Games
[Event "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2017.06.24"] [Round "7.2"] [White "Adhiban, Baskaran"] [Black "Korobov, Anton"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C11"] [WhiteElo "2670"] [BlackElo "2711"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2017.06.17"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 Be7 8. Qd2 O-O 9. dxc5 (9. O-O-O c4 {is supposed to give Black a very strong attack on the queenside. And hence before 0-0-0 White takes on c5.}) 9... Nxc5 10. O-O-O Qa5 11. Kb1 Rd8 12. Nd4 Bf8 13. g4 {Adhiban's play has been very logical. He has 0-0-0, put his knight on d4 to prevent Black from playing d4 and now begins with his kingside expansion.} Bd7 14. h4 Rab8 {This is the tough moment in the game. White has to decide on what course of action he would like to take in the game now. Would he like to indulge in a race with h5-h6 and Black coming down with b5-b4 or he would like to play an endgame, like Adhiban did in the game.} 15. Nce2 $5 {Objectively not the best move, but Adhiban surely must have some psychological objectives in mind when he made this move.} Qxd2 16. Rxd2 Ne4 17. Rd1 Nxd4 18. Bxd4 (18. Nxd4 Ng3) 18... b6 19. Bg2 Bb5 20. Rhe1 Bb4 (20... Nc5 {After what happened in the game I was thinking if this was a better option, but I think White can just go} 21. Be3 $14 {Put the knight on d4 and be better.}) 21. c3 Be7 22. Bxe4 dxe4 23. g5 {Well White is not better in this position yet, but Black has to be careful. White is threatening Ng3, and there would not be a good way to save the e4 pawn.} Bd3+ (23... Rbc8 $5 24. Kc1 $5 (24. Ng3 Bd3+ 25. Ka1 Bb4 $1 26. Nxe4 (26. Re3 Rxd4 27. cxd4 Bd2 $1 $15) 26... Rxd4 27. cxd4 Bxe1 28. Nd6 Rc2 29. Rxe1 Rh2 $132) 24... h6 25. Kd2 hxg5 26. hxg5 $14 {I still get the feeling that with Ke3 and Ng3 White is just better.}) 24. Kc1 h5 {[%cal Gc1d2,Gd2e3,Ge2g3,Gg3e4] The question on my mind is - why h5? The battle is revolving around the e4 pawn, what would be the reason for Korobov to make a move like h5? Well, I think he was tempting Adhiban to go for Ng3. So h5 was more like a trap.} (24... a5 25. Kd2 a4 26. Ke3 Bc4 27. a3 $16 {This is the problem for Black. He will lose the e4 pawn without any compensation.}) 25. Kd2 $1 {A strong move by Adhiban. He sees through his opponent's plans. Now Ng3 is a strong threat. Also Ke3 just strengthening the position is possible.} (25. Ng3 Rxd4 $1 26. cxd4 Rc8+ 27. Kd2 Bb4+ 28. Ke3 Bxe1 29. Rxe1 Rc2 30. Nxe4 Bxe4 31. Kxe4 Rxb2 $11 {And the game would most probably ended in a draw.}) 25... Bc5 {Well, this move is really not a good idea, but I think Black was already short of ideas in the position.} 26. Ke3 Rbc8 (26... Bxe2 27. Rxe2 Bxd4+ 28. Rxd4 Rxd4 29. cxd4 (29. Kxd4 Rd8+ 30. Kxe4 Rd1 {with good drawing chances.}) 29... Rc8 30. Kxe4 g6 {Once again, White will push here, but I think draw is a possibility.}) 27. Bxc5 Rxc5 (27... bxc5 28. Ng3 $16) 28. Ng3 Rcd5 (28... g6 29. Nxe4 $18) 29. Nxh5 {The bad news for Black at this point is that the e4 pawn is still weak and he is a pawn down!} Bc4 30. Rd4 $1 Bxa2 31. Ra1 Rxd4 32. cxd4 Bd5 33. Rxa7 g6 34. Rd7 $1 { A nice finishing stroke. The knight will pick up all the pawns! A controlled and matured game by Adhiban. It's really tough to say where Korobov went wrong in the game.} 1-0 [Event "Stavanger"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.15"] [Round "8.3"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2796"] [BlackElo "2808"] [PlyCount "95"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:53:51"] [BlackClock "0:12:26"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 d5 (5... O-O 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bh4 Be7 8. O-O d6 9. Bg3 Bd7 10. h3 Nh7 11. Nbd2 Ng5 {Vachier Lagrave,M (2795) -Malakhov,V (2712) Chartres 2017}) 6. exd5 Qxd5 7. Bc4 Qd6 8. b4 Bb6 9. a4 e4 10. dxe4 Qxd1+ 11. Kxd1 Nxe4 12. Kc2 Bf5 $146 (12... Nd6 13. Re1+ Ne7 14. Bb3 Bf5+ 15. Kb2 a5 16. Bf4 Bxf2 17. Re2 Bb6 18. Na3 Be6 {Caruana,F (2817)-Xiong,J (2674) Saint Louis 2017}) 13. Nh4 Bd7 14. Re1 f5 15. Nxf5 Bxf5 16. f3 Ne5 17. fxe4 Bg4 18. h3 Nxc4 19. hxg4 O-O 20. Re2 a5 21. Nd2 $6 (21. bxa5 Rxa5 22. Nd2) 21... Ne3+ 22. Kb3 axb4 23. cxb4 Rfd8 24. Bb2 (24. a5 Rd3+ 25. Ka4 Nc2 { is the problem.}) 24... Rd3+ 25. Bc3 Bd4 26. Rc1 Nd1 27. Nb1 Nxc3 28. Nxc3 Be5 ({"The simplest way was} 28... Bxc3 29. Rxc3 Rxc3+ 30. Kxc3 Rxa4 {to make an easy draw but obviously Vlady was playing for a win." (MVL)}) 29. a5 Rg3 30. Rf2 c6 31. Rf3 Rxg4 32. Na4 Rxg2 (32... Re8 $5 33. Nc5 Re7 {Short}) 33. Nc5 Rb2+ 34. Kc4 Bd6 35. Rd1 Bxc5 36. Kxc5 Re8 37. Rd7 Re5+ 38. Kc4 h5 ({MVL expected} 38... Rxe4+ {and it's not clear if White is winning, e.g.} 39. Kc3 Rbe2 40. Rxb7 h5 {but} 41. a6 Ra2 42. a7 Kh7 43. Rf8 Re3+ 44. Kd4 Rea3 45. Rff7 Kh6 46. Rxg7 Ra6) 39. Rxb7 Rxe4+ 40. Kc5 Rc2+ 41. Kd6 Rd4+ 42. Kc7 Ra2 43. Kxc6 h4 44. Rb6 Rg4 $2 {The losing move.} ({Black should play} 44... Ra4 $1 { and it might still be defensible.}) 45. a6 Kh7 (45... Rg3 46. Rxg3 hxg3 47. Kb5 Kh7 48. Rc6) 46. Rf5 Ra4 47. Rh5+ Kg6 48. Rxh4 {A beautiful final move.} (48. Rxh4 Rxh4 49. Kb5+) 1-0 [Event "Stavanger"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.16"] [Round "9.2"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B97"] [WhiteElo "2808"] [BlackElo "2785"] [Annotator "Hess, R"] [PlyCount "117"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:56:07"] [BlackClock "0:29:58"] {The final round encounter between Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura was a tale of opening preparation. Caruana admitted as much in his postgame interview, stating that he included in his preparation file "nobody will play this." Unfortunately for Nakamura, he faced a novelty and could not find his way through the maze of tactics.} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 {Caruana expected the Najdorf, but not this line in particular.} (6... Nbd7 {has been played by Nakamura in the past as well.}) 7. f4 Qb6 {Nakamura certainly had no interest in repeating the variation he chose at the 2016 London Chess Classic. After all, Caruana crushed him with a magnificent queen sacrifice:} (7... h6 8. Bh4 Qb6 9. a3 Be7 10. Bf2 Qc7 11. Qf3 Nbd7 12. O-O-O b5 13. g4 g5 14. h4 gxf4 15. Be2 b4 16. axb4 Ne5 17. Qxf4 Nexg4 18. Bxg4 e5 19. Qxf6 Bxf6 20. Nd5 Qd8 21. Nf5 Rb8 22. Nxf6+ Qxf6 23. Rxd6 Be6 24. Rhd1 O-O 25. h5 Qg5+ 26. Be3 Qf6 27. Nxh6+ Kh8 28. Bf5 Qe7 29. b5 Qe8 30. Nxf7+ Rxf7 31. Rxe6 Qxb5 32. Rh6+ {1-0 Caruana, F (2823) - Nakamura, H (2779) London 2016}) 8. Qd3 {A favorite of the late Vugar Gashimov.} (8. Qd2 Qxb2 9. Rb1 Qa3 {and now 10. f5 and 10. e5 are the main continuations. These sharp battles are not for underprepared players, as the theory runs deep.}) 8... Qxb2 9. Rb1 Qa3 10. f5 Be7 11. fxe6 fxe6 12. Be2 Qa5 13. Bd2 Qc7 14. g4 h6 {The only reasonable response. Black suffers grave consequences after other moves.} ({For example, a miniature ensued after:} 14... h5 15. g5 Ng4 16. Qh3 Qc5 17. Bxg4 Qxd4 18. Bxe6 Nd7 19. Rf1 Kd8 20. Nd5 Qxe4+ 21. Kd1 Nb6 22. Bxc8 Qxd5 23. Be6 Qd4 24. Qd3 {1-0 (24) Lastin,A (2625)-Kokarev,D (2510) St Petersburg 2002}) 15. Rg1 $146 {A new move, both to the chess world at large and to Hikaru Nakamura in particular. Caruana could not remember the entirety of his preparation, but he was happy to reveal this novelty.} ({Both Caruana and Nakamura undoubtedly were familiar with the meat of the equality that occurred after:} 15. Qh3 O-O 16. g5 hxg5 17. Nxe6 Qc6 18. Rf1 g4 19. Bxg4 Nxg4 20. Rxf8+ Bxf8 21. Qxg4 Qe8 22. Nd5 Qxe6 23. Qxe6+ Bxe6 24. Nc7 Ra7 25. Nxe6 b5 26. a4 Nc6 27. axb5 axb5 28. Rxb5 Ra4 29. Ng5 Be7 30. h4 Bxg5 31. Bxg5 Rxe4+ 32. Kf2 Ne5 33. Rd5 Rc4 34. Rxd6 Rxc2+ 35. Rd2 Rxd2+ 36. Bxd2 Ng6 37. Kg3 Nxh4 { 1/2-1/2 (37) Mamedov,R (2688)-Jobava,B (2701) Moscow 2017}) 15... Bd7 (15... Nc6 16. Nxc6 Qxc6 17. e5 {and another benefit of Rg1 becomes evident: is not hit by the queen on c6. This position is immensely complicated, as White sacrifices a second pawn to unleash a vicious kingside attack.}) 16. g5 hxg5 17. Rxg5 Nc6 {Caruana was surprised by this decision, for he felt that you can only jettison the g-pawn if you're thoroughly prepared. In fact, the only way to enter this gauntlet is if you see the optimal moves through outrageous complications until move 25.} (17... Rg8 {keeps the rook out of harm's way, but diminishes Black's ability to counterattack.}) (17... Rh7 {may seem like odd placement, but the rook simultaneously defends g7 and keeps pressure on h2. Without the assistance of powerful engines, the following continuation, for example, would be nearly impossible to calculate accurately.} 18. Bf4 e5 (18... Nc6) 19. Nd5 Qa5+ 20. Bd2 Qxa2 21. Rxb7) 18. Rxg7 O-O-O 19. Ncb5 $1 {First it was the rook on the king's knight's file, now it's the rook on the queen's knight's file's turn.} (19. Qxa6 {looks fancy, but the queen can be ignored and pieces can be captured with} Nxd4 (19... bxa6 $4 20. Bxa6+ Qb7 21. Bxb7+ Kc7 22. Bxc6 Bxc6 23. Rxe7+ {is easy.}) 20. Rxe7 Rxh2 {with a stronger attack for Black than for White.}) 19... axb5 20. Nxb5 Ne5 ({Nakamura could not afford to retreat, for keeping the queens on the board with such an exposed king is ill-advised.} 20... Qb8 21. Rxe7 d5 (21... Nxe7 22. Nxd6+ Kc7 23. Bf4 { is decisive.}) 22. exd5 Nxd5 23. Qa3 Ndxe7 (23... Qxh2 24. Nd6+ Qxd6 25. Qxd6 Ncxe7 26. c4 {takes advantage of the knights' predicament, and wins.}) 24. Nd6+ Kc7 25. Nxb7 Qxb7 26. Ba5+ $1 {an important move, eliminating the protector of the knight on e7.} Nxa5 (26... Kc8 27. Rxb7 Kxb7 28. Ba6+ $1 Kxa6 29. Bxd8+ Kb7 30. Qb2+ {and the rook on h8 is lost.}) 27. Qxa5+ Kb8 28. Rxb7+ Kxb7 29. Qb4+ { Black's two rooks are hardly a match for a queen and two pawns, especially with such an exposed king.}) 21. Nxc7 Nxd3+ 22. cxd3 Ng8 {It is hard to give this move a question mark, but it is in effect the losing move. Nakamura needed access to Caruana's notes to find the saving grace here.} (22... Rxh2 $1 23. Rc1 Rh1+ 24. Bf1 Kb8 25. Rxe7 Rf8 {This was the move that had to be seen before Black can safely commit to 17...Nc6. But even after getting to the game position after Caruana's 22nd move, Nakamura could not find this insanely difficult defense. Amazingly, up a piece and with the move, White can do nothing to prevent Black from recouping the sacrificed material. The game should peter out into a draw:} 26. Nxe6 Bxe6 27. Bh6 (27. Rxe6 Ng4 28. Kd1 ({ If White gets greedy, he loses immediately.} 28. Ke2 Rf2+ 29. Kd1 Ne3+ 30. Bxe3 Rhxf1#) 28... Rhxf1+ 29. Kc2 R1f2 {and only Black can be better here.}) 27... Rxh6 28. Rxe6 Rh1 29. Kd2 Nxe4+ 30. dxe4 Rfxf1 31. Rxf1 Rxf1 32. Rxd6 Rf2+ 33. Ke3 Rxa2 {with an easy draw.}) 23. Na8 (23. Ba5 {was even stronger.} Rxh2 24. Kd2 Bf6 25. Nb5 {Black's position is hopeless. At best, he ends up down an exchange or down two pawns with no shelter for his king.}) 23... Kb8 24. Nb6 Bc6 25. Bf4 e5 {This move helps Caruana, since it vacates the f-file for his rook to retreat.} ({Better was} 25... Bf6 26. Rf7 (26. Rg2 Bc3+ 27. Kd1 Nf6 { made Caruana a bit uneasy, considering the threat of Nxe4. White still remains ahead, though, after} 28. Nc4 Nxe4 (28... Ka7 {is probably a better try.}) 29. dxe4 Bxe4 30. Rb3 Bxg2 31. Rxc3) 26... Be8 {is what Caruana saw as providing legitimate defense for Black. Interestingly, White is still better after losing the exchange with} 27. Rxf6 Nxf6 28. e5 (28. Bg5 Rf8 29. Kd2 Bc6 30. Rf1 Nxe4+ 31. dxe4 Rxf1 32. Bxf1 (32. Bxd8 Rf2 33. Ke3 Rxh2 34. Bg4 {with a small plus for White.}) 32... Rg8 33. h4 {is an unclear endgame that should likely be drawn, but slightly favor White.})) 26. Bg3 Bf6 27. Rf7 Be8 28. Rf8 Bg7 ( 28... Be7 29. Rf2 Bh4 30. Kd2 Bxg3 31. hxg3 {The extra pawn a better minor pieces combine to give White a nearly winning advantage.}) 29. Rf2 Ne7 30. Bg4 {For all intents and purposes, the advantage is already decisive here.} Nc6 31. Rfb2 Nd4 32. Nd5 b5 33. a4 Bh6 34. axb5 Rg8 35. h3 Kb7 36. Ne7 Rf8 37. Nc6 Bxc6 38. bxc6+ Kxc6 39. Bf2 Rxf2 {A sad necessity, otherwise checkmate is inevitable. "Normal" moves just lose on the spot to a simple removing-the-guard idea.} (39... Ra8 40. Bxd4 exd4 41. Rc2#) 40. Kxf2 Rf8+ 41. Kg2 Be3 42. Rb8 Rxb8 {Typically the only way to fight on when down an exchange is to muster up some sort of attack. However, with checkmate again threatened, Black had no choice but to swap rooks.} (42... Rf2+ 43. Kh1 Kc5 44. Rc8+ Nc6 45. Bd7 {is over as well.}) 43. Rxb8 d5 44. Rc8+ Kd6 45. Rd8+ Ke7 46. Rd7+ Kf6 47. exd5 e4 48. dxe4 Bf4 49. h4 Nb5 50. h5 Be5 51. Bf5 Kg5 52. Bg6 Nd6 53. Re7 Nc4 54. Re6 Bf6 55. d6 Ne5 56. Bf5 Nd3 57. Rxf6 Kxf6 58. d7 Ke7 59. h6 1-0 [Event "FIDE Geneva Grand Prix 2017"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.07"] [Round "2"] [White "Harikrishna, Pentala"] [Black "Adams, Michael"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2737"] [BlackElo "2736"] [Annotator "user1"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] {Harikrishna is off to a good start, scoring 1.5 out of 2 in his 1st two games. He is a very versatile players who can open with 1.e4 or 1.d4. In this game he faces the English No.1 Micky Adams.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 {The current tabiya in top level chess, the quiet Italien has existed since the 1900s, but only at the turn of the century did people start to take notice. But this really exploded only in the 2010s, and is played in more than half of the white games opened with e4. Top GMs prefer this as white as it helps avoid the Berlin, and is a theoretical gold mine.} Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 O-O {Adams prefers to castle and complete his development quickly. There are other viable alternatives.} (5... d6 {is the most common move in this position. Here, there are many moves for white, but I will mention only the main line} 6. Bb3 a6 7. h3 Ba7 8. Nbd2 O-O 9. Nf1 d5 10. Qe2 Be6 {was Tiviakov-Sargassian, that ended in a draw.}) 6. Bg5 {A relative sideline compared to Bb3 and Nbd2, but with the most scope of innovation.} h6 7. Bh4 Be7 8. a4 {Hari chooses another unexplored move. The game now turns very interesting.} ({There are 33 games of } 8. Nbd2 {in the Live Database. One of the top level games continued} d6 9. Bb3 Nh5 10. Bg3 Na5 11. Bc2 f5 {1-0, Vachier Lagrave-So, Paris GCT Blitz}) 8... a5 {Adams prevents a space gaining a5 and renders b4 implausible for the moment, but the a5 pawn might turn out to be a weakness.} 9. Nbd2 d6 10. Bg3 Nh7 {This move's purpose is to exchange knights with Ng5, as done in the game. It also can reach f4 via e6 and f8, and it frees the f pawn, which can be advanced to f5 after Kh8. But there were alternatives.} (10... Be6 {is one, aiming to exchange the Bc4. But I am not sure who benifits more after the exchange.} 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12. Qb3 Qd7 13. O-O Rad8 14. h3 Nh5 15. Bh2 Nf4 16. Bxf4 Rxf4 17. Rfe1 {and white maintains a nagging edge.}) 11. Qb3 {Hari stops Be6 for now, and prevents the Kh8 and f5 plan previously mentioned. He is also delaying castling as long as possible.} Ng5 12. Nxg5 Bxg5 {Adams too completes his plan.} 13. Nf3 Bf6 14. h3 Rb8 15. Rd1 Bd7 16. O-O {Now that Hari has played Rd1, he has improved all his pieces to their current best positions. Also, 0-0-0 is no longer possible. So he finally castles, and completes his development.} Qe8 {A multipurpose move. It provides extra protection to f7 and e5, and possibly prepares a b5 break after Ne7.} 17. Bb5 Qe6 18. Qc2 Rfd8 19. Nh2 {The past few moves have been made with a purpose for both players- White to support d4, and black to prevent it.} Bg5 {I'm not sure about this move, even though the engines recommend it.} 20. Qe2 {I'm not sure about this move, even though the engines recommend it. Also, I believe that allowing the queen to b3 as Hari did in the games only makes matters harder.} ({I would play} 20. f4 exf4 21. Bxf4 Bxf4 22. Rxf4 Ne5 23. Bxd7 Rxd7 24. d4 Ng6 25. Rf2 Re7 26. Re1 {and White remains slightly better.}) (20. Nf3 {The engine's recommendation. After} Bf4 21. Bxf4 exf4 22. d4 Qg6 23. Qd3 Re8 24. Rfe1 $16 {Black is looking at a hard game ahead.}) 20... Ne7 21. Bxd7 $5 {An interesting decision to exchange the good Bb5 for the slighly bad Bb7.} ({I would retain the bishop with} 21. Bc4 {and after} Qg6 22. d4 $14 {White has the better chances.}) 21... Rxd7 22. h4 $5 {A move that doesn't make sense on first glance, but it is made clear after the next 3 moves.} Bf6 23. Ng4 Ng6 24. h5 $5 Nf4 25. Bxf4 exf4 26. d4 {[%csl Rf6,Gg4] that White wanted this position the moment he exchanged the LS Bishops and played h4. Hari wanted to play along the lines of good knight vs bad bishop. Still, I see this manuever as something that reduced his advantage.} Bg5 27. e5 $5 Re8 $1 {[%csl Re5] Now the position becomes a slugfest of tactical ideas, and Hari's pleasant advantage ceases to exist.} 28. Qf3 Qb3 $1 {Adams is quick to pounce on Hari's lacklustre play to gain counterplay against white's fragile queenside.} 29. Rde1 {[%csl Re8][%cal Re5d6] Hari takes aim at the undefended Re8 and threatens exd6.} Rde7 {Adams calmly defends his rook and again threatens to start munching the queenside.} ( {Obviously,} 29... Qxb2 {can't be played, as after} 30. exd6 $1 $18 {White is clearly winning.}) 30. Rb1 Re6 31. g3 dxe5 (31... fxg3 32. Qxg3 dxe5 33. dxe5 Qb6 34. b4 Rc6 35. Kh2 $13 {is very complicated. With both players low on time, Adams decides to keep it simple.}) 32. dxe5 Qxa4 33. b4 {Hari now finds the right moves and liquidates.} Qc6 $5 {very interesting choice by Adams, accepting the virtual draw offer.} (33... f5 {was possible, aiming to play for the win, but after a long computer line} 34. exf6 Bxf6 35. Nxf6+ Rxf6 36. Qxb7 Qd7 37. bxa5 f3 38. Rfe1 Rxe1+ 39. Rxe1 Qh3 40. Qd5+ Kh7 41. Qd3+ Rf5 42. Qf1 Qxf1+ 43. Kxf1 Rxa5 44. Re3 Rxh5 45. Rxf3 Rc5 {the position becomes equal.}) 34. Qxc6 Rxc6 35. gxf4 Bxf4 36. bxa5 Bxe5 37. Rfe1 Rce6 38. Re3 b6 {Both players decide to call it a draw. A good game by the Englishman Adams, who played well and got rewarded with some chances to push. Though he didn't take it, it a was a great effort. Harikrishna on the other hand will be disappointed that he dindn't make the most accurate moves in a better position, and making suspicious plans and exchanges. Still, it is a long tournament, and I feel he will definitely fancy his chances.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Geneva"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.08"] [Round "3.1"] [White "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B92"] [WhiteElo "2739"] [BlackElo "2742"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:59:46"] [BlackClock "0:34:02"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 {Together with MVL, Nepomniachtchi is one of the players still remaining faithful to the Najdorf. Perhaps, after Kasparov's participation in St. Louis in August, more will follow?} 6. Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Be3 Be6 9. Nd5 Nbd7 10. Qd3 O-O 11. a4 (11. O-O Bxd5 12. exd5 Ne8 13. a4 Bg5 14. a5 Bxe3 15. Qxe3 Nef6 16. c4 Rb8 17. Rfb1 Qc7 {Carlsen,M (2838)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2803) Karlsruhe 2017}) 11... Bxd5 12. exd5 Nc5 13. Nxc5 dxc5 14. c4 Qc7 $146 (14... e4 15. Qd2 Bd6 16. O-O Qc7 17. g3 Nd7 18. f4 exf3 19. Bxf3 Rae8 20. Rae1 Ne5 {Vehi Bach,V (2381)-Carlsson,P (2514) Plovdiv 2008}) 15. Qc2 Rae8 16. g4 {"I'm just trying to play interesting chess." Eljanov} e4 17. O-O-O Bd6 18. g5 Nd7 19. Kb1 Ne5 20. h4 Nf3 21. Rh3 Qd7 22. Rhh1 Qe7 23. Bxf3 exf3 24. h5 b5 $6 (24... Qe4 $5 {Eljanov}) 25. cxb5 axb5 26. axb5 Qd7 27. Qd3 Rb8 28. h6 g6 29. Bd2 $1 {There's a much better diagonal available for the bishop.} Rxb5 30. Bc3 Rb3 31. Rhe1 Qg4 32. Re4 Qxg5 (32... Qf5 $5) 33. Qxf3 Be5 34. Rxe5 $1 {Definitely a strong idea. Eljanov thought this was winning, but is it?} Qxe5 35. d6 f6 36. d7 Rxc3 37. Qxc3 Qe7 $2 ({What did the players miss here?} 37... Qxc3 38. bxc3 Rd8 39. Kb2 Kf8 40. Kb3 Ke7 41. Kc4 Rxd7 42. Rxd7+ Kxd7 43. Kxc5 g5 {looks like a drawn pawn endgame.}) 38. Qb3+ Kh8 39. Qd5 Rd8 40. Rd3 {There's nothing Black can do against 41.Re3, 42.Qc6 and 43.Re8. The pawn on h6 is the hero indeed.} 1-0 [Event "FIDE Grand Prix"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.09"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Adams, Michael"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2749"] [BlackElo "2736"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:54:11"] [BlackClock "0:03:25"] 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nf3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. Qc2 c5 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Nxd5 exd5 10. Bd3 Qa5+ (10... h6 11. dxc5 Nxc5 12. O-O Bg4 13. Bf5 Bxf3 14. gxf3 Ne6 15. Bg3 Qb6 16. Rfd1 Rfd8 {Fedoseev,V (2690)-Jakovenko,D (2718) Minsk 2017}) 11. Qc3 Qb6 12. a3 cxd4 $146 (12... c4 13. Bc2 Bd6 14. Bg3 Re8 15. O-O Bxg3 16. fxg3 Qd6 17. Rae1 Nf6 {Mandiza,F (2355)-Tang,A (2466) Las Vegas 2016}) 13. Qxd4 Nc5 14. Bc2 Qb5 15. Be5 f6 16. Bg3 {"Pretty unclear." (Svidler) } Qc4 $2 {"A very unfortunate decision by Mickey." (Svidler)} 17. Rc1 $1 { Now Black is more or less forced to take on d4 when White has a dream position. } Qxd4 18. Nxd4 a5 19. Nb5 $1 {The d-pawn is doomed.} Rd8 20. Nc7 Ra7 21. Rd1 Kf7 22. Nxd5 b5 23. O-O Bf8 (23... g6 24. Nxe7 Kxe7 25. Rxd8 Kxd8 26. Bd6 Na4) 24. Bxh7 g5 ({Black cannot try and trap the bishop with} 24... g6 {because of} 25. Bxg6+ Kxg6 26. Nf4+) 25. h4 Be6 26. e4 gxh4 27. Bxh4 Bxd5 28. Rxd5 Rxd5 29. exd5 Na4 30. Rc1 Rd7 31. Rc6 Rxd5 32. Rxf6+ Kg7 33. Bc2 Nxb2 34. Rg6+ Kf7 35. Rf6+ Kg7 36. Rb6 Bc5 37. Rb7+ Kf8 38. Bg6 Bd4 39. Be7+ Kg8 40. Bf6 1-0 [Event "Geneva"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.09"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Saleh, Salem"] [Black "Rapport, Richard"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B28"] [WhiteElo "2638"] [BlackElo "2694"] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:51:01"] [BlackClock "0:50:31"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 a6 3. c4 Nc6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 e5 6. Nf5 $1 {The best move. Rapport had faced two other replies before:} (6. Nxc6 dxc6 7. Qxd8+ Kxd8 8. Be3 Kc7 9. Nc3 Nf6 10. f3 Be6 11. c5 g6 12. Na4 Nd7 {Socko,B (2622)-Rapport,R (2701) Budapest HUN 2014}) (6. Nc2 Bc5 7. Bd3 d6 8. O-O Nge7 9. Nc3 O-O 10. Be3 Be6 11. Nd5 Bxe3 12. Ncxe3 Nd4 13. Nxe7+ Qxe7 {Reinhart,E (2344)-Rapport,R (2716) Basel SUI 2015}) 6... d6 7. Nc3 g6 ({Giving up the bishop with} 7... Bxf5 8. exf5 {cannot be recommended.}) 8. Ne3 Bh6 (8... Nge7 9. h4 h5 10. Ned5 Nxd5 11. Nxd5 Bh6 12. Bg5 Bxg5 13. hxg5 Be6 14. Nf6+ {½-½ Szabo,K (2510) -Hujbert,F (2464) Hungary 2016}) 9. g3 $146 (9. Bd3 Be6 10. O-O Nge7 11. b3 O-O 12. Bb2 Rb8 13. Qe1 Nd4 14. Ne2 Nec6 15. Nxd4 Nxd4 16. Rd1 b5 {Sanchez Enriquez,O (2374)-Bogner,S (2603) Barcelona 2014}) 9... Nf6 10. Bg2 O-O 11. O-O b5 12. f4 {"A crazy mess." (Salem)} exf4 13. gxf4 Bb7 {Salem was surprised how quickly Rapport played his last two moves, as "it looks so promising for White. "} 14. e5 $1 {Salem goes for it, and rightly so.} dxe5 15. fxe5 Nd7 (15... Qxd1 $6 16. Rxd1 $1 {gives White a clear advantage.} (16. Nexd1 Ng4 $1 (16... Bxc1 17. Bxc6 $1 Bxc6 18. Rxf6) 17. Bxh6 Nxh6 18. cxb5 axb5 19. Nxb5 Rab8 {is less clear})) (15... Qb6 $5 16. exf6 Bxe3+ 17. Bxe3 Qxe3+ 18. Rf2 Na5 19. Bxb7 Nxb7 20. Nd5 Qg5+ 21. Rg2 Qh4 {might be OK for Black.}) 16. Ng4 Bxc1 17. Rxc1 Ncxe5 18. Nxe5 Bxg2 19. Nxd7 Bxf1 20. Kxf1 Qh4 (20... Re8 21. Qd4 $1 Re6 22. Re1 $1) 21. Nxf8 $1 Qxh2 22. Nd7 $1 {Salem keeps playing the best moves. There is no perpetual.} Qh3+ 23. Kf2 Qh2+ 24. Ke3 Re8+ 25. Kd3 Rd8 26. Nd5 Rxd7 27. Kc3 Rd6 28. b3 a5 29. Rc2 Qg3+ 30. Qd3 Qe1+ 31. Kb2 {White has consolidated and is winning now.} bxc4 32. bxc4 Re6 33. Qc3 Qf1 34. Qxa5 Re1 35. Ka3 h5 36. Qc3 Re6 37. Rb2 Ra6+ 38. Kb4 h4 39. Kc5 Qg1+ 40. Qe3 Ra5+ (40... Ra5+ {and resigned because of a line like} 41. Kb4 Qxe3 42. Nxe3 Ra8 43. Rh2 g5 44. c5) 1-0 [Event "Geneva"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.10"] [Round "5"] [White "Harikrishna, Pentala"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B81"] [WhiteElo "2737"] [BlackElo "2742"] [Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"] [PlyCount "102"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] {This 5th Round Game was an interesting pairing. On one hand we have the solid Harikrishna, who's unbeaten this tournament, and on the other hand we have Ian Nepomniachtchi, a super aggressive 'risk it all' player. This game lived up to the hype, and we had an uncompromising struggle.} 1. e4 {Hari has stuck to e4 in this tournament. He is one of the few really good ambidextrous players, being able to play both e4 and d4 really well. I guess he predicted Nepo's opening choice, and decided he wanted to go all out today.} c5 {The Sicilian has always been a popular opening at the top level for aggressive players like Kasparov, Topalov etc. Nepo continues this trend.} 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 {This time, we don't see a Rossolimo, that happens after Bb5. It is now a fight of good opening preparation.} (3. Bb5+ {This is becoming more and more popular at the top level for people who don't want to enter 20 moves of prepared theory. Nepo himself faced it twice this year against Najdorf expert Vacher Lagrave, and lost both. One of those games continued} Nd7 4. O-O a6 5. Bd3 b5 6. Re1 Bb7 7. a4 b4 8. Bc4 Ngf6 9. d3 e6 10. Nbd2 Be7 11. Nf1 O-O 12. Ng3 $13 {with an unclear position, though Maxime eventually won.}) 3... cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 {The Najdorf is the most common Sicilian at the top level, due to its blend of tactical and positional themes. It is also Nepo's favourite.} 6. h3 { This move is the tabiya of modern chess. White refuses to commit to any DS Bishop moves, and plans to fianchetto the bishop after g4. His main aim is to control the light squares that Black will weaken if he plays e5. His idea is to play Nde2 after e5.} (6. Be2 {was a move that was frequently used, but has now been relegated, due to the efforts of Maxime and other Najdorf experts. The point is that the bishop is well placed to reach f3 if black plays e6, allowing white to expand unhindered on the kingside with f4. However, after e5, it is clear that the bishop is slightly misplaced. A playable variation nevertheless, but it has lost some trust at the top level. I will mention a sample line now. After} e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Qd3 Nc6 {and black faces few difficulties, and eventually drew, Ponomariov-Shankland. It speaks volumes of the variation if white has scored only 51% in it.}) (6. Be3 {is the English Attack. Here too white will play g4, but after f3. However, this move order has a disavantage. After} e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. f3 {Black has been doing very well recently with the move} h5 {The point is to prevent the freeing g4. Topalov-Vachier Lagrave continued} 9. Qd2 Nbd7 10. Nd5 Bxd5 11. exd5 g6 12. Be2 Bg7 {and black is doing fine.}) (6. Bg5 {A once popular variation, that went under the cloud because of the forced Poisoned Pawn lines. This is white's most aggressive way to fight the Najdorf. Parimarjan Negi has written an excellent book on the subject, and I won't be surprised if the variation is revived at the top level, partly due to Fabiano's recent efforts. Caruana-Nakamura continued} e6 7. f4 h6 8. Bh4 Qb6 9. a3 Be7 10. Bf2 Qc7 11. Qf3 Nbd7 12. O-O-O b5 13. g4 g5 14. h4 gxf4 15. Be2 b4 16. axb4 Ne5 17. Qxf4 Nexg4 18. Bxg4 e5 {and here Fabi unleased the fantastic} 19. Qxf6 $3 {and won later}) 6... e6 {Nepo chooses to play the Scheveningen today.} (6... e5 { is slightly more popular at the top level. Play continues} 7. Nde2 h5 8. Bg5 Be6 9. Bxf6 Qxf6 10. Nd5 Qd8 11. Nec3 {and white has slightly better chances, Anand-Bologan.}) 7. g4 {This is the reason the Scheveningen has disappeared from the top level- the aggressive Keres Attack. So unless Nepo has cooked up something new, he is staring at trouble.} Be7 8. g5 Nfd7 9. h4 b5 10. a3 Bb7 11. Be3 Nc6 12. Qd2 O-O 13. O-O-O Nc5 14. f3 Rb8 {Both sides complete their development in standard fashion. I feel the assesment of the position will depend on who crashes through first.} 15. Kb1 $146 {A natural move that is also a novelty.} (15. Rg1 {is its predecessor. But after} b4 16. Nxc6 Bxc6 17. axb4 Qb6 $132 {Black finds immediate counterplay, and white has to be careful here.}) 15... Nxd4 16. Bxd4 Bc6 17. Bh3 $6 {A very questionable decision, but a human one after all. I guess Hari was out of his preparation at this point.} ({It was necessary for Karpovian prophylaxix with} 17. b4 $1 {physically stopping black from playing the same. White is taking a risk here, as a timed a5 might shatter his structure, but then, why play the sicilian if you don't want to take risks? After} Qc7 18. h5 a5 19. g6 $14 {White is crashing through first, though black still has chances.}) 17... a5 {Nepo takes the chance offered to him, and the game now turns very sharp.} 18. b4 $6 {I think this is one move too late, and allows back to improve his c5 knight and open the a-file.} (18. Qe3 {Was necessary, to threathen Bxc5. After} b4 19. Bxc5 bxc3 20. Qxc3 Rc8 21. e5 Bxf3 22. Qxf3 Rxc5 {White has somewhat stabilised the situation.}) 18... axb4 19. axb4 Nd7 {A bad move by Nepo. Why retreat when you can advance} (19... Na4 $1 {was possible, to cover important squares on the queenside. After} 20. Nxa4 bxa4 21. Ka1 Qc7 22. h5 e5 $1 $17 {Black is calling the shots.}) 20. g6 $1 {Hari takes the gift presented to him, and attacks gleefully.} e5 21. gxf7+ Rxf7 22. Be3 Kh8 23. Rhg1 Nb6 24. Be6 $2 {A bad move. White hurries through with his plan, forgetting that there was a better move to me made.} (24. Bxb6 $1 {Was the move required to maintain equality. After} Rxb6 {now it is right to play} 25. Be6 Rf6 26. Bd5 Qf8 27. Kb2 {and white can look forward to a long and interesting game.}) 24... Nc4 $1 25. Qe2 Rf6 $6 { Now, this is a clear inaccuracy. Why force the bishop back when that is all it can do?} (25... Qf8 $1 {is the best move here, improving the queen. After} 26. Nd5 (26. Bxf7 {Note that Bxf7 is clearly bad after} Qxf7 27. Qf2 Ra8 28. f4 Bf6 $40 {Threathening the queen transfer to a7 and mate on a1. Black is close to winning.}) 26... Bd8 27. Rdf1 Ra8 $17 {Black can start thinking on how to win this position.}) 26. Bxc4 $1 {Hari sees light at the end of the tunnel, and quickly liquidates.} bxc4 27. Qxc4 Qa5 $4 {A blunder at this level. Black is playing 'normal' attacking moves, and doesn't care if he loses a piece. However, he is getting just one or two checks.} (27... Qe8 {is the way to go according to Houdini, and play on both flanks. After Houdini 5.01 Pro x64:} 28. Kc1 Rxf3 29. Rd3 Bf8 30. h5 Bd7 31. h6 g6 32. Bg5 Rf2 $17 {Black retains his advantage.}) 28. Kc1 $2 {Again, Harikrishna falls to a bluff by the black player! A timid move by a really strong player. I guess he was already in slight time trouble at this point.} (28. Qxc6 {and Black is close to lost, the point being that after} Qxb4+ 29. Kc1 d5 30. Qc7 d4 31. Nd5 Qb2+ 32. Kd2 dxe3+ 33. Ke2 $18 {White escapes to the kingside, and starts creating strong threats} ) 28... Qa3+ {Nepo is not the one to give another chance!} 29. Kd2 d5 30. exd5 Bxb4 31. dxc6 Bxc3+ 32. Ke2 Bd4 33. Rd3 Qa8 {The last few moves have been more or less forced. However, Nepo's last move allows Hari to sack an exchange succesfully.} ({Better to play} 33... Qd6 {here and stop Rxd4 ideas. After} 34. c7 Rc8 35. f4 Qf8 36. Bxd4 exd4 37. Rxd4 Qe7+ 38. Re4 Qd7 {Black holds the balance, but only just.}) 34. Rxd4 $1 {A really good move, the best in the position. Hari gets a strong passer and two pawns for this exchange sac. Also, the black king is now exposed on the long diagonal.} exd4 35. Bxd4 Re8+ 36. Kf2 Qxc6 {Nepo tries his best, and exchanges queens to halt the assault} 37. Qxc6 Rxc6 38. Rxg7 Rxc2+ 39. Kg3 Rc4 40. Rg4+ Rxd4 $1 {The final good sacrifice of the game. Black directs the game into a pawn down rook ending that he should draw.} 41. Rxd4 Kg7 42. Kg4 Re1 43. Rd7+ Kh6 44. Rd6+ Kg7 45. f4 Rg1+ 46. Kf5 h5 47. Rd7+ Kg8 48. Ke6 Rg6+ 49. Ke5 Rg4 50. f5 Rxh4 51. Rd8+ Kf7 {And the players agree to a draw. Another volatile game by Nepo, where he had the chances, but failed to take advantage of them. Hari on the other hand will be left fuming after missing another glorious chance(Qxc6). Also, I feel that he should really reduce his inaccuracies in critical moments. Once he improves his conversion rate, no one can stop him.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE Geneva Grand Prix 2017"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.12"] [Round "6"] [White "Li, Chao b"] [Black "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E12"] [WhiteElo "2735"] [BlackElo "2739"] [Annotator "A. Silver"] [PlyCount "69"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. a3 Bb7 5. Nc3 d5 6. Qc2 dxc4 7. e4 c5 8. Bf4 $146 (8. d5 exd5 9. exd5 a6 10. Bxc4 Bd6 11. O-O O-O 12. Bg5 Nbd7 13. a4 Qc7 14. h3 h6 15. Bxf6 Nxf6 {1/2-1/2 (35) Sokolov,I (2650)-David,A (2579) Saint-Quentin 2014}) 8... a6 9. Bxc4 b5 10. Bb3 cxd4 11. Rd1 Qb6 12. Nxd4 Bc5 13. Nf3 Nbd7 14. O-O Rc8 15. Qe2 Qc6 $2 {[#] Black is just begging for trouble, leaving his king in the center like that, and White is all too happy to oblige. } (15... Be7 $14) 16. Bd5 $1 $18 Qb6 17. Bxb7 Qxb7 {[#]} 18. e5 $1 Ng4 19. Ne4 Be7 (19... O-O {wouldn't change much.} 20. h3 f5 (20... Nh6 21. Bxh6 gxh6 22. Rxd7 {and if} Qxd7 23. Nf6+) 21. Nd6 Bxd6 22. Rxd6 $18) 20. Nd6+ Bxd6 21. Rxd6 Nc5 22. Nd2 h5 23. b4 Na4 24. Ne4 O-O 25. h3 Rc4 26. Re1 f5 27. exf6 $1 ({Not} 27. hxg4 $2 Rxe4 28. Qd2 Rxe1+ 29. Qxe1 fxg4 $11) 27... Nxf6 28. Nxf6+ Rxf6 29. Rd8+ Rf8 (29... Kh7 30. Qxh5+ Rh6 31. Bxh6 gxh6 32. Rxe6) 30. Qxe6+ Qf7 31. Rxf8+ Kxf8 32. Qd6+ Kg8 33. g3 Nc3 34. Re7 Qf5 35. Be5 1-0 [Event "Geneva"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.13"] [Round "7"] [White "Harikrishna, Pentala"] [Black "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B81"] [WhiteElo "2737"] [BlackElo "2761"] [Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"] [PlyCount "58"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] {This 7th Round Game pitted the two of the 3 leaders against each other, as Harikrishna had white against Grischuk. A win here would see Hari take sole lead in the tournament, and he gave it his all in a sharp Sicilian encounter.} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 {Grischuk plays his pet Sicilian, the Najdorf. It is clear that he has come to the board in a fighting mood.} 6. h3 {Hari again responds with 6.h3, the move he used against Nepo with some success. Judging by this game, it seems he has prepared this line very carefully.} e6 {An interesting choice by Grischuk, allowing the Keres Attack with g4.} (6... e5 {is the main line, and after} 7. Nde2 h5 8. Bg5 Be6 9. Bxf6 Qxf6 10. Nd5 Qd8 11. Nec3 {we reach a balanced position, with chances for both sides.}) 7. g4 {Judging by the reappearance of the Scheveningen at the top level, I feel white should find a new idea in the Keres Attack. Otherwise, black has acceptable positions to play.} Nfd7 {A prophylactic move, planning b5, Bb7, and Nbc6, but not the main move.} ({Players in the past have preferred the developing} 7... Be7 {but after} 8. g5 Nfd7 {white plays the interesting} 9. Be3 $5 b5 ({Note that Bxg5 is bad, as after} 9... Bxg5 { White plays the strong} 10. Nxe6 $1 fxe6 11. Qh5+ g6 12. Qxg5 Qxg5 13. Bxg5 Ne5 14. O-O-O $16 {and has the much better game.}) 10. a3 Bb7 11. h4 Nc6 12. Rg1 $14 {and white is to be preferred, Ganguly-Salem Saleh.}) ({The prophylactic} 7... h6 {can also be considered, trying to prevent the g5 advance. But if white plays it anyway, why bother with such a waste of time? After} 8. f4 Nc6 9. Be3 Qc7 10. Bg2 Be7 11. Qe2 $14 {White has acres of space and free development, and looks forward to increasing his substantial advantage.}) 8. g5 b5 {Grischuk plays principled chess, trying to get counterplay on the queenside.} 9. a3 {Here, the prophylaxis makes much more sense, as white buys time to play f3 later, and close the diagonal.} Be7 10. h4 Bb7 11. Be3 Nc6 12. Qd2 Rc8 13. Nxc6 Bxc6 14. h5 $146 {A novelty by Hari, and a logical one as well. White plans to storm the castle with g6.} O-O 15. O-O-O $16 {Both sides have completed their development logically. My assesment is that white is better, due to his faster play on the kingside. Black must seek counterplay soon.} Nc5 16. f3 a5 17. Bxc5 $6 {A questionable exchange. The bishop was doing fine on e3, and the knight was not that powerful.} ({It was time for the prophylactic advance} 17. b4 $1 $16 {Somehow, Hari keeps missing this in his games this tournament. Sure, this might look risky, but then, it prevents b4, and blocks off the b-file. After} axb4 18. axb4 Na4 19. Nxa4 bxa4 20. Ba6 Qc7 21. h6 g6 22. Qc3 $16 {White holds all the trumps.}) 17... dxc5 18. Qxd8 $6 { A negative mindset by Hari, wanting to exchange queens and draw as soon as possible.} ({On any other day, he would have gone} 18. Qe3 {and after} Qb6 19. g6 Rfd8 20. h6 $36 {White retains some chances.}) 18... Rfxd8 {The players now play a few more moves, and then agree to a draw.} 19. Bxb5 Bxg5+ 20. Kb1 Ba8 21. Na4 Be7 22. b3 Rb8 23. Rxd8+ Rxd8 24. Nb2 Bf6 25. Nd3 Bd4 26. Rd1 Rd6 27. Rc1 f5 28. c3 Be3 29. Re1 Bd2 {and the players drew. A good result for the Russian Grandmaster, who maintains his +2 score, and keeps sight of Rajdabov, who again won today. As for Hari, I am upset that he failed to find the right pawn push(b4). Had he done so, he would have pushed his opponent harder, and could have caught up with Rajdabov on +3. He really needs to improve his performance with white in this tournament if he needs to stand a chance.