Games
[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 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.06"] [Round "1"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Li, Chao B"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E60"] [WhiteElo "2809"] [BlackElo "2735"] [Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"] [PlyCount "89"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 e6 4. Nc3 c5 5. d5 d6 6. e4 Bg7 7. Nge2 exd5 8. cxd5 Nbd7 9. Ng3 h5 10. Be2 Nh7 11. Be3 h4 12. Nf1 O-O 13. Qd2 Re8 (13... a6 14. a4 f5 15. exf5 gxf5 16. Bh6 Re8 17. Bxg7 Kxg7 18. Ne3 Qf6 19. g4 {Vidit-Bai, 2017, favoured White.}) 14. Bh6 Bd4 $1 {Li Chao does well by keeping his best minor piece on the board.} 15. Ne3 $5 a6 $1 {Great timing.} ({Aronian was inviting} 15... g5 16. Nf5 Ne5 17. Ng7 Re7 18. Nh5 f6 19. Nb5 $1 {with great complications that might turn out to be favourable for White.}) 16. Nc2 ({ Now, as the b5-square is covered,} 16. a4 g5 17. Nf5 Ne5 18. Ng7 Re7 19. Nh5 f6 {looks fine for Black, who plans to answer} 20. f4 {with} Ng4 $1) 16... Be5 17. Bf4 (17. a4 g5 $1 {again traps the white bishop.}) 17... b5 {Black has achieved this all-important advance.} 18. O-O Bxf4 19. Qxf4 Ne5 20. Qh6 g5 21. g3 ({The logical} 21. f4 {is a double-edged proposition. Black will be happy to sac the h4-pawn,} gxf4 22. Rxf4 Qg5 23. Qxg5+ Nxg5 24. Rxh4 {to keep full control over the critical e5-square, along with clear queenside prospects.}) 21... hxg3 22. hxg3 Qf6 23. Qh2 Ng6 24. Ne3 Bd7 25. Kg2 Kg7 26. Rh1 Rh8 27. Qg1 Qe5 28. Qf2 Nf6 29. Raf1 Nh5 30. Rfg1 {White is 100% on the defensive, and Li Chao decided to strike while the iron was hot.} Nhf4+ $5 ({Something has to be said in favour of} 30... Rae8 {as there isn't much White can do with his position.}) 31. gxf4 Bh3+ 32. Rxh3 Nxf4+ 33. Kf1 Nxh3 34. Qg3 Nxg1 35. Qxe5+ dxe5 36. Kxg1 c4 37. Nf5+ Kf6 38. d6 Ke6 39. a4 {In the endgame two rooks are usually worth more than three minor pieces, and here Black also has an extra pawn.} Kd7 ({He needed to stay cool:} 39... Rhb8 $1 {is only a temporary inconvenience.} 40. axb5 $2 (40. Kf2 Kd7 41. Ke3 Kc6 {liberating the rook from its defensive duty.}) 40... axb5 41. Nxb5 Ra1+ 42. Kf2 Rc1 $1 {this one is very easy to miss. Black keeps his c-pawn alive and because of that he can bury the white bishop.} 43. Na3 Rxb2 $19) 40. axb5 axb5 41. Nxb5 Ra2 (41... Ra4 42. Nc3 Rb4 43. Nd5 Rxb2 44. Bxc4) 42. Bxc4 Rxb2 43. Nc7 Rhh2 44. Bb5+ Kd8 45. Ne3 {Somewhat surprisingly the players agreed to a draw here. Despite his inaccuracy on move 39, Li could have still gone on.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.06"] [Round "1"] [White "Riazantsev, Alexander"] [Black "Harikrishna, Penteala"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E34"] [WhiteElo "2654"] [BlackElo "2737"] [Annotator "Roiz,M"] [PlyCount "166"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. cxd5 Qxd5 6. e3 c5 7. Bd2 Bxc3 8. bxc3 {This continuation usually leads to a long strategic battle with mutual chances.} (8. Bxc3 cxd4 9. Bxd4 Nc6 {is very safe for White, but Black is very close to full equality.}) 8... O-O 9. Nf3 Nc6 (9... b6 $5 {looks somewhat more flexible. In that case Black can choose between a few possible setups.}) 10. c4 Qd6 11. Bc3 $5 {Maintaining the tension in the centre is the most natural decision.} (11. dxc5 {was seen in a very old classical encounter between 2 World Champions:} Qxc5 12. Rb1 e5 13. Ng5 h6 14. Ne4 Nxe4 15. Qxe4 Rd8 16. Rb5 Qe7 17. Be2 b6 $15 {Alekhine,A-Euwe,M Netherlands 1937 Black was fine.}) 11... cxd4 12. exd4 $8 b6 ({It made some sense to sac a pawn in order to fix control over the d5-spot:} 12... b5 $5 13. cxb5 Nb4 14. Qb3 Nbd5 $44) 13. Be2 Bb7 14. O-O Rac8 15. Rfd1 {Choosing the posiioning of rooks is one of tougher tasks in chess. This time Alexander is focused on over-protecting his hanging pawns.} ({ The ambitious} 15. Rad1 $5 {might pose Black more problems:} Rfd8 16. Rfe1 Ne7 17. Ne5 Ng6 18. Bd3 Nf4 19. Bf1 $14) 15... Ne7 $1 $146 {A decent novelty - The knights is heading for g6 or f5, whereas the Bb7 is getting more useful.} ({ The previously played} 15... Qf4 16. g3 Qe4 (16... Qd6 $5) 17. Qb2 Ne7 18. d5 $1 exd5 19. Bxf6 gxf6 20. Rd4 Qe6 21. Re1 $36 {(Kahn,E - Sendur,A Budapest 2001) put Black in a danger.}) 16. Qb3 (16. Ne5 Ne4 17. Bb2 f6 18. Nf3 Rfd8 19. Rac1 Qd7 $132) 16... Rfd8 (16... Qf4 $5 17. Qa3 Ng6 18. Bb4 Rfd8 19. d5 exd5 20. Qxa7 Rb8 $132) 17. Ne5 (17. a4 Nf5 18. a5 Bxf3 19. Bxf3 Qf4 20. axb6 axb6 21. Qxb6 Nh4 {The activity of Black's pieces is worth a pawn.}) 17... Ng6 ({ More to the point was} 17... Nf5 $1 18. Bb2 Qe7 19. Rac1 Nd7 {White's pieces are be tied with protecting the Pd4, so Black's position looks solid.}) 18. Bb2 {IN his turn, Alexander unnecessarily wastes a tempo or prophylaxis.} ({ A more energetic try was} 18. a4 Qc7 19. a5 Nxe5 20. dxe5 Ne4 21. Bd4 Nc5 22. Qc3 $14) 18... Nd7 $2 {Pentala is playing passively and inviting serious troubles.} ({Instead, Black should have continued:} 18... Qc7 $1 19. Nxg6 hxg6 20. a4 Ne4 $1 21. a5 Qf4 $132) 19. Nxg6 hxg6 20. a4 $1 {Now Black cannot do much against the advance of the a-pawn.} Nf6 21. a5 {The weakness of the b6-pawn makes Black's position difficult.} Qc7 22. axb6 axb6 23. Rab1 $2 { Removing the rook from the a-file is a serious concession.} ({A much better move was} 23. Bc1 $1 Ne4 24. Bf1 $1 ({But} 24. Be3 {is less promising:} b5 $1 25. cxb5 Nc3 26. Rd2 Nxe2+ 27. Rxe2 Bd5 $14 {and Black gets excellent drawing chances due to the strong Bd5.}) 24... Rd7 (24... Nd6 25. Bf4 $16) 25. Be3 $16 {neutralising any of his opponent's counterplay and putting strong pressure on the Pb6.}) 23... Ne4 $1 {GM Harikrishna doesn't miss a golden opportunity for activating the pieces.} 24. Rbc1 ({Now it was too late for} 24. Bc1 Ba6 25. Qf3 Nd6 $11) 24... Qf4 25. f3 (25. Qe3 Qxe3 26. fxe3 Rc7 27. Bd3 Ra8 $11) 25... Nf6 $2 {An unsuccessful choice - the knight is restricted and doesn't support Black's counterplay.} ({The precise} 25... Nd6 {would maintain the balance:} 26. d5 exd5 27. cxd5 b5 28. Rxc8 Rxc8 29. Bxb5 Nxb5 30. Qxb5 Qe3+ 31. Kh1 Rc2 32. Qxb7 Qe2 33. Rg1 Rxb2 $11) 26. Rc2 ({Another move which deserved serious attention was} 26. Ra1 $5 Qc7 27. Bc1 $16 {, and Black is doomed to a passive defence.}) 26... Qc7 27. Bc1 b5 {This attempt to change the unfovaurable course of game was fully justified in the game, but it was a bluff!} ({It made sense to simplify matters by means of} 27... e5 $1 28. Be3 exd4 29. Bxd4 Rd6 $14 {and Black's defensive task is getting easier.}) 28. c5 $2 {Now Black is out of danger.} ({Instead, White could have won a pawn:} 28. Rb2 $1 Rb8 29. cxb5 Nd5 30. Rc2 $16) 28... Bd5 29. Qb4 Bc6 {The position is about equal, but Black's play is easier due to full control over d5.} 30. Bg5 Nd5 31. Qb2 ({ In the event of} 31. Bxd8 Nxb4 32. Bxc7 Nxc2 33. Bd6 Ra8 34. Rd2 Ne3 35. Kf2 Nd5 36. Rb2 Nc3 37. Ke3 {White should be able to hold this endgame, but it's slightly better for Black.}) 31... Re8 32. Ra1 Ra8 {Of course, both sides do not want to lose control over the only open file.} 33. Rcc1 Qb7 ({Perhaps,} 33... Nf4 $5 34. Bf1 Ra4 35. Qd2 Nd5 $15 {would offer Black more winning chances.}) 34. Bd2 Rxa1 35. Rxa1 Ra8 36. Ra5 $6 {An inaccuracy.} ({A better try was} 36. Kf2 Rxa1 37. Qxa1 b4 38. Bc4 b3 39. Qb2 Ba4 40. g3 {Black would be unable to make any progress.}) 36... Rxa5 37. Bxa5 b4 {Now the Ba5 is definitely misplaced.} 38. Bc4 Ne3 39. Be2 b3 $15 {Obviously, the Pb3 is putting White under strong pressure.} 40. Bd2 Nf5 41. Bc3 Bd5 42. Qc1 Ne7 43. Bb2 {The passer is blocked, and Black has to find a cosntructive plan. The next few moves are not of much value.} Nc6 44. Qc3 Kf8 45. Kf2 Ke7 46. Qd2 Qb8 47. h3 Kf8 48. Bd3 {Of course, White is sitting and waiting.} Kg8 49. Qe1 Qf4 50. Qe3 Qh4+ 51. Kg1 Qd8 52. Kf2 Qa5 53. Qe1 Nb4 54. Bb1 Qb5 55. Qc3 Qa4 56. Kg1 ({More accurate might be} 56. h4 $5 {, keeping the king closer to the centre.}) 56... Kf8 57. Kf2 Nc6 58. Kg1 Ke8 59. Kf2 Kd7 60. Qd2 Kc8 61. Qc3 Na5 62. Bd3 Bc4 63. Bb1 Nc6 64. d5 $2 {Alas, Alexander doesn't withstand the pressure. This move is connected with a blunder.} ({At the same time, the patient} 64. Qd2 {would mostly likely enable White to achieve a draw.}) 64... Bxd5 65. Qxg7 $2 {Mistakes rarely come alone! Of course, this move is logically connected with the previous one.} ({The stubborn} 65. Bd3 e5 66. Qd2 {would still leave White with some drawing chances.}) 65... Qh4+ $1 {I guess, this check was overlooked by Alexander. The lack of harmony in White's camp starts to tell.} 66. g3 (66. Ke2 Qg3 $19 {is even worse.}) 66... Qxh3 67. Qf8+ Nd8 68. Qh8 {A sad necessity. The resulting endgame is completely lost.} Qxh8 69. Bxh8 Nb7 $19 {The second pawn falls.} 70. Ke3 Kd7 71. f4 Nxc5 72. g4 f5 $1 {Restricting the b1-bishop and securing the e4-spot for Black's minor pieces.} 73. gxf5 exf5 74. Bd3 Kc6 75. Be2 Na4 76. Bd1 Kc5 77. Bd4+ Kb4 78. Bg7 Be4 79. Bf8+ Kc4 80. Be2+ Kd5 ({Another move which was good enough was} 80... Kc3 $19) 81. Bd1 b2 82. Bb3+ Kc6 83. Bxa4+ Kb7 0-1 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.06"] [Round "1"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2775"] [BlackElo "2724"] [Annotator "Radjabov,T"] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] {Who would have thought that out of a so-called boring opening, we would get into very sharp play at some point, I managed to outcalculate my opponent in the sharp struggle. Anyway, let's look at the game!} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. c5 Nh5 8. Bd3 Nxf4 9. exf4 c6 $5 { Not the most usual way to play this position, Black normally starts with ...b6. Here Anish started to think longer, remembering what was the difference and he remembered it right, but we considered the ensuing position as normal for Black.} 10. Qc2 {Came after a long think.} h6 11. O-O Qc7 12. Ne5 {This idea makes all the difference, otherwise the game would follow the normal path by g3.} Nxe5 13. fxe5 Bd7 (13... b6 {instead of the text move deserves attention, but we thought that it's a possible way for Black, not showing his cards earlier than needed.}) 14. a3 {White can start with f4, b4 and so on.} b6 15. b4 bxc5 16. bxc5 f6 17. f4 Rab8 {This was all going by my notes, Black should not rush with ...f5 or ...f6xe5 and keep the tension in the centre as much as he can. ...Qa5 comes next and White should decide what he is doing, Anish spent a lot of time here, maybe around an hour!} 18. g3 Qa5 19. Ne2 {Here Anish offered a draw, which in normal circumstances and normal time, I would probably accept, but in these conditions where he had less time and probably felt uncomfortable playing this position, I decided that it was my chance and that I had to play on.} Be8 (19... Bc8 $5 {The computer's suggestion is probably even easier, Black goes for ...Ba6 and the position is always good for Black.}) 20. Bg6 $2 {This is already a real mistake, which came quite fast from Giri, I did not expect this move. White should probably play calmly or go for exf6} (20. h3 {I was expecting this more, but maybe exf6 is the right way for White,}) (20. exf6 $1 Bxf6 21. g4 $1 {and even although the position is unclear of course, White is by no means worse.}) 20... Bxg6 21. Qxg6 Qd2 $1 { An important manoeuvre, the queen is very annoying on e3. Now Black has the upper hand: around 1 hour more on the clock and all the pleasures of deciding between the middlegame or pleasant endgames with the b-file occupied.} 22. Rf2 Qe3 {White is already in serious trouble practically; the centre is hanging totally.} 23. Qg4 {I would call it a mistake if practically this would be easy to face. I saw ...Kf7 here as well as ...Rf7, but I concentrated my calculations on ...Kh8 and ...Kh7 somehow. I was sure I had to keep the queens on, which is a mistake, but in the game it proved to be a crucial decision!} ( 23. Rc1 {Practically maybe the way, but a very hard move to play, a3 is hanging and even ...Qe4 secures a stable advantage for Black.} Qe4 $1 $15 ( 23... Qxa3 24. Kg2 {with chances to save the game.})) 23... Kh7 $2 {This played out nicely in the game but objectively it's a mistake.} ({I miscalculated the line after} 23... Kf7 $5 {The most simple to play the position without risk and just press for the rest of the game with easy plans like ...Rb2-Rfb8 and Bd8-a5} 24. f5 (24. Qh5+ g6 $1 $17) (24. Qf3 Qxf3 25. Rxf3 Rb2 26. Nc1 Rfb8 $15) 24... fxe5 25. Qg6+ Kg8 $19) (23... Rf7 $5 {could have been even stronger, but when I saw the line over the board, I could not somehow believe it works. But it does!} 24. Qxe6 Rb2 25. Re1 Bd8 $1 {and here I told my self why? Why go for this when I am not sure if it works or not, if I have a stable advantage with ...Kh7 and ...Kf7.}) 24. Qxe6 Rbe8 25. a4 $4 { Blunder. This came as a complete surprise, but in time pressure it's not easy to make the right decisions. Anish probably missed the queen move that came later.} (25. Qxc6 fxe5 26. Qxd5 exd4 27. Rd1 {Here in my calculations I saw that I have ...Rd8 but thought that ...d3 was good, when White can just take with the rook!!! and avoid the pin on the g1-a7 diagonal by ...Bxc5!} Rd8 ( 27... d3 28. Rxd3 $1 {Of course!} (28. Qxd3+ Qxd3 29. Rxd3 Bxc5 $19)) 28. Qe5 Qxe5 29. fxe5 Bxc5 30. Rxf8 Bxf8 {Slightly better still, but it's not the kind of convertible advantage.}) (25. Qf5+ {was also much better than the move in the game:} Kh8 {I was planning this. I thought I was slightly better. But in fact I have to make a draw.} (25... g6 26. Qd7 fxe5 27. Raf1 exd4 28. f5 { and it ends in a draw, but Black should be accurate}) 26. e6 Bd8 27. Rd1 Rxe6 28. Rd3 Qe4 29. Qxe4 dxe4 30. Rb3 f5 $11) 25... fxe5 26. Qxe5 Qd3 $1 $19 { Now the white queen is trapped and the position is hopeless due to the fact that the knight on e2 and the d4-pawn together with White's king are extremely weak and impossible to defend. Also the queen is almost trapped.} 27. Qh5 Bf6 28. Raf1 {Here it was maybe easier to play simple moves, but I thought I was winning by force, which proved to be correct, otherwise ...Kg8 or ...Re3 or some other move putting more pressure on White to make decisions, would be just winning calmly.} g6 29. Qg4 h5 30. Qd7+ Re7 31. Qd6 {This is all forced!} Kg7 $1 32. Nc1 Qf5 $1 {An important move, I was playing to trap the white queen, which in the end was not successful, but White had to weaken his king in order to protect the queen on d6.} 33. Rd1 {To play Re2 next and try to rescue the queen.} Rfe8 $5 {But I was very excited by the idea of ...Bxd4!!} ( 33... h4 $3 {The computer suggests this as easier, but probably any black move is enough to win the game. It is impossible to play this position as White, d4 hanging, the king weak, the queen almost trapped and the knight is completely out of play. There is nothing to do here with White, ...hxg3, ...Qh3 are threatening.}) 34. Qxc6 Re1+ 35. Rf1 Bxd4+ $3 (35... Rxd1 36. Rxd1 Qc2 { Possible but hard to know if it's completely winning.}) (35... Rxf1+ $5 36. Rxf1 Bxd4+ 37. Kg2 Qe4+ 38. Kh3 Kh6 $3 $19 {and Black goes for ...Qf5, ...Re3 and ...h4 with a winning position.}) 36. Rxd4 Rxf1+ 37. Kxf1 (37. Kg2 Ree1 $19 (37... Qc2+ 38. Kh3 (38. Kxf1 Qxc1+ 39. Kg2 Re2+ 40. Kh3 Kh6 $19) 38... Rh1 $19 )) 37... Qh3+ 38. Kf2 Qxh2+ 39. Kf1 Qh1+ 40. Kf2 Re1 {White can't escape with the king, ...Qf1 is threatening mate, or ...Qg1, ...Re3. I was very happy about this game. Starting the tournament with a win is a great pleasure and for a long time I had not had such a start! It proved to be important for my overall result I think!} 0-1 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.07"] [Round "2"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Inarkiev, Ernesto"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D30"] [WhiteElo "2800"] [BlackElo "2707"] [Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"] [PlyCount "39"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. Bg5 Bb4+ 5. Nbd2 {Shak specialises in obscure and risky gambit lines of the Queen's Gambit Declined.