[Event "London Chess Classic"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.12.01"]
[Round "1.4"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A08"]
[WhiteElo "2781"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "87"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 c5 4. O-O g6 5. d4 ({Aronian reached the
Fianchettoe Gruenfeld in a slightly unusual way:} 5. c3 Bg7 6. d4 cxd4 7. cxd4
O-O 8. Nc3 Ne4 {Aronian,L (2799)-Anand,V (2783) Saint Louis 2017}) 5... cxd4 6.
Nxd4 Bg7 7. Nb3 Nc6 8. Nc3 e6 9. e4 d4 10. Na4 O-O 11. c3 dxc3 12. Nxc3 e5 $146
{This logical move is a novelty. Anand opens his light-squared bishop at once.}
({Instead,} 12... Qe7 13. Be3 Rd8 14. Qe2 Nd7 15. Rfd1 b6 {could have brought
Black troubles had his opponent have dared to play} 16. e5 ({Instead} 16. Nd4
Nxd4 17. Bxd4 Bxd4 18. Rxd4 Bb7 {allowed Black a chance to slowly equalize,
Gasthofer,A (2440)-Golod,V (2554) Zuerich 2004})) 13. Be3 {The position is
symmetrical but as White moves first he can claim a slight advantage.} ({
Somewhat trickier is to provoke h7-h6 first with} 13. Bg5 h6 ({The endgame
after} 13... Qxd1 14. Rfxd1 h6 15. Be3 b6 16. Rac1 {is unpleasant for White.})
14. Be3 Bg4 {So that} 15. Qc1 {comes now with a tempo.}) (13. Nd5 {leads
doesn't get White anyhere after} Nxd5 14. exd5 Nd4) 13... Bg4 14. f3 Be6 15.
Nc5 {Nakamura uses the tempo to gain the bishop pair.} ({After} 15. Qe2 b6 {
Black covers the vital c5 point.}) 15... Qe7 16. Nxe6 Qxe6 17. Qd2 ({The
computer's suggestion is:} 17. Rf2 Rfd8 18. Qf1 {when the bishop can go to h3.}
) 17... Rfd8 18. Qf2 {White's position looks promising. He intends h2-h4
followed by f3-f4. If this happens, he would slowly but surely open the
diagonals for his bishops and crush the opponent.} Bf8 $1 {A strong maneuver
by the former world champion! The bishop move discourages the f-pawn advance
and creates play on the queenside.} ({After} 18... Nd4 19. h3 {White would
proceed with the above-mentioned plan.}) 19. h3 Bb4 20. Rac1 ({Bad was} 20. f4
exf4 21. gxf4 Bxc3 22. bxc3 Nxe4) 20... Rd3 {The counterplay that Anand
initiated keeps the white pieces away. Nakamura needs to trade at least one of
the active black rooks.} 21. Rfd1 Rad8 22. Rxd3 Rxd3 23. Bf1 Rd8 24. a3 Be7 (
24... Bxc3 {gives the second bishop prematurely} 25. Rxc3 Nd4 26. Kg2 {and
White can be optimistic about the future.}) 25. g4 {Aggressive, but probably
not best.} ({Once again} 25. f4 {is premature due to} exf4 26. Qxf4 Bd6) ({
If White prepares the advance with} 25. Bg2 $2 {then the rook comes back} Rd3
26. f4 exf4 27. gxf4 $5 {and} Bd8 $19 {Creates the threat Rd3xe3 followed by
Bd8-b6.}) ({Please note that the greedy} 25. Bxa7 $2 Nxa7 26. Qxa7 Rd2 {
would lead to a huge attack for Black on the weakened dark squares. Here is a
curious line:} 27. Rb1 Qc8 28. Kh1 Bc5 29. Qa4 Nh5 30. Ne2 Rxe2 31. Bxe2 Qxh3#)
({From the above-mentioned lines it becomes clear that the prophylactical move
} 25. Kh2 $5 {might have been White's best. He keeps his options opened, for
example} Kg7 26. Nb5 $5 a6 27. Bc4 Qd7 28. Nc3 {with an edge.}) 25... Kg7 26.
Kh2 h6 $1 {Another excellent defensive move.} 27. h4 (27. Nb5 Nh7 28. h4 Qd7 {
followed by Nh7-f8-e6 and then one of the black knights will land on d4.}) ({
Once more} 27. Bxa7 $2 {is bad due to} Nxa7 28. Qxa7 Rd2+) 27... Nd4 {The
knight is great in the center and creates various threats.} 28. g5 {Nakamura
forces matters.} ({One idea behind the centralized knight is demonstrated by
the line:} 28. Rd1 Nxf3+ 29. Qxf3 Nxg4+ 30. Kg3 Nxe3 31. Qxe3 Rxd1 32. Nxd1 Qf6
{when Black will win third pawn for the piece.}) 28... hxg5 29. hxg5 Nh7 30.
Bh3 Qb3 31. f4 {But after the cool:} Nc6 {it transpires that White had only
weakened himself.} 32. Nd5 (32. f5 $2 Bxg5) 32... exf4 33. Bxf4 Bxg5 ({The
other capture was good as well:} 33... Nxg5 {Then the forcing line} 34. Rc3 Qb5
35. Bf1 {seems winning for White but there is} (35. Nxe7 Nxe7) 35... Qa4 36.
Nxe7 Rh8+ $1 {A super-important intermediate check and the white king does not
have a good square.} 37. Kg1 (37. Kg3 $4 Nxe4+) (37. Kg2 $2 Qxe4+) 37... Qxe4
38. Bg2 Qxe7 {Winning a second pawn. Whether it's it a win after} 39. Qe3 {
is another story.}) 34. Bxg5 Nxg5 35. Qf6+ Kh6 {The king is in danger, but how
to reach it?} 36. Bg2 ({There was a beautiful draw instead after} 36. Rc3 Qxb2+
37. Bg2 Ne5 38. Rh3+ (38. Qxe5 Nf3+) 38... Nxh3 39. Qh4+ Kg7 40. Qf6+ Kh7 41.
Qh4+ Kg8 42. Qxd8+) 36... Nh7 37. Qxf7 Rf8 {A solid choice.} ({It seems as
Black will get checkmated after} 37... Qxb2 38. Rh1 Rf8 39. Kg3+ {But after
the only move} Kg5 {There is neither mate, nor salvation. Say:} 40. Qxh7 $2
Qe5+ 41. Kh3 Rh8) 38. Qc7 ({Once again there was a draw after} 38. Rc3 $5 Qxc3
39. Qxf8+ Nxf8 40. Nxc3) 38... Qxb2 39. Rh1 {This was Nakamura's idea, but} Qf2
{Keeps the king immobile. Thus the checkmate with the rook is not going to
happen today.} 40. Kh3 {Another try.} Rf7 {The king is finally safe!} 41. Qg3
Qb2 {Surprisingly this leads to a draw.} ({Also draw there will be after} 41...
Ng5+ 42. Kg4+ Kg7 43. Qh2 $1 Qe2+ 44. Kxg5 Qd2+ 45. Kg4 Qe2+) ({However Anand
could have played on in an endgame up a pawn after both} 41... Qxg3+ 42. Kxg3+
Kg5) ({Or} 41... Kg7 42. Qxf2 Rxf2 43. Rb1 Rf7) 42. Ne3 $1 {Excellent
co-ordination!} Nf6 43. Bf3 Kh7 ({Or} 43... Ne5 44. Rh2 ({Moves can be
transposed} 44. Nf5+ gxf5 45. Rh2) 44... Qa1 45. Nf5+ {with a draw after} Kh7 (
45... gxf5 $4 {is mate after} 46. Kg2+ Nh5 47. Rxh5#) 46. Kg2+ Kg8 47. Nh6+ Kg7
48. Nxf7 Qa2+ 49. Kh3 Qe6+) 44. Nf5 {They agreed to draw. The lines are
similar to the line from above:} (44. Nf5 Ne5 (44... gxf5 45. Rh2 Qxh2+ 46.
Kxh2 fxe4 {Stockfish 210617 64:} 47. Bg2 Nd4 48. Kh3 Nc6 49. a4 Rg7 50. Qh4+
Kg6 51. Bxe4+ Nxe4 52. Qxe4+ Kf6 53. Qf4+ Ke7 54. Qc7+ Kf6 55. Qd6+ Kf5 56.
Qf8+ Kg6 57. Kg4 Ne5+ 58. Kg3 b6 59. Qf4 Nd3 60. Qd4 Nc5 61. Kf3 Rf7+ 62. Kg2
Rg7 63. a5 Ne6 64. Qb4 bxa5 65. Qxa5 Kf6+ 66. Kf2 Rd7 67. Qa4 Rg7 68. Kf1 Rg5 {
[%eval 33,32]}) 45. Rh2 Qa1 46. Kg2+ Kg8 47. Nh6+ Kg7 48. Nxf7) 1/2-1/2
[Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.11.30"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A08"]
[WhiteElo "2781"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"]
[PlyCount "87"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
{After all the drama of the Mallorca Grand Prix, we are back to the frosty
climes of London to witness the last Super Tournament of the year. This year
has been disappointing for Indian fans, as their Tiger Vishy Anand failed to
quaify for the Candidates for the 1st time in many years. Still, he has
oppurtunites to make amends for it. This first Round Match pits Vishy against
his bogey man Nakamura.} 1. Nf3 {A non commital move. White refuses to enter
the main lines from move 1, instead aiming for theoretical backwaters. A
favourite of Vladimir the 14th, it is indeed rare for Naka to venture for it.
Still, he has be known to play the KIA in the past.} Nf6 2. g3 d5 {The most
principled. Black takes the center and asks white to show his intentions.} 3.
Bg2 c5 4. O-O {White takes up the gauntlet, and if Black agrees, we will see a
reversed KID on the board.} g6 {Anand refuses, instead choosing a relatively
modest option.} (4... Nc6 5. d3 (5. d4 {is the Reversed Grunfeld. In my
opinion, this line is more playable than the reversed KID, as Grunfeld is
sounder, and the extra tempo really helps. After} cxd4 6. Nxd4 e5 7. Nxc6 bxc6
8. c4 Be7 9. Nc3 Be6 10. Bg5 $14 {Black has the center, but White is better
developed and is already exerting some pressure. Also, this line has scored an
impressive 66%.}) (5. c4 d4 {and we reach a reversed Benoni, considered
distasteful by top level players. Still playable though, if you need a
fighting game.}) 5... e5 6. Nbd2 Be7 7. e4 O-O 8. Re1 d4 $15 {and we have a
standard KID, but with an extra tempo for White. I am quite surpised by
Anand's decision not to go for this line, as White scores only 45% in this
line, and Black is already equal, but then, there is still a game ahead.}) 5.
d4 {Naka decides that the reversed fianchetto KID is not what he wants against
Vishy, and decides to transpose to the line mentioned earlier. But in this
move order, he has already forced a very slight concession, as black can't
play the Be7 and Be6 setups now.} cxd4 6. Nxd4 Bg7 7. Nb3 $5 {I'm not so sure
of this move. Why withdraw a well placed knight?} (7. c4 {Seems so natural,
and after} O-O 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Nc3 Nb6 {and now} 10. Nb3 Qxd1 11. Rxd1 $14 {
White has a little edge here, as he has more pieces out and a little pressure
on the b7 pawn. Nothing serious, but better than the game version.}) 7... Nc6
8. Nc3 e6 9. e4 d4 10. Na4 $5 {Maybe a little extravagent.} (10. e5 $1 dxc3 11.
exf6 Qxf6 12. Qd6 $14 {was a variation to consider, where White has still kept
the king in the center, and has gained a small edge.}) 10... O-O (10... e5 {
was definitely a move to consider, but I feel moving the same pawn twice might
be asking too much. After} 11. c3 O-O 12. cxd4 exd4 13. Bg5 h6 14. Bxf6 Bxf6
15. f4 $44 {we reach a very interesting position. Surprisingl, Black has the
bishop pair and a passed d-pawn, but White has the dangerous kingside pawn
roller. This would have been more exciting.}) 11. c3 dxc3 {A little too
commital. Black improves white's pieces unnecessarily.} ({Better to keep the
tension with} 11... e5 {and after} 12. cxd4 exd4 13. Bg5 h6 14. Bxf6 Bxf6 15.
f4 d3 $11 {we reach the previous line.}) 12. Nxc3 $14 {Now white claims a
small edge.} e5 13. Be3 Bg4 {I'm again dissatisfied by Anand choice here. One
of the more necessary moves in this position is f3, to overprotect e4, and
prepare Bf1-c4. So forcing it isn't necessary here} (13... b6 14. Qe2 Nb4 15.
Rfd1 Qe7 16. Bg5 Ba6 $11 {and the control over d3 provides black equal chances.
}) ({No need to be afraid of the queen trade after} 13... Qxd1 14. Rfxd1 b6 15.
Bg5 $16 {as White gets a very pleasant edge due to his developmental advantage.
}) 14. f3 Be6 15. Nc5 $1 {A very nice move by Nakamura. White gets the bishop
pair and a chance to squeeze Black.} Qe7 16. Nxe6 Qxe6 17. Qd2 Rfd8 18. Qf2 Bf8
19. h3 Bb4 20. Rac1 Rd3 {The last few moves have been measured maneuvering by
both players.} 21. Rfd1 Rad8 22. Rxd3 Rxd3 23. Bf1 {Now White begins to slowly
unravel his position. Still, Anand has it well under control.} Rd8 24. a3 $1 {
A strong move, asking the question for the bishop.} Be7 {The best.} (24... Bxc3
25. Rxc3 $16 {is clearly inferior. Black has two knights against two bishops,
and will slowly be squeezed.}) 25. g4 {Now, this is a real show of ambition. A
double edged sword though, with all the dark squared weaknesses around the
king.} Kg7 $1 {Ice cool. Anand asks Naka to unfold his plans. This slow
improving move does no harm to Black's position, and the onus is now on White.}
26. Kh2 $6 {Clearly not the best. I fail to see the utility of the king on h2.}
(26. Nb5 $14 {was called for, adding extra protection to d4, and maybe
threathening Bc4, Nc7-d5. I guess this position is better than the game.})
26... h6 $1 {Another great move. Anand guards some important dark squares and
prevents g5 for the moment.} 27. h4 $5 {Okay, now Naka is really going for it.
But then, if you've said A, then you say B. This threathens g5 the next move,
but softens the King shelter. Truly confrontational play.} Nd4 $1 {Another
cool move. Anand improves his Nc6, and asks Naka to show his intentions.} 28.
g5 $2 {Now this is too much.} (28. Rd1 {was called for, and after} a6 29. Kg2
b5 30. Bd3 Qc8 $13 {we still have a game ahead of us, though Black is no way
worse.}) 28... hxg5 $1 29. hxg5 Nh7 $1 $17 {A really strong riposte. The
g-pawn is now loose and Black starts to get some real chances.} 30. Bh3 Qb3 31.
f4 {I guess Hikaru got this far in his calculation when he played h4, and
thought he might get an attack here, and might also guard his weak g5 pawn.
Sadly, such a possibility is non existent.} Nc6 $1 {Another strong move, that
threathens to take on f4, and forces White's next.} 32. Nd5 exf4 33. Bxf4 Bxg5
$6 {An unambitious move by Vishy.} (33... Nxg5 {was the way to go, and after}
34. Rc3 Qd1 35. Qg2 Nxh3 36. Rxh3 Qd4 37. Be3 Bd6+ 38. Kg1 Qd1+ 39. Qf1 Qxf1+
40. Kxf1 Rh8 41. Rxh8 Kxh8 42. b4 b5 $19 {Black goes into the endgame up a
pawn, and can keep trying.}) 34. Bxg5 Nxg5 35. Qf6+ Kh6 36. Bg2 $6 {Another
mistake in time trouble.} (36. Rc3 $1 $11 {was the way to go, but unlike in
the previous variation, White's queen is better placed, and Black doesn't have
his DS Bishop, so the position remains dynamically balamced.}) 36... Nh7 $1 {
Now Anand starts to get a strong initiative.} 37. Qxf7 Rf8 ({Houdini claims
that} 37... Qxb2 {might have just been a little more precise, and after} 38.
Rh1 Rf8 39. Qd7 Qf2 40. Qh3+ Kg7 41. Rf1 Qb2 42. Rxf8 Nxf8 43. Qc8 Ne5 $17 {
Black stands better, due to the extra pawn, White's pawn weaknesses and a
loose king.}) 38. Qc7 {Naka returns the favour.} (38. Rc3 $1 {is a move that
should be played here, a nice intermezzo. After} Qxc3 39. Qxf8+ Nxf8 40. Nxc3
b6 41. Kg3 Kg5 $15 {The endgame with B and K vs K and K should be holdable.})
38... Qxb2 39. Rh1 Qf2 40. Kh3 {Now the time control has been reached, and we
have a tense position on the board. Objectively, Black is better, but he needs
to neutralise White's activity and transition into the endgame.} Rf7 $1 {
The right first move.} 41. Qg3 Qb2 $5 {An interesting attempt to keep the
queens on the board, but I feel Anand had better chances without queens.} (
41... Kg7 42. Qxf2 Rxf2 43. Rb1 Rf7 44. Kg3 Ne5 45. Rb5 Nf6 46. a4 Nh5+ 47. Kh4
a6 48. Rb6 Rf2 $17 {and black has serious winning chances.}) 42. Ne3 $1 {
Now this is the reason why I like the queen trade more. White suddenly starts
to generate some serious play here.} Nf6 (42... Qd4 {was the best here,
centralising the queen, and keeping things in check. After} 43. a4 Nf8 44. Bf1
Qxe4 45. Bg2 Qe6+ 46. Kh2 Rh7 47. Bd5 Kg7+ 48. Kg2 Qe5 49. Rb1 Qxg3+ 50. Kxg3
Nd4 51. Rxb7+ Kf6 $17 {Black still has reason to play on here, though I feel
Hikaru should draw this.}) 43. Bf3 $1 {A really stong move that prevents Nh5,
and threathens Rg1.} Kh7 44. Nf5 $1 {And the players agreeed a draw here.
Can't say I'm satisfied with Vishy's play in this game, as he missed quite a
few good chances, and wasn't incisive enough. But, drawing against his bogey
man Hikaru will give him some confidence for sure. As for Naka, I really liked
his aggression this game, and one feels after this that he is going gung ho
for the title this tournament this time. Overall, a very entertaining game.}
1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.12.03"]
[Round "2.2"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B78"]
[WhiteElo "2789"]
[BlackElo "2781"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "93"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 {It is a nice coincidence
that the two players who revived the Dragon back in 1995 are in London. One is
still playing and the other is a guest of honor. You guessed it right, they
are Vishy Anand and Garry Kasparov.The latter used the Dragon as a secret
weapon to turn the match into his favor. And Nakamura, who has trained with
Kasparov in the past, knows a thing or two about it...} 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8.
Qd2 Nc6 9. Bc4 Bd7 10. h4 h5 11. Bb3 Rc8 12. O-O-O Ne5 13. Bg5 Rc5 14. Kb1 Re8
15. g4 $5 ({Speaking about Kasparov's influence, here is another game of a
player who was working with him:} 15. Bh6 a5 16. a4 Qb6 17. g4 Rxc3 18. bxc3
Nxf3 19. Nxf3 Nxe4 20. Qd3 Nxc3+ 21. Kc1 Bxh6+ 22. Ng5 Bg7 {actually these two
are also in London, Karjakin,S (2771)-Carlsen,M (2881) Dubai 2014}) 15... hxg4
16. f4 Nc4 17. Qd3 Na5 {All theory and now Vachier-Lagrave uncorks a novelty:}
18. Bxf6 $5 $146 ({The only predecessor saw White quickly messing things up:}
18. h5 Nxh5 19. f5 Nxb3 20. Nxb3 Rxc3 21. bxc3 Qc7 {and getting into a worse
position, Misiano,F (2265)-Cacciola,A (2118) Lugano 2015}) 18... exf6 ({
The point behind White's trade is revealed in the line:} 18... Bxf6 19. e5 dxe5
$4 ({Better is} 19... Nxb3 20. Nxb3 Bf5 21. Qd4 Rxc3 22. Qxc3 Bg7 23. Nd4 {
although White has the advantage here as well.}) 20. Qxg6+ Kh8 21. Bxf7 {
and mate is inevitable.}) 19. Bd5 {Vachier-Lagrave keeps the strong bishop
alive.} ({The alternative} 19. f5 Nxb3 20. axb3 {also deserves attention.})
19... Nc6 20. Nxc6 {Now the speed of the game accelerates to the maximum.} ({
Probably critical is} 20. Ndb5 $5) 20... bxc6 ({Instead} 20... Bxc6 21. f5 Bxd5
22. Nxd5 {is not convincing at all. The dark-squared bishop is locked in
prison and White can attack comfortably.}) 21. Bxf7+ $1 ({No time to retreat.}
21. Bb3 Bf8) 21... Kxf7 22. Qxd6 Rxc3 $1 {Liquidates into a rook endgame.} ({
Also interesting was} 22... Rh5 23. Qxd7+ Qxd7 24. Rxd7+ Kf8) 23. Qxd7+ Qxd7
24. Rxd7+ Ke6 ({But not} 24... Re7 25. Rxe7+ Kxe7 26. bxc3 {when Black does
not have enough for the exchange.}) 25. Rxg7 Rf3 {Funnily, this rook lived to
tell its story. And snatch a few more pawns.} 26. Rxg6 Rxf4 27. Rg1 Rxe4 28.
R6xg4 Rxg4 29. Rxg4 {This is it. The ultimate result of the sharp Dragon. A
sharp rook endgame.} f5 {Betting on the passer. It is always a huge trump in
these endgames.} ({Nakamura could show activity with} 29... Kf5 30. Rg1 Rh8 31.
Rh1 Kg4 {as well.}) 30. Ra4 Rg8 31. b3 Rg4 32. Rxa7 f4 $1 {The passer will
cost White the rook at the end. This is why Black coordinates the efforts of
his pieces to run it as smooth as possible.} (32... Rxh4 {might not be losing
but is not the right way.}) 33. Kc1 f3 34. Kd2 Rxh4 ({The rook could have cut
the white king as well:} 34... Re4 {After a possible} 35. Ra4 Re2+ 36. Kd1 Kf5
37. Ra7 Kg4 {it is not even clear who is playing for a win. Therefore, the
logic is that the point should be split equally... Say} 38. h5 ({Worse is} 38.
