Games
[Event "Tata Steel Masters"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.01.13"] [Round "1.6"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Matlakov, Maxim"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C77"] [WhiteElo "2767"] [BlackElo "2718"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "105"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 {Anand decided to avoid the main lines.} b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. c3 d6 8. Bg5 ({Caruana against So chose instead: } 8. Nbd2 O-O 9. Nf1 {but Black was perfectly fine after} d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Ng3 f6 12. O-O Be6 {Caruana,F (2799)-So,W (2788) London 2017}) 8... h6 { Questioning the bishop at once is Black's best reaction.} 9. Bh4 g5 10. Bg3 Ba7 $146 {The black bishop is standing on the road of the rooks thus the black one on a8 ambushes its opponent.} (10... Bb6 11. Nbd2 O-O 12. Qe2 Ne7 13. d4 Ng6 14. dxe5 Nh5 15. O-O-O Nhf4 16. Bxf4 Nxf4 17. Qf1 {as in Alekseev,E (2651) -Predke,A (2543) Kaliningrad 2015}) 11. Nbd2 ({One point behind Matlakov's idea is that a move like} 11. a4 {can be simply ignored.}) 11... Na5 12. Bc2 Nh5 {Active play.} 13. a4 {This typical idea is not effective here.} (13. b4 { first, and only after} Nc6 14. a4 {was more accurate.}) 13... b4 $1 {Matlakov seizes his chances and takes over the initiative.} 14. cxb4 Nc6 15. b5 Nb4 { The knight offers Black some extra tactical options.} 16. Nc4 (16. Bb1 { disconnects the white rook from the queen and the simple} axb5 {leads to Black's advantage, since} 17. axb5 $2 (17. Qb3 {is better, although Black looks good after} Bc5) 17... Bxf2+ {is not good for White.}) ({Perhaps the simple} 16. O-O {was best when the tactical line} axb5 17. axb5 Bxf2+ $2 18. Bxf2 Rxa1 19. Qxa1 Nxc2 20. Qa4 {self-traps the knight on c2.}) 16... Nxg3 { Going for a forcing continuation.} ({Also promising for Black seems} 16... g4 17. Nh4 axb5 18. Ne3 ({Worse is} 18. axb5 Bxf2+ 19. Kxf2 Rxa1 20. Qxa1 Nxc2) 18... Bxe3 19. fxe3 Nxg3 20. hxg3 Qg5 {and Black should be somewhat better.}) 17. hxg3 g4 18. Nh4 ({No time for a spoiler} 18. b6 gxf3 19. bxa7 fxg2 20. Rg1 Nc6 $1 {favours Black.}) 18... axb5 19. axb5 (19. Ne3 Bxe3 20. fxe3 {would have transposed to the line mentioned above.}) 19... Bxf2+ {The ambush worked!} 20. Kxf2 Rxa1 21. Qxa1 Nxc2 22. Qa4 Qf6+ {It is important to spoil White's co-ordination.} ({Instead the immediate} 22... Nd4 23. b6+ Kf8 24. Rf1 { would allow artificial castling as} Qf6+ $2 25. Ke1 {is bad for Black.}) 23. Kg1 ({Or else the king would be badly exposed.} 23. Ke2 Nd4+ 24. Ke1 O-O) 23... Nd4 24. b6+ {A critical moment.} Bd7 {This natural move throws Black's advantage away.} ({Correct was} 24... Kf8 $1 {Now White cannot grab the pawn} 25. bxc7 $4 {due to the spectacular mate} ({Therefore Anand should have continued as in the game with} 25. Qd1 cxb6 26. Kh2 Kg7 27. Rf1 {but now} Qd8 { is an important additional option for Black. True, Anand's knights will have a lot of fun visiting both outposts on d5 and f5, but Black is a pawn up.}) 25... Ne2+ 26. Kh2 Qxh4+ $1 27. gxh4 g3#) 25. Qd1 $1 ({Once again} 25. bxc7 {is mate after} Ne2+ 26. Kh2 Qxh4+ 27. gxh4 g3#) 25... cxb6 26. Kh2 O-O 27. Rf1 { Now the difference with the above-mentioned line becomes clear. The bishop on d7 stands on the road of the black queen.} Qg5 ({If} 27... Qe7 28. Qd2 Kh7 29. Qb4 {regains the pawn.}) 28. Nxd6 Be6 {Now Black has to be careful.} 29. Nhf5 Nxf5 {Drops a pawn.} ({Correct was} 29... Rd8 30. Nxd4 Rxd6 31. Nxe6 Rxe6 32. Rf5 Qg7 {White is somewhat better, but Black should be able to hold.}) 30. exf5 Bd5 31. Qe2 Qf6 $1 {Practically forced.} ({Since} 31... f6 32. d4 $1 exd4 33. Qb5 Ba2 34. Rf4 $1 {leaves the black pieces scattered around the board.}) 32. Qxg4+ {Eight moves later tables have turned, and it is White who has the extra pawn.} Kh7 33. Ne4 Bxe4 34. dxe4 Rd8 {Correctly activates the rook.} (34... Rg8 35. Qf3) 35. Rc1 Rd4 36. Rc7 Rb4 37. Qe2 Kg7 38. Rc8 Qg5 ({Black has to be careful not to let the white queen in.} 38... Rd4 $2 39. Qb5 {with the threat Qb5-e8 could be deadly.}) (38... Kh7) 39. Rc6 Rb3 ({Here and on the next few moves it made sense to insert} 39... h5 $1 {fixing the white pawns.}) 40. Rc3 Rb4 ({On a hindsight, the queen endgame} 40... Rxc3 $1 41. bxc3 Qd8 {sounds like a better after-game idea...}) 41. b3 Rd4 42. Rc6 Rb4 43. Qf3 Kh7 {Now Anand finds a way to consolidate his advantage.} 44. Rd6 $1 Kg7 45. Rd5 { The rook is perfect on d5. It attacks the black pawns and limits the opponent's rook.} ({Not} 45. f6+ Kg6 46. Rd8 Qh5+ 47. Qxh5+ Kxh5 48. Rg8 Rxe4 49. Kh3 Re3 {and Black is just in time.}) 45... Qf6 {Now that the queen the passive, the king can get better.} 46. Kg1 $1 {One idea is to support the white pawns from the f3 square. Another-to go all the way to c3 and trap the black rook.} Kh7 47. Qd3 Kg7 48. Kf2 Rd4 ({Or} 48... Kh7 49. Rd6 Qg7 50. Kf3 { intending g3-g4.} (50. Ke2 Qg4+)) 49. Rxd4 exd4 50. Qb5 Qd8 ({The last chance was} 50... Qd6 51. e5 Qc7) 51. Qd5 Qf6 (51... Qxd5 52. exd5 Kf6 53. d6) 52. g4 Kg8 53. Kf3 {Black resigned as he loses a second pawn.} (53. Kf3 h5 54. e5 hxg4+ 55. Kxg4 Qg7+ 56. Kf3) 1-0 [Event "Tata Steel Masters"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee"] [Date "2018.01.13"] [Round "1.7"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B29"] [WhiteElo "2792"] [BlackElo "2804"] [Annotator "DF"] [PlyCount "57"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 $5 {This is another exceedingly rare guest in elite practice.} 3. e5 Nd5 4. Nc3 e6 5. Nxd5 exd5 6. d4 Nc6 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. Bd3 { I'm not surprised Wesley So decided to avoid the absolute most critical continuation and try for a positional edge, but I'm not sure what Black's prep could have been.} (8. Qxd5 $1 {is critical, and I was once privileged to watch a sharp line being played at a neighbouring board.} d6 (8... Qb6 $6 9. Bc4 Bxf2+ 10. Ke2 O-O 11. Rf1 Bc5 12. Ng5 Nxe5 13. Nxf7 Nxf7 14. Rxf7 Qe6+ 15. Qxe6 dxe6 16. Rxf8+ Kxf8 17. Bf4 $14 {Tan,J-Bach,M Helsingor 2015 , among others.}) 9. exd6 Qb6 10. Be3 $5 (10. Qe4+ Be6 11. Qh4 Bxd6 12. Bd3 $14 {is safer}) 10... Qxb2 11. Bb5 $1 $14 {White retains an extra pawn against best play.}) 8... d6 9. exd6 Qxd6 10. O-O O-O 11. Re1 h6 12. h3 Bd7 13. Be3 {Presumably, Wesley So had in mind some idea of occupying the d4-square when he made his 8th move, but it is not possible to execute unless Black helpfully trades the bishops. With a move such as the one played Black keeps equality.} d4 (13... b6 $6 14. c3 Rfe8 15. Qd2 $14) 14. Bd2 Rfe8 15. a3 Qd5 {Thematically playing for ...Bf5.} 16. b4 Bd6 17. c4 dxc3 18. Rxe8+ Rxe8 19. Bxc3 Be6 20. Be4 Qxe4 21. Qxd6 Qc2 22. Qd2 {Instead of playing this move it is also possible to offer a draw immediately.} Qxd2 23. Nxd2 Rd8 24. Re1 Nd4 25. a4 Nc2 26. Rc1 Nd4 27. Re1 Nc2 28. Rc1 Nd4 29. Re1 1/2-1/2 [Event "Tata Steel Masters"] [Site "chess24.com"] [Date "2018.01.13"] [Round "1.4"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Adhiban, B."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B12"] [WhiteElo "2768"] [BlackElo "2655"] [Annotator "DF"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 Ne7 6. O-O h6 {Not the move I was intending to recommend in my forthcoming book (!) but nevertheless a main line. Perhaps it is worth a detailed look!} 7. Nbd2 Bh7 8. Nb3 Nd7 9. a4 (9. Bd2 { may possibly be a better challenge to Black's ...g5-centric setup (though obviously Svidler in his preparation thought differently.) Careless play by Black would be:} Nf5 10. Rc1 g5 11. h3 Be7 12. c4 $14 {and White obtains essentially what he wants.}) 9... g5 $5 {A very logical novelty (at least according to my database.)} (9... Nf5 10. a5 Be7 {was played previously, but as in the last note ...Be7 is met well by c4.} 11. c4 $14 {Azarov,S-Kunal,M Abu Dhabi 2016}) 10. a5 a6 (10... Nf5 11. c4 $1 g4 12. Nfd2 h5 13. a6 b6 14. cxd5 cxd5 15. Nb1 $14 {seems concerning, or at least easier to play for White, as Black's king lacks shelter on either the kingside or queenside, and its home in the centre will soon come under attack. Maybe best now is ...f6, but White should be better.}) 11. c3 (11. Bd2 Nf5 12. h3 {looks sensible, keeping open the option of g4 and also thinking vaguely about the strategically desirable Ne1-d3 or Qe1/Bb4 plans.}) 11... Nf5 {Now this may be equal as ... Black will be able to choose between ...c5 and ...f6.} 12. Bd3 (12. c4 $11 { may proceed like the note to Black's 10th but Black now has b5 covered in the event of the c-pawns being swapped.}) (12. g4 Ne7 13. Be3 {is advocated by the engine but after} f6 $1 $13 {I am skeptical.}) 12... g4 13. Ne1 h5 14. Nc2 c5 { As promised, but White now tries to prove a little something and basically gets it.} (14... f6 $5 15. f4 Qe7 $132 {may have avoided giving White such easy play.}) 15. Nxc5 Nxc5 $6 (15... Bxc5 $1 16. dxc5 Nxc5 17. Nb4 Rc8 $11 { may have been easier.}) 16. dxc5 Bxc5 17. Nd4 $1 (17. Bf4 Nh4 $1 $11 {is a good wrinkle for Black, exchanging the bishops and bringing his knight to a great square on g6.}) 17... Bxd4 (17... Nh4 {may once again have been a good idea. White always lacks f4 due to Black's advanced kingside pawns.} 18. Be3 Rc8 19. Bxh7 Rxh7 20. Qd2 Rg7 $132) 18. cxd4 Rc8 {Reaching a curious position where White must be better but his position may be a little harder to play.} 19. Ra3 $6 {A strategically well-informed move, thinking about doubling on the f-file in future, but this proves impossible to arrange.} (19. Bf4 {With the simple plan of Rc1, since Black's c8-rook currently does more work than the White a1-rook.} Nh4 {If Black plays ...Ne7 then all the minor pieces come off, which is in White's interest only.} 20. Bxh7 Rxh7 21. Rc1 $14) 19... Rc7 20. Bf4 Nh4 21. Qd2 (21. Bxh7 Rxh7 22. Qd2 {is the engine opinion, still trying to arrange a rook trade with Rc1.}) 21... Bxd3 22. Bg5 Qc8 23. Rxd3 Nf5 {Almost a perfect fortress. Black has equalised for the second time! Any lingering advantage the engine gives is purely down to preference for a bishop over a knight.} 24. Qb4 Kd7 25. Qa4+ Rc6 26. Rc1 Rg8 27. Bf6 Qc7 28. g3 Rc8 29. Rc5 Ke8 30. b4 Qd7 31. Qd1 Rxc5 32. bxc5 Qb5 33. h3 1/2-1/2 [Event "Tata Steel Masters"] [Site "chess24.com"] [Date "2018.01.13"] [Round "1.2"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Hou, Yifan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2752"] [BlackElo "2680"] [Annotator "DF"] [PlyCount "127"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 {To my mind, a fairly underestimated line, and the reason I don't often play the Petroff now.} (5. c4 {is an interesting attempt at playing move-orders, but I think Black is considered to be fine after} Nc6 $11) (5. d4 {is the main move.}) (5. Qe2 { was the first game, Carlsen-Caruana.}) 5... Nxc3 (5... Nf6 {would have been an interesting choice against Giri, considering he has championed the Black side. From what I understand, the point for White is to avoid the impulse to play too early against the c8-bishop, because that will simply encourage a fianchetto and Black will be fine.} 6. d4 Be7 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O Re8 9. Re1 $1 { The point of this is to force Black to commit his light-squared bishop one way or another. Even moves that do not obviously do this- such as ...d5- really do make a decision, because they make the fianchetto rather undesirable. White can play against either ...Bg4 or ...b6, but should do so in different ways and definitely should not commit to h3 just yet.} ({Following the immediate} 9. h3 b6 $1 {Black was soon fine in Vachier Lagrave,M-Giri,A Germany 2012.}) 9... Nbd7 10. Bf4 {White is slightly better, for instance} Nf8 11. h3 b6 12. Bb5 Bd7 13. a4 $14) 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 {The choice is between this move and Bf4. The current move allows Black lots of ...Ne5 possibilities, which I believe he should take.} (7. Bf4 {meanwhile does not gel so well with the rest of White's kingside attack.} O-O 8. Bd3 Nd7 9. Qd2 Nc5 $11 {for instance seems fine for Black.}) 7... Nc6 8. Bd3 Be6 {White should play one of the queen moves and then castle queenside, and I think given that White has played Be3, Black should castle queenside too. No surprise then that the present game continued in that way.} 9. Qe2 (9. Qd2 Qd7 {was similar enough and a game of mine: Jackson-Fernandez, Coventry 2013.}) 9... Bf6 10. O-O-O Qe7 (10... Qd7 {is more natural to me, not worrying about White's Ng5 ideas, but more concerned with cuing up ...Bf5 in future.}) 11. Kb1 a6 12. Rhe1 O-O-O 13. h3 Rhe8 (13... h5 { is trivially easy to recommend in hindsight, but it should have been reasonably obvious that White wanted kingside space.}) 14. g4 h6 15. Nd2 $1 $14 {Now White is probably a tiny bit better, but obviously an incredible amount of technique and further errors need to be played out over the board before White can think about winning.} Bg5 16. f4 Bh4 17. Bf2 Bxf2 18. Qxf2 Qf8 19. f5 {Opting to set Black more direct problems, but ceding the e5-square. While I am not sure this is the best continuation, it could be the most practical, especially against slightly lower-rated opposition.} (19. Nf1 {seems more natural to me, waving the idea of Ng3-h5 around.}) 19... Bd7 20. f6 g6 (20... Rxe1 21. Rxe1 g5 $11) 21. Be4 Kb8 22. Nc4 Re6 $6 {In practical terms, another slight mistake. We obtain a similar structure to Carlsen-Caruana, but with the minor pieces off the board Black faces more difficulties.} 23. Bxc6 $1 Rxe1 24. Rxe1 Bxc6 25. Na5 Re8 26. Nxc6+ bxc6 27. Qg3 {The engine evaluation of 0.00 is hopelessly unhelpful for looking at this position. What is important is that White is marginally more active and has a better structure and advanced f6-pawn. Giving variations is slightly pointless here, so I shall try and confine myself to comments only.} Qh8 28. Re7 Rxe7 29. fxe7 Qe8 30. Qe3 Kc8 31. h4 Kd7 32. Qxh6 Qxe7 33. b3 $14 {White will be able to fix the f7-pawn and of course a6 is still a weakness also. Doubtless this endgame will be discussed for a while to come, including fortress possibilities and better White tries, but the contours of what White must aim for are now clear.} Qe4 34. g5 Qe5 35. Qf8 Qd5 36. Kb2 c5 37. Qg8 Qf3 38. Qf8 Qd5 39. Qg7 Qf5 40. Qg8 Qf3 41. a4 Qf1 42. Qf8 Qf5 43. Qa8 Qf1 44. Qe4 {Again, in human terms White has acheived something else- the centralisation of his queen. Black must wait around until White shows what the next stage of his plan is- though presumably it must be b4.} Kd8 45. Qg4 {A mini-zugzwang.} d5 46. a5 $1 Qe1 47. h5 {This simplifies Black's task a little bit, but does not completely give equality.} (47. Qf4 Qe6 48. Qf2 Qe7 49. Qf1 Qe6 50. b4 $14 {is another try}) 47... gxh5 48. Qxh5 Qe6 49. Qh8+ Ke7 50. b4 cxb4 51. cxb4 Kd7 $11 52. Qd4 Kc8 53. Qf6 $5 {Even the pawn endgame retains certain practical difficulties and would be an ideal candidate for the next Naiditsch book.} Qxf6+ 54. gxf6 Kd7 55. Kb3 Kc6 $4 { My educated guess is that this move arose out of a desire to win a moral battle for tempi. Against 55.Kc3 Black had ...Kd6 in mind, and so it was natural to try and avoid that 'critical square' with the present move... Well, we may never know.} ({Black had to play} 55... Kd6 $1 {to draw, and the idea is of course ...c5.} 56. c4 (56. Ka4 c6 57. Kb3 c5 $11) 56... c5 $1 57. b5 d4 58. b6 Kc6 59. Kc2 $11 {Both kings are stuck.}) 56. c4 {Suddenly White is completely winning.} d4 (56... dxc4+ 57. Kxc4 Kd6 58. b5 axb5+ 59. Kxb5 Kd7 60. a6 Kc8 61. Kc6 Kb8 62. a7+ {is even more trivial}) 57. Kc2 Kd6 58. Kd2 $3 { Amazing tempo play, but stereotyped enough.The idea is that only after Black recaptures on c5 must White play Kd3! as that position is a mutual zugzwang.} ( 58. Kd3 c5 {is once again a draw.}) 58... c6 59. Ke2 {Avoiding the d3-square for the last time.} Kd7 (59... Ke5 60. b5 $18) (59... c5 60. bxc5+ Kc6 (60... Kxc5 61. Kd3) 61. Kd2 $1 Kxc5 62. Kd3 $18) 60. Kd3 Kc7 61. Kxd4 Kd6 62. Kd3 Kc7 63. Ke4 Kd6 64. Kd4 {Not an undeserved victory, but a slightly surprising one.} 1-0 [Event "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2018.01.15"] [Round "3.5"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2767"] [BlackElo "2811"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "83"] [EventDate "2018.01.13"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. c4 c6 9. Qc2 {"Funnily enough this is the first time someone plays this against him." (Anand)} ({Indeed, Caruana's latest game from London saw:} 9. Re1 Bf5 10. Qb3 Qd7 11. Nc3 Nxc3 12. Bxf5 Qxf5 13. Qxb7 Qd7 14. Qxd7 Nxd7 15. c5 Bxh2+ 16. Nxh2 Ne4 {Vachier Lagrave,M (2789)-Caruana,F (2799) London 2017}) 9... Na6 10. a3 Bg4 11. Ne5 Bf5 12. b4 ({Avoiding the rather uninspiring:} 12. Nc3 Bxe5 13. dxe5 Nac5 14. cxd5 cxd5 {1/2-1/2 (14) Piorun,K (2631)-Wei,Y (2728) Khanty-Mansiysk 2017}) 12... Nc7 $146 {As usual Caruana is very well prepared in the opening. He comes up with an interesting novelty.} ({In the predecessor White did not achieve much after} 12... f6 13. Nf3 Bg6 14. Nc3 Nxc3 15. Bxg6 hxg6 16. Qxc3 dxc4 17. Qxc4+ Rf7 {Leko,P (2740) -Ivanchuk,V (2729) Monte Carlo 2006}) 13. f3 (13. cxd5 {allows an additional resource for Black:} cxd5 14. f3 Rc8 $1 {with the main point being} 15. fxe4 dxe4 16. Rxf5 Ne6 17. Qd1 Nxd4 18. Bxe4 $2 Rxc1 $1) 13... Bg6 $1 {"He came up with this idea which I idea missed or did not prepare." (Anand)} ({Apprently, the former world champion spent most of his preparation on the line} 13... Bxe5 14. dxe5 Bg6 {where he cannot win the knight with} 15. fxe4 $2 ({But instead White has a couple of promising options:} 15. Rd1 $5) ({or} 15. Be3 $5) 15... dxe4 16. Be2 Qd4+) 14. c5 { After long thought White rejects the offer.} ({In the line:} 14. Nxg6 fxg6 $1 15. fxe4 ({Even worse is} 15. c5 Bxh2+ 16. Kxh2 Qh4+ 17. Kg1 Ng3 18. Bb2 { when Black has a guaranteed draw with} Qh1+ ({Or may chose the even stronger} 18... Ne6 $1 {followed by Ne6-f4. (Anand)}) 19. Kf2 Qh4) 15... Qh4 {(Anand)} ({ Objectively} 15... dxe4 $1 {is stronger with the key idea} 16. Bxe4 ({Better is } 16. Rxf8+ Bxf8 17. Bxe4 Qxd4+ {with perpetual.} 18. Kf1 Qf6+ ({But Black may also chose to play on with} 18... Qxa1 19. Bb2 Qa2 20. Bd3 Bxb4 21. axb4 Rd8) 19. Kg1 Qd4+ {with perpetual.}) 16... Bxh2+ 17. Kxh2 Rxf1 {and Black wins.}) 16. g3 Bxg3 17. hxg3 (17. Qg2 $1 {might have been missed by Anand.}) 17... Qxg3+ 18. Kh1 {The Indian GM explained that here Black will always find perpetual, but one wrong move for White, or rather one missed move might lead to a loss for him. Indeed, Black seems to have decisive attack after} Qh3+ 19. Kg1 Ne6 $1) 14... Bxe5 15. dxe5 Ng5 16. Bb2 $1 {An important move. There is a problem with the knight on g5 and White wants to capitalize on it. Now the advance of the f-pawn is on the agenda. Caruana needs to react fast.} ({After} 16. Nd2 Bxd3 17. Qxd3 f5 $1 {Black manages to seal the kingside and arrange an excellent oupost for his knight on e6.}) 16... d4 $5 {This is how to solve the problem- no knight, no problem as some will say...} ({Here} 16... Bxd3 17. Qxd3 f5 {would be met with the simple} ({Anand expected instead} 17... b6 18. cxb6 axb6 19. Nd2 Nge6 20. f4 {and now} g6 21. f5 gxf5 22. Rxf5 Qh4 {although this definitely looks very risky for Black.} (22... Kg7)) 18. exf6 {spoiling Black's pawn structure.}) 17. f4 Nd5 18. fxg5 Ne3 19. Qd2 Bxd3 20. Qxd3 ({ White also checked the consequeces of the sharp} 20. Rf4 Bxb1 ({But later came to the conclusion he did well not to enter them because of} 20... Qxg5 $1 21. Rxd4 Rad8 22. Rd6 Be4 (22... Qf5 $1 {is even stronger with advantage for Black. })) 21. Rxd4 Nd5 22. Rxb1 {"It's not much of a pawn, but it is a pawn" (Anand)} ) 20... Nxf1 21. Kxf1 Qxg5 22. Nd2 Qxe5 {The forced play is over. Caruana will have a rook and a pawn versus two light pieces which is favorable for White in this particular position.} 23. Nf3 ({Later on Anand regretted that he did not go for the line that he originally intended:} 23. Nc4 $1 Qxh2 24. Qxd4 f6 ({Or } 24... Qh6 25. Nd6) 25. Nd6 {The knight on d6 is a monster which paralizes both the black rooks.}) 23... Qh5 24. Qxd4 f6 25. Qc4+ Kh8 $1 ({White was hoping for} 25... Qf7 26. Qxf7+ Rxf7 27. Nd2 {followed by Nd2-c4-d6 (Anand)}) 26. Bc1 $1 {The bishop was blunted on the long diagonal. Now it gets back in business. The d6 square is tempting for either of the white light pieces.} Rfe8 27. Bf4 a5 {Somewhere around here Caruana lost the path.} ({Correct and obvious was:} 27... Qf5 28. Bd6 Re3 {to double the rooks on the open file. After} 29. Kg1 Rae8 30. Rf1 Qg6 {Black should be OK.(Anand)}) 28. Bd6 ({ White considered} 28. bxa5 {as well, which seems less promising after} Rxa5 29. Bd6 Rb5) 28... axb4 $2 {"This is just astonishing! Now I am getting big advantage." (Anand)} (28... Qg6 $5) 29. Qxb4 Qd5 30. Qxb7 h6 ({Anand speculated that his opponent might have missed that in the forcing line} 30... Rxa3 31. Rxa3 Qd1+ 32. Kf2 Qc2+ 33. Kg3 Qg6+ {There is no perpetual because of} 34. Kh3 Qh5+ 35. Nh4 g5 36. Qb4 {and White wins.}) 31. Kg1 Ra4 32. h3 {Getting air for the king. One important observation by the former world champion was that with the bishop on d6 he is not even afraid of the sacrifices on f3 as there will be no perpetual thanks to that piece.} Rc4 (32... Re2 {does not work due to} 33. Bf8 $1) 33. Qb2 Qd3 34. Ra2 $1 {"I realized that the second rank is more dangerous than the first one." (Anand)} ({Although he also saw a win after} 34. Qd2 Qxd2 35. Nxd2 Rc2 36. Nf3 Ree2 37. Ne1 Ra2 38. Rxa2 Rxa2 39. Nd3 {followed by Nd3-b4xc6.}) 34... Qd1+ 35. Kh2 Rc1 36. a4 f5 37. Qb7 { Caruana's time trouble did not help neither, but his position is lost anyway.} f4 38. Bxf4 Rxc5 39. Rd2 (39. Qf7 Rg8 40. Qg6 {would have won as well.}) 39... Qxa4 40. Qf7 Rg8 41. Be5 Qc4 {Caruana did not wish to see the mate on the board.} 42. Rd6 $1 (42. Rd6 Qxf7 43. Rxh6#) (42. Bxg7+ $2 {does not work due to } Rxg7 43. Rd8+ Kh7 44. Ng5+ $4 (44. Qe8 Rg8 {is a draw.}) 44... Rcxg5 45. Qxc4 Rxg2+ 46. Kh1 Rg1+ 47. Kh2 R7g2#) (42. Qe7 {also complicates matters after} Rd5 ) 1-0 [Event "80th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2018.01.24"] [Round "10.1"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D02"] [WhiteElo "2834"] [BlackElo "2792"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "149"] [EventDate "2018.01.13"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. Bf4 Bf5 4. e3 e6 5. c4 Bxb1 {A lot of authors award this move with an exclamation mark and state that the resulting positions are equal. What will follow next did not come as a shocking surprise for either of the players.} 6. Qxb1 ({The other main options are:} 6. Rxb1 Bb4+ 7. Ke2 ({ In my Megabase there are even 11 games featuring:} 7. Nd2 $4 Ne4)) ({And} 6. Qa4+ {which worked spectacularly well for Kamsky after} b5 $2 7. cxb5 Be4 8. b6+ Nbd7 9. bxc7 Qe7 10. a3 {and White was already winning, Kamsky,G (2702) -Bortnyk,O (2348) ICC INT 2010}) 6... Bb4+ 7. Kd1 Bd6 {Another exclamation mark according to the French GM Prie.} 8. Bg5 h6 9. Bxf6 {Carlsen deviates of an earlier game of these two.} ({Some of our readers have probably followed this game live on the chess.com server:} 9. Bh4 g5 10. Bg3 Ne4 11. Qc2 g4 { with a fightful draw later, Carlsen,M (2832)-So,W (2815) chess.com INT 2017. Most likely both players analyzes extensively the arising positions.}) 9... Qxf6 10. cxd5 $146 {Carlsen improves on a game played by...So!} ({Obviously, the world champion did not quite like the position arising after:} 10. c5 Bf8 11. Qc2 c6 12. b4 a6 13. Bd3 Nd7 14. Ke2 g5 15. h3 Bg7 16. a4 Qe7 17. Rad1 O-O 18. g4 e5 {So,W (2822)-Wojtaszek,R (2745) Shamkir 2017}) 10... exd5 11. e4 { The point behind White's play. In the Carlsbad pawn structure White does not even have a hint of an advantage.} Be7 ({Finally, a positive aspect behind the king's position on d1. In the line} 11... dxe4 $2 12. Qxe4+ {The move} Qe7 { does not pin a white king on e1 and White can grab the pawn} 13. Qxb7) 12. Bb5+ {An important intermediate move.} ({The immediate} 12. e5 {allos the queen to get on a better position with} Qb6) 12... c6 13. e5 Qf4 (13... Qe6 {deserves attention as well with the same idea} 14. Bd3 c5) 14. Bd3 {Intending Kd1-e2 followed by g2-g3. Black cannot allow this.} c5 $1 15. dxc5 ({On} 15. Ke2 Nc6 $1 {is strong.}) 15... Nc6 {It seems as Black easily hold the equality, and might even think of something more.} 16. Qc1 Qb4 ({On} 16... Qg4 {White was likely planning} 17. h3 Qxg2 $2 18. Ke2) 17. a3 Qxc5 18. Ke2 {Carlsen still wants to get squeeze something out of the position.} (18. Qxc5 Bxc5 19. Ke2 Bb6 {is equal instead.}) 18... Nd4+ ({Perhaps better was} 18... Qb6 $5 {keeping the knights on the board.}) 19. Nxd4 Qxd4 20. f4 O-O ({After the obvious} 20... Bc5 {So probably disliked the fact the the white king gets too slippery:} 21. Qd2 (21. Rf1 O-O {is good for Black.}) 21... O-O ({Or} 21... Qf2+ 22. Kd1 Qd4 23. Kc2 Rc8 24. Kb3) 22. Kf3 f6 23. e6 {which leads to a better version of the game for White.}) 21. Qd2 Qb6 22. Rhe1 (22. Kf3 $5 f6 23. e6 {might transpose}) 22... f6 $1 {Once again Black wants to open the game and get access to the white king.} 23. e6 $1 {And once more Carlsen rejects the offer.} ({After} 23. exf6 Bxf6 24. Rab1 {Black would seize the initiative with} g5 ({Or the preliminary} 24... Rae8+ 25. Kf1 g5)) 23... Qxe6+ 24. Kf3 {For the pawn Carlsen got open files and diagonals for his pieces. He does not risk much with the opposite-colored bishops on the board. In fact So needs to be careful about White's initiative.} Qd7 {Now White's initiative becomes frightening.} ({ Safer was:} 24... Qf7 25. Qe3 ({Or} 25. Bf5 Kh8) 25... Bd6) 25. Rad1 Rad8 26. Qe3 Bd6 27. Bg6 f5 {If 24...Qd7 looked inaccurate, this seems wrong. Black practically loses a pawn.} ({The endgame after} 27... Qc6 28. Qe6+ Kh8 29. Qxd5 Qxd5+ ({However} 29... Qc7 $1 {would have kept the game even as both kings remain exposed.}) 30. Rxd5 {is difficult for Black. He plays without a king.}) 28. Qe6+ Qxe6 29. Rxe6 Bc5 ({The lesser evil in comparison to} 29... Bc7 30. h4 {followed by h4-h5 when Black is paralyzed.} (30. Re7 $5)) 30. Re5 Rf6 31. Bxf5 Bd6 ({Maybe a better chance was} 31... Kf7 $5 32. Rexd5 Rxd5 33. Rxd5 Be7 { intending Rf6-d6.}) 32. Rdxd5 ({Not} 32. Rexd5 g6) 32... Kf7 ({So correctly avoids the rook endgame after} 32... Bxe5 33. Rxd8+ Kf7 34. Rd7+ Ke8 35. fxe5 ( {Worse is} 35. g4 Bxb2 36. Rxb7 Rb6 $1) 35... Rxf5+ 36. Ke4 Rg5 37. Rxb7 Rxg2 38. b4 {when White should be winning.}) 33. Re4 g6 34. Bg4 $1 {One of those little moves that make the big difference. Carlsen lures the pawn to h5 to stop the g6-g5 threat.} h5 35. Bh3 Re8 36. Red4 {The world champion wants to keep both the rooks on board. But I wonder of he just did not miss Black's next.} (36. Rxe8 Kxe8 37. g3 {gives Black serious hopes to draw.}) 36... Be5 $1 {A strong defensive resource. So makes it to the g6-g5 push.} 37. Rb4 ({Or} 37. Rc4 g5) 37... g5 38. g3 b6 $1 ({Weaker was} 38... g4+ 39. Bxg4 hxg4+ 40. Kxg4 Rg6+ 41. Kf3 Bd6 42. Rxb7+ Re7 {with four pawns for the piece White should be winning.}) 39. Rd7+ (39. Bd7 Re7 40. Bb5 Bd6) 39... Kf8 40. Rh7 $1 {The only chance to play for a win. One way to fight the drawing tendences in the opposite-colored bishop endgame is to sacrifice the bishop!} ({Black should hold after} 40. Rxa7 Bd6 41. Rc4 b5 42. Rc2 (42. Rd4 $2 Bc5) 42... gxf4) 40... g4+ 41. Bxg4 hxg4+ 42. Kxg4 Bd6 43. Rc4 a5 {One wrong move and So's fantastic defense fails.} ({Strong was} 43... Rg6+ $1 {with the idea} 44. Kf3 ({Or} 44. Kf5 Rg7 45. Rh8+ Kf7 46. Rxe8 Kxe8) 44... Bc5 $1 45. Rxa7 Re3+ 46. Kg2 Re2+ { when Black should have enough counter-play.}) 44. Rc6 {Now Carlsen wins fourth pawn for the piece.} Kg8 45. Rb7 Be5 46. Rcxb6 Rxb6 47. Rxb6 Bd4 48. Rb5 { It is funny that the computers evaluate the position as approximately equal. The human understands though that any of the pawns can become a queen and that they cannot be stopped from moving.} Re2 49. b3 ({Stronger than} 49. h4 Rxb2 50. Rxa5 Rb3 51. Kh5 {when} Rf3 $1 {complicates matters.} ({Rather than} 51... Rxg3 52. Rg5+ Rxg5+ 53. hxg5 {which wins for White.})) 49... Rxh2 ({More resilient is} 49... a4 50. Rb4 Bg1 51. Rxa4 Bxh2) 50. Rxa5 Re2 51. Rd5 Bb2 52. a4 {The pawns got into motion.} Bc3 53. Kf5 Re8 54. g4 Rf8+ 55. Ke4 Rb8 56. Rb5 {Any time the rooks are traded it is game over.} Re8+ (56... Rxb5 $2 57. axb5) 57. Kd3 Be1 58. a5 {The rest is fine technical work by the world champion.} Bf2 59. b4 Re3+ 60. Kc4 Re4+ 61. Kb3 Kf7 (61... Rxf4 62. Rf5 $1) 62. Re5 Rd4 63. b5 Rd3+ 64. Kc2 Rg3 65. g5 Bd4 66. Rd5 Be3 67. Rd3 Rg2+ 68. Kb3 Bc1 ({Or} 68... Bxf4 69. Rf3 Rg4 70. a6 Kg6 71. Rxf4 Rxf4 72. a7) 69. b6 Ke6 70. Rd4 Rb2+ 71. Ka4 Kf5 72. Rb4 Ra2+ 73. Kb5 Bxf4 {Now it all ends with a small a la Capablanca combination.} 74. Rxf4+ $1 Kxf4 75. b7 1-0 [Event "80th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2018.01.24"] [Round "10.4"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Matlakov, Maxim"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2787"] [BlackElo "2718"] [PlyCount "77"] [EventDate "2018.01.13"] {[Annotations by FM Mike Klein]} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bh4 Be7 8. Nbd2 d6 9. Bb3 (9. a4 Nh5 10. g3 Nf6 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. h4 h5 13. Nh2 g6 14. g4 hxg4 15. Nxg4 Bxh4 16. Qf3 Kg7 {Sethuraman,S (2646) -Inarkiev,E (2689) Riadh 2017}) 9... Nh5 10. Bxe7 Qxe7 11. Nc4 Qf6 {Anatoly Karpov won with this move in recent years over IM Sophie Milliet of France on her home soil (Cap D'Agde 2012).} 12. Ne3 Nf4 13. Bc2 (13. O-O {was the Frenchwoman's choice, but in order to fend off the kingside attack she made some pawn concessions and lost in the ending. It seems a little dangerous to castle directly into the looming knight on f4, so Kramnik goes the other way with his king.}) 13... Ne7 14. g3 Nh3 15. Qe2 {Now the knight is just kind of sitting there with no target.} c5 $146 {Now that it is clear that White's king will end up on the queenside, the top three suggestions by the machine are: ... b5, ...c5, and ...a5!} (15... Be6 16. d4 Ng5 17. Nxg5 hxg5 18. O-O-O Ng6 19. h4 gxh4 20. Qh5 Rfe8 21. Nf5 Kf8 22. f4 exf4 23. e5 dxe5 24. dxe5 Qxe5 25. Rde1 Qf6 {Rizouk,A (2511)-Vocaturo,D (2574) Barcelona 2016}) 16. O-O-O Be6 17. d4 cxd4 (17... Bxa2 18. dxe5 dxe5 19. Rd7 {and Black's attack is not really progressing as White controls the open file and the Nh3 is still stranded.}) 18. cxd4 Rac8 19. Kb1 Rc7 (19... Rxc2 $1 {is the diabolical suggestion of the machine.} 20. Kxc2 (20. Nxc2 {and now play switches to the kingside!} Bg4 21. Rd3 Nc6 {and both Black knights will pile up on f3!}) (20. Qxc2 Qxf3) 20... Qg6 $3 (20... Bxa2 21. b3 d5 $1 {may also be playable but needs a few hours to work out!}) 21. Ng2 (21. Nd2 exd4) 21... Bxa2 22. b3 f5) 20. Rd2 Rfc8 (20... Rxc2 {Even with the complete loss of tempo, it is still playable, although with slightly less venom. Play would be somewhat similar to the previous note.} ) 21. dxe5 dxe5 22. Rhd1 g6 23. Rd6 Rc6 24. Bb3 Rf8 $2 (24... Rxd6) 25. R1d3 $2 (25. Bxe6 Rxd6 (25... fxe6 26. Rd8 {and White is better}) 26. Bxh3 {gives White a winning advantage.}) 25... Rfc8 26. Rd1 Rf8 {Second chance!} 27. a3 { Nope!} h5 28. Bxe6 {Finally! Although there is no white knight hopping to g4 now.} fxe6 29. Rd7 Nc8 30. Nc4 Nxf2 31. Ncxe5 $1 {Now Black is in a bad positional bind.} Nxd1 32. Qxd1 Rc5 33. Qd4 Nb6 34. Rxb7 Rb5 35. Rxa7 Rd8 36. Qc3 Rc8 37. Rc7 Rd8 38. Qc6 Rb3 39. Rf7 {Black resigned since 39...Qh8 40. Qxe6 is horrid. Such a complicated struggle that could comprise its own DVD!} 1-0 [Event "80th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2018.01.26"] [Round "11.4"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Hou, Yifan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D35"] [WhiteElo "2767"] [BlackElo "2680"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2018.01.13"] 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. cxd5 Nxd5 {The improved Tarrasch was not really a surprise for the five-time world champion.} 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 c5 7. Rb1 {A fashionable choice. It stops the standard trade of the dark-squared bishops via the b4 square. "I would not say that it can revitalize the line, but at least it is playable." (Anand)} Be7 8. Nf3 O-O 9. Bc4 Nc6 ({Another plan is} 9... Qc7 10. Qe2 a6 11. O-O b5 12. Bd3 Bb7 13. a4 bxa4 14. Bf4 { and White was already much better in Carlsen,M (2832) -So,W (2815) chess.com INT 2017}) 10. O-O b6 11. Be3 Bb7 12. Qe2 cxd4 13. cxd4 Rc8 14. Rfd1 Qc7 15. d5 {"Still prep. We thought this is pleasant for White."(Anand) The central break is probably Black's main problem in this whole opening.