[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
[Event "Gashimov Memorial 5th"]
[Site "Shamkir"]
[Date "2018.04.23"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B23"]
[WhiteElo "2843"]
[BlackElo "2744"]
[Annotator "Nielsen,PH"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2018.04.19"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AZE"]
[EventCategory "21"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{The tournament in general, but for Magnus especially had a very quiet start
with Topalov's win over Navara being the only deceisive game. The pairings
gave Magnus 3 Blacks vs. the Azeri players not leaving much scope for
creativity, however in round 5 things were about to change:} 1. e4 {
Quintiliano,R} c5 {Radek stays loyal to his compratiot inviting his favourite
Najdorf variation.} 2. Nc3 d6 {Najdorf players have to use this move order as
e.g.} (2... Nc6 {can be met by} 3. Nf3 $1 {intending 4.d4.}) 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4
{A nice and fitting touch, as this move order vs. the Sicilian was favoured by
Vugar Gashimov.} Nc6 5. Qd2 $5 {Magnus unleashes a rare and original concept,
completely novel at top level. During Wijk Aan Zee 2017 I received an email
from Greek IM Ioannis Simeonidis suggesting this setup as an interesting
anti-Najdorf concept and offered it to Magnus to test his concept! At first it
reminded me of Greek hubris. After all how likely is it that you can come up
with a meaningful and new setup at move 5 in one of the most tested openings
historically in chess? GM, Khenkin, the commentator at the event formulated it
with classic Soviet iron chess logic: "Chess-wisdom suggests only moving each
piece once in the opening, especially the queen, however the World Champion
seem to have his own rules". First sight however is deceptive: White has an
interesting concept in mind, and very similarly to Fischer-Random chess the
players now have to adapt to problems completely untested previously in
practice.} Nf6 {Logical and common-sense, but Ofitserian took a much more
concrete approach when facing Paravyan in the Russian Junior championship 4
days later harassing the white queen with} (5... g6 6. b3 Bh6 $5 {White
however did not budge and went} 7. f4 Nf6 8. Bb2 e5 {Quintiliano,R: '?!'} (8...
O-O $142 {Quintiliano,R} 9. O-O-O a5 10. Bb5 Qb6 $132) 9. g3 O-O 10. O-O-O {
and won a complex fight. This is what fascinates the most with Simeonidis
variation, that an oasis of creativity existed in territory believed to have
been long mapped out.}) 6. b3 e6 {On the same day in the Budapest Spring Open
but 3 hours later due to the time difference, Kotronias faced} (6... g6 {
but got an excellent position after} 7. Bb2 Bg7 8. O-O-O O-O 9. f3 Qa5 10. Kb1
Be6 11. Nge2 {As in the actual game it's noteworthy that the surprised player
acts with typical Sicilian moves, while in the game played 4 days later,
Ofitserian most likely influenced by the computer, tried a setup aimed
specifically at the possible defects of White's concept.}) 7. Bb2 a6 {Again
typical Sicilian style.} ({Quintiliano,R: 'Knowing how the game goes,'} 7... d5
$5 {intending ...Bb4 was a more concrete approach. Quintiliano,R: 'maybe is a
worthy try'} 8. exd5 {Quintiliano,R} exd5 9. O-O-O Be6 10. Nge2 Qa5 {The point
is that despite the isolated pawn, Black has open lines and more freedom to
develop the pieces} 11. Kb1 Bc5 12. Nf4 O-O-O $13) 8. O-O-O b5 9. f3 {The
position reminds one of a Rauzer, however the white bishop being on b2 and the
knight on g1 instead of d4! At first this sounds considerably more passive
from whites perspective, but the bishop on b2 not only attacks in the long
diagonal but also provides additional safety for the white king. While a
knight on d4 would just be exchanged now on g1 it can consider various routes
of attack.} h5 $6 {Preventing g4 makes perfect sense, but} (9... Be7 10. Kb1 {
is the obvious reply, but then after} (10. g4 Nxg4 $1 {is a nice trick as} 11.
fxg4 Bg5 {wins the white queen.}) 10... h5 {Black has a slightly improved
version of the game.} (10... O-O {Quintiliano,R} 11. g4 Bb7 {with typical and
double-edged Sicilian positions, despite there are some differences of normal
lines, the Bb2 being the most clear one, Black should have the usual
counterplay ideas.})) 10. Nh3 $1 {Till this move, the general concept was
mapped out in preparation, but here the World Champion demonstrates his level,
adopting to the specifics of the position excellently. The g5-square very
rarely being a relevant square for a white knight in the Scheveningen style
Sicilian is of no importance. Like in chess 960 what matters is adapting to
the new situation, and the combination of Black's last move weakening the
g5-square and White's knight being on g1 prompted this unusual approach.} Be7
11. Ng5 h4 $6 {Again logical and typical, however for this specific position
just not very relevant.} 12. f4 Bb7 13. Kb1 Rc8 14. Be2 $1 Qc7 15. Rhe1 $1 {
While White's two last moves might appear unimpressive, Be2 almost feeling
passive, looks are again deceptive. White quietly finishes his development in
essence claiming he can improve his position meaningfully before the eventual
confrontation, while Black cannot. Black's position is much worse than it
looks. Normally ...Nb4 and ...Qa5 would create counterplay, exchange
sacrifices on c3 being part of the equation, but with the white bishop being
on b2 such action by Black would be completely pointless, and ...Nb4 simply
being answered by a white a3. Especially the knight at c6 seems misplaced
blocking both the bishop on b7 and the rook on c8. The relevant question would
be, why did Black put it there? But who could resist free development
harassing the opponent's queen at move 4?} Nh7 16. Nxh7 Rxh7 17. g4 $6 {
At the press conference Magnus explained that he saw the indeed crushing 17.
Nd5! but thought his position so dominating that sacrifices were not even
neccesary.} (17. Nd5 $1 {Still the knight sacrifice was the best way, as after}
exd5 18. exd5 {Black's position is close to hopeless as giving back the piece
is positional bankruptcy, but} Nb8 {loses instantly to} 19. Bd3 $1 {with} Rh5
20. Rxe7+ $1 {being the principal tactical point.}) 17... hxg3 18. hxg3 Bf6 19.
Bd3 Rh8 20. g4 $6 {A strange coincidence. Magnus' only inaccuracy in the game
was g4; unfortunately it was possible to play twice! Unlike move 17 here
simplicity was in order, figthing for the open file with} (20. Rh1 $1 {would
have given an overwhelming edge.}) 20... Nd4 21. Re3 Kf8 22. Ne2 $1 Nxe2 23.
Rxe2 {Despite the exchanges of minor pieces, the difference in king safety
still gives White the much more pleasant position.} Bc3 $2 (23... Bxb2 24. Kxb2
Qc5 $1 {was Black's best chance to minimise the damage, but in time pressure
Radek finally goes astray.} (24... Rh4 $1 {Quintiliano,R} 25. g5 Qc5 {[%cal
Yc5d4]} 26. Kb1 (26. Rh2 Rxh2 27. Qxh2 Ke7 28. Kb1 Qe3 $132) 26... d5 $5 27.
exd5 Bxd5 28. Rh2 Rxh2 29. Qxh2 g6 $14 {despite White's position still looking
easier, Black is fighting well and has real chances to equalise.})) 24. Bxc3
Qxc3 25. Qe3 Rc5 {Allows a tactical blow, but after} (25... Qc5 26. Qg3 {
Black is passive without counterplay while f5 and g5 follow for White with an
overwhelming edge.}) 26. e5 $1 dxe5 27. fxe5 Rh1 28. Rxh1 Bxh1 29. Rh2 Rxe5 ({
If} 29... Bb7 {then} 30. Rh8+ Ke7 31. Qg5+ {mates.}) 30. Rh8+ $1 Ke7 31. Qa7+ {
And with 32.Rxh1 following next, Black being a piece down resigned. Magnus'
shift of pace not only lasted to the upcoming free day's soccer tournament
scoring all 6 six goals for the winning team, but also for the remainder of
the tournament with crucial wins over first the leader Topalov and then with
the black pieces against Anish Giri eventually securing overall victory.} 1-0
[Event "FIDE Candidates"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2018.03.24"]
[Round "12"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Ding, Liren"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D41"]
[WhiteElo "2809"]
[BlackElo "2769"]
[Annotator "Ding Liren"]
[PlyCount "86"]
[EventDate "2018.03.10"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "14"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{This game was played at the 12th round of the Candidates tournament. I had
just spoiled a winning position against Alexander Grischuk in the previous
round and scored my 11th continuous draw. So I didn't have much in the way of
expectations this time.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 c5 {I deviated
from 4...c6 which was played in the 4th round and went for a line which became
popular thanks to the influence of Vladimir Kramnik.} 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 Nxc3
7. bxc3 cxd4 8. cxd4 Bb4+ 9. Bd2 Bxd2+ 10. Qxd2 O-O 11. Bc4 Nd7 12. O-O b6 13.
Rad1 (13. a4 {is considered as the main line, but hard to get any advantage
also.}) 13... Bb7 14. Rfe1 Rc8 15. Bb3 Re8 {The idea behind this quiet rook
move is simple, to control the e-file in case of d4-d5.} (15... Nf6 $2 16. d5
exd5 17. exd5 Qd6 18. Nd4) 16. h3 (16. d5 $5 exd5 17. exd5 Nc5 18. d6 Bxf3 19.
Rxe8+ (19. gxf3 Qd7) 19... Qxe8 20. gxf3 Qd7 (20... Qc6 $5) 21. Re1 Ne6 22. f4
Rc5 $13) 16... Nf6 {Now ...Nf6 is possible.} 17. Qf4 (17. d5 exd5 18. exd5
Rxe1+ 19. Qxe1 Qd6 (19... Nxd5 $2 20. Qe5 Rc5 21. Ng5) 20. Nd4 g6 (20... Re8)
21. Nb5 Qc5 22. Nxa7 Re8 23. Qd2 Bxd5 24. Bxd5 Nxd5 25. Qxd5 Re1+ 26. Kh2 Rxd1
27. Qxd1 Qc7+ 28. g3 Qxa7 $11) 17... Nh5 {It's important to prevent the idea
d4-d5 followed by e4-e5.} (17... h6 $6 18. d5 exd5 19. e5 $1 Nd7 20. Nd4 Nc5
21. Nf5 Rc7 22. Nd6 Rf8 23. Qe3 $36) 18. Qh2 (18. Qe5 Nf6) 18... h6 {Until now
I'm still following in the footsteps of Kramnik. Here my opponent came up with
a new move over the board.} 19. Ne5 {White is threatening d4-d5 or Nc4 now.} (
19. d5 exd5 20. exd5 Rxe1+ 21. Nxe1 Qf6 22. Nd3 Ba6 $1 23. Qe5 Bxd3 24. Qxh5
$11 {So,W-Kramnik,V}) 19... Nf6 {The knight can do little at the edge of the
board, so after some thought I decide to bring it back.} 20. Qf4 b5 $1 {
Depriving his knight of the c4-square and at the same time threatening ...a5...
a4.} 21. Re3 (21. Nxf7 Kxf7 22. e5 a5 23. exf6 Qxf6 24. Qd6 Rc6 25. Qd7+ Qe7
26. Qxe7+ Kxe7 $11) 21... Rc7 {To prevent Rg3.} (21... a5 $5 22. Rg3 Kf8 $13)
22. Nd3 (22. Rg3 $2 Nh5) 22... Rc3 {I want to exchange a pair of rooks to
release the pressure on the kingside.} (22... a5 23. Nc5 a4 24. Bc2) 23. Nc5 ({
I was a bit worried about} 23. e5 Nd5 24. Bxd5 Bxd5 25. Rg3 {but after} Kf8 $1
{Black stands well.}) 23... Rxe3 24. Qxe3 (24. Nxb7 $2 Rxe4) (24. fxe3 Qe7 $11)
24... Bc6 $11 {Now with the knight on c5, I have to beware of the potential
e4-e5 followed by Ne4.} 25. Rc1 Qb6 26. f3 {With the text it's clear that
White will no longer play e5.} (26. e5 $5 Nd5 27. Qg3 Ne7 $1 {clears the way
for the bishop} 28. Qg4 Kh8 $13) 26... Rd8 {Improving my position slowly.} 27.
Kf2 a5 28. g4 (28. Nxe6 $5 {leads to a drawish ending} fxe6 29. Bxe6+ Kf8 30.
d5 Qxe3+ 31. Kxe3 Bd7 (31... Bxd5 32. Rd1 $14) 32. Bxd7 Nxd7 33. Rc7 Ke8 34.
Kd4 a4 35. Rb7 Rc8 36. Rxb5 Rc2 37. e5 Rd2+ 38. Ke3 Rxa2 39. e6 Rxg2 40. exd7+
Kxd7 $11) 28... a4 29. Bc2 $6 {A step in the wrong direction. e2 is the better
square for the bishop.} (29. Bd1 Nd7 30. Nd3 Bb7 (30... Nb8 31. Be2 Be8 32. d5)
31. Be2 Qd6 32. Kg2 $13) 29... Nd7 $1 30. Bd3 (30. Nd3 Bb7 31. Bb1 Rc8 $15)
30... Nxc5 31. Rxc5 b4 {After the exchange of knights, the pawns start pushing.
Also my opponent was in time trouble, he had around 15 minutes at that point,
while I had 40.} 32. Bc4 {It's understandable that my opponent doesn't want to
stay passive, but after the text I have many decisive plans to support the
pawns, for example ...Rb8, ...b3 or ...b3 followed by ...a3.} (32. h4 $142 Be8
33. Bb1 b3 34. axb3 axb3 35. Qc3 b2 36. e5 Rb8 37. h5 Kf8 $1 38. Rc7 Ba4 39.
Ke2 Ke8 40. Kd2 Bd7 $17) 32... Bd7 (32... Be8 {is also possible:} 33. d5 b3 34.
axb3 a3 35. dxe6 a2 36. exf7+ Bxf7 37. Bxf7+ Kh8 $1 38. Qc3 a1=Q 39. Qxa1 Qxc5+
40. Kg3 Qc7+ $19) 33. g5 (33. h4 {is also hopeless:} Rb8 34. g5 hxg5 35. Qxg5
b3 36. axb3 axb3 37. h5 Qd6 $1) 33... hxg5 34. Qxg5 Be8 $1 (34... Rb8 {is less
clear:} 35. Qe7 Be8 36. Qc7 b3 37. Qxb6 Rxb6 38. axb3 axb3 39. Bd3 b2 40. Bb1)
35. Qe7 b3 36. axb3 a3 {That's the point behind my 34th move. Maybe this idea
was missed by my opponent.} 37. b4 Ra8 38. d5 {A nice try, unluckily loses to
the most straight forward way.} (38. Ra5 Qxd4+ 39. Kg2 Rxa5 40. Qxe8+ Kh7 41.
bxa5 Qxc4 42. Qxf7 Qe2+ 43. Kg3 Qe1+ 44. Kg2 Qxa5 $19) (38. Ba2 Qxb4 $19) 38...
a2 39. dxe6 a1=Q 40. exf7+ Bxf7 41. Bxf7+ Kh7 {It's important that the c5-rook
gets pinned.} 42. Qh4+ Qh6 43. Rh5 Qa7+ {The only winning move, but it's
simple enough，so White resigned. Finally I scored a win after the long
drawing streak in classical time control (20 games...), I was relieved.} (43...
Qd4+ $4 44. Kg2 Qdd2+ 45. Qf2 $11) 0-1
[Event "Tata Steel-A 80th"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee"]
[Date "2018.01.15"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C42"]
[WhiteElo "2767"]
[BlackElo "2811"]
[Annotator "Szabo,Kr"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2018.01.13"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "13"]
[EventCountry "NED"]
[EventCategory "20"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 183"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.03.14"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.03.14"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. c4
c6 9. Qc2 Na6 10. a3 Bg4 11. Ne5 Bf5 12. b4 Nc7 $146 {A novelty by Caruana.} (
12... f6 13. Nf3 Bg6 14. Nc3 (14. c5 $5) 14... Nxc3 15. Bxg6 hxg6 16. Qxc3 $11
{Leko-Ivanchuk, Monte Carlo blind rapid 2006, with a balanced position.}) 13.
f3 Bg6 {A nice solution to the pin.} 14. c5 (14. fxe4 $2 {does not work, as
there is} Bxe5 15. dxe5 dxe4 $17 {followed by ...Qd4.}) ({In the event of} 14.
Nxg6 fxg6 15. fxe4 dxe4 16. Rxf8+ (16. Bxe4 $2 {loses immediately, as} Bxh2+ $1
17. Kxh2 Rxf1 $19 {and Black is winning,}) ({or} 16. Be2 $2 Qh4 17. g3 (17. h3
Qg3 $19 {followed by ...Qh2 mate.}) 17... Bxg3 $1 18. hxg3 Qxg3+ 19. Kh1 Rxf1+
20. Bxf1 Qe1 $1 21. Kg1 Rf8 $19 {with a decisive attack.}) 16... Bxf8 $132 {
with a complicated position.}) 14... Bxe5 15. dxe5 Ng5 ({Still} 15... a5 $5 {
was also possible,} 16. Bb2 (16. fxe4 $2 {is bad again} dxe4 $17 {and Black is
better.}) 16... Ng5 {is transposing to the text move.}) 16. Bb2 d4 $2 {A
mistake, which allows White's subsequent attack on the kingside.} (16... Nge6
17. f4 Bxd3 18. Qxd3 {transposes to 16...Bxd3.}) (16... Bxd3 17. Qxd3 Nge6 18.
f4 g6 19. f5 gxf5 20. Rxf5 Qh4 21. Nd2 a5 22. Raf1 {and White's position looks
more tempting, however the engine isn't afraid of anything.}) ({Or even} 16...
a5 17. f4 Bxd3 18. Qxd3 Ne4 {was also possible and Black is not worse.}) 17. f4
$1 {White immediately starts his kingside play.} Nd5 {The only move, but White
is better here too.} 18. fxg5 Ne3 19. Qd2 Bxd3 20. Qxd3 Nxf1 21. Kxf1 Qxg5 22.
Nd2 $1 {White continues the development, doesn't think about the material.}
Qxe5 {Black gets some pawns, but the two pieces are stronger, than the rook.}
23. Nf3 ({The engine suggest} 23. Nc4 $1 {, but the human move is 23.Nf3 to
protect the h2-pawn.} Qxh2 24. Qxd4 f6 25. Nd6 $16 {and finally White has a
clear advantage.}) 23... Qh5 24. Qxd4 f6 25. Qc4+ Kh8 26. Bc1 $1 {After 24...
f6 the bishop is already useless on the a1-h8 diagonal. He prepares for Bf4-d6.
} Rfe8 27. Bf4 a5 28. Bd6 axb4 29. Qxb4 Qd5 (29... Qf7 {was more solid, however
} 30. Kf2 Ra7 31. a4 $16 {is also unpleasant for Black.}) 30. Qxb7 h6 (30...
Qd3+ $1 {was a better chance to win the a3-pawn,} 31. Kg1 Rxa3 32. Rxa3 Qxa3
33. h3 $1 {A great cool-blooded reply!} ({The greedy} 33. Qxc6 $2 {could have
been met by} Qc1+ 34. Kf2 Qc2+ $1 35. Kg3 Qg6+ $11 {with perpetual checks.})
33... Qe3+ 34. Kh2 Qe4 35. Qd7 Ra8 {and White should be better, but it is
still not clear how the knight can attack the c6-pawn.}) 31. Kg1 $1 {Now White
keeps the a3-pawn.} Ra4 32. h3 Rc4 33. Qb2 Qd3 34. Ra2 $1 {A nice reaction to
protect the 2nd rank.} Qd1+ 35. Kh2 Rc1 36. a4 {Black doesn't have any threat
on the first rank.} f5 (36... Qh1+ 37. Kg3 $18 {and the white king is safe.})
37. Qb7 f4 38. Bxf4 Rxc5 39. Rd2 Qxa4 40. Qf7 Rg8 41. Be5 Qc4 42. Rd6 $1 {
A smart finish to the game!} (42. Rd6 $1 Qc1 (42... Qxf7 43. Rxh6#) 43. Rd8 $1
$18 {and mate on g7!}) 1-0
[Event "FIDE Candidates"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2018.03.10"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Ding, Liren"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A18"]
[WhiteElo "2794"]
[BlackElo "2769"]
[Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"]
[PlyCount "43"]
[EventDate "2018.03.10"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "14"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[EventCategory "22"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. e4 $1 {This is a good move order if your opponent
usually plays setups with ...Nf6 and ...e6. We now enter positions that don't
have a particular pattern, but are very independent from typical openings} d5
4. e5 (4. cxd5 $5 {is a different approach} exd5 5. e5 Ne4 6. Nf3 Be7 $5 {
the pawn sacrifice is interesting} (6... Bf5 7. Be2 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Qb3 Nc6
10. Nxd5 Bc5 11. Ne3 $1 $16 {1-0 (41) Matlakov,M (2714)-Santos Latasa,J (2567)
Minsk 2017}) 7. Qa4+ (7. Nxe4 dxe4 8. Qa4+ Nc6 9. Qxe4 Be6 $44) 7... Bd7 8. Qb3
Nc5 9. Qc2 Bg4 10. d4 Ne6 11. Be3 Bxf3 12. gxf3 c5 $1 $132 {1-0 (73)
Kryvoruchko,Y (2703)-Debashis,D (2518) Dubai 2018}) 4... d4 5. exf6 dxc3 6.
bxc3 Qxf6 {A lot has been investigated in this line recently} 7. d4 b6 (7... e5
$5 {is a concrete approach, tried by Aronian himself in 2014 against Grischuk.
This move is fine, but Black has to be precise.} 8. Nf3 Nc6 9. Bg5 Qg6 10. d5
Nb8 11. h4 h6 $1 {Karjakin didn't have problems against Anand with this move.}
(11... Nd7 $6 12. Bd3 e4 13. h5 Qf5 14. Rh4 $3 {and suddenly the black queen
is lost.} exd3 15. Rf4 $18 {1-0 (40) Grischuk,A (2792)-Aronian,L (2815)
Stavanger 2014}) 12. h5 Qa6 $1 $146 13. Be3 Nd7 14. Bd3 Ba3 15. O-O Qd6 16. Nh4
O-O {Black wants to achieve a strategically better position with ...Nf6 and ...
Bc5} 17. Nf5 Qf6 18. Ng3 Qh4 {and a repetition of moves was agreed:} 19. Nf5
Qf6 20. Ng3 Qh4 {½-½ (20) Anand,V (2782)-Karjakin,S (2760) London 2017}) 8.
h4 $5 $146 {As expected, Aronian starts to show aggression right from the
first round in the Candidates tournament. He will play Bg5 like in the line
with 8.Nf3, but in some cases here he may play Rh3 and the knight may go to e2
as well.} (8. Nf3 Bb7 9. Be2 Bd6 10. Qc2 $6 {makes Black's life easy.} Qg6 $1
11. Qxg6 hxg6 12. h3 Nd7 $11 {½-½ (45) Mager,D (2283)-Gustafsson,J (2640)
Germany 2018, with a comfortable endgame.}) 8... Bb7 9. Bg5 Qf5 10. Bd3 Qa5 11.
Kf1 $1 {A smart way to defend the g2-pawn and to run away from ...Qxc3+. The
position becomes very original after the last few moves, and it is not easy to
find a clear and safe plan for Black, he has so many development possibilities,
that it is hard to choose. I would say White's opening experiment is going
well so far.} Nc6 (11... Bd6 $5 {preparing ...Nd7 and ...0-0 was possible.})
12. Rb1 (12. Rh3 $5 f6 13. Bd2 O-O-O 14. a4 $1 {similar to the game, the queen
feels somewhat weird on a5. A sample line would be:} e5 15. c5 {[%csl Ra5]}
bxc5 16. d5 Ba6 (16... Rxd5 $4 17. c4 $18) 17. Rb1 $1 Bxd3+ 18. Rxd3 Qa6 19.
Qg4+ Rd7 20. Rb5) 12... f6 13. Bd2 O-O-O (13... Qa3 $5 {avoiding a4 was
interesting} 14. Qh5+ g6 15. Bxg6+ hxg6 16. Qxh8 Qxa2 17. Rd1 Qc2 $1 $44 {
with decent compensation for Black.}) 14. a4 $1 {Trying to make the black
queen look uncomfortable there on a5.} e5 15. c5 (15. Rh3 $5 exd4 16. cxd4 Bb4
{was Aronian's suggestion for Black after the game on the 15.Rh3 line. White
has an interesting sequence now:} 17. d5 Bxd2 18. Rb5 $1 Qa6 19. dxc6 Bxc6 20.
Qxd2 Qxa4 21. Rb1 Qxc4 22. Ne2 {and the position remains complex} (22. Bxc4 $6
Rxd2 {is just fine for Black})) 15... Bxc5 16. Rb5 Qa6 17. Rh3 Bxd4 $1 18. Be2
(18. cxd4 $2 Rxd4 19. Ne2 Qxa4 $17 {and Black has four pawns for the piece,
and can play this position for a win.}) 18... Rd6 $6 (18... Ba8 $1 {giving b7
for the queen - a very original move} 19. Nf3 (19. Rb2 Qb7 20. cxd4 Nxd4 $132)
(19. cxd4 Nxd4 20. Rb2 Nxe2 $132) 19... Qb7 20. cxd4 Nxd4 21. Rb2 {In any case,
I feel that Black's position is great after he takes on e2 and plays with the
opposite-coloured bishops.} Nxe2 $132) 19. Rb1 (19. Rb2 $1 {is the computer
suggestion, with advantage for White. During the press conference, Aronian
said he wasn't sure how to evaluate the position after Black's 21st move:} Qa5
20. cxd4 Qd5 21. dxe5 Nxe5 22. Nf3 $16 {Black has many interesting moves here,
like ...Re8 or ...Nd3.}) 19... Qa5 20. Rb5 Qa6 (20... Bxc3 {runs into a pretty
move (that both players mentioned in the press conference)} 21. Rd3 $1 Rxd3 22.
Bxd3 Ba6 23. Bxc3 Qxc3 24. Ne2 Qa3 25. Rb3 Qxa4 26. Bf5+ Kb8 27. Rxb6+ cxb6 28.
Qxa4 Bxe2+ 29. Kg1 $16) 21. Rb1 Qa5 22. Rb5 1/2-1/2
[Event "46th GM 2018"]
[Site "Dortmund GER"]
[Date "2018.07.14"]
[Round "1.4"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C42"]
[WhiteElo "2757"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "120"]
[EventDate "2018.07.14"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Bf5 {A Chinese
specialty. This line has been played by aces like Wei Yi, Li Chao and Ni Hua.
The reigning women's world champion Ju Wenjun has also used the line.} 7. O-O
Be7 8. Re1 O-O 9. Nc3 {Not the main line, but Nepomniachtchi had already
played it before.} ({The main continuation is} 9. c4 {and after} Nc6 10. cxd5
Qxd5 11. Nc3 {here a couple of examples of the modern practice:} Nxc3 12. bxc3
Rae8 13. Bf4 Bxd3 ({or} 13... Bd8 14. c4 Qd7 15. Bxf5 Qxf5 16. Qd2 Na5 17. Rec1
$5 {as in Anand,V (2776)-Li,C (2728) Sochi 2017}) 14. Qxd3 Bd6 {with slight
advantage for White in Anand,V (2767)-Wei,Y (2743) Wijk aan Zee 2018}) ({
The second main option is} 9. Nbd2 {which avoids the doubling of the pawns.
However, this move allows the retreat} Nd6 {when Black is happy to trade his
less active bishop for the strong counterpart on d3. After} 10. Nf1 Bxd3 11.
Qxd3 c6 {the position is approximately equal, Salem,A (2642)-Yu,Y (2760) chess.
com INT 2018}) 9... Nxc3 10. bxc3 Bxd3 11. Qxd3 Nc6 ({The aforementioned game
of Nepomniachtchi saw} 11... Nd7 12. Rb1 ({but White can try} 12. c4 $5) ({or}
12. a4 $5) 12... Nb6 13. Qf5 Re8 14. Bg5 f6 15. Bf4 Bd6 16. Rxe8+ Qxe8 17. Bxd6
cxd6 18. Qf4 {1/2-1/2 (18) Nepomniachtchi,I (2751)-Jobava,B (2687) Tbilisi 2017
}) 12. Re2 a6 13. Bf4 (13. c4 dxc4 14. Qxc4 Qd6) 13... Qd7 ({It looks logical
to proceed with} 13... b5 {to block the doubled pawn comletely after Nc6-a5-c4,
but Black is not prepared for this and} 14. a4 Rb8 15. axb5 axb5 16. Ra6 {
will give White the initiative.}) 14. Rae1 Rfe8 15. h4 $146 {A novelty. White
wants to use the control of the open file to create kingside threats.} ({
This improves on} 15. g3 h6 16. h4 Bd6 17. Bxd6 Rxe2 18. Rxe2 Qxd6 {with
equality, Malinovsky,K (2396)-Brecka,I (2323) Czechia 2013}) 15... h6 {This
stops Nf3-g5 for good.} ({The obvious} 15... Bd6 {to swap off the rooks would
be met with} 16. Ng5 g6 17. Bxd6 Rxe2 ({Or} 17... cxd6 18. h5) 18. Qxe2 Qxd6
19. h5 {with initiative on the kingside.}) 16. Qe3 {As a result, White took
control of the open e-file. The question is if he will manage to convert it
into something tangible.} b5 ({The rooks are definitely better than the queen
after} 16... Ba3 17. Qxe8+ Rxe8 18. Rxe8+ Kh7) 17. h5 {Intending Nf3-h2,
followed by Qe3-g3 with a double attack against both the h6 and c7 pawns.} Rac8
$1 {Giri anticipates White's plans.} 18. Nh2 b4 ({White still has all the play
after} 18... Bf8 19. Qxe8 Rxe8 20. Rxe8 Nd8 21. Bg3 $1 ({This is even better
than the immediate gain of a pawn after} 21. R1e7 Qxe7 22. Rxe7 Bxe7 23. Bxc7
Ne6)) 19. Qg3 {First round, very solid opponent, risk-free position...
Nepomnichtchi plays safe.} ({More enterprising would have been} 19. Bxh6 $5
gxh6 20. Qxh6 Bf8 21. Qg5+ Kh8 22. Ng4 {with full compensation for the piece.
Apparently both players believed that} Rxe2 23. Rxe2 f6 $1 24. Nxf6 Qg7 25. Qf5
Ne7 26. Qe5 Ng8 {should be good enough for Black to hold.}) 19... Bd6 20. Ng4
$1 {Setting up a trap.} (20. Rxe8+ {is innocuous after} Rxe8 21. Rxe8+ Qxe8 22.
Bxd6 cxd6 23. Qxd6 Qe1+ 24. Nf1 Qxc3) 20... Kh8 {Rejected!} ({Instead} 20...
Bxf4 $4 {would have lost to} 21. Nf6+ $1 Kh8 22. Qxf4 gxf6 23. Qxh6+ Kg8 24.
Re3 $1 Rxe3 25. Rxe3) 21. Rxe8+ {Perhaps White cashed out his advantage a tad
too soon.} ({There was an argument for} 21. Bxd6 {with the main idea} cxd6 ({
Better is} 21... Rxe2 22. Rxe2 cxd6 23. Qf4 {although Black still needs to be
careful. For instance} bxc3 $2 {allows once again} ({Stronger would be} 23...
Kh7 $1 {although White retains the initiative after} 24. Ne3) 24. Nxh6 $1) 22.
Ne3 $1) 21... Rxe8 22. Rxe8+ Qxe8 23. Bxd6 cxd6 24. Qxd6 Qe1+ 25. Kh2 Qe6 $1 {
A key defensive idea which Giri obviously planned in advance.} ({This time}
25... Qxc3 $2 {would have put Black in an awkward situation after} 26. Qf8+ Kh7
27. Qxf7 Qxd4 28. f4 {as the black king is too loose.}) 26. Qf8+ (26. Qxe6 fxe6
27. cxb4 Nxb4 {is equal.}) 26... Kh7 27. Ne3 bxc3 28. Qc5 {The end of the
forcing line leaves some advantage for White, but reduced the material, which
brings Black closer to the draw.} Qf6 29. Qxc3 ({The other way of playing it
was} 29. Qxd5 Nxd4 30. Kg1 Ne2+ 31. Kf1 Nf4 32. Qe4+ Kg8 33. g4) 29... Qxf2 30.
Qxc6 Qf4+ $1 {Another important intermediate check.} ({Giri is correctly
avoiding} 30... Qxe3 31. Qxd5 Qf2 32. Qe4+ f5 (32... Kg8 33. d5) 33. Qe5 {
with good winning chances for White.}) 31. g3 {The only way to keep the play
going.} ({As} 31. Kh1 Qxe3 32. Qxd5 Qe1+ {is perpetual check.}) 31... Qxe3 32.
Qxd5 Qf2+ 33. Kh3 ({Or} 33. Qg2 Qxd4) 33... Qxc2 {Good enough for the point to
be split, but some practical problems remain.} ({Even better was} 33... f5 {
to limit the white king. There is no way to avoid the draw, for example:} 34.
c4 Qf1+ 35. Kh4 Qf2 36. Kh3 Qf1+ 37. Qg2 Qd1 $1) 34. Qxf7 Qc8+ 35. Kg2 Qc2+ 36.
Qf2 Qe4+ 37. Kg1 {White retained an extra pawn, but the centralized black
queen saves him.} a5 {Intending to push that pawn all the way to a3.} 38. a4
Kg8 39. Qa2+ Kf8 40. Qc4 Qg4 {The time control move made Black's task more
difficult.} ({Better was} 40... Qe3+ 41. Kg2 Qe4+ 42. Kf2 Qf5+ 43. Ke3 Qxh5 {
when the draw is close.}) 41. Qc5+ Kg8 42. Qd5+ Kh7 43. Kf2 Qd1 44. Qe4+ Kg8
45. Qe6+ ({It is too early for} 45. d5 Qxh5 46. Ke3 Qg5+ 47. Kd4 Qxg3 48. Kc5
Qc7+ {and Black survives.}) 45... Kh7 46. d5 Qxa4 $2 {The tough grinding
brings fruits.} ({A couple of more intermediate checks were required to save
the game:} 46... Qd2+ $1 47. Kf3 Qd1+ 48. Ke4 Qxa4+ 49. Ke5 Qa1+ 50. Kd6 {
The white king is there to help the passer, but Black now has one on his own-}
a4 {and it should be a draw.}) 47. d6 Qc2+ 48. Kf3 $2 {Inexplicable!
Nepomniachtchi gives away the fruits that he patiently planted.} ({White would
have won with} 48. Ke3 $1 Qc3+ ({There is no time to advance the pawn} 48... a4
49. Qg6+ $1 Qxg6 50. hxg6+ Kxg6 51. d7) 49. Ke4 Qe1+ ({Or} 49... Qc6+ 50. Qd5
Qa4+ 51. Ke5 {and White should win.}) ({If} 49... Qc2+ 50. Kd4 $1 {would be
good.} ({But not} 50. Kd5 Qb3+ $1 {when the white king is sticking to his
queen and can't let it go.}) 50... Qd2+ 51. Kc5) 50. Kd5 Qd2+ 51. Kc6 Qc2+ 52.
Kd7 {The white king is save and his pawn is faster. For a move, but one move
means the world in chess-} a4 53. Qg6+ Qxg6 54. hxg6+ Kxg6 55. Ke6 a3 56. d7 a2
57. d8=Q a1=Q 58. Qd3+ Kh5 59. Qf3+ Kg6 60. Qf5#) 48... Qd3+ {The white king
can no longer help the passer and it all ends peacefully.} 49. Kg2 ({Since} 49.
Kf4 Qf1+ (49... Qd2+ {would also do.}) 50. Ke5 Qe2+ 51. Kd5 Qa2+ {forces
perpetual.}) 49... Qc2+ 50. Kh3 Qc6 51. Qf5+ Kg8 52. d7 Qd6 53. Kh2 a4 54. Qg4
Kf7 55. Qxa4 Ke7 {Well calculated till the draw endgame.} ({The computer does
not want to give up the pawn and suggests instead:} 55... Qd2+ 56. Kh3 Qd5) 56.
Qe4+ Kxd7 57. Qg4+ Ke8 58. Qxg7 Qd2+ 59. Kh3 Qd7+ 60. Qg4 ({The pawn endgame
after} 60. Qxd7+ Kxd7 61. Kg4 Ke6 62. Kf4 Kf6 63. g4 Ke6 64. Ke4 Kf6 {is a
textbook draw.}) 60... Kd8 1/2-1/2
[Event "46th GM 2018"]
[Site "Dortmund GER"]
[Date "2018.07.15"]
[Round "2.4"]
[White "Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter"]
[Black "Duda, Jan-Krzysztof"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B52"]
[WhiteElo "2672"]
[BlackElo "2737"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "70"]
[EventDate "2018.07.14"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ {According to my Megabase, this is the first time
that Nisipeanu uses the Moscow line.} Bd7 {The most solid choice.} ({Perhaps
Nisipeanu spent the major part of his preparation on} 3... Nd7 {which is what
the Polish GM used in his latest games.}) 4. Bxd7+ Qxd7 5. O-O Nf6 6. Re1 ({
Duda faced previously} 6. Qe2 Nc6 7. c3 e6 8. d4 cxd4 9. cxd4 d5 10. e5 Ne4 11.
Be3 Be7 12. Ne1 f6 13. f3 Ng5 14. Nd3 Nf7 15. f4 O-O 16. Nd2 Rac8 {Zawadzka,J
(2391)-Duda,J (2539) Lublin 2013}) 6... Nc6 7. c3 e6 8. d4 cxd4 9. cxd4 d5 {
Getting into a French type of position but without the potentially bad bishop
on c8. White, on his turn,is enjoying extra space.} 10. e5 Ng8 ({The knight
can be posted more actively as well:} 10... Ne4 11. Nbd2 Nxd2 12. Bxd2 Be7 13.
Rc1 O-O 14. Rc3 Rfc8 15. h4 Bd8 {as in the recent game Nakamura,H (2769)
-Grischuk,A (2766) Paris 2018}) 11. a3 Nge7 12. Nc3 h5 {An important move
which secures control on some valuable outposts.} (12... Nf5 13. g4 $5) 13. Bg5
Nf5 14. Rc1 {Occupying the open file and thus producing a novelty.} Be7 {
Equalizing in full.} 15. Bxe7 Qxe7 16. Qd3 {With the threat Nc3xd5.} ({The
other idea was} 16. Ne2 O-O-O 17. b4 Kb8 18. Qd2 Qd7 19. b5 Nce7 {when Black
is also OK.}) 16... O-O-O {The king is relatively safe on the queenside. At
the same time Black is ready to push his g-pawn asap.} (16... O-O {allows the
trick} 17. Nxd5) ({Whereas} 16... g6 17. b4 {is playable but does not offer
too many prospects to Black.} O-O 18. Ne2 Rac8 {with approximate equality in
Lagerman,R (2354) -Gunnarsson,J (2437) Reykjavik 2008}) 17. Na4 Kb8 18. Nc5 ({
It was not too late for} 18. b4 $1 {with the idea to meet} g5 {with} (18... Rc8
{is equal. and now either} 19. b5 ({or} 19. Nc5 g5 20. b5 Na5 21. Nd2) 19...
Na5 {In both cases White chases away one of the black knights from the center
and the game will remain balanced.}) 19. b5 Na5 20. b6 a6 21. Rc7 Rd7 22. Rec1
Nc4 23. Nc5 $1 {with advantage for White. For example:} Rxc7 24. bxc7+ Kxc7 (
24... Qxc7 25. Rb1) 25. Nd2 Nxd2 (25... b5 26. Nxa6+) 26. Qxd2 Kb8 27. Rb1)
18... g5 19. Rc3 {Nisipeanu must have miscalculated somewhere.} ({This was the
last moment to go for} 19. b4 g4 20. b5 Na5 ({There is no} 20... gxf3 $2 21.
bxc6 b6 (21... bxc6 22. Rb1+ Ka8 23. Rb7) 22. c7+ $1) 21. Nd2 {Black is good,
but White has not much to complain of neither.}) 19... g4 {Snatching the most
important central pawn.} 20. Nd2 Ncxd4 21. Rec1 Rc8 (21... h4 22. Ndb3 Nxb3 23.
Nxb3 Rc8 {was also possible.}) 22. Nf1 Rc6 ({On} 22... h4 23. Ne3) 23. Ng3 Ka8
$1 ({Avoiding any discovered attack tricks like} 23... Rhc8 24. Nxf5 Nxf5 25.
Na6+) 24. Nxf5 Nxf5 25. b4 ({More stubborn was} 25. Nb3 Rxc3 26. Qxc3 {at
least holding the open c-file in control.}) 25... Rhc8 26. a4 b6 27. Nb3 Rxc3 {
Simple play. Duda will either win the open file or trade all the major pieces,
which is equally good for him.} 28. Rxc3 Rxc3 29. Qxc3 Kb7 30. a5 ({The most
resilient} 30. b5 Qc7 31. Qxc7+ Kxc7 32. Kf1 Kd7 {should also lose slowly for
White.}) 30... Qd7 $1 ({Avoiding even the slightest glimpse of hope after}
30... Qc7 31. a6+ Kb8 32. Qxc7+ Kxc7 33. b5 {when the black queenside pawns
are vulnerable.}) 31. Nd4 Nxd4 32. Qxd4 {Either the queens will be traded after
} Qc7 33. g3 Qc1+ 34. Kg2 Qc4 {or the Black pawns will come into motion in
case of} 35. Qb2 d4 0-1
[Event "46. Sparkassen Chess-Meeting 2018"]
[Site "Dortmund"]
[Date "2018.07.14"]
[Round "1.3"]
[White "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Black "Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2792"]
[BlackElo "2672"]
[Annotator "KGBesenthal"]
[PlyCount "92"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. e3 Bf5 7. Qf3 Bg6 8.
Bxf6 Qxf6 9. Qxf6 gxf6 {Despite a miniscule advantage here with a slightly
better structure, Kramnik was still willing to work.} 10. Nf3 Nd7 11. Nh4 Be7
12. Ne2 f5 13. g3 Bxh4 14. gxh4 {but there's not much to work with.} Nf6 15. f3
Ke7 16. Rg1 Nh5 17. Kf2 Rae8 18. b4 f4 {With a pawn sacrifice Black opens his
light-squared bishop.} 19. Nxf4 Nxf4 20. exf4 Kf6 {This looks good - Black
finds a strong square for his king. The black king is not vulnerable and
covers the possible invasion squares of e7 and g7 perfectly. With the king
close to the centre, White must also watch out for possibilities for it to
advance further if he's not careful.} 21. a4 Bf5 22. Ra2 Re7 23. Re2 Rxe2+ 24.
Bxe2 a6 25. Ke3 h6 {Taking the g5 square away from the white rook.} 26. Kd2 Ra8
27. a5 Re8 28. h5 Rc8 29. Ke3 Re8+ 30. Kf2 Rc8 31. Ke1 Re8 32. Kd2 Rc8 33. Bd3
Bxd3 34. Kxd3 Re8 35. h4 Rc8 36. Ke3 Re8+ 37. Kf2 Rc8 38. Re1 Ra8 39. Re5 Rb8 {
Black threatens to break with b7-b6. The white rook must return to stand guard
and be ready to counterattack the weakened black pawns in that case.} 40. Re3
Ra8 (40... b6 $2 41. Rc3) 41. f5 Rc8 (41... Kxf5 $2 42. Re7) 42. Re1 Rd8 43.
Kg3 Rc8 44. Kf2 Rd8 45. Kg3 Rc8 46. Kf2 Rd8 {Unfortunately, nothing works.
Every way is blocked.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "46. Sparkassen Chess-Meeting 2018"]
[Site "Dortmund"]
[Date "2018.07.14"]
[Round "1.4"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2757"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "KGBesenthal"]
[PlyCount "120"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Bf5 7. O-O Be7 8.
Re1 O-O 9. Nc3 Nxc3 10. bxc3 Bxd3 11. Qxd3 Nc6 {[#]} 12. Re2 (12. c4 dxc4 13.
Qxc4 $11 {was obvious but 'Nepo' goes a different way.}) 12... a6 13. Bf4 Qd7
14. Rae1 Rfe8 15. h4 h6 16. Qe3 b5 17. h5 Rac8 18. Nh2 b4 {[#]} 19. Qg3 ({
Here an option was} 19. Bxh6 gxh6 20. Qxh6 {and White gains great compensation
for the sacrificed material. Black could fight back (e.g. with Bh4) but
White's h-pawn and ideas of Ng4 lead to a strong attack.}) 19... Bd6 20. Ng4
Kh8 21. Rxe8+ Rxe8 22. Rxe8+ Qxe8 23. Bxd6 cxd6 24. Qxd6 Qe1+ 25. Kh2 Qe6 {
Nepomniachtchi has an extra pawn and does his utmost ot use it.} 26. Qf8+ Kh7
27. Ne3 bxc3 28. Qc5 Qf6 29. Qxc3 Qxf2 30. Qxc6 Qf4+ 31. g3 Qxe3 32. Qxd5 Qf2+
33. Kh3 Qxc2 34. Qxf7 Qc8+ 35. Kg2 Qc2+ 36. Qf2 Qe4+ 37. Kg1 a5 38. a4 Kg8 39.
Qa2+ Kf8 40. Qc4 Qg4 41. Qc5+ Kg8 42. Qd5+ Kh7 43. Kf2 Qd1 44. Qe4+ Kg8 45.
Qe6+ Kh7 46. d5 Qxa4 {After this move, the advantage tilts in White's favour.}
47. d6 Qc2+ 48. Kf3 (48. Ke3 $1 Qc3+ 49. Ke4 Qc6+ 50. Qd5 {The positioning of
the queen on d5 seems to be quite important. Black can no longer attack the
white king from h1, and must avoid a queen exchange.} Qa4+ 51. Ke5 Qa1+ 52. Kf5
Qf6+ 53. Kg4 $18) 48... Qd3+ 49. Kg2 Qc2+ 50. Kh3 Qc6 {Now white can no longer
make progress. Giri has worked out a path to a draw.} 51. Qf5+ Kg8 52. d7 Qd6
53. Kh2 a4 54. Qg4 Kf7 55. Qxa4 Ke7 56. Qe4+ Kxd7 57. Qg4+ Ke8 58. Qxg7 Qd2+
59. Kh3 Qd7+ 60. Qg4 Kd8 1/2-1/2
[Event "46. Sparkassen Chess-Meeting 2018"]
[Site "Dortmund"]
[Date "2018.07.14"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"]
[Black "Meier, Georg"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2733"]
[BlackElo "2628"]
[Annotator "TA"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. c4 b6 2. Nc3 Bb7 3. d4 e6 4. e4 Bb4 5. f3 Ne7 6. Bd3 {[%emt 0:00:01]
LiveBook: 26 Games. A40: Unusual replies to d4} (6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 d6 8. Bd3
Nbc6 9. Nh3 Qd7 10. O-O Na5 11. d5 c5 12. f4 O-O-O 13. Ng5 Ng6 {1-0 (26)
Saduakassova,D (2484)-Ramirez Alvarez, A (2572) Saint Louis 2018}) 6... e5 7.
Nge2 exd4 $1 8. Nxd4 Nbc6 9. Nde2 Ne5 10. a3 Bxc3+ 11. Nxc3 O-O $146 ({
Predecessor:} 11... Nxd3+ 12. Qxd3 d6 13. b4 a5 14. b5 O-O {1/2-1/2 (50)
Wimmer,R (2105)-Hassim,U (2270) ICCF email 2016}) 12. Bg5 f6 13. Bh4 N7g6 14.
Bg3 Nxd3+ 15. Qxd3 d6 16. Nd5 Qd7 {The position is equal.} 17. O-O-O Bxd5 18.