Rf7 Kg3) 38... Kxh5 39. Rf7 Kg4 40. a4 Re5 41. b4 Kg3 42. Kd2 Kg2 43. a5 f2 44.
a6 f1=Q 45. Rxf1 Kxf1 46. c4 Re7 47. b5 cxb5 48. cxb5 Re2+ 49. Kc3 Ra2 50. Kb4
Ke2 51. Kc5 Kd3 52. b6 Ra5+ $1 53. Kc6 Rxa6 54. Kc7) 35. Ra8 Rh2+ 36. Kd3 ({Or
} 36. Ke3 Rxc2 37. Kxf3 c5 38. Ke4 Rd2 {with the same result as in the game.})
36... Kf5 37. a4 {MVL tries to advance the pawns as far as possible before
sacrificing the rook.} Kg4 38. a5 Rh1 39. Rg8+ ({If the king comes to stop the
pawn with} 39. Ke3 Re1+ 40. Kf2 Re2+ 41. Kf1 Rxc2 {then it will have to soon
abandon the windy position to avoid the perpetual:} 42. a6 Rc1+ 43. Kf2 Rc2+
44. Ke3 Re2+ 45. Kd4 Rd2+ 46. Kc5 Rd5+ 47. Kb6 ({White has to be careful:} 47.
Kxc6 $2 f2 48. Rf8 Rf5 49. Rxf5 Kxf5 50. a7 f1=Q 51. a8=Q Qf3+) 47... f2 48.
Rf8 Rf5 49. Rxf5 Kxf5 50. a7 f1=Q 51. a8=Q {and a draw in the queen endgame.})
39... Kf4 40. Rf8+ Kg3 41. Rg8+ Kf4 42. Rf8+ Kg3 43. b4 {The last try.} f2 44.
Kd4 f1=Q 45. Rxf1 Rxf1 46. Kc5 Rc1 47. Kxc6 {The draw was agreed because of
the line:} (47. Kxc6 Rxc2+ 48. Kb6 Kf3 49. a6 Ke4 50. b5 Kd5 51. a7 Ra2 52. Kb7
Kc5 53. b6 Ra1 54. a8=Q Rxa8 55. Kxa8 Kxb6) 1/2-1/2
[Event "London ENG"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2017.12.03"]
[Round "2.4"]
[White "So, Wesley"]
[Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E60"]
[WhiteElo "2788"]
[BlackElo "2729"]
[PlyCount "53"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 d6 4. e4 e5 5. Ne2 c5 $5 {"I was trying to disrupt
his preparation somehow." - Nepomniachtchi.} 6. d5 Nbd7 $146 (6... h5 7. h4 Bh6
8. Bxh6 Rxh6 9. Qd2 Rh8 10. Nbc3 Na6 11. Nc1 Nc7 {Grischuk,A (2779)
-Nepomniachtchi,I (2717) Khanty-Mansiysk 2013}) 7. Nbc3 a6 8. a4 Nh5 9. g3 Bg7
10. h4 f5 11. exf5 gxf5 12. g4 fxg4 13. fxg4 Nf4 14. g5 O-O 15. Ne4 Nb6 16.
N2g3 Bd7 17. Rg1 Kh8 18. Bd2 Nc8 19. Nh5 {So wasn't happy about this move. He
said he should have kept the blockade.} Bf5 20. Neg3 Qd7 21. Nxg7 Qxg7 (21...
Bg4 $5 {Nepomniachtchi}) 22. Nxf5 Rxf5 23. Qb3 Na7 24. Qb6 Nc8 25. Qb3 Na7 26.
Qb6 Nc8 27. Qb3 1/2-1/2
[Event "London ENG"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2017.12.03"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C50"]
[WhiteElo "2760"]
[BlackElo "2837"]
[PlyCount "59"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. c3 a6 7. a4 Ba7 8. Re1 h6
9. Nbd2 g5 $5 10. b4 (10. Nf1 g4 11. Nh4 (11. N3d2 h5 12. Nb3 g3 $5 {
Oparin-Matlakov, Russian Higher League 2017}) 11... Nxe4 12. dxe4 Qxh4 13. Be3
{was one of the games Anand-Wei Yi, León 2017.}) 10... Nh5 11. Nb3 g4 12. b5
gxf3 ({A big alternative was} 12... axb5 13. axb5 Bxf2+ 14. Kxf2 Rxa1 15. Nxa1
gxf3 {when the computer comes up with} 16. g3) 13. Qxf3 Qf6 14. Qxf6 Nxf6 15.
bxc6 bxc6 16. d4 Be6 17. Bxe6 fxe6 18. Be3 exd4 19. Bxd4 e5 20. Bxa7 Rxa7 21.
Na5 Kd7 22. Rab1 Raa8 23. f3 Rab8 24. Kf2 h5 25. h4 Rhf8 26. Ke3 Rg8 27. Kf2
Rgf8 28. Ke3 Rg8 29. Kf2 Rgf8 30. Ke3 1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.12.04"]
[Round "3.3"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E11"]
[WhiteElo "2805"]
[BlackElo "2760"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Bb4+ {A nasty little check. It invites White to
choose between the Romanishin Nimzo-Indian after 4.Nc3 or put something on d2,
which interferes with his future plans.} 4. Bd2 Be7 5. Bg2 d5 6. Nf3 O-O 7. O-O
Nbd7 8. Na3 $5 {Aronian follows... himself.} ({One of the benefits behind the
bishop position on c3 is that it can be easily attacked. This is what happened
in a recent game by Carlsen:} 8. Bc3 b6 9. cxd5 Nxd5 10. e4 Nxc3 11. Nxc3 Bb7 {
and Black was doing well, Ding,L (2774)-Carlsen,M (2837) Saint Louis 2017}) ({
Another advantageous point behind the position of the bishop on d2 is seen in
case of the normal development with} 8. Nc3 {Black simply captures the pawn}
dxc4 {as there is no Nf3-d2xc4 maneuver. Nakamura risked though against Adams
at the World Cup in Baku 2015 and won the game, but it is evident that after}
9. e4 c5 10. Bf4 Nb6 11. a4 cxd4 12. Nxd4 Bc5 $1 {as Adams played, things were
going into Black's favor.}) ({Therefore the main move is} 8. Qc2) 8... c6 9.
Rc1 Ne4 10. Be3 f5 $146 {Technically speaking a novelty, but the Stonewall
formation is very common for this line.} ({In Wijk aan Zee earlier this year
the Armenian GM won a spectacular positional game after} 10... Bxa3 11. bxa3
Nd6 12. c5 Nc4 13. Rxc4 dxc4 14. Qc2 {Aronian,L (2780)-Giri,A (2773) Wijk aan
Zee 2017}) 11. Rc2 {Now both sides start to regroup and prepare or prevent the
play of the opponent on "their" flank.} a5 {Stops the queenside expansion in
advance.} (11... Bf6 12. b4) 12. Qc1 {The queen takes under control the vital
f4 square and is ready to work along the c-file.} Bf6 13. Rd1 g5 14. Nb1 {
The knight appeared to do nothing on a3; it has to be repositioned.} Rf7 15.
Nc3 Rg7 {Karjakin is ready for some kingside action.} 16. Ne1 {An inaccuracy.}
({The preliminary} 16. Nxe4 $1 {was better and only after} fxe4 (16... dxe4 {
allows} 17. Ne5 $1) 17. Ne1 {followed by f2-f3 to undermine the center. White
would be slightly better in that case.}) 16... Nd6 $1 {A very annoying knight!}
17. b3 $1 {Aronian sacrifices a pawn.} ({After} 17. c5 Nc4 {the important
dark-squared bishop will be traded for the knight. True, there is the
interesting idea} 18. Bxg5 Bxg5 19. f4 Bf6 20. b3 {trapping it, but one can
hardly believe that White would be any better in this case.}) 17... dxc4 18.
Na4 cxb3 19. axb3 Nb5 ({Karjakin has to be careful in order not to allow too
many white pieces freedom. For example} 19... Nf8 20. Nf3 h6 21. Ne5) 20. Nd3 {
Another pawn is offered!} Qe8 {This time rejected.} ({After} 20... Nxd4 21.
Bxd4 Bxd4 {The pin along the d-file gives time to the white pieces to occupy
dominating positions:} 22. e3 (22. Rcd2 $5) 22... Bf6 23. Ndc5 Qe8 24. Rcd2
Nxc5 25. Nxc5 {with nice compensation for the pawns.} ({Or} 25. Qxc5)) 21. Ne5
{The knight did it to e5 outpost anyway.} f4 $1 {But Karjakin shows that he
knows other ways to defend too. Active ones.} ({Worse was} 21... Nxe5 22. dxe5
Bxe5 23. Bxg5) ({And simply bad} 21... Bxe5 22. dxe5 Nxe5 23. Rcd2 Nd7 24. Bxg5
$1 Rxg5 25. Rxd7 {and White wins.}) 22. gxf4 gxf4 23. Bxf4 Nxd4 {The main
point behind Black's sacrifice. Although the open g-file for his heavy pieces
would not hurt neither.} 24. Rxd4 ({Not} 24. Nxd7 $2 Bxd7) 24... Nxe5 25. Rd1 {
The retreat is the best decision at the moment. The rook is too vulnerable.} (
25. Rcd2 $2 {does not work as the back rank is defended and Black can go for
example} Ng6) ({More interesting is} 25. Nb6 {when Black has the interesting
tactical blow} Nf3+ ({Probably even better is the retreat} 25... Nd7 26. Rxd7 (
26. Nxa8 $2 {leads to an edge for Black after} Bxd4) 26... Bxd7 27. Nxa8 Qxa8
28. Rd2 Qe8 {when Black keeps the extra pawn.}) 26. exf3 Bxd4 27. Nxa8 e5 $1 {
Attacking the bishop and preparing Bc8-h3. After} 28. Re2 Bh3 29. Bg3 Bxg2 30.
Kxg2 Qxa8 {The position is roughly balanced.}) 25... Qg6 26. Bg3 h5 {Thanks to
his excellent defense Karjakin developed almost all of his pieces and keeps
white bishops busy on the kingside. Still, the open d-file and the activity
provide Aronian enough for the pawn.} 27. Nb6 Rb8 28. Rcd2 Nf7 {Another
excellent defensive move.} ({The careless} 28... h4 {would give Aronian what
he wants and} 29. Rd8+ Bxd8 30. Rxd8+ Kh7 31. Nxc8 hxg3 32. hxg3 Qf6 33. Be4+
Ng6 34. Qd1 {with the threat e2-e3 followed by Qd1-h5 would provide White
excellent attacking possibilities.}) 29. Qc5 {Aronian is still optimistic
about his position.He plans to trap the black rook on b8.} ({The endgame after
} 29. Qc2 Qxc2 30. Rxc2 e5 31. Nxc8 (31. Ra2 $2 h4) (31. h4 Bf5 32. Ra2 Be7)
31... Rxc8 32. h4 {was the alternative when the bishop pair is once again
providing enough compensation for the pawn.}) ({Even better was} 29. Qb1 Qxb1
30. Rxb1 e5 31. h4 Bf5 {due to the nuance} 32. Ra1 Be7 33. Nc4 {at least
according to the computer.}) 29... e5 ({Operation trapping would be
accomplished after} 29... h4 30. Qxa5 hxg3 31. hxg3 {with the idea Qa5-a7 and
if} Be5 $2 32. Rd8+) 30. Qc4 ({Here} 30. Qxa5 {does not work because of} Bf5
31. Qa7 Rf8 {and Black is ready to start decisive counter-attack.}) 30... Kh8 {
Now h5-h4 is a threat.} ({Otherwise the bishop on c8 may suffer-} 30... Bf5 31.
e4 Bg4 32. f3 Bc8 33. Nxc8 ({But not} 33. Rd8+ $2 Bxd8 34. Rxd8+ Kh7 35. Rxc8
Rxc8 36. Nxc8 h4 {when Black takes over.}) 33... Rxc8 34. Bh3 Rf8 35. Kh1 $1 {
and White dominates on the light squares.}) ({Also} 30... h4 {loses to} 31.
Rd8+ $1 Bxd8 32. Rxd8+ Kh7 33. Qxh4+ Nh6 34. Nxc8) 31. h4 Bf5 32. Nd7 Rbg8 33.
Kh1 $2 {A mistake in time-trouble, which was accompanied with a draw offer.
And Karjakin accepted it!} ({White should have taken the bishop when he could}
33. Nxf6 Qxf6 34. Qc5 {still keeping the compensation.}) (33. Kh1 {Black on
his turn did not realize that the situation has changed and that after} Be7 $1
{He has the initiative. The threat is to kick the queen away from the fourth
rank and grab the h4 pawn. Or even the b3 pawn in some lines. Black has clear
edge as the lines prove it:} 34. e3 ({Or} 34. Qc3 Bxh4 35. Nxe5 Nxe5 36. Rd6
Qg5 37. Qxe5 Bxg3 38. fxg3 Bc2) ({If} 34. e4 Bxd7 35. Rxd7 Bxh4 $1) 34... Be6
35. Qf1 (35. Qc3 Bb4 (35... Bxh4)) 35... Bxb3 {All in all, after a great
defense Karjakin could had taken more than just half a point!}) 1/2-1/2
[Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.04"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E04"]
[WhiteElo "2874"]
[BlackElo "2770"]
[Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"]
[PlyCount "62"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
{The London Chess Classic has got off to a really slow start. With all games
being drawn till now, the players were expected to show some fight in this
round. All eyes though, were on this game, where Vishy was playing against his
nemesis from 2 World Championships-Magnus Carlsen. Since Vishy was playing so
well at this event, this would be a very interesting game.} 1. d4 {No
surprises there. Magnus plays literally everything.} Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 {
With this move, White inclines towards a Catalan.} d5 4. Bg2 dxc4 {Anand plays
a line that has scored really well for Black. He has been a firm adherent of
this line according to the databases. This is not the only move however.} (4...
Be7 5. Nf3 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Qc2 a6 8. Qxc4 b5 9. Qc2 Bb7 10. Bd2 {is one of
the most hotly discussed tabiyas in top level chess. White's main plan here is
to prevent black from playing c5, as if black achieves it, he gets a very easy
game.}) (4... Bb4+ {is another move in this position, and here the move} 5. Nd2
{has scored really well for white. After} O-O 6. Ngf3 b6 7. O-O Bb7 8. Ne5 Nbd7
9. Ndf3 Bd6 10. Bg5 $14 {white has a pleasant position.}) 5. Nf3 {Magnus plays
the most principled move and invites Vishy to accept his pawn sacrifice.} c5 {
Anand agrees, and now we have a sharp position on the board. However, this
isn't the only try here.} ({Previously, Vishy has also tried} 5... a6 {and
after} 6. O-O Nc6 7. e3 Bd7 8. Qe2 b5 9. Rd1 Be7 10. e4 O-O $13 {We get a
position where black has scored well (51% for White), and I can't say that's a
wrong indication. The compensation that white gets in this line is maybe
enough for equality, but nothing more. Over the board, he might create some
complications, but preparation with our silicon friends will negate all ill
effects.}) (5... Nc6 6. Qa4 Bb4+ 7. Bd2 Nd5 8. Bxb4 Ndxb4 9. O-O Rb8 10. Nc3 a6
$14 {is another attempt in this position, but white is slightly better here.})
6. O-O Nc6 7. Na3 cxd4 8. Nxc4 $44 {The Catalan Gambit is one of the few sharp
lines that top players play regularly. I first saw this line in Sofia 2010,
when Anand beat Topalov twice in the same line. But back then, Vishy had
played Ne5 instead of castling. Coming back to this position, we can see that
black's extra pawn on d4 can be attacked, and white has superior development,
with a much stronger LS Bishop. So if white regains his pawn, he have a
definite pull.} Bc5 9. b3 $5 {A surprise from Magnus. A rare and unexplored
line at the top level. The move though is logical. White wants to play Bb2 and
pressurise the d4 pawn. Then he might eventually play a3-b4 and win the pawn
back.} (9. a3 {has seen a lot of games, and has scored a mammoth 80%! Indeed,
after} a5 10. Bf4 O-O 11. Nce5 Bb6 12. Qd3 Nd5 13. Rfd1 Nxf4 14. gxf4 $14 {
White has a definite edge here.}) 9... Qe7 10. Nfe5 Nxe5 11. Nxe5 Nd7 12. Bf4 {
An interesting decision by Magnus.} (12. Nd3 {is definitely a possibility to
be considered, and after} Bd6 13. e3 dxe3 14. Bxe3 O-O 15. Rc1 Nf6 16. Re1 Rd8
17. Qe2 $44 {White gets enough play for the pawn.}) 12... O-O 13. Rc1 {a very
natural move by Magnus. But had he looked further, he could have found a more
combative choice.} (13. b4 $5 {would have put black on the edge. After} Bb6 14.
a4 Nxe5 15. Bxe5 Qxb4 16. Rb1 Qc5 17. Rb5 $44 {White is getting dangerous play.
}) 13... Rd8 {A very robotic move from Anand, missing an oppurtunity to try
for an edge.} (13... f6 {definitely deserved consideration. Black's main idea
here is to play e5, and have a firm support for it. After} 14. Nxd7 Bxd7 15.
Bxb7 Rae8 16. b4 Bxb4 17. Qxd4 e5 18. Qc4+ Be6 19. Bd5 exf4 20. Bxe6+ Qxe6 21.
Qxb4 fxg3 22. hxg3 Qxe2 $15 {Black starts to get some serious play, and white
still has to justify his missing pawn.}) 14. Nd3 {Now the game peters towards
equality. Magnus tries his best to recover the pawn, and Anand tries his best
to prevent it.} Bb6 15. Bc7 Re8 16. Qc2 e5 17. Rfd1 Nf8 18. a4 Bg4 19. Bxb6
axb6 20. h3 Rac8 21. Qd2 {Both players have been playing the best moves till
now, but Black is still slightly better due to the extra pawn.} Be6 $6 {
Anand misses a chance here. While this move is good, he had a better one at
his disposal.} ({It was important to keep the pressure on the e2 pawn with}
21... Bh5 $1 {also x-raying the d1 rook. After} 22. Rxc8 Rxc8 23. f4 f6 24.
fxe5 fxe5 25. b4 Bf7 $15 {Black's extra pawn will start to make its presence
known.}) 22. Nxe5 {Now it is just equal.} Rxc1 23. Rxc1 Bxb3 24. Nf3 Bxa4 25.
Nxd4 Ne6 26. Nf5 Qf6 27. Ne3 Qd4 28. Qa2 Nc5 29. Rc4 Bb3 $1 {A nice shot to
draw the game.} 30. Rxd4 Bxa2 31. Rb4 Re6 {and the players call it a draw.
Black has no way to exploit his extra pawn. A very fascinating game by two
fighters. With respect to Magnus, he clearly has to find a better opening line
if he is to entertain certain winning chances. He did fight a lot in this game,
but Anand was too solid. As for Anand, an excellent game all round. His
opening preparation was too good, and he equalised without a problem. He is
clearly in the groove this tournament. Had he found a couple of critical
continuations, he had ways of putting Magnus under pressure. So clearly a
great performance.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "9th London Classic 2017"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2017.12.04"]
[Round "3.3"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E00"]
[WhiteElo "2805"]
[BlackElo "2760"]
[Annotator "AD"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
{Another day where the draw-fest continues :).} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Bb4+
4. Bd2 Be7 5. Bg2 d5 6. Nf3 O-O 7. O-O Nbd7 8. Na3 $5 {Aronian goes for the
idea which gave him a stunning win in the Tata Steel Masters this year.} c6 9.
Rc1 Ne4 10. Be3 f5 {The first new move.} ({The origin game followed} 10... Bxa3
11. bxa3 Nd6 (11... Nb6 12. c5 Nc4 13. Rxc4 $1 dxc4 14. Qc2 {is another
deviation and also equally strong.} Nf6 15. Qxc4 Nd5 16. Bd2 b5 17. Qc2 f6 18.
e4 Ne7 19. Bf4 e5 20. dxe5 Ng6 21. Rd1 Qe8 22. exf6 Nxf4 23. gxf4 Bg4 24. Rd6
Bxf3 25. Qb3+ Rf7 26. Bxf3 a5 27. e5 a4 28. Qd3 Rc7 29. f7+ Kxf7 30. Qxh7 Qh8
31. Qf5+ Ke7 32. Bxc6 Raa7 33. Qe6+ {1-0 (33) Bilobrk,F (2362)-Bender,I (2231)
Mali Losinj CRO 2017}) 12. c5 Nc4 13. Rxc4 $1 dxc4 14. Qc2 h6 15. Qxc4 b6 (
15... e5 $1 16. dxe5 Qe7 {was possible with good chances to equalize and even
take over if white is too optimistic.}) 16. Bf4 Re8 17. Bd6 {The rest is pure
domination from white's part.} Bb7 18. Ne5 bxc5 19. dxc5 Nxe5 20. Bxe5 a5 21.
Rb1 Ra7 22. Qc3 f6 23. Bd6 Ba8 24. Be4 f5 25. Bc2 Rb7 26. Rd1 Rd7 27. e4 Qf6
28. Qc4 Kh8 29. Re1 Qf7 30. Qd3 f4 31. gxf4 e5 32. Qh3 Rxd6 33. cxd6 Qg6+ 34.
Qg3 Qxd6 35. Rd1 Qc5 36. Rd7 Rg8 37. Bb3 exf4 38. Qg6 f3 39. h4 Qc3 40. Bxg8
Qe1+ 41. Kh2 Qxf2+ 42. Kh3 Qf1+ 43. Kg4 {1-0 (43) Aronian,L (2780)-Giri,A
(2773) Wijk aan Zee NED 2017}) 11. Rc2 a5 {Not sure what this move achieves.} (
{Maybe black can already go for} 11... g5) 12. Qc1 (12. Ne5 $5 {with some
pressure.}) 12... Bf6 13. Rd1 g5 14. Nb1 Rf7 15. Nc3 Rg7 {So far both players
just mobilized their forces and was preparing for the upcoming fight.} 16. Ne1
{This looks bit passive.} ({White had to go for} 16. Nxe4 $1 dxe4 17. Ne5 Qe7
18. Rcd2 h5 (18... Nxe5 19. dxe5 Bxe5 20. Rd8+ Kf7 21. Rh8 $1 {A nasty move
preparing the rook penetration on the 8th rank and white comes out on top.})
19. f3 Nxe5 20. dxe5 Bxe5 21. Bd4 Bxd4+ 22. Rxd4 {White is better and also
black has to be very careful due to his overstretched kingside.}) 16... Nd6 $1
17. b3 dxc4 18. Na4 ({One logical line was} 18. bxc4 $5 Nxc4 19. Ne4 Nxe3 20.
Nxf6+ Qxf6 21. Qxe3 e5 22. dxe5 Nxe5 23. Nf3 Nxf3+ 24. exf3 {with the usual 0.