} ({Part of the prep was the line arising after} 15. Rbc1 Qb8 16. d5 exd5 17. Bxd5 Nb4) 15... Ne5 { "I somehow could not remember what to do after this." (Anand)} 16. Bb5 ({ "The problem with} 16. Nxe5 Qxe5 17. dxe6 {is} Qxe4 18. exf7+ Kh8 19. f3 Qxc4 20. Qxc4 Rxc4 21. Rd7 Bc5 22. Bxc5 Rxc5 23. Rxb7 {is} Ra5 24. Rb2 ({White can also try to double on the seventh rank with} 24. Re1 g6 25. Ree7 {but this should also lead to a draw after} Rxa2 26. Rxa7 Rxa7 27. Rxa7 Kg7 28. Rb7 Rxf7 29. Rxb6) 24... g6 {"followed by Kh8-g7xf7 with equality" (Anand)}) 16... exd5 ({Perhaps better was not to hurry with the trade and go} 16... Nxf3+ $5 17. Qxf3 Bd6 {at once.}) 17. exd5 Nxf3+ 18. Qxf3 Bc5 $146 {Up to here all of this was seen in a correspondence game.} (18... Qd6 19. Bf4 Qg6 20. Bd3 f5 21. Qg3 Qxg3 22. hxg3 Bxd5 23. Ba6 Bxa2 24. Bxc8 Rxc8 25. Ra1 {and White eventually won, Grego, L (2217)-Andersen,J (2258) corr. 2011}) ({On} 18... Bd6 {Anand was planning} 19. h4 {followed by h4-h5. The idea is to force h7-h7 "which is a concession" and then "harass" the black king with a battery along the b1-h7 diagonal.}) ({White is better also after} 18... a6 19. Rbc1 ({The preliminary} 19. Bf4 Bd6 20. Rbc1 Qb8 21. Bxd6 Qxd6 22. Bc6 {might be even stronger.}) 19... Bc5 20. Bxc5 bxc5 21. Bc4 {(Anand)}) 19. Rbc1 Qe7 {"A clever idea!" (Anand)} ({ Hou avoids} 19... Rfd8 20. Bg5 {(Anand)}) 20. Bf4 ({"It is a pity that} 20. Bxc5 Rxc5 21. d6 {does not work, due to} Bxf3 ({Not} 21... Qg5 22. Rxc5 Bxf3 23. Rxg5 Bxd1 24. Re5 {followed by d6-d7 and Re5-e8 and wins.}) 22. dxe7 Bxd1 23. Rxd1 Rxb5 24. f4 $1 f6 25. Rd8 Re8 $1 26. Rxe8+ Kf7 27. Rg8 Kxe7 28. Rxg7+ Ke6 29. Rxa7 Kf5 {and White has no winning chances." (Anand)} ({Or} 29... h5)) 20... Bd6 21. Bc6 {The Indian GM was not sure that he had exactly this position in the prep, but he remembered that the d-pawn was somehow landing on c6. Thus he was confident.} Bxf4 ({The other defensive set up is} 21... Rc7 22. Qg3 Bxf4 23. Qxf4 Qd8 24. Bxb7 Rxb7 25. d6 {although White is clearly better here.}) ({And letting the pawn come to c7 with a bishop protecting does not seem like a great idea either:} 21... Bxc6 22. dxc6 Bc5 23. c7) 22. Qxf4 Bxc6 23. dxc6 Qc7 ({The former world champion also mentioned the other defensive set-up:} 23... Rfd8 24. Rxd8+ Qxd8 25. c7 Qd7 26. h4 {when Black can sit and wait, or go for the active queenside pawn-push with} h6 27. g3 b5 28. Rc5 a5 29. Kh2 Kh7 30. h5 {Anand was not sure of Black can survive this at all, but he was sure that even if this is possible none will ever repeat this again... On a hindsight, this was Hou's best chance.}) 24. Rd6 $1 {Saving an active rook on the d-file is essential for White's winning strategy.} Rcd8 25. Rcd1 h6 ({Or} 25... Rxd6 26. Rxd6 Rd8 27. Rxd8+ Qxd8 28. h4) 26. g3 {To defend the queen and open air for the king.} (26. h4 $5) 26... Rxd6 27. Rxd6 Rc8 ({ Similar would be} 27... Re8 28. Qd4) 28. Qe5 {Now White uses the method of the two weaknesses to secure the win. Weakness number one for the opponent is the strong passer that he has on c6. It keeps the black pieces busy and allows White a chance to use weakness number two: the black king.} (28. Qf5 {"was winning as well" (Anand)}) 28... b5 {Loses by force, but it is impossible to offer good advise to Black.} ({There is no escape in the rook endgame after} 28... Kf8 29. Qd5 Qe7 30. Rd7 Qe6 31. Qxe6 fxe6 32. c7 {(Anand)}) ({nor in the queen edngame after} 28... Rd8 29. Rxd8+ Qxd8 30. c7 Qd1+ 31. Kg2 Qd7 32. Qc3 Qc8 33. Qc6) 29. Qd5 Kh7 30. Qe4+ Kg8 ({Or mating attack after} 30... g6 31. Rd7 Qxc6 32. Rxf7+ Kg8 33. Qe7) 31. Rd7 Qa5 (31... Qxc6 32. Rd8+ $1) 32. c7 Rf8 33. Qe7 1-0 [Event "Wijk aan Zee"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee"] [Date "2018.01.26"] [Round "11"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E34"] [WhiteElo "2804"] [BlackElo "2834"] [Annotator "DF"] [PlyCount "75"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. cxd5 (5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 {is another big main line, e.g.} O-O 7. Nf3 dxc4 8. Qxc4 b6 9. Bg5 $11 {, which was the path followed by Ivanchuk,V-Harikrishna,P Huaian 2017}) 5... Qxd5 6. e3 (6. Nf3 Qf5 $1 $11 {has now become famous, and after some wrangling it has become clear that only Black can actually have a positional edge in the endgame, despite his doubled f-pawns!}) 6... c5 7. Bd2 Bxc3 8. Bxc3 cxd4 9. Bxd4 Nc6 10. Bc3 (10. Bxf6 gxf6 11. Ne2 {is the initial computer recommendation, but this really isn't that good after say} Bd7 12. a3 Qa5+ 13. Nc3 Ne7 $11 {Dreev,A -Fedoseev,V Moscow 2014}) 10... O-O 11. Nf3 Rd8 {Else Rd1 is slightly annoying.} 12. Be2 (12. Rd1 Qxd1+ 13. Qxd1 Rxd1+ 14. Kxd1 Ne4 15. Be1 e5 $11 {is another equal position, where White's bishop pair isn't yet active enough to give him any advantage.}) 12... Qe4 13. Rc1 Qxc2 14. Rxc2 Nd5 (14... Bd7 15. Nd4 Ne7 $11 {could be worth considering for the future; White's bishop pair is a lot less scary when there is an extra pair of knights on the board.}) 15. Ne5 Bd7 {This is the novelty!} (15... Nxe5 16. Bxe5 b6 17. a3 f6 18. Bg3 Bb7 19. O-O Rac8 20. Rfc1 e5 21. Rxc8 Rxc8 22. Rxc8+ Bxc8 23. Kf1 { somehow led to one of the world's best defensive players being ground down in Grachev,B-Karjakin,S Antalya 2017; the problem is that White can keep trying things and never runs any risk at all.}) 16. Nxc6 Bxc6 17. Bd2 Ne7 18. f3 Rac8 19. e4 (19. Ba5 $5 b6 20. Bb4 Nd5 21. Bd2 $14 {prevents Black from playing ... a6 and ...Bb5}) 19... f6 20. Be3 a6 21. Kf2 (21. Bc4 $5 Kf7 22. Bb3 Bb5 23. Kf2 {and we can still talk about a White edge based on the bishop pair}) 21... Bb5 $1 {Black has equalised again.} 22. Rhc1 Rxc2 23. Rxc2 Bxe2 24. Kxe2 Nc6 $11 { There is nothing really left to play for. Black can choose between an ...e5 based plan, and a rook-exchange based plan.} 25. b4 Rc8 26. Rc5 b5 27. f4 Kf7 28. a3 Ne7 29. Rxc8 Nxc8 30. Bc5 Ne7 31. Bxe7 Kxe7 32. Kf3 Kd6 33. Ke3 e5 34. f5 Ke7 35. g4 Kf7 36. h4 Kg8 37. Kf3 h6 38. h5 1/2-1/2 [Event "Tata Steel Masters"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee"] [Date "2018.01.26"] [Round "11"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A14"] [WhiteElo "2753"] [BlackElo "2787"] [Annotator "DF"] [PlyCount "117"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. c4 e6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 Nf6 4. Nf3 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 {This opening is one of the hardest for me to understand. Whichever side of it I play, I always end up slightly worse...} c5 (6... d4 {The last comment is even more true when applied to this variation. I will provide two practical examples, not from the highest level but nevertheless capable of showing my point.} 7. e3 (7. Bb2 c5 8. e3 Nc6 9. exd4 cxd4 10. Re1 Re8 11. Ne5 Nxe5 12. Rxe5 Nd7 13. Re1 e5 14. d3 $132 {was my own practical experience with this system as Black: Oates, D-Fernandez,D High Wycombe 2014. Here White's play seems quite easy, because Black's only constructive plan might be ...a5-a4 but then of course White can play with Na3.}) 7... c5 8. exd4 cxd4 9. d3 Nc6 10. Re1 Ne8 11. Ne5 Nxe5 12. Rxe5 f6 13. Re1 e5 14. Ba3 (14. f4 $5) 14... Nd6 15. Nd2 Rb8 16. Ne4 Nf7 $1 { White-a good friend of mine- had unfortunately slightly lost touch with the idea of the line in a game with a fellow Fernandez: Horton,A -Fernandez,F Sitges 2016.}) 7. cxd5 ({Following the equally natural} 7. Bb2 Nc6 8. e3 b6 9. Nc3 dxc4 10. bxc4 Bb7 11. Qe2 Qc7 12. Rac1 Rfd8 13. Rfd1 Na5 14. Ne1 Bxg2 15. Nxg2 Qb7 {Black was already marginally for choice due to his pressure on the half-open d-file in Caruana,F-Aronian,L Saint Louis 2017}) 7... Nxd5 8. Nc3 Nc6 (8... Bf6 9. Bb2 b6 $11 {is probably the most mathematically precise}) 9. Bb2 Nxc3 10. dxc3 Qc7 11. Qc2 b6 12. Bc1 Bb7 13. Bf4 Qc8 14. Rad1 Rd8 (14... f6 $1 {was thematic and equalised with a bit less effort. Presumably Black was afraid of} 15. Bh3 $1 {but he can re-route and use the long diagonal himself:} Nd8 $1 {With ...Qc6, possibly ...Nf7, and an eventual ...e5 to come.}) 15. h4 h6 16. Rxd8+ Nxd8 17. Rd1 {Now White has a small something because of the d-file.} f5 18. Qd2 Nf7 19. Qd7 Bf6 20. Ne5 $1 $14 Nxe5 (20... Bxe5 $5 { leads to a nice tactical variation.} 21. Bxb7 Qxd7 22. Rxd7 Rd8 23. Rxf7 $1 ( 23. Rxd8+ Nxd8 24. Bxe5 Nxb7 25. Bb8 a6 $11 {should eventually get neutralised as in Mamedyarov-Carlsen, though here the knight is even worse.}) 23... Bxf4 24. Re7 Be5 25. c4 $14) 21. Bxe5 Bxe5 22. Bxb7 Qxd7 23. Rxd7 Re8 24. Bc6 { Tactically defending the c3-pawn.} a5 (24... Rf8 $1 {is the very surprising best move.} 25. Rxa7 (25. c4 Rc8 {works as in the next line, since f4 can be met by ...Bd4+!}) 25... Bxc3 26. Rb7 Ba5 {White is slightly better and will probably pick up the e6-pawn but it is nothing to write home about.}) (24... Rc8 25. Bb5 Rc7 {is a good idea, but after} 26. f4 $1 Rxd7 27. Bxd7 Bxc3 28. Bxe6+ Kf8 29. Bxf5 {it is difficult to be completely certain about the result of the bishop ending.}) 25. Bb5 Kf8 26. f4 Bf6 27. Rd6 Re7 28. h5 $1 {Creating various mating ideas.} Bxc3 29. Rxb6 {Now Black will not only lose the pawn but his remaining ones will still be weak.} c4 (29... e5 $4 30. Rb8+ Kf7 31. Bc4+ Kf6 32. Rf8+ {is cute}) 30. Rb8+ Kf7 31. Bxc4 Rd7 32. Kg2 Ke7 33. Kf3 Rd1 34. Rb7+ Rd7 35. Rb5 Rd1 36. a3 Rf1+ 37. Kg2 Rd1 38. e3 Rd6 39. Kf3 Rc6 40. g4 (40. a4 {first reduced Black's options even more, but ...a4 was maybe not something to get worked up about.}) 40... fxg4+ 41. Kxg4 a4 42. Rb7+ Kd8 43. e4 $18 {The position is now completely winning and all the bishop endings are also hopeless.} Bb2 44. Bb5 Rc7 45. Rxc7 Kxc7 46. bxa4 Bc3 (46... Bxa3 47. a5 $18 {and White will, on his own time, play e5, a6 and Bc4, before ambling slowly over to the queenside with his king if need be.}) 47. e5 Kd8 48. Kf3 Bd2 49. Ke4 Ke7 50. f5 $1 {The final bit of finesse that Kramnik has made his opponent demonstrate. The White king needs the d5-square.} exf5+ 51. Kxf5 Bc1 ( 51... Bc3 52. Ke4 Ke6 53. Bc4+ Ke7 54. Kd5 Be1 55. e6 Bd2 56. Kc6 {is similar, just with another White a-pawn}) 52. a5 Bxa3 53. a6 Bc5 54. Ke4 Ke6 55. Bc4+ Kd7 56. Kd5 Bf2 57. e6+ Kc7 58. Bb5 Bh4 59. a7 {White will win the bishop for his two passers and Black will be way too slow to reach h8 to stop the third one.} 1-0 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.01.26"] [Round "4.4"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Batsiashvili, Nino"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C76"] [WhiteElo "2793"] [BlackElo "2504"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "55"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6 {Nino Batsiashvili is one of the top players in the world who regularly upsets high-rated male opponents. Perhaps her opening choice was inspired by the game Grischuk-Mamedyarov?} 5. c3 Bd7 6. d4 g6 7. Bg5 {Forcing a concession.} f6 {Self-blocks the dark-squared bishop.} ({The other choice is} 7... Be7 {but then the bishop will no longer be fianchettoed,} 8. Be3 Nf6 9. Bc2 exd4 10. cxd4 Nb4 11. Nc3 Nxc2+ 12. Qxc2 { as in Vallejo Pons,F (2717)-Suarez Gomez,J (2474) Linares 2017}) 8. Be3 Nh6 9. Bb3 {Vachier-Lagrave is not afraid of any black piece landing on g4.} ({ White did not get much after:} 9. h3 Nf7 10. dxe5 Ncxe5 11. Bb3 Nxf3+ 12. Qxf3 Bg7 13. Nd2 a5 14. a4 Qe7 15. O-O O-O {in Ter Sahakyan,S (2577) -Short,N (2688) Abu Dhabi 2017}) 9... Bg7 ({Black's initiative quickly fizzles out after} 9... Ng4 10. Bd2 Na5 11. Bc2 Nc4 12. Bc1 {soon both the knight will ingloriously return home with the support of the other pieces.}) 10. a4 Qe7 11. O-O Nd8 $146 {Batsiashvili uncorkes a novelty.} ({The great Ukranian Malanuik used the same maneuver only after:} 11... Nf7 12. Nbd2 O-O 13. Bd5 Kh8 14. b4 {And now} Ncd8 15. Re1 Rb8 16. Bb3 Ne6 17. Nc4 f5 {gradually equalizing, Habu,Y (2404) -Malaniuk,V (2545) Krakow 2013}) 12. c4 $1 {Just like in game Habu-Malanuik from above, White intends to make use of the d5 square. The difference however is that he has a better piece for it- the knight.} Ng4 ({After} 12... Ne6 13. Nc3 c6 {White most likely planned:} 14. c5 $1 ({Rather than} 14. d5 Nc5 15. Bc2 a5) 14... dxc5 15. Bxe6 Bxe6 16. d5 cxd5 17. exd5 Bf5 18. d6 Qe6 19. Bxc5 { with initiative thanks to the uncastled black king.}) 13. Bc1 exd4 {Just like Short from above, Black wants to make good use of the e5 square.} ({Not as good was} 13... Ne6 {when both} 14. h3 ({Or even better} 14. Nc3 exd4 15. Nd5) 14... Nh6 15. Nc3 {lead to White's advantage.}) 14. Nxd4 Nc6 {Only this is inaccurate.} ({Batsiashvili could (should) have swung the queen to the kingside at once with} 14... Qe5 $5 15. Nf3 Qh5 {With good play for Black. For example:} 16. h3 ({Similar is} 16. Nc3 Ne5 $1) ({Here} 16. c5 dxc5 {is not that effective.}) 16... Ne5 $1 {and as long as the queens are traded Black should be comfortable-} 17. Nxe5 Qxd1) 15. Nc3 Qe5 {A move too late...} ({ In case of} 15... Nxd4 {there are a couple of strong spoilers for White-} 16. Nd5 $1 Qe5 ({Or} 16... Qd8 17. Qxd4) 17. Bf4 {with clear advantage for White.}) 16. Nf3 Qh5 17. c5 $3 {The French GM nicely exploits the extra move to open the position.} ({The attempt to harass the black queen at once with} 17. Ne2 $2 {fails to} Nce5) 17... Qxc5 ({After} 17... dxc5 18. Nd5 $1 O-O-O 19. Nf4 { embarrasses the queen-} Qh6 20. Ne6) 18. Nd5 {The point behind White's play. There is no kingside initiative for Black and her queen is in fact a concern.} ({Also good was} 18. h3 Nge5 19. Nd5 Nxf3+ 20. Qxf3 Nd4 21. Qd1 Nxb3 22. Qxb3 { as Black cannot castle-} O-O-O 23. Be3) 18... Ne7 ({Or} 18... O-O-O 19. h3 Nge5 20. Be3 Qa5 21. Nxe5 dxe5 22. Rc1 {with the unstoppable threat of 23. Be3-d2!}) 19. h3 Nxd5 ({The retreat is impossible again due to the vulnerable queen-} 19... Ne5 20. Be3 Qa5 21. Bd2 Nxf3+ 22. gxf3 Qc5 23. Bb4 {and once that c7 drops everything falls apart.}) 20. Bxd5 c6 21. b4 $1 {Another energetic blow. Vachier-Lagrave was definitely not a gentleman today!} Qb6 {Instinctively Batsiashvili wants to keep her queen closer to the king.} ({Instead} 21... Qxb4 {opens the b-file in White's favour} 22. Ba2 Ne5 23. Rb1 Qc3 24. Nxe5 Qxe5 25. Rxb7 {when Black is hopeless.}) ({Perhaps the most resilient was} 21... Qc3 { although here too White has the strong} 22. Ra3 Qxb4 23. Ba2) 22. Bb3 Ne5 23. Nxe5 {Once that the d-file is opened it is all over.} fxe5 ({White's attack is pretty after} 23... dxe5 24. Bf7+ $1 Ke7 ({Or} 24... Kxf7 25. Qxd7+ Kg8 26. Be3 Qxb4 27. Rab1) 25. Be3 Qc7 26. Qb3 b6 27. a5 $1 {and Be3-c5 will follow soon.}) 24. Qxd6 {With so many open files and diagonals White quickly finished the sufferings of teh black king.} Qd4 25. Qc7 $1 Rf8 ({If} 25... Qxa1 26. Rd1 Rd8 27. Bg5 Qxd1+ 28. Bxd1 Rc8 29. Qd6 {leads to mate.}) 26. Bg5 Bf6 ({Or} 26... Rc8 27. Qxb7) 27. Bxf6 Rxf6 28. Rad1 (28. Rad1 Rc8 29. Qxb7) 1-0 [Event "FIDE World Cup"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.03"] [Round "1.1"] [White "Nguyen, Ngoc Truong Son"] [Black "Adhiban, Baskaran"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A84"] [WhiteElo "2629"] [BlackElo "2670"] [Annotator "Adhiban,B"] [PlyCount "29"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] {For this World Cup, I had missed out on many qualification spots... but luckily I was awarded the FIDE nominee and I was eager to utilise it to the fullest extent!} 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 e6 3. c4 c6 $5 {An interesting line.} 4. e3 ({ In the same event, in the same round on the first rapid day (1.3) there followed} 4. g3 dxc4 5. Bg2 b5 6. Ne5 Bb7 7. O-O a6 8. Nc3 Bb4 (8... Nf6 { would transpose to the main lines.}) 9. a4 Ne7 10. Ne4 Nd7 $2 {Falling into a hilarious tactical shot.} (10... f6 11. Nf3 O-O {was totally fine for Black and White still has to show compensation for the pawn.}) 11. Bd2 $1 Bxd2 12. Nd6+ Kf8 13. Nexf7 Qc7 14. Qxd2 {(Wei Yi-Sambuev Tbilisi GEO 2017) and White brought home the point.}) 4... Bd6 {I wonder if there is any difference between ...f5 and ...Bd6.} (4... f5 {is also the same apparently.} 5. Bd3 Nf6) 5. b3 f5 6. Bd3 Nf6 7. O-O O-O (7... Qe7 {was a better option.}) 8. Ba3 b6 9. Qc1 a5 $5 (9... Bb7 10. cxd5 $5 {I didn't want to allow this option.} cxd5 11. Ne5) ({My main concern after} 9... Ba6 10. Ne5 {[%csl Ya6] was that my bishop would be hanging on a6 in many cases.} c5 11. Rd1 {It is not clear how I should proceed here.}) 10. Nbd2 {This is definitely wrong as the knight looks misplaced on d2 and doesn't join in the fight on the centre.} (10. Ne5 c5 { was my idea.}) (10. Nc3 $14 {gave him a huge plus.}) 10... Ba6 11. Ne5 c5 $1 { Thanks to White's unambitious play, Black is doing fine here.} 12. Ndf3 Nbd7 13. Rd1 (13. cxd5 {doesn't work due to} Nxe5 14. Nxe5 (14. dxe5 Bxd3 $17) 14... Bxe5 15. Bxa6 Bxh2+ $17) 13... Rc8 (13... Bb7 $1 {was safer with equality.}) 14. Nxd7 {I pend lots of time and was not sure if cxd5 worked or not, So I decided to take the safer route.} ({White had to play} 14. cxd5 $1 Bxd3 15. dxe6 cxd4 {was a complete mess.} 16. Nc6 Rxc6 $1 (16... Qc7 17. exd7 Nxd7 ( 17... Qxd7 18. Nfxd4) 18. Bxd6 Qxd6 19. Rxd3 $16) 17. Qxc6 Bxa3 18. Rxd3 Nc5 19. Rxd4 Qe7 20. Rc4 $14 {White can push without any risk.}) 14... Qxd7 15. dxc5 {Here he offered a draw and I felt there wasn't much chance to get something so I decided to call it a day.} (15. dxc5 Bxc5 (15... bxc5 16. cxd5 Bxd3 17. dxe6 (17. Rxd3 exd5 (17... Nxd5 18. Qc4) 18. Qd1 (18. Bb2 c4 19. bxc4 dxc4) 18... Rfd8 {is fine for Black.}) 17... Qb5 18. Ne1 Be5 19. Nxd3 Bxa1 20. Qxa1 Rfd8 {with chances for both sides.}) 16. Bb2 $1 {A key move with an interesting struggle.} (16. Bxc5 Rxc5 {is nothing.})) 1/2-1/2 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.01.30"] [Round "8.2"] [White "Rapport, Richard"] [Black "Howell, David W L"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D78"] [WhiteElo "2700"] [BlackElo "2682"] [Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"] [PlyCount "97"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 c6 5. Nc3 d5 6. Qb3 O-O 7. Bg2 Qb6 8. O-O Rd8 9. Bd2 {A relatively fresh continuation which Giri tested against So two weeks ago in Wijk an Zee. Before forcing the queen trade Rapport makes an useful developing move.} ({White did not get anything after:} 9. h3 Bf5 10. Bf4 Na6 11. Qxb6 {(A concession)} axb6 12. cxd5 Nxd5 13. Nxd5 Rxd5 {Li,C (2732) -Vachier Lagrave,M (2789) Riadh 2017}) (9. Rd1 {is more common.}) ({As well as the immediate} 9. Na4) 9... Be6 10. Na4 {Forcing the trade of the queens.} Qxb3 11. axb3 Na6 ({There is no time to grab the pawn.} 11... dxc4 12. Nb6) 12. Rfc1 Ne4 $146 {Although this is the main computer move it seems as Howell did not come deeply prepared for the game. Rapport basically followed the footprints of Ding Liren from below to achieve comfortable advantage.} ({A novelty in comparison to:} 12... Ne8 13. e3 h6 14. Ba5 Rdc8 15. Nd2 Nec7 16. Bf1 Bd7 17. Bxc7 Rxc7 18. cxd5 cxd5 19. Bxa6 Rxc1+ 20. Rxc1 bxa6 21. Rc7 {Ding,L (2777) -Haddouche,M (2487) Tbilisi 2017}) 13. Ba5 Rdc8 14. e3 g5 {In hindsight this idea will only weaken Black's position.} ({After} 14... f6 {White would most likely play as in the game with} 15. Nd2) ({However, there is an argument for the solid Stonewall set up after} 14... f5 15. Nd2 Bf7 16. cxd5 ({Or} 16. Bf1 Nxd2 17. Bxd2 c5 $1) 16... cxd5 17. Bf1 {Black's chances of equlity are significantly higher than in the game.}) 15. Nd2 Nxd2 (15... f5 $5) 16. Bxd2 g4 17. Bf1 {Rapport comfortably improved his position and is getting ready to either open the c-file or for the advance of the queenside pawns.} dxc4 { Definitely a concession, but what else could Howell do?} ({One major problem for Black is that he can never move his knight} 17... Nc7 18. Nc5) ({If the light-squared bishop moves} 17... Bd7 {then} 18. b4 dxc4 19. Bxc4 b5 20. Be2 { leads to clear edge for the first player.}) 18. bxc4 c5 19. Bg2 $1 {The bishop had done its job on the f1-a6 diagonal, it is time to go back to the long one.} Rab8 20. d5 Bd7 ({It makes no sense to provoke} 20... Bf5 21. e4 Bd7 22. Bf4) 21. Bc3 (21. e4 $5) 21... Bxa4 22. Rxa4 {White's advantage is overwhelming. He has the more active heavy pieces, the better light pieces, better pawn structure, more space.} Rd8 ({In case of} 22... Bxc3 {White has a pleasant choice between the obvious} 23. Rxc3 ({Or the less obvious but also strong} 23. bxc3 $5 {followed by Rc1-b1, Ra4-a5 and a bishop transfer all the way to b5.})) 23. h3 {Prolongs the diagonal for the bishop.} gxh3 ({Since otherwise the pawn on g4 may drop-} 23... h5 24. hxg4 hxg4 25. Be4) 24. Bxh3 Rd6 25. e4 Bxc3 26. Rxc3 Rb6 {The only active idea that Howell has. It must have been painful for the aggressive English GM to search for active moves.} 27. b3 e5 ({Or} 27... Kg7 28. e5) 28. Rf3 {Not rushing anywhere. There were certainly other interesting choices.} ({One was to take control of the open file after} 28. dxe6 fxe6 29. Rd3) ({The other is to use the central mass at once with} 28. f4 f6 29. Be6+ Kg7 30. Ra5) 28... Kg7 29. Ra5 h6 (29... Rd8 {would have stopped the following maneuver.}) 30. Bd7 $1 {Heading for the b5 square.} Rd6 31. Bb5 Nc7 32. Ba4 {Very subtle! It transpires that Rapport was not that interested by the black pawns.} ({If he were he would have gone for} 32. Rxa7 Nxb5 33. cxb5 Rb6 34. Ra5 Rc8 {but the pure rook endgames provide drawing chances to the defender.}) 32... Na6 33. Rf5 {The bishop on a4 defended the b3 pawn and White resumes his pawn play.} f6 34. f4 exf4 35. gxf4 Kg6 36. b4 $1 {Rapport's impeccable play painted a beautiful picture.} Nxb4 ({Or} 36... cxb4 37. c5 Rdd8 38. d6 (38. Bd1)) 37. Bd1 $1 {The bishop is relentless.} Na6 38. Bh5+ Kh7 39. e5 Rb6 ({Nothing changes} 39... fxe5 40. Rf7+ Kh8 41. fxe5 Rg8+ 42. Kf2 Rb6 43. e6) 40. Rb5 {Move fourty and thus the most solid option.} ({Other move win as well, like} 40. d6) ({Or} 40. e6 Kg7 41. Ra2) 40... Rg8+ ({Similar is} 40... Rxb5 41. cxb5 Nc7 42. d6 Nxb5 43. Rxf6) 41. Kf2 Rxb5 42. cxb5 Nc7 43. d6 Nxb5 44. Rxf6 {The white passers are unstoppable.} Rd8 45. Rf7+ Kg8 46. Rxb7 a6 47. Rb6 c4 (47... Ra8 48. e6) 48. Rxa6 c3 49. Rc6 1-0 [Event "FIDE Candidates 2018"] [Site "Berlin GER"] [Date "2018.03.10"] [Round "1"] [White "Caruana, F."] [Black "So, W."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E00"] [WhiteElo "2784"] [BlackElo "2799"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2018.03.10"] 1. d4 {The first move came a surprise to So as "Fabiano played only 1.e4 at the previous Candidates."} Nf6 ({The two relevant game to the game opening are Caruana-Short (played five years ago) and Ding-So (from 2011) with the following move order:} 1... e6 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 Bb4+ {They both saw} 4. Nbd2 { Caruana,F (2782)-Short,N (2683) London 2013: Ding,L (2654)-So,W (2658) Khanty-Mansiysk 2011}) 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Bb4+ {A surprise for the surprise. So usually chooses the QGD with 3...d5 or the Queen's Indian with 3...b6.} 4. Bd2 {This is a completely new position for both players, at least according to the Megabase.} Be7 5. Bg2 {Back into the Catalan type of positions.} d5 6. Nf3 O-O 7. O-O c6 8. Qb3 Nbd7 9. Bf4 a5 10. Rd1 ({Another option was} 10. Rc1 Ne4 11. Nc3 g5 12. Be3 Nd6 13. c5 Nc4 {as in Matsenko,S (2546)-Swiercz,D (2649) Columbus 2017}) 10... Nh5 $146 {A novelty in comparison to:} (10... b5 11. c5 Ba6 12. Qc2 b4 13. Bf1 Ne4 14. Nbd2 f5 15. Ne5 Nxe5 16. Bxe5 Nxd2 17. Qxd2 Bg5 {which Black held comfortably in Mamedyarov,S (2775) -Kovalenko,I (2644) Riga 2013}) 11. Bc1 Nhf6 {The idea itself is very standard. Black kicks the bishop away from the active position under the threat of a threefold repetition.} 12. Nbd2 {However now there is:} ({The more natural} 12. Nc3 {would be strongly met with} a4 13. Qc2 (13. Nxa4 dxc4 14. Qc2 b5 {leads to the same.}) 13... dxc4 14. Nxa4 b5 {with comfortable position for Black. leads to the same.}) 12... b5 {When Black gets some space to operate on the queenside.} 13. c5 ({The pawn is not worth it:} 13. cxb5 cxb5 14. Qxb5 Ba6 {as the central one on e2 will suffer in return.}) 13... b4 {Frees the bishop.} 14. Qc2 {Caruana was not happy with his play at this stage of the game.} ({He suggested instead} 14. a3 {and this may lead to wild complications after} Ba6 15. e3 e5 $5 16. axb4 ({Or } 16. dxe5 Nxc5 17. exf6 Nxb3 18. fxe7 Qxe7 19. Nxb3) 16... axb4 17. Qxb4 e4 { with compensation for a pawn.}) (14. e4 $5 {might have been an option too. Say} dxe4 15. Ne5 (15. Ng5 e3 $1 16. fxe3 Nd5) 15... a4 16. Qc2 Qc7 17. Nxe4 { and White seems better.}) 14... a4 {So is consistently looking for queenside action.} 15. Re1 {Preparing e2-e4.} ({Both} 15. b3 $5) ({And} 15. e3 $5 { were interesting alternatives according to Caruana.}) 15... e5 $1 {"Maybe this is not the best" So. Black went wrong later.The move in the game frees his pieces and even fights for the initiative.} ({A slow move like} 15... Qc7 { would have allowed} 16. e4 {with all the conveniences after} dxe4 17. Nxe4 Nxe4 18. Qxe4 Nf6 19. Bf4 {with advantage for White.}) 16. Nxe5 Nxe5 17. dxe5 Nd7 18. Nf3 Bxc5 19. Ng5 {Played after ong thought. The position requires rapid action.} ({Slow moves like} 19. Bf4 Qb6) ({or} 19. e4 Qb6 {are good for Black.} ) 19... g6 20. Bf4 Qb6 21. e4 {The most energetic move.} ({Both players considered} 21. e3 {Now} h6 {is wrong to} ({Where Caruana was afraid of} 21... b3 $1 22. axb3 ({Or} 22. Qb1 Bb4 23. Rf1 Nc5 {"followed by Bc8-f5 and can get quickly into strategically lost position" (Caruana)}) 22... axb3 23. Qe2 Ra2 { Let's continue the line a bit with} 24. Bh3 h6 25. Nxf7 Rxf7 26. e6 Rxf4 27. exd7 Bxd7 28. exf4 Bxh3 29. Qe8+ Kg7 30. Re7+ Bxe7 31. Qxe7+ Kg8 32. Qe8+ { and it all ends with perpetual check.}) 22. Nxf7 $1 Kxf7 (22... Rxf7 23. e6) 23. e6+ Kxe6 24. Qxg6+ Ke7 25. Qxh6 {with crushing attack.}) 21... b3 {So is also in a hurry to open up the queenside and deflect the opponent's pieces fom his king.} 22. axb3 axb3 23. Qe2 {The critical moment of the game.} Ba6 $2 { After this White's attack continues unhindered.} ({Correct was:} 23... Ra2 $1 { (Caruana) when White intended} 24. Rab1 ({Or} 24. exd5 Ba6 25. Qf3 Rxb2 26. Ne4 cxd5 27. Nxc5 Nxc5 28. Be3 Bc4 29. Bd4 {"with a mess. The b-pawn might be very, very dangerous" (Caruana)}) 24... Ba6 25. Qf3 {At the very last moment Caruana saw the resource} Bd3 $5 26. Qxd3 Bxf2+ 27. Kh1 Bxe1 28. Rxe1 Rxb2 {and did not like it too much for White. Then indeed} 29. exd5 Qf2 30. Qf1 Nc5 $5 { should be OK for Black.} (30... Qxf1+ 31. Rxf1 Ra2 32. dxc6 b2 33. Be4 Ra1) ( 30... cxd5)) 24. Qf3 Bc4 25. Rxa8 Rxa8 {Black managed to trade a pair of rooks, but had to abandon the kingside. The punishment is swift:} 26. e6 $1 dxe4 ({ Since} 26... fxe6 27. Bc7 $1 {loses on the spot.}) 27. exf7+ Bxf7 28. Nxe4 Bd4 {Makes things even worse, although Black's position is obviously suspicious, to say the least.} (28... Re8 {"was still putting up a good fight"(Caruana). The thing is that the light-squared bishop does enormous defensive work after} 29. Rd1 Bd5 30. Qg4 Be6 31. Qe2 Bd5) 29. Nd6 Bd5 30. Qe2 {Without the light-squared bishop Black cannot hold the kingside.} Nf8 ({Or mate after} 30... Bxg2 31. Qe6+ Kh8 32. Nf7+ Kg8 33. Nd8+ Kg7 34. Qxd7+) 31. Bxd5+ cxd5 32. Qf3 Qa5 {There is no defense against the mating attack. For example} 33. Re7 Qc5 34. Bh6 Qxd6 35. Qf7+ Kh8 36. Bg7+ 1-0 [Event "Berlin GER"] [Site "Berlin GER"] [Date "2018.03.10"] [Round "1.4"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E00"] [WhiteElo "2784"] [BlackElo "2799"] [Annotator "Sagar,Shah"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2018.03.10"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Bb4+ 4. Bd2 Be7 5. Bg2 d5 6. Nf3 O-O 7. O-O c6 8. Qb3 Nbd7 9. Bf4 a5 10. Rd1 Nh5 11. Bc1 (11. Bd2 Nhf6 12. Bf4) 11... Nhf6 12. Nbd2 b5 13. c5 (13. cxb5 cxb5 14. Qxb5 Ba6) 13... b4 14. Qc2 a4 15. Re1 e5 $5 16. Nxe5 Nxe5 17. dxe5 Nd7 18. Nf3 Bxc5 (18... Nxc5 19. Be3 Ra5 (19... b3 20. Qc3 $16) 20. Nd4 Bd7 $14) 19. Ng5 g6 20. Bf4 Qb6 21. e4 (21. e6 Bxf2+ $15) 21... b3 (21... d4 22. e6 $16) (21... dxe4 22. e6 $18) (21... Nxe5 22. Bxe5 f6 23. Bc7 $3 (23. exd5 fxe5 24. Kh1 $14) 23... Qxc7 24. Qxc5 fxg5 25. exd5 $18) 22. axb3 axb3 23. Qe2 Ba6 $5 (23... Ra2 $13) (23... Rxa1 24. Rxa1 Nxe5 $5 (24... h6 25. Nxf7 Rxf7 26. e6 Rxf4 27. exd7) (24... Nb8 25. exd5 cxd5 26. Bxd5 $18) 25. Bxe5 f6 26. exd5 fxe5 27. Qxe5 (27. dxc6 Rxf2 28. Qc4+ Kg7 29. Kh1 Rxg2 30. Kxg2 Qxc6+ 31. Ne4 Bb7 32. Re1 Qd5 33. Qxd5 Bxd5 $11) 27... Rxf2 28. Kh1 Bd4 29. Qe7 $18) 24. Qf3 Bc4 25. Rxa8 Rxa8 26. e6 $1 dxe4 27. exf7+ Bxf7 28. Nxe4 Bd4 ( 28... Bd5 29. Qg4) 29. Nd6 Bd5 30. Qe2 Nf8 (30... Bxg2 31. Qe6+ Kg7 (31... Kh8 32. Nf7+ Kg8 33. Nd8+ Kh8 34. Qe8+ Kg7 35. Re7+ Kf6 36. Qf7#) 32. Qxd7+ $18) 31. Bxd5+ cxd5 32. Qf3 $1 Qa5 33. Re7 1-0 [Event "Berlin GER"] [Site "Berlin GER"] [Date "2018.03.12"] [Round "3.4"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2794"] [BlackElo "2800"] [Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"] [PlyCount "54"] [EventDate "2018.03.10"] 1. e4 {If Aronian only knew what this surprise would lead to....} e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. O-O ({The other way to develop is} 6. Nbd2 Bg4 7. h3 Bh5 8. Nf1 Nd7 9. Ng3 Bxf3 10. Qxf3 g6 11. Be3 Qe7 12. O-O (12. O-O-O O-O-O 13. Ne2 Rhe8 14. Kb1 b6 15. h4 Kb7 {½-½ Anand,V (2775)-Carlsen,M (2870) Chennai IND 2013}) 12... Bd6 13. a4 c5 14. c3 O-O-O 15. Rfb1 Kb8 16. a5 a6 17. Nf1 Qe6 18. Qd1 f5 19. f3 Be7 20. Qa4 Nf6 {1/2-1/2 Jakovenko,D (2710)-Almasi,Z (2707) Germany 2018}) 6... Qe7 7. h3 {Kramnik: "The thing is, Black wants ... Bg4 after Nbd2. I always considered 7.h3 as a very serious move and I actually spent a lot of time analyzing it, and it was not so easy. But then, a couple of years ago, I found this very strong resource:} Rg8 $1 {"g7-g5-g4 is a big threat" (Kramnik). Apparently, White is not capable of opening the center, otherwise this whole concept will fail. Ironically, it is the pawn on h3 which makes this idea so strong. The weakened kingside and the fast long-ranged black pieces put White in a huge danger.} 8. Kh1 {Both players could not find anything better. Here are some lines to convince that Black's attack is not a joke:} ({The attempt to get a better version of the game continuation with} 8. c3 {would be met with} g5 9. d4 ({The pawn is immune due to} 9. Bxg5 Bxh3 { this is a frequently occurring theme in the attack.}) 9... exd4 $1 ({If now Black continues as in the game} 9... Bd6 10. dxe5 Bxe5 11. Nxe5 Qxe5 12. Qd4 { White would be indeed OK.}) 10. cxd4 Bb6 {when the white center is about to crumble at any moment and the captures on g5 are always bad.} 11. Bxg5 ({Or} 11. Nxg5 h6 12. Nf3 Bxh3) 11... Bxh3 $1 {with huge advantage for Black.}) (8. Be3 {trades the good bishop but doe snot slow down the attack-} Bxe3 9. fxe3 g5 ) ({If} 8. Nc3 g5 9. Bxg5 Bxh3 $1 10. gxh3 h6 {is similar to the first line above and excellent for Black.}) 8... Nh5 $146 {Technically speaking this is the novelty.} ({As this all has been seen previously in a correspondence game, which Black won after:} 8... h6 9. Nbd2 g5 10. Nc4 Bd6 11. d4 Nxe4 12. dxe5 Bc5 13. Qe2 f5 {etc., Kazoks,A (2345)-Calio,M (2334) corr. 2015}) 9. c3 {Obviously White needs to do something and do it fast. This move is aiming for a quick central counter-blow.} ({Aronian "Maybe I should have gone for"} 9. Nc3 { "It will be like the game" said Kramnik and suggested} g5 10. Nxe5 g4 11. d4 Bd6 ({The other suggestion of the former world champion is not as good-} 11... gxh3 12. g3 ({Or even} 12. g4 $1) 12... Nf6 13. dxc5 Qxe5 14. Bf4 Qxc5 15. Bxc7 {and here it might be White who is better.})) 9... g5 10. Nxe5 ({If} 10. d4 { Black can always go for} exd4 ({Or even} 10... g4 11. dxc5 gxf3 12. Qxf3 Qh4 { "with dangerous threats" (Kramnik)}) 11. cxd4 Bb6 12. Nh2 Nf6 13. e5 Nd5 { with clear advantage as the kingside attack proceeds without any problems after Bc8-e6 and 0-0-0.}) 10... g4 ({Of course not:} 10... Qxe5 11. d4 Qe7 12. Qxh5) 11. d4 ({The captures on g4 lead to mate after} 11. Nxg4 Bxg4 12. hxg4 Qh4+ 13. Kg1 Ng3) 11... Bd6 ({Wrong is} 11... gxh3 12. g3 $1) 12. g3 ({Another mating picture occurs after} 12. Nxg4 Bxg4 13. hxg4 Qh4+ 14. Kg1 Qh2#) 12... Bxe5 13. dxe5 Qxe5 14. Qd4 Qe7 $1 {Kramnik wants mate!} ({Aronian was hoping for a slightly worse endgame after} 14... Qxd4 15. cxd4 gxh3) 15. h4 c5 16. Qc4 {"A terrible blunder; I forgot that Black is threatening ...f5." (Aronian)} ({ The best chance according to Kramnik was} 16. Qd3 Bd7 17. c4 O-O-O 18. Nc3 Bc6 19. Nd5 Qe5 {when Black is better but the game goes on.}) 16... Be6 17. Qb5+ c6 18. Qa4 (18. Qe2 {will be met as well with} f5 $1) ({White's best was still} 18. Qd3 Rd8 19. Qe3 {although Black is clearly better here after}) 18... f5 $1 19. Bg5 ({"The main point was"} 19. exf5 Nxg3+ $1 {which lead to mate after} 20. fxg3 Bd5+ 21. Kg1 Qe2 22. Rf2 Qe1+ 23. Rf1 Qxg3# {(Kramnik)}) 19... Rxg5 $1 {Not slowing down at all. White's position is in ruins, Kramnik accurately finishes the game.} 20. hxg5 f4 21. Qd1 ({Or} 21. gxf4 Nxf4 22. Qc2 Qxg5) ({And } 21. Kg2 Qxg5 {with decisive attack in both cases.