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Geneva"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.13"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A34"] [WhiteElo "2724"] [BlackElo "2749"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:15:39"] [BlackClock "0:11:56"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e3 Nxc3 (5... Nc6 6. Bb5 Nxc3 7. bxc3 Bd7 8. Rb1 e6 9. d4 cxd4 10. exd4 Be7 11. Bd3 Qc7 12. O-O O-O 13. Re1 Rac8 {Ipatov,A (2662)-Xiong,J (2652) Saint Louis 2017}) 6. dxc3 $5 Qxd1+ 7. Kxd1 Bf5 $5 (7... Nc6 8. e4 Bd7 (8... g6 9. Be3 b6 10. Bb5 Bd7 11. a4 Bg7 12. Kc2 Ne5 13. Nd2 Ng4 14. Nc4 Nxe3+ 15. Nxe3 O-O-O 16. Rhd1 Be6 17. a5 Rxd1 18. Rxd1 Rd8 19. Nd5 Kb7 20. a6+ {½-½ Andersson,U (2545)-Timman,J (2585) Buenos Aires 1978 }) 9. Be3 e6 10. Kc2 Be7 11. Rd1 O-O-O 12. Be2 f6 13. Nd2 Ne5 14. f3 Kc7 15. Nc4 Nxc4 {½-½ Miles,A (2555)-Tal,M (2620) Las Palmas 1977}) 8. Nd2 Nc6 9. e4 Be6 $6 $146 (9... Bd7 10. Kc2 O-O-O 11. Nb3 e6 12. Be3 b6 13. Ba6+ Kc7 14. a4 Ne5 15. f3 Bd6 {Andersson,U (2560)-Browne,W (2540) Banja Luka 1979}) 10. Kc2 g6 11. Bc4 Bd7 12. Nb3 b6 13. a4 Ne5 14. Bb5 a6 15. Bxd7+ Nxd7 16. Be3 e6 17. Rhd1 O-O-O 18. Nd2 Be7 19. Nc4 Kb7 20. a5 Rhf8 21. axb6 Nxb6 22. Na5+ Kc7 23. Bf4+ Bd6 24. Bh6 ({Radjabov had seen} 24. Rxd6 Rxd6 25. Rd1 Rfd8 26. Bxd6+ Rxd6 27. Rxd6 Kxd6 28. Nb7+ {and the knight endgame is probably winning}) ({but instead Black goes} 24. Rxd6 Rxd6 25. Rd1 Nc8 $1 {when he looked at} 26. b4 cxb4 27. c4 $5 {and decided that he shouldn't risk calculating that might be inaccurate. And indeed, Black has something here:} g5 $1 28. Bg3 e5 $1 29. Bxe5 f6 30. Bg3 f5 31. exf5 (31. Bxd6+ Nxd6 32. e5 {is still a decent try}) 31... Rxf5 { with equality.}) 24... Rfe8 25. Nb3 Ra8 26. Be3 Nd7 27. Ra5 Kc6 28. Rda1 Kb6 29. R5a4 Rec8 (29... Reb8 {(Radjabov)} 30. Na5 Be7 31. Bf4 e5 32. Nc4+) 30. Na5 {Black is strategically lost. At least a pawn will drop, but after Svidler's move, Black loses even more material.} Be7 $6 (30... Kc7 31. Nc4) 31. Rb4+ (31. Rb4+ Kc7 32. Rb7+ Kd8 33. Rd1 Rc7 34. Nc6+ Kc8 35. Rxc7+ Kxc7 36. Nxe7 Re8 37. Bf4+) 1-0 [Event "Geneva"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.14"] [Round "8.1"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2742"] [BlackElo "2809"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:11:49"] [BlackClock "0:00:32"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nb6 7. O-O Be7 8. a3 a5 9. d3 O-O 10. Be3 Be6 11. Rc1 a4 12. Nd2 (12. Bxb6 cxb6 13. Nxa4 e4 14. Ne1 Nd4 15. Nc3 Bg5 16. e3 Nb3 17. Bxe4 Nxc1 18. Qxc1 Qd7 {Nepomniachtchi,I (2730)-Bocharov,D (2609) Apatity 2011}) 12... f5 13. Bxb6 cxb6 14. Nxa4 $146 ( 14. Re1 Bg5 15. e3 Qxd3 16. Bf1 Qd7 17. Nc4 Qf7 {Recasens Sanchez,J (2048) -Gudkov,A corr. 2012}) 14... Bg5 15. Nc3 e4 16. Rb1 Ne5 {Aronian goes "all-in. " (Nepomniachtchi)} ({An interesting mini-plan was} 16... Rf7 17. Nc4 Rd7) 17. Nb3 Ng4 18. Qc2 $6 Be3 $1 19. dxe4 ({The problem is that after} 19. fxe3 Nxe3 { the white queen also has to let go of Nb3.}) 19... Qg5 $2 ({The way to go was} 19... Nxf2 $1 20. Rxf2 fxe4 21. Rbf1 {and now} (21. Nxe4 $2 Rc8) 21... Qc7 $1 { with the point} 22. Bxe4 Rxf2 23. Rxf2 Qf7 {when Black will be an exchange up for a pawn.} 24. Bf3 Bxf2+ 25. Kxf2 Bxb3 26. Qd3) 20. fxe3 Qxe3+ 21. Kh1 Qh6 22. h3 {The human move.} ({The computer points out that good for White was} 22. h4 $1 f4 23. Qd2 Ne3 24. Rf3 Bxb3 25. gxf4 Ng4 (25... Qxh4+ 26. Rh3) 26. Rbf1 Qxh4+ 27. Bh3 $1) 22... Ne3 23. Qd2 f4 24. gxf4 Nxf1 $6 ({Black should play} 24... Nxg2 25. Kxg2 Qxh3+ 26. Kf2 Qh4+ (26... Rad8 $5) 27. Ke3 Bxb3 28. Qd6 b5) 25. Rxf1 Bxb3 26. e5 Rae8 27. Ne4 Kh8 28. Kh2 Bg8 29. e3 Re6 30. Nd6 Qh4 31. Qd4 Rg6 32. Rf3 Qe1 33. f5 Rg5 34. h4 Rh5 35. Rg3 Be6 36. fxe6 1-0 [Event "Geneva"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.15"] [Round "9"] [White "Harikrishna, P."] [Black "Jakovenko, Dmitry"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2737"] [BlackElo "2703"] [Annotator "Tanmay Srinath"] [PlyCount "230"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] {This 9th Round Game was a battle of pride. For Harikrishna, this might be a retribution, after a painful loss ruined his chances for 1st place. For Jakovenko, the former 3rd Place Finisher, a win here might serve as a confidence booster. [#]} 1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 2. Nf3 { [%emt 0:00:00]} Nc6 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 3. Bc4 {0 No surprises here, as the players arrive at the current tabiya of modern chess, the quiet Italian.} Bc5 { [%emt 0:00:04]} 4. c3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 5. d3 {[%emt 0:00: 00]} a6 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 6. O-O {202} d6 {[%emt 0:00:10]} 7. a4 {14 One of the main moves in this position. White prevents b4 and creates a retreat square for his bishop.} Ba7 {32 The point of this curious retreat is to prevent a tempo loss after an eventual d4.} 8. Re1 {[%emt 0:00:19]} O-O {[%emt 0:00:48]} 9. h3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Ne7 {7 One of the two best moves in this position. The point is to reroute the knight to g6, where it keeps an eye on f4 and h4. Black can additionally play c6-d5, but I am not sure if he equalises after that.} (9... h6 {is another logical move, preventing the pin Bg5. After} 10. Nbd2 Re8 11. b4 Be6 12. Bxe6 Rxe6 13. Qc2 $13 {an unclear situation arises. White is surely better on the queenside, where he plans an eventual b5, but Black's forces are a compact bunch, and moves such as d5 are in the air. Also, d4 will be a problematic move to execute. The assesment of the position will depend on white's ability to carry out a successful queenside assault, or Black's speed in creating counterplay.}) 10. Nbd2 {[%emt 0:00:22]} Ng6 { [%emt 0:00:09]} 11. d4 $14 {34 So white again carries out the typical idea in these Italian positions- a timely d4 advance. White is now slightly better.} c6 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 12. b4 $5 {65 I am not sure if this move is the best in this positon. Sure, white grabs space, but his pawn center is rendered unstable.} ( 12. Bb3 $1 {Would be more in the spirit of the position, as white prevents his bishop being hit with tempo after d5. He can also conserve this piece with Bc2. After} exd4 13. cxd4 d5 14. e5 ({It is possible here to play} 14. exd5 { and after} cxd5 15. Bc2 Re8 16. Nb3 $14 {I prefer white here, as his LS Bishop is a great piece, his b3 knight can hop to c5, and he has the better co-ordination.}) 14... Nh5 15. Nf1 f6 16. Bc2 Nhf4 17. Ra3 $13 {Another unclear position arises, with chances for both sides.}) 12... exd4 {744} 13. cxd4 {[%emt 0:00:06]} d5 $5 {3 Jakovenko plays principled chess, though there were other moves available to him.} ({One of them is} 13... Re8 {and after} 14. Bb3 h6 15. Bc2 Nh5 16. Nc4 Nhf4 17. Bxf4 Nxf4 18. Qd2 g5 19. e5 $16 {White is better, though black is not without his chances.}) 14. Bd3 $146 {10 A novelty by Hari. He is clearly well prepared.} ({He could of course try} 14. exd5 { and after} Nxd5 15. Ne4 h6 16. Bd2 $14 {white is better here, but it is an unbalanced position, and black sure has chances here.}) 14... dxe4 {447} 15. Nxe4 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Nxe4 {126} 16. Bxe4 {[%emt 0:00:09]} Be6 {[%emt 0:00:53]} 17. b5 $1 {31 Hari strikes when the iron is hot. White now steadily improves his position. It is hard to pinpoint where Jakovenko went wrong, but it is clear he has not equalised.} axb5 $6 {1230 A clear inaccuracy. Black had a better option here.} (17... Bd5 {is the right move, inviting white to resolve the tension. After} 18. bxc6 bxc6 19. Qc2 Bxe4 20. Rxe4 Qd5 21. Ba3 $14 { White has the better chances, as he has free development.}) 18. axb5 {[%emt 0: 00:19]} Bd5 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 19. Bxd5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Qxd5 {361} 20. bxc6 { [%emt 0:00:09]} bxc6 {1060 Now is the time to take a real good look at the position. White has an IQP, and black has an open d-file to take aim at it. He has 2 pieces staring at it already, and can add more fire. But, his trumps stop there. White has control over 2 open files, freer development, and of course, he is to move in this position. One can argue all he wants about c6 being as weak as d4, but now Hari shows otherwise, as the c6 weakness is easier to target.} 21. Ra6 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Qb5 {94} 22. Qe2 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Rfb8 {221} 23. Qxb5 {2009} cxb5 $16 {15 Again, lets take stock. After the queen exchange, it is made clear that black is suffering here. His b-pawn can easily be blockaded, his rook on a8 is temporarily dead, and he doesn't own an open file. All these factors are exploited by white, as he now claims a tangible advantage.} 24. Bd2 {[%emt 0:00:07]} Bb6 {77} 25. Rxa8 {[%emt 0:00:05] } Rxa8 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 26. Rb1 {7 Now it is made clear. Black has to lose a pawn.} Bc7 {876 There was another move I'm sure Jakovenko considered.} (26... f6 {with the idea to bring the king to the center, in order to blockade the d-pawn, is a slightly better plan. After} 27. Rxb5 Ra1+ 28. Kh2 Ra6 29. g3 Ne7 30. Be3 Kf7 $16 {Black is not dead yet.}) 27. Rxb5 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Ra1+ { [%emt 0:00:08]} 28. Ne1 {84} Rd1 {213} 29. Rb2 {84} Nf4 {501} 30. Kf1 {387} Kf8 {181} 31. Rc2 {292} Bd6 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 32. g3 {[%emt 0:00:50]} Nd5 {[%emt 0: 00:24]} 33. Ke2 {107 White has slowly unravelled his position, and now Black must suffer.} Ra1 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 34. Rb2 {306} Ke7 {[%emt 0:00:34]} 35. Nc2 { [%emt 0:00:41]} Ra4 {[%emt 0:00:22]} 36. Kd3 {[%emt 0:00:56]} Ke6 {104} 37. Rb5 {118} g6 {396} 38. Ne3 {215} Ra3+ {[%emt 0:00:06]} 39. Ke2 {[%emt 0:00:24]} Nxe3 {[%emt 0:00:38]} 40. Bxe3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Ra2+ {205} 41. Kf3 {232} h5 { 831} 42. Ke4 $6 {182 An inaccuracy. There was a better move here.} (42. d5+ Kd7 43. Rb7+ Ke8 44. Ra7 Rb2 45. Ra4 h4 46. Rxh4 $18 {And white can start thinking about different ways in which he can win in this position.}) 42... Ra4 { 431 Jakovenko plays a good move, but it is not the best move in this position.} (42... f5+ {was more accurate, and after} 43. Kf3 Ra3 44. h4 Ke7 45. Kg2 Rd3 46. Rb2 Ke6 $16 {White is still better, but Black has reasonable chances to draw this position.}) 43. g4 {77} hxg4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 44. hxg4 {[%emt 0:00: 04]} Bc7 {476} 45. f4 {134} Ra1 {177} 46. Bd2 {607} (46. f5+ gxf5+ 47. gxf5+ Ke7 48. Rc5 Bd6 49. Rc1 Rxc1 50. Bxc1 $16 {and white can keep trying to win here. This was another option.}) 46... Ra2 {131} 47. Be3 {532} Ra1 {[%emt 0:00: 12]} 48. g5 {54 Hari is playing a waiting game here. He is forcing black into a cocoon, and hopes he will blunder soon.} Kd7 {281} 49. Rb7 {338} Kc6 50. Rb2 {[%emt 0:00:17]} Ra4 {290} 51. Rb1 {469} Kd7 {[%emt 0:00:21]} 52. f5 {267} gxf5+ {[%emt 0:00:09]} 53. Kxf5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Ra5+ {78} 54. Ke4 {[%emt 0:00: 26]} Ra4 {231} 55. Rf1 {166} Ke7 {[%emt 0:00:12]} 56. Bd2 {62} Ra2 {118} 57. Kd3 {134} Bd6 {64} 58. Bc3 {129} Rg2 {75} 59. d5 $6 {380 The past few moves have good, but Hari messes up here. He had a much better option.} (59. Bd2 Rg3+ 60. Be3 Rg2 61. Ke4 Ra2 62. Rf2 Ra1 63. Rb2 $16 {and white keeps trying. Black has to suffer for a long time here.}) 59... Rg4 {[%emt 0:00:27]} 60. Bf6+ { [%emt 0:00:00]} Kd7 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 61. Ra1 {464} Bc5 {[%emt 0:00:40]} 62. Ra6 Rg1 {123 Now all Hari has to show here is a small plus due to an extra pawn. Jakovenko defends well here, and prolongs the fight.} 63. Rc6 {240} Ba3 {376} 64. Rb6 {390} Bc1 {97} 65. Rb1 {236} Rg3+ {62} 66. Ke4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Bxg5 { 66} 67. Be5 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Re3+ {89} 68. Kd4 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Rf3 {73} 69. Ke4 {87} Re3+ {70} 70. Kf5 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Be7 {[%emt 0:00:20]} 71. Rb7+ { [%emt 0:00:33]} Ke8 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 72. d6 {[%emt 0:00:14]} Bxd6 $1 {6 An excellent move by Jakovenko. By liquidating to a R+B vs R endgame, where white has no pawns remaining, he correctly assesses that he can draw by showing some good endgame technique.} 73. Bxd6 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Re1 {116} 74. Bf4 {85} Re7 { [%emt 0:00:36]} 75. Rb8+ {[%emt 0:00:29]} Kd7 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 76. Kf6 { [%emt 0:00:18]} Re1 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 77. Kxf7 {104} Kc6 {3 Hari can try all he wants here, but this is a theoretically drawn endgame, and it is just a matter of the 50 move rule now.} 78. Kf6 {[%emt 0:00:11]} Kd5 {[%emt 0:00:54]} 79. Kf5 {[%emt 0:00:32]} Re7 {[%emt 0:00:59]} 80. Rd8+ {[%emt 0:00:06]} Kc6 {[%emt 0: 00:08]} 81. Rd6+ {[%emt 0:00:19]} Kc5 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 82. Be5 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Rh7 {[%emt 0:00:14]} 83. Rd1 {[%emt 0:00:17]} Rh6 {[%emt 0:00:44]} 84. Ke4 { [%emt 0:00:11]} Rh4+ {[%emt 0:00:34]} 85. Bf4 {[%emt 0:00:12]} Kc4 {[%emt 0:00: 08]} 86. Rc1+ {[%emt 0:00:06]} Kb4 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 87. Ke5 {[%emt 0:00:15]} Kb3 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 88. Rc8 {[%emt 0:00:40]} Rg4 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 89. Be3 { [%emt 0:00:46]} Rc4 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 90. Rd8 {[%emt 0:00:27]} Kc3 {[%emt 0:00: 17]} 91. Bd4+ {[%emt 0:00:15]} Kd3 {[%emt 0:00:57]} 92. Ra8 {[%emt 0:00:07]} Rc6 {[%emt 0:00:51]} 93. Kd5 {[%emt 0:00:19]} Rg6 {[%emt 0:00:17]} 94. Ra3+ { [%emt 0:00:06]} Ke2 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 95. Kc4 {75} Rc6+ {[%emt 0:00:13]} 96. Bc5 Re6 97. Kd4 {[%emt 0:00:18]} Re8 {[%emt 0:00:14]} 98. Ra2+ {67} Kf3 {[%emt 0: 00:05]} 99. Kd3 {[%emt 0:00:12]} Re5 {[%emt 0:00:18]} 100. Bd4 {[%emt 0:00:25]} Rf5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 101. Ra1 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Kf4 {[%emt 0:00:21]} 102. Re1 { [%emt 0:00:05]} Kf3 {[%emt 0:00:46]} 103. Be5 {[%emt 0:00:38]} Kf2 {[%emt 0:00: 10]} 104. Re2+ $1 {[%emt 0:00:13]} Kf3 {[%emt 0:00:11]} 105. Re3+ {[%emt 0:00: 03]} Kf2 {[%emt 0:00:24]} 106. Bg3+ {[%emt 0:00:16]} Kg2 {[%emt 0:00:16]} 107. Ke4 {219} Rf8 {[%emt 0:00:23]} 108. Be5 {[%emt 0:00:10]} Kf2 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 109. Ra3 {[%emt 0:00:46]} Re8 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 110. Ra2+ {[%emt 0:00:19]} Ke1 { [%emt 0:00:04]} 111. Rb2 {[%emt 0:00:41]} Re7 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 112. Kd4 { [%emt 0:00:30]} Kf1 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 113. Bf4 {[%emt 0:00:09]} Re2 {[%emt 0:00: 03]} 114. Rb3 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Kf2 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 115. Be3+ {[%emt 0:00:54]} Kf3 {5 and the players call it a draw. A very good defensive effort by Jakovenko, who never let the evaluation change much, and took his chances. As for Hari, he tried his best, but could not break the Russian's defense. He ends the tournament on +1, and I am sure his performances will improve in coming tournaments.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.07.15"] [Round "1.3"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Fedoseev, Vladimir"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B13"] [WhiteElo "2812"] [BlackElo "2726"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "58"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:01:00"] [BlackClock "0:23:54"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Qc7 {Many authors consider this move best against the Exchange line. The queen makes a useful move and stops the white bishop from going to the f4 square.} 6. Na3 {A relatively rare line.} ({Less than a week ago Anand faced} 6. Ne2 Bg4 7. O-O e6 8. Qe1 Bd6 9. f3 Bh5 {Santos Latasa,J (2542)-Anand,V (2783) Leon 2017}) ({Other moves for White are} 6. h3) ({and} 6. Bg5) 6... a6 {Noone had allowed the knight to go further, with a good reason.} (6... Nf6 7. Nb5 Qb8 8. g3 {is awkward for Black. }) 7. Nc2 Nf6 8. h3 ({Or} 8. Ne2 Bg4 {again this semi-provocative move} 9. f3 Bd7 10. Bf4 e5 11. dxe5 Nxe5 12. O-O Bd6 {with active piece play for the isolated pawn in Zinchenko,Y (2547)-Hawkins,J (2590) London 2016}) 8... e6 ({ Here} 8... e5 {is also possible although without the pawn on f3 White can claim slight edge after} 9. dxe5 Nxe5 10. Nf3 Bd6 11. Nxe5 Bxe5 12. O-O O-O 13. Qf3 {at least if White's name is Magnus. :-) Carlsen,M (2857)-Grischuk,A (2754) chess.com INT 2016}) ({The fianchettoe plan is an option too, although it does not match perfectly well with the Qd8-c7 idea} 8... g6 9. Ne2 Bg7 10. Bf4 { White seemed more pleasant in Moiseenko,V (2528)-Rozum,I (2590) Sochi 2016}) 9. Nf3 b5 $146 {This move would be played sooner or later as Black's main idea is the minority attack.} ({The only predecessor saw} 9... Be7 10. O-O O-O 11. Re1 b5 {Liljedahl,L (2238)-Aperia,J (1982) Sweden 2008}) 10. O-O ({In case of} 10. a4 {Black can simply capture as in the game} bxa4 ({or even consider} 10... b4) 11. Rxa4 Bd6) 10... Bb7 11. Re1 Bd6 {Fedoseev can be happy with the outcome of the game. The control of the vital e5 square makes White's standart kingside attack slow.} 12. Bg5 Ne4 $5 {Active defense.} 13. a4 ({Black has full compensation for the pawn in case of:} 13. Bxe4 dxe4 14. Rxe4 h6 ({or the direct} 14... Na5 15. Re1 Nc4) 15. Bd2 Na5 {and all the black pieces are magnificent.}) 13... bxa4 14. c4 {Kramnik decided that enough is enough and this king in the center should get mated.} ({Another such an attempt (and probably sounder) would have been} 14. Rxa4 Nxg5 (14... O-O) 15. Nxg5 h6 (15... Be7) (15... Nd8 16. Nxh7 $1) 16. Nxe6 $5 fxe6 17. Rxe6+ Kd8 18. c4 {with complete mess.}) 14... Nxg5 15. Nxg5 dxc4 16. Bxc4 Nd8 $1 {Very accurate.} ({ In case of the obvious:} 16... O-O 17. Qh5 h6 {Kramnik probably intended} 18. Nxe6 $1 fxe6 19. Rxe6 {Now Black has to be careful not to lose on the spot.} Bh2+ $1 {After} (19... Kh7 $2 {loses to} 20. Qg6+ Kh8 21. Bd3 (21. Rxd6 Ne7) 21... Kg8 (21... Bh2+ 22. Kh1 Kg8 23. Qh7+ Kf7 24. Rae1 {with the deadly threats of 25.Re6-f6+! or the least flashy, but just as effective Bd3-c4!}) 22. Rxd6) (19... Rf7 $2 {drops material after the simple} 20. Rxd6) ({And} 19... Kh8 20. Bd3 {with a huge attack for White.}) 20. Kh1 {a possible line is} Rf7 21. Qxf7+ Qxf7 22. Rxc6 Bxc6 23. Bxf7+ Kxf7 24. Kxh2 Rb8 {and thanks to the stronger minor piece Black should be OK.}) 17. Ne3 ({If} 17. Bd3 Be7 {first and only then} 18. Nf3 O-O) ({while the straightforward} 17. Rxa4 {promises White nothing after} Be7 18. Nf3 Bc6 $5 (18... O-O {is good too.}) 19. Rxa6 Rxa6 20. Bxa6 Bxf3 21. gxf3 O-O {and the many weaknesses compensate for the extra pawn for White.}) 17... Bf4 ({This is even stronger than} 17... Be7 18. Nf3 ({Nothing yields} 18. Qh5 g6 19. Qh6 Qf4) 18... O-O {with equality.}) ({ White was probably hoping for his trademark central break after} 17... O-O 18. Qd3 g6 19. d5 $1) 18. Qh5 $2 {Overoptimistic.} ({Kramink did not want to settle for equality after} 18. Rc1 Bxg5 $1 (18... Qa5 19. Nxf7 $1 Kxf7 20. d5 { is in fact quite spooky for Black.}) 19. Bb5+ Nc6 20. Bxc6+ Bxc6 21. d5 Qd7 22. dxc6 Qxd1 23. Rexd1 (23. Rcxd1 Rc8) 23... Rd8 {when the objective result would be a draw.}) 18... Bxe3 {Fedoseev accepts the piece.} 19. Rxe3 ({In case of} 19. Nxe6 Nxe6 20. Bxe6 O-O {Black repels the atatck with ease.}) ({Perhaps White missed} 19. Bxe6 Qg3 $1 20. Bxf7+ Kf8) 19... Qxc4 20. Rxe6+ ({Or the cool } 20. Nxh7 Rg8) 20... Kf8 $1 {Not a difficult move, which clarifies matters.} ( {The complications after} 20... Nxe6 21. Qxf7+ Kd8 22. Nxe6+ Kc8 23. Rxa4 { are completely unnecessary.}) 21. Re5 h6 22. Rae1 ({Or} 22. d5 Qf4 $1 23. Rae1 g6) 22... g6 23. Qh4 Kg7 {Apparently White has no resources to worry the black king. Kramnik tries one last shot.} 24. Nxf7 Nxf7 25. Re6 g5 26. Qh5 Rhe8 { Super cool! The knight shelters the king ideally.} 27. Qg6+ ({The tactical point of the sacrifice was} 27. Rxe8 Rxe8 28. Rxe8 Qc6 {and the double attack regains the rook.}) 27... Kf8 28. f3 Qxd4+ 29. Kh1 Rac8 0-1 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.07.16"] [Round "2.4"] [White "Bluebaum, Matthias"] [Black "Fedoseev, Vladimir"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D46"] [WhiteElo "2642"] [BlackElo "2726"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:15:45"] [BlackClock "0:20:07"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 ({Bluebaum had some difficulties in the Semi-Slav of late (resulwise at least) and this might be the reason to slightly step out of the beaten track.} 6. Bd3 dxc4 7. Bxc4 b5 8. Bd3 Bb7 ({Fedoseev on his turn has a game in the sharp line after} 8... a6 9. e4 c5 10. e5 cxd4 11. Nxb5 axb5 12. exf6 Bb7 13. O-O Qb6 14. fxg7 Bxg7 { Brodsky,M (2522)-Fedoseev,V (2186) Peterhof 2010}) 9. O-O a6 10. e4 c5 11. d5 c4 12. Bc2 Qc7 13. dxe6 fxe6 14. Ne2 O-O-O 15. Qe1 {Bluebaum,M (2605) -Sasikiran,K (2637) Moscow 2016}) 6... Bd6 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O dxc4 ({The straightforward} 8... e5 {is highly explored option as well.}) 9. Bxc4 e5 { It seems as this move is coming back into fashion.} (9... b5) ({and} 9... a6 { are still more topical.}) 10. h3 {A useful move. Black often threatens e5-e4 followed by Bd6xh2+ and Nf6-g4+ with a mating attack.} Qe7 {Seeemingly the best square for the queen, although it might (and is often) disturbed by a white knight via the h4-f5 (g6) routes.} ({This is why the mightiest piece often chooses another spot, e.g.} 10... h6 11. a3 Qc7 12. Ba2 Re8 13. e4 exd4 14. Nxd4 Nc5 {Nikolov,M (2557)-Delchev,A (2595) Montana 2017}) 11. Bb3 Nb6 { A rare and in my opinion dubious decision. Fedoseev gives too many things away—the bishop pair, the center...} ({Black usually defends with} 11... Bc7 12. Bd2 h6 13. Rad1 Re8 14. Nh4 Nf8 15. Nf5 Bxf5 16. Qxf5 e4 {as in Duda,J (2697)-Adhiban,B (2670) Khanty-Mansiysk 2017}) ({The curious} 11... Kh8 { (to move the king away from the bishop pin) was also tried:} 12. Bd2 b6 13. Nh4 g6 {in Banikas,H (2568)-Adly,A (2599) Doha 2016}) ({With the queen on e7} 11... h6 12. Nh4 {looks very dangerous for Black.}) 12. dxe5 Bxe5 13. Nxe5 Qxe5 14. e4 {Keeping the pawns fluid.} ({The immediate} 14. f4 Qe7 15. f5 {was also possible, although Black was able to build some sort of a blockade after} Bd7 16. e4 c5 17. Qe2 c4 18. Bc2 Rfe8 {Airapetian,G (2436)-Sevian,S (2132) Yerevan 2010}) 14... Re8 15. Re1 $146 {A good novelty. f2-f4-(f5) followed by e4-e5 is a constant threat, but the rook is not only performing supportive functions.} ( {In the only predecessor White was also better after} 15. f3 Be6 16. Bxe6 Rxe6 17. Qf2 Rd8 18. Be3 {in Ruzele,D (2505)-Bykhovsky,A (2425) Berlin 1995}) 15... Nbd5 {Black wants to make use of the lose position of the rook.} ({After} 15... Be6 16. f4 Bxb3 17. axb3 Qc5+ 18. Be3 Qb4 19. Bf2 {White is clearly better.}) 16. Bd2 Nf4 17. Bxf4 Qxf4 18. Rad1 {Another useful preparatory move. The kingside majority is almost ready to roll.} Nd7 $6 {An inaccuracy. Somewhere Fedoseev missed a detail.} ({In case of} 18... Be6 {White has the pleasant choice between} 19. Bxe6 ({Or} 19. e5 Bxb3 20. Qxb3 Rxe5 21. Rxe5 Qxe5 22. Qxb7 ) 19... Rxe6 20. g3 Qh6 (20... Qc7 21. f4) 21. Kg2 {in both cases with advantage for White.}) ({But} 18... Qe5 {might have been best with the idea} 19. Qd2 Nh5 20. Ne2 Be6) 19. Re3 $1 {Here it comes! The rook threatens the f7 pawn at once.} Qg5 ({The pawns are rolling after} 19... Ne5 20. Ne2 Qf6 21. f4 Ng6 22. e5) ({Or} 19... Re7 20. e5 $1 Nf8 21. Re4 Qg5 22. Rd8 {when Black can barely move.}) 20. f4 {Of course!} ({It makes no sense to prepare further with } 20. Rg3 {since} Qe7 21. f4 Nc5 {sets a sort of defense for Black.}) 20... Qe7 (20... Qxf4 {loses to} 21. Rf3) 21. Qf2 {Bluebaum wants his bishop on the board.} (21. e5 Nc5 {was less precise.}) 21... Nb6 {The last inaccuracy.} ({ Although even after} 21... Nc5 22. Bc2 Rd8 {White has big advantage after either} 23. Rde1 ({or} 23. Rxd8+ Qxd8 24. b4 Na6 25. Rd3 Qe7 26. Qd2)) 22. f5 { This locks the bishop and threatens f5-f6.} a5 {Fedoseev comes a move short to disturb the bishop.} ({Black cannot untagle his pieces after} 22... Qe5 23. Red3 c5 24. Rd8 c4 25. Bc2 h6 26. Rxe8+ Qxe8 27. Qg3 (27. f6 $5)) 23. e5 $1 { Well calculated.} a4 24. f6 Qb4 ({One tactical point behind e4-e5 is revealed in the line} 24... gxf6 25. exf6 Qxe3 26. Qxe3 Rxe3 27. Rd8+) ({Whenever the g-file is opened it is always mate:} 24... Qf8 25. fxg7 Kxg7 26. Qf6+ Kg8 27. Rg3+) 25. a3 {A cool finish.} ({There was also the rude} 25. Bxf7+ Kxf7 26. fxg7+ Kg8 (26... Kxg7 27. Qf6+ Kg8 28. Rg3+) 27. Rf1 Be6 28. Rg3 {with the unstoppable threat Qf2-f8+!}) 25... Qf8 ({In case that the queen goes too far away} 25... Qxb3 26. Qg3 g6 27. Qg5 Kh8 28. Qh6 Rg8 29. Rd8 {it will be mate.}) 26. fxg7 Qe7 27. Ne4 {The rest is easy, White wins loads of material and keeps the attack going.} axb3 28. Nf6+ Kxg7 29. Nxe8+ Kh8 (29... Qxe8 30. Qf6+ Kf8 31. Qh6+ Ke7 32. Qd6#) 30. Nc7 Rb8 31. Rf3 1-0 [Event "Saint Louis"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.04"] [Round "3"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C84"] [WhiteElo "2789"] [BlackElo "2751"] [Annotator "Saravanan,V"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [EventCountry "USA"] [SourceTitle "playchess.com"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. a3 Na5 9. Ba2 c5 10. Nc3 Be6 11. Nh4 O-O 12. Nf5 Nc6 13. Nd5 Bxf5 14. exf5 Nxd5 15. Bxd5 Rc8 16. a4 Bf6 17. axb5 axb5 18. c4 bxc4 19. dxc4 Bg5 20. Be3 Kh8 $6 { Svidler singled out this moment as the starting point of his troubles, even calling it a 'blunder'} ({Svidler's intended} 20... Qf6 {didn't look pleasant to him:} 21. Ra6 Nd4 (21... Nb4 22. Rxd6 $1) 22. Bxd4 (22. b4 $5 cxb4 23. Bxd4 exd4 24. f4 Bh6 25. g4 g5 26. h4 $5 {with a mess which seems to favour white ultimately}) 22... cxd4 23. b4 {which was 'scaring me a great deal' (Svidler)}) 21. Qh5 h6 {Svidler felt 'the game was effectively over'} ({Originally intended was} 21... Bxe3 22. fxe3 Qf6 23. g4 {and 'it is mate!' (Svidler)}) ( 21... Bxe3 22. fxe3 f6 {was the way engines wanted to go,} 23. Rf3 {followed by Rg3, and 'I should eventually get mated!' (Svidler) A curious but familiar case of a player's intuition vs the machine's dogmatism?}) 22. Bxf7 Nd4 23. h4 Bxe3 ({Vachier-Lagrave came up with a beautiful variation here:} 23... Rxf7 24. Qxf7 Ne2+ 25. Kh2 Bxe3 26. g3 Bd4 27. Ra7 {and Ne2 will fall}) 24. fxe3 Qf6 25. Ra7 ({Later on, Vachier-Lagrave felt that his best practical chance was:} 25. exd4 Rxf7 26. dxe5 dxe5 {and white is better}) 25... Ne2+ 26. Qxe2 (26. Kf2 e4 $1 27. Kxe2 $4 Qxb2+ 28. Ke1 Rb8 $1 {with a good attack for black}) 26... Rxf7 27. Rxf7 Qxf7 {Vachier-Lagrave felt that this position was about finding a way to consolidate, but 'Peter found resourcesful defences'} 28. Qg4 Rb8 29. Ra1 Qf6 30. Qe4 $6 (30. Qg6 {was called for}) 30... Kh7 31. Ra2 h5 32. Kh2 d5 $1 33. Qxd5 (33. cxd5 Rb4) 33... Qxh4+ 34. Kg1 Qe1+ 35. Kh2 Qh4+ 36. Kg1 Qe1+ 37. Kh2 Qxe3 38. Qf7 Qf4+ 39. Kh1 Qh4+ 40. Kg1 Qe1+ 41. Kh2 Qh4+ 42. Kg1 Qd4+ 43. Kh1 (43. Kh1 Rb6 44. Ra8 e4 45. Qe8 Kh6 46. Rd8 {and 'losing this becomes a possibility' (Svidler)}) 1/2-1/2 [Event "Saint Louis USA"] [Site "Saint Louis USA"] [Date "2017.08.02"] [Round "1"] [White "Levon Aronian"] [Black "Ian Nepomniachtchi"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A34"] [WhiteElo "2799"] [BlackElo "2751"] [Annotator "Hess, R"] [PlyCount "57"] [EventDate "2017.07.31"] {With the exception of the FIDE Grand Prix in Geneva, Levon Aronian has been on a tear. He saw his rating soar over 2800 for the first time in years, and picked up a fine tournament victory in Norway, including a gorgeous win over Magnus Carlsen. While Levon always heaps praise on the city of Saint Louis, today he let his chess moves do the talking.} 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e3 {Not the most popular move, but common enough. Instead of playing 5. g3 to fianchetto the bishop, Aronian instead opts to support his center.} Nxc3 (5... g6 {can be played here, and funnily enough White most often replies with} 6. e4) 6. bxc3 g6 7. h4 $1 {Aronian makes his intentions clear. He has no desire to play a peaceful game. In the recent New Yorker article about him, Aronian stated "You can play anything as long as you are determined to fight for the ideas you put in your moves." Here he puts his money where his mouth is!} ({The Spaniard David Anton managed to outplay former world championship challenger Boris Gelfand, though Black was doing fine:} 7. Bb5+ Bd7 8. Rb1 Bg7 9. O-O O-O 10. d4 Qc7 11. Bxd7 Nxd7 12. e4 Rfd8 13. Qe2 Rac8 14. Bg5 Nb6 15. Rfc1 h6 16. Be3 Qd7 17. d5 f5 18. exf5 Qxf5 19. c4 e6 20. dxe6 Qxe6 21. Kf1 Rf8 22. Rb5 Rf5 23. h3 Qc6 24. Qd3 Nd7 25. Rd1 Nf8 26. Rb3 b6 27. Ra3 Rc7 28. Qc2 Rcf7 29. Rad3 Kh7 30. Rd6 Qb7 31. Nh4 R5f6 32. R6d5 Rd7 33. Nf3 Rxd5 34. Rxd5 Rf7 35. Ne5 Bxe5 36. Rxe5 Qd7 37. Ke2 Ne6 38. Qe4 Nd4+ 39. Bxd4 cxd4 40. Qd5 d3+ 41. Kxd3 Qc7 42. Ke2 Rf4 43. Re8 Qxc4+ 44. Qxc4 Rxc4 45. Re7+ Kg8 46. Rxa7 Rc2+ 47. Ke3 b5 48. a3 Rb2 49. g3 b4 50. a4 b3 51. Kd3 Rxf2 52. Kc3 Rf3+ 53. Kb2 Rxg3 54. Rb7 Rg2+ 55. Kxb3 Rg1 56. Kb2 Rg2+ 57. Ka3 Rg1 58. Rb2 Kf7 59. a5 Re1 60. a6 Re6 61. Rb7+ Kf6 62. a7 Ra6+ 63. Kb4 Ra1 64. Rc7 h5 65. Kb5 Rb1+ 66. Kc6 Ra1 67. Kb7 Rb1+ 68. Kc8 Ra1 69. Kb8 Kg5 70. Rc4 Rb1+ 71. Kc7 Ra1 72. Kb6 {Anton Guijarro,D (2650)-Gelfand,B (2721) Caleta 2017 1-0 (72)}) 7... Bg7 8. h5 Nc6 9. Ba3 $146 {A very natural novelty once you discover White's next move. The pawn on c5 is not easy to defend.} ({ Mayhem that favored Black ensued after} 9. Rb1 Qc7 10. hxg6 hxg6 11. Rxh8+ Bxh8 12. Qb3 b6 13. Ng5 e6 14. d4 Na5 15. Bb5+ Kf8 16. Qd1 Bb7 17. Qg4 Qh2 18. e4 cxd4 19. Qf3 f5 20. cxd4 Kg8 21. Ke2 Rc8 22. Bf4 fxe4 23. Nxe4 Qh5 24. Qxh5 gxh5 25. Nd6 Rc2+ 26. Kd3 Rxf2 27. Be3 Rxa2 28. Nxb7 Nxb7 29. Bc4 Ra3+ 30. Kd2 Nd8 31. Rb5 Ra5 32. Rxa5 bxa5 33. d5 exd5 {1/2-1/2 (33) Bauer,C (2632)-Howell, D (2655) Reading 2017}) 9... Qa5 10. Rh4 $3 {How often do you get to see a rook lift so early in the game? This is the real point of the opening, for the bishop on a3 is indirectly defended because the queen gets trapped if it captures.} Bd7 (10... Qxa3 11. Ra4 Qb2 12. Rb1 Bxc3 13. Rxb2 Bxb2 {and White has a huge advantage, picking off the c-pawn with} 14. Rc4) 11. Qb3 O-O (11... Qb6 {was mentioned by Nepomniachtchi as a way to defend b7, but the c5 pawn is not easily defended.} 12. Qd5 Bf6 13. hxg6 (13. Rh1 Nb4 14. Bxb4 cxb4 15. Rb1 a5 {is very complicated. The engines may favor White, but with both kings stuck in the center anything can happen.}) 13... Be6 14. gxf7+ Bxf7 15. Qxc5 Bxh4 16. Nxh4 Qxc5 17. Bxc5 {is very pleasant for White, whose bishop and two pawns are ample compensation for a rook.}) 12. hxg6 hxg6 13. Qxb7 {Clearly overlooked - or forgotten about - by Nepo. In the post-mortem, the Russian player revealed that he had underestimated White's resources. Aronian goes up a healthy pawn and converts without much difficulty.} Rfd8 (13... Bxc3 { looks to restore material equality, but Black's king lacks safety.} 14. Bb2 ( 14. dxc3 $4 Qxc3+ {is winning for Black.}) 14... Bxb2 (14... Rab8 {would equalize if not for} 15. Qxb8 $1 {when White goes up a full rook, since mate is threatened on h8.} Rxb8 16. Bxc3 Qxc3 17. dxc3) 15. Qxb2 f6 {presented Aronian with a far greater challenge than the game continuation did. White has a lot to prove, as if his attack does not crash through Black has decent chances to hold. For example,} 16. Ng5 Ne5 17. Qb3+ e6 18. Nxe6 Rab8 19. Qd5 Bxe6 20. Qxe6+ Kg7 {and Black fights on. Despite his exposed king, Nepomniachtchi would have chances here thanks to White's lack of coordination. Optically, Black seems to have good counterplay.}) ({Also insufficient is} 13... Qxa3 14. Qxd7 Nb4 (14... Bxc3 15. Rd1 {at the very least wins a pawn for White, as e7 will fall.}) 15. Bc4 Nc2+ 16. Ke2 Nxa1 17. Ng5 {because White launches a mating attack.}) 14. Qa6 Bxc3 15. Qxa5 Bxa5 16. Bxc5 {White enters the endgame up a full pawn. Nepomniachtchi was mentally out of the game already, but the position is nearly indefensible.} Be6 {Essentially a resignation. Nepo is praying rather than playing.} ({Black could have put up some more resistance with a line such as} 16... Kg7 17. Bc4 f6) 17. Bb5 Ne5 18. Nd4 (18. Nxe5 $2 {is still better for White, but most certainly does not result in a free knight.} Bxd2+ 19. Kf1 Bc3 {and Black's advantage is not as bad as it once was after} 20. Nxf7 Bxf7 21. Rc1 Bf6 22. Ra4) 18... Rd5 19. Bxe7 Kg7 20. f4 Nd7 21. f5 Bxf5 22. Bc6 Re5 23. Nxf5+ gxf5 24. Bg5 {Very precise. Aronian has no interest in giving up any material, seeing that Black has no way to defend all his hanging pieces.} (24. Bxa8 Rxe3+ 25. Kd1 Rxe7 {provides Black undeserved hope.}) 24... Kg6 25. Bf4 Rd8 26. Bxd7 Rc5 27. Rh6+ (27. Ba4 { is good enough, but why give your opponent a pawn when you can be greedy and keep everything!?}) 27... Kg7 28. Rd6 Bc7 29. Rc6 {Nepo throws in the towel, a bishop and pawn down with no compensation.} 1-0 [Event "5th Sinquefield Cup 2017 GCT"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.05"] [Round "5"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2783"] [BlackElo "2807"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "57"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Bc5 7. O-O O-O 8. d3 Bb6 9. Bd2 Bg4 10. Rc1 Nxc3 11. Bxc3 Re8 12. b4 Qd6 13. Nd2 Qh6 14. Nc4 Qh5 15. Rc2 Rad8 {Black has a fine position here. Anand thought for a long time on how he could wriggle out of the pressure without making positional concessions. Not finding any way out, he took the bishop on b6 and played f3. While it looks ugly, it also means that White doesn't have to many things to worry about.} 16. Nxb6 (16. Re1 {is what Anand wanted to play.} Re6 17. b5 Bxf2+ $1 { This move casts a doubt on White's entire play.} (17... Rh6 18. h4 g5 19. bxc6 gxh4 20. Bxe5 $18 {White wins as he gets the bishop to protect all the squares around his king.}) 18. Kxf2 Qxh2 {And even though White king can run to the queenside it all looks really bad.} 19. Rg1 Rf6+ 20. Ke3 Qh6+ $1 $19 {Game over.}) 16... cxb6 17. f3 {Anand wasn't too happy to make this move, but with this he no longer has to worry about the pressure on the e2 pawn.} Be6 18. Qd2 b5 (18... Nd4 19. Bxd4 exd4 $15 {would have been the best way for Caruana to play.}) 19. f4 Bg4 $2 {[%cal Ge6g4] This is the start of Anand's combination. He had seen many times that Bg4 was not possible, but still Fabiano had played it. Rather than doubting himself, Anand went ahead with what he had calculated. } 20. Bxc6 $1 bxc6 21. fxe5 {So White is a pawn up. What did Black under his sleeve? Well Fabiano once again surprised Anand with the move that the latter had thought was impossible.} f6 $2 {[%cal Gf7f6] This is a clear mistake, but when you have said A (Bg4), you must say B.} 22. exf6 $1 Rxe2 {[%cal Ge8e2] It looks like mate, just that it isn't.} 23. f7+ Kf8 {[%cal Gc3g7]} 24. Bxg7+ Kxg7 25. Qc3+ Re5 {[%cal Ge2e5] Fabi went ahead with this move as he had not seen Anand's next move.} (25... Qe5 {was the best defense for Black.} 26. Rxe2 Qxc3 27. Re8 Qd4+ (27... Qxb4 $2 28. Rxd8 $18) 28. Rf2 $1 Qxb4 29. f8=Q+ (29. Rxd8 Qe1+ 30. Rf1 (30. Kg2 $2 Bh3+ $1 31. Kxh3 Qxf2 $19) 30... Qe3+ $11) 29... Qxf8 30. Rfxf8 Rxd3 31. Rg8+ Kf7 32. Ref8+ (32. Rd8 Bd7 $1 {This is the move that Caruana had missed and the reason why he didn't play this variation.}) 32... Ke7 33. Ra8 h5 34. Rxa7+ Ke6 $16 {And according to Anand, he was not even sure if he was winning here. The technical task is just too huge, said Vishy. If the bishop gets to d5, Black would not even be worse. Objectively speaking White is better here, but the win is not so clear.}) 26. Qd4 $3 {[%cal Gc3d4] A brilliant move. As Anand said, this is easy to miss. It changes nothing as the rook on e5 is still pinned. The main idea is to vacate the c5 square for the rook.} (26. h3 {was what Fabiano had calculated} Bd1 {was the American player's idea. It's atleast a mess was what Fabi thought.} (26... Bxh3 27. Rh2 {White is winning here.})) 26... Qg5 27. Rc5 $1 {[%cal Gc2c5]} Rxd4 {Fabiano allows White to queen. By now he had realized that it was all over.} (27... Qe3+ 28. Qxe3 Rxe3 29. Rg5+ Kh6 30. Rg8 $18) 28. f8=Q+ Kg6 29. Qf7+ {A great win by Anand which will surely make it to his best games collection in the future.} 1-0 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A29"] [Annotator "mycomputer"] [PlyCount "57"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 (4. e3 {is another main continuation.}) 4... d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Bc5 (6... Nb6 7. O-O Be7 8. a3 a5 9. d3 O-O 10. Be3 Be6 11. Rc1 a4 12. Nd2 {was seen in the tactical-out-of-nowhere game between fellow Sinquefield Cup competitors Nepomniachtchi and Aronian at the recently concluded Geneva Grand Prix event. Nepo came out on top, but it was a topsy-turvy battle.}) 7. O-O (7. Nxe5 $5 {is thematic when a pawn is on e5 and a bishop on c5. Yet it doesn't yield much in the way of an advantage.} Nxc3 8. Bxc6+ (8. bxc3 Nxe5 9. d4 Bd6 10. dxe5 Bxe5 {is perfectly fine for Black.}) 8... bxc6 9. bxc3 Qd5 10. Nf3 Bh3 {is very risky for White. An extra pawn is not worth the hassle of not being able to castle or develop with ease.}) 7... O-O 8. d3 Bb6 9. Bd2 ({While it may be tempting,} 9. Nxe5 {loses material:} Nxc3 10. Nxc6 Nxd1 11. Nxd8 Nxf2) 9... Bg4 {Apparently this is a new move, but it's not particularly novel. It's merely a developing move with the hopes of piling onto the e2 pawn in the future.} (9... Nxc3 10. Bxc3 f6 {is very solid for Black. Typically Black refrains from playing f6 if it can be met by d4. With the bishop on b6, White does not have the ability to break in the center.