Games
[Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.21"] [Round "9"] [White "Gelfand, Boris"] [Black "Ding, Liren"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E11"] [WhiteElo "2724"] [BlackElo "2773"] [Annotator "Lenderman,A"] [PlyCount "70"] [EventDate "2017.05.12"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [SourceTitle "CBM 179"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceQuality "1"] {Hello everyone! This is GM Aleksandr Lenderman presenting you the final Game of the Day of Moscow Grand Prix! And the choice is easy here. The fight for first place ended with Ding Liren winning a decisive game against Boris Gelfand. So, without further ado, let's get to it.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Be7 6. Nf3 O-O 7. O-O Nbd7 8. a4 a5 9. Qc2 c6 10. Na3 Ne4 $5 {A very rare move already. In an earlier game betwen Gelfand and Tomashevsky, 10...Bd6 was played and Black had to suffer a bit before eventually getting a draw.} (10... Bd6 11. Ne1 Qe7 12. Nd3 e5 13. cxd5 Nxd5 14. Bxd5 cxd5 15. Nb5 e4 16. Nf4 Nf6 17. Rfc1 {Gelfand-Tomashevsky Moscow Grand Prix} (17. Qb3 $5 { was maybe an improvement.})) 11. Bf4 $146 {The only other game I could find after 10...Ne4 in my database was with 11.Be3!? in a game between two very strong players.} (11. Be3 f5 12. Ne1 g5 13. f3 Nd6 14. Nd3 Qe8 15. c5 Nf7 { Hertneck,G (2572)-Bareev,E (2719) Germany 2002, was a very complex battle.}) 11... g5 {The typical logical follow-up after the ...Ne4 idea is to play on the kingside.} 12. Be3 (12. Bc1 $5) 12... f5 13. Rad1 Bf6 14. Nb1 Qe7 {I think Black is already happy here. He has got a very interesting unbalanced position for Black with play for 3 results. And Ding is extremely good in positions like this too.} 15. Nc3 b6 16. Ne5 $5 {A very interesting, ambitious move, and probably not the only one.} (16. b3 $5) 16... Nxe5 17. dxe5 Bxe5 18. Bxb6 Qb4 { Not the only move in the position but the most direct.} (18... Nxc3 19. bxc3 Ba6 20. cxd5 cxd5 21. Bxa5 Rfc8 $44 {was also a possible sample line.}) (18... Bxc3 19. bxc3 Ba6 20. Bxe4 $14) (18... Ra6 19. Bd4 Bxd4 20. Rxd4 {is also roughly equal.}) 19. Nxe4 fxe4 20. cxd5 $2 {So far both sides have played good precise and principled chess. However, now, Gelfand seems to miscalculate or misevaluate something because he doesn't quite seem to have enough for the sacrificed material. Sometimes last rounds can be tricky even for the most experienced players. Gelfand was probably really hoping to win this game to tie for 1st since the difference between tying for first and tying for 3rd in a massive tie is huge in terms of Grand Prix points. So maybe he decided to take a gamble in this game he normally wouldn't have. It didn't work in his favour in this game though.} (20. Be3 Qxb2 21. Qxb2 Bxb2 22. Bxg5 Ba6 23. cxd5 (23. Rd2 {This first might be a bit more accurate though.} Bc3 24. Rc2 { and no more Rac8}) 23... cxd5 (23... Bxe2 $2 24. dxc6 $16) 24. Rd2 $15 { seems more or less normal for White and very close to equal.}) 20... Qxb6 21. Qxe4 Qxb2 (21... Qc7 22. dxe6 Rb8 {is also good for Black, but what Ding did was better.}) 22. dxc6 Bc7 $17 23. Rd7 Bxd7 24. cxd7 Qf6 $19 {Honestly speaking I'm not totally sure what exactly Gelfand missed since in each move Black seemed to have other alternatives to get a good position.} (24... Ra6 { also wins.}) 25. Bh3 Rab8 26. Qxe6+ Qxe6 27. Bxe6+ {Trying to save things in the endgame thanks to many pawns for the rook, but White's problem is that Black's rooks are too active and the d7 pawn isn't going anywhere thanks to the bishop and rooks stopping it.} Kg7 28. Rc1 Kf6 29. Bg4 Bd8 30. Rc6+ Kg7 31. Bh5 Rb2 32. Rc8 Rd2 33. Be8 Bb6 34. Rb8 Rf6 35. e3 g4 {And with that, Ding wins the Moscow Grand Prix clear first. Congratulations to him! Congratulations also to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov for a very strong clear 2nd place with +2 and continuing his monstrous form and also now being in excellent position to get one of the top 2 spots in the overall Grand Prix standings.} 0-1 [Event "Tbilisi FIDE World Cup"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.09.03"] [Round "1.14"] [White "Sambuev, Bator"] [Black "Wei, Yi"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E20"] [WhiteElo "2529"] [BlackElo "2748"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "47"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:40:51"] [BlackClock "0:04:35"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. d4 Bb4 5. g3 O-O 6. Bg2 dxc4 7. O-O {This position is usually reached via the Nimzo-Indian move order in the Romanishin line: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.g3 (Nf3) d5.} Nc6 8. a3 Be7 ({Here is a game by the Ukranian legend himself:} 8... Bxc3 9. bxc3 Na5 10. Rb1 b6 11. Ne5 Bb7 12. Bxb7 Nxb7 13. Nxc4 c5 14. Qd3 {with approximate equality, Romanishin,O (2595)-Pachman,L (2485) Moscow 1977}) 9. e4 Na5 10. Be3 {For the sacrificed pawn White has a strong center and the possibility to attack on the kingside.} Rb8 {If you open your Megabase you will see that Black has scored a fantastic 75% from the four games played so far. However, Sambuev, who is a brave attacker, did not fear the statistics but liked the position instead.} 11. Qe2 b5 12. Rad1 Bb7 $146 ({At the previous World Cup Karjakin won an important game after} 12... a6 13. d5 Qe8 14. Rfe1 Nb3 15. Bf4 Rb7 16. h3 Nc5 {although nothing was clear at this stage of the game Onischuk,A (2662)-Karjakin,S (2762) Baku 2015}) (12... c6 {ws also tested. After} 13. Ne5 Bb7 14. f4 Qc7 15. g4 Nb3 16. g5 Nd7 17. Nxd7 Qxd7 18. f5 exf5 19. Rxf5 Rbd8 {Black held the fort and went on to win in Santiago,Y (2335)-Mekhitarian,K (2487) Campinas 2011}) 13. Ne5 {Getting ready.} ({The central break was still possible} 13. d5 $5 { for example} exd5 14. e5 Ne8 15. e6 $5 fxe6 16. Bxa7 Ra8 17. Qxe6+ {with initiative.}) 13... a6 14. g4 {This is how White attacks in these positions. The important kingside defender is removed.} Ne8 {Inaccurate.} ({Wei could (should) have traded an attacking piece instead with} 14... Nd7 $5 15. f4 Nxe5 16. dxe5 Qc8) 15. d5 exd5 16. Nxd5 Nd6 (16... Bd6 $5 17. f4 {is compensation for White though playable.}) 17. g5 Bxd5 ({From a hindsight Black probably feels bad for not giving the material back with} 17... Bxg5 $5 18. Bxg5 Qxg5 19. Nd7 Rbe8 $1 {with the point} 20. Nxc7 Bxe4) 18. Rxd5 c6 ({Here} 18... Bxg5 19. Bxg5 Qxg5 {is bad due to} 20. Nc6) 19. Rdd1 Qc7 20. Qh5 {Sambuev achieved a lot in his kingside preparation and Wei has to be extremely careful.} g6 $2 { That is not careful enough!} ({One interesting idea was to trade some stuff with} 20... c3 21. bxc3 ({However} 21. Bf4 $1 {ruins Black's plans and gives White strong and probably decisive attack after} cxb2 ({Or} 21... Ndc4 22. Rd7 $1) 22. Rd3) 21... Ndc4) (20... Rfd8 {wuld be answered in a similar way} 21. Bf4 $1) ({The best defense is the computer move} 20... Rbd8 {when now} 21. Bf4 {is not as great due to} ({However} 21. Ng4 {keeps great attacking prospects for White.}) 21... Ndb7 $5) 21. Qh6 $1 {The queen looks angry here.} Nxe4 { Apparently, Wei was counting on this forcing continuation but it has a flaw.} ( 21... c5 {would be met with} 22. Bf4) ({The kingside weaknesses are obvious in the line} 21... Rfd8 22. Bf4 Bf8 23. Qh3 Bg7 24. Ng4) 22. Nd7 $1 (22. Bxe4 Qxe5 {would win for Black.}) 22... Nd6 ({After} 22... Rbd8 {White can win with either} 23. Bd4 ({or the immediate} 23. Bb6) 23... f6 24. Bb6) 23. Bh3 $1 { A great move! It is all about the attack. I suspect this is what Black missed. The bishop takes under control the vital f5 square.} (23. Nf6+ $2 {would be huge disappointment after} Bxf6 24. gxf6 Nf5 $1 {This is why the bishop came to h3 in the game!}) ({Black would be also fine after} 23. Nxf8 $6 Bxf8) 23... Rfd8 24. Rd4 $1 {There is no way out.} (24. Nf6+ {would have won material but would not be as good after} Bxf6 25. gxf6 Ne8 26. Bf4) (24. Rd4 {A possible finish would have been} Rxd7 25. Rh4 f5 26. Qxh7+ Kf8 27. Qxg6 Nf7 28. Rh7 { and White mates soon.}) 1-0 [Event "Tbilisi GEO"] [Site "Tbilisi GEO"] [Date "2017.09.06"] [Round "2.1"] [White "Fedoseev, Vladimir3"] [Black "Inarkiev, Ernesto"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B34"] [WhiteElo "2731"] [BlackElo "2702"] [PlyCount "73"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Be2 O-O 8. Nb3 d6 9. g4 a6 {Fedoseev didn't like this move and thought he was better after this.} (9... Be6 10. g5 Nd7 11. h4 Nb6 12. f4 Nc4 13. Bxc4 Bxc4 14. Qf3 Nb4 15. Rh2 Qc7 {Tomczak,J (2585)-Moranda,W (2588) Poland 2015}) 10. h4 $146 ( 10. g5 Nd7 11. Qd2 b5 12. h4 Bb7 13. h5 Rc8 14. f4 Na5 15. hxg6 hxg6 {Wu,C (2377)-Escalante Ramirez,B (2302) Khanty-Mansiysk 2016}) 10... b5 11. h5 b4 12. Nd5 e6 (12... Nxe4 $6 13. hxg6 fxg6 14. Qd3) 13. Nb6 Rb8 14. Nxc8 Qxc8 (14... Rxc8 $5 15. Bxa6 Rb8) 15. Qxd6 e5 16. O-O-O a5 17. hxg6 hxg6 18. g5 Rd8 19. Qc5 Nd7 20. Qd5 Nb6 21. Qb5 Nd5 22. Qa4 {An important queen maneuver according to Fedoseev.} Nxe3 23. fxe3 Qc7 24. Bc4 Nd4 25. Nxa5 Ra8 26. exd4 Qxc4 27. Nxc4 Rxa4 28. dxe5 Re8 29. Kb1 Bxe5 30. Nb6 Ra7 31. Nd5 Kg7 32. Rh3 Ra4 33. Rdh1 Rd8 34. Rh7+ Kg8 35. Ne7+ Kf8 36. Nc6 Re8 37. Rh8+ 1-0 [Event "FIDE World Cup 2017"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.06"] [Round "2.1"] [White "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Grachev, Boris"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B29"] [WhiteElo "2804"] [BlackElo "2654"] [Annotator "TA"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 d5 4. e5 Nfd7 5. e6 (5. d4 e6 6. dxc5 Nc6 7. Bf4 Bxc5 8. Bd3 h6 9. Bg3 g5 10. h3 a6 11. Qd2 b5 12. a3 Bb7 13. O-O Qe7 14. Ne2 Rg8 15. c3 h5 16. Ned4 h4 17. Bh2 {1-0 (34) Mozharov,M (2555)-Najer,E (2646) Moscow 2014}) 5... fxe6 6. Bb5 {[#] Black must now prevent Ng5. B29: Sicilian: 2 Nf3 Nf6 (Nimzowitsch Variation)} Nc6 (6... a6 $142 7. Bxd7+ Bxd7) 7. O-O g6 $146 ({Find the theoretical novelty and annotate with similar games:} 7... Qc7 8. Re1 Nd4 9. Nxd4 cxd4 10. Ne2 e5 11. c3 Qb6 12. Qb3 {1-0 (22) Peuraniemi,P (2474)-Krasevec, A (2292) ICCF corr 2000}) 8. Qe2 {The position is equal.} Bg7 9. Qxe6 Nb6 (9... Nde5 $1 $11 {keeps the balance.} 10. Qxd5 Qxd5 11. Nxd5 Nxf3+ 12. gxf3 Kf7) 10. Bxc6+ $16 bxc6 11. Qxc6+ Bd7 12. Qxc5 d4 13. Ne4 (13. Nxd4 Rc8 $17) 13... Rc8 14. Qa3 O-O 15. d3 ({Wrong is} 15. Qxa7 $2 Bc6 $19) 15... h6 16. Re1 Kh7 (16... Rf7 $16 17. Bd2 (17. Qxa7 Ra8 $11) 17... Rxc2) 17. c4 ({ And not} 17. Qxa7 Rxf3 18. Bxh6 (18. gxf3 Ra8 $11) 18... Kxh6 $11) 17... dxc3 18. Nxc3 Bc6 19. Qxe7 ({White should play} 19. Rxe7 $18 Rc7 20. Rxc7 Qxc7 21. Ne4) 19... Bxf3 20. gxf3 Rc7 21. Qxd8 Rxd8 22. Bf4 Rf7 23. Be3 Bxc3 24. bxc3 Rxd3 25. Bd4 Nd5 26. Rad1 Rdxf3 27. c4 $36 {Black is under strong pressure.} Nb4 28. Rd2 R3f4 $2 (28... Rc7 $16 {keeps fighting.} 29. Re3 Rxe3 30. Bxe3 Kg7) 29. Re8 $18 g5 $2 (29... Rf8 30. Rxf8 Rxf8) 30. Be5 {White is clearly winning.} Rg4+ 31. Kf1 Nc6 32. Bb2 Rgf4 33. Rh8+ Kg6 34. Rd6+ Kf5 35. Rxc6 Kg4 {[#]} 36. h3+ $1 Kxh3 37. Rhxh6+ Kg4 38. Rhf6 Rb7 39. Be5 Kf3 40. Bxf4 {Precision: White = 68%, Black = 48%.} 1-0 [Event "FIDE World Cup 2017"] [Site "Tbilisi GEO"] [Date "2017.09.09"] [Round "3.1"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Bu, Xiangzhi"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C55"] [WhiteElo "2822"] [BlackElo "2710"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "74"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] 1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 Nc6 4. Nf3 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. Bb3 {Prophylaxis against 6...d5-d5.} ({In case of} 6. c3 d5 7. exd5 Nxd5 8. Re1 Bg4 {White can hardly go for the e5 pawn as if} 9. h3 Bh5 10. g4 Bg6 11. Nxe5 Nxe5 12. Rxe5 Nb6 $1 {Puts a question on the bishop on c4 and the pawn on d3.}) (6. Re1 { is the other prophylactical move.}) 6... d6 ({In comparison to the above-mentioned line} 6... d5 {is less effective. White goes} 7. exd5 Nxd5 8. Re1 (8. h3 {is a calmer way to play the position.}) 8... Bg4 9. h3 Bh5 10. g4 Bg6 11. Nxe5 Nxe5 12. Rxe5 {and his bishop and pawn on d3 are safe. True, Kasparov tried this as Black against Kramnik in Novgorod 1995, but Carlsen and Bu probably knew something more about the position.}) 7. c3 Be6 8. Re1 Qd7 9. Nbd2 Rab8 $146 {A novelty and a somewhat mysterious move, which prepares... d6-d5! The point is that after the trade on d5 Black often has problems with his e5 pawn. Bu wants to meet the Bb3-a4 idea with timely b7-b5, thus breaking the pin and safeguarding the pawn.} ({Previously only} 9... Rad8 {has been tested with slow positional battle after} 10. Nf1 h6 11. h3 a6 12. Ng3 Rfe8 ( 12... d5 $5) 13. a4 {Lorenzini,M (2482)-Vajda,L (2612) Istanbul 2012}) 10. Bc2 {A typical retreat to keep the tension.} d5 $5 {Here we go. Black sacrifices his central pawn like in the Marshall line of the Ruy Lopez.} 11. h3 {And the World Champion rejects the offer. With this move White covers the g4 spot and threatens Nf3-g5.} ({Apparently Carlsen disliked the black pieces getting too close to his king. After} 11. exd5 Bxd5 (11... Nxd5 {is also possible but a far inferior version of the game continuation for Black after} 12. Nxe5 Nxe5 13. Rxe5 Bd6 14. Re1) (11... Qxd5 12. Nc4 Nd7 13. Bb3 {looks awkward for Black. }) 12. Nxe5 (12. Nc4 $5) 12... Nxe5 13. Rxe5 Bd6 14. Re1 Ng4 {is probably the move that annoyed Carlsen, although} (14... Rfe8 {should give Black compensation for a pawn similar to the Marshall Gambit.}) 15. Nf1 {seems solid enough for White. Black however has compensation for a pawn after} Rbe8) (11. Ng5 Bg4 {gives nothing to White.}) 11... h6 (11... dxe4 {was also possible} 12. dxe4 h6 13. Qe2 {where White is a little better.}) 12. exd5 {Nor Carlsen snatches the pawn, but he misses an important detail.} Nxd5 13. Nxe5 Nxe5 14. Rxe5 Bd6 15. Re1 {This is inaccurate.} ({Trickier was} 15. Re4 $5 {when} Bxh3 { no longer works due to} ({Which means that Black has to search for compensation with} 15... Nf6 $5) ({Or} 15... f5) 16. gxh3 Qxh3 17. Nf3 Rbe8 18. Rh4 $1) 15... Bxh3 $1 {This detail! Black has either a guaranteed draw or a strong attack!} 16. gxh3 Qxh3 17. Nf1 {Carlsen decides to play for a win!} ({ A draw would be forced after} 17. Qf3 Bh2+ {is perpetual at once after} 18. Kh1 Bg3+ 19. Kg1 Rbe8 $5 {A winning attempt.} (19... Bh2+ {is perpetual at once after} 20. Kh1 Bg3+) 20. Re4 $1 ({Not} 20. Rxe8 $2 Rxe8 21. fxg3 Re3 {and Black wins.}) 20... Bh2+ {and perpetual.} ({Black cannot play for a win} 20... f5 $2 21. Qxg3)) 17... Rbe8 18. d4 {An inaccuracy according to Bu. The idea is Bc2-e4-g2 to cover the king.} (18. Bb3 c6 19. d4 {might transpose into the game.}) ({The Chinese grandmaster suggested instead} 18. Bd2 {This is also the computer's suggestion which claims equality. A possible line runs:} g5 19. Rxe8 Rxe8 20. d4 c6 21. c4 Nf6 22. Be3 Ng4 23. Bf5 Bh2+ 24. Kh1 Bd6+ {with perpetual. Of course, this is just a fragment of the possibilities for both the sides, although it is clear that Black has all the fun.}) 18... f5 $1 { This not only stops White's intentions but prepares a rook lift along the sixth rank.} 19. Bb3 ({Another exciting computer line runs} 19. f4 Bxf4 20. Bb3 Bh2+ 21. Nxh2 Qg3+ 22. Kf1 Qh3+ 23. Kf2 (23. Kg1 Qg3+) 23... Qxh2+ 24. Kf1 Qh1+ {with perpetual.}) 19... c6 20. f4 ({It is too late for} 20. Bd2 {For example} Kh7 21. Re2 Rf6 22. Ng3 Rg6 23. Qf1 Qh5 {and Black's attack seems crushing.}) 20... Kh7 {Rf8-f6-g6 is in the air.} 21. Bxd5 $2 {Unsurprisingly, Carlsen got low on time and had to make difficult decisions with less and less resources.} (21. Re2 $1 {was best instead with the idea to get rid of the queens after} Nxf4 22. Rh2) 21... cxd5 22. Re3 ({If} 22. Re5 {both} g5 ({And the simple} 22... Bxe5 23. dxe5 g5 24. Qxd5 gxf4 {provide Black huge attack for free.})) 22... Rxe3 23. Bxe3 g5 $1 {Very powerful play by Bu! Perhaps Carlsen underestimated this move. Now besides the rook, the f-pawns enter the attack. And a pawn may tip the attacking balance in Black's favor!} ({White would have evacuated his king after} 23... Rf6 24. Kf2 Qh4+ 25. Ke2) 24. Kf2 ({Here is a line where the f-pawn speaks for itself:} 24. fxg5 f4 25. Bf2 ({Or} 25. Qc2+ Rf5 26. Bxf4 (26. Bf2 f3 $1 27. Bh4 hxg5) 26... Bxf4) 25... f3) 24... gxf4 25. Qf3 {The most resilient.} ({White is getting mated after} 25. Bd2 Qh4+ 26. Ke2 f3+ $1 {For example:} 27. Kxf3 Rg8 28. Qc2 Qg4+ 29. Kf2 Bg3+ 30. Nxg3 Qxg3+ 31. Ke2 Qg2+ 32. Kd1 Qf3+ 33. Kc1 Rg1+) 25... fxe3+ 26. Nxe3 Qh2+ 27. Kf1 {Black regained the pawn and is in fact up in material. He also kept a huge attack and is obviously winning.} Rg8 ({Black avoids any complications possible after } 27... Qxb2 28. Re1 Qxc3 29. Qxd5) ({Right after the game Bu thought that the text move was a mistake and he suggested} 27... Bf4 {or}) (27... Rf6 {but ... Rg8 is fine.}) 28. Qxf5+ Rg6 29. Ke1 {Missed by Bu.} (29. Re1 {would not help neither after} Kg7 30. Qd7+ Kh8 31. Qd8+ Rg8 32. Qf6+ Rg7 33. a3 (33. Nxd5 Qg2# ) 33... Kg8 34. Ng4 Qh3+) 29... h5 {Bu slips a step away from the win. With 20 minutes on the clock against seconds for his opponent the Chinese GM loses his calm.} (29... Kg7 $1 {would had won. The position is very complicated and there are plenty of checks but Black can escape those-} 30. Qd7+ Kh8 31. Qd8+ Kh7 32. Qd7+ Rg7 33. Qf5+ Kh8 34. Rc1 (34. Rd1 Rg1+ 35. Nf1 Bg3+ 36. Qf2 Qxf2#) (34. Qc8+ Rg8 35. Qf5 Rg1+ 36. Nf1 Qxb2) 34... Rg1+ 35. Nf1 Qxb2 {and Black wins.}) 30. Kd1 {Played with five seconds on the clock!} ({Carlsen missed a chance to complicate matters with} 30. Rd1 $1 {Bringing the rook into the game. } Kh6 31. Rd2 Rg1+ 32. Nf1 Qf4 33. Qe6+ Rg6 34. Qe8 {Black is still much better, but not certainly winning.}) 30... Kh6 {Now it is practically over. Black combines the advance of the h-passer with the attack against the enemy king to wrap the game up.} 31. Nc2 h4 32. Ne1 h3 ({Still avoiding the small fish} 32... Qxb2) 33. Nf3 Qg2 34. Ne1 Qg4+ 35. Qxg4 Rxg4 36. Nf3 Rg1+ $1 { A neat finish of a brilliant game!} 37. Nxg1 h2 0-1 [Event "Tbilisi GEO"] [Site "Tbilisi GEO"] [Date "2017.09.12"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C43"] [WhiteElo "2728"] [BlackElo "2772"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. Bd3 d5 5. Nxe5 Nd7 6. Nxd7 Bxd7 7. O-O Bd6 8. Qh5 ({This looks similar to the more often played} 8. c4 c6 9. cxd5 cxd5 10. Qh5 {e.g.} O-O 11. Qxd5 Bc6 12. Qh5 g6 13. Qh3 Bb4 14. Be3 Re8 15. Bxe4 Rxe4 { ½-½ Huebner,R (2599)-Jussupow,A (2636) Altenkirchen GER 1999}) (8. Nc3 { is also more popular than the text move.}) 8... Qf6 {A move that has been played by Kramnik, so Ivanchuk must have seen it before. Nonetheless he spent 38 minutes here on the clock.} (8... Nf6) 9. Be3 $5 {Only played once before.} (9. Qxd5 Bc6 10. Qc4 O-O-O 11. Be3 Rhe8 {and White's kingside looks vulnerable. }) ({Normal is} 9. Nc3 Qxd4 10. Be3 Qe5 11. Qxe5+ Bxe5 12. Nxd5 Nf6 13. Bf4 Bxf4 14. Rfe1+ Kf8 {as in Lu,S (2619)-Wang,Y (2718) China 2016}) 9... O-O-O $146 {After 34 minutes. Now we're on unique territory.} (9... Bf5 10. f3 g6 11. Qh6 Bf8 12. Qf4 Bd6 13. Qh6 Bf8 14. Qf4 {½-½ Iordachescu,V (2564)-Landa,K (2570) Reggio Emilia 2006}) 10. Nc3 ({Here engines don't see a big problem with } 10. Qxd5) 10... Nxc3 11. bxc3 Qe6 12. Rfe1 f6 13. Bd2 Qg8 14. Rab1 Kb8 15. h3 b6 16. Ba6 g5 17. Qf3 $2 {An unfortunate square. Maybe Ivanchuk made the typical mistake of playing the second move in a line he had planned?} ({ Better was} 17. c4 dxc4 {and only then} 18. Qf3 Bc8 19. Bxc8 Rxc8 20. a4 { when it's unclear.}) 17... g4 {Of course. Black opens lines towards the enemy king.} 18. hxg4 Bxg4 19. Qxf6 Rf8 20. Qh4 h5 $6 (20... Rf5 $1 {threatening 21. Rh5 was powerful. It's not easy to defend this for White, e.g.} 21. Be2 Bxe2 22. Rxe2 Qg6 {with a strong attack.}) 21. Bg5 Rh7 (21... Qg6 22. Bd3 Bf5 23. Bxf5 Qxf5 24. Re2 Kb7 {was still good for Black.}) 22. Re3 Bc8 23. Bxc8 Kxc8 24. Rbe1 Qg6 25. Be7 $1 Bxe7 26. Rxe7 Qxc2 27. Qg3 Rxe7 28. Rxe7 Qc1+ 29. Kh2 Qf4 30. f3 a5 31. Re5 Qf7 $6 (31... Qd2 32. Qg7 Rd8 33. Re7 Qxc3 34. f4 Rd6 { was equal.}) 32. Qh3+ Kb7 33. Rxh5 $6 (33. Qe6) 33... a4 $6 (33... Qf4+ 34. Qg3 Qd2 {And Black has the advantage again!}) 34. Rh7 Qf4+ $2 {But now it's not good.} (34... Qe8 {is fine.}) 35. Qg3 {The rook ending just wins for White.} a3 36. Qxf4 Rxf4 37. Re7 Rf6 38. Re3 Rh6+ 39. Kg1 Ka6 40. f4 c5 41. f5 1-0 [Event "Tbilisi GEO"] [Site "Tbilisi GEO"] [Date "2017.09.12"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C50"] [WhiteElo "2789"] [BlackElo "2783"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "112"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. c3 a6 7. a4 h6 8. Re1 O-O 9. h3 a5 {"I got surprised by Sasha's idea. It seems as Black is losing time, but it is important to stop the b2-b4 advance before going for Bc8-e6." (Vachier-Lagrave)} (9... Re8 10. Nbd2 Be6 11. Bxe6 Rxe6 12. b4 Ba7 13. Qc2 { Anand,V (2786)-So,W (2812) Leuven 2017}) ({Vachier-Lagrave already played in Tbilisi against the other possibility:} 9... Ba7 10. Nbd2 Ne7 ({Instead} 10... Be6 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12. b4 Qe8 13. Nf1 Nh5 14. Be3 {is what the big guys are discussing these days, Karjakin,S (2773) -So,W (2810) Saint Louis 2017}) 11. Bb3 Ng6 12. d4 Re8 13. a5 c6 $146 14. Bc2 Be6 15. Nf1 Qc7 16. Ng3 Rad8 17. Be3 Qb8 18. Qc1 Qc8 {which was already featured in our "Blunder of the Day." This move allows a very typical (for this line) sacrifice.} 19. Bxh6 $1 {and White soon won in Vachier-Lagrave,M (2804)-Khusenkhojaev,M (2455) Tbilisi FIDE World Cup 2017}) 10. Nbd2 Be6 11. Bb5 $146 {"I decided to try my luck in this opposite-colored bishop position." (Vachier-Lagrave)} ({Black is fine after} 11. Bxe6 fxe6 {followed by Qd8-e8-g6 and Nf6-h5-f4.}) 11... Na7 12. d4 Nxb5 { A must.} ({After} 12... exd4 13. cxd4 Bb4 {White will save the bishop with} 14. Bd3) 13. dxc5 Na7 14. b3 Re8 {Grischuk can be happy with the opening outcome. The position is approximately equal. Vachier-Lagrave now starts to squeeze something out of it.} 15. cxd6 Qxd6 16. Ba3 Qa6 {The queen is somewhat misplaced here but this is only temporary.} ({I really doubt that Black considered the computer's best choice} 16... c5) (16... Qd8 $6 {would allow} 17. Nxe5 Bxb3 ({Or} 17... Bxh3 18. Nxf7 $1 {with a tempo.}) 18. Qxb3 Rxe5 19. Rad1 {and White is clearly better.}) 17. b4 ({Here} 17. Nxe5 {is no longer good as after} Bxh3 18. Nxf7 Bg4 {as the knight is trapped.}) 17... axb4 18. cxb4 b5 19. Bb2 Nc6 {Brings the knight back into the battlefield.} ({Worse was } 19... Nd7 20. Nxe5 Nxe5 21. Bxe5 Nc6 22. axb5 Qxb5 23. Bxc7 {when White wins a pawn.}) 20. Nxe5 Nxb4 21. Re3 $5 {Playing for a win (or with fire). The rook is transferred for a kingside attack.} ({Objectively correct was} 21. axb5 Qxb5 22. Rxa8 Rxa8 {when everything disappears and the game should peter out in a draw.}) 21... bxa4 22. Rg3 Red8 $1 {Active prophylaxis against White's attacking intentions. Grischuk plays for a win despite the time deficit on his clock.} ({The passive prophylaxis} 22... Kh8 {would have allowed the queen shift} 23. Qf3 {and although the computer claims that Black's chances are somewhat higher after} Qd6 24. Ndc4 Qe7 {this is not a position which the human being wants to play. With the black pieces I mean.}) ({In case of the immediate} 22... Kh7 {White can change his mind and regain the pawn with} 23. Rga3) 23. Qf3 $1 {Nevertheless!} Kh7 (23... Rxd2 {is of course a blunder due to } 24. Qxf6) 24. Ndc4 {Going all in.} Nc2 {"I felt I should be lost here, although I could not see a clear win for him." (Vachier-Lagrave)} 25. Rxg7+ $1 {The long diagonal is cleared and the question is: can White break through?} ({ The moves cannot be transposed. If} 25. Nc6 {Grischuk may just defend with} Rg8 {leaving the majority of the white pieces hanging.}) 25... Kxg7 26. Nc6 $1 { Clears the long diagonal and keeps the black queen away.} Nd4 $1 {Grischuk blitzed this!} (26... Qxc6 $2 {would be a blunder. After the forcing} 27. Qxf6+ Kf8 28. Qh8+ Ke7 29. Bf6+ Kd7 {White has a choice of wins. The trivial one is} 30. Rd1+ ({But there is also the brilliant} 30. Ne5+ Kd6 31. Be7+ $1 Kxe7 32. Nxc6+ Kd7 33. Nxd8 Nxa1 34. Qd4+ $1 Kc8 35. Nxe6)) ({Another defensive idea was } 26... Rg8 {but after} 27. Qxf6+ Kh7 28. N4e5 {White has plenty of compensation for the exchange.}) 27. Nxd4 {The bishop should stay on the board. } (27. Bxd4 $2 {loses after} Rxd4 $1 28. Nxd4 Qxc4) 27... Bxc4 ({It is understandable that with less than two minutes on the clock Grischuk does not want to enter a line like this:} 27... Qxc4 28. Nc6 $1 Rg8 ({Suprisingly, the position is approximately balanced even after} 28... Qxc6 29. Qxf6+ Kf8 30. Qh8+ Ke7 31. Bf6+ Kd7 32. Rd1+ Kc8 33. Qxd8+ Kb7 34. Qd4 Bb3) 29. Ne7 Kh7 30. Nxg8 Nxg8 31. Qg3 {Here best is} Nf6 ({Instead} 31... f6 {allows} 32. Rc1 Qa2 33. Rxc7+ Bf7 34. e5 {with attack, which actually might also end in a draw after say} Re8 35. exf6 Qb1+ 36. Kh2 Qg6 37. Qf3) 32. Bxf6 Rg8 33. Qf3 Qb3 { and Black is a little better.}) ({In case of} 27... Rxd4 28. Bxd4 Bxc4 { White has a cute way to force a draw with} 29. Rxa4 $1 Qxa4 30. Qxf6+ Kf8 31. Bc5+ Kg8 32. Bd4 {and despite the extra rook Black cannot avoid the repetition. }) 28. e5 {Also played instantly. The computer does not approve it though.} ({ Instead it seems the fantastic resource:} 28. Nf5+ Kh7 29. Nxh6 $3 {With the key idea} Kxh6 $2 ({However Black does not have to accept the "gift" and can instead defend the knight with} 29... Rd6 $1 {Then after a possible} 30. e5 Qb5 31. exd6 Qxb2 32. Re1 Qd2 ({Or} 32... Kxh6 33. Qxa8 cxd6 34. Qxa4 {which is similar.}) 33. Rd1 Qxh6 34. Qxa8 cxd6 35. Qxa4 {the game should end in a draw.} ) 30. Bxf6 {and Black is helpless despite the free rook! For instance a move like} Qe6 {reveals the mating pattern that White can use:} ({Relatively best is } 30... Qd6 31. Qe3+ Kh7 32. Qg5 Qxf6 33. Qxf6 {although White should of course win here.}) 31. Qf4+ Kh7 32. Qh4+ Kg6 33. Qg5+ Kh7 34. Qg7#) 28... Rg8 { Bringing the rook into the defense and ambushing the white king.} ({However, this is not good enough for a win. The best move was:} 28... Nh7 29. e6 {Then} f6 $1 {with good winning chances. For example:} ({But not} 29... Bxe6 $2 30. Nxe6+ Kg8 31. Qg3+ Ng5 32. Nxd8 Rxd8 33. h4 {when White wins.}) 30. e7 ({Or} 30. Nf5+ Kh8 31. e7 Re8 {which might give White some practical chances.}) 30... Rg8 (30... Re8 31. Re1) 31. Re1 Qa5 32. Bc3 Qd5 {and Black was able to consolidate and should win the game.}) 29. Nf5+ ({Black's idea is revealed in the line} 29. exf6+ Kh7 30. Qe4+ Rg6 {and Black is better.}) 29... Kh7 (29... Kf8 $4 {would end the game abruptly after the "long" move} 30. Qa3+) ({There is another forcing and beautiful draw after} 29... Kh8 30. e6 $1 Qxe6 31. Nxh6 Bd5 (31... Rg6 32. Qxa8+) 32. Qxf6+ Qxf6 33. Bxf6+ Kh7 34. Nxg8 Rxg8 35. Rxa4 Rxg2+) 30. Ne7 Rab8 {Now it all ends peacefully!} ({The last winning attempt was} 30... Ne8 31. Nxg8 Kxg8 {True, in this case Black should be ready to place his king in font of a discovered check after} 32. Qg4+ Kh7 33. Qe4+ Kh8 34. e6+ f6 {Nothing is clear in this position yet, and still the impression is that White should have enough resources to keep the balance. Some lines:} 35. Bc3 $5 {With the idea} (35. e7 $5) ({Black defends after} 35. Qg6 Qxe6 36. Qxh6+ Kg8 37. Qg6+ Ng7) (35. Rc1 a3 36. Ba1 Bd3 37. Qf3 Kg8 38. Bxf6 Nxf6 39. Qxf6 Rf8 40. Qxh6 Qa5 41. Ra1 a2 42. e7 Re8 43. Qe6+ Kg7 44. Rxa2 {Just a fraction of all the possibilities for both the sides.}) 35... Rb8 36. Qg6 Qxe6 ({Or perpetual after} 36... Bxe6 37. Rxa4 Qxa4 38. Bxf6+ Nxf6 39. Qxf6+ Kh7 40. Qe7+ Kg6 41. Qxe6+ Kh7 ({Since} 41... Kh5 $4 42. Qf5+ Kh4 43. g3#) 42. Qe7+) 37. Re1 Be2 38. Qxh6+ Kg8 39. Qd2 {with probable draw.}) 31. exf6 Qb7 ({ The obvious capture} 31... Rxb2 $2 {loses after} 32. Qe4+ Kh8 (32... Rg6 33. Nxg6 Qxf6 (33... fxg6 34. Qe7+ {is mate.}) 34. Nf4+ Kh8 35. Qxc4) 33. Qh4 $3 Kh7 34. Nxg8 Kxg8 35. Qxh6) 32. Qxb7 Rxb7 33. Nxg8 (33. Rxa4 $6 Rd8) 33... Rxb2 34. Rxa4 Kxg8 35. Rxc4 Rb6 36. Rxc7 Rxf6 {The smoke has cleared. White emerged up a pawn from the mess, but it is insufficient for a win as all the pawns are on the same flank.} 37. Rc5 Kg7 38. g4 Rf3 39. Kg2 Ra3 40. f3 Ra2+ 41. Kg3 Ra3 42. h4 Rb3 43. h5 Ra3 44. Kf4 Ra4+ 45. Kf5 Ra3 46. f4 Rf3 47. Rc6 Rf1 48. g5 hxg5 49. h6+ Kh7 50. Kxg5 Rg1+ 51. Kf5 Rh1 52. Ke5 Rxh6 53. Rxh6+ Kxh6 54. Kf6 Kh5 55. Kxf7 Kg4 56. Ke6 Kxf4 1/2-1/2 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.09.16"] [Round "33.3"] [White "Ding, Liren"] [Black "Rapport, Richard"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E18"] [WhiteElo "2771"] [BlackElo "2675"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:49:26"] [BlackClock "0:30:32"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 {The Queen's Indian was to be expected in this game.} 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Ne4 8. Bd2 Bf6 9. Re1 {"I prepared very well for this game. Up to here was preparation." (Ding)} ({ White can also save the bishop} 9. Be1 d5 10. Qc2 Nxc3 11. Bxc3 Nd7 12. cxd5 exd5 13. b4 c5 14. dxc5 bxc5 15. Bxf6 Qxf6 16. Bh3 {as in Vitiugov,N (2724) -Inarkiev,E (2723) Moscow 2017}) 9... a6 $146 {"Very strange move" (Ding)} ({ The only predecessor saw:} 9... d5 10. cxd5 exd5 11. Rc1 Nd7 12. Qc2 Re8 13. Bf4 Nxc3 14. bxc3 c5 15. dxc5 Nxc5 {Black could hardly complain here, but we do not know what did Ding prepare in this line Adamski,J (2415)-Kruszynski,W (2285) Polanica Zdroj 1979}) (9... Nxd2 {was the alternative} 10. Qxd2 d6) 10. Ne5 ({"I realized he wants something like"} 10. Qc2 Nxd2 11. Qxd2 d6 {"and decided not to play that slow" (Ding)}) 10... Nxc3 (10... Nd6 {looks too passive after} 11. Bxb7 Nxb7 12. Bf4) 11. Bxc3 Bxg2 12. Kxg2 d6 {"After this move, his position is very passive." (Ding)} ({"Black should have played"} 12... c5 {(Ding)}) 13. Ng4 Be7 (13... Nd7 14. e4 {is better for White.}) 14. e4 b5 $1 {Rapport is trying to put up a good fight on the light squares. This is the only way to challenge White's center.} (14... d5 {is just bad due to} 15. exd5 exd5 16. Qf3 c6 17. cxd5 cxd5 18. Ne3) 15. Qe2 bxc4 16. d5 {Making sure that Black will have problems with the c7 pawn.} (16. Qxc4 Nd7 {is also good for White, but not as good as in the game.}) 16... Qc8 {This allows the next powerful move.} (16... e5 {is horrible from a positional point of view} 17. Qxc4) 17. e5 $1 {Not the first time the Chinese GM carries out a central break} exd5 (17... dxe5 {simply loses to} 18. Qxe5 f6 19. Qxe6+) ({Perhaps} 17... Qb7 18. Rad1 Nd7 {was the most tenacious. Although White has} 19. Kg1 $1 {and if} Nc5 20. Nf6+ $1 {with a strong attack.}) 18. exd6 cxd6 {The only move.} ({ Both players probably saw the amazing line:} 18... Bxd6 19. Qf3 c6 20. Nh6+ $1 Kh8 (20... gxh6 21. Qf6 {is inevitable mate.}) 21. Qf6 $3 gxf6 22. Bxf6#) 19. Qxe7 {Once again White threatens Ng4-h6+!} d4 ({If} 19... Qxg4 {then White will first kick away the black queen and only then trap the rook.} 20. f3 (20. Qb7 {is not the way to do it after} Nd7 21. f3 Qf5 22. g4 Qc2+ {Black is fine.} ) 20... Qf5 (20... Qc8 21. Qg5 f6 22. Qxd5+ {picks up the a8 rook.}) 21. g4 $1 Qc2+ 22. Re2 Qg6 23. Qb7) 20. Qe4 (20. Bxd4 {was more accurate with a large advantage for White after} Qxg4 21. Qxd6 Nc6 22. Bc3 $1 {White has the better minor piece and less pawn islands.}) 20... Qc6 $1 {A nice tactical resource from Rapport. "I missed this move. I thought I am winning instantly. Fortunately, it was still much better for me." (Ding)} (20... Nc6 21. Bxd4 { is simply an extra piece for White.}) 21. Bxd4 ({White's problem is that after } 21. Qxc6 Nxc6 22. Bd2 f5 {his knight would be trapped.}) 21... f5 22. Qxc6 Nxc6 23. Ne3 (23. Rac1 $5 fxg4 24. Rxc4 {is also a big advantage for White.}) 23... Nxd4 24. Rad1 {At the end of the day, Rapport regained the piece, but his pawn army makes an ugly impression.} f4 {Best again.} ({Passive defense cannot save Black.} 24... Nb5 25. Nxc4 Rad8 26. a4) (24... Nc6 25. Nxc4 d5 26. Rxd5 Nb4 27. Rd7 $1 {should be winning as well for the first player.}) 25. Rxd4 fxe3 26. Rxe3 Rab8 27. Re2 c3 ({Or} 27... d5 28. Rxd5) 28. bxc3 Rb6 29. Rb4 $1 {White is not only a pawn ahead, but he also has more active rooks and after this move-better pawns. The outcome of game is more or less determined.} Rxb4 ( {Forced as} 29... Rc6 30. Re7 Rf7 31. Rb8+ Rf8 32. Rbb7 {lets the fat piggies in the garden.}) 30. cxb4 Rb8 31. Rb2 {The rest is easy. Ding activates everything that he has and starts pushing his outside passer.} Kf7 32. Kf3 Ke6 33. Ke4 d5+ 34. Kd3 Kd6 35. a4 Rb7 36. f4 h5 37. b5 axb5 38. axb5 Kc5 39. Rc2+ $1 {A nice final touch.} Kxb5 (39... Kb6 {does not help neither} 40. Kd4 Rd7 41. Rc5) 40. Kd4 ({The pawn endgame was also won by force.} 40. Rb2+ Kc6 41. Rxb7 Kxb7 42. Kd4 Kc6 43. f5 Kd6 44. h3 Kc6 45. g4 hxg4 46. hxg4 Kd6 47. g5 Kc6 48. f6 gxf6 49. g6) 40... Rf7 41. Kxd5 {Rapport resigned as his king is too far away to help the pawns.} 1-0 [Event "Tbilisi GEO"] [Site "Tbilisi GEO"] [Date "2017.09.19"] [Round "6.1"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Ding, Liren"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C50"] [WhiteElo "2810"] [BlackElo "2777"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "94"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 {The Italian game is extremely popular in Tbilisi.} ({The last time these players met it was the Spanish game:} 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. Nbd2 Nc5 10. c3 Be7 11. Bc2 d4 12. Nxd4 Nxd4 13. cxd4 Qxd4 14. Nf3 Qxd1 15. Rxd1 O-O 16. Be3 {and a draw many moves later, So,W (2775)-Ding,L (2778) Shanghai 2016}) 3... Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 d6 6. O-O O-O 7. Re1 a5 ({So has some negative experience after} 7... a6 8. Bb3 Re8 9. h3 h6 10. Nbd2 Be6 11. Nf1 Bxb3 12. Qxb3 d5 {So,W (2812)-Carlsen, M (2832) Paris 2017. But who does not against this opponent?} 13. Be3 Bf8 14. Rad1 Na5 15. Qc2 c5 {So,W (2812)-Carlsen,M (2832) Paris 2017}) 8. Nbd2 Be6 9. Bb5 Qb8 $146 {A nice novelty. The queen comes out "a la Rubinstein."} ({ Previously} 9... Na7 {was tried} 10. Ba4 b5 11. d4 Bb6 12. Bc2 c6 13. a4 { Mayer,J (2057) -Pripoae,N (2343) corr. 2003}) 10. Nf1 Qa7 {The point behind Ding's play. The queen is active on the a7-g1 diagonal.} 11. Be3 Bxe3 12. Nxe3 Ne7 {Ding can be happy with his opening novelty. He managed to equalize.} 13. a4 ({Or} 13. Ba4 Ng6) 13... Ng6 14. Bc4 Bxc4 {"Ding offered a draw here. But I wanted to play a few more moves." (So)} 15. Nxc4 Qa6 16. g3 {To restrict the black knights.} Rfe8 17. Qb3 $1 {So is famous for squeezing chances literally from every single position. The queen trade is the best way to get something out of the position.} Nf8 18. Qb5 Qxb5 $6 {An inaccuracy.} ({Ding would have avoided many unpleasant moments if he had not traded the queens himself.} 18... Ne6 {For example} 19. Qxa6 Rxa6 20. b4 b6 21. bxa5 bxa5 22. Reb1 Nd7 {with equality.}) 19. axb5 b6 20. Ra3 {Now it is better for White. He has extra space and can mount pressure along the half-open file.} Ne6 21. Ne3 ({In case of the immediate} 21. Rea1 {Black can defend with} Nc5 {For example} (21... Rad8 $5) 22. b4 Nxd3 23. Nfd2 (23. bxa5 bxa5 24. Nfd2 Nc5) 23... Rab8 24. bxa5 bxa5 25. Rxa5 d5) 21... Nc5 22. c4 a4 23. Rea1 {I believe So should have tried to keep both knights alive.} ({In the line} 23. Nd2 g6 ({The queenside knight cannot leave his stand} 23... Ne6 24. Rea1 $1) ({Neither can the kingside one leave:} 23... Nfd7 24. Nd5 $1) ({If} 23... Kf8 $5 24. Rea1 Ra5 25. Nc2 (25. Kf1 $5) 25... Ng8 26. f3 {the play will be similar.}) 24. Rea1 Rac8 {White has a clear plan of taking the a-pawn. First he bring the king closer to defend his d3 one.} 25. Kf1 Kg7 26. Ke2 Ng8 {Next he sends the e3-knight to attack the a3 pawn.} 27. Nd5 f5 28. Nc3 {The knight on d2 would be the watchdog in these lines, not letting the black one jump on b3. Black's task would have been extremely difficult.}) 23... Nb3 $1 ({If} 23... Ra5 {the above-mentioned plan will work after} 24. Nd2 Kf8 25. Kf1 $5 Ke7 26. Ke2 Kd7 27. b4 axb3 28. Rxa5 bxa5 29. Rxa5 b2 30. Ra3 {and the b2 pawn is doomed.}) 24. Rd1 Rec8 25. Nd2 Nxd2 26. Rxd2 {It is still very unpleasant for Black, but not as much as with all the knights on the board.} Nd7 27. Rd1 Nc5 28. Nd5 Kf8 29. f4 {The wonderful knight on d5 supports the kingside expansion too.} ({Please note that in case of} 29. Rda1 Ra5 $1 {is mandatory} ({As} 29... Nb3 $2 {allows the cute trick} 30. Nxc7 $1)) 29... Ra5 ({Once again, the trick can be seen after} 29... f6 30. Rda1 Nb3 31. Nxc7 $1) 30. Nb4 Raa8 ({Here} 30... f6 {was possible, for example} 31. Nc6 Raa8 32. Kf2 Ke8 33. Ke3 Kd7) 31. Kf2 Ke8 32. Ke3 f6 33. f5 Kd7 $1 {"Very wise decision to keep his queenside pawns defended." (So) We have already seen what might happen on the c7 square if Black is not careful.} 34. g4 Rh8 35. h4 h6 $1 {Ding needs an open file on his own.} 36. Nd5 {Since both players are short of time, So does not hurry to force things yet.} ({ Indeed} 36. Rg1 Kc8 37. g5 hxg5 38. hxg5 Rh3+ 39. Kd2 Kb7 {yields White nothing.}) 36... Ra5 ({Black always has to watch out for the b-pawn advance.} 36... Kc8 37. b4 $1 Nb3 38. Nc3) 37. Rg1 Kc8 38. g5 {Now he decided to force it. More practical would have been to wait for two more moves and only then to decide when to open up.} (38. Ne7+ Kb7 39. Ng6 Re8 40. g5 h5 $1 {would have sealed the kingside (and the draw).}) 38... hxg5 39. hxg5 Rh3+ 40. Kd2 Nb3+ 41. Kc3 {So, So did take the practical decision not to pull the you-know-who by the tail and to get the half point.} ({So believed no. He saw the following lines:} 41. Rxb3 axb3 42. gxf6 gxf6 43. Rg7 {"Unfortunately Black has counter-attack here"} ({"If I play a passive move like"} 43. Kc3 Rh7 44. Nxf6 Rf7 45. Nd5 {"I would win also the b3 pawn, but it will be a draw as the b-pawns are doubled". (So)}) 43... Rh2+ 44. Kc3 Ra2 45. Rxc7+ Kb8 ({However, So's intuition did not fail him. After the correct} 45... Kd8 $1 46. Rc6 Raxb2 ({But not with the other rook, as White will get an additional chance to sacrifice his knight for the b2-pawn. For example} 46... Rhxb2 47. Rxd6+ Ke8 48. Re6+ Kf7 49. Rxf6+ Kg7 50. Rg6+ Kf7 51. Rxb6 Rb1 52. Rb7+ Kf8 53. Rb8+ Kg7 54. b6 b2 55. Kb3 Rc1 56. Nc3 b1=Q+ 57. Nxb1 Rxb1+ 58. Kxa2 {and White wins.}) 47. Rxd6+ Ke8 $1 {Yes, at this direction, away from the white king!} 48. Re6+ Kf7 49. Rxf6+ Kg7 {The game should end in a draw. Here is a sample line:} 50. Rxb6 Rb1 51. Kb4 b2 52. Rg6+ Kf7 53. Rf6+ Kg7 54. Rg6+ {Black cannot deviate from it:} Kh8 $4 ({Or} 54... Kf8 55. Rf6+ Ke8 56. Re6+ Kd7 57. Re7+ Kd8 58. Rg7 Rc1 59. Rg8+ Kd7 60. Rg7+ Ke8 61. Nc7+ Kd8 62. Ne6+ {with another perpetual check.}) 55. Nf6) 46. Rc6 Raxb2 47. Rxb6+ Kc8 {"which should be enough for a draw." (So) Actually, in this final position White has a fantastic win:} 48. Rxd6 Rb1 ({Or} 48... Rhc2+ 49. Kb4 Rb1 50. Kc5 $3 b2 51. Kb6 $1 {and White mates.}) 49. Kb4 $3 {Once again this move.} b2 50. Nb6+ Kc7 51. Rd7+ Kxb6 ({Or } 51... Kb8 52. Kc5 Ra1 53. Kc6 {and Black is getting checkmated again.}) 52. c5# $1) 41... Nd4 42. gxf6 Rh2 43. Nxb6+ (43. fxg7 $4 {would allow a study-like mate} Rc2+ 44. Kb4 c5+ 45. bxc6 Nxc6#) 43... cxb6 44. fxg7 Rc2+ 45. Kb4 Rxb2+ 46. Kc3 Rc2+ 47. Kb4 Rb2+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "Tbilisi GEO"] [Site "Tbilisi GEO"] [Date "2017.09.20"] [Round "6.2"] [White "Ding, Liren"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2810"] [BlackElo "2777"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "116"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [WhiteClock "0:21:30"] [BlackClock "0:25:28"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Be7 5. Nf3 {After the difficult defense yesterday Ding wants to play for a win without much risk. The Catalan is the perfect weapon for his intentions.} O-O 6. b3 {A rare move.} b6 ({Granda Zuniga solved the opening problems differently:} 6... dxc4 7. bxc4 c5 8. O-O cxd4 9. Nxd4 Nfd7 10. Bb2 a6 11. Nc3 Qc7 12. Rc1 Nc5 13. e3 Nc6 14. Qe2 Bd7 15. Ne4 Na4 16. Ba1 e5 17. Nb5 axb5 18. cxb5 {1/2-1/2 (18) Iturrizaga Bonelli,E (2614)-Granda Zuniga,J (2639) Pamplona 2010}) 7. O-O Bb7 8. Nc3 Nbd7 9. Bb2 c5 10. Ne1 $1 $146 {A fighting novelty. The Catalan is known for the long diagonal, so why not use it?} ({Compare this to} 10. cxd5 Nxd5 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12. dxc5 Nxc5 13. Rc1 Bf6 14. Bxf6 Qxf6 15. Qd4 Qe7 16. Qe3 Qb7 17. Rfd1 Rac8 18. Ne1 {1/2-1/2 (18) Hernandez Guerrero,G (2506)-Gonzalez Zamora,J (2502) Mexico City 2016}) 10... cxd4 {So, on his turn, uses the moment when the white knight is gone.} 11. Qxd4 Bc5 {Tempting, but it does not equalize.} ({The computer suggests} 11... Nc5 {instead, although the position arising after} 12. cxd5 exd5 13. Rd1 {is not everyone's cup of tea. The isolani might become a weakness in the long run and the white knight from e1 can be transferred to f4 to prove that.}) 12. Qf4 Bb4 {In order to ease the pressure against the d5 spot.} 13. Nd3 Bxc3 14. Bxc3 Qc8 {This was So's idea. The exchanges on the long diagonal are inevitable but Ding finds a way to keep the pressure.} 15. Rfc1 $1 dxc4 16. Bxf6 Nxf6 17. Rxc4 Qb8 18. Qxb8 Rfxb8 19. Ne5 Bxg2 20. Kxg2 Ne8 21. Nc6 {"I got the dream Catalan position" said the Chinese GM. Indeed, the knight on c6 is a monster (first proven by Botvinnik) and thanks to it White has good control of both the open files.} Rb7 22. Rd1 Kf8 23. e4 { The pieces look awesome, so it is time to improve the pawns.} (23. b4 $5) 23... Nf6 24. f4 b5 $1 {So opens some air for his rooks.} 25. Rcd4 g6 26. Ne5 ({ The trades will relieve Black's position:} 26. Rd8+ Rxd8 27. Rxd8+ Kg7) (26. Kf3 $5 {with the idea to advance the g-pawn deserved attention though.}) 26... h6 $6 {Any pawn push is a potential weakness.} (26... Rc7 {was simpler and better instead.}) ({Or even} 26... Rc8 {although this seems less precise after} 27. Rd8+ Rxd8 28. Rxd8+ Kg7 29. Kf3 {with a somewhat better position for White. }) 27. Rc1 Ke8 28. Kf3 Nd7 29. Nd3 $1 {The knight is stepping on the black rooks' toes, so White keeps it.} a5 30. Rc6 {Both players were running low on time and White decided not to force matters.} (30. f5 $5 {to create a second weakness deserved attention, to which Black would have probably defended with} exf5 31. exf5 Ra6) 30... Ke7 31. a3 ({Once again} 31. f5 $1 {deserved serious attention. Moreover, Black would lack the above-mentioned Ra8-a6 resource now. After} exf5 32. exf5 gxf5 (32... Nf8 33. Nc5 $1 {looks grim for Black.}) 33. Rd5 a4 34. b4 Rg8 $1 35. Rxf5 Rg6 {Black can possibly defend, but his position remains very unpleasant.}) 31... Raa7 32. Ke3 Nb8 $1 {"This came as a surprise for me." (Ding)} ({Most likely the Chinese GM expected} 32... Rc7 33. Rdd6 Rxc6 34. Rxc6 {with good control of the situation.}) 33. Rc8 Nd7 34. Rc6 ({In case of} 34. Rh8 {Black can even ignore that pawn and go for counter play of his own with} Rc7 $1 35. Rxh6 Rc3) 34... Nb8 35. Rc8 Nd7 36. Nc5 Nb6 $6 {The last critical moment of the game.} (36... Nxc5 37. Rxc5 b4 38. a4 Rc7 39. Rdc4 { was still unpleasant for Black but objectively much better than what happened in the game.}) 37. Rc6 ({"There is no mate after"} 37. Rh8 $1 Rc7 38. Rdd8 Rxc5 {(Ding). However, if we prolong the line a bit} 39. e5 f5 40. Rb8 Rc8 41. Rbxc8 Nxc8 42. Rxc8 {we shall see that White keeps a large advantage without any risk. Will he win this is another question, but it is definitely nice playing such positions. First, So may not defend it and Ding can advance into the next round outright. Second, even if Back defends it he will have to spend an enourmous supply of energy and nerves, which would matter for the rapid match tomorrow.}) 37... Rc7 $1 {The knight trade is definitely an achievement for Black.} 38. Rxb6 Rxc5 39. e5 g5 {Trading pawns is always good for the defender. } (39... a4 40. b4 Rc3+ 41. Rd3 Rb3 $1 {would have held the draw as well, as} 42. Rxb5 $4 {even loses to} Rd7 $1 43. Rxb3 axb3 {and suddenly the b-pawn will queen.}) 40. Rd3 gxf4+ 41. gxf4 Rc2 42. h3 Ra2 {The same trading policy.} 43. b4 axb4 44. axb4 Rh2 45. Ke4 Rc7 46. Rxb5 Rc4+ 47. Rd4 Rc7 $1 ({Much better than} 47... Rxd4+ 48. Kxd4 Rxh3 49. Rb7+ {when the b-pawn would cause Black headache.}) 48. Rc5 {The last winning try.} ({Or} 48. Ra5 Rc3 {with equality.}) 48... Rxc5 49. bxc5 Rc2 50. f5 exf5+ 51. Kxf5 Rxc5 52. Rd6 Rc1 53. Rxh6 Rf1+ 54. Ke4 f6 ({Checks from far away would also split the point.} 54... Re1+) 55. exf6+ Rxf6 56. Rxf6 Kxf6 57. h4 Kg6 58. h5+ Kxh5 1/2-1/2 [Event "Tbilisi GEO"] [Site "Tbilisi GEO"] [Date "2017.09.25"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Ding, Liren"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A13"] [WhiteElo "2802"] [BlackElo "2771"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 {Ding played his beloved Catalan yesterday and now it is Aronian to show his version of the things - the Reti way.} d5 4. Bg2 dxc4 5. Qa4+ Bd7 6. Qxc4 c5 7. Ne5 Qc8 8. Qd3 Nc6 9. Nxd7 Nxd7 ({The other capture is also playable} 9... Qxd7 10. Qxd7+ Kxd7 11. Nc3 Be7 12. b3 Rac8 13. Bb2 Rhd8 14. e3 Ke8 15. Ke2 b6 {although White can claim a slight advantage thanks to his bishop pair, Yu,Y (2744)-Wang,Y (2699) Huocheng County 2017}) 10. Qb3 $146 {A seemingly harmless novelty.} ({Grischuk managed to outplay Wojtaszek after} 10. Qb5 Nde5 11. f4 a6 12. Qa4 Nd7 13. Bxc6 bxc6 14. Na3 Nb6 15. Qe4 {Grischuk, A (2737)-Wojtaszek,R (2749) Doha 2016. Apparently both sides prepared this line heavily.}) 10... Be7 {Ding's play is very simple: finish the development, use the half-open d-file and the d4-outpost for his knight.} 11. Nc3 O-O 12. O-O Rd8 13. d3 {If the game opens somehow Aronian may try to use his bishop pair. But this never happens in the game.} Nb6 14. Be3 (14. Rd1 $4 {with the idea to prepare e2-e3 would not be nice after} Nd4) 14... Nd4 15. Bxd4 { White would love to keep the bishop alive, but the knigth is too great to stay in the center.} ({After} 15. Qd1 Qd7 {followed by Ra8-c8 Black is doing great.} ) 15... Rxd4 16. Rfc1 {Aronian tries to make use of the half-open c-file.} ({Or } 16. Rfd1 Qd7 {with equality.}) 16... Rd7 17. a4 {Attacking the only piece that is a bit exposed from Black's position. The pawn wants to run all the way to b7.} Qd8 18. a5 Nd5 {Now the other black knight is great.} 19. Nxd5 { For a moment at least.} exd5 20. d4 cxd4 21. Rc2 {The light-squared bishops are harbingers of the draw. Further exchanges lead the game towards the logical outcome.} g6 22. Bh3 Rc7 23. Rac1 Rxc2 24. Rxc2 b6 ({There is no need to complicate things with} 24... Qxa5 25. Qxb7 Re8 26. Rc7 d3 $1 27. exd3 Bc5 { which is also equal after say} 28. Bf1 (28. Rxf7 {is more exciting (and risky for White) after} Qe1+ 29. Bf1 Re7) 28... Rf8 29. b4 Qxb4 30. Qxb4 Bxb4 31. Rxa7) 25. Bg2 Rc8 {Returns the pawn but achieves the desired material balance.} 26. Rxc8 Qxc8 27. Bxd5 Qf5 28. Qc4 bxa5 29. b3 d3 {To free the bishop.} 30. exd3 Bd8 31. Qe4 {None of the sides can make real progress.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "IOM Open-Masters 2017"] [Site "Douglas"] [Date "2017.09.22"] [Round "1"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D36"] [WhiteElo "2799"] [BlackElo "2803"] [Annotator "Tiger"] [PlyCount "133"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. Qc2 (6. e3 Bf5 $1 (6... Be7 7. Bd3 {is a clear improvement on the main game (for White) as} h6 8. Bh4 Nbd7 9. Nge2 Nh5 10. Bxe7 Qxe7 11. Qd2 {is more dangerous for Black than it would be had White already committed the queen to c2.} Nb6 12. f3 $14 { Mamedyarov,S (2765)-Adams,M (2750) Sharjah Grand Prix 2017, can be found on the Chessbase homepage with my comments.}) 7. Qf3 Bg6 8. Bxf6 Qxf6 9. Qxf6 gxf6 10. Nf3 Nd7 11. Nh4 Be7 12. Ne2 Nb6 13. Ng3 Bb4+ 14. Kd1 Na4 $2 15. Ngf5 { lead to a nice win for White in Carlsen,M (2851)-Kramnik,V (2801) Stavanger 2016, a game that has been extensively commented on by Mihail Marin in CBM. Is if fair to believe that Kramnik had an improvement prepared here? I believe so. }) 6... h6 7. Bh4 Be7 8. e3 O-O ({I always thought the point of this line is to continue} 8... Nbd7 9. Bd3 Nh5 10. Bxe7 Qxe7 {aiming to meet 0-0-0 with 0-0-0, and after having played h6 it seems a bit dangerous to invite opposite side castling.}) 9. Bd3 Re8 10. Nge2 Nh5 (10... Ne4 $6 11. Bxe7 Qxe7 12. Bxe4 dxe4 13. Ng3 f5 {Horrible but necessary...} 14. O-O {and in Kuzubov,Y - Hayrapetyan,H Al Ain 2015, faced with the threat of f3, Black self-destructed with} Qg5 $6 (14... Na6 {is the better move here, when White has too keep up the pressure in order to gain some advantage:} 15. f3 $1 (15. a3 Nc7 16. f3 exf3 17. Rxf3 Rf8 18. Qf2 Be6 19. Re1 Rad8 20. Nxf5 Bxf5 21. Rxf5 Rxf5 22. Qxf5 Rxd4) 15... Nb4 16. Qd2 exf3 17. Rxf3 Be6 18. Re1 Rf8 19. a3 Nd5 20. Nxd5 cxd5 21. Ne2 g5 22. Nc1 $1 {and with the knight arriving at e5, White can look forward to the somewhat easier game.}) 15. Rae1 h5 {, allowing} 16. Qb3+ Be6 17. Qxb7 {with a winning advantage for White.}) 11. Bxe7 Qxe7 12. h3 (12. O-O Nd7 13. Rae1 Nf8 14. Nc1 Nf6 15. Nb3 Ne6 16. f3 a5 17. Na4 Qd8 18. Nbc5 Nf8 $1 {Both White's knights strive to occupy c5, so there is no need to exchange one of them.} 19. Qb3 $1 b5 $5 20. Nc3 Ne6 21. Nxe6 Bxe6 22. Qc2 (22. Rc1) 22... Qb6 23. Qf2 a4 24. Rc1 b4 25. Ne2 Ra5 26. h3 c5 $1 {was a high level instruction in how to play this line with Black, although White eventually won, in Nepomniachtchi,I (2750)-Kramnik,V (2810) Zurich Korchnoi CC Blitz 2017.}) 12... a5 {This move and the next is the start of a cat and mouse game, where Black is trying to give away as little information as possible, while discouraging White from castling long, whereas White is trying to set the stage for a good moment to do just that.} 13. a3 (13. g4 Nf6 14. Ng3 c5 $1 { as in Novotny,M (2219)-Konopka,M (2424) Zdar nad Sazavou 2007, showed the downside of evacuating the knight from e2.}) (13. O-O-O $6 b5 14. Kb1 Nf6 { leaves White quite discoordinated and vulnerable to Nb8-a6-b4.}) 13... Nd7 14. Na4 Qh4 15. g3 Qd8 16. g4 Nhf6 17. Ng3 {Black cannot play c5, so the knight can move.} Nf8 18. O-O-O {Ambitious.} b6 {Kramnik is looking for a way to get counterplay without leaving a weak square on c5. I completely symphatize with this.} (18... b5 $5 19. Nc5 N6d7 20. Kb1 Nxc5 21. Qxc5 {looks like a nightmare for Black, as the queenside will be blockaded. But looking at the whole board situation it is far from clear:} Qf6 $1 (21... b4 22. a4) 22. Rh2 b4 23. a4 Ba6 {and Black's counterplay is no slower than than White's.}) 19. Kb1 Bd7 20. Nf5 c5 $6 {This natural move is the right one, but the timing is wrong:} ({The engine suggests} 20... Rb8 {with "a small advantage" and it seems correct. The point is that it is hard to find a good move for White:} 21. Rhg1 (21. Ka1 { is again the engine, but if we accept that this move is the best, then indeed Rb8 must be an improvement.}) (21. Nc3 b5 22. Ne2 b4 23. a4 b3 $1 {With the idea of ...Rb4}) 21... c5 $1 22. dxc5 Bxa4 23. Qxa4 bxc5 {is a crucial attacking-tempo better for Black, compared to the game.}) 21. dxc5 Bxa4 22. Qxa4 bxc5 23. Bb5 (23. h4 c4 $1 24. Bxc4 Re4 25. g5 $1 N8d7 $1 {is messy. After } 26. gxf6 Rxc4 27. Ne7+ Kf8 28. Qb3 Rb8 29. Qd3 Nxf6 30. Nxd5 Rc5 31. Nf4 { the game is still unclear.}) 23... Re6 24. Qc2 Rb6 $5 {This allows Caruana to set the bishop on b5 in a cement foundation, but Black can deal with it.} ({ The only way to avoid this scenario is to play} 24... a4 $1 {and the only reason not to play this move is that one is afraid of} 25. Qxc5 {Perhaps Kramnik calculated that} Rc8 26. Qa7 (26. Qb4 Rb8 $36) 26... Ra8 27. Qc5 { is a draw!?}) 25. a4 $1 Ne6 26. h4 {White's attack hits first.} Nc7 27. Qxc5 $1 {This wins a pawn, but more important; the d4-square for the knight.} Nxb5 28. axb5 Qb8 $6 {This is the first mistake in the game. With the queen behind the rook the threat against b2 is not strong enough to distract White's forces from attacking:} (28... Rab8 $1 29. Ne7+ $1 (29. Nd4 Ne4 30. Qc2 Nd6 31. Ka1 Nxb5 32. Nc6 Qc7 33. Rc1 Re8 34. Rhd1 Re4 $132) 29... Kh8 30. Nc6 Qc8 $1 (30... Qc7 31. Qd4 R8b7 32. Nxa5 Rb8 33. Rc1 Qd7 34. Nc6 R8b7 35. g5 $40) 31. Qd4 R8b7 32. Nxa5 Rb8 33. Rc1 Qxg4 34. Qxg4 Nxg4 35. Nc6 R8b7 (35... Re8 36. f3 Nxe3 37. Rc5) 36. Nd4 Nxf2 37. Rc8+ Kh7 38. Rhc1 $14 {I'm not sure how to evaluate this position with precision. The doubled b-pawn is very dangerous, but Black will have counterplay.}) 29. g5 Rxb5 30. Qc2 Ne4 31. Ne7+ Kh8 32. Rxd5 $1 Rxd5 33. Nxd5 Qe5 34. Rd1 Rd8 35. Rd4 Rxd5 36. Rxe4 Rd1+ $1 37. Ka2 Qd5+ 38. Qc4 hxg5 ( 38... Kh7 {immediately, might have been strong, in order to leave the (weak-er) h4-pawn on the board.}) 39. hxg5 Kh7 40. Qxd5 Rxd5 $16 {I'm not sure about the details in the rest of the endgame, but it seems that Black had a tough job to defend it.} 41. f4 Kg6 42. Rd4 Rb5 43. Ka3 Kf5 44. b3 f6 45. Ka4 Rb7 46. Rc4 Ra7 (46... fxg5 47. Rc5+) 47. Rc5+ Ke4 48. Rxa5 {This looks like the losing move.} Re7 $2 ({Instead} 48... Rf7 49. g6 (49. gxf6 gxf6 50. b4 Kxe3 51. f5 Kd4 52. Rc5 Ra7+ 53. Kb3 Ra1 $11) 49... Rb7 50. f5 Kxe3 51. Rc5 Kd4 52. b4 Rb8 { leads to a position from where I see no way forward for White.} 53. Kb3 (53. Rc7 Ke5 54. Rxg7 Kxf5 55. b5 Kg5 56. Ka5 f5 57. b6 Kf6) 53... Rb7 54. Rc1 Ke5 55. Rf1 Rb8 56. Ka4 Ra8+ 57. Kb5 Rb8+ 58. Kc5 Rc8+) 49. gxf6 gxf6 50. Ra6 Kf5 ( 50... Rf7 51. Re6+ Kf5 52. Re8 Ra7+ 53. Kb4 Rb7+ 54. Kc3 Rc7+ 55. Kb2 Rb7 56. Rc8 Ke4 57. Rc3 {and it seems to me that Black is in a kind of zugzwang (although those with more time at their hands will have to find the truth about that).}) 51. Rd6 $18 Ra7+ 52. Kb5 Rb7+ 53. Kc4 Rc7+ 54. Kd4 Rb7 55. e4+ Kxf4 56. Rxf6+ Kg5 57. Rf5+ Kg4 58. Kc4 Re7 59. Rd5 Kf4 60. e5 $1 Kf5 61. b4 Ke6 62. b5 Ra7 63. b6 Rb7 64. Rb5 Kd7 65. Kd5 Kc8 66. e6 Kd8 67. Kc6 1-0 [Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.18"] [Round "6"] [White "Ding, Liren"] [Black "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2773"] [BlackElo "2795"] [Annotator "Ding Liren"] [PlyCount "104"] [EventDate "2017.05.12"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [SourceTitle "CBM 179"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceQuality "1"] {My games against Maxime are always interesting and highly complicated. This one is no exception.} 1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. O-O Nb6 7. Nc3 Be7 8. a3 O-O 9. b4 Re8 {All theory so far. With the text move Black deviates from the main line after 9...Be6, but I was well prepared since he had played this before.} 10. e3 $5 {An unusual move, but during the preparation I found it really deserved a try. The main idea is to control the d4-square, and threaten b5.} (10. d3 Bf8 11. Be3 Bg4 12. Bc5 Nd4 13. Nxd4 exd4 14. Ne4 c6 15. Bxf8 Rxf8 16. Nc5 Qe7 17. Re1 Nc8 18. Qd2 Rd8 19. Rac1 Nb6 20. Qf4 Be6 21. Qe5 Rac8 22. Nxe6 Qxe6 23. Qxe6 fxe6 24. Rc5 Nd5 25. e3 dxe3 26. fxe3 Rd6 27. d4 a6 28. Kf2 Re8 29. Rd1 Nf6 30. Bf3 Nd7 31. Rcc1 Rf8 32. Ke2 Kf7 33. a4 Ke7 34. Rc2 Nb6 35. b5 axb5 36. axb5 Nd5 37. bxc6 Rxc6 38. Rxc6 bxc6 39. Rc1 Kd6 40. Be4 h6 41. Rc2 Ra8 42. Kd2 Ra1 43. Rb2 Ra3 44. Bxd5 Kxd5 45. Rb7 g5 46. Rh7 Ke4 47. Rxh6 e5 48. Re6 Rd3+ 49. Kc2 Kxe3 50. Rxe5+ Kxd4 51. Rxg5 Rf3 52. Rh5 c5 53. Rh4+ Kd5 54. Kd2 c4 55. Rh5+ Kd4 56. Rh4+ Kd5 57. Rh8 Rd3+ 58. Kc2 Rf3 59. Rd8+ Kc5 60. Rc8+ Kb4 61. Rb8+ Kc5 {1/2-1/2 (61) Dubov,D (2660) -Vachier Lagrave,M (2804) Doha QAT 2016}) 10... a6 {The logical reply, since .. .a5 is no longer good.} 11. Qc2 Bg4 (11... Be6 {will be met by} 12. Rd1 { threatening d4.}) 12. Ne4 {Not only preparing Nc5, but also sets up a potential sacrifice.} f5 $1 {Accepting the challenge!} (12... Qd7 {is natural, but has a drawback:} 13. Nc5 Bxc5 14. bxc5 Nd5 15. Bb2 Rad8 16. d4 e4 17. Ne5 $1 Nxe5 18. dxe5 Bf3 19. Bxf3 exf3 20. Qe4 $14) 13. Nc5 e4 14. Ne1 Be2 15. d3 ( 15. Nxb7 {is possible, too:} Qd5 (15... Qd7 16. d3 Bxf1 17. Bxf1 $1 Rab8 18. Nc5 Bxc5 19. Qxc5 $1 $14) 16. d3 Bxf1 17. dxe4 Qc4 18. Bxf1 Qxc2 19. Nxc2 fxe4 $13) 15... Bxf1 16. Kxf1 Bxc5 17. bxc5 Nd7 $1 {A very strong move! Much better than the normal looking 17...Nd5.} (17... Nd5 18. dxe4 fxe4 19. Bxe4 Nf6 20. Bg2 $36) 18. dxe4 fxe4 (18... Qe7 $1 {is stronger. Not only attacking the c5-pawn, but also going for the exchange of queens:} 19. exf5 Qxc5 20. Bb2 (20. Qb3+ Kh8 21. Qxb7 Nde5) 20... Qxc2 21. Nxc2 Rad8 22. Bd5+ Kh8 23. Bxc6 bxc6 24. Nb4 Nc5 25. Rc1 Ne4 26. Bc3 {with approximate equality.}) 19. Bxe4 Qe7 (19... Nf6 20. Bg2 {transposes.}) {Here comes the first critical moment. I was about half an hour up on the clock, I believe White should be better, but the position was very hard to play. I spent about 50 mins on the next 3 moves, still couldn't find the best continuations. Maybe 21.Bb2 or 22.Ng2 is objectivly better.} 20. Bxh7+ Kh8 21. Bg6 (21. Rb1 $2 Nd4) (21. Bb2 Qxc5 22. Bc3 $1 Ne7 23. Rc1 Qc6 (23... Nf6 24. Bd3 Ned5 25. Bxf6 Qxc2 26. Bxg7+ Kxg7 27. Rxc2) 24. Kg1 Nd5 25. Ba1 Qxc2 26. Bxc2 c5 27. Nf3 b5 28. Rd1 $14) 21... Rf8 22. Rb1 (22. Ng2 Qxc5 23. Qe2 $1 Rf6 24. Nf4 Nf8 25. Bc2 Rh6 26. h4 $40) (22. Nd3 $4 Qf6) 22... Nxc5 (22... Nde5 23. Bh5) 23. Ng2 {This is the position I wanted. White keeps the queens on the board, the knight heads to the f4-square and I also have Rb4-Rh4 if possible.} Rad8 {Black must try to exchange the Bg6. } ({But the obvious} 23... Ne5 {is wrong:} 24. Rb4 $1) (23... Qd6 {is the right move:} 24. Nf4 Ne5 25. Bb2 Rxf4 26. Bxe5 Rxf2+ 27. Kxf2 Qxe5 28. Rb4 Rf8+ 29. Kg2 Ne6 30. Rh4+ Kg8 31. Bh7+ Kf7 $11) 24. Nf4 {Returning the favour.} ({ A better move is} 24. Bb2 Ne5 25. Nf4 $16) 24... Ne6 $1 {Now I can't keep the strong knight, although I get a pawn as compensation.} 25. Rxb7 Ne5 (25... Nxf4 {is called for.} 26. exf4 Qe6 $1 27. Bb2 Nd4 28. Bxd4 Rxd4 29. Rxc7 Qh3+ $1 ( 29... Rfd8 30. Qf5 $1 $16) (29... Qd5 30. Rc5 $1) 30. Ke2 (30. Kg1 $4 {even loses:} Rfd8 $19) 30... Qg4+ 31. Ke3 $1 Rd1 32. f3 (32. Rc5 Re1+ 33. Kd4 Re2) 32... Qe6+ 33. Be4 Rfd8 $13) 26. Bb2 {Again returning the favour.} ({After} 26. Be4 $1 {White is nearly winning, although I can't believe it... For example} Nc5 27. Rb4 Rxf4 (27... a5 28. Rb5 Nxe4 29. Qxe4) 28. exf4 Ned3 29. Qe2 Nxb4 30. Qh5+ Kg8 31. Bh7+ Kf8 32. Qf5+ Qf6 33. Qxc5+ Qe7 34. Qxe7+ Kxe7 35. Bb2) 26... Nf3 {Again he missed a good chance to equalise. It seems as if he wants to keep as many pieces on the board as possible. On the contrary, I didn't mind simplifying the position.} (26... Nxf4 27. exf4 Nxg6 28. Qxg6 Qd7 $1 29. Kg2 Qd5+ 30. f3 Rd7 $11) 27. Bh5 $1 {Finally seizing the chance.} Nxf4 28. gxf4 $1 (28. Bxf3 $2 Nd3 29. Rxc7 Rd7 30. Qc6 (30. Rxd7 Qxd7 31. Bd4 Qh3+ (31... Qf7 32. Qc6) 32. Kg1 Ne1 33. Bxg7+ Kxg7 34. Qc3+ Rf6 35. Be4 $11) 30... Rxf3 31. Qxf3 Rxc7 32. Qh5+ Kg8 33. Qd5+ Qf7 34. Qxd3 Qc4 $11) {Suddenly it seems White's pawn majority f4-e3-f2 is controlling important squares and files and I didn't see Black's counterplay...} 28... Rd2 29. Qc3 {One step in the wrong direction.} (29. Qc6 $1 {is simpler:} Rxb2 $8 30. Rxb2 Qxa3 31. Qc1 Qd3+ 32. Kg2 Nh4+ 33. Kh3 Nf5 34. Rd2 $18) 29... Nxh2+ 30. Kg1 {Spoiling the winning advantage!} (30. Ke1 $1 {is hard to play, at least I have to spot Black's resource after 30.Kg1...} Rd7 31. Qc6 Rfd8 32. Be2 Qh4 (32... Kg8 33. Ra7) 33. Rxc7 Rxc7 34. Qxc7 Rg8 35. Qd7 Qh7 36. f5 $18) 30... Rxf4 $3 {A great move. Both in appearance and actual value.} (30... Rd7 31. Qc6) (30... Rfd8 31. Qe5) 31. Qxg7+ $8 (31. Qxd2 $4 Qg5+ 32. Kh1 Qxh5 33. Qd8+ Kh7 34. exf4 Qh3) 31... Qxg7+ 32. Bxg7+ Kxg7 33. exf4 Kh6 34. Kxh2 (34. Be8 {To keep the bishop is another try.} Ng4 35. Ra7 $1 Nxf2 36. Rxa6+ Kg7 37. Kg2 Ne4+ 38. Kf3 Nd6 39. Bc6 Kf6 40. a4 Rc2 41. a5 Ke7 42. Bd5 Rc5 $14) 34... Kxh5 35. Rxc7 Kg4 $1 ({ Of course not} 35... Rxf2+ 36. Kg3 Ra2 37. Rc5+) 36. Kg2 Rd3 37. f3+ ({After the game, I thought 37.f5 was winning but missed 37...Kg5!} 37. f5 $5 Kg5 $8 ( 37... Kxf5 $2 38. Rc5+ Kf4 39. Ra5 Rd6 40. Ra4+ Kf5 41. Kg3 Rg6+ (41... Rd3+ 42. f3 Rd6 43. Ra5+) 42. Kf3 Rc6 43. Ra5+ $18) (37... Rxa3 $2 38. f6 Ra5 39. f7 Rf5 40. Rc4+ Kg5 41. Rc5) (37... Kh5 $2 38. Rh7+ Kg5 39. f6) 38. f6 Kg6 39. f7 Kg7 $11) 37... Kh5 {Made things much more complicated. With the pawn on f3 instead of f2 Black can take the f4-pawn.} (37... Kxf4 38. Rc4+ Kf5 39. Ra4 Rd6 40. Kg3 Rg6+ $1 41. Rg4 (41. Kf2 Rb6 42. Ke3 Rb3+) 41... Rxg4+ 42. fxg4+ Kg5 43. a4 a5 $11) 38. a4 (38. Rc5+ $1 {is the critical move. Black can barely get a draw with very accurate play.} Kh4 39. f5 (39. Ra5 Rd2+ 40. Kf1 Kg3 41. Ke1 Rd3 (41... Rd6 42. Ke2 Kxf4 43. Ra4+ Kf5 44. Ke3 Re6+ 45. Re4 Rb6 46. Rf4+ $1 $18) 42. Ke2 (42. Rxa6 Kxf4 (42... Rxf3) 43. Ke2 Re3+ 44. Kd2) 42... Rxf3 43. f5 (43. Rxa6 Rxf4 44. a4 Kg4 45. Ke3 Rf3+ 46. Ke4 Rf4+ 47. Ke5 Rf5+) 43... Kg4 44. Ra4+ Kg3 45. Rxa6 Rxf5 $11) 39... Rd2+ 40. Kf1 Kg3 41. Ke1 Rd3 (41... Rd6 42. Ke2 Kf4 43. f6 Re6+ 44. Kf2 Rxf6 45. Rc4+ Kf5 46. Ke3 Re6+ 47. Re4 Rb6 48. Rf4+ Ke5 49. Ra4 Rb3+ 50. Kf2 $18) 42. Ke2 Rxf3 43. Ra5 Kg4 44. Ra4+ Kg3 45. Rxa6 Rxf5 46. Ke3 Kg4 47. a4 Rf3+ $1 (47... Re5+ 48. Kd4 Kf5 49. Ra8 Re1 50. Rf8+ $18) (47... Kg5 48. Rb6) 48. Kd4 Rf4+ 49. Kd5 (49. Ke5 Rf5+ $1) 49... Kg5 $1 (49... Rf5+ 50. Kc4 Rf4+ 51. Kb5 Rf5+ 52. Kc6) 50. a5 Rf5+ 51. Kc6 Kh6 $1 ( 51... Kg6 52. Kb6) 52. Kb6 (52. Ra8 Kg7) 52... Rg5 53. Ra8 Rg6+ 54. Kc7 (54. Kc5 Rg5+ 55. Kd6) 54... Rg7+ 55. Kd6 Rg6+ 56. Ke7 Rg7+ 57. Kf6 Rg6+ 58. Kf5 Rg5+ 59. Kf4 Rb5 60. a6 Kg7 $11) 38... Rd4 39. Rc5+ Kh4 40. Kf2 Rxa4 41. Ke3 a5 42. Rg5 Ra3+ 43. Ke4 Ra4+ $1 {An important check. After that it's easy.} 44. Ke5 Rb4 45. Rg4+ Kh5 46. f5 Rb5+ 47. Ke6 Rb6+ 48. Ke7 Rb7+ 49. Ke6 Rb6+ 50. Kf7 Rb7+ 51. Kg8 Rb8+ 52. Kg7 Rb7+ {Draw agreed. Although there are many mistakes involved, I still think it's a good game and the most memorable one for me in the tournament. Since inaccuracy and mistakes in such a complicated position are inevitable. At least, not all draws here were boring.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Douglas ENG"] [Site "Douglas ENG"] [Date "2017.09.28"] [Round "6.6"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Sethuraman, S.P."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C82"] [WhiteElo "2794"] [BlackElo "2617"] [PlyCount "101"] [EventDate "2017.09.23"] {"I guess it's just a game but it hasn't happened for so long." - Anand on playing a compatriot.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. c3 ({Anand said he had seen the two games Sethuraman played before with the Open Spanish.} 9. Nbd2 Nc5 10. c3 Be7 11. Bc2 d4 12. Nb3 (12. cxd4 Nxd4 13. Nxd4 Qxd4 14. Nf3 Qxd1 15. Rxd1 O-O {Vachier Lagrave,M (2785)-Sethuraman,S (2639) Gibraltar 2016}) 12... d3 13. Nxc5 dxc2 14. Qxd8+ Rxd8 15. Nxe6 fxe6 16. Be3 Rd5 {Bacrot,E (2697)-Sethuraman,S (2639) Gibraltar 2016}) 9... Bc5 10. Qd3 O-O 11. Nbd2 f5 12. Bc2 Qd7 13. Nb3 Be7 { "Clever," said Anand about Black's last two moves. White has a theoretical position with the extra move Qd3, and "he's challenging me to do something useful with that move."} (13... Ba7 14. Be3 Bxe3 15. Qxe3 Nd8 16. Nc5 Qe7 17. Nxe6 Nxe6 18. Rad1 c6 19. Qb6 Qd7 20. Nd4 Nxd4 21. Qxd4 Ng5 22. Qh4 h6 23. f4 Ne4 {½-½ Pilnik,H-Euwe,M Buenos Aires 1947}) 14. Nbd4 Nxd4 15. cxd4 f4 (15... c5 16. dxc5 Bxc5 17. Be3 {"and my extra move actually means something."}) 16. Bd2 {"I think for the moment I am anticipating his threats." Anand said that Black is very comfortable here.} Bf5 17. Qb3 ({No need for} 17. Bxf4 Ng3 18. hxg3 Bxd3 19. Bxd3 {(Anand)}) 17... Be6 (17... Bg4 $2 18. Bxe4) (17... g5 18. Bb4 Bxb4 19. Qxb4 g4 20. Nh4 {Anand}) 18. Bb4 Bxb4 19. Qxb4 Bg4 20. Qb3 Kh8 21. Rfe1 Be6 {"It's quite sophisticated what he's doing but at the same time it gives a strange impression what he's doing with his bishop." (Anand)} 22. Rad1 c6 23. Bd3 Bg4 24. Bxe4 dxe4 25. Rxe4 Be6 26. Qc3 Qd5 ({Anand thought that after} 26... Bd5 27. Ree1 Rae8 {Black has full compensation.}) 27. Ree1 Qxa2 28. Qxc6 {Now "it's getting really challenging for him."} Bd5 29. Qd7 Rad8 30. Qh3 Rde8 31. Ng5 h6 32. Ne4 ({Anand started calculating} 32. e6 {but didn't see what to do after} Re7) 32... Qxb2 33. Nf6 Be6 34. Qh5 Bf7 35. Qh4 ({ Anand saw} 35. Qg4 gxf6 36. exf6 Rg8 37. Rxe8 Bxe8 38. Qxf4 {and he thought "game over" until he saw} Qc2) ({He also felt} 35. Qxf7 Rxf7 36. Nxe8 {might be winning.}) 35... Rd8 36. e6 Rxd4 37. Rb1 {Missed by Sethuraman, who was down to four minutes vs 10 for Anand.} Qa2 38. Ra1 Qb3 39. exf7 Qxf7 40. Ng4 ( 40. Ne4 {and 41.f3 is also good (Anand).}) 40... Qg6 41. Ne5 ({More accurate was} 41. Qe7 {(Anand)}) 41... Qd6 42. Nf3 {Because the clock doesn't give additional time Anand made not one but two extra moves to be sure he wasn't flagging here!} Rd5 43. Qe7 Qxe7 44. Rxe7 Rf6 45. h4 b4 46. Rb7 a5 47. Re1 Rf8 48. Ree7 {White's rook on b7 nicely controls both black pawns on the queenside. } Rg8 49. Kh2 Rdd8 50. Ne5 Kh7 51. Nd7 1-0 [Event "Douglas ENG"] [Site "Douglas ENG"] [Date "2017.09.28"] [Round "6.2"] [White "Emil Sutovsky"] [Black "Fabiano Caruana"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B18"] [WhiteElo "2683"] [BlackElo "2799"] [PlyCount "110"] [EventDate "2017.09.23"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 e6 8. Ne5 Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 Nd7 11. Bf4 Qa5+ 12. c3 Ngf6 13. O-O Be7 14. Nc4 Qd5 15. Ne3 Qb5 16. c4 Qa5 17. b4 $1 {Typical Sutovsky aggression!} Qd8 (17... Qxb4 18. Rfb1) (17... Bxb4 18. c5 $1 {and the Black pieces are bottled up, but the compensation is still very unclear.}) 18. d5 $1 Nf8 (18... cxd5 19. cxd5 Nf8 { is not a better version since White will use the c-file first.} 20. Rac1 exd5 21. Bc7 $1 Qd7 22. Be5 {and White will get his d-pawn back favorably.}) 19. h5 exd5 20. Nef5 Ne6 21. Be5 O-O 22. Nxh6+ $5 (22. Rad1 {slower buildup was also possible.}) 22... gxh6 23. Nf5 Ng7 (23... dxc4 $1 24. Nxh6+ Kg7 25. Nf5+ Kh7 { Naturally, the computer has no fear of walking onto the diagonal.} 26. Qb1 Qd3 {gives the piece back, but with advantage after} 27. Nxe7 Qxb1 28. Raxb1 Nd5) 24. Nxh6+ Kh8 25. Nf5 dxc4 26. Qf3 Qd3 27. Qxd3 cxd3 28. Nxe7 Nfxh5 29. g4 Rfe8 30. Rae1 Kh7 31. Bxg7 Kxg7 32. gxh5 Kf6 33. Re3 Rxe7 34. Rxd3 Re5 35. Rf3+ Ke6 36. Rh3 Rh8 37. h6 Rg5+ 38. Kh2 Rg6 39. Re1+ Kd7 40. Rd1+ Kc7 41. h7 Rg7 42. Rdd3 b5 43. Rdf3 Rgxh7 44. Rxh7 Rxh7+ 45. Kg3 Kb6 46. Rf6 Rh1 47. Rxf7 Rg1+ 48. Kh4 Ra1 49. f4 Rxa2 50. f5 a5 51. bxa5+ Rxa5 52. Rf8 b4 53. Kg4 Kc7 54. f6 Kd7 55. Rc8 Ke6 1/2-1/2 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.09.29"] [Round "7.2"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Jones, Gawain C B"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C78"] [WhiteElo "2799"] [BlackElo "2668"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:44:17"] [BlackClock "0:12:23"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 {"I noticed that Gawain started to play this recently and decided to check my old notes." (Caruana) However, the Archangelsk might not have been such a wise choice as Caruana has played it successfully as both colors.} 7. c3 d6 8. a4 Rb8 9. d4 Bb6 10. a5 ({Here is a recent example of Jones's play} 10. axb5 axb5 11. Qd3 Bd7 12. Be3 h6 13. dxe5 Nxe5 14. Nxe5 dxe5 15. Nd2 O-O 16. Rfe1 {1/2-1/2 (16) McShane,L (2644)-Jones,G (2660) Llandudno 2017}) 10... Ba7 11. h3 O-O ({ White won a very one-sided game after} 11... h6 12. Be3 Ra8 13. dxe5 Nxe5 14. Nxe5 dxe5 15. Qxd8+ Kxd8 16. Bxa7 Rxa7 17. Bxf7 Nxe4 18. Bg6 {Caruana,F (2827) -Lagno,K (2530) Caleta 2017}) 12. Be3 Ra8 13. Re1 h6 14. Nbd2 exd4 ({Here a successful holding example for Black-} 14... Re8 15. Nf1 exd4 16. cxd4 Rxe4 17. Ng3 Re7 18. Qd2 Qf8 19. Rec1 Bd7 {and the game later ended in a draw, Karjakin, S (2786)-Caruana,F (2772) Loo 2013}) 15. cxd4 Nb4 16. e5 $146 {Strictly speaking, a novelty. However, the American GM was well prepared for it. "Peter (Svidler) made a video on this line, but missed an important detail. I was very happy that he entered this line as it is extremely sharp." (Caruana)} ({ Caruana has checked this very recent game as well:} 16. d5 Bxe3 17. Rxe3 c5 18. dxc6 Nxc6 19. e5 Nxe5 20. Nxe5 dxe5 21. Rxe5 Ra7 {and Black had no problems at all, Grandelius,N (2644)-Jones,G (2660) Linares 2017}) 16... Nfd5 ({Weaker is: } 16... dxe5 17. dxe5 Nfd5 (17... Bxe3 18. exf6 Ba7 19. fxg7 {leaves the black king badly exposed.}) 18. Bxa7 Rxa7 {When the rook on a7 is concern. For example:} 19. Ne4 Nf4 20. Qc1 $1 Nbd3 ({Or} 20... Nfd3 21. Qe3 $1 Nxe1 22. Rxe1 Ra8 23. Nf6+ $1 {with decisive attack after} gxf6 24. Qxh6) 21. Qe3 Nxe1 22. Nxe1 $1 {hitting both the rook on a7 and the knight.}) 17. Ne4 Nxe3 ({Maybe} 17... Bb7 {at once is better, although White can re-think and save his bishop} 18. Bd2) 18. Rxe3 Bb7 19. e6 $1 (19. Rc1 Rc8 20. e6 {is Svidler's move order.}) 19... Nd5 {More or less forced.} ({White's attacking possibilities are demonstrated after} 19... fxe6 20. Nfg5 $1 hxg5 ({Or} 20... Bd5 21. Nxe6 Bxe6 22. Bxe6+ {with strong attack on the light squares.}) 21. Bxe6+ Rf7 (21... Kh7 22. Qh5#) 22. Qh5 {and White wins.}) ({On} 19... Bd5 {the same} 20. Neg5 $1 { is excellent for White, for example} Qf6 (20... hxg5 21. e7) 21. Bxd5 Nxd5 22. exf7+ Rxf7 23. Re6 Qf5 24. g4 Qf4 25. Re4 Qf6 26. Nxf7 {and wins.}) 20. exf7+ { "When I saw him hesitating I felt I might get my analysis at work. I understood that Black is trying to get into Svidler's analysis." (Caruana)} Kh8 21. Re1 Rxf7 22. Rc1 Rc8 ({Perhaps the lesser evil was} 22... Rf8 {although after} 23. g3 {with the idea Nf3-h4 White has strong attack on the light squares (Caruana)}) 23. Nfg5 $1 {Practically closing the line.} Rf5 $2 { "From here I was playing on my own."(Caruana) Not a bad place to start a game.. .} (23... hxg5 {is mate after} 24. Qh5+ Kg8 25. Nxg5 Qf6 26. Qh7+ Kf8 27. Qh8#) ({Svidler's recommendation ran} 23... Re7 24. Qg4 {And Caruana did not bluff. He had it all in his notebook. Now} Qd7 {is spectacularly refuted by} ({ Caruana also revealed why he entered the whole thing. Svidler missed that} 24... Qe8 {pinning the rook, can be refuted by prophylactical-attacking} 25. Kh2 $3 {with the main point being} Bxd4 ({If} 25... Rd8 {the nice maneuver} 26. Qf5 g6 27. Qg4 $1 {lead to decisive attack as to} hxg5 {both} 28. Bxd5 $1 ({Or } 28. Qxg5 $1 {should win for White.}) 28... Bxd5 29. Nf6 {leave the black king naked. You already noticed that in this line Black cannot capture on e1 with a check.}) 26. Bxd5 Bxd5 27. Nxd6 {and White wins as there is no Re7xe1+}) 25. Qxd7 Rxd7 26. Nxd6 $1 {winning at least the exchange-} Rxd6 (26... cxd6 27. Rxc8+ Bxc8 28. Re8#) 27. Nf7+ Kh7 28. Nxd6 cxd6 29. Rxc8 Bxc8 30. Bxd5 { and winning the game too.}) 24. Ne6 {It is a forced win, the black pieces are too vulnerable.} Qd7 ({The winning motifs occur over and over again-} 24... Qh4 25. Qg4 Qxg4 26. hxg4 Rf7 27. Bxd5 Bxd5 28. Nxd6 {(Caruana)}) 25. Qg4 Qf7 ({Or } 25... Qxe6 26. Ng3) 26. Rxc7 $1 ({Also good was} 26. Nxc7 $1 Rxc7 27. Rxc7 Qxc7 28. Qxf5) 26... Rxc7 27. Nxd6 {Again it is this squre, this knight and slightly different fork.} (27. Nxc7 {wins as well.}) 27... Rxf2 {Here White spent some time and came up with deeply calculated line to wrap the game up.} ( {If} 27... Qf6 28. Nxf5) 28. Nxc7 {Refusing to take the queen with a check!} ({ Caruana was afraid of the alternative kngiht fork after} 28. Nxf7+ Rcxf7 29. Nd8 (29. Qg3 {is what he considered, but apparently the game continuation is neater.}) 29... Rf1+ 30. Rxf1 Rxf1+ 31. Kxf1 Ne3+ {Still, White wins after} 32. Ke2 Nxg4 33. Nxb7 Nf6 34. Nc5) 28... Qf6 ({Or} 28... Qxc7 29. Re8+ Kh7 30. Qe4+ g6 31. Kxf2) 29. Nxd5 Qxd4 ({If} 29... Bxd5 30. Bxd5 Rf1+ 31. Rxf1 Bxd4+ 32. Kh2 Be5+ 33. g3 {"is the only winning move, but good enough" (Caruana)}) 30. Qxd4 Bxd4 31. Re4 Ba7 32. Nb6 (32. Nb6 {Black resigned as he will be down a whole piece after} Bxe4 33. Kxf2) 1-0 [Event "Douglas ENG"] [Site "Douglas ENG"] [Date "2017.09.29"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A07"] [WhiteElo "2827"] [BlackElo "2702"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2017.09.23"] {"There were no big mistakes. I think it was pretty accurate, the game." (Vidit)} 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. O-O e5 5. d3 Ne7 6. e4 {"I was out of my book here." (Vidit)} O-O 7. exd5 Nxd5 8. Re1 Nc6 9. Nc3 ({Vidit expected } 9. Nbd2) 9... Nde7 ({After} 9... Nxc3 10. bxc3 {Vidit said he might be struggling to develop Bc8.}) 10. Rb1 a5 11. b3 $5 {Another surprise for Vidit.} (11. a3 Nf5 (11... a4 $5 12. Re4 f5 13. Rxa4 Rxa4 14. Nxa4 f4 {Carlsen}) (11... Re8 {Vidit}) 12. b4 axb4 13. axb4 Nfd4 14. Nd2 Be6 15. b5 Na5 {Ding,L (2760) -Hammer,J (2628) Sharjah 2017}) 11... Re8 $146 (11... Nf5 12. Bb2 Nfd4 13. Nxd4 exd4 14. Nd5 Be6 15. Nf4 Bf5 16. Ba3 Re8 {Romm,M (2450)-Krzyzanowski,W (2411) corr. 2014}) 12. Bb2 Nf5 13. Nb5 (13. a4 $5 Nfd4 14. Nxd4 Nxd4 15. Nb5 {Carlsen } c6 {Vidit}) 13... a4 $1 {Otherwise Black will be worse (Vidit).} 14. c4 (14. d4 Ra5 $5 (14... e4 15. Ne5 e3 $5 {Carlsen}) 15. c4 e4 {Vidit}) 14... axb3 15. axb3 Nd6 $1 {"Black is fine." (Vidit)} 16. Ra1 (16. Nc3 Bf5 17. c5 $6 Nc8 { Vidit}) 16... Rxa1 17. Bxa1 (17. Qxa1 Nxb5 18. cxb5 Nb4 {Vidit}) 17... Nxb5 18. cxb5 Nd4 19. Bxd4 exd4 {Carlsen thought Black is slightly better here.} 20. Rxe8+ Qxe8 21. Qc1 Bd7 22. Qxc7 Bxb5 23. Bf1 Bc6 24. Qf4 ({Vidit expected} 24. Bg2) 24... Bxf3 (24... Qd8 $1 25. Bg2 $6 Qd5 26. Ne1 Qe6 $1 {Carlsen}) 25. Qxf3 Qc6 26. Qd1 b6 27. Bg2 Qe6 28. Bb7 Bf8 29. Qf3 Kg7 30. Qf4 Qf6 31. Qxf6+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.09.30"] [Round "8.1"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C78"] [WhiteElo "2799"] [BlackElo "2827"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "70"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 {A psychological challenge. Carlsen repeats the line that gave Caruana a full point without fight yesterday!} 7. c3 d6 8. a4 Rb8 9. d4 Bb6 10. a5 Ba7 11. h3 O-O 12. Be3 Ra8 13. Re1 h6 14. Nbd2 {This is what I wrote: "Here a successful holding example for Black"-} Re8 {"What I did was safer than what he (Gawain Jones yesterday) did." (Carlsen)} ({In case you forgot it, this is what happened yesterday:} 14... exd4 15. cxd4 Nb4 {[#]} 16. e5 $146 Nfd5 17. Ne4 Nxe3 18. Rxe3 Bb7 19. e6 $1 Nd5 20. exf7+ Kh8 21. Re1 Rxf7 22. Rc1 Rc8 23. Nfg5 $1 Rf5 $2 24. Ne6 {and White soon won, Caruana,F (2799)-Jones,G (2668) Chess.com Isle of Man International 2017 [Bojkov, Dejan]}) 15. g4 $146 {A novelty! "But still I did not feel safe after what he did...It is extremely dangerous (for Black)" (Carlsen)} ({The predecessor's game was the one of...Caruana, yes! It saw:} 15. Nf1 exd4 16. cxd4 Rxe4 17. Ng3 Re7 18. Qd2 Qf8 19. Rec1 Bd7 {and the game later ended in a draw, Karjakin, S (2786)-Caruana,F (2772) Loo 2013}) 15... Qe7 ({Caruana's intentions are revealed after say normal development with} 15... Bb7 16. g5 $1 hxg5 17. Nxg5 Re7 18. Ndf3 {followed by Nf3-h4-f5(g6) and then goal, match, game...}) 16. Nf1 ({Here} 16. g5 {will be met with} hxg5 17. Nxg5 Nd8 {(this is the primary reason why the queen moved.)}) 16... Nd8 {Regrouping for the defense and the counter-attack.} 17. Ng3 c5 {Strking in the center. Or else the flank attack might become fearsome.} ({Say something passive like} 17... c6 18. Qd2 Bd7 19. Bxh6 $5 gxh6 20. Qxh6 Nh7 21. Rad1 {and have fun analyzing this!}) 18. Qd2 ({The computer suggests to prevent Black's next with } 18. Bd5 $5 Nxd5 19. exd5 {with a pull, for example} cxd4 20. cxd4 e4 21. Bf4 {It is not about the pawn that White wins, but about how cramped black pieces are which secures him the advantage.}) 18... c4 {Carlsen felt good afte this move.} 19. Bc2 Nh7 {Caruana went into the thinking tank (more than 38 minutes). "Good thing rarely come form such lenghty thought" (Carlsen)} 20. b4 {Caruana decided to either close the queenside or bring the bishop back in busyness. He had a bunch of alternatives.} (20. Rad1 {does not impress after} Nc6) (20. Red1 $5 {to play in the center himself. For example} Qf6 21. Kg2 Ne6 22. Nf5 { and White seems somewhat better.}) ({From the above-mentioned line we see that } 20. Kg2 {could be quite useful, so that} Qf6 {does not come with tempo. Then} 21. b3 cxb3 22. Bxb3 Be6 23. dxe5 dxe5 24. Bd5 {looks good for White.}) 20... cxb3 {Of course. Otherwise White will have a pleasant one-sided-(kingside) play.} 21. Bxb3 Be6 22. Bc2 {Black's next moves are logical and obvious. "He must have missed a lot of things." (Carlsen)} ({Indeed. Both} 22. Nf5 Bxf5 23. gxf5 Rc8 24. Kh2) ({And} 22. Bd5 {were better alternatives which would have kept some edge for White.} Rc8 23. dxe5 dxe5 24. Nxe5 Bxe3 25. Rxe3) 22... Rc8 23. Bd3 Nb7 $1 {Usually this is quite a bad square in the Ruy Lopez but in the concrete example it hits the weak pawn on a5.} 24. Rec1 {Too passive.} ({ Perhaps White should have defended with} 24. Nf5 Qc7 25. Ra3 {with the idea} Nxa5 ({And if} 25... Bxf5 26. gxf5 Nxa5 27. Qa2) 26. Nxd6) 24... Qd8 25. Qb2 ({ Here} 25. Nf5 {is not as effective as in the line from above due to} Bxf5 26. gxf5 Nxa5 27. Qa2 exd4 ({Or} 27... Bb6) 28. cxd4 Rxc1+ 29. Bxc1 Nc6 {and Black takes over the initiative. But maybe this was the lesser evil for Caruana.}) 25... Nxa5 {Carlsen won a pawn and the frustrated Caruana quickly loses.} 26. Nd2 d5 $1 {The white pieces had left the center and the central break is still a great opportunity.} (26... Ng5 $1 {was not bad neither.}) 27. Re1 (27. dxe5 Bxe3 28. fxe3 {is a nightmare of course.}) ({As well as} 27. exd5 Bxd5) 27... Bb8 28. exd5 Bxd5 29. Bf5 Rc6 {Black does not need to force anything.} (29... exd4 {was also good with the nice tactical line} 30. Bxd4 Rxe1+ 31. Rxe1 Ng5 32. Bxc8 Nc4 33. Nxc4 Nf3+ 34. Kf1 Bxc4+) 30. Qa3 Nb7 31. Rad1 exd4 32. Bxd4 Ng5 {Ironically, it is Black who mates on the kingside.} 33. c4 ({Or} 33. Rxe8+ Qxe8 34. Kh2 Qe2 $1) ({If} 33. Kh2 Bf4) 33... Rxe1+ 34. Rxe1 Be6 35. Qe3 { Allows a trick, but White's position was hopeless anyway.} Bf4 {The knigth forks win the queen.} (35... Bf4 36. Qc3 (36. Qxf4 Nxh3+) 36... Bxd2 37. Qxd2 Nf3+) 0-1 [Event "Chess.com Isle of Man International"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.10.01"] [Round "9.5"] [White "Jones, Gawain C B"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C45"] [WhiteElo "2668"] [BlackElo "2803"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "64"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. e5 Qe7 7. Qe2 Nd5 8. c4 Ba6 9. Nd2 g6 10. Nf3 ({Harikrishna played instead} 10. b3 Bg7 11. Nf3 O-O 12. Qb2 Nb6 {and got compensation for a pawn after} 13. Qa3 Qxa3 (13... c5 $5 { however seems more appropriate with the white king in the middle.}) 14. Bxa3 Rfe8 15. O-O-O Bxe5 16. Nxe5 Rxe5 17. Bb2 {Harikrishna,P (2750)-Tomashevsky,E (2696) Moscow 2017}) 10... Qb4+ 11. Kd1 Ne7 {"I think this is almost a novelty, and a strong one." (Kramnik)} 12. Qc2 $146 {Technically, this is the novelty.} ({In comparison to} 12. Qd2 Qb6 13. Kc2 Bg7 14. b3 c5 {with approximate equality in Alonso,S (2499)-Paveto,K (2424) Buenos Aires 2015}) 12... c5 { Kramnik was happy with the opening outcome. Jones's king remained in the center and in order to keep it safe he will need to spend some tempos and trade the opponent's queen.} 13. Bd3 Bg7 14. Re1 O-O 15. Qb3 ({White could also try to escape on the kingside, but there are some other problems after} 15. Ke2 Bb7 16. Be4 Bxe4 17. Qxe4 Nc6 {The e5 pawn is as very often in the Scotch vulnerable. Say} 18. Kf1 Rae8 19. Bf4 d6 (19... Qxb2)) 15... Nc6 (15... Qb6 {at once was also good.}) 16. Bd2 (16. Qxb4 {works well for Black after} Nxb4 17. Bf1 Rab8 18. a3 Nc6) 16... Qb6 17. Qxb6 axb6 {"It is clear that Black is doing more than well, but I need to stop White from consolidating." (Kramnik)} 18. Kc2 Rad8 19. a3 ({Perhaps Jones could have defended without this weakening move. Like} 19. Rad1) 19... d6 {Opens the game before White gets ready.} 20. exd6 Rxd6 21. Bc3 ({If} 21. Rad1 Bxb2 {wins material, for example} 22. Bf4 Bxa3 23. Bxd6 cxd6 24. Ra1 Nb4+ 25. Kd2 (25. Kc3 Bb2+ $1) 25... Bb2) ({Kramnik believed} 21. Bf4 $1 {was critical and intended to go for the highly original} Rf6 ({If Black wants to play correct chess, then} 21... Nd4+ {is his move with slight advantage after} 22. Nxd4 Rxd4) 22. Bxc7 g5 { idea. Objectively speaking, the couter-original play with} 23. Re4 h5 24. Bxb6 g4 25. Bxc5 $1 gxf3 26. Bxf8 {would have put a shadow on this.}) 21... Na5 { " I think he missed this move." (Kramnik)} 22. Bxg7 (22. Bxa5 bxa5 {"is not an option (for White), he is just much worse." (Kramnik)}) 22... Kxg7 23. Nd2 ({ White's best chance seems to be} 23. Kc3 Rfd8 24. Be2 Nc6 25. Rad1 Nd4 26. Nxd4 cxd4+ 27. Kd3 {although Black is certainly better here too.}) ({Kramnik spent a lot of time calculating the consequences of the aggressive} 23. Re7 {White's idea is revelaed in the beauiful line} Rfd8 ({Instead the former world champion planned} 23... Kf6 {with the idea} 24. Rxc7 Rfd8 25. Be2 (25. b4 $1 { is best with good draw chances.}) 25... Bc8 26. b4 {Now this is coming too late-} Bf5+ 27. Kb2 $2 (27. Kc3 $1 {and it is not yet clear how is Black winning.}) 27... Rd2+ 28. Nxd2 Rxd2+ 29. Kc1 Nb3# {(Kramnik)}) 24. Ne5 Kf6 25. Rxf7+ Kxe5 26. Re1+ Kd4 27. Rf4# {(Kramnik)}) 23... Rfd8 {Now the problems along the d-file are more than obvious.} 24. Re3 Bc8 $1 {This is the problematic piece for Black in the Scotch. But Kramnik found an elegant solution for it. The bishop joins the attack and it becomes irresistable.