} dxc4 6. e3 ({The main line runs} 6. Qc2 b5 7. a4 c6 8. Bxf6 gxf6 9. g3) 6... b5 7. a4 c6 8. Be2 (8. Qc2 Bb7 9. Be2 Nbd7 10. O-O O-O 11. b3 c3 12. Ne4 h6 13. Bh4 $5 (13. Bxf6 Nxf6 14. Nxc3 $11) 13... g5 14. Nxf6+ Nxf6 15. Bg3 c5 {Nakamura-Morozevich, 2013.}) 8... Nbd7 9. O-O Qb6 10. Qc2 Bb7 11. b3 c3 12. Nb1 c5 13. Nxc3 cxd4 14. Nxb5 Rc8 (14... O-O {seems more natural.}) 15. Qb2 a6 16. a5 $1 Qc5 17. exd4 { Inarkiev played the opening reasonably well and stood to equalise until he chose an unfortunate square for his queen.} Qf5 $2 (17... Qe7 18. Ne5 $5 h6 ( 18... axb5 19. Bxb5) 19. Rfc1 O-O) (17... Qc2 18. Qxc2 Rxc2 19. Bd1 Rc8 20. Bd2 $1 Be7) 18. Bd2 Be7 19. Nc3 O-O $4 {One move isn't a relaible indication of bad form, but how does a Super-GM blunder his queen like that?} (19... h6 20. b4 O-O 21. b5 $16) (19... e5 $5) 20. Nh4 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.07"] [Round "2"] [White "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Black "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E16"] [WhiteElo "2724"] [BlackElo "2739"] [Annotator "Yermolinsky,A"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Nc3 c6 8. e4 d5 9. exd5 $1 {A modern treatment of this well-known variation.} cxd5 10. Ne5 O-O 11. O-O Nc6 12. Bf4 {A relatively fresh idea.} (12. cxd5 Nxe5 13. d6 (13. dxe5 Nxd5 14. Rc1 Nxc3 15. Bxc3 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 Qc8 17. Qf3 {leaves White with only the smallest of advantages.}) 13... Nc6 14. dxe7 Qxe7 15. Bg5 h6 16. d5 Na5 $1 {Anand-Carlsen, WCh Sochi, 2014}) 12... Na5 13. Rc1 (13. Bg5 $5 { is counterintuitive - why move the bishop again - but it brought White success in van Wely-Tkachiev} Rc8 (13... Ba6 $5) 14. Bxf6 Bxf6 15. cxd5 Bxd5 16. Nxd5 exd5 17. Re1 $14) 13... dxc4 14. Bxb7 Nxb7 15. Nxc4 {This isn't your Grandfather's IQP position. Seemingly White has committed a cardinal sin of trading his light-squared bishop, but he's not playing for a kingside attack just yet. Black has his own set of problems: an awkward Nb7 and general weakness of the light squares caused by b7-b6.} Bb4 (15... Na5 16. Ne3 $1 { aiming at d4-d5.}) 16. Bg5 $1 {It's all about the d5-square.} Nd6 17. Nxd6 Bxd6 ({It's undertandable Pavel didn't want to weaken his king. Possible lines, such as} 17... Qxd6 18. Bxf6 gxf6 19. Ne4 Qd8 20. Rc4 Be7 21. Nc3 Rc8 22. Ra4 $1 a5 23. d5 {did seem unnerving.}) 18. d5 $1 exd5 19. Nxd5 Be5 20. Bxf6 Bxf6 21. b4 {What we have here is a symmetrical pawn structure in a open position, with Black supposedly keeping a better minor piece. So, why isn't this equal? The answer to this mystery lies in the activity of the white pieces and Black's struggles to find a safe square for his queen.} Qd6 ({Suppose, he does everything by the book:} 21... g6 22. Qf3 Bg7 {hides the bishop,} 23. Rfd1 Qg5 {lets the queen out,} 24. h4 Qe5 25. Rc7 b5 {improves the queenside pawn structure,} 26. Re7 Qd6 27. Rd7 $1 Qe5 28. Kg2 {and then what? Black is practically out of moves. Sample lines to illustrate his problems are:} h5 ( 28... a6 29. Nb6 Rab8 30. R7d5 Qe7 31. Nd7) (28... a5 29. bxa5 Rxa5 30. Ne7+ Kh8 31. Nc6) 29. Re7 Qd6 30. Rb7 Qe5 31. a3 $1 ({not even} 31. Rxb5) 31... Rae8 32. Rxb5 {with a decisive advantage for White everywhere.}) 22. Qf3 Rac8 23. Rcd1 $1 {There was no way that Teimour was going to trade rooks.} Rfe8 24. b5 $6 {The one and only inaccuracy by Radjabov until time trouble.} ({Instead, the prophylactic} 24. Kg2 $1 {would pose an interesting dilemma to his opponent: should Black just stay put or should he attempt a bailout?} Be7 $5 25. Rfe1 Bf8 26. Ne7+ Bxe7 27. Rxd6 Bxd6 28. Rxe8+ Rxe8 29. Qc6 Re6 30. Qa8+ Bf8 31. a3 Re7 {Can this be held? White will certainly try his best.}) 24... Be7 25. Rd4 (25. Rfe1 Bf8 26. Ne7+ $4 {now meets with} Rxe7 27. Rxd6 Rxe1+ 28. Kg2 Bxd6 $19) 25... Bf8 26. Rfd1 Rc5 $2 {An unfortunate idea.} ({It was high time to work out a queen trade,} 26... Qe6 27. Kg2 (27. Rg4 Qe2) 27... Qe2 28. Ra4 Qxf3+ 29. Kxf3 {and Black doesn't have to fear losing the a-pawn:} Rc5 ({or } 29... Rc2 30. Rxa7 Bc5 31. Ne3 Rc3) 30. Rxa7 Rxb5 31. Nc7 Rf5+ 32. Kg4 Ree5 $11) 27. a4 Qe6 28. Rg4 Kh8 ({Black falls victim to the back rank weakness after} 28... Qe2 $2 29. Qxe2 Rxe2 30. Nf6+ Kh8 31. Rd8) 29. Rf4 Kg8 30. h4 Rc2 31. Kg2 h6 32. h5 {Pavel seemed to have run out of useful moves, and, possibly, the clock had become an issue as well.} Rcc8 33. Rdd4 $3 {Powerful centralisation, reminiscent of the classic game Spassky-Fischer, Mar del Plata 1960.} Bc5 34. Rde4 Qd7 35. Rg4 $1 Kf8 (35... Kh8 36. Nf6) 36. Ref4 {A little hesitation that spoils it a bit.} ({Already,} 36. Rxg7 $1 {was decisive:} Rxe4 (36... Kxg7 37. Qc3+ f6 38. Nxf6) 37. Rg8+ $1 Kxg8 38. Nf6+ Kg7 39. Nxd7 Re6 40. Qg4+ Kh7 41. Ne5 $1 Rxe5 42. Qxc8 Rxh5 43. Qd7 Kg6 44. f4 {and the rest is automatic.}) 36... Bd6 ({Pavel's best chance was} 36... Red8 37. Rxf7+ Qxf7 38. Rf4 Rd7 39. Rxf7+ Rxf7 40. Nf4 Kg8 41. Qd5 Re8 {White should win, but it would take some time.}) 37. Rd4 (37. Rxg7 $1 Bxf4 38. Rg8+ {the same motif again.}) 37... Qb7 38. Rxg7 $1 {Finally Teimour lands a mortal blow.} Be5 (38... Kxg7 39. Rg4+ Kf8 40. Rg8+ Kxg8 41. Nf6+ Kf8 42. Qxb7 Rc7 43. Qd5 Re6 44. Qa8+ Kg7 45. Ne8+) 39. Rg8+ Kxg8 40. Nf6+ Bxf6 41. Rg4+ {Despite the uncertain finish, this game is a masterpiece by Radjabov.} 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.08"] [Round "3"] [White "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B92"] [WhiteElo "2739"] [BlackElo "2742"] [Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] {The 3rd round of the Geneva FIDE GP and Radjabov is the only player on 2/2, while everybody else is trying to catch him!} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 $5 {A move that has a positional reputation, but may create complicated and agressive positions, as we will see in the game!} e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Be3 Be6 9. Nd5 Nbd7 {Threatening to take on e4.} (9... Nxd5 $5 { keeping the bishop is another way to play this} 10. exd5 Bf5 11. Qd2 {it is important to avoid ...Bg5 once and for all} (11. a4 {was played in the oldest game I found with this quick Nd5 idea: back in 1945!} Nd7 12. a5 Bg5 $1 { and Black is already confortable, the e3 bishop is an important piece} 13. Bg4 Bxe3 14. Bxf5 Ba7 $1 15. Qg4 g6 16. Bxd7+ Qxd7 17. Qxd7+ Kxd7 18. c4 Rhc8 19. Nd2 f5 $15 {0-1 (43) Stulik,V-Opocensky,K Prague 1945, and Black is simply better.}) 11... O-O 12. O-O Bg6 13. a4 $1 (13. Rac1 $6 {I played this move in a game, but didn't get any advantage} a5 $1 14. a4 Nd7 15. Bb5 f5 16. f4 (16. f3 $5 {was better}) 16... Nf6 17. g3 Ng4 18. c3 Bf6 (18... Be8 $1 $15 {would be very annoying, threatening to take and play a4. If I take on e8, then I have problems controlling the queenside properly (...Rxe8! and ...Qc7 with ... Qc4 ideas)}) 19. Rce1 h5 20. Qe2 Nxe3 21. Qxe3 h4 22. Nd2 $11 {1/2-1/2 (36) Mekhitarian,K (2550)-Oparin,G (2617) Abu Dhabi 2016}) 13... Nd7 14. a5 h6 15. c4 Rc8 16. Rac1 {and White had great play on the queenside in this game} e4 $6 (16... Re8 {should be better}) 17. Qb4 Qc7 18. Rfd1 Nc5 19. Bf4 Bg5 20. Bxg5 hxg5 21. Nxc5 dxc5 22. Qd2 $16 {½-½ (45) Di Berardino,D (2494)-Leitao,R (2636) Joao Pessoa 2013, followed with either b4 or Rc3-Rb3-Rb6.}) (9... Nxe4 $2 {is simply bad} 10. Bb6 Qc8 11. Nc7+ Kf8 12. Nxa8 Nd7 13. Be3 $16) 10. Qd3 O-O (10... Bxd5 11. exd5 O-O 12. g4 $1 {The idea seen in Eljanov's game was found and tried for the first time by Alexander Khalifman in round 16 of the FIDE World Championship back in 1999, against one of the world's best Najdorf specialists - Boris Gelfand. Khalifman used it with success and went on to win the tournament!} Nc5 13. Nxc5 dxc5 14. O-O-O e4 15. Qd2 Bd6 16. g5 Nd7 17. h4 Ne5 18. h5 {and the scary pawn avalanche comes with deadly effects} Rc8 $2 ( 18... f5 $1 {was the only chance to survive} 19. gxf6 Qxf6 20. Rhg1 $16) 19. Rh4 $1 c4 {Gelfand tries direct counterplay by sacrificing two pawns, but White takes the material and remains well defended} 20. Rxe4 c3 21. bxc3 Qa5 22. Kb1 Rxc3 23. Bd4 $18 {1-0 (39) Khalifman,A (2628)-Gelfand,B (2713) Las Vegas 1999}) 11. a4 $5 {A flexible move, that is almost always useful in this variation.} (11. O-O {is the most common move here} Bxd5 12. exd5 Ne8 (12... Rc8 $5 {threatening Nb6} 13. c4 Ne8 14. Rac1 (14. g3 $5 Bg5 15. f4 exf4 16. gxf4 $13 {with an unclear position}) 14... b6 15. Kh1 (15. Bg4 $5) 15... Bg5 16. Qd2 Bxe3 17. Qxe3 a5 18. Nd2 f5 $15 {0-1 (52) Dastan,B (2519)-Saric,I (2618) Minsk 2017, and Black got a perfectly fine position.}) (12... Nb6 $6 13. c4 a5 14. a4 $1 Nfd7 15. Bd2 $1 {hitting a5} Nc5 16. Nxc5 dxc5 17. Bc3 Bd6 18. b3 $16 {and White has a clear plan to play Rae1, Bd1-Bc2, with amazing prospects on the kingside}) 13. a4 Bg5 14. a5 Bxe3 15. Qxe3 Nef6 16. c4 Rb8 17. Rfb1 Qc7 18. Nd2 $36 {1/2-1/2 (59) Carlsen,M (2838)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2803) Karlsruhe 2017, with good potential on the queenside.}) 11... Bxd5 (11... Nxd5 $5 {has to be tried in future encounters} 12. exd5 e4 $1 {forced and good} 13. Qd2 {looks more logical} (13. Qxe4 Nf6 14. Qd3 Bxd5 15. O-O $13 {White has a better structure, but Black has good activity, the position should be balanced} ) 13... Bf5 14. g4 Bg6 15. h4 h6 {with a very complex position} (15... Bxh4 $2 16. g5 $18) 16. O-O-O (16. g5 $5 h5 17. O-O-O $13) 16... Bxh4 17. Rh3 $40) 12. exd5 Nc5 $6 {A typical move changing the structure, that also stops White from expanding on the queenside. On the other hand, White obtains a strong passed pawn on d5, and a perfect scenario to play with c4 and g4!, castling queenside. } ({A similar precedent was:} 12... Rc8 13. a5 Nc5 14. Nxc5 dxc5 15. c4 e4 16. Qc2 Bd6 17. O-O (17. g4 $5 {would be also possible here, like Eljanov played}) 17... Qc7 18. g3 Rce8 19. Rfc1 Nd7 20. b4 f5 $36 {0-1 (25) Castrillon Gomez,M (2210)-Vazquez,G (2443) Medellin 2017, and Black already has a strong initiative.}) (12... Ne8 $1 {preparing ...f5, has never been tried before, and should be a good move.}) 13. Nxc5 dxc5 14. c4 Qc7 15. Qc2 Rae8 $6 (15... e4 { perhaps should be better, because if White plays the same g4 now, then Black may decide where to place the a8-rook.}) 16. g4 $1 $16 {A good moment to play this move, because Black has already removed the rook from a8, meaning White will have more freedom to castle queenside. Also, Black will never be able to expand with ...f5 anymore, as usually happens in this pawn structure. White definitely won the opening battle here and has a good advantage.} e4 {This had to be played sooner or later.} 17. O-O-O Bd6 18. g5 Nd7 19. Kb1 Ne5 20. h4 $1 ( 20. Qxe4 $6 {there is no need to take this pawn, as it helps Black} Nc6 $5 $44 {followed by ...Nb4. White would also have an advantage here, but Black has time to breathe now.}) 20... Nf3 21. Rh3 $6 (21. h5 $1 {would be very strong. The problem is that Black only starts the counterplay on the queenside after white decides to take on f3 (something he will do whenever he wants)} Qd7 ( 21... f6 {is the computer's suggestion, and does not solve all the problems} 22. Bxf3 exf3 23. h6 g6 24. gxf6 Rxf6 25. Rhe1 $16 {and Black has problems defending his king, and at the same time watching the passed d-pawn, Bg5 is coming next}) 22. a5 {another problem is that Black can't even play ...Rb8 for ...b6, because e4 is hanging} Qc7 23. Bxf3 exf3 24. Bd2 $1 Re2 $2 25. h6 g6 26. Qc3 $18 {followed by Qxf3.}) 21... Qd7 $1 {I guess Eljanov missed this. In any case, he is still better.} 22. Rhh1 Qe7 (22... f5 23. gxf6 Rxf6 24. h5 $16 { also looks good for White.}) 23. Bxf3 exf3 24. h5 b5 $1 {Counterplay gets there in time.} 25. cxb5 axb5 26. axb5 Qd7 (26... Rb8 $5 $132) 27. Qd3 (27. Rh4 $5 Qxb5 28. h6 g6 29. Bf4 {not an easy move! now Qc3 is the real threat, because ...Be5 is no longer possible} Bxf4 30. Rxf4 f6 $1 31. Rxf3 (31. Rxf6 $2 Rxf6 32. gxf6 Kf7 $3 {and Black has very strong counterplay with ...Re2 next} ( 32... Re2 $4 33. f7+ $1 Kxf7 34. Qc3 $18 {with a decisive attack})) 31... Re2 32. Rb3 $1 Rxc2 33. Rxb5 Rxf2 34. gxf6 $16 {should be good for White, but Black is fighting.}) 27... Rb8 28. h6 g6 (28... Qxb5 $2 29. Qc3 $1 $16) 29. Bd2 Rxb5 30. Bc3 Rb3 31. Rhe1 {Preparing Qxf3.} (31. Qxf3 $2 Be5 $1 $36 {and Black grabs the initiative.}) 31... Qg4 {Forced.} 32. Re4 Qxg5 (32... Qf5 $5 33. Kc2 Rfb8) 33. Qxf3 Be5 $2 (33... Qxh6 $1 {was necessary} 34. Qf6 Rxc3 {and Black is totally in the game, with decent compensation} 35. Qxc3 Qh5 $44 {followed by ...Qf5.}) 34. Rxe5 Qxe5 35. d6 $2 (35. Bxe5 $1 {was winning on the spot} Rxf3 36. Bc7 $18 {followed by d6, should be a very sad endgame for Black.}) 35... f6 $1 36. d7 Rxc3 37. Qxc3 Qe7 $2 {Probably in severe time trouble, Ian throws away a study-like defence to draw this very difficult game. In the post-game interview Eljanov said that after 34.Rxe5 Qxe5 35.d6, it was already hopeless for Black, meaning he also did not realize that Black is not losing the rook endgame, which is totally understandable.} (37... Qxc3 $1 38. bxc3 Rd8 {it was very hard to understand that Black does not lose this position, with an outside passed pawn for White (since c5 will fall in a few moves)} 39. Kb2 Kf7 40. Kb3 Ke6 41. Kc4 Rxd7 42. Rxd7 Kxd7 43. Kxc5 g5 44. Kd5 (44. Kb6 g4 45. c4 f5 46. Kb7 Kd6 47. Kb6 Kd7 $11) (44. f3 Kc7 $1 (44... Ke6 $1 {is also enough }) (44... f5 $2 45. Kd5 g4 46. fxg4 fxg4 47. Ke4 Kc6 48. Kf4 Kc5 49. Kxg4 Kc4 50. Kf5 Kxc3 51. Kf6 Kd4 52. Kg7 Ke5 53. Kxh7 Kf6 {and Black loses by one tempo } 54. Kg8 $18) 45. Kd5 Kd7 46. c4 f5 {now the advance is well-timed, because White already pushed his pawn and Black will be able to grab it and come back in time to the kingside} 47. Ke5 g4 48. fxg4 fxg4 49. Kf4 Kd6 50. Kxg4 Kc5 51. Kf5 Kxc4 52. Kf6 Kd5 53. Kf7 Ke5 54. Kg7 Ke6 55. Kxh7 Kf7 $11) 44... g4 45. Ke4 Ke6 46. c4 f5+ 47. Kf4 Kf6 $1 {provoking the c-pawn} 48. c5 Ke6 49. c6 Kd6 50. Kxf5 Kxc6 51. Kxg4 (51. Kf6 Kd6 52. Kg7 Ke6 53. Kxh7 Kf7 $11) 51... Kd6 52. Kf5 Ke7 $11) 38. Qb3+ Kh8 39. Qd5 $18 {Now it's all over.} Rd8 40. Rd3 {and Black resigned, because of the Re3 threat. Eljanov moves to 2nd place with 2/3, and Radjabov keeps the sole lead in Geneva with 2,5/3!} (40. Rd3 g5 (40... Qe1+ 41. Ka2 Qa5+ 42. Ra3 $18) 41. Re3 Qxd7 42. Qxd7 Rxd7 43. Re8#) 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.08"] [Round "3"] [White "Rapport, Richard"] [Black "Jakovenko, Dmitrij"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E20"] [WhiteElo "2694"] [BlackElo "2703"] [Annotator "Krasenkow,M"] [PlyCount "172"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d5 6. cxd5 {A harmess move. As a rule, the Karlsbad pawn structure with White's bishop on g2 creates no problems for Black. White doesn't want to go for the gambit continuation} (6. Nf3 dxc4) 6... exd5 7. a3 {Asking Black's bishop to take on c3 or retreat to e7. The drawback of this move is clear: it wastes a precious tempo.} (7. Nf3 { is more common but after} c6 {Black's bishop will be able to retreat to d6, e. g.} 8. O-O Re8 9. a3 Bd6 {This line, seen in a number of games, is hardly promising for White.}) 7... Bxc3+ {This exchange is the simplest way to equality.} ({The position after} 7... Be7 {often arises from other move orders: } 8. Nf3 (8. e3 c6 9. Nge2 Bf5 10. O-O Re8 11. f3 Bd6 (11... Bf8 $142) 12. e4 dxe4 13. fxe4 Bxe4 14. Rxf6 Bxg2 15. Rxd6 Qxd6 16. Kxg2 $14 {1-0 (48) Meier,A (2280)-Ankerst,M (2115) Germany 2007}) (8. Nh3 c6 (8... Bf5 9. O-O Re8 10. Nf4 c6 11. h3 h5 12. e3 Qc8 13. Kh2 g6 $132 {1/2 (28) Ivanisevic,I (2614)-Bacrot,E (2709) Novi Sad 2009}) 9. O-O (9. Nf4 Na6 10. O-O Nc7 11. Qc2 Ne6 12. Rd1 Bd6 13. Nxe6 Bxe6 14. b4 Rc8 15. Bg5 {1/2 (15) Berkes,F (2664)-Raznikov,D (2484) Zalakaros 2015}) 9... a5 (9... Re8 10. Nf4 Bd6 11. f3 Bc7 12. b4 h6 13. Kh1 Bf5 14. Re1 Bb6 15. Na4 Nbd7 16. Bb2 Bc7 $132 {1/2 (60) Gajewski,G (2577)-Lenic,L (2569) Dresden 2008}) (9... Nbd7 10. Nf4 Re8 11. b4 a6 12. Nd3 Nb6 13. Qb3 Nc4 14. Rd1 Bf5 $132 {1/2 (34) Jovanic,O (2533)-Tratar,M (2493) Nova Gorica 2010}) 10. Nf4 Re8 11. b3 Na6 12. f3 c5 13. Be3 b6 14. dxc5 Bxc5 15. Bxc5 Nxc5 16. Ncxd5 Nxd5 17. Qxd5 Bb7 18. Qxd8 Raxd8 19. b4 Nb3 20. Ra2 Nd2 21. Rf2 Re3 $44 { 1/2 (33) Ivanisevic,I (2638)-Brkic,A (2586) Jerusalem 2015}) 8... c6 9. O-O (9. Qc2 a5 10. O-O Be6 11. Bf4 Nbd7 12. Rad1 Re8 13. Ne5 Nb6 14. h3 Nfd7 15. g4 Nf8 $11 {1/2 (22) Sedlak,N (2572)-Tiviakov,S (2663) Al Ain 2012}) 9... Re8 (9... Bf5 10. Nh4 Be6 11. f4 Ne4 12. f5 Nxc3 13. bxc3 Bc8 14. Qd3 Nd7 (14... Bxh4 15. gxh4 Qxh4 16. Rf4 $44) 15. Nf3 Bd6 16. Nd2 Nf6 17. e4 dxe4 18. Nxe4 Nxe4 19. Bxe4 $14 {1-0 (33) Pfleger,H (2545)-Keene,R (2465) Elvetham Hall 1979}) 10. Ne5 Nbd7 11. f4 Nf8 12. e3 Bd6 13. b4 Bf5 14. g4 Bxe5 15. fxe5 Bxg4 16. Bf3 Bxf3 17. Qxf3 N6d7 18. Qxf7+ Kh8 $13 {0-1 (71) Slipak,S (2444)-Bachmann,A (2543) Villa Martelli 2013}) 8. bxc3 Ne4 $5 9. c4 c6 (9... Nc6 $5) 10. cxd5 cxd5 $11 11. e3 (11. Nf3 Re8 {[%cal Re4c3]}) 11... Bd7 (11... Nc6 12. Ne2 Bf5 13. O-O Rc8 {is comfortable for Black but Dmitrij Jakovenko choses another arrangement of his pieces.