} ) 10. Rc1 (10. Nxe5 {still does not work out well:} Nxc3 11. Bxc3 Nxe5 12. Bxe5 Re8) 10... Nxc3 11. Bxc3 Re8 12. b4 (12. h3 {always deserves consideration when a bishop is being a nuisance on g4. Generally speaking, this pawn push has to be considered in depth, for it can become a target and also makes the g3 square more vulnerable. This would be properly illustrated if Black is able to get in f7-f5-f4}) 12... Qd6 13. Nd2 (13. h3 $4 {now would be a blunder because of} Bxf3 14. Bxf3 e4 $1 {exploiting the pinned f2 pawn.}) 13... Qh6 14. Nc4 (14. a4 Qh5 15. Re1 Qf5 {might encourage a repetition with} 16. Rf1 (16. Ne4 a5 17. b5 Nb4 {is double-edged.}) 16... Qh5 17. Re1) 14... Qh5 15. Rc2 { "I spent a lot of time trying to work something out here." - Anand} (15. Re1 { had to be correct, but Anand feared potential sacrifices on f2: "Maybe I saw some ghosts. Instead of Rc2, if I go Re1, which is more desirable from some points of view..." - Anand} Re6 {"is there. Suddenly he's threatening ...Bxf2+ and ...Qxh2." - Anand. But White can always capture on b6 to remove the threat. } 16. Nxb6 axb6 17. h4 {is craziness that is easier to suggest as an annotator than a player. The threat is to play f3/g4 and win the bishop.}) 15... Rad8 { "There's so many choices. I think I got it wrong. Because after Rad8, suddenly I couldn't see a way." - Anand. The threat is now e5-e4.} 16. Nxb6 (16. Re1 Re6 17. b5 Bxf2+ $1 (17... Rh6 18. h4 g5 19. bxc6 gxh4 20. Bxe5 $18) 18. Kxf2 Qxh2 19. Rg1 Rf6+ 20. Ke3 Qh6+ $1 $19) 16... cxb6 17. f3 {"was kind of embarrassing. " - Anand} Be6 18. Qd2 b5 {"[Black's] position should be ok, but I probably shouldn't have played ...b5. I should have played something like ...h6. It prepares for f4 a bit better. Or I could have played ...Nd4, also not a bad move." - Caruana. I concur with Caruana's analysis. His move is a waste of time since it does not meet Anand's ideas as well as the other main options.} ( 18... Nd4 {"I'm not better anymore, but I couldn't see a way to stop all his threats." - Anand. Since White has committed his pawn to f3, capturing on d4 is bad. White gets left with an ugly backwards e-pawn and a giant hole on e3. Once the rook moves, Black has a number of reasonable follow-ups including Bd5. }) (18... h6 {as Caruana suggested, this is a good waiting move. Anand does not want to play b5 himself for the pawn will just become a target upon Nd4.}) 19. f4 Bg4 {This is an error based on an oversight 8 moves down the line. The game position became tense and with so many variations to consider, Caruana makes a tragic oversight. He had done well to stabilize his position but I believe the true "losing" move was Black's 18th. He simply was not ready to meet all of the nuances and tactics behind the forceful f4. "When I played ... Bg4 I missed Re8." - Caruana | | "I spent ages on this, and I thought it wasn't possible, but then he does it anyway." - Anand} (19... exf4 20. Rxf4 Bd5 {"I guess he can play this, and he should be alright. Maybe I'm slightly better, but I don't think very much." - Anand, Once again I think Vishy underestimated how annoying this position is to defend for Black.} (20... f6 { is less provocative and provides the queen a nice regrouping square on f7. This would be a tough shell to crack.}) 21. e4 Bc4 22. d4 {the massive center is not easy to contain.}) (19... Bh3 20. Bxh3 Qxh3 21. fxe5 Nxe5 22. Bxe5 Rxe5 23. Rc7 {is a problem. Not only does Black have a worse pawn structure, but he has a seventh-rank issue. If the pawn was on h6 rather than h7 (as noted was possible on move 18), then Black would have Rd7 as a resource. Instead that currently walks into a back rank checkmate.}) 20. Bxc6 bxc6 21. fxe5 f6 { "I was counting on ...f6." - Caruana | "It hit me he must have missed something, but I couldn't tell what." - Anand} 22. exf6 (22. Bb2 fxe5 23. Qe3 { would be an alternative if the game continuation was not so strong. Because of the bishops of opposite color, there is a lot of play left in this position.}) 22... Rxe2 {"By this time, I was feeling pretty annoyed that having got the chance to play exf6, I'm going to run into this boring endgame with Qxc3, Qd4, Qb4 [see note to 25...Qe5], and I was kicking myself because it was very bad luck." - Anand. If only bad luck for all of us means that we get an endgame up a full exchange against the world's second highest rated player :)} 23. f7+ Kf8 24. Bxg7+ $1 Kxg7 25. Qc3+ Re5 {"I was sure that Fabi would not play ...Re5." "It's conceivable that he misses Qd4. It's not conceivable that he misses both Qd4 and h3. Luckily for me, Fabi had seen 26. h3 Bd1." - Anand} (25... Qe5 { "I saw everything up to ...Qe5, and I thought it should be ok. Well, if White doesn't have Re2, Black just wins. So I thought he would have to give back the pawn on e5, and we would have a game."} 26. Rxe2 Qxc3 27. Re8 Qd4+ 28. Rf2 Qxb4 29. f8=Q+ Qxf8 30. Rfxf8 Rxd3 31. Rg8+ Kf7 32. Ref8+ Ke7 33. Ra8 {"This technical task is not enviable. I might not be even better." - Anand. The former world champion is being modest: he surely is much better. White goes up a full exchange, though there is a lot of work to be done to push for a win.}) 26. Qd4 $3 {A brilliancy! Caruana acknowledged that he had missed this move which "ended the game." "I thought he had another probably winning move. I thought he could play h3, and that's what I spent all my time looking at." - Caruana | "As soon as we got here, I know it was over." - Anand} (26. h3 Bd1 { "It's probably still losing, but it looked like a mess at least, and I thought this would be a better practical chance."} (26... Qxh3 {is impossible because the rook hangs on e5.}) (26... Bxh3 27. Rh2 {and Caruana's queen is overloaded. })) 26... Qg5 (26... Rxd4 27. f8=Q+ Kg6 28. Qf6#) 27. Rc5 Rxd4 28. f8=Q+ Kg6 29. Qf7+ 1-0 [Event "5th Sinquefield Cup 2017"] [Site "St. Louis"] [Date "2017.08.08"] [Round "6.4"] [White "Aronian, L."] [Black "So, W."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D38"] [WhiteElo "2799"] [BlackElo "2810"] [Annotator "Hess, R"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:41:44"] [BlackClock "0:21:24"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bxf6 Qxf6 7. Qa4+ (7. e3 O-O 8. Rc1 dxc4 9. Bxc4 c5 {has been played - and drawn - many times by elite players. The guiding principle is that White gets rapid development and harmonious pieces while Black holds the two bishops but is a bit more cramped yet incredibly solid.}) 7... Nc6 8. e3 O-O 9. Be2 (9. Rc1 Rd8 10. Be2 dxc4 11. Bxc4 Bd7 12. Qc2 Bd6 13. O-O a6 14. Rfd1 Qe7 15. a3 Rac8 {Navara,D (2737)-Leko, P (2678) Biel 2017}) 9... dxc4 10. O-O Bxc3 ({As Aronian himself stated, he has a history with this variation. In fact, he lost a cramped ending to an inspired Topalov two years ago. Chess players can have very long memories!} 10... Bd7 11. Bxc4 Bxc3 12. bxc3 Rfd8 13. Be2 Be8 14. Qa3 Qe7 15. Qb2 Na5 16. Qb4 Qxb4 17. cxb4 Nc6 18. Rab1 a5 19. bxa5 Nxa5 20. Rfc1 Rdc8 21. Ne1 Ra7 22. Nd3 {Topalov, V (2771) - Aronian, L (2815) Norway 2015}) 11. bxc3 Bd7 {"An idea I invented myself." (Aronian) "But I'm not a great fan of it, it's a bit passive." As I've noted, see the variation after Black's tenth. Especially for a dynamic player like Aronian this line can be quite onerous to defend. It, simply put, is not his style. I'd argue that So similarly does not enjoy passivity - frankly most players hate it - though he is a dogged defender and has proven resourceful when facing an uphill battle.} 12. Qxc4 (12. Bxc4 { transposes to the Topalov-Aronian game above, and also Vachier-Lagrave versus Aronian from the 2015 Sinquefield Cup. Levon must have thought recapturing with the queen gave him the better chances to hold, and it's hard to question the man with extensive experience in the line.}) 12... Rac8 $146 (12... Rfd8 13. Nd2 Rac8 14. Nb3 Qe7 15. a4 a5 (15... b6 {is an improvement, though Black is uncomfortably cramped.}) 16. Bf3 Qe8 17. Nc5 Rb8 18. Rab1 b5 19. axb5 { was a full extra pawn that was converted into a win by White in Ushenina,A (2438) -Milliet,S (2356) Reykjavik 2015}) 13. Rad1 Rfd8 14. Nd2 $1 {I really like this concept, taking advantage of the black queen's lack of mobility.} ({ Provoking queenside weaknesses with} 14. Qb3 {was another plausible continuation. Without considering the other pieces (which you should never do), the knight would ideally plant itself on e5 rather than go to e4 as in the game. Black can try to break free, though it isn't easy.} Na5 15. Qa3 b6 16. Ba6 Rb8 17. Ne5 Bc8 18. Be2 Bb7 19. f4) 14... Na5 15. Qb4 b6 16. Ba6 Rb8 (16... c5 {is impossible now because of the fork} 17. dxc5 Rxc5 (17... Rb8 18. cxb6 axb6 {forces Black to fight for a draw down a pawn.}) 18. Ne4) 17. Ne4 Qf5 18. Bd3 Bc6 (18... e5 {seems like a crazy move because the bishop is staring down the enemy queen. Yet the knight does not have an overwhelmingly powerful square to hop to. A question to consider: does Black actually want to play exd4 cxd4? The answer appears to be no, since the pawn on c7 comes under direct fire. However, if Black doesn't capture what does he do? White can force the action with} 19. Nc5 {leads to simplifications, but not a simple defensive task for Black} (19. f4 $5 {is more aggressive but also can become more double-edged.}) 19... bxc5 20. Qxa5 e4 21. Bc4 cxd4 22. Qxf5 Bxf5 23. cxd4 {with a nagging advantage for White in what should be a salvageable ending.}) 19. f3 Bxe4 $2 {Aronian thought this was a strange decision. I find it odd as well, for it makes White's task much easier than Black's. Black has a new concern on the f-file to worry about and the bishop on d3 is a much better piece than the knight on a5.} (19... Nb7 {keeps the onus on Aronian to find the breakthrough. So's pieces are oddly placed, but the overall structure looks impenetrable. If White is not quick, he loses any hope of an initiative and advantage.}) 20. fxe4 Qg5 21. Rf3 c5 {Perhaps So felt that getting in c5 was a huge success - and it is! Unfortunately for him, White's central mass is indestructable and even if the typical setup against a light-squared bishop is achieved (c5/e5 pawns), there are many issues on the kingside.} 22. Qb2 { Absolutely the correct square, further protecting the d4 pawn and possibly swinging over to the kingside.} e5 23. Rdf1 cxd4 ({According to Aronian better was} 23... Rb7 24. Ba6 (24. Qf2 {is the precise reply} Qe7 (24... exd4 25. exd4 Qe7 26. e5 {is awful for Black since the bishop is free.}) 25. Rf5 {and if Black has to play} f6 {I must shield my eyes from the shine of all those free light squares.} 26. Qg3 {and I have no doubt Aronian would cruise from here.}) 24... Rc7 25. d5 {What's interesting is that the rook seems silly on c7 with a pawn blocking its file, so why would one not capture first? The essential difference: Aronian's queen gains access to e5 without a pawn on c3 blunting the diagonal.}) 24. cxd4 (24. exd4 {seems smart in that it undoubles the pawns, but the c-pawn actually is a liability. White is much better off clearing the file, since So has no means of using it for the moment.}) 24... Rb7 25. d5 Rc7 26. h4 $1 {Already the third time that Levon moves Harry in this tournament. "You have to play h4 whenever you can!"} (26. Ba6 Nb7 27. Bxb7 Rxb7 28. Qc3 { is better for White, but Black has a hard-to-crack setup.}) 26... Qxh4 (26... Qh5 27. Rf5 Qxh4 28. Qxe5 {is similar.}) 27. Qxe5 Qe7 28. Qg3 Qc5 $2 {Like Caruana against Anand, So doesn't go for an ending an exchange down, but goes down in flames quickly. "People are just understanding that their opponents are very good players and they don't want to suffer!" (Aronian)} ({The last chance was} 28... Qd6 29. e5 Qxd5 30. e6 Qd6 31. Bh7+ (31. exf7+ $2 {leaves White with no other option but to force a fancy draw with} Kf8 32. Rf4 Qxd3 33. Rd4 Rxd4 34. Qxg7+ Kxg7 35. f8=Q+ Kh7 36. Rf7+) 31... Kxh7 32. Qxd6 Rxd6 33. exf7 Rc8 34. f8=Q Rxf8 35. Rxf8 Nc4 {This should certainly be winning, but Aronian's task is not trivial.}) 29. Rf6 $1 {"Just crushing." (Aronian)} h5 ( 29... Kf8 30. Rg6 {exploiting the pinned pawns, all ways to defend g7 fail tactically:} Qc3 (30... f6 31. Rfxf6+ gxf6 (31... Kg8 32. Rxh6) 32. Rg8+ Ke7 33. Qg7+ Kd6 34. Rxd8+ Ke5 35. Qg3#) 31. Rxg7 Qxg7 32. Qxc7 Ra8 33. d6 { is straightforward.}) 30. Rh6 Qc3 31. Rxh5 g6 (31... Qxd3 {hangs c7, but} 32. Qh4 {is more direct. Mate is unstoppable.}) 32. e5 (32. e5 {After} Qxd3 { "I can even play} 33. Rh3 {if I'm a big sadist, and Qh4 next move. (Aronian)} ( 33. Qh4 {does the trick, but Rh3 is actually best!})) 1-0 [Event "St. Louis"] [Site "St. Louis"] [Date "2017.08.09"] [Round "7.2"] [White "Svidler, P."] [Black "Carlsen, M."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C45"] [WhiteElo "2751"] [BlackElo "2822"] [PlyCount "93"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [WhiteClock "1:27:52"] [BlackClock "1:39:38"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 {Before this game Svidler had played the Scotch 19 times in his career. He had scored +9 =10 -1 and won his last four, in 2000, 2001, 2011 and 2012. Carlsen only faced it in six classical games, one of them being his win in the fifth round of this tournament vs So.} exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 ( 4... Bb4+ 5. c3 Be7 6. Nxc6 bxc6 7. Bd3 d6 8. O-O Nf6 9. Re1 O-O 10. Nd2 Re8 { So,W (2810)-Carlsen,M (2822) Saint Louis USA 2017}) 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. e5 Qe7 7. Qe2 Nd5 8. c4 Ba6 9. b3 {Interestingly, Svidler spent eight minutes on this normal move. Afterward he explained he was working out move orders.} g6 { Carlsen keeps following the most popular treatment of the Scotch.} 10. f4 d6 11. Qf2 Nf6 12. Ba3 {After 20 minutes of thinking Svidler played a moe that had been played only once before.} Qe6 {After 19 minutes.} 13. Be2 dxe5 14. Bxf8 $146 (14. fxe5 Bxa3 15. Nxa3 Nd7 16. O-O O-O 17. Nc2 Nxe5 18. Rae1 Qe7 19. Bf3 Bb7 {Mueller,M (2410) -Gustafsson,J (2622) Baden Baden GER 2009}) 14... Kxf8 15. O-O exf4 16. Qxf4 {Kasparov agreed with Svidler that White has compensation for the pawn. It's not more than that.} Kg7 17. Nc3 Rae8 18. Bf3 Qe3+ 19. Qxe3 Rxe3 20. Na4 Bc8 21. Bxc6 Rd8 22. Rae1 Rxe1 23. Rxe1 Rd2 24. Nc3 Rc2 25. Nb5 Rxa2 26. Nxc7 Rb2 27. Ne8+ Nxe8 28. Rxe8 Be6 29. Bd5 Bxd5 30. cxd5 Rxb3 31. d6 Rd3 32. Ra8 Rxd6 33. Rxa7 Rd2 34. Ra6 g5 35. h3 h5 36. Ra5 Kg6 37. Rb5 Ra2 38. Kf1 Ra6 39. Kf2 f5 40. Rb8 Ra2+ 41. Kf3 Ra3+ 42. Kf2 g4 43. hxg4 hxg4 44. g3 Ra2+ 45. Kf1 Ra1+ 46. Kf2 Ra2+ 47. Kf1 1/2-1/2 [Event "Saint Louis"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.10"] [Round "8"] [White "Anand, V."] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, M."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A31"] [WhiteElo "2783"] [BlackElo "2789"] [PlyCount "60"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [EventCountry "USA"] [WhiteClock "0:41:57"] [BlackClock "0:17:38"] 1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nf6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 d5 $5 {This was always considered to be dubious, but perhaps it's not so bad.} ({The critical continuation is} 4... e5 5. Nb5 d5) 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 Nb4 ({Though he was surprised by 4...d5, Anand said he was aware of} 6... Nf6 7. Bb5+ Bd7 8. Qe2 e5 9. Nf3 Bb4+ 10. Bd2 Bxd2+ 11. Nbxd2 Qb6 12. a4 a6 13. Nc4 Qc5 {Giri,A (2769)-Svidler,P (2741) Shenzhen CHN 2017}) 7. Bb5+ (7. Be3 N8c6 8. Nb5 Bg4 9. f3 Qxd1+ 10. Kxd1 O-O-O+ 11. Nd2 Be6 12. Nxa7+ Nxa7 13. Bxa7 Nxa2 {Salgado Lopez, I (2635)-Starostits,I (2494) Helsingor 2012}) 7... Bd7 8. Bc4 N8c6 9. Nxc6 Nxc6 10. O-O e6 11. Nc3 $146 (11. Be3 Be7 12. Nc3 O-O 13. f4 Rc8 14. Rf2 Be8 15. Rd2 Qa5 16. Qe2 Bb4 {Silva,M (2268)-Sande,O (2254) corr. 2008}) 11... Be7 12. Bf4 O-O 13. Qd2 Be8 14. Rfd1 ( 14. Qe2 $5 {MVL} Qa5 {Anand}) 14... Qxd2 15. Rxd2 Rc8 16. Nb5 e5 17. Bg3 Na5 ( 17... Nd4 18. Nxd4 Rxc4 19. Bxe5 {MVL}) 18. Bf1 Bxb5 (18... Nc4 19. Nxa7 Nxd2 20. Nxc8 Bc5 21. Rc1 Nxe4 22. Bd3 Bd7 23. Ne7+ $1 Bxe7 24. Bxe4 {"and I'm losing a pawn I think." (MVL)}) 19. Bxb5 f6 20. Rad1 $6 {"Maybe not the most precise." (MVL)} (20. Bd7 $5 Rc7 (20... Rfd8 $2 {fails to} 21. Rd5 $1 {with a double threat.}) 21. Be6+ Kh8 22. Bd5 Rfc8 {is only slightly better for White. Anand didn't see how to make progress.}) 20... Kf7 21. f3 (21. f4 Bc5+ 22. Kh1 Bd4 {Anand}) 21... a6 22. Bf1 (22. Bd7 $5 Rc7 23. Bh3) 22... Nc4 23. Bxc4+ Rxc4 24. Rd7 Rb8 25. Kf1 Ke8 26. Be1 Rd8 27. Rxd8+ Bxd8 28. Ke2 Rc2+ 29. Rd2 Rxd2+ 30. Bxd2 Kd7 1/2-1/2 [Event "Saint Louis"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.10"] [Round "8"] [White "Aronian, L."] [Black "Svidler, P."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A34"] [WhiteElo "2799"] [BlackElo "2751"] [PlyCount "37"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [EventCountry "USA"] [WhiteClock "0:40:59"] [BlackClock "0:33:30"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e3 Nxc3 6. bxc3 g6 7. h4 (7. Bb5+ Bd7 8. Rb1 Bg7 9. O-O O-O 10. d4 Qc7 11. Bxd7 Nxd7 12. e4 Rfd8 13. Qe2 Rac8 { Anton Guijarro,D (2650)-Gelfand,B (2721) Gibraltar 2017}) 7... Bg7 8. h5 Nc6 9. Be2 $146 (9. Rb1 Qc7 10. hxg6 hxg6 11. Rxh8+ Bxh8 12. Qb3 b6 13. Ng5 e6 14. d4 Na5 15. Bb5+ Kf8 {Bauer,C (2632)-Howell,D (2655) Reading 2017}) 9... Bf5 ({ A surprise for Aronian, who mainly looked at} 9... b6) 10. Qb3 b6 11. Ng5 e6 12. f4 $5 ({More promising was} 12. Qa4 Rc8 13. Bb5 {but here Aronian was still planning to take with the knight on f7 on move 14.}) 12... h6 13. Qa4 Rc8 (13... hxg5 $2 14. Qxc6+ Kf8 15. e4 Rc8 16. Qa4 b5 17. Qc2 {Svidler}) 14. Ne4 ( {Also interesting was} 14. Nxf7 Kxf7 15. e4 {(Svidler). In fact Aronian was planning this until he noticed} b5 $1 16. Bxb5 (16. Qc2 Nb4 {Aronian}) 16... Bg4 17. Bxc6 Qd3) 14... g5 15. Bb5 Qd5 16. Nf2 Qd6 ({Initially Svidler planned } 16... Bh7 {but then he didn't like} 17. fxg5 (17. e4 Qd6 18. fxg5 $5 (18. Qxa7 $2 Qxf4 $1 {Aronian})) 17... hxg5 18. h6 Be5 19. e4 Qd6 20. d4 cxd4 21. Ba3 {and Black is in huge trouble.}) ({The players thought} 16... Qxg2 $1 { doesn't work but it does:} 17. e4 ({Aronian was planning} 17. Bf1 Qg3 18. Bb5 O-O {is a mess.}) 17... O-O 18. Bxc6 {and now the wonderful move} Rxc6 $3 { "It's not impossible to find but it's not easy to find either." (Svidler)} ( 18... Bg4) 19. Qxc6 {with the beautiful point} g4 $1 {with e4 pinned and 20... g3 coming - Black is winning here.}) ({In fact after} 16... Qxg2 {Aronian was planning} 17. Bf1 Qg3 18. Bb5 {and expected a move repetition here because} O-O 19. Bxc6 gxf4 {is murky, e.g.} 20. Be4 fxe3 21. dxe3 Bxc3+ 22. Kf1 Bg4 23. Rb1 (23. Nxg4 $2 f5 {is killing because the f-file will always be opened}) 23... f5 24. Bd3) 17. Ne4 Qd5 18. Nf2 Qd6 19. Ne4 1/2-1/2 [Event "Saint Louis"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.11"] [Round "9"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2822"] [BlackElo "2799"] [Annotator "ChessBase"] [PlyCount "103"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [EventCountry "USA"] [SourceTitle "playchess.com"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 b4 9. a5 d6 10. d3 Be6 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12. Nbd2 Rb8 13. c3 Qe8 $5 {Aiming to go . ..Qe8-g6 to drum up an attack on the kingside, thus making all the followers of this crucial game very happy with his brevity} 14. Nc4 Qg6 15. h3 Nd7 16. Be3 d5 17. Ncd2 bxc3 {The exact point where Aronian crossed the threashold of 'brave' to 'rash', as Carlsen shows the weaknesses in Black's position} (17... Bc5 $1 18. Bxc5 (18. d4 Bd6) 18... Nxc5 19. Qe2 bxc3 20. bxc3 Rb2 {and Black has all the reasons to be optimistic about his position}) 18. bxc3 Nc5 19. Bxc5 $1 ({Stockfish 210617 64:} 19. Qc2 Nb3 20. Rab1 Nxd2 21. Nxd2 Qf7 22. Nf3 Bf6 23. Bc5 Rxb1 24. Rxb1 Rd8 25. Kh2 Qd7 26. Qa2 Be7 27. Bxe7 Qxe7 28. Qa4 Qd7 29. Rb7 h6 30. exd5 exd5 31. c4 Rc8 32. Kg1 d4 33. Qa2 Rd8 {[%eval 59,26]}) ({ Stockfish 210617 64:} 19. Nf1 dxe4 20. dxe4 Nxe4 21. Qe2 Rb5 22. N3d2 Nd6 23. Reb1 Rfb8 24. Rxb5 Rxb5 25. Ng3 Nd8 26. Qf3 Nf5 27. Nde4 Nxg3 28. Nxg3 Rb1+ 29. Rxb1 Qxb1+ 30. Kh2 Qa1 31. Ne4 Qxa5 32. Qg4 Qa2 33. Bg5 Qa3 34. Bxe7 Qxe7 35. Qh5 {[%eval -31,27]}) 19... Bxc5 20. Qa4 $1 {White has an edge here - Carlsen judges accurately that Black's attack isn't dangerous} Rb2 21. Rf1 (21. Qxc6 Bxf2+ $1 {The point} 22. Kh1 (22. Kxf2 Rxd2+ $19) 22... Bxe1 23. Rxe1 Rxf3 $1 $19) 21... Na7 22. Nxe5 Qh6 23. Ndf3 Nb5 24. Rae1 Nxc3 25. Qc6 Bb4 26. Kh1 dxe4 27. dxe4 Ne2 28. Rb1 Rxb1 29. Rxb1 Bd6 30. Qxa6 Nf4 31. Qb5 c5 $2 ({Missing the opportunity to play} 31... c6 $5 {Now Magnus had to find out the accurate} 32. Qc4 $1 (32. Nxc6 Nxh3 33. gxh3 Qxh3+) (32. Qxc6 Bxe5 33. Nxe5 Qg5 34. Ng4 h5 35. Ne3 Qxa5 {and Black is still worse, but with fighting chances in a tense tournament situation}) 32... Bxe5 33. Nxe5 Qg5 34. Ng4 h5 35. Ne3 { with a clear advantage to White}) 32. a6 {Simple - Magnus wraps up rest of the game. Just about!} Bxe5 33. Nxe5 Qg5 34. Ng4 h5 35. Ne3 Nxg2 36. Nxg2 Rxf2 37. Rg1 Kh7 38. Qd3 Qe5 39. Qe3 Ra2 40. Qf4 Qc3 41. Ne3 Qf6 42. Qxf6 gxf6 43. Rc1 Rxa6 44. Kg2 Ra2+ 45. Rc2 Ra5 46. Kf3 Kg6 47. h4 Rb5 48. Ra2 Rb1 49. Rc2 Rb5 50. Rc3 f5 51. exf5+ exf5 52. Rd3 1-0 [Event "5th Sinquefield Cup 2017"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.11"] [Round "9"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, M."] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, I."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B92"] [WhiteElo "2789"] [BlackElo "2751"] [PlyCount "103"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nf3 Be7 8. Bg5 Nbd7 9. a4 O-O (9... b6 10. Nd2 h6 11. Bxf6 Nxf6 12. Nc4 Bb7 13. a5 b5 14. Nb6 Nxe4 15. Nxe4 Bxe4 16. Bf3 Bxf3 17. Qxf3 Ra7 {Carlsen,M (2832)-Vachier Lagrave, M (2796) Paris 2017}) 10. Nd2 Nc5 (10... d5 {deserves serious attention. If Black can safely get rid of the backward d-pawn, he is doing well. I see no immediate issue with the move, leading me to believe it is quite strong.} 11. exd5 Nxd5 12. Bxe7 (12. Nxd5 Bxg5 13. Ne4 Nf6 $1 {forces a trade of knights. Without the pawn on d6, many of Black's difficulties are put behind him.}) 12... Nxe7 13. Nc4 Nc6 14. Qd6) 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. Nc4 Be7 13. a5 $146 {White secures control of the b6 square.} (13. O-O Be6 14. a5 Rc8 15. Nb6 Rc6 16. b4 Nd7 {eventually saw Carlsen outlast Nepomniachtchi in Leuven just a couple months ago. There's no doubt that MVL} (16... Nb3 {forces White to accept doubled pawns, which actually just helps to ensnare the rook.} 17. cxb3 Rxc3 18. Bc4)) 13... Rb8 14. Nb6 Nd7 (14... Be6 15. Bg4 {In such a position, White wants to liquidate so that the only minor pieces remaining are his knight against an enemy dark-squared bishop. The most favorable way this occurs is if White does not capture on e6, as a pawn there covers the vital d5 square.} (15. O-O Nd7 16. Ncd5 Bxd5 17. Nxd5 Nf6 18. Nxf6+ Bxf6 19. Bc4 {like a plausible continuation in the game, is much better for White. Bishops of opposite color are (too) frequently considered to lead to automatic draws, but here White's will sit on d5 and attack both sides of the board while Black's bishop is very passive, stuck behind his own pawns.})) 15. Ncd5 Nxb6 16. Nxb6 Be6 17. Bc4 Qc7 18. Qd3 (18. Bxe6 {is the wrong idea. Doubled pawns are not always bad, especially here where after} fxe6 {Nd5 will never happen.}) 18... Bd8 19. c3 { Considering the problems that arose in the game} Qc6 (19... Qe7 {likely was a better square for the queen. If Nepomniachtchi is going to be forced to enter an opposite-colored bishop middlegame, the least he can do is get some counterplay.} 20. Nd5 Bxd5 (20... Qd7 {or other queen moves keep the tension. White is much better, but Black is still very much in the game.}) 21. Bxd5 { Black can now either sit and shuffle and hope that he will survive, or try to strike back with} b6 $5 22. axb6 Bxb6 23. Qxa6 (23. Rxa6 Bxf2+ 24. Kxf2 Rxb2+ 25. Ke1 Qg5) (23. b4 a5 24. bxa5 Qa7) 23... Bxf2+ 24. Kxf2 Rxb2+ 25. Ke1 Qg5 26. Qd3 {White is better here, but} Qxg2 {is still very complicated. Black will have a couple pawns and the initiative for the price of a bishop. This gives very decent chances to hold.}) 20. Bd5 $1 Qe8 21. Bxe6 {And now, because his queen has been kicked, Nepomniachtchi's pawn on d6 is en prise. This prevents him from recapturing with the pawn and keeping the knight from d5.} Qxe6 (21... Bxb6 22. Bd5 {is so unpleasant for Black, but perhaps a superior alternative to the game continuation. It's really hard to pick between two options that both leave you significantly worse, but the presence of bishops of opposite colors is more promising than an amazing knight versus horrible bishop.}) 22. Nd5 f5 23. O-O Rc8 24. Rfd1 fxe4 25. Qxe4 {While Nepomniachtchi opens a file for his rook, he now has another structural weakness: Black has three pawn islands to White's two. This makes defending the pawns much more difficult, as a pawn's best friend is another pawn. The base of the pawn chain is easier to attack.} Qf5 {MVL now gets to choose between two excellent options. Swapping the queens leads to a much better ending, but keeping them on the board is the correct choice. The white queen supports the c4 square, but more importantly keeps alive the opportunity to swiftly play on both sides of the board. Sure, the queen on f5 is Black's only active piece, but it has nothing to attack or prod.} 26. Qe2 Kh8 27. c4 Bh4 28. g3 Bg5 29. Ra3 Rce8 30. h4 Bd8 (30... Bh6 31. g4 {wins the bishop.}) 31. b4 Qg6 32. h5 {A pawn move like this can be pushing too far, but here it is untouchable. There is no way for Black to attack it with a second piece. The huge benefit of this move is that it helps White transfer the knight to f5 (Black struggles to play g6) and apply additional pressure on the pawn on d6.} Qf5 33. Ne3 Qe6 34. Rad3 Be7 35. Nd5 Bd8 36. Rf3 {Black is out of useful moves. MVL removes Nepo's only active piece, and thus makes his life even easier.} Rxf3 37. Qxf3 Kg8 38. Kg2 e4 39. Qe2 Qe5 40. Ne3 Bg5 $2 {The fatal error on move 40.} (40... Qe6 {prolonged the battle. Black's position is horrible, but not lost on the spot.}) 41. Rd5 Qf6 42. Nf5 Re6 43. c5 $1 {Initiating the breakthrough needed to finish the game. In addition to having awkward pawns, Black's king is now under duress.} dxc5 44. Qc4 (44. Rxc5 g6 {allows Black back into the game. An uphill battle remains, but all of a sudden he's pushing his opponent back, and the fewer pawns that remain the better the chance of holding in a queenless ending.}) 44... Qf7 45. Rxc5 h6 (45... Re8 46. Qxf7+ Kxf7 47. Nd6+) 46. Rc8+ Kh7 47. g4 Re7 48. Qd4 (48. Nxe7 $4 {allows a draw} Qf3+ 49. Kf1 Qd1+ 50. Kg2 Qxg4+) 48... Re6 49. Qd5 g6 (49... Re7 50. Qd8 {gains picks up a rook or delivers an immediate checkmate}) 50. hxg6+ Kxg6 51. Rf8 Qxf8 52. Qxe6+ {As Black is about to lose all of his pawns, Nepo resigned, meaning MVL achieved his first elite tournament title. A well-deserved victory for the Frenchman with three names.} 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 "Norway Chess 5th"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.06"] [Round "1"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C50"] [WhiteElo "2808"] [BlackElo "2781"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,A"] [PlyCount "88"] [EventDate "2017.06.06"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 179"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. a4 a6 7. c3 d5 8. exd5 Nxd5 9. Nbd2 Kh8 10. Re1 f6 11. d4 Ba7 (11... exd4 12. Nb3 Ba7 13. Nbxd4 Nxd4 14. Nxd4 {Giri-Tomashevsky, September 2016 where White had the better of it. White's pressure stems from the space advantage on the queenside and the weakness on e6. It isn't very serious, and probably Black can hold with precise play, but it's much more comfortable to play White.}) 12. dxe5 Nxe5 13. Nxe5 fxe5 14. Nf3 (14. Ne4 {seems natural, but it releases the pressure on e5. Nf3 is a bit more ambitious but it clearly has a couple of problems, mainly the weakness on f2.}) 14... c6 (14... Bxf2+ {was already possible, but not entirely clear} 15. Kxf2 Qh4+ 16. Kg1 Qxc4 17. Rxe5 {and after a forced sequence White's position is still slightly more comfortable. His pieces are a bit more active, even though again, Black should be ok.}) 15. Bg5 {Choices aren't easy in chess, and Kramnik presents his opponent with three distinct ones:} (15. Bxd5 $5 cxd5 16. Rxe5 Bg4 {looks a bit dodgy. White will retain extra material (at least one pawn, more if he wants) but his structure on the kingside will be shattered and his king permanently exposed. These kinds of positions sometimes boil down to style, and Kramnik here prefers the initiative.}) 15... Qb6 $6 {Not the most precise. Kramnik ditches the f2-pawn for piece activity and central control.} (15... Bxf2+ 16. Kxf2 (16. Kh1 Qd6 17. Re2 Be6 $1 18. Rxf2 e4 {is also wildly unclear}) 16... Qxg5 17. Kg1 Qd8 18. Nxe5 $14 {seems to be a bit better for White.}) (15... Qd6 $5 {Keeping up the defence of the e5-pawn; now for example:} 16. Bh4 $5 (16. Re4 Qg6 $1 17. Bxd5 cxd5 18. Rxe5 Bg4 19. Kh1 $1 {with a huge mess}) 16... Bg4 17. Bg3 Bxf3 18. gxf3 Rf5 $13) 16. Bxd5 cxd5 (16... Qxf2+ 17. Kh1 cxd5 18. Qxd5 {with e5 falling next, White's king is much safer than Black's.}) 17. Be3 $1 Qxb2 18. Bxa7 Rxa7 19. Qxd5 {Kramnik is a cunning trickster.} b6 (19... Qxc3 $2 20. Qd6 $1 Rg8 21. Qb8 {and the rook cannot be saved!}) 20. Rab1 $6 (20. Qc4 {the pawn deserved to live. This move also threatens Ra2, winning on the spot} e4 $1 21. Ra2 Rc7 22. Qxc7 Qxa2 23. Rxe4 $16) 20... Qxc3 21. Rxb6 Raf7 22. Qxe5 Qxe5 23. Rxe5 {White is up a pawn in the resulting endgame, but because of the pressure on f2, the superiority of a bishop over a knight, and the reduced amount of pawns, winning is tough.} Bg4 24. Re3 Kg8 25. Ne5 (25. Rxa6 Bxf3 26. Rxf3 Rxf3 27. gxf3 Rxf3 {is a draw as the rook gets in behind the pawn.}) 25... Rxf2 26. h3 Bc8 27. Nc6 Rf1+ 28. Kh2 R1f6 29. a5 h6 30. Ne7+ Kf7 31. Nc6 Kg8 32. Rc3 { White retains some pressure, but now Black can neutralise it and Karjakin has no problems doing so.} Kh7 33. Ne7 Bd7 34. Nd5 Rf5 35. Rd6 Bb5 36. Nc7 Bf1 37. Rd7 Rf2 38. Rg3 R8f7 39. Rxf7 Rxf7 40. Rc3 Rf5 41. Rc1 Bd3 42. Rc3 Bf1 43. Rc1 Bd3 44. Rc3 Bf1 1/2-1/2 [Event "Norway Chess 5th"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.08"] [Round "3"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2832"] [BlackElo "2785"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,A"] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "2017.06.06"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 179"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 g6 {The reason that this move is not very popular is that many consider 6.h3 to be more useful generally than 6...a6 in the normal Dragon. That, however, is truly up for debate.} 7. g3 Nc6 8. Be3 {An example of h3 being useful, normally this runs into ...Ng4.} Bg7 9. Bg2 O-O 10. O-O Nd7 11. b3 Nxd4 12. Bxd4 Bxd4 13. Qxd4 { Black plays unambitiously, hoping to defend a solid though slightly worse position.} b6 14. Nd5 Bb7 15. c4 e5 {The weakness on d6 is not easy to target, while Black hopes to use the break b5 and the control over the dark squares to create counterplay.} (15... b5 {immediately was also possible.}) 16. Qe3 (16. Qd2 {keeping pressure on d6 rather than on b6, seemed more logical. Black is going to play b5 anyway.}) 16... b5 17. Rac1 bxc4 18. Rxc4 Bxd5 19. exd5 { The eternal fight between the bishop and the knight. In this instance the knight doesn't have many good anchor squares (it will get kicked out of c5 if it goes there), on the other hand the bishop on g2 creates no great impression. } a5 20. Rfc1 Nc5 21. a3 f5 $6 {Black gains space, but truly he simply weakens his position.} (21... a4 {it's strange Nakamura did not go for this option} 22. bxa4 $1 (22. b4 {strategically Black usually does not want to allow this, but after} Nb3 {the knight heads for the d4-square}) 22... Qd7 {and the knight is superb on c5.}) 22. b4 axb4 23. axb4 Nd7 24. Rc6 f4 25. gxf4 $1 {Black has to decide how to lose a pawn.} exf4 (25... Rxf4 26. Rxd6 Qe7 27. Re6 $1 Qxb4 28. d6 $1 {and with the bishop activated Black's position is difficult, but not without resources:} (28. Rc7 {might be more precise}) 28... Ra3 29. Qe2 Qd4 { with counterplay.}) 26. Qe6+ Rf7 27. Qxd6 Qg5 {Again Black finds resources. Thanks to the exchange of the g-pawn, White's king is exposed and Nakamura clings on to this as his hope to battle White's passed pawns.} 28. Kh1 (28. Rc8+ Rxc8 (28... Kg7 29. h4 $1 {doesn't work for Black}) 29. Rxc8+ Kg7 30. Kh1 f3 31. Bf1 {was a better version of the game.}) 28... f3 29. Bf1 Nf6 {The game is certainly sharp. White is up material but his king is weak, and so are his pawns. Black's king isn't particularly safe either, and any move can prove to be a fatal mistake.} 30. Qe6 $6 {Now Nakamura finds strong counterplay.} (30. Qg3 Qxg3 31. fxg3 Ra2 32. b5 Rb2 {is better for White, despite the passed position of the f2-pawn.}) 30... Kg7 {Unpinning the rook is an obvious start.} 31. Rc7 Rxc7 $1 32. Rxc7+ Kh6 $1 {Black's king now hides on h6, where it is much safer than on g8. With the weakness of White's king it is Carlsen who has to be careful.} 33. Qe1 Ra2 34. Re7 Ng4 {Forcing the result.} (34... Qxd5 { and Black isn't in much danger, but he is not better either.}) 35. hxg4 Qh4+ 36. Kg1 Qxg4+ 37. Kh1 Qh4+ 38. Kg1 Qg4+ 39. Kh1 Qh4+ 40. Kg1 Qg4+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "Norway Chess 5th"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.10"] [Round "4"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2785"] [BlackElo "2796"] [Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2017.06.06"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 179"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bd3 {One of those sidelines that leaves Black with a choice of options.} e5 {I guess Hikaru counted on this one, as MVL only plays Najdorf setups.} ({The Dragon response} 6... g6 7. O-O Bg7 8. a4 O-O 9. Kh1 Nc6 {was seen in Judit Polgar's games against Anand and Grischuk in the World Blitz 2014.}) (6... e6 7. f4 Nbd7 8. O-O b5) 7. Nde2 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Ng3 Be6 (9... g6 $5) 10. Nd5 Bxd5 11. exd5 g6 12. c4 {This is a standard structure, the same as we saw in Carlsen-Nakamura from round three.} Ne8 $2 {I don't like this retreat because it narrows Black's options to a K-side attack alone, and later in the game we will see how iffy this strategy can be.} (12... Nbd7 13. Bh6 Re8 14. b4 a5 15. a3 axb4 16. axb4 Rxa1 17. Qxa1 b5 $1 {is where your Nf6 comes in handy.}) 13. Bh6 Ng7 14. b4 Nd7 15. Rc1 $14 a5 16. a3 axb4 17. axb4 Ra3 (17... f5 18. c5 $1 dxc5 $140 19. d6 Bg5 20. Bxg5 Qxg5 21. bxc5 $16) 18. Ne4 $1 {Nakamura gets his knight to support his queenside offensive.} f5 19. Nc3 e4 20. Be2 Bg5 21. Bxg5 Qxg5 22. c5 Ne5 (22... dxc5 23. bxc5 Nxc5 24. Nb5 Rd3 $1 {was worth taking a look at, but White has his own ideas:} 25. Bxd3 Nxd3 26. Rc7 f4 27. Rxg7+ $1 Kxg7 28. Nc7 {winning back the exchange.}) 23. c6 {Strategically the game is decided. The only thing left to do is put it away by exact calculation.} Nh5 24. Bxh5 gxh5 25. Kh1 {Easier said than done...} ({The most resolute was} 25. cxb7 Ra7 {and now the surprising shot,} (25... Nd3 26. Ra1 Rxc3 27. Ra8) 26. Nxe4 $3 fxe4 27. Rc7 Ra6 28. Rc8 Nd7 29. Qc2 Qxd5 30. Qc7 Qb5 31. Rxf8+ Kxf8 32. Qxd7 Qxd7 33. b8=Q+ Kg7 {secures White a large advantage,} 34. h3 {The black king is too open for Black to have any hopes of advancing his d-pawn.} d5 35. b5 Qa7 36. Qe5+ Rf6 37. Qxd5 {etc.}) 25... Qh4 $2 (25... Nd3 26. Nb5 Nxc1 27. Nxa3 Nd3 28. Qc2 $16) 26. Qd4 Ng4 27. h3 f4 {MVL tries a desperado attack.} 28. Kg1 e3 29. hxg4 hxg4 30. cxb7 exf2+ 31. Rxf2 g3 32. Rxf4 Qh2+ 33. Kf1 1-0 [Event "Norway Chess 5th"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.11"] [Round "5"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B53"] [WhiteElo "2808"] [BlackElo "2785"] [Annotator "Hillarp Persson,T"] [PlyCount "98"] [EventDate "2017.06.06"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 179"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Nc3 {The point of this move is to get Black to put the knight on f6 before playing d4. In this way White avoids some of Black's most popular antidotes.} (3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4 {and Black has three main options:} a6 (4... Nc6 5. Bb5 Bd7 {(Compare this position to the one that arises after 5... Nc6 later.)} 6. Qd3 {is one of those awkward lines that are aimed at getting a Maroczy setup, even at the price of playing some strange moves.} (6. Bxc6 Bxc6 7. Nc3 {, is similar to the game, but here Black can also play} h6 {, intending e7-e5 and Nf6.}) 6... g6 7. O-O Bg7 8. c4 Nf6 9. Nc3 O-O 10. h3 a6 11. Bxc6 Bxc6 12. Nd4 {could be called a tabiya.}) (4... Nf6 {has become more popular lately and White usually continues} 5. Bb5+ Bd7 6. c4 $5 (6. Bxd7+ Qxd7 7. c4 Nc6 8. Qd3 Qg4 9. Nc3 (9. O-O Qxe4 10. Qb3 Rb8 $2 (10... Ne5 $1 {and White has little to show for having squandered the centre.}) 11. Nc3 $36 { Bozinovic,B (1969)-Vucinic,G (2294) Veliko Gradiste 2016}) 9... Qxg2 10. Rf1 Rc8 {Carlsen,M (2855)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2789) Leuven 2016, was good for Black. }) 6... g6 7. Nc3 Bg7 8. O-O O-O 9. Qd3 {with another typical Maroczy/ Bb5+-Sicilian.}) 5. c4 Nc6 6. Qe3 $5 {The let's-put-the-queen-on-a-strange-square has gone so far that "strange" has aquired a different meaning. If it works it is good and work it does.} g6 7. h3 Bh6 8. Qc3 Qa5 9. Qxa5 Nxa5 10. Bxh6 Nxh6 11. Nc3 Be6 12. b3 (12. Nd5 $1) 12... O-O 13. Nd4 Nc6 14. Nxe6 $2 fxe6 $15 {0-1 (49) Muzychuk,M (2528)-Edouard,R (2636) Cap d'Agde 2015}) 3... Nf6 ({After} 3... a6 $5 {White's only decent way to avoid the Najdorf is} 4. g3 $5 {when Black can choose between a Dragon setup and a more traditional Taimanov- or Najdorf-fianchetto.}) 4. d4 cxd4 5. Qxd4 a6 ({White is hoping for} 5... Nc6 6. Bb5 Bd7 7. Bxc6 Bxc6 8. Bg5 e6 9. O-O-O {which is a whole different ball game. The last I checked, theory seemed to agree that Black is all right here, but with the rise of the machines it is quite possible that this verdict has changed.} Be7 10. Qd3 {[%cal Gf3d4]} Qa5 11. h4 {leads to a sharp game, but whether it is balanced I don't know.