh6 Rxe4 ({Tragically for Carlsen,} 33... Bg6 {does not allow him to hold.} 34. d6 Qd4 35. d7 Qxd7 (35... Rf8 36. Rc1 {with Rc8 to follow.}) 36. Bf6 Qd6+ 37. e5 {and Black is forced to sacrifice his queen to stop checkmate.}) 34. Qxh5 {Up a piece, the rest is easy.} Qf5 35. Qh6 b3 (35... Re5 36. Ra1) 36. Bf6 Qf4+ 37. Qxf4 Rxf4 38. d6 Rxf6 39. Rd1 Rh6+ 40. Kg1 1-0 [Event "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2017.06.21"] [Round "5.2"] [White "Adhiban, Baskaran"] [Black "Fawzy, Adham"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B32"] [WhiteElo "2670"] [BlackElo "2418"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "59"] [EventDate "2017.06.17"] [WhiteTeam "India"] [BlackTeam "Egypt"] [WhiteTeamCountry "IND"] [BlackTeamCountry "EGY"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d6 6. N1c3 a6 7. Na3 b5 { This is very similar to the Sveshnikov, just that the knight is not on f6. So we call it the Kalashnikov. Now White can jump in to d5 with his knight.} 8. Nd5 Nge7 9. Bd3 Nxd5 10. exd5 Ne7 11. c4 g6 (11... bxc4 12. Nxc4 {is definitely the stronger move.} (12. Bxc4 g6 {Might be another way to play.}) 12... g6 13. Qa4+ $18 {is a cute win!}) 12. cxb5 Bg7 {Black sacrifices his queenside pawns for quick development and gaining the centre.} 13. O-O O-O 14. Re1 Bb7 15. bxa6 Bxd5 {A very interesting and imbalanced position has arisen. Black has the centre, White has this chunk of pawns on the queenside. In general I think White should be better, because there is absolutely nothing wrong with his development and the pawn on a6 is just two steps away from queening.} 16. Bf1 Be6 17. b4 d5 18. b5 e4 19. Rb1 {Black central pawns are now going nowhere, where as White pawns are ready to expand.} Qb6 20. Nc2 Nf5 ( 20... d4 {It could have been interesting to give the e4 pawn and complicated the game further.} 21. Rxe4 Nd5 22. Bd2 Rad8 $16 {I don't belive in Black's play, but perhaps he has some compensation.}) (20... Rxa6 21. Be3 $18) 21. a4 Rac8 (21... Rxa6 22. Be3 Nxe3 23. bxa6 $18) 22. Bd2 Be5 23. g3 Rxc2 {Black indulges in an incorrect sacrifice.} 24. Qxc2 Nd4 25. Qd1 $1 {Adhiban has seen it until the end.} Nf3+ 26. Qxf3 exf3 27. Rxe5 {White has a rook and a piece for the queen, but look at those queenside pawns. It's all over!} Rc8 28. Rxe6 $5 (28. a5 {was also just winning.}) 28... fxe6 29. a5 Qd4 30. b6 {[%csl Ga5, Ga6,Gb6] Yes, the d2 bishop is also falling, but those pawns on the queenside have won the day for White.} 1-0 [Event "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2017.06.24"] [Round "7.2"] [White "Adhiban, Baskaran"] [Black "Korobov, Anton"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C11"] [WhiteElo "2670"] [BlackElo "2711"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2017.06.17"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 Be7 8. Qd2 O-O 9. dxc5 (9. O-O-O c4 {is supposed to give Black a very strong attack on the queenside. And hence before 0-0-0 White takes on c5.}) 9... Nxc5 10. O-O-O Qa5 11. Kb1 Rd8 12. Nd4 Bf8 13. g4 {Adhiban's play has been very logical. He has 0-0-0, put his knight on d4 to prevent Black from playing d4 and now begins with his kingside expansion.} Bd7 14. h4 Rab8 {This is the tough moment in the game. White has to decide on what course of action he would like to take in the game now. Would he like to indulge in a race with h5-h6 and Black coming down with b5-b4 or he would like to play an endgame, like Adhiban did in the game.} 15. Nce2 $5 {Objectively not the best move, but Adhiban surely must have some psychological objectives in mind when he made this move.} Qxd2 16. Rxd2 Ne4 17. Rd1 Nxd4 18. Bxd4 (18. Nxd4 Ng3) 18... b6 19. Bg2 Bb5 20. Rhe1 Bb4 (20... Nc5 {After what happened in the game I was thinking if this was a better option, but I think White can just go} 21. Be3 $14 {Put the knight on d4 and be better.}) 21. c3 Be7 22. Bxe4 dxe4 23. g5 {Well White is not better in this position yet, but Black has to be careful. White is threatening Ng3, and there would not be a good way to save the e4 pawn.} Bd3+ (23... Rbc8 $5 24. Kc1 $5 (24. Ng3 Bd3+ 25. Ka1 Bb4 $1 26. Nxe4 (26. Re3 Rxd4 27. cxd4 Bd2 $1 $15) 26... Rxd4 27. cxd4 Bxe1 28. Nd6 Rc2 29. Rxe1 Rh2 $132) 24... h6 25. Kd2 hxg5 26. hxg5 $14 {I still get the feeling that with Ke3 and Ng3 White is just better.}) 24. Kc1 h5 {[%cal Gc1d2,Gd2e3,Ge2g3,Gg3e4] The question on my mind is - why h5? The battle is revolving around the e4 pawn, what would be the reason for Korobov to make a move like h5? Well, I think he was tempting Adhiban to go for Ng3. So h5 was more like a trap.} (24... a5 25. Kd2 a4 26. Ke3 Bc4 27. a3 $16 {This is the problem for Black. He will lose the e4 pawn without any compensation.}) 25. Kd2 $1 {A strong move by Adhiban. He sees through his opponent's plans. Now Ng3 is a strong threat. Also Ke3 just strengthening the position is possible.} (25. Ng3 Rxd4 $1 26. cxd4 Rc8+ 27. Kd2 Bb4+ 28. Ke3 Bxe1 29. Rxe1 Rc2 30. Nxe4 Bxe4 31. Kxe4 Rxb2 $11 {And the game would most probably ended in a draw.}) 25... Bc5 {Well, this move is really not a good idea, but I think Black was already short of ideas in the position.} 26. Ke3 Rbc8 (26... Bxe2 27. Rxe2 Bxd4+ 28. Rxd4 Rxd4 29. cxd4 (29. Kxd4 Rd8+ 30. Kxe4 Rd1 {with good drawing chances.}) 29... Rc8 30. Kxe4 g6 {Once again, White will push here, but I think draw is a possibility.}) 27. Bxc5 Rxc5 (27... bxc5 28. Ng3 $16) 28. Ng3 Rcd5 (28... g6 29. Nxe4 $18) 29. Nxh5 {The bad news for Black at this point is that the e4 pawn is still weak and he is a pawn down!} Bc4 30. Rd4 $1 Bxa2 31. Ra1 Rxd4 32. cxd4 Bd5 33. Rxa7 g6 34. Rd7 $1 { A nice finishing stroke. The knight will pick up all the pawns! A controlled and matured game by Adhiban. It's really tough to say where Korobov went wrong in the game.} 1-0 [Event "Norway Chess 2017"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.14"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2808"] [BlackElo "2832"] [Annotator "Hess, R"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:56:02"] [BlackClock "0:00:11"] {Kramnik was happy to have the white pieces against Magnus, as he's faced the World Champion with black in many of their recent games.} 1. e4 e5 {In the post-game interview Kramnik admitted that he was expecting Carlsen, who sat at just 2.5/6, to play a Sicilian.} 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 {The Italian game continues to be played at the game's highest level. Kramnik, who plays both 1. d4 and 1. e4, remains one of the toughest players to prepare for.} Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. O-O a6 7. Re1 (7. Bb3 {is the most common continuation, but Kramnik had a particular position in mind when he entered the Giuoco Piano.}) 7... Ba7 8. a4 O-O 9. h3 Ne7 10. d4 Ng6 11. Nbd2 c6 12. Bd3 {Kramnik referred to this as a "dangerous move" for it prevents Black from playing d5. White's idea is to maneuver the knight to g3 and keep the center protected. If Black is forced to sit passively, then he certainly is worse.} Re8 $146 {The game's first new move.} ({Previously tried was} 12... exd4 13. Nxd4 Re8 14. N2f3 Bd7 15. Bc2 d5 {which resulted in a draw in Sjugirov,S (2660)-Eliseev,U (2606) St Petersburg 2016.}) 13. Bc2 h6 14. Nf1 exd4 {Carlsen likely became tired of sitting and waiting.} (14... d5 15. exd5 e4 16. Ne5 cxd5 17. Nxg6 fxg6 18. Bf4 {provides White a longterm structural advantage. Sure, at the moment Black is not doing that badly, but White will plant his knight on e3 and eventually chip away at the Black center. The pawn on e4 can be undermined by a timely c4 and f3 will also be an idea to spring free the bishop.}) ({A patient continuation, which still slightly favors White, is} 14... Qc7 15. Ng3 Bd7 16. Be3 c5) 15. cxd4 c5 (15... d5 16. e5 Ne4 17. Ng3 {the essential point of this move - as compared to N1d2 - is that it prevents Black from playing Bf5. Liquidation, even at the cost of the d-pawn, often optimizes Black's equalizing chances.} (17. Bxe4 dxe4 18. Rxe4 {is an extra pawn in exchange for compensation on the light squares. White claims a temporary advantage but Black's quick development and pressure on the d4 pawn gives him a decent game.}) (17. N1d2 {should also be considered, but White needs to keep an eye on the tactic} Nxe5 {which doesn't work out.} ( 17... Bf5 18. Nxe4 Bxe4 19. Bxe4 dxe4 20. Rxe4 Qd5 {is a nice blockade. White is slightly better thanks to the extra pawn, but Black is incredibly solid.}) 18. Nxe5 Rxe5 19. Nxe4 (19. dxe5 Nxf2 {allows chaos to ensue, and I think it would only favor Black. Test the lines for yourself!}) 19... Rxe4 20. Bxe4 dxe4 21. Rxe4 Bf5 {and Black is an exchange down with the best-case scenario of holding a draw.}) 17... Nxg3 18. fxg3 {is good for White. The doubled pawns are an asset, as g3-g4-g5 is a threat and the open f-file will allow pressure on the kingside.}) 16. d5 (16. Be3 cxd4 17. Bxd4 {according to Kramnik is pleasant for White, but nothing special.}) 16... b5 17. axb5 axb5 18. Ng3 ({ Kramnik felt that} 18. b4 {was premature.} cxb4 (18... Bd7 19. Rxa7 $1 Rxa7 20. bxc5 dxc5 21. e5 {is a problem. Carlsen would have nothing better than to sacrifice his knight and rely on the queenside passers as compensation.}) ( 18... Bb7 {Kramnik suggested this strange move, but I doubt even he takes it that seriously. The exchange sacrifice on a7 no longer works since d5 is under threat, but now White can consider the typical kingside initiative.}) 19. Be3 Qc7 {and despite the odd placement of Black's pieces, Kramnik wasn't sure if he had anything here. After further review, in my estimation all he has is the slightly worse chances.}) 18... Bd7 19. Be3 Bb6 (19... Qc7 20. Qd2 c4 21. Bxh6 {looks very dangerous for Black, as Kramnik correctly pointed out in the postmortem. But Carlsen would have the fantastic intermezzo} c3 $1 {freeing the c3 square for the queen to simultaneously attack and defend. The flurry of tactical sacrifices gives Black excellent chances.} 22. bxc3 gxh6 23. Qxh6 Qxc3 24. Rac1 Bxh3 $1 25. Qxh3 Bxf2+ $1 26. Kxf2 Ra2 27. Re2 Nf4 {Is a messy variation. It's no wonder the computers tend to give positions like this straight zeros.} 28. Qf5 Nxe2 29. Nxe2 Nxe4+ 30. Bxe4 Qxc1 31. Ng5 Rxe2+ (31... Qc5+ 32. Kg3 Ra7 {is not for the faint of heart. The minor pieces are preferred, but only if they coordinate well to pressure the enemy king.}) 32. Kxe2 Qc4+ 33. Kf2 Qd4+ {with a likely draw.}) 20. Rxa8 Qxa8 21. b4 Qa7 (21... Rc8 22. Qd2 {keeps both the pin and kingside threats alive.}) 22. Qa1 $1 { A really nice move. Queen exchanges should favor White, whose pawn mass in the center attacks pieces when they push forward.} Qc7 $2 {Played quickly, because - as Magnus told Kramnik after the game - Carlsen just missed White's next move.} (22... Ra8 23. Qxa7 Rxa7 24. Rd1 {White's initiative here has grown tremendously. The pin on the dark squares coupled with the threat of capturing on c5 and playing e4-e5 is a lot to handle.}) (22... Qxa1 23. Rxa1 Rb8 24. bxc5 Bxc5 (24... dxc5 25. Rd1) 25. Bxc5 dxc5 26. Ra7 {optically looks great for White, but those queenside passers are also a great deal to handle.}) 23. Bxh6 {The only reason Carlsen would miss such a move is if he is in poor playing shape. It obviously undermines the protection of the knight on f6 by capturing an important kingside pawn. A strange oversight.} cxb4 24. Bxg7 Qxc2 (24... Kxg7 25. Nh5+ {is lights out.} Kh6 (25... Kf8 26. Qxf6 Bxf2+ 27. Kxf2 Qxc2+ 28. Kg3) 26. Qc1+ Kh7 27. Nxf6+) 25. Qxf6 Qxf2+ (25... Bxf2+ {was the last real chance to salvage a half point. [Carlsen thought it was hopeless and felt that taking with the queen would give better practical chances - PD.]} 26. Kh2 Bxe1 (26... Qc3 27. Re2 Qxf6 28. Bxf6 Bc5 ({Kramnik mentioned} 28... Bxg3+ 29. Kxg3 {but this is just great for White. Material may be equal, but pawn structure and minor piece placement clearly favor White.}) 29. Nh5 {keeps Black fighting, but of course White has excellent winning chances. Most of Black's pawns and pieces are paralyzed, whereas White can move more freely.}) 27. Bh6 Qc3 28. e5 {with mate on g7.}) 26. Kh2 Bd8 27. Qxd6 (27. Qb2 Qxb2 28. Bxb2 {is also good for White, but Kramnik has no reason to liquidate rather than attempt to deliver checkmate.}) 27... Nh4 28. Nxh4 Bxh4 29. Nh5 {Apparently Carlsen missed this move, too. A bad day at the office for the highest rated player in the world.} Bxh3 (29... Qxe1 30. Qh6 {leads to forced mate.}) 30. Rg1 (30. Kxh3 $2 Qxe1 {and it is Black who wins.}) 30... Bg5 31. Bf6 Bg4 (31... Bxg2 32. Qg3 $1 {was an amazing winning resource, and the only one at that.