}) 12. Ne2 Bb5 13. O-O Re8 14. Re1 Nc6 15. f3 Nf6 16. g4 $6 { [%mdl 32] This "active" move just weakens White's position.} (16. Nf4 $11) 16... Bxe2 (16... Bc4 $5 {[%cal Yb7b5]}) 17. Rxe2 Rc8 18. Qd3 h6 19. Bd2 a6 20. Kh1 $6 {White starts an unjustified kingside attack, which Black successfully parries.} (20. Rb1 $142 b5 21. a4) 20... Na5 21. Rg1 Nc4 22. Bc1 Rc6 (22... Re6 $142 $5 23. h3 Qc7 24. e4 Qg3 {[%cal Rd5e4,Rf6g4]}) 23. h3 b5 (23... Qc7 24. e4 Qg3 $6 25. exd5) 24. e4 dxe4 25. fxe4 Rd6 26. Rd1 Rd7 (26... Nd7 27. Bf4 Nc5 28. Qc3 Na4 29. Qa1 $13) 27. g5 $6 (27. Bf4) 27... Nh5 $1 28. Qf3 (28. gxh6 $2 Rxd4 29. Qxd4 Ng3+ 30. Kh2 Qxd4 31. Rxd4 Nxe2 $19) 28... g6 29. gxh6 Rxd4 { White's centre has been ruined, and Black starts exploiting numerous weaknesses in White's position.} 30. Rf1 Ne5 31. Qf2 Rd1 (31... Rd3 32. Re3) ( 31... f6 $5) 32. Bb2 Rxf1+ 33. Bxf1 Qg5 34. h7+ Kxh7 35. Bxe5 Qxe5 36. Qxf7+ Kh6 {[%csl Rf1,Rh1]} 37. Rg2 Qe6 38. Qxe6 Rxe6 $17 {[%mdl 4096]} 39. a4 (39. Bd3 Nf4 40. Rg3 Nxd3 41. Rxd3 Rxe4 $19 {_|_}) 39... bxa4 40. Kh2 Rxe4 (40... Rf6 $5 41. Kg1 Rf3) 41. Ra2 (41. Bd3 Re6 42. Ra2 Re3 43. Bxa6 a3) 41... a5 $6 { Allowing White's bishop to b5 is not a good idea.} (41... Nf4 $142 42. Bxa6 Rb4 ) 42. Bb5 Nf4 43. Ra3 {Preparing Bb5xa4, which was not possible yet.} (43. Bxa4 Re2+ 44. Rxe2 Nxe2 $19) 43... Kg5 (43... Nd5 $5 44. Bxa4 Nb6 45. Bc6 Rc4 46. Bb5 Rc5 47. Bf1 a4 {although Black's b6-knight is not perfectly placed.}) 44. Bxa4 Kh4 $6 {This loses the a5 pawn, too.} (44... Re5 $142) 45. Bb5 g5 46. Rxa5 Re5 {This pin looks formidable but Black can't improve his position.} 47. Kh1 Rd5 48. Kh2 Rd2+ 49. Kh1 Kxh3 50. Bf1+ {The position is drawish now but Black keeps trying.} Kh4 51. Ra4 Kg3 52. Ra3+ Kf2 53. Bc4 Rd4 (53... g4 54. Ra2 Rxa2 55. Bxa2 g3 56. Bd5 $1 Nd3 57. Bc6 Ne1 58. Bg2 $1 Nf3 59. Bh3 $11) 54. Ra2+ Kg3 55. Ra3+ Kh4 56. Bf1 g4 57. Kg1 g3 58. Ra1 Kg4 59. Re1 Rd2 60. Ra1 Rb2 61. Kh1 Nd5 62. Bg2 Nf4 63. Bf1 Kf3 64. Kg1 Nd5 65. Bh3 Ne3 66. Re1 Rc2 67. Ra1 Re2 68. Bf1 Rb2 69. Bh3 Rc2 70. Re1 g2 71. Be6 (71. Bxg2+ $2 Rxg2+ 72. Kh1 Rd2 { is theoretically winning for Black.}) 71... Rc3 72. Bh3 Kg3 73. Be6 $1 { Accurately played.} (73. Bd7 $2 Nd5 $19 {[%cal Yd5f4]}) 73... Kf3 (73... Ra3 74. Bd5 $1 Nxd5 75. Re3+ $11) (73... Rd3 74. Bd5 $1 Nc2 75. Rb1 Rxd5 76. Rb3+ $11) 74. Bh3 Rc2 75. Be6 Rc6 76. Bh3 Rc3 77. Bd7 (77. Be6 {was simpler.}) 77... Nd5 78. Bh3 Nf4 79. Bxg2+ Nxg2 80. Rf1+ $2 {This "natural" check is losing.} ({ White had a draw after} 80. Re8 Rc1+ 81. Kh2 Nf4 82. Rf8 {etc.}) ({Even} 80. Ra1 {was enough: if} Kg3 {then} 81. Kf1 Re3 82. Rb1) 80... Kg3 81. Rf8 (81. Ra1 Ne3 {caging White's king and then encircling it, e.g.} 82. Re1 (82. Kh1 Ng4 83. Rg1+ Kh3 84. Ra1 Nh2 {[%cal Yh2f3]} 85. Kg1 Kg3 86. Rb1 Rc2 $19 {[%cal Rh2f3]}) 82... Ra3 $22 83. Rc1 (83. Kh1 Ng4) 83... Ng4 84. Kf1 Re3 85. Ra1 Nh2+ 86. Kg1 Re2 $19) 81... Rc1+ 82. Rf1 Rc6 (82... Ne1 $1 83. Kh1 Ra1 84. Rg1+ Kf2 $19) 83. Ra1 (83. Rf8 Rc1+ 84. Rf1 Ne1 $19) 83... Ne3 84. Rb1 (84. Re1 Rc3 {[%cal Ye3g4, Yg4h2,Yh2f3]}) 84... Rc2 85. Re1 Ng2 {[%cal Yg2h4,Yh4f3] This is as good as} ( 85... Ng4 $19 {[%cal Yg4h2,Yh2f3]}) 86. Rd1 Nh4 0-1 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.09"] [Round "4"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Hou, Yifan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2742"] [BlackElo "2666"] [Annotator "Szabo,Kr"] [PlyCount "97"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nbd2 O-O 7. Qe2 Re8 8. Nc4 Nd7 9. Bd2 Nb6 {A rare, but logical move. Black would like to exchange the active c4-knight.} (9... Bd6 {is more common, for example} 10. O-O-O (10. h4 Nf8 11. h5 Ne6 12. O-O-O c5 13. Qf1 f6 14. Nh4 Nd4 15. c3 Nc6 16. Nf5 Bxf5 17. exf5 h6 18. g4 Bf8 19. Qe2 Qd7 20. Be3 Rad8 21. Qc2 $14 {Caruana-Karjakin, Wijk aan Zee 2016, and thanks to the light-squares, White is more comfortable.} ) (10. g4 Nf8 11. Ne3 Ne6 12. Nf5 a5 13. h4 a4 14. Ng5 a3 15. b3 Bc5 16. Nxe6 Bxe6 17. Qf3 Bf8 18. Ke2 c5 $11 {Anand-Giri, Bilbao 2015, with a balanced middlegame.}) 10... Nf8 (10... b5 11. Ne3 a5 12. Nf5 a4 13. Bg5 f6 14. Be3 Nc5 15. g4 Be6 16. Kb1 b4 $132 {Caruana-Nakamura, Moscow 2016, and Black has an attack too.}) 11. Ne3 Be6 12. Kb1 Qd7 13. Ng5 f6 14. Nxe6 Nxe6 15. Nf5 g6 16. Nxd6 cxd6 17. g3 Nd4 18. Qf1 Qg4 19. Be3 Qf3 20. h4 d5 $13 {Giri-So Wesley, Leuven 2016, with an unclear position.}) 10. Na5 $146 {The first new move in the game.} ({The greedy} 10. Ncxe5 $2 {could have been met by} f6 11. Nc4 Nxc4 12. dxc4 Bf5 $1 $17 {and White is in trouble.}) ({Or} 10. Nfxe5 Bd4 11. f4 Nxc4 12. Nxc4 b5 $132 {with a sharp middlegame.}) (10. Ne3 a5 11. h4 Bd4 (11... f6 $5) 12. O-O-O Be6 13. Kb1 f6 14. g4 Bxe3 15. Qxe3 Bxg4 16. Rdg1 Bxf3 17. Qxf3 Kh8 18. Qg3 Re7 19. f4 $44 {Howell-Adams, Bournemouth 2016}) 10... Qe7 11. a3 Bd6 12. h4 {An ambitious move. White doesn't play the natural 0-0, he immediately goes with his h-pawn.} Na4 13. h5 {A brave decision, White sacrifices the b2-pawn.} Qf8 ({The engine immediately suggests} 13... Nxb2 $5 { , but this is not a human move. For example} 14. a4 b6 15. Nxc6 (15. Nb3 b5 16. axb5 cxb5 17. h6 g6 $15) 15... Qd7 16. Nb4 Nxa4 17. h6 Bxb4 (17... g6 $2 18. Nd5 $1 $16) 18. Bxb4 g6 $15 {and Black looks safe with a pawn up.}) 14. Nc4 b5 15. Nxd6 cxd6 16. b3 Nc5 17. Nh4 {White continues his kingside play.} Ne6 ({ I like the active} 17... d5) ({or even} 17... f5 $5 {too.}) 18. Nf5 c5 19. O-O Nf4 20. Qf3 g6 $1 {This is the point of Black's previous move.} 21. g3 $1 { White also increases the tension!} Bxf5 (21... Nxh5 $4 {loses immediately, because of} 22. Bh6 $18 {and the queen is trapped.}) (21... gxf5 $5 {was the other option,} 22. gxf4 fxe4 23. Qxe4 (23. dxe4 Kh8 $13) 23... Rb8 $13 { followed by ...Bb7 with a double-edged fight.}) 22. gxf4 Bd7 23. Kh2 {A straightforward move, prepares for Rg1.} f6 24. Rg1 Kf7 {Black's idea is regrouping with ...Qe7, ...Rg8.} 25. Rg3 Qe7 26. Rag1 Rg8 27. R1g2 {White frees the g1-square for his king.} Rh8 28. Kg1 Rag8 29. b4 c4 30. Be3 Bc6 31. Rh2 a6 {This move seems useless, but Black can't do anything.} 32. Kf1 ({ Probably} 32. hxg6+ $1 {was stronger,} hxg6 33. Rxh8 Rxh8 34. Qg4 Rg8 35. f5 $40 {with a dangerous attack for Black.}) 32... Qe8 $2 {Too passive.} (32... exf4 33. Bxf4 Qe6 {was safer.}) 33. Rh4 Qe7 34. fxe5 dxe5 35. d4 $1 {This is the point! White starts his break-through is the centre.} exd4 36. Bg5 $3 { A great tactical blow! White doesn't take back the pawn, because the B is stronger on g5 and he is threatening Rf4.} ({In the event of} 36. Bxd4 g5 $1 { and it is still not easy to continue the pressure on f6.}) 36... Rf8 37. Rf4 Ke6 38. Qg4+ $1 Kd6 39. e5+ $1 $18 {Another strong reply! White opens the 4th rank for the R.} Kc7 40. Bxf6 Rxf6 41. exf6 Qf7 42. Rxd4 Qxf6 43. Qf4+ { White simplifies, Black's position is hopeless.} Qxf4 44. Rxf4 gxh5 45. Rg7+ Kb6 46. Rf6 h4 47. Rh6 Rd8 48. Rf7 h3 49. Rff6 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.09"] [Round "4"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Adams, Michael"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2749"] [BlackElo "2736"] [Annotator "Sumets,A"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nf3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. Qc2 c5 8. cxd5 ({Another interesting continuation is} 8. Rd1 cxd4 9. Rxd4 Qa5 10. Bg3 b5 $5 { Levon has found an interesting pawn sacrifice.} ({I don't think that White has any advantage after} 10... Nb6 11. Nd2 dxc4 12. Bxc4 (12. Nxc4 Nxc4 13. Bxc4 Bd7 14. O-O Rfd8 $11) 12... Nxc4 13. Nxc4 Qa6 14. O-O Rd8 15. Rxd8+ Bxd8 16. Ne5 Bd7 17. Nxd7 Nxd7 18. Rd1 Nf6 {Vachier Lagrave,M (2686)-Adams,M (2722) Istanbul 2012 1/2 (36), White's advantage is negligeable and Michael easily made a draw.}) 11. cxb5 Bb7 12. Bd3 (12. Be2 Rfc8 13. O-O Bb4 14. Qb1 Bxc3 15. bxc3 Ne4 16. c4 Nc3 17. Qc2 Nxe2+ 18. Qxe2 Rxc4 19. Rxc4 dxc4 20. Qxc4 Nb6 $11) 12... Nc5 13. Ne5 (13. O-O {and the opponents agreed to a draw in Bacrot, E-Aronian,L 2011.}) 13... Rfc8 14. O-O Nxd3 15. Qxd3 a6 16. a4 Nh5 17. Bh4 Bc5 18. Nxd5 Bxd5 19. Rxd5 Qxa4 20. Rd8+ Rxd8 21. Bxd8 Qxb5 22. Qxb5 axb5 $11 { Inarkiev,E (2660)-Aronian,L (2784) Skopje MKD 2015 1/2 (58)}) 8... Nxd5 ({ It would be interesting to know what Peter had in mind after} 8... cxd4 { I believe that it is the most reliable continuation and Black can easily get an equal position.} 9. exd4 (9. d6 {was played once. Despite the fact, that White won this game, I think that Black's chances are not worse.} dxc3 10. bxc3 (10. Rd1 Nd5 11. dxe7 Qxe7 12. Bg3 Qb4 13. bxc3 Qxc3+ 14. Qxc3 Nxc3 15. Rd4 Nb6 16. Kd2 Nxa2 17. Be2 a5 $15) 10... e5 11. dxe7 Qxe7 12. Bg3 Qc5 $6 (12... b6 $1 13. Be2 Bb7 14. O-O Ne4 $15) 13. Rb1 a6 14. Be2 b6 15. O-O Bb7 16. Qa4 Rfe8 $11 {Kempinski, R (2528)-Krainski,A (2271) Bydgoszcz 2000 1-0 (39)}) (9. Nxd4 $2 e5 10. Nf5 exf4 11. d6 Bxd6 12. Nxd6 fxe3 13. fxe3 Ng4 $17) (9. dxe6 $6 {My computer and I don't see full compensation for the sacrificed piece.} dxc3 10. exf7+ Rxf7 (10... Kh8 $5 11. bxc3 Nd5 12. Bg3 Qa5 {seems to be good for Black as well.}) 11. bxc3 Nd5 12. Bc4 N7b6 13. Bb3 Be6 14. Rd1 Qc8 15. Be5 Nc4 16. O-O Ndb6 17. Nd4 Bg4 18. f3 Bd7 $17 {Isigkeit,H (2421)-Sawiniec,D (2411) ICCF 2008 0-1 (61)}) 9... Nxd5 10. Nxd5 exd5 11. Be2 Bb4+ 12. Bd2 Bxd2+ 13. Qxd2 Nf6 14. O-O $11 {1/2 (14) Van Wely,L (2643)-Asrian,K (2566) New Delhi/ Teheran 2000 } Bg4 15. Rfe1 Rc8 16. Ne5 Ne4 17. Qb4 Bxe2 18. Rxe2 Qc7 19. Rae1 Rfd8 20. Qb3 h6 21. h3 Ng5 22. f3 Ne4 {1/2 (22) Maiwald,J (2471)-Cyborowski,L (2510) Germany 2015}) 9. Nxd5 exd5 10. Bd3 Qa5+ (10... h6 11. dxc5 {This seems to be the strongest continuation} ({After} 11. O-O {Black could play} c4 $5 12. Be2 b5 13. Rad1 Bb7 $132) 11... Nxc5 12. O-O Bg4 13. Bf5 ({Vladimir could have played} 13. Bh7+ Kh8 14. Bf5 {probably he wants to win a tempo after possible moves ...Bxf3 gxf3 and then Kh1, Rg1 attacking the h6-pawn}) 13... Bxf3 14. gxf3 Ne6 15. Bg3 Qb6 16. Rfd1 Rfd8 17. Be5 Rac8 18. Qe2 Rc6 19. f4 Nc7 $6 ( 19... Nc5 20. Bh3 Bf6 21. Bxf6 Rxf6 22. Rd4 Ne6 $11) 20. Rd3 Bf6 21. Rb3 $14 { Fedoseev,V (2690)-Jakovenko,D (2718) Minsk BLR 2017 1-0 (45)}) 11. Qc3 Qb6 ({ It seems to me that Black could equalise after} 11... Qxc3+ 12. bxc3 Nf6 (12... c4 $6 13. Bc2 f5 14. a4 Nf6 15. Ne5 Ne4 16. Bxe4 fxe4 17. Ke2 {White has better chances}) 13. O-O Ne4 14. Rfc1 Be6 15. Rab1 b6 16. h3 f6 17. a4 Bd6 $6 ( 17... g5 $5 18. Bh2 c4 19. Bxe4 dxe4 20. Nd2 Bd5 21. a5 Kf7 22. axb6 axb6 23. Rxb6 Ra2 24. Nf1 Rd8 $44) 18. Bxe4 Bxf4 19. Bxh7+ Kxh7 20. exf4 $14 {Bruzon Batista,L (2643)-Oparin,G (2609) Linares ESP 2017 1/2 (38). Black has some small compensation for the sacrificed pawn.}) 12. a3 $146 {Now if Black plays . ..c4 then White can answer Bc2.} (12. O-O c4 {Since Black traded knights and White doesn't have a plan, which is connected with Ne5, Bg5, f4, etc, Black can play ...c4.} 13. Be2 $6 (13. Bc2 $2 Bb4 14. Bc7 Bxc3 15. Bxb6 Bxb2 $17) ( 13. Bb1 $142) 13... Nf6 14. Qc2 g6 15. b3 Bf5 16. Qd1 Rac8 17. bxc4 dxc4 18. Rc1 c3 $17 19. Bd3 Bxd3 20. Qxd3 Nd5 21. Bh6 Rfd8 22. Ne1 $2 g5 {0-1 (22) Mihajlov,S (2185)-Houska,J (2414) Caleta 2014}) 12... cxd4 ({Even here the computer recommends} 12... c4 13. Bc2 {It 's obvious that White's bishop should be placed on c2, but it is not clear if White has chances to get an advantage.} Nf6 14. O-O Be6 15. Ng5 (15. Ne5 Nh5 16. Bg3 Nxg3 17. hxg3 Rfd8 18. Rae1 Rac8 $11) 15... Bd7 16. Be5 (16. Rae1 Rfe8 17. Be5 h6 18. Nf3 Rac8 { Black has a plan connected with ...b5, ...a5, ...b4 and it is not easy to recommend a plan for White.}) 16... h6 17. Bxf6 Bxf6 18. Nh7 Rfe8 19. Nxf6+ Qxf6 $11) 13. Qxd4 Nc5 14. Bc2 Qb5 (14... Qa6 15. Be5 f6 16. Bg3 Rd8 17. Bc7 Ne6 18. Qh4 Nxc7 19. Qxh7+ Kf8 (19... Kf7 $4 20. Rc1 Qb6 21. Bg6+ Ke6 22. Rxc7 Qxc7 23. Nd4+ Kd6 24. Nb5+ $18) 20. Qh8+ Kf7 21. Qh5+ Kf8 $11) 15. Be5 f6 16. Bg3 Qc4 $2 {After this mistake Black is in big danger.} ({I think that Black should have played} 16... Rd8 {and the position which has arisen is rather equal.} 17. Rd1 (17. Bc7 Rd7 18. Bg3 Rd8 $11) (17. Qd2 $6 Qxb2 18. Bxh7+ $4 ( 18. O-O Ne4 19. Bxe4 (19. Qc1 $142 Qxc1 20. Rfxc1 Bd7 21. Bb3 Bc6 $17) 19... Qxd2 20. Bxh7+ Kxh7 21. Nxd2 d4 $17) 18... Kxh7 19. Qxb2 Nd3+ $19) (17. b4 Ne6 18. Qd2 a5 19. Bd3 Qb6 20. Rb1 axb4 21. axb4 d4 $11) 17... g6 18. h4 (18. b4 $6 Ne6 19. Qd3 Qxd3 20. Bxd3 a5 $15 {and White has some problems}) 18... Be6 19. h5 Ne4) 17. Rc1 Qxd4 {This leads to a difficult endgame with an isolated pawn. I think that Michael should have kept queens on the board.} (17... g6 $5 18. Qd2 Qa6 19. Nd4 (19. Qxd5+ $2 Be6 20. Qd1 Bc4 21. b4 Rfd8 $17) 19... Bd7 20. f3 Rfe8 21. Kf2 $14) 18. Nxd4 a5 {Black prevents b4, but now White can play Nb5.} (18... a6 19. b4 Ne4 20. Bb3 Rd8 21. Bc7 $1 (21. Rc7 Kf8 22. Bf4 Nd6 23. Ke2 $16) 21... Rd7 22. Ba5 Bd8 23. f3 Ng5 24. Bxd8 Rxd8 25. Kf2 Kf8 26. Rc5 { White should win this endgame.}) 19. Nb5 Rd8 ({Probably Michael evaluated the position after} 19... Be6 $5 20. Nc7 Rac8 21. b4 Rxc7 22. Bxc7 Rc8 23. bxc5 Rxc7 24. Bb3 $16 {as hopeless but it seems to me that other continuations are even worse.}) 20. Nc7 Ra7 21. Rd1 Kf7 22. Nxd5 {White just won a pawn without any compensation.} b5 {In searching for counterplay.} 23. O-O Bf8 $6 (23... g6 24. Nxe7 Kxe7 25. Rxd8 Kxd8 {White should easily win it.}) 24. Bxh7 {White has gained a second pawn, Black's position is hopeless.} g5 ({Of course Black can't win the bishop due to} 24... g6 25. Bxg6+ Kxg6 26. Nf4+ $18) 25. h4 Be6 26. e4 gxh4 27. Bxh4 Bxd5 28. Rxd5 Rxd5 29. exd5 $18 {White has 2 extra pawns and the bishop pair and despite the weakness of his b2-pawn, Peter easily won the game.} Na4 30. Rc1 Rd7 $1 {This is Black's best chance. Michael found a way to win the d5-pawn, but his position is still hopeless.} (30... Nxb2 31. Rc6 Bxa3 32. Bxf6 Nc4 33. Bd4 Rb7 34. g4 {Black can't stop the g4-pawn.}) 31. Rc6 $1 Rxd5 32. Rxf6+ Kg7 33. Bc2 $1 Nxb2 34. Rg6+ Kf7 35. Rf6+ Kg7 36. Rb6 $1 Bc5 (36... Bd6 37. Rb7+ Kf8 38. g3 Bxa3 39. Bf6 Nd3 40. Bb3 $18) (36... Bxa3 { Black can't take on a3 due to} 37. Bf6+ Kf8 38. Rb8+ Kf7 39. Bxb2 Bxb2 40. Bb3) 37. Rb7+ Kf8 38. Bg6 Bd4 39. Be7+ Kg8 40. Bf6 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.10"] [Round "5"] [White "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Black "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2739"] [BlackElo "2761"] [Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. c4 (1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 {You will soon understand why I am showing this variation...} Nc6 5. Nc3 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Bc4 O-O 8. Bb3 d6 9. h3 Na5 10. O-O b6 11. Re1 Bb7 12. Bg5) 1... Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Bc5 $5 {It's amazing how Grischuk constantly comes up with new ideas. This move has been played many times already, but the strongest player who tried it was 2200, after which it mostly happened in beginners' games. There were some recent correspondence games, which Grischuk probably used to find it. He is trying to play the usual Bc4-line that White plays against the Accelerated Dragon (with reversed colors).