} 25. Kc3 {The alternatives are no better:} (25. Rae1 $2 {loses to} Bf5 26. Ne4 Bxe4 27. Bxe4 Nxc4) (25. f3 {is bad after} Bf5 26. Ne4 Bxe4 27. fxe4 Nc6) (25. Nf3 { drops a pawn after} Rxd3 26. Rxd3 Bf5 27. Ne1 Nxc4) 25... Bf5 26. Bxf5 Rxd2 27. Be4 ({The last critical line was} 27. Rd3 {(Kramnik) when the win could be like this-} gxf5 28. Rxd2 Rxd2 29. Kxd2 Nb3+ 30. Kc3 Nxa1 31. f4 (31. b4 cxb4+ 32. axb4 f4 {to open the road for the king} 33. Kb2 Kf6 {(Kramnik)}) 31... Kg6 32. g3 h5 33. h4 Kf6 34. b4 cxb4+ 35. axb4 Ke6 36. Kb2 b5 37. cxb5 Kd5) ({ Objectively best was} 27. b4 gxf5 28. bxa5 Rxf2 {although Black is a clear pawn ahead and should be technically winning.}) 27... R8d4 28. b3 ({Or} 28. Bd5 c6 29. b4 cxd5 30. bxa5 bxa5) 28... Rxf2 29. Rf3 Re2 30. Bd5 c6 $1 {Calculated well in advance.} 31. Bxf7 ({Or} 31. Rxf7+ Kh6 32. Bf3 Re3+ 33. Kc2 Nxb3) 31... Nb7 $1 32. b4 Nd6 {The bishop is trapped.} 0-1 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.06"] [Round "1"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Li, Chao B"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E60"] [WhiteElo "2809"] [BlackElo "2735"] [Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"] [PlyCount "89"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 e6 4. Nc3 c5 5. d5 d6 6. e4 Bg7 7. Nge2 exd5 8. cxd5 Nbd7 9. Ng3 h5 10. Be2 Nh7 11. Be3 h4 12. Nf1 O-O 13. Qd2 Re8 (13... a6 14. a4 f5 15. exf5 gxf5 16. Bh6 Re8 17. Bxg7 Kxg7 18. Ne3 Qf6 19. g4 {Vidit-Bai, 2017, favoured White.}) 14. Bh6 Bd4 $1 {Li Chao does well by keeping his best minor piece on the board.} 15. Ne3 $5 a6 $1 {Great timing.} ({Aronian was inviting} 15... g5 16. Nf5 Ne5 17. Ng7 Re7 18. Nh5 f6 19. Nb5 $1 {with great complications that might turn out to be favourable for White.}) 16. Nc2 ({ Now, as the b5-square is covered,} 16. a4 g5 17. Nf5 Ne5 18. Ng7 Re7 19. Nh5 f6 {looks fine for Black, who plans to answer} 20. f4 {with} Ng4 $1) 16... Be5 17. Bf4 (17. a4 g5 $1 {again traps the white bishop.}) 17... b5 {Black has achieved this all-important advance.} 18. O-O Bxf4 19. Qxf4 Ne5 20. Qh6 g5 21. g3 ({The logical} 21. f4 {is a double-edged proposition. Black will be happy to sac the h4-pawn,} gxf4 22. Rxf4 Qg5 23. Qxg5+ Nxg5 24. Rxh4 {to keep full control over the critical e5-square, along with clear queenside prospects.}) 21... hxg3 22. hxg3 Qf6 23. Qh2 Ng6 24. Ne3 Bd7 25. Kg2 Kg7 26. Rh1 Rh8 27. Qg1 Qe5 28. Qf2 Nf6 29. Raf1 Nh5 30. Rfg1 {White is 100% on the defensive, and Li Chao decided to strike while the iron was hot.} Nhf4+ $5 ({Something has to be said in favour of} 30... Rae8 {as there isn't much White can do with his position.}) 31. gxf4 Bh3+ 32. Rxh3 Nxf4+ 33. Kf1 Nxh3 34. Qg3 Nxg1 35. Qxe5+ dxe5 36. Kxg1 c4 37. Nf5+ Kf6 38. d6 Ke6 39. a4 {In the endgame two rooks are usually worth more than three minor pieces, and here Black also has an extra pawn.} Kd7 ({He needed to stay cool:} 39... Rhb8 $1 {is only a temporary inconvenience.} 40. axb5 $2 (40. Kf2 Kd7 41. Ke3 Kc6 {liberating the rook from its defensive duty.}) 40... axb5 41. Nxb5 Ra1+ 42. Kf2 Rc1 $1 {this one is very easy to miss. Black keeps his c-pawn alive and because of that he can bury the white bishop.} 43. Na3 Rxb2 $19) 40. axb5 axb5 41. Nxb5 Ra2 (41... Ra4 42. Nc3 Rb4 43. Nd5 Rxb2 44. Bxc4) 42. Bxc4 Rxb2 43. Nc7 Rhh2 44. Bb5+ Kd8 45. Ne3 {Somewhat surprisingly the players agreed to a draw here. Despite his inaccuracy on move 39, Li could have still gone on.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.06"] [Round "1"] [White "Riazantsev, Alexander"] [Black "Harikrishna, Penteala"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E34"] [WhiteElo "2654"] [BlackElo "2737"] [Annotator "Roiz,M"] [PlyCount "166"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. cxd5 Qxd5 6. e3 c5 7. Bd2 Bxc3 8. bxc3 {This continuation usually leads to a long strategic battle with mutual chances.} (8. Bxc3 cxd4 9. Bxd4 Nc6 {is very safe for White, but Black is very close to full equality.}) 8... O-O 9. Nf3 Nc6 (9... b6 $5 {looks somewhat more flexible. In that case Black can choose between a few possible setups.}) 10. c4 Qd6 11. Bc3 $5 {Maintaining the tension in the centre is the most natural decision.} (11. dxc5 {was seen in a very old classical encounter between 2 World Champions:} Qxc5 12. Rb1 e5 13. Ng5 h6 14. Ne4 Nxe4 15. Qxe4 Rd8 16. Rb5 Qe7 17. Be2 b6 $15 {Alekhine,A-Euwe,M Netherlands 1937 Black was fine.}) 11... cxd4 12. exd4 $8 b6 ({It made some sense to sac a pawn in order to fix control over the d5-spot:} 12... b5 $5 13. cxb5 Nb4 14. Qb3 Nbd5 $44) 13. Be2 Bb7 14. O-O Rac8 15. Rfd1 {Choosing the posiioning of rooks is one of tougher tasks in chess. This time Alexander is focused on over-protecting his hanging pawns.} ({ The ambitious} 15. Rad1 $5 {might pose Black more problems:} Rfd8 16. Rfe1 Ne7 17. Ne5 Ng6 18. Bd3 Nf4 19. Bf1 $14) 15... Ne7 $1 $146 {A decent novelty - The knights is heading for g6 or f5, whereas the Bb7 is getting more useful.} ({ The previously played} 15... Qf4 16. g3 Qe4 (16... Qd6 $5) 17. Qb2 Ne7 18. d5 $1 exd5 19. Bxf6 gxf6 20. Rd4 Qe6 21. Re1 $36 {(Kahn,E - Sendur,A Budapest 2001) put Black in a danger.}) 16. Qb3 (16. Ne5 Ne4 17. Bb2 f6 18. Nf3 Rfd8 19. Rac1 Qd7 $132) 16... Rfd8 (16... Qf4 $5 17. Qa3 Ng6 18. Bb4 Rfd8 19. d5 exd5 20. Qxa7 Rb8 $132) 17. Ne5 (17. a4 Nf5 18. a5 Bxf3 19. Bxf3 Qf4 20. axb6 axb6 21. Qxb6 Nh4 {The activity of Black's pieces is worth a pawn.}) 17... Ng6 ({ More to the point was} 17... Nf5 $1 18. Bb2 Qe7 19. Rac1 Nd7 {White's pieces are be tied with protecting the Pd4, so Black's position looks solid.}) 18. Bb2 {IN his turn, Alexander unnecessarily wastes a tempo or prophylaxis.} ({ A more energetic try was} 18. a4 Qc7 19. a5 Nxe5 20. dxe5 Ne4 21. Bd4 Nc5 22. Qc3 $14) 18... Nd7 $2 {Pentala is playing passively and inviting serious troubles.} ({Instead, Black should have continued:} 18... Qc7 $1 19. Nxg6 hxg6 20. a4 Ne4 $1 21. a5 Qf4 $132) 19. Nxg6 hxg6 20. a4 $1 {Now Black cannot do much against the advance of the a-pawn.} Nf6 21. a5 {The weakness of the b6-pawn makes Black's position difficult.} Qc7 22. axb6 axb6 23. Rab1 $2 { Removing the rook from the a-file is a serious concession.} ({A much better move was} 23. Bc1 $1 Ne4 24. Bf1 $1 ({But} 24. Be3 {is less promising:} b5 $1 25. cxb5 Nc3 26. Rd2 Nxe2+ 27. Rxe2 Bd5 $14 {and Black gets excellent drawing chances due to the strong Bd5.}) 24... Rd7 (24... Nd6 25. Bf4 $16) 25. Be3 $16 {neutralising any of his opponent's counterplay and putting strong pressure on the Pb6.}) 23... Ne4 $1 {GM Harikrishna doesn't miss a golden opportunity for activating the pieces.} 24. Rbc1 ({Now it was too late for} 24. Bc1 Ba6 25. Qf3 Nd6 $11) 24... Qf4 25. f3 (25. Qe3 Qxe3 26. fxe3 Rc7 27. Bd3 Ra8 $11) 25... Nf6 $2 {An unsuccessful choice - the knight is restricted and doesn't support Black's counterplay.} ({The precise} 25... Nd6 {would maintain the balance:} 26. d5 exd5 27. cxd5 b5 28. Rxc8 Rxc8 29. Bxb5 Nxb5 30. Qxb5 Qe3+ 31. Kh1 Rc2 32. Qxb7 Qe2 33. Rg1 Rxb2 $11) 26. Rc2 ({Another move which deserved serious attention was} 26. Ra1 $5 Qc7 27. Bc1 $16 {, and Black is doomed to a passive defence.}) 26... Qc7 27. Bc1 b5 {This attempt to change the unfovaurable course of game was fully justified in the game, but it was a bluff!} ({It made sense to simplify matters by means of} 27... e5 $1 28. Be3 exd4 29. Bxd4 Rd6 $14 {and Black's defensive task is getting easier.}) 28. c5 $2 {Now Black is out of danger.} ({Instead, White could have won a pawn:} 28. Rb2 $1 Rb8 29. cxb5 Nd5 30. Rc2 $16) 28... Bd5 29. Qb4 Bc6 {The position is about equal, but Black's play is easier due to full control over d5.} 30. Bg5 Nd5 31. Qb2 ({ In the event of} 31. Bxd8 Nxb4 32. Bxc7 Nxc2 33. Bd6 Ra8 34. Rd2 Ne3 35. Kf2 Nd5 36. Rb2 Nc3 37. Ke3 {White should be able to hold this endgame, but it's slightly better for Black.}) 31... Re8 32. Ra1 Ra8 {Of course, both sides do not want to lose control over the only open file.} 33. Rcc1 Qb7 ({Perhaps,} 33... Nf4 $5 34. Bf1 Ra4 35. Qd2 Nd5 $15 {would offer Black more winning chances.}) 34. Bd2 Rxa1 35. Rxa1 Ra8 36. Ra5 $6 {An inaccuracy.} ({A better try was} 36. Kf2 Rxa1 37. Qxa1 b4 38. Bc4 b3 39. Qb2 Ba4 40. g3 {Black would be unable to make any progress.}) 36... Rxa5 37. Bxa5 b4 {Now the Ba5 is definitely misplaced.} 38. Bc4 Ne3 39. Be2 b3 $15 {Obviously, the Pb3 is putting White under strong pressure.} 40. Bd2 Nf5 41. Bc3 Bd5 42. Qc1 Ne7 43. Bb2 {The passer is blocked, and Black has to find a cosntructive plan. The next few moves are not of much value.} Nc6 44. Qc3 Kf8 45. Kf2 Ke7 46. Qd2 Qb8 47. h3 Kf8 48. Bd3 {Of course, White is sitting and waiting.} Kg8 49. Qe1 Qf4 50. Qe3 Qh4+ 51. Kg1 Qd8 52. Kf2 Qa5 53. Qe1 Nb4 54. Bb1 Qb5 55. Qc3 Qa4 56. Kg1 ({More accurate might be} 56. h4 $5 {, keeping the king closer to the centre.}) 56... Kf8 57. Kf2 Nc6 58. Kg1 Ke8 59. Kf2 Kd7 60. Qd2 Kc8 61. Qc3 Na5 62. Bd3 Bc4 63. Bb1 Nc6 64. d5 $2 {Alas, Alexander doesn't withstand the pressure. This move is connected with a blunder.} ({At the same time, the patient} 64. Qd2 {would mostly likely enable White to achieve a draw.}) 64... Bxd5 65. Qxg7 $2 {Mistakes rarely come alone! Of course, this move is logically connected with the previous one.} ({The stubborn} 65. Bd3 e5 66. Qd2 {would still leave White with some drawing chances.}) 65... Qh4+ $1 {I guess, this check was overlooked by Alexander. The lack of harmony in White's camp starts to tell.} 66. g3 (66. Ke2 Qg3 $19 {is even worse.}) 66... Qxh3 67. Qf8+ Nd8 68. Qh8 {A sad necessity. The resulting endgame is completely lost.} Qxh8 69. Bxh8 Nb7 $19 {The second pawn falls.} 70. Ke3 Kd7 71. f4 Nxc5 72. g4 f5 $1 {Restricting the b1-bishop and securing the e4-spot for Black's minor pieces.} 73. gxf5 exf5 74. Bd3 Kc6 75. Be2 Na4 76. Bd1 Kc5 77. Bd4+ Kb4 78. Bg7 Be4 79. Bf8+ Kc4 80. Be2+ Kd5 ({Another move which was good enough was} 80... Kc3 $19) 81. Bd1 b2 82. Bb3+ Kc6 83. Bxa4+ Kb7 0-1 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.06"] [Round "1"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2775"] [BlackElo "2724"] [Annotator "Radjabov,T"] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] {Who would have thought that out of a so-called boring opening, we would get into very sharp play at some point, I managed to outcalculate my opponent in the sharp struggle. Anyway, let's look at the game!} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. c5 Nh5 8. Bd3 Nxf4 9. exf4 c6 $5 { Not the most usual way to play this position, Black normally starts with ...b6. Here Anish started to think longer, remembering what was the difference and he remembered it right, but we considered the ensuing position as normal for Black.} 10. Qc2 {Came after a long think.} h6 11. O-O Qc7 12. Ne5 {This idea makes all the difference, otherwise the game would follow the normal path by g3.} Nxe5 13. fxe5 Bd7 (13... b6 {instead of the text move deserves attention, but we thought that it's a possible way for Black, not showing his cards earlier than needed.}) 14. a3 {White can start with f4, b4 and so on.} b6 15. b4 bxc5 16. bxc5 f6 17. f4 Rab8 {This was all going by my notes, Black should not rush with ...f5 or ...f6xe5 and keep the tension in the centre as much as he can. ...Qa5 comes next and White should decide what he is doing, Anish spent a lot of time here, maybe around an hour!} 18. g3 Qa5 19. Ne2 {Here Anish offered a draw, which in normal circumstances and normal time, I would probably accept, but in these conditions where he had less time and probably felt uncomfortable playing this position, I decided that it was my chance and that I had to play on.} Be8 (19... Bc8 $5 {The computer's suggestion is probably even easier, Black goes for ...Ba6 and the position is always good for Black.}) 20. Bg6 $2 {This is already a real mistake, which came quite fast from Giri, I did not expect this move. White should probably play calmly or go for exf6} (20. h3 {I was expecting this more, but maybe exf6 is the right way for White,}) (20. exf6 $1 Bxf6 21. g4 $1 {and even although the position is unclear of course, White is by no means worse.}) 20... Bxg6 21. Qxg6 Qd2 $1 { An important manoeuvre, the queen is very annoying on e3. Now Black has the upper hand: around 1 hour more on the clock and all the pleasures of deciding between the middlegame or pleasant endgames with the b-file occupied.} 22. Rf2 Qe3 {White is already in serious trouble practically; the centre is hanging totally.} 23. Qg4 {I would call it a mistake if practically this would be easy to face. I saw ...Kf7 here as well as ...Rf7, but I concentrated my calculations on ...Kh8 and ...Kh7 somehow. I was sure I had to keep the queens on, which is a mistake, but in the game it proved to be a crucial decision!} ( 23. Rc1 {Practically maybe the way, but a very hard move to play, a3 is hanging and even ...Qe4 secures a stable advantage for Black.} Qe4 $1 $15 ( 23... Qxa3 24. Kg2 {with chances to save the game.})) 23... Kh7 $2 {This played out nicely in the game but objectively it's a mistake.} ({I miscalculated the line after} 23... Kf7 $5 {The most simple to play the position without risk and just press for the rest of the game with easy plans like ...Rb2-Rfb8 and Bd8-a5} 24. f5 (24. Qh5+ g6 $1 $17) (24. Qf3 Qxf3 25. Rxf3 Rb2 26. Nc1 Rfb8 $15) 24... fxe5 25. Qg6+ Kg8 $19) (23... Rf7 $5 {could have been even stronger, but when I saw the line over the board, I could not somehow believe it works. But it does!} 24. Qxe6 Rb2 25. Re1 Bd8 $1 {and here I told my self why? Why go for this when I am not sure if it works or not, if I have a stable advantage with ...Kh7 and ...Kf7.}) 24. Qxe6 Rbe8 25. a4 $4 { Blunder. This came as a complete surprise, but in time pressure it's not easy to make the right decisions. Anish probably missed the queen move that came later.} (25. Qxc6 fxe5 26. Qxd5 exd4 27. Rd1 {Here in my calculations I saw that I have ...Rd8 but thought that ...d3 was good, when White can just take with the rook!!! and avoid the pin on the g1-a7 diagonal by ...Bxc5!} Rd8 ( 27... d3 28. Rxd3 $1 {Of course!} (28. Qxd3+ Qxd3 29. Rxd3 Bxc5 $19)) 28. Qe5 Qxe5 29. fxe5 Bxc5 30. Rxf8 Bxf8 {Slightly better still, but it's not the kind of convertible advantage.}) (25. Qf5+ {was also much better than the move in the game:} Kh8 {I was planning this. I thought I was slightly better. But in fact I have to make a draw.} (25... g6 26. Qd7 fxe5 27. Raf1 exd4 28. f5 { and it ends in a draw, but Black should be accurate}) 26. e6 Bd8 27. Rd1 Rxe6 28. Rd3 Qe4 29. Qxe4 dxe4 30. Rb3 f5 $11) 25... fxe5 26. Qxe5 Qd3 $1 $19 { Now the white queen is trapped and the position is hopeless due to the fact that the knight on e2 and the d4-pawn together with White's king are extremely weak and impossible to defend. Also the queen is almost trapped.} 27. Qh5 Bf6 28. Raf1 {Here it was maybe easier to play simple moves, but I thought I was winning by force, which proved to be correct, otherwise ...Kg8 or ...Re3 or some other move putting more pressure on White to make decisions, would be just winning calmly.} g6 29. Qg4 h5 30. Qd7+ Re7 31. Qd6 {This is all forced!} Kg7 $1 32. Nc1 Qf5 $1 {An important move, I was playing to trap the white queen, which in the end was not successful, but White had to weaken his king in order to protect the queen on d6.} 33. Rd1 {To play Re2 next and try to rescue the queen.} Rfe8 $5 {But I was very excited by the idea of ...Bxd4!!} ( 33... h4 $3 {The computer suggests this as easier, but probably any black move is enough to win the game. It is impossible to play this position as White, d4 hanging, the king weak, the queen almost trapped and the knight is completely out of play. There is nothing to do here with White, ...hxg3, ...Qh3 are threatening.}) 34. Qxc6 Re1+ 35. Rf1 Bxd4+ $3 (35... Rxd1 36. Rxd1 Qc2 { Possible but hard to know if it's completely winning.}) (35... Rxf1+ $5 36. Rxf1 Bxd4+ 37. Kg2 Qe4+ 38. Kh3 Kh6 $3 $19 {and Black goes for ...Qf5, ...Re3 and ...h4 with a winning position.}) 36. Rxd4 Rxf1+ 37. Kxf1 (37. Kg2 Ree1 $19 (37... Qc2+ 38. Kh3 (38. Kxf1 Qxc1+ 39. Kg2 Re2+ 40. Kh3 Kh6 $19) 38... Rh1 $19 )) 37... Qh3+ 38. Kf2 Qxh2+ 39. Kf1 Qh1+ 40. Kf2 Re1 {White can't escape with the king, ...Qf1 is threatening mate, or ...Qg1, ...Re3. I was very happy about this game. Starting the tournament with a win is a great pleasure and for a long time I had not had such a start! It proved to be important for my overall result I think!} 0-1 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.07"] [Round "2"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Inarkiev, Ernesto"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D30"] [WhiteElo "2800"] [BlackElo "2707"] [Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"] [PlyCount "39"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. Bg5 Bb4+ 5. Nbd2 {Shak specialises in obscure and risky gambit lines of the Queen's Gambit Declined.} dxc4 6. e3 ({The main line runs} 6. Qc2 b5 7. a4 c6 8. Bxf6 gxf6 9. g3) 6... b5 7. a4 c6 8. Be2 (8. Qc2 Bb7 9. Be2 Nbd7 10. O-O O-O 11. b3 c3 12. Ne4 h6 13. Bh4 $5 (13. Bxf6 Nxf6 14. Nxc3 $11) 13... g5 14. Nxf6+ Nxf6 15. Bg3 c5 {Nakamura-Morozevich, 2013.}) 8... Nbd7 9. O-O Qb6 10. Qc2 Bb7 11. b3 c3 12. Nb1 c5 13. Nxc3 cxd4 14. Nxb5 Rc8 (14... O-O {seems more natural.}) 15. Qb2 a6 16. a5 $1 Qc5 17. exd4 { Inarkiev played the opening reasonably well and stood to equalise until he chose an unfortunate square for his queen.} Qf5 $2 (17... Qe7 18. Ne5 $5 h6 ( 18... axb5 19. Bxb5) 19. Rfc1 O-O) (17... Qc2 18. Qxc2 Rxc2 19. Bd1 Rc8 20. Bd2 $1 Be7) 18. Bd2 Be7 19. Nc3 O-O $4 {One move isn't a relaible indication of bad form, but how does a Super-GM blunder his queen like that?} (19... h6 20. b4 O-O 21. b5 $16) (19... e5 $5) 20. Nh4 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.07"] [Round "2"] [White "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Black "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E16"] [WhiteElo "2724"] [BlackElo "2739"] [Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Nc3 c6 8. e4 d5 9. exd5 $1 {A modern treatment of this well-known variation.} cxd5 10. Ne5 O-O 11. O-O Nc6 12. Bf4 {A relatively fresh idea.} (12. cxd5 Nxe5 13. d6 (13. dxe5 Nxd5 14. Rc1 Nxc3 15. Bxc3 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 Qc8 17. Qf3 {leaves White with only the smallest of advantages.}) 13... Nc6 14. dxe7 Qxe7 15. Bg5 h6 16. d5 Na5 $1 {Anand-Carlsen, WCh Sochi, 2014}) 12... Na5 13. Rc1 (13. Bg5 $5 { is counterintuitive - why move the bishop again - but it brought White success in van Wely-Tkachiev} Rc8 (13... Ba6 $5) 14. Bxf6 Bxf6 15. cxd5 Bxd5 16. Nxd5 exd5 17. Re1 $14) 13... dxc4 14. Bxb7 Nxb7 15. Nxc4 {This isn't your Grandfather's IQP position. Seemingly White has committed a cardinal sin of trading his light-squared bishop, but he's not playing for a kingside attack just yet. Black has his own set of problems: an awkward Nb7 and general weakness of the light squares caused by b7-b6.} Bb4 (15... Na5 16. Ne3 $1 { aiming at d4-d5.}) 16. Bg5 $1 {It's all about the d5-square.} Nd6 17. Nxd6 Bxd6 ({It's undertandable Pavel didn't want to weaken his king. Possible lines, such as} 17... Qxd6 18. Bxf6 gxf6 19. Ne4 Qd8 20. Rc4 Be7 21. Nc3 Rc8 22. Ra4 $1 a5 23. d5 {did seem unnerving.}) 18. d5 $1 exd5 19. Nxd5 Be5 20. Bxf6 Bxf6 21. b4 {What we have here is a symmetrical pawn structure in a open position, with Black supposedly keeping a better minor piece. So, why isn't this equal? The answer to this mystery lies in the activity of the white pieces and Black's struggles to find a safe square for his queen.} Qd6 ({Suppose, he does everything by the book:} 21... g6 22. Qf3 Bg7 {hides the bishop,} 23. Rfd1 Qg5 {lets the queen out,} 24. h4 Qe5 25. Rc7 b5 {improves the queenside pawn structure,} 26. Re7 Qd6 27. Rd7 $1 Qe5 28. Kg2 {and then what? Black is practically out of moves. Sample lines to illustrate his problems are:} h5 ( 28... a6 29. Nb6 Rab8 30. R7d5 Qe7 31. Nd7) (28... a5 29. bxa5 Rxa5 30. Ne7+ Kh8 31. Nc6) 29. Re7 Qd6 30. Rb7 Qe5 31. a3 $1 ({not even} 31. Rxb5) 31... Rae8 32. Rxb5 {with a decisive advantage for White everywhere.}) 22. Qf3 Rac8 23. Rcd1 $1 {There was no way that Teimour was going to trade rooks.} Rfe8 24. b5 $6 {The one and only inaccuracy by Radjabov until time trouble.} ({Instead, the prophylactic} 24. Kg2 $1 {would pose an interesting dilemma to his opponent: should Black just stay put or should he attempt a bailout?} Be7 $5 25. Rfe1 Bf8 26. Ne7+ Bxe7 27. Rxd6 Bxd6 28. Rxe8+ Rxe8 29. Qc6 Re6 30. Qa8+ Bf8 31. a3 Re7 {Can this be held? White will certainly try his best.}) 24... Be7 25. Rd4 (25. Rfe1 Bf8 26. Ne7+ $4 {now meets with} Rxe7 27. Rxd6 Rxe1+ 28. Kg2 Bxd6 $19) 25... Bf8 26. Rfd1 Rc5 $2 {An unfortunate idea.} ({It was high time to work out a queen trade,} 26... Qe6 27. Kg2 (27. Rg4 Qe2) 27... Qe2 28. Ra4 Qxf3+ 29. Kxf3 {and Black doesn't have to fear losing the a-pawn:} Rc5 ({or } 29... Rc2 30. Rxa7 Bc5 31. Ne3 Rc3) 30. Rxa7 Rxb5 31. Nc7 Rf5+ 32. Kg4 Ree5 $11) 27. a4 Qe6 28. Rg4 Kh8 ({Black falls victim to the back rank weakness after} 28... Qe2 $2 29. Qxe2 Rxe2 30. Nf6+ Kh8 31. Rd8) 29. Rf4 Kg8 30. h4 Rc2 31. Kg2 h6 32. h5 {Pavel seemed to have run out of useful moves, and, possibly, the clock had become an issue as well.} Rcc8 33. Rdd4 $3 {Powerful centralisation, reminiscent of the classic game Spassky-Fischer, Mar del Plata 1960.} Bc5 34. Rde4 Qd7 35. Rg4 $1 Kf8 (35... Kh8 36. Nf6) 36. Ref4 {A little hesitation that spoils it a bit.} ({Already,} 36. Rxg7 $1 {was decisive:} Rxe4 (36... Kxg7 37. Qc3+ f6 38. Nxf6) 37. Rg8+ $1 Kxg8 38. Nf6+ Kg7 39. Nxd7 Re6 40. Qg4+ Kh7 41. Ne5 $1 Rxe5 42. Qxc8 Rxh5 43. Qd7 Kg6 44. f4 {and the rest is automatic.}) 36... Bd6 ({Pavel's best chance was} 36... Red8 37. Rxf7+ Qxf7 38. Rf4 Rd7 39. Rxf7+ Rxf7 40. Nf4 Kg8 41. Qd5 Re8 {White should win, but it would take some time.}) 37. Rd4 (37. Rxg7 $1 Bxf4 38. Rg8+ {the same motif again.}) 37... Qb7 38. Rxg7 $1 {Finally Teimour lands a mortal blow.} Be5 (38... Kxg7 39. Rg4+ Kf8 40. Rg8+ Kxg8 41. Nf6+ Kf8 42. Qxb7 Rc7 43. Qd5 Re6 44. Qa8+ Kg7 45. Ne8+) 39. Rg8+ Kxg8 40. Nf6+ Bxf6 41. Rg4+ {Despite the uncertain finish, this game is a masterpiece by Radjabov.} 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.08"] [Round "3"] [White "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B92"] [WhiteElo "2739"] [BlackElo "2742"] [Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] {The 3rd round of the Geneva FIDE GP and Radjabov is the only player on 2/2, while everybody else is trying to catch him!} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 $5 {A move that has a positional reputation, but may create complicated and agressive positions, as we will see in the game!} e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Be3 Be6 9. Nd5 Nbd7 {Threatening to take on e4.} (9... Nxd5 $5 { keeping the bishop is another way to play this} 10. exd5 Bf5 11. Qd2 {it is important to avoid ...Bg5 once and for all} (11. a4 {was played in the oldest game I found with this quick Nd5 idea: back in 1945!} Nd7 12. a5 Bg5 $1 { and Black is already confortable, the e3 bishop is an important piece} 13. Bg4 Bxe3 14. Bxf5 Ba7 $1 15. Qg4 g6 16. Bxd7+ Qxd7 17. Qxd7+ Kxd7 18. c4 Rhc8 19. Nd2 f5 $15 {0-1 (43) Stulik,V-Opocensky,K Prague 1945, and Black is simply better.}) 11... O-O 12. O-O Bg6 13. a4 $1 (13. Rac1 $6 {I played this move in a game, but didn't get any advantage} a5 $1 14. a4 Nd7 15. Bb5 f5 16. f4 (16. f3 $5 {was better}) 16... Nf6 17. g3 Ng4 18. c3 Bf6 (18... Be8 $1 $15 {would be very annoying, threatening to take and play a4. If I take on e8, then I have problems controlling the queenside properly (...Rxe8! and ...Qc7 with ... Qc4 ideas)}) 19. Rce1 h5 20. Qe2 Nxe3 21. Qxe3 h4 22. Nd2 $11 {1/2-1/2 (36) Mekhitarian,K (2550)-Oparin,G (2617) Abu Dhabi 2016}) 13... Nd7 14. a5 h6 15. c4 Rc8 16. Rac1 {and White had great play on the queenside in this game} e4 $6 (16... Re8 {should be better}) 17. Qb4 Qc7 18. Rfd1 Nc5 19. Bf4 Bg5 20. Bxg5 hxg5 21. Nxc5 dxc5 22. Qd2 $16 {½-½ (45) Di Berardino,D (2494)-Leitao,R (2636) Joao Pessoa 2013, followed with either b4 or Rc3-Rb3-Rb6.}) (9... Nxe4 $2 {is simply bad} 10. Bb6 Qc8 11. Nc7+ Kf8 12. Nxa8 Nd7 13. Be3 $16) 10. Qd3 O-O (10... Bxd5 11. exd5 O-O 12. g4 $1 {The idea seen in Eljanov's game was found and tried for the first time by Alexander Khalifman in round 16 of the FIDE World Championship back in 1999, against one of the world's best Najdorf specialists - Boris Gelfand. Khalifman used it with success and went on to win the tournament!} Nc5 13. Nxc5 dxc5 14. O-O-O e4 15. Qd2 Bd6 16. g5 Nd7 17. h4 Ne5 18. h5 {and the scary pawn avalanche comes with deadly effects} Rc8 $2 ( 18... f5 $1 {was the only chance to survive} 19. gxf6 Qxf6 20. Rhg1 $16) 19. Rh4 $1 c4 {Gelfand tries direct counterplay by sacrificing two pawns, but White takes the material and remains well defended} 20. Rxe4 c3 21. bxc3 Qa5 22. Kb1 Rxc3 23. Bd4 $18 {1-0 (39) Khalifman,A (2628)-Gelfand,B (2713) Las Vegas 1999}) 11. a4 $5 {A flexible move, that is almost always useful in this variation.} (11. O-O {is the most common move here} Bxd5 12. exd5 Ne8 (12... Rc8 $5 {threatening Nb6} 13. c4 Ne8 14. Rac1 (14. g3 $5 Bg5 15. f4 exf4 16. gxf4 $13 {with an unclear position}) 14... b6 15. Kh1 (15. Bg4 $5) 15... Bg5 16. Qd2 Bxe3 17. Qxe3 a5 18. Nd2 f5 $15 {0-1 (52) Dastan,B (2519)-Saric,I (2618) Minsk 2017, and Black got a perfectly fine position.}) (12... Nb6 $6 13. c4 a5 14. a4 $1 Nfd7 15. Bd2 $1 {hitting a5} Nc5 16. Nxc5 dxc5 17. Bc3 Bd6 18. b3 $16 {and White has a clear plan to play Rae1, Bd1-Bc2, with amazing prospects on the kingside}) 13. a4 Bg5 14. a5 Bxe3 15. Qxe3 Nef6 16. c4 Rb8 17. Rfb1 Qc7 18. Nd2 $36 {1/2-1/2 (59) Carlsen,M (2838)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2803) Karlsruhe 2017, with good potential on the queenside.}) 11... Bxd5 (11... Nxd5 $5 {has to be tried in future encounters} 12. exd5 e4 $1 {forced and good} 13. Qd2 {looks more logical} (13. Qxe4 Nf6 14. Qd3 Bxd5 15. O-O $13 {White has a better structure, but Black has good activity, the position should be balanced} ) 13... Bf5 14. g4 Bg6 15. h4 h6 {with a very complex position} (15... Bxh4 $2 16. g5 $18) 16. O-O-O (16. g5 $5 h5 17. O-O-O $13) 16... Bxh4 17. Rh3 $40) 12. exd5 Nc5 $6 {A typical move changing the structure, that also stops White from expanding on the queenside. On the other hand, White obtains a strong passed pawn on d5, and a perfect scenario to play with c4 and g4!, castling queenside. } ({A similar precedent was:} 12... Rc8 13. a5 Nc5 14. Nxc5 dxc5 15. c4 e4 16. Qc2 Bd6 17. O-O (17. g4 $5 {would be also possible here, like Eljanov played}) 17... Qc7 18. g3 Rce8 19. Rfc1 Nd7 20. b4 f5 $36 {0-1 (25) Castrillon Gomez,M (2210)-Vazquez,G (2443) Medellin 2017, and Black already has a strong initiative.}) (12... Ne8 $1 {preparing ...f5, has never been tried before, and should be a good move.}) 13. Nxc5 dxc5 14. c4 Qc7 15. Qc2 Rae8 $6 (15... e4 { perhaps should be better, because if White plays the same g4 now, then Black may decide where to place the a8-rook.}) 16. g4 $1 $16 {A good moment to play this move, because Black has already removed the rook from a8, meaning White will have more freedom to castle queenside. Also, Black will never be able to expand with ...f5 anymore, as usually happens in this pawn structure. White definitely won the opening battle here and has a good advantage.} e4 {This had to be played sooner or later.} 17. O-O-O Bd6 18. g5 Nd7 19. Kb1 Ne5 20. h4 $1 ( 20. Qxe4 $6 {there is no need to take this pawn, as it helps Black} Nc6 $5 $44 {followed by ...Nb4. White would also have an advantage here, but Black has time to breathe now.}) 20... Nf3 21. Rh3 $6 (21. h5 $1 {would be very strong. The problem is that Black only starts the counterplay on the queenside after white decides to take on f3 (something he will do whenever he wants)} Qd7 ( 21... f6 {is the computer's suggestion, and does not solve all the problems} 22. Bxf3 exf3 23. h6 g6 24. gxf6 Rxf6 25. Rhe1 $16 {and Black has problems defending his king, and at the same time watching the passed d-pawn, Bg5 is coming next}) 22. a5 {another problem is that Black can't even play ...Rb8 for ...b6, because e4 is hanging} Qc7 23. Bxf3 exf3 24. Bd2 $1 Re2 $2 25. h6 g6 26. Qc3 $18 {followed by Qxf3.}) 21... Qd7 $1 {I guess Eljanov missed this. In any case, he is still better.} 22. Rhh1 Qe7 (22... f5 23. gxf6 Rxf6 24. h5 $16 { also looks good for White.}) 23. Bxf3 exf3 24. h5 b5 $1 {Counterplay gets there in time.} 25. cxb5 axb5 26. axb5 Qd7 (26... Rb8 $5 $132) 27. Qd3 (27. Rh4 $5 Qxb5 28. h6 g6 29. Bf4 {not an easy move! now Qc3 is the real threat, because ...Be5 is no longer possible} Bxf4 30. Rxf4 f6 $1 31. Rxf3 (31. Rxf6 $2 Rxf6 32. gxf6 Kf7 $3 {and Black has very strong counterplay with ...Re2 next} ( 32... Re2 $4 33. f7+ $1 Kxf7 34. Qc3 $18 {with a decisive attack})) 31... Re2 32. Rb3 $1 Rxc2 33. Rxb5 Rxf2 34. gxf6 $16 {should be good for White, but Black is fighting.}) 27... Rb8 28. h6 g6 (28... Qxb5 $2 29. Qc3 $1 $16) 29. Bd2 Rxb5 30. Bc3 Rb3 31. Rhe1 {Preparing Qxf3.} (31. Qxf3 $2 Be5 $1 $36 {and Black grabs the initiative.}) 31... Qg4 {Forced.} 32. Re4 Qxg5 (32... Qf5 $5 33. Kc2 Rfb8) 33. Qxf3 Be5 $2 (33... Qxh6 $1 {was necessary} 34. Qf6 Rxc3 {and Black is totally in the game, with decent compensation} 35. Qxc3 Qh5 $44 {followed by ...Qf5.}) 34. Rxe5 Qxe5 35. d6 $2 (35. Bxe5 $1 {was winning on the spot} Rxf3 36. Bc7 $18 {followed by d6, should be a very sad endgame for Black.}) 35... f6 $1 36. d7 Rxc3 37. Qxc3 Qe7 $2 {Probably in severe time trouble, Ian throws away a study-like defence to draw this very difficult game. In the post-game interview Eljanov said that after 34.Rxe5 Qxe5 35.d6, it was already hopeless for Black, meaning he also did not realize that Black is not losing the rook endgame, which is totally understandable.} (37... Qxc3 $1 38. bxc3 Rd8 {it was very hard to understand that Black does not lose this position, with an outside passed pawn for White (since c5 will fall in a few moves)} 39. Kb2 Kf7 40. Kb3 Ke6 41. Kc4 Rxd7 42. Rxd7 Kxd7 43. Kxc5 g5 44. Kd5 (44. Kb6 g4 45. c4 f5 46. Kb7 Kd6 47. Kb6 Kd7 $11) (44. f3 Kc7 $1 (44... Ke6 $1 {is also enough }) (44... f5 $2 45. Kd5 g4 46. fxg4 fxg4 47. Ke4 Kc6 48. Kf4 Kc5 49. Kxg4 Kc4 50. Kf5 Kxc3 51. Kf6 Kd4 52. Kg7 Ke5 53. Kxh7 Kf6 {and Black loses by one tempo } 54. Kg8 $18) 45. Kd5 Kd7 46. c4 f5 {now the advance is well-timed, because White already pushed his pawn and Black will be able to grab it and come back in time to the kingside} 47. Ke5 g4 48. fxg4 fxg4 49. Kf4 Kd6 50. Kxg4 Kc5 51. Kf5 Kxc4 52. Kf6 Kd5 53. Kf7 Ke5 54. Kg7 Ke6 55. Kxh7 Kf7 $11) 44... g4 45. Ke4 Ke6 46. c4 f5+ 47. Kf4 Kf6 $1 {provoking the c-pawn} 48. c5 Ke6 49. c6 Kd6 50. Kxf5 Kxc6 51. Kxg4 (51. Kf6 Kd6 52. Kg7 Ke6 53. Kxh7 Kf7 $11) 51... Kd6 52. Kf5 Ke7 $11) 38. Qb3+ Kh8 39. Qd5 $18 {Now it's all over.} Rd8 40. Rd3 {and Black resigned, because of the Re3 threat. Eljanov moves to 2nd place with 2/3, and Radjabov keeps the sole lead in Geneva with 2,5/3!} (40. Rd3 g5 (40... Qe1+ 41. Ka2 Qa5+ 42. Ra3 $18) 41. Re3 Qxd7 42. Qxd7 Rxd7 43. Re8#) 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.08"] [Round "3"] [White "Rapport, Richard"] [Black "Jakovenko, Dmitrij"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E20"] [WhiteElo "2694"] [BlackElo "2703"] [Annotator "Krasenkow,M"] [PlyCount "172"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d5 6. cxd5 {A harmess move. As a rule, the Karlsbad pawn structure with White's bishop on g2 creates no problems for Black. White doesn't want to go for the gambit continuation} (6. Nf3 dxc4) 6... exd5 7. a3 {Asking Black's bishop to take on c3 or retreat to e7. The drawback of this move is clear: it wastes a precious tempo.} (7. Nf3 { is more common but after} c6 {Black's bishop will be able to retreat to d6, e. g.} 8. O-O Re8 9. a3 Bd6 {This line, seen in a number of games, is hardly promising for White.}) 7... Bxc3+ {This exchange is the simplest way to equality.} ({The position after} 7... Be7 {often arises from other move orders: } 8. Nf3 (8. e3 c6 9. Nge2 Bf5 10. O-O Re8 11. f3 Bd6 (11... Bf8 $142) 12. e4 dxe4 13. fxe4 Bxe4 14. Rxf6 Bxg2 15. Rxd6 Qxd6 16. Kxg2 $14 {1-0 (48) Meier,A (2280)-Ankerst,M (2115) Germany 2007}) (8. Nh3 c6 (8... Bf5 9. O-O Re8 10. Nf4 c6 11. h3 h5 12. e3 Qc8 13. Kh2 g6 $132 {1/2 (28) Ivanisevic,I (2614)-Bacrot,E (2709) Novi Sad 2009}) 9. O-O (9. Nf4 Na6 10. O-O Nc7 11. Qc2 Ne6 12. Rd1 Bd6 13. Nxe6 Bxe6 14. b4 Rc8 15. Bg5 {1/2 (15) Berkes,F (2664)-Raznikov,D (2484) Zalakaros 2015}) 9... a5 (9... Re8 10. Nf4 Bd6 11. f3 Bc7 12. b4 h6 13. Kh1 Bf5 14. Re1 Bb6 15. Na4 Nbd7 16. Bb2 Bc7 $132 {1/2 (60) Gajewski,G (2577)-Lenic,L (2569) Dresden 2008}) (9... Nbd7 10. Nf4 Re8 11. b4 a6 12. Nd3 Nb6 13. Qb3 Nc4 14. Rd1 Bf5 $132 {1/2 (34) Jovanic,O (2533)-Tratar,M (2493) Nova Gorica 2010}) 10. Nf4 Re8 11. b3 Na6 12. f3 c5 13. Be3 b6 14. dxc5 Bxc5 15. Bxc5 Nxc5 16. Ncxd5 Nxd5 17. Qxd5 Bb7 18. Qxd8 Raxd8 19. b4 Nb3 20. Ra2 Nd2 21. Rf2 Re3 $44 { 1/2 (33) Ivanisevic,I (2638)-Brkic,A (2586) Jerusalem 2015}) 8... c6 9. O-O (9. Qc2 a5 10. O-O Be6 11. Bf4 Nbd7 12. Rad1 Re8 13. Ne5 Nb6 14. h3 Nfd7 15. g4 Nf8 $11 {1/2 (22) Sedlak,N (2572)-Tiviakov,S (2663) Al Ain 2012}) 9... Re8 (9... Bf5 10. Nh4 Be6 11. f4 Ne4 12. f5 Nxc3 13. bxc3 Bc8 14. Qd3 Nd7 (14... Bxh4 15. gxh4 Qxh4 16. Rf4 $44) 15. Nf3 Bd6 16. Nd2 Nf6 17. e4 dxe4 18. Nxe4 Nxe4 19. Bxe4 $14 {1-0 (33) Pfleger,H (2545)-Keene,R (2465) Elvetham Hall 1979}) 10. Ne5 Nbd7 11. f4 Nf8 12. e3 Bd6 13. b4 Bf5 14. g4 Bxe5 15. fxe5 Bxg4 16. Bf3 Bxf3 17. Qxf3 N6d7 18. Qxf7+ Kh8 $13 {0-1 (71) Slipak,S (2444)-Bachmann,A (2543) Villa Martelli 2013}) 8. bxc3 Ne4 $5 9. c4 c6 (9... Nc6 $5) 10. cxd5 cxd5 $11 11. e3 (11. Nf3 Re8 {[%cal Re4c3]}) 11... Bd7 (11... Nc6 12. Ne2 Bf5 13. O-O Rc8 {is comfortable for Black but Dmitrij Jakovenko choses another arrangement of his pieces.}) 12. Ne2 Bb5 13. O-O Re8 14. Re1 Nc6 15. f3 Nf6 16. g4 $6 { [%mdl 32] This "active" move just weakens White's position.} (16. Nf4 $11) 16... Bxe2 (16... Bc4 $5 {[%cal Yb7b5]}) 17. Rxe2 Rc8 18. Qd3 h6 19. Bd2 a6 20. Kh1 $6 {White starts an unjustified kingside attack, which Black successfully parries.} (20. Rb1 $142 b5 21. a4) 20... Na5 21. Rg1 Nc4 22. Bc1 Rc6 (22... Re6 $142 $5 23. h3 Qc7 24. e4 Qg3 {[%cal Rd5e4,Rf6g4]}) 23. h3 b5 (23... Qc7 24. e4 Qg3 $6 25. exd5) 24. e4 dxe4 25. fxe4 Rd6 26. Rd1 Rd7 (26... Nd7 27. Bf4 Nc5 28. Qc3 Na4 29. Qa1 $13) 27. g5 $6 (27. Bf4) 27... Nh5 $1 28. Qf3 (28. gxh6 $2 Rxd4 29. Qxd4 Ng3+ 30. Kh2 Qxd4 31. Rxd4 Nxe2 $19) 28... g6 29. gxh6 Rxd4 { White's centre has been ruined, and Black starts exploiting numerous weaknesses in White's position.} 30. Rf1 Ne5 31. Qf2 Rd1 (31... Rd3 32. Re3) ( 31... f6 $5) 32. Bb2 Rxf1+ 33. Bxf1 Qg5 34. h7+ Kxh7 35. Bxe5 Qxe5 36. Qxf7+ Kh6 {[%csl Rf1,Rh1]} 37. Rg2 Qe6 38. Qxe6 Rxe6 $17 {[%mdl 4096]} 39. a4 (39. Bd3 Nf4 40. Rg3 Nxd3 41. Rxd3 Rxe4 $19 {_|_}) 39... bxa4 40. Kh2 Rxe4 (40... Rf6 $5 41. Kg1 Rf3) 41. Ra2 (41. Bd3 Re6 42. Ra2 Re3 43. Bxa6 a3) 41... a5 $6 { Allowing White's bishop to b5 is not a good idea.} (41... Nf4 $142 42. Bxa6 Rb4 ) 42. Bb5 Nf4 43. Ra3 {Preparing Bb5xa4, which was not possible yet.} (43. Bxa4 Re2+ 44. Rxe2 Nxe2 $19) 43... Kg5 (43... Nd5 $5 44. Bxa4 Nb6 45. Bc6 Rc4 46. Bb5 Rc5 47. Bf1 a4 {although Black's b6-knight is not perfectly placed.}) 44. Bxa4 Kh4 $6 {This loses the a5 pawn, too.} (44... Re5 $142) 45. Bb5 g5 46. Rxa5 Re5 {This pin looks formidable but Black can't improve his position.} 47. Kh1 Rd5 48. Kh2 Rd2+ 49. Kh1 Kxh3 50. Bf1+ {The position is drawish now but Black keeps trying.} Kh4 51. Ra4 Kg3 52. Ra3+ Kf2 53. Bc4 Rd4 (53... g4 54. Ra2 Rxa2 55. Bxa2 g3 56. Bd5 $1 Nd3 57. Bc6 Ne1 58. Bg2 $1 Nf3 59. Bh3 $11) 54. Ra2+ Kg3 55. Ra3+ Kh4 56. Bf1 g4 57. Kg1 g3 58. Ra1 Kg4 59. Re1 Rd2 60. Ra1 Rb2 61. Kh1 Nd5 62. Bg2 Nf4 63. Bf1 Kf3 64. Kg1 Nd5 65. Bh3 Ne3 66. Re1 Rc2 67. Ra1 Re2 68. Bf1 Rb2 69. Bh3 Rc2 70. Re1 g2 71. Be6 (71. Bxg2+ $2 Rxg2+ 72. Kh1 Rd2 { is theoretically winning for Black.}) 71... Rc3 72. Bh3 Kg3 73. Be6 $1 { Accurately played.} (73. Bd7 $2 Nd5 $19 {[%cal Yd5f4]}) 73... Kf3 (73... Ra3 74. Bd5 $1 Nxd5 75. Re3+ $11) (73... Rd3 74. Bd5 $1 Nc2 75. Rb1 Rxd5 76. Rb3+ $11) 74. Bh3 Rc2 75. Be6 Rc6 76. Bh3 Rc3 77. Bd7 (77. Be6 {was simpler.}) 77... Nd5 78. Bh3 Nf4 79. Bxg2+ Nxg2 80. Rf1+ $2 {This "natural" check is losing.} ({ White had a draw after} 80. Re8 Rc1+ 81. Kh2 Nf4 82. Rf8 {etc.}) ({Even} 80. Ra1 {was enough: if} Kg3 {then} 81. Kf1 Re3 82. Rb1) 80... Kg3 81. Rf8 (81. Ra1 Ne3 {caging White's king and then encircling it, e.g.} 82. Re1 (82. Kh1 Ng4 83. Rg1+ Kh3 84. Ra1 Nh2 {[%cal Yh2f3]} 85. Kg1 Kg3 86. Rb1 Rc2 $19 {[%cal Rh2f3]}) 82... Ra3 $22 83. Rc1 (83. Kh1 Ng4) 83... Ng4 84. Kf1 Re3 85. Ra1 Nh2+ 86. Kg1 Re2 $19) 81... Rc1+ 82. Rf1 Rc6 (82... Ne1 $1 83. Kh1 Ra1 84. Rg1+ Kf2 $19) 83. Ra1 (83. Rf8 Rc1+ 84. Rf1 Ne1 $19) 83... Ne3 84. Rb1 (84. Re1 Rc3 {[%cal Ye3g4, Yg4h2,Yh2f3]}) 84... Rc2 85. Re1 Ng2 {[%cal Yg2h4,Yh4f3] This is as good as} ( 85... Ng4 $19 {[%cal Yg4h2,Yh2f3]}) 86. Rd1 Nh4 0-1 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.09"] [Round "4"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Hou, Yifan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2742"] [BlackElo "2666"] [Annotator "Szabo,Kr"] [PlyCount "97"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nbd2 O-O 7. Qe2 Re8 8. Nc4 Nd7 9. Bd2 Nb6 {A rare, but logical move. Black would like to exchange the active c4-knight.} (9... Bd6 {is more common, for example} 10. O-O-O (10. h4 Nf8 11. h5 Ne6 12. O-O-O c5 13. Qf1 f6 14. Nh4 Nd4 15. c3 Nc6 16. Nf5 Bxf5 17. exf5 h6 18. g4 Bf8 19. Qe2 Qd7 20. Be3 Rad8 21. Qc2 $14 {Caruana-Karjakin, Wijk aan Zee 2016, and thanks to the light-squares, White is more comfortable.} ) (10. g4 Nf8 11. Ne3 Ne6 12. Nf5 a5 13. h4 a4 14. Ng5 a3 15. b3 Bc5 16. Nxe6 Bxe6 17. Qf3 Bf8 18. Ke2 c5 $11 {Anand-Giri, Bilbao 2015, with a balanced middlegame.}) 10... Nf8 (10... b5 11. Ne3 a5 12. Nf5 a4 13. Bg5 f6 14. Be3 Nc5 15. g4 Be6 16. Kb1 b4 $132 {Caruana-Nakamura, Moscow 2016, and Black has an attack too.}) 11. Ne3 Be6 12. Kb1 Qd7 13. Ng5 f6 14. Nxe6 Nxe6 15. Nf5 g6 16. Nxd6 cxd6 17. g3 Nd4 18. Qf1 Qg4 19. Be3 Qf3 20. h4 d5 $13 {Giri-So Wesley, Leuven 2016, with an unclear position.}) 10. Na5 $146 {The first new move in the game.} ({The greedy} 10. Ncxe5 $2 {could have been met by} f6 11. Nc4 Nxc4 12. dxc4 Bf5 $1 $17 {and White is in trouble.}) ({Or} 10. Nfxe5 Bd4 11. f4 Nxc4 12. Nxc4 b5 $132 {with a sharp middlegame.}) (10. Ne3 a5 11. h4 Bd4 (11... f6 $5) 12. O-O-O Be6 13. Kb1 f6 14. g4 Bxe3 15. Qxe3 Bxg4 16. Rdg1 Bxf3 17. Qxf3 Kh8 18. Qg3 Re7 19. f4 $44 {Howell-Adams, Bournemouth 2016}) 10... Qe7 11. a3 Bd6 12. h4 {An ambitious move. White doesn't play the natural 0-0, he immediately goes with his h-pawn.} Na4 13. h5 {A brave decision, White sacrifices the b2-pawn.} Qf8 ({The engine immediately suggests} 13... Nxb2 $5 { , but this is not a human move. For example} 14. a4 b6 15. Nxc6 (15. Nb3 b5 16. axb5 cxb5 17. h6 g6 $15) 15... Qd7 16. Nb4 Nxa4 17. h6 Bxb4 (17... g6 $2 18. Nd5 $1 $16) 18. Bxb4 g6 $15 {and Black looks safe with a pawn up.}) 14. Nc4 b5 15. Nxd6 cxd6 16. b3 Nc5 17. Nh4 {White continues his kingside play.} Ne6 ({ I like the active} 17... d5) ({or even} 17... f5 $5 {too.}) 18. Nf5 c5 19. O-O Nf4 20. Qf3 g6 $1 {This is the point of Black's previous move.} 21. g3 $1 { White also increases the tension!} Bxf5 (21... Nxh5 $4 {loses immediately, because of} 22. Bh6 $18 {and the queen is trapped.}) (21... gxf5 $5 {was the other option,} 22. gxf4 fxe4 23. Qxe4 (23. dxe4 Kh8 $13) 23... Rb8 $13 { followed by ...Bb7 with a double-edged fight.}) 22. gxf4 Bd7 23. Kh2 {A straightforward move, prepares for Rg1.} f6 24. Rg1 Kf7 {Black's idea is regrouping with ...Qe7, ...Rg8.} 25. Rg3 Qe7 26. Rag1 Rg8 27. R1g2 {White frees the g1-square for his king.} Rh8 28. Kg1 Rag8 29. b4 c4 30. Be3 Bc6 31. Rh2 a6 {This move seems useless, but Black can't do anything.} 32. Kf1 ({ Probably} 32. hxg6+ $1 {was stronger,} hxg6 33. Rxh8 Rxh8 34. Qg4 Rg8 35. f5 $40 {with a dangerous attack for Black.}) 32... Qe8 $2 {Too passive.} (32... exf4 33. Bxf4 Qe6 {was safer.}) 33. Rh4 Qe7 34. fxe5 dxe5 35. d4 $1 {This is the point! White starts his break-through is the centre.} exd4 36. Bg5 $3 { A great tactical blow! White doesn't take back the pawn, because the B is stronger on g5 and he is threatening Rf4.} ({In the event of} 36. Bxd4 g5 $1 { and it is still not easy to continue the pressure on f6.}) 36... Rf8 37. Rf4 Ke6 38. Qg4+ $1 Kd6 39. e5+ $1 $18 {Another strong reply! White opens the 4th rank for the R.} Kc7 40. Bxf6 Rxf6 41. exf6 Qf7 42. Rxd4 Qxf6 43. Qf4+ { White simplifies, Black's position is hopeless.} Qxf4 44. Rxf4 gxh5 45. Rg7+ Kb6 46. Rf6 h4 47. Rh6 Rd8 48. Rf7 h3 49. Rff6 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.09"] [Round "4"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Adams, Michael"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2749"] [BlackElo "2736"] [Annotator "Sumets,A"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nf3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. Qc2 c5 8. cxd5 ({Another interesting continuation is} 8. Rd1 cxd4 9. Rxd4 Qa5 10. Bg3 b5 $5 { Levon has found an interesting pawn sacrifice.} ({I don't think that White has any advantage after} 10... Nb6 11. Nd2 dxc4 12. Bxc4 (12. Nxc4 Nxc4 13. Bxc4 Bd7 14. O-O Rfd8 $11) 12... Nxc4 13. Nxc4 Qa6 14. O-O Rd8 15. Rxd8+ Bxd8 16. Ne5 Bd7 17. Nxd7 Nxd7 18. Rd1 Nf6 {Vachier Lagrave,M (2686)-Adams,M (2722) Istanbul 2012 1/2 (36), White's advantage is negligeable and Michael easily made a draw.}) 11. cxb5 Bb7 12. Bd3 (12. Be2 Rfc8 13. O-O Bb4 14. Qb1 Bxc3 15. bxc3 Ne4 16. c4 Nc3 17. Qc2 Nxe2+ 18. Qxe2 Rxc4 19. Rxc4 dxc4 20. Qxc4 Nb6 $11) 12... Nc5 13. Ne5 (13. O-O {and the opponents agreed to a draw in Bacrot, E-Aronian,L 2011.}) 13... Rfc8 14. O-O Nxd3 15. Qxd3 a6 16. a4 Nh5 17. Bh4 Bc5 18. Nxd5 Bxd5 19. Rxd5 Qxa4 20. Rd8+ Rxd8 21. Bxd8 Qxb5 22. Qxb5 axb5 $11 { Inarkiev,E (2660)-Aronian,L (2784) Skopje MKD 2015 1/2 (58)}) 8... Nxd5 ({ It would be interesting to know what Peter had in mind after} 8... cxd4 { I believe that it is the most reliable continuation and Black can easily get an equal position.} 9. exd4 (9. d6 {was played once. Despite the fact, that White won this game, I think that Black's chances are not worse.} dxc3 10. bxc3 (10. Rd1 Nd5 11. dxe7 Qxe7 12. Bg3 Qb4 13. bxc3 Qxc3+ 14. Qxc3 Nxc3 15. Rd4 Nb6 16. Kd2 Nxa2 17. Be2 a5 $15) 10... e5 11. dxe7 Qxe7 12. Bg3 Qc5 $6 (12... b6 $1 13. Be2 Bb7 14. O-O Ne4 $15) 13. Rb1 a6 14. Be2 b6 15. O-O Bb7 16. Qa4 Rfe8 $11 {Kempinski, R (2528)-Krainski,A (2271) Bydgoszcz 2000 1-0 (39)}) (9. Nxd4 $2 e5 10. Nf5 exf4 11. d6 Bxd6 12. Nxd6 fxe3 13. fxe3 Ng4 $17) (9. dxe6 $6 {My computer and I don't see full compensation for the sacrificed piece.} dxc3 10. exf7+ Rxf7 (10... Kh8 $5 11. bxc3 Nd5 12. Bg3 Qa5 {seems to be good for Black as well.}) 11. bxc3 Nd5 12. Bc4 N7b6 13. Bb3 Be6 14. Rd1 Qc8 15. Be5 Nc4 16. O-O Ndb6 17. Nd4 Bg4 18. f3 Bd7 $17 {Isigkeit,H (2421)-Sawiniec,D (2411) ICCF 2008 0-1 (61)}) 9... Nxd5 10. Nxd5 exd5 11. Be2 Bb4+ 12. Bd2 Bxd2+ 13. Qxd2 Nf6 14. O-O $11 {1/2 (14) Van Wely,L (2643)-Asrian,K (2566) New Delhi/ Teheran 2000 } Bg4 15. Rfe1 Rc8 16. Ne5 Ne4 17. Qb4 Bxe2 18. Rxe2 Qc7 19. Rae1 Rfd8 20. Qb3 h6 21. h3 Ng5 22. f3 Ne4 {1/2 (22) Maiwald,J (2471)-Cyborowski,L (2510) Germany 2015}) 9. Nxd5 exd5 10. Bd3 Qa5+ (10... h6 11. dxc5 {This seems to be the strongest continuation} ({After} 11. O-O {Black could play} c4 $5 12. Be2 b5 13. Rad1 Bb7 $132) 11... Nxc5 12. O-O Bg4 13. Bf5 ({Vladimir could have played} 13. Bh7+ Kh8 14. Bf5 {probably he wants to win a tempo after possible moves ...Bxf3 gxf3 and then Kh1, Rg1 attacking the h6-pawn}) 13... Bxf3 14. gxf3 Ne6 15. Bg3 Qb6 16. Rfd1 Rfd8 17. Be5 Rac8 18. Qe2 Rc6 19. f4 Nc7 $6 ( 19... Nc5 20. Bh3 Bf6 21. Bxf6 Rxf6 22. Rd4 Ne6 $11) 20. Rd3 Bf6 21. Rb3 $14 { Fedoseev,V (2690)-Jakovenko,D (2718) Minsk BLR 2017 1-0 (45)}) 11. Qc3 Qb6 ({ It seems to me that Black could equalise after} 11... Qxc3+ 12. bxc3 Nf6 (12... c4 $6 13. Bc2 f5 14. a4 Nf6 15. Ne5 Ne4 16. Bxe4 fxe4 17. Ke2 {White has better chances}) 13. O-O Ne4 14. Rfc1 Be6 15. Rab1 b6 16. h3 f6 17. a4 Bd6 $6 ( 17... g5 $5 18. Bh2 c4 19. Bxe4 dxe4 20. Nd2 Bd5 21. a5 Kf7 22. axb6 axb6 23. Rxb6 Ra2 24. Nf1 Rd8 $44) 18. Bxe4 Bxf4 19. Bxh7+ Kxh7 20. exf4 $14 {Bruzon Batista,L (2643)-Oparin,G (2609) Linares ESP 2017 1/2 (38). Black has some small compensation for the sacrificed pawn.}) 12. a3 $146 {Now if Black plays . ..c4 then White can answer Bc2.} (12. O-O c4 {Since Black traded knights and White doesn't have a plan, which is connected with Ne5, Bg5, f4, etc, Black can play ...c4.} 13. Be2 $6 (13. Bc2 $2 Bb4 14. Bc7 Bxc3 15. Bxb6 Bxb2 $17) ( 13. Bb1 $142) 13... Nf6 14. Qc2 g6 15. b3 Bf5 16. Qd1 Rac8 17. bxc4 dxc4 18. Rc1 c3 $17 19. Bd3 Bxd3 20. Qxd3 Nd5 21. Bh6 Rfd8 22. Ne1 $2 g5 {0-1 (22) Mihajlov,S (2185)-Houska,J (2414) Caleta 2014}) 12... cxd4 ({Even here the computer recommends} 12... c4 13. Bc2 {It 's obvious that White's bishop should be placed on c2, but it is not clear if White has chances to get an advantage.} Nf6 14. O-O Be6 15. Ng5 (15. Ne5 Nh5 16. Bg3 Nxg3 17. hxg3 Rfd8 18. Rae1 Rac8 $11) 15... Bd7 16. Be5 (16. Rae1 Rfe8 17. Be5 h6 18. Nf3 Rac8 { Black has a plan connected with ...b5, ...a5, ...b4 and it is not easy to recommend a plan for White.}) 16... h6 17. Bxf6 Bxf6 18. Nh7 Rfe8 19. Nxf6+ Qxf6 $11) 13. Qxd4 Nc5 14. Bc2 Qb5 (14... Qa6 15. Be5 f6 16. Bg3 Rd8 17. Bc7 Ne6 18. Qh4 Nxc7 19. Qxh7+ Kf8 (19... Kf7 $4 20. Rc1 Qb6 21. Bg6+ Ke6 22. Rxc7 Qxc7 23. Nd4+ Kd6 24. Nb5+ $18) 20. Qh8+ Kf7 21. Qh5+ Kf8 $11) 15. Be5 f6 16. Bg3 Qc4 $2 {After this mistake Black is in big danger.} ({I think that Black should have played} 16... Rd8 {and the position which has arisen is rather equal.} 17. Rd1 (17. Bc7 Rd7 18. Bg3 Rd8 $11) (17. Qd2 $6 Qxb2 18. Bxh7+ $4 ( 18. O-O Ne4 19. Bxe4 (19. Qc1 $142 Qxc1 20. Rfxc1 Bd7 21. Bb3 Bc6 $17) 19... Qxd2 20. Bxh7+ Kxh7 21. Nxd2 d4 $17) 18... Kxh7 19. Qxb2 Nd3+ $19) (17. b4 Ne6 18. Qd2 a5 19. Bd3 Qb6 20. Rb1 axb4 21. axb4 d4 $11) 17... g6 18. h4 (18. b4 $6 Ne6 19. Qd3 Qxd3 20. Bxd3 a5 $15 {and White has some problems}) 18... Be6 19. h5 Ne4) 17. Rc1 Qxd4 {This leads to a difficult endgame with an isolated pawn. I think that Michael should have kept queens on the board.} (17... g6 $5 18. Qd2 Qa6 19. Nd4 (19. Qxd5+ $2 Be6 20. Qd1 Bc4 21. b4 Rfd8 $17) 19... Bd7 20. f3 Rfe8 21. Kf2 $14) 18. Nxd4 a5 {Black prevents b4, but now White can play Nb5.} (18... a6 19. b4 Ne4 20. Bb3 Rd8 21. Bc7 $1 (21. Rc7 Kf8 22. Bf4 Nd6 23. Ke2 $16) 21... Rd7 22. Ba5 Bd8 23. f3 Ng5 24. Bxd8 Rxd8 25. Kf2 Kf8 26. Rc5 { White should win this endgame.}) 19. Nb5 Rd8 ({Probably Michael evaluated the position after} 19... Be6 $5 20. Nc7 Rac8 21. b4 Rxc7 22. Bxc7 Rc8 23. bxc5 Rxc7 24. Bb3 $16 {as hopeless but it seems to me that other continuations are even worse.}) 20. Nc7 Ra7 21. Rd1 Kf7 22. Nxd5 {White just won a pawn without any compensation.} b5 {In searching for counterplay.} 23. O-O Bf8 $6 (23... g6 24. Nxe7 Kxe7 25. Rxd8 Kxd8 {White should easily win it.}) 24. Bxh7 {White has gained a second pawn, Black's position is hopeless.} g5 ({Of course Black can't win the bishop due to} 24... g6 25. Bxg6+ Kxg6 26. Nf4+ $18) 25. h4 Be6 26. e4 gxh4 27. Bxh4 Bxd5 28. Rxd5 Rxd5 29. exd5 $18 {White has 2 extra pawns and the bishop pair and despite the weakness of his b2-pawn, Peter easily won the game.} Na4 30. Rc1 Rd7 $1 {This is Black's best chance. Michael found a way to win the d5-pawn, but his position is still hopeless.} (30... Nxb2 31. Rc6 Bxa3 32. Bxf6 Nc4 33. Bd4 Rb7 34. g4 {Black can't stop the g4-pawn.}) 31. Rc6 $1 Rxd5 32. Rxf6+ Kg7 33. Bc2 $1 Nxb2 34. Rg6+ Kf7 35. Rf6+ Kg7 36. Rb6 $1 Bc5 (36... Bd6 37. Rb7+ Kf8 38. g3 Bxa3 39. Bf6 Nd3 40. Bb3 $18) (36... Bxa3 { Black can't take on a3 due to} 37. Bf6+ Kf8 38. Rb8+ Kf7 39. Bxb2 Bxb2 40. Bb3) 37. Rb7+ Kf8 38. Bg6 Bd4 39. Be7+ Kg8 40. Bf6 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.10"] [Round "5"] [White "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Black "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2739"] [BlackElo "2761"] [Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. c4 (1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 {You will soon understand why I am showing this variation...} Nc6 5. Nc3 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Bc4 O-O 8. Bb3 d6 9. h3 Na5 10. O-O b6 11. Re1 Bb7 12. Bg5) 1... Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Bc5 $5 {It's amazing how Grischuk constantly comes up with new ideas. This move has been played many times already, but the strongest player who tried it was 2200, after which it mostly happened in beginners' games. There were some recent correspondence games, which Grischuk probably used to find it. He is trying to play the usual Bc4-line that White plays against the Accelerated Dragon (with reversed colors).} 7. O-O (7. Nxe5 { would be something to consider, but it turns out to be harmless} Nxc3 8. bxc3 ( 8. Bxc6+ bxc6 {Black has decent compensation in both cases (dxc3 or bxc3)} 9. dxc3 (9. bxc3 Qd5 10. Nf3 Bh3 $44) 9... Qe7 $5 $44) (8. Nxc6 $4 Qf6 $1 { hitting the queen and mate in f2} 9. dxc3 Qxf2+ 10. Kd2 Qxg2 $19) 8... Nxe5 ( 8... Bxf2+ $2 {this kind of move is known to be a mistake, because the king is safely placed, while White in the meantime has a strong centre and the bishop pair} 9. Kxf2 Nxe5 10. Rf1 $16 {followed by Kg1, and d4-e4}) 9. d4 Bd6 10. dxe5 Bxe5 $11 {and Black is very happy with the better structure. Soon c6 will be played, and the g2 bishop will be neutralised.}) 7... O-O 8. d3 (8. Nxd5 { was played in correspondence chess, a couple of years ago} Qxd5 9. Ng5 Qc4 $5 { was the original move played} (9... Qd8 {is acceptable, but runs into} 10. Nxh7 $5 Re8 {threatening to move the c5-bishop} (10... Kxh7 $2 11. Qc2+ Kg8 12. Qxc5 $16) 11. Ng5 (11. h4 $5 f6 12. Qc2 $13 {followed by Qg6, the position remains very unclear (and weird!)}) 11... Qxg5 12. d4 (12. Bxc6 $5 bxc6 13. d4 Qh5 14. dxc5 Bg4 $44 {should offer good compensation to Black}) 12... Qh5 13. dxc5 Rd8 14. Bd2 Nd4 $36) 10. b3 Qg4 11. Qc2 {White has to do this, otherwise Black is simply fine} Bxf2+ 12. Rxf2 Qxg5 13. Bxc6 bxc6 14. Qxc6 Bh3 15. d3 Qe7 16. Be3 Rfc8 17. Qe4 f6 $13 {1/2-1/2 (30) Golubenko,A (2198)-Zakharov,Y (2229) ICCF 2015, again with original play, that should be balanced.}) (8. Nxe5 {runs into the same theme} Nxc3 9. bxc3 (9. Nxc6 $2 Nxd1 10. Nxd8 Bxf2+ 11. Kh1 Bg4 $1 $17 ) 9... Nxe5 10. d4 Bd6 11. dxe5 Bxe5 $11 {and Black should be happy after ... c6.}) 8... Bb6 9. Na4 {Similar to the Accelerated Dragon, White gets the bishop pair (there are many lines where Black plays ...Na5). In the other hand, Black obtains very good central control.} Re8 10. Bg5 (10. b3 {would be similar to how Black plays the Accelerated Dragon (...Na5, followed by ...b6, . ..Bb7). Good news for Black is that there was no need to lose a tempo with ... h6 (h3), since the bishop is still on c8 (please read the analysis before the 1st move!), and the bishop also went directly to g4, without 'stopping' at e6, as happens in the Dragon.} Bg4 11. Bb2 Qd7 {followed by ...Rad8, and Black is totally fine} (11... Nd4 $5 12. Nxb6 axb6 13. Nxd4 exd4 14. Re1 c5 15. Qd2 Qd7 $11 {and there is nothing to complain about in Black's position.})) 10... Qd6 11. Nd2 Qg6 $1 {The queen finds an excellent square here.} 12. Ne4 (12. Bxd5 $5 {was possibly better than the game} Qxg5 13. Rc1 Bh3 (13... Ne7 {more solid} 14. Bg2 c6 {threatening ...Bc7 at some point} 15. Nxb6 axb6 16. a4 {to stop b5} Nd5 17. Nc4 Qd8 $11 {with balanced play}) 14. Re1 Rad8 (14... Ba5 $5) 15. Bxc6 bxc6 {with interesting play.}) 12... Bg4 $1 (12... f5 {there is no need to play this} 13. Nec5 Qxg5 14. Bxd5+ Kh8 15. Rc1 $13 {I like Grischuk's decision better, to bring about ...Be6 and ...Rad8 quickly (he played ...Bg4 first to provoke h3).}) (12... Be6 $5 {also perfectly fine, but ...Bg4 should be an improved version, h3 may be a weakness in some variations.}) 13. h3 Be6 14. Bd2 Rad8 $15 {Now Black is already to be preferred - everything is harmonious, ... f5 is coming and he has ...Bc8 whenever a knight arrives on c5.} 15. Kh2 Kh8 16. a3 f5 $1 17. Nec5 Bc8 {All of Grischuk's forces are heading towards the centre - e4 is unstoppable, unless White himself plays it, which was a way that Eljanov could try and complicate matters.} 18. b4 (18. e4 Nf6 $1 (18... fxe4 {is the solid way to deal with this} 19. Bxe4 Qf7 $15 {and moves like ... Nd4 are coming, Black is doing fine}) 19. exf5 Bxf5 $1 (19... Qxf5 $5 $15) 20. Nxb7 (20. Nxb6 axb6 21. Nxb7 Rd5 $3 {defending the c6-knight very creatively} 22. Bxd5 Nxd5 {Black wants to pick up the knight with ...Bc8} 23. Qf3 {forced} Nd4 $3 24. Qxd5 Qh5 25. h4 Be6 $1 26. Qg2 Nf3+ 27. Kh1 Nxd2 28. Rfe1 Nf3 29. Re3 Bd5 $19) 20... Rxd3 21. Nxb6 Bxh3 $3 {an amazing move, instantly spotted by the computer. The idea is to distract the bishop and maintain a strong initiative, with two pawns for the piece. I think it is almost impossible for a human to find all these moves, specially considering White remains with the pure bishop pair} 22. Bxh3 axb6 $17 {threatening Nd4} 23. Rc1 Nd4 24. Rc3 Nf3+ 25. Qxf3 Rxf3 26. Rxf3 Qh5 27. Kg2 Qf7 $1 $19 {followed by ...Qd5.}) 18... e4 $1 19. e3 $2 (19. dxe4 $1 fxe4 20. Qb1 (20. Qc2 {a very ugly move to make (allowing ...Nd4), but that is the computer's suggestion} Nd4 (20... Qh5 $5 21. Nxb6 Nd4 $36 {looks ugly for White}) 21. Qc4 e3 22. Bc1 $13 {and miraculously White is ok, according to the computer}) 20... Nd4 21. Bxe4 $2 (21. Nxe4 Bf5 $17) 21... Qh5 $19) 19... Bxc5 $1 {Eljanov's position simply collapses now, ... b6 and ...Ba6 are coming.} (19... exd3 $2 20. Nxb6 axb6 21. Nxd3 $14 {and White is even slightly better.}) 20. Nxc5 b6 21. Nb3 Ba6 $19 22. Nc1 Ne5 { Now it's all over, Black starts picking up material and has a dominant position.} 23. Qa4 Bxd3 24. Nxd3 Nxd3 25. b5 (25. Qxa7 $2 Ra8 26. Qb7 Qe6 27. b5 Ne5 $1 $19 {and White should resign.}) 25... h5 26. Qc2 Qd6 (26... h4 $1 27. gxh4 Qf6 {with a devastating attack, but Grischuk wanted to keep it simple.}) 27. h4 Qe5 28. Kg1 Re6 29. a4 Kh7 30. Ra3 Rdd6 31. a5 c5 {Starting serious action on the queenside, where Black holds all the advantages as well.} 32. bxc6 Rxc6 33. Qd1 Nf6 $1 {A good moment to remove the knight, not only to defend h5, but also because Bc3 is not possible anymore.} 34. axb6 axb6 35. Qb1 Red6 {The problem is that White can never activate his bishops, not to mention the material disadvantage.} 36. Rb3 Ng4 37. Bb4 Rd5 38. Be1 Rc1 {And White resigned. A very convincing game from Alexander Grischuk, who joins Radjabov in the lead! On the 12th of July, they both have White - against Aronian and Harikrishna, respectively. A lot of action yet to come in the final four rounds, stay tuned!} 0-1 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.10"] [Round "5"] [White "Harikrishna, Penteala"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B81"] [WhiteElo "2737"] [BlackElo "2742"] [Annotator "Quintiliano,R"] [PlyCount "102"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e6 {Maybe this move was already a surprise for Harikrishna, as in this position Nepo always played the other black main option,} ({which is} 6... e5 7. Nde2 h5) 7. g4 Be7 { Once I played this position and after the game I realised that maybe 7...Nfd7 saves an important tempo for Black:} (7... Nfd7 8. g5 (8. Bg2 {transposes to other lines}) 8... b5 $1 {the point is that Black can postpone ...Be7 in order to accelerate the counterplay on the queenside} 9. a3 Bb7 10. h4 (10. Be3 Nb6 $1 {with the bishop on e3, ideas like ...Nc4 can be annoying, and also Black has another subtle threat} 11. f4 N8d7 12. f5 $2 e5 13. Nb3 Na4 $1 {[%csl Yc3, Re4]} 14. Nxa4 Bxe4 $17 {Muzychuk,M (2491)-Ivanchuk,V (2733) Cap d'Agde Karpov qual 2nd rapid 2013 (10) 0-1}) 10... Nc6 11. Be3 (11. Nxc6 $6 {this only helps Black, as now the bishop is improved on c6 and it becomes obvious that the right square tor the rook is b8} Bxc6 12. Be3 Be7 13. Qd4 O-O 14. O-O-O Rb8 $1 15. h5 Nc5 16. h6 e5 $1 17. Qd2 g6 {Barbosa,E (2438)-Mareco,S (2581) American Continental 11th 2015 (6) 0-1 and Black is ok -}) 11... Rc8 $5 {still avoiding ...Be7, and looking for typical ideas in the c-file} 12. f4 (12. Nxc6 Rxc6 $1 { [%csl Gc3] I had analysed this position around 2015, when the move 11...Rc8 had not yet been played, but now there's a practical example:} 13. Qd4 Ne5 14. O-O-O Nc4 15. Rh3 Qc7 16. Bd2 Nxd2 17. Rxd2 Qb6 18. Qd3 g6 $2 (18... Be7 $142) 19. e5 $1 {[%cal Yd2d8,Yc3e4] now White's pressure along the d-file is very strong} Rc7 (19... Be7 20. Ne4 d5 21. Nf6+ Bxf6 22. gxf6 $16) 20. exd6 Rd7 21. Nxb5 $5 axb5 22. Qxb5 Qxb5 23. Bxb5 Kd8 24. Bxd7 Kxd7 25. Rb3 $16 {Blomqvist,E (2567)-Nasuta,G (2448) London Classic op 8th 2016 (4) 1-0 despite the bishop pair, Black has lost many pawns and his position is very difficult to play -}) (12. Qd2 {seems fail to put any problem for Black, for example} Nce5 {[%csl Gc4][%cal Yd7b6]} 13. f4 Nc4 14. Bxc4 Rxc4 15. O-O-O Qc7 {[%csl Ye4][%cal Gc4c3]} 16. Nde2 (16. f5 Rxc3 $1 17. fxe6 fxe6 18. Qxc3 Qxc3 19. bxc3 Nc5 $44) 16... Nc5 $1 17. Bxc5 Qxc5 18. Qd3 Be7 {[%cal Yb5b4] and Black probably already has the easier game, with the initiative coming soon on the queenside}) 12... Na5 $1 $36 {[%cal Yb7h1,Yc8c1];Stocko,J (2326)-Kozul,Z (2619) Split op 6th 2016 (4) 0-1}) 8. g5 Nfd7 9. h4 (9. Be3 {is another move order, as} Bxg5 $2 {is bad in view of} 10. Nxe6 $1 fxe6 11. Qh5+ g6 12. Qxg5 $16) 9... b5 10. a3 Bb7 11. Be3 Nc6 12. Qd2 O-O ({Three days later, the same position was reached between Harikrishna and another strong Russian GM:} 12... Rc8 13. Nxc6 Bxc6 ( 13... Rxc6 $5) 14. h5 ({my game went} 14. O-O-O Nc5 15. f3 O-O 16. Kb1 Rb8 { Mekhitarian,K (2556)-Quintiliano Pinto,R (2403) Latin Cup-A 6th 2015 (7) 1/2-1/ 2 now putting the rook on the right square, but compared with the lines shown in the notes to Black's 7th move, I had wasted a tempo} 17. h5 a5 18. Na2 $1 $16 {[%cal Yg5g6,Yh5h6] and Black's counterplay is easily stopped, while White will be playing h6 or g6 in the other side}) 14... O-O 15. O-O-O Nc5 16. f3 a5 17. Bxc5 $6 (17. h6 $5) 17... dxc5 18. Qxd8 Rfxd8 19. Bxb5 Bxg5+ {Harikrishna, P (2737)-Grischuk,A (2761) Geneva FIDE GP 2017 (7) 1/2-1/2 and Black has no problems anymore -}) 13. O-O-O Nc5 14. f3 ({Recently, White played} 14. Nxc6 Bxc6 15. f3 {and now} Qb8 $1 {[%csl Ga8][%cal Ya6a5,Yb5b4] seems a very good idea, as the queen supports Black's pawn advance and the rook stays in the a-file, where it can be very useful} ({definitely an improvement over} 15... Rb8 {Oparin,G (2604)-Gelfand,B (2724) Zuerich Chess Challenge Blitz 6th 2017 (5) 0-1}) 16. h5 a5 17. Nb1 $2 {Hansen,M (2452)-Sethuraman,S (2647) Hastings Masters op 92nd 2016 (6) 0-1} Rc8 $1 18. g6 $2 Bxe4 $1 {[%cal Yc5b3]} 19. Bxc5 Rxc5 20. fxe4 Bg5 $19) 14... Rb8 $1 {In some positions the rook is better placed on c8, from where the threat of ...Rxc3 is very strong, but in this position it belongs on b8, as for Black it is essential to support the pawns on the queenside in order to generate counterplay.} 15. Kb1 (15. Nxc6 {seems interesting, as after} Bxc6 {White can continue with} 16. h5 a5 17. h6 (17. b4 $5) (17. Na2 {this position shows how each tempo is very important in this position, as compared with my game against Mekhitarian, White's king is not on b1 yet, so Black can play} b4 $1 {and the position becomes sharp} 18. axb4 axb4 19. Nxb4 $4 Qa5 $19 {with the king on b1, this idea would not be possible}) 17... g6 18. Na2 Qc7 (18... b4 $2 19. axb4 axb4 20. Nxb4 Qa5 21. Qc3 $1 $18 { [%csl Gd2,Rg7][%cal Yb4c6]}) 19. Kb1 Rfd8 20. Be2 $13 {Oparin,G (2604)-Gelfand, B (2724) Zuerich Chess Challenge Blitz 6th 2017 (5) 0-1}) 15... Nxd4 16. Bxd4 Bc6 17. Bh3 $5 {There is an interesting idea behind this move, but it looks like Black has enough counterplay to be ok.} (17. Qh2 $1 {[%cal Yd4c5] was an unnexpected way to put Black under pressure} Nd7 (17... Qa5 18. Na2 $1 { [%cal Yb2b4,Gd4c3]}) 18. g6 $1 {and the attack is coming fast, for example} e5 (18... fxg6 19. h5 g5 20. h6 g6 21. Bg7 Rxf3 22. Bh3 Nf8 23. Rhf1 Rxf1 24. Rxf1 Bd7 25. Qf2 Qe8 26. Qd4 $18) 19. gxh7+ Kxh7 (19... Kh8 20. Be3 a5 21. Nd5 b4 22. a4 $1 $16 Bxa4 23. b3 Bc6 24. Nxe7 Qxe7 25. Qd2 {[%csl Rd6]}) 20. Be3 b4 21. axb4 Rxb4 22. Na2 Rb8 23. Rg1 a5 24. Qg2 Rg8 25. Bc4 $16) 17... a5 18. b4 $2 {This move is in accordance with the previous move for White, but both players missed a strong idea for Black.} (18. Na2 $142 {stopping ...b4.}) 18... axb4 19. axb4 Nd7 $2 ({Blacks fails to explore the tactical ideas in this position,} 19... Ra8 $3 {was very good, and now White has no choice but to launch an attack on the other side, creating some wild complications, very difficult to calculate and evaluate over the board:} 20. g6 $1 (20. bxc5 $2 dxc5 21. Be3 Qa5 $19) (20. Kb2 Nd7 21. Ra1 (21. g6 Ne5 $1 {[%csl Gc4]} 22. gxf7+ Kxf7 23. Bxe5 dxe5 24. Qxd8 Rfxd8 25. Kb3 Rd4 $17) 21... Nb6 22. Bxb6 Qxb6 $17) 20... hxg6 21. h5 $1 Bg5 (21... e5 {is even better for White} 22. Bxc5 dxc5 23. hxg6) (21... Qc7 {loses in a beautiful way} 22. hxg6 Qa7 23. Na4 $3 Qxa4 24. Bxe6 $1 {[%csl Ga2][%cal Yh1h8] with an unstoppable mate}) 22. Qh2 {in this very critical position, Black should play} (22. f4 Qc7 $1 23. fxg5 Qa7 24. Nxb5 (24. Ne2 Qa2+ 25. Kc1 Nxe4 $44 {seems dangerous for White}) 24... Qa2+ 25. Kc1 e5 $1 26. bxc5 exd4 27. Qxd4 Bxb5 $13) 22... gxh5 $1 (22... Qe7 $6 { only the computer can save this} 23. hxg6 Bh6 (23... Qa7 24. Na4 $1 {[%cal Yh1h8,Gh3e6]} Bh6 25. gxf7+ Rxf7 26. Bxe6 Qxa4 27. bxc5 $18) 24. bxc5 Qa7 25. Na4 $1 Qxa4 $2 (25... e5 $3 {is the inhuman solution}) 26. gxf7+ Kxf7 27. Bxe6+ Kxe6 28. Qxd6+ Kf7 29. Rxh6 Qa2+ 30. Kc1 gxh6 31. Qf6+ Ke8 32. Qxc6+ Ke7 33. Qd6+ Ke8 34. Bg7 $18) 23. Bxc5 (23. Rhg1 Bf6 24. e5 $1 dxe5 25. Bxc5 Qc7 { is also complicated, for example} 26. Bxf8 $2 {White is a R and N up, but now follows an impressive and forced attack} Qa7 27. Kc1 Qa1+ 28. Kd2 Rd8+ 29. Ke2 Bxf3+ $3 30. Kxf3 Qxc3+ 31. Ke4 (31. Rd3 e4+ $1) 31... Rxd1 32. Rxd1 Qc6+ 33. Ke3 Bg5+ 34. Ke2 Qxc2+ $19) 23... Qc8 $1 {[%cal Yc8a6]} 24. Bb6 {[%cal Yb6a5]} Bf6 25. Rd3 Bxe4 $1 26. fxe4 Bxc3 27. Ba5 Qc4 $13) 20. g6 $1 $40 {Now White gets in first.} e5 (20... hxg6 21. h5 $1 {this thematic idea, known from Mikhail Tal's great attacking games, is the point: White sacrifices the pawns to open the path towards Black's king} gxh5 22. Bxg7 $1 $18 {with a mating attack.}) 21. gxf7+ {Understandable, White wants the e6-square for his bishop, from where it can help both attack and defence.} (21. gxh7+ $5 {has an interesting tactical point, but with correct play should be a draw} Kh8 22. Be3 Nb6 23. Bh6 $1 Bf6 $1 (23... gxh6 24. Qxh6 $18 {[%cal Yd1g1]}) (23... Nc4 24. Bxg7+ $1 Kxg7 25. Rdg1+ $18) 24. Qxd6 Qe7 $1 25. Bxg7+ $1 Kxg7 26. Rhg1+ (26. Rdg1+ $5) 26... Kxh7 27. Qxc6 Qxb4+ 28. Kc1 Qa3+ 29. Kb1 Qb4+ $11) 21... Rxf7 22. Be3 $13 {This position is difficult for both players, as both sides has their weaknesses to take care of.} Kh8 (22... Rxf3 23. Be6+ Kh8 24. Rhg1 { [%cal Yd2g2] seems a little dangerous for Black.}) 23. Rhg1 Nb6 24. Be6 (24. Bxb6 {seems safer, eliminating the dangerous knight:} Rxb6 25. Be6 Rf4 (25... Rxf3 26. Rxg7 $1 Kxg7 27. Rg1+ Kh8 28. Qg2 $18 {[%csl Gg7,Gg8]}) 26. h5 { and this position seems even, as it's probably very difficult to make progress with either side.}) 24... Nc4 25. Qe2 Rf6 ({The engine indicates the unexpected } 25... Qf8 $1 {as the best option, which would be very annoying for White} 26. Bxf7 (26. Bxc4 bxc4 27. Qxc4 d5 $1 {[%csl Rb4][%cal Yb8b4]} 28. Qxc6 d4 $1 $19) (26. Nd5 Bxd5 27. Bxd5 Nxe3 28. Qxe3 Rxf3 $15) 26... Qxf7 $17 {[%csl Rb1] there are many options for White here, but it's clear that Black has a good compensation, because now his kingside is well defended and the attacking options on the queenside remain attractive.}) 26. Bxc4 bxc4 27. Qxc4 Qa5 $6 ( 27... Rxf3 28. Qxc6 Rxe3 29. Qc4 $1 Rc8 30. Qf7 Bf6 31. Nd5 Rxe4 32. h5 $1 { [%cal Gh5h6]} Rh4 $1 (32... h6 33. Rg6) 33. Rh1 Rxh1 34. Rxh1 h6 35. Rf1 Bg5 $13) 28. Kc1 {In general, such positions are very difficult to calculate, so White makes the practical decision to refuse Black's piece sacrifice.} ({ However,} 28. Qxc6 $1 {could have been played} Qxb4+ (28... d5 29. Qe8+ $1 { maybe this was the resource missed by both players} Rf8 30. Qxe7 Rxb4+ 31. Kc1 Qa3+ 32. Kd2 Rd4+ 33. Bxd4 Qxe7 34. Nxd5 $18 {with too many pieces for the queen}) 29. Kc1 d5 30. Qc7 d4 31. Nd5 Qb2+ 32. Kd2 dxe3+ 33. Ke2 Qb5+ 34. Rd3 { and White is just clearly better, for example} Rb7 $8 35. Qxe5 Bd6 36. Qd4 $16) 28... Qa3+ 29. Kd2 d5 $1 {Black's position becomes very active, but Harikrishna is able to keep things under control.} 30. exd5 $1 (30. Nxd5 Bxd5 31. exd5 Rxf3 32. Bc5 Bxc5 33. Qxc5 Rf4 $36 {[%csl Rd2] this position can be dangerous to play with White, because his king is more exposed.}) 30... Bxb4 ( 30... Rxb4 31. Qa2 $1 {is a nice resource} Qxa2 32. Nxa2 Ra4 33. Nc3 $18 { [%csl Ra4,Rc6]}) 31. dxc6 Bxc3+ 32. Ke2 (32. Qxc3 $4 Rd6+ $19) 32... Bd4 $1 33. Rd3 Qa8 34. Rxd4 $1 {Again the best idea.} ({instead,} 34. Bxd4 exd4 35. c7 Re8+ 36. Kf2 Rc6 {is dangerous for White, as now he is the side with a more exposed king to queen+rook attacks.}) 34... exd4 35. Bxd4 Re8+ 36. Kf2 Qxc6 { The best practical decision, liquidating this very interesting battle into a rook endgame with a pawn down, but a drawish one.} (36... Rg6 $2 {is easy to see that keeping the material is a bad deal for Black} 37. Rxg6 hxg6 38. Qf7 Rg8 39. Qxg6 $18) 37. Qxc6 Rxc6 38. Rxg7 Rxc2+ 39. Kg3 Rc4 40. Rg4+ Rxd4 41. Rxd4 {I'm not totally sure about this endgame, but if without the h-pawn for Black it's a draw, so this one should be also.} Kg7 42. Kg4 Re1 43. Rd7+ Kh6 44. Rd6+ Kg7 45. f4 Rg1+ 46. Kf5 h5 $11 {[%csl Gh4][%cal Yg1g4]} 47. Rd7+ Kg8 48. Ke6 Rg6+ 49. Ke5 Rg4 50. f5 Rxh4 51. Rd8+ Kf7 1/2-1/2 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.10"] [Round "5"] [White "Hou, Yifan"] [Black "Rapport, Richard"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C55"] [WhiteElo "2666"] [BlackElo "2694"] [Annotator "Roiz,M"] [PlyCount "88"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 e5 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 h6 5. O-O d6 6. c3 g6 {Richard chooses a somewhat risky, but less explored setup.} 7. Re1 ({More energetic is} 7. d4 $1 Qe7 (7... Bg7 8. dxe5 dxe5 9. Qxd8+ Nxd8 10. Nxe5 $16) 8. Re1 Bg7 9. Nbd2 O-O 10. h3 Kh8 11. a4 Bd7 12. a5 a6 13. Bd3 Rae8 14. Nf1 $14 {Radjabov,T - Amin,B Doha QAT 2016}) 7... Bg7 8. h3 O-O 9. d4 {Now, when Black's development is almost completed, this advance is less promising for White.} Nd7 $146 { Transferring the knight to b6 is an interesting idea, but it yields White time for consolidating the centre.} ({But} 9... Nxe4 $6 {is dubious:} 10. dxe5 Ng5 11. Bxg5 hxg5 12. e6 $16 {Andriasian,Z - Lomsadze,D Jermuk ARM 2012}) ({ However,} 9... exd4 {is safer:} 10. cxd4 d5 11. exd5 Ne7 12. Nc3 Nexd5 13. Ne5 c6 $11 {Antipov,M - Marholev,D Marianske Lazne CZE 2009}) 10. Na3 (10. Be3 $5 { looked somewhat provocative, but inviting the knight to c4 is a typical idea in the Ruy Lopez. The play might continue:} Nb6 11. Bb3 Na5 12. Bc2 Nac4 13. Bc1 exd4 14. cxd4 c5 15. b3 cxd4 (15... Na5 16. Be3 $14) 16. bxc4 d3 17. Qxd3 Bxa1 18. Nc3 $36 {and White's initiative more than compensates for the exchange.}) 10... Nb6 11. Bb5 ({Another natural retreat -} 11. Bb3 Re8 { would more or less force White to release the tension in the centre, and after} 12. dxe5 Nxe5 13. Nxe5 Rxe5 14. Bf4 Re8 {Black is close to equalising.}) 11... Bd7 12. Be3 $6 {Losing control over the e4-pawn could have invited some troubles.} ({Instead, Hou Yifan should have played} 12. dxe5 Nxe5 13. Nxe5 dxe5 14. Bxd7 Nxd7 15. Be3 Qe7 16. Qb3 $14 {putting Black under some positional pressure.}) 12... Kh7 $6 {Richard is returning the favour.} ({A stronger move was} 12... f5 $1 13. Qb3+ Kh7 14. exf5 gxf5 15. dxe5 dxe5 {and the potential play along the g-file might cause White definite problems.}) 13. dxe5 dxe5 14. Nc4 Qe7 ({A more accurate try was} 14... Nxc4 15. Bxc4 Na5 16. Bd3 b6 17. Qe2 Qe7 $11) 15. a4 Rad8 16. Qe2 {In the resulting position with a symmetrical pawn structure White's chances are preferable due to better coordination between the pieces.} Nxc4 17. Qxc4 Qf6 18. Bxc6 {This ''greedy'' decision changes the favourable course of game.} ({It was better to maintain the tension by means of} 18. Qe2 a6 19. Bc4 Be6 20. b4 $14 {and Black is doomed to a passive defence.}) 18... Qxc6 19. Qxc6 Bxc6 20. Bxa7 Rg8 $1 {It looks like this strong move was underestimated by Hou Yifan. It turns out that Black is able to push f7-f5 and activate both of his bishops.} 21. a5 (21. Bc5 b6 22. Bb4 f5 23. a5 Bxe4 24. axb6 cxb6 25. Ra7 Rge8 26. c4 Kg8 27. Bc3 Bf6 $11) 21... f5 22. exf5 gxf5 {Now most of Black's pieces are very active.} 23. Red1 $2 { White cannot afford such a passive move.} ({In the event of} 23. Nxe5 Bxe5 24. Rxe5 Rxg2+ 25. Kf1 Rd2 26. Re7+ Kg8 27. Rxc7 Rg6 $11 {Black would obtain enough counterplay for a draw, but White had no reason for rejecting it.}) 23... Ra8 ({Another move which was good enough was} 23... Rxd1+ $1 24. Rxd1 Bf6 25. Ne1 Ra8 26. Bc5 Rxa5 $17 {achieving a big positional advantage.}) 24. Be3 f4 25. Bd2 {A sad necessity - this is the only way to avoid a loss of material. } Bf6 $1 {Now Black's pieces are dominating over the board.} ({Richard correctly rejected} 25... e4 26. Ne1 Be5 27. c4 $1 Bxb2 28. Bxf4 Bxa1 29. Rxa1 $15 {and Black's material advantage doesn't guarantee anything yet.}) 26. Ne1 Rg7 $2 {This inaccurate move could have spoiled all the advantage!} ({The correct way was} 26... Bxg2 27. Nxg2 f3 28. Be3 Rxg2+ 29. Kh1 Kg6 30. Rg1 Rxg1+ 31. Kxg1 Kf5 $17 {and the activity of Black's king might become a decisive factor.}) 27. c4 Rag8 ({In comparison to the above-mentioned note, now it's too late for} 27... Bxg2 28. Nxg2 f3 29. Kh1 Rxg2 30. Bc3 $1 Rag8 (30... Kg6 31. Rg1 Rxg1+ 32. Kxg1 e4 33. Bxf6 Kxf6 34. b4 Ke5 35. Rd1 $11) 31. b4 $1 Bh4 32. Bxe5 Bxf2 33. Rd7+ Kg6 34. Bxc7 Kf5 35. Rf7+ Ke4 36. Rf4+ Ke3 37. Ra3+ Ke2 38. Ra2+ Kf1 39. Ra1+ Be1 40. Rxf3+ Ke2 41. Rxe1+ Kxf3 42. Rc1 $11) 28. Kf1 $2 {A decisive mistake.} (28. a6 $1 {White has missed a golden opportunity of activating the pieces and saving half a point:} Bxg2 29. Nxg2 Rxg2+ 30. Kh1 bxa6 31. Rxa6 Bh4 32. Bc3 Bxf2 33. Bxe5 Rg1+ 34. Rxg1 Rxg1+ 35. Kh2 f3 36. Rf6 $11) 28... Bxg2+ 29. Nxg2 f3 $1 ({Of course, not} 29... Rxg2 $2 30. Ke2 Bh4 31. Rf1 {and White's king is extremely safe.}) 30. Be3 e4 $1 {The last precise move.} (30... Rxg2 31. Ke1 Kg6 32. Kd2 e4 33. a6 bxa6 34. Rxa6 Rd8+ 35. Kc2 Rxd1 36. Kxd1 Kf7 {was also winning, but the text is more convincing.}) 31. Ra3 Be5 (31... Bxb2 {was also good enough:} 32. Rb3 Be5 33. Rxb7 Kh8 $19) 32. Rb3 c6 {GM Rapport reasonably doesn't hurry.} 33. Bd4 fxg2+ 34. Kg1 Rd8 $19 { The rest is easy.} 35. Rbd3 Rgd7 36. Bxe5 Rxd3 37. Re1 Rg8 38. h4 Rh3 39. Bh2 Rxh4 40. Rd1 Rg7 41. b4 e3 42. fxe3 Rxc4 43. Be5 Rgg4 44. Bd6 h5 0-1 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.10"] [Round "5"] [White "Inarkiev, Ernesto"] [Black "Salem, AR Saleh"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2707"] [BlackElo "2638"] [Annotator "Quintiliano,R"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. f3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. Be3 h5 9. Qd2 Nbd7 10. Nd5 Nxd5 {This option is much less played than 10...Bxd5, but the fact that Inarkiev has a good score in that line could have influenced Salem in his choice.} (10... Bxd5 11. exd5 {is the main line, as the knight seems more useful to play against White's pawns advancing on queenside.}) 11. exd5 Bf5 {The thing is that here White has a clear plan to follow, pushing his queenside pawns to grab space or create a passed pawn. This is the straightforward plan, but in this game Inarkiev shows a different approach for White.} 12. Be2 Rc8 {This move was used once by Nakamura to beat Caruana.} ( 12... Be7 {is the most played, in general White follows the same plan} 13. O-O O-O 14. Na5 Qc7 15. c4 {[%cal Yb2b4]}) 13. c4 ({That game went} 13. Rc1 Qh4+ $5 {a good move to force weaknesses in White's camp} 14. g3 Qf6 15. O-O Be7 (15... h4 $2 16. g4 Bh7 17. Bg5 Qg6 18. Bd3 $18 {[%csl Rg6]}) 16. Na5 $1 {[%csl Yb7] [%cal Gc2c4,Gb2b4] A typical manouevre in this variation, On a5 the knight exerts pressure on b7 and frees the path for the b-pawn in order to play c4-b4. } Rc7 17. Bd3 O-O 18. c4 Bxd3 19. Qxd3 Re8 20. b4 Bf8 {Caruana,F (2774) -Nakamura,H (2784) Moscow Tal Memorial 8th 2013 (4) 0-1} 21. Nb3 {[%cal Yc4c5]} Rec8 22. a4 $14 {and White has the easier game.}) 13... Qh4+ $5 14. g3 $146 ( 14. Bf2 Qf6 15. O-O Be7 16. Na5 Rc7 17. b4 Qg6 {[%cal Yf5h3]} 18. Be3 O-O 19. Rac1 e4 20. f4 Bh3 21. Bd1 h4 $2 22. c5 $36 {Yagupov,I (2372)-Pulpan,J (2368) 28th Czech Open E 2017 (7.5) 1-0}) 14... Qf6 {[%cal Gh5h4] Black hopes to exploit White's last move in his favour with h4-ideas.} 15. Na5 Rc7 16. O-O-O $5 {This is an unexpected but very interesting move, which shows White's agressive ideas. At first sight, the white king seems to be in a dangerous position, but it's not easy to see how Black can exploit this. Besides, White has now finished his development and is ready for active actions.} Be7 ({ for example} 16... b5 $2 17. Nc6 $16 {[%cal Yd2a5]}) 17. Rhf1 $1 {[%cal Yg3g4] As said, White has mobilised all his forces quickly and is now looking for concrete ideas.} Qg6 18. b3 {A good move, giving the b2-square for his king.} O-O ({Knowing the game's continuation} 18... e4 $1 {seems to be better:} 19. fxe4 (19. g4 $2 hxg4 20. fxg4 Bxg4 21. Rg1 Ne5 $17) (19. f4 Nc5 {[%cal Yc5d3]}) 19... Bxe4 {and as Black is playing moves like ...Ne5 or ...Bf6 soon, there's nothing better than} 20. Bd3 Bxd3 21. Qxd3 Qxd3 22. Rxd3 Bf6 $11) 19. h4 $1 { A very nice idea, which puts Black face to face with a challenge, and Salem is not the kind of player who refuses a good fight...} (19. g4 hxg4 20. fxg4 Be4 { seems ok for Black.}) 19... Qxg3 $2 {But now Black's position becomes very dangerous, as White can develop the initiative while gaining time.} (19... e4 $1 {looks like the better option again, but Black needs to play precisely after } 20. g4 $1 hxg4 21. h5 $1 Qf6 $1 {[%csl Ra1]} (21... Qxh5 22. Rh1 Qg6 23. fxg4 Bxg4 24. Bxg4 Qxg4 25. Qh2 f5 26. Rdg1 $18) 22. Bd4 Qh4 (22... Qg5 23. fxg4 Qxd2+ 24. Kxd2 Bh7 25. b4 $14) 23. Rh1 Qg5 24. fxg4 Bh7 (24... Qxd2+ 25. Kxd2 Bh7 26. b4 $14) 25. Qxg5 Bxg5+ 26. Kb2 Re8 27. b4 Nf6 $132 {[%cal Ye4e3,Gf6e4]} ) (19... Rfc8 20. Rg1 Nf6 21. Bg5 $36 {[%cal Yg3g4]}) 20. Rg1 {Inarkiev sacrifices two pawns, but in return obtains a promissing attack and the open h-file.} Qxh4 21. Rh1 Qf6 22. Rxh5 $40 Bg6 (22... e4 {now seems dangerous} 23. Bd4 Ne5 24. Rdh1 g5 $8 (24... g6 $2 25. Rh8+ Qxh8 26. Rxh8+ Kxh8 27. Bxe5+ dxe5 28. d6 $18) 25. Rh6 Bg6 26. fxe4 Qf4 {Black is able to exchange queens but his position remains difficult after} 27. Qxf4 gxf4 28. Bh5 $1 Bg5 29. Bxg6 Bxh6 30. Bxe5 fxg6 (30... dxe5 31. Bf5 Kg7 32. d6 Rc5 33. Nxb7 $18 {[%csl Yc4,Yd6] [%cal Yd6d8]}) 31. Bxd6 f3+ 32. Kd1 $16) (22... g6 23. Rg1 {[%cal Ye3g5]} Re8 24. Bg5 Qg7 25. Bxe7 $18 {[%cal Gh5f5]}) 23. Rh2 Qf5 $1 {Using mating threats along the diagonal, Black manages to close the h-file using his pieces.} 24. Kb2 Nf6 25. Rdh1 Nh7 26. Bd1 $1 {[%cal Yd1c2] This nice manoeuvre shakes Black's defensive setup.} Bf6 (26... Qb1+ 27. Ka3 Qf5 28. Qc3 $1 {[%cal Yd1c2] renewing the threat} Bf6 29. Bc2 e4 30. Qd2 {transposes to the game.}) 27. Bc2 e4+ 28. Ka3 Qxf3 {Black's position is already quite difficult.} 29. Bd1 Qg3 ( 29... Qf5 30. Bh5 $18) 30. Rh3 {Increasing the pressure along the h-file.} Qe5 31. Bf4 Qf5 32. Qh2 {[%cal Yd1h5] Bh5 is coming and it seems pretty difficult for Black to avoid material losses.} Rd8 (32... Be5 33. Bxe5 Qxe5 34. Rxh7 $18) 33. Bh5 b6 $1 {The best chance.} 34. Bxg6 (34. Nc6 $2 Rxc6 $1 {[%cal Gf5a5]}) 34... fxg6 35. Rxh7 Kf7 $5 {As the knight cannot go to c6 (36.Nc6? Rxc6! 37. dxc6 Qa5#), Black tries to gain a tempo avoiding Rh8 with check.} (35... bxa5 36. Rf1 $1 Kf7 37. Qh1 $1 $18 {[%cal Yf4h6]}) 36. Bh6 $6 {But now Black has chances, although his position is very difficult.} (36. Rf1 $1 bxa5 37. Qh1 $1 {[%cal Gf4d6,Gf4h6] was a nice way to finish} Qd7 38. Bg5 {and Black is totally lost.}) 36... Rg8 37. Qg2 bxa5 $2 {This makes things easier for White.} (37... g5 $3 {[%csl Ya5,Yh6][%cal Gf5h7] was the amazing resource, and suddenly three white pieces are hanging!} 38. Bxg7 (38. Bxg5 Qxg5 39. Qxg5 Bxg5 40. Nc6 Bf6 {this endgame seems even better for Black}) (38. Rxg7+ Rxg7 39. Rf1 Qe5 $17) 38... Rxg7 39. R7h6 {[%cal Yh1f1]} Rg6 40. Rh7+ Rg7 41. R7h6 $11) 38. Rf1 {Now Black is totally lost again.} Qe5 39. Bg5 {[%cal Yf1f8,Yh7c7] Too many pins!} Qf5 40. Bxf6 Kxf6 41. Rhh1 Re7 42. Rhg1 Ke5 43. Qg3+ {Despite one inacurracy at the end, when Black had an amazing defensive resource, I think it was a great attacking game by Inarkiev, with an interesting example of how to open lines towards the black king in this variation.} 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.12"] [Round "6"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Harikrishna, Penteala"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2809"] [BlackElo "2737"] [Annotator "Roiz,M"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nb6 7. O-O Be7 8. d3 O-O 9. Be3 Be6 10. Rc1 f5 {This is one of most ambitious ways of handling the position - Black is aiming to prove that White's dark-squared bishop is somewhat vulnerable.} ({Another common continuation -} 10... Nd5 {had been seen in the practice of both players previously:} 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12. Qa4 (12. Nd2 $2 Bxg2 13. Kxg2 Qd5+ 14. Kg1 Qxa2 $17 {Nakamura,H (2787)-Harikrishna,P (2763) chess.com INT 2016}) 12... Re8 13. Rfd1 a6 14. a3 Bf6 15. Nd2 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 Nd4 17. Bxd4 exd4 18. Ne4 c6 $11 {1/2 (46) Aronian,L (2784)-Topalov,V (2754) Stavanger NOR 2016}) 11. a3 Kh8 {This prophylactic move can be automatically made in various English positions (reversed Sicilian!).} ({ The aggressive} 11... f4 {exposes the key e4-spot, and that might invite trouble. For instance,} 12. Bd2 Qd7 13. Ne4 Rf5 14. b4 fxg3 15. Nxg3 Rff8 16. b5 $16 {1-0 (31) Wang Yue (2723)-Mamedyarov,S (2757) Beijing CHN 2013}) ({ The following game also illustrates well how effective White's initiative on the q-side might be:} 11... Bf6 12. Nd2 Kh8 13. b4 Rb8 14. Bc5 Ne7 15. b5 $36 { 1-0 (43) Kamsky,G (2741)-Svidler,P (2769) Thessaloniki GRE 2013}) 12. b4 a6 13. Re1 $146 {This move looks somewhat mysterious, but its main idea was justified in the game!} ({The previously played} 13. Bc5 Bg8 14. e3 Bxc5 15. bxc5 Nd5 16. Qd2 Qe7 17. Ne2 Rab8 18. Nh4 Qf6 $132 {Caruana,F (2791) - Giri,A (2752) Stavanger NOR 2014 led to a balanced play.}) 13... Qe8 {Pentala is intending to place his queen on the kingside, so White's king might be under some pressure.} ({Another possibility was} 13... Nd5 $5 14. Nxd5 Bxd5 15. Bc5 Bd6 16. e4 (16. Qc2 f4 17. Nd2 Bxg2 18. Kxg2 Qd7 $132) 16... fxe4 17. dxe4 Be6 $11) 14. Qd2 Bd6 $6 {This natural move locks the d-file and allows White to seize the initiative.} ({More to the point was} 14... Rd8 15. Bxb6 cxb6 16. Qe3 Bf6 17. Qxb6 Qe7 18. Qe3 Bg8 $44 {and Black's bishops provide decent compensation for a pawn.}) 15. Bxb6 $1 cxb6 16. d4 {Levon doesn't miss the chance! Now Black has serious problems to solve.} exd4 $6 ({In the following short line White benefits from having the rook on the e-file:} 16... e4 17. d5 $1 exf3 18. exf3 {and Black's position collapses.}) ({The same can be said about} 16... Rd8 17. d5 Bb8 18. e4 fxe4 19. Rxe4 Bf5 20. Re3 Bg4 $14 {even though here White's advantage isn't that big. Indeed, it was the lesser evil!}) 17. Nxd4 Rd8 (17... Be5 {was hardly any better:} 18. Nxc6 bxc6 19. Qe3 Bc7 20. Nd5 Bxd5 21. Qxe8 Raxe8 22. Bxd5 $16 {- Even though there are bishops of different colours, the endgame is very difficult for Black.}) 18. Nxe6 Qxe6 19. Qa2 Qh6 {Pentala is aiming to complicate matters.} ({The alternative -} 19... Qxa2 20. Nxa2 Rc8 21. Red1 Rfd8 22. e3 {would lead to an unpleasant endgame, where White's light-squared bishop is extremely powerful.}) 20. f4 $2 {Luckily for GM Harikrishna, Levon loses all sense of danger...} ({Instead, the natural} 20. e3 $1 g5 21. Nd5 b5 22. f4 gxf4 23. Nxf4 $16 {would secure White a big positional advantage.}) 20... a5 21. b5 Bc5+ {That's the point! The vulnerablity of the dark squares in White's camp starts to tell now.} 22. e3 $2 {Alas, Levon fails to cope with a sudden change of course!} ({He had to play} 22. Kh1 Bf2 23. bxc6 Bxg3 24. h3 Bxe1 ({Perhaps, a stronger try is} 24... bxc6 25. Red1 Bxf4 26. e3 Bxe3 27. Rxd8 Rxd8 {obtaining 4 pawns for a piece. However, even in this event after} 28. Rd1 Rxd1+ 29. Nxd1 Bc5 30. Qf7 {White is OK}) 25. c7 $1 Rc8 26. Rxe1 Rxc7 27. Nd5 {White would be able to maintain the balance, at the least.}) 22... Ne5 $1 {Now Black has too many threats!} 23. Rcd1 (23. Nd5 Nd3 24. Rcd1 Nxe1 25. Rxe1 Rd6 $19) 23... Ng4 24. h3 Nxe3 ({There was the even simpler} 24... Bxe3+ 25. Kf1 Nh2+ 26. Ke2 Bxf4 $1 27. gxf4 (27. Rxd8 Rxd8 28. gxf4 Qh5+ 29. Ke3 Qh4 $19) 27... Rfe8+ 28. Kf2 Qh4+ $19) 25. Rxd8 Rxd8 26. Kh2 g5 { This aggressive choice makes Black's task tougher.