} (32. Rxg2 $2 Qh4+ {is a draw by repetition.} 33. Kg1 Qe1+ 34. Kh2 Qh4+ {is a draw by repetition.}) 32... Qxg3+ 33. Kxg3 {and both bishops are en prise.}) (31... Be3 32. Kxh3 Bc5 33. Rf1 {is the easiest way to end complications.}) 32. Bxg5 Bxh5 33. Qh6 Rxe4 ({Tragically for Carlsen,} 33... Bg6 {does not allow him to hold.} 34. d6 Qd4 35. d7 Qxd7 (35... Rf8 36. Rc1 {with Rc8 to follow.}) 36. Bf6 Qd6+ 37. e5 {and Black is forced to sacrifice his queen to stop checkmate.}) 34. Qxh5 {Up a piece, the rest is easy.} Qf5 35. Qh6 b3 (35... Re5 36. Ra1) 36. Bf6 Qf4+ 37. Qxf4 Rxf4 38. d6 Rxf6 39. Rd1 Rh6+ 40. Kg1 1-0 [Event "Stavanger"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.15"] [Round "8.3"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2796"] [BlackElo "2808"] [PlyCount "95"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:53:51"] [BlackClock "0:12:26"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 d5 (5... O-O 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bh4 Be7 8. O-O d6 9. Bg3 Bd7 10. h3 Nh7 11. Nbd2 Ng5 {Vachier Lagrave,M (2795) -Malakhov,V (2712) Chartres 2017}) 6. exd5 Qxd5 7. Bc4 Qd6 8. b4 Bb6 9. a4 e4 10. dxe4 Qxd1+ 11. Kxd1 Nxe4 12. Kc2 Bf5 $146 (12... Nd6 13. Re1+ Ne7 14. Bb3 Bf5+ 15. Kb2 a5 16. Bf4 Bxf2 17. Re2 Bb6 18. Na3 Be6 {Caruana,F (2817)-Xiong,J (2674) Saint Louis 2017}) 13. Nh4 Bd7 14. Re1 f5 15. Nxf5 Bxf5 16. f3 Ne5 17. fxe4 Bg4 18. h3 Nxc4 19. hxg4 O-O 20. Re2 a5 21. Nd2 $6 (21. bxa5 Rxa5 22. Nd2) 21... Ne3+ 22. Kb3 axb4 23. cxb4 Rfd8 24. Bb2 (24. a5 Rd3+ 25. Ka4 Nc2 { is the problem.}) 24... Rd3+ 25. Bc3 Bd4 26. Rc1 Nd1 27. Nb1 Nxc3 28. Nxc3 Be5 ({"The simplest way was} 28... Bxc3 29. Rxc3 Rxc3+ 30. Kxc3 Rxa4 {to make an easy draw but obviously Vlady was playing for a win." (MVL)}) 29. a5 Rg3 30. Rf2 c6 31. Rf3 Rxg4 32. Na4 Rxg2 (32... Re8 $5 33. Nc5 Re7 {Short}) 33. Nc5 Rb2+ 34. Kc4 Bd6 35. Rd1 Bxc5 36. Kxc5 Re8 37. Rd7 Re5+ 38. Kc4 h5 ({MVL expected} 38... Rxe4+ {and it's not clear if White is winning, e.g.} 39. Kc3 Rbe2 40. Rxb7 h5 {but} 41. a6 Ra2 42. a7 Kh7 43. Rf8 Re3+ 44. Kd4 Rea3 45. Rff7 Kh6 46. Rxg7 Ra6) 39. Rxb7 Rxe4+ 40. Kc5 Rc2+ 41. Kd6 Rd4+ 42. Kc7 Ra2 43. Kxc6 h4 44. Rb6 Rg4 $2 {The losing move.} ({Black should play} 44... Ra4 $1 { and it might still be defensible.}) 45. a6 Kh7 (45... Rg3 46. Rxg3 hxg3 47. Kb5 Kh7 48. Rc6) 46. Rf5 Ra4 47. Rh5+ Kg6 48. Rxh4 {A beautiful final move.} (48. Rxh4 Rxh4 49. Kb5+) 1-0 [Event "Stavanger"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.16"] [Round "9.2"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B97"] [WhiteElo "2808"] [BlackElo "2785"] [Annotator "Hess, R"] [PlyCount "117"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:56:07"] [BlackClock "0:29:58"] {The final round encounter between Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura was a tale of opening preparation. Caruana admitted as much in his postgame interview, stating that he included in his preparation file "nobody will play this." Unfortunately for Nakamura, he faced a novelty and could not find his way through the maze of tactics.} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 {Caruana expected the Najdorf, but not this line in particular.} (6... Nbd7 {has been played by Nakamura in the past as well.}) 7. f4 Qb6 {Nakamura certainly had no interest in repeating the variation he chose at the 2016 London Chess Classic. After all, Caruana crushed him with a magnificent queen sacrifice:} (7... h6 8. Bh4 Qb6 9. a3 Be7 10. Bf2 Qc7 11. Qf3 Nbd7 12. O-O-O b5 13. g4 g5 14. h4 gxf4 15. Be2 b4 16. axb4 Ne5 17. Qxf4 Nexg4 18. Bxg4 e5 19. Qxf6 Bxf6 20. Nd5 Qd8 21. Nf5 Rb8 22. Nxf6+ Qxf6 23. Rxd6 Be6 24. Rhd1 O-O 25. h5 Qg5+ 26. Be3 Qf6 27. Nxh6+ Kh8 28. Bf5 Qe7 29. b5 Qe8 30. Nxf7+ Rxf7 31. Rxe6 Qxb5 32. Rh6+ {1-0 Caruana, F (2823) - Nakamura, H (2779) London 2016}) 8. Qd3 {A favorite of the late Vugar Gashimov.} (8. Qd2 Qxb2 9. Rb1 Qa3 {and now 10. f5 and 10. e5 are the main continuations. These sharp battles are not for underprepared players, as the theory runs deep.}) 8... Qxb2 9. Rb1 Qa3 10. f5 Be7 11. fxe6 fxe6 12. Be2 Qa5 13. Bd2 Qc7 14. g4 h6 {The only reasonable response. Black suffers grave consequences after other moves.} ({For example, a miniature ensued after:} 14... h5 15. g5 Ng4 16. Qh3 Qc5 17. Bxg4 Qxd4 18. Bxe6 Nd7 19. Rf1 Kd8 20. Nd5 Qxe4+ 21. Kd1 Nb6 22. Bxc8 Qxd5 23. Be6 Qd4 24. Qd3 {1-0 (24) Lastin,A (2625)-Kokarev,D (2510) St Petersburg 2002}) 15. Rg1 $146 {A new move, both to the chess world at large and to Hikaru Nakamura in particular. Caruana could not remember the entirety of his preparation, but he was happy to reveal this novelty.} ({Both Caruana and Nakamura undoubtedly were familiar with the meat of the equality that occurred after:} 15. Qh3 O-O 16. g5 hxg5 17. Nxe6 Qc6 18. Rf1 g4 19. Bxg4 Nxg4 20. Rxf8+ Bxf8 21. Qxg4 Qe8 22. Nd5 Qxe6 23. Qxe6+ Bxe6 24. Nc7 Ra7 25. Nxe6 b5 26. a4 Nc6 27. axb5 axb5 28. Rxb5 Ra4 29. Ng5 Be7 30. h4 Bxg5 31. Bxg5 Rxe4+ 32. Kf2 Ne5 33. Rd5 Rc4 34. Rxd6 Rxc2+ 35. Rd2 Rxd2+ 36. Bxd2 Ng6 37. Kg3 Nxh4 { 1/2-1/2 (37) Mamedov,R (2688)-Jobava,B (2701) Moscow 2017}) 15... Bd7 (15... Nc6 16. Nxc6 Qxc6 17. e5 {and another benefit of Rg1 becomes evident: is not hit by the queen on c6. This position is immensely complicated, as White sacrifices a second pawn to unleash a vicious kingside attack.}) 16. g5 hxg5 17. Rxg5 Nc6 {Caruana was surprised by this decision, for he felt that you can only jettison the g-pawn if you're thoroughly prepared. In fact, the only way to enter this gauntlet is if you see the optimal moves through outrageous complications until move 25.} (17... Rg8 {keeps the rook out of harm's way, but diminishes Black's ability to counterattack.}) (17... Rh7 {may seem like odd placement, but the rook simultaneously defends g7 and keeps pressure on h2. Without the assistance of powerful engines, the following continuation, for example, would be nearly impossible to calculate accurately.} 18. Bf4 e5 (18... Nc6) 19. Nd5 Qa5+ 20. Bd2 Qxa2 21. Rxb7) 18. Rxg7 O-O-O 19. Ncb5 $1 {First it was the rook on the king's knight's file, now it's the rook on the queen's knight's file's turn.} (19. Qxa6 {looks fancy, but the queen can be ignored and pieces can be captured with} Nxd4 (19... bxa6 $4 20. Bxa6+ Qb7 21. Bxb7+ Kc7 22. Bxc6 Bxc6 23. Rxe7+ {is easy.}) 20. Rxe7 Rxh2 {with a stronger attack for Black than for White.}) 19... axb5 20. Nxb5 Ne5 ({Nakamura could not afford to retreat, for keeping the queens on the board with such an exposed king is ill-advised.} 20... Qb8 21. Rxe7 d5 (21... Nxe7 22. Nxd6+ Kc7 23. Bf4 { is decisive.}) 22. exd5 Nxd5 23. Qa3 Ndxe7 (23... Qxh2 24. Nd6+ Qxd6 25. Qxd6 Ncxe7 26. c4 {takes advantage of the knights' predicament, and wins.}) 24. Nd6+ Kc7 25. Nxb7 Qxb7 26. Ba5+ $1 {an important move, eliminating the protector of the knight on e7.} Nxa5 (26... Kc8 27. Rxb7 Kxb7 28. Ba6+ $1 Kxa6 29. Bxd8+ Kb7 30. Qb2+ {and the rook on h8 is lost.}) 27. Qxa5+ Kb8 28. Rxb7+ Kxb7 29. Qb4+ { Black's two rooks are hardly a match for a queen and two pawns, especially with such an exposed king.}) 21. Nxc7 Nxd3+ 22. cxd3 Ng8 {It is hard to give this move a question mark, but it is in effect the losing move. Nakamura needed access to Caruana's notes to find the saving grace here.} (22... Rxh2 $1 23. Rc1 Rh1+ 24. Bf1 Kb8 25. Rxe7 Rf8 {This was the move that had to be seen before Black can safely commit to 17...Nc6. But even after getting to the game position after Caruana's 22nd move, Nakamura could not find this insanely difficult defense. Amazingly, up a piece and with the move, White can do nothing to prevent Black from recouping the sacrificed material. The game should peter out into a draw:} 26. Nxe6 Bxe6 27. Bh6 (27. Rxe6 Ng4 28. Kd1 ({ If White gets greedy, he loses immediately.} 28. Ke2 Rf2+ 29. Kd1 Ne3+ 30. Bxe3 Rhxf1#) 28... Rhxf1+ 29. Kc2 R1f2 {and only Black can be better here.}) 27... Rxh6 28. Rxe6 Rh1 29. Kd2 Nxe4+ 30. dxe4 Rfxf1 31. Rxf1 Rxf1 32. Rxd6 Rf2+ 33. Ke3 Rxa2 {with an easy draw.}) 23. Na8 (23. Ba5 {was even stronger.} Rxh2 24. Kd2 Bf6 25. Nb5 {Black's position is hopeless. At best, he ends up down an exchange or down two pawns with no shelter for his king.}) 23... Kb8 24. Nb6 Bc6 25. Bf4 e5 {This move helps Caruana, since it vacates the f-file for his rook to retreat.} ({Better was} 25... Bf6 26. Rf7 (26. Rg2 Bc3+ 27. Kd1 Nf6 { made Caruana a bit uneasy, considering the threat of Nxe4. White still remains ahead, though, after} 28. Nc4 Nxe4 (28... Ka7 {is probably a better try.}) 29. dxe4 Bxe4 30. Rb3 Bxg2 31. Rxc3) 26... Be8 {is what Caruana saw as providing legitimate defense for Black. Interestingly, White is still better after losing the exchange with} 27. Rxf6 Nxf6 28. e5 (28. Bg5 Rf8 29. Kd2 Bc6 30. Rf1 Nxe4+ 31. dxe4 Rxf1 32. Bxf1 (32. Bxd8 Rf2 33. Ke3 Rxh2 34. Bg4 {with a small plus for White.}) 32... Rg8 33. h4 {is an unclear endgame that should likely be drawn, but slightly favor White.})) 26. Bg3 Bf6 27. Rf7 Be8 28. Rf8 Bg7 ( 28... Be7 29. Rf2 Bh4 30. Kd2 Bxg3 31. hxg3 {The extra pawn a better minor pieces combine to give White a nearly winning advantage.}) 29. Rf2 Ne7 30. Bg4 {For all intents and purposes, the advantage is already decisive here.} Nc6 31. Rfb2 Nd4 32. Nd5 b5 33. a4 Bh6 34. axb5 Rg8 35. h3 Kb7 36. Ne7 Rf8 37. Nc6 Bxc6 38. bxc6+ Kxc6 39. Bf2 Rxf2 {A sad necessity, otherwise checkmate is inevitable. "Normal" moves just lose on the spot to a simple removing-the-guard idea.} (39... Ra8 40. Bxd4 exd4 41. Rc2#) 40. Kxf2 Rf8+ 41. Kg2 Be3 42. Rb8 Rxb8 {Typically the only way to fight on when down an exchange is to muster up some sort of attack. However, with checkmate again threatened, Black had no choice but to swap rooks.} (42... Rf2+ 43. Kh1 Kc5 44. Rc8+ Nc6 45. Bd7 {is over as well.}) 43. Rxb8 d5 44. Rc8+ Kd6 45. Rd8+ Ke7 46. Rd7+ Kf6 47. exd5 e4 48. dxe4 Bf4 49. h4 Nb5 50. h5 Be5 51. Bf5 Kg5 52. Bg6 Nd6 53. Re7 Nc4 54. Re6 Bf6 55. d6 Ne5 56. Bf5 Nd3 57. Rxf6 Kxf6 58. d7 Ke7 59. h6 1-0 [Event "FIDE Geneva Grand Prix 2017"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.07"] [Round "2"] [White "Harikrishna, Pentala"] [Black "Adams, Michael"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2737"] [BlackElo "2736"] [Annotator "user1"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] {Harikrishna is off to a good start, scoring 1.5 out of 2 in his 1st two games. He is a very versatile players who can open with 1.e4 or 1.d4. In this game he faces the English No.1 Micky Adams.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 {The current tabiya in top level chess, the quiet Italien has existed since the 1900s, but only at the turn of the century did people start to take notice. But this really exploded only in the 2010s, and is played in more than half of the white games opened with e4. Top GMs prefer this as white as it helps avoid the Berlin, and is a theoretical gold mine.} Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 O-O {Adams prefers to castle and complete his development quickly. There are other viable alternatives.} (5... d6 {is the most common move in this position. Here, there are many moves for white, but I will mention only the main line} 6. Bb3 a6 7. h3 Ba7 8. Nbd2 O-O 9. Nf1 d5 10. Qe2 Be6 {was Tiviakov-Sargassian, that ended in a draw.}) 6. Bg5 {A relative sideline compared to Bb3 and Nbd2, but with the most scope of innovation.} h6 7. Bh4 Be7 8. a4 {Hari chooses another unexplored move. The game now turns very interesting.} ({There are 33 games of } 8. Nbd2 {in the Live Database. One of the top level games continued} d6 9. Bb3 Nh5 10. Bg3 Na5 11. Bc2 f5 {1-0, Vachier Lagrave-So, Paris GCT Blitz}) 8... a5 {Adams prevents a space gaining a5 and renders b4 implausible for the moment, but the a5 pawn might turn out to be a weakness.} 9. Nbd2 d6 10. Bg3 Nh7 {This move's purpose is to exchange knights with Ng5, as done in the game. It also can reach f4 via e6 and f8, and it frees the f pawn, which can be advanced to f5 after Kh8. But there were alternatives.} (10... Be6 {is one, aiming to exchange the Bc4. But I am not sure who benifits more after the exchange.} 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12. Qb3 Qd7 13. O-O Rad8 14. h3 Nh5 15. Bh2 Nf4 16. Bxf4 Rxf4 17. Rfe1 {and white maintains a nagging edge.}) 11. Qb3 {Hari stops Be6 for now, and prevents the Kh8 and f5 plan previously mentioned. He is also delaying castling as long as possible.} Ng5 12. Nxg5 Bxg5 {Adams too completes his plan.