} 7. O-O (7. Nxe5 { would be something to consider, but it turns out to be harmless} Nxc3 8. bxc3 ( 8. Bxc6+ bxc6 {Black has decent compensation in both cases (dxc3 or bxc3)} 9. dxc3 (9. bxc3 Qd5 10. Nf3 Bh3 $44) 9... Qe7 $5 $44) (8. Nxc6 $4 Qf6 $1 { hitting the queen and mate in f2} 9. dxc3 Qxf2+ 10. Kd2 Qxg2 $19) 8... Nxe5 ( 8... Bxf2+ $2 {this kind of move is known to be a mistake, because the king is safely placed, while White in the meantime has a strong centre and the bishop pair} 9. Kxf2 Nxe5 10. Rf1 $16 {followed by Kg1, and d4-e4}) 9. d4 Bd6 10. dxe5 Bxe5 $11 {and Black is very happy with the better structure. Soon c6 will be played, and the g2 bishop will be neutralised.}) 7... O-O 8. d3 (8. Nxd5 { was played in correspondence chess, a couple of years ago} Qxd5 9. Ng5 Qc4 $5 { was the original move played} (9... Qd8 {is acceptable, but runs into} 10. Nxh7 $5 Re8 {threatening to move the c5-bishop} (10... Kxh7 $2 11. Qc2+ Kg8 12. Qxc5 $16) 11. Ng5 (11. h4 $5 f6 12. Qc2 $13 {followed by Qg6, the position remains very unclear (and weird!)}) 11... Qxg5 12. d4 (12. Bxc6 $5 bxc6 13. d4 Qh5 14. dxc5 Bg4 $44 {should offer good compensation to Black}) 12... Qh5 13. dxc5 Rd8 14. Bd2 Nd4 $36) 10. b3 Qg4 11. Qc2 {White has to do this, otherwise Black is simply fine} Bxf2+ 12. Rxf2 Qxg5 13. Bxc6 bxc6 14. Qxc6 Bh3 15. d3 Qe7 16. Be3 Rfc8 17. Qe4 f6 $13 {1/2-1/2 (30) Golubenko,A (2198)-Zakharov,Y (2229) ICCF 2015, again with original play, that should be balanced.}) (8. Nxe5 {runs into the same theme} Nxc3 9. bxc3 (9. Nxc6 $2 Nxd1 10. Nxd8 Bxf2+ 11. Kh1 Bg4 $1 $17 ) 9... Nxe5 10. d4 Bd6 11. dxe5 Bxe5 $11 {and Black should be happy after ... c6.}) 8... Bb6 9. Na4 {Similar to the Accelerated Dragon, White gets the bishop pair (there are many lines where Black plays ...Na5). In the other hand, Black obtains very good central control.} Re8 10. Bg5 (10. b3 {would be similar to how Black plays the Accelerated Dragon (...Na5, followed by ...b6, . ..Bb7). Good news for Black is that there was no need to lose a tempo with ... h6 (h3), since the bishop is still on c8 (please read the analysis before the 1st move!), and the bishop also went directly to g4, without 'stopping' at e6, as happens in the Dragon.} Bg4 11. Bb2 Qd7 {followed by ...Rad8, and Black is totally fine} (11... Nd4 $5 12. Nxb6 axb6 13. Nxd4 exd4 14. Re1 c5 15. Qd2 Qd7 $11 {and there is nothing to complain about in Black's position.})) 10... Qd6 11. Nd2 Qg6 $1 {The queen finds an excellent square here.} 12. Ne4 (12. Bxd5 $5 {was possibly better than the game} Qxg5 13. Rc1 Bh3 (13... Ne7 {more solid} 14. Bg2 c6 {threatening ...Bc7 at some point} 15. Nxb6 axb6 16. a4 {to stop b5} Nd5 17. Nc4 Qd8 $11 {with balanced play}) 14. Re1 Rad8 (14... Ba5 $5) 15. Bxc6 bxc6 {with interesting play.}) 12... Bg4 $1 (12... f5 {there is no need to play this} 13. Nec5 Qxg5 14. Bxd5+ Kh8 15. Rc1 $13 {I like Grischuk's decision better, to bring about ...Be6 and ...Rad8 quickly (he played ...Bg4 first to provoke h3).}) (12... Be6 $5 {also perfectly fine, but ...Bg4 should be an improved version, h3 may be a weakness in some variations.}) 13. h3 Be6 14. Bd2 Rad8 $15 {Now Black is already to be preferred - everything is harmonious, ... f5 is coming and he has ...Bc8 whenever a knight arrives on c5.} 15. Kh2 Kh8 16. a3 f5 $1 17. Nec5 Bc8 {All of Grischuk's forces are heading towards the centre - e4 is unstoppable, unless White himself plays it, which was a way that Eljanov could try and complicate matters.} 18. b4 (18. e4 Nf6 $1 (18... fxe4 {is the solid way to deal with this} 19. Bxe4 Qf7 $15 {and moves like ... Nd4 are coming, Black is doing fine}) 19. exf5 Bxf5 $1 (19... Qxf5 $5 $15) 20. Nxb7 (20. Nxb6 axb6 21. Nxb7 Rd5 $3 {defending the c6-knight very creatively} 22. Bxd5 Nxd5 {Black wants to pick up the knight with ...Bc8} 23. Qf3 {forced} Nd4 $3 24. Qxd5 Qh5 25. h4 Be6 $1 26. Qg2 Nf3+ 27. Kh1 Nxd2 28. Rfe1 Nf3 29. Re3 Bd5 $19) 20... Rxd3 21. Nxb6 Bxh3 $3 {an amazing move, instantly spotted by the computer. The idea is to distract the bishop and maintain a strong initiative, with two pawns for the piece. I think it is almost impossible for a human to find all these moves, specially considering White remains with the pure bishop pair} 22. Bxh3 axb6 $17 {threatening Nd4} 23. Rc1 Nd4 24. Rc3 Nf3+ 25. Qxf3 Rxf3 26. Rxf3 Qh5 27. Kg2 Qf7 $1 $19 {followed by ...Qd5.}) 18... e4 $1 19. e3 $2 (19. dxe4 $1 fxe4 20. Qb1 (20. Qc2 {a very ugly move to make (allowing ...Nd4), but that is the computer's suggestion} Nd4 (20... Qh5 $5 21. Nxb6 Nd4 $36 {looks ugly for White}) 21. Qc4 e3 22. Bc1 $13 {and miraculously White is ok, according to the computer}) 20... Nd4 21. Bxe4 $2 (21. Nxe4 Bf5 $17) 21... Qh5 $19) 19... Bxc5 $1 {Eljanov's position simply collapses now, ... b6 and ...Ba6 are coming.} (19... exd3 $2 20. Nxb6 axb6 21. Nxd3 $14 {and White is even slightly better.}) 20. Nxc5 b6 21. Nb3 Ba6 $19 22. Nc1 Ne5 { Now it's all over, Black starts picking up material and has a dominant position.} 23. Qa4 Bxd3 24. Nxd3 Nxd3 25. b5 (25. Qxa7 $2 Ra8 26. Qb7 Qe6 27. b5 Ne5 $1 $19 {and White should resign.}) 25... h5 26. Qc2 Qd6 (26... h4 $1 27. gxh4 Qf6 {with a devastating attack, but Grischuk wanted to keep it simple.}) 27. h4 Qe5 28. Kg1 Re6 29. a4 Kh7 30. Ra3 Rdd6 31. a5 c5 {Starting serious action on the queenside, where Black holds all the advantages as well.} 32. bxc6 Rxc6 33. Qd1 Nf6 $1 {A good moment to remove the knight, not only to defend h5, but also because Bc3 is not possible anymore.} 34. axb6 axb6 35. Qb1 Red6 {The problem is that White can never activate his bishops, not to mention the material disadvantage.} 36. Rb3 Ng4 37. Bb4 Rd5 38. Be1 Rc1 {And White resigned. A very convincing game from Alexander Grischuk, who joins Radjabov in the lead! On the 12th of July, they both have White - against Aronian and Harikrishna, respectively. A lot of action yet to come in the final four rounds, stay tuned!} 0-1 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.10"] [Round "5"] [White "Harikrishna, Penteala"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B81"] [WhiteElo "2737"] [BlackElo "2742"] [Annotator "Quintiliano,R"] [PlyCount "102"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e6 {Maybe this move was already a surprise for Harikrishna, as in this position Nepo always played the other black main option,} ({which is} 6... e5 7. Nde2 h5) 7. g4 Be7 { Once I played this position and after the game I realised that maybe 7...Nfd7 saves an important tempo for Black:} (7... Nfd7 8. g5 (8. Bg2 {transposes to other lines}) 8... b5 $1 {the point is that Black can postpone ...Be7 in order to accelerate the counterplay on the queenside} 9. a3 Bb7 10. h4 (10. Be3 Nb6 $1 {with the bishop on e3, ideas like ...Nc4 can be annoying, and also Black has another subtle threat} 11. f4 N8d7 12. f5 $2 e5 13. Nb3 Na4 $1 {[%csl Yc3, Re4]} 14. Nxa4 Bxe4 $17 {Muzychuk,M (2491)-Ivanchuk,V (2733) Cap d'Agde Karpov qual 2nd rapid 2013 (10) 0-1}) 10... Nc6 11. Be3 (11. Nxc6 $6 {this only helps Black, as now the bishop is improved on c6 and it becomes obvious that the right square tor the rook is b8} Bxc6 12. Be3 Be7 13. Qd4 O-O 14. O-O-O Rb8 $1 15. h5 Nc5 16. h6 e5 $1 17. Qd2 g6 {Barbosa,E (2438)-Mareco,S (2581) American Continental 11th 2015 (6) 0-1 and Black is ok -}) 11... Rc8 $5 {still avoiding ...Be7, and looking for typical ideas in the c-file} 12. f4 (12. Nxc6 Rxc6 $1 { [%csl Gc3] I had analysed this position around 2015, when the move 11...Rc8 had not yet been played, but now there's a practical example:} 13. Qd4 Ne5 14. O-O-O Nc4 15. Rh3 Qc7 16. Bd2 Nxd2 17. Rxd2 Qb6 18. Qd3 g6 $2 (18... Be7 $142) 19. e5 $1 {[%cal Yd2d8,Yc3e4] now White's pressure along the d-file is very strong} Rc7 (19... Be7 20. Ne4 d5 21. Nf6+ Bxf6 22. gxf6 $16) 20. exd6 Rd7 21. Nxb5 $5 axb5 22. Qxb5 Qxb5 23. Bxb5 Kd8 24. Bxd7 Kxd7 25. Rb3 $16 {Blomqvist,E (2567)-Nasuta,G (2448) London Classic op 8th 2016 (4) 1-0 despite the bishop pair, Black has lost many pawns and his position is very difficult to play -}) (12. Qd2 {seems fail to put any problem for Black, for example} Nce5 {[%csl Gc4][%cal Yd7b6]} 13. f4 Nc4 14. Bxc4 Rxc4 15. O-O-O Qc7 {[%csl Ye4][%cal Gc4c3]} 16. Nde2 (16. f5 Rxc3 $1 17. fxe6 fxe6 18. Qxc3 Qxc3 19. bxc3 Nc5 $44) 16... Nc5 $1 17. Bxc5 Qxc5 18. Qd3 Be7 {[%cal Yb5b4] and Black probably already has the easier game, with the initiative coming soon on the queenside}) 12... Na5 $1 $36 {[%cal Yb7h1,Yc8c1];Stocko,J (2326)-Kozul,Z (2619) Split op 6th 2016 (4) 0-1}) 8. g5 Nfd7 9. h4 (9. Be3 {is another move order, as} Bxg5 $2 {is bad in view of} 10. Nxe6 $1 fxe6 11. Qh5+ g6 12. Qxg5 $16) 9... b5 10. a3 Bb7 11. Be3 Nc6 12. Qd2 O-O ({Three days later, the same position was reached between Harikrishna and another strong Russian GM:} 12... Rc8 13. Nxc6 Bxc6 ( 13... Rxc6 $5) 14. h5 ({my game went} 14. O-O-O Nc5 15. f3 O-O 16. Kb1 Rb8 { Mekhitarian,K (2556)-Quintiliano Pinto,R (2403) Latin Cup-A 6th 2015 (7) 1/2-1/ 2 now putting the rook on the right square, but compared with the lines shown in the notes to Black's 7th move, I had wasted a tempo} 17. h5 a5 18. Na2 $1 $16 {[%cal Yg5g6,Yh5h6] and Black's counterplay is easily stopped, while White will be playing h6 or g6 in the other side}) 14... O-O 15. O-O-O Nc5 16. f3 a5 17. Bxc5 $6 (17. h6 $5) 17... dxc5 18. Qxd8 Rfxd8 19. Bxb5 Bxg5+ {Harikrishna, P (2737)-Grischuk,A (2761) Geneva FIDE GP 2017 (7) 1/2-1/2 and Black has no problems anymore -}) 13. O-O-O Nc5 14. f3 ({Recently, White played} 14. Nxc6 Bxc6 15. f3 {and now} Qb8 $1 {[%csl Ga8][%cal Ya6a5,Yb5b4] seems a very good idea, as the queen supports Black's pawn advance and the rook stays in the a-file, where it can be very useful} ({definitely an improvement over} 15... Rb8 {Oparin,G (2604)-Gelfand,B (2724) Zuerich Chess Challenge Blitz 6th 2017 (5) 0-1}) 16. h5 a5 17. Nb1 $2 {Hansen,M (2452)-Sethuraman,S (2647) Hastings Masters op 92nd 2016 (6) 0-1} Rc8 $1 18. g6 $2 Bxe4 $1 {[%cal Yc5b3]} 19. Bxc5 Rxc5 20. fxe4 Bg5 $19) 14... Rb8 $1 {In some positions the rook is better placed on c8, from where the threat of ...Rxc3 is very strong, but in this position it belongs on b8, as for Black it is essential to support the pawns on the queenside in order to generate counterplay.} 15. Kb1 (15. Nxc6 {seems interesting, as after} Bxc6 {White can continue with} 16. h5 a5 17. h6 (17. b4 $5) (17. Na2 {this position shows how each tempo is very important in this position, as compared with my game against Mekhitarian, White's king is not on b1 yet, so Black can play} b4 $1 {and the position becomes sharp} 18. axb4 axb4 19. Nxb4 $4 Qa5 $19 {with the king on b1, this idea would not be possible}) 17... g6 18. Na2 Qc7 (18... b4 $2 19. axb4 axb4 20. Nxb4 Qa5 21. Qc3 $1 $18 { [%csl Gd2,Rg7][%cal Yb4c6]}) 19. Kb1 Rfd8 20. Be2 $13 {Oparin,G (2604)-Gelfand, B (2724) Zuerich Chess Challenge Blitz 6th 2017 (5) 0-1}) 15... Nxd4 16. Bxd4 Bc6 17. Bh3 $5 {There is an interesting idea behind this move, but it looks like Black has enough counterplay to be ok.} (17. Qh2 $1 {[%cal Yd4c5] was an unnexpected way to put Black under pressure} Nd7 (17... Qa5 18. Na2 $1 { [%cal Yb2b4,Gd4c3]}) 18. g6 $1 {and the attack is coming fast, for example} e5 (18... fxg6 19. h5 g5 20. h6 g6 21. Bg7 Rxf3 22. Bh3 Nf8 23. Rhf1 Rxf1 24. Rxf1 Bd7 25. Qf2 Qe8 26. Qd4 $18) 19. gxh7+ Kxh7 (19... Kh8 20. Be3 a5 21. Nd5 b4 22. a4 $1 $16 Bxa4 23. b3 Bc6 24. Nxe7 Qxe7 25. Qd2 {[%csl Rd6]}) 20. Be3 b4 21. axb4 Rxb4 22. Na2 Rb8 23. Rg1 a5 24. Qg2 Rg8 25. Bc4 $16) 17... a5 18. b4 $2 {This move is in accordance with the previous move for White, but both players missed a strong idea for Black.} (18. Na2 $142 {stopping ...b4.}) 18... axb4 19. axb4 Nd7 $2 ({Blacks fails to explore the tactical ideas in this position,} 19... Ra8 $3 {was very good, and now White has no choice but to launch an attack on the other side, creating some wild complications, very difficult to calculate and evaluate over the board:} 20. g6 $1 (20. bxc5 $2 dxc5 21. Be3 Qa5 $19) (20. Kb2 Nd7 21. Ra1 (21. g6 Ne5 $1 {[%csl Gc4]} 22. gxf7+ Kxf7 23. Bxe5 dxe5 24. Qxd8 Rfxd8 25. Kb3 Rd4 $17) 21... Nb6 22. Bxb6 Qxb6 $17) 20... hxg6 21. h5 $1 Bg5 (21... e5 {is even better for White} 22. Bxc5 dxc5 23. hxg6) (21... Qc7 {loses in a beautiful way} 22. hxg6 Qa7 23. Na4 $3 Qxa4 24. Bxe6 $1 {[%csl Ga2][%cal Yh1h8] with an unstoppable mate}) 22. Qh2 {in this very critical position, Black should play} (22. f4 Qc7 $1 23. fxg5 Qa7 24. Nxb5 (24. Ne2 Qa2+ 25. Kc1 Nxe4 $44 {seems dangerous for White}) 24... Qa2+ 25. Kc1 e5 $1 26. bxc5 exd4 27. Qxd4 Bxb5 $13) 22... gxh5 $1 (22... Qe7 $6 { only the computer can save this} 23. hxg6 Bh6 (23... Qa7 24. Na4 $1 {[%cal Yh1h8,Gh3e6]} Bh6 25. gxf7+ Rxf7 26. Bxe6 Qxa4 27. bxc5 $18) 24. bxc5 Qa7 25. Na4 $1 Qxa4 $2 (25... e5 $3 {is the inhuman solution}) 26. gxf7+ Kxf7 27. Bxe6+ Kxe6 28. Qxd6+ Kf7 29. Rxh6 Qa2+ 30. Kc1 gxh6 31. Qf6+ Ke8 32. Qxc6+ Ke7 33. Qd6+ Ke8 34. Bg7 $18) 23. Bxc5 (23. Rhg1 Bf6 24. e5 $1 dxe5 25. Bxc5 Qc7 { is also complicated, for example} 26. Bxf8 $2 {White is a R and N up, but now follows an impressive and forced attack} Qa7 27. Kc1 Qa1+ 28. Kd2 Rd8+ 29. Ke2 Bxf3+ $3 30. Kxf3 Qxc3+ 31. Ke4 (31. Rd3 e4+ $1) 31... Rxd1 32. Rxd1 Qc6+ 33. Ke3 Bg5+ 34. Ke2 Qxc2+ $19) 23... Qc8 $1 {[%cal Yc8a6]} 24. Bb6 {[%cal Yb6a5]} Bf6 25. Rd3 Bxe4 $1 26. fxe4 Bxc3 27. Ba5 Qc4 $13) 20. g6 $1 $40 {Now White gets in first.} e5 (20... hxg6 21. h5 $1 {this thematic idea, known from Mikhail Tal's great attacking games, is the point: White sacrifices the pawns to open the path towards Black's king} gxh5 22. Bxg7 $1 $18 {with a mating attack.}) 21. gxf7+ {Understandable, White wants the e6-square for his bishop, from where it can help both attack and defence.} (21. gxh7+ $5 {has an interesting tactical point, but with correct play should be a draw} Kh8 22. Be3 Nb6 23. Bh6 $1 Bf6 $1 (23... gxh6 24. Qxh6 $18 {[%cal Yd1g1]}) (23... Nc4 24. Bxg7+ $1 Kxg7 25. Rdg1+ $18) 24. Qxd6 Qe7 $1 25. Bxg7+ $1 Kxg7 26. Rhg1+ (26. Rdg1+ $5) 26... Kxh7 27. Qxc6 Qxb4+ 28. Kc1 Qa3+ 29. Kb1 Qb4+ $11) 21... Rxf7 22. Be3 $13 {This position is difficult for both players, as both sides has their weaknesses to take care of.} Kh8 (22... Rxf3 23. Be6+ Kh8 24. Rhg1 { [%cal Yd2g2] seems a little dangerous for Black.}) 23. Rhg1 Nb6 24. Be6 (24. Bxb6 {seems safer, eliminating the dangerous knight:} Rxb6 25. Be6 Rf4 (25... Rxf3 26. Rxg7 $1 Kxg7 27. Rg1+ Kh8 28. Qg2 $18 {[%csl Gg7,Gg8]}) 26. h5 { and this position seems even, as it's probably very difficult to make progress with either side.}) 24... Nc4 25. Qe2 Rf6 ({The engine indicates the unexpected } 25... Qf8 $1 {as the best option, which would be very annoying for White} 26. Bxf7 (26. Bxc4 bxc4 27. Qxc4 d5 $1 {[%csl Rb4][%cal Yb8b4]} 28. Qxc6 d4 $1 $19) (26. Nd5 Bxd5 27. Bxd5 Nxe3 28. Qxe3 Rxf3 $15) 26... Qxf7 $17 {[%csl Rb1] there are many options for White here, but it's clear that Black has a good compensation, because now his kingside is well defended and the attacking options on the queenside remain attractive.}) 26. Bxc4 bxc4 27. Qxc4 Qa5 $6 ( 27... Rxf3 28. Qxc6 Rxe3 29. Qc4 $1 Rc8 30. Qf7 Bf6 31. Nd5 Rxe4 32. h5 $1 { [%cal Gh5h6]} Rh4 $1 (32... h6 33. Rg6) 33. Rh1 Rxh1 34. Rxh1 h6 35. Rf1 Bg5 $13) 28. Kc1 {In general, such positions are very difficult to calculate, so White makes the practical decision to refuse Black's piece sacrifice.} ({ However,} 28. Qxc6 $1 {could have been played} Qxb4+ (28... d5 29. Qe8+ $1 { maybe this was the resource missed by both players} Rf8 30. Qxe7 Rxb4+ 31. Kc1 Qa3+ 32. Kd2 Rd4+ 33. Bxd4 Qxe7 34. Nxd5 $18 {with too many pieces for the queen}) 29. Kc1 d5 30. Qc7 d4 31. Nd5 Qb2+ 32. Kd2 dxe3+ 33. Ke2 Qb5+ 34. Rd3 { and White is just clearly better, for example} Rb7 $8 35. Qxe5 Bd6 36. Qd4 $16) 28... Qa3+ 29. Kd2 d5 $1 {Black's position becomes very active, but Harikrishna is able to keep things under control.} 30. exd5 $1 (30. Nxd5 Bxd5 31. exd5 Rxf3 32. Bc5 Bxc5 33. Qxc5 Rf4 $36 {[%csl Rd2] this position can be dangerous to play with White, because his king is more exposed.}) 30... Bxb4 ( 30... Rxb4 31. Qa2 $1 {is a nice resource} Qxa2 32. Nxa2 Ra4 33. Nc3 $18 { [%csl Ra4,Rc6]}) 31. dxc6 Bxc3+ 32. Ke2 (32. Qxc3 $4 Rd6+ $19) 32... Bd4 $1 33. Rd3 Qa8 34. Rxd4 $1 {Again the best idea.