Qxd5+ Qf7 19. Kc2 Ne7 20. Qxf7+ Kxf7 21. Kc3 a5 22. b3 Rfe8 23. Rd2 h5 24. h4
g6 25. Rhd1 Nc6 26. Rd5 Re6 27. Bf4 Ne7 28. R5d2 Nc6 29. Rd5 Ne7 30. R5d2 Nc6
31. Rd5 {Precision: White = 49%, Black = 83%.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "46th GM 2018"]
[Site "Dortmund GER"]
[Date "2018.07.17"]
[Round "3.1"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "Kovalev, Vladislav"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B29"]
[WhiteElo "2782"]
[BlackElo "2655"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "146"]
[EventDate "2018.07.14"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. e5 Nd5 4. Nc3 e6 ({The other main line is} 4... Nxc3 5.
dxc3) 5. Nxd5 exd5 6. d4 Nc6 7. c3 {A simple way of gaining small advantage.} (
{Giri avoids the gambit after} 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. Qxd5 d6 9. exd6 Qb6 10. Qe4+ Be6
11. Qh4 f6 (11... Bf5 $6 12. Bc4 O-O 13. O-O Bxc2 14. Bf4 Qxb2 $2 15. Rac1 $1
Ba3 16. Rfe1 Bg6 17. Rcd1 Bc5 18. Bb3 Bb6 19. Ne5 Nxe5 20. Bxe5 Qa3 21. d7 {
and White won in Doggers,P (2189)-Afek,Y (2387) Tilburg 2003}) 12. Bc4 $6 Bxf2+
$1 13. Qxf2 Bxc4 14. b3 Qxf2+ 15. Kxf2 Bf7 16. c4 Kd7 17. Ba3 a5 18. Nd2 Rhe8 {
and Black held the draw in the blitz game Anand,V (2759) -Mamedyarov,S (2808)
Paris 2018}) 7... cxd4 ({Or} 7... d6 8. Bb5 Be7 (8... c4 $6 {also led to
advantage for White after} 9. O-O Be7 10. b3 cxb3 11. exd6 Qxd6 12. axb3 Qc7
13. Re1 Be6 14. Bg5 Bd6 15. c4 {in Polgar,J (2708)-Sikula,V (2550) /Hungary
2008/EXT 2009}) 9. exd6 Bxd6 10. dxc5 Bxc5 11. Qe2+ Be6 12. Be3 Bxe3 13. Qxe3 {
with favorable version of the isolated central pawn for White, Salgado Lopez,I
(2615)-Kantans, T (2514) Reykjavik 2015}) 8. Nxd4 d6 ({The acceptance of the
pawn sacrifice after} 8... Nxe5 9. Bf4 d6 10. Bb5+ Bd7 11. Qb3 Nc6 12. Qxd5 Qf6
13. g3 Rc8 14. O-O-O {led to advantage for White in Korneev,O (2649)-Recuero
Guerra,D (2315)/ Dos Hermanas 2006/CBM 111 ext}) 9. Bb5 Bd7 (9... Qc7 10. exd6
Bxd6 11. Qe2+ {is unpleasant for Black.}) 10. exd6 Bxd6 11. O-O O-O 12. Nb3 {
A novelty. Technically speaking the game shifted into the French Tarrasch line.
White has the standard minimal advantage thanks to the black isolated pawn.} (
12. f4 {is dubious:} Re8 13. Kh1 Bf8 ({Instead Black would be more than fine
after} 13... Nxd4 14. Bxd7 Qxd7 15. Qxd4 Qb5) 14. Nf3 Bg4 15. h3 Bf5 16. Ne5 {
and Black was good in Repa, J-Lukic,L Winnipeg 1997}) 12... a6 13. Be2 Qc7 14.
h3 (14. g3 Rfe8) 14... Rfe8 15. Re1 Re5 {Not only doubling the rooks on the
open file but setting a small trap in the process.} 16. Be3 ({The obvious} 16.
Bf4 $2 {would lose material after} Rxe2 $1) ({On} 16. Bf3 {Black would most
likely react as in the game with} Rae8) 16... Rae8 17. Bd3 {Patiently stopping
Black's initiative.} ({The bishop would be more aggressive on the long
diagonal. However} 17. Bf3 {is more susceptible to attacks, for example} Ne7
18. Qd2 Nf5 {and if} 19. Bxd5 $2 Rxe3 $1 20. fxe3 Bh2+ 21. Kf2 (21. Kh1 Ng3+
22. Kxh2 Nf1+) 21... Qg3+ 22. Kf1 Qh4 {leads to decisive attack for Black.})
17... g6 18. Qd2 Qd8 19. Nd4 ({If} 19. Bh6 {both} Qe7 ({Or} 19... Qf6 {are
good for Black.})) 19... Nxd4 20. Bxd4 Rxe1+ 21. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 22. Qxe1 {With
careful play Giri prevented any activity along the open file and traded some
pieces. For complete happiness he needs to swap off the queens and the
dark-squared bishops.} Qe8 23. Qd2 ({Apparently the Dutch GM did not believe
that he will have realistic winning chances after the immediate trade} 23.
Qxe8+ Bxe8 {but this line was allowing his to grind as long as he likes
without any risk of a loss.}) 23... Be5 24. Be3 ({After} 24. Bxe5 Qxe5 25. Qe2
{Black will certainly reject the second trade and activate the queen instead}
Qf4) 24... Qe6 25. f4 {Sooner or later this move will be needed. In the
foreseeable future the f2 square can be used by the white queen. In the
distant future, by the white king. Once the queens are gone, and there it goes
all the way to d4 (or b6!)} Bf6 26. a3 {Moving the pawn away from the possible
d5-d4 threat.} ({A concrete line in which this is important arises after} 26.
Bc2 d4 27. Bxd4 Bxd4+ 28. Qxd4 Bc6 {The a2 pawn is hanging and} 29. Bb3 Qe1+
30. Kh2 Qe2 31. Bd5 Qxb2 {leaves White no winning chances.}) 26... h5 $1 {
The pawn is heading to h4 from where it will allow chances for perpetual check,
or may simply separate all the white pawns.} 27. Bc2 Bc6 28. Bf2 {White
continues with preparation.} (28. Qf2 {bumps into} Bh4 $1) 28... Qe7 29. Bd1 {
Seemingly heading to f3.} (29. Bb3 {will be met with} Qe4) 29... Qe6 30. Bc2 ({
Giri spotted the tactical refutation of} 30. Bf3 $2 d4 $1 31. Bxc6 dxc3 {
and Black is already better.}) 30... Qe7 31. Bb6 Qe6 32. Qf2 Qe8 33. Qd2 ({
Once more White cannot trade the dark-squared bishops without allowing any
counterplay:} 33. Bd4 Bxd4 34. Qxd4 (34. cxd4 Qe7 {is equal as well.}) 34...
Qe1+ 35. Kh2 Qe2 {Black does not risk with the active queen. is good for Black,
especially after} 36. Qd3 $6 Qf2 $1) 33... Qe6 34. Bc5 Qe8 35. Qd1 $2 {A
blunder!} ({It was not too late to trade the queens with} 35. Qe3 $1 Qxe3+ 36.
Bxe3 {A separate question is how realistic White's winning chances are after}
h4 {But for sure he can never lose.}) 35... d4 $1 {Kovalev seizes his chance!
Suddenly, tables are turned. It will be White who has the isolated pawns.} 36.
Qd2 ({Both captures are bad. If} 36. Bxd4 $2 Bxd4+ 37. cxd4 ({Or} 37. Qxd4 Qe1+
38. Kh2 Qe2) 37... Qe3+ 38. Kh2 (38. Kh1 $2 Qxh3+ 39. Kg1 Qxg2#) 38... Qxf4+ {
with large advanatage for Black.}) ({And on} 36. cxd4 $2 Qe3+ 37. Kh2 {Black
has a pleasant choice of swithing to the same line with} Qxf4+ ({And the
domination after} 37... Bd5 $1 {when the white bishops are effectively
excluded from the kingside.})) 36... dxc3 37. bxc3 Qe6 {The problem is not
only in the crippled white queenside structure. His king is weak as well.} 38.
Bd4 Bxd4+ 39. cxd4 (39. Qxd4 $2 {loses on the spot due to the usual} Qe1+ 40.
Kh2 Qe2) 39... Qa2 40. Qc3 Qd5 41. Qd2 Qa2 42. Qc3 h4 {Time control is over
and Black can play for two weaknesses. First is white's king, second-the
outside passer that he can create in the coming moves.} 43. Kh1 ({Similar is}
43. Kh2 Qd5 44. Qd2 a5) 43... a5 44. a4 $1 {The best practical chance.} (44.
Qb3 {drops a pawn after} Qa1+) ({Passive defense would have lost slowly after}
44. Kh2 Qd5 45. Qd2 b5) 44... Qd5 {Good decision!} ({Pure queen endgame offers
lots of drawish opportunities after} 44... Bxa4 45. Bxa4 Qxa4 46. f5 $1 gxf5
47. Qc8+ Kg7 48. Qxf5 Qxd4 49. Qxa5 {as the black king is too weak.}) 45. Qd2
b6 {But this is inaccurate due to a small detail.} ({Correct was} 45... Kg7 $1
46. f5 gxf5 47. Qg5+ Kf8 48. Bxf5 Qxd4 49. Qh6+ Ke7 {with serious winning
chances for Black.}) 46. f5 $1 {Giri also grabs his chance.} Kg7 {The only way
to fight for the win.} ({This time} 46... gxf5 $6 {doe snot work as well, as
the black bishop is no longer defended in the line} 47. Qg5+ Kf8 48. Bxf5 Qxd4
49. Qh6+ Ke7 50. Qxc6 {True, Black is not losing even here neither and can
force a draw with} Qa1+ 51. Kh2 Qe5+) 47. fxg6 fxg6 48. Bd1 {The black king is
weak now too and White can hope for a perpetual.} Qf5 49. Kg1 Bd5 50. Bc2 Qf6
51. Qe3 g5 52. Bd3 Kh6 53. Bc2 {White is ready to build a battery along the
b1-h7 diagonal, but this turns out not to be best.} (53. Be2 $1 {was better
with the idea to trade the dominant black bishop. Then} Qf4 (53... Kg7 54. Bf3
Bxf3 55. gxf3 {should end with perpetual sooner or later.}) 54. Qe7 $1 Qxd4+
55. Kh2 Qf4+ (55... Qf2 56. Qd6+) 56. Kh1 Qe4 57. Qf6+ {does not let the black
king out.}) 53... Kg7 54. Bd3 Kh6 55. Bc2 Qf4 $1 {Excellent play. The coming
checks are harmless.} 56. Qd3 (56. Qxf4 gxf4 {is hopeless for White, as his
opponent will soon create an outside passer.}) 56... Kg7 57. Qg6+ Kf8 58. Qd3 {
Sad but true. The queen is needed back home.} (58. Qxb6 $4 {leads to mate after
} Qe3+ 59. Kf1 (59. Kh1 Qxh3+ 60. Kg1 Qxg2#) (59. Kh2 Qg3+ 60. Kg1 Qxg2#) 59...
Bc4+) 58... Kg7 59. Qg6+ Kf8 60. Qd3 Ke7 61. Bd1 Qe4 62. Qd2 Kd6 63. Bc2 (63.
Qxg5 $2 Qxd4+) 63... Qf4 64. Qd3 Kc7 {The king escaped from the danger zone
and Kovalev can start mounting pressure on the kingside.} 65. Qh7+ Kb8 66. Qd3
{This loses.} ({Somewhat counterintuitive, the solution was to lose some
tempos and force Black into his optimal defensive queenside position with} 66.
Qh8+ Ka7 67. Qh7+ Bb7 68. Qd3 {However, without the bishop on d5 White will
always have the d4-d5 resource to cut it away from the kingside. Say} g4 69.
hxg4 Qxg4 70. d5 $1) 66... g4 67. hxg4 Qxg4 68. Qg6 ({Or} 68. Qd2 h3 69. Bd1
Qxg2+ 70. Qxg2 Bxg2) 68... Qxd4+ {Simple play.} (68... Qxg6 {should be also
winning, but Kovalev already wants more. For example-} 69. Bxg6 b5 70. axb5 a4
71. Kh2 a3 72. Bb1 Kb7 73. Kh3 Kb6 74. Kxh4 Kxb5 {marching all the way to b2
looks convincing.}) 69. Kh1 Bb7 {Final preparation before the "coup the grace."
} ({Of course not} 69... Qf2 $4 70. Qd6+) 70. Qe8+ Ka7 71. Bf5 Qd1+ 72. Kh2
Qd6+ 73. Kh1 (73. Kg1 Qc5+) 73... Qg3 (73... Qg3 {White resigned due to:} 74.
Qe2 h3) 0-1
[Event "Dortmund GER"]
[Site "Dortmund GER"]
[Date "2018.07.18"]
[Round "4.3"]
[White "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Black "Duda, Jan-Krzysztof"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A29"]
[WhiteElo "2792"]
[BlackElo "2737"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "2018.07.14"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bb4 5. Bg2 d6 6. O-O O-O 7. d3 Bxc3 8.
bxc3 e4 9. Nd4 exd3 10. exd3 Nxd4 ({Another of the Dortmund participants got
the better position after} 10... Ne5 11. f4 Ng6 12. Rb1 c5 13. Nc2 Rb8 14. f5 {
in Nepomniachtchi,I (2718)-Savchenko,B (2580) Sochi 2012}) 11. cxd4 d5 12. Bg5
c6 {This logical move is a novelty.} ({A predecessor saw Black suffering after:
} 12... h6 13. Bxf6 Qxf6 14. cxd5 Qxd4 15. Rc1 Bf5 16. Rxc7 b5 17. Qf3 Bxd3 18.
Rd1 Qe5 19. d6 Be2 20. Qd5 Qf6 21. Re1 {and the white central passer proved to
be very strong, Socko,B (2631)-Grigoriants,S (2589) Khanty-Mansiysk 2012}) 13.
cxd5 cxd5 14. Qb3 {Sooner or later White will win the d5 pawn. The question is
whether he can make use of the doubled pawns in the future.} b6 15. Rae1 $1 {
Kramnik keeps the pressure.} ({The immediate pawn gain} 15. Bxf6 Qxf6 16. Bxd5
{does not yield much to White after} Bh3 17. Bxa8 Bxf1) ({It seems more
logical to place the other rook on the open file and leave the queenside rook
prepare the advance of the a-pawn. However after} 15. Rfe1 Be6 16. Re5 Rc8 17.
f4 Qd7 $1 {White can not advance the f-pawn and Black is good. Say} 18. Bxf6
gxf6 19. Re2 Rc7) 15... h6 {Duda gets rid of the annoying bishop.} ({Here}
15... Be6 {will be met with} 16. Re5 Rc8 17. f4 {and White keeps the bind.})
16. Bxf6 Qxf6 17. Re5 {Once again skillfully keeping the tension.} (17. Qxd5 {
is not as convincing due to} Be6 (17... Rb8 $5 {can be answered with} 18. Qe5
$1 Qxe5 19. dxe5 Rd8 20. Re3) 18. Qxa8 Rxa8 19. Bxa8 Qxd4) ({If} 17. Bxd5 Bh3
18. Bg2 Bxg2 19. Kxg2 Qxd4 {with most likely draw.}) 17... Be6 $1 {Provoking
the next move and thus weakening the second rank.} ({The other option was}
17... Bb7 $5 {when I suspect that Kramnik would have proceeded with the
grinding with something like} 18. Rfe1 ({Or he might have just grabbed the
pawn at last:} 18. Bxd5 Bxd5 19. Qxd5 Rad8 20. Qe4) 18... Rac8 19. Qa3 a5 20.
Qe7 Qxe7 21. Rxe7 Ba6 22. Bxd5 Bxd3) 18. f4 Rac8 19. Rfe1 ({After} 19. f5 Bd7
20. Bxd5 Rfd8 21. Rfe1 {Black would be happy to trade the bishops with} Bc6) ({
Again, the transition into a pure major piece endgame brings relief to Black,
say} 19. Bxd5 Bxd5 20. Qxd5 Rcd8 21. Qe4 Qd6 22. d5 f6 23. Re7 Qxd5 24. Qxd5+
Rxd5 25. Rxa7 Rxd3 {with a draw.}) 19... Rc7 {The rook is excellent on the
open file, covering both the seventh rank and getting redy to counterattack
along the second. Kramnik needs to make a decision.} 20. Bxd5 {Finally
snatching the pawn.} Bxd5 21. Qxd5 Rc2 {This is what the f2-f4 move was
provoked for. But White now tries to make use of the weakened back rank.} 22.
Re8 {With the threat to trade the rooks and checkmate on the back rank.} ({
Black is fine after} 22. Qb3 Rfc8 23. Re8+ Kh7) 22... Rc8 $2 {It worked. There
was no need to retreat.} ({Better were both g-pawn advances. For example} 22...
g6 $1 23. Qd7 ({Or} 23. Rxf8+ Kxf8 24. a4 Rd2 {with counterplay}) 23... Rxa2 {
and Black should be OK.}) ({Or even} 22... g5 $1 {and if} 23. f5 Rd2 {in both
cases Duda has good chances of splitting the point.} ({White also needs to be
accurate and cannot afford too active play:} 23... Rc3 24. Qa8 $2 Qxd4+ 25. Kh1
Rxe8 26. Rxe8+ Kg7)) 23. Qd7 Rd8 ({Perhaps Black should have tried} 23... Rcxe8
24. Rxe8 Rxe8 25. Qxe8+ Kh7 26. Qe5 Qg6 27. Qe4 Kg8 $1 {although White has all
the play after} 28. d5) 24. Rxd8 Qxd8 {Duda seeks drawing chances in the rook
endgame, but it does not seem enough.} (24... Rxd8 25. Re8+ {would have
transposed to the line from above.}) 25. Re7 Qc8 (25... Qa8 $5 26. d5 $1) 26.
Qxc8 Rxc8 27. Kf2 $1 {An active king is required in the endgame.} ({One should
not let the king to be cut after} 27. Rxa7 Rc2) 27... Kf8 ({White should also
win after} 27... a5 28. Ke3 b5 29. Ra7 a4 30. d5 Kf8 ({Or} 30... Rc2 31. Ra8+
Kh7 32. d6 {and the pawn promotes.}) 31. Kd4 Rc2 32. d6) 28. Rxa7 Rc2+ 29. Ke3
Rxh2 30. d5 {A solid extra pawn and active pieces is enough for the 14th world
champion to convert his advantage.} g5 31. f5 {Calm and patient.} (31. d6 {
should suffice as well} gxf4+ 32. gxf4 Ke8 33. Re7+ Kf8 34. a4) 31... f6 32. d6
Ke8 33. Kd4 h5 34. Kd5 b5 ({If} 34... h4 35. g4 h3 36. Rh7 {and the passed
h-pawn is not dangerous enough to worry White.}) 35. Ke6 Re2+ 36. Kxf6 h4 37.
Re7+ (37. Re7+ {Black resigned as he is getting mated:} Rxe7 38. dxe7 hxg3 39.
Ke6 g2 40. f6 g1=Q 41. f7#) 1-0
[Event "46th GM 2018"]
[Site "Dortmund GER"]
[Date "2018.07.20"]
[Round "5.3"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C78"]
[WhiteElo "2757"]
[BlackElo "2792"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2018.07.14"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 {Quite a rare choice for the former world
champion. Ever since his match against Garry Kasparov people are more or less
accustomed to his Berlin.} 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Bc5 {Already a fresh position for
Nepomniachtchi, who does not have much of experience in the Ruy Lopez. Kramnik
had used the Møller only once before, last year in an important game against
Vishy Anand in Stavanger.} 6. c3 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. a4 {Forcing a concession.} b4
({Black can also chose to give up the open file:} 8... Rb8 9. d4 Bb6 10. a5 Ba7
11. Be3 exd4 12. cxd4 Bg4 13. Qc1 {as in Yu,Y (2760)-Shankland,S (2671)
Liaocheng 2018}) 9. d4 Ba7 10. Bg5 {A novelty. Nepomniachtchi does not want to
test his opponent's preparation.} ({A predecessor saw White grabbing the pawn
with:} 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. Qxd8+ Nxd8 12. cxb4 {Zhao,Z (2567)-Paciencia, E (2440)
Dresden 2008}) 10... Rb8 {Moving the rook away from the dangerous diagonal.} (
10... h6 {only helps White. After} 11. Bd5 Bb7 12. Bxf6 Qxf6 13. a5 O-O 14. Qa4
Nd8 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Bxb7 Nxb7 17. cxb4 {White emerges a pawn ahead.}) 11. Bd5
{Anyway. But Kramnik has something here too.} Ne7 $1 12. dxe5 Nfxd5 ({But not}
12... dxe5 13. Nxe5 Nexd5 14. Nc6 {and White wins.}) 13. exd5 O-O 14. exd6 Qxd6
15. c4 Nf5 {This is the position that Black was heading for. For the pawn he
has the bishop pair and active pieces. Once he opens the position with c7-c6
he will be able to control both central files, as well as the important
diagonals.} 16. Nbd2 ({Probably better was} 16. Qc1 {in order to support the
bishop and keep it active after} Bb7 17. Bf4 Qd7) 16... f6 17. Bh4 Qf4 {
The most forcing continuation after which Kramnik will regain the pawn. But
apparently, he missed an important detail.} ({There were a lot of other
tempting possibilities, like the immediate} 17... c6 18. dxc6 Qxc6 19. b3 Bb7 {
with strong pressure along the diagonals.}) ({Also possible was} 17... Re8) ({
and even} 17... Nxh4 18. Nxh4 Bd7 {followed by c7-c6. In all cases Black would
have had excellent compensation for a pawn.}) 18. Bg3 Nxg3 19. hxg3 Qxg3 {
It seems as White is in trouble and the threat Bc8-h3 will finish him off, but
Nepomniachtchi saw the excellent...} 20. c5 $1 {Which locks the dark-squared
bishop for a long time.} Qg6 (20... Bxc5 $2 21. Ne4 {drops a piece.}) 21. Rc1 {
Now White's task is to permanently lock the bishop into its prison cell and
throw the key into the deepest river. Or sea.} Qf7 ({The active} 21... Bh3 {
plays into White hands as he is generally happy to trade pieces:} 22. Nh4 Qg4
23. Rc4 Qxd1 24. Rxd1 Bd7 {Now there are tempting possibilities: to keep the
dark-squared bishop locked with} 25. b3 ({or to restrain the light-squared
bishop with} 25. c6 Bc8 26. Ne4 f5 27. Nc5)) 22. Ne4 {Supporting the d-pawn.} (
{This is much better than} 22. Nb3 Rd8 23. d6 cxd6 24. Na5 {which may lead to
peculiar draw after} Bg4 $1 25. Nc6 Bxc5 26. Nxd8 Rxd8 27. Rxc5 Bxf3 28. gxf3
Qg6+ {with perpetual.}) 22... Re8 ({Here} 22... Rd8 23. d6 cxd6 24. Nxd6 {
keeps the blockade.}) 23. Re1 Bf5 24. Ng3 $1 {Another brilliant decision.
Nepomniachtchi is ready to part with the excellent central pawn while
maintaining control of the position.} ({The obvious centralization} 24. Qd4 {
gives Black time to regroup with} Rbd8 25. d6 {and later free himself with
timely exchanges in the center. For example:} a5 (25... Bxe4 {might be also
possible-} 26. Rxe4 cxd6 27. Rxe8+ Qxe8 28. Qd5+ Qf7 29. Qd2) 26. Nfd2 Bxe4 ({
Or} 26... Re5 27. Qc4 Qxc4 28. Nxc4) 27. Nxe4 h6 28. Qd3 f5 29. Qa6 fxe4 30.
Qxa7 cxd6 31. Qxa5 dxc5 32. Qxc5 Rd2 {with a likely draw.}) 24... Rxe1+ 25.
Qxe1 Bg4 {Strangely enough, this makes Black's position more difficult.} ({
The pawn was in fact poisonous:} 25... Qxd5 26. Nxf5 Qxf5 27. Qe7 {as the
white pieces do whatever they want. Say} Rc8 ({Or} 27... Qc8 28. Nd4 Qd8 29.
Qe6+ Kh8 30. Nc6 {and wins.}) 28. Nd4 Qe5 (28... Qg6 29. Qe6+) 29. Nc6 {
and White wins material.}) ({However} 25... Bg6 $1 {was more stubborn, keeping
control of the important e4 square.}) 26. Qe4 $1 {Powerful centralization.} h5
(26... Bxf3 27. Qxf3 {is exactly what White wants. He is practically a piece
ahead.}) 27. Nf5 Re8 28. Qd3 Bb8 ({Notice that Black cannot free himself} 28...
Qg6 $4 29. Ne7+) ({Just like before} 28... Bxf5 29. Qxf5 {plays into White's
hands.}) 29. N3h4 {Surrounding the bishop.} Be2 30. Qd2 Bg4 31. Ne3 {A neat
move.} ({In case of the immediate capture Black can get some play with} 31.
Qxb4 a5 32. Qxa5 Qxd5) 31... Bd7 ({Nothing changes} 31... Bc8 32. Qxb4) 32.
Qxb4 a5 33. Qxa5 c6 34. d6 {Poor bishop. Kramnik has won a miryad of
positional masterpieces, but today it is Nepomniachtchi who paints his
masterpiece.} Qb3 35. Qc3 Qxa4 36. Nhf5 Qe4 37. Ne7+ Kh8 38. Qb3 Rf8 39. Qc2 $1
Qxc2 40. Nxc2 Kh7 41. Nd4 1-0
[Event "46th GM 2018"]
[Site "Dortmund GER"]
[Date "2018.07.21"]
[Round "6.3"]
[White "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D05"]
[WhiteElo "2792"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "128"]
[EventDate "2018.07.14"]
1. Nf3 {It must have been hard for both players when chosing the opening.
After all Giri was Kramnik's second in Berlin earlier this year.} d5 2. e3 Nf6
3. d4 c5 4. Nbd2 e6 5. b3 cxd4 6. exd4 Bb4 ({Kramnik faced another move
recently:} 6... Nc6 7. Bb2 g6 8. Bb5 Bg7 9. O-O O-O 10. Re1 Qb6 11. a4 Bd7 12.
c4 a6 13. Bxc6 Bxc6 14. c5 Qc7 15. b4 Ne4 16. Ne5 {with an unclear position,
Kramnik, V (2811) -Nakamura,H (2793) Zuerich 2017}) 7. Bb2 Ne4 8. Bd3 Nc6 9.
O-O Bc3 10. Bxc3 Nxc3 11. Qe1 {Nothing new so far. Here Giri uncorkes a
novelty.} Nb4 {This knight is actually heading to the kingside.} ({A
predecessor saw White getting an edge after:} 11... Qb6 12. Qe3 h6 13. a4 Bd7
14. Nb1 $1 {Eidelmann,V (2049) -Gelzenleichter,S (2188) Wingst 2005}) 12. Nb1
Nxd3 13. Qxc3 Nf4 14. Qe3 Ng6 {End of the maneuver.} 15. c4 {In order to get
some space White needs to allow hanging pawns.} dxc4 16. bxc4 O-O {However,
since two pairs of light pieces have been traded White's central superiority
is not that great. Black can happy with the opening outcome.} 17. Nc3 Bd7 {
Black wants to put pressure on the c-pawn as quickly as possible. Notice that
his knight on c6 is no longer obstructing the rook.} ({Also good was the
fianchettoe-} 17... b6 {when} 18. d5 {can be met with either} exd5 ({or even}
18... Ba6 $5 19. dxe6 Bxc4) 19. cxd5 Bb7 {with approximate equality in either
case.}) 18. Rfd1 {Kramnik on his turn wants to place his rooks behind the
pawns and push one of them further. The central one, preferrably.} Rc8 19. Nd2
{A forced concession.} Nh4 {A good maneuver. The second central pawn will be
put under pressure as well.} 20. Qd3 Nf5 21. Rac1 Qc7 22. d5 {The central
breakthrough: check.} Rfd8 {Prepared for the central breakthrough: check.} 23.
h3 b6 24. Nf3 {Forcing matters.} ({After} 24. Nce4 {Black can simply take the
rook pair for the queen} exd5 (24... Bc6 $5) 25. cxd5 Qxc1 26. Rxc1 Rxc1+)
24... Qxc4 {There is no need to avoid this.} ({Worse was} 24... Qf4 25. dxe6
fxe6 26. Ne2) 25. Qxc4 Rxc4 26. dxe6 fxe6 27. Rd3 ({Nothing yields} 27. Ne5 Rd4
28. Ne2 Rd5) 27... e5 $1 {This subtle move was foreseen in advance.} ({Black
experiences problems after} 27... Rdc8 28. Rxd7 Rxc3 29. Rxc3 Rxc3 30. Ng5 $1)
({He also has to be extremely careful, as whenever a pin is concerned there is
always tactical trouble lurking:} 27... Kf8 $6 28. Rcd1 Ke7 $2 29. Rxd7+ Rxd7
30. Rxd7+ Kxd7 31. Ne5+) 28. Nxe5 ({Here} 28. Rcd1 {is not as impressive as
after} Re8 ({Even better seems the tactical line} 28... Nd4 29. Nxe5 Bf5 30.
Nxc4 Bxd3 31. Rxd3 Ne2+ 32. Nxe2 Rxd3 33. Ne3 Ra3 {when the rook is definitely
not worse than the knights. In fact Black can force a draw if he likes with}
34. Nc1 Rc3 35. Ne2 Ra3) 29. Rxd7 Rxc3 30. Rxa7 e4 31. Ng5 h6 {The white
knight is not comfortable.}) 28... Rd4 29. Rf3 Nh4 30. Re3 Nf5 {The hanging
pawns disappeared and the game is heading towards the logical outcome.} 31.
Ree1 {But Kramnik is looking for trouble.} Be8 32. Ne4 Ra4 33. Rc7 {The same
policy, as agressive as possible.} ({There was nothing wrong with} 33. Rc2) ({
or} 33. Re2 {with equality in both cases.}) 33... Rxa2 34. Kh2 {I assume
Kramnik wanted to prepare g2-g4, followed by Kh2-g3 once that the knight jumps
on h4.} ({It was not too late to split the point with} 34. Ng4 {with the idea
to force perpetual check after} b5 (34... h6 35. Nef6+ {leads to the same.}) ({
The only way to play for the win is} 34... Bf7 35. Ne5 Bb3 36. Nc6 Ra8 37. g4
Nh4 38. Re3 {although this seems more risky for Black than for White.}) 35.
Nef6+ gxf6 36. Nxf6+ Kf8 37. Nxh7+) (34. g4 Nd4 {only helps Black.}) 34... h6
35. Ng4 Kf8 {Now the draw is rejected for good and White finds it hard to
prove compensation.} (35... Bf7 $5 {also seemed fine.}) 36. Rec1 ({More to the
point was} 36. Ne5 $5 {when} b5 {is met with} 37. Nc5) 36... Re2 37. f3 Nh4 ({
Here both} 37... a5 $5) ({or} 37... Nd4 {seem more precise.}) 38. Ngf2 Bg6 39.
Rc8 ({The computer suggests instead the paradoxical} 39. Kg1 Bxe4 ({Black can
still play for a win with} 39... a5 40. Ra7 Rb2) 40. fxe4 Kg8 41. Rxa7 Rf8 42.
Rf1 {with good chances for a draw.}) 39... Re8 40. Kg3 {The last move before
the time-control.} ({Better was the immediate} 40. Rxe8+ Kxe8 41. Rc8+ Kd7 42.
Rg8 Bxe4 43. Rxg7+ Kc6 44. Nxe4 {when Black can play for a win with either} a5
{when his pawns should be faster.} ({Or with} 44... Nxf3+ 45. Kg3 Ne1 46. Kf4
Nxg2+ 47. Ke5 {counting on material.})) 40... Nf5+ 41. Kh2 Nd4 $1 {This is
where the knight belongs.} 42. R1c3 ({Now} 42. Kg3 {does not help at all as
after} a5 43. Rxe8+ Kxe8 44. Rc8+ Kd7 45. Rg8 {Black has} Bf7 46. Rxg7 Nf5+)
42... a5 43. R8c4 Rd8 44. Rc7 Ne6 {Very accurate.} ({The reckless machine
suggests instead} 44... b5 45. Rb7 Bf7 46. Rcc7 Bd5 47. Ra7 b4 48. Rxg7 Nb5 49.
Rae7 b3 {but this is not for any human's liking.}) 45. R7c6 Nf4 46. Rc8 ({
White should have tried his last chance:} 46. Kg3 $1 Nh5+ 47. Kg4 Nf6+ 48. Nxf6
({Or} 48. Kg3 Bxe4 49. Nxe4 Nxe4+ (49... Rxe4 $5 50. Rxf6+ gxf6 51. fxe4 Ke7)
50. fxe4 Rxe4 51. Rxb6) 48... Rxf2 {It is hard to say if he would have saved
himself, but it was a chance.}) 46... Re8 47. Rxe8+ Kxe8 48. Rc8+ Kd7 49. Rg8
Ne6 {Now it a technical win.} 50. Kg3 Kc7 51. h4 Rc2 $1 {Another neat maneuver.
Giri defends everything in an optimal way and his pawns can walk on their own.}
(51... a4 52. Ra8) 52. Ra8 Kb7 53. Rh8 Rc6 54. h5 Bxe4 55. Nxe4 a4 56. Re8 a3
57. Re7+ Ka6 58. Re8 Ka7 59. Nd2 a2 60. Nb3 Rc3 61. Na1 Rc1 62. Rxe6 Rxa1 63.
Re2 b5 64. Kf4 Kb6 0-1
[Event "Dortmund GER"]
[Site "Dortmund GER"]
[Date "2018.07.22"]
[Round "7.4"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Meier, Georg"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C10"]
[WhiteElo "2757"]
[BlackElo "2628"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "53"]
[EventDate "2018.07.14"]
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 {No surprises. Meier remains true to his beloved
Rubinstein French.} 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Nf3 Ngf6 6. Nxf6+ Nxf6 7. Ne5 Bd6 ({In
recent blitz games the German GM also tried} 7... Nd7 8. Bf4 Nxe5 9. Bxe5 f6 {
but this led to a risk-free advantage for the first player after} 10. Bg3 (10.
Bf4 c5 11. dxc5 Qxd1+ 12. Rxd1 Bxc5 13. Bc4 e5 14. Bd2 Ke7 {Karjakin,S (2783)
-Meier,G (2630) chess.com INT 2017}) 10... c5 11. Bc4 cxd4 12. O-O Bd6 {
Dominguez Perez, L (2739)-Meier,G (2628) chess.com INT 2018} 13. Re1 Bxg3 14.
hxg3 O-O 15. Re4 Kh8 16. Rxd4 {Dominguez Perez,L (2739)-Meier,G (2628) chess.
com INT 2018}) 8. Bg5 (8. Qf3 c5 9. Bb5+ Ke7 10. O-O cxd4 11. Bf4 g5 12. Bg3 h5
13. h3 g4 14. hxg4 hxg4 15. Qf4 Rh5 {Dominguez Perez,L (2739) -Meier,G (2628)
chess.com INT 2018}) 8... h6 9. Bh4 O-O 10. Bd3 c5 11. Qe2 {A novelty. White
improves on a game which actually saw a blunder.} ({After:} 11. Nc4 g5 {
White was already losing material:} 12. Nxd6 Qxd6 13. dxc5 $2 ({Better was} 13.
Bg3 Qxd4) 13... Qe5+ 14. Qe2 Qxe2+ 15. Kxe2 gxh4 {and Black went on to win in
Fuss,J (1688)-Pieczka,R (1922) Germany 2012}) 11... Qa5+ {The most forcing
move.} ({Perhaps Black will test} 11... cxd4 12. O-O-O {in the future.}) 12. c3
cxd4 13. Nc4 ({White could have also started with} 13. Bxf6 gxf6 14. Nc4 {
Then if} Qd5 (14... Qc5 15. Qg4+ {transposes into the game.}) 15. Be4 Qc5 16.
Nxd6 Qxd6 17. Qg4+ Kh8 18. Qh4 Kg7 {White can continue the attack with either}
19. O-O-O ({Or} 19. Rd1)) 13... Qc5 (13... Qd5 {might transpose to the line
from above.}) 14. Bxf6 gxf6 15. Qg4+ {transposes into the game.} Kh8 16. cxd4 {
All of this is pretty forced and I suspect that both players had it on their
home computers.} ({Also interesting looks} 16. Qh4 Kg7 17. cxd4 Qb4+ 18. Ke2)
16... Qb4+ 17. Kf1 $1 {An important move. The king stays away from the black
queen.} (17. Ke2 {looks more logical. However, the concrete lines after:} Bc7
18. Qe4 f5 19. Qh4 Kh7 20. g4 b5 21. g5 bxc4 (21... Bf4 $5 {mgith actually be
even better.}) 22. Qxh6+ Kg8 23. g6 Qxb2+ $1 {Lead only to perpetual. For
example:} 24. Bc2 ({Or} 24. Kf1 Qxa1+ 25. Kg2 Qxh1+ 26. Kxh1 Bb7+ 27. Kg1 fxg6
28. Qxg6+ {and White has to do the perpetual.}) 24... Qxc2+ 25. Kf1 Qd3+ 26.
Kg1 (26. Ke1 $4 Ba5+) (26. Kg2 Qe4+ 27. f3 (27. Kh3 $4 Qg4#) 27... Qe2+ 28. Kg1
fxg6 {leads to the same.}) 26... fxg6 27. Qxg6+ {and again White needs to
accept the draw as he cannot use the g-file for his rook.}) 17... Bc7 18. Qe4
$1 {Another important move which drags the pawn on a vulnerable position.} (18.
Qh4 Kg7) 18... f5 19. Qh4 Kg7 {After this move the computers immediately go
bananas, claiming win for White.} ({However, even after the most precise} 19...
Kh7 20. g4 b5 ({If} 20... Rg8 21. gxf5 exf5 22. Qf6 {looks good for White.})
21. g5 {with the cunning idea} Rh8 $1 ({Not} 21... bxc4 22. Qxh6+ Kg8 23. g6
fxg6 24. Qxg6+ Kh8 25. Rg1 $1 {with unavoidable mate.}) 22. Rg1 $3 {White
keeps a strong attack. Say} ({Not} 22. Qxh6+ Kg8 23. Qf6 Qf8 {and Black
defends with good position.}) 22... h5 23. g6+ $1 fxg6 24. Be2 bxc4 ({Better is
} 24... Bd8 {although White keeps strong attack after} 25. Qg3 g5 ({If} 25...
Rg8 26. Ne5 Qxd4 27. Nxg6 Qg7 28. Qf3 Bb7 29. Nf8+ Qxf8 30. Qxh5+ Qh6 31. Qxh6+
Kxh6 32. Rxg8 {with solid extra exchange for White.}) 26. Ne5 Bb7 27. Nf7 Qe7 (
{Or} 27... Rg8 28. Nxd8 Raxd8 29. Qc7+ Kh6 30. Qxb7) 28. Bxh5 {the weak black
king is the key factor of the position.}) 25. Bxh5 $1 {and mate comes soon.})
20. g4 {Opens the files for the major pieces. The attack is unstoppable.} f4 (
20... fxg4 {leads to forced mate after} 21. Qxg4+ Kf6 22. Qh4+ Kg7 23. Rg1+) ({
The preliminary} 20... Bd8 {does not change much} 21. Qh5 Qe7 22. h4 Qf6 23.
Ne5 fxg4 24. Qxg4+ Kh8 25. Rg1 {with winning attack.}) 21. Rg1 Bd7 ({Here}
21... Rh8 {is not as convincing as before due to} 22. Qh5 $1 ({But not} 22. g5
h5 $1) 22... b6 23. g5 Ba6 24. Rc1 {The attack will soon decide.}) 22. Qh5 $1 {
The final touch, which secures the opening of the g-file.} (22. g5 $2 h5 $1 {
would have been awkward for White.}) 22... Rh8 (22... f6 23. Qg6+ Kh8 24. Qh7#)
23. g5 hxg5 24. Qxg5+ Kf8 25. Qf6 Rxh2 ({Or} 25... Rh3 26. Rg7 Qe7 27. Rg8+ {
picking up the queen.}) 26. Rg7 Be8 27. Bh7 (27. Bh7 {Meier resigned due to}
Rh1+ 28. Kg2 Bc6+ 29. f3 {The end of the fast and furious attack. Excellent
preparation by Nepomniachtchi!}) 1-0
[Event "Dortmund GM"]
[Site "Dortmund"]
[Date "2018.07.22"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Kovalev, Vladislav"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2655"]
[BlackElo "2792"]
[Annotator "Efstratios Grivas"]
[PlyCount "208"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Bc4 Bc5 5. Ng5 Nh6 6. Nxf7 Nxf7 7. Bxf7+ Kxf7
8. Qh5+ g6 9. Qxc5 d5 10. O-O dxe4 11. c3 Re8 12. cxd4 Nxd4 13. Nc3 b6 14. Qc4+
Be6 15. Qa4 c5 16. Nxe4 Bd5 17. f3 Bxe4 18. fxe4+ Kg7 19. Qc4 Kh8 20. b4 Rxe4
21. Bb2 Qg8 22. Rf7 Rf8 23. Rxf8 Qxf8 24. bxc5 bxc5 25. Rf1 Qe7 26. Qd5 Kg7 27.
h3 g5 28. Bc3 a6 29. Kh1 Kh6 30. Rb1 Nb5 {(D) [#] Looks like Black is doing
fine, except that White has a nice tactical continuation at his disposal.} 31.
Bf6 $1 Qxf6 32. Qxe4 Nc3 {(D) [#] Black was depending on this fork...} 33. Qf3
$1 Qxf3 34. Rb6+ $1 {The point of the combination that started with 31.Bf6! -
White wins the exchange.} Kh5 35. gxf3 Nxa2 36. Rc6 $1 Nb4 37. Rxc5 Nd3 38. Ra5
Kh4 39. Kh2 Nf4 40. Rxa6 {(D) [#] So White got a winning ending. Well, it is
not such an easy one as someone might think. White has to exchange his h-pawn
and then invade with his king. Black has a drawing set-up with his king on e6/
f6/g6 and his knight on h4- or on e5-squares, controlling important invasion
squares and putting pressure on the white f3-pawn.} Kh5 (40... h5 41. Ra4 $18 {
, loses on the spot.}) 41. Rd6 (41. Ra4 Kh4 42. Ra7 h6 43. Ra2 Kh5 44. Kg3 Nd5
45. Ra8 Nf4 46. h4 $1 Ne2+ 47. Kf2 Nf4 48. hxg5 hxg5 49. Ke3 $18 {, was
another way to prevail.}) 41... Ne2 42. Rd2 Nf4 43. Kg3 Ng6 44. Rd7 h6 45. Rf7
Ne5 46. Rf5 Ng6 47. Ra5 Nf4 {(D) [#]} (47... Nh4 {, loses to} 48. f4 Ng6 49. f5
Nh4 50. Rb5 $18 {.}) 48. h4 $1 Ne2+ 49. Kf2 Nf4 50. hxg5 hxg5 51. Ke3 $1 {
White must invade with his king before Black would set-up his defensive method.
} Ng2+ 52. Kf2 ({Not drawing yet, but of course the natural} 52. Ke4 Kg6 53.
Ra6+ Kh5 54. Ra2 Nh4 55. Rh2 $18 {, was curtains.}) 52... Nf4 {(D) [#]} 53. Ra8
$2 ({But this is a serious mistake, throwing the win away. Good was} 53. Ke3
Kg6 54. Ke4 Ng2 55. Ra6+ Kh5 56. Ra2 Nh4 (56... Nf4 57. Kf5 $18) 57. Rh2 Kh6
58. f4 Kg6 59. Rh1 $1 Nf5 (59... Kf6 60. f5 $18) 60. Rg1 Nd6+ 61. Ke5 Nf7+ 62.
Ke6 Nd8+ 63. Kd6 Nf7+ 64. Ke7 $18 {.}) 53... Kg6 $1 {V. Kramnik is quite
experianced and his knowledge is huge, so he couldn't missed his chance - the
position is now drawn.} 54. Ke3 Ng2+ $1 {Again the only move - the knight has
to be placed on h4.} 55. Ke4 Nh4 56. Ra6+ Kf7 (56... Kg7 {was the other
drawing move.}) 57. Ra2 Kf6 58. Ra1 Ke6 59. Rh1 Ng6 60. Rh6 Kf6 61. Rh7 Nh4 62.
Ke3 Ng6 63. Ra7 Nh4 64. Ra6+ Kf5 65. Kf2 Ng6 66. Kg3 {(D) [#]} Ne5 $1 ({
The only drawing move here. Bad was} 66... Nh4 $2 67. f4 $18 {.}) 67. Ra8 Ng6
68. Rg8 Ne5 69. Rf8+ {(D) [#]} Ke6 $1 ({Accurate, as} 69... Kg6 $2 {was losing
to} 70. Kf2 $1 Nf7 71. Ke3 {, as Black cannot place his knight on h4.}) 70. Kf2
Ng6 71. Rb8 Kf5 72. Rb5+ Kf6 73. Ra5 {(D) [#]} Ne5 $1 (73... Nh4 $2 {was
losing to} 74. Kg3 $18 {. As a guide, when the white king goes to the g-file,
the black knight should be around the e5-square, while when the white king
goes to the e-file, the knight should go around the h4-square.}) 74. Ke2 Ng6
75. Ra6+ Kf5 76. Ke3 Nh4 $1 (76... Ne5 $2 77. Ra5 Kf6 78. Ke4 $18 {.}) 77. Ra5+
Kf6 78. Ke4 Kg6 $1 (78... Ng2 $2 79. Ra6+ Kf7 80. Kf5 Nh4+ 81. Kg4 $18 {.}) 79.
Ra1 Kf6 80. Rg1 Nf5 81. Rg2 Nh4 82. Rh2 Ng6 83. Rh5 Nf4 $1 (83... Nh4 $2 84. f4
$18 {.}) 84. Rh8 (84. Rh6+ Ng6 $1 {, was good as well.}) 84... Ng6 $1 85. Rb8 {
(D) [#]} Nh4 $1 86. Rg8 Ng6 87. Kd4 Kf5 88. Ke3 Kf6 89. Ke4 Kf7 (89... Nh4 {
, was good as well.}) 90. Rb8 Nh4 $1 91. Rc8 Kf6 92. Rc1 Ke6 93. Ke3 Kf5 94.
Rc5+ Kf6 95. Rb5 Ng6 96. Ke4 Nh4 $1 97. Rd5 {(D) [#]} Kg6 $1 (97... Ng2 $2 98.
Rd6+ Kf7 99. Kf5 $18 {.}) 98. f4 {A last try...} gxf4 99. Kxf4 Kf7 100. Kg5
Nf3+ 101. Kf4 Nh4 102. Kg5 Nf3+ 103. Kg4 {(D) [#]} Ke6 $1 ({The last accurate
move, so the knight can be placed in a central square next to its king. Losing
was} 103... Ne1 $2 104. Rd2 $18 {.}) 104. Kxf3 (104. Ra5 Ne5+ $11 {.}) 104...
Kxd5 1/2-1/2
[Event "Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.07.22"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Meier, Georg"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2757"]
[BlackElo "2628"]
[Annotator "Lawrence"]
[PlyCount "53"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
{Of course the question on everyone's lips before the round was whether Nepo
was going to win today and clinch sole first. Let's see if he was up to the
task after surviving a busted position yesterday.} 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3
dxe4 {Georg stays faithful to his beloved Rubenstein French.} 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5.
Nf3 Ngf6 6. Nxf6+ Nxf6 7. Ne5 $5 {reassonably rare although it seems Leinier
Dominguez got the better of Georg in this line earlier this year (albeit in
blitz).} (7. Bd3) (7. c3) (7. Bg5) (7. Be3) (7. g3) (7. Bc4 {have all been
played many times.}) 7... Bd6 {Georg repeats the line he played in his 2nd
game against Dominguez} (7... Nd7 8. Bf4 Nxe5 9. Bxe5 f6 10. Bg3 c5 11. Bc4
cxd4 12. O-O Bd6 13. Re1 Bxg3 14. hxg3 O-O 15. Re4 Kh8 16. Rxd4 Qc7 17. Bb3 e5
18. Rd2 Bf5 19. Qf3 Bg6 20. Rad1 Rad8 21. Kh2 Rxd2 22. Rxd2 b6 23. Qd5 h5 24.
Qd7 Rc8 25. c3 Kh7 26. Be6 Qxd7 27. Rxd7 Re8 28. Bd5 a5 29. Rb7 Rd8 30. c4 Rd6
31. Kg1 Kh6 32. f3 Bb1 33. a3 g5 34. Kf2 h4 35. g4 Kg6 36. b4 axb4 37. axb4 f5
38. Ke3 fxg4 39. fxg4 Kf6 40. b5 Bg6 41. Rc7 Be8 42. Be4 Bf7 43. c5 bxc5 44.
Rxc5 Be6 45. Bf3 Rd4 46. b6 Rb4 47. b7 Rb3+ 48. Kd2 Bxg4 49. Bd5 Rb6 50. Rc6+ {
1-0 (50) Dominguez Perez,L (2739)-Meier,G (2628) chess.com INT 2018}) (7... c5
$5 {has to be critical e.g.} 8. Bb5+ Bd7 9. Nxd7 Qa5+ $5 {is cute} 10. c3 Qxb5
11. Nxf8 O-O-O $3 {with what looks like a fantastic game for Black}) (7... Be7
{looks playable}) 8. Bg5 $5 {also very natural} (8. Qf3 c5 9. Bb5+ Ke7 10. O-O
cxd4 11. Bf4 $44 {looked dangerous for Black but I am sure Georg had an
improvement up his sleeve around here} g5 12. Bg3 h5 13. h3 g4 14. hxg4 hxg4
15. Qf4 Rh5 16. Rfe1 Qh8 17. Nc6+ Ke8 18. Ne5+ Kf8 19. Kf1 Rf5 20. Qxd4 Be7 21.
Bd3 Rh5 22. Rad1 Rh1+ 23. Ke2 Rh5 24. Kd2 Nd5 25. Kc1 Bf6 26. Kb1 Ne7 27. Bc4
Nc6 28. Qd6+ Be7 29. Qc7 {1-0 (29) Dominguez Perez,L (2739)-Meier,G (2628)
chess.com INT 2018}) 8... h6 9. Bh4 O-O (9... Bxe5 $2 10. dxe5 Qxd1+ 11. Rxd1
Nd5 12. Bb5+ c6 13. Bd3 $14 {is very unpleasant for Black to play.}) 10. Bd3 c5
11. Qe2 $5 {I guess this is what Nepo had looked at beforehand.} Qa5+ $5 (11...
cxd4 {is the first move you have to look at} 12. O-O {I think castling short
here is ideal as White avoids any potential attack against the king compared
to long castles in such positions. Now the question is how does Black complete
development?} Be7 $5 13. Rad1 Nd5 14. Bxe7 Qxe7 {and I don't see how White
achieves a serious advantage}) 12. c3 cxd4 13. Nc4 $1 {This is the problem
with inserting Qa5+ here, White has this important move} Qc5 (13... Qd5 $5) 14.