} 13. Nf3 Bf6 14. h3 Rb8 15. Rd1 Bd7 16. O-O {Now that Hari has played Rd1, he has improved all his pieces to their current best positions. Also, 0-0-0 is no longer possible. So he finally castles, and completes his development.} Qe8 {A multipurpose move. It provides extra protection to f7 and e5, and possibly prepares a b5 break after Ne7.} 17. Bb5 Qe6 18. Qc2 Rfd8 19. Nh2 {The past few moves have been made with a purpose for both players- White to support d4, and black to prevent it.} Bg5 {I'm not sure about this move, even though the engines recommend it.} 20. Qe2 {I'm not sure about this move, even though the engines recommend it. Also, I believe that allowing the queen to b3 as Hari did in the games only makes matters harder.} ({I would play} 20. f4 exf4 21. Bxf4 Bxf4 22. Rxf4 Ne5 23. Bxd7 Rxd7 24. d4 Ng6 25. Rf2 Re7 26. Re1 {and White remains slightly better.}) (20. Nf3 {The engine's recommendation. After} Bf4 21. Bxf4 exf4 22. d4 Qg6 23. Qd3 Re8 24. Rfe1 $16 {Black is looking at a hard game ahead.}) 20... Ne7 21. Bxd7 $5 {An interesting decision to exchange the good Bb5 for the slighly bad Bb7.} ({I would retain the bishop with} 21. Bc4 {and after} Qg6 22. d4 $14 {White has the better chances.}) 21... Rxd7 22. h4 $5 {A move that doesn't make sense on first glance, but it is made clear after the next 3 moves.} Bf6 23. Ng4 Ng6 24. h5 $5 Nf4 25. Bxf4 exf4 26. d4 {[%csl Rf6,Gg4] that White wanted this position the moment he exchanged the LS Bishops and played h4. Hari wanted to play along the lines of good knight vs bad bishop. Still, I see this manuever as something that reduced his advantage.} Bg5 27. e5 $5 Re8 $1 {[%csl Re5] Now the position becomes a slugfest of tactical ideas, and Hari's pleasant advantage ceases to exist.} 28. Qf3 Qb3 $1 {Adams is quick to pounce on Hari's lacklustre play to gain counterplay against white's fragile queenside.} 29. Rde1 {[%csl Re8][%cal Re5d6] Hari takes aim at the undefended Re8 and threatens exd6.} Rde7 {Adams calmly defends his rook and again threatens to start munching the queenside.} ( {Obviously,} 29... Qxb2 {can't be played, as after} 30. exd6 $1 $18 {White is clearly winning.}) 30. Rb1 Re6 31. g3 dxe5 (31... fxg3 32. Qxg3 dxe5 33. dxe5 Qb6 34. b4 Rc6 35. Kh2 $13 {is very complicated. With both players low on time, Adams decides to keep it simple.}) 32. dxe5 Qxa4 33. b4 {Hari now finds the right moves and liquidates.} Qc6 $5 {very interesting choice by Adams, accepting the virtual draw offer.} (33... f5 {was possible, aiming to play for the win, but after a long computer line} 34. exf6 Bxf6 35. Nxf6+ Rxf6 36. Qxb7 Qd7 37. bxa5 f3 38. Rfe1 Rxe1+ 39. Rxe1 Qh3 40. Qd5+ Kh7 41. Qd3+ Rf5 42. Qf1 Qxf1+ 43. Kxf1 Rxa5 44. Re3 Rxh5 45. Rxf3 Rc5 {the position becomes equal.}) 34. Qxc6 Rxc6 35. gxf4 Bxf4 36. bxa5 Bxe5 37. Rfe1 Rce6 38. Re3 b6 {Both players decide to call it a draw. A good game by the Englishman Adams, who played well and got rewarded with some chances to push. Though he didn't take it, it a was a great effort. Harikrishna on the other hand will be disappointed that he dindn't make the most accurate moves in a better position, and making suspicious plans and exchanges. Still, it is a long tournament, and I feel he will definitely fancy his chances.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Geneva"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.08"] [Round "3.1"] [White "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B92"] [WhiteElo "2739"] [BlackElo "2742"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:59:46"] [BlackClock "0:34:02"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 {Together with MVL, Nepomniachtchi is one of the players still remaining faithful to the Najdorf. Perhaps, after Kasparov's participation in St. Louis in August, more will follow?} 6. Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Be3 Be6 9. Nd5 Nbd7 10. Qd3 O-O 11. a4 (11. O-O Bxd5 12. exd5 Ne8 13. a4 Bg5 14. a5 Bxe3 15. Qxe3 Nef6 16. c4 Rb8 17. Rfb1 Qc7 {Carlsen,M (2838)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2803) Karlsruhe 2017}) 11... Bxd5 12. exd5 Nc5 13. Nxc5 dxc5 14. c4 Qc7 $146 (14... e4 15. Qd2 Bd6 16. O-O Qc7 17. g3 Nd7 18. f4 exf3 19. Bxf3 Rae8 20. Rae1 Ne5 {Vehi Bach,V (2381)-Carlsson,P (2514) Plovdiv 2008}) 15. Qc2 Rae8 16. g4 {"I'm just trying to play interesting chess." Eljanov} e4 17. O-O-O Bd6 18. g5 Nd7 19. Kb1 Ne5 20. h4 Nf3 21. Rh3 Qd7 22. Rhh1 Qe7 23. Bxf3 exf3 24. h5 b5 $6 (24... Qe4 $5 {Eljanov}) 25. cxb5 axb5 26. axb5 Qd7 27. Qd3 Rb8 28. h6 g6 29. Bd2 $1 {There's a much better diagonal available for the bishop.} Rxb5 30. Bc3 Rb3 31. Rhe1 Qg4 32. Re4 Qxg5 (32... Qf5 $5) 33. Qxf3 Be5 34. Rxe5 $1 {Definitely a strong idea. Eljanov thought this was winning, but is it?} Qxe5 35. d6 f6 36. d7 Rxc3 37. Qxc3 Qe7 $2 ({What did the players miss here?} 37... Qxc3 38. bxc3 Rd8 39. Kb2 Kf8 40. Kb3 Ke7 41. Kc4 Rxd7 42. Rxd7+ Kxd7 43. Kxc5 g5 {looks like a drawn pawn endgame.}) 38. Qb3+ Kh8 39. Qd5 Rd8 40. Rd3 {There's nothing Black can do against 41.Re3, 42.Qc6 and 43.Re8. The pawn on h6 is the hero indeed.} 1-0 [Event "FIDE Grand Prix"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.09"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Adams, Michael"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2749"] [BlackElo "2736"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:54:11"] [BlackClock "0:03:25"] 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nf3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. Qc2 c5 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Nxd5 exd5 10. Bd3 Qa5+ (10... h6 11. dxc5 Nxc5 12. O-O Bg4 13. Bf5 Bxf3 14. gxf3 Ne6 15. Bg3 Qb6 16. Rfd1 Rfd8 {Fedoseev,V (2690)-Jakovenko,D (2718) Minsk 2017}) 11. Qc3 Qb6 12. a3 cxd4 $146 (12... c4 13. Bc2 Bd6 14. Bg3 Re8 15. O-O Bxg3 16. fxg3 Qd6 17. Rae1 Nf6 {Mandiza,F (2355)-Tang,A (2466) Las Vegas 2016}) 13. Qxd4 Nc5 14. Bc2 Qb5 15. Be5 f6 16. Bg3 {"Pretty unclear." (Svidler) } Qc4 $2 {"A very unfortunate decision by Mickey." (Svidler)} 17. Rc1 $1 { Now Black is more or less forced to take on d4 when White has a dream position. } Qxd4 18. Nxd4 a5 19. Nb5 $1 {The d-pawn is doomed.} Rd8 20. Nc7 Ra7 21. Rd1 Kf7 22. Nxd5 b5 23. O-O Bf8 (23... g6 24. Nxe7 Kxe7 25. Rxd8 Kxd8 26. Bd6 Na4) 24. Bxh7 g5 ({Black cannot try and trap the bishop with} 24... g6 {because of} 25. Bxg6+ Kxg6 26. Nf4+) 25. h4 Be6 26. e4 gxh4 27. Bxh4 Bxd5 28. Rxd5 Rxd5 29. exd5 Na4 30. Rc1 Rd7 31. Rc6 Rxd5 32. Rxf6+ Kg7 33. Bc2 Nxb2 34. Rg6+ Kf7 35. Rf6+ Kg7 36. Rb6 Bc5 37. Rb7+ Kf8 38. Bg6 Bd4 39. Be7+ Kg8 40. Bf6 1-0 [Event "Geneva"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.09"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Saleh, Salem"] [Black "Rapport, Richard"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B28"] [WhiteElo "2638"] [BlackElo "2694"] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:51:01"] [BlackClock "0:50:31"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 a6 3. c4 Nc6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 e5 6. Nf5 $1 {The best move. Rapport had faced two other replies before:} (6. Nxc6 dxc6 7. Qxd8+ Kxd8 8. Be3 Kc7 9. Nc3 Nf6 10. f3 Be6 11. c5 g6 12. Na4 Nd7 {Socko,B (2622)-Rapport,R (2701) Budapest HUN 2014}) (6. Nc2 Bc5 7. Bd3 d6 8. O-O Nge7 9. Nc3 O-O 10. Be3 Be6 11. Nd5 Bxe3 12. Ncxe3 Nd4 13. Nxe7+ Qxe7 {Reinhart,E (2344)-Rapport,R (2716) Basel SUI 2015}) 6... d6 7. Nc3 g6 ({Giving up the bishop with} 7... Bxf5 8. exf5 {cannot be recommended.}) 8. Ne3 Bh6 (8... Nge7 9. h4 h5 10. Ned5 Nxd5 11. Nxd5 Bh6 12. Bg5 Bxg5 13. hxg5 Be6 14. Nf6+ {½-½ Szabo,K (2510) -Hujbert,F (2464) Hungary 2016}) 9. g3 $146 (9. Bd3 Be6 10. O-O Nge7 11. b3 O-O 12. Bb2 Rb8 13. Qe1 Nd4 14. Ne2 Nec6 15. Nxd4 Nxd4 16. Rd1 b5 {Sanchez Enriquez,O (2374)-Bogner,S (2603) Barcelona 2014}) 9... Nf6 10. Bg2 O-O 11. O-O b5 12. f4 {"A crazy mess." (Salem)} exf4 13. gxf4 Bb7 {Salem was surprised how quickly Rapport played his last two moves, as "it looks so promising for White. "} 14. e5 $1 {Salem goes for it, and rightly so.} dxe5 15. fxe5 Nd7 (15... Qxd1 $6 16. Rxd1 $1 {gives White a clear advantage.} (16. Nexd1 Ng4 $1 (16... Bxc1 17. Bxc6 $1 Bxc6 18. Rxf6) 17. Bxh6 Nxh6 18. cxb5 axb5 19. Nxb5 Rab8 {is less clear})) (15... Qb6 $5 16. exf6 Bxe3+ 17. Bxe3 Qxe3+ 18. Rf2 Na5 19. Bxb7 Nxb7 20. Nd5 Qg5+ 21. Rg2 Qh4 {might be OK for Black.}) 16. Ng4 Bxc1 17. Rxc1 Ncxe5 18. Nxe5 Bxg2 19. Nxd7 Bxf1 20. Kxf1 Qh4 (20... Re8 21. Qd4 $1 Re6 22. Re1 $1) 21. Nxf8 $1 Qxh2 22. Nd7 $1 {Salem keeps playing the best moves. There is no perpetual.} Qh3+ 23. Kf2 Qh2+ 24. Ke3 Re8+ 25. Kd3 Rd8 26. Nd5 Rxd7 27. Kc3 Rd6 28. b3 a5 29. Rc2 Qg3+ 30. Qd3 Qe1+ 31. Kb2 {White has consolidated and is winning now.} bxc4 32. bxc4 Re6 33. Qc3 Qf1 34. Qxa5 Re1 35. Ka3 h5 36. Qc3 Re6 37. Rb2 Ra6+ 38. Kb4 h4 39. Kc5 Qg1+ 40. Qe3 Ra5+ (40... Ra5+ {and resigned because of a line like} 41. Kb4 Qxe3 42. Nxe3 Ra8 43. Rh2 g5 44. c5) 1-0 [Event "Geneva"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.10"] [Round "5"] [White "Harikrishna, Pentala"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B81"] [WhiteElo "2737"] [BlackElo "2742"] [Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"] [PlyCount "102"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] {This 5th Round Game was an interesting pairing. On one hand we have the solid Harikrishna, who's unbeaten this tournament, and on the other hand we have Ian Nepomniachtchi, a super aggressive 'risk it all' player. This game lived up to the hype, and we had an uncompromising struggle.} 1. e4 {Hari has stuck to e4 in this tournament. He is one of the few really good ambidextrous players, being able to play both e4 and d4 really well. I guess he predicted Nepo's opening choice, and decided he wanted to go all out today.} c5 {The Sicilian has always been a popular opening at the top level for aggressive players like Kasparov, Topalov etc. Nepo continues this trend.} 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 {This time, we don't see a Rossolimo, that happens after Bb5. It is now a fight of good opening preparation.} (3. Bb5+ {This is becoming more and more popular at the top level for people who don't want to enter 20 moves of prepared theory. Nepo himself faced it twice this year against Najdorf expert Vacher Lagrave, and lost both. One of those games continued} Nd7 4. O-O a6 5. Bd3 b5 6. Re1 Bb7 7. a4 b4 8. Bc4 Ngf6 9. d3 e6 10. Nbd2 Be7 11. Nf1 O-O 12. Ng3 $13 {with an unclear position, though Maxime eventually won.}) 3... cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 {The Najdorf is the most common Sicilian at the top level, due to its blend of tactical and positional themes. It is also Nepo's favourite.} 6. h3 { This move is the tabiya of modern chess. White refuses to commit to any DS Bishop moves, and plans to fianchetto the bishop after g4. His main aim is to control the light squares that Black will weaken if he plays e5. His idea is to play Nde2 after e5.} (6. Be2 {was a move that was frequently used, but has now been relegated, due to the efforts of Maxime and other Najdorf experts. The point is that the bishop is well placed to reach f3 if black plays e6, allowing white to expand unhindered on the kingside with f4. However, after e5, it is clear that the bishop is slightly misplaced. A playable variation nevertheless, but it has lost some trust at the top level. I will mention a sample line now. After} e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Qd3 Nc6 {and black faces few difficulties, and eventually drew, Ponomariov-Shankland. It speaks volumes of the variation if white has scored only 51% in it.}) (6. Be3 {is the English Attack. Here too white will play g4, but after f3. However, this move order has a disavantage. After} e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. f3 {Black has been doing very well recently with the move} h5 {The point is to prevent the freeing g4. Topalov-Vachier Lagrave continued} 9. Qd2 Nbd7 10. Nd5 Bxd5 11. exd5 g6 12. Be2 Bg7 {and black is doing fine.}) (6. Bg5 {A once popular variation, that went under the cloud because of the forced Poisoned Pawn lines. This is white's most aggressive way to fight the Najdorf. Parimarjan Negi has written an excellent book on the subject, and I won't be surprised if the variation is revived at the top level, partly due to Fabiano's recent efforts. Caruana-Nakamura continued} e6 7. f4 h6 8. Bh4 Qb6 9. a3 Be7 10. Bf2 Qc7 11. Qf3 Nbd7 12. O-O-O b5 13. g4 g5 14. h4 gxf4 15. Be2 b4 16. axb4 Ne5 17. Qxf4 Nexg4 18. Bxg4 e5 {and here Fabi unleased the fantastic} 19. Qxf6 $3 {and won later}) 6... e6 {Nepo chooses to play the Scheveningen today.