}) 21... Rd8 22. Qc1 fxg3 23. Na3 Rd3 24. Rd1 Bd5 25. f3 ({Or mate after} 25. Rxd3 Qxe4+) 25... gxf3 26. exd5 ({"The main idea was to win with"} 26. Rxd3 Qxe4 27. Re3 f2+ 28. Rxe4+ Bxe4# {(Kramnik)}) 26... Qe2 27. Re1 g2+ (27... g2+ {Aronian resigned because of} 28. Kh2 g1=Q+ 29. Kxg1 f2+ 30. Kg2 fxe1=Q#) 0-1 [Event "Berlin GER"] [Site "Berlin GER"] [Date "2018.03.16"] [Round "6"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2799"] [BlackElo "2794"] [PlyCount "155"] [EventDate "2018.03.10"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 b4 9. a5 d6 10. d3 Be6 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12. Nbd2 Rb8 {This line was heavily discussed last year in St. Louis.} 13. Nb3 ({Carlsen chose instead} 13. c3 Qe8 14. Nc4 Qg6 15. h3 Nd7 16. Be3 d5 17. Ncd2 bxc3 18. bxc3 Nc5 19. Bxc5 Bxc5 20. Qa4 {and went on to win later, Carlsen,M (2822)-Aronian,L (2809) Saint Louis 2017. However, there remained a lot of questions about White's chances in this game.}) 13... Qc8 14. h3 $146 {So improves on another St. Louis game.} ({ In that one the world champion defended the black color after} 14. Qe2 Nd8 15. d4 exd4 16. Nbxd4 c5 17. Nb3 e5 18. Nbd2 Ne6 {Caruana,F (2807) -Carlsen,M (2822) Saint Louis 2017}) 14... Nd8 15. Be3 c5 16. Nbd2 Nc6 17. c3 Rb5 18. d4 ( {White can of course keep the pawn with either} 18. Nc4) ({Or} 18. Nb3 { but Black would have no problems at all in these lines.}) 18... exd4 {An ambitious move.} ({Aronian saw that he can equalize with:} 18... bxc3 19. bxc3 exd4 20. cxd4 c4 ({Probably also good is} 20... cxd4 21. Nxd4 Nxd4 22. Bxd4 Nd7 ) ({Maybe even} 20... Nxa5 21. dxc5 dxc5 22. Qa4 {is a better version of the game continuation for Black. Although with so many weaknesses White still has decent compensation for a pawn.}) 21. Nxc4 Nxe4 {"should be around equal" (Aronian)}) (18... Nxa5 $2 {should be avoided though as it drops a piece after} 19. dxe5 dxe5 (19... bxc3 20. bxc3 dxe5 21. c4) 20. c4) 19. cxd4 Nxa5 20. dxc5 dxc5 {In return for the pawn White has active pieces and can exploit the many weaknesses in the opponent's camp.} 21. Ra2 {"I kind of prepared this line" (So). He later revealed that he considered the position equal.} Qb7 ({Here and on the next moves Aronian avoids} 21... Nc6 {in order to keep the c4 square under control and not to let the white queen there.}) ({The American GM expected} 21... Nd7 {with the idea Nd7-b8-c6.}) 22. b3 ({If} 22. Qa1 Bd8) 22... Kh8 {"I was a little surprised by this, but it is probably a good move." (So)} ({Aronian disliked the position after:} 22... Nxe4 23. Nxe4 Qxe4 24. Bg5 Qb7 25. Qe2 Bxg5 26. Nxg5 {"maybe it holds somehow but it was not the position I wanted to get" (Aronian)} Qd5 27. Nxe6) ({Black also disliked} 22... Nd7 23. Qe2 {as he felt he should keep the knight on f6.}) 23. Qc2 {So is combining threats against the weaknesses on the queenside with threats on the opposite wing. Now e4-e5 followed by Nf3-g5 is always a threat.} Nd7 ({If} 23... Nc6 { to centralize this knight, then either} 24. Nc4 ({Or} 24. Ng5)) 24. Rea1 Bd8 25. Nc4 ({Aronian saw the excellent reply to} 25. e5 c4 26. Nxc4 Nxc4 27. Qxc4 Rxf3 $1 {with a fantastic counter-attack.}) 25... Nxc4 26. Qxc4 Bf6 ({After} 26... a5 27. Rd1 $1 {is strong.} ({Rather than} 27. Qxe6 Rb6 28. Qc4 Rd6 { although here too, White is better.})) 27. Rd1 Qc6 28. Rad2 {Little by little the white pieces occupied commanding positions.} Nb6 (28... Ne5 {is unpleasant for Black after} 29. Nxe5 Bxe5 30. Rd8 {(Aronian, So)}) 29. Qc2 Qc7 {After this move Black's position becomes too loose.} ({Black rejected} 29... Qc8 $1 { on the account of} 30. e5 Bd8 31. Bg5 {But this seems way better than the game continuation after} (31. Bxc5 $2 Rxc5 32. Rxd8 Rxc2 {wins for Black.}) 31... Nd5 $1 {This was probably Black's best chance.}) ({After} 29... e5 30. Bg5 $1 { is strong for White (Aronian)}) 30. e5 $1 {So breaks open the position for his active pieces. The rook on b5 and the knight on b6 are out of the game and So attacks practically with an extra rook.} ({Also quite unpleasant for the second player was the resource} 30. Bg5 $5 {(Aronian) with the threat e4-e5 and if} c4 31. Bxf6 gxf6 32. Nd4 Re5 33. f4 {wins material for White.}) 30... Be7 (30... Bxe5 $2 {drops material heavily after} 31. Ng5 g6 32. Nxe6) ({Here} 30... Bd8 {does not work (see the line from the previous comment) due to} 31. Bxc5 $1 Rxc5 32. Rxd8 Rxc2 33. Rxf8#) 31. Nd4 Rc8 ({Perhaps the last chance was the eventual endgame after} 31... Qxe5 32. Nxb5 axb5 33. Re2 Qc3) 32. Nxe6 $1 {White keeps playing for the attack.} ({"It does not make any sense to take the exchange"} 32. Nxb5 axb5 33. f4 Nd5 {"as Black is at least equal" (Aronian, So). The black connected passers are perfectly supported by all his pieces.}) 32... Qxe5 33. Nf4 {Aronian did not expect this and "relaxed too soon" after seeing it. He later called the move "excellent practical chance."} ({Aronian spend almost all his remaining time on the sharp and beautiful lines:} 33. Rd6 $1 {with the threat Be3-f4! (So did not see this) If} Kg8 ({The main tactical point of the move is that} 33... Bxd6 $1 34. Ng5 {is a nasty double attack.}) ( {Probably} 33... Re8 {leaves defensive chances to Black.}) 34. Bf4 Qf6 35. Ng5 {wins for White.}) ({Black was also afraid of} 33. Nd8 {when after} Kg8 34. Rd7 c4 ({Aronian intended} 34... Qf6 {but this loses to} 35. Bg5 $3 Qxg5 36. Qe2 $1 ) (34... h6) 35. Bd4 Qf5 $2 ({However} 35... Nxd7 $1 36. Bxe5 Nxe5 {provides Black drawing chances.}) 36. Rxe7 Rxd8 (36... Qxc2 37. Re8#) 37. Rxg7+ { and White should win.}) 33... Rf8 {This is "bad" (So); "a terrible move." (Aronian)} (33... Kg8 $1 {was mandatory} 34. Re2 Bf8 {when Black can cement his position.}) 34. Re2 $1 {Now the black pieces are once again loose.} Qc3 ({ Last chance was} 34... Bf6 $5) ({Aronian's initial plan was} 34... Qf5 35. Qxf5 Rxf5 {but then he spotted} 36. Bc1 $1 {"and Black can resign"(Aronian). For example} Bf8 37. Rd8 Kg8 38. Ree8 c4 39. g4 Rf6 40. Ne6) 35. Qb1 $1 (35. Qa2 { with the same idea was also very strong as indicated by the Armenian GM.}) 35... Qf6 ({Or} 35... Nc8 36. Bd2 Qf6 37. Ne6 Rg8 38. Bg5 Qf7 39. Bxe7 Nxe7 ( 39... Qxe7 40. Nd4) 40. Ng5 Qg6 41. Qxg6 Nxg6 42. Nf7#) 36. Bc1 $1 {"Here the game is already finished. It is just (white) pieces coming." (Aronian)} c4 ({ A curious line is} 36... Qf7 37. Bb2 Bf6 38. Bxf6 Qxf6 39. Ne6 Rg8 40. Nc7 Ra5 41. Ne8 Qg5 42. Nd6) 37. bxc4 Nxc4 ({Alas,} 37... Rg5 {does not work due to} 38. Re6 $1 {(Aronian)} ({But not} 38. Ne6 $2 Rxg2+ $1 39. Kxg2 Qf3+)) 38. Re6 Qg5 {Sacrifices the queen in the vain hope of a fortress.} ({Or else Black will lose material on the pin} 38... Qf7 39. Rd7 Re8 40. Qe4) 39. Ng6+ ({ There was an alternative win} 39. Rd7 Bf6 40. Rf7 $1 Rbb8 (40... Rg8 41. Rexf6) 41. Rxf8+ Rxf8 42. Qxb4 Rc8 43. Qxc4 $1) 39... Qxg6 40. Rxg6 hxg6 41. Qe4 { This is the problem. More material is lost.} Bf6 42. Qxc4 b3 43. Ba3 Rfb8 ({If } 43... b2 44. Bxf8 b1=Q 45. Rxb1 Rxb1+ 46. Kh2) 44. Rb1 b2 45. h4 {The rest is good technique by So.} (45. Qa4 $5 a5 46. h4) 45... Ra5 (45... a5 46. Bd6 R8b7 47. g4 Rb3 48. Kg2 {(Aronian, So)}) 46. Qd3 Rd8 (46... Bxh4 47. Rxb2) 47. Qb3 Rc8 48. Qb7 Rd8 49. Qb3 Rc8 50. Qb4 Rb5 51. Qg4 Rc3 (51... Rcb8 52. Qxg6) 52. Bxb2 Rxb2 53. Rxb2 Rc1+ 54. Kh2 Bxb2 55. Qxg6 Ra1 56. g4 a5 57. Qh5+ Kg8 58. Qb5 Ba3 ({The utility of the kingside pawns is revealed after} 58... Bf6 59. Qe8+ Kh7 60. g5 Bc3 (60... Bb2 61. Qe4+ Kg8 62. g6 Kf8 63. Qe6) 61. Qh5+ Kg8 62. g6 Kf8 63. Qc5+) 59. Qe5 Rd1 60. Qe6+ Kh7 61. Qe4+ Kh8 62. Qa8+ Kh7 63. Qxa5 Bd6+ 64. Kg2 Rd4 65. Qf5+ Kh8 66. Qh5+ Kg8 67. g5 Kf8 68. Qg6 Be7 69. Qf5+ Ke8 70. Kh3 Rd6 71. Qh7 Kf7 72. f4 Rd4 73. Qf5+ Ke8 74. Qe5 Rb4 75. Kg4 Kf8 76. Qf5+ Ke8 77. Qe6 Rd4 (77... Kf8 78. Qc8+ Kf7 79. g6+ Kxg6 80. Qf5+ Kh6 81. Qh5# ) 78. Qe5 1-0 [Event "Berlin GER"] [Site "Berlin GER"] [Date "2018.03.19"] [Round "8.2"] [White "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D40"] [WhiteElo "2767"] [BlackElo "2800"] [PlyCount "181"] [EventDate "2018.03.10"] 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nf3 c5 5. e3 dxc4 6. Bxc4 a6 7. Bb3 ({Instead, the world champion chose:} 7. O-O b5 8. Be2 Bb7 9. dxc5 Bxc5 10. Qxd8+ Kxd8 11. Nd2 {against Wesley So and later won, Carlsen,M (2832)-So,W (2815) chess.com INT 2017}) 7... b5 8. e4 cxd4 9. Nxd4 Bb7 {The opening that Kramnik chose is somewhat provocative as he is lagging in development. Grischuk has every right to play aggressively.} 10. e5 $146 ({Therapeutic measures do not yield White anything:} 10. O-O Nc6 11. Be3 Bd6 12. Nxc6 Bxc6 13. Bd4 Qc7 14. Bxf6 gxf6 15. Qh5 O-O {with equality in the predecessor Maljush,A (2344)-Kupreichik, V (2464) Minsk 2004}) 10... Ne4 {The alternatives were:} (10... Bxg2 $2 {which drops a piece after} 11. Rg1) (10... Nd5 {which gives full control to White after} 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12. O-O Bxb3 13. axb3) ({And} 10... Nfd7 {which allows the dangerous sacrifice} 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12. Nxe6 Qc8 13. O-O) 11. O-O ({Safer and easier seems } 11. Nxe4 Bxe4 12. O-O {with the idea to exploit the position of the black bishop for further tempo-gainers, such as Qd1-g4 at the proper moment. If} Nc6 13. Nxc6 Bxc6 ({Better is} 13... Qxd1 14. Rxd1 Bxc6 15. Be3 {although White is a bit better in the endgame as well.}) 14. Qg4 {with advantage for White.}) 11... Nxc3 12. bxc3 Nc6 13. a4 ({Also interesting is} 13. Qf3 Rc8 {with the idea} 14. Nxc6 Bxc6 ({The cunning} 14... Qh4 $5 {to deprive White of the Qf3-g3 maneuver is answered by the even more cunning} 15. Bd5 $5 exd5 16. Nd4 { when White is better.}) 15. Qg3) 13... Bc5 $1 {Kramnik catches up with the development as quickly as he can.} 14. axb5 axb5 ({Weaker is} 14... Nxd4 15. cxd4 Bxd4 16. Ra4 Bxe5 17. Qh5 {when White gets everything that he wants.}) 15. Rxa8 Bxa8 16. Nxb5 O-O {Just sacking the pawn.} ({White wins a pawn after} 16... Qxd1 17. Rxd1 Nxe5 18. Nc7+ Ke7 19. Bg5+ f6 20. Nxe6 fxg5 21. Nxc5 Rc8 22. Na4) ({However} 16... Nxe5 {looks solid enough. For example:} 17. Qe2 ({ White has nothing in case of:} 17. Qxd8+ Kxd8 18. Rd1+ (18. Bg5+ f6) 18... Ke7) 17... Nd7 18. Rd1 O-O) 17. Qxd8 Rxd8 18. Bf4 h6 19. h4 Ne7 {For the pawn Black has more active pieces and the c3 pawn is far from dangerous.} 20. Rd1 Rb8 $1 { The black rook is more valuable than his counterpart.} ({Surely not} 20... Rxd1+ 21. Bxd1) 21. Bc4 ({After} 21. c4 Bc6 22. Ba4 Nf5 {Black gets strong counter-play on the kingside. Say:} 23. h5 Nh4 24. g3 Nf3+ 25. Kf1 Nh2+ 26. Kg1 Ng4 $1) 21... Bc6 22. Nd4 Be4 (22... Bxd4 23. cxd4 Nf5 {should be easy to draw for Black (Svidler).}) 23. h5 (23. Re1 $5 Bg6 24. Be3 {might be better.}) 23... Nd5 24. Bxd5 ({In the coming time-trouble Grischuk wants to keep the black rook away from the second rank:} 24. Bd2 Rb2 25. Bxd5 Bxd5 26. Be3) 24... Bxd5 {With the gain of the bishop pair Black's compensation became more obvious. Experienced players know that the power of the pair often compensates for a pawn.} 25. Be3 Rc8 ({If} 25... Rb2 26. Ra1 $1) 26. Re1 Bc4 27. Nf3 Ba3 28. Bd4 Bd3 29. Nd2 Bb2 30. Nf1 Rc4 ({Or} 30... Kf8 31. Re3 Bh7) 31. Re3 Bf5 ({Kramnik rejected} 31... Bxc3 32. Bxc3 Rxc3 {because he could not see a way to break the pin after} 33. f3 {However, there is no progress either as White cannot win without the king but whenever he tries to activate it , say like this-} g6 34. hxg6 fxg6 35. Kh2 {then the rook escapes-} Rc1 {with a draw.}) 32. Ng3 Bh7 33. Kh2 $1 {Now the king enters the battle in a slightly unusual way and Black has to fight for his life.} Bc1 34. Re2 Bf4 35. Kh3 Ra4 (35... Bg5 $5 {was interesting with the idea to generate counterplay after} 36. Kg4 Bd3 37. Ra2 f6 ) 36. Kg4 Bc1 37. Kf3 Bd3 38. Re1 Bb2 39. Ke3 Bc2 40. Kd2 Bb3 $6 {Kramnik believed this was wrong and suggested to keep the bishop on the b1-h7 diagonal. } (40... Bh7 41. Ne4) 41. Rb1 {The first time control is finally reached and Grischuk starts improving everything that he can.} Ra2 42. Kd3 Ba4 43. Ne4 Ba3 44. Ke3 Bc2 45. Re1 Bb3 46. g4 Bd5 47. Kd3 Be7 48. Rb1 Ra8 49. f4 Bh4 50. Rh1 Bd8 51. Rb1 Bc7 52. Ke3 Kh7 53. Nd6 Kg8 ({The opposite-colored bishop endgame after} 53... Bxd6 $2 54. exd6 Rd8 55. Rb6 {is lost for Black.}) 54. Rb5 Bc6 55. Rb4 Bd8 56. Bb6 Bh4 57. Bd4 Bg2 58. Rb2 Bc6 59. Rb6 Bg2 60. Rb2 Bc6 61. Rb3 Bg3 {So far so good, but here White hurried to push the pawn.} 62. c4 $6 ({Instead he should have prepared it for one more move-} 62. Ne4 Bh4 ({Here} 62... Bh2 { is just bad due to} 63. Rb2 Bg1+ 64. Kd3 Bxd4 65. Kxd4) 63. c4 {with decent winning chances.}) 62... Bh2 $1 {Now Black is back in business.} 63. f5 ({ White has nothing more than repetition in the line} 63. c5 Bd5 64. Rc3 Bc6) 63... exf5 64. Nxf5 ({According to Kramnik, Grischuk should have gone for} 64. gxf5 f6 65. Rb6) 64... Kh7 65. Bb2 {Once again the players entered the low-time phase.} Re8 (65... Ra2 $5) 66. Nd6 Re7 67. Rb8 f6 68. Rc8 Bh1 $6 { Getting overly ambitious again.} ({Instead} 68... Bxe5 69. Bxe5 Rxe5+ 70. Kf4 Bd7 {"should be a draw" (Kramnik) although it is evident that Black needs to suffer for it.}) ({However Kramnik's second idea} 68... Bd7 $1 {was strong when after} 69. Rc7 fxe5 70. c5 e4 $1 {would be the correct move order. Here Black is perfectly fine.} ({Rather than} 70... Bf4+ {which allows the interesting resource:} 71. Ke4 (71. Kf2 e4) 71... Bf5+ 72. gxf5 Rxc7 73. Kd5)) 69. Nf5 Rb7 70. exf6 ({Even stronger was:} 70. e6 $1 Rb3+ 71. Bc3) 70... Rb3+ { This was the position that Black evaluated in his favor, but..} 71. Bc3 $1 { Kramnik completely missed this study-like idea.} ({Instead} 71. Kd4 Bg1+ 72. Ke5 {is perpetual after} gxf6+ 73. Kxf6 Rxb2 74. Rc7+) ({While} 71. Kf2 { drops the bishop} Rxb2+) 71... gxf6 (71... Rxc3+ 72. Kd4 {wins for White.}) 72. Kd2 Bf4+ 73. Kc2 {Grischuk kept the extra pawn but what's more important has nasty threats in the time-trouble.} Rb8 74. Rxb8 Bxb8 75. Ne7 $1 {"Very strong practical chance." (Kramnik)} (75. Bxf6 {is a draw after} Bf3 76. Ne3 Ba7 77. Kd3 Bxe3 78. Kxe3 Bxg4) 75... Be4+ ({Kramnik's suggestion} 75... Ba7 {does not seem convincing here:} 76. Kd3 Bf3 77. Nd5) ({Best seems to be} 75... Bf3 76. Nd5 Be5 77. Bxe5 fxe5 78. Ne3 Kg7 {when Black has chances to hold.}) 76. Kd2 Bf4+ {White soon won second pawn and the game.} 77. Ke2 Kg7 (77... Bg5 78. c5) 78. Nf5+ Kf7 79. Bd2 Be5 80. Bxh6 Ke6 81. Be3 Bxf5 82. gxf5+ Kxf5 83. h6 Kg6 ({ Or} 83... Ke4 84. h7 f5 85. c5 Kd5 86. Kd3) 84. c5 f5 85. Kf3 Kf7 86. Bf4 Bd4 87. c6 Ke7 88. c7 Kd7 89. h7 Kc8 90. Ke2 Kd7 91. Kd3 1-0 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.03.19"] [Round "?"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Ding, Liren"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A26"] [Annotator "user"] [PlyCount "147"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. d3 g6 5. g3 Bg7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O d6 { Диаграмма} 8. b3 {Редкий ход.} ({Главная линия - } 8. Rb1 {.}) 8... Nd4 ({Вариант} 8... e4 $6 9. dxe4 Nxe4 10. Nxe4 Bxa1 11. Bg5 f6 12. Bh6 {дает белым лучшие шансы.}) 9. Nd2 c6 10. e3 Ne6 {Диаграмма} 11. Bb2 {Новинка.} ({Владимир избрал} 11. Ba3 {в партии с Максимом Вашье-Лагравом (Мемориал Алехина 2013, 1/2).}) 11... Nc5 12. Qc2 a5 13. Rae1 Re8 14. h3 Bf5 15. e4 Bd7 16. Ne2 b5 { Диаграмма} 17. d4 ({Проблема выбора структуры - одна из сложнейших в шахматах. Мне кажется, что сильнее} 17. f4 $1 {.}) 17... exd4 18. Nxd4 ({ Интересно} 18. Bxd4 $5 {с идеей, скажем, на} Rc8 $2 { получить структурный перевес путем} 19. Bxc5 $1 dxc5 20. f4 {.}) 18... Rc8 {Диаграмма} 19. N4f3 $6 { Неудачный ход.} ({Предпочтительнее} 19. f4 { с неясной игрой.}) 19... d5 $1 {Программный подрыв структуры.} 20. exd5 $6 (20. Ne5 {оставляло белым надежды на уравнение.}) 20... Rxe1 21. Rxe1 { Диаграмма} cxd5 $2 (21... Bf5 $1 {давало большие шансы на победу. После} 22. Qd1 Nd3 23. Bxf6 Bxf6 {во избежание худшего белые должны отдать качество.}) 22. cxb5 $2 (22. Ne5 $1 {уравнивало игру.}) 22... Bf5 23. Qd1 Nd3 24. Bd4 {Диаграмма} Rc1 $1 ({В случае} 24... Nxe1 $2 25. Qxe1 {проходная белых компенсирует небольшой материальный дефицит.}) 25. Qxc1 Nxc1 26. Rxc1 Ne4 27. Nf1 {Диаграмма} Bxd4 $2 ({После} 27... Bd7 $1 { Дин мог рассчитывать на успех. Например:} 28. Bxg7 ({проигрывает} 28. a4 $2 Bxd4 29. Nxd4 Nxf2 $1) 28... Kxg7 29. a4 Qf6 {с решающим перевесом.}) 28. Nxd4 Qb6 29. Bxe4 dxe4 $6 ({Точнее} 29... Bxe4 $1 {, вынуждая ответ} 30. Rd1 {. Компьютер придерживается материалистической парадигмы и оценивает перевес черных в пешку. Моя оценка скромнее: черные вне зоны риска.}) 30. Nxf5 gxf5 31. a4 Qe6 {Диаграмма Компьютер справедливо ставит нули, зато у белых моральный перевес.} 32. Ne3 ({Наиболее амбициозна попытка } 32. Rc4 $5 {с идеей провести b4 и образовать пару связанных проходных. Четкая реакция на это -} h5 $1 33. h4 f4 34. gxf4 Qg4+ 35. Ng3 e3 {, и белые должны переключить свои помыслы на достижение ничьей.}) 32... Qxb3 33. Rc4 h5 34. h4 Kh7 35. Kg2 f6 36. Rd4 Kg6 37. Rc4 Kf7 38. Kh2 Kg6 39. Kg1 Qb1+ 40. Kg2 Qb3 41. Rd4 Kf7 42. Rd5 Qxa4 43. Rxf5 Kg6 44. b6 Qb3 45. Rxa5 Qxb6 {Диаграмма Ничейный исход стал очевиден. Однако борьба продолжалась еще тридцать ходов. У меня были серьезные опасения, что Крамник снова перегнет палку. К счастью, они оказались напрасны.} 46. Rd5 Qb2 47. Rf5 Qa2 48. Rc5 Qe2 49. Rc4 Qa2 50. Rb4 Qa5 51. Rb8 Qa2 52. Rd8 Qa5 53. Rd5 Qa2 54. Rf5 Qe6 55. Rd5 Qa6 {Диаграмма} 56. g4 {Владимир сеет ветер...} hxg4 57. h5+ Kf7 58. Rd7+ Ke6 59. Rg7 Qe2 60. h6 Qf3+ 61. Kg1 g3 62. Rxg3 Qh5 63. Rg7 { Диаграмма} f5 ({На} 63... Qxh6 $6 {заготовлен удар} 64. Re7+ $1 Kxe7 65. Nf5+ Ke6 66. Nxh6 {. Диаграмма Правда, позиция ничейна:} f5 67. Kf1 ({Другая возможность -} 67. Kg2 Ke5 ({проигрывает} 67... Kf6 $4 68. Kg3 Kg6 69. Kf4 Kxh6 70. Kxf5) 68. Kg3 e3 {с ничьей.}) 67... e3 $5 68. f3 ({после} 68. fxe3 Ke5 69. Nf7+ Ke4 70. Kf2 f4 { разменивается последний белый пехотинец}) 68... f4 69. Ke2 Kf6 70. Ng4+ Ke6 71. Kd3 {Диаграмма} Kf5 $1 ({ Если конь выйдет на волю, то принесет успех своей команде:} 71... Kd5 $4 72. Nf6+ Ke5 73. Ne4 Kf5 74. Nc3 Ke5 75. Ne2 {.})) 64. h7 f4 65. Ng4 ({Надежнее} 65. Ng2 {, и у черных нет больше вечного шаха -} Qd1+ 66. Kh2 Qh5+ { .}) 65... Qh3 66. Rg6+ Kf5 67. Rg7 {Диаграмма} Ke6 ({Черные могут поиграть на цугцванг:} 67... Qh4 68. Kg2 Qh5 69. Kg1 Qh3 {. Диаграмма Но победы это не приносит. После} 70. Nh2 f3 71. Rg3 Qxh7 72. Nxf3 $1 ({возможно и} 72. Nf1) 72... exf3 73. Rxf3+ {на доске крепость: белые просто курсируют ладьей между полями е3 и g3. Диаграмма}) 68. Rg6+ Kf5 69. Nh6+ Kxg6 70. h8=Q Qxh6 71. Qe8+ Kf5 { Диаграмма Не надо быть мастером, чтобы увидеть, что белые без пешки. Однако их спасает вечный шах.} 72. Qb5+ $1 Kg4 73. Qe2+ $1 Kf5 74. Qb5+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.03.19"] [Round "?"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "So, Wesley "] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E51"] [Annotator "user"] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Nf3 d5 6. Bd2 ({Чаще играли} 6. Bd3 {, но и ход в партии встречался бессчетное количество раз.}) 6... c5 7. a3 { Диаграмма} cxd4 $6 ({Лучше} 7... Bxc3 $1 8. Bxc3 Ne4 {. Отмечу здесь дискуссию между Ароняном и Анандом (Лондон 2015, 1/2).}) 8. axb4 dxc3 9. Bxc3 dxc4 10. Bxc4 Qxd1+ {Диаграмма Позиция довольно тонкая. Обладание двумя слонами дает белым инициативу, но ее непросто материализовать.} 11. Kxd1 {Сергей решил, что ладья может пригодиться на вертикали "а". Это новинка.} ({В партии Сандипан - Висах (Индия 2015, 1-0) было сыграно} 11. Rxd1 {.}) 11... Bd7 12. Ke2 {Похоже на неточность, после чего черные выходят сухими из воды.} ({Можно попробовать поиграть на доминацию:} 12. Ne5 $5 Ne4 (12... Rc8 13. f3 Be8 14. e4 $14) 13. Ke2 Nxc3+ 14. bxc3 Rc8 15. Bd3 Rxc3 ( 15... Be8 $14) 16. Rhc1 Rc8 17. Nxd7 Rxc1 18. Rxc1 Nxd7 19. Rc7 Ne5 {. Диаграмма Трудно оценить позицию без детального анализа.} 20. Rxb7 ({или} 20. Be4 {дает белым, по крайней мере, практические шансы.} )) ({Другая возможность развития инициативы заключается в размене одного из слонов:} 12. Bxf6 $5 gxf6 13. b5 {. Занятен прямой вариант, где белые добиваются успеха:} Rc8 14. Bd3 Rc5 15. Kd2 Bxb5 $2 16. Ra5 a6 17. Rha1 Nc6 18. Rxb5 {.}) 12... Rc8 13. Bd3 Nd5 14. Ne5 Be8 15. Bd2 {Диаграмма} f6 ({После} 15... Na6 $1 16. Bxa6 bxa6 {у черных не может возникнуть и тени проблем.}) 16. Nc4 Rd8 17. Rhc1 Nc6 18. Be4 Ndxb4 19. Bxb4 Nxb4 20. Bxb7 Rab8 21. Rxa7 Rd7 22. Na5 Nd3 {Диаграмма} 23. Rd1 ({После ходов} 23. Rc2 Bg6 24. Rc3 {сильнейшая линия ведет к равенству, однако отклонения от нее довольно любопытны.} h6 ({После жадного} 24... Nxb2 $6 25. Rb3 $1 { возникает Crestообразная связка. На} Nd3 {белые ответят эффектным} 26. Bd5 $1 {с выигрышем пешки.}) 25. Ra8 Rxa8 ({не проходит} 25... Rdxb7 $4 {из-за} 26. Rc8+) 26. Bxa8 Nxb2 $11) 23... Nxb2 24. Rxd7 Bxd7 25. Bc6 Bxc6 26. Nxc6 { Диаграмма Положение близко к ничейному. Впрочем, можно проиграть и выигранную позицию.} Re8 ({Имело смысл не ставить ладью в пассив и предпочесть} 26... Rb6 $5 {.}) 27. e4 Nc4 28. Kd3 Nd6 29. f4 {Диаграмма} Kf8 $6 {Неудачный ход.} ({ После} 29... h5 $1 {за белых не видно возможностей поставить проблемы перед соперником.}) 30. e5 $1 fxe5 31. fxe5 Nf5 32. g4 Nh4 33. Kc4 Nf3 34. Ra2 Rc8 35. Kb5 {Диаграмма} Ke8 $2 {Уэсли не разгадал замысла соперника и допустил фатальную ошибку.} ({Удерживало равновесие} 35... Rc7 $1 { . Оборона черных держится на варианте:} 36. Rf2 Rf7 37. Nd8 $4 Nd4+ {.}) 36. Kb6 $1 {Ладье становится тесно.} g5 ({Не оставляет надежд} 36... Rxc6+ 37. Kxc6 Nxe5+ 38. Kd6 Nxg4 39. Kxe6 Kd8 40. Rg2 h5 41. h3 {.}) 37. h3 Nxe5 38. Nxe5 Rc3 {Диаграмма} 39. Rh2 ({После} 39. Ra7 $1 {возможны элегантные матовые конструкции.} Rxh3 40. Kc6 h5 41. Kd6 Kf8 42. Rf7+ Kg8 (42... Ke8 43. gxh5 Rxh5 44. Re7+ Kf8 45. Nd7+ Kg8 46. Nf6+) 43. Ke7 hxg4 44. Nxg4 Rh4 45. Nf6+ Kh8 46. Rf8+ Kg7 47. Rg8+ Kh6 48. Kf7 Ra4 49. Rg6#) 39... Ke7 40. Kb5 {Для выигрыша от белых требуется техническая работа, ведь потенциальное окончание "ладья и конь против ладьи" теоретически ничейно. Однако Карякину не пришлось демонстрировать свою блестящую технику, поскольку Со не успел пережать часы после хода} Re3 {и просрочил время.} 1-0 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.03.19"] [Round "?"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D39"] [Annotator "user"] [PlyCount "74"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. e4 Bb4 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bxf6 Qxf6 8. Bxc4 {Диаграмма Соперники пришли к Венскому варианту защиты Рагозина.} c5 9. O-O cxd4 10. e5 Qd8 11. Ne4 O-O 12. Qe2 Be7 13. Rad1 Qc7 {Диаграмма} 14. Bd3 {Новинка.} ({Эта позиция встречалась в двух партиях Георга Майера за черных - с Валентином Иотовым (США 2012, 1/2) и Александра Моисеенко (Израиль 2017, 1/2). В обеих последовало} 14. Ng3 {.}) 14... Nd7 15. Rc1 Qa5 {Диаграмма} 16. g4 $5 {Левон идет ставить мат. Такие яркие ходы весьма привлекательны, но не всегда способствуют достижению желаемого результата.} Nxe5 17. Nxe5 Qxe5 18. f4 Qa5 19. g5 {Диаграмма} Qd8 $6 ({Трудно указать недостатки развивающего хода} 19... Bd7 $1 {. Например:} 20. gxh6 g6 {. Остается} 21. Nc5 ({ В варианте} 21. Qf2 Rac8 22. Qxd4 {благодаря ресурсу} Qb6 $1 {черные отражают матовую угрозу и остаются с большим перевесом.}) 21... Bxc5 22. Qe5 f6 23. Qxc5 Qxc5 24. Rxc5 Kh7 25. Rc7 Rf7 26. Rxb7 Be8 {. Эндшпиль к явной выгоде черных.}) 20. h4 Bd7 21. gxh6 g6 22. h5 Kh8 { Диаграмма} 23. Kh2 $6 ({Лучшее продолжение -} 23. hxg6 $1 fxg6 24. Nc5 {с острой игрой. Характерна оценка этой позиции "Стокфишем": 0.00.}) 23... Bc6 24. Rf3 $2 ({Сильнейшая защита -} 24. Rf2 $1 {. В случае } Bd6 {король защищал себя сам -} 25. Kh3 $1 {. Оценку железного друга легко предугадать... }) 24... Bd6 $2 ({После} 24... Qd5 $1 {могло сказаться то обстоятельство, что ладья перекрыла ферзя, и позиция белых становилась проигранной.}) 25. Qf2 Bc7 26. Kh3 Qe7 {Диаграмма} 27. Ng5 $2 (27. Rg1 $1 { давало равенство. Например:} Rg8 28. Rfg3 Bd7 29. Rxg6 $1 fxg6 30. hxg6 Rxg6 31. Rxg6 {.}) 27... e5 $2 ({Простым (как кажется) ходом} 27... gxh5 $1 {Фабиано мог достичь подавляющего превосходства. Не могу указать за белых ни одной вразумительной попытки остаться в борьбе.}) {Диаграмма Аронян в очередной раз проявляет себя как художник.} 28. Rxc6 $1 bxc6 29. Nxf7+ $1 Rxf7 30. hxg6 Rf6 ({Сильнее грубое} 30... Rxf4 $1 31. Rxf4 exf4 32. Qxd4+ Qe5 33. g7+ Kg8 34. Bc4+ Kh7 35. Qd3+ Kxh6 36. g8=Q Rxg8 37. Bxg8 Qh8 38. Bb3 Kg5+ 39. Kg2 Qxb2+ 40. Bc2 {. Диаграмма Две лишних пешки не гарантируют черным победы при ферзях. А вот чистый разноцвет выигран.} ) 31. g7+ Kg8 {Диаграмма} 32. Bc4+ $2 {Теперь гармония утрачивается безвозвратно.} ({Тихий ход} 32. Qh4 $3 {мог установить гармонию в боевых порядках белых. Вариант} e4 33. h7+ $1 Kxg7 34. Rg3+ Kh8 35. Rg8+ Rxg8 36. hxg8=Q+ Kxg8 37. Bc4+ Kg7 38. Qg5+ Kh7 39. Qg8+ Kh6 40. Qg5+ {кончается вечным шахом.}) 32... Kh7 33. Qh4 e4 34. Rg3 Bxf4 35. g8=Q+ Rxg8 36. Bxg8+ Kh8 37. Rg7 {Диаграмма} Qf8 0-1 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.03.20"] [Round "?"] [White "Grischuk Alexander"] [Black "Kramnik Vladimir "] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D26"] [Annotator "user"] [PlyCount "181"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nf3 c5 5. e3 $5 ({Грищук уклоняется от улучшенной защиты Тарраша, возможной после} 5. cxd5 Nxd5 {, поскольку этот дебют является коронным у экс-чемпиона мира.}) 5... dxc4 6. Bxc4 {Определился дебют - принятый ферзевый гамбит.} a6 {Диаграмма} 7. Bb3 $5 {Довольно редкий ход.} ({Чаще встречалось} 7. O-O {.}) 7... b5 8. e4 $5 ({Снова сюрприз вместо обычного} 8. O-O {.}) 8... cxd4 9. Nxd4 Bb7 {Диаграмма} 10. e5 $1 {А это - новинка.} ({В партии Андрей Малюш - Виктор Купрейчик (Минск 2004, 1/2) было сыграно } 10. O-O {.}) 10... Ne4 ({На} 10... Nfd7 {надо считаться с ударом} 11. Bxe6 $1 {, и в случае} fxe6 12. Nxe6 Qc8 13. O-O { у белых неприятная инициатива.}) 11. O-O ({ Белые могут перейти в лучший эндшпиль. Впрочем, можно понять желание Грищука сохранить более сложный характер борьбы, поскольку доказательство перевеса в окончании требует компьютерной точности.} 11. Nxe4 $5 Bxe4 12. O-O Nc6 13. Nxc6 Qxd1 14. Rxd1 Bxc6 15. Be3 Be7 16. Rac1 Rc8 17. f4 g6 ({в варианте} 17... O-O $2 18. f5 exf5 19. e6 f6 20. Bc5 {белые побеждают}) 18. Rd3 Bb7 ({в случае} 18... O-O 19. Rdc3 Bd7 20. Rc7 Rfd8 21. Bd1 Rxc7 22. Rxc7 Kf8 23. Be2 {оценка та же, что и в главном варианте}) 19. Rxc8+ Bxc8 20. Rc3 Kd7 21. Bb6 Bd8 22. Rd3+ Ke7 23. Bc5+ Ke8 24. Kf2 {. Диаграмма У белых ясный перевес, но удастся ли его реализовать - остается неясным.}) 11... Nxc3 12. bxc3 Nc6 {Диаграмма} 13. a4 $5 {Масштабная игра!} ({ Хочется поскорее создать атаку. Но, например, попытку} 13. Qg4 {парирует типовое} h5 $1 {, и черные в порядке.}) ({В случае} 13. Be3 { занятен кооперативный вариант:} Nxe5 $2 {(в реальности кто ж возьмет эту пешку!)} 14. Qh5 $1 Ng6 15. f4 Qh4 16. Qe2 Be7 17. g3 Qh3 18. f5 exf5 19. Rxf5 O-O 20. Raf1 Bf6 21. Rh5 Qd7 22. Rxf6 gxf6 {Диаграмма} 23. Rxh7 $1 Kxh7 24. Qh5+ Kg7 25. Bh6+ Kg8 26. Qxg6+ Kh8 27. Qg7#) 13... Bc5 $1 {Естественный развивающий ход.} ({На} 13... b4 {белые могут развивать инициативу путем} 14. a5 $1 {.}) 14. axb5 axb5 15. Rxa8 Bxa8 16. Nxb5 {Диаграмма Часто трудно верно оценить и сопоставить вес динамических и материальных факторов. Владимир решает погасить инициативу соперника жертвой пешки.} O-O ({После} 16... Nxe5 $5 {за черных не видно опасностей. Например:} 17. Bf4 Qxd1 18. Rxd1 Ng4 {.}) 17. Qxd8 Rxd8 18. Bf4 {Слабость структуры не дает белым больших оснований реализовать материальный перевес.} h6 19. h4 Ne7 20. Rd1 Rb8 21. Bc4 Bc6 22. Nd4 Be4 23. h5 Nd5 24. Bxd5 Bxd5 25. Be3 Rc8 26. Re1 Bc4 27. Nf3 Ba3 28. Bd4 Bd3 29. Nd2 Bb2 30. Nf1 Rc4 31. Re3 { Диаграмма} Bf5 $2 {Игра черных на победу в такой позиции выглядит безумием.} ({ Вероятно, Крамник не смог оценить, что после} 31... Bxc3 $1 32. Bxc3 Rxc3 {белые не могут использовать связку, ведь на} 33. Kh2 {следует} Rc1 {.}) 32. Ng3 Bh7 33. Kh2 Bc1 34. Re2 Bf4 35. Kh3 Ra4 36. Kg4 Bc1 37. Kf3 Bd3 38. Re1 Bb2 39. Ke3 Bc2 40. Kd2 Bb3 41. Rb1 Ra2 42. Kd3 Ba4 43. Ne4 Ba3 44. Ke3 Bc2 {Диаграмма У белых большие шансы на победу.} 45. Re1 ({Компьютер рекомендует более активное} 45. Rb8+ $1 Kh7 46. g4 $1 {, но и ход Грищука сохраняет преимущество.}) 45... Bb3 46. g4 Bd5 47. Kd3 Be7 48. Rb1 Ra8 49. f4 Bh4 50. Rh1 Bd8 51. Rb1 Bc7 52. Ke3 Kh7 53. Nd6 Kg8 54. Rb5 Bc6 55. Rb4 Bd8 56. Bb6 Bh4 57. Bd4 Bg2 58. Rb2 Bc6 59. Rb6 Bg2 60. Rb2 Bc6 61. Rb3 Bg3 62. c4 Bh2 {Диаграмма После серии маневров Александр идет на штурм.} 63. f5 $1 exf5 ({Черные на грани поражения и после} 63... Bg3 $5 64. Ne4 Bh4 65. Rb6 Ra3+ 66. Nc3 {.}) 64. Nxf5 $2 (64. gxf5 $1 {давало решающий перевес. Возможен вариант:} f6 65. Rb6 Ra3+ 66. Kd2 Bf3 67. Rb8+ Kh7 68. Nf7 Bf4+ 69. Ke1 Ra8 70. Rxa8 Bxa8 71. e6 Kg8 72. Nd8 Kf8 73. Bc5+ Ke8 74. e7 Be4 75. Ne6 {с выигрышем.}) 64... Kh7 65. Bb2 Re8 66. Nd6 Re7 67. Rb8 {Диаграмма} f6 $6 ({Простым} 67... Bxe5 $1 68. Bxe5 Rxe5+ 69. Kd4 f6 70. Nf7 Re8 {черные уверенно достигали мирной гавани.}) 68. Rc8 Bh1 $2 ({После} 68... Bd7 $1 69. Rc7 fxe5 {белые вновь не могут использовать связку, как и в варианте на 31 ходу. Например:} 70. c5 e4 71. c6 Bg1+ 72. Kf4 Bh2+ {с ничьей.}) 69. Nf5 Rb7 {Диаграмма} 70. exf6 $2 ({ Выигрывает} 70. e6 $1 Rb3+ 71. Bc3 $1 Rxc3+ 72. Kd2 $1 {.} ({А вот в случае} 72. Kd4 $2 Rb3 73. e7 $4 {партия заканчивается в пользу черных:} Bg1+ 74. Ne3 Bxe3#)) 70... Rb3+ 71. Bc3 gxf6 72. Kd2 Bf4+ 73. Kc2 Rb8 74. Rxb8 Bxb8 75. Ne7 Be4+ ({ Четкий путь к ничьей -} 75... Bf3 $1 {, и после} 76. Nd5 {на выбор:} Be5 ({или} 76... Kg7 77. Nxf6 Kf7 78. g5 hxg5 79. h6 Bf4 80. h7 Kg7 {.}) 77. Bxe5 fxe5 78. Kd3 Kg7 79. Ne3 Kf6) 76. Kd2 { Диаграмма} Bf4+ $4 {Решающая ошибка.} ({Вело к ничьей} 76... Bf3 $1 77. Nd5 Kg7 78. Nxf6 Bf4+ 79. Kd3 Kf7 {.}) 77. Ke2 { Пешка g4 в безопасности, и черные обречены.} Kg7 78. Nf5+ $1 Kf7 79. Bd2 Be5 80. Bxh6 Ke6 81. Be3 Bxf5 82. gxf5+ Kxf5 83. h6 Kg6 84. c5 f5 85. Kf3 Kf7 86. Bf4 Bd4 87. c6 Ke7 88. c7 Kd7 89. h7 { Диаграмма Пешка с оттягивает на себя короля соперника, а пешка h проходит. Решает перекрытие слоном на е5.} Kc8 90. Ke2 Kd7 91. Kd3 1-0 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.03.20"] [Round "?"] [White "Ding Liren "] [Black "Aronian Levon "] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E04"] [Annotator "user"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. g3 e6 3. Bg2 d5 4. Nf3 dxc4 5. Qa4+ Bd7 6. Qxc4 c5 7. d4 ({ Поединок Аронян - Дин Лижэнь (Кубок Мира, Тбилиси 2017, 1/2) продолжался} 7. Ne5 Qc8 {.}) 7... Bc6 8. dxc5 Nbd7 9. Be3 Bd5 10. Qc2 Be4 11. Qc1 {Диаграмма} Ng4 { Новинка.} ({Надежнее игра на уравнение:} 11... Bxc5 12. Bxc5 Rc8 13. b4 b6 {и т.д.}) 12. b4 a5 13. Bg5 f6 { Диаграмма} 14. Bd2 ({К небезвыгодным для белых осложнениям ведет} 14. Nc3 $5 {. Возможны следующие продолжения. Острее} Bf5 $5 ({В случае} 14... Bxf3 15. Bxf3 axb4 16. Bxg4 bxc3 17. Be3 Bxc5 18. O-O { у белых приятнее.}) 15. Bf4 axb4 16. Nb5 {. Здесь варианты снова разветвляются. Один из них -} Rc8 ({Другая возможность -} 16... e5 17. Nfd4 exd4 18. Nxd4 g6 19. Nxf5 gxf5 20. c6 bxc6 21. Qxc6 {с атакой за фигуру.}) 17. Nd6+ Bxd6 18. Bxd6 Nxc5 19. Bxc5 b6 20. Bxb4 Rxc1+ 21. Rxc1 {. За ферзя у белых ладья, слон и инициатива.}) 14... axb4 15. Bxb4 Nxc5 16. Bxc5 {Диаграмма} Rc8 $6 {Левон вызывает осложнения, в которых Лижэнь оказывается на высоте.} ({Верный путь -} 16... Qa5+ $1 17. Nbd2 Bxc5 18. O-O Bd5 {с равновесием, хотя возможно острое продолжение:} 19. e4 Nxf2 20. Rxf2 Bxf2+ 21. Kxf2 Qb6+ ({ "Стокфиш" упрямо лезет под связку -} 21... Bxa2) 22. Kf1 Bc6 {.}) 17. Qc4 Bxc5 18. Qxe6+ Kf8 19. Qxg4 Bb4+ 20. Nbd2 Bxd2+ 21. Nxd2 Bxg2 22. Rg1 Bd5 23. Rd1 Qc7 24. Ne4 Rd8 25. f3 {Диаграмма} Qe5 $6 ({ Продолжение} 25... Qb6 $1 26. Kf1 Kf7 27. Kg2 Qe3 28. Rge1 Bxe4 { давало хорошие шансы на ничью.}) 26. Qf4 $1 Qxf4 27. gxf4 Kf7 28. Nc3 Bc4 {Диаграмма} 29. a4 ({Стоило предпочесть} 29. Kf2) ({или} 29. Rb1 {с большим перевесом.}) 29... Rxd1+ 30. Kxd1 Rd8+ 31. Kc2 Rc8 32. Kd2 Ba6 33. Ne4 Kf8 {Диаграмма} 34. f5 $2 {Ведет к потере лишней пешки.} (34. Ra1 $1 {давало шансы ее реализовать.} ) 34... Rd8+ $1 35. Ke3 Rd5 36. Rc1 $6 ({Еще можно было бороться за победу путем} 36. Ng3 $1 Ra5 37. Rc1 $1 { , но черные способны устоять после} Rxa4 38. Rc8+ Kf7 39. Rc7+ Kg8 $1 40. Nh5 Rh4 41. Nxg7 Rxh2 42. Kf4 Bxe2 43. Ne8 Rh6 {.}) 36... Rxf5 37. Rc8+ Ke7 38. Rc7+ Kf8 39. Rc8+ Ke7 40. Rc7+ Kf8 41. Rc8+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.03.20"] [Round "?"] [White "So Wesley "] [Black "Caruana Fabiano "] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C42"] [Annotator "user"] [PlyCount "129"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Qe2 {Диаграмма Безобидный вариант русской партии, но, как известно, в тихом омуте черти водятся.} Qe7 6. d3 Nf6 7. Nc3 Qxe2+ 8. Bxe2 g6 9. Bg5 Bg7 10. O-O-O O-O 11. Rhe1 { Диаграмма Позиция за внешней простотой скрывает глубокие нюансы. Черные уже играют на перехват.} h6 $1 {Фабиано "спросил фамилию" у слона.} 12. Bh4 ({После размена слона перспективы черных выше -} 12. Bxf6 Bxf6 13. Nd5 Bd8 {.}) 12... Nc6 13. d4 a6 ({Интересно} 13... g5 $5 {.}) {Диаграмма} 14. a3 $6 {Потеря времени.