00 assessment :).}) 18... cxb3 19. axb3 Nb5 20. Nd3 Qe8 (20... Nxd4 $5 {
looks scary to the human eye.} 21. Ra2 $1 {was the best option with a crazy
position.} (21. Bxd4 Bxd4 22. e3 Ba7 {White seems to have insufficient
compensation for the pawns.})) 21. Ne5 f4 $1 {A nice tactical resource.} 22.
gxf4 gxf4 23. Bxf4 Nxd4 $1 {The point of f4.} 24. Rxd4 Nxe5 25. Rd1 Qg6 26. Bg3
h5 $1 {Playing with spirit!} 27. Nb6 Rb8 28. Rcd2 Nf7 29. Qc5 e5 (29... h4 $5 {
was a nasty option.} 30. Nc4 hxg3 31. hxg3 {Trying to win the rook with Qa7 :).
} Bh4 $1 32. Rd3 b6 33. Qxc6 Ba6 {with a total mess, but black has an extra
piece!}) 30. Qc4 Kh8 31. h4 ({As Aronian mentioned in the PM} 31. Nxc8 $1 {
White had to get rid of this potentially dangerous bishop.} Rxc8 32. Rd7 {
White has full compensation for the pawn.} (32. h4 {was levon's intention
which is also equally strong with good compensation.}) 32... h4 {doesn't work
due to} 33. Be4 $1 b5 (33... Qh5 34. Qe6 {winning.}) 34. Bxg6 bxc4 35. Rxf7
Rxf7 36. Bxf7 cxb3 {with a probable draw.}) 31... Bf5 32. Nd7 Rbg8 33. Kh1 {
Here Levon's draw offer (who decided to offer after seeing the killer Be7!)
was accepted by Karjak due to the limited time he had.An anti climatic end to
a very interesting game!} (33. Kh1 Be7 $1 {This stunning backward retreat
which is easy to miss would have crowned black's fearless play...White has no
threats and black is just clearly better.}) ({Again white had to get rid of
any one of the bishops if not c8-bishop...at least the f6-bishop!} 33. Nxf6
Qxf6 34. Qc5 {with compensation.}) 1/2-1/2
[Event "London ENG"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2017.12.04"]
[Round "3.4"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A07"]
[WhiteElo "2729"]
[BlackElo "2799"]
[Annotator "AD"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 g6 {This is one of the best known recipe against the
Fianchetto/Reti.} 3. Bg2 (3. c4 dxc4 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. Qxc4 e5 7. d3
Nge7 8. O-O Be6 {Comp already gives a slight edge to black.}) 3... Bg7 4. O-O
e5 5. d3 ({An entreprising line is} 5. c4 dxc4 6. Qa4+ Nc6 7. Nxe5 Bxe5 8.
Bxc6+ bxc6 9. Qxc6+ Bd7 10. Qe4 f6 11. f4 Bh3 {Black was holding in
(Erdos-Adams 2016)}) 5... Ne7 6. e4 (6. c4 Nbc6 (6... O-O 7. cxd5 Nxd5) 7. cxd5
Nxd5 8. Nc3 Nde7 $1 {Again the same manoeuvre similar to the game and the
position is more or less equal.}) ({White can try to toy around with the move
order.} 6. c3 $5 O-O 7. Nbd2 a5 {with transpositions to 7.Nbd2 from the game.}
(7... Nbc6 8. b4)) 6... O-O 7. exd5 (7. Nbd2 Nbc6 8. c3 a5 {Black is quite
comfortable.}) 7... Nxd5 8. Re1 Nc6 9. Nc3 Nde7 {As mentioned by Nepo in the
PM, "White is really not looking for advantage out of this opening,but is
rather happy to play this position which has minimal risks for him."} 10. Rb1 (
{A promising idea which was twic played by MVL is} 10. a4 $5 {which hasn't
been fully neutralised.} h6 (10... a5 11. Nb5 Re8 12. c3 {White will have
pressure on the light squares.}) 11. Bd2 (11. a5 a6 12. Na4 $5 {is the funky
option which could prove interesting!} (12. Be3 Re8 13. Qd2 Nf5 {Black had no
complaints and was even slightly better in (MVL-Topy 2014)})) 11... Bg4 ({
Comp prefers} 11... g5 $5 12. b4 Ng6 (12... g4 13. Nh4 Nxb4 14. Qc1 Kh7 15. Ne4
Nbc6 16. Bxh6 $1 Bxh6 17. Nf6+ Kg7 18. Nh5+ {is a funny repetition.}) 13. b5
Nce7 {with a complex battle.}) 12. h3 Be6 {(MVL-Bacrot 2014)} 13. b4 $1 Nxb4
14. Nxe5 Nbc6 15. Nxc6 Nxc6 16. Rb1 Rb8 17. h4 {White is slightly better.})
10... a5 11. a3 ({Another decent player went for} 11. b3 $5 Re8 12. Bb2 Nf5 13.
Nb5 a4 14. c4 (14. b4 $1 {was probably the only chance for white.}) 14... axb3
15. axb3 Nd6 {Black was doing well and was even better at some point in
(Carlsen-Vidit IOM Masters 2017)}) 11... Re8 ({Nepo mainly checked} 11... Nf5
12. b4 Nfd4 (12... axb4 13. axb4 Nfd4 14. Nd2 {is an even better version for
white.}) 13. Nd2 {with an interesting position where white has the intiative.})
({Black had a very strong option in form of} 11... a4 $1 12. Re4 $5 {Suddenly
it is not easy to save the pawn.} f5 $1 (12... Nd5 13. Qe1 $1 {with slightly
more equal position for white.}) 13. Rxa4 Rb8 {and the rook is not sure if he
will make it or die bravely sacrificing himself for a minor piece.} 14. Bg5 h6
15. Bxe7 Qxe7 16. Nh4 Qd6 17. Nb5 Qf6 {with a messy position where black is to
be preferred.}) 12. b4 axb4 13. axb4 {Now white can be happy about the outcome
of the opening.} Nf5 14. b5 Ncd4 15. Nd2 (15. Nxd4 $5 Nxd4 16. Be3 {gave more
chances for white as in the future the g7-bishop might become passive.}) 15...
Ra7 $1 {How else to relive the c8-bishop?} 16. Nde4 h6 {Always an useful
prophylaxis in this line.} 17. Nd5 {Trying to mix it up, but the "Robotic
Fabi" is not impressed with such tricks and keeps his cool.} Ra5 18. c4 {
Now there follows a logical sequence where both players more or less follow
the top choice of comp.} c6 19. bxc6 bxc6 20. Nb6 Qc7 21. Bd2 Ra2 22. Nc3 Ra6
23. Nxc8 Rxc8 24. Ne2 Nxe2+ 25. Rxe2 Nd4 26. Re1 Rd8 27. Bc3 Ra2 28. Ra1 Rxa1
29. Bxa1 Qb6 30. Qa4 Nb3 31. Be4 {A reasonably well played game though it was
possible to continue the play in the final position.} (31. Qxc6 {is a mistake
due to} Qa5) (31. Be4 Nxa1 (31... Nc5 32. Qxc6 Qxc6 33. Bxc6 Nxd3 34. Rb1 {
White has the better endgame.}) 32. Rxa1 {Black still has to solve some issues.
} Bf8 $1 33. Qa5 Qd4 $1 {Two strong moves which help black neutralize the
pressure and equalize comfortably.} 34. Bxc6 Bc5 35. Qxd8+ Qxd8 36. Ra8 Qxa8
37. Bxa8 Kf8 {with a draw.}) 1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.12.05"]
[Round "4.3"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B48"]
[WhiteElo "2760"]
[BlackElo "2799"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "84"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 c5 {Some years ago it was considered suicidal to try the Sicilian
against Karjakin. But Caruana is not afraid as he had done his homework
carefully [for two days in a row as he was planning to play this line against
Nepomniachtchi! - PD].} 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be3 a6
7. Qf3 {A fashionable reply against the Taimanov. But later Karjakin regretted
on his opening choice and said that "any other line would have been the better
choice. "} ({The main lines remain} 7. Bd3 b5 8. O-O Bb7 9. Re1 Nf6 10. Nxc6
Qxc6 11. Bd4 {as in Carlsen,M (2832)-Grischuk,A (2750) Chess.com Speed Chess
Championship 2017}) ({Or} 7. Qd2 {as Caruana played himself in the following
online game in the Chess.com PRO Chess League:} Nf6 8. O-O-O Be7 9. f3 b5 10.
g4 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Bb7 12. Kb1 {Caruana,F (2817) -Pichot,A (2556) chess.com INT
2017}) 7... Ne5 8. Qg3 b5 9. O-O-O Nf6 10. f4 Neg4 {The knights seem
ridiculously placed but somehow manage to limit the opponent's bishops and
queen.} 11. Bg1 h5 12. e5 ({Nobody has ever tried} 12. h3 {although it might
be more interesting that it seems at a glance:} b4 13. Nd5 $5) 12... b4 {
Everything is coming in time. If Black retreats, he will get destroyed.} 13.
Na4 Nd5 14. Nb3 Bb7 15. Nac5 Bc6 $146 ({A predecessor saw} 15... Rc8 16. Bd3 a5
17. Kb1 Bc6 18. Na6 Qd8 19. Nd4 {with some edge for White, Nepomniachtchi,I
(2714)-Wang,Y (2720) Beijing 2014}) 16. Ne4 {"I was on my own here" (Caruana)}
(16. h3 {simply pushes the knight to a better position.} Nh6) (16. Nxa6 $6 {
is dubious due to} Qc8 17. Nbc5 d6 $1 18. exd6 Bxd6 {when as awkward as it may
seem there is no way to stop the obvious threat of Bd6xf4.}) ({Ditto for} 16.
Bxa6 $2 d6 $1 17. exd6 Bxd6) ({In case of} 16. Kb1 {Black will simply push the
pawn} a5 {with a good game. But perhaps this was White's best option.} (16...
Nh6 $5 {also deserves serious consideration.})) 16... f5 $1 {"It seems as
White wasted so much time that I should be doing great" (Caruana)} 17. h3 {
This is dubious.} ({White loses a pawn after} 17. exf6 gxf6 18. h3 Qxf4+ 19.
Qxf4 Nxf4 {But after} 20. Re1 f5 21. hxg4 Bxe4 22. gxf5 Bxf5 23. g3 $13 {
things are not that clear.}) 17... h4 $1 {"I knew I was worse but I thought I
can get some compensation. But I spoiled everything very quickly." (Karjakin)}
(17... fxe4 18. hxg4) 18. Qe1 fxe4 19. hxg4 Nxf4 20. Rxh4 Rxh4 21. Qxh4 Qxe5
22. Bd4 Ng6 {Another precise move.} (22... Qc7 {would give White a chance to
take over the initiative with} 23. g3 Nd5 24. Qh5+ {and keep the enemy king in
the center.}) 23. Qh3 ({Black would be definitely happy with the endgame after
} 23. Qh5 Qxh5 24. gxh5 Nf4 25. g4 g6) 23... Qg5+ {The opening turned out to
be huge success for Caruana. He is up a pawn, owes a solid center and as a
compensation has way more time on the clock.} 24. Kb1 Bd5 25. Bg1 (25. Be3 $5)
25... Be7 26. g3 Ne5 27. Be2 Nf3 28. Bxf3 exf3 {With the disappearance of the
light-squared bishop Black's advantage became decisive.} 29. Bd4 Kf7 {The king
is well placed behind his pawns.} 30. Nc1 d6 31. Nd3 e5 {Deprives the white
pieces from the good squares.} 32. Bf2 Be6 33. Nxb4 e4 34. Qh1 Rc8 {The same
limitation policy. The knight is in danger.} (34... a5 35. Nc6) 35. Nxa6 Qa5
36. Qh5+ Qxh5 37. gxh5 Bg5 38. Re1 Bc4 39. Nb4 Re8 {No need to hurry, the
pawns are unstopabble.} (39... e3 40. Bxe3 Re8 41. Bf2 Rxe1+ 42. Bxe1 Bd2 $1 {
would be flashier.}) 40. Re3 Bxe3 41. Bxe3 Re5 42. g4 Rg5 0-1
[Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.05"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2789"]
[BlackElo "2837"]
[Annotator "A. Silver"]
[PlyCount "84"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. O-O O-O 7. Re1 Ne7 {
[%emt 0:00:05]} 8. d4 Bb6 9. a4 $146 {[#]} (9. h3 Ng6 10. Bd3 h6 11. Be3 c6 12.
Nbd2 Bc7 13. c4 Nh5 14. Bf1 Nhf4 15. Qb3 {1/2-1/2 (88) Sethuraman,S (2658)
-Sevian,S (2589) Stockholm 2016}) 9... c6 10. dxe5 Ng4 11. Rf1 dxe5 12. Qxd8
Bxd8 13. h3 Nf6 14. Nxe5 Nxe4 15. Re1 Nd6 16. Bb3 Re8 17. Nf3 Nd5 18. Rd1 Ne4
19. Bxd5 cxd5 20. Rxd5 Be6 21. Re5 Nf6 {White has emerged from the opening
battle with an extra pawn, but making something of it is very unclear. Black's
powerful pair of bishops alone ensure at least partial compensation and the
underveloped white pieces don't help either.} 22. Re1 Bc7 23. Na3 a6 24. Nc2
Nd5 25. c4 Nf4 26. Bxf4 Bxf4 27. b3 Rad8 28. Rad1 Kf8 29. Nb4 {White had done
an excellent job of securing his material advantage, completing his
development, and restraining the light-squared bishop somewhat. It is here
that he may have missed his chance to achieve more.} ({Better was} 29. Nfd4 Bd7
30. Rxe8+ Kxe8 (30... Rxe8 31. Kf1) 31. Kf1 Bd6 32. Ne3 Bc5 33. Ndc2 a5 34. Ke2
Bc6 35. Rxd8+ Kxd8 36. Kd3 g6 37. Nd4 $16 {and White's extra pawn is starting
to really hurt.}) 29... Bc7 {[#] Threatening ...Ba5.} 30. Nd3 $2 {This move is
incomprehensible. Nb4 was with the clear idea of Nd5, so why wilt now and play
the very passive Nd3? This is the equivalent of giving up on trying to play
for more. A pity!} (30. Nd5 $14 Bxd5 31. Rxe8+ (31. Rxd5 Rxe1+ 32. Nxe1 Rxd5
$11) 31... Kxe8 32. cxd5) 30... Bf5 31. Rxe8+ Kxe8 32. Re1+ Kf8 33. Nc5 Bc8 $1
34. Kf1 Ba5 35. Re3 Rd1+ 36. Ke2 Rb1 $1 37. Ne4 Rb2+ 38. Kf1 Bf5 39. Nd6 Rb1+
40. Ke2 Rb2+ 41. Kf1 Rb1+ 42. Ke2 Rb2+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.05"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2760"]
[BlackElo "2799"]
[Annotator "Tiger Hillarp"]
[PlyCount "84"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
{After overcoming my initial impulse to comment on all the other games, I
finally settled on this one. The result did play a part in my decision.} 1. e4
c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 (5. Nb5 d6 6. c4 Nf6 7. N1c3 a6 {
leads to a Maroczy set-up.} 8. Na3) 5... Qc7 ({The main reason for Black's
move order is to avoid} 5... a6 6. Nxc6 bxc6 7. Bd3 d5 8. O-O {which leads to
a rather un-Sicilian position that demands a lot from a defensive point of
view.}) 6. Be3 ({For a while White scored well with} 6. Ndb5 Qb8 7. Be3 a6 8.
Bb6 axb5 9. Nxb5 Bb4+ 10. c3 Ba5 11. Nc7+ Qxc7 12. Bxc7 Bxc7 13. Qg4 g6 14. Bb5
{, but I always considered this to be a bluff. Black should be winning and it
is a relief for me to see that White has scored horribly from this position in
the last year.}) 6... a6 7. Qf3 $5 {This move had popped up already in the
early 2000's, but didn't catch on until a decade later. Since then it has even
challenged 7.Qd2 for the prize of 'most popular' and it is easy to understand
its charm. The 7.Qd2-lines can be answered by one thousand sharp lines,
whereas here play becomes more linear and easier to remember. White will plonk
the queen down on g3 and take it from there.} (7. Qd2 Nf6 8. O-O-O {has been
played in a few thousand (not exaggerating this time) tournament games. Lately
Black has preferred} Be7 {to the alternatives. One critical line goes} 9. f3 b5
10. g4 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Bb7 12. g5 (12. Kb1 $5 {has been played by Caruana
himself.}) 12... Nh5 13. Be5 Qxe5 14. Qxd7+ Kf8 15. Qxb7 Qb8 {and Black was
doing all right in - among others - Khairullin,I (2651)-Jumabayev,R (2564)
Moscow 2014.}) 7... Ne5 {Black has tried virtually everything under the sun
here:} (7... Nf6 8. O-O-O Ne5 9. Qg3 b5 10. f4 Neg4 11. Bg1 {leads to the game.
}) (7... Bd6 8. O-O-O Be5 {looks rather forced and "unnatural" and Caruana had
this position with White only a year ago:} 9. g3 $5 Nge7 10. Qe2 O-O 11. f4
Bxd4 12. Bxd4 Nxd4 13. Rxd4 e5 14. Rd1 exf4 15. e5 $1 {White has a strong
initiative and Black is struggling to find some coordination.} f3 16. Qxf3 Qxe5
17. Bg2 d6 18. Rhe1 Qg5+ 19. Kb1 Be6 20. Qxb7 d5 21. Nxd5 Nxd5 22. Bxd5 Rab8
23. Qc6 $16 {Caruana,F (2810)-Movsesian,S (2675) chess.com IoM Masters 2016})
8. Qg3 b5 $5 {This is a very rare move order.} ({Almost everyone and her uncle
plays} 8... h5 {The most common move here is} 9. O-O-O {when} ({The game
Swiercz,D (2645)-Durarbayli,V (2605) 28th Carlos Torre Mem 2016, saw a ton of
preparation being meted out before things turned vague:} 9. Bf4 $5 d6 10. Bg5
$1 {This idea is quite dangerous for Black. Now the h-pawn is caught in limbo,
dreaming about how nice it would have been to still be able to go to h6.} b5
11. f4 {This is the "most wanted" engine line.} h4 (11... b4 12. Ncb5 axb5 13.
fxe5 $16) (11... Nc4 12. O-O-O {and White has some kind of accelerated
Bg5-Najdorf where the h5-pawn has gone on a wild goose chase.}) 12. Bxh4 b4 (
12... Ng6 13. Bg5 b4 14. Nd1 $14) 13. Ncb5 axb5 14. fxe5 Bd7 15. O-O-O Rxa2 (
15... Qc5 $5) 16. Nb3 (16. Bxb5 Qa5 17. Bxd7+ Kxd7) 16... Rxh4 17. Qxh4 dxe5
18. Bd3 $14) 9... h4 10. Qh3 b5 11. f4 Nc4 12. Bxc4 Qxc4 13. Kb1 Bb7 14. Rhe1
Rc8 15. Nb3 b4 16. Na4 Bxe4 $17 {worked beautifully for Black, in Abdumalik,Z
(2420)-Fier,A (2565) St Louis Spring Classic B 2017. It looks to me like 9.Bf4
is the more dangerous move.}) 9. O-O-O ({This time} 9. Bf4 d6 10. Bg5 {makes
no sense due to} h6) 9... Nf6 10. f4 Neg4 (10... Nc4 11. Bxc4 Qxc4 12. e5 Nd5
13. Nxd5 Qxd5 14. Nb3 Qc4 (14... Qc6 15. Rd6 $1) 15. Kb1 $16) 11. Bg1 h5 {
I have played h5 under much worse circumstances. Now e4-e5 can be met with
b5-b4 followed by Nf6-somewhere without the knight on g4 falling prey to the
queen.} 12. e5 (12. a3 $6 h4 $1 13. Qf3 Bb7 {is difficult for White. For
instance} 14. h3 Nh6 15. Qe3 Rc8 16. e5 Nh5 {is hugely advantageous for Black.
Even ignoring the threat of Bxa3, White has over-stretched and Black's knights
are about to find excellent outposts.}) (12. Bd3 {is also critical:} Bb7 13. e5
(13. h3 $5 h4 14. Qf3 Nh6 15. Qe3 Rc8 16. Kb1 Bc5 17. e5 Nh5 {is quite unclear.
}) 13... b4 14. Na4 Nd5 15. h3 Nh6 16. f5 $1 h4 $5 (16... Be7 $132) 17. Qxh4
Qxe5 18. fxe6 $6 (18. Be4 $1 {, intending} Be7 19. Qe1 {avoids the exchange of
queens, which should be high on White's wish-list.}) 18... dxe6 19. Kb1 Be7 20.
Qe1 Qxe1 21. Rxe1 Ng4 {and only Black could be better, in Henderson de La
Fuente,L (2410) -Romanov,E (2625) 21st OIBM 2017.}) 12... b4 $1 13. Na4 $5 {
If you are a fan of statistics then this is your choice. I am guessing
Karjakin had stronger reasons; like fighting for control of the dark squares,
c5/b6.} (13. Nb1 Ne4 14. Qe1 Bb7 15. Nd2 (15. h3 Nh6 16. Nd2 Nxd2 17. Qxd2 Rd8
$13) 15... Nxd2 16. Rxd2 {For once we reach a position where the engine is
optimistic about White's chances.} g6 $5 {An ambitious move.} (16... Be7 {
looks like the solid candidate:} 17. Kb1 Rd8 18. h3 Nh6 19. Bf2 O-O $1) 17. Kb1
Be7 18. Bd3 Nh6 19. Be4 Rd8 20. Bf2 Bxe4 21. Qxe4 d5 22. exd6 $6 (22. Qf3 $14)
22... Rxd6 23. Qa8+ Rd8 24. Qxa6 O-O $44 {Oparin,G (2605)-Najer,E (2705) 70th
ch-RUS HL 2017.}) 13... Nd5 ({After} 13... Ne4 14. Qe1 Bb7 15. Nb3 $1 {Black
is struggling to find a way to meet Nb6, while keeping Ne4 stable when Bd3
comes.}) 14. Nb3 {Karjakin's plan is to occupy the c5-square and - if Black is
not careful - perhaps even manage to exchange the dark squared bishops.
However good this sounds, it seems like something goes wrong for White around
here.} ({Earlier games went} 14. h3 {and this seems like the better move.} Nh6
15. Bd3 g6 {and there have been two games from this position in the last few
years:} 16. Kb1 (16. Be4 Bb7 17. Qf3 Nf5 $2 (17... Rc8 $5) 18. Nxf5 gxf5 19.