Bxf6 gxf6 {also the point, White manages to wreck the Black kingside. Things
are far from clear though.} 15. Qg4+ Kh8 {White needs to act fast here else
Black will consolidate and have a significant advantage.} 16. cxd4 (16. Qh4 $5
Kg7 17. cxd4 {the reason why 13...Qd5!? might be more precise - Black's queen
isn't hit with tempo} Qb4+ 18. Ke2 $1 {and I'd take White all day}) 16... Qb4+
17. Kf1 $6 (17. Ke2 {as per the previous line seems to be more precise, even
if it looks a bit scary}) 17... Bc7 {is fine, but also} (17... Rg8 $5 18. Qh5
Bf8 19. Qxf7 Qe7 20. Qxe7 Bxe7 {and I find it difficult to believe Black can't
hold this}) 18. Qe4 f5 19. Qh4 Kg7 $4 {unfortunately Georg makes the most
natural move which happens to be the losing move} (19... Kh7 $1 {was correct
after which} 20. g4 b5 $1 21. g5 (21. gxf5 bxc4 22. f6+ cxd3 23. Qe4+ Kh8 24.
Qe3 Kh7 25. Qe4+ Kh8 26. Qe3 {is a cute repetition}) 21... Bf4 $1 (21... Rh8 $5
22. Rg1 h5 23. g6+ $1 fxg6 24. Be2 {is apparently very dangerous for Black})
22. Qxf4 bxc4 23. Qh4 Qd2 $1 24. Qxh6+ Kg8 {and apparently this position is
around level} 25. Be2 Rb8 26. Rd1 Qf4 $11) 20. g4 $1 {the difference now is
that Black's king walks into some nasty threats on the g-file} f4 (20... b5 21.
gxf5 bxc4 22. f6+ Kh8 23. Qxh6+ Kg8 24. Qh7#) (20... Bd8 21. Qh5 Qe7 22. h4 $1
{and White will crash through} fxg4 23. Qxg4+ Kh8 24. Qh5 Qf6 25. Ne5 $18) 21.
Rg1 $1 Bd7 22. Qh5 $3 {Nepo was very switched on. Now Black cannot stop White
opening the king up with g5 and crashing through.} (22. g5 $4 {was Georg's
last trick} h5 $1 23. g6 f6 24. Qxh5 Rh8 {and suddenly it's Black who is close
to winning!}) 22... Rh8 23. g5 hxg5 (23... Kf8 24. gxh6 {doesn't change the
evaluation}) 24. Qxg5+ Kf8 25. Qf6 $1 {and Black is busted} Rxh2 26. Rg7 Be8
27. Bh7 {And with this victory Ian wins the tournament and jumps up to world
number 12. No doubt he'll be looking to consolidate his place in the top 10 in
the very near future.} 1-0
[Event "51st Biel GM 2018"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.22"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Navara, David"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D30"]
[WhiteElo "2842"]
[BlackElo "2741"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "127"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. Bg5 Bb4+ 5. Nc3 h6 6. Bxf6 Qxf6 7. e3 O-O 8.
Rc1 dxc4 9. Bxc4 c5 10. dxc5 ({White did not get much after} 10. O-O cxd4 11.
Ne4 Qe7 12. a3 Ba5 13. Qxd4 Rd8 14. Qc5 Qxc5 15. Nxc5 Nd7 16. Nb3 Bb6 {Bu,X
(2718)-Wei,Y (2734) Hangzhou 2018}) 10... Nd7 11. O-O ({The world champ had
lots of experience with Black as well, e.g.} 11. c6 Ne5 12. Nxe5 Qxe5 13. O-O
bxc6 14. Qe2 Rd8 15. Rfd1 Bb7 {was Giri,A (2790)-Carlsen,M (2863) Shamkir 2015}
) 11... Nxc5 12. Nb5 a6 13. Nbd4 {All of this has been played before and
Navara comes up with a novelty.} b5 ({White did well after} 13... Ba5 14. a3
Bb6 15. b4 Ne4 16. Qd3 Ng5 17. Nxg5 hxg5 18. Qe4 {when the dominant position
of the queen on e4 is a factor, Salem,A (2638)-Peralta,F (2556) Sitges 2017})
14. Be2 $5 {The world champion provokes Black's next.} ({Safer seemed} 14. a3
bxc4 (14... Na4 {might be a possibility as well} 15. Bxb5 axb5 16. axb4 Bb7)
15. Rxc4 Bxa3 16. bxa3 {hoping for an edge in the symmetrical position after}
Nd7 ({Or} 16... Ne4 17. Nc6) 17. Nc6) 14... e5 15. Nc2 (15. a3 {was still
possible, but it would not yield White much after} exd4 16. Nxd4 Rd8 17. axb4
Ne6 18. Bf3 Rb8) 15... Rd8 {The white queen is trapped, but...} ({Of course not
} 15... Ba5 16. b4) 16. Nxb4 {This was on purpose.} Rxd1 17. Rfxd1 {So far
Carlsen collected only a rook and a knight for his strongest piece. However,
he got both the open files for his rooks, the knight on c5 is hanging and
there is also the threat of Nb4-d5.} a5 $1 ({The knight cannot retreat since}
17... Ne6 $2 18. Nd5 {puts the black queen in danger and he would lose
material after} Qd8 19. Nc7) ({Also bad is} 17... Qe7 $2 18. Nc6) ({whereas}
17... Qb6 $6 18. Nd5 Qa7 19. b4 Ne6 (19... Nd7 $4 20. Ne7+) 20. Nxe5 {is
clearly inferior pawn loss compared to the game.}) 18. Nd5 Qd6 19. Nxe5 {
Collecting a pawn as well. White has enough material now, but Navara can also
catch his breath...} Bb7 {...and finish the development.} ({There was an
argument for the exchange sacrifice too:} 19... Qxe5 $5 20. Rxc5 Qxb2 21. Bf3
Be6 22. Ne7+ Kf8 23. Bxa8 Kxe7 {since the black queenside passers are
dangerous.}) 20. Bf3 ({Carlsen suggested} 20. f4 {as "a critical try."}) 20...
Rc8 ({Here} 20... Qxe5 {is not as effective for Black, but still playable after
} 21. Rxc5 b4 22. b3) 21. Ng4 {With the threat of Nd5-f6+} Qf8 (21... Kh8 $5)
22. h4 {Opens air for the knight and restricts the black one.} ({White
apparently disliked} 22. h3 Ne6 {followed by Ne6-g5.}) 22... Nd7 {Correctly
trading one of the active white rooks.} 23. Rxc8 Bxc8 24. a3 h5 (24... f5 {
seems good as well, say} 25. Nh2 Nf6 (25... Ne5 $5) 26. Nf1 Be6 {with an
approximately even game.}) 25. Nh2 g6 {Defending the kingside.} ({Instead, I
believe that Navara should have gone for the white queenside pawns with} 25...
Ne5 26. Bxh5 Nc4 27. Rc1 {and now} Bd7 $1 {when it is not that easy to defend
the queenside. For example} ({but not the hasty} 27... Nxb2 $4 28. Rxc8) 28.
Rc2 ({And if} 28. Nf4 Nxb2 29. Rc7 Qd8) 28... Bf5 {Whenever there is play on
two flanks, the queen becomes stronger.}) 26. Be2 Ne5 {Sacrificing a second
pawn.} ({There was nothing wrong with} 26... Qc5 27. Nf3 b4 ({Or} 27... Kg7)
28. axb4 axb4 {and there is no easy way for White to get his hands on the b4
pawn.}) 27. Bxb5 Bb7 28. Nc3 Qe7 29. Rd4 {Now White tries to get the type of
game that the smaller pieces want. Slowly but surely they are shifted to
optimal positions. In the process they defend each other and try to get closer
to the black king.} Qe6 30. Nf1 Qb3 $1 {Naturally Navara does not like to sit
and wait until the white pieces occupy all the good squares.} 31. Rd2 Nc4 32.
Rd7 $1 {Carlsen sacrifices a pawn on his turn.} ({He cannot reach stability
once that the bishop is traded:} 32. Bxc4 Qxc4 {For example} 33. Rd7 Qc6 34.
Rd5 Qb6 35. Rd2 Qc6 36. f3 Qf6 37. Rd4 Qb6 38. b4 Qc7 39. Ne4 Bxe4 40. Rxe4
axb4 41. axb4 Qc1 {followed by Qc1-e1 with a likely draw to follow.}) 32...
Nxb2 33. Rxb7 Qxc3 34. Be8 {That was the point. White makes it to the kingside.
But is he fast enough?} Kf8 35. Bxf7 Qc6 $1 ({Worse was} 35... Qxa3 36. Bxg6)
36. Rxb2 Kxf7 37. Rd2 $1 {Heading for the stable set up with the Rd4 and pawns
on a4 and h4. Next, the knight will come to help.} Qa4 {Grabbing the h-pawn.} (
{It is extremely difficult to say if Black has better defensive chances if he
includes the move} 37... a4 {Most likely White should find a way to break
through, say} 38. Rd4 Qc2 39. Rb4 Kf6 40. g3 (40. e4 $5) 40... Qd1 41. e4 g5
42. Rb6+ Kg7 43. hxg5 Qd3 44. Re6 Qxa3 45. Ne3 {The united efforts of the
white rook, knight and pawn make his chances better.}) 38. Rd3 Qxh4 39. Rd7+
Kg8 40. Rd4 Qe7 41. a4 {White definitely does not risk to lose. The question
is if he has enough resources to bring his e-pawn into motion.} Qa3 42. g3 Qa1
43. Kg2 g5 44. Nd2 g4 $1 {This looks logical as the pawn helps the queen
create perpetual check ideas.} 45. Ne4 Qc1 {But this is unnecessary.} ({
Simple and good seems} 45... Kg7 $1 46. Nc5 Qa2 {The queen is heading to e2
and if the white knight goes too far away-} 47. Nb7 $6 ({Stronger is} 47. Nd3
Qc2 48. Nf4 {although it is still not obvious how realistic White's chances
for a win are-} Qc6+ 49. Kh2 Kh6 {For example} 50. e4 Qc2 51. Kg2 Qb3) 47...
Qe2 48. Nxa5 $2 {White might suffer} Qf3+ 49. Kg1 h4 $1 50. gxh4 g3) 46. Nf6+
Kf7 47. Nxh5 Qc6+ 48. Kg1 Qc1+ {Right after the game Navara thought that this
was the decisive mistake.} 49. Kh2 Kg6 ({Navara had planned} 49... Qc2 {
but here he noticed that after} 50. Rf4+ Kg6 {the knight is not trapped and}
51. Nf6 {is just over.}) 50. Nf4+ Kf6 51. Ng2 Kg5 $2 {Wrong direction.} ({
The king should have stayed in front of the potential passer:} 51... Qc8 52.
Rf4+ Ke5 53. Nh4 Qc2) 52. Rf4 Qd1 53. Nh4 Qc2 54. Nf5 Qd3 55. e4 $1 {The
problem is not that the pawn moves per se. the problem is that the e3 square
is vacated for the knight and thus the g4 pawn cannot be saved.} Qd7 ({Or}
55... Kf6 56. Ne3+ Ke6 57. Nxg4 Qe2 58. e5 {when White slowly convert.}) 56. e5
Qh7+ ({If} 56... Qd5 57. Ne3 {anyway, since} Qxe5 58. Rf5+) 57. Kg1 Qg6 58. Nd6
Qe6 ({Navara had seen that the pawn ending is losing, but he had also seen that
} 58... Qb1+ {is hopeless:} 59. Kh2 Qh7+ 60. Kg2 Qc7 61. Rf5+ Kg6 62. Rf6+ Kh5
63. Rf4 Kg5 64. Re4) 59. Rf5+ (59. Ne4+ Kg6 60. Rf6+ Kh5 61. Rxe6 $4 {would be
stalemate.} (61. Nd6)) 59... Qxf5 60. Nxf5 Kxf5 61. f4 gxf3 62. Kf2 Kxe5 63.
Kxf3 Kf5 64. Ke3 (64. Ke3 {The endgame is lost by just one tempo:} Kg4 65. Kd4
Kxg3 66. Kc5 Kf4 67. Kb5 Ke5 68. Kxa5 Kd6 69. Kb6 Kd7 70. Kb7) 1-0
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.22"]
[Round "1.2"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Georgiadis, Nico"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A15"]
[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2526"]
[PlyCount "55"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. e3 a6 (4... Be7 5. b3 O-O 6. Bb2 b6 7. cxd5
Nxd5 8. Nxd5 exd5 9. Qc2 c5 10. a3 Nc6 11. Bb5 Bb7 12. O-O Rc8 {Carlsen,M
(2843)-Karjakin,S (2782) Stavanger 2018}) 5. b3 c5 (5... Bd6 6. Bb2 O-O 7. g4
Nxg4 8. Rg1 f5 9. cxd5 e5 10. h3 Nf6 11. Ng5 Qe7 {Nepomniachtchi,I (2729)
-Anand,V (2782) London ENG 2017}) 6. Bb2 Nc6 7. cxd5 exd5 8. Rc1 $1 {Already a
new move, and worked out by Mamedyarov at home.} (8. d4 cxd4 9. Nxd4 Bd6 10.
Be2 O-O 11. O-O Re8 12. Rc1 Bc7 13. Bf3 Qd6 {Froewis,G (2439) -Schwabeneder,F
(2382) Graz 2017}) 8... Bg4 {"Not correct." (Mamedyarov)} (8... Be7 9. Be2 O-O
10. d4 {is "a bad position for Black." (Mamedyarov)}) ({He suggested Black
should go} 8... d4 {but White is still better after} 9. Na4 dxe3 10. fxe3 ({or
} 10. dxe3)) ({The best option might be Danny King's suggestion} 8... b5 {
to prevent Na4 altogether when} 9. a4 d4 (9... b4 10. Nb1) 10. exd4 Nxd4 (10...
cxd4 11. Nxb5) 11. axb5 Bd6 {is actually better Black according to the engine.}
) 9. h3 Bh5 10. Na4 Nd7 (10... Ne4 11. g4 Bg6 12. d3 Qa5+ 13. Nd2 {Georgiadis})
11. Be2 b5 (11... Be7 12. O-O (12. g4 Bg6 13. Bxg7) 12... O-O 13. d4 {
Mamedyarov}) 12. Nc3 Nf6 (12... Nb6 13. g4 Bg6 14. Nxb5 $5 axb5 15. Bxb5 Rc8
16. Ne5 Qd6 17. d4) 13. O-O Be7 (13... Bd6 14. a4 b4 15. Nb1 O-O 16. d4 Ne4 17.
Nbd2 {is also good for White.}) 14. a4 Bxf3 (14... d4 15. exd4 cxd4 16. Nxb5 d3
17. Bxd3 Qxd3 18. Nc7+ Kd7 19. g4 Nxg4 20. Nxa8 Nh2 21. Nb6+ Ke8 22. Rxc6 Nxf3+
23. Kh1 {is an amazing computer line.}) 15. Bxf3 Rb8 16. axb5 axb5 17. Ne2 {
White is clearly better.} Qd6 (17... c4 18. d3) 18. Nf4 Nb4 ({The problem with
} 18... Ne5 {is} 19. Bxe5 $1 Qxe5 20. Nd3 Qc7 21. Nxc5 Bxc5 22. b4) 19. Ba3 Na6
$6 {Tactically there's a problem with this.} (19... O-O 20. d4 c4) 20. d4 b4
21. Bb2 O-O 22. Bxd5 $1 Nxd5 23. dxc5 Nxc5 24. Nxd5 Rfd8 $6 ({Protecting the
knight with} 24... Rfc8 {made more sense but} 25. Nxe7+ Qxe7 26. Qg4 f6 (26...
Ne6 27. Bxg7 $1) 27. Rc4 $1 Ne6 28. Rfc1 Rxc4 29. Rxc4 {still gives White an
overwhelming advantage.}) 25. Qg4 Bf8 26. Nf6+ Kh8 27. Qf5 g6 (27... gxf6 28.
Bxf6+ Bg7 29. Bxd8 Rxd8 30. Rxc5) 28. Ne4+ {With 29.Qxc5 next.} 1-0
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.23"]
[Round "2.2"]
[White "Navara, David"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C80"]
[WhiteElo "2741"]
[BlackElo "2801"]
[PlyCount "88"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5
Be6 9. Nbd2 Nc5 10. c3 d4 11. Bxe6 Nxe6 12. cxd4 Ncxd4 13. a4 Rb8 14. axb5 axb5
15. Ne4 Qd5 (15... Be7 16. Nxd4 Qxd4 17. Qxd4 Nxd4 18. Be3 Nc2 19. Ra7 Nxe3 20.
fxe3 Rc8 {Mazur,S (2459)-Talla,V (2436) Senica 2017}) 16. Nxd4 Nxd4 17. Ng3 (
17. Nc3 Qc4 18. Be3 Nf5 19. Qf3 Nh4 20. Qh3 Be7 21. Rfd1 O-O {De Firmian,N
(2595)-Abdel Megid,M (2370) Luzern 1989}) 17... g6 {"My home preparation."
(Mamedyarov)} 18. Be3 Rd8 (18... c5 $6 19. b4) 19. Bg5 Be7 20. Bxe7 Kxe7 21.
Qg4 $1 {Missed by Mamedyarov, who immediately errs.} Ne6 $6 ({Navara expected}
21... Rhe8 {and White might only have a slight edge.}) 22. Qh4+ (22. f4 {
was also strong.}) 22... g5 23. Qb4+ ({Very strong was} 23. Nf5+ Ke8 {and now}
24. Qh6 $1 Qxe5 25. g4 $1 {as shown by the engine. When looking at this
position, Mamedyarov quickly realized he is lost here.}) 23... Qc5 24. Qe4 Qc4
25. Nf5+ Ke8 26. Qxc4 bxc4 27. Rfc1 Rd2 28. Ra8+ Rd8 29. Rca1 $6 {Losing a
tempo compared to the game.} ({Initially Navara thought it's not much for
White after} 29. Rxd8+ Kxd8 30. Rxc4 Kd7 31. h4 Rb8 {but later he realized
that this is much better compared to the game. After} 32. hxg5 Rxb2 33. f4 c5
34. g3 Kc6 35. Ra4 {Navara pointed out a funny self-mate:} Kd5 36. Ne7#) 29...
Rf8 $1 {Missed by Navara.} 30. h4 Rxa8 31. Rxa8+ Kd7 32. Ra4 Rb8 33. Rxc4 Rxb2
34. hxg5 c5 35. Rh4 Nxg5 36. f4 Ne6 37. Nd6 Rb4 38. g3 c4 39. f5 Ng5 40. Kf2
Rb2+ 41. Ke3 c3 42. Nxf7 c2 43. e6+ Ke7 44. Rc4 Nxf7 1/2-1/2
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.23"]
[Round "2.3"]
[White "Svidler, Peter"]
[Black "Georgiadis, Nico"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B51"]
[WhiteElo "2753"]
[BlackElo "2526"]
[PlyCount "111"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. O-O a6 5. Bd3 Ngf6 6. Re1 (6. c3 b5 7. a4 c4
8. Be2 Bb7 9. axb5 axb5 10. Rxa8 Bxa8 11. Na3 Bxe4 12. Nxb5 d5 13. b3 cxb3 14.
Qxb3 e6 {Svidler,P (2753)-Nepomniachtchi,I (2757) Jerusalem 2018}) 6... e6 7.
a4 b6 8. c3 Bb7 9. Qe2 Qc7 10. Na3 Be7 11. Bc2 Rc8 12. d3 O-O 13. Bd2 Rfe8 14.
Rac1 (14. b4 cxb4 15. cxb4 Qb8 16. Bb3 a5 17. bxa5 bxa5 18. Reb1 Qa8 19. h3 Ba6
{Iordachescu,V (2600)-Sadzikowski,D (2547) Gallipoli 2017}) 14... e5 15. Bb3 d5
16. exd5 Nxd5 ({Svidler preferred} 16... Bxd5 {saying "I have zero hopes of
anything at all."}) 17. Qe4 Nxc3 (17... Nf4 $5) 18. Bxf7+ Kxf7 19. Qf5+ Kg8 20.
Bxc3 Bf6 21. Nc4 Qc6 22. Ncxe5 Nxe5 23. Bxe5 Qd5 24. Re3 Bxe5 25. Rxe5 Rxe5 26.
Qxe5 Qxd3 27. Qe6+ Kh8 28. Re1 h6 (28... Qg6 $5 29. Qd7 Qc6 30. Qe7 {Svidler})
29. h3 (29. h4 $5 {Svidler}) 29... b5 30. Ne5 Qd5 31. Qg4 Kh7 $6 ({Better was}
31... Rd8 {and after} 32. Ng6+ Kh7 33. Nf4 Qf7 34. axb5 axb5 {it's still
unpleasant but probably equal, e.g.} 35. Re5 Rf8) 32. Qg6+ Kg8 33. f3 Qd2 $6 ({
There was actually time for} 33... bxa4 {since} 34. Ng4 {can be met by} Qg5)
34. Qf7+ Kh7 35. Kf1 $1 Qd5 36. Qg6+ Kg8 37. Ng4 Qg5 {Missed by Svidler, so he
might have missed it in the earlier line as well.} 38. Qb6 ({Strong was} 38.
Qe6+ Kh8 39. Ne5) 38... Qd5 39. Nxh6+ $5 ({Even better was to return to} 39.
Qg6 Qg5 {and then} 40. Qe6+ Kh8 41. Ne5) 39... Kh7 40. Ng4 Rf8 41. Kg1 ({
There's no time for} 41. axb5 {as Black was threatening to draw with} Rxf3+ 42.
gxf3 Qxf3+ 43. Nf2 Qg2+ 44. Ke2 Qf3+ 45. Kd2 Qxf2+ 46. Re2 Qd4+ 47. Ke1 Qg1+)
41... Qd4+ 42. Kh1 Bxf3 $1 {The best chance.} 43. gxf3 Rxf3 44. Qe6 Qd3 $6 ({
Georgiadis should have tried} 44... Rxh3+ 45. Kg2 Rh5 {when} 46. Qe4+ (46. Kg3
$5 {Svidler}) 46... Qxe4+ 47. Rxe4 Rd5 {is very close to a draw.}) 45. Ne3 $1 {
Missed by Georgiadis.} bxa4 46. Kg2 Rf6 47. Qd5 {With the black pawns crumbled,
White can easily go for the ending.} Qg6+ 48. Kh1 Rf2 49. Rg1 Qh6 50. Rg3 Qf6
51. Qd3+ Kh8 52. Ng4 Qc6+ 53. Kg1 Rxb2 54. Qd8+ Kh7 55. Qh4+ Kg8 56. Nh6+ {
Black is getting mated.} 1-0
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.23"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B07"]
[WhiteElo "2779"]
[BlackElo "2842"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "158"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Bf4 c6 5. Nf3 Bg7 6. Qd2 O-O 7. h3 ({Nothing
much is} 7. Bh6 Bg4 8. Bxg7 Kxg7 9. Ng5 {½-½ Burdalev,K (2377)-Frolov,A
(2406) Prague 2018}) 7... Qa5 8. e5 {A novelty, which does not provide White
any advantage.} ({Instead, in an earlier game White opted for the sharp} 8.
O-O-O b5 9. a3 b4 10. axb4 {Which also led to complex endgame after} Qa1+ 11.
Nb1 Nxe4 12. Qe3 Nf6 13. Qa3 Qxa3 14. Nxa3 {in Yemelin,V (2522)-Utkin,A (2345)
St Petersburg 2001}) 8... dxe5 9. dxe5 Nd5 10. Nxd5 Qxd2+ 11. Bxd2 cxd5 12.
O-O-O {The opening part did not last long. Straight from the opening a complex
endgame arose which probably made some of the chess fans unhappy. But since
both players are amazing masters of that part of the game as well, the best is
yet to come. [Peter Svidler noted that the endgame is not as comfortable for
White as the typical French endgames from e.g. the Vacuum Cleaner variation
because his pawn is not on f4 (yet). - PD]} Nc6 13. Bc3 e6 {Not worrying about
the light-squared bishop. It will get its chance later.} ({Although} 13... Be6
14. Bb5 Rac8 {was also possible.}) 14. h4 {The position resembles the French
defense, but with a strong black bishop on g7. Both players try to play on
their flanks.} h6 15. Bd3 Bd7 16. Rhe1 Rfc8 17. Rd2 Rab8 18. Rde2 b5 19. Nd4 ({
If} 19. b3 Bf8) 19... b4 20. Nxc6 Bxc6 21. Bd4 Bb5 $1 {The chance for the
bishop had come.} 22. Kd2 (22. Bxa7 $2 {loses material to} Bxd3 23. Bxb8 Bxe2)
({However} 22. Bxb5 Rxb5 23. h5 {looked OK for White.}) 22... h5 {"It's
already slightly unpleasant." (MVL)} 23. f4 ({Here and on the next few moves
Vachier-Lagrave avoids the capture of the a7 pawn. After} 23. Bxa7 Ra8 {
Black will regain the pawn and take control of the open a-file:} 24. Bxb5 ({Or
} 24. Bd4 Bxd3 25. Kxd3 Rxa2 26. b3) 24... Rxa7 {In both cases with some small
advantage for the world champion.}) 23... Bf8 24. g4 $1 {Once more
Vachier-Lagrave searches his chances on the kingside.} (24. Bxa7 Bxd3 (24...
Ra8) 25. Kxd3 Ra8 {is again somewhat better for Black.}) 24... hxg4 25. Rg1 (
25. h5 gxh5 26. Rh1 {"Somehow it felt a bit suspicious." (MVL)}) 25... Bc5 26.
Bxc5 Rxc5 27. Rxg4 Kf8 28. Rh2 ({More precise in order to hold the balance was
} 28. h5 Bxd3 29. Kxd3 gxh5 30. Rh4 Ke7 31. f5 exf5 32. Rxh5 {with likely draw.
}) 28... Bxd3 29. Kxd3 {We are entering the most exciting part of the game, a
four-rook complex endgame.} Rc4 $1 {This is the thing. The white rook is
pinned and experiences difficulties in maneuvering. MVL had missed this.} 30.
h5 gxh5 31. Rxh5 Ke7 32. Rgh4 {A second inaccuracy after which Carlsen
completely takes over the initiative.} (32. Rh6 $1 {was strong with the idea
to release the g4 rook and resume the kingside assault. For example} a5 33. Rf6
a4 34. Rg7 Rf8 35. f5 exf5 36. Rxf5 Re4 37. Rf6 Rxe5 38. Ra6 {when again the
most likely outcome would be the draw.}) 32... Rg8 $1 {The white king is
danger, so MVL needs to part with material.} 33. f5 $1 {In activity we trust!
One cannot allow passive defense in the rook endgame.} Rg3+ 34. Kd2 Rg2+ 35.
Kd1 (35. Ke3 exf5 36. Rxc4 dxc4 37. Rxf5 Rxc2 38. Kd4 b3 {is "resignable"
according to MVL.}) 35... Rcxc2 36. f6+ Kd7 {Moving away from the danger zone.}
(36... Ke8 37. Rxb4 {would have been easier to defend.}) 37. Rxb4 a5 ({Black
has winning chances with all rooks on the board.} 37... Rxb2 $2 {would lead to
a position where it is even White to fights for the win after} 38. Rxb2 Rxb2
39. Rh7 Ke8 40. Rh8+ Kd7 41. Rf8) 38. Rb8 $1 {Vachier-Lagrave activated his
rooks in return and is ready for a perpetual.} Rcf2 39. Ke1 Kc6 $1 {The king
takes care of himself.} ({After} 39... d4 40. Rhh8 d3 {White starts the
perpetuum mobile} 41. Rhd8+ Kc6 42. Rbc8+ {with a draw as the king has nowhere
to hide.}) 40. Rc8+ ({Here} 40. Rhh8 {just pushes the black king towards the
white pawns (or the white king).} Kc5) 40... Kb5 41. Rh7 d4 {With the cruel
intention to turn this pawn into a queen by force. This requires desperate
measures by the French GM.} 42. Rg8 $1 Re2+ ({Once more} 42... Rxg8 $2 43. Kxf2
{is plain wrong for Black.}) 43. Kf1 ({Similar was} 43. Kd1 Rgf2) 43... Rgf2+
44. Kg1 Rf4 ({A quicker win was} 44... Rc2 45. Rxf7 Rfe2 46. Kh1 d3 47. Rd7 d2
48. f7 Re1+ 49. Rg1 Rcc1 {(MVL)}) 45. Rxf7 Rxe5 {More and more pawns leave the
stage. But this does not relief White's problems. His king is weak, constantly
in danger of getting mated, the d-pawn is a monster and the black rooks are
doing whatever they want.} 46. Rc7 {Trying an attack again.} ({Here's an
eternal mating threat:} 46. Rd8 $4 Rg5+ 47. Kh2 Rh4#) ({MVL would be happy to
get rid of the d-passer at once. However, after} 46. Rd7 {some neat
intermediate moves allow Carlsen a chance to win a pawn with} Kc6 $1 47. Rxd4 (
47. Rgd8 $4 Rg5+) 47... Rxd4 48. f7 Rf5 49. f8=Q Rd1+ $1 ({Not the immediate}
49... Rxf8 50. Rxf8) 50. Kg2 Rd2+ 51. Kg3 Rxf8 52. Rxf8 Rxb2 {when Black
should be able to convert.}) 46... Rxf6 ({MVL mentioned} 46... d3 {here.}) 47.
Rb8+ Ka6 ({The black should be careful too} 47... Ka4 $4 48. Rc4#) 48. Rc6+ Ka7
49. Rg8 Rf7 $1 {Saveguarding the king. There is also a threat-put the rook
behind the d-pawn and push it.} 50. Rg6 ({After} 50. Rd6 Re1+ 51. Kg2 e5 {
the pawn duo should win.}) 50... Re1+ {Chasing the king to a dangerous
position.} 51. Kg2 d3 52. Rd6 Re2+ 53. Kh3 d2 ({Also interesting was} 53...
Re3+ 54. Rg3 (54. Kg4 e5 {intending Rf7-f4-d4}) 54... Rh7+ 55. Kg2 Re2+ 56. Kg1
d2 57. Rgd3 Rc7 58. Rxd2 Rc1+ 59. Rd1 Rxd1+ 60. Rxd1 Rxb2 {but these makes
White's life is easier and} 61. a3 {might well be a draw.}) 54. Rg8 Kb7 $1 {
“At this point I was about to give up but then I saw there were some chances.
Not even some chances, probably major chances." (Carlsen)} 55. Rgd8 {Finally
the d-pawn leaves the board. Two more left and the draw will be there.} (55. b3
Kc7) 55... d1=Q (55... Rff2 $2 {allows perpetual} 56. R8d7+) 56. Rxd1 Rxb2 57.
Re1 {Trying to reduce the material to the max.} ({Perhaps White should have at
least for once tried to defend passively with} 57. R1d2 Rxd2 58. Rxd2 Kc6 {
Would he hold, is another question.}) 57... Rf6 58. Rd6 Rxa2 59. Kg3 ({Instead
} 59. Rdxe6 Rxe6 60. Rxe6 Rb2 {is a tablebase win for Black.}) ({However} 59.
Rb1+ Kc7 60. Ra6 {would have kept reasonable drawing chances for White.}) 59...
Rb2 60. Re5 Rb3+ $1 {One more of those little nasty checks that somehow
miraculously turn White's position into a hopeless one. No sourcery here; the
king is simply pushed backwards.} (60... a4 $5) 61. Kg2 ({If} 61. Kg4 Rg6+ 62.
Kh5 Rg8 63. Rg5 Rh3+ {forces a win after} 64. Kg4 Rxg5+ 65. Kxg5 a4) 61... a4
62. Ra5 a3 {And since the white king is on the second rank, Carlsen will
manage to push the a-passer far enough.} 63. Rda6 Rff3 64. Ra7+ ({After} 64.
Rxe6 {Black wins with} Rfc3 65. Re2 Kc6 {followed by Rb3-b2.}) 64... Kc6 65.
R7a6+ Kd7 {One more king dance.} 66. Ra7+ Kd6 67. R7a6+ Ke7 68. Re5 Rfc3 $1 {
A beautiful final touch of a brilliant game.} (68... Rf6 69. Re2 {is less
convincing.}) 69. Rexe6+ Kd7 70. Kf2 ({Nothing helps, although Black still has
to be very careful:} 70. Re2 Kc7 ({But not} 70... Rb2 $2 71. Rxb2 axb2 72. Rb6)
71. Re7+ ({If} 71. Ra4 Rc6 ({But not} 71... Rb2 $2 72. Rxb2 axb2 73. Rb4) 72.
Rf2 Kb7 73. Rf7+ Kb6 74. Ra8 Rc2+ 75. Rf2 Kb7 76. Ra4 Rcb2 $1 ({Once again
avoiding a reef} 76... Rxf2+ 77. Kxf2 Rb2+ 78. Ke3 a2 79. Kd3 {with a draw.})
77. Kf1 Kb6 78. Rf6+ Kb5 79. Ra8 (79. Rfa6 Ra2 $1) 79... Rc3 $1 {and wins.})
71... Kb8 72. Re2 Rc7 $1) 70... Rb2+ 71. Re2 Rh3 $1 ({Very nice, even though}
71... Kc7 $1 {would have also won.}) 72. Kg2 ({Since} 72. Rxb2 axb2 73. Rb6 {
loses to the tactical shot} Rh1 $1 74. Rxb2 Rh2+) 72... Rxe2+ 73. Kxh3 a2 74.
Kg3 Kc7 {The king's last dance. Triumphal.} 75. Kf3 Kb7 76. Ra4 Rh2 77. Ke3 Kb6
78. Kd3 Kb5 79. Ra8 Kb4 (79... Kb4 {White resigned as the king will support
the passer after} 80. Rb8+ Ka3 81. Ra8+ Kb2 82. Rb8+ Kc1 83. Ra8 Kb1 84. Rb8+
Rb2 {All the black pieces did a tremendous job. Rubinstein would have enjoyed
the spectacle!}) 0-1
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.24"]
[Round "3.1"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Svidler, Peter"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B94"]
[WhiteElo "2842"]
[BlackElo "2753"]
[PlyCount "52"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 Nbd7 ({For
reference on White's 15th move, here's Dubov-Artemiev, Tbilisi 2017:} 6... e6
7. f4 h6 8. Bh4 Be7 9. Qf3 Nbd7 10. O-O-O g5 11. fxg5 hxg5 12. Bg3 Qc7 {
and now the same idea} 13. Bb5 $5 {and White won in 41 moves.}) 7. Qe2 ({
Another important move is} 7. Bc4 {e.g.} h6 8. Bh4 g6 9. Qe2 Bg7 10. O-O-O O-O
11. Bb3 Qc7 12. Kb1 Rb8 13. f4 e5 14. fxe5 dxe5 15. Nf3 b5 {Nepomniachtchi,I
(2751)-Korobov,A (2678) Poikovsky 2018}) 7... h6 8. Bh4 g6 9. f4 Qc7 ({In his
2015 Najdorf book, Parimarjan Negi had} 9... e5 10. fxe5 dxe5 11. O-O-O Qc7 12.
Nb3 {as his main line. It still is, and Svidler knew that, but since Carlsen
was playing quite fast, he felt it was time to deviate.}) 10. O-O-O {Around
here Svidler started to regret including ...h6, Bh4.} Bg7 11. g4 (11. Kb1 O-O
12. Nf3 e5 13. f5 b5 14. g4 b4 15. Nd5 Nxd5 16. exd5 a5 {Melia,S (2400)
-Travkina,A (2287) Riga 2017}) 11... e5 12. fxe5 ({Svidler mentioned} 12. Ndb5
axb5 13. Nxb5 Qc6 (13... Qa5 14. Nxd6+ Kf8 {is the actual refutation}) 14. Rxd6
Qxe4 {and here, listening to these moves blindfold, Carlsen after just a few
seconds came up with with the beautiful} 15. Re6+ $1 Kf8 (15... fxe6 16. Nd6+)
16. Re8+ $3 {and White wins.}) 12... Nxe5 13. h3 (13. Nf5 $5) 13... Be6 14. Qf2
Nfd7 15. Bb5 $5 {A move that reminds of the Gothenburg variation, but also, as
Anish Giri pointed out, Dubov-Artemiev, Tbilisi 2017! In this case the move is
purely positional.} O-O ({Of course not} 15... axb5 16. Nxe6 fxe6 17. Nxb5 {
and Black can resign.}) 16. Bxd7 Qxd7 ({Svidler didn't like} 16... Nxd7 17. Be7
Rfc8 18. Nxe6 fxe6 19. Bxd6 Qa5 20. Rhf1 Kh8) 17. Nf5 $5 gxf5 18. gxf5 Kh7 ({
After} 18... Bc4 19. f6 Bh8 20. Qf4 Ng6 21. Qxh6 Qe6 22. Rhg1 Bxf6 23. Bxf6
Qxf6 24. h4 Qg7 25. Qg5 Qe5 26. h5 {was Carlsen's intention. He called it
"horrible" for Black.}) 19. Rhg1 Bh8 (19... Rg8 20. Rxg7+ $1 Rxg7 21. Bf6 {
is promising for White.}) 20. Bg3 ({Carlsen spent most of his time on a third
piece sac:} 20. Bg5 $5 hxg5 (20... Bg7 21. f6 $1) 21. Rxg5 Ng6 22. fxg6+ fxg6
23. Qh4+ Kg7 24. Rdg1 {but after} Qf7 $1 (24... Rf6 $2 25. Rh5 Rf1+ 26. Kd2 $1)
25. Qh5 Qf4+ 26. Kb1 Kf7 27. Rxg6 Ke7 {the king runs and now, in order for
White not to lose, he needs to play} 28. Rxe6+ Kxe6 29. Qd5+ Ke7 30. Qxb7+ Ke6
31. Qd5+) ({The players didn't see it immediately for White after} 20. Bg5 hxg5
21. Rxg5 Ng6 22. Rdg1 Bg7 {but the computer goes} ({The best chance is probably
} 22... Rac8) 23. Rh5+ Kg8 24. f6 $1 Qd8 25. fxg7 Kxg7 26. Qd4+ f6 27. Rhg5 Bf7
28. h4 {and Black won't survive this.}) 20... Rac8 21. Bf4 Qe7 22. fxe6 fxe6
23. Qg3 Rg8 24. Qf2 Rgf8 25. Qg3 Rg8 26. Qf2 Rgf8 ({Svidler wasn't sure about}
26... Nc4 27. Rxg8 Rxg8 28. Qe2 {when} b5 29. Qd3 Be5 $5 30. Bxe5 Qg5+ 31. Kb1
Qxe5 32. a4 $5 {is probably equal.}) 1/2-1/2
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.24"]
[Round "3.3"]
[White "Georgiadis, Nico"]
[Black "Navara, David"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E62"]
[WhiteElo "2526"]
[BlackElo "2741"]
[PlyCount "78"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. Nc3 d6 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. O-O e5 8. dxe5
dxe5 9. Bg5 Be6 10. Qa4 Qc8 (10... h6 11. Rad1 Qe7 12. Nd5 Bxd5 13. Bxf6 Bxf6
14. cxd5 Nd4 15. e4 Nxf3+ 16. Bxf3 Rfd8 {Edouard,R (2628)-Bacrot,E (2692) Cap
d'Agde 2016}) 11. Rfd1 Nd7 12. Nd5 e4 13. Ne1 Nb6 14. Qb3 (14. Qc2 f5 15. Rd2
Kh8 16. Rad1 Ne5 17. b3 c6 18. Nf4 Bg8 19. Be7 Re8 20. Bc5 Qc7 21. Qc1 Qf7 {
Akopian,V (2615)-Nijboer,F (2505) Wijk aan Zee 1993}) 14... Bxd5 15. cxd5 Nd4
16. Qe3 Nc4 17. Qxe4 Re8 18. Rxd4 ({Georgiadis didn't like} 18. Qh4 Nxe2+ 19.
Kf1 Nxb2 ({but Navara was planning} 19... Nd6 {when} 20. Be3 {is actually
quite playable for White.})) 18... Rxe4 19. Rxe4 Nd6 $1 {Now Black is much
better but it's not easy to convert the advantage.} ({Georgiadis had expected}
19... Nxb2 20. Rc1 {with good compensation.}) 20. Re3 Bxb2 21. Rd1 a5 {
Georgiadis had missed this plan of running with the a-pawn.} 22. Rb3 (22. Re7
Qd8 $1) 22... Bg7 23. Bf4 b5 24. Rc1 Qd7 25. Nd3 b4 26. e4 Nb5 27. e5 (27. Ne5
Qe8 28. Nc6 Nc3 $1) 27... Rd8 {Navara forgot that his a-pawn will be hanging...
} (27... Re8 28. d6 Nc3) 28. Nc5 Qe8 $6 ({Black should play} 28... Qf5 {when}
29. Nb7 Re8 30. Nxa5 {can be answered by} Nd4 $1 31. Rb2 g5) 29. Nb7 Rb8 30. d6
$5 {With three minutes on the clock Georgiadis decided to go for complications.
} (30. Nxa5 {would have been quite OK for White.}) 30... cxd6 31. Bc6 Qe6 32.
exd6 $2 {But this is clearly wrong.} (32. Bxb5 Rxb7 33. Bc4 Qf5 (33... d5 34.
Bxd5 $1) 34. exd6 Bf6 35. Rd3 {would have been unclear.}) 32... Nc3 33. Rb2 g5
34. Be3 (34. Bxg5 Nxa2) 34... Nxa2 35. Rxa2 Qxa2 36. d7 Bf6 37. Ba7 Rf8 38. Re1
Qd2 39. Kf1 b3 0-1
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.24"]
[Round "3.2"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A04"]
[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2779"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. Nc3 e5 4. e3 Nf6 5. d4 e4 6. Ne5 ({Earlier this year
the French GM held the world champion after} 6. d5 exf3 7. dxc6 fxg2 8. cxd7+
Bxd7 9. Bxg2 g6 10. b3 Bg7 11. Qd6 Qb6 12. Qxb6 axb6 13. Bb2 Bc6 14. O-O Ke7
15. Nd5+ Bxd5 16. cxd5 Rhg8 {Carlsen,M (2843)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2789), Grenke/
Baden-Baden 2018 which I annotated as well.}) 6... g6 7. g4 {Vachier-Lagrave
remembered that he had looked at this move in the past and thought that leads
to rich play, but could not remember much of his analyzes during the game.} h6
8. Bg2 Bg7 9. h3 $1 {The novelty. The idea is to keep all the options open. It
certainly poses a ton of practical problems for both the players.} (9. h4 cxd4
10. exd4 d5 11. g5 hxg5 12. hxg5 Rxh1+ 13. Bxh1 Nh5 14. cxd5 Nxe5 15. dxe5 Bxe5
16. Qa4+ Kf8 17. Qxe4 Qe7 {was the sharp course of the game Movsesian,S (2699)
-Ponomariov,R (2743) Khanty-Mansiysk 2013}) 9... Qe7 (9... O-O) 10. b3 $1 cxd4
({Mamedyarov revealed one of his key ideas in the post mortem. If} 10... Nb4
11. a3 Na6 {with the strong threat d7-d6 White prepared the fantastic:} 12. O-O
d6 13. f4 $1 O-O 14. Ra2 $1 {Followed by Ra2-f2 with an attack for the piece.
"Computer says 0.00 but I like it."}) ({The capture of the central pawn} 10...
Nxe5 11. dxe5 Qxe5 12. Bb2 O-O 13. Rb1 Qe7 14. h4 {leads to bad position
according to Mamedyarov.}) ({Vachier-Lagrave did not consider} 10... d6 {
seriously as it loses a tempo. White is better after} 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. Qc2 ({
Or} 12. O-O)) (10... Nd8 11. O-O d6 12. f4 {would be similar as the last line.}
) 11. exd4 Nxe5 12. dxe5 Qxe5 13. Bb2 d5 ({On} 13... O-O {Black did not like}
14. Qd2 {For example} Re8 ({And} 14... e3 15. Qxe3 Qxe3+ 16. fxe3 {leads to
clear edge for White in the endgame.}) 15. Nd5 {when the queen sacrifice is
forced} Qxb2 16. Qxb2 Nxd5 17. Qc1 Bxa1 18. Qxa1 Nf4 19. O-O {but not as sound
as Carlsen's sacrifice against Navara.}) 14. Qe2 $1 {MVL had missed this.} (14.
Qd2 {can be met with} dxc4 15. Nxe4 Qe6 16. O-O Nxe4 17. Bxe4 O-O) 14... Qe7 ({
After} 14... d4 15. Nb5 (15. Nxe4 {(Mamedyarov) is also good as the d4 pawn
will soon disappear from the board.}) 15... O-O 16. Bxd4 Qf4 17. Qe3 {(MVL)
Black is in very bad shape.}) ({Here} 14... dxc4 $2 {drops a piece due to the
pin} 15. Nxe4 Qe6 16. Nxf6+) 15. cxd5 O-O 16. O-O {Simple and good. The
e4-pawn went too far and White will win it in the coming moves.} ({Mamedyarov
also considered the long castle-} 16. O-O-O Qd6 (16... Bd7)) 16... Re8 ({
After the game Vachier-Lagrave regretted that he did not follow his original
intention:} 16... b6 17. Nxe4 Nxe4 18. Bxg7 Kxg7 19. Qxe4 Qxe4 20. Bxe4 Bb7 {
with chances to defend despite the pawn deficit.}) (16... b6 17. Rad1 $5 {
(MVL) intending d5-d6 is also strong for White.}) 17. Rfe1 Bd7 ({This was the
last chance for} 17... b6 {when the forced line leads to a rook endgame:} 18.
Nxe4 Nxe4 19. Bxg7 Kxg7 20. Qxe4 Qxe4 21. Rxe4 Bb7 (21... Rxe4 22. Bxe4 Bb7 23.
Rc1 Rd8 24. Rc7 Bxd5 25. Bxd5 Rxd5 26. Rxa7 {which players were inclined to
consider more lost than draw for Black.}) 22. Rd4) 18. Nxe4 Nxe4 19. Bxg7 Kxg7
20. Qxe4 Qxe4 ({Black could not find way to improve his pieces after} 20... Qf6
21. Qf3) 21. Bxe4 h5 {"A terrible move, based on oversight" (MVL)} ({Black
should have defended with} 21... b6 22. d6 Rac8 23. Bb7 Rcd8 ({Or} 23... Rc2
24. Rxe8 Bxe8 25. Rd1 Bd7 26. a4 Rc3 27. Bd5 Kf8) 24. Rxe8 Bxe8 25. Re1 {
although the French GM was not optimistic about his chances here neither.}) 22.
gxh5 gxh5 ({Only here did Black realize that his active idea} 22... Re5 23.
hxg6 Rg5+ 24. Kh2 Bxh3 {will be refuted with the zwischenzug} 25. f4 $1 {
For example} (25. Kxh3 $4 Rh8#) 25... Rh5 26. Kg3 fxg6 27. Bf3 {and White wins.