} ({Видимо, настал подходящий момент для размена слона:} 14. Bxf6 $1 Bxf6 15. Nd5 Bd8 16. c3 {. В случае} Be6 {белые решают позиционные проблемы тактическим путем:} 17. Nxc7 $1 Bxc7 18. d5 {с равенством.}) 14... Bd7 ({Снова давало шансы на перевес} 14... g5 $5 15. Bg3 Re8 {.}) { Диаграмма} 15. d5 $6 {Внешняя агрессия приводит к возникновению слабости, поскольку пехотинец отрывается от коллектива.} ({Видимо, размен слона был лучшим решением, хотя после} 15. Bxf6 $1 Bxf6 16. Nd5 Bd8 {от белых требуется точность для удержания равновесия.}) 15... Na7 16. Nd4 Nc8 17. Nb3 g5 18. Bg3 Re8 19. Na5 b5 20. f3 Nh5 21. Bf2 Nf4 22. Bf1 {Диаграмма} Nb6 ({ Фабиано мог выиграть пешку путем} 22... Rxe1 $1 23. Bxe1 Bxc3 24. Bxc3 Nb6 {, что, вероятно, было лучшей возможностью.}) 23. Rxe8+ Rxe8 24. Bxb6 cxb6 {Диаграмма} 25. Nb7 $5 {Впечатляющее решение, которому Уэсли обязан спасением партии.} ({ Альтернатива -} 25. Nc6 {. У черных есть несколько перспективных возможностей, но сумеют ли они победить - вопрос открытый. Например:} f5 $5 26. g3 Nxd5 27. Rxd5 Bxc6 28. Rxd6 Bxf3 {с перевесом.}) 25... Be5 26. Ne4 Rb8 {После хода в партии Со спасается единственными ходами.} ({Зная результат, можно предложить} 26... g4 $5 {.} ) 27. Nexd6 Ng6 28. g3 Ne7 {Диаграмма} 29. a4 $3 Nf5 30. Nxf5 Bxf5 31. Re1 f6 {Диаграмма} 32. Rxe5 {Жертва качества вынуждена, но достаточна для ничьей.} fxe5 33. Nd6 Bd7 34. axb5 axb5 35. Bxb5 Bxb5 36. Nxb5 Rf8 37. Kd2 Rxf3 38. Ke2 g4 39. Nd6 h5 40. Nc4 {Диаграмма} b5 $1 {Каруана ставит проблемы, но Со блестяще их решает.} 41. Nxe5 Rf5 42. Ng6 Kf7 43. Nf4 h4 $1 44. Ng2 $1 hxg3 45. hxg3 Rf3 46. Ne3 Rxg3 { Диаграмма} 47. c4 $1 bxc4 48. d6 $5 ({Спасало и} 48. Nxc4 Kf6 49. d6 Rb3 50. d7 $1 {.}) 48... Ke6 49. Nxc4 Rf3 {Диаграмма} 50. d7 $1 Rf8 51. Ne3 g3 52. d8=Q {Благодаря отвлечению ладьи белый король получает возможность подойти к проходной.} Rxd8 53. Kf3 Rd3 54. Kf4 Rb3 55. Ng2 Kd5 56. Nh4 Kc4 57. Kg4 Rd3 58. b4 Rb3 59. b5 Kd5 60. b6 Ke4 {Диаграмма} 61. b7 $1 Rxb7 62. Kxg3 {Материальное соотношение теоретически ничейно. Фабиано не стал проверять соперника.} Rg7+ 63. Kf2 Rg4 64. Ng2 Rxg2+ 65. Kxg2 1/2-1/2 [Event "Berlin GER"] [Site "Berlin GER"] [Date "2018.03.24"] [Round "12"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Ding, Liren"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D41"] [WhiteElo "2809"] [BlackElo "2769"] [PlyCount "86"] [EventDate "2018.03.10"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 c5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 cxd4 8. cxd4 Bb4+ 9. Bd2 Bxd2+ 10. Qxd2 O-O 11. Bc4 Nd7 12. O-O b6 13. Rad1 Bb7 14. Rfe1 Rc8 15. Bb3 Re8 16. h3 (16. Re3 Nf6 17. Qd3 b5 18. d5 exd5 19. e5 Ne4 20. Qxb5 Qb6 21. Qxb6 axb6 {So,W (2788)-Dominguez Perez,L (2739) Saint Louis 2017}) 16... Nf6 17. Qf4 Nh5 $146 (17... Qc7 18. Qh4 h6 19. Re3 b5 20. Ne5 a5 21. a4 bxa4 22. Bxa4 Red8 {Epishin,V (2574)-Del Rio de Angelis,S (2489) Calvia 2005}) 18. Qh2 h6 19. Ne5 (19. d5 exd5 20. exd5 Rxe1+ 21. Nxe1 Qf6 22. Nd3 Ba6 23. Qe5 Bxd3 24. Qxh5 Bc2 {So,W (2799)-Kramnik,V (2800) Berlin GER 2018}) 19... Nf6 20. Qf4 b5 21. Re3 (21. Nxf7 Kxf7 22. e5 a5 23. exf6 Qxf6 {is just equal.}) 21... Rc7 22. Nd3 Rc3 23. Nc5 Rxe3 24. Qxe3 {After this trade Ding felt quite comfortable.} (24. fxe3 Bc6 25. d5 e5 {Ding}) 24... Bc6 25. Rc1 Qb6 26. f3 Rd8 27. Kf2 a5 28. g4 a4 29. Bc2 (29. Bd1 $5 Qb8 30. Kg2 Qd6 {Mamedyarov} 31. Be2 $1 Qxd4 32. Qxd4 Rxd4 33. Nxe6) 29... Nd7 {Here Ding thought Black is already better.} 30. Bd3 Nxc5 31. Rxc5 b4 32. Bc4 Bd7 33. g5 hxg5 34. Qxg5 Be8 35. Qe7 b3 $1 36. axb3 a3 $1 {Missed by Mamedyarov.} 37. b4 Ra8 38. d5 {Ding had missed this, and said he was lucky he had 43...Qa7+.} a2 39. dxe6 a1=Q 40. exf7+ Bxf7 41. Bxf7+ Kh7 42. Qh4+ Qh6 43. Rh5 Qa7+ $1 (43... Qd4+ $2 44. Kg2 { is a draw in fact.}) 0-1 [Event "World Chess Candidates 2018"] [Site "Berlin"] [Date "2018.03.24"] [Round "12"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Ding, Liren"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D41"] [WhiteElo "2809"] [BlackElo "2769"] [Annotator "AlexYermo"] [PlyCount "86"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 c5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 cxd4 8. cxd4 Bb4+ 9. Bd2 Bxd2+ 10. Qxd2 O-O 11. Bc4 Nd7 12. O-O b6 13. Rad1 Bb7 14. Rfe1 Rc8 15. Bb3 Re8 16. h3 Nf6 17. Qf4 Nh5 {This move was seen earlier in the tournament in So-Kramnik, played in Round 5.} 18. Qh2 h6 19. Ne5 ({Wesley was unable to get anything going after} 19. d5 exd5 20. exd5 Rxe1+ 21. Nxe1 Qf6 22. Nd3 Ba6 $1) 19... Nf6 20. Qf4 b5 {[#]} 21. Re3 ({White had an interesting possibility in} 21. Nxf7 Kxf7 22. e5 {hoping for} Qc7 $2 ({I'm sure both players saw} 22... a5 23. exf6 Qxf6 24. Qd6 Rc6 25. Qa3 a4 26. d5 Ra6 27. dxe6+ Kg8 28. Bc2 Raxe6 $11) 23. Rc1 Qb8 24. Rxc8 {where Black has no good recapture: } Bxc8 (24... Rxc8 25. Bxe6+ Kxe6 26. exf6+ Kf7 27. Re7+ Kf8 28. Qe3 $18) 25. Qf5 $3 Kf8 26. exf6 exf5 27. Rxe8+ Kxe8 28. fxg7 $18) ({Another plan was the standard} 21. d5 $5 exd5 22. exd5 Qd6 23. Qd4 a5 24. a4 b4 25. Re3) 21... Rc7 22. Nd3 {Shakh appears to be a bit indecisive.} (22. d5 exd5 23. exd5 Qd6 24. Qg3 Rd8 25. Ng4 Qxg3 26. Nxf6+ gxf6 27. Rxg3+ Kf8 28. d6 Rc6 29. Rgd3 a5 $14) 22... Rc3 $1 {A rook trade will come as big relief for Black's position.} 23. Nc5 Rxe3 24. Qxe3 Bc6 25. Rc1 Qb6 26. f3 Rd8 27. Kf2 a5 28. g4 ({The last chance to change the course of the game was represented by} 28. Nxe6 $5 fxe6 29. Bxe6+ Kf8 30. d5 Qxe3+ 31. Kxe3 Bd7 ({A rather unclear situation arises after} 31... Bxd5 32. Rd1 Bxe6 33. Rxd8+ Ke7 34. Ra8 a4 35. a3 g5) 32. Bxd7 Nxd7 33. Rc7 Ke8 34. Kd4 b4 35. Ra7 {Honestly, White doesn't have much in either line, but this is more like Mamedyarov's chess than the sit-and-wait policy he adopted in the game continuation.}) 28... a4 29. Bc2 Nd7 30. Bd3 (30. Nd3 Nf6 31. Bb1) 30... Nxc5 31. Rxc5 b4 $15 {[#] I guess around these parts Shakh came to realize his position was gradually getting worse.} 32. Bc4 $2 { This active attempt only puts White on the brink of disaster.} ({Instead, he could have held on with} 32. h4 b3 33. axb3 axb3 34. Bb1 Be8 35. Qc3 b2 36. e5 Rb8 37. h5 {It's not clear how Black makes progress from this point on.}) 32... Bd7 33. g5 (33. e5 b3 34. axb3 a3 35. Qd2 Ra8 36. b4) 33... hxg5 34. Qxg5 Be8 35. Qe7 $2 {This loses.} (35. Qe3 $142) 35... b3 $1 {Ding has let his chances slip away in some games, but this time he stays focused and brings home his first victory.} 36. axb3 a3 37. b4 (37. Qc7 Qxc7 38. Rxc7 Ra8 $19) 37... Ra8 38. d5 (38. Ba2 Qxb4) 38... a2 {[#]} 39. dxe6 {There will be no miracles as White's Rc5 remains pinned and is unable to join the attack.} ({However, there was no salvation in} 39. Bxa2 Rxa2+ 40. Kg3 Qxb4 41. Qxe8+ Kh7 42. Qxf7 (42. Rc8 Qd2 $1) 42... Qxc5 43. Qh5+ Kg8 44. Qe8+ Qf8 45. Qxe6+ Kh7 $19) 39... a1=Q 40. exf7+ Bxf7 41. Bxf7+ Kh7 42. Qh4+ Qh6 43. Rh5 Qa7+ 0-1 [Event "EU-chT (Men) 21st"] [Site "Heraklio"] [Date "2017.11.05"] [Round "8.2"] [White "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A35"] [WhiteElo "2741"] [BlackElo "2733"] [Annotator "Marin,M"] [PlyCount "87"] [EventDate "2017.10.28"] [EventType "team-swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "GRE"] [SourceTitle "CBM 182"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2018.01.17"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"] [SourceQuality "1"] [WhiteTeam "Azerbaijan"] [BlackTeam "Russia"] [WhiteTeamCountry "AZE"] [BlackTeamCountry "RUS"] 1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. e3 Nf6 5. d4 cxd4 6. exd4 d5 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Qb3 {I analysed this line in my Modern Trends - Symmetrical English article in CBM180. For this reason I will not comment again on the initial phase of the game.} e6 9. Bb5 Bg7 10. Bxc6+ bxc6 11. O-O O-O 12. Na4 Qd6 13. Re1 Rb8 14. Qd3 c5 15. Nxc5 Nb4 16. Qc3 Bb7 17. a3 (17. Ne5 Qd5 18. Nxb7 Rxb7 19. b3 Rbb8 $44 { ½-½ (38) Matlakov,M (2707)-Wei,Y (2728) Khanty-Mansiysk 2017 CBM 179 [CBM 180 EO symmetrical]}) 17... Nd5 18. Qd3 Ba8 ({In my initial comments I attached to this move a "?" writing: Wasting an important tempo.} 18... Ne7 19. b4 Nf5 $44 {was better. But the novelty below proves I was wrong.}) 19. b4 Rbc8 $1 $146 {You may forgive me for not taking this move seriously in my initial comments. What is Black doing? Placing a rook on a well defended file? But the idea is very deep. First of all, the rook moves out of the enemy bishop's range, preventing White from winning an important tempo in certain lines. Secondly, White frequently plays Ne4 to help his development in one way or another, and then the control of the c-file will be important, allowing Black to play for ...Qc2.} (19... Ne7 {Harutyunian,T (2515)-Vakhidov,J (2561) Moscow 2017 (1/2-1/2, 60)} 20. Ne4 $1 Qb6 21. Bg5 f6 22. Bf4 $14) (19... Rbd8 20. Ne4 Qb6 21. Bg5 f6 22. Bd2 $14) 20. Ne5 {Here are a couple of altenatives illustrating the previous comment:} (20. Ne4 Qc6 21. Bd2 Qc2 $44) (20. Bd2 Ne7 21. Ne4 Qd5 22. Bg5 f6 23. Bd2 (23. Bf4 {does not attack a rook anymore and can be also met with} g5) 23... g5 24. h3 h5 $132) 20... Ne7 $44 {The start of the standard regrouping, increasing the pressure on the d4-pawn. White's extra pawn is not too relevant yet and Black's bishops are both very strong. The positon is basically equal.} 21. Bb2 Nf5 22. Rad1 Rfd8 23. Qe2 Qe7 24. Ne4 { As we will see, White's main plan is advancing his queenside pawns, as in the rest of the board it is hard to display activity. But why then did White retreat with his knight?} ({One possible answer is that} 24. b5 $2 {leaves the c5-kight slightly hanging:} Nh4 25. f3 Bxe5 26. Qxe5 {Unfortunately forced.} Rd5 27. Qe3 Rg5 $19) ({White could also try regrouping as in the game with his knight on c5, but the hanging issue would always be there.} 24. f3 Rd5 25. Qf2 h5 26. Rd2 Rcd8 27. Red1 a5 $5 28. Bc3 axb4 29. axb4 Nd6 $44 {[%cal Gd6b5]}) 24... Qh4 25. f3 {For now this looks like a solid move but later it will turn into a weakness.} (25. g3 Qxe4 26. Qxe4 Bxe4 27. Rxe4 Rc2 $44) 25... Rd5 26. a4 {Finally the plan.} (26. Nxf7 {leads to unclear consequences.} Kxf7 27. Ng5+ Qxg5 28. Qxe6+ Kf8 29. Qxc8+ Rd8 $13) ({But} 26. f4 $5 {deserves atention. As shown below the pawn is not too tasty and White may grab space with g2-g4 soon. } Rcd8 (26... Qxf4 $6 27. g3 Qh6 28. Ng4 Qh3 29. Ngf6+ Bxf6 30. Nxf6+ Kg7 31. Nxd5 Bxd5 32. Rc1 $14 {with insufficient compensation for the exchange.}) 27. Qf2 a5 $5 ({Retrieving the pawn leads to an unpleasant endgame almost by force: } 27... Qxf2+ 28. Kxf2 Nxd4 29. Ng4 Rf5 30. g3 h5 31. Nh6+ Bxh6 32. Rxd4 Rxd4 33. Bxd4 Bxe4 34. Rxe4 $14) (27... Qe7 28. Rd2 {and White still keeps his extra pawn although it is not clear how he would make progress.}) 28. g4 Bxe5 29. Qxh4 Nxh4 30. fxe5 Nf3+ (30... Rb5 31. Kf2 axb4 32. a4 Ra5 33. Bc1 $14 { Black faces some problems of coordination, but the position remains not clear.} ) 31. Kf2 Nxe1 32. Nf6+ Kg7 33. Nxd5 Bxd5 34. Rxe1 $14 {White's advantage looks rather symbolic, due to opposite coloured bishops.}) 26... h6 {A mysterious move, proving that Black is confident. He clears the h7-square for the king and prepares a later ...g6-g5.} ({But there is nothing against the immediate} 26... Qd8) 27. b5 Qd8 28. Rc1 ({The central pawn is lost as} 28. Qf2 $2 {drops a piece to} Bxe5) 28... Rxc1 29. Rxc1 Nxd4 30. Bxd4 Rxd4 31. Nc6 { White has finally managed to neutralise one of the bishops.} Bxc6 {Not really necesary but not wrong either.} (31... Qc7 32. Qc2 (32. Rc4 Rd5 {[%cal Ga7a6]}) 32... Rd5 {and Black is at least fine, as White cannot display much activity.}) 32. bxc6 Be5 33. Qc2 Qc7 $6 $14 {"The queen is a bad blocker!" Of course Nepomniachtchi knew that, but the temptation to provoke g2-g3 was probably too strong. But actually g2-g3 is a useful move, ensuring the king some breathing space and restricting the bishop.} ({AFter} 33... Bc7 $1 {the most constructive move seems to be} 34. g3 {anyway, when Black is absolutely stable and can choose whether to sit and wait or display some activity.} f5 (34... g5 $11) (34... Kg7 $11) 35. Nc5 (35. Nf2 Rd2 $36) 35... Qd5 $132) 34. g3 Rb4 35. Kh1 Kg7 36. Qd1 {Possibly not the strongest but from a practical point of view brilliant as it caused an immediate blunder. Black was probably scared by the threat Qd7, which is not so terrible actually.} (36. Nf2 $5 Bd4 37. Nd3 Rb8 38. Qc4 Rd8 39. Kg2 $14) 36... Bd4 $2 {Optically logical but losing.} (36... Rd4 37. Qb3 Qd8 $5 $132 38. Nc5 {This allows an unexpected drawing combination.} Bxg3 39. hxg3 Rh4+ 40. gxh4 Qxh4+ 41. Kg2 Qg5+ 42. Kf2 Qd2+ {with a perpetual.} ) (36... a5 37. Kg2 $5 {The king is heading for the relatively safest h3.} (37. Qd7 {is not too dangerous.} Qxd7 38. cxd7 Rd4 39. Rc5 Bf6 40. Rc8 Be7 (40... Rxd7 $4 41. Rg8+ $1) 41. Nc5 Rd5) 37... Rb6 38. Qd7 g5 39. Kh3 {[%cal Gc1c5]} Rb4 40. Rc5 g4+ $5 (40... Rxa4 41. Qxc7 Bxc7 42. Nc3 Rb4 43. Nb5 Bb6 44. Nd6 ( 44. c7 Rxb5) 44... Rd4 45. c7 Bxc7 46. Ne8+ Kg6 47. Nxc7 a4 {wih drawing chances due to the weakened kingside.}) 41. Kxg4 Rxa4 {The knight is pinned now.} 42. Kh3 Rd4 43. Qxc7 Bxc7 44. Nc3 Rd8 45. Nb5 Rc8 46. Kg4 $14) 37. Nd6 $1 $18 {The double threat Ne8+ and Nb5 wins.} Kh7 38. Nb5 Rxb5 39. axb5 e5 40. Qb3 Kg7 41. Qd5 Be3 42. Rd1 Qb8 43. Re1 Bd4 44. f4 1-0 [Event "EU-chT (Men) 21st"] [Site "Heraklio"] [Date "2017.11.05"] [Round "8.4"] [White "Mamedov, Rauf"] [Black "Dubov, Daniil"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B31"] [WhiteElo "2678"] [BlackElo "2677"] [Annotator "Stohl,I"] [PlyCount "115"] [EventDate "2017.10.28"] [EventType "team-swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "GRE"] [SourceTitle "CBM 182"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2018.01.17"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"] [SourceQuality "1"] [WhiteTeam "Azerbaijan"] [BlackTeam "Russia"] [WhiteTeamCountry "AZE"] [BlackTeamCountry "RUS"] {[%mdl 2] The penultimate round featured the crucial match for the European team gold between Russia and Azerbaijan. The Azeris decided the sharp struggle with no draws in their favour, thus overtaking the main pre-tournament favourites. The following exciting game was one of the highlights of the whole tournament, with Mamedov (8p./9) proving his worth as the most valuable player in his team.} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. O-O ({While this is certainly one of the two main moves, the almost ubiquitous continuation in the past years has been} 4. Bxc6 bxc6 {became the rage in 2016-7:} (4... dxc6 {is less popular, but this is mainly due to a shift in opinion/fashion. In 2015 taking with the d-pawn was still in vogue and can hardly be considered refuted even nowadays:} 5. d3 Bg7 6. h3 Nf6 7. Nc3 O-O 8. Bf4 Nh5 $5 (8... b6 9. Qd2 Re8 10. O-O-O $5 a5 (10... b5 $5 {/\} 11. Ne5 Qa5 $13 {is possibly stronger}) 11. Ne5 b5 12. Qe3 {[%cal Yf4h6]} (12. Bh6 $2 Nxe4 $1) 12... Qb6 $2 (12... Nd7 $142 $1 {Radjabov} 13. Ng4 (13. Nxd7 Bd4) 13... Nb6 $1 14. Ne2 b4 15. Bh6 Bh8 $132) 13. Bh6 Bh8 14. f4 a4 ({After} 14... Nd7 15. Nxd7 Bxd7 16. e5 $16) 15. Rhf1 e6 ( 15... b4 16. Ne2 b3 17. cxb3 a3 18. bxa3 Rxa3 19. Rd2 Be6 20. Kd1 $1 $16 { /\Nc1 and Black's compensation is insufficient.}) 16. g4 a3 17. b4 $1 Nd7 18. Nxd7 Bxd7 19. e5 {[%cal Rc3e4]} f5 $8 20. Ne2 Bg7 21. Bxg7 Kxg7 22. h4 $1 fxg4 23. h5 gxh5 24. Ng3 Kh8 25. Nxh5 Re7 26. Nf6 Be8 27. f5 $40 {Caruana,F (2804) -Radjabov,T (2726) Shamkir 2016/ For more details see the notes to this game in CBM 173 by Kr. Szabo.}) (8... Nd7 9. Qd2 e5 10. Bh6 Qe7 11. Bxg7 Kxg7 12. O-O-O a5 13. a4 $5 Rd8 14. h4 f6 15. Qe3 Nf8 16. Rdg1 Bg4 17. Nh2 Be6 18. g4 c4 19. dxc4 Bxc4 20. g5 h5 21. gxh6+ Kh7 22. f4 exf4 23. Qxf4 Nd7 24. Rxg6 $1 $18 {Brkic,A (2585)-Stany,G (2476) Biel 2016}) 9. Bh2 $5 (9. Be3 Qd6 10. Qd2 e5 11. O-O-O (11. Ne2 f5 $13) 11... b5 12. Ne2 b4 13. g4 Nf6 14. Ng3 a5 15. c4 a4 16. Rhg1 Kh8 17. Bh6 Ne8 18. Bxg7+ Kxg7 $15 19. Nf5+ $2 gxf5 20. gxf5+ Kh8 21. Qg5 Ra7 22. Rg4 f6 23. Qh6 Rff7 $19 {Vallejo Pons,F (2710)-Radjabov,T (2710) Moscow 2017}) 9... Bh6 10. Ne5 f6 11. Ng4 Bg7 12. Qd2 e5 13. O-O-O a5 14. Ne2 a4 15. Kb1 {Adams,M (2751)-Eljanov,P (2759) Sharjah 2017} Kh8 (15... b5 $132) 16. Ne3 Bh6 17. Qc3 Qe7 18. Rhf1 Bg7 19. Qd2 f5 $6 (19... b5 20. g4 Nf4 $44) 20. exf5 a3 21. b3 gxf5 22. g4 fxg4 23. hxg4 Nf6 24. f3 $16 {Adams,M (2751) -Eljanov,P (2759) Sharjah 2017}) 5. O-O Bg7 6. Re1 (6. h3 {is an attempt to forego the rook move:} Nh6 7. c3 O-O 8. d4 cxd4 9. cxd4 f5 10. e5 Nf7 11. Ng5 e6 12. Nxf7 Rxf7 13. Re1 Bf8 14. Nc3 Bb7 15. a3 a5 16. b3 Qh4 17. Ra2 c5 $1 18. Rd2 Bh6 19. Rc2 Bxc1 20. Rxc1 Qxd4 21. Qxd4 cxd4 22. Nb5 Bd5 23. Nxd4 g5 $132 { Bologan,V (2615)-Gelfand,B (2737) Heraklio 2017}) {However, definitely the main move is} 6... Nh6 ({Kasparov has been successfully experimenting with} 6... Nf6 7. e5 Nd5 8. c4 Nc7 9. d4 cxd4 10. Qxd4 Ne6 11. Qh4 d6 $1 12. exd6 ( 12. Bh6 Bxe5 13. Nxe5 dxe5 $15) (12. Nc3 dxe5 13. Nxe5 Qd6 14. Nf3 {is only a transposition.}) 12... Qxd6 13. Nc3 h5 $5 (13... h6 14. Be3 g5 $5 (14... Bf6 $2 15. Ne4 $1 Bxh4 16. Nxd6+ exd6 17. Nxh4 Kd7 18. f4 Ba6 19. b3 g5 20. fxg5 hxg5 21. Nf5 d5 22. Rad1 $16 {Naiditsch,A (2705)-Bu,X (2693) Danzhou 2014}) 15. Qe4 O-O 16. Qc2 f5 17. Rad1 Qc7 18. Nd4 (18. Na4 $5 $14 {is an engine suggestion, but a human player would be worried about Black's advancing pawn phalanx.}) 18... Nxd4 19. Bxd4 e5 20. Bc5 Re8 21. Bd6 Qf7 22. c5 e4 23. Ne2 Ba6 $36 { [%csl Ga6,Gg7] Caruana,F (2795)-Kasparov,G (2812) Saint Louis blitz 2016}) 14. Bd2 O-O 15. Ne4 Qc7 16. Bc3 f6 17. Qg3 Qxg3 18. hxg3 Rd8 19. Ba5 Rd3 20. Rad1 Rxd1 21. Rxd1 Kf7 22. Nd4 Nxd4 23. Rxd4 Be6 24. b3 Bf8 $11 {Anand,V (2783) -Kasparov,G (2812) Saint Louis blitz 2017}) ({Even the rare} 6... d6 {is playable:} 7. e5 (7. c3 Bg4 8. h3 Bxf3 9. Qxf3 e5 10. a3 Ne7 11. b4 {Carlsen,M (2848)-Polgar,J (2705) Mexico City rpd 2012} c4 $5 $11) 7... dxe5 8. Nxe5 Qc7 9. d4 (9. Nc4 $5) 9... cxd4 10. Qxd4 Nf6 11. Nc3 Be6 12. Qc5 Rc8 13. Bf4 Qb7 14. Na4 O-O 15. Qa3 Qa6 16. Nd3 Bf5 17. Ndc5 Qc4 18. Be5 Rfd8 19. c3 Rd2 20. Qb4 Qxb4 21. cxb4 Rcd8 22. Bc3 Rc2 $132 {Caruana,F (2795)-Kamsky,G (2678) Saint Louis 2016}) 7. c3 O-O {and now:} {Currently the prophylactic} 8. h3 { is all the rage:} (8. d4 cxd4 9. cxd4 {is the older continuation.} {Later he came up with the more direct} d5 $5 ({Black used to play the restrained and rather passive} 9... f6 10. Nc3 d6 11. h3 Nf7 12. Be3 {[%csl Gd4,Ge4]} (12. b3 $14) {White has more space and Black's ^^ have to wait for a chance to show their strength:} 12... Bd7 13. Rc1 Rb8 14. b3 Qa5 15. Nd2 Qa6 16. Nc4 f5 17. e5 Be6 18. exd6 exd6 19. d5 cxd5 20. Nxd5 Bxd5 21. Qxd5 Qxa2 {Kulaots,K (2566) -Moiseenko,A (2663) Gjakova 2016} 22. Bf4 $16) 10. e5 f6 {[%csl Rc6,Gc8,Gg7] While this saddles him with a weakness on c6, it gives the ^^ more scope:} 11. exf6 (11. Nbd2 fxe5 12. Nxe5 Bxe5 13. dxe5 Qb6 14. Nf3 Nf5 15. Bg5 Be6 16. Qd2 c5 17. Rac1 d4 18. b3 Rac8 19. Bh6 Rf7 20. Bf4 Bd5 21. Ng5 Rg7 22. Qd3 h6 23. Ne4 g5 24. Bd2 Nh4 $132 {Areshchenko,A (2672)-Wei,Y (2734) Baku 2015}) (11. h3 fxe5 $5 12. Nxe5 Qb6 13. Bxh6 Bxh6 14. Qc2 Bf5 $6 (14... Rb8 $5 15. Nxc6 Qxb2 $44) 15. Qc3 Rac8 16. b4 a5 17. a3 axb4 18. axb4 Rc7 19. Nd2 Rb8 20. Ra4 Qb5 21. Rea1 Qe2 22. Nb3 Bf4 23. Nc5 $16 {Naumann,A (2562)-Yankelevich,L (2440) Austria 2017}) 11... exf6 (11... Rxf6 $6 {is antipositional, White was on top after} 12. Bg5 Rf7 13. Nbd2 Qb6 14. Nb3 a5 15. Rc1 Nf5 16. Rc2 a4 17. Nc5 Nd6 18. Ne5 $36 {Inarkiev,E (2660)-Durarbayli,V (2618) Skopje 2015}) 12. Nbd2 (12. b3 Re8 13. Rxe8+ Qxe8 14. Ba3 g5 15. Nc3 Nf5 16. Bc5 g4 17. Ne1 h5 18. Nd3 Bh6 19. a4 Bd7 20. g3 Bg5 21. Ne2 Qe4 22. Nc3 {½, Ponomariov,R (2710)-Hamdouchi,H (2597) Doha 2015}) (12. h3 Nf7 13. Nc3 Re8 14. Bf4 g5 15. Bg3 g4 16. hxg4 Bxg4 17. Qd3 Qd7 18. Nh4 Rxe1+ 19. Rxe1 Re8 20. Rxe8+ Qxe8 21. Nf5 Bxf5 22. Qxf5 Nh6 23. Qf4 Qe1+ {½, Kauppila,O (2315)-Yrjola,J (2336) Finland 2016} 24. Kh2 Bf8 25. f3 Qe6 $11) 12... Re8 (12... g5 13. Nb3 Re8 14. Bd2 Bg4 15. h3 Bh5 16. Rc1 Qd7 17. Na5 Rxe1+ 18. Bxe1 Rc8 19. Qd3 Bf8 20. Nd2 Re8 21. Ndb3 Nf7 22. Bd2 Nd8 23. Qc3 Re2 24. Be3 g4 $1 $132 {Gharamian,T (2660)-Naiditsch,A (2684) Germany 2016}) 13. Nb3 Nf7 $146 (13... Bg4 14. Bd2 Nf5 15. h3 Rxe1+ 16. Bxe1 Bxf3 17. Qxf3 Qb6 18. Ba5 Qb5 19. Re1 Kf7 20. Bc7 Qb4 21. Qe2 Qe7 22. g4 Qxe2 23. Rxe2 Ne7 24. Na5 $16 {Howell,D (2237)-Devereaux,M (2282) Swansea 2002}) 14. Nc5 $6 ( {Better, but still complex is} 14. h3 $142 Nd6 $132 ({or} 14... Bf8 $5)) 14... Bg4 15. Rxe8+ Qxe8 16. h3 Bxf3 17. Qxf3 Qe1+ 18. Kh2 Ng5 19. Qe3 Re8 20. Bd2 Qe2 $1 21. Qxe2 Rxe2 22. Be3 Rxb2 23. Rc1 Bf8 24. h4 Bxc5 25. Rxc5 Ne4 26. Rxc6 Nxf2 $15 {Inarkiev,E (2730)-Gelfand,B (2734) Magas rpd 2016}) {In 2017 the attention focused on} 8... f5 (8... d6 9. d4 cxd4 10. cxd4) ({or} 8... f6 9. d4 cxd4 10. cxd4 $14 {transposes to the positions, mentioned above in the notes to 8.d4. Nowadays Black prefers more active reactions:}) (8... d5 9. d3 (9. e5 f6 (9... c4 $5) 10. d4 cxd4 $13 {leads to positions from the previous line}) 9... c4 $5 10. dxc4 (10. d4 dxe4 11. Rxe4 Nf5 12. Nbd2 Be6 13. Rxe6 $5 fxe6 14. Qe2 e5 15. Nxe5 Bxe5 16. Qxe5 Qd5 17. Qe2 Nd6 18. b3 cxb3 19. axb3 e5 20. Ba3 Rfe8 21. Bxd6 exd4 22. Qc4 dxc3 23. Nf3 Qxc4 24. bxc4 Re4 25. Rc1 Rxc4 26. Ne5 Rd4 27. Bc7 a5 28. Rxc3 a4 29. Nc4 Rd1+ 30. Kh2 Rb1 31. Bd6 Rb3 32. Rc2 a3 { and White found nothing better than} 33. Nxa3 $11 {Adams,M (2738)-Harikrishna, P (2752) Baku olm 2016} (33. Ra2 c5 $1)) (10. exd5 cxd5 11. dxc4 dxc4 12. Qxd8 (12. Qe2 Nf5 (12... Bb7 $5 {is probably stronger, but White can still fight for an edge with} 13. Bf4) 13. Bf4 Bb7 14. Nbd2 Rc8 15. g4 e5 16. Bxe5 Nh4 17. Bxg7 Kxg7 18. Nxh4 Qxh4 19. Qe7 Qh6 20. Qxb7 Qxd2 21. Rad1 $16 {Areshchenko,A (2675)-Hracek,Z (2594) Hungary 2017}) 12... Rxd8 13. Na3 Bb7 14. Bxh6 Bxh6 15. Rxe7 Bxf3 16. gxf3 Bf8 17. Rc7 Bxa3 18. bxa3 Rd3 $11 19. Rxc4 Re8 20. Kg2 { ½, Zhigalko,S (2653)-Moiseenko,A (2649) Izmir 2016}) 10... dxe4 11. Qxd8 Rxd8 12. Rxe4 Rd1+ $5 (12... e5 13. Re1 f6 14. Nbd2 Nf7 15. Ne4 $5 (15. Nb3 a5 16. Be3 a4 17. Bb6 $5 (17. Nc5 Bf8 18. b3 Bxc5 19. Bxc5 Kg7 20. Rad1 Rxd1 21. Rxd1 Bf5 22. Rc1 axb3 23. axb3 Ra2 24. Be3 h5 25. Nd2 Bd3 26. f4 exf4 27. Bxf4 g5 28. Be3 Ne5 $44 {Borisek,J (2558)-Hracek,Z (2591) Baku olm 2016}) 17... Re8 18. Nc5 g5 $5 (18... Bf5 19. Nh4 Bc8 20. Rad1 f5 21. Nf3 e4 22. Nd4 Ne5 23. b3 axb3 24. axb3 Bf8 25. Ra1 Rxa1 26. Rxa1 Bh6 27. Bc7 Nd7 28. Nxd7 Bxd7 29. b4 e3 30. f4 Bg7 31. Kf1 e2+ 32. Kf2 Be6 33. Nxe6 $2 (33. Be5 $1 $16) 33... Bxc3 { Inarkiev,E (2730)-Gelfand,B (2734) Magas rpd 2016}) 19. b3 g4 20. hxg4 axb3 21. axb3 Bxg4 22. Nh4 f5 23. Rxa8 Rxa8 24. Nd7 f4 25. Nc5 Rb8 26. Bc7 Rc8 27. Ba5 Ra8 28. Bb4 Ng5 29. Nd3 e4 $5 30. Nxf4 Be5 $44 {Inarkiev,E (2730)-Gelfand,B (2734) Magas 2016}) 15... f5 16. Neg5 e4 17. Nxf7 Kxf7 18. Bg5 Rd3 19. Nd4 Ba6 20. b3 c5 21. Ne2 h6 22. Be3 Rc8 23. h4 Bf6 24. Nf4 Rdd8 25. Nd5 Bxh4 26. Bxh6 Bb7 27. g3 Bf6 28. Nxf6 Kxf6 29. Be3 Rd3 30. Kf1 g5 31. Ke2 Rxc3 32. Rac1 Rxc1 33. Rxc1 $36 {[%csl Rc5] Anand,V (2776)-Gelfand,B (2743) Moscow 2016}) 13. Re1 Rxe1+ 14. Nxe1 Nf5 15. Na3 Be6 16. Nf3 Nd6 17. Nd4 Bxd4 18. cxd4 Nxc4 19. Nxc4 Bxc4 20. b3 Bd5 $11 {Rublevsky,S (2692)-Dubov,D (2644) Sochi 2016}) 9. e5 Nf7 10. d3 {Caruana-Eljanov, Baku olm 2016, A key position which has been heavily discussed ever since:} (10. d4 cxd4 11. cxd4 c5 12. dxc5 Bb7 13. Nc3 e6 $5 ( 13... Qc7 14. Be3 (14. Bf4 Qxc5 15. Qxd7 Bxf3 16. gxf3 Qc4 17. e6 Qxf4 18. exf7+ Rxf7 19. Nd5 Qg5+ 20. Kf1 e5 21. Qe6 Raf8 $15 {Nepomniachtchi,I (2703) -Kamsky,G (2670) Sochi 2016}) 14... Qc6 15. Bd4 Ng5 16. Re3 f4 17. Rd3 Rab8 18. b4 Nxf3+ 19. Rxf3 Qe6 20. Rd3 Ba6 21. b5 Bxb5 22. Nxb5 Rxb5 23. Rc1 Rf5 24. Ba1 {½, Perini,G (2253)-Mishin,A (2292) email 2013}) 14. Be3 (14. Nd4 $6 Bxe5 15. f4 Bg7 16. Be3 g5 $1 17. fxg5 f4 18. Bf2 Qxg5 19. c6 Bxd4 20. Qxd4 Bxc6 $17 { Harikrishna,P (2763)-Mamedov,R (2655) Shamkir 2016}) (14. Bf4 g5 15. Bh2 $13) 14... Rb8 15. Bd4 h5 16. h4 Bxf3 17. Qxf3 Qxh4 18. Rad1 g5 19. g3 Qh3 20. b3 g4 21. Qg2 Ng5 22. Qxh3 Nxh3+ 23. Kg2 Ng5 24. Rh1 Nf3 $132 25. Rxh5 Nxd4 26. Rxd4 Bxe5 27. Rxd7 Bxc3 28. Rg5+ Kh8 29. Rh5+ Kg8 {½, Adams,M (2747)-Giri,A (2785) Moscow 2017}) {In 2017 Black concentrated on the immediate} 10... d6 (10... Rb8 11. b3 $5 (11. Na3 Ba6 12. Nc4 Bxc4 13. dxc4 d6 14. e6 Ne5 15. Nxe5 Bxe5 (15... dxe5 16. Be3 (16. Qa4 $5) 16... Rxb2 {½, Mastrovasilis,D (2580)-Dubov,D (2660) Minsk 2017}) 16. Bh6 Bg7 17. Bxg7 Kxg7 18. Rb1 (18. Qd2 a5 19. b3 Qc8 20. Rab1 Rf6 21. Qe2 f4 22. f3 Rf5 23. Qd3 Qf8 24. Re4 Qf6 25. Qd2 g5 26. a4 Re5 27. Rxe5 Qxe5 28. Re1 Qf6 $11 {Deac,B (2559)-Sgircea,S (2281) Medias 2016}) 18... Qa5 19. a4 Rfd8 (19... Rf6 20. Re3 Qa6 21. b3 Qc8 22. Qe1 a5 23. b4 $1 axb4 24. cxb4 cxb4 25. Rxb4 $13 {Caruana,F (2808)-Eljanov,P (2739) Baku olm 2016 For details see the notes by Moradiabadi in CBM 175.}) (19... Rb7 $5 $11) 20. Qc2 d5 21. b4 Qc7 22. cxd5 cxd5 23. Qd3 cxb4 24. Qd4+ Kg8 25. Rxb4 Rxb4 26. Qxb4 Qd6 27. Qd4 Qb6 28. Re5 Qxd4 29. cxd4 Kg7 30. g4 Kf6 31. Kg2 Rd6 32. a5 Rxe6 33. g5+ Kf7 34. Rxd5 Rd6 $11 {Quesada Perez,Y (2636)-Kuzubov,Y (2629) Monzon 2016}) (11. Nbd2 d6 $5 ({After} 11... Ba6 {apart from the transpositional 12. Nc4 White has the unpleasant} 12. Nb3 $5) 12. e6 Ne5 13. Nxe5 Bxe5 14. Nf3 (14. Qa4 $5) 14... Bg7 15. Qa4 h6 (15... Rf6 16. Qh4 h5 17. Bg5 Bxe6 $5 $44) 16. Qh4 f4 $2 ({Black should have played} 16... g5 17. Bxg5 hxg5 18. Nxg5 Rf6 19. Qh7+ Kf8 {and White hardly has more than repetition} 20. Qh5 $11) 17. Bxf4 Rf5 18. Qg4 Qf8 19. Bg3 Qf6 20. Nh4 Rg5 21. Qe2 $16 {Bok,B (2611)-Kotronias,V (2541) Moscow 2016}) 11... d6 (11... e6 $2 12. Ba3) (11... h6 12. h4 Re8 13. Ba3 d6 14. e6 Ne5 15. Nxe5 dxe5 16. Bxc5 Rb7 17. d4 Qd5 18. c4 Qd8 19. Nc3 Bxe6 20. dxe5 Qxd1 21. Raxd1 $16 {Moiseenko,V (2528)-Smirnov,P (2589) Kazan 2017}) 12. Bf4 Qc7 13. Qe2 Nd8 14. Nbd2 Ne6 15. Qe3 Nxf4 (15... d5 $142 $1 {is not fully clear}) 16. Qxf4 d5 17. h4 e6 18. h5 (18. Nf1 $5 $14 {[%csl Rc8,Gf1,Gf3,Rg7]}) 18... gxh5 19. g3 Bd7 20. Kg2 Be8 21. Ng5 Qe7 22. Ndf3 Kh8 23. Rh1 Rg8 24. Rh4 Bh6 25. Nf7+ Bxf7 26. Qxh6 Rg6 27. Qd2 Rbg8 28. Rah1 Rg4 29. Kf1 Bg6 30. Ke2 c4 31. d4 f4 $36 {Inarkiev,E (2702)-Gelfand,B (2729) Nazran rpd 2017}) (10... Ba6 11. c4 $142 $1 {limits both bishops:} (11. Bf4 e6 (11... Qb6 12. b3 Nd8 $5) 12. Qd2 h6 13. h4 c4 $1 14. d4 c5 $132 {Roiz}) 11... d6 (11... e6 12. Nc3 g5 13. Be3 (13. Na4 $5 $36 {Roiz}) 13... h5 14. h4 g4 15. Ng5 Nxe5 16. Bxc5 Ng6 17. g3 Re8 $132 18. Qa4 Bb7 19. Qb4 Ba6 20. Qa3 Bb7 21. Qb4 {½, Inarkiev,E (2730) -Gelfand,B (2734) Magas 2016}) 12. e6 Ne5 {Here the critical move is} 13. Nxe5 (13. Nc3 Nxf3+ $1 $146 (13... Rb8 14. Nxe5 Bxe5 15. Na4 Qc7 $2 {Adams,M (2744) -Giri,A (2798) Wijk aan Zee 2016} (15... Bd4 $14) 16. Rxe5 $1 dxe5 17. Qe1 $1 $16 {[%csl Rc5,Re5,Rg8] /\b3,Bb2}) 14. Qxf3 Rb8 15. Re2 (15. Qxc6 Bb7 $44 { [%csl Rc6]}) 15... Bc8 16. Bf4 Rxb2 17. Rxb2 Bxc3 18. Rab1 Bxb2 19. Rxb2 Qc7 20. Bg5 Bxe6 21. Re2 Qd7 22. Qe3 Bf7 23. Qxe7 Qxe7 24. Rxe7 Ra8 25. Rc7 d5 $11 {Caruana,F (2817)-Nakamura,H (2793) Saint Louis 2017}) 13... Bxe5 14. Nd2 Bg7 15. Nf3 {The attempt to liquidate Pe6 gave White strong pressure after} h6 16. Rb1 Bc8 17. b3 Rf6 18. d4 $1 cxd4 19. Nxd4 c5 20. Ne2 Bxe6 21. Bb2 Rf8 (21... Bf7 $5) 22. Nf4 Bf7 23. Ne6 Bxe6 24. Rxe6 $36 {Jakovenko,D (2718)-Baron,T (2540) Minsk 2017}) (10... h6 11. h4 d6 12. Bf4 g5 13. hxg5 hxg5 14. Nxg5 Nxg5 15. Bxg5 dxe5 16. Qb3+ Rf7 17. Nd2 Qd6 {Antipov,M (2529)-Sutovsky,E (2626) Jerusalem 2015} 18. Nc4 Qg6 19. f4 $1 $16) 11. Bf4 (11. e6 Ne5 12. Nxe5 dxe5 $5 13. Na3 Qd5 (13... Ba6 $142 $1) 14. Qe2 f4 (14... Ba6 $5) 15. f3 Bxe6 16. Nc4 Rf5 17. Nd2 Rd8 18. Ne4 Rf7 19. b3 Qxd3 20. Qxd3 Rxd3 21. Nxc5 Rd6 22. Ne4 Rd3 23. Nc5 {½, Wang,C (2510)-Moiseenko,A (2674) China 2017}) 11... Ba6 (11... Qc7 12. Qe2 Rb8 {Ostrovskiy,A (2381)-Djurhuus,R (2421) Oslo 2017} 13. Na3 $5 Ba6 14. b3 {/\} Qa5 15. Nc4 Bxc4 16. dxc4 Qxc3 17. Rac1 Qa5 18. Rcd1 $36) 12. e6 ( 12. c4 dxe5 13. Bxe5 Nxe5 14. Nxe5 Bxe5 15. Rxe5 Bxc4 16. Rxc5 Qxd3 17. Nc3 Qxd1+ 18. Rxd1 Bd5 19. Nxd5 cxd5 20. Rdxd5 Rfd8 21. b4 Kf7 22. f4 a6 $11 { Inarkiev,E (2702)-Gelfand,B (2729) Nazran 2017}) (12. Na3 Rb8 13. Qa4 (13. b3 g5 14. Nxg5 Nxg5 15. Bxg5 dxe5 16. Nc4 e4 17. Rc1 Qxd3 18. Qxd3 exd3 19. Rxe7 Bxc4 20. bxc4 f4 $132 {Inarkiev,E (2702)-Gelfand,B (2729) Nazran 2017}) 13... Bxd3 14. Rad1 Bb5 15. Nxb5 cxb5 16. Qxa7 Qb6 17. Qxb6 Rxb6 18. exd6 exd6 19. a3 b4 20. axb4 cxb4 21. cxb4 Rxb4 22. Bxd6 Nxd6 23. Rxd6 Rxb2 $11 {Zhigalko,S (2638)-Gelfand,B (2737) Heraklio 2017}) (12. Nbd2 Qb8 13. exd6 exd6 14. Qc2 Qd8 15. h4 Qd7 16. Nc4 Rfe8 17. Rad1 Bxc4 18. dxc4 Rxe1+ 19. Rxe1 Re8 20. Rd1 Re4 21. g3 Qe6 22. Qa4 Qd7 23. Kg2 Bf8 $11 {Grischuk,A (2761)-Radjabov,T (2724) Geneve 2017}) 12... Ne5 13. Nxe5 (13. Bxe5 dxe5 14. Nxe5 Qb8 $1 15. d4 Bxe5 16. Rxe5 cxd4 17. cxd4 Qxb2 $15 {Nepomniachtchi,I (2742)-Gelfand,B (2728) Geneve 2017}) 13... dxe5 14. Bxe5 Qxd3 15. Qxd3 Bxd3 16. Nd2 c4 $5 (16... Rfd8 $143 17. Nb3) 17. b3 (17. Nf3 $5) 17... cxb3 18. axb3 a5 19. Bxg7 Kxg7 20. Re5 Rfd8 21. Nf3 Be4 $11 {Xu,Y (2439)-Hess,M (2271) Tegernsee 2017}) 4... Bg7 5. Re1 ({ An altogether different branch is} 5. c3 Nf6 6. Re1 O-O 7. h3 (7. d4 d5 8. e5 Ne4 9. Bxc6 bxc6 10. Nbd2 cxd4 11. cxd4 c5 12. dxc5 Nxc5 13. Nb3 Nxb3 14. Qxb3 Bg4 15. Nd4 Qb6 {is considered sufficient for equality:} 16. Qxb6 axb6 17. b3 Rfc8 18. a4 Bd7 19. Bg5 Kf8 20. Rad1 e6 21. g4 b5 22. axb5 Rcb8 23. f4 Ke8 24. f5 Bf8 $132 {Kazoks,A (2399)-Fekih,B (2215) email 2013}) 7... Qb6 8. Na3 d5 9. e5 Ne8 10. d4 cxd4 11. cxd4 Nc7 12. Bxc6 (12. Ba4 Bf5 13. Bc2 e6 $11 14. g4 $6 Bxc2 15. Nxc2 f6 16. exf6 Rxf6 17. Bg5 Rf7 18. Be3 Qxb2 19. Rb1 Qxa2 20. Rxb7 Qa6 21. Rb3 Raf8 $17 {Vachier Lagrave,M (2788)-Caruana,F (2795) chess.com blitz 2016}) 12... bxc6 $5 (12... Qxc6 13. Qb3 Ne6 14. Be3 f6 15. Rac1 Qd7 16. Nc2 b6 17. Nb4 Bb7 18. Nd3 g5 (18... Rac8 $11) 19. Bd2 h6 20. exf6 exf6 21. a4 Rab8 22. a5 Ba8 23. axb6 axb6 24. Nb4 Nc7 25. Re3 h5 26. Qd3 Nb5 27. Rce1 $14 { Ponomariov,R (2718)-Van Wely,L (2654) Plovdiv 2003 For details see the notes to this game in CBM 098 by Erenburg.}) 13. Nc2 f6 14. exf6 exf6 15. Bf4 Ne6 16. Bd6 Rf7 17. Qd2 a5 18. Re2 Qd8 19. Ba3 Nc7 20. Ne3 $2 (20. Rae1 $13 {/+/=}) 20... Nb5 21. Bc5 Nd6 22. Bxd6 Qxd6 23. Ng4 Re7 24. Rxe7 Qxe7 25. Re1 Qd6 26. Qe3 Bd7 27. Qe7 Qxe7 28. Rxe7 Rd8 $15 {/-/+, Stellwagen,D (2503)-Van Wely,L (2651) Leeuwarden 2004 For details see the notes to this game in CBM 102 by Postny.}) 5... Nf6 6. e5 (6. c3 {-5.c3}) (6. Nc3 O-O 7. e5 Ne8 8. Bxc6 dxc6 9. d3 Nc7 ({or} 9... Bg4 $5 {is a better version of the game and doesn't cause Black serious problems.})) 6... Nd5 7. Nc3 Nc7 (7... Nxc3 $6 8. dxc3 O-O 9. Bg5 {() gives White a sizeable space advantage.}) 8. Bxc6 dxc6 (8... bxc6 9. d4 cxd4 10. Qxd4 {is pleasant for White - compared with a similar position mentioned above he has played the more useful move Nc3 instead of c4.} Ne6 11. Qh4 $36) 9. Ne4 {In the long run Black has a solid position with a potentially strong bishop pair. Therefore White tries to complicate Black's development and disrupt the harmony of his fundamentally sound setup.} (9. h3 O-O 10. d3 b6 (10... Ne6 11. Ne4 b6 12. b3 Nd4 13. Bb2 f5 14. Ned2 Ne6 15. a4 Qd5 16. a5 b5 17. Qe2 Rd8 18. Qe3 {Kryvoruchko,Y (2707)-Al Modiahki,M (2549) Dubai blitz 2014 } g5 $5 $15) 11. Be3 Ne6 12. Qd2 Nd4 13. Qd1 h6 14. Bf4 Be6 15. Nd2 Bd5 16. Ne2 Qd7 17. c3 Nf5 18. Qc2 Rad8 19. Rad1 Nh4 20. f3 g5 21. Bh2 Ng6 22. Nc1 f5 $1 23. exf6 exf6 $15 {Timman,J (2590)-Van der Wiel,J (2590) Brussels blitz 1987}) 9... b6 {Black wants to activate his Bc8 before he occupies e6 with his N. However, this comes at a cost and he has to give up his castling rights. The main and somewhat more popular alternative is} (9... Ne6 {, which seems at least equivalent:} 10. d3 {Even after the main move} O-O ({An interesting try is} 10... b6 $5 {with the idea of postponing castling after} 11. Be3 (11. Nfg5 h6 12. Nxe6 Bxe6 13. Bf4 Qd4 14. Qf3 Qxb2 15. Nd6+ Kd7 16. Nc4 Qd4 17. c3 Qxc3 18. Rac1 Qd4 19. Re4 Qd5 20. Ne3 Qxa2 21. d4 Rhd8 22. dxc5 bxc5 23. h4 Ke8 $17 {0-1 (30) Timman,J (2562)-Fressinet,L (2702) Douglas 2015}) (11. a4 a5 12. h3 O-O 13. Bd2 Nd4 14. Nxd4 cxd4 15. Bf4 Qd5 16. Nd2 c5 17. Nc4 Bb7 18. f3 { ½, Anand,V (2766)-Radjabov,T (2650) Benidorm rpd 2003} Qe6 $11 {[%cal Yb7d5]}) 11... Nd4 (11... Qc7 12. a4 a5 13. Qd2 O-O 14. Bf4 Nxf4 15. Qxf4 h6 16. h3 Be6 17. Nc3 Rad8 18. Rad1 Kh7 19. Qe3 Bf5 20. Ne2 g5 21. h4 g4 22. Ng3 Bg6 23. Nd2 Kh8 24. Qe2 Rd4 25. b3 b5 $13 {Gil,M (2608)-Sivic,J (2476) email 2010}) 12. Nxd4 cxd4 13. Bf4 O-O 14. Qd2 Qd5 15. c4 dxc3 16. Nxc3 Qd7 17. Bh6 Ba6 18. d4 Rad8 19. Re4 f5 20. exf6 exf6 21. Bxg7 Kxg7 22. Rae1 Rfe8 {Meszaros,T (2401) -Gasanov,E (2484) Zalakaros 2017}) 11. Be3 b6 12. Qd2 {Black has a choice:} f5 (12... Nd4 13. Nxd4 cxd4 14. Bh6 c5 15. Qf4 (15. h4 Qd5 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. Ng3 Bb7 18. f3 Qe6 19. b3 {½, Bacrot,E (2714)-Moiseenko,A (2699) WCup Tromsoe 2013 }) (15. a3 Qd5 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. Qg5 Qe6 18. f4 h6 19. Qh4 a5 20. Ng3 Ra7 21. h3 f5 22. exf6+ Qxf6 23. Qxf6+ exf6 24. Re4 h5 25. Rae1 Rc7 26. h4 Kf7 $11 { Sebag,M (2488)-Muzychuk,A (2561) Cap d'Agde rpd 2016}) 15... Bb7 16. Qh4 f6 $132 17. Bxg7 Kxg7 18. exf6+ exf6 19. Qg3 Bxe4 20. Rxe4 Qd7 21. Rae1 Rae8 22. Qf3 Rxe4 23. Rxe4 f5 24. Re5 Rf7 25. b3 Rf6 26. g3 Re6 27. Rxe6 {½, Fritz,M (2324)-Wosch,A (2184) email 2011}) 13. exf6 exf6 14. Bh6 a5 $5 15. Bxg7 (15. a4 Ra7 16. Bxg7 Rxg7 (16... Kxg7 17. Qc3 Nf4 18. d4 Nd5 19. Qb3 f5 20. Ned2 cxd4 21. Nxd4 Qf6 22. N2f3 Nb4 23. Ne6+ Bxe6 24. Rxe6 Qf7 25. Rae1 Qd7 26. h3 $40 { Kveinys,A (2530)-Ramesh,R (2475) Bled olm 2002}) 17. Ng3 Nc7 18. h3 Be6 19. b3 Re7 20. Re2 Bd5 21. Rxe7 Qxe7 22. Re1 Qd8 23. Nh2 {Velicka,P (2435)-Jirovsky,M (2439) Czech Republic 2017} Re8 $11) 15... Kxg7 16. Ng3 (16. Qc3 Ra7 17. a3 a4 18. Ng3 Qd5 19. Re4 b5 20. Rae1 Raf7 21. Ne2 Qd6 22. Qd2 Kg8 23. h4 Kg7 24. Nf4 Nc7 25. g3 Bf5 26. R4e3 h6 27. Nh2 c4 28. Rf3 c5 29. Nh5+ Kh7 30. g4 Bc8 31. Ng3 f5 $1 $17 {Timman,J (2545)-Khalifman,A (2624) Bazna 2007}) 16... Ra7 17. Re4 Re7 $142 (17... Nd4 18. Nxd4 cxd4 19. Ne2 $1 (19. Qf4 c5 20. Rae1 Raf7 21. h4 Qc7 22. Qxc7 Rxc7 23. R4e2 Kf7 24. a4 Bb7 25. b3 Rd8 $11 {Timman,J (2650) -Lautier,J (2638) Pamplona 1999}) 19... c5 20. Re1 Rff7 21. Nf4 Rae7 22. Qe2 Rxe4 23. Qxe4 Qd6 24. g3 Bd7 25. Ne6+ Bxe6 26. Qxe6 Qc7 27. a4 $36 {[%cal Ge1e8] Illescas Cordoba,M (2605)-Moreno Ruiz,J (2477) Melilla 2008}) 18. Rae1 ( 18. h4 Nd4 19. Nxd4 cxd4 20. Qf4 c5 21. Rae1 Rxe4 22. Qxe4 Rf7 23. h5 {½, Novikovas,A (2392)-Pommrich,R (2292) email 2007} Bb7 $11) 18... Rfe8 19. h4 Nd4 20. Nxd4 Rxe4 21. Rxe4 cxd4 22. Qf4 Rxe4 23. Nxe4 Be6 24. g4 Bd5 25. g5 Bxe4 26. dxe4 h5 $5 $11 {Gaprindashvili,P (2633)-Brunsek,I (2578) email 2008}) 10. Nf6+ Kf8 (10... Bxf6 $6 11. exf6 e6 12. d4 {[%csl Re7,Rf6,Rg7,Rh6] leaves the dark squares very vulnerable.