} (6... e5 { is slightly more popular at the top level. Play continues} 7. Nde2 h5 8. Bg5 Be6 9. Bxf6 Qxf6 10. Nd5 Qd8 11. Nec3 {and white has slightly better chances, Anand-Bologan.}) 7. g4 {This is the reason the Scheveningen has disappeared from the top level- the aggressive Keres Attack. So unless Nepo has cooked up something new, he is staring at trouble.} Be7 8. g5 Nfd7 9. h4 b5 10. a3 Bb7 11. Be3 Nc6 12. Qd2 O-O 13. O-O-O Nc5 14. f3 Rb8 {Both sides complete their development in standard fashion. I feel the assesment of the position will depend on who crashes through first.} 15. Kb1 $146 {A natural move that is also a novelty.} (15. Rg1 {is its predecessor. But after} b4 16. Nxc6 Bxc6 17. axb4 Qb6 $132 {Black finds immediate counterplay, and white has to be careful here.}) 15... Nxd4 16. Bxd4 Bc6 17. Bh3 $6 {A very questionable decision, but a human one after all. I guess Hari was out of his preparation at this point.} ({It was necessary for Karpovian prophylaxix with} 17. b4 $1 {physically stopping black from playing the same. White is taking a risk here, as a timed a5 might shatter his structure, but then, why play the sicilian if you don't want to take risks? After} Qc7 18. h5 a5 19. g6 $14 {White is crashing through first, though black still has chances.}) 17... a5 {Nepo takes the chance offered to him, and the game now turns very sharp.} 18. b4 $6 {I think this is one move too late, and allows back to improve his c5 knight and open the a-file.} (18. Qe3 {Was necessary, to threathen Bxc5. After} b4 19. Bxc5 bxc3 20. Qxc3 Rc8 21. e5 Bxf3 22. Qxf3 Rxc5 {White has somewhat stabilised the situation.}) 18... axb4 19. axb4 Nd7 {A bad move by Nepo. Why retreat when you can advance} (19... Na4 $1 {was possible, to cover important squares on the queenside. After} 20. Nxa4 bxa4 21. Ka1 Qc7 22. h5 e5 $1 $17 {Black is calling the shots.}) 20. g6 $1 {Hari takes the gift presented to him, and attacks gleefully.} e5 21. gxf7+ Rxf7 22. Be3 Kh8 23. Rhg1 Nb6 24. Be6 $2 {A bad move. White hurries through with his plan, forgetting that there was a better move to me made.} (24. Bxb6 $1 {Was the move required to maintain equality. After} Rxb6 {now it is right to play} 25. Be6 Rf6 26. Bd5 Qf8 27. Kb2 {and white can look forward to a long and interesting game.}) 24... Nc4 $1 25. Qe2 Rf6 $6 { Now, this is a clear inaccuracy. Why force the bishop back when that is all it can do?} (25... Qf8 $1 {is the best move here, improving the queen. After} 26. Nd5 (26. Bxf7 {Note that Bxf7 is clearly bad after} Qxf7 27. Qf2 Ra8 28. f4 Bf6 $40 {Threathening the queen transfer to a7 and mate on a1. Black is close to winning.}) 26... Bd8 27. Rdf1 Ra8 $17 {Black can start thinking on how to win this position.}) 26. Bxc4 $1 {Hari sees light at the end of the tunnel, and quickly liquidates.} bxc4 27. Qxc4 Qa5 $4 {A blunder at this level. Black is playing 'normal' attacking moves, and doesn't care if he loses a piece. However, he is getting just one or two checks.} (27... Qe8 {is the way to go according to Houdini, and play on both flanks. After Houdini 5.01 Pro x64:} 28. Kc1 Rxf3 29. Rd3 Bf8 30. h5 Bd7 31. h6 g6 32. Bg5 Rf2 $17 {Black retains his advantage.}) 28. Kc1 $2 {Again, Harikrishna falls to a bluff by the black player! A timid move by a really strong player. I guess he was already in slight time trouble at this point.} (28. Qxc6 {and Black is close to lost, the point being that after} Qxb4+ 29. Kc1 d5 30. Qc7 d4 31. Nd5 Qb2+ 32. Kd2 dxe3+ 33. Ke2 $18 {White escapes to the kingside, and starts creating strong threats} ) 28... Qa3+ {Nepo is not the one to give another chance!} 29. Kd2 d5 30. exd5 Bxb4 31. dxc6 Bxc3+ 32. Ke2 Bd4 33. Rd3 Qa8 {The last few moves have been more or less forced. However, Nepo's last move allows Hari to sack an exchange succesfully.} ({Better to play} 33... Qd6 {here and stop Rxd4 ideas. After} 34. c7 Rc8 35. f4 Qf8 36. Bxd4 exd4 37. Rxd4 Qe7+ 38. Re4 Qd7 {Black holds the balance, but only just.}) 34. Rxd4 $1 {A really good move, the best in the position. Hari gets a strong passer and two pawns for this exchange sac. Also, the black king is now exposed on the long diagonal.} exd4 35. Bxd4 Re8+ 36. Kf2 Qxc6 {Nepo tries his best, and exchanges queens to halt the assault} 37. Qxc6 Rxc6 38. Rxg7 Rxc2+ 39. Kg3 Rc4 40. Rg4+ Rxd4 $1 {The final good sacrifice of the game. Black directs the game into a pawn down rook ending that he should draw.} 41. Rxd4 Kg7 42. Kg4 Re1 43. Rd7+ Kh6 44. Rd6+ Kg7 45. f4 Rg1+ 46. Kf5 h5 47. Rd7+ Kg8 48. Ke6 Rg6+ 49. Ke5 Rg4 50. f5 Rxh4 51. Rd8+ Kf7 {And the players agree to a draw. Another volatile game by Nepo, where he had the chances, but failed to take advantage of them. Hari on the other hand will be left fuming after missing another glorious chance(Qxc6). Also, I feel that he should really reduce his inaccuracies in critical moments. Once he improves his conversion rate, no one can stop him.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE Geneva Grand Prix 2017"] [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 "A. Silver"] [PlyCount "69"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. a3 Bb7 5. Nc3 d5 6. Qc2 dxc4 7. e4 c5 8. Bf4 $146 (8. d5 exd5 9. exd5 a6 10. Bxc4 Bd6 11. O-O O-O 12. Bg5 Nbd7 13. a4 Qc7 14. h3 h6 15. Bxf6 Nxf6 {1/2-1/2 (35) Sokolov,I (2650)-David,A (2579) Saint-Quentin 2014}) 8... a6 9. Bxc4 b5 10. Bb3 cxd4 11. Rd1 Qb6 12. Nxd4 Bc5 13. Nf3 Nbd7 14. O-O Rc8 15. Qe2 Qc6 $2 {[#] Black is just begging for trouble, leaving his king in the center like that, and White is all too happy to oblige. } (15... Be7 $14) 16. Bd5 $1 $18 Qb6 17. Bxb7 Qxb7 {[#]} 18. e5 $1 Ng4 19. Ne4 Be7 (19... O-O {wouldn't change much.} 20. h3 f5 (20... Nh6 21. Bxh6 gxh6 22. Rxd7 {and if} Qxd7 23. Nf6+) 21. Nd6 Bxd6 22. Rxd6 $18) 20. Nd6+ Bxd6 21. Rxd6 Nc5 22. Nd2 h5 23. b4 Na4 24. Ne4 O-O 25. h3 Rc4 26. Re1 f5 27. exf6 $1 ({Not} 27. hxg4 $2 Rxe4 28. Qd2 Rxe1+ 29. Qxe1 fxg4 $11) 27... Nxf6 28. Nxf6+ Rxf6 29. Rd8+ Rf8 (29... Kh7 30. Qxh5+ Rh6 31. Bxh6 gxh6 32. Rxe6) 30. Qxe6+ Qf7 31. Rxf8+ Kxf8 32. Qd6+ Kg8 33. g3 Nc3 34. Re7 Qf5 35. Be5 1-0 [Event "Geneva"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.13"] [Round "7"] [White "Harikrishna, Pentala"] [Black "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B81"] [WhiteElo "2737"] [BlackElo "2761"] [Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"] [PlyCount "58"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] {This 7th Round Game pitted the two of the 3 leaders against each other, as Harikrishna had white against Grischuk. A win here would see Hari take sole lead in the tournament, and he gave it his all in a sharp Sicilian encounter.} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 {Grischuk plays his pet Sicilian, the Najdorf. It is clear that he has come to the board in a fighting mood.} 6. h3 {Hari again responds with 6.h3, the move he used against Nepo with some success. Judging by this game, it seems he has prepared this line very carefully.} e6 {An interesting choice by Grischuk, allowing the Keres Attack with g4.} (6... e5 {is the main line, and after} 7. Nde2 h5 8. Bg5 Be6 9. Bxf6 Qxf6 10. Nd5 Qd8 11. Nec3 {we reach a balanced position, with chances for both sides.}) 7. g4 {Judging by the reappearance of the Scheveningen at the top level, I feel white should find a new idea in the Keres Attack. Otherwise, black has acceptable positions to play.} Nfd7 {A prophylactic move, planning b5, Bb7, and Nbc6, but not the main move.} ({Players in the past have preferred the developing} 7... Be7 {but after} 8. g5 Nfd7 {white plays the interesting} 9. Be3 $5 b5 ({Note that Bxg5 is bad, as after} 9... Bxg5 { White plays the strong} 10. Nxe6 $1 fxe6 11. Qh5+ g6 12. Qxg5 Qxg5 13. Bxg5 Ne5 14. O-O-O $16 {and has the much better game.}) 10. a3 Bb7 11. h4 Nc6 12. Rg1 $14 {and white is to be preferred, Ganguly-Salem Saleh.}) ({The prophylactic} 7... h6 {can also be considered, trying to prevent the g5 advance. But if white plays it anyway, why bother with such a waste of time? After} 8. f4 Nc6 9. Be3 Qc7 10. Bg2 Be7 11. Qe2 $14 {White has acres of space and free development, and looks forward to increasing his substantial advantage.}) 8. g5 b5 {Grischuk plays principled chess, trying to get counterplay on the queenside.} 9. a3 {Here, the prophylaxis makes much more sense, as white buys time to play f3 later, and close the diagonal.} Be7 10. h4 Bb7 11. Be3 Nc6 12. Qd2 Rc8 13. Nxc6 Bxc6 14. h5 $146 {A novelty by Hari, and a logical one as well. White plans to storm the castle with g6.} O-O 15. O-O-O $16 {Both sides have completed their development logically. My assesment is that white is better, due to his faster play on the kingside. Black must seek counterplay soon.} Nc5 16. f3 a5 17. Bxc5 $6 {A questionable exchange. The bishop was doing fine on e3, and the knight was not that powerful.} ({It was time for the prophylactic advance} 17. b4 $1 $16 {Somehow, Hari keeps missing this in his games this tournament. Sure, this might look risky, but then, it prevents b4, and blocks off the b-file. After} axb4 18. axb4 Na4 19. Nxa4 bxa4 20. Ba6 Qc7 21. h6 g6 22. Qc3 $16 {White holds all the trumps.}) 17... dxc5 18. Qxd8 $6 { A negative mindset by Hari, wanting to exchange queens and draw as soon as possible.} ({On any other day, he would have gone} 18. Qe3 {and after} Qb6 19. g6 Rfd8 20. h6 $36 {White retains some chances.}) 18... Rfxd8 {The players now play a few more moves, and then agree to a draw.} 19. Bxb5 Bxg5+ 20. Kb1 Ba8 21. Na4 Be7 22. b3 Rb8 23. Rxd8+ Rxd8 24. Nb2 Bf6 25. Nd3 Bd4 26. Rd1 Rd6 27. Rc1 f5 28. c3 Be3 29. Re1 Bd2 {and the players drew. A good result for the Russian Grandmaster, who maintains his +2 score, and keeps sight of Rajdabov, who again won today. As for Hari, I am upset that he failed to find the right pawn push(b4). Had he done so, he would have pushed his opponent harder, and could have caught up with Rajdabov on +3. He really needs to improve his performance with white in this tournament if he needs to stand a chance.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Geneva"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.13"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A34"] [WhiteElo "2724"] [BlackElo "2749"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:15:39"] [BlackClock "0:11:56"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e3 Nxc3 (5... Nc6 6. Bb5 Nxc3 7. bxc3 Bd7 8. Rb1 e6 9. d4 cxd4 10. exd4 Be7 11. Bd3 Qc7 12. O-O O-O 13. Re1 Rac8 {Ipatov,A (2662)-Xiong,J (2652) Saint Louis 2017}) 6. dxc3 $5 Qxd1+ 7. Kxd1 Bf5 $5 (7... Nc6 8. e4 Bd7 (8... g6 9. Be3 b6 10. Bb5 Bd7 11. a4 Bg7 12. Kc2 Ne5 13. Nd2 Ng4 14. Nc4 Nxe3+ 15. Nxe3 O-O-O 16. Rhd1 Be6 17. a5 Rxd1 18. Rxd1 Rd8 19. Nd5 Kb7 20. a6+ {½-½ Andersson,U (2545)-Timman,J (2585) Buenos Aires 1978 }) 9. Be3 e6 10. Kc2 Be7 11. Rd1 O-O-O 12. Be2 f6 13. Nd2 Ne5 14. f3 Kc7 15. Nc4 Nxc4 {½-½ Miles,A (2555)-Tal,M (2620) Las Palmas 1977}) 8. Nd2 Nc6 9. e4 Be6 $6 $146 (9... Bd7 10. Kc2 O-O-O 11. Nb3 e6 12. Be3 b6 13. Ba6+ Kc7 14. a4 Ne5 15. f3 Bd6 {Andersson,U (2560)-Browne,W (2540) Banja Luka 1979}) 10. Kc2 g6 11. Bc4 Bd7 12. Nb3 b6 13. a4 Ne5 14. Bb5 a6 15. Bxd7+ Nxd7 16. Be3 e6 17. Rhd1 O-O-O 18. Nd2 Be7 19. Nc4 Kb7 20. a5 Rhf8 21. axb6 Nxb6 22. Na5+ Kc7 23. Bf4+ Bd6 24. Bh6 ({Radjabov had seen} 24. Rxd6 Rxd6 25. Rd1 Rfd8 26. Bxd6+ Rxd6 27. Rxd6 Kxd6 28. Nb7+ {and the knight endgame is probably winning}) ({but instead Black goes} 24. Rxd6 Rxd6 25. Rd1 Nc8 $1 {when he looked at} 26. b4 cxb4 27. c4 $5 {and decided that he shouldn't risk calculating that might be inaccurate. And indeed, Black has something here:} g5 $1 28. Bg3 e5 $1 29. Bxe5 f6 30. Bg3 f5 31. exf5 (31. Bxd6+ Nxd6 32. e5 {is still a decent try}) 31... Rxf5 { with equality.}) 24... Rfe8 25. Nb3 Ra8 26. Be3 Nd7 27. Ra5 Kc6 28. Rda1 Kb6 29. R5a4 Rec8 (29... Reb8 {(Radjabov)} 30. Na5 Be7 31. Bf4 e5 32. Nc4+) 30. Na5 {Black is strategically lost. At least a pawn will drop, but after Svidler's move, Black loses even more material.