}) 6. e5 $1 {Otherwise Black gets a perfect Sicilian with Nc6 on the next move.} Nc6 7. Qa4 dxe5 8. Nxe5 Bd7 9. Nxd7 Qxd7 {White has gained the bishop pair, but Black has a harmonious position and develops fast. Intuitively I would not evaluate this position as "better for White", as my silicon friend does, but the more I look at it the more I feel that I perhaps should.} 10. Bd2 {A logical move that paves the way for 0-0-0, but there is also something to be said for the alternative, more positional way:} (10. Be3 {White is aiming to play g3, Bg2, Rd1 and then take it from there. Black cannot sit idly by and wait, but needs to find a way to derail White's effort.} e6 (10... g6 $6 11. Rd1 Qc7 12. g3 Bg7 13. Bg2 O-O 14. O-O Rac8 15. Bf4 Qb6 16. Qb3 Qxb3 17. axb3 $14) 11. Rd1 Qc7 12. g3 Bb4 (12... Be7 $6 13. Bg2 Rc8 14. O-O O-O 15. Bf4 Qb6 16. Qb3 {and again White gets a comfortable endgame advantage.}) 13. Bg2 O-O 14. Qb3 Ng4 15. Bf4 e5 16. Be3 Bxc3+ 17. Qxc3 Nxe3 18. fxe3 Rad8 {and Black is closing in on equality. Still, this line clearly shows that Black is under some pressure.}) ( 10. Bg5 {is less logical since it is Black's queenside that ought to be attacked. After} e6 11. g3 Bb4 {White cannot play} 12. Bg2 $4 {due to} b5 13. Qb3 Nd4 $1) 10... g6 {With white's king evacuating towards the queenside, it is a good idea to aim the bishop towards b2.} 11. O-O-O Bg7 12. Bg5 {This is a new move.} (12. Be3 Qc8 13. h3 $6 (13. g3 $5 {is more to the point, but I feel Black should be fine here.}) 13... O-O 14. g4 {This arrangement is too slow for White as it does not threaten the king while Black is not afraid to have the knight kicked away from f6.} b5 15. Qb3 $6 Na5 (15... e6 $1 {[%csl Rb3]}) 16. Qb4 {Blehm,P (2420)-Janssen,R (2345) Calicut 1998, was unclear.}) 12... Qg4 (12... Qf5 {is more ambitious. Perhaps Nakamura wanted to avoid Kramnik's preparation, thinking "he probably thought I would keep the queens on, so I'll swap them!". Maybe not.} 13. h4 (13. Bxf6 $2 Qxf6 {is absolutely horrendous for White}) 13... O-O 14. f3 b5 15. Qf4 Qxf4+ 16. Bxf4 Rad8 {and Black's pieces are working together very well.}) 13. Bxf6 {From a general which-piece-ought-to-be-swapped point of view, this move is a bit surprising, but it soon becomes obvious that it is a good move.} Qxa4 14. Nxa4 ({Not} 14. Bxg7 $2 Qf4+ 15. Kb1 Rg8 $19) 14... Bxf6 15. c3 $1 {This move restricts both the knight and the bishop. Black has no equivalent move to neutralise White's minor pieces and thus Black's queenside comes under pressure.} e6 {At some point Black must take control of d5 and this is as good a time as any.} ({ The active} 15... b5 {doesn't solve Black's problems:} 16. Nc5 (16. Nb6 Ra7 17. g3 e6 18. Bg2 Nb8 $5 19. Rd3 O-O 20. Rhd1 $36) 16... O-O {and although there are other ways to get some advantage, the principled} 17. Nd7 {seems the simplest. After} Rfe8 18. Nxf6+ exf6 19. g3 Ne5 20. h3 Rac8 21. Kb1 {Black's knight is not quite at par with the bishop.}) (15... Rc8 16. g3 Rc7 17. Nb6 e6) 16. g3 Rc8 17. Bg2 Be7 18. Rd2 h5 $1 {Since there is no way to exchange one's way out of the pressure, priority number one becomes getting some counterplay.} (18... O-O 19. Nb6 Rc7 20. Rhd1 Rd8 21. Rxd8+ Nxd8 22. Kc2 {and White has terrific pressure on the queenside.}) 19. Rhd1 (19. h4 $2 {would reduce White's winning chances significantly as the kingside pawns are set to be chewed on by Black's bishop.}) 19... h4 20. Nb6 (20. g4 $2 Bg5) 20... Rc7 21. Na8 {This kind of repetition saves time and also sends a message to the opponent about who is in the driver's seat.} Rc8 22. Nb6 Rc7 (22... Rd8 23. b4 hxg3 24. hxg3 Rxd2 25. Rxd2 Rh2 26. Bxc6+ bxc6 27. a4 {, followed by Nc4, is difficult for Black as both a6, c6 and - at some point - f7 are weak.}) 23. f4 $1 hxg3 24. hxg3 Rh5 (24... g5 $6 25. f5 $1 exf5 26. Nd5 Rc8 27. Rf2 {is just awful for Black. Observe that} Rh2 $2 {fails due to} 28. Nb6 $1 {followed by Bxc6+ and Rxh2.}) 25. Na8 $1 Rc8 26. Rd7 $1 {A wonderful concept built on the strength of the unopposed bishop.} Rh2 (26... Rxa8 27. Rxb7 Rc8 (27... Nd8 28. Rxe7+ Kxe7 29. Bxa8 $16) 28. Bxc6+ Rxc6 29. Rb8+ {and Black has to give up the bishop.}) 27. Be4 $1 Re2 28. Bxc6 $2 {This move ruins it for Kramnik.} ({ The best move is} 28. Bf3 $1 {The point is that if Black plays} Re3 {, then} ( 28... Rh2 29. Nb6 Rd8 30. Rxb7 $16) 29. Bxc6 bxc6 30. Nc7+ Kf8 31. Rh1 Bf6 32. Rh7 Bg7 {looks almost exactly like the game, with the exception of the placement of Black's active rook. In the game it is on e2, but here it is on e3. But how can this be better for White? Now the rook is not just active but also threatening a pawn! However, what is most important is that the rook is not just on a casual stroll, window shopping for g-pawns, but on an important mission to protect the e6-pawn. If the rook moves away White will strike with Nxe6! So, White can continue with} 33. Kd2 $1 {and the rook ends up in a pickle:} Re4 (33... Rxg3 $1 {might be the best still although} 34. Nxe6+ fxe6 35. Rdxg7 Rg2+ 36. Kc1 $1 (36. Ke3 Rxb2 37. Ra7 Kg8 {is less clear.}) 36... Rg1+ 37. Kc2 Rg2+ 38. Kb3 Rb8+ 39. Rb7 Rxb7+ 40. Rxb7 Rg4 41. Ra7 Rxf4 42. Rxa6 g5 43. Rxc6 Kf7 44. a4 g4 45. Rd6 {and White should win.}) 34. b3 c5 35. Rh1 c4 36. b4 e5 37. f5 $1 gxf5 38. Rh5 Rg4 39. Rxf5 Rxg3 40. Ke2 $1 f6 41. Kf2 Rg4 ( 41... Rxc3 $2 42. Ne6+) 42. a4 {with complete domination.}) 28... bxc6 29. Nc7+ Kf8 30. Rh1 Bf6 31. Nxa6 Ra8 $1 {Black's activity is no less valuable than White's extra pawn.} 32. Nb4 (32. Rh7 $2 Rxa6 33. Rhxf7+ (33. Rdxf7+ Kg8) 33... Ke8) 32... c5 33. Nd3 Rxa2 34. Kb1 Ra8 $1 35. Nxc5 Rb8 36. Rb7 Rxb7 37. Nxb7 Rg2 38. Rh3 g5 $1 {Improving the scope of the bishop and opening up a road towards g4 for the king.} 39. fxg5 Bxg5 40. Nc5 Be7 $1 {If White's knight goes to d3, the bishop will control it from d6. If the knight goes to e4, then the bishop is already in the right spot and Black can play f7-f5.} 41. Nd3 Bd6 42. Nf4 Rf2 43. Rh4 (43. b4 Ke7 $1 {and White cannot go forward with the pawns without the support of the king.} (43... Bxf4 44. gxf4 Rxf4 45. Kb2 Ke7 46. Kb3 f5 {also works, but there is no reason for Black to hurry with such an exchange.})) 43... Ke7 44. Rg4 Rf1+ 45. Kc2 Rf2+ 46. Kb3 Rd2 47. Rg8 Rf2 48. Rg4 Rd2 49. Rg8 Rf2 1/2-1/2 [Event "Norway Chess 5th"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.12"] [Round "6"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D41"] [WhiteElo "2793"] [BlackElo "2808"] [Annotator "Stohl,I"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2017.06.06"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 179"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 c5 5. cxd5 (5. e3 {gives Black a wider choice:} Nc6 ({Plausible alternatives are} 5... dxc4 6. Bxc4 a6 7. O-O b5 8. Be2 Bb7 9. dxc5 Qxd1 (9... Bxc5 10. Qxd8+ Kxd8 11. Nd2 Nbd7 12. Nb3 Bb6 13. a4 b4 14. a5 Ba7 15. Na2 Bd5 16. Nd4 e5 17. Nf5 Bc5 18. Bd2 Ne4 19. Rfd1 Bxa2 20. Rxa2 g6 21. Ng3 Nxd2 22. Rxd2 Ke7 23. Ra1 Rhc8 24. Rad1 Nf6 25. b3 h5 26. Bf3 Rab8 27. Ne4 Rb5 $11 {Wojtaszek,R (2749)-Bu,X (2705) Doha rpd 2016}) 10. Rxd1 Bxc5 11. Nd2 Be7 12. Nb3 Nc6 13. e4 O-O 14. Be3 Rfd8 15. Bb6 Rxd1+ 16. Rxd1 Kf8 17. Nc5 Bc8 18. a3 Ke8 19. Nxb5 axb5 20. Bxb5 Bxc5 21. Bxc6+ Bd7 22. Bxa8 Bxb6 23. h3 e5 24. b3 Ke7 $13 {1/2-1/2 (55) Li,C (2720)-Xiong,J (2658) Khanty-Mansiysk 2017}) ({and also} 5... a6 $5 6. cxd5 exd5 7. g3 (7. Be2 Nc6 8. O-O Bd6 9. dxc5 Bxc5 10. b3 ({or} 10. a3 {is the more usual follow-up})) 7... Nc6 8. Bg2 Bd6 9. dxc5 Bxc5 10. O-O O-O 11. Nd4 Nxd4 12. exd4 Ba7 13. Bg5 Be6 14. Rc1 Rc8 15. Bxf6 Qxf6 16. Nxd5 Bxd5 17. Bxd5 Rxc1 18. Qxc1 b5 19. Qc6 Bxd4 20. Qxf6 Bxf6 21. b3 Rd8 22. Rd1 Kf8 $11 {Aronian,L (2792)-Caruana,F (2807) Saint Louis 2016}) 6. cxd5 (6. a3 a6 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. b4 Ba7 9. Bb2 O-O 10. Qc2 Bd7 11. Be2 dxc4 12. Bxc4 Rc8 13. Ne4 Nxe4 14. Qxe4 Nd4 15. Ne5 Bb5 16. Bxb5 Nxb5 17. O-O Qe7 18. Rad1 Rfd8 19. Nc4 Bd4 $1 20. Bxd4 Rxc4 21. Bc5 Rxd1 22. Rxd1 Rxe4 23. Bxe7 h5 $11 {Bu,X (2712)-Wei,Y (2728) Beijing 2017}) 6... Nxd5 7. Bd3 {and now:} Be7 (7... cxd4 8. exd4 Bb4 $6 9. O-O $1 {is extremely risky for Black:} O-O 10. Bc2 Bd7 11. a3 Bxc3 12. Qd3 f5 13. bxc3 b5 14. a4 a6 15. Re1 Qc7 16. Ng5 (16. Bb3 $5) 16... Qd6 {Grischuk,A (2742)-Mamedyarov,S (2766) Sharjah 2017} 17. Bb3 $1 $16 {Grischuk For more details see the notes to this game in CBM 177 by Hillarp Persson}) 8. O-O O-O {is the more flexible continuation - after} 9. Re1 {Black can retain the tension with} b6 $5 $132) 5... Nxd5 (5... exd5 $2 6. Bg5 $16 {is out of the question.}) ({However, especially Chinese players have successfully employed} 5... cxd4 6. Qxd4 (6. Qa4+ Bd7 7. Qxd4 exd5 8. Nxd5 Qa5+ 9. Nc3 Nc6 10. Qd1 Ne4 $44) 6... exd5 7. e4 ({White has recently tried the less forcing} 7. Bg5 $5 Be7 8. e3) 7... Nc6 8. Bb5 dxe4 9. Qxd8+ Kxd8 10. Ng5 Be6 11. Bxc6 bxc6 12. Nxe6+ fxe6 13. Ke2 Bb4 14. Na4 Kc7 15. Bf4+ Bd6 16. Be3 Nd5 17. Rac1 Rhf8 18. Nc5 Bxc5 19. Rxc5 Nf4+ 20. Bxf4+ Rxf4 21. Ke3 Raf8 22. Rc2 Rg4 23. g3 Rf3+ 24. Ke2 Rg6 25. Rhc1 Rgf6 26. Rxc6+ Kd7 27. Rc7+ Kd6 28. R1c6+ Kd5 29. Rc5+ {½, So,W (2808)-Wei,Y (2706) Wijk aan Zee 2017}) 6. e4 {The principled main line.} ({The more modest} 6. e3 {has at least in comparison with 5.e3 the advantage of limiting Black's options (for example White has already avoided positions, in which he would face the isolated Pd5). This line already arose in a very important game between the same opponents:} Nc6 7. Bd3 Be7 8. a3 O-O 9. Qc2 ({After the standard} 9. O-O {Black can again consider} b6 $5 10. Qc2 Nxc3 11. bxc3 g6 12. Rd1 Qc7 13. Bb2 Bb7 14. dxc5 bxc5 15. c4 f5 16. Rab1 Rad8 17. Be2 Rxd1+ 18. Bxd1 Ba8 19. Qd2 Rd8 20. Qc3 e5 21. Ne1 Qa5 22. f3 Kf7 $11 {Wang,H (2733) -Ponomariov,R (2751) Bucharest 2013 See the notes to this game in CBM 157 by Wang Hao.}) 9... cxd4 10. exd4 f5 $5 11. O-O Bf6 12. Nxd5 Qxd5 13. Be3 b5 $1 14. Qe2 Bb7 15. Rac1 a6 16. Rfd1 f4 17. Rc5 Qd6 {Aronian,L (2809)-Kramnik,V (2810) London Candidates 2013} 18. Bxf4 Qxf4 19. Qxe6+ Kh8 20. Rh5 h6 21. Nh4 $1 $132 {For more details see the notes to this game in CBM 154 by Postny.}) 6... Nxc3 7. bxc3 cxd4 8. cxd4 Bb4+ 9. Bd2 Bxd2+ 10. Qxd2 O-O {The starting position of a line, which has been around since the 1930s (e.g. in the Alekhine-Euwe match). It has quite a solid reputation for Black and even 2 high-calibre wins by White in 1969 didn't discourage Black, who subsequently found ways to sidestep the danger and hold the balance. Although White has a mobile pawn centre, his chances for a successful attack are lessened by the swap of two pairs of minor pieces. Further simplification may give Black a pleasant endgame with the prospect of building a distant passed pawn on the queenside.} 11. Bc4 {Kramnik has played the Semi-Tarrasch quite a few times since 2013 and his games are good examples of the modern development of the line. He played also it against Aronian, in their earlier encounters (including the blitz event in Norway 2017) when Levon preferred the other main move:} (11. Rc1 {and now:} {Currently the more usual reaction is} b6 $142 ( 11... Nc6 12. Bc4 {makes it more difficult for Black to fianchetto his B, but matters are still not too clear:} (12. Bb5 $5 Bd7 13. O-O Ne5 14. Be2 Nxf3+ 15. Bxf3 Rc8 16. d5 Qf6 17. Qa5 exd5 18. exd5 a6 19. Qa3 Rxc1 20. Rxc1 Rc8 21. Rxc8+ Bxc8 22. h3 g6 23. Qc5 Qa1+ 24. Kh2 Qe5+ 25. g3 Bf5 26. a4 b5 27. axb5 axb5 28. Qxb5 Qd4 29. Kg2 Kg7 30. Qe8 h5 31. Qe7 Qf6 32. Qe3 Qd6 $14 {Peralta, F (2574)-Negi,P (2645) Tromsoe olm 2014 In the end Black managed to hold his fortress.}) 12... Na5 (12... Qa5 13. d5 $1 (13. Qxa5 Nxa5 14. Bd3 Rd8 15. Ke2 Nc6 16. Ke3 Bd7 17. Rc3 Kf8 18. Rb1 Rab8 19. Bb5 f6 20. Ra3 Ke8 21. Bxc6 Bxc6 22. Ne1 Ra8 23. Nd3 b6 24. Rc1 Rdc8 $11 {Tikkanen,H (2360)-Aagaard,J (2445) Sweden 2002}) 13... exd5 14. Qxa5 Nxa5 15. Bxd5 Be6 16. Bxe6 fxe6 17. Ne5 Rfd8 18. Ke2 Rd4 19. Ke3 Ra4 20. Rhd1 Nc6 21. Nxc6 bxc6 22. Rd2 Rc8 23. Rc5 $36 { 1/2-1/2 (53) Anand,V (2797)-Naiditsch,A (2706) Baden-Baden 2015}) (12... Qd6 13. O-O Rd8 14. Rfd1 Bd7 15. Qe3 h6 16. h3 Na5 17. Bd3 Rac8 18. e5 Qd5 19. Rc5 Qxa2 20. Qe4 Rxc5 21. dxc5 Kf8 (21... Ba4 $142 $1 22. Qh7+ Kf8 {/\} 23. Re1 $1 Bc6 24. Be2 Qa4 25. Qh8+ Ke7 26. Qxg7 Qf4 $13 {Houdini}) 22. Bb5 Ke7 23. Qh4+ Ke8 24. Qd4 Qd5 25. Qa4 Qxd1+ 26. Qxd1 Bxb5 27. Qb1 $16 {Moiseenko,A (2698) -Romanov,E (2640) Legnica 2013 See the notes to this game in CBM 155 by Ftacnik.}) 13. Bd3 b6 $5 (13... h6 14. O-O b6 15. h4 Bb7 16. Bb1 Rc8 17. d5 exd5 18. e5 Ba6 19. Rxc8 Bxc8 20. h5 Nb7 21. Qd3 f5 22. Rd1 (22. exf6 {seems extremely dangerous, but the engine survives the onslaught after} Qxf6 23. Qh7+ Kf7 24. Re1 Be6 25. Ne5+ Ke8 26. Ng4 Qe7 $13) 22... Qe7 23. Qxd5+ Be6 24. Qc6 Rd8 25. Nd4 Bf7 26. Bxf5 Nc5 27. f4 Qh4 28. Qf3 Bxh5 29. g4 Be8 30. Kg2 g6 31. Bc2 Bf7 $132 {Eilmes,D (2276)-Vecek,M (2210) email 2011}) 14. h4 $5 (14. O-O Bb7 15. Qf4 Rc8 16. Rxc8 Qxc8 17. Rc1 Qb8 18. Rc7 f6 19. d5 Rf7 20. d6 e5 21. Qc1 Rxc7 22. dxc7 Qe8 23. Bc4+ Nxc4 24. Qxc4+ Kf8 25. Qd3 Ke7 26. Qa3+ { ½, Kucherov,D (2122)-Popov,V (2216) email 2011}) 14... Bb7 15. Rh3 f5 16. exf5 exf5 17. Qf4 Rc8 18. Rxc8 Qxc8 19. Kf1 Qe6 20. Kg1 Qxa2 21. Ne5 Qe6 22. Rg3 Be4 $132 {Nyzhnyk,I (2629)-Macieja,B (2583) Dallas 2014}) 12. Bd3 Bb7 13. O-O Nd7 ( 13... h6 14. Qe3 Nc6 15. h4 $1 (15. Rfd1 Rc8 16. h4 Ne7 17. h5 Qd6 18. d5 Rxc1 19. Rxc1 Rc8 20. Re1 Rc3 21. Qd2 Rc5 22. Bb1 Kf8 23. Qd3 Rc8 24. a3 e5 (24... Rd8 $5 $11) 25. Qb3 Rc5 26. Qb2 f6 27. Ba2 Bc8 28. Nd2 Bg4 29. Nc4 Qd7 30. d6 Nc6 31. Nxb6 {Mamedyarov,S (2756)-Kramnik,V (2783) Shamkir 2015} Qxd6 $1 32. Qb3 Be6 $11) 15... Rc8 16. h5 Qe7 17. Bb1 Rfd8 18. d5 exd5 19. e5 Ba6 20. Rfe1 Qd7 21. Qf4 Ne7 22. Nd4 Rxc1 23. Qxc1 $36 {Giri,A (2790)-Harikrishna,P (2763) Shamkir 2016 See the notes to this game in CBM 173 by Iotov.}) 14. Qe3 (14. Qf4 h6 (14... Nf6 15. h3 Rc8 (15... h6 16. Rc3 Rc8 17. Ra3 a6 18. Rb3 Nd7 19. Rfb1 Qc7 20. Ne5 f6 21. Ng6 Qxf4 22. Nxf4 Kf7 23. d5 (23. Be2 $5 Bxe4 24. Re1 $36) 23... exd5 24. exd5 g5 25. Bg6+ Kg7 26. Bf5 gxf4 27. Bxd7 Bxd5 28. Rxb6 Bxa2 29. Bxc8 Bxb1 30. Bxa6 Bf5 $11 {Stefanova,A (2527)-Socko,B (2637) Antwerp 2009} ) 16. Rxc8 Qxc8 17. Rc1 Qb8 18. Qh4 h6 19. e5 Nd5 20. Qe4 g6 21. Qg4 Rc8 22. Re1 Ne7 23. Nh4 Qc7 24. Bxg6 Nxg6 25. Nxg6 fxg6 26. Qxg6+ Qg7 27. Qxe6+ Kh8 $13 {/=/+, Dragun,K (2614)-Rausis,I (2617) Teplice 2017}) 15. h4 $5 (15. e5 Rc8 16. Nd2 Rxc1 (16... Qg5 17. Qxg5 hxg5 18. Ne4 (18. Nc4 $142 $1 Ba6 19. Nxb6 $14) 18... Bxe4 19. Bxe4 Rfd8 20. g3 b5 21. Rxc8 Rxc8 22. Rb1 Rc4 $11 {Gharamian,T (2672)-Gyimesi,Z (2651) Belfort 2012}) 17. Rxc1 f6 18. Qg4 Nxe5 19. Qxe6+ Rf7 20. Bf5 g6 21. Nc4 Nxc4 22. Bxg6 Nd6 23. d5 Kf8 24. Bxf7 Nxf7 25. Rd1 Qd6 $13 { Nakamura,H (2787)-Kramnik,V (2812) Paris rpd 2016}) 15... Rc8 16. Rxc8 Qxc8 17. Rc1 Qb8 (17... Qa8 $5) 18. Qxb8 Rxb8 19. Rc7 Nf6 20. Ne5 Bxe4 21. Bxe4 Nxe4 22. Rxf7 (22. f3 Ng3 23. Nxf7 Ne2+ 24. Kh2 Nxd4 25. Rxa7 Rc8 $11 {Gupta,A (2643) -Golod,V (2561) New Delhi 2012}) 22... a5 23. Rc7 {Gelfand,B (2724)-Kramnik,V (2811) Zuerich rpd 2017} Rd8 $132) {Later games featured} 14... Nf6 (14... Rc8 15. e5 $5 Bxf3 (15... h6 16. Nd2 Bd5 17. Ne4 Bxa2 18. Ra1 Bc4 19. Bxc4 Rxc4 20. Rxa7 Rc7 21. Ra3 f5 {Collas,S (2287)-Cosma,E (2335) Porto Carras 2011} 22. Nc3 $36 {[%cal Yd4d5,Yc3b5,Yb5d6]}) 16. Qxf3 Qh4 17. Qe3 Rfd8 18. f4 Nf8 (18... g6 $5) 19. Rxc8 Rxc8 20. f5 exf5 21. Bxf5 Rd8 22. Rd1 Ng6 23. Bxg6 hxg6 24. d5 Qc4 25. d6 Qe6 26. Qg3 b5 27. h3 $16 {Aronian,L (2809)-Kramnik,V (2801) Paris/St Petersburg 2013 See the notes to this game in CBM 154 by Aronian.}) 15. Ne5 Qe7 16. f3 Rfd8 17. Bb5 (17. Rc2 Rac8 18. Rfc1 h6 19. Be2 Qd6 20. a3 Rxc2 21. Rxc2 Nd7 22. Nc4 Qc7 23. Bd3 b5 24. Nd2 {½, Hammer,J (2628)-Vallejo Pons,F (2709) Sharjah 2017} Qb6 $11) 17... Rac8 18. Bc6 (18. a4 h6 19. h3 Ne8 20. Nc6 Bxc6 21. Bxc6 Nd6 22. d5 e5 23. Qa3 Qg5 24. a5 b5 25. Qc5 Rc7 26. a6 f5 27. Rce1 fxe4 28. fxe4 Qd2 29. Qf2 Qxf2+ 30. Kxf2 Rb8 31. Ke3 Rb6 32. Ra1 b4 $36 { Aronian,L (2793)-Kramnik,V (2808) Stavanger blitz 2017}) 18... Ne8 19. Ba4 Nd6 20. Qa3 Nf5 $6 (20... Rxc1 21. Rxc1 Qg5 22. Rd1 $14) (20... f6 $5 21. Nd3 Ba6 $132) 21. Qxe7 Nxe7 22. Bd7 Rb8 23. Rc7 Ng6 24. Nxf7 $6 (24. Nxg6 hxg6 25. Rd1 $36) 24... Kxf7 25. Bc8+ Ne7 26. Bxb7 Rxd4 27. f4 Rbd8 $11 {Aronian,L (2792) -Kramnik,V (2812) Leuven blitz 2016}) 11... Nd7 {Currently the attention is focussed on the text move.} (11... Nc6 {is the older line, here after} 12. O-O b6 {the dominant continuation is} 13. Rad1 (13. Rfd1 Bb7 14. Qf4 Rc8 15. d5 exd5 16. Bxd5 Qe7 17. Ng5 Ne5 $1 18. Bxb7 Ng6 19. Qf5 Qxb7 20. Rd7 Qa6 $132 { [%cal Ra6a2] Alekhine,A-Euwe,M WCh Netherlands 1937}) ({Interesting is} 13. Rfe1 $5 Bb7 14. d5 Na5 15. Bd3 {/\} exd5 16. e5 $1 $44 {Declining the offer can lead to positions mentioned below.}) 13... Bb7 14. Rfe1 (14. Qf4 Qf6 15. Qe3 Rac8 16. e5 $6 Qh6 $1 17. Qxh6 gxh6 18. Rfe1 Nb4 19. Bb3 Rfd8 20. Re3 Nd5 21. Re4 Nc3 22. Rg4+ Kh8 23. Re1 a5 24. Nd2 b5 $36 {Gschnitzer,O (2427)-Ribli, Z (2585) Germany 2005 This game highlights one of Black's strategic goals - an advantageous endgame.}) 14... Rc8 15. d5 Na5 (15... exd5 16. Bxd5 Na5 $6 (16... Qe7 $142 $14) (16... Qc7 $5 $14) 17. Qf4 Qc7 18. Qf5 Bxd5 19. exd5 Qc2 20. Qf4 Qxa2 21. d6 Rcd8 22. d7 $36 {[%csl Gd7] Spassky,B-Petrosian,T WCh Moscow 1969}) 16. Bd3 Qe7 $142 $5 {is possibly the best move, Black should hold after} (16... Qd6 17. dxe6 $5 (17. Qg5 h6 18. Qg4 Rcd8 19. h4 Kh8 20. h5 Bc8 21. Qh4 exd5 22. e5 Qe6 23. Nd4 Qg4 24. Qxg4 Bxg4 25. f3 Bd7 26. e6 Bxe6 27. Nxe6 fxe6 28. Rxe6 Nb7 29. Re7 Nc5 $132 {Klim,K (2357)-Cyborowski,L (2546) Rewal 2012}) 17... fxe6 18. Qg5 Qd8 19. e5 Qe8 20. Nd4 Nc4 21. f4 Nb2 22. Bb5 Qf7 23. Rb1 Nc4 24. Rbc1 Na3 25. f5 $16 {Havumaki,A-Galje,H (2287) email 2012}) (16... exd5 $6 17. e5 Nc4 18. Qf4 $36 h6 (18... Nb2 $6 19. Bxh7+ $1 Kxh7 20. Ng5+ Kg6 21. h4 $3 Rc4 ( 21... Qe7 22. Re3 $1 Rc4 23. h5+ Kh6 24. Ne4+ Kh7 25. Qf5+ Kh6 26. Rg3 Rxe4 27. Rg6+ Kh7 28. Re6+ Kg8 29. Rxe7 Bc8 30. Qg5 Nxd1 31. h6 Rg4 {Mehlhorn,U (2183) -Drobusch,R (2045) email 2003} 32. Qh5 gxh6 33. e6 $18) 22. h5+ (22. Rd4 $5 $16 ) 22... Kh6 23. Nxf7+ Kh7 24. Qf5+ Kg8 25. e6 Qf6 26. Qxf6 gxf6 27. Rd2 $16 { Polugaevsky,L-Tal,M Moscow 1969}) 19. Qf5 g6 20. Qh3 (20. Qg4 $1 Kg7 21. Nd4 $40) 20... Kg7 21. e6 Qf6 22. exf7 Qxf7 23. Qg3 Rce8 {Bhat,V (2510)-Gerzhoy,L (2456) Palma de Mallorca 2009} 24. Nh4 $36) 17. Qf4 (17. dxe6 fxe6 (17... Qxe6 18. Nd4 Qe5 19. Nf5 g6 20. Nh6+ Kh8 21. Ng4 Qe6 22. Qf4 f6 23. Bb5 g5 24. Qg3 Rcd8 25. Rxd8 Rxd8 26. e5 a6 27. Bf1 Rd4 28. exf6 $1 {1-0, Dokhoian,Y (2570) -Webb,S (2410) Tbilisi 1989}) 18. Bb5 Bc6 19. a4 Rcd8 20. Qe3 Rxd1 21. Rxd1 Rd8 22. Rxd8+ {½, Krzyzanowski,W (2128)-Van Hooff,R (1967) email 2011} Qxd8 $11) 17... Nc4 (17... Rfd8 18. h4 (18. dxe6 Qxe6 19. e5 Bxf3 20. Qxf3 g6 21. Be4 Rxd1 22. Qxd1 Rc5 23. f4 Nc6 24. Qd6 Qc4 25. g3 Qc3 26. Kf2 Nd4 27. Qd8+ { ½, Nickel,A (2579)-Golod,V (2305) Chessfriend.com 2003}) 18... h6 19. h5 Rc5 $5 20. Bb1 Nc4 21. dxe6 fxe6 22. Qg4 Rf8 23. Nd4 Bc8 24. e5 {Leitao,R (2598) -Eliet,N (2427) Charleroi 2006} Nxe5 25. Qe4 Qf6 26. Qh7+ Kf7 27. f4 Ng4 $13) 18. Rc1 b5 19. a4 a6 20. axb5 (20. Rb1 b4 21. Rec1 e5 22. Qh4 Qxh4 23. Nxh4 Nd2 24. Nf5 Nxb1 25. Ne7+ Kh8 26. Nxc8 Rxc8 27. Rxb1 a5 $15 {Bubnov,V (2182)-Van Hooff,R (1967) email 2010}) 20... axb5 21. Bxc4 Rxc4 22. Rxc4 bxc4 23. dxe6 fxe6 24. Qe5 Rc8 25. Rc1 Qf6 $11 {Gyimesi,Z (2652)-Pinter,J (2546) Austria 2012 }) 12. O-O b6 13. Rac1 {The placement of the R will indicate White's middlegame plans. We'll check the alternatives:} (13. a4 Bb7 14. Rfe1 (14. Bd3 Nf6 $5 (14... Rb8 15. Rfe1 h6 16. a5 b5 17. Rac1 a6 18. Qb4 Rc8 19. Nd2 Rxc1 ( 19... Nb8 $1 $132) 20. Rxc1 Ne5 $2 21. Bxb5 axb5 22. dxe5 Qd3 23. h3 $16 { Carlsen,M (2851)-Kramnik,V (2801) Stavanger blitz 2016}) (14... e5 15. Qe3 $1 exd4 16. Nxd4 Nc5 17. Bc2 Re8 18. f3 Qf6 19. a5 Rad8 20. Rfd1 Ba6 21. axb6 axb6 22. Ba4 Nxa4 23. Rxa4 b5 24. Rb4 Rd7 25. Rc1 Red8 26. e5 Qb6 27. Rc6 Qa7 28. Nf5 Qxe3+ 29. Nxe3 Ra8 30. Kf2 g6 31. h4 h5 32. e6 fxe6 33. Rxe6 $14 {Carlsen, M (2855)-Kramnik,V (2812) Paris 2016 See the notes to this game in CBM 173 by Sadorra.}) (14... Rc8 15. a5 Qc7 16. Rfb1 (16. Rfc1 Qd6 17. a6 Ba8 18. h3 h6 19. Rxc8 Rxc8 20. Rc1 Rxc1+ 21. Qxc1 Bc6 22. d5 $6 exd5 23. e5 Qc5 24. Qf4 Nf8 25. Nd4 Bd7 $17 {Melkumyan,H (2633)-Bu,X (2705) Doha blitz 2016}) 16... h6 17. h3 Rfd8 18. Ra3 Qd6 19. Rab3 Rc7 20. axb6 Nxb6 21. Ra1 f5 22. Qe2 fxe4 23. Bxe4 Bxe4 24. Qxe4 Qd5 25. Qxd5 Nxd5 26. Rba3 Nc3 27. Rxa7 Ne2+ 28. Kh2 Rxa7 29. Rxa7 Nxd4 $11 {Ding,L (2707)-Kramnik,V (2801) Paris/St Petersburg 2013}) 15. Rfe1 h6 16. a5 a6 $5 (16... bxa5 17. Rxa5 Qc7 18. Rc1 (18. Ne5 Rfc8 19. f3 Qd8 20. Bf1 Nd7 21. Nc4 Nb6 22. Ne3 Rc7 23. Rea1 Rd7 24. Nc2 Nc8 25. Bb5 Rd6 26. Qb4 Rb8 27. Bd3 Ne7 28. Rb5 a6 29. e5 {Salem,A (2633)-Hou,Y (2652) Moscow 2017} axb5 30. Qxd6 Qxd6 31. exd6 Nc8 32. d7 Nd6 33. Ra7 Kf8 34. Bxb5 Ke7 35. Ba4 Ra8 $11) (18. Rc5 Qe7 19. h3 Rfc8 20. Ra5 Qc7 21. Rc5 Qe7 22. Ra5 {½, Schenk,A (2463)-Cyborowski,L (2524) Germany 2017}) 18... Qd8 19. Re1 Qc7 20. Qb4 Rfb8 21. Qa3 (21. Rc5 Qf4 22. Qd2 Qxd2 23. Nxd2 Rd8 24. Nb3 a5 25. Rxa5 Rxa5 26. Nxa5 Rxd4 27. Nxb7 Rxd3 $11 {Wojtaszek,R (2745)-Kramnik,V (2811) Shamkir 2017}) 21... Rc8 22. h3 (22. Rxa7 Rxa7 23. Qxa7 Ra8 24. Qc5 Qxc5 25. dxc5 Nd7 26. Rc1 Rc8 $11) 22... a6 (22... Qf4 23. d5 exd5 24. e5 Ne4 25. Qe7 Bc6 26. e6 Rf8 27. exf7+ Rxf7 28. Qb4 Re8 29. Qd4 Ng5 30. Rxe8+ Bxe8 31. Qxf4 Rxf4 32. Nxg5 hxg5 33. Rxd5 g4 $11 {Radjabov,T (2710)-Karjakin,S (2783) Shamkir 2017}) 23. Ne5 Qd8 24. Nf3 Rc7 25. Ra4 a5 26. Ne5 Bc6 27. Rxa5 Bxe4 28. Bxe4 Rxa5 29. Qxa5 Nxe4 $11 {Svidler,P (2755)-Kramnik,V (2811) Sochi 2017}) 17. axb6 Qxb6 18. Rab1 Qc7 19. Rbc1 Qe7 20. Qa5 Rfc8 21. Rxc8+ Rxc8 22. Nd2 Qd7 23. Qb6 Rc3 24. Bxa6 Bxa6 25. Qxa6 Qxd4 26. Nf3 Qc5 $11 {/=/+, Topalov,V (2803)-Carlsen,M (2834) London 2015}) 14... Rc8 (14... Rb8 15. Bb5 Nf6 16. Bd3 h6 17. Rab1 Ba8 18. h3 Qe7 19. Rb3 Rfd8 20. Qb2 Rbc8 21. a5 bxa5 22. Ra3 Rb8 23. Qa2 Qb4 24. Rb1 (24. Rxa5 Rxd4 25. Rb1 Qxb1+ 26. Bxb1 Rd1+ 27. Kh2 Rdxb1 $11) 24... Qf8 25. Re1 Qb4 26. Rb1 Qf8 27. Re1 {½, Ponomariov,R (2706)-Kramnik,V (2812) Dortmund 2016}) 15. Bd3 h6 16. a5 Qc7 17. axb6 axb6 18. Ra3 Rfd8 19. Qb2 Qd6 20. Rb3 Rc7 21. Ne5 Nf6 22. Nf3 Qf4 23. Qe2 Rc1 24. Qe3 Rxe1+ 25. Nxe1 Qxe3 26. fxe3 Bxe4 27. Bxe4 Nxe4 28. Rxb6 Ra8 $11 {/=/+, Deac,B (2572)-Kramnik,V (2809) Medias blitz 2016}) ({The most usual follow-up has long been} 13. Rfe1 Bb7 14. Rad1 Rc8 {and now:} 15. Bb3 {supports the d5-advance:} (15. Bd3 Nf6 (15... Qc7 16. Qe3 Rfd8 17. e5 Bxf3 $5 18. Qxf3 Nf8 19. Ba6 Rb8 20. Qe2 Ng6 21. g3 Qc3 $132 {Kozul,Z (2593) -Gyimesi,Z (2592) Murska Sobota 2008}) (15... Re8 16. h4 Nf8 17. h5 h6 18. a4 Nh7 19. Qf4 {Mamedyarov,S (2729)-Socko,B (2635) Istanbul olm 2012} Ng5 $11) 16. Qf4 (16. d5 exd5 17. e5 Ne4 18. Qf4 Nc5 19. Bf5 Ne6 (19... Rc7 $142 $13) 20. Qg4 Rc6 21. Qh3 g6 22. Bxe6 Rxe6 23. Nd4 $44 {Saldano Dayer,H (2345)-Magem Badals,J (2535) Linares 1998}) (16. Bb1 Re8 17. Qf4 Qc7 18. Ne5 Red8 19. g4 Rf8 20. Rc1 Qd6 21. Rxc8 Bxc8 22. Qe3 Rd8 23. Rc1 Bb7 24. g5 Ne8 25. Nf3 Qe7 26. h3 Qb4 27. Qc3 Qa4 28. Bc2 Qd7 29. Qd3 Nd6 30. Qe2 Rc8 31. Rd1 Qc6 $17 {[%csl Rc2, Re4] Solomon,K (2378)-Nakamura,H (2787) Tromsoe olm 2014}) 16... Qc7 17. Qh4 h6 18. h3 (18. e5 Bxf3 19. gxf3 Nd5 20. Kh1 Qe7 21. Qe4 g6 22. Rg1 Kh8 23. Rg3 Rg8 24. Rdg1 Rg7 25. Qg4 Qg5 26. Qxg5 hxg5 27. Rxg5 Rgg8 28. R5g4 Kg7 $44 { Martinovic,S (2517)-Dragnev,V (2372) Austria 2016}) (18. d5 exd5 19. e5 Ne4 20. Qf4 f6 21. Qf5 fxe5 22. Qe6+ Qf7 23. Qxe5 Qf6 $15 {Sadkowsky,D (2340)-Van Herck,M (2214) Brasschaat 2008}) 18... Rfd8 19. Bb1 b5 20. d5 exd5 21. e5 Ne4 22. Nd4 Qxe5 23. Nxb5 Qb2 24. Nxa7 g5 $15 {Rausis,I (2500)-Rotstein,A (2528) Cannes 2005}) 15... Nf6 (15... h6 16. Qf4 Qc7 17. Qh4 Rfd8 18. h3 b5 19. d5 exd5 20. e5 $6 (20. Nd4 $1 $44) 20... Re8 21. Qh5 a5 22. Rd4 a4 23. Bd1 Re6 24. Rf4 Nc5 25. Be2 Ne4 $15 {Kovalenko,I (2700)-Kramnik,V (2777) Berlin rpd 2015}) 16. d5 (16. Qf4 Qc7 17. Qxc7 (17. Qh4 h6 (17... Rfd8 $6 {Keres,P-Fine,R Ostend 1937} 18. Ng5 $1 {[%cal Re4e5]} h6 19. Nxe6 $36) 18. h3 Rfd8 $132 19. Re3 b5 20. Nh2 $6 Kf8 21. e5 Qc6 22. Rf3 Qe4 $17 {Shchekachev,A (2515)-Moussard,J (2439) Le Port Marly 2014}) 17... Rxc7 18. d5 exd5 19. exd5 Rd7 20. Ne5 Rd6 21. Nc6 a6 (21... Re8 22. Rxe8+ Nxe8 23. Nxa7 Nc7 24. a4 Kf8 25. f3 Ke7 26. Rb1 $14 {Mareco,S (2655)-Mastrovasilis,A (2524) Dubai 2017}) (21... Bxc6 22. dxc6 Rxc6 23. Re7 {[%cal Re7f7,Ye7a7] Gaspar,L-Nestler,D Luxembourg 1993} g6 24. Rxa7 Ne4 25. f3 Nc5 26. Bd5 $14 {/=}) 22. Re7 Nd7 23. Ne5 Nxe5 24. Rxb7 Nd7 25. Rc7 Rd8 26. Re1 Nf6 27. Ra7 b5 28. Ree7 Nd7 29. h4 Kf8 $11 {Vitiugov,N (2692) -Mastrovasilis,A (2510) WChT Bursa 2010}) 16... exd5 17. exd5 Rc5 $5 (17... Qd7 18. d6 Bxf3 19. gxf3 Rfe8 20. Qf4 h6 21. Rc1 Rxc1 22. Rxc1 Qh3 23. Ba4 Nd7 24. Bxd7 Qxd7 25. Rc7 Qe6 26. d7 Rd8 $11 {Kratochvil,J (2114)-Andersen,J (2258) email 2011 holds, but by a thin thread.}) 18. d6 (18. Re5 Qd6 19. h3 h6 20. Qf4 Nd7 21. Re4 Qxf4 22. Rxf4 Nf6 23. d6 Rd8 24. Nh4 Be4 25. Re1 Bc2 26. Bxc2 Rxc2 27. Nf5 Rxa2 28. Nxh6+ gxh6 29. Rxf6 Kg7 30. Rf4 Rxd6 $17 {Li,C (2755) -Harikrishna,P (2763) Stavanger blitz 2016}) 18... Bd5 19. Bxd5 Rxd5 20. Qf4 Qd7 21. h3 h6 22. Rxd5 Nxd5 23. Qe5 Nf6 24. Rc1 Rd8 25. Rc7 Qxd6 26. Qxd6 Rxd6 {½, Brunello,S (2557)-Basso,P (2417) Rome 2016}) ({The immediate break} 13. d5 {gives Black a choice between} Nc5 $132 ({and} 13... Nf6 $5 14. Rad1 exd5 15. e5 Be6 16. exf6 dxc4 17. fxg7 Kxg7 18. Nd4 Qf6 19. Nxe6+ fxe6 20. Qd7+ Kh8 21. Qb7 Rad8 22. Rxd8 Rxd8 23. Qxa7 c3 $44 {Beliavsky,A (2662)-Golod,V (2599) Netanya 2009})) 13... Bb7 14. d5 (14. Bd3 {loses a tempo in comparison with the 11.Rc1 line above (the B went to d3 immediately).}) (14. Qf4 Qb8 (14... Nf6 15. Bd3 Rc8 $132) 15. e5 $5 h6 16. Nd2 Rd8 17. Be2 Nf8 18. Bh5 Ng6 19. Qg4 (19. Bxg6 fxg6 20. Nc4 $14) 19... Ne7 20. Nc4 Nf5 21. Rfd1 Bd5 22. Qf4 g5 23. Qg4 Qb7 24. Ne3 Be4 25. Nxf5 Bxf5 26. Qg3 Rac8 27. h4 Rxc1 28. Rxc1 Qe7 29. Qe3 Kg7 $11 {Plat,V (2454)-Hnydiuk,A (2375) Teplice 2015}) 14... Nc5 15. Rfe1 Qf6 $146 {[%mdl 8] Retaining the central tension is a novelty.} (15... exd5 16. exd5 Qf6 17. Rcd1 Rad8 18. Qe3 h6 19. Ne5 Rd6 20. Rd4 Qg5 21. f4 Qf5 22. g4 Qc8 23. h3 Re8 24. Qd2 Red8 25. a3 b5 26. Ba2 Qc7 27. Rd1 Qb6 28. Kh2 a5 29. Qc2 a4 $11 { [%cal Yc5b3] Kaszowski,D (2299)-Hnydiuk,A (2366) Opole 2006}) 16. Qe3 Rac8 { Kramnik opts for an ambitious, but rather risky plan by allowing the advance of White's central pawns.} (16... exd5 17. exd5 (17. Bxd5 Bxd5 (17... Qe7 $5) 18. exd5 Qd6 $11) 17... Rad8 $11 {can transpose to Kaszowski-Hnydiuk above.}) ( 16... Rad8 $5 17. e5 Qg6 18. d6 f6 $132 {is possibly a better version of the idea from the game.}) 17. e5 {Levon accepts the challenge; his choice is very natural.} ({White could have played} 17. h3 {, or}) (17. Rcd1 {- but then why did he initially play 13.Rac1?}) 17... Qg6 18. d6 f6 19. Nh4 $1 (19. exf6 Rxf6 {[%csl Rf3]} 20. Nh4 Qf7 $13) 19... Qg4 $2 {[%mdl 8192] Exposing the Q is a serious tactical error.} (19... Qg5 20. Qxg5 fxg5 21. Nf3 Bxf3 22. gxf3 Kf7 $14 {/~~ is at best only slightly better for White.} (22... Rxf3 $4 23. Bxe6+) 23. h4 gxh4 24. f4 Kg6 $13) (19... Qh5 $5 {is also not quite clear, although perhaps White retains a pull after} 20. Qd4 Kh8 21. g3 Rcd8 22. f4 $5 Qe8 23. Qb2 Qc6 24. Ng2 $14) 20. g3 {[%csl Rg4]} fxe5 $6 {Seemingly natural, but now in addition to the weakness on e6, Black's Q will be in desperate trouble.} ({ More resilient moves were:} 20... Rcd8 21. f4 g5 22. f5 gxh4 23. fxe6 Nxe6 24. exf6 Bc8 25. Bxe6+ Bxe6 26. Qxe6+ Qxe6 27. Rxe6 Kf7 28. Rce1 Rg8 $14 {/+/-}) ({ , or} 20... Qh5 21. f4 {[%csl Gd6]} fxe5 22. Qxe5 Qxe5 23. Rxe5 $36) ({On the other hand,} 20... g5 21. f3 $8 Qh5 22. Nf5 $16 {doesn't help.}) 21. Qxe5 { [%csl Re6,Rg4]} Rcd8 (21... Kh8 22. f3 $5 (22. f4 $16) 22... Bxf3 23. Bxe6 Nxe6 24. Rxc8 Rxc8 25. d7 Rd8 26. Qxe6 Qxe6 27. Rxe6 Bh5 28. Rc6 Bg4 $8 29. Nf3 $1 Kg8 (29... Bxd7 30. Rd6 {[%csl Rd7][%cal Yf3e5]}) 30. Ne5 $16 {/+-}) (21... g5 22. f3 (22. h3 Qxh3 23. Qxg5+ Kh8 24. Qe5+ Kg8 25. f3 $1 $18 {[%cal Rc4f1]}) 22... Bxf3 23. Bxe6+ Nxe6 24. Rxc8 gxh4 (24... Rxc8 25. Nf5 $1 $18 {[%cal Re5e6,Rf5h6]}) 25. d7 {[%cal Re5e6]} Nd8 26. Rxd8 Rxd8 27. Qe8+ Kg7 28. Qe7+ Kg6 29. Re6+ $18) 22. f4 Rf6 {There is no easy way out anymore.} (22... Kh8 23. Be2 Qh3 24. Qh5 {[%cal Rh4g6]} Kg8 25. Bg4 $18) (22... Ba6 23. Bxa6 Nxa6 24. Kg2 g5 25. h3 $18) 23. Rc3 {By protecting g3, Aronian threatens to trap the queen with Be2-f1 and h3.} Rh6 (23... Ba6 24. Bxa6 Nxa6 25. Kg2 Rh6 26. Qg5 $1 Qxg5 27. fxg5 Rxh4 28. gxh4 Rxd6 29. Ra3 $18) 24. Be2 ({White has already more than one way to win. Even more forcing was} 24. Nf5 $1 Rg6 (24... Rh5 25. Bxe6+ Kh8 26. Bf7 $18) (24... Rf6 25. Qxf6 gxf6 26. Nh6+ $18) 25. Ne7+ $18) 24... Qh3 25. Qg5 $1 $18 {[%cal Rg5d8,Re2g4,Re2f1]} Qxh4 {Desperation, but Black gets mated after} (25... Rxh4 26. Qxd8+ Kf7 27. Qe7+ Kg6 28. Qg5+ Kf7 29. gxh4 Qxc3 30. Qe7+ Kg6 31. Bh5+ $1 Kxh5 32. Qg5#) 26. gxh4 Rg6 27. Rd1 {White has an extra exchange and quickly converts his advantage.} Bd5 28. f5 Rxg5+ 29. hxg5 Kf8 (29... Rxd6 30. fxe6 Rxe6 (30... Nxe6 31. Bc4 Nf4 (31... Nc7 32. Rcd3 $18) 32. Rf3 $18) 31. Bg4 Re5 32. Rxc5 $1 bxc5 33. Rxd5 Rxd5 34. Be6+ $18) 30. fxe6 Bxe6 31. Bc4 (31. Rf3+ Kg8 32. a3 $18) 31... Bf5 (31... Bxc4 32. Rxc4 Kf7 33. Rcd4 $18 {prolongs the game, but is still hopeless for Black.}) 32. Re3 g6 33. Re7 Rd7 34. Rde1 {[%cal Re7e8,Re8g8]} (34. Rde1 Rxe7 (34... Rxd6 35. Rf7+ Kg8 36. Re8#) 35. dxe7+ Ke8 36. Bf7+) 1-0 [Event "Norway Chess 5th"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.12"] [Round "6"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A37"] [WhiteElo "2771"] [BlackElo "2812"] [Annotator "Yuffa,D"] [PlyCount "118"] [EventDate "2017.06.06"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 179"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceQuality "1"] {Anish has liked the English of late: his brilliant game against Anand in the same tournament has shown it.} 1. c4 c5 2. Nc3 g6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. Nf3 e6 {The most popular according to the database.} 6. h4 ({Spicy.} 6. O-O { is more calm} Nge7 {White can play a cat and mouse game in centre:} 7. d3 ({ An interesting interpretation by Daniil Dubov:} 7. a3 d5 8. b4 $5 cxb4 $6 (8... dxc4 $1 9. bxc5 e5 {remains complicated}) 9. axb4 dxc4 10. b5 Nd4 11. Nxd4 Bxd4 12. Qa4 $16 {Dubov-Sychev, 1-0, 2016}) (7. d4 cxd4 8. Nb5 O-O 9. Nbxd4 d5 $11 { and it's getting a bit boring}) (7. e3 O-O 8. d4 cxd4 9. Nxd4 d5 {similar to the option above}) 7... O-O 8. Bd2 d5 9. a3 b6 10. Rb1 Bb7 11. b4 cxb4 12. axb4 dxc4 13. dxc4 Rc8 14. c5 bxc5 15. bxc5 Na5 $11 {Petrosian-Fischer, 0-1, 1970}) 6... Nf6 (6... h6 {is the most popular continuation.} 7. d3 Nge7 8. Bd2 (8. h5 $6 g5 9. Nxg5 $2 hxg5 10. Bxg5 f6 11. Be3 d6 12. h6 Bf8 13. g4 Ne5 $19 { Romanishin-Ribli, 0-1, 1978})) (6... d5 $5 {is the most logical and concrete:} 7. h5 Nge7 $1 8. d3 (8. h6 Bf6 {and due to the pawn centre Black has an exellent position.}) 8... h6 $5 {a non-typical but extremely strong decision concerning the pawn structure} 9. hxg6 fxg6 10. cxd5 exd5 11. Qb3 (11. e4 d4 12. Ne2 g5 $15 {White's steeds have remained in their stalls}) 11... b6 $5 ( 11... Bg4 $5 {is a tempation:} 12. Qxb7 Rb8 13. Qa6 Qd7 14. O-O O-O 15. Nh2 Be6 $44 {with good compensation for a pawn}) 12. d4 $5 Bg4 $5 {White is under pressure.}) 7. d4 (7. d3 {does not look so timid:} d5 8. Bg5 h6 9. Bxf6 Bxf6 10. Nd2 O-O ({after} 10... d4 {White has a very promising King's Indian structure:} 11. Bxc6+ bxc6 12. Nce4 Be7 13. f4 {and despite the couple of bishops I'd play White.})) 7... cxd4 (7... O-O {does not equalise because of} 8. dxc5 Qa5 9. Bf4 Rd8 (9... Qxc5 10. Bd6 Qxc4 11. Bxf8 Bxf8 12. O-O d5 13. a3 $14 {it's just a exchange for a pawn, nothing special}) 10. O-O Qxc5 11. Bc7 Re8 12. Nb5 {and White's boa is constricting.}) 8. Nxd4 O-O $146 (8... d5 { has been played once, but, unsuccessfully.} 9. O-O O-O 10. Nxc6 (10. cxd5 exd5 11. Be3 Re8 {the h4-pawn is an evident defect in White's position} 12. Nb3 $6 Rxe3 $5 $36 {a typical sacrifice}) 10... bxc6 11. Qa4 Qb6 $15 {Le Roux-Vallin, 1-0, 2001. Black was better.}) 9. O-O d5 10. cxd5 Nxd5 $6 ({I'd prefer} 10... exd5 {leading to variations above. Now the h4-pawn suddenly becomes useful after...}) 11. Nxc6 $6 ({...} 11. Bg5 $1 f6 (11... Qa5 12. Nb3 {taking on d5 and playing with no risk}) 12. Bc1 Nxd4 13. Nxd5 Nc6 14. Nc3 $14 {A nice pendulum entices Black to push the f-pawn and leave his bishop stuck for a moment.}) 11... bxc6 12. Bd2 Nxc3 13. Bxc3 Bxc3 14. bxc3 Ba6 15. Qc2 Qa5 { Amazingly even such a solid player as Wesley Sohas given White a chance in this dry position.} 16. Rfd1 Qc5 {An inaccuracy.} (16... Rad8 17. Bxc6 Rc8 { leads to a dead draw.}) 17. Rd7 Rad8 18. Rad1 Rxd7 19. Rxd7 Bc4 20. Qd2 (20. a4 Bd5 21. Qd2 a5 {Obviously White is pressing but I don't see anything forced.}) 20... a5 21. Bf3 Qa3 22. h5 Qxa2 23. Qd4 c5 $6 {A mistake.} ({Despite the visual risk it was neccessary to bare the king by} 23... gxh5 $1 24. Qh4 Qb1+ $1 ({of course not} 24... Qa1+ $4 25. Kg2 Qxc3 26. Rd4 $1 Bd5 27. Qg5+ Kh8 28. Qf6+ Kg8 29. Bxd5 cxd5 30. Rg4+ $18) 25. Kg2 Qb5 26. Bxh5 Qe5 $11 ({or} 26... Bxe2)) 24. Qe3 a4 (24... Qa4 25. Rc7 Qd1+ 26. Kg2 $16 {leaves Black's problems unsolved.}) 25. Kg2 Qb1 26. h6 Qf5 27. g4 Qf6 28. Qxc5 Bd5 29. e4 Ba8 30. Ra7 e5 31. Rxa4 Qf4 32. Qe3 Qxe3 33. fxe3 Rc8 ({The brave attempt to play} 33... g5 {would suffer a relapse:} 34. Be2 Bc6 35. Ra5 Re8 36. Kf3 Bd7 37. Bc4 Kf8 38. Bd5 Ke7 39. c4 Be6 40. c5 Rc8 41. Bxe6 Kxe6 42. Ke2 Rd8 43. Ra6+ Ke7 44. Rc6 $22 Ke8 45. Rc7 Kf8 46. Rb7 Ke8 47. Rb2 Rc8 48. Rb5 Rd8 49. c6 $18) 34. Ra5 Kf8 35. Kg3 Bc6 36. c4 $6 ({Anish played an exellent game previously.} 36. Rxe5 $1 {leads to a technical position after} Bd7 37. Ra5 Rxc3 38. Ra8+ Rc8 39. Ra7 Be6 40. Kf4 Rc5 41. e5 Bc8 42. Bd1 Be6 43. Ba4 Rc8 44. Kg5 $18 {combining the threats.}) 36... Bd7 37. Be2 ({A smart move.} 37. Rxe5 Rxc4 38. g5 Bc6 39. Kf4 Rc1 40. Ra5 Rf1 41. Rc5 Bd7 42. Rc7 Bb5 43. Kg3 Rg1+ {Black's rook is too active on the 1st rank unlike the variant above}) 37... Be6 38. Rxe5 Bxc4 39. Bxc4 $6 {Now it's a draw.} ({The last chance was} 39. Bf3 $5 f6 (39... Re8 40. Rc5 Be6 41. g5 Ke7 42. Rc7+ Kd6 43. Ra7 Rc8 44. Kf4 $18 {with the idea of e5 and Re7}) 40. Ra5 Re8 41. Kf4 Bd3 42. g5 $1 {seems to be winning} (42. Ra7 Re7 $1 {no fear!} 43. Rxe7 (43. Ra8+ Re8 44. Ra3 Bb5 {it's not an immediate draw, but it's not lost}) 43... Kxe7 44. Bd1 g5+ 45. Kf5 Bc4 46. e5 Be6+ 47. Ke4 Kf7 48. Kd4 Bc8 49. Bb3+ Ke7 50. Bc2 Bxg4 51. Bxh7 fxe5+ 52. Kxe5 Kf7 {looks fantastic, but it's a draw} 53. Bf5 Bd1 54. Kd6 (54. e4 Bc2 55. Kd4 Bxe4) 54... g4 $11) 42... fxg5+ 43. Rxg5 {and, step by step, combining the threats White will push the pawns and transfer the bishop to d5 which should decide the game. }) 39... Rxc4 40. Kf4 Rc6 41. g5 Rc1 42. Ra5 Ke7 43. Ke5 (43. Ra8 Rf1+ 44. Ke5 Rg1 45. Ra7+ Kf8 46. Rb7 Rg2 47. Kd5 Rd2+ $11) 43... Rc7 44. Rb5 Ra7 45. Rc5 Rb7 46. Ra5 Rc7 47. Ra8 Rc5+ 48. Kf4 Rc1 49. Ra7+ Ke6 50. Ra6+ Ke7 51. e5 Rf1+ 52. Ke4 Rg1 53. Ra8 Rxg5 54. Ra7+ Ke6 55. Ra6+ Ke7 56. Kd5 Rh5 57. Ra7+ Kf8 58. Ra8+ Ke7 59. Ra7+ Kf8 {A very complicated game that all the way through has demonstrated the importance of every move.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Norway Chess 5th"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.14"] [Round "7"] [White "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B77"] [WhiteElo "2796"] [BlackElo "2771"] [Annotator "Quintiliano,R"] [PlyCount "66"] [EventDate "2017.06.06"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 179"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 $1 {Giri was clearly trying to play differently from usual in Stavanger, and despite a sad loss to Kramnik in the last round, and the 50% score, his games were very interesting and combative. If my research is correct, in this game he played the Accelerated Dragon (in classical games) for the first time in no less than 9 years! Surely this was a big surprise to Vachier-Lagrave, as well to the entire chess world watching.} 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Bc4 O-O 8. Bb3 d6 ({Exactly 1 month before this game, against Gelfand, MVL faced} 8... d5 $5 {and failed to get any advantage} 9. exd5 Na5 10. Qd2 Nxb3 11. Nxb3 b5 $1 {Gelfand came very well prepared to explore Black's counter-chances} 12. Nxb5 Qxd5 13. Qxd5 Nxd5 14. Bd4 Rb8 (14... Nb4 {was the move that Gelfand played two days earlier against.. . Giri!} 15. O-O-O Nxa2+ 16. Kb1 Nb4 17. Bxg7 Kxg7 18. Rhe1 Bf5 19. N3d4 Kf6 20. Nxf5 gxf5 21. Rd4 a5 $11 {Giri,A (2785)-Gelfand,B (2724) Moscow FIDE GP 2017 (1) 1/2-1/2}) 15. Bxg7 Kxg7 16. Na3 Nb4 17. O-O-O Nxa2+ 18. Kb1 Nb4 $11 { Vachier Lagrave,M (2795)-Gelfand,B (2724) Moscow FIDE GP 2017 (3) 1/2-1/2}) 9. f3 Bd7 10. Qd2 Nxd4 (10... Rc8 {would have transposed to pure Dragon positions. }) 11. Bxd4 b5 12. a4 (12. h4 {is the most played and MVL played it in his previous encounter against this variation} a5 13. a4 (13. h5 {is more aggressive, but Black is not going to be mated} a4 14. Bd5 (14. Bxf6 exf6 $1 { [%csl Gh6] It is important to keep control of h6} 15. Bd5 b4 $1 16. Ne2 Rc8 $1 {transposing to 14.Bxf6}) 14... b4 15. Bxf6 exf6 16. Ne2 Rc8 17. hxg6 hxg6 18. g4 {[%cal Ye2f4,Yd2h2] White has plans to transfer his queen to the kingside and starts a dangerous attack, but now} Be6 $1 19. Bxe6 fxe6 20. Nf4 Re8 21. Nxg6 Qc7 $44 {Vavulin,M (2604)-Mamedov,R (2688) Moscow Aeroflot op-A 16th 2017 (4) 0-1 and Black is very active taking the initiative for the first time; actually he won a nice game -}) 13... bxa4 ({I'm not sure if Giri was going to play} 13... b4 $5 {[%csl Ya5] because a difference is that the a5-square is not available to his queen now}) 14. Nxa4 h5 15. Nb6 Ra6 16. Nxd7 Nxd7 17. Bxg7 Kxg7 18. Bc4 Ra8 19. Qd4+ {Vachier Lagrave,M (2795)-Radjabov,T (2710) Moscow FIDE GP 2017 (7) 1/2-1/2 and an early draw was agreed -}) 12... b4 $1 {This move will probably become the most popular after this game - we must admit that this is more in the spirit of Dragon positions.