} (26... Qd6 27. Qe2 Nxg2 28. Qxg2 (28. Kxg2 Bxa3 29. Rd1 Qe7 $19) 28... Bxa3 29. Rd1 Qe7 30. Rxd8+ Qxd8 31. Qxb7 g6 $19) 27. fxg5 Qxg5 28. Qe6 ({A more stubborn try was} 28. Nd5 Nxd5 29. Bxd5 f4 30. Qa1+ Qg7 31. Qxg7+ Kxg7 32. Rd1 fxg3+ 33. Kxg3 Bxa3 {- the resulting edngame is winning for Black, but the task is still not trivial.}) 28... f4 29. Ne4 Qg7 30. g4 Nc2 {This move doesn't spoil anything,} ({but White would immediately resign after} 30... Nxg2 31. Kxg2 Qb2+ 32. Kh1 f3 $19) 31. Rf1 Nd4 32. Qf6 Qxf6 33. Nxf6 Bxa3 34. Bxb7 Bd6 {Eventually the a-passer easily decides the game.} 35. h4 a4 36. g5 a3 37. Kh3 Be5 38. Kg4 Nc2 0-1 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.12"] [Round "6"] [White "Li, Chao B"] [Black "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E12"] [WhiteElo "2735"] [BlackElo "2739"] [Annotator "Krasenkow,M"] [PlyCount "69"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. a3 Bb7 5. Nc3 d5 6. Qc2 {This order of moves is mostly used to prevent} (6. cxd5 Nxd5 7. Qc2 Nxc3) 6... dxc4 {A principled reply.} ({In the event of} 6... Nbd7 {White is ready to continue} 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Nxd5 ({or} 8. Bg5)) ({or} 6... Be7 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Nxd5 {etc.}) 7. e4 c5 8. Bf4 $5 $146 {[%cal Rc3b5][%mdl 8] A surprising novelty at such an early stage.} (8. d5 {has been played in dozens of games. A classic example:} exd5 9. exd5 Bd6 10. Bxc4 O-O 11. O-O h6 12. Re1 a6 13. a4 Nbd7 14. b3 Qc7 15. h3 Ne5 16. Nh4 Rfe8 17. Bb2 Qd7 18. Re2 Rad8 $11 {1/2 (38) Lautier,J (2645)-Karpov,A (2775) Groningen 1995}) (8. dxc5 {is quite harmless. A recent correspondence game:} Bxc5 9. Bxc4 Nbd7 10. O-O Qc7 11. Bd3 a6 12. Bg5 Ng4 13. Qe2 h6 14. Bh4 Bd6 15. Bg3 Bxg3 16. hxg3 Qc5 $11 {1/2 (23) Vodicka,M (1889)-Hatsek,W (1925) Lechenicher SchachServer 2013}) 8... a6 $1 (8... cxd4 9. Nb5 Bxe4 (9... Bc5 10. Nc7+ Ke7 11. Qxc4 $14) 10. Qxc4 Bxf3 11. Nc7+ Ke7 12. gxf3 Nd5 13. O-O-O $1 Nxc7 14. Bxc7 {leads to a complicated position, in which White's development advantage and Black's "centralised" king are more important than Black's extra pawn.}) 9. Bxc4 b5 10. Bb3 cxd4 11. Rd1 Qb6 $6 (11... Nc6 $142 $1 12. O-O Rc8 { , and White must prove his compensation for the pawn.}) 12. Nxd4 Bc5 13. Nf3 Nbd7 $6 (13... Nc6 $142 14. e5 (14. O-O Nd4 $5) 14... Nh5 15. Bg5 Nd4 (15... h6 $143 16. Ne4 $1) 16. Nxd4 Bxd4 17. Qd2 h6 $1 18. Be3 Bxe3 19. fxe3 O-O $13) 14. O-O Rc8 {And now it is not easy for Black to complete his development.} (14... O-O $6 {runs into} 15. e5 $1 Bxf3 16. gxf3 Nh5 17. Rxd7 Nxf4 18. Ne4 Rac8 19. Ng5 Ng6 (19... g6 20. Qd2 $16) 20. Rxf7 $1 Rxf7 21. Bxe6 Rcc7 22. Rd1 $16) 15. Qe2 Qc6 $2 (15... O-O {is relatively better but Black is in trouble anyway:} 16. e5 Nh5 17. Be3 {[%cal Rd1d7,Rg2g4,Yd1d6,Yf3g5]} Qc6 18. Bc2 $1 $16) 16. Bd5 $1 {Black probably saw this move but underestimated its consequences.} Qb6 17. Bxb7 Qxb7 18. e5 Ng4 {[%csl Rg4] This knight will become Black's headache but he had little choice:} (18... Nh5 19. Bc1 {[%cal Rg2g4,Yc3e4]}) 19. Ne4 Be7 20. Nd6+ Bxd6 21. Rxd6 Nc5 22. Nd2 (22. h3 Nh6 23. Bxh6 gxh6 24. Rfd1 {was good enough, too. However, Black can't parry the h2-h3 threat anyway.}) 22... h5 23. b4 Na4 24. Ne4 O-O 25. h3 Rc4 26. Re1 $18 f5 27. exf6 Nxf6 28. Nxf6+ Rxf6 29. Rd8+ Rf8 30. Qxe6+ Qf7 31. Rxf8+ Kxf8 32. Qd6+ Kg8 33. g3 Nc3 34. Re7 Qf5 35. Be5 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.12"] [Round "6"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Inarkiev, Ernesto"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C87"] [WhiteElo "2742"] [BlackElo "2707"] [Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 $5 {I have played many games in this system, and I think it's a great way to play more flexibly against the Ruy Lopez, without entering forced lines with the standard 6.Re1.} d6 (6... b5 {is the most common reply} 7. Bb3 d6 8. a4 {is the move I have always liked, trying to play c3-Bc2 quickly, without allowing Na5-c5 (which Black may still play, but he needs to take some care)} (8. a3 {but this is the current fashion, with numerous games, and a very important recent one} O-O 9. Nc3 {Here Black has played seven different moves in high-level games! just to show how rich the position is} Nb8 10. Ne2 Nbd7 11. c3 Bb7 12. Ng3 c5 13. Re1 Rc8 14. Nf5 c4 15. dxc4 Bxe4 16. Nxe7+ Qxe7 17. cxb5 axb5 18. Bg5 Nc5 19. Ba2 h6 20. Bh4 g5 21. Bg3 Bh7 22. Qe2 Kg7 23. Rad1 Nfe4 24. Rd5 f5 25. Rxe5 $1 { a very creative approach by the ex-world champion. He ended up winning the game on the 42nd move} dxe5 26. Bxe5+ Nf6 27. Qxb5 $40 {1-0 (42) Kramnik,V (2811)-Harikrishna,P (2755) Shamkir 2017}) 8... Bd7 9. c3 Na5 (9... O-O 10. Bc2 $1 {stopping Na5-c5, is the main idea. We will get a position very similar to this current game} Re8 11. Nbd2 Bf8 12. Re1 b4 13. a5 g6 14. Bb3 Be6 15. Ba4 Bd7 16. Nf1 $13 {1/2-1/2 (116) Caruana,F (2794)-Svidler, P (2757) Moscow 2016, with interesting play.}) 10. Bc2 c5 11. d4 Qb8 $1 {an important move to defend the a8-rook - this was played in the 4th round} (11... Qc7 $6 12. axb5 { and Black is forced to take with the bishop to avoid b2-b4} Bxb5 13. Re1 $16) 12. Bg5 h6 13. Bh4 (13. Bxf6 {this move has been tried three times} Bxf6 14. axb5 $6 (14. dxe5 dxe5 15. Qd5 Qc8 $5 (15... Nb7 $5 16. axb5 Be6 17. Qc6+ Bd7 18. Qd5 Be6 19. Qd1 axb5 20. Rxa8 Qxa8 21. Na3 Qa5 (21... b4 $5) 22. Nxb5 $1 Bc4 23. Nd6+ Nxd6 24. Qxd6 Bxf1 25. Kxf1 Qb5+ 26. Ke1 $44 {1-0 (61) Navara,D (2703)-Caruana,F (2779) Rhodes 2013 with good compensation; Navara went on to win the game.}) 16. Nxe5 Be6 17. Qd6 Be7 $6 (17... b4 $1 $44) 18. Qd1 Qc7 19. axb5 axb5 20. Nf3 O-O 21. Nbd2 $16 {1-0 (59) Khairullin,I (2629)-Gustafsson,J (2629) Bangkok 2016 and White slowly consolidated.}) 14... axb5 15. dxc5 dxc5 16. Qd5 {now it simply fails for White, and Black achieves an advantage} Qc8 17. b4 (17. Nxe5 $2 {now this loses} Be6 18. Qd6 Ra6 $1 $19 {winning the knight, this is the difference}) 17... Be6 18. Qxc5 Qxc5 19. bxc5 Kd7 $1 20. Na3 Kc6 21. Rab1 Rhb8 $17 {0-1 (63) Morozevich,A (2683) -Vitiugov,N (2718) Novi Sad 2016, with a big advantage in the endgame.}) 13... Be6 14. Nbd2 O-O 15. Re1 (15. h3 {also didn't create problems for Black} Rc8 16. Bg3 cxd4 17. cxd4 Nh5 $1 18. Bh2 Nf4 19. axb5 axb5 20. Bxf4 exf4 21. Bd3 Nc4 22. Qe2 Rxa1 23. Rxa1 Bf6 $132 {1/2-1/2 (39) Ponomariov,R (2742)-Caruana,F (2774) Thessaloniki 2013, and Caruana found enough counterplay.}) 15... cxd4 16. cxd4 Rc8 17. h3 Nc6 $1 {after major simplifications, equality prevailed} 18. axb5 axb5 19. Rxa8 Qxa8 20. Bxf6 Bxf6 21. d5 Nb4 22. dxe6 Nxc2 23. exf7+ Kxf7 $11 { 1/2-1/2 (30) Grischuk,A (2761) -Aronian,L (2809) Geneva SUI 2017}) 7. c3 { allowing him to bring the bishop directly to c2 whenever it's needed.} O-O 8. h3 Re8 9. Re1 Bf8 10. Nbd2 (10. c4 $5 {An original try from the 2016 world title challenger. It has been repeated five times already in practice. The idea is to have harmonious development (Nc3 especially), at the same time avoiding ...b5. Naturally, the d4-square gets weakened, but h3 is very important to avoid ...Bg4} Nd7 11. Be3 Ne7 12. Nc3 c6 13. b4 $1 Ng6 14. Bb3 h6 15. a3 (15. d4 $1 $14 {was a very natural way to claim an advantage}) 15... Nf6 16. Ra2 (16. c5 $5 $14) 16... a5 17. Qb1 Nh5 18. Ne2 Qf6 $36 {1-0 (51) Karjakin,S (2769)-Amin,B (2661) Baku 2016; followed by ...Nhf4. With a couple of imprecise moves, Karjakin handed over the initiative to Black, but ended up winning the game.}) 10... b5 11. Bc2 h6 (11... Bb7 {is a good move that was played against me, and I reacted so poorly that in a few moves I had a bishop locked in on b1!} 12. a4 $5 (12. d4 $1 {transposes to a Zaitsev line, with the correct tempi, because even though White played d3 and d4, he also brought the bishop to c2 (without Bb3)}) 12... h6 13. Nf1 (13. b4 $1 $14 {with the idea of Nb3}) 13... d5 $1 {Black is doing fine already} 14. Qe2 (14. exd5 Nxd5 15. axb5 axb5 16. Rxa8 Qxa8 17. d4 $11 {should lead to massive simplifications}) 14... b4 15. Ng3 (15. a5 $1 $13 {an important move, to avoid my opponent's plan}) 15... Na5 $1 {suddenly I have problems to avoid b3, and cxb4 (although probably necessary), looks ugly as well} 16. Nf5 $2 (16. cxb4 Bxb4 17. Bd2 Bxd2 18. Qxd2 dxe4 19. dxe4 Qxd2 20. Nxd2 Rad8 $36 {and Black has a slight initiative}) 16... b3 17. Bb1 Bc8 18. N3h4 d4 19. cxd4 exd4 $17 {0-1 (42) Mekhitarian,K (2544)-Vajda,L (2617) Albena 2013, and it's clear I lost the game without a chance :).}) 12. a4 b4 13. a5 $1 {A good move to win space on the queenside - not only the weakness on a6 is now fixed, but most importantly, there is no ...Na5 anymore (after ...Rb8 let's say).} Rb8 14. Nc4 g6 $6 { It feels like Black has to play in the centre before White comfortably plays d4.} (14... Bd7 {was the precedent} 15. Bd2 bxc3 16. bxc3 Qc8 17. Nh2 (17. d4 $5 $14 {was more logical and direct, White keeps a small edge always}) 17... Be6 18. Ba4 Qb7 19. Ng4 Nxg4 20. hxg4 Red8 $1 (20... Bxc4 $2 {this is not something White should be worried about, because the light squares become a big problem, and ...d5 will never be played} 21. dxc4 Re6 22. g5 $5 $16) 21. Bc2 d5 22. exd5 Bxd5 23. Ne3 (23. g5 $5 $40) 23... Bb3 (23... Be6 $11) 24. Rb1 Bxc2 25. Qxc2 Qa8 $11 {1-0 (41) Naiditsch,A (2689)-Lenic,L (2625) Reykjavik 2015}) (14... bxc3 15. bxc3 d5 {is a typical reaction in these positions, but White always has something to play for} 16. exd5 Nxd5 (16... Qxd5 $5) 17. Bd2 f6 18. d4 $5 exd4 19. Rxe8 Qxe8 20. Nxd4 Nxd4 21. cxd4 $40 {and White has propects for an attack on the kingside, with a move like Qf3.}) (14... d5 $5 { is also possible.}) 15. Bd2 bxc3 16. bxc3 Bg7 17. d4 $1 $14 exd4 18. cxd4 Nb4 $6 (18... d5 $1 {was good, trying to exchange a pair of rooks or a pair of knights} 19. Nce5 $1 (19. exd5 $6 Rxe1+ 20. Qxe1 Qxd5 $11 {and Black is doing ok}) 19... Nxe5 20. Nxe5 Bb7 21. Ba4 Re6 {looks weird, but whenever White plays exd5, Black is fine} 22. Rb1 $1 Ba8 $1 $13 {with an unclear position} ( 22... Nxe4 $2 23. Nd7 $1 Bxd4 24. Be3 $16)) 19. Bb1 d5 20. Nce5 $1 { Threatening Bxb4 followed by Nc6.} Re6 (20... dxe4 21. Bxb4 Rxb4 (21... exf3 22. Nc6 $18) 22. Ba2 $1 {nice move} (22. Nc6 $2 Qd6 $1 23. Nxb4 exf3 24. Rxe8+ Nxe8 {and Black has amazing compensation} 25. Qe1 {forced, to defend b4 and win a tempo on e8} Nf6 $17) 22... exf3 23. Bxf7+ $40 {with a very strong attack.}) 21. exd5 Nfxd5 22. Qc1 $1 $16 Qf8 23. Be4 {White has a very strong initiative, safer and better placed pieces.} Rb5 (23... f5 $5 {an ugly positional move, but perhaps White's initiative had to be parried somehow} 24. Bxd5 Nxd5 25. Qc4 Rb5 {trying to stabilise with ...Qe8} 26. Rab1 Qe8 27. Rxb5 Qxb5 28. Qa2 {threatening Rb1 with deadly effect} Qb7 29. Rc1 $16 {Black still has problems to coordinate.}) 24. Rb1 c6 (24... f5 {allows a different idea now } 25. Bxb4 $1 Nxb4 26. Bc2 $1 Nxc2 27. Qxc2 Rxb1 28. Rxb1 {and Black remains in deep trouble:} Qd6 29. Qb3 $1 Kh7 30. Rc1 Bd7 31. Qb7 $18) 25. Qc4 Qd6 26. Rb3 $1 {The rook will swing over to the kingside in many lines.} Bf8 27. h4 $5 {Bringing another soldier to the battle, more logical than the unclear 27. Nxf7!?} (27. Nxf7 $5 {shows White's potential on the kingside} Kxf7 28. Ne5+ Kg8 (28... Rxe5 {doesn't help} 29. dxe5 Qe6 30. Rf3+ Kg7 (30... Ke8 31. Bb1 $1 $18 {followed by the devastating Rf6!}) 31. Bxg6 $1 $18 {f8 falls or White wins the queen with Rg3}) 29. Bxg6 Rf6 (29... Rxg6 30. Nxg6 Qxg6 31. Rg3 Qxg3 32. fxg3 $18 {should be equally hopeless, with such an open king}) 30. Rg3 Bg7 31. Be4 {threatening Bxb4 Rxb4 Bxd5+! winning a piece} Be6 32. Qc1 $40 { the attack continues, and should be more than enough since he already has two pawns for the piece.}) 27... c5 $2 {Black's position was already vulnerable with the pawn on c6, now it totally collapses - ...cxd4 is not even a threat, because the c8-bishop is hanging.} (27... Nf6 {The position is difficult anyway, but this was the last chance for Black to try some regrouping; it turns out that the knight on d5 is not ideally placed} 28. Bb1 Qd5 29. Qc3 $1 { threatening Bxh6 and Rxb4} Re8 (29... h5 $2 30. Ng5 Re7 31. Ne4 $16) 30. Bxh6 Be6 31. Rb2 Bxh6 32. Rxb4 $16) 28. h5 $1 $18 g5 29. Bf5 (29. Bxg5 hxg5 30. Nxg5 $18 {was also devastating, followed by Rg3 and taking on f7.}) 29... Ne7 30. dxc5 $1 Rxc5 31. Bxb4 $18 Nxf5 32. Bxc5 Qxc5 33. Qxc5 Bxc5 34. Rc3 {A fine game by Nepo, now at 3.5/6, trailing by half a point the current three leaders: Radjabov, Grischuk and Harikrishna!} 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.12"] [Round "6"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A14"] [WhiteElo "2749"] [BlackElo "2800"] [Annotator "Ftacnik,L"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 b6 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. d4 Bb7 9. Re1 {With the increasing number of top games by strong players in databases the fight for an advantage in any opening position becomes an uphill struggle. Svidler is trying the less usual rook move in order to avoid the well trodden paths of the 9.Bb2 line.} (9. Bb2 Nd7 (9... c5 10. dxc5 Bxc5 11. Nbd2 Nd7 12. a3 N5f6 (12... Rc8 13. Rc1 Be7 14. e4 Rxc1 15. Qxc1 N5f6 16. e5 Nd5 17. Nc4 Qb8 18. Qd2 Rd8 19. b4 Nf8 20. Nd4 Nc7 21. Qe2 Bxg2 22. Kxg2 Qb7+ 23. Qf3 Nd5 $11 {0-1 (67) Gelfand,B (2743)-Aronian,L (2795) Moscow 2016}) 13. b4 Be7 14. Rc1 Rc8 15. Qa4 Rxc1 16. Rxc1 Qa8 17. Rc7 Bd6 18. Rxd7 Bc6 19. b5 Bxd7 20. Bxf6 gxf6 21. Qg4+ Kh8 22. Qd4 Qd5 $11 {0-1 (43) Aronian,L (2792) -Kramnik,V (2801) Zuerich 2016}) 10. Re1 (10. Nbd2 N5f6 11. Qc2 Rc8 12. Rac1 c5 13. Qb1 Rc7 14. dxc5 Rxc5 15. Rxc5 Bxc5 16. b4 Be7 17. a3 Qa8 18. Rc1 Rd8 19. Ne1 Bxg2 20. Nxg2 a5 21. Nf3 axb4 22. axb4 $11 {1/2-1/2 (57) Nakamura,H (2760) -Aronian,L (2815) Beijing 2012}) 10... N5f6 11. Nc3 c5 (11... Bb4 12. Qc2 Bxc3 13. Qxc3 Be4 14. Red1 Qc8 15. Bf1 Nd5 16. Qe1 Bxf3 17. exf3 Qb7 18. Rac1 c6 19. f4 a5 $11 {1/2-1/2 (46) Grischuk,A (2774)-Kramnik,V (2777) Berlin 2015}) (11... Rc8 12. e4 Bb4 13. Qc2 c5 14. Rad1 cxd4 15. Nxd4 Rc5 16. Ndb5 Ba6 17. a3 Bxc3 18. Nxc3 Qc7 19. b4 Rc4 20. Qd2 Rc8 21. e5 Nxe5 22. b5 $18 {1-0 (29) Almasi,Z (2688)-Bruzon Batista,L (2681) Varadero 2016}) 12. e4 cxd4 13. Nxd4 Ne5 (13... Bc5 14. Re2 Qb8 15. Rd2 a6 16. Qe2 Ra7 17. Re1 Ne5 18. Kh1 Qa8 19. f4 Ng6 20. Nc2 $14 {1/2-1/2 (40) Grischuk,A (2750)-Aronian,L (2781) London 2015}) 14. Qe2 Bc5 15. Ncb5 a6 16. Rad1 axb5 17. Nxe6 Qe7 18. Nxf8 Kxf8 19. Bd4 b4 20. f4 Bxd4+ 21. Rxd4 Qc5 $19 {0-1 (24) Giri,A (2782)-So,W (2770) Paris 2016}) 9... c5 10. e4 Nf6 11. Nc3 Nc6 {Mamedyarov is playing very well in mature years and has even reached 2800 level. Thus he is not afraid of complications as compared to the safer line after trading on d4.} (11... cxd4 12. Nxd4 Qc8 13. Bb2 Rd8 14. Rc1 Nc6 15. Nd5 exd5 16. Nxc6 Bxc6 17. Bxf6 dxe4 18. Qh5 Bxf6 19. Bxe4 g6 20. Qe2 Rd6 21. Qf3 $11) 12. d5 (12. e5 Nd5 13. Nxd5 exd5 14. h4 h6 $11 ) 12... exd5 13. e5 $5 (13. exd5 Nb4 14. Bg5 h6 $11) 13... Ne8 {It is much easier to analyse the daring line 13...Ne4!? at home with a computer than to take the risk in a real game.} (13... Ne4 $5 14. Nxd5 Nb4 15. Nxb4 cxb4 16. Ng5 Qxd1 17. Rxd1 Nc3 18. Rd7 Bxg2 19. Kxg2 Rfe8 $11) 14. Nxd5 Nc7 15. Nxe7+ Qxe7 16. Nh4 $1 {Svidler used to be in top 5 in the world and his choice of the best move shows he still has a very good feel for the position.} (16. Ng5 Rad8 17. Qc2 g6 18. Qb2 Ne6 19. Ne4 Nb4 $11) 16... Qe6 17. Bg5 (17. Bb2 $1 Rab8 18. Qe2 $14) 17... h6 18. Bf6 $6 {The desire to use the excess of pieces on the kingside for an attack is very commendable, but it does not work the way the first player would like.} (18. Bc1 Rad8 19. Qh5 Bc8 20. f4 Nd4 21. Bb2 $11) 18... gxf6 19. Qh5 fxe5 (19... Rfe8 20. Qxh6 fxe5 21. Qg5+ Kf8 22. f4 $14) 20. Nf5 Qg6 $6 {[%mdl 256] Black is a very strong tactician, but that does not necessarily make you excellent in defensive tasks. In all honesty it is very tempting to go into a simplifying continuation that is safe and promises chances in an endgame with an extra pawn. The computers insist that objectively the stronger move was 20...Bc8 with prospects for a bigger advanatge.} (20... Bc8 $1 21. Bxc6 (21. g4 Qf6 22. Qxh6 Qxh6 23. Nxh6+ Kg7 24. Bxc6 Kxh6 25. Bxa8 Nxa8 $17) 21... Qxf5 22. Qxh6 f6 23. Re4 Qh7 24. Qxh7+ Kxh7 25. Bxa8 Nxa8 $17) 21. Qxg6+ fxg6 22. Bxc6 gxf5 (22... Rxf5 23. Bxb7 Rd8 24. Re2 Nb5 25. Rae1 $15) 23. Bxb7 Rae8 24. Rad1 {White was a bit lucky to get away from a dangerous adventure with a bishop sacrifice with only a scare. The chances for a successful defence are good as Black has an exposed pawn on the e-file.} Kg7 25. Bc6 Re7 26. h3 {This move might not have been the most accurate, but only engines can criticise it with any confidence. Black will not get far with sensible moves.} (26. Re3 $1 h5 27. Kg2 Rf6 $15) 26... Kf6 ( 26... e4 $1 27. Bd7 Rff7 28. Bc6 Ne6 $17) 27. Rd6+ Re6 28. Red1 e4 29. a4 Rf7 ( 29... h5 30. h4 Rf7 $15) 30. f4 exf3 {A clear sign that Mamedyarov is losing part of his belief in full succes for this game.} (30... h5 31. h4 Rg7 32. Kg2 $15) 31. Bxf3 Rfe7 32. Kf2 Rxd6 (32... Ne8 33. Rd8 $11) 33. Rxd6+ {The position is dangerously close to equality as Black finds it hard to make progress in converting his extra pawn into anything tangible.} Kg7 (33... Ne6 34. h4 f4 35. g4 Rg7 36. Rd5 $11) 34. Be2 Ne6 35. h4 f4 36. g4 (36. gxf4 Nxf4 37. Bc4 Ng6 38. Kg3 $11) 36... Nd4 37. Bc4 Re3 38. Rd7+ Kg6 39. Rd6+ (39. Rxa7 Rf3+ 40. Ke1 Re3+ 41. Kf2 $11) 39... Kg7 40. Rd7+ Kg6 41. Rd6+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.13"] [Round "7"] [White "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A34"] [WhiteElo "2724"] [BlackElo "2739"] [Annotator "Lenderman,A"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] {Today the choice was clear to me, since we had a decisive game on one of the top boards, and also it was a nice, clean game by Radjabov, who is in excellent form in this tournament.} 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 (2... g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 {is another common line for Gr黱feld players, but these days many players don't want to venture here, since White has a lot of additional dangerous options here.}) 3. Nc3 d5 {As far as I know, the most common way for Grünfeld players to play against this White's move order.} (3... g6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 d5 {is also a common way for Gr黱feld players to play, but still, I think White has some pressure here if he knows the line well.} (5... Bg7 6. e4 {leads to a Maroczy Bind Structure, which most Gr黱feld players wouldn't want to play, since this is basically suffering for most of the game, and there aren't as many dynamic options for Black here.})) 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e3 (5. e4 { is also a very common move here, after which Black usually plays ...Nb4 and leads to very sharp positions.} Nb4) 5... Nxc3 {Definitely not the only move here.} (5... e6 {As far as I know this is the most common alternative, which will most likely lead to an IQP (isolated pawn position), where White has the isolated d4-pawn but will have attacking chances.} 6. d4) (5... Nc6 {isn't played as often because of the unpleasant...} 6. Bb5 {After which Black will probably still have to eventually play ...e6, but now he has allowed a slightly annoying pin, and therefore some concessions.}) (5... g6 {is also not as accurate, right away, since here after a strong queen move, disturbing Black's harmony, he has to make some annoying concessions, for example...} 6. Qa4+ $1 {This is already unpleasant for Black.} Bd7 (6... Nc6 7. Bb5 $14) 7. Qb3 $14) 6. dxc3 {And this is the first somewhat surprising move. Almost exclusively White plays bxc3. However, Radjabov, one of the leaders at +2, playing Svidler, who has 3.5/6, half a point behind, decided to put the ball in Black's court to try to create some kind of a battle in a dry position. That,along with the fact that as far as I can tell, Svidler doesn't like positions that are too dry. One game that comes to mind is Karjakin-Svidler from the 2015 World Cup Finals, where Svidler just needed a draw to win the finals, as he had been leading 2-1, but wasn't able to defend a slightly unpleasant but tenable position. This no doubt had an impact on Radjabov's decision to play this kind of a position this round. Needless to say, it paid off big time for him in this game.} Qxd1+ (6... Qc7 {Perhaps this deserves attention. This is already a rare position though.}) 7. Kxd1 Bf5 {This move is designed against a quick e4. It's an interesting option but definitely not the only option.} (7... Nc6 {is an alternative which Nepo tried against Vidit in the last Olympiad. He'd also tried ...b6 the game before against Wang Yue.} 8. e4 b6 9. Kc2 Bb7 10. Bf4 f6 11. Rd1 e5 12. Bc1 (12. Bg3 $5 {Maybe this move here or somewhere earlier was a possible improvement for Radjabov.}) 12... Na5 13. Bb5+ Kf7 14. Rhe1 a6 15. Bc4+ Nxc4 16. Rd7+ Be7 17. Rxb7 Rhb8 18. Rxb8 Rxb8 19. b3 Nd6 20. Nd2 b5 $11 {1/2 (37) Vidit,S (2669)-Nepomniachtchi,I (2740) Baku AZE 2016. Black equalised comfortably and went on to draw without particular problems.}) (7... b6 8. e4 Bb7 9. Bb5+ Bc6 10. a4 a6 11. Bxc6+ Nxc6 12. Kc2 e6 13. Rd1 Be7 14. Bf4 Ra7 15. Nd2 $14 {1/2 (47) Wang Yue (2728) -Nepomniachtchi, I (2719) Moscow RUS 2016. Here White has some pull, in a game which ended up being a draw in 47 moves.}) 8. Nd2 Nc6 9. e4 {So, White got in e4 anyway, but Black's idea was to force White's knight to d2 first, so that White has a harder time developing his bishop on c1.} Be6 {This is according to my database a novelty, and possibly not the best one.} (9... Bd7 {was played by the late Walter Browne all the way back in 1979.} 10. Kc2 O-O-O 11. Nb3 e6 12. Be3 b6 13. Ba6+ Kc7 14. a4 Ne5 15. f3 Bd6 16. Be2 Bc6 17. Nd2 f5 { 1/2 (42) Andersson,U (2560) -Browne,W (2540) Banja Luka 1979; with a complex game, which ended up in a draw in the end. But certainly both sides could probably make subtle improvements before.}) 10. Kc2 g6 (10... O-O-O {This move deserves attention as well, since it stops Bc4 because of ...Rxd2!. However, White has annoying options here as well.} 11. Nb3 (11. Bc4 $4 Rxd2+ $19) (11. Nf3 $5 {is also interesting, trying to induce the move f6 at some point.} f6 12. Be3 b6 13. Ba6+ Kb8 14. Bf4+ Ka8) 11... b6 12. Ba6+ Kb8 13. Bf4+ Ka8 14. Rhd1 Rxd1 15. Rxd1 g6 16. Nd2 Bg7 17. Bc4 Bxc4 18. Nxc4 Rd8 19. Rd5 $14 { White has a slight pull here, but it certainly looks like Black should be able to hold.}) 11. Bc4 Bd7 {Now it's starting to look like Black's strategy didn't work. He's losing too many tempi and White is putting his pieces on decent squares.} (11... Bxc4 12. Nxc4 $14 {is also slightly unpleasant though. White has a plan with Be3 and a4 after ...b6. Black's bishop is a slight problem, in where it's very useful.}) 12. Nb3 b6 13. a4 {An important move, not only thinking about playing a5, but also preparing to play Bb5 after ...Ne5.} Ne5 14. Bb5 a6 $6 {But this move already seems like a real inaccuracy. I don't think it was necessary to create additional weaknesses.} (14... Bg7 15. Bf4 O-O-O {still seems tenable for Black.}) 15. Bxd7+ Nxd7 16. Be3 e6 17. Rhd1 O-O-O 18. Nd2 $16 {Now White already has a serious advantage. White's knight is getting back to c4, its dream square, while Black is tied down to the weakness on b6. In general, the main reason White wanted to swap off the light-squared bishops was because he wanted to have his knight unopposed on c4, where it can't be bothered by Black's bishop, and also sometimes the white knight and bishop are redundant on the light squares.} Be7 19. Nc4 Kb7 20. a5 $1 Rhf8 {The problem for Black is that...} (20... b5 $2 {only makes things worse because of...} 21. Nd6+ Bxd6 22. Rxd6 $18 {and Black is just collapsing here with his weaknesses.}) 21. axb6 Nxb6 22. Na5+ Kc7 23. Bf4+ Bd6 24. Bh6 $1 {A very important decision here. White didn't want to trade off the dark squared bishops since then he would not have enough fire power to really apply maximum pressure on Black's weaknesses.} (24. Rxd6 Rxd6 25. Nb3 (25. Rd1 Nc8 26. Nc4 Rfd8 27. b3 f6 28. Nxd6 Nxd6 {and since the pawn endgame is going to be drawn, Black will be able to untangle himself eventually with ...Kc6, and even though he's worse, he can still fight here.}) 25... c4 26. Nc5 Ra8 27. Nxa6+ Kc6 28. Bxd6 Kxd6 29. Rd1+ Kc6 30. Nb4+ Kc5 {would have won a pawn for White, but Radjabov correctly assessed that in this position Black would have better chances o holding than in the game, since he was able to get his pieces very active and trade off or eliminate his weaknesses just at the cost of a pawn. This is still promising for White but it shows incredible patience not to go for this line, which I'm sure Radjabov saw.}) 24... Rfe8 25. Nb3 { Black still won't be able to avoid material loss in the long run, but here he also keeps his active bishop, while Black's bishop on d6 is quite restricted and can't do much.} Ra8 26. Be3 Nd7 27. Ra5 Kc6 28. Rda1 Kb6 29. R5a4 Rec8 30. Na5 Be7 $6 {Loses in one move, but the position was already probably lost.} ( 30... Kc7 31. Nc4 Be7 {would have prolonged the game, but White should still be winning.} 32. Rxa6 (32. Bf4+ {Though the computer even doesn't want to take the pawn.} Kb7 33. Na5+ Kb6 34. Rd1 Ra7 35. Nc4+ Kc6 36. Ra3 {and due to the deadly threat of Na5+ with a mating attack, Black is already forced to play the pathetic...} e5 37. Bxe5 Nxe5 38. Nxe5+ Kc7 39. Rd7+ Kb8 40. Rb3+ Ka8 41. Rd1 {But this is equivilant to resignation.}) 32... Rxa6 33. Rxa6 {should be enough for a winning advantage.}) 31. Rb4+ {Black resigned since is losing after} (31. Rb4+ Kc7 32. Rb7+ Kd8 33. Rd1 Rc7 34. Nc6+ {and Black will lose at least a piece. A very nice game by Radjabov and this puts him in a commanding position to be able to win this tournament.}) 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.13"] [Round "7"] [White "Riazantsev, Alexander"] [Black "Li, Chao B"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D94"] [WhiteElo "2654"] [BlackElo "2735"] [Annotator "Sumets,A"] [PlyCount "167"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 d5 4. e3 g6 5. Nf3 Bg7 6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O dxc4 8. Bxc4 Bg4 9. h3 Bxf3 10. Qxf3 Nbd7 11. Rd1 e5 {To find more information about this position, see my article in CBM.} 12. d5 e4 $8 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14. Qxe4 Nb6 15. Rb1 (15. Qc2 Nxc4 (15... cxd5 16. Be2 Rc8 17. Qb3 Qc7 18. Bg4 Rcd8 19. Bd2 Nc4 20. Bc3 Na5 21. Qc2 d4 22. exd4 Bxd4 23. Rac1 Bxc3 24. Qxc3 Qxc3 25. Rxc3 Nc6 26. Kf1 $14 {1-0 (67) Svane,R (2570)-Oleksiyenko,M (2643) Sharjah UAE 2017. It is well known that usually R+B are stronger then R+N, but Black shouldn't lose this game.}) 16. Qxc4 cxd5 17. Rxd5 Qb6 18. Qd3 Rad8 (18... Rfd8 19. e4 Bd4 20. Be3 (20. Qf3 $5 Rxd5 21. exd5 Rd8 22. Bf4 Qxb2 23. Rd1 $44) 20... Bxe3 21. fxe3 {1/2 (21) Buhmann,R (2641)-Ragger,M (2686) Vienna AUT 2016}) 19. e4 Bd4 20. Qf3 Rc8 21. a4 Rc2 22. a5 Qb4 23. Bh6 Qxb2 {Black regains the pawn and levels the game.} 24. Rf1 Bg7 25. Be3 b6 26. axb6 axb6 {1/2 (26) Dubov,D (2660)-Sutovsky, E (2650) Poikovsky RUS 2017}) (15. Bb3 cxd5 16. Qf3 Qf6 17. Qxf6 Bxf6 18. Rb1 Rac8 (18... Rfd8 19. Bd2 Nc4 20. Bc3 Kg7 21. Bxf6+ Kxf6 22. Rd4 $14 {Narayanan, S (2536)-Kojima,S (2399) Douglas ENG 2016 1-0 (72)}) 19. Bd2 Rfd8 20. Ba5 d4 21. e4 Rc5 22. Bxb6 axb6 23. Rd3 $14 {Malakhov,V (2694)-Yu,R (2548) China 2014 1-0 (37)}) 15... Qd6 $6 {An interesting continuation, but I'm sure, after this game, Li Chao will not play it again. I don't see if White can get something after 15...Re8 and ...Nxc4.} (15... Re8 16. Qc2 Nxc4 (16... cxd5 17. Bb5 Re6 18. Qb3 Qh4 19. Bd2 Rd8 20. Be2 h5 21. Rbc1 Qa4 22. Rc7 Qxb3 23. axb3 $14 { Barbosa,O (2592)-Burnett,R (2345) Arlington 2014 1/2 (74)}) 17. Qxc4 Re5 (17... Be5 $2 {Probably there is something wrong with the notation and Peter played 17...Re5 instead of 17...Be5} 18. d6 (18. b3 Rc8 19. Bb2 $16) 18... Re6 { 1/2 (18) Banusz,T (2588)-Prohaszka,P (2554) Fano 2013}) 18. e4 (18. d6 { leads to an equal position:} Re6 19. d7 Qc7 20. e4 Rd8 21. Qd3 Re7 22. Bg5 { 1/2 (22) Neuman,P (2470)-Sanders,I (2338) Pardubice 2015}) 18... Qe8 19. Be3 Rxe4 20. Qb3 cxd5 21. Rxd5 b6 {1/2 (21) Martinovic,S (2531) -Sumets,A (2614) Zadar 2013} 22. Rbd1 Rc8 23. Rd7 Re7 $11) 16. Bb3 cxd5 (16... Nxd5 {As you can see, Black is OK after 17.Bxd5 cxd5 18.Rxd5 Qa6 but I don't see a good move for Black after 17.Qf3.} 17. Qf3 $1 (17. Qd3 $5 Qe7 18. Bxd5 cxd5 19. b3 $14) ( 17. Bxd5 cxd5 18. Qxd5 Qa6) 17... Qe7 18. Bxd5 cxd5 19. Rxd5 Rad8 20. b3 Rxd5 21. Qxd5 b6 (21... Rd8 22. Ba3 $1 $16) 22. Bb2 Rd8 23. Ba3 $1 Rxd5 24. Bxe7 Rd2 25. a4 $16) 17. Qd3 $1 $146 {This is a very logical novelty, White wants to finish his development and then he can take on d5. If Black protects his d5-pawn then White can play Bd2, Ba5. As we could learn from the game Malakhov, V-Yu,R China 2014, White doesn't mind playing endgames with opposite coloured bishops. I think that Black should have played 15...Re8 instead of 15...Qd6.} ( {White doesn't have any advantage after} 17. Bxd5 Nxd5 18. Rxd5 Qa6 19. a3 (19. b4 Qxa2 20. Rd2 Qa4 (20... Qa6 $1 21. Bb2 Rfe8 $11) 21. Qxb7 Rad8 22. Qc7 Rc8 23. Qa5 Qxa5 24. bxa5 Bc3 25. Rd7 $14 {1-0 (40) Aleksandrov,A (2612)-Mu,K (2294) New Delhi 2012. Black should make a draw.}) 19... Rad8 $44 20. Qf3 $2 Qe6 $1 21. e4 Rxd5 22. exd5 Qe1+ 23. Kh2 Re8 $1 $17 {Shulman,Y (2617)-Li,C (2669) Ningbo 2011 0-1 (31)}) 17... a5 {It seems to me that Black should include ...a5, a3 or White will play Bd2, Ba5.} (17... Rac8 18. Bd2 Nc4 19. Bc3 Rfd8 20. Bxg7 Kxg7 21. Qd4+ Qf6 22. Qxa7 $16) (17... Qe7 18. Bd2 Rfd8 19. Ba5 d4 20. e4 $16) 18. a3 Qe6 {Black has to choose among many continuations which lead to different difficult positions. It is tough work for everybody.} (18... a4 19. Ba2 Qc6 20. Bd2 Rfd8 21. Bc3 $1 (21. Rbc1 Nc4 22. Bc3 b5 23. Bxg7 Kxg7 24. Qc3+ Qf6 25. Rd4 $14) 21... Bxc3 22. bxc3 Rac8 23. Rb4 $16) 19. Bd2 Rfc8 ({ If Li Chao could use a computer than maybe he would prefer} 19... Rfd8 { with the following line:} 20. Be1 a4 21. Ba2 Rac8 22. Ba5 Rc5 23. Bb4 $1 (23. Qd2 Rdc8 24. Bxb6 Qxb6 25. Bxd5 Rc2 26. Qd3 Bxb2 (26... Rxb2 27. Bxf7+ $16) 27. Be4 Qb3 28. Qxb3 axb3 29. Bxb7 R8c3 30. Bd5 Bxa3 31. Bxb3 $14 {Black should make a draw.}) 23... Rcc8 24. e4 Qxe4 25. Qxe4 dxe4 26. Ba5 Rxd1+ 27. Rxd1 Rc6 28. Rd8+ Bf8 29. Re8 $16 {Black's position is unpleasant.}) 20. Be1 Rc5 21. Ba2 Nc4 22. b4 axb4 23. Bxb4 $16 Rcc8 {Alexander could have chosen among different positions with advantage and I think that he has made the right choice.} 24. Bb3 $1 b5 25. Qxd5 Qxd5 26. Rxd5 Nxa3 27. Bxa3 Rxa3 {It is very difficult to assess correctly White's chances to win the game.} 28. Rd7 $5 ({The computer prefers to take on b5} 28. Rxb5 Ra7 29. g3 Rcc7 {In this case Black would protect the f7-pawn.}) 28... Rf8 29. Rb7 Bc3 30. g4 {It is obvious that sooner or later White will win the f7-pawn, he has 3 pieces, which could attack it and Black has only 2 defenders.} b4 31. h4 h6 32. g5 {I think that White shouldn't hurry playing g5 and f4} (32. Kg2 {I would prefer to put the king on g3 and then play g5.} Kg7 33. Kg3 Ra5 34. Rd1 Ra3 35. Bc4 Be5+ 36. Kg2 $16 { threatening Rdd7 and Rxb4.}) 32... hxg5 33. hxg5 Ra5 34. f4 Bd2 35. Kf2 Rc5 { Black has some counterplay, so the next moves are forced.} 36. Rd1 ({Or} 36. Rb2 Rc3 37. Bxf7+) 36... Rc3 37. Bxf7+ Rxf7 38. Rb8+ Kg7 39. Rxd2 {So, White has won a pawn and there are no more opposite coloured bishops. However now the b4-pawn is more a passed pawn than a weakness. The position which has arisen seems to be drawish.} Re7 40. Re2 (40. Rxb4 Rcxe3 {is a draw.}) 40... b3 41. Rb4 Rd7 42. Kf3 Re7 43. Re1 Rd7 44. Re2 (44. Kg4 Rdc7 45. e4 R7c4 46. Rxc4 Rxc4 {with the following ...Rb4. It leads to a draw.}) 44... Re7 45. Rb6 Kf7 { White doesn't have a way to improve his position, so Black can wait.} 46. Kf2 Kg7 (46... Re6 47. Rb7+ Re7 48. Rb5) 47. e4 {I don't see other plans. White sacrifices the pawn but he trades rooks and his king can penetrate on e5. The computer doesn't like 47.e4 but it doesn't propose any idea, that can help White to win the game.} Rf7 48. Re3 $8 Rxf4+ 49. Kg3 Rxe3+ 50. Kxf4 Rc3 (50... Rd3 51. Ke5 Re3 52. Rb7+ Kg8 53. Rb5 Kf7 54. Rb4 Rf3 55. Rb7+) 51. Rb7+ Kg8 52. Rb5 {Alexander doesn't need to hurry.} Kf7 53. Ke5 Ke7 54. Rb7+ Kd8 55. Kd6 ( 55. Kf6 Rc6+ 56. Ke5 (56. Kg7 $4 Rc7+ $19) 56... Rc3) 55... Kc8 56. Rb4 Rd3+ 57. Ke6 Kc7 58. e5 $1 (58. Kf7 Rd7+ 59. Kxg6 Rd6+ 60. Kf7 Rb6 61. Rxb6 Kxb6 62. g6 b2 63. g7 b1=Q 64. g8=Q Qxe4 $11) 58... Rf3 $6 ({The easiest way to make a draw is} 58... Kc6 59. Kf6 Kc5 60. Rb8 Rf3+ 61. Kxg6 Kd5 62. Rb5+ Kc6 63. Rb4 Kd5 $11) 59. Ke7 Kc6 60. e6 Kd5 61. Kd7 Rd3 62. Rb7 Ke5+ $6 {Objectively the position is still drawish, but it is only mathematics. In practice, in an overwhelming number of cases, White will win the endgame. So 62...Ke5 could be assessed as 'the last mistake, which leads to a lost position'.} (62... Kc5+ $1 {and Black shouldn't use tablebase to prove that the position which has arisen is drawish.} 63. Ke8 (63. Ke7 Kc6 64. Rb8 Kc7 65. Rb4 Kc6 66. Kf7 Rf3+ 67. Ke8 Kc5 68. Rb7 Kc6 69. Rb8 Rh3 70. Kf7 Rf3+ 71. Ke7 Re3 72. Rc8+ Kd5 73. Rd8+ Ke5 74. Rd2 (74. Rb8 Kf5 75. Rb5+ Re5 76. Rxe5+ Kxe5 77. Kf7 b2 78. e7 b1=Q 79. e8=Q+ Kf4 $11) 74... Kf5 75. Kd7 Kxg5 76. e7 Kf5 77. e8=Q Rxe8 78. Kxe8 g5 $11) 63... Kc6 64. Rb8 Rh3 65. Kf7 Rf3+ 66. Kxg6 Kd6 {The strong b3-pawn helps Black to save the game.} 67. Rb6+ Ke7 68. Kh6 Rh3+ 69. Kg7 Rc3 70. g6 Rh3 71. Kg8 Rd3 72. g7 Rf3 $11) 63. Ke7 Kd5 64. Rd7+ Ke4 65. Rxd3 Kxd3 66. Kf6 b2 67. e7 b1=Q 68. e8=Q Kd4 69. Qxg6 {According to the Nalimov tablebases the position is drawish. However, the distance between 'drawish according to the Nalimov tablebase' and draw is huge. I think that it is impossible to play such endgames precisely and if I couldn't look at tablebase I would believe that White's position is winning.} Qb8 70. Qg7 Ke4 71. Qh7+ Kf3 $2 (71... Kd4) (71... Ke3) 72. Qf5+ Kg2 73. Qd5+ Kh3 74. g6 Qf8+ 75. Kg5 Qe7+ 76. Kh6 Qe3+ 77. Kh7 Qe7+ 78. g7 Qh4+ 79. Kg6 Qg3+ 80. Kf6 Qh4+ 81. Kf7 Qf4+ 82. Ke7 Qh4+ 83. Ke8 Qe1+ 84. Kd7 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.14"] [Round "8"] [White "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C95"] [WhiteElo "2761"] [BlackElo "2800"] [Annotator "Lenderman,A"] [PlyCount "117"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] {Today there were many very interesting games, but in the end I chose the draw between Grischuk and Mamedyarov on one of the top boards, since not only it was very critical for the standings, but also it was truly a great battle between two fighting players.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 {Mamedyarov decides not to threaten playing the Marshall with 0-0 and commits to a slower Ruy Lopez.} (7... O-O 8. c3 (8. a4 { White can also play the popular slower line a4.}) 8... d5 {would be the Marshall Gambit, the top guest at the top level, especially by Levon Aronian, Magnus Carlsen, and Peter Svidler.}) 8. c3 ({Sometimes on} 8. a4 {Black has the option of} Bd7 {right away.} (8... Bg4 {or this})) 8... O-O 9. h3 Nb8 { The other popular line, the Breyer, which is very solid for Black and avoids very concrete lines.} 10. d4 Nbd7 11. Nbd2 Bb7 12. Bc2 Re8 13. Nf1 Bf8 14. Ng3 g6 15. a4 (15. b3 $5 {This is also an alternative in this still very theoretical position, and interestingly enough, this move was featured by the exact same players back in 2006.} d5 (15... Bg7 {Of course Black doesn't have to play the concrete ...d5 move, and can play the solid move ...Bg7.}) 16. Bg5 $1 h6 17. Bh4 $1 g5 18. Nxg5 hxg5 19. Bxg5 exd4 $1 20. e5 $1 Rxe5 21. Rxe5 Nxe5 22. cxd4 Nc6 $1 23. Qd3 $1 {1/2 (34) Grischuk,A (2710)-Mamedyarov,S (2728) Moscow 2006 CBM 116 [Lukacs/ Hazai]. Here White has a very strong attack, but in the end this battle in 2006 ended also as a draw.} (23. Nh5 $1 {is still the main line, but the consequences are unclear.})) 15... c6 (15... c5 $5 { was played by Kamsky against Grischuk} 16. d5 c4 17. Bg5 h6 18. Be3 Nc5 19. Qd2 h5 {0-1 (101) Grischuk,A (2748)-Kamsky,G (2720) Nalchik 2009 CBM 130 [Marin,M]. And after a complex battle White ended up actually losing, but his opening seems decent enough here.}) 16. Bg5 h6 17. Be3 Qc7 18. Bd3 {Grischuk is the first one to deviate, both from his own game against Mamedyarov, and in general from Mamedyarov's previous opponents.} (18. Qd2 {is an interesting alternative, played by Navara, also against Mamedyarov.} Kh7 19. Bb3 exd4 ( 19... Re7 $5) 20. cxd4 Nxe4 21. Nxe4 Rxe4 22. Bxh6 $2 {This was a basque game, so that explains this blunder.} (22. Bxf7 $16) 22... Bxh6 23. Ng5+ Bxg5 24. Qxg5 Qd8 $19 {Though after futher adventures White actually won this game.} 25. Qg3 Rxe1+ 26. Rxe1 d5 27. Qd6 Nf8 28. Qe7 Qd7 29. Qh4+ Kg7 30. Re7 Qd8 31. Qg5 Bc8 32. Rxf7+ {1-0 (32) Navara,D (2734)-Mamedyarov,S (2747) Huai'an CHN 2016}) 18... Bg7 19. Qc1 Kh7 20. b4 $146 {The logical and consistent approach and according to my database this is a novelty. The other game I saw White didn't play very logically and let Black get control of the centre and quickly control of the game.} (20. b3 Rac8 21. Ra2 Re7 22. Nh2 $6 d5 $15 {0-1 (42) Muller,A (2095)-Donaldson Akhmilovskaya,E (2410) Elista 1998. Black got control and won the game later.}) 20... Rac8 (20... Rad8 {might be an alternative but in general I think these kinds of positions are easier to play for White than Black.}) 21. Qd2 exd4 $5 {Black decides to change the course of the action and tries to create counterplay.} 22. cxd4 Nb6 23. axb5 {Not the engine's top choice, but a logical idea trying to either get d4-d5 and the d4-square for one of his pieces, or opening the a-file.} (23. Bf4 $1 {Komodo prefers this.} Nxa4 $2 (23... bxa4 24. e5 {leads to similar problems as after 23...Nxa4.}) (23... Qd7 {To try to defend against e5.} 24. a5 Nc4 25. Qa2 Re6 26. Rad1 $16 {seems very difficult for Black, but maybe it's not so trivial to break through right away.}) 24. e5 {Is just bad for Black.} dxe5 (24... Nd5 25. exd6 Qd7 26. Nh5 $18 {Here also White has a decisive attack. Black's pieces are misplaced and not defending the king.}) 25. Nxe5 $18 {White is crashing through here.}) 23... cxb5 (23... axb5 24. Bf4 $16 {seems inferior for Black.}) 24. d5 Nfd7 (24... Nc4 $5 25. Bxc4 bxc4 $1 {might've been a better way for Black to create counterplay.} 26. Bd4 c3 27. Qc2 (27. Qf4 Qe7) 27... Qc4) 25. Bd4 Ne5 (25... Qd8 {would also be a solid alternative where White is better thanks to the space and more active pieces but Black still has some counterplay on the c-file.}) 26. Nxe5 dxe5 27. Rac1 Qd6 28. Bc5 Qf6 29. Nf1 Nd7 30. Rc2 Rc7 31. Qe3 Rec8 32. Nd2 Qf4 33. d6 $6 {Up to here Grischuk played brilliantly, but here maybe he got a bit materialistic and carried away with the tempting option. However, this move looks like it spoils his advantage.} ( 33. Nb3 {seems to offer very good winning chances for White.} Qxe3 (33... Bf8 34. Rec1 Qxe3 35. fxe3) 34. fxe3 Bf8 35. Rec1 Kg8 36. d6 Nxc5 $8 (36... Rc6 37. Na5 $18) 37. bxc5 (37. Nxc5 $5 Bxd6 38. Nxb7 Rxc2 39. Rxc2 Rxc2 40. Bxc2 Bxb4 41. Nd8 $16 {looks like very good winning chances for White.}) 37... Rd7 38. g4 $16 {with long lasting pressure. Black is in for a very unpleasant defence.}) 33... Nxc5 $1 {Could it be that Grischuk missed this?} (33... Rc6 34. Nb3 $16 { was maybe what Grischuk expected in likely mutual time pressure.}) 34. dxc7 Qxe3 35. Rxe3 Ne6 $1 {The only move but sufficient. Maybe this was the move Grischuk missed from afar.} 36. Nb3 (36. Nf3 {might've been a better unconventional try, to at least not let Black play ...Bf8 very quickly.} f6 37. Re1 Bf8 38. Rb1 {and at least White is in time to defend the key b4-pawn.}) 36... Bf8 37. Be2 (37. Na5 $5 Ba8 38. Nc6 {was also a very interesting practical try, since here Black actually has to find a very difficult computer move to hold the balance.} Kg7 $3 {The point of this move is to improve the king position and wait to see what White does. If he takes the e5-pawn, then he wants to be able to take the b4-pawn without the f7-pawn hanging. This would hold the balance.} (38... f6 $2 {is very natural but it actually loses for Black.} 39. Nd8 $3 Nxd8 (39... Nxc7 40. Ne6 Bd6 41. Be2 $18 {is also easily winning for White.} Bb7 42. Nxc7 Rxc7 43. Rxc7+ Bxc7 44. Rd3 Bc6 45. Rc3 $18) (39... Nd4 40. Ra2 Rxc7 41. Rxa6 $18 {is a more prosaic win.}) 40. cxd8=Q Rxd8 41. Rc7+ $18 {White is winning here since he has penetratedBlack's position. White will win some pawns and Black's pieces are very passive.} Kg8 42. Bc2 $1 Bxb4 43. Rd3 $1 $18) (38... Bd6 39. Nb8 $1 Bb7 (39... Nd4 40. Ra2) 40. Nxa6 $1 Bxa6 41. Rc6 Bxb4 42. Rxa6 Bc5 43. Re1 {with some winning chances for White and no risk.} Nd4 44. Kf1 Rxc7 45. Rb1 b4 46. Bc4 $14) (38... Bxc6 39. Rxc6 Bxb4 40. Rxa6 $14) (38... Rxc7 39. Nxe5) 39. Nxe5 (39. Re1 Rxc7 40. Rec1 Rd7 {is also close to equal}) 39... Bxb4 $11) 37... Bxb4 38. Bg4 Rxc7 39. Rxc7 Nxc7 40. Rd3 Ne8 $6 {The last move before time control, probably a bit inaccurate, as it makes the draw slightly more difficult.} (40... h5 $1 41. Rd7 hxg4 42. Rxf7+ Kh6 43. f3 $3 {would probably secure equality though.} (43. Rxc7 Bxe4 44. hxg4 Bd3 $1 {Here Black is the only one with winning chances.}) 43... Bxe4 44. fxe4 Ne8 45. hxg4 Nd6 46. Rd7 Kg5 $11 {with a balanced endgame.}) 41. Rd7 Nd6 42. f4 $1 {Last winning attempt for White.} Bc8 43. Rc7 (43. Ra7 $5 { might've offered White slightly more practical chances:} Bxg4 44. hxg4 Bc3 ( 44... Nxe4 45. fxe5 $16) (44... Kg8 45. fxe5 Nxe4 46. Rxa6) 45. fxe5 Bxe5 46. Kf1 $1 (46. Rxa6 Nxe4 $11) 46... Kg7 47. Nd2 {might still offer White very slight winning chances.}) 43... Bxg4 44. hxg4 Kg8 $1 {This resource wouldn't be as effective after 43.Ra7.} 45. fxe5 Nxe4 46. Rc8+ Kg7 47. Ra8 Bc3 48. Kf1 Bxe5 {Now this is a simple draw for Black.} 49. Ke2 (49. Re8 $6 Kf6) 49... Kf6 50. Rxa6+ Kg5 51. Kf3 Nf6 52. Ra7 Nxg4 53. Rxf7 Bc3 54. Rb7 Ne5+ 55. Ke4 b4 56. Nd4 Nc4 57. Kd3 Ne5+ 58. Ke4 Nc4 59. Kd3 {And a draw by 3-fold repetition. A great battle by two great fighters. There were some inaccuracies in time pressure but it's much easier for me sitting next to my Stockfish figuring these details out than working these details out at the board under heavy time pressure and in general with big stakes on the line.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.14"] [Round "8"] [White "Hou, Yifan"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B85"] [WhiteElo "2666"] [BlackElo "2775"] [Annotator "Ftacnik,L"] [PlyCount "136"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e6 7. O-O Be7 8. f4 O-O 9. Kh1 Qc7 10. Qe1 {The line with 10.Qe1 is a dangerous weapon in the Scheveningen Variation. Black will get counterplay, but White's concentrated pieces on the kingside will represent great attacking potential.} (10. a4 Nc6 11. Be3 Re8) 10... Nc6 11. Be3 Nxd4 12. Bxd4 b5 13. Qg3 Bb7 14. a3 Rad8 15. Rae1 Bc6 16. Bd3 Qd7 $5 {A very interesting development in a well known position. Attention shas hifted from the older move 16...Qb7 to the clever idea 16...Rd7 followed by ...Qd8 to this clever move. Black players are getting very good results with counterplay in the centre.} (16... Qb7) (16... Rd7) 17. Rf3 (17. Ne2 g6 18. Qe3 Ng4 19. Qg3 Nf6 20. Qf3 Ne8 21. Qe3 Bf6 22. Bxf6 Nxf6 23. Nd4 $15 {1/2-1/2 (58) Dragun,K (2594)-Grachev,B (2639) Moscow 2016}) (17. Nd1 Nh5 (17... g6 18. Ne3 Nh5 19. Qh3 Nxf4 20. Rxf4 e5 21. Qh6 f6 22. Rg4 $18 {1/2-1/2 (38) Schroeder,J (2521)-Korneev,O (2582) Heusenstamm 2016} ) 18. Qg4 Nf6 (18... g6 19. Ne3 Nf6 20. Qf3 Qc7 21. f5 e5 22. Bc3 Kh8 23. Ng4 Nxg4 24. Qxg4 $11 {0-1 (32) Brkic,A (2584)-Bosiocic,M (2567) Mali Losinj 2016}) 19. Qg3 Nh5 20. Qh3 Nxf4 21. Rxf4 e5 22. Rg4 exd4 23. e5 g6 24. e6 Qe8 $15 { 0-1 (37) Liu,Q (2510)-Popov,I (2653) China 2015}) (17. b4 Nh5 18. Qg4 (18. Qh3 Nxf4 19. Rxf4 e5 20. Rg4 exd4 21. e5 g6 22. e6 Qe8 $11 {1/2-1/2 (60) Saveliev, A (2369)-Grachev,B (2658) Sochi 2017}) 18... Nf6 19. Qh3 e5 20. fxe5 Qxh3 21. gxh3 dxe5 22. Bxe5 Rfe8 23. Bg3 $11 {1-0 (41) Kosteniuk,A (2537)-Charochkina,D (2366) Sochi 2016}) (17. Na2 Nh5 18. Qf2 e5 19. fxe5 dxe5 20. Bxe5 Nf6 21. Bxf6 Bxf6 22. e5 Be7 23. Nb4 $14 {1/2-1/2 (62) Harika,D (2535)-Ushenina,A (2458) Khanty-Mansiysk 2017}) 17... e5 $1 {This counterblow was enabled by the location of the black queen. Black hopes to get enough compensation for the pawn.} (17... g6 18. f5 exf5 19. Rxf5 Ne8 20. a4 (20. Rf3 Ng7 21. Ref1 $14) 20... Ng7 21. axb5 axb5 22. b4 Rde8 23. Bxg7 Kxg7 24. Bxb5 Bxb5 25. Rxb5 Bf6 $14 {1/2-1/2 (60) Stukopin,A (2586)-Ramirez,A (2550) Saint Louis 2017}) 18. fxe5 Nh5 19. Qh3 (19. Qf2 dxe5 20. Bxe5 f6 21. Bg3 Nxg3+ 22. Rxg3 Bd6 $11) 19... Qxh3 20. Rxh3 Nf4 21. Rf3 Nxd3 22. cxd3 (22. Rxd3 dxe5 23. Bxe5 f5 24. Rxd8 Bxd8 25. Bd6 Re8 $11) 22... dxe5 23. Bxe5 {The landscape has changed radically. Instead of defending against White's attack Black will be hoping to prove full compensation with active pieces and the bishop pair.} b4 (23... Rfe8 24. Bc7 Rd7 25. Ba5 Bf6 $11) 24. axb4 Bxb4 25. Rc1 Rc8 (25... a5 26. Kg1 Rfe8 $11) 26. h3 (26. Ne2 $1 Bb5 27. Rxc8 Rxc8 28. Bc3 Bc5 29. Rg3 $14) 26... f6 27. Bg3 (27. Na2 Bxe4 $1 28. dxe4 Rxc1+ 29. Nxc1 fxe5 30. Rxf8+ Kxf8 $11) 27... Rfd8 28. Bf2 Bb7 29. Kh2 {Hou is a bit helpless and thus moves the king away from the a8-h1 diagonal.} (29. Be1 Rd7 $11) 29... f5 $1 {The dynamic potential of Black's position is substantial, now White must be careful not to lose the extra pawn.} 30. Ra1 (30. Rxf5 Rxd3 31. Rf3 Rd2 $15) 30... fxe4 31. dxe4 Rd2 32. Nd5 Bf8 {Giri had probably started dreaming about turning the tables and was not satisfied with a small advantage after grabbing the b2-pawn.} (32... Rxb2 33. Nxb4 Rxb4 34. Rd1 Bxe4 35. Rf4 Rb2 36. Rxe4 Rxf2 37. Re7 $15) 33. b4 ( 33. Rf1 Bxd5 34. exd5 Rxb2 35. Rd3 Rcc2 36. Bg3 Rxg2+ 37. Kh1 Rgd2 38. Re3 $11) 33... h6 34. Bc5 $6 {The old wisdom in chess suggests putting your opponent under pressure, as even the best players may crack. The former world champion wants to limit the pressure at the cost of a pawn.} (34. Be3 Re2 35. Rd1 Bxd5 36. exd5 Rcc2 37. Bc5 Rxg2+ 38. Kh1 $11) 34... Bxc5 35. bxc5 Rxc5 36. Rb3 { [%mdl 4096] Black will have an extra pawn, but limited chances to hope for more than the better side of a draw.} (36. Rfa3 Rd4 37. Rb1 Bxd5 38. exd5 a5 39. Rb7 Rdxd5 40. Ra7 $15) 36... Bxd5 37. exd5 a5 38. d6 (38. Rb8+ Kh7 39. Ra8 Rdxd5 40. h4 $15) 38... Rxd6 39. Rb8+ Kf7 40. Ra8 Rdd5 41. Ra7+ Kg6 42. Ra3 ( 42. h4 $1 h5 43. Ra3 $11) 42... Rh5 $5 43. Ra4 Rb5 44. h4 {Both players understood that getting the pawn to h4 would seriously help White.} (44. Ra3 Kh7 $15) 44... Rb4 45. R4xa5 Rhxh4+ 46. Kg3 Kh7 47. Ra3 (47. R5a6 Rhg4+ 48. Kh3 h5 $15) 47... h5 48. Rf7 Rh1 49. Re3 $2 {All players know the slippery feeling when defending a worse position. The situation may not get better, but any serious inacuracy will multiply the burden. White had to find 49.Rf4! with excellent drawing chances.} (49. Rf4 $1 Rb2 50. Rd3 Kh6 51. Rfd4 $15) 49... h4+ $1 50. Kf2 Rbb1 51. Ree7 $6 {When it rains it pours, Hou did not realise how difficult the defence would be in the plain rook ending.} (51. Rc7 Kh6 52. Re6+ g6 53. Rc2 Rhf1+ 54. Ke3 Kh5 $17) 51... Rhf1+ 52. Ke2 Rbe1+ 53. Kd3 (53. Kd2 Rxe7 54. Rxf1 Kg6 55. Rh1 Kg5 56. Rh3 Kg4 57. Ra3 g5 $19) 53... Rxf7 54. Rxf7 ( 54. Rxe1 Rd7+ 55. Kc2 Kg6 $19) 54... Kh6 55. Kd2 (55. Ra7 g5 $19) 55... Re6 56. Rf4 Kh5 (56... g5 57. Rf3 Kh5 58. Ra3 Re4 59. Ra2 Kg6 $19) 57. Rf7 Rg6 $1 58. Rf2 Kg4 59. Ke1 (59. Re2 Kg3 60. Ke1 Ra6 $19) 59... Re6+ 60. Kf1 Rf6 $1 { Transitioning to a pawn ending is mostly trivial for very strong players. The defence becomes hopeless as it is fairly easy to force a theoretically won position.} 61. Rxf6 gxf6 62. Kf2 (62. Kg1 h3 $19) 62... Kf4 63. Kg1 Kg3 64. Kf1 h3 65. Kg1 (65. gxh3 Kxh3 66. Kf2 Kg4 67. Ke3 f5 68. Kf2 Kf4 $19) 65... Kg4 66. gxh3+ Kxh3 67. Kf2 Kg4 68. Kg2 Kf4 (68... Kf4 69. Kf2 f5 $19) 0-1 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.14"] [Round "8"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2742"] [BlackElo "2809"] [Annotator "Yuffa,D"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] {Nepomniachtchi decided to use Aronian's own weapon against him.} 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nb6 7. O-O Be7 8. a3 ({Usually White starts with} 8. d3 O-O {and there White has an interesting and slightly unexpected idea if Black plays too actively:} 9. Be3 Be6 10. Rc1 f5 {This active and aggressive move provokes White into a response:} (10... f6 {is quite solid.} 11. a3 $5 {is a positional trap} Qd7 $1 ({if} 11... a5 12. d4 $1 exd4 13. Nxd4 Nxd4 14. Qxd4 $16 {Marin - Strambu, 1-0, 2007}) 12. Ne4 Nd5 13. Bc5 b6 14. Bxe7 Ndxe7 15. Qa4 $11 {and both sides have equal chances}) (10... Nd5 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12. Qa4 Re8 13. Rc3 a6 14. a3 Bf6 15. Rc5 {Tomashevsky - Karjakin, 2015, and instead of} Nd4 16. Rxd5 Nxe2+ 17. Kh1 Qxd5 18. Nd4 Qxg2+ 19. Kxg2 Nxd4 20. Bxd4 exd4 21. Qb4 Rab8 22. Re1 $16 {with big chances for White's success Black should have played 15...Be7, offering a repetition}) ( 10... Qd7 11. a3 f6 12. Nd2 Rfd8 {and the computer considers that the position is absolutely equal}) 11. b4 $5 a6 (11... Nxb4 12. Nxe5 c6 13. Qd2 {is slightly better for White because of the centre}) (11... Bxb4 $6 {This pawn is poisoned} 12. Ng5 Bf7 13. Nxf7 Rxf7 14. Qb3 $1 Bxc3 15. Rxc3 Nd4 16. Bxd4 exd4 17. Rc5 c6 18. Rxf5 Qe7 (18... Qd7 19. Bh3 Nd5 20. Rf4 $1 $18) 19. Rf4 Rd8 20. Bh3 Kf8 21. Rxf7+ Qxf7 22. Qa3+ $18) 12. a3 Kh8 (12... Bf6 13. Nd2 $14 { is slightly better because of space on queenside and the pressure on c-file}) 13. Bc5 (13. Na4 Nxa4 14. Qxa4 Bd5 15. Bc5 Bd6 16. Qc2 {Anand - Hammer, 1-0, 2015. The position is almost equal, but in my view it's a bit easier to play White there which was proved in the game.}) (13. Re1 Qe8 14. Qd2 Bd6 15. Bxb6 cxb6 16. d4 exd4 17. Nxd4) 13... Bg8 14. e3 $5 Bxc5 15. bxc5 Nd5 16. Qd2 Qe7 { Caruana - Giri, 1/2, 2014, with mutual chances.}) 8... a5 (8... O-O {is also a possibility} 9. b4 Be6 10. d3 (10. Rb1 {This is almost useless} f6 $5 (10... a6 11. d3 f6 12. Ne4 Ba2 13. Rb2 Bd5 14. Nc5 {is approximately equal}) 11. d3 a5 12. b5 Nd4 13. Nd2 Qc8 14. e3 Nf5 15. Qc2 a4 {and Black has a slight edge.}) ( 10. b5 $5 Nd4 11. Rb1 Nxf3+ {This can be an inaccuracy} (11... f6 $5 $13) 12. Bxf3 Qc8 13. d3 a5 14. a4 Rd8 15. Qc2 {The position might be equal but it's a bit more convenient to play White there.}) 10... a5 11. b5 Nd4 12. Nd2 c6 13. bxc6 Nxc6 14. Rb1 a4 {despite the good pawn structure, White has a lack of space}) 9. d3 O-O 10. Be3 Be6 11. Rc1 a4 $5 {The most principled and convincing.} (11... f5 12. Na4 Nxa4 13. Qxa4 $14 {is slightly better for White because of pressure on the c-file and the threat of an exchange sacrifice on c6.}) 12. Nd2 ({An attempt to win the pawn immediately leads to sufficient counterplay for Black:} 12. Bxb6 cxb6 13. Nxa4 e4 14. Ne1 Bg5 15. Rc3 {and Black at least has a repetition after 15...Bf6} (15. Ra1 exd3 16. Nxd3 Nd4 17. Nc3 Nb3 $44) (15. e3 $6 exd3 $36)) 12... f5 $146 {It seems to me that this move is the first inaccuracy for Black. I think that Aronian knew that after 12...Nd5 the position becomes dry and he wanted to create a mess on the board.} (12... Nd5 {was more solid} 13. Nxd5 Bxd5 14. Bf3 Bxf3 15. Nxf3 Qd5 $11) 13. Bxb6 cxb6 14. Nxa4 Bg5 15. Nc3 e4 16. Rb1 Ne5 (16... Rf7 17. Nc4 Rd7 18. b3 Bf6 19. Nb5 exd3 20. exd3 Nd4 $14 {and the compensation is already sufficient.}) 17. Nb3 Ng4 18. Qc2 ({Black aimed for an attack. It was better to terrorise the knight on g4 immediately:} 18. h3 $5 Nxf2 19. Kxf2 (19. Rxf2 $2 Be3 $17 { , threating f4}) 19... Qd6 20. h4 $16 {escaping.}) 18... Be3 19. dxe4 $2 { Blundering.} (19. Bh3 {was the only move to maintain equality:} Nxf2 20. Rxf2 Qd7 21. Rbf1 f4 22. Bxe6+ Qxe6 23. g4 f3 24. exf3 Rxf3 25. Nxe4 Qxg4+ 26. Kh1 Rxf2 27. Rxf2 Bxf2 28. Nxf2 Qf3+ 29. Kg1 Rf8 $11) 19... Qg5 $2 {Aronian misses a beautiful pinning idea:} (19... Nxf2 $1 20. Rxf2 fxe4 21. Rbf1 (21. Nxe4 $2 Rc8) 21... Qc7 $1 {The point of conception. The pair of bishops is pinning all the white pieces.} 22. Bxe4 (22. Nc1 Bxf2+ 23. Rxf2 Rxf2 24. Kxf2 Qc5+ $19) 22... Rxf2 23. Rxf2 Qf7 $1 {...executing ...} 24. Bf3 Bxb3 $17) 20. fxe3 Qxe3+ 21. Kh1 Qh6 22. h3 $2 {Wasting the advantage.} (22. h4 {looks a bit more risky but it works:} f4 23. Qc1 Ne3 24. Rf3 Bxb3 25. gxf4 Nxg2 26. Kxg2 Qxh4 27. f5 $16) 22... Ne3 23. Qd2 f4 24. gxf4 Nxf1 $2 (24... Nxg2 {doesn't make a draw because} 25. Kxg2 Qxh3+ 26. Kf2 Qh4+ 27. Ke3 Bxb3 28. Qd4 $14 Rad8 29. Qe5 { looks a bit dangerous, but Black has nothing tangible for the pawn.}) (24... Rxf4 $1 25. Rxf4 Qxf4 {that's a bit fantastic but Black is ok there a piece down. White must give up that lead.} 26. Rg1 Bxb3 27. Nd5 Bxd5 28. exd5 Nxg2 29. Qc3 g6 30. Rxg2 Rd8 31. Qd3 Re8 32. Qf3 Qc1+ 33. Kh2 Qc7+ 34. Qg3 Qc4 $11) 25. Rxf1 {Now it's a technical stage. White's central pawn fist is crushing Black's position.} Bxb3 26. e5 Rae8 (26... Rad8 $5 27. Qe3 Rd7 28. Ne4 Bd5 29. Nd6 $16 {it's still tough, but not losing yet.}) 27. Ne4 Kh8 28. Kh2 Bg8 29. e3 Re6 30. Nd6 Qh4 31. Qd4 $18 Rg6 32. Rf3 Qe1 33. f5 Rg5 34. h4 Rh5 35. Rg3 Be6 36. fxe6 {This was a game of mutual chances, where Aronian didn't want to agree to a peaceful flow of the game and played 12...f5!?N. That, probably, was a mistake despite the less than smooth play of both sides.} 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.15"] [Round "9"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Hou, Yifan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D35"] [WhiteElo "2749"] [BlackElo "2666"] [Annotator "Roiz,M"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 c5 7. Rb1 { Peter is emloying a considerably rare continuation, that enables White to avoid the major simplifications.} ({The main line} 7. Nf3 cxd4 8. cxd4 Bb4+ 9. Bd2 Bxd2+ 10. Qxd2 O-O {has proved to be very solid for Black.}) 7... Be7 8. Nf3 (8. Bb5+ {was also recently tested on the highest level:} Bd7 9. Bxd7+ (9. Nf3 Bxb5 10. Rxb5 b6 11. O-O O-O $11) 9... Qxd7 10. d5 exd5 11. exd5 O-O 12. Nf3 Bf6 13. O-O b5 $132 {Aronian,L - Vallejo Pons,F Sharjah UAE 2017}) 8... O-O 9. Bc4 {This is the most natural way of development. White's bishop is supporting the thematic d4-d5 advance now.} (9. Bd3 cxd4 10. cxd4 Nc6 {offers Black comfortable play due to the pressure on the d4-pawn.}) 9... Nc6 ({ The more modest} 9... Nd7 10. O-O Qc7 11. Qe2 b6 12. d5 exd5 13. Bxd5 Bb7 14. Bf4 Qxf4 15. Bxb7 Rab8 16. Bc6 $14 {(Vitiugov,N - Miton,K Czech Republic CZE 2013) didn't offer Black a full equality.}) 10. O-O b6 $146 {A natural novelty. There is no reason for delaying the development of the passive c8-bishop.} ({ The preceding encounter was played almost half a century ago:} 10... Qc7 11. Qe2 b6 12. Rd1 Na5 13. Bd3 Bb7 14. d5 c4 15. Bc2 e5 16. Be3 $14 {Polugaevsky, L-Petrosian,T Soviet Union 1970}) 11. d5 $1 {Only this ambitious continuation might pose Black any problems.} (11. Bf4 Bb7 12. Re1 cxd4 13. cxd4 Rc8 $11) 11... Na5 (11... exd5 12. Bxd5 Qc7 13. Re1 $14 {looks rather passive for Black. }) 12. Bd3 c4 {This move makes the d5-pawn vulnerable. On the other hand, the a5-knight is definitely misplaced now.} 13. Bc2 exd5 14. exd5 Bb7 {Black's main counterplay is based on attacking the Pd5, but the Kg8 is getting more exposed now.} ({Possibly, a safer try was} 14... Bg4 $5 15. Qe2 (15. h3 Bh5 16. Re1 Bd6 $132) (15. Bf4 Nb7 16. h3 Bh5 17. Re1 Bd6 $132) 15... Bh5 $1 16. Re1 Bd6 $132 {securing the king and intending to attack the d5-pawn in the long run.}) 15. Re1 Bf6 $2 {This move is inviting serious troubles - Black shouldn't let White advance the passer.} ({A much better move was} 15... Qd6 $1 16. Ne5 (16. Rb5 a6 17. Rb1 Rae8 18. Be3 Bd8 $132) 16... Qxd5 17. Qg4 Rad8 18. Qh3 f5 19. Bf4 Bc8 $1 {, and it looks like White has sufficient play for a pawn, but hardly more. For instance,} 20. Rbd1 (20. Ng6 hxg6 21. Rxe7 Rfe8 22. Rxg7+ Kxg7 23. Qh6+ Kg8 24. Qxg6+ Kh8 {with a perpetual}) 20... Qc5 21. g4 Rxd1 22. Rxd1 Bg5 $1 23. Bg3 h6 24. gxf5 Nc6 25. Nd7 Bxd7 26. Rxd7 Ne5 {and Black is OK.}) 16. d6 $1 {Of course, GM Svidler doesn't miss this chance.} (16. Ba3 $6 {is much weaker:} Re8 17. Rxe8+ Qxe8 18. Qd2 Qd7 19. Rd1 Rd8 20. d6 Bxf3 21. gxf3 g6 $132) 16... Re8 ({In the event of} 16... Qd7 17. Ne5 Bxe5 18. Rxe5 Rfe8 19. Bf4 Rxe5 20. Bxe5 Re8 21. Bg3 $16 {White's powerful bishops would support the passer, so Black is in big troubles.}) 17. Rxe8+ Qxe8 18. Bf4 Rd8 (18... Qd7 19. Nd4 g6 20. Ba4 Nc6 21. Qd2 $16) 19. Bf5 $1 {Now the passer has perfect support from both White's bishops.} g6 $2 {The decisive mistake.} ({It was necessary to remove the queen from the back-rank:} 19... Qc6 20. d7 g6 21. Bh3 Bxc3 22. Rc1 {, even though White's initiative lasts there too:} Bf6 23. Qe2 Qe4 24. Qxe4 Bxe4 25. Bc7 Rf8 26. Ne5 $36) 20. d7 Qf8 ({A more stubborn option was} 20... Qe7 21. Bh3 Bc6 22. Bc7 Rxd7 23. Bxd7 Qxd7 24. Qxd7 Bxd7 25. Be5 $18 {, but White should be able to convert his material advantage into a full point.}) 21. Bh3 Be4 22. Rc1 {White is not in a rush.} Qc5 (22... Nb7 {offered no hope either:} 23. Bc7 Nc5 24. Bxd8 Qxd8 25. Qe2 $18) 23. Qe2 Bf5 {Alas, this move doesn't help Black to release the tension.} 24. Rd1 Bxh3 25. gxh3 Kg7 ({Or} 25... Nb7 26. Qe4 Qf5 27. Qxf5 gxf5 28. Bc7 Rf8 29. Nd4 $18) 26. Rd6 $1 { The most effective.} Bxc3 (26... Nb7 27. Rxf6 Kxf6 28. Be5+ Ke7 29. Bd4+ $18) 27. Ng5 {All Black's pieces are too far away from the king, so White's attack is unstoppable.} Qf5 28. Qe7 {The rest is just an agony.} h6 29. Ne6+ Kh7 30. Nxd8 Qxf4 31. Nxf7 1-0 [Event "FIDE Grand Prix Palma 2017"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.16"] [Round "1"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Gelfand, Boris"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B35"] [WhiteElo "2796"] [BlackElo "2719"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 {Gelfand often reverts to the Accelerated Dragon in case that his opponent adopts the Anti-Sveshnikov move order. By doing so he avoids the Maroczy Bind formation.} 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Bc4 O-O 8. Bb3 d5 {This is how the Israeli GM likes to play, lately.} (8... d6 { reverts the game back into the normal Dragon where Vachier-Lagrave has a lot of experience. One example is the following blitz game} 9. f3 Bd7 10. Qd2 Rc8 11. h4 h5 12. O-O-O Ne5 13. Kb1 Nc4 14. Bxc4 Rxc4 15. Nde2 {and the theory had not yet begun, Vachier-Lagrave,M (2796)-Grischuk,A (2761) Paris 2017}) ({ The genuine Accelerated Dragon players may also choose the line} 8... a5 9. O-O a4 10. Nxa4 Nxe4 11. Nb5 Rxa4 12. Bxa4 Bxb2 {as in Karjakin,S (2694)-Jones,G (2567) Heraklion 2007}) 9. exd5 Na5 10. O-O ({An alternative for White is} 10. Qf3 Nxb3 11. axb3 Bg4 12. Qg3 Bh5 13. d6 exd6 14. O-O {when the weak pawn on d6 is compensated by the bishop pair by Black, Wei,Y (2753)-Li,C (2744) Huocheng County 2017}) 10... Nxb3 11. Nxb3 b6 12. d6 {The pawn cannot be defended on d5 and White hurries to cause some damage to the opponent's position.} e6 {In return Black postpones the capture hoping that he will have a better opportunity for that.} ({Apparently, Gelfand was not too excited repeating the endgame he had an year ago after} 12... Qxd6 13. Qxd6 exd6 14. Rfe1 Bf5 15. Nd4 Bd7 16. h3 {as in Oparin,G (2616)-Gelfand,B (2725) Moscow 2016 }) 13. Qf3 Rb8 14. Rfd1 $146 {A logical novelty. The question which rook has always been more difficult than one could imagine. Here the the placement of the rooks on c1 and d1 has one obvious advantage: they both support the advance of the pawns. The less obvious plus is that the rook on f1 may fall victim to a bishop skewer on the a6-f1 diagonal.} ({The only predecessor is a game of Gelfand himself. He managed to survive after:} 14. Rad1 Bb7 15. Qh3 Nd5 16. Nxd5 Bxd5 17. Bd4 Bxd4 18. Rxd4 Rc8 (18... b5 $5 19. Qh6) 19. Qh6 (19. Qd3 $1 b5 20. Qxb5 ({One disadvantage of the queenside rook sorie is revealed after } 20. c3 Bc4 {skewering some meat on the diagonal.}) 20... Rxc2) 19... Qf6 20. Rc1 {although this might have been pleasant to repeat as White, Adhiban,B (2670)-Gelfand,B (2737) Douglas 2017}) 14... Bb7 15. Qh3 {Gelfand sank into thought.} Rc8 ({The less obvious advantage of the move Rf1-d1 becomes clear in the line} 15... Nd5 16. Nxd5 Bxd5 17. Bd4 Bxd4 18. Rxd4 Rc8 19. Qd3 $1 (19. Qh6 Qf6) 19... b5 20. c3 Bc4 {and this bishop attacks only the queen, which moves away:} (20... Qxd6 21. Qxb5) 21. Qg3 {with advantage for White. Small details like these form the opening theory for years to come.}) 16. Bd4 Nd5 (16... Rc6 {would be well met with} 17. Qf3 $1) 17. Nxd5 Bxd5 18. Bxg7 Kxg7 19. Rac1 $1 { Here is the second advantage in action. The white pieces are placed (almost) ideally to help the passers run. Vachier-Lagrave's novelty worked out quite well.} b5 (19... Qxd6 $4 {drops a piece after} 20. c4) ({In case of} 19... Rc6 {White has a choice between the sharp} 20. c4 $5 ({And the calm} 20. Qg3) 20... Bxc4 21. Qg3 {with advantage for White in both cases. But this was perhaps the lesser evil in comparison to the game.}) 20. Qg3 Qf6 ({Or} 20... Rc6 21. Nd4 Rxd6 (21... Rb6 22. b3 b4 23. Nf5+ $5 Kh8 24. Ne3) 22. Nxb5 {with a solid extra pawn.}) 21. Nd4 b4 {Trying to keep the pawns blocked. However} 22. c4 $1 {is still very strong.} bxc3 ({If} 22... Rxc4 23. Rxc4 Bxc4 24. Nc6 Bd5 25. Nxb4 {keeps the extra material.}) (22... Bxc4 $2 {is even worse for Black after } 23. d7 Rc5 24. b3) 23. Rxc3 Rxc3 $6 {This makes things easier for White. The two passers are massive.} ({The most resilient way was} 23... Rb8 24. b3 Rfd8 { although White's advantage is indusputable here as well.}) 24. bxc3 Rd8 ({If} 24... Rc8 25. d7 Rd8 26. Qd6 {and the pawns will resume their motion shortly.}) 25. h4 {Another nice touch. One idea is to trade the queens in the proper moment. The other is to have air for the king in case of any back rank checks.} e5 26. Nf5+ Qxf5 27. Rxd5 Qe4 ({You have already noticed that} 27... Qb1+ { is not mate and White should win after} 28. Kh2 Qxa2 29. Qxe5+) 28. c4 { Keeping the passers together is the best.} (28. Rxe5 $6 Qb1+ 29. Kh2 Rxd6 { is not that great for White.}) 28... f6 ({The white passer is unstoppable after } 28... Qxc4 29. Qxe5+ Kg8 30. d7 Qxh4 31. Rb5) 29. Qc3 Qb1+ 30. Kh2 Qxa2 31. Rd2 {Calm play. MVL knows that the pawns are unstoppable.} ({There was also the flashy win after} 31. Rxe5 fxe5 ({But why to allow any checks after} 31... Qxf2 32. Re7+ Kg8 33. c5) 32. Qxe5+ Kg8 33. Qe6+ Kg7 34. Qe7+) 31... Qa4 32. g3 Qc6 33. c5 Rd7 34. Qc4 {Once that the blockade is lifted nobody can stop the passers.} (34. Qc4 {A possible finish would have been} Kf8 35. Qd5 Qxd5 36. Rxd5 Ke8 37. c6 Rg7 38. d7+ Kd8 39. c7+) 1-0 [Event "FIDE Grand Prix Palma 2017"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.19"] [Round "4"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A16"] [WhiteElo "2801"] [BlackElo "2762"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "53"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 {The Anti-Gruenfeld was to be expected against Giri. } d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. d3 ({The endgame arising after} 5. e4 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Qxd1+ 7. Kxd1 {is very popular of lately, So,W (2812)-Mamedyarov,S (2800) Paris 2017} ) ({But Aronian himself prefers to keep the queens on the board as in a game against the same opponent an year ago:} 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Ba3 O-O 8. d4 b6 9. Bc4 {Aronian, L (2792)-Giri,A (2782) Leuven 2016}) 5... Bg7 6. Bd2 O-O 7. g3 c5 8. h4 $146 {A novelty. I have noticed that the creative attacking players have passion for this move. Before Aronian, there was Larsen.} ({ The standart way of attacking the kingside is} 8. Bg2 Nc6 9. O-O e6 10. Qc1 b6 11. Bh6 Bb7 12. Bxg7 Kxg7 13. Rd1 Rc8 {But this does not yield White much, Bischoff,K (2504)-Li,C (2711) Germany 2014}) 8... Nc6 {Solid central play by Giri.} ({We are all curious to see what did the Armenian wizard prepare after} 8... h5) 9. h5 Nxc3 10. bxc3 c4 $1 {This is a must as otherwise White would do whatever he likes on the kingside.} 11. hxg6 hxg6 12. Qa4 {Swinging over the queen onto the kingside along the fourth.} Na5 ({Aronian believed that the strongest move was} 12... Qd5 $1 13. dxc4 ({with the key idea to swap the queens off after} 13. Qxc4 Qxc4 14. dxc4) ({However, there is the super-sharp line} 13. e4 Qc5 14. d4 Nxd4 15. cxd4 Bxd4 {which one should enter only after a week spent with oyur silicon friend.}) 13... Qa5 {chasing the white queen and in order to trade it.}) (12... cxd3 {looks dangerous at least after} 13. Qh4 f6 14. Bh6) 13. d4 b6 14. Bg2 Bb7 15. Qc2 {Now White's plan is more than obvious -- to mate along the open h-file. What Black is doing remains a mystery.} Qd5 16. Nh4 Qd7 17. e4 e5 {Fighting for the center again.} (17... Bc6 18. Qc1) 18. d5 $1 {No brainer. The center should remain blocked.} Bc8 ({ Similar would be} 18... Ba6 19. f4 {With the idea to meet} (19. Nf3 $5) 19... Qg4 {with} 20. Bf3 $3 Qxg3+ 21. Ke2 {The queen is trapped and even the tricky} Nb3 {does not help after} 22. Rag1 Nd4+ 23. cxd4 c3+ 24. Kd1 Qf2 25. Bxc3 { with a win for White.}) 19. f4 Qe7 ({Once again} 19... Qg4 {is met with} 20. Bf3 $1 Qxg3+ 21. Ke2) ({While} 19... exf4 20. gxf4 Nb7 21. Be3 {leaves Black poorly coordinated and centerless....}) 20. f5 $1 {The pawns open the games for the heavy pieces.} g5 (20... gxf5 {would have led to a disaster after} 21. Bh3 fxe4 22. Bxc8 Raxc8 23. Nf5 {Black is completely helpless against the knight on f5. A sample line-} Qd7 24. Qxe4 Rfe8 25. Nxg7 Kxg7 26. Qh7+ Kf6 27. Rh6+ Ke7 28. Bg5+ Kf8 29. Qh8#) ({But maybe} 20... Qd6 {was more stubborn.}) 21. Qd1 $3 {Aronian in action! Guess what is my sissy computer is suggesting?} ({Yeah, it is the retreat} 21. Nf3) 21... gxh4 22. Rxh4 Rd8 ({The defensive set-up after} 22... f6 {is breached with} 23. Qh5 Rf7 24. Qh7+ Kf8 25. Bf3 $1 Qc5 26. Kf1 $1 {To stop any checks and the rest is clear-} Nb7 27. Rg4 Nd6 28. Rxg7 Rxg7 29. Qh8+ Kf7 30. Bh5+) ({The king cannot stay on the flank-} 22... Re8 23. Qg4 Kf8 24. Rh8+ $1 Bxh8 25. Bh6+ Bg7 26. Qxg7#) 23. Qh5 Kf8 ({If} 23... f6 24. Qh7+ Kf8 25. Rg4 $1 {destroys the last defender after} Nb7 26. Rxg7 Qxg7 27. Bh6) 24. Rg4 Bf6 {This loses on the spot.} ({The last try was} 24... Qd6 $1 {In that case I suspect that Aronian wanted to play} 25. Rxg7 $1 Kxg7 26. Qg5+ Kf8 27. Kf2 $1 ({Not on} 27. Ke2 {since in the line} Ke8 28. Qg7 ({Or} 28. Rh1 Kd7 29. Rh6 Qf8 {and Black seems to organize his defense.}) 28... Qf8 29. Qxe5+ Qe7 30. Qg7 f6 $1 ({Or even} 30... Bxf5 {the king on e2 disturbs the attack.})) 27... Ke8 28. Qg7 {White's atatck is still very strong. For example} Kd7 ({Here} 28... Qf8 29. Qxe5+ Qe7 30. Qg7 f6 31. Qg6+ Qf7 32. Rh1 $1 {suprisingly leads to a won endgame down a rook for White!} Qxg6 33. fxg6 Ke7 34. e5 {and Black is helpless.}) 29. Qxf7+ Qe7 30. Qxe7+ $1 {One again White does not mind trading the queens.} Kxe7 31. Bg5+ Kd7 32. Bxd8 Kxd8 33. Rh1 { and thanks to the strong pieces and advanced passers White should win.}) 25. Bh6+ Ke8 26. Rg8+ Kd7 27. d6 $1 {The queen is trapped and Black loses at least a rook.} (27. d6 Qxd6 (27... Kxd6 28. Rd1+ Kc7 29. Rgxd8) 28. Rd1 Qxd1+ 29. Qxd1+) 1-0 [Event "FIDE Grand Prix Palma 2017"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.19"] [Round "4"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2801"] [BlackElo "2762"] [Annotator "Alex Yermolinsky"] [PlyCount "53"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 {These days White is having a nice streak of success in the Anti-Grunfeld setups.} 5. d3 ({Also, the immediate} 5. h4 {has been seen a lot lately.}) 5... Bg7 6. Bd2 O-O 7. g3 c5 {I'm not a big fan of this move here. For one thing, this is not a developing move. If you look at the similar position with reversed colors, Black is doing quite well with this Bd7 and Qc8 thing, and here with an extra tempo White can really cause problems for the black king.} ({Both} 7... Nc6 8. Bg2 Nb6) ({and} 7... e5 8. Bg2 Ne7 {seem more suitable to meet White's h2-h4 offensive.}) 8. h4 $1 { [#] Officially, a novelty. I mentioned in my previous reports how Aronian's opening preparation blends with his style of play. Levon seems to be getting his kind of positions nearly every time he has White.} Nc6 ({Surrendering the g5-square is unpleasant:} 8... h5 9. Bg2 Nc6 10. Ng5 Nc7 {and now White can even try} 11. Bxc6 $5) (8... h6 {on the other hand, gives White a tempo} 9. Qc1 Kh7 10. h5 g5 11. Bg2 {and how does Black protect his c5-pawn now?}) (8... Bg4 $5 9. Bg2 Nc6 10. Qa4 Nf6 {may be Black's best option. At least, he's well mobilized, as seen from a sample line} 11. Be3 Rc8 $1 12. Bxc5 Bxf3 13. Bxf3 Ne5) 9. h5 Nxc3 ({I wonder if Black can get away with} 9... b6 10. hxg6 hxg6 11. Bg2 (11. Qa4 Nd4) 11... Bb7 12. Ne4 Nd4 13. Nxd4 cxd4 {or some such play.}) 10. bxc3 c4 $1 {An interesting concept from Anish. Too bad he didn't follow through on his ideas a couple of moves later.} 11. hxg6 hxg6 12. Qa4 {Aronian is very good in setting his opponents up with positional riddles.} ({The immediate} 12. d4 {allows Black to strike in the center with} e5 {and there's d4-d5 in reply to it.}) 12... Na5 $2 {That's exactly what Levon hoped to see.} ({The principled reply} 12... cxd3 {was most likely turned down because of} 13. Qh4 {Indeed, this had to be the idea behind White's previous move. It takes a lot of nerve to dismiss the other guy's ideas when he happens to be the World's #2. Still,} f6 $1 {[#] was fully playable. Nevermind the danger to the king: we're destroying White's center! The most direct attacking line,} 14. Bh6 (14. exd3 {meets with} Kf7 $1 {and Black is ready to intrercept the h-file, while his light-squared bishop covers the king from e6. You know what? White may be worse here.}) 14... Qa5 15. Qc4+ Rf7 16. Bxg7 {is countered by a nice shot} Be6 $1 ({Anyway, from the theoretical point of view even} 16... Kxg7 17. Rh7+ Kxh7 18. Qxf7+ Kh6 {is good enough, because White is forced to give a perpetual.}) 17. Bxf6 $5 exf6 18. Qxd3 Bf5 19. Qd2 Rd8 20. Qb2 Re7 {It looks like Black has a lot of compensation for a pawn.}) 13. d4 $1 {Now, as the black knight moved away from the center, Aronian stakes his claim in the middle of the board.} b6 14. Bg2 Bb7 15. Qc2 {If Black could only have his c-pawn back on c5, he would have had a normal Grunfeld. As it is, he has no counterplay to speak of.} Qd5 16. Nh4 Qd7 17. e4 e5 18. d5 Bc8 {Giri just cleared the b7-square for his knight, but he won't be given the time to complete his maneuvering.} 19. f4 $1 Qe7 (19... exf4 20. gxf4 Nb7 21. Be3 $1 Nc5 22. Bxc5 bxc5 23. Bf3 {followed by e4-e5 and, of course, Qh2 is decisive.}) ({or} 19... Nb7 20. Be3 Qd6 21. Nf3 exf4 22. gxf4 Nc5 23. e5 Bf5 24. Qxf5 gxf5 25. exd6 Bxc3+ 26. Ke2 Bxa1 27. Rxa1 Rfe8 28. Ne5 $18) 20. f5 $1 {[#] The most energetic.} g5 21. Qd1 $3 {Levon is in the zone!} gxh4 22. Rxh4 Rd8 (22... f6 23. Qh5 Rf7 24. Qg6 {and White only needs to bring the other rook to the h-file to force resignation.}) 23. Qh5 Kf8 (23... Qd6 24. Qh7+ Kf8 25. Bh6 Bxh6 26. Rxh6 $18) 24. Rg4 $6 {This is the one and only slip-up from Aronian in this brilliant game.} ({The somewhat counter-intuitive} 24. Qg4 $1 {would wrap it up soon:} Bf6 25. Rh7 Ke8 26. Bh6 Nb7 (26... Kd7 27. Qh5) 27. Qg8+ Kd7 28. Qxf7 Qxf7 29. Rxf7+ Be7 30. f6 {etc.}) 24... Bf6 $2 {Very unfortunate.} ({ Anish had a chance to put up stiff resistance:} 24... Qd6 $1 {I can only assume Levon planned to sacrifice more:} 25. Rxg7 Kxg7 26. Qg5+ Kf8 27. Kf2 Ke8 28. Qg7 {White's attack is formidable, but it's by no means over for Black.}) 25. Bh6+ Ke8 26. Rg8+ Kd7 27. d6 1-0 [Event "FIDE Grand Prix Palma 2017"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.16"] [Round "1"] [White "Inarkiev, Ernesto"] [Black "Li, Chao b"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D85"] [WhiteElo "2683"] [BlackElo "2741"] [Annotator "Alex Yermolinsky"] [PlyCount "57"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Qa4+ Nd7 ({ Personally, I have always preferred} 7... Qd7 8. Qb3 O-O 9. Nf3 c5 {but recent developments after a new (to me) move} 10. d5 {leave me worried. For example,} e6 11. Be3 exd5 12. exd5 b6 {and here} 13. Bb5 $5 {was Nakamura-Vachier Lagrave, Chess.com Blitz 2016. I wonder what's going on after} Bxc3+ 14. Kd1 ( 14. Ke2 $4 Qxb5+ 15. Qxb5 Ba6 $19) 14... Bxa1 15. Bxd7 Nxd7 {isn't Black supposed to be more than OK here?}) 8. Nf3 O-O 9. Be2 Nb6 $6 {I know I'm not supposed to treat a 2740 player like a schoolboy, but has Li Chao ever heard the famous Dr. Tarrasch dictum "Nb6 always stands badly"?} ({Databases contain hundreds of games with a standard} 9... c5 {and White's results show not more than a normal few percentage points edge.}) 10. Qb4 Qd6 11. O-O Bg4 $6 { What is the point of parting with a bishop when Black isn't attacking d4? More questions that only Li Chao can answer.} (11... Qxb4 12. cxb4 Bg4 {would make more sense.}) 12. Qb3 $1 c6 $6 {To me, an old Grunfeld hand, this move always signifies Black's failure to follow through on this great opening's ideas.} ({ No matter what} 12... c5 13. Ba3 Qc6 {had to be tried.}) 13. Rd1 Qc7 14. Ba3 Nc8 15. Rac1 Bxf3 16. Bxf3 Rd8 {[#] Just like that White has obtained a sizeable advantage without breaking a drop of sweat.} 17. e5 $1 e6 18. c4 Rb8 19. Be4 c5 $6 {A desperate attempt to break out that is doomed to fail.} 20. Bxc5 f6 21. Bb4 (21. Qh3 {also looked mighty good}) 21... fxe5 22. d5 $1 b6 23. dxe6 Ne7 {[#]Now the simple, yet elegant finish.} 24. Rd7 $1 Rxd7 25. exd7 Qxd7 26. c5+ Kh8 27. c6 Rc8 28. Qf7 Qd4 29. Bxe7 1-0 [Event "Palma De Mallorca GP 2017"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca ESP"] [Date "2017.11.17"] [Round "2.2"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Inarkiev, Ernesto"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2801"] [BlackElo "2683"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2017.11.16"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 c5 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. Qc2 Nc6 9. Rd1 Qa5 10. a3 Re8 11. Nd2 e5 12. Bg5 Nd4 {A topical line.} 13. Qb1 (13. Qc1 Bf5 14. Bxf6 Nc2+ 15. Ke2 Nd4+ 16. Ke1 Nc2+ 17. Ke2 Nd4+ 18. Ke1 Nc2+ { ½-½ Carlsen,M (2827)-Nakamura,H (2781) Douglas 2017}) (13. Qa4 Qxa4 14. Nxa4 Nc2+ 15. Ke2 Nd4+ 16. Ke1 Nc2+ 17. Ke2 Nd4+ 18. Ke1 Nc2+ {1/2-1/2 (18) Karjakin,S (2773)-Nakamura,H (2787) Bilbao ESP 2016}) 13... Bf5 14. Bd3 Bxd3 $1 {This was Zumsande's novelty from two years ago.} ({In the stem game, Kortchnoi refuted Black's play over the board and won in 60 moves vs Karpov.} 14... e4 15. Bc2 Nxc2+ 16. Qxc2 Qa6 17. Bxf6 Qxf6 18. Nb3 Bd6 {Kortschnoj,V (2665)-Karpov,A (2725) Baguio City 1978}) 15. Qxd3 Ne4 16. Nxd5 $146 {And this is Aronian's novelty!} (16. Ncxe4 dxe4 17. Qxe4 Qb6 18. Qb1 Ne6 19. Bh4 Bxe3 20. fxe3 Qxe3+ 21. Kf1 Qf4+ 22. Bf2 Rad8 23. g3 Qh6 24. Ne4 Qh3+ 25. Kg1 Nf4 { 0-1 Tarjan,J (2479)-Zumsande,M (2422) Douglas ENG 2015}) (16. cxd5 Nxc3 17. bxc3 Nb5 18. Ne4 Nd6 19. Nxd6 Bxd6 20. e4 Rec8 {Le,Q (2726)-Yu,Y (2753) Danzhou 2017}) 16... Nxg5 17. b4 Qa6 18. bxc5 Rad8 19. Nb4 Qa4 20. Qb1 a5 $6 ({ It looks like Inarkiev is the first to have trouble remembering the preparation. Better is} 20... Nc6 21. Qb3 Qa5) 21. Nd5 Nc2+ 22. Ke2 Ne4 23. Nxe4 Qxc4+ 24. Kf3 Rxd5 25. g4 f5 26. gxf5 Rf8 27. Qxb7 Rxf5+ 28. Kg3 Rxd1 29. Rxd1 Nd4 30. exd4 Rf7 31. Qb1 Rf4 32. f3 Qe6 33. Ng5 Qh6 34. Qb8+ (34. Qb8+ { And resigns because White will both pick up the black queen and checkmate right after:} Rf8 35. Qb3+ Kh8 36. Nf7+ Kg8 37. Nxh6+ Kh8 38. Qg8+ Rxg8 39. Nf7#) 1-0 [Event "Palma de Mallorca ESP"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca ESP"] [Date "2017.11.17"] [Round "2.1"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B96"] [WhiteElo "2762"] [BlackElo "2796"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2017.11.16"] [EventType "swiss"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 h6 8. Bh4 Qb6 9. a3 Be7 10. Bf2 (10. Qd3 Nbd7 11. O-O-O g5 12. fxg5 Ne5 13. Qd2 Nh7 14. Nf3 hxg5 15. Bf2 Qc7 {Caruana,F (2807)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2791) Saint Louis 2017}) 10... Qc7 11. Qf3 Nbd7 12. O-O-O b5 13. g4 Bb7 (13... g5 14. h4 gxf4 15. Be2 Rg8 {Giri,A (2790)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2788) Stavanger NOR 2016 and now} 16. g5 $1 {is good for White.}) 14. h4 Nc5 15. Bd3 h5 16. g5 Ng4 17. Rhg1 $146 (17. f5 Nxd3+ 18. cxd3 e5 19. Nc2 Rc8 20. Kb1 d5 21. Rc1 d4 22. Nd5 Bxd5 23. exd5 Qd7 {Konguvel,P (2388)-Niekras,D (2291) Warsaw 2017}) 17... g6 18. Rxg4 hxg4 19. Qxg4 e5 20. Nf3 Rc8 21. fxe5 dxe5 22. Kb1 Rd8 23. Nd5 Bxd5 24. exd5 Nxd3 25. Rxd3 O-O 26. h5 (26. Bg3 Rc8 27. c3 Bd6 28. Nd2 $1 {and the knight goes to e4.}) 26... Qc4 27. Qh3 Qc8 28. Qxc8 Rxc8 29. Nxe5 Bxg5 30. d6 Bf4 31. d7 1/2-1/2 [Event "Palma de Mallorca"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.17"] [Round "2"] [White "Vallejo Pons, Francisco"] [Black "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E73"] [WhiteElo "2705"] [BlackElo "2741"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "74"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Be2 ({Later in the annotations this game will be mentioned:} 5. f3 O-O 6. Be3 e5 7. d5 c5 8. Bd3 Nh5 9. Nge2 f5 10. exf5 gxf5 11. Qc2 {and now the key move} e4 $1 12. fxe4 f4 $1 13. Bf2 Nd7 14. Ng1 Qg5 15. Bf1 Ne5 16. Nf3 Qe7 17. Nxe5 Qxe5 18. O-O-O Nf6 19. h3 Bd7 20. Bd3 a6 21. Nb1 f3 22. gxf3 Nh5 23. Nd2 Nf4 24. Bf1 b5 25. h4 Kh8 26. Rg1 Bf6 27. Nb3 Rab8 28. Be1 b4 29. Kb1 Ra8 30. Bg3 Rg8 31. Qh2 Rxg3 32. Rxg3 Ne2 33. Qxe2 Qxg3 34. Nc1 a5 35. Nd3 Bd4 36. h5 Qh4 37. Bg2 Rg8 38. Rh1 Qg3 39. Bf1 a4 40. Kc2 a3 41. b3 {1/2-1/2 Kotov,A-Gligoric,S Zurich 1953}) 5... O-O 6. Be3 { A look in the database reveals that Radjabov had never faced this move before, while Vallejo had never even developed the light-squared bishop to e2 on the previous move.} ({In the Averbakh System White often tries to lure the pawn to h6 before stepping on e3 with} 6. Bg5 h6 7. Be3) 6... e5 7. d5 a5 8. g4 Na6 9. h4 {Not really and attack, but more of a defensive prophylaxis. White wants to control the kingside.} Nc5 10. f3 h5 11. g5 Nh7 ({Very often this knight is rerouted to the queenside with} 11... Nfd7 12. Nh3 Nb6 {as in Debashis,D (2472) -Firouzja,A (2456) Doha 2016}) 12. Kd2 $146 {A novelty. The king is often safe behind the blocked center in these lines.} ({The "normal" way to play it is} 12. Qd2 f6 13. gxf6 {In a recent game from the ETCC White was better after} ({ Or} 13. O-O-O fxg5 14. hxg5 Bd7 15. Nh3 Qe7 16. Kb1 Rf7 17. Nf2 Raf8 18. Rdg1 Rf4 {1/2-1/2 Riazantsev,A (2646)-Amonatov,F (2592) St Petersburg 2015}) 13... Rxf6 ({However} 13... Bxf6 {seems more natural to play.}) 14. O-O-O Bd7 15. Nh3 {Rodshtein,M (2699)-Kovalev,V (2636) Heraklio 2017}) ({Another option for White is} 12. Nh3 {for example} Bxh3 {I do not like this...} 13. Rxh3 f6 14. gxf6 (14. Qd2 $5) 14... Rxf6 15. Qd2 {which looks good for White, Debashis,D (2472) -Karthikeyan,M (2578) Moscow 2017}) 12... Bd7 {Radjabov proceeds with the normal development and prepares the opening of the center.} 13. Nh3 c6 14. Nf2 cxd5 15. exd5 {Vallejo's point. His knights get an access to the wonderful e4 spot.} ({Or} 15. cxd5 a4 {followed by Qd8-a5 and b7-b5 with strong play on the queenside.}) 15... f5 ({The computer recommends} 15... b6 {but no real KID player will allow} 16. Nfe4 {that easily.}) 16. gxf6 Nxf6 17. Bxc5 $6 {A contraversial decision. The knights will make it to the e4 square, but the bishop on g7 remains without an opponent.} dxc5 18. Kc2 ({Some of the problems due to the lack of the white bishop are revealed in the line} 18. Nfe4 Nxe4+ 19. Nxe4 Rf4 {when the pawn on h4 becomes vulnerable. After} 20. Qe1 Qb6 21. Kc2 Bf5 {Black is better.}) 18... a4 (18... e4 $5 {was already interesting, but before breaking through Radjabov wants to soften the long diagonal.}) 19. Qd2 a3 20. b3 e4 $1 {Every KID players knows ;-) This idea, reminiscent of the glorious game Kotov-Gligoric from the Interzonal tournament Zurich 1953, is the main weapon of every KID player. The Beast on g7 is released and things do not look rosy for Vallejo at all. To make things worse, he was getting very low on time.} 21. fxe4 ({Worse was} 21. Nfxe4 Nxe4 22. fxe4 Rf2 {and Black breaks into the opponent's camp.}) 21... Ng4 22. Nxg4 (22. Nd3 {is too artifical to be true. After} Bh6 23. Qe1 Ne3+ 24. Kb1 Qe7 {Black develops a strong attack on the dark squares.}) 22... hxg4 {I could not believe my eyes when I saw the computer evaluation here (0.00)... Black's play is very easy and strong. The queen will come out on either f6 or e7, then on the long diagonal, rooks want to get into the scond file, there's a strong passer on g3. ..} ({Of course not} 22... Bxg4 23. Bxg4 hxg4 {which will make White's defense easier.}) 23. h5 ({Or} 23. Raf1 Rxf1 24. Bxf1 Qf6 {and the black pieces dominate the board.