Bxd5 Bxd5 20. Rxd5 exd5 21. Nb6 {was absolutely horrendous for Black, in Fier,
A (2580)-Leenhouts,K (2485) 9th Batavia GM 2017.}) 16... Bb7 17. Nb3 $2 (17.
Be4) 17... Bc6 18. Nac5 a5 $5 (18... Nf5 $1) 19. Ne4 $15 {Rodi,L (2335)-Borges,
G (2205) I Duchamp Int Open 2017}) (14. Nf5 $5 Bb7 15. Nd6+ Bxd6 16. exd6 Qxd6
17. Nb6 Rd8 18. Nxd5 Bxd5 19. Bc4 O-O 20. h3 Nh6 (20... Nf6 21. Bd4) 21. Bxd5
exd5 22. Qf3 Rc8 23. Rxd5 Qc7 24. Rc5 {is pretty much forced and completely
equal after} Qd6 25. Rxh5 Rc4) (14. Kb1 $5) 14... Bb7 15. Nac5 {This turns out
to be a questionable victory, but it was already too late to turn to other
plans. The Sicilian is an unforgiving opening for those who do not play the
best move; the difference between doing fine and being worse is often hard to
discern.} Bc6 $1 {Now Black is ready to continue with a6-a5-a4.} 16. Ne4 ({
This was the last opportunity to kick Ng4 back before it is too late.} 16. h3
$1 Nh6 17. Ne4 $1 Nf5 18. Qf3 {and the position remains about balanced.}) 16...
f5 $1 17. h3 $2 (17. exf6 $1 gxf6 18. h3 {is the best chance here, but after}
Qxf4+ $1 (18... Nxf4 19. Qe1 $13) 19. Qxf4 Nxf4 20. Rd4 Bh6 {Black is better.
The central pawn mass and the well coordinated minor pieces will control the
game:} 21. Kb1 Ne5 22. Na5 Bxe4 23. Rxe4 Nd5 24. Be2 Ke7 25. Bc5+ d6 26. Bxb4
Rag8 27. Bf1 f5 28. Rxe5 Nxb4 $36 {A very sample-ish line.}) (17. Nd6+ Bxd6 18.
exd6 Qxd6 {and not only is f4 a goner, but the queens will have to come off
too.}) 17... h4 $1 18. Qe1 fxe4 $1 (18... Nh6 19. Nd6+ Bxd6 20. exd6 Qxd6 21.
Kb1 Qxf4 {is also better for Black, but after} 22. Nd4 {White can mess things
up much more than in the game.}) 19. hxg4 Nxf4 20. Rxh4 Rxh4 21. Qxh4 Qxe5 {
White's center has crumbled and he doesn't have anything to show for it.} 22.
Bd4 Ng6 $1 23. Qh3 Qg5+ 24. Kb1 {A difficult situation for Black, in the sense
that there are plenty of good moves that keep an advantage, while it is
difficult to see which move is best. In those situation it is generally a good
idea to play a good move.} Bd5 {...and this is a good move.} ({Perhaps} 24...
d5 {or}) (24... Nf4 {is better, but it would take a lot of time to decide
which is better and why.}) 25. Bg1 (25. Be3 Qh4 26. Qxh4 Nxh4 27. Nc5 a5 $17)
25... Be7 26. g3 {It is hard to come up with good advice for White, but this
is not it. Now the light squares are further weakened.} Ne5 27. Be2 Nf3 28.
Bxf3 exf3 29. Bd4 Kf7 30. Nc1 d6 $1 {If this were a movie, the camera would
zoom in on the bishop's sweaty face as he hears a shout in the distance: "The
pawns are coming. Run!"} 31. Nd3 e5 32. Bf2 Be6 33. Nxb4 e4 34. Qh1 Rc8 35.
Nxa6 Qa5 36. Qh5+ Qxh5 37. gxh5 Bg5 38. Re1 Bc4 (38... Bd2 $1 39. Rxe4 Bf5 {
wins tons of material.}) 39. Nb4 Re8 40. Re3 Bxe3 41. Bxe3 Re5 42. g4 Rg5 0-1
[Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.05"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Aronian, Levon"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C88"]
[WhiteElo "2782"]
[BlackElo "2805"]
[Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
{The 4th Round of the London had a lot of fascinating chess. Wesley So played
the Benko, Caruana essayed the Taimanov, Naka played b3 against the dragon,
and Aronian played the Marshall! It seemed all the players really wanted to
break the draw streak. While Fabi succeeded, others ended peacefully. Still,
it was a round filled with interesting chess.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 {
No surprises there. Vishy knows that Aronian plays Morphy's Defense and the
Marshall, so he confidently plays Bb5.} a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7.
Bb3 O-O {This is the move order Black players use to reach the Marshall.} 8. h3
{One of the many Anti Marshall moves.} (8. a4 {is one of them, immediately
putting the question to the b-pawn. After} b4 9. d4 d6 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. Nbd2
Bc5 12. Qe2 Qe7 13. a5 $14 {White has a small plus.}) (8. d3 {is another move
that avoids the Marshall, and after} d6 9. a4 b4 10. a5 Be6 11. Nbd2 Bxb3 12.
Nxb3 Re8 13. h3 h6 14. Nh4 Bf8 15. Nf5 $13 {We get a fascinating position,
with chances for both sides.}) ({My favourite here when I play white is} 8. d4
{and the main line continues} d6 ({the natural} 8... exd4 {doesn't work, as
after} 9. e5 Ne8 10. Nxd4 Nxd4 11. Qxd4 c5 12. Qe4 Rb8 13. c4 Bb7 14. Qd3 $14 {
White maintains a small plus due to the poorly placed Ne8 and strong e5 pawn.})
9. c3 Bg4 10. d5 Na5 11. Bc2 c6 12. h3 Bc8 13. dxc6 Qc7 14. Nbd2 Qxc6 {and a
very interesting position is reached, where White has the better chances. This
line has also been played by Parimarjan Negi, and strong Indian IMs like
Shivananda and Stany.}) 8... Bb7 (8... d5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nc3 Nxc3 11. bxc3
Bb7 12. d3 $14 {and I prefer White here, as even though black has achieved d5,
the rest of his army isn't doing much.}) 9. d3 d5 $1 {Levon plays d5 anyway,
and gets a good position.} 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Nbd2 (11. Nc3 Nxc3 12. bxc3 Bf6
13. Bb2 g6 14. a4 $14 {was definitely an alternative choice in this position.})
11... Qd7 12. a4 Rae8 $5 {A very interesting decision by Aronian here. Instead
of contesting the a-file, he plants his forces on the kingside.} 13. axb5 axb5
14. Nxe5 $1 {Anand doesn't shy from a challenge, and now we do get a Marshall
like gambit on the board.} Nxe5 15. Rxe5 Nf6 16. Nf1 Bd6 17. Rxe8 Rxe8 $44 {
After a few forced moves, Black has succesfully equalised, as his pieces are
so well placed his pawn deficit is not noticed.} 18. Be3 Qf5 19. Qe2 Qg6 20. f3
Bd5 21. c4 Be6 22. c5 Bxb3 23. cxd6 cxd6 {Anand gives his pawn back, and after
a few more moves signs the peace treaty.} 24. Qd2 h6 25. Bf2 Rc8 26. Ne3 Nd5
27. Nxd5 Bxd5 28. Kh2 Qg5 29. Be3 Qf5 30. Rc1 {Trading the rooks ensures the
draw.} Rxc1 31. Qxc1 {And the players call it a day, as Qxd3 Qd2 Qxd2 Bxd2 is
a drawn oppositely coloured bishop endgame. A relatively boring game compared
to the others. Aronian again repeated the Marshall successfully, and drew
without difficulties. Considering the year Levon has had, it was expected. As
for Anand, I am slightly disappointed that he failed to make the most of the
White pieces again, after a draw in Round 2. I feel that this h3-d3 Anti
Marshall isn't the best try for white here, as Black equalises comfortably. I
would really love to see Vishy and other top players try the 8.d4 Anti
Marshall that I've mentioned here, as that leads to more imbalanced positions,
and straightforward play by white will give him the edge.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "London ENG"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2017.12.05"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C53"]
[WhiteElo "2789"]
[BlackElo "2837"]
[Annotator "AD"]
[PlyCount "84"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
{An important clash which could prove instrumental for the final GCT standings,
but ended in another draw...} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 d6
6. O-O O-O 7. Re1 Ne7 $5 {Another decent idea borrowed from berlin to
comparison to the Be6 plans.} 8. d4 Bb6 9. a4 c6 10. dxe5 Ng4 11. Rf1 dxe5 12.
Qxd8 Bxd8 13. h3 Nf6 14. Nxe5 Nxe4 15. Re1 Nd6 16. Bb3 Re8 17. Nf3 Nd5 {
The first slight mistake.} (17... Bc7 {was better and black would have had a
easier job for making a draw.}) 18. Rd1 {Now white wins a pawn and black has
to show some accuracy.} Ne4 (18... Nf5 $1 19. Bxd5 cxd5 20. Rxd5 Be6 21. Rd1
Bb3 {with sufficient compensation to hold the balance.}) 19. Bxd5 cxd5 20. Rxd5
{White is better now.} Be6 21. Re5 $1 Nf6 22. Re1 {A nice regrouping to kick
the knight out of e4.} Bc7 23. Na3 (23. Bg5 $1 {was a stronger option and
would have given white a good chance to convert the extra pawn.}) 23... a6 24.
Nc2 Nd5 25. c4 Nf4 26. Bxf4 Bxf4 27. b3 Rad8 28. Rad1 Kf8 29. Nb4 {MVL goes
slightly awry.} ({MVL could have put huge pressure with} 29. Nfd4 $1 Bc8 30.
Ne3 {and the knight might start to dominate the bishops.}) 29... Bc7 $1 {
Now Carlsen is able to restrain the queenside pawns and also the knight isn't
stable on d5 due to the threat of b5!} 30. Nd3 Bf5 31. Rxe8+ Kxe8 32. Re1+ Kf8
33. Nc5 Bc8 34. Kf1 Ba5 35. Re3 Rd1+ 36. Ke2 Rb1 37. Ne4 Rb2+ 38. Kf1 ({
Last resort was} 38. Kd1 $5 Bb4 39. Nd4 f5 40. Rf3 g6 41. g4 Kg7 42. gxf5 gxf5
43. Nxf5+ Bxf5 44. Rxf5 Rxb3 45. Rd5 $1 {White retains decent winning chances.}
) 38... Bf5 39. Nd6 Rb1+ 40. Ke2 Rb2+ 41. Kf1 Rb1+ 42. Ke2 Rb2+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "London ENG"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2017.12.05"]
[Round "4.3"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B48"]
[WhiteElo "2760"]
[BlackElo "2799"]
[Annotator "AD"]
[PlyCount "84"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
{Before this game both the players decided to spend most of their time on
tweets instead of preparing for another eventual draw :). But Fabi had other
plans...} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 $5 {Been a while since we saw this in top-level
games!} 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be3 a6 7. Qf3 $5 {The line which
was giving Taimanov a lot of trouble in recent times.} Ne5 8. Qg3 b5 9. O-O-O
Nf6 {I was about to claim that this line was introduced into practice by yours
truly, but I noticed there were more players who played it before me (One of
them was Anish who claims to be the one who inspired Fabi before this game but
more on that later :))} 10. f4 Neg4 11. Bg1 ({One of my good friend kind of
lost it and went totally crazy against me!} 11. e5 Nxe3 12. exf6 {This was too
epic!} Nxd1 13. fxg7 Rg8 14. Nd5 exd5 15. gxf8=R+ Kxf8 16. Qf3 {What exactly
did Gil want with this tactical operation?} Nxb2 17. Kxb2 b4 18. Kb1 Qb6 19.
Qf2 Qf6 20. Bd3 h6 21. Nf5 d6 22. Ng3 Rg4 23. Qb6 Bd7 24. Nh5 Qe7 25. Qd4 Qe5
26. Qxe5 dxe5 27. Nf6 e4 28. Nxd7+ Ke7 29. Ne5 Rxg2 30. Bf1 Rf2 31. Bh3 Rxf4
32. Rd1 Kd6 33. Nc4+ Kc5 34. Ne3 Rd8 35. Nf5 Rf2 {0-1 (35) Popilski,G (2522)
-Adhiban,B (2630) Caleta ENG 2015}) 11... h5 12. e5 b4 13. Na4 Nd5 14. Nb3 (14.
h3 Nh6 15. Bd3 g6 16. Be4 Bb7 17. Qf3 Nf5 (17... Rc8 $1 {Black is doing great!}
) 18. Nxf5 gxf5 19. Bxd5 Bxd5 20. Rxd5 exd5 21. Nb6 Rb8 22. Nxd5 Qc6 23. Bf2
Be7 24. Rd1 a5 25. Qd3 a4 26. Nxe7 Kxe7 27. Qxf5 b3 28. axb3 axb3 29. Rxd7+ {
1-0 (29) Fier,A (2581)-Leenhouts,K (2487) Amsterdam NED 2017}) 14... Bb7 15.
Nac5 Bc6 $5 {The first new move!} ({All this had been played way back in 2014!
} 15... Rc8 16. Bd3 a5 17. Kb1 Bc6 18. Na6 Qd8 19. Nd4 a4 20. f5 Qa5 21. fxe6
dxe6 22. h3 Nxe5 23. Nxc6 Rxc6 24. Be4 Rxa6 25. Bxd5 Bd6 26. Qxg7 Rf8 27. Bb7
b3 28. Bd4 bxc2+ 29. Kxc2 Qc7+ 30. Kb1 Qxb7 31. Rhe1 Nc4 32. Rxe6+ Kd7 33.
Rxd6+ Rxd6 34. Qxf8 Qe4+ 35. Ka1 Rxd4 36. Qxf7+ Kc6 37. Qf6+ Rd6 38. Rxd6+ Nxd6
39. Qf1 Nc4 40. a3 Qd4 41. Qc1 Kb6 42. g4 hxg4 43. hxg4 Qxg4 44. Qc3 Na5 45.
Qe3+ Kb5 46. Qe5+ Kb6 47. Qe3+ Kb7 48. Qe7+ Kc6 49. Qe8+ Qd7 50. Qe4+ Kb6 51.
Qe3+ Kb7 52. Qe4+ Qc6 53. Qe7+ Kb6 54. Qe3+ Qc5 55. Qe6+ Kb5 56. Qe8+ Qc6 57.
Qe2+ Qc4 58. Qe5+ Ka6 59. Qf6+ Nc6 60. Qd6 Kb5 61. Qd1 Nd4 62. Qh5+ Qc5 63. Qd1
Nb3+ 64. Ka2 Qc4 65. Qd7+ Qc6 66. Qd3+ Ka5 67. Qf5+ Nc5 68. Ka1 Qd6 69. Qh5 Qd4
70. Qf5 Kb5 71. Qf1+ Qc4 72. Qh1 Nb3+ 73. Ka2 Nd4+ 74. Ka1 Qc6 75. Qf1+ Kc5 76.
Qc1+ Kd5 77. Qh1+ Kc4 78. Qf1+ Kc5 79. Qc1+ Kb5 80. Qf1+ Qc4 81. Qh1 Nb3+ 82.
Ka2 Nc5+ 83. Ka1 Qd3 84. Ka2 Ne4 85. Ka1 Kc4 86. Qe1 Nc5 87. Qb4+ Kd5 88. Qe1
Qe4 89. Qd1+ Ke5 90. Qg1 Nb3+ 91. Ka2 Nd4 92. Qg7+ Kf4 93. Qh6+ Kf3 94. Qh3+
Ke2 95. Qh2+ Kd3 96. Qh3+ Qf3 97. Qh7+ Kd2 98. Qh6+ Qe3 99. Qd6 Qb3+ 100. Kb1
Qd3+ 101. Ka2 Qc4+ 102. Kb1 Qd3+ 103. Ka2 Kc1 104. Qf4+ Qd2 105. Qf1+ Qd1 106.
Qc4+ Nc2 107. Qf4+ Qd2 108. Qxd2+ Kxd2 109. b3 {1/2-1/2 (109) Nepomniachtchi,I
(2714)-Wang Yue (2720) Beijing CHN 2014}) 16. Ne4 {This feels unnecessary.} (
16. Bd3 {looks more natural to the human eye but comp gives black the
advantage after} a5) 16... f5 $1 17. h3 {After this white gets into trouble.} (
17. exf6 gxf6 18. h3 Qxf4+ 19. Qxf4 Nxf4 {totally fine for black.}) 17... h4
18. Qe1 fxe4 19. hxg4 Nxf4 20. Rxh4 Rxh4 21. Qxh4 Qxe5 {The opening has a huge
success for black and the slightly weakened king is only a small consolation.
The rest is not important as white was unable to get any compensation.} 22. Bd4
Ng6 23. Qh3 Qg5+ 24. Kb1 Bd5 25. Bg1 Be7 26. g3 Ne5 27. Be2 Nf3 28. Bxf3 exf3
29. Bd4 Kf7 30. Nc1 d6 31. Nd3 e5 32. Bf2 Be6 33. Nxb4 e4 34. Qh1 Rc8 35. Nxa6
Qa5 36. Qh5+ Qxh5 37. gxh5 Bg5 38. Re1 Bc4 39. Nb4 Re8 40. Re3 Bxe3 41. Bxe3
Re5 42. g4 Rg5 {Fab@ finally managed to break the "Curse of London" and
remains the only one who has won a game! Anish claims that he is responsible
for this as seen by his tweet "That's how you cyberbully someone out of his
opening repertoire straight into a win! îFabianoCaruana "} 0-1
[Event "London"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.06"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2837"]
[BlackElo "2788"]
[Annotator "A. Silver"]
[PlyCount "136"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Bg5 (5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nbd2 Be6 7.
Qe2 Nd7 8. Nb3 Bb6 9. Ng5 Nf8 10. O-O Bxb3 11. axb3 f6 12. Nf3 Ne6 13. Kh1 Qd7
{0-1 (45) Caruana,F (2802)-Nakamura,H (2786) chess.com INT 2017}) 5... Nd4 {
For all practical purposes, this is the novelty since the only examples in the
database are by players rated under 2100.} 6. Nxd4 Bxd4 7. c3 Bb6 8. Nd2 c6 9.
Ba4 h6 10. Bh4 d6 11. Nc4 Bc7 12. Ne3 Bb6 13. Bb3 g5 14. Bg3 Bxe3 15. fxe3 Bg4
16. Qd2 Nh5 17. O-O O-O 18. Be1 Qe7 19. h3 Be6 20. Qe2 Bxb3 21. Qxh5 Bc2 22.
Qe2 Ba4 23. b3 Bb5 24. a4 Ba6 25. b4 b6 26. c4 Bb7 27. a5 f6 28. d4 Qh7 29. c5
bxc5 30. bxc5 Qxe4 31. cxd6 exd4 32. Qc4+ Kg7 33. a6 $1 Bc8 34. Qxd4 Qxd4 35.
exd4 Rb8 36. Bf2 Rf7 37. d5 cxd5 38. Rfc1 d4 39. Bxd4 Bf5 40. Rc7 Rd8 41. Bc5
Rdd7 42. Rxd7 Rxd7 $16 43. Kf2 Be4 44. g4 f5 45. Ke3 Kf6 46. Ra5 Bc2 47. Rb5
Ke6 48. Rb2 f4+ 49. Kd4 Bd1 50. Rb8 f3 51. Ke3 Kd5 52. Ba3 $1 {Bolstering d6
and preparing to mop up the black pawns on the kingside.} Be2 53. Rh8 $1 Kc4
54. Rxh6 $18 Kb3 {[#]} 55. Bc5 $4 {This is the culprit!} ({The right
continuation was} 55. Bc1 $1 {which will allow White to capture g5 and still
hold on to d6. This is essential in the war effort.} Kc4 56. Rg6 Bd3 ({
Obviously, now} 56... Kd5 {is met with} 57. Ba3 {and g5 just falls, making way
for the kingside pawn rush.}) 57. Rf6 {and suddenly Black is in zugzwang. For
example,} Bc2 ({Trying to maintain the status quo with} 57... Be2 {won't work.}
58. Ba3 Kb3 59. Bc5 Kc4 60. Rf5 $1 {and Black loses the g-pawn and the game.})
58. Kxf3 Kd5 59. Ba3 Rg7 (59... Rh7 60. Kg3 Ke5 61. Rf8 Bd3 62. Re8+ Kd5 ({Not
} 62... Kf6 $2 63. Bb2+ Kg6 64. Re6+ Kf7 65. d7) 63. Rg8) 60. Kg3 {threatening
h4! and starting a second front with the march of the g-pawn.} Rh7 61. Rf8 {
with the idea of Rg8 and Rxg5.} Rg7 (61... Ke6 62. Re8+ Kd7 63. Rg8 $18) 62. h4
gxh4+ 63. Kxh4 $18) 55... Kc4 56. Bd4 Kd5 57. Rg6 Rxd6 {The loss of the
d6-pawn compromises White's winning chances, and Black now has enough
resources to hold, albeit with great precision.} 58. Rxg5+ Ke6 59. Bxa7 Rxa6
60. Bc5 (60. Rg6+ Kf7 61. Rxa6 Bxa6 62. Kxf3 {is a basic draw.}) 60... Ra2 61.
Kf4 f2 $1 62. Re5+ Kf7 63. Rf5+ Kg8 64. Bxf2 Bf1 $1 65. Kg3 Ra3+ 66. Rf3 Rxf3+
67. Kxf3 Bxh3 68. Kf4 Bxg4 1/2-1/2
[Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.06"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2799"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "Tiger Hillarp"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 (3. Bc4 {has never been more popular, but the Ruy
Lopez still leads to more complex positions and is the more ambitious option.})
3... Nf6 {The Berlin Defence is known to be super solid since the time when
Kramnik used it to win a World Championship Match against Kasparov. I believe
it was Julian Hodgson who pointed out that the downside of playing 1.e4, is
that it is not defended.} 4. d3 $1 {My "!" might seem a bit puzzling, but it
is the only way to keep a reasonable amount of pieces left on the board while
not ending up with a swap of the e-pawns.} ({The old main line} 4. O-O Nxe4 5.
d4 (5. Re1 Nd6 6. Nxe5 Be7 7. Bf1 {is another, more popular, line. It seem to
me like squeezing water out of a stone. But, let us be clear, I can only get
away with such a statement because I'm strong enough to have some inkling of
what I am saying, while not being strong enough to actually understand what I
am saying. Really, much of what goes on in these games is beyond our
understanding; especially how hard it is to actually handle these things over
the board without an engine as help. The drawing tendencies in the Berlin are
impending and it takes a whole lot of energy, focus and knowledge to be able
to win against another strong player here. This is what the game is like today.