} (12... bxa4 {is how I was used to see Black to play here, but it always seemed slightly better for White, due to his better pawn structure} 13. Bxa4 Bxa4 14. Rxa4 $14) 13. Nd5 Nxd5 14. Bxg7 $1 {Usually, this exchange is good to put the black king on a more exposed square - although this allows another defensive idea for Black also.} Kxg7 15. exd5 {[%csl Gd5,Ye7] Also, usually White recaptures with exd5, thus fixing the e7-pawn as a potential target, as moves like e6 or e5 will lead to the creation of more weaknesses.} (15. Bxd5 Rc8 {and White is not exerting any pressure here.}) 15... Qb6 {I like this move, just developing the queen and taking away the d4-square, which is useful for White to gain a tempo with check some time.} (15... a5 16. Qd4+ Kg8 17. h4 (17. O-O $5) 17... e5 18. dxe6 Bxe6 19. O-O-O Bxb3 20. cxb3 $14 {[%cal Yc1b1,Yb1a2] seems always to leave White with an easier game, hiding his king on a2, with possibilities to play against the weak d6-pawn, and create threats against the black king}) ( 15... Qa5 16. O-O $5 {an interesting approach, focussing on the e7-pawn instead of an attack on the kingside} Qc5+ 17. Kh1 a5 18. Rae1 Rae8 19. Re4 e5 {more or less forced, as Rfe1 was coming} 20. dxe6 Bxe6 21. Rfe1 Bd7 {Karjakin, S (2775)-Radjabov,T (2793) Beijing Sportaccord blitz 2012 (3) 1-0} 22. Re7 Bc6 23. h3 {and Black is ok, but again in practice it seems like White has the easier game.}) 16. h4 h5 ({During the game I was wondering if} 16... h6 { could be better, to control more squares and avoid the tense positions that arise when White plays g4, but after} 17. O-O-O Qa5 18. h5 g5 19. Qd4+ Kg8 20. f4 $1 g4 (20... f6 21. Qe4 {[%cal Ge4g6,Ge4e7]}) 21. f5 $1 $40 {Kokarev,D (2623)-Kovalenko,I (2595) RUS Cup final 2012 (1.1) 1-0 White is even coming faster, with a winning attack already -}) 17. O-O-O Qa5 {[%csl Ga4] And there it is, Black is winning the a4-pawn by force.} 18. g4 {The most principled reaction.} (18. Qd4+ {it is also interesting, trying to improve the queen before to launch the attack} Kg8 19. g4 Bxa4 20. Bxa4 (20. Kb1 Bxb3 21. cxb3 Qc5 $1 {gaining time to launch the counter-attack on the queenside} 22. Qe4 a5 23. gxh5 a4 24. Rhg1 axb3 25. hxg6 {Soumya,S (2271)-Bollengier,A (2253) Istanbul ol (Women) 40th 2012 (11.4) 1-0} Rac8 $3 {such a cold-blooded move is difficult to find with everything attacking you on the opposite side} 26. gxf7+ (26. Rc1 Qa7 $1) 26... Kh8 27. Qd4+ Qxd4 28. Rxd4 Rxf7 $11) 20... Qxa4 21. Kb1 (21. gxh5 Rac8 22. Rh2 Qa1+ 23. Kd2 Qa2 $13 {[%cal Yc8c5]}) 21... Rac8 22. b3 Qd7 23. gxh5 Qf5 $1 24. Rd3 Qxh5 25. Qxb4 Rc5 {Kulaots,K (2575)-Braeuning,R (2348) Cappelle op 26th 2010 (5) 1/2-1/2 and Black is fine -}) 18... Bxa4 19. Kb1 $146 {This is the new move, but don't seems a good one, as Black can organise his defences, which Giri does very well.} (19. Qd4+ {would transpose to the lines analysed in the previous move} Kg8 20. Bxa4 (20. Kb1)) 19... Bxb3 20. cxb3 Rh8 $1 {The difference is that now this move comes to consolidate Black's position on the kingside.} 21. Rc1 $6 {White is already thinking about playing with the positional compensation for the pawn, and this is not wrong, but probably Giri breathed a sigh of relief now} ({However, it was interesting to test Black's position in the old Sicilian style} 21. f4 $1 hxg4 (21... e5 { is the computer choice, but seems difficult to spot} 22. dxe6 hxg4 23. Qd4+ Kh7 24. exf7 Qf5+ $1 25. Ka2 Qa5+ 26. Kb1 Qf5+ $11) 22. f5 $1 Rh5 {necessary to stop h5} (22... gxf5 23. Qg5+ Kf8 24. h5 $1 {can be dangerous}) 23. Qd4+ (23. fxg6 fxg6 24. Rhg1 Rf8 25. Rxg4 Rf6) 23... Kh6 $1 24. fxg6 e5 $1 {in my opinion a difficult move to see, but after this Black should be able to hold the attack} 25. Qxg4 (25. dxe6 Qf5+ {is the point, now the queen can join the defence}) 25... f5 $1 26. Qh3 Qb5 $13 {and the position is very complicated.}) 21... Rae8 $1 {a very good move, as now the rook is supporting the e5-ideas} 22. Rc6 (22. Qd4+ {for example} e5 $1 23. dxe6+ Qe5 24. Qxe5+ dxe5 25. exf7 Kxf7 $11) (22. Rc4 e5 $1 23. Rc6 Qd8 24. g5 a5 $15) 22... Qb5 {[%cal Ya7a5, Ya5a4] After protecting the important points in his position, Giri starts to think about counterplay on queenside.} 23. Rc7 $6 {Strangely, from now Vachier-Lagrave started to play some unsound moves, which only helped Giri to stabilise his advantage.} (23. Qd4+ {first} Kg8 {and then} 24. g5 {looks better, to disturb Black's pieces a bit} Qe2 (24... a5 25. Re1 Kh7 26. Qc4 $5 Qxc4 27. bxc4 $44 {[%csl Ge7][%cal Yc6c7,Yc6a6,Gb1c2,Gc2b3]}) 25. Rc7 $1 Qxf3 26. Re1 {and White's active position should at least compensate for the pawns; actually he is going to recover one of them by force.}) 23... a5 24. g5 $2 { And after this, Black can always answer the check with ...Kh7, without disturbing the connection between the rooks.} (24. Qd4+ Kg8 25. g5 Qe2 26. Qd1 $5 {still had offered chances.}) 24... a4 $1 {After succesfully containing White's attack, Giri now starts his own operations against his rival's monarch. } 25. Qd4+ {Too late...} Kh7 26. bxa4 Qxa4 27. Re1 Rhf8 $1 {Another accurate and necessary move.} 28. Ra7 (28. Rexe7 Rxe7 29. Rxe7 Kg8 {[%cal Yf8a8,Yf8c8] and Black is totally free now to attack White's king} 30. Re4 Rc8 $17 {any experienced player knows how desperate is White's position in a practical game. }) 28... Qb5 29. f4 Kg8 $19 {Black is just winning as White cannot prevent the black rooks from invading on the queenside.} 30. f5 {The last attempt to open some lines, but.} gxf5 $1 31. Kc2 (31. g6 fxg6 32. Rexe7 (32. Re6 Rf6 $1) 32... Rxe7 33. Rxe7 Rf7 $19) 31... b3+ 32. Kd1 Rc8 33. g6 Rc5 {A good win for Giri, which showed good points about this 12... b4 variation.} 0-1 [Event "Norway Chess 5th"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.15"] [Round "8"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E48"] [WhiteElo "2832"] [BlackElo "2781"] [Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"] [PlyCount "87"] [EventDate "2017.06.06"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 179"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. cxd5 exd5 7. Nge2 { A modest system, but not without venom. White plans a classic Botvinnik Pawn Roller, made famous by his win over Capablanca, AVRO 1938.} Re8 8. Bd2 Bf8 { The most solid choice.} ({Unlike in similar lines of the QGD, where the white bishop goes to g5, here White's K-side seems a bit vulnerable, so} 8... Bd6 { has been tried on numerous occasions.} 9. O-O c6 10. Rc1 {Khismatullin-Anand, World Rapid 2015.} {Vishy chose} Ng4 $5 ({The tempting} 10... Bxh2+ {doesn't quite work here:} 11. Kxh2 Ng4+ 12. Kg3 $1 Qd6+ 13. f4 ({White can also contemplate} 13. Nf4 $5 g5 14. Rh1 f5 15. f3 $1 Nxe3 16. Bxe3 Rxe3 17. Ncxd5 $1 gxf4+ 18. Nxf4 {where he will soon get his turn to take potshots at the enemy king.}) 13... Rxe3+ 14. Bxe3 Nxe3 15. Qd2 $18) 11. h3 $2 (11. g3 {is normal}) 11... Nh2 12. Re1 Nf3+ 13. gxf3 Qg5+ 14. Kh1 {and should have won the game, but for some reason he rejected the obvious} Bxh3 ({The game went} 14... Qh4 15. Nf4 Bxh3 16. Ng2 Qxf2 17. Bf1 Re6 18. e4 Qg3 $2 19. e5 Bxg2+ 20. Bxg2 Qh4+ 21. Kg1 Qxd4+ 22. Be3 {and White eventually won})) 9. O-O b6 (9... c6 10. Rc1 a5 11. f3 b5 $5 12. Ng3 Ba6 13. Nce2 b4 14. Bxa6 Rxa6 {Jobava-Mareco, World Rapid 2016, Two of my favourite players slugging it out!}) 10. Rc1 c5 11. Nf4 Bb7 (11... Ba6 {appears a bit risky because of the d5-pawn coming under assault after} 12. dxc5 Bxd3 13. Nxd3 bxc5 14. Na4 c4 15. Nf4 Nc6 16. Bc3 { but, perhaps, Black can just give it away:} d4 17. exd4 Rc8 18. d5 Nb4 $44) 12. Qf3 Na6 {Dull, standard play.} ({Ivan Saric tried to uphold Black's colors (Jolly Roger?) a couple of times. One of his efforts saw} 12... Nc6 $5 13. Ncxd5 Nxd5 14. Nxd5 Ne5 15. dxe5 Qxd5 16. Qxd5 Bxd5 17. Bc3 Bxa2 { Martinovic-Saric, 2017. Black doesn't look to be worse at all.}) ({I like} 12... Bc6 $5 {There's no white knight anywhere near e5, and Black is planning to follow up c5-c4 with b6-b5!}) 13. Rfd1 cxd4 {True to his newfound identity of "MInister of Defence" Sergey dutifully accepts a slightly worse position.} ( {Truth be told,} 13... Nc7 $6 14. dxc5 $1 bxc5 15. Na4 Ne4 16. Ba5 Qe7 17. b4 $1 {would have been a much worse outcome.}) 14. exd4 Nc7 15. Bc2 Bd6 16. Be3 Ne4 $1 17. Ba4 Re7 18. Bb3 Qd7 19. h3 Nxc3 20. bxc3 $5 {Magnus is desperate to unbalance the position. Actually, the resulting pawn structure is not that bad: with d4 defended White can concentrate on the d5-pawn.} (20. Rxc3 Rae8 21. Rdc1 g6 {doesn't lead White anywhere.}) 20... Bc6 21. Nh5 Re6 22. Bc2 $2 {Oh, Magnus...} ({First} 22. Re1 $1 {then Bc2 to keep that bishop alive!}) 22... Ba4 $1 {Being Magnus at this moment in time: no wins to his credit, no chance to contend for first place, the media demanding explanations, the chess internet swirling with rumours, the damned glasses make his head ache... He just had to do something about it.} 23. c4 $5 dxc4 24. d5 Rg6 $1 {So far Sergey is showing himself up to the task.} 25. Bd4 (25. Bxg6 fxg6 26. Ng3 Bxd1 27. Rxd1 Qf7 $17) ({Objectively best was} 25. Bxa4 Qxa4 26. Nf4 Rf6 27. Qg4) 25... Bxc2 26. Rxc2 Qa4 27. Rcc1 Qxa2 $2 {I love the concrete approach to positions, but every once in a while we should think like Petrosian.} ({The natural defensive move} 27... Ne8 $1 {would leave Carlsen staring at the dreadful possibility of a third defeat in this tournament and the loss of the Number One position in the Live Ratings list for the first time since 2011.}) 28. Nxg7 $1 Rxg7 29. Bxg7 Kxg7 30. Qg4+ Kf8 31. Qh4 Qb2 32. Rxc4 $2 {In looming time trouble Magnus lets the black king escape.} (32. Qh6+ Ke7 33. Rxc4 Qe5 34. Kf1 {White's intiative should net him more pawns, such as is the case in} Kd7 35. Qxh7 Re8 36. Qxf7+ Kd8 37. Qf3 Qh2 38. g4 {although he's hardly better here.}) 32... Ne8 $2 ({ The position after the obvious} 32... Kg7 33. g3 Kh8 {favours Black}) 33. Re1 Qf6 34. Qxh7 Qg7 35. Qc2 Qf6 36. Rg4 Bc5 37. Re2 Qh6 38. g3 Nf6 39. Rh4 Qg7 40. Kg2 Qg5 $6 ({If only Sergey had another minute to calculate} 40... Nxd5 { as completely safe he would have never lost this game.} 41. Qf5 Rd8 42. Re6 a5 43. Reh6 Bd4 {etc.}) 41. Qc3 Bd6 $2 {This howler was a product of a 25 minute think.} ({Still,} 41... Qg7 $11) 42. Rh8+ Ng8 43. Re4 Qg7 44. Rxg8+ $1 (44. Rxg8+ Qxg8 45. Qf6 Bc5 46. Rg4 Qh7 47. d6 $18) 1-0 [Event "Norway Chess 5th"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.15"] [Round "8"] [White "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2796"] [BlackElo "2808"] [Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"] [PlyCount "95"] [EventDate "2017.06.06"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 179"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 d5 $5 {An intriguing line.} 6. exd5 (6. Nbd2 {Vachier Lagrave-Hou Yifan, Grenke 2017, is a practical choice.}) 6... Qxd5 7. Bc4 Qd6 8. b4 {Energetic.} (8. Qe2 O-O 9. Nbd2 a5 { Topalov-Aronian, 2016}) 8... Bb6 9. a4 e4 (9... a6 10. Nbd2 O-O 11. O-O h6 12. Ba3 $14) 10. dxe4 Qxd1+ 11. Kxd1 Nxe4 12. Kc2 Bf5 {Novelty, and a good one.} ( 12... Nd6 {Caruana-Xiong, US Ch 2017. Fabiano at some point had a sizeable advantage only to squander it away and fight for a draw later on.}) 13. Nh4 Bd7 14. Re1 f5 15. Nxf5 (15. f3 Bf2 16. Re2 Bxh4 17. fxe4 fxe4 18. Rxe4+ Be7 { is equal, because White has to stop ...Bf5, and therefore has no time to exploit the pin on the e-file.}) 15... Bxf5 16. f3 Ne5 17. fxe4 Bg4 {Black enjoys full compensation for a sacrificed pawn.} 18. h3 (18. Na3 Bf2 19. Rf1 Rf8 20. Kb3 O-O-O {Same here.}) 18... Nxc4 19. hxg4 O-O 20. Re2 a5 21. Nd2 (21. Na3 Ne5 22. Bb2 Rf4 23. g5 c6 24. Rd1 Rg4 $11) 21... Ne3+ 22. Kb3 axb4 23. cxb4 Rfd8 24. Bb2 {The ensuing complications kept the game roughly balanced.} ({ However, MVL had a much better move.} 24. Nf3 $1 Nxg4 (24... Nxg2 25. a5 Rd3+ 26. Kb2) 25. a5 Bf2 26. b5 $14 {Once Black's threats run out the active king will help White on the Q-side, while its black counterpart is miles away from the action.}) 24... Rd3+ 25. Bc3 Bd4 26. Rc1 Nd1 27. Nb1 Nxc3 28. Nxc3 Be5 29. a5 Rg3 30. Rf2 c6 31. Rf3 Rxg4 32. Na4 Rxg2 33. Nc5 Rb2+ 34. Kc4 Bd6 $2 { I suspect Vladimir stole a look or two at the Carlsen-Karjakin game, hoping his teammate could bring the Champ down. Grabbing that Number One Position in the live rating list would be so sweet.} ({Normally this game should have ended peacefully after something like this:} 34... Rb8 35. Rd1 h5 36. Rf5 Rc2+ 37. Kb3 Rc3+ 38. Ka2 (38. Ka4 $4 b5+ 39. axb6 Ra8+ 40. Na6 Rxa6#) 38... Bf6 39. Rxh5 Rc2+) 35. Rd1 Bxc5 36. Kxc5 {Suddenly it's Black who's in huge trouble. From the hunted, harried piece the chameleon king turns into the fearsome hunter in the blink of an eye.} Re8 37. Rd7 Re5+ 38. Kc4 $1 h5 $2 ({The salvation was there after a rook trade:} 38... Rxe4+ 39. Kc3 Rbe2 40. Rxb7 R4e3+ 41. Rxe3 Rxe3+ 42. Kd4 Ra3 43. Kc5 g5 44. Kb6 g4 45. a6 g3 46. Re7 h5 47. Re5 h4 48. Ra5 Rxa5 {and both sides will get their new queens to arrive in a drawn ending.}) 39. Rxb7 Rxe4+ 40. Kc5 {Not the same script with four rooks present. Black will find it difficult to advance his pawns as his king falls behind.} Rc2+ 41. Kd6 Rd4+ 42. Kc7 Ra2 43. Kxc6 h4 44. Rb6 Rg4 $2 (44... Rc2+ 45. Kb7 Rd7+ 46. Ka6 Rd5 47. Rb8+ (47. b5 Rb2) 47... Kh7 48. Rff8 g5 49. b5 { Still, a lot of work left for White.}) 45. a6 Kh7 46. Rf5 $1 Ra4 (46... g5 47. Re5 h3 48. Re7+ Kg6 49. Kd5+ Kf5 50. Rf7# {is a good visual on why four rook endings are of a special kind.}) (46... Re4 47. Kd5 Rg4 48. Rh5+ Kg8 49. Kc6 g6 50. Ra5 $18) 47. Rh5+ Kg6 48. Rxh4 $1 {An elegant finish, and MVL finally lights up the scoreboard!} 1-0 [Event "Norway Chess 5th"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.16"] [Round "9"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2786"] [BlackElo "2832"] [Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2017.06.06"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 179"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.07.12"] [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 h6 10. Nbd2 Be6 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12. b4 Nh5 13. Ra2 Qf6 14. Nc4 { This Italian Giuoco Piano/Anti-Berlin Ruy Lopez is a staple of top level chess these days. Between the two of them Anand and Carlsen must have played it a hundred times, including many battles against one another.} b5 $6 {I don't particularly like this move and I suspect Magnus didn't much fancy it either.} ({The thing is, the normal} 14... Ne7 {allows} 15. d4 $1 {and even if Black can hold his own after} exd4 16. cxd4 Ng6 17. e5 $1 Qf5 {which is not a fact yet, the position after} 18. exd6 Qd5 19. Rc2 cxd6 {offers White a chance to wrap it up with repetition:} 20. Ne3 Qe4 21. Nc4) 15. Ne3 ({White has to be slightly careful not to walk into} 15. axb5 axb5 16. Ne3 $2 Bxe3 17. Rxa8 Bxf2+ ) 15... Bb6 16. Ng4 Qe7 17. Be3 Bxe3 18. fxe3 {In the resulting symmetrical structure White holds two advantages: pressure against b5 and better posts for his knights. Granted, it's not much yet, but White's prospects look much brighter.} Rab8 {Concession no.1} 19. axb5 axb5 20. Ra6 Nd8 {Concession no.2 of the same} 21. d4 exd4 22. cxd4 Nf7 23. Qc2 $2 {Not a bad move in itself, but I mark it down for a missed opportunity.} (23. e5 $1 Ng3 24. Qc2 Nf5 (24... Ng5 {offers no compensation whatsoever:} 25. Nxg5 Qxg5 26. exd6 cxd6 27. Rxd6 h5 28. Ne5 $16) 25. e4 Ng3 (25... Nh4 26. Nf6+ gxf6 27. Nxh4 Kg7 28. exd6 cxd6 29. d5 {is disastrous for Black.}) 26. Rc6 {would put Magnus on the ropes yet again. We are used to his indifference to playing for an opening advantage with White because we know of his ability to win from equal positions. Getting in trouble with Black, as consistently happened to Carlsen in this tournament, is another kettle of fish.}) 23... Nf6 $1 {At the last moment the hapless knight escapes.} 24. Nxf6+ Qxf6 25. Rc6 Ng5 $1 {Now Carlsen has a clear path to counterplay.} 26. Nxg5 Qxg5 27. Rxc7 Qg3 $1 28. Qe2 ({Still,} 28. Re2 Ra8 29. Qc1 Ra4 30. Qe1 {was worth trying.}) 28... Ra8 29. Rcc1 Ra3 30. Ra1 Rb3 31. Rab1 Ra3 32. Ra1 Rb3 33. Rab1 Ra3 34. Ra1 1/2-1/2 [Event "Norway Chess 5th"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.16"] [Round "9"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B97"] [WhiteElo "2808"] [BlackElo "2785"] [Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"] [PlyCount "117"] [EventDate "2017.06.06"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 179"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qb6 8. Qd3 Qxb2 9. Rb1 Qa3 10. f5 Be7 11. fxe6 fxe6 12. Be2 Qa5 13. Bd2 Qc7 14. g4 h6 { Lots of theory here, in this modern take on the Poisoned Pawn.} 15. Rg1 { Caruana seeks his own way.} ({The originators of the whole line, the Azeri stars Radjabov, Gashimov and Mamedov, split their efforts between} 15. Qh3) ({ and} 15. e5) 15... Bd7 16. g5 hxg5 17. Rxg5 Nc6 {Hikaru decides to gives back the pawn right away. By doing this he utilises a common approach of side-stepping the bulk of opponent's preparation. The drawback is in settling for an inferior move.} ({I'm sure Fabi had some home cooking ready for} 17... Rh7 {but likely, it was not} 18. e5 dxe5 19. Ne4 $2 Nxe4 20. Qxe4 Bxg5 21. Qxh7 Bxd2+ 22. Kxd2 Qa5+ 23. Kd1 Qd5 $17) 18. Rxg7 O-O-O (18... Nxd4 19. Qxd4 { and Black cannot castle.}) 19. Ncb5 $1 axb5 20. Nxb5 Ne5 $1 (20... Qb8 { gets trashed by} 21. Rxe7 Nxe7 22. Nxd6+ Kc7 23. Bf4) 21. Nxc7 Nxd3+ 22. cxd3 Ng8 $2 ({The redemption could only be found in an incredible computer-generated idea:} 22... Rxh2 $3 23. Rxe7 Rh1+ 24. Bf1 Rf8 {and Black wins his piece back.}) 23. Na8 ({Also,} 23. Ba5 Rxh2 24. Kd2 {was quite good for White.}) 23... Kb8 24. Nb6 Bc6 25. Bf4 {In the immortal words of Roman Dzindzi, White has the pawn and the compensation.} e5 26. Bg3 Bf6 27. Rf7 Be8 28. Rf8 Bg7 29. Rf2 Ne7 30. Bg4 Nc6 31. Rfb2 Nd4 32. Nd5 b5 33. a4 Bh6 34. axb5 Rg8 35. h3 Kb7 36. Ne7 Rf8 37. Nc6 $1 {The shortest way to victory.} Bxc6 38. bxc6+ Kxc6 39. Bf2 {Now White threatens to eliminate Nd4 with checkmate to follow. Hikaru had no choice, but he knew it wasn't going to be enough.} Rxf2 40. Kxf2 Rf8+ 41. Kg2 Be3 42. Rb8 Rxb8 43. Rxb8 d5 44. Rc8+ Kd6 45. Rd8+ Ke7 46. Rd7+ Kf6 47. exd5 e4 48. dxe4 Bf4 49. h4 Nb5 50. h5 Be5 51. Bf5 Kg5 52. Bg6 Nd6 53. Re7 Nc4 54. Re6 Bf6 55. d6 Ne5 56. Bf5 Nd3 57. Rxf6 Kxf6 58. d7 Ke7 59. h6 1-0 [Event "Norway Chess 5th"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.16"] [Round "9"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B91"] [WhiteElo "2781"] [BlackElo "2796"] [Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"] [PlyCount "60"] [EventDate "2017.06.06"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 179"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. g3 e5 7. Nde2 Be7 8. Bg2 b5 9. Nd5 Nbd7 10. Nec3 Nb6 11. Nxe7 Qxe7 12. Bg5 O-O {A small, but significant improvement over} ({Giri-Wojtaszek, 2015, that saw} 12... h6 13. Bxf6 Qxf6 14. a4 $1 {It's crucial for White to soften up Black's queenside.}) 13. Qf3 ({Now} 13. a4 {is pointless. Black goes} b4 {and easily equalises after } 14. Bxf6 Qxf6 15. Nd5 Nxd5 16. Qxd5 Bg4 17. h3 Bf3) 13... Be6 14. Bxf6 Qxf6 15. Qxf6 gxf6 {Black's pieces are active and he can combine attack with defence - ...Nc4 which hits b2 and protects d6 is a case in point.} 16. O-O-O b4 17. Nd5 $6 (17. Ne2 Rfd8 18. b3 a5 19. Kb2 Kf8 20. Rd2 $11) 17... Nxd5 18. exd5 Bf5 19. f4 Rfc8 20. Rd2 Rc5 21. Re1 a5 22. Rf2 Rac8 23. Be4 Bxe4 24. Rxe4 {I guess MVL was content with just salvaging what was left of his tournament, particularly since his win over Kramnik in round eight had already put him on the scoreboard.} Rxd5 $6 ({Otherwise, there was no reason to downgrade the obvious} 24... f5 25. Re3 e4 26. Rd2 h5 27. a3 Kg7 28. axb4 axb4 29. Rb3 Rc4 $17 {There's a dinstinct possibility of Black winning this ending. It has been done before by generations of Sicilian players, including the author of these words.}) 25. fxe5 fxe5 26. Rg4+ Kf8 27. Rh4 Kg7 28. Rg4+ Kf8 29. Rh4 Kg7 30. Rg4+ Kf8 1/2-1/2 [Event "Norway Chess 5th"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.16"] [Round "9"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D05"] [WhiteElo "2808"] [BlackElo "2771"] [Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"] [PlyCount "39"] [EventDate "2017.06.06"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 179"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. e3 e6 4. Bd3 c5 5. O-O c4 $5 {A relatively obscure idea that has a lot of ambition behind it. Black goes for space at the cost of relieving pressure against the d4-pawn.} 6. Be2 b5 7. b3 Bb7 8. Nc3 $6 { A provocative reply from Vladimir.} (8. a4 a6 9. c3 Nbd7 10. Nbd2 Be7 11. Ba3 O-O 12. Qc2 {Kuraica-Bareev, 2003, which ended in an upset win by the Bosnian veteran.}) 8... b4 {Anish doesn't hesitate to go for a space grab.} ({ Rakhmanov-Vallejo Pons, 2013 saw a more subtle approach by Black:} 8... a6 9. Ne5 (9. bxc4 dxc4 $1) 9... Qc7 10. Bd2 Nc6 11. f4 Bd6 12. Bf3 Ne7 13. Rb1 { and only now} b4 $1 {Here White missed his last chance to make a game out of his dubious setup.} 14. Nxd5 $5 exd5 15. bxc4 a5 $1 (15... dxc4 16. Bxb7 Qxb7 17. Nxc4 Qc7 18. Nxd6+ Qxd6 19. Bxb4 Qc6 20. Qd3 Qe4 21. f5 {White isn't in such a bad way here.}) 16. a3 O-O 17. c5 Bxe5 18. fxe5 Ne4 19. axb4 axb4 20. Rxb4 {but Black is probably better here.}) 9. Na4 c3 10. Ne5 Bd6 $2 ({The correct} 10... Nc6 11. a3 a5 12. Bb5 Qc7 {would practically compel White to try the highly speculative} 13. e4 {because otherwise his Bc1 would have no way out.} Nxe4 14. Qg4 h5 15. Qe2 Bd6 16. Be3 $15) 11. a3 ({Also,} 11. Bb5+ { right away has its points.} Kf8 12. Nc5 Qb6 (12... Bxc5 {is depressing. After} 13. dxc5 Qa5 14. a4 Qc7 15. Qd4 {White has full control of the dark squares.}) 13. Nxb7 Qxb7 14. Qd3 a6 15. Ba4 {How does Black develop here? It won't take White long to prepare e3-e4.}) 11... a5 (11... O-O {would be a major concession. White simply goes} 12. axb4 Bxb4 13. Ba3 a5 14. Nc5 Qc7 15. Bxb4 axb4 16. Rxa8 Bxa8 17. Qd3 Nc6 18. f4 {and he has all the play on the a-file and against the weak b4-pawn. That's the problem with attempting to grab space: it only works when we get to push his pieces back. Once the opponent finds his way around the advancing pawns (Na4-c5 in this case), they become terribly weak.}) 12. Bb5+ Kf8 ({The same story unfolds in the event of} 12... Nbd7 13. Nxd7 Nxd7 14. Nc5 Bxc5 15. dxc5 Qc7 16. axb4 axb4 17. Rxa8+ Bxa8 18. Qd4 O-O 19. Bxd7 Qxd7 20. Qxb4 $18) 13. Nc5 Qb6 14. Nxb7 Qxb7 15. Qe2 {The black king is in more trouble than it seems, and, of course, the black rooks aren't coordinated.} g6 {One of those "positional" moves that at times can meet with a direct tactical refutation.} (15... h5 16. f3 h4 17. e4 Qb6 18. Kh1 Qxd4 19. Bf4 {is quite dangerous for Black, yet, it seemed a better choice.}) 16. e4 Nxe4 (16... dxe4 17. Bh6+ Kg8 18. axb4 Bxb4 19. f3) (16... Kg7 17. Nxf7 $1 { Perhaps, Anish missed that one.} Kxf7 18. e5 $18) 17. Bh6+ Ke7 (17... Kg8 18. Ng4 Be7 19. axb4 axb4 20. Rxa8 Qxa8 21. f3 Nf6 22. Qe5 $18) 18. f3 $18 { Black won't last long here.} Nd2 ({Some spectacular lines Anish Giri decided to leave in the dark:} 18... Bxe5 19. fxe4 Bxd4+ 20. Kh1 dxe4 21. Rad1 e5 22. Qc4) ({or} 18... Nf6 19. Rfe1 Bxe5 20. dxe5 Nfd7 21. axb4 axb4 22. Rxa8 Qxa8 23. Qf2 Qa5 24. Qh4+ Ke8 25. Qf6 Rg8 26. Bg5) 19. Rfe1 Kd8 20. Bf4 (20. Bf4 Kc7 21. axb4 axb4 22. Rxa8 Qxa8 23. Nxf7 Bxf4 24. Qxe6 Rc8 25. Qf6 $1) 1-0 [Event "Norway Chess 5th"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2017.06.16"] [Round "9"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2812"] [BlackElo "2793"] [Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"] [PlyCount "117"] [EventDate "2017.06.06"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "CBM 179"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.07.12"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 {It seems White has totally hit the wall in this line.} ({Perhaps, it's time to switch back to} 5. Bg5 { particularly with the idea of meeting the popular Lasker Defence,} O-O 6. e3 h6 7. Bh4 Ne4 8. Bxe7 Qxe7 9. Rc1 c6 {with} 10. g4 $1 ({or} 10. h4 {first}) 10... Nd7 11. h4 {- Aronian-Harikrishna, 2011, and Matlakov-Howell, Euro Individual Ch 2017}) 5... O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 $1 {It's mainly about this move.} 7. a3 ({ The only way to stop c7-c5 is, well,} 7. c5 {which brought Anand success in a World Championship match game against Carlsen in 2014, but since then White has had precious little success with it. Wesley himself scored only 0.5-1.5 in two tries against Nakamura a year ago.} c6) 7... c5 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Nxd5 exd5 10. dxc5 Nxc5 {The point of Black's play. Instead of directly challenging White's stronghold on d4, the black knight prefers to stay active.} 11. Be5 Bf6 {The simplest.} (11... Bf5 {Mamedyarov-Kramnik, 2016, is a nice developing move, but the game showed us how White benefits from his own complete development more than Black. After} 12. Be2 Bf6 13. O-O $5 Bxe5 14. Nxe5 Qf6 { Shak played the energetic} 15. b4 $1 {and was able to obtain something of an edge.}) 12. Bxf6 (12. Be2 Bxe5 13. Nxe5 Qd6 14. Nf3 Bd7 $1 {is very similar to the game.} 15. O-O (15. Nd4 Ba4 16. Qd2 Nb3 17. Nxb3 Bxb3 18. Rc1 Rfd8) 15... Ba4 16. Qd4 Rac8 {The black bishop deprives the white rooks of their birthright d1-square, effectively neutralising the pressure against the isolated pawn.}) 12... Qxf6 13. Qd4 Qe7 14. Rd1 Rd8 15. Be2 Bf5 16. Qb4 a5 17. Qc3 Ne4 18. Qd4 Nc5 19. Qc3 Ne4 20. Qe5 Qxe5 21. Nxe5 Rac8 22. Nf3 Nc5 23. Nd4 Bd7 $1 {The key manoeuvre.} 24. f3 Ba4 25. Rd2 Nb3 26. Nxb3 Bxb3 27. Kf2 Rd6 28. f4 g6 {If White could only airlift his Rh1 to d4, then the pressure on d5 would give him fair chances. In the real world, it is not going to happen.} 29. e4 {Wesley knows it and decides to change the pawn structure.} Rf6 30. exd5 Rxf4+ 31. Bf3 Rd8 32. Kg3 Rf6 33. Rc1 Rfd6 {Rock solid again, and I will leave the rest of the game without notes.} 34. Rd4 a4 35. h4 Kg7 36. Rc3 h6 37. Rc7 Bxd5 38. Rxa4 Bxf3 39. gxf3 b5 40. Rf4 R8d7 41. Rxd7 Rxd7 42. Rb4 Rd5 43. Kf4 f5 44. Ke3 Kf6 45. Rd4 Rxd4 46. Kxd4 g5 47. hxg5+ hxg5 48. b3 Ke6 49. a4 bxa4 50. bxa4 Kd6 51. a5 g4 52. fxg4 fxg4 53. a6 Kc7 54. a7 Kb7 55. a8=Q+ Kxa8 56. Kd3 g3 57. Ke2 g2 58. Kf2 g1=Q+ 59. Kxg1 1/2-1/2 [Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.12"] [Round "1"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Gelfand, Boris"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B35"] [WhiteElo "2785"] [BlackElo "2724"] [Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"] [PlyCount "67"] [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"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Nf3 g6 {Gelfand himself, as a Sveshnikov player, has played 3...e5 in this position numerous times, avoiding the Open Sicilian. But he had something different in mind for this game. He has tried the Accelerated Dragon in a couple of games recently, and he does it again.} (3... e5 $5) 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Bc4 O-O 8. Bb3 d5 $5 {This idea was invented back in 1960 by Livo Nei, a notable Estonian chess player and former second of world champion Boris Spassky in his match against Fischer.} 9. exd5 Na5 10. Qd2 (10. Qf3 $5 {is another critical line played by Karjakin, a notable 1.e4 expert } Nxb3 (10... Bg4 11. Qg3 Bh5 $5) 11. axb3 Bg4 12. Qg3 Bh5 13. d6 $5 $146 Ng4 14. O-O-O Qa5 15. dxe7 Rfe8 16. Rde1 (16. Qd6 $5 {played by Ponomariov against Gelfand in a rapid game in 2016} Be5 (16... Nxe3 {was critical} 17. fxe3 Bxd1 18. Rxd1 Be5 19. Qd7 Qa1+ 20. Kd2 Qxb2 21. Nd5 $13 {with a bizarre position, the computer gives equality (what a surprise!)}) 17. Qd5 Qc7 $2 (17... Qxd5 18. Nxd5 Nxe3 19. fxe3 Bxd1 20. Rxd1 $13 {would also be unclear}) 18. Rd3 Rxe7 19. h3 Nxe3 20. fxe3 {threatening g4} g5 21. Nf5 Re6 22. Ne4 Bg6 23. g4 $16 { 1-0 (36) Ponomariov,R (2709)-Gelfand,B (2743) Tashkent 2016, and White has a great advantage already.}) 16... Rxe7 (16... Nxe3 $5 {with big compensation for Black}) 17. Kb1 Rae8 18. h3 Nxe3 19. fxe3 g5 $44 {1-0 (50) Karjakin,S (2766)-Dubov,D (2655) Doha 2015}) 10... Nxb3 11. Nxb3 b5 $1 {It's amazing that Nei played this move 57 years ago!} 12. Nxb5 (12. O-O-O $6 b4 13. Na4 a5 $6 ( 13... Bf5 $1 $40 {[%csl Rc2] with a quick ...Rc8, White may end up in trouble}) 14. Nbc5 Ba6 15. Nxa6 Rxa6 16. Nc5 Rb6 17. f3 $13 Qa8 $2 18. Ne6 $1 $16 { 1-0 (29) Gabrielian,A (2526)-Matjushin,G (2419) Taganrog 2017}) 12... Qxd5 ( 12... Ne4 $5 {a challenging move} 13. Qb4 a6 14. Na7 $1 {not obvious, but logical - apart from Qxe4, Nc6 is a serious threat} (14. Qxe4 $2 axb5 15. Bd4 Ra4 $1 16. c3 Bb7 {Black is already better} 17. Qc2 Qxd5 18. f3 Bxd4 19. cxd4 Rc8 20. Qd3 b4 $17 21. Kf2 Ba6 22. Qd1 Bc4 23. Re1 $4 Rxa2 $1 {0-1 (23) Timofeev,A (2584)-Smirnov,P (2595) Khanty-Mansiysk 2016}) 14... Qxd5 15. Rd1 Qb7 (15... Qe6 $5 $44) 16. Qxb7 Bxb7 17. Na5 Nc3 18. Nxb7 Nxd1 19. Kxd1 Rfb8 $13 {followed by ...Rxb2, with a weird endgame.}) (12... Bf5 $2 13. c4 $1 Ne4 14. Qe2 Bd7 15. Bd4 Nf6 16. Nc3 e5 17. Be3 $18 {1-0 (28) Kondratiev,P-Nei,I Leningrad 1960 The opening experiment has clearly failed, but still, it was very impressive to find the idea until 11...b5! so long ago.}) 13. Qxd5 Nxd5 14. Bd4 Nb4 $146 (14... Rb8 {was the precedent from 2015, and also the move Gelfand himself played two days after this game with Giri!} 15. Bxg7 Kxg7 16. Na3 Nb4 17. O-O-O (17. O-O e5 $6 (17... Nc6 $1 $146 {this very counter-intuitive move followed by ...a5 (and ...Bf5) is strong, and solves Black's opening problems}) 18. f4 $6 (18. Nc5 $1 $16 {controlling d3, and following with c3, gives White the advantage}) 18... Bf5 19. fxe5 Nxc2 20. Nxc2 Bxc2 21. Rf3 Bxb3 22. Rxb3 Rxb3 23. axb3 Rb8 $11 {1/2-1/2 (42) Saric,I (2647) -Yakovich,Y (2515) Sochi 2015}) 17... Nxa2+ 18. Kb1 Nb4 19. Rhe1 Re8 20. Rd2 Bb7 21. c3 Nd5 22. Kc2 Rec8 23. Rd4 Ba8 $11 {½-½ (43) Vachier Lagrave,M (2795)-Gelfand,B (2724) Moscow 2017, and Black equalised without much trouble.} ) 15. O-O-O $6 (15. Bxg7 $1 {would be the same position as in the game, without allowing 15...Bh6+!} Kxg7 16. O-O-O Nxa2+ 17. Kb1 Nb4 18. Rhe1 { -- 15.0-0-0}) 15... Nxa2+ $6 (15... Bh6+ $1 16. Kb1 Bf5 17. Na3 (17. Na1 Rfb8 $1 (17... Rfc8 $5) 18. Nc7 (18. Nc3 a5 $1 $36) 18... Nxc2 19. Nxc2 Rc8 20. Nxa8 Bxc2+ 21. Ka1 Bxd1 22. Rxd1 Rd8 $1 (22... Rxa8 $2 23. Bc5 $16 {and White is better, with b4 to come, and a dangerous kingside pawn majority}) 23. Nc7 Bg7 $11 {with a balanced endgame.}) 17... Rfc8 18. Bc3 Rab8 $36 {looked very scary for White, ...a5 is the next move.}) 16. Kb1 Nb4 17. Bxg7 Kxg7 18. Rhe1 { Black has won the pawn back, but Giri retains a small initiative.} Bf5 (18... Kf6 $5) 19. N3d4 Kf6 20. Nxf5 gxf5 {This is the critical position, if White wants to try something for a win. As the game was played, Gelfand was able to equalise.} 21. Rd4 $6 (21. c3 $1 Nc6 22. Nc7 Rad8 23. Nd5+ Kg7 24. Kc2 e6 25. Ne3 $16 {with good prospects for White - the pawn majority on the queenside, added to the good placement of his own pieces, would have given Giri chances to play for a win slowly.}) 21... a5 22. g4 $6 {White tries to create some initiative, but Gelfand correctly stops it.} Rg8 (22... Rad8 $1 $11 {was also fine.}) 23. h3 (23. gxf5 Rg2 $132 {with enough counterplay.}) 23... h5 $1 24. gxf5 Rad8 $1 25. Rf4 Rd5 26. Nc3 Rxf5 27. Ne4+ Kg6 28. Rxf5 Kxf5 29. Ng3+ Kg6 30. Rxe7 {White wins a pawn, but Black becomes very active.} Rd8 $1 31. Kc1 ( 31. Re1 Rd2 32. c3 Nd3 33. Re2 Rxe2 34. Nxe2 Nxf2 $11 {with a weird endgame, that should be a draw.}) 31... Na2+ 32. Kb1 Nb4 33. Kc1 Na2+ 34. Kb1 1/2-1/2 [Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.12"] [Round "1"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Vallejo Pons, Francisco"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D31"] [WhiteElo "2772"] [BlackElo "2710"] [Annotator "Roiz,M"] [PlyCount "59"] [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"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 a6 {This unusual system has been successfully employed by Magnus, so other strong players do not mind trying it from time to time.} 4. cxd5 ({The alternative -} 4. e4 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Bb4+ 6. Nc3 c5 {takes the game to ''Slav Gambit'' paths with the inclusion of a7-a6. Most probably, Black shouldn't face serious problems here.}) 4... exd5 {No doubt, the exchange on d5 helps Black to develop the light-squared bishop.} 5. Nf3 c6 ({ The position which arises after} 5... Nf6 6. Bg5 Be6 7. e3 Nbd7 {was tested on the highest level and seems acceptable for Black. For instance,} 8. Bd3 h6 ( 8... Bd6 9. O-O O-O 10. Qc2 h6 11. Bf4 Qe7 12. Bxd6 Qxd6 13. a3 Bg4 14. Nd2 c5 15. dxc5 Nxc5 $11 {Riazantsev,A (2671)-Carlsen,M (2840) Doha QAT 2016}) 9. Bh4 g5 10. Bg3 Nh5 11. Be5 Ng7 12. h3 Nxe5 13. Nxe5 Bd6 14. O-O c6 15. Rc1 h5 $132 {Riazantsev,A (2659)-Mastrovasilis,D (2580) Minsk BLR 2017}) 6. e4 {This is the most ambiitous try - White's development advantage might tell after opening up the position.} ({The quiet} 6. Bf4 {is also not without merits:} Bd6 7. Bxd6 Qxd6 8. e3 Ne7 9. Bd3 Bf5 (9... Bg4 $5) 10. Qb3 b5 11. Bxf5 Nxf5 12. a4 b4 13. Ne2 $14 {Grischuk,A (2754)-Carlsen,M (2857) chess.com INT 2016}) 6... dxe4 7. Ng5 ({Harmless is:} 7. Nxe4 Nf6 8. Nxf6+ Qxf6 9. a3 Bd6 10. Bg5 Qe6+ 11. Be2 h6 12. Bh4 O-O $11 {Morozov,N (2353)-Svetushkin,D (2574) Chisinau MDA 2016}) 7... Be7 {Francisco is deviating from his previous encounter in this line} ({, which saw} 7... h6 8. Ngxe4 Nf6 9. Nxf6+ Qxf6 10. Bc4 Bd6 11. Ne4 Bb4+ 12. Bd2 Bxd2+ 13. Qxd2 Qg6 14. O-O $14 {Svane,R (2552)-Vallejo Pons,F (2711) Hamburg GER 2017}) 8. Bc4 Nh6 ({In the event of} 8... Bxg5 $6 9. Qh5 g6 10. Qxg5 Qxg5 11. Bxg5 Bf5 12. O-O-O $36 {Black wouldn't benefit from simplifications - the dark squares in his camp are very vulnerable.}) 9. Ngxe4 ({I guess, another natural recapture -} 9. Ncxe4 {was rejected by GM Mamedyarov in view of} Nd7 (9... Bf5 {Hammer,J (2630)-Andreikin,D (2734) chess. com INT 2017.} {seems dangerous in view of} 10. g4 $1 Bg6 11. O-O O-O 12. h3 Nd7 13. f4 $36) 10. O-O Nb6 11. Bb3 O-O 12. Re1 Nd5 {and Black is quite solid.} ) 9... Nf5 10. d5 O-O 11. Bf4 (11. O-O {can be well met by} b5 $1 12. Bb3 b4 13. Na4 cxd5 14. Qxd5 Qxd5 15. Bxd5 Ra7 {and Black should be able to neutralise the activity of opponent's pieces in the subsequent endgame.}) 11... cxd5 12. Nxd5 {In the position with symmetrical pawn structures which has arisem White has a slight advantage due to the strong Nd5, but Black's setup lacks weaknesses, so there is nothing serious.} Nc6 ({Possible is also} 12... b5 $5 13. Bb3 Be6 14. Ng3 (14. O-O Nc6 15. Re1 Ncd4 16. Nxe7+ Qxe7 17. Ng5 Rad8 $132) 14... Bd6 15. Bxd6 Qxd6 16. O-O Nc6 17. Nxf5 Bxf5 {and Black is close to full equality.}) 13. O-O Be6 14. Re1 Bxd5 {This decision looks like a concession, but the activity of Black's knights would compensate for the pair of bishops.} 15. Bxd5 Bb4 16. Nc3 $146 {This move enables Shakhriyar to keep some tension in the position.} (16. Bg5 {is harmless:} Nce7 17. Bxb7 Bxe1 18. Bxa8 Bxf2+ 19. Nxf2 Qxa8 $11 {Vakhidov,J (2525)-Xu,Y (2463) Al-Ain UAE 2015}) 16... Nfd4 17. Be4 Re8 18. Re3 {Unpinning the knight and creating some attacking potential (In particular, the rook can be located on g3 or h3).} (18. a3 Bf8 (18... Bxc3 {is less convincing:} 19. bxc3 Ne6 20. Be3 $14) 19. Qd3 g6 20. Rad1 Bg7 $11 {feels quite safe for Black too.}) 18... g6 ({Possibly, a better try was} 18... Ne6 $5 19. Rd3 Qa5 20. Rd5 Bc5 {- it would lead to a more complicated play, but Black should be OK here.}) 19. h4 ({Worth attention is} 19. Bxc6 $5 Nxc6 20. Rxe8+ Qxe8 21. Nd5 Qd8 22. Nxb4 Nxb4 23. Qb3 $14 { , and the vulnerablity of his king still causes Black some problems.}) 19... Ne6 $1 {Inviting further simplifications.} 20. Qxd8 Raxd8 21. Bxc6 bxc6 $11 { White's structural advantage is rather symbolic here.} 22. Rae1 Be7 23. g3 (23. Bg5 Bxg5 24. hxg5 Kg7 $11) 23... Nxf4 24. Rxe7 Rxe7 25. Rxe7 Nd5 {Of course, the rook endgame is very drawish.} 26. Re4 Nxc3 27. bxc3 Rd5 28. Rc4 Kf8 29. Kf1 Ke7 30. Rxc6 1/2-1/2 [Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.13"] [Round "2"] [White "Ding, Liren"] [Black "Inarkiev, Ernesto"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A20"] [WhiteElo "2773"] [BlackElo "2727"] [Annotator "Roiz,M"] [PlyCount "173"] [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"] 1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 c6 4. Nf3 e4 5. Nd4 d5 6. d3 {This move was first played half a century ago, but it has gained some popularity since Giri - Balogh, 2015.} exd3 {Ernesto chooses a considerably rare continuation. Well, unlocking the Bg2 looks like an inndisputable achievement for White.} ({ The above-mentioned encounter saw} 6... Bc5 7. Nb3 Bb4+ 8. Bd2 Bxd2+ 9. Qxd2 dxc4 10. dxc4 Qe7 11. Nc3 O-O 12. Qe3 Re8 13. Qc5 Na6 14. Qxe7 Rxe7 15. O-O-O Bf5 16. h3 $14 {Giri,A (2768)-Balogh,C (2660) Emsdetten GER 2015}) ({In the following recent game Black successfully employed the more active} 6... Qb6 $5 7. dxe4 Bc5 8. e3 dxe4 9. Nc3 O-O 10. O-O Re8 11. h3 Qc7 12. Qc2 Qe5 $132 { Shankland,S (2676)-Piorun,K (2638) Matanzas CUB 2017}) 7. cxd5 ({It looks like White can claim a little edge also by means of} 7. Qxd3 $5 dxc4 8. Qxc4 Nbd7 9. O-O Nb6 10. Qd3 Bc5 11. Rd1 O-O 12. Nc3 $14 {Brunello,S (2557)-Godena,M (2519) Rome ITA 2016}) 7... Bb4+ {This innovation hardly makes the line more attractive for Black.} ({However, also in the event of} 7... Nxd5 8. Qxd3 Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. Nc3 (10. Rd1 Bf6 11. a3 Na6 12. Qb3 Qb6 $11 {Lenderman,A (2582) -Homa,S (2331) Wheeling 2014}) 10... Nxc3 11. bxc3 Nd7 12. a4 Nc5 13. Qc2 $14 { it would be not easy to solve the problem of the c8-bishop.}) ({An attempt to exploit the pin on the Nd4 fails to:} 7... dxe2 $6 8. Qxe2+ Be7 9. dxc6 $1 Qxd4 10. cxb7 Bxb7 11. Qb5+ Nbd7 12. Bxb7 $16) 8. Nc3 c5 {This advance is inviting fresh troubles - now the Bg2 is getting very strong.} ({As earlier} 8... Nxd5 9. Qxd3 Nxc3 10. bxc3 Bc5 11. O-O O-O 12. a4 $14 {offers White a stable positional advantage.}) 9. Nb3 c4 10. Nd2 $1 ({Of course, White has no reason to accept a draw after} 10. Nd4 Nxd5 11. Bd2 Nb6 12. Be3 Nd5 $11) 10... O-O 11. O-O Bxc3 12. bxc3 Bg4 {Provoking the f2-f3 advance wouldn't make Ernesto's position more attractive.