}) 23... Rf2 24. h6 ({In case of} 24. hxg6 {Black will simply ignore the g6 pawn and proceed with his plan:} Qe7 25. Rh7 ({Even the endgame is bad for White after} 25. d6 Qe5 26. Qd5+ Qxd5 27. cxd5 g3 $1 ({ No need to complicate thing with} 27... Bxc3 {when a curious line that leads to a draw runs after} 28. Kxc3 Rxe2 29. Rh7 Be8 30. Rah1 g3 31. d7 g2 32. Rh8+ Kg7 33. R1h7+ Kxg6 34. Rh6+ Kg5 35. Rh5+ Bxh5 36. Rxa8 Re3+ 37. Kd2 Re2+)) 25... g3 {with big advantage for the second player.}) 24... Be5 25. Raf1 g3 26. Rxf2 ({Or} 26. Qe3 Rh2 $1 (26... Qf6 27. Nd1 Rxf1 28. Rxf1 Qe7 {looks less convincing.})) 26... gxf2 27. Nd1 Qf6 28. Rf1 Bd4 29. Nxf2 {Vallejo understands that the positon is hopeless strategically and tries tactics. But this only speeds up his defeat.} (29. Bd3 Rf8 30. h7+ Kxh7 31. Rh1+ Kg8 32. Qh6 Rf7 {leads White nowehere neither.}) 29... Bxf2 30. e5 Qxe5 31. Rxf2 Bf5+ 32. Kd1 (32. Rxf5 Qxf5+ {is hopeless as well.}) 32... Qa1+ {Not the only wy to win the game, but convincing enough.} 33. Qc1 Qxa2 34. Rxf5 Qxb3+ ({Surely} 34... gxf5 $4 {would give the win to White after} 35. Qg5+ Kf7 36. Qg7+ Ke8 37. h7) 35. Kd2 Qa2+ {Radjabov repeats the moves once.} (35... a2 {would have won after } 36. Qa1 Qb4+ 37. Kc2 Qb1+ 38. Qxb1 axb1=Q+ 39. Kxb1 gxf5) 36. Ke1 {Vallejo deviates, but there is no salvation anyways.} (36. Kd1 Qb3+ {would force Radjabov to use the winning line from above.}) 36... Qb2 37. Qf4 Qb1+ 0-1 [Event "Palma de Mallorca ESP"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca ESP"] [Date "2017.11.18"] [Round "3.5"] [White "Hammer, Jon Ludvig"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B51"] [WhiteElo "2629"] [BlackElo "2763"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "78"] [EventDate "2017.11.16"] [EventType "swiss"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 {This move reveals aggressive intentions. In the Moscow line both knight moves (3...Nb8-c6) have fighting reputation, while the bishop cover enjoys the label "safe."} 4. d4 cxd4 5. Qxd4 a6 6. Bxd7+ Bxd7 7. Nc3 e5 {An accurate move.} ({The main thing that Black needs to avoid in the line is the premature development of his knight:} 7... Nf6 {as the Boleslavsky pawn structure that arises after} 8. Bg5 Rc8 9. O-O-O h6 10. Bxf6 gxf6 11. Nd5 {favours White, Georgiev,K (2443)-Bernadskiy,V (2559) Sunny Beach 2014}) 8. Qd3 Rc8 ({The other way to play it is} 8... h6 {as in the blitz game between two living legends} 9. Nd2 Be6 10. Nc4 Rc8 11. Ne3 Nf6 12. O-O Be7 13. Rd1 O-O {White achieved almost everything he wanted and still has no advantage, Anand,V (2783)-Kasparov,G (2812) Saint Louis 2017}) 9. Nd2 {The knight is shifted towards the d5 spot.} Be6 10. Nf1 Be7 11. Ne3 Nf6 {Only now when the pin Bc1-g5 is not possible does Svidler develop the knight.} 12. O-O Qc7 $146 { A very interesting novelty backed up by a sound plan.} ({Interestingly, Black did great in the only predecessor after:} 12... O-O 13. a4 Qc7 14. Bd2 h6 15. b3 Rfd8 16. Rfd1 d5 $1 {Fernandez Garcia,J (2457)-Alonso Bouza,J (2266) Havana 2009}) 13. a4 Qc5 14. Rd1 O-O {It is not very clear how can White develop further.} 15. Bd2 ({After} 15. a5 h6 {the ball is back into White's court.}) ({ White's main problem is that the knight jumps on d5 are just bad at the moment as they both will lead to the sealing of the d5 square and better pawn structure for Black after} 15. Ncd5 $2 Nxd5 16. exd5 Bd7) ({Or} 15. Ned5 $2 Nxd5 16. exd5 Bd7) 15... Bd8 {The point behind Black's novelty. Svidler brings the dark-squared bishop to an active position.} 16. Nf5 $2 {A horrible move.} ( {The only chance was in the complications arising after} 16. a5 $1 Bxa5 17. Ncd5 Bd8 ({Or} 17... Bxd2 18. Nxf6+ gxf6 19. Qxd2 Rfd8 20. Qe2 {with some compensation for a pawn.}) 18. Bb4 {Now Black has a choice between the sharp} Qc6 ({And the solid} 18... Qd4 19. Bxd6 (19. Qxd4 exd4 20. Rxd4 Bxd5 21. exd5 Bb6 {favors Black.}) 19... Qxd3 20. Rxd3 {with approximate equality.}) 19. Bxd6 Bxd5 20. Bxf8 Bxe4 21. Qxd8 Rxd8 22. Rxd8 {It's messy.}) ({Black is better after} 16. Be1 Ba5 17. Qxd6 Qxd6 18. Rxd6 Bxc3 19. bxc3 Nxe4) 16... Bxf5 17. exf5 d5 {Hammer's opening became a disaster. Svidler has a strong center, good pieces and there is a weakness on f5.} 18. Rac1 ({There is not enough compensation after} 18. Bg5 d4 19. Bxf6 Bxf6 20. Ne4 Qxc2 21. Nxf6+ gxf6 22. Qf3 Qxb2) 18... Bb6 19. Qe2 h6 {A neat move that secures the center.} 20. a5 ({ After} 20. Qxe5 Qxf2+ 21. Kh1 Ng4 {White may easily get mated:} 22. Qxd5 $2 ({ The lesser evil is to give up the exchange} 22. Qg3 Qxg3 23. hxg3 Nf2+ { but this is also hopeless.}) 22... Qg1+ 23. Rxg1 Nf2#) 20... Ba7 ({Even better than} 20... Bxa5 21. Qxe5 Rfe8 22. Qf4 {although Black has the upper hand here as well.}) 21. Na4 Qc6 22. b3 Rfe8 {The central pawns get ready to rock.} 23. Kh1 Qd7 24. g4 {The only way to create some threats, but with a weak center those should never work.} d4 25. Qf3 ({Or} 25. h4 Qd5+ 26. Kg1 e4) 25... e4 26. Qg2 Qc6 27. g5 hxg5 28. Bxg5 e3 {As usual, the central play refutes the flank attack.} 29. f3 ({If} 29. fxe3 Ne4 $1 (29... dxe3 {should also do.}) 30. Bh4 Qh6 31. Rg1 dxe3 {leaves White completely helpless.}) 29... Re5 30. Qh3 e2 31. Rg1 d3 $1 {The decisive break.} 32. Nb6 ({White is getting checkmated after} 32. cxd3 Qxc1 33. Rxc1 ({Or loses a piece in case of} 33. Bxc1 Bxg1 34. Bd2 e1=Q 35. Bxe1 Rxe1) 33... e1=Q+ 34. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 35. Kg2 Rg1#) 32... Bxb6 33. axb6 Rce8 {Possible because of Black's next move.} 34. Bh6 ({Once more the capture} 34. cxd3 {does not safe White due to} Qxc1 35. Rxc1 ({Or} 35. Bxc1 e1=Q 36. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 37. Kg2 R8e2+ 38. Kg3 Rxc1 {and Black wins.}) 35... e1=Q+ 36. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 37. Kg2 R8e2+ 38. Kg3 Rg1+ 39. Kh4 Nd5 {With complete domination which will sooner or later end with the queen gain. Say} 40. Bd8 Nf4 ) 34... Ng4 35. Rxg4 {Now it is a forced mate.} ({While} 35. Qxg4 Qxh6 { would be an extra rook for Black at least.}) 35... e1=Q+ 36. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 37. Kg2 R8e2+ 38. Kg3 Rg1+ 39. Kh4 Qxh6# 0-1 [Event "Palma de Mallorca"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.19"] [Round "4"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B30"] [WhiteElo "2780"] [BlackElo "2741"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "83"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 {Radjabov is known for his mastery in the Sveshnikov/Kalshnikov lines. Thus the choice of Nakamura makes a lot of sense.} ({Even though the American GM managed to win an important game four years ago in the line:} 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d6 6. N1c3 a6 7. Na3 b5 8. Nd5 Nf6 9. c4 $5 {Nakamura,H (2775)-Radjabov,T (2745) Stavanger 2013}) 3... e6 4. O-O Nge7 5. d4 cxd4 6. Nxd4 Ng6 7. Be3 Be7 8. Be2 O-O 9. Nc3 ({The alternative was } 9. c4 Nxd4 10. Bxd4 b6 11. Re1 Bb7 12. Nc3 Bc6 {with solid position for the seond player in Nepomniachtchi,I (2733)-Lenic,L (2650) Heraklio 2017}) 9... Qc7 10. f4 {This was Nakamura's idea. He drags the opponent into an unfamiliar position - a Scheveningen type. There is an important difference though: The black kingside knight is placed on g6 rather than on f6. Who will profit from that?} Nxd4 $146 ({A predecessor ended quickly in a draw after:} 10... a6 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. e5 d6 13. exd6 Bxd6 14. Qd2 Rd8 15. Bd3 Rb8 16. b3 Qa5 17. Ne4 Qxd2 18. Bxd2 Bc7 19. Be3 {1/2-1/2 (19) Kulish,I (2280)-Shumiakina,T (2407) Moscow 1999}) 11. Qxd4 b6 {The most convincing way to finish the development.} 12. Qd2 ({The computer suggestion} 12. Qc4 Qxc4 13. Bxc4 Bb7 {is harmless for Black.}) 12... Bb7 13. Rad1 Bc6 (13... Rad8 $5 {intending Be7-c5 also makes sense.}) 14. a3 Bf6 {Radjabov provokes the advance of the white pawns. Other options were also possible:} (14... Rad8) (14... Rfd8) (14... d6) 15. g3 { Nakamura is not advancing the central pawn yet.} ({Indeed} 15. e5 Be7 16. Nb5 Bxb5 17. Bxb5 Rfd8 18. Qf2 d6 {looks OK for Black.}) 15... Rac8 16. e5 { Only now.} Be7 17. h4 {Grabbing more space. The only piece that does not fit well in Black's solid construction is the knight. But this might be a minor concern in case Radjabov manages to free himself with a timely d7-d6 advance as the steed will get access to the game via the d7 square.} Rfd8 18. h5 ({Or} 18. Ba6 Bb7 19. Nb5 Qb8 20. Bxb7 Qxb7 21. h5 Nf8 22. Qe2) 18... Nf8 19. Ba6 { The rook should be kicked away from the half-open file.} ({If} 19. Nb5 Bxb5 20. Bxb5 Qxc2) 19... Rb8 (19... Bb7 {would be answered} 20. Nb5 Qb8 21. Bxb7 Qxb7 22. Qe2 {followed by Nb7-d6 when the Black pieces will start to suffocate soon. }) 20. Qd6 $1 {What? Nakamura gives a free queen??} ({Apparently White saw that in the line} 20. Nb5 Bxb5 21. Bxb5 Bc5 ({However, this whole line is not mandatory and Radjabov can still level the chances with} 21... d6 $1 22. exd6 Bxd6 23. Qe2 Bc5 {with equality.}) 22. b4 $1 Bxe3+ 23. Qxe3 {He would be clearly better as the pawn is poisoned-} Qxc2 24. Rc1 Qa2 (24... Qf5 25. Qf3 { is not appealing neither.}) 25. Bc4 Qb2 26. Rf2 {and the queen is trapped.}) 20... Bxd6 21. exd6 {It's OK, now the Black queen is trapped. So what was the exclam for? The beauty? This one too, but it is mainly for the psychology behind the move. If Radjabov has missed the move he might had become less confident and eventhough the position remains close to equal this could matter for his future decision-making.} Qc8 22. Bxc8 Rbxc8 23. a4 {Attacking the queenside pawns. Black is practically down a piece there (you did not forget the knight on f8, did you?) and this is what Nakamura will try to exploit.} h6 24. Ra1 (24. a5 {does not yield much after} Rb8 25. Ra1 Nh7) 24... Ba8 { Not yet a mistake, but this looks very artificial.} ({Radjabov needed to get the knight out as soon as possible-} 24... Nh7 $1 25. a5 Rb8 26. axb6 ({Or} 26. Bd4 Nf6 27. axb6 axb6 28. Bxf6 gxf6) 26... axb6 27. Bd4 Nf6 28. Bxf6 gxf6 { would have led to approximately equal positions.}) 25. a5 Rc6 26. Rfd1 b5 { This is really wrong. Black must have miscalculated something.} ({Correct was} 26... bxa5 $1 27. Rxa5 ({Or} 27. Bxa7 Ra6 28. Bc5 Bf3 29. Rd3 Bxh5 30. b4 Bg6 31. Rd2 Rc8 $1) 27... a6 28. Rda1 Bb7 {as long as the queenside is safe Black will have the desired time to bring the kngiht out.}) 27. a6 $1 {This pawn will cost Black dearly. Now both the black queenside pawns are separated and will be soon lost.} b4 28. Nb5 Rxc2 29. Rd2 ({Maybe Radjabov was hoping for some counter-play like this-} 29. Bxa7 e5 $1 30. fxe5 Ne6 31. Bb6 Ng5 $1 32. Bxd8 Nf3+ 33. Kf1 Nh2+ {with perpetual. Here the knight would be the hero.}) 29... Rdc8 30. Nc7 $1 {Perhaps this is what Black missed.} (30. Nxa7 {is not as clear after} Rxd2 31. Bxd2 Rc2 32. Bxb4 Rxb2 33. Bc5 e5 34. fxe5 Ne6 { and Black is pretty much alive and kicking.}) 30... Rxd2 31. Bxd2 Bc6 ({ Probably the last chance was} 31... e5 32. fxe5 Ne6 33. Nxa8 Rxa8 34. Be3 { although then too White should be capable of winning after bringing his rook out via Ra1-a4(a5)-b4(b5).}) 32. Be3 Nh7 33. Bxa7 Nf6 34. Bc5 Ne4 (34... Nxh5 { would be similar to the game after} 35. a7 Nxg3 36. Ra6 $1 Be4 37. Rb6) 35. Bxb4 Nxg3 {The kngith is finally out but still not where it is needed...} 36. a7 Ne2+ 37. Kh2 Nxf4 38. Ra6 $1 ({No rush to cashout-} 38. a8=Q Bxa8 39. Rxa8 Rxa8 40. Nxa8 Nxh5 {will requre some technical work by the first player.}) 38... Be4 39. Rb6 {Now it is easy. The queenside passers decide the game-} Nxh5 40. Rb8 Rf8 41. Bd2 Nf6 42. b4 1-0 [Event "Grand Prix 2017"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.22"] [Round "6"] [White "Tomashevsky, Evgeny"] [Black "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B08"] [WhiteElo "2702"] [BlackElo "2741"] [Annotator "Bojov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "115"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. d4 d6 2. e4 Nf6 {In a must-win situation Radjabov tries to pull out Tomashevsky from his comfort zone and opts for the Pirc.} 3. Nc3 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Be2 O-O 6. O-O c6 7. a4 Nbd7 {Allowing the white pawn to a5 is considered risky.} ({More common moves are} 7... Qc7 8. Bf4 Nbd7 9. e5 Nh5 10. Bg5) ({Or} 7... a5 {followed by Nb8-a6-b4.}) 8. a5 Qc7 ({One of the dangers behind the pawn on a5 are demonstrated by the lines after} 8... e5 9. dxe5 dxe5 10. a6 Qc7 (10... b6 11. Qd6 c5) (10... bxa6 11. Qd6 Qb6 12. Bc4 {]} (12. b3 {]})) 11. axb7 Bxb7 12. Be3 {In all of them the timely a5-a6 caused confusion in Black's army.}) 9. Be3 e5 ({Maybe more promising is} 9... Rb8 10. d5 Nc5 11. Nd2 b6 12. axb6 axb6 13. Bf3 {as in Yilmaz,M (2531)-Kokarev,D (2635) Moscow 2013}) 10. h3 {Other options for White are} (10. d5 {with the positional threat a5-a6 to destroy the queenside pawn structure.}) ({Or} 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. Nd2 {followed by Nd2-c4-d6, or Qd1-b1-a2 and pressure along the a2-g8 diagonal.}) 10... exd4 11. Bxd4 Re8 12. Bc4 Nf8 13. Re1 Be6 14. Bf1 $146 {A logical novelty. White does not want to trade the pieces but rather leave them step on each other's toes.} ({An email game saw Black doing well after} 14. e5 Bxc4 15. exf6 Bh8 16. b3 Rxe1+ 17. Qxe1 Be6 {Yepez Gutierrez,J (2187)-Martins Mesquita,U (2458) CADAP email 2004}) 14... N8d7 15. Ng5 {If anything White will take the bishop pair.} a6 16. Qd2 c5 17. Be3 Ne5 18. Bf4 Rad8 (18... Bd7 {is not good because of} 19. Red1) 19. Nxe6 fxe6 {Tomashevsky won the bishop pair but Radjabov can be satisfied with his position. The strong bishop on g7 remained and both knights have good perspectives. All in all it is equal.} 20. Na4 ({After} 20. Bxe5 dxe5 21. Qe3 Rd4 {the black pawns are an asset rather than weakness.}) 20... Nf7 ({An interesting idea is to atatck on the kingside with} 20... Nh5 $5 21. Bg5 Bf6 22. Be2 Bxg5 23. Qxg5 Kh8 $5 {Trying to open as many files as possible. After} 24. Bxh5 gxh5 25. Qxh5 ({However, White can spoil the fun with an endgame-} 25. Qf6+ Qg7 26. Qxg7+ Kxg7 27. Rad1 {where he is slightly better.}) 25... Rg8 {Black has compensation for the pawn.}) 21. Rad1 Nh5 22. Be3 {A silent draw offer.} ({Similar was} 22. Bh2 Bh6 23. Qc3 Bg7) 22... Nf6 23. Bf4 Qc6 {Repetition rejected. Radjabov needs to win.} 24. Nc3 Kh8 25. b3 h6 26. Bd3 g5 {Objectively however this only weakens Black's position.} 27. Bh2 Nd7 28. Ne2 {White shifts all his pieces onto the kingside.} ({It also made sense to send the bishop on the kingside with} 28. Be2 $5 Be5 29. Bh5 Rf8 30. h4 {with nice atatcking prospects for the first player.}) 28... Nfe5 29. f4 $1 gxf4 30. Nxf4 Bf6 31. Kh1 {Both players were rather low on time.} (31. Be2 $1 { was even stronger here. For example} Qxe4 {drops the exchange due to} ({And if } 31... Nf8 32. Bh5 (32. Bg3) 32... Re7 33. Rf1 {with White's attack.}) 32. Bh5 ) 31... Kh7 32. Rf1 Bg5 33. Qe2 {Now the queen enjoys the hospitable light squares.} Nf6 34. Nh5 Rf8 {Radjabov is holding narrowly.} ({Worse was} 34... Nxh5 35. Qxh5 Rf8 36. Bxe5 dxe5 37. Rf7+) 35. Bxe5 dxe5 36. Nxf6+ Bxf6 ({ Similar was} 36... Rxf6 37. Rxf6 Bxf6 38. Rf1 Rf8 39. Bc4) 37. Bc4 Qe8 38. Qg4 Rxd1 39. Rxd1 Rg8 40. Qxe6 {The last move before the time control. With few seconds left on the clock Tomashevsky takes the practical decision to play an engame up a pawn.} ({However, objectively speaking White's chances are connected with the queens as the black king is weak. Correct was} 40. Qf3 $1 Qe7 41. Rd3 {With the idea Qf3-d1 and eventually Rd3-d7. If} Rd8 42. Rxd8 Qxd8 43. Bxe6 {would be already won as White has crushing attack.}) 40... Qxe6 41. Bxe6 Rd8 42. Bd5 {Another practical decision.} ({Winning a second pawn in return of the rooks will lead to a draw only:} 42. Rxd8 Bxd8 43. Bc8 Bxa5 44. Bxb7 {Now an important move is} h5 $1 {in order to nullify White's extra pawn on the kingside. After} 45. Bxa6 Be1 {The plan is to bring the king on the queenside to block White's extra pawn and leave the bishop on the kingside to hold the fort. Here is a possible continuation-} 46. Kg1 Kg6 47. Kf1 Bg3 48. Ke2 Kf6 49. Kd3 Ke6 50. Kc4 Kd6 51. c3 h4 52. b4 cxb4 53. cxb4 Kc7 {and a draw. }) 42... Kg7 43. g3 Rd7 44. h4 Bd8 45. Ra1 Kf6 {White kept the rooks but Black managed to regroup and defend the queenside. Objectively speaking it should end in a draw. ..} 46. Kg2 Kg6 47. Kf3 Rg7 48. c3 h5 49. Ra2 Kf6 50. Kg2 Kg6 51. Kf2 Kf6 52. Kf3 Kg6 53. b4 cxb4 54. cxb4 Kh6 55. Rc2 Be7 (55... Rc7 $2 56. Rxc7 Bxc7 57. Bxb7 Bd6 58. b5 $1 (58. Bxa6 Bxb4) 58... axb5 59. a6) 56. Rb2 Bd8 57. Rb3 b6 $4 {A tragical oversight. Radjabov thought that he forces the draw at once. Alas.. .} ({Instead something like} 57... Rc7 $5 {would have most likely ended in a draw after say} 58. b5 axb5 59. Rxb5 Rc3+ 60. Kg2 Ra3 61. Rxb7 Bxa5) ({Or even the semi-waiting move} 57... Kh7 {should have held for Black.}) 58. b5 $1 {A nasty surprise. The pawn break wins instantly.} (58. b5 { The pawn is unstoppable after} bxa5 ({And the rook is trapped after} 58... axb5 59. a6 Ra7 60. Bb7) 59. b6) ({Instead} 58. axb6 Bxb6 59. Ra3 Ra7 {followed by a6-a5 would have been indeed a draw.}) 1-0 [Event "Palma de Mallorca"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.19"] [Round "4"] [White "Harikrishna, Pentala"] [Black "Vallejo Pons, Francisco"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A21"] [WhiteElo "2738"] [BlackElo "2705"] [Annotator "Sagar,Shah"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. c4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e5 {64} 2. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Bb4 {300} 3. Nd5 {74} Na6 {[%emt 0:00:33]} (3... Bc5 {is the main move here. 1-0 (34) Aronian,L (2793)-Anand,V (2786) Leuven 2017}) 4. Nxb4 {556} Nxb4 {[%emt 0:00:59]} 5. a3 { [%emt 0:00:13]} Nc6 {70} 6. b4 {75 White has the bishop pair and the black knight has moved twice in the opening. What can be the reason that Black would be willing to do this? Well the answer is that Black has the centre and he would like to rapidly complete his development with Nf6, 0-0 and then break with d5.} d5 $5 {1351 With no knight coming to c3, it makes sense to play this move. The queen will be safe on d5. Vallejo had already spent 22 minutes on this move which meant he was out of his prep.} 7. e3 $146 {200} ({Predecessor: } 7. b5 Na5 8. cxd5 Qxd5 9. Rb1 Qa2 10. Rb4 Be6 11. d3 {½-½ (64) Monte,E (1713)-Paiva,L (1753) Fortaleza 2012}) 7... Nf6 {267} 8. Bb2 {673} d4 {527 This definitely seems very logical. The bishop is on b2 and the move d4 closes its diagonal.} 9. Nf3 {361 Hari puts pressure on the centre and threatens b5.} Bg4 {158} 10. h3 {139} Bxf3 {215} 11. gxf3 {33 Hari's position is strategically quite dangerous. He has ruined his structure and his hoping that the bishops will able to get some play going.} (11. Qxf3 {is interesting.} O-O 12. Be2 Re8 13. O-O Qe7 14. Bd1 $13) 11... O-O {257} 12. Qc2 {219} a5 {1001} ( 12... Re8 $13 {I do not think Black can be worse here, but at the same time it is a game filled with rich ideas and all three results are possible.}) 13. b5 $36 {50 White fights for an advantage.} Ne7 {[%emt 0:00:13]} 14. f4 $1 { 690 Hari takes his chance to bring down this e5-d4 structure.} dxe3 {359} ( 14... exf4 15. Bxd4 $14) 15. O-O-O $1 {1059 Brilliant play by Harikrishna! All that he wants is to open the position at all costs.} e2 {351} (15... exf2 16. fxe5 $36) (15... exf4 16. dxe3 $16) 16. Bxe2 {[%emt 0:00:32]} exf4 {[%emt 0:00: 03]} 17. h4 {159} (17. Bxf6 gxf6 {was possible, but not something that Hari would like to do if he doesn't see an immediate way of taking advantage. The bishop on b2 is just too powerful.}) 17... Kh8 {612} ({Black should try} 17... c6) 18. h5 $16 {414 White has strong compensation.} h6 {1 [#]} 19. Rdg1 $1 {251 } Qd6 {193 [#]} (19... Neg8 {stays solid, but White has all the time in the world to improve his position, mainly by doubling the rooks on the g-file. So he should be better.}) 20. c5 $2 {357} (20. Rxg7 $3 {This was a brilliant sacrifice that Hari missed.} Kxg7 21. Rg1+ Kh8 22. c5 Qe6 23. Bc4 {And Black has to give up his queen.} Rg8 24. Rxg8+ Rxg8 25. Bxe6 Rg1+ 26. Qd1 Rxd1+ 27. Kxd1 Kg7 28. Bc4 $18 {It's a perennial pin down the diagonal.}) 20... Qd5 {104} 21. Rh4 {84 Threatening Rxg7 once again.} (21. Rxg7 Qxh1+ $19) 21... Rfe8 {346} 22. Rxf4 {269 White is clearly winning.} Neg8 {[%emt 0:00:24]} 23. Bf3 { [%emt 0:00:37]} Qe6 {[%emt 0:00:28]} 24. Qc3 {122} Rad8 {337 [#]} 25. Rfg4 $1 { 88} Qf5 {13 Strongly threatening ...Rd3.} (25... Nxg4 26. Qxg7#) 26. Rxg7 { [%emt 0:00:23]} Re1+ {[%emt 0:00:16]} 27. Rxe1 {138} Kxg7 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 28. Bxb7 {74} Kf8 {75} 29. f3 {212} Nxh5 {[%emt 0:00:19]} 30. Qe5 {92} Qd7 { [%emt 0:00:04]} (30... Qxe5 31. Bxe5 $18) 31. Bc3 {[%emt 0:00:53]} Ngf6 {76} 32. Bc6 {[%emt 0:00:26]} Qe6 {[%emt 0:00:53]} 33. Qxe6 {97 The a5 pawn falls, and with it also the game. A fine display by Hari.} 1-0 [Event "Grand Prix 2017"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.23"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Black "Li, Chao"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A10"] [WhiteElo "2741"] [BlackElo "2741"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "105"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. c4 g6 2. e4 e5 3. d4 Nf6 {Quite a rare line. Although some strong players, including Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So have used it successfully (So with both colors.)} 4. Nf3 {The main move.} (4. dxe5 Nxe4 5. Qd4 {is what Topalov chose against Wesley So} Nc5) 4... exd4 ({Relevant:} 4... Bb4+ 5. Nc3 Nxe4 6. Qc2 f5 7. Nxe5 c5 {Jakovenko,D (2704)-Kokarev,D (2643) Khanty-Mansiysk 2016}) 5. e5 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Qe7 7. Bxb4 Qxb4+ 8. Qd2 Qxd2+ 9. Nbxd2 Nh5 10. Nxd4 {An endgame emerged by force. Black's knight on h5 does not seem particularly happy at the moment, but White's central pawn may turn a bit overoptimistic.} Nc6 11. N2f3 $146 {And a novelty by Radjabov. The Azeri GM is determined to fight till the last bullet.} ({The predecessor saw White spoiling the opponent's haircut with: } 11. Nxc6 dxc6 12. O-O-O Bf5 13. g3 O-O-O 14. Be2 Ng7 {at the expense of the development, Suba,M (2531)-Jansa,V (2477) Bad Zwischenahn 2008}) 11... b6 { Now it is all about the e5 pawn. Will it survive or not?} ({Clearly worse for Black is} 11... f6 12. Nb5 Kd8 13. g4) 12. Nb5 {Before anything the black king should remain stuck in the middle.} Kd8 13. O-O-O Re8 14. g3 a6 ({So far so good.} 14... Nxe5 {would be met with} 15. Nxe5 Rxe5 16. Bg2 Rb8 17. Nxa7 { and the knight on a7 is surprisingly jolly.}) 15. Nbd4 Bb7 ({Here} 15... Nxe5 $4 {would be even worse} 16. Nxe5 Rxe5 17. Nc6+) 16. Nxc6+ Bxc6 17. Bh3 $1 { A nice "disappearing" move. Before placing his bishop on the long diagonal Radjabov wants to force the move f7-f5.} ({The immediate} 17. Bg2 {would be strongly met with} f6 $1) 17... f5 ({Instead} 17... Bxf3 $2 {loses to} 18. Rxd7+ Kc8 19. Rxf7+) ({If} 17... Kc8 18. Rd3 {would start the pre-programmed doubling of the rooks on the half-open file and} Bxf3 $2 {would be still a bad idea due to} 19. Rxf3 Re7 20. Rd1 {with large advantage for White.}) 18. Bg2 ({ Of course not} 18. exf6 $6 Nxf6 {when the black pieces enter the game.}) 18... b5 19. Rhe1 bxc4 20. Nh4 Bxg2 21. Nxg2 {The central pawn survived and became extremely valuable. It helps White comfortably maneuver with their rooks and spoils the party for the black ones.} Rb8 22. Rd4 ({Also good was} 22. f4 Ng7 23. Ne3) 22... g5 ({In case of} 22... c3 {White would keep his pawns intact with} 23. b3 $1) ({White is also comfortably better after} 22... Ng7 23. Red1 Re7 24. Ne3 Ne6 25. Rxc4) 23. Red1 Rxe5 {Li Chao decided to try the active defense.} ({Objectively speaking} 23... Re7 {was more stubborn, although after} 24. Ne3 Ng7 25. f4 (25. Nxc4 Rb5) 25... gxf4 26. gxf4 Rf7 27. Rxc4 Ne6 { White's advantage is undisputable.}) 24. Rxd7+ Kc8 25. Rxh7 Nf6 26. Rh8+ Kb7 27. Rxb8+ Kxb8 28. Ne3 {The superb opening preparation and fine middlegame play netted White a pawn.} f4 ({Perhaps Black should have tried} 28... c3 29. bxc3 ({Here} 29. b3 $6 f4 $1 {is not convincing at all.}) 29... f4 30. Nc4) 29. Nxc4 Re2 30. Rd2 Re1+ 31. Kc2 {Next White activates everything that he has.} Kb7 ({Similar is} 31... Rh1 32. gxf4 gxf4 33. f3 Rf1 34. Ne5) 32. Kd3 Rh1 33. gxf4 gxf4 34. f3 Rf1 35. Ne5 Re1 36. Ng4 $1 {A nice regroupment. Radjabov co-ordinates his pieces with the outside passer. He is winning now.} Nd5 ({ White is perfectly co-ordinated in the rook endgame as well} 36... Nxg4 37. fxg4 Rg1 38. h3 Rg3+ 39. Ke4 Rxh3 40. Kxf4) 37. h4 c5 ({Anytime that the rook is placed behind the pawn} 37... Rh1 {there comes} 38. Rh2) 38. h5 Nb4+ 39. Kc4 Rc1+ 40. Kb3 Nc6 41. h6 Nd4+ {Li Chao tries some final tricks.} ({The pawn was unstopabble anyways-} 41... Rh1 42. Rh2) 42. Ka3 ({Or} 42. Ka4 Rc4+ 43. Ka3 Nb5+ 44. Kb3 Rb4+ 45. Kc2 {and wins.}) 42... Nxf3 43. h7 Nxd2 44. h8=Q Nc4+ 45. Ka4 Nb6+ 46. Kb3 a5 ({The king escapes after} 46... c4+ 47. Kb4 Nd5+ 48. Kc5) 47. Qf6 a4+ 48. Ka3 Ka6 49. Qxf4 Nc4+ 50. Kxa4 Nxb2+ 51. Kb3 Nd3 52. Qd6+ Kb5 53. a4+ ({White could even fall into the trap with} 53. Qxd3+ c4+ 54. Kb2 cxd3 55. Kxc1) 1-0 [Event "Palma de Mallorca"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.24"] [Round "8"] [White "Gelfand, Boris"] [Black "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E18"] [WhiteElo "2719"] [BlackElo "2741"] [Annotator "Tiger Hillarp Persson"] [PlyCount "96"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 ({No one has been as persistent about playing} 2... g6 { as Radjabov, at such a high level, but lately he has turned to more classical openings. It is a mature decision. The dark squared openings are, generally speaking, more powerful when your opponent has to spend some time preparing against classical alternatives.}) 3. Nf3 b6 {This is already a small surprise as Radjabov usually heads for a QGD-set-up.} 4. g3 Bb7 ({The most popular continuation (and the main reason why so many try to avoid this opening) is} 4... Ba6 5. b3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Nc3 d5 8. cxd5 exd5 9. Bg2 O-O 10. O-O Re8 { as in, for instance, Nakamura,H (2785)-Karjakin,S (2780) GCT Rapid Paris 2017. b2-b3 makes it harder for White to put the rook on c1 without being harrassed, which is the main reason Black is happy to (soon) lose a tempo with Bc8-a6-b7. This would not be so much trouble for White if only the bishop could go to b2, and there we have the reason for the other tempo-loss: Bf8-b4-e7.}) 5. Bg2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Ne4 8. Bd2 {This is a well trafficked crossroad for Black.} Nxd2 (8... Bf6 {is usually met with} 9. Rc1 (9. Be1 {is a promising alternative:} c5 10. Qc2 $5) 9... Nxd2 10. Qxd2 d6 {with similar play to the game.}) (8... f5 9. Ne5 Nxc3 10. Bxc3 Bxg2 11. Kxg2 Bf6 12. Qd3 d5 13. Rfd1 $14 {L'Ami,E (2596)-Tiviakov,S (2677) Wijk aan Zee 2012.}) (8... d5 {is the traditional way, but after} 9. cxd5 exd5 10. Rc1 {White gets the kind of position that the 4...Ba6-line (see above) is aimed at avoiding.}) 9. Qxd2 d6 10. Rad1 {I suspect there to be a deep reason why Gelfand prefers this move to 10.e4, but I cannot find it. Apart from e4/d5, it is hard to see a good plan for White.} ({Beliavsky has experienced the position after} 10. e4 {from both sides:} Nd7 11. Rfe1 a6 12. Qe2 (12. Rad1 b5 13. cxb5 axb5 14. a3 c6 15. d5 e5 16. dxc6 Bxc6 17. Nd5 {led to equality, in Huebner,R (2570)-Beliavsky,A (2605) 17th Puhajarve Rapid 2016.}) 12... c5 13. d5 e5 14. h4 $1 {I quite like Beliavsky's plan here.} Rb8 15. a4 Nf6 16. Bh3 {White has played economically and - compared to our game - has avoided both b3 and Rad1 (which are two moves that seem less than optimal).} g6 17. Kg2 Kg7 18. Rh1 h5 {This set-up doesn't turn out well for Black, so an improvement should be sought for around here.} 19. Ng5 Bc8 {A terrible concession for Black. White gets rid of his least wanted minor piece and keeps a free hand on the kingside, while Black has no real counterplay.} 20. Bxc8 Qxc8 21. Raf1 (21. f3 $1 Ne8 22. Nh3 Nc7 23. Nf2 $14 {looks more flexible.} b5 24. axb5 axb5 25. cxb5) 21... Rb7 22. f3 Ne8 23. Rf2 (23. Nh3 Nc7) 23... Bxg5 24. hxg5 f6 {and Black had equalized although White eventually won, in Beliavsky,A (2605)-Livaic,L (2435) 26th TCh-SLO 2016.} ) 10... Nd7 11. Rfe1 c5 {This is the only central break that comes into consideration here.} (11... e5 $2 12. Nxe5 $1) (11... d5 $6 12. cxd5 exd5 13. Qc2 {and White is perfectly coordinated to make life miserable for Black. Next, after} Re8 14. e4 dxe4 15. Nxe4 {is even worse than it at first seems, for Black. For instance} Nf6 16. Nxf6+ Bxf6 17. Rxe8+ Qxe8 18. Qxc7 {loses a pawn.} ) 12. e4 {White will soon have to play d4-d5, or run out of constructive moves. e4 will help in all the structures that might possibly arise then.} a6 13. d5 e5 $1 {So, even though it started as a light-squared opening (Queen's Indian) Radjabov has managed to get a typical dark-squared-opening pawn structure (Old Benoni style). He is back on his home turf. It does not matter very much that Black has the bishop pair here, but Be7 is quite well placed as it keeps Nf3 from accessing h4, from where it would make f5 very hard to achieve. Black is not to happy about the placement of Bb7, which would be better placed on the c8-h3 diagonal, but the rook is equally off track on e1.} 14. b3 {If White is going to stop Black from playing b6-b5, then I see no reason not to play a2-a4 immediately.} (14. a4 $1) (14. Rf1 b5) 14... g6 $1 {Black has two possible breaks: b6-b5 and f7-f5. The latter is no good unless Black can answer exf5 with gxf5. Ergo: Black's last move.} (14... f5 $4 15. exf5 Rxf5 16. Qe2 { , followed by Bh3 and Black is completely lost. Radjabov spends a few moves preparing f5 before taking the leap.}) 15. Rf1 (15. h4 $5 {is a logical move here. The point is that the exchange of the h-pawns would benefit White somewhat as f7-f5 would leave the Black king much more exposed than is the case in the game.} h5 $6 16. a3 {and again it becomes hard for Black to play f7-f5:} f5 $2 17. Qh6 $18) 15... Bc8 16. Ne1 {Gelfand is following a traditional script on how to treat such a position. By re-routing the knight to d3, White finds coordination and is prepared to meet f5 with f4 (aiming for the e6-square).} Rb8 (16... b5 {After} 17. cxb5 axb5 18. Nxb5 Ba6 19. a4 Bxb5 20. axb5 Qb6 21. Qd3 Ra5 22. Nf3 Qxb5 23. Qxb5 Rxb5 24. Nd2 Nb6 25. h4 { White seems to hold the balance comfortably. The engine comes up with the surprising} g5 $1 26. h5 (26. hxg5 Bxg5 27. f4 (27. Nc4 Nxc4 28. bxc4 Rb4 $15)) 26... g4 $1 27. Rfe1 Rb4 28. Bf1 f5 {when Black keeps some initiative. So, perhaps this is the more challenging move.}) 17. a4 f5 $1 {There is no convincing way for Black to prepare this break further, while it is not obviously bad, so it should be played.} (17... Bg5 18. Qe2 {and b5 has become out of the question.}) (17... Kh8 18. Nd3 (18. h4 $6 f5 19. h5 gxh5 $17) 18... f5 19. f4 Bf6 20. Kh1 Qe7 21. exf5 gxf5 22. fxe5 Nxe5 23. Nf4 Ng4 $13) 18. f4 ( 18. Nd3 Bg5 19. f4 exf4 20. gxf4 Bf6 {and White is struggling to keep Black's activity under the lid. For instance:} 21. exf5 gxf5 22. Bh3 Bg7 23. Kh1 Qh4 { backfires.}) (18. Nf3 $5 {is not an easy move to play when you just came that way, but the f3-g5-idea makes it harder for Black to develp his initiative on the kingside:} Rf7 19. Bh3 Nf8 $5 20. Ne1 {Ha! We don't mind going back again.} Bd7 21. Nd3 $132) ({If White still had the dark squared bishop on the board, then} 18. exf5 gxf5 19. f4 Bf6 20. Kh1 e4 {, would be good for him. Here, however, Black's bishop is too strong and White can only hope for a successful defence.}) ({The most direct way to fight for the light squares (yes, I mean f5) is} 18. Bh3 Nf6 $1 19. Nc2 f4 (19... fxe4 20. Be6+ Bxe6 21. dxe6 Qc8 22. Ne3 Qxe6 23. Qc2 $44) 20. Be6+ Bxe6 21. dxe6 Qc8 22. f3 Qxe6 23. gxf4 exf4 24. Qxf4 Nh5 25. Qd2 {with a complex game.}) 18... exf4 19. gxf4 fxe4 20. Nxe4 b5 { The game has opened up and the two most important factors in the position are Black's activity on the b-file and the weak e6-square. A race to set the opponent serious threats ensues.} 21. a5 {This move loses a tempo, which is why I would be reluctant to play it. I'm guessing that Gelfand's reasons for playing it were much more complex than my reasons for not to.} (21. axb5 axb5 22. Nf3 bxc4 23. bxc4 Nb6 $5 (23... Nf6 24. Nfg5 Nxe4 25. Bxe4 Bxg5 26. fxg5 { looks pretty equal to me.}) 24. Rc1 Bf5 25. Neg5 Bxg5 26. Nxg5 Qf6 {and White has some problems to solve in order not to end up in a really depressing endgame.}) 21... bxc4 22. bxc4 Rb4 23. Rc1 Nf6 24. Ng5 Qxa5 ({Possibly more precise is} 24... Ra4 $1 {, intending} 25. Nd3 (25. Qe3 $2 Ng4 $19) (25. Ne6 Bxe6 26. dxe6 Qxa5 {is a better version of the game for Black, as the e6-pawn is well blockaded and rather obstructs White.}) 25... Ng4 $1 {which sets White some serious problems.}) 25. Nd3 Ra4 26. Qe3 Qd8 ({Black loses important time here, but the alternative} 26... Re8 27. Bh3 $1 Bf8 28. Be6+ Bxe6 29. Nxe6 { is even better for White.}) 27. Rce1 {White has the worst behind him.} Bf5 { Now the game gets very tense. The next few moves are very forcing and I presume that Radjabov had planned it up to move 33...Ra2, at least.} 28. Bh3 $1 {White's life depends on whether he can tuck a knight in on e6 without it being exchanged.} (28. Ne6 Qc8 $1 29. Bh3 Rxc4 30. Bxf5 Nxd5 $1 31. Nxf8 Qxf5 32. Qf3 {Yes, we are in sample-line-territory by now.} Kxf8 33. Ne5 Rd4 34. Nc6 Rxf4 35. Nxe7 {is about equal, but only leaves Black with winning chances.}) 28... Nxd5 $3 {A splendid move, without which Black would be clearly worse.} 29. cxd5 Bxg5 30. Bxf5 Rxf5 31. Qe6+ Kg7 (31... Kh8 32. fxg5 Qxg5+ 33. Kh1 Ra2 34. Qe8+ Kg7 35. Qe7+ {leads to the game.}) 32. fxg5 Qxg5+ 33. Kh1 Ra2 { This is the position that Radjabov must have evaluated before playing 28... Nxd5 (and he must have spotted it at least a move before that, or Bf5 would not have made much sense).} 34. Qe7+ ({If White is interested in a draw (and has the time to look at the consequences) then} 34. Qe4 {is the safest bet:} Qd2 35. Qe7+ Kg8 (35... Kh6 36. Qh4+ Rh5 37. Qf2 Qxf2 38. Nxf2 Rxd5 39. Ng4+ Kg5 40. Nf6 Rf5 41. Ne4+ $14) 36. Qe8+ $11) 34... Qxe7 35. Rxe7+ Kf8 36. Ree1 $1 Rxf1+ {From a human point of view it seems to minimize White's tactical options to exchange a pair of rooks (and the human view is pretty much spot on here).} ({After} 36... a5 37. Nf4 a4 38. Ne6+ Kg8 39. Rb1 {things get complex-on-the-verge-of-out-of-hand:} a3 40. Rb8+ Kf7 41. Re1 Rb2 42. Rf8+ Ke7 43. Ra8 a2 44. Nd4+ Kf6 45. Nxf5 gxf5 {and White can - and should - force a draw with} 46. Rg1 c4 47. Rg2 Rb1+ 48. Rg1) 37. Rxf1+ Ke7 38. Re1+ $6 {White is definitely under pressure here and possibly worse. The main problem is that the knight is awfully placed on d3. White's last move does nothing to remedy the situation and suddenly Black's advantage becomes clear.} (38. Nf2 $1 Rd2 ( 38... a5 39. Re1+ Kd7 40. Ne4 Ra4 41. Nf6+ Kc7 42. Re7+ Kb6 43. Re6 {looks as dangerous for Black as it does for White.}) 39. Kg2 Rxd5 40. Ra1 {and White should be able to draw.}) 38... Kd7 {Now, due to the miss in move order, White is unable to get the knight to e4.} 39. Re3 $6 (39. Kg1 $1 a5 (39... Rd2 $1 40. Nf2 Rxd5 41. Ra1 Kc6 42. Rxa6+ Kb5 43. Ra7 Rh5 $15) 40. Nf2 a4 41. Ne4 a3 { and although Black is significantly faster than in the line after 38.Nf2, White is still able to hold the balance:} 42. Nf6+ Kc7 (42... Kc8 43. Ne4 Kc7 44. Nc3) 43. Ne8+ Kb6 44. Nxd6 Rc2 45. Rb1+ Ka5 46. Ne4 a2 47. Ra1 Kb6 48. h4 h6 49. Kf1 $11) 39... a5 $1 {"Passed pawns should be pushed". ...especially if they can not be blocked or caught.} 40. Rh3 h5 41. Nf4 (41. Kg1 a4 42. Kf1 Kc7 43. Nf2 a3 44. Ne4) 41... a4 42. Nxg6 a3 43. Rf3 $2 {This makes winning a simple matter for Black, but it was already too late to save the game.} (43. Rc3 c4 $1 44. Rxc4 Rb2 45. Ra4 a2 {also wins for Black.}) (43. Nf8+ Kc8 44. Rb3 c4 $1 {A distraction!} 45. Rc3 Kb7 $1 46. Rxc4 Rb2 47. Nd7 a2 48. Ra4 Rb1+ 49. Kg2 a1=Q 50. Rxa1 Rxa1 51. Nf6 Kb6 {and with the demise of the d5-pawn Black will win with ease.} 52. Nxh5 Kc5 53. Nf4 Kd4 $19) 43... c4 $1 44. Nf4 (44. Rf7+ Kd8 45. Rf8+ Kc7 $19) 44... Ra1+ 45. Kg2 a2 $1 46. Ra3 c3 $1 47. Ne2 $6 ({ The fight could have continued a bit longer after} 47. Ra7+ Kc8 48. Nd3 Rd1 49. Rxa2 (49. Nc1 Rxc1 50. Rxa2 c2) 49... Rxd3 50. Ra6 Kd7 51. Rc6 Ke7 52. Kf2 Kf6 $1 53. Rxd6+ (53. Ke2 Rh3 54. Rxd6+ Ke5 55. Rc6 Rxh2+ 56. Kd3 Kxd5 57. Rc8 c2 $19) 53... Ke5 54. Rd8 (54. Rc6 Kxd5) 54... Rd2+ 55. Ke3 Rxh2 $19) (47. Rxc3 Rg1+ $1) 47... c2 48. Kf2 Rh1 {Taking the pawn on a2 is met with Rxh2+ and Rxe2, so White resigned.} 0-1 [Event "Grand Prix 2017"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.24"] [Round "8.1"] [White "Gelfand, Boris"] [Black "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E18"] [WhiteElo "2719"] [BlackElo "2741"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "96"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 {In a do-or-die game Radjabov would definitely go for the sharp KID, right?} 2. c4 e6 {Oh, OK, it should be the Benoni then?} 3. Nf3 b6 {Most likely Gelfand expected the QGD, which Radjabov had played more or less regularly. Nope, it is the other fianchetto! The QID, that Radjabov has tried only once, but in a very fresh game.} 4. g3 ({The very fresh game that I mentioned is from the just finished ETCC where the Azerbaijani players won the gold. It went} 4. e3 Bb7 5. Bd3 d5 6. cxd5 exd5 7. O-O Bd6 {and later Radjabov managed to outplay his opponent, Hamitevici,V (2519)-Radjabov,T (2741) Heraklio 2017}) 4... Bb7 5. Bg2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Ne4 {Gelfand has played six official game against this line.} 8. Bd2 Nxd2 {But none has ever captured his bishop at this stage of the game.} ({The main moves are} 8... f5) ({And} 8... Bf6) 9. Qxd2 d6 10. Rad1 ({Another game at the same ETCC that took place in Crete a couple of weeks ago saw} 10. Qc2 g6 11. b4 Bf6 12. Rfd1 Bg7 13. e3 Qe7 14. a4 c5 15. dxc5 dxc5 16. b5 a5 $1 {and Black was doing fine in Kuzubov, Y (2690)-Sanal,V (2549) Heraklio 2017}) 10... Nd7 11. Rfe1 c5 12. e4 a6 13. d5 $146 {A novelty.} ({In comparison to} 13. e5 Bxf3 14. Bxf3 cxd4 15. Qxd4 Nxe5 16. Bxa8 Qxa8 17. Rxe5 dxe5 18. Qxb6 Qc8 {with approximate equality, Moroni,L (2448)-Romanov,E (2636) Llucmajor 2017}) 13... e5 {Now an old QID pawn structure arises. The question is who is going to attack the center first? Is it going to be White with timely b2-b4 and/or f2-f4 or Black with the similar pawn breaks?} 14. b3 g6 15. Rf1 {Prepares the next maneuver.} Bc8 ({If the game was not that imporatnt for the qualification Black would have most likely chosen} 15... b5 {with the possible line} 16. cxb5 axb5 17. Nxb5 Ba6 18. a4 Bxb5 19. axb5 Qa5 20. Qd3 Rfb8 {and eventual draw.}) 16. Ne1 Rb8 {Black still wants to carry out b6-b5.} 17. a4 f5 {Or this one too.} 18. f4 {The situation is heating up.} exf4 19. gxf4 fxe4 20. Nxe4 {More or less forced.} ({The other capture passes the initiative into Black's hands:} 20. Bxe4 Nf6 21. Bg2 Nh5 22. Nd3 Bf6 {followed by Bf6-d4+, Qd8-h4 and why not mate with Nh5-g3!}) 20... b5 21. a5 {Doubled-edged and correct pawn sacrifice!} ({Black takes over the initiative after:} 21. axb5 axb5 22. Rc1 bxc4 23. bxc4 Rb3) 21... bxc4 22. bxc4 Rb4 {The pawn on a5 is doomed, but this will require the efforts of two of the major black pieces. While away, they will leave the kingside opened...} 23. Rc1 Nf6 ({The immediate capture} 23... Qxa5 {seems less accuratedue to} 24. Nd3 Ra4 25. Qe3 Ra2 ({Now} 25... Qd8 {will be met with} 26. f5 $1 ({But not} 26. Nxd6 $4 Bxd6 27. Qe6+ Kg7 28. Qxd6 Rf6 {and the queen is trapped!}) 26... gxf5 27. Nxd6 Bxd6 28. Qe6+ Kh8 29. Qxd6 {with strong initiative for the pawn.}) 26. f5 $1 {The same idea again. White needs the opponent's king opened. After} gxf5 27. Nc3 Ra3 28. Qxe7 Rxc3 29. Nf4 {the attack looks very dangerous.}) 24. Ng5 Qxa5 {Now is better.} 25. Nd3 Ra4 26. Qe3 {But White still has compensation for the pawn. Mainly because he can use teh light squares for the atatck.} Qd8 ({The computer suggests} 26... Re8 {instead but this makes little sense to the human being who knows he needs more pieces into the defense.}) 27. Rce1 Bf5 $1 {Blocks the dangerous pawn and thus the f1 rook.} (27... Re8 {is too dangerous due to} 28. f5 $1 gxf5 29. Ne6 Bxe6 30. Qxe6+ Kh8 31. Rxf5) 28. Bh3 $1 { Gelfand understands that he needs to remove the key defender to be successful.} ({Instead} 28. Qxe7 $2 {woulds have most likely lost after} Qxe7 29. Rxe7 Bxd3 {White's chances are connected with the middlegame and mate.}) ({Also bad would have been} 28. Ne6 $6 {when Radjabov would happily sacrifice the exchange with} Qc8 $1 29. Nxf8 Bxf8 {In return for the attack. Now in order to keep the fire of the assault White needs to go for extreme measures with} 30. Ne5 $3 {With complete mess.} ({Calm play favors Black who has the bishop pair and the safer king after} 30. Nb2 Rb4 31. Qe2 Rb3 ({Or} 31... Bg7)) 30... dxe5 31. fxe5 Ng4 32. Qg3 {With the idea} Rxc4 33. h3 Nh6 ({Black may also try to take over the initiative with} 33... Rd4 $5 34. hxg4 Rxg4 35. Qc3 c4 36. d6 h5) 34. e6 $1) 28... Nxd5 $1 {A powerful defensive resource. Radjabov trades the active white pieces.} (28... Bxh3 $2 {would have most likely lost after} 29. Qxh3 Re8 30. Qe6+ Kg7 31. Qf7+ Kh8 32. Ne6 {and wins.}) 29. cxd5 Bxg5 30. Bxf5 {Now it is all forced.} ({Safer was} 30. fxg5 Re4 31. Qg3 Rxe1 32. Nxe1 Bxh3 33. Rxf8+ Kxf8 34. Qxh3 Qxg5+ {when the draw should be the most likely result. In comparison to the game Gelfand will have a queen instead of a rook, and the queens are famous for delivering perpetual checks on their own.}) 30... Rxf5 31. Qe6+ Kg7 32. fxg5 Qxg5+ 33. Kh1 Ra2 {For the piece Black has three pawns. He can hardly lose. But can he win?} 34. Qe7+ ({Attention!} 34. Rg1 $4 { would be mate after} Rxh2+ 35. Kxh2 Qh4+ 36. Kg2 Qg4+ 37. Kh2 Rh5#) ({However, keeping the queen on the board was once again best} 34. Qe4 $1 {when the game should most likely end in a draw as active moves like} Qd2 {would allow perpetual after} 35. Qe7+ Kh6 36. Qh4+) 34... Qxe7 35. Rxe7+ Kf8 $1 ({Not} 35... Kh6 $2 36. Rxf5 gxf5 37. Re6+ {and it is White who plays for the win.}) 36. Ree1 ({Worse is} 36. Rxf5+ Kxe7) 36... Rxf1+ 37. Rxf1+ Ke7 38. Re1+ { In time trouble Gelfand misses the best chance to co-ordinate his pieces.} ({ Strong was the sudden retreat} 38. Nf2 $1 {when White should safe the half point after} Rd2 ({Or} 38... a5 39. Re1+ Kd7 40. Ne4 Rb2 41. Nf6+ Kc7 42. Ne8+ Kd7 43. Nf6+ {in this like the knight and the rook were perfectly co-ordinated. }) 39. Kg2 Rxd5 40. Ra1 {without the a-pawn Black's winning chances are not that great.}) 38... Kd7 39. Re3 a5 {This pawn is headache.} 40. Rh3 h5 41. Nf4 a4 42. Nxg6 a3 43. Rf3 {Now White loses.} ({the last chance was} 43. Nf8+ $1 Kc7 44. Rb3 c4 45. Ne6+ Kc8 46. Rc3 {with possible draw.}) 43... c4 $1 { No rush!} (43... Ra1+ {would ahve let the win slip away-} 44. Kg2 a2 45. Rf7+ Kd8 46. Ra7 c4 47. Ne7 c3 48. Nc6+ Ke8 49. Nb4 Rb1 50. Nxa2 Ra1 51. Kf3 c2 52. Rc7 Rxa2 53. Ke4 {and darw as teh black king does not participate into the game.}) 44. Nf4 ({Here} 44. Rf7+ {does not help as the king escapes after} Kd8 45. Rf8+ Kc7) 44... Ra1+ 45. Kg2 a2 46. Ra3 c3 $1 {The pawns are unstoppable.} 47. Ne2 ({After} 47. Rxc3 Rg1+ 48. Kxg1 a1=Q+ {White loses also he rook.}) 47... c2 48. Kf2 ({Or} 48. Kh3 Re1 49. Rxa2 Rxe2 50. Ra1 Kc7) 48... Rh1 { An monstrous game by Radjabov! And an epic comeback!} (48... Rh1 {Gelfand resigned due to the line:} 49. Rxa2 Rxh2+ 50. Kg3 {or anywhere else} Rxe2) 0-1 [Event "Palma de Mallorca"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.25"] [Round "9.1"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Jakovenko, Dmitry"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2796"] [BlackElo "2721"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "88"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 {The best way to play for a win is to avoid the Berlin. At least for now...} Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 a6 6. O-O d6 7. a4 { Vachier-Lagrave used this line successfully in Tbilisi at the World Cup. It helped him knock out Grischuk and to torture Svidler. Perhaps the former had some influence on the Frenchman's opening choice as he was trying to surpass exactly Grischuk in the Grand Prix overall standings.} Ba7 ({In Tbilisi the Russian Grandmasters were choosing:} 7... h6 8. Re1 O-O 9. h3 a5 10. Nbd2 Be6 11. Bb5 Ne7 (11... Na7 12. d4 exd4 13. cxd4 Bb4 14. Bd3 d5 15. e5 {Vachier Lagrave,M (2804)-Svidler,P (2751) Tbilisi 2017}) 12. d4 exd4 13. Nxd4 Ng6 14. N2f3 {Vachier Lagrave,M (2804)-Grischuk,A (2783) Tbilisi 2017}) 8. Re1 O-O 9. h3 h6 10. Nbd2 {White has the usual minimal advantage from the opening, but will it be good enough for the win?} Re8 11. b4 Ne7 {Shifting the knight to the kingside.} 12. Qb3 ({There is nobody to attack on the queenside now.} 12. b5 $6 axb5 {Moreover, White has to be careful} 13. axb5 $2 Bxf2+) 12... Rf8 13. d4 exd4 14. cxd4 d5 {One of the points behind the knight retreat on e7.} 15. exd5 $146 {A novelty in comparion to:} ({The predecessor:} 15. Bd3 dxe4 16. Nxe4 Nxe4 17. Bxe4 c6 {Urbanik,L (1993)-Zsitva,N (1838) Namestovo 2017}) 15... Nexd5 {Vachier-Lagrave isolated his central pawn but his pieces got access to some juicy squares. However, Black can be optimistic as long as he can hold on to the blockading d5 square.} 16. b5 ({The other idea was to try and lift the central blockade with} 16. Ne4 {Now} Nxe4 ({However, after the solid} 16... Nb6 $1 17. Bd3 Be6 18. Qa3 Nxe4 19. Bxe4 Nd5 {Black manages to keep control the situation.}) 17. Bxd5 Nf6 18. Bc4 {Looks good for White. For example very risky is:} Bxd4 ({Or} 18... c6 19. b5 {when White definitely has pressure.}) 19. Nxd4 Qxd4 20. Bb2 Qf4 21. Re3 {with strong kingside innitiative.}) 16... Be6 ({More precise seems} 16... axb5 17. axb5 Be6 {the lesser pawns on the queenside, the easier the draw.}) 17. bxa6 bxa6 18. Ba3 Re8 19. Ne5 {Vachier's play is very aggressive and to the point where Jakovenko has to find only moves.} Nf4 $1 ({Wrong was} 19... Bb6 20. a5 $1) ({Even worse is} 19... Bxd4 $2 20. Nc6) 20. Ndf3 {Very natural move. But was it the best?} ({It seems as} 20. Nc6 $1 {was giving more chances. After} Qd7 21. Qf3 {Is a key move in White's attack. Then} Bxc4 (21... Bxd4 {might transpose after} 22. Rad1 Bxc4 23. Nxc4 Rxe1+ 24. Rxe1) ({If} 21... N4d5 22. Nxa7 Rxa7 23. Nb3 {is serious advantage for White.}) ({The other knight retreat also looks great for White-} 21... Ng6 22. Bxe6 fxe6 (22... Rxe6 $2 23. Ne7+ {drops the rook on a8.}) 23. Qc3) 22. Nxc4 Bxd4 23. Rad1 Rxe1+ 24. Rxe1 {leads to a position where besides the loose pieces, the black rook does not have a move! The only chance is} Bxf2+ (24... N4d5 {is impossible due to} 25. Nxd4) 25. Qxf2 Nxh3+ 26. gxh3 Qxc6 {with three pawns for the piece, but Black still needs to prove the draw.}) 20... Bxc4 21. Qxc4 Qd5 $1 {Jakovenko is known for his defensive skills. This move is once again best. The endgame is unpleasant, but is Black's best try.} 22. Qxd5 (22. Qxc7 $2 Bxd4 {lets the black pieces out.}) 22... N6xd5 23. Nc6 {As before the wite pieces are more active but they are getting less and less.} ({Or the immediate} 23. g3 {with the idea} Nxh3+ (23... Ne6 24. Nc6) ({Black would have most likely reverted to the game with} 23... Ng6 24. Nc6) 24. Kg2 Ng5 25. Nxg5 hxg5 26. Nc6) 23... Rxe1+ 24. Rxe1 a5 $1 {Another only move. The idea is to secure the b6 square for the bishop, thus to allow the rook to come out.} ( 24... Bb6 $2 {would be strongly met with} 25. a5) 25. g3 (25. Nxa5 $2 {fails to } Bxd4) 25... Ng6 ({Much worse was} 25... Nxh3+ $2 26. Kg2 Ng5 27. Nxg5 hxg5 28. Re5 {when White should be winning.}) 26. Nxa7 Rxa7 27. Re8+ Kh7 28. h4 Rb7 29. Nd2 {Now the position completely dries.} ({The last slim chance to play for the win was} 29. Bc5 {Although here too Black should survive either with} Rb3 ({Or} 29... Nb6 30. Bxb6 cxb6 31. h5 Ne7) 30. Nd2 Rb2 31. Nc4 Ra2 32. h5 Nh8 {The knight is eagly but the pawn are few...} 33. Nxa5 Rxa4 34. Nc6 Nf6 35. Re7 Nxh5 36. Rxc7 Nf6) 29... Nc3 30. h5 ({Or} 30. Nc4 Nxa4 31. Nxa5) 30... Nh8 31. Nc4 Nxa4 32. Ne5 (32. Nxa5 {is a draw again.}) 32... Nb6 33. Bc5 a4 { I was not watching the game live and do not know what happened here. Perhaps White lost on time? Or was his resignation a result of frustration? Or something else? Our man there will clarify, thanks MIke!} (33... a4 {It should be a draw after the forcing:} 34. Nc6 Nd7 35. Ra8 Nxc5 36. dxc5 Rb5 37. Ne5 Rxc5 38. Nd7 Rxh5 39. Nf8+) 34. d5 {[A note that the game did not end, but we hardly blame our annotator -- the transmission blockages and in this case errors have become well known in Agon-run events.]} f6 35. Nc6 Nd7 36. Bd4 Rb5 37. Nd8 $2 Rb8 {The pin is deadly. MVL flails about trying for something, but there's nothing -- M.K.} 38. Bb2 Rxb2 39. Ne6 a3 40. Re7 Nf7 41. Rxf7 a2 42. Rxg7+ Kh8 43. Rxd7 a1=Q+ 44. Kg2 Qe1 {There is no perpetual since the Black king can slither via the light squares to safety, so it's time to call it a day.} 0-1 [Event "Palma de Mallorca"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.25"] [Round "9"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2780"] [BlackElo "2801"] [Annotator "A. Silver"] [PlyCount "86"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. c3 d5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. Rxe5 c6 12. Re1 Bd6 13. d3 Bf5 14. Qf3 Qh4 15. g3 Qh3 16. Bxd5 {[#]} Bg4 $146 {The novelty. It is interesting this zwischenzug had never been played before, at least no record exists in Mega 2018.} (16... cxd5 {was played in the 122 previous games in the database.} 17. Qxd5 Rad8 18. Qg2 Qxg2+ (18... Qh5 19. Be3 Bh3 20. Qh1 f5 21. Bb6 Rd7 22. Qd5+ Kh8 23. Nd2 Bxg3 24. Qxd7 Bf4 25. Qc6 Bxd2 26. Bc5 Rg8 27. Qd5 Bf4 28. Re3 Bxe3 29. fxe3 Qe2 30. Bd4 h6 31. b3 Kh7 32. Qb7 Kg6 33. Qxa6+ Kh5 34. Qc6 Rc8 35. Qb7 Re8 36. Qf7+ g6 {0-1 (36) Paravyan,D (2525)-Swiercz,D (2645) Moscow 2017}) 19. Kxg2 Bxd3 20. Be3 Rfe8 21. Nd2 b4 22. Rad1 bxc3 23. bxc3 {1/2-1/2 (41) Almasi,Z (2689)-Tomashevsky,E (2743) Reykjavik 2015}) 17. Qg2 cxd5 18. Qxh3 Bxh3 19. Be3 {Granted Black still has a development edge and pressure on the White squares, but with no queens on board or mate threats, it is hard to understand why Black would enter this line willingly.} Bf5 20. d4 Rfe8 ({ The back rank pressure isn't really serious, so why not play the minority attack with} 20... Rfc8 {with the idea of ...b4?}) 21. Nd2 f6 22. Bf4 Bf8 23. Nf1 Rxe1 24. Rxe1 Rc8 25. f3 Kf7 26. Bd2 h5 27. Ne3 Be6 28. f4 Bd6 29. f5 Bd7 30. Rf1 $36 {White has some pressure.} Re8 31. Rf2 Bc6 32. Ng2 b4 33. cxb4 Bb5 {Black is down two pawns now, but in exchange has a ton of activity. Even if it is not quite enough compensation objectively, the practical problems for White extricate himelf from it are not to be underestimated.} 34. Rf3 Re2 {[#]} 35. Bc3 $1 Ke8 36. Rf2 Kd7 37. Nh4 (37. a3 $16) ({Usually the wisdom is to exchange pieces when ahead in pawns, but here after} 37. Rxe2 Bxe2 38. Kf2 Bd3 39. Ne3 Be4 {White had very little. Ex:} 40. h3 Kc6 41. g4 Kb5 42. gxh5 (42. Nf1 Bb1 43. a3 hxg4 44. hxg4 Bc2 45. Kg2 Bf4 46. Ng3 Bh6) 42... Bf4 43. h4 Bxe3+ 44. Kxe3 Bxf5 {and White is cut off.} 45. Kf4 Bc2 46. h6 gxh6 47. Kg4 Bd1+ 48. Kf5 h5) 37... Kc6 38. a3 Re8 39. Kg2 Be2 40. Nf3 {White's only ace up his sleeve is the trap threatening Ne5+! Aronian sees this easily and sidesteps it.} Bd3 ({To illustrate, if Black played} 40... Re7 $2 {White would have the winning trick} 41. Ne5+ $1 fxe5 42. dxe5 Bg4 43. exd6 Rf7 $18 { and now those extra pawns are fatal.}) 41. Ne1 Be2 42. Nf3 {A last try.} Bd3 { No dice so White accedes to the draw.} 43. Ne1 Be2 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE Grand Prix Palma de Mallorca"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca, Spain"] [Date "2017.11.22"] [Round "9"] [White "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Jakovenko, Dmitry"] [Result "0-1"] [Annotator "GM Elshan Moradiabadi"] [PlyCount "88"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] {In what was probably the most important game of MVL's career to this point, he needed to beat the solid Jakovenko!} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 a6 6. O-O d6 7. a4 Ba7 $5 {The Russian's approach to Anand's a4!} 8. Re1 (8. Na3 {would have been my choice but proabably the two super GMs had this prepared till the end so MVL chose a line that keeps more pieces on the board and avoids early exchanges.} h6 9. Nc2 O-O 10. Be3 Bxe3 (10... Ne7 $6 11. Bxa7 Rxa7 12. Ne3 c6 13. Qc2 $14) 11. Nxe3 Be6 12. Bxe6 fxe6 13. a5 (13. b4 Qe8 {does not seem to offer whole lot}) 13... d5 14. Qb3 Qd6 15. exd5 exd5 16. c4 Kh7 17. Nxd5 Rad8 18. Qxb7 Nxd5 19. cxd5 Qxd5 20. Rac1 Rd6 21. Nd2 Rg6 22. Ne4 Qxd3 23. Ng3 Nd4 24. Rc3 Ne2+ 25. Nxe2 Qxe2 26. Re3 Qd2 27. Qe4 Qxb2 28. Rg3 Rff6 29. Rxg6 Rxg6 30. g3 Qd4 31. Qf5 Qd5 32. Re1 Qxa5 33. Rxe5 Qa1+ 34. Kg2 Qc1 35. h4 Qc6+ 36. Kg1 Qf6 37. Qe4 Qc6 38. Qd3 Kh8 39. Qd8+ Kh7 40. Qd3 Kh8 41. Qd8+ Kh7 42. Qd3 {1/2-1/2 (42) Adams,M (2761)-Eljanov,P (2751) Shamkir 2017 }) 8... O-O 9. h3 (9. Nbd2 Ng4 10. Re2 Kh8 11. h3 f5 {would not be so much fun at all! Especially when you are desperate for a win!} 12. exf5 Nxf2 13. Rxf2 Bxf2+ 14. Kxf2 d5 15. Bb3 Bxf5 16. Kg1 Bxd3 17. Ne1 Bg6 18. Ndf3 e4 19. Nh2 Ne7 20. Be3 Qd6 21. Nc2 Rad8 22. Qd2 c5 23. Rd1 h6 24. Ng4 Bh5 25. Ba2 a5 26. Qe1 Be8 27. b3 b6 28. Bf2 Bh5 29. Bh4 Rd7 30. b4 axb4 31. cxb4 d4 32. Nce3 Bxg4 33. hxg4 Ng6 34. Bg3 Qf6 35. Nf5 e3 36. bxc5 bxc5 37. Qe2 Ne5 38. Bb1 Rfd8 39. Bxe5 Qxe5 40. Nh4 Qg5 41. Ng6+ Kg8 42. Qc4+ Rd5 43. Be4 Qxg4 44. Bxd5+ Kh7 45. Qd3 { 1-0 (45) Topalov,V (2761)-Nakamura,H (2787) Leuven 2016}) 9... h6 10. Nbd2 Re8 {The most solid line.} (10... Ne7 11. Nf1 (11. Bb3 {was played twice by MVL himself.} Ng6 12. d4 Re8 13. Bc2 Bd7 14. a5 c6 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Nc4 Qe7 17. Qd6 Qxd6 18. Nxd6 Re6 19. Rd1 Rb8 20. Kf1 Re7 21. Nc4 Rbe8 22. b3 Be6 23. Nb6 Bxb6 24. axb6 Rd7 25. Be3 Rc8 26. c4 Rxd1+ 27. Rxd1 c5 28. Ne1 Nd7 29. Nd3 f6 30. Ra1 Ne7 31. Ke2 Kf7 32. Kd2 f5 33. f4 exf4 34. Nxf4 g5 35. Nxe6 Kxe6 36. exf5+ Nxf5 37. Bg1 Nd4 38. Re1+ Kf6 39. Rf1+ Ke7 40. Re1+ Kd8 41. Be4 Nxb3+ 42. Kc3 Nd4 43. Bh2 {1-0 (43) Vachier Lagrave,M (2791)-So,W (2810) Saint Louis 2017 }) 11... Ng6 12. Ba2 Re8 13. Ng3 Be6 14. Bxe6 Rxe6 15. d4 Qd7 16. Be3 Ree8 17. dxe5 dxe5 18. Bxa7 Rxa7 19. Qxd7 Nxd7 20. Rad1 Nc5 21. a5 Raa8 22. b4 Na4 23. Ne2 Rad8 24. Kf1 f6 25. g3 Ne7 26. Rd2 Rxd2 27. Nxd2 Rd8 28. Nc4 Rd3 29. Rc1 Nc8 30. Ke1 b5 31. axb6 cxb6 32. Rd1 Rxd1+ 33. Kxd1 Kf7 34. Kc2 Ke6 35. Ne3 Nd6 36. f3 b5 37. Nc1 Nc4 38. Nf5 Kf7 39. g4 Nab6 40. Nb3 Nd7 41. Kd3 Nb2+ 42. Kc2 Nc4 43. Kd3 Nb2+ 44. Kc2 Nc4 {1/2-1/2 (44) Giri,A (2782)-Caruana,F (2804) Leuven 2016}) 11. b4 Ne7 $5 {An interesting idea.} 12. Qb3 {So Black loses a tempo but how good is the queen on b3?} Rf8 13. d4 exd4 {the typical reaction.} 14. cxd4 d5 15. exd5 Nexd5 16. b5 Be6 $6 {A serious inaccuracy.} (16... axb5 17. axb5 Be6 {seems reasonably more solid! I do not know why Jakovenko chose such a provocative move.}) 17. bxa6 bxa6 18. Ba3 Re8 19. Ne5 Nf4 {[#] Here comes the moment of truth!} 20. Ndf3 $6 {A poor practical decision.} (20. Nc6 Qd7 21. Qf3 {is rather artificial but poses more problems.} Bxd4 22. Rad1 Bxc4 23. Nxc4 Rxe1+ 24. Rxe1 {what else?} Bxf2+ 25. Qxf2 Nxh3+ 26. gxh3 Qxc6 27. Qg2 Qxg2+ 28. Kxg2 {Good or bad MVL should have gone for this endgame!}) (20. Ndf3 Bxc4 21. Qxc4 Qd5 22. Qxd5 N4xd5 23. a5 Nc3 24. Bb2 Nb5 25. Nc6 Nd5 26. Rac1 Rxe1+ 27. Nxe1 Re8 28. Kf1 Re6 29. g3 h5 30. Nf3 f6 31. Ne1 g5 32. Nd3 Rd6 33. Kg2 Re6 34. Rc2 Rd6 35. h4 g4 36. Rc4 Re6 37. Kf1 Nd6 38. Rc1 Nb5 39. Nxa7 Nxa7 40. Nc5 Rd6) 20... Bxc4 21. Qxc4 Qd5 $1 {And Black equalizes easily. MVL tries some tricks but the position remains close to equal until Jakovenko starts making inaccuracies.} 22. Qxd5 N6xd5 23. Nc6 Rxe1+ (23... Re2 $1 {makes more sense.} 24. Kf1 Rc2 25. Rac1 Rxc1 26. Rxc1 a5 $1 {equalizes.}) 24. Rxe1 a5 25. g3 $1 {Now MVL has a tangible initiative. The e-file is very important and Jakovenko has been neglecting it.} Ng6 26. Nxa7 Rxa7 27. Re8+ Kh7 28. h4 $1 { Let's go to the Candidates! Just not yet!} Rb7 29. Nd2 $6 (29. Bc5 Rb3 30. Nd2 {would have posed a lot of difficulties for Black.}) 29... Nc3 30. h5 Nh8 { an awkward square but the knight will come back to the game soon. Without the a4-pawn White's hopes to win this game would be close to zero!} 31. Nc4 Nxa4 32. Ne5 Nb6 33. Bc5 a4 {It is time to make a draw but MVL goes all in. He has never been this close to making it to the Candidates so his choice, regardless of its incorrectness, is praiseworthy. Any great player would have tried this regardless of the result!} 34. d5 $2 {Now the position is bad for White but still manageable.} f6 35. Nc6 Nd7 $2 {gives back White some hope after he had given up!} (35... Nxd5 36. Nd4 Nf7 37. Ra8 {is better for Black but still very tenacious.}) 36. Bd4 Rb5 37. Nd8 $4 {A terrible blunder} (37. d6 cxd6 38. Re7 Ne5 39. Bxe5 dxe5 40. Ra7 {should still be a draw.}) 37... Rb8 $1 {A deadly pin! The game and fate of the Candidates is sealed now.} 38. Bb2 Rxb2 39. Ne6 a3 40. Re7 Nf7 $1 {No miracle this time!} 41. Rxf7 a2 42. Rxg7+ Kh8 43. Rxd7 a1=Q+ 44. Kg2 Qe1 {There is no perpetual! White resigned. MVL fought hard but a few misses prevented him from scoring the much needed win! I am sure we will see MVL in the coming Candidates cycles soon! Just not this time!} 0-1 [Event "London Chess Classic"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.12.01"] [Round "1.4"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A08"] [WhiteElo "2781"] [BlackElo "2782"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "87"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 c5 4. O-O g6 5. d4 ({Aronian reached the Fianchettoe Gruenfeld in a slightly unusual way:} 5. c3 Bg7 6. d4 cxd4 7. cxd4 O-O 8. Nc3 Ne4 {Aronian,L (2799)-Anand,V (2783) Saint Louis 2017}) 5... cxd4 6. Nxd4 Bg7 7. Nb3 Nc6 8. Nc3 e6 9. e4 d4 10. Na4 O-O 11. c3 dxc3 12. Nxc3 e5 $146 {This logical move is a novelty. Anand opens his light-squared bishop at once.} ({Instead,} 12... Qe7 13. Be3 Rd8 14. Qe2 Nd7 15. Rfd1 b6 {could have brought Black troubles had his opponent have dared to play} 16. e5 ({Instead} 16. Nd4 Nxd4 17. Bxd4 Bxd4 18. Rxd4 Bb7 {allowed Black a chance to slowly equalize, Gasthofer,A (2440)-Golod,V (2554) Zuerich 2004})) 13. Be3 {The position is symmetrical but as White moves first he can claim a slight advantage.} ({ Somewhat trickier is to provoke h7-h6 first with} 13. Bg5 h6 ({The endgame after} 13... Qxd1 14. Rfxd1 h6 15. Be3 b6 16. Rac1 {is unpleasant for White.}) 14. Be3 Bg4 {So that} 15. Qc1 {comes now with a tempo.}) (13. Nd5 {leads doesn't get White anyhere after} Nxd5 14. exd5 Nd4) 13... Bg4 14. f3 Be6 15. Nc5 {Nakamura uses the tempo to gain the bishop pair.} ({After} 15. Qe2 b6 { Black covers the vital c5 point.}) 15... Qe7 16. Nxe6 Qxe6 17. Qd2 ({The computer's suggestion is:} 17. Rf2 Rfd8 18. Qf1 {when the bishop can go to h3.} ) 17... Rfd8 18. Qf2 {White's position looks promising. He intends h2-h4 followed by f3-f4. If this happens, he would slowly but surely open the diagonals for his bishops and crush the opponent.} Bf8 $1 {A strong maneuver by the former world champion! The bishop move discourages the f-pawn advance and creates play on the queenside.} ({After} 18... Nd4 19. h3 {White would proceed with the above-mentioned plan.}) 19. h3 Bb4 20. Rac1 ({Bad was} 20. f4 exf4 21. gxf4 Bxc3 22. bxc3 Nxe4) 20... Rd3 {The counterplay that Anand initiated keeps the white pieces away. Nakamura needs to trade at least one of the active black rooks.} 21. Rfd1 Rad8 22. Rxd3 Rxd3 23. Bf1 Rd8 24. a3 Be7 ( 24... Bxc3 {gives the second bishop prematurely} 25. Rxc3 Nd4 26. Kg2 {and White can be optimistic about the future.}) 25. g4 {Aggressive, but probably not best.} ({Once again} 25. f4 {is premature due to} exf4 26. Qxf4 Bd6) ({ If White prepares the advance with} 25. Bg2 {then the rook comes back} Rd3 26. f4 exf4 27. gxf4 $5 {and} Bd8 {Creates the threat Rd3xe3 followed by Bd8-b6.}) ({Please note that the greedy} 25. Bxa7 $2 Nxa7 26. Qxa7 Rd2 {would lead to a huge attack for Black on the weakened dark squares. Here is a curious line:} 27. Rb1 Qc8 28. Kh1 Bc5 29. Qa4 Nh5 30. Ne2 Rxe2 31. Bxe2 Qxh3#) ({From the above-mentioned lines it becomes clear that the prophylactical move} 25. Kh2 $5 {might have been White's best. He keeps his options opened, for example} Kg7 26. Nb5 $5 a6 27. Bc4 Qd7 28. Nc3 {with an edge.}) 25... Kg7 26. Kh2 h6 $1 { Another excellent defensive move.} 27. h4 (27. Nb5 Nh7 28. h4 Qd7 {followed by Nh7-f8-e6 and then one of the black knights will land on d4.}) ({Once more} 27. Bxa7 $2 {is bad due to} Nxa7 28. Qxa7 Rd2+) 27... Nd4 {The knight is great in the center and creates various threats.} 28. g5 {Nakamura forces matters.} ({ One idea behind the centralized knight is demonstrated by the line:} 28. Rd1 Nxf3+ 29. Qxf3 Nxg4+ 30. Kg3 Nxe3 31. Qxe3 Rxd1 32. Nxd1 Qf6 {when Black will win third pawn for the piece.}) 28... hxg5 29. hxg5 Nh7 30. Bh3 Qb3 31. f4 { But after the cool:} Nc6 {it transpires that White had only weakened himself.} 32. Nd5 (32. f5 $2 Bxg5) 32... exf4 33. Bxf4 Bxg5 ({The other capture was good as well:} 33... Nxg5 {Then the forcing line} 34. Rc3 Qb5 35. Bf1 {seems winning for White but there is} (35. Nxe7 Nxe7) 35... Qa4 36. Nxe7 Rh8+ $1 { A super-important intermediate check and the white king does not have a good square.} 37. Kg1 (37. Kg3 $4 Nxe4+) (37. Kg2 $2 Qxe4+) 37... Qxe4 38. Bg2 Qxe7 {Winning a second pawn. Whether it's it a win after} 39. Qe3 {is another story. }) 34. Bxg5 Nxg5 35. Qf6+ Kh6 {The king is in danger, but how to reach it?} 36. Bg2 ({There was a beautiful draw instead after} 36. Rc3 Qxb2+ 37. Bg2 Ne5 38. Rh3+ Nxh3 39. Qh4+ Kg7 40. Qf6+ Kh7 41. Qh4+ Kg8 42. Qxd8+) 36... Nh7 37. Qxf7 Rf8 {A solid choice.} ({It seems as Black will get checkmated after} 37... Qxb2 38. Rh1 Rf8 39. Kg3+ {But after the only move} Kg5 {There is neither mate, nor salvation. Say:} 40. Qxh7 $2 Qe5+ 41. Kh3 Rh8) 38. Qc7 ({Once again there was a draw after} 38. Rc3 $5 Qxc3 39. Qxf8+ Nxf8 40. Nxc3) 38... Qxb2 39. Rh1 { This was Nakamura's idea, but} Qf2 {Keeps the king immobile. Thus the checkmate with the rook is not going to happen today.} 40. Kh3 {Another try.} Rf7 {The king is finally safe!} 41. Qg3 Qb2 {Surprisingly this leads to a draw. } ({Also draw there will be after} 41... Ng5+ 42. Kg4+ Kg7 43. Qh2 $1 Qe2+ 44. Kxg5 Qd2+ 45. Kg4 Qe2+) ({However Anand could have played on in an endgame up a pawn after both} 41... Qxg3+ 42. Kxg3+ Kg5) ({Or} 41... Kg7 42. Qxf2 Rxf2 43. Rb1 Rf7) 42. Ne3 $1 {Excellent co-ordination!} Nf6 43. Bf3 Kh7 ({Or} 43... Ne5 44. Rh2 ({Moves can be transposed} 44. Nf5+ gxf5 45. Rh2) 44... Qa1 45. Nf5+ { with a draw after} Kh7 (45... gxf5 $4 {is mate after} 46. Kg2+ Nh5 47. Rxh5#) 46. Kg2+ Kg8 47. Nh6+ Kg7 48. Nxf7 Qa2+ 49. Kh3 Qe6+) 44. Nf5 {They agreed to draw. The lines are similar to the line from above:} (44. Nf5 Ne5 (44... gxf5 45. Rh2 Qxh2+ 46. Kxh2 fxe4 {Stockfish 210617 64:} 47. Bg2 Nd4 48. Kh3 Nc6 49. a4 Rg7 50. Qh4+ Kg6 51. Bxe4+ Nxe4 52. Qxe4+ Kf6 53. Qf4+ Ke7 54. Qc7+ Kf6 55. Qd6+ Kf5 56. Qf8+ Kg6 57. Kg4 Ne5+ 58. Kg3 b6 59. Qf4 Nd3 60. Qd4 Nc5 61. Kf3 Rf7+ 62. Kg2 Rg7 63. a5 Ne6 64. Qb4 bxa5 65. Qxa5 Kf6+ 66. Kf2 Rd7 67. Qa4 Rg7 68. Kf1 Rg5 {[%eval 33,32]}) 45. Rh2 Qa1 46. Kg2+ Kg8 47. Nh6+ Kg7 48. Nxf7) 1/2-1/2 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.12.03"] [Round "2.2"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B78"] [WhiteElo "2789"] [BlackElo "2781"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "93"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 {It is a nice coincidence that the two players who revived the Dragon back in 1995 are in London. One is still playing and the other is a guest of honor. You guessed it right, they are Vishy Anand and Garry Kasparov.The latter used the Dragon as a secret weapon to turn the match into his favor. And Nakamura, who has trained with Kasparov in the past, knows a thing or two about it...} 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. Bc4 Bd7 10. h4 h5 11. Bb3 Rc8 12. O-O-O Ne5 13. Bg5 Rc5 14. Kb1 Re8 15. g4 $5 ({Speaking about Kasparov's influence, here is another game of a player who was working with him:} 15. Bh6 a5 16. a4 Qb6 17. g4 Rxc3 18. bxc3 Nxf3 19. Nxf3 Nxe4 20. Qd3 Nxc3+ 21. Kc1 Bxh6+ 22. Ng5 Bg7 {actually these two are also in London, Karjakin,S (2771)-Carlsen,M (2881) Dubai 2014}) 15... hxg4 16. f4 Nc4 17. Qd3 Na5 {All theory and now Vachier-Lagrave uncorks a novelty:} 18. Bxf6 $5 $146 ({The only predecessor saw White quickly messing things up:} 18. h5 Nxh5 19. f5 Nxb3 20. Nxb3 Rxc3 21. bxc3 Qc7 {and getting into a worse position, Misiano,F (2265)-Cacciola,A (2118) Lugano 2015}) 18... exf6 ({ The point behind White's trade is revealed in the line:} 18... Bxf6 19. e5 dxe5 $4 ({Better is} 19... Nxb3 20. Nxb3 Bf5 21. Qd4 Rxc3 22. Qxc3 Bg7 23. Nd4 { although White has the advantage here as well.}) 20. Qxg6+ Kh8 21. Bxf7 { and mate is inevitable.}) 19. Bd5 {Vachier-Lagrave keeps the strong bishop alive.} ({The alternative} 19. f5 Nxb3 20. axb3 {also deserves attention.}) 19... Nc6 20. Nxc6 {Now the speed of the game accelerates to the maximum.} ({ Probably critical is} 20. Ndb5 $5) 20... bxc6 ({Instead} 20... Bxc6 21. f5 Bxd5 22. Nxd5 {is not convincing at all. The dark-squared bishop is locked in prison and White can attack comfortably.}) 21. Bxf7+ $1 ({No time to retreat.} 21. Bb3 Bf8) 21... Kxf7 22. Qxd6 Rxc3 $1 {Liquidates into a rook endgame.} ({ Also interesting was} 22... Rh5 23. Qxd7+ Qxd7 24. Rxd7+ Kf8) 23. Qxd7+ Qxd7 24. Rxd7+ Ke6 ({But not} 24... Re7 25. Rxe7+ Kxe7 26. bxc3 {when Black does not have enough for the exchange.}) 25. Rxg7 Rf3 {Funnily, this rook lived to tell its story. And snatch a few more pawns.} 26. Rxg6 Rxf4 27. Rg1 Rxe4 28. R6xg4 Rxg4 29. Rxg4 {This is it. The ultimate result of the sharp Dragon. A sharp rook endgame.} f5 {Betting on the passer. It is always a huge trump in these endgames.} ({Nakamura could show activity with} 29... Kf5 30. Rg1 Rh8 31. Rh1 Kg4 {as well.}) 30. Ra4 Rg8 31. b3 Rg4 32. Rxa7 f4 $1 {The passer will cost White the rook at the end. This is why Black coordinates the efforts of his pieces to run it as smooth as possible.} (32... Rxh4 {might not be losing but is not the right way.}) 33. Kc1 f3 34. Kd2 Rxh4 ({The rook could have cut the white king as well:} 34... Re4 {After a possible} 35. Ra4 Re2+ 36. Kd1 Kf5 37. Ra7 Kg4 {it is not even clear who is playing for a win. Therefore, the logic is that the point should be split equally... Say} 38. h5 ({Worse is} 38. Rf7 Kg3) 38... Kxh5 39. Rf7 Kg4 40. a4 Re5 41. b4 Kg3 42. Kd2 Kg2 43. a5 f2 44. a6 f1=Q 45. Rxf1 Kxf1 46. c4 Re7 47. b5 cxb5 48. cxb5 Re2+ 49. Kc3 Ra2 50. Kb4 Ke2 51. Kc5 Kd3 52. b6 Ra5+ $1 53. Kc6 Rxa6 54. Kc7) 35. Ra8 Rh2+ 36. Kd3 ({Or } 36. Ke3 Rxc2 37. Kxf3 c5 38. Ke4 Rd2 {with the same result as in the game.}) 36... Kf5 37. a4 {MVL tries to advance the pawns as far as possible before sacrificing the rook.} Kg4 38. a5 Rh1 39. Rg8+ ({If the king comes to stop the pawn with} 39. Ke3 Re1+ 40. Kf2 Re2+ 41. Kf1 Rxc2 {then it will have to soon abandon the windy position to avoid the perpetual:} 42. a6 Rc1+ 43. Kf2 Rc2+ 44. Ke3 Re2+ 45. Kd4 Rd2+ 46. Kc5 Rd5+ 47. Kb6 ({White has to be careful:} 47. Kxc6 $2 f2 48. Rf8 Rf5 49. Rxf5 Kxf5 50. a7 f1=Q 51. a8=Q Qf3+) 47... f2 48. Rf8 Rf5 49. Rxf5 Kxf5 50. a7 f1=Q 51. a8=Q {and a draw in the queen endgame.}) 39... Kf4 40. Rf8+ Kg3 41. Rg8+ Kf4 42. Rf8+ Kg3 43. b4 {The last try.} f2 44. Kd4 f1=Q 45. Rxf1 Rxf1 46. Kc5 Rc1 47. Kxc6 {The draw was agreed because of the line:} (47. Kxc6 Rxc2+ 48. Kb6 Kf3 49. a6 Ke4 50. b5 Kd5 51. a7 Ra2 52. Kb7 Kc5 53. b6 Ra1 54. a8=Q Rxa8 55. Kxa8 Kxb6) 1/2-1/2 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.12.04"] [Round "3.3"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E11"] [WhiteElo "2805"] [BlackElo "2760"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Bb4+ {A nasty little check. It invites White to choose between the Romanishin Nimzo-Indian after 4.Nc3 or put something on d2, which interferes with his future plans.} 4. Bd2 Be7 5. Bg2 d5 6. Nf3 O-O 7. O-O Nbd7 8. Na3 $5 {Aronian follows... himself.} ({One of the benefits behind the bishop position on c3 is that it can be easily attacked. This is what happened in a recent game by Carlsen:} 8. Bc3 b6 9. cxd5 Nxd5 10. e4 Nxc3 11. Nxc3 Bb7 { and Black was doing well, Ding,L (2774)-Carlsen,M (2837) Saint Louis 2017}) ({ Another advantageous point behind the position of the bishop on d2 is seen in case of the normal development with} 8. Nc3 {Black simply captures the pawn} dxc4 {as there is no Nf3-d2xc4 maneuver. Nakamura risked though against Adams at the World Cup in Baku 2015 and won the game, but it is evident that after} 9. e4 c5 10. Bf4 Nb6 11. a4 cxd4 12. Nxd4 Bc5 $1 {as Adams played, things were going into Black's favor.}) ({Therefore the main move is} 8. Qc2) 8... c6 9. Rc1 Ne4 10. Be3 f5 $146 {Technically speaking a novelty, but the Stonewall formation is very common for this line.} ({In Wijk aan Zee earlier this year the Armenian GM won a spectacular positional game after} 10... Bxa3 11. bxa3 Nd6 12. c5 Nc4 13. Rxc4 dxc4 14. Qc2 {Aronian,L (2780)-Giri,A (2773) Wijk aan Zee 2017}) 11. Rc2 {Now both sides start to regroup and prepare or prevent the play of the opponent on "their" flank.} a5 {Stops the queenside expansion in advance.} (11... Bf6 12. b4) 12. Qc1 {The queen takes under control the vital f4 square and is ready to work along the c-file.} Bf6 13. Rd1 g5 14. Nb1 { The knight appeared to do nothing on a3; it has to be repositioned.} Rf7 15. Nc3 Rg7 {Karjakin is ready for some kingside action.} 16. Ne1 {An inaccuracy.} ({The preliminary} 16. Nxe4 $1 {was better and only after} fxe4 (16... dxe4 { allows} 17. Ne5 $1) 17. Ne1 {followed by f2-f3 to undermine the center. White would be slightly better in that case.}) 16... Nd6 $1 {A very annoying knight!} 17. b3 $1 {Aronian sacrifices a pawn.} ({After} 17. c5 Nc4 {the important dark-squared bishop will be traded for the knight. True, there is the interesting idea} 18. Bxg5 Bxg5 19. f4 Bf6 20. b3 {trapping it, but one can hardly believe that White would be any better in this case.}) 17... dxc4 18. Na4 cxb3 19. axb3 Nb5 ({Karjakin has to be careful in order not to allow too many white pieces freedom. For example} 19... Nf8 20. Nf3 h6 21. Ne5) 20. Nd3 { Another pawn is offered!} Qe8 {This time rejected.} ({After} 20... Nxd4 21. Bxd4 Bxd4 {The pin along the d-file gives time to the white pieces to occupy dominating positions:} 22. e3 (22. Rcd2 $5) 22... Bf6 23. Ndc5 Qe8 24. Rcd2 Nxc5 25. Nxc5 {with nice compensation for the pawns.} ({Or} 25. Qxc5)) 21. Ne5 {The knight did it to e5 outpost anyway.} f4 $1 {But Karjakin shows that he knows other ways to defend too. Active ones.} ({Worse was} 21... Nxe5 22. dxe5 Bxe5 23. Bxg5) ({And simply bad} 21... Bxe5 22. dxe5 Nxe5 23. Rcd2 Nd7 24. Bxg5 $1 Rxg5 25. Rxd7 {and White wins.}) 22. gxf4 gxf4 23. Bxf4 Nxd4 {The main point behind Black's sacrifice. Although the open g-file for his heavy pieces would not hurt neither.} 24. Rxd4 ({Not} 24. Nxd7 $2 Bxd7) 24... Nxe5 25. Rd1 { The retreat is the best decision at the moment. The rook is too vulnerable.} ( 25. Rcd2 $2 {does not work as the back rank is defended and Black can go for example} Ng6) ({More interesting is} 25. Nb6 {when Black has the interesting tactical blow} Nf3+ ({Probably even better is the retreat} 25... Nd7 26. Rxd7 ( 26. Nxa8 $2 {leads to an edge for Black after} Bxd4) 26... Bxd7 27. Nxa8 Qxa8 28. Rd2 Qe8 {when Black keeps the extra pawn.}) 26. exf3 Bxd4 27. Nxa8 e5 $1 { Attacking the bishop and preparing Bc8-h3. After} 28. Re2 Bh3 29. Bg3 Bxg2 30. Kxg2 Qxa8 {The position is roughly balanced.}) 25... Qg6 26. Bg3 h5 {Thanks to his excellent defense Karjakin developed almost all of his pieces and keeps white bishops busy on the kingside. Still, the open d-file and the activity provide Aronian enough for the pawn.} 27. Nb6 Rb8 28. Rcd2 Nf7 {Another excellent defensive move.} ({The careless} 28... h4 {would give Aronian what he wants and} 29. Rd8+ Bxd8 30. Rxd8+ Kh7 31. Nxc8 hxg3 32. hxg3 Qf6 33. Be4+ Ng6 34. Qd1 {with the threat e2-e3 followed by Qd1-h5 would provide White excellent attacking possibilities.}) 29. Qc5 {Aronian is still optimistic about his position.He plans to trap the black rook on b8.} ({The endgame after } 29. Qc2 Qxc2 30. Rxc2 e5 31. Nxc8 (31. Ra2 $2 h4) (31. h4 Bf5 32. Ra2 Be7) 31... Rxc8 32. h4 {was the alternative when the bishop pair is once again providing enough compensation for the pawn.}) ({Even better was} 29. Qb1 Qxb1 30. Rxb1 e5 31. h4 Bf5 {due to the nuance} 32. Ra1 Be7 33. Nc4 {at least according to the computer.}) 29... e5 ({Operation trapping would be accomplished after} 29... h4 30. Qxa5 hxg3 31. hxg3 {with the idea Qa5-a7 and if} Be5 $2 32. Rd8+) 30. Qc4 ({Here} 30. Qxa5 {does not work because of} Bf5 31. Qa7 Rf8 {and Black is ready to start decisive counter-attack.}) 30... Kh8 { Now h5-h4 is a threat.} ({Otherwise the bishop on c8 may suffer-} 30... Bf5 31. e4 Bg4 32. f3 Bc8 33. Nxc8 ({But not} 33. Rd8+ $2 Bxd8 34. Rxd8+ Kh7 35. Rxc8 Rxc8 36. Nxc8 h4 {when Black takes over.}) 33... Rxc8 34. Bh3 Rf8 35. Kh1 $1 { and White dominates on the light squares.}) ({Also} 30... h4 {loses to} 31. Rd8+ $1 Bxd8 32. Rxd8+ Kh7 33. Qxh4+ Nh6 34. Nxc8) 31. h4 Bf5 32. Nd7 Rbg8 33. Kh1 $2 {A mistake in time-trouble, which was accompanied with a draw offer. And Karjakin accepted it!} ({White should have taken the bishop when he could} 33. Nxf6 Qxf6 34. Qc5 {still keeping the compensation.}) (33. Kh1 {Black on his turn did not realize that the situation has changed and that after} Be7 $1 {He has the initiative. The threat is to kick the queen away from the fourth rank and grab the h4 pawn. Or even the b3 pawn in some lines. Black has clear edge as the lines prove it:} 34. e3 ({Or} 34. Qc3 Bxh4 35. Nxe5 Nxe5 36. Rd6 Qg5 37. Qxe5 Bxg3 38. fxg3 Bc2) ({If} 34. e4 Bxd7 35. Rxd7 Bxh4 $1) 34... Be6 35. Qf1 (35. Qc3 Bb4 (35... Bxh4)) 35... Bxb3 {All in all, after a great defense Karjakin could had taken more than just half a point!}) 1/2-1/2 [Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"] [Site "London"] [Date "2017.12.04"] [Round "3"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E04"] [WhiteElo "2874"] [BlackElo "2770"] [Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"] [PlyCount "62"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventCountry "ENG"] {The London Chess Classic has got off to a really slow start. With all games being drawn till now, the players were expected to show some fight in this round. All eyes though, were on this game, where Vishy was playing against his nemesis from 2 World Championships-Magnus Carlsen. Since Vishy was playing so well at this event, this would be a very interesting game.} 1. d4 {No surprises there. Magnus plays literally everything.} Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 { With this move, White inclines towards a Catalan.} d5 4. Bg2 dxc4 {Anand plays a line that has scored really well for Black. He has been a firm adherent of this line according to the databases. This is not the only move however.} (4... Be7 5. Nf3 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Qc2 a6 8. Qxc4 b5 9. Qc2 Bb7 10. Bd2 {is one of the most hotly discussed tabiyas in top level chess. White's main plan here is to prevent black from playing c5, as if black achieves it, he gets a very easy game.}) (4... Bb4+ {is another move in this position, and here the move} 5. Nd2 {has scored really well for white. After} O-O 6. Ngf3 b6 7. O-O Bb7 8. Ne5 Nbd7 9. Ndf3 Bd6 10. Bg5 $14 {white has a pleasant position.}) 5. Nf3 {Magnus plays the most principled move and invites Vishy to accept his pawn sacrifice.} c5 { Anand agrees, and now we have a sharp position on the board. However, this isn't the only try here.} ({Previously, Vishy has also tried} 5... a6 {and after} 6. O-O Nc6 7. e3 Bd7 8. Qe2 b5 9. Rd1 Be7 10. e4 O-O $13 {We get a position where black has scored well (51% for White), and I can't say that's a wrong indication. The compensation that white gets in this line is maybe enough for equality, but nothing more. Over the board, he might create some complications, but preparation with our silicon friends will negate all ill effects.}) (5... Nc6 6. Qa4 Bb4+ 7. Bd2 Nd5 8. Bxb4 Ndxb4 9. O-O Rb8 10. Nc3 a6 $14 {is another attempt in this position, but white is slightly better here.}) 6. O-O Nc6 7. Na3 cxd4 8. Nxc4 $44 {The Catalan Gambit is one of the few sharp lines that top players play regularly. I first saw this line in Sofia 2010, when Anand beat Topalov twice in the same line. But back then, Vishy had played Ne5 instead of castling. Coming back to this position, we can see that black's extra pawn on d4 can be attacked, and white has superior development, with a much stronger LS Bishop. So if white regains his pawn, he have a definite pull.} Bc5 9. b3 $5 {A surprise from Magnus. A rare and unexplored line at the top level. The move though is logical. White wants to play Bb2 and pressurise the d4 pawn. Then he might eventually play a3-b4 and win the pawn back.} (9. a3 {has seen a lot of games, and has scored a mammoth 80%! Indeed, after} a5 10. Bf4 O-O 11. Nce5 Bb6 12. Qd3 Nd5 13. Rfd1 Nxf4 14. gxf4 $14 { White has a definite edge here.}) 9... Qe7 10. Nfe5 Nxe5 11. Nxe5 Nd7 12. Bf4 { An interesting decision by Magnus.} (12. Nd3 {is definitely a possibility to be considered, and after} Bd6 13. e3 dxe3 14. Bxe3 O-O 15. Rc1 Nf6 16. Re1 Rd8 17. Qe2 $44 {White gets enough play for the pawn.}) 12... O-O 13. Rc1 {a very natural move by Magnus. But had he looked further, he could have found a more combative choice.} (13. b4 $5 {would have put black on the edge. After} Bb6 14. a4 Nxe5 15. Bxe5 Qxb4 16. Rb1 Qc5 17. Rb5 $44 {White is getting dangerous play. }) 13... Rd8 {A very robotic move from Anand, missing an oppurtunity to try for an edge.} (13... f6 {definitely deserved consideration. Black's main idea here is to play e5, and have a firm support for it. After} 14. Nxd7 Bxd7 15. Bxb7 Rae8 16. b4 Bxb4 17. Qxd4 e5 18. Qc4+ Be6 19. Bd5 exf4 20. Bxe6+ Qxe6 21. Qxb4 fxg3 22. hxg3 Qxe2 $15 {Black starts to get some serious play, and white still has to justify his missing pawn.}) 14. Nd3 {Now the game peters towards equality. Magnus tries his best to recover the pawn, and Anand tries his best to prevent it.} Bb6 15. Bc7 Re8 16. Qc2 e5 17. Rfd1 Nf8 18. a4 Bg4 19. Bxb6 axb6 20. h3 Rac8 21. Qd2 {Both players have been playing the best moves till now, but Black is still slightly better due to the extra pawn.} Be6 $6 { Anand misses a chance here. While this move is good, he had a better one at his disposal.} ({It was important to keep the pressure on the e2 pawn with} 21... Bh5 $1 {also x-raying the d1 rook. After} 22. Rxc8 Rxc8 23. f4 f6 24. fxe5 fxe5 25. b4 Bf7 $15 {Black's extra pawn will start to make its presence known.}) 22. Nxe5 {Now it is just equal.} Rxc1 23. Rxc1 Bxb3 24. Nf3 Bxa4 25. Nxd4 Ne6 26. Nf5 Qf6 27. Ne3 Qd4 28. Qa2 Nc5 29. Rc4 Bb3 $1 {A nice shot to draw the game.} 30. Rxd4 Bxa2 31. Rb4 Re6 {and the players call it a draw. Black has no way to exploit his extra pawn. A very fascinating game by two fighters. With respect to Magnus, he clearly has to find a better opening line if he is to entertain certain winning chances. He did fight a lot in this game, but Anand was too solid. As for Anand, an excellent game all round. His opening preparation was too good, and he equalised without a problem. He is clearly in the groove this tournament. Had he found a couple of critical continuations, he had ways of putting Magnus under pressure. So clearly a great performance.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.12.05"] [Round "4.3"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B48"] [WhiteElo "2760"] [BlackElo "2799"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "84"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 {Some years ago it was considered suicidal to try the Sicilian against Karjakin. But Caruana is not afraid as he had done his homework carefully [for two days in a row as he was planning to play this line against Nepomniachtchi! - PD].} 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be3 a6 7. Qf3 {A fashionable reply against the Taimanov. But later Karjakin regretted on his opening choice and said that "any other line would have been the better choice. "} ({The main lines remain} 7. Bd3 b5 8. O-O Bb7 9. Re1 Nf6 10. Nxc6 Qxc6 11. Bd4 {as in Carlsen,M (2832)-Grischuk,A (2750) Chess.com Speed Chess Championship 2017}) ({Or} 7. Qd2 {as Caruana played himself in the following online game in the Chess.com PRO Chess League:} Nf6 8. O-O-O Be7 9. f3 b5 10. g4 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Bb7 12. Kb1 {Caruana,F (2817) -Pichot,A (2556) chess.com INT 2017}) 7... Ne5 8. Qg3 b5 9. O-O-O Nf6 10. f4 Neg4 {The knights seem ridiculously placed but somehow manage to limit the opponent's bishops and queen.