It is a struggle with the thinnest of margins.}) 5... Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5
Nf5 {is not seen often between the top players. Only Vachier Lagrave seems
happy to play this in long games nowadays.}) 4... Bc5 {The bishop is not very
well placed here if White takes on c6, but against every other set-up it is
optimal.} 5. Nc3 {This move is generally played in tandem with a
Bxc6-followed-by-long-castling-strategy.} ({Caruana usually plays} 5. c3 {
, when lately} O-O 6. O-O Re8 7. Bg5 {has done very well for White.} h6 8. Bh4
a6 9. Bc4 {leads to a position that can arise from the giuoco piano, minus the
rook on e8. Because of this detail, Black should avoid} Na5 {due to} (9... g5
10. Bg3 Ba7 11. Nbd2) 10. Bxf7+ Kxf7 11. b4 $14) (5. O-O Nd4 {gives Black an
easy game.}) (5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nbd2 {has been popular too, but in the last year
Black has done well with} Be6 $5 7. O-O Bd6 8. d4 Nd7 9. dxe5 Nxe5 10. Nxe5
Bxe5 11. f4 Bd4+ 12. Kh1 f5 {The engine likes the position for White after} 13.
Qe2 {, but it could be a superficial evaluation:} O-O 14. Rd1 Qe7 15. Nf3 Bc5
16. Re1 Rae8 17. exf5 $2 (17. e5 h6) 17... Bd5 $1 18. Ne5 Rxf5 $15 {and Black
went on to win, in Robson,R (2665)-Nakamura,H (2790) ch-USA 2017.}) 5... O-O 6.
Bxc6 dxc6 {Caruana has lost two rapid games against Grischuk from this
position, but he seems to have faith in it still.} 7. h3 (7. Ne2 Re8 8. h3 Nd7
9. g4 Bb4+ $5 10. Kf1 {I find it hard to believe that this move fits with
White's set-up.} (10. Bd2 Bxd2+ (10... Bf8 $1) 11. Qxd2 c5 12. O-O-O $13) 10...
Bf8 11. Ng3 Nc5 12. Be3 f6 13. Nf5 {White's plan looks menacing, but if Black
can defend (which should be quite possible) then the bishop pair could become
a factor in the latter part of the game.} Ne6 14. Rg1 Kh8 15. h4 g6 16. Nh6 Qe7
$17 {and White's attack came to a complete halt as g5 is met with Bxh6 and h5
with Bxh6 followed by g5. Caruana,F (2795)-Grischuk,A (2780) Champions
Showdown G30 rapid 2017}) 7... Nd7 {Black starts rearranging his minor pieces.
The knight is headed for e6 and Bc5 will be solid on d6 or tucked away on f8.
It will be difficult for White to open up the position without simultanesly
opening a pandoras box of awesome bishop power.} ({Having seen the course the
game takes, I went back to this moment to ask myself if there is no way for
Black to get the bishop to f8 in one go. Indeed there is:} 7... Re8 8. Be3 Bf8
{, intending a fast Nf6-d7-c5-e6, will win a tempo for Black compared to the
game if White continues along the same lines. In a blitz game Caruana made use
of a different version of the same plan we will soon see:} 9. a4 a5 10. O-O b6
(10... Nd7) 11. Nd2 Be6 {As I understand it, the bishop should only go here
when f6 has been played (so that it can retreat to f7).} (11... Nd7) 12. Ne2
Nh5 13. g4 Nf6 14. Ng3 {The plan is back on track.} Nd7 15. Kh2 g6 16. Rg1 Be7
{Black is drifting.} 17. Nf5 Bg5 18. Nf3 Bxe3 19. fxe3 Kh8 20. Qe1 c5 21. b3
gxf5 $2 22. gxf5 Bxf5 23. exf5 e4 24. Ng5 Ne5 25. Kh1 f6 26. Ne6 {and White
went on to win, in Caruana,F (2800)-Nakamura,H (2785) chess.com Speed 3m+2spm
2017. It is a nice illustration of the g4/Nc3-e2-g3-f5 plan.}) 8. Be3 $1 Bd6 9.
Ne2 Re8 10. g4 Nc5 ({Grischuk's idea} 10... Bb4+ {is not out of the question
here.}) 11. Ng3 Ne6 {White would like to push the pawns forward on the
kingside, but as long as Bc8 keeps an eye on g4, it is not possible ot play h4,
while g4-g5 doesn't solve the problem as h4 is still (annoyingly) answered
with ...Bg4. However, this is why the knight was rerouted to g3. It will act
as a plug on f5 and allow White to continue to push the pawns. Ergo, there is
no reason for Black to keep the c8-g4-diagonal open anymore.} ({The engine
likes} 11... g6 {, but it looks illogical to give White something to bit into
on the kingside. I don't trust it.}) 12. Nf5 c5 {Now White's options in the
center has been radically diminished. It's a all eggs in one basket situation
where the basket is the kingside.} 13. h4 a5 14. h5 Ra6 $5 {A flexible way to
get the rook to participate.} (14... Bd7 $6 {is a sorry excuse for a move. Not
only is the bishop not fulfilling any function on d7 that it didn't carry out
from c8, but also it is more in the way of the other pieces. Never play Bc8-d7
or Bc1-d2 unless you have a clear idea of why you are doing it.}) 15. Qd2 {
Black's pieces are in good spots and no further slow improvement is in sight,
so it is time for some activity.} Nd4 $1 16. Rh3 Bf8 $1 {It is often good to
retreat the bishops to the last rank when the opponent has active knight which
lack real outposts. This is such case. The bishops could actually not be more
active than they are (while not stepping on the toes of the other pieces); not
without a major change in the pawn structure.} 17. O-O-O Be6 {Finally Anand
decides to move the bishop. As I said before; I like the bishop on c8. Both} (
17... a4 {and}) (17... b5 {, looks promising for Black and more flexible.
Still, it is not a bad move, at all.}) 18. Kb1 f6 {Anand has built a
convincing case against Caruana's set-up and it is White who has to find
equality.} 19. c3 $1 {If you have a chat with the pieces the will all say:
"The knight on d4 is too strong. It has to go."} Nxf3 20. Rxf3 c4 $5 {Black is
much happier in a position where he gets to play c4, than one in which White
gets to do it first.} (20... Qd7 21. c4 {looks like a strategical improvement
from White's point of view. However, it is not easy to neutralize Black's
initiative after} Kh8 22. Rg3 Rb8) (20... h6 {is the engines fav move, but it
has long reaching negative consequences in that the knight is now safe on f5,
while g7 becomes a future weakness. White can put all his resources into the
defence for some time and then aim to play d2-d4 at an opportune moment.}) 21.
Qc2 $6 (21. g5 $1 {White cannot enter an endgame without taking the g7-g6
option away from Black first. Otherwise the knight will be kicked back. One
way to achieve this is} Qxd3+ 22. Qxd3 cxd3 23. gxf6 gxf6 24. Rxd3 {and since
Nf5 is as strong an the opponents bishop, this is an equal position.}) 21...
cxd3 22. Rxd3 Qc8 {Black has managed to keep the bishop pair and White has
little in the way of compensation.} 23. g5 $1 {White must immediately mess
things up, before Black gets time to exchange a pair of rooks and run for the
ending.} fxg5 24. Bxg5 Bf7 $5 ({Perhaps even better is} 24... h6 25. Bc1 Bf7 {
, when the h5-pawn looks weak, while it is unclear that White can pose any
real threats to Black's king.} 26. Rg3 Kh8 27. Rd1 a4 $1 {and with Qe6 coming
next, White is in trouble.}) 25. h6 $1 gxh6 26. Bc1 {Now, objectively speaking,
Black is still better, but White has significantly more ideas to play around
with as Black's king has become much more exposed.} Qe6 27. b3 a4 $2 ({This
lets Caruana back in the game. It was necessary to forestall c3-c4 with} 27...
b5 $1 {when, after} 28. Bb2 a4 29. Rg3+ Bg6 30. f3 axb3 31. axb3 h5 {Black is
clearly better.}) 28. c4 $1 {With this move White achieves a state of
stability on the queenside. It is a temporary stability, but that is all he
needs in order to get in some decent threats of his own.} axb3 29. axb3 Qc6 $1
(29... Rea8 30. Bb2 Ba3 31. Qd1 $1 Bxb2 32. Kxb2 Ra2+ 33. Kc3 $18) 30. Rg3+ Kh8
31. Rd1 b5 $1 32. c5 ({My eye was immediately caught by} 32. Bb2 $5 bxc4 33.
Rd8 $1 {, but Black seems to be able to defend in more than one way.} Ra5 34.
Nd4 $1 (34. Qc3 $4 Qxe4+) 34... Qb7 35. Ne6 (35. Rxe8 Bxe8 36. f4 {is also "="
according to the engine.}) 35... Be7 36. Rxe8+ Bxe8 37. f4 Bc6 38. Bxe5+ Rxe5
39. Qc3 Bxe4+ 40. Kb2 Ba3+ {is one way. Easy to spot. (Not.)}) 32... b4 $2 {
A second mistake and this time there is no coming back.} ({Instead} 32... Qxc5
33. Qxc5 Bxc5 {was right. White has some pressure, but it doesn't really go
anywhere. One possible defence is} 34. Rd7 Be6 35. Rxc7 Bxf5 36. exf5 Bd4 37.
Rgg7 e4 38. Bb2 Bxb2 39. Kxb2 Rf6 40. Rxh7+ Kg8 41. Rhg7+ Kh8 {with a draw.})
33. Bb2 {Suddenly Black is in a lot of trouble. The e5-pawn is shaky and the
king depends on it for survival.} Bg6 (33... Ra5 $1 {is a better defence, but
this time} 34. Rd8 {is stronger:} Qxc5 35. Rxe8 Qxc2+ 36. Kxc2 Bxe8 37. f4 Rc5+
38. Kd3 Bg6 39. Bxe5+ Kg8 40. Ne3 {and Black has a very difficult time.}) 34.
Rd5 $1 Qb5 {A tricky move (the only one) that has a counterattack in mind.} 35.
Rg1 c6 $4 {For someone of Anands calibre, this qualifies as chess-blindness.
It is quite obvious that one cannot let the e5-pawn fall without, at least,
being able to take the bishop out of circulation (sack the exchange).} (35...
Rae6 36. f4 {is also much better for White, but Black can fight on.}) 36. Rxe5
Rxe5 37. Bxe5+ Kg8 38. Bd4 Kf7 39. Nh4 {A prosaic move that threatens Nxg6
followed by e4-e5. There is no defence anymore. Although Anands play deserved
a better destiny, Caruana had excellent timing in creating his counterplay.}
1-0
[Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.06"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C48"]
[WhiteElo "2799"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
{The 5th Round of The London Chess Classic disappointed again, with only one
decisive result. And I must say that the players really tried their best.
Carlsen was winning, so was MVL, and Nakamura tried the Sicilian against Adams.
This matchup was a cracker, as Anand was taking on the leader Fabiano Caruana.
} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 {We again see the Berlin, but as
usual Caruana has some interesting stuff prepared.} 5. Nc3 $5 {Now we are in
the Four-Knights variation of the Ruy Lopez.} O-O 6. Bxc6 $5 {This is a very
interesting decision. White gives up his bishop pair without being forced to.
This variation has similarities with 5.Bxc6 line, the only difference is that
White's Knight is on c3 instead of d2, and Black has already castled. On c3,
the knight doesn't restrict the DS Bishop, but it is going nowhere after dxc6-
all good squares are covered. On d2, the knight is blocking the DS bishop, but
after moving to c4 or f1-e3/g3, it starts to exert pressure.} ({The problem
with natural moves like} 6. O-O {is} Nd4 $1 {and after} 7. Nxd4 Bxd4 8. Qf3 d6
9. h3 c6 10. Ba4 a5 11. Ne2 Bc5 12. c3 d5 $11 {Black is already equal.}) 6...
dxc6 (6... bxc6 7. Nxe5 d5 8. O-O dxe4 9. Nxe4 Nxe4 10. dxe4 Ba6 11. Nd3 Bd4
$16 {is not what you want to do as Black!}) 7. h3 Nd7 8. Be3 Bd6 $5 {An
ambitious retreat by Vishy.} ({There was nothing wrong with} 8... Bxe3 $1 {
as after} 9. fxe3 f6 10. O-O Qe7 11. Ne2 b5 12. Nh4 a5 13. Nf5 Qe8 $15 {
Black is making some headway on the queenside, while white is yet to start
anything constructive on the kingside. This variation is better than the game
move.}) 9. Ne2 Re8 {This is a slightly robotic move.} ({It was wiser to start
immediate queenside play with} 9... a5 $1 {discouraging White from castling
queenside.After} 10. a4 Qe7 11. O-O f6 12. Ng3 g6 13. Nd2 b5 $1 $11 {Black
maintains equality and has chances to press.}) 10. g4 $5 {I really admire
Caruana's spirit here. He realises that Black is still far from making threats
against white's king, so he starts operations on the kingside.} Nc5 $1 {
A strong move by Vishy, rerouting the knight to a more influential square.} 11.
Ng3 Ne6 12. Nf5 c5 13. h4 a5 $132 {Both sides have started their respective
offensives, and it will now be a race.} 14. h5 Ra6 $5 {A move made in the
spirit of the position, but Black had better moves at his disposal.} (14... a4
$1 {was stronger, threatening b5-b4-b3 or b5-c4. It also cramps White's
kingside. After the unnatural} 15. Kf1 b5 16. Kg2 f6 17. Ng1 Bf8 $1 $15 {
I prefer Black here, and so does the computer.}) 15. Qd2 {Fabi gets his queen
out of the way, and prepares to castle.} Nd4 16. Rh3 Bf8 {A nice fortifying
move. Black now gets ready for a pawn roller on the queenside. I guess Anand
at this point was really satisfied with his position.} 17. O-O-O $6 {Castling
right into the storm isn't really a good idea.} ({Continuing the attack with}
17. Rg3 {is the best option, and after} a4 18. Kf1 Nxf3 19. Rxf3 Be6 20. Kg2 c4
$15 {Black's chances are better, but it is still closer to a draw than a loss,
for white.}) 17... Be6 $6 {Usually can't fault a developing move, but here
there was something much better.} ({As Philidor said, pieces are servants of
pawn. After} 17... b5 $1 {Black is the first to break through. The best line
goes} 18. Kb1 a4 19. Rg1 b4 20. N3xd4 cxd4 21. Bg5 f6 22. Bh4 b3 $17 {Black
shatters the king shelter. This takes guts to play though, as Black has to
make sure White isn't thrashing him with g5 on the kingside. This would have
given Anand great winning chances.}) 18. Kb1 {Caruana now somewhat stabilises
his king.} f6 19. c3 Nxf3 20. Rxf3 {In this position, Anand errs for the 1st
time, and sadly, not the last.} c4 $6 {I fail to comprehend the plans behind
this move. In fact, Anand's play surprises me a lot in this game. First he
plays slowly when a fast attack is required, and now instead of prophylaxis he
dives towards the white monarch.} (20... h6 $1 {was called for, stopping g5
once and for all. After} 21. Rg3 Qd7 22. f3 a4 23. Ka1 Kh7 24. Qc1 b5 $15 {
Black is pressing.}) 21. Qc2 $6 {Fabiano errs again. It is better to attack
here than defend.} (21. g5 $1 {was called for, with a counterattack. After}
Qxd3+ 22. Qxd3 cxd3 23. gxf6 gxf6 24. Rg3+ Kf7 25. Rxd3 Raa8 26. Rd1 Red8 27.
Rdg1 Bc4 $11 {The worst is behind white, and we have a long game ahead of us.})
21... cxd3 22. Rxd3 Qc8 $15 {Black is to be preferred here, but the game will
definitely not be one sided.} 23. g5 $1 {Caruana takes his chaces, and
launches an offensive.} fxg5 24. Bxg5 Bf7 $5 {One of the mysterious retreats
that confound the amateur in me.} ({Why not just kick the bishop back with}
24... h6 $1 {and prevent h6 from White. After} 25. Be3 ({I guess the sacrifice
} 25. Bxh6 $2 {looks worrying at first, but after} gxh6 26. Qd2 Kh7 27. Kc1 c5
$1 $19 {Black is winning.}) 25... Rd8 26. Rg3 Rxd3 27. Qxd3 Bxf5 28. exf5 Rf6
$17 {The f5 pawn is weak, and white's attack is non-existent.}) 25. h6 $1 {
Again Caruana continues in the best possible fashion.} gxh6 26. Bc1 Qe6 27. b3
a4 $6 {Anand has the right idea, but executes it wrong.} (27... b5 $1 {was the
right starter, preventing c4. After} 28. Rg3+ Bg6 29. Rd5 c6 30. Rd1 a4 $13 {
The position is unclear, with chances for both sides.}) 28. c4 $1 $14 {White
claims the edge for the 1st time in the game. This move renders the bishop and
queen combo dead, and prepares a conquest on the other flank.} axb3 29. axb3
Qc6 30. Rg3+ Kh8 31. Rd1 $6 {Unnecessary.} (31. f3 $1 {is the best here,
protecting the e4 pawn and preparing a queen transfer to the queenside. After}
b5 32. Bb2 bxc4 {White has the fantastic shot} 33. Rd8 $3 {and is better after}
Qb5 34. Qc3 Rg6 35. bxc4 Qc5 36. Rxe8 Bxe8 37. Qxe5+ Qxe5 38. Bxe5+ Kg8 39. Kc2
$16) 31... b5 32. c5 b4 $2 {Now, this is a real mistake.} ({Simplest would be}
32... Qxc5 {and after} 33. Qxc5 Bxc5 34. Rd7 Bg6 35. Bxh6 Bf8 36. Bg5 Rea8 $13
{The position is unclear.}) 33. Bb2 $1 {The pressure on e5 gets worse.} Bg6 $2
{Another bad mistake. Anand has lost the plot.} (33... Qxc5 34. Qxc5 Bxc5 35.
Rd7 Bg6 36. f4 Bd6 $16 {is still defensible.}) 34. Rd5 $1 $18 {Now White is
just winning.} Qb5 35. Rg1 c6 $4 {The last straw.} (35... Rae6 36. f4 h5 37.
Bxe5+ Rxe5 38. fxe5 Qc6 $18 {and the game continues atleast.}) 36. Rxe5 Rxe5
37. Bxe5+ Kg8 38. Bd4 Kf7 39. Nh4 {and Black resigned. An excellent game by
Fabi. After some questionable decisions in the opening, he found himself worse,
but managed to find his way back after some dubious moves by black. He then
capitalised on some poor decisions to reel home the full point. With four
rounds to go, he is a full points ahead, and is favourite to lift the trophy.
As for Anand, I am disappointed at the way he played the position. He had a
lot of promising oppurtunities, but spurned them all. Coverting a good
position is something he is not doing at all. One can only hope the wounded
tiger roars back. As an passionate Indian, I am dissapointed, but as a chess
player, I am delighted to witness such fights. I only hope it gets better.} 1-0
[Event "London"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.06"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C65"]
[WhiteElo "2837"]
[BlackElo "2788"]
[Annotator "Tactical Analysis 2.04 (12s)"]
[PlyCount "136"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Bg5 Nd4 6. Nxd4 {C65: Ruy Lopez:
Berlin Defence (3...Nf6), unusual lines and 4 0-0 Bc5} Bxd4 7. c3 Bb6 8. Nd2 c6
9. Ba4 h6 10. Bh4 $1 d6 11. Nc4 Bc7 {Hoping for ...b5.} 12. Ne3 Bb6 13. Bb3 g5
14. Bg3 Bxe3 15. fxe3 Bg4 16. Qd2 Nh5 17. O-O O-O 18. Be1 Qe7 19. h3 Be6 20.
Qe2 Bxb3 21. Qxh5 Bc2 22. Qe2 $1 ({Much worse is} 22. Qxh6 f6 $11) 22... Ba4
23. b3 Bb5 24. a4 Ba6 25. b4 b6 26. c4 Bb7 27. a5 f6 28. d4 Qh7 29. c5 bxc5 30.
bxc5 Qxe4 31. cxd6 exd4 32. Qc4+ Kg7 33. a6 $36 {Black is under pressure.} Bc8
34. Qxd4 Qxd4 35. exd4 Rb8 36. Bf2 Rf7 37. d5 cxd5 38. Rfc1 d4 39. Bxd4 Bf5 40.
Rc7 Rd8 41. Bc5 Rdd7 42. Rxd7 (42. Bxa7 $1 $16 {Bb8 is the strong threat.} Rxc7
43. dxc7 Rxc7 44. Be3) 42... Rxd7 $16 {Endgame KRB-KRB} 43. Kf2 Be4 44. g4 f5
45. Ke3 Kf6 46. Ra5 Bc2 47. Rb5 Ke6 48. Rb2 f4+ 49. Kd4 Bd1 50. Rb8 f3 (50...
h5 $1 $14) 51. Ke3 $1 Kd5 52. Ba3 $1 Be2 {[#]} 53. Rh8 $1 Kc4 54. Rxh6 Kb3 55.
Bc5 Kc4 56. Bd4 Kd5 57. Rg6 Rxd6 58. Rxg5+ Ke6 $2 (58... Kc4 $16) 59. Bxa7 (59.
Rg6+ $142 Kd5 60. Rxd6+ Kxd6 61. Bc3 (61. Bxa7 Bxa6 62. Kf2 Ke5 $14)) 59...
Rxa6 {[#]} (59... Rd3+ $142 60. Kf4 Rd5) 60. Bc5 $2 (60. Rg6+ $1 $18 Kf7 61.
Rxa6 Bxa6 62. Kf2) 60... Ra2 61. Kf4 f2 $1 62. Re5+ Kf7 $1 63. Rf5+ Kg8 {
The position is equal.} 64. Bxf2 {Threatens to win with Bd4.} Bf1 $1 65. Kg3 {
Strongly threatening Re5.} Ra3+ 66. Rf3 Rxf3+ 67. Kxf3 Bxh3 68. Kf4 Bxg4
1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.12.06"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C48"]
[WhiteElo "2799"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 {The Anti line. This seems to be the only
way to play for a win nowadays. No matter if we talk about the Berlin, or the
Marshall for example.} Bc5 5. Nc3 O-O 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. h3 Nd7 ({Grischuk played
differently against Caruana in Saint Louis-} 7... Re8 8. Ne2 Nd7 9. Be3 Bb4+
10. c3 Bf8 11. Qc2 c5 12. O-O-O Nb8 13. Ng3 Nc6 {with a good position, Caruana,
F (2799)-Grischuk,A (2782) Saint Louis 2017 Apparently Anand was not very keen
to see his opponent's preparation.}) 8. Be3 Bd6 9. Ne2 ({A couple of years
back Caruana defended successfully as Black after} 9. Qd2 c5 10. O-O Nb8 $1 11.