} Be7 $6 (30... Kc7 31. Nc4) 31. Rb4+ (31. Rb4+ Kc7 32. Rb7+ Kd8 33. Rd1 Rc7 34. Nc6+ Kc8 35. Rxc7+ Kxc7 36. Nxe7 Re8 37. Bf4+) 1-0 [Event "Geneva"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.14"] [Round "8.1"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2742"] [BlackElo "2809"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:11:49"] [BlackClock "0:00:32"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nb6 7. O-O Be7 8. a3 a5 9. d3 O-O 10. Be3 Be6 11. Rc1 a4 12. Nd2 (12. Bxb6 cxb6 13. Nxa4 e4 14. Ne1 Nd4 15. Nc3 Bg5 16. e3 Nb3 17. Bxe4 Nxc1 18. Qxc1 Qd7 {Nepomniachtchi,I (2730)-Bocharov,D (2609) Apatity 2011}) 12... f5 13. Bxb6 cxb6 14. Nxa4 $146 ( 14. Re1 Bg5 15. e3 Qxd3 16. Bf1 Qd7 17. Nc4 Qf7 {Recasens Sanchez,J (2048) -Gudkov,A corr. 2012}) 14... Bg5 15. Nc3 e4 16. Rb1 Ne5 {Aronian goes "all-in. " (Nepomniachtchi)} ({An interesting mini-plan was} 16... Rf7 17. Nc4 Rd7) 17. Nb3 Ng4 18. Qc2 $6 Be3 $1 19. dxe4 ({The problem is that after} 19. fxe3 Nxe3 { the white queen also has to let go of Nb3.}) 19... Qg5 $2 ({The way to go was} 19... Nxf2 $1 20. Rxf2 fxe4 21. Rbf1 {and now} (21. Nxe4 $2 Rc8) 21... Qc7 $1 { with the point} 22. Bxe4 Rxf2 23. Rxf2 Qf7 {when Black will be an exchange up for a pawn.} 24. Bf3 Bxf2+ 25. Kxf2 Bxb3 26. Qd3) 20. fxe3 Qxe3+ 21. Kh1 Qh6 22. h3 {The human move.} ({The computer points out that good for White was} 22. h4 $1 f4 23. Qd2 Ne3 24. Rf3 Bxb3 25. gxf4 Ng4 (25... Qxh4+ 26. Rh3) 26. Rbf1 Qxh4+ 27. Bh3 $1) 22... Ne3 23. Qd2 f4 24. gxf4 Nxf1 $6 ({Black should play} 24... Nxg2 25. Kxg2 Qxh3+ 26. Kf2 Qh4+ (26... Rad8 $5) 27. Ke3 Bxb3 28. Qd6 b5) 25. Rxf1 Bxb3 26. e5 Rae8 27. Ne4 Kh8 28. Kh2 Bg8 29. e3 Re6 30. Nd6 Qh4 31. Qd4 Rg6 32. Rf3 Qe1 33. f5 Rg5 34. h4 Rh5 35. Rg3 Be6 36. fxe6 1-0 [Event "Geneva"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.15"] [Round "9"] [White "Harikrishna, P."] [Black "Jakovenko, Dmitry"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2737"] [BlackElo "2703"] [Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"] [PlyCount "230"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] {This 9th Round Game was a battle of pride. For Harikrishna, this might be a retribution, after a painful loss ruined his chances for 1st place. For Jakovenko, the former 3rd Place Finisher, a win here might serve as a confidence booster. [#]} 1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 2. Nf3 { [%emt 0:00:00]} Nc6 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 3. Bc4 {0 No surprises here, as the players arrive at the current tabiya of modern chess, the quiet Italian.} Bc5 { [%emt 0:00:04]} 4. c3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 5. d3 {[%emt 0:00: 00]} a6 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 6. O-O {202} d6 {[%emt 0:00:10]} 7. a4 {14 One of the main moves in this position. White prevents b4 and creates a retreat square for his bishop.} Ba7 {32 The point of this curious retreat is to prevent a tempo loss after an eventual d4.} 8. Re1 {[%emt 0:00:19]} O-O {[%emt 0:00:48]} 9. h3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Ne7 {7 One of the two best moves in this position. The point is to reroute the knight to g6, where it keeps an eye on f4 and h4. Black can additionally play c6-d5, but I am not sure if he equalises after that.} (9... h6 {is another logical move, preventing the pin Bg5. After} 10. Nbd2 Re8 11. b4 Be6 12. Bxe6 Rxe6 13. Qc2 $13 {an unclear situation arises. White is surely better on the queenside, where he plans an eventual b5, but Black's forces are a compact bunch, and moves such as d5 are in the air. Also, d4 will be a problematic move to execute. The assesment of the position will depend on white's ability to carry out a successful queenside assault, or Black's speed in creating counterplay.}) 10. Nbd2 {[%emt 0:00:22]} Ng6 { [%emt 0:00:09]} 11. d4 $14 {34 So white again carries out the typical idea in these Italian positions- a timely d4 advance. White is now slightly better.} c6 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 12. b4 $5 {65 I am not sure if this move is the best in this positon. Sure, white grabs space, but his pawn center is rendered unstable.} ( 12. Bb3 $1 {Would be more in the spirit of the position, as white prevents his bishop being hit with tempo after d5. He can also conserve this piece with Bc2. After} exd4 13. cxd4 d5 14. e5 ({It is possible here to play} 14. exd5 { and after} cxd5 15. Bc2 Re8 16. Nb3 $14 {I prefer white here, as his LS Bishop is a great piece, his b3 knight can hop to c5, and he has the better co-ordination.}) 14... Nh5 15. Nf1 f6 16. Bc2 Nhf4 17. Ra3 $13 {Another unclear position arises, with chances for both sides.}) 12... exd4 {744} 13. cxd4 {[%emt 0:00:06]} d5 $5 {3 Jakovenko plays principled chess, though there were other moves available to him.} ({One of them is} 13... Re8 {and after} 14. Bb3 h6 15. Bc2 Nh5 16. Nc4 Nhf4 17. Bxf4 Nxf4 18. Qd2 g5 19. e5 $16 {White is better, though black is not without his chances.}) 14. Bd3 $146 {10 A novelty by Hari. He is clearly well prepared.} ({He could of course try} 14. exd5 { and after} Nxd5 15. Ne4 h6 16. Bd2 $14 {white is better here, but it is an unbalanced position, and black sure has chances here.}) 14... dxe4 {447} 15. Nxe4 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Nxe4 {126} 16. Bxe4 {[%emt 0:00:09]} Be6 {[%emt 0:00:53]} 17. b5 $1 {31 Hari strikes when the iron is hot. White now steadily improves his position. It is hard to pinpoint where Jakovenko went wrong, but it is clear he has not equalised.} axb5 $6 {1230 A clear inaccuracy. Black had a better option here.} (17... Bd5 {is the right move, inviting white to resolve the tension. After} 18. bxc6 bxc6 19. Qc2 Bxe4 20. Rxe4 Qd5 21. Ba3 $14 { White has the better chances, as he has free development.}) 18. axb5 {[%emt 0: 00:19]} Bd5 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 19. Bxd5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Qxd5 {361} 20. bxc6 { [%emt 0:00:09]} bxc6 {1060 Now is the time to take a real good look at the position. White has an IQP, and black has an open d-file to take aim at it. He has 2 pieces staring at it already, and can add more fire. But, his trumps stop there. White has control over 2 open files, freer development, and of course, he is to move in this position. One can argue all he wants about c6 being as weak as d4, but now Hari shows otherwise, as the c6 weakness is easier to target.} 21. Ra6 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Qb5 {94} 22. Qe2 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Rfb8 {221} 23. Qxb5 {2009} cxb5 $16 {15 Again, lets take stock. After the queen exchange, it is made clear that black is suffering here. His b-pawn can easily be blockaded, his rook on a8 is temporarily dead, and he doesn't own an open file. All these factors are exploited by white, as he now claims a tangible advantage.} 24. Bd2 {[%emt 0:00:07]} Bb6 {77} 25. Rxa8 {[%emt 0:00:05] } Rxa8 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 26. Rb1 {7 Now it is made clear. Black has to lose a pawn.} Bc7 {876 There was another move I'm sure Jakovenko considered.} (26... f6 {with the idea to bring the king to the center, in order to blockade the d-pawn, is a slightly better plan. After} 27. Rxb5 Ra1+ 28. Kh2 Ra6 29. g3 Ne7 30. Be3 Kf7 $16 {Black is not dead yet.}) 27. Rxb5 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Ra1+ { [%emt 0:00:08]} 28. Ne1 {84} Rd1 {213} 29. Rb2 {84} Nf4 {501} 30. Kf1 {387} Kf8 {181} 31. Rc2 {292} Bd6 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 32. g3 {[%emt 0:00:50]} Nd5 {[%emt 0: 00:24]} 33. Ke2 {107 White has slowly unravelled his position, and now Black must suffer.} Ra1 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 34. Rb2 {306} Ke7 {[%emt 0:00:34]} 35. Nc2 { [%emt 0:00:41]} Ra4 {[%emt 0:00:22]} 36. Kd3 {[%emt 0:00:56]} Ke6 {104} 37. Rb5 {118} g6 {396} 38. Ne3 {215} Ra3+ {[%emt 0:00:06]} 39. Ke2 {[%emt 0:00:24]} Nxe3 {[%emt 0:00:38]} 40. Bxe3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Ra2+ {205} 41. Kf3 {232} h5 { 831} 42. Ke4 $6 {182 An inaccuracy. There was a better move here.} (42. d5+ Kd7 43. Rb7+ Ke8 44. Ra7 Rb2 45. Ra4 h4 46. Rxh4 $18 {And white can start thinking about different ways in which he can win in this position.}) 42... Ra4 { 431 Jakovenko plays a good move, but it is not the best move in this position.} (42... f5+ {was more accurate, and after} 43. Kf3 Ra3 44. h4 Ke7 45. Kg2 Rd3 46. Rb2 Ke6 $16 {White is still better, but Black has reasonable chances to draw this position.}) 43. g4 {77} hxg4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 44. hxg4 {[%emt 0:00: 04]} Bc7 {476} 45. f4 {134} Ra1 {177} 46. Bd2 {607} (46. f5+ gxf5+ 47. gxf5+ Ke7 48. Rc5 Bd6 49. Rc1 Rxc1 50. Bxc1 $16 {and white can keep trying to win here. This was another option.}) 46... Ra2 {131} 47. Be3 {532} Ra1 {[%emt 0:00: 12]} 48. g5 {54 Hari is playing a waiting game here. He is forcing black into a cocoon, and hopes he will blunder soon.} Kd7 {281} 49. Rb7 {338} Kc6 50. Rb2 {[%emt 0:00:17]} Ra4 {290} 51. Rb1 {469} Kd7 {[%emt 0:00:21]} 52. f5 {267} gxf5+ {[%emt 0:00:09]} 53. Kxf5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Ra5+ {78} 54. Ke4 {[%emt 0:00: 26]} Ra4 {231} 55. Rf1 {166} Ke7 {[%emt 0:00:12]} 56. Bd2 {62} Ra2 {118} 57. Kd3 {134} Bd6 {64} 58. Bc3 {129} Rg2 {75} 59. d5 $6 {380 The past few moves have good, but Hari messes up here. He had a much better option.} (59. Bd2 Rg3+ 60. Be3 Rg2 61. Ke4 Ra2 62. Rf2 Ra1 63. Rb2 $16 {and white keeps trying. Black has to suffer for a long time here.}) 59... Rg4 {[%emt 0:00:27]} 60. Bf6+ { [%emt 0:00:00]} Kd7 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 61. Ra1 {464} Bc5 {[%emt 0:00:40]} 62. Ra6 Rg1 {123 Now all Hari has to show here is a small plus due to an extra pawn. Jakovenko defends well here, and prolongs the fight.} 63. Rc6 {240} Ba3 {376} 64. Rb6 {390} Bc1 {97} 65. Rb1 {236} Rg3+ {62} 66. Ke4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Bxg5 { 66} 67. Be5 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Re3+ {89} 68. Kd4 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Rf3 {73} 69. Ke4 {87} Re3+ {70} 70. Kf5 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Be7 {[%emt 0:00:20]} 71. Rb7+ { [%emt 0:00:33]} Ke8 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 72. d6 {[%emt 0:00:14]} Bxd6 $1 {6 An excellent move by Jakovenko. By liquidating to a R+B vs R endgame, where white has no pawns remaining, he correctly assesses that he can draw by showing some good endgame technique.} 73. Bxd6 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Re1 {116} 74. Bf4 {85} Re7 { [%emt 0:00:36]} 75. Rb8+ {[%emt 0:00:29]} Kd7 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 76. Kf6 { [%emt 0:00:18]} Re1 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 77. Kxf7 {104} Kc6 {3 Hari can try all he wants here, but this is a theoretically drawn endgame, and it is just a matter of the 50 move rule now.} 78. Kf6 {[%emt 0:00:11]} Kd5 {[%emt 0:00:54]} 79. Kf5 {[%emt 0:00:32]} Re7 {[%emt 0:00:59]} 80. Rd8+ {[%emt 0:00:06]} Kc6 {[%emt 0: 00:08]} 81. Rd6+ {[%emt 0:00:19]} Kc5 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 82. Be5 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Rh7 {[%emt 0:00:14]} 83. Rd1 {[%emt 0:00:17]} Rh6 {[%emt 0:00:44]} 84. Ke4 { [%emt 0:00:11]} Rh4+ {[%emt 0:00:34]} 85. Bf4 {[%emt 0:00:12]} Kc4 {[%emt 0:00: 08]} 86. Rc1+ {[%emt 0:00:06]} Kb4 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 87. Ke5 {[%emt 0:00:15]} Kb3 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 88. Rc8 {[%emt 0:00:40]} Rg4 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 89. Be3 { [%emt 0:00:46]} Rc4 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 90. Rd8 {[%emt 0:00:27]} Kc3 {[%emt 0:00: 17]} 91. Bd4+ {[%emt 0:00:15]} Kd3 {[%emt 0:00:57]} 92. Ra8 {[%emt 0:00:07]} Rc6 {[%emt 0:00:51]} 93. Kd5 {[%emt 0:00:19]} Rg6 {[%emt 0:00:17]} 94. Ra3+ { [%emt 0:00:06]} Ke2 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 95. Kc4 {75} Rc6+ {[%emt 0:00:13]} 96. Bc5 Re6 97. Kd4 {[%emt 0:00:18]} Re8 {[%emt 0:00:14]} 98. Ra2+ {67} Kf3 {[%emt 0: 00:05]} 99. Kd3 {[%emt 0:00:12]} Re5 {[%emt 0:00:18]} 100. Bd4 {[%emt 0:00:25]} Rf5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 101. Ra1 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Kf4 {[%emt 0:00:21]} 102. Re1 { [%emt 0:00:05]} Kf3 {[%emt 0:00:46]} 103. Be5 {[%emt 0:00:38]} Kf2 {[%emt 0:00: 10]} 104. Re2+ $1 {[%emt 0:00:13]} Kf3 {[%emt 0:00:11]} 105. Re3+ {[%emt 0:00: 03]} Kf2 {[%emt 0:00:24]} 106. Bg3+ {[%emt 0:00:16]} Kg2 {[%emt 0:00:16]} 107. Ke4 {219} Rf8 {[%emt 0:00:23]} 108. Be5 {[%emt 0:00:10]} Kf2 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 109. Ra3 {[%emt 0:00:46]} Re8 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 110. Ra2+ {[%emt 0:00:19]} Ke1 { [%emt 0:00:04]} 111. Rb2 {[%emt 0:00:41]} Re7 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 112. Kd4 { [%emt 0:00:30]} Kf1 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 113. Bf4 {[%emt 0:00:09]} Re2 {[%emt 0:00: 03]} 114. Rb3 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Kf2 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 115. Be3+ {[%emt 0:00:54]} Kf3 {5 and the players call it a draw. A very good defensive effort by Jakovenko, who never let the evaluation change much, and took his chances. As for Hari, he tried his best, but could not break the Russian's defense. He ends the tournament on +1, and I am sure his performances will improve in coming tournaments.