}) 11. Ne4 Bg4 12. d3 $1 {The natural developing move with a tactical point was introduced by Timman back in 1995 and is the only way to pose Black problems. The alternatives are too meek:} (12. Nc3 Ne6 13. h3 Bxf3 14. Qxf3 Nd4 15. Qe4 (15. Qd1 f5 16. exf6 exf6 17. d3 f5 18. Ne2 Nxe2+ 19. Qxe2 Qd7 20. Rb1 Kf7 21. Qf3 {½, Kobalia,M (2644)-Filippov,V (2621) Sochi 2005} Rhe8 $11) 15... f5 16. exf6 exf6 17. Ne2 Qe8 18. Nxd4 cxd4 19. d3 Kf7 20. Bd2 Qxe4 21. Rxe4 f5 22. Re2 Rhe8 23. Rae1 c5 $11 {Pritchett,C (2326) -Kalavannan,K (2175) Llandudno 2017}) (12. h3 Bxf3 13. Qxf3 Ne6 14. d3 Qd5 15. Bd2 Rd8 (15... Nd4 $5) 16. Bc3 Bxe5 17. Nxc5 Qxf3 18. Nxe6+ fxe6 {Glek,I (2590) -Wells,P (2530) Wijk aan Zee 1995} 19. gxf3 Bxc3 20. bxc3 Rd6 $11 {[%cal Yf8e8, Ye8d7,Yh8f8,Yf8f5,Yf5f4]}) 12... Bxe5 $6 {Accepting the challenge. Afterwards Dubov mentioned he followed Gelfand's advice, but Mamedov was prepared as well and the next few moves came quickly. As the resulting position is dangerous for Black, while White risks almost nothing, this is a good moment to look for alternatives.} (12... Bh5 $143 $6 {is illogical:} 13. h3 Bxf3 14. Qxf3 h6 15. a4 a5 16. Nd2 Ne6 17. Nc4 Qc7 18. c3 Rd8 19. Qe4 Ng5 20. Qe2 Kg8 21. f4 Ne6 22. Qe4 Nf8 23. Be3 $16 {[%csl Gc3,Gd3,Ge5,Gf4,Rh8] ()[+], Mamedov,R (2688) -Vakhidov,J (2561) Moscow 2017}) (12... Qd5 13. c4 (13. Ned2 Bxe5 $1 14. c4 Qd6 15. Ne4 Bxf3 16. Qxf3 Qd4 $13) (13. Nc3 Qd7 14. h3 Bxf3 15. Qxf3 Ne6 $11) 13... Qd7 14. h3 Bxf3 15. Qxf3 h6 (15... Ne6 16. Ng5 Nxg5 17. Bxg5 Qe6 {Rathnakaran, K (2381)-Ramalingam,K (2046) Chennai 2011} 18. a3 $32 {[%csl Rh8][%cal Yb2b4]}) 16. Bd2 (16. b3 $5 Rd8 17. Bb2 $14 {[%cal Ya2a3,Yb3b4] saves a tempo and gives White chances to fight for an advantage with queenside expansion.}) 16... Rd8 17. Bc3 Ne6 18. Rad1 Kg8 19. h4 (19. a3 a5 20. b3 Nd4 $132) 19... h5 20. a3 a5 21. b3 Bh6 22. Bb2 Qc7 23. b4 axb4 24. axb4 Kg7 25. b5 cxb5 26. Nd6 Rhf8 27. Nxb5 Qc8 28. Qe4 {Timman,J (2620)-Van der Wiel,J (2535) Amsterdam 1996} Qa8 29. Qxa8 Rxa8 $11) ({The safest seems to be} 12... Ne6 $1 {This method was known even before Dubov was born and afterwards Daniil regretted he didn't play this restrained move:} 13. Ned2 (13. h3 Bxf3 14. Qxf3 Qd5 $11 {see Glek-Wells above. }) (13. Neg5 Nxg5 14. Bxg5 Qd5 15. Qe2 Rd8 16. Rad1 Bxf3 17. gxf3 Qe6 18. c3 Rd5 19. d4 h6 20. Be3 cxd4 21. cxd4 Kg8 22. f4 Kh7 $15 {Rayner,F (2195)-Wells, P (2519) Coventry 2005}) 13... Qd5 ({Black even has two playable alternatives: } 13... Bh6 14. h3 Bxf3 15. Nxf3 Bxc1 16. Qxc1 Kg7 17. Ng5 Qd5 18. Nxe6+ Qxe6 19. Re4 Rad8 20. Qe3 h5 21. b3 Rd5 22. Re1 Rhd8 23. Kh2 Rd4 $11 {De la Riva Aguado,O (2517)-Ivanchuk,V (2734) Olite 2006}) (13... Bh5 14. h3 g5 $5 15. Nf1 (15. Rb1 Qd5 16. b3 h6 17. Bb2 Nf4 18. Kh2 Rd8 19. g3 Ne6 20. a4 Kg8 21. Qe2 Re8 22. Ra1 f5 23. exf6 exf6 24. Qe4 f5 25. Qxd5 cxd5 $11 {Schludecker,E (2004) -Firsching,G (2069) email 2014}) 15... h6 16. Ng3 Bg6 17. b3 Qd5 18. Bb2 Rd8 19. Nd2 Kg8 20. Qf3 Kh7 21. Nde4 Kg8 22. Nf5 Bxf5 23. Qxf5 Nf4 24. Rad1 Qe6 25. Ng3 Qxf5 26. Nxf5 e6 $11 {Pinal,N (2320)-Vakhidov,J (2583) Baku olm 2016/ Vakhidov probably wanted to follow this game against Mamedov, but played 12... Bh5?! one move too early...}) (13... g5 {transposes after} 14. h3 Bh5) 14. h3 Bxf3 15. Nxf3 Rd8 16. Qe2 (16. Be3 f5 $5 {[%cal Yf8f7]} 17. exf6 exf6 18. a4 Kf7 19. a5 b5 20. Qd2 a6 21. Re2 Rhe8 22. Rae1 Re7 23. b3 Rde8 $11 {Sjugirov,S (2545)-Libiszewski,F (2480) Moscow 2008}) 16... h6 17. Be3 Kg8 18. c4 (18. Rad1 Bxe5 19. c4 Qd6 20. Bxc5 Bh2+ 21. Nxh2 Qxc5 22. Nf3 Kg7 23. Qd2 Nd4 $11 { Ni,H (2621)-So,W (2411) Manila 2006}) 18... Qxd3 19. Qxd3 Rxd3 20. Rad1 Rxd1 21. Rxd1 f5 22. exf6 Bxf6 23. Rd7 Kf7 $11 {leads to equality. This position arose in at least 5 games, starting with Lutz-J.Piket, Wijk aan Zee 1995. All were drawn, the last one being} 24. Rxa7 Bxb2 25. Rb7 Ra8 26. Rxb6 Rxa2 27. Rxc6 Ra1+ 28. Kh2 Ra4 29. Bxc5 Rxc4 30. Rb6 Bf6 31. Be3 g5 {½, Antonio,R (2519)-So,W (2627) Dapitan 2009}) (12... Bxf3 $6 13. Qxf3 Bxe5 $6 14. Nxc5 Bf6 (14... Qd6 $2 15. Rxe5 $1 $18) 15. Ne4 $36) 13. Nxe5 $1 {[%mdl 64] A modern form of the Legal combination.} Bxd1 14. Bh6+ Kg8 (14... Ke8 $2 15. Nxc6 { [%cal Re4f6]} f5 16. Raxd1 {[%csl Rd8]} fxe4 17. Nxd8 Rxd8 18. Rxe4 $18) 15. Nxc6 Bxc2 (15... Qd7 $2 16. Nf6+ exf6 17. Ne7+ Qxe7 18. Rxe7 Nd5 19. Rd7 { [%csl Rg8] wins the piece back with a decisive advantage.}) 16. Nxc5 $1 $146 { [%mdl 520] Although technically a novelty, this strong piece sacrifice was already mentioned in Kramnik's notes to his game with Timman in 1995, as well as in my book "Instructive Modern Chess Masterpieces" (2001, 2009). It's the only way to put Black under pressure.} ({Too soft is} 16. Nc3 $6 e6 17. Nxd8 Rxd8 18. Rac1 Bxd3 19. Bg5 Kg7 20. Bxd8 Rxd8 21. Red1 e5 (21... Rd4 22. Ne2 Re4 23. Nc3 {½, Laube,B (2432)-Keller,H (2406) email 2008}) (21... f5 22. f4 Rd4 23. Ne2 Rd5 24. Nc3 Rd4 25. Ne2 {½, Popovic,D (2561)-Bogosavljevic,B (2523) Vrnjacka Banja 2012}) 22. Re1 Re8 23. b3 Nb5 {½, Timman,J (2635)-Kramnik,V (2715) Riga 1995 In all these games Black completed his development and with two pawns for the exchange had nothing to worry about.}) (16. Nxd8 Rxd8 17. b4 $6 (17. Nxc5 $1 {transposes to the game, as the threat Rac1 forces Black to take on c5.}) 17... Nd5 $1 (17... Bxd3 18. bxc5 Bxe4 $2 (18... f6 19. Nxf6+ exf6 20. Re7 $36) 19. Rxe4 Nd5 20. Rd1 e6 21. c6 f6 22. c7 Rc8 23. Rxd5 exd5 24. Re7 b5 25. Bg7 {1-0, Solodovnichenko,Y (2494)-Caruana,F (2373) Hamburg 2005 }) (17... f6 18. Rac1 $1 (18. Nxc5 Kf7 19. Rac1 bxc5 20. Rxc2 Na6 21. bxc5 Nb4 22. Rce2 Rhe8 23. Rb1 Rxd3 24. h4 Nc6 $11 {Nozdrachev,L (2433)-Klyuev,A (2259) Kolomna 2013}) 18... Bxd3 19. Nxc5 $1 bxc5 20. Rxe7 $16) 18. bxc5 f6 19. cxb6 axb6 20. Nc3 Kf7 21. Nxd5 Rxd5 {and White barely drew after} 22. Be3 b5 23. d4 Bd3 24. Red1 Bc2 25. Rdc1 Bd3 26. Rd1 Bc2 27. Rdc1 Bd3 {½, Faizulaev,A (2312) -Artemenko,O (2204) Tashkent 2013}) 16... bxc5 17. Nxd8 Rxd8 18. Rxe7 $44 { Black has an extra piece, but his Kg8 and Rh8 are trapped in the corner. In 1995 this position was considered almost winning for White. While this is an optimistic evaluation, it's still Black, who has to play very accurately. Even engines, which initially promise him easy equality, start changing their mind after a while. All in all in a practical game the defender faces a difficult task.} Ne6 {The best.} (18... Nd5 19. Rxa7 Bxd3 (19... Nf6 {[%cal Yf6g4]} 20. h3 $16 {and Black remains bottled in}) 20. b3 $36 {[%cal Ya1d1]} (20. a4 $5) ( 20. Re1 $5)) 19. Re1 {Mobilising the last piece. Moreover, White sets up the motif R1xe6, which guarantees at least a perpetual. And possibly even more, as we will see later on.} (19. Rxa7 $6 Nd4 {[%cal Yd4f5] and after} 20. g4 Bxd3 21. a4 Be4 {Black is at the very least out of danger and can maybe even aspire to more than a draw.}) ({More interesting is Kramnik's (old, but maybe not quite offhand?) recommendation} 19. b3 $5 {, but White has to reckon with} Ng7 $5 (19... a6 20. Re1 {transposes to the following note}) (19... Bxd3 20. Rd1 { is similar and so is}) (19... a5 20. Rc1 Bxd3 21. Rd1 c4 22. bxc4 $44) 20. Rae1 a5 $13) 19... Ba4 $6 {Here Dubov had his first deep think. Black wants to get rid of the powerful R, but as his plan ultimately fails, the text-move is not ideal. Mamedov writes that Black should hold the position after a few accurate moves, but he is not too forthcoming about the details - quite understandably so!} ({According to Giri after the seemingly plausible} 19... a6 20. b3 $1 (20. R1xe6 fxe6 21. Rg7+ Kf8 22. Rxh7+ Kg8 23. Rg7+ $11 {is very human, but unnecessary}) 20... Bxd3 21. Rd1 c4 22. bxc4 Rb8 {his engine came up with} 23. f3 $1 Bxc4 24. a4 $18 {and already claims that Black is lost. Sure enough with the position opening up the defensive task gets extremely difficult.}) ({ This seems to indicate the best chance was} 19... Bxd3 $5 20. Rxa7 ({White has other moves such as} 20. b3 $5 {or}) (20. a4 $5 {but it's not easy to say if they bring more.}) ({Mamedov laconically gives} 20. Rd1 c4 21. b3 $13) 20... Nd4 {[%cal Yd4f5]} {and here White should already resign himself to repetition after} 21. Rd7 (21. Bg5 $6 Kg7 22. Bxd8 Rxd8 $15) (21. Rae7 Bb5 $15) 21... Rc8 22. Rc7 Rb8 23. Rb7 $11) 20. Rxa7 Bc6 (20... Bd7 {prepares f6, but this can be prevented with} 21. Re5 $36 f6 $2 22. Rd5) 21. h4 ({White is still in no hurry to resolve the tension with} 21. Rxe6 $11) ({Subsequently} 21. f3 {was mentioned as a possible improvement - if Black reacts as in the game, White can centralise his K faster. However, the text move has its pluses as well, namely it excludes ideas connected with g5.}) 21... Ra8 22. Rxe6 {Although White's pretty idea works in the end, this is the only moment when one can question Mamedov's decision due to a possible improvement on move 23.} ({After } 22. Rxa8+ Bxa8 {[%cal Ya8d5,Yf7f6,Yg8f7] the engine quickly comes up with} 23. Re5 $1 (23. g4 Bd5 24. f4 f6 25. f5 Kf7 26. fxe6+ Bxe6 $11) {and it's still very difficult to liberate Black's forces:} 23... Bc6 24. d4 $1 (24. g4 Bd7 25. Rd5 Bc8 26. f4 f6 $1 27. f5 gxf5 28. gxf5 Kf7 29. fxe6+ Bxe6 30. Rxc5 Bxa2 $11) 24... cxd4 25. b4 {[%csl Ga2,Gb4]} d3 (25... Be8 26. Ra5 $16) 26. b5 Ba8 (26... Bb7 27. Re3 Bc8 (27... d2 28. Rd3 $16) 28. Rxd3 f5 29. Ra3 $1 (29. b6 Kf7 30. b7 Bxb7 31. Rd7+ Kf6 32. Rxb7 Ra8 $14) 29... Kf7 30. Ra7+ Kf6 31. Bc1 Nd4 32. Bb2 Rd8 33. Ra8 $16) 27. Kf1 $1 $16 (27. Re3 d2 28. Rd3 f6 29. Rxd2 Kf7 $13)) 22... fxe6 23. Rc7 $1 {Brilliant, even a full R down White keeps his opponent under pressure.} (23. Rg7+ Kf8 24. Rc7+ (24. Rxh7+ $11) 24... Ke8 25. Rxc6 Kd7 26. Rxc5 Rxa2 $11 {and the tension dissipates.}) 23... Rd8 $2 { A more serious mistake, after which Black won't get back into the game.} (23... Bd5 $2 24. a4 $1 {is not ideal either, the pawn marches on and after} Rxa4 25. Rg7+ Kf8 26. Ra7+ Ke8 27. Rxa4 $16 {/+- Black faces a miserable endgame.}) ({ The correct move was} 23... e5 $142 $1 24. a3 (24. Rxc6 Kf7 $11 {[%csl Gf7] finally frees the K}) 24... Rd8 25. Rg7+ (25. Rxc6 Kf7 26. Rxc5 Rxd3 27. Rxe5 Rb8 $132) 25... Kf8 26. Rxg6+ Kf7 27. Rxc6 Rc8 $1 28. Rxc8 Rxc8 29. Kf1 c4 30. Ke2 c3 31. b4 e4 $5 (31... c2 32. Bc1 Rg8 33. g3 Ke6 $44 {and also here Black's activity should hold the balance -} 34. Kd2 Rf8) 32. dxe4 c2 33. Bc1 Rd8 {either with repetition, or an endgame with 5P:R, which is probably also a draw.}) 24. Rxc6 Kf7 25. Rc7+ $1 {[%csl Rf7] Contrary to the previous note, now Black's K remains trapped on the back rank.} ({Definitely not the greedy} 25. Rxc5 $6 Rc8 $132) 25... Ke8 26. Bg5 $1 Rb8 27. Re7+ Kf8 28. Bf6 Ra8 (28... h5 29. Rc7 Rg8 30. f4 $16 {/+- is similar}) 29. a3 h5 30. Rc7 {[%csl Rf8]} (30. Rxe6 $143 $6 Kf7) 30... Rg8 31. f4 Ke8 32. Kf2 Rb8 33. Be5 {Still ignoring the Pc5 and strengthening the position.} Rb3 ({Komodo prefers} 33... Rd8 34. Ke3 Rd7 {, but} 35. Rxc5 $16 {/+- resembles the game.}) (33... Rf8 34. Rxc5 $18 ( 34. Rg7 $5 $18)) 34. Ke3 Kd8 (34... Rb5 35. Kd2 $18 {[%cal Yd2c3,Yc3c4]}) 35. Rxc5 Rb7 36. Bc3 Ra7 37. Bb4 Kd7 38. Rg5 Kc6 39. Ke4 $18 {[%csl Re6,Rg6] White has a material advantage, moreover his pieces are active and Black's Pe6 and Pg6 vulnerable. The win is a matter of time and patient technique.} Rf7 40. Rc5+ Kb6 41. Re5 Re8 42. Ba5+ (42. a4 {, or}) (42. d4 {deserves attention, but Mamedov calmly continues manoeuvring without initially changing the character of the position.}) 42... Kc6 43. Bc3 Rf5 44. g3 Kd7 (44... Kd6 45. Bb4+ Kd7 46. Ra5 {will lead to the game position anyway.}) 45. Ra5 Rxa5 46. Bxa5 Ra8 47. Bb4 Rc8 48. Bc3 Ra8 (48... Kd6 49. a4 $18 {is lost in the long run, but now White's K penetrates.}) 49. Ke5 Ra6 50. Kf6 Rd6 (50... e5+ {gives White a choice:} 51. Kxe5 (51. Kf7 exf4 52. gxf4 Rd6 53. Bf6 Rxd3 54. Kxg6 $18) 51... Re6+ 52. Kd4 Re2 53. a4 Rg2 54. Kc5 Rxg3 55. a5 Rxd3 56. Be5 $18 {[%csl Ga5, Gb2]}) 51. Kxg6 Rxd3 52. Kxh5 Rxg3 53. a4 {This passed pawn will divert Black's K and White will decide the game on the opposite flank.} Kc6 54. Be5 Rg1 55. Kh6 Ra1 56. h5 Rxa4 57. Kg6 Ra1 58. Bf6 (58. Bf6 Rg1+ 59. Bg5 $18 { [%cal Rh5h8] and the passed Ph5 is unstoppable.}) 1-0 [Event "EU-chT (Men) 21st"] [Site "Heraklio"] [Date "2017.11.03"] [Round "6.2"] [White "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Black "Movsesian, Sergei"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E49"] [WhiteElo "2741"] [BlackElo "2671"] [Annotator "Radjabov,T"] [PlyCount "103"] [EventDate "2017.10.28"] [EventType "team-swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "GRE"] [SourceTitle "CBM 182"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2018.01.17"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"] [SourceQuality "1"] [WhiteTeam "Azerbaijan"] [BlackTeam "Armenia"] [WhiteTeamCountry "AZE"] [BlackTeamCountry "ARM"] {In this important match (we had started with a loss in this championship and were in a must win situation almost in every game), I had White and the only goal was to try pressing as much as I could. Improvisation started more or less from the first moves, when we finally got in a more or less classical structure arising from a Nimzo with e3.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 d5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 O-O 7. Bd3 c6 $5 (7... dxc4 8. Bxc4 c5 {is more common}) 8. Ne2 b6 9. O-O Ba6 10. cxd5 cxd5 11. Bxa6 Nxa6 12. Qd3 {Now even if the position looks innocent at first sight, the plan for White is clear: f3-e4 and creating threats on the king's flank. Black has to play cautiously not to allow a furious attack.} Qc8 13. f3 Nb8 14. e4 Qa6 15. Qe3 {The computer suggests Qxa6 followed by e5 and a4, but I honestly don't think it's the way to play for a win.} Nc6 16. Ng3 Kh8 {An interesting move; Black prepares for the Qg5 move where he can always protect g7 by ...Rg8.} 17. a4 {I was trying to free my bishop on c1 as I thought it's the only badly placed piece in White's camp. Attack does not work yet and making useful moves makes sense for now.} Na5 {Very logical, Black goes for the c4-square and will decide about the c1-bishop, if he should capture or not.} 18. e5 Nd7 19. Ba3 (19. Qg5 Qd3 { and I was not sure what to do! The queen may come to g6 followed by ...f6 for example, c3 hanging and the knight is coming to c4 or b3.}) 19... Nc4 20. Qg5 { It all looks dangerous for Black at first sight, but I thought that Black can go for ...Nxa3 followed by ...Qd3 and it seemed to me that the position is ok for Black, even though there are still a lot of tricks in the air, Nh5-Qe7-f4-f5 somewhere, but of course if was a viable option. The computer suggests even ...Rfe8 and after Nh5 Rg8:)} f6 {This came as a surprise! Black weakens the e6-pawn and gives a lot of targets for my pieces to attack.} (20... Rfe8 21. f4 (21. Nh5 $6 Rg8 22. Qe7 Qc8 23. Qxf7 Ndxe5 $3 24. dxe5 Nxa3 $1 $17) 21... f6 22. Qh5 g6 23. Qh4 Nxa3 24. Rxa3 $13) 21. exf6 Rxf6 22. Nh5 $1 { An important move; the rook should go to f7 now.} Rf7 23. Rfe1 {I thought that the position could be equal, but playing Black here is harder at least. He has to protect the e6-pawn and watch out for tricks with the last rank being weakened.} Nxa3 $1 (23... b5 $2 24. axb5 Qxb5 25. Bb4 $1 {I was hoping for this!} Qc6 {it looks like Black is fine but...} 26. Rxa7 $3 Rxa7 27. Qd8+ Nf8 28. Bxf8 $18) 24. Rxa3 Re8 25. Nf4 Qc8 $1 {Very strong defence by Black, I was already worried about the e5 thrust, that's why all my thoughts were to protect against it.} 26. Re3 {Defending c3 in order to bring the rook from a3 to e1.} Rf5 $2 {The first bad move comes here, Black had to go for complications after ...e5, but my opponent did not have enough time here to calculate the consequences.} (26... e5 $1 {worried me the most!} 27. Nxd5 exd4 28. cxd4 Qc1+ 29. Kf2 Qd2+ 30. Kg3 Ref8 $1 {I was not sure what this is, but thought that Black should play this way for sure and the computer agrees.} 31. Ne7 $1 {with some slight pressure but Black should keep it all. For example, one very strong move being} Qb4 $3 $11 {with the idea to play ...Qd6+ and ... Qxd4 later to follow.}) 27. Qg3 Qb8 $2 {One more bad move by Black in an already not so pleasant position.} (27... Qc6 $1 {Active defence was preferable; the queen stands much better here, eyeing a4 and c3 as well as protecting e6 but after say} 28. Nd3 $14 {White still maintains some pressure.} ) 28. Nd3 $1 e5 29. Ra2 $1 {I like this move and now after seeing that the computer thinks it is the best move here, even more so, I was hesitating if I have to go 29.Qe1 instead but I did not like some things there. As shown in the lines, the computer says that Ra1 is the best, but I wanted to protect the second rank, feeling, as I did, that in endgames it could be important.} (29. Qe1 $5 e4 30. fxe4 dxe4 31. Rxe4 Rxe4 32. Qxe4 Rf8 {and I was not sure here how to convert my advantage at all. c3 is weak my king is not great and ...Nf6 is always in the air.}) 29... exd4 30. Qxb8 Rxb8 31. cxd4 Rf7 32. Rc2 Kg8 33. Re6 $1 {A strong move, with the idea to attack d5 or bring the rook to the c-line and fully occupy the c-file and the 7th rank.} Nf6 34. Ne5 Rfb7 35. Rec6 $6 (35. g4 $1 {The computer points out this very strong move, that would end the game much faster. Now there is simply no move for Black: the rook goes to d6 and h4 is coming, the king comes to g3 and the position is completely lost for Black.}) 35... h6 36. h4 b5 37. axb5 Rxb5 38. Ra6 R5b7 39. Rca2 Kh7 (39... Nh5 $1 {would be much more tenacious, Black wants to bring the knight to f4.} 40. Kh2 $1 Rb2 41. Rxa7 Nf4 42. Nd7 Rxa2 43. Rxa2 Rc8 44. Kg3 Ne6 45. Nb6 $16 { 3 vs 2 with knights and rooks is a hard constellation to hold, but it would be the best chance for Black!}) 40. Rxa7 Rxa7 41. Rxa7 Rb4 $2 {Losing move!} ( 41... Nh5 $1 {was still the best!} 42. g4 Nf4 43. h5 $1 Ne2+ 44. Kf2 Nxd4 45. Rd7 {with good chances for White, but still Black has chances!}) 42. Nc6 $1 Rc4 43. Nd8 Nh5 44. Ne6 Rc1+ 45. Kh2 Re1 46. Ra6 Nf6 47. g4 {White's play is very simple: the king comes to g3 and many pawns make Black's task impossible, g5 is threatening all the time and Black's king is very weak. Here I was sure that I was winning already.} Kg8 48. g5 $1 hxg5 49. hxg5 Nh7 50. g6 Nf8 51. Nf4 Rd1 52. Ra8 {Black resigned! An important victory as we managed to win 2.5-1.5 due to my win and the win of Rauf that day. This helped us a lot in chasing the title!} 1-0 [Event "EU-chT (Men) 21st"] [Site "Heraklio"] [Date "2017.11.01"] [Round "5.4"] [White "Matlakov, Maxim"] [Black "Can, Emre"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E81"] [WhiteElo "2730"] [BlackElo "2604"] [Annotator "Szabo,Kr"] [PlyCount "73"] [EventDate "2017.10.28"] [EventType "team-swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "GRE"] [SourceTitle "CBM 182"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2018.01.17"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"] [SourceQuality "1"] [WhiteTeam "Russia"] [BlackTeam "Turkey"] [WhiteTeamCountry "RUS"] [BlackTeamCountry "TUR"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f3 O-O 6. Be3 c5 7. Nge2 Nc6 8. d5 Ne5 9. Ng3 h5 10. Be2 h4 11. Nf1 e6 12. Bg5 ({Previously} 12. f4 {was the common move, but White now has to reckon with the brilliant} Nxc4 $3 13. Bxc4 b5 14. Bxb5 exd5 15. e5 dxe5 16. fxe5 Bg4 17. exf6 Bxd1 18. fxg7 Kxg7 19. Bxc5 h3 $132 {Svidler-Grischuk, London 2013; with a complicated position.}) 12... h3 13. Ne3 hxg2 14. Nxg2 exd5 $6 $146 {A novelty by Can. The most straightforward continuation, but now this is a dubious move.} (14... Qa5 {was more accurate,} 15. Bd2 Qa6 16. Nf4 exd5 17. Nfxd5 Nxd5 18. Nxd5 Be6 19. Bc3 Bxd5 20. Qxd5 Nc6 $13 {Murray-Yanushevsky, ICCF email 2009; with a double-edged fight.}) 15. Nxd5 $1 Be6 ({In the event of} 15... Re8 16. h4 $36 {and White has a strong initiative on the kingside.}) 16. Ngf4 Re8 (16... Qa5+ $6 {could have been met by} 17. b4 $1 $16 {and the f6-knight is hanging.}) 17. h4 $1 {White continues the attack and he protects the g5-bishop.} ({The logical} 17. Qd2 $4 {is a blunder, as} Nxe4 $1 $17 {and suddenly Black is better.}) 17... Ned7 18. Qd2 Bxd5 19. Nxd5 Nf8 20. h5 N8h7 {Black tries to defend as much as possible, but White's attack is too fast.} 21. hxg6 Nxg5 22. Qxg5 Re5 23. gxf7+ Kxf7 24. Qf4 Kg8 (24... Qa5+ 25. Kf2 $18 {followed by Rag1 is hopeless for Black.}) 25. Ne3 $1 {The best reply!} (25. O-O-O $6 Nxd5 26. cxd5 Qg5 {and Black can exchange queens.}) 25... Nh5 {Otherwise Nf5 is too dangerous for Black.} 26. Qh2 Qa5+ ({ In the event of} 26... Qg5 27. Kd2 $1 (27. Nf5 {could have been met by} Rxf5 $1 28. exf5 Ng3 29. Rg1 Be5 {Black still has practical chances.}) 27... Rf8 28. Rag1 Qf4 29. Qh3 $18 {with a decisive attack.}) 27. Kf2 Rf8 28. Rag1 Qd2 { Black tries to create practical chances, but objectively White is winning.} ({ Obviously} 28... Rxe4 $2 {does not work, because of} 29. Qxh5 $18 {and mate soon.}) 29. Rg4 Rf7 30. b3 $1 {A great cool-blooded reply!} ({The tempting} 30. Rhg1 $2 {is a big mistake, because of} Nf6 $1 $132 {and suddenly Black has some threats.}) 30... Kf8 (30... Qxa2 31. Rh4 $18 {is winning immediately.}) 31. Rd1 $1 {Another strong reply!} Qb2 32. Rxd6 Nf6 33. Rf4 ({Probably} 33. Rh4 $1 {(from the engine) was stronger, but the text move was also winning.} Nxe4+ 34. Rxe4 Rxe4 35. Rd8+ Re8 36. Rxe8+ Kxe8 37. Qb8+ Kd7 38. Qxb7+ Ke8 39. Qc8+ Ke7 40. Nd5+ $18) 33... Rh5 34. Qg3 Qe5 35. Rd8+ Ke7 36. Rd1 Rg5 $6 {Loses immediately, but Black's position was already bad.} (36... Nxe4+ $2 {is also losing, as} 37. Rxe4 Qxe4 38. Qd6+ Ke8 39. Qd8#) ({even} 36... Bh6 {was tougher,} 37. Nd5+ Nxd5 38. Rxf7+ Kxf7 39. Qxe5 Be3+ 40. Kg3 Rxe5 41. cxd5 Rg5+ 42. Kh4 $18) 37. Nf5+ {Great attacking game by Matlakov!} 1-0 [Event "EU-chT (Men) 21st"] [Site "Heraklio"] [Date "2017.11.06"] [Round "9.1"] [White "Lenic, Luka"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D43"] [WhiteElo "2650"] [BlackElo "2762"] [Annotator "Szabo,Kr"] [PlyCount "149"] [EventDate "2017.10.28"] [EventType "team-swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "GRE"] [SourceTitle "CBM 182"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2018.01.17"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"] [SourceQuality "1"] [WhiteTeam "Slovenia"] [BlackTeam "Netherlands"] [WhiteTeamCountry "SLO"] [BlackTeamCountry "NED"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bxf6 (6. Bh4 dxc4 7. e4 g5 8. Bg3 b5 {is the sharper main line in the Moscow Variation.}) 6... Qxf6 7. e3 g6 8. Be2 Bg7 9. O-O O-O 10. e4 dxc4 (10... dxe4 {is another possibility.}) 11. Bxc4 Qd8 (11... Nd7 {is more common.}) 12. e5 c5 {Black immediately attacks White's centre. He has the bishop pair, so he wants to open the position.} 13. dxc5 Nd7 14. Qe2 Nxc5 15. Rfd1 ({3 years ago Giri had a game with} 15. Rad1 {,} Qe7 16. Rd6 b6 17. Rfd1 Nb7 18. R6d2 Na5 19. Bd3 Bb7 20. Be4 Rad8 21. Rd6 Bxe4 22. Nxe4 Nb7 23. Rxd8 Rxd8 $11 {Bacrot-Giri, Linares 2014; with an equal position; later Black managed to win.}) 15... Qe7 16. Nb5 Bd7 17. Nd6 a5 $6 $146 {A novelty, but this is a dubious move, because he weakens the light squares.} (17... Bc6 {was important,} 18. Nd4 Qg5 19. Nxc6 bxc6 20. b4 $1 (20. Re1 $6 {is dubious, as} Nd7 21. Qe4 Nxe5 22. f4 Nf3+ $1 23. Kh1 Qc5 24. Qxf3 Qxd6 $17 {Lupulescu-Mamedyarov, Baku 2016; and Black looks nicely placed.}) 20... Na4 21. Re1 Nc3 22. Qe3 Qxe3 23. Rxe3 Nd5 $11 {with an equal position.}) 18. Qe3 b6 19. Nd4 Rad8 20. Rd2 f6 $5 {White is very active, so Black tries to complicate the position. Nevertheless White already has an advantage.} 21. Nb3 fxe5 ({In the event of} 21... Nxb3 22. Qxb3 fxe5 (22... Rb8 $2 {could have been met by the brilliant} 23. Nf5 $3 gxf5 24. Rxd7 $1 $18 {and White is winning.}) 23. Qxb6 $16) 22. Nxc5 bxc5 23. Qxc5 Rf4 24. Qc7 {Threatening Bxe6.} ({The immediate} 24. Qxa5 $16 {was also better for White.}) 24... Kf8 25. Qxa5 Rd4 26. Rxd4 exd4 27. Ne4 d3 (27... Kg8 28. Nc5 $16 {is also unpleasant for Black.}) 28. Rd1 $1 {The most accurate reply.} Bc6 (28... Bxb2 {is also hopeless, because of} 29. Rxd3 $18) 29. Nc5 Bd5 30. b3 $1 {A safe and a good move.} ({The greedy} 30. Rxd3 $6 {could have been met by} Rc8 $1 31. Bxd5 Qxc5 32. Qxc5+ Rxc5 33. Bf3 Bxb2 {still Black has some chances to survive.}) 30... Bd4 31. Nxd3 Be4 {Black keeps the bishop pair and tries to create some threats. } 32. Qe1 $1 {A professional move, White protects everything and avoids Black's threats.} Bf5 33. g3 ({Probably} 33. Ne5 $1 $18 {was stronger, as suggested by the engine.}) 33... Qa7 34. Qe2 Kg7 ({Even} 34... h5 $5 {gave the best practical chance.}) 35. g4 $1 $18 {Another strong move, White forces the exchange of part of the bishop pair.} Bxd3 36. Bxd3 (36. Rxd3 $1 {was more accurate, for example:} Rf8 37. Qxe6 $1 Bxf2+ ({or} 37... Rxf2 38. Qg8+ Kf6 39. Qh8+ $18 {wins.}) 38. Kg2 $18 {and Black has to resign.}) 36... Rf8 37. Rf1 e5 38. Kg2 Qb6 39. Be4 Rf7 40. Qd2 ({The immediate} 40. f3 $18 {was also fine.}) 40... Rf4 41. f3 Rf7 42. Rb1 {Prepares for a4.} Be3 43. Qc3 Bf4 44. Qc6 { The best practical move to exchange the queens.} Qxc6 45. Bxc6 Rc7 46. Be4 Rd7 47. Rb2 {White has to defend against ...Rd2.} h5 48. h4 Rd2+ 49. Rxd2 Bxd2 { White is two pawns up; moreover they are connected passed pawns on the queenside, so Black has no chance to survive.} 50. Kf2 {Otherwise ...Be1.} Bb4 51. g5 $1 {As the principle says: In opposite coloured bishop endgames the stronger side has to fix the pawns on the same colour as that of the opposing bishop.} Kf7 52. a4 Ba5 53. Ke2 Bb4 54. Kd3 {White has to sacrifice the h4-pawn.} Be1 55. Kc4 Bxh4 56. a5 Bxg5 {White has sacrificed his g- and h-pawn to advance his queenside pawns.} 57. a6 (57. b4 $18) 57... Be3 58. Kd5 h4 59. Bd3 h3 60. Bf1 h2 61. Bg2 Kf6 62. b4 Kf5 63. Kc6 Kf4 64. b5 Kg3 65. Bh1 Kf2 66. b6 Kg1 67. a7 Kxh1 68. a8=Q Kg2 69. b7 h1=Q 70. b8=Q Bf4 71. Qc8 {A smart solution.} Qc1+ ({There is a nice way of winning after} 71... Kxf3 {,} 72. Kc5+ e4 73. Qxe4+ $1 Kxe4 74. Qc6+ $18 {.}) 72. Kd7 Qd2+ 73. Ke8 g5 74. Qg4+ Kf2 75. Qa1 {A nice victory by Lenic!} 1-0 [Event "GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.04.07"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2789"] [BlackElo "2784"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "72"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bb4 {"I felt that he was very unfamiliar with the opening" (Caruana)} 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O e4 7. Ng5 Bxc3 8. bxc3 Re8 9. Qc2 {Quite a rare line.} ({The big theory is:} 9. d3) ({Or} 9. f3) 9... d5 ({ The battle of the legends saw:} 9... Qe7 10. d3 exd3 11. exd3 b6 12. Bd2 Bb7 13. Rfe1 Qa3 14. Bf4 Na5 15. Be5 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 Ng4 17. d4 g6 18. Qe4 Nxe5 19. dxe5 h6 20. Nf3 Qc5 {with approximate equality, Ljubojevic,L (2571)-Karpov,A (2626) Platja d'Aro 2017}) 10. cxd5 Qxd5 11. d3 Bf5 12. Bf4 h6 13. Nxe4 ({ "I just made sure that after"} 13. dxe4 Nxe4 14. c4 ({Therefore Black expected: } 14. Nxe4 Bxe4 15. Bxe4 Qxe4 16. Qxe4 Rxe4 17. Bxc7 Rxe2 {where he is "a little better, but it should be a draw"(Caruana)}) 14... Qd4 15. Rad1 Qc3 { "and here I thought I am already much better" (Caruana)}) 13... Nxe4 14. Qb2 ( 14. c4 Qe6 15. dxe4 Bxe4 16. Qxe4 Qxe4 17. Bxe4 Rxe4 18. Bxc7 Rxe2 {is similar to the assesment above.}) 14... b6 15. Rfd1 ({Black expected that his opponent will grab the pawn:} 15. Bxc7 Rac8 16. Bf4 Na5 17. Rad1 Qe6 18. Bxe4 Bxe4 19. dxe4 Qxe4 {but then he will have "very good compensation" (Caruana) for it. Indeed, the weak queenside pawns and the superior light piece provide enough for the material deficit.}) 15... Qc5 16. dxe4 Bxe4 17. Bf1 $146 {"This was a little bit of surprise" (Caruana)} ({The predecessor saw:} 17. Bxe4 Rxe4 18. Rd7 ({Caruana expected} 18. Bxc7 Na5 19. Bf4 Rae8 {and indeed this does not seem good for White. For example:} 20. e3 Nc4 21. Qc2 g5 $1) 18... Ne5 19. Bxe5 Qxe5 20. e3 Rc4 {Stulrajter,M (1821)-Blasko,A (1900) Slovakia 1998}) 17... Re7 ({Caruana rejected:} 17... Na5 18. Qb4 Qc6 19. f3 Bd5 20. e4 Bc4 21. Bh3 Be6 { with possible repetition as he felt he may play for more.}) 18. a4 ({Or} 18. Rd2 Rae8 19. Rad1 g5 20. Be3 Qf5 {"when the doubling of the white rooks along the d-file looks pointless" (Caruana)}) 18... Rae8 {Now the position resembles the Nimzo-Indian defense. White's bishop pair is not an advantage at all, as the bishops do not occupy commanding squares. The weakness of the white queenside pawns determines the evaluation into Black's favor instead.} 19. Rac1 $6 {"This whole concept of a2-a4 followed by Ra1-c1 feels wrong." (Caruana)} ({ The American GM expected instead:} 19. Qb5 Qxb5 ({Not} 19... Qxc3 20. Rac1 Qf6 21. f3 Nd4 22. Qc4 c5 23. fxe4 (23. Rxd4 cxd4 24. fxe4 Rxe4 25. Qd3) 23... Rxe4 {with unclear position (Caruana)}) 20. axb5 Na5 {and now Black believed he is better thanks to the weak white pawns.}) (19. Qa3 {Another possibility was:} Qf5 20. f3 Bc2 21. e4 (21. Rd2 g5) 21... Qf6 22. Rd2 g5 {which looks good for Black. (Caruana)}) 19... g5 20. Bd2 (20. Be3 Qf5 {followed by Nc6-e5 is excellent for Black.}) 20... Qf5 21. f3 ({Or} 21. c4 Ne5 22. Rc3 c5 {followed by Be4-c6 (Caruana)}) 21... Qc5+ 22. Kh1 ({Caruana speculated that MVL missed the tactics after:} 22. Kg2 Bxf3+ $1 23. exf3 ({On} 23. Kxf3 {Black planned:} Ne5+ ({Even easier is:} 23... Qg1 $1 24. Bh3 Re3+ 25. Bxe3 Rxe3+ 26. Kg4 Qxh2 { with inevitable mate.}) 24. Kg2 Nc4 {with a win.}) 23... Re2+ 24. Bxe2 Rxe2+ 25. Kh1 Qf2 {and mate cannot be stopped.}) 22... Bd5 ({Here Caruana was not that sure about:} 22... Bxf3+ 23. exf3 Qf2 24. Bg2 Re2 (24... Rd8) 25. Rg1 Rxd2 26. Qb5 Qc5 27. f4) ({Neither about:} 22... Bg6 23. Be1) 23. Be1 {A sad defense, but:} (23. c4 $2 {loses to the same} Rxe2 ({Or} 23... Qf2) 24. Bxe2 Rxe2 25. Rf1 Bxf3+ 26. Rxf3 Ne5) ({So does:} 23. e4 Rxe4 $1 24. Qb5 (24. fxe4 Bxe4+ 25. Bg2 Bxg2+ 26. Kxg2 Re2+ 27. Kh1 Qd5+ 28. Kg1 Qg2#) 24... Qf2 { (Caruana)}) 23... Bc4 24. e4 (24. Rc2 Ne5 {wins prosaically for Black.}) 24... Bxf1 25. Bf2 Qc4 26. Rxf1 Qxa4 {Save and reliable. Black is up a pawn, and has the more active pieces.} ({He had to avoid though:} 26... Ne5 27. Bd4 Nd3 28. Qe2 {(Caruana)}) ({Or} 26... g4 27. Qd2) 27. c4 (27. Bd4 Qc4 $1) 27... Ne5 28. Bd4 g4 {Very energetic way of converting the advantage. Black plays for the attack.} (28... Nd3 {After the game Caruana regretted that he did not go for the "more technical"} 29. Qa1 Qxa1 30. Rxa1 Rd7) 29. fxg4 ({Or} 29. f4 Nf3 30. Bh8 f5 31. exf5 Qc6 {and Black mates first (Caruana)}) 29... Qd7 ({Black should also win after:} 29... Qc6 30. Qe2 Ng6 31. Qf3 Qxe4 32. Bf6 Qxf3+ 33. Rxf3 Re4) ({Only not} 29... Nd3 $2 30. Qd2 Nxc1 31. Qxh6) 30. Qc3 c5 $1 { "I was very happy to get rid of the bishop, as I am collecting all the pawns now." (Caruana)} ({Black aslo felt that} 30... Qxg4 31. Rf4 Qg6 32. Rcf1 Nd7 { sould be winning, but it was way more complicated.}) 31. Bxe5 (31. Be3 Nxg4 { wins for Black easily.