}) 23. h4 $1 {Fixes the pawn on a light square. The rest was easy for
Mamedyarov.} Rac8 24. Bf3 Rxe1+ 25. Rxe1 Kf6 ({The passive defense will not
help-} 25... Kg6 26. Kh2 {followed by Kh2-g3-h4 and then say Re1-g1-g5 would
be soon over.}) 26. d6 ({Not the immediate} 26. Bxh5 Rh8) 26... b6 27. Re7 Rd8
28. Bxh5 Be6 29. Rxa7 Rxd6 30. Kg2 Rd8 31. Bf3 Ke5 32. Ra4 1-0
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.25"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Georgiadis, Nico"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C17"]
[WhiteElo "2526"]
[BlackElo "2842"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "116"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 e6 {Carlsen noticed that Georgiadis does not have any games in a
particular line of the French defense and decided to test his opening
knowledge there.} 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Ba5 6. b4 cxd4 7. Qg4 Kf8
8. Nb5 Bc7 {"A bluff." (Carlsen)} ({Instead} 8... Bb6 {"I know this is the
strongest move." (Georgiadis)} 9. Nf3 Nc6 10. Bb2 Nge7 11. Bd3 Ng6 12. Qg3 f6
13. Bxg6 hxg6 14. Nbxd4 Nxd4 15. Bxd4 Kf7 {as in Inarkiev,E (2683)-Vallejo
Pons,F (2705) Sochi 2017}) 9. Qxd4 ({The world champion knew a recent blitz
game of Mamedyarov which went} 9. Qg3 Nc6 10. f4 a6 11. Nxc7 Qxc7 12. Bb2 Nge7
13. Bd3 Nf5 14. Qf2 {and apparently prepared something there, Fedoseev,V (2724)
-Mamedyarov,S (2809) Moscow 2018}) 9... Nc6 10. Qc5+ Nge7 11. Nxc7 Qxc7 12. Nf3
b6 13. Qd6 $5 {The bluff did not work well. It is even Georgadis who comes up
with an interesting over-the-board novelty.} ({It is interesting that players
knew that the correct continuation is:} 13. Qc3 {"with advantage for White"
(Carlsen)} a6 14. Bd3 Bb7 15. Bf4 (15. O-O) 15... Rc8 16. O-O h6 17. Rfe1 {
Van Haastert,E (2440)-Berelowitsch,A (2549) Belgium 2014}) 13... Qxd6 14. exd6
Nf5 {The pawn is seemingly doomed, but White has foreseen this.} 15. Bf4 f6 16.
g4 Nfd4 17. Nxd4 Nxd4 18. O-O-O e5 19. Rxd4 {All of this has been calculated
by the young Swiss GM when he opted for the novelty. In return for the
exchange he gets the bishop pair, a strong passer and piece activity. The rook
on h8 looks particularly ugly.} ({However, it made sense to postpone the
capture for a move and use Carlsen's suggestion} 19. h3 $1 {which saves the
important pawn. After} Bb7 20. Rxd4 exd4 {White has full compensation for the
exchange in many ways:} 21. Bb5 (21. Bg2 $5) (21. h4 $5) 21... a6 22. Bd7 Rd8
23. Be6 {with an interesting endgame ahead.}) 19... exd4 20. Bb5 Bxg4 ({
Carlsen did not consider seriously the cementing move} 20... Be6 {as after} 21.
Rd1 {followed by Rd1xd4 "White does not risk to lose."} ({White can also save
the g4 pawn, but not with} 21. h3 $6 g5 $1 22. Bg3 h5) ({Better is to save it
with} 21. g5 $5)) 21. Re1 g5 {Opening some room for the pieces with tempo.} 22.
Bg3 Rd8 {Missed by White.} ({Georgiadis was hoping for} 22... h5 23. d7 Kf7 24.
Re8 ({Weaker is} 24. Bc7 Be6) 24... Raxe8 25. dxe8=Q+ Rxe8 26. Bxe8+ Kxe8 {
with a draw in the opposite-colored bishop endgame.}) 23. Re7 h5 (23... Rg8 {
leads Black nowhere after} 24. Rxh7 Rg7 25. Rh8+ Rg8 26. Rh7) 24. h4 gxh4 25.
Bf4 ({The other way to defend was} 25. Bxh4 Rxd6 26. Rxa7 {but then White
parts with his main asset.}) 25... Bf5 {Brining the kingside rook out.} ({
Carlsen did not like this move and suggested instead} 25... a5 $5 {to clear he
seventh rank out of his pawns, thus not allowing White too many passers. The
arising lines are extremely interesting. Most logical seems to bring the king
out:} 26. Kd2 {when after the sequence} ({not} 26. Bd3 Rd7) 26... Bf5 27. bxa5
bxa5 28. Bd3 Bxd3 29. Kxd3 Re8 30. Rb7 h3 {both sides have dangerous passers.
Play may continue:} 31. Kxd4 $1 Re4+ 32. Kc5 $3 ({But not} 32. Kxd5 {when
Black has a study-like win:} Rxf4 33. d7 ({If} 33. Rb8+ Kg7 34. Rxh8 Rf5+ $1 {
The neatest solution.} (34... h2 $1 35. Rxh5 Rf5+ {would also do.}) 35. Kd4 h2
36. d7 h1=Q 37. d8=Q Qd1+ 38. Kc3 Rc5+ {and mate comes soon.}) 33... Ke7 34.
d8=Q+ Kxd8 35. Rb8+ Kd7 36. Rxh8 Rf5+ $1 37. Ke4 h2 {and the pawn queens.})
32... Rxf4 ({Objectively best is:} 32... Rc4+ 33. Kb5 Rxf4 34. Rb8+ Kf7 35.
Rxh8 Ke6 36. Rxh5 Rxf2 37. Rxh3 Kxd6 {when Black preserves winning chances.})
33. Rb8+ Kf7 ({Here} 33... Kg7 $2 34. Rxh8 Rc4+ 35. Kxd5 Rxc2 36. Rxh5 {
is awkward for Black.}) 34. Rxh8 Rc4+ 35. Kxd5 Rxc2 36. d7 h2 {and it all ends
peacefully after} 37. Rxh5 Rxf2 38. Rh7+ Kg6 39. Rh8 Rd2+ 40. Kc6 Rc2+) 26.
Rxa7 Rh7 ({The computer suggestion} 26... Rc8 27. a4 Rxc2+ 28. Kd1 {makes
little sense for a human being. The d6 passer is left almost on its own. Is
the pawn on c2 worth the journey?}) 27. Rc7 Bd7 {A critical moment of the game.
Although Georgiadis was in time-trouble already and Carlsen had more than an
hour on his clock, it is the world champion who misses an important detail.} ({
From afar Black calculated} 27... Rxc7 28. dxc7 Ra8 29. a4 Ke7 30. Bc6 Rh8 {
(rook anywhere)} 31. a5 ({Carlsen's intuition did not fail him. White indeed
wins here with the precise:} 31. b5 $1 {when} Bd7 {is met with} 32. Bxd5) 31...
bxa5 32. bxa5 {and thought he should be winning with} ({Then it dawned to him
that} 32. b5 $1 {is in fact better and he might even lose the game. It might
however be still a draw after} Bd7 33. Bb7 Bxb5 34. c8=Q Rxc8 35. Bxc8 d3 {
as there are almost no white pawns left alive.}) 32... Bc8) ({On} 27... h3 28.
Kd2 {should not change much.}) ({The big question is if Black was winning
after:} 27... Kg8 {which intends Rh7-g7. A possible line is:} 28. Bc6 Rg7 29.
a4 ({But not the other way round} 29. Bxd5+ Kh8 30. a4 $4 Rxc7 31. dxc7 Rxd5)
29... Rg1+ 30. Kd2 Kh8 31. Bxd5 Ra1 32. Re7 {Prepared Bf4-h6.} (32. Bh6 Rxd6)
32... Rxa4 33. Bh6 h3 34. Bg7+ Kh7 35. Bxf6+ Kg6 36. Be5 Rc8 37. Bb3 Rxb4 38.
Rg7+ Kh6 39. Rf7 {Nothing is clear here neither, but the unsafe position of
the black king and the limited material on the board should be objectively
enough for the first player to survive.}) 28. Bc6 $1 {This is what Carlsen
missed.} h3 ({It is too late to revert to the previous line} 28... Bf5 29. a4)
29. Kd2 (29. a4 Rg7 30. Bh6 Bxc6 31. Rxg7 {should also suffice for a draw.})
29... Rg7 {Forcing matters.} ({After} 29... h2 30. Bxh2 Rg7 31. Bxd5 {the
bishops are at least not worse than the rooks.}) 30. Bh6 Bxc6 31. Rxg7 Rxd6 32.
Rg5+ $1 {Another neat move by the Swiss GM.} ({Black was hoping to push after}
32. Rg3+ Kf7 33. Rxh3 Kg6 34. Bf4 Re6 {It is the more or less the same
position as the game except that the h5 pawn is still alive. And} 35. Kd3 $2 {
is not good to} Bb5+ 36. Kxd4 Re4+ {(Carlsen)}) 32... Kf7 33. Rxh5 Bb5 ({
Black cannot keep the h3 passer alive-} 33... Bd7 34. Bf4 Rc6 35. Rh7+ Ke8 36.
Rh8+ Ke7 37. Rh7+ Kd8 38. Rh8+) 34. Rxh3 Re6 35. Rf3 {The opposite-colored
bishops determine the draw outcome, but Carlsen keeps on trying to squeeze
water from stone.} Kg6 36. Bf4 Rc6 37. Bg3 Rc4 38. Rd3 Kf5 39. Rf3+ Ke6 40. Rd3
f5 41. f3 f4 ({Or} 41... Ba4 42. c3) 42. Bf2 Ke5 43. c3 {One more pair of
pawns is traded as well as the rooks. Many people would have accepted the draw
now, but the world champion found one more resource.} Rc6 $1 44. Rxd4 Rh6 45.
Kc1 ({There was another way to the peace:} 45. c4 Bxc4 46. Rxf4 Rh2 47. Ke3
Rxf2 48. Rxc4 Rxf3+ 49. Kxf3 dxc4 50. a4 {(Carlsen) For instance:} Kd4 51. Ke2
c3 52. a5 bxa5 53. bxa5 Kc5 54. a6 Kb6 55. Kd3) 45... Rh3 46. Rd2 Rxf3 47. Bd4+
Ke4 48. Kb2 Rd3 49. Rxd3 Kxd3 50. Bxb6 Ba4 ({Unfortunately for Black, he
cannot win the bishop and save his last pawn from the trade at the same time.
For example:} 50... Ke2 51. Kb3 f3 52. a4 Bc4+ 53. Kc2 f2 54. Bxf2 Kxf2 55. b5
Ke3 56. b6 Ba6 57. Kb3 ({But not} 57. c4 d4 $1) 57... Ke4 58. Kb4 Kd3 59. Kc5 (
{Or} 59. a5 Kd2 60. Kc5 Kxc3 61. Kxd5) 59... Bb7 60. a5 Kxc3 61. a6 ({The pawn
endgame is also a draw:} 61. Kb5 d4 62. a6 Bxa6+ 63. Kxa6 d3 64. b7 d2 65. b8=Q
d1=Q) 61... Bxa6 62. Kxd5) 51. Ba7 f3 52. Bg1 Kd2 ({If} 52... Ke2 53. c4 dxc4
54. Kc3 Bb5 55. a4) 53. Ba7 $1 ({"The only thing White should avoid is"} 53.
Bd4 Ke2 54. c4 Kd3 $1 {(Carlsen) although even this is a draw after} 55. Bf2
dxc4 56. Kc1 Ke2 57. Bg1 f2 58. Bxf2 Kxf2 59. Kd2) 53... Bd1 54. Bc5 Ba4 55.
Ba7 Ke2 56. c4 d4 57. Bxd4 Kd3 58. Ba7 Kxc4 1/2-1/2
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.25"]
[Round "4.2"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Svidler, Peter"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E60"]
[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2753"]
[PlyCount "82"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 c6 4. Bg2 d5 5. Qa4 dxc4 6. Qxc4 Be6 7. Qa4 Bg7 8. Nf3
O-O 9. O-O Nbd7 10. Nc3 Nd5 (10... Nb6 11. Qc2 Bc4 12. Rd1 Nfd5 13. e4 Nxc3 14.
bxc3 Qc8 15. a4 h6 {Dreev,A (2653)-Izzat,K (2484) chess.com INT 2018}) 11. Rd1
N7f6 (11... Nxc3 12. bxc3 Bd5 13. Qc2 Nf6 14. Ba3 Qc7 {Ushenina,A (2443)
-Bodnaruk,A (2446) Sochi 2018}) 12. h3 $6 Qb6 $6 {The only move Svidler played
without thinking but he misses a tactic which Mamedyarov noticed right after
playing h3.} ({After} 12... Qc8 $1 {White has to play} 13. Nxd5 (13. Kh2 Nxc3
14. bxc3 Ne4 {is the tactic; both f2 and c3 are hanging.}) (13. g4 h5) 13...
Bxd5 {and Black has equalized.}) 13. Ne1 Rfd8 (13... Nxc3 $5 14. bxc3 Bd5) 14.
e4 Nxc3 15. bxc3 Qb5 16. Qxb5 (16. Qc2 $5) 16... cxb5 17. Ba3 Bf8 18. d5 Bc8
19. Rac1 (19. e5 Nd7 20. f4 Nb6 21. Bc5 {King} Na4 22. Bd4 b6 {Svidler}) (19.
Nc2 e5 $1 {and Black is fine.} (19... Nd7 20. Nd4 a6 21. Ne6 {Mamedyarov}))
19... e6 20. d6 e5 21. Nd3 (21. f4 Be6 22. Nf3 Nd7 $1) 21... Ne8 22. Nxe5 Be6
23. Rd2 Bxd6 24. Rcd1 Bc7 25. Nd7 Nd6 26. Nf6+ Kg7 27. Nd5 Bxd5 28. Rxd5 Nc4
29. Bc5 a6 30. f4 Rxd5 31. Rxd5 Bb6 32. e5 ({Svidler was very much worried
about} 32. Bd4+ Bxd4+ 33. cxd4 {but Mamedyarov pointed out} Rc8 34. Rd7 Nb6 35.
Rxb7 Rc1+ {and Black might just survive, e.g.} 36. Kh2 Nc4 37. e5 Rc2 38. e6
Ne3 39. e7 Rxg2+ 40. Kh1 Re2) 32... Rc8 33. Bxb6 Nxb6 34. Rd6 Na4 35. Bxb7 Rxc3
36. Bxa6 Rxg3+ 37. Kh2 Ra3 38. Bxb5 Rxa2+ 39. Kg3 Nc5 40. Rd4 Ra3+ 41. Kg2 Ne6
1/2-1/2
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.25"]
[Round "4.3"]
[White "Navara, David"]
[Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D85"]
[WhiteElo "2741"]
[BlackElo "2779"]
[PlyCount "56"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 c5 8.
Be3 Qa5 9. Nd2 (9. Qd2 O-O 10. Rc1 Rd8 11. d5 e6 12. Bg5 f6 13. Be3 Nc6 {
Yu,Y (2759)-Svidler,P (2753) Shenzhen 2018}) 9... Bd7 10. Rb1 Ba4 11. Qxa4+
Qxa4 12. Bb5+ Qxb5 13. Rxb5 b6 14. dxc5 {MVL said he "forgot this is better
for White."} Nd7 (14... Bxc3 15. Ke2 Bxd2 16. Kxd2 Nd7 17. c6 Nf8 {Melkumyan,H
(2620)-Khalifman,A (2632) Moscow 2012}) 15. Ke2 Bxc3 {Navara thought for 43
minutes here because there's a big choice to make.} 16. Nb3 (16. c6 $1 {
was probably best:} Nf8 (16... Nf6 17. Nc4 O-O-O 18. f3) 17. Nf3 $5) (16. Rc1
$5) 16... O-O 17. c6 (17. Rc1 $5) 17... Nf6 18. Kd3 Bb2 19. Nd2 Rfd8+ 20. Kc4
Ba3 21. e5 Rac8 (21... Ng4 $5) 22. exf6 Rxc6+ 23. Kb3 Rd3+ 24. Ka4 Bd6 25. Rb3
Rd5 26. Rb5 Rd3 27. Rb3 Rd5 28. Rb5 Rd3 1/2-1/2
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.26"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C77"]
[WhiteElo "2842"]
[BlackElo "2801"]
[PlyCount "133"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. c3 d6 8. Bg5 (
8. Nbd2 O-O 9. Nf1 d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Ng3 f6 12. O-O Be6 {Caruana,F (2799)
-So,W (2788) London 2017}) 8... h6 9. Bh4 O-O 10. Nbd2 Be6 11. O-O Bb6 12. Re1
Bxb3 (12... Kh7 13. Bc2 Ne7 14. d4 Ng6 15. Bg3 Re8 16. Nf1 Nh5 {Grischuk,A
(2761)-Mamedyarov,S (2800) Paris 2017}) 13. Nxb3 Nb8 14. d4 Nbd7 15. a4 Re8 16.
Qc2 Qe7 17. h3 Rab8 18. axb5 axb5 19. Na5 Bxa5 20. Rxa5 c6 21. Ra7 Qe6 22. Rd1
Nf8 ({Not} 22... Ra8 $6 23. d5 cxd5 24. exd5 Nxd5 25. Rxd7 Qxd7 26. Rxd5) 23.
Rc7 Rec8 24. Rxc6 Rxc6 25. d5 Qc8 26. dxc6 Ne8 $1 (26... Qxc6 $2 27. Bxf6 gxf6
28. Nh4 {is horrible for Black.}) 27. Be7 $5 Qxc6 28. Nh4 Ng6 29. Nf5 Rb7 30.
Bxd6 Rd7 31. Ba3 Rxd1+ 32. Qxd1 Qxe4 33. Ne3 Nf6 34. g3 h5 35. h4 Qc6 36. Bb4
Kh7 37. b3 Qa8 38. c4 bxc4 39. bxc4 Qc6 40. Bd6 Kg8 41. c5 Qe4 42. Qf1 ({
Interesting, and perhaps the last chance for something tangible, was} 42. Be7
$5 Nxe7 43. Qd8+ Kh7 44. Qxe7 Kg6 45. Qd6) 42... Nd5 43. Nxd5 Qxd5 44. Qc1 f6
45. Qc2 e4 46. Kf1 Kf7 47. Qa4 Qd3+ 48. Kg1 Kg8 49. Qa2+ Kh7 50. Kh2 Qd1 51.
Qa3 Qd2 52. Qe3 Qd5 53. Qc1 Kg8 54. Kg1 Kf7 55. Qa1 Kg8 56. Qc1 Kf7 57. Qb1 Ne7
58. Bxe7 Kxe7 59. Qb6 Qd1+ 60. Kh2 Qd4 61. Qb7+ Ke6 62. Qc6+ Ke7 63. Kg2 e3 64.
Qb7+ Ke6 65. Qc8+ Kd5 66. fxe3 Qg4 67. Qd8+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.26"]
[Round "5.3"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Georgiadis, Nico"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A18"]
[WhiteElo "2779"]
[BlackElo "2526"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. e4 d5 4. e5 d4 5. exf6 dxc3 6. bxc3 Qxf6 7. Nf3 Nc6 8.
d4 e5 9. Be2 exd4 10. Bg5 Qg6 11. O-O Be7 ({According to Vachier-Lagrave} 11...
dxc3 {which happened in a recent game is more interesting, for example} 12. Bd3
Qd6 13. Re1+ Be7 {as in Dubov,D (2701)-Nakamura,H (2787) Moscow 2018. "But it
is a draw," added the Frenchman.}) 12. Bd3 {A novelty, which improves on an
earlier game.} ({After} 12. Bxe7 Nxe7 13. cxd4 O-O 14. Bd3 Qf6 15. Qc2 h6 16.
Rab1 {White also got a better position in Foglieni,M (2021) -Fantinel,T (2429)
Bratto 2016}) 12... Qd6 (12... Qh5 {"is too dangerous for Black" (MVL). The
French GM continued the line with} 13. Bxe7 Nxe7 14. Re1 {but was not exactly
sure what he would do after} dxc3 {Most likely it would be:} 15. Qa4+ (15. Rb1
$5) 15... Bd7 16. Qb4 Be6 17. Re5 Qh6 18. Qb5+ c6 19. Qxb7 {with strong
initiative.}) 13. Bxe7 Nxe7 ({White seriously considered the odd-looking} 13...
Kxe7 14. Re1+ Be6 {when} 15. c5 $1 {is strong:} Qxc5 16. cxd4 Nxd4 17. Rc1 {
For example} Nxf3+ 18. Qxf3 Qd6 19. Qxb7 Rhc8 20. Qe4 g6 21. Rc6 Qd7 22. Qb4+
Kf6 23. Qc3+ Ke7 24. Bb5 $1 {and White wins.}) 14. cxd4 O-O 15. Re1 {"This is
just slightly better for White, a very unpleasant position." (MVL)} b6 ({On}
15... Bf5 16. c5 Qd8 ({Not} 16... Qd7 $2 17. Rxe7) ({But Vachier-Lagrave
considered seriously the pawn sacrifice} 16... Qf6 17. Rxe7 ({Now} 17. Ne5 {
does not yield White much after} Rad8 18. Bc4 Ng6) 17... Bxd3 18. Rxc7 Be4 19.
Ne5 {White is a pawn up, but a strong bishop can sometimes compensate for it.}
({Georgiadis also calculated this line, but missed the little tactics} 19. d5
$2 Bxd5 {from afar.} 20. Qxd5 $4 Qxa1+)) 17. Bc4 {White preserves the
advantage.}) 16. c5 Qf6 (16... bxc5 {"is a more serious try" (MVL) when} 17.
dxc5 Qxc5 {Here} 18. Re5 {was the forcing line that Vachier-Lagrave considered
seriously, but at the end of it} ({Georgiades apparently wanted to avoid the
endgame after} 18. Rc1 Qd6 19. Bxh7+ Kxh7 20. Qxd6 cxd6 21. Rxe7 Kg6 {The less
pieces (and pawns) the higher the drawing chances in my opinion, but
apparently Black did not like to defend this.}) 18... Qd6 19. Be4 Ng6 20. Rb5
Qxd1+ 21. Rxd1 {The rook is trapped and} Ba6 22. Ra5 {is a double attack, but
Black has a defense:} Rad8 ({Or even} 22... Be2 23. Re1 Bxf3 24. Bxf3 Rae8 25.
Rxe8 Rxe8 26. g3 {although this is definitely big advantage for White thanks
to the better minor piece.})) 17. Be4 c6 {A blunder, although the alternative
wasn't much better.} ({If} 17... Rb8 18. Ne5 ({Or} 18. Qa4)) 18. cxb6 axb6 19.
Qb1 {The double attack nets White a pawn.} Bf5 20. Qxb6 Bxe4 21. Rxe4 Qd6 {
A good decision according to Vachier-Lagrave.} ({On} 21... Nd5 {White intended
to consolidate with} 22. Qc5 Rfb8 ({There is also the cute line} 22... Qg6 23.
Rae1 Rxa2 24. Qxf8+ Kxf8 25. Re8# {(MVL)}) 23. Qc2) 22. Qc5 Qxc5 23. dxc5 Nd5 {
Next White consolidates his position.} 24. a4 g6 25. g3 Rfb8 26. Rc4 Ra6 27.
Nd4 Rb2 28. Ra3 Kg7 29. Rd3 Ne7 (29... Nf6 {was mandatory according to White
when} 30. Rb3 Ra2 31. Rb7 R2xa4 {loses to} (31... Kg8 {is not completely clear.
}) 32. Rxa4 Rxa4 33. Ne6+ {(MVL)}) 30. Nf3 Nd5 ({If} 30... Ra2 31. Rd7) ({
However} 30... Ra7 {was a decent defensive try when} 31. Ne5 Ra2 32. Rd6 ({
Therefore White needs to play for a win with something like} 32. Rdd4) 32...
R2xa4 33. Rxa4 Rxa4 34. Nxc6 Nxc6 35. Rxc6 {should be a draw.}) 31. Ne5 Rb4 ({
Here} 31... Nf6 {is met with} 32. Rd6) 32. Rxb4 Nxb4 33. Rd7 Kg8 ({If} 33...
Kf6 34. Nxf7 Rxa4 35. Nd8 {an White gets closer.}) 34. Nxf7 Ra5 ({White should
also win after} 34... Rxa4 35. Ng5 h6 36. Nf7 h5 37. Ng5 Ra1+ 38. Kg2 Rc1 39.
Ne6) 35. Ng5 Rxc5 $2 {This hangs a rook but the position was lost anyway.} (
35... Rxa4 36. Rxh7 {also wins.}) 36. Rd8+ Kg7 37. Ne6+ 1-0
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.27"]
[Round "6.2"]
[White "Georgiadis, Nico"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B92"]
[WhiteElo "2526"]
[BlackElo "2801"]
[PlyCount "78"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Be3
Be6 9. Nd5 Nbd7 10. Qd3 Bxd5 11. exd5 Rc8 12. c4 O-O 13. O-O Ne8 14. Qd2 (14.
f3 g6 15. Kh1 Ng7 16. Bg1 Bg5 17. Rad1 h5 18. Nd2 f5 {Karjakin,S (2782)
-Grischuk,A (2766) Paris 2018}) 14... b6 15. Rac1 a5 16. Na1 f5 (16... g6 17.
b4 Ng7 18. bxa5 bxa5 19. Bd3 Nc5 20. Bc2 a4 {Carlsen,M (2853)-Grischuk,A (2771)
Saint Louis 2015}) 17. f3 (17. f4 $5) 17... f4 18. Bf2 Bh4 19. Bd3 Bxf2+ 20.
Qxf2 Nc5 21. Bc2 g6 $5 {"If I play ...g6, I can always play ...g5. If I play ..
.g5, I can never play ...g6 anymore." (Mamedyarov)} (21... g5 22. Nb3 Nxb3 23.
Bxb3 Ng7 24. Bc2 {was what Georgiadis was hoping for.}) 22. Rfe1 Ng7 23. Be4
Qd7 24. Nc2 Nf5 25. b3 Kh8 26. Rb1 Ng7 ({Mamedyarov wasn't sure of} 26... g5
27. a3 Rg8 28. b4 axb4 29. axb4 Nxe4 30. fxe4 (30. Rxe4) 30... Nh4 31. Qxb6 g4
32. c5 g3 {but Georgadis was completely right when he said: "This looks like
mate."}) 27. Na3 Nf5 28. Nb5 Rf6 (28... Ne3 29. Rxe3 fxe3 30. Qxe3 {and White
is OK (Mamedyarov).}) 29. a3 g5 30. Nc3 $2 ({White had to take here:} 30. Bxf5
Qxf5 (30... Rxf5) 31. b4 axb4 32. axb4 Nd3 {and now the point missed by
Georgiadis:} 33. Qc2 $1 Nxe1 34. Qxf5 Rxf5 35. Nxd6 {Mamedyarov}) 30... Nd4 31.
b4 axb4 32. Rxb4 g4 33. Qh4 ({After} 33. Rxb6 {Black has many strong moves, e.
g.} g3 (33... Rg8) (33... gxf3)) 33... Nxe4 34. Nxe4 Rg6 35. fxg4 Nc2 36. Rxb6
Nxe1 37. Nf6 Qg7 38. Rxd6 Rh6 39. Qxe1 Rxf6 0-1
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.27"]
[Round "6.1"]
[White "Navara, David"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D41"]
[WhiteElo "2741"]
[BlackElo "2842"]
[PlyCount "89"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 c5 {Navara said he was a bit surprised
about this.} 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 cxd4 8. cxd4 Bb4+ 9. Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.
Qxd2 O-O 11. Rc1 b6 12. Bd3 Ba6 {Here Navara was "out of book." "I remembered
this was supposed to be the best here." (Carlsen)} 13. Bxa6 (13. O-O Bxd3 14.
Qxd3 Nd7 15. e5 Re8 16. Rc3 Nf8 {Li,C (2725)-Wei,Y (2734) Ningbo 2018}) 13...
Nxa6 14. O-O Rc8 (14... Qe7 15. Qe2 Qb7 16. Ne5 Rac8 17. h4 Nb8 18. Nc4 Qa6 19.
Rc2 Nd7 {So,W (2788)-Dominguez Perez,L (2739) Saint Louis 2017}) 15. Rxc8 (15.
h4 $5 Qd6 (15... h6 $5)) 15... Qxc8 16. Rc1 Qb7 17. Qc2 Nb4 {Navara was
surprised that this move "worked."} 18. Qc4 a5 19. a3 b5 20. Qc7 Qxc7 21. Rxc7
Nd3 22. g3 (22. Rc3 Nf4 {and}) (22. d5 exd5 23. exd5 Rd8 24. Nd4 g6 {are equal.
}) 22... Rb8 {Navara expected it to finish in a draw but then got surprised
about this move.} (22... f5 23. Ng5 b4 24. axb4 axb4 {is equal.}) (22... Ra8 $6
23. Kf1 b4 (23... a4 24. Ke2 Nb2 25. Nd2) 24. Ke2 Nb2 25. axb4 axb4 26. Rb7) (
22... h6 23. Rc3 Nb2 24. Rb3 Nc4 25. Rxb5 Ra8 26. Rb3 a4 27. Rc3 Nd6 {might
also be possible.}) 23. Rc3 {"A winning attempt." (Navara)} (23. d5 exd5 24.
exd5 g6) 23... Nb2 24. Ne5 f6 $1 {With this move Carlsen calculated more or
less everything that follows.} (24... Nc4 $6 25. Nxc4 Rc8 26. Kf1 bxc4 27. Ke2
Kf8 28. Kd2) 25. Nc6 Ra8 26. Rb3 Nc4 27. Rxb5 a4 28. d5 exd5 29. exd5 Nxa3 30.
Rc5 (30. Rb4 Nc2 31. Rb2 a3 ({not} 31... Na3 $2 32. d6 Nc4 33. d7 Nxb2 34. Ne7+
Kf7 35. Nc8) 32. Ra2 Ra6 33. Kf1 Kf7 {is also a draw.}) 30... Kf7 31. Nd4 Ke7 (
{Navara had seen} 31... Ra7 32. d6 Ke8 33. Rc7 Rxc7 34. dxc7 Kd7 35. Ne6 {
followed by 36.Nc5+.}) 32. Rc3 Nb1 33. Rc7+ Kd6 34. Nb5+ Kxd5 (34... Ke5 35.
f4+ (35. Re7+ Kxd5 36. Re1 Nd2 37. Nc7+ Kd6 38. Nxa8 Nf3+ 39. Kf1 Nxe1 40. Nb6)
35... Ke4 36. d6 a3 37. Re7+ Kd5 38. d7 a2 39. Re8 a1=Q 40. Rxa8 Qxa8 41. Nc7+
Kc6 42. Nxa8 Kxd7 43. Nb6+ {Navara}) 35. Rc1 a3 36. Rxb1 a2 37. Nc3+ Kd4 38.
Nxa2 ({Carlsen pointed out a line another drawing that Navara hadn't seen:} 38.
Ne2+ Kd3 39. Nc1+ Kc2 40. Ra1 Kb2 41. Rxa2+ Rxa2 42. Nxa2 Kxa2 43. Kg2 Kb3 44.
Kf3 Kc4 45. Ke4 Kc5) 38... Rxa2 39. Rb7 Ke4 40. Kg2 g5 41. Rxh7 Kf5 42. Rg7 g4
43. Rh7 Kg6 44. Rh4 f5 45. h3 1/2-1/2
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.27"]
[Round "6.3"]
[White "Svidler, Peter"]
[Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A34"]
[WhiteElo "2753"]
[BlackElo "2779"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "62"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nb4 6. Bc4 Nd3+ 7. Ke2 Nf4+ 8.
Kf1 Ne6 9. d3 ({Both games in Georgia went} 9. h4 {One of them was decisive
for the match and continued} Nd4 10. d3 e6 11. Bf4 a6 12. Nxd4 cxd4 13. Ne2 Nc6
14. a3 Bd6 15. Bxd6 Qxd6 16. Qd2 Bd7 17. f4 e5 18. f5 g6 {as was annotated
here on Chess. com; Svidler,P (2751)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2804) Tbilisi 2017})
9... Nc6 ({According to Svidler there is nothing wrong with} 9... g6 10. h4 h5
{The Russian GM in fact was astonished that his opponent never used the idea
in none of their three games.}) 10. h4 g6 11. h5 ({A predecessor saw:} 11. Be3
Ned4 12. Nd5 Bg7 13. Nxd4 Bxd4 14. h5 Bxe3 15. Nxe3 g5 {Krassowizkij,J (2452)
-Clitan,Z (2115) Ditzingen 2017}) 11... Bg7 12. Be3 ({In the press conference
players briefly discusses another way to improve, the clever} 12. Qd2 $1 {
The idea is to trade everything along the h-file and sneak into the black camp
via the h6 square. After} Ne5 ({Perhaps Black needs to proceed with the
development with} 12... Bd7 13. hxg6 {and agree to worsen his pawn structure}
fxg6 ({As} 13... hxg6 $6 14. Rxh8+ Bxh8 15. Qh6 Bg7 16. Qh7 {is excellent for
the first player.})) 13. Nxe5 ({Or the immediate} 13. hxg6) 13... Bxe5 14. hxg6
hxg6 15. Rxh8+ Bxh8 16. Qh6 Bg7 17. Qh7 {the plan is fulfilled and White is
definitely better.}) ({White avoided the natural-looking} 12. h6 Bd4 13. Nxd4
Nexd4 {"which only developes the black pieces" (Svidler)}) ({Also interesting
was} 12. Nd5 $5 Ned4 13. h6 Be5 14. Nxe5 Nxe5 15. Bf4 {which they both liked a
lot for White, although things might not be that clear after} f6) 12... Ned4
13. h6 ({Nothing yields} 13. Nb5 Nxf3 14. Qxf3 Ne5) 13... Bf6 14. Nd5 Bg4 15.
Nxf6+ exf6 16. Bxd4 Nxd4 ({Both players saw the tricky:} 16... Bxf3 17. Bxf7+
$1 Kxf7 18. Qb3+ Ke8 {when Vachier-Lagrave believed that best is:} 19. Qe6+ $1
({Whereas Svidler was tempted by} 19. Bxc5 Bg4 20. Qxb7 Bd7 {although it seems
as Black can hold his position together in this line.}) 19... Qe7 20. Qxe7+
Nxe7 21. Bxf6 Rf8 22. Bxe7 Kxe7 23. gxf3 Rxf3 {with winning chances for White.}
) 17. Qa4+ Qd7 ({Black did not want to play the position after} 17... Bd7 18.
Qa3 Qe7 ({Although MVL was seriously investigating the line} 18... b5 19. Bd5
$1 (19. Nxd4 bxc4 {seems to work well for Black.}) 19... b4 20. Qa6 Bb5 {
Hoping to trap the white queen. Unfortunately for him} 21. Qb7 {creates a
double threat and} Bxd3+ {can be met with the key move} 22. Ke1 $1 {Prevents
the trade of the queens and wins material for White after say} ({Worse is} 22.
Kg1 Ne2+ 23. Kh2 Qb8+ {and Black saves everything.}) 22... O-O 23. Nxd4 cxd4
24. Qxa8 {and White should win.}) 19. Nxd4 cxd4 20. Qb3 {With the queens on,
White should be better.}) ({Svidler expected} 17... Ke7 18. Nxd4 Qxd4 19. Qb3 {
but Vachier-Lagrave calculated that he will lose a pawn after} Rab8 ({It seems
as Svidler's intuition was correct though as Black has the strong resource}
19... b5 $1 {When White cannot capture anything:} 20. Bxf7 $2 {drops a piece to
} (20. Qxb5 $2 {leads to decisive attack for Black after} Rhb8 21. Qc6 Rxb2) ({
And} 20. Bxb5 a6 21. Bc4 Rhb8 22. Qc3 Rxb2 23. Qxd4 cxd4 {regains the pawn
with advantage for Black.}) ({Best would be} 20. Bd5 Be6 21. Bxe6 fxe6 {
with equality as} 22. Qxb5 $2 Rhb8 {does not work again.}) 20... c4) 20. Bxf7
Rhd8 21. Bd5 {and dismissed the line.}) 18. Qxd7+ Bxd7 19. Nxd4 cxd4 20. e5 ({
Correct was} 20. Ke2 Ke7 21. Rhc1 Rhc8 22. Bd5 (22. a4 f5) 22... Be6 {(MVL,
Svidler) with a likely draw.}) 20... fxe5 21. Re1 f6 22. f4 Rf8 23. Kg1 Ke7 24.
fxe5 f5 25. Rh4 f4 ({White was hoping to torture his opponent in the line:}
25... Be6 26. Bxe6 Kxe6 27. Rxd4 Rfd8) 26. Re4 g5 27. Rh5 (27. Rh1 Rf5 28. Kf2
Bc6 {is clearly better for Black.}) 27... Rf5 {Missed by Svidler. Now he
thought for about twenty minutes in order to repair the damage. However...} 28.
g4 ({Perhaps White should have tried} 28. Rxd4 Rxe5 29. Rd5 Rxd5 30. Bxd5 Kf6
31. Bxb7 Rb8 32. Be4 Bf5 {although Black's edge is indisputable here.}) 28...
fxg3 29. Rg4 Raf8 30. Rhxg5 {Svidler realized that he had missed something
else, a mate...} ({From afar the Russian GM thought that he forces a draw with
} 30. Rgxg5 Rf1+ 31. Kg2 {but spotted at the last moment that} R1f2+ $1 {
is a forced mate-} 32. Kxg3 (32. Kg1 Bc6 $1 33. Rxg3 Rf1+ 34. Kh2 Rh1#) 32...
R8f3+ 33. Kh4 Rh3#) ({Neither does} 30. Rxg3 {help after} Bc6 31. Rgxg5 Rf1+
32. Kh2 R8f2+ 33. Kg3 ({Or} 33. Kh3 Rh1+ 34. Kg3 Rg2+ 35. Kf4 Rf1#) 33... Rg2+
34. Kh4 Rh1#) 30... Rf1+ 31. Kg2 Bc6+ (31... Bc6+ {White resigned due to} 32.
Kxg3 Rg1+ (32... R8f3+ {would also do as White needs to part with the rook in
order to avoid mate:} 33. Kh2 R3f2+ 34. Kh3 (34. Rg2) 34... Rh1+ 35. Kg3 Rg2+
36. Kf4 Rf1#) 33. Kh2 Rh1+ 34. Kg3 Rf3+ 35. Kg2 Rxd3+ 36. Kf2 {And now the
rook returns to f3 with the following maneuver:} Rd2+ 37. Kg3 Rg2+ 38. Kf4 Rf2+
39. Kg3 Rf3+ {to win the bishop as well.} 40. Kg2 Rc3+) 0-1
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.29"]
[Round "7.2"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B90"]
[WhiteElo "2842"]
[BlackElo "2779"]
[PlyCount "97"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. f3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. Be3
h5 9. Qd2 Nbd7 10. Nd5 Bxd5 11. exd5 g6 12. Be2 (12. O-O-O Nb6 13. Kb1 Nbxd5
14. Bg5 Be7 15. Bd3 Rc8 16. Rhe1 O-O 17. h3 b5 18. g4 h4 19. Bxh4 Nf4 {Vidit,S
(2707)-Korobov,A (2678) Poikovsky 2018}) 12... Bg7 13. O-O a5 $5 {"I tried a
little experiment in the opening that was a little dubious but gave plenty of
play." (MVL)} 14. a4 O-O 15. Bb5 (15. Nc1 Nc5 16. c3 Qc7 17. Rd1 Kh7 18. Ra2
Ng8 19. Bb5 e4 20. f4 Ne7 {Palekha,A (2421)-Kovchan,A (2536) Serpukhov 2003})
15... Qc7 16. c4 b6 17. h3 Nc5 18. Nxc5 bxc5 19. Ra3 Nh7 20. Rb3 f5 21. Bc6 ({
In hindsight, Carlsen suggested} 21. Qe1) 21... Rab8 {"I think this was a
miscalculation but still it's not so simple." (Carlsen)} (21... Ra7 22. Qe1 {
was "terrible" according to MVL.}) 22. Rb5 f4 23. Bf2 e4 24. Qc2 $1 {Missed by
MVL. "I was counting on that from far away and I was very optimistic about my
chances for sure." (Carlsen)} Qe7 (24... e3 25. Be1 {attacks a5 and g6.}) 25.
Qxe4 Qxe4 26. fxe4 Ng5 27. Re1 Nf7 28. Rb1 Ng5 29. Rxa5 $2 {"Basically I just
missed that the d3-square existed, which is pretty unforgivable." (Carlsen)} (
29. Bh4 $6 Nxe4 30. Be7 f3 {MVL}) (29. Be1 f3 $5 30. h4 Bd4+ 31. Kf1 Nxe4 32.
Rxb8 fxg2+ 33. Kxg2 Rxb8 34. Bxa5 Rb3 {and Black is OK. "Long variation, wrong
variation," - Carlsen.}) 29... Rb3 30. Rb5 Rd3 {"Here I was terrified. It's
coming apart." (Carlsen)} 31. Re1 ({Carlsen really wanted to play} 31. b4 Nxe4
32. bxc5 {but he thought} Rd2 {was very strong. However, it's not completely
clear after} 33. cxd6 Rxf2 34. Re1 Rxg2+ 35. Kxg2 f3+ 36. Kh1 Ng3+ 37. Kh2 f2
38. Rbb1) 31... f3 (31... Bd4 {is also interesting (MVL).}) 32. h4 Nf7 ({
Engines point out that} 32... Rd2 $3 {was a winning move here, and MVL did
consider it. However, after} 33. hxg5 fxg2 34. Be3 {it's very hard for humans
to find the quiet} Rc2 $3 {when Black wins beautifully. As soon as he was told
Rc2 is the winning move, MVL saw why:} ({MVL looked at} 34... Bd4 {but the
simple} 35. Rb3 {just wins}) 35. Bd7 (35. Ra5 Rf3 $1) 35... Be5 $1 36. Bh3 Rf1+
37. Rxf1 Bh2+ $1 38. Kxh2 gxf1=Q+ {Amazing stuff.}) 33. a5 Ne5 34. a6 Rd2 35.
a7 fxg2 (35... Rxf2 36. Kxf2 Ng4+ 37. Kf1 Nh2+ 38. Kf2 Ng4+ {is just a draw.})
36. a8=Q ({Also interesting was} 36. Rb8 Nf3+ 37. Kxg2 Nxe1+ 38. Kf1 Rdxf2+ 39.
Kxe1 Kh7 $1 40. Rxf8 Rxf8 41. a8=Q Rxa8 42. Bxa8 {but Carlsen felt his bishop
was "so terrible" that this could well be lost for White, although a
study-like draw might still exist after} Bf6 43. e5 Bxh4+ 44. Ke2 Be7 45. b4 (
45. e6 g5 46. Kf3 Kg6) 45... dxe5 46. bxc5 Bxc5) 36... Nf3+ 37. Kxg2 Nxe1+ 38.
Kf1 Rdxf2+ 39. Kxe1 Rxa8 40. Kxf2 Rf8+ 41. Ke2 Rf4 42. b4 cxb4 (42... Rxe4+ 43.
Kf3 Rxc4 44. bxc5 {is an obvious draw (MVL).}) 43. c5 Be5 44. cxd6 Bxd6 45. Kd3
Kf7 46. Rb6 Bc5 ({"I'm not really in danger after} 46... Rxh4 {" - MVL. "But
you're not really in danger of winning either!" - Carlsen.}) 47. Rb5 Bd6 48.
Rb6 Bc5 49. Rb5 1/2-1/2
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.29"]
[Round "7.3"]
[White "Georgiadis, Nico"]
[Black "Svidler, Peter"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B90"]
[WhiteElo "2526"]
[BlackElo "2753"]
[PlyCount "56"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6 {Svidler spent
eight minutes on this move...} 7. g4 h6 8. h4 e5 {...and 18 minutes on this
one. Svidler said that when this line in fashion and he played it as White, he
tried all kinds of moves but not h4.} ({He also looked at} 8... d5 {quite
deeply.}) 9. Nf5 g6 (9... Nc6 10. Bc4 Be6 11. Bb3 h5 12. gxh5 Bxf5 13. exf5 Qd7
{Kobalia,M (2677)-Inarkiev,E (2707) Konya 2012}) 10. Nxh6 (10. Bg2 d5) 10...
Bxh6 11. Bxh6 (11. g5 Ng4 12. gxh6 (12. Bc1 Qb6 {was what Svidler had
calculated.}) 12... Nxe3 13. fxe3 Rxh6 14. Qf3 Be6 15. O-O-O Nc6 16. h5 Qg5 {
Kurmann,O (2456)-Fier,A (2573) Basel 2013}) 11... Bxg4 12. f3 ({Svidler
expected} 12. Qd2 Nc6 13. Bg5 Nd4 14. Bg2 Bf3 15. Kf1 {and now} Qd7 ({not
Svidler's} 15... Qc8 16. Bxf3 Nxf3 17. Qxd6) 16. Bxf6 Bxg2+ 17. Kxg2 Qg4+ 18.
Kf1 Qf3 19. Rh2 Qxf6 20. Nd5 Qd8 {is equal.}) 12... Bxf3 13. Qxf3 Rxh6 14.
O-O-O (14. Bc4 Nbd7 15. O-O-O) 14... Nc6 15. Bxa6 (15. Qf2 Nd4 16. Bh3 Nh5 17.
Nd5 Ng3 18. Rhf1 Nxf1 19. Rxf1 f5 {Boemelburg,H-Kosmol,H Germany 1996}) ({
Svidler thought} 15. Bc4 Nd4 (15... Rc8 $5) 16. Rxd4 exd4 17. e5 {was strong
but after} dxc3 (17... dxe5 18. Ne4 g5 19. Rf1 $1) 18. exf6 {he might have
missed} Rh5 $1 19. Qxb7 d5 20. Bd3 Rb8 21. Qc6+ Kf8 22. Qxc3 Rb6 {and it's not
clear if White has enough compensation.}) 15... Rxa6 16. Rhf1 ({Georgiadis
suggested} 16. Rdf1 {but Svidler had spotted} Nb4 $3 {during the game:} 17. a3
d5 18. axb4 dxe4 19. Qe3 Ra1+ 20. Nb1 Rh5) 16... Nd4 17. Rxd4 (17. Qxf6 Qxf6
18. Rxf6 {is good for Black but he should avoid} Rxh4 $6 (18... Ne6 $1 {
Georgiadis.}) 19. Rdf1 Rh7 20. Nd5 Rxa2 21. Kb1 Ra5 22. Rxd6 Rh2 23. Nc7+ Ke7
24. Rdf6) 17... exd4 18. Nd5 Rxa2 $1 19. Nxf6+ Kf8 20. Kb1 Ra5 ({The engine
says} 20... Ra7 {is more accurate.}) 21. Qf4 Kg7 22. b4 Rb5 23. Nd5 (23. Kc1 $5
) 23... f5 $1 {Now everything works for Black.} 24. exf5 Rxd5 25. f6+ Kh7 26.
Qe4 Rhh5 27. Qe6 Qf8 28. Qd7+ Kh6 0-1
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.29"]
[Round "7.1"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Navara, David"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E10"]
[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2741"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "135"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. e3 c5 5. Nc3 a6 6. cxd5 exd5 7. Be2 Nc6 8. O-O
cxd4 9. Nxd4 Bd6 ({Navara did not like} 9... Bc5 10. Nxc6 bxc6 11. Qa4) 10. b3
({Instead} 10. Nf3 O-O 11. b3 Be6 12. Bb2 Qe7 13. Qd3 Rfd8 14. Rac1 Ne5 15. Qd4
{was the course of the game Grigoriants,S (2563)-Matlakov,M (2694) Tallinn 2016
}) 10... Be5 11. Nxc6 {A novelty.} (11. Ba3 Nxd4 12. exd4 Bd6 13. Bxd6 Qxd6 14.
Bf3 {Biljanic,L (2322)-Todorovic, N (2100) Nis 2013}) 11... bxc6 12. Bb2 h5 ({
Black can also play something normal like} 12... O-O) ({or} 12... Bf5 {with a
typical, slightly better position for White thanks to the isolated pair of
pawns on c6 and d5.}) 13. f4 $1 Bb8 ({From afar Navara calculated the line}
13... Bd6 14. Na4 Ng4 15. Qd4 ({but then he saw both} 15. Qc1 $1) ({and} 15.