} 11. Bg1 h5 12. e5 ({Nobody has ever tried} 12. h3 {although it might be more interesting that it seems at a glance:} b4 13. Nd5 $5) 12... b4 { Everything is coming in time. If Black retreats, he will get destroyed.} 13. Na4 Nd5 14. Nb3 Bb7 15. Nac5 Bc6 $146 ({A predecessor saw} 15... Rc8 16. Bd3 a5 17. Kb1 Bc6 18. Na6 Qd8 19. Nd4 {with some edge for White, Nepomniachtchi,I (2714)-Wang,Y (2720) Beijing 2014}) 16. Ne4 {"I was on my own here" (Caruana)} (16. h3 {simply pushes the knight to a better position.} Nh6) (16. Nxa6 $6 { is dubious due to} Qc8 17. Nbc5 d6 $1 18. exd6 Bxd6 {when as awkward as it may seem there is no way to stop the obvious threat of Bd6xf4.}) ({Ditto for} 16. Bxa6 $2 d6 $1 17. exd6 Bxd6) ({In case of} 16. Kb1 {Black will simply push the pawn} a5 {with a good game. But perhaps this was White's best option.} (16... Nh6 $5 {also deserves serious consideration.})) 16... f5 $1 {"It seems as White wasted so much time that I should be doing great" (Caruana)} 17. h3 { This is dubious.} ({White loses a pawn after} 17. exf6 gxf6 18. h3 Qxf4+ 19. Qxf4 Nxf4 {But after} 20. Re1 f5 21. hxg4 Bxe4 22. gxf5 Bxf5 23. g3 $13 { things are not that clear.}) 17... h4 $1 {"I knew I was worse but I thought I can get some compensation. But I spoiled everything very quickly." (Karjakin)} (17... fxe4 18. hxg4) 18. Qe1 fxe4 19. hxg4 Nxf4 20. Rxh4 Rxh4 21. Qxh4 Qxe5 22. Bd4 Ng6 {Another precise move.} (22... Qc7 {would give White a chance to take over the initiative with} 23. g3 Nd5 24. Qh5+ {and keep the enemy king in the center.}) 23. Qh3 ({Black would be definitely happy with the endgame after } 23. Qh5 Qxh5 24. gxh5 Nf4 25. g4 g6) 23... Qg5+ {The opening turned out to be huge success for Caruana. He is up a pawn, owes a solid center and as a compensation has way more time on the clock.} 24. Kb1 Bd5 25. Bg1 (25. Be3 $5) 25... Be7 26. g3 Ne5 27. Be2 Nf3 28. Bxf3 exf3 {With the disappearance of the light-squared bishop Black's advantage became decisive.} 29. Bd4 Kf7 {The king is well placed behind his pawns.} 30. Nc1 d6 31. Nd3 e5 {Deprives the white pieces from the good squares.} 32. Bf2 Be6 33. Nxb4 e4 34. Qh1 Rc8 {The same limitation policy. The knight is in danger.} (34... a5 35. Nc6) 35. Nxa6 Qa5 36. Qh5+ Qxh5 37. gxh5 Bg5 38. Re1 Bc4 39. Nb4 Re8 {No need to hurry, the pawns are unstopabble.} (39... e3 40. Bxe3 Re8 41. Bf2 Rxe1+ 42. Bxe1 Bd2 $1 { would be flashier.}) 40. Re3 Bxe3 41. Bxe3 Re5 42. g4 Rg5 0-1 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.12.06"] [Round "5.1"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C48"] [WhiteElo "2799"] [BlackElo "2782"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "77"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 {The Anti line. This seems to be the only way to play for a win nowadays. No matter if we talk about the Berlin, or the Marshall for example.} Bc5 5. Nc3 O-O 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. h3 Nd7 ({Grischuk played differently against Caruana in Saint Louis-} 7... Re8 8. Ne2 Nd7 9. Be3 Bb4+ 10. c3 Bf8 11. Qc2 c5 12. O-O-O Nb8 13. Ng3 Nc6 {with a good position, Caruana, F (2799)-Grischuk,A (2782) Saint Louis 2017 Apparently Anand was not very keen to see his opponent's preparation.}) 8. Be3 Bd6 9. Ne2 ({A couple of years back Caruana defended successfully as Black after} 9. Qd2 c5 10. O-O Nb8 $1 11. Nh2 Nc6 12. Ne2 Nd4 {Adams,M (2745)-Caruana,F (2802) Shamkir 2015}) 9... Re8 $146 {A novelty. The rook overprotects the e5 square and frees the f8 one for either the knight for the maneuver Nd7-f8-e6-d4, or for the bishop to defend the kingside.} ({The other way to bring the knight into the optimal d4 sqaure was tested in a game by Wesley So also in St. Louis:} 9... c5 10. Ng3 Nb8 11. Nf5 Nc6 {and then White started a step-by-step attack on the kingside with} 12. g4 {So,W (2788) -Dominguez Perez,L (2739) Saint Louis 2017}) 10. g4 {White's plan is always the same: a kingside attack behind the solid center. The question is is he going to do a piece attack or a pawn-and-piece one.} Nc5 11. Ng3 Ne6 (11... g6) 12. Nf5 c5 ({Here} 12... g6 {is not effective because of} 13. Nh6+ Kg7 14. g5 {when the knight can be transferred easily from h6 to f6.}) 13. h4 a5 {Caruana does not want to castle yet and intends to improve as much as possible on the kingside.} 14. h5 Ra6 15. Qd2 Nd4 {The rule is that whenever the knight reaches this square it leads to good game for Black.} 16. Rh3 ({Worse is} 16. N3xd4 cxd4 17. Bg5 f6 18. Bh4 Bb4 {and Black takes over the initiative} ({Or} 18... Rb6)) 16... Bf8 17. O-O-O Be6 18. Kb1 f6 ({Perhaps easier was the immediate} 18... Nxf3 19. Rxf3 c4 {In this case Black is not worried of} 20. d4 (20. dxc4 Qxd2 21. Rxd2 Bxc4 {is equal.}) ({The only chance for some edge is} 20. Qe2 cxd3 21. Rxd3 Qc8 {although Black should be OK here as well.}) 20... exd4 21. Qxd4 Qxd4 22. Bxd4 Bc8 $1 {and the e4 pawn becomes a target.}) 19. c3 Nxf3 20. Rxf3 c4 21. Qc2 ({Once again} 21. d4 exd4 22. cxd4 Bf7 {is comfortable for Black.}) 21... cxd3 22. Rxd3 Qc8 23. g5 fxg5 24. Bxg5 Bf7 {This allows White some chances.} ({It was better to block that pawn once and for all with} 24... h6 25. Bc1 Bf7 {when Black may even hope to win it in the possible endgame.}) 25. h6 $1 {Now there are problems.} gxh6 ({On} 25... g6 $6 {strong will be} 26. Ne3 Rd6 27. Rxf7 $1 Kxf7 28. Qb3+ Qe6 29. Nd5 $1 { setting up a nice ambush and threatening Rd3-f3+.}) 26. Bc1 (26. Bh4 $5 { looks good too, but Caruana wants to use the bishop in a more effective way.}) 26... Qe6 27. b3 {Not only defending but redeploying the bishop.} a4 28. c4 axb3 29. axb3 Qc6 30. Rg3+ Kh8 31. Rd1 {All of these are more or less forced, and if not forced logical. Anand continues with the queenside attack:} b5 32. c5 {And Caruana blocks it.} b4 $6 {In the heat of the battle Anand loses the thread. This move frees the black queen, but the white one may also make good use of the c4 square in the future.} ({Apparently, the former world champion disliked something in the forcing line:} 32... Qxc5 33. Qxc5 Bxc5 34. Rd7 { But the analysis proves that Black is doing well after both} Be6 ({Or} 34... Bg6 $5 35. Bxh6 Bf8 {- this last move was the one Anand missed.}) 35. Rxc7 Bxf5 36. exf5 Bd4 37. Rgg7 Ra1+ 38. Kc2 e4 39. Rxh7+ Kg8 40. Rxh6 Ra2+ 41. Kd1 Rd8 { and this should objectively end in a draw.}) ({On the other hand keeping the queens on the board is dangerous after} 32... Bxc5 33. Bb2 Bd6 34. Qd3 { as well.}) 33. Bb2 Bg6 {Another step in the wrong direction.} ({It was still possible to get rid of the queens with} 33... Qxc5 34. Qxc5 Bxc5 35. Rd7 Bg6 { True, after} 36. f4 {White has enough initiative to even win a piece after} Bd6 37. fxe5 Bxe5 38. Bxe5+ Rxe5 39. Rd8+ Be8 ({Not} 39... Re8 $2 40. Rxg6 $1) 40. Ng7 Rxe4 {But since he is forced to swap off the rooks with} 41. Rxe8+ (41. Nxe8 {is a forced draw due to the perpetual} Re1+ 42. Kb2 Re2+ 43. Kb1 Re1+ {As } 44. Kc2 $4 {even loses to} Ra2+ 45. Kd3 Rd1+) 41... Rxe8 42. Nxe8 Rg6 { and it is not certain that White should win this. He has just one pawn left after all.}) 34. Rd5 Qb5 35. Rg1 $1 {Stops the check on f1. Caruana has built a solid attacking position and calmly prepares either the capture on e5 or the f2-f4 blow which would shatter Black's position.} (35. Rxe5 {would be inaccurate at least} Qf1+ 36. Qc1 Qxc1+ 37. Kxc1 Rxe5 38. Bxe5+ Kg8 {when nothing is clear.}) 35... c6 ({The king cannot escape} 35... Kg8 36. f4 exf4 37. Nd4 Qa5 ({The flashy} 37... Qf1+ 38. Rxf1 Bxe4 39. Bc1 {is not enough for Black to save himself neither.}) 38. Qc4 $1 {This is where the queen makes good use of the c4 square.}) 36. Rxe5 Rxe5 37. Bxe5+ Kg8 38. Bd4 {Perfect harmony!} Kf7 39. Nh4 {Anand resigned as there will be either f2-f4-f5 coming or even better Nh4xg6 followed by e4-e5.} 1-0 [Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"] [Site "London"] [Date "2017.12.09"] [Round "7"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A17"] [WhiteElo "2729"] [BlackElo "2782"] [Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"] [PlyCount "73"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventCountry "ENG"] {The action at the London Chess Classic has finally heated up! There were 3 decisive games and a lot of drama on all the boards. This matchup would be interesting, as Anand faced the sole second place in the tournament, Ian Nepomniachtchi. Nepo has been known to play the English on occasion, so this no big surprise.} 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. e3 $5 {Just when I thought a QGD was appearing on the board, Ian goes out of book.} a6 $5 {A very strange 4th move from Anand. I'm not sure I understand its significance yet.} ({ The immediate} 4... c5 {was the best, provoking White to either play d4 or transpose to a Reversed Benoni. After} 5. d4 (5. cxd5 exd5 6. d4 Nc6 7. Be2 cxd4 8. exd4 Bd6 9. Bg5 Be6 $11 {and any advantage for white is miniscule.}) 5... Nc6 6. Be2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. dxc5 dxc4 $11 {Black should have very few problems here.}) 5. b3 {Ian transposes to a Reti line, which offers White some chances to have a fight on the board.} Bd6 6. Bb2 O-O 7. g4 $5 {I really admire Nepo's do or die attitude in all positions. While this has often backfired, it mostly leads to positions which he enjoys-tactical double edged slugfests. The computers don't approve, but then, practical defense is much harder.} ({The more normal way to play the position is} 7. d4 {and after} b6 8. Bd3 Bb7 9. O-O Nbd7 10. a4 c5 $11 {A rich position is reached, with chances for both players.}) 7... Nxg4 $1 {Courageous decision by Anand, and the best one too.} 8. Rg1 f5 $1 9. cxd5 e5 $1 {Giving back the pawn is the best decision. But then again, practically speaking White's position is easier to play.} 10. h3 Nf6 11. Ng5 Qe7 12. Qf3 Kh8 $1 {Removing the king from the open g-file. Now, if White does nothing, Black will eventually gobble d5, and will be better.} 13. Ne6 Bxe6 {I am not so sure about this move though.} ({The knight is not as threatening as it appears. It is best to overprotect g7 with} 13... Rg8 $1 {and after} 14. Qxf5 c6 15. f4 cxd5 16. fxe5 Bxe5 17. Qxe5 Bxe6 18. Ne2 Nc6 $13 {Black isn't without his chances here. White's Bishop pair and strong rook on g1 are compensated by his king on e1 and open files for black.}) 14. dxe6 Qxe6 {I initially felt it was innacurate to give up b7, but I was mistaken. The f5 pawn is more important.} (14... Nc6 15. Qxf5 Nd8 16. Bd3 $40 { White is getting an easy attack here.}) 15. Qxb7 Nbd7 16. Bc4 Qe7 $13 {Now the computers claim equality for black, but I am not sure here. The main reason is that Black's king will never be completely safe due to the powerful Bishop pair and open g-file, so it is easier to play White here.} 17. Qg2 {Nepo directs his attention to the kingside, and starts to generate some play there.} Nb6 $1 {A good move. Anand realises he has to make use of his pieces on the b and a files and plans a5-a4 to put pressure on White's queenside. This move also guards the d5 square a bit more.} 18. Be2 a5 19. Bb5 Rad8 {Another strong move. The White king will now start feeling a little heat.} 20. Qg5 $5 { One of those attacking moves that Nepo could have done without.} ({Was my initial idea, so that after} 20. h4 Bb4 (20... Rf7 {is Houdini 5's main suggestion here, and after} 21. Qg5 c6 22. Bxc6 Qe6 23. Bb5 Be7 24. Qg2 a4 25. Nxa4 Nxa4 26. Bxa4 Ne4 27. O-O-O {White maintains equilibrium here, though barely.}) {White has the surprising} 21. O-O-O $1 {and after} a4 22. Nxa4 Nxa4 23. Bxa4 Ba3 24. Bxa3 Qxa3+ 25. Kb1 Rg8 $13 {the position remains tense, and full of tactical possiblities.}) 20... g6 $1 {Strong move by Vishy. Now White is invited to show his cards.} 21. Qh6 {Setting up a h4-h5 hook.} Ng8 $1 { Another strong defensive mobe by Vishy.} 22. Qg5 {White is invited to repeate, which Nepo doesn't, understandably. But now he does risk losing.} Nf6 23. Rd1 e4 $6 {Now, this was unnecessary from Anand. White now gets serious play on the long diagonal. But then, this error is a forced result of being under pressure of defending for a long time, and failing to find a plan here.} (23... Qe6 $1 {would have forced Ian to look for a draw. After} 24. Ne2 c6 $1 25. Bxc6 Bb4 26. Bf3 Nbd7 27. Qh6 Rg8 28. Qh4 Rc8 $15 {Black is clearly pressing.}) 24. Qh6 $1 {The best continuation, threatening Rxg6. The difference between this position and that some moves back is the pathetically weak a1-h8 long diagonal. } Rg8 25. Ne2 Be5 26. Bxe5 Qxe5 27. Nf4 g5 28. Rxg5 Rxg5 29. Qxg5 Rg8 30. Qh6 { After a forced sequence of moves, we reach a position where White is a pawn up, but with a weak king.} Rg7 $2 {A sorry excuse of a move. Anand cracks under pressure, as he has often done this tournament.} (30... Rg1+ $1 {was the best move, and White is guaranteed only equality after} 31. Bf1 Nbd7 32. Ne2 Rg6 33. Qf4 Nd5 34. Qxe5+ Nxe5 $11 {due to the sorry state of his army.}) 31. Bc4 $1 { Nepo doesn't miss his chances, and claims the advantage here.} Nxc4 $6 32. bxc4 Qb2 $6 {Anand has lost the plot, and the position is lost for him now.} 33. Ke2 a4 34. Ne6 Rf7 35. Nf4 Rg7 36. a3 $6 {Now it is Ian's turn to err.} (36. Ne6 $1 Rf7 37. Nd8 Rg7 38. a3 Qb6 39. Rg1 $18 {would have destroyed Black.}) 36... Ne8 $4 {A final blunder in a bad position.} (36... Qb6 $1 {would have given Anand some chances to hold the position.}) 37. Qc6 $1 {and Vishy resigned. A great game by Nepo-aggressive opening preparation, reasonable middlegame play, and finishing off when it mattered. With this win, he is tied with Caruana on +2, and has great chances to win the tournament. As for Vishy, another forgettable outing. This has become more and more common over the past two years-he loses the plot and the game after getting a better position. One can only hope he recovers from this loss and catch up to 50%. As they say, an ageing tiger is still dangerous.} 1-0 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.12.11"] [Round "9.2"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A43"] [WhiteElo "2805"] [BlackElo "2837"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "106"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. d4 e6 2. Nf3 c5 3. g3 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Qb6 {Another creative idea of the "coffee-house" Bent-the-Great (Larsen). It was used by Nigel Short quite regularly too.} ({Most of the games see either} 4... Nf6 {which may transpose into the Sicilian Taimanov/Scheveningen after} 5. Bg2 a6 6. O-O Qc7 7. e4 d6 8. Nc3 Be7 9. h3 Nc6 {Sjugirov,S (2650)-Alekseev,E (2622) Sochi 2017}) ({or} 4... d5 5. Bg2 Nf6 6. O-O e5 7. Nb3 Nc6 8. Bg5 Be6 {with a reversed Gruenfeld type of position, Andreikin,D (2743)-Dubov,D (2666) ICC INT 2016}) 5. Bg2 Bc5 { The point. Black wants to force a concession.} 6. e3 d5 ({Short played instead } 6... Nc6 {and after} 7. O-O Nf6 8. c4 {took the central pawn} Nxd4 9. exd4 Bxd4 10. Nc3 Be5 11. Nb5 {but then had to deal with White's strong initiative, Bates,R (2377)-Short,N (2697) Bunratty 2013}) 7. Qg4 {In return White wants to exploit the absence of the kingside bishop.} Bf8 8. O-O Nf6 9. Qe2 e5 $146 { A logical novelty.} ({A predecessor saw} 9... Bd7 10. b3 Nc6 11. Bb2 Nxd4 12. Bxd4 Bc5 13. Rd1 {Salo,H (2267)-Lehtinen,H (2408) Finland 2013}) 10. Qb5+ $1 { An important move. White needs to get into an endgame where the center does not count for that much.} ({The immediate retreat} 10. Nb3 {would allow Black strong center which cannot be easily attacked.} Nc6 11. Nc3 Bg4 12. f3 Be6 { You noticed that one of the reasons why the center is so stable is that White is deprived of the usual maneuver Bc1-g5.}) 10... Bd7 11. Qxb6 axb6 12. Nb3 Nc6 13. Bd2 {Cautiously developing as otherwise the c2 pawn may suffer.} (13. Nc3 $6 Nb4) 13... Bd6 {This seems like and inaccuracy. The center will not be as stable as Black wishes now.} ({Here} 13... Nb4 {will be met with} 14. Bxb4 Bxb4 15. a3 Be7 16. Nc3 Be6 {when White will attack the center with either} 17. Rad1 ({Or} 17. f4)) ({But more accurate was to give the d5 pawn some extra protection} 13... Be6 14. Nc3 O-O-O {with approximate equality.}) 14. Nc3 Ne7 { All seems fine, but...} 15. a4 $1 {This comes in time with the strong positional threat of Nc3-b5.} O-O ({The counter-attack would not save the day: } 15... Rc8 16. Nb5 Bxb5 17. axb5 Rxc2 18. Bc3 O-O 19. Bf3 {and the black rook is trapped.}) 16. Nb5 Bxb5 {Alas, forced.} (16... Bb8 {would be strongly met with} 17. Bb4 Re8 18. Bxe7 Rxe7 19. c4 $1 dxc4 20. Nd2 {and the knights dominate.}) 17. axb5 Rac8 18. Bc3 {As a result Carlsen ended up in a passive position.} h5 {I am not sure if this is good policy.} 19. Rfd1 Rfd8 20. Nd2 ({ It made sense to insert} 20. Ra7 Rc7 {first and then} (20... Rb8 21. Nc1 $5) 21. Nd2) 20... h4 21. Nf3 (21. Ra7 $5 {was once again good, with advantage for White after} hxg3 22. hxg3 Rc7 (22... Rb8 23. Nf3 e4 24. Nd4) 23. Nf3 e4 24. Nd4 Be5) 21... hxg3 22. hxg3 e4 (22... Ng6 $5 {to keep the center as it is made sense.}) 23. Ng5 {An ineresting decision by Aronian.} ({There was nothing wrong with the obvious} 23. Nd4 Ra8 ({Or} 23... Ng6 24. Nf5 Bf8 25. Ra7 { with large advantage for White.}) 24. Bh3 {Next White will play Nd4-f5 and put pressure on the black pawns. This will be extremely pleasant to play for the first player.}) 23... Ng6 24. Ra7 Rb8 ({Or} 24... Rc7 25. Rd2 {followed by the same maneuver.}) 25. Bd4 {The white pieces are completely dominating. Carlsen came very close to ending up on a negative score.} Bc5 ({The passive} 25... Bc7 26. Bf1 {followed by c2-c4 and attack against f7 will leave Black no chances.}) 26. Bxc5 ({The alternative} 26. c4 dxc4 27. Nxe4 Nxe4 28. Bxe4 Bxd4 29. Rxd4 Rxd4 30. exd4 {was also very pleasant for White.}) 26... bxc5 27. c4 Ne7 ({Not } 27... dxc4 28. Rxd8+ Rxd8 29. Rxb7) 28. cxd5 Nc8 $1 {A very strong defensive idea. At the price of a pawn the world champion builds a solid foundation for a fortress.} (28... Nexd5 29. Nxe4 {would be lost for Black.}) 29. Ra4 $1 (29. Raa1 Nd6 30. Rac1 b6 {looks rock-solid.}) 29... Nb6 (29... Nd6 $2 30. Bxe4) 30. Ra3 ({In case of} 30. Raa1 {Black can defend like this:} Re8 31. d6 Re5 32. Nh3 Rd8 {slowly surrounding the d6 pawn.} 33. Ra7 Rd7 34. Nf4 g5 35. Ne2 Ne8) 30... Nc4 ({Black could have used the idea from above here too} 30... Re8 31. d6 Re5 32. Nh3 Rd8) 31. Rc3 Nd6 $1 {Sacrificing another pawn but making sure that the knights are optimally placed.} ({Worse was} 31... Nxb2 32. Rd2 Na4 $2 (32... Nxd5 33. Rxc5 Nd3 34. Rc4 f5 35. g4 {is also promising for White.}) 33. Rc4 Nb6 34. Rxc5 {when White's winning chances are huge.}) 32. Rxc5 Ra8 33. Bh3 { True to himself, Aronian looks for initiative even in the endgame.} ({The immediate} 33. b6 {would be met with} Ra6) ({But} 33. Bf1 $5 {followed by b5-b6 seems like a good way to play for a win.}) 33... Re8 34. Rc7 Kf8 ({ Avoids the trap:} 34... Re5 35. Nxf7 Nxf7 36. Be6 Rxe6 37. dxe6 Ne5 38. Rxb7 { when White wins.}) 35. b6 $2 {Did Aronian forget about the knight?} (35. Bf1 { to free the h3 square was needed.}) 35... Re5 36. Ne6+ {Frustration.} ({ Better was} 36. Nxf7 Nxf7 37. Rxb7 Rxd5 38. Rxd5 Nxd5 39. Be6 Nd8 40. Bxd5 Nxb7 41. Bxb7 Rb8 42. Bxe4 Rxb6 {with a draw.}) 36... fxe6 37. dxe6 ({Or} 37. Bxe6 Ra5) 37... Nfe8 38. Rd7 Raa5 39. b4 $2 {Another blunder in the time-trouble.} ( {It was not too late to get to the drawish path with} 39. R1xd6 Nxd6 40. Rxd6 Rad5 41. Rxd5 Rxd5 42. e7+ Kxe7 43. Bc8) 39... Rad5 40. Ra1 Rb5 {Carlsen kept the extra piece. Now he consolidates and slowly wipes ou the white pawns.} 41. Ra8 Rxb6 42. Bg4 Rd5 43. Kg2 Rxb4 44. Ra1 Rbb5 45. Be2 {Unfortunately for Aronian this bishop cannot help the rooks and the e-pawn.} Rb2 46. Bg4 Rdd2 { It is basically over.} 47. Kh3 Rxf2 48. Kh4 Rh2+ 49. Bh3 (49. Kg5 Rb5+ 50. Kg6 Rh6#) 49... g5+ 50. Kh5 (50. Kg4 Nf6+) 50... Rxh3+ 51. Kg6 Rf2 52. e7+ Kg8 53. Rxd6 Rh7 0-1 [Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.02"] [Round "1"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2773"] [BlackElo "2749"] [Annotator "Szabo,Kr"] [PlyCount "77"] [EventDate "2017.08.02"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "USA"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. O-O a6 7. a4 Ba7 8. Re1 O-O 9. h3 Ne7 10. d4 Ng6 11. Nbd2 h6 ({The natural} 11... c6 {was played by Carlsen,} 12. Bd3 Re8 13. Bc2 h6 14. Nf1 exd4 15. cxd4 c5 16. d5 b5 17. axb5 axb5 18. Ng3 Bd7 19. Be3 Bb6 20. Rxa8 Qxa8 $13 {Kramnik-Carlsen, Stavanger 2017, with an unclear middlegame; later White managed to win.}) 12. Bb3 Re8 13. Bc2 b5 ({On the same day So Wesley played} 13... Bd7 14. a5 c6 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Nc4 Qe7 17. Qd6 Qxd6 18. Nxd6 Re6 19. Rd1 $14 {Vachier Lagrave-So Wesley, Saint Louis 2017, and Black was under pressure.}) 14. b4 $146 {A logical novelty by Karjakin. White's idea is to play on the queenside with Bb2, c4.} ( 14. Nf1 {is the straightforward continuation,} Bd7 15. Ng3 c5 16. Be3 exd4 17. cxd4 c4 18. Qd2 $36 {Grandelius-E.Hansen, Wijk aan Zee 2017, with the initiative.}) 14... Bb7 15. Bb2 Qd7 16. c4 {This is the idea of White's setup. Normally it is very rare that White has 5 pawns next to each other on the 4th rank.} exd4 $6 {A dubious move, because Black will have problems on b5.} (16... bxc4 {was better,} 17. dxe5 Nxe5 18. Nxe5 dxe5 19. Nxc4 Bd4 {and Black is also active,}) ({or even the cool-blooded} 16... Nh5 $5 {is also possible, for example:} 17. axb5 (17. dxe5 $2 Nhf4 $1 18. exd6 Nxg2 $1 19. Kxg2 Nf4+ $19 { with a decisive attack.}) 17... axb5 18. c5 Nhf4 $132 {with a complicated middlegame.}) 17. cxb5 $1 {The right reply!} d3 $6 {Another inaccuracy. At first sight 17...d3 is a logical intermediate move, because ...Nf4 will come with tempo. On the other hand the light-squared bishop will be strong on the a6-f1 diagonal.} ({However} 17... axb5 18. Nxd4 bxa4 19. Bxa4 c6 20. Qc2 $14 { is also comfortable for White.}) 18. Bxd3 Nf4 19. Bf1 $1 {This is the right square for the bishop. White sacrifices the e4-pawn, because on the queenside he will be stronger.} Nxe4 (19... axb5 20. Bxb5 $16 {is also better for White.} ) 20. Nxe4 Bxe4 21. bxa6 Qf5 {Threatening ...Nxh3.} 22. Ra3 $1 {A great move, White activates his R from the 3rd rank and protects the f3-knight.} c5 23. Nh4 {A strong intermediate move! Now it is not easy to choose for Black where he will put his queen, moreover Rg3 can be unpleasant at an appropriate moment.} Qe6 (23... Qg5 $2 {loses, as} 24. Rg3 Qxh4 25. Rxg7+ Kf8 26. Qxd6+ $18 { and wins.}) 24. b5 $18 {White's queenside pawns are very dangerous. a5, b5 is his main threat.} c4 25. Bd4 {The best practical move. White frustrates all counterchances; now he neutralises the a7-bishop.} (25. a5 Bc5) 25... Bxd4 26. Qxd4 d5 27. Rg3 ({The careless} 27. a5 $2 {could have been met by} Qe7 { double attack,} 28. Rg3 Ne6 $132 {and White loses the h4-knight, the position is not easy.}) (27. f3 {was also fine, but} Qd6 (27... Qe7 $2 28. Nf5 $1 $18) 28. Rxe4 Rxe4 29. fxe4 Qxa3 30. Nf5 Ne6 {gives some practical chances for Black.}) 27... g5 28. f3 Nh5 29. Rg4 Nf6 ({The good-looking} 29... f5 {is also losing, because of} 30. Nxf5 $1 Qxf5 31. fxe4 $18 {and White is winning.}) 30. Rgxe4 $1 Nxe4 ({In the event of} 30... dxe4 31. Bxc4 Qe5 32. Qxe5 Rxe5 33. b6 $18 {the pawns reach the 6th rank.}) 31. fxe4 gxh4 32. Rd1 Qxe4 (32... dxe4 33. Bxc4 $18 {is also hopeless for Black.}) 33. Qxe4 Rxe4 34. Rxd5 c3 35. Rc5 Rxa4 36. b6 Kg7 37. b7 Re8 38. Rxc3 Ra1 39. a7 ({The immediate} 39. Rc8 $4 {would be a blunder, as} Ree1 $1 {and suddenly the white king is in trouble.}) (39. a7 Rxa7 {and the rook has left the 1st rank, so} 40. Rc8 $18 {and White is winning.}) 1-0 [Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.02"] [Round "1"] [White "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2791"] [BlackElo "2810"] [Annotator "Roiz,M"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2017.08.02"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "USA"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. a4 d6 7. c3 a6 8. h3 h6 9. Nbd2 Ba7 10. Re1 {This way of handling the Italian is getting more and more popular.} Ne7 ({A few days later Wesley went for} 10... Be6 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12. b4 Qe8 13. Nf1 Nh5 14. Be3 Bxe3 15. Rxe3 Nf4 $132 {Karjakin,S - So,W Saint Louis USA 2017}) 11. Bb3 Ng6 12. d4 {White has a superiority in the centre, but the Pe4 is under pressure now.} Re8 13. Bc2 {As a result, White has to move the bishop once again.} Bd7 $146 (13... b5 {was employed by Peter Svidler in the same event:} 14. b4 Bb7 15. Bb2 Qd7 16. c4 $14 {Karjakin,S - Svidler,P Saint Louis USA 2017}) (13... c6 {didn't offer Black full equality in the following top-level encounter:} 14. Nf1 d5 15. Nxe5 Nxe5 16. dxe5 Nxe4 17. Bxe4 dxe4 18. Qxd8 Rxd8 19. Ng3 (19. Be3 $14) 19... Bb8 20. Be3 Bxe5 $11 {Anand,V - Aronian,L Saint Louis USA 2016}) 14. a5 {Maxime is seizing more space on the q-side. Now White can choose between different possible routes for the Nd2.} ({ The natural} 14. Nf1 $5 {also deserved serious attention. For instance,} c5 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Ne3 Bc6 17. Qxd8 Raxd8 18. Nf5 Ne7 19. Ng3 $1 {, and Black still has some problems to solve.}) 14... c6 ({In the event of} 14... Qc8 15. Nf1 c5 (15... Bxh3 $2 {doesn't work:} 16. gxh3 Qxh3 17. Qd3 $18 {, and the attack ends.}) 16. dxe5 dxe5 17. c4 $1 Bc6 18. N3d2 Nf4 19. Ne3 $14 {Black would suffer from the poor Ba7.}) ({After} 14... Nh5 15. Nf1 Nhf4 16. Ng3 Qf6 17. Be3 $14 {Black's activity on the k-side is only visual.}) 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Nc4 { Now the vulnerablity of the dark squares in Black's camp cannot be underestimated.} Qe7 ({Possibly, a more accurate move was} 16... Qc7 $5 { , intending to meet} 17. Qd6 {with} Qc8 $1 18. Qd3 Qc7 (18... Bxh3 19. Nh2 $1 Be6 20. Nd6 Qc7 21. Nxe8 Rxe8 $14) 19. Be3 Bxe3 20. Qxe3 Be6 $14 {, and Black is only slightly worse.}) 17. Qd6 Qxd6 $6 {This is a serious concession - the penetration of White's knight would cause Wesley serious problems.} ({A much better try was} 17... Qd8 $1 18. Be3 Bxe3 19. Nxe3 Be6 20. Qxd8 Rexd8 21. Rad1 Kf8 $14) 18. Nxd6 Re6 19. Rd1 Rb8 20. Kf1 {Maxim isn't in a rush.} ({Another promising way of handling the position was} 20. b4 $5 Re7 21. c4 Be6 22. Bb2 $16 {, slowly squeezing the opponent's pieces.}) 20... Re7 21. Nc4 Rbe8 22. b3 Be6 23. Nb6 $6 {An unsuccessful decision - in the resuting closed position White would hardly benefit from having the bishop pair.} ({A much stronger move was} 23. Ba3 $1 Bxc4+ 24. bxc4 Rd7 25. Rxd7 Nxd7 26. Rb1 b5 (26... Bc5 27. Rxb7 Bxa3 28. Rxd7 $16) 27. Rd1 Nf6 28. Rd6 $16) 23... Bxb6 24. axb6 Rd7 25. Be3 Rc8 $1 {GM So manages to fully consolidate.} 26. c4 (26. Ne1 Rxd1 27. Rxd1 c5 28. c4 Nd7 29. Nd3 {would lead to the same.}) 26... Rxd1+ 27. Rxd1 c5 28. Ne1 Nd7 29. Nd3 f6 {The position is almost equal - both sides have their troubles now.} 30. Ra1 Ne7 31. Ke2 Kf7 32. Kd2 f5 $2 {Till now Wesley was defending very well, but this move enables White to activate the bishops again! } ({The precise} 32... g5 $1 {would most likely allow Black to achieve a draw:} 33. Bd1 (33. g4 Rc6 34. Kc3 Rxb6 35. Nxc5 Nxc5 36. Bxc5 Rc6 37. Be3 Ng6 $11) 33... f5 34. exf5 Bxf5 35. Bh5+ Kg7 $11) 33. f4 $1 exf4 (33... fxe4 34. Nxe5+ Nxe5 35. fxe5 Bf5 36. Kc3 Ke6 37. g4 Bg6 38. Rd1 Rc6 39. Rd8 $18 {is completely lost for Black, whose pieces are tied to protecting the weak pawns.} ) 34. Nxf4 g5 (34... Nxb6 {is hardly any better:} 35. Nd5 Rd8 36. Rf1 $16) 35. Nxe6 Kxe6 36. exf5+ Nxf5 37. Bg1 Nd4 $6 (37... Nd6 {was better:} 38. Re1+ Kf6 39. Bd1 Ne5 $16) 38. Re1+ $6 {Returning the favour.} ({The precise} 38. Bxd4 cxd4 39. Be4 Rb8 40. Bf3 Nxb6 41. Kd3 Nd7 42. Kxd4 Kd6 43. b4 Nf6 44. Re1 $18 { would yield White a decisive positional advantage.}) 38... Kf6 39. Rf1+ Ke7 40. Re1+ Kd8 $2 {Alas, Wesley chooses a wrong way for deviating from repeating the moves.} (40... Kf6 41. Bxd4+ cxd4 42. Rf1+ Ke7 43. Bf5 Rc6 44. Re1+ Kd8 45. Re4 Nxb6 46. Bg4 $16 {looks extremely unpleasant for Black, but the limited material balance offers Black some drawing chances.}) 41. Be4 $1 Nxb3+ (41... Nxb6 42. Bxd4 cxd4 43. Bxb7 Rb8 44. Bxa6 $18) 42. Kc3 Nd4 43. Bh2 $1 {Black cannot avoid the major loss of material, so he resigns.} 1-0 [Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.02"] [Round "1"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2773"] [BlackElo "2749"] [Annotator "Szabo,Kr"] [PlyCount "77"] [EventDate "2017.08.02"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "USA"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. O-O a6 7. a4 Ba7 8. Re1 O-O 9. h3 Ne7 10. d4 Ng6 11. Nbd2 h6 ({The natural} 11... c6 {was played by Carlsen,} 12. Bd3 Re8 13. Bc2 h6 14. Nf1 exd4 15. cxd4 c5 16. d5 b5 17. axb5 axb5 18. Ng3 Bd7 19. Be3 Bb6 20. Rxa8 Qxa8 $13 {Kramnik-Carlsen, Stavanger 2017, with an unclear middlegame; later White managed to win.}) 12. Bb3 Re8 13. Bc2 b5 ({On the same day So Wesley played} 13... Bd7 14. a5 c6 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Nc4 Qe7 17. Qd6 Qxd6 18. Nxd6 Re6 19. Rd1 $14 {Vachier Lagrave-So Wesley, Saint Louis 2017, and Black was under pressure.}) 14. b4 $146 {A logical novelty by Karjakin. White's idea is to play on the queenside with Bb2, c4.} ( 14. Nf1 {is the straightforward continuation,} Bd7 15. Ng3 c5 16. Be3 exd4 17. cxd4 c4 18. Qd2 $36 {Grandelius-E.Hansen, Wijk aan Zee 2017, with the initiative.}) 14... Bb7 15. Bb2 Qd7 16. c4 {This is the idea of White's setup. Normally it is very rare that White has 5 pawns next to each other on the 4th rank.} exd4 $6 {A dubious move, because Black will have problems on b5.} (16... bxc4 {was better,} 17. dxe5 Nxe5 18. Nxe5 dxe5 19. Nxc4 Bd4 {and Black is also active,}) ({or even the cool-blooded} 16... Nh5 $5 {is also possible, for example:} 17. axb5 (17. dxe5 $2 Nhf4 $1 18. exd6 Nxg2 $1 19. Kxg2 Nf4+ $19 { with a decisive attack.}) 17... axb5 18. c5 Nhf4 $132 {with a complicated middlegame.}) 17. cxb5 $1 {The right reply!} d3 $6 {Another inaccuracy. At first sight 17...d3 is a logical intermediate move, because ...Nf4 will come with tempo. On the other hand the light-squared bishop will be strong on the a6-f1 diagonal.} ({However} 17... axb5 18. Nxd4 bxa4 19. Bxa4 c6 20. Qc2 $14 { is also comfortable for White.}) 18. Bxd3 Nf4 19. Bf1 $1 {This is the right square for the bishop. White sacrifices the e4-pawn, because on the queenside he will be stronger.} Nxe4 (19... axb5 20. Bxb5 $16 {is also better for White.} ) 20. Nxe4 Bxe4 21. bxa6 Qf5 {Threatening ...Nxh3.} 22. Ra3 $1 {A great move, White activates his R from the 3rd rank and protects the f3-knight.} c5 23. Nh4 {A strong intermediate move! Now it is not easy to choose for Black where he will put his queen, moreover Rg3 can be unpleasant at an appropriate moment.} Qe6 (23... Qg5 $2 {loses, as} 24. Rg3 Qxh4 25. Rxg7+ Kf8 26. Qxd6+ $18 { and wins.}) 24. b5 $18 {White's queenside pawns are very dangerous. a5, b5 is his main threat.} c4 25. Bd4 {The best practical move. White frustrates all counterchances; now he neutralises the a7-bishop.} (25. a5 Bc5) 25... Bxd4 26. Qxd4 d5 27. Rg3 ({The careless} 27. a5 $2 {could have been met by} Qe7 { double attack,} 28. Rg3 Ne6 $132 {and White loses the h4-knight, the position is not easy.}) (27. f3 {was also fine, but} Qd6 (27... Qe7 $2 28. Nf5 $1 $18) 28. Rxe4 Rxe4 29. fxe4 Qxa3 30. Nf5 Ne6 {gives some practical chances for Black.}) 27... g5 28. f3 Nh5 29. Rg4 Nf6 ({The good-looking} 29... f5 {is also losing, because of} 30. Nxf5 $1 Qxf5 31. fxe4 $18 {and White is winning.}) 30. Rgxe4 $1 Nxe4 ({In the event of} 30... dxe4 31. Bxc4 Qe5 32. Qxe5 Rxe5 33. b6 $18 {the pawns reach the 6th rank.}) 31. fxe4 gxh4 32. Rd1 Qxe4 (32... dxe4 33. Bxc4 $18 {is also hopeless for Black.}) 33. Qxe4 Rxe4 34. Rxd5 c3 35. Rc5 Rxa4 36. b6 Kg7 37. b7 Re8 38. Rxc3 Ra1 39. a7 ({The immediate} 39. Rc8 $4 {would be a blunder, as} Ree1 $1 {and suddenly the white king is in trouble.}) (39. a7 Rxa7 {and the rook has left the 1st rank, so} 40. Rc8 $18 {and White is winning.}) 1-0 [Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.02"] [Round "1"] [White "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2791"] [BlackElo "2810"] [Annotator "Roiz,M"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2017.08.02"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "USA"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. a4 d6 7. c3 a6 8. h3 h6 9. Nbd2 Ba7 10. Re1 {This way of handling the Italian is getting more and more popular.} Ne7 ({A few days later Wesley went for} 10... Be6 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12. b4 Qe8 13. Nf1 Nh5 14. Be3 Bxe3 15. Rxe3 Nf4 $132 {Karjakin,S - So,W Saint Louis USA 2017}) 11. Bb3 Ng6 12. d4 {White has a superiority in the centre, but the Pe4 is under pressure now.} Re8 13. Bc2 {As a result, White has to move the bishop once again.} Bd7 $146 (13... b5 {was employed by Peter Svidler in the same event:} 14. b4 Bb7 15. Bb2 Qd7 16. c4 $14 {Karjakin,S - Svidler,P Saint Louis USA 2017}) (13... c6 {didn't offer Black full equality in the following top-level encounter:} 14. Nf1 d5 15. Nxe5 Nxe5 16. dxe5 Nxe4 17. Bxe4 dxe4 18. Qxd8 Rxd8 19. Ng3 (19. Be3 $14) 19... Bb8 20. Be3 Bxe5 $11 {Anand,V - Aronian,L Saint Louis USA 2016}) 14. a5 {Maxime is seizing more space on the q-side. Now White can choose between different possible routes for the Nd2.} ({ The natural} 14. Nf1 $5 {also deserved serious attention. For instance,} c5 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Ne3 Bc6 17. Qxd8 Raxd8 18. Nf5 Ne7 19. Ng3 $1 {, and Black still has some problems to solve.}) 14... c6 ({In the event of} 14... Qc8 15. Nf1 c5 (15... Bxh3 $2 {doesn't work:} 16. gxh3 Qxh3 17. Qd3 $18 {, and the attack ends.}) 16. dxe5 dxe5 17. c4 $1 Bc6 18. N3d2 Nf4 19. Ne3 $14 {Black would suffer from the poor Ba7.}) ({After} 14... Nh5 15. Nf1 Nhf4 16. Ng3 Qf6 17. Be3 $14 {Black's activity on the k-side is only visual.}) 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Nc4 { Now the vulnerablity of the dark squares in Black's camp cannot be underestimated.} Qe7 ({Possibly, a more accurate move was} 16... Qc7 $5 { , intending to meet} 17. Qd6 {with} Qc8 $1 18. Qd3 Qc7 (18... Bxh3 19. Nh2 $1 Be6 20. Nd6 Qc7 21. Nxe8 Rxe8 $14) 19. Be3 Bxe3 20. Qxe3 Be6 $14 {, and Black is only slightly worse.}) 17. Qd6 Qxd6 $6 {This is a serious concession - the penetration of White's knight would cause Wesley serious problems.} ({A much better try was} 17... Qd8 $1 18. Be3 Bxe3 19. Nxe3 Be6 20. Qxd8 Rexd8 21. Rad1 Kf8 $14) 18. Nxd6 Re6 19. Rd1 Rb8 20. Kf1 {Maxim isn't in a rush.} ({Another promising way of handling the position was} 20. b4 $5 Re7 21. c4 Be6 22. Bb2 $16 {, slowly squeezing the opponent's pieces.}) 20... Re7 21. Nc4 Rbe8 22. b3 Be6 23. Nb6 $6 {An unsuccessful decision - in the resuting closed position White would hardly benefit from having the bishop pair.} ({A much stronger move was} 23. Ba3 $1 Bxc4+ 24. bxc4 Rd7 25. Rxd7 Nxd7 26. Rb1 b5 (26... Bc5 27. Rxb7 Bxa3 28. Rxd7 $16) 27. Rd1 Nf6 28. Rd6 $16) 23... Bxb6 24. axb6 Rd7 25. Be3 Rc8 $1 {GM So manages to fully consolidate.} 26. c4 (26. Ne1 Rxd1 27. Rxd1 c5 28. c4 Nd7 29. Nd3 {would lead to the same.}) 26... Rxd1+ 27. Rxd1 c5 28. Ne1 Nd7 29. Nd3 f6 {The position is almost equal - both sides have their troubles now.} 30. Ra1 Ne7 31. Ke2 Kf7 32. Kd2 f5 $2 {Till now Wesley was defending very well, but this move enables White to activate the bishops again! } ({The precise} 32... g5 $1 {would most likely allow Black to achieve a draw:} 33. Bd1 (33. g4 Rc6 34. Kc3 Rxb6 35. Nxc5 Nxc5 36. Bxc5 Rc6 37. Be3 Ng6 $11) 33... f5 34. exf5 Bxf5 35. Bh5+ Kg7 $11) 33. f4 $1 exf4 (33... fxe4 34. Nxe5+ Nxe5 35. fxe5 Bf5 36. Kc3 Ke6 37. g4 Bg6 38. Rd1 Rc6 39. Rd8 $18 {is completely lost for Black, whose pieces are tied to protecting the weak pawns.} ) 34. Nxf4 g5 (34... Nxb6 {is hardly any better:} 35. Nd5 Rd8 36. Rf1 $16) 35. Nxe6 Kxe6 36. exf5+ Nxf5 37. Bg1 Nd4 $6 (37... Nd6 {was better:} 38. Re1+ Kf6 39. Bd1 Ne5 $16) 38. Re1+ $6 {Returning the favour.} ({The precise} 38. Bxd4 cxd4 39. Be4 Rb8 40. Bf3 Nxb6 41. Kd3 Nd7 42. Kxd4 Kd6 43. b4 Nf6 44. Re1 $18 { would yield White a decisive positional advantage.}) 38... Kf6 39. Rf1+ Ke7 40. Re1+ Kd8 $2 {Alas, Wesley chooses a wrong way for deviating from repeating the moves.} (40... Kf6 41. Bxd4+ cxd4 42. Rf1+ Ke7 43. Bf5 Rc6 44. Re1+ Kd8 45. Re4 Nxb6 46. Bg4 $16 {looks extremely unpleasant for Black, but the limited material balance offers Black some drawing chances.}) 41. Be4 $1 Nxb3+ (41... Nxb6 42. Bxd4 cxd4 43. Bxb7 Rb8 44. Bxa6 $18) 42. Kc3 Nd4 43. Bh2 $1 {Black cannot avoid the major loss of material, so he resigns.} 1-0 [Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.03"] [Round "2"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A34"] [WhiteElo "2742"] [BlackElo "2810"] [Annotator "Marin,M"] [PlyCount "78"] [EventDate "2017.08.02"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "USA"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 c5 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4 {An extravagant line, leading to unnatural white play in the hope of retaining the space advantage. Personally I would not create myself such early problems with the queen safety, leading most likely to delay in development. I was a witness when Ljubojevic introduced this line in grandmaster practice (Szirak 1987, see below). I remember that Adorjan was chasing him during the rest of the tournament rhaetorically asking: "Ljubo, will you admit I was better?"} Nf6 5. Bf4 { White prepares the d2-square for the queen hoping to expose the bishop as little as possible. In the game the latter proved illusory. There is a whole bunch of alternatives.} ({The bishop is even more vulnerable after} 5. Bg5 Nc6 6. Qd2 Bg7 7. e4 d6 ({Actually Black could already start the chase:} 7... h6 8. Be3 Ng4 9. Bf4 g5 10. Bg3 Nge5 11. h4 g4 $13) 8. Nge2 O-O 9. f3 Qa5 10. Nd5 Nxd5 11. cxd5 Qxd2+ 12. Kxd2 f6 13. Be3 Ne5 14. Nd4 $14 {1-0 (34) Penzold,A (2387)-Berebora,F (2437) Germany 2015}) (5. e4 Nc6 {forces the queen to avoid the desirable retreat to d2 in order to keep the bishop's line of advance open. } 6. Qd3 Bg7 7. Nf3 d6 8. Be2 O-O 9. O-O Nd7 (9... Bg4 $5 $11) 10. Be3 Nc5 11. Qc2 Bxc3 12. bxc3 f5 (12... Bg4 13. h3 Bxf3 14. Bxf3 Ne5 15. Be2 Qc7 16. f4 Ned7 $13) 13. exf5 Bxf5 14. Qb2 Qb6 15. Qc1 {Cifuentes Parada,R (2509)-Van den Berg,A (2267) Leiden 1992 (1-0, 35), and White retained some attacking chances. }) ({Ljubo's aforementioned game went} 5. g3 Bg7 6. Bg2 Nc6 7. Qd2 {1/2-1/2 (49) Ljubojevic,L (2625)-Adorjan,A (2540) Szirak 1987 CBM 003 [Ftacnik,L]}) ({ Or if} 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. Qd2 Bg7 7. Rb1 O-O 8. b3 Qa5 9. e4 {Black can use his advance in development to break the centre:} e6 10. Bb2 d5 $36 {Garcia Palermo, C (2490)-Spangenberg,H (2505) Villa Gesell 1996 (0-1, 30)}) 5... Nc6 (5... Bg7 {allows unnnecessary (even though not bad for Black) complicatons:} 6. Bxb8 Rxb8 7. Qxa7 Qc7 8. Nf3 (8. Nb5 Qxc4 9. Qxb8 O-O 10. Nc3 Qb4 {offers Black a lot of play on the dark squares and an overwhelming advance in development for the missing rook.}) 8... Ng4 $2 ({Black should have aimed for counterplay in the centre.} 8... d5 9. cxd5 O-O $44) {In Dvoirys,S (2553)-Kholopov,A (2294) Cheliabinsk 2008 (1-0, 39) White's simplest way to an advantage as:} 9. Nb5 Qxc4 10. Qxb8 Qb4+ 11. Nd2 O-O 12. Rc1 Qxb2 13. Rb1 Qxa2 14. Qg3 $18) 6. Qd2 d6 7. e4 Bg7 8. Bd3 $146 ({Deviating from another game of the old specialist of this variation where White allowed the exchange on f3, increasing Black's control on the dark squares.} 8. Nf3 Bg4 9. Be2 Rc8 10. Rd1 Qa5 11. O-O Bxf3 12. Bxf3 Ne5 13. Bxe5 Qxe5 14. b3 h5 {1/2-1/2 Ljubojevic,L (2635)-Sax,G (2580) Tilburg 1989. Of course Black has no problems.}) 8... Ne5 9. Nge2 {White is close to completing his development but most of his minor pieces are developed unnaturally.} Nh5 $5 {Immediately questioning the safety of the bishop.} ({ Black could have also embarked the slow mode typical for the Maroczy structure: } 9... O-O 10. O-O a6 11. Rfd1 Nfd7 {[%csl Gc4,Gd3][%cal Gd7c5]} 12. b3 b5 $5 13. cxb5 Nxd3 14. Qxd3 axb5 15. Rac1 (15. Qxb5 Ba6 16. Qd5 Bxe2 17. Nxe2 Bxa1 18. Rxa1 Qa5 $17) 15... b4 16. Nd5 Nc5 (16... Rxa2 $2 17. Rxc8 $1) 17. Qe3 (17. Rxc5 dxc5 18. Nf6+ exf6 19. Qxd8 Rxd8 20. Rxd8+ Bf8 21. Bh6 Bb7 $11) 17... Bb7 $13) 10. Be3 Ng4 11. Bg5 h6 12. Bh4 g5 13. Bg3 Be6 {With a few more or less forced moves Black has ensured his control on the dark squares and the bishop pair. He has no problems at all.} 14. h3 (14. f3 Nxg3 15. hxg3 Ne5 16. b3 Qa5 17. Rc1 O-O-O $5 $15 {[%cal Gh6h5,Gc8b8,Gd8c8]}) 14... Ne5 ({Actually it was entirely possible (and most likely better) to keep a knight on e5:} 14... Nxg3 15. Nxg3 Ne5 {If Black feared} 16. Nh5 {but this is inoffensive:} Nxd3+ 17. Qxd3 Be5 18. g3 $6 Qa5 $36) 15. Bxe5 $1 {Aiming at keeping the h5-knight out of play. Other moves tend to hand over the initiative to Black.} (15. b3 Nxg3 16. Nxg3 b5 $5 17. cxb5 Rc8 18. Rc1 Qa5 19. Nge2 O-O 20. O-O Rc5 $36) (15. Nd5 Nxd3+ 16. Qxd3 Bxd5 17. exd5 Qa5+ 18. Qd2 Qxd2+ 19. Kxd2 Rc8 20. Rac1 Bxb2 21. Rb1 Bf6 22. Rxb7 Rxc4 23. Rxa7 O-O $15) 15... Bxe5 16. g3 {White has some chances to gain even more space but he needs to be careful.} Qa5 17. f4 $2 { Just careless.} (17. Rb1 $5 Rc8 18. b4 Qd8 19. Nd5 $13 {For instance} Qd7 $6 20. h4 $36 g4 $6 21. O-O $16 {White dominates the centre and Black will find it difficult transferring the king to a safe area.}) 17... Bxc3 $1 {[%csl Gg3]} 18. bxc3 (18. Nxc3 Nxg3 $19) 18... Qc7 19. fxg5 hxg5 20. Qxg5 Bxc4 21. Bxc4 Qxc4 $17 {White's structure is in ruins and Black's win should be a matter of elementary technique.} 22. Qd5 Qxd5 23. exd5 Rc8 24. Rb1 b6 25. Rb3 Nf6 26. Ra3 a5 27. Nf4 (27. Rb3 Nxd5 $19) 27... Rg8 28. c4 (28. g4 Rg5 $19) 28... Rxc4 29. Ke2 Ne4 30. g4 f5 31. Rg1 (31. gxf5 Ng3+) 31... fxg4 32. hxg4 Nc3+ 33. Kd3 Rxf4 34. Rxc3 Rgxg4 35. Rc8+ (35. Rxg4 Rxg4 $19 36. Rb3 $6 Rg3+) 35... Kf7 36. Rb1 Rd4+ 37. Ke3 Rxd5 38. Rxb6 Rg2 39. a4 Rg4 0-1 [Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.04"] [Round "3"] [White "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C84"] [WhiteElo "2791"] [BlackElo "2749"] [Annotator "Roiz,M"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2017.08.02"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "USA"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. a3 Na5 9. Ba2 c5 10. Nc3 Be6 11. Nh4 ({Previously, Maxim has sucessfully employed } 11. Bg5 O-O 12. Bxf6 Bxf6 13. Nd5 Nc6 ({Possibly,} 13... g6 $5 14. c3 Bg7 15. Ne3 c4 $132 {offers Black an adequate counterplay.}) 14. a4 g6 15. c3 Bg7 16. Ne3 b4 17. a5 bxc3 18. bxc3 Nxa5 19. Bxe6 fxe6 20. Qa4 Nb7 21. Rfb1 $36 { Vachier Lagrave,M - Piorun,K Caleta ENG 2017}) ({There is the quite harmless} 11. Nd5 Nxd5 12. Bxd5 Bxd5 13. exd5 O-O 14. b4 Nb7 15. c3 Qc7 16. Re1 f5 $132 { Anand,V -Adams,M Baden-Baden GER 2013}) 11... O-O 12. Nf5 Nc6 13. Nd5 $1 $146 { An ambitious continuation, which provoked Black to exchange the light-squared bishop.} (13. Bg5 Bxa2 14. Rxa2 Ne8 15. Be3 Bg5 16. Nd5 (16. Qg4 $5 Bxe3 17. fxe3 g6 18. Raa1 Kh8 19. Nh4 $14) 16... Bxe3 17. Nfxe3 Nf6 $11 {Hovhannisyan,R - Piorun,K Gjakova KOS 2016}) (13. Ne3 Nd7 14. Ncd5 Bg5 15. g3 Bxe3 16. Bxe3 Kh8 17. b4 Ne7 18. Nxe7 Qxe7 $11 {Timofeev,A - Matlakov,M Sochi RUS 2016}) 13... Bxf5 14. exf5 Nxd5 15. Bxd5 Rc8 {At the moment, White has full control over the light squares. On the other hand, the unfavourable change of pawn structure makes it hard to make use of the bishop pair.} 16. a4 $1 {Since Black's rook has left its initial spot, it definitely makes sense to open the a-file.} ({A less promising try was} 16. Qh5 Bf6 17. g4 h6 18. Kh1 (18. h4 Bxh4 19. Bxh6 gxh6 20. Qg6+ Kh8 21. Qxh6+ Kg8 22. Qg6+ Kh8 $11) 18... Bg5 19. Be3 Qf6 $132) 16... Bf6 ({Hardly better was} 16... b4 17. Be3 Bf6 18. c4 bxc3 ( 18... Ne7 19. Be4 d5 20. cxd5 Nxd5 21. Qb3 Nxe3 22. fxe3 $14) 19. bxc3 Ne7 20. Bb7 Rc7 21. Bxa6 Nxf5 22. Bd2 $14 {, and White's bishops would support the passer.}) 17. axb5 axb5 18. c4 $1 {There is a deep strategic idea behind this move - the stability in the centre favours White, who has a clear attacking plan on the k-side. At the same time, the d4-spot still doesn't fully belong to Black's knight.} ({The alternatives were much weaker:} 18. g4 Bg5 19. Be3 Bxe3 20. fxe3 Qg5 21. Qe2 Ne7 22. Bg2 d5 $132) (18. Be3 Nb4 19. Bf3 d5 20. c3 d4 $1 {is by no means worse for Black.}) 18... bxc4 $6 {Opening-up the d-file would expose the d6-pawn and invite fresh troubles.} ({However, White would be better in other cases too:} 18... Nd4 19. Qh5 Qe7 20. Ra2 h6 21. Be4 $14) ({Or } 18... Qd7 19. Qh5 Ne7 20. Be4 d5 21. cxd5 Nxd5 22. Qf3 Rfd8 23. Bd2 $14) 19. dxc4 Bg5 (19... Nd4 20. Qh5 Nb3 21. Ra6 Nxc1 22. Rxc1 $16) 20. Be3 Kh8 ({ The difference in the effectivity of the bishops is well illustrated in the following line:} 20... Nd4 $2 21. Bxd4 $1 exd4 (21... cxd4 22. b4 Qd7 23. Qf3 $18) 22. f4 Bf6 23. g4 h6 24. Ra3 $1 Qd7 25. g5 hxg5 26. Rh3 $18 {with a decisive attack.}) ({Nor does Black's position look attractive after} 20... h6 21. Ra6 Nd4 22. Qg4 $16) 21. Qh5 h6 $2 {Peter is trying to change the unfavourable course of the game, but Black doesn't get any compensation for the pawn.} ({The lesser evil was} 21... Bxe3 22. fxe3 f6 23. Rfd1 $1 Qb6 24. Qf3 Nb4 25. Be4 Rfd8 26. g4 $16 {Black's position lacks any adequate ideas, whereas White has a clear attacking plan.}) 22. Bxf7 Nd4 23. h4 ({Another decent way of handling the position was} 23. Bxd4 cxd4 24. b4 $1 e4 25. Be6 Rb8 26. b5 e3 27. fxe3 dxe3 28. Qe2 $18 {, and the b-passer should secure a win.}) 23... Bxe3 (23... Qe7 24. hxg5 Qxf7 25. Qxf7 Rxf7 26. g4 hxg5 27. Kg2 Kg8 28. Rh1 {should be winning for White, though the technical task might not be easy.} ) 24. fxe3 Qf6 25. Ra7 ({There was no reason for rejecting the natural} 25. Bg6 Nc2 26. Rac1 Nxe3 27. Rf3 {, trapping the knight. The play might continue:} Nxc4 28. Rxc4 d5 29. Rc2 e4 30. Re3 Rb8 31. Qe2 $18 {Despite the powerful central passers, Black's position is completely hopeless.}) 25... Ne2+ 26. Qxe2 ({Another possibility was} 26. Kh2 e4 27. Qxe2 Rxf7 28. Rxf7 Qxf7 29. Qg4 Qxc4 30. f6 $18) 26... Rxf7 27. Rxf7 Qxf7 28. Qg4 {White is a pawn up in a better position.} (28. g4 $1 {was simpler:} Qf6 29. g5 hxg5 30. Qh5+ Qh6 31. Qxg5 Rb8 32. Rf2 Rb3 33. Re2 Rb4 34. Rc2 Rb3 35. Kf2 $18) 28... Rb8 29. Ra1 $1 Qf6 30. Qe4 (30. Qg6 Qe7 31. h5 $18) 30... Kh7 {Despite some inaccuracies, White's position is still winning. Unfortunately, Maxim is committing a blunder and spoiling all the advantage.} ({The pawn was untouchable:} 30... Rxb2 31. Ra8+ Kh7 32. g4 $18) 31. Ra2 $2 ({The correct move was} 31. h5 $1 Rxb2 32. Ra8 d5 ( 32... Rd2 33. Kh2 Rb2 34. Kh3 $18) 33. Qg4 Qg5 34. Qxg5 hxg5 35. cxd5 Rd2 36. g4 Rxd5 37. Kf2 $18 {, and the resulting rook endgame is completely hopeless for Black - there are too many weaknesees.}) 31... h5 $1 {Now Black's king is much safer! It turns out, that there is no way to keep the extra pawn.} 32. Kh2 ({The best practical chance was:} 32. g3 Rf8 33. Ra6 Qxf5 34. Qxf5+ Rxf5 35. Rxd6 Rf3 36. Kg2 Rxe3 37. Rd5 {, but even then after} g5 $1 38. Rxc5 (38. hxg5 Re2+ 39. Kf3 Rxb2 40. Rxc5 Rc2 $11) 38... gxh4 39. gxh4 Kg6 40. b4 Kf5 41. b5 Rb3 42. Rc6 Kf4 {Black is obtaining sufficient counter-play.}) 32... d5 $1 { Now Black is safe.} 33. Qxd5 (33. cxd5 Rb4 34. Qf3 Qxh4+ 35. Qh3 Qg5 $11) 33... Qxh4+ 34. Kg1 Qe1+ 35. Kh2 Qh4+ 36. Kg1 Qe1+ 37. Kh2 Qxe3 {The character of play has drastically changed, so Peter pushes for more.} 38. Qf7 {The simplest. Now the game ends.} Qf4+ 39. Kh1 Qh4+ 40. Kg1 Qe1+ 41. Kh2 Qh4+ 42. Kg1 Qd4+ 43. Kh1 1/2-1/2 [Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.05"] [Round "4"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A34"] [WhiteElo "2822"] [BlackElo "2791"] [Annotator "Quintiliano,R"] [PlyCount "142"] [EventDate "2017.08.02"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "USA"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] {This very had fought game had a decisive influence in the final standings, as Vachier-Lagrave finished half point ahead of Carlsen and Anand, winning the Sinquefield Cup!} 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 {As usual, Carlsen deviates to the less played lines and aims just to get a game.} ({In the first round, Aronian played} 6. bxc3 g6 7. h4 $5 Bg7 8. h5 Nc6 9. Ba3 Qa5 {and now} 10. Rh4 $1 {Aronian,L (2809)-Nepomniachtchi,I (2742) 5th Sinquefield Cup 2017 (1.3) 1-0 an amusing way to develop the rook and at the same time indirectly to protect the a3-bishop, even Kasparov praised this idea! The exclamation point is for Aronian's wonderful imagination to find such ideas in his preparations -}) 6... Qxd1+ 7. Kxd1 {This position reminds us of one which can be reached in an Anti-Grünfeld, but in that line the pawn is oin e4. Such positions are, of course, objectively equal, but there are many plans to follow for each side, which means a strategic battle ahead. In his time, Ulf Andersson used to outplay strong opponents from these positions, providing nice examples of positional play.} Bf5 {Pretty natural, avoiding e4.} 8. Nd2 Nc6 9. e4 Bg6 $146 ({We have a nice recent example of how White can get an advantage in this apparently harmless position:} 9... Be6 10. Kc2 g6 11. Bc4 Bd7 $6 (11... Bxc4 $142 12. Nxc4 b5 $1) 12. Nb3 b6 13. a4 $1 Ne5 14. Bb5 a6 $6 (14... O-O-O $142 15. Bf4 Bg7 16. Ba6+ Kc7 17. a5 $36 Kc6 $5) 15. Bxd7+ Nxd7 ( 15... Kxd7 16. Bf4 Bg7 17. Rhd1+ Kc6 18. a5 $1 b5 19. Rd5 Nd7 20. Rad1 Ra7 21. Nxc5 $1 $18) 16. Be3 {[%cal Ga4a5] Now Black should always have to worry about a5} e6 (16... a5 17. Nd2 {[%csl Gb6][%cal Yd2c4]}) 17. Rhd1 O-O-O 18. Nd2 $1 { [%cal Yd2c4] after provoking b6, the knight come back to improve its position by manoeuvring to c4} Be7 19. Nc4 Kb7 20. a5 $16 {Radjabov,T (2724)-Svidler,P (2749) Geneva Grand Prix 2017 (7.2) 1-0}) 10. Bb5 Rc8 11. h4 h5 {This move is probably the best, avoiding White winning space on the kingside.} 12. Re1 e6 13. a4 $5 {One thing that seems remarkable to me in Magnus Carlsen's games, is how often he uses his rook pawns in order to generate ideas and try to force his opponents to make concessions.} Be7 ({For example, if Black rushes with} 13... a6 14. Bf1 $5 Be7 15. g3 O-O 16. a5 $1 Rfd8 (16... Bd8 17. Nc4) 17. Kc2 f6 18. Nc4 Bf7 19. Be3 $14) 14. g3 O-O 15. a5 Rfd8 {Vachier-Lagrave cleverly avoisd forceful or committal moves, and finishes the development with a good position.} 16. a6 (16. f4 $5 {[%cal Yf4f5]} Kf8 17. Ke2 {[%cal Ye2f2] was a good way to find a safe place for White's king.}) 16... b6 {Black has achieved a solid structure on the queenside, but White also has a stable position for his Bb5 and expects to exploit the a7-pawn in the future, as well as create pressure with the pieces on Black's pawns.} 17. Kc2 Ne5 $1 {This move makes White's development difficult, avoiding Nc4.} 18. f4 (18. Nc4 Nf3 19. Re2 Rd4 $3 {I don't know if the players saw this sacrifice, but the engine yes, and it is very beautiful!} 20. cxd4 Nxd4+ 21. Kd1 Nxb5 {Black has a great compensation here, for example} 22. f3 Nd4 23. Rf2 Rd8 24. Ke1 Nb3 25. Rb1 f5 $1 $36) 18... Ng4 {[%csl Yg4] The Black knight finds a nice post on g4.} 19. Kb3 {Again necessary to prepare Nc4.} (19. Nc4 Nf6 $1) 19... f6 {A good move to prevent another threat: f4-f5.} 20. Nc4 Nf2 (20... e5 {looks playable} 21. Bd2 Bf7 22. Kc2 Bd6 {with a good position.}) 21. e5 (21. f5 $5 {was another idea} Bf7 (21... Be8 22. Ka4 $5) 22. fxe6 Bxe6 23. e5 $5 {this is one way to try to open lines and get some initiative, but after} f5 {Black's position still looks pretty solid} (23... Kf7 {is also possible, but after} 24. exf6 gxf6 25. Re2 Nd3 26. Bh6 $1 {the only safe square for the bishop} Ne5 27. Rf1 Kg6 28. Bf4 Bd6 29. Bxe5 Bxe5 30. Ka4 Bxc4 31. Bxc4 $14 {it is clearly White who can play for a win in this endgame, with the better minor piece and the better pawn structure.})) 21... Ne4 22. Be3 Bf5 ({Of course not} 22... Nxg3 $2 23. Rg1) 23. Rg1 {The pawns are more or less blocked on both sides, and looks the sort of position where it is difficult for both players to make progress.} Rd5 24. Rae1 Kf7 25. Bc1 {[%csl Ge4][%cal Yc4e3] With his usual ability to keep improving his position, Magnus tries to disturb Black's setup by threating Ne3 or attacking the e4-knight, which is kind of trapped in e4.} Bh7 26. Re3 (26. g4 $1 {would be a timely opening of kingside} hxg4 27. Rxg4 Nf2 ( 27... Rcd8 28. Reg1 Bf8 29. Ne3 {[%csl Rd5] suddenly the rook has no squares!} c4+ $8 30. Bxc4 Ra5 31. f5 $1) 28. Rg3 Nd3 29. Reg1 Rg8 30. h5 $1 {and White's position is easier, for example} fxe5 31. fxe5 Nxe5 32. h6 $1 Bf6 (32... gxh6 33. Nxe5+ Rxe5 34. Rxg8 Bxg8 35. Bxh6 {[%cal Yg1g7]} Bf6 36. Bf4 $1 {[%cal Yf4b8]}) 33. hxg7 Rxg7 34. Rxg7+ Bxg7 35. Rf1+ Kg8 36. Nxe5 Bxe5 37. Re1 $16 { [%cal Yb5c4] Black's situation looks difficult, although maybe it is defensible.}) 26... Rcd8 {After this move, action begins!} (26... Nf2 {was safer} 27. Re2 Nd3 28. Be3 Bf5 $11) 27. Bc6 Nf2 $1 (27... Rd1 $2 28. Rxd1 Rxd1 29. Bxe4 Bxe4 30. Rxe4 Rxc1 31. Nxb6 $1 {reveals a nice point about the a6-pawn } axb6 32. Ra4 $1 (32. a7 $2 Ra1 33. Ra4 c4+ $1) 32... b5 33. a7 bxa4+ 34. Ka2 $18 {[%cal Ga7a8]}) 28. Re2 $1 {Magnus correctly refuses the Greek gift.} (28. Bxd5 $2 {gives a very active position for Black with the central pawns advancing strongly, and White's remaining pieces stay badly placed} exd5 29. Na3 (29. Nd2 Nd3 {[%cal Yc5c4,Ye7c5]} 30. Nf3 d4 31. Re2 c4+ $1 32. Kxc4 dxc3 33. exf6 (33. bxc3 Nxc1 34. Rxc1 Bd3+ $19) (33. Kxc3 Rc8+ 34. Kd2 Bb4+ $19) 33... Bxf6 34. bxc3 Nxc1 35. Ne5+ Bxe5 36. Rxe5 Nd3 $17) 29... Ng4 30. Ree1 Bd3 $17 {[%csl Ga6]}) 28... Nd3 29. exf6 (29. Bxd5 {is still bad} exd5 30. Na3 b5 $1 31. Ka2 (31. Nxb5 Nxc1+ 32. Rxc1 Bd3 $19) 31... Rb8 $17 {[%cal Yb8b6]}) 29... gxf6 30. Bb5 {Kind of a sad admission that the rook never can be accepted.} Rg8 31. Bd2 Rgd8 32. Be3 Be4 33. Rd2 Rg8 34. Ka4 Rgd8 35. Kb3 Rg8 36. Ka2 {Carlsen avoids repetition, but it still seems difficult to create something, as Black is very solid.} f5 {[%cal Ye7h4]} 37. Rh2 Rc8 38. Rd2 Rg8 39. Re2 $5 Bf3 {Vachier-Lagrave doesn't accept the provocation.} ({But he could have played} 39... Bxh4 40. Rh2 Bxg3 41. Rxh5 Rg7 $1 (41... Bxf4 $2 42. Rh7+ Kf8 43. Rxg8+ Kxg8 44. Rxa7 $16) 42. Rh8 {[%cal Yh8a8]} Bxf4 43. Ra8 { Black has a nice resource now} Rd7 $1 {[%cal Ye4a8]} 44. Bxd7 Bxa8 45. Bxe6+ $1 Kf6 46. Rxg7 Kxg7 47. Bxf5 Bxe3 48. Nxe3 (48. Bxd3 Bd5 $11) 48... Ne5 $11) 40. Rh2 Bf6 $6 {This move is careless, as now White can disturb the harmony of Black's position.} (40... Be4 $142 $11) 41. Nd2 $1 Bg4 (41... Be4 42. Nxe4 fxe4 43. Bc6 {now is a better version for White} Rc8 44. Bb7 $1 Rcd8 45. Kb1 $1 { [%cal Yc3c4] the point is that White is not forced to take on d5, but Black cannot retreat the rook without terrible consequences because of the e4-pawn} b5 46. g4 hxg4 47. Rxg4 b4 48. cxb4 Nxb4 49. Bxd5 exd5 50. Bxc5 Nxa6 51. Bxa7 d4 52. f5 $1 e3 53. Re4 $16 {[%csl Yf5,Yh4] Despite the material advantage, White has two healthy passed pawns.}) 42. Rf1 $1 {[%csl Gg4][%cal Yd2c4] Another strong move, leaving the g4-bishop with no moves and freeing again the Nd2.} Rgd8 43. Nc4 e5 $1 {Vachier-Lagrave is fighting on and tries to complicate matters.} (43... Kg6 44. Bc6 Kf7 45. Rd2 $16 {already looks very good for White.}) 44. fxe5 (44. Bc6 e4 $1 45. Bxd5+ Rxd5 {again gives enough compensation for Black, as White's rooks doesn't have open files to operate and all Black pieces are well placed.}) 44... Bxe5 $2 {But this move involves a variation which actually is a losing one for Black.} (44... Nxe5 {was the right move, but Black needs to find a very delicate variation} 45. Bf4 { [%cal Yc4e5,Gb5c4]} Kg7 $1 46. Ne3 c4 $1 47. Nxd5 (47. Bxc4 Ra5+ 48. Kb3 Nxc4 49. Kxc4 Rxa6 50. Nxg4 fxg4 51. Rhf2 $14) 47... Rxd5 48. Bxe5 Bxe5 49. Bxc4 Ra5+ 50. Kb1 Bxg3 51. Rd2 f4 {[%cal Yg4f5]} 52. b4 Re5 53. Rd8 $14 {White keeps chances to win, but Black is fighting.}) 45. Bg5 Bxg3 {The best practical chance.} (45... Rc8 46. Nxb6 $1 axb6 47. Bc4 Ke6 48. Rd2 $18) (45... Bf6 46. Bxf6 Kxf6 47. Bc6 $18 {[%csl Gd5]}) 46. Rg2 $2 {But this imprecision throws victory away.} (46. Rd2 $1 {was winning, Black has pratically no moves, for example} Rf8 (46... Bc7 47. Ka1 f4 48. Bxd8 Rxd8 49. Ne3 {[%csl Rd3,Rg4]} Bh3 50. Bxd3 Bxf1 51. Nxf1 $18) 47. Ka3 $1 {[%cal Yc4e3] preparing the simple Ne3, for example} (47. Ne3 Nc1+ 48. Rxc1 Rxd2 49. Nxg4 $18) 47... f4 48. Rxd3 Rxd3 49. Ne5+ $18) 46... Bh3 47. Rxg3 Bxf1 48. Rf3 $4 {But this is already losing.} (48. Bxd8 {still is a draw} Rxd8 (48... f4 $2 49. Rg1) 49. Rf3 Be2 50. Rxf5+ Kg6 51. Rg5+ Kf6 52. Na3 $11) 48... Be2 49. Bxd8 ({In the interview after the game, Vachier-Lagrave said Carlsen was counting on} 49. Re3 {now, which looks winning, but then Black has} f4 $1 50. Re7+ (50. Rxe2 Nc1+ { is the detail, as now the Bg5 is not guarding c1}) 50... Kg6 51. Rxa7 (51. Re6+ Kf5 52. Rf6+ Kg4 $19) 51... Rxg5 $1 52. hxg5 f3 53. Rb7 h4 {and after Black to eliminate the a7-pawn, the remaining passed pawns in kingside are unstoppable} 54. a7 Ra8 55. Nxb6 Rxa7+ 56. Rxa7 Nc1+ $1 57. Kb1 Bxb5 58. Kxc1 f2 $19) 49... Bxf3 {This endgame is winning for Black, although White still has some tricks to try.} 50. Bxb6 (50. Bc7 {[%csl Ga7][%cal Yc7b8] was the slow way} Ke6 51. Bb8 Nc1+ 52. Ka3 (52. Kb1 Rd1 53. Kc2 Rh1 {[%cal Gf3e4]} 54. Nd6 f4 $19) 52... Rd1 53. Bxa7 Nd3 $1 {[%cal Yd1a1,Yf3d1] suddenly creating a mating net around White's king} 54. Ka2 Bd5 55. b3 f4 56. Bxb6 f3 57. a7 f2 58. Ne3 Ba8 $1 $18 { [%cal Yd1e1]}) 50... axb6 51. Bc6 Be4 $1 {Again accurate, eliminating the pin.} 52. a7 (52. Nxb6 Rd8 53. Bxe4 fxe4 54. a7 e3 $19) 52... Rd8 53. Nd6+ {Carlsen tries all his chances in this desperate position.} Rxd6 $1 54. Bxe4 (54. a8=Q Rxc6 $19 {is totally hopeless for White.}) 54... Rd8 55. a8=Q Rxa8+ 56. Bxa8 $19 {This endgame is an easy win for Black and Vachier-Lagrave has no problems to convert the advantage.} Ne5 57. Kb3 f4 58. Kc2 Kg7 59. Kd2 Ng6 60. Kd3 Nxh4 61. Ke4 f3 62. Ke3 Kf6 63. b4 c4 $1 {The last precise move for Black, deflecting the bishop from the main diagonal.} (63... cxb4 64. cxb4 Kf5 65. Bb7 Kg4 66. Kf2 {could have offered serious chances for White, as is not possible to manoeuvre the knight without losing the f3-pawn.}) (63... Kg5 64. bxc5 bxc5 65. Bd5 Kg4 66. Kf2 {is the same as 63...cxb4.}) 64. Bd5 Kf5 65. Bxc4 Kg4 66. Kf2 Ng6 $1 {This move is possible now because the bishop is not attacking the f3-pawn anymore.} 67. Be6+ Kf4 68. Bf7 Ne5 69. Bxh5 Nd3+ 70. Kf1 Kg3 71. Bf7 Nf2 {A complicated strategic battle, where the World Champion was about to finish another memorable game, when the tactical nuances drastically turned the table, and Vachier-Lagrave, with great vision sfor the available resources, took his chances immediately and scored a crucial win.} 0-1 [Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.05"] [Round "4"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2742"] [BlackElo "2792"] [Annotator "Sumets,A"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2017.08.02"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "USA"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 c5 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Nxd5 exd5 10. Bd3 (10. a3 {is the main line, but nowadays it is considered as the drawish line. For instance this game} Nc6 11. Bd3 Bb6 12. O-O Bg4 13. h3 Bh5 14. b4 a6 (14... d4 $5 15. b5 Na5 16. exd4 Qd5 17. Re1 Rfe8 $6 ( 17... Bxf3 18. Qxf3 Qxf3 19. gxf3 Nb3 20. Rad1 Nxd4 21. Kg2 Rad8 {Black should equalise}) 18. Rxe8+ Rxe8 19. Rc1 (19. Rb1 $1 Bxf3 20. Qxf3 Qxf3 21. gxf3 Bxd4 22. Be4 $14) 19... Bxf3 20. Qxf3 Qxf3 21. gxf3 Nb3 22. Rc3 Nxd4 $11 {Huebner,R (2583)-Prusikin,M (2528) Switzerland SUI 2016 1-0 (70)}) 15. Rb1 d4 16. b5 (16. exd4 Nxd4 17. g4 Bg6 18. Bxg6 hxg6 $11) (16. e4 Bc7 17. Bxc7 Qxc7 18. Rc1 Qe7 $11) 16... axb5 17. Rxb5 Bxf3 18. Qb1 $1 Bc7 $1 19. Bxh7+ Kh8 20. gxf3 Bxf4 21. exf4 Ne7 22. Rh5 (22. Be4 f5 23. Bxf5 (23. Bxb7 Rb8 24. Rd1 Ng6 25. Rxf5 Nxf4 26. Qe4 Qh4 27. a4 d3 $1 (27... Nxh3+ $6 28. Kg2 Nf4+ 29. Qxf4 Qxf4 30. Rxf4 Rxf4 31. Rh1+ Kg8 32. Bd5+ Rf7 (32... Kf8 $4 33. Rh8+ $18) 33. Ra1 $16) 28. Bc6 Rxf5 29. Qxf5 Nxh3+ 30. Kg2 Nf4+ 31. Kg1 $11) 23... Nd5 24. Rxb7 Nxf4 25. Kh2 Qf6 $11) 22... Ra5 23. Bf5+ (23. Rxa5 Qxa5 24. Re1 Qxa3 25. Qxb7 Kxh7 26. Qxe7 Qxe7 27. Rxe7 Rd8 28. Kf1 d3 29. Ke1 d2+ 30. Kd1 Kg6 $11) 23... Kg8 24. Bh7+ Kh8 25. Bf5+ Kg8 26. Bh7+ {1/2 (26) Inarkiev,E (2727) -Nakamura,H (2786) Moscow RUS 2017}) 10... Bb4+ 11. Nd2 (11. Ke2 Nc6 12. Qc2 h6 13. Rhd1 Be6 14. Kf1 Rc8 15. Qe2 Bd6 16. Bxd6 Qxd6 17. Kg1 Ne5 18. Nd4 Ng4 19. Nf3 Ne5 {Bacrot, E (2700)-Sokolov,A (2594) 1/2 (42) France 2008. Black has got a slightly worse but very solid position.}) (11. Kf1 {This is a risky continuation. White wants to play h4, Ng5 and if Black plays ...h6 to prevent Ng5 then he will play Bc2, Qd3. You can find more about this line if you check the game Jobava,B -Rustemov Aeroflot op, which is annotated by Rustam Dautov.} Nc6 12. h4 Bd6 13. Bxd6 Qxd6 14. h5 Qf6 15. Rh4 Qxb2 16. Rb1 Qf6 17. Rf4 Qe7 18. h6 $6 g5 19. Ra4 (19. Rf5 Bxf5 20. Bxf5 Qf6 21. g4 Ne7 22. Nd4 Qxh6 $19 {Adianto,U (2615) -Mikhalevski,A (2485) Biel 1998 1/2 (57)}) 19... Qf6 20. Bb5 Rd8 {Black will gain the h6-pawn and White should try to prove that he has enough compensation for 2 pawns to equalise the game.}) 11... Nc6 12. O-O Be6 {I don't think that Black should hurry with ...Be6. After Nf3 he could have played ...Bg4. Let's examine other continuations:} (12... Bd6 {leads to passive and worse positions. For example} 13. Bxd6 Qxd6 14. Nb3 (14. Nf3 Ne5 (14... Bg4 $2 15. Bxh7+ $16) 15. Be2 Bd7 16. Qd4 Nc6 17. Qd2 Bg4 18. Rfd1 Rfd8 19. h3) 14... Be6 15. Bb5 Ne5 16. Be2 Rfd8 17. Nd4 Rac8 18. Qb3 b6 19. Rfd1 $14 {Pechac,J (2441) -Nowak,K (2318) Rymanow-Zdroj POL 2017 1-0 (49)}) (12... Be7 {I think that this is the strongest move. The bishop can achieve nothing on b4 and when compared with 12. ..Be6 13.Nf3 Be7 Black can meet Nf3 with ...Bg4. Hikaru played 12...Be7 in his next game against Magnus Carlsen.} 13. Rc1 (13. a3 Bf6 14. Nf3 (14. Qc2 g6 ( 14... h6 {is possible as well}) 15. Rac1 Be6 16. Nb3 Rc8 17. Nc5 Ne5 18. Bxe5 Bxe5 19. f4 Bg7 20. Nxe6 $11 {1/2 (20) Kortschnoj,V (2634)-Kasimdzhanov,R (2653) Bled 2002}) 14... Qe7 15. h3 g6 16. Qd2 Be6 17. Rac1 Rfd8 18. b4 a6 19. Rc2 Qd7 20. Rfc1 Bf5 21. Bxf5 Qxf5 22. Bc7 Rd7 23. Bb6 Qe4 24. Rd1 $14 { Giri,A (2771) -Karjakin,S (2781) Stavanger NOR 2017 1/2 (76)}) 13... Bf6 14. Nf3 Qe7 15. h3 g6 (15... Be6 $5 16. Qe2 Rac8) 16. Bb5 Bd7 17. Qxd5 Be6 18. Qe4 Bxb2 19. Bxc6 f5 20. Bg5 fxe4 21. Bxe7 Bxc1 22. Bxb7 Bxe3 23. Bxf8 Rxf8 24. fxe3 exf3 25. Bxf3 $14 {Carlsen, M (2822)-Nakamura,H (2792) Saint Louis USA 2017 1/2 (94)}) 13. Nf3 Be7 $146 (13... Bg4 {Black can play ...Be6 and ...Bg4, but everyone would try to play ...Bg4 in one move.} 14. h3 Bh5 15. Be2 Re8 16. Rc1 Be7 17. Ne5 Bxe2 18. Qxe2 Qb6 19. Rfd1 Rad8 20. Qc2 Nxe5 21. Bxe5 $14 { Gabriel, R (2255)-Klovans,J (2440) Schwaebisch Gmuend 1993 1-0 (54)}) 14. Rc1 Bf6 15. a3 $5 (15. Qd2 {White could have finished the developing of his pieces after Qd2, Rd1:} a6 16. h3 Rc8 17. b4 Qe7 (17... d4 18. Rfd1 $1 (18. e4 Be7 19. a3 Qd7 20. Rfd1 $14) 18... dxe3 (18... Qd5 19. a3 Rfd8 20. exd4 Nxd4 21. Nxd4 Qxd4 22. Rxc8 Rxc8 23. Bxh7+ Kxh7 24. Qxd4 Bxd4 25. Rxd4 {Black has good chances to make a draw.}) 19. Qxe3 Qe8 20. Qb6 Bd5 21. Ng5 Bxg5 22. Bxg5 $16) 18. a3 Rfd8 (18... d4 $2 19. Nxd4 Nxd4 20. exd4 Bxd4 21. Bxh7+ $16) 19. Rfe1 h6 20. Bb1 {White is slightly better.}) 15... Qe7 ({Of course Black shouldn't play } 15... d4 $6 {due to} 16. e4 Re8 17. e5 Be7 18. Nd2 $14) 16. b4 a6 17. h3 { Now Black is OK.} ({I'm not sure if Black can equalise after} 17. Nd4 $5 Nxd4 ( 17... Bxd4 18. exd4 Qf6 (18... Nxd4 $6 19. Be3 Nc6 20. Bc5 $16) 19. Be3 Bf5 20. Be2 Rfe8 21. Rc5 Rad8 22. Qd2 h6 23. Rfc1 $14) 18. Rc7 Qd8 19. exd4 b5 (19... Bxd4 $6 20. Bxh7+ Kxh7 21. Qxd4 b5 22. Rfc1 $16) 20. Qa1 Rc8 21. Rfc1 $14) 17... Rac8 18. Rc5 $5 {After 18.Qd2 the most likely result is a draw. So Ian chose another move that provokes ...a5.} (18. Qd2 Rfd8 19. Rfd1 h6 {White is better but Black's position is very solid.}) 18... a5 $5 (18... h6 {was possible as well:} 19. Qd2 Rfd8 20. Rfc1 Qe8 21. Bb1 Be7 22. Qd3 $1 g6 (22... Bxc5 $6 23. Qh7+ Kf8 24. bxc5 f6 25. Bd6+ Ne7 26. Rd1 $16) 23. Bxh6 d4 24. exd4 Bxc5 25. bxc5 Bd5 26. Nd2 $13) 19. Qb1 axb4 20. axb4 b6 $2 {It is not easy to understand why Hikaru didn't play 20...h6:} (20... h6 21. Rfc1 Ra8 {Black's position is not worse, he is threatening ...Ra1} 22. Qb3 (22. b5 Ra1 23. Qxa1 ( 23. Qc2 $4 Nb4 $19) 23... Bxa1 24. bxc6 bxc6 25. Rxc6 Bb2 26. Bd6 Qb7 27. Bxf8 Bxc1 28. Rxc1 Kxf8 {White should make a draw.}) 22... d4 23. Bc4 dxe3 24. Bxe3 Bxc4 25. Qxc4 $11) 21. Rcc1 g6 $2 (21... Nxb4 22. Bxh7+ Kh8 23. Bf5 Rc4 24. Ne5 Bxe5 25. Bxe5 $14 {It is obvious that White's position is better but Black's position is not hopeless.}) 22. Ba6 {White wins an exchange and game is over.} Nxb4 (22... Bf5 23. Qb3 Ne5 24. Bxc8 Nxf3+ 25. gxf3 Bxc8 26. Qxd5 $18) (22... Ra8 23. Rxc6 Rxa6 24. Bd6 Qd7 25. Bxf8 Kxf8 (25... Qxc6 26. b5 $18) 26. b5 $18) 23. Bxc8 Rxc8 24. Rxc8+ Bxc8 25. Rc1 $18 ({or} 25. Be5 Bxe5 26. Nxe5 $18) 25... Bf5 26. Qb3 Nd3 27. Rc7 Qd8 28. Bg3 h5 29. Qxb6 h4 30. Bd6 Be4 31. Qc6 Kg7 32. Rc8 d4 33. Qxe4 1-0 [Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.06"] [Round "5"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2783"] [BlackElo "2807"] [Annotator "Marin,M"] [PlyCount "57"] [EventDate "2017.08.02"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "USA"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Bc5 $5 {In the past this was played only occasionally. Players with Black probably thought that treating the Reversed Dragon (meaning with a tempo less for Black) in such an aggressive way would be too risky. The main idea of the last move is keeping the knight on d5 without allowing Nxe5 or d2-d4, usually offering White the initiative.} 7. O-O {A neutral developing move, intending keeping all the threats in the centre.} (7. Nxe5 {does not look too promising:} Nxc3 8. bxc3 ({One important point is that with the bishop on c5} 8. Nxc6 $2 {is impossible due to} Qf6 $19 {[%csl Gd1,Gf2]}) 8... Nxe5 9. d4 Bd6 $5 $146 (9... Ng4 {Schwierskott,M (2162)-Schmid,F (2087) Bayern 2003 (0-1, 68)} 10. f3) (9... Bb6 10. dxe5 Qxd1+ 11. Kxd1 c6 {Simurdova,Z (1730)-Pokorna,K (1410) Sec u Chrudimi 2008 (1-0, 45)} 12. f4 $16) 10. dxe5 Bxe5 11. Qxd8+ Kxd8 $11) 7... O-O {Fortunately, Black can answer with the same method.} (7... Be6 $2 {leaves b7 undefended:} 8. Nxe5 Nxe5 9. d4 Nxc3 10. bxc3 Bd6 11. dxe5 Bxe5 12. Bxb7 $16) 8. d3 (8. Nxe5 {still does not work.} Nxc3 9. bxc3 (9. Nxc6 Nxd1 10. Nxd8 Bxf2+ $1 $15) 9... Nxe5 10. d4 Bd6 11. dxe5 Bxe5 $11) ({There have been some developments after} 8. Nxd5 Qxd5 9. d3 (9. Ng5 Qd8 10. Nxh7 Re8 {[%cal Gf7f6, Gc5e7]} 11. Ng5 Qxg5 12. Bxc6 bxc6 13. d4 Qh5 14. dxc5 e4 $44 {Aronian,L (2799) -Caruana,F (2807) Saint Louis 2017 (1-0, 52)}) 9... Bb6 10. b4 e4 $5 {It looks like a good idea to use the temporary activity of the queen and dark-squared bishop for fighting for the initiative. Otherwise White may be simply better.} (10... a5 $5) (10... Nxb4 11. Bb2 e4 12. Ne5 $14) (10... Re8 11. Bb2 Qd6 12. b5 Nd4 13. a4 a6 14. a5 Bc5 15. bxa6 Rxa6 16. Nd2 Qg6 17. e3 $14 Bg4 18. f3 $16 { Gelfand,B (2729)-Inarkiev,E (2702) Nazran 2017 (1-0, 50)}) 11. Ng5 Qd4 12. Be3 Qxb4 13. Nxe4 Bxe3 ({Improving over a game played between the same players one week earlier:} 13... Bg4 14. h3 Bh5 15. Rb1 Qe7 16. Qd2 $14 {Nakamura,H (2792) -Karjakin,S (2773) Saint Louis 2017 (1/2-1/2, 34)}) 14. fxe3 Qe7 {The central pawns are not necessarily strong as Black might have feared in the first game. They could easily become weak.} 15. Qd2 Ne5 16. Rac1 c6 17. Nc5 Ng4 18. e4 b6 19. Na4 {Nakamura,H (2792)-Karjakin,S (2773) Saint Louis (blitz) 2017 (1-0, 53) } Qd7 $15 {[%cal Gc6c5,Gf8d8,Gc8b7]}) 8... Bb6 ({This prophylactic move surely is better than} 8... Be6 9. Ng5 Nxc3 10. bxc3 $14 Bd5 11. e4 $16) ({But it is not clear how to get an advantage after a neutral move such as} 8... h6 { One possible continuation is} 9. Nxd5 Qxd5 10. Nd2 Qe6 11. b3 {[%cal Gc1b2, Ga1c1] with pleasant play, even though not necessarily better an objective advantage.}) 9. Bd2 ({This apparently modest developing move is more constructive than} 9. Na4 {, aiming to take the bishop pair, but neglecting the development and control in the centre.} Re8 10. a3 (10. Bg5 Qd6 11. Nd2 Qg6 12. Ne4 Bg4 13. h3 Be6 14. Bd2 Rad8 15. Kh2 Kh8 16. a3 f5 17. Nec5 Bc8 18. b4 e4 $15 {Eljanov,P (2739)-Grischuk,A (2761) Geneve 2017 (0-1, 38), with perfect regrouping and active play in the centre.}) 10... Nd4 11. e3 Nxf3+ 12. Qxf3 c6 13. b4 Be6 14. Bb2 Qd7 15. Qe2 Bg4 16. Qc2 Bh3 $11 {Gelfand,B (2728)-Adams,M (2736) Geneve 2017 (1/2-1/2, 24)}) 9... Bg4 $146 ({I am not sure to which extent this improves over} 9... Be6 10. Ng5 Nxc3 11. bxc3 (11. Nxe6 {leads to interesting play:} Nxe2+ 12. Qxe2 fxe6 13. Bxc6 bxc6 14. Qxe5 Qxd3 15. Qxe6+ Kh8 16. Bf4 Rae8 17. Qxc6 Re2 18. Rad1 Bxf2+ $6 19. Kh1 Qf5 20. Rd2 $14 { But in this line 18...Qa6 looks better, threatening ...Bxf2+ and ...Qxa2 simultaneously.}) 11... Bd7 12. c4 {White's position after the last exchange looks at least more pleasant. True, there was no need to help the knight improve its position with the following series of pawn moves.} h6 13. Ne4 f5 14. Nc3 f4 15. Rb1 Qc8 16. Ne4 $14 {Adzic,S (2130)-Nemeth,H (1648) Hungary 2012 (1-0, 31)}) 10. Rc1 ({It remains an open question why not} 10. h3 Be6 ( 10... Bh5 11. g4 Bg6 12. Nxe5 Nxc3 13. Bxc3 {wins a pawn. The kingside weakness does not seem to fully compensate for it.}) 11. Ng5 {with similar play to that in the previous line. The weakness induced by h2-h3 does not seem to be so telling.}) 10... Nxc3 {This looks like a concession, but Caruana was probably not satisfied by the alternatives.} (10... Qd7 $2 11. Nxe5 $16) (10... f6 11. Qb3 (11. Nxe5 $2 Nxc3 12. Nxc6 Nxd1 13. Nxd8 Nxf2 $17) 11... Be6 12. Ng5 fxg5 13. Bxd5 $14) (10... Re8 11. h3 Bh5 12. Nxd5 Qxd5 {[%csl Ga2]} 13. a4 $5 { [%cal Gb2b4]} a5 14. g4 Bg6 15. Nh4 {with pleasant play on the light squares.}) 11. Bxc3 ({With the bishop on d2 the knight has not enough space for manoeuvring:} 11. bxc3 Qd7 12. Ng5 (12. c4 Bc5 13. Ng5 Nd4 14. Re1 Rad8 15. Ne4 Be7 $15) 12... f6 $1 $15) 11... Re8 12. b4 {Black is actively developed but White can start his queenside play without loss of time.} Qd6 {This logical move does not receive the engines' approval. But the recommended invasion of the d4-square tends to leave the b6-bishop out of play:} (12... Nd4 13. Bxd4 exd4 14. a4 c6 (14... a6 {may be better but Black's bishop does not impress after} 15. Re1 {[%cal Gf3d2]}) 15. a5 Bc7 16. a6 $36) (12... a5 13. b5 Nd4 14. Bxd4 exd4 15. a4 {[%csl Gb6,Gb7][%cal Gf1e1,Gf3d2,Gd2c4] In the long run White's position may prove easier to play.}) 13. Nd2 Qh6 {Trying to keep the possibility of a central counter-attack.} (13... Rad8 14. Nc4 Qe6 15. a4 $36) 14. Nc4 (14. a4 Rad8 15. Nc4 $6 e4 $17) 14... Qh5 15. Rc2 {This rook lift works out well in similar positions, but here it may not be strongest, since there is no immediate way of activating the queen.} (15. Re1 Rad8 16. Qc2 Bh3 17. Bh1 $14 {The last move reveals another merit of 15.Re1.}) 15... Rad8 16. Nxb6 cxb6 (16... axb6 17. b5 Nd4 18. Bxd4 exd4 19. Re1 Qxb5 20. Rxc7 $14) { White has got the bishop pair and the better structure but he needs to play carefully as Black is very active.} 17. f3 {Due to White's choice on move 15 there was no other way of reducing Black's pressure in the centre.} (17. Rd2 b5 18. a4 a6 19. axb5 axb5 20. Qc2 Bh3 21. Bf3 Bg4 $11) 17... Be6 18. Qd2 b5 19. f4 {The best way of putting the bishop pair to work.} Bg4 $6 {Obviously missing White's 22nd move or the 26th move in the next comment.} ({Pawn reaction in the centre would not offer full equality:} 19... exf4 20. Rxf4 $36) ({or} 19... f6 20. fxe5 fxe5 21. Qe3 $14) ({But Black could try} 19... Bd5 { for instance} 20. e4 Bc4 21. Bf3 Qh3 22. Be2 f6 $11 {Both sides will find it difficult to make progress in this static position.}) 20. Bxc6 $1 {Winning a pawn which will not be as easy to retrieve as Caruana thought.} bxc6 21. fxe5 f6 {Does Black really retrieve the pawn?!} 22. exf6 $3 {People may have started forgetting that not such a long time ago (a couple of decades) Anand entered the top arena as a brilliant combinative player.} Rxe2 23. f7+ Kf8 24. Bxg7+ $1 Kxg7 25. Qc3+ Re5 ({The hidden point of the combination is that} 25... Qe5 {runs into} 26. Rxe2 $3 Qxc3 27. Re8 Qd4+ 28. Rf2 Qxb4 29. f8=Q+ Qxf8 30. Rfxf8 Rxd3 31. Rg8+ {The manoeuvre initiated by this move wins the a7-pawn by force.} Kf7 32. Ref8+ Ke7 33. Ra8 Bf5 34. Rxa7+ $18 {Pawns are equal and even though his king is temporarily passive, White should convert his clear extra exchange.}) 26. Qd4 $1 Qg5 27. Rc5 $1 Rxd4 28. f8=Q+ Kg6 29. Qf7+ (29. Qf7+ Kh6 30. Rf6+) 1-0 [Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.06"] [Round "5"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B09"] [WhiteElo "2773"] [BlackElo "2742"] [Annotator "Marin,M"] [PlyCount "120"] [EventDate "2017.08.02"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "USA"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. f4 Bg7 5. Bd3 ({Karjakin's personal way of avoiding} 5. Nf3 c5 {As a curiosity, he frequently gets good positions out of the opening but his overall results are poor. And I also remember him winning only when his position was at least precarious on the way. I wonder why Carlsen did not consider using the Pirc at least once in the match.}) 5... O-O ({This allows White to fully transpose to a normal line without ...c7-c5. The critical move order is} 5... Nc6 {examined in the comments to the game mentioned below.}) 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be2 $5 {A very rare move, implying the loss of a tempo. But since Black's only constructive plan after ...Nc6 is ...e7-e5, White can afford to take measures against it.} (7. e5 {Karjakin,S (2785)-Van Wely,L (2695) Wijk aan Zee 2017 CBM 177 [Marin,M] (1-0, 50)}) 7... Bg4 { The most natural move.} ({The idea behind White's last move is meeting} 7... e5 $6 {with} 8. dxe5 dxe5 9. Qxd8 Rxd8 10. fxe5 Ng4 11. Nb5 {more or less winning the pawn since} Rd7 $6 {allows} 12. e6 fxe6 13. Ng5 $16) (7... d5 8. e5 Ne4 9. O-O $14 {fails to solve the problem of Black's g7-bishop and c6-knight.}) 8. Be3 ({Objectively} 8. d5 {should be OK, but practically it offers Black a clear plan for regrouping:} Nb8 9. O-O c6 10. Be3 cxd5 11. exd5 Na6 12. h3 Bxf3 13. Bxf3 Nd7 14. Re1 Rc8 15. Bd4 Rc4 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. Qc1 Qb6+ 18. Kh2 Re8 19. Be2 Rcc8 20. Bb5 Nab8 $13 {De Firmian,N (2490)-Haik,A (2455) Biel 1986 (1-0, 58)}) 8... Bxf3 {Usually exchanging the bishop without being forced to is a concession. This situation is no exception, even though concretely the last move is not bad.} (8... Nd7 {is probably not the best} 9. Nd2 ({The critical move is} 9. e5 $1) 9... Bxe2 10. Nxe2 {Karavitaki,A (1075)-Darviri,C Porto Rio 2016 (0-1, 53)} e6 $11 {[%cal Gc6e7]}) ({But Black could carry out the central break at once:} 8... e5 9. fxe5 dxe5 10. dxe5 ({The point is that} 10. d5 { can be answered with} Nd4 $11 {anyway, for instance:} 11. Nxd4 exd4 12. Bxd4 Bxe2 13. Qxe2 Nxe4 $1 $15 14. Bxg7 $6 Nxc3 15. Bxc3 Re8 16. Be5 Qxd5 $17) 10... Nd7 11. Bg5 Qe8 $11 12. Nd5 $2 Bxf3 $1 {Now this makes sense in order to prepare the next move.} 13. gxf3 Qxe5 14. Bf4 Qxb2 $17) 9. Bxf3 e5 10. fxe5 dxe5 11. d5 Nd4 $11 {With such a knight in the centre Black cannot have problems in any way. It is not clear what went wrong with Karjakin's preparation, but as mentioned before this looks like a general symptom.} 12. O-O (12. Bxd4 $2 exd4 13. Ne2 (13. Qxd4 Nxe4 $1 $17) 13... Nxe4 $1 14. Bxe4 Qh4+ 15. Ng3 Be5 $17) 12... c6 ({I would also consider} 12... Ne8 {[%cal Ge8d6, Gf7f5]}) 13. dxc6 bxc6 14. Ne2 {Karpov,A (2700)-Spassky,B (2650) Candidates sf1 1974 (9) 1-0 You may agree that the solution chosen by Karjakin to expell the irritating knight is by far less elegant and effective than in the classic game} Qc7 15. c3 Nxf3+ 16. gxf3 Nh5 $15 {Both sides have weaknesses but Black is slightly better developed and his play a bit more natural.} 17. Qd3 Rfd8 18. Qc4 Rd7 19. Rad1 Rad8 20. Rxd7 Rxd7 21. b4 Qd6 {Since on the next move Nepomniachtchi will return with the queen, it makes sense to look for alternatives.} (21... Bf6 $5 {prepares ...Bg5 which would greatly improve Black's position, but apparently White retains drawing chances:} 22. Qa6 Qd8 23. Qxc6 Bg5 24. f4 $1 (24. Bf2 Rd2 $19) 24... Nxf4 25. Nxf4 Bxf4 26. Bxf4 exf4 27. e5 $132) 22. Qa6 Qc7 ({When playing his previous move Black might have overestimated his chances after} 22... Qd3 23. Qxd3 Rxd3 24. Bxa7 Rd2 25. Nc1 Nf4 26. a4 $13 {but then changed his mind.}) 23. a4 Bf6 $1 {Even with two missing tempi this plan offers Black the initiative.} 24. a5 Kg7 25. Qc4 { It suddenly appears that the tempi loss is relative as the white queen was doing little on a6.} h6 26. a6 Bg5 27. Bxg5 hxg5 28. Qc5 Kg8 {Black's idea remains a mystery to me.} (28... Rd2 $5 29. Rf2 Qd6 30. Qxd6 (30. Qxa7 Qd3 31. Ng3 Nf4 $19) 30... Rxd6 31. Ng3 Rd1+ 32. Rf1 Rd3 33. Nxh5+ gxh5 34. c4 Rb3 35. Rd1 Rxb4 36. Rd7 Rxc4 37. Rxa7 Ra4 {seems to offer more chances than the game ending.}) 29. b5 $5 {Not an easy decision to take. White is heading for a rook ending with a pawn down, in order to secure a draw.} (29. Qe3 {[%csl Gd2,Gg5]} Qd8 $19 {[%cal Gd7d2]}) 29... cxb5 30. Qxc7 Rxc7 31. Rb1 Rc5 32. Rd1 Nf4 33. Nxf4 gxf4 34. Rd7 Rxc3 35. Kg2 Rc2+ 36. Kg1 (36. Kh3 Rf2 {looks more problematic.}) 36... Ra2 37. Rxa7 Kg7 38. Rb7 Rxa6 39. Rxb5 {Even though Black's structure looks more compact White does not have reasons to worry.} Kf6 40. h4 Ke6 41. Rb7 f5 42. exf5+ gxf5 43. h5 e4 44. h6 e3 45. h7 Ra8 46. Kf1 Kf6 47. Ra7 Rh8 48. Ke2 Kg6 49. Ra4 Rxh7 (49... Kg5 50. Ra7 Kh4 51. Rg7 $11) 50. Rxf4 Kg5 51. Ra4 Re7 (51... f4 52. Ra5+ $8 (52. Ra8 Rh2+ $19) 52... Kf6 (52... Kh4 53. Rf5 $11) 53. Ra6+ Ke5 54. Ra5+ Kd6 55. Ra6+ Kc5 56. Ra4 $11) 52. f4+ Kg4 53. Rb4 Kg3 54. Ra4 Rb7 55. Kxe3 Re7+ 56. Kd2 Kf3 57. Kd1 Re8 58. Rb4 Rh8 59. Rb5 Rh5 60. Ke1 Kxf4 1/2-1/2 [Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.08"] [Round "6"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D38"] [WhiteElo "2809"] [BlackElo "2810"] [Annotator "Krasenkow,M"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2017.08.02"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "USA"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bxf6 Qxf6 7. Qa4+ Nc6 8. e3 O-O 9. Be2 {This is less favourable here than after} (9. Rc1 Rd8 $6 { The development of White's rook is more useful, and the f7-point becomes vulnerable in some lines (see Navara - Leko in this issue).}) 9... dxc4 (9... Bd7 $5 {is another common move.}) 10. O-O Bxc3 (10... Bd7 {is more accurate} 11. Bxc4 $140 Bxc3 12. bxc3 {avoiding the game line.}) (10... a6 11. Bxc4 { is hardly satisfactory for Black, as tournament practice shows.}) 11. bxc3 Bd7 (11... e5 {doesn't solve Black's problems:} 12. Qxc4 exd4 (12... Rd8 13. dxe5 Qe7 14. Rfd1 Re8 15. Qf4 a6 16. Bc4 Be6 17. Bd3 Rad8 18. Nd4 $16 {1-0 (65) Ragger,M (2655)-Paikidze,N (2411) Moscow 2012}) (12... Bf5 13. dxe5 Nxe5 14. Qxc7 Nd3 15. Rad1 $16 {1-0 (27) Moranda,W (2559)-Rosenthal,D (2413) Germany 2013}) (12... Qd6 13. Rfd1 Re8 14. Qa4 Qe7 15. Bb5 Bd7 16. Nxe5 Nxe5 17. dxe5 c6 18. Be2 Bf5 19. f4 $16 {1-0 (52) Zhukova,N (2456)-Khurtsilava,I (2212) Chakvi 2015}) 13. cxd4 Bg4 (13... Rd8 14. Rab1 $5) 14. Rab1 Qd6 15. Rfc1 Rab8 16. Qc3 Rfc8 17. h3 Bf5 18. Rb5 Ne7 19. Ne5 $14 {1/2 (84) Gavrilov,A (2425) -Rzayev,B (2400) Prague 2016}) 12. Qxc4 (12. Bxc4 {leads to the line usually arising after 10...Bd7. It is more comfortable for Black, who can easily neutralise White's small edge:} Rfd8 (12... Qe7 13. Qc2 $5 (13. Be2 e5 (13... b6 14. Qb3 Rac8 15. Rfd1 Na5 16. Qb2 c5 $11 {0-1 (47) Fressinet,L (2687)-Giri, A (2782) Paris 2016}) 14. Qb3 b6 15. Qc4 Rac8 16. Nd2 Na5 17. Qb4 c5 18. Qa3 Rfe8 $11 {1-0 (62) Fedoseev,V (2601)-Aleksandrov,A (2586) Khanty-Mansiysk 2013} ) 13... Na5 14. Bd3 c5 15. Ne5 Rfd8 16. f4 Be8 17. Qf2 (17. Qe2 Rac8 18. f5 f6 19. Ng4 {0-1 (44) Hansen,C (2621)-Hammer,J (2665) Oslo 2015} h5 20. Nf2 e5 $1 { I.Stohl}) 17... Nc6 18. Qg3 f5 19. Nf3 Rac8 20. Qf2 cxd4 21. exd4 Qa3 22. Qd2 Bh5 $11 (22... Ne7 $143 23. Rac1 Bh5 24. Ne5 Nd5 25. Bc4 b5 26. Bb3 $14 { 1/2 (32) Ribli,Z (2555)-Movsesian,S (2677) Munich GER 2016})) 13. Qc2 (13. Qa3 Qe7 14. Qxe7 (14. Qb2 Na5 15. Bd3 c5 16. e4 Be8 17. Rad1 cxd4 18. cxd4 Rac8 $11 {1/2 (67) Shankland,S (2661)-Aronian,L (2770) Tsaghkadzor 2015}) 14... Nxe7 15. Ne5 (15. a4 c5 16. Rfb1 Rab8 17. Ne5 Be8 18. a5 Rdc8 19. Bb5 Rc7 20. Bxe8 Rxe8 21. Nd3 cxd4 22. cxd4 Nd5 $11 {1/2 (45) Sargissian,G (2679)-Fressinet,L (2702) Douglas 2015}) 15... Be8 16. Rfb1 Rab8 17. a4 b6 18. a5 Nc6 19. Nxc6 Bxc6 20. f3 Kf8 21. Kf2 Ke7 22. Be2 f6 $11 {1/2 (46) Navara,D (2730)-So,W (2773) Wijk aan Zee 2016}) (13. Be2 Be8 (13... e5 $5 14. Qb3 b6 15. Rfd1 Bf5 $132 {I.Stohl} ) 14. Qa3 Qe7 15. Qb2 b6 (15... Na5 16. Qb4 $5 Qxb4 17. cxb4 Nc6 18. Rab1 $14 { 1-0 (58) Topalov,V (2798)-Aronian,L (2780) Stavanger 2015 CBM 167 [Stohl,I]}) 16. Nd2 Na5 17. Nb3 Nxb3 18. axb3 a5 $11 {1/2 (32) Vachier Lagrave,M (2731) -Aronian,L (2765) Saint Louis 2015}) 13... Na5 14. Be2 (14. Bd3 c5 15. Ne5 Be8 16. f4 Rac8 17. Qf2 cxd4 18. cxd4 Qe7 $13 {1/2 (50) Sanikidze,T (2537) -Libiszewski,F (2533) Drancy 2016}) 14... c5 15. Ne5 Be8 16. Qe4 Nc6 17. f4 Rac8 18. Rad1 Qe7 19. c4 f5 20. Nxc6 Bxc6 21. Qe5 cxd4 22. Rxd4 Kf7 23. Rfd1 g6 $11 {1/2 (35) Bu Xiangzhi (2711)-Le Quang Liem (2712) Ho Chi Minh City VIE 2017 }) 12... Rac8 (12... Rfd8 13. Nd2 (13. Bd3 $5 {[%cal Yd3e4]}) (13. Rab1 $5) 13... Rac8 14. Nb3 Qe7 15. a4 a5 16. Bf3 $14 {1-0 (43) Ushenina,A (2438) -Milliet,S (2356) Reykjavik 2015}) 13. Rad1 (13. Bd3 $5 {[%cal Yd3e4]}) 13... Rfd8 14. Nd2 (14. Qb3 Na5 15. Qa3 b6) 14... Na5 15. Qb4 b6 16. Ba6 Rb8 17. Ne4 Qf5 18. Bd3 Bc6 19. f3 Bxe4 $2 {[%mdl 16384] A positional mistake. Black trades his strong bishop and opens up the f-file for White.