}) 31... Rxe5 32. Qf3 Rxe4 33. Rcd1 Qe6 34. g5 hxg5 35. Rd5 g4 36. Qc3 Re5 0-1 [Event "Tata Steel-A 80th"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee"] [Date "2018.01.13"] [Round "1"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Matlakov, Maxim"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C77"] [WhiteElo "2767"] [BlackElo "2718"] [Annotator "Fernandez,D"] [PlyCount "105"] [EventDate "2018.01.13"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "13"] [EventCountry "NED"] [EventCategory "20"] [SourceTitle "CBM 183"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2018.03.14"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2018.03.14"] [SourceQuality "1"] [TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"] 1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nc6 { [%emt 0:00:00]} 3. Bb5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} a6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 4. Ba4 {[%emt 0:00: 00]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 5. d3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} b5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 6. Bb3 { [%emt 0:00:00]} Bc5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 7. c3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} d6 {[%emt 0:03:54] Black should play this sooner or later. The alternative is essentially ...d5, which is double-edged in the Italian and probably borderline suicidal now Black has played ...b5.} 8. Bg5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} h6 {[%emt 0:04:28]} 9. Bh4 { [%emt 0:00:00]} g5 {[%emt 0:18:01]} 10. Bg3 {[%emt 0:00:00] We will not be getting a repeat of the various 'draw lines' Anand has played which involve sacrifices on g5 against a castled king, and then perpetual check...} Ba7 { [%emt 0:00:27]} (10... Bb6 {may keep marginally more options open, including contesting the a-file 'properly'.} 11. Nbd2 O-O 12. Qe2 Ne7 {and now} 13. d4 Ng6 $5 $132 {Alekseev,E-Predke,A Kaliningrad 2015, was an interesting and ultimately successful pawn sacrifice.}) 11. Nbd2 {[%emt 0:00:15]} Na5 {[%emt 0: 04:55]} 12. Bc2 {[%emt 0:07:08]} Nh5 {[%emt 0:00:55] We are now in new territory, and Black is playing extremely inventively. However, Anand is not to be outdone.} 13. a4 $5 {[%emt 0:02:53] Highlighting a problem with ...Ba7, but at the same time committing to playing the sacrifice that follows. White is playing maximalist chess.} (13. b4 {DF} Nc6 14. a4 $132 {might have been a more normal way to play.}) 13... b4 {[%emt 0:04:12]} 14. cxb4 {[%emt 0:06:43]} Nc6 {[%emt 0:02:01]} 15. b5 {[%emt 0:00:22]} Nb4 {[%emt 0:02:05]} 16. Nc4 { [%emt 0:03:49]} (16. O-O $6 {may be possible, but is a bit wet and White does not have the fun after} Nxg3 17. hxg3 h5 $44) 16... Nxg3 {[%emt 0:08:39]} 17. hxg3 {[%emt 0:01:12]} g4 {[%emt 0:11:04] Black commits!} (17... axb5 18. axb5 Bxf2+ $2 {does not work immediately as Black's knight lacks proper access to d4.} 19. Kxf2 Rxa1 20. Qxa1 Nxc2 21. Qa4 $1 $16) (17... Bc5 $44 {was still possible, looking for compensation - I am reasonably sure it is sufficient.}) 18. Nh4 {[%emt 0:09:07]} axb5 {[%emt 0:01:48]} 19. axb5 {[%emt 0:01:21]} Bxf2+ {[%emt 0:01:56]} 20. Kxf2 {[%emt 0:00:09]} Rxa1 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 21. Qxa1 { [%emt 0:00:10]} Nxc2 {[%emt 0:00:16]} 22. Qa4 {[%emt 0:03:23] White had presumably envisaged this position up to ten moves in advance and liked his practical chances. White's knights hop around in pleasing ways near the black king, while White's kingside construction with the h4-knight and (soon to be) h2-king is watertight.} Qf6+ {[%emt 0:04:00]} (22... Nd4 23. b6+ Kf8 24. bxc7 Qxc7 $11 {was also interesting, but the d6-pawn is weak.}) 23. Kg1 {[%emt 0:08: 04]} Nd4 {[%emt 0:01:21]} 24. b6+ {[%emt 0:02:43]} Bd7 {[%emt 0:10:24]} 25. Qd1 {[%emt 0:00:30]} cxb6 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 26. Kh2 {[%emt 0:02:56] Reaching a position which is only ever going to be hard for Black to play.} O-O {[%emt 0: 02:11]} (26... b5 27. Rf1 Qe7 28. Ne3 {gives White either the d5-square or g4-pawn}) 27. Rf1 {[%emt 0:00:37]} Qg5 $6 {[%emt 0:04:21] A minor inaccuracy, giving up the wrong pawn, and White's moves just keep playing themselves.} ( 27... Qe7 28. Ne3 Qg5 $1 {was the right time to place the queen here. Now} 29. Nhf5 Bxf5 30. Nxf5 Qh5+ 31. Kg1 Nxf5 32. Rxf5 Qg6 $11 {could follow, when White's position is still easier but his king has lost its bomb shelter.}) 28. Nxd6 $14 {[%emt 0:00:14]} Be6 {[%emt 0:00:29]} 29. Nhf5 {[%emt 0:01:05]} Nxf5 $6 {[%emt 0:05:07]} (29... Rd8 30. Nxd4 Rxd6 31. Nxe6 Rxe6 32. Rf5 Qg6 33. Qb3 $14 {is similar to the last note but with White having better co-ordination. Still, this was an interesting try, not least because Black can now try and do 'nothing' e.g. ...Re8 and ...Qe6, and try to complete the fortress with ... Kh7-g6 and ...h5.}) 30. exf5 {[%emt 0:06:17]} Bd5 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 31. Qe2 $1 { [%emt 0:01:34]} Qf6 {[%emt 0:05:45]} (31... f6 32. d4 {is a slightly non-obvious point until you reach the position itself, whereupon it becomes clear that White's rook needs to be on f4, and simultaneously one sees how to accomplish this.}) 32. Qxg4+ {[%emt 0:02:12]} Kh7 {[%emt 0:00:15]} 33. Ne4 { [%emt 0:00:54]} Bxe4 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 34. dxe4 {[%emt 0:02:59]} Rd8 {[%emt 0: 03:07]} 35. Rc1 $16 {[%emt 0:11:40] This is now a truly thankless position as the fortress tries will never quite work and the rook ending is lost. White just plays with ideas for a few moves until he works out what he wants to do.} Rd4 {[%emt 0:04:08]} 36. Rc7 {[%emt 0:08:10]} Rb4 {[%emt 0:00:10]} 37. Qe2 { [%emt 0:01:05]} Kg7 {[%emt 0:00:54]} 38. Rc8 {[%emt 0:07:37]} Qg5 {[%emt 0:00: 55]} 39. Rc6 {[%emt 0:01:01]} Rb3 {[%emt 0:00:38]} 40. Rc3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rb4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 41. b3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rd4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 42. Rc6 {[%emt 0: 00:00]} Rb4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 43. Qf3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Kh7 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 44. Rd6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Kg7 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 45. Rd5 {[%emt 0:00:00] Now White's rook is the centralised one!} Qf6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 46. Kg1 {[%emt 0:00:40]} Kh7 {[%emt 0:02:50]} 47. Qd3 {[%emt 0:02:20]} Kg7 {[%emt 0:01:54]} 48. Kf2 { [%emt 0:04:54]} Rd4 $2 {[%emt 0:12:00] Understandable in view of the various rook-trap motifs White has, but the last try was to wait for Qc3 before doing this, so that the recapture would come with tempo and then Black might get a good square like e3 or e5 for his queen.} (48... Qe7 {DF} 49. Kf3 Qf6 50. Qc3 Rd4 51. Rxd4 exd4 52. Qd3 Qd6 $16 {is for instance not that much better for White.}) 49. Rxd4 {[%emt 0:01:11]} exd4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 50. Qb5 {[%emt 0:00: 22]} Qd8 {[%emt 0:02:09]} 51. Qd5 {[%emt 0:02:42]} Qf6 {[%emt 0:01:24]} 52. g4 {[%emt 0:04:30]} Kg8 {[%emt 0:00:37]} 53. Kf3 {[%emt 0:03:32] Black had no desire to play out the queen ending, especially since e5 will win a further pawn.} 1-0 [Event "Tata Steel-A 80th"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee"] [Date "2018.01.15"] [Round "3"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2767"] [BlackElo "2811"] [Annotator "Szabo,Kr"] [PlyCount "83"] [EventDate "2018.01.13"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "13"] [EventCountry "NED"] [EventCategory "20"] [SourceTitle "CBM 183"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2018.03.14"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2018.03.14"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. c4 c6 9. Qc2 Na6 10. a3 Bg4 11. Ne5 Bf5 12. b4 Nc7 $146 {A novelty by Caruana.} ( 12... f6 13. Nf3 Bg6 14. Nc3 (14. c5 $5) 14... Nxc3 15. Bxg6 hxg6 16. Qxc3 $11 {Leko-Ivanchuk, Monte Carlo blind rapid 2006, with a balanced position.}) 13. f3 Bg6 {A nice solution to the pin.} 14. c5 (14. fxe4 $2 {does not work, as there is} Bxe5 15. dxe5 dxe4 $17 {followed by ...Qd4.}) ({In the event of} 14. Nxg6 fxg6 15. fxe4 dxe4 16. Rxf8+ (16. Bxe4 $2 {loses immediately, as} Bxh2+ $1 17. Kxh2 Rxf1 $19 {and Black is winning,}) ({or} 16. Be2 $2 Qh4 17. g3 (17. h3 Qg3 $19 {followed by ...Qh2 mate.}) 17... Bxg3 $1 18. hxg3 Qxg3+ 19. Kh1 Rxf1+ 20. Bxf1 Qe1 $1 21. Kg1 Rf8 $19 {with a decisive attack.}) 16... Bxf8 $132 { with a complicated position.}) 14... Bxe5 15. dxe5 Ng5 ({Still} 15... a5 $5 { was also possible,} 16. Bb2 (16. fxe4 $2 {is bad again} dxe4 $17 {and Black is better.}) 16... Ng5 {is transposing to the text move.}) 16. Bb2 d4 $2 {A mistake, which allows White's subsequent attack on the kingside.} (16... Nge6 17. f4 Bxd3 18. Qxd3 {transposes to 16...Bxd3.}) (16... Bxd3 17. Qxd3 Nge6 18. f4 g6 19. f5 gxf5 20. Rxf5 Qh4 21. Nd2 a5 22. Raf1 {and White's position looks more tempting, however the engine isn't afraid of anything.}) ({Or even} 16... a5 17. f4 Bxd3 18. Qxd3 Ne4 {was also possible and Black is not worse.}) 17. f4 $1 {White immediately starts his kingside play.} Nd5 {The only move, but White is better here too.} 18. fxg5 Ne3 19. Qd2 Bxd3 20. Qxd3 Nxf1 21. Kxf1 Qxg5 22. Nd2 $1 {White continues the development, doesn't think about the material.} Qxe5 {Black gets some pawns, but the two pieces are stronger, than the rook.} 23. Nf3 ({The engine suggest} 23. Nc4 $1 {, but the human move is 23.Nf3 to protect the h2-pawn.} Qxh2 24. Qxd4 f6 25. Nd6 $16 {and finally White has a clear advantage.}) 23... Qh5 24. Qxd4 f6 25. Qc4+ Kh8 26. Bc1 $1 {After 24... f6 the bishop is already useless on the a1-h8 diagonal. He prepares for Bf4-d6. } Rfe8 27. Bf4 a5 28. Bd6 axb4 29. Qxb4 Qd5 (29... Qf7 {was more solid, however } 30. Kf2 Ra7 31. a4 $16 {is also unpleasant for Black.}) 30. Qxb7 h6 (30... Qd3+ $1 {was a better chance to win the a3-pawn,} 31. Kg1 Rxa3 32. Rxa3 Qxa3 33. h3 $1 {A great cool-blooded reply!} ({The greedy} 33. Qxc6 $2 {could have been met by} Qc1+ 34. Kf2 Qc2+ $1 35. Kg3 Qg6+ $11 {with perpetual checks.}) 33... Qe3+ 34. Kh2 Qe4 35. Qd7 Ra8 {and White should be better, but it is still not clear how the knight can attack the c6-pawn.}) 31. Kg1 $1 {Now White keeps the a3-pawn.} Ra4 32. h3 Rc4 33. Qb2 Qd3 34. Ra2 $1 {A nice reaction to protect the 2nd rank.} Qd1+ 35. Kh2 Rc1 36. a4 {Black doesn't have any threat on the first rank.} f5 (36... Qh1+ 37. Kg3 $18 {and the white king is safe.}) 37. Qb7 f4 38. Bxf4 Rxc5 39. Rd2 Qxa4 40. Qf7 Rg8 41. Be5 Qc4 42. Rd6 $1 { A smart finish to the game!} (42. Rd6 $1 Qc1 (42... Qxf7 43. Rxh6#) 43. Rd8 $1 $18 {and mate on g7!}) 1-0 [Event "St Louis, MO USA"] [Site "St Louis, MO USA"] [Date "2018.04.18"] [Round "1"] [White "Yaroslav Zherebukh"] [Black "Wesley So"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B51"] [WhiteElo "2640"] [BlackElo "2786"] [PlyCount "106"] [EventDate "2018.04.18"] 1. e4 c5 {Of course this move is not a surprise, but So has been a king's pawn player in recent events. Then again, most of his opposition is a bit higher rated than Zherebukh is.} 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 {In response to Zherebukh's quiet opening choice, So opts for the most challenging line.} (3... Bd7 4. Bxd7+ (4. a4 {was always a favorite of mine.}) 4... Qxd7 5. c4 {is too solid; So would likely find a path to neutralize White's opening advantage, but there would be little hope for more.}) 4. Ba4 $6 (4. d4 {is the most common and principled. White strikes in the center and develops naturally, though Black of course has typical Sicilian chances.}) 4... Ngf6 5. O-O a6 6. c4 g6 ({ Playing into White's hands with} 6... Nxe4 $2 {would have been a poor choice, considering that So had no idea this variation was going to be played. White's play is straightforward:} 7. Re1 Nef6 8. d4 cxd4 (8... g6 9. dxc5 dxc5 10. Bf4 {spells huge trouble for Black. The extra pawn is not worth the deficit in development.}) 9. Nxd4 e6 (9... g6 10. Bf4 e5 11. Nc3 Be7 (11... Bg7 12. Nc6 $1 bxc6 13. Qxd6 Nb8 14. Qxe5+ Kf8 15. Rad1 Bd7 16. Qd4) 12. Bh6 {is tragic. Black is pinned all over the place.}) 10. Rxe6+ fxe6 11. Nxe6 Qb6 12. Qe2 { is a line that no rational human voluntarily enters.}) 7. Nc3 Bg7 8. d3 O-O 9. h3 b6 10. Rb1 Bb7 11. Bg5 {The first new move.} (11. Be3 {was played last month by Boruchovsky, though the game continuation allows White to play Qd1-d2 with a gained tempo, hitting the pawn on h6.}) 11... h6 12. Be3 Qc7 13. Qd2 Kh7 14. b4 {Zherebukh appears to have achieved everything a player wish for. He has more space, controls the immediate pawn breaks, and has no weaknesses. Yet there is no clear path to obtain more than a symbolic advantage. In order to turn an edge into a full point, a second weakness is typically required. So, in his defensive effort, is in no rush to do much of anything.} Rac8 15. Rfc1 { necessary to defend the knight and thus prevent ...cxb4 followed by b5.} e6 16. Ne2 (16. Rc2 {tests So's setup. Black has to be attentive to the impending pressure down the b-file. Breaking with} d5 {might backfire:} (16... Rfd8 17. Rcb2 cxb4 18. Rxb4 b5 19. Bxb5 $1 {requires Black to be ultra accurate to avoid defeat.} axb5 20. Nxb5 Qb8 21. Ba7 Qa8 22. Nxd6 Bxe4 23. dxe4 Qxa7 24. Nxc8 Rxc8 25. Rb7 Qc5 26. Rxd7 Nxd7 27. Qxd7 Rc7 {when Black should hold.}) 17. cxd5 exd5 18. Bf4 Qd8 19. Bxd7 Qxd7 20. bxc5 {with many hanging pawns and vulnerable squares.} bxc5 (20... dxe4 21. Ne5 Qd4 22. Rxb6 Ba8 23. Rxa6 exd3 24. Nxd3 {provides compensation at best for the sacrificed material.}) 21. e5 { with an initiative.}) 16... Rfd8 17. Ng3 Ba8 18. a3 Nb8 19. Nh2 Nc6 20. f4 Nd4 21. Rf1 $2 {Clearly overlooking the power of Wesley's response.} (21. Qf2 { or a similar noncommittal move kept the balance.}) 21... b5 $1 {Ouch. Black expands without any repercussions.} 22. cxb5 axb5 23. Bd1 (23. Bxd4 {would be acceptable if not for} Nxe4 $1 24. dxe4 Bxd4+ 25. Kh1 bxa4) 23... Qa7 24. Ra1 cxb4 (24... Nf5 $3 25. exf5 Nd5 {wins on the spot. The rook and bishop on e3 can't be defended all at once (the threat is ...Nxe3 followed by Bd4).}) 25. Qxb4 Nd7 26. Kh1 {This was not Yaro's day; he seemed to be missing everything. He could have stayed in the game with} (26. Ra2) 26... Nc2 {and the rest is fairly straightforward. So never gave his opponent an opportunity to get back into the game.} 27. Bxa7 Nxb4 28. Rb1 Nxd3 29. Rxb5 Bc6 30. Rb1 Ra8 31. Be3 Rxa3 32. Bf3 h5 33. Ne2 N3c5 34. Bxc5 Nxc5 35. e5 Ba4 36. exd6 Rxd6 37. Rbc1 Nb3 38. Rc7 Nd2 39. Re1 Rd7 40. Rxd7 Bxd7 41. Rd1 Ra2 42. Nc1 ({Perhaps} 42. Nf1 Nxf3 43. Rxd7 {gave Zherebukh some hope though} Nh4 {seems to paralyze White's forces} (43... Rxe2 44. gxf3 Kg8 45. Rd8+ Bf8 46. Nd2 {actually is not so simple. The knight will be quite strong on e4 and the White pawns are not easy to attack.}) 44. Nd2 Nf5) 42... Ra1 43. Nd3 Rxd1+ 44. Bxd1 Ne4 45. Nf3 Bb5 46. Nfe1 h4 47. Kh2 Bc3 48. Bc2 Bd2 49. Nf3 Bxd3 50. Bxd3 Bxf4+ 51. Kg1 Be3+ 52. Kf1 Ng3+ 53. Ke1 Kg7 {White tipped his king, as} (53... Kg7 54. Nxh4 e5 { is lights out. So follows up with 55...e4 and the knight on h4 is trapped.}) 0-1 [Event "Shamkir2018"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.04.20"] [Round "2.2"] [White "Topalov, Veselin"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A28"] [WhiteElo "2749"] [BlackElo "2777"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "97"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] [WhiteClock "1:00:30"] [BlackClock "0:10:36"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. a3 d5 {It is interesting to see how the generations change their assessments. Some years back Larsen called this move a mistake as it leads to a favorable line of the Sveshnikov Sicilian with reversed colors for White. (True, the great Dane had another position in mind, the one after 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.d3 and now 4...d5.)} 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Qc2 ({Apparently Giri is not afraid of the reversed Sveshnikov after} 6. e4 Nf4 7. d4 (7. d3 Bg4 8. h3 Bxf3 9. Qxf3 Nd4 10. Qd1 c6 {and Black was more than fine in Yilmaz,M (2536)-Palac,M (2604) Sarajevo 2012}) 7... exd4 8. Bxf4 dxc3 9. Qxd8+ Nxd8 10. bxc3 Ne6 {as the position is indeed equal.}) 6... Nxc3 { Another unforced concession. There is nothing wrong with either:} (6... Be7) ({ or} 6... Be6) 7. dxc3 ({White can also take towards the center} 7. bxc3 Bd6 8. e3 O-O 9. d4 Qe7 10. Be2 b6 11. O-O Bb7 {as in Kramnik,V (2808) -Karjakin, S (2781) Stavanger 2017 But you would not expect Topalov to follow Kramnik, would you?}) 7... Bd6 8. e4 {Now we have reversed Kan and full symmetry. If Black experience any problems, they are minor.} O-O 9. Bc4 Qe7 $146 {A novelty in comparison to the restricting:} (9... a5 10. a4 Bg4 11. h3 Bxf3 12. gxf3 Qf6 13. Rg1 h6 {Muthaiah,A (2316)-Preotu,R (2463) Porto Carras 2015 which has been seen in Muthaiah,A (2316)-Preotu, R (2463) Porto Carras 2015}) 10. Bg5 (10. b4 {will be met with} Be6) 10... Qe8 11. O-O-O {White is showing determination to play hard for the win.} (11. O-O Be6 12. Bxe6 ({Surprisingly, the line} 12. Bd5 f6 13. Be3 Bxd5 14. exd5 Ne7 {is more dangerous for White as in the game, as Black will soon start moving his pawn majority against the white king.}) 12... Qxe6 13. b4 a5 {would be around equal.}) 11... Be6 ({If} 11... Na5 12. Bd5 Be6 {then White has the additional choice of} 13. c4) 12. Bd5 f6 13. Be3 Bxd5 14. Rxd5 (14. exd5 Ne7 15. h4 b5 {will be more fun for Black to play as White has hooks on the queenside.}) 14... Ne7 15. Rdd1 {Topalov wants to keep the d2 square available for the knight.} (15. Rd2) 15... Qc6 $1 {Slowing down White's idea of Nf3-d2-c4 and openining of the d-file.} 16. Nd2 a5 17. Qb3+ Kh8 18. Qc4 {Giri had missed this move.} ({Not} 18. Nc4 $2 a4 19. Qa2 Qxe4 20. Nxd6 cxd6 21. Rxd6 Qxg2) 18... Qd7 {Now both white pieces have to compete for the c4 square.} 19. a4 $1 {Play on the light squares. In the future White plans Qc4-b5 followed by Nd2-c4.} b6 20. f3 (20. Qb5 $5 {was already interesting, but perhaps Topalov did not see how to crack Black's defenses after} Qxb5 21. axb5 Rad8 22. Nc4 Nc8) 20... Rab8 21. Kc2 b5 {Opens files for the rooks, but weakens the pawn structure. Now Giri has to be very careful whenever he enters the endgames (or rather not enter them at all.)} 22. axb5 Rxb5 23. Ra1 Rfb8 24. b3 (24. Ra2 $5) 24... Ng6 25. Qa4 {Topalov's is sharply following his plan. The c4 square is that tempting in these positions for the knight!} Qe7 26. Nc4 Bc5 $1 {Giri gets rid of his bad bishop and brings the queen out for counterplay. He may easily consider sacking both the queenside pawns now.} ({ Two rooks are clearly better than the queen after} 26... Rxb3 27. Qxb3 Rxb3 28. Kxb3) 27. Bxc5 Qxc5 28. Rhd1 Nf4 (28... Rxb3 $2 {is even worse now than before due to} 29. Qxb3 Rxb3 30. Rd8+ Nf8 31. Rxa5) 29. Rd2 h6 {Air for the king is needed.} 30. Qa3 a4 $2 {Missed by Topalov, but it's not good.} (30... Qc6 { would have kept Black in the game. For example the line} 31. Nxa5 Qe6 32. Nc4 Rxb3 33. Qxb3 Rxb3 34. Kxb3 {leads to a position where the rooks are no longer better than the queen. Milady pins the knight and bothers successfully the white king.}) 31. bxa4 Rb4 {A study-like combo!} 32. Rb1 $1 {Oops. A study-like refutation in return!} ({Missed by Giri. Otherwise White has to play } 32. cxb4 {when} Rxb4 33. Kd1 Qg1+ 34. Kc2 Qc5 {draws.}) 32... Qxc4 33. Rxb4 Rxb4 34. Qxb4 Qa2+ {Luckily for Giri, White has to give up his passed pawn here.} 35. Qb2 Qxa4+ 36. Qb3 Qa6 {Still, it seems like a miracle for Black to survive. White's problem however is that his king is not as safe as his counter-part. Or at least it looks so.} 37. g3 Ne6 38. Qd5 $2 ({Topalov didn't go} 38. h4 $1 {because of} Nc5 {and now after} 39. Rd8+ Kh7 40. Qg8+ Kg6 { he tought Black might give a perpetual somewhere but White can just go} 41. h5+ $1 Kxh5 42. Qxg7 {and wins, e.g.} Qa2+ (42... Qe2+ 43. Rd2) 43. Kd1 Qb3+ (43... Qb1+ 44. Ke2 Qc2+ 45. Rd2) 44. Ke2 Qc4+ 45. Kf2 {In this line it turns out that the black king ain't safe neither.}) 38... Ng5 39. f4 {Bothers the knight, but leaves the white king exposed till the end of the game.} (39. Qd8+ Kh7 40. Qd7 {was a better try.}) 39... Nf3 ({Worse is} 39... Qa4+ 40. Kd3 Qa6+ 41. Ke3 Qb6+ 42. Ke2) 40. Rd1 ({On} 40. Rf2 c6 41. Qb3 Kh7 $1 {is strong with decent drawing chances.} ({Not} 41... f5 42. fxe5 fxe4 43. e6)) 40... Qe2+ {Forces matters.} (40... c6 {looks also good.}) 41. Kb3 (41. Kc1 {was the last chance according to the computer.}) 41... Nd4+ 42. Rxd4 exd4 43. Qxd4 Qxh2 44. Qd8+ ({ The passer is not fast enough after} 44. e5 fxe5 45. fxe5 Qxg3 46. e6 Qg6 47. Qd8+ Kh7 48. e7 Qb1+ (48... Qb6+ $2 49. Kc2) 49. Kc4 Qe4+) 44... Kh7 45. Qd3 Kh8 46. e5 fxe5 47. fxe5 Qg2 48. Qd8+ Kh7 49. Qd3+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "ch-USA 2018"] [Site "Saint Louis USA"] [Date "2018.04.20"] [Round "3"] [White "Xiong, Jeffery"] [Black "Caruana, F.."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A61"] [WhiteElo "2665"] [BlackElo "2804"] [PlyCount "98"] [EventDate "2018.04.18"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 c5 {I considered the Benoni to be a wise choice against Xiong. The asymmetrical pawn structure makes it difficult for White to force drawish tendencies, meaning Xiong had to prove his might against the hottest player in the world. Caruana's repertoire has been great, particularly with Black: he is playing solidly and chooses openings that keep the games dynamic, giving him chances to play for more than just a draw.} 4. d5 d6 5. Nc3 exd5 6. cxd5 g6 7. Bf4 ({The main line has been} 7. e4 Bg7 8. h3 O-O 9. Bd3 b5 {with a complicated dynamic. Agressive elite players like Topalov and the late Vugar Gashimov were frequently on the Black side of the Benoni.}) 7... Bg7 8. e3 ({Disrupting Black's coordination with} 8. Qa4+ Bd7 9. Qb3 Qc7 10. e4 { has proven quite successful for White. The bishop on d7 occupies the knight's developing square while the queen tends to be a bit uncomfortable on c7 - bishops tend to win those staredowns.}) 8... O-O 9. h3 Qe7 10. Nd2 Nh5 11. Bh2 f5 12. Be2 f4 13. O-O (13. Bxh5 $5 fxe3 14. fxe3 gxh5 (14... Qxe3+ $2 15. Qe2 { leaves White up a piece.}) ({Getting greedy with} 14... Bxc3 15. bxc3 Qxe3+ 16. Qe2 Qxc3 {fails to the simple} 17. Rb1 gxh5 18. Bxd6 {when Black's position collapses.}) 15. Nce4) 13... fxe3 14. Nde4 (14. Bxh5 exd2 15. Qe2 {is just bizarre. Black always has to keep an eye out for his weak d6 pawn.}) 14... exf2+ 15. Kh1 Bxc3 $1 {Giving up the bishop is scary, but White now must capture with the knight and temporarily delay pressure on the d6 pawn.} 16. Nxc3 Ng7 {Finally the knight reroutes to the center.} 17. Bf3 Nd7 (17... Nf5 18. Rxf2 Nd7 {transposes to the game.}) 18. Rxf2 Ne5 19. Re2 Nf5 {Heading for d4. If it gets there, White is in grave danger.} 20. Bxe5 dxe5 21. d6 $1 { A thematic and timely (second) pawn sacrifice. White was unable to sit and wait, since Nd4 was a powerful threat.} Nxd6 22. Qd5+ ({Xiong misses an opportunity to achieve equality:} 22. Nd5 Qg7 23. Nc3 {when Black can repeat with Qe7. If Black tries to play for a win with} Nf7 {White can continue by attacking (pinning) the knight on f7, which is required to defend the e5 pawn. Both 24. Bd5 and 24. Qb3 seem strong.}) 22... Nf7 {Now Black has a lasting slight edge.} 23. Ne4 Rb8 24. Qxc5 (24. Nxc5 {doesn't help at all; Black's development is complete and Xiong's forces are being pushed back.} Rd8 25. Qc4 b6) 24... Qxc5 25. Nxc5 b6 26. Ne4 Bf5 ({The bishop would love to fianchetto, though here White will just fork the enemy rooks.} 26... Bb7 27. Nf6+ Kg7 28. Nd7) 27. Nc3 Rbd8 28. a4 $2 {This move is a bit careless. Xiong allows Caruana to fix the pawn structure on the queenside. Even if he were to regain his lost pawn, White's remaining pawns are vulnerable.} a5 29. Bd5 Rfe8 30. Bxf7+ ({ Xiong isn't able to pile up on the e5 pawn before capturing the knight, since} 30. Rae1 {is met by} Be6) 30... Kxf7 31. Rf1 Ke6 32. Rfe1 Kf6 33. Rf1 Ke6 34. Rfe1 Kd6 35. Re3 ({A miraculous line that Caruana showed in his post-mortem is: } 35. Nb5+ Kc5 (35... Kd7 {keeps the slight edge.}) 36. b4+ $3 Kxb4 ({not} 36... axb4 $2 37. Rc1+ Kd5 38. Nc7+ Kd4 39. Nxe8 Rxe8 40. Rb2 {when White is ahead.}) 37. Rb2+ Kc4 38. g4 {Black's vulnerable king gives White legitimate chances here. Caruana understood he wasn't in too much danger of losing in this position, but clearly this is a huge improvement for White compared to the game, which was a slow grind.}) 35... Kc6 $1 36. Nb5 ({Winning the e-pawn restores material equality, but only for a few moves.} 36. Rxe5 Rxe5 37. Rxe5 Rd2 38. Rb5 (38. Re2 Rxe2 39. Nxe2 Kc5 {with king infiltration is a straightforward win. White will lose both pawns on the queenside.}) 38... Rc2 { followed by Bd3.} (38... Bd3 $4 39. Rd5 {is a deadly pin.})) 36... Re7 37. g4 Bd3 38. Nc3 Bc4 39. Rc1 {Threatening Nb5, but Caruana wasn't falling for any tricks.} Kb7 40. Re4 Rd4 41. Kg1 Bb3 42. Kf2 Rd2+ 43. Re2 Rf7+ 44. Ke3 Rd4 45. Nb5 Rdd7 (45... Rxa4 $2 46. Nd6+) 46. Nc3 Rf4 47. Rd2 Rfd4 48. Rf2 Bxa4 49. Rf6 Bc6 0-1 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.04.22"] [Round "4.4"] [White "Topalov, Veselin"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C83"] [WhiteElo "2749"] [BlackElo "2814"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "83"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 {Since his teenage years Mamedyarov successfully exploited the Open Ruy Lopez.} 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. Be3 Be7 10. c3 O-O 11. Nbd2 Nxd2 12. Qxd2 Na5 13. Bc2 Nc4 14. Qd3 g6 15. Bh6 {This came as surprise for Mamedyarov who believed that 15.Bc1 is the main move.} Nxb2 {Simply grabbing the pawn.} ({The other possibility is:} 15... Re8 16. Nd4 Bd7 17. Rae1 Nxb2 18. Qf3 Bg5 19. Bxg5 Qxg5 20. Qxd5 { as in Tari,A (2570)-Ernst,T (2372) Vasteras 2016}) 16. Qe2 Re8 {Black plays for the maximum.} ({Topalov was more afraid of the positional exchange sacrifice after} 16... c5 17. Bxg6 (17. Bxf8) 17... fxg6 18. Bxf8 Qxf8 19. Qxb2 {with compensation thanks to the bishop pair and the central pawn mass.}) 17. Nd4 Bd7 18. f4 {For the pawn White got some time to advance on the kingside. The plan is obvious f4-f5 followed by e5-e6 and mate somewhere around the f7 square.} c5 {Naturally, Black gets rid of the knight asap.} 19. Nf3 Qb6 20. Qf2 d4 $146 {A novelty, and a logical one. This is the best way to distract the flank attack.} ({The email predecessor ended in a draw after:} 20... Nc4 21. Rae1 Bd8 22. Ng5 Na3 23. e6 Rxe6 24. Nxe6 fxe6 25. f5 exf5 26. Qg3 Bc7 27. Qh4 Bd8 28. Qg3 Bc7 29. Qh4 {1/2-1/2 (29) Haznedaroglu,K (1990)-Wojcik,W (2185) ICCF email 2006}) 21. Bg5 {The dark squares are weak and Topalov needs to attack them first and foremost.} ({The pawn is immune:} 21. cxd4 $6 cxd4 22. Nxd4 $2 Bc5) 21... dxc3 22. Qh4 ({The other way to build the attack was:} 22. Bxe7 Rxe7 23. Ng5 {to which Black planned} ({Topalov also mentioned the line:} 23. f5 Bxf5 (23... gxf5 {is also possible.}) 24. Bxf5 gxf5 25. Nh4 Kh8 ({ White is better after} 25... Rae8 26. Qg3+ Kh8 27. Nxf5 Rg8 28. Qxc3 Na4 29. Qh3) ({However} 25... Re6 $1 26. Qg3+ Rg6 27. Qxc3 c4+ 28. Kh1 Nd3 { (Mamedyarov) is enough to end White's attack.}) ({But the best defense was not mentioned by the players-} 25... Nd3 $1 26. Qg3+ Kh8 27. Nxf5 c4+ 28. Kh1 Rg8 { and Black wins.}) 26. Nxf5 Rxe5 27. Qg3 Qf6 28. Nh6 Qxh6 29. Qxe5+ Qg7 { where Black should not be worse.}) 23... f5 $1 24. Bb3+ Kg7 {Here tactics} 25. Nxh7 {is ignored with the strong} Nd3 $1 26. Qh4 c4+ 27. Kh1 Rf7 {when the white pieces are left discordinated and weak.}) 22... c4+ 23. Kh1 Bf8 $1 { A strong defensive resource. The Bg5 obstructs its own knight in reaching the black king.} ({But not:} 23... Bxg5 24. Nxg5 h5 25. Ne4 {when White's attack is huge.} ({Or} 25. f5)) 24. f5 Nd3 {Again in time to shut the second bishop. Topalov proceeds with the attack.} 25. e6 $1 Bxe6 $1 {The only move, but an excellent one. Being many pawns ahead Mamedyarov is OK to part with some material in order to reduce the attacking potential of the opponent.} ({ Otherwise Black is checkmated-} 25... fxe6 $2 26. fxg6 hxg6 27. Bf6 Bg7 28. Ng5 ) 26. fxe6 Rxe6 27. Rad1 {Only here did White realize that on his planned:} ( 27. Nd4 {There is the strong:} Rd6 $1 ({Instead:} 27... Re5 {allows the sacrifice:} 28. Rxf7 $1 Kxf7 29. Qxh7+ Ke8 30. Bxd3 cxd3 31. Rf1 {with a possible perpetual after:} Ra7 32. Rxf8+ Kxf8 33. Qh8+ Kf7 34. Qh7+ Ke8 35. Qh8+ Kd7 36. Qxe5 d2 37. Qe7+ Kc8 38. Qe8+ Kb7 39. Qe4+)) 27... Rae8 (27... Rd6 $5) 28. Bxd3 cxd3 29. Rxd3 {The smoke has finally cleared. For the piece Black has three pawns and two of them are very dangerous passers. Mamedyarov is better.} Re4 ({The Azeri GM did not like that in the line:} 29... b4 30. Bd8 Qb5 31. Ng5 h6 {White has:} 32. Qf2 $1 {Now:} ({But not} 32. Nxe6 Qxd3 33. Qf6 Qxf1+ $3 34. Qxf1 Rxe6 {which is what Mamedyrov was hoping for and which is indeed a win for him despite the material deficit.}) 32... f5 ({Both players missed the computer idea:} 32... R6e7 $3 33. Bxe7 Rxe7 {with an edge for Black. }) 33. Nxe6 Qxd3 34. Nxf8 Rxd8 35. Nxg6 c2 (35... Qc4) 36. Rg1 {The position is not yet clear. Black has to find though:} Qc3 $1 {which gives him excellent winning chances after:} ({Instead:} 36... Qd1 {is weaker due to:} 37. Qc5 Qxg1+ $2 38. Kxg1 Rd1+ 39. Kf2 c1=Q 40. Qf8+ Kh7 41. Qf7#) 37. Ne7+ Kf7 38. Qxf5+ Kxe7 39. Qe4+ Kd6 40. Rc1) 30. Bf4 Be7 {Not a bad move.} ({Black rejected the possible draw in the line:} 30... h6 31. Rxc3 g5 32. Nxg5 hxg5 33. Qxg5+ Qg6 34. Qh4) 31. Qg3 b4 ({The pawn might be lost after} 31... c2 32. Rc3 ({ Although the line that Mamedyarov calculated-} 32. Ng5 Rxf4 33. Qxf4 Qf6 $1 { has a flaw-} 34. Nh3 Qxf4 35. Nxf4 {and White defends the back rank.})) 32. Ng5 Bxg5 33. Bxg5 Qe6 34. h3 {Topalov did a good job in co-ordinating his pieces.} (34. h4 $5) 34... Qe5 $2 {Only this is a mistake. Queens needed to stay on the board.} ({Correct was} 34... a5 35. Kh2 {and now for example:} Qxa2 36. Rd7 R4e5 37. Rfxf7 Qxf7 38. Rxf7 Kxf7 {Black should survive here.}) 35. Kh2 Qxg3+ 36. Kxg3 h6 ({White has excellent winning chances after} 36... Re1 37. Rxe1 Rxe1 38. Bf6 Re8 39. Rd6 Rc8 40. Bg5 c2 41. Bc1 {but this was more resilient.}) 37. Bxh6 Re1 38. Rf6 $1 R1e6 39. Rf2 Re2 40. Rd5 Rxf2 41. Kxf2 f6 42. Be3 { Black pawns are tamed and will soon drop one after another.} 1-0 [Event "Shamkir2018"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.04.23"] [Round "5.3"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B23"] [WhiteElo "2843"] [BlackElo "2744"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:45:15"] [BlackClock "0:06:33"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. d4 {Vintage Carlsen- no theory at all!} cxd4 4. Qxd4 Nc6 5. Qd2 ({Moreusual is the set up after:} 5. Bb5 Bd7 6. Bxc6 Bxc6 7. Nge2 Nf6 8. f3 e5 9. Qd3 h6 10. Be3 {Guseinov,G (2646)-Amonatov,F (2636) Riadh 2017}) 5... Nf6 6. b3 e6 7. Bb2 a6 8. O-O-O b5 $146 ({There is just one predecessor, which quickly ended in a draw after:} 8... Qa5 9. Kb1 Be7 10. f4 {1/2-1/2 (10) Fernandez de Bobadilla,J (2106)-Fernandez de Bobadilla,G (2167) Granada 2015}) 9. f3 h5 $6 {"This (idea) was a bit too much" (Wojtaszek)} (9... Be7 {was good "with normal position" (Carlsen)}) 10. Nh3 $1 Be7 11. Ng5 {Now Black is stuck as he cannot castle on either side.} h4 12. f4 Bb7 13. Kb1 Rc8 ({If} 13... Qc7 {White can try to reach the f7 square with} 14. f5 e5 15. a4 bxa4 16. Bc4) 14. Be2 Qc7 15. Rhe1 Nh7 {"I could not see anything else"(Wojtaszek)} 16. Nxh7 Rxh7 17. g4 $6 {Timid. "I thought I could win prosaically but of course that is a terrible attitude." (Carlsen)} ({The world champion's intuition was telling him that:} 17. Nd5 $1 {is the winning move, but he could not see a clear-cut win. The computer helps with:} exd5 18. exd5 Nd8 (18... Nb8 {is similar after} 19. Bd3 Rh5 20. Rxe7+ $1) 19. Bd3 Rh5 (19... Rh8 {loses faster after} 20. Bxg7 Rg8 21. Bf6) 20. Rxe7+ $1 {The point.} Qxe7 ({The rook is hanging on h5 after} 20... Kxe7 21. Qe2+) 21. Re1 Ne6 22. dxe6 {With crushing attack for White. For example:} f5 (22... fxe6 23. Bg6+) 23. g4 $1 hxg3 24. hxg3 {The threat is again g3-g4 to clear teh diagonal for the bishop. Then} Bf3 25. Qf2 Bg4 {allows } 26. Qb6 {and Black is completely helpless.}) ({Black also expected} 17. Bg4 Kf8 18. f5 Ne5 19. Bh3 Rh6 {where he has "some squares" and chances to survive. }) 17... hxg3 18. hxg3 Bf6 {Now Black is back in the game.} 19. Bd3 ({The pawn is not poisoned and can be taken:} 19. Qxd6 Qxd6 20. Rxd6 {But Black has compensation after both} Rh2 ({Or the preliminary} 20... Nb4 21. e5 Be7 22. Rdd1 Rh2)) 19... Rh8 20. g4 Nd4 ({The standard} 20... g5 $2 {fails to the standard} 21. Nd5 $1) 21. Re3 Kf8 $1 {Missed by Carlsen.} ({Apparently, he expected:} 21... g5 22. Nd5 $1 exd5 ({Or} 22... Bxd5 23. fxg5 Bxg5 24. Bxd4) 23. e5 dxe5 24. fxe5 Be7 25. Bxd4 {where White should be winning.}) 22. Ne2 Nxe2 23. Rxe2 Bc3 ({Better than} 23... Bxb2 24. Kxb2 {where the white king takes care of himself.}) 24. Bxc3 Qxc3 25. Qe3 Rc5 $2 {And just when the Polish GM came back into the game, he overrelaxed and committed a decisive mistake.