Qc2 $1 {which are very unpleasant for Black to say the least.}) 15... Qh4 16.
h3 Qg3 17. hxg4 hxg4 18. Qxg7 Rh2 {The Czech GM thought that at least he is
not losing here. Indeed,} 19. Qg8+ $2 {would be mate to the white king after} (
{However White can fight for the advantage with the only move:} 19. Rf2 Qh4 20.
Qh8+ Qxh8 21. Bxh8 Rxh8) 19... Bf8 20. Bf3 Qh4) 14. Na4 Ba7 15. Bd4 {Now
Mamedyarov fixes the isolated pawns and also his advantage.} Bg4 16. Bxg4 hxg4
17. Rc1 Qd6 18. Qc2 (18. Nc5 $5 {was also interesting.}) 18... Bxd4 19. exd4
O-O {The best way to part with the pawn.} ({On} 19... Rc8 20. Rfe1+ Ne4 {
White has the tactical resource} 21. Nb6 Rc7 22. Nxd5 $1) 20. Qxc6 Qa3 21. Qc2
Rac8 22. Qb2 Qxb2 23. Nxb2 {Navara believed that he has enough compensation
for a pawn here but this is hardly the case.} Rxc1 ({The Czech GM suggested
instead:} 23... Rfe8 {when something passive like} 24. Rxc8 ({However} 24. Nd3
{makes things much harder for Black and in order to stay in the game he has to
find some non-trivial resources:} Rxc1 25. Rxc1 Re2 26. Nb4 a5 27. Rc2 Re1+ 28.
Kf2 g3+ $1 29. hxg3 ({Of course not} 29. Kxe1 $4 gxh2) 29... Re4 30. Nd3 Ng4+ {
although White's chances are superior here as well.}) 24... Rxc8 25. Nd3 Rc3
26. Rd1 a5 {would indeed promise Black compensation.}) 24. Rxc1 Re8 25. Kf1 $1
{Missed by Black. Mamedyarov sacrifices the pawn back but increases the
activity of his pieces and maintains the better pawn structure. His queenside
potential passers are particularly dangerous.} ({He was probably hoping for
either} 25. Na4 Re2) ({or} 25. Rc2 g3 $1 26. hxg3 Ng4 27. Nd3 Re4 {when things
are not clear at all.}) 25... Re4 26. g3 Rxd4 27. Ke2 g5 ({Navara regretted
that he did not do this a move later:} 27... Re4+ 28. Kd3 g5 29. fxg5 Nd7 {
when Nd7-e5 comes with a tempo.}) 28. fxg5 ({Back was also worried about} 28.
Rc6 {but hoped he can survive after the tactical line:} Ne4 29. Nd3 gxf4 30.
gxf4 g3 31. hxg3 Nxg3+ {"when I do not lose material at once" (Navara). If} 32.
Ke3 ({Best is} 32. Kd2 Kg7 {when Navara foresaw the trick:} 33. Rxa6 $2 ({
However} 33. b4 $1 {preserves White's winning chances.}) 33... Ne4+ 34. Ke3
Rxd3+ 35. Kxd3 Nc5+ 36. Kd4 Nxa6 37. a4 {with a draw.}) 32... Re4+) 28... Ne4
29. Nd3 Nxg5 30. Nf2 $1 {Also missed by Navara. The knight is working
perfectly from here.} Rb4 31. Rc5 ({Here stronger was:} 31. Rc6 $1 {when Black
cannot save all his pawns:} Ne4 ({Or} 31... a5 32. Ra6 Rb5 33. Nxg4) 32. Rxa6
Nxf2 33. Kxf2 {in comparison to the game White is a valuable tempo ahead.})
31... Ne4 {The best chance is the rook endgame. Very often the weaker side can
save themselves down a pawn or even two.} 32. Ra5 Nxf2 33. Kxf2 Rb6 34. Rxd5
Rh6 35. Ke3 $1 {Excellent decision. Rook endgames are never won with passive
play.} ({After} 35. Kg2 Rc6 36. Rd2 Rc3 {(Navara) Black should indeed survive.}
) 35... Rxh2 36. Ra5 f5 37. Rxa6 Rg2 38. Kf4 Rf2+ 39. Kg5 Rf3 40. Kh4 $1 {
Keeping the things together on the kingside and gaining time to advance the
passers on the other wing. With careful play White should win now.} Kf7 41. b4
Ke7 42. b5 Kd7 43. Ra7+ Kd6 44. Rf7 Rf2 45. b6 Rxa2 46. Rxf5 Rb2 47. Rh5 ({
Mamedyarov could have won faster with the simple} 47. Kxg4 Ke7 48. Kh5 Rxb6 49.
g4 Rb8 50. g5 {(Navara). The pawn has passed the equator and the frontal
defense does not work:} Rh8+ 51. Kg6 Rg8+ 52. Kh6 Rh8+ 53. Kg7) 47... Rb4 48.
Rh8 Ke5 49. Rb8 Kf6 50. Kh5 Kg7 51. Kg5 {White is winning here as well (unless
the tablebase will prove me wrong), but he has to be careful for some things.
In particular, he should never push his pawn to the seventh rank as then even
if he wins the g-pawn it will be a theoretical draw.} Kf7 52. Rb7+ Ke8 53. Kh4
Kf8 54. Kh5 Ke8 55. Rb8+ Kf7 56. Kg5 Kg7 57. Rb7+ Kf8 58. Kf6 Ke8 59. Rb8+ ({
Easier would have been} 59. Re7+ Kf8 (59... Kd8 60. b7) 60. Rf7+ Kg8 61. Rb7
Rb3 62. Kg6 Kf8 63. Rf7+ Ke8 64. b7 {When Black cannot avoid the rook trade
after:} Rb6+ 65. Kg7 Kd8 66. b8=Q+ Rxb8 67. Rf8+ Kc7 68. Rxb8 Kxb8 69. Kf6)
59... Kd7 60. Kg5 Kc6 61. Kh5 Re4 62. Rg8 Kxb6 63. Rxg4 Re3 64. Rg7 Kc6 65. g4
Kd6 66. g5 Ke6 67. Kg6 Rg3 68. Ra7 1-0
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.30"]
[Round "8.3"]
[White "Navara, David"]
[Black "Georgiadis, Nico"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E52"]
[WhiteElo "2741"]
[BlackElo "2526"]
[Annotator "Hess, R"]
[PlyCount "102"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 Nf6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Bd3 b6 7. O-O Bb7 8. cxd5
exd5 9. Ne5 (9. a3 Bd6 10. b4 a6 11. Qb3 Qe7 {is another popular variation.})
9... Nbd7 10. f4 c5 {Georgiadis has experience in this line, having played it
against former 2700+ GM Igor Kovalenko. The result (a loss) had nothing to do
with the opening, which in fact secured him quite a decent position.} 11. Ne2 {
Navara deviates from that game.} (11. Bd2 Ne4 12. Rc1 Rc8 13. Be1 Nxe5 14. dxe5
Bxc3 15. bxc3 f5 16. Qh5 Qd7 17. Rd1 Qe6 18. Qe2 Rcd8 {Kovalenko,I (2702)
-Georgiadis,N (2485) Riga 2015}) 11... cxd4 ({English legend Michael Adams
obtained a better position, before eventually losing, against Fabiano Caruana:
} 11... c4 12. Bf5 g6 13. Qa4 gxf5 14. Qxb4 Ne4 15. a4 f6 16. Nf3 Nb8 17. Qe1
Nc6 18. Bd2 Kh8 {Caruana,F (2787)-Adams,M (2744) Wijk aan Zee 2016}) 12. exd4
Bd6 13. Ng3 Ne4 (13... g6 {is sensible, preventing the knight from hopping to
f5. But at what cost? Georgiadis clearly did not want to weaken his dark
squares and welcome an eventual f4-f5 push.}) 14. Nf5 Ndf6 15. Qf3 {Novelty.} (
15. g4 Bc8 16. Ne3 Bxe5 17. fxe5 Ne8 18. Qf3 Bb7 19. b3 Ng5 20. Qg2 f6 21. Nf5
Qd7 22. Bxg5 fxg5 23. e6 Qc7 24. Rac1 {1-0 (24) Vaisser,A (2540) -Hohler,P
(2218) Kamena Vourla 2012}) 15... Bc7 (15... Bc8 {gives White the two bishops,
but it saves precious time. White is probably best off playing} 16. Ne3 {
when Black is happy to return his bishop to b7, since the bishop on c1 no
longer can develop.}) 16. Be3 Nd6 17. Rac1 Nfe4 (17... Nxf5 $6 {plays into
White's hands.} 18. Bxf5 Ne4 19. Qh3 {is scary for Black, who has to consider
sacrifices at every turn. For example} g6 (19... h6 20. Ng4 {with the threat
of Nxh6} Bc8 21. Bxe4 Bxg4 (21... dxe4 22. f5 f6 23. Nxh6+ gxh6 24. Qg4+ Kh8
25. Qh5 {with a crushing attack.}) 22. Qxg4 dxe4 23. f5 Qd6 24. f6 Qxh2+ (24...
g6 25. Qh4 h5 26. g4 {is straightforward.}) 25. Kf2 g6 26. Rh1 Qd6 27. Rxc7 $1
{distracting the queen and leading to a very direct checkmate down the h-file.}
) 20. Nxf7 $1 Rxf7 21. Be6 Qe7 22. f5 {sees White crashing through.}) 18. Nxd6
{Black breathes a sigh of relief, as his position immediately becomes far more
stable.} (18. Nxg7 $1 Kxg7 19. f5 {deserves serious attention [Navara did look
at it - PD], though without a clear knockout blow such a sacrifice is risky.
Some crazy lines have engine backing.} f6 (19... Nf6 20. Qg3+ Kh8 21. Bg5 {
is simple. The queen is overloaded and White's attack is overwhelming.}) 20.
Qh3 fxe5 (20... Kg8 21. Bh6 Qe7 22. Rf4 Nf7 23. Rxe4 dxe4 24. Bc4) 21. Bh6+ Kh8
22. Bxf8 {should be better for White, who has rook and pawn (and attack) for
two minors. Essential to so many lines is that the bishop on c7 lacks
protection.}) 18... Bxd6 19. f5 Rc8 20. Rce1 f6 21. Ng6 {This move has more
bark than bite, since Black can ignore it.} Re8 (21... hxg6 $2 22. fxg6 Re8 23.
Qh5 {may not lead to mate, but the attack rages on with White winning the no
less than the g7 and f6 pawns.}) 22. Nf4 Bxf4 23. Bxf4 Qd7 24. Qd1 {No longer
dictating the action, Navara opts for a tactical sequence to defend his
overextended f5 pawn.} (24. Be3 Bc6 {with the idea of trading bishops on b5 is
strong. Black would love nothing more than to have a strong knight versus a
relatively weak bishop ending.} (24... Qa4) 25. Qe2 Re7 {with doubling to
follow.}) 24... Qxf5 25. Bb8 Qe6 ({If Georgiadis wanted to secure an advantage
without any risk, he could have played} 25... Qd7 26. Bxa7 Bc6 27. Bxb6 Rb8 28.
Bc5 Rxb2 {The main reason Black would refrain from playing this sequence: the
upside does not appear as high as the game continuation, where that bishop is
trapped.}) 26. Bxa7 Ra8 27. Qb3 Qf7 (27... Rxa7 $2 28. Rxe4 $1 dxe4 29. Bc4 {
nets White a queen for a rook and bishop.}) 28. Qxb6 Re6 29. Qa5 Bc6 30. Rxe4
$6 (30. Bxe4 {saves the bishop, but White goes down no less than a pawn.} dxe4
31. d5 Re5 32. Qb6 Bxd5 33. Bb8 Re6 34. Qd4 Qb7 {and a2 falls.}) 30... dxe4 31.
Bc4 Rxa7 32. Qc5 Rc7 (32... Rd7 {was a winning move, with fantastic geometry
allowing Georgiadis to bring home the full point.} 33. d5 Qh5 $1) 33. Rc1 e3
34. b4 $2 (34. d5 {saved Navara, who would restore material equality by force.}
Bxd5 35. Qxd5 Kh8 36. Re1 Rxc4 37. Qxc4) 34... e2 35. Re1 Kh8 {A completely
understandable move, avoiding all checks on the diagonal. However, Black had
much better.} (35... Rc8 $1 {was the winning idea. Now Black can safely
retreat his bishop to d7, defending both rooks at the same time.} 36. Rxe2 (36.
d5 Re4) 36... Bd7) 36. b5 Qe7 $2 {In timetrouble Geogiadis throws away the
entire advantage.} (36... Bxb5 37. Qxb5 (37. Bxe6 Rxc5 38. Bxf7 Rf5 {is
decisive.}) 37... Qe8 $1 {kept Black well ahead. Georgiadis would keep his
extra material because of the threat of the queen trade.}) 37. Bxe6 {Now major
trades happen, resulting in an easy draw.} Qxc5 38. dxc5 Bxb5 39. Bg4 Rxc5 40.
Bxe2 Ba4 41. Rb1 g6 42. Rb4 Rc2 43. Bd1 Rc1 44. Rxa4 Rxd1+ 45. Kf2 Rd2+ 46. Kf3
Kg7 47. Ra7+ Kh6 48. a4 Ra2 49. a5 Kg5 50. a6 h5 51. Ra8 Kf5 1/2-1/2
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.30"]
[Round "8.1"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C82"]
[WhiteElo "2779"]
[BlackElo "2801"]
[PlyCount "84"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5
Be6 9. c3 Bc5 10. Nbd2 O-O 11. Bc2 Nxf2 12. Rxf2 f6 13. Nf1 {Not the main line.
"I just knew it was an interesting move." (MVL)} (13. exf6 Qxf6 (13... Bxf2+)
14. Qf1 $1 Bg4 15. Kh1 Bxf2 16. Qxf2 Rae8 17. Qg3 Ne5 18. Bd1 {Smyslov,
V-Botvinnik,M Moscow 1943}) 13... Bxf2+ 14. Kxf2 fxe5 15. Kg1 Qd6 16. Ng3 {New.
} (16. Ng5 Bf5 17. Bb3 Ne7 18. Ne3 Rad8 19. Bd2 c5 20. Nxf5 Nxf5 21. Qe2 h6 22.
Ne4 Qb6 23. Be3 Rf7 {Darga,K-Larsen,B Copenhagen 1953}) 16... h6 17. Qe1 Bg4
18. Nh4 e4 19. h3 (19. Nxe4 {fails to} Rae8) 19... Bd7 20. Be3 {MVL thought
this was a serious try for an advantage.} ({After} 20. Nxe4 Rae8 21. Be3 Rxe4
22. Bxe4 dxe4 23. Rd1 Qe6 24. Qg3 {Black is OK.}) 20... Qf6 ({Here Mamedyarov
saw that} 20... g5 {fails to} 21. Nxe4 $1 dxe4 22. Rd1 Qf6 (22... Qe6 23. Bb3)
(22... Qe7 23. Ng6) 23. Rxd7 gxh4 24. Bxe4 {and White is winning.}) 21. Nh5 Qe5
(21... Qf7 22. Nf4 g5 $6 (22... Ne7) 23. Nxd5 $1 Be6 {and now White has the
nice move} 24. c4 $1 bxc4 25. Nc3 gxh4 26. Qxh4 {with a clear advantage.}) 22.
Nf4 ({MVL didn't like} 22. g4 Be8 {but in the analysis he saw that} 23. Ng3 {
might be better for White.}) 22... Rxf4 23. Ng6 Rf1+ 24. Kxf1 Qf5+ 25. Nf4 g5
26. Qg3 Kh7 27. Ke2 gxf4 28. Qxf4 Qxf4 29. Bxf4 {MVL had calculated all this
but he had underestimated} Rg8 $1 30. Kf2 (30. g4 h5) 30... Rf8 31. Ke3 Ne7 32.
Bxc7 Nf5+ 33. Ke2 b4 34. Bf4 ({Just in time MVL noticed} 34. g3 Nd4+ $5 35.
cxd4 Bb5+ 36. Kd2 Rf2+ 37. Kc1 Rf1+ 38. Bd1 e3 39. Kc2 e2 40. Bxe2 Rxa1 41.
Bxb5 axb5) 34... bxc3 (34... Bb5+ 35. Kf2) 35. bxc3 Nh4 36. g3 Ng2 37. c4 Nxf4+
38. gxf4 Rc8 39. Rd1 Rxc4 40. Bb3 Ba4 41. Rxd5 Bxb3 42. axb3 Rc3 1/2-1/2
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.07.31"]
[Round "9.1"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E65"]
[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2842"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "113"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. Nc3 d6 6. Nf3 c5 7. O-O Nc6 8. e3 {
A rare line.} ({The symmetrical position after} 8. dxc5 dxc5 9. Bf4 Nd4 {
is allowing White a chance to play for a win without much risk, but with not
too may chances either, Matlakov,M (2718)-Jones,G (2640) Wijk aan Zee 2018}) ({
The main line runs} 8. d5 Na5 9. Nd2 {as Carlsen has played recently:} a6 10.
Rb1 Rb8 11. b3 b5 {Carlsen,M (2853)-Nakamura,H (2787) chess.com INT 2016}) 8...
d5 $1 {"Very good move." (Mamedyarov) "White just has to look for equality
there." (Carlsen)} ({Another top game saw fascinating action after:} 8... Bd7
9. b3 cxd4 10. exd4 a6 11. a4 Rc8 12. Re1 d5 13. c5 Bg4 14. h3 Bxf3 15. Bxf3 e6
16. Rb1 Nxd4 17. Qxd4 Ne4 18. Rxe4 Bxd4 19. Rxd4 Qf6 {Nepomniachtchi,I (2721)
-Wang,H (2735) Beijing 2013}) 9. cxd5 Nxd5 10. Nxd5 Qxd5 11. Ne5 Qd6 {The main
point behind the timely d6-d5 is that White cannot include his dark-squared
bishop into the action. Had the central pawn remained on its initial position
White would have had a chance to trade on c6 followed by Bc1-f4! with a tempo.
Now, the bishop simply suffers.} 12. Nc4 ({In a predecessor Black quickly got
the initiative after:} 12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. dxc5 Qxc5 14. Qf3 Ba6 {Mader,L (1880)
-Caliebe,N (1427) Erfurt 2017}) 12... Qc7 13. d5 (13. dxc5 Rd8 14. Qa4 Bf5 {
is excellent for Black thanks to his strong bishops.}) 13... Rd8 {Here and on
the next move Black could have played Nc6-e5 if he "wanted draw" (Mamedyarov)}
(13... Ne5) 14. Bd2 Nb4 {"I am not burning bridges yet, I still have a very
safe position." (Carlsen)} (14... Ne5) 15. Bxb4 cxb4 16. Rc1 a5 {The black
bishop pair can be a huge asset whenever the game opens, but for the time
being Carlsen needs to finish the queenside development.} 17. a3 bxa3 18. bxa3
a4 19. Qd3 Bf5 {"A massive, massive oversight" (Carlsen)} ({Instead the world
champion suggested} 19... Bd7 20. d6 exd6 21. Ne5 {"I guess Black is
marginally better, although it should be drawish" (Carlsen)}) ({Or} 19... Ra6
$5 {to which he did not like} 20. Rb1 $6 {with the same idea as in the game} (
20. Qb1 {might be better} Bd7 21. Rfd1) 20... Bd7 ({However, it seems as
Carlsen have missed the strong maneuver} 20... Rc6 $1 21. Rfc1 Rc5 {followed
by b7-b5 and Black takes over the initiative.}) 21. d6) 20. e4 Bd7 21. Qe3 {
Missed by the world champion. "Maybe I just overestimated my position."
(Carlsen)} Ra6 22. e5 $1 {The central pawn mass comes into motion and the
black pieces cannot co-ordinate themselves.} b5 23. d6 Qb8 24. dxe7 Re8 25.
Rfd1 Rxe7 26. Qc5 Qf8 ({From afar Black missed} 26... Rae6 27. Bd5 {"with a
win" (Carlsen), for example} Rxe5 28. Nxe5 Rxe5 29. Bxf7+ $1) ({"Maybe I
should have played"} 26... Qd8 {(Carlsen) But then there is} 27. Qxb5 $1 {
(Mamedyarov)}) ({Perhaps Carlsen had to go into passive defense with} 26... Bf8
) 27. Ne3 $1 {Missed by White. "Then I am completely busted." (Carlsen) The
threat Ne3-d5 forces Black to give up a pawn.} Be6 28. Qxb5 Raa7 29. Nd5 Bxd5
30. Rxd5 Reb7 31. Qd3 Rb8 32. h4 (32. f4 $5) 32... Qe8 33. Qd4 Qe7 34. f4 Bf8
35. Kh2 {It is not only the extra pawn which makes White's positon so good.
Look at the powerful centralization that he has!} Rab7 36. Qxa4 {Safe approach,
especially in respect to the tournament situation. A draw would be most likely
enough for Mamedyarov for the overall win, therefore he takes away any risk.} (
{Objectively he would do better to keep the queens on the board. Strong was:}
36. Rd6 $1 {heading for an attack with the opposite-colored bishops. For
example:} Rc7 ({Or} 36... Rb2 37. Kh3 $1 {when the f7 pawn will be soon
reached-} Ra2 38. Bd5 Rxa3 39. Rf6) 37. Rxc7 Qxc7 38. Rc6 Qe7 ({If Black keeps
the a4 pawn} 38... Qa5 $1 {then} 39. e6 fxe6 40. Qd7 Qf5 41. Rc7 {with
decisive attack.}) 39. Bd5 Qxa3 40. Bxf7+ {The attack should decide.}) 36...
Qxa3 37. Qxa3 Bxa3 38. Rcd1 {A nasty endgame for Black occurred. Without the
rooks the opponents will immediately agree to a draw. With them, White will
organize threats against the black king.} Be7 39. Kh3 Rc7 ({Normally Black
will be happy to trade as many pawns on the kingside as possible, but} 39... h5
{exposes the h5 pawn after} 40. f5 gxf5 41. Rf1) 40. h5 $1 {The way that
Mamedyarov mounts pressure during the game is impressive.} gxh5 {Trading the
pawn, which could have come to h6 with mating threats.} ({After} 40... g5 41.
Rd7 Rxd7 42. Rxd7 Kf8 {there is} 43. f5 $1) (40... Kf8 {was passive defense
was the other way to try and hold.}) 41. f5 f6 42. e6 Rb3 (42... Kf8 $5) 43.
Rd7 Rbc3 44. Ra1 Kg7 ({The trade is impossible-} 44... Rxd7 45. exd7 Rd3 46.
Ra8+ Kg7 47. Bc6 Rd6 48. Ba4 Rd4 49. Re8 Kf7 50. Bb3+) 45. Ra8 Kh6 46. Re8 Bb4
{It is not clear how can White improve further. If the bishop can find a good
spot, he would be winning, but it is not easy.} 47. Rb8 ({If} 47. Rh8 Be7 48.
Be4 h4 $1 {with the idea} 49. Kxh4 Rxd7 50. exd7 Rc4 {with a draw.}) 47... Be7
48. Be4 R3c4 49. Bd5 R4c5 50. Be4 Rc4 51. Bd5 R4c5 52. Rb7 Rxd7 {Now he can.}
53. Rxd7 Ra5 54. Bc6 ({The rook endgame after} 54. Rxe7 Rxd5 55. Rf7 Rxf5 56.
e7 Re5 57. Rxf6+ {is a draw.}) 54... Ba3 55. Rf7 {So far Carlsen had defended
perfectly and came very close to he draw.} Re5 ({Black should have gone for}
55... Rxf5 56. e7 Bxe7 57. Rxe7 Rc5 58. Bf3 f5 {and during the post mortem the
players were not sure about the evaluation, but Carlsen believed it should be
draw.}) 56. Kh4 $1 {Depriving the black king of the g5 square. "I realized,
that was it" (Carlsen)} (56. Rxf6+ {was the only move the world champion was
calculating and it should be defendable after} Kg5 57. Rf7 Bd6) 56... Bc1 $2 {
Only this is the crucial mistake. Apparently, Carlsen dismissed the position a
tad too early.} ({The line} 56... Re2 57. Rxf6+ Kg7 58. Rf7+ Kh6 59. g4 Rh2+
60. Kg3 {should win for White.}) ({However,after} 56... Bc5 $1 57. Rxf6+ Kg7
58. Rf7+ Kh6 59. Bf3 ({It is important that White cannot bring his pawns into
motion:} 59. Bd7 Bd6 60. f6 Kg6) 59... Be3 {followed by Be3-g5+ Black seems to
build sort of a fortress. For example} 60. g4 ({Or} 60. Bd1 Bg5+ 61. Kh3 Re3
62. Kg2 h4) 60... Bg5+ 61. Kg3 h4+ 62. Kg2 Re3 {The draw seems the correct
result here.}) (56... Bb4 $1 {is similar to 56...Bc5.}) 57. e7 1-0
[Event "Biel SUI"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2018.08.01"]
[Round "10.2"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Georgiadis, Nico"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B20"]
[WhiteElo "2842"]
[BlackElo "2526"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "97"]
[EventDate "2018.07.22"]
1. e4 c5 2. Na3 {Obviously trying to get his opponent as quickly as possible
out of book. Carlsen had never tried this before, at least according to
Megabase.} ({True, in a blitz game he had put something on a3:} 2. a3 Nc6 3. b4
cxb4 4. axb4 Nxb4 5. d4 d5 6. c3 Nc6 7. exd5 Qxd5 8. Na3 Bf5 9. Nb5 {in
Carlsen,M (2837)-Inarkiev,E (2689) Riadh 2017}) 2... g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. c3 d5 5.
exd5 Qxd5 6. Bc4 Qe4+ 7. Kf1 Be6 {Georgiadis turned out to be well prepared
here as well and quickly equalized.} 8. Qa4+ {A novelty.} ({A predecessor saw:
} 8. Bb5+ Bd7 9. d4 Nf6 10. Bd3 Qd5 11. Bc4 Qh5 12. Nb5 Na6 13. Be3 cxd4 14.
Nfxd4 {but Black was doing well here too, Meister,J (2517) -Friedrich,W (2253)
Berlin 2013}) 8... Nd7 9. d4 Ngf6 10. Bg5 ({After} 10. dxc5 O-O 11. Be3 {
Black has a choice between} Rad8 {fighting for the initiative.} ({Or} 11...
Rac8 {in order to return the pawn. For example} 12. Re1 Bxc4+ 13. Nxc4 Qd3+ 14.
Kg1 Ne4 {and Black seems perfectly fine.})) 10... Bxc4+ 11. Qxc4 Qd5 {Playing
it safe.} ({Instead the natural} 11... O-O {was leading to a more complex game.
White can win a pawn with:} 12. Re1 Qf5 13. Rxe7 $6 {but that allows Black too
much and} Nd5 14. Re1 cxd4 15. cxd4 Rfe8 {gives him plenty for a pawn.}) 12.
Re1 e6 {An accurate move.} ({White would get a tiny little bit of an advantage
after} 12... Qxc4+ 13. Nxc4 cxd4 14. Nxd4 Nd5 15. Ne3) 13. Bxf6 Nxf6 14. Qb5+ (
{Perhaps} 14. dxc5 {was a better try, for example} Rc8 15. Re5 Qd7 16. g3 O-O
17. Kg2 {although the white knight on a3 is still somewhat awkwardly placed.})
14... Nd7 ({Not} 14... Qd7 $2 15. Qxc5) 15. Ne5 a6 {Once again very solid play.
} ({Although Georgiadis could have snatched the knight at once:} 15... Bxe5 $1
{If now} 16. Rxe5 ({And risked to grab a pawn with} 16. dxe5 Qxa2 17. Rd1 O-O-O
{as} 18. Nc4 {is strongly met with} Nxe5 $1 19. Qxc5+ (19. Rxd8+ Rxd8 20. Nxe5
$4 Qb1+ 21. Ke2 Qe4+ 22. Kf1 Rd1#) 19... Nc6 20. Nd6+ Kb8 {where Black should
stop the initiative with accurate play. White's problem is that he cannot use
his kingside rook.}) 16... a6 $1 17. Rxd5 axb5 18. Rg5 b4 $1 {where the black
pieces are better prepared for the opening of the game.}) 16. Qc4 ({The world
champion avoids} 16. Qxd7+ Qxd7 17. Nxd7 Kxd7 18. Nc4 Kc6 {with equality.})
16... Nxe5 ({The other capture was also OK-} 16... Bxe5 17. dxe5 Qxc4+ 18. Nxc4
{since after} b5 {White cannot hold his knight on the central outpost} 19. Nd6+
Ke7 {because of the threat Nd7xe5!}) 17. dxe5 Rd8 18. Qxd5 Rxd5 19. f4 {
An endgame emerged where the bishop on g7 does not seem great. Georgiadis
however makes sure this is not the case.} g5 $1 ({Also good was} 19... Ke7 20.
Nc4 b5 21. Nd6 g5 $1) 20. fxg5 Ke7 {The black pieces are much better prepared
for the battle. Georgiadis plays for a win.} ({Weaker was} 20... Rxe5 21. Rxe5
Bxe5 22. Nc4 Bf4 23. h4 Ke7 24. Ke2 {with equality.}) 21. h4 Rxe5 ({It also
made sense to postpone the capture for a move:} 21... b5 $5 22. Rh3 Rxe5 23.
Rxe5 Bxe5 {with slight advantage for Black.}) 22. Rxe5 Bxe5 23. Ke2 b5 24. Nc2
Rd8 (24... f6 $5) 25. Ne1 c4 $1 {Black has posted all his pawns correctly on
the light squares. Thus, they are not obstructing his bishop and they help it
restrict the white knight. The b5-b4 break is always in the air.} 26. Nf3 Bg7
27. Nd2 h6 {Once again playing for a win.} ({If he wanted a draw, Black could
have chosen say} 27... Rd3 28. a4 Rg3 29. Kf2 Rd3) 28. Ne4 {The world champion
is also trying his best.} ({Instead} 28. a4 hxg5 29. hxg5 Rd5 30. axb5 axb5 31.
Ne4 b4 {would have seen everything disappearing with a draw.}) 28... hxg5 29.
hxg5 Rd5 30. a3 a5 31. Re1 Be5 $1 {Open the road for the black king. It is
heading to g6. Once it gets there, the g5 pawn will suffer.} ({It does not
make much sense to open the queenside with} 31... b4 {After} 32. axb4 axb4 {
Black will be happy to see} 33. cxb4 $2 ({However} 33. Ra1 {would cause
problems along the open file. Ironically, the pawn which is in danger is the
one on c4. For example} bxc3 34. bxc3 Re5 35. Ra7+ Kf8 36. Kf3 Rf5+ 37. Kg4 Be5
38. g3 Kg7 39. Ra4 Rf1 40. Rxc4) 33... Bxb2) 32. g3 Kf8 33. Kf3 Kg7 34. Kg4 Kg6
{Black threatens Be5-c7-d8 to win the pawn, therefore the next move is forced.}
35. Rf1 {But now the rook is busy and Black can revert back to the b5-b4
breakthrough idea.} Rd3 ({Perhaps the immediate} 35... b4 36. axb4 axb4 37. Rf3
Rd1 {was better, with chances for a win.}) ({Here} 35... Bc7 {is met with} 36.
Rf6+ Kg7 37. g6 $1) 36. Rf3 Rd1 37. Rf2 Rd5 ({The other option was the rook
endgame after} 37... Re1 38. Nf6 Re3 39. Nh5 Re4+ 40. Nf4+ Bxf4 41. gxf4 e5 42.
Rf1 {Then Black can win a pawn with} a4 (42... exf4 43. Rxf4 Re2 44. Rf6+ Kg7
45. a4 $1) 43. Rf2 exf4 44. Rd2 f3+ 45. Kxf3 Re5 {but I am not sure how good
his winning chances are.}) 38. Nd2 {Carlsen changes the position of his knight
and finally gets some relief for his g5 pawn.} Bc7 39. Nf3 Bd8 40. Nh4+ Kg7 {
would have split the point.} 41. Nf3 Bb6 {Once again trying to beat the
champion!} 42. Re2 Bc7 43. Re4 Bd6 ({Safer was to allow the trade allong the
fifth rank with} 43... Bb6 {Then} 44. Re5 Rxe5 45. Nxe5 Be3 {preserves winning
chances for Black. For example:} 46. a4 ({Or} 46. Nc6 a4 47. Kf3 Bxg5 48. Nd4
Bc1 49. Nxb5 Bxb2 50. Ke3) 46... bxa4 47. Nxc4 Bc1 48. Nb6 Bxb2 49. Nxa4 Bc1)
44. Rd4 $1 {Finally, White manages to get rid of the active black rook. He is
more or less safe now.} Rxd4+ 45. Nxd4 b4 46. a4 (46. axb4 {would be a draw
after} axb4 47. cxb4 Bxb4 48. Nf3 Ba5 49. Ne5 c3 50. bxc3 Bxc3) 46... b3 $4 {
An tragic finish of an excellent game.} ({Georgiadis could have made a draw
with either} 46... bxc3 47. bxc3 Bc7) ({Or} 46... Bc7 47. Nf3 Bd6 48. Nd2 bxc3
49. bxc3 Be5 50. Nxc4 Bxc3) 47. Nf3 {Now he loses both his pawns on the light
squares.} Ba3 {would promote his b-pawn. But this is not the case-} ({If} 47...
Kg6 48. Nd2 Bc7 49. Nxc4 Bd8 50. Ne5+ {is most accurate} ({Or} 50. Nd2 Bxg5 51.
Nxb3) 50... Kg7 51. Kh5 {and White should win.}) 48. bxa3 b2 49. Nd2 1-0
[Event "Corus"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee"]
[Date "2001.01.16"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Kasparov, Garry"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C78"]
[WhiteElo "2849"]
[BlackElo "2790"]
[Annotator "Anand"]
[PlyCount "74"]
[EventDate "2001.01.13"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "13"]
[EventCountry "NED"]
[EventCategory "19"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 081"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2001.03.20"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2001.03.20"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{Kasparov and I had played 40 classical games against each other before this
game. Nonetheless, this game was a first. I had achieved a personal milestone
in December winning the World Championship and this was my first tournament
after that. Of course, in a certain sense, so had Kasparov. "After death" as
he put it in the closing ceremony. He usually turns up late for the game
hoping to avoid photographers, but I noticed this doesn't work anymore. The
photographers simply came to our table 5 minutes later! Anyway, my
ruminations about the game ended and we started to bash out our opening moves.
} 1. e4 {Wedberg} e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Bc5 {I have played
this quite often, though not recently. Still after facing it so often in the
World Championship (and preparing for it) I felt that I could play it myself.
I suppose it didn't come as a surprise to him - in Linares 1998 (after I came
off the matches with Karpov and Adams) I used the Caro-Kann against him!} 6. c3
b5 7. Bb3 {I was curious what line he would choose. Both Vlady and Alexei
tried 5...b5 and 6...Bc5, but no one had played the direct Bc5 against him.} d6
8. a4 Bg4 9. h3 Bxf3 {Mickey Adams went for Bh5 in our semi-final in Delhi.}
10. Qxf3 O-O 11. a5 $5 {After a long think. Wedberg: 'Not the standard
approach. White prevents Na5, but gets a slightly weak a5-P in return.'} (11.
d3 Rb8 (11... Na5 {Wedberg} 12. Bc2 b4 13. Nd2 Rb8 14. Qe2 (14. Re1 Qd7 $11 (
14... h6 $6 15. Rb1 $1 $14 {1-0 Leko,P-Garcia,G/Yopal 1997/CBM 60 (51)
[Rodriguez]})) 14... Re8 15. Nf3 bxc3 16. bxc3 Nb3 17. Bxb3 Rxb3 18. d4 $5 (18.
Qc2 Qb8 $1 $13 {0-1 Hansen,S-Hector,J/Skaenninge 1998/CBM 65/[Wedberg] (31)})
18... exd4 19. cxd4 Rxf3 20. Qxf3 $6 (20. dxc5 Rc3 21. Qxa6 $14) 20... Bxd4 21.
Ra2 Nxe4 $44 {1-0 Anand,V-Karpov,A/FIDE-Wch k.o. f 1998/CBM 63/[Anand] (41)})
12. Nd2 {Here Black's next move is specifically to avoid a4-a5} Na5 13. Bc2 b4
{Anand-Karpov Lausanne 1998}) 11... Rb8 $1 {I came to this move by elimination.
Black normally goes for Na5 and b4, but now 11...b4 is met by 12.Bc4 and
Black's a6 weakness will haunt him. So Black has to switch plans. He wants to
play Nd7, Ne7 and f5. However, neither knight move is entirely satisfactory,
so Black first gets his rook out of the way} (11... Nd7 $2 12. Bd5) (11... Ne7
12. Rd1 {/\ d4} (12. d3 {Wedberg} Nd7 13. Nd2 Kh8 14. Qe2 Ba7 15. Nf3 Nc5 16.
Ba2 Ne6 17. g3 Qd7 18. Kg2 Rae8 19. Bd2 f5 $132 {1-0 Sulypa,A-Malaniuk,V/
Donetsk 1998/CBM 68 (36)})) 12. d3 Nd7 13. Be3 {This came as a surprise to me.
I felt that if White swapped bishops, then Black should be OK. Still, White is
a tempo short to prevent f5, so perhaps Black has equalized.} (13. Nd2 Kh8 14.
Rd1 Ne7 15. Nf1 (15. g4 Ba7 {/\ Nc5-e6}) 15... f5) 13... Kh8 14. Nd2 Ne7 15.
Bc2 (15. d4 exd4 16. cxd4 Bb4 {Now it turns out that the a5 pawn can be weak
as well!} 17. Bc2 c5 18. dxc5 dxc5 19. Nb3 Nc6 20. Rfd1 Qe7 $1 {It will be
difficult to actually capture the a5 pawn without allowing White any
compensation, but Black is in no danger here.}) 15... Bxe3 $1 (15... f5 16. d4
f4 17. dxc5 fxe3 18. Qxe3 Nxc5 19. b4 $14) 16. fxe3 $6 {'!?' Wedberg. Wedberg:
'Aggressive as always Kasparov opens an avenue of attack on the black K. The
centre Ps becomes less flexible, but an extra centre P can come in handy if
Black later tries a break with d5 or f5.'} (16. Qxe3 c5 $11) 16... c5 17. Bb3
c4 $2 {I got a bit excited here. Simply Nf6 gives Black a good game Wedberg:
'Black disturbs the cooperation of the White pieces and disrupts the
P-formation.'} (17... Nf6 $1 18. Bd5 $11 {This allows White to maintain the
balance.} (18. g4 $5 $36 {Wedberg: a5 is weak but White can throw everything
at the Black K.})) 18. dxc4 Nc5 (18... b4 {My original intention. White has
only one move to avoid being strangled after Nc5} 19. c5 (19. cxb4 Rxb4 $132)
19... Nxc5 20. Bxf7 $1 {It simply slipped my mind that White could play this.
However, there is no way to exploit the pin.} bxc3 21. bxc3 Nc6 (21... Ng8 {
Wedberg} 22. Qe2 Nf6 23. Bd5 Rb5 $13) 22. Qh5 $1 {Followed by Bd5}) 19. cxb5
Nxb3 (19... Rxb5 $2 20. Bxf7 Rxb2 21. Nc4 $16) 20. Nxb3 Rxb5 21. Qd1 $1 $14 Qc7
22. Ra4 $1 Nc6 $2 {Now Black starts to get into real trouble} (22... Rfb8 23.
Nd2 Rxb2 24. Nc4 R2b3 25. Qxd6 Qxd6 26. Nxd6 f6 27. Rc4 $16) (22... Kg8 $1 23.
Nd2 (23. c4 Rb7 24. c5 dxc5 25. Rc4 Rb5 26. Qc2) 23... Rxa5 (23... Rxb2 24. Nc4
Rb5 25. Qxd6 Rc5 26. Qxa6 $1) 24. Nc4 (24. Rxa5 Qxa5 25. Nc4 Qc5) 24... Rc5 $1
{This seems to give Black enough counterplay to offset his queenside
weaknesses.} (24... Rxa4 25. Qxa4 $14) 25. Qd3 (25. Nxd6 Rd8 26. Rxa6 Rc6)
25... d5 $1 $132 26. exd5 Nxd5 {A sample line:} 27. Rxa6 Nxc3 $1 28. Nd6 Nd5
29. Nxf7 Rc1 30. Qxd5 Rxf1+ 31. Kxf1 Qxf7+ (31... Qc1+ 32. Ke2 Qxb2+ 33. Kf3
Rxf7+ 34. Kg3 Qf2+ 35. Kh2 h6 36. Qxe5 $14) 32. Qxf7+ Rxf7+ 33. Ke2 Rb7 $1 {
Black looks quite close to a draw}) (22... f6 {Wedberg: better according to
Kasparov.}) 23. Nd2 $1 Nxa5 (23... Rxa5 24. Nc4 Rxa4 25. Qxa4 $16 {The knight
on c6 is misplaced.}) 24. b4 Nb7 $8 {With a horrible knight. That evening, we
dined in the hotel restaurant. Kasparov had taken a look at the game and told
me: "This game does neither of us proud! We both missed wins". Let's look at
his win.} 25. Qc2 $2 {'?!' Wedberg.} (25. Rxa6 $1 Qxc3 26. Rxf7 Rg8 {We both
thought this was OK for Black - he takes on b4.} 27. Qf1 $1 {Fritzy suggests
this quickly} Nd8 (27... Rxb4 28. Ra8 $1) (27... Qxe3+ 28. Kh2 Rb6 29. Ra8 $1
$18) 28. Rxg7 $3 Kxg7 29. Rxd6 $1 Qxe3+ 30. Kh1 Qf4 31. Qxb5 {Black has one
last resource.} Nf7 32. Rd3 $1 {The right move} (32. Rd7 Rc8 33. Nf3 {Fritzy
wanted to take on f7, but with the loose pawns, Black should be OK.} (33. Rxf7+
Qxf7 34. Qxe5+ Qf6 35. Qg3+) (33. Nb3 Rc3 $1 34. Qd5 Rxh3+ 35. gxh3 Qf1+ $11)
33... Rc1+ 34. Ng1 Qxe4 $16 {It's not over yet.}) 32... Ra8 (32... Rc8 33. Rf3
(33. Nb3 {Is also good}) 33... Qxd2 34. Rxf7+ Kxf7 35. Qb7+ Kf6 36. Qxc8 Qe1+
37. Kh2 Qxe4 38. Qf8+ $16) 33. Nb3 $1 (33. Rf3 Qxd2 34. Rxf7+ Kxf7 35. Qb7+ Kg6
$1 (35... Kf6 36. Qxa8 Qc1+ 37. Kh2 Qf4+ 38. Kg1 Qc1+ 39. Kf2 Qd2+ 40. Kf3 Qd1+
41. Kg3 Qe1+ 42. Kg4 Qe2+ 43. Kh4 $1 $18) 36. Qxa8 Qc1+ 37. Kh2 Qf4+ 38. Kg1
Qc1+ 39. Kf2 Qd2+ 40. Kf3 Qd3+ 41. Kg4 Qe2+ {With the king on g6, White can't
escape into the kingside}) 33... Qxe4 34. Rg3+ $16 {White has an extra pawn
and attacking chances to boot.}) 25... h6 26. Qd3 Rb6 27. Rfa1 Rc6 28. R1a3 (
28. Qd5 {Leads to the same thing.} Rxc3 (28... a5 29. bxa5 Rc5 30. Qa2) 29.
Rxa6) (28. Rxa6 $1 Rxc3 29. Qd5 $36 {This position is unpleasant for Black,
but if he hangs on stubbornly it isn't easy for White to break through.}) 28...
a5 $1 {Black looks fine now.} 29. Kh2 $2 (29. Qd5 Rxc3 30. Rxc3 Qxc3 31. Qxb7
Qxd2 $11) 29... d5 $1 {Of course, the X-ray on h2 means that White can't
capture.} 30. Qb5 $2 {Having blundered, he made this move very quickly and
forgot that Black can use the same trick again!} (30. Qxd5 $1 Rd8 31. Qa2 Rxc3
32. Nf3 $1 {White should be able to survive here.}) 30... d4 $1 {Wedberg: 'The
backward d-P is growing up.'} 31. bxa5 dxc3 (31... Nd6 32. Qxe5 $1 ({Now} 32.
Qd5 dxc3 33. Nb3 Nc4 {wins}) 32... dxc3 33. Nb3 c2 34. Nc1 $1 {Of course,
White doesn't have to play a6 now.} Re8 35. Qg3 Qe7 36. a6 Nxe4 37. Qf3 Rcc8
38. a7 $132) 32. Nb3 Nc5 $2 (32... c2 $1 {The second moment that Kasparov
mentioned at dinner.} 33. a6 $1 {Annoyed at having missed a "simple" win, I
tried to find a way for White to save the game.} (33. Nc1 {At the post-mortem,
we both assumed that White could defend with this move.} Nc5 34. Rb4 (34. Rc4
Rb8 $19) 34... Na6 $1 {/\ Rb8, Rd8-/+. We agreed that White is lost here.})
33... Nd6 $1 (33... Nc5 34. Rc4 Nxb3 (34... Rb8 $2 35. Qxc5 Rxc5 36. Nxc5 $16)
35. Qxc6 Qxc6 36. Rxc6 c1=Q 37. Rxc1 Nxc1 38. a7 Ra8 39. Kg3 $1 {Going after
the trapped knight} g6 40. Kf2 f5 41. exf5 gxf5 42. e4 fxe4 43. Ke3 $11) 34.
Qd5 {The only way.} (34. Qxe5 c1=Q 35. Nxc1 Rxc1 36. a7 (36. Rd3 Rc6 37. a7 (
37. Rad4 Re8 38. Qf4 Nxe4 39. Qxc7 Rxc7 40. Rd8 Rxd8 41. Rxd8+ Kh7 42. Ra8 Kg6
43. a7 Nc3 $19) 37... Ra8 38. Rad4 (38. Qf4 Nb5 $19) 38... Ne8 39. Qxc7 Rxc7
$19) 36... Ra8 37. Qf4 (37. Rd3 Ne8 $1 (37... Nb5 38. Qxc7 Rxc7 39. Ra5 $1 Nxa7
40. Rda3 $15) 38. Qxc7 Rxc7 39. Rda3) 37... Nb5 38. Rb3 Rxa7) 34... Rc5 $1 (
34... c1=Q {Transposes} 35. Nxc1 Rc5 $1 36. Qd2) 35. Qd2 c1=Q 36. Nxc1 Rxc1 37.
a7 $1 {I was surprised to find that play is forced from here on.} Ra8 38. Qd5 (
38. Ra6 Nc8 39. Rd3) 38... Qc6 (38... Rc6 $4 39. Ra6 $1 $18) (38... Nb7 $6 39.
Rb4 Rc6 40. Rxb7 (40. Qb3 Nd8 41. Rb8 Rxa7 42. Rxa7 Qxa7 43. Rxd8+ Kh7 44. Qd5
Rg6 45. Qa8 Qxa8 46. Rxa8 $11) 40... Qxb7 41. Rb3 Qxa7 42. Qxc6 $11) 39. Ra6 $1
(39. Rb4 Kh7 40. Rb8 Qxd5 41. exd5 Rc8 42. Ra6 (42. Rxa8 Rxa8 43. Ra6 Nc8 44.
Rc6 Ne7) 42... Rxa7 $1) 39... Qxd5 40. exd5 Ne4 (40... Nc8 41. d6 $1 Rd1 42.
Rc3 Kh7 (42... Nxd6 43. Rb3 Rc1 44. Rb8+ Rc8 45. Rxd6 Raxb8 46. axb8=Q Rxb8 $15
) 43. Rxc8 Rxc8 44. a8=Q Rxa8 45. Rxa8 Rxd6 $15 {With the pawn on e5 instead
of e6 (as in Karpov-Hort Waddinxveen 1979), I think White's chances to hold
are quite good.}) 41. Rb6 Rcc8 42. Rb7 {Again, White has chances to hold.
Still, in both endgames arising after Black's 40th move, White would have to
suffer a lot. So 32...c2 was the right move.}) (32... Nd6 33. Qxe5 $1 c2 34.