} (19... Nb7 $14 { [%cal Yf5a5]}) 20. fxe4 Qg5 21. Rf3 c5 22. Qb2 e5 23. Rdf1 $1 cxd4 24. cxd4 Rb7 25. d5 {[%csl Ra5]} Rc7 26. h4 $1 {Black loses his crucial e5-pawn, after which White's central pawn avalanche starts crushing his position.} Qxh4 (26... Qh5 27. Rf5) 27. Qxe5 Qe7 (27... Re7 28. Qc3 Nb7 29. e5 $1 Rxd5 30. Qb3 $16 { [%csl Rf7]}) 28. Qg3 Qc5 $2 {[%mdl 8192] This loses at once.} (28... Qd6 { was more stubborn but after} 29. e5 $1 Qxd5 30. e6 Qd6 $8 31. Bh7+ $1 Kxh7 32. Qxd6 Rxd6 33. exf7 Rd8 34. f8=Q Rxf8 35. Rxf8 $16 {White kept good winning chances.}) 29. Rf6 $1 {[%cal Rf6h6]} h5 (29... Kf8 30. Rg6 $1 Qc3 31. e5 Qxd3 32. Rxg7 $18) 30. Rh6 $1 Qc3 31. Rxh5 g6 32. e5 $1 (32. e5 Qxd3 33. Qh4 gxh5 34. Qxd8+ $18) 1-0 [Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.08"] [Round "6"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B96"] [WhiteElo "2807"] [BlackElo "2791"] [Annotator "Quintiliano,R"] [PlyCount "60"] [EventDate "2017.08.02"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "USA"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 {The 6.Bg5 variation has always been a very aggressive and principled weapon against the Najdorf, but in the last two years we have seen its practice growing considerably among the elite, Caruana being the one who has presented more interesting and dangerous ideas for White. In this game, he again manages to surprise his opponent, no less than one of the greatest world specialists in the Najdorf with the Black pieces.} e6 (6... Nbd7 {is an interesting option for Black, but curiously MVL never gave a chance to this move.}) 7. f4 h6 { MVL likes this move before ...Qb6.} (7... Qb6 {used to be the main move, and at the level of these guys, theory was so deeply developed that the likely result seems to be a draw. Until recently, when Caruana showed his prepararions and played} 8. Qd3 $5 Qxb2 9. Rb1 Qa3 10. f5 Be7 11. fxe6 fxe6 12. Be2 Qa5 13. Bd2 Qc7 14. g4 h6 15. Rg1 $5 $146 {Caruana had studied this simple-looking but interesting move} (15. Qh3 {[%cal Gg4g5];Gashimov,V (2759) -Grischuk,A (2736) WchT 7th Bursa 2010 (4.1) 0-1 is one of the points behind 8. Qd3, and was played in one of the most fascinating games that I've ever seen -} ) 15... Bd7 (15... Nc6 16. g5 $6 {Hector,J (2497)-Sagit,R (2406) SWE-ch Stockholm 2017 (5) 0-1} Nxd4 17. Qxd4 hxg5 18. Rxg5 Kf8 $15) 16. g5 hxg5 17. Rxg5 Nc6 $6 {Black focussed just on finishing his development as soon as possible, but he missed an important idea for White in this process} (17... Rh7 $5) 18. Rxg7 O-O-O $2 (18... Nxd4 19. Qxd4 Rf8 20. Rb3 $1 {a mysterious move, which I'm totally sure Caruana had prepared, as the rook can be useful in the third rank for attacking purposes either if Black keeps his king in the centre, or if he plays 0-0-0}) 19. Ncb5 $1 {after this unexpected blow, Black needs to find the correct defence to keep things even} axb5 20. Nxb5 Ne5 $8 (20... Qb8 21. Rxe7 $1) 21. Nxc7 Nxd3+ 22. cxd3 Ng8 $2 (22... Rxh2 $1 23. Rxe7 Rh1+ 24. Bf1 Rf8 $1 {[%csl Gc7][%cal Yf8f1,Yh1f1] and Black is regaining the piece} 25. Rc1 Kb8 26. Nxe6 (26. Ke2 Rh2+ 27. Ke3 e5 $1 {[%cal Gf6g4] is even dangerous for White}) 26... Bxe6 27. Bh6 $1 Rxh6 28. Rxe6 Rh1 29. Kd2 (29. Ke2 Ng4) 29... Nxe4+ 30. dxe4 Rhxf1 31. Rxf1 Rxf1 32. Rxd6 Kc7 $11 {and the variation ends in a drawish endgame. Modern theory!}) 23. Na8 $1 Kb8 24. Nb6 Bc6 25. Bf4 $16 { Caruana,F (2808)-Nakamura,H (2785) Norway Chess 5th 2017 (9) 1-0 and White converted his material advantage -}) 8. Bh4 Qb6 9. a3 Be7 10. Qd3 $5 $146 { Caruana's new idea for this game, but actually it is not his idea, as he said in the interview after game that it was a suggestion of his friend, Norwegian GM Torbjorn Hansen.} ({Earlier this year, another game between the same players went} 10. Bf2 Qc7 11. Qf3 Nbd7 12. O-O-O b5 13. g4 Bb7 ({Caruana won another beautiful game against} 13... g5 14. h4 gxf4 15. Be2 $1 b4 16. axb4 Ne5 17. Qxf4 Nexg4 18. Bxg4 e5 {and Caruana now played} 19. Qxf6 $1 Bxf6 20. Nd5 Qd8 21. Nf5 $1 {[%csl Gd5,Gf5][%cal Yf2b6] a surprisingly strong queen sacrifice, as it's very difficult for Black's pieces to find good squares, especially the queen} Rb8 $2 22. Nxf6+ Qxf6 23. Rxd6 $16 {Caruana,F (2823) -Nakamura,H (2779) London Classic 8th 2016 (6) 1-0}) 14. h4 d5 $1 {A typical Sicilian counter-blow in the centre for Black} 15. e5 Ne4 {Caruana,F (2817) -Vachier Lagrave,M (2803) Grenke Chess Classic 4th 2017 (5) 1/2-1/2 and Black is in the way to get a good position -}) 10... Nbd7 {Cautious, Vachier-Lagrave avoids the complicated lines which mean stepping along a totally unknown path.} (10... Nxe4 $5 {leads to interesting positions} 11. Bxe7 Nxc3 (11... Qxb2 $5 { seems kind of risky, but actually Black is not worse in the ensuing complications} 12. Nxe4 Qxa1+ 13. Kf2 Kxe7 14. Nf5+ $1 exf5 15. Qxd6+ Ke8 16. Bb5+ $1 axb5 17. Rxa1 fxe4 18. Qe5+ Kd8 19. Rd1+ Bd7 20. Qxg7 Re8 {and despite White's temporary activity, and some pawns dropping on the kingside, Black has too many pieces for the queen} 21. Qxf7 Rxa3 {it's likely that Caruana had studied this endgame a lot, but I like Black's chances}) 12. Qxc3 (12. Bxd6 $5) 12... Kxe7 13. O-O-O Rd8 {White seems to have enought compensation for the pawn, as he can develop a quick initiative on the kingside} 14. g4 $5 Nc6 15. Bg2 Nxd4 16. Rxd4 Bd7 17. Rhd1 Rac8 18. Qd2 d5 19. f5 $40) (10... Qxb2 $6 { even for a strong player like Vachier-Lagrave, this is playing with fire} 11. Nb3 {[%cal Ga1a2]} Nxe4 $8 12. Nxe4 Bxh4+ 13. Kd2 $1 (13. g3 Bf6) 13... Nc6 $8 (13... O-O 14. Nc3 Bf6 15. Na4 {[%csl Rb2]}) (13... Bf6 14. Nxd6+ Ke7 15. Nc4 Rd8 16. Nxb2 Bxb2 17. Ra2 Bf6 18. g3 $14) 14. Nxd6+ Kf8 (14... Ke7 15. Nc4 Qf6 16. Qd6+ Ke8 17. g3 e5 18. Bg2 $1) 15. Nc4 Qf6 16. g3 {[%csl Rh4] and after} b5 17. Nd6 e5 18. Ne4 Qe7 19. gxh4 $14 {Black can try to fight because of the exposed Kd2, but objectively White is clearly better.}) (10... Nc6 {This is possible also.}) (10... d5 $5 {Caruana said this move is also an option for Black.}) 11. O-O-O g5 $6 {This doesn't look good for Black, and his position will become somewhat uncomfortable.} (11... Nc5 12. Qe2 Nfxe4 $6 {again this idea leaves White with a pleasant position} 13. Nxe4 Bxh4 14. Nf5 $1 Nxe4 15. Qxe4 Be7 (15... d5 16. Nxg7+ Kf8 17. Qe5 f6 18. Qe2 Kxg7 19. g3 $14) 16. Nxe7 Kxe7 17. Bc4 {and White has good compensation} Kf8 (17... Re8 18. Rhe1 Qc5 19. Bb3 Bd7 20. f5 $36) 18. Rhe1 g6 19. g4 $1 {and still is not easy for Black to finish development} d5 $2 20. Qe5 Rg8 21. Bd3 $16 {[%cal Yf4f5]}) (11... O-O 12. g4 $36) (11... Qc7 12. Qg3 g5 $6 (12... O-O 13. Be2 Nc5 14. Bf3 {looks promising for White}) 13. fxg5 Nh5 14. Qe3 (14. Qg4 hxg5 15. Bxg5 Ne5 16. Qh4 Ng6 17. Qg4 Ne5 $11) 14... Qc5 15. Kb1 hxg5 16. Bf2 $14) 12. fxg5 Ne5 ({ Caruana said} 12... Ng4 {could be a better version for Black, but after} 13. Qd2 $1 {White has the advantage, like in the game} Qd8 (13... Qc5 14. Be2 hxg5 15. Na4 $1 Qc7 16. Bxg5) (13... hxg5 14. Bxg5 Bxg5 15. Qxg5 Nf2 16. Nd5 $1 exd5 17. Nf5 f6 18. Qg7 $18) 14. Nf3 Nge5 15. Bf2 $1 hxg5 16. Be3 b5 $5 (16... Rg8 17. Be2 {[%csl Ge8] Despite his solid position, Black has problems to find a good place for his king}) 17. Be2 $1 (17. Nxg5 Ng4 18. Nf3 Nxe3 19. Qxe3 Qc7 $44) 17... Rg8 18. Nxe5 Nxe5 19. Bd4 $16 {[%cal Yh1f1,Ye2h5] White has a clear plan, which is Rhf1-Bh5 and Black is in trouble.}) 13. Qd2 Nh7 {[%csl Gh7] Black regains the pawn, but the knight is in an awkward position on h7.} 14. Nf3 hxg5 15. Bf2 ({Caruana also considered} 15. Bg3 Qc7 16. Qd4 f6 {and Black is kind of solid, but then} 17. h4 $1 {[%cal Yh1h8] is a good way to exploit the advantage in development opening the h-file} Nf8 18. Be2 gxh4 19. Bxh4 Bd7 {Black is finishing development, but White's pieces enjoys more freedom and activity, for example} 20. Bf2 Rxh1 21. Rxh1 O-O-O 22. Qa7 Nc6 23. Qe3 $16 { [%cal Yc3a4,Yh1h6]}) 15... Qc7 16. Be2 $16 {White has a clear advantage, as his pieces are all well developed and his plan to exploit the advantage is pretty easy.} Bd7 17. h4 $1 {[%csl Gh7][%cal Yh1h8] In general, when you are ahead in development, a good way to proceed is to open the position and create concrete threats, and here the h-file is especially good due to the Nh7.} Rg8 ( 17... O-O-O 18. Nxg5 {White just wins a pawn.}) 18. h5 $1 {[%csl Gh5] A good practical choice, creating a strong passed pawn and keeping the Nh7 passive.} ( 18. hxg5 Nxg5 19. Rh5 {also attracted Caruana's attention, and in fact, after} Ngxf3 20. gxf3 O-O-O 21. f4 Ng4 22. Bd4 {White still definitely has the advantage, although, as Caruana said, it is not so easy to see how to increase this advantage} (22. Bxg4 Rxg4 23. Rh7 $14)) 18... g4 $1 {Black should play this move before White can do it.} (18... O-O-O 19. Nxe5 dxe5 20. g4 $1 { [%csl Yh5,Gh7] and Black is strategically lost - Caruana.}) 19. Nxe5 dxe5 20. Bh4 $1 {I like this move because it forces the exchange of the dark-squared bishops, and White will be able to attack the weak g4-pawn.} Bc6 21. Qe3 Bxh4 22. Rxh4 Qe7 $1 {This is a smart idea by Vachier-Lagrave.} 23. Rxg4 $2 { Strangely, after taking this pawn, White cannot win the game!} (23. Qg3 $1 { was better} Qg5+ 24. Kb1 Nf6 {[%csl Ye4,Yh5] Caruana stopped his calculations at this point, but White keeps the advantage with} 25. Rf1 $1 (25. h6 {is also good} Rh8 26. Rf1 Rxh6 27. Rxh6 Qxh6 28. Qf2 Ke7 29. Qc5+ Ke8 30. Qxe5 $16) 25... Nxh5 26. Qf2 $1 {[%csl Rf7,Rg4] and now Black is the one who has some problems to defend his pawns} f5 (26... Rf8 27. Rxg4 Qe7 28. g3 O-O-O 29. Rh4 Ng7 30. Rh7 $16) 27. Bxg4 $1 {and Black is almost lost, for example} Nf4 28. Bf3 O-O-O 29. exf5 Bxf3 30. gxf3 Qxf5 (30... exf5 31. Qc5+) 31. Qa7 $18) 23... Rxg4 24. Bxg4 Qg5 $1 {After the exchange of queens, Black is able to creat a solid blockade and White's material advantage is not enough to win.} 25. Qxg5 Nxg5 26. Bf3 Ke7 27. Kd2 Rh8 28. Rh1 f5 $1 29. Ke3 Kf6 30. b4 b5 {There's no way to break Black's position. Again, Caruana surprised us with interesting ideas in the 6.Bg5 Najdorf, but Vachier Lagrave made a surprising escape!} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.09"] [Round "7"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2783"] [BlackElo "2742"] [Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2017.08.02"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "USA"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 {According to my research, Anand has a whopping 2958 performance over 10 classical games with this move! 5 wins and 5 draws against a 2767 opposition. Not bad, eh?} e5 { The main response. Black could also mainly play with e6. g6 and Nc6 are also playable alternatives to face the scary Adams attack!} 7. Nde2 h5 {The most fashionable move, Black avoids the kingside expansion, at the price of slightly weakening his own kingside. Now White has two main moves: Bg5 or g3.} (7... b5 8. g4 $1 {developing with Bg2 and Ng3.}) 8. Bg5 {going for the exchange right away} (8. g3 $5 {has been seen in a couple of hundred games in recent practice. Nakamura used it in the same tournament against MVL} Nbd7 9. Bg2 b5 10. Nd5 Nxd5 11. Qxd5 Qc7 12. Be3 Bb7 13. Qd2 Rc8 14. Nc3 Nb6 $1 { establishing good control over d5} 15. Bxb6 Qxb6 16. a4 Be7 17. axb5 axb5 18. h4 O-O 19. O-O Rc4 $132 {½-½ (33) Nakamura,H (2792)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2791) Saint Louis 2017, with enough counterplay.}) 8... Be6 9. Bxf6 Qxf6 10. Nd5 Qd8 11. Qd3 Nd7 12. O-O-O {White puts his chips on his better development and prospects for the initiative, while Black sits there with the bishop pair and a solid pawn structure} g6 13. Kb1 Nc5 (13... Rc8 {Anand scored a great win against Topalov in 2015} 14. Nec3 Rc5 $6 {a step in the wrong direction, later it was found that the plan with ...Nc5 (as Nepo played) is the most consistent} 15. Be2 b5 16. a3 Nb6 17. g4 $1 {gets there quickly} hxg4 18. Nxb6 Qxb6 19. hxg4 Rxh1 20. Rxh1 Bg7 21. Qe3 Qb7 22. Rd1 Qc7 23. g5 Qc6 24. Rg1 Qd7 25. Qg3 Rc8 26. Bg4 Bxg4 27. Qxg4 Qxg4 28. Rxg4 $16 {1-0 (74) Anand,V (2796)-Topalov,V (2803) London 2015, keeping a very strong positional advantage.}) (13... Bh6 14. g3 Nc5 15. Qa3 b5 16. Nec3 O-O 17. Be2 Rb8 18. b4 $2 {trying to play similar to the Salem-Areshchenko game} a5 $1 19. Ka1 (19. bxc5 b4 $17 {is devastating}) 19... axb4 20. Qxb4 Na6 21. Qb3 Qa5 22. g4 h4 23. g5 Bxg5 24. Rhg1 Nc5 25. Qb4 Bd8 $19 {0-1 (33) Ameir,M (2399)-Wei,Y (2728) Khanty-Mansiysk 2017}) 14. Qf3 (14. Qa3 $5 Bxd5 (14... Bg7 $5) (14... Bh6 $5 {similar to the Ameir - Wei Yi game mentioned above, keeping the flexibility}) 15. Rxd5 Bg7 16. Nc3 O-O 17. h4 b5 18. f3 Rb8 19. b4 $1 {a very nice move, connected with a deep idea} Ne6 20. Qxa6 Nc7 21. Qc6 Nxd5 22. Nxd5 $16 {a great exchange sacrifice. Now White dominates positionally and he went on to win the game convincingly} f5 23. Bxb5 {White's queenside looks too open, but Black doesn't have the right pieces to attack, not to mention the completely passive g7-bishop} fxe4 24. fxe4 Rf7 25. a4 Rc8 26. Qb6 Qf8 27. Qe3 Bh6 28. Qe2 Ra8 29. a5 $18 {1-0 (41) Salem,A (2652)-Areshchenko,A (2682) Sharjah 2017}) 14... Bg7 15. Nec3 b5 16. Ne3 O-O 17. Rg1 $146 (17. g4 $5 h4 18. Rg1 Qg5 $2 (18... Bh6 { was the provocative reply} 19. g5 $5 Bxg5 20. Nf5 $40) 19. Rxd6 Rfd8 20. Rc6 $1 Rac8 21. Rxc8 Bxc8 22. Bg2 Rd4 23. Rd1 Bb7 24. Ncd5 Rxe4 $2 (24... b4 $1 $44) 25. c3 $1 $16 {1-0 (38) Eljanov,P (2757)-Oparin,G (2621) Novi Sad 2016}) 17... Bh6 18. Ncd5 {Black could have kept the e6-bishop with natural moves like ... Rc8 or ...Kg7.} Bxe3 (18... Rc8 $5) (18... Kg7 $5) 19. Qxe3 Rc8 20. Be2 Kg7 ( 20... Bxd5 21. Rxd5 Qe7 {would be similar to the game.}) 21. f4 Bxd5 22. Rxd5 exf4 23. Qxf4 Re8 $1 24. Rxd6 Qe7 {Black has no problems because e4 is falling next move.} 25. e5 (25. Bf3 Nxe4 26. Bxe4 Rc4 $1 $15 {the safest, which may even give Black an edge, with the nice initiative on the e-file.}) 25... Qxe5 26. Qxe5+ Rxe5 27. Bf3 Ne4 {Making things interesting, most likely for White. I believe Nepo thought the endgame with bishop against knight could be somewhat dangerous, that's why he forced the exchange.} (27... a5 $1 {Anand's suggestion in the post-mortem as well, Black doesn't have any problems int he endgame, all his pieces are well placed.}) 28. Bxe4 Rxe4 29. Rxa6 Re2 30. c3 h4 31. Ra5 b4 $2 {The losing mistake.} (31... Rb8 $1 {was forced, and Black has enough compensation to equalise. A sample line:} 32. a3 (32. Ra3 {Anand said in the post mortem he was considering this move} Rd8 33. Rb3 Rd5 $1 {with excellent counterplay again, f5-g5 is coming}) 32... Rb6 33. Ra7 Rf6 34. Rb7 Rf5 35. Ka2 Kh6 $132) 32. cxb4 Rcc2 33. b3 $1 {Maybe Black overlooked this idea, and didn't realise White has no problems after Ka1.} Rb2+ 34. Ka1 $18 { With the queenside safe, the b-pawn may start marching, while Black has to spend some tempi to grab both g2 and h3.} Rxg2 35. Rxg2 Rxg2 36. b5 Re2 37. b6 Re8 38. b7 Rb8 39. Rb5 f5 40. Kb2 $1 {Bringing the king over to control the f-pawn and finishing the last hope for Black.} 1-0 [Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.09"] [Round "7"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2792"] [BlackElo "2809"] [Annotator "Roiz,M"] [PlyCount "108"] [EventDate "2017.08.02"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "USA"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bb4 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O e4 7. Ng5 Bxc3 8. bxc3 Re8 9. f3 e3 {The players have entered into one of the most complicated lines of the English.} 10. d3 {Keeping the pawn structure flexible, even though the presence of Pe3 in White's camp is not to everyone's taste.} (10. dxe3 Qe7 11. Nh3 Qc5 12. Nf4 Qxc4 13. e4 d6 14. Qd3 Ne5 15. Qxc4 Nxc4 { Kasparov,G - Sadvakasov,D Astana KAZ 2001, Black was OK.}) 10... d5 11. Qa4 ({ The most popular alternative -} 11. Qb3 Na5 12. Qa3 c6 (12... b6 $5 13. cxd5 Nxd5 14. f4 Bb7 {looks very interesting, but was never tried.}) 13. cxd5 cxd5 14. f4 Bg4 15. Nf3 {seems promising for White, at least according to statistics.}) 11... h6 12. cxd5 Nxd5 13. Ne4 f5 14. Nc5 f4 15. Ne4 $146 { GM Nakamura comes up with a natural novelty - the knight is perfectly placed in the centre.} (15. Bb2 {The only preceding game was played in the Candidates tournament, where both players played their part too:} Rb8 16. c4 $6 (16. Ne4 $142 b5 17. Qc2 $13) 16... Nde7 17. g4 b6 18. Ne4 Be6 $15 {Svidler,P - Karjakin,S Moscow RUS 2016}) 15... Rb8 (15... Re6 $6 {is premature:} 16. Kh1 $1 Rg6 17. Rg1 fxg3 18. Nxg3 Kh8 19. f4 {, and the lack of harmony in Black's camp starts to tell.}) 16. Qa3 {This move looks like a definite concession.} ( 16. Rb1 {isn't effective, since after} Re6 17. Kh1 fxg3 {White cannot recapture with Ne4, whereas} 18. hxg3 Rg6 19. Kh2 b6 {leads to very unbalanced play.}) (16. Kh1 b5 17. Qd1 fxg3 18. Nxg3 Qf6 $13) 16... Re6 $1 {The rook is heading for g6 in order to put White's king under strong pressure.} 17. c4 { A somewhat risky decision.} ({Now, when White's queen has left the 4th rank,} 17. Kh1 {is well met by} fxg3 $1 18. Nxg3 (18. hxg3 $2 Rg6 19. f4 Nce7 $40) 18... Nf4 19. Rg1 Kh8 20. Bf1 Re5 $132 {the strong Nf4 provides Black with decent counterplay. However, it would be a better practical choice.}) 17... Nde7 18. Bb2 Nf5 {Once Black spots one of his knights on d4, he would be firmly in a control.} 19. d4 $1 {This pawn sacrifice is forced from a strategic point of view - White's major pieces need open files!} (19. gxf4 $6 { is dubious:} Ncd4 {, and Black's pieces are dominating over the board. The play might continue:} 20. Rfe1 Ra6 $1 21. Qc5 (21. Qc3 Qh4 $17) 21... b6 22. Qe5 Ra5 23. c5 bxc5 24. Bxd4 Nxd4 $17) 19... Ncxd4 20. Bxd4 Nxd4 21. Qxa7 ({ In case of} 21. Rad1 $2 Nxe2+ ({Also good enough is} 21... b6 $5 22. Qd3 c5 23. gxf4 Qh4 24. Qxe3 Bb7 $17) 22. Kh1 Qe8 23. Qd3 Nd4 $1 24. Qxd4 e2 25. Qxa7 Rxe4 26. fxe4 Bg4 27. Rc1 exf1=Q+ 28. Rxf1 fxg3 29. hxg3 c6 $17 {at the end of complications White would suffer from a terrible pawn structure.}) 21... Nc6 ({ Levon is deviating from the more complicated line:} 21... Nxe2+ 22. Kh1 Bd7 23. Rfe1 Ra8 24. Qc5 b6 25. Qd5 c6 26. Qd3 Rxe4 $1 27. Qxe4 (27. fxe4 $2 Bg4 28. Qxd8+ Rxd8 29. gxf4 Rd2 $17) 27... Qf6 28. c5 b5 29. Qd3 Nd4 30. Rad1 $13 { , and White manages to keep the dynamic balance.}) 22. Qa3 Qf8 (22... g5 23. Rfd1 Qe7 24. Qxe7 Rxe7 25. h4 $1 Be6 26. Nf6+ Kh8 27. Nd5 Rf7 28. Kh2 $1 { White would be able to solve the problem of the poor Bg2.}) 23. Qxf8+ Kxf8 { The subsequent endgame is strategically dangerous for White, who's bishop is completely out of play now.} 24. Rfd1 ({White's task would be easier after} 24. gxf4 Nd4 25. Ng3 c5 (25... Ra8 26. Rfd1 Rd6 27. a4 Be6 28. c5 Rdd8 29. Bf1 $11) 26. Rfd1 Rf6 27. a4 $1 Bf5 28. Ra3 Re8 29. Rc1 $11 {, and Black's pieces are tied with protecting the Pe3.}) 24... g5 25. Nc3 $1 {An excellent idea - the knight is heading on d5 now, where it would attack the opponent's weak pawns.} (25. h4 Rg6 26. Kh2 Be6 27. Nc5 b6 28. Nxe6+ Rxe6 29. Rd7 Re7 $15) 25... Re7 26. Nd5 Rf7 27. h4 $1 {White has to liberate the bishop as soon as it possible. } Ra8 28. a4 Na5 29. gxf4 $2 {This natural exchange turns out to be a serious mistake.} ({Instead, the precise} 29. Rab1 $1 {would enable White to hold this unpleasant endgame:} Bf5 ({Both after} 29... Be6 30. Kh2 fxg3+ 31. Kxg3 gxh4+ 32. Kh2 Nxc4 33. Rxb7 c6 34. Nc7 Bd5 35. f4 $1 $11) ({Or} 29... Nxc4 30. Rb4 c6 31. Nxf4 gxf4 32. Rxc4 Be6 33. Re4 Bd5 34. Rb4 fxg3 35. f4 $11 {White is in time to activate the light-squared bishop.}) 30. Rb4 Nc6 31. Rb2 Be6 32. hxg5 hxg5 33. Rxb7 Rxa4 34. gxf4 gxf4 35. Rxc7 Rxc4 36. Rxf7+ Kxf7 37. Nxf4 Rxf4 38. Rd3 $11) 29... gxf4 30. Kh2 ({In comparison to above-mentioned note,} 30. Rab1 Nxc4 31. Rb4 c6 {leaves White without compensation for a pawn:} 32. Nc7 (32. Rxc4 cxd5 33. Rb4 Ra5 34. Rdd4 Ke7 35. Rxf4 Rxf4 36. Rxf4 Bd7 37. Rd4 Kd6 38. f4 Bc6 $19) 32... Rxc7 33. Rxc4 Rf7 34. Rd6 Kg7 $17) 30... Nxc4 $17 31. Rac1 ( 31. Bh3 Bxh3 32. Kxh3 Nd2 33. a5 c6 34. Nb6 Rd8 35. Ra4 $17) 31... Nd2 32. Nxc7 $2 {A decisive mistake. White cannot afford to remove his best piece from the centre.} ({He had tp play} 32. Bh3 Bxh3 33. Kxh3 c6 34. Nc3 $17 {, intending to put the rooks on the g-file. Black is a pawn up, but it wouldn't be easy to convert it to a full point.}) 32... Rxa4 33. Bh3 Nxf3+ $1 {Levon is exploiting the lack of harmony in the opponent's camp. This nice tactical shot decides the game. The next few moves are forced.} 34. exf3 Ra2+ 35. Bg2 Rg7 36. Rg1 Rg3 37. Kh1 Bh3 {A funny situation - the bishop is trapped.} 38. Bf1 e2 $19 { Regaining the piece.} 39. Bxe2 Rxe2 40. Nd5 Rxf3 ({A simpler way was} 40... Bg2+ 41. Rxg2 Rexg2 42. Nxf4 Ra2 $19) 41. Rg6 Re6 42. Rcg1 (42. Rxe6 {was more stubborn:} Bxe6 43. Rc5 Rh3+ 44. Kg2 Rxh4 45. Kf3 {, but} Rh3+ $1 (45... Rh5 $2 46. Nxf4 Rxc5 47. Nxe6+ Ke7 48. Nxc5 $11) 46. Kxf4 Rh5 $19 {still makes it quite easy for Black.}) 42... Rxg6 43. Rxg6 Bd7 $1 44. Kg2 Rg3+ 45. Rxg3 fxg3 46. Kxg3 Kf7 {Despite the major simplifications, Black easily wins here.} 47. Kf4 Ke6 48. Nb4 Be8 49. Nd3 Kd5 50. Nf2 Bd7 51. Ke3 Ke5 52. Ne4 Bc6 53. Ng3 Bd5 54. Kd3 Kf4 {The second pawn falls.} 0-1 [Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.11"] [Round "9"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2822"] [BlackElo "2809"] [Annotator "Szabo,Kr"] [PlyCount "103"] [EventDate "2017.08.02"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "USA"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 b4 9. a5 d6 10. d3 Be6 11. Bxe6 {A relatively new idea. White exchanges the bishops, opens the f-file for Black, but he hopes that the double-pawns on the e-file will be a weakness for Black.} (11. Nbd2 {is the another main move.}) 11... fxe6 12. Nbd2 Rb8 13. c3 ({In the first round Carlsen had this line with Black too,} 13. Nb3 Qc8 14. Qe2 Nd8 15. d4 exd4 16. Nbxd4 c5 17. Nb3 e5 18. Nbd2 Ne6 19. Nc4 Nd4 20. Nxd4 cxd4 21. Nb6 Qc6 22. Bg5 Bd8 23. Bxf6 Bxb6 24. axb6 Rxf6 25. Rxa6 h6 26. Qd3 Rxb6 $11 {Caruana-Carlsen, Saint Louis 2017, with an equal position.}) 13... Qe8 14. Nc4 $146 {A novelty by Carlsen.} ({ Recently} 14. d4 {was played by Topalov,} bxc3 15. bxc3 exd4 16. cxd4 Rb5 17. Nc4 Qg6 18. Qe2 Nd7 $13 {Topalov-Adams, Shamkir 2017, with an unclear middlegame.}) 14... Qg6 15. h3 Nd7 {A typical continuation, Black prepares for ...d5.} ({Nevertheless I prefer} 15... Nh5 $5 {like an active move to play for ...Nf4.}) 16. Be3 d5 17. Ncd2 {Of course White doesn't exchange. The e5- and e6-pawns became weaker.} bxc3 18. bxc3 Nc5 19. Bxc5 $1 {At first this seems a strange move. Why does White give up his nice bishop? The knight was exerting pressure on d3; moreover after removing the knight White has an extra possibility on the next move.} Bxc5 20. Qa4 $1 {This was the point of White's previous move.} Rb2 $5 {Ambitious reply!} 21. Rf1 $1 {Very deep move! Carlsen protects his f2-pawn in advance, now the c6-knight is hanging already.} ({ The careless} 21. Qxc6 $2 {loses immediately, because of} Bxf2+ $1 22. Kxf2 Rxd2+ $19 {and Black is winning.}) 21... Na7 $6 {Too passive a move!} (21... Qe8 {should have been played, however} 22. Rab1 Rxb1 23. Rxb1 $14 {and White is more comfortable.}) 22. Nxe5 Qh6 23. Ndf3 Nb5 24. Rae1 $1 {White doesn't protect the c3-pawn and he solves the problem with a nice idea.} ({Moreover} 24. Rac1 $2 {could have been met by} Rxf2 $1 25. Rxf2 Qxc1+ $19 {and Black wins.}) 24... Nxc3 ({In the event of} 24... Bd6 25. exd5 exd5 (25... Nxc3 26. Qa1 $1 $16 {important tempo!}) 26. Qa1 $1 Rc2 27. c4 $1 $16 {White is better too.}) 25. Qc6 $1 {Suddenly Black has a lot of weaknesses on the queenside. White is safe, his pieces are active, the white queen is threatening to take the pawns.} Bb4 26. Kh1 {Probably this is not the strongest move, but a good practical prophylactic reply. The king moves away from a possible ...Ne2+.} dxe4 (26... Ne2 27. Rb1 $16 {is similar to the text move.}) 27. dxe4 Ne2 28. Rb1 {White simplifies the position, so Black's pressure is decreasing.} Rxb1 29. Rxb1 Bd6 30. Qxa6 {Carlsen starts to eat the pawns.} Nf4 31. Qb5 c5 32. a6 {It's time to advance the passed pawn.} Bxe5 33. Nxe5 Qg5 34. Ng4 h5 35. Ne3 { White is safe.} Nxg2 {Still the best practical chance, otherwise White promotes his a-pawn without any counterplay.} 36. Nxg2 Rxf2 37. Rg1 Kh7 38. Qd3 {It is important to come back with the queen especially in time pressure.} Qe5 39. Qe3 Ra2 40. Qf4 {The best practical move. White doesn't protect his a-pawn, he wants to exchange the queens and then he can win without any difficulties.} Qc3 41. Ne3 Qf6 ({Or} 41... Rxa6 42. Qg5 $18 {and Black has no hope.}) 42. Qxf6 gxf6 43. Rc1 Rxa6 44. Kg2 $1 {Correct reply!} ({The greedy} 44. Rxc5 {could have been met by} Ra3 {and Black wins the h3-pawn and he survives.}) 44... Ra2+ 45. Rc2 Ra5 46. Kf3 Kg6 47. h4 Rb5 48. Ra2 Rb1 49. Rc2 Rb5 50. Rc3 f5 (50... Ra5 51. Ng2 $18 {is also hopeless for Black.}) 51. exf5+ exf5 52. Rd3 {A very nice victory by Carlsen!} 1-0 [Event "Sinquefield Cup 5th"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.11"] [Round "9"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A20"] [WhiteElo "2749"] [BlackElo "2807"] [Annotator "Marin,M"] [PlyCount "87"] [EventDate "2017.08.02"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "USA"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 ({It is interesting to compare the line played with the Keres Variation:} 3. Nc3 c6 4. Nf3 e4 5. Nd4 Qb6 6. Nb3 {Instead of Nc3 White will have Bg2 on board.}) 3... c6 4. Nf3 e4 5. Nd4 Qb6 $5 ({The classical continuation is} 5... d5 {but recently it was (re-)discovered that} 6. d3 {poses some problems.} (6. cxd5 Qxd5 {offers Black great play.}) 6... exd3 ({Actually this variation is not new at all:} 6... Bc5 7. Nb3 Bb4+ 8. Bd2 Bxd2+ 9. Qxd2 dxc4 10. dxc4 Qe7 11. Nc3 {Benko,P-Tal,M Curacao 1962 (½-½, 34) . Strangely it was only after 25 years that White tried this line again and not until recently did it become popular.}) 7. cxd5 {Ding,L (2773)-Inarkiev,E (2727) Moscow 2017 CBM 179 [Roiz,M] (1-0, 87)}) 6. Nb3 a5 {Black immediately starts the fight against the knight.} (6... d5 7. cxd5 cxd5 8. Nc3 Bf5 9. d3 Bb4 {completely transposes to a line from the Keres System, which is known to favour White. Here is the most mportant classical game:} 10. O-O Bxc3 11. bxc3 O-O 12. Be3 Qc7 ({The modern interpretaion of the line does not change the evaluation:} 12... Qa6 13. Nc5 Qc6 14. c4 dxc4 15. Rc1 b5 16. dxc4 b4 17. Qb3 a5 18. a3 bxa3 19. Qxa3 Qc8 20. Rfd1 Re8 21. Na4 $18 {Brodowski,P (2442)-Socko, B (2621) Gorzow Wielkopolski 2014 (1/2-1/2, 36)}) 13. Rc1 Nc6 14. c4 Rad8 15. Nd4 Nxd4 16. Bxd4 exd3 17. cxd5 Qd7 18. Bxf6 dxe2 19. Qxe2 gxf6 20. Qb2 Kg7 21. Qd4 $16 {Reshevsky,S-Keres,P Los Angeles 1963 MCL [Dolmatov] (1-0, 41)}) 7. d3 a4 8. N3d2 d5 (8... Bc5 9. O-O $5 {White's better possibilites for rapid development prevent Black fro using the weakness of the dark squares.} (9. e3 $6 exd3 10. Nc3 Qa6 $15 {Meier,G (2657)-Baklan,V (2618) Biel 2016 (1/2-1/2, 38) }) 9... e3 10. fxe3 Bxe3+ 11. Kh1 d6 (11... Ng4 12. Ne4) 12. Nc3 Ng4 13. c5 $1 Qxc5 (13... dxc5 14. Nc4 $18) (13... Bxc5 14. Nxa4 $16) 14. Nce4 Qh5 15. Nxd6+ Kd7 16. h4 Kxd6 (16... Bxd2 17. Nxc8 $16) 17. Nc4+ $14) 9. cxd5 $1 $146 { It makes sense clearing the path for White's minor pieces.} (9. dxe4 {is premature, making the c4-pawn look like a weakness.} dxe4 10. e3 (10. Nxe4 Nxe4 11. Bxe4 Bh3 $44) 10... Bg4 11. Qc2 Nbd7 12. Nc3 Bb4 13. Ndxe4 Nxe4 14. Qxe4+ Be6 15. O-O O-O $44 16. Qh4 $6 Ne5 $15 17. Nd5 {?!?!} cxd5 18. cxd5 Bg4 (18... Bd7 $19) 19. f4 Be2 (19... Nf3+ 20. Bxf3 Bxf3 21. Rxf3 Rfd8 $17) 20. fxe5 Bxf1 21. Bxf1 $15 {Topalov,V (2749)-Caruana,F (2808) Paris (blitz) 2017 (0-1, 35)}) 9... exd3 ({The difference is that after} 9... cxd5 {White can safely take the pawn:} 10. dxe4 dxe4 11. Nxe4 Nxe4 12. Bxe4 Bh3 13. Nc3 $16 {[%cal Gc3d5,Gd5f4] }) 10. O-O cxd5 (10... dxe2 $2 11. Qxe2+ $18 {offers White a decisive attack.}) 11. exd3 {The position is more pleasant for White, as he has pressure on d5 and nice minor piece development, but it is early to speak about an advantage.} Be7 12. Nc3 Qa5 13. Re1 Nc6 14. b4 $1 {An elegant tactical way of taking over the queenside initiative.} ({A week later White missed this:} 14. Nf3 $6 O-O 15. Bd2 Qa6 16. Bg5 Be6 $11 17. Ne5 Nxe5 18. Rxe5 h6 19. Bf4 a3 20. Rb1 Bd6 $17 {Navara,D (2737)-Caruana,F (2807) Saint Louis (blitz) 2017 (0-1, 34)}) 14... axb3 (14... Qxb4 15. Nxd5 Nxd5 16. Bxd5 O-O 17. Rb1 Qc5 18. Be4 Rd8 19. Nc4 $14 {[%csl Gb7][%cal Gc1e3]}) (14... Nxb4 15. Rxe7+ Kxe7 16. Ba3 Kd8 17. Qb1 Na6 18. Nxd5 Nxd5 19. Nc4 $18) 15. Bb2 $1 Qd8 ({If} 15... Bg4 {White has a choice:} {A simpler way is} 16. Nxb3 (16. Qxb3 {may lead to interesting play, with chances for both sides:} O-O 17. Qxb7 Rfc8 18. Rxe7 Rab8 19. Nb3 (19. Rxf7 Rxb7 20. Rxb7 Qa6 21. Rxg7+ Kxg7 22. Nxd5 Qxd3 23. Bxf6+ Kf8 24. Nb3 Bf3 25. Nf4 Qd6 $13) 19... Rxb7 (19... Qd8 20. Rxf7 Rxb7 21. Rxb7 $16) 20. Rxb7 Qd8 $13) 16... Qd8 17. Qd2 O-O 18. h3 Be6 19. Ne2 $14) 16. Qxb3 {A strange decision.} (16. Nxb3 O-O 17. Nb5 $14 {offers White natural play.}) 16... Be6 $6 ({Even stranger. Why did he refrain from:} 16... Nd4 17. Qd1 Bg4 18. Qb1 O-O 19. h3 ( 19. Nxd5 Ne2+) 19... Be6 $11 20. Nxd5 Nxd5 21. Bxd4 Nb4 22. Nb3 Bxb3 23. axb3 Qxd4 24. Rxa8 Rxa8 25. Rxe7 g6 $44 {[%cal Ga8a1]}) 17. Ne2 $16 {[%cal Ge2f4] Suddenly Black is under serious pressure.} Bb4 $2 $18 18. Red1 {Too slow to bother Black.} ({The spectacular} 18. Nf4 $1 {would have more or less won:} O-O (18... Bxd2 19. Nxe6 fxe6 20. Rxe6+ Kf7 21. Bxf6 gxf6 22. Re2 $18 Ba5 23. Qxb7+ Ne7 24. Rxe7+ Qxe7 25. Bxd5+ Kf8 26. Qxa8+) 19. Rxe6 Bxd2 (19... fxe6 20. Nxe6 $18) 20. Rxf6 gxf6 21. Nxd5 $18) 18... O-O $14 {Black is back in the game now.} 19. Nf4 Bc5 $6 {Hoping to get counterplay against f2 after an exchange on e6, but exposing the bishop.} (19... Bg4 20. Nf3 $14) 20. Nf3 (20. Rac1 $5) 20... Bg4 21. Rac1 {White's pressure has again become unbearable.} Bxf3 {Hoping to get drawing chances with opposite coloured bishops.} 22. Bxf3 Nd4 23. Bxd4 Bxd4 24. Rc2 b6 25. Bxd5 $1 {Without knights Black should be entitled to count on a draw, but this way he is more or less lost.} Ra7 26. Bf3 Re8 27. Ne2 h5 (27... Bc5 28. d4 $16) 28. Nxd4 Qxd4 29. Rc4 Qe5 30. a4 Qa5 31. Kg2 Rd8 32. d4 { The start of the end. White is a pawn up and has regrouped perfectly.} Nd5 33. Rdc1 g6 34. Rc8 Rad7 35. Qc4 Kg7 36. Rxd8 Rxd8 37. Rb1 Nf6 (37... Nc3 38. Rb4 Rc8 39. Qb3 $18) 38. d5 Ra8 (38... Nxd5 39. Rd1 $18) (38... Ne8 {[%cal Ge8d6]} 39. Qd4+ {[%csl Gb6]}) 39. d6 Ra7 (39... Qxa4 40. Rb4 $18) 40. Rd1 Nd7 41. Bc6 Qc5 42. Qd4+ Qxd4 43. Rxd4 Kf6 44. Re4 1-0 [Event "American Continental 13th"] [Site "Medellin"] [Date "2017.06.11"] [Round "3"] [White "Vazquez, Guillermo"] [Black "Cori Tello, Jorge Moise"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D76"] [WhiteElo "2443"] [BlackElo "2618"] [Annotator "Vazquez,G"] [PlyCount "107"] [EventDate "2017.06.10"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "COL"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Nf3 Nb6 7. O-O O-O 8. Nc3 Nc6 9. e3 Re8 10. Nh4 {Not the main move, but it more or less forces Black to play e7-e5 because otherwise White plays f2-f4 and Black does not get easy counterplay. The problem for White is that the knight might get misplaced.} e5 (10... a5 11. f4 $14) 11. d5 Nb4 {Already a surprise for me.} (11... Na5 { was the only move I knew.}) 12. a3 (12. Qb3 {is another move I considered to develop quickly, but Black has many options to get a good position, for instance} Nd3 13. Rd1 Nxc1 14. Raxc1 Bg4) 12... Na6 {Now Black wants to play e5-e4.} 13. Qc2 {Covering e4.} (13. e4 {allows} c6 {and I think Black is fine due to the misplaced knight on h4} 14. dxc6 bxc6 {with the clear idea to play Na6-c5-e6-d4.} 15. Nf3 Qxd1 16. Rxd1 Nc5 $36) (13. Z0 e4 14. Z0 g5 {was the threat, forcing White to give up the knight.}) 13... Qe7 14. Rb1 {I thought I could let Black play e5-e4 and for that it would be useful to get the rook out of the diagonal of the bishop on g7.} (14. e4 c6 {is similar to 13.e4; the inclusion of Qc2 and ...Qe7 favours White since the queen can still cover b3, but anyway I considered that Black's position is alright.} 15. dxc6 bxc6 16. Nf3 Nc5 17. Bg5 Qb7) 14... e4 15. Qxe4 ({I rejected} 15. Nxe4 {because I found no advantage after the solid} Nxd5 ({the more forcing} 15... g5 16. Nxg5 Qxg5 17. b4 $36 {gives White compensation with a strong centre and Black has problems getting the knights into the game. I expected White to be better here, but after} Qe7 18. e4 c6 19. dxc6 bxc6 {the position remains complicated, but I thought I could play for a win here.}) 16. b4 c6 {and Black can continue with Na6-c7-b5.}) 15... Qxe4 16. Nxe4 h6 $5 {I underestimated this pawn sacrifice. Now White has to find a way to deal with g6-g5.} (16... Nxd5 17. Bd2 {with the queens exchanged, I expected Black to have some difficulties playing c7-c6 because that would allow some ideas with Ne4-d6 winning the bishop pair, but Black can get enough activity to compensate for it.} c6 (17... Rd8 $5) 18. Nd6 (18. b4 Rd8 $11) 18... Rd8 19. Nxc8 Raxc8 20. Nf3 Nc5 $11) 17. Nc3 { I did not really expect to be able to keep the extra pawn, I was just trying to find a way to return it to activate my pieces.} (17. f4 Bd7 {and I did not see how to improve my pieces.}) 17... g5 18. Nf3 Bf5 (18... Bxc3 19. bxc3 Nxd5 {is a way to regain the pawn, but now White's rook on b1 is given some activity } 20. Nd4 $36) 19. e4 Bg6 20. Nd2 {Intending to advance the f-pawn. I still did not know exactly how to untangle the queenside, but for now Black also has a problem with the knight on a6, because Na6-c5 allows b2-b4.} Nc5 {I thought that was a mistake, but Black had a resource I missed.} (20... Rad8 21. f4 Nc5 22. b4 Nd3 $36 {might be an alternative for Black.}) 21. b4 Nca4 $6 (21... Nd3 {is not as effective with the pawn still on f2} 22. Nb5 {and White is ready to kick the knight away with Rb3 so I thought White was better, but Black had} Red8 $1 23. Rb3 Nxc1 24. Rxc1 c6 $44) 22. Nxa4 Nxa4 23. Rb3 $14 {White exchanged a pair of knights and is ready to push the f-pawn.} Rad8 $6 (23... g4 {was necessary}) 24. f4 Bc3 {this does not seem right, but I do not know how Black can get some compensation.} 25. f5 ({I considered} 25. Rxc3 $5 Nxc3 26. f5 Bh5 27. Bb2 {to get my bishop active and eliminate Black's most active piece, but I decided to play f5 first, which was not the same.}) 25... Bd4+ { And the bishop escapes.} 26. Kh1 Bh5 27. Bf3 $2 {Exchanging the bishops leaves the e-pawn weak.} (27. Nf3 Bf6 (27... Rxe4 28. Nxg5) 28. Re3 $16) 27... Bxf3+ 28. Rfxf3 (28. Rbxf3 Nc3 $36) 28... g4 $6 {This was not necessary.} (28... c5 $5 {is another way to play, which I only noticed after the game when my engine pointed it out.} 29. dxc6 bxc6 30. Kg2 c5 $13) (28... Bf6 {and White still has to find a plan.}) 29. Rf4 h5 30. h3 {Now White gets something to play for.} Be5 (30... gxh3 31. Nf3 $14 {and the rook remains on f4 defending e4.}) 31. Rf1 gxh3 32. Nf3 (32. Kh2 $6 h4 $13) 32... Bc3 {Not allowing Re3.} (32... Bg7 33. Re3 $14) 33. Bd2 $6 (33. Ng5 Bf6 34. Kh2 $14 {and Black still has to find compensation.}) 33... Bxd2 34. Nxd2 c6 $11 {Now White has to be careful because Black's pieces get active.} 35. Rd3 cxd5 36. exd5 Nb6 37. d6 Re2 38. g4 {I considered I had to do something active otherwise he can just prepare to attack my weak pawn on d6.} hxg4 39. Rg1 Kg7 $1 {The king has to get active, against any other move White even gets a better position.} 40. Rxg4+ Kf6 41. Re4 {Just going for the draw because I saw no winning attempts for me.} Rxe4 ({ I thought it might be dangerous for Black to try to keep the rooks} 41... Rg2 42. Re1 Kxf5 43. Ne4 {and White gets some ideas with Nc5 attacking b7, but} Nd7 {holds everything and the position remains equal.}) 42. Nxe4+ Ke5 43. Nc5 Rxd6 44. Rxd6 (44. Rxh3 {should also end in a draw, but keeping more pieces on the board just gives Black some chances to play on with the more active king.}) 44... Kxd6 45. Nxb7+ Kc7 46. Na5 Nd5 47. Kh2 Ne3 48. Kxh3 Nxf5 49. Kg4 Nd4 50. Kg5 Nc2 51. b5 Nxa3 52. Nc6 Nxb5 53. Nxa7 Nxa7 54. Kf6 1/2-1/2 [Event "Biel GM 50th"] [Site "Biel"] [Date "2017.07.31"] [Round "7"] [White "Hou, Yifan"] [Black "Bacrot, Etienne"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2666"] [BlackElo "2715"] [Annotator "Hou Yifan"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2017.07.24"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [EventCategory "16"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. h3 Ne7 8. Re1 c6 9. Ba4 Ng6 10. d4 Bb6 11. Nbd2 Re8 12. Bc2 h6 {Checking the database after the game I just realised Etienne had faced exactly the same position against Ponomariov in the 2013 GP, but that game came from an Italian Game.} 13. a4 Bc7 14. Nf1 $1 {Right decision and I was hoping for ...d5 here as any other moves will give White a typical comfortable position when the knight goes to g3, so normally Black should be alert to catch the right moment to make some counterplay in the centre before White stabilises.} d5 $6 {The most practical decision as any other moves will allow Ng3 with comfortable play although still the position is still far from clear.} 15. Nxe5 $1 (15. exd5 e4) (15. dxe5 Nxe4 16. Bxe4 dxe4 17. Qxd8 Bxd8 18. Rxe4 Bc7 {both lines are making no difficulties for Black.}) 15... Nxe5 {The most natural option but leads to a forced line which allows White great attacking chances.} ({Here it is difficult for humans to accept an ugly pawn chain:} 15... dxe4 16. Nxg6 fxg6 { but somehow things turns out to be quite different as the e4-pawn is limiting White's piece flexibility; in the meantime Black's own development is coming: . ..Bf5, ...Qd6, ...Rad8 etc.}) 16. dxe5 Bxe5 17. f4 Bc7 18. e5 Ne4 $1 { Important! Otherwise White will easily exert pressure with the strong e5-pawn. The position firstly looks pretty fine for Black to me as the light squares have been blocked; even after White wins an extra pawn the weakness inside the white position will secure enough compensation for Black. So the only way to keep an advantage is to maintain the attack towards the king, but how can that be done without the light-squared bishop?} 19. Bxe4 dxe4 20. Qh5 $1 {This is the main idea of the whole plan, while exchanging on e5. Strangely enough the pair of bishops simply cannot be powerful while the "obstacle" e4-pawn is hanging here. The g3-square is an important square for both the knight and the rook. White should always be alert to some ...f5/f6 breakthrough which would solve Black's problems at once.} Be6 21. Ng3 {The key point is to understand that preventing ...f5/f6 became crucial} (21. Be3 {looks the most natural but will refuted by} f5 $1 22. Rad1 Qc8 {no continuous attacks}) (21. Rxe4 { I did not consider this too much, but noticed a nice trick:} f6 $1 { successfully opens the position which activates the bishop pair.} (21... g6 22. Qxh6 Qd1 {seems attractive but...} 23. f5 $1 {[%cal Ge4h4] White wins}) 22. Ng3 Bd5 23. Re1 fxe5 24. fxe5 Qd7 $44) 21... Bb6+ (21... f6 {now doesn't work because of} 22. Nxe4 fxe5 23. f5) 22. Be3 ({Another possibility that drew my attention is} 22. Kh1 $6 Bf2 23. Rd1 Bxg3 $1 {the most direct way to refute the line:} 24. Rxd8 Raxd8 25. Be3 Rd3 $44) 22... Qd3 {Obviously the idea of the ...Bb6 check is to break White's attacking plan and make the game more concrete.} (22... Qd2 $5 23. Bxb6 ({During the game I was planning to play} 23. Qe2 {converting into an endgame with an extra pawn which is solid and better for White. The concrete line goes} Bxe3+ 24. Qxe3 Qxb2 25. Rab1 Qc2 26. f5 Bd5 27. e6 $1 $40) 23... axb6 24. Nxe4 Qxf4 $6 ({somehow I missed the nice little trap, of course} 24... Qxb2 {is very dangerous for Black}) 25. g3 $1 {the queen has been trapped!} Qf5 26. Qxf5 Bxf5 27. Nd6 {Material up, with accuracy White should win this but this is not relevant to us here.}) 23. Nf1 $1 { Another key move which I found when playing Ng3 earlier.} ({If} 23. Qe2 { tranposed to the variation of 22...Qd2, but here I already hoped for more then a better endgame!}) 23... Rad8 24. f5 ({Here I spent for quite some time trying to find the most accurate way as I felt it was the crucial moment. At first} 24. Bxb6 $5 {looked attractive to me, but later on I realised there was} axb6 25. Ne3 Kh7 $1 {-- I gave this exclamatory mark during the game from my point of view} (25... Bc8 {the position will be vulnerable for Black as I slowly retreat the queen by Rad1, then f5, Ng4, Re3-g3 and all the pieces are going to join the fight while there's simply no counterplay for Black except taking the useless a4-pawn.}) 26. Rad1 g6 $1 {intending ...Kh7} 27. Qh4 Qxe3+ 28. Rxe3 Rxd1+ {Although it might be theoretically winning, somehow I decided to avoid this technical position and went for another path.}) 24... Bb3 25. f6 $2 ({A much tronger move is} 25. e6 $1 fxe6 26. f6 {with a better version of the breakthrough Black's kingside compared to the game.}) 25... Qd5 $1 { Etienne calmly found the precise defensive way to come back to the fight.} 26. Bxb6 axb6 27. fxg7 ({I was aming to go for} 27. Qg4 g6 28. Rxe4 {but just realised later that Black simply takes on e5:} (28. Qxe4 {will lead to a slightly better endgame but obviously not the thing I wanted when pushing f5}) 28... Rxe5 {and in this position White is everywhere a short of being able to utilise the f6-pawn to make threats.}) 27... Qxe5 28. Qxh6 Qxg7 29. Qh4 Rd3 $6 {Such a weird position! All the white pieces except the queen are on the back rank, but in the meantime if the knight and rooks join the game via the 3rd rank smoothly then the exposed black king will be difficult to defend. Another important factor is the inactive b3-bishop; if we look at it more deeply it's doing nothing there if White tries to keep the e4-pawn on the board.} (29... Rd6 {can beconsidered to be more accurate as it turns out later that defending along the 6th rank is the right path.} 30. Re3 Rg6 31. Ng3 Re5 32. Rf1 { White still keeps attacking chances according to the comparison of knight vs. bishop, but it's far from a clear judgement.}) 30. Re3 (30. Ne3 {is even stronger but the move I played is also practical.}) 30... Re6 31. Rae1 $5 { Maintain the pressure again and not get lured to take the e4-pawn.} (31. Rxd3 exd3 32. Qd8+ Qf8 33. Qxd3 Qc5+ {without the e4-pawn rook and bishop have lines; even more is the wasted tempi let the black queen become powerful.}) 31... Rh6 {It is difficult to suggest the best defence for Black.} ({Clearly the main target will be exchanging queens, so probably the first step is to bring the bishop back to the centre which could avoid some tempi/checks via e4 in specific positions.} 31... Bd5) 32. Qf4 Rxh3 $2 ({It is actually the last crucial moment where my opponent needs to search out more tasks for White by} 32... Rf6 33. Qxe4 $1 (33. Qb8+ Kh7 {successfully depriving the queen of coordination.}) 33... Bd5 34. Qe8+ Kh7 35. g4 $1 {White needs to find this move before Qxe4 in order to keep a clear advantage.}) 33. Rxd3 Rxd3 34. Rxe4 Be6 35. Ne3 {Finally this knight comes back to a key role after 12 moves. It cuts the route of the d3-rook and the connection of three pieces is unstopable now.} Rd8 $2 {Finally the mistake under time pressue.} ({A more stubborn try is } 35... Rd7 {but will run into a brilliant idea} 36. a5 $1 {opening the a-file, at the same time making the c5-square available for White's queen whenever needed.} bxa5 37. Re5 Qh7 38. Rxa5 $18) 36. Re5 1-0 [Event "chess.com IoM Masters"] [Site "Douglas"] [Date "2017.09.27"] [Round "5"] [White "Adams, Michael"] [Black "Shirov, Alexei"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2738"] [BlackElo "2630"] [Annotator "Adams,M"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2017.09.23"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] {At one time Alexei was a regular sparring partner, but this was only our third game in the last decade.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 b5 ({A small surprise Alexei has normally preferred} 5... d6 {here.}) 6. Bb3 Be7 7. a4 Rb8 (7... b4 {is more common, allowing White the open a-file is a small concession.}) 8. axb5 axb5 9. O-O O-O 10. Re1 d6 11. c3 ({After} 11. Nbd2 Nb4 {followed by ...c5 looked reasonable for Black.}) 11... Be6 {Otherwise it's not easy for Black to develop.} 12. Bxe6 fxe6 13. Bg5 (13. d4 $1 {should be critical here.}) 13... Nd7 ({I was intending} 13... h6 $5 14. Bh4 Nh5 15. Bg3 {but on reflection it doesn't look too impressive.}) 14. Be3 d5 15. Nbd2 ( 15. Ra6 $1 Nb6 16. Qb3 b4 17. Nbd2 {is the most challenging, keeping the pressure on Black's ugly structure.}) ({I had originally thought that} 15. exd5 exd5 16. Ra6 Rf6 {was very good, but both} 17. Qb3 Nf8 ({and} 17... Kh8 { intending} 18. Qxd5 Nb4 {are playable.})) 15... Nc5 16. Nb3 Na4 ({I spent some time on} 16... dxe4 17. Nxc5 exf3 18. Nxe6 Qd7 19. Nxf8 Rxf8 {but there aren't enough pieces in the attack:} 20. gxf3 Qh3 21. Kh1 Bd6 22. Rg1 e4 23. f4 { is one way to defend.}) 17. Qe2 Bd6 18. d4 $6 ({This pawn break wasn't a good idea, although I somehow hypnotised my opponent into playing down my main line of calculation, so it didn't work out too badly. I didn't see the clever computer concept} 18. Bg5 $1 Qd7 19. Bh4 {- now White's bishop would be well placed on g3.}) ({I only considered} 18. Ra2 {to keep the tension which is less challenging.}) 18... dxe4 19. Nxe5 (19. Ng5 exd4 20. Nxd4 Nxd4 21. cxd4 Qf6 {is nothing special as Black's knight can gravitate towards d5.}) 19... Bxe5 ({The other capture was also possible} 19... Nxe5 $5 20. dxe5 Bxe5 21. Bd4 (21. Ba7 Ra8 22. Qxe4 Bxh2+ 23. Kxh2 Qd6+) 21... Bxd4 22. Nxd4 Qd5 {looks likely to lead to mass liquidation.}) 20. dxe5 Nxe5 21. Ba7 Qg5 ({I thought} 21... Ra8 $1 {wasn't very good and my opponent rejected it quickly but in fact White should be careful there.} 22. Qxe4 (22. Qxb5 $2 Qg5 23. Qxa4 Nf3+ 24. Kh1 Nxe1 25. Rxe1 Rxf2 26. Qxe4 Rxa7) 22... Nd3 (22... Nf3+ $2 23. gxf3 Rxa7 24. Qxe6+ Kh8 25. Nd4 $16) 23. Re3 {and now either the flashy} (23. Red1 Naxb2 24. Qxe6+ Kh8 $15) 23... Nac5 ({or the simple} 23... Naxb2 {are fine for Black.}) 24. Bxc5 Rxa1+ 25. Nxa1 Nxc5 26. Qd4) 22. Nd4 $1 (22. Bxb8 Nf3+ 23. Kh1 Nxe1 24. Rxe1 Rxb8 25. Qxe4 Qd5 {is about equal.}) 22... Nf3+ (22... Ra8 $2 23. Qxe4 Rxa7 24. Nxe6 $18) 23. Nxf3 exf3 24. Qxe6+ Kh8 25. g3 Ra8 26. Bd4 c5 27. Be3 $6 ({I wanted to play} 27. Be5 $1 {but failed to realise all the tactics are in my favour enabling me to keep the bishop pointed at g7} Rae8 $2 (27... Nxb2 $2 28. Rxa8 Rxa8 29. Bb8 $1 $18) 28. Bxg7+ Qxg7 (28... Kxg7 29. Qd7+ $18) 29. Qxe8 $18) 27... Qh5 28. h4 Nxb2 ({I was happy to get the opportunity to swap rooks but} 28... Rae8 29. Qc6 {is also not so pleasant} Qf5 (29... Qg4 30. Qxb5 Nxb2 31. Bxc5 Qh3 32. Qf1) 30. Bf4 $1) 29. Rxa8 Rxa8 30. Qc6 Rg8 31. Qxb5 Qf5 $1 ({ After} 31... Qg4 32. Kh2 Nc4 33. Bf4 {Black's knight is in trouble, Alexei's superior choice gives it a route back into the game.}) 32. Kh2 (32. Qxb2 $4 Qh3 ) 32... Nd3 33. Rd1 Ne5 34. Qxc5 h5 ({I was expecting} 34... h6 35. Bd4 Ng4+ 36. Kg1 Qe4 {but underestimated the strength of} ({The better} 36... Qxc5 $1 37. Bxc5 Re8 {looks likely to lead to a draw with my king imprisoned.}) 37. Qc7 $1 {when Black is passive.}) 35. Bd4 Re8 $2 ({I was pleasantly surprised when I got the opportunity to get rid of the knight} 35... Ng4+ 36. Kg1 Qxc5 37. Bxc5 Re8 {should hold after} 38. Be3 Nxe3 39. fxe3 Rxe3 40. Rc1 g5 {the number of pawns is fast diminishing.}) 36. Bxe5 Rxe5 37. Rd8+ Kh7 38. Qf8 $18 { My opponent missed this decisive queen insertion, with only major pieces remaining Black is not in time to target my king.} (38. Qc4 {with similar ideas is equally effective} Qc2 39. Qg8+ Kh6 40. Rd6+ $18) 38... Kg6 ({After} 38... Qxf8 39. Rxf8 {picks up another pawn with Black's monarch boxed in.}) 39. Rd6+ Kh7 40. Rd8 Kg6 41. Qg8 Qe6 (41... Qc2 42. Rd6+ Kf5 43. Qf7+ {mates next turn.}) (41... Re6 42. Rd7 Qf6 43. Rxg7+ $18) (41... Qf6 42. Rf8 $18) 42. Qxe6+ Rxe6 43. Rf8 {Black resigned, as after capturing on f3 my king can stroll to the queenside to simplify the conversion.} (43. Rf8 Rf6 {loses swiftly} 44. Rxf6+ Kxf6 (44... gxf6 45. g4 $18) 45. g4 hxg4 46. Kg3 $18) 1-0 [Event "chess.com IoM Masters"] [Site "Douglas"] [Date "2017.09.26"] [Round "4"] [White "Howell, David"] [Black "Mekhitarian, Krikor Sevag"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B22"] [WhiteElo "2701"] [BlackElo "2534"] [Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"] [PlyCount "77"] [EventDate "2017.09.23"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. c3 {David Howell was a very tough opponent to prepare against - he played many different openings and somehow I wasn't expecting 1.e4 and definitely not the Alapin Variation, that he had played a lot in the past. After this small surprise, I chose to play an old line I trusted.} Nf6 3. e5 Nd5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Bc4 Nb6 6. Bb3 c4 7. Bc2 d5 ({I had bad experiences in the past in this main line, judging it to be too dangerous after for example:} 7... Qc7 8. O-O $5 Nxe5 9. Nxe5 Qxe5 10. Re1 Qc7 11. a4 $1 d5 12. Na3 a6 13. a5 Nd7 14. d3 $44 {1-0 (44) Jones,G (2667)-Rowson,J (2565) London 2016, with a very strong initiative and compensation for the sacrificed pawn.}) 8. exd6 e5 9. O-O Be6 {The idea is to wait for White to define whether he is taking with the queen or with the bishop on d3 (after the move d4). On the other hand, I remembered that White had some strong move on the queenside that could give me problems, and also that I had to be watching the annoying ...Ng5 all the time.} (9... Bxd6 {is a fine move, but I had an impression that White obtains an initiative somehow} 10. d3 cxd3 11. Qxd3 Be6 {this is similar to White's 10th move analysis} 12. Rd1 (12. Re1 {-- 10.Re1}) (12. Bb3 Qe7 13. Re1 Bxb3 14. axb3 O-O {followed by ...f5, Black is doing fine} 15. Na3 f5 (15... Bxa3 $5 16. bxa3 f5 $36) 16. Nc4 Nxc4 17. Qxc4+ Kh8 18. Bg5 Qf7 (18... Qc7 $11) 19. Qxf7 Rxf7 20. b4 e4 $11 {with a balanced endgame: 1/2-1/2 (41) Adams,M (2740)-Wojtaszek, R (2733) Biel 2015}) 12... Be7 13. Qe2 Qc7 14. a4 O-O 15. Ng5 (15. a5 Nc4 16. a6 Rfd8 17. axb7 Rxd1+ 18. Bxd1 Qxb7 $11) 15... Bxg5 16. Bxg5 f5 17. a5 Nd5 18. a6 h6 19. Bc1 b6 $13 {1-0 (63) Gara,A (2354)-Muzychuk,A (2587) Riga 2017, with an unbalanced position, Black has potential in the centre, but has to watch White's bishop pair.}) 10. a4 $1 {There it is! Found over the board by my opponent, after a long think. This typical Alapin move threatening a5 is usually a problem, because if Black plays ...a5 avoiding it, then the knight becomes loose and b5 could be a juicy square for that b1-knight.} (10. Re1 Bxd6 11. d4 cxd3 12. Qxd3 h6 {followed by ...Bc7, trying to exchange queens, Black is fine. The advantage I remembered from my old preparation, is that White had already chosen Re1 (and I thought Rd1 was an annoying move).}) (10. d4 cxd3 11. Bxd3 (11. Qxd3 Qxd6 {trying to exchange queens - the endgame is fine for Black with this strong pawn on e5} 12. Qxd6 Bxd6 13. Nbd2 f6 14. b3 O-O-O 15. Bb2 Be7 $15 {0-1 (51) Potapov,P (2497)-Kovalev,V (2629) Minsk 2017}) 11... Qxd6 12. Qc2 (12. Ng5 Bd5 $11 {followed by ...Rd8}) 12... Rd8 13. Be4 Bd5 14. Re1 Bxe4 15. Qxe4 f6 16. Nbd2 g6 17. Nc4 Nxc4 18. Qxc4 Qd5 19. Qxd5 Rxd5 20. Be3 Kf7 $15 { 0-1 (63) Pavasovic,D (2568)-Fier,A (2588) Khanty-Mansiysk 2010, and Black is doing fine again.}) 10... Bxd6 (10... Qxd6 11. Ng5 $1 Bd5 12. a5 Nd7 13. d3 cxd3 14. Qxd3 $14) (10... a6 11. a5 Nd7 12. d4 cxd3 13. Qxd3 Nc5 14. Qe2 Bxd6 { White has a dangerous initiative on the kingside with Ng5 right now, or even moves like Nbd2 followed by Nc4.} 15. Rd1 (15. Ng5 $5 $16 {looks very strong}) (15. Nbd2 $5 $16) 15... Qc7 (15... Nb3 $1 $13 {was very good to complicate matters}) 16. b4 $2 (16. Nbd2 $1 $16 {and Nc4}) 16... Nb3 17. Bxb3 Bxb3 18. Re1 O-O $11 {0-1 (52) Roberson,P (2397)-Bitalzadeh,A (2383) chess.com INT 2017}) ( 10... a5 11. b3 $1 {is very problematic for Black} (11. Na3 $5 Bxd6 12. Nb5 Bb8 13. d4 cxd3 14. Bxd3 h6 15. Re1 O-O 16. Qc2 $14) 11... Bxd6 12. bxc4 Bxc4 13. Re1 O-O 14. Na3 Bd5 15. Nb5 Bb8 16. d3 Re8 17. Rb1 $16) 11. a5 Nd7 12. d4 cxd3 13. Qxd3 Be7 14. a6 $1 {My knight on c6 will feel very loose without the b7-pawn.} b6 (14... bxa6 15. Qxa6 Rc8 16. Rd1 O-O 17. Be3 Qc7 18. Na3 $16 { looks very good for White also.}) 15. Re1 $6 (15. Na3 $1 {was more important right away, Re1 is not necessarily good, since the e-pawn is safe} Bxa3 16. Rxa3 h6 {avoiding Ng5} 17. Nd2 $1 $16 {with strong Nc4 and Ne4 threats - meanwhile Black is still not able to castle.}) 15... Rc8 $1 {Defending the loose knight on c6 is a very good idea.} 16. Na3 Bxa3 17. Rxa3 f6 $2 (17... h6 $14 {was necessary to avoid Ng5 and at the same time, keep the e6-bishop safe. I didn't want to play this because now ...f6-Kf7 is no longer an option.} 18. Ra1 Qc7 $5 {threatening ...Nb4 and also ...Nc5 followed by castling.}) 18. Be3 $2 {Now Black suddenly is fine, my opponent underestimated the idea of playing ...Kf7 and keeping it safe.} (18. Nd4 $1 {was critical} Nc5 19. Qg3 $1 exd4 { is the move that kept my opponent thinking for a long time} (19... Kf7 { is just horrible for Black (during the game, I thought this was somehow playable)} 20. Nxe6 Nxe6 21. Bb3 $18 {followed by f4}) 20. Qxg7 Rf8 21. b4 $1 ( 21. Bh6 $2 {is not impressive} Rf7 $1 22. Qg8+ Ke7 $19) (21. Bxh7 Qe7 $1 $15 { and Black survives}) 21... Rc7 22. Qh6 {if I give up the piece by playing ... Re7, then I'm simply worse. And ...d3 doesn't work either:} d3 23. Bd1 $1 $18 { [%csl Rc5,Re6]} (23. bxc5 $6 dxc2 24. Rxe6+ Re7 25. Rxe7+ Nxe7 26. Qd2 $14)) 18... Kf7 $1 19. Raa1 (19. Nh4 g6 $1 20. Nxg6 $2 hxg6 21. Qxg6+ Ke7 $19 { and ...Bf7.}) 19... Qc7 {Threatening ...Nb4, something that my opponent missed having only 1 minute on the clock to make 20 moves before time control (I had around 40).} 20. Rad1 $2 (20. Qe2 Nb4 $1 $11 {followed by ...Nd5.}) 20... Nb4 $1 21. Qe2 Nxc2 22. Qxc2 Nb8 23. Qa4 Rhd8 $15 24. h3 {It is not clear how to improve now. My position is definitely better - my pieces are well placed, his a6-pawn is weak, and most importantly, his minor pieces are badly placed hitting my solid structure (f3-knight and e3-bishop).} Qc4 $1 (24... Bd5 { I thought about this, but didn't see how to proceed after} 25. Nd2 $15) 25. Qa3 Qb3 {Exchanging queens is good to make the a6-pawn even weaker.} 26. Qxb3 Bxb3 27. Rxd8 Rxd8 28. Nd2 Be6 29. Ra1 Bc8 $6 (29... Nc6 $1 {avoiding Bxb6 and trying to expand my kingside majority.} 30. f3 f5 $15) 30. b4 $1 Bxa6 31. c4 $5 {Suddenly White tries to play for some tricks.} (31. b5 {was already good enough for a draw} Bxb5 32. Rxa7+ Rd7 (32... Kg6 33. Rb7 Nd7 34. Bxb6 $11) 33. Bxb6 $11) 31... Rd7 32. b5 Bc8 33. c5 bxc5 34. Ne4 {After all the middlegame mess, I was short on time with less than a minute, like my opponent!} Rc7 35. Bxc5 Ke6 36. Bxa7 (36. Rxa7 $11 {forced the draw right away.}) 36... Nd7 37. g4 $6 {This was unnecessary chances.} Bb7 38. Ng3 $6 (38. Nd2 $1 {followed by Be3, setting up a fortress, and also avoiding ideas like Rd3-Rb3, that could try to win the b5-pawn.}) 38... g6 (38... Rc3 $1 $17 {followed by ...Rb3 and after winning the b5-pawn, I have chances to push for a win - the opposite coloured bishops sometimes is good to create attacking patterns, when there are more pieces.}) 39. Re1 $15 {Here my opponent offered a draw - we both had 30 seconds, but there was a 30-minute bonus coming in the next move (40). I wanted to play ...Rc2, but for some reason I got scared of Ne2 (that threatens a fork on d4, but something I can defend in many ways), and besides that, I was happy with the overall result, because I was playing a very tough opponent, and also because I had had very bad position in the opening. Still, my decision to accept the draw was clearly wrong, since I still had something to play for: if I'm able to win the b-pawn, then White may have a hard time defending the endgame, specially after his g4 move. Naturally, he has huge drawing chances, but there was no risk at all for me. Anyway, a very rich game full of ideas!} (39. Re1 Rc2 $1 40. Ne2 Kf7 41. Rd1 Ke7 42. Re1 Rb2 $17) 1/2-1/2 [Event "Tata Steel Masters"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.01.13"] [Round "1.6"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Matlakov, Maxim"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C77"] [WhiteElo "2767"] [BlackElo "2718"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "105"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 {Anand decided to avoid the main lines.} b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. c3 d6 8. Bg5 ({Caruana against So chose instead: } 8. Nbd2 O-O 9. Nf1 {but Black was perfectly fine after} d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Ng3 f6 12. O-O Be6 {Caruana,F (2799)-So,W (2788) London 2017}) 8... h6 { Questioning the bishop at once is Black's best reaction.} 9. Bh4 g5 10. Bg3 Ba7 $146 {The black bishop is standing on the road of the rooks thus the black one on a8 ambushes its opponent.} (10... Bb6 11. Nbd2 O-O 12. Qe2 Ne7 13. d4 Ng6 14. dxe5 Nh5 15. O-O-O Nhf4 16. Bxf4 Nxf4 17. Qf1 {as in Alekseev,E (2651) -Predke,A (2543) Kaliningrad 2015}) 11. Nbd2 ({One point behind Matlakov's idea is that a move like} 11. a4 {can be simply ignored.}) 11... Na5 12. Bc2 Nh5 {Active play.} 13. a4 {This typical idea is not effective here.} (13. b4 { first, and only after} Nc6 14. a4 {was more accurate.}) 13... b4 $1 {Matlakov seizes his chances and takes over the initiative.} 14. cxb4 Nc6 15. b5 Nb4 { The knight offers Black some extra tactical options.} 16. Nc4 (16. Bb1 { disconnects the white rook from the queen and the simple} axb5 {leads to Black's advantage, since} 17. axb5 $2 (17. Qb3 {is better, although Black looks good after} Bc5) 17... Bxf2+ {is not good for White.}) ({Perhaps the simple} 16. O-O {was best when the tactical line} axb5 17. axb5 Bxf2+ $2 18. Bxf2 Rxa1 19. Qxa1 Nxc2 20. Qa4 {self-traps the knight on c2.}) 16... Nxg3 { Going for a forcing continuation.} ({Also promising for Black seems} 16... g4 17. Nh4 axb5 18. Ne3 ({Worse is} 18. axb5 Bxf2+ 19. Kxf2 Rxa1 20. Qxa1 Nxc2) 18... Bxe3 19. fxe3 Nxg3 20. hxg3 Qg5 {and Black should be somewhat better.}) 17. hxg3 g4 18. Nh4 ({No time for a spoiler} 18. b6 gxf3 19. bxa7 fxg2 20. Rg1 Nc6 $1 {favours Black.}) 18... axb5 19. axb5 (19. Ne3 Bxe3 20. fxe3 {would have transposed to the line mentioned above.}) 19... Bxf2+ {The ambush worked!} 20. Kxf2 Rxa1 21. Qxa1 Nxc2 22. Qa4 Qf6+ {It is important to spoil White's co-ordination.} ({Instead the immediate} 22... Nd4 23. b6+ Kf8 24. Rf1 { would allow artificial castling as} Qf6+ $2 25. Ke1 {is bad for Black.}) 23. Kg1 ({Or else the king would be badly exposed.} 23. Ke2 Nd4+ 24. Ke1 O-O) 23... Nd4 24. b6+ {A critical moment.} Bd7 {This natural move throws Black's advantage away.} ({Correct was} 24... Kf8 $1 {Now White cannot grab the pawn} 25. bxc7 $4 {due to the spectacular mate} ({Therefore Anand should have continued as in the game with} 25. Qd1 cxb6 26. Kh2 Kg7 27. Rf1 {but now} Qd8 { is an important additional option for Black. True, Anand's knights will have a lot of fun visiting both outposts on d5 and f5, but Black is a pawn up.}) 25... Ne2+ 26. Kh2 Qxh4+ $1 27. gxh4 g3#) 25. Qd1 $1 ({Once again} 25. bxc7 {is mate after} Ne2+ 26. Kh2 Qxh4+ 27. gxh4 g3#) 25... cxb6 26. Kh2 O-O 27. Rf1 { Now the difference with the above-mentioned line becomes clear. The bishop on d7 stands on the road of the black queen.} Qg5 ({If} 27... Qe7 28. Qd2 Kh7 29. Qb4 {regains the pawn.}) 28. Nxd6 Be6 {Now Black has to be careful.} 29. Nhf5 Nxf5 {Drops a pawn.} ({Correct was} 29... Rd8 30. Nxd4 Rxd6 31. Nxe6 Rxe6 32. Rf5 Qg7 {White is somewhat better, but Black should be able to hold.}) 30. exf5 Bd5 31. Qe2 Qf6 $1 {Practically forced.} ({Since} 31... f6 32. d4 $1 exd4 33. Qb5 Ba2 34. Rf4 $1 {leaves the black pieces scattered around the board.}) 32. Qxg4+ {Eight moves later tables have turned, and it is White who has the extra pawn.} Kh7 33. Ne4 Bxe4 34. dxe4 Rd8 {Correctly activates the rook.} (34... Rg8 35. Qf3) 35. Rc1 Rd4 36. Rc7 Rb4 37. Qe2 Kg7 38. Rc8 Qg5 ({Black has to be careful not to let the white queen in.} 38... Rd4 $2 39. Qb5 {with the threat Qb5-e8 could be deadly.}) (38... Kh7) 39. Rc6 Rb3 ({Here and on the next few moves it made sense to insert} 39... h5 $1 {fixing the white pawns.}) 40. Rc3 Rb4 ({On a hindsight, the queen endgame} 40... Rxc3 $1 41. bxc3 Qd8 {sounds like a better after-game idea...}) 41. b3 Rd4 42. Rc6 Rb4 43. Qf3 Kh7 {Now Anand finds a way to consolidate his advantage.} 44. Rd6 $1 Kg7 45. Rd5 { The rook is perfect on d5. It attacks the black pawns and limits the opponent's rook.} ({Not} 45. f6+ Kg6 46. Rd8 Qh5+ 47. Qxh5+ Kxh5 48. Rg8 Rxe4 49. Kh3 Re3 {and Black is just in time.}) 45... Qf6 {Now that the queen the passive, the king can get better.} 46. Kg1 $1 {One idea is to support the white pawns from the f3 square. Another-to go all the way to c3 and trap the black rook.} Kh7 47. Qd3 Kg7 48. Kf2 Rd4 ({Or} 48... Kh7 49. Rd6 Qg7 50. Kf3 { intending g3-g4.} (50. Ke2 Qg4+)) 49. Rxd4 exd4 50. Qb5 Qd8 ({The last chance was} 50... Qd6 51. e5 Qc7) 51. Qd5 Qf6 (51... Qxd5 52. exd5 Kf6 53. d6) 52. g4 Kg8 53. Kf3 {Black resigned as he loses a second pawn.} (53. Kf3 h5 54. e5 hxg4+ 55. Kxg4 Qg7+ 56. Kf3) 1-0 [Event "Tata Steel Masters"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee"] [Date "2018.01.13"] [Round "1.7"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B29"] [WhiteElo "2792"] [BlackElo "2804"] [Annotator "DF"] [PlyCount "57"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 $5 {This is another exceedingly rare guest in elite practice.} 3. e5 Nd5 4. Nc3 e6 5. Nxd5 exd5 6. d4 Nc6 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. Bd3 { I'm not surprised Wesley So decided to avoid the absolute most critical continuation and try for a positional edge, but I'm not sure what Black's prep could have been.} (8. Qxd5 $1 {is critical, and I was once privileged to watch a sharp line being played at a neighbouring board.} d6 (8... Qb6 $6 9. Bc4 Bxf2+ 10. Ke2 O-O 11. Rf1 Bc5 12. Ng5 Nxe5 13. Nxf7 Nxf7 14. Rxf7 Qe6+ 15. Qxe6 dxe6 16. Rxf8+ Kxf8 17. Bf4 $14 {Tan,J-Bach,M Helsingor 2015 , among others.}) 9. exd6 Qb6 10. Be3 $5 (10. Qe4+ Be6 11. Qh4 Bxd6 12. Bd3 $14 {is safer}) 10... Qxb2 11. Bb5 $1 $14 {White retains an extra pawn against best play.}) 8... d6 9. exd6 Qxd6 10. O-O O-O 11. Re1 h6 12. h3 Bd7 13. Be3 {Presumably, Wesley So had in mind some idea of occupying the d4-square when he made his 8th move, but it is not possible to execute unless Black helpfully trades the bishops. With a move such as the one played Black keeps equality.} d4 (13... b6 $6 14. c3 Rfe8 15. Qd2 $14) 14. Bd2 Rfe8 15. a3 Qd5 {Thematically playing for ...Bf5.} 16. b4 Bd6 17. c4 dxc3 18. Rxe8+ Rxe8 19. Bxc3 Be6 20. Be4 Qxe4 21. Qxd6 Qc2 22. Qd2 {Instead of playing this move it is also possible to offer a draw immediately.} Qxd2 23. Nxd2 Rd8 24. Re1 Nd4 25. a4 Nc2 26. Rc1 Nd4 27. Re1 Nc2 28. Rc1 Nd4 29. Re1 1/2-1/2 [Event "Tata Steel Masters"] [Site "chess24.com"] [Date "2018.01.13"] [Round "1.4"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Adhiban, B."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B12"] [WhiteElo "2768"] [BlackElo "2655"] [Annotator "DF"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 Ne7 6. O-O h6 {Not the move I was intending to recommend in my forthcoming book (!) but nevertheless a main line. Perhaps it is worth a detailed look!} 7. Nbd2 Bh7 8. Nb3 Nd7 9. a4 (9. Bd2 { may possibly be a better challenge to Black's ...g5-centric setup (though obviously Svidler in his preparation thought differently.) Careless play by Black would be:} Nf5 10. Rc1 g5 11. h3 Be7 12. c4 $14 {and White obtains essentially what he wants.}) 9... g5 $5 {A very logical novelty (at least according to my database.)} (9... Nf5 10. a5 Be7 {was played previously, but as in the last note ...Be7 is met well by c4.} 11. c4 $14 {Azarov,S-Kunal,M Abu Dhabi 2016}) 10. a5 a6 (10... Nf5 11. c4 $1 g4 12. Nfd2 h5 13. a6 b6 14. cxd5 cxd5 15. Nb1 $14 {seems concerning, or at least easier to play for White, as Black's king lacks shelter on either the kingside or queenside, and its home in the centre will soon come under attack. Maybe best now is ...f6, but White should be better.}) 11. c3 (11. Bd2 Nf5 12. h3 {looks sensible, keeping open the option of g4 and also thinking vaguely about the strategically desirable Ne1-d3 or Qe1/Bb4 plans.}) 11... Nf5 {Now this may be equal as ... Black will be able to choose between ...c5 and ...f6.} 12. Bd3 (12. c4 $11 { may proceed like the note to Black's 10th but Black now has b5 covered in the event of the c-pawns being swapped.}) (12. g4 Ne7 13. Be3 {is advocated by the engine but after} f6 $1 $13 {I am skeptical.}) 12... g4 13. Ne1 h5 14. Nc2 c5 { As promised, but White now tries to prove a little something and basically gets it.} (14... f6 $5 15. f4 Qe7 $132 {may have avoided giving White such easy play.}) 15. Nxc5 Nxc5 $6 (15... Bxc5 $1 16. dxc5 Nxc5 17. Nb4 Rc8 $11 { may have been easier.}) 16. dxc5 Bxc5 17. Nd4 $1 (17. Bf4 Nh4 $1 $11 {is a good wrinkle for Black, exchanging the bishops and bringing his knight to a great square on g6.}) 17... Bxd4 (17... Nh4 {may once again have been a good idea. White always lacks f4 due to Black's advanced kingside pawns.} 18. Be3 Rc8 19. Bxh7 Rxh7 20. Qd2 Rg7 $132) 18. cxd4 Rc8 {Reaching a curious position where White must be better but his position may be a little harder to play.} 19. Ra3 $6 {A strategically well-informed move, thinking about doubling on the f-file in future, but this proves impossible to arrange.} (19. Bf4 {With the simple plan of Rc1, since Black's c8-rook currently does more work than the White a1-rook.} Nh4 {If Black plays ...Ne7 then all the minor pieces come off, which is in White's interest only.} 20. Bxh7 Rxh7 21. Rc1 $14) 19... Rc7 20. Bf4 Nh4 21. Qd2 (21. Bxh7 Rxh7 22. Qd2 {is the engine opinion, still trying to arrange a rook trade with Rc1.}) 21... Bxd3 22. Bg5 Qc8 23. Rxd3 Nf5 {Almost a perfect fortress. Black has equalised for the second time! Any lingering advantage the engine gives is purely down to preference for a bishop over a knight.} 24. Qb4 Kd7 25. Qa4+ Rc6 26. Rc1 Rg8 27. Bf6 Qc7 28. g3 Rc8 29. Rc5 Ke8 30. b4 Qd7 31. Qd1 Rxc5 32. bxc5 Qb5 33. h3 1/2-1/2 [Event "Tata Steel Masters"] [Site "chess24.com"] [Date "2018.01.13"] [Round "1.2"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Hou, Yifan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2752"] [BlackElo "2680"] [Annotator "DF"] [PlyCount "127"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 {To my mind, a fairly underestimated line, and the reason I don't often play the Petroff now.} (5. c4 {is an interesting attempt at playing move-orders, but I think Black is considered to be fine after} Nc6 $11) (5. d4 {is the main move.}) (5. Qe2 { was the first game, Carlsen-Caruana.}) 5... Nxc3 (5... Nf6 {would have been an interesting choice against Giri, considering he has championed the Black side. From what I understand, the point for White is to avoid the impulse to play too early against the c8-bishop, because that will simply encourage a fianchetto and Black will be fine.} 6. d4 Be7 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O Re8 9. Re1 $1 { The point of this is to force Black to commit his light-squared bishop one way or another. Even moves that do not obviously do this- such as ...d5- really do make a decision, because they make the fianchetto rather undesirable. White can play against either ...Bg4 or ...b6, but should do so in different ways and definitely should not commit to h3 just yet.} ({Following the immediate} 9. h3 b6 $1 {Black was soon fine in Vachier Lagrave,M-Giri,A Germany 2012.}) 9... Nbd7 10. Bf4 {White is slightly better, for instance} Nf8 11. h3 b6 12. Bb5 Bd7 13. a4 $14) 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 {The choice is between this move and Bf4. The current move allows Black lots of ...Ne5 possibilities, which I believe he should take.} (7. Bf4 {meanwhile does not gel so well with the rest of White's kingside attack.} O-O 8. Bd3 Nd7 9. Qd2 Nc5 $11 {for instance seems fine for Black.}) 7... Nc6 8. Bd3 Be6 {White should play one of the queen moves and then castle queenside, and I think given that White has played Be3, Black should castle queenside too. No surprise then that the present game continued in that way.} 9. Qe2 (9. Qd2 Qd7 {was similar enough and a game of mine: Jackson-Fernandez, Coventry 2013.}) 9... Bf6 10. O-O-O Qe7 (10... Qd7 {is more natural to me, not worrying about White's Ng5 ideas, but more concerned with cuing up ...Bf5 in future.}) 11. Kb1 a6 12. Rhe1 O-O-O 13. h3 Rhe8 (13... h5 { is trivially easy to recommend in hindsight, but it should have been reasonably obvious that White wanted kingside space.}) 14. g4 h6 15. Nd2 $1 $14 {Now White is probably a tiny bit better, but obviously an incredible amount of technique and further errors need to be played out over the board before White can think about winning.} Bg5 16. f4 Bh4 17. Bf2 Bxf2 18. Qxf2 Qf8 19. f5 {Opting to set Black more direct problems, but ceding the e5-square. While I am not sure this is the best continuation, it could be the most practical, especially against slightly lower-rated opposition.} (19. Nf1 {seems more natural to me, waving the idea of Ng3-h5 around.}) 19... Bd7 20. f6 g6 (20... Rxe1 21. Rxe1 g5 $11) 21. Be4 Kb8 22. Nc4 Re6 $6 {In practical terms, another slight mistake. We obtain a similar structure to Carlsen-Caruana, but with the minor pieces off the board Black faces more difficulties.} 23. Bxc6 $1 Rxe1 24. Rxe1 Bxc6 25. Na5 Re8 26. Nxc6+ bxc6 27. Qg3 {The engine evaluation of 0.00 is hopelessly unhelpful for looking at this position. What is important is that White is marginally more active and has a better structure and advanced f6-pawn. Giving variations is slightly pointless here, so I shall try and confine myself to comments only.} Qh8 28. Re7 Rxe7 29. fxe7 Qe8 30. Qe3 Kc8 31. h4 Kd7 32. Qxh6 Qxe7 33. b3 $14 {White will be able to fix the f7-pawn and of course a6 is still a weakness also. Doubtless this endgame will be discussed for a while to come, including fortress possibilities and better White tries, but the contours of what White must aim for are now clear.} Qe4 34. g5 Qe5 35. Qf8 Qd5 36. Kb2 c5 37. Qg8 Qf3 38. Qf8 Qd5 39. Qg7 Qf5 40. Qg8 Qf3 41. a4 Qf1 42. Qf8 Qf5 43. Qa8 Qf1 44. Qe4 {Again, in human terms White has acheived something else- the centralisation of his queen. Black must wait around until White shows what the next stage of his plan is- though presumably it must be b4.} Kd8 45. Qg4 {A mini-zugzwang.} d5 46. a5 $1 Qe1 47. h5 {This simplifies Black's task a little bit, but does not completely give equality.} (47. Qf4 Qe6 48. Qf2 Qe7 49. Qf1 Qe6 50. b4 $14 {is another try}) 47... gxh5 48. Qxh5 Qe6 49. Qh8+ Ke7 50. b4 cxb4 51. cxb4 Kd7 $11 52. Qd4 Kc8 53. Qf6 $5 {Even the pawn endgame retains certain practical difficulties and would be an ideal candidate for the next Naiditsch book.} Qxf6+ 54. gxf6 Kd7 55. Kb3 Kc6 $4 { My educated guess is that this move arose out of a desire to win a moral battle for tempi. Against 55.Kc3 Black had ...Kd6 in mind, and so it was natural to try and avoid that 'critical square' with the present move... Well, we may never know.} ({Black had to play} 55... Kd6 $1 {to draw, and the idea is of course ...c5.} 56. c4 (56. Ka4 c6 57. Kb3 c5 $11) 56... c5 $1 57. b5 d4 58. b6 Kc6 59. Kc2 $11 {Both kings are stuck.}) 56. c4 {Suddenly White is completely winning.} d4 (56... dxc4+ 57. Kxc4 Kd6 58. b5 axb5+ 59. Kxb5 Kd7 60. a6 Kc8 61. Kc6 Kb8 62. a7+ {is even more trivial}) 57. Kc2 Kd6 58. Kd2 $3 { Amazing tempo play, but stereotyped enough.The idea is that only after Black recaptures on c5 must White play Kd3! as that position is a mutual zugzwang.} ( 58. Kd3 c5 {is once again a draw.}) 58... c6 59. Ke2 {Avoiding the d3-square for the last time.} Kd7 (59... Ke5 60. b5 $18) (59... c5 60. bxc5+ Kc6 (60... Kxc5 61. Kd3) 61. Kd2 $1 Kxc5 62. Kd3 $18) 60. Kd3 Kc7 61. Kxd4 Kd6 62. Kd3 Kc7 63. Ke4 Kd6 64. Kd4 {Not an undeserved victory, but a slightly surprising one.} 1-0 [Event "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2018.01.15"] [Round "3.5"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2767"] [BlackElo "2811"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "83"] [EventDate "2018.01.13"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. c4 c6 9. Qc2 {"Funnily enough this is the first time someone plays this against him." (Anand)} ({Indeed, Caruana's latest game from London saw:} 9. Re1 Bf5 10. Qb3 Qd7 11. Nc3 Nxc3 12. Bxf5 Qxf5 13. Qxb7 Qd7 14. Qxd7 Nxd7 15. c5 Bxh2+ 16. Nxh2 Ne4 {Vachier Lagrave,M (2789)-Caruana,F (2799) London 2017}) 9... Na6 10. a3 Bg4 11. Ne5 Bf5 12. b4 ({Avoiding the rather uninspiring:} 12. Nc3 Bxe5 13. dxe5 Nac5 14. cxd5 cxd5 {1/2-1/2 (14) Piorun,K (2631)-Wei,Y (2728) Khanty-Mansiysk 2017}) 12... Nc7 $146 {As usual Caruana is very well prepared in the opening. He comes up with an interesting novelty.} ({In the predecessor White did not achieve much after} 12... f6 13. Nf3 Bg6 14. Nc3 Nxc3 15. Bxg6 hxg6 16. Qxc3 dxc4 17. Qxc4+ Rf7 {Leko,P (2740) -Ivanchuk,V (2729) Monte Carlo 2006}) 13. f3 (13. cxd5 {allows an additional resource for Black:} cxd5 14. f3 Rc8 $1 {with the main point being} 15. fxe4 dxe4 16. Rxf5 Ne6 17. Qd1 Nxd4 18. Bxe4 $2 Rxc1 $1) 13... Bg6 $1 {"He came up with this idea which I idea missed or did not prepare." (Anand)} ({Apprently, the former world champion spent most of his preparation on the line} 13... Bxe5 14. dxe5 Bg6 {where he cannot win the knight with} 15. fxe4 $2 ({But instead White has a couple of promising options:} 15. Rd1 $5) ({or} 15. Be3 $5) 15... dxe4 16. Be2 Qd4+) 14. c5 { After long thought White rejects the offer.} ({In the line:} 14. Nxg6 fxg6 $1 15. fxe4 ({Even worse is} 15. c5 Bxh2+ 16. Kxh2 Qh4+ 17. Kg1 Ng3 18. Bb2 { when Black has a guaranteed draw with} Qh1+ ({Or may chose the even stronger} 18... Ne6 $1 {followed by Ne6-f4. (Anand)}) 19. Kf2 Qh4) 15... Qh4 {(Anand)} ({ Objectively} 15... dxe4 $1 {is stronger with the key idea} 16. Bxe4 ({Better is } 16. Rxf8+ Bxf8 17. Bxe4 Qxd4+ {with perpetual.} 18. Kf1 Qf6+ ({But Black may also chose to play on with} 18... Qxa1 19. Bb2 Qa2 20. Bd3 Bxb4 21. axb4 Rd8) 19. Kg1 Qd4+ {with perpetual.}) 16... Bxh2+ 17. Kxh2 Rxf1 {and Black wins.}) 16. g3 Bxg3 17. hxg3 (17. Qg2 $1 {might have been missed by Anand.}) 17... Qxg3+ 18. Kh1 {The Indian GM explained that here Black will always find perpetual, but one wrong move for White, or rather one missed move might lead to a loss for him. Indeed, Black seems to have decisive attack after} Qh3+ 19. Kg1 Ne6 $1) 14... Bxe5 15. dxe5 Ng5 16. Bb2 $1 {An important move. There is a problem with the knight on g5 and White wants to capitalize on it. Now the advance of the f-pawn is on the agenda. Caruana needs to react fast.} ({After} 16. Nd2 Bxd3 17. Qxd3 f5 $1 {Black manages to seal the kingside and arrange an excellent oupost for his knight on e6.}) 16... d4 $5 {This is how to solve the problem- no knight, no problem as some will say...} ({Here} 16... Bxd3 17. Qxd3 f5 {would be met with the simple} ({Anand expected instead} 17... b6 18. cxb6 axb6 19. Nd2 Nge6 20. f4 {and now} g6 21. f5 gxf5 22. Rxf5 Qh4 {although this definitely looks very risky for Black.} (22... Kg7)) 18. exf6 {spoiling Black's pawn structure.}) 17. f4 Nd5 18. fxg5 Ne3 19. Qd2 Bxd3 20. Qxd3 ({ White also checked the consequeces of the sharp} 20. Rf4 Bxb1 ({But later came to the conclusion he did well not to enter them because of} 20... Qxg5 $1 21. Rxd4 Rad8 22. Rd6 Be4 (22... Qf5 $1 {is even stronger with advantage for Black. })) 21. Rxd4 Nd5 22. Rxb1 {"It's not much of a pawn, but it is a pawn" (Anand)} ) 20... Nxf1 21. Kxf1 Qxg5 22. Nd2 Qxe5 {The forced play is over. Caruana will have a rook and a pawn versus two light pieces which is favorable for White in this particular position.} 23. Nf3 ({Later on Anand regretted that he did not go for the line that he originally intended:} 23. Nc4 $1 Qxh2 24. Qxd4 f6 ({Or } 24... Qh6 25. Nd6) 25. Nd6 {The knight on d6 is a monster which paralizes both the black rooks.}) 23... Qh5 24. Qxd4 f6 25. Qc4+ Kh8 $1 ({White was hoping for} 25... Qf7 26. Qxf7+ Rxf7 27. Nd2 {followed by Nd2-c4-d6 (Anand)}) 26. Bc1 $1 {The bishop was blunted on the long diagonal. Now it gets back in business. The d6 square is tempting for either of the white light pieces.} Rfe8 27. Bf4 a5 {Somewhere around here Caruana lost the path.} ({Correct and obvious was:} 27... Qf5 28. Bd6 Re3 {to double the rooks on the open file. After} 29. Kg1 Rae8 30. Rf1 Qg6 {Black should be OK.(Anand)}) 28. Bd6 ({ White considered} 28. bxa5 {as well, which seems less promising after} Rxa5 29. Bd6 Rb5) 28... axb4 $2 {"This is just astonishing! Now I am getting big advantage." (Anand)} (28... Qg6 $5) 29. Qxb4 Qd5 30. Qxb7 h6 ({Anand speculated that his opponent might have missed that in the forcing line} 30... Rxa3 31. Rxa3 Qd1+ 32. Kf2 Qc2+ 33. Kg3 Qg6+ {There is no perpetual because of} 34. Kh3 Qh5+ 35. Nh4 g5 36. Qb4 {and White wins.}) 31. Kg1 Ra4 32. h3 {Getting air for the king. One important observation by the former world champion was that with the bishop on d6 he is not even afraid of the sacrifices on f3 as there will be no perpetual thanks to that piece.} Rc4 (32... Re2 {does not work due to} 33. Bf8 $1) 33. Qb2 Qd3 34. Ra2 $1 {"I realized that the second rank is more dangerous than the first one." (Anand)} ({Although he also saw a win after} 34. Qd2 Qxd2 35. Nxd2 Rc2 36. Nf3 Ree2 37. Ne1 Ra2 38. Rxa2 Rxa2 39. Nd3 {followed by Nd3-b4xc6.}) 34... Qd1+ 35. Kh2 Rc1 36. a4 f5 37. Qb7 { Caruana's time trouble did not help neither, but his position is lost anyway.} f4 38. Bxf4 Rxc5 39. Rd2 (39. Qf7 Rg8 40. Qg6 {would have won as well.}) 39... Qxa4 40. Qf7 Rg8 41. Be5 Qc4 {Caruana did not wish to see the mate on the board.} 42. Rd6 $1 (42. Rd6 Qxf7 43. Rxh6#) (42. Bxg7+ $2 {does not work due to } Rxg7 43. Rd8+ Kh7 44. Ng5+ $4 (44. Qe8 Rg8 {is a draw.}) 44... Rcxg5 45. Qxc4 Rxg2+ 46. Kh1 Rg1+ 47. Kh2 R7g2#) (42. Qe7 {also complicates matters after} Rd5 ) 1-0 [Event "80th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2018.01.24"] [Round "10.1"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D02"] [WhiteElo "2834"] [BlackElo "2792"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "149"] [EventDate "2018.01.13"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. Bf4 Bf5 4. e3 e6 5. c4 Bxb1 {A lot of authors award this move with an exclamation mark and state that the resulting positions are equal. What will follow next did not come as a shocking surprise for either of the players.} 6. Qxb1 ({The other main options are:} 6. Rxb1 Bb4+ 7. Ke2 ({ In my Megabase there are even 11 games featuring:} 7. Nd2 $4 Ne4)) ({And} 6. Qa4+ {which worked spectacularly well for Kamsky after} b5 $2 7. cxb5 Be4 8. b6+ Nbd7 9. bxc7 Qe7 10. a3 {and White was already winning, Kamsky,G (2702) -Bortnyk,O (2348) ICC INT 2010}) 6... Bb4+ 7. Kd1 Bd6 {Another exclamation mark according to the French GM Prie.} 8. Bg5 h6 9. Bxf6 {Carlsen deviates of an earlier game of these two.} ({Some of our readers have probably followed this game live on the chess.com server:} 9. Bh4 g5 10. Bg3 Ne4 11. Qc2 g4 { with a fightful draw later, Carlsen,M (2832)-So,W (2815) chess.com INT 2017. Most likely both players analyzes extensively the arising positions.}) 9... Qxf6 10. cxd5 $146 {Carlsen improves on a game played by...So!} ({Obviously, the world champion did not quite like the position arising after:} 10. c5 Bf8 11. Qc2 c6 12. b4 a6 13. Bd3 Nd7 14. Ke2 g5 15. h3 Bg7 16. a4 Qe7 17. Rad1 O-O 18. g4 e5 {So,W (2822)-Wojtaszek,R (2745) Shamkir 2017}) 10... exd5 11. e4 { The point behind White's play. In the Carlsbad pawn structure White does not even have a hint of an advantage.