} ({A safer way was} 12... Nxd5 13. Nxc4 Nxc3 14. Qxd3 Qxd3 15. exd3 Nc6 16. Re1 Be6 $14 {and the limited material balance offers Black good drawing chances.}) 13. f3 dxe2 ({The following line illustrates the power of White's bishops well:} 13... Nxd5 14. fxg4 Nxc3 15. Qe1 Nxe2+ 16. Kh1 c3 17. Ba3 $1 cxd2 18. Qxd2 $16) 14. Qxe2 Bf5 $6 {This natural move turns out another serious inaccuracy.} ({More to the point was} 14... Bd7 15. Qxc4 Qa5 16. Nb3 Qxd5 17. Qxd5 Nxd5 18. c4 Nb6 19. c5 Nd5 20. f4 Bc6 21. Na5 $14) 15. Nxc4 Qxd5 ({In the event of} 15... Re8 16. Qd2 Nxd5 17. Ba3 Nc6 18. Nd6 Ne3 19. Rfe1 Qb6 20. Qf2 Re6 21. Rxe3 Qxe3 22. Nxf5 $16 {White's minor pieces would be much stronger than a rook.}) 16. Rd1 Qb5 $2 {This inaccurate retreat could lead to a quick loss.} ({After} 16... Qc5+ 17. Be3 Qc7 18. Nd6 Be6 19. Qb2 $16 {Black's position is difficult, but still playable.}) 17. a4 Qa6 18. Bf1 $6 { GM Ding Liren fails to find the proper way of handling the position, so now Black stays in the game.} ({A much stronger move was} 18. Ba3 $1 Re8 (18... Rc8 19. Bf1 Be6 20. Nd6 Qxe2 21. Bxe2 $18) 19. Qf1 Re6 20. Nd6 Qxf1+ 21. Bxf1 Bg6 22. Bc4 $18 {and White is dominating over the board.}) 18... Be6 19. Nd6 Qxe2 20. Bxe2 b6 21. Nb5 $6 {Another mistake. White loses the lion's part of his advantage.} (21. Ba3 {was much stronger:} Nbd7 22. a5 Nc5 23. Bxc5 bxc5 24. Bc4 $16 {with strong pressure.}) 21... Bb3 $2 {Ernesto returns the favour.} ({ It was the right moment for completing development:} 21... Nc6 22. Nc7 Rac8 23. Nxe6 fxe6 24. Ba6 Rc7 25. Bf4 e5 26. Bc1 Na5 27. Ba3 Re8 $14) 22. Rd6 Nbd7 23. a5 {Despite the major simplifications, White's advantage is very big.} Rfc8 $6 (23... bxa5 {was better:} 24. Rxa5 Rfe8 25. Kf2 Nc5 $16) 24. Kf2 h6 ({After} 24... bxa5 25. Rxa5 Bc4 26. Bxc4 Rxc4 27. Rda6 h6 28. Rxa7 Rxa7 29. Rxa7 $18 { White should be able to convert the material advantage into a full point.}) 25. Be3 $6 {This move makes Ding Liren's task much more difficult.} ({A stronger one was} 25. Nd4 $1 Be6 26. Nxe6 fxe6 27. Rxe6 bxa5 28. Be3 Rxc3 29. Rxa5 Rc2 30. Bd4 $18 {, and the Pa7 falls.}) 25... Ne5 (25... bxa5 26. Rxa5 Ne5 27. Rxa7 Rxa7 28. Bxa7 Bc4 29. Bxc4 Nxc4 30. Rd4 Kf8 $16) 26. Bd4 (26. axb6 axb6 27. Rxa8 Rxa8 28. Bd4 Nc4 29. Rc6 Na5 30. Rxb6 Nd5 31. Rd6 Nb7 32. Rd7 Ra2 33. Rxb7 Bc4 $16) 26... Nc4 27. Rxf6 $1 {This is the only way to proceed.} (27. Bxc4 Bxc4 28. Bxf6 $2 Bxb5 29. axb6 axb6 30. Rxa8 Rxa8 $11 {would lead to a dead draw.}) 27... gxf6 28. Bxc4 Bxc4 29. Nd6 bxa5 30. Nxc8 Rxc8 31. Rxa5 { Unfortunately for Ernesto, the bishops of different colours do not offer Black real drawing chances in the resulting endgame.} Re8 $2 ({It was necessary to play} 31... a6 32. Bxf6 Bb5 33. Bd4 f5 $16 {activating the king.}) 32. g4 a6 33. Rc5 Bd3 34. Bxf6 {The Nf6 is gone, so Black's king feels less comfortable now.} Re6 35. Bd4 Kf8 36. h4 Ke8 ({After} 36... Bb5 37. Rc8+ Re8 38. Rc7 Ra8 39. Rc5 Ke7 40. Bg7 $18 {White would obtain the h-passer soon.}) 37. Rc8+ Kd7 38. Rf8 $18 {Black has too many weaknesses.} Ke7 39. Bc5+ Kf6 40. Rh8 Kg7 41. Bd4+ f6 42. Rd8 Bc4 43. Rd7+ (43. g5 hxg5 44. hxg5 Kf7 45. gxf6 $18 {was also good enough.}) 43... Kg8 44. Ra7 Bd3 45. Kg3 {White can slowly improve the position.} Rc6 46. h5 Bc2 47. f4 Bd1 48. Kh4 Rd6 49. Ra8+ Kf7 50. Rh8 Kg7 51. Rc8 Kf7 (51... Re6 {was the most stubborn, but still} 52. Rc7+ Kg8 53. Ra7 Re4 54. Kg3 Re6 55. Ra8+ Kf7 56. Rh8 Kg7 57. Rd8 Kf7 58. c4 {would secure White the victory.}) 52. Rc7+ Kg8 53. Rc5 ({A simpler way was} 53. f5 Bc2 54. Be3 $18 ) 53... Kf7 54. g5 $2 {This premature advance gives Ernesto some hopes.} ({ Once again,} 54. Rc7+ {was much stronger:} Kg8 55. f5 $1 $18) 54... fxg5+ 55. fxg5 hxg5+ 56. Kxg5 Bc2 57. Rc7+ Ke6 58. h6 Rd5+ (58... Rd7 59. Rc6+ Rd6 60. Rc8 a5 $16) 59. Kg4 Rd7 60. Rc6+ Rd6 61. Rc7 Rd7 62. Rc5 Rd5 63. Rc8 a5 64. Re8+ Kd7 $2 {The decisive mistake.} ({The correct move was} 64... Kf7 65. Ra8 Bd1+ 66. Kg3 Rg5+ 67. Kf2 Rh5 68. Ra7+ Kg6 69. Be3 Bb3 $16 {and the result of the game is still unpredictable.}) 65. Ra8 a4 66. h7 Bxh7 67. Ra7+ Kc6 68. Rxh7 {The rest is just an agony.} Ra5 69. Rh6+ Kd7 70. Kf4 a3 71. Rh1 a2 72. Ra1 Kc6 73. Ke4 Kb5 74. Kd3 Ra8 75. Kc2 Kc4 76. Kb2 Rb8+ 77. Kxa2 Kd3 78. Rh1 Kc2 79. Ka3 Kd3 80. Rh5 Rb1 81. Ka4 Rb8 82. Rb5 Ra8+ 83. Kb4 Rc8 84. Rb7 Rc4+ 85. Kb5 Rc8 86. Bg7 Rd8 87. c4 1-0 [Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.13"] [Round "2"] [White "Gelfand, Boris"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D06"] [WhiteElo "2724"] [BlackElo "2772"] [Annotator "Quintiliano,R"] [PlyCount "43"] [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"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Bf5 {The Baltic Defence, which is a very rare choice at top level tournaments. Black tries to solve the eternal problem of the bad bishop very early by putting it outside of the pawn chain, but I'm not convinced about the correctness of this plan, as White can put pressure in queenside in the bishop's absence.} 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 ({If White tries explore Black's idea too quickly with} 4. Qb3 {then} Nc6 $1 {[%cal Yc6b4] shows how useful that f5-bishop can be.}) 4... Nf6 {This is a bit provocative, typical of Mamedyarov's style.} (4... c6 {is the more solid option for Black, and is unavoidable to remember the most memorable game in this line, which followed} 5. Qb3 Qb6 6. c5 Qc7 (6... Qxb3 7. axb3 {[%cal Yb3b4,Yb4b5]} Na6 8. Ra4 $1 { is good for White}) 7. Bf4 $1 Qc8 8. e3 (8. Nh4 {chasing the bishop, is the most played and probably the most challenging for Black}) 8... Nf6 9. Qa4 { [%cal Yb2b4,Yb4b5];Kramnik,V (2710)-Shirov,A (2705) Linares 12th 1994 (12) 0-1 White got a comfortable position with a clear plan- to advance the pawns on the queenside like a minority attack, but later Black won one of the most spectacular games that I've ever seen -}) 5. Nh4 {Gelfand makes a practical decision, avoiding the most played lines, but his move is logical, similar to some Slav variations.} (5. Bg5 {is the most tried, but don't seems to give any advantage for White:} c6 (5... Be7 $6 {I'm surprised to realise this is the most played. It doesn't makes sense, after} 6. Bxf6 Bxf6 7. cxd5 exd5 8. Qb3 { [%csl Gb7,Gd5] and White is winning a pawn, even if Black tries to complicate things with} Nc6 9. Qxd5 Qxd5 (9... Nxd4 10. Nxd4 Qxd5 11. Nxd5 Bxd4 12. Nxc7+ Ke7 13. e4 $1 Bxb2 14. Rd1 Bc3+ 15. Ke2 {[%csl Ga8,Gf5]}) 10. Nxd5 Bxd4 11. Nxc7+ Ke7 12. e4 $1 Bxb2 13. Rd1 Bxe4 14. Nxa8 Bc3+ 15. Ke2 Rxa8 16. Ke3 $1 Bf5 17. Bd3 $14) 6. e3 {is the main move but I can't see any advantage for White after} (6. Qb3 Qb6 7. c5 Qc7 (7... Qxb3 $6 8. axb3 Na6 9. Ra4 $5 Nc7 {Netusil, M (2267)-Reznicek,T (2272) CZE-chT1W 0910 2009 (7.7) 1-0} 10. Bf4 $1 $146 Nb5 11. Nxb5 cxb5 12. Ra5 a6 13. e4 $1 {[%cal Yf1b5]}) 8. Bf4 Qc8 9. h3 h6 10. e3 Nbd7 11. Qa4 {[%cal Yb2b4] is similar to Kramnik-Shirov}) 6... Nbd7 7. Be2 Be7 8. O-O O-O $11) (5. Qb3 {still would face} Nc6 {but White has an interesting idea} 6. Bg5 Na5 (6... Nb4 $2 7. Rc1 dxc4 8. Qxc4 $16 {[%cal Ye2e4]}) 7. Qa4+ c6 8. Bxf6 gxf6 9. cxd5 exd5 10. e3 {White has the better pawn structure, but the bishop pair provides dynamic counterplay for Black, which makes the position level.}) 5... Bb4 $6 {Although this has been played recently by Svidler (and now Mamedyarov), it doesn't seems like a promising option.} 6. cxd5 ({The previous game saw} 6. Nxf5 exf5 7. e3 (7. Bg5 {looks interesting}) 7... O-O {Huzman,A (2557)-Svidler,P (2748) Gibraltar Masters 15th 2017 (10) 0-1 } 8. a3 {seems good} Bxc3+ (8... Be7 $2 9. Qb3) 9. bxc3 {[%csl Yc1,Yf1] the bishop pair promises an easier position to White} c5 10. cxd5 cxd4 (10... Qxd5 11. c4 {[%cal Yd4d5,Yc1b2]}) 11. cxd4 Qxd5 12. Rb1 $14 {[%csl Gb7][%cal Yb1b5]} ) 6... Qxd5 (6... Nxd5 $6 {[%cal Gd8h4,Gd5c3] would be risky} 7. Nxf5 Nxc3 $6 ( 7... exf5 8. Qb3 O-O 9. Bd2 c6 10. e3 $14) 8. Nxg7+ Kf8 9. Nxe6+ $1 fxe6 10. bxc3 Bxc3+ 11. Bd2 Qxd4 (11... Bxa1 12. Qxa1 $44 {[%csl Gd2,Gf1,Rf8]}) 12. Rc1 Bxd2+ 13. Qxd2 Qxd2+ 14. Kxd2 c6 15. e4 $14 {White has an easier endgame, with the better pawns advancing on the kingside, the better minor piece and a more active king.}) 7. e3 c5 $6 {Black is trying to play actively, but in some moves his position will be unpleasant.} (7... O-O {would be safer, but White keeps an advantage after} 8. Nxf5 exf5 9. a3 $1 Bxc3+ 10. bxc3 Re8 11. c4 Qc6 12. f3 (12. Be2 Qxg2 $5 13. Bf3 Qh3 14. Bxb7 Nbd7 15. Bxa8 Rxa8 16. Qe2 f4 $44) 12... Qd6 13. Be2 c5 14. O-O $14) 8. Bb5+ $1 Nc6 9. O-O {Now Black's lack of development starts to tell.} Qd7 $6 (9... Bxc3 10. bxc3 cxd4 (10... O-O 11. Ba3 $16) 11. c4 Qd6 12. exd4 {[%cal Yd4d5]} O-O 13. d5 $1 {with a dangerous initiative for White, for example} Rfd8 (13... Ne7 14. Qb3 {[%cal Yc1a3]}) 14. Nxf5 exf5 15. Bg5 $14) 10. Nxf5 exf5 11. Ne2 $1 {[%cal Ya2a3] A good manoeuvre to increase the pressure, and also creating the threat of a3.} (11. d5 $5 { was a more aggressive way to play, and also was advantageous for White} Bxc3 $8 12. dxc6 bxc6 13. Qxd7+ Kxd7 14. Bd3 Be5 15. f4 $1 Bd6 16. Bxf5+ Kc7 17. Bd2 $14) 11... cxd4 (11... a6 12. Qa4 $1 O-O-O 13. Bxc6 Qxc6 14. Qxc6+ bxc6 15. a3 Ba5 16. dxc5 $16) 12. Nxd4 Bc5 {Black is struggling to exchange pieces and relieve the pressure, but White simplifies into a clearly better endgame now.} 13. Nxc6 bxc6 14. Qxd7+ Kxd7 15. Rd1+ Kc7 16. Bc4 $14 {[%csl Yc1,Yc4] The bishop pair and better pawn structure provide an advantageous endgame for White and a very unpleasant defence ahead for Black.} (16. Ba4 {[%csl Rc6] was good also.}) 16... Rhd8 (16... Ne4 $5 {[%cal Ye4d6]} 17. Bxf7 (17. Bd2 a5 $1 18. Bxf7 f4 $1 $132) 17... Rad8 18. Bb3 f4 $1 19. Kf1 fxe3 20. Bxe3 Bxe3 21. fxe3 Rd2 $5 22. Rxd2 Nxd2+ 23. Ke2 Nxb3 24. axb3 Kb6 {and Black can put his hopes in this rook endgame, even after} 25. Ra4 $1 {White maintains good chances to win.}) 17. Bd2 Nd5 18. Ba5+ (18. Rac1 {would be very natural, just developing the last piece to increase the pressure} Kb7 (18... a5 19. Bd3 Ne7 20. Bc3 Nd5 $1 21. Be5+ Kb6 22. a3 g6 23. Bc2 $16 {[%cal Yc2a4]}) 19. Be1 Bb6 20. Rd3 {[%cal Yc1d1]} Rd7 21. b4 $1 Rad8 22. Rcd1 a6 23. a4 $16) 18... Bb6 19. Bxd5 $2 {But this was just a strange decision by Gelfand, as White is giving up the bishop pair and relieving the pressure for nothing apparent.} (19. Rac1 $1 {and}) (19. Be1 {would had kept the advantage and excellent chances to play for a win.}) 19... Rxd5 20. Rxd5 cxd5 $11 {White advantage is gone.} 21. Bc3 g5 22. Rd1 {An interesting game in a sideline with an excellent peformance by Gelfand, but the sudden turn of events in the last moves saved Black from a very difficult endgame in which he would have suffered.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.13"] [Round "2"] [White "Vallejo Pons, Francisco"] [Black "Harikrishna, Penteala"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E05"] [WhiteElo "2710"] [BlackElo "2750"] [Annotator "Sadorra,J"] [PlyCount "163"] [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"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. d4 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Ne5 {This is one of the popular mainlines of the Catalan Opening.} Nc6 8. Bxc6 bxc6 9. Nxc6 Qe8 10. Nxe7+ Qxe7 11. b3 $5 {Vallejo uses a rare variation, first played in 1999, to surprise Harikrishna in the hopes of giving him problems over the board.} ({More common moves are} 11. Qc2) ({and} 11. Qa4) 11... Rd8 ({A safer move is} 11... cxb3 12. Qxb3 Rd8 13. Rd1 e5 $5 (13... Ba6 14. Ba3 (14. Nc3 $6 Nd5 {Black suddenly develops an initiative} 15. Rd2 (15. Ba3 Qg5 $1 {[%cal Gg5g4,Gg4h3,Gg4e2]}) 15... Rab8 16. Nxd5 $2 (16. Qc2 {is more stubborn but White still has to be careful.} Qg5 17. Ne4 Qh5 $36) 16... exd5 17. Qf3 Re8 18. e3 Qb4 $1 19. Qf5 Qc3 20. Rb1 g6 {0-1 (20) Csala,I (2226)-Bodiroga,P (2353) Gyula 2001}) 14... Qe8 15. Nc3 Nd5 $1 (15... Rab8 16. Qc2 Nd5 17. Ne4 {is slightly unpleasant to play for Black.}) 16. e4 Rab8 17. Qc2 Nb4 18. Bxb4 Rxb4 $11 {and White's d4 pawn is just as weak as c7.}) 14. d5 c6 15. Ba3 Qd7 16. d6 Qh3 17. Nd2 Be6 $44 {The presence of the opposite-coloured bishops and White's unsafe king always secures Black compensation for the pawn.}) 12. bxc4 c5 13. Ba3 Qc7 14. Bxc5 Ne4 15. Qb3 {I'm sure this was still part of Vallejo's prep which here can already be called a success as he will keep a pawn and go on "plus-equals mode."} Bb7 16. Qa3 (16. Qe3 $5 {is another way to keep the advantage} Nxc5 17. dxc5 Rac8 18. Na3 $1 Qxc5 19. Qxc5 Rxc5 20. Rfd1 $16) 16... Rdc8 17. Rd1 e5 (17... Nxc5 {doesn't allow Black to equalise either} 18. dxc5 Qxc5 19. Qxc5 (19. Rd8+ $4 {This typical trick doesn't work} Rxd8 20. Qxc5 Rd1# ) 19... Rxc5 20. Nd2 Ba6 21. Rac1 Rac8 22. Rc3 $16) 18. Nc3 Nxc3 19. Qxc3 exd4 20. Bxd4 Qc6 21. f3 {Black has no counterplay on the squares around the white king and will now face a daunting defensive task in the endgame.} Qxc4 22. Qxc4 Rxc4 23. Rac1 Ba6 24. Kf2 {The next moves will consist of both sides improving their respective pawn structures and activating their pieces.} h5 25. a3 f6 26. Rxc4 Bxc4 27. Rc1 Bf7 28. h3 a5 29. Rc5 ({More accurate is probable setting up pressure-play on the enemy kingside.} 29. Rc7 a4 30. g4 $1 $16 {[%cal Gd4g7, Gc7g7,Gg4g5,Gh3h4]}) 29... a4 30. Bc3 Be8 31. g4 hxg4 32. hxg4 Ra7 33. g5 $1 { Pawn breaks open lines and help clarify targets.} Kf7 34. e4 Bd7 35. Ke3 Rb7 36. Bb4 Ra7 37. f4 fxg5 ({If Black keeps waiting, White will eventually push his passed pawn.} 37... Rb7 38. Ra5 Kg6 (38... Be6 39. g6+ $1) 39. Rd5 Rc7 40. Rd6 {[%csl Rf6][%cal Re4e5]} Kf7 41. e5 fxe5 42. fxe5 Be6 43. g6+ Ke7 44. Ra6+ Kd7 45. Rd6+ Ke7 46. Kf4 $18 {[%csl Ra4,Rg7][%cal Gf4g5,Rd6a6] not rushing as the king and bishop aren't really going anywhere!}) 38. Rxg5 {White has made plenty of progress since the queens were traded off--he has pushed down his pawn majority and created a passed pawn. Now Vallejo has to find a plan to break through the enemy defences.} g6 39. Rc5 Ra6 40. Rc7 Ke8 41. Kd4 Kd8 42. Rc1 $1 {After luring the king so far away from the kingside, Vallejo correctly swings it to the h-file where it can be more powerful on the 7th rank.} Rc6 43. Bc5 Be6 44. Rh1 Bb3 45. Rh7 Ke8 46. Re7+ Kd8 47. Rh7 Ke8 48. Re7+ Kd8 49. Rg7 Ke8 50. e5 Bf7 51. Rh7 Bb3 52. Re7+ Kd8 53. Rg7 Ke8 54. Bd6 {Vallejo finally hits on the most dangerous idea: to post the bishop on d6 and transfer his king to f6. But it's trickier in practice as Black's pieces can make it difficult for the white king to cross over the border.} Bf7 55. Bb4 $6 { Missing a chance to execute the plan.} (55. Ke4 $1 Rc1 56. Kf3 (56. e6 $2 Re1+) 56... Bd5+ (56... Rg1 57. e6 $1) 57. Kg4 Rg1+ 58. Kh4 Kd8 59. Bc5 Rg2 60. Kh3 { [%cal Ge5e6,Gh3g2]} Rc2 61. Be7+ Ke8 (61... Kc8 62. Rxg6) 62. Bd6 Rg2 63. e6 $18) (55. Ke3 {leads to the same thing.}) 55... Bb3 56. Ke4 {Blowing his chances to execute the winning plan as Black is allowed to set up a defensive barrier.} (56. Bd6) 56... Kd8 {avoiding the e5-e6 tricks later.} 57. Kf3 Be6 $1 58. Be7+ (58. Kg3 Rc1 59. Kh4 $2 Rg1 $11 {[%csl Rh4]}) (58. Rxg6 $4 Bd5+ $19) 58... Kc8 $1 (58... Ke8 59. Bd6 Bf5 60. Kg3 {[%cal Gg3h4,Gh4g5,Gg5f6]} Rc1 61. e6 $18 {[%cal Gf5e6,Gg7e7] the winning trick.}) 59. Bb4 Bf5 60. Ra7 Rc4 $1 { Harikrishna sacrifices another pawn to gain time to activate his pieces and cause White to lose his coordination.} 61. Rxa4 Kb7 62. Ra5 Kb6 63. Kg3 (63. Ra8 $4 Be4+) 63... Be6 64. Ra8 {The only way to make progress.} (64. Kf3 Bd7 65. Kg3 Be6) 64... g5 $1 {Fastastic defensive play from Harikrishna as trading more pawns brings the game closer to a draw.} 65. fxg5 Rg4+ 66. Kf2 Rxg5 67. Rb8+ Kc6 68. Bd6 Rg4 {While White may be two pawns up, Black has set up an ideal blockade on both passed pawns. I'm sure both players already knew it was a dead draw but Vallejo tries a few more moves to see if there's any chances to make progress or create some sort of trick.} 69. Re8 Kd5 70. Kf3 Rh4 71. Rb8 Bd7 72. Rb1 Bc6 73. Ke3 Re4+ 74. Kd3 Rd4+ 75. Kc3 Rc4+ 76. Kb2 Ba4 $1 {locks the white king up in the queenside corner which seals the draw.} 77. Re1 Rc2+ 78. Kb1 Rd2 79. Kc1 Rc2+ 80. Kb1 Rd2 81. Kc1 Rc2+ 82. Kb1 {and the players agreed to a draw. An interesting battle that started with effective opening prep by Vallejo which netted him a pawn. While White wasn't able to find the right path at a critcal moment in the ending, credit has to be given to Harikrishna who fought hard, finding good defensive moves and eventually managing to survive a tortuous endgame situation.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.14"] [Round "3"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Vallejo Pons, Francisco"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D45"] [WhiteElo "2785"] [BlackElo "2710"] [Annotator "Quintiliano,R"] [PlyCount "76"] [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"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 c6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. b3 O-O 8. Be2 e5 {This move leads to many simplifications, but I think that White has chances to play for a win in a technical position with a tiny advantage without any risk. So it's safe to say that Black is hoping to put up a solid defence and seek the draw.} (8... b6 {is the main line.}) 9. cxd5 cxd5 10. Nb5 Bb4+ (10... Bb8 {is bad} 11. Ba3 Re8 12. Rc1 e4 13. Nd2 Nf8 14. Nc7 Bxc7 15. Qxc7 Qxc7 16. Rxc7 $14) 11. Bd2 Bxd2+ 12. Nxd2 a6 13. dxe5 Nxe5 14. Nd4 { Black has simplified a lot, but in return, White has the classical position against the isolani, with the knight occupying the good blockading square on d4. So it's fair to say that he has practical chances.} Bg4 $1 {An interesting point about this position: in general, the side with the isolani must avoid exchanges, but in this case Black achieves some more space for his pieces, and can use good squares like d3 or e4 with the knights.} ({Recently, I've played this position and my opponent opted for overprotecting the pawn} 14... Be6 15. O-O Rc8 16. Qb2 Nc6 17. Nxc6 Rxc6 18. Rfc1 Qb6 19. Nf3 Rfc8 20. Nd4 Rc5 21. f3 Qc7 22. Rxc5 Qxc5 23. b4 Qc3 24. Qxc3 Rxc3 25. Kf2 {Quintiliano,R (2483) -Zapata Arbelaez,E (2202) Continental das Am閞icas - Medell韓 (2.30) 1-0 and White managed to win the endgame}) 15. Bxg4 Nfxg4 16. O-O Rc8 17. Qf5 g6 $1 { It is good to divert White's queen from protecting the d3-square.} 18. Qf4 Re8 ({With} 18... Qe7 {there's a good technical example by Beliavsky} 19. Rfd1 Nf6 20. N2f3 Nxf3+ 21. Nxf3 Rc5 22. Rac1 $1 {in his annotations for that game, Mikhalchishin correctly indicates that in such positions it is a good strategy exchange one pair of rooks, to decrease the opponent's counterplay} Rfc8 23. Rxc5 Rxc5 24. h4 Rc8 (24... Rc2 25. g4 $5 $36) 25. Nd4 Ne4 26. f3 (26. h5 $5) 26... Nc3 27. Rc1 h5 $6 28. Qg5 $5 Qe8 29. a4 b5 $2 {this move allows White to activate his passive rook} 30. axb5 axb5 31. Ra1 $1 Ra8 32. Rxa8 Qxa8 33. Qf6 $1 $16 {[%cal Yd4c6];Beliavsky,A (2609)-Perunovic,M (2614) Istanbul ol (Men) 40th 2012 (5.2) 1-0 and suddenly White has some annoying threats -}) (18... h5 $6 {is a pseudo-active idea in which I don't really believe} 19. h3 Nd3 { Hebert,J (2410)-Kraiouchkine,N (2204) CAN-ch Montreal 2012 (2) 1/2-1/2} 20. Qg3 Nge5 $8 (20... Nf6 21. Ne6 $1) 21. N2f3 Nxf3+ 22. Qxf3 {and Black achieved exactly nothing with his strange 18...h5?!}) 19. Rad1 {I'm pretty sure that White would like to play this rook to c1, but this is impossible due the fork on d3.} ({I like} 19. N2f3 Qc7 20. Nxe5 Nxe5 21. Nf3 $5 {White takes advantage of the isolani in another interesting way: exchanging all the minor pieces and exerting maximum pressure along the d-file} Nxf3+ 22. Qxf3 Qe5 23. Rad1 Red8 24. Rd2 Rc6 25. Rfd1 Kg7 26. h3 Rcd6 27. Rd4 $1 $14 {[%csl Gd5][%cal Yd1d2, Yf3d1];Cyborowski,L (2532)-Kolosowski,M (2423) POL-chT1 Szklarska Poreba 2013 (9) 1-0 sooner or later, Black is forced to play f5 in order to avoid e4. Then White starts to pay attention to the weaknesses around the black king, which actually was the decisive factor -}) 19... Nf6 20. Qg5 Ne4 $1 {Excellent play by Vallejo, again inviting exchanges, but the remaining black pieces are very active.} 21. Qxd8 Rexd8 22. N2f3 {Surprisingly, this is the first new move!} ({ Previously White played} 22. Nb1 $5 {[%csl Gc3][%cal Yf2f3] which seems interesting, the knight stays passive for a while, but protecting c3 and preparing f3} Kg7 23. f3 Nc3 24. Rd2 Re8 25. Kf2 Nxb1 $6 {this was not forced, and it's bad} 26. Rxb1 Rc5 $2 27. Ne2 $1 Nc6 28. Nf4 Ne7 29. Rbd1 Rec8 30. g4 { Enchev,I (2419)-Aginian,N (2254) Golden Sands Europe op 1st 2012 (6) 1-0 and White is pressing -}) 22... Nxf3+ (22... Nc6 {was an option, if} 23. Nxc6 bxc6 $1 {is good for Black.}) 23. gxf3 $1 {A good decision, driving the black knight from e4 and keeping the seventh rank under control.} (23. Nxf3 $6 Rc2 $132) 23... Nf6 $11 24. Kg2 (24. Rc1 {was another idea, fighting immediately for the open file} Kf8 25. Rfd1 Ke7) 24... Kf8 25. Rd2 Rd7 26. b4 {White tries to do something, but this only gives the c4-square to the black rook.} (26. Rfd1 Rdc7 27. Ne2 Rc2 28. Nf4 Rxd2 29. Rxd2 Rc5 $11) 26... Rc4 27. Rb1 Rd6 28. Rdb2 b6 29. Rd1 Ne8 30. b5 a5 $1 {It's important avoid open lines for the enemy pieces, as for now Black is controlling the only open file.} (30... axb5 $2 {just would leave Black with two weaknesses and the White pieces ideally placed to attack them} 31. Nxb5 Rd8 32. Rd3 $14 {[%csl Gb6,Gd5][%cal Yb5c3]}) 31. Rc2 Rd7 $1 {[%cal Ye8d6] Playing very precisely, Black now vacates the d6-square for the knight.} 32. Rdc1 (32. Rxc4 dxc4 33. Rc1 Rd5 (33... Nd6 34. a4 g5 $11) 34. Rxc4 Nd6 $1) 32... Nd6 33. Rxc4 Nxc4 34. Nc6 Na3 35. Ne5 { This can be a bit risky...} (35. Nd4 Nc4 $11) 35... Rb7 36. Rc6 $2 {But this definitely was a mistake.} (36. Rd1 Nxb5 37. Rxd5 Nc3 38. Rd2 b5 {now seems that Black is the one who is playing for a win with his majority in queenside, but with some accurate moves White can equalise} 39. Nc6 $1 a4 40. Rc2 Nd5 41. Rc5 Rc7 $1 (41... Nf6 42. Nb4 $1) 42. Rxd5 Rxc6 43. Rxb5 Rc2 $11) 36... Ke7 $1 {Black wins a pawn.} (36... Nxb5 37. a4 (37. Rxb6 $2 Rxb6 38. Nd7+ Ke7 39. Nxb6 Nc3 {[%csl Rb6] the White knight is trapped!} 40. e4 Kd6 41. exd5 Kc5 42. Nd7+ Kxd5 43. Nf6+ Kc4 44. Nxh7 Nxa2 $19 {[%csl Ga5][%cal Ga5a1]}) 37... Na7 38. Rd6 (38. Rxb6 Rxb6 39. Nd7+ Ke7 40. Nxb6 Kd6 {[%csl Gb6] trapped again...} 41. e4 d4 42. Kf1 Kc5 43. Nd5 Kc4 $19) 38... Ke7 39. Rxd5 b5 $15) 37. Ng4 Nxb5 38. Nf6 Nc7 $17 {And this very well played game by the black side suddenly ends in a draw, but he is the only one with chances here, advancing the queenside pawns slowly and carefully. White is in a sort of zugzwang so Black can keep things more or less in control for a while. This game probably added more useful defensive ideas to the black side than seeing the white side get any tangible advantage in this variation.} ({Black was probably close to reaching the time control in this position and did not have much time to analyse} 38... d4 $1 39. Nd5+ (39. exd4 Nxd4 40. Nd5+ Kd7 41. Rxb6 (41. Rf6 b5 $1) 41... Rxb6 42. Nxb6+ Kc6 43. Nc4 Kb5 {the black king is coming very quickly to win the a2-pawn} 44. Nd6+ Kb4 45. Nxf7 a4 46. Ne5 Ka3 $19) 39... Kd7 40. Rf6 (40. Rxb6 Rxb6 41. Nxb6+ Kc6 42. Nc4 a4 43. Kf1 Kc5 44. Ne5 Kb4 $19) 40... Nc3 $1 41. Nxb6+ (41. Rxf7+ Kc6 42. Rxb7 Kxb7 43. Nf4 Nxa2 $19) 41... Ke7 42. Rc6 Nxa2 43. Nd5+ Kd7 44. Rc5 d3 45. Nf4 $8 Rb3 46. Rxa5 Nb4 47. Ra1 Kc6 $17 {[%csl Gd3] Black definitely has good chances in this endgame.}) 1/2-1/2 [Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.14"] [Round "3"] [White "Harikrishna, Penteala"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D85"] [WhiteElo "2750"] [BlackElo "2755"] [Annotator "Prasanna,V"] [PlyCount "80"] [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"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Be3 c5 8. Rc1 O-O 9. Nf3 ({Black equalised comfortably after} 9. Qd2 e5 10. d5 Nd7 11. c4 f5 12. Bg5 Nf6 13. Ne2 Nxe4 14. Bxd8 Nxd2 15. Be7 Rf7 16. Bxc5 Nxf1 17. Rxf1 b6 18. Bb4 Ba6 19. f4 Rc8 20. fxe5 Bxe5 21. Rf3 Bxc4 22. Re3 Bg7 23. Nf4 Rd7 24. a4 Bh6 25. g3 Bxf4 26. gxf4 Rxd5 27. Re7 Rd4 28. Bd2 Kf8 29. Bb4 Re8 {0-1 (29) Nakamura,H (2779)-So,W (2794) London ENG 2016}) 9... Qa5 10. Qd2 Rd8 11. d5 e6 12. d6 {This move has not been played at top level.} ({The most common alternative was} 12. Bg5) 12... Qa4 (12... Nc6 13. h4 $5) 13. h4 {White decides to burn all bridges. It is unclear if White forgot his preparation because he got absolutely nothing in the game although in practical play things would have not been so easy to judge for both sides.} (13. c4) (13. e5 $5 Nd7 14. Bg5 {leads to an interesting position where Black still has to solve some problems.} f6 (14... Rf8) 15. exf6 Nxf6) 13... Qxe4 14. h5 Qd5 $1 { After this simple move White has unsolvable problems.} 15. Qc2 Rxd6 16. hxg6 hxg6 17. Ng5 Nc6 18. Ne4 Rd7 19. Bg5 Bxc3+ $1 {Unfortunately for White Svidler is painfully precise. The shot kills White's chances.} (19... f5 20. Nf6+ Bxf6 21. Bxf6 $17) 20. Qxc3 Qxe4+ 21. Be3 e5 22. Qxc5 Nd4 23. Bb5 Qxg2 {Black does not offer any chances to White. Although the game must have been tense in practical play. A little calculation shows that White is lost.} 24. Rh8+ Kxh8 25. Qf8+ Kh7 26. Bxd7 Qf3 27. Qh6+ Kg8 28. Bxd4 Bxd7 29. Bxe5 Qe4+ 30. Qe3 Qh1+ 31. Kd2 Qd5+ 32. Qd4 Qxa2+ 33. Rc2 Qa5+ 34. Kc1 Re8 35. f4 Bf5 36. Rc7 f6 37. Qc4+ Be6 38. Qc3 Qa4 39. Bd6 Bf5 40. Kd2 Qa2+ 0-1 [Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.14"] [Round "3"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Adams, Michael"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E52"] [WhiteElo "2772"] [BlackElo "2747"] [Annotator "Krasenkow,M"] [PlyCount "59"] [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"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 b6 5. e3 Bb7 6. Bd3 O-O 7. O-O d5 8. cxd5 exd5 9. a3 Bd6 10. b4 Nbd7 11. Qb3 a6 12. a4 Qe7 13. Rb1 {The idea of this move is the following: White wants to play b4-b5, in the event of ...a6xb5 recapture with the a-pawn, cutting off and thus weakening Black's d5-pawn); if Black prefers ...a6-a5, White will come back to the plan of the exchange of dark-squared bishops (Rb1-a1 and Bc1-a3). Such a favorable modification of the pawn structure will be worth two tempi.} (13. Ba3 {[%cal Yb4b5] is a more straightforward plan. In that case, however, b4-b5 is not so powerful since after ...a6xb5 White will have to recapture with the knight, and Black's d5 pawn will not be weak:} Rfd8 (13... Rfb8 $5 14. Rfb1 c5 15. bxc5 bxc5 16. dxc5 Nxc5 17. Bxc5 Bxc5 18. Ne2 a5 19. Ned4 g6 20. Rc1 {1/2 (20) Korobov,A (2700) -Laznicka,V (2676) Poikovsky 2015}) (13... c6 $5 14. Rfc1 Rab8 15. b5 axb5 16. Bxd6 Qxd6 17. axb5 c5 18. Bf5 Ra8 19. Qb2 g6 $11 {1/2 (23) Schloesser,F (2475) -Mannermaa,J (2500) ICCF 1997}) 14. b5 (14. Rfe1 Nf8 15. b5 Bxa3 16. bxa6 $5 Bxa6 17. Bxa6 Rxa6 18. Rxa3 c5 19. Ra2 Ne4 $11 {1/2 (49) Jussupow,A (2655) -Timman,J (2620) Linares 1992 Candidates [Jussupow,A]}) 14... Bxa3 15. bxa6 Bxa6 16. Bxa6 Rxa6 17. Rxa3 c6 18. Ra2 Rda8 19. Rc1 h6 20. Rac2 Qd6 $11 { 1-0 (42) Jussupow,A (2655)-Benjamin,J (2610) Amsterdam 1994 CBM 043 [Jussupow, A]}) (13. b5 axb5 14. Nxb5 {turns out to be a bit premature as Black obtains counterplay by means of} c5 $1 15. Ba3 (15. Nxd6 Qxd6 16. Bf5 c4 17. Qc2 Rfe8 18. Bb2 Bc8 {1/2 (18) Gligoric,S (2565)-Stean,M (2530) Vienna 1980}) 15... Ba6 $1 16. Rfd1 (16. Bf5 Bxb5 17. Qxb5 g6 18. Bc2 (18. Bh3 {1-0 (60) Korobov,A (2547)-Yuferov,S (2407) Moscow 2007} Rfd8 {[%cal Yf6e4,Yc5c4]}) 18... Rfc8 19. Qe2 Ne4 20. Bb2 c4 21. Rab1 Bb4 22. Ba1 Ndf6 $15 {1/2 (46) Vitiugov,N (2703) -Wang,H (2739) St Petersburg 2012}) (16. Rfb1 g6 17. Qd1 Bxb5 18. Bxb5 c4 19. Bxd6 Qxd6 20. Nd2 $1 Rfc8 21. Rc1 Kg7 22. Nb1 Nf8 $132 {1/2 (56) Beliavsky,A (2620)-Hracek,Z (2625) Polanica Zdroj 1996}) 16... Bxb5 17. Bxb5 c4 18. Bxd6 Qxd6 19. Qa3 Qe6 20. Qb4 Ra5 21. h3 h6 22. Rab1 Rfa8 23. Rdc1 Ne4 $132 { 0-1 (58) Kazhgaleyev,M (2594)-Neiksans,A (2628) Baku 2016}) 13... c6 { Preventing White's plan but shutting in his own b7-bishop. White now obtains a possibility to prepare and push e3-e4. Other popular moves:} (13... Ne4 { (premature)} 14. Nxd5 Bxd5 15. Qxd5 Nc3 16. Qb3 Nxb1 17. Qxb1 h6 18. b5 axb5 19. axb5 Rfd8 20. e4 Nf8 21. e5 Ba3 22. Be3 Qb4 23. Qc2 $44 {0-1 (52) Khismatullin,D (2658)-Dvoirys,S (2533) Ekaterinburg 2013}) (13... Rfe8 14. b5 axb5 15. axb5 Ne4 {(now possible)} (15... Qe6 $5 16. Ng5 Qe7 17. f4 Ba3 18. Bd2 h6 19. Nf3 Ne4 20. Bxe4 dxe4 21. Ne5 Nxe5 22. fxe5 Qe6 23. Be1 Bc1 24. Bf2 Qxb3 25. Rxb3 Ra3 26. Rxa3 Bxa3 27. Rb1 Ra8 $13 {1-0 (64) Korobov,A (2699)-Efimenko, Z (2652) Konya 2015}) 16. Nxd5 $5 Bxd5 17. Qxd5 Nc3 18. Qb3 Nxb1 19. Qxb1 (19. Bxb1 Nf6 20. e4 $1 Nxe4 21. Re1 Qe6 22. Qxe6 Rxe6 23. Bxe4 Ra1 24. Ng5 Re7 25. Bxh7+ Kh8 26. Rf1 $13 {1-0 (50) Demuth,A (2515)-Navara,D (2751) Montpellier 2015}) 19... Nf6 {(that's the difference from 13...Ne4: e3-e4 has been "prevented")} 20. e4 {(still!)} Nxe4 21. Re1 f5 22. Ng5 Kh8 (22... h6 $5 23. Nxe4 fxe4 24. Bxe4 Qf6 25. Bb2 Rad8 $13 {R.Kasimdzhanov}) 23. Bxe4 Qf6 $1 24. Qb3 (24. h4 fxe4 25. Rxe4 Qg6 $17 {0-1 (41) Onischuk,A (2641)-Kasimdzhanov,R (2674) Moscow 2002}) 24... h6 25. Nf7+ Kh7 26. Ng5+ $1 Kh8 $1 $11) 14. a5 (14. Re1 Ne4 15. b5 Nxc3 16. Qxc3 cxb5 17. axb5 a5 18. Qb3 Nf6 19. Ra1 Ne4 $15 { 1/2 (45) Papa,S (2411)-Graf,A (2646) Germany 2004}) (14. Bf5 g6 15. Bh3 b5 16. axb5 axb5 17. Ng5 Nb6 18. e4 dxe4 19. Re1 Qc7 20. Ncxe4 Nxe4 21. Rxe4 Nd5 22. Bd2 Bxh2+ 23. Kh1 Bd6 $15 {0-1 (41) Pavlovic,M (2480)-Huzman,A (2475) Vrnjacka Banja 1991}) (14. Nd2 a5 $1 15. bxa5 c5 (15... Rxa5 16. e4 dxe4 17. Ndxe4 c5 $11 18. d5 $6 Nxe4 19. Bxe4 {1/2 (26) Gajewski,G (2567)-Palac,M (2586) Zagreb 2011} Ba6 20. Rd1 f5 21. Bc2 c4 22. Qb2 Be5 $36) 16. a6 c4 17. axb7 cxb3 18. bxa8=Q Rxa8 19. Rxb3 Bb4 20. Ndb1 g6 21. Ba3 Bxa3 22. Nxa3 Nf8 23. Nc2 Rc8 24. Rfb1 Ne6 $11 {1/2 (43) Korobov,A (2671)-Babula,V (2572) Czechia 2012}) 14... Rfb8 $146 {Hardly a successful novelty. The rook goes too far away from the kingside.} (14... b5 15. Nd2 h6 16. Re1 $5 {[%cal Yh2h3,Ye3e4]} (16. e4 $143 dxe4 17. Ndxe4 Nxe4 18. Nxe4 Nf6 19. Re1 Bc8 20. Bd2 Be6 21. Qc2 Nxe4 22. Bxe4 Rac8 $11 {1/2 (31) Giorgadze,G (2610)-Wintzer,J (2351) Sanxenxo 2007})) (14... bxa5 $5 15. bxa5 Rab8 16. Qa2 c5 17. Ba3 (17. Rxb7 $5 Rxb7 18. Nxd5 Nxd5 19. Qxd5 Nf6 20. Qa2 $44) 17... c4 $1 (17... cxd4 18. Bxd6 Qxd6 19. exd4 Ne4 20. Rfc1 Rfc8 21. Nd1 $14 {1-0 (34) Vitiugov,N (2604)-Iljin,A (2529) St Petersburg 2007}) 18. Bxd6 Qxd6 19. Bc2 g6 20. Rb2 Ba8 21. Rfb1 Rxb2 22. Rxb2 h6 23. h3 Rb8 $11 {0-1 (39) Milani,O (2071)-Sacerdotali,S (2144) Lechenicher SchachServer 2011}) 15. axb6 {While Black is recapturing this pawn, White pushes e3-e4.} Bc8 $6 (15... Nxb6 16. e4 $1 dxe4 17. Nxe4 $1 Nxe4 18. Re1 Nd5 19. Bxe4 Qc7 20. Bd2 $14) (15... a5 $5 16. Na4 $5 Bxb4 17. Bd2) 16. Qc2 $1 { [%mdl 32]} Nxb6 (16... Bxb4 17. Na4 Nxb6 18. Ne5 Nxa4 19. Nxc6 Qe8 20. Rxb4 Rxb4 21. Nxb4 $14 {[%csl Ra6,Rd5]}) (16... Rxb6 17. Bd2 Rxb4 18. e4 $1 $36) 17. e4 $1 dxe4 18. Nxe4 Nxe4 19. Bxe4 h6 20. Re1 $16 {[%csl Ra8,Rb8][%mdl 128]} Qc7 21. Bh7+ $1 {Better than} (21. Qxc6 Qxc6 22. Bxc6 Bb7) 21... Kf8 22. Ne5 $40 Nd5 (22... Be6 23. Ng6+ $1) 23. Nxf7 $1 {[%mdl 64]} Qxf7 24. Bg6 Bf5 (24... Qd7 25. Re8+ Qxe8 26. Bxe8 Kxe8 27. Qxc6+) 25. Bxf5 Nxb4 26. Qe4 Nd5 (26... Re8 27. Be6 Qf6 $140 28. Rb3 $18) 27. Be6 Qf6 {It was relatively better (although quite hopeless) to give up the exchange:} (27... Re8) 28. Rxb8+ Rxb8 29. Qh7 g5 30. Qg8+ 1-0 [Event "5th Sinquefield Cup 2017 GCT"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.04"] [Round "3"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C84"] [WhiteElo "2789"] [BlackElo "2751"] [Annotator "Saravanan,V"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 {MVL varies back to the Ruy Lopez, instead of the Guioco Piano he played in the first round} 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 {Svidler has played this twice, but has not faced White's next move yet} O-O 12. Nf5 Nc6 13. Nd5 {A new move} Bxf5 14. exf5 Nxd5 15. Bxd5 Rc8 16. a4 Bf6 17. axb5 axb5 {[#]} 18. c4 { Surprising decision - fixing the pawn structure} (18. Be3 Nb4 19. Bf3 d5) (18. Bd2 $5 Bg5 (18... Nb4 19. Bxb4 cxb4 20. Bb3) 19. Ra6) 18... bxc4 (18... Nd4) 19. dxc4 Bg5 {This is where Black's troubles started} (19... Nd4) 20. Be3 Kh8 $6 {Svidler singled out this moment as the starting point of his troubles, even calling it a 'blunder'} ({Svidler's intended} 20... Qf6 {didn't look pleasant to him:} 21. Ra6 Nd4 (21... Nb4 22. Rxd6 $1) 22. Bxd4 (22. b4 $5 cxb4 23. Bxd4 exd4 24. f4 Bh6 25. g4 g5 26. h4 $5 {with a mess which seems to favour white ultimately}) 22... cxd4 23. b4 {which was 'scaring me a great deal' (Svidler)}) 21. Qh5 h6 {Svidler felt 'the game was effectively over'} ({ Originally intended was} 21... Bxe3 22. fxe3 Qf6 23. g4 {and 'it is mate!' (Svidler)}) (21... Bxe3 22. fxe3 f6 {was the way engines wanted to go,} 23. Rf3 {followed by Rg3, and 'I should eventually get mated!' (Svidler) A curious but familiar case of a player's intuition vs the machine's dogmatism?}) 22. Bxf7 Nd4 23. h4 Bxe3 ({Vachier-Lagrave came up with a beautiful variation here:} 23... Rxf7 24. Qxf7 Ne2+ 25. Kh2 Bxe3 26. g3 Bd4 27. Ra7 {and Ne2 will fall}) 24. fxe3 Qf6 {[#]} 25. Ra7 {White should not have allowed Black to simplify the position} ({Later on, Vachier-Lagrave felt that his best practical chance was:} 25. exd4 Rxf7 26. dxe5 dxe5 {and white is better}) (25. Bg6 $1 {White threatens g2-g4-g5} Nc2 (25... Nc6 26. g4 $1 {with a crushing attack}) 26. Rac1 Nxe3 27. Rf3 (27. Rfe1 Nxf5 28. Rf1 Qxh4 29. Rxf5 Qxh5 30. Rxf8+ Rxf8 31. Bxh5 $18) 27... Nxc4 28. Rxc4 d5 29. Rc1 e4 30. Rf2 $16) 25... Ne2+ 26. Qxe2 (26. Kf2 e4 $1 27. Kxe2 $4 Qxb2+ 28. Ke1 Rb8 $1 {with a good attack for black}) 26... Rxf7 27. Rxf7 Qxf7 {Vachier-Lagrave felt that this position was about finding a way to consolidate, but 'Peter found resourcesful defences'} 28. Qg4 Rb8 29. Ra1 Qf6 30. Qe4 $6 (30. Qg6 {was called for}) 30... Kh7 31. Ra2 h5 32. Kh2 {MVL simply gives the decision to the opponent} d5 $1 33. Qxd5 (33. cxd5 Rb4) 33... Qxh4+ 34. Kg1 Qe1+ 35. Kh2 Qh4+ 36. Kg1 Qe1+ 37. Kh2 Qxe3 38. Qf7 Qf4+ 39. Kh1 Qh4+ 40. Kg1 Qe1+ 41. Kh2 Qh4+ 42. Kg1 Qd4+ 43. Kh1 (43. Kh1 Rb6 44. Ra8 e4 45. Qe8 Kh6 46. Rd8 {and 'losing this becomes a possibility' (Svidler)}) 1/2-1/2 [Event "5th Sinquefield Cup 2017 GCT"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2017.08.05"] [Round "5"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C50"] [WhiteElo "2789"] [BlackElo "2799"] [Annotator "Saravanan,V"] [PlyCount "90"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 {Back to the Guioco Piano} Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. a4 a6 7. c3 Ba7 8. Re1 d6 9. h3 b5 {Aronian has already played this} 10. Bb3 b4 11. a5 Rb8 12. Nbd2 Be6 13. Bc2 {An improvement over an Aronian game} (13. Bxe6 fxe6 14. Nc4 {was played in Jakovenko - Aronian, Geneve 2017}) 13... h6 14. Nf1 d5 15. exd5 Nxd5 {[#]} 16. Bd2 $2 {Again, preferring simplicity over complicated variations} ({MVL misses} 16. d4 $5 {Messing up the centre, but White stands better after this} bxc3 (16... exd4 17. Qd3 Nf6 18. Qxa6 $1 { and White comes on top in complications}) 17. bxc3 Nxc3 18. Qd3 e4 19. Qxc3 exf3 20. Qxc6) 16... b3 17. Bb1 Qd6 18. Qe2 Rbe8 19. Ra3 f5 20. Nxe5 Bd7 21. d4 Nxd4 22. cxd4 Bxd4 23. Rxb3 Rxe5 $2 ({Better was} 23... Bxe5 24. Qc4 Be6 { and Black could equalise easily}) 24. Qc4 Rxe1 25. Bxe1 Re8 26. Bb4 Qe5 27. Rd3 Bb5 28. Qxd4 Bxd3 29. Qxd3 {White has a clear edge here but by a forced sequence of moves it leads to a near equal ending} Nxb4 30. Qc4+ Nd5 31. Ba2 Kh7 32. Qxd5 Qxd5 33. Bxd5 Re5 34. Bc4 Rxa5 35. f4 Ra1 36. Kf2 a5 37. Nd2 Kg6 38. Bd3 Kf6 39. Nc4 a4 40. g4 fxg4 41. hxg4 Ke6 42. Be4 Rc1 43. Ne3 Ra1 44. Nc4 Rc1 45. Ne3 Ra1 1/2-1/2 [Event "5th Sinquefield Cup 2017 GCT"] [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 "2789"] [Annotator "Saravanan,V"] [PlyCount "60"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 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. Qd3 {Caruana's BIG novelty - such a rarity that a move so early in a sharp variation has never been played before. It should be interesting to note how MVL treats it} Nbd7 ({Understandably, MVL avoids forced tactical lines starting with} 10... Qxb2 11. Nb3 Nxe4) 11. O-O-O {[#]} g5 $5 {Though this looks like a push on the kingside and thus adventurous - it actually follows the pattern: MVL pursues a clarified pawn structure again} 12. fxg5 Ne5 13. Qd2 Nh7 14. Nf3 hxg5 15. Bf2 Qc7 16. Be2 Bd7 17. h4 Rg8 18. h5 g4 19. Nxe5 dxe5 20. Bh4 Bc6 21. Qe3 Bxh4 22. Rxh4 Qe7 $1 23. Rxg4 (23. Qg3 Qg5+ 24. Kb1 Nf6 25. Rf1 $1 Nxh5 26. Qf2 {and White has a clear initiative}) 23... Rxg4 24. Bxg4 {[#]} Qg5 {Very important decision - Black correctly evaluates that he can equalise by exchanging the queens even though he is a pawn less} 25. Qxg5 Nxg5 26. Bf3 Ke7 27. Kd2 Rh8 28. Rh1 f5 29. Ke3 Kf6 30. b4 b5 { Drawn, as White's pawn on h5 is bound to fall} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.15"] [Round "4"] [White "Adams, Michael"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B91"] [WhiteElo "2747"] [BlackElo "2751"] [Annotator "Szabo,Kr"] [PlyCount "98"] [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"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. g3 e5 7. Nde2 Be7 8. Bg2 O-O 9. O-O b5 (9... Be6) ({and} 9... Nbd7 {are also popular lines.}) 10. Nd5 Nxd5 11. Qxd5 Ra7 12. Be3 Be6 13. Qd3 $146 {A novelty by Adams.} (13. Qd2 { was played by Nakamura,} Rb7 14. Nc3 Nd7 15. Nd5 Bxd5 (15... Nf6 $5) 16. Qxd5 Qc7 17. c3 Nb6 18. Qd3 Qc4 19. Qc2 Qc6 20. Rfd1 $14 {Nakamura-Popilski, Eilat 2012, with a comfortable position for White.}) 13... Rb7 14. b3 {White prepares for Nc3-d5, but first he prevents ...Bc4.} Nd7 15. Nc3 Nf6 16. a4 $1 { The right positional move. White would like to open the a-file for his rook.} Qd7 ({Black can't close with} 16... b4 $2 {, because of} 17. Qxa6 $1 $16) 17. axb5 axb5 18. Ra6 {White starts the penetration on the a-file.