Nc1) 33. Rc4 $1 {I hadn't overlooked this move, but having rejected 32...c2, I
thought that I might find something here. Wedberg: 'A nice defence by
Kasparov.'} Rb8 34. Qxc6 Qxc6 35. Nxc5 {However, there doesn't seem to be
anything here.} Qb5 {Forcing the draw} (35... Rb2 36. Raxc3 $1 (36. Rcxc3 $4
Qg6) 36... Re2 $1 37. Rc2 Rxe3 38. a6 Ra3 39. R4c3 $1 {Black is forced to
trade rooks.}) 36. Rcxc3 Qe2 37. Nd7 Rb2 1/2-1/2
[Event "Grenke Chess Classic 5th"]
[Site "Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden"]
[Date "2018.04.01"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Hou, Yifan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C24"]
[WhiteElo "2843"]
[BlackElo "2654"]
[Annotator "Roiz,M"]
[PlyCount "121"]
[EventDate "2018.03.31"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[EventCategory "20"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Qe2 {As often happens, Magnus prefers to take
the game into relatively unexplored territory at an early stage.} Be7 {A
somewhat modest choice.} ({The more ambitious way of development would be:}
4... Bc5 $5 5. Nf3 O-O 6. O-O d5 7. Bb3 h6 {Black isn't worse, to say the
least.}) ({Possibly, the most principled was} 4... d5 $5 5. exd5 cxd5 6. Bb5+
Nc6 7. Qxe5+ Be7 8. Nf3 O-O 9. Bxc6 bxc6 10. O-O Bd6 $44 {The powerful bishops
provide Black excellent compensation for the pawn.}) 5. Nf3 d6 {There is
nothing wrong with this natural move, but now the early queen's move is sort
of justified.} ({I guess, more challenging for Magnus would be} 5... O-O 6. O-O
d5 7. Bb3 dxe4 8. dxe4 Nbd7 {and Black is fine, though a long strategic
struggle lies ahead.}) 6. c3 Nbd7 7. Bb3 O-O 8. O-O a5 9. d4 $146 {This
natural move is a novelty.} ({The previously played} 9. a4 {didn't pose Black
serious problems:} b5 10. Bc2 Ba6 11. axb5 cxb5 12. Nbd2 Qc7 $132 {Polgar,J -
Gelfand,B Khanty-Mansiysk 2009}) 9... a4 ({It made sense to postpone the a5-a4
advance:} 9... Re8 $5 10. Nbd2 ({Toothless is} 10. Ng5 d5 11. exd5 Nxd5) 10...
Bf8 $132 {with decent pressure on the e4-pawn.}) 10. Bc2 {Black has managed to
seize some space on the q-side, but White's centre is well protected now.} Re8
{The standard way of relocating the pieces.} (10... b5 11. Re1 Ba6 12. Nbd2 Re8
$132) 11. Re1 Bf8 12. Qd1 {Indeed, the Qe2 is somewhat misplaced, so White to
has to remove it sooner or later.} b5 13. Nbd2 {No doubt, in comparison to the
Classical Ruy Lopez, Black managed to make a lot of progress on the queenside,
so White has no advantage. However, all the pieces are on the board, so the
World Champion can still be satisfied with what he got.} Qc7 ({Once again, Hou
Yifan is deviating from the most ambitious way of handling the position:} 13...
Bb7 $5 14. Nf1 exd4 15. cxd4 c5 16. d5 g6 $132) 14. Nf1 g6 15. Bg5 h6 {A
somewhat weakening move, though Black mostly can do with it.} (15... Bg7 $5 16.
Ng3 c5 17. d5 c4 $132) 16. Bd2 Bg7 17. Ng3 Nb6 18. b3 {This advance is
inviting simplifications, but what else?} (18. Bd3 Nc4 19. Bxc4 bxc4 {would
offer Black an excellent play along the b-file.}) 18... axb3 19. axb3 Rxa1 20.
Qxa1 Bg4 {Both sides have mobilised their forces, so the position is about
equal.} 21. Qc1 $5 {An interesting choice! Magnus is inviting his opponent to
enter into an unbalanced position.} (21. Nh4 exd4 22. cxd4 c5 $132) 21... Bxf3
{Accepting the challenge! Now the position is getting much more complex.} (
21... Kh7 {also looks perfectly playable:} 22. Nh4 c5 23. h3 Bd7 24. d5 Ra8
$132) 22. gxf3 {The change of pawn structure is double-edged: The Kg1 is
getting less safe, but White can use the f-pawn for attacking the opponent's
centre.} h5 23. Bh6 {This move clearly illustrates White's attacking ambitions.
} Qe7 {Not fearing ghosts!} ({Another possibility was} 23... Bh8 $5 24. Kh1 c5
25. d5 Ra8 $132) 24. Bxg7 Kxg7 25. Qg5 Kh7 ({A seemingly more precise move was
} 25... Kh8 $1 {, and then} 26. Ra1 Ra8 27. Rxa8+ Nxa8 28. f4 exf4 29. Qxf4 Nc7
{looks acceptable for Black.}) 26. f4 (26. Ra1 $5 Nfd7 (26... Ra8 $6 {runs into
} 27. Rxa8 Nxa8 28. f4 exd4 29. e5 dxe5 30. f5 $36) 27. Qxe7 Rxe7 28. Ne2 {
would have secured White a small advantage due to control over the open a-file,
but Magnus lays claim to more.}) 26... Nfd7 {I guess, liquidating into an
endgame isn't the best practical decision, even though Black's position isn't
bad at all.} (26... exf4 $5 {deserved serious attention:} 27. Qxf4 b4 $1 28. c4
({After} 28. cxb4 $6 Nbd5 29. Qd2 h4 30. Nf1 Nh5 $15 {Black takes full control
over the dark squares.}) 28... Nbd7 29. Ra1 c5 $132 {and the resulting complex
position contains definite strategic risk for both sides.}) 27. Qxe7 Rxe7 28.
fxe5 dxe5 {Now White's position looks somewhat better due to superiority in
the centre.} 29. Rd1 (29. Ra1 $5 exd4 30. cxd4 c5 31. Ne2 cxd4 32. Nxd4 {
would offer White a tiny advantage, even though the simplifications favour
Black.}) 29... Re8 30. dxe5 {The most consistent. Still, releasing the tension
makes Black's knights much more mobile.} Nxe5 ({Another decent way of handling
the position was} 30... h4 $5 31. Ne2 (31. e6 Rxe6 32. Ne2 Kg7 33. f4 Nf6 34.
e5 Nfd5 $11) 31... Nxe5 32. f4 Ng4 33. Rd6 Ra8 $1 {with sufficient counterplay.
}) 31. f4 Ng4 32. Rd6 Re6 {This is a definite concession - Black loses access
to the open file.} ({The active defence would most likely secure a draw:} 32...
Ra8 $1 33. Rxc6 Ra2 34. Bd3 h4 $1 35. Rxb6 hxg3 36. hxg3 Nh2 37. Rxb5 Nf3+ 38.
Kf1 Nh2+ $11) 33. Rd8 Kg7 34. Nf1 {Till now Hou Yifan has been defending well,
but her next move invites serious troubles.} ({White achieves nothing special
with} 34. h3 Ne3 35. Bd3 Re7 36. Rb8 Nd7 37. Rb7 Kf8 $11) 34... Rf6 $2 {
Alas, after locking the f6-spot Black's position lacks harmony.} ({After the
correct} 34... Nf6 35. Nd2 Re7 36. Rd6 Ra7 37. Bd3 (37. Rxc6 Ra2 $11) 37... Rd7
38. Rxd7 Nbxd7 {White hardly would have real winning chances.}) 35. h3 Nh6 36.
f5 $1 gxf5 37. Ng3 Rg6 38. Kf2 $2 {This inaccurate move oculd have spoiled all
the advantage!} ({A much better one is} 38. Kh2 $1 Rg5 (38... fxe4 39. Nxh5+
Kh7 40. Nf4 Rg5 41. Bxe4+ Kg7 42. Bxc6 {, and White is winning, since the pawn
is untouchable:} Rc5 43. Be4 Rxc3 44. Nh5#) 39. h4 Rg4 40. Kh3 $1 fxe4 41. Bxe4
$18 {and Black cannot avoid the major loss of material.}) 38... fxe4 $2 {
Luckily for Carlsen, his opponent doesn't take her chance!} ({Had she played}
38... Rg5 $1 {Black's problems would be solved. For instance,} 39. h4 Rg4 {
, and White isn't better.}) 39. Nxh5+ Kh7 40. Bxe4 f5 41. Bg2 {Despite the
limited material balance, Black's position is lost - there are too many
weaknesses.} Nf7 42. Rf8 Ne5 43. Nf4 $1 (43. Rxf5 $6 {is weaker:} Nd3+ 44. Kf1
Re6 {, and Black is getting active.}) 43... Rd6 44. Rxf5 Nbd7 45. Ke2 $18 {
Neutralising any counterplay.} Kg7 46. h4 Nf7 47. Be4 Nde5 48. Nh5+ Kh6 49. Ng3
Re6 50. Ke3 {White is slowly improving his position.} Kg7 51. Rf1 Kf8 (51...
Ng4+ 52. Kd4 Nf6 53. Bg2 Rd6+ 54. Kc5 Nd7+ 55. Kb4 $18 {wouldn't change much,})
52. Nf5 Ng4+ 53. Kf4 Nf6 54. Bf3 Nd5+ {That makes White's task easier.} (54...
Nd7 55. Ra1 Nfe5 56. Bh5 Kg8 57. Ra8+ Kh7 58. Ra7 $18) 55. Bxd5 cxd5 56. Ra1
Kg8 57. Ra8+ Kh7 58. Ra7 Rf6 59. h5 {Black is almost paralysed.} Kg8 60. Rd7 b4
61. cxb4 1-0
[Event "Grenke Chess Classic 5th"]
[Site "Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden"]
[Date "2018.04.01"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B48"]
[WhiteElo "2789"]
[BlackElo "2776"]
[Annotator "Szabo,Kr"]
[PlyCount "75"]
[EventDate "2018.03.31"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[EventCategory "20"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be3 a6 7. Qf3 {The
most fashionable line nowadays.} Nf6 (7... Ne5) ({and} 7... Bd6 {are also
common moves.}) 8. O-O-O Ne5 9. Qg3 b5 10. a3 (10. f4 {is the most popular
continuation.}) 10... Bb7 11. Bxb5 $5 {This is a typical sacrifice in this
type of position. Black still hasn't been able to finish his development, so
sometimes White has this breaking move.} Rc8 $1 $146 {A nice cool-blooded
novelty by Anand. Black ignores the b5-bishop, he continues the pressure on
the c-file and he will get back the e4-pawn.} (11... axb5 $2 {is bad obviously,
as} 12. Ndxb5 Qb8 13. Bb6 $16 {and Black is in trouble.}) ({The tempting} 11...
Bxa3 $6 {is dubious, because} 12. Bf4 $1 Bd6 13. Nxe6 $1 fxe6 14. Rxd6 $1 {
What a good tactical blow!} Qxd6 15. Bxe5 Qe7 16. Bd6 Qf7 17. Bd3 Rc8 18. Re1 (
18. f3 Rc6 19. Ba3 $16 {Frolyanov-Khanin, Kazan 2017, and Black can't castle.})
18... Qg6 19. Qe3 $16 {Admiraal-Leenhouts, Belgium 2017, and White has a lot
of threats, he is clearly better.}) 12. Ba4 (12. Be2 $5 {was the another
option.}) 12... Nxe4 13. Nxe4 Bxe4 14. Bf4 Qc4 $1 {The smart solution of the
pin.} (14... Qa5 {is also possible,} 15. Bxe5 Qxa4 {and transposing to the
text move.}) 15. Bxe5 ({In the event of} 15. Bb3 Nd3+ $1 16. Kb1 (16. Rxd3 $2 {
does not work, as there is} Qxd3 $17) 16... Qxd4 17. cxd3 Bg6 $132 {with a
complicated position.}) 15... Qxa4 16. Rd2 {The best way to protect c2.} f6 17.
Bd6 Kf7 18. Re1 Bg6 19. Bxf8 ({Keeping the tension with} 19. Ree2 {was
probably more accurate,} Bxd6 20. Qxd6 Rhe8 21. f4 $36 {and the white pieces
are more active.}) 19... Rhxf8 20. Qd6 Kg8 21. f4 Rfe8 $6 {A straightforward
continuation, but here this is an inaccuracy.} (21... Qc4 $1 {was the correct
reply!} 22. Qxd7 ({or} 22. Kb1 $6 e5 $1 23. fxe5 fxe5 $17 {and suddenly White
is in trouble.}) 22... Bf7 23. Nxe6 Qa2 $132 {with a double-edged fight.}) 22.
Re3 $1 {White activates his rook and controls the important c3-square.} Qc4 23.
b3 {White could consolidate his position, the black queen has to go back.
White's position is promising.} Qc7 24. Qxc7 Rxc7 25. Kb2 Rb8 26. g4 ({Of
course not} 26. c4 $2 {, because of} Rxc4 $1 {.}) 26... Bf7 27. a4 Rc5 28. Ne2
$1 {The knight wasn't already so useful on d4, so White opens the d-file for
the rook.} Rc7 ({In the event of} 28... d5 $6 29. Nd4 $1 {the knight comes
back again, because now the e6-pawn is weak.} Rb6 30. Rde2 $18 {and Black
can't protect the e6-pawn.}) 29. Rd6 $1 Ra7 30. Red3 Be8 31. f5 {Black is very
passive, White can improve his position without allowing any counterplay.
White blocks the dark-squares.} exf5 32. gxf5 Rc8 33. Nc3 Rc5 34. R3d5 Rc6 35.
Ne4 Kf7 36. Rd3 Rac7 37. c4 {Finally the c-pawn also advances.} g6 $6 {Loses
immediately, but Black's position was already bad.} (37... Ke7 38. R6d4 $16 {
followed by Nd6 and Black simply can't play.}) 38. fxg6+ {and Black resigned,
because he loses the f6-pawn.} (38. fxg6+ hxg6 39. Nxf6 $18) 1-0
[Event "Grenke Chess Classic 5th"]
[Site "Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden"]
[Date "2018.04.04"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Naiditsch, Arkadij"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C66"]
[WhiteElo "2784"]
[BlackElo "2701"]
[Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2018.03.31"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[EventCategory "20"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 d6 $5 5. O-O Bd7 6. Re1 Be7 (6... g6 {
trying to achieve the perfect setup with ...g6 allows a quick 7.d4!} 7. d4 Bg7
8. d5 Ne7 9. Bxd7+ Nxd7 10. Be3 O-O 11. c4 h6 (11... f5 {allows Ng5!} 12. Ng5 {
[%csl Re6]}) 12. Nfd2 $1 {building a strong center with f3 and putting all the
hopes on a queenside expansion. The light-squared bishop exchange on move 9 is
very convenient for White in these King's Indian pawn structures.} f5 13. f3 g5
14. Nc3 fxe4 15. fxe4 Ng6 16. g3 $14 {1-0 (26) Caruana,F (2817)-Finegold,B
(2481) chess.com INT 2017}) 7. c3 O-O 8. h3 Re8 9. a4 Bf8 10. Bg5 h6 11. Bh4 g5
$5 {it's always a little bit risky to push this pawn two squares!} (11... Be7
$1 {followed by ...Nh5 ideas was a decent option for Black.}) 12. Bg3 Ne7 13.
Bxd7 (13. Bc4 $5 $13 {keeping all the pieces was interesting.}) 13... Qxd7 14.
Nbd2 {[%cal Gb1d2,Gd2c4,Gc4e3,Ge3f5]} Ng6 15. Nc4 Rad8 16. Ne3 $14 {[%csl Rf5]
This knight is heading to f5.} d5 17. exd5 Bg7 (17... Nxd5 $2 18. Ng4 $1 $16)
18. d4 $5 (18. h4 $5 {was definitely worth considering as well.} Nxd5 (18... g4
19. Nd2 Nxd5 20. Nxd5 Qxd5 21. h5 Nf4 22. Bxf4 exf4 23. Qxg4 Qxd3 24. Ne4 $1
$16 (24. Nf1 $5 $16 {is also fine}) 24... Rxe4 $2 25. Red1 $1) 19. Nxd5 Qxd5
20. hxg5 hxg5 (20... Qxd3 21. gxh6 Qxd1 22. Raxd1 Rxd1 23. Rxd1 Bxh6 24. Rd7
$16) 21. Nxg5 Qxd3 22. Qg4 $40) 18... exd4 19. cxd4 $6 {Not a very pleasant
move to make, but I imagine Caruana was still counting on Black's king being
somewhat weaker until the end of the game.} (19. Qxd4 $1 Ne4 (19... Nxd5 20.
Qxd5 Qxd5 21. Nxd5 Rxe1+ 22. Rxe1 Rxd5 23. Re8+ Kh7 24. Bxc7 $16) 20. Be5 $1 {
a tough move to spot} Bxe5 21. Nxe5 Rxe5 22. Ng4 $3 Rxd5 (22... Qxd5 23. Nxe5
$18) 23. Qxe4 Kg7 24. Ne3 $16) 19... Nxd5 20. Nxd5 Rxe1+ 21. Qxe1 Qxd5 22. Bxc7
Rc8 23. Rc1 Bxd4 {Not expected by Caruana, as he mentioned in the Press
Conference. But as risky as it looks, Black gets the pawn back, without any
disaster happening.} 24. Qd2 Qd7 $1 {Forced and good.} 25. Nxd4 (25. Qxd4 Rxc7
26. Rxc7 Qxc7 27. Qxa7 {allows the typical perpetual check:} Qc1+ 28. Kh2 Qf4+
29. Kg1 Qc1+ 30. Kh2 $11) 25... Rxc7 26. Rxc7 Qxc7 27. Nf5 {The position is
objectively equal, but in practice, Black always needs to take care of his
king, as long as there are queens on the board.} Kh7 28. g3 Ne5 {The knight
shouldn't stay loose like this. The move itself is not a mistake, but
difficult moves have to be found from now on. Caruana considered it as a
practical mistake already.} (28... Qc6 $1 {mentioned by Caruana after the game,
this is one of the consistent moves in the position. Now ...Ne5 may actually
be a nice move, and Black remains solid after all. The knight is strong on f5,
but White needed a specific target to create a direct attack against the
opponent's king.}) (28... Qc5 $1 {demands more calculation, but also works} 29.
Qd7 Ne5 30. Qxb7 Qc2 $1 {[%csl Ra4,Rf5]} 31. g4 (31. Ne3 Qxa4 $11) 31... Qxa4
$11) 29. Qe3 Nc4 $6 (29... f6 $1 {Again, Black has to be careful, but he's
doing just fine.} 30. Qe4 (30. Nd4 Qc4 31. Qe4+ Kh8 32. Kg2 Qd3 $11) 30... Qc6
$1 $11) 30. Qc3 Qe5 31. Qd3 Nxb2 32. Qc2 Qe1+ 33. Kg2 Qd1 34. Qe4 {These last
moves by Naiditsch were a bit too adventurous. Now he had to show some calm
and go for 34...Qd7!, mentioned by GM Jan Gustafsson in the press conference
as a suggestion. This move somehow still holds the position together} Qxa4 $2 (
34... Qd7 $1 {it's always hard to allow a discovered check like this one.} 35.
Qe5 (35. Kh2 Nxa4 36. Qe5 Kg6 $3 $11 {preparing the escape, as well as the ...
f6 move.}) 35... Qc6+ 36. Kg1 Qg6 $11 {still surviving.}) 35. Qxb7 Qa2 36. Ne3
$1 $18 {Suddenly, the black knight is totally out of play (there is Qe4+
against ...Nd3)} Kg7 {Threatening ...Nd3 now.} (36... Na4 37. Nd5 $1 {cutting
off Black's queen's defence of f7} Kg7 38. Qc6 $1 Qa1 {keeping an eye on f6}
39. Ne3 $1 {when Black can not resist the attack with Nf5+.}) 37. Qb4 $1 {
[%csl Rb2] This move serves two purposes: dominate the b2-knight and create a
irresistible attack for White. Qd4+ is a threat here, for example. The black
pieces are completely out of play.} Qb1 (37... Na4 38. Qd4+ Kg6 39. Qe4+ Kg7
40. Qc6 Kh7 41. Ng4 $18) (37... a5 38. Qd4+ Kh7 39. Nf5 Kg6 40. g4 f6 41. Qe4
$18) 38. g4 Kg8 39. Nf5 Qc2 40. Qb8+ Kh7 41. Qb7 Kh8 42. Qe7 $1 {[%cal Ge7f8]}
1-0
[Event "Grenke Chess Classic 5th"]
[Site "Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden"]
[Date "2018.04.06"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Meier, Georg"]
[Black "Naiditsch, Arkadij"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E08"]
[WhiteElo "2648"]
[BlackElo "2701"]
[Annotator "Sadorra,J"]
[PlyCount "66"]
[EventDate "2018.03.31"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[EventCategory "20"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Be7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O c6 8. Qc2
b6 ({Another way to reach the game is} 8... Nbd7 9. Rd1 b6 10. b3 Bb7 11. Nc3)
9. Rd1 Bb7 10. b3 ({The other common line here is} 10. Bf4 Nbd7 11. Ne5 (11.
Nc3 {leads to a well-known equal or drawish position after} dxc4 12. Ne5 Nd5
13. Nxc4 Nxf4 14. gxf4 Qc7 15. e3 Rad8 16. Rac1 c5 17. d5 exd5 18. Nxd5 Bxd5
19. Rxd5 b5 20. Ne5 Nxe5 21. Rxe5 Bd6 $11) 11... Nxe5 12. dxe5 Nd7 13. cxd5 {
now a recent high-level game here went} exd5 $5 14. e4 d4 15. Rxd4 Bc5 16. Rd2
Qe7 17. Nc3 Nxe5 18. Rad1 Bc8 19. h3 {Gelfand,B (2724)-Anand,V (2786) Zuerich
2017, and Black should continue} f6 {where White may have a slight edge but
Black has equalising chances.}) 10... Nbd7 11. Nc3 Rc8 12. Bf4 {Transposing to
a familiar main line rather than going for a more principled pawn break in the
centre.} ({The most principled approach is} 12. e4 $1 Nxe4 (12... c5 $6 13.
exd5 exd5 14. Be3 dxc4 15. d5 $1 Ng4 16. Bf4 cxb3 (16... Bf6 17. bxc4 Ba6 18.
Rac1 Bxc4 19. Ne4 Ba6 {1-0 (36) Grandelius,N (2562)-Firat,B (2423) Athens 2012}
20. h3 $1 Nge5 21. Nxf6+ Qxf6 22. Nxe5 Nxe5 23. Qa4 $16) 17. axb3 c4 18. Rxa7
cxb3 19. Qxb3 b5 20. d6 Bf6 21. Rxb7 Rxc3 22. Qb1 $18 {and White has a
decisive advantage.} Nc5 23. Rxb5 Qd7 24. h3 Nxf2 25. Kxf2 Ne4+ 26. Kg1 Rxf3
27. Rb7 {1-0 (27) Swiercz,D (2645)-Xiong,J (2674) Saint Louis 2017}) 13. Nxe4
dxe4 14. Qxe4 Nf6 15. Qe2 c5 16. dxc5 bxc5 (16... Bxc5 17. b4 $1 Be7 18. Rac1 (
18. Bf4 Qe8) 18... Qe8 19. Ne5 Bxg2 20. Kxg2 Qa4 21. a3 $1 Nd7 (21... Rfd8 22.
b5 $1 a6 23. Nc6 $16) (21... a6 22. Qf3) (21... Qxa3 22. Ra1 Qb2 23. Rxa7 Rfe8
24. b5 $16) 22. Nxd7 Qxd7 23. Qf3 $14) 17. Bg5 {½-½ (17) Konopka,M (2398)
-Farago,I (2410) Hungary 2017} Qb6 18. Ne5 Rfd8 19. Rxd8+ Rxd8 20. Rd1 $14 {
White's position is easier to play - against the weakness on the queenside
light squares - however Black should hold with accurate play.}) 12... c5 13.
Nb5 cxd4 14. Nd6 (14. Nxa7 $2 {is very risky} Rc5 $1 15. Rxd4 Qa8 16. Nb5 dxc4
17. Nd6 (17. Bd6 Bxd6 18. Nxd6 cxb3 19. Qxb3 Bd5 $17 20. Qd3 $2 e5 21. Rh4 e4 {
0-1 (21) Molina,R (2322)-Leitao,R (2601) Rio de Janeiro 2007}) 17... cxb3 18.
Qxb3 Bd5 $17) (14. Rxd4 Rc5 $1 {A typical idea in these positions.} 15. Rad1 a6
16. Nc3 (16. Nd6 $6 Ba8 $15) 16... Qc8 $1 $36 {and it's White who's under
pressure again, especially on the vulnerable c-file.} (16... b5 $5)) 14... Bxd6
15. Bxd6 Re8 16. Nxd4 Nc5 {This position has been reached 2 times before, and
Naiditsch could be very well still in his prep. He shared in a post-game
interview that he got a good position from the opening.} 17. Bxc5 Rxc5 ({
Another way to get a good complex game is} 17... bxc5 18. Nf3 Qb6 19. e3 dxc4
20. bxc4 Be4 $36 {0-1 (42) Krylov,M (2499)-Grachev,B (2660) Moscow 2011}) 18.
Qb2 ({Another continuation that leads to an equal game is} 18. Qd2 Qa8 (18...
Qe7 19. cxd5 Bxd5 $11) (18... e5 $5 19. Nf5 (19. Nb5 $6 Qb8 $1 20. Rac1 Rec8
$36) 19... Bc8 20. Ne3 d4 21. Nd5 Nxd5 22. Bxd5 $11) 19. cxd5 Bxd5 20. f3 Bb7
$11 {0-1 (30) Krishna,C (2326)-Barua,D (2429) Kolkata 2012}) 18... e5 {A
critical moment for White.} 19. Nb5 $6 (19. Nf5 Qd7 20. b4 $1 (20. Ne3 $6 d4
$15) 20... Rxc4 21. Ne3 Rc7 22. Nxd5 Bxd5 23. Bxd5 Nxd5 24. e4 Rc4 $36 {
though White has equal chances, I think Black still has some initiative to
work with.}) ({Naitditsch was expecting another retreat:} 19. Nf3 {after which
he considered some interesting possibilities.} e4 (19... Qc7 20. Nd2 (20. cxd5
$2 {helping Black seize the weak c3-square.} Nxd5 21. Rac1 Nc3) 20... dxc4 21.
Nxc4 (21. Bxb7 c3 $19) 21... Bxg2 22. Kxg2 Qc6+ 23. Kg1 Ne4 $15) 20. Nd4 dxc4
$1 21. Ne6 ({The best way to defend is} 21. bxc4 Qe7 $15 {but White has a long
term weakness giving Black a long-term edge.} 22. Qa3 (22. e3 Ng4 $15) 22... e3
$1 $36) 21... c3 $1 22. Qa3 (22. Qc2 fxe6 23. Rxd8 Rxd8 $17) 22... fxe6 23.
Rxd8 Rxd8 $17) 19... Qb8 $1 $15 20. e3 ({If} 20. Rac1 {White can face
unpleasant pressure after} Rec8 21. Na3 d4 $15) 20... h5 $5 ({Simpler and
better is} 20... a6 21. Na3 dxc4 $1 22. Nxc4 (22. bxc4 Bxg2 23. Kxg2 Qb7+ 24.
f3 e4 25. f4 Qc8 $1 26. Qxb6 Ng4 $40 {[%csl Rg2][%cal Rg4h2,Rc5h5]}) 22... Bxg2
23. Kxg2 b5 $17 {[%csl Rc3][%cal Gf6e4,Ge4c3,Gb5b4]} 24. Nd6 (24. Nd2 Qb7+ 25.
Kg1 Rd5 $1 26. Nf1 (26. Rac1 Red8) 26... Ne4 $17) 24... Re6 25. Nf5 (25. Qa3
Rc2) 25... Qa8+ 26. Kg1 g6 $17) 21. Qe2 a6 22. Na3 d4 (22... Qa8 $5 23. Rac1
dxc4 24. Bxb7 Qxb7 25. Rxc4 Rd5 $15) 23. Nc2 Bxg2 24. Kxg2 Ne4 25. Qf1 h4 $6 {
After this, things get out of control.} ({The best continuation here, and
positionally in general, is to improve the worst-placed piece which in this
case is the c5-rook.} 25... Rc6 $1 26. Nb4 (26. exd4 Rf6 $40 27. f3 Ng5 28. Ne1
Nxf3 29. Nxf3 e4 $17) 26... Rg6 27. Nd5 {So what if there's a knight on d5? It
looks nice but is it doing anything useful according to the demands of the
position? :-)} dxe3 28. fxe3 (28. Nxe3 Rf6 $1) 28... Qc8 $40 {[%csl Rg2,Rg3,
Rh3][%cal Rh5h4,Re4g5]}) 26. f3 Nc3 27. Rd2 (27. Re1 {was more solid} hxg3 28.
hxg3 dxe3 29. Rxe3 $13 {and White is holding as the position starts to
stablise.}) 27... hxg3 28. hxg3 Re6 29. Qf2 Rf6 $2 ({The best but difficult
way to continue the attack which Naiditch later realised is} 29... e4 $1 30.
Rxd4 (30. Nxd4 exf3+ 31. Qxf3 Rf6 {and the queen has to give up control of the
a8-h1 diagonal.}) (30. f4 d3 $17) 30... exf3+ 31. Qxf3 Rg5 $40 {Black's pieces
start to coordinate and create dangerous threats around the white king.}) 30.
exd4 Ne4 31. Qe3 Nxd2 32. dxc5 Nxf3 {So far both players are playing
reasonably well in this crazy position and in mutual time trouble!} 33. cxb6 $4
{Unfortunately, Meier is the first one to crack under pressure.} ({Naiditch
correctly pointed out in an interview that White must play} 33. c6 $1 {
blocking the a8-h1 diagonal for the black queen; then he was planning} Qc8 {
whereupon Black still has good attacking chances. Indeed, with little time on
the clock, it will be challenging to find only-moves in the ensuing play.} 34.
Nb4 (34. Rh1 Qxc6) 34... Qf5 $1 (34... Nh4+ 35. gxh4 Qg4+ 36. Qg3 Qe2+ 37. Kh1
Qe4+ 38. Kh2 Qe2+ $11) (34... Qg4 35. Rh1) 35. Nd5 Qc2+ 36. Kf1 $1 {Here White
has to be brave and play the only move that draws:} Nh2+ 37. Kg1 Nf3+ 38. Kf1
$1 $11) (33. Rf1 e4 $1 34. Nd4 (34. Qxe4 Nd2) 34... Rg6 35. Ne2 bxc5 $40) 33...
Qb7 $1 {A powerful, little move by the queen that creates unstoppable
discovered threats. Upon realising there is no defence, White resigned. An
impressive comeback and a much-needed win for the hometown favourite GM
Naiditsch who disappointedly failed to realise good winning chances in his
previous game. Credit to both players for playing one of the more exciting
games in the 2018 GRENKE Chess Classic!} 0-1
[Event "Grenke Chess Classic 5th"]
[Site "Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden"]
[Date "2018.04.07"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Naiditsch, Arkadij"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B91"]
[WhiteElo "2701"]
[BlackElo "2843"]
[Annotator "Quintiliano,R"]
[PlyCount "84"]
[EventDate "2018.03.31"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[EventCategory "20"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. g3 {For some reason,
games between Carlsen and Naiditsch tend to be very interesting and
complicated. This time, however, Naiditsch aims for a more quiet, positional
struggle.} e5 7. Nb3 {A less played, but still interesting option.} (7. Nde2 {
is the main move, White plans to improve this knight by means of Nd5 followed
by Nec3 or h3-g4-Ng3.}) 7... Be7 8. Bg2 (8. a4 {a normal move to keep Black's
queenside under control, but not a good one in this case, as Black can play}
Nc6 $1 {[%csl Gb4][%cal Yc6b4] and with the b4-square available to this knight,
Black establishes a firm control over d5} 9. Bg2 Nb4 10. Bg5 Be6 11. O-O Rc8 {
Black's development not only protects the important point d5, but exerts
pressure against the c-file; Nd5 is also prevented} 12. a5 {[%cal Ya1a4]} Qd7
$1 {Guo,A (2219)-Quintiliano Pinto,R (2451) SPICE Cup Open 2017 (4.18) 0-1 and
Black is fine -} 13. Ra4 $2 Nxc2 $1) 8... O-O 9. O-O Be6 ({Some recent games
proved that} 9... b5 $5 {is also playable} 10. Nd5 $5 (10. a4 {used to be
considered favourable for White, but times and evaluations change} b4 11. Nd5
Nxd5 12. Qxd5 Ra7 13. Be3 Be6 14. Qd3 Ra8 $5 {the best way to avoid problems
with the a6-pawn under attack in many variations} 15. f4 Qc7 16. Nd2 a5 $1 {
[%cal Yb8a6,Ya6c5];Hou,Y (2652)-Grischuk,A (2750) Moscow FIDE GP 2017 (5) 0-1
and Black is ok -}) 10... Nxd5 11. Qxd5 Ra7 12. Be3 Be6 13. Qd2 Ra8 14. a4 (14.
Na5 $5) 14... Nc6 15. axb5 axb5 16. Rxa8 Qxa8 17. Ra1 Qb7 $11 {Naiditsch,A
(2710)-Vidit,S (2693) ESP-chT CECLUB Honor 2017 (6.2) 1/2}) 10. Re1 {[%csl Gd5]
[%cal Yb3d2,Yd2f1,Yf1e3] Preparing the standard manoeuvre Nd2-f1-e3, typical
in such positions.} ({Naiditsch had also played the main move} 10. a4 Nbd7 (
10... Nc6 $6 {is not so strong now due to the direct} 11. Nd5 $1) 11. Re1 {
now White goes for the same plan without the queenside expansion for Black,
but the time spent on the move a4 allows a good idea. It is nice to remember
the line} (11. a5 {doesn't really prevent Black's counterplay on the queenside}
Qc7 12. Re1 Rfc8 13. h3 h6 14. Be3 b5 $1 15. axb6 Nxb6 {[%cal Yb6c4]} 16. Na5
Nc4 17. Nxc4 Bxc4 $11 {Leko,P (2740)-Topalov,V (2801) Corus Wijk aan Zee 2006
(13) 1/2}) 11... Qc7 12. Nd2 Bd8 $1 {[%cal Yd8a5,Ya5e1] a very nice plan,
Black is improving his bad bishop and at the same time preventing White from
using the d5-square} 13. Nf1 Qc5 14. Ne3 ({Naiditsch's game went} 14. h3 Ba5
15. Be3 Qc7 16. Bd2 Rac8 17. Ne3 {Naiditsch,A (2684)-Sunilduth Lyna,N (2536)
Douglas IoM op 2016 (8) 1-0} Bxc3 $1 18. Bxc3 Nc5 {[%csl Ye4] and Black is
fine, for example} 19. Nd5 $2 Nxd5 20. exd5 Bd7 {[%csl Ya4]} 21. a5 Na4 22. Re3
f5 $1 $36) 14... Ba5 15. Bd2 Rac8 {Wei,Y (2706)-Giri,A (2798) Tata Steel-A
78th 2016 (5) 1/2 and Black had no problems in}) 10... Nbd7 11. Nd2 ({White
had the chance to transpose to the last move's previous lines with} 11. a4)
11... b5 $1 {Although in the positions in which White avoids this move Black
is also ok, allowing it looks even worse for me. Black simply has no problems
and now has more space and possibilities on the queenside.} 12. Nf1 Bg4 $1 $146
{Carlsen shows excellent understanding of this position, this move provokes
weaknesses in the dark squares in White's camp, besides making the Bg2 (even
more) bad.} (12... Nb6 {was played by a Najdorf specialist and also gave a
nice position to Black} 13. Ne3 b4 14. Ncd5 Nfxd5 15. exd5 Bd7 16. Bd2 a5 17.
a3 bxa3 18. Rxa3 a4 19. Bb4 Qb8 20. c3 Bg5 21. Ra1 f5 $36 {Balogh,C (2648)
-Wojtaszek,R (2715) HUN-POL m Budapest 2014 (4.6) 0-1}) 13. f3 (13. Qd2 {
looks very unnatural, but it is probably better as White keeps his position
untouched, and Ne3 is coming in the next move, then he will be able to
correctly replace the queen.}) 13... Be6 14. Ne3 Rc8 15. a3 (15. a4 $5 b4 16.
Ncd5 Bxd5 17. exd5 (17. Nxd5 Nxd5 18. exd5 Bg5 $1 {is a typical idea, looking
to endgames in which the knight will be much superior to the light-squared
bishop}) 17... Rc5 $132 {[%cal Yd7b6,Gd8c7,Yd8a8]}) 15... Nb6 {Black has
solved the positional problem of d5: White is not able to place his knights
there and recapture with a piece, which would be the ideal plan.} 16. f4 $5 {
Necessary to prevent d5.} (16. Bd2 d5 $1 17. exd5 Nfxd5 18. Nexd5 Nxd5 19. Rxe5
Bf6 {[%csl Yc3] and Black regains the pawn with a better structure} 20. Re1
Qb6+ 21. Kh1 Nxc3 22. bxc3 Bxc3 23. Bxc3 Rxc3 $17 {[%csl Ga3,Gc2][%cal Yf8d8]})
16... Re8 (16... exf4 17. gxf4 Re8 $15 {also seems easier for Black due to
White's unstable centre.}) 17. Kh1 Bf8 18. f5 $1 {Black was ready to take on
f4 and exert pressure against White's centre.} Bd7 19. Qd3 {White should keep
an eye on d5. The position remains balanced.} (19. Bd2 Bc6 20. Rc1 d5 $1 {
is very good for Black.}) 19... h6 20. b3 ({Against the direct} 20. Bd2 {
Naiditsch was maybe worried about} Nc4) 20... Bc6 21. Bd2 Qc7 22. Rac1 Qb7 {
Carlsen has improved the queen and is looking for ideas with d6-d5 or pressure
against the e4-pawn.} 23. Ned5 (23. Rcd1 Nbd7 $1 {[%cal Yd7c5] would force a
similar position to the game} 24. Ncd5 Bxd5 25. exd5 (25. Nxd5 Nxd5 26. exd5
Be7 $1 {[%cal Ye7g5]}) {but here Blackalso has the interesting idea} 25... Be7
$5 {[%cal Ye7d8,Yd8b6]}) 23... Bxd5 24. exd5 Nbd7 $1 {[%cal Yd7c5] After the
exchange on d5 the kinight is misplaced on b6, so Carlsen hurries to improve
it, via c5.} 25. Nd1 {[%cal Yd2b4,Gd1e3] White is also trying to improve his
pieces.} (25. Ne4 $5) 25... e4 $5 {Looking for complications, although Black
had another idea which was very good.} (25... Be7 $1 {[%cal Ye7d8,Yd8b6] would
be simple and good} 26. Nf2 (26. Bb4 e4 $1 {[%csl Yd5]} 27. Bxe4 a5 $1 $19 {
[%cal Gd7c5]}) 26... Bd8 27. g4 $5 Bb6 $1 28. Ne4 Nxe4 29. Bxe4 Bf2 $1 30. Re2
Bh4 $15 {[%cal Yh4g5,Gd7c5,Yb7e7] with a pleasant position.}) 26. Qd4 (26. Bxe4
$4 Nc5 $19) 26... Ne5 {The only continuation that makes sense for Black.} (
26... Qxd5 {is harmless} 27. Qxd5 Nxd5 28. Bxe4 N5f6 29. Bb7 Rxe1+ 30. Bxe1 Rb8
31. Bg2 $11 (31. Bxa6 $2 Nc5 {[%csl Ga6]})) 27. Nf2 $2 {After this move White
has problems.} (27. Nc3 $1 {would be better, keeping d5 protected} Nf3 $1 28.
Bxf3 exf3 29. Rxe8 Rxe8 30. Qf4 $1 a5 {[%cal Yb5b4]} 31. b4 $1 (31. Qxf3 b4 32.
axb4 axb4 33. Na2 Ne4 $1 34. Bxb4 Qxd5 35. Rf1 Qb7 $44 {[%cal Yd6d5]}) 31...
axb4 32. axb4 Rc8 $1 33. Qxf3 Rc4 $132 {and the position is unclear}) 27... Nf3
$1 28. Bxf3 exf3 {[%csl Yd5] The d5-pawn hanging forces White to expose his
structure even more.} 29. c4 bxc4 30. bxc4 Re5 $1 {A very practical and strong
move.} (30... Rxe1+ 31. Bxe1 (31. Rxe1 Qb3 {[%csl Ra3,Rc4]}) 31... Re8 32. Kg1
Nd7 $17 {[%cal Yd7e5] is also very unpleasant for White.}) 31. Re3 (31. Rxe5 $2
dxe5 32. Qxe5 Bxa3 $19) 31... Rxe3 (31... Rxf5 32. Qd3 {[%cal Ye3f3]}) 32. Qxe3
(32. Bxe3 Re8 {with the dangerous threat Qb3} 33. Qc3 Qe7 34. Re1 {Black has a
beautiful idea here} Ne4 $3 {seemingly falling into a trap} 35. Nxe4 Qxe4 36.
Bf2 Qxf5 $1 37. Rxe8 Qh3 $1 {[%csl Rg2] and it is mate} 38. Qxf3 Qf1+ 39. Bg1
Qxf3#) 32... Qb2 $1 {The queen's invasion is very unpleasant and puts White
under serious pressure. Nxd5 is already a threat.} 33. Nd3 (33. Qc3 Qa2 34. Qd3
(34. Kg1 Nxd5 $1 35. Qxf3 Qxd2 36. Rd1 Qc3 37. Qxd5 Rxc4 $17) 34... Rb8 $19 {
[%cal Yb8b3,Yb8b2] the rook also comes and White can't avoid material losses.})
33... Qxa3 34. Qxf3 Qa2 $17 {White's position is collapsing, and the time
trouble is just an additional problem.} 35. Bc3 (35. Qd1 {is not better:} Rxc4
36. Ra1 Qc2) 35... Rxc4 (35... Nd7 $5) 36. Ra1 Qb3 37. Bxf6 gxf6 38. Kg2 $2 (
38. Qd1 $1 {would had offered better chances:} Qb5 39. Nf4 a5 $17) 38... Rc3
39. Rd1 (39. Qg4+ Bg7 40. Nf4 {doesn't work:} Qb2+ 41. Kh3 Qxa1 42. Nh5 Qf1+
43. Kh4 Rc4 $19) 39... h5 $1 {One last touch of precision by the World
Champion: Qg4+ is not possible now.} 40. Kh3 Bh6 $19 {The time control was
reached, but it just enough to realise that White's position is hopeless and
lost.} 41. Re1 (41. Qxh5 Rxd3 42. Rxd3 Qxd3 43. Qxh6 Qxf5+ 44. Kg2 (44. Kh4
Qg5+ $1 45. Qxg5+ fxg5+ 46. Kxg5 a5 $19) 44... Qg5 45. Qh3 Qxd5+ 46. Kf2 Qd4+
47. Ke2 a5 $19 {the endgame is a simple win for Black.}) 41... Rxd3 42. Qxh5
Re3 {If 43. Rc1 Rxg3! A typical strategic win by Carlsen, building a sound
position, taking the right opportunity to create some complications that lead
to new weaknesses in his opponent's camp, then exploiting them very
convincingly.} 0-1
[Event "Gashimov Memorial 5th"]
[Site "Shamkir"]
[Date "2018.04.19"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Ding, Liren"]
[Black "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A28"]
[WhiteElo "2778"]
[BlackElo "2744"]
[Annotator "Marin,M"]
[PlyCount "133"]
[EventDate "2018.04.19"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AZE"]
[EventCategory "21"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bb4 5. Bg2 d6 $5 ({Stepping out of the
main theoretical stream continuing with} 5... O-O 6. O-O e4) 6. O-O O-O 7. d3 (
7. Nd5 {is likely to transpose to another main line:} Bc5 (7... e4 $6 8. Ne1
Bc5 9. d3 exd3 10. Nxd3 $14) 8. e3 Bg4 (8... a6 9. b3 Ba7 10. d3 h6 {Turov,M
(2658)-Savchenko,S (2541) Metz 2012 EXT 2013 [Metz (1-0, 41)Alekhine/Primel,D]}
) 9. h3 Bh5 10. d3 Nxd5 11. cxd5 Ne7 12. g4 Bg6 13. d4 exd4 14. Nxd4 $14 {
Izoria,Z (2599)-Akobian,V (2647) Saint Louis 2018 (½-½, 52)}) 7... Re8 {
A neutral move, waiting for White to define his intentions.} (7... h6 {is the
most popular move leading to the usual English struggle.} 8. Na4 (8. Bd2 a5 9.
e3 Bf5 10. Qe2 Re8 11. Rfd1 e4 $132 {1-0 (39) Laznicka,V (2677)-Topalov,V
(2769) Novy Bor 2013 CBM 157 [CB]}) 8... a5 9. b3 Qe7 (9... Re8 10. Bb2 Bf5 {
Svidler,P (2757)-Nakamura,H (2790) Moscow 2016 CBM 172 [Sagar Shah/CB Website]
(½-½, 30)}) 10. Bb2 Bc5 11. e3 Ba7 12. Nc3 {Aronian,L (2786)-Topalov,V (2780)
Moscow 2016 CBM 172 [Mekhitarian,K] (½-½, 58)}) (7... Bxc3 {is more double
edged strategically.} 8. bxc3 h6 (8... e4 9. Nd4 exd3 10. exd3 Ne5 11. f4 Ng6
12. Rb1 c5 13. Nc2 Rb8 14. f5 Ne5 15. Ne3 $16 {Nepomniachtchi,I (2718)
-Savchenko,B (2580) Sochi 2012 (1-0, 32)}) 9. h3 (9. Rb1 Rb8 10. e4 {1-0 (28)
Mamedyarov,S (2657)-Gagunashvili,M (2562) Dubai 2004 CBM 101 [Ribli,Z]}) 9...
Rb8 10. Ne1 Bd7 11. e4 a6 12. Kh2 b5 $132 {Mamedov,R (2688)-Malakhov,V (2713)
Doha 2016 (½-½, 130)}) 8. Bd2 ({In a recent game} 8. Bg5 Bxc3 9. bxc3 h6 10.
Bh4 {led to interesting play, explaining why Black usually prefers 7...h6.} Rb8
({Things are not entirely clear after} 10... g5 11. Nxg5 hxg5 12. Bxg5 Kg7 13.
f4 e4 $1 {but White's compensation is beyond doubt.}) 11. Rb1 Bd7 12. h3 Qe7
13. g4 Nd8 14. Nd2 {Nepomniachtchi,I (2751)-Palac,M (2525) Tbilisi 2017 (½-½,
35) with an initiative for White but a solid black position.}) 8... Nd4 {
This will soon lead to a minimal white advantage with-one sided play.} (8... a5
$5 9. a3 Bxc3 10. Bxc3 a4 11. Qc2 Nd7 $6 {This wastes too much time.} ({
Black should continue developing with, say,} 11... h6 12. Rad1 Be6 {Preventing
d3-d4 with an entirely viable position.}) 12. Rad1 Nc5 13. d4 $14 {Van Wely,L
(2676)-Volokitin,A (2652) Germany 2017 (½-½, 36)}) 9. a3 Nxf3+ 10. Bxf3 Bxc3
11. Bxc3 c6 ({If} 11... Bh3 {(Bachmann,K-Lohse,S Bad Pyrmont 1963 (0-1, 42))
Black could carry out the promising exchange sacrifice:} 12. Bxb7 Bxf1 13. Qxf1
Rb8 14. Bc6 Re6 15. b4 d5 16. b5 d4 17. Ba5 $14) 12. e4 {Anticipating Black's
central; expansion. Paradoxically, the white bishops will be very strong with
the blocked centre.} (12. Bg2 Bd7 13. h3 h6 14. Kh2 Nh7 $6 (14... d5 {offers
Black reasonable play.}) 15. f4 exf4 16. gxf4 f5 17. Qe1 Qe7 18. Qg3 Qf7 19.
Bf3 $40 {Benko,P (2480)-Sherwin,J USA 1976 (1-0, 27)}) 12... Bh3 13. Re1 c5 14.
b4 $14 {White's queenside initiative progresses slowly but consistently while
Black does not have concrete ideas on the other wing.} b6 15. a4 Nd7 16. a5 (
16. b5 a6 {would help Black in the fight for the a-file.}) 16... Be6 ({Even
though} 16... cxb4 {looks like a concession Black would avoid being suffocated
as in the game.} 17. Bxb4 Nc5 18. Bc3 Ne6 $14) 17. Ra3 Rb8 18. b5 $16 Qc8 ({
Wojtaszek complained that he refrained from his initial thought:} 18... Ra8 {
but this would have hardly solved his problems.} 19. Qb3 $1 ({During the post
mortem the only analysed lines went} 19. axb6 axb6 {with equal rights on the
a-file and}) (19. Qa1 a6 {This was Black's idea.} 20. axb6 axb5 {with chances
to equalise.}) 19... a6 {This does not work out well but otherwise White would
double rooks on the a-file and then choose the most favourable moment for axb6
followed by the intrusion.} 20. axb6 axb5 21. Rxa8 Qxa8 22. Qxb5 Qb7 23. Ba5
$16 {Keeping the extra pawn.}) 19. axb6 axb6 20. Re2 Ra8 21. Rea2 Rxa3 (21...