Nh2 Nc6 12. Ne2 Nd4 {Adams,M (2745)-Caruana,F (2802) Shamkir 2015}) 9... Re8
$146 {A novelty. The rook overprotects the e5 square and frees the f8 one for
either the knight for the maneuver Nd7-f8-e6-d4, or for the bishop to defend
the kingside.} ({The other way to bring the knight into the optimal d4 sqaure
was tested in a game by Wesley So also in St. Louis:} 9... c5 10. Ng3 Nb8 11.
Nf5 Nc6 {and then White started a step-by-step attack on the kingside with} 12.
g4 {So,W (2788) -Dominguez Perez,L (2739) Saint Louis 2017}) 10. g4 {White's
plan is always the same: a kingside attack behind the solid center. The
question is is he going to do a piece attack or a pawn-and-piece one.} Nc5 11.
Ng3 Ne6 (11... g6) 12. Nf5 c5 ({Here} 12... g6 {is not effective because of}
13. Nh6+ Kg7 14. g5 {when the knight can be transferred easily from h6 to f6.})
13. h4 a5 {Caruana does not want to castle yet and intends to improve as much
as possible on the kingside.} 14. h5 Ra6 15. Qd2 Nd4 {The rule is that
whenever the knight reaches this square it leads to good game for Black.} 16.
Rh3 ({Worse is} 16. N3xd4 cxd4 17. Bg5 f6 18. Bh4 Bb4 {and Black takes over
the initiative} ({Or} 18... Rb6)) 16... Bf8 17. O-O-O Be6 18. Kb1 f6 ({Perhaps
easier was the immediate} 18... Nxf3 19. Rxf3 c4 {In this case Black is not
worried of} 20. d4 (20. dxc4 Qxd2 21. Rxd2 Bxc4 {is equal.}) ({The only chance
for some edge is} 20. Qe2 cxd3 21. Rxd3 Qc8 {although Black should be OK here
as well.}) 20... exd4 21. Qxd4 Qxd4 22. Bxd4 Bc8 $1 {and the e4 pawn becomes a
target.}) 19. c3 Nxf3 20. Rxf3 c4 21. Qc2 ({Once again} 21. d4 exd4 22. cxd4
Bf7 {is comfortable for Black.}) 21... cxd3 22. Rxd3 Qc8 23. g5 fxg5 24. Bxg5
Bf7 {This allows White some chances.} ({It was better to block that pawn once
and for all with} 24... h6 25. Bc1 Bf7 {when Black may even hope to win it in
the possible endgame.}) 25. h6 $1 {Now there are problems.} gxh6 ({On} 25... g6
$6 {strong will be} 26. Ne3 Rd6 27. Rxf7 $1 Kxf7 28. Qb3+ Qe6 29. Nd5 $1 {
setting up a nice ambush and threatening Rd3-f3+.}) 26. Bc1 (26. Bh4 $5 {
looks good too, but Caruana wants to use the bishop in a more effective way.})
26... Qe6 27. b3 {Not only defending but redeploying the bishop.} a4 28. c4
axb3 29. axb3 Qc6 30. Rg3+ Kh8 31. Rd1 {All of these are more or less forced,
and if not forced logical. Anand continues with the queenside attack:} b5 32.
c5 {And Caruana blocks it.} b4 $6 {In the heat of the battle Anand loses the
thread. This move frees the black queen, but the white one may also make good
use of the c4 square in the future.} ({Apparently, the former world champion
disliked something in the forcing line:} 32... Qxc5 33. Qxc5 Bxc5 34. Rd7 {
But the analysis proves that Black is doing well after both} Be6 ({Or} 34...
Bg6 $5 35. Bxh6 Bf8 {- this last move was the one Anand missed.}) 35. Rxc7 Bxf5
36. exf5 Bd4 37. Rgg7 Ra1+ 38. Kc2 e4 39. Rxh7+ Kg8 40. Rxh6 Ra2+ 41. Kd1 Rd8 {
and this should objectively end in a draw.}) ({On the other hand keeping the
queens on the board is dangerous after} 32... Bxc5 33. Bb2 Bd6 34. Qd3 {
as well.}) 33. Bb2 Bg6 {Another step in the wrong direction.} ({It was still
possible to get rid of the queens with} 33... Qxc5 34. Qxc5 Bxc5 35. Rd7 Bg6 {
True, after} 36. f4 {White has enough initiative to even win a piece after} Bd6
37. fxe5 Bxe5 38. Bxe5+ Rxe5 39. Rd8+ Be8 ({Not} 39... Re8 $2 40. Rxg6 $1) 40.
Ng7 Rxe4 {But since he is forced to swap off the rooks with} 41. Rxe8+ (41.
Nxe8 {is a forced draw due to the perpetual} Re1+ 42. Kb2 Re2+ 43. Kb1 Re1+ {As
} 44. Kc2 $4 {even loses to} Ra2+ 45. Kd3 Rd1+) 41... Rxe8 42. Nxe8 Rg6 {
and it is not certain that White should win this. He has just one pawn left
after all.}) 34. Rd5 Qb5 35. Rg1 $1 {Stops the check on f1. Caruana has built
a solid attacking position and calmly prepares either the capture on e5 or the
f2-f4 blow which would shatter Black's position.} (35. Rxe5 {would be
inaccurate at least} Qf1+ 36. Qc1 Qxc1+ 37. Kxc1 Rxe5 38. Bxe5+ Kg8 {when
nothing is clear.}) 35... c6 ({The king cannot escape} 35... Kg8 36. f4 exf4
37. Nd4 Qa5 ({The flashy} 37... Qf1+ 38. Rxf1 Bxe4 39. Bc1 {is not enough for
Black to save himself neither.}) 38. Qc4 $1 {This is where the queen makes
good use of the c4 square.}) 36. Rxe5 Rxe5 37. Bxe5+ Kg8 38. Bd4 {Perfect
harmony!} Kf7 39. Nh4 {Anand resigned as there will be either f2-f4-f5 coming
or even better Nh4xg6 followed by e4-e5.} 1-0
[Event "London"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.08"]
[Round "6"]
[White "So, Wesley"]
[Black "Aronian, Levon"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2788"]
[BlackElo "2805"]
[Annotator "AlexYermo"]
[PlyCount "76"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4
b4 9. d4 d6 10. dxe5 dxe5 {Levon has been relying on this capture} ({instead of
} 10... Nxe5 {ever since he lost to Nakamura in the Sinquefield Cup 2013.
There's a different opinion, though. Ding Liren recently won a nice game
against Inarkiev in the FIDE Grand Prix in Palma, and there have been efforts
from Carlsen and Svidler to uphold this line.}) 11. Nbd2 Bc5 12. a5 Be6 $5 {
The newest idea.} ({Levon twice tried} 12... Ng4) ({While others, including
Caruana, Tomashevsky and Svidler, preferred the restrained} 12... h6) 13. Bxe6
{Surprisingly this was never played before, at least not in high profile games.
} ({Dominguez-Aronian, St. Louis Blitz 2017 saw} 13. Qe2 Qe7 14. Bc4 Nd4 15.
Nxd4 Bxd4 16. Nb3 ({White doesn't get anywhere after} 16. Bxa6 Qc5) 16... Rfd8
17. Nxd4 Bxc4 18. Nf5 Qe6 19. Qf3 Ne8) 13... fxe6 14. Qe2 {[#] It seems like
White is about to take all the commanding squares, but Black has active
counterplay.} Ng4 $5 15. Rf1 Bxf2+ ({Another option was} 15... Nd4 {but Levon
must have seen the good reply} 16. Qc4 $1 (16. Nxd4 Rxf2 $1 17. Rxf2 Qxd4 {
is Black's main idea.}) 16... Qd6 17. h3 {Now Black has to go all the way.}
Nxf3+ (17... Nf6 18. c3 bxc3 19. bxc3 Nxf3+ 20. Nxf3 $16) 18. Nxf3 Nxf2 19.
Rxf2 Qd1+ 20. Qf1 Qxc2 {he seems to be getting enough pawns, but} 21. Qe1 Bxf2+
22. Qxf2 Qxe4 23. Be3 $14 {allows White to keep enough material on the board,
which is critical for success in battles between two minor pieces and a rook.})
16. Rxf2 Nd4 17. Qc4 $2 {Wesley chooses the wrong square for his queen.} ({
Black would be under the pressure to prove his compensation after the correct}
17. Qd3 Nxf2 18. Kxf2) 17... Nxf2 18. Kxf2 {[#]} Qh4+ ({In turn, Levon misses
the best move} 18... Qg5 $1 {The only way for White to untangle would be} 19.
Kg1 {but then Black gets his material back:} Rxf3 20. Nxf3 Nxf3+ 21. Kh1 Qh5 {
The knight is taboo, as} 22. Qxe6+ Kh8 23. gxf3 {loses to} Qxf3+ 24. Kg1 Qd1+
25. Kg2 Qe2+ 26. Kg1 Qe1+ 27. Kg2 Rf8) 19. Kg1 Qg4 ({Possibly} 19... Qf4 {
was better.}) 20. h3 $6 {Again, Wesley So is not precise with his calculations.
} (20. Qd3 Rad8 21. h3 {would bring Black's attack to its end.} Nxf3+ ({Else,}
21... Qg3 22. Nxd4 Qe1+ 23. Kh2 Rxd4 24. Qg3 Qxg3+ 25. Kxg3 Rfd8 26. Nf1 Rxe4
27. Be3 Rc4 28. Rc1 Rd5 29. Nd2 Rc6 30. b3 Rxa5 31. Nc4 {holds the black rooks
activity in check.}) 22. Nxf3 Rxd3 23. hxg4 Rd1+ 24. Kf2 {There's a question
whether White can win this, but he'll have his chances.}) 20... Qg3 21. Qd3
Rxf3 $1 {Aronian was not going to miss that. The following is forced.} 22. Nxf3
Rf8 23. Nxd4 Qe1+ 24. Kh2 Rf1 25. Qxf1 Qxf1 26. Nf3 c5 {[#] On paper White has
enough for a queen, and his king is safe, but the pin on the back rank holds
him down.} 27. b3 $6 {Wesley decides to address this issue, even at the cost
of some pawns.} ({Objectively, White is safe after} 27. c3 b3 28. c4 Qd1 29.
Nxe5 h6 $11 {but it's impossible to play this position for a win.}) 27... Qd1
28. Bb2 Qxc2 29. Bxe5 Qxb3 30. Rf1 h6 $2 {Aronian shows too much respect for
White's non-existent threats.} (30... Qc2 $1 {would have kept White from
activating his rook.} 31. Kg3 (31. Ng5 h6 $19) 31... c4 32. Rf2 Qxe4 33. Rd2
Qg6+ 34. Kf2 Qe8 {leaving Black with decent chances of victory.}) 31. Rf2 $1 {
Just at the last moment Wesley's rook breaks out in the open.} c4 32. Rd2 c3
33. Rd8+ Kf7 34. Rc8 Qb1 35. Rc7+ Ke8 36. Rc8+ Kf7 37. Rc7+ Ke8 38. Rc8+ Kf7 ({
No escape for the king, as seen from} 38... Kd7 39. Rc7+ Kd8 40. Nd4 Qxe4 41.
Nxe6+ Ke8 42. Nxg7+) 1/2-1/2
[Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.08"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Adams, Michael"]
[Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2715"]
[BlackElo "2729"]
[Annotator "AlexYermo"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "nR6/r4pkp/4p1p1/3p4/5P2/2P4P/1P2B1P1/6K1 w - - 0 33"]
[PlyCount "106"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
{[#] White kept a slight edge he obtained in the opening until Adams somewhat
impatiently pushed his passed pawn forward.} 33. b4 Nc7 34. b5 Ra8 $1 {Nepo
handles his defensive task with precision.} (34... Ra2 35. b6 Na6 36. Bxa6 Rxa6
37. g4 $16) 35. Rb7 (35. Rxa8 Nxa8 36. Kf2 Kf6 37. Ke3 Ke7 38. Kd4 Kd6 39. c4
dxc4 40. Bxc4 Nb6 {is impossible for White to win.}) 35... Ne8 {The knight is
about to escape.} 36. c4 $2 {There must have been some mistake in Mickey's
calculations.} ({Still, a draw was well within White's reach:} 36. b6 Ra1+ 37.
Kf2 Nd6 38. Rd7 Ne4+ 39. Ke3 Rb1 40. Bd3 Rxb6 41. Bxe4 dxe4 42. Kxe4) 36... Nd6
{It's all forced now.} 37. Rc7 dxc4 38. Bxc4 Ra1+ 39. Kf2 Rc1 40. b6 Nxc4 41.
b7 Rb1 42. Rxc4 Rxb7 {[#] Adams had already pulled off a similar escape
earlier in the tournament against Vachier-Lagrave. The rook endgame with 4 vs.
3 on the same side of the board is drawn under most circumstances, but in this
case the white f-pawn is sticking out, which gives Black a chance.} 43. Ra4 h6
$1 {Nepo hits on the right plan immediately.} 44. Ra5 Rb2+ 45. Kf3 Rb3+ 46. Kf2
Rd3 47. h4 {Mickey is aiming to trade as many pawns as possible, which is a
sound strategy.} (47. Rb5 Rd5 48. Rb7 g5 49. fxg5 hxg5 {looks more dangerous
for White. Indeed, if Black is allowed to advance his pawns to f4 and e3 he
will win easily, which means White has to act now.} 50. g4 $1 Rd3 51. Kg2 {
The only realistic way for Black to make progress would be to play} Kg6 52. Re7
Rd6 53. Kf3 f5 54. gxf5+ exf5 {[#] reaching the position similar to the one in
the game continuation.}) 47... Rd5 48. Ra7 g5 49. hxg5 hxg5 50. fxg5 ({One
last alternative was to stay put with} 50. g3 g4 51. Rb7 Rd2+ 52. Kg1 {
Instinctively, experienced players don't like to see their king cut off on the
back rank. There may follow} Kg6 53. Ra7 f6 54. Ra5 Rd5 55. Ra6 Kf5 56. Kf2
Rd2+ 57. Kf1 e5 58. fxe5 fxe5 {and White must defend with} 59. Ra4 Rd4 60. Ra8
Ke4 61. Ke2 Rb4 62. Ra2 {[#] The same position happened in S.B. Hansen-Leko
from Istanbul Olympiad 2012, and Black won.}) 50... Rxg5 51. g3 Kg6 52. Kf3
Rf5+ 53. Kg2 Rb5 54. Re7 e5 55. Kf2 f6 56. Re8 Kf5 57. Rf8 {Keeping the rook
in enemy camp to attack from behind is a proven defensive technique.} Rb3 58.
Kg2 Rb2+ 59. Kf3 Rb3+ 60. Kg2 Ke6 61. Kf2 Ra3 62. Re8+ Kf5 63. Rf8 Ra7 64. Kf3
Rg7 65. Re8 Kg5 66. Re6 $6 ({There was no reason for Adams to reject} 66. g4
Kg6 67. Ra8 Rb7 68. Rg8+ Kf7 69. Ra8 Rb3+ 70. Kf2 {aside of a superstitious
fear of having his king separated from the pawn.}) 66... Rg8 67. Re7 Kf5 68.
Rh7 Ra8 69. Rh5+ Kg6 70. Rh4 $2 ({Last call for} 70. g4 $11 {similar to
Serper-Emelin, 1995 with colors reversed.}) 70... f5 71. Rb4 Kg5 {[#] Now the
white rook is too late to check the black king away.} 72. Rb7 (72. Kg2 Ra2+ 73.
Kh3 Kf6 74. Rb6+ Ke7 75. Rc6 e4 76. Rb6 Rf2 77. Ra6 e3 $19) 72... e4+ $1 73.
Ke3 Ra3+ 74. Kf2 Ra2+ 75. Ke3 Kg4 $19 76. Rg7+ Kh3 $1 {Now we can see the
difference compared with the position from the note to White's 47th move. With
the pawns shifted one file toward the center the Black king can sneak in along
the h-file.} 77. Rg5 Ra3+ 78. Kf2 (78. Kd4 e3 79. Rxf5 Kxg3) 78... Rf3+ 79. Ke1
Kg2 80. Ke2 Rf2+ 81. Ke3 (81. Ke1 e3) 81... Kf1 $1 82. g4 {One last attempt
but it falls way short.} Rf3+ 83. Kd4 e3 84. Rxf5 Rxf5 85. Kxe3 Rf8 {An
excellent technical display from Yan, who seems to be settling down finally
toward the end of his unsuccessful 2017 campaign.} 0-1
[Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.08"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2781"]
[BlackElo "2837"]
[Annotator "AlexYermo"]
[PlyCount "145"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. e5 Qe7 7. Qe2 Nd5 8.
h4 Bb7 9. c4 Nb6 10. Rh3 Qe6 11. f4 O-O-O 12. a4 d5 13. a5 Nxc4 14. b3 Bb4+ 15.
Kf2 Nxa5 16. Bd2 c5 17. Rxa5 Bxa5 18. Bxa5 Qf5 19. Nc3 Qxf4+ 20. Kg1 Rhe8 21.
Nb5 a6 22. Rf3 Qxe5 23. Qxe5 Rxe5 24. Bxc7 Ree8 25. Bxd8 Rxd8 26. Na3 Rd7 27.
Bd3 Kd8 28. Bxh7 g6 29. h5 gxh5 30. Rf6 Ke7 31. Rb6 Rc7 32. Nc2 a5 33. Ne3 c4
34. Bc2 Bc6 35. bxc4 dxc4 36. Ra6 a4 37. Bxa4 Be4 38. Ra5 Ke6 39. Rxh5 c3 40.
Bb3+ Kd6 41. Bc2 Bxc2 42. Nxc2 Ke6 43. Kf2 f5 {[#]} 44. Rh3 {Hikaru's choice
shows his desire to stabilize the situation.} ({He had a direct plan of
bringing his king up, but there were many tactics to calculate.} 44. Ke3 $1 {
is a very human move, in reply to which} Kf6 {is the toughest defense.} (44...
Rc8 45. Nd4+ Kd7 46. Rh7+ Kd6 47. Kd3 $1 f4 (47... Rg8 48. Nxf5+ Ke5 49. Ne3)
48. Rh6+ $1 Ke5 49. Re6+ Kd5 {and finally,} 50. Rg6 $1 {[#] puts Black in
Zugzwang.} Ke5 (50... Rc7 51. Rg5+ Kd6 52. Nb5+) 51. Nc6+ Kf5 52. Ne7+) 45. Kd4
Rc8 $1 (45... Rg7 {gets turned away by} 46. Ne3 f4 47. Nd5+ Kf7 48. Nxf4 $18) (
45... f4 $5 {is a try, but the black king can never support the pawn, so White
should be able to navigate his way to a win after} 46. Ke4 Rc4+ (46... Rg7 47.
Rf5+ Ke6 48. Nd4+ Ke7 49. Kf3 Rg3+ 50. Kf2 Rd3 51. Ne2 $18) 47. Kf3 Kg6 48. Rh4
$1 Kg5 49. g3 $18) 46. Rh6+ (46. Rh3 Rg8 47. Ne1 c2 48. Rc3 Re8 49. Nxc2 Re2
$11) 46... Kg5 47. Rh3 {[#] the c3-pawn drops, and it has to over now, right?}
f4 {Well, not quite.} (47... Kg4 48. Ne3+ Kg5 49. Rg3+ Kh5 50. Nc2 {is an
important step forward, as the black king is now cut off on the h-file.}) 48.
Rxc3 {We're making progress now, but there's still a lot of work to be done.}
Rd8+ 49. Ke4 Kg4 50. Nd4 (50. Rf3 Rh8 $3 {is surprisingly a draw.}) 50... Re8+
51. Kd5 Rd8+ 52. Ke5 Ra8 {I must admit I don't see a forced win here.
Nevertheless, I would have gone for this position, hoping to find a solution
over the board.}) ({There was also a rather mechanical plan of rounding up the
c-pawn:} 44. Rh1 Ke5 45. Rc1 f4 $1 (45... Ke4 46. Na3 $1 Rc5 47. Nb1 c2 48. Na3
{aiming for a pawn ending:} Kd3 (48... Rc3 49. Nxc2 Kf4 {would have been nice
for Black if it wasn't for knight forks:} 50. Ne1 $18) 49. Rxc2 Rxc2+ 50. Nxc2
Kxc2 51. Ke3 $18) 46. Na3 Rc5 47. Nb1 c2 {[#] Look out!} 48. Nd2 {is the only
way to win.} ({Not} 48. Na3 {because Black has the amazing resource} f3 $3 49.
gxf3 Rc3 50. Nxc2 Kf6 {staying away from the forks and keeping White tied up.})
48... Rc8 49. Nf3+ Ke4 50. Ne1 $18 {Remember this position, it represents
White ultimate goal in this entire endgame.}) 44... Ke5 45. Rd3 Kf4 46. Rd4+
Kg5 47. Kf3 Rc8 48. Ra4 Rc7 49. Ra8 Kf6 50. Ra6+ Kg5 {Carlsen's defensive plan
is taking shape. He avoids playing his pawn to f4, while keeping his king
ready for counterattack should White attempt to move his king to the Q-side.
Hikaru has to regroup.} 51. Nd4 $3 {[#]} Rc4 $1 ({Magnus avoids a devilish
trap:} 51... c2 $2 {loses to a mating attack!} 52. Ne6+ Kh4 (52... Kh5 53. Nf4+
Kg5 54. Rg6+ Kh4 55. g3#) 53. g3+ Kh3 54. Nf4+ Kh2 55. Rh6+ Kg1 56. Ne2+ Kf1
57. Rh1# {The knight, as an extra piece, still has its limitations when it
comes to playing on both sides of the board. It's strength, however, is in
tactical motifs.}) 52. Ne6+ ({A good chance to get on the winning track was}
52. Ne2 $1 c2 53. Ra1 Kf6 54. Rc1 Kg5 55. Kf2 Kg4 {and now the final knight
transfer:} 56. Ng1 Kf4 57. Nf3 Rc8 58. Ne1 $18) 52... Kf6 53. Nf4+ Ke5 54. Nd3+
Kd5 55. Ra2 (55. Ra5+ Kd4 56. Nf4 {was an idea, as} c2 57. Ne2+ Kd3 58. Rd5+ {
ends in mate. This and similar lines illustrate the difficulty of playing such
endgames. One has to calculate variations all the time!}) 55... Kd4 56. Nc1 c2
57. Ra5 Rc3+ 58. Kf4 Rc8 59. Rxf5 $2 {A tragic miss.} (59. Ra3 $1 Rc5 60. Rd3+
Kc4 61. Re3 Rc7 62. Kxf5 {would have clinched it for Nakamura.}) 59... Re8 60.