} ({instead,} 34. Bxd4 exd4 35. c7 Re8+ 36. Kf2 Rc6 {is dangerous for White, as now he is the side with a more exposed king to queen+rook attacks.}) 34... exd4 35. Bxd4 Re8+ 36. Kf2 Qxc6 { The best practical decision, liquidating this very interesting battle into a rook endgame with a pawn down, but a drawish one.} (36... Rg6 $2 {is easy to see that keeping the material is a bad deal for Black} 37. Rxg6 hxg6 38. Qf7 Rg8 39. Qxg6 $18) 37. Qxc6 Rxc6 38. Rxg7 Rxc2+ 39. Kg3 Rc4 40. Rg4+ Rxd4 41. Rxd4 {I'm not totally sure about this endgame, but if without the h-pawn for Black it's a draw, so this one should be also.} Kg7 42. Kg4 Re1 43. Rd7+ Kh6 44. Rd6+ Kg7 45. f4 Rg1+ 46. Kf5 h5 $11 {[%csl Gh4][%cal Yg1g4]} 47. Rd7+ Kg8 48. Ke6 Rg6+ 49. Ke5 Rg4 50. f5 Rxh4 51. Rd8+ Kf7 1/2-1/2 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.10"] [Round "5"] [White "Hou, Yifan"] [Black "Rapport, Richard"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C55"] [WhiteElo "2666"] [BlackElo "2694"] [Annotator "Roiz,M"] [PlyCount "88"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 e5 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 h6 5. O-O d6 6. c3 g6 {Richard chooses a somewhat risky, but less explored setup.} 7. Re1 ({More energetic is} 7. d4 $1 Qe7 (7... Bg7 8. dxe5 dxe5 9. Qxd8+ Nxd8 10. Nxe5 $16) 8. Re1 Bg7 9. Nbd2 O-O 10. h3 Kh8 11. a4 Bd7 12. a5 a6 13. Bd3 Rae8 14. Nf1 $14 {Radjabov,T - Amin,B Doha QAT 2016}) 7... Bg7 8. h3 O-O 9. d4 {Now, when Black's development is almost completed, this advance is less promising for White.} Nd7 $146 { Transferring the knight to b6 is an interesting idea, but it yields White time for consolidating the centre.} ({But} 9... Nxe4 $6 {is dubious:} 10. dxe5 Ng5 11. Bxg5 hxg5 12. e6 $16 {Andriasian,Z - Lomsadze,D Jermuk ARM 2012}) ({ However,} 9... exd4 {is safer:} 10. cxd4 d5 11. exd5 Ne7 12. Nc3 Nexd5 13. Ne5 c6 $11 {Antipov,M - Marholev,D Marianske Lazne CZE 2009}) 10. Na3 (10. Be3 $5 { looked somewhat provocative, but inviting the knight to c4 is a typical idea in the Ruy Lopez. The play might continue:} Nb6 11. Bb3 Na5 12. Bc2 Nac4 13. Bc1 exd4 14. cxd4 c5 15. b3 cxd4 (15... Na5 16. Be3 $14) 16. bxc4 d3 17. Qxd3 Bxa1 18. Nc3 $36 {and White's initiative more than compensates for the exchange.}) 10... Nb6 11. Bb5 ({Another natural retreat -} 11. Bb3 Re8 { would more or less force White to release the tension in the centre, and after} 12. dxe5 Nxe5 13. Nxe5 Rxe5 14. Bf4 Re8 {Black is close to equalising.}) 11... Bd7 12. Be3 $6 {Losing control over the e4-pawn could have invited some troubles.} ({Instead, Hou Yifan should have played} 12. dxe5 Nxe5 13. Nxe5 dxe5 14. Bxd7 Nxd7 15. Be3 Qe7 16. Qb3 $14 {putting Black under some positional pressure.}) 12... Kh7 $6 {Richard is returning the favour.} ({A stronger move was} 12... f5 $1 13. Qb3+ Kh7 14. exf5 gxf5 15. dxe5 dxe5 {and the potential play along the g-file might cause White definite problems.}) 13. dxe5 dxe5 14. Nc4 Qe7 ({A more accurate try was} 14... Nxc4 15. Bxc4 Na5 16. Bd3 b6 17. Qe2 Qe7 $11) 15. a4 Rad8 16. Qe2 {In the resulting position with a symmetrical pawn structure White's chances are preferable due to better coordination between the pieces.} Nxc4 17. Qxc4 Qf6 18. Bxc6 {This ''greedy'' decision changes the favourable course of game.} ({It was better to maintain the tension by means of} 18. Qe2 a6 19. Bc4 Be6 20. b4 $14 {and Black is doomed to a passive defence.}) 18... Qxc6 19. Qxc6 Bxc6 20. Bxa7 Rg8 $1 {It looks like this strong move was underestimated by Hou Yifan. It turns out that Black is able to push f7-f5 and activate both of his bishops.} 21. a5 (21. Bc5 b6 22. Bb4 f5 23. a5 Bxe4 24. axb6 cxb6 25. Ra7 Rge8 26. c4 Kg8 27. Bc3 Bf6 $11) 21... f5 22. exf5 gxf5 {Now most of Black's pieces are very active.} 23. Red1 $2 { White cannot afford such a passive move.} ({In the event of} 23. Nxe5 Bxe5 24. Rxe5 Rxg2+ 25. Kf1 Rd2 26. Re7+ Kg8 27. Rxc7 Rg6 $11 {Black would obtain enough counterplay for a draw, but White had no reason for rejecting it.}) 23... Ra8 ({Another move which was good enough was} 23... Rxd1+ $1 24. Rxd1 Bf6 25. Ne1 Ra8 26. Bc5 Rxa5 $17 {achieving a big positional advantage.}) 24. Be3 f4 25. Bd2 {A sad necessity - this is the only way to avoid a loss of material. } Bf6 $1 {Now Black's pieces are dominating over the board.} ({Richard correctly rejected} 25... e4 26. Ne1 Be5 27. c4 $1 Bxb2 28. Bxf4 Bxa1 29. Rxa1 $15 {and Black's material advantage doesn't guarantee anything yet.}) 26. Ne1 Rg7 $2 {This inaccurate move could have spoiled all the advantage!} ({The correct way was} 26... Bxg2 27. Nxg2 f3 28. Be3 Rxg2+ 29. Kh1 Kg6 30. Rg1 Rxg1+ 31. Kxg1 Kf5 $17 {and the activity of Black's king might become a decisive factor.}) 27. c4 Rag8 ({In comparison to the above-mentioned note, now it's too late for} 27... Bxg2 28. Nxg2 f3 29. Kh1 Rxg2 30. Bc3 $1 Rag8 (30... Kg6 31. Rg1 Rxg1+ 32. Kxg1 e4 33. Bxf6 Kxf6 34. b4 Ke5 35. Rd1 $11) 31. b4 $1 Bh4 32. Bxe5 Bxf2 33. Rd7+ Kg6 34. Bxc7 Kf5 35. Rf7+ Ke4 36. Rf4+ Ke3 37. Ra3+ Ke2 38. Ra2+ Kf1 39. Ra1+ Be1 40. Rxf3+ Ke2 41. Rxe1+ Kxf3 42. Rc1 $11) 28. Kf1 $2 {A decisive mistake.} (28. a6 $1 {White has missed a golden opportunity of activating the pieces and saving half a point:} Bxg2 29. Nxg2 Rxg2+ 30. Kh1 bxa6 31. Rxa6 Bh4 32. Bc3 Bxf2 33. Bxe5 Rg1+ 34. Rxg1 Rxg1+ 35. Kh2 f3 36. Rf6 $11) 28... Bxg2+ 29. Nxg2 f3 $1 ({Of course, not} 29... Rxg2 $2 30. Ke2 Bh4 31. Rf1 {and White's king is extremely safe.}) 30. Be3 e4 $1 {The last precise move.} (30... Rxg2 31. Ke1 Kg6 32. Kd2 e4 33. a6 bxa6 34. Rxa6 Rd8+ 35. Kc2 Rxd1 36. Kxd1 Kf7 {was also winning, but the text is more convincing.}) 31. Ra3 Be5 (31... Bxb2 {was also good enough:} 32. Rb3 Be5 33. Rxb7 Kh8 $19) 32. Rb3 c6 {GM Rapport reasonably doesn't hurry.} 33. Bd4 fxg2+ 34. Kg1 Rd8 $19 { The rest is easy.} 35. Rbd3 Rgd7 36. Bxe5 Rxd3 37. Re1 Rg8 38. h4 Rh3 39. Bh2 Rxh4 40. Rd1 Rg7 41. b4 e3 42. fxe3 Rxc4 43. Be5 Rgg4 44. Bd6 h5 0-1 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.10"] [Round "5"] [White "Inarkiev, Ernesto"] [Black "Salem, AR Saleh"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2707"] [BlackElo "2638"] [Annotator "Quintiliano,R"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. f3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. Be3 h5 9. Qd2 Nbd7 10. Nd5 Nxd5 {This option is much less played than 10...Bxd5, but the fact that Inarkiev has a good score in that line could have influenced Salem in his choice.} (10... Bxd5 11. exd5 {is the main line, as the knight seems more useful to play against White's pawns advancing on queenside.}) 11. exd5 Bf5 {The thing is that here White has a clear plan to follow, pushing his queenside pawns to grab space or create a passed pawn. This is the straightforward plan, but in this game Inarkiev shows a different approach for White.} 12. Be2 Rc8 {This move was used once by Nakamura to beat Caruana.} ( 12... Be7 {is the most played, in general White follows the same plan} 13. O-O O-O 14. Na5 Qc7 15. c4 {[%cal Yb2b4]}) 13. c4 ({That game went} 13. Rc1 Qh4+ $5 {a good move to force weaknesses in White's camp} 14. g3 Qf6 15. O-O Be7 (15... h4 $2 16. g4 Bh7 17. Bg5 Qg6 18. Bd3 $18 {[%csl Rg6]}) 16. Na5 $1 {[%csl Yb7] [%cal Gc2c4,Gb2b4] A typical manouevre in this variation, On a5 the knight exerts pressure on b7 and frees the path for the b-pawn in order to play c4-b4. } Rc7 17. Bd3 O-O 18. c4 Bxd3 19. Qxd3 Re8 20. b4 Bf8 {Caruana,F (2774) -Nakamura,H (2784) Moscow Tal Memorial 8th 2013 (4) 0-1} 21. Nb3 {[%cal Yc4c5]} Rec8 22. a4 $14 {and White has the easier game.}) 13... Qh4+ $5 14. g3 $146 ( 14. Bf2 Qf6 15. O-O Be7 16. Na5 Rc7 17. b4 Qg6 {[%cal Yf5h3]} 18. Be3 O-O 19. Rac1 e4 20. f4 Bh3 21. Bd1 h4 $2 22. c5 $36 {Yagupov,I (2372)-Pulpan,J (2368) 28th Czech Open E 2017 (7.5) 1-0}) 14... Qf6 {[%cal Gh5h4] Black hopes to exploit White's last move in his favour with h4-ideas.} 15. Na5 Rc7 16. O-O-O $5 {This is an unexpected but very interesting move, which shows White's agressive ideas. At first sight, the white king seems to be in a dangerous position, but it's not easy to see how Black can exploit this. Besides, White has now finished his development and is ready for active actions.} Be7 ({ for example} 16... b5 $2 17. Nc6 $16 {[%cal Yd2a5]}) 17. Rhf1 $1 {[%cal Yg3g4] As said, White has mobilised all his forces quickly and is now looking for concrete ideas.} Qg6 18. b3 {A good move, giving the b2-square for his king.} O-O ({Knowing the game's continuation} 18... e4 $1 {seems to be better:} 19. fxe4 (19. g4 $2 hxg4 20. fxg4 Bxg4 21. Rg1 Ne5 $17) (19. f4 Nc5 {[%cal Yc5d3]}) 19... Bxe4 {and as Black is playing moves like ...Ne5 or ...Bf6 soon, there's nothing better than} 20. Bd3 Bxd3 21. Qxd3 Qxd3 22. Rxd3 Bf6 $11) 19. h4 $1 { A very nice idea, which puts Black face to face with a challenge, and Salem is not the kind of player who refuses a good fight...} (19. g4 hxg4 20. fxg4 Be4 { seems ok for Black.}) 19... Qxg3 $2 {But now Black's position becomes very dangerous, as White can develop the initiative while gaining time.} (19... e4 $1 {looks like the better option again, but Black needs to play precisely after } 20. g4 $1 hxg4 21. h5 $1 Qf6 $1 {[%csl Ra1]} (21... Qxh5 22. Rh1 Qg6 23. fxg4 Bxg4 24. Bxg4 Qxg4 25. Qh2 f5 26. Rdg1 $18) 22. Bd4 Qh4 (22... Qg5 23. fxg4 Qxd2+ 24. Kxd2 Bh7 25. b4 $14) 23. Rh1 Qg5 24. fxg4 Bh7 (24... Qxd2+ 25. Kxd2 Bh7 26. b4 $14) 25. Qxg5 Bxg5+ 26. Kb2 Re8 27. b4 Nf6 $132 {[%cal Ye4e3,Gf6e4]} ) (19... Rfc8 20. Rg1 Nf6 21. Bg5 $36 {[%cal Yg3g4]}) 20. Rg1 {Inarkiev sacrifices two pawns, but in return obtains a promissing attack and the open h-file.} Qxh4 21. Rh1 Qf6 22. Rxh5 $40 Bg6 (22... e4 {now seems dangerous} 23. Bd4 Ne5 24. Rdh1 g5 $8 (24... g6 $2 25. Rh8+ Qxh8 26. Rxh8+ Kxh8 27. Bxe5+ dxe5 28. d6 $18) 25. Rh6 Bg6 26. fxe4 Qf4 {Black is able to exchange queens but his position remains difficult after} 27. Qxf4 gxf4 28. Bh5 $1 Bg5 29. Bxg6 Bxh6 30. Bxe5 fxg6 (30... dxe5 31. Bf5 Kg7 32. d6 Rc5 33. Nxb7 $18 {[%csl Yc4,Yd6] [%cal Yd6d8]}) 31. Bxd6 f3+ 32. Kd1 $16) (22... g6 23. Rg1 {[%cal Ye3g5]} Re8 24. Bg5 Qg7 25. Bxe7 $18 {[%cal Gh5f5]}) 23. Rh2 Qf5 $1 {Using mating threats along the diagonal, Black manages to close the h-file using his pieces.} 24. Kb2 Nf6 25. Rdh1 Nh7 26. Bd1 $1 {[%cal Yd1c2] This nice manoeuvre shakes Black's defensive setup.} Bf6 (26... Qb1+ 27. Ka3 Qf5 28. Qc3 $1 {[%cal Yd1c2] renewing the threat} Bf6 29. Bc2 e4 30. Qd2 {transposes to the game.}) 27. Bc2 e4+ 28. Ka3 Qxf3 {Black's position is already quite difficult.} 29. Bd1 Qg3 ( 29... Qf5 30. Bh5 $18) 30. Rh3 {Increasing the pressure along the h-file.} Qe5 31. Bf4 Qf5 32. Qh2 {[%cal Yd1h5] Bh5 is coming and it seems pretty difficult for Black to avoid material losses.} Rd8 (32... Be5 33. Bxe5 Qxe5 34. Rxh7 $18) 33. Bh5 b6 $1 {The best chance.} 34. Bxg6 (34. Nc6 $2 Rxc6 $1 {[%cal Gf5a5]}) 34... fxg6 35. Rxh7 Kf7 $5 {As the knight cannot go to c6 (36.Nc6? Rxc6! 37. dxc6 Qa5#), Black tries to gain a tempo avoiding Rh8 with check.} (35... bxa5 36. Rf1 $1 Kf7 37. Qh1 $1 $18 {[%cal Yf4h6]}) 36. Bh6 $6 {But now Black has chances, although his position is very difficult.} (36. Rf1 $1 bxa5 37. Qh1 $1 {[%cal Gf4d6,Gf4h6] was a nice way to finish} Qd7 38. Bg5 {and Black is totally lost.}) 36... Rg8 37. Qg2 bxa5 $2 {This makes things easier for White.} (37... g5 $3 {[%csl Ya5,Yh6][%cal Gf5h7] was the amazing resource, and suddenly three white pieces are hanging!} 38. Bxg7 (38. Bxg5 Qxg5 39. Qxg5 Bxg5 40. Nc6 Bf6 {this endgame seems even better for Black}) (38. Rxg7+ Rxg7 39. Rf1 Qe5 $17) 38... Rxg7 39. R7h6 {[%cal Yh1f1]} Rg6 40. Rh7+ Rg7 41. R7h6 $11) 38. Rf1 {Now Black is totally lost again.} Qe5 39. Bg5 {[%cal Yf1f8,Yh7c7] Too many pins!} Qf5 40. Bxf6 Kxf6 41. Rhh1 Re7 42. Rhg1 Ke5 43. Qg3+ {Despite one inacurracy at the end, when Black had an amazing defensive resource, I think it was a great attacking game by Inarkiev, with an interesting example of how to open lines towards the black king in this variation.} 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.12"] [Round "6"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Harikrishna, Penteala"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2809"] [BlackElo "2737"] [Annotator "Roiz,M"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nb6 7. O-O Be7 8. d3 O-O 9. Be3 Be6 10. Rc1 f5 {This is one of most ambitious ways of handling the position - Black is aiming to prove that White's dark-squared bishop is somewhat vulnerable.} ({Another common continuation -} 10... Nd5 {had been seen in the practice of both players previously:} 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12. Qa4 (12. Nd2 $2 Bxg2 13. Kxg2 Qd5+ 14. Kg1 Qxa2 $17 {Nakamura,H (2787)-Harikrishna,P (2763) chess.com INT 2016}) 12... Re8 13. Rfd1 a6 14. a3 Bf6 15. Nd2 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 Nd4 17. Bxd4 exd4 18. Ne4 c6 $11 {1/2 (46) Aronian,L (2784)-Topalov,V (2754) Stavanger NOR 2016}) 11. a3 Kh8 {This prophylactic move can be automatically made in various English positions (reversed Sicilian!).} ({ The aggressive} 11... f4 {exposes the key e4-spot, and that might invite trouble. For instance,} 12. Bd2 Qd7 13. Ne4 Rf5 14. b4 fxg3 15. Nxg3 Rff8 16. b5 $16 {1-0 (31) Wang Yue (2723)-Mamedyarov,S (2757) Beijing CHN 2013}) ({ The following game also illustrates well how effective White's initiative on the q-side might be:} 11... Bf6 12. Nd2 Kh8 13. b4 Rb8 14. Bc5 Ne7 15. b5 $36 { 1-0 (43) Kamsky,G (2741)-Svidler,P (2769) Thessaloniki GRE 2013}) 12. b4 a6 13. Re1 $146 {This move looks somewhat mysterious, but its main idea was justified in the game!} ({The previously played} 13. Bc5 Bg8 14. e3 Bxc5 15. bxc5 Nd5 16. Qd2 Qe7 17. Ne2 Rab8 18. Nh4 Qf6 $132 {Caruana,F (2791) - Giri,A (2752) Stavanger NOR 2014 led to a balanced play.}) 13... Qe8 {Pentala is intending to place his queen on the kingside, so White's king might be under some pressure.} ({Another possibility was} 13... Nd5 $5 14. Nxd5 Bxd5 15. Bc5 Bd6 16. e4 (16. Qc2 f4 17. Nd2 Bxg2 18. Kxg2 Qd7 $132) 16... fxe4 17. dxe4 Be6 $11) 14. Qd2 Bd6 $6 {This natural move locks the d-file and allows White to seize the initiative.} ({More to the point was} 14... Rd8 15. Bxb6 cxb6 16. Qe3 Bf6 17. Qxb6 Qe7 18. Qe3 Bg8 $44 {and Black's bishops provide decent compensation for a pawn.}) 15. Bxb6 $1 cxb6 16. d4 {Levon doesn't miss the chance! Now Black has serious problems to solve.} exd4 $6 ({In the following short line White benefits from having the rook on the e-file:} 16... e4 17. d5 $1 exf3 18. exf3 {and Black's position collapses.}) ({The same can be said about} 16... Rd8 17. d5 Bb8 18. e4 fxe4 19. Rxe4 Bf5 20. Re3 Bg4 $14 {even though here White's advantage isn't that big. Indeed, it was the lesser evil!}) 17. Nxd4 Rd8 (17... Be5 {was hardly any better:} 18. Nxc6 bxc6 19. Qe3 Bc7 20. Nd5 Bxd5 21. Qxe8 Raxe8 22. Bxd5 $16 {- Even though there are bishops of different colours, the endgame is very difficult for Black.}) 18. Nxe6 Qxe6 19. Qa2 Qh6 {Pentala is aiming to complicate matters.} ({The alternative -} 19... Qxa2 20. Nxa2 Rc8 21. Red1 Rfd8 22. e3 {would lead to an unpleasant endgame, where White's light-squared bishop is extremely powerful.}) 20. f4 $2 {Luckily for GM Harikrishna, Levon loses all sense of danger...} ({Instead, the natural} 20. e3 $1 g5 21. Nd5 b5 22. f4 gxf4 23. Nxf4 $16 {would secure White a big positional advantage.}) 20... a5 21. b5 Bc5+ {That's the point! The vulnerablity of the dark squares in White's camp starts to tell now.} 22. e3 $2 {Alas, Levon fails to cope with a sudden change of course!} ({He had to play} 22. Kh1 Bf2 23. bxc6 Bxg3 24. h3 Bxe1 ({Perhaps, a stronger try is} 24... bxc6 25. Red1 Bxf4 26. e3 Bxe3 27. Rxd8 Rxd8 {obtaining 4 pawns for a piece. However, even in this event after} 28. Rd1 Rxd1+ 29. Nxd1 Bc5 30. Qf7 {White is OK}) 25. c7 $1 Rc8 26. Rxe1 Rxc7 27. Nd5 {White would be able to maintain the balance, at the least.}) 22... Ne5 $1 {Now Black has too many threats!} 23. Rcd1 (23. Nd5 Nd3 24. Rcd1 Nxe1 25. Rxe1 Rd6 $19) 23... Ng4 24. h3 Nxe3 ({There was the even simpler} 24... Bxe3+ 25. Kf1 Nh2+ 26. Ke2 Bxf4 $1 27. gxf4 (27. Rxd8 Rxd8 28. gxf4 Qh5+ 29. Ke3 Qh4 $19) 27... Rfe8+ 28. Kf2 Qh4+ $19) 25. Rxd8 Rxd8 26. Kh2 g5 { This aggressive choice makes Black's task tougher.