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.07.15"] [Round "1.3"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Fedoseev, Vladimir"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B13"] [WhiteElo "2812"] [BlackElo "2726"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "58"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:01:00"] [BlackClock "0:23:54"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Qc7 {Many authors consider this move best against the Exchange line. The queen makes a useful move and stops the white bishop from going to the f4 square.} 6. Na3 {A relatively rare line.} ({Less than a week ago Anand faced} 6. Ne2 Bg4 7. O-O e6 8. Qe1 Bd6 9. f3 Bh5 {Santos Latasa,J (2542)-Anand,V (2783) Leon 2017}) ({Other moves for White are} 6. h3) ({and} 6. Bg5) 6... a6 {Noone had allowed the knight to go further, with a good reason.} (6... Nf6 7. Nb5 Qb8 8. g3 {is awkward for Black. }) 7. Nc2 Nf6 8. h3 ({Or} 8. Ne2 Bg4 {again this semi-provocative move} 9. f3 Bd7 10. Bf4 e5 11. dxe5 Nxe5 12. O-O Bd6 {with active piece play for the isolated pawn in Zinchenko,Y (2547)-Hawkins,J (2590) London 2016}) 8... e6 ({ Here} 8... e5 {is also possible although without the pawn on f3 White can claim slight edge after} 9. dxe5 Nxe5 10. Nf3 Bd6 11. Nxe5 Bxe5 12. O-O O-O 13. Qf3 {at least if White's name is Magnus. :-) Carlsen,M (2857)-Grischuk,A (2754) chess.com INT 2016}) ({The fianchettoe plan is an option too, although it does not match perfectly well with the Qd8-c7 idea} 8... g6 9. Ne2 Bg7 10. Bf4 { White seemed more pleasant in Moiseenko,V (2528)-Rozum,I (2590) Sochi 2016}) 9. Nf3 b5 $146 {This move would be played sooner or later as Black's main idea is the minority attack.} ({The only predecessor saw} 9... Be7 10. O-O O-O 11. Re1 b5 {Liljedahl,L (2238)-Aperia,J (1982) Sweden 2008}) 10. O-O ({In case of} 10. a4 {Black can simply capture as in the game} bxa4 ({or even consider} 10... b4) 11. Rxa4 Bd6) 10... Bb7 11. Re1 Bd6 {Fedoseev can be happy with the outcome of the game. The control of the vital e5 square makes White's standart kingside attack slow.} 12. Bg5 Ne4 $5 {Active defense.} 13. a4 ({Black has full compensation for the pawn in case of:} 13. Bxe4 dxe4 14. Rxe4 h6 ({or the direct} 14... Na5 15. Re1 Nc4) 15. Bd2 Na5 {and all the black pieces are magnificent.}) 13... bxa4 14. c4 {Kramnik decided that enough is enough and this king in the center should get mated.} ({Another such an attempt (and probably sounder) would have been} 14. Rxa4 Nxg5 (14... O-O) 15. Nxg5 h6 (15... Be7) (15... Nd8 16. Nxh7 $1) 16. Nxe6 $5 fxe6 17. Rxe6+ Kd8 18. c4 {with complete mess.}) 14... Nxg5 15. Nxg5 dxc4 16. Bxc4 Nd8 $1 {Very accurate.} ({ In case of the obvious:} 16... O-O 17. Qh5 h6 {Kramnik probably intended} 18. Nxe6 $1 fxe6 19. Rxe6 {Now Black has to be careful not to lose on the spot.} Bh2+ $1 {After} (19... Kh7 $2 {loses to} 20. Qg6+ Kh8 21. Bd3 (21. Rxd6 Ne7) 21... Kg8 (21... Bh2+ 22. Kh1 Kg8 23. Qh7+ Kf7 24. Rae1 {with the deadly threats of 25.Re6-f6+! or the least flashy, but just as effective Bd3-c4!}) 22. Rxd6) (19... Rf7 $2 {drops material after the simple} 20. Rxd6) ({And} 19... Kh8 20. Bd3 {with a huge attack for White.}) 20. Kh1 {a possible line is} Rf7 21. Qxf7+ Qxf7 22. Rxc6 Bxc6 23. Bxf7+ Kxf7 24. Kxh2 Rb8 {and thanks to the stronger minor piece Black should be OK.}) 17. Ne3 ({If} 17. Bd3 Be7 {first and only then} 18. Nf3 O-O) ({while the straightforward} 17. Rxa4 {promises White nothing after} Be7 18. Nf3 Bc6 $5 (18... O-O {is good too.}) 19. Rxa6 Rxa6 20. Bxa6 Bxf3 21. gxf3 O-O {and the many weaknesses compensate for the extra pawn for White.}) 17... Bf4 ({This is even stronger than} 17... Be7 18. Nf3 ({Nothing yields} 18. Qh5 g6 19. Qh6 Qf4) 18... O-O {with equality.}) ({ White was probably hoping for his trademark central break after} 17... O-O 18. Qd3 g6 19. d5 $1) 18. Qh5 $2 {Overoptimistic.} ({Kramink did not want to settle for equality after} 18. Rc1 Bxg5 $1 (18... Qa5 19. Nxf7 $1 Kxf7 20. d5 { is in fact quite spooky for Black.}) 19. Bb5+ Nc6 20. Bxc6+ Bxc6 21. d5 Qd7 22. dxc6 Qxd1 23. Rexd1 (23. Rcxd1 Rc8) 23... Rd8 {when the objective result would be a draw.}) 18... Bxe3 {Fedoseev accepts the piece.} 19. Rxe3 ({In case of} 19. Nxe6 Nxe6 20. Bxe6 O-O {Black repels the atatck with ease.}) ({Perhaps White missed} 19. Bxe6 Qg3 $1 20. Bxf7+ Kf8) 19... Qxc4 20. Rxe6+ ({Or the cool } 20. Nxh7 Rg8) 20... Kf8 $1 {Not a difficult move, which clarifies matters.} ( {The complications after} 20... Nxe6 21. Qxf7+ Kd8 22. Nxe6+ Kc8 23. Rxa4 { are completely unnecessary.}) 21. Re5 h6 22. Rae1 ({Or} 22. d5 Qf4 $1 23. Rae1 g6) 22... g6 23. Qh4 Kg7 {Apparently White has no resources to worry the black king. Kramnik tries one last shot.} 24. Nxf7 Nxf7 25. Re6 g5 26. Qh5 Rhe8 { Super cool! The knight shelters the king ideally.} 27. Qg6+ ({The tactical point of the sacrifice was} 27. Rxe8 Rxe8 28. Rxe8 Qc6 {and the double attack regains the rook.}) 27... Kf8 28. f3 Qxd4+ 29. Kh1 Rac8 0-1 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.07.16"] [Round "2.4"] [White "Bluebaum, Matthias"] [Black "Fedoseev, Vladimir"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D46"] [WhiteElo "2642"] [BlackElo "2726"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:15:45"] [BlackClock "0:20:07"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 ({Bluebaum had some difficulties in the Semi-Slav of late (resulwise at least) and this might be the reason to slightly step out of the beaten track.} 6. Bd3 dxc4 7. Bxc4 b5 8. Bd3 Bb7 ({Fedoseev on his turn has a game in the sharp line after} 8... a6 9. e4 c5 10. e5 cxd4 11. Nxb5 axb5 12. exf6 Bb7 13. O-O Qb6 14. fxg7 Bxg7 { Brodsky,M (2522)-Fedoseev,V (2186) Peterhof 2010}) 9. O-O a6 10. e4 c5 11. d5 c4 12. Bc2 Qc7 13. dxe6 fxe6 14. Ne2 O-O-O 15. Qe1 {Bluebaum,M (2605) -Sasikiran,K (2637) Moscow 2016}) 6... Bd6 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O dxc4 ({The straightforward} 8... e5 {is highly explored option as well.}) 9. Bxc4 e5 { It seems as this move is coming back into fashion.} (9... b5) ({and} 9... a6 { are still more topical.}) 10. h3 {A useful move. Black often threatens e5-e4 followed by Bd6xh2+ and Nf6-g4+ with a mating attack.} Qe7 {Seeemingly the best square for the queen, although it might (and is often) disturbed by a white knight via the h4-f5 (g6) routes.} ({This is why the mightiest piece often chooses another spot, e.g.} 10... h6 11. a3 Qc7 12. Ba2 Re8 13. e4 exd4 14. Nxd4 Nc5 {Nikolov,M (2557)-Delchev,A (2595) Montana 2017}) 11. Bb3 Nb6 { A rare and in my opinion dubious decision. Fedoseev gives too many things away—the bishop pair, the center...} ({Black usually defends with} 11... Bc7 12. Bd2 h6 13. Rad1 Re8 14. Nh4 Nf8 15. Nf5 Bxf5 16. Qxf5 e4 {as in Duda,J (2697)-Adhiban,B (2670) Khanty-Mansiysk 2017}) ({The curious} 11... Kh8 { (to move the king away from the bishop pin) was also tried:} 12. Bd2 b6 13. Nh4 g6 {in Banikas,H (2568)-Adly,A (2599) Doha 2016}) ({With the queen on e7} 11... h6 12. Nh4 {looks very dangerous for Black.}) 12. dxe5 Bxe5 13. Nxe5 Qxe5 14. e4 {Keeping the pawns fluid.} ({The immediate} 14. f4 Qe7 15. f5 {was also possible, although Black was able to build some sort of a blockade after} Bd7 16. e4 c5 17. Qe2 c4 18. Bc2 Rfe8 {Airapetian,G (2436)-Sevian,S (2132) Yerevan 2010}) 14... Re8 15. Re1 $146 {A good novelty. f2-f4-(f5) followed by e4-e5 is a constant threat, but the rook is not only performing supportive functions.} ( {In the only predecessor White was also better after} 15. f3 Be6 16. Bxe6 Rxe6 17. Qf2 Rd8 18. Be3 {in Ruzele,D (2505)-Bykhovsky,A (2425) Berlin 1995}) 15... Nbd5 {Black wants to make use of the lose position of the rook.} ({After} 15... Be6 16. f4 Bxb3 17. axb3 Qc5+ 18. Be3 Qb4 19. Bf2 {White is clearly better.}) 16. Bd2 Nf4 17. Bxf4 Qxf4 18. Rad1 {Another useful preparatory move. The kingside majority is almost ready to roll.} Nd7 $6 {An inaccuracy. Somewhere Fedoseev missed a detail.} ({In case of} 18... Be6 {White has the pleasant choice between} 19. Bxe6 ({Or} 19. e5 Bxb3 20. Qxb3 Rxe5 21. Rxe5 Qxe5 22. Qxb7 ) 19... Rxe6 20. g3 Qh6 (20... Qc7 21. f4) 21. Kg2 {in both cases with advantage for White.}) ({But} 18... Qe5 {might have been best with the idea} 19. Qd2 Nh5 20. Ne2 Be6) 19. Re3 $1 {Here it comes! The rook threatens the f7 pawn at once.} Qg5 ({The pawns are rolling after} 19... Ne5 20. Ne2 Qf6 21. f4 Ng6 22. e5) ({Or} 19... Re7 20. e5 $1 Nf8 21. Re4 Qg5 22. Rd8 {when Black can barely move.}) 20. f4 {Of course!} ({It makes no sense to prepare further with } 20. Rg3 {since} Qe7 21. f4 Nc5 {sets a sort of defense for Black.}) 20... Qe7 (20... Qxf4 {loses to} 21. Rf3) 21. Qf2 {Bluebaum wants his bishop on the board.} (21. e5 Nc5 {was less precise.}) 21... Nb6 {The last inaccuracy.} ({ Although even after} 21... Nc5 22. Bc2 Rd8 {White has big advantage after either} 23. Rde1 ({or} 23. Rxd8+ Qxd8 24. b4 Na6 25. Rd3 Qe7 26. Qd2)) 22. f5 { This locks the bishop and threatens f5-f6.} a5 {Fedoseev comes a move short to disturb the bishop.} ({Black cannot untagle his pieces after} 22... Qe5 23. Red3 c5 24. Rd8 c4 25. Bc2 h6 26. Rxe8+ Qxe8 27. Qg3 (27. f6 $5)) 23. e5 $1 { Well calculated.} a4 24. f6 Qb4 ({One tactical point behind e4-e5 is revealed in the line} 24... gxf6 25. exf6 Qxe3 26. Qxe3 Rxe3 27. Rd8+) ({Whenever the g-file is opened it is always mate:} 24... Qf8 25. fxg7 Kxg7 26. Qf6+ Kg8 27. Rg3+) 25. a3 {A cool finish.} ({There was also the rude} 25. Bxf7+ Kxf7 26. fxg7+ Kg8 (26... Kxg7 27. Qf6+ Kg8 28. Rg3+) 27. Rf1 Be6 28. Rg3 {with the unstoppable threat Qf2-f8+!}) 25... Qf8 ({In case that the queen goes too far away} 25... Qxb3 26. Qg3 g6 27. Qg5 Kh8 28. Qh6 Rg8 29. Rd8 {it will be mate.}) 26. fxg7 Qe7 27. Ne4 {The rest is easy, White wins loads of material and keeps the attack going.} axb3 28. Nf6+ Kxg7 29. Nxe8+ Kh8 (29... Qxe8 30. Qf6+ Kf8 31. Qh6+ Ke7 32. Qd6#) 30. Nc7 Rb8 31. Rf3 1-0 [Event "Saint Louis"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.04"] [Round "3"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C84"] [WhiteElo "2789"] [BlackElo "2751"] [Annotator "Saravanan,V"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [EventCountry "USA"] [SourceTitle "playchess.com"] [Source "ChessBase"] [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 O-O 12. Nf5 Nc6 13. Nd5 Bxf5 14. exf5 Nxd5 15. Bxd5 Rc8 16. a4 Bf6 17. axb5 axb5 18. c4 bxc4 19. dxc4 Bg5 20. Be3 Kh8 $6 { Svidler singled out this moment as the starting point of his troubles, even calling it a 'blunder'} ({Svidler's intended} 20... Qf6 {didn't look pleasant to him:} 21. Ra6 Nd4 (21... Nb4 22. Rxd6 $1) 22. Bxd4 (22. b4 $5 cxb4 23. Bxd4 exd4 24. f4 Bh6 25. g4 g5 26. h4 $5 {with a mess which seems to favour white ultimately}) 22... cxd4 23. b4 {which was 'scaring me a great deal' (Svidler)}) 21. Qh5 h6 {Svidler felt 'the game was effectively over'} ({Originally intended was} 21... Bxe3 22. fxe3 Qf6 23. g4 {and 'it is mate!' (Svidler)}) ( 21... Bxe3 22. fxe3 f6 {was the way engines wanted to go,} 23. Rf3 {followed by Rg3, and 'I should eventually get mated!' (Svidler) A curious but familiar case of a player's intuition vs the machine's dogmatism?}) 22. Bxf7 Nd4 23. h4 Bxe3 ({Vachier-Lagrave came up with a beautiful variation here:} 23... Rxf7 24. Qxf7 Ne2+ 25. Kh2 Bxe3 26. g3 Bd4 27. Ra7 {and Ne2 will fall}) 24. fxe3 Qf6 25. Ra7 ({Later on, Vachier-Lagrave felt that his best practical chance was:} 25. exd4 Rxf7 26. dxe5 dxe5 {and white is better}) 25... Ne2+ 26. Qxe2 (26. Kf2 e4 $1 27. Kxe2 $4 Qxb2+ 28. Ke1 Rb8 $1 {with a good attack for black}) 26... Rxf7 27. Rxf7 Qxf7 {Vachier-Lagrave felt that this position was about finding a way to consolidate, but 'Peter found resourcesful defences'} 28. Qg4 Rb8 29. Ra1 Qf6 30. Qe4 $6 (30. Qg6 {was called for}) 30... Kh7 31. Ra2 h5 32. Kh2 d5 $1 33. Qxd5 (33. cxd5 Rb4) 33... Qxh4+ 34. Kg1 Qe1+ 35. Kh2 Qh4+ 36. Kg1 Qe1+ 37. Kh2 Qxe3 38. Qf7 Qf4+ 39. Kh1 Qh4+ 40. Kg1 Qe1+ 41. Kh2 Qh4+ 42. Kg1 Qd4+ 43. Kh1 (43. Kh1 Rb6 44. Ra8 e4 45. Qe8 Kh6 46. Rd8 {and 'losing this becomes a possibility' (Svidler)}) 1/2-1/2 [Event "Saint Louis USA"] [Site "Saint Louis USA"] [Date "2017.08.02"] [Round "1"] [White "Levon Aronian"] [Black "Ian Nepomniachtchi"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A34"] [WhiteElo "2799"] [BlackElo "2751"] [Annotator "Hess, R"] [PlyCount "57"] [EventDate "2017.07.31"] {With the exception of the FIDE Grand Prix in Geneva, Levon Aronian has been on a tear. He saw his rating soar over 2800 for the first time in years, and picked up a fine tournament victory in Norway, including a gorgeous win over Magnus Carlsen. While Levon always heaps praise on the city of Saint Louis, today he let his chess moves do the talking.