Rf7 (60. Ra5 Re1 61. Ra1 Rd1 62. g4 Kc3 63. g5 Kb2 $11) 60... Re1 {Black will
attack the knight that cannot leave the c-pawn unattended.} 61. Rd7+ Kc3 62.
Rc7+ Kd2 63. Nb3+ Kd3 64. Nc5+ Kd4 65. Nb3+ Kd3 66. Nc5+ Kd4 67. Nb3+ Kd3 68.
g4 Rf1+ 69. Kg5 Rb1 70. Nc5+ Ke3 71. Nb3 Kd3 72. Nc5+ Ke3 73. Nb3 1/2-1/2
[Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.08"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C45"]
[WhiteElo "2781"]
[BlackElo "2837"]
[PlyCount "145"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Nc6 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} 3. d4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} exd4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 4. Nxd4 {[%emt 0:
00:30]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 5. Nxc6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} bxc6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 6.
e5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Qe7 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 7. Qe2 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Nd5 {[%emt 0:
00:30]} 8. h4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Bb7 {306 C45: Scotch Game C45: Schottische
Partie} (8... a5 9. c4 Ba6 10. Nd2 Nb4 11. Nf3 c5 12. b3 Bb7 13. Bb2 a4 14. a3
Nc6 15. Qe3 axb3 16. Bd3 {0-1 (28) Morozevich,A (2676)-Jakovenko,D (2710)
Sochi 2017}) 9. c4 {882 LiveBook: 3 Games LiveBook: 3 Partien} Nb6 {117} 10.
Rh3 $146 {219} ({Predecessor: Vorgänger:} 10. Nc3 Qe6 11. Bd2 O-O-O 12. O-O-O
Ba6 13. Bg5 Re8 14. Qd2 Bxc4 15. Bxc4 Qxc4 16. Be3 {0-1 (60) Francisco,R (2273)
-Agrest,I (2273) chess.com INT 2017}) 10... Qe6 {392} 11. f4 {226} O-O-O {564}
12. a4 {817} d5 {963} 13. a5 {884} Nxc4 {111} 14. b3 {30 [#] Strongly
threatening a6. Und a6 würde nun gewinnen.} Bb4+ {169} 15. Kf2 $1 {443} Nxa5 {
816 ...c5 is the strong threat.} 16. Bd2 $1 {[%emt 0:00:37]} c5 {[%emt 0:00:30]
} 17. Rxa5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Bxa5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 18. Bxa5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Qf5
{[%emt 0:00:30]} 19. Nc3 {425} (19. Qe3 $1 $14) 19... Qxf4+ {96} (19... d4 $11
20. Na4 Qxf4+ 21. Kg1 d3 $1 22. Rxd3 Rxd3 23. Qxd3 Qd4+ 24. Qxd4 cxd4) 20. Kg1
{30 Weiss will Sb5 spielen.} ({White should play} 20. Rf3 $5 $14 Qxh4+ 21. Kg1
$11) 20... Rhe8 {537} 21. Nb5 $1 {289 Black must now prevent Rf3.} a6 {451} 22.
Rf3 {349} Qxe5 {357} 23. Qxe5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Rxe5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 24. Bxc7 {
[%emt 0:00:30]} Ree8 {208} 25. Bxd8 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Rxd8 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 26.
Na3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Rd7 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 27. Bd3 {44 Threatens to win with
Bf5. Droht stark Lf5.} Kd8 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 28. Bxh7 {713} g6 {133} 29. h5 {120
} gxh5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 30. Rf6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Ke7 {137} 31. Rb6 {[%emt 0:00:
50]} Rc7 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 32. Nc2 {291} a5 {201} 33. Ne3 {[%emt 0:00:55]} c4 {
90} ({Black should play Besser ist} 33... Bc6 $1 $14) 34. Bc2 {125} Bc6 {296} (
34... cxb3 $16 {was called for.} 35. Bxb3 Rc1+ 36. Kf2 Bc6 37. Bxd5 Bxd5) 35.
bxc4 $18 {[%emt 0:00:30]} dxc4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 36. Ra6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} ({
Not Nicht} 36. Nxc4 Bxg2 37. Ne3 Rc3 $14) 36... a4 {95} 37. Bxa4 {[%emt 0:00:
30]} Be4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 38. Ra5 {278} Ke6 {193} 39. Rxh5 {67} c3 {63} 40.
Bb3+ {[%emt 0:00:37]} Kd6 {3651 [#] intending ...c2. [#] beabsichtigt ...c2.}
41. Bc2 $1 {3702} Bxc2 {67} 42. Nxc2 {68 Endgame KRN-KR Endspiel KTS-KT} Ke6 {
204} 43. Kf2 {[%emt 0:00:00]} f5 $2 {[%emt 0:00:00]} (43... Rc8 $142 {kämpft
weiter.} 44. Rh4 (44. Ke3 Rg8) 44... f5) (43... Rd7) 44. Rh3 {[%emt 0:00:00]}
Ke5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 45. Rd3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Kf4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 46. Rd4+ {
[%emt 0:00:00]} Kg5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 47. Kf3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rc8 {[%emt 0:00:
00]} 48. Ra4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rc7 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 49. Ra8 {[%emt 0:00:00]} (
49. Ra2 $142 Rc5 50. Ra8) 49... Kf6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 50. Ra6+ {[%emt 0:00:00]}
Kg5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 51. Nd4 {0 aiming for Ne6+. Droht Se6+ und aus.} Rc4 {
[%emt 0:00:00]} (51... c2 52. Ne6+ Kf6 53. Nxc7+ Kf7 (53... Ke7 54. Rc6 Kd8 55.
Rxc2 Kc8 56. Kf4) 54. Rc6 Ke7 55. Rxc2 Kd8 56. Kf4) 52. Ne6+ {[%emt 0:00:00]}
Kf6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 53. Nf4+ {[%emt 0:00:00]} Ke5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 54. Nd3+ {
[%emt 0:00:00]} Kd5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 55. Ra2 {[%emt 0:00:00]} (55. Ra5+ $142
Ke6 56. Ke2) 55... Kd4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 56. Nc1 {[%emt 0:00:00]} c2 {[%emt 0:
00:00]} 57. Ra5 {0 White threatens Ne2+ and mate. Weiss will mit Se2+ Matt
setzen. Threatening mate with Ne2+.} Rc3+ {[%emt 0:00:00]} (57... Kc3 $142 58.
Rxf5 Kd2) 58. Kf4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rc8 {0 [#]} 59. Rxf5 $2 {[%emt 0:00:00]} ({
White should try} 59. Ra3 $1 $18) (59. Ne2+ $18 Kd3 60. Kf3 Rf8 61. Ra3+ (61.
Rd5+ Kc4) 61... Kd2) 59... Re8 $1 $11 {0 The position is equal. Die Stellung
ist ausgeglichen.} 60. Rf7 {0 Und weiter mit Tc7 wäre nett. Strongly
threatening Rc7.} Re1 {0 And now ...Rf1+ would win. ...Tf1+ ist eine echte
Drohung. aiming for ...Rf1+.} 61. Rd7+ {[%emt 0:00:00]} Kc3 {[%emt 0:00:00]}
62. Rc7+ {309} Kd2 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 63. Nb3+ {169} Kd3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 64.
Nc5+ {73} Kd4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 65. Nb3+ {166} Kd3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 66. Nc5+ {89
} Kd4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 67. Nb3+ {[%emt 0:00:30]} Kd3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 68. g4 {
69} Rf1+ {[%emt 0:00:00]} 69. Kg5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Rb1 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 70.
Nc5+ {[%emt 0:00:30]} Ke3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 71. Nb3 {30 Rc3+ is the strong
threat. zielt auf Tc3+ ab. And now Rc3+ would win.} Kd3 $1 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 72.
Nc5+ {[%emt 0:00:30]} Ke3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 73. Nb3 {30 Precision: White = 76%,
Black = 66%. Precision: Weiß = 72%, Schwarz = 70%. Precision: White = 73%,
Black = 58%.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.12.08"]
[Round "6.3"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C45"]
[WhiteElo "2781"]
[BlackElo "2837"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "145"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 {The last time Nakamura played the Scotch was back
in 2015.} exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. e5 Qe7 7. Qe2 Nd5 8. h4 {A very
fashionable move, in almost all the openings. Seriously speaking, this is "an
invention from the creative Dutch GM John Van der Wiel, an expert on the white
side of the Scotch" (John Emms).} Bb7 ({A recent top game saw} 8... a5 9. c4
Ba6 10. Nd2 Nb4 11. Nf3 c5 12. b3 Bb7 13. Bb2 {Morozevich,A (2676)-Jakovenko,D
(2710) Sochi 2017}) 9. c4 Nb6 10. Rh3 $146 {This is what the h2-h4 move is all
about, but surprisingly no one had tried it before.} ({An online predecessor
saw} 10. Nc3 Qe6 11. Bd2 O-O-O 12. O-O-O {Francisco,R (2273)-Agrest,I (2273)
chess.com INT 2017 Maybe Nakamura noticed that game. After all it was played
on the right server.}) 10... Qe6 {This opens the road for the bishop and hits
the c4 pawn at once.} ({The alternatives are} 10... O-O-O) ({Or} 10... a5 11.
Nc3 a4) 11. f4 {What a bizarre position. White played only with his pawns and
heavy pieces so far, while Black developed two light pieces and castles now.}
O-O-O 12. a4 {Still, White does not care about the development! However
Nakamura wants to make use of the awkward position of both light pieces. They
are indeed developed, but not in a good way.} d5 {Carlsen, on his turn, is
determined to open the center and reach the enemy king as soon as possible.}
13. a5 $1 {Consistant.} ({Whereas} 13. exd6 {can be met with either} Qf6 ({or}
13... Qxd6 $5) 14. dxc7 Bb4+ 15. Nc3 Rd4 {with a strong initiative for the
material.}) 13... Nxc4 ({The alternative is} 13... Nd7 {and this might be
safer, at least for the knight. After} 14. a6 (14. Be3 {could be stronger.})
14... Ba8 15. Be3 {the game remains crazily complicated.}) 14. b3 ({Not} 14. a6
$6 {which achieves less than nothing after} Ba8 15. b3 Nb6) 14... Bb4+ 15. Kf2
{The concrete result of the lack of development.} (15. Nd2 Nxa5 {is bad for
White.}) 15... Nxa5 $1 {Carlsen continues to play for the initiative.} ({
Instead} 15... Bc5+ {could have led to a draw almost by force in the line} 16.
Kg3 (16. Ke1 Bb4+) 16... Bg1 $1 {A nice study-like move.} 17. bxc4 h5 ({
But Black may do even better with} 17... dxc4 $1) 18. Rh1 Qg6+ 19. Kh3 Qf5+ 20.
Kg3 {and perpetual.} (20. g4 hxg4+ 21. Kg3 Bd4 {is good for Black.})) 16. Bd2 {
The knight is trapped.} c5 ({Here} 16... Bc5+ 17. Ke1 f6 18. Rxa5 Bb6 {is less
convincing.}) 17. Rxa5 Bxa5 18. Bxa5 Qf5 {The double attack wins a third pawn
for the piece.} 19. Nc3 ({Weaker seems} 19. Qe3 {with the idea to
counterattack after} Qxb1 ({However} 19... d4 $1 20. Qc1 f6 {keeps the fuel of
the attack.}) 20. Qxc5) 19... Qxf4+ 20. Kg1 Rhe8 {Probably the first
inaccuracy by the world champion.} ({The immediate} 20... d4 {was better, when
a forcing line runs:} 21. Nb5 (21. Na4 $5) 21... a6 22. Nxc7 Rd7 23. Qc4 Rxc7
24. Bxc7 Kxc7 25. Qxc5+ Kb8 {since both the kings are iffy, the logical
outcome is a draw by perpetual. For example} 26. Qd6+ Ka7 27. Rf3 Bxf3 28.
Qxa6+ Kb8 29. Qd6+ Kc8 30. Ba6+ Bb7 31. Qc6+ Kd8 32. Qd6+) 21. Nb5 a6 ({After}
21... Rxe5 {White has a pleasant choice between} 22. Qc2 $1 ({Or} 22. Bxc7 Rxe2
23. Bxf4)) 22. Rf3 $1 {Nakamura seizes his chance. The active rook provides
some additional possibilities.} Qxe5 ({The alternative} 22... Qxh4 23. Nxc7
Qd4+ 24. Qf2 Qxf2+ 25. Kxf2 Rxe5 26. Nxa6 {also leaves decent winning chances
for White.}) 23. Qxe5 Rxe5 24. Bxc7 Ree8 {The second inaccuracy.} (24... f6 {
seemed stronger, when after} 25. Bxd8 ({Weaker is} 25. Bxe5 fxe5 26. Na3 Kc7
27. Rf7+ Rd7) 25... Kxd8 26. Nd6 Kc7 27. Nxb7 Kxb7 28. Kf2 Kb6 {when a draw
should be the most likely outcome.}) 25. Bxd8 Rxd8 26. Na3 {As a rule in the
endgame, pawns are more valuable than the pieces as each of them can become a
queen. However here the black pawns are more weaknesses than strenghts and
this determines White's advantage.} Rd7 ({Here} 26... f6 27. Rc3 {will drop
the pawn on c5.}) 27. Bd3 $1 {A double attack.} Kd8 {White's plan is simple:
get all the weaknesses. Black's plan: trade them when you can.} (27... g6 {
would allow domination after} 28. Rf6 a5 29. Kf2) 28. Bxh7 g6 29. h5 {Best.} ({
Weaker was} 29. Bg8 Ke8) ({Or} 29. g4 d4 30. Rf2 Bd5) 29... gxh5 {Carlsen can
be happy that he traded one more pawn, but Nakamura can be happier as there
are more weaknesses in the opponent's camp.} 30. Rf6 Ke7 31. Rb6 Rc7 32. Nc2 ({
The a-pawn is not as important-:} 32. Bd3 Bc8 33. Bxa6 $6 Bxa6 34. Rxa6 Rb7) (
32. Kf2 {was good too though.}) 32... a5 33. Ne3 c4 {Trading another pawn.} ({
Maybe Black should have seeked for counterplay with} 33... Bc6 34. Ra6 a4 35.
bxa4 Kd6) 34. Bc2 Bc6 ({After} 34... cxb3 35. Bxb3 d4 36. Nf5+ {the d-pawn
would drop. Soon the a-one will follow...}) 35. bxc4 dxc4 36. Ra6 {But now all
the black pawns are doomed.} a4 37. Bxa4 Be4 38. Ra5 Ke6 39. Rxh5 $1 ({The
alternative does not win:} 39. Nxc4 Rxc4 40. Bb3 Bd5 41. Bxc4 Bxc4 42. Rxh5 {
and according to the tablebases this should be a draw.}) 39... c3 40. Bb3+ Kd6
41. Bc2 Bxc2 42. Nxc2 {And this should be all for tonight, right? A healthy
extra piece and there is still one white pawn left. However, these endgames
sometimes are not winnable due to the nature of the knight. It is a
short-ranged piece and as long as the queenside passer is far away from the
kingside there are always chances. The white king needs to go to the queenside
and the g-pawn can be taken, or traded.} Ke6 ({The counterplay fizzles quickly
after} 42... Rb7 43. Rh3) 43. Kf2 f5 $1 {In order to keep the g2 pawn under
constant pressure.} 44. Rh3 Ke5 45. Rd3 ({Probably White should have taken the
pawn like this:} 45. Ke3 Rg7 46. Ne1 Ra7 47. Kd3 Ra1 48. Nc2 Rd1+ 49. Kxc3 Rg1
50. Re3+ Kf4 51. Rf3+ Ke4 52. Rf2) 45... Kf4 46. Rd4+ Kg5 47. Kf3 Rc8 48. Ra4
Rc7 49. Ra8 Kf6 50. Ra6+ Kg5 51. Nd4 Rc4 52. Ne6+ Kf6 53. Nf4+ {These checks
are a sign that something might go wrong.} Ke5 54. Nd3+ Kd5 (54... Kd4 55. Rd6#
) 55. Ra2 (55. Ra5+ $1 {should be a win as} Kd4 56. Nf4 c2 57. Ne2+ Kd3 58.
Rd5+ Rd4 59. Rxd4#) 55... Kd4 56. Nc1 {Now the pawn becomes too dangerous.} (
56. Ne1 $1 {was still the way to play for the win.}) 56... c2 57. Ra5 Rc3+ 58.
Kf4 Rc8 {It transpires that with the pawn on c2 Black has chance to survive
even without the f-pawn.} 59. Rxf5 (59. Kxf5 Rf8+ 60. Kg4 Rf1 61. Ra1 Ke3 {
is a draw too.}) 59... Re8 {And the world champion survived!} 60. Rf7 Re1 61.
Rd7+ Kc3 62. Rc7+ Kd2 63. Nb3+ Kd3 64. Nc5+ Kd4 65. Nb3+ Kd3 66. Nc5+ Kd4 67.
Nb3+ Kd3 {Carlsen could have claimed the draw here already.} 68. g4 Rf1+ 69.
Kg5 Rb1 70. Nc5+ Ke3 71. Nb3 Kd3 ({Of course not} 71... Rxb3 72. Rxc2) 72. Nc5+
Ke3 73. Nb3 1/2-1/2
[Event "London ENG"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2017.12.08"]
[Round "6.5"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A18"]
[WhiteElo "2782"]
[BlackElo "2760"]
[PlyCount "40"]
[EventDate "2017.12.01"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. e4 d5 4. e5 d4 5. exf6 dxc3 6. bxc3 Qxf6 7. Nf3 e5 8. d4
Nc6 9. Bg5 Qg6 10. d5 Nb8 11. h4 h6 12. h5 Qa6 $1 {A good novelty.} (12... Qd6
13. Be3 Nd7 14. c5 Nxc5 15. Bb5+ {had been played before; White has some
initiative here.}) 13. Be3 Nd7 14. Bd3 Ba3 15. O-O Qd6 16. Nh4 O-O 17. Nf5 Qf6
18. Ng3 (18. f4 {"I thought this was crossing a line."} Bc5 19. Qd2 {Here
Karjakin was thinking about} e4 $5 20. Bxe4 Re8 21. Bc2 Rxe3 $5 22. Nxe3 Qh4 {
followed by 23...Ng4.}) 18... Qh4 (18... Qd8 19. Bf5 {Anand}) 19. Nf5 Qf6 20.
Ng3 Qh4 1/2-1/2
[Event "London"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.09"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Adams, Michael"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2837"]
[BlackElo "2715"]
[Annotator "AlexYermo"]
[PlyCount "115"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. f4 {Magnus has played the Bird before, but stil his choice smacks of
desperation - win at any cost!} d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6.
d3 c5 7. c3 Nc6 8. Na3 Re8 9. Nh4 b6 ({White was prepared to meet} 9... e5 {
with} 10. f5) 10. e4 dxe4 11. Qa4 $2 {[#] This looks like an over-the-board
novelty.} ({Previously seen was} 11. dxe4 Qxd1 12. Rxd1 e5) 11... Qxd3 $3 {
A brilliant refutation!} (11... Bd7 12. dxe4 Qc8 13. Qc2 Bh3 14. e5 $14 {
is what Magnus had his eyes on.}) 12. Qxc6 ({White cannot bail out with
repetition after} 12. Rd1 Qe2 13. Rd2 (13. Bf1 Qg4) 13... Qe3+ 14. Rf2 Qe1+ 15.
Rf1 Qe2 16. Rf2 {because Black then has} Qa6 $1 {and} 17. Qxc6 Bd7 18. Qc7 Rac8
19. Qe5 Bc6 {is winning, similar to a variation that could (and should) have
happened in the game.}) 12... Bd7 13. Qc7 Ng4 $2 {Mickey's shot is way off the
mark.} ({He needed to invite the white queen to nestle in the middle of the
board.} 13... Rec8 $1 14. Qe5 Bc6 {[#] There's no escape for the lady, as seen
from} 15. Re1 (15. Qxe7 Re8 16. Qc7 Rac8 17. Qxa7 Nd5 {followed by Re7, Rc7 or
Ra8.}) 15... Qd7 16. h3 {played to give support to the g4-square should Black
go after the queen right away, but} h6 $1 {shuts the cage, and White has to
shed tons of material,} 17. Nxg6 fxg6 18. f5 gxf5 {leading to a hopeless
position.}) 14. Re1 Bd4+ ({Still, Black had} 14... Rac8 $1 15. Qxa7 Bd4+ 16.
cxd4 Qxd4+ 17. Be3 Nxe3 {Now with the white queen out of play Black would have
had promising middlegame play, such as} 18. Kh1 Ng4 19. h3 Nf2+ 20. Kh2 e5 $1 {
going after the stray Nh4.}) 15. cxd4 Qxd4+ 16. Be3 Nxe3 17. Qe5 $1 {This one
saves the bacon.} f5 $2 {[#] Another blunder.} ({Both} 17... Nxg2+ 18. Qxd4
cxd4 19. Nxg2 f5 20. Red1 d3 21. Nc4 $14) ({and particularly} 17... Bc6 $1 {
would have kept Black in the game.}) 18. Bh3 $2 {Shockingly Magnus immediately
returns the favor.} ({Both players missed} 18. Nf3 $1 {which would force a
transition to a choice of near winning endgames for White.} exf3 19. Bxf3 {
Under the circumstances the most resilient is} Nc2+ (19... Qxe5 20. fxe5 f4 21.
gxf4 Nf5 {is not the end of Black's problems, as next comes} 22. e6 $1) 20.