} (26... Qd6 27. Qe2 Nxg2 28. Qxg2 (28. Kxg2 Bxa3 29. Rd1 Qe7 $19) 28... Bxa3 29. Rd1 Qe7 30. Rxd8+ Qxd8 31. Qxb7 g6 $19) 27. fxg5 Qxg5 28. Qe6 ({A more stubborn try was} 28. Nd5 Nxd5 29. Bxd5 f4 30. Qa1+ Qg7 31. Qxg7+ Kxg7 32. Rd1 fxg3+ 33. Kxg3 Bxa3 {- the resulting edngame is winning for Black, but the task is still not trivial.}) 28... f4 29. Ne4 Qg7 30. g4 Nc2 {This move doesn't spoil anything,} ({but White would immediately resign after} 30... Nxg2 31. Kxg2 Qb2+ 32. Kh1 f3 $19) 31. Rf1 Nd4 32. Qf6 Qxf6 33. Nxf6 Bxa3 34. Bxb7 Bd6 {Eventually the a-passer easily decides the game.} 35. h4 a4 36. g5 a3 37. Kh3 Be5 38. Kg4 Nc2 0-1 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.12"] [Round "6"] [White "Li, Chao B"] [Black "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E12"] [WhiteElo "2735"] [BlackElo "2739"] [Annotator "Krasenkow,M"] [PlyCount "69"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. a3 Bb7 5. Nc3 d5 6. Qc2 {This order of moves is mostly used to prevent} (6. cxd5 Nxd5 7. Qc2 Nxc3) 6... dxc4 {A principled reply.} ({In the event of} 6... Nbd7 {White is ready to continue} 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Nxd5 ({or} 8. Bg5)) ({or} 6... Be7 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Nxd5 {etc.}) 7. e4 c5 8. Bf4 $5 $146 {[%cal Rc3b5][%mdl 8] A surprising novelty at such an early stage.} (8. d5 {has been played in dozens of games. A classic example:} exd5 9. exd5 Bd6 10. Bxc4 O-O 11. O-O h6 12. Re1 a6 13. a4 Nbd7 14. b3 Qc7 15. h3 Ne5 16. Nh4 Rfe8 17. Bb2 Qd7 18. Re2 Rad8 $11 {1/2 (38) Lautier,J (2645)-Karpov,A (2775) Groningen 1995}) (8. dxc5 {is quite harmless. A recent correspondence game:} Bxc5 9. Bxc4 Nbd7 10. O-O Qc7 11. Bd3 a6 12. Bg5 Ng4 13. Qe2 h6 14. Bh4 Bd6 15. Bg3 Bxg3 16. hxg3 Qc5 $11 {1/2 (23) Vodicka,M (1889)-Hatsek,W (1925) Lechenicher SchachServer 2013}) 8... a6 $1 (8... cxd4 9. Nb5 Bxe4 (9... Bc5 10. Nc7+ Ke7 11. Qxc4 $14) 10. Qxc4 Bxf3 11. Nc7+ Ke7 12. gxf3 Nd5 13. O-O-O $1 Nxc7 14. Bxc7 {leads to a complicated position, in which White's development advantage and Black's "centralised" king are more important than Black's extra pawn.}) 9. Bxc4 b5 10. Bb3 cxd4 11. Rd1 Qb6 $6 (11... Nc6 $142 $1 12. O-O Rc8 { , and White must prove his compensation for the pawn.}) 12. Nxd4 Bc5 13. Nf3 Nbd7 $6 (13... Nc6 $142 14. e5 (14. O-O Nd4 $5) 14... Nh5 15. Bg5 Nd4 (15... h6 $143 16. Ne4 $1) 16. Nxd4 Bxd4 17. Qd2 h6 $1 18. Be3 Bxe3 19. fxe3 O-O $13) 14. O-O Rc8 {And now it is not easy for Black to complete his development.} (14... O-O $6 {runs into} 15. e5 $1 Bxf3 16. gxf3 Nh5 17. Rxd7 Nxf4 18. Ne4 Rac8 19. Ng5 Ng6 (19... g6 20. Qd2 $16) 20. Rxf7 $1 Rxf7 21. Bxe6 Rcc7 22. Rd1 $16) 15. Qe2 Qc6 $2 (15... O-O {is relatively better but Black is in trouble anyway:} 16. e5 Nh5 17. Be3 {[%cal Rd1d7,Rg2g4,Yd1d6,Yf3g5]} Qc6 18. Bc2 $1 $16) 16. Bd5 $1 {Black probably saw this move but underestimated its consequences.} Qb6 17. Bxb7 Qxb7 18. e5 Ng4 {[%csl Rg4] This knight will become Black's headache but he had little choice:} (18... Nh5 19. Bc1 {[%cal Rg2g4,Yc3e4]}) 19. Ne4 Be7 20. Nd6+ Bxd6 21. Rxd6 Nc5 22. Nd2 (22. h3 Nh6 23. Bxh6 gxh6 24. Rfd1 {was good enough, too. However, Black can't parry the h2-h3 threat anyway.}) 22... h5 23. b4 Na4 24. Ne4 O-O 25. h3 Rc4 26. Re1 $18 f5 27. exf6 Nxf6 28. Nxf6+ Rxf6 29. Rd8+ Rf8 30. Qxe6+ Qf7 31. Rxf8+ Kxf8 32. Qd6+ Kg8 33. g3 Nc3 34. Re7 Qf5 35. Be5 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.12"] [Round "6"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Inarkiev, Ernesto"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C87"] [WhiteElo "2742"] [BlackElo "2707"] [Annotator "Mekhitarian,K"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 $5 {I have played many games in this system, and I think it's a great way to play more flexibly against the Ruy Lopez, without entering forced lines with the standard 6.Re1.} d6 (6... b5 {is the most common reply} 7. Bb3 d6 8. a4 {is the move I have always liked, trying to play c3-Bc2 quickly, without allowing Na5-c5 (which Black may still play, but he needs to take some care)} (8. a3 {but this is the current fashion, with numerous games, and a very important recent one} O-O 9. Nc3 {Here Black has played seven different moves in high-level games! just to show how rich the position is} Nb8 10. Ne2 Nbd7 11. c3 Bb7 12. Ng3 c5 13. Re1 Rc8 14. Nf5 c4 15. dxc4 Bxe4 16. Nxe7+ Qxe7 17. cxb5 axb5 18. Bg5 Nc5 19. Ba2 h6 20. Bh4 g5 21. Bg3 Bh7 22. Qe2 Kg7 23. Rad1 Nfe4 24. Rd5 f5 25. Rxe5 $1 { a very creative approach by the ex-world champion. He ended up winning the game on the 42nd move} dxe5 26. Bxe5+ Nf6 27. Qxb5 $40 {1-0 (42) Kramnik,V (2811)-Harikrishna,P (2755) Shamkir 2017}) 8... Bd7 9. c3 Na5 (9... O-O 10. Bc2 $1 {stopping Na5-c5, is the main idea. We will get a position very similar to this current game} Re8 11. Nbd2 Bf8 12. Re1 b4 13. a5 g6 14. Bb3 Be6 15. Ba4 Bd7 16. Nf1 $13 {1/2-1/2 (116) Caruana,F (2794)-Svidler, P (2757) Moscow 2016, with interesting play.}) 10. Bc2 c5 11. d4 Qb8 $1 {an important move to defend the a8-rook - this was played in the 4th round} (11... Qc7 $6 12. axb5 { and Black is forced to take with the bishop to avoid b2-b4} Bxb5 13. Re1 $16) 12. Bg5 h6 13. Bh4 (13. Bxf6 {this move has been tried three times} Bxf6 14. axb5 $6 (14. dxe5 dxe5 15. Qd5 Qc8 $5 (15... Nb7 $5 16. axb5 Be6 17. Qc6+ Bd7 18. Qd5 Be6 19. Qd1 axb5 20. Rxa8 Qxa8 21. Na3 Qa5 (21... b4 $5) 22. Nxb5 $1 Bc4 23. Nd6+ Nxd6 24. Qxd6 Bxf1 25. Kxf1 Qb5+ 26. Ke1 $44 {1-0 (61) Navara,D (2703)-Caruana,F (2779) Rhodes 2013 with good compensation; Navara went on to win the game.}) 16. Nxe5 Be6 17. Qd6 Be7 $6 (17... b4 $1 $44) 18. Qd1 Qc7 19. axb5 axb5 20. Nf3 O-O 21. Nbd2 $16 {1-0 (59) Khairullin,I (2629)-Gustafsson,J (2629) Bangkok 2016 and White slowly consolidated.}) 14... axb5 15. dxc5 dxc5 16. Qd5 {now it simply fails for White, and Black achieves an advantage} Qc8 17. b4 (17. Nxe5 $2 {now this loses} Be6 18. Qd6 Ra6 $1 $19 {winning the knight, this is the difference}) 17... Be6 18. Qxc5 Qxc5 19. bxc5 Kd7 $1 20. Na3 Kc6 21. Rab1 Rhb8 $17 {0-1 (63) Morozevich,A (2683) -Vitiugov,N (2718) Novi Sad 2016, with a big advantage in the endgame.}) 13... Be6 14. Nbd2 O-O 15. Re1 (15. h3 {also didn't create problems for Black} Rc8 16. Bg3 cxd4 17. cxd4 Nh5 $1 18. Bh2 Nf4 19. axb5 axb5 20. Bxf4 exf4 21. Bd3 Nc4 22. Qe2 Rxa1 23. Rxa1 Bf6 $132 {1/2-1/2 (39) Ponomariov,R (2742)-Caruana,F (2774) Thessaloniki 2013, and Caruana found enough counterplay.}) 15... cxd4 16. cxd4 Rc8 17. h3 Nc6 $1 {after major simplifications, equality prevailed} 18. axb5 axb5 19. Rxa8 Qxa8 20. Bxf6 Bxf6 21. d5 Nb4 22. dxe6 Nxc2 23. exf7+ Kxf7 $11 { 1/2-1/2 (30) Grischuk,A (2761) -Aronian,L (2809) Geneva SUI 2017}) 7. c3 { allowing him to bring the bishop directly to c2 whenever it's needed.} O-O 8. h3 Re8 9. Re1 Bf8 10. Nbd2 (10. c4 $5 {An original try from the 2016 world title challenger. It has been repeated five times already in practice. The idea is to have harmonious development (Nc3 especially), at the same time avoiding ...b5. Naturally, the d4-square gets weakened, but h3 is very important to avoid ...Bg4} Nd7 11. Be3 Ne7 12. Nc3 c6 13. b4 $1 Ng6 14. Bb3 h6 15. a3 (15. d4 $1 $14 {was a very natural way to claim an advantage}) 15... Nf6 16. Ra2 (16. c5 $5 $14) 16... a5 17. Qb1 Nh5 18. Ne2 Qf6 $36 {1-0 (51) Karjakin,S (2769)-Amin,B (2661) Baku 2016; followed by ...Nhf4. With a couple of imprecise moves, Karjakin handed over the initiative to Black, but ended up winning the game.}) 10... b5 11. Bc2 h6 (11... Bb7 {is a good move that was played against me, and I reacted so poorly that in a few moves I had a bishop locked in on b1!} 12. a4 $5 (12. d4 $1 {transposes to a Zaitsev line, with the correct tempi, because even though White played d3 and d4, he also brought the bishop to c2 (without Bb3)}) 12... h6 13. Nf1 (13. b4 $1 $14 {with the idea of Nb3}) 13... d5 $1 {Black is doing fine already} 14. Qe2 (14. exd5 Nxd5 15. axb5 axb5 16. Rxa8 Qxa8 17. d4 $11 {should lead to massive simplifications}) 14... b4 15. Ng3 (15. a5 $1 $13 {an important move, to avoid my opponent's plan}) 15... Na5 $1 {suddenly I have problems to avoid b3, and cxb4 (although probably necessary), looks ugly as well} 16. Nf5 $2 (16. cxb4 Bxb4 17. Bd2 Bxd2 18. Qxd2 dxe4 19. dxe4 Qxd2 20. Nxd2 Rad8 $36 {and Black has a slight initiative}) 16... b3 17. Bb1 Bc8 18. N3h4 d4 19. cxd4 exd4 $17 {0-1 (42) Mekhitarian,K (2544)-Vajda,L (2617) Albena 2013, and it's clear I lost the game without a chance :).}) 12. a4 b4 13. a5 $1 {A good move to win space on the queenside - not only the weakness on a6 is now fixed, but most importantly, there is no ...Na5 anymore (after ...Rb8 let's say).} Rb8 14. Nc4 g6 $6 { It feels like Black has to play in the centre before White comfortably plays d4.} (14... Bd7 {was the precedent} 15. Bd2 bxc3 16. bxc3 Qc8 17. Nh2 (17. d4 $5 $14 {was more logical and direct, White keeps a small edge always}) 17... Be6 18. Ba4 Qb7 19. Ng4 Nxg4 20. hxg4 Red8 $1 (20... Bxc4 $2 {this is not something White should be worried about, because the light squares become a big problem, and ...d5 will never be played} 21. dxc4 Re6 22. g5 $5 $16) 21. Bc2 d5 22. exd5 Bxd5 23. Ne3 (23. g5 $5 $40) 23... Bb3 (23... Be6 $11) 24. Rb1 Bxc2 25. Qxc2 Qa8 $11 {1-0 (41) Naiditsch,A (2689)-Lenic,L (2625) Reykjavik 2015}) (14... bxc3 15. bxc3 d5 {is a typical reaction in these positions, but White always has something to play for} 16. exd5 Nxd5 (16... Qxd5 $5) 17. Bd2 f6 18. d4 $5 exd4 19. Rxe8 Qxe8 20. Nxd4 Nxd4 21. cxd4 $40 {and White has propects for an attack on the kingside, with a move like Qf3.}) (14... d5 $5 { is also possible.}) 15. Bd2 bxc3 16. bxc3 Bg7 17. d4 $1 $14 exd4 18. cxd4 Nb4 $6 (18... d5 $1 {was good, trying to exchange a pair of rooks or a pair of knights} 19. Nce5 $1 (19. exd5 $6 Rxe1+ 20. Qxe1 Qxd5 $11 {and Black is doing ok}) 19... Nxe5 20. Nxe5 Bb7 21. Ba4 Re6 {looks weird, but whenever White plays exd5, Black is fine} 22. Rb1 $1 Ba8 $1 $13 {with an unclear position} ( 22... Nxe4 $2 23. Nd7 $1 Bxd4 24. Be3 $16)) 19. Bb1 d5 20. Nce5 $1 { Threatening Bxb4 followed by Nc6.} Re6 (20... dxe4 21. Bxb4 Rxb4 (21... exf3 22. Nc6 $18) 22. Ba2 $1 {nice move} (22. Nc6 $2 Qd6 $1 23. Nxb4 exf3 24. Rxe8+ Nxe8 {and Black has amazing compensation} 25. Qe1 {forced, to defend b4 and win a tempo on e8} Nf6 $17) 22... exf3 23. Bxf7+ $40 {with a very strong attack.}) 21. exd5 Nfxd5 22. Qc1 $1 $16 Qf8 23. Be4 {White has a very strong initiative, safer and better placed pieces.} Rb5 (23... f5 $5 {an ugly positional move, but perhaps White's initiative had to be parried somehow} 24. Bxd5 Nxd5 25. Qc4 Rb5 {trying to stabilise with ...Qe8} 26. Rab1 Qe8 27. Rxb5 Qxb5 28. Qa2 {threatening Rb1 with deadly effect} Qb7 29. Rc1 $16 {Black still has problems to coordinate.}) 24. Rb1 c6 (24... f5 {allows a different idea now } 25. Bxb4 $1 Nxb4 26. Bc2 $1 Nxc2 27. Qxc2 Rxb1 28. Rxb1 {and Black remains in deep trouble:} Qd6 29. Qb3 $1 Kh7 30. Rc1 Bd7 31. Qb7 $18) 25. Qc4 Qd6 26. Rb3 $1 {The rook will swing over to the kingside in many lines.} Bf8 27. h4 $5 {Bringing another soldier to the battle, more logical than the unclear 27. Nxf7!?} (27. Nxf7 $5 {shows White's potential on the kingside} Kxf7 28. Ne5+ Kg8 (28... Rxe5 {doesn't help} 29. dxe5 Qe6 30. Rf3+ Kg7 (30... Ke8 31. Bb1 $1 $18 {followed by the devastating Rf6!}) 31. Bxg6 $1 $18 {f8 falls or White wins the queen with Rg3}) 29. Bxg6 Rf6 (29... Rxg6 30. Nxg6 Qxg6 31. Rg3 Qxg3 32. fxg3 $18 {should be equally hopeless, with such an open king}) 30. Rg3 Bg7 31. Be4 {threatening Bxb4 Rxb4 Bxd5+! winning a piece} Be6 32. Qc1 $40 { the attack continues, and should be more than enough since he already has two pawns for the piece.}) 27... c5 $2 {Black's position was already vulnerable with the pawn on c6, now it totally collapses - ...cxd4 is not even a threat, because the c8-bishop is hanging.} (27... Nf6 {The position is difficult anyway, but this was the last chance for Black to try some regrouping; it turns out that the knight on d5 is not ideally placed} 28. Bb1 Qd5 29. Qc3 $1 { threatening Bxh6 and Rxb4} Re8 (29... h5 $2 30. Ng5 Re7 31. Ne4 $16) 30. Bxh6 Be6 31. Rb2 Bxh6 32. Rxb4 $16) 28. h5 $1 $18 g5 29. Bf5 (29. Bxg5 hxg5 30. Nxg5 $18 {was also devastating, followed by Rg3 and taking on f7.}) 29... Ne7 30. dxc5 $1 Rxc5 31. Bxb4 $18 Nxf5 32. Bxc5 Qxc5 33. Qxc5 Bxc5 34. Rc3 {A fine game by Nepo, now at 3.5/6, trailing by half a point the current three leaders: Radjabov, Grischuk and Harikrishna!} 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.12"] [Round "6"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A14"] [WhiteElo "2749"] [BlackElo "2800"] [Annotator "Ftacnik,L"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 b6 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. d4 Bb7 9. Re1 {With the increasing number of top games by strong players in databases the fight for an advantage in any opening position becomes an uphill struggle. Svidler is trying the less usual rook move in order to avoid the well trodden paths of the 9.Bb2 line.} (9. Bb2 Nd7 (9... c5 10. dxc5 Bxc5 11. Nbd2 Nd7 12. a3 N5f6 (12... Rc8 13. Rc1 Be7 14. e4 Rxc1 15. Qxc1 N5f6 16. e5 Nd5 17. Nc4 Qb8 18. Qd2 Rd8 19. b4 Nf8 20. Nd4 Nc7 21. Qe2 Bxg2 22. Kxg2 Qb7+ 23. Qf3 Nd5 $11 {0-1 (67) Gelfand,B (2743)-Aronian,L (2795) Moscow 2016}) 13. b4 Be7 14. Rc1 Rc8 15. Qa4 Rxc1 16. Rxc1 Qa8 17. Rc7 Bd6 18. Rxd7 Bc6 19. b5 Bxd7 20. Bxf6 gxf6 21. Qg4+ Kh8 22. Qd4 Qd5 $11 {0-1 (43) Aronian,L (2792) -Kramnik,V (2801) Zuerich 2016}) 10. Re1 (10. Nbd2 N5f6 11. Qc2 Rc8 12. Rac1 c5 13. Qb1 Rc7 14. dxc5 Rxc5 15. Rxc5 Bxc5 16. b4 Be7 17. a3 Qa8 18. Rc1 Rd8 19. Ne1 Bxg2 20. Nxg2 a5 21. Nf3 axb4 22. axb4 $11 {1/2-1/2 (57) Nakamura,H (2760) -Aronian,L (2815) Beijing 2012}) 10... N5f6 11. Nc3 c5 (11... Bb4 12. Qc2 Bxc3 13. Qxc3 Be4 14. Red1 Qc8 15. Bf1 Nd5 16. Qe1 Bxf3 17. exf3 Qb7 18. Rac1 c6 19. f4 a5 $11 {1/2-1/2 (46) Grischuk,A (2774)-Kramnik,V (2777) Berlin 2015}) (11... Rc8 12. e4 Bb4 13. Qc2 c5 14. Rad1 cxd4 15. Nxd4 Rc5 16. Ndb5 Ba6 17. a3 Bxc3 18. Nxc3 Qc7 19. b4 Rc4 20. Qd2 Rc8 21. e5 Nxe5 22. b5 $18 {1-0 (29) Almasi,Z (2688)-Bruzon Batista,L (2681) Varadero 2016}) 12. e4 cxd4 13. Nxd4 Ne5 (13... Bc5 14. Re2 Qb8 15. Rd2 a6 16. Qe2 Ra7 17. Re1 Ne5 18. Kh1 Qa8 19. f4 Ng6 20. Nc2 $14 {1/2-1/2 (40) Grischuk,A (2750)-Aronian,L (2781) London 2015}) 14. Qe2 Bc5 15. Ncb5 a6 16. Rad1 axb5 17. Nxe6 Qe7 18. Nxf8 Kxf8 19. Bd4 b4 20. f4 Bxd4+ 21. Rxd4 Qc5 $19 {0-1 (24) Giri,A (2782)-So,W (2770) Paris 2016}) 9... c5 10. e4 Nf6 11. Nc3 Nc6 {Mamedyarov is playing very well in mature years and has even reached 2800 level. Thus he is not afraid of complications as compared to the safer line after trading on d4.} (11... cxd4 12. Nxd4 Qc8 13. Bb2 Rd8 14. Rc1 Nc6 15. Nd5 exd5 16. Nxc6 Bxc6 17. Bxf6 dxe4 18. Qh5 Bxf6 19. Bxe4 g6 20. Qe2 Rd6 21. Qf3 $11) 12. d5 (12. e5 Nd5 13. Nxd5 exd5 14. h4 h6 $11 ) 12... exd5 13. e5 $5 (13. exd5 Nb4 14. Bg5 h6 $11) 13... Ne8 {It is much easier to analyse the daring line 13...Ne4!? at home with a computer than to take the risk in a real game.} (13... Ne4 $5 14. Nxd5 Nb4 15. Nxb4 cxb4 16. Ng5 Qxd1 17. Rxd1 Nc3 18. Rd7 Bxg2 19. Kxg2 Rfe8 $11) 14. Nxd5 Nc7 15. Nxe7+ Qxe7 16. Nh4 $1 {Svidler used to be in top 5 in the world and his choice of the best move shows he still has a very good feel for the position.} (16. Ng5 Rad8 17. Qc2 g6 18. Qb2 Ne6 19. Ne4 Nb4 $11) 16... Qe6 17. Bg5 (17. Bb2 $1 Rab8 18. Qe2 $14) 17... h6 18. Bf6 $6 {The desire to use the excess of pieces on the kingside for an attack is very commendable, but it does not work the way the first player would like.} (18. Bc1 Rad8 19. Qh5 Bc8 20. f4 Nd4 21. Bb2 $11) 18... gxf6 19. Qh5 fxe5 (19... Rfe8 20. Qxh6 fxe5 21. Qg5+ Kf8 22. f4 $14) 20. Nf5 Qg6 $6 {[%mdl 256] Black is a very strong tactician, but that does not necessarily make you excellent in defensive tasks. In all honesty it is very tempting to go into a simplifying continuation that is safe and promises chances in an endgame with an extra pawn. The computers insist that objectively the stronger move was 20...Bc8 with prospects for a bigger advanatge.