} ({Correct was:} 25... Qc5 26. Qc1 a5 {where "White is better, but not much" (Carlsen)}) 26. e5 $1 dxe5 {Black is not happy to open files against his king, but he hardly has any choice.} (26... d5 {is positional suicide after } 27. f5 {When White has the perfect French- huge positional advantage plus unstoppable attack.}) 27. fxe5 Rh1 {Loses by force.} ({Or else the attack along the half-open f-file is decisive-} 27... Rc8 28. Rf1) 28. Rxh1 Bxh1 29. Rh2 Rxe5 {Not just to take the pawn, but to defend the g5 square.} ({Mate is unstoppable after} 29... Bd5 30. Rh8+ Ke7 31. Qg5+) 30. Rh8+ Ke7 31. Qa7+ { Black resigned due to:} Kd6 32. Rd8+ Kc6 33. Rc8+ 1-0 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.04.25"] [Round "6.4"] [White "Topalov, Veselin"] [Black "Mamedov, Rauf"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B33"] [WhiteElo "2749"] [BlackElo "2704"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 {The Sveshnikov Sicilian. Once condemned as strategically flawed, nowadays it is considered a solid opening choice. Boris Gelfand, for instance, successfully solved the problem of the black color in his match against Vishy Anand.} 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Bxf6 gxf6 10. Nd5 f5 11. Bd3 Be6 12. O-O Bxd5 13. exd5 Ne7 14. Re1 Bg7 15. c3 O-O 16. Nc2 Re8 17. Qh5 e4 18. Bf1 Nxd5 19. Qxf5 Re5 20. Qh3 Qb6 { One of the reasons behind the solid reputation of the Sveshnikov Sicilian lies in the fact that everything is very forced and deeply explored.} ({Mamedov chose a different square for the queen less than month ago:} 20... Qf6 { and drew after} 21. a4 Nf4 22. Qd7 Rd8 23. Qb7 Qh4 24. g3 Nh3+ 25. Bxh3 Qxh3 26. Ne3 Bh6 27. Qxa6 f5 28. Rad1 f4 29. Rxd6 Rxd6 30. Qxd6 fxe3 31. Qxe5 exf2+ 32. Kxf2 Qxh2+ 33. Kf1 Qh1+ 34. Kf2 Qh2+ {1/2-1/2 (34) Sjugirov,S (2652) -Mamedov,R (2709) Batumi 2018}) 21. Rad1 Rae8 {"My coach told me that Topalov will play very aggressively. When he put the rook on d1 I thought he wants to sacrifice the exchange, but did not believe he will." (Mamedov)} 22. Rxe4 $1 $146 {Topalov, as a master of the exchange sacrifice, did not need to be asked twice. "A good lesson for me." (Mamedov)} ({A predecessor saw colorless draw after:} 22. Rd4 R8e6 23. Qg4 h5 24. Qd1 Rf5 25. Rd2 {1/2-1/2 (25) Szczepanski, Z (2514)-Mokrys,C (2486) ICCF email 2015}) 22... Rxe4 23. Rxd5 {For the exchange White has a pawn, better pawn structure, but what is more important- a lot of improving ideas.} h6 {This takes the g5 square under control and opens some air for the king. The drawback of the move is that it deprives the bishop of the h6-c1 diagonal.} ({The lack of "luft" can be seen in a line like: } 23... R4e5 {Topalov believed this was Black's best.} 24. Rd1 a5 25. a3 Re2 $2 {Double attack, which fails tactically after} (25... h5 {seems better, but looks happier after say} 26. Qd3) 26. Bxe2 Rxe2 27. Qc8+ Bf8 28. Qg4+ { counter-double attack.}) 24. Qd3 R8e6 25. g3 R4e5 26. Bg2 ({Later White regretted that he did not start with the prophylactic} 26. a3 $1 Rf6 (26... h5 27. Bg2) 27. Ne3 {For example:} h5 28. Bg2 Bh6 29. Rxe5 dxe5 30. Nf5 Bc1 { (Topalov, Mamedov) and now} 31. Qd7 $1 {is indeed better for the first player as} Bxb2 $2 {loses to} 32. Qe8+ Kh7 33. Be4 {with mating attack.}) 26... b4 $1 {Mamedov needs counterplay asap. Otherwise White will simply do all the preparatory moves line a2-a3, Nc2-e3-f5 and will totally dominate.} 27. cxb4 ({ Another option was pointed out by Topalov:} 27. Rxe5 dxe5 ({Mamedov planned instead} 27... Bxe5 28. Nxb4 (28. cxb4) ({However} 28. Bd5 Rf6 29. Ne3 { looks better for White.}) 28... a5 {which is indeed OK for Black.}) 28. Bd5 bxc3 29. bxc3 {and here Black holds on his own with} e4 $1 30. Bxe4 Bxc3) ({If } 27. c4 Re2 28. Rf5 {Black can sacrifice back the exchange with} Rxc2 29. Qxc2 Re1+ 30. Bf1 Qd4 {where the more active black bishop should compensate him for the pawn.}) 27... Re2 28. Rf5 Qc7 {This is what the sacrifice was about: the heavy pieces get into the white camp.} 29. Ne3 Qc1+ 30. Bf1 ({Topalov missed from afar} 30. Nf1 Qc2 $1 {and the only one to worry about his position is White.} ({Less convincing was Mamedov's idea} 30... Qxb2 31. Bd5 Re7 32. Rf4 ( 32. Qf3 $2 Rxf2 $1) 32... Kh8 {when White is better after} 33. Qxa6)) 30... Rxb2 31. a3 ({To a beautiful draw leads:} 31. Qxa6 Rxe3 $1 32. Qa8+ $1 ({ But not:} 32. fxe3 $4 Qxe3+ 33. Kh1 Qe4+ 34. Kg1 Bd4+ 35. Rf2 Bxf2#) 32... Kh7 33. fxe3 Qc2 34. Bg2 Qxf5 35. Be4 Rb1+ 36. Kg2 Rb2+) 31... Ra2 (31... Qd2 { might have been more precise.}) 32. Qd5 Rxa3 33. Kg2 Raxe3 {Liquidates into an opposite-colored bishop endgame.} ({Retreats like} 33... Qc7 34. Bc4 $1 { would be wrong as White can easily build attack on the color of his own bishop. }) 34. fxe3 Qxe3 35. Bxa6 {In slight time-trouble Topalov forces the draw.} ({ The former world champion did not trust his chances after} 35. Bd3 $1 {but this was his best try. For example} Qd2+ (35... Bd4 36. Rf3 $1) (35... Rf6 $4 { loses on the spot after} 36. Qa8+) ({Still, the impression is that Black should hold, say after} 35... Qa7) 36. Kh3 Qxb4 37. Bc4 ({Or} 37. Qa8+ Bf8 38. Qf3)) 35... Qe4+ 36. Qxe4 Rxe4 37. Rb5 Kf8 38. Bb7 Re2+ 39. Kh3 Bd4 40. Bf3 Rb2 41. Rd5 (41. Rb8+ Ke7 42. b5 f5 {ith the threat Bd4-g1 is unpleasant for White. }) 1/2-1/2 [Event "St Louis, MO USA"] [Site "St Louis, MO USA"] [Date "2018.04.25"] [Round "7"] [White "Fabiano Caruana"] [Black "Varuzhan Eduardovich Akobian"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C11"] [WhiteElo "2804"] [BlackElo "2647"] [Annotator "Hess, R"] [PlyCount "59"] [EventDate "2018.04.18"] 1. e4 e6 {Playing the French against Caruana has proven to be a risky venture. Lenderman tried - and failed - in round three, essaying a Winawer. This time around Akobian attempted a Steinitz, though here too the world number two player was extremely well prepared.} 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Be7 7. Be3 Nc6 8. Qd2 b6 {Far less popular than the main continuation.} ( 8... O-O {is typically played here. If White continues with} 9. Be2 b6 { now has no real drawback. The position remains slightly better for White thanks to the superior light-squared bishop, but Black has no tactical issues.} ({I've actually played this line once as Black. A slightly better endgame for White can appear by force, though of course the players can choose to keep queens on the board.} 9... a6 10. O-O b5 11. a3 Qb6 12. Nd1 cxd4 13. Nxd4 Nxd4 14. Bxd4 Qxd4+ 15. Qxd4 Bc5 16. c3 Bxd4+ 17. cxd4 Nb8 18. Kf2 Nc6 19. Ke3 Bd7 20. Rc1 Rfb8 21. Rc5 b4 22. a4 b3 23. Nc3 Nb4 24. Bd3 Nc2+ 25. Bxc2 bxc2 26. Rc1 Rxb2 27. Kd3 Rb4 28. Rxc2 h5 29. Ra2 Ra7 30. g3 Kh7 31. h3 Rab7 32. Ra5 Rc7 33. Rxa6 Rcc4 34. Ne2 Bxa4 35. Ra7 Kg8 36. Ra8+ Kh7 37. Ra7 Be8 38. Ke3 Rb3+ 39. Kf2 h4 40. Re7 Rc8 41. Kg2 Bb5 42. Rb7 hxg3 43. Rxf7 Bd3 44. Nxg3 Bg6 45. Re7 Rcc3 46. Nf1 Be4+ 47. Kf2 Rf3+ 48. Ke2 Rxf4 49. Nd2 Rxh3 50. Rxe6 Bd3+ { 0-1 (50) Patel,A (2478)-Hess,R (2568) Las Vegas USA 2017})) 9. Bb5 Qc7 (9... Bb7 10. O-O-O a6 11. Bxc6 Bxc6 12. f5 b5 13. fxe6 fxe6 14. Ne2 c4 15. Ng5 Nf8 16. Rhf1 Bxg5 17. Bxg5 Qd7 18. Qc3 h6 19. Qh3 Rh7 20. Qf3 Rh8 21. Qh3 Rh7 22. Qf3 Rh8 23. Qh5+ g6 24. Qh3 {1-0 (24) Bok,B (2614)-Kjartansson,G (2457) Gjakova 2016}) 10. O-O-O {Apparently a novelty, and new to Akobian. Caruana was clearly well prepared for this line and obtained a huge advantage.} a6 { This move is slow. I already didn't love Black's position - less space and a that terrible French bishop on c8 - but this allows White a straightforward attack.} ({There is mutual room for improvement, but an absolutely crazy game happened two years ago in this line:} 10... O-O 11. h4 a6 12. Bd3 f5 13. g4 c4 14. gxf5 cxd3 15. fxe6 Ndb8 16. Nxd5 Qd8 17. Nxe7+ Nxe7 18. Ng5 h6 19. Qxd3 hxg5 20. hxg5 Bxe6 21. Qh7+ Kf7 22. d5 Bf5 23. e6+ Ke8 24. Qxg7 Qc7 25. Rh2 Nxd5 26. Qxf8+ Kxf8 27. Rxd5 Bh7 28. b3 Ke8 29. g6 Bxg6 30. Rh8+ Ke7 31. f5 Bxf5 32. Rxf5 Qc3 33. Bg5+ Kxe6 34. Rf6+ Qxf6 35. Bxf6 Kxf6 36. Rh6+ Ke5 37. Rxb6 Kd5 38. Kb2 Nc6 39. a3 Kc5 40. Rb7 Rg8 41. Rh7 Rg2 42. Rh5+ Kd6 43. Kc3 Rg3+ 44. Kb2 Rg2 45. Kc3 Rg3+ 46. Kb2 Rg2 {1/2-1/2 (46) Kramnik,V (2812) -Buhmann,R (2653) Dortmund 2016}) 11. Bxc6 Qxc6 12. f5 $1 {The move plays itself. As is typical of the French, Black can not afford to capture the pawn lest he compromise his pawn structure and lose the d5 pawn.} c4 (12... exf5 13. dxc5 Bxc5 14. Nxd5 {is a huge advantage for White.}) (12... O-O 13. f6 gxf6 14. Bh6 Bb7 (14... fxe5 15. Qf2 f5 (15... Kh8 $2 16. Bxf8 Bxf8 17. Nxe5 Nxe5 18. Qf6+ $1 Bg7 $2 (18... Kg8 19. dxe5 $18) 19. Qd8+ $18) 16. Qg3+ Kf7 17. Qg7+ Ke8 18. dxe5 $16)) 13. f6 $1 {Fabiano plays with fire. He knew that he would be better in other variations, but he felt this was most forcing.} (13. fxe6 Qxe6 {seems reasonable. Queens tend to be poor blockaders, though in the absence of a knight getting to g5 (or f4) extremely quickly, Black can try to maintain the position.} (13... fxe6 14. Bg5 Bf8 {was mentioned by Caruana in the post-mortem, though here Black is too far behind in development after} (14... Bb4 15. a3 Ba5 16. Rhf1 O-O 17. Be7 {would be devastating. The bishop plants itself on d6 and White takes over the f-file.}) 15. Nh4) 14. Bg5 Bxg5) 13... gxf6 14. exf6 Bxf6 (14... Nxf6 $2 15. Ne5 Qc7 16. Rhf1 $18) 15. Rhf1 $36 (15. Bg5 Bg7 16. Rhf1 h6 {was an imprecise move order. Black kicks White from the g5 square, which slows the pressure on the f7 square.}) 15... b5 $6 {Caruana felt that this move was too slow, but Black was already in huge danger. Akobian desperately needed to castle queenside as quickly as possible.} (15... h6 16. Bxh6 Be7 17. Rde1 (17. Bg5 f6 {is actually good for Black, since White's attack has successfully been parried.}) 17... Bb7 {and White needs to come up with something concrete to prevent long castling. The position is certainly still better for White, but Black is hanging tough.}) (15... Be7 16. Ne5 Nxe5 17. dxe5 Bb7 18. Qf2 O-O-O 19. Bxb6 {lets Black live, but the resulting position is absolutely terrible for Black. Material equality is restored and once again the same theme is at play: The French bishop (now on b7) can't liberate itself from the pawn chain that blunts it.}) (15... Bb7 16. Bg5 Bxg5 17. Nxg5 f6 18. Nxe6 Qxe6 19. Rde1 Ne5 20. dxe5 fxe5 21. Rxe5 (21. Qg5 ) 21... Qxe5 22. Re1 $16) 16. Qf2 $1 {The position is already lost. In every variation Black is losing material or getting mated.} (16. Bg5 $1 Bg7 (16... b4 17. Bxf6 bxc3 18. Qg5 cxb2+ 19. Kb1 Nxf6 20. Qxf6 Rg8 (20... Rf8) 21. Ng5 $16) 17. Bh6 $36) 16... b4 17. Ne2 $5 $36 (17. Ne5 Bxe5 18. Qxf7+ Kd8 19. Nxd5 exd5 20. dxe5 {was mentioned by Caruana as unnecessarily messy. He figured this was still very good for him, with Akobian's king still being hunted, but saw no knockout blow and did not want to sacrifice material.} Rf8 21. Qxh7 Rxf1 22. Rxf1 Qe6 (22... Bb7)) (17. Ne4 $1 dxe4 18. Ne5 {was brought to Caruana's attention after the round. He saw similar ideas, though this specific variation did not catch his eye.} Bxe5 (18... Nxe5 $4 19. dxe5 Bxe5 20. Qxf7#) 19. Qxf7+ Kd8 20. dxe5 Kc7 21. Rd6 Qb5 22. Rfd1 $16) 17... b3 18. Ne5 Bxe5 19. Qxf7+ Kd8 20. dxe5 bxa2 21. Kd2 Rf8 22. Qxh7 Rxf1 23. Rxf1 d4 24. Qg8+ { Protecting the g2 pawn, just in case.} Kc7 25. Nxd4 Qd5 26. Qxe6 $18 Qa5+ $2 ( 26... Qxg2+ 27. Rf2 Qxf2+ 28. Bxf2 a1=Q {is an extra rook for Black, but mate ensues} 29. Qd6+ Kb7 30. Qd5+ Kb8 31. Nc6+ Kb7 32. Nd8+ Kc7 33. Qd6+ Kxd8 34. Bh4+ Ke8 35. Qe7#) (26... Bb7 27. Qxd5 (27. Ra1 Rh8 28. Qxd5 (28. Rxa2 c3+ ( 28... Qxg2+ 29. Kc3 $18) 29. Kxc3) 28... Bxd5 29. Bf4) 27... Bxd5 28. Bf4 (28. g3) 28... Nc5 29. Ra1) 27. c3 Nxe5 28. Rf7+ $1 Nxf7 29. Bf4+ Kb7 30. Qxf7+ (30. Qc6+ $2 {seems like it must be winning, since it forces the king to the a-file. Yet this is the way to throw away wins. Instead, Caruana mates.} Ka7 31. Nb5+ axb5 32. Be3+ Kb8 33. Bf4+ Ka7) 1-0 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.04.27"] [Round "8.3"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2777"] [BlackElo "2843"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "86"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nb6 7. O-O Be7 8. a3 a5 9. d3 O-O 10. Be3 Be6 11. Rc1 a4 12. Nd2 f5 13. Bxb6 cxb6 14. Nxa4 Bg5 15. Nc3 e4 {Up to here this had all been seen in the game Nepomniachtchi-Aronian. Both players knew the game, but Giri revealed that he did not intend to follow it, but found all the moves so far logical.} 16. Kh1 $146 {A novelty.} ({That predecessor saw:} 16. Rb1 Ne5 17. Nb3 Ng4 18. Qc2 Be3 19. dxe4 Qg5 {and the game became "very dirty" according to the Dutch GM, Nepomniachtchi,I (2742)-Aronian,L (2809) Geneva 2017}) 16... Qd7 {Carlsen liked the position and the initiative that he got for the pawn. He also said that the majority of the players will prefer to have the initiative here, rather than the pawn.} 17. Rb1 Rad8 {Ineed Black has obvious moves and pressure along the open files.} 18. Nc4 Qf7 ({Weaker was:} 18... exd3 19. exd3 Qf7 20. f4) 19. b3 ({On} 19. Qa4 {Black planned to play in analogue to the game } exd3 20. exd3 f4 ({Although} 20... Rxd3 {is possible as well.})) 19... exd3 20. exd3 f4 21. Ne4 Be7 22. gxf4 $1 ({Or else the pawn will come in a striking proximity to the white king after} 22. Re1 f3 23. Bf1 Qh5) 22... Qxf4 23. a4 { Giri managed to stabilize the situation. The knights are solidly placed in the center and control a lot of squares. But Carlsen can attack on the dark squares. A lot of weaknesses have been created into White's position, with the h2 pawn being a particularly weak one.} Nb4 24. Qe2 Qh6 {Carlsen keeps mounting pressure.} ({Cashing out too soon may lead to drawish positions after } 24... Nxd3 25. Rbd1 Nb4 26. Rxd8 Bxd8 27. Ned6 Bd7 28. Bxb7) ({Or} 24... Rxd3 25. Ng5 Bxc4 26. Qxe7) 25. Rbd1 ({The world champion expected instead:} 25. Qe3 Qxe3 26. fxe3 {when he has a pleasant choice between:} Rxd3 {"It’s more ugly than bad, I thought." (Carlsen)} ({Or} 26... Rxf1+ 27. Bxf1 Nxd3)) (25. Bf3 Nxd3) 25... Nd5 26. Rg1 (26. Bf3 {looks worse after} Nf4 (26... Rf4 $5) 27. Qe3 Qh3 {for example} 28. Rg1 Nd5 29. Bg2 Nxe3 30. Bxh3 Bxc4 31. bxc4 Nxd1 { and Black wins the exchange.}) 26... Kh8 ({The immediate} 26... Rf4 $5 { was also OK.}) 27. Bf1 Rf4 {Shifting more pieces towards the kingside.} 28. Ne5 {White also prepares for the battle on the right part of the board.} Rdf8 ({ To me the immediate} 28... Rh4 {looks more precise as after} 29. f3 {Black has the additional resource} Ne3 30. Rd2 Nf5 {with advantage.}) 29. f3 Rh4 30. d4 { Both white knights are perfect but Carlsen keeps playing around them.} Nf4 ({If } 30... Qf4 31. Qg2) 31. Qd2 Bxb3 {Finally grabbing some pawns in return for the activity.} 32. Rb1 Bxa4 33. Bb5 $1 {But everything comes with a price. Giri gets rid of the powerful bishop and keeps his good pieces on board.} Bxb5 34. Rxb5 Qe6 {Carlsen intends to bring the bishop to c7 to attack the h2 pawn again.} (34... Bd8 35. d5 $1) 35. Qb2 {At the press conference Giri felt that he has good chances to hold if he just stays.} ({This might indeed be the case, but he has to do it extremely carefully. A good set up seems} 35. Rgb1 Bd8 36. Re1 $1 {The point is that} Bc7 {can be met with} ({And} 36... Qh6 $4 {even loses to} 37. Ng5 $1 Bxg5 38. Nf7+ $1) 37. Ng5) 35... Bd8 36. Ng5 {This makes things easier for Black.} ({But it is not certain that White can survive after } 36. Qd2 Bc7 37. Rc1 Qe8) 36... Qe8 $1 {Missed by Giri.} 37. Rb3 ({The last chance according to Giri was} 37. d5 {but this loses to} Rh5 $1 ({Not} 37... Bf6 38. d6 Nd3 39. d7 Nxb2 40. dxe8=Q Rxe8 41. Rxb2 Bxe5 42. Re2 {with a likely draw.}) 38. Ne6 Bf6 $1 {and Black wins.} ({Again Black needs to be careful-} 38... Nxe6 39. dxe6 Bf6 40. Nf7+ {gives the advantage to White.})) 37... Bxg5 38. Rxg5 Ne6 {Also missed by White. Now it all ends quickly.} 39. Rg4 Rxg4 40. fxg4 Qd8 41. Rh3 ({Only here did White realize that} 41. Rd3 { is neatly refuted after} Qd5+ 42. Kg1 Rf1+ $1 43. Kxf1 Qh1+ 44. Kf2 Qxh2+) ({ The pawn endgame is also lost after} 41. Rf3 Rxf3 (41... Qd5 42. Qb3) 42. Nxf3 Qd5 43. Kg2 Ng5 44. Qe2 Qxf3+ 45. Qxf3 Nxf3 46. Kxf3 Kg8 {due to the distant passed pawn(s).}) 41... Qd5+ 42. Kg1 Qe4 43. Qb4 Rf6 0-1 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.05.04"] [Round "2.1"] [White "Tan, Zhongyi"] [Black "Ju, Wenjun"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A21"] [WhiteElo "2522"] [BlackElo "2571"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "110"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Bb4 {A sort of Advanced Rossolimo line with reversed colors.} 3. d3 {Already quite a rare move.} (3. Nd5 {to make use of the bishop's position at once is more common, for example:} a5 4. Nf3 d6 5. a3 Bc5 6. e3 Nf6 7. d4 Nxd5 8. cxd5 exd4 9. exd4 Bb6 10. Bg5 f6 11. Be3 {as in Cheparinov,I (2702)-Li,S (2519) China 2018}) 3... Bxc3+ 4. bxc3 d6 5. g3 f5 6. Bg2 Nf6 7. Rb1 ({Or:} 7. Nf3 O-O 8. O-O c5 9. Nd2 Nc6 10. f4 Be6 11. e4 exf4 12. Rxf4 Qd7 {with approximately equal game in Krylov,M (2476)-Volovikov,A (2271) Serpukhov 2018}) 7... c6 8. Nf3 Qc7 9. O-O O-O 10. Bg5 $146 {A novelty, which does not give anything substantial to White.} ({In the only predecessor Black got excellent position after:} 10. Qb3 c5 11. Ng5 (11. Nh4 $5) 11... Nc6 12. Qb5 h6 13. Nh3 Na5 14. f4 e4 15. Nf2 Bd7 16. Qb2 Bc6 {Ehlert,H (1923)-Gross,T (2152) Verden 2008}) 10... Nbd7 11. Nd2 h6 12. Bxf6 Nxf6 {Ju can be happy with her opening.The only potential problem of b7 is well covered. While Black can easily advance her kingside pawns. In fact it seems easier to be Black here as her moves are more obvious.} 13. e4 Be6 {One of the good moves that Black has.} ({Both} 13... f4) ({And} 13... fxe4 14. Nxe4 Be6 {lead to perfectly comforatble positions for the second player.}) 14. Bh3 Qd7 15. exf5 Bxf5 16. Bxf5 Qxf5 17. Ne4 ({Perhaps Tan should have forced matters with:} 17. Rxb7 Qxd3 18. Nb3 Qxd1 ({Less convincing is:} 18... Qxc3 19. Qxd6 Qxc4 20. Qxe5) ({Or} 18... Qxc4 19. Qxd6 Qxc3 20. Qe7 {with advantage for White.}) 19. Rxd1 Ne4 20. Re1 Nxc3 21. c5 $1 {with equality. For instance:} Rf7 22. Rxf7 Kxf7 23. cxd6 Ke6 24. Re3 Nd5 25. Nd4+ Kxd6 26. Nf5+) 17... Qd7 18. Qb3 Nxe4 19. dxe4 Rf7 $1 {Now Black is definitely better. She can defend the weakness on b7 sideways, while attacking. White has a bunch of weak pawns and what is more important-her king is not as safe as it seems.} 20. Rfd1 ({After} 20. c5 dxc5 21. Qc4 {Black can keep the pawn with} b6 22. a4 Qe7) 20... Qg4 $5 {Aggressive play.} ({On} 20... b6 {White has} 21. c5 $1 bxc5 22. Rd2 {followed by the doubling on the d-file and compensation for a pawn.}) 21. Rxd6 Qe2 {Another cunning move, which tries to force a concession.} ({Also good was the immediate capture:} 21... Qxe4 {when White has to be extremely careful. For example:} 22. Rbd1 $2 {leads to trouble after:} ({When White needs to defend with} 22. Rd2 $1) 22... Rxf2 $1 23. Kxf2 Rf8+ 24. Kg1 Qe3+ {And if} 25. Kg2 $2 {White gets mated with} ({Now best defense is:} 25. Kh1 $1 Rf2 26. c5+ Kh7 27. Rxh6+ Qxh6 28. Qb1+ Qg6 {although White still needs to work hard to save the half point.}) 25... Rf2+ 26. Kh3 Qe2 27. Rd8+ Kh7 28. Qb1+ e4) 22. Rf1 $2 { A very unfortunate decision. Passive defense with only heavy pieces on the board is a sin.} ({Correct was:} 22. Qb2 $1 Qxe4 23. c5) ({Or even:} 22. Rb2 $1 {despite the loss of a pawn with a check after:} Qe1+ 23. Kg2 Qxe4+ 24. Kg1 { White can still defend.}) 22... Raf8 {Now the White pieces are stuck and Tan has to give material back without getting any relief in return as she cannot expell the black pieces from their active ppositions.} 23. c5 ({Or} 23. Qd1 Qxa2) 23... Kh7 24. Qd1 Qxa2 25. Qb1 Qc4 26. Rd2 a5 $1 {Ju keeps the queens on the board.} ({Weaker was} 26... Qxc5 27. Qb4 Qxb4 28. cxb4 {with chances for White to defend the rook endgame.}) 27. Qb6 Qxc3 28. Rb2 ({After} 28. Ra2 { Black can either defend the pawn} Ra8 ({Or even better push it} 28... a4 {as} 29. Rxa4 $2 {fails to} Rxf2 $1 30. Rxf2 Qe1+ 31. Kg2 Rxf2+ 32. Kh3 Qf1+ 33. Kg4 Qe2+ 34. Kh4 Rxh2#)) 28... h5 {Looking for a second weakness on the kingside.} ({Also good was} 28... Rd7 29. Ra2 Ra8) 29. Ra2 ({The weakness is obvious after } 29. h4 Qd4 30. Ra2 Rf3 31. Kg2 Qxe4) 29... a4 ({No time for} 29... h4 30. Qxa5) 30. Qb2 ({Once again the pawn is poisoned-} 30. Rxa4 $2 Rxf2 31. Rxf2 Qe1+ 32. Kg2 Rxf2+ 33. Kh3 Qf1+ 34. Kh4 Rxh2+ 35. Kg5 Qf6#) 30... Qxc5 ({ Since the position changed a bit, there was an argument for} 30... Qxb2 31. Rxb2 Ra8 32. Ra1 Ra5 {This time with good winning chances for Black as she can actively use her rook on the a5 square.}) 31. Rxa4 g6 {Ju won a pawn and achieved close to won positon. But in the coming moves lets the advantage slip away.} ({Here both} 31... Rf3 $1 32. Rb4 b5) ({And} 31... b5 $1 {looked great for Black when the win should be a matter of time.}) 32. Qd2 Kg7 33. Ra5 Qd4 ( 33... b5 {is no longer as convincing after} 34. Ra6) 34. Qxd4 exd4 35. f4 { Finally a rook endgame emerged but one in which Black's extra pawn is not felt seriously. Both white rooks are good, and so are her kingside pawns.} Rd8 36. Kf2 b6 37. Ra6 c5 (37... Rb7 {is too passive and allows no winning chances after} 38. Rb1 Rdb8 39. Ke2) 38. Rxb6 Ra7 39. f5 $2 {A nervous move, most likely in time trouble.} ({After the correct} 39. Rc6 $1 {White should hold. For example:} Ra2+ 40. Kf3 Ra3+ 41. Kf2 Rc3 42. Ra1 d3 43. e5 c4 44. Ra7+ Kh6 45. Raa6 d2 46. Rxg6+ Kh7 47. Rh6+ Kg8 48. Rag6+ Kf8 ({Not} 48... Kf7 $4 49. e6+ Ke7 50. Rh7+ Kd6 51. e7+ {when it is White who wins.}) 49. Rh8+ {with a curious draw after} Kf7 50. Rf6+ Kg7 51. Rxd8 Rd3 52. Rfd6 d1=Q 53. R8d7+) 39... gxf5 40. exf5 {The white passer is not dangerous as it is nicely blocked by the black king, whereas the black pawn duo marches fast.} d3 41. Rc6 Ra2+ { A nasty little check.} 42. Kf3 (42. Ke1 {loses to} Rb8 $1) ({If} 42. Ke3 Re2+ 43. Kf4 (43. Kf3 Rd5) 43... d2 {would also see the black pawns promote soon.}) 42... d2 {Back is perfectly co-ordinated and after some careful moves the contender converted the advantage.} 43. Rc7+ Kf6 44. Rc6+ Ke7 ({Avoiding the trap-} 44... Kxf5 $2 45. Rxc5+ Kg6 46. Rc6+ Kf7 47. Ke2+ Kg8 48. Rd1) 45. Rd1 ( 45. f6+ {does not help after} Kf7) 45... Rc2 46. h3 c4 47. g4 hxg4+ 48. hxg4 Rc1 49. Ke2 c3 50. Rc7+ Kf6 51. Rc6+ Kg5 52. Kf3 Rg8 $1 {Caution is required even in completely won positions.} (52... Rxd1 $4 {would have let the win slip away after} 53. Rg6+ Kh4 54. Rh6+ Kg5 55. Rg6+) 53. Ke2 Rh8 54. Rd6 Rxd1 55. Kxd1 Rh1+ 0-1 [Event "Altibox Norway Chess"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2018.06.02"] [Round "5.2"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A28"] [WhiteElo "2822"] [BlackElo "2782"] [Annotator "Hess, R"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "United States"] [BlackTeam "Russia"] [WhiteTeamCountry "USA"] [BlackTeamCountry "RUS"] [WhiteClock "1:30:59"] [BlackClock "1:13:23"] {Caruana, fresh off a second straight rest day due to Ding Liren's unfortunate accident, was having a rough stretch. In the Bundesliga playoff he was outplayed by an impressive Giri. In three rounds of Norway Chess, he sat at just 1/3 with an uninspiring defeat to the man he will challenge in five months for the world championship title. Is this win the start of a turnaround for the world number two? His fans certainly hope so.} 1. c4 {Already an interesting choice by Caruana, who infrequently opts for the English. There's no doubt he wanted revenge on Karjakin, who beat him during round 12 of the Candidates.} Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. e3 Bb4 5. Qc2 Bxc3 (5... O-O 6. Nd5) 6. Qxc3 Qe7 7. b3 (7. Be2 d5 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Qb3 Nb6 10. d3 Bg4 11. Bd2 O-O-O 12. Rc1 f5 {Oleksienko,M (2615)-Navara,D (2726) Germany 2018}) 7... O-O (7... d5 {seems like a principled reply here. White is underdeveloped, which means a strike in the center is well-timed. After all, Karjakin committed to this break (he didn't really have active play if not for it) later in the game. However, the clear drawback is that White can begin opening up the position for his bishops.} 8. d4 {challenges Black's setup, attempting to open diagonals for the two bishops.} (8. Bb2 d4) 8... Ne4 9. Qb2 Be6 {among other variations is an interesting start.}) 8. Bb2 Re8 9. a3 a5 10. h3 $146 (10. d3 d5 11. cxd5 Nxd5 12. Qc2 Bg4 13. Be2 Rad8 14. O-O Rd6 15. Qc4 Qd7 16. Rac1 Nb6 17. Qc2 Rg6 {Van Wely,L (2570)-Piket,J (2570) Wijk aan Zee 1996}) 10... b6 { "A little bit slow." (Caruana)} (10... d5 11. cxd5 Nxd5 12. Qc2 e4 13. Nd4 Nxd4 14. Bxd4 Qg5 15. Bc4 c6 {and I can even consider castling queenside (Caruana). The bishop on d4 is a dominant, unopposed piece, but Black is in no immediate danger. Karjakin would have counter chances here that he did not get in the game.}) 11. Be2 ({Too risky is} 11. g4 Bb7 12. Rg1 {Agdestein/Mamedyarov} d5 13. g5 d4 $1 {appears to have been overlooked by the commentators.} (13... Ne4 14. Qc2) 14. gxf6 dxc3 (14... Qxf6 15. Qc2 Qxf3 16. Bg2 Qh5) 15. fxe7 cxb2 16. Rb1 e4 17. Nd4 Ne5 {and Black is much better.}) 11... Bb7 12. O-O d5 {"This kind of surprised me." (Caruana)} (12... e4 13. Nd4 (13. Nh4) 13... Nxd4 14. exd4 {and now} (14. Qxd4) 14... d5 {blockading the long diagonal.}) 13. cxd5 Nxd5 14. Qc2 e4 15. Nh2 {Great understanding by Caruana. His knight currently sits awkwardly on h2, but importantly the knight on c6 is misplaced because it prevents the c7 pawn from pushing to c5. Black can't play Ne5 since the e4 pawn will hang.} (15. Nd4 Nxd4 16. Bxd4 c5 17. Bb2 Qg5 (17... Rad8)) 15... Qg5 (15... Ne5 16. Qxe4 Nc3 17. Qxb7 Nxe2+ (17... Reb8 18. Qxb8+ Rxb8 19. Bxc3) ( 17... Rab8 18. Qa6) 18. Kh1 {"The knight is trapped." (Caruana)} Nd3 19. Qf3 Nxb2 20. Qxe2 {"And now the other knight is trapped." (Caruana)}) (15... Rad8 16. f4 (16. f3 Rd6 17. fxe4 Qxe4) 16... exf3 (16... Rd6 17. Ng4) 17. Nxf3 { is an even better version.}) 16. f4 exf3 17. Nxf3 Qg3 {More clever.} 18. Rf2 Rad8 19. Bc4 Nf6 {"This surprised me. It can't be good. It's kind of admitting that your position is bad." (Caruana)} (19... Rd6 20. Raf1 (20. Qf5 Bc8 (20... Qg6 21. Nh4) 21. Qg5 Qxg5 22. Nxg5 {and Black can keep fighting, despite the poor position of his pieces.}) 20... Nf6 21. e4 {with overwhelming pressure down the f-file.} (21. Qf5 Bc8 22. Qg5 Qxg5 23. Nxg5 {is just crushing.})) 20. Bxf6 (20. Raf1 Rd6 21. e4 $1 {and the pawn is immune to capture, since} Nxe4 22. Bxf7+ {is devastating.}) 20... gxf6 21. Raf1 (21. Bxf7+ Kxf7 22. Qxh7+ Ke6 $1 {and I didn't see a continuation." (Caruana)} (22... Kf8 23. Nh4) (22... Qg7 23. Ng5+ Kf8 24. Rxf6+ Qxf6 25. Rf1)) 21... Rd6 22. b4 (22. Bxf7+ Kxf7 23. Qxh7+ Qg7 24. Ng5+ Kf8 {is promising for White, though the knockout blow still requires some work. After all, White has sacrificed a piece for soon-to-be 3 pawns!}) 22... axb4 23. axb4 Re7 {"This leads to a sad situation." (Caruana)} ( {Caruana thought he should have tried} 23... Nxb4 24. Bxf7+ Kxf7 25. Qxc7+ Kg8 (25... Re7 26. Ng5+ Qxg5 (26... Ke8 27. Qb8+) 27. Qxd6 Nd5 28. Rf5 Qxg2+ 29. Kxg2) 26. Qxb7 Nd3 27. Nd4 Nxf2 {and he wasn't sure about this, but apparently he missed} 28. Nf5 $1 {here which wins on the spot.}) (23... Kh8 {is an attempt to rush the rook to the g-file. Unfortunately, it costs either the c- or f- pawn.} 24. Be2 (24. Bxf7 Re7 25. Qc4) 24... Rg8 25. b5 Ne5 26. d4 $1 { when the g2 pawn gets the reinforcement it needs from the queen on c2.}) 24. b5 Ne5 25. Nd4 Bc8 (25... Nxc4 26. Qxc4 {"He just doesn't have counterplay." (Caruana)} (26. Nf5 {first ends the game immediately.}) 26... Be4 27. Qe2) 26. Kh1 Kg7 {Here "I was sure I would find a way to break through." (Caruana)} 27. Be2 Kh8 28. Qc3 ({Caruana was a bit worried about stuff like} 28. Bf3 Bxh3 29. gxh3 (29. Ne2 Qg6 30. Qxg6 fxg6 31. gxh3 Rxd2 {with pretty good drawing chances.}) 29... Qxh3+ 30. Kg1 Rxd4 31. exd4 Qg3+ (31... Nxf3+ 32. Rxf3 Qg4+ 33. Kf2)) 28... Kg7 29. Bd1 Kg8 30. Bc2 Qh4 31. Rf4 Qg3 32. Bf5 Bb7 33. Be4 Bc8 {Karjakin can't afford a bishop trade, since the f5 square is impossible to defend.} 34. Qa3 (34. Qa1) 34... Kg7 (34... Re8 35. Qa8 Rdd8 36. Nc6 Nxc6 37. Qxc6 {is easily winning.}) 35. Qa8 Bxh3 {Desperation in a lost position.} ({ After} 35... Bd7 36. Qd8 (36. Bf5 {forces the bishops off, which means the f5 square is White's for the taking.}) 36... Ng6 {Caruana was considering} 37. R4f3 {but that would be bad because of} (37. Qxd7 {secures two minors for the rook.} Rdxd7 (37... Qxf4 38. Nf5+ Kf8 39. Qxe7+ Nxe7 40. Rxf4) 38. Nf5+ Kf8 39. Nxg3 Nxf4 40. exf4 Rxd2 {with a winning advantage for White. The minor pieces are too strong, especially as the bishop plants itself on c6.}) 37... Qe5) 36. gxh3 Qxh3+ 37. Kg1 Rxd4 38. Bg2 Qg3 39. Rxd4 Ng4 40. Rf3 Qe1+ 41. Bf1 1-0 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.06.02"] [Round "?"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey "] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime "] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D87"] [Annotator "user"] [PlyCount "75"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Bc4 ({ Альтернативные пути:} 7. Nf3 c5 8. Be3 Qa5 9. Qd2 (9. Bd2) 9... Nc6 ({или} 9... Bg4)) ({и} 7. Be3 c5 8. Qd2 {.}) 7... c5 8. Ne2 Nc6 9. Be3 O-O 10. O-O {Диаграмма} b6 ({Популярна следующая линия.} 10... Bg4 11. f3 {.} ({Черных устраивает вариант} 11. d5 Na5 12. Bd3 c4 13. Bc2 Bxc3 {.}) 11... Na5 ({встречается и} 11... Bd7) 12. Bd3 {.} ({ Анатолий Карпов и Гарри Каспаров (матч на первенство мира 1987, Севилья) испытывали продолжение} 12. Bxf7+ Rxf7 13. fxg4 Rxf1+ 14. Kxf1 Qd6 15. Kg1 {.} ({Другая возможность:} 15. e5 Qd5 16. Bf2 Rf8 17. Kg1 Bh6 18. dxc5 Qxe5 19. Qd3 Qf6 20. Rf1 Qe6 $1 21. Nd4 Qxa2 22. Qe4 Rf7 $11 { (Каспаров).}) 15... Qe6 16. Qd3 Qc4 {. У черных компенсация за пешку.}) 12... cxd4 13. cxd4 Be6 14. d5 ({ еще вариант:} 14. Rc1 Bxa2 15. Qa4 Be6 16. d5 Bd7 17. Qb4 e6) 14... Bxa1 15. Qxa1 f6 {. У белых инициатива за качество.}) 11. dxc5 Qc7 12. Nd4 Ne5 13. Nb5 Qb8 14. Be2 ({Возможно} 14. Bd5 Ng4 15. g3 Nxe3 16. fxe3 {. Черным лучше продолжать} a6 ({ либо} 16... Bh3 {.}) ({Последовавшее в партии Маттиас Блюбаум - Спиридон Наэм (ч-т мира до 20 лет, Афины 2012, 1-0)} 16... Bb7 $2 {привело к разгрому:} 17. c6 Ba6 18. Rxf7 $1 Rxf7 19. Bxf7+ Kxf7 20. Qd5+ Kf8 21. Rf1+ Bf6 22. c7 Qe8 23. Rxf6+ Kg7 24. Rc6 Bb7 25. Qe5+ Kf7 26. Re6 Qf8 27. Rxe7+ $1 Kg8 28. Qe6+ Kh8 29. Rf7 Qh6 30. Rf3 Rc8 31. Nd6 Rxc7 32. Qe8+ Kg7 33. Qf8#)) {Диаграмма} 14... bxc5 $1 {Новинка.} ({ Недостаточно для уравнения последовавшее в партии Райнер Кнаак - Любомир Фтачник (Братислава 1983, 1-0)} 14... a6 $6 15. Na3 {.}) 15. Rb1 ({После } 15. Bxc5 a6 {у черных хорошая компенсация за пешку.}) 15... a6 16. Na3 Qc7 17. f4 Rd8 18. Qc2 Ng4 19. Bxg4 Bxg4 20. f5 gxf5 21. Nc4 e6 22. h3 Bh5 23. exf5 exf5 24. Bg5 f4 {Максим освобождает диагональ для белопольного слона.} 25. Qf2 ({После} 25. Bxd8 Rxd8 {черные слоны компенсируют качество.}) {Диаграмма Действия соперников до этого момента трудно усилить. Француз ошибается.} 25... f3 $2 ({ Наиболее жесткая реакция -} 25... Rd4 $5 {с такими вариантами. 1)} 26. Bxf4 ({2)} 26. Nb6 Re8 27. Qh4 Re2 28. cxd4 Bxd4+ 29. Kh2 $1 ({проигрывает} 29. Kh1 $2 {ввиду} f3 30. g3 Qe5 $1) 29... Qc6 30. Rg1 Bg6 31. Bxf4 Bxb1 32. Qg4+ Bg6 33. Qxe2 Bxg1+ 34. Kxg1 Qxb6 {с ничейным эндшпилем.}) 26... Rxf4 27. Qxf4 Qxf4 28. Rxf4 Bxc3 {. В этом остром окончании шансы белых несколько выше.}) ({Удовлетворительно } 25... Re8 {.}) 26. Bxd8 Rxd8 27. Qh4 fxg2 28. Rfe1 Bf3 29. Re3 Bc6 30. Rbe1 Rf8 31. Ne5 Bd5 {Диаграмма} 32. Rg3 $1 {Грозит взятие на g7.} f6 $1 {Единственная защита.} ({На} 32... Kh8 $2 { решает} 33. Rxg7 Kxg7 34. Qg5+ Kh8 35. Qf6+ Kg8 36. Ng4 {.}) ({Не помогает} 32... f5 $2 {ввиду} 33. Nd7 $1 Qxd7 34. Re7 {.}) 33. Nd3 Bxa2 $2 {Проигрывает без борьбы.} ({Упорнее} 33... Kh8 {. Правда, после} 34. Nf4 Bf7 35. Rxg2 {белые близки к цели.} (35. Rxg7 $2 Kxg7 36. Qg3+ Kh6 $1 {упускает перевес})) ({или} 33... Bf7) 34. c4 $1 Qd6 35. Nf4 Qd4+ 36. Kh2 Bxc4 {Диаграмма} 37. Qh6 $1 {Карякин использует связку.} f5 38. Nh5 1-0 [Event "Altibox Norway Chess"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2018.06.05"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "2789"] [BlackElo "2760"] [Annotator "Hess, R"] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "France"] [BlackTeam "India"] [WhiteTeamCountry "FRA"] [BlackTeamCountry "IND"] {In recent years, Viswanathan Anand has been counted out many times. His rating has dropped to 2760 and out of the world top 10, yet he won a World Rapid title. Even as he approaches 50 years old, no player can underestimate him, lest they fall victim to a game like this. Against MVL in Norway, Anand's play was practically perfect.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. c3 Be7 (9... Bc5 {was played by Anand over 20 (!) years ago in games against Kamsky and Polgar. A quick filter of top games in this line indicate it's an outdated option. Anand did defeat Sethuraman from the White side of this line at the 2017 Isle of Man tournament. }) 10. Nbd2 O-O 11. Re1 Nc5 12. Nd4 Nxd4 13. cxd4 Nd3 (13... Nxb3 {is a bad decision, since the bishop on b3 stares into a wall. White quickly prevents Black from playing ...c5, leaving him with a permanent weakness in the form of a backward pawn.