Qb7 22. Qa1 $16 {does not change much.}) 22. Rxa3 Qc7 23. Bg2 Nf8 24. f4 {
After having achieved success on the queenside White opens a new front.} f6 {
Of course Black should restrict the dark-squared bishop as much as possible.}
25. f5 Bc8 26. Bd2 Bb7 27. g4 {The start of the typical Mar del Plata KI
attack, with the difference that here White is better on both wings.} ({
DIng suggested} 27. h4 {as an improvement, probably having in mind that the
bishop could go to h5 after, for instance} h6 28. Bf3 $16) 27... h6 28. h4 Nh7
29. Bf3 Qe7 30. Kf2 Rb8 31. Qc1 Ra8 (31... Qd8 {may have required more
precision to achioeve the same kind of ending as in the game.} 32. Ra7 Qc8 33.
g5 hxg5 34. hxg5 Ra8 35. Rxa8 Qxa8 {One important point is that} 36. Bh5 {
allows} Bxe4 $5 37. dxe4 Qxe4 {with good compensation for the piece.}) 32.
Rxa8+ Bxa8 33. Qa1 Bb7 34. Qa7 Qc7 {Black's queenside is completely paralysed
and the time has come for White to continue his kingside plan.} 35. g5 (35. Kg3
$5 {[%cal Gg4g5]}) 35... fxg5 36. hxg5 Nxg5 ({Initially Wojtaszek complained
about not having preferred} 36... hxg5 {but then could see no big improvement
over the game after} 37. Kg3 Kf8 38. Bh5 Nf6 39. Bg6 Ke7 40. Bxg5 Kd8 $16) 37.
Bxg5 hxg5 38. Bh5 {One of those cases when the good bishop is the one acting
on squares of the same colour as those on which the whole own structure is
blocked. The point is that Black has to prevent Bd8 and Bc6, winning the
passive b7-bishop.} Kf8 39. Kg3 Ke7 40. Kg4 Kd8 41. Bg6 Ke7 ({After reaching
the time control Black understood that the king was of no help on the
queenside, for instance:} 41... Kc8 42. Be8 Kd8 43. Bc6 Bxc6 44. Qxc7+ Kxc7 45.
bxc6 Kxc6 46. Kxg5 b5 47. cxb5+ Kxb5 48. Kg6 d5 49. exd5 (49. Kxg7 {also wins
in principle, but one would have to prove it in the queen ending arising after}
dxe4 50. dxe4 c4 51. f6 c3 52. f7 c2 53. f8=Q c1=Q 54. Qb8+ Ka6 55. Qxe5 $18)
49... e4 50. dxe4 c4 51. e5 $18) ({Or if} 41... Bc8 42. Qxc7+ Kxc7 43. Kxg5 Kd8
44. Bf7 Ke7 45. Kg6 Kf8 46. Be6 Bxe6 47. fxe6 Ke8 $5 48. Kxg7 Ke7 49. Kh7 Kxe6
50. Kg8 $18) 42. Kxg5 Kf8 43. Kh5 $1 {Since Black cannot move with his
queenside pieces and his king is dominated by the bishop, White uses his own
king's freedom to put Black in zugzwang.} Ke7 44. Kg4 Kd8 (44... Kf8 {makes
everything perfect for the quick queen swotch to the kingside:} 45. Qa2 $1 Ke7
46. Qh2 Qc8 47. Qh4+ Kd7 48. Bf7 $18) 45. Bh7 (45. Qa1 Qe7 $11 {followed by ...
Kc7 saves the day for Black.}) 45... Ke8 46. Bg8 g6 $1 {Good or bad Black has
to try this, in the hope of exposing the enemy king and reaching a draw by
perpetual.} 47. Bd5 (47. fxg6 $2 Bc8+ {wins the queen.}) 47... gxf5+ 48. Kf3 $1
(48. Kg3 Qd8 $11 {White cannot avoid the perpetual.}) 48... fxe4+ 49. Ke3 $2 ({
After} 49. Ke2 $1 {the king would have soon escaped checks, with a won
position:} Qc8 (49... exd3+ 50. Kd2 $5) 50. Qxb7 Qg4+ 51. Kd2 Qf4+ 52. Kc2
exd3+ 53. Kb3 d2 54. Qc8+ Ke7 55. Qe6+ Kf8 56. Qxd6+ Kg7 57. Be6 $18) 49... Qd8
50. Bxb7 Qg5+ {The rest is easy.} 51. Kxe4 Qf4+ 52. Kd5 Qf3+ 53. Kxd6 Qf6+ 54.
Kd5 Qf3+ 55. Kxe5 Qg3+ 56. Kf5 Qh3+ 57. Kf4 Qh4+ 58. Kf3 Qf6+ 59. Ke2 Qb2+ 60.
Ke1 Qc1+ 61. Ke2 Qb2+ 62. Kf1 Qc1+ 63. Kg2 Qd2+ 64. Kg3 Qg5+ 65. Kf3 Qf6+ 66.
Ke3 Qd4+ 67. Ke2 1/2-1/2
[Event "Gashimov Memorial 5th"]
[Site "Shamkir"]
[Date "2018.04.21"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Ding, Liren"]
[Black "Topalov, Veselin"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D45"]
[WhiteElo "2778"]
[BlackElo "2749"]
[Annotator "Quintiliano,R"]
[PlyCount "114"]
[EventDate "2018.04.19"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AZE"]
[EventCategory "21"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 c6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Be2 $5 {An interesting
move order, that Ding Liren played two years ago against Wesley So.} Bd6 ({
Of course Topalov would be very happy to transpose to the sharp lines of the
Meran with} 6... dxc4 {but} 7. a4 $1 {frustrates Black's plans.}) (6... b6 {
there is no way to take advantage of White's move order, as I proved with my
own (disastrous) experience} 7. O-O Bb7 8. Qc2 dxc4 (8... Bd6 $142) 9. Bxc4 c5
{it seems that Black developed very actively, but after} 10. Rd1 $1 {[%cal
Yd4d5] White is the one in command} cxd4 11. exd4 $1 (11. Nxd4 $2 {Socko,B
(2646)-Stefansson,H (2574) EU-chT (Men) 16th 2007 (2.1) 0-1} a6 $11 {[%cal
Yb6b5]}) 11... Rc8 12. Qe2 Bxf3 13. gxf3 {[%cal Gd4d5] White is still playing
d5 and Black is always one tempo behind} Bd6 $5 14. d5 Bxh2+ $1 15. Kg2 $1 $36
{Leitao,R (2612)-Quintiliano Pinto,R (2441) Tres Barras Catarinense-ch 2016 (2)
1-0} (15. Kxh2 $2 Qc7+ {[%csl Yc4]})) 7. O-O O-O 8. b3 {Ding Liren deviates
from his game against Wesley and now the game transposes to a most solid
variation.} ({That game went} 8. a4 a5 ({Black had a satisfactory position with
} 8... Qe7 9. b3 a6 10. a5 e5 11. Bb2 e4 12. Nd2 Re8 $132 {Radjabov,T (2793)
-Fressinet,L (2700) Beijing Sportaccord blitz 2012 (11) 0-1}) 9. Qc2 b6 10. e4
Nxe4 11. Nxe4 dxe4 12. Qxe4 Bb7 13. Rd1 Qe7 14. Bf4 $1 {a typical exchange
trying to get control over the dark-squares in the centre, in order to leave
Black with the bad bishop} Rad8 15. Bxd6 Qxd6 16. Ne5 Nxe5 17. dxe5 Qb4 18. b3
$1 Qe7 (18... Qxb3 19. Rdb1 Qc3 20. Qe3 $5 Qxe3 21. fxe3 {[%csl Yb6] looks
unpleasant for Black}) 19. Bf3 Ba8 20. Qe3 c5 21. Bxa8 Rxd1+ 22. Rxd1 Rxa8 23.
Qd3 $14 {Ding,L (2778)-So,W (2775) Shanghai m 2016 (1) 1/2}) (8. Qc2 dxc4 9. a4
e5 10. Bxc4 exd4 11. exd4 Nb6 12. Bb3 Nbd5 13. Bg5 Be6 14. a5 $5 {at first
sight looks like a slightly improved version for White, as he grabs some space
on the queenside and Black does not have a5 for his queen, but in fact he
managed to equalise without great problems after} h6 15. Bh4 Qc8 $1 16. Rfe1
Re8 17. a6 Rb8 $1 $11 {Giri,A (2790)-Grandelius,N (2649) Norway Chess 4th 2016
(8) 1/2}) 8... b6 9. Bb2 Bb7 10. Qc2 Qe7 {The interesting question of this
variation is where is each player going to place his rooks.} 11. Rfe1 (11. Rad1
{is usually played first, although in the next moves the position should
transpose, an interesting line is} Rac8 12. e4 $1 dxe4 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14. Qxe4
Nf6 15. Qh4 c5 16. Rfe1 cxd4 (16... Ne4 {is safer but after} 17. d5 $1 {
White has the initiative}) 17. Nxd4 Bb4 (17... Ba3 $11) 18. Bd3 $1 Bxe1 $2 19.
Bxh7+ $1 Kh8 20. Bc2+ Kg8 21. Rxe1 $40 {[%csl Gg8][%cal Yd4f5];Eingorn,V (2590)
-Shakhov,A (2180) RUS-Cup01 Chigorin Memorial 1997 (2) 1-0}) 11... Rfe8 12.
Rad1 {I like to think that White's next move depends on where Black places the
rook.} Rad8 ({In a crucial game, Topalov played} 12... Rac8 {but now} 13. Bd3
$1 {is the right move} e5 (13... c5 14. cxd5 exd5 15. Bf5 {[%cal Gf5c8] is the
point}) 14. e4 $1 dxc4 (14... exd4 $2 15. exd5 $1) 15. Bxc4 b5 16. Bf1 g6 $5 (
16... a6 17. h3 g6 18. Qd2 Rcd8 19. Qh6 exd4 20. Nxd4 Qf8 $1 {Quintiliano
Pinto,R (2378)-Kaidanov,G (2569) American Continental 10th 2014 (11) 1/2 and
Black had no problems; it was actually White who had to fight for equality
soon -}) 17. Qd2 {looking to the new weaknesses in kingside} Rcd8 18. Qg5 a6
19. h3 exd4 20. Nxd4 Qe5 21. Qxe5 Nxe5 {The position is even, but White
embarked on some nice and sound manoeuvres} 22. Nc2 {[%cal Yf2f4]} g5 23. Bc1
h6 24. Be3 c5 25. f3 Bf8 26. Bf2 $1 {[%csl Yf1,Yf2][%cal Ya2a4,Gc2e3,Ge3d5,
Ge3f5,Rf1a6,Rf2a7];Kramnik,V (2743)-Topalov,V (2813) World-ch Kramnik-Topalov
playoff +2-1=1 rapid 2006 (2) 1-0 although no advantage is apparent, Black was
slowly outplayed -}) 13. Bf1 {Now this is the right square for this bishop,
White is ready for both c5 and e5.} ({The next round saw a quick draw after}
13. e4 Nxe4 14. Nxe4 dxe4 15. Qxe4 Bb4 16. Rf1 Bd6 17. Rfe1 Bb4 18. Rf1 Bd6 19.
Rfe1 Bb4 $11 {Radjabov,T (2748)-Carlsen,M (2843) Vugar Gashimov Mem 2018 (4.3)
1/2}) (13. Bd3 {now allows} e5 $1 14. cxd5 (14. e4 dxc4 15. Bxc4 b5 16. Bf1 a6
{is an improved version of the game Kramnik-Topalov, with the rook already on
d8}) 14... cxd5 15. dxe5 Nxe5 {[%csl Yd3] Even in the event of an isolated
pawn arising on d5, the bishop is misplaced} 16. Nd4 Nxd3 17. Qxd3 Ne4 $11 {
Gelfand,B (2733)-Anand,V (2786) Dortmund SuperGM 35th 2007 (3) 1/2}) 13... c5 (
13... e5 $5 {was played by Ding Liren, and seems ok for Black} 14. dxe5 (14.
cxd5 e4 $1 15. Nh4 $6 Bxh2+ $1 16. Kxh2 Ng4+ 17. Kh3 Ndf6 $40 {Pelletier,Y
(2541)-Gelfand,B (2724) Zuerich Chess Challenge 6th 2017 (7) 0-1}) (14. g3 $2
e4 15. Nh4 Qe6 16. cxd5 cxd5 17. Nb5 Rc8 18. Qd2 Bb8 19. Rc1 g5 20. Ng2 Qh3 $36
{[%cal Yf6g4];Korobov,A (2652)-Ding Liren (2777) 2nd IMSA Blitz 2017 (11.1) 0-1
}) 14... Nxe5 15. Nxe5 (15. Nd4 dxc4 16. Nf5 Qe6 17. Nxd6 Rxd6 18. bxc4 Rxd1
19. Nxd1 c5 $132 {Van Wely,L (2641)-Anand,V (2790) Corus Wijk aan Zee 2010 (13)
1/2}) 15... Bxe5 16. cxd5 cxd5 17. Nb5 Rc8 18. Qb1 d4 $1 {probably the fruit
of Ding Liren's preparation} 19. h3 (19. exd4 Bxh2+ $1 20. Kxh2 Ng4+ 21. Kg3
Qg5 22. f4 Qh5 $13) 19... Ng4 $1 20. hxg4 Qh4 21. f4 dxe3 22. Rxe3 Bxf4 23. Rh3
Qxh3 $1 24. gxh3 Be3+ 25. Kh2 Bf4+ 26. Kg1 $11 {Wang,H (2698)-Ding,L (2781)
Danzhou 08th 2017 (1) 1/2}) (13... Bb4 {trying to stop e4, but then} 14. a3 $1
Bxa3 15. Bxa3 Qxa3 16. cxd5 $1 {preventing dxc4 and c5-ideas} exd5 17. Ra1 Qd6
18. Rxa7 $14 {Carlsen,M (2776)-Aronian,L (2750) Corus Wijk aan Zee 2009 (4) 1/2
}) 14. cxd5 exd5 15. g3 {[%csl Yc5,Yd4,Yd5][%cal Gf1g2,Gf1h3] The resulting
position is a rich positional battle: White has the option of playing dxc5 in
some moment and trying to press against the hanging pawns (after bxc5), play
against the isolani if Black takes on d4 (or after an eventual recapture with
a piece on c5), and in both cases the bishop might have an active role being
repositioned on g2 or h3. Black also has his counter-chances, as the hanging
pawns seem promising for him, with all his forces well centralised, and he can
prepare the advance c5-c4, making use of the queenside majority.} a6 (15... Rc8
{is another option, I like this instructive game of Sasikiran} 16. Qb1 $1 (16.
Bh3 $5 c4 $13) 16... cxd4 $6 (16... c4 $5 17. bxc4 Bb4 $1 18. Nd2 dxc4 19. e4
$1 {leads to many complications}) 17. Nxd4 Bb4 18. Rc1 Ne5 ({Black is not able
to reinforce the pin:} 18... Ne4 $2 19. Nf5 $1 Qe6 20. Nxe4 {[%cal Yf5g7]} Qxe4
21. Qxe4 dxe4 22. Rxc8 Rxc8 23. Rd1 $16) 19. Bh3 Rcd8 20. Red1 Bc5 21. Bg2 $14
{Sasikiran,K (2684)-Brkic,A (2530) CRO-chT1A 17th 2008 (5) 1-0 Black should be
ok with correct play, but there's no doubt that White has achieved the ideal
position against the isolani and has good chances of playing with this small
advantage -}) 16. Bg2 Rc8 17. Qb1 (17. dxc5 $5 {is an interesting moment to
change the structure} Bxc5 (17... bxc5 $2 18. Nh4 $1 {[%csl Yd5][%cal Yh4f5]}
Qe6 19. Qd2 Nb6 20. e4 $1 d4 21. e5 $1 Bxg2 22. exf6 Be5 23. Nxg2 dxc3 24. Bxc3
Bxc3 25. Rxe6 Bxd2 26. Rxb6 $16) 18. Rc1 Ne4 19. Qd3 Ndf6 $11 {Swapnil,S (2407)
-Hillarp Persson,T (2577) Kolkata op 4th 2009 (2) 1/2 despite the isolani,
Black has an active position -}) 17... h6 $146 {The first new move. Black just
waits for White to define his setup while making an useful move.} (17... Rcd8
$6 18. Nh4 $1 cxd4 $2 (18... g6 $142) 19. Nf5 Qf8 20. Nxd6 Qxd6 21. Rxd4 $16 {
[%csl Rd5][%cal Ye1d1];Kanarek,M (2484)-Krzyzanowski,M (2336) Kochan Memorial
25th 2014 (9) 1-0}) (17... c4 {Di Berardino,D (2492)-Aranha Filho,A (2299)
BRA-ch sf Sao Paulo 2010 (2) 1-0} 18. bxc4 dxc4 19. e4 $36) 18. Nh4 (18. dxc5
$5 {was an option, but it leads to some unbalanced positions in which it is
not easy to know who is better, generally both sides have chances} bxc5 19. Nh4
Qe6 20. Ne2 Rcd8 21. Nf4 Bxf4 22. exf4 Qb6 $13 {[%cal Yd5d4]}) 18... c4 $5 {
White's center is not really closed after this move.} 19. Nf5 Qf8 20. Nxd6 $6 {
But Ding Liren missed a good idea.} (20. bxc4 Rxc4 21. e4 $1 {was advantageous
for White, since he will end up with a strong passed pawn in the centre} dxe4 (
21... Bb4 22. e5 $1 Bxc3 23. Bxc3 Rxc3 24. exf6 Nxf6 25. Qxb6 Bc8 26. Rxe8 Qxe8
27. Qa5 $1 $14 {[%csl Gc3][%cal Yf5d6,Yf5e3]}) 22. Nxe4 Nxe4 23. Bxe4 Bxe4 24.
Rxe4 Rxe4 25. Qxe4 {and White has some pressure, for example} g6 (25... Nf6 26.
Qd3 b5 27. d5 $16) 26. Nxd6 Qxd6 27. Qe8+ Nf8 28. d5 $16) 20... Qxd6 21. bxc4
Rxc4 {Black is ok now and even can look optimistically to the future.} 22. a4
Rec8 23. Rc1 h5 24. h3 Nf8 {Black aims to improve his pieces and then his
position also improves.} 25. Qa2 Ne6 (25... h4 $5 {always comes into
consideration.}) 26. Qb3 Qd8 27. Re2 ({White was the one who could had played}
27. h4 $1 {now}) 27... Bc6 28. Rec2 b5 $1 29. axb5 axb5 30. Nb1 Ng5 31. h4 Nge4
32. Na3 Qe7 $1 {Topalov played very interesting chess in Shamkir, and it is
not surprising that he's offering this exchange.} 33. Qd3 (33. Nxc4 dxc4 34.
Qa2 Bd5 {[%cal Yb5b4] is more than enough compensation for Black.}) 33... Rxc2
(33... Nd6 $5 {keeping the offer was an option:} 34. Qe2 (34. Nxc4 dxc4 35. Qe2
Bxg2 36. Kxg2 Nd5 $44 {[%cal Yb5b4]}) 34... Rxc2 35. Nxc2 Nc4 $11) 34. Nxc2 (
34. Rxc2 b4 35. Nb1 Qd7 $17) 34... Bd7 35. Qa3 Qe8 36. Nb4 Rc4 $1 37. Rxc4 (37.
Bf1 $2 Nxf2 $1 38. Kxf2 (38. Bxc4 Nh3+ 39. Kf1 bxc4 $19 {[%cal Re8e4]}) 38...
Ng4+ 39. Kg1 Rxb4 $1 $19 {[%cal Ge8e3]}) 37... bxc4 $17 {[%csl Yc4]} 38. Bc1 $1
{[%csl Ye3] Ding Liren has showed excellent defensive skills and fighting
spirit recently, especially in games in which he is inferior. This move is of
a highly prophylactic nature, White frees his queen without fearing Nxf2 ideas,
by overprotecting e3.} Be6 ({If Black had predicted White's plan to weaken the
pressure, he could had considered} 38... Qe6 {and if} 39. Na6 $2 Qg4 $1 {
[%csl Yd1] is winning} 40. f3 Qxg3 41. fxe4 Qe1+ 42. Kh2 Ng4+ 43. Kh3 Qg1 $19)
39. Na6 $1 Qb5 40. Nc5 $1 {[%csl Ge4] Considering how unpleasant his position
is, Ding Liren is doing everything possible to release the pressure.} Kh7 41.
Nxe6 {This was a very difficult decision to make.} (41. Nxe4 Nxe4 42. Bxe4+
dxe4 $17 {looks desperate for White, despite the opposite-coloured bishops,
due to his very exposed king's position.}) 41... fxe6 42. Bf1 Nxf2 $2 {This is
beautiful but not enough to win. Many other moves would had kept Black's clear
advantage.} (42... Ng4 $1 {[%csl Yf2] is the most simple, f2 is just dropping}
43. f3 Qb8 $1 {[%csl Gg3] maybe this was missed by the players, although it is
not a difficult move} 44. fxg4 Qxg3+ 45. Bg2 Qf2+ 46. Kh2 (46. Kh1 Ng3+ 47. Kh2
Ne2 $19) 46... hxg4 {[%cal Gg4g3] the attack continues and Black is winning,
for example} 47. Qe7 g3+ 48. Kh3 Qf5#) (42... Qb8 {[%csl Yf2,Yg3]} 43. Qb2 Qc7
$17 {also preserves a clear advantage for Black.}) 43. Kxf2 Ne4+ 44. Ke2 $1 {
Ding Liren shows precision handling the defence.} (44. Ke1 Qb8 $1 {[%csl Rg3]
and Black wins} 45. Kd1 Qxg3 46. Qf8 Qg4+ 47. Ke1 Qxh4+ 48. Kd1 Qg4+ 49. Ke1
Qg3+ 50. Kd1 Qg1 51. Qf4 Ng3 52. Ke1 Qxf1+ 53. Qxf1 Nxf1 54. Kxf1 Kg6 $19 {
[%cal Yg6d3]}) 44... c3+ (44... Nxg3+ 45. Ke1 Nxf1 46. Kxf1 $13) 45. Ke1 Qb1 (
45... Qb8 {now White has} 46. Bd3 $1 {and his position is not worse} Qxg3+ 47.
Kd1 Qxh4 48. Qxc3 Qg4+ 49. Kc2 h4 50. Qc7 $1 h3 51. Qe5 $11) 46. Bg2 $1 {
[%csl Ye4] The powerful knight should be eliminated, and the lone black queen
is not able to win the game by itself.} Qc2 47. Bxe4+ dxe4 48. Kf1 $11 Kg6 49.
Kg1 Kh7 ({Black might try to imitate the famous game Short-Timman Tilburg 1991
and bring the king to help the queen, but then} 49... Kf5 {[%cal Yf5g4,Yg4h3]}
50. Qf8+ $1 {prevents this idea} Kg4 51. Qf4+ Kh3 52. Qf1+ Kxg3 53. Qf4+ Kh3
54. Qf1+ Kxh4 55. Qf4+ $11) 50. Kh1 Kh6 51. Kg1 Kg6 52. Kh1 Qd1+ 53. Kh2 Qe2+
54. Kg1 Qd1+ 55. Kh2 Qe2+ 56. Kg1 Qe1+ 57. Kg2 Qe2+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "Gashimov Memorial 5th"]
[Site "Shamkir"]
[Date "2018.04.22"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Topalov, Veselin"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C80"]
[WhiteElo "2749"]
[BlackElo "2814"]
[Annotator "Stohl,I"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2018.04.19"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AZE"]
[EventCategory "21"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{[%mdl 64] After the first 3 rounds with only draws, this is the game which
finally managed to break the deadlock in Shamkir, with Topalov scoring a full
point against the home-crowd favourite. And an exciting encounter it was, full
of complications and tactical turns!} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6
5. O-O Nxe4 {Topalov had a lion's share of the decisive results in Shamkir,
unfortunately for him after two initial wins he finished badly, adding only
zeroes to his scoresheet. Two of them came in the last two rounds, after} (5...
Bc5 6. c3 O-O 7. d4 Ba7 8. Re1 ({The most ambitious and complex move here is}
8. Bg5 {Sutovsky,E (2619)-Bartel,M (2631) Biel 2015 Those willing to take it
up should study Sutovsky's revealing notes to his win with Bartel in CBM 168.})
8... b5 9. Bb3 d6 10. h3 Bb7 11. a4 Ne7 12. Bc2 Ng6 13. Na3 c6 14. Bd3 Re8 15.
Nc2 h6 16. dxe5 $6 ({Opening the a7-g1 diagonal straight away lands White in
an uncomfortable position. His opening hadn't been a success, but with e.g.}
16. axb5 axb5 17. Be3 $11 {, or the immediate}) (16. Be3 $11 {he still holds
the balance and has little to fear.}) 16... dxe5 17. Be3 Bxe3 18. Nxe3 Nf4 19.
Bc2 Qc7 20. Nf5 Rad8 21. Qc1 Bc8 22. Nh2 $6 (22. Ne3 $15) 22... Bxf5 23. exf5
e4 $1 24. axb5 axb5 25. Nf1 c5 26. b3 Nd3 $17 {[%csl Gd3] /-+, Topalov,V (2749)
-Wojtaszek,R (2744) Shamkir 2018}) 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. Be3 {
The open Ruy Lopez is quite rare in Mamedyarov's games and must have been at
least a slight surprise for Veselin, so he decides to sidestep Shakh's
preparation and avoid a battle in the main line.} ({Until now he has played
exclusively} 9. Nbd2 Nc5 10. c3 {, after} Be7 11. Bc2 d4 12. Nb3 d3 13. Bb1
Nxb3 14. axb3 Bf5 {we are at the first theoretical crossroads:} 15. Be3 (15.
Re1 O-O 16. b4 (16. Be3 {transposes to 15.Be3.}) 16... Qd7 17. h3 Rfd8 18. g4 (
18. Bf4 a5 19. bxa5 Rxa5 20. Rxa5 Nxa5 21. Nd4 g5 22. b4 Nc4 23. Bc1 d2 24.
Bxf5 dxe1=Q+ 25. Qxe1 Qd5 26. e6 Qe5 27. exf7+ Kxf7 28. Be4 Re8 29. Nf3 Qe6 30.
Nd4 $44 {/=, Svidler,P (2745)-Mamedyarov,S (2743) Reykjavik 2015}) 18... Bg6 $1
(18... Be6 $2 19. Bf4 $16 {[%cal Ye1e3]}) {White somewhat more often starts
with} 19. Ba2 (19. Bf4 {and now:} {Black has even better results with the more
active} a5 $5 (19... Qc8 20. Ba2 (20. e6 fxe6 21. Ba2 Bf7 22. Ng5 Bxg5 23. Bxg5
Rd6 24. Qf3 Qf8 (24... Qd7 25. Bf4 d2 26. Red1 Rd8 27. Bxd6 Qxd6 28. Bb3 $14)
25. Rad1 e5 26. Bxf7+ Qxf7 27. Rxd3 Qxf3 28. Rxf3 h6 $11 {Schakel,C (2408)
-Tinture,L (2452) email 2017}) 20... a5 21. e6 f6 22. bxa5 Nxa5 23. b4 Nc4 24.
Bxc4 bxc4 (24... Rxa1 25. Qxa1 Qb7 26. Nd2 Ra8 27. Ba2 Qa7 28. Nb3 Qxa2 29.
Qxa2 Rxa2 30. Nd4 c5 31. Nc6 Kf8 $11) 25. Nd2 c5 $6 (25... Qb7 $142 $1 $132)
26. b5 $1 Be8 27. Rxa8 Qxa8 28. b6 Bc6 29. Bc7 Rd5 {Harikrishna,P (2755)-Ding,
L (2778) Danzhou 2016} 30. Qa1 $1 $16 {For more details see the notes to this
game in CBM 174 by Kr.Szabo.}) 20. bxa5 Rxa5 21. Ba2 Rf8 22. e6 (22. b4 Ra4 23.
e6 (23. Qd2 $6 Nd8 24. Bg5 c5 $36 {Caruana,F (2805)-Giri,A (2773) Stavanger
2015 See the notes to this game in CBM 167 by Ramirez Alvarez.}) 23... Qd8 24.
exf7+ Kh8 25. Bd2 h6 26. Be6 Rxa1 27. Qxa1 Bxf7 28. Bxf7 Rxf7 29. Re3 Qd5 30.
Qf1 $1 Rxf3 31. Qg2 Ne5 32. Rxe5 Qxe5 33. Qxf3 Qd6 34. Qe4 $11 {½, Tesic,Z
(2406)-Walter,G (2455) email 2016}) 22... Qd8 23. exf7+ Kh8 24. Qd2 Qa8 25. Nd4
Nxd4 26. cxd4 Bh4 27. Bd5 Qxd5 28. Rxa5 Qxf7 29. Rxb5 h6 30. Bg3 Bxg3 31. fxg3
Qd7 32. Rbe5 Qxd4+ $44 33. Qe3 (33. R5e3 Rf6 34. Qc3 Qb6 35. Qd2 $11 {½,
Sherwood,H (2313)-Sanchez,M (2329) email 2016}) 33... Qxb2 34. h4 Qc2 $44 {
½, Malashenkov,A (2432)-De Jong,J mail 2017}) 19... Qc8 20. e6 (20. Be3 a5 21.
e6 f6 22. bxa5 Nxa5 23. Bc5 Nc6 24. Nd4 Nxd4 25. Bxe7 d2 26. Re3 Rxa2 27. Rxa2
Nf3+ $1 28. Kf1 (28. Rxf3 $2 Bc2 $19) 28... Nh2+ (28... Bc2 $2 29. Bxd8 Bxd1
30. e7) 29. Kg1 $11 {½, Gritsaenko,V (2466)-Walter,G (2452) email 2016}) (20.
Bg5 a5 21. bxa5 Bxg5 22. Nxg5 Nxa5 23. e6 Nc4 24. exf7+ Bxf7 25. Nxf7 Kxf7 26.
Re4 c5 27. Re3 Rxa2 28. Rf3+ Kg8 29. Rxa2 d2 30. b3 Qe6 31. Ra1 Na5 32. c4 Qe5
33. Kg2 Nb7 34. Rb1 Qe4 35. Rb2 {½, Begliy,M (2438)-Walter,G (2452) email 2016
} Qe1 36. Rb1 Qe4 $11 {[%cal Re4b1]}) (20. Bf4 {transposes to Harikrishna-Ding
Liren above.}) 20... f6 21. g5 $5 $146 (21. Nh4 a5 22. bxa5 Rxa5 23. b4 Ra6 24.
Bf4 Qa8 25. Qd2 (25. Nxg6 $5 hxg6 26. Bxc7 Rc8 27. Ba5 Nxa5 28. Qxd3 Nc4 29.
Qxg6 Rxa2 30. Qf7+ $11) 25... Qa7 {Shirov,A (2689)-Mamedyarov,S (2743)
Reykjavik 2015 This was Mamedyarov's previous experience with the Open Ruy,
here} 26. Be3 $11 {would have still held the balance.}) 21... a5 22. gxf6 gxf6
23. Nh4 axb4 24. Qg4 f5 25. Qg3 d2 26. Bxd2 Bxh4 27. Qxh4 Rxd2 28. e7+ Rxa2 29.
Rxa2 bxc3 30. Qg3 Nxe7 31. Rxe7 Rd1+ 32. Kh2 Qb7 33. Qg2 Qxg2+ 34. Kxg2 Bf7 35.
Ra8+ Kg7 36. bxc3 Kf6 37. Rxf7+ Kxf7 38. Ra7 $11 {Gerasimov,V (2509)-Walter,G
(2452) email 2016}) 15... O-O 16. Bd4 Qd5 17. Re1 Rfd8 ({Black is also close
to equality after} 17... d2 18. Re2 Bxb1 19. Rxb1 Nxd4 20. Nxd4 Bg5 21. g3 c5
22. Nf5 Qd3 23. Nd6 Qg6 24. h4 Bxh4 25. Rxd2 Be7) 18. h4 $5 {became
fashionable two years ago when Caruana used it to defeat Hou Yifan. Postal
players have meanwhile found effective antidotes:} ({The older continuation}
18. Re3 Nxd4 19. cxd4 c5 20. Bxd3 cxd4 21. Re2 {was tested by Topalov more
than 20 years ago:} Qe6 (21... Bxd3 $5 22. Qxd3 Rac8 $13 {V.Mikhalevski}) 22.
h3 Rac8 (22... Rd5 23. Ne1 a5 24. Bxf5 Qxf5 25. Nd3 h5 26. Rc2 f6 27. exf6 Bxf6
28. Qe2 $36 {Topalov,V (2745)-Piket,J (2630) Antwerp 1997}) 23. Ne1 Rc6 {
Svidler,P (2735)-Motylev,A (2651) Moscow 2004} 24. Qb1 (24. Bxf5 Qxf5 25. Nd3
h5 $11) 24... Bxd3 25. Qxd3 h6 26. f4 Qc8 $132 {Svidler,P (2735)-Motylev,A
(2651) Moscow 2004}) 18... Nxd4 (18... Bg6 $6 19. b4 d2 20. Qxd2 Bxb1 21. Raxb1
Bxb4 22. Qf4 Be7 23. e6 fxe6 24. Qg4 Nxd4 25. Nxd4 Bf6 26. Nxe6 Rd7 27. Re3 $36
{Caruana,F (2804)-Hou,Y (2663) Shamkir 2016 For more details about the whole
line see the extensive notes to this game in CBM 173.}) (18... h6 19. Re3 (19.
Bxd3 Bxd3 20. Qxd3 Qxb3 (20... Bc5 $5 $132) 21. e6 Bf6 $1 $11) 19... Bc5 $5 (
19... Nxd4 20. Nxd4 Bg6 21. b4 c5 22. bxc5 Bxc5 23. Ba2 $36) 20. Bxc5 Qxc5 21.
Bxd3 b4 (21... Bxd3 22. Rxd3 Rxd3 23. Qxd3 Nxe5 24. Qe4 $14) 22. e6 Bxe6 23.
Qe2 bxc3 24. bxc3 Bxb3 25. Re1 f5 26. h5 Bf7 27. Qc2 $44 {Iotov,V (2546)
-Williamson,H (2499) email 2013}) (18... d2 19. Qxd2 (19. Re2 Nxd4 20. Nxd4
Bxb1 21. Rxb1 Bxh4 22. Nf3 Be7 23. Rxd2 Qe4 24. Qe1 Qxe1+ 25. Rxe1 Rxd2 26.
Nxd2 Rd8 $11 {Conde Poderoso,A (2347)-Martin Vazquez,J (2283) email 2017})
19... Nxd4 $5 (19... Bxb1 20. Raxb1 Qxb3 21. e6 fxe6 22. Qf4 Bd6 23. Qg4 e5 $14
{/=}) 20. Qxd4 Qxb3 21. Qf4 Bxb1 22. Raxb1 c5 $132 {½ Broniek,M (2431)
-Boldysh,M (2384) email 2016}) 19. Nxd4 Be4 20. b4 (20. Qg4 Bg6 21. b4 d2 22.
Rd1 Bxb1 23. Raxb1 Qxe5 24. Rxd2 (24. Nc6 Qd6 25. Nxd8 Rxd8 26. Ra1 g6 27. Qg3
Qe6 28. Qxc7 Rd6 29. h5 Bf8 30. Qb7 Bh6 $44 {Apicella,M (2304)-Hofstetter,H
(2387) email 2016}) 24... Qf6 25. Re2 (25. g3 c5 26. bxc5 Bxc5 27. b4 Bb6 $11 {
Stroemberg,H (2364)-Nenneman,D (2000) email 2017}) 25... Bxb4 26. Ne6 fxe6 27.
Rxe6 Qf7 28. cxb4 Rd2 29. Re2 h5 30. Qe4 Rad8 $132 {Bergmanolson,M (2284)
-Panman,H (2319) email 2016}) 20... c5 21. Ba2 $5 (21. bxc5 Bxc5 22. Qg4 Bxd4
23. Rxe4 Bxe5 24. Ba2 Qd6 25. Qh5 Bh2+ 26. Kf1 Qf6 27. Re3 g6 28. Qg4 Qf4 29.
Qf3 Qxf3 30. Rxf3 Be5 31. Rxf7 Kh8 $11 {Zugrav,W (2567)-Hofstetter,H (2387)
email 2016}) 21... c4 22. Qg4 Bg6 23. h5 d2 24. Red1 Bd3 25. h6 g6 26. Qf4 $13
{/+/= is still waiting for practical tests.}) 9... Be7 10. c3 O-O ({After}
10... Nc5 11. Bc2 Nd7 {, the pawn sacrifice} 12. Nd4 $5 Ndxe5 13. Nxe6 fxe6 14.
Nd2 $44 {is really dangerous and Black tends to avoid it - there haven't been
any relevant games in this branch since 2016.}) 11. Nbd2 Nxd2 {A line, which
features older (even way back to the 19-th century!), as well as recent games.}
({In the notes to Caruana-Hou Yifan I concentrated on} 11... Qd7 {and taking
on d2 only on the following move. While being similar, there are some slight
diffferences between these branches, e.g. our game will show Black's Q can
have a different future.} {After} 12. Re1 {Black, apart from taking on d2
followed by Na5, has also} (12. Bc2 Nxd2 13. Qxd2 Bg4 14. Bf4 Bxf3 15. gxf3
Rad8 16. Rad1 ({After} 16. Rfd1 Qe6 17. Qe3 {Hou,Y (2673)-Muzychuk,M (2554)
WChW Lvov 2016} {Black's play can be improved with} Na5 $1 18. b3 c5 $13) 16...
Rfe8 17. Rfe1 g6 18. Bg3 Qh3 (18... Bf8 $142 $5 19. Qg5 Qe6 20. Kg2 Ne7 $13)
19. f4 Bh4 20. a4 $1 Ne7 21. Qe2 c6 22. Qe3 Nf5 23. Bxf5 gxf5 24. Bxh4 (24. Qb6
$2 Re6 25. Re3 Qg4 26. Rd2 Be7 $36 {[%csl Rg3][%cal Rh7h4] Paehtz,E (2464)
-Muzychuk,A (2582) Huaian rpd 2017}) 24... Qxh4 25. axb5 axb5 26. Qg3+ $14 (26.
Kh1 $5 $14)) 12... Rad8 13. Bc2 Bf5 $5 14. Nxe4 Bxe4 15. Bxe4 (15. Ng5 Bxg5 16.
Bxg5 Qf5 $1 17. Bxe4 (17. Rxe4 Qxg5 18. h4 Qh6 19. Rg4 Nxe5 20. Rg5 Qf6 21.
Bxh7+ Kxh7 22. Qh5+ Kg8 23. Rxe5 d4 24. cxd4 Rxd4 $15 {Fons Cervero,F-Sorin,A
(2415) Olot 1992}) 17... Qxg5 18. Bd3 Nxe5 19. h4 Qf6 20. Bxh7+ Kxh7 21. Qh5+
Kg8 22. Qxe5 Qxe5 23. Rxe5 Rfe8 24. Rxe8+ Rxe8 25. Kf1 Kf8 26. a4 Re4 $11 {
Shirov,A (2651)-Tomczak,M (2394) Karlsruhe 2018}) 15... dxe4 16. Qxd7 Rxd7 17.
e6 fxe6 18. Nd2 Ne5 19. Nxe4 Nd3 20. Re2 Rf5 21. Kf1 Kf7 22. Rd2 c5 23. f3 c4
24. Ke2 h6 25. b3 Ba3 26. Rc2 Bc5 27. Rb1 Bxe3 28. Kxe3 cxb3 29. axb3 Nc5 $11 {
Leko,P (2735)-Akopian,V (2694) Astrakhan 2010}) 12. Qxd2 (12. Bxd2 {seems
unnatural, Black equalized rather easily after} Qd7 13. Re1 Rad8 14. Bg5 Bg4
15. Bxe7 Qxe7 16. Bc2 d4 17. Qd3 g6 18. Nxd4 Nxd4 19. cxd4 Bf5 20. Qb3 Bxc2 21.
Qxc2 Rxd4 22. Qc6 Qe6 23. Qxc7 Rc8 24. Qa7 Rd2 25. b4 Rcc2 26. h3 Qf5 27. e6
Qxf2+ 28. Qxf2 Rxf2 29. e7 Rxg2+ $11 {½, So,W (2775)-Ding,L (2778) Shanghai
2016}) 12... Na5 13. Bc2 ({Retreating the B is very natural, but as in the
game Black solved his opening problems, maybe it's time to have a better look
at} 13. Nd4 $5 c5 (13... Nc4 14. Nxe6 (14. Bxc4 dxc4 $5 15. Rfd1 Bd7 16. a4
bxa4 17. Qe2 Qc8 18. Qxc4 c5 19. Nf3 h6 20. e6 Bxe6 21. Qxa4 Qb7 22. Rd2 Rfd8
23. Rad1 Rxd2 24. Rxd2 Qb5 $11 {Bauer,C (2647)-Anton Guijarro,D (2651)
Heraklio 2017}) 14... fxe6 15. Qe2 Nxe3 16. Qxe3 c5 17. Bc2 {[%csl Gc2,Re7]
The position with the ^- is deceptively simple, but White's attacking chances
shouldn't be underrated:} g6 18. g3 c4 19. h4 Rf7 20. Kg2 Rc8 21. Rad1 b4 22.
f4 Qa5 23. h5 $36 {Swiercz,D (2649)-Petrosyan,M (2546) Minsk 2017}) 14. Nxe6
fxe6 15. Bc2 Nc4 16. Qd3 (16. Qe2 $5 Nxe3 (16... Nxe5 17. Bd2 Qd6 18. Rae1 Ng6
19. Qxe6+ Qxe6 20. Rxe6 $14) 17. Qxe3 {can transpose into Swiercz-Petrosyan.})
16... g6 17. Bh6 Re8 18. Qh3 Bg5 19. Bxg5 Qxg5 20. f4 Qe7 21. b3 Na3 22. Bd1 a5
23. Rc1 c4 24. Qg3 Rf8 25. h4 cxb3 26. axb3 a4 $132 {Barbosa,E (2518)-Diaz
Hernandez,H (2388) Lima 2018}) ({Other moves give Black reasonable counterplay
after recapturing on c4 with the b-pawn:} 13. Bg5 Nc4 14. Bxc4 bxc4 15. b4 cxb3
16. axb3 a5 17. Ra4 Bxg5 18. Nxg5 h6 19. Nxe6 fxe6 20. Rfa1 Rb8 21. R1a3 c5 22.
h3 Qc7 23. f4 Rb5 24. Kh2 Qb6 25. Qd1 Qc6 26. Ra2 Kh8 27. Qg4 Rxb3 28. Rxa5 d4
$132 {Yu,Y (2738)-Najer,E (2659) Moscow 2017}) (13. Rfd1 Nc4 14. Bxc4 bxc4 15.
b4 (15. Nd4 Qd7 16. f4 c5 17. Nf3 Rfb8 18. Qf2 Rb5 19. b3 cxb3 20. c4 b2 21.
Rab1 Rb7 22. cxd5 Bxd5 23. Bxc5 {Hunt,A (2288)-Naes,F (2222) Port Erin 1999}
Qb5 $1 24. Bxe7 Bxa2 25. Ba3 Qb3 26. Bxb2 Bxb1 27. Rxb1 Rab8 $17) 15... cxb3
16. axb3 a5 17. Bg5 c5 18. Ra4 d4 19. Ra3 Bxg5 20. Nxg5 dxc3 21. Qc1 Qe7 22.
Nxe6 fxe6 23. Qxc3 Rfd8 24. Rda1 Rd5 $132 {Navara,D (2708)-Polgar,J (2682)
Prague 2010}) 13... Nc4 14. Qd3 g6 15. Bh6 {[%mdl 512] The pawn-sacrifice is
far from clear, but consistent.} ({Black readily equalizes after the softer}
15. Bc1 Bf5 (15... f6 $5 16. Nd4 Qd7 17. exf6 Bxf6 18. a4 c5 19. Nxe6 Qxe6 20.
f4 Nd6 21. axb5 axb5 22. Rxa8 Rxa8 23. f5 Nxf5 24. Qxb5 Ne3 25. Bxe3 Qxe3+ 26.
Kh1 Bg5 $11 {Beth,N (2145)-Vuillemin,G (2178) email 2010}) 16. Qe2 Bxc2 17.
Qxc2 f6 18. Bh6 (18. e6 Re8 19. b3 Ne5 20. Nd4 Bc5 21. Kh1 Qd6 22. Bf4 Qb6 23.
Rfe1 Bxd4 24. cxd4 Nc6 25. Qc3 b4 26. Qd2 Nd8 27. e7 Ne6 28. Be3 Rxe7 $17 {
Korneev,O (2465)-Haba,P (2515) Bad Woerishofen 1992}) 18... Re8 19. Rae1 fxe5
20. Nxe5 Nxe5 21. Rxe5 Bf6 22. Rxe8+ Qxe8 23. Be3 Qe6 24. Ra1 Re8 25. h3 Qe4
$11 26. Qd2 Be7 27. Bf4 Bd8 28. Be3 Be7 29. Bf4 Bd8 30. Be3 {½, Doehner,H
(2252)-Richter,W (2036) email 2009}) 15... Nxb2 {Black is also consistent.} (
15... Re8 16. b3 Na3 (16... Bf5 17. Qe2 Bxc2 18. Qxc2 Nb6 19. Rfe1 c5 20. Rad1
Rc8 21. Qd2 Rc6 22. h4 Re6 23. Qf4 Qc7 24. Qg4 a5 25. a3 Qb7 26. h5 $13 {
/+/=, Aronin,L-Milev,Z Moscow (Central CC) 1959}) 17. Bd1 Bf5 18. Qd2 c5 19.
Be2 Qb6 20. Qb2 (20. Rad1 $5 $14) 20... b4 21. cxb4 cxb4 (21... Qxb4 $5 22. e6
f6 23. Rad1 (23. Bd2 $2 Qe4 $17) 23... Nb5 24. Rxd5 Bxe6 $11) 22. Nd4 Be4 23.
Be3 Bc5 24. Rac1 Rac8 25. Rfd1 Rc7 26. Bf1 h6 27. Qe2 Nb1 28. Qxa6 Qxa6 29.
Bxa6 Nc3 30. Rd2 Nb1 31. Rdd1 Nc3 $11 {Ruggeri Laderchi,G (2345)-De Lorenzo,G
email 1999}) 16. Qe2 (16. Qe3 Nc4 17. Qf4 Re8 18. Ng5 Qd7 $15 {[%cal Ye6f5]
gives White nothing concrete.}) 16... Re8 17. Nd4 {After some thought Topalov
plays the main move.} ({Regaining the pawn} 17. Bxg6 hxg6 18. Qxb2 {can hardly
give White any objective advantage, although he outplayed his opponent after}
Bg4 (18... c5 {is more natural, preparing b4 with << counterplay.}) 19. Nd4 Bf8
$2 ({A misguided swap, Black still has a reasonable position after} 19... Qd7
$13 {[%cal Yc7c5]}) 20. Bxf8 Rxf8 21. Qb4 Qd7 22. Rfe1 Rfe8 23. Re3 Be6 24. f4
Rac8 25. Qc5 c6 26. a4 $16 {Van Haastert,E (2429)-Vedder,R (2261) Netherlands
2015}) 17... Bd7 {White's large plus score in this line stems mainly from
pre-computer times; objectively speaking Black's defensive resources seem
sufficient.} (17... Bf8 18. Bxf8 Rxf8 19. f4 (19. Bxg6 hxg6 20. Qxb2 c5 21. Ne2
Qc7 22. f4 {Seibold,M-Duehrssen,R ICCF corr 1935} f6 $5 $132) 19... c5 20. Nxe6
fxe6 21. Bxg6 hxg6 22. Qxb2 Rb8 23. Rad1 Qb6 24. Qc2 Kg7 25. Rf3 c4+ 26. Kh1 b4
27. Rg3 Rf5 28. Rxg6+ Kxg6 29. g4 Qe3 30. gxf5+ Kh6 31. Qg2 Rg8 $1 $11 {
Romanovsky,P-Tolush,A Leningrad 1938}) ({Weaker is} 17... Qd7 18. f4 Bg4 (18...
f5 19. g4 Bc5 20. gxf5 gxf5 21. Kh1 Bf8 22. Qh5 Qf7 23. Rg1+ Kh8 24. Qh3 Bxh6
25. Qxh6 c5 26. Nxf5 Bxf5 27. Bxf5 $18 {Baczynskyj,B (2370)-Bellin,R (2415)
London 1978}) 19. Qf2 c5 20. f5 Bf8 21. Bxf8 Rxf8 22. Nb3 $1 $36 (22. Qf4 cxd4
23. Qxg4 d3 24. Bb3 Nc4 25. Qd4 Qa7 $17 {Foldi,K (2202)-Fordan,T (2211)
Hungary 2010})) 18. f4 c5 {Black is in no hurry to return with his N and
pursues his own play instead. Indeed, the Nb2 will remain on its post until
move 24.} (18... Nc4 19. Rae1 c5 20. e6 {Yates,F-Gunsberg,I Chester/ Cheshire
1914 Although Black quickly got routed in this game, his defence can be
improved with} cxd4 21. f5 Bxe6 22. fxe6 f5 $1 23. Bxf5 Bc5 24. cxd4 Bxd4+ 25.