} (20... Bc8 $1 21. Bxc6 (21. g4 Qf6 22. Qxh6 Qxh6 23. Nxh6+ Kg7 24. Bxc6 Kxh6 25. Bxa8 Nxa8 $17) 21... Qxf5 22. Qxh6 f6 23. Re4 Qh7 24. Qxh7+ Kxh7 25. Bxa8 Nxa8 $17) 21. Qxg6+ fxg6 22. Bxc6 gxf5 (22... Rxf5 23. Bxb7 Rd8 24. Re2 Nb5 25. Rae1 $15) 23. Bxb7 Rae8 24. Rad1 {White was a bit lucky to get away from a dangerous adventure with a bishop sacrifice with only a scare. The chances for a successful defence are good as Black has an exposed pawn on the e-file.} Kg7 25. Bc6 Re7 26. h3 {This move might not have been the most accurate, but only engines can criticise it with any confidence. Black will not get far with sensible moves.} (26. Re3 $1 h5 27. Kg2 Rf6 $15) 26... Kf6 ( 26... e4 $1 27. Bd7 Rff7 28. Bc6 Ne6 $17) 27. Rd6+ Re6 28. Red1 e4 29. a4 Rf7 ( 29... h5 30. h4 Rf7 $15) 30. f4 exf3 {A clear sign that Mamedyarov is losing part of his belief in full succes for this game.} (30... h5 31. h4 Rg7 32. Kg2 $15) 31. Bxf3 Rfe7 32. Kf2 Rxd6 (32... Ne8 33. Rd8 $11) 33. Rxd6+ {The position is dangerously close to equality as Black finds it hard to make progress in converting his extra pawn into anything tangible.} Kg7 (33... Ne6 34. h4 f4 35. g4 Rg7 36. Rd5 $11) 34. Be2 Ne6 35. h4 f4 36. g4 (36. gxf4 Nxf4 37. Bc4 Ng6 38. Kg3 $11) 36... Nd4 37. Bc4 Re3 38. Rd7+ Kg6 39. Rd6+ (39. Rxa7 Rf3+ 40. Ke1 Re3+ 41. Kf2 $11) 39... Kg7 40. Rd7+ Kg6 41. Rd6+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.13"] [Round "7"] [White "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A34"] [WhiteElo "2724"] [BlackElo "2739"] [Annotator "Lenderman,A"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] {Today the choice was clear to me, since we had a decisive game on one of the top boards, and also it was a nice, clean game by Radjabov, who is in excellent form in this tournament.} 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 (2... g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 {is another common line for Gr黱feld players, but these days many players don't want to venture here, since White has a lot of additional dangerous options here.}) 3. Nc3 d5 {As far as I know, the most common way for Grünfeld players to play against this White's move order.} (3... g6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 d5 {is also a common way for Gr黱feld players to play, but still, I think White has some pressure here if he knows the line well.} (5... Bg7 6. e4 {leads to a Maroczy Bind Structure, which most Gr黱feld players wouldn't want to play, since this is basically suffering for most of the game, and there aren't as many dynamic options for Black here.})) 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e3 (5. e4 { is also a very common move here, after which Black usually plays ...Nb4 and leads to very sharp positions.} Nb4) 5... Nxc3 {Definitely not the only move here.} (5... e6 {As far as I know this is the most common alternative, which will most likely lead to an IQP (isolated pawn position), where White has the isolated d4-pawn but will have attacking chances.} 6. d4) (5... Nc6 {isn't played as often because of the unpleasant...} 6. Bb5 {After which Black will probably still have to eventually play ...e6, but now he has allowed a slightly annoying pin, and therefore some concessions.}) (5... g6 {is also not as accurate, right away, since here after a strong queen move, disturbing Black's harmony, he has to make some annoying concessions, for example...} 6. Qa4+ $1 {This is already unpleasant for Black.} Bd7 (6... Nc6 7. Bb5 $14) 7. Qb3 $14) 6. dxc3 {And this is the first somewhat surprising move. Almost exclusively White plays bxc3. However, Radjabov, one of the leaders at +2, playing Svidler, who has 3.5/6, half a point behind, decided to put the ball in Black's court to try to create some kind of a battle in a dry position. That,along with the fact that as far as I can tell, Svidler doesn't like positions that are too dry. One game that comes to mind is Karjakin-Svidler from the 2015 World Cup Finals, where Svidler just needed a draw to win the finals, as he had been leading 2-1, but wasn't able to defend a slightly unpleasant but tenable position. This no doubt had an impact on Radjabov's decision to play this kind of a position this round. Needless to say, it paid off big time for him in this game.} Qxd1+ (6... Qc7 {Perhaps this deserves attention. This is already a rare position though.}) 7. Kxd1 Bf5 {This move is designed against a quick e4. It's an interesting option but definitely not the only option.} (7... Nc6 {is an alternative which Nepo tried against Vidit in the last Olympiad. He'd also tried ...b6 the game before against Wang Yue.} 8. e4 b6 9. Kc2 Bb7 10. Bf4 f6 11. Rd1 e5 12. Bc1 (12. Bg3 $5 {Maybe this move here or somewhere earlier was a possible improvement for Radjabov.}) 12... Na5 13. Bb5+ Kf7 14. Rhe1 a6 15. Bc4+ Nxc4 16. Rd7+ Be7 17. Rxb7 Rhb8 18. Rxb8 Rxb8 19. b3 Nd6 20. Nd2 b5 $11 {1/2 (37) Vidit,S (2669)-Nepomniachtchi,I (2740) Baku AZE 2016. Black equalised comfortably and went on to draw without particular problems.}) (7... b6 8. e4 Bb7 9. Bb5+ Bc6 10. a4 a6 11. Bxc6+ Nxc6 12. Kc2 e6 13. Rd1 Be7 14. Bf4 Ra7 15. Nd2 $14 {1/2 (47) Wang Yue (2728) -Nepomniachtchi, I (2719) Moscow RUS 2016. Here White has some pull, in a game which ended up being a draw in 47 moves.}) 8. Nd2 Nc6 9. e4 {So, White got in e4 anyway, but Black's idea was to force White's knight to d2 first, so that White has a harder time developing his bishop on c1.} Be6 {This is according to my database a novelty, and possibly not the best one.} (9... Bd7 {was played by the late Walter Browne all the way back in 1979.} 10. Kc2 O-O-O 11. Nb3 e6 12. Be3 b6 13. Ba6+ Kc7 14. a4 Ne5 15. f3 Bd6 16. Be2 Bc6 17. Nd2 f5 { 1/2 (42) Andersson,U (2560) -Browne,W (2540) Banja Luka 1979; with a complex game, which ended up in a draw in the end. But certainly both sides could probably make subtle improvements before.}) 10. Kc2 g6 (10... O-O-O {This move deserves attention as well, since it stops Bc4 because of ...Rxd2!. However, White has annoying options here as well.} 11. Nb3 (11. Bc4 $4 Rxd2+ $19) (11. Nf3 $5 {is also interesting, trying to induce the move f6 at some point.} f6 12. Be3 b6 13. Ba6+ Kb8 14. Bf4+ Ka8) 11... b6 12. Ba6+ Kb8 13. Bf4+ Ka8 14. Rhd1 Rxd1 15. Rxd1 g6 16. Nd2 Bg7 17. Bc4 Bxc4 18. Nxc4 Rd8 19. Rd5 $14 { White has a slight pull here, but it certainly looks like Black should be able to hold.}) 11. Bc4 Bd7 {Now it's starting to look like Black's strategy didn't work. He's losing too many tempi and White is putting his pieces on decent squares.} (11... Bxc4 12. Nxc4 $14 {is also slightly unpleasant though. White has a plan with Be3 and a4 after ...b6. Black's bishop is a slight problem, in where it's very useful.}) 12. Nb3 b6 13. a4 {An important move, not only thinking about playing a5, but also preparing to play Bb5 after ...Ne5.} Ne5 14. Bb5 a6 $6 {But this move already seems like a real inaccuracy. I don't think it was necessary to create additional weaknesses.} (14... Bg7 15. Bf4 O-O-O {still seems tenable for Black.}) 15. Bxd7+ Nxd7 16. Be3 e6 17. Rhd1 O-O-O 18. Nd2 $16 {Now White already has a serious advantage. White's knight is getting back to c4, its dream square, while Black is tied down to the weakness on b6. In general, the main reason White wanted to swap off the light-squared bishops was because he wanted to have his knight unopposed on c4, where it can't be bothered by Black's bishop, and also sometimes the white knight and bishop are redundant on the light squares.} Be7 19. Nc4 Kb7 20. a5 $1 Rhf8 {The problem for Black is that...} (20... b5 $2 {only makes things worse because of...} 21. Nd6+ Bxd6 22. Rxd6 $18 {and Black is just collapsing here with his weaknesses.}) 21. axb6 Nxb6 22. Na5+ Kc7 23. Bf4+ Bd6 24. Bh6 $1 {A very important decision here. White didn't want to trade off the dark squared bishops since then he would not have enough fire power to really apply maximum pressure on Black's weaknesses.} (24. Rxd6 Rxd6 25. Nb3 (25. Rd1 Nc8 26. Nc4 Rfd8 27. b3 f6 28. Nxd6 Nxd6 {and since the pawn endgame is going to be drawn, Black will be able to untangle himself eventually with ...Kc6, and even though he's worse, he can still fight here.}) 25... c4 26. Nc5 Ra8 27. Nxa6+ Kc6 28. Bxd6 Kxd6 29. Rd1+ Kc6 30. Nb4+ Kc5 {would have won a pawn for White, but Radjabov correctly assessed that in this position Black would have better chances o holding than in the game, since he was able to get his pieces very active and trade off or eliminate his weaknesses just at the cost of a pawn. This is still promising for White but it shows incredible patience not to go for this line, which I'm sure Radjabov saw.}) 24... Rfe8 25. Nb3 { Black still won't be able to avoid material loss in the long run, but here he also keeps his active bishop, while Black's bishop on d6 is quite restricted and can't do much.} Ra8 26. Be3 Nd7 27. Ra5 Kc6 28. Rda1 Kb6 29. R5a4 Rec8 30. Na5 Be7 $6 {Loses in one move, but the position was already probably lost.} ( 30... Kc7 31. Nc4 Be7 {would have prolonged the game, but White should still be winning.} 32. Rxa6 (32. Bf4+ {Though the computer even doesn't want to take the pawn.} Kb7 33. Na5+ Kb6 34. Rd1 Ra7 35. Nc4+ Kc6 36. Ra3 {and due to the deadly threat of Na5+ with a mating attack, Black is already forced to play the pathetic...} e5 37. Bxe5 Nxe5 38. Nxe5+ Kc7 39. Rd7+ Kb8 40. Rb3+ Ka8 41. Rd1 {But this is equivilant to resignation.}) 32... Rxa6 33. Rxa6 {should be enough for a winning advantage.}) 31. Rb4+ {Black resigned since is losing after} (31. Rb4+ Kc7 32. Rb7+ Kd8 33. Rd1 Rc7 34. Nc6+ {and Black will lose at least a piece. A very nice game by Radjabov and this puts him in a commanding position to be able to win this tournament.}) 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.13"] [Round "7"] [White "Riazantsev, Alexander"] [Black "Li, Chao B"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D94"] [WhiteElo "2654"] [BlackElo "2735"] [Annotator "Sumets,A"] [PlyCount "167"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 d5 4. e3 g6 5. Nf3 Bg7 6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O dxc4 8. Bxc4 Bg4 9. h3 Bxf3 10. Qxf3 Nbd7 11. Rd1 e5 {To find more information about this position, see my article in CBM.} 12. d5 e4 $8 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14. Qxe4 Nb6 15. Rb1 (15. Qc2 Nxc4 (15... cxd5 16. Be2 Rc8 17. Qb3 Qc7 18. Bg4 Rcd8 19. Bd2 Nc4 20. Bc3 Na5 21. Qc2 d4 22. exd4 Bxd4 23. Rac1 Bxc3 24. Qxc3 Qxc3 25. Rxc3 Nc6 26. Kf1 $14 {1-0 (67) Svane,R (2570)-Oleksiyenko,M (2643) Sharjah UAE 2017. It is well known that usually R+B are stronger then R+N, but Black shouldn't lose this game.}) 16. Qxc4 cxd5 17. Rxd5 Qb6 18. Qd3 Rad8 (18... Rfd8 19. e4 Bd4 20. Be3 (20. Qf3 $5 Rxd5 21. exd5 Rd8 22. Bf4 Qxb2 23. Rd1 $44) 20... Bxe3 21. fxe3 {1/2 (21) Buhmann,R (2641)-Ragger,M (2686) Vienna AUT 2016}) 19. e4 Bd4 20. Qf3 Rc8 21. a4 Rc2 22. a5 Qb4 23. Bh6 Qxb2 {Black regains the pawn and levels the game.} 24. Rf1 Bg7 25. Be3 b6 26. axb6 axb6 {1/2 (26) Dubov,D (2660)-Sutovsky, E (2650) Poikovsky RUS 2017}) (15. Bb3 cxd5 16. Qf3 Qf6 17. Qxf6 Bxf6 18. Rb1 Rac8 (18... Rfd8 19. Bd2 Nc4 20. Bc3 Kg7 21. Bxf6+ Kxf6 22. Rd4 $14 {Narayanan, S (2536)-Kojima,S (2399) Douglas ENG 2016 1-0 (72)}) 19. Bd2 Rfd8 20. Ba5 d4 21. e4 Rc5 22. Bxb6 axb6 23. Rd3 $14 {Malakhov,V (2694)-Yu,R (2548) China 2014 1-0 (37)}) 15... Qd6 $6 {An interesting continuation, but I'm sure, after this game, Li Chao will not play it again. I don't see if White can get something after 15...Re8 and ...Nxc4.} (15... Re8 16. Qc2 Nxc4 (16... cxd5 17. Bb5 Re6 18. Qb3 Qh4 19. Bd2 Rd8 20. Be2 h5 21. Rbc1 Qa4 22. Rc7 Qxb3 23. axb3 $14 { Barbosa,O (2592)-Burnett,R (2345) Arlington 2014 1/2 (74)}) 17. Qxc4 Re5 (17... Be5 $2 {Probably there is something wrong with the notation and Peter played 17...Re5 instead of 17...Be5} 18. d6 (18. b3 Rc8 19. Bb2 $16) 18... Re6 { 1/2 (18) Banusz,T (2588)-Prohaszka,P (2554) Fano 2013}) 18. e4 (18. d6 { leads to an equal position:} Re6 19. d7 Qc7 20. e4 Rd8 21. Qd3 Re7 22. Bg5 { 1/2 (22) Neuman,P (2470)-Sanders,I (2338) Pardubice 2015}) 18... Qe8 19. Be3 Rxe4 20. Qb3 cxd5 21. Rxd5 b6 {1/2 (21) Martinovic,S (2531) -Sumets,A (2614) Zadar 2013} 22. Rbd1 Rc8 23. Rd7 Re7 $11) 16. Bb3 cxd5 (16... Nxd5 {As you can see, Black is OK after 17.Bxd5 cxd5 18.Rxd5 Qa6 but I don't see a good move for Black after 17.Qf3.} 17. Qf3 $1 (17. Qd3 $5 Qe7 18. Bxd5 cxd5 19. b3 $14) ( 17. Bxd5 cxd5 18. Qxd5 Qa6) 17... Qe7 18. Bxd5 cxd5 19. Rxd5 Rad8 20. b3 Rxd5 21. Qxd5 b6 (21... Rd8 22. Ba3 $1 $16) 22. Bb2 Rd8 23. Ba3 $1 Rxd5 24. Bxe7 Rd2 25. a4 $16) 17. Qd3 $1 $146 {This is a very logical novelty, White wants to finish his development and then he can take on d5. If Black protects his d5-pawn then White can play Bd2, Ba5. As we could learn from the game Malakhov, V-Yu,R China 2014, White doesn't mind playing endgames with opposite coloured bishops. I think that Black should have played 15...Re8 instead of 15...Qd6.} ( {White doesn't have any advantage after} 17. Bxd5 Nxd5 18. Rxd5 Qa6 19. a3 (19. b4 Qxa2 20. Rd2 Qa4 (20... Qa6 $1 21. Bb2 Rfe8 $11) 21. Qxb7 Rad8 22. Qc7 Rc8 23. Qa5 Qxa5 24. bxa5 Bc3 25. Rd7 $14 {1-0 (40) Aleksandrov,A (2612)-Mu,K (2294) New Delhi 2012. Black should make a draw.}) 19... Rad8 $44 20. Qf3 $2 Qe6 $1 21. e4 Rxd5 22. exd5 Qe1+ 23. Kh2 Re8 $1 $17 {Shulman,Y (2617)-Li,C (2669) Ningbo 2011 0-1 (31)}) 17... a5 {It seems to me that Black should include ...a5, a3 or White will play Bd2, Ba5.} (17... Rac8 18. Bd2 Nc4 19. Bc3 Rfd8 20. Bxg7 Kxg7 21. Qd4+ Qf6 22. Qxa7 $16) (17... Qe7 18. Bd2 Rfd8 19. Ba5 d4 20. e4 $16) 18. a3 Qe6 {Black has to choose among many continuations which lead to different difficult positions. It is tough work for everybody.} (18... a4 19. Ba2 Qc6 20. Bd2 Rfd8 21. Bc3 $1 (21. Rbc1 Nc4 22. Bc3 b5 23. Bxg7 Kxg7 24. Qc3+ Qf6 25. Rd4 $14) 21... Bxc3 22. bxc3 Rac8 23. Rb4 $16) 19. Bd2 Rfc8 ({ If Li Chao could use a computer than maybe he would prefer} 19... Rfd8 { with the following line:} 20. Be1 a4 21. Ba2 Rac8 22. Ba5 Rc5 23. Bb4 $1 (23. Qd2 Rdc8 24. Bxb6 Qxb6 25. Bxd5 Rc2 26. Qd3 Bxb2 (26... Rxb2 27. Bxf7+ $16) 27. Be4 Qb3 28. Qxb3 axb3 29. Bxb7 R8c3 30. Bd5 Bxa3 31. Bxb3 $14 {Black should make a draw.}) 23... Rcc8 24. e4 Qxe4 25. Qxe4 dxe4 26. Ba5 Rxd1+ 27. Rxd1 Rc6 28. Rd8+ Bf8 29. Re8 $16 {Black's position is unpleasant.}) 20. Be1 Rc5 21. Ba2 Nc4 22. b4 axb4 23. Bxb4 $16 Rcc8 {Alexander could have chosen among different positions with advantage and I think that he has made the right choice.} 24. Bb3 $1 b5 25. Qxd5 Qxd5 26. Rxd5 Nxa3 27. Bxa3 Rxa3 {It is very difficult to assess correctly White's chances to win the game.} 28. Rd7 $5 ({The computer prefers to take on b5} 28. Rxb5 Ra7 29. g3 Rcc7 {In this case Black would protect the f7-pawn.}) 28... Rf8 29. Rb7 Bc3 30. g4 {It is obvious that sooner or later White will win the f7-pawn, he has 3 pieces, which could attack it and Black has only 2 defenders.} b4 31. h4 h6 32. g5 {I think that White shouldn't hurry playing g5 and f4} (32. Kg2 {I would prefer to put the king on g3 and then play g5.} Kg7 33. Kg3 Ra5 34. Rd1 Ra3 35. Bc4 Be5+ 36. Kg2 $16 { threatening Rdd7 and Rxb4.}) 32... hxg5 33. hxg5 Ra5 34. f4 Bd2 35. Kf2 Rc5 { Black has some counterplay, so the next moves are forced.} 36. Rd1 ({Or} 36. Rb2 Rc3 37. Bxf7+) 36... Rc3 37. Bxf7+ Rxf7 38. Rb8+ Kg7 39. Rxd2 {So, White has won a pawn and there are no more opposite coloured bishops. However now the b4-pawn is more a passed pawn than a weakness. The position which has arisen seems to be drawish.} Re7 40. Re2 (40. Rxb4 Rcxe3 {is a draw.}) 40... b3 41. Rb4 Rd7 42. Kf3 Re7 43. Re1 Rd7 44. Re2 (44. Kg4 Rdc7 45. e4 R7c4 46. Rxc4 Rxc4 {with the following ...Rb4. It leads to a draw.}) 44... Re7 45. Rb6 Kf7 { White doesn't have a way to improve his position, so Black can wait.} 46. Kf2 Kg7 (46... Re6 47. Rb7+ Re7 48. Rb5) 47. e4 {I don't see other plans. White sacrifices the pawn but he trades rooks and his king can penetrate on e5. The computer doesn't like 47.e4 but it doesn't propose any idea, that can help White to win the game.