} Rc8 19. Rfa1 b4 20. Na4 Qc7 21. Ra2 Nd7 22. Qf1 {He goes out from ...Nc5 and prepares for f4.} Rcb8 {Black controls the b6-square more.} (22... h6 23. f4 $1 Nf6 24. Nb6 $14 { is unpleasant for Black.}) 23. Qd1 ({Now} 23. f4 $6 {is dubious, as} Nf6 $1 { and Black looks nicely placed.}) 23... h6 24. h4 Bf8 25. Bf3 $6 {Inaccuracy.} ( 25. Nb2 $1 $14 {was better followed by Nd3.}) 25... Nf6 26. Bg2 $2 {An unexpected decision, Adams went back to g2 with the B. Moreover now Black can gain the initiative.} ({Still} 26. Nb2 {was important.}) 26... Bd7 $1 {Black finds a nice bishop manoeuvre.} 27. Nb2 Bc6 $1 {Now White has a big problem with his e4-pawn.} 28. Nc4 {Still the best chance.} (28. Qd3 $2 {is bad, as} Bb5 $17) ({or} 28. f3 $2 d5 $1 $17 {and Black is much better.}) 28... Bxe4 29. Ba7 (29. Nxd6 $2 {does not work, because of} Rd8 $19 {and Black wins.}) 29... Re8 30. Bb6 Qd7 31. Na5 $6 {A dubious move, but White's position was already difficult.} (31. f3 Bc6 $17 {is also better for Black.}) 31... Bxg2 32. Kxg2 Rbb8 $19 33. Ra7 Qb5 ({The engine suggests} 33... Qe6 $19 {followed by ...d5.}) 34. Bc7 Ra8 35. Nc4 Rxa7 36. Rxa7 Qc5 37. Qa1 Ng4 (37... Qc6+ $1 {was easier,} 38. Kg1 Ng4 $19 {with a completely winning position for Black.}) 38. Bb6 Qc6+ 39. f3 e4 $5 40. fxg4 e3+ 41. Kh2 e2 42. Qe1 d5 $1 {This is the point! Black wins back the piece and he has a pawn on e2.} 43. Be3 dxc4 44. Qxe2 Qe6 45. Qf2 Qxe3 46. Qxf7+ Kh8 47. bxc4 Qe2+ 48. Kh3 Qd1 $1 49. g5 h5 0-1 [Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.15"] [Round "4"] [White "Salem, AR Saleh"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D78"] [WhiteElo "2633"] [BlackElo "2772"] [Annotator "Quintiliano,R"] [PlyCount "142"] [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"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 c6 4. Bg2 d5 5. Qa4 {This move has been tried by some strong players and probably deserves to be more explored.} (5. cxd5 {is the main line} cxd5 6. Nf3 Bg7 7. Nc3 {with a lot of games between grandmasters. Recently Black has been proving that he can equalise with a quick} Ne4 $1 { Mamedyarov,S (2772)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2795) Moscow FIDE GP 2017 (9) 1/2-1/2 actually this was played against Mamedyarov, later in the same tournament -}) ( 5. Nf3 Bg7 6. O-O O-O (6... dxc4 7. a4 O-O 8. Na3) 7. Nbd2 {is another way to play, avoiding forced and arid lines, keeping the game going.}) 5... dxc4 ({ Previously, Mamedyarov has played} 5... a6 $5 {to grab some space on the queenside} 6. cxd5 b5 7. Qd1 cxd5 8. Nf3 Bg7 9. Bf4 O-O 10. O-O Nc6 11. Ne5 Bb7 12. Nxc6 Bxc6 13. Be5 e6 14. Nd2 Bh6 15. Rc1 Rc8 $11 {Carlsen,M (2844) -Mamedyarov,S (2747) Tata Steel-A 78th 2016 (4) 1/2-1/2}) ({the interesting} 5... Nfd7 {is the most played move:} 6. cxd5 (6. Qb3) (6. Qc2) 6... Nb6 7. Qd1 cxd5 8. Nc3 Nc6 9. e3 Bg7 10. Nge2 {Topalov,V (2803)-Giri,A (2778) London Classic 7th 2015 (1) 0-1}) 6. Qxc4 Bg7 7. Nf3 O-O 8. O-O Bf5 9. Nc3 Nbd7 { Now we've transposed to a quite well-known theoretical line, reached in the variations where White plays Qb3.} 10. e3 Qc7 $5 {The first step in a less explored field.} (10... Ne4 {is the preferred option, but White seems be scoring well, keeping his position flexible and trying to advance the central pawns at the right moment. Or, if Black takes on c3, putting pressure on the queenside with a4-a5-Rb1 ideas} 11. Rd1 (11. Qe2)) 11. Nh4 (11. Ng5 $5 { [%cal Ge3e4] seems more aggressive} e5 $1 (11... Nb6 12. Qb3 h6 13. e4 $1 Bg4 14. Nf3 Rad8 15. Be3 $14) 12. e4 $1 Nb6 13. Qb4 exd4 14. exf5 dxc3 15. fxg6 hxg6 16. bxc3 $5 (16. Qxc3 Nh7 $1 17. Qb3 Nxg5 18. Bxg5 Qe5 {[%csl Gb2,Gg5]}) 16... Nbd5 17. Qh4 $1 $36) 11... Nb6 $1 {If Black doesn't play actively like this, White can easily play e4 and get a space advantage.} (11... Be6 12. Qe2 Nb6 13. Rd1 Bc4 14. Qc2 e5 15. dxe5 Qxe5 16. e4 {[%cal Yh4f3,Gc1f4,Gb2b3] with moves like Bf4, Nf3 or b3 coming White is pushing back the black pieces and finishing development with a slight advantage.}) 12. Qc5 $1 {Also a good reaction by Salem: from c5 the queen exerts some pressure on Black's camp.} ( 12. Qe2 {would allow Black to develop a very easy game after} Bg4 $1 13. Nf3 e5 $1 14. dxe5 Nfd7 15. h3 Bxf3 16. Bxf3 Nxe5 17. Bg2 Rad8 18. e4 Nd3 19. Bg5 Rd7 {and White is already the one who must be careful, as the natural} 20. Rad1 { is followed by the unexpected} Nxb2 $3 21. Qxb2 Na4 $1 22. Nxa4 Bxb2 23. Rxd7 Qxd7 24. Nxb2 Qe6 $17) 12... Be6 13. b3 a5 $1 {Black explores immediately the last move to create some tension.} 14. Ba3 {It's difficult to say that this battery on the f8-a3 diagonal can be a problem for White...} Nfd7 $2 {Black missed a very nice tactical idea, although not so simple.} (14... Nbd7 $1 15. Qxe7 Rfe8 16. Qd6 Qd8 $1 {[%csl Ga3][%cal Yg7f8]} 17. Qf4 (17. Bb2 g5 $1 $19 { [%cal Rg7f8]}) 17... h6 {[%cal Gg6g5] and White cannot avoid significative material losses, for example} 18. Nf3 $2 Nh5 19. Qh4 Bf6 $19) 15. Qxe7 Rfe8 16. Qg5 (16. Qd6 $2 Qd8 {[%cal Yg7f8]} 17. Qf4 g5 $19) 16... a4 {With pressure on queenside, Black is able to regain the pawn.} 17. Rfc1 (17. Rfb1 {isn't enough} Ra7 {[%cal Ye8a8]} 18. Bb2 axb3 19. axb3 Rxa1 20. Bxa1 Ra8 21. Nf3 Bxb3) 17... axb3 18. axb3 h6 19. Qf4 Qd8 20. Nf3 Nf6 $5 {Still trying to create some threats instead of recapturing material.} (20... Bxb3 21. Nd2 Be6 22. Nce4 { is comfortable for White.}) 21. Ne5 (21. Qd6 Nbd7 $1 {[%cal Gg7f8]}) 21... Bxb3 22. g4 $5 {White probably played this to avoid Nh5, to get the g3-square for his queen and keep ideas to grab space on the kingside.} Nbd5 23. Nxd5 Bxd5 24. h3 Nh7 $2 {But this is hard to understand.} (24... Bxg2 25. Kxg2 Qd5+ 26. Qf3 Ne4 $1 27. Nd3 b6 {and Black has an easier game} 28. Nb4 $2 Qb3 29. Rcb1 Qe6 { [%cal Yc6c5]}) 25. e4 Be6 26. Bb2 (26. Qe3 $1 {was a good move, starting a nice plan to gain more space, possibly with a preparatory f4 and at some moment d5} Ra4 (26... Nf8 27. f4) 27. Rd1 Qa5 28. Bb2 Rxa1 29. Bxa1 {[%cal Gd4d5] and White seems ready for d5 here, for example} Rd8 30. d5 $1 cxd5 31. exd5 Bxd5 32. Qd3 Nf6 33. Nc4 $1 Qc5 34. Ne3 $18 {[%csl Rd5]}) 26... Rxa1 27. Bxa1 Nf6 28. Rd1 (28. Qe3 {[%cal Gf2f4,Yc1d1,Yd4d5] again was a good choice, with the same ideas shown in the notes to White's 26th move.}) 28... Qa5 { Black misses an unexpected blow.} (28... Nxe4 $1 29. d5 $1 {the only way to complicate things} (29. Bxe4 Bxe5 30. Qxe5 Bxg4 $1 31. Qg3 Bxd1 32. Bxg6 fxg6 33. Qxg6+ Kf8 34. Qxh6+ Ke7 $19) (29. Nxf7 Bxf7 30. Bxe4 Qf6 31. Qxf6 Bxf6 32. Bf3 Ra8 $15 {with very good chances in this endgame, White is clearly under pressure}) (29. Nxc6 bxc6 30. Bxe4 Bd5 31. Bf3 Qa5 $1 {[%cal Ye8e1]} 32. Kg2 Bxf3+ 33. Qxf3 c5 {[%csl Rd4] and White ends up losing the d4-pawn} 34. Bc3 Qa4 35. Ra1 Qc4 $1) 29... Nf6 30. d6 Nd7 $5 31. Nxd7 Qxd7 32. Bxg7 Kxg7 33. Qb4 Rd8 $15 {due to his strong d6 passed pawn White has enough compensation, but Black's just a pawn up and can try to work with his two passed pawns on the queenside at the right moment.}) 29. Bf3 Qa4 $1 {[%csl Ga4] The queen is very well placed on a4, attacking the rook and preventing d5-ideas.} 30. Kg2 Rd8 { [%cal Gc6c5] And now Black is looking for interesting ideas such as ...c5, as well as other tactical motifs...} 31. h4 $6 {Faithful to his style, Salem plays energetically and seeks an initiative on the kingside, but this allows Mamedyarov a good idea to animate things.} (31. Nd3 {was a good preventive move, defending the queen and thus preparing d5; the fine point is that after} Nxe4 {White has} 32. Nb2 $1 Qb4 $1 33. Nd3 Qa4 34. Nb2 $11) ({Knowing how the game continued, we can say that} 31. Qe3 {was the right move, because now} Nxe4 $2 {fails to a subtle detail} 32. Qxe4 Bd5 (32... Qxd1 33. Bxd1 Bd5 34. Qxd5 cxd5 35. Bb2 $16 {is clearly better for White}) 33. Qe1 $1 Bxe5 34. Bxd5 Rxd5 { the subtle difference is that here the g4 pawn is not hanging} 35. Rb1 $1 { and suddenly Black falls victim of a unstoppable attack} Bg7 36. Qe8+ Kh7 37. Qxf7 b5 38. Re1 $18 {[%cal Ge1e7]}) 31... Nxe4 $1 32. Re1 $2 {We can assume that probably Salem missed 31...Nxe4, as he doesn't react in the best way.} ( 32. Qxe4 {was right} Bd5 (32... Qxd1 {again is better for White} 33. Bxd1 Bd5 34. Qxd5 cxd5 35. Bb2 $16) 33. Qe2 $1 (33. Qe1 Bxe5 34. Bxd5 Rxd5 35. Rb1 c5 $1 36. dxe5 $2 Qxg4+ 37. Kf1 Qxh4 $17 {and the white king is in danger}) 33... Bxe5 34. Bxd5 Rxd5 35. Rb1 Rb5 $1 {this defensive idea is possible now because the white queen isn't protecting the a1-bishop} 36. Rxb5 cxb5 37. dxe5 Qxa1 { and now} 38. e6 $1 {forces the draw} fxe6 (38... Kf8 $2 39. Qf3 $16) 39. Qxe6+ Kh7 40. Qd7+ Qg7 41. Qxb5 {and Black still can try, but after} Qc7 42. f3 $11 { [%cal Yh4h5] with h5 coming is very difficult for Black avoid his king becoming exposed to perpetual check.}) 32... Nf6 33. Nxg6 {The best practical chance, or Black had just won a pawn.} fxg6 34. Rxe6 Qxa1 35. g5 $1 {The best practical chance again, involving an interesting idea to make things difficult for Mamedyarov.} (35. Rxf6 {seems easier for Black} Bxf6 36. Qxf6 Qxd4 37. Qxg6+ Qg7 38. Qe6+ Kh8 39. Be4 Rf8 $17 {and slowly Black's material advantage will impose itself.}) 35... hxg5 (35... Qxd4 $1 {was a very good way to avoid White's idea and transpose to an easier endgame with two pawns up} 36. Qxd4 Rxd4 37. gxf6 Bf8 {[%csl Gh4][%cal Yg8f7] despite the opposite-coloured bishops, I'm pretty convinced that this endgame is winning for Black} 38. Re4 Rxe4 39. Bxe4 Kf7 40. Kg3 Kxf6 $19 {[%csl Yb7,Yc6]}) 36. hxg5 Nh5 $6 {This allows White's idea.} (36... Nh7 $142 $19) 37. Bxh5 gxh5 (37... Rf8 {this intemediate move is brilliantly refuted by} 38. Qe4 gxh5 39. Rh6 $3 Bxh6 (39... Rxf2+ 40. Kxf2 Qa2+ 41. Kg3 Bxh6 42. gxh6 Qf7 43. Kh4 $1 $13) 40. Qe6+ $1 Kh7 ( 40... Rf7 $2 41. g6 $1 $18) 41. Qxh6+ Kg8 42. Qg6+ $11 (42. g6 $2 Rxf2+ $1 43. Kxf2 Qxd4+ 44. Kg2 Qd7 $19)) 38. Re7 Rf8 39. Rxg7+ $1 Kxg7 40. Qe5+ {The point is that now, to avoid perpetual check, Black has to give back the rook, then reaching an interesting queen endgame where White should have good chances of a draw.} Kg6 $1 {Correct, first collect the g5-pawn...} 41. Qd6+ Kxg5 42. Qg3+ $1 {Again the best move, forcing the black king to walk towards the other side of the board, where it will be protected from checks, but it also leaves the kingside and the path for White's passed f-pawn free.} (42. Qxf8 $6 {now White has some checks, but he can't capture the black pawns immediately, because this allows the forced and winning queen exchange} Qxd4 43. Qg8+ (43. Qe7+ Kh6 44. Qxb7 Qg7+ $1 $19) 43... Kh6 44. Qe6+ Kh7 45. Qf5+ Kg7 46. Qg5+ (46. Qxh5 Qd5+ $19) 46... Kf8 47. Qf5+ Ke7 48. Qh7+ Kd6 49. Qxb7 Qg4+ 50. Kf1 Qd1+ 51. Kg2 Qd5+ $1 52. Kg3 c5 $17) 42... Kh6 43. Qd6+ Kg7 44. Qg3+ Kf7 45. Qf4+ Ke6 46. Qe5+ Kd7 47. Qg7+ Kc8 $1 {Finally!} 48. Qxf8+ Kc7 49. Qe7+ Kb6 50. Qc5+ $6 {Now White missed a very nice idea, and Black starts to have chances.} (50. d5 $1 {was very good, leaving the Black king more exposed} cxd5 51. Qd6+ Ka7 52. Qxd5 {Well, it's very difficult imagine how Black can do everything in this position: protect h5, advance the b-pawn and at the same time hide his king from checks and avoid the advance of White's f-pawn. So, a draw is a fair assessment.}) 50... Ka6 51. f4 $6 {Salem follows a well-known maxim about queen endgames, which evaluates the quality and speed of passed pawns over material. This is very natural, because in such endgames it's impossible to calculate everything, so we let ourselves be guided by general ideas. But this time it's wrong, because now Black can bring his queen close to White's king, which also becomes vulnerable.} (51. Qc4+ Ka7 52. d5 $1 {kind of transposes to the previous d5-idea.}) 51... Qa2+ 52. Kg3 Qe2 $6 ({A more accurate way was} 52... Qb3+ $1 53. Kh2 (53. Kh4 Qf3 $1 54. Qf5 b5 55. Kg5 b4 56. Qf8 Qd5+ 57. f5 Kb5 $1 58. Qb8+ Kc4 $17 {[%cal Yb4b1]}) 53... h4 $1 54. Qg5 (54. f5 Qg3+ 55. Kh1 Qf3+ 56. Kh2 h3 57. Qc2 b5 $19) 54... Qe3 55. Qxh4 Qxd4 56. Qh6 Qf2+ 57. Kh3 Qf3+ 58. Kh2 b5 $17) 53. f5 {Now the position begins to look more difficult for Black to win, because the f-pawn is more advanced.} Qg4+ 54. Kh2 Qf4+ 55. Kg2 Qe4+ 56. Kh2 Qf3 $1 {[%csl Gf3] Still, Mamedyarov finds the perfect square to put the queen. It allows Black to play ...b5 at some time, creates mating threats with the help of ...h4, and controls some checks by the white queen.} 57. Qe5 $1 {Salem is also fighting hard, supporting his big hope - the f5-pawn.} h4 58. f6 b5 (58... h3 $5 59. Qg5 b5 60. Qg7 $1 {and Black is forced to give perpetual.}) 59. Qg5 (59. Qe6 $1 {was probably more forcing} h3 60. Qc8+ Ka5 61. Qc7+ {and if Black plays} Ka4 $2 62. Qa7+ $1 Kb3 63. Qg7 $1 { [%cal Yf6f8] suddenly White is better.}) 59... b4 $1 60. Qg7 $2 {In such positions, we have many options and sometimes it's difficult to spot the differences between them.} (60. Qg6 $1 {was the right defence, keeping an eye on the promotion square b1 and preparing to exchange the f- for the c-pawn} b3 (60... Qf4+ 61. Kh3 Qd6 62. Qd3+ Kb6 63. Qf3) 61. f7 b2 (61... Kb6 62. Qg8) ( 61... Ka5 62. Qg8 $1) 62. f8=Q $1 Qxf8 63. Qxc6+ Ka5 {the only winning attempt} 64. Qc7+ Kb4 (64... Ka4 65. Qc2+ Ka3 66. Qc3+ Ka2 67. Qc4+ Ka1 68. Qa6+ $1 (68. Qa4+ $2 Kb1 69. Qd1+ Ka2 70. Qa4+ Qa3 71. Qc4+ Ka1 $19) 68... Kb1 69. Qd3+ Ka2 70. Qc4+ Ka3 71. Qc3+ Ka2 72. Qc4+ $11) 65. Qb6+ Kc3 66. Qc6+ Kxd4 67. Qb6+ Kc3 68. Qc6+ Kd3 69. Qb5+ Kc2 70. Qc4+ Kb1 71. Qd3+ Ka2 72. Qc4+ Ka1 73. Qa4+ Kb1 74. Qe4+ $11) 60... Qf2+ 61. Kh3 Qe3+ 62. Kg2 $2 {To leave the h-pawn alive is a bad decision.} (62. Kxh4 Qxd4+ 63. Kh5 b3 {seems bad, but White is still trying after} 64. Qg6 $1 b2 65. f7 Qc5+ 66. Kh6 Qc1+ 67. Kg7 b1=Q 68. Qxb1 Qxb1 69. f8=Q Qg1+ 70. Kh7 $17 {but of course Black has excellent winning chances.}) 62... Qe4+ 63. Kh2 Qxd4 64. Kh3 (64. Qg6 {doesn't work any more} Qd6+ 65. Kg2 ( 65. Kh3 b3) 65... b3 66. Qe4 Qxf6 67. Qa4+ Kb6 68. Qxb3+ Kc7 $19) 64... b3 65. Qf7 b2 66. Qa2+ Kb6 67. Qb3+ (67. f7 {was the last chance to keep chances} Qf2 $1 68. Kg4 Qg1+ 69. Kxh4 b1=Q 70. Qxb1+ Qxb1 71. f8=Q Qh1+ 72. Kg5 Qd5+ 73. Kg6 c5 $17) 67... Kc7 68. f7 (68. Qf7+ $2 Qd7+ $19) 68... Qf4 $1 $19 {Now it becomes clear that White should have eliminated this h-pawn.} 69. f8=R (69. Kg2 b1=Q 70. Qxb1 Qxf7 $19) 69... Qxf8 70. Qxb2 Qf4 71. Kg2 c5 {A very interesting battle between two aggressive and creative players. Salem found a beautiful defensive resource, but failed to keep playing the best moves in this complicated queen endgame, and Mamedyarov's fighting spirit prevailed.} 0-1 [Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.15"] [Round "4"] [White "Vallejo Pons, Francisco"] [Black "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B31"] [WhiteElo "2710"] [BlackElo "2710"] [Annotator "Szabo,Kr"] [PlyCount "90"] [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"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. d3 Bg7 6. h3 Nf6 7. Nc3 O-O 8. Bf4 Nh5 9. Be3 Qd6 ({A few years ago Radjabov played} 9... b6 10. g4 Nf6 11. Qd2 e5 12. Bh6 Qd6 13. Qe3 Ne8 14. Ne2 f6 15. Nd2 Ba6 16. b3 Nc7 17. Bxg7 Kxg7 18. f4 Ne6 19. f5 Nd4 $13 {Grischuk-Radjabov, Astana blitz 2012, with a complicated middlegame.}) 10. Qd2 e5 11. O-O-O b5 (11... Be6 {is the other move,} 12. g4 Nf4 13. Bxf4 exf4 14. e5 Bxe5 15. Nxe5 Qxe5 16. Rhe1 { (Rohit-Reinderman, Groningen 2008)} Qd4 17. Re4 Qd6 $11 {with a balanced position.}) 12. Ne2 b4 {Black starts his attack on the queenside, while White also comes on the kingside.} 13. g4 Nf6 14. Ng3 a5 15. c4 {At first this is a strange move, but White wants to close the queenside as much as possible.} (15. Bh6 a4 $13) 15... a4 16. Rhg1 {The rook is useful on the g-file. White's plan is Bh6 to exchange the g7-bishop and try to sacrifice with Nf5.} (16. Bh6 Ne8 { is similar to the text move.}) 16... Kh8 17. Bh6 Ne8 {Important defending move. The knight wasn't active on f6 he needs to protect the g7-bishop.} 18. Bxg7+ Kxg7 (18... Nxg7 {could have been met by} 19. Qh6 {with some pressure on the kingside.}) 19. Nf5+ $2 {A brave sacrifice, but this is a mistake at this moment. White's main idea is this Nf5, but at a favourable moment. Now Black has a nice defence.} ({The solid} 19. Qe3 {leads to a balanced middlegame.}) 19... gxf5 20. gxf5+ Kh8 21. Qg5 Ra7 $1 {The correct reply! The rook is very important on the 7th rank; he would like to play ...f6.} ({The immediate} 21... f6 $2 {is bad, as} 22. Qh5 Ra7 (22... Ng7 $2 23. Rxg7 $1 Kxg7 24. Rg1+ Kh8 25. Nh4 $1 $16 {followed by Ng6 with a decisive attack.}) 23. Nh4 Rg7 24. Ng6+ Rxg6 25. fxg6 Qe7 26. Rdf1 $1 $40 {preparing for f4 with unpleasant pressure for Black.}) 22. Rg4 ({Now} 22. Nh4 $2 {could have been met by} a3 $1 23. b3 Qd4 $19 {and suddenly Black has a winning attack.}) 22... f6 23. Qh6 {White is threatening Rdg1, Nh4 and Black can't defend against his attack.} Rff7 $1 { The right move! Black prepares for ...Rg7.} ({The straightforward} 23... Rg7 $4 {loses immediately, because of} 24. Rxg7 Nxg7 25. Ng5 $1 $18 {and the pawn is pinned against the queen; White is winning.}) 24. Rdg1 Rg7 25. Rxg7 Nxg7 $1 { The only move!} (25... Rxg7 $4 {loses again,} 26. Rxg7 Nxg7 27. Ng5 $1 $18 { and wins.}) 26. Ng5 Ne8 $1 {This is the point! Now Black is safe.} 27. Nf3 Ba6 (27... Rf7 $19 {was also fine.}) 28. Rg6 {Threatening Nxe5.} ({In the event of } 28. Nh4 Ng7 $19) ({the engine suggests} 28. Nxe5 {as the best practical chance,} fxe5 29. Rg6 Qe7 30. Rxc6 Qg7 31. Qxg7+ Nxg7 32. Rxc5 {, but} Nh5 $19 {followed by ...Nf4 and Black should be winning.}) 28... Rf7 $1 29. Ng5 Bxc4 $1 {This is the point of 27...Ba6!} (29... Rd7 $2 {could have been met by the brilliant} 30. f4 $3 Bxc4 (30... exf4 31. e5 $1 $18) 31. fxe5 $18 {and White crushes Black's position.}) 30. f4 {Vallejo tries to complicate the position, but he is losing already.} ({If} 30. dxc4 Rd7 $1 $19 {and suddenly White gets mated!}) ({or} 30. Nxf7+ Bxf7 $19 {is also hopeless for White.}) 30... exf4 31. e5 Qe7 $1 {The nice cool-blooded reaction.} 32. Nxf7+ Bxf7 33. Rg1 Bxa2 $19 { Black is completely winning. The remaining moves are not difficult.} 34. e6 f3 35. Qf4 Bd5 36. Qb8 c4 37. Kd2 c3+ 38. bxc3 bxc3+ 39. Kc2 a3 40. Rg4 a2 41. Qg3 a1=N+ 42. Kd1 c2+ 43. Kd2 c1=Q+ 44. Kxc1 Qc5+ 45. Kd2 Nb3+ 0-1 [Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.17"] [Round "4"] [White "Inarkiev, Ernesto"] [Black "Harikrishna, Penteala"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A62"] [WhiteElo "2727"] [BlackElo "2750"] [Annotator "Hillarp Persson,T"] [PlyCount "94"] [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"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 {This used to be the favoured move order of Modern Benoni aficionados like De Firmian, Suba and Vugar Gashimov. The point is to wait for White to play either Nf3 or g3, before going for a Benoni structure. In this way Black avoids the Taimanov attack.} (2... c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. e4 g6 7. f4 Bg7 8. Bb5+ {is the starting position of the Taimanov attack. This is probably better for White in some way, but in recent years lots of White players have avoided the critical} Nfd7 9. a4 ({in favour of} 9. Nf3 a6 10. Bd3 b5 11. O-O {White has a dangerous attack here after} O-O 12. Kh1 { , but in another sense it is playing into Black's ball park.})) 3. g3 c5 { I respect anyone who plays this quirky opening. What do the cards say? Asymmetrical pawn structure, ehhh.} 4. d5 exd5 5. cxd5 g6 {The Modern Benoni has a rather dodgy reputation. I sometimes find myself involved in discussion on the topic: "Which is the more dubious opening; the King's Indian or the Modern Benoni?" The answer fluctuates, but lately it seems the MB has been more under a cloud than the KID. However, I believe there are few GMs who would claim that the fianchetto is the most critical setup against the MB. The reason why so many strong players play it has more to do with the fact that it suits their repertoire (early g3), or that it is less sensitive to theoretical novelties (I'm guessing now). So, from a MB perspective, Black is already quite happy to have avoided the most challenging lines, while still being able to play the Benoni structure.} 6. Bg2 d6 ({Black can try to do without d6 for a while longer:} 6... Bg7 7. Nc3 O-O 8. Nf3 (8. d6 Nc6 {is what Black is hoping to provoke.}) 8... Re8 (8... b5 {doesn't look too promising:} 9. Nxb5 Qa5+ 10. Nc3 Ne4 11. O-O Nxc3 12. bxc3 Qxc3 13. Rb1 d6 14. Bb2 $16 {although Black went on to win, in Genutis,M (2316)-Jobava,B (2707) Warsaw 2010.}) 9. O-O {and Black cannot avoid d7-d6 for much longer. After} b6 $5 (9... Na6 10. d6 $1 $16) 10. Re1 {It is not clear how Black will benefit from b6.}) 7. Nf3 Bg7 8. Nc3 O-O 9. O-O Re8 (9... Na6 $5 {will lead to the same positions as after 10... Na6, if White continues with} 10. Bf4 {. However, White can also try other move orders.} (10. Nd2 $5 Nc7 11. Nc4 b5 12. Nxd6 Qxd6 13. Bf4 Qb6 14. d6 Ne6 15. Bxa8 Nxf4 16. gxf4 Bh3 {is one way to have fun.})) (9... a6 10. a4 Nbd7 11. Bf4 Qe7 12. Rb1 $5) (9... Nbd7 10. Bf4 Qe7 11. a4 $1 b6 $5 (11... a6 12. Rb1 { is extensively analysed by Avrukh in the book mentioned below. The threat of b2-b4 is annoying:} Re8 13. b4 cxb4 14. Rxb4 Nc5 15. Nd4 {and although the engine will tell you that Black is only slightly worse, this is really not good. If we are to give up the d4-square thus in the MB, we must at least have White play e2-e4 first, so that we have something to attack. Here White is solid and Black's pawn structure is... awkward.}) 12. h3 {This is what Black is waiting for!} (12. Rb1 {is less promising here as Black might change his tack with} Ba6 13. Re1 Rae8 $13) 12... Nh5 13. Bg5 f6 14. Bd2 f5 15. Ng5 $6 f4 $1 {This idea would not be half as promising had White not played h3.} 16. Ne6 fxg3 17. f4 $6 (17. Nxf8 Nxf8 {would give Black fantastic compensation.}) 17... Ndf6 18. Nxf8 Bxf8 {Korchmar,V (2437)-Ponomariov,R (2715) Gjakova 2016; and Black's compensation was more than enough for the exchange.}) 10. Bf4 {This move is recommended in Avrukh's "1.d4 The Catalan" and that is more than enough to qualify it as the current main line. White is making it harder for Black to develop naturally with Nbd7, so Black has to come up with something else:} Bf5 $5 {A novel development. Black has tried numerous alternatives.} ( 10... Na6 11. Re1 Bg4 12. h3 (12. Nd2 Nh5 13. Be3 Rxe3 14. fxe3 Qe7 $44) 12... Bxf3 13. Bxf3 Nd7 14. e4 (14. Ne4 $1 {is recommended by Avrukh.}) 14... Ne5 15. Be2 c4 16. Bxe5 Bxe5 17. Bxc4 Nc5 $36 {Schandorff,L (2519)-Hillarp Persson,T (2546) Denmark 2016.}) ({The main line used to be} 10... Ne4 {or with a4/a6 thrown in, which comes to pretty much the same:} 11. Nxe4 Rxe4 12. Nd2 Rxf4 13. gxf4 Bxb2 14. Rb1 Bg7 15. e4 {I used to think that this was quite unclear, but Avrukh convincingly shows that e4-e5 is such a strong threat that Black is hard pressed to equalize.}) 11. Nh4 ({White has had an abysmal score with} 11. Nd2 {, although} Nh5 12. e4 (12. Be3 $6 Nd7 13. Nc4 Nb6 $1 $36 {Menezes,C (2291)-Kilgus,G (2421) Vienna 2015}) 12... Nxf4 13. gxf4 Bd7 14. a4 Na6 15. Nc4 Qf6 16. Qf3 Nb4 17. Qg3 Nc2 {Kozul,Z (2591)-Zhigalko,S (2647) Gjakova 2016, looked less than completely clear.}) (11. Nb5 Bf8 {[%cal Ga7a6]}) 11... Bc8 12. Qd2 ({If White plays} 12. Nf3 Bf5 13. Nh4 {there ought to be a 0,25-0,75 score. }) 12... a6 {Usually the MB is all about White's "weak" e4-pawn; Black tries to undermine it with b5, or f5,or just play around it on the dark squares. The upside of the fianchetto, is that there is nothing obvious for Black to aim the forces at. Here a6 is rather a must; a way to keep White's knight out of b5.} 13. a4 Qe7 {Black prepares to develop with Nbd7.} 14. h3 (14. Rfe1 Nbd7 15. Nf3 Rb8 16. e4 Ng4 17. Qe2 $6 (17. a5 b5 18. axb6 Rxb6 $132) 17... Nde5 18. a5 b5 19. axb6 Rxb6 20. Ra2 Nxf3+ 21. Bxf3 Ne5 22. Bg2 Qb7 23. h3 Bd7 {[%cal Gd7b5,Ge5d3,Gc5c4] Georgiadis,N (2470)-Bok,B (2613) Biel 2016, and Black had a light-square bonanza.}) ({One could make a case for Avrukh's} 14. Rab1 { -idea here, but perhaps the queen is not all that well off on d2. For instance: } Nbd7 15. b4 cxb4 (15... b6 16. Rfc1) 16. Rxb4 Nc5 17. a5 Qd8 $5 18. Ra1 (18. Rb6 Nfd7 $1 $36) 18... Rb8 $13 {ought to be investigated.}) 14... Nbd7 { Black should be happy here. He has lost two tempi with the bishop on c8, but otherwise he has only played natural moves. White needs to make Nh4 look good, since the retreat will leave the queen looking silly on d2.} 15. e4 ({After} 15. Bh6 Bxh6 $1 16. Qxh6 Rb8 17. a5 b5 18. axb6 Rxb6 19. Ra2 Ne5 {[%csl Rg2, Rh4][%cal Gb6b2] Black has plenty of counterplay.}) 15... Rb8 16. Nf3 b5 { If Black can play this and White isn't able to counter it with b2-b4, then something has gone wrong for White.} 17. axb5 axb5 18. Rfe1 b4 19. Na4 Bb7 { There is nothing wrong with this move, but it looks rather un-Benoni-ny to me. There were two interesting alternatives:} (19... Nxe4 $5 20. Rxe4 Qxe4 21. Re1 Qxe1+ $1 22. Nxe1 Ra8 23. b3 (23. Qd1 b3 $1 {[%csl Ra4,Re1]} 24. Nxc5 dxc5 $17) 23... Rxa4 $1 24. bxa4 Bc3 25. Qd3 Rxe1+ 26. Kh2 {looks to be balanced. It is an important factor that White's king is out of harm's way whereas Black's king can get into trouble on the back rank. Otherwise Black would just be better:} Ne5 (26... Bd4 27. Bxd6) 27. Qb5 Kg7 28. a5 Bf5 29. Qb8 c4 $1 { We are moving into the "fiction" area now...} 30. a6 b3 31. a7 Ra1 32. Bh6+ Kxh6 33. Qf8+ Kg5 34. Qe7+ Kh6 35. Qf8+ $11) (19... Nh5 $5 {is another challenging move, taking e4-e5 out of the picture:} 20. Be3 Bb7 {, or, no?} 21. e5 $5 Bxe5 $1 22. g4 Ng7 23. Bg5 Qf8 24. Nxe5 Rxe5 25. Rxe5 dxe5 26. b3 $44 { [%cal Ga4b2,Gb2c4]}) 20. e5 $1 {Considering that he was getting into time trouble, this was a good, forcing move from Inarkiev, .} (20. Qc2 $5 Nxe4 ( 20... h6 21. g4) 21. Ng5 f5 22. Nxe4 fxe4 23. Rxe4 Qf8 24. Re6 Ne5 $13) 20... Nxd5 21. exd6 Qf8 22. Ne5 ({It was also possible to play} 22. Rxe8 Rxe8 23. Ne5 Bxe5 24. Bxd5 Ba8 25. Bxa8 Bxf4 26. Qxf4 Rxa8 27. b3 c4 28. Re1 cxb3 29. Qxb4 Qb8 $11) 22... Rxe5 $1 {The tactics start, but there are not many ways to get off the main track. There is a draw at the end of the tunnel.} 23. Bxe5 Nxe5 24. Nxc5 (24. Bxd5 $6 Qxd6 25. Red1 Rd8 26. Bxf7+ Nxf7 27. Qxd6 Nxd6 28. Nxc5 Bf3 (28... Bxb2 29. Rab1 Ba3 30. Rb3 $15) 29. Ne6 Bxd1 30. Nxd8 Bf3 31. Ra4 { is about equal, but Black can play on.}) 24... Bc6 25. Ra6 (25. Nd3 $5 { is favoured by the engine. I am afraid that I would never start calculating the consequences of such a move (getting a rook and pawn for two minor pieces), but here it makes a lot of sense, since White's king is safe and the d-pawn is strong. Black should play} Bh6 26. Qd1 Nxd3 27. Qxd3 Qxd6 28. Red1 Rb5 29. Ra8+ Bf8 30. Ra6 Rc5 {with equality. That's some tight rope though.}) 25... Qxd6 ({ I was trying to figure out the consequences of} 25... Nb6 $5 {during the game, but didn't get half as far as my engine did in ten seconds:} 26. Bxc6 Nxc6 27. d7 (27. Rxb6 $5 Rxb6 28. Nd7 Nd4 $1 29. Qf4 Qxd6 30. Re8+ Bf8 31. Qh6 Nf3+ 32. Kg2 Ne1+ 33. Kf1 Qd3+ {is a draw, due to} 34. Kxe1 Re6+ 35. Rxe6 Bxh6 $17) 27... Qxc5 28. Re8+ Bf8 29. Rxb8 Nxb8 30. d8=Q Nxa6 {I would have expected such a position to be somewhat better for Black, but if White is able to exchange a pair of queens and win the b-pawn, then coordination could be a problem for the minor pieces when the b2-pawn comes running.}) 26. Rxc6 Qxc6 27. Qxd5 Qxd5 28. Bxd5 Rd8 {This should not become terribly exciting if White can make a few exact moves...} 29. Rd1 Bf8 30. Ne4 Be7 31. Bb3 $6 (31. b3 $11 { and there is no way to make use of the pin. However, it is quite possible that Inarkiev foresaw that he would hold the endgame easily.}) 31... Rxd1+ 32. Bxd1 Nd3 33. Bb3 Nxb2 34. Kf1 Nd3 35. Bd5 Kg7 36. Ke2 Ne5 37. f4 Nd7 38. g4 f5 ( 38... Nf8 $5 {[%cal Gf8e6]} 39. f5 gxf5 40. gxf5 Nd7 {looks like a better way to create some problems for White.}) 39. gxf5 gxf5 40. Ng3 Kf6 41. Nh5+ $1 Kg6 42. Bc6 $1 b3 (42... Kxh5 43. Bxd7 Kg6 44. Be6 $11) (42... Nc5 43. Be8+ Kh6 44. Ng3 $11) 43. Bxd7 b2 44. Ng3 b1=Q 45. Bxf5+ Qxf5 46. Nxf5 Kxf5 47. Kf3 Bc5 { The h-pawn is of the wrong colour, so draw ageed.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.16"] [Round "5"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D35"] [WhiteElo "2755"] [BlackElo "2710"] [Annotator "Krasenkow,M"] [PlyCount "61"] [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"] 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 c5 7. Rb1 Be7 8. Nf3 (8. Bb5+ Bd7 9. Bxd7+ (9. Nf3 cxd4 10. cxd4 O-O 11. O-O Bxb5 12. Rxb5 Qc7 13. Qb3 b6 14. d5 exd5 15. Rxd5 Nd7 16. Bb2 Nc5 17. Qc3 Bf6 18. e5 Be7 $11 { 0-1 (35) Shishkov,A (2365)-Kulaots,K (2572) Viljandi 2014}) {was met with a strong novelty:} 9... Nxd7 $1 (9... Qxd7 10. d5 exd5 11. exd5 O-O 12. Nf3 Bf6 13. O-O b5 {1/2 (48) Aronian,L (2785)-Vallejo Pons,F (2709) Sharjah 2017} 14. Be3 $5) 10. Rxb7 $6 {(otherwise Black has no problems but now White's rook gets into trouble, and he must sacrifice an exchange without getting enough compensation)} cxd4 11. cxd4 Nb6 12. Qd2 Qc8 13. Rxe7+ Kxe7 14. Nf3 f6 15. O-O Kf7 16. e5 f5 17. g4 Rd8 $15 {0-1 (60) Nepomniachtchi,I (2751)-Hou Yifan (2652) Moscow 2017}) 8... O-O (8... Nd7 9. Bd3 b6 10. Bf4 Bb7 11. O-O O-O 12. Qe2 Qc8 13. d5 $1 $14 {1-0 (24) Narciso Dublan,M (2528)-Mascaro March,P (2375) Barcelona 2012}) 9. Bc4 {[%cal Yd4d5]} (9. Bd3 cxd4 (9... Nc6 10. d5 $14 { 1/2 (20) Vareille,F (2430)-Bricard,E (2455) Chambery 1994}) 10. cxd4 Nc6 11. O-O Nxd4 12. Nxd4 Qxd4 13. Bb2 Qd8 $13 {0-1 (27) Gonda,L (2507)-Kantorik,M (2288) Heviz 2008}) 9... Nc6 (9... cxd4 10. cxd4 Nc6 11. O-O b6 12. Bb2 Bb7 13. Qe2 Rc8 14. Rfd1 Na5 15. Bb5 Bf6 16. h3 Qc7 17. Ba3 Rfd8 18. Rbc1 Qf4 19. Rxc8 Rxc8 20. d5 $16 {1-0 (41) Vitiugov,N (2739)-Adly,A (2589) Tsaghkadzor 2015}) ( 9... Nd7 10. O-O Qc7 11. Qe2 b6 12. d5 exd5 13. Bxd5 Bb7 14. Bf4 $1 Qxf4 15. Bxb7 Rab8 16. Bc6 Qc7 17. Bd5 Bf6 18. c4 $14 {1-0 (20) Vitiugov,N (2700)-Miton, K (2626) Czechia 2013}) 10. O-O b6 (10... Qc7 11. Qe2 b6 12. Rd1 (12. d5 $5) 12... Na5 13. Bd3 Bb7 14. d5 c4 15. Bc2 e5 16. Be3 Bc8 17. h3 Rd8 18. Rf1 Bd7 19. Nd2 $14 {1/2 (41) Polugaevsky,L-Petrosian,T Soviet Union 1970}) 11. Bf4 { A logical move restricting the mobility of Black's queen.} (11. Be3 Bb7 (11... cxd4 $142 12. cxd4 Bb7) 12. dxc5 Na5 13. Bd3 Bxc5 (13... bxc5 {0-1 (40) Jochens,A (2274)-Levin,F (2503) Germany 2015} 14. Bf4 $1 $14 {[%csl Rd8]}) 14. Bxc5 bxc5 15. Qe2 Qc7 16. Qe3 $14) 11... Bb7 12. Re1 cxd4 13. cxd4 Nb4 $6 { A strange decision. Teimour Radjabov probably missed something here.} (13... Rc8 $142 {, and Black should equalise.}) 14. Qd2 Nc6 {Sad necessity.} ({ Perhaps Black planned} 14... Rc8 15. Rxb4 a5 16. Ra4 Bc6 17. Qd1 b5 { overlooking a strong counterblow:} 18. d5 $1 exd5 (18... bxa4 19. dxc6) (18... Be8 19. d6 Bh4 20. Bxb5 Bxb5 21. Ra3) 19. exd5 Bd7 20. d6 Bf6 21. Bxb5 Bxb5 22. Rae4 $16) 15. d5 Na5 16. Bb5 exd5 17. exd5 Bc5 (17... Bxd5 $2 18. Rxe7 Bxf3 19. Qxd8 Rfxd8 20. gxf3) (17... Bd6 $142 18. Rbd1 Qc7 $14) 18. Rbd1 $16 {[%csl Ra5, Gd5]} Bd6 {Simply losing a tempo but Black hardly had anything better.} 19. Ne5 (19. Ng5 $142 $5 {[%cal Yg5e4]}) 19... a6 20. Bf1 $6 {[%mdl 32] Too passive.} ( 20. Bd3 $142 Rc8 21. Qe2 (21. Qe3 $5 {[%cal Ye3h3]})) 20... Rc8 21. Nc6 { This leads to simplifications. However, most of White's advantage has already vanished.} (21. Qd4 $5) 21... Bxf4 22. Qxf4 Bxc6 23. dxc6 Qc7 24. Rd6 Nxc6 25. Rc1 (25. Bxa6 Rcd8 26. Red1 Na5 $14) 25... Qb8 26. Bxa6 Ne5 $1 {[%mdl 2112] This tactical trick enables Black to survive.} 27. Rcd1 Rc5 28. Qb4 {And White's queen takes a wrong way from an active position to a passive one.} (28. a4 $142 $14) 28... Nc6 29. Qb2 (29. Qf4 b5 $1 {[%csl Ra6]}) 29... Rd8 {Even simpler than} (29... b5 $5 30. R6d5 Rxd5 31. Rxd5 b4) {Black gets rid of White's active rook and solves his problems. With such a small number of pawns (and with queens on the board), the advantage of White's bishop over Black's knight is minimal.} 30. Rxd8+ Nxd8 31. Rb1 (31. Rb1 Ne6 32. g3 Rc6 $11) 1/2-1/2 [Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.16"] [Round "5"] [White "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Salem, AR Saleh"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B11"] [WhiteElo "2795"] [BlackElo "2633"] [Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"] [PlyCount "71"] [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"] 1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Qe2 $5 (5. Nxf6+ {is the normal move, but MVL didn't want to allow free development for Black, as normally happens after 5...exf6} exf6 {White achieves a better endgame structure (because of the potential to create a passed pawn on the kingside, opposed to the impossibility of the same for Black, because of the doubled pawns). But Black has been doing fine here, since there are still many pieces. For example: } 6. d4 Bd6 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O Re8 9. Nh4 g6 10. Bh6 c5 11. dxc5 Bxc5 12. Re1 Be6 13. Be3 Bxe3 14. Rxe3 Nc6 $15 {½-½ (59) Antipov,M (2580)-Yu,Y (2738) Caleta 2017, and Black even achieved a small initiative already, because of some careless play by White.}) 5... Nxe4 (5... Bf5 $5 {was played by Anand recently in the Leuven Grand Chess Tour (blitz portion) against MVL} 6. Nxf6+ ( 6. d3 $5) 6... gxf6 {now Black is forced to take with the g-pawn} 7. d3 Nd7 8. g3 Ne5 9. Nxe5 Qa5+ 10. Bd2 Qxe5 11. Qxe5 fxe5 12. Bg2 f6 13. O-O Bg6 14. Rae1 $14 {0-1 (50) Vachier-Lagrave,M (2783)-Anand,V (2775) Leuven 2017}) 6. Qxe4 Qd5 7. Qh4 {has been the 'fashion' in this position recently.} Qe6+ {Forcing the queen exchange, but staying behind in development anyway.} (7... Bf5 {was played against the very creative Chinese GM Lu Shanglei} 8. Bc4 Qd6 9. d3 e6 10. Bf4 $1 Qb4+ 11. Bd2 Qxb2 12. O-O b5 13. Rab1 Qa3 14. Nd4 $5 Be7 15. Qg3 O-O 16. Nxf5 exf5 17. Bb3 Qd6 18. Qf3 Qf6 19. a4 $36 {1-0 (40) Lu,S (2620)-Fang,Y (2447) Xinghua 2017, with decent compensation for the material.}) 8. Be2 Qg4 9. Qg3 Qxg3 10. hxg3 Bf5 $6 (10... c5 11. d4 $1 {opening up the position as much as possible} e6 12. Be3 Nd7 13. O-O-O a6 14. d5 exd5 15. Rxd5 Nf6 16. Re5+ Be6 17. Bxc5 (17. Ng5 $5) 17... Ng4 18. Bxf8 Kxf8 19. Reh5 Nxf2 20. Rxh7 Rxh7 21. Rxh7 $16 {1-0 (38) Bacrot,E (2691)-Kreisl,R (2448) Novi Sad 2016, White went on to win, a safe pawn up.}) (10... g6 $1 {stopping b3, could have been a good suggestion for Black} 11. d4 (11. Ng5 {trying to provoke f6, doesn't seem to work} Bg7 $1 12. Rxh7 $2 (12. Bc4 e6 {Black must have a reasonable postion here, with ...h6}) 12... Rxh7 13. Nxh7 f6 $17 {has to be bad for White}) 11... Bg7 12. Bh6 $14 {with a small advantage for White.}) 11. b3 $1 a5 $2 {Too slow and not really helping where the main battle will take place - in the centre and on the kingside.} (11... Bxc2 $2 12. d3 $18 {and the bishop is trapped}) ( 11... Nd7 {was seen in a game between two Indian players, 13 days after this encounter. That shows some hard work!} 12. Bb2 e6 $5 {was a playable idea} ( 12... Nf6 13. O-O-O g6 14. Ng5 b5 15. Bf3 Rc8 16. Rde1 Bg7 17. Nxh7 $1 Rxh7 18. Rxh7 Nxh7 19. Bxg7 f6 20. g4 Bd7 21. Bh6 g5 22. Be4 Kf7 23. Bxh7 Rh8 24. Bxg5 Rxh7 25. Be3 Bxg4 26. Bxa7 $18 {1-0 (35) Nitin,S (2426)-Ravi,T (2369) Bhubaneswar 2017, with a won endgame.}) 13. O-O-O (13. Nh4 $6 Bxc2 $1 14. d3 Nc5 15. Kd2 $2 Bxd3 16. Bxd3 O-O-O $19) 13... h6 {preparing ...Rg8 and 0-0-0 (otherwise Nh4 would be strong). I still believe White's initiative is strong, but for now Black is holding} 14. Rde1 Rg8 15. Nd4 Bg6 (15... Bh7 $2 16. Bh5 $1 $16) 16. f4 O-O-O 17. g4 $14 {with better prospects for White.}) 12. Bb2 h6 13. O-O-O a4 14. Nd4 $1 Bc8 (14... Bg6 15. f4 $1 e6 16. g4 $16 {is just horrible for Black.}) 15. Rde1 $1 axb3 16. axb3 {Black lost two tempi in order to play a5-a4, and meanwhile White was able to mobilise all his forces in the centre.} Nd7 17. Nf5 Nf6 18. g4 Be6 (18... Bxf5 19. gxf5 $16 {looks very depressing for Black, with the bishop on f8.}) 19. f4 Rg8 {Something clearly went wrong for Black, White has all the trumps in the position.} 20. Ne3 g6 (20... Nd5 21. f5 $1 Bd7 22. Nxd5 cxd5 23. Bf3 Bc6 24. Re2 $16 {and Black has problems developing.}) 21. f5 gxf5 22. gxf5 Bd7 23. Bf3 Kd8 24. Bd4 Bg7 25. Kb2 Ne8 ( 25... Nh7 $5 26. Bxg7 Rxg7 27. Rxh6 Kc7 $16 {trying to defend a pawn down, with a weakness on f5, and the knight possibly coming to either f6 or g5.}) 26. Bxg7 Nxg7 27. f6 $5 (27. g4 $5 {was also attractive} h5 28. gxh5 Nxf5 29. h6 Nxe3 30. h7 $1 Rh8 31. dxe3 Bf5 32. Reg1 Bg6 33. Be2 $1 {to remove the blockade from g6} e6 (33... Kd7 34. Bd3 Bxd3 35. cxd3 $16 {looks very good for White}) 34. Bd3 Bxd3 35. Rg8+ Ke7 36. Rxa8 Rxa8 37. h8=Q Rxh8 38. Rxh8 $16 { should be very difficult for Black.}) 27... exf6 28. Rxh6 $16 Ne8 29. d4 Kc7 30. d5 {White still wants to open more lines. Salem had to be careful now.} Rg5 (30... Nd6 $5 31. Rxf6 Rae8 {trying to activate somehow.}) 31. Rd1 Ra6 32. b4 Nd6 (32... b5 $1 {with the idea to play ...Re5 and Nd6-Nc4+ at some point.} 33. Rd3 {anticipating ...Re5} Re5 34. c4 bxc4 35. Nxc4 Rg5 {every pawn exchange favours Black here} 36. d6+ $5 (36. dxc6 Bxc6 $16 {should give Black very good drawing chances}) 36... Kd8 37. Ra3 Rxa3 38. Kxa3 Rg8 $16 {threatening ...Be6, and once again Black has chances.}) 33. Rxf6 cxd5 34. Rxd5 Rxd5 $6 (34... Rg8 { would be a painful and endless suffering, but it was possible to have hope, with the reduced number of pawns} 35. Rf4 {preparing c4} Re8 $16 {and Black is still playing.}) (34... Nc4+ {right away also doesn't work} 35. Nxc4 Rxf6 ( 35... Rxd5 36. Rxa6 bxa6 (36... Rd4 37. Kc3 {is the simplest} Rxc4+ 38. Kxc4 bxa6 39. Kc5 $18 {with an easy win}) 37. Bxd5 $18) 36. Rxg5 $18) 35. Bxd5 { [%csl Rf7]} Nc4+ $4 {Maybe Black was very short on time, which is realistic, because we are approaching move 40. If White doesn't have 36.Bxc4 winning, then he is simply lost! In such cases, if you have time and find a winning shot, it's advisable to check it more than once, because your opponent may have set a trap!} (35... Kd8 {was needed, but it's a difficult position after Rf4, followed by c4.