Kh1 Qh4 $1 $15) 19. Nf3 Qb6 20. Qf2 ({Black's last move took the sting out of
the impending pawn advance - after} 20. f5 gxf5 ({or} 20... Bxf5 {his Q joins
the defence, attacking the Bh6.})) 20... d4 $5 $146 {[%mdl 8] A novelty in the
spirit of the previous note - Shakh is not worried about White's attack and
furthers his own queenside ambitions.} (20... Nc4 21. Rae1 Bd8 22. Ng5 Na3 23.
e6 Rxe6 $1 (23... fxe6 24. f5 $1 exf5 25. Bxf5 gxf5 26. Qxf5 $1 $18) 24. Nxe6
fxe6 25. f5 (25. Bxg6 hxg6 26. Qg3 Kh7 27. Qh3 Kg8 28. Qg3 $11) 25... exf5 26.
Qg3 {[%cal Rg3e5]} Bc7 27. Qh4 {[%cal Rh4e7]} Bd8 28. Qg3 Bc7 29. Qh4 {½,
Haznedaroglu,K (1990)-Wojcik,W (2185) email 2006}) 21. Bg5 {To further his
attack, White must get access to h4, possibly swapping the dark-squared bishop.
} ({Moves as} 21. Be4 dxc3 22. Bxa8 Rxa8 $17) ({or} 21. cxd4 cxd4 22. Be4 Nc4
23. Bxa8 Rxa8 $36 {[%cal Ye7c5,Yc4e3] pass the initiative unequivocally to
Black.}) 21... dxc3 {Black again opts for the most principled move, increasing
his material plus.} (21... d3 22. Bxe7 (22. Bb3 $5 {is maybe even stronger,
limiting Black's options}) 22... dxc2 (22... Rxe7 23. Bb3 Na4 24. Bxa4 bxa4 25.
Nd2 {[%cal Yd2c4,Yd2e4]} f5 26. Nc4 Qe6 27. Nd6 $44) 23. Bxc5 Qc7 24. Bb6 Qb7
25. Bd4 Bf5 26. Qh4 $132 {[%csl Rg8] Although the Pc2 is strong, Black's K is
seriously vulnerable.}) 22. Qh4 ({Now there will be no B-swap, but Black beats
off the attack after} 22. Bxe7 Rxe7 23. Ng5 $142 (23. Qh4 Rae8 24. Ng5 c4+ 25.
Kh1 f5 $19) (23. f5 Bxf5 24. Bxf5 gxf5 25. Nh4 Nd3 $1 26. Qg3+ (26. Qxf5 c4+
27. Kh1 Kh8 $19) 26... Kh8 27. Nxf5 c4+ 28. Kh1 Rg8 $19) 23... f5 $5 24. Qf3
Rd8 25. Qxc3 h6 26. Nf3 Nc4 27. Bb3 Be6 $17) 22... c4+ {Tempting, but Black
could have also considered keeping c4 free for his knight to rejoin the
defence.} ({An unforced sample line is} 22... Bf8 $5 23. Be4 Bc6 24. Bxc6 Qxc6
25. f5 Nc4 26. e6 Ra7 {/\} 27. Bf6 Ne3 28. exf7+ Rxf7 29. fxg6 {with the
beautiful resource} Rg7 $1 30. gxh7+ (30. Bxg7 Qxg6 $19) 30... Rxh7 31. Qg5+
Bg7 $17) 23. Kh1 Bf8 24. f5 $6 {Now Black shuts out the Bc2.} ({Stronger} 24.
Be4 $1 {with unclear consequences:} f5 (24... Bc6 25. Bxc6 Qxc6 26. f5 $44 {
[%cal Ye5e6] can be really dangerous - the N can't go to c4 anymore.}) 25. exf6
(25. Bxa8 Rxa8 $17) 25... Rxe4 26. f7+ Kg7 $8 27. Bh6+ Kxf7 28. Ng5+ Kg8 29.
Nxe4 Bxh6 30. Nf6+ (30. Qxh6 Bf5 31. Nxc3 Nd3 $17) 30... Kh8 31. Nxd7 Qd8 32.
Qh3 $5 Nd3 33. Ne5 $13) 24... Nd3 25. e6 Bxe6 $8 (25... fxe6 $2 26. fxg6 hxg6
27. Bf6 Bg7 28. Ng5 $18) 26. fxe6 Rxe6 $15 {After the forced piece sacrifice
Black has 4 extra pawns and his king is relatively safe for the time being.
However, the game is far from over.} 27. Rad1 ({Topalov's original intention}
27. Nd4 Rd6 28. Rxf7 {fails to} h6 $1 (28... Kxf7 $2 29. Qxh7+ Bg7 30. Rf1+ $18
) 29. Rxf8+ Rxf8 30. Be3 Qd8 31. Qxh6 Rf7 $19 {[%cal Yf7h7]}) 27... Rae8 (27...
Rd6 $5 28. Qe4 Qc6 $36 {was possibly a simpler choice, Black returns a pawn to
force a queen swap.}) 28. Bxd3 cxd3 29. Rxd3 {[%cal Rg5d8,Rf3g5,Rd3c3]
Material is roughly equal and White has some threats - the game remains
complex and both players have to calculate a lot.} Re4 $6 {Squanders the
advantage, Black had two better moves:} ({The most natural move is} 29... b4 {
, after} 30. Bd8 (30. Bh6 Qb5 31. Rdd1 Re4 32. Qh3 Bg7 $5 $17) {Black has}
30... Qb5 $1 (30... Be7 31. Bxb6 Bxh4 32. Ba5 Be7 33. a3 c2 34. Rc1 bxa3 35.
Rxc2 $11) 31. Ng5 h6 32. Qf4 (32. Nxe6 Qxd3 33. Qf6 Qxf1+ $1 {[]} 34. Qxf1 Rxe6
{and the o^c3 decides the game:} 35. Bc7 c2 36. Bf4 b3 $1 37. axb3 Rf6 38. g3
Rxf4 39. Qxf4 Ba3 $19) 32... R6e7 $142 $1 (32... f5 33. Nxe6 Qxd3 34. Nxf8 Rxd8
35. Nxg6 c2 36. Rg1 Qe4 37. Qxh6 Rd1 38. Ne7+ Kf7 (38... Qxe7 39. Qg6+ Kf8 40.
Qxf5+ $11) 39. Qh5+ Kxe7 40. Rxd1 cxd1=Q+ 41. Qxd1 $11 {should be a draw.}) 33.
Bxe7 Rxe7 34. Nxf7 Qxd3 35. Ng5 (35. Ne5 Qf5 36. Nxg6 Qxf4 37. Nxe7+ Bxe7 38.
Rxf4 a5 $19) 35... Qxf1+ $8 36. Qxf1 hxg5 37. Qc4+ Kg7 38. g3 Rd7 $15 {/-/+}) (
{Also after} 29... Qc5 30. Bd2 cxd2 31. Ng5 Qxg5 $1 (31... h6 32. Nxe6 Rxe6 33.
Rxd2 $11) 32. Qxg5 Re1 33. Rg1 Rxg1+ 34. Kxg1 Re1+ 35. Kf2 d1=Q 36. Rxd1 Rxd1
$15 {Black retains some winning chances without any risk.}) 30. Bf4 $1 {
[%cal Rf3g5]} Be7 {Mamedyarov is still ambitious.} ({Good enough for equality
was} 30... h6 $5 31. Rxc3 g5 32. Nxg5 hxg5 33. Qxg5+ Qg6 $11 {/\} 34. Qh4 Bg7
35. Rg3 $2 Re1) 31. Qg3 ({White avoids tha back-rank ambush} 31. Ng5 $2 Bxg5
32. Qxg5 Re1 33. Rdf3 Rxf1+ 34. Rxf1 Qf2 $1 $19) 31... b4 32. Ng5 Bxg5 33. Bxg5
Qe6 {Black's o^c3 is held in check by the Bg5. Due to his dark-square
vulnerability Mamedyarov seeks a Q-swap, but the position is already easier to
play for White.} 34. h3 Qe5 $6 (34... a5 35. Kh2 $13 {/+/=}) (34... Re1 $142 {
It's important for Black to simplify the position and} 35. Rxe1 (35. Rdf3 Rxf1+
36. Rxf1 Qxa2) 35... Qxe1+ 36. Kh2 Qxg3+ 37. Kxg3 f6 $1 {is still sufficient
for a draw after} 38. Bxf6 Re2 39. a3 Rd2 (39... a5 $5 $11) 40. Rf3 c2 41. Bb2
Rd1 $11) 35. Kh2 Qxg3+ 36. Kxg3 h6 $6 (36... Re1 37. Rxe1 Rxe1 38. Bf6 Re8 (
38... Kf8 39. Kf2 Re6 40. Rd8+ Re8 41. Rxe8+ Kxe8 42. Ke3 $14 {/+/- and with
the pawns stopped, only White can play for a win.}) 39. Rd5 $36 {is already
unpleasant, but the pawn-sacrifice is no better.}) ({Perhaps the best chance is
} 36... a5 $5 $14) 37. Bxh6 Re1 (37... a5 38. Rf6 $16) 38. Rf6 $1 (38. Rxe1
Rxe1 $11 {holds, but White can avoid the swap for the time being.}) 38... R1e6
39. Rf2 $6 (39. Rxe6 $142 $1 Rxe6 40. Be3 $16 {White prepares to cross over to
the queenside with his K, while} c2 {runs into} 41. Rd8+ Kh7 42. Bd4 g5 43. Rc8
Re2 44. Kf3 c1=Q 45. Rxc1 Rxa2 46. Rc7 $18) 39... Re2 (39... a5 $142) 40. Rd5
$1 {Preventing a5 complicates Black's task.} Rxf2 $6 ({The final mistake, far
more resilient was} 40... R2e5 41. Rd7 R8e7) 41. Kxf2 $18 f6 42. Be3 {
Achieving an even better version of the 39.Rxe6 line with Black's pawns going
nowhere and soon to become objects of attack. Shakh's resignation seems a bit
premature, but his position is objectively lost.} 1-0
[Event "Gashimov Memorial 5th"]
[Site "Shamkir"]
[Date "2018.04.23"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B23"]
[WhiteElo "2843"]
[BlackElo "2744"]
[Annotator "Nielsen,PH"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2018.04.19"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AZE"]
[EventCategory "21"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
{The tournament in general, but for Magnus especially had a very quiet start
with Topalov's win over Navara being the only deceisive game. The pairings
gave Magnus 3 Blacks vs. the Azeri players not leaving much scope for
creativity, however in round 5 things were about to change:} 1. e4 {
Quintiliano,R} c5 {Radek stays loyal to his compratiot inviting his favourite
Najdorf variation.} 2. Nc3 d6 {Najdorf players have to use this move order as
e.g.} (2... Nc6 {can be met by} 3. Nf3 $1 {intending 4.d4.}) 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4
{A nice and fitting touch, as this move order vs. the Sicilian was favoured by
Vugar Gashimov.} Nc6 5. Qd2 $5 {Magnus unleashes a rare and original concept,
completely novel at top level. During Wijk Aan Zee 2017 I received an email
from Greek IM Ioannis Simeonidis suggesting this setup as an interesting
anti-Najdorf concept and offered it to Magnus to test his concept! At first it
reminded me of Greek hubris. After all how likely is it that you can come up
with a meaningful and new setup at move 5 in one of the most tested openings
historically in chess? GM, Khenkin, the commentator at the event formulated it
with classic Soviet iron chess logic: "Chess-wisdom suggests only moving each
piece once in the opening, especially the queen, however the World Champion
seem to have his own rules". First sight however is deceptive: White has an
interesting concept in mind, and very similarly to Fischer-Random chess the
players now have to adapt to problems completely untested previously in
practice.} Nf6 {Logical and common-sense, but Ofitserian took a much more
concrete approach when facing Paravyan in the Russian Junior championship 4
days later harassing the white queen with} (5... g6 6. b3 Bh6 $5 {White
however did not budge and went} 7. f4 Nf6 8. Bb2 e5 {Quintiliano,R: '?!'} (8...
O-O $142 {Quintiliano,R} 9. O-O-O a5 10. Bb5 Qb6 $132) 9. g3 O-O 10. O-O-O {
and won a complex fight. This is what fascinates the most with Simeonidis
variation, that an oasis of creativity existed in territory believed to have
been long mapped out.}) 6. b3 e6 {On the same day in the Budapest Spring Open
but 3 hours later due to the time difference, Kotronias faced} (6... g6 {
but got an excellent position after} 7. Bb2 Bg7 8. O-O-O O-O 9. f3 Qa5 10. Kb1
Be6 11. Nge2 {As in the actual game it's noteworthy that the surprised player
acts with typical Sicilian moves, while in the game played 4 days later,
Ofitserian most likely influenced by the computer, tried a setup aimed
specifically at the possible defects of White's concept.}) 7. Bb2 a6 {Again
typical Sicilian style.} ({Quintiliano,R: 'Knowing how the game goes,'} 7... d5
$5 {intending ...Bb4 was a more concrete approach. Quintiliano,R: 'maybe is a
worthy try'} 8. exd5 {Quintiliano,R} exd5 9. O-O-O Be6 10. Nge2 Qa5 {The point
is that despite the isolated pawn, Black has open lines and more freedom to
develop the pieces} 11. Kb1 Bc5 12. Nf4 O-O-O $13) 8. O-O-O b5 9. f3 {The
position reminds one of a Rauzer, however the white bishop being on b2 and the
knight on g1 instead of d4! At first this sounds considerably more passive
from whites perspective, but the bishop on b2 not only attacks in the long
diagonal but also provides additional safety for the white king. While a
knight on d4 would just be exchanged now on g1 it can consider various routes
of attack.} h5 $6 {Preventing g4 makes perfect sense, but} (9... Be7 10. Kb1 {
is the obvious reply, but then after} (10. g4 Nxg4 $1 {is a nice trick as} 11.
fxg4 Bg5 {wins the white queen.}) 10... h5 {Black has a slightly improved
version of the game.} (10... O-O {Quintiliano,R} 11. g4 Bb7 {with typical and
double-edged Sicilian positions, despite there are some differences of normal
lines, the Bb2 being the most clear one, Black should have the usual
counterplay ideas.})) 10. Nh3 $1 {Till this move, the general concept was
mapped out in preparation, but here the World Champion demonstrates his level,
adopting to the specifics of the position excellently. The g5-square very
rarely being a relevant square for a white knight in the Scheveningen style
Sicilian is of no importance. Like in chess 960 what matters is adapting to
the new situation, and the combination of Black's last move weakening the
g5-square and White's knight being on g1 prompted this unusual approach.} Be7
11. Ng5 h4 $6 {Again logical and typical, however for this specific position
just not very relevant.} 12. f4 Bb7 13. Kb1 Rc8 14. Be2 $1 Qc7 15. Rhe1 $1 {
While White's two last moves might appear unimpressive, Be2 almost feeling
passive, looks are again deceptive. White quietly finishes his development in
essence claiming he can improve his position meaningfully before the eventual
confrontation, while Black cannot. Black's position is much worse than it
looks. Normally ...Nb4 and ...Qa5 would create counterplay, exchange
sacrifices on c3 being part of the equation, but with the white bishop being
on b2 such action by Black would be completely pointless, and ...Nb4 simply
being answered by a white a3. Especially the knight at c6 seems misplaced
blocking both the bishop on b7 and the rook on c8. The relevant question would
be, why did Black put it there? But who could resist free development
harassing the opponent's queen at move 4?} Nh7 16. Nxh7 Rxh7 17. g4 $6 {
At the press conference Magnus explained that he saw the indeed crushing 17.
Nd5! but thought his position so dominating that sacrifices were not even
neccesary.} (17. Nd5 $1 {Still the knight sacrifice was the best way, as after}
exd5 18. exd5 {Black's position is close to hopeless as giving back the piece
is positional bankruptcy, but} Nb8 {loses instantly to} 19. Bd3 $1 {with} Rh5
20. Rxe7+ $1 {being the principal tactical point.}) 17... hxg3 18. hxg3 Bf6 19.
Bd3 Rh8 20. g4 $6 {A strange coincidence. Magnus' only inaccuracy in the game
was g4; unfortunately it was possible to play twice! Unlike move 17 here
simplicity was in order, figthing for the open file with} (20. Rh1 $1 {would
have given an overwhelming edge.}) 20... Nd4 21. Re3 Kf8 22. Ne2 $1 Nxe2 23.
Rxe2 {Despite the exchanges of minor pieces, the difference in king safety
still gives White the much more pleasant position.} Bc3 $2 (23... Bxb2 24. Kxb2
Qc5 $1 {was Black's best chance to minimise the damage, but in time pressure
Radek finally goes astray.} (24... Rh4 $1 {Quintiliano,R} 25. g5 Qc5 {[%cal
Yc5d4]} 26. Kb1 (26. Rh2 Rxh2 27. Qxh2 Ke7 28. Kb1 Qe3 $132) 26... d5 $5 27.
exd5 Bxd5 28. Rh2 Rxh2 29. Qxh2 g6 $14 {despite White's position still looking
easier, Black is fighting well and has real chances to equalise.})) 24. Bxc3
Qxc3 25. Qe3 Rc5 {Allows a tactical blow, but after} (25... Qc5 26. Qg3 {
Black is passive without counterplay while f5 and g5 follow for White with an
overwhelming edge.}) 26. e5 $1 dxe5 27. fxe5 Rh1 28. Rxh1 Bxh1 29. Rh2 Rxe5 ({
If} 29... Bb7 {then} 30. Rh8+ Ke7 31. Qg5+ {mates.}) 30. Rh8+ $1 Ke7 31. Qa7+ {
And with 32.Rxh1 following next, Black being a piece down resigned. Magnus'
shift of pace not only lasted to the upcoming free day's soccer tournament
scoring all 6 six goals for the winning team, but also for the remainder of
the tournament with crucial wins over first the leader Topalov and then with
the black pieces against Anish Giri eventually securing overall victory.} 1-0
[Event "Gashimov Memorial 5th"]
[Site "Shamkir"]
[Date "2018.04.27"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A29"]
[WhiteElo "2777"]
[BlackElo "2843"]
[Annotator "Stohl,I"]
[PlyCount "86"]
[EventDate "2018.04.19"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AZE"]
[EventCategory "21"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 184"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.16"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 ({The immediate fianchetto} 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 {gives some extra
options:} d5 (3... c6 {is another topical line, the direct} 4. d4 {seems
harmless;} (4. Nf3 {is the main try to fight for an advantage}) {a recent
example went} 4... e4 5. Nc3 d5 6. Bg5 Bb4 7. Qb3 Bxc3+ 8. Qxc3 O-O 9. f3 dxc4
10. Bxf6 Qxf6 11. fxe4 c5 12. e5 cxd4 13. exf6 dxc3 14. fxg7 Re8 15. bxc3 Nc6
16. Rb1 Re3 17. Kd2 Re7 18. Nf3 Bf5 19. Rb5 Rd8+ 20. Nd4 Nxd4 21. cxd4 Be4 22.
Bxe4 Rxd4+ 23. Bd3 Red7 $11 {McShane,L (2647)-Anand,V (2783) Germany 2018 The
resulting endgame is drawish.}) 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. O-O Nb6 7. d3 Be7 8.
a3 O-O 9. Nbd2 {develops the Nb1 differently, but this is also no novelty.} a5
10. b3 Be6 11. Bb2 f6 12. Qc2 Qd7 {and now:} 13. Nc4 (13. e3 Rfd8 14. d4 exd4
15. Nxd4 Nxd4 16. Bxd4 c5 17. Bxc5 Rac8 18. b4 Nd5 $1 19. Qd3 (19. Nb3 b6 20.
e4 Nxb4 21. axb4 axb4 22. Rfd1 Qc7 23. Rxd8+ Rxd8 24. Bf1 Bxc5 $17 {Thiede,L
(2416)-Graf,A (2624) Germany 2003}) 19... b6 20. Bxd5 bxc5 21. Bxe6+ Qxe6 22.
Qb3 Qf7 $5 23. Qxf7+ Kxf7 24. Nb3 cxb4 25. axb4 axb4 26. Ra7 Ke8 27. Nd4 Rd7
28. Rxd7 Kxd7 29. Rd1 g6 30. Kf1 Rc4 {½, Kuhn,C (1981)-Avdeev,S (2032) email
2011}) 13... Rfd8 14. Rfc1 (14. Rfd1 Qe8 15. d4 $6 a4 $15 {Ponomariov,R (2723)
-Vachier Lagrave,M (2710) Beijing blitz 2011.}) 14... Qe8 15. Nxb6 cxb6 16. Nd2
Rac8 17. a4 Bc5 18. Qd1 h5 19. Nc4 Qe7 20. e3 Bg4 21. Qf1 Nb4 22. Rd1 $5 Bxd1
23. Rxd1 Qf7 {Gordievsky,D (2622)-Vidit,S (2718) Wijk aan Zee 2018} 24. d4 exd4
25. exd4 Bf8 26. Nxb6 Rc2 27. Nc4 b5 28. axb5 a4 29. Rb1 $1 axb3 30. Ne3 $44)
2... Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 ({The Dragon with reversed colours is very
popular, but} 4... Bb4 5. Bg2 {only somewhat less so:} O-O ({Less usual, but
also playable is} 5... d6 6. O-O O-O 7. d3 Re8 8. Bd2 (8. Nd5 $5 Nxd5 9. cxd5
Ne7 10. d4 e4 11. Ng5 {is perhaps more promising}) 8... Nd4 9. a3 Nxf3+ 10.
Bxf3 Bxc3 11. Bxc3 c6 12. e4 Bh3 13. Re1 c5 14. b4 b6 15. a4 Nd7 16. a5 Be6 17.
Ra3 Rb8 18. b5 Qc8 19. axb6 axb6 20. Re2 Ra8 21. Rea2 Rxa3 22. Rxa3 Qc7 23. Bg2
Nf8 24. f4 f6 25. f5 Bc8 26. Bd2 Bb7 27. g4 h6 28. h4 Nh7 $11 {Ding,L (2778)
-Wojtaszek,R (2744) Shamkir 2018 With patient defence Black held his fortress.}
) 6. O-O e4 7. Ng5 Bxc3 8. bxc3 Re8 {featured some recent experiments with} 9.
Qc2 (9. f3 {is the main line of this branch}) {, but they didn't bring White
success after} 9... d5 $5 ({More active, than} 9... Qe7 10. d3 exd3 11. exd3 d6
) 10. cxd5 Qxd5 11. d3 (11. Nxe4 Nxe4 12. d3 Bf5 13. Bf4 Qe6 14. dxe4 Bxe4 15.
Bxe4 Qxe4 16. Qb2 b6 17. Rfe1 Rac8 18. Qb5 Ne7 19. Rad1 c6 20. Qa6 Nd5 $15 {
Dimitrov,R (2493)-Georgiev,K (2596) Skopje 2018}) 11... Bf5 12. Bf4 h6 13. Nxe4
Nxe4 14. Qb2 b6 15. Rfd1 Qc5 16. dxe4 Bxe4 17. Bf1 Re7 18. a4 Rae8 19. Rac1 $2
(19. Qb5 $1 $11 {is still roughly equal.}) 19... g5 $1 20. Bd2 Qf5 21. f3 Qc5+
22. Kh1 Bd5 23. Be1 Bc4 24. e4 Bxf1 25. Bf2 Qc4 26. Rxf1 Qxa4 27. c4 Ne5 28.
Bd4 g4 $17 {Vachier Lagrave,M (2789)-Caruana,F (2784) Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden
2018}) 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nb6 (6... Bc5 $5 {is also viable, Illingworth wrote
an article about this novel line in CBM 181. Since then there haven't been too
many new games, after} 7. O-O O-O 8. d3 {Black also has} Re8 ({Illingworth
concentrated on} 8... Bb6 {proving Black holds his own in the tactical
labyrinth of Dubov-Karjakin, WCup Tbilisi 2017. Black also equalises after} 9.
Bd2 Nxc3 10. Bxc3 Re8 11. b4 Bg4 12. Nd2 Nd4 13. Bxd4 exd4 14. Re1 c6 15. a4 a6
16. Nb3 Qf6 17. Qd2 Re7 18. h3 Be6 19. Nc5 Rae8 20. Nxe6 Qxe6 21. b5 axb5 22.
axb5 c5 $11 {Nepomniachtchi,I (2751)-Aronian,L (2789) chess.com blitz 2017}) 9.
Ng5 Nf6 10. Qb3 Qe7 11. Nd5 Nxd5 12. Bxd5 Nd8 13. Qc4 Bd4 14. Bg2 h6 15. Nf3
Nc6 16. Be3 $5 Bxe3 17. fxe3 e4 18. dxe4 a5 $1 19. a3 Ra6 20. Rac1 Rb6 21. Rc2
Be6 22. Qc3 Rb3 23. Qd2 Rd8 24. Qc1 a4 $44 {The tripled pawns are comical and
Black would have enough compensation even without trying to undertake anything.
As it is, he allowed White to untangle with} 25. Rc5 Rd7 26. h3 Qd8 27. g4 g6
28. Kh1 Kg7 29. e5 Bd5 30. Kg1 Be6 31. Kf2 Qe7 32. Kg1 Rd5 33. Rc4 Ra5 34. Rc2
Bd5 $6 35. Nd4 $1 Nxd4 36. exd4 Rg3 37. Rf3 $1 Bxf3 38. exf3 $16 {Caruana,F
(2799)-Adams,M (2715) London 2017 After regaining the exchange by trapping the
Rg3 White already had a healthy extra pawn. For more details see the notes to
this game in CBM 182 by Fernandez.}) 7. O-O Be7 8. a3 (8. d3 O-O 9. Be3 {
was played in Kamsky-Svidler, Thessaloniki 2013, which I annotated for CBM 155:
} Be6 (9... Re8 10. Rc1 Bf8 11. Na4 Nd4 12. Nc5 {gives Black also the sharper
option} a5 $5 (12... Bxc5 13. Rxc5 Bg4 {and}) (12... Nxf3+ 13. Bxf3 c6 {
are restrained continuations, leading to approximate equality.}) 13. Bxd4 exd4
14. Nb3 g5 $1 15. Qd2 g4 $13 {Granda Zuniga,J (2648)-So,W (2794) Douglas 2016})
10. Rc1 Qd7 ({Svidler's choice} 10... f5 {is perhaps not bad, but more risky.})
11. Re1 (11. Ne4 f6 12. Nc5 Bxc5 13. Bxc5 Rfd8 14. Qc2 Qf7 $5 15. Nd2 Nd5 {
Kashlinskaya,A (2201)-Bukavshin,I (2350) Pardubice 2008} 16. a3 $11) (11. a3
Bh3 12. b4 Bxg2 13. Kxg2 Qe6 14. Ne4 Nd5 15. Bc5 b6 16. Bxe7 Ncxe7 17. Neg5 Qd6
18. Ne4 Qe6 $11 {Carlstedt,J (2432)-Volokitin,A (2632) Berlin blitz 2018})
11... f6 12. a3 Rfd8 (12... Rad8 13. Na4 Rfe8 14. Nc5 Bxc5 15. Rxc5 Nd4 16.
Bxd4 exd4 17. Qc2 c6 18. b4 {Martinez,R (2422)-Sanchez,J (2529) Civitanova
Marche 2012} a6 $11) 13. b4 Nd5 14. Nxd5 Bxd5 15. Bc5 b6 ({Possible
improvements are} 15... Bxc5 16. Rxc5 Ne7 17. e4 Bf7 18. d4 Nc6 $5 $13 {
or the simpler}) (15... a6 $5 $11) 16. e4 $1 Bf7 17. Bxe7 Nxe7 18. d4 exd4 19.
e5 d3 20. exf6 gxf6 21. Nd2 $44 {Lagarde,M (2594)-Fressinet,L (2660) Caleta
2017} (21. Re4 $5)) 8... a5 $5 {This prophylactic move was considered
weakening and long had a dubious reputation. However, there might be more to
it than meets the eye...} ({Far more usual is} 8... O-O 9. b4 Be6 {After} 10.
Rb1 f6 {White has lately tested} 11. b5 (11. d3 {has long been the main move
and I mentioned} a5 {as Black's main reaction in the notes to So-Navara,
Prague 2015 in CBM 167.}) 11... Nd4 12. e3 Nxf3+ 13. Bxf3 {and now:} {And
finally there is} Qc8 $5 (13... Rb8 14. d4 exd4 15. exd4 Re8 (15... Qd7 $6 16.
Re1 Rfe8 17. a4 Bf7 18. a5 Nd5 19. Nxd5 Bxd5 20. Bf4 Rbc8 21. Bg4 $1 f5 22. Bf3
Bf6 23. Be5 Bxe5 24. dxe5 Rcd8 25. Bxd5+ Qxd5 26. Qc2 Qf7 27. a6 $16 {Gelfand,
B (2737)-Edouard,R (2607) Heraklio 2017}) 16. Re1 Bf7 17. a4 Bf8 18. Rxe8 Qxe8
19. Bf4 Qd7 20. a5 Nc4 21. b6 axb6 22. axb6 Bd6 {and White found nothing
better than liquidating with} 23. bxc7 Bxc7 24. Bxc7 Qxc7 25. Nd5 Qd7 26. Nb6
Nxb6 27. Rxb6 Bd5 {½, Nepomniachtchi,I (2751)-Karjakin,S (2783) chess.com
blitz INT 2017}) ({Black can also hold the balance with} 13... Nd5 14. Ne2 (14.
Bb2 a6 $1 15. a4 axb5 16. axb5 Nxc3 17. Bxc3 Bd5 18. Bxd5+ Qxd5 19. Qb3 Rfd8
20. d4 Qxb3 21. Rxb3 exd4 22. Bxd4 Rd5 23. Kg2 Ra5 $11 {Gordon,S (2528)-Alsina
Leal,D (2507) England 2017}) 14... Qd7 15. d4 Rad8 16. Qc2 Kh8 17. Bg2 Bh3 18.
Bxh3 Qxh3 19. e4 Nb6 20. Be3 (20. Qxc7 Rd7 21. Qc2 Qh5 $1 $44) 20... Qe6 $5 21.
d5 Qd7 22. a4 f5 23. f3 fxe4 24. fxe4 Qg4 25. Kg2 Qg6 $132 {Edouard,R (2612)
-Xiong,J (2640) Saint Louis 2018}) 14. Qc2 Rd8 (14... Bf5 15. d3 Rd8 16. e4 Be6
17. a4 Qd7 18. Rd1 a5 19. bxa6 Rxa6 20. Be3 Qc6 21. Qb2 Nxa4 22. Nxa4 Qxa4 23.
Qxb7 Qc6 $11 {Polatel,A (2243)-Guaimare,C (2113) email 2017}) 15. d4 (15. Rd1
Bf5 16. d3 Kh8 17. e4 Bd7 18. a4 c6 19. Be3 cxb5 20. axb5 Be6 21. Qb2 Bc5 22.
Bxc5 Qxc5 $11 {Svoboda,F (2406)-Betker,J (2451) email 2015}) 15... Bf5 16. Qb3+
(16. Be4 Bxe4 17. Qxe4 f5 $1 18. Qxe5 Bd6 19. Nd5 Kh8 20. Nxb6 axb6 21. Qd5
Bxg3 $15 {[%csl Rg1]}) (16. e4 Bh3 17. Rd1 Rxd4 18. Rxd4 exd4 19. Ne2 Qd7 $13)
16... Be6 (16... Kh8 $5) 17. Qc2 Bf5 18. Qb3+ Be6 19. Qc2 Bf5 {1/2-1/2 (19)
Nihal,S (2534)-Vaibhav,S (2544) Reykjavik 2018}) 9. d3 O-O 10. Be3 Be6 11. Rc1
{Natural, but we'll check also the alternatives:} ({Considering Black's
following move,} 11. Na4 {certainly deserves attention:} {Later Black's
efforts concentrated on} Nd5 (11... e4 12. Ne1 exd3 13. Nxd3 Nd5 14. Bc5 b6 15.
Bxe7 Ndxe7 16. Rc1 (16. Nc3 $142 $5 $14) 16... Bd5 17. Bxd5 Qxd5 18. Nc3 Qc4
19. b3 Qg4 ({An enterprising idea is} 19... Qe6 $5 20. Nb5 Rad8 21. Nxc7 Qf5
$44) 20. e3 Qd7 $6 (20... Qf5 $142 $5) 21. Nf4 $1 Rad8 22. Qh5 Ng6 23. Nfd5
Nce7 24. Rfd1 Nxd5 25. Nxd5 $36 {Vidit,S (2723)-Petrosyan,M (2569) Moscow 2018}
) (11... Nxa4 12. Qxa4 Bd5 13. Rfc1 Re8 14. Rc2 Bf6 $5 (14... Bf8 $2 15. Rac1
Nb8 16. Rxc7 Bc6 17. R1xc6 bxc6 18. Rxf7 $1 h6 19. Rb7 Qc8 20. Qc4+ Kh8 21. Nh4
$1 Qxb7 22. Ng6+ Kh7 23. Be4 Bd6 24. Nxe5+ g6 25. Bxg6+ Kg7 26. Bxh6+ {1-0,
Botvinnik,M-Portisch,L Monte Carlo 1968 This beautiful and famous game
discouraged people from playing 8...a5 for quite a while.}) 15. Rac1 (15. Rc5
$5 $14) 15... Nd4 16. Nxd4 Bxg2 17. Nb5 Bc6 18. Rxc6 $5 bxc6 19. Rxc6 $44 {/+/=
}) 12. Bc5 {and now:} {In mail practice Black has been holding his own with} b6
$5 (12... Bd6 13. Rc1 h6 14. d4 $5 (14. Nd2 Rc8 (14... Rb8 15. Ne4 f5 $132) 15.
Ne4 b6 $6 16. Nxd6 cxd6 17. Bxb6 Nxb6 18. Rxc6 (18. Bxc6 $142 $1 $14) 18... Rb8
19. Nxb6 Rxb6 20. Qc2 Qb8 21. Rxb6 Qxb6 22. Rb1 Bb3 23. Qd2 Rb8 24. Rc1 Be6 25.
Rc2 d5 $44 {Kasparov,G (2750)-Georgiev,K (2595) Saint John blitz 1988}) 14...
e4 $142 $5 (14... exd4 15. Nxd4 Nxd4 16. Qxd4 b6 17. Bxd6 Qxd6 18. Rfd1 Rfd8
19. e4 Ne7 20. Qxd6 Rxd6 21. Rxd6 cxd6 22. f4 (22. Nc3 $5 $36) 22... b5 23. Nc3
b4 24. Nb5 bxa3 25. bxa3 $14 {Kasparov,G (2750)-Georgiev,K (2595) Saint John
blitz 1988}) 15. Ne5 f5 16. Nxc6 bxc6 17. Bxd6 cxd6 $5 18. Rxc6 Qb8 $44 (18...
Qd7 $5)) 13. Bxe7 Ndxe7 14. Nc3 (14. Rc1 Qd7 15. Nc3 f6 16. Qa4 Rac8 17. Rfd1
Rfd8 18. e3 Qe8 19. d4 exd4 20. Nxd4 Nxd4 21. Qxe8+ Rxe8 22. exd4 c6 23. b4
axb4 24. axb4 Kf7 25. b5 $11 {½, Vidit,S (2723)-Melkumyan,H (2664) chess.com
rpd INT 2018}) 14... Qd7 15. Qa4 Rab8 16. Qb5 (16. Rfc1 f6 17. b4 Rfd8 18. b5
Na7 19. Rab1 Kh8 20. Qc2 Nf5 21. Qd2 Nc8 22. Rd1 Nce7 23. Qb2 Nd6 24. a4 Bg8
25. Nd2 Qe8 $11 {Degerhammar,R (2475)-Rogos,J (2518) email 2014}) 16... f6 17.
e3 Rbd8 18. Rfd1 Nd5 19. Rac1 Nxc3 20. bxc3 Na7 21. Qxd7 Bxd7 22. d4 Nc6 23.
dxe5 fxe5 24. Ng5 Ne7 25. Bf1 g6 26. Be2 h6 27. Nf3 Ba4 28. Rxd8 Rxd8 29. Nxe5
Rd2 $44 {Kazantsev,R (2376)-Brugger,A (2528) email 2015}) ({Nor can one ignore
} 11. Bxb6 cxb6 12. Nd2 f5 (12... Rc8 13. Nc4 f6 14. e3 Na7 15. Bxb7 Rc7 16.
Bg2 Rd7 17. Qa4 Rxd3 18. Rfd1 Bc5 19. Be4 Rd7 20. b4 $16 {Van Wely,L (2675)
-Mosadeghpour,M (2469) Bandar e Anzali 2017}) 13. Nc4 e4 (13... Bxc4 $5 14.
dxc4 e4 {is more solid, Black is close to full equality.}) 14. Ne3 exd3 15.
Ned5 $1 dxe2 16. Qxe2 Bxd5 17. Nxd5 Bf6 {½, Opocensky,K-Flohr,S Podebrady
1936 Despite the quick draw in this historic game White has obvious
compensation and pressure here.} 18. Rad1 Kh8 19. Rfe1 (19. Rd2 $5) (19. Qb5 $5
) 19... Re8 20. Qxe8+ Qxe8 21. Rxe8+ Rxe8 22. Nxf6 gxf6 23. Kf1 Re5 24. Bd5 f4
$1 25. gxf4 Rf5 $132 {Mueller,H (1764)-Mair,E (1643) email 2013}) 11... a4 $5 {
[%mdl 512] A positional sacrifice, to take this pawn White will have to give
up his important dark-squared B.} ({Otherwise White occupies the a4-square
himself, a model example is} 11... Re8 12. Na4 Nxa4 13. Qxa4 f6 $6 ({We had}
13... Bd5 $142 $5 {above, only the other rook was on c1.}) 14. Nd2 Bd5 15. Qb5
Bxg2 16. Kxg2 Qc8 17. Rc4 Bf8 18. Rfc1 Ra6 19. R1c2 Kh8 20. Nf3 Qa8 21. Ra4 Na7
22. Qb3 b5 23. Rh4 a4 24. Qf7 Re7 25. Qg6 h6 26. Bc5 Rd7 27. Bxf8 Qxf8 28. Nxe5
$1 $18 {Hracek,Z (2625)-Simacek,P (2508) Czechia 2010}) ({In practice Black
also had to fight for equality after} 11... Nd5 12. Nxd5 Bxd5 13. Qa4 $14 {, or
}) (11... f5 12. Na4 $14) 12. Nd2 ({The immediate} 12. Bxb6 cxb6 13. Nxa4 e4
14. Ne1 (14. Nd2 {is also met by} Bg5 $1 $44 {, when} 15. Rxc6 bxc6 16. Nxe4
Be7 $13 {is at best unclear.}) 14... Bg5 $142 $1 (14... Nd4 $2 15. Nc3 Bg5 16.
e3 Nb3 17. Bxe4 (17. Rc2 $5 $16) 17... Nxc1 18. Qxc1 Qd7 19. d4 $40 Qxd4 $2 20.
f4 $18 {Nepomniachtchi,I (2730)-Bocharov,D (2609) Apatity rpd 2011}) (14... e3
15. fxe3 $5 Bg5 {again allows an exchange sacrifice} 16. Rf4 $14) 15. Rc3 (15.
e3 $6 exd3 16. Nxd3 Rxa4 17. Qxa4 Qxd3 18. Be4 b5 19. Qc2 Qxc2 20. Rxc2 Bf6 $15
{Deneuville,C (2206)-Weber,K (2313) email 2014}) (15. Rxc6 bxc6 16. Bxe4 f5 $1
17. Bg2 (17. Bxc6 $6 Rc8 18. f4 Bf6 $17) 17... Ra7 $15) 15... e3 ({Apart from}
15... Bf6 16. Rc1 Bg5 $11 {Black has other interesting options, namely}) (15...
f5 {and}) (15... Qd4 $5 $44) 16. f4 Bf6 17. f5 Bd7 18. Rc1 Nd4 19. Nc3 Ra5 20.
Bxb7 Bxf5 $44 {Zielinski,S (2159)-Kuzmin,K (2167) LSS email 2014}) 12... f5 ({
Ambitious, but Black can change his mind about the sacrifice. Roughly equal is
} 12... Nd5 $5 13. Nxd5 Bxd5 14. Qc2 f5 15. Bxd5+ Qxd5 16. Qc4 Ra5 17. Nb1 Qxc4
18. Rxc4 Bd6 19. Rfc1 Rfa8 20. h3 Nd8 21. g4 f4 22. Bd2 Rb5 23. Bb4 Bxb4 24.
axb4 Nc6 25. Kg2 Rf8 $11 {Leal,P (2343)-Genga,S (2400) email 2013}) 13. Bxb6
cxb6 14. Nxa4 (14. Re1 Bg5 15. e3 Qxd3 16. Bf1 Qd7 17. Nc4 Qf7 18. Nxb6 Rad8
19. Qe2 f4 20. Nbxa4 Bf5 21. Nc5 fxe3 22. fxe3 b6 23. N5e4 Nd4 $1 24. exd4 Bxc1
25. Rxc1 exd4 26. Ng5 Qg6 27. Qe7 b5 $1 28. Bxb5 {½, Recasens Sanchez,J (2048)
-Gudkov,A email 2012} dxc3 29. Bc4+ Kh8 30. Nf7+ Qxf7 31. Bxf7 cxb2 32. Re1
b1=Q 33. Rxb1 Bxb1 $11) 14... Bg5 15. Nc3 e4 16. Kh1 $146 {[%mdl 8] A novelty,
but not necesarily an improvement.} ({This position is not new at the highest
level, last year featured a game with} 16. Rb1 Rf7 $5 (16... Ne5 17. Nb3 Ng4
18. Qc2 (18. h3 $142 $1) 18... Be3 19. dxe4 $2 (19. Bh3 $1 {was already
necessary, although} Nxf2 20. Rxf2 Qd7 21. Rbf1 f4 $1 22. Bxe6+ Qxe6 $44 {
gives Black enough play.}) 19... Qg5 $2 (19... Nxf2 $1 20. Rxf2 fxe4 21. Rbf1
Qc7 22. Bxe4 Rxf2 23. Rxf2 Qf7 24. Bf3 Bxb3 $15) 20. fxe3 Qxe3+ 21. Kh1 Qh6 {
Nepomniachtchi,I (2742)-Aronian,L (2809) Geneva 2017} 22. h4 $1 Ne3 23. Qc1 f4
24. Rf3 Bxb3 25. gxf4 Nxg2 26. Kxg2 Qxh4 27. f5 $16 {For more details see the
notes to this game in CBM 180 by Yuffa.}) 17. Nc4 $5 (17. Nb3 Rd7 $36) 17...
Rd7 18. b3 {[%cal Yc3b5]} Bf6 (18... exd3 19. exd3 Rxd3 20. Qc2 $14) 19. Nb5
Nd4 20. Nxd4 Bxd4 $44) 16... Qd7 {Natural, Carlsen connects his rooks asap.} ({
However, considering the following note, the prophylactic} 16... g6 $13 {or}) (
16... Rf7 $13 {also deserved consideration} {/\} 17. g4 g6 18. gxf5 gxf5 19.
Rg1 Rg7) 17. Rb1 {Unpins the Rc1 after all.} ({However, the active} 17. g4 $142
$1 {would better profit from the previous move:} Bxd2 (17... g6 18. gxf5 gxf5
19. e3 $1 Qxd3 20. Rg1 $36) (17... exd3 18. f4 dxe2 19. Qxe2 Bf6 20. g5 $11)
18. Qxd2 exd3 19. gxf5 dxe2 20. Qxe2 Rxf5 21. f4 $5 $13 {All White's pieces
are active and the position is roughly equal.}) 17... Rad8 18. Nc4 $6 {Black
will easily parry the threat against Pb6.} ({It was stronger to win back some
space with} 18. f4 $1 {, although Black has indisputable compensation after}
Bf6 $44) 18... Qf7 $1 19. b3 (19. Nxb6 $2 Bb3 20. Qe1 exd3 {[%csl Gd3] and the
Pd3 is taboo:} 21. exd3 Rfe8 22. Ne2 Rxd3 $19) 19... exd3 20. exd3 f4 21. Ne4 (
{The engine briefly prefers} 21. Re1 f3 22. Bf1 {, but still doesn't relish
White's position after} Nd4 $36) 21... Be7 22. gxf4 Qxf4 {[%csl Rd3,Ge6,Ge7,
Rf2,Rh2][%mdl 2048] Giri has managed to prevent the f3 advance, but defending
the numerous white weaknesses against Black's active pieces is very difficult.
Carlsen has strong long-term pressure.} 23. a4 {Prevents b5, but allows Black
to activate his knight.} Nb4 24. Qe2 Qh6 $1 {A strong manoeuvre, freeing f4
for other pieces.} 25. Rbd1 (25. d4 $5 $15 {was probably more resilient}) 25...
Nd5 26. Rg1 Kh8 (26... Nf4 27. Qe3 {helps the defence, but a more energetic
try was the immediate}) (26... Rf4 $1 $36) 27. Bf1 ({White could have begun
with} 27. d4 Rf4 28. f3 Rh4 29. Bf1 $15 {The position is unpleasant, but there
is no direct tactical refutation.}) 27... Rf4 28. Ne5 $6 (28. f3 $142 Rh4 29.
d4 {transposes to the previous note.}) 28... Rdf8 $2 ({Carlsen hesitates,
after the stronger} 28... Rh4 $1 29. f3 Ne3 30. Rd2 Nf5 $17 {the knight aims
for d4 and the defence is under great strain.}) 29. f3 Rh4 30. d4 Nf4 (30...
Ne3 {is unconvincing:} 31. Rd3 $15) ({as is} 30... Bf5 31. Ng5 $1 {/\} Bxg5 $4
32. Nf7+ $18) 31. Qd2 Bxb3 {Although White couldn't hang on to his extra pawn,
he has activated his forces and clawed his way back into the game. In the
final phase probably time trouble played an important role.} 32. Rb1 $2 {
Why give up a pawn?} ({After} 32. Rc1 {the outcome of the game remains open;
the greedy} Bxa4 $2 {runs into} 33. Rc7) 32... Bxa4 33. Bb5 (33. Bc4 Be8 $15)
33... Bxb5 34. Rxb5 Qe6 35. Qb2 ({Engines also mention the passive, but more
solid} 35. Rb2 $15) 35... Bd8 36. Ng5 ({Here} 36. d5 $5 {deserves attention,
after} Nxd5 37. Ng5 Bxg5 38. Rxg5 {Black faces serious technical problems.})
36... Qe8 37. Rb3 Bxg5 $6 ({A cleaner solution is the tactical} 37... Rf5 $1
38. Ne4 Rxh2+ $1 39. Qxh2 Rh5 {and Black should gradually win.}) 38. Rxg5 Ne6
39. Rg4 $6 ({White should have avoided the R swap, after} 39. Rg1 $1 Nxd4 40.
Re3 $15 {Black must still work hard for the full point.}) 39... Rxg4 40. fxg4 (
40. Nxg4 Qa4 $17 {doesn't help much.}) 40... Qd8 41. Rh3 $6 ({Hastens the end,
but even after the better} 41. Rf3 Rxf3 42. Nxf3 Qd5 $17 {Black should prevail
in the long run.}) 41... Qd5+ 42. Kg1 Qe4 43. Qb4 Rf6 {The Rf8 has left its
vulnerable square and the N is ready to pounce either on d4, or f4. Further
resistance is futile.} 0-1