} Be7 ({Finally, a positive aspect behind the king's position on d1. In the line} 11... dxe4 $2 12. Qxe4+ {The move} Qe7 { does not pin a white king on e1 and White can grab the pawn} 13. Qxb7) 12. Bb5+ {An important intermediate move.} ({The immediate} 12. e5 {allos the queen to get on a better position with} Qb6) 12... c6 13. e5 Qf4 (13... Qe6 {deserves attention as well with the same idea} 14. Bd3 c5) 14. Bd3 {Intending Kd1-e2 followed by g2-g3. Black cannot allow this.} c5 $1 15. dxc5 ({On} 15. Ke2 Nc6 $1 {is strong.}) 15... Nc6 {It seems as Black easily hold the equality, and might even think of something more.} 16. Qc1 Qb4 ({On} 16... Qg4 {White was likely planning} 17. h3 Qxg2 $2 18. Ke2) 17. a3 Qxc5 18. Ke2 {Carlsen still wants to get squeeze something out of the position.} (18. Qxc5 Bxc5 19. Ke2 Bb6 {is equal instead.}) 18... Nd4+ ({Perhaps better was} 18... Qb6 $5 {keeping the knights on the board.}) 19. Nxd4 Qxd4 20. f4 O-O ({After the obvious} 20... Bc5 {So probably disliked the fact the the white king gets too slippery:} 21. Qd2 (21. Rf1 O-O {is good for Black.}) 21... O-O ({Or} 21... Qf2+ 22. Kd1 Qd4 23. Kc2 Rc8 24. Kb3) 22. Kf3 f6 23. e6 {which leads to a better version of the game for White.}) 21. Qd2 Qb6 22. Rhe1 (22. Kf3 $5 f6 23. e6 {might transpose}) 22... f6 $1 {Once again Black wants to open the game and get access to the white king.} 23. e6 $1 {And once more Carlsen rejects the offer.} ({After} 23. exf6 Bxf6 24. Rab1 {Black would seize the initiative with} g5 ({Or the preliminary} 24... Rae8+ 25. Kf1 g5)) 23... Qxe6+ 24. Kf3 {For the pawn Carlsen got open files and diagonals for his pieces. He does not risk much with the opposite-colored bishops on the board. In fact So needs to be careful about White's initiative.} Qd7 {Now White's initiative becomes frightening.} ({ Safer was:} 24... Qf7 25. Qe3 ({Or} 25. Bf5 Kh8) 25... Bd6) 25. Rad1 Rad8 26. Qe3 Bd6 27. Bg6 f5 {If 24...Qd7 looked inaccurate, this seems wrong. Black practically loses a pawn.} ({The endgame after} 27... Qc6 28. Qe6+ Kh8 29. Qxd5 Qxd5+ ({However} 29... Qc7 $1 {would have kept the game even as both kings remain exposed.}) 30. Rxd5 {is difficult for Black. He plays without a king.}) 28. Qe6+ Qxe6 29. Rxe6 Bc5 ({The lesser evil in comparison to} 29... Bc7 30. h4 {followed by h4-h5 when Black is paralyzed.} (30. Re7 $5)) 30. Re5 Rf6 31. Bxf5 Bd6 ({Maybe a better chance was} 31... Kf7 $5 32. Rexd5 Rxd5 33. Rxd5 Be7 { intending Rf6-d6.}) 32. Rdxd5 ({Not} 32. Rexd5 g6) 32... Kf7 ({So correctly avoids the rook endgame after} 32... Bxe5 33. Rxd8+ Kf7 34. Rd7+ Ke8 35. fxe5 ( {Worse is} 35. g4 Bxb2 36. Rxb7 Rb6 $1) 35... Rxf5+ 36. Ke4 Rg5 37. Rxb7 Rxg2 38. b4 {when White should be winning.}) 33. Re4 g6 34. Bg4 $1 {One of those little moves that make the big difference. Carlsen lures the pawn to h5 to stop the g6-g5 threat.} h5 35. Bh3 Re8 36. Red4 {The world champion wants to keep both the rooks on board. But I wonder of he just did not miss Black's next.} (36. Rxe8 Kxe8 37. g3 {gives Black serious hopes to draw.}) 36... Be5 $1 {A strong defensive resource. So makes it to the g6-g5 push.} 37. Rb4 ({Or} 37. Rc4 g5) 37... g5 38. g3 b6 $1 ({Weaker was} 38... g4+ 39. Bxg4 hxg4+ 40. Kxg4 Rg6+ 41. Kf3 Bd6 42. Rxb7+ Re7 {with four pawns for the piece White should be winning.}) 39. Rd7+ (39. Bd7 Re7 40. Bb5 Bd6) 39... Kf8 40. Rh7 $1 {The only chance to play for a win. One way to fight the drawing tendences in the opposite-colored bishop endgame is to sacrifice the bishop!} ({Black should hold after} 40. Rxa7 Bd6 41. Rc4 b5 42. Rc2 (42. Rd4 $2 Bc5) 42... gxf4) 40... g4+ 41. Bxg4 hxg4+ 42. Kxg4 Bd6 43. Rc4 a5 {One wrong move and So's fantastic defense fails.} ({Strong was} 43... Rg6+ $1 {with the idea} 44. Kf3 ({Or} 44. Kf5 Rg7 45. Rh8+ Kf7 46. Rxe8 Kxe8) 44... Bc5 $1 45. Rxa7 Re3+ 46. Kg2 Re2+ { when Black should have enough counter-play.}) 44. Rc6 {Now Carlsen wins fourth pawn for the piece.} Kg8 45. Rb7 Be5 46. Rcxb6 Rxb6 47. Rxb6 Bd4 48. Rb5 { It is funny that the computers evaluate the position as approximately equal. The human understands though that any of the pawns can become a queen and that they cannot be stopped from moving.} Re2 49. b3 ({Stronger than} 49. h4 Rxb2 50. Rxa5 Rb3 51. Kh5 {when} Rf3 $1 {complicates matters.} ({Rather than} 51... Rxg3 52. Rg5+ Rxg5+ 53. hxg5 {which wins for White.})) 49... Rxh2 ({More resilient is} 49... a4 50. Rb4 Bg1 51. Rxa4 Bxh2) 50. Rxa5 Re2 51. Rd5 Bb2 52. a4 {The pawns got into motion.} Bc3 53. Kf5 Re8 54. g4 Rf8+ 55. Ke4 Rb8 56. Rb5 {Any time the rooks are traded it is game over.} Re8+ (56... Rxb5 $2 57. axb5) 57. Kd3 Be1 58. a5 {The rest is fine technical work by the world champion.} Bf2 59. b4 Re3+ 60. Kc4 Re4+ 61. Kb3 Kf7 (61... Rxf4 62. Rf5 $1) 62. Re5 Rd4 63. b5 Rd3+ 64. Kc2 Rg3 65. g5 Bd4 66. Rd5 Be3 67. Rd3 Rg2+ 68. Kb3 Bc1 ({Or} 68... Bxf4 69. Rf3 Rg4 70. a6 Kg6 71. Rxf4 Rxf4 72. a7) 69. b6 Ke6 70. Rd4 Rb2+ 71. Ka4 Kf5 72. Rb4 Ra2+ 73. Kb5 Bxf4 {Now it all ends with a small a la Capablanca combination.} 74. Rxf4+ $1 Kxf4 75. b7 1-0 [Event "80th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2018.01.24"] [Round "10.4"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Matlakov, Maxim"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2787"] [BlackElo "2718"] [PlyCount "77"] [EventDate "2018.01.13"] {[Annotations by FM Mike Klein]} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bh4 Be7 8. Nbd2 d6 9. Bb3 (9. a4 Nh5 10. g3 Nf6 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. h4 h5 13. Nh2 g6 14. g4 hxg4 15. Nxg4 Bxh4 16. Qf3 Kg7 {Sethuraman,S (2646) -Inarkiev,E (2689) Riadh 2017}) 9... Nh5 10. Bxe7 Qxe7 11. Nc4 Qf6 {Anatoly Karpov won with this move in recent years over IM Sophie Milliet of France on her home soil (Cap D'Agde 2012).} 12. Ne3 Nf4 13. Bc2 (13. O-O {was the Frenchwoman's choice, but in order to fend off the kingside attack she made some pawn concessions and lost in the ending. It seems a little dangerous to castle directly into the looming knight on f4, so Kramnik goes the other way with his king.}) 13... Ne7 14. g3 Nh3 15. Qe2 {Now the knight is just kind of sitting there with no target.} c5 $146 {Now that it is clear that White's king will end up on the queenside, the top three suggestions by the machine are: ... b5, ...c5, and ...a5!} (15... Be6 16. d4 Ng5 17. Nxg5 hxg5 18. O-O-O Ng6 19. h4 gxh4 20. Qh5 Rfe8 21. Nf5 Kf8 22. f4 exf4 23. e5 dxe5 24. dxe5 Qxe5 25. Rde1 Qf6 {Rizouk,A (2511)-Vocaturo,D (2574) Barcelona 2016}) 16. O-O-O Be6 17. d4 cxd4 (17... Bxa2 18. dxe5 dxe5 19. Rd7 {and Black's attack is not really progressing as White controls the open file and the Nh3 is still stranded.}) 18. cxd4 Rac8 19. Kb1 Rc7 (19... Rxc2 $1 {is the diabolical suggestion of the machine.} 20. Kxc2 (20. Nxc2 {and now play switches to the kingside!} Bg4 21. Rd3 Nc6 {and both Black knights will pile up on f3!}) (20. Qxc2 Qxf3) 20... Qg6 $3 (20... Bxa2 21. b3 d5 $1 {may also be playable but needs a few hours to work out!}) 21. Ng2 (21. Nd2 exd4) 21... Bxa2 22. b3 f5) 20. Rd2 Rfc8 (20... Rxc2 {Even with the complete loss of tempo, it is still playable, although with slightly less venom. Play would be somewhat similar to the previous note.} ) 21. dxe5 dxe5 22. Rhd1 g6 23. Rd6 Rc6 24. Bb3 Rf8 $2 (24... Rxd6) 25. R1d3 $2 (25. Bxe6 Rxd6 (25... fxe6 26. Rd8 {and White is better}) 26. Bxh3 {gives White a winning advantage.}) 25... Rfc8 26. Rd1 Rf8 {Second chance!} 27. a3 { Nope!} h5 28. Bxe6 {Finally! Although there is no white knight hopping to g4 now.} fxe6 29. Rd7 Nc8 30. Nc4 Nxf2 31. Ncxe5 $1 {Now Black is in a bad positional bind.} Nxd1 32. Qxd1 Rc5 33. Qd4 Nb6 34. Rxb7 Rb5 35. Rxa7 Rd8 36. Qc3 Rc8 37. Rc7 Rd8 38. Qc6 Rb3 39. Rf7 {Black resigned since 39...Qh8 40. Qxe6 is horrid. Such a complicated struggle that could comprise its own DVD!} 1-0 [Event "80th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2018.01.26"] [Round "11.4"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Hou, Yifan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D35"] [WhiteElo "2767"] [BlackElo "2680"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2018.01.13"] 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. cxd5 Nxd5 {The improved Tarrasch was not really a surprise for the five-time world champion.} 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 c5 7. Rb1 {A fashionable choice. It stops the standard trade of the dark-squared bishops via the b4 square. "I would not say that it can revitalize the line, but at least it is playable." (Anand)} Be7 8. Nf3 O-O 9. Bc4 Nc6 ({Another plan is} 9... Qc7 10. Qe2 a6 11. O-O b5 12. Bd3 Bb7 13. a4 bxa4 14. Bf4 { and White was already much better in Carlsen,M (2832) -So,W (2815) chess.com INT 2017}) 10. O-O b6 11. Be3 Bb7 12. Qe2 cxd4 13. cxd4 Rc8 14. Rfd1 Qc7 15. d5 {"Still prep. We thought this is pleasant for White."(Anand) The central break is probably Black's main problem in this whole opening.} ({Part of the prep was the line arising after} 15. Rbc1 Qb8 16. d5 exd5 17. Bxd5 Nb4) 15... Ne5 { "I somehow could not remember what to do after this." (Anand)} 16. Bb5 ({ "The problem with} 16. Nxe5 Qxe5 17. dxe6 {is} Qxe4 18. exf7+ Kh8 19. f3 Qxc4 20. Qxc4 Rxc4 21. Rd7 Bc5 22. Bxc5 Rxc5 23. Rxb7 {is} Ra5 24. Rb2 ({White can also try to double on the seventh rank with} 24. Re1 g6 25. Ree7 {but this should also lead to a draw after} Rxa2 26. Rxa7 Rxa7 27. Rxa7 Kg7 28. Rb7 Rxf7 29. Rxb6) 24... g6 {"followed by Kh8-g7xf7 with equality" (Anand)}) 16... exd5 ({Perhaps better was not to hurry with the trade and go} 16... Nxf3+ $5 17. Qxf3 Bd6 {at once.}) 17. exd5 Nxf3+ 18. Qxf3 Bc5 $146 {Up to here all of this was seen in a correspondence game.} (18... Qd6 19. Bf4 Qg6 20. Bd3 f5 21. Qg3 Qxg3 22. hxg3 Bxd5 23. Ba6 Bxa2 24. Bxc8 Rxc8 25. Ra1 {and White eventually won, Grego, L (2217)-Andersen,J (2258) corr. 2011}) ({On} 18... Bd6 {Anand was planning} 19. h4 {followed by h4-h5. The idea is to force h7-h7 "which is a concession" and then "harass" the black king with a battery along the b1-h7 diagonal.}) ({White is better also after} 18... a6 19. Rbc1 ({The preliminary} 19. Bf4 Bd6 20. Rbc1 Qb8 21. Bxd6 Qxd6 22. Bc6 {might be even stronger.}) 19... Bc5 20. Bxc5 bxc5 21. Bc4 {(Anand)}) 19. Rbc1 Qe7 {"A clever idea!" (Anand)} ({ Hou avoids} 19... Rfd8 20. Bg5 {(Anand)}) 20. Bf4 ({"It is a pity that} 20. Bxc5 Rxc5 21. d6 {does not work, due to} Bxf3 ({Not} 21... Qg5 22. Rxc5 Bxf3 23. Rxg5 Bxd1 24. Re5 {followed by d6-d7 and Re5-e8 and wins.}) 22. dxe7 Bxd1 23. Rxd1 Rxb5 24. f4 $1 f6 25. Rd8 Re8 $1 26. Rxe8+ Kf7 27. Rg8 Kxe7 28. Rxg7+ Ke6 29. Rxa7 Kf5 {and White has no winning chances." (Anand)} ({Or} 29... h5)) 20... Bd6 21. Bc6 {The Indian GM was not sure that he had exactly this position in the prep, but he remembered that the d-pawn was somehow landing on c6. Thus he was confident.} Bxf4 ({The other defensive set up is} 21... Rc7 22. Qg3 Bxf4 23. Qxf4 Qd8 24. Bxb7 Rxb7 25. d6 {although White is clearly better here.}) ({And letting the pawn come to c7 with a bishop protecting does not seem like a great idea either:} 21... Bxc6 22. dxc6 Bc5 23. c7) 22. Qxf4 Bxc6 23. dxc6 Qc7 ({The former world champion also mentioned the other defensive set-up:} 23... Rfd8 24. Rxd8+ Qxd8 25. c7 Qd7 26. h4 {when Black can sit and wait, or go for the active queenside pawn-push with} h6 27. g3 b5 28. Rc5 a5 29. Kh2 Kh7 30. h5 {Anand was not sure of Black can survive this at all, but he was sure that even if this is possible none will ever repeat this again... On a hindsight, this was Hou's best chance.}) 24. Rd6 $1 {Saving an active rook on the d-file is essential for White's winning strategy.} Rcd8 25. Rcd1 h6 ({Or} 25... Rxd6 26. Rxd6 Rd8 27. Rxd8+ Qxd8 28. h4) 26. g3 {To defend the queen and open air for the king.} (26. h4 $5) 26... Rxd6 27. Rxd6 Rc8 ({ Similar would be} 27... Re8 28. Qd4) 28. Qe5 {Now White uses the method of the two weaknesses to secure the win. Weakness number one for the opponent is the strong passer that he has on c6. It keeps the black pieces busy and allows White a chance to use weakness number two: the black king.} (28. Qf5 {"was winning as well" (Anand)}) 28... b5 {Loses by force, but it is impossible to offer good advise to Black.} ({There is no escape in the rook endgame after} 28... Kf8 29. Qd5 Qe7 30. Rd7 Qe6 31. Qxe6 fxe6 32. c7 {(Anand)}) ({nor in the queen edngame after} 28... Rd8 29. Rxd8+ Qxd8 30. c7 Qd1+ 31. Kg2 Qd7 32. Qc3 Qc8 33. Qc6) 29. Qd5 Kh7 30. Qe4+ Kg8 ({Or mating attack after} 30... g6 31. Rd7 Qxc6 32. Rxf7+ Kg8 33. Qe7) 31. Rd7 Qa5 (31... Qxc6 32. Rd8+ $1) 32. c7 Rf8 33. Qe7 1-0 [Event "Wijk aan Zee"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee"] [Date "2018.01.26"] [Round "11"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E34"] [WhiteElo "2804"] [BlackElo "2834"] [Annotator "DF"] [PlyCount "75"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. cxd5 (5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 {is another big main line, e.g.} O-O 7. Nf3 dxc4 8. Qxc4 b6 9. Bg5 $11 {, which was the path followed by Ivanchuk,V-Harikrishna,P Huaian 2017}) 5... Qxd5 6. e3 (6. Nf3 Qf5 $1 $11 {has now become famous, and after some wrangling it has become clear that only Black can actually have a positional edge in the endgame, despite his doubled f-pawns!}) 6... c5 7. Bd2 Bxc3 8. Bxc3 cxd4 9. Bxd4 Nc6 10. Bc3 (10. Bxf6 gxf6 11. Ne2 {is the initial computer recommendation, but this really isn't that good after say} Bd7 12. a3 Qa5+ 13. Nc3 Ne7 $11 {Dreev,A -Fedoseev,V Moscow 2014}) 10... O-O 11. Nf3 Rd8 {Else Rd1 is slightly annoying.} 12. Be2 (12. Rd1 Qxd1+ 13. Qxd1 Rxd1+ 14. Kxd1 Ne4 15. Be1 e5 $11 {is another equal position, where White's bishop pair isn't yet active enough to give him any advantage.}) 12... Qe4 13. Rc1 Qxc2 14. Rxc2 Nd5 (14... Bd7 15. Nd4 Ne7 $11 {could be worth considering for the future; White's bishop pair is a lot less scary when there is an extra pair of knights on the board.}) 15. Ne5 Bd7 {This is the novelty!} (15... Nxe5 16. Bxe5 b6 17. a3 f6 18. Bg3 Bb7 19. O-O Rac8 20. Rfc1 e5 21. Rxc8 Rxc8 22. Rxc8+ Bxc8 23. Kf1 { somehow led to one of the world's best defensive players being ground down in Grachev,B-Karjakin,S Antalya 2017; the problem is that White can keep trying things and never runs any risk at all.}) 16. Nxc6 Bxc6 17. Bd2 Ne7 18. f3 Rac8 19. e4 (19. Ba5 $5 b6 20. Bb4 Nd5 21. Bd2 $14 {prevents Black from playing ... a6 and ...Bb5}) 19... f6 20. Be3 a6 21. Kf2 (21. Bc4 $5 Kf7 22. Bb3 Bb5 23. Kf2 {and we can still talk about a White edge based on the bishop pair}) 21... Bb5 $1 {Black has equalised again.} 22. Rhc1 Rxc2 23. Rxc2 Bxe2 24. Kxe2 Nc6 $11 { There is nothing really left to play for. Black can choose between an ...e5 based plan, and a rook-exchange based plan.} 25. b4 Rc8 26. Rc5 b5 27. f4 Kf7 28. a3 Ne7 29. Rxc8 Nxc8 30. Bc5 Ne7 31. Bxe7 Kxe7 32. Kf3 Kd6 33. Ke3 e5 34. f5 Ke7 35. g4 Kf7 36. h4 Kg8 37. Kf3 h6 38. h5 1/2-1/2 [Event "Tata Steel Masters"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee"] [Date "2018.01.26"] [Round "11"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A14"] [WhiteElo "2753"] [BlackElo "2787"] [Annotator "DF"] [PlyCount "117"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. c4 e6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 Nf6 4. Nf3 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 {This opening is one of the hardest for me to understand. Whichever side of it I play, I always end up slightly worse...} c5 (6... d4 {The last comment is even more true when applied to this variation. I will provide two practical examples, not from the highest level but nevertheless capable of showing my point.} 7. e3 (7. Bb2 c5 8. e3 Nc6 9. exd4 cxd4 10. Re1 Re8 11. Ne5 Nxe5 12. Rxe5 Nd7 13. Re1 e5 14. d3 $132 {was my own practical experience with this system as Black: Oates, D-Fernandez,D High Wycombe 2014. Here White's play seems quite easy, because Black's only constructive plan might be ...a5-a4 but then of course White can play with Na3.}) 7... c5 8. exd4 cxd4 9. d3 Nc6 10. Re1 Ne8 11. Ne5 Nxe5 12. Rxe5 f6 13. Re1 e5 14. Ba3 (14. f4 $5) 14... Nd6 15. Nd2 Rb8 16. Ne4 Nf7 $1 { White-a good friend of mine- had unfortunately slightly lost touch with the idea of the line in a game with a fellow Fernandez: Horton,A -Fernandez,F Sitges 2016.}) 7. cxd5 ({Following the equally natural} 7. Bb2 Nc6 8. e3 b6 9. Nc3 dxc4 10. bxc4 Bb7 11. Qe2 Qc7 12. Rac1 Rfd8 13. Rfd1 Na5 14. Ne1 Bxg2 15. Nxg2 Qb7 {Black was already marginally for choice due to his pressure on the half-open d-file in Caruana,F-Aronian,L Saint Louis 2017}) 7... Nxd5 8. Nc3 Nc6 (8... Bf6 9. Bb2 b6 $11 {is probably the most mathematically precise}) 9. Bb2 Nxc3 10. dxc3 Qc7 11. Qc2 b6 12. Bc1 Bb7 13. Bf4 Qc8 14. Rad1 Rd8 (14... f6 $1 {was thematic and equalised with a bit less effort. Presumably Black was afraid of} 15. Bh3 $1 {but he can re-route and use the long diagonal himself:} Nd8 $1 {With ...Qc6, possibly ...Nf7, and an eventual ...e5 to come.}) 15. h4 h6 16. Rxd8+ Nxd8 17. Rd1 {Now White has a small something because of the d-file.} f5 18. Qd2 Nf7 19. Qd7 Bf6 20. Ne5 $1 $14 Nxe5 (20... Bxe5 $5 { leads to a nice tactical variation.} 21. Bxb7 Qxd7 22. Rxd7 Rd8 23. Rxf7 $1 ( 23. Rxd8+ Nxd8 24. Bxe5 Nxb7 25. Bb8 a6 $11 {should eventually get neutralised as in Mamedyarov-Carlsen, though here the knight is even worse.}) 23... Bxf4 24. Re7 Be5 25. c4 $14) 21. Bxe5 Bxe5 22. Bxb7 Qxd7 23. Rxd7 Re8 24. Bc6 { Tactically defending the c3-pawn.} a5 (24... Rf8 $1 {is the very surprising best move.} 25. Rxa7 (25. c4 Rc8 {works as in the next line, since f4 can be met by ...Bd4+!}) 25... Bxc3 26. Rb7 Ba5 {White is slightly better and will probably pick up the e6-pawn but it is nothing to write home about.}) (24... Rc8 25. Bb5 Rc7 {is a good idea, but after} 26. f4 $1 Rxd7 27. Bxd7 Bxc3 28. Bxe6+ Kf8 29. Bxf5 {it is difficult to be completely certain about the result of the bishop ending.}) 25. Bb5 Kf8 26. f4 Bf6 27. Rd6 Re7 28. h5 $1 {Creating various mating ideas.} Bxc3 29. Rxb6 {Now Black will not only lose the pawn but his remaining ones will still be weak.} c4 (29... e5 $4 30. Rb8+ Kf7 31. Bc4+ Kf6 32. Rf8+ {is cute}) 30. Rb8+ Kf7 31. Bxc4 Rd7 32. Kg2 Ke7 33. Kf3 Rd1 34. Rb7+ Rd7 35. Rb5 Rd1 36. a3 Rf1+ 37. Kg2 Rd1 38. e3 Rd6 39. Kf3 Rc6 40. g4 (40. a4 {first reduced Black's options even more, but ...a4 was maybe not something to get worked up about.}) 40... fxg4+ 41. Kxg4 a4 42. Rb7+ Kd8 43. e4 $18 {The position is now completely winning and all the bishop endings are also hopeless.} Bb2 44. Bb5 Rc7 45. Rxc7 Kxc7 46. bxa4 Bc3 (46... Bxa3 47. a5 $18 {and White will, on his own time, play e5, a6 and Bc4, before ambling slowly over to the queenside with his king if need be.}) 47. e5 Kd8 48. Kf3 Bd2 49. Ke4 Ke7 50. f5 $1 {The final bit of finesse that Kramnik has made his opponent demonstrate. The White king needs the d5-square.} exf5+ 51. Kxf5 Bc1 ( 51... Bc3 52. Ke4 Ke6 53. Bc4+ Ke7 54. Kd5 Be1 55. e6 Bd2 56. Kc6 {is similar, just with another White a-pawn}) 52. a5 Bxa3 53. a6 Bc5 54. Ke4 Ke6 55. Bc4+ Kd7 56. Kd5 Bf2 57. e6+ Kc7 58. Bb5 Bh4 59. a7 {White will win the bishop for his two passers and Black will be way too slow to reach h8 to stop the third one.} 1-0 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.01.26"] [Round "4.4"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Batsiashvili, Nino"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C76"] [WhiteElo "2793"] [BlackElo "2504"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "55"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6 {Nino Batsiashvili is one of the top players in the world who regularly upsets high-rated male opponents. Perhaps her opening choice was inspired by the game Grischuk-Mamedyarov?} 5. c3 Bd7 6. d4 g6 7. Bg5 {Forcing a concession.} f6 {Self-blocks the dark-squared bishop.} ({The other choice is} 7... Be7 {but then the bishop will no longer be fianchettoed,} 8. Be3 Nf6 9. Bc2 exd4 10. cxd4 Nb4 11. Nc3 Nxc2+ 12. Qxc2 { as in Vallejo Pons,F (2717)-Suarez Gomez,J (2474) Linares 2017}) 8. Be3 Nh6 9. Bb3 {Vachier-Lagrave is not afraid of any black piece landing on g4.} ({ White did not get much after:} 9. h3 Nf7 10. dxe5 Ncxe5 11. Bb3 Nxf3+ 12. Qxf3 Bg7 13. Nd2 a5 14. a4 Qe7 15. O-O O-O {in Ter Sahakyan,S (2577) -Short,N (2688) Abu Dhabi 2017}) 9... Bg7 ({Black's initiative quickly fizzles out after} 9... Ng4 10. Bd2 Na5 11. Bc2 Nc4 12. Bc1 {soon both the knight will ingloriously return home with the support of the other pieces.}) 10. a4 Qe7 11. O-O Nd8 $146 {Batsiashvili uncorkes a novelty.} ({The great Ukranian Malanuik used the same maneuver only after:} 11... Nf7 12. Nbd2 O-O 13. Bd5 Kh8 14. b4 {And now} Ncd8 15. Re1 Rb8 16. Bb3 Ne6 17. Nc4 f5 {gradually equalizing, Habu,Y (2404) -Malaniuk,V (2545) Krakow 2013}) 12. c4 $1 {Just like in game Habu-Malanuik from above, White intends to make use of the d5 square. The difference however is that he has a better piece for it- the knight.} Ng4 ({After} 12... Ne6 13. Nc3 c6 {White most likely planned:} 14. c5 $1 ({Rather than} 14. d5 Nc5 15. Bc2 a5) 14... dxc5 15. Bxe6 Bxe6 16. d5 cxd5 17. exd5 Bf5 18. d6 Qe6 19. Bxc5 { with initiative thanks to the uncastled black king.}) 13. Bc1 exd4 {Just like Short from above, Black wants to make good use of the e5 square.} ({Not as good was} 13... Ne6 {when both} 14. h3 ({Or even better} 14. Nc3 exd4 15. Nd5) 14... Nh6 15. Nc3 {lead to White's advantage.}) 14. Nxd4 Nc6 {Only this is inaccurate.} ({Batsiashvili could (should) have swung the queen to the kingside at once with} 14... Qe5 $5 15. Nf3 Qh5 {With good play for Black. For example:} 16. h3 ({Similar is} 16. Nc3 Ne5 $1) ({Here} 16. c5 dxc5 {is not that effective.}) 16... Ne5 $1 {and as long as the queens are traded Black should be comfortable-} 17. Nxe5 Qxd1) 15. Nc3 Qe5 {A move too late...} ({ In case of} 15... Nxd4 {there are a couple of strong spoilers for White-} 16. Nd5 $1 Qe5 ({Or} 16... Qd8 17. Qxd4) 17. Bf4 {with clear advantage for White.}) 16. Nf3 Qh5 17. c5 $3 {The French GM nicely exploits the extra move to open the position.} ({The attempt to harass the black queen at once with} 17. Ne2 $2 {fails to} Nce5) 17... Qxc5 ({After} 17... dxc5 18. Nd5 $1 O-O-O 19. Nf4 { embarrasses the queen-} Qh6 20. Ne6) 18. Nd5 {The point behind White's play. There is no kingside initiative for Black and her queen is in fact a concern.} ({Also good was} 18. h3 Nge5 19. Nd5 Nxf3+ 20. Qxf3 Nd4 21. Qd1 Nxb3 22. Qxb3 { as Black cannot castle-} O-O-O 23. Be3) 18... Ne7 ({Or} 18... O-O-O 19. h3 Nge5 20. Be3 Qa5 21. Nxe5 dxe5 22. Rc1 {with the unstoppable threat of 23. Be3-d2!}) 19. h3 Nxd5 ({The retreat is impossible again due to the vulnerable queen-} 19... Ne5 20. Be3 Qa5 21. Bd2 Nxf3+ 22. gxf3 Qc5 23. Bb4 {and once that c7 drops everything falls apart.}) 20. Bxd5 c6 21. b4 $1 {Another energetic blow. Vachier-Lagrave was definitely not a gentleman today!} Qb6 {Instinctively Batsiashvili wants to keep her queen closer to the king.} ({Instead} 21... Qxb4 {opens the b-file in White's favour} 22. Ba2 Ne5 23. Rb1 Qc3 24. Nxe5 Qxe5 25. Rxb7 {when Black is hopeless.}) ({Perhaps the most resilient was} 21... Qc3 { although here too White has the strong} 22. Ra3 Qxb4 23. Ba2) 22. Bb3 Ne5 23. Nxe5 {Once that the d-file is opened it is all over.} fxe5 ({White's attack is pretty after} 23... dxe5 24. Bf7+ $1 Ke7 ({Or} 24... Kxf7 25. Qxd7+ Kg8 26. Be3 Qxb4 27. Rab1) 25. Be3 Qc7 26. Qb3 b6 27. a5 $1 {and Be3-c5 will follow soon.}) 24. Qxd6 {With so many open files and diagonals White quickly finished the sufferings of teh black king.} Qd4 25. Qc7 $1 Rf8 ({If} 25... Qxa1 26. Rd1 Rd8 27. Bg5 Qxd1+ 28. Bxd1 Rc8 29. Qd6 {leads to mate.}) 26. Bg5 Bf6 ({Or} 26... Rc8 27. Qxb7) 27. Bxf6 Rxf6 28. Rad1 (28. Rad1 Rc8 29. Qxb7) 1-0 [Event "FIDE World Cup"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.03"] [Round "1.1"] [White "Nguyen, Ngoc Truong Son"] [Black "Adhiban, Baskaran"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A84"] [WhiteElo "2629"] [BlackElo "2670"] [Annotator "Adhiban,B"] [PlyCount "29"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] {For this World Cup, I had missed out on many qualification spots... but luckily I was awarded the FIDE nominee and I was eager to utilise it to the fullest extent!} 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 e6 3. c4 c6 $5 {An interesting line.} 4. e3 ({ In the same event, in the same round on the first rapid day (1.3) there followed} 4. g3 dxc4 5. Bg2 b5 6. Ne5 Bb7 7. O-O a6 8. Nc3 Bb4 (8... Nf6 { would transpose to the main lines.}) 9. a4 Ne7 10. Ne4 Nd7 $2 {Falling into a hilarious tactical shot.} (10... f6 11. Nf3 O-O {was totally fine for Black and White still has to show compensation for the pawn.}) 11. Bd2 $1 Bxd2 12. Nd6+ Kf8 13. Nexf7 Qc7 14. Qxd2 {(Wei Yi-Sambuev Tbilisi GEO 2017) and White brought home the point.}) 4... Bd6 {I wonder if there is any difference between ...f5 and ...Bd6.} (4... f5 {is also the same apparently.} 5. Bd3 Nf6) 5. b3 f5 6. Bd3 Nf6 7. O-O O-O (7... Qe7 {was a better option.}) 8. Ba3 b6 9. Qc1 a5 $5 (9... Bb7 10. cxd5 $5 {I didn't want to allow this option.} cxd5 11. Ne5) ({My main concern after} 9... Ba6 10. Ne5 {[%csl Ya6] was that my bishop would be hanging on a6 in many cases.} c5 11. Rd1 {It is not clear how I should proceed here.}) 10. Nbd2 {This is definitely wrong as the knight looks misplaced on d2 and doesn't join in the fight on the centre.} (10. Ne5 c5 { was my idea.}) (10. Nc3 $14 {gave him a huge plus.}) 10... Ba6 11. Ne5 c5 $1 { Thanks to White's unambitious play, Black is doing fine here.} 12. Ndf3 Nbd7 13. Rd1 (13. cxd5 {doesn't work due to} Nxe5 14. Nxe5 (14. dxe5 Bxd3 $17) 14... Bxe5 15. Bxa6 Bxh2+ $17) 13... Rc8 (13... Bb7 $1 {was safer with equality.}) 14. Nxd7 {I pend lots of time and was not sure if cxd5 worked or not, So I decided to take the safer route.} ({White had to play} 14. cxd5 $1 Bxd3 15. dxe6 cxd4 {was a complete mess.} 16. Nc6 Rxc6 $1 (16... Qc7 17. exd7 Nxd7 ( 17... Qxd7 18. Nfxd4) 18. Bxd6 Qxd6 19. Rxd3 $16) 17. Qxc6 Bxa3 18. Rxd3 Nc5 19. Rxd4 Qe7 20. Rc4 $14 {White can push without any risk.}) 14... Qxd7 15. dxc5 {Here he offered a draw and I felt there wasn't much chance to get something so I decided to call it a day.} (15. dxc5 Bxc5 (15... bxc5 16. cxd5 Bxd3 17. dxe6 (17. Rxd3 exd5 (17... Nxd5 18. Qc4) 18. Qd1 (18. Bb2 c4 19. bxc4 dxc4) 18... Rfd8 {is fine for Black.}) 17... Qb5 18. Ne1 Be5 19. Nxd3 Bxa1 20. Qxa1 Rfd8 {with chances for both sides.}) 16. Bb2 $1 {A key move with an interesting struggle.} (16. Bxc5 Rxc5 {is nothing.})) 1/2-1/2 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.01.30"] [Round "8.2"] [White "Rapport, Richard"] [Black "Howell, David W L"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D78"] [WhiteElo "2700"] [BlackElo "2682"] [Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"] [PlyCount "97"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 c6 5. Nc3 d5 6. Qb3 O-O 7. Bg2 Qb6 8. O-O Rd8 9. Bd2 {A relatively fresh continuation which Giri tested against So two weeks ago in Wijk an Zee. Before forcing the queen trade Rapport makes an useful developing move.} ({White did not get anything after:} 9. h3 Bf5 10. Bf4 Na6 11. Qxb6 {(A concession)} axb6 12. cxd5 Nxd5 13. Nxd5 Rxd5 {Li,C (2732) -Vachier Lagrave,M (2789) Riadh 2017}) (9. Rd1 {is more common.}) ({As well as the immediate} 9. Na4) 9... Be6 10. Na4 {Forcing the trade of the queens.} Qxb3 11. axb3 Na6 ({There is no time to grab the pawn.} 11... dxc4 12. Nb6) 12. Rfc1 Ne4 $146 {Although this is the main computer move it seems as Howell did not come deeply prepared for the game. Rapport basically followed the footprints of Ding Liren from below to achieve comfortable advantage.} ({A novelty in comparison to:} 12... Ne8 13. e3 h6 14. Ba5 Rdc8 15. Nd2 Nec7 16. Bf1 Bd7 17. Bxc7 Rxc7 18. cxd5 cxd5 19. Bxa6 Rxc1+ 20. Rxc1 bxa6 21. Rc7 {Ding,L (2777) -Haddouche,M (2487) Tbilisi 2017}) 13. Ba5 Rdc8 14. e3 g5 {In hindsight this idea will only weaken Black's position.} ({After} 14... f6 {White would most likely play as in the game with} 15. Nd2) ({However, there is an argument for the solid Stonewall set up after} 14... f5 15. Nd2 Bf7 16. cxd5 ({Or} 16. Bf1 Nxd2 17. Bxd2 c5 $1) 16... cxd5 17. Bf1 {Black's chances of equlity are significantly higher than in the game.}) 15. Nd2 Nxd2 (15... f5 $5) 16. Bxd2 g4 17. Bf1 {Rapport comfortably improved his position and is getting ready to either open the c-file or for the advance of the queenside pawns.} dxc4 { Definitely a concession, but what else could Howell do?} ({One major problem for Black is that he can never move his knight} 17... Nc7 18. Nc5) ({If the light-squared bishop moves} 17... Bd7 {then} 18. b4 dxc4 19. Bxc4 b5 20. Be2 { leads to clear edge for the first player.}) 18. bxc4 c5 19. Bg2 $1 {The bishop had done its job on the f1-a6 diagonal, it is time to go back to the long one.} Rab8 20. d5 Bd7 ({It makes no sense to provoke} 20... Bf5 21. e4 Bd7 22. Bf4) 21. Bc3 (21. e4 $5) 21... Bxa4 22. Rxa4 {White's advantage is overwhelming. He has the more active heavy pieces, the better light pieces, better pawn structure, more space.} Rd8 ({In case of} 22... Bxc3 {White has a pleasant choice between the obvious} 23. Rxc3 ({Or the less obvious but also strong} 23. bxc3 $5 {followed by Rc1-b1, Ra4-a5 and a bishop transfer all the way to b5.})) 23. h3 {Prolongs the diagonal for the bishop.} gxh3 ({Since otherwise the pawn on g4 may drop-} 23... h5 24. hxg4 hxg4 25. Be4) 24. Bxh3 Rd6 25. e4 Bxc3 26. Rxc3 Rb6 {The only active idea that Howell has. It must have been painful for the aggressive English GM to search for active moves.} 27. b3 e5 ({Or} 27... Kg7 28. e5) 28. Rf3 {Not rushing anywhere. There were certainly other interesting choices.} ({One was to take control of the open file after} 28. dxe6 fxe6 29. Rd3) ({The other is to use the central mass at once with} 28. f4 f6 29. Be6+ Kg7 30. Ra5) 28... Kg7 29. Ra5 h6 (29... Rd8 {would have stopped the following maneuver.}) 30. Bd7 $1 {Heading for the b5 square.} Rd6 31. Bb5 Nc7 32. Ba4 {Very subtle! It transpires that Rapport was not that interested by the black pawns.} ({If he were he would have gone for} 32. Rxa7 Nxb5 33. cxb5 Rb6 34. Ra5 Rc8 {but the pure rook endgames provide drawing chances to the defender.}) 32... Na6 33. Rf5 {The bishop on a4 defended the b3 pawn and White resumes his pawn play.} f6 34. f4 exf4 35. gxf4 Kg6 36. b4 $1 {Rapport's impeccable play painted a beautiful picture.} Nxb4 ({Or} 36... cxb4 37. c5 Rdd8 38. d6 (38. Bd1)) 37. Bd1 $1 {The bishop is relentless.} Na6 38. Bh5+ Kh7 39. e5 Rb6 ({Nothing changes} 39... fxe5 40. Rf7+ Kh8 41. fxe5 Rg8+ 42. Kf2 Rb6 43. e6) 40. Rb5 {Move fourty and thus the most solid option.} ({Other move win as well, like} 40. d6) ({Or} 40. e6 Kg7 41. Ra2) 40... Rg8+ ({Similar is} 40... Rxb5 41. cxb5 Nc7 42. d6 Nxb5 43. Rxf6) 41. Kf2 Rxb5 42. cxb5 Nc7 43. d6 Nxb5 44. Rxf6 {The white passers are unstoppable.} Rd8 45. Rf7+ Kg8 46. Rxb7 a6 47. Rb6 c4 (47... Ra8 48. e6) 48. Rxa6 c3 49. Rc6 1-0 [Event "FIDE World Cup"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.06"] [Round "2.1"] [White "Fedoseev, Vladimir1"] [Black "Inarkiev, Ernesto"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B72"] [WhiteElo "2731"] [BlackElo "2702"] [Annotator "Quintiliano,R"] [PlyCount "73"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Be2 O-O 8. Nb3 d6 9. g4 $5 {Fedoseev was on fire in the World Cup and played some intersting games there. This aggressive move was surely not expected by Inarkiev.} a6 $6 {Black's answer confirms the suspicion, as this move looks a bit slow against the wild White attack coming on the kingside.} (9... d5 $1 { looks like the best way to face White's early flank attempts in classical manner: with active measures in the centre. It would be interesting to see what Fedoseev had in mind against this move.} 10. exd5 (10. Nxd5 Nxe4 11. Bf3 f5 $1) 10... Nb4 11. Bf3 {now Black should embark on the forced line} (11. d6 $146 Qxd6 $1 12. Bc5 Qf4 $1 $17) (11. Bd4 $146 Nbxd5 12. g5 Nxc3 13. Bxc3 Ne4 14. Bxg7 Kxg7 $15) 11... Bxg4 $1 (11... Nxg4 $6 12. Bc5 $1 $13) 12. Bxg4 Nxg4 13. Qxg4 (13. Bc5 Bxc3+ $1 14. bxc3 Qxd5 {[%csl Gc5,Gh1]} 15. Qxg4 Nxc2+ 16. Ke2 Nxa1 17. Rxa1 {is the same position with a tempo down for White} Rfd8 { [%csl Re2] White's position is simply losing.} 18. Qf3 Qc4+ 19. Ke1 Rd3 20. Qxb7 Qxc3+ 21. Kf1 {Kruener,A-Schlemermeyer,W Berlin op Berlin West 1978 (4) 0-1} Qc4 $19) 13... Nxc2+ 14. Ke2 Nxa1 15. Rxa1 Bxc3 16. bxc3 Qxd5 $15 { With two pawns up and White's king very exposed, Black is definitely better, for example} 17. c4 Qc6 18. Nd2 Rad8 19. Qf3 Qc7 20. Rb1 b6 21. Rb5 {Lau,R (2495)-Goloshchapov,A (2445) Meisdorf op 1996 1-0} Qxh2 $17 {It's difficult to imagine what Fedoseev had planned against d5, as this line looks pretty good for Black.}) 10. h4 $146 {A new move, probably discovered over the board.} (10. g5 {has been played but Black should be fine after} Nd7 11. Qd2 b5 12. h4 b4 $132 {Rabinovich,P-Riumin,N Moscow-ch15 Moscow 1935 1/2-1/2}) 10... b5 (10... d5 $5 {is not so effective now, but was still the way to equalise.} 11. Nxd5 $1 (11. exd5 Nb4 12. Bd4 $1 Nbxd5 13. g5 Nxc3 14. Bxc3 Nh5 15. Bxg7 Nxg7 $11) 11... Nxe4 12. Bf3 {[%csl Gb6] The insertion of the moves a6/h4 is favourable for White, who now has the possibility of Nb6} Nf6 (12... f5 13. Nb6 Rb8 14. Qxd8 Rxd8 15. Nxc8 Rbxc8 16. gxf5 gxf5 17. Rg1 $14) 13. Nb6 Rb8 14. Qxd8 Rxd8 15. Nxc8 Rbxc8 16. c3 b5 $11) (10... a5 $5 {even losing a tempo could be interesting} 11. g5 Nh5 $1 12. Nd5 $5 (12. Qd2) 12... Bxb2 13. Rb1 Bg7 14. Bb6 Qd7 $13 {It is difficult to say who is better in a such position.}) 11. h5 $40 {White rushes into the opening of h-file; compared with some variations, it's better to have the pawn still on g4.} b4 $1 {What else? Inarkiev hits on the opposite side.} 12. Nd5 {Black faces a difficult choice.} e6 $6 {But from now things starts to become difficult for Inarkiev.} (12... Nxe4 $5 {looks risky, but Black should be able to hold} 13. hxg6 hxg6 (13... fxg6 $2 14. Qd3 Nc5 ( 14... Bxb2 15. Qxe4 Bxa1 16. Nxa1 $16) 15. Nxc5 dxc5 16. Bxc5 Bxb2 17. Rd1 Be6 18. Qe4 Bxd5 19. Rxd5 $16 {[%cal Ge2c4]}) 14. Qd3 Nc5 $1 (14... Nf6 $2 15. Bb6 $1 Qd7 16. Qh3 $1 Re8 17. Be3 $1 {[%cal Gd5b6]} Rb8 (17... Nxd5 18. Qh7+ Kf8 19. Bh6 $19) 18. O-O-O $18 {White's attack is just too strong, for example} Ne5 19. Nxf6+ exf6 20. Bh6 Bh8 21. Qh4 Nxg4 22. Bf4 $1 Bg7 23. Bxg4 Qxg4 24. Qh7+ Kf8 25. Bxd6+) 15. Nxc5 dxc5 16. Bxc5 Re8 {Black is doing fine} 17. Bb6 Ne5 $1 18. Qb3 Qd6 $132) (12... Be6 13. f3 {looks favourable for White}) ({Of course not} 12... Nxd5 $2 13. exd5 Ne5 14. f4 Nd7 15. Bd4 $16) (12... Rb8 $5 {just protecting the sensible b6-square deserved attention, but after} 13. hxg6 hxg6 14. f3 {White's prospects looks better again}) 13. Nb6 Rb8 14. Nxc8 Qxc8 $2 ( 14... Rxc8 $1 {still could have offered chances} 15. Bxa6 Rb8 16. hxg6 hxg6 17. g5 (17. f3 d5 $1) 17... Nxe4 18. Qg4 d5 19. Bd3 f5 $5 20. gxf6 Qxf6 21. Bxe4 Ne5 $1 22. Qh4 dxe4 $13) 15. Qxd6 $1 {Fedoseev accepts the challenge.} e5 ( 15... Nxe4 $2 {fails} 16. Qf4 Nf6 17. hxg6 fxg6 (17... hxg6 18. O-O-O (18. g5 Nh5 19. Bxh5 gxh5 20. O-O-O $16) 18... Rd8 19. Qh2 $1 Rxd1+ 20. Bxd1 $18 { [%cal Yg4g5,Ge3h6]}) 18. Qh2 $18 {[%cal Yg4g5]}) 16. O-O-O $16 {White is a pawn up and retains the initiative on the kingside.} a5 (16... Nxe4 {is still bad} 17. Qd3 Nf6 18. hxg6 hxg6 19. g5 Rd8 20. Qc4 Nd7 21. Qxa6 $18) 17. hxg6 hxg6 18. g5 $1 {Fedoseev keeps playing energically and gives no time for Black. } ({for example, if} 18. f3 $2 a4 19. Nd2 Rd8 20. Qc5 Nd7 21. Qc4 Nb6 $132 { [%cal Gc6d4]}) 18... Rd8 $8 (18... Nxe4 19. Qd5 {[%csl Re4] the knight is lost. }) 19. Qc5 Nd7 (19... Nxe4 20. Rxd8+ Nxd8 21. Qxc8 Rxc8 22. Nxa5 Ra8 23. Nc4 $1 Rxa2 24. Kb1 Ra6 $8 25. Rh4 {[%csl Re4] Again this knight gives Black a lot of work.} Nd6 26. Nxd6 Rxd6 27. Rxb4 $18) 20. Qd5 Nb6 (20... a4 21. Bc4 $18 { [%csl Rf7]}) 21. Qb5 $1 {Despite Inarkiev's attempts to activate his position, White keeps total control.} Nd5 ({For example} 21... Nd4 22. Nxd4 exd4 23. Bf4 Rb7 24. Qxa5 Qc6 25. Be5 $1 Ra8 26. Bxg7 $1 Rxa5 27. Bf6 {[%cal Gh1h8]} Qxf6 $8 28. gxf6 Rxa2 29. e5 $16) 22. Qa4 $1 {Fedoseev cleverly uses the queen to blockade the pawns, and Black's tries come to an end.} Nxe3 (22... Nb6 23. Rxd8+ Nxd8 24. Qe8+ Bf8 25. Qxe5 $18) 23. fxe3 Qc7 24. Bc4 $18 {[%csl Rf7] [%cal Yc4g8] As well as the material advantage, White also has the attack and better placed pieces; it's basically over.} Nd4 $5 (24... Rbc8 25. Rdf1 Rd7 26. Rh2 $18 {[%cal Yh2f2]}) 25. Nxa5 $1 {This forces favourable simplifications for White, which leaves Fedoseev with no problems to realise his advantage.} Ra8 26. exd4 Qxc4 (26... Rxa5 27. Qb3 exd4 28. Rdf1 Rd7 29. Rxf7 Rxf7 30. Rf1 $18) 27. Nxc4 Rxa4 28. dxe5 (28. d5 Rxa2 29. Kd2 $1 {[%cal Gd2d3]}) 28... Re8 29. Kb1 Bxe5 30. Nb6 $1 {A last precise manoeuvre.} Ra7 31. Nd5 Kg7 (31... Rea8 32. Nxb4) 32. Rh3 Ra4 33. Rdh1 Rd8 (33... Rea8 34. Rh7+ Kf8 35. Nb6) 34. Rh7+ Kg8 35. Ne7+ Kf8 36. Nc6 $1 Re8 37. Rh8+ 1-0 [Event "FIDE World Cup"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.06"] [Round "2.1"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Demchenko, Anton"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A49"] [WhiteElo "2803"] [BlackElo "2645"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "87"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] {This is a typical modern day Kramnik game. Relatively fresh opening position, new ideas found by the World Champion, incessant pressure thanks to one powerful move after the other, and finally accurate conversion of the advantage. His 2645 opponent is completely outplayed.} 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. b3 {The double fianchetto is getting quite mainstream these days with theory developing around it.} Bg7 4. Bb2 O-O 5. Bg2 d6 (5... d5 {is a completely different setup, not one that KID players would go for.}) 6. d4 Nbd7 (6... c5 { might be a much more interesting choice. There are possilibities of ...Qa5+ and in general Black has a fine position here.}) 7. O-O Re8 {Black is not playing very actively, ...Re8 already doesn't seem so good.} (7... e5 {is mainly played} 8. dxe5 Ng4 {[%cal Gg4e5] I have never really liked this move as White gets a small but stable edge by normal means.} (8... Nxe5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. Qxd8 Rxd8 11. Bxe5 $14) 9. c4 Ngxe5 10. Nc3 $14 {I feel that such positions are always slightly better for White and very pleasant to play.}) 8. a4 $5 {This move came as a surprise to me. I was expecting something like c4. Kramnik's explanation can be that Black has done nothing in the centre, so instead of revealing my cards, I would like to take more space on the queenside with a4-a5 and so on.} Rb8 $6 {[%cal Gh1a8] Black wants to get away from ideas like a5-a6 and issues on the long diagonal. However, all these moves ...Re8 and ...Rb8 seem quite artificial.} (8... e5 {would have been a normal continuation to Black's last move ...Re8.} 9. dxe5 Ng4 10. Qd2 (10. c4 { Now this move doesn't make much sense as} a5 $1 {cements Black's superiority on the dark squares.}) (10. a5 $5 Ndxe5 11. Nxe5 Nxe5 12. Ra2 {a4 becomes useful in a weird way!}) 10... Ngxe5 11. Nc3 $11) 9. c4 e5 10. dxe5 Ng4 (10... dxe5 $5 {A very interesting idea.} 11. Nxe5 Nc5 $1 {The pawn on b3 is quite weak.} (11... Ng4 12. Nxd7 Bxb2 13. Ra2 $1 $16 {The rook on b8 is not exactly very happy at this point.}) 12. Qxd8 Rxd8 13. b4 Na6 14. b5 (14. Bc3 Ng4 15. Nxg4 Bxg4 16. b5 Bxe2 17. Re1 Nc5 $1 18. Rxe2 $2 Rd1+ 19. Bf1 Bxc3 $19) 14... Nc5 15. Nf3 Nfe4 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 $44 {I would rate this as very decent compensation for Black. His knights are perched on great squares staring at the weaknesses in White's position.}) 11. a5 {Kramnik gains more space on queenside.} dxe5 12. h3 Nh6 (12... e4 {was interesting but White will gain the advantage after} 13. Bxg7 exf3 14. exf3 Nxf2 15. Qd4 $1 Nd3 16. Nc3 (16. Bh6 $16) 16... N3c5 17. Bh6 Qf6 18. Qxf6 Nxf6 19. Ra3 $16) 13. e4 {Kramnik sees that the weakness of the d4-square is not going to be quite relevant here and goes for e4, limiting the knight on h6.} f6 {[%cal Gh6f7]} 14. b4 Nf8 15. Nc3 Be6 (15... Qxd1 16. Rfxd1 Be6 17. Nd5 Rbc8 (17... c6 18. Nc7 $16) 18. c5 $14) 16. Qe2 {[%cal Gf1d1] When you have more space, in general you should avoid exchanges! Soon Black is going to struggle to find good squares for his pieces. } Qc8 17. Kh2 Nf7 18. Rfd1 c6 19. Bc1 $1 {[%cal Gc1e3,Ge3a7] The bishop will stand well on e3. This is the speciality of these great players: they know when and where to shift their pieces. The bishop on b2 was not doing much, so Vlad gets it to e3.} ({If I was White I would have gone for} 19. Rac1 Bh6 20. Rc2 Rd8 {Black seems to be doing alright here.}) 19... f5 {Understandably Black tries to create some play on the kingside.} 20. Be3 b6 21. axb6 axb6 22. Rac1 $1 {[%cal Gc1c8] Once again a little counter-intuitive. The rook was already on an open file, so why bring it to c1? Well, the reason is that it defends the knight against threats like ...f4 and also prepares Nd5 which, surprisingly, is not easy to stop.} Qc7 (22... Qb7 23. b5 $1 {[%csl Gd5]} cxb5 {[%cal Gg2b7]} (23... c5 24. exf5 gxf5 25. Nxe5 $18) 24. exf5 Bxc4 25. Qb2 e4 26. Nd4 $16) 23. Nd5 $1 (23. b5 $5 $14 {was also interesting here.}) 23... cxd5 24. cxd5 Qe7 25. dxe6 Nxe6 {In such positions the margin of error is not very huge. White has to play accurately, or else Black consolidates. For Kramnik, these are just the kind of positions he likes.} 26. exf5 $1 {When you have the bishop pair, you must open the position.} gxf5 27. Qb5 $1 {Kramnik is very good at such positions. He calculates the tactics accurately and does not let his initiative go.} f4 (27... e4 28. Nh4 f4 29. Nf5 Qg5 30. gxf4 Nxf4 31. Bxe4 $1 Rxe4 32. Rg1 $18) 28. gxf4 exf4 29. Rd7 {White's play just flows!} Qf6 30. Bd2 {There are just three pawns on the board and materially White isn't ahead, but there is just so much pressure. It's just impossible to dispute the quality of White's pieces.} Rbc8 31. Rxc8 Rxc8 32. Qxb6 {Winning a pawn. Now this position might seem wild, but if you look carefully, there is absolutely nothing that Black can do. White's pieces are perfectly posted and the exposed nature of Black's king gives Kramnik a winning advantage.} Rc2 33. Qb7 Bf8 34. Qe4 Qg6 35. Qd5 {[%cal Gd5g8]} Qf6 36. h4 $1 {[%cal Gg2h3,Gh3e6] Bringing the last piece into the game with great effect. The bishop on h3 will break Black's final resistance.} Bg7 37. Bh3 Nf8 38. Rb7 h6 39. Bg4 {[%cal Gg4h5]} Rb2 40. Bh5 Ng6 41. Bxg6 Qxg6 42. Rb8+ Bf8 (42... Kh7 43. h5 Qf6 44. Qe4+ Qg6 45. Qxg6#) 43. Ne5 Rxd2 (43... Qg7 44. Nd7 $18) 44. Rxf8+ {Powerful play by Kramnik. Demchenko was so dazed by this performance that in the next game when he had the white pieces, he agreed to a draw in just 10 moves and was duly eliminated from the World Cup 2017.} 1-0 [Event "FIDE World Cup"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.06"] [Round "2.1"] [White "Navara, David"] [Black "Cheparinov, Ivan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A18"] [WhiteElo "2737"] [BlackElo "2696"] [Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. e4 {The Flohr-Mikenas system, first played in 1903 and repeatedly used by the great Aron Nimzowitsch. It is a good weapon against opponents who are used to playing ...Nf6 followed by ...e6, since it differs completely from standard Nimzo-Indian, Queen's Indian, etc. positions.} d5 4. e5 {The most common reply.} (4. cxd5 $5 {has become fashionable lately as well, and was recently seen in the World Cup finals} exd5 5. e5 Ne4 6. Nf3 (6. Nxe4 $2 {taking the pawn is a bad idea} dxe4 7. Qa4+ Nc6 8. Qxe4 Be6 $1 {with a big advantage for Black, since White has many weaknesses on the d-file, worse development and a weak e5-pawn:} 9. Bc4 Bxc4 10. Qxc4 Qg5 11. Qe4 Qxe5 12. Qxe5+ Nxe5 $17 {0-1 (49) Csonka,B (2263)-Getz,N (2276) Budapest 2010}) 6... Bf5 7. Be2 d4 $5 8. Nxe4 Bxe4 9. Bc4 Bd5 10. Qb3 Bxc4 11. Qxc4 Nc6 12. O-O Qd7 13. d3 Qe6 14. Qxe6+ fxe6 $11 {½-½ (35) Aronian,L (2799)-Ding,L (2777) Tbilisi 2017, with a balanced endgame.}) 4... d4 5. exf6 dxc3 6. bxc3 Qxf6 7. Nf3 e5 { The most principled move, but Black has many different ideas. For example:} ( 7... b6 $5 8. d4 Bb7 9. Bd3 {threatening the famous Bg5 move trapping the queen, that works even when Black has ...Bxf3 at his disposal:} h6 (9... Nd7 $2 10. Bg5 $1 Bxf3 11. Qd2 $1 {there is a similar trick in the French Defence. Here Black survives because the h1-rook is also hanging:} Bxg2 12. Bxf6 Bxh1 13. Bh4 $16) 10. O-O Bd6 (10... Bxf3 $5 11. Qxf3 Qxf3 12. gxf3 Nd7 {with an unbalanced endgame, both sides having chances} 13. Be4 Rb8 14. a4 $36 {1/2-1/2 (41) Grandelius,N (2649)-Oparin,G (2575) Gjakova 2016}) 11. Nd2 $5 Qh4 12. g3 Qe7 13. a4 $6 (13. c5 $1 bxc5 14. Rb1 Bc6 15. Nc4 $16 {with a very strong initiative}) 13... Nd7 14. a5 $36 {1/2-1/2 (45) Iotov,V (2518)-Leitao,R (2616) Baku 2016}) (7... Nc6 8. d4 e5 {transposes to the game.}) 8. d4 Nc6 9. Bg5 (9. Be2 $5) 9... Qg6 10. d5 Nb8 11. h4 h6 (11... Nd7 12. Bd3 e4 $6 13. h5 Qf5 $2 14. Rh4 $3 {Black is suddenly lost:} exd3 (14... Nc5 {wouldn't help} 15. Bxe4 Nxe4 16. Qe2 $18) 15. Rf4 {and the queen is lost} Nc5 16. Rxf5 Bxf5 17. Nd4 $18 {1-0 (40) Grischuk,A (2792)-Aronian,L (2815) Stavanger 2014}) 12. h5 Qd6 13. Be3 {Now c4-c5 is a real threat.} Nd7 14. Qa4 (14. c5 $5 {Nepo plays it anyway! } Nxc5 15. Bb5+ Nd7 16. c4 Qf6 17. Qa4 Kd8 18. Bxd7 $5 (18. O-O $5 $44) 18... Bxd7 19. Qb3 b6 20. Nd2 $44 {1-0 (41) Nepomniachtchi,I (2732)-Aleksandrov,A (2565) Khanty-Mansiysk 2017}) 14... Qa3 15. Qb3 a5 (15... Qxb3 $2 16. axb3 $16 {gives White a healthy endgame.}) 16. Qc2 Qd6 17. Bd3 Be7 18. Rd1 a4 $6 { I think this is unnecessary.} (18... O-O {Cheparinov probably didn't want to castle before White does the same, since now a pawn avalanche is possible (that happened in the game anyway!)} 19. Bh7+ Kh8 20. Bf5 b6 21. g4 Nc5 { with counterplay in the centre, moves like ...e4 may happen, White will need to castle soon.}) (18... b6 {why not this useful move, if Black didn't want to castle early? I don't see the point in ...a4.}) 19. O-O O-O 20. Rfe1 b6 21. Bh7+ Kh8 22. Bf5 Qf6 23. g4 $1 Qd6 24. Bc1 a3 25. Bxd7 (25. Qe2 $1 {keeping the pressure was very strong, now Black doesn't have ...Ba4 as in the game if White decides to take on d7 and e5:} Re8 26. Nxe5 Nxe5 27. Bxc8 Rexc8 28. Qxe5 Qxe5 29. Rxe5 Bf6 30. Re4 Bxc3 31. Kf1 $16 {and many endgames are preferable for White, because of the better structure on both flanks.}) 25... Bxd7 26. Nxe5 Ba4 27. Qf5 Bxd1 (27... Qf6 $1 {forcing an endgame would have been an interesting decision} 28. Qxf6 (28. Rd4 Qxf5 29. gxf5 Bc5 30. Rd2 Rfe8 $44 { with good compensation - Black has the bishop pair, and White has so many pawn weaknesses}) 28... gxf6 29. Ng6+ fxg6 30. Rxe7 Bxd1 31. hxg6 Rfe8 32. Rh7+ Kg8 33. Bxh6 $11 {with a perpetual.}) 28. Nxf7+ Rxf7 29. Qxf7 Bh4 $1 30. g5 $1 (30. Rxd1 $4 Rf8 $1 $19 {forcing White's resignation.}) 30... Ba4 $4 {Losing on the spot.} (30... Bxg5 $1 {was good enough} 31. Bxg5 hxg5 {with a roughly equal position:} 32. Rxd1 Rf8 33. Qe6 $13) 31. Re7 Bxf2+ (31... Rg8 32. Bf4 $1 $18 { followed by Be5.}) 32. Kh1 {...and Black resigned in view of Bf4 after ...Rg8.} 1-0 [Event "FIDE World Cup"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.06"] [Round "2.1"] [White "Vitiugov, Nikita"] [Black "Najer, Evgeniy"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E81"] [WhiteElo "2724"] [BlackElo "2707"] [Annotator "Krasenkow,M"] [PlyCount "132"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f3 O-O 6. Nge2 a6 7. Bg5 b5 {[%mdl 512] A curious idea. Black pushes his b-pawn without preparation, ready to sacrifice it.} 8. Qd2 ({In the following game White accepted the challenge and gradually parried Black's threats; however, Evgeniy Najer definitely had some improvement in mind:} 8. cxb5 axb5 9. Nxb5 Ba6 10. Nec3 c6 11. Na3 Qb6 ({ possibly} 11... Bxf1 12. Rxf1 Nfd7 $5 {[%cal Yc6c5]}) 12. Qd2 Bxf1 13. Rxf1 Nbd7 14. Be3 Rfb8 15. Rb1 c5 16. Nc2 Qa6 17. Kf2 cxd4 18. Bxd4 Nc5 19. Rfd1 Na4 20. Nxa4 Qxa4 21. a3 Rc8 22. Nb4 Qb5 23. Rbc1 $16 {1-0 (63) Gallagher,J (2558) -Collinson,A (2405) Birmingham 2000}) 8... Nbd7 9. Ng3 $6 {Now Black gets a comfortable position.} (9. cxb5 axb5 10. Nxb5 Ba6 11. Nec3 c6 12. Na3 Bxf1 13. Kxf1 {0-1 (41) Jaster,R-Gruenberg,H (2450) Cottbus 1983} (13. Rxf1 $5) 13... c5 $5) 9... c5 $1 10. d5 Qa5 $6 {Why?} (10... bxc4 $5 11. Bxc4 Rb8 $132) (10... Ne5 $5 11. cxb5 c4) 11. cxb5 axb5 12. Nxb5 Qxd2+ 13. Bxd2 {After all, White has won a pawn in quite a comfortable version, trading queens in the meantime. It is not easy for Black to prove his compensation.} Ba6 14. a4 Rfb8 15. Rb1 Ne8 16. b3 Rb7 17. Kd1 h5 18. Na3 h4 (18... Ne5 19. Bxa6 Rxa6 20. Bc3 $16) 19. Bxa6 Rxa6 20. Ne2 Ne5 21. Rf1 $2 {There was no need to prevent ...h4-h3. By trading Black's strong e5-knight, White could have got a clear advantage:} (21. Bc3 $1 h3 22. Bxe5 hxg2 23. Rg1 Bxe5 24. Rxg2) 21... c4 $1 $132 {[%mdl 64]} 22. bxc4 (22. f4 Nd7 23. Nxc4 Rxa4 $1) 22... Rxb1+ 23. Nxb1 Rxa4 {[%mdl 4096]} 24. Kc2 Rxc4+ 25. Nbc3 f5 $15 {Black has regained the pawn while keeping a positional advantage as White's pawn structure is vulnerable. White must defend accurately.} 26. Bf4 (26. exf5 $142 gxf5 27. Kb3) 26... Nd7 27. Kd3 Rb4 28. Be3 (28. exf5 gxf5 29. Bg5 $15) 28... Ne5+ (28... fxe4+ $1 29. Nxe4 (29. fxe4 Nef6 {[%csl Re4][%cal Rd7e5]}) 29... Nc7 $17 {[%csl Rd5]}) 29. Kc2 Nc4 ( 29... fxe4 30. fxe4 Nf6 31. Bg5 $1 $15) 30. Bc1 Kf7 31. Nf4 Nc7 32. g4 hxg3 33. hxg3 Ne5 34. Bd2 Nc4 35. Bc1 Ne5 36. Bd2 Rc4 37. Kb3 Na6 38. Ne6 Bf6 39. Bg5 Nc5+ 40. Nxc5 Rxc5 41. Bxf6 Kxf6 42. f4 Ng4 43. Ra1 Kf7 44. Ra4 Nf6 45. exf5 gxf5 {[%csl Rd5]} 46. Rc4 (46. Rd4 Kg6 $17) 46... Ra5 47. Ra4 $1 {White goes for a seemingly dangerous knight endgame but correctly evaluates it as drawn.} Rxa4 48. Kxa4 Kg6 49. Kb5 Kh5 50. Kc6 Kg4 51. Ne2 Kf3 52. Nd4+ Ke4 53. Ne6 Nxd5 54. Kd7 $1 Kf3 55. Nd4+ Ke4 56. Ne6 Kd3 57. Ng5 $1 Kc3 58. Ke6 Ne3 59. Kxe7 d5 60. Ke6 d4 61. g4 $5 fxg4 62. f5 Nxf5 63. Kxf5 d3 64. Kxg4 d2 65. Ne4+ Kc2 66. Nxd2 Kxd2 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE World Cup"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.07"] [Round "2.2"] [White "Dubov, Daniil"] [Black "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2666"] [BlackElo "2773"] [Annotator "Quintiliano,R"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Bc5 $5 {This move is becoming fashionable after Grischuk used it to surprise Eljanov earlier this year.} 7. O-O (7. Nxe5 {fails to give advantage for White} Nxc3 8. bxc3 ( 8. Nxc6 $2 Qf6 $18) 8... Nxe5 9. d4 Bd6 10. dxe5 Bxe5 $11) 7... O-O 8. d3 (8. Nxe5 {still doesn't work} Nxc3 9. bxc3 (9. Nxc6 Nxd1 10. Nxd8 Bxf2+ $1) 9... Nxe5 10. d4 Bd6 11. dxe5 Bxe5 $11) ({but an expert in the English found a subtle and tricky idea} 8. Nxd5 Qxd5 9. Ng5 $5 Qd8 $6 (9... Qc4 $1 10. b3 Qg4 11. d3 Nd4 $11) 10. Nxh7 $1 {of course this blow caught Black off-guard} Re8 ( 10... Kxh7 11. Qc2+ Kg8 12. Qxc5 $16) 11. Ng5 $1 Qxg5 12. Bxc6 $1 (12. d4 Qh5 13. dxc5 Rd8 $132 {[%cal Gc6d4]}) 12... bxc6 13. d4 Qh5 14. dxc5 $14 {Aronian, L (2799)-Caruana,F (2807) Saint Louis Rapid 2017 (6.2) 1-0}) 8... Bb6 9. Nxd5 ( {Grischuk's game went} 9. Na4 Re8 10. Bg5 Qd6 11. Nd2 Qg6 $1 12. Ne4 Bg4 13. h3 Be6 14. Bd2 Rad8 {Dubov,D (2666)-Karjakin,S (2773) FIDE World Cup 2017 (2.2) 1-0 and Black is already fine}) 9... Qxd5 10. b4 $5 {Dubov came well prepared to this encounter, as this looks to be the critical test for Black's setup.} e4 (10... Nxb4 11. Bb2 {[%cal Yf3e5] looks favourable for White} e4 12. Nd2 Qh5 13. Bxe4 {[%cal Yd2c4]}) ({Dubov's play impressed me, but in modern days of opening preparation this doesn't last long, and on the next day of the same tournament, Wang Hao showed Black's antidote} 10... a5 $1 11. bxa5 (11. Bb2 e4 $1 12. Nd2 axb4 13. Bxe4 Qh5 $11 {[%csl Ya8] to have the a-file open makes all the difference}) 11... Nxa5 12. Qc2 $2 ({A better move is} 12. Bb2 f6 {but not} 13. Nxe5 $2 Qb5 $1 {[%csl Gb2,Ge5]}) 12... Nb3 $1 13. Rb1 Nxc1 14. Rfxc1 Rxa2 $15 {Gelfand,B (2729)-Wang Hao (2702) FIDE World Cup 2017 (2.3) 0-1}) 11. Ng5 Qd4 $1 12. Ba3 $1 $146 {[%cal Ga3f8,Yb4b5] The position was not unknown to Karjakin until here, but Dubov found this nice improvement which puts Black under pressure.} (12. Be3 Qxb4 13. Nxe4 Bxe3 14. fxe3 Qe7 15. Qd2 Ne5 16. Rac1 c6 $11 {Nakamura,H (2792)-Karjakin,S (2773) Saint Louis Blitz 2017 (16.3) 1-0}) 12... e3 $1 {Black is already facing a difficult choice, but Karjakin finds the better practical one.} (12... Nxb4 {looks risky} 13. e3 Qc5 (13... Qc3 14. Qa4 c5 15. Nxe4 Qxd3 16. Nxc5 $1 Bxc5 17. Bxb4 Bxb4 18. Qxb4 a5 19. Qb2 $16 { [%csl Yb7] Black is undeveloped and the pressure against b7 is quite annoying}) 14. Nxe4 Qa5 15. Bb2 $16 {although nothing specially dangerous is apparent, White has the better pawn structure, and Black's pieces are badly placed, which is enough to put him in trouble, for example} Be6 16. Bc3 Qa3 17. Qh5 $1 {[%cal Ge4g5,Ge4f6]} f6 (17... Nd5 {loses a pawn} 18. Ng5 h6 19. Nxe6 fxe6 20. Bxd5 exd5 21. Qxd5+) 18. Bxb4 Qxb4 19. a4 $1 a5 20. Rfb1 Qe7 21. Nc3 $16 { [%csl Yb7][%cal Gc3d5] besides the pressure on b7, after a proper d4 the Bb6 is out of play.}) (12... exd3 $5 13. b5 Nb4 $2 (13... Ne5 $1 14. Bxf8 Bg4 $3 { maybe is the right path to equality, but is extremely difficult to find} 15. Bxg7 $1 Kxg7 16. Nf3 Nxf3+ 17. exf3 Bf5 18. Qd2 Bc5 19. Rac1 b6 $44 {Black's compensation should be enough here}) 14. Rb1 dxe2 (14... Nxa2 $2 15. Bxf8 Nc3 16. e3 $1 Qf6 17. Qxd3 {[%csl Gh7]} Bf5 18. Ne4 Bxe4 19. Bxe4 Nxb1 20. Bb4 $1 $18 {[%csl Rb1]}) 15. Qxe2 Bg4 16. Qe4 $1 Qxe4 17. Bxe4 Nxa2 18. Bxh7+ Kh8 19. Bxf8 $16) 13. b5 exf2+ 14. Kh1 Ne5 15. Bxf8 Kxf8 {Black's position seems to offer good compensation, with the f2-pawn being very annoying and ideas like Ng4-e3 available; White should be careful.} 16. a4 $1 {[%cal Ya4a5,Ya5a6,Ga1a4] Played very quickly, which made me wonder during the game if this was still Dubov's preparation, but the concept is very clear and important: White can't allow the rapid mobilisation of Black's pieces, so he looks for active ideas and direct threats.} a5 17. bxa6 Rxa6 18. a5 $1 Ba7 $2 (18... Rxa5 {was possible:} 19. Nxh7+ Kg8 20. Rxa5 Bxa5 21. Ng5 Be1 22. Qc1 c6 23. Ne4 Bf5 { White has a good tactical idea here} (23... Ng4 24. Qf4 Ne3 25. Qb8 $1 { [%cal Ye4d6]}) 24. Nxf2 $1 Bxf2 25. Qf4 $1 {regaining the piece, but after} Qxf4 26. gxf4 Nxd3 $1 27. exd3 Be3 28. Rb1 Bxf4 (28... Bxd3 $2 29. Rb3) 29. Rxb7 Bxd3 30. Bxc6 g5 $14 {this is probably a draw.}) (18... Bxa5 $6 19. Ra4 Bb4 (19... Qb2 20. Rxf2) 20. Nxh7+ Kg8 21. Ng5 Ng4 22. Qb3 {[%csl Rb4,Rf7]} Qf6 23. Nxf7 $1 Be6 24. Qxb4 Rxa4 25. Qxa4 Kxf7 26. Qa7 $18) 19. Qc1 {[%csl Yc7] White saves important time while improving his pieces at the same time.} Qd8 ( 19... c6 {[%csl Ga6] this move is ugly as now the rook stays out of play} 20. Nxh7+ Kg8 21. Ng5 Ng4 22. Bh3 $1 {keeping everything under control.}) 20. Qf4 $1 (20. Nxh7+ $2 Kg8 21. Ng5 Ng4 $1 {[%cal Ga7e3,Ya6h6] is a variation that shows how dangerous it might be to go for material in positions where one is behind in development.}) 20... h6 21. Ne4 (21. Qxe5 hxg5 $11) 21... Qe7 22. Nc3 $16 {[%cal Gc3d5] Thanks to skillful manoeuvres, Dubov has managed to organise his pieces and to prevent active ideas and counterplay for Black.} g5 $6 { Such a move is a clear sign that Black's position is unpleasant.} (22... Rf6 { fails to} 23. Nd5 $1 Rxf4 24. Nxe7 $18 {[%csl Rc8,Rf4]}) (22... c6 {[%csl Ya6] This was necessary, but almost depressing as the rook is again out of play} 23. Ne4 Ng4 24. Bh3 {and White is winning the f2 pawn by force} g5 25. Qf3 h5 26. e3 Kg7 27. Bxg4 hxg4 28. Qxf2 $16) 23. Qc1 {The queen retreats, but in a much better situation.} Ng4 $2 (23... c6 24. Nd5 $1 Qd8 25. Nb6 $1 {[%csl Yf2]}) ( 23... Qd8 24. Nb5 Bb8 25. Rxf2 $16) 24. Nd5 $18 {White don't have any trouble to realise his advantage now.} Qxe2 25. Qxc7 Rc6 26. Qd8+ Qe8 27. Qxe8+ Kxe8 28. d4 $1 {Very precise.} Kd8 (28... Bxd4 29. Ra4 Ba7 30. Nb6 $1 Rc2 31. Nxc8 Rxc8 32. Rxg4 $18) 29. h3 Nf6 30. Nb6 Rc2 31. Nxc8 {Black is not able to avoid the trade of rooks and the subsequent loss of the f2-pawn. An impressive performance by Dubov, who showed excellent opening preparation and a fine sense for what the position required.} 1-0 [Event "FIDE World Cup"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.07"] [Round "2.2"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Adhiban, Baskaran"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A28"] [WhiteElo "2751"] [BlackElo "2677"] [Annotator "Adhiban,B"] [PlyCount "126"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. e4 e5 $5 (3... Bg7 {I wonder what he had in mind against my KID, I got the answer in the second rapid game!}) 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. d4 exd4 6. Nxd4 Bg7 7. Nxc6 dxc6 (7... bxc6 8. e5 Qe7 9. Qe2 $1 {Nepo being a Scotch player would be extremely happy with the current position.} Ng8 10. Bf4 {with a clear advantage.}) 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 {The fabled Berlin Endgame with minor modifications but the presence of the white pawn on c4 makes it quite comfortable for Black.} 9. Bf4 Be6 {The rest is pure domination and strong technique on my part, at least until the end!} 10. O-O-O+ (10. Be5 $1 {It is essential to get rid of the dark-squared bishop.}) 10... Nd7 $1 {Now I have very comfortable position.} 11. Be2 Bxc3 $5 {I was bit surprised that Nepo allowed this because now his pawn structure on the queenside is a total mess. But knowing Nepo he probably put all his hopes on a pawn storm on the kingside. } 12. bxc3 Kc8 13. Rd2 a5 $1 {Signalling the start of the queenside onslaught!} 14. Be3 h5 $1 {It is always useful to include this and White has to activate my rook if he wants to get his kingside pawns rolling.} 15. Rhd1 a4 16. f4 Ra5 17. h3 c5 {[%csl Rc4][%cal Gd7b6] The ideal plan has been achieved and c4 is going to fall soon and White's only hope is the counter on the kingside and the pressure on the d-file.} 18. g4 hxg4 19. hxg4 Nb6 20. f5 Nxc4 $1 (20... Bxc4 21. Bg5 Kb8 22. Bxc4 Nxc4 23. Rd8+ Rxd8 24. Rxd8+ Ka7 25. Rd7 gxf5 (25... Ne5 26. Rxc7 $16) 26. exf5 Ne5 27. Rxc7 {White is the one in the driver's seat and Black has to be precise to make a draw.}) 21. Bxc4 (21. fxe6 Nxe3 22. exf7 (22. Re1 fxe6) (22. Rg1 fxe6 23. Rg3 Rh1+ 24. Kb2 a3+ {leads to mate.} 25. Kb3 Rb1+) 22... Nxd1 23. Rxd1 (23. e5 c4 $5 {The simplest.}) 23... c4 $1 {[%cal Ra5e5] and White's pawns aren't as scary as they looked.}) 21... Bxc4 22. Bf4 ( 22. Rd7 Ra6 {[%cal Gc4a2] with similar plan to the game.}) 22... Ra6 $1 23. Rd7 Rc6 {The rook is very nicely placed here.} 24. Re7 {Preparing the 7th rank penetration.} Rd8 $6 {Getting rid of the only threat of White's.} ({A stronger try was} 24... Bxa2 25. Rdd7 a3 $1 26. Rxc7+ Rxc7 27. Rxc7+ Kd8 {with a clear advantage.}) 25. fxg6 (25. e5 $1 gxf5 26. gxf5 {would have most likely finished in a draw.}) 25... Rxd1+ 26. Kxd1 fxg6 27. a3 b5 28. Kd2 Kb7 29. g5 b4 $5 {The time was ripe for this, as making any waiting moves would decrease the power of this pawn break.} 30. cxb4 cxb4 31. axb4 a3 32. Re5 a2 33. Ra5 Bb3 ({ My trainer suggested this as a better alternative.} 33... Re6 $5 34. Ke3 (34. e5 Ra6 {[%cal Ga2a1]}) 34... Bd5 $1 {I could have probably found this, If I had paid more attention :).}) 34. Kd3 Bc2+ {I decided to repeat once.} 35. Ke3 (35. Kd4 Ra6 {[%cal Ga2a1]}) (35. Kd2 Bb1 {[%cal Gc6c4] with a clear advantage. }) 35... Bb1 $1 {Now no need :).} 36. Be5 Rc4 37. Bd4 Rxb4 38. e5 Rb3+ 39. Kf4 Rb4 40. Ke3 Rb3+ 41. Kf4 Rh3 42. Bf2 (42. e6 Rh4+ 43. Ke5 Re4+ 44. Kd5 c6+ { wins.}) 42... Rh8 43. Bc5 Rh4+ 44. Kf3 Rh3+ 45. Kf4 Rh4+ 46. Kf3 Rh1 $2 { A huge mistake throwing away a well played game and essentially the most crucial error in my World Cup path!} (46... Rc4 $1 {was an easier alternative, I just understimated his move. Otherwise I would have gone for this!}) 47. e6 Re1 (47... Be4+ 48. Kxe4 a1=Q 49. Rxa1 Rxa1 50. e7 Ra8 51. Kd5 $1 {I missed this important move which cuts off the black king.}) 48. Be3 {Unfortunately now there isn't a win anymore!} Rf1+ 49. Bf2 Be4+ 50. Kxe4 Rxf2 51. Kd3 Rf5 52. Rxa2 Re5 53. Rf2 Rxe6 (53... Kc6 54. Rf6 Rxg5 55. e7+ Kd7 56. Re6 Ke8 57. Ke4 { with an easy draw.}) 54. Rf6 Rb6 55. Ke4 Kc8 56. Ke5 Rb5+ 57. Kf4 Rb6 58. Ke5 Kd7 59. Rxb6 cxb6 60. Kf6 b5 61. Kxg6 b4 62. Kf7 b3 63. g6 b2 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE World Cup"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.08"] [Round "2.3"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Kuzubov, Yuriy"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2797"] [BlackElo "2652"] [Annotator "Marin,M"] [PlyCount "110"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. Bf4 dxc4 6. e3 b5 {This looks like the most aggressive answer, but in fact it leads to a position where Black is just suffering a pawn down in the hope Black's imperfect structure will prevent him from finding a winning plan.} 7. Nxb5 Bb4+ 8. Nc3 ({By far more popular than} 8. Nd2 Nd5 9. Bg3 N7b6 10. Qc2 O-O 11. Be2 Ba6 12. Nc3 c5 13. dxc5 Bxc5 (13... Nxc3 14. bxc3 Bxc5 {Aronian,L (2786)-Anand,V (2762) Moscow 2016 CBM 172 [Marin,M] (½-½, 31)}) 14. Nxd5 Nxd5 15. Bxc4 Bxc4 16. Nxc4 Rc8 { Gelfand,B (2735)-Grachev,B (2639) Moscow 2016 CBM 171 [Besenthal,K] (1-0, 119)} ) 8... Nd5 9. a3 $5 {This simple move forces Black into releasing the tension without having beneffited from the pin too much.} (9. Rc1 {offers Black the time to get coordinated.} N7b6 (9... Nxf4 $6 10. exf4 Nb6 11. Bxc4 $1 {This is why the exchange is premature! The black bishop is hanging to Qa4+.} O-O 12. Be2 {Mamedyarov,S (2761)-Aronian,L (2795) Moscow 2016 (1-0, 61)}) {But now the threat ...Nxf4 is real.} 10. Bg3 (10. Bg5 f6 11. Bh4 O-O 12. Nd2 Ba6 13. Be2 c5 $132 {Kempinski,R (2615)-Kryvoruchko,Y (2682) Poland 2016 (0-1, 38)}) 10... O-O 11. Be2 c5 $11 {Wojtaszek,R (2727)-Grandelius,N (2635) Gibraltar 2016 (½-½, 30)}) 9... Nxc3 10. Qd2 $1 Nd5 11. axb4 Nxf4 12. exf4 Bb7 13. Be2 Nb6 ({ It makes sense to delay castling, in order to place the other pieces on optiimal positions. If} 13... O-O 14. O-O Nb6 15. Ne5 Qd6 16. Rfd1 Rfb8 17. Rac1 Qd5 18. Bf1 h6 19. Nxc4 Nxc4 20. Rxc4 $16 {Nakamura,H (2787)-Carlsen,M (2855) Paris (blitz) 2016 CBM 173 [Besenthal,K] (0-1, 59)}) 14. O-O Qd6 15. Ra5 (15. Rfc1 O-O 16. Ne5 Rfd8 17. Nxc4 Nxc4 18. Bxc4 Qxd4 19. Qxd4 Rxd4 20. f5 Bc8 (20... exf5 21. Bxf7+ Kxf7 22. Rxc7+ Kf6 23. Rxb7 Rad8 24. g3 Rd1+ 25. Rxd1 Rxd1+ 26. Kg2 Rd4 27. h4 $14) 21. fxe6 Bxe6 22. Bxe6 fxe6 23. Rxc7 Rxb4 24. Rd1 Rxb2 25. f3 Kh8 26. Rdd7 Rb1+ 27. Kf2 Rb2+ 28. Kg3 Rg8 29. Rxa7 Rbb8 30. h4 h6 31. Re7 Rbe8 {Gustafsson,J (2630)-Naiditsch,A (2685) Linares 2015 (½-½, 47) with a drawn ending.}) ({One important point is that with Black's pieces well placed already} 15. Ne5 {is premature due to} f6 16. Nxc4 $2 Nxc4 17. Bxc4 Qc6 $19) 15... O-O 16. Rc5 (16. Ne5 {is still premature due to} f6) 16... Rfd8 ({ Another game on the same theme went} 16... Rfb8 17. Ne5 Bd5 18. Bxc4 Nxc4 19. Nxc4 Bxc4 20. Rxc4 Rb7 21. Rfc1 Rab8 22. g3 h5 23. Qd1 g6 {Rambaldi,F (2544) -Studer,N (2462) Biel 2016 (½-½, 41)}) 17. Rd1 Na4 {Offering a draw by repetition. This does not really lose two tempi, as the rook also returns to a5, but under the new circumstances Ne5 will be possible and good.} ({Therefore } 17... f6 $5 {deserves mentioning} 18. Ne1 Bd5 19. Ra1 {[%cal Ge1c2,Gg2g3, Gc2e3]}) 18. Ra5 Nb6 19. Ne5 Bd5 (19... f6 $6 {weakens the kingside without preventing the pawn capture:} 20. Nxc4 Nxc4 21. Bxc4 Qc6 22. Bf1 $1) 20. Rc5 Rab8 21. Ra1 Rb7 22. h4 {White can win the pawn whenever he wants, but this does not guarantee a win. Mamedyarov decides on gaining kingside space first, but this is not one-sided.} (22. Nxc4 $6 Bxc4 23. Bxc4 Qxd4 $11) (22. Bxc4 Nxc4 (22... Bxc4 23. Nxc4 Qxd4 $2 24. Qxd4 Rxd4 25. Na5 Rb8 26. Nc6 $18) 23. Nxc4 Bxc4 24. Rxc4 Rdb8 25. Ra4 h6 26. g3 Rb6 27. Qc3 (27. Rxa7 Rxb4 28. Rxb4 Qxb4 29. Qxb4 Rxb4 30. Rxc7 Rxb2 31. Kg2 Rb4 32. Rd7 Kf8 33. d5 exd5 34. Rxd5 { is just drawn.}) 27... R8b7 28. h4 a6 $14 {The typical position where playing with Black is not fun, but it may bring half a point home...}) 22... h6 23. Ra6 Qe7 24. h5 Nd7 25. Nxd7 Rxd7 26. Ra3 ({The h5-pawn can easily turn into a weakness after, for instance,} 26. Bxc4 Bxc4 27. Rxc4 Rd5 28. Ra5 Qh4 29. Rxd5 exd5 30. Rc5 Qxh5 31. b5 Qf5 $14 {White still has has the more pleasant position, but this time with equal pawns.}) 26... Rd6 (26... Qd8 $5 $11 { seems to solve all Black's problems at once.} 27. Bxc4 $2 Be4 $15) 27. Bxc4 Bxc4 28. Rxc4 Rdb6 29. Ra4 Qd7 {Finally the typical major piece position with an extra pawn has arisen.} 30. Ra5 Rb5 31. Qc3 $6 {Typical rapid chess carelessness.} (31. g3 Qd6 32. Rxb5 Rxb5 33. Rc5 $14) 31... Qd6 $1 {[%csl Gb4, Gf4]} 32. Rxb5 (32. g3 Rxb4) 32... Rxb5 33. Rxc7 Qxf4 34. Rc5 Rb8 {The worst is behind already for Black.} 35. b5 (35. d5 {is a better try, but Black has a foced draw after the accurate} Rd8 $1 (35... exd5 36. Rxd5 Re8 37. g3 $14) 36. Rc8 Rxc8 37. Qxc8+ Kh7 38. dxe6 Qxb4 39. Qc2+ Kh8 40. exf7 Qe1+ 41. Kh2 Qe5+ 42. g3 Qxh5+ 43. Kg1 Qxf7 $11) 35... Qe4 36. Re5 Qb1+ 37. Kh2 Qf1 (37... Qd1 $11) 38. Qc2 Rxb5 $4 (38... Rd8 $5) 39. Rc5 $4 (39. Qc8+ $1 Kh7 40. Qa6 { pins and wins the rook!!}) 39... Rb8 40. d5 exd5 41. Rxd5 $11 {As sometimes happens, insisting on playing for a win in a dead draw position will backfire painfully.} Re8 42. Qf5 Qe2 43. g3 (43. b4 Qe4 $11) 43... Qxb2 {Why not?? It is for free!!} (43... Qe4 $11) 44. Rd7 Qa2 45. Kg2 a6 46. Rd6 Qc4 47. Kh2 Qb5 48. Qf3 (48. Qxb5 axb5 49. Rb6 Re5 50. g4 Kf8 51. Rb7 $15 {should draw.}) 48... a5 49. Rd5 Qc6 50. Qd3 a4 51. Rd6 $2 Qc5 $1 {A decisive double attack, winning the second pawn.} 52. Kg2 Qxh5 53. Ra6 Qg4 54. Qb5 Qe4+ 55. Kg1 Ra8 0-1 [Event "FIDE World Cup"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.08"] [Round "2.4"] [White "Najer, Evgeniy"] [Black "Vitiugov, Nikita"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B28"] [WhiteElo "2707"] [BlackElo "2724"] [Annotator "Ftacnik,L"] [PlyCount "107"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 a6 3. c3 e6 4. d4 d5 5. exd5 Qxd5 6. Be2 Nf6 7. O-O Be7 8. Be3 cxd4 9. cxd4 Nc6 10. Nc3 Qd6 11. Qd2 {Vitiugov has managed to land in a position, in which his very early 2...a6 is actually a useful move.} (11. Rc1 O-O 12. Qd2 b6 13. Rfd1 Nb4 14. Bf4 Qd8 15. Ne5 Bb7 16. Bc4 Nbd5 17. Bg3 Nxc3 18. Qxc3 Ne4 19. Qd3 Nxg3 20. hxg3 Qd6 21. Bb3 b5 22. a4 {1/2-1/2 (22) Suetin, A (2535)-Polovodin,I (2355) Moscow (Russia) 1979}) (11. Nd2 {There are only two ways of trying to exploit the location of the queen on d6 to gain a tempo. The knight gets rerouted as it will force the lady from her good location.} Nd5 (11... Nb4 12. Nc4 (12. Nde4 Nxe4 13. Nxe4 Qd8 14. Nc3 O-O 15. Bf3 {1/2-1/2 (15) Ciric,D-Taimanov,M Rostov on Don (Russia) 1961}) 12... Qd8 13. Qb3 (13. Bf3 Nbd5 14. Bg5 O-O 15. Qb3 Rb8 16. Rad1 b5 17. Ne5 Bb7 18. Bxf6 Bxf6 19. Nxd5 exd5 20. Ng4 Bg5 21. Ne3 Bxe3 22. Qxe3 $14 {1-0 (68) Gufeld,E-Taimanov,M Leningrad (Russia) 1963}) 13... Nbd5 14. Bf3 b5 15. Ne5 Bb7 16. Nxb5 Rb8 17. Nc3 O-O 18. Nxd5 Bxd5 19. Qc2 Bxf3 20. Nxf3 Nd5 21. Rfc1 $14 {1/2-1/2 (27) Balogh,C (2359)-Csom,I (2478) Budapest 2000}) (11... O-O 12. Nc4 Qd8 13. Bf3 Nd5 14. Nxd5 exd5 15. Bxd5 Qxd5 16. Nb6 Qe4 17. Nxa8 Bg4 18. Qe1 Qg6 19. f3 Bf5 20. Nb6 $16 {1-0 (30) Sax,G (2600)-Fernandes,A (2440) Debrecen 1992}) (11... Qd8 12. Bf3 Nd5 13. Nxd5 exd5 14. Qb3 Be6 {1/2-1/2 (14) Yu,S (2535)-Csom,I (2464) Budapest 2000}) 12. Nde4 Qd8 13. Nxd5 exd5 14. Nc5 O-O 15. Rc1 f5 $5 16. Nd3 (16. g3 f4 17. Bxf4 Rxf4 18. gxf4 Bd6 $13) 16... Bd6 17. f4 $6 (17. Bf3 f4 18. Bd2 Be6 (18... Nxd4 19. Bxd5+ Kh8 20. Rc4 $1 Ne6 21. Qh5 $16) 19. Bc3 Qf6 20. Re1 $14) 17... Qb6 18. Kh1 Be6 19. Qd2 Rfe8 20. Ne5 Rac8 21. a3 $11 { 1/2-1/2 (39) Leko,P (2731)-Morozevich,A (2724) Moscow 2014}) 11... O-O { Black has to castle at some stage and this move leaves open different ways of building up the defence.} (11... Nd5 12. Nxd5 Qxd5 13. Ne5 Nxe5 14. dxe5 Qxd2 15. Bxd2 Bd7 16. Bf3 Rb8 17. Rfc1 b6 18. Rc7 Bc5 19. b4 Bd4 20. Re1 Bb5 21. Re4 $16 {1-0 (44) Rios,C (2403)-Zuluaga Mancilla,C (2326) Caldas 2011}) 12. Bf4 ( 12. Rfd1 Nb4 13. Ne5 Nbd5 14. Bf3 b5 15. a4 Bd7 16. Bf4 Rad8 17. Bg3 Qb6 18. Nxd5 Nxd5 19. Bxd5 exd5 20. axb5 Bxb5 $11 {1/2-1/2 (60) Videki,S (2385)-Csom,I (2475) Kecskemet 1993}) 12... Qd8 13. Rfd1 (13. a3 b5 14. Rac1 Bb7 15. Rfd1 Rc8 16. Bd3 Na5 17. Qe2 Nb3 18. Rb1 g6 19. Be5 Qd7 $11 {0-1 (53) Muzychuk,M (2529) -Ju,W (2568) Beijing 2014}) 13... Nb4 {The importance of the blockading square d5 is undeniable in positions with an isolated central pawn.} 14. Ne5 (14. Rac1 Nbd5 15. Be3 b5 16. Ne5 Bb7 17. Bf3 Nxc3 18. Qxc3 Bxf3 19. Nxf3 Qd5 20. a3 Qb7 21. Qc6 Qxc6 22. Rxc6 Nd5 $11 {1/2-1/2 (56) Smirnov,T (2288)-Potapov,P (2492) Moscow 2016}) 14... Nfd5 (14... Nbd5 15. Bf3 Bd7 16. Bg5 Bc6 17. Rac1 Rc8 18. h3 h6 19. Bh4 Re8 20. a3 Qb6 21. Bxf6 Bxf6 22. Nxd5 exd5 23. Nxc6 bxc6 $11 { 0-1 (44) Neelotpal,D (2463)-Zhang,Z (2645) Doha 2016}) 15. Bf3 {Najer is following a very sensible strategy of developing all the pieces towards the centre with maximum impact.} f6 (15... Nxf4 16. Qxf4 Bf6 17. Qe4 $14) 16. Nd3 Nc6 (16... Nxd3 17. Nxd5 exd5 18. Qxd3 Be6 19. Qe3 Bf7 20. Rac1 $14) 17. Be3 ( 17. Nxd5 exd5 18. Qc3 g5 19. Be3 $14) 17... Nxe3 {Deciding the best way of playing this position was leaving Vitiugov with a difficult choice as White keeps some pull everywhere.} 18. fxe3 f5 (18... e5 19. dxe5 fxe5 20. Qe2 Qe8 21. Rac1 $14) 19. Rac1 {White will abstain from taking the knight on c6 due to the presence of the bishop pair in Black's hands. Despite everything it seems, that the position would clearly favour the first player.} (19. Bxc6 $5 bxc6 20. Na4 Bd6 21. Ne5 $16) 19... Bg5 (19... Qd6 20. Ne2 Nb4 $14) 20. Qf2 (20. Ne2 Ne7 21. Ne5 $16) 20... Kh8 21. Ne2 (21. Bxc6 bxc6 22. Ne5 $16) 21... Bh4 22. g3 Bf6 23. a3 {At this part of the game the computer is delighted by the idea of restricting the black kingside with h4 and obtaining an advantage.} (23. h4 Qd6 24. Bxc6 bxc6 25. Qf4 $16) 23... Rb8 24. Nc5 $6 (24. h4 $1 a5 25. Bxc6 bxc6 26. Nef4 $16) 24... Qe7 {The justification for Black is hidden in the timely advance of the g-pawn with equal chances.} (24... g5 $1 25. Kh1 Qe7 26. Nc3 Nd8 $11) 25. Nf4 Nd8 (25... a5 26. Bg2 Rd8 27. d5 $1 $16) 26. d5 {Najer feels, that with all pieces on good locations he should try to make progress with a pawn advance. Black relies on his bishop pair for counterplay.} (26. e4 $5 b6 27. Ncd3 (27. e5 bxc5 28. exf6 Qxf6 29. Rxc5 Nf7 30. b4 $14) 27... fxe4 28. Bxe4 Nf7 29. Nb4 $14) 26... b6 (26... Be5 27. Qd2 exd5 28. Nxd5 Qd6 29. Qe2 $14 ) 27. d6 Qf7 28. Ncd3 $6 {The position is original to the utmost. So it is no wonder that both very strong players are floundering around without clear reference to the quality of chosen moves.} (28. Na4 Bd7 29. Rc7 Qe8 30. b3 $11) 28... e5 29. Rc7 Qb3 $2 {Analysing with the help of modern engines can turn complicated games into a comedy of errors.} (29... Qe8 30. Nd5 e4 31. Re7 Qc6 32. Nxf6 Qxd6 33. Re8 $11) (29... Bd7 $5 30. Bd5 Qe8 31. Ng2 a5 $15) 30. d7 $6 {Najer returns the compliment with a mistake of his own.} (30. Nc1 $1 Qa4 31. Nd5 e4 32. Bh5 Be5 33. Nf4 $16) 30... Bb7 31. Nc1 Qa4 (31... Qf7 $1 32. Bd5 Qe7 33. Bxb7 exf4 34. Bxa6 fxe3 35. Qc2 Ra8 $11) 32. Nd5 e4 33. Nxf6 $2 {High tension in the position is not helping either player to get a peaceful overview of the situation.} (33. Bh5 $1 Be5 34. Qc2 Qxc2 35. Rxc2 g6 36. Be2 $16) 33... exf3 34. Rd4 Qb5 $2 {It would be unjust to be harsh on Vitiugov for this mistake. The computer engine helps to understand that the different queen retreat was a better choice.} (34... Qa5 $1 35. Ne8 Ne6 36. Nd3 Nxd4 (36... Nxc7 37. Nxc7 Rfd8 38. Ne6 $16) 37. exd4 Rd8 38. Rxb7 Qd5 39. Rc7 Rxd7 40. Ne5 Qxe5 41. dxe5 Rd1+ 42. Qf1 Rxf1+ 43. Kxf1 Rxe8 44. Rc6 $11) 35. Ne8 $1 Ne6 36. Nd6 Nxd4 37. Nxb5 Nxb5 38. Rc2 {White could have even decided to sacrifice the exchange on c7 in order to make winning the d7-pawn back more complicated.} ( 38. Qc2 $1 Be4 39. Qc4 Nxc7 40. Qxc7 Rbd8 41. Nb3 f4 42. gxf4 Bf5 43. Nd4 Rxd7 44. Qxb6 $16) 38... Nd6 (38... Rbd8 39. Rd2 Rf7 40. Nb3 Rdxd7 41. Rxd7 Rxd7 42. Qc2 h6 43. Kf2 $16) 39. Nb3 (39. Qd2 Ne4 40. Qd4 f2+ 41. Kf1 a5 42. Qxb6 Nf6 43. Qa7 $18) 39... Rbd8 40. Rc7 Rf7 41. Nd4 Rfxd7 (41... Be4 42. Nxf3 Rfxd7 43. Rxd7 Rxd7 44. Nd4 $18) 42. Rxd7 Rxd7 43. Nxf3 {The elimination of the f3-pawn was crucial for the success of the position with queen against two pieces.} Ne4 (43... h6 44. Nd4 Rc7 45. Qf1 $16) 44. Qc2 g6 $6 {Opening up the access to the black king is surely a concession, it definitely helps White to cash in on his advantage.} (44... h6 45. Nd4 $16) 45. Nd4 (45. Ne5 Rd2 46. Qc7 Bd5 47. Qxb6 $18) 45... Kg7 (45... Nf6 46. Qc4 Nd5 47. Ne6 Kg8 48. Qd4 Kf7 49. Ng5+ Kg8 50. Qe5 $18) 46. Qb3 Rd6 47. Qc4 Bd5 (47... Rd7 48. Qe6 Nf6 49. Qxb6 $18) 48. Qxa6 Kh6 49. Qc8 Kh5 $6 {Black is not happy with waiting tactics and tries a kamikaze strategy of a king march. Unfortunately the chances for survival become even smaller.} (49... Kg7 50. Qc7+ Kh6 51. Qe7 Rf6 52. Qd8 $18) 50. Qc7 (50. Qf8 Rf6 51. Qg7 Rf7 52. Qe5 $18) 50... h6 (50... Kh6 51. Qe7 $18) 51. a4 ( 51. Qe7 Rf6 52. Qe5 Bc4 53. h3 $18) 51... Kg4 52. Nb5 Rc6 53. Qf4+ Kh3 54. Qh4# 1-0 [Event "FIDE World Cup"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.09"] [Round "3.1"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Matlakov, Maxim"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A28"] [WhiteElo "2799"] [BlackElo "2728"] [Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. e3 Bb4 5. Qc2 Bxc3 (5... O-O {not taking the knight right away gives White a very good option with} 6. Nd5 $1 Re8 7. Qf5 $5 d6 8. Nxf6+ Qxf6 (8... gxf6 {keeping a tense position is very risky for Black:} 9. Qh5 e4 10. a3 $1 (10. Nd4 $6 Nxd4 11. exd4 c6 12. a3 Ba5 13. b4 Bc7 14. d5 $13 {1/2-1/2 (23) Strikovic,A (2502)-Grigoryan,K (2568) Ruma 2017}) 10... exf3 {looks dangerous, but has to be played} (10... Bc5 $2 11. b4 Bb6 12. Bb2 $1 $18 ) 11. gxf3 $44 {looks dangerous}) 9. Qxf6 gxf6 10. a3 Bc5 11. b4 Bb6 12. Bb2 $14 {1-0 (34) Grischuk,A (2785)-Giri,A (2737) Elancourt 2013 with a very pleasant endgame for White.}) 6. bxc3 $5 {A rare continuation, going into an interesting and unbalanced position.} (6. Qxc3 {is the most common reply} Qe7 { Black prepares ...d5, trying to play an Open Sicilian with a good initiative, since White lost many tempi with his queen:} 7. Be2 (7. d4 $5 Ne4 (7... d6 8. d5 {should be normally more pleasant for White} Nb8 9. Nd2 O-O 10. Be2 $14 { followed by 0-0 and b3, Bb2, potentially thinking about an expansion with e4 and f4 later}) 8. Qd3 exd4 9. Nxd4 O-O 10. Be2 Nxd4 11. Qxd4 Qb4+ 12. Kf1 Qe7 13. f3 Nc5 14. h4 $13 {½-½ (51) Mekhitarian,K (2561)-El Debs,F (2523) Rio de Janeiro 2017, with an interesting position.}) (7. a3 d5 8. d4 exd4 9. Nxd4 Nxd4 10. Qxd4 O-O 11. b4 dxc4 12. Bxc4 $6 (12. Qxc4 {the unnatural Qxc4 was mandatory to avoid a worse position}) 12... Rd8 13. Qf4 a5 $1 $36 14. Rb1 $2 axb4 15. axb4 b5 $1 16. Bxb5 Nd5 17. Qd4 c5 18. bxc5 Nc7 19. Qc3 Qe4 $19 { 0-1 (63) Shtembuliak,E (2478)-Volokitin,A (2649) Rivne 2016}) 7... d5 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Qb3 Nb6 10. d3 O-O 11. O-O Rd8 12. Bd2 Bf5 13. Rfd1 Rd7 14. Be1 Rad8 $11 {0-1 (35) Ahlander,B (2442)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2742) Rhodes 2013}) 6... O-O 7. d3 (7. e4 d6 8. g3 {is another way to develop the f1-bishop} Ne7 9. Bg2 Ng6 10. O-O Re8 11. Rb1 h6 12. d3 c6 13. Re1 b6 14. a4 Bd7 15. Nd2 Be6 16. d4 { taking the initiative in the centre} (16. Nf1 {would be an ideal plan, but Black is already in time to push} d5 $1 $11) 16... Rc8 17. a5 $5 bxa5 18. Ba3 c5 19. dxc5 dxc5 20. Red1 Qc7 21. Nf1 $1 {a typical plan in this structure - White has isolated and doubled pawns, but there is a nice d5-square available as well} Nd7 $6 (21... Bxc4 {was the most challenging} 22. Ne3 Ba6 23. c4 $44 { followed by Nd5}) 22. Ne3 Nb6 23. Nd5 Qc6 24. Bf1 $16 {1-0 (34) Eljanov,P (2718)-Bruzon Batista,L (2677) Havana 2015, despite being a pawn down, White has tremendous pressure with the d5-knight.}) 7... d6 8. Be2 Re8 9. e4 Ne7 10. Nh4 Ng6 (10... Nc6 $5 {was totally counter-intuitive, but interesting - ... Nxe4 is a threat, and Black has ...Bh3 against g3:} 11. g3 (11. Nf5 Bxf5 12. exf5 d5 $11 {is very consistent for Black}) (11. Nf3 Ne7 {followed by ...Ng6, avoiding Nh4}) 11... Bh3 $13) 11. Nxg6 hxg6 12. O-O c6 13. f4 $36 {These English Opening setups normally are very flexible, specially beause of the bishop pair, and the potential to open up the position.} b5 $5 {Opening lines on the queenside is smart, since White's structure there is not so stable.} ( 13... exf4 $5 14. Bxf4 d5 {was also playable} 15. cxd5 cxd5 16. e5 Qb6+ 17. Kh1 (17. d4 Bf5 18. Qb3 Ne4 $13 {with ...Rac8 or ...Rec8 to come, hitting c3}) 17... Nh5 $11 {getting back one of the bishops since the e5-pawn is hanging.}) 14. cxb5 cxb5 15. h3 Qb6+ 16. Kh2 Be6 (16... Bd7 $5 {having in mind what happened in the game, this could have been a better approach.}) 17. a4 a6 ( 17... b4 $5 {was playable, opening the c-file for counterplay} 18. cxb4 Qxb4 19. Ba3 Qd4 $13) 18. Qb2 Nd7 19. Rb1 Rab8 (19... Qc7 $1 {keeping an eye on c3 and threatening bxa4} 20. f5 (20. axb5 axb5 {doesn't change much}) 20... gxf5 21. exf5 Bd5 {is perfectly fine for Black} 22. axb5 axb5 {now the a8-rook comes into play instantly} 23. Qxb5 $2 Rab8 $1 24. Qxd5 Rxb1 $19) 20. axb5 axb5 21. Rf3 f6 $6 (21... Qc7 $1 22. f5 gxf5 23. exf5 e4 $3 {a very nice pawn sacrifice, giving room for the d7-knight and the e8-rook} 24. dxe4 (24. fxe6 exf3 25. exf7+ Kxf7 26. Bxf3 Nf6 $13) 24... Bc4 $44 {with nice counterplay against the e4-pawn, ...Nf6 is coming next.}) 22. f5 $1 gxf5 23. exf5 Bd5 $6 ( 23... e4 $1 {was the best chance} 24. dxe4 Bc4 $132 {keeping counterplay on the e4-pawn. And whenever the bishops come off, the king on g8 feels safer.}) 24. Rg3 $16 {Now White starts to obtain a strong initiative.} Re7 25. Bh5 $5 { This bishop restricts the king on g8 and keeps some Bg6 ideas alive for a direct attack.} (25. Qd2 $1 {threatening Rb4-Rh4-Qh6!, and also c4 right away - it is very hard to defend.} e4 26. dxe4 $18 {already wins a healthy pawn on b5}) 25... e4 {I don't like to give the f4-square for White's bishop.} 26. d4 { Making the d7-knight look very bad.} Bc4 27. Bf4 Ra8 28. Ra1 $1 Rd8 (28... Rxa1 {looked more logical, but it is hard to defend the invasions through the a-file as well} 29. Qxa1 Qc6 {stopping Qa8+.} 30. Qa3 $16 {[%csl Rd6]}) 29. Ra3 Nf8 30. Qa1 Bf7 $2 (30... Qb7 {avoiding Ra6 for now.} 31. Ra6 $6 b4 $1 $132) 31. Ra6 $1 $18 Qc7 32. Be2 $1 {[%csl Rb5] Suddenly Black's position falls apart - Bxb5 and Qa3 are very strong threats.} Bc4 33. Bxc4+ Qxc4 (33... bxc4 34. Qa3 $18 {[%csl Rd6]}) 34. Rxd6 {Now it's over - with an extra pawn and attacking possibilities, White wins quickly, not to mention the very passive knight on f8.} Nd7 35. Qa7 Kf7 36. Qb7 Ke8 37. Re6 Rxe6 38. fxe6 Qxe6 39. Rxg7 e3 40. Qf3 $1 {The beginning of a very tense match between Aronian and Matlakov, that was decided in the last blitz game before Armageddon!} 1-0 [Event "FIDE World Cup"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.10"] [Round "3.2"] [White "Dubov, Daniil"] [Black "Artemiev, Vladislav"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B98"] [WhiteElo "2666"] [BlackElo "2692"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah/Amruta Mokal"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} c5 {[%emt 0:00:58]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} d6 {[%emt 0: 00:18]} 3. d4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} cxd4 {[%emt 0:00:12]} 4. Nxd4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:38]} 5. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} a6 {[%emt 0:00:19] Dubov was not expecting his opponent to play the Najdorf, so he hadn't prepared much for it.} 6. Bg5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e6 {[%emt 0:06:24]} 7. f4 {[%emt 0:00:06]} h6 {[%emt 0: 00:49] Inserting this move has been a recent fashion. It can be useful to play ...g5 in some variations otherwise it is played before going for the ...Qb6 Poisoned Pawn variation.} (7... Qb6 8. Qd2 Qxb2 9. Rb1 Qa3 {The sharpest "Poisoned Pawn variation" is the most famous line in the Bg5-Najdorf, which was Kasparov and Fischer's favourite.}) 8. Bh4 {[%emt 0:00:10]} Be7 {[%emt 0: 01:21]} (8... Qb6 9. Qd2 {leads to the complicated Poisoned Pawn variation.} ( 9. a3 Be7 10. Bf2 Qc7 11. Qf3 Nbd7 12. O-O-O b5 13. g4 g5 $1 14. h4 gxf4 15. Be2 Rg8 16. Rdg1 d5 17. exd5 Ne5 18. Qh3 exd5 19. Re1 Kf8 20. Nf5 Bxf5 21. gxf5 Bc5 22. Qf1 d4 23. Nb1 Ne4 24. Bf3 Nxf2 25. Bxa8 Ned3+ 26. Kd2 Nxe1 27. Qxf2 d3 28. Qxe1 Be3+ {0-1 (28) Giri,A (2790)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2788) Stavanger NOR 2016}) 9... Qxb2 10. Rb1 Qa3 11. e5 dxe5 12. fxe5 Nfd7 13. Ne4 Qxa2 14. Rd1 Qd5 15. Qe3 Qxe5 16. Be2 Bc5 17. Bg3 Qd5 18. c4 Bxd4 19. Rxd4 Qa5+ 20. Rd2 O-O 21. Bd6 f5 22. Bxf8 Nxf8 23. Nd6 Nbd7 24. g4 fxg4 25. Bxg4 Qa1+ 26. Rd1 Qe5 27. Rd3 Nc5 28. O-O Nxd3 29. Qxd3 Bd7 30. Nxb7 Rb8 31. Bf3 Qc7 32. Nd6 Qc5+ 33. Rf2 a5 34. Nb7 Qb4 35. Qe4 Nh7 36. c5 Ng5 {0-1 (36) Najer,E (2687)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2798) Dortmund GER 2016}) 9. Qf3 {[%emt 0:00:07]} Nbd7 {[%emt 0:02:25]} 10. O-O-O {[%emt 0:00:16]} g5 {[%emt 0:10:40] The move ...g5 came as a surprise to Dubov. He was already out of his preparation. But it has already been seen in nearly 50 odd games, though none on the highest level.