} 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e3 {Not the most popular move, but common enough. Instead of playing 5. g3 to fianchetto the bishop, Aronian instead opts to support his center.} Nxc3 (5... g6 {can be played here, and funnily enough White most often replies with} 6. e4) 6. bxc3 g6 7. h4 $1 {Aronian makes his intentions clear. He has no desire to play a peaceful game. In the recent New Yorker article about him, Aronian stated "You can play anything as long as you are determined to fight for the ideas you put in your moves." Here he puts his money where his mouth is!} ({The Spaniard David Anton managed to outplay former world championship challenger Boris Gelfand, though Black was doing fine:} 7. Bb5+ Bd7 8. Rb1 Bg7 9. O-O O-O 10. d4 Qc7 11. Bxd7 Nxd7 12. e4 Rfd8 13. Qe2 Rac8 14. Bg5 Nb6 15. Rfc1 h6 16. Be3 Qd7 17. d5 f5 18. exf5 Qxf5 19. c4 e6 20. dxe6 Qxe6 21. Kf1 Rf8 22. Rb5 Rf5 23. h3 Qc6 24. Qd3 Nd7 25. Rd1 Nf8 26. Rb3 b6 27. Ra3 Rc7 28. Qc2 Rcf7 29. Rad3 Kh7 30. Rd6 Qb7 31. Nh4 R5f6 32. R6d5 Rd7 33. Nf3 Rxd5 34. Rxd5 Rf7 35. Ne5 Bxe5 36. Rxe5 Qd7 37. Ke2 Ne6 38. Qe4 Nd4+ 39. Bxd4 cxd4 40. Qd5 d3+ 41. Kxd3 Qc7 42. Ke2 Rf4 43. Re8 Qxc4+ 44. Qxc4 Rxc4 45. Re7+ Kg8 46. Rxa7 Rc2+ 47. Ke3 b5 48. a3 Rb2 49. g3 b4 50. a4 b3 51. Kd3 Rxf2 52. Kc3 Rf3+ 53. Kb2 Rxg3 54. Rb7 Rg2+ 55. Kxb3 Rg1 56. Kb2 Rg2+ 57. Ka3 Rg1 58. Rb2 Kf7 59. a5 Re1 60. a6 Re6 61. Rb7+ Kf6 62. a7 Ra6+ 63. Kb4 Ra1 64. Rc7 h5 65. Kb5 Rb1+ 66. Kc6 Ra1 67. Kb7 Rb1+ 68. Kc8 Ra1 69. Kb8 Kg5 70. Rc4 Rb1+ 71. Kc7 Ra1 72. Kb6 {Anton Guijarro,D (2650)-Gelfand,B (2721) Caleta 2017 1-0 (72)}) 7... Bg7 8. h5 Nc6 9. Ba3 $146 {A very natural novelty once you discover White's next move. The pawn on c5 is not easy to defend.} ({ Mayhem that favored Black ensued after} 9. Rb1 Qc7 10. hxg6 hxg6 11. Rxh8+ Bxh8 12. Qb3 b6 13. Ng5 e6 14. d4 Na5 15. Bb5+ Kf8 16. Qd1 Bb7 17. Qg4 Qh2 18. e4 cxd4 19. Qf3 f5 20. cxd4 Kg8 21. Ke2 Rc8 22. Bf4 fxe4 23. Nxe4 Qh5 24. Qxh5 gxh5 25. Nd6 Rc2+ 26. Kd3 Rxf2 27. Be3 Rxa2 28. Nxb7 Nxb7 29. Bc4 Ra3+ 30. Kd2 Nd8 31. Rb5 Ra5 32. Rxa5 bxa5 33. d5 exd5 {1/2-1/2 (33) Bauer,C (2632)-Howell, D (2655) Reading 2017}) 9... Qa5 10. Rh4 $3 {How often do you get to see a rook lift so early in the game? This is the real point of the opening, for the bishop on a3 is indirectly defended because the queen gets trapped if it captures.} Bd7 (10... Qxa3 11. Ra4 Qb2 12. Rb1 Bxc3 13. Rxb2 Bxb2 {and White has a huge advantage, picking off the c-pawn with} 14. Rc4) 11. Qb3 O-O (11... Qb6 {was mentioned by Nepomniachtchi as a way to defend b7, but the c5 pawn is not easily defended.} 12. Qd5 Bf6 13. hxg6 (13. Rh1 Nb4 14. Bxb4 cxb4 15. Rb1 a5 {is very complicated. The engines may favor White, but with both kings stuck in the center anything can happen.}) 13... Be6 14. gxf7+ Bxf7 15. Qxc5 Bxh4 16. Nxh4 Qxc5 17. Bxc5 {is very pleasant for White, whose bishop and two pawns are ample compensation for a rook.}) 12. hxg6 hxg6 13. Qxb7 {Clearly overlooked - or forgotten about - by Nepo. In the post-mortem, the Russian player revealed that he had underestimated White's resources. Aronian goes up a healthy pawn and converts without much difficulty.} Rfd8 (13... Bxc3 { looks to restore material equality, but Black's king lacks safety.} 14. Bb2 ( 14. dxc3 $4 Qxc3+ {is winning for Black.}) 14... Bxb2 (14... Rab8 {would equalize if not for} 15. Qxb8 $1 {when White goes up a full rook, since mate is threatened on h8.} Rxb8 16. Bxc3 Qxc3 17. dxc3) 15. Qxb2 f6 {presented Aronian with a far greater challenge than the game continuation did. White has a lot to prove, as if his attack does not crash through Black has decent chances to hold. For example,} 16. Ng5 Ne5 17. Qb3+ e6 18. Nxe6 Rab8 19. Qd5 Bxe6 20. Qxe6+ Kg7 {and Black fights on. Despite his exposed king, Nepomniachtchi would have chances here thanks to White's lack of coordination. Optically, Black seems to have good counterplay.}) ({Also insufficient is} 13... Qxa3 14. Qxd7 Nb4 (14... Bxc3 15. Rd1 {at the very least wins a pawn for White, as e7 will fall.}) 15. Bc4 Nc2+ 16. Ke2 Nxa1 17. Ng5 {because White launches a mating attack.}) 14. Qa6 Bxc3 15. Qxa5 Bxa5 16. Bxc5 {White enters the endgame up a full pawn. Nepomniachtchi was mentally out of the game already, but the position is nearly indefensible.} Be6 {Essentially a resignation. Nepo is praying rather than playing.} ({Black could have put up some more resistance with a line such as} 16... Kg7 17. Bc4 f6) 17. Bb5 Ne5 18. Nd4 (18. Nxe5 $2 {is still better for White, but most certainly does not result in a free knight.} Bxd2+ 19. Kf1 Bc3 {and Black's advantage is not as bad as it once was after} 20. Nxf7 Bxf7 21. Rc1 Bf6 22. Ra4) 18... Rd5 19. Bxe7 Kg7 20. f4 Nd7 21. f5 Bxf5 22. Bc6 Re5 23. Nxf5+ gxf5 24. Bg5 {Very precise. Aronian has no interest in giving up any material, seeing that Black has no way to defend all his hanging pieces.} (24. Bxa8 Rxe3+ 25. Kd1 Rxe7 {provides Black undeserved hope.}) 24... Kg6 25. Bf4 Rd8 26. Bxd7 Rc5 27. Rh6+ (27. Ba4 { is good enough, but why give your opponent a pawn when you can be greedy and keep everything!?}) 27... Kg7 28. Rd6 Bc7 29. Rc6 {Nepo throws in the towel, a bishop and pawn down with no compensation.} 1-0 [Event "5th Sinquefield Cup 2017 GCT"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.05"] [Round "5"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2783"] [BlackElo "2807"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "57"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Bc5 7. O-O O-O 8. d3 Bb6 9. Bd2 Bg4 10. Rc1 Nxc3 11. Bxc3 Re8 12. b4 Qd6 13. Nd2 Qh6 14. Nc4 Qh5 15. Rc2 Rad8 {Black has a fine position here. Anand thought for a long time on how he could wriggle out of the pressure without making positional concessions. Not finding any way out, he took the bishop on b6 and played f3. While it looks ugly, it also means that White doesn't have to many things to worry about.} 16. Nxb6 (16. Re1 {is what Anand wanted to play.} Re6 17. b5 Bxf2+ $1 { This move casts a doubt on White's entire play.} (17... Rh6 18. h4 g5 19. bxc6 gxh4 20. Bxe5 $18 {White wins as he gets the bishop to protect all the squares around his king.}) 18. Kxf2 Qxh2 {And even though White king can run to the queenside it all looks really bad.} 19. Rg1 Rf6+ 20. Ke3 Qh6+ $1 $19 {Game over.}) 16... cxb6 17. f3 {Anand wasn't too happy to make this move, but with this he no longer has to worry about the pressure on the e2 pawn.} Be6 18. Qd2 b5 (18... Nd4 19. Bxd4 exd4 $15 {would have been the best way for Caruana to play.}) 19. f4 Bg4 $2 {[%cal Ge6g4] This is the start of Anand's combination. He had seen many times that Bg4 was not possible, but still Fabiano had played it. Rather than doubting himself, Anand went ahead with what he had calculated. } 20. Bxc6 $1 bxc6 21. fxe5 {So White is a pawn up. What did Black under his sleeve? Well Fabiano once again surprised Anand with the move that the latter had thought was impossible.} f6 $2 {[%cal Gf7f6] This is a clear mistake, but when you have said A (Bg4), you must say B.} 22. exf6 $1 Rxe2 {[%cal Ge8e2] It looks like mate, just that it isn't.} 23. f7+ Kf8 {[%cal Gc3g7]} 24. Bxg7+ Kxg7 25. Qc3+ Re5 {[%cal Ge2e5] Fabi went ahead with this move as he had not seen Anand's next move.} (25... Qe5 {was the best defense for Black.} 26. Rxe2 Qxc3 27. Re8 Qd4+ (27... Qxb4 $2 28. Rxd8 $18) 28. Rf2 $1 Qxb4 29. f8=Q+ (29. Rxd8 Qe1+ 30. Rf1 (30. Kg2 $2 Bh3+ $1 31. Kxh3 Qxf2 $19) 30... Qe3+ $11) 29... Qxf8 30. Rfxf8 Rxd3 31. Rg8+ Kf7 32. Ref8+ (32. Rd8 Bd7 $1 {This is the move that Caruana had missed and the reason why he didn't play this variation.}) 32... Ke7 33. Ra8 h5 34. Rxa7+ Ke6 $16 {And according to Anand, he was not even sure if he was winning here. The technical task is just too huge, said Vishy. If the bishop gets to d5, Black would not even be worse. Objectively speaking White is better here, but the win is not so clear.}) 26. Qd4 $3 {[%cal Gc3d4] A brilliant move. As Anand said, this is easy to miss. It changes nothing as the rook on e5 is still pinned. The main idea is to vacate the c5 square for the rook.} (26. h3 {was what Fabiano had calculated} Bd1 {was the American player's idea. It's atleast a mess was what Fabi thought.} (26... Bxh3 27. Rh2 {White is winning here.})) 26... Qg5 27. Rc5 $1 {[%cal Gc2c5]} Rxd4 {Fabiano allows White to queen. By now he had realized that it was all over.} (27... Qe3+ 28. Qxe3 Rxe3 29. Rg5+ Kh6 30. Rg8 $18) 28. f8=Q+ Kg6 29. Qf7+ {A great win by Anand which will surely make it to his best games collection in the future.} 1-0 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A29"] [Annotator "mycomputer"] [PlyCount "57"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 (4. e3 {is another main continuation.}) 4... d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Bc5 (6... Nb6 7. O-O Be7 8. a3 a5 9. d3 O-O 10. Be3 Be6 11. Rc1 a4 12. Nd2 {was seen in the tactical-out-of-nowhere game between fellow Sinquefield Cup competitors Nepomniachtchi and Aronian at the recently concluded Geneva Grand Prix event. Nepo came out on top, but it was a topsy-turvy battle.}) 7. O-O (7. Nxe5 $5 {is thematic when a pawn is on e5 and a bishop on c5. Yet it doesn't yield much in the way of an advantage.} Nxc3 8. Bxc6+ (8. bxc3 Nxe5 9. d4 Bd6 10. dxe5 Bxe5 {is perfectly fine for Black.}) 8... bxc6 9. bxc3 Qd5 10. Nf3 Bh3 {is very risky for White. An extra pawn is not worth the hassle of not being able to castle or develop with ease.}) 7... O-O 8. d3 Bb6 9. Bd2 ({While it may be tempting,} 9. Nxe5 {loses material:} Nxc3 10. Nxc6 Nxd1 11. Nxd8 Nxf2) 9... Bg4 {Apparently this is a new move, but it's not particularly novel. It's merely a developing move with the hopes of piling onto the e2 pawn in the future.} (9... Nxc3 10. Bxc3 f6 {is very solid for Black. Typically Black refrains from playing f6 if it can be met by d4. With the bishop on b6, White does not have the ability to break in the center.} ) 10. Rc1 (10. Nxe5 {still does not work out well:} Nxc3 11. Bxc3 Nxe5 12. Bxe5 Re8) 10... Nxc3 11. Bxc3 Re8 12. b4 (12. h3 {always deserves consideration when a bishop is being a nuisance on g4. Generally speaking, this pawn push has to be considered in depth, for it can become a target and also makes the g3 square more vulnerable. This would be properly illustrated if Black is able to get in f7-f5-f4}) 12... Qd6 13. Nd2 (13. h3 $4 {now would be a blunder because of} Bxf3 14. Bxf3 e4 $1 {exploiting the pinned f2 pawn.}) 13... Qh6 14. Nc4 (14. a4 Qh5 15. Re1 Qf5 {might encourage a repetition with} 16. Rf1 (16. Ne4 a5 17. b5 Nb4 {is double-edged.}) 16... Qh5 17. Re1) 14... Qh5 15. Rc2 { "I spent a lot of time trying to work something out here." - Anand} (15. Re1 { had to be correct, but Anand feared potential sacrifices on f2: "Maybe I saw some ghosts. Instead of Rc2, if I go Re1, which is more desirable from some points of view..." - Anand} Re6 {"is there. Suddenly he's threatening ...Bxf2+ and ...Qxh2." - Anand. But White can always capture on b6 to remove the threat. } 16. Nxb6 axb6 17. h4 {is craziness that is easier to suggest as an annotator than a player. The threat is to play f3/g4 and win the bishop.}) 15... Rad8 { "There's so many choices. I think I got it wrong. Because after Rad8, suddenly I couldn't see a way." - Anand. The threat is now e5-e4.} 16. Nxb6 (16. Re1 Re6 17. b5 Bxf2+ $1 (17... Rh6 18. h4 g5 19. bxc6 gxh4 20. Bxe5 $18) 18. Kxf2 Qxh2 19. Rg1 Rf6+ 20. Ke3 Qh6+ $1 $19) 16... cxb6 17. f3 {"was kind of embarrassing. " - Anand} Be6 18. Qd2 b5 {"[Black's] position should be ok, but I probably shouldn't have played ...b5. I should have played something like ...h6. It prepares for f4 a bit better. Or I could have played ...Nd4, also not a bad move." - Caruana. I concur with Caruana's analysis. His move is a waste of time since it does not meet Anand's ideas as well as the other main options.