} 36. Rf4 Be6 37. c4 $16) 36. Bxc4 $1 {And the fork on d5 decides the game.} 1-0 [Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.18"] [Round "5"] [White "Harikrishna, Penteala"] [Black "Adams, Michael"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D35"] [WhiteElo "2750"] [BlackElo "2747"] [Annotator "Hillarp Persson,T"] [PlyCount "101"] [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"] 1. d4 {Already this is a surprise. Harikrishna usually plays 1.e4, but I guess he was attracted by Adams's rather narrow Black repertoire.} Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. e3 h6 {Adams repeats the line that he lost a game with only three months ago.} ({Perhaps} 6... Be7 7. Bd3 Nbd7 8. Nge2 h6 9. Bh4 Nh5 {is a better move order, although} 10. Bxe7 Qxe7 11. Qd2 {leads to the same position that Adams got against Mamedyarov (see below.).}) 7. Bh4 Be7 8. Bd3 Nbd7 9. f3 $5 {There have only been three games with this move, so far, but it is very logical. White aims to meet Nh5 with Bf2.} (9. Qc2 {In older theory White used to play the queen here, in order to take Nf6-e4 out of the picture. However, if Ne4 is not such a great idea, there are clearly more constructive moves than Qc2!?} Nh5 $5 10. Bxe7 Qxe7 {Compared to the position after 9.Nge2 Nh5 10.Bxe7 etc, this is clearly less critical. The queen would be better placed on d2, so that White can continue with f3, preparing e4.}) (9. Nge2 $5 {was Mamedyarov's choice in Sharjah. I commented on this game for ChessBase in February.} {Perhaps Adams was prepared to play the critical} Ne4 $5 (9... Nh5 10. Bxe7 Qxe7 11. Qd2 $1 {Mamedyarov-Adams, Sharjah Grand Prix 2017}) 10. Bxe7 Nxc3 (10... Qxe7 $6 11. Bxe4 dxe4 12. Ng3 Nf6 13. Qc2 $16) 11. Bxd8 Nxd1 12. Rxd1 Kxd8 13. f3 {when, to quote myself, "White has a clear plan in e3-e4 (and possibly g4/h4), whereas Black is somewhat passive. White ought to have a small advantage."}) ({After} 9. Nf3 {Black doesn't have to worry about the f3/e4-plan and can focus on finding a way to meet b2-b4-b5.}) 9... O-O (9... Ne4 10. Bxe7 Nxc3 11. Bxd8 Nxd1 12. Rxd1 Kxd8 13. Ne2 $14) 10. Nge2 b5 ({Wesley So mentions} 10... Ne4 11. Bxe7 Nxc3 12. Bxd8 (12. bxc3 Qxe7) 12... Nxd1 13. Rxd1 Rxd8 14. Kf2 {, saying that White's play on the kingside, with h4, g4, etc, is promising. Here h6 turns out to be a weakness even though the queens are off the board.}) ({The usual plan in these positions is} 10... Re8 11. O-O Nf8 {and although h6 is not part of the usual narrative, it is not quite clear how White should prove an advantage.} 12. Kh1 Ne6 13. Bc2 $5 (13. Qc2) (13. a3 $5) 13... Nf8 $6 (13... b6 14. Qd3 g6 15. e4 $36) (13... b5 $5) 14. Qd3 Nh5 15. Bxe7 Qxe7 16. e4 dxe4 17. fxe4 Be6 18. e5 Rad8 19. Ne4 Bd5 20. N2c3 Qe6 21. Nxd5 cxd5 22. Nc5 Qc8 23. Qf3 {1-0 (23) Sokolov,I (2650)-Kenney,D (2021) Ottawa 2013}) 11. O-O {I prefer the White side in this structure. Black must, sooner or later, play c6-c5 and be left with an isolated pawn in the centre. The alternative is to allow White to play e3-e4 and that looks even worse. White has no similar reason not to play e3-e4.} Nb6 ({Black should seek counterplay in a more dynamic manner. Slow building up will only further White's case. Perhaps} 11... b4 $5 12. Na4 Nb6 13. Nc5 (13. Rc1 Ng4 $1 14. Bxe7 Qxe7 15. Nxb6 Nxe3 16. Qa4 Bf5 17. Nxa8 Bxd3 18. Rfe1 Bb5 19. Qa5 Nxg2 { , is a long, forced and - if the engine is to be believed - equal line.}) (13. Bf2 $5) 13... Nfd7 14. Nxd7 Bxd7 15. Bf2 c5 $1 16. dxc5 Bxc5 17. Rc1 Nc4 { , could be a way to force one's way out of trouble. After} 18. Bxc4 dxc4 19. Rxc4 Rc8 20. Nd4 Qg5 {Black's activity looks to be enough to make up for the missing pawn.}) 12. Bf2 $1 a5 (12... b4 13. Na4 Nxa4 14. Qxa4 Qb6 15. Rfc1 (15. a3 $5) 15... Bd7 16. Qc2 Rfc8 17. Qd2 (17. Bf5 $5) 17... a5 {is only a little better for White.}) (12... Nc4 13. Qc2 Bd7 14. Rad1 Re8 15. Ng3 {and e3-e4 is hanging in the air.}) 13. Ng3 $1 {Now b5-b4 can be met with Nce2.} (13. Nc1 { makes the back ranks more crowded, but is also possible.}) 13... b4 14. Nce2 c5 {As I mentioned before; Black cannot do without this move in the long run.} 15. dxc5 Bxc5 16. Rc1 Nbd7 17. Nd4 (17. Nf4 $5 Qb6 18. Re1 Re8 19. Bf5 {[%cal Gf4d5]} Qd6 (19... Rxe3 $4 20. Rxc5 Rxe1+ 21. Qxe1 Nxc5 22. Nxd5 $18) 20. Qd2 { looks like a more direct and possibly better way to exploit Black's weak points.}) 17... Qb6 18. Re1 {Harikrishna is playing the White side in copybook style; not hurrying, while guiding the pieces towards the best squares. This move makes the Nd4 free to move, while opening up a slot for the knight and bishop on f1.} Re8 19. Bb1 $5 ({Even more active is} 19. Bc2 Nf8 20. Ba4 Bd7 21. Ngf5 {, but after} h5 {, intending ...g6, it is not clear how White will continue. In the bigger scheme of things, White would prefer to keep the light-squared bishops and exchange the dark-squared ones...}) (19. Ngf5 Ba6 20. g4 $6 Bxd3 21. Qxd3 Ne5 22. Qe2 Bf8 $132) 19... a4 {Black's advanced queenside pawns are a mixed blessing. On one hand they can create tactical possibilities with b4-b3 or a4-a3 (aiming for the c3-square), but the downside is that they will become (very) weak in the endgame. A similar situation can arise in the King's Indian, when Black pushes the a- and b-pawns forward.} 20. Qc2 {White wants to provoke g7-g6, but Black should be happy to be provoked.} (20. b3 $5 a3 21. Qd2 Ba6 22. Bd3 Bxd3 23. Qxd3 Rac8 24. Nge2 {The b4-pawn looks too weak to my liking, but Black has plenty of activity, so perhaps it is balanced.}) 20... Ra5 $5 (20... g6 21. Qd2 Ba6 22. b3 axb3 23. axb3 Rac8 24. Nge2 Ne5 25. Nf4 {is possibly balanced, but I keep worrying about the b4-pawn.}) 21. Nge2 Nf8 $2 {This is a part of the old undermine-d4-with-everything-you-have-plan, but at this moment the most important thing is to keep White from pushing the bishop away from c5 with Nf4-d3. It's a small slip, but it has huge implications.} ({It was better to play} 21... Ne5 22. Nf4 Bd7 {, when after} 23. Red1 (23. Nd3 Nxd3 24. Qxd3 Raa8 {is quite OK for Black, since the bishop on b1 is out of play.}) 23... g6 24. b3 Rc8 25. Qe2 Re8 {Black has no active plan (that doesn't hurt himself), but it's quite possible that White has none either.}) 22. Nf4 {[%cal Gf4d3] Black has no good way to deal with Nf4-d3.} Bd7 23. Nd3 Bd6 24. Bg3 $1 {With the dark-squared bishops gone, d4, c5, e5, c7 and not least b4, all become weak. Now White has a steady advantage.} Bxg3 25. hxg3 Rc8 26. Qd2 Rb8 27. g4 Ne6 28. Ne5 $1 {[%cal Ge5c6]} Rc5 29. Nxe6 Rxc1 (29... Bxe6 30. Qd4 Rxc1 31. Rxc1 Qxd4 32. exd4 Nd7 {would almost be OK for Black if the queenside pawns hadn't gone berserk earlier:} 33. Nc6 Rb6 34. Kf2 $16 { [%csl Ra4,Rb4]}) 30. Rxc1 Qxe6 31. Qd4 {White has more space on the kingside, a great blockade on d4 and the c-file. Black has two weaknesses in b4 and d5.} Qd6 (31... Re8 32. Nxd7 Nxd7 33. Bf5 Qd6 34. Bxd7 Qxd7 35. e4 Rd8 36. Rd1 $16) 32. Nd3 Ne8 {This makes matter worse, but it is already very hard to defend Black's position.} 33. Rc5 Rb5 $6 (33... Bb5 $5 $16) 34. Rxb5 Bxb5 35. Qxb4 Qa6 36. Nc5 Qc6 37. Bf5 Nf6 38. b3 (38. Kf2 g6 39. Bc2 h5 $1 40. gxh5 Nxh5 { is less clear than one might expect. For instance:} 41. Bxa4 $2 Bxa4 42. Nxa4 Qc2+ 43. Kg1 Qc1+ 44. Kh2 Qxe3 $11) 38... axb3 39. Nxb3 g6 40. Bb1 Nd7 41. Kf2 Bc4 42. Na5 $1 ({Another line that shows just how many tricks there are in chess:} 42. Nd4 Qf6 43. a4 Nc5 $1 44. Bc2 (44. Qxc5 Qh4+ 45. Kg1 Qe1+ $11) (44. a5 $5) 44... Qh4+ 45. Kg1 Qe7 46. Qc3 Bd3 $1 47. Qd2 $1 Bxc2 48. Nxc2 Nxa4 49. Qxd5 Nc5 {and Black has excellent chances of survival.}) 42... Qc7 43. Nxc4 dxc4 44. a4 Nb6 45. Bc2 Nd5 46. Qd2 Qc6 $2 {I presume Adams was disillusioned with his play. This doesn't seem like him. Now the game is just over.} 47. Be4 $1 c3 48. Qd1 $1 Qb7 (48... Qc4 49. Bxd5 c2 50. Qc1 Qxd5 51. Qxc2 $18) 49. Kg1 c2 50. Qxc2 Qb4 51. Qb1 {With this win Harikrishna moved up to a 50% score. I believe he will do better than that in the end.} 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 "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.18"] [Round "6"] [White "Gelfand, Boris"] [Black "Harikrishna, Penteala"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E05"] [WhiteElo "2724"] [BlackElo "2750"] [Annotator "Yuffa,D"] [PlyCount "103"] [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"] {Boris is a famous Catalan specialist and it shows in this game.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Qc2 a6 ({The first point. It looks like suicide, but it's difficult to prove even a slight advantage for White:} 7... b5 8. a4 b4 9. Nfd2 (9. Nbd2 Bb7 10. Nxc4 c5 11. Rd1 Nbd7 { Black is OK there, having a very easy plan to develop the pieces (Rc8 etc.) while White has to be patient}) (9. Ne5 Qxd4 $44 {Black has serious compensation here, White's queenside is stuck}) 9... c6 10. Nxc4 Qxd4 11. Rd1 Qc5 12. Nbd2 Ba6 13. b3 Nbd7 14. Bb2 Rad8 15. Rac1 Nb6 16. Bxf6 gxf6 17. Ne4 Qf5 18. Nxb6 axb6 19. Qxc6 Rxd1+ 20. Rxd1 Rc8 21. Qxb6 Bxe2 22. Qb7 Bxd1 23. Qxc8+ Bf8 24. Qd8 Bxb3 25. a5 Kg7 26. a6 Qe5 27. h4 Bd5 28. Nxf6 Qxf6 29. Qxf6+ Kxf6 30. Bxd5 Bc5 {1/2 (30) Aronian,L (2797)-Nakamura,H (2767) Saint Louis 2014. This game looks like a battle of analysis}) 8. a4 $5 (8. Qxc4 {is a bit more common in this position} b5 9. Qc2 Bb7 10. Bd2 {and sometimes the a-pawn is useful on a3, but that is a different and absolutely unclear position.}) 8... Bd7 {The most popular of late in games of top GMs.} 9. Bg5 (9. Qxc4 Bc6 10. Bf4 {Vladimir Kramnik drew the consequences after the game against So and just a few days later he beat Eljanov} Nbd7 (10... a5 11. Nc3 Na6 (11... Nbd7 { Amazingly but this move had been made just twice before Kramnik's game} 12. Qd3 Bb4 13. Rfe1 Re8 14. Qc2 Bxf3 15. Bxf3 c6 16. Rad1 $14 {This position has occurred in So-Kramnik, 1-0, 2017. A bishop pair and a pawn centre take control of the board}) 12. Ne5 (12. Rac1 Nb4 $11) 12... Bxg2 13. Kxg2 Nd5 { Black's position looks very cramped}) 11. Nc3 Bd6 12. e3 (12. Bg5 h6 13. Bxf6 Nxf6 14. Qd3 Bb4 15. Ne5 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 c5 {Black was not at risk in Bykov-Lugovskoy, 2017}) 12... Nb6 13. Qb3 Bxf4 14. gxf4 a5 15. Ne5 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 Nbd5 $13 {any result can happen there.}) 9... Bc6 10. Rd1 {A very artful move, White does not rush to eat the pawn on c4.} ({A pragmatic solution would be} 10. Qxc4 Bd5 11. Qc2 {I prefer this move} ({instead of} 11. Qd3 {the d-file is intended for the rook}) 11... Be4 12. Qc1 h6 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. Rd1 { the most flexible} a5 15. Qf4 Bh7 16. Nbd2 c6 17. e4 Na6 18. Nc4 $13 {The PC says it's equal, but from my point of view it's easier to play with White as was proved in Xiong-Swiercz, 1-0, 2017.}) 10... Nbd7 ({The most important is to understand the consequences of} 10... b5 {The game between Postny and Boruchovsky has shown that Black's queenside configuration is not so solid:} 11. Bxf6 (11. Nc3 Nbd7 12. e4 h6 (12... b4 $5 13. d5 Bb7 14. dxe6 fxe6 15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. Ne2 Qe7 17. Qxc4 Rae8 18. Qxc7 Nc5 $13 {Like a puzzle}) 13. Bxf6 Nxf6 14. d5 $5 exd5 15. e5 {a typical Catalan idea} Ng4 (15... Nd7 16. Nxd5 Bxd5 17. Rxd5 c6 18. Rdd1 Qe8 19. e6 $5 (19. axb5 cxb5 20. Ng5 Bxg5 21. Bxa8 Nxe5 22. Rxa6 Nd3 {threating Nb4, and seems like} 23. Rxd3 cxd3 24. Qxd3 $11 {is the best continuation}) 19... fxe6 20. Nd4 Rc8 21. Bxc6 Bc5 22. axb5 axb5 23. Bxb5 Qf7 $11 {Black got away with being almost killed, but it remains complicated})) 11... Bxf6 12. Nc3 Qe7 13. e4 g6 (13... Qe8 14. d5 exd5 15. exd5 Bb7 16. Nd4 $36 {and White has a lot of compensation for the pawn}) 14. axb5 axb5 15. Rxa8 Bxa8 16. Nxb5 Qb4 17. Nc3 Nd7 18. Ra1 {and I'd prefer White's position.}) 11. Nbd2 h6 (11... b5 $5 12. b3 Nd5 13. bxc4 (13. axb5 Nb4 14. Qc1 axb5 15. Rxa8 Bxa8 16. Bxe7 Qxe7 17. bxc4 bxc4 18. Qxc4 c5 19. dxc5 Qxc5 $11) 13... Nb4 14. Qc3 Bxg5 15. axb5 axb5 16. Nxg5 Bxg2 17. Qxb4 Qxg5 18. Kxg2 bxc4 19. Rxa8 Rxa8 20. Qxc4 Qa5 21. Ne4 Qa2 22. Rc1 {with minimal chances of success. A draw is the most probable result there.}) 12. Bxf6 Nxf6 13. Nxc4 Be4 14. Qc1 $146 ({ A novelty. Recently Alexander Grischuk played} 14. Qb3 a5 15. Nfe5 Bd5 16. Rac1 Re8 17. Qc2 c6 18. e4 Bxc4 19. Qxc4 Qb6 20. d5 cxd5 21. exd5 Bd6 $11 ({instead of} 21... Bb4 {that Adams had played}) 22. dxe6 Rxe6 {opposite-coloured bishops and a symmetrical pawn structure tell us all we need to know about the result of the game.}) 14... a5 ({Now Black is under pressure.} 14... Rc8 { looks more principled} 15. Nfe5 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 c6 17. a5 Qd5+ 18. f3 Qb5 19. e4 Rfd8 {leaves the position complicated and unclear.} ({After} 19... c5 $5 { it all becomes forced:} 20. d5 exd5 21. exd5 Rcd8 (21... Rfd8 $4 22. d6 Bxd6 23. Rxd6 Rxd6 24. Nxd6 Qe2+ 25. Kh1 $18 {and the rook is hanging}) 22. d6 Bxd6 23. Nxf7 Rxf7 24. Rxd6 Rxd6 25. Nxd6 Qe2+ 26. Kg1 Nd5 27. Qe1 $11)) 15. Nfe5 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 c6 17. Qc2 Qc7 18. Rac1 Rfd8 19. Qb3 Bf8 20. Qf3 Rac8 21. e4 b5 22. Ne3 Qb7 23. b3 c5 $2 {Harikrishna could not stand the pressure.} ({It was important to get the bishop out of the cage:} 23... Bb4 24. g4 ({Probably Penteala didn't like} 24. h4 $5 h5 25. g4 bxa4 26. bxa4 hxg4 27. N3xg4 { But there is} Nxe4 $5 (27... Nxg4 28. Qxg4 Rf8 29. h5 f5 30. exf5 c5+ 31. f3 exf5 32. Qg3 cxd4 33. h6 Rxc1 34. Rxc1 Bd2 35. Rh1 $16) 28. Qxe4 f5 29. Qf3 fxg4 30. Qxg4 c5+ 31. Kh3 Qe7 $14 {looks dangerous but does not lose immediately}) 24... Nh7 25. h4 f6 26. Nd3 bxa4 $13 {Very unusual and non-typical play for Black, but the engine endorses it.}) 24. d5 exd5 25. Nxd5 Rd6 26. axb5 Qxb5 27. Nxf7 $1 Kxf7 28. e5 Re6 29. exf6 g6 (29... Qe2 30. Qc3 $1 {No mercy!} Qe4+ 31. Kg1 gxf6 32. Nf4 Re5 33. Rd7+ Kg8 34. Qxa5 $18 {Like salt in a wound. White is a pawn up and close to destroying the remainder.}) 30. Re1 Qc6 31. Rxe6 Qxe6 32. Ra1 (32. h4 {is a bit more tidy if Black plays} Rd8 33. Rd1) 32... Qf5 (32... Rd8 33. Rd1 Rd6 34. Qd3 {with ideas of h4 or Qb5 just reaching the surface.}) 33. Rxa5 Qxf3+ 34. Kxf3 Rb8 35. Ke4 Rxb3 36. Ra7+ Ke6 37. Nf4+ (37. Ra6+ {could make Boris' performance perfect.} Kf7 38. f4 c4 39. Ne3 $1 c3 40. Ng4 {and the knight reaches the best place on the board.}) 37... Kxf6 38. Ra6+ Kf7 39. Ra7+ Kf6 40. Ra6+ Kf7 41. Nxg6 Bg7 42. f4 Rb2 43. h4 Rg2 (43... c4 44. h5 c3 (44... Re2+ 45. Kf3 Rh2 46. Ra7+ Kg8 47. Ne7+ Kh8 48. Rc7 { a technical position}) 45. Ra7+ Kf6 46. Ne5 $18) 44. Kf3 Rg1 45. h5 c4 46. Ra7+ Kg8 47. Ne7+ Kf8 48. Ng6+ Kg8 49. Rc7 Rc1 50. Ne7+ Kf8 51. Nf5 Bb2 52. Rc8+ { An amazing game by Boris Gelfand. He increased the pressure move by move and deserved to win. Surprisingly the PC evaluates most Catalan positions as equal and Black can even breathe normally despite his lack of space.} 1-0 [Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.18"] [Round "6"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B97"] [WhiteElo "2786"] [BlackElo "2751"] [Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"] [PlyCount "69"] [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"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 {With only four rounds left both players needed to make a push. The Najdorf Sicilian answers the call. } 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qb6 8. a3 $5 {I like this decision. Hikaru refuses to get involved in a theoretical dispute in the Poisoned Pawn Variation.} Nc6 ({ From a Najdorf player's point of view} 8... Nbd7 {looks attractive, but, in turn, it allows White to move his other bishop to an active position,} 9. Bc4) ({Obviously,} 8... Qxb2 $4 {loses the queen to} 9. Na4) 9. Nb3 Be7 ({Naturally, Ian had no interest in defending a slightly worse position after} 9... Qe3+ 10. Qe2) 10. Qd2 $5 {An important moment. Seeing the black knight on c6, Nakamura recognised a Classical Sicilian pattern, and placed his queen accordingly.} ({ Routine is} 10. Qf3 {which Black often answers with} Qc7 11. O-O-O h6 12. Bh4 g5 $5 {inviting a firestorm:} 13. e5 $1 {[#]} (13. fxg5 Ne5 {this tempo is the key to the whole idea.} 14. Qe2 Nfg4 {Black will regain a pawn and keep the e5-square for his knight.}) 13... dxe5 ({Perhaps a safer try is} 13... gxh4 14. exf6 Bxf6 15. Ne4 Be7 16. Qc3 Rg8 {but since Nf6+ is always there for him, White can simply play} 17. Be2 $1 {with some advantage in all lines.}) 14. fxg5 Nd5 $1 ({I find} 14... hxg5 {unsatisfactory, as after} 15. Bxg5 Nd5 16. Bd2 $14 Bd7 17. Nxd5 exd5 18. Qxd5 Be6 19. Qd3 {Black's compensation is insufficient, mainly because he cannot castle long.}) 15. Rxd5 $1 {The most principled answer.} (15. Nxd5 exd5 16. Rxd5 hxg5 17. Bg3 Be6 18. Rd1 f5 {is rather good for Black.}) 15... hxg5 16. Bf2 exd5 17. Nxd5 Qd6 18. Bc5 g4 $1 (18... Qh6 19. Kb1 Bd8 20. Nd2 {offers White excellent attacking prospects.}) 19. Qd1 Qh6+ 20. Kb1 Bxc5 21. Nxc5 Rb8 22. Bc4 b5 23. Rf1 $1 {A fun position to play, mainly from the White side.}) 10... O-O {I don't think Ian was very familiar with the intricacies of this type of position. What we have here is a typical Richter-Rauser Attack setup, where Black deals with two major threats. One is Bxf6, and you either lose the d6-pawn or agree to damage your pawn structure. Two, and it's much worse, is e4-e5!} ({One way to deal with both is} 10... Ng4 {although the position after} 11. Bxe7 Kxe7 12. Nd1 $1 Rd8 13. Be2 Nf6 14. Nc3 {appears simply better for White.}) ({I'd put} 10... h6 $1 {on top of the list. } 11. Bxf6 (11. Bh4 $2 Nxe4 {Every Russian schoolboy Knows....}) 11... Bxf6 12. O-O-O {Here I'd even think of} O-O $5 (12... Be7 {saves the pawn, but loses time:} 13. h4 Qc7 14. g4 b5 15. Be2 $14) 13. Kb1 Bd7 ({too early for} 13... Na5 {on account of} 14. Na4 $1 Nxb3 15. Nxb6 Nxd2+ 16. Rxd2 $16) 14. Qxd6 (14. g4 Na5 $1 {Another typical idea from the R-R Attack} 15. Nxa5 Qxa5 {and} 16. Nd5 Bd8 {is harmless.}) 14... Bxc3 15. bxc3 Rfd8 {Back in the day when everybody played the Classical Sicilian Black used to welcome such developments.}) 11. O-O-O Rd8 {Seemingly Black has successfully addressed both White's threats - see above - but his counterplay is slow in coming, and White will continue to press on.} 12. Bd3 (12. Qe2 $5 h6 13. h4 Bd7 14. g4 Rac8 15. Rh3 {was another promising idea.}) 12... h6 13. h4 $5 Bd7 {Nepo continues to play quickly, but his moves lack imagination.} ({Here he neglected a chance to establish some kind of connection between his queen and knight:} 13... Ng4 $5 14. Bxe7 Nxe7 15. Rdf1 e5 16. Be2 a5 $1 {with reasonable chances for both sides.}) 14. Qe2 Kf8 $2 {And this one is a real error.} ({The only way to stop White was} 14... h5 $1 15. e5 (15. f5 Ng4 16. Rdf1 Bf6 17. fxe6 Bxe6 18. Nd5 Bxd5 19. exd5 Nce5 $15) (15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. Qxh5 Qe3+ 17. Kb1 Qxf4) 15... dxe5 16. fxe5 Ng4 $13) 15. e5 $1 {The floodgates are open.} dxe5 16. fxe5 hxg5 17. exf6 Bxf6 18. hxg5 Bxg5+ ({No salvation was offered by} 18... Bxc3 19. bxc3 Rac8 20. Rh7 $18) 19. Kb1 {A dreadful sight for the second player. Black has no counterplay and no means to defend his king.} Qe3 20. Qh5 Bh6 21. Rhf1 Be8 22. Rde1 Qg5 23. Qh3 { Hikaru anticipated Ian's reply.} ({Some would choose} 23. Qh2 {to stop the black knight from coming to help.}) 23... Ne5 24. Nc5 $1 {The e6-pawn is collapsing, and as in many Sicilian positions, it's the beginning of the end.} Kg8 25. Nxe6 $1 fxe6 (25... Rxd3 26. cxd3 fxe6 27. Qxe6+ Nf7 28. Nd5 $18) 26. Qxe6+ Nf7 27. Bg6 ({Even more thematic would be} 27. Ne4 Qe5 28. Qg6 Rxd3 29. cxd3 {and there's no stopping Nf6+.}) 27... Kh8 (27... Rd7 28. Qxe8+) 28. Bxf7 Bxf7 29. Qxf7 Qxg2 ({Understandably, Nepo didn't cherish Black's prospects after} 29... b5 30. Rh1 Rf8 31. Qd7 {White is up a pawn, and Black's Bh6 plays no other part other than being an unmovable stick in its king's rickety shelter. One sample line is} Rad8 32. Qc6 Rf6 33. Re8+) 30. Rg1 Qd2 31. Rd1 Qf4 32. Qxb7 Rdb8 33. Qe4 Qf8 $2 {Ian simply quits.} ({At least} 33... Qxe4 34. Nxe4 Re8 {would prolong the game.}) 34. Rg6 Ra7 35. Qd4 1-0 [Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.19"] [Round "7"] [White "Harikrishna, Penteala"] [Black "Tomashevsky, Evgeny"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C45"] [WhiteElo "2750"] [BlackElo "2696"] [Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"] [PlyCount "119"] [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"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. e5 Qe7 7. Qe2 Nd5 8. c4 {A fascinating line, introduced to modern chess by Garry Kasparov. Both sides are struggling with the awkward positions of their queens which cause some development issues.} Ba6 9. Nd2 g6 10. b3 {Theory doesn't look kindly on this move. I suppose Pentala wanted to surprise his opponent.} ({On} 10. Nf3 { Black has a choice of acceptable continuations.} Qb4+ (10... Nb6 11. b3 Bg7 12. Bg5 Qa3 {Wei Yi-Ganguly, 2017}) (10... Bg7 11. Bg5 f6 12. exf6 Qxe2+ 13. Bxe2 Nxf6 14. O-O-O O-O-O {Caruana-Kramnik, 2012; Giri-Dominguez, 2016}) 11. Kd1 Rb8 12. Qc2 Ne7 13. b3 (13. Qb3 c5 $1) 13... Bg7 14. Bb2 O-O 15. Bd3 d5 { Duda-Baramidze, 2014}) 10... Bg7 11. Nf3 (11. Bb2 Nb4 $1 12. Nf3 c5 {solves the problem with the knight that plagues Black in this opening.}) 11... O-O 12. Qb2 {This isn't a novelty, but it had never been tried on GM level.} ({The careless} 12. Bg5 {would land White in trouble:} f6 13. exf6 Qc5 $1 14. O-O-O Rxf6 $3 {with a raging attack on the dark squares near the white king.}) ({ While} 12. Bb2 {proves totally ineffective after} f6 $1) 12... Nb6 13. Qa3 { A new idea.} Qxa3 14. Bxa3 Rfe8 15. O-O-O Bxe5 16. Nxe5 Rxe5 17. Bb2 {This is what White has been playing for. At the cost of a pawn he has obtained the bishop pair, while leaving Black's minor pieces stuck on the queenside. Kasparov used similar ideas, but he would keep his king out of the action rather safely tucked in on the kingside.} Re7 18. h4 d5 $1 {Evgeny's timely counterattack in the centre exposes the weakness of White's position. Essentially White is fighting for equality here.} 19. h5 dxc4 20. Rh4 Rae8 21. hxg6 fxg6 22. bxc4 {I bet Pentala didn't want to play this move, but he hardly had any choice.} ({On} 22. a4 {Black begins to make threats with} Re1 $1 { forcing} 23. Bc3 (23. a5 c3 $1) 23... Rxd1+ 24. Kxd1 Re6 $15) 22... c5 23. Bd3 Rd7 24. Kc2 ({A more practical solution would be to trade down into an opposite-coloured bishops ending,} 24. Ba3 Rd4 25. Rxd4 cxd4 26. Bc5 Bxc4 27. Bxb6 Bxd3 28. Bxa7 Be4 29. f3 Bd5 30. Rxd4 Bxa2 31. Rd7 {White cannot possibly lose.}) 24... Bb7 25. Rg4 {Hari must have had dreams of mating Black. White is just a bit short of firepower to do that.} ({Once again,} 25. Ba3 Bxg2 26. Bxc5 Bf3 27. Rd2 Red8 28. Be3 {and White shouldn't lose.}) 25... Bc6 {Tomashevsky just being Tomashevsky: solid positional play backed up by accurate calculation of all possible tactics White might initiate.} 26. Rh1 Red8 27. Rh3 ({Both players must have looked at} 27. Bf5 Rd2+ 28. Kc1 Bd7 $1 {and concluded Black comes out on top after} 29. Rxg6+ hxg6 30. Rh8+ Kf7 31. Rxd8 Rxb2 $1) 27... Ba4+ 28. Kd2 Rd6 29. Rf4 (29. Be5 Bd7 30. Bxd6 cxd6 {and Black will stay a pawn ahead.}) 29... Bd7 30. g4 h5 $6 {This just isn't good enough.} ({ Black had} 30... g5 $1 {and no, Bxh7 isn't mate! In fact, it leaves White with} 31. Re4 Bc6 32. Re1 Bg2 $1 ({White might survive} 32... Nxc4+ 33. Kc3 Rxd3+ 34. Rxd3 Rxd3+ 35. Kxc4 Rd2 36. Bc3 Rxf2 37. Re5 h6 38. Re6) 33. Rg3 Nxc4+ 34. Kc3 Nxb2 35. Kxb2 Rxd3 36. Rxg2 Rd2+ 37. Kb3 R8d3+ 38. Kc4 Rf3 39. Re5 h6 {with a technical win for Black.}) 31. Bf6 Bxg4 $2 {Total bailout. Pieces will quickly disappear from the board leaving Black only with marginal winning chances.} ({ Black would keep his advantage in} 31... Re8 32. Re3 Rxe3 33. Kxe3 Bxg4 34. Be7 Re6+ 35. Re4 {but with the bishop pair still there White is alive and kicking.} ) ({The best way was} 31... Rf8 32. Rhf3 Bxg4 33. Be7 Rxf4 34. Rxf4 Rd7 35. Bxc5 Bf5 36. Rd4 Rxd4 37. Bxd4 Bxd3 38. Kxd3 Kf7 39. Ke4 Ke6 {with real winning chances.}) 32. Rxg4 Rxd3+ 33. Rxd3 Rxd3+ 34. Kxd3 hxg4 35. Be5 c6 36. Bb8 a6 37. Bc7 Nd7 38. Ke4 Kf7 39. Kf4 Kf6 40. a4 Ke6 41. Kxg4 Ne5+ 42. Kg5 Nd3 $6 {Strange choice.} ({Like it or not, Tomashevsky had to try} 42... Nxc4 43. Kxg6 Ne5+ 44. Kg5 Kd5 $1 {although Black most likely won't succeed after} 45. f4 (45. Kf4 Nd7 $1 46. Ke3 Kc4 47. f4 Kb3 $19) 45... Nf3+ 46. Kg4 Ke4 47. f5 Ne5+ 48. Kg5 c4 49. Ba5 {etc.}) 43. f4 Kf7 44. Bb6 Ke6 45. Ba7 Kf7 46. f5 gxf5 47. Kxf5 {Now it's drawn.} Nb2 48. Bxc5 Nxc4 49. Ke4 Ke6 50. Kd4 Nd6 51. Bb4 Nb7 52. Ba3 Kd7 53. Kc4 Kc7 54. Bb4 Kb6 55. Be7 Kc7 56. Bb4 Kb6 57. Be7 Ka5 58. Kb3 c5 59. Kc4 Kxa4 60. Bxc5 1/2-1/2 [Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.20"] [Round "8"] [White "Ding, Liren"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E11"] [WhiteElo "2773"] [BlackElo "2785"] [Annotator "Silver,A"] [PlyCount "55"] [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"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Be7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O Nbd7 8. Qc2 c6 9. Rd1 b6 10. b3 a5 11. Bc3 Ne4 (11... Bb7 12. Nbd2 Qc7 13. Rac1 c5 14. Bb2 dxc4 15. Nxc4 b5 16. Nce5 Nxe5 17. Nxe5 Bxg2 18. Kxg2 {0-1 (55) Inarkiev,E (2727)-Jakovenko,D (2718) Poikovsky 2017}) 12. Ne5 Nxe5 13. Bxe4 f5 14. Bxd5 $146 (14. Bg2 Nf7 15. Nd2 Ba6 16. e3 Qd7 17. a4 Rac8 18. Qb2 {1-0 (90) Mesaros, F (2373)-Martinovic,S (2550) Germany 2017}) 14... exd5 15. dxe5 f4 $1 16. cxd5 cxd5 17. Bd4 Ba6 $1 18. Qc6 Bxe2 19. Re1 ({The tempting looking} 19. Bxb6 $2 { would be a serious mistake after} Qc8 $1 20. Qxc8 Rfxc8 {and suddenly the white rook has nowhere to go. Ex:} 21. Re1 Bb4 22. Rxe2 f3 $1 {and White will lose material to protect against the back rank mate threats.}) 19... Qc8 20. Qxd5+ Kh8 21. Nc3 ({Neither} 21. Bxb6 $2 Ra6 $19) ({nor} 21. Rxe2 $2 Qc1+ 22. Kg2 f3+ 23. Qxf3 Rxf3) 21... Ba6 22. e6 Rd8 $1 23. Qe4 Bb7 $1 {Both players had calculated the final sequence well before making for a swift, though spectacular pas-de-deux.} 24. Qxf4 Qc6 25. Bxg7+ $1 Kxg7 26. Qf7+ $1 Kh8 27. Ne4 Qe8 28. Ng5 $1 1/2-1/2 [Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.20"] [Round "8"] [White "Hou, Yifan"] [Black "Vallejo Pons, Francisco"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C12"] [WhiteElo "2652"] [BlackElo "2710"] [Annotator "Sadorra,J"] [PlyCount "138"] [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"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Bb4 5. exd5 $5 {An interesting opening choice by the #1 female player in the world.} Qxd5 6. Bxf6 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 gxf6 8. Qd2 Qa5 9. Bd3 Bd7 10. Ne2 Bc6 11. f3 ({The other way to continue here is} 11. Nf4 Nd7 12. c4 Qxd2+ 13. Kxd2 e5 $6 (13... Nb6 $5 {leads to a similar position to the main game.}) 14. d5 exf4 15. dxc6 bxc6 16. Rhe1+ Ne5 17. Re4 $14 {1/2-1/2 (67) Mammadova,G (2354)-Volkov,S (2599) Al Ain 2014}) 11... Nd7 12. c4 Qxd2+ 13. Kxd2 {It is very possible that Yifan has this "endgame line" well studied out as it is well-known that Vallejo is a French expert and common practicioner of the defence.} Nb6 $5 {This is the new deviation in this game. Compared to castling, Vallejo wants to have the option of keeping his king close to the centre.} (13... O-O-O 14. Ke3 Rdg8 15. Rhg1 h5 16. h4 Nf8 { [%csl Rc8,Ge3,Rf6,Rf7,Rh5][%cal Ge3f4,Ge3d4,Gf8g6,Gg6e7] 0-1 (55) Iskos,A (2107)-Markidis,K (2291) Kavala 2012. This ending is tenable for Black but he still has to be careful due to his kingside weaknesses and slightly less space. }) 14. h4 Rg8 15. Rhg1 Rd8 16. Ke3 Ke7 17. g4 (17. Rab1 $5 {is a more accurate move order to avoid Black's possible next move.}) 17... h6 (17... Na4 {is a strange but effective way to hold as suggested by the strongest analyst in the world.} 18. Rab1 (18. Bxh7 $2 {trading Black's weak pawn} Rh8 19. Bd3 Rxh4 { only favours Black.}) 18... b6 19. Rb3 {[%cal Gb3a3,Ga3a7]} (19. h5 h6 $11) ( 19. Ng3 h6 $11) (19. Be4 Be8 20. Rb3 h5 21. Rbb1 Bd7 $11) 19... h5 $1 20. Rbb1 hxg4 $1 {Allows White to create a passed pawn but ensure its blockade rendering it a source of counterplay as well.} (20... Rh8 21. g5 fxg5 22. Rxg5 $14 {[%csl Ra4,Rh5]}) (20... Bd7 21. gxh5 Rh8 22. Rg7) 21. fxg4 Bd7 {[%csl Rg4] [%cal Ge6e5,Gc7c5]} (21... Rh8 22. h5 Rdg8 {also works.}) 22. h5 (22. Kf3 e5 23. Rbe1 Bc6+ 24. d5 (24. Be4 Bd7 $11 {[%csl Rc4][%cal Ga4b2]}) 24... Bd7) (22. Rg3 c5 $1 23. Rbg1 (23. d5 exd5 24. cxd5 Rxg4 $17) 23... cxd4+ 24. Nxd4 Rc8 $17 ) 22... Rg5) 18. Rab1 Nc8 $6 {[%cal Gc8d6] Vallejo decides to relocate the knight to a better square, but underestimates the problems it can create with time/tempo that his position needs--to improve pieces and to defend against enemy threats.} 19. Nc3 (19. c5 $5 {[%csl Rc8] is a responsible decision due to the weakening of the pawn structure but also one that can certainly give Black problems as it restricts the knight on c8.} b6 (19... h5 {creating counterplay like this is futile after} 20. Be4 $1 Bxe4 21. fxe4 b6 22. gxh5 Rh8 23. Ng3 $16 Rdg8 24. Kf3 {Now Black can barely do anything because activating the rest of his pieces can only lead to more trouble:} bxc5 25. dxc5 Kd7 26. Rgd1+ Kc6 27. Ne2 $40 {[%csl Rc6]}) 20. Be4 $1 {this follow-up has to be foreseen of course. The main idea is to trade off Black's most active piece, highlighting the superiority of White's knight over Black's.} Bxe4 (20... Bd5 21. a4 $16 {[%cal Ga4a5,Ge2f4] White has many ways to improve the position.}) 21. fxe4 e5 $2 {[%csl Rf5]} (21... bxc5 22. dxc5 $16 {[%cal Ge2d4,Gb1b7]}) 22. dxe5 fxe5 23. Ng3 Ke6 24. Nf5 Rh8 (24... Rg6 $2 25. h5 Rf6 26. Rgd1 $18) 25. Rgd1 Rxd1 (25... Ne7 26. Rxd8 Rxd8 27. Nxh6) 26. Rxd1 bxc5 27. Rd5 $16 { White has better pieces and more weaknesses to attack.}) 19... b6 20. a4 $1 ( 20. c5 $5 {is once again possible.}) 20... Nd6 {Black's position is already difficult to play.} ({The lesser evil is probably} 20... a5 {[%csl Rb5]} 21. Nb5 (21. c5) 21... Rd7 22. Be4 $14) 21. Nb5 Ne8 (21... Rd7 22. Nxa7 $18) (21... Nxb5 22. axb5 {[%csl Ra7]} Bb7 23. Ra1 Ra8 24. c5 e5 25. c3 $16) (21... Bxb5 22. axb5 e5 23. c3 Nb7 {[%csl Ra7][%cal Gb7a5]} 24. Be4 Na5 25. Bd5 $16) 22. a5 $5 ({A more energetic way to increase the advantage is} 22. Nxa7 $1 Bxa4 23. Ra1 Bd7 24. c5 $1 {[%csl Rd7,Re8][%cal Gc5c6]} bxc5 25. dxc5 f5 26. c6 Bc8 27. gxf5 (27. g5 hxg5 28. hxg5 Nd6 {isn't so clear.}) 27... Rxg1 28. Rxg1 exf5 29. Rg8 {[%csl Rc7,Rf5,Rh6] One of the black pawns will eventually fall.}) 22... Bxb5 23. Rxb5 $2 {[%csl Rh6][%cal Rb5h5,Rh5h6] Yifan foregoes the improvement of her structure to pressure Black's weak h6. Unfortunately, she either missed Vallejo's next move or underestimated his defensive resources.} ({A simpler and better way is} 23. cxb5 Nd6 24. Ra1 Kd7 (24... Nb7 25. axb6 axb6 26. Ra7 Rb8 27. Be4 $18) 25. c4 Nb7 26. axb6 axb6 27. Ra7 Na5 (27... Nd6 28. c5 Nc8 29. cxb6 Nxb6 30. Be4 $16 {[%csl Rc7][%cal Gg1c1,Rc1c7]}) 28. c5 Ra8 29. Ra6 $1 $16 ) 23... f5 $1 24. axb6 axb6 25. c5 ({If} 25. Rbb1 fxg4 26. fxg4 Ra8 $11 { Black also stablises the position and reaches equality.}) 25... Nf6 $1 { Vallejo continues to defend accurately. In fact, Yifan also has to start being careful now as well.} (25... bxc5 $2 {allows White's rook to have a nice outpost on c5.} 26. Rxc5 fxg4 27. Rxg4 $1 Rxg4 28. fxg4 {[%csl Rc7,Rh6]}) 26. cxb6 (26. c4 bxc5 27. Rxc5 Kd6 $36) 26... cxb6 27. Be2 (27. c4 {[%csl Gd5] [%cal Rb5b6]} fxg4 28. fxg4 $2 (28. Rxb6 g3 $132) 28... Nxg4+ 29. Ke2 Rxd4 30. Rxb6 Ra8 {[%csl Rd3,Re2] and Black suddenly has a decisive attack!}) 27... Nd5+ 28. Kd2 Nf4 {[%csl Gf4] from the bad c8-square, the knight has now become a monster on f4!} 29. c3 Rc8 ({A better try to create problems is} 29... Ra8 30. Bc4 h5 $1 {[%csl Rh4]} 31. g5 Rgc8 32. Bb3 Ng6 33. Rh1 Rc6 {[%csl Rc3,Rd4,Rh4] [%cal Ga8c8,Rc8c3] While White can probably hold this, Black has a long-term initiative.}) 30. Bf1 $2 {Yifan starts to crack under pressure.} ({The safest way to keep the balance is} 30. Bd1 {[%cal Gd1g4]} Rc6 (30... h5 31. Rxb6) 31. Re1 $11) (30. Bd3 $5 h5 31. Bxf5 exf5 32. Rxf5 Ne6 33. Rxh5 {and White should achieve a draw with very few pawns left on the board for her opponent.}) 30... h5 {[%csl Rh4]} 31. c4 hxg4 32. fxg4 fxg4 $1 {Vallejo correctly decides to keep his g8-rook as it will be helpful for pushing forward his passed pawn.} ( 32... Rxg4 33. Rxg4 fxg4 34. Ke3 Ng6 35. h5 Nh4 36. Kf4 $11 {[%cal Gb5b3,Gb5g5] }) 33. Rxb6 f5 {This seems to be most logical and safest way to continue the position but it doesn't give White any problems. Black has to act more quickly and to foresee small tactics to keep better chances from this position.} (33... g3 $1 {[%cal Rg3g2,Rf4h3]} 34. Rb7+ $1 {The best defence} (34. Bg2 Rxc4 $19) ( 34. Ke3 Rg4 35. Kf3 Rcg8 $17) 34... Kf6 (34... Kf8 35. Ke3 Rg4 36. Kf3 $11) 35. Rb3 {[%cal Gg3g2,Gb3f3,Gf3f6]} Rcd8 $1 {This in-between move must be foreseen to be convinced that 33...g3 is the better way to go!} (35... g2 36. Rf3 { Seeing this idea which started from the check is what will bother many in their analysis of 33...g3}) 36. Rbxg3 Rxd4+ 37. Ke3 (37. Kc3 Rgd8) 37... Rgd8 $15 {[%csl Rc4,Re3,Rh4] Black can push here till the end of time!}) 34. Ke3 Nh3 (34... Nh5 35. Bd3 $132 {[%cal Gd4d5]} (35. d5 $5 exd5 36. Bd3 f4+ 37. Kd4 $13) ) 35. Bxh3 $1 (35. Rg2 {is simply scary to play} Ra8 $36 {[%cal Gf5f4,Ga8a3]}) 35... gxh3 36. Rxg8 Rxg8 37. Rb1 Rh8 38. d5 $1 {simplifying to a theoretically drawn rook ending with f+h pawns.} exd5 39. cxd5 Rxh4 40. Kf2 Kd6 (40... h2 41. Kg2 Kd6 42. Kh1 Kxd5 43. Rd1+ Ke4 44. Ra1 f4 45. Ra3 {Black cannot make any more progress} f3 46. Rxf3 Kxf3) 41. Kg3 Rh5 42. Kh2 Kxd5 43. Rb5+ {For the rest of the game, Yifan proves that she knows how to defend this f+h pawns rook ending. Feel free to open your endgame manual to check if both players really know their stuff!} Ke4 44. Rb4+ Ke5 45. Rb5+ Kf6 46. Rb1 Rh4 47. Rb3 Ke5 48. Rb5+ Kf4 49. Rb3 Rh8 50. Rb1 Ke3 51. Rb3+ Kd2 52. Rb2+ Kc3 53. Rb5 Rh5 54. Rd5 Kc4 55. Rd8 Kc5 56. Rd7 Kb6 57. Rd3 Kc6 58. Rd8 Rh4 59. Rf8 f4 60. Rd8 Kc5 61. Rd7 Kc6 62. Rd3 Rh8 63. Rxh3 Rxh3+ 64. Kxh3 Kd5 65. Kg2 Ke4 66. Kf2 f3 67. Kf1 Ke3 68. Ke1 f2+ 69. Kf1 Kf3 1/2-1/2 [Event "Moscow FIDE GP"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2017.05.20"] [Round "8"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C77"] [WhiteElo "2755"] [BlackElo "2772"] [Annotator "Lenderman,A"] [PlyCount "77"] [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 with Moscow Grand Prix round 8 game of the day. I decided to choose the draw between Svidler and Mamedyarov because I thought it was a good complex battle between the leaders of the tournament.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 { According to my database this is the first time Mamedyarov has played this line in the Ruy Lopez. In general though Mamedyarov plays many different options even on move 1.} 7. Nc3 {When Mamedyarov chose 6...Bc5, he was probably basing his preparation on Svidler's recent game against Ding Liren, in which he replied with 7.c3, and Black got a good position in that game.} (7. c3 O-O 8. O-O d6 9. Bg5 h6 10. Bh4 g5 11. Bg3 Ba7 12. Nbd2 Na5 13. Bc2 Nh5 14. Kh1 Nc6 15. Bb3 Na5 16. Bc2 Nc6 17. Bb3 Na5 18. Bc2 Nc6 {1/2 (18) Svidler, P (2741) -Ding Liren (2759) Shenzhen CHN 2017}) 7... d6 (7... O-O {Ding chose this against Adams.}) 8. Nd5 h6 9. c3 O-O 10. Nxf6+ Qxf6 11. Bd5 Bd7 (11... Bb7 $6 12. g4 $36) 12. Rg1 Ne7 $5 {Up to here it has all been played before but this interesting exchange sacrifice is a novelty according to my database. Before that a few other moves were tried.} (12... Qd8 13. g4 Kh8 14. g5 $40 { was very dangerous in Vachier Lagrave,M (2789)-Giri,A (2782) Paris FRA 2016 (drawn in 36 moves)}) (12... Rae8 13. g4 $36 {is also very good for White.}) ( 12... h5 $5 {is the engine suggestion but of course this move might be very dangerous and I'm not sure if this move will have many followers. I guess it remains to be seen whether 12. h5!? withstands deep home analysis.}) 13. Bxa8 Rxa8 14. g4 Qe6 {Black is just down an exchange but he has positional compensation in the two bishops, soon control of the centre, and also very importantly Black has been able to neutralise White's attack.} 15. Nh4 { A possible move but I am not sure if it's the best move.} (15. Be3 $5 {Perhaps it was worth considering just exchanging Black's strong bishop and trading off some pieces.} Bxe3 16. fxe3 d5 17. Nd2 $16 {and neither I nor my engine see enough compensation here for Black.}) 15... d5 16. Nf5 Bc6 17. Qe2 (17. Nxe7+ Bxe7 18. Qe2 {was also a try for an advantage, not allowing the black knight to be strong on g6 and controlling the f4-square.}) 17... dxe4 18. dxe4 Ng6 19. Kf1 $6 {This is probably already an inaccuracy.} (19. Rg2 $3 {This brilliant, albeit clumsy looking move is simply prophylaxis against ...Nf4, to be able to prepare the move f3, unpinning the f-pawn, currently protecting the rook on g1 from ...Bc5} Nf4 (19... b4 20. c4 $16) 20. Bxf4 exf4 21. f3 $16) 19... Nf4 ( 19... b4 $5 {was also possible.}) 20. Bxf4 exf4 21. Re1 {It was also worth considering giving up material here, but Black also seems to have sufficient play then.} (21. f3 $5 Bxg1 22. Kxg1 Rd8 $11) (21. Nd4 $5 Bxd4 22. cxd4 f3 $1 23. Qxf3 Bxe4 24. Qe2 Re8 25. f3 Qf6 $36) 21... Re8 (21... b4 $5 {is probably even a bit stronger.} 22. Kg2 Rd8 $1 {Prophylaxis against ...Nd4.} 23. Kh1 g6 24. Nd4 Bxd4 25. cxd4 Rxd4 26. f3 Bb5 $44) 22. b4 Bb6 23. f3 $1 {Otherwise Black has a very strong initiative. Possibly Black underestimated this reply.} Bxg1 24. Kxg1 Bd7 25. Rd1 Qb6+ 26. Qf2 Bxf5 27. gxf5 Qxf2+ 28. Kxf2 a5 { Now the game will end peacefully from here.} 29. a3 axb4 30. axb4 Ra8 31. Rd7 c6 32. Rc7 Ra2+ 33. Kg1 Ra1+ 34. Kg2 Ra2+ 35. Kg1 Ra1+ 36. Kg2 Ra2+ 37. Kh3 h5 38. Rxc6 f6 39. c4 {After bxc4 Rxc4 Rb2, White can't make any further progress with his king stuck on h3 and never being able to get into the game. Therefore draw agreed. A short but very interesting and instructive battle on the top board at the Moscow Grand Prix.} 1/2-1/2 [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