} (10... Qc7 {is the main line.}) 11. fxg5 {[%emt 0:01:05]} hxg5 {[%emt 0:00:10]} 12. Bg3 {[%emt 0: 00:35] Artemiev thinks a lot about his moves. While Vladislav was contemplating on what he would play, Daniil decided that he would sacrifice his bishop on b5 if he got the opportunity.} (12. Bxg5 {is the main continuation} Ne5 13. Qf4 (13. Qe2) 13... b5 14. a3 Nh5 15. Bxe7 Nxf4 16. Bxd8 Kxd8 17. g3 Nh3 18. Rd2 Ke7 19. Bg2 Bb7 20. Nf3 Nxf3 21. Bxf3 Rad8 22. Bg2 Ba8 23. b3 f6 24. Re1 Rh5 25. Re3 Ng5 26. h4 Nf7 27. Ne2 Rh6 28. Nd4 Rh5 29. Ne2 Bb7 30. Nf4 Rc5 31. Bh3 Bc8 32. Ng6+ Ke8 33. Rf2 e5 34. Bg2 f5 35. exf5 Nh6 36. Bh3 {1-0 (36) Adhiban,B (2590)-Tate,A (2321) Caleta 2014}) 12... Qc7 {[%emt 0: 03:34]} 13. Bb5 $5 {[%emt 0:01:28] Wow! It being an over the board decision makes this all the more impressive. Dubov's idea in this game was to get such a complicated position that the thought of a draw was removed from his mind and he would be prepared for a fully fledged fight.} g4 {[%emt 0:18:27]} ({ Taking the bishop was surely an option.} 13... axb5 14. Ndxb5 Qc5 15. Bxd6 (15. Bf2 g4 (15... Qb4 16. a3 Qa5 17. Nxd6+ Bxd6 18. Rxd6 Ra6 $13) 16. Qg3 $5 { practically poses more problems.} (16. Qxf6 Bxf6 17. Bxc5 Nxc5 18. Nc7+ Kd7 19. Nxa8 Bxc3 20. Nb6+ Kc6 21. Nxc8 Be5 $17 {[%csl Rc8] Black is better here}) 16... Qc6 17. Nxd6+ Kf8 18. e5 Nh5 19. Qe3 (19. Qxg4 Nxe5 $17 {[%csl Ga8,Rd6, Gf8][%cal Ge5g6]}) 19... Ng7 $17 {Black might look better because of the material superiority, but White has good chances and his pieces are all well positioned. Black needs to be careful not to fall for any nasty threats by White.}) 15... Bxd6 16. Nxd6+ Ke7 17. Rhf1 Rxh2 {is interesting} (17... Rh4 $5) 18. Nxf7 $5 Kxf7 19. Rxd7+ Bxd7 20. Qxf6+ Ke8 21. Qf7+ Kd8 22. Rd1 Qe7 23. Qg8+ Qe8 24. Qxg5+ Kc8 25. Rxd7 (25. Qc5+ Bc6 26. Nb5 Rh5 $1 $17 (26... Qh8 27. Nd6+ Kc7 28. Nb5+ $11) 27. Nd6+ Kb8 28. Qb6 Qd7 29. Nc4 Ra6 30. Rxd7 Rxb6 31. Nxb6 Bxd7 32. Nxd7+ Kc7 $17 {This is a very long variation which is of course not all forced but gives you an idea of what play might look like if it continued along these lines.}) 25... Kxd7 26. Qb5+ Kd6 27. Qb6+ Qc6 28. Qd4+ Ke7 29. Qg7+ $11 {This will lead to perpetual checks and a draw.}) 14. Qe2 {[%emt 0:04:58] Of course Dubov wanted Black to take his bishop on b5 at all cost.} (14. Bxd7+ Bxd7 15. Qe2 $13) 14... e5 {[%emt 0:06:05]} (14... axb5 15. Ndxb5 Qc5 16. Nxd6+ Kf8 $13) 15. Nf5 {[%emt 0:02:01]} axb5 {[%emt 0:00:22] Finally! White was very happy when his opponent took this bishop. It meant that now he could continue to play the game in aggressive style, just the way he had decided before the game.} 16. Nxb5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Qc6 {[%emt 0:06:39]} 17. Nbxd6+ {[%emt 0:00: 30]} Bxd6 {[%emt 0:06:03]} 18. Nxd6+ {[%emt 0:00:41]} Kf8 {[%emt 0:04:09]} 19. a3 {[%emt 0:00:08] Asking Black, what would you like to do now?} Ne8 {[%emt 0: 03:09]} 20. Nf5 $6 {[%emt 0:03:01]} (20. Nxe8 Kxe8 21. Rd5 {[%csl Ge5]} b5 22. Bxe5 (22. Rhd1 b4 23. Qd3 Rh5 24. Bxe5 bxa3 25. Kb1 $13 {Black seems to be holding on here.}) 22... Nxe5 23. Rxe5+ Be6 24. Qxb5 Qxb5 25. Rxb5 $13 { [%csl Ga3,Gb2,Gc2,Re6] Perhaps the evaluation should be closer to equality than an advantage for Black.}) 20... Ra4 $1 {[%emt 0:04:36][%csl Re4]} 21. Be1 {[%emt 0:11:05] Dubov realised that he was worse here and offered a draw. This turned out to be the best move of the game as Artemiev thought for a long time before making his next move.} (21. Rhe1 Ndf6 $17 {[%cal Gc8f5]}) 21... Ndf6 { [%emt 0:10:57]} (21... Qxe4 22. Qxe4 Rxe4 23. Bb4+ Rxb4 24. axb4 Ndf6 25. Ne3 Be6 $17 {[%cal Gf8e7,Ge8d6] Black should be better.}) 22. Ng3 {[%emt 0:02:04]} Nxe4 {[%emt 0:03:05]} 23. Rd8 {[%emt 0:01:44]} Be6 $6 {[%emt 0:05:40] With so many options in the position, Artemiev goes wrong.} (23... Ke7 24. Rxc8 Qxc8 25. Nxe4 Qc4 $1 26. Qxc4 Rxc4 $17) (23... f6 $1 {A difficult choice to make, this protects the important e5-pawn,which limits White's attacking chances.} 24. Rxc8 (24. b3 Nxg3) 24... Qxc8 25. Nxe4 Qc4 $8 26. Qxc4 Rxc4 27. Nd2 Rc7 $17 ) (23... Nxg3 {was also possible.} 24. Qxe5 Rh5 25. Qxg3 Rc5 $17) 24. Bb4+ $1 { [%emt 0:02:23][%cal Ga4e4] Cutting off the rook.} Rxb4 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 25. axb4 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Nxg3 {[%emt 0:03:40]} 26. Qxe5 {[%emt 0:00:07] This the reason why Black should have played f6 instead of Be6} Ke7 {[%emt 0:02:10]} ( 26... Nxh1 {This was Artemiev's original intention, but he missed the super strong} 27. b5 $1 $16 {The queen cannot stay in touch with the e8-knight and hence Qxh8 would be very strong now.} (27. Qxh8+ Ke7 $19)) 27. Rhd1 {[%emt 0: 02:50]} Rxh2 {[%emt 0:00:29]} 28. b5 {[%emt 0:00:31]} Ne2+ $2 {[%emt 0:00:27]} (28... Qb6 29. Qxg3 Rh5 30. Qa3+ Qc5 31. Qa8 Qg5+ 32. Kb1 Qxb5 $15) (28... Qc4 29. Qxg3 Rh5 30. b6 Qa4 $17) 29. Kb1 $1 {[%emt 0:00:27]} (29. Qxe2 Qxg2 $13) 29... Qc4 $2 {[%emt 0:00:34]} (29... Qb6 30. Qxh2 $16 {[%csl Re7] This is also worse for Black but it is playable and much better than what happened in the game.}) {[%tqu "En","","","","d8e8","A very nice combination.",10]} 30. Rxe8+ $1 {[%emt 0:03:14] A very nice combination.} Kxe8 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 31. Qb8+ { [%emt 0:00:04]} Bc8 {[%emt 0:00:55]} (31... Ke7 32. Qd8#) 32. Qxh2 $18 { [%emt 0:00:09] As they say rest is matter of technique.} Nc3+ {[%emt 0:00:31]} (32... f6 33. Qh8+ Ke7 34. Rd8 $18 {[%csl Re7]}) 33. bxc3 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Qxb5+ {[%emt 0:00:04]} 34. Kc1 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Qg5+ {[%emt 0:00:29]} 35. Rd2 { [%emt 0:00:01]} Qa5 {[%emt 0:00:40]} 36. Rd4 {[%emt 0:04:06]} Qg5+ {[%emt 0:00: 44]} 37. Kd1 {[%emt 0:01:13]} Qf6 {[%emt 0:00:17]} 38. Qc7 {[%emt 0:00:21]} Qf1+ {[%emt 0:00:10]} 39. Kd2 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Qxg2+ {[%emt 0:00:14]} 40. Kc1 { [%emt 0:00:00]} Qf1+ {[%emt 0:00:34]} 41. Rd1 {[%emt 0:00:12] This was a game between two of the most talented Russians. And it lived up to the expectations, with fearless play by Dubov, and some very nice defence by Artemiev, but after a point he was not able to hold his nerve.} 1-0 [Event "FIDE World Cup"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.10"] [Round "3.2"] [White "Fedoseev, Vladimir1"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C48"] [WhiteElo "2731"] [BlackElo "2781"] [Annotator "Szabo,Kr"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb5 Nd4 5. Bc4 Bc5 6. d3 c6 7. Nxe5 O-O (7... d5 {is the other line, for example:} 8. exd5 O-O 9. O-O cxd5 10. Bb3 Re8 11. Bf4 Bd6 12. Re1 Qc7 13. Nxd5 Nxd5 14. Bxd5 Bxe5 15. Qh5 Bf5 16. Bxe5 Rxe5 17. Qxf7+ Qxf7 18. Bxf7+ Kxf7 19. Rxe5 $14 {Bruzon Batista-Baryshpolets, Merida 2015, and White has a promising endgame.}) 8. Nxf7 $1 {The best move!} ({ In the event of} 8. O-O d6 (8... d5 $5) 9. Nxf7 Rxf7 10. Bxf7+ Kxf7 { transposes to the game (8.Nxf7).}) 8... Rxf7 9. Bxf7+ Kxf7 10. Be3 $1 $146 { A logical novelty by Fedoseev.} (10. O-O d6 11. Na4 (11. Kh1 Kg8 (11... a6 $5) 12. Na4 Bg4 13. f3 Bh5 14. c3 Ne6 15. d4 Bb6 16. Nxb6 axb6 17. Qe1 Bg6 18. Be3 b5 $13 {Adams-Hebden, Islington op 1991}) 11... Bg4 12. Qd2 Ne2+ 13. Kh1 Nxc1 14. Nxc5 dxc5 15. Qxc1 (15. Raxc1 $2 {could have been met by} Nxe4 $1) 15... Qd4 16. Qf4 Kg8 $44 {Iv. Saric-M. Petrosyan, Moscow 2017}) 10... Ne6 $2 { A mistake, which allows White's following attack.} (10... d6 11. Na4 $1 $14 { is slightly better for White.}) ({Still} 10... d5 $5 {was the most ambitious reply,} 11. h3 (11. O-O Bg4 $13) 11... Ne6 12. Bxc5 Nxc5 13. e5 Ne8 14. O-O g6 $44 {followed by ...Ng7 with some compensation.}) 11. Bxc5 Nxc5 12. e5 $1 { This is the point! White has gained some space and Black can't finish the development easily.} Ne8 13. d4 Ne6 14. O-O ({The immediate} 14. f4 $16 { was also fine for White.}) 14... d6 15. f4 $1 {White has a strong centre, moreover the black king is also slightly weak.} dxe5 16. fxe5+ Kg8 17. d5 $1 { Another strong continuation! White doesn't stop!} cxd5 18. Nxd5 N8c7 19. c4 $1 {Keep the tension! Black can't remove the strong d5-knight.} Bd7 20. Qg4 (20. Qf3 $5 {was also good,} Qe8 21. Rad1 $16 {and White is better.}) 20... Nf8 21. Qf3 Ng6 22. Rad1 (22. Nxc7 $6 {was a trap,} Qxc7 23. Qf7+ Kh8 24. e6 $2 Qb6+ { and Black wins the e-pawn.}) 22... Ne6 23. h4 $1 {Another great move! White continues the pressure, the h-pawn is not so important for him.} ({The immediate} 23. Qf7+ Kh8 24. Nf6 $2 {is a blunder, because of} Nxe5 $19 { and suddenly Black is winning.}) 23... Nxh4 24. Qf7+ Kh8 25. Nf6 $1 {This is the point of White's 23rd move!} Qb6+ 26. Rf2 ({Still White has to be careful, because} 26. Kh1 $2 Qxb2 $19 {is winning immediately for Black!}) 26... Ba4 27. Rd6 ({Probably} 27. Nd5 $1 $18 {was the strongest reply!}) 27... Ng5 $1 { The best practical chance yet.} 28. Qe7 Nf5 29. Rxb6 Nxe7 30. Rxb7 Ng6 31. Nh5 Ne6 32. Rff7 Be8 33. Rxa7 Rd8 34. Rf1 Kg8 ({In the event of} 34... Nxe5 35. Nxg7 $1 $18 {is winning for White.}) 35. Ng3 h5 (35... Nxe5 36. Re7 Bd7 37. Rd1 $1 $18 {with unpleasant pins for Black.}) 36. Nf5 Kh7 37. b4 h4 38. b5 Rd2 39. Nd6 h3 40. gxh3 Bd7 41. Rxd7 Ng5 42. Rf5 Nh4 43. Rxg7+ {What a brilliant victory by Fedoseev!} 1-0 [Event "FIDE World Cup"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.10"] [Round "3.2"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B13"] [WhiteElo "2803"] [BlackElo "2728"] [Annotator "Marin,M"] [PlyCount "142"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 {Famously used by Fischer, this line may not suit Kramnik's style entirely, as it has a static character, at least in the initial phase. But the former World champion may enjoy it because it ressembles a reversed Queen's Gambit (an opening he plays with Black).} Nf6 ({Kramnik had also faced} 5... Qc7 {preventing Bf4:} 6. Na3 a6 7. Nc2 Nf6 8. h3 e6 9. Nf3 b5 10. O-O Bb7 11. Re1 Bd6 12. Bg5 Ne4 13. a4 {Kramnik, V (2812)-Fedoseev,V (2726) Dortmund 2017 CBM 180 [Moradiabadi,E] (0-1, 29)}) 6. Bf4 Bg4 7. Qb3 Qc8 {Defending the pawn without placing the queen in the f3-knight's range.} ({A famous Fischer game went} 7... Na5 $6 8. Qa4+ Bd7 9. Qc2 e6 10. Nf3 Qb6 11. a4 Rc8 12. Nbd2 Nc6 13. Qb1 Nh5 14. Be3 h6 15. Ne5 Nf6 16. h3 Bd6 17. O-O Kf8 18. f4 $16 {Fischer,R-Petrosian,T Belgrade 1970 (1-0, 39)}) ({The main alternative is} 7... Qd7 {, preparing ...Bd6.} 8. Nd2 e6 9. h3 ({Curiously this is more rarely seen than} 9. Ngf3 {when play may continue} Bxf3 10. Nxf3 Bd6 11. Bxd6 Qxd6 12. O-O O-O 13. Rae1 Rab8 14. Ne5 b5 15. a3 a5 16. Re3 Rfc8 17. Qd1 b4 $132 {Lanka,Z-Kasparov,G Leningrad 1977 (½-½, 49)}) 9... Bh5 (9... Bf5 $5 {needs further testing as so far it has been tried only in lower rated games}) 10. Ngf3 Bg6 ({Most games continue with} 10... Bxf3 { but this means offering White h2-h3 as an extra tempo. Or maybe he usually wants to keep the h3-square available for the rook in order to attack h7?!}) 11. Bb5 $5 Bd6 12. Bxd6 Qxd6 13. Qb4 $5 $146 Qxb4 14. Bxc6+ bxc6 15. cxb4 $14 { [%csl Ga7,Gc5,Gc6]}) 8. Nd2 e6 9. Ngf3 Be7 10. O-O Bh5 $5 {A refined move (and by far not the most popular!) The bishop retreats closer to g6 in order to neutralise the possible pressure along the b1-h7 diagonal.} ({The main line goes} 10... O-O 11. Ne5 Nxe5 (11... Bh5 12. Qc2 {already forces Black into giving up the bishop pair in the long run for instance} Qe8 13. Rae1 Rc8 14. Qb1 Bg6 15. Nxg6 hxg6 16. Nf3 a6 17. Qd1 Qd8 18. h4 Re8 19. g3 Nd7 20. Re2 Nf8 21. Rfe1 Bd6 22. Bc1 Qc7 23. Ng5 $14 {Zhao,J (2613)-Laznicka,V (2666) Ho Chi Minh City 2016 (1-0, 53), with some pressure.}) 12. dxe5 Nd7 13. Qc2 g6 { Ivanchuk probably wanted to avoid such weakening moves, even though in practice White has not proved anything concrete:} 14. h3 Bf5 15. Bxf5 gxf5 { Rendle,T (2400)-Howell,D (2611) Hastings 2011 CBM 140 Extra [Friedel,F] (0-1, 36)}) 11. Rae1 (11. Ne5 {is not dangerous now:} Nxe5 12. Bxe5 (12. dxe5 Nd7 13. Qc2 Bg6 $11) 12... O-O $11) 11... Bg6 $5 {It looks as if Ivanchuk anticipated Kramnik's 13th move. Since he is going to open the h-file, he does not hurry with castling yet.} ({In practice there had been nothing wrong with} 11... O-O {, though:} 12. Ne5 Nxe5 13. Bxe5 Bg6 14. Bxg6 hxg6 15. Qd1 b5 16. Re3 a5 17. h4 b4 18. g4 a4 $36 {Dzindzichashvili,R (2530)-Karpov,A (2715) Mazatlan (rapid) 1988(0-1, 35)}) 12. Bxg6 hxg6 13. h4 $146 {In the endgame it would be useful to keep the double pawns as they are (preventing ...f7-f6 followed by ..g6-g5, for instance), but at this point in the game (and especially with a rook on h8) the merits of this novelty are slightly questionable.} (13. Bg5 {is not dangerous and actually led to quick disaster:} Qc7 14. Ne5 Bd6 15. f4 O-O-O $5 16. Qa4 Kb8 17. b4 Rc8 18. b5 Na5 19. Bxf6 (19. Nxf7 Qxf7 20. Qxa5 b6 21. Qa4 Rxc3 $15) 19... gxf6 20. b6 axb6 21. Nd7+ Ka7 $19 {Rittemann,S (2150) -Svetushkin,D (2621) Travemuende 2011 (0-1, 28)}) ({For} 13. h3 O-O 14. Ne5 { - Perelshteyn,E (2429)-Atalik,S (2575) Philadelphia 2000 EXT 2002 [Atalik,S] (0-1, 33).}) 13... a6 {[%cal Gb7b5] Frustrating White of his hopes for a direct attack against the king, something he had prepared with Rae1.} 14. c4 { The king's presence in the centre offers some abstract justification for this break,but concretely there is no way of opening the position under favourable circumstances. And the rooks should be on e1 or d1 and c1, not as they are. We can infere that Ivanhuk's move order managed to confuse Kramnik completely.} a5 $5 {Very flexible thinking. After having provoked the weakening of the d4-pawn, Ivanchuk looks for more.} 15. a3 {And he gets it!} a4 16. Qd3 O-O {There was no need to stay with the king in the centre anymore, as with the queenside under tension White cannot think of continuing his attack.} 17. c5 {Since White cannot sustain this pawn with its neighbouring colleague, this move fails to ensure a space advantage.} ({More cautious would have been} 17. Rc1 Qd8 18. Rfd1 {even though White would have no trace of an advantage.}) 17... b6 $1 18. cxb6 Qb7 19. Bc7 {With most of the pieces far from the queenside, this mini-fortress is not fated to resist.} ({White had better chances to achieve an eventless draw with} 19. Rc1 Qxb6 20. Rc2 Nd7 21. Rfc1 Rfc8 $11) 19... Nd7 $5 {Possibly the most difficult move in the game (see also my article about difficult moves published on this same DVD!)} ({The point is that} 19... Ne8 { looks more natural, but for not obvious reasons is less effective.} 20. Rc1 Nxc7 21. bxc7 Rfc8 22. Rc3 Rxc7 23. Rfc1 Rac8 24. g3 Bd6 (24... Na7 25. Rxc7 Rxc7 26. Rxc7 Qxc7 27. Qa6 $16) 25. Kg2 Ne7 26. Rxc7 Rxc7 27. Rxc7 Bxc7 28. Qc2 $11 {In similar lines in the game, the exchanges would take place slightly differently.}) 20. Rc1 Rfc8 21. b4 {The correct reaction.} ({If, for instance, } 21. Rc2 Nxb6 22. Bxb6 Qxb6 23. Rfc1 Na7 $1 24. Rxc8+ Nxc8 25. Rc2 Nd6 { Black is much better regrouped than in the similar exchange line above. And actually the presence of one rook on each side favours him, as White's b2-pawn is weak.}) 21... axb3 22. Qxb3 Bxa3 {White seems to be in trouble as after obstructing the b-file with the knight (...Be7 and ...Nb4 for instance) Black would win the b6-pawn.} 23. Rc3 $2 ({Actually White had a nice resource:} 23. Ra1 Be7 24. Rxa8 Rxa8 25. Rb1 Nb4 {Everything according to the plan, is it not? } 26. Ne5 Nxb6 27. Qf3 $1 {Not entirely. This sudden queen switch offers chances to maintain the equality.} Rf8 28. Bxb6 Qxb6 29. Nd7 Qxd4 30. Nxf8 Qxd2 31. Nd7 Bxh4 32. Ra1 Nc6 33. Ra8+ Nd8 {Black has a material advantage but his poor cordination causes him problems proving a constructive plan.}) 23... Be7 $6 {Offering White a second chance of the same nature.} ({For reasons revealed below a stronger move was} 23... Bf8 $1) 24. Rfc1 $2 (24. Rb1 $1 Nb4 25. Ne5 Nxb6 26. Bxb6 Qxb6 27. Rxc8+ Rxc8 28. Qf3 {is similr to the previous line. With the bishop on f8 Black could defend f7 from the seventh rank.}) 24... Nb4 25. Ne5 Nxe5 26. Bxe5 (26. dxe5 Na2 $17) 26... Rxc3 27. Qxc3 Qxb6 {Black has won a pawn and d4 is isolated. It is hard claiming a win yet, but let's put it this way: Black would be very unhappy if he could not win!} 28. Nf3 Qd8 29. Qb3 Rc8 30. Ra1 Rc4 31. g3 Qc8 32. Kg2 Nc6 33. Qb5 Bf8 34. Ra4 $6 {I believe that this makes things simpler for Black. Obviously, Kramnik was worried about his d4-pawn. But it will soon become clear that it would have been better exchanging queens.} (34. Qa6 $5 Qxa6 35. Rxa6 f6 36. Bf4 Kf7 37. Nd2 Rc2 38. Nf3 {The d4-pawn is not lost yet.}) 34... Rxa4 35. Qxa4 Nb4 36. Qb5 Qc2 37. Qf1 Qe4 {This is the difference! The queen is very strong on this square and White will soon be more or less forced to exchange it under unfavourable circumstances. With rooks Black would not have had this resource.} 38. Qe1 f6 39. Bc7 Nc2 40. Qxe4 {Equivalent to surrendering.} ({But} 40. Qd1 {was not at all roses:} Bb4 {[%cal Gc2e1]} 41. Kg1 Bc3 42. Bb6 Na3 43. Bc5 Nc4 {[%csl Gf3] [%cal Gc4b2]} 44. Nh2 (44. Kg2 Nd2 {[%cal Gg6g5]}) 44... Nb2 $5 45. Qc1 Nd3 $1 46. Qxc3 Qe2 $1 47. Ng4 f5 48. Bb4 Qd1+ (48... fxg4 49. Qd2 $17) 49. Kg2 fxg4 50. Qd2 Qf3+ 51. Kg1 e5 {and Black should win.}) 40... dxe4 41. Nd2 f5 { Black has gained space and the king is heading for d5.} 42. Nb3 Ne1+ 43. Kf1 Nf3 44. Ke2 Kf7 45. Bb6 Bb4 46. Ke3 Ke8 47. Bc5 Bc3 48. Ba3 Kf7 49. Bd6 Kf6 50. Bc7 Ke7 51. Bb8 Bb2 52. Bf4 Kd8 53. Bd6 Kd7 {After many hesitations, typical for over-the-board play, especially in decisive games, Ivanchuk decided on giving up the g7-pawn for the sake of completing the king's centralisation.} 54. Bf8 Kc6 55. Bxg7 Kd5 56. Bf6 Bc3 $1 {[%csl Ga5][%cal Gd5c4]} (56... Kc4 { is premature due to} 57. Na5+) 57. Ke2 ({Kramnik might have initially planned retreating with his knight to c1, which is not possible with the king on e3:} 57. Bg7 Kc4 58. Nc1 Bd2+ {but later changed his mind. Anyway, the last move does not make anything worse than it was.}) 57... Kc4 58. Nc5 (58. Nc1 Bd2 $1 59. Kd1 Bxc1 60. Kxc1 Kd3 61. Kd1 e3 62. fxe3 Kxe3 $19 {[%cal Ge3f2]}) 58... e5 59. Nd7 {Unfortunately the knight does not get in time to take on g6, as White has other worries now.} exd4 60. Bd8 d3+ 61. Kd1 Bd4 62. Bb6 Bxb6 63. Nxb6+ Kd4 64. Nc8 Ne5 65. Ne7 Ng4 66. Ke1 Kc3 67. Nd5+ (67. Nxg6 Kc2 $19) 67... Kb3 68. Kd2 Nxf2 69. h5 {Or anything else.} gxh5 70. Ne3 h4 {This was the move I expected, but Black has of course alternatives.} (70... Ng4 71. Nxf5 Ne5 72. Nd4+ Kb2 73. Ke3 Nc4+ $1 $19) 71. Nxf5 (71. gxh4 f4) 71... h3 0-1 [Event "FIDE World Cup"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.12"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C43"] [WhiteElo "2728"] [BlackElo "2772"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:05] Giri,A: 'Everybody still remembers the King's Gambit game that Carlsen won, and I think there is no doubt Magnus wants to keep his 100% score there, so...'} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:00] Giri,A: '!'} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:06] It seems as if the Berlin has been replaced by the Petroff as everyone's favourite drawing weapon at the World Cup 2017.} 3. d4 {[%emt 0: 02:01]} Nxe4 {[%emt 0:00:12]} 4. Bd3 {[%emt 0:00:22]} d5 {[%emt 0:00:21]} 5. Nxe5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Nd7 {[%emt 0:00:42]} 6. Nxd7 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Bxd7 { [%emt 0:00:13]} 7. O-O {[%emt 0:00:04]} Bd6 {[%emt 0:00:08]} (7... Qh4 $5 { has lost its popularity nowadays, though my Dutch teammate Jan Smeets (I am still in Olympiad mode...) tried it against Tiviakov in Corus 2010.}) 8. Qh5 $5 {[%emt 0:00:16] This queen sortie looks very weird. What exactly are we doing? Attacking the d5-pawn. Why can it not be just defended with ...c6?} ({Giri,A: 'Statistically the main move'} 8. c4 {is considered to be the main variation.}) 8... Qf6 {[%emt 0:02:32] Anish tried to recollect his move and made it. He has already played two games before with this move. And he has annotated Carlsen-Wang,Y 2010, in which 8...Nf6 was played.} (8... c6 9. Nd2 (9. Bxe4 dxe4 10. Nd2 {might be something to look into for White.}) (9. Nc3 $5 Nf6 10. Re1+ Kf8 $13) 9... Nf6 10. Re1+ Kf8 11. Qh4 $14) ({This was annotated by Anish Giri in detail. Reproduced here is the opening phase of the game.} 8... Nf6 { Giri,A: 'The d-pawn was attacked, but now'} 9. Re1+ {Giri,A: 'The point. Now Black has a choice'} Kf8 {Giri,A: 'Strange looking, but main. Black trusts his better development and hopes it will compensate for the uncomfortable position of the king. After this game though, I think this trust may be weakened.'} ( 9... Be7 {is more solid, but still, life is not so easy after let's say} 10. Qe2 Be6 11. Nd2 O-O 12. Nf3 Re8 13. Ne5 Nd7 14. f4 Nxe5 15. dxe5 {and Tiviakov got some (practical) advantage against Socko this year. In the game Black managed to escape.}) 10. Qe2 {Giri,A: '!'} (10. Qh4 {is played more often, but Black has a simple way to equalise:} Ng4 $1 {and White has to change the queens. The resulting endgame is dead equal.}) 10... Ng4 {Giri,A: 'Perhaps this logical move, which was also considered to be main, is a bit over-optimistic after all..'} ({The solid} 10... c6 $5 {deserves attention and should be studied by those who are interested. Still after the critical} 11. Nd2 Qc7 12. Nf3 Bg4 13. Qe3 $1 Bxf3 14. Qxf3 Bxh2+ 15. Kf1 Bd6 16. Bg5 { played twice by Sutovsky - maybe not without reason... Life isn't that simple.} ) 11. h3 Qh4 12. Qf3 Bh2+ (12... Nf6 {is mainstream and more solid, but I believe after} 13. Nc3 c6 14. Ne2 {Black has no attack, but a little bit uncomfortable king, so White should be slightly better with no risk.}) 13. Kf1 Nxf2 {Giri,A: 'The whole operation is conducted in the spirit of the position, with the white queenside still undevelopped, but in fact the black pieces are also not perfect with the rook on h8 and the king on f8, eager to swap places.' } 14. Qxf2 Bg3 15. Qd2 Qf6+ 16. Kg1 Bxe1 17. Qxe1 Qxd4+ 18. Kh2 Re8 19. Qg3 Qe5 {Giri,A: 'Leads to a lost endgame, which though at first sight seems interesting for Black. However there was already no way back, because if White develops, the position is just lost for Black.'} 20. Qxe5 Rxe5 21. Bf4 { Giri,A: '!'} Re1 22. Bxc7 {Giri,A: 'Here I first thought that the computer doesn't understand that his queenside is stuck, but then I realized that in fact the threat is Ba5-d2 followed by Be2 kicking out or winning the rook.'} a6 {Giri,A: 'Only try. Black wants to change the potentially dangerous d3 bishop, but White has a logical antidote:'} 23. Ba5 Rd1 24. a4 {Giri,A: '!'} Ke7 25. Bd2 Rc8 26. c3 {Giri,A: '!'} d4 27. c4 g6 28. Be2 {1-0 (38) Carlsen,M (2826) -Wang,Y (2732) Nanjing 2010}) 9. Be3 {[%emt 0:37:50] Ivanchuk thought for over half an hour at the board and found this new move.} (9. Qxd5 Bc6 10. Qh5 Qxd4 $11) 9... O-O-O $6 {[%emt 0:34:01] Anish was in a fighting mood and goes for 0-0-0. But objectively this was not the best.} (9... Bf5 $5 $11 {This might have been a better option.} 10. f3 g6 11. Qh6 Bf8 12. Qf4 Bd6 $11) 10. Nc3 { [%emt 0:06:15] A strong human move. I call it human because Qxd5 is the one that computers would prefer.} (10. Qxd5 $5 {was now possible, Ivanchuk must have thought that the bishop on c6 will be dangerous in future.} Bc6 11. Qh5 $16 {[%cal Gc6g2] Objectively this would have been the best. White is a pawn up and there is nothing much that Black can do here.}) 10... Nxc3 {[%emt 0:12: 47]} 11. bxc3 {[%emt 0:00:09][%cal Ga1b1,Gb1b7,Ge3g5] White is better here. Mainly he has the b-file open towards the black king and also threats like Bg5 are in the air.} Qe6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 12. Rfe1 {[%emt 0:02:24]} f6 {[%emt 0:01: 53]} 13. Bd2 {[%emt 0:14:04]} Qg8 {[%emt 0:00:18]} 14. Rab1 {[%emt 0:00:04] Ivanchuk makes logical moves and mounts the pressure. Both his rooks are on open files and if he can open up the position in the centre whenever he wants to with c4.} Kb8 {[%emt 0:09:50]} 15. h3 $6 {[%emt 0:06:46] This move is not in the spirit of the position.} (15. Qf3 $1 b6 16. Ba6 Bc8 17. Bxc8 Kxc8 18. a4 Kb8 19. c4 dxc4 20. a5 $14 {with a strong attack coming up.}) 15... b6 { [%emt 0:01:34]} (15... Bc8 $5) 16. Ba6 {[%emt 0:02:07]} g5 {[%emt 0:05:10]} 17. Qf3 $2 {[%emt 0:05:40]} (17. c4 $5 {looks tricky} dxc4 18. Qf3 Bc8 $5 {Black should be fine} (18... c6 19. Qxf6 $16) 19. Bxc8 Rxc8 20. a4 g4 {This comes in time to create counterplay against White's king.} 21. hxg4 h5 22. gxh5 (22. a5 hxg4 23. Qc6 Qh7 $17 {Black is faster.}) 22... Qh7 $132) 17... g4 $1 {[%emt 0: 03:01] Anish finds the best way to create play.} 18. hxg4 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Bxg4 {[%emt 0:03:37]} 19. Qxf6 {[%emt 0:03:13]} Rf8 {[%emt 0:00:33]} 20. Qh4 { [%emt 0:00:01]} h5 $6 {[%emt 0:01:59]} (20... Qg6 21. Bd3 Bf5 22. Bxf5 Qxf5 23. Re2 Rhg8 {[%cal Gf8f2,Gg8g2]} 24. Rbe1 Kb7 $17 {Black has a great position, all his pieces are aiming towards White's king, whereas Black's king is safe.}) (20... Rf5 $1 {is also very strong with the threat of Rh5.} 21. Be2 Bxe2 22. Rxe2 Qg6 $17) 21. Bg5 $1 {[%emt 0:01:40]} Rh7 {[%emt 0:02:18]} (21... Qg6 { was strong. The idea is ...Rhg8 with powerful attack. White must do something about it.} 22. Bd3 Bf5 23. Bxf5 Qxf5 24. Re2 Kb7 $15) 22. Re3 {[%emt 0:05:08]} Bc8 $6 {[%emt 0:10:36] Exchanging the strong a6 bishop seems logical but it turns out to be in White's favour. He doesn't have to worry any more about his king.} (22... Bf5 $1 {was good, at some point this bishop can come on e4 stopping white's rooks in their tracks.} 23. Rbe1 Rg7 24. f4 Be4 {this is the point of Black's ...Bf5 move.} 25. g3 Qf7 $11 {The game is still on.}) 23. Bxc8 {[%emt 0:01:56]} Kxc8 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 24. Rbe1 {[%emt 0:01:48] White is consolidating. Soon he would be a pawn up for no compensation. Black has to hurry up.} Qg6 {[%emt 0:01:20]} 25. Be7 {[%emt 0:05:07]} Bxe7 {[%emt 0:03:06]} 26. Rxe7 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Qxc2 $2 {[%emt 0:00:52]} (26... Kb7 27. Qh2 Rxe7 28. Rxe7 Rc8 $13 {gives Black good drawing chances.}) 27. Qg3 $1 {[%emt 0:02:16] This strong move gives White a huge advantage.} Rxe7 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 28. Rxe7 {[%emt 0:00:04] A queen exchange becomes mandatory in order to avoid getting checkmated.} Qc1+ {[%emt 0:00:02]} 29. Kh2 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Qf4 {[%emt 0:00:05] } 30. f3 {[%emt 0:01:13]} (30. Qxf4 Rxf4 31. Kg3 $18 {was more accurate.}) 30... a5 {[%emt 0:04:30]} 31. Re5 $2 {[%emt 0:02:53]} (31. Rh7 $1 $16 {was strong and now it's difficult for Black to protect the h-pawn}) (31. Qxf4 Rxf4 32. Re5 $16 {was also good for White.}) 31... Qf7 $6 {[%emt 0:00:10]} (31... Qd2 $1 {would have given Black a great hope to fight on equal terms.} 32. Re7 Qxc3 $11) 32. Qh3+ {[%emt 0:00:47]} Kb7 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 33. Rxh5 $2 {[%emt 0: 00:37]} a4 $6 {[%emt 0:01:43]} (33... Qf4+ $1 34. Qg3 Qd2 $1 {Black has excellent counterplay.} 35. Rh7 Rc8 $17) 34. Rh7 {[%emt 0:00:23]} Qf4+ $2 { [%emt 0:01:32] Anish makes quite a big mistake. From here his position is irreparable.} (34... Qe8 $13) 35. Qg3 $1 {[%emt 0:00:01] Now ...Qd2 is no longer possible because of the c7-pawn falling.} a3 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 36. Qxf4 { [%emt 0:01:06]} Rxf4 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 37. Re7 {[%emt 0:00:45]} Rf6 {[%emt 0:01: 10]} 38. Re3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Rh6+ {[%emt 0:00:21]} 39. Kg1 {[%emt 0:00:12]} Ka6 {[%emt 0:00:33]} 40. f4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} c5 {[%emt 0:01:24]} 41. f5 { [%emt 0:03:14] White's pawns are just too fast. Ivanchuk's opening idea with Be3 was new, but not very dangerous if Giri would have replied with ...Bf5. But the way Anish played in the game gave Vassily a clear advantge.} 1-0 [Event "FIDE World Cup"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.12"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Rodshtein, Maxim"] [Black "Fedoseev, Vladimir1"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E16"] [WhiteElo "2695"] [BlackElo "2731"] [Annotator "Quintiliano,R"] [PlyCount "82"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 (4. Nf3 {in the rapid tie-break this was played in a similar position} Bb4+ 5. Nbd2 {and now, Fedoseev went for more double-edged positions} dxc4 $5 6. Bg2 b5 {Rodshtein,M (2695)-Fedoseev,V (2731) FIDE World Cup 2017 (4.4) 0-1 with a complicated game -}) 4... Bb4+ 5. Nd2 O-O 6. Ngf3 b6 {Very solid, for Fedoseev's style.} (6... dxc4 $5) 7. O-O Bb7 8. a3 {As far as I know, a3 is not so necessary for White, as in general Black should go back with this bishop anyway.} (8. Ne5 {Is the main move and Rodshtein recently won a nice technical game with it} Nbd7 9. Qa4 Bxd2 $6 (9... Bd6 10. Nxd7 Qxd7 11. Qxd7 Nxd7 12. cxd5 exd5 13. Nc4 $1 Be7 14. Bf4 c6 15. Nd6 $1 Bxd6 16. Bxd6 Rfe8 17. Rfe1 Nf8 18. Rac1 Rad8 19. Ba3 Ne6 20. e3 $14 { Vallejo Pons,F (2717)-Karthikeyan,M (2579) FIDE World Cup 2017 (1.1) 1-0 was another good example -}) 10. Bxd2 Nxe5 11. dxe5 Ne4 12. Rad1 Qe7 13. Be3 Rfd8 14. Qc2 c6 $2 15. a3 (15. Bxe4 dxe4 16. Qxe4 c5 {[%csl Yb7] offer chances due the opposite-coloured bishops, but still White is clearly better}) 15... f5 16. b4 h6 17. f3 Ng5 18. c5 $1 bxc5 19. Bxc5 $16 {Rodshtein,M (2698)-Lopez Martinez,J (2597) EU-ch 18th Minsk 2017 (3) 1-0}) ({When facing this position, I have twice played} 8. Qc2 Nbd7 9. Rd1 (9. a3 {was my move on the first occasion; that game is not in the databases but went} Be7 10. Rd1 c5 11. dxc5 bxc5 12. cxd5 exd5 {and now comes the thematic break} 13. e4 $1 $13 {which ensures some complications, with chances for both sides; actually, Black opted for the safe path with} Qc7 14. exd5 Bxd5 15. Re1 Rfe8 16. Nc4 Qb7 17. Nh4 Bxg2 18. Nxg2 $11 {Quintiliano,R (2429)-Leit鉶,R (2632) Jogos Regionais - S鉶 Bernardo do Campo (5) 1/2-1/2}) 9... c5 $5 {This is kind of unusual, but Black goes for the hanging pawns even with the bishop on b4} 10. cxd5 exd5 11. dxc5 bxc5 12. a3 Ba5 13. e3 Qe7 14. b3 Rac8 15. Bb2 Rfe8 16. Nh4 $6 Qe6 17. Rac1 Bb6 18. Nhf3 h6 {After both sides develop their pieces, White is ready to attack the hanging pawns} 19. Qb1 $1 a5 20. b4 $1 axb4 21. axb4 cxb4 22. Bxf6 Qxf6 23. Qxb4 {[%csl Gd5];Quintiliano Pinto,R (2484)-Bu,X (2705) Wch Rapid Doha 2016 (1) 0-1 and in general the objetive evaluation is equal, with White having practical chances, but in this game he managed to do some magic - but not good magic -}) 8... Be7 9. b4 c5 $1 {Due to Rodshtein's play not being very ambitious, Black is able to equalise already.} 10. bxc5 bxc5 11. Rb1 ({ Curiously, this pretty modern position has a precedent in a game between two classic legends} 11. dxc5 Bxc5 12. Bb2 Nbd7 13. Ne5 Nxe5 14. Bxe5 Ng4 15. Bc3 Rb8 16. Rb1 d4 $1 {Can you to predict who is the player with Black pieces just by this move?} 17. Rxb7 Rxb7 18. Bxb7 Nxf2 $1 $19 {Rubinstein,A-Alekhine,A Semmering Panhans 1926 (8) 0-1}) 11... Qc8 12. Bb2 Nbd7 {Fedoseev has finished his development without troubles, and can look to the future with confidence.} 13. dxc5 {Exchanges in the centre are unavoidable at some point.} (13. Qc2 dxc4 ) 13... Nxc5 14. Qc2 Nfe4 {Black starts the improvement of his position.} 15. Rfc1 f6 {Another good move, decreasing the bishop's scope, and preventing Ne5 ideas for White.} 16. cxd5 Bxd5 17. Nd4 f5 $1 {[%csl Ye4] Firmly keeping the e4-point, which is a very important one.} ({This looks like a difficult decision right just after having played f6, but} 17... Nxd2 {would put the game in White's hands after} 18. Bxd5 exd5 19. Qxd2 {[%csl Yd5]}) 18. Nxe4 { This opens the f-file, which creates some tension.} (18. Nf1 {[%cal Yf1e3] was possible, but Black is fine here too} Rb8 $1 19. Ne3 Ba8 20. Ba1 Rxb1 21. Rxb1 Qd7 $11) 18... fxe4 $1 19. Qc3 Rf7 {Not a difficult move, but it is always nice to see multi-purpose moves, Black protects g7 and prepares to double rooks in f-file.} 20. Qe3 Qd7 21. Ba1 Raf8 22. f4 {The most solid way to stop the pressure against f2, but now Fedoseev is able to create complications and the position becomes very tense.} (22. Rf1 a5 ({Maybe Rodshtein was worried about} 22... e5 23. Nb5 Ne6 {[%cal Ge7c5] but White has} 24. Bh3 $1 (24. Bxe5 Bc5 25. Nd4 Qa4 $1 26. Rbd1 $2 Rxf2 $1 $19)) 23. Bc3 $11) 22... e5 $5 { Objectively, the analysis shows that the move is not good, but in practice it creates a very complicated position in which White needs to be very careful, and in which Black is always creating threats with an annoying initiative. Such positions are Fedoseev's speciality.} 23. fxe5 Qg4 {[%cal Ge7g5]} 24. Rf1 h5 25. h3 Qg6 26. Kh2 $6 {The beginning of problems, as now Black can create more weak squares in White's position.} (26. Rxf7 Rxf7 27. h4 $16 {was safer, it's not easy to see how Black can create serious threats.}) 26... h4 $1 { Opening the lines towards White's king.} 27. g4 $2 {Rodshtein doesn't realise how important it is to keep the rooks in this position, although it's very difficult to note this during the game, as in general to trade all rooks in the f-file looks better for the side who is defending.} (27. Rxf7 $1 {was still better} Rxf7 (27... hxg3+ 28. Qxg3 Qxf7 29. Rf1 Qh5 30. Rxf8+ Bxf8 31. Bc3 $16) 28. g4 Bg5 29. Qc3 $1 {The point is that now it is not easy for Black to invade White's position using the queen like in the game, and also White's rook has some attacking possibilities in the open file, for example} Nd7 30. e3 $16 Nxe5 $2 31. Rb8+ Kh7 32. Qc8 $1 Qd6 33. Kh1 Qxa3 34. Qh8+ Kg6 35. Qh5+ Kf6 36. Nc2 $1 Qc1+ 37. Kh2 $18) 27... Bg5 28. Qc3 (28. Qg1 {On this square the queen helps the defence, but it is too unnatural.}) 28... Rxf1 $1 {Fedoseev correctly exchanges all the rooks, seeing the free path for his queen after that.} 29. Rxf1 (29. Bxf1 {now White can't avoid the trades} e3 {[%cal Rf8f2, Rg6e4]}) 29... Rxf1 30. Bxf1 Qf7 $1 {Suddenly, White's position looks pretty difficult to hold.} 31. Nf5 (31. Qxc5 $2 {shows how much White misses the rook protecting his back rank} Qf2+ 32. Bg2 Bf4+ 33. Kh1 Qe1+ {and mates.}) 31... Ne6 32. Kg1 g6 33. Nd6 {In practice it is much harder to make a choice for White.} (33. Ne3 Bb7 34. Qb3 $1 Bd8 $1 {[%cal Yd8b6] and Black continues the pressure.}) 33... Qf4 34. Bg2 Bd8 $1 35. Nc4 $2 {Such positions are very difficult to play for the defending side. The defeneder must always be on guard against one or two threats and find some only moves, while the attacking side just looks for new tactical motifs and ideas to confuse the defence. With the time pressure and the tension, what usually happens is that the defence collapses.} (35. Qe1 $1 {would had kept White in the game, as the queen is defending all important squares} Bb6+ 36. Kh1 Qe3 37. Qf1 Nf4 38. e6 $1 Bxe6 39. Nxe4 $13) 35... e3 $3 {This nice move wins and was precisely calculated by Fedoseev.} 36. Bxd5 (36. Nxe3 Bb6 $19) (36. Qxe3 Bb6 $1 $19) 36... Qf2+ 37. Kh1 Qf1+ 38. Kh2 Bg5 $1 {[%cal Rg5f4] Sacrificing another piece, but in return Black has unavoidable mate, a nice swap!} 39. Bxe6+ Kg7 40. Qxe3 Bxe3 41. Nxe3 Qxa1 {A nice game in typical Fedoseev' style: creating complications from nothing and keeping the tension until the right moment to invades his opponent defences. It is also a good example of how difficult these positions are for the defending side, even for very strong players.} 0-1 [Event "FIDE World Cup"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.15"] [Round "5.1"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A13"] [WhiteElo "2799"] [BlackElo "2728"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "47"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. c4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e6 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 2. g3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} d5 {[%emt 0: 03:23]} 3. Bg2 {[%emt 0:00:13]} dxc4 {[%emt 0:01:44]} 4. Qa4+ {[%emt 0:00:07]} (4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Qa4+ {The inclusion of knights on f3 and f6 leads to similar kinds of position but with some differences. One can say that like in the game Levon would not have been able to get in d4-d5!}) 4... c6 {[%emt 0:00:58]} 5. Qxc4 {[%emt 0:00:10]} b5 {[%emt 0:03:55] Overall I consider this c6/b5 setup to be the most active way for Black to play in this position.} 6. Qc2 {[%emt 0: 00:08]} Bb7 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 7. Nf3 {[%emt 0:02:01]} Nd7 {[%emt 0:07:26]} (7... Nf6 {leads to a common position. But Vassily wanted to make use of the time he has saved on developing his g8 knight by getting his queenside pieces out and working.}) 8. Nc3 {[%emt 0:06:33]} Rc8 {[%emt 0:14:08]} 9. O-O {[%emt 0:03:10]} a6 {[%emt 0:01:37]} 10. d4 {[%emt 0:03:50] Black has made all the moves in order to play the move c5 and here it would not make sense if you didn't make that move. As Levon said after the game, that it is difficult to sometimes admit what you did was not correct and change the plan.} c5 {[%emt 0:42:39] Vassily made this move after 42 minutes.} (10... Ngf6 11. Ne5 $16 {is already horror for Black.}) 11. d5 $1 {[%emt 0:00:15] Levon was instantly ready with his reply. It just took him 15 seconds to make this move. After the game when he was asked what he thought about the objective quality of the move, he said, I think it is extremely strong and after this White has a clearly better position.} exd5 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 12. Nh4 $1 {[%emt 0:03:13] Of course, the logical folllow up.} Ndf6 $2 {[%emt 0:08:18] After this Black is huge trouble. Look at his kingside pieces. When are they going to develop?} ({Levon considered Black's best chance to be} 12... Ngf6 13. Rd1 Be7 (13... Nb6 14. a4 $1 (14. Nxd5 Nbxd5 15. e4 $14) 14... b4 15. a5 bxc3 16. axb6 $16) 14. Nxd5 (14. Nf5 $1 {is a move that must be considered for sure.} O-O 15. Bxd5 $1 Nxd5 16. Nxd5 Bxd5 17. Rxd5 $16) 14... Bxd5 $1 (14... Nxd5 15. Nf5 $1 {This is the strongest move.} (15. Bxd5 Bxd5 16. Rxd5 Bxh4 $14 {is something that White would have to go into if the move order by Black is correct. i.e ...Bxd5 first instead of ...Nxd5.}) 15... g6 16. Bxd5 Bxd5 17. Ng7+ Kf8 18. Bh6 Kg8 19. Rxd5 $16) 15. Bxd5 Nxd5 16. Rxd5 Bxh4 17. gxh4 Qxh4 18. Qf5 $36) 13. Rd1 {[%emt 0: 04:31]} g6 $2 {[%emt 0:00:08] Another huge mistake. It was important to at least complete the development somehow.} (13... Qb6 14. Nxd5 Bxd5 15. Bxd5 Nxd5 16. Rxd5 Ne7 17. Rd3 $16 {White is better, but Black can fight on.}) 14. Nxd5 $1 {[%emt 0:02:21]} Nxd5 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 15. e4 {[%emt 0:00:50]} Bg7 {[%emt 0: 00:18]} 16. exd5 {[%emt 0:00:42]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 17. Qe2+ {[%emt 0:01:32] } (17. Re1+ {was also possible, but Levon didn't want the rook to leave the support of the d5-pawn.} Kf8 18. Be3 c4 19. Rad1 $16) 17... Kf8 {[%emt 0:00:01] } (17... Qe7 18. Qxe7+ Kxe7 19. d6+ $18) 18. a4 $1 {[%emt 0:01:06] Creating a nice little square for the knight to sit on - c4.} b4 {[%emt 0:00:28]} 19. Be3 {[%emt 0:01:09]} Qd6 {[%emt 0:01:33]} 20. Rac1 {[%emt 0:03:37]} Nd7 {[%emt 0: 00:42]} 21. Nf3 $1 {[%emt 0:00:36] The c4-square is soft and comfortable, so what are you waiting for? Ah wait, there's also the e4-square!} h6 {[%emt 0:02: 08]} 22. Nd2 {[%emt 0:01:40]} Kg8 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 23. Ne4 {[%emt 0:04:08]} Qf8 {[%emt 0:00:46]} 24. d6 $18 {[%emt 0:00:57] Ivanchuk had enough of this horrible position and he resigned. One of the main problems is the c5-pawn for which you have to give up your b7-bishop with ...Bxe4 but after taking the bishop back, there is nothing positive about Black's entire position.} 1-0 [Event "FIDE World Cup"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.15"] [Round "5.1"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A34"] [WhiteElo "2751"] [BlackElo "2789"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] {Peter Svidler and MVL have a very similar opening repertoire, both of course, being huge opening experts. So when they sat at the board it was realyl a battle of choosing the line in which the opponent would feel the most uncomfortable.} 1. c4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} c5 {[%emt 0:01:20]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:02: 41] Peter played this move after quite some thought.} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 3. Nc3 {[%emt 0:03:14]} d5 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 4. cxd5 {[%emt 0:00:17]} Nxd5 { [%emt 0:00:04]} 5. e4 {[%emt 0:05:18] As Svidler said, White has many options at this point. He went for the one that would be the most uncomfortable for Maxime.} Nb4 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 6. Bc4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Nd3+ {[%emt 0:00:06]} 7. Ke2 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Nf4+ {[%emt 0:00:06]} 8. Kf1 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Ne6 { [%emt 0:01:10] This knight diamond movement is quite well known now. Black makes all of these knight moves in the hope that he would be able to capitalise on the weakness of the d4 square.} 9. h4 $5 {[%emt 0:04:41] Why would someone make a move like this? What is the point? The main idea of this move is to stop Black from playing ...g6.} (9. b4 {is one of the main moves.}) (9. d3 {can be met with a move like ...Nc6 followed by ...g6 putting all the resources on the d4-square.} g6 $11) 9... Nd4 {[%emt 0:04:38]} (9... Nc6 { is also possible.}) (9... g6 {The main advantage of the move h4. That ...g6 is no longer possible.} 10. h5 $1 $16) 10. d3 {[%emt 0:03:29]} Nbc6 {[%emt 0:01: 20]} 11. Nb5 {[%emt 0:00:14]} Be6 {[%emt 0:06:38] After the game Maxime said that this entire plan with ...Be6 and taking on b5 was played pretty quickly by him and he didn't like what he did.} 12. Bf4 {[%emt 0:10:03]} Nxb5 $6 { [%emt 0:02:10]} 13. Bxb5 {[%emt 0:00:52]} Qb6 {[%emt 0:00:32]} 14. Ba4 { [%emt 0:03:25]} (14. Qa4 Bd7 $5 $11) 14... Qa6 {[%emt 0:16:54]} (14... Qxb2 $2 15. Rb1 Qxa2 16. Rxb7 $18) (14... Bg4 {This was Maxime's main idea. So that he can now play ...e6, ...Be7, ...0-0 and finish his development. But he had missed something in the line starting with} 15. b4 $1 e6 (15... cxb4 16. Rc1 { seems to give White good compensation, but I would say Black's position looks fine.}) 16. b5 $1 {This was the move that MVL had missed.} Nd4 17. Bc7 $3 $18 { and it's game over.}) 15. Rc1 {[%emt 0:08:45]} b5 {[%emt 0:07:04]} 16. Bb3 { [%emt 0:00:24]} Bxb3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 17. Qxb3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} e6 {[%emt 0:00: 16]} 18. Be3 {[%emt 0:00:54] The c5-pawn is very weak. At this point I think Svidler had every right to believe that his position was very pleasant.} Na5 { [%emt 0:03:08]} 19. Qc3 {[%emt 0:04:12]} b4 {[%emt 0:04:05]} 20. Qc2 {[%emt 0: 02:02]} Nb7 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 21. Qc4 {[%emt 0:09:08]} Qxc4 {[%emt 0:03:46]} 22. Rxc4 {[%emt 0:00:12] A queen exchange does not ease Black's situation.} Be7 { [%emt 0:00:09]} 23. Ke2 {[%emt 0:01:57]} O-O {[%emt 0:02:30]} 24. Nd2 $1 $16 { [%emt 0:04:54] The knight comes to b3 and the other rook to c1. It looks really bad for MVL.} Rfc8 {[%emt 0:04:35]} 25. Nb3 {[%emt 0:03:01]} a5 { [%emt 0:00:17]} 26. a4 $5 {[%emt 0:00:57]} (26. Rhc1 {This is a natural move, but now the h4-pawn is hanging.} Bxh4 27. Nxc5 Nxc5 28. Bxc5 $14 {White is surely better as he has won the c5-pawn for the one on h4. However, Svidler wanted more. He wanted to keep his h-pawn and then win the c5-pawn as well.}) 26... bxa3 {[%emt 0:00:19]} 27. bxa3 {[%emt 0:00:08]} a4 {[%emt 0:00:28]} 28. Nd2 {[%emt 0:03:40]} Nd6 {[%emt 0:02:21]} 29. Rxc5 {[%emt 0:03:13]} Rcb8 { [%emt 0:00:03] Maxime is creating some threats of penetrating down the b-file.} 30. Rb1 $1 {[%emt 0:00:26]} Rxb1 {[%emt 0:00:12]} 31. Nxb1 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Bxh4 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 32. Rc6 $6 {[%emt 0:00:57] Peter Svidler did not like this move. He thought that it gave Black good chances to equalise.} (32. Rc7 $5 {Peter thought this was the better move after the game.}) (32. Nc3 $1 {is the best. It doesn't create any threats yet, but White is just dominating.} Be7 33. Rc7 $16 Bf8 34. Bc5 $16 {White has complete control.}) 32... Be7 {[%emt 0:01: 00]} 33. Bc5 {[%emt 0:05:24]} Nb5 $1 {[%emt 0:00:15] This is the move that Svidler had missed.} 34. Ke3 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Kf8 {[%emt 0:05:38]} 35. Bxe7+ { [%emt 0:03:49]} Kxe7 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 36. Rb6 {[%emt 0:00:11]} Nd6 {[%emt 0:01: 55]} 37. Nc3 $6 {[%emt 0:00:41] This is one of those moves that you make naturally. Your knight is on the first rank and you want to develop it. However, Svidler said after the game that stopping Black's ...h5 was important and he should have gone g4.} (37. g4 $1 $14) 37... h5 $1 {[%emt 0:00:04] After this Black has relatively lesser problems.} 38. f4 {[%emt 0:06:36]} (38. Rb4 f6 39. Rxa4 Rxa4 40. Nxa4 Nb5 $11) 38... f6 {[%emt 0:02:58]} 39. Nb5 {[%emt 0:07: 46]} Nxb5 {[%emt 0:01:24]} 40. Rxb5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} h4 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 41. Rb7+ {[%emt 0:05:50] I have a feeling that White has a small edge here, some slight pressure, but MVL had already passed the worst and the result would most probably have been a draw, so the players saved themselves some energy.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE World Cup"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.16"] [Round "5.2"] [White "Ding, Liren"] [Black "Rapport, Richard"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E18"] [WhiteElo "2777"] [BlackElo "2675"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] {One of the biggest mistakes, in my opinion, made by Rapport is that he didn't play for a win or even put the slightest of pressure on Ding Liren with the white pieces. Now Ding had the white pieces and he wasn't going to take it easy!} 1. d4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:40]} 2. c4 {[%emt 0:01:19]} e6 { [%emt 0:00:07]} 3. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:19]} b6 {[%emt 0:00:13]} 4. g3 {[%emt 0:00: 06]} Bb7 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 5. Bg2 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Be7 {[%emt 0:00:16]} 6. O-O { [%emt 0:00:07]} O-O {[%emt 0:00:04]} 7. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:07]} Ne4 {[%emt 0:00: 06]} 8. Bd2 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Bf6 {[%emt 0:00:04] This is all well known and has been seen many times and now Ding Liren comes up with a move that has been played only once before.} 9. Re1 $5 {[%emt 0:00:09] According to the databases this move has been played only once before between Adamski and Kruszynski.} a6 {[%emt 0:11:43] This is a weird move, the main idea is to make a waiting move, threaten ...b5 in some instances and also play ...d6 followed by ...Nd7, without having to worry about Ng5 ideas.} (9... d6 {might have been Rapport's idea, but it leads to an inferior position after} 10. Ng5 $1 Nxc3 11. Qc2 $16) 10. Ne5 $1 {[%emt 0:16:55] This is a good practical decision, White maintains slight pressure on the position.} (10. Rc1 {was also possible, but it leads to normal positions.}) (10. Qc2 Nxd2 11. Qxd2 d6 {[%cal Gb8d7] Followed by ...Nd7 gives Black the bishop pair.}) 10... Nxc3 {[%emt 0:09:05]} 11. Bxc3 {[%emt 0: 00:06]} Bxg2 {[%emt 0:00:21]} 12. Kxg2 {[%emt 0:00:03] White is better developed. It is a slight edge, but still not so easy to extinguish.} d6 { [%emt 0:03:48]} 13. Ng4 {[%emt 0:01:57]} Be7 {[%emt 0:01:14]} 14. e4 {[%emt 0: 00:34]} b5 {[%emt 0:06:43] The problem with Rapport is that he can never play normal chess! He will always try to go for activity.} ({In this position it could have been better to just finish development with} 14... Nd7 {although after 15.f4 Black is still worse. But now Ding plays very strong chess.}) 15. Qe2 {[%emt 0:10:54]} bxc4 {[%emt 0:13:22]} 16. d5 {[%emt 0:01:09]} (16. Qxc4 { was also possible and perhaps not at all a bad idea, but Ding wanted more.}) 16... Qc8 {[%emt 0:05:33]} (16... e5 17. Ne3 $16) 17. e5 $1 {[%emt 0:21:52] The Chinese player made this move after 22 minutes of thought. He invested a lot of time in this idea and was able to calculate that he gets a good position in all lines.} (17. Qxc4 {was also possible.}) 17... exd5 {[%emt 0:04: 22]} (17... Qb7 18. Rad1 $16) (17... dxe5 18. Qxe5 $18) 18. exd6 {[%emt 0:00: 05]} cxd6 $1 {[%emt 0:09:38]} (18... Bxd6 {which looks the most natural is refuted by a very brilliant little queen move that was seen by Ding.} 19. Qf3 $3 Nd7 (19... Nc6 20. Bxg7 $1 $18) 20. Nh6+ $18) 19. Qxe7 {[%emt 0:08:35]} (19. Rad1 $16 {was also possible keeping all the advantages intact.}) 19... d4 { [%emt 0:01:09]} (19... Qxg4 20. Qb7 Nd7 {looks normal but White is better after } 21. h3 Qf5 (21... Qg5 22. Qxd7 d4 $1 {and now White has to find the only move to hold the advantage.} 23. Bb4 $1 $18 (23. Bxd4 $2 Qd5+ $17)) 22. g4 { The knight is lost.} Qg5 (22... Nc5 23. Qxa8 $18 Qd7 24. Qxd5) 23. Qxd7 d4 24. Bb4 $16) 20. Qe4 $6 {[%emt 0:03:48]} (20. Bxd4 Qxg4 21. Qxd6 Nc6 $1 22. Bc3 $16 {also gives White a very pleasant position.}) 20... Qc6 {[%emt 0:00:22] This move was missed by Ding. But luckily it spoils nothing. White still has many ways to keep his advantage.} (20... dxc3 21. Qxa8 cxb2 22. Rab1 c3 (22... Qxg4 23. Rxb2 Nd7 24. Re8) 23. Ne3) 21. Bxd4 {[%emt 0:03:36]} f5 {[%emt 0:01:49]} ( 21... Qxe4+ 22. Rxe4 f5 23. Re7 $1 Nc6 (23... Rf7 24. Re8+ Rf8 25. Rxf8+ Kxf8 26. Ne3 $18) 24. Rxg7+ Kh8 25. Rg8+ $1 Kxg8 26. Nh6# {A nice variation suggested by Surya Sekhar Ganguly on Twitter.}) 22. Qxc6 {[%emt 0:01:13]} Nxc6 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 23. Ne3 {[%emt 0:02:33]} (23. Bxg7 {was also possible, but Ding decides to keep things simple.}) 23... Nxd4 {[%emt 0:00:16]} 24. Rad1 { [%emt 0:00:06] White is a pawn down, but all of Black's pawns are weak and they are soon going to fall one by one.} f4 {[%emt 0:05:37]} 25. Rxd4 {[%emt 0: 01:11]} fxe3 {[%emt 0:00:10]} 26. Rxe3 {[%emt 0:00:02] Such positions are Ding Liren's forte. As he said after the game, the endgame might not be winning, but it is extremely unpleasant to play as Black here.} Rab8 {[%emt 0:21:00]} 27. Re2 {[%emt 0:00:06]} c3 {[%emt 0:00:31]} (27... d5 28. Rxd5 $16) 28. bxc3 { [%emt 0:00:09]} Rb6 {[%emt 0:00:33]} 29. Rb4 $1 {[%emt 0:02:30]} Rxb4 {[%emt 0: 01:58]} 30. cxb4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Rb8 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 31. Rb2 {[%emt 0:01:18]} Kf7 {[%emt 0:00:20]} 32. Kf3 {[%emt 0:00:55]} Ke6 {[%emt 0:00:35]} 33. Ke4 { [%emt 0:00:19]} d5+ {[%emt 0:00:31]} 34. Kd3 {[%emt 0:01:15]} Kd6 {[%emt 0:01: 08]} 35. a4 {[%emt 0:00:47]} Rb7 {[%emt 0:02:10]} 36. f4 {[%emt 0:01:05]} h5 { [%emt 0:01:32]} 37. b5 $1 {[%emt 0:04:34] This move shows good confidence in your calculation.} (37. Kd4 {was also possible.}) 37... axb5 {[%emt 0:00:32]} 38. axb5 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Kc5 {[%emt 0:00:46]} 39. Rc2+ $1 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Kxb5 {[%emt 0:00:28]} 40. Kd4 {[%emt 0:00:00] White has given up the pawn, but cut off his opponent's king.} Rf7 {[%emt 0:00:35]} 41. Kxd5 {[%emt 0:00:55] It might be a case of premature resignation, but I was quite sure that White would have been able to convert his advantage.} 1-0 [Event "FIDE World Cup"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.16"] [Round "5.2"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Fedoseev, Vladimir1"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2810"] [BlackElo "2731"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "165"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:00] Quintiliano,R} e5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:00] } Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:06] Quintiliano,R: 'The Petroff Defence was present in almost every round of the World Cup, as its solidity is ideally suited to the World's Cup format of mini-matches. It was also Wesley's choice in the previous game of his short encounter with Fedoseev, and that game was a quick draw.'} 3. Nxe5 {[%emt 0:00:13]} d6 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 4. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Nxe4 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 5. d4 {[%emt 0:00:09]} d5 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 6. Bd3 { [%emt 0:00:04]} Be7 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 7. O-O {[%emt 0:01:17]} Nc6 {[%emt 0:00: 07]} 8. Nbd2 {[%emt 0:02:16] Wesley So saw Anish Giri playing this line and according to the American, if Anish plays something in the opening you can be sure that it's solid.} (8. c4 {is the main variation} Nb4 9. Be2 O-O {Anand has played this variation successfully in past.} 10. Nc3 Bf5 11. a3 Nxc3 12. bxc3 Nc6 13. Re1 Re8 14. cxd5 Qxd5 15. Bf4 Rac8 16. h3 Be4 17. Qc1 Na5 18. Qe3 Bf8 19. c4 Qd8 20. Ne5 Bf5 21. Qc3 b6 22. Rad1 Qf6 23. Qg3 Nc6 24. Ng4 Qg6 25. d5 Na5 26. Bxc7 Bc2 27. Rc1 Nb3 28. Rxc2 Qxc2 29. Nh6+ Kh8 {1-0 (45) Anand,V (2790)-Kramnik,V (2788) Wijk aan Zee 2010}) 8... Bf5 {[%emt 0:00:13]} (8... Nd6 9. c3 Bf5 10. Nb3 O-O 11. Re1 Bxd3 12. Qxd3 a5 13. a4 Ne4 14. Be3 Qc8 15. Ne5 Bd6 16. f3 Nf6 17. Nxc6 bxc6 18. Re2 Re8 19. Rae1 Nd7 20. Bf2 Rxe2 21. Qxe2 Qb7 22. Nc1 Rb8 23. Nd3 Qb3 24. Bg3 h6 25. Bxd6 cxd6 {1/2-1/2 (35) Giri,A (2769) -Yu Yangyi (2750) Shenzhen CHN 2017}) 9. Re1 {[%emt 0:06:56]} Nxd2 {[%emt 0:00: 11]} 10. Qxd2 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Bxd3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 11. Qxd3 {[%emt 0:00:05] White has a small edge in this position thanks to the control of the e-file and some superior development.} O-O {[%emt 0:00:10]} 12. c3 {[%emt 0:09:38]} ({ An instructive top game went} 12. Bf4 {Quintiliano,R} Bd6 13. Bg3 Bxg3 14. hxg3 Qd7 15. Re3 $1 Rfe8 16. Rae1 Rxe3 17. Rxe3 h6 (17... Re8 $2 18. Qf5 $1 { is a nice trick}) 18. Qb3 Rb8 19. Ne5 Qd6 20. Nxc6 Qxc6 21. c3 a5 22. Qa3 b6 23. Qe7 {Adams,M (2738)-Wang,Y (2737) Baku ol (Men) 42nd 2016 (7.1) 1-0 and despite the simplifcations, the endgame's practical difficulties proved to be too much for Black -}) 12... Qd7 {[%emt 0:00:17]} 13. Bf4 {[%emt 0:00:09]} a6 { [%emt 0:00:06]} 14. Re2 {[%emt 0:06:42] Re3 used to be played earlier and now it is Re2. I am sure that there is some difference between the two, but not something very huge.} (14. Re3 Rae8 15. Rae1 Bd8 16. h3 Rxe3 17. Rxe3 f6 18. Re2 Rf7 19. Nd2 Be7 20. Nf1 Bf8 21. Qf3 Re7 22. Ne3 Nd8 23. Bxc7 Qxc7 24. Nxd5 Qd6 25. Nxe7+ Bxe7 26. Qe4 Bf8 27. Qe8 g6 28. a4 Kg7 29. b4 Qc7 30. Re3 Nf7 31. Qe6 Qd8 32. a5 h5 33. Qe4 Qd7 34. Qe6 Qd8 35. Kf1 Nh6 36. g4 hxg4 37. hxg4 Nf7 38. Ke2 Ng5 39. Qb6 Qd7 40. Kd3 Bd6 41. Kc2 {1/2-1/2 (41) Kasparov,G (2625) -Karpov,A (2690) Moscow 1981}) 14... Rae8 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 15. Rae1 {[%emt 0: 00:07]} Bd8 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 16. Nd2 {[%emt 0:05:37]} ({Fedoseev was tested in this line once again very soon after the World Cup and this time he was prepared.} 16. h3 Rxe2 17. Qxe2 f6 18. Nd2 a5 19. Qb5 Ne5 20. Qxd7 {1/2-1/2 (20) Jakovenko,D (2710)-Fedoseev,V (2733) Sochi 2017}) 16... Rxe2 {[%emt 0:00: 06]} 17. Qxe2 {[%emt 0:00:05]} a5 {[%emt 0:00:08] Fedoseev was playing his moves extremely fast and it seemed as if he was very well prepared. As Wesley said after the game that he was thinking that a draw would most likely happen and he would have to prepare for the tiebreaks.} 18. Nb3 {[%emt 0:11:57]} (18. Nf3 f6 19. h4 {was another way to go but after} Rf7 {with the idea of ...Re7, it should be even.}) 18... b6 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 19. Nc1 {[%emt 0:00:12]} f6 { [%emt 0:00:07]} 20. a4 {[%emt 0:05:13]} Ne7 $1 {[%emt 0:06:21]} (20... Rf7 21. Qb5 {White has some pressure.}) 21. Nd3 {[%emt 0:08:27]} g5 {[%emt 0:01:08] An aggressive approach by Fedoseev} (21... Ng6 22. Bg3 Rf7 $1 {would have been the best way to kill the game - shake hands and go back home.}) (21... Qxa4 22. Bxc7 $5 (22. Qe6+ Rf7 (22... Kh8 23. Bxc7 $16) 23. Bg3 $13) 22... Bxc7 23. Qxe7 $14) 22. Bc1 {[%emt 0:03:54]} Ng6 {[%emt 0:06:24]} (22... Qxa4 $2 { (Quintiliano,R) would show some problems in Black's position} 23. h4 $1 h6 24. hxg5 hxg5 25. f4 $1 $40) 23. b3 {[%emt 0:10:23]} Be7 $2 {[%emt 0:01:05] After this move, Wesley takes over and is able to put tremendous pressure on Fedoseev.} (23... Rf7 $11 {Once again, it's this same idea of ...Rf7-e7 that gives Black the equality.}) 24. h4 $3 {[%emt 0:03:47] Taking advantage of the knight being overloaded on g6. Quintiliano,R: 'The most important thing in this game, besides the excellent technique displayed by White from now, is how he sensed the opportunity after Black's mistake, calculated with precision and forced a clearly better endgame. It is a wonderful example of tactics and calculation supporting strategy and positional feeling.'} gxh4 {[%emt 0:06:33]} (24... Rf7 {Quintiliano,R} 25. h5 Nf8 26. f4 $1 h6 27. fxg5 hxg5 28. Nf2 { [%cal Gf2g4]} f5 29. Nd3 $1 $16 {[%cal Gd3e5]}) 25. Nf4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Rf7 { [%emt 0:22:48] This move arrives but a bit late now in this position. White has a definite edge.} (25... Nxf4 {Quintiliano,R} 26. Qxe7 Qg4 27. Bxf4 Qxf4 28. Qd7 $1 $16 {[%csl Yd5][%cal Ge1e7] also looks very dangerous for Black.}) 26. Qe6 {[%emt 0:08:30] A good practical decision. After this point, only two results are possible - White wins or draw.} (26. Qh5 {was another option} Nxf4 27. Bxf4 Bd6 28. Bxd6 Qxd6 29. Re8+ Rf8 30. Qg4+ Kh8 31. Re3 Rf7 32. Qxh4 $14) 26... Qxe6 {[%emt 0:01:43]} 27. Rxe6 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Nxf4 {[%emt 0:01:32]} ( 27... Nf8 {Quintiliano,R} 28. Rc6 {[%cal Yf4d5]} Bd6 29. Nxd5 Ng6 (29... Ne6 30. Nxc7 $1) 30. Rc4 $16) 28. Bxf4 {[%emt 0:00:03]} Bd8 {[%emt 0:00:50]} 29. b4 $1 {[%emt 0:00:19] Black cannot take as White would get an outside a-passer. But if he doesn't then his a5-pawn would be weak.} Kg7 {[%emt 0:08:07]} (29... axb4 30. cxb4 $16 {[%cal Ga4a8]} Kg7 {Quintiliano,R} 31. Rc6 $1 {[%cal Ya4a5] now the distant passed pawn decides the game} Be7 32. a5 $1 Bxb4 33. a6 Rf8 34. Bxc7 Ra8 35. Rxb6 Ba5 36. Rb7 Bxc7 37. Rxc7+ Kg6 38. a7 $18) 30. bxa5 {[%emt 0: 03:34]} bxa5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 31. Ra6 {[%emt 0:00:03]} c6 {[%emt 0:00:13] Quintiliano,R: 'The lesser evil, at least Black avoid the immediate disaster. ' } 32. Rxc6 {[%emt 0:00:04] The material is even and effectively White is a pawn up because the h-pawns are doubled.} Kg6 {[%emt 0:00:48]} 33. Rc5 { [%emt 0:03:18]} Rd7 {[%emt 0:05:58] Now the slow grind begins. White has the better pawn structure, much more active rooks, active bishop and he is clearly better.} 34. f3 {[%emt 0:02:43]} Kf5 {[%emt 0:00:12]} 35. Bd2 {[%emt 0:02:16]} Ke6 {[%emt 0:00:25]} 36. Rc6+ {[%emt 0:00:43]} Kf5 {[%emt 0:02:29]} (36... Ke7 37. Be1 h3 38. Bh4 (38. gxh3) 38... Rb7 39. Rxf6 Rb1+ 40. Kh2 Ke8 41. Rh6 hxg2 42. Kxg2 Bxh4 43. Rxh4 Rb3 $16 {Rook endgames are always notorious for their drawing tendencies.}) 37. Be1 {[%emt 0:02:32]} Kg5 {[%emt 0:00:24]} 38. Rc5 { [%emt 0:02:45]} f5 {[%emt 0:04:52] Quintiliano,R: 'A new and necessary concession.'} (38... h6 {Quintiliano,R} 39. c4 $1 Bb6 40. Rxd5+ Rxd5 41. cxd5 Bxd4+ 42. Bf2 Be5 (42... Bxf2+ 43. Kxf2 Kf5 44. f4 $18) 43. Bb6 $18) 39. Kh2 { [%emt 0:01:19][%csl Gh3] I like this move, it covers the important possibility of an h3-break and also Black's ambition of getting his king in White's camp via Kf4-e3 is also stopped as Bd2 is a quick checkmate.} Kh5 {[%emt 0:07:31]} 40. Bf2 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rd6 {[%emt 0:05:34]} 41. Be3 {[%emt 0:14:29]} Bb6 { [%emt 0:08:05]} 42. Rb5 {[%emt 0:00:21]} Bd8 {[%emt 0:02:36]} 43. Bf4 {[%emt 0: 03:51]} Rd7 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 44. Be5 {[%emt 0:02:07] White has improved his bishop's position.} Kg5 {[%emt 0:01:03]} 45. Rc5 {[%emt 0:01:38]} f4 $6 { [%emt 0:02:42] As Wesley said after the game, he was very happy to see his opponent pushing this pawn on to a dark square. It only meant that if the players ever went into a bishop endgame, it would be completely lost for Black. } ({Black should have opted for waiting strategy with} 45... Kg6 46. Kh3 Kg5 { White has a clear advantage, maybe close to winning, but he has to find the way to break Black's position.} (46... Kh5 {Quintiliano,R} 47. Rc6 $1 {Black is running out of moves and falls into a sort of zugzwang} h6 48. Kh2 Kg5 49. f4+ Kh5 50. Ra6 $22 Rb7 51. Rd6 $18)) 46. Rc6 {[%emt 0:01:39]} Kf5 {[%emt 0:00: 19]} 47. Ra6 {[%emt 0:01:20][%csl Ra5,Rc7][%cal Ge5c7] Now Black's bishop and rook are tied to the defence of his weak a5- and d5-pawns, White's bishop controls the vital c7-square which stops Black's counterplay on the c-file.} Kg5 {[%emt 0:00:52]} 48. Kh3 {[%emt 0:01:10]} Kf5 {[%emt 0:00:23]} 49. Rc6 { [%emt 0:03:42]} Kg5 {[%emt 0:01:09]} 50. Re6 {[%emt 0:01:34]} (50. Rc5 Kf5 51. Rb5 {This is some kind of zugzwang for Black.} h5 (51... Kg5 52. Bb8 Kf5 53. c4 $18) 52. Bb8 Ke6 (52... Kg5 53. c4) 53. Bxf4 Ra7 54. Be5 $18) 50... Be7 { [%emt 0:00:47]} 51. Rc6 {[%emt 0:02:01]} Bd8 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 52. Bd6 {[%emt 0: 00:53]} Kf5 {[%emt 0:07:47]} 53. Kh2 {[%emt 0:01:52]} Rg7 {[%emt 0:07:51]} 54. Be5 {[%emt 0:01:07]} Rd7 {[%emt 0:01:36]} 55. Rd6 {[%emt 0:01:53] Wesley makes a big decision here of exchanging rooks. He has made sure that the ensuing bishop endgame is completely winning for him.} Rxd6 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 56. Bxd6 { [%emt 0:00:01]} Kg5 {[%emt 0:00:12]} 57. Kg1 {[%emt 0:00:59]} Kf5 {[%emt 0:00: 40]} 58. Kf2 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Kg5 {[%emt 0:01:28]} 59. Kf1 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Kf5 {[%emt 0:04:26]} 60. Ba3 {[%emt 0:00:10] Wesley puts his bishop on the c1-h6 diagonal.} Ke6 {[%emt 0:07:30]} 61. Ke2 {[%emt 0:00:16]} Kf5 {[%emt 0:02:10]} 62. Bc1 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Kg5 {[%emt 0:01:14]} 63. Kf1 {[%emt 0:00:05]} (63. Kd3 $2 {would have been a mistake as Black will get a break-through with} h3 $1 64. gxh3 Kh4 65. Bxf4 h5 66. c4 dxc4+ 67. Kxc4 Kxh3 $11) 63... Bc7 {[%emt 0:00:27]} 64. Bd2 {[%emt 0:00:11]} Bd8 {[%emt 0:00:28]} 65. Be1 {[%emt 0:00:04] Once the bishop comes to e1, the white king can move without any worries, as the ...h3 gxh3 break gives him access to the black king.} Kf5 {[%emt 0:00:46]} 66. Ke2 { [%emt 0:00:02]} Ke6 {[%emt 0:00:14]} 67. Kd3 {[%emt 0:00:12]} Kd7 {[%emt 0:00: 15]} 68. c4 {[%emt 0:00:17][%csl Ga5,Gf4,Gh4] White creates a passed pawn.} Kc6 {[%emt 0:00:20] Quintiliano,R: 'The simple way to win such endgames is overload the opponent's bishop, which is always having a difficult time protecting more than one pawn. So the zugzwang will mark Fedoseev's fate and Wesley executes it in textbook style.'} (68... Ke6 $5 69. Bc3 Bc7 70. Bd2 h6 71. Bc1 Bd6 72. Kc3 Bc7 73. Bd2 Bd6 74. Kd3 Bc7 75. Bc3 Bd8 76. Be1 Kd6 77. Bd2 $18) 69. Bc3 {[%emt 0:00:12]} Bb6 {[%emt 0:04:11]} 70. Bb2 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Bd8 {[%emt 0:00:53]} 71. Bc1 {[%emt 0:01:02]} Bc7 {[%emt 0:00:45]} 72. Bd2 { [%emt 0:00:04] Zugzwang. It's really beautiful to see how Wesley plays waiting moves and puts his opponent in a helpless situation. For a dynamic player like Fedoseev this is a nightmare.} h5 {[%emt 0:00:39]} 73. Bc3 {[%emt 0:00:13]} Bb6 {[%emt 0:01:16]} 74. Bb2 {[%emt 0:00:18]} Bc7 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 75. Ba3 { [%emt 0:00:15]} Bd8 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 76. Bf8 {[%emt 0:00:07]} Bg5 {[%emt 0:03: 34]} 77. Bg7 {[%emt 0:00:10] Black's bishop is tied up now!} Kd6 {[%emt 0:00: 03]} 78. Be5+ {[%emt 0:00:06] Once again White's bishop arrives on e5 with great effect.} Kc6 {[%emt 0:00:05]} (78... Ke6 79. Bc7 $18 {[%csl Ra5]}) 79. Kc3 $1 {[%emt 0:00:08] Zugzwang} Bh6 {[%emt 0:01:01]} 80. Bf6 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Bf8 {[%emt 0:00:23]} 81. Kd3 {[%emt 0:00:08]} h3 {[%emt 0:00:58]} 82. gxh3 { [%emt 0:00:04]} Bd6 {[%emt 0:00:10]} 83. Be5 {[%emt 0:01:33] ...and the f4-pawn falls and with it the game, Wesley played a really good endgame.} 1-0 [Event "London Classic 9th"] [Site "London"] [Date "2017.12.01"] [Round "1"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A08"] [WhiteElo "2781"] [BlackElo "2782"] [Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"] [PlyCount "87"] [EventDate "2017.12.01"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 182"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2018.01.17"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2018.01.17"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 {Hikaru wanted a big fight, so he aimed to avoid theory.} d5 3. Bg2 c5 4. O-O g6 $5 {On the black side of the Reti Vishy likes to fianchetto his bishop once he gets his pawns to the centre.} 5. d4 $5 { Suddenly, it's White who's playing the Grunfeld!} cxd4 6. Nxd4 Bg7 7. Nb3 ({ Book says} 7. c4 O-O 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Nc3 Nxc3 10. bxc3 {The Chinese GM Li Chao has defended the black side of this at least four times in recent practice.}) 7... Nc6 8. Nc3 e6 9. e4 d4 10. Na4 O-O 11. c3 dxc3 ({It would have been too ambitious for Anand to pretend he was White and continue with} 11... e5 12. cxd4 exd4 {The extra tempo can be put to good use, say by playing} 13. Re1) 12. Nxc3 e5 13. Be3 $14 Bg4 14. f3 Be6 15. Nc5 Qe7 16. Nxe6 Qxe6 17. Qd2 {White appears to be slightly better thanks to the bishop pair.} Rfd8 18. Qf2 Bf8 19. h3 Bb4 20. Rac1 Rd3 ({Vishy turned down Hikaru's pawn offer,} 20... Bxc3 21. Rxc3 Qxa2 {likely because of being concerned about} 22. Bg5 Qe6 23. f4 { but then} exf4 24. gxf4 (24. Qxf4 Nh5) 24... Nxe4 25. Bxe4 Qxe4 26. Bxd8 Rxd8 { appears to be playable for Black.}) 21. Rfd1 Rad8 22. Rxd3 Rxd3 23. Bf1 Rd8 24. a3 Be7 {Skillful display by Nakamura. White controls all key squares while avoiding massive exchanges.} 25. g4 $6 {Oh, I don't know about this. The weakening of the dark squares may come back to bite White.} (25. Kh2 a6 26. Nd5 $1 Nxd5 27. Bc4 {and White plays on without any risk.}) 25... Kg7 26. Kh2 h6 27. h4 (27. Nb5 a6 28. Bc4 Qc8 29. Nc3 Nh7 {and now we can see how ...Bg5 becomes an issue.}) 27... Nd4 $1 {In the approach to the time control Anand begins to bother Nakamura with tactical play.} 28. g5 hxg5 29. hxg5 Nh7 30. Bh3 Qb3 31. f4 Nc6 $1 {White's position is grossly overextended. Something is going to give.} 32. Nd5 (32. Rg1 exf4 33. Bxf4 Bxa3) 32... exf4 33. Bxf4 Bxg5 $2 {This decision likely cost Anand a nice win in the opening round.} ({ Keeping the Be7 on to protect f6 was a must:} 33... Nxg5 {Soon some other trades will be forced and Black will get to keep his extra pawn, e.g.} 34. Rc3 Qd1 35. Qg2 Nxh3 36. Rxh3 Rh8 37. Rxh8 Kxh8 38. Nxe7 Nxe7 39. Be5+ Kg8 40. Bc3 Nc6 41. Qf2 Qg4 42. Qf6 Kf8 $17) 34. Bxg5 Nxg5 35. Qf6+ Kh6 36. Bg2 Nh7 37. Qxf7 Rf8 38. Qc7 Qxb2 39. Rh1 Qf2 40. Kh3 Rf7 41. Qg3 {The time control has been made, and White soon is to be looking at a tough defensive task, a pawn down in the endgame.} Qb2 $6 {All of a sudden Vishy moved his queen away.} ( 41... Kg7 42. Qxf2 Rxf2 43. Rb1 Rf7 44. Kg3 Ne5 {was expected.}) 42. Ne3 $1 { It is amazing how quick Hikaru was to pounce on that error.} Nf6 $6 ({Still,} 42... Qd4 43. Rd1 Ng5+ 44. Kh2 Nf3+ 45. Bxf3 Qxe3 46. Bg2 Qxg3+ 47. Kxg3 $15 { was there.}) 43. Bf3 {Suddenly it's the black king that's in danger.} Kh7 44. Nf5 ({A draw was agreed based on a forced line} 44. Nf5 Qxa3 45. Kg2+ Nh5 46. Qg5 Qb2+ 47. Kg1 Qb6+ 48. Kg2 {and Black must keep on checking.}) 1/2-1/2 [Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"] [Site "London"] [Date "2017.12.01"] [Round "1"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "*"] [ECO "A08"] [WhiteElo "2781"] [BlackElo "2782"] [Annotator "ChessBase"] [PlyCount "87"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [SourceTitle "playchess.com"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceQuality "1"] [TimeControl "40/6000+30:3600+30"] 1. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:40]} 2. g3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} d5 { [%emt 0:00:30]} 3. Bg2 {[%emt 0:00:30]} c5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 4. O-O {[%emt 0:00: 30]} g6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 5. d4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} cxd4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 6. Nxd4 { [%emt 0:00:30]} Bg7 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 7. Nb3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Nc6 {[%emt 0:03: 09]} 8. Nc3 {[%emt 0:01:31]} e6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 9. e4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} d4 { [%emt 0:03:51]} 10. Na4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} (10. Ne2 e5 11. f4 Qb6 12. Kh1 Ng4 13. h3 h5 {0-1 (45) Seirawan,Y (2600)-Ljubojevic,L (2610) Roquebrune 1992}) 10... O-O {[%emt 0:04:36]} 11. c3 {[%emt 0:01:29]} dxc3 {[%emt 0:03:47]} 12. Nxc3 { [%emt 0:02:13]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 13. Be3 {[%emt 0:06:57]} Bg4 {[%emt 0:08: 09]} (13... b6) 14. f3 {[%emt 0:03:49]} Be6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 15. Nc5 {[%emt 0: 00:35]} Qe7 {[%emt 0:00:44]} (15... Bc4 16. Rf2 b6 17. Qa4) 16. Nxe6 {[%emt 0: 00:55]} Qxe6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 17. Qd2 {[%emt 0:06:14]} Rfd8 {[%emt 0:10:25]} 18. Qf2 {[%emt 0:00:36]} Bf8 {[%emt 0:00:55]} 19. h3 {[%emt 0:06:34]} (19. Rfd1 ) 19... Bb4 {[%emt 0:02:52]} 20. Rac1 {[%emt 0:06:51]} Rd3 {[%emt 0:05:29]} 21. Rfd1 {[%emt 0:00:45]} Rad8 {[%emt 0:02:11]} 22. Rxd3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Rxd3 { [%emt 0:00:30]} 23. Bf1 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Rd8 {[%emt 0:03:02]} 24. a3 {[%emt 0: 04:20]} Be7 {[%emt 0:04:59]} 25. g4 {[%emt 0:04:06]} (25. Kg2 Kg7 (25... a6 26. Rd1 (26. Na4 b5 27. Nc5 Bxc5 28. Rxc5) (26. Nb1) 26... Rxd1 27. Nxd1 Qb3 28. Qd2) 26. Nb5 a6 27. Bc4 Qd7 28. Nc3) (25. Bxa7 Nxa7 26. Qxa7 Rd2) 25... Kg7 { [%emt 0:07:20]} 26. Kh2 {[%emt 0:19:31]} h6 {[%emt 0:07:42]} 27. h4 {[%emt 0: 06:33]} Nd4 {[%emt 0:01:26]} 28. g5 {[%emt 0:10:20]} (28. Kg2) 28... hxg5 { [%emt 0:01:57]} 29. hxg5 {[%emt 0:01:28]} Nh7 {[%emt 0:18:41]} (29... Nh5 30. Nd5) (29... Rh8+ $2 30. Kg1 Nh7 31. Bxd4 exd4 32. Qxd4+) (29... Ng4+ $2 30. fxg4 Qxg4 31. Qg3 $18) 30. Bh3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} (30. Qg3 Nxg5 $19) (30. f4 Qg4 31. Bg2 Rh8 32. Kg1 Ne6 $15) 30... Qb3 {[%emt 0:01:08]} 31. f4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Nc6 {[%emt 0:01:13]} 32. Nd5 {[%emt 0:14:48]} (32. Rg1 exf4 33. Bxf4 Bxa3 34. bxa3 Qxc3 $17) 32... exf4 {[%emt 0:02:27]} 33. Bxf4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Bxg5 { [%emt 0:04:37]} (33... Nxg5 $1 34. Rc3 Qd1 35. Nxe7 Nxe4 36. Qc2 Nxc3 37. Qxc3+ Nd4 $17) 34. Bxg5 {[%emt 0:01:01]} Nxg5 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 35. Qf6+ {[%emt 0:00: 30]} Kh6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 36. Bg2 $6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} (36. Rc3 Qd1 37. Qf4 $11 Ne5 38. Qxe5 Nf3+ 39. Rxf3 Qxf3 $11) 36... Nh7 {[%emt 0:01:55]} 37. Qxf7 { [%emt 0:07:09]} Rf8 {[%emt 0:00:56]} 38. Qc7 {[%emt 0:00:37]} (38. Rc3 Qxc3 39. Qxf8+ Nxf8 40. Nxc3 $11) 38... Qxb2 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 39. Rh1 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Qf2 {[%emt 0:00:30]} (39... Qe5+ $2 40. Kg1+ Kg5 41. Qxe5+ Nxe5 42. Rxh7 $18) 40. Kh3 $2 {[%emt 0:01:05]} (40. Rf1 Qh4+ 41. Kg1 $11) 40... Rf7 {[%emt 1:01: 24]} 41. Qg3 {[%emt 1:00:30]} Qb2 {[%emt 0:04:50]} (41... Kg7 $1 42. Qc3+ (42. Qxf2 Rxf2 43. Rb1 Rf7 $17 (43... Nd8)) 42... Kg8 $19) 42. Ne3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} (42. Kg4+ Kg7) 42... Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} (42... Ng5+ 43. Kg4+ Kg7 44. Kxg5 Qf6+ 45. Kg4 Rf8 (45... Ne5+ 46. Kh3 Kf8 47. Kh2) 46. Qc7+ Rf7 47. Qg3 Rf8 48. Qc7+ Rf7 $11) (42... Ne5 43. Qxe5 Qxe5 44. Ng4+ $18) 43. Bf3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Kh7 {[%emt 0:00:00]} (43... Kg7 44. Nf5+ Kf8 45. Qd6+ Ne7 (45... Ke8 $2 46. Kg3 {[%cal Gh1h8]}) 46. Qd8+ Ne8 47. Nd4 Rh7+ 48. Kg4 Rxh1 49. Bxh1 $11) (43... Ne5 44. Rh2 Qa1 45. Nf5+ gxf5 $2 (45... Kh7 $1 46. Kg2+ Kg8 47. Nh6+ Kg7 48. Nxf7 Qa2+ $11) 46. Kg2+ Nh5 47. Rxh5#) 44. Nf5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} (44. Nf5 gxf5 (44... Qxa3 45. Kg2+ Nh5 46. Qg5 Qb2+ 47. Kg1 Qa1+ 48. Kg2 Qb2+ $11) 45. Rh2 Qxh2+ ( 45... Qc1 46. Kg2+ Qh6 47. Rxh6+ Kxh6 48. Qf4+ Kg7 49. exf5 $18) 46. Kxh2 Nxe4 47. Qh4+ Kg7 48. Bxe4 fxe4 49. Qxe4 $11) * [Event "chess.com IoM Masters"] [Site "Douglas"] [Date "2017.09.25"] [Round "3"] [White "Mekhitarian, Krikor Sevag"] [Black "Rodshtein, Maxim"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B17"] [WhiteElo "2534"] [BlackElo "2695"] [Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2017.09.23"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 {The Smyslov Variation - played so many times by the great world champion Anatoly Karpov. My opponent has a very classical and solid style, I wasn't surprised he chose this line, aiming for a long game} 5. Nf3 Ngf6 6. Nxf6+ Nxf6 7. c3 $5 {A modest line, trying to get the bishop pair and a slight advantage.} Bg4 (7... Bf5 {is risky} 8. Ne5 e6 $2 9. g4 $1 Bg6 10. h4 $16 {with problems for Black.}) 8. h3 Bxf3 9. Qxf3 g6 (9... e6 {I had one game in mind in this piece formation and pawn structure, that made me alert going into the position in the game} 10. g3 a5 11. a4 g6 12. Bg2 Bg7 13. O-O O-O 14. Re1 Re8 15. h4 Rc8 16. Bg5 h6 17. Bd2 Rc7 {White is supposed to have a small edge in the open position with the bishop pair, but I remembered that Ivanchuk's play was very convincing, doubling on the d-file, playing ...Nd5 provoking the c4-advance, and at some point advancing the queenside with ...b5.} 18. Rad1 Rd7 19. Bc1 Qb6 20. Rd2 h5 21. Bh3 Qb3 $1 22. Qd1 Qxd1 23. Rdxd1 Nd5 24. Bg5 b5 $1 {of course White can improve his play at so many moments, but I knew that this could be strategically dangerous sometimes} 25. axb5 (25. Ra1 b4 $1 $15) 25... cxb5 26. Ra1 a4 {Black has a lot of freedom to press on the queenside now} 27. Bd2 Rc7 28. Bf1 Rb8 29. Bg2 Rd8 { whenever White takes on d5 to decrease the pressure, then the d2-bishop is clearly worse than its counterpart on g7} 30. Bf1 b4 31. Rxa4 (31. c4 $1 { was forced to keep the balance} Nb6 32. Bxb4 Nxc4 33. Rec1 $1 Rdc8 34. Rxa4 Bxd4 35. Ba3 $11 {and White equalises}) 31... bxc3 32. bxc3 Nxc3 33. Bxc3 Rxc3 34. Rd1 $17 {0-1 (97) Alekseev,E (2659)-Ivanchuk,V (2768) Khanty-Mansiysk 2011, with a very passive endgame to come.}) 10. Bc4 Bg7 11. O-O O-O 12. a4 $5 (12. Re1 Qd7 13. Bg5 Rae8 14. Re2 Nd5 15. Rae1 $14 {½-½ (43) Poetsch,H (2500) -Burmakin,V (2578) Schwaebisch Gmuend 2015, was another plan I had in mind, but I wasn't truly comfortable with Black playing ...e6 and then ...b5-a5-a4 (because of the Alekseev-Ivanchuk game). Perhaps I was too impressed with that game?}) 12... Qd7 13. Bg5 Nd5 14. a5 {I wasn't sure if this is good for me, since it allows ...b5 right away, but again I thought that I shouldn't allow Black's ...a5.} (14. h4 $5 {could have been better, as I played later in the game} h5 $6 {looks logical, but could be problematic} 15. Rfe1 e6 $2 16. g4 $1 $16 {White is ready for a kingside assault.}) 14... b5 15. axb6 (15. Bb3 $5 { was more ambitious, sticking to te h4-plan, without opening the queenside for exchanges:} e6 16. h4 $13) 15... axb6 16. h4 (16. Rad1 $5 {could have been better right away.}) 16... e6 (16... h5 {was the move I expected} 17. Rae1 e6 18. g4 (18. Bb3 $5) 18... hxg4 19. Qxg4 Ra5 $1 $13 20. h5 $2 Nf6 $3 {a very nice trick} 21. Bxf6 Bxf6 $17 {now h5 falls, because of the ...Rg5 threat.}) 17. h5 {This move creates a small imbalance, that I thought to be profitable for me. After all is said and done, that's not really true, Black doesn't have a problem playing h6-g5, and at the same time, my bishop loses a good square on g5.} h6 18. Bd2 g5 19. Bb3 Rfd8 (19... Rxa1 20. Rxa1 c5 $1 {equalised right away} 21. dxc5 bxc5 22. Bc1 Rb8 23. Bc2 $11 {during the game I thought this was good for White, but there is nothing going on after ...Qc7, for example.}) 20. Rad1 $1 {Keeping more pieces to create a possible kingside attack. The rook on a8 doesn't have a way into White's position.} Qc7 21. Qe2 b5 (21... c5 $5 22. dxc5 bxc5 23. Bc1 $11 {similar to 19...Rxa1.}) 22. f4 (22. Bxd5 { was my initial idea, then I realised that it isn't so good} Rxd5 23. f4 c5 $1 24. fxg5 hxg5 25. dxc5 Qxc5+ 26. Be3 Re5 $1 $11 {I analysed this, being scared I could be worse, because of my weak king. The computer evaluates this as equal somehow.}) 22... Nxf4 (22... gxf4 23. Bxd5 {now it is different, because Black already went for ...gxf4, and didn't have time to begin counterplay with ...c5} Rxd5 24. Bxf4 (24. Rxf4 $6 e5 $1 25. Rg4 Kh8 $132) 24... Qa7 $1 $13 { preparing either ...e5 or ...c5.}) 23. Bxf4 gxf4 24. Qe4 e5 {Leading to a drawn endgame.} (24... c5 $1 25. Rxf4 $1 {threatening Rxf7:} Ra6 $1 {I missed this 'slow' idea. Now I have problems on d4, and generally my king is weaker than his} 26. Rdf1 Rd7 $1 27. Rg4 cxd4 28. cxd4 Kh8 $1 $132 {with complex play. }) 25. dxe5 Qxe5 (25... Rxd1 26. Rxd1 Qxe5 27. Qxc6 Re8 28. Qd5 $11 {I was slightly scared about this position, since my king is weaker, but it should be ok for White - there is always counterplay on f7.}) (25... Bxe5 26. Rde1 (26. Qf5 $5 {I thought about something like this as well}) 26... Re8 27. Qf5 Bg7 28. Rxe8+ Rxe8 29. Rxf4 Re1+ 30. Rf1 $11) 26. Rxd8+ Rxd8 27. Qxf4 Qxf4 28. Rxf4 { The rest is simple.} Rd7 $11 29. Rf5 Bf8 30. Kf1 Kg7 31. Ke2 Bd6 32. c4 1/2-1/2 [Event "chess.com IoM Masters"] [Site "Douglas"] [Date "2017.09.25"] [Round "3"] [White "Sargissian, Gabriel"] [Black "Krishna, CRG."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A85"] [WhiteElo "2652"] [BlackElo "2367"] [Annotator "Meulders,R"] [PlyCount "105"] [EventDate "2017.09.23"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [SourceTitle "CBM 181"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.11.10"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 d6 4. Nf3 g6 5. e3 Bg7 6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O c6 8. b4 Qc7 {White has chosen a very modest setup for which I have not been able to find any examples at a higher level. Black's position is quite solid . the idea of putting the queen on c7 to prepare for ...e5 is well-known in Old-Indian positions.} (8... Qe8 9. Bb2 e5 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. Qb3 Kh8 12. Rad1 Nbd7 13. h3 e4 14. Nd4 Ne5 15. Ba3 $14) 9. Bb2 e5 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. e4 fxe4 12. Ng5 Bf5 13. g4 Qc8 $6 {A fearless decision, probably according to the principle that against a much higher rated player there is not much to lose.} (13... Bc8 $11) (13... Bh6 14. h4 Rd8 15. Qb3 Bxg5 16. hxg5 Nxg4 17. c5+ Kf8 18. Nxe4 Bxe4 19. Bxg4 Qf7 20. Bxe5 Qxb3 21. axb3 Na6 22. Bd6+ Kg7 23. Rfe1 $16) 14. gxf5 Qxf5 15. Bc1 h6 16. Ncxe4 hxg5 17. Nd6 Qe6 18. Bxg5 $2 $14 (18. Nxb7 $1) 18... Na6 ( 18... Nbd7 19. Qd2 a5 20. bxa5 Nc5 21. Be3 Nce4 22. Nxe4 Nxe4 23. Qb4 $14) 19. Rb1 (19. a3 e4 20. Nxb7 Nh7 21. Bg4 Qxc4 22. Be7 Bxa1 23. Na5 Qd5 24. Bxf8 Rxf8 25. Qxa1 Qg5 26. h3 $16) 19... Rad8 (19... c5 $2 20. Bxf6 Bxf6 21. bxc5 $16 Rab8 (21... Nxc5 $4 22. Bg4 $18) 22. Bg4 $16) 20. c5 $16 Nc7 (20... Qxa2 $6 21. Bxf6 Rxf6 22. Bc4+ Qxc4 23. Nxc4 Rxd1 24. Rfxd1 Rf4 25. Rd8+ Kh7 26. Nd6 Nxb4 27. Rd7 $18) 21. Rb3 $2 {I think this is where White misses his big chance.} ( 21. Bc4 $1 Ncd5 22. Nxb7 Rd7 23. Nd6 $16) 21... Ncd5 22. Nxb7 Rb8 23. Nd6 Rxb4 24. Rxb4 Nxb4 25. Bxf6 $6 {White would probably have liked to hang on to the two bishops, but even so Black seems to have enough counterplay.} (25. f3 Kh7 26. a3 Nbd5 27. Qa4 Nf4 28. Bc4 N6d5 29. Qxc6 Qh3 30. Bxf4 Nxf4 31. Rf2 Qh6 32. Bf1 e4 33. Nxe4 Bd4 34. Qd7+) 25... Rxf6 26. Bc4 Nd5 27. Re1 Rf4 $11 28. Re4 Bf8 29. Qe2 Rxe4 30. Nxe4 Kg7 31. Qf3 Be7 32. Nc3 Bxc5 33. Bxd5 cxd5 34. Nxd5 Bd4 35. Kf1 e4 36. Qb3 Qf7 37. Ne3 Qf3 38. Ke1 Qh1+ 39. Nf1 Qg2 40. Qg3 Qxg3 41. Nxg3 Be5 42. Ke2 Bf4 43. h3 Bxg3 44. fxg3 Kf6 45. a4 a5 46. Kd2 Ke6 47. Kd1 Kd6 48. Ke2 Kd5 49. Ke1 (49. h4 Ke6 50. g4 Kd6 51. Ke3 Ke5 52. h5 gxh5 53. gxh5 Kf5 54. h6 $18) 49... Ke5 50. Kd2 Ke6 51. Kc1 Kd5 52. Kc2 Ke5 53. Kd2 1/2-1/2