} ( 18... Nd4 {"I'm not better anymore, but I couldn't see a way to stop all his threats." - Anand. Since White has committed his pawn to f3, capturing on d4 is bad. White gets left with an ugly backwards e-pawn and a giant hole on e3. Once the rook moves, Black has a number of reasonable follow-ups including Bd5. }) (18... h6 {as Caruana suggested, this is a good waiting move. Anand does not want to play b5 himself for the pawn will just become a target upon Nd4.}) 19. f4 Bg4 {This is an error based on an oversight 8 moves down the line. The game position became tense and with so many variations to consider, Caruana makes a tragic oversight. He had done well to stabilize his position but I believe the true "losing" move was Black's 18th. He simply was not ready to meet all of the nuances and tactics behind the forceful f4. "When I played ... Bg4 I missed Re8." - Caruana | | "I spent ages on this, and I thought it wasn't possible, but then he does it anyway." - Anand} (19... exf4 20. Rxf4 Bd5 {"I guess he can play this, and he should be alright. Maybe I'm slightly better, but I don't think very much." - Anand, Once again I think Vishy underestimated how annoying this position is to defend for Black.} (20... f6 { is less provocative and provides the queen a nice regrouping square on f7. This would be a tough shell to crack.}) 21. e4 Bc4 22. d4 {the massive center is not easy to contain.}) (19... Bh3 20. Bxh3 Qxh3 21. fxe5 Nxe5 22. Bxe5 Rxe5 23. Rc7 {is a problem. Not only does Black have a worse pawn structure, but he has a seventh-rank issue. If the pawn was on h6 rather than h7 (as noted was possible on move 18), then Black would have Rd7 as a resource. Instead that currently walks into a back rank checkmate.}) 20. Bxc6 bxc6 21. fxe5 f6 { "I was counting on ...f6." - Caruana | "It hit me he must have missed something, but I couldn't tell what." - Anand} 22. exf6 (22. Bb2 fxe5 23. Qe3 { would be an alternative if the game continuation was not so strong. Because of the bishops of opposite color, there is a lot of play left in this position.}) 22... Rxe2 {"By this time, I was feeling pretty annoyed that having got the chance to play exf6, I'm going to run into this boring endgame with Qxc3, Qd4, Qb4 [see note to 25...Qe5], and I was kicking myself because it was very bad luck." - Anand. If only bad luck for all of us means that we get an endgame up a full exchange against the world's second highest rated player :)} 23. f7+ Kf8 24. Bxg7+ $1 Kxg7 25. Qc3+ Re5 {"I was sure that Fabi would not play ...Re5." "It's conceivable that he misses Qd4. It's not conceivable that he misses both Qd4 and h3. Luckily for me, Fabi had seen 26. h3 Bd1." - Anand} (25... Qe5 { "I saw everything up to ...Qe5, and I thought it should be ok. Well, if White doesn't have Re2, Black just wins. So I thought he would have to give back the pawn on e5, and we would have a game."} 26. Rxe2 Qxc3 27. Re8 Qd4+ 28. Rf2 Qxb4 29. f8=Q+ Qxf8 30. Rfxf8 Rxd3 31. Rg8+ Kf7 32. Ref8+ Ke7 33. Ra8 {"This technical task is not enviable. I might not be even better." - Anand. The former world champion is being modest: he surely is much better. White goes up a full exchange, though there is a lot of work to be done to push for a win.}) 26. Qd4 $3 {A brilliancy! Caruana acknowledged that he had missed this move which "ended the game." "I thought he had another probably winning move. I thought he could play h3, and that's what I spent all my time looking at." - Caruana | "As soon as we got here, I know it was over." - Anand} (26. h3 Bd1 { "It's probably still losing, but it looked like a mess at least, and I thought this would be a better practical chance."} (26... Qxh3 {is impossible because the rook hangs on e5.}) (26... Bxh3 27. Rh2 {and Caruana's queen is overloaded. })) 26... Qg5 (26... Rxd4 27. f8=Q+ Kg6 28. Qf6#) 27. Rc5 Rxd4 28. f8=Q+ Kg6 29. Qf7+ 1-0 [Event "5th Sinquefield Cup 2017"] [Site "St. Louis"] [Date "2017.08.08"] [Round "6.4"] [White "Aronian, L."] [Black "So, W."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D38"] [WhiteElo "2799"] [BlackElo "2810"] [Annotator "Hess, R"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:41:44"] [BlackClock "0:21:24"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bxf6 Qxf6 7. Qa4+ (7. e3 O-O 8. Rc1 dxc4 9. Bxc4 c5 {has been played - and drawn - many times by elite players. The guiding principle is that White gets rapid development and harmonious pieces while Black holds the two bishops but is a bit more cramped yet incredibly solid.}) 7... Nc6 8. e3 O-O 9. Be2 (9. Rc1 Rd8 10. Be2 dxc4 11. Bxc4 Bd7 12. Qc2 Bd6 13. O-O a6 14. Rfd1 Qe7 15. a3 Rac8 {Navara,D (2737)-Leko, P (2678) Biel 2017}) 9... dxc4 10. O-O Bxc3 ({As Aronian himself stated, he has a history with this variation. In fact, he lost a cramped ending to an inspired Topalov two years ago. Chess players can have very long memories!} 10... Bd7 11. Bxc4 Bxc3 12. bxc3 Rfd8 13. Be2 Be8 14. Qa3 Qe7 15. Qb2 Na5 16. Qb4 Qxb4 17. cxb4 Nc6 18. Rab1 a5 19. bxa5 Nxa5 20. Rfc1 Rdc8 21. Ne1 Ra7 22. Nd3 {Topalov, V (2771) - Aronian, L (2815) Norway 2015}) 11. bxc3 Bd7 {"An idea I invented myself." (Aronian) "But I'm not a great fan of it, it's a bit passive." As I've noted, see the variation after Black's tenth. Especially for a dynamic player like Aronian this line can be quite onerous to defend. It, simply put, is not his style. I'd argue that So similarly does not enjoy passivity - frankly most players hate it - though he is a dogged defender and has proven resourceful when facing an uphill battle.} 12. Qxc4 (12. Bxc4 { transposes to the Topalov-Aronian game above, and also Vachier-Lagrave versus Aronian from the 2015 Sinquefield Cup. Levon must have thought recapturing with the queen gave him the better chances to hold, and it's hard to question the man with extensive experience in the line.}) 12... Rac8 $146 (12... Rfd8 13. Nd2 Rac8 14. Nb3 Qe7 15. a4 a5 (15... b6 {is an improvement, though Black is uncomfortably cramped.}) 16. Bf3 Qe8 17. Nc5 Rb8 18. Rab1 b5 19. axb5 { was a full extra pawn that was converted into a win by White in Ushenina,A (2438) -Milliet,S (2356) Reykjavik 2015}) 13. Rad1 Rfd8 14. Nd2 $1 {I really like this concept, taking advantage of the black queen's lack of mobility.} ({ Provoking queenside weaknesses with} 14. Qb3 {was another plausible continuation. Without considering the other pieces (which you should never do), the knight would ideally plant itself on e5 rather than go to e4 as in the game. Black can try to break free, though it isn't easy.} Na5 15. Qa3 b6 16. Ba6 Rb8 17. Ne5 Bc8 18. Be2 Bb7 19. f4) 14... Na5 15. Qb4 b6 16. Ba6 Rb8 (16... c5 {is impossible now because of the fork} 17. dxc5 Rxc5 (17... Rb8 18. cxb6 axb6 {forces Black to fight for a draw down a pawn.}) 18. Ne4) 17. Ne4 Qf5 18. Bd3 Bc6 (18... e5 {seems like a crazy move because the bishop is staring down the enemy queen. Yet the knight does not have an overwhelmingly powerful square to hop to. A question to consider: does Black actually want to play exd4 cxd4? The answer appears to be no, since the pawn on c7 comes under direct fire. However, if Black doesn't capture what does he do? White can force the action with} 19. Nc5 {leads to simplifications, but not a simple defensive task for Black} (19. f4 $5 {is more aggressive but also can become more double-edged.}) 19... bxc5 20. Qxa5 e4 21. Bc4 cxd4 22. Qxf5 Bxf5 23. cxd4 {with a nagging advantage for White in what should be a salvageable ending.}) 19. f3 Bxe4 $2 {Aronian thought this was a strange decision. I find it odd as well, for it makes White's task much easier than Black's. Black has a new concern on the f-file to worry about and the bishop on d3 is a much better piece than the knight on a5.} (19... Nb7 {keeps the onus on Aronian to find the breakthrough. So's pieces are oddly placed, but the overall structure looks impenetrable. If White is not quick, he loses any hope of an initiative and advantage.}) 20. fxe4 Qg5 21. Rf3 c5 {Perhaps So felt that getting in c5 was a huge success - and it is! Unfortunately for him, White's central mass is indestructable and even if the typical setup against a light-squared bishop is achieved (c5/e5 pawns), there are many issues on the kingside.} 22. Qb2 { Absolutely the correct square, further protecting the d4 pawn and possibly swinging over to the kingside.} e5 23. Rdf1 cxd4 ({According to Aronian better was} 23... Rb7 24. Ba6 (24. Qf2 {is the precise reply} Qe7 (24... exd4 25. exd4 Qe7 26. e5 {is awful for Black since the bishop is free.}) 25. Rf5 {and if Black has to play} f6 {I must shield my eyes from the shine of all those free light squares.} 26. Qg3 {and I have no doubt Aronian would cruise from here.}) 24... Rc7 25. d5 {What's interesting is that the rook seems silly on c7 with a pawn blocking its file, so why would one not capture first? The essential difference: Aronian's queen gains access to e5 without a pawn on c3 blunting the diagonal.}) 24. cxd4 (24. exd4 {seems smart in that it undoubles the pawns, but the c-pawn actually is a liability. White is much better off clearing the file, since So has no means of using it for the moment.}) 24... Rb7 25. d5 Rc7 26. h4 $1 {Already the third time that Levon moves Harry in this tournament. "You have to play h4 whenever you can!"} (26. Ba6 Nb7 27. Bxb7 Rxb7 28. Qc3 { is better for White, but Black has a hard-to-crack setup.}) 26... Qxh4 (26... Qh5 27. Rf5 Qxh4 28. Qxe5 {is similar.}) 27. Qxe5 Qe7 28. Qg3 Qc5 $2 {Like Caruana against Anand, So doesn't go for an ending an exchange down, but goes down in flames quickly. "People are just understanding that their opponents are very good players and they don't want to suffer!" (Aronian)} ({The last chance was} 28... Qd6 29. e5 Qxd5 30. e6 Qd6 31. Bh7+ (31. exf7+ $2 {leaves White with no other option but to force a fancy draw with} Kf8 32. Rf4 Qxd3 33. Rd4 Rxd4 34. Qxg7+ Kxg7 35. f8=Q+ Kh7 36. Rf7+) 31... Kxh7 32. Qxd6 Rxd6 33. exf7 Rc8 34. f8=Q Rxf8 35. Rxf8 Nc4 {This should certainly be winning, but Aronian's task is not trivial.}) 29. Rf6 $1 {"Just crushing." (Aronian)} h5 ( 29... Kf8 30. Rg6 {exploiting the pinned pawns, all ways to defend g7 fail tactically:} Qc3 (30... f6 31. Rfxf6+ gxf6 (31... Kg8 32. Rxh6) 32. Rg8+ Ke7 33. Qg7+ Kd6 34. Rxd8+ Ke5 35. Qg3#) 31. Rxg7 Qxg7 32. Qxc7 Ra8 33. d6 { is straightforward.}) 30. Rh6 Qc3 31. Rxh5 g6 (31... Qxd3 {hangs c7, but} 32. Qh4 {is more direct. Mate is unstoppable.}) 32. e5 (32. e5 {After} Qxd3 { "I can even play} 33. Rh3 {if I'm a big sadist, and Qh4 next move. (Aronian)} ( 33. Qh4 {does the trick, but Rh3 is actually best!})) 1-0 [Event "St. Louis"] [Site "St. Louis"] [Date "2017.08.09"] [Round "7.2"] [White "Svidler, P."] [Black "Carlsen, M."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C45"] [WhiteElo "2751"] [BlackElo "2822"] [PlyCount "93"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "1:27:52"] [BlackClock "1:39:38"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 {Before this game Svidler had played the Scotch 19 times in his career. He had scored +9 =10 -1 and won his last four, in 2000, 2001, 2011 and 2012. Carlsen only faced it in six classical games, one of them being his win in the fifth round of this tournament vs So.} exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 ( 4... Bb4+ 5. c3 Be7 6. Nxc6 bxc6 7. Bd3 d6 8. O-O Nf6 9. Re1 O-O 10. Nd2 Re8 { So,W (2810)-Carlsen,M (2822) Saint Louis USA 2017}) 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. e5 Qe7 7. Qe2 Nd5 8. c4 Ba6 9. b3 {Interestingly, Svidler spent eight minutes on this normal move. Afterward he explained he was working out move orders.} g6 { Carlsen keeps following the most popular treatment of the Scotch.} 10. f4 d6 11. Qf2 Nf6 12. Ba3 {After 20 minutes of thinking Svidler played a moe that had been played only once before.} Qe6 {After 19 minutes.} 13. Be2 dxe5 14. Bxf8 $146 (14. fxe5 Bxa3 15. Nxa3 Nd7 16. O-O O-O 17. Nc2 Nxe5 18. Rae1 Qe7 19. Bf3 Bb7 {Mueller,M (2410) -Gustafsson,J (2622) Baden Baden GER 2009}) 14... Kxf8 15. O-O exf4 16. Qxf4 {Kasparov agreed with Svidler that White has compensation for the pawn. It's not more than that.} Kg7 17. Nc3 Rae8 18. Bf3 Qe3+ 19. Qxe3 Rxe3 20. Na4 Bc8 21. Bxc6 Rd8 22. Rae1 Rxe1 23. Rxe1 Rd2 24. Nc3 Rc2 25. Nb5 Rxa2 26. Nxc7 Rb2 27. Ne8+ Nxe8 28. Rxe8 Be6 29. Bd5 Bxd5 30. cxd5 Rxb3 31. d6 Rd3 32. Ra8 Rxd6 33. Rxa7 Rd2 34. Ra6 g5 35. h3 h5 36. Ra5 Kg6 37. Rb5 Ra2 38. Kf1 Ra6 39. Kf2 f5 40. Rb8 Ra2+ 41. Kf3 Ra3+ 42. Kf2 g4 43. hxg4 hxg4 44. g3 Ra2+ 45. Kf1 Ra1+ 46. Kf2 Ra2+ 47. Kf1 1/2-1/2