Qxd4 Nxd4 21. Bxa8 Rxa8 22. Rxe7 Rd8 23. Kf2 $16 {Surely Magnus is the guy to
bet on in such situations.}) 18... Nc2+ 19. Qxd4 Nxd4 20. Rxe4 $5 {This goes
to show how unhappy Carlsen was with his position.} fxe4 21. Bxd7 Red8 22. Ba4
e5 23. Re1 exf4 24. gxf4 a6 25. Bd1 b5 26. Nb1 {[#] All forced up to this
point. Black has to be fine here, maybe even a bit better.} Nf5 $2 {It all
started to go wrong from here. I don't like the idea behind this move, which
did nothing but play into Carlsen's hand.} ({Instead of stabilizing the
position, Mickey would have been much better off keeping it sharp.} 26... e3
27. Nc3 Re8 $17 {answers the call. Given Magnus's struggles with tactics in
this game, same as yesterday against Hikaru, playing like this would have been
the right decision from the psychological point of view as well.}) 27. Nxf5
gxf5 28. Kf2 Kf7 ({Perhaps,} 28... Rd3 29. Be2 Rh3 30. Kg2 Rh6 {would have
been a bit more annoying for White.}) 29. Be2 Rd6 30. h4 $1 {Carlsen is in his
element! Restricting the opponent's counterplay is always a high priority in
his play.} c4 31. a4 Rc8 $6 (31... Kf6 32. Na3 Rb8 33. axb5 axb5) 32. axb5 axb5
33. Na3 Rd5 34. Rc1 Rdc5 35. Nc2 Ra8 36. Ne3 {[#] The engines show all zeroes,
but the tide of the game has certainly turned in Carlsen's favor.} Rac8 $2 {
It is not clear to me what Adams was playing for at this stage.} ({Shedding a
pawn with} 36... Ra2 37. b3 Rb2 38. bxc4 bxc4 39. Nxc4 Kf6 $11 {cannot be
viewed as a winning attempt, but the activity of the black rooks pretty much
eliminates any danger of losing.}) 37. h5 Ke6 38. h6 Kf6 39. Ra1 b4 40. Ra6+
Ke7 41. Ra7+ Kf6 42. Ke1 b3 $2 {I cannot explain this, and I doubt Mickey can
either.} (42... c3 43. bxc3 bxc3 44. Kd1 Rb8 {makes a passer and opens up the
b-file. What's not to like?}) 43. Rb7 Ke6 44. Rb6+ Ke7 45. Rb4 R8c6 46. Bxc4
Rxh6 47. Rxb3 $16 Kd8 $1 {A good move.} (47... Rh2 48. Rb7+ Kd8 49. b4 {
looks dangerous for Black.}) 48. Rb8+ $2 {I think after all the success he had
in Rapid and Blitz Magnus struggles a bit with his decision-making in
classical chess. His play seems mainly intuition-driven, to the point of being
impulsive; the ideas are there, but they're not backed up by precise
calculation.} (48. Ra3 Rh2 49. b4 Rc6 50. b5 Rg6 51. Be2 {was better.}) 48...
Kc7 49. Rf8 Rh3 50. Nd5+ Kb7 51. Rf7+ {[#]} Kb8 $2 {Oh, Mickey, you break my
heart. The king should never be cut off like this in the endgame.} (51... Kc6
52. Rf6+ Kb7 53. b3 Ra5 54. Rf7+ Kc6 $1 {Always back in the middle!} 55. Rxf5
Ra1+ 56. Kf2 Ra2+ 57. Kg1 Rb2 {There's enough counterplay here to force a draw,
I suppose.}) 52. b3 Rh2 ({Now} 52... Ra5 {meets with} 53. Nb4 {and it's the
black king that is likely to be mated.}) 53. Nb4 $18 Kc8 54. Na6 Rc6 55. Rf8+
Kb7 56. Bd5 Kxa6 57. Bxc6 Kb6 58. Bd7 1-0
[Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2017.12.09"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2729"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "AlexYermo"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. e3 a6 {This move is very useful in the Queens
Gambit Accepted,} 5. b3 $1 {but not so much here!} Bd6 ({Perhaps, Anand didn't
want to play with an isolated pawn after} 5... c5 6. cxd5 exd5 7. d4 Nc6) 6.
Bb2 O-O 7. g4 $5 {A novelty in this particular position, although his idea is
widely used in various openings in this day and age.} Nxg4 (7... dxc4 8. g5
Nfd7 9. bxc4 e5 {is worth a look.}) 8. Rg1 f5 9. cxd5 e5 {[#] An interesting
structure.} 10. h3 Nf6 11. Ng5 $1 {Without further ado Nepo gets down to
business.} Qe7 12. Qf3 Kh8 (12... e4 13. Qg2) 13. Ne6 Bxe6 14. dxe6 Qxe6 (14...
Nc6 15. Qxf5 Nd8 16. Bd3 {looks good for White who will dominate the light
squares.}) 15. Qxb7 Nbd7 16. Bc4 Qe7 17. Qg2 Nb6 18. Be2 a5 19. Bb5 $1 {
A necessary precaution against a5-a4.} Rad8 20. Qg5 g6 21. Qh6 Ng8 22. Qg5 Nf6
23. Rd1 e4 24. Qh6 Rg8 25. Ne2 Be5 26. Bxe5 Qxe5 27. Nf4 g5 $1 {A great pawn
sac. So far, Anand matches Nepo blow by blow.} 28. Rxg5 Rxg5 29. Qxg5 Rg8 30.
Qh6 {[#]} Rg7 $2 ({It's hard to tell what Vishy didn't like about the logical}
30... Rg1+ 31. Bf1 Nbd7 32. Ne2 Rg6 {Black definetely has compensation for a
pawn and he welcomes} 33. Qf4 {as in the line} Nd5 34. Qxe5+ Nxe5 {White can
avoid smothered mate with} 35. Nd4 {but not a perpetual after} c5 36. Nxf5 Nf3+
37. Ke2 Ng1+) 31. Bc4 $1 Nxc4 32. bxc4 Qb2 33. Ke2 a4 34. Ne6 Rf7 {[#]} 35. Nf4
$5 {A very mature decision. If only Nepo played like this from the beginning
of the year, he would have never been out of top 10.} ({Contrary to what I
thought while watching this game live} 35. Nd8 Rg7 36. Rg1 $5 {does not win by
force,as Black has a defense:} Ng4 $1 (36... Rxg1 $4 37. Qf8+ {with Nf7 mate
to follow is kind of cute.}) 37. hxg4 Qc2 {The threat of perpatual check
forces White to part with his extra knight. Best is} 38. f4 $1 Qd3+ 39. Ke1
Qxd8 40. Qe6 {and White is still substantially better.}) 35... Rg7 36. a3 $1 {
This quiet move speaks loudly about the difficulties Black is facing.} Ne8 $2 {
Anand collapses immediately.} (36... Qb6 37. Qh4 ({Evaluation numbers aside,
I'll leave crazy stuff such as} 37. d3 Qb2+ 38. Rd2 Qc3 39. Ne6 Rf7 40. dxe4
Qxc4+ 41. Kf3 {to Alpha Zero and her ilk. Thanks, but no thanks, we humans
don't play chess this way.}) 37... Qb2 38. Nd5 Nxd5 39. Qd8+ Rg8 40. Qxd5 Qxa3
41. Qd4+ Rg7 42. Rb1 {This is something I can relate to. White keeps his edge
without going overboard with tactics.}) 37. Qc6 {Another pawn is lost, and
Vishy felt he'd had enough.} 1-0
[Event "London Chess Classic"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.12.09"]
[Round "7.2"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Adams, Michael"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A03"]
[WhiteElo "2837"]
[BlackElo "2715"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "115"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. f4 {There will be hardly a better moment to try the Bird than against Adams.
The reasons: 1) Adams is not a 1.d4 player and has very little experience
against the Dutch as White. Thus, the reversed Dutch sounds interesting. 2)
Adams has only one game against 1.f4 in the Megabase. 3) He helped Carlsen in
the past and knows his openings quite well. 4) Why should there be a reason
for the world champion to play whatever he likes?} d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 ({Adams's
only previous game saw the inspiring} 2... Bg4 3. e3 Nd7 4. h3 Bxf3 5. Qxf3 e5
6. Qxd5 Ngf6 7. Qf3 exf4 8. exf4 Bd6 {Rendle,T (2383)-Adams,M (2745) London
2014}) 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. d3 {Now it is a reversed Leningrad
Dutch.} c5 7. c3 Nc6 8. Na3 {A specialty of the Icelandic GM Danielsen. The
knight is flexible on a3, ready to jump to c2 and sometimes c4.} Re8 ({Another
option is} 8... Bg4 9. Qc2 d4 {which led to an intense tactical skirmish after}
10. e4 Rc8 11. h3 Bxf3 12. Bxf3 dxc3 13. bxc3 Nd4 14. cxd4 Qxd4+ 15. Kg2 Qxa1
16. Be3 {Kamsky,G (2676)-Antipov,M (2582) Bastia 2017}) ({Normally Black is
looking forward to advance his central pawn with} 8... d4 {but here it might
not be optimal as} 9. e4 dxe3 10. Bxe3 {"embarasses the c5 pawn" (Vigus.)}) 9.
Nh4 b6 10. e4 dxe4 11. Qa4 $146 {A novelty that keeps the queens aboard. But
is it correct?} ({Apparently Adams was not afraid of the endgame that has been
tested before:} 11. dxe4 Qxd1 12. Rxd1 e5 13. Nb5 Bg4 14. Rd6 Rac8 {indeed,
Black seems fine here, Van Dooren,D (2335)-Abbasov,F (2519) Cappelle-la-Grande
2008}) 11... Qxd3 $1 {You do not have to ask Adams twice.} ({After} 11... Bd7
12. dxe4 {Black has not way to exploit the discovered attack on the a4-e8
diagonal.}) 12. Qxc6 {Carlsen also accepts the challenge, but this might not
be the right decision.} ({Objectively best might be:} 12. Rd1 Qe2 13. Rd2 {when
} Qe1+ {could be risky for the health of her Majesty after} (13... Qg4 14. Qxc6
{is bad for Black.}) (13... Qe3+ 14. Rf2 Qe1+ 15. Rf1 Qe2 16. Qxc6 Bd7 {
is unclear.}) 14. Bf1 {Now Rd2-e2 is a threat, but there is the tricky} Nd4 {
the queen escapes with an unclear game after} (14... Qe3+ 15. Rf2 Qe1 16. Re2 {
traps the queen.}) 15. cxd4 Qe3+ 16. Kg2) 12... Bd7 13. Qc7 Ng4 {A very good
move, but there was an even better one.} ({Adams missed a golden opportunity
to get the advantage after the preliminary} 13... Rec8 $1 {when} 14. Qe5 {
is virtually forced but} (14. Qb7 $2 {loses to} Rcb8 15. Qc7 Ne8) 14... Bc6 {
puts the white queen in danger of losing his queen. For example} ({Not yet}
14... Ng4 $2 15. Qxe4) 15. Re1 (15. Qxe7 Re8 16. Qc7 Rac8 17. Qxa7 Nd5 $1 {
followed by Rc8-c7 is strong.}) 15... Qd7 $1 16. Be3 $2 ({Best was} 16. Nxg6
hxg6 17. Qg5 {but Black is clearly better here too.}) 16... Ng4 17. Qg5 h6 {
trapping the queen.}) 14. Re1 ({Or} 14. Qb7 f5 15. Re1 Reb8 16. Qc7 Rc8 17. Qb7
Bd4+ 18. cxd4 Qxd4+ 19. Be3 Nxe3 {with an advantage for Black.}) 14... Bd4+ {
Again good, but...} ({The preliminary} 14... Rac8 $1 {would be better, for
example} 15. Qxa7 ({Worse is} 15. Qb7 Bc6 16. Qxa7 Bd4+) 15... Bd4+ 16. cxd4
Qxd4+ 17. Be3 Nxe3 18. Kh1 Ng4 19. h3 Nf2+ 20. Kh2 e5 {Black has a great
initiative for the piece.}) ({Certainly not with the other rook though} 14...
Rec8 $2 15. Bxe4 $1) 15. cxd4 Qxd4+ 16. Be3 ({Carlsen does not want to
co-operate for a smothered mate} 16. Kh1 $4 Nf2+ 17. Kg1 Nh3+ 18. Kh1 Qg1+ 19.
Rxg1 Nf2#) 16... Nxe3 17. Qe5 $1 {This is the reason why the Rc8 move should
have been thrown in on the previous move. Carlsen manages to trade the queens
and a complex endgame emerges.} f5 {This allows a sudden tactical resource.} ({
Better was} 17... Nxg2+ 18. Qxd4 (18. Kxg2 $2 Qxe5 19. fxe5 g5) 18... cxd4 19.
Nxg2 f5) 18. Bh3 {White also missed it.} (18. Nf3 $1 {would have turned the
tables into White's favor as his knight is coming out of the prison:} exf3 19.
Bxf3 Nc2+ 20. Qxd4 Nxd4 21. Bxa8 Rxa8 22. Rxe7) 18... Nc2+ (18... Nd5+ {
might be a better version of the endgame, say} 19. Qxd4 cxd4 20. Rad1 d3) 19.
Qxd4 Nxd4 20. Rxe4 $1 {The point behind the bishop sortie. Otherwise Black
will gradually improve his position.} (20. Kf2 e5) 20... fxe4 21. Bxd7 {
The middlegame is over. It is time for a sharp, unbalanced endgame. Adams has
a slight material advantage, but if the pieces get co-ordinated it will be
Carlsen who will call the shots.} Red8 22. Ba4 e5 {Energetic play.} ({Although
} 22... a6 23. Re1 b5 24. Bd1 Nf5 {is promising too.}) 23. Re1 ({Adams's idea
is revealed in the line} 23. fxe5 g5 24. Ng2 Nf3+) 23... exf4 24. gxf4 a6 25.
Bd1 b5 26. Nb1 (26. Rxe4 {drops material due to} Nf5 ({Although the trade of
the rooks after} 26... Re8 27. Rxe8+ Rxe8 28. Kf2 Rd8 {is something that Black
wishes to do too.}) 27. Bb3+ c4) 26... Nf5 {Again not bad, but...} ({Another
chance is missed for an advantage:} 26... e3 $1 {was strong with the tactical
point} 27. Rxe3 $2 ({Calm play also leads to a clear edge for Black after} 27.
Nc3 Re8 28. Kf1 g5 29. fxg5 Re5) 27... Nf5 28. Nxf5 Rxd1+ {and Black wins.})
27. Nxf5 gxf5 28. Kf2 {Finally Carlsen stabilizes the situation.} Kf7 (28...
Rd3 $5 29. Be2 Rh3 30. Kg2 Rh6) 29. Be2 Rd6 30. h4 $1 {A strong idea. Instead
of a weakness, this pawn can become an attacking tool.} c4 31. a4 {Fixes some
targets to keep the rooks busy.} Rc8 32. axb5 axb5 33. Na3 Rd5 34. Rc1 Rdc5 (
34... Rcc5 35. Nb1 Ke6 {looks equal.}) 35. Nc2 Ra8 36. Ne3 Rac8 ({Black loses
a pawn in case of the active} 36... Ra2 37. b4 Rc6 38. Nxf5 {But this is only
temporary} Rf6 39. Nd4 Rxf4+ 40. Kg3 Rf6 {then anything is possible.}) 37. h5 {
Carlsen did once again magic with his pieces and no longer risks to lose. Now
he tries to win!} Ke6 38. h6 Kf6 (38... R8c6 $5) 39. Ra1 b4 (39... Kg6 {
In the line} 40. Rg1+ {Black cannot grab the pawn with} Kxh6 $2 {Due to} ({
However} 40... Kf6 {should objectively lead to a draw. One line runs} 41. Rg7
b4 42. Nxc4 Rxc4 43. Bxc4 Rxc4 44. Rxh7 Rc2+ 45. Kg3 Rxb2 46. Rb7 Rb3+ 47. Kg2
Rc3 48. h7 Rc8 49. Rxb4 Rh8 50. Rb7) 41. Rg5 $1) 40. Ra6+ Ke7 41. Ra7+ Kf6 42.
Ke1 b3 {Ugh, this is not good.} ({Correct was} 42... c3 43. bxc3 bxc3 44. Kd1
Rd8+ 45. Kc1 Rd2 46. Bc4 Rh2 {with a very likely draw.}) 43. Rb7 Ke6 ({It is
too late for} 43... c3 44. bxc3 Rxc3 45. Nd5+) 44. Rb6+ $1 {A nasty little
check. Where is the king going?} ({The immediate} 44. Rb4 c3 {was possible at
once, see the line below.}) 44... Ke7 ({Safer (if you are a computer) was}
44... Kd7 45. Rb7+ Ke6 46. Rb4 {when} c3 47. bxc3 Rxc3 48. Kd2 R8c6 $1 {
might lead to a study-like draw after} 49. Bc4+ R6xc4 50. Nxc4 Rc2+ 51. Ke1 (
51. Ke3 Rc3+) 51... Rc1+ 52. Kf2 Rc2+ 53. Kg3 Rc3+ 54. Kh4 Rf3) 45. Rb4 R8c6 ({
Here} 45... c3 46. bxc3 Rxc3 (46... R8c6 47. Rxb3 Rxh6) 47. Nd5+ {is not as
appealing. The bishop is definitely stronger than the knight.}) 46. Bxc4 Rxh6
47. Rxb3 {White's progress is evident. But is it a win?} Kd8 48. Rb8+ {Carlsen
combines play against the black pawns with an attack against the black king.}
Kc7 49. Rf8 Rh3 50. Nd5+ Kb7 51. Rf7+ $1 {Another nasty check!} Kb8 {Running
into safety, but this is all illusion. The king is vulnerable on the back rank!
} ({Adams could have still held the draw with} 51... Kc6 $1 52. Rf6+ Kb7 53. b3
Ra5 54. Rxf5 $6 Ra2) 52. b3 Rh2 ({Alas,} 52... Ra5 {does not work here because
of} 53. Nb4 $1 {both limiting the rook and threatening checkmate.}) 53. Nb4 $1
{Carlsen put the black king in a mating net and this will bring him the
exchange as a payback.} Kc8 54. Na6 Rc6 55. Rf8+ Kb7 ({Or} 55... Kd7 56. Nb8+
Ke7 57. Rf7+) 56. Bd5 Kxa6 57. Bxc6 Kb6 58. Bd7 {A majestic game!} 1-0
[Event "London ENG"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2017.12.09"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, I."]
[Black "Anand, V."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A17"]
[WhiteElo "2729"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "2017.11.29"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. e3 a6 5. b3 Bd6 6. Bb2 O-O 7. g4 $5 $146 Nxg4
8. Rg1 f5 9. cxd5 e5 10. h3 Nf6 11. Ng5 Qe7 12. Qf3 Kh8 13. Ne6 Bxe6 14. dxe6
Qxe6 15. Qxb7 ({Nepo had planned} 15. Bc4 {but forgot about} Qd7 16. Qxb7 Nc6)
15... Nbd7 16. Bc4 Qe7 17. Qg2 Nb6 18. Be2 a5 19. Bb5 Rad8 ({Afterward Anand
preferred} 19... e4 {and 20...Be5.}) 20. Qg5 g6 21. Qh6 Ng8 22. Qg5 Nf6 23. Rd1
{"I had a chance to repeat, but I was thinking it would be cowardice and
decided to play on. Normally when you decline a repetition you lose but here
it paid off." - Nepomniachtchi} e4 24. Qh6 Rg8 25. Ne2 Be5 26. Bxe5 Qxe5 27.
Nf4 g5 ({Anand said he had "completely misjudged" this position.} 27... Qxb5
28. Nxg6+ Rxg6 29. Rxg6 Rg8 30. Rxg8+ Nxg8 31. Qe6) 28. Rxg5 Rxg5 29. Qxg5 Rg8
30. Qh6 Rg7 {"A bit sad but I realized I don't have a move here." (Anand)} 31.
Bc4 Nxc4 32. bxc4 Qb2 33. Ke2 a4 34. Ne6 Rf7 35. Nf4 Rg7 36. a3 $1 (36. Ne6 Rf7
37. Nd8 Rg7 38. Rg1 Ng4 $1 39. hxg4 Qc2 {Nepo}) 36... Ne8 ({Nepo said he
wanted to provoke} 36... c5 {due to the line} 37. Ne6 Rf7 38. Nd8 Rg7 39. Rg1
Ng4 {and now White has} (39... Rxg1 40. Qf8+ Rg8 41. Nf7#) 40. Qd6 $1) 37. Qc6
1-0
[Event "London ENG"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2017.12.09"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Vachier Lagrave, M."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B96"]
[WhiteElo "2760"]
[BlackElo "2789"]
[PlyCount "118"]
[EventDate "2017.11.29"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 h6 8. Bh4
Qb6 9. a3 Be7 10. Bf2 Qc7 11. Qf3 Nbd7 12. O-O-O b5 13. g4 Bb7 14. Bg2 (14. h4
Nc5 15. Bd3 h5 16. g5 Ng4 17. Rhg1 g6 18. Rxg4 hxg4 19. Qxg4 e5 20. Nf3 Rc8 {
Giri,A (2762)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2796) Palma de Mallorca 2017}) 14... g5 15. h4
gxf4 16. g5 Ne5 17. Qxf4 hxg5 $146 (17... Nfg4 18. g6 Rf8 19. Bg3 h5 20. gxf7+
Rxf7 21. Qd2 Nc4 22. Qe2 Rc8 23. Rd3 Bf6 {Yu,Y (2662)-Sethuraman,S (2553)
Kocaeli 2013}) 18. hxg5 Rxh1 19. Rxh1 Nfd7 20. Kb1 (20. Rh3 {prevents 0-0-0
but is not clear according to Karjakin after} Ng6 ({or} 20... Rc8)) 20... O-O-O
21. Rh3 ({Karjakin spent a lot of time calculating} 21. g6 Rg8 22. gxf7 Rxg2
23. Nxe6 {when} Qc4 $1 24. Rh8+ Nf8 25. Nxf8 Qf1+ 26. Nd1 (26. Ka2 Rxf2) 26...
Qxd1+ 27. Ka2 Qxc2 28. Ne6+ Kd7 29. f8=Q Qc4+ 30. Ka1 Qf1+ {is a draw.}) 21...
Kb8 22. Be3 Rg8 23. Rg3 Rg7 24. Bh3 Rh7 25. Qf2 Nc5 26. Bg2 Qc8 27. Bc1 $6 (27.
Bf4 Bd8 28. Nf3 {Karjakin}) 27... Bd8 $1 {Now Black is better.} 28. Nf3 Ng6 29.
Nd4 Ne5 30. Nf3 Ng6 31. Nd4 Bb6 32. Be3 Ne5 33. b3 Rh4 34. Nde2 Qc7 35. Bd4
Ncd7 36. Bxb6 Qxb6 37. Qxb6 Nxb6 38. Nd4 Ng6 39. Kc1 Nd7 40. Kd2 Nf4 41. Ke3
Nxg2+ 42. Rxg2 Rh3+ 43. Kd2 Ne5 44. Nde2 Nf3+ 45. Kc1 Nh4 46. Rg1 Ng6 47. Kd2
Kc7 48. Nd4 Kd7 49. Rf1 Ke7 50. Rg1 Ne5 51. Rg2 Ba8 52. Nde2 Nf3+ 53. Kc1 Rh1+
54. Kb2 Nh4 55. Rg4 Ng6 56. Nf4 Nxf4 57. Rxf4 Rg1 58. Rh4 Rxg5 59. Kc1 d5 (
59... d5) 0-1