} 14. Nxb3) 14. Re3 Nf4 {The knight's tour continues. Anand is not ceding control of the c-file that easily!} ({MVL had mainly looked at the following game, where Black seemed to have several opportunities to improve with ...c5 breaks:} 14... Nxc1 15. Rxc1 a5 16. f4 g6 17. a4 Rb8 18. Bc2 Qc8 19. Nb3 bxa4 20. Nxa5 c5 {Short,N (2656)-Tukhaev,A (2551) Kolkata 2018}) 15. Nf3 Bg4 16. h3 Bh5 17. Rc3 $146 (17. Bc2 Ne6 18. Bf5 c5 19. dxc5 Bxc5 20. Rd3 Qb6 21. Be3 Bxe3 22. Rxe3 d4 23. Re1 Rad8 {Ye,J (2545)-Norri,J (2400) Helsinki 1992 }) 17... Ne6 18. g4 (18. Be3 f5 {may look similar to a possibility in the game, but after} 19. exf6 Bxf6 20. g4 {Black has additional space for the bishop on the retreating diagonal.} Be8) 18... Bg6 19. Be3 {MVL's last few moves aim to prevent ...c5.} a5 (19... f5 20. exf6 Bxf6 21. Rac1 {remains a fight, but perhaps Black would prefer to have control of the c6 square with the bishop on e8.}) 20. Bc2 ({MVL didn't like} 20. Rac1 c5 21. dxc5 b4 22. R3c2 Bxc2 23. Rxc2 d4 24. Bxd4 a4 25. Bxe6 fxe6) 20... Bb4 21. Rb3 f5 22. exf6 (22. a3 Be7 23. Rxb5 fxg4 24. Bxg6 gxf3 {is extremely suspicious for White, whose king is exposed beyond repair.}) (22. Qb1 {is one of those weird moves hoping to pile up on the diagonal, but Black has tactical resources because of White's overextended kingside.} f4 (22... c5 23. gxf5 Bh5 {is extremely messy.}) 23. Bxg6 hxg6 24. Qxg6 (24. Bc1 c5) 24... Ra6 $1) 22... Bxc2 23. Qxc2 Qxf6 24. Ne5 c5 $1 {Anand has great foresight here; he could have kept material level and played for an attack on the kingside, but he holds nothing back.} (24... Rad8 25. Nc6 (25. Qf5 {leads to an ending where White has decent drawing chances, but it'd be a tough road ahead.}) 25... Rd6 26. Nxb4 axb4 {is bad for White. The knight on e6 absolutely dominates the big pawn on e3, and White's shaky kingside does him no favors.} 27. Rxb4) 25. Nd7 (25. a3 a4 26. Rxb4 (26. Rd3 cxd4 27. Nd7 Qg6 $1 28. Nxf8 Rxf8 {when the pin on the rook is devastating.} 29. axb4 dxe3 30. fxe3 Ng5) 26... cxb4 27. Nd7 Qf3 28. Nxf8 Rxf8 29. Qc6 Nf4 ( 29... Ng5 30. Bxg5 Qxf2+ {is no less than an immediate repetition, though Black can certainly play on with} 31. Kh1 Qxb2) 30. Bxf4 Rxf4 {is better for Black, though White can try to survive the endgame after} 31. Qe8+ Rf8 32. Qe6+ Kh8 33. Qe3 {where Black is much preferred in a number of continuations.}) 25... Qf7 (25... Qh4 26. Nxf8 Rxf8 27. dxc5 Qxh3 $6 (27... Rf3 28. Qd1 Rg3+ 29. fxg3 Qxg3+ {leads to a forced draw:} 30. Kf1 Qxh3+ 31. Kf2 (31. Ke2 $4 Qg2+ 32. Kd3 Nxc5+ 33. Bxc5 Qe4#) 31... Qh2+ 32. Kf3 Qh3+) 28. Qd1 {Anand}) 26. Nxf8 Rxf8 27. Qf5 $6 (27. a3 c4 (27... a4 28. Rxb4 cxb4) 28. axb4 cxb3 29. Qxb3 { "In hindsight this is what I should have done: look for equality." (MVL). He certainly has a point, but it's always an uphill battle.} (29. Qc6 a4 30. Qxd5 Nf4 {The outside passed pawn and permanent threat of a4-a3 is trouble for White.}) 29... Qf3 {keeps Anand in charge, despite the temporary pawn deficit.} ) 27... cxd4 28. Qxf7+ Rxf7 29. Rxb4 ({Both players missed} 29. a3 $1 Nc5 30. Rxb4 axb4 31. Bxd4 Nb3 32. Rd1 {with equality.}) (29. Bc1 Nc5 30. Rg3 Ne4) 29... axb4 30. Bd2 {"Somehow I thought this was fine for me but I forgot about b3 completely." (MVL)} b3 {After this, Anand's path to victory was pretty straightforward.} 31. axb3 Rf3 32. b4 (32. Ra3 Rxh3 33. b4 Rxa3 34. bxa3 { is a winning ending for Black, thanks to ideas with ...d3 as well as the outside h-pawn.}) 32... Rd3 33. Re1 Kf7 34. Bc1 Rxh3 35. Re5 Rd3 36. Kf1 Rd1+ 37. Re1 Rxe1+ 38. Kxe1 g6 39. f4 Nd8 40. g5 Ke6 0-1 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.06.04"] [Round "?"] [White "So, Wesley "] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus "] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D13"] [Annotator "user"] [PlyCount "87"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Bf4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Nf3 {Диаграмма } a6 {Магнус играл так с Грантом Мелкумяном (ч-т мира по блиц, Эр-Рияд 2017, 0-1).} ({Ведущие гроссмейстеры чаще предпочитали} 6... Bf5 {.}) ({ Стоит отметить ход} 6... Nh5 {, принесший победу Яну Непомнящему над Магнусом Карлсеном (Лондон 2017).}) 7. Rc1 Bf5 8. e3 Rc8 9. Be2 e6 10. O-O Nd7 ({Альтернатива -} 10... Bd6 {.}) 11. Na4 Be7 { Диаграмма} 12. h3 $5 {Новинка.} ({На} 12. a3 {черные создают контригру путем} g5 $1 13. Bg3 h5 {.}) ({ Встречалось и} 12. Nc5 {.}) 12... O-O ({Пешечное наступление} 12... g5 $5 13. Bh2 h5 {происходит в лучшей для белых редакции, но вполне возможно.} 14. Kh1) 13. a3 Na5 14. Nc5 $1 Nc4 {Карлсен отвечает симметрично.} (14... Nxc5 15. dxc5 Rxc5 $4 16. Rxc5 Bxc5 17. b4 {проигрывает фигуру}) 15. b4 {Диаграмма} Nxc5 $6 {Малозаметная неточность.} ({Шансы на уравнение давало поддержание симметрии:} 15... b5 $1 16. a4 $5 a5 $1 {.}) 16. dxc5 Nxa3 17. Nd4 Be4 18. f3 Bg6 19. Qb3 Nc4 20. Bxc4 dxc4 21. Qxc4 {Диаграмма} Qe8 $5 {Ферзь стал в засаду, чтобы подготовить освобождающий удар е6-е5.} ({Логичен размен чернопольных слонов} 21... Bg5 {, попутно оживляя ферзя. Сильнейшая реакция -} 22. Rfd1 $1 ({В случае естественной игры белых -} 22. Bxg5 Qxg5 23. e4 Rfd8 24. Nb3 {- черным удается создать контригру путем } Qe3+ 25. Kh1 b5 $1 26. Qc2 f5 $1 {.}) 22... Bxf4 23. exf4 Qf6 24. Nb3 Rfd8 25. Na5 b5 26. Qe2 Qxf4 {Диаграмма} 27. Nc6 $1 Re8 28. Qe5 {. За пешку у белых доминирующая позиция.}) 22. Bg3 $1 {Уэсли не торопится.} ({Идейно выглядит подрыв} 22. c6 {, однако в варианте} e5 $1 23. Bxe5 bxc6 24. Nxc6 Bxb4 25. Qxb4 Rxc6 26. Qd4 f6 27. Qd5+ Re6 {черные близки к спасению.}) ({Другой вариант -} 22. Rfd1 e5 $1 23. Bxe5 Bxc5 24. bxc5 Qxe5 25. e4 {. Максимум, чего здесь могут достичь белые, - разменять одну пешку на две после прорыва с6-с5. Но даже в этом случае с тремя пехотинцами против четверых на одном фланге черные получат большие шансы на ничью.}) 22... e5 23. Nb3 $1 ({Со не соблазняется пешкой, поскольку после} 23. Bxe5 $6 Bxc5 24. bxc5 Qxe5 {его преимущество испаряется.}) {Диаграмма} 23... Bd8 $2 {Ведет к проигранной позиции.} ({Черным необходимо активизировать белопольного слона. Рассмотрим возможные варианты.} 23... Bf5 24. Bxe5 $1 {(здесь уже надо бить)} Be6 25. Qc3 Bxb3 26. Qxb3 Bxc5 27. Rxc5 Rxc5 28. Bxg7 $1 {. У белых перевес. Для уточнения его размеров требуется объемный анализ.}) (23... Kh8 $6 24. Bxe5 Bxc5 25. Bxg7+ Kxg7 26. Qc3+ $1 f6 27. bxc5 {. Белые стоят на выигрыш.}) ({Лучшая защита -} 23... h6 $1 {. Игра может развиваться следующим образом:} 24. e4 Kh7 $1 25. Bxe5 Bxc5+ 26. Nxc5 Qxe5 27. Qd5 ({в случае} 27. f4 Qe7 28. f5 Bh5 {слон ускользает }) 27... Qf4 28. Qxb7 {Диаграмма} a5 $1 {Спасительный подрыв. Амбициознее} 29. Kh1 $1 ({Продолжение} 29. bxa5 $6 Rxc5 30. Rxc5 Qe3+ 31. Kh1 Qxc5 32. a6 Qa3 33. a7 f5 $1 34. e5 Bf7 $1 { ведет к позиционной ничьей.}) ({В случае} 29. Qb6 {черные изыскивают динамические ресурсы:} Rfd8 $1 30. bxa5 {.} ({Неудачно} 30. Qxa5 $2 Ra8 $1 31. Na6 Rd2 32. Kh1 f5 $1 33. e5 $2 Qg5 34. Rg1 Rxg2 $1 35. Rxg2 Qxc1+ {. Черные создают решающие угрозы.}) 30... Rd2 $1 ({на} 30... Rb8 $6 {перевес дает перекрытие} 31. Nb7 $1) 31. Nd3 Qg5 32. Nf2 Rxc1 33. Rxc1 Rxf2 34. Kxf2 Qd2+ 35. Kg3 Qg5+ 36. Kh2 Qf4+ {с вечным шахом.}) 29... Rb8 {.} ({Продолжение} 29... Qe3 30. Rcd1 $1 axb4 31. Nd7 {ведет к аналогичной ситуации.}) ({Красив вариант} 29... Rfd8 $5 30. bxa5 {.} ( {Вероятно, сильнее} 30. Nd3 $1 Rxc1 31. Nxf4 Rxf1+ 32. Kh2 { . Скорее всего позиция черных защитима, но нужен отдельный анализ.}) 30... Rb8 $1 31. Qe7 Rd2 32. Rcd1 Rc2 33. Rg1 Rb5 $1 34. Nd7 Rh5 $1 35. Nf8+ Kg8 36. Qd7 {Диаграмма} Bf5 $1 37. Qxf5 (37. exf5 $4 Rxh3+ 38. gxh3 Rh2#) 37... Rxf5 38. Rd8 Qc7 39. Re8 $1 Qc6 40. Nd7+ Kh7 41. Nf8+ {с вечным шахом.}) 30. Qa6 Ra8 ({не годится} 30... axb4 $4 31. Nd7) ({или} 30... Rxb4 $4 31. Nd3) 31. Qc4 axb4 32. Qxb4 {. У черных хорошие шансы отстоять ничью, несмотря на отсутствие пешки, поскольку борьба ведется на одном фланге.}) 24. Qd5 Qb5 25. Bxe5 {Диаграмма} Be7 ({Безнадежно} 25... Qxb4 $2 26. Bd6 Re8 27. c6 {.}) 26. Qd2 $6 ({Жестче} 26. Na5 $1 b6 27. Nb7 {.}) 26... Rfd8 27. Bd6 Bf6 28. e4 h6 29. Nd4 Bxd4+ 30. Qxd4 Re8 31. Rfe1 Kh7 32. g4 $1 {Со зажимает оппонента.} f6 33. f4 { Диаграмма} Qc6 $6 ({Не стоит злоупотреблять компьютерными вариантами, но здесь это уместно. Компьютер подчас держит даже столь беспросветные позиции, как сейчас у черных. Вот как это ему удается:} 33... Bf7 34. f5 a5 $1 35. bxa5 Ra8 36. Rb1 Qxa5 37. Kf2 Qa2+ 38. Rb2 Qa6 39. Rb6 Qa2+ 40. Re2 Qa7 41. h4 ({или} 41. Reb2 Qa1 $1) 41... Qa3 $1 42. c6 ({на} 42. Rxb7 { также выручает} Qc1) 42... Qc1 $1 43. cxb7 Ra1 44. Kg3 Qh1 45. Bc5 h5 $1 46. g5 fxg5 47. hxg5 h4+ 48. Kf4 Rf1+ 49. Ke3 Bh5 {Диаграмма} 50. Rh6+ $1 gxh6 51. Qd7+ Kg8 52. Qxe8+ Bxe8 53. b8=Q Qg1+ {. Черные объявляют вечный шах. Красочная игра!}) 34. f5 Bf7 35. h4 Ra8 36. Rc2 a5 37. g5 Bh5 {Диаграмма} 38. g6+ $6 {Со последовательно осуществляет зажим, но в данный момент следовало отклониться от намеченного курса и перейти к решительным действиям.} ({Прямолинейное} 38. gxf6 $1 {проще всего решало исход борьбы. Например:} Rg8 39. b5 $1 Qxb5 40. Rb2 Qd7 41. Kh2 a4 42. Qd5 Ra7 43. Rg2 {.}) 38... Kh8 39. b5 $6 ({ А здесь к цели ведет} 39. e5 $1 {, хотя еще требуется точность.}) 39... Qxb5 40. Rb2 {Диаграмма} Qc6 $6 {Финальная оплошность.} ({Максимально затрудняло задачу белых} 40... Qd7 $1 41. Qd5 Qc6 $1 { , и все же они могут победить:} 42. Qd3 $1 Bg4 $5 ({ после} 42... Ra6 {белые проводят эффектный штурм королевской крепости:} 43. e5 $1 fxe5 44. Rxe5 Rxe5 45. Bxe5 Ra8 46. Qe3 $1 Kg8 47. Qb3+ Kh8 48. Bxg7+ $1 Kxg7 49. Qf7+ Kh8 50. Qh7#) 43. Rb6 Qd7 ({не помогает и} 43... Qa4 44. e5 Qf4 ({или } 44... Rad8 45. e6) 45. Rf1) 44. Rf1 $1 ({упускает выигрыш} 44. Qd5 $2 Bxf5 45. Rxb7 Qe6) 44... a4 45. Qd5 Ra7 46. Qf7 $1 {(решающее вторжение)} Rd8 47. Qxd7 Rxd7 48. c6 $1 Rxd6 49. c7 {.}) 41. Rb6 Qc8 42. Qd5 a4 43. Rxb7 Rg8 44. c6 {Угроза c6-c7 с последующим Rb8 неотразима.} 1-0 [Event "Altibox Norway Chess"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2018.06.05"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C83"] [WhiteElo "2789"] [BlackElo "2760"] [Annotator "Hess, R"] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "France"] [BlackTeam "India"] [WhiteTeamCountry "FRA"] [BlackTeamCountry "IND"] {In recent years, Viswanathan Anand has been counted out many times. His rating has dropped to 2760 and out of the world top 10, yet he won a World Rapid title. Even as he approaches 50 years old, no player can underestimate him, lest they fall victim to a game like this. Against MVL in Norway, Anand's play was practically perfect.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. c3 Be7 (9... Bc5 {was played by Anand over 20 (!) years ago in games against Kamsky and Polgar. A quick filter of top games in this line indicate it's an outdated option. Anand did defeat Sethuraman from the White side of this line at the 2017 Isle of Man tournament. }) 10. Nbd2 O-O 11. Re1 Nc5 12. Nd4 Nxd4 13. cxd4 Nd3 (13... Nxb3 {is a bad decision, since the bishop on b3 stares into a wall. White quickly prevents Black from playing ...c5, leaving him with a permanent weakness in the form of a backward pawn.} 14. Nxb3) 14. Re3 Nf4 {The knight's tour continues. Anand is not ceding control of the c-file that easily!} ({MVL had mainly looked at the following game, where Black seemed to have several opportunities to improve with ...c5 breaks:} 14... Nxc1 15. Rxc1 a5 16. f4 g6 17. a4 Rb8 18. Bc2 Qc8 19. Nb3 bxa4 20. Nxa5 c5 {Short,N (2656)-Tukhaev,A (2551) Kolkata 2018}) 15. Nf3 Bg4 16. h3 Bh5 17. Rc3 $146 (17. Bc2 Ne6 18. Bf5 c5 19. dxc5 Bxc5 20. Rd3 Qb6 21. Be3 Bxe3 22. Rxe3 d4 23. Re1 Rad8 {Ye,J (2545)-Norri,J (2400) Helsinki 1992 }) 17... Ne6 18. g4 (18. Be3 f5 {may look similar to a possibility in the game, but after} 19. exf6 Bxf6 20. g4 {Black has additional space for the bishop on the retreating diagonal.} Be8) 18... Bg6 19. Be3 {MVL's last few moves aim to prevent ...c5.} a5 (19... f5 20. exf6 Bxf6 21. Rac1 {remains a fight, but perhaps Black would prefer to have control of the c6 square with the bishop on e8.}) 20. Bc2 ({MVL didn't like} 20. Rac1 c5 21. dxc5 b4 22. R3c2 Bxc2 23. Rxc2 d4 24. Bxd4 a4 25. Bxe6 fxe6) 20... Bb4 21. Rb3 f5 22. exf6 (22. a3 Be7 23. Rxb5 fxg4 24. Bxg6 gxf3 {is extremely suspicious for White, whose king is exposed beyond repair.}) (22. Qb1 {is one of those weird moves hoping to pile up on the diagonal, but Black has tactical resources because of White's overextended kingside.} f4 (22... c5 23. gxf5 Bh5 {is extremely messy.}) 23. Bxg6 hxg6 24. Qxg6 (24. Bc1 c5) 24... Ra6 $1) 22... Bxc2 23. Qxc2 Qxf6 24. Ne5 c5 $1 {Anand has great foresight here; he could have kept material level and played for an attack on the kingside, but he holds nothing back.} (24... Rad8 25. Nc6 (25. Qf5 {leads to an ending where White has decent drawing chances, but it'd be a tough road ahead.}) 25... Rd6 26. Nxb4 axb4 {is bad for White. The knight on e6 absolutely dominates the big pawn on e3, and White's shaky kingside does him no favors.} 27. Rxb4) 25. Nd7 (25. a3 a4 26. Rxb4 (26. Rd3 cxd4 27. Nd7 Qg6 $1 28. Nxf8 Rxf8 {when the pin on the rook is devastating.} 29. axb4 dxe3 30. fxe3 Ng5) 26... cxb4 27. Nd7 Qf3 28. Nxf8 Rxf8 29. Qc6 Nf4 ( 29... Ng5 30. Bxg5 Qxf2+ {is no less than an immediate repetition, though Black can certainly play on with} 31. Kh1 Qxb2) 30. Bxf4 Rxf4 {is better for Black, though White can try to survive the endgame after} 31. Qe8+ Rf8 32. Qe6+ Kh8 33. Qe3 {where Black is much preferred in a number of continuations.}) 25... Qf7 (25... Qh4 26. Nxf8 Rxf8 27. dxc5 Qxh3 $6 (27... Rf3 28. Qd1 Rg3+ 29. fxg3 Qxg3+ {leads to a forced draw:} 30. Kf1 Qxh3+ 31. Kf2 (31. Ke2 $4 Qg2+ 32. Kd3 Nxc5+ 33. Bxc5 Qe4#) 31... Qh2+ 32. Kf3 Qh3+) 28. Qd1 {Anand}) 26. Nxf8 Rxf8 27. Qf5 $6 (27. a3 c4 (27... a4 28. Rxb4 cxb4) 28. axb4 cxb3 29. Qxb3 { "In hindsight this is what I should have done: look for equality." (MVL). He certainly has a point, but it's always an uphill battle.} (29. Qc6 a4 30. Qxd5 Nf4 {The outside passed pawn and permanent threat of a4-a3 is trouble for White.}) 29... Qf3 {keeps Anand in charge, despite the temporary pawn deficit.} ) 27... cxd4 28. Qxf7+ Rxf7 29. Rxb4 ({Both players missed} 29. a3 $1 Nc5 30. Rxb4 axb4 31. Bxd4 Nb3 32. Rd1 {with equality.}) (29. Bc1 Nc5 30. Rg3 Ne4) 29... axb4 30. Bd2 {"Somehow I thought this was fine for me but I forgot about b3 completely." (MVL)} b3 {After this, Anand's path to victory was pretty straightforward.} 31. axb3 Rf3 32. b4 (32. Ra3 Rxh3 33. b4 Rxa3 34. bxa3 { is a winning ending for Black, thanks to ideas with ...d3 as well as the outside h-pawn.}) 32... Rd3 33. Re1 Kf7 34. Bc1 Rxh3 35. Re5 Rd3 36. Kf1 Rd1+ 37. Re1 Rxe1+ 38. Kxe1 g6 39. f4 Nd8 40. g5 Ke6 0-1 [Event "Stavanger"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2018.06.07"] [Round "9.2"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2822"] [BlackElo "2778"] [Annotator "Hess, R"] [PlyCount "95"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "United States"] [BlackTeam "United States"] [WhiteTeamCountry "USA"] [BlackTeamCountry "USA"] [WhiteClock "1:37:15"] [BlackClock "1:23:37"] {Heading into the final round of the Altibox Norway Chess tournament, Fabiano Caruana was tied for first with Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, and Wesley So. As the only player with the White pieces, Caruana had to be the favorite. Nakamura had Black against Aronian, who dominates their head-to-head matchup. Carlsen's game against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was over almost as soon as it began. That left Caruana with the opportunity to press for a win against So, whom he defeated in the first round of the Candidates.} 1. e4 {By no means a surprise, but Caruana used the Catalan to dispatch So in Berlin.} e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. O-O Nd4 6. Nxd4 Bxd4 7. Ba4 (7. Nd2 a6 8. Ba4 b5 9. Bb3 d6 10. Nf3 Bb6 11. a4 Rb8 12. axb5 axb5 13. c3 O-O {Vachier Lagrave,M (2789) -Nakamura,H (2769) Stavanger 2018}) 7... c6 8. c3 Bb6 9. Na3 d6 10. Bc2 Be6 $146 (10... O-O 11. Nc4 Bc7 12. Bg5 d5 13. Ne3 dxe4 14. dxe4 h6 15. Bh4 Qxd1 16. Rfxd1 Be6 {Van Foreest,J (2609)-Leko,P (2679) Germany 2018}) (10... Bg4 { would be a useful move if it forced the queen to a bad square, but here it pushes the queen to e1, where after an eventual f-pawn move (following Kh1) she will move to g3 or h4.}) 11. Qe2 h6 12. Kh1 g5 {In addition to overlooking an immediate path to equality, So creates lasting weaknesses in his position.} ({Carlsen and MVL thought} 12... Ng4 {was very obvious and Black is at least fine. An important point is that} 13. f3 {is met by the decisive} (13. h3 Qh4) (13. g3 h5) 13... Nxh2 $1) 13. Nc4 Bc7 14. Ne3 d5 15. Re1 {"I just didn't see a move." (Caruana)} (15. a4 {Agdestein. This would give Caruana a head start on his queenside initiative. One major drawback is that the knight does not have the f1 square to retreat to, meaning} d4 {would force the knight to a square where it can be captured. Certainly not the end of the world, but limiting.}) 15... Qe7 16. a4 O-O-O 17. Rb1 d4 18. Nf1 Bb6 $6 {"A strange move. " (Caruana)} (18... Rdg8 {or}) (18... Rhg8 {and pushing the pawns made more sense, Caruana felt. Black is better.} 19. cxd4 exd4 20. b4 {"isn't real counterplay because b5 is met by c5." (Caruana)}) 19. Bd2 Bg4 (19... dxc3 20. bxc3 Ng4 21. Ne3 {Caruana} (21. h3 $5 h5 {keeps the initiative coming. The point is that capturing the knight leads to an open h-file and a blossoming attack.} (21... Nxf2+ 22. Kh2 {and Black must sacrifice some material for the attack [with Rxb6 being the threat, removing the guard of the knight on f2].})) ) 20. f3 Be6 21. Ng3 (21. c4 {is a plausible move, permanently eliminating the chance of opening the center. However, it becomes unclear how White unleashes an attack on the queenside, whereas Black is ready to start pressing on the kingside.}) 21... Rhg8 (21... Rdg8 22. a5 Bxa5 23. cxd4 Bxd2 24. Qxd2 exd4 25. Qa5 a6 26. Qe5 Qd8 27. Ne2 {Caruana}) ({Agdestein suggested} 21... h5 22. Bxg5 h4 23. Nf5 (23. Nf1 Rdg8) 23... Bxf5 24. exf5 dxc3 {with the idea} 25. bxc3 $2 (25. Qxe5 Qxe5 26. Rxe5 Nh5 27. Bxh4 {is good for White}) 25... Nh5 $1 { and Black wins.}) 22. b4 g4 $6 {Caruana thought this was a bad move.} ({ Caruana thought that} 22... h5 {was more correct.} 23. a5 Bc7 24. cxd4 exd4 25. b5 h4 26. Nf1 g4 (26... Nh5 27. bxc6 bxc6 28. Ba4) 27. f4 (27. bxc6 bxc6 28. Ba4 {allows Black to open the kingside. For example, the following is too crazy to calculate:} gxf3 29. Qxf3 Ng4 30. Bxc6 Ne5 31. Bb7+ Kd7)) 23. a5 dxc3 24. Bxc3 Bd4 25. Bxd4 Rxd4 26. b5 c5 27. Bb3 {A very important idea! Caruana intended to secure control of the c4 square, since Black can't afford to swap bishops with the f5 square a permanent outpost for the White knight.} h5 (27... gxf3 28. gxf3 {when the open g-file is blockaded and difficult to make use of for So.} (28. Qxf3 Ng4 {is looking worrisome for White.})) 28. Nf5 Bxf5 29. exf5 Re8 30. Rbc1 {Caruana had 5 minutes left on the clock here vs 20 minutes for So - without increment.} ({Caruana "kind of regretted" not including} 30. b6 a6 31. Rbc1 {with nagging pressure on c5, which can't be defended by a pawn. }) 30... gxf3 (30... b6 31. axb6 axb6 32. Qa2 {is trouble for Black, who has problems on the a-file and on the f7 square.}) ({Caruana said he would have played} 30... Kb8 31. b6 a6 ({can Black afford to allow White to capture on a7? It doesn't appear to be the end of the world. Meanwhile, Black is trying not to waste any tempi while gaining the momentum. A very double-edged position.} 31... gxf3)) 31. Qxf3 Red8 32. Bc4 ({Huge complications arise after } 32. a6 Rxd3 33. axb7+ (33. Qxb7+ Qxb7 34. axb7+ Kxb7 35. Bxf7 Kb6 {and Black's king is active - Caruana}) 33... Kb8 (33... Qxb7 34. Rxc5+ Kb8 35. Qxb7+ Kxb7 36. Bxf7) 34. Qc6 Ne4) 32... e4 33. dxe4 (33. a6 Ng4 {is pandemonium.}) 33... Qe5 (33... Rxe4 34. Be6+ $1 fxe6 35. Rxe4 Nxe4 36. Qxe4 { is good for White, since he has an attack and should go up a pawn.}) 34. Bxf7 Rd3 35. Qf2 R8d4 36. Bd5 Kd7 37. b6 $6 {"I was a bit confused and I panicked." (Caruana)} ({He saw} 37. h3 {but didn't like} Rd2 38. Qg1 (38. Qe3 R4d3)) ({ Caruana said he "didn't want to leave the back rank" but} 37. Rxc5 {was entirely possible:} Kd6 (37... Ng4 38. Qh4 Rh3 39. Be6+) 38. Rcc1 Ng4 39. Qh4) ({"If I wanna wait, why not just} 37. Bxb7 {" (Caruana)}) 37... axb6 38. axb6 Ng4 39. Qg1 (39. Qh4 Rh3 $3 40. Be6+ Ke8 41. Qxh3 Nf2+ 42. Kg1 Nxh3+ 43. gxh3 Rd2 {Caruana. Clearly he overlooked the Rh3 tricks!}) 39... Kd8 $6 ({The best chance was} 39... Rd2 40. Rf1 h4 41. Rxc5 (41. h3 R4d3 42. hxg4 h3) 41... Kd6 { "And now I can play} 42. f6 {and it just becomes a total mess." (Caruana)}) 40. h3 $4 (40. Bxb7 Rd2 41. Rf1 {still is great for Caruana.}) 40... Rxh3+ 41. gxh3 Rd3 $4 {Despite having reached move 40, So only used four seconds on this move. Caruana had also only considered this move when he played his 40th move.} ({ So could have forced a draw and a tiebreak on Friday with five players with} 41... Rd2 $1 42. hxg4 hxg4 43. Qg2 Qh8+ 44. Kg1 Rxg2+ 45. Kxg2 Qh3+ 46. Kf2 Qf3+ 47. Kg1 Qg3+ {with a draw.}) 42. Qg2 $1 {The only move, but the winning move.} Rg3 43. hxg4 Rxg2 44. Kxg2 h4 45. Kf3 Qg3+ 46. Ke2 h3 47. Rg1 Qh4 48. e5 1-0 [Event "FIDE Candidates"] [Site "Berlin"] [Date "2018.03.27"] [Round "14"] [White "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C43"] [WhiteElo "2767"] [BlackElo "2784"] [Annotator "Caruana,F"] [PlyCount "138"] [EventDate "2018.03.10"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "14"] [EventCountry "GER"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 184"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2018.05.16"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"] [SourceQuality "1"] {This was the climax of three weeks of chess, months of preparation and thirteen hard fought previous games. My tournament had its ups and downs, but thanks to a fortunate win the previous day, I entered the final round half a point ahead of my closest rivals, Mamedyarov and Karjakin. My tiebreaks were worse than both of theirs, so I wasn't sure a draw would be enough to win the event, but at the same time I didn't want to burn my bridges playing for a win. I also felt that Alexander would be eager for a fight.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 {Although this move isn't a usual part of Grischuk's opening repertoire, I wasn't entirely surprised. I realized that this variation, which leads to an unclear, playable and fluid game, might suit his style, so I was at least mentally prepared for this possibility.} Nxe4 4. dxe5 d5 5. Nbd2 Nxd2 ({ Interestingly, I was faced with this variation just two weeks later against Vitiugov. In that game I chose to play a new move:} 5... Qd7 $5 {, and in the end I won that game.}) 6. Bxd2 Be7 7. Bd3 {I was already not so familiar with this position, but my moves seemed easy to play, so I continued to play naturally.} ({All I could recall was seeing a game by Nepomniatchti recently, where he played a slightly more passive continuation:} 7. Be2) 7... c5 8. c3 Nc6 9. O-O Bg4 {This was already a big choice. It is very attractive to pin the knight, but I had to make sure I wouldn't run into a powerful e6 after my bishop retreats to h5.} (9... Be6 {was perhaps more circumspect, although then White can consider mixing it up with} 10. b4 $5) 10. Re1 Qd7 (10... O-O { would be less accurate. For example, White could consider posting a bishop on f5, which would be very annoying:} 11. h3 Bh5 12. Bf5 $5) 11. h3 Bh5 12. Bf4 { This came as a surprise, but it's probably an excellent move.} ({Now I'm well prepared for} 12. e6 $2 fxe6) (12. Qc2 Bxf3 13. Bf5 Qc7 14. gxf3 Nxe5 {also doesn't work out well for White.}) (12. b4 $5 {was the move I was mainly concerned with. The variations become very complex, but I felt that my position would be okay after} cxb4 13. cxb4 O-O 14. Qb1 (14. Qc2 $2 Bxf3 15. Bxh7+ Kh8 16. Bf5 Nd4 $1 {is a nice trick.}) (14. g4 Bg6 15. e6 $5 fxe6 16. Bxg6 hxg6 17. b5 Nd8 18. Ne5 Qe8 19. Qc2 {is an unusual and slightly concerning pawn sacrifice. Here I was mainly looking at moves like 19...Bh4, but strongest is} Bd6 $1 20. Nxg6 Rf6 {with an excellent position}) 14... Bxf3 15. Bxh7+ Kh8 16. Bf5 Qc7 17. gxf3 g6 $1 {A very important move.} (17... Nxe5 $2 18. Qd1 $1 {is surprisingly already busted for Black}) 18. Bc2 Nxe5 { , and the position is unclear, but no worse for Black.}) 12... Qe6 $1 {This move looks strange, but I came to it by the process of elimination. I need to prevent e6 once and for all, and although the queen is not a good blockader, there was no alternative.} ({My first instinct was to play} 12... Nd8 $2 { , but then I noticed a strong response:} 13. g4 Bg6 (13... Ne6 14. gxh5 Nxf4 15. e6 $1 Nxe6 16. Ne5 {is likewise very strong}) 14. e6 $1 Nxe6 15. Ne5 { , with a huge attack.}) (12... O-O 13. Qc2 Bg6 (13... Bxf3 14. Bxh7+ Kh8 15. Bf5 $1 Be4 16. Qxe4 {also doesn't work out for Black.}) 14. Bxg6 hxg6 15. Rad1 {felt like strong pressure for White, because d5 is a weakness and the possibility of e6 is always in the air.}) 13. a3 $6 {Far too slow. It was here that Grischuk started to drift with his play.} (13. Qc2 $2 Bxf3 14. Bf5 $2 Be4 {is an important trick, winning a piece.}) (13. Be2 {was the most challenging move. Here I saw two options:} O-O $5 {offers an exchange sacrifice, but White is not obligated to accept it.} (13... Bg6 {is playable, but White can perhaps hope for a slight edge after} 14. Bg3 O-O 15. Nh4 {getting the advantage of the bishop pair.}) 14. Nd4 (14. Qd2 {prepares Nd4, and would lead to a very messy situation after} Rfe8 15. Nd4 cxd4 16. Bxh5 dxc3 17. bxc3 d4) 14... Bxe2 15. Nxe6 Bxd1 16. Nxf8 Ba4 (16... Bc2 17. Nd7 Nd8 18. e6 Nxe6 19. Bd2 Rd8 { also offers decent compensation.}) 17. b3 (17. Nd7 $2 Nd8 {traps the knight}) 17... Bb5 18. a4 Bd3 19. Nd7 Rd8 20. e6 fxe6 21. Ne5 Nxe5 22. Bxe5 Bc2 { This position is likely to end in a draw.}) 13... O-O 14. b4 h6 {Covering g5, which will be useful in many lines in the future. Also making sure h7 no longer ever hangs.} ({I couldn't decide on whether to play h6 or} 14... b6 { , and probably both are fully playable.}) 15. Bg3 {White has many options, but in every case Black is comfortable.} (15. bxc5 Bxc5 16. Be2 Rad8 17. Nd4 Bxd4 18. cxd4 Bxe2 19. Rxe2 Rc8 {is at least equal, but I would even prefer Black's position slightly.}) 15... b6 16. Nd4 $6 {I felt during the game that this was a positional mistake, leading to a comfortable situation for Black.} ({A better move was} 16. Be2 Bg6 17. Nh4 Bxh4 18. Bxh4 d4 {, with a complex and roughly balanced position.}) 16... Bxd1 17. Nxe6 fxe6 18. Raxd1 c4 {It's important to play this before White goes for c4 himself. Now the pawn structure is very favorable for me: all of White's queenside pawns on the dark squares are vulnerable, and his bishop on g3 is extremely passive. The only plus for him is that whenever I open up the position, his light-squared bishop will become powerful.} 19. Bc2 (19. Bg6 b5 20. f4 Bd8 $1 {and next ...Ne7 kicks the bishop from g6.}) (19. Be2 a5 {is likewise unpleasant for White, and} 20. Bg4 Nd8 {is only temporarily inconvenient. Soon I'll play ...g6 and ...h5.} ) 19... b5 {Preparing ...a5 without allowing b5.} 20. a4 (20. f4 $6 a5 { would soon become critical for White, because ...axb4 and ...d4 would completely undermine his queenside.}) 20... a6 21. f3 $1 {A strong and necessary defense.} (21. f4 {, preparing f5, is most natural, but after} Rac8 $1 {Black prepares ...d4 and White will fall apart. For example} (21... d4 $2 22. Be4 {is clearly wrong.}) 22. axb5 axb5 23. f5 d4 $1 24. cxd4 Nxb4 {, with a winning position.}) 21... Bg5 $6 {Too academic. I needed to be more daring to keep the advantage.} ({Now} 21... Rac8 22. Bf2 {leads nowhere.}) (21... Nxb4 $1 {was the most testing move:} 22. cxb4 Bxb4 23. Re2 Be7 24. axb5 axb5 25. Rb1 b4 {, and White will have to defend accurately against the three passed pawns. I didn't really consider sacrificing, however, because the game continuation looked so attractive.}) 22. Bf2 $2 {This mistake is very serious, and seems to be the difference between a draw and a loss.} (22. h4 $1 Bf4 23. Bxf4 Rxf4 { I understand why Grischuk didn't want to give away his bishop pair, but White is already close to equal after} 24. Bg6 {For example,} Rc8 (24... Ne7 25. h5) 25. Kf2 d4 26. axb5 axb5 27. cxd4 Nxb4 28. Rb1 Nd5 29. Rxb5 Rxd4 30. Reb1 { , with a likely draw.}) 22... Bf4 23. Bc5 Rfd8 24. Bd6 Bg3 25. Re2 g5 {When I played 21...Bg5 I saw this position, and I was very happy to get it. White is almost completely paralyzed, due to the dominant bishop on g3. However, it is still difficult to make progress.} 26. Kf1 Kf7 27. Bc7 Re8 28. Bd6 Rac8 { A strange move. We were both low on time, so I was a bit unsure of what to do, but placing a rook on c8 is certainly not the way.} ({I should have started by placing my pawn on h4, which is useful in many variations down the road. Most concretely, often White will play Rxd5 and e6, and with the pawn on h4 the bishop will be defended.} 28... h5 $1 29. Ra1 h4 30. Bb1 Red8 {, and sooner or later White will slowly die.}) 29. Ra1 Red8 30. Bb1 {As usual, when time gets low, Grischuk continues to play very well.} Rd7 ({I could still place my pawn on h4 before deciding what to do next:} 30... h5 31. axb5 axb5 32. Ra6 h4 { and here} 33. Rb6 Rd7 34. Rxb5 Ra8 {is not something I should worry about.}) 31. Ra3 (31. axb5 axb5 32. Ra6 {was a better defense. I was planning} Ra7 { , but after} ({Perhaps} 32... h5 $5 {is again the best move.}) 33. Rxa7+ Nxa7 34. Ra2 Nc6 35. Ra6 {White's position becomes a bit easier to hold.}) 31... d4 {I was extremely happy to get this move in at an opportune moment. We were both short on time, but now the play becomes forced:} 32. axb5 axb5 33. cxd4 Nxd4 34. Rea2 Nc6 35. Be4 Bxe5 36. Bxc6 (36. Bc5 Kf6 {is also very bad for White.}) 36... Rxd6 37. Bxb5 {Black has a serious advantage, due to the strength of the passed c-pawn and the weakness of White's king. The weakened dark squares around White's kingside make a direct attack very likely in the future. The next few moves were played in heavy time trouble, which led to some poor decisions.} Rd1+ (37... c3 $1 {was strongest:} 38. Ba4 (38. Rc2 Rb8 39. Ra5 Kf6 {leaves White tied up, and likely to lose the b-pawn.}) 38... Rcd8 39. b5 Rd3 {and White is paralyzed and facing ideas of ...Bd6.}) 38. Ke2 Rg1 39. Ke3 Rb1 $2 ({Direct play was again best:} 39... c3 $1 40. Rc2 Rd8 {with a decisive edge. For example} 41. Ra7+ Kf6 42. Rd7 Rb8 43. Bd3 Rxb4 {with a position similar to the game.}) 40. Ra7+ $2 {The last move of the time control, and it is both an extremely natural and a poor one.} (40. Ra8 $1 Rxa8 41. Rxa8 Rxb4 42. Ba4 {This is difficult to decide on, since White condemns himself to a pawn down position where he will suffer for a very long time. However, trading rooks is absolutely necessary to keep any drawing chances alive.}) 40... Kf6 {And now I could finally get up from the table and check the other games. I was pleased to see Karjakin had already drawn, and Kramnik and Mamedyarov were playing a drawn ending. I felt very safe that a draw would be enough for tournament victory, but of course with a much better position, I continued to play.} 41. Bd7 Bf4+ 42. Ke2 (42. Kf2 Rd8 {is essentially the same as the game.} (42... c3 $2 {looks very beautiful, but misses the win after} 43. Re2 $1 (43. Bxc8 $2 Rb2+ {on the other hand, leads to a pawn promotion.}))) 42... Rd8 43. Rc2 ({At this moment, I think Alexander realized that} 43. R2a6 { runs into an exchange sac:} Rb2+ 44. Kf1 Rxd7 $1 45. Rxd7 c3 46. Rc6 c2 { and the pawn is unstoppable. Black will be a piece ahead.}) 43... Rxb4 (43... Rg1 $1 44. Kf2 Rd1 {is even stronger, and would be immediately winning, but I saw no reason to just take the pawn and win slowly.}) 44. Bc6 c3 {A pawn up, and still with a positional advantage. I knew I was completely winning, and around this point I saw Kramnik and Mamedyarov agree to a draw. A draw would have been enough for me, but I couldn't bring myself to offer it in such an overwhelming position.} 45. Rd7 Rc8 {Of course, no trade of rooks.} 46. Be4 h5 {I might as well place the pawn on h4 before deciding on what to do next. White has no ideas, so it was only a question of time until I broke through.} 47. Kd3 Rb2 48. Ke2 h4 49. Rd1 Ke5 50. Ra1 Rd8 51. Rd1 Rdb8 52. Ra1 Bd2 53. Ra6 Rd8 54. Rc6 Rb1 55. Kf2 Ra1 56. Rc4 Rd4 57. Rc8 Rb4 58. Ke2 Kf4 59. Kf2 Rbb1 60. Rf8+ Ke5 61. Bd3 Rb2 62. Ke2 Re1+ 63. Kf2 Rc1 64. Rxb2 cxb2 65. Rb8 Bc3 66. Be4 Bd4+ 67. Ke2 Kf4 68. Rb4 e5 69. Rb7 Kg3 {And after this, Grischuk resigned and I secured qualification to the 2018 World Championship match!} 0-1