} Rf7 48. Re3 $8 Rxf4+ 49. Kg3 Rxe3+ 50. Kxf4 Rc3 (50... Rd3 51. Ke5 Re3 52. Rb7+ Kg8 53. Rb5 Kf7 54. Rb4 Rf3 55. Rb7+) 51. Rb7+ Kg8 52. Rb5 {Alexander doesn't need to hurry.} Kf7 53. Ke5 Ke7 54. Rb7+ Kd8 55. Kd6 ( 55. Kf6 Rc6+ 56. Ke5 (56. Kg7 $4 Rc7+ $19) 56... Rc3) 55... Kc8 56. Rb4 Rd3+ 57. Ke6 Kc7 58. e5 $1 (58. Kf7 Rd7+ 59. Kxg6 Rd6+ 60. Kf7 Rb6 61. Rxb6 Kxb6 62. g6 b2 63. g7 b1=Q 64. g8=Q Qxe4 $11) 58... Rf3 $6 ({The easiest way to make a draw is} 58... Kc6 59. Kf6 Kc5 60. Rb8 Rf3+ 61. Kxg6 Kd5 62. Rb5+ Kc6 63. Rb4 Kd5 $11) 59. Ke7 Kc6 60. e6 Kd5 61. Kd7 Rd3 62. Rb7 Ke5+ $6 {Objectively the position is still drawish, but it is only mathematics. In practice, in an overwhelming number of cases, White will win the endgame. So 62...Ke5 could be assessed as 'the last mistake, which leads to a lost position'.} (62... Kc5+ $1 {and Black shouldn't use tablebase to prove that the position which has arisen is drawish.} 63. Ke8 (63. Ke7 Kc6 64. Rb8 Kc7 65. Rb4 Kc6 66. Kf7 Rf3+ 67. Ke8 Kc5 68. Rb7 Kc6 69. Rb8 Rh3 70. Kf7 Rf3+ 71. Ke7 Re3 72. Rc8+ Kd5 73. Rd8+ Ke5 74. Rd2 (74. Rb8 Kf5 75. Rb5+ Re5 76. Rxe5+ Kxe5 77. Kf7 b2 78. e7 b1=Q 79. e8=Q+ Kf4 $11) 74... Kf5 75. Kd7 Kxg5 76. e7 Kf5 77. e8=Q Rxe8 78. Kxe8 g5 $11) 63... Kc6 64. Rb8 Rh3 65. Kf7 Rf3+ 66. Kxg6 Kd6 {The strong b3-pawn helps Black to save the game.} 67. Rb6+ Ke7 68. Kh6 Rh3+ 69. Kg7 Rc3 70. g6 Rh3 71. Kg8 Rd3 72. g7 Rf3 $11) 63. Ke7 Kd5 64. Rd7+ Ke4 65. Rxd3 Kxd3 66. Kf6 b2 67. e7 b1=Q 68. e8=Q Kd4 69. Qxg6 {According to the Nalimov tablebases the position is drawish. However, the distance between 'drawish according to the Nalimov tablebase' and draw is huge. I think that it is impossible to play such endgames precisely and if I couldn't look at tablebase I would believe that White's position is winning.} Qb8 70. Qg7 Ke4 71. Qh7+ Kf3 $2 (71... Kd4) (71... Ke3) 72. Qf5+ Kg2 73. Qd5+ Kh3 74. g6 Qf8+ 75. Kg5 Qe7+ 76. Kh6 Qe3+ 77. Kh7 Qe7+ 78. g7 Qh4+ 79. Kg6 Qg3+ 80. Kf6 Qh4+ 81. Kf7 Qf4+ 82. Ke7 Qh4+ 83. Ke8 Qe1+ 84. Kd7 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.14"] [Round "8"] [White "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C95"] [WhiteElo "2761"] [BlackElo "2800"] [Annotator "Lenderman,A"] [PlyCount "117"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] {Today there were many very interesting games, but in the end I chose the draw between Grischuk and Mamedyarov on one of the top boards, since not only it was very critical for the standings, but also it was truly a great battle between two fighting players.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 {Mamedyarov decides not to threaten playing the Marshall with 0-0 and commits to a slower Ruy Lopez.} (7... O-O 8. c3 (8. a4 { White can also play the popular slower line a4.}) 8... d5 {would be the Marshall Gambit, the top guest at the top level, especially by Levon Aronian, Magnus Carlsen, and Peter Svidler.}) 8. c3 ({Sometimes on} 8. a4 {Black has the option of} Bd7 {right away.} (8... Bg4 {or this})) 8... O-O 9. h3 Nb8 { The other popular line, the Breyer, which is very solid for Black and avoids very concrete lines.} 10. d4 Nbd7 11. Nbd2 Bb7 12. Bc2 Re8 13. Nf1 Bf8 14. Ng3 g6 15. a4 (15. b3 $5 {This is also an alternative in this still very theoretical position, and interestingly enough, this move was featured by the exact same players back in 2006.} d5 (15... Bg7 {Of course Black doesn't have to play the concrete ...d5 move, and can play the solid move ...Bg7.}) 16. Bg5 $1 h6 17. Bh4 $1 g5 18. Nxg5 hxg5 19. Bxg5 exd4 $1 20. e5 $1 Rxe5 21. Rxe5 Nxe5 22. cxd4 Nc6 $1 23. Qd3 $1 {1/2 (34) Grischuk,A (2710)-Mamedyarov,S (2728) Moscow 2006 CBM 116 [Lukacs/ Hazai]. Here White has a very strong attack, but in the end this battle in 2006 ended also as a draw.} (23. Nh5 $1 {is still the main line, but the consequences are unclear.})) 15... c6 (15... c5 $5 { was played by Kamsky against Grischuk} 16. d5 c4 17. Bg5 h6 18. Be3 Nc5 19. Qd2 h5 {0-1 (101) Grischuk,A (2748)-Kamsky,G (2720) Nalchik 2009 CBM 130 [Marin,M]. And after a complex battle White ended up actually losing, but his opening seems decent enough here.}) 16. Bg5 h6 17. Be3 Qc7 18. Bd3 {Grischuk is the first one to deviate, both from his own game against Mamedyarov, and in general from Mamedyarov's previous opponents.} (18. Qd2 {is an interesting alternative, played by Navara, also against Mamedyarov.} Kh7 19. Bb3 exd4 ( 19... Re7 $5) 20. cxd4 Nxe4 21. Nxe4 Rxe4 22. Bxh6 $2 {This was a basque game, so that explains this blunder.} (22. Bxf7 $16) 22... Bxh6 23. Ng5+ Bxg5 24. Qxg5 Qd8 $19 {Though after futher adventures White actually won this game.} 25. Qg3 Rxe1+ 26. Rxe1 d5 27. Qd6 Nf8 28. Qe7 Qd7 29. Qh4+ Kg7 30. Re7 Qd8 31. Qg5 Bc8 32. Rxf7+ {1-0 (32) Navara,D (2734)-Mamedyarov,S (2747) Huai'an CHN 2016}) 18... Bg7 19. Qc1 Kh7 20. b4 $146 {The logical and consistent approach and according to my database this is a novelty. The other game I saw White didn't play very logically and let Black get control of the centre and quickly control of the game.} (20. b3 Rac8 21. Ra2 Re7 22. Nh2 $6 d5 $15 {0-1 (42) Muller,A (2095)-Donaldson Akhmilovskaya,E (2410) Elista 1998. Black got control and won the game later.}) 20... Rac8 (20... Rad8 {might be an alternative but in general I think these kinds of positions are easier to play for White than Black.}) 21. Qd2 exd4 $5 {Black decides to change the course of the action and tries to create counterplay.} 22. cxd4 Nb6 23. axb5 {Not the engine's top choice, but a logical idea trying to either get d4-d5 and the d4-square for one of his pieces, or opening the a-file.} (23. Bf4 $1 {Komodo prefers this.} Nxa4 $2 (23... bxa4 24. e5 {leads to similar problems as after 23...Nxa4.}) (23... Qd7 {To try to defend against e5.} 24. a5 Nc4 25. Qa2 Re6 26. Rad1 $16 {seems very difficult for Black, but maybe it's not so trivial to break through right away.}) 24. e5 {Is just bad for Black.} dxe5 (24... Nd5 25. exd6 Qd7 26. Nh5 $18 {Here also White has a decisive attack. Black's pieces are misplaced and not defending the king.}) 25. Nxe5 $18 {White is crashing through here.}) 23... cxb5 (23... axb5 24. Bf4 $16 {seems inferior for Black.}) 24. d5 Nfd7 (24... Nc4 $5 25. Bxc4 bxc4 $1 {might've been a better way for Black to create counterplay.} 26. Bd4 c3 27. Qc2 (27. Qf4 Qe7) 27... Qc4) 25. Bd4 Ne5 (25... Qd8 {would also be a solid alternative where White is better thanks to the space and more active pieces but Black still has some counterplay on the c-file.}) 26. Nxe5 dxe5 27. Rac1 Qd6 28. Bc5 Qf6 29. Nf1 Nd7 30. Rc2 Rc7 31. Qe3 Rec8 32. Nd2 Qf4 33. d6 $6 {Up to here Grischuk played brilliantly, but here maybe he got a bit materialistic and carried away with the tempting option. However, this move looks like it spoils his advantage.} ( 33. Nb3 {seems to offer very good winning chances for White.} Qxe3 (33... Bf8 34. Rec1 Qxe3 35. fxe3) 34. fxe3 Bf8 35. Rec1 Kg8 36. d6 Nxc5 $8 (36... Rc6 37. Na5 $18) 37. bxc5 (37. Nxc5 $5 Bxd6 38. Nxb7 Rxc2 39. Rxc2 Rxc2 40. Bxc2 Bxb4 41. Nd8 $16 {looks like very good winning chances for White.}) 37... Rd7 38. g4 $16 {with long lasting pressure. Black is in for a very unpleasant defence.}) 33... Nxc5 $1 {Could it be that Grischuk missed this?} (33... Rc6 34. Nb3 $16 { was maybe what Grischuk expected in likely mutual time pressure.}) 34. dxc7 Qxe3 35. Rxe3 Ne6 $1 {The only move but sufficient. Maybe this was the move Grischuk missed from afar.} 36. Nb3 (36. Nf3 {might've been a better unconventional try, to at least not let Black play ...Bf8 very quickly.} f6 37. Re1 Bf8 38. Rb1 {and at least White is in time to defend the key b4-pawn.}) 36... Bf8 37. Be2 (37. Na5 $5 Ba8 38. Nc6 {was also a very interesting practical try, since here Black actually has to find a very difficult computer move to hold the balance.} Kg7 $3 {The point of this move is to improve the king position and wait to see what White does. If he takes the e5-pawn, then he wants to be able to take the b4-pawn without the f7-pawn hanging. This would hold the balance.} (38... f6 $2 {is very natural but it actually loses for Black.} 39. Nd8 $3 Nxd8 (39... Nxc7 40. Ne6 Bd6 41. Be2 $18 {is also easily winning for White.} Bb7 42. Nxc7 Rxc7 43. Rxc7+ Bxc7 44. Rd3 Bc6 45. Rc3 $18) (39... Nd4 40. Ra2 Rxc7 41. Rxa6 $18 {is a more prosaic win.}) 40. cxd8=Q Rxd8 41. Rc7+ $18 {White is winning here since he has penetratedBlack's position. White will win some pawns and Black's pieces are very passive.} Kg8 42. Bc2 $1 Bxb4 43. Rd3 $1 $18) (38... Bd6 39. Nb8 $1 Bb7 (39... Nd4 40. Ra2) 40. Nxa6 $1 Bxa6 41. Rc6 Bxb4 42. Rxa6 Bc5 43. Re1 {with some winning chances for White and no risk.} Nd4 44. Kf1 Rxc7 45. Rb1 b4 46. Bc4 $14) (38... Bxc6 39. Rxc6 Bxb4 40. Rxa6 $14) (38... Rxc7 39. Nxe5) 39. Nxe5 (39. Re1 Rxc7 40. Rec1 Rd7 {is also close to equal}) 39... Bxb4 $11) 37... Bxb4 38. Bg4 Rxc7 39. Rxc7 Nxc7 40. Rd3 Ne8 $6 {The last move before time control, probably a bit inaccurate, as it makes the draw slightly more difficult.} (40... h5 $1 41. Rd7 hxg4 42. Rxf7+ Kh6 43. f3 $3 {would probably secure equality though.} (43. Rxc7 Bxe4 44. hxg4 Bd3 $1 {Here Black is the only one with winning chances.}) 43... Bxe4 44. fxe4 Ne8 45. hxg4 Nd6 46. Rd7 Kg5 $11 {with a balanced endgame.}) 41. Rd7 Nd6 42. f4 $1 {Last winning attempt for White.} Bc8 43. Rc7 (43. Ra7 $5 { might've offered White slightly more practical chances:} Bxg4 44. hxg4 Bc3 ( 44... Nxe4 45. fxe5 $16) (44... Kg8 45. fxe5 Nxe4 46. Rxa6) 45. fxe5 Bxe5 46. Kf1 $1 (46. Rxa6 Nxe4 $11) 46... Kg7 47. Nd2 {might still offer White very slight winning chances.}) 43... Bxg4 44. hxg4 Kg8 $1 {This resource wouldn't be as effective after 43.Ra7.} 45. fxe5 Nxe4 46. Rc8+ Kg7 47. Ra8 Bc3 48. Kf1 Bxe5 {Now this is a simple draw for Black.} 49. Ke2 (49. Re8 $6 Kf6) 49... Kf6 50. Rxa6+ Kg5 51. Kf3 Nf6 52. Ra7 Nxg4 53. Rxf7 Bc3 54. Rb7 Ne5+ 55. Ke4 b4 56. Nd4 Nc4 57. Kd3 Ne5+ 58. Ke4 Nc4 59. Kd3 {And a draw by 3-fold repetition. A great battle by two great fighters. There were some inaccuracies in time pressure but it's much easier for me sitting next to my Stockfish figuring these details out than working these details out at the board under heavy time pressure and in general with big stakes on the line.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.14"] [Round "8"] [White "Hou, Yifan"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B85"] [WhiteElo "2666"] [BlackElo "2775"] [Annotator "Ftacnik,L"] [PlyCount "136"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e6 7. O-O Be7 8. f4 O-O 9. Kh1 Qc7 10. Qe1 {The line with 10.Qe1 is a dangerous weapon in the Scheveningen Variation. Black will get counterplay, but White's concentrated pieces on the kingside will represent great attacking potential.} (10. a4 Nc6 11. Be3 Re8) 10... Nc6 11. Be3 Nxd4 12. Bxd4 b5 13. Qg3 Bb7 14. a3 Rad8 15. Rae1 Bc6 16. Bd3 Qd7 $5 {A very interesting development in a well known position. Attention shas hifted from the older move 16...Qb7 to the clever idea 16...Rd7 followed by ...Qd8 to this clever move. Black players are getting very good results with counterplay in the centre.} (16... Qb7) (16... Rd7) 17. Rf3 (17. Ne2 g6 18. Qe3 Ng4 19. Qg3 Nf6 20. Qf3 Ne8 21. Qe3 Bf6 22. Bxf6 Nxf6 23. Nd4 $15 {1/2-1/2 (58) Dragun,K (2594)-Grachev,B (2639) Moscow 2016}) (17. Nd1 Nh5 (17... g6 18. Ne3 Nh5 19. Qh3 Nxf4 20. Rxf4 e5 21. Qh6 f6 22. Rg4 $18 {1/2-1/2 (38) Schroeder,J (2521)-Korneev,O (2582) Heusenstamm 2016} ) 18. Qg4 Nf6 (18... g6 19. Ne3 Nf6 20. Qf3 Qc7 21. f5 e5 22. Bc3 Kh8 23. Ng4 Nxg4 24. Qxg4 $11 {0-1 (32) Brkic,A (2584)-Bosiocic,M (2567) Mali Losinj 2016}) 19. Qg3 Nh5 20. Qh3 Nxf4 21. Rxf4 e5 22. Rg4 exd4 23. e5 g6 24. e6 Qe8 $15 { 0-1 (37) Liu,Q (2510)-Popov,I (2653) China 2015}) (17. b4 Nh5 18. Qg4 (18. Qh3 Nxf4 19. Rxf4 e5 20. Rg4 exd4 21. e5 g6 22. e6 Qe8 $11 {1/2-1/2 (60) Saveliev, A (2369)-Grachev,B (2658) Sochi 2017}) 18... Nf6 19. Qh3 e5 20. fxe5 Qxh3 21. gxh3 dxe5 22. Bxe5 Rfe8 23. Bg3 $11 {1-0 (41) Kosteniuk,A (2537)-Charochkina,D (2366) Sochi 2016}) (17. Na2 Nh5 18. Qf2 e5 19. fxe5 dxe5 20. Bxe5 Nf6 21. Bxf6 Bxf6 22. e5 Be7 23. Nb4 $14 {1/2-1/2 (62) Harika,D (2535)-Ushenina,A (2458) Khanty-Mansiysk 2017}) 17... e5 $1 {This counterblow was enabled by the location of the black queen. Black hopes to get enough compensation for the pawn.} (17... g6 18. f5 exf5 19. Rxf5 Ne8 20. a4 (20. Rf3 Ng7 21. Ref1 $14) 20... Ng7 21. axb5 axb5 22. b4 Rde8 23. Bxg7 Kxg7 24. Bxb5 Bxb5 25. Rxb5 Bf6 $14 {1/2-1/2 (60) Stukopin,A (2586)-Ramirez,A (2550) Saint Louis 2017}) 18. fxe5 Nh5 19. Qh3 (19. Qf2 dxe5 20. Bxe5 f6 21. Bg3 Nxg3+ 22. Rxg3 Bd6 $11) 19... Qxh3 20. Rxh3 Nf4 21. Rf3 Nxd3 22. cxd3 (22. Rxd3 dxe5 23. Bxe5 f5 24. Rxd8 Bxd8 25. Bd6 Re8 $11) 22... dxe5 23. Bxe5 {The landscape has changed radically. Instead of defending against White's attack Black will be hoping to prove full compensation with active pieces and the bishop pair.} b4 (23... Rfe8 24. Bc7 Rd7 25. Ba5 Bf6 $11) 24. axb4 Bxb4 25. Rc1 Rc8 (25... a5 26. Kg1 Rfe8 $11) 26. h3 (26. Ne2 $1 Bb5 27. Rxc8 Rxc8 28. Bc3 Bc5 29. Rg3 $14) 26... f6 27. Bg3 (27. Na2 Bxe4 $1 28. dxe4 Rxc1+ 29. Nxc1 fxe5 30. Rxf8+ Kxf8 $11) 27... Rfd8 28. Bf2 Bb7 29. Kh2 {Hou is a bit helpless and thus moves the king away from the a8-h1 diagonal.} (29. Be1 Rd7 $11) 29... f5 $1 {The dynamic potential of Black's position is substantial, now White must be careful not to lose the extra pawn.} 30. Ra1 (30. Rxf5 Rxd3 31. Rf3 Rd2 $15) 30... fxe4 31. dxe4 Rd2 32. Nd5 Bf8 {Giri had probably started dreaming about turning the tables and was not satisfied with a small advantage after grabbing the b2-pawn.} (32... Rxb2 33. Nxb4 Rxb4 34. Rd1 Bxe4 35. Rf4 Rb2 36. Rxe4 Rxf2 37. Re7 $15) 33. b4 ( 33. Rf1 Bxd5 34. exd5 Rxb2 35. Rd3 Rcc2 36. Bg3 Rxg2+ 37. Kh1 Rgd2 38. Re3 $11) 33... h6 34. Bc5 $6 {The old wisdom in chess suggests putting your opponent under pressure, as even the best players may crack. The former world champion wants to limit the pressure at the cost of a pawn.} (34. Be3 Re2 35. Rd1 Bxd5 36. exd5 Rcc2 37. Bc5 Rxg2+ 38. Kh1 $11) 34... Bxc5 35. bxc5 Rxc5 36. Rb3 { [%mdl 4096] Black will have an extra pawn, but limited chances to hope for more than the better side of a draw.} (36. Rfa3 Rd4 37. Rb1 Bxd5 38. exd5 a5 39. Rb7 Rdxd5 40. Ra7 $15) 36... Bxd5 37. exd5 a5 38. d6 (38. Rb8+ Kh7 39. Ra8 Rdxd5 40. h4 $15) 38... Rxd6 39. Rb8+ Kf7 40. Ra8 Rdd5 41. Ra7+ Kg6 42. Ra3 ( 42. h4 $1 h5 43. Ra3 $11) 42... Rh5 $5 43. Ra4 Rb5 44. h4 {Both players understood that getting the pawn to h4 would seriously help White.} (44. Ra3 Kh7 $15) 44... Rb4 45. R4xa5 Rhxh4+ 46. Kg3 Kh7 47. Ra3 (47. R5a6 Rhg4+ 48. Kh3 h5 $15) 47... h5 48. Rf7 Rh1 49. Re3 $2 {All players know the slippery feeling when defending a worse position. The situation may not get better, but any serious inacuracy will multiply the burden. White had to find 49.Rf4! with excellent drawing chances.} (49. Rf4 $1 Rb2 50. Rd3 Kh6 51. Rfd4 $15) 49... h4+ $1 50. Kf2 Rbb1 51. Ree7 $6 {When it rains it pours, Hou did not realise how difficult the defence would be in the plain rook ending.} (51. Rc7 Kh6 52. Re6+ g6 53. Rc2 Rhf1+ 54. Ke3 Kh5 $17) 51... Rhf1+ 52. Ke2 Rbe1+ 53. Kd3 (53. Kd2 Rxe7 54. Rxf1 Kg6 55. Rh1 Kg5 56. Rh3 Kg4 57. Ra3 g5 $19) 53... Rxf7 54. Rxf7 ( 54. Rxe1 Rd7+ 55. Kc2 Kg6 $19) 54... Kh6 55. Kd2 (55. Ra7 g5 $19) 55... Re6 56. Rf4 Kh5 (56... g5 57. Rf3 Kh5 58. Ra3 Re4 59. Ra2 Kg6 $19) 57. Rf7 Rg6 $1 58. Rf2 Kg4 59. Ke1 (59. Re2 Kg3 60. Ke1 Ra6 $19) 59... Re6+ 60. Kf1 Rf6 $1 { Transitioning to a pawn ending is mostly trivial for very strong players. The defence becomes hopeless as it is fairly easy to force a theoretically won position.} 61. Rxf6 gxf6 62. Kf2 (62. Kg1 h3 $19) 62... Kf4 63. Kg1 Kg3 64. Kf1 h3 65. Kg1 (65. gxh3 Kxh3 66. Kf2 Kg4 67. Ke3 f5 68. Kf2 Kf4 $19) 65... Kg4 66. gxh3+ Kxh3 67. Kf2 Kg4 68. Kg2 Kf4 (68... Kf4 69. Kf2 f5 $19) 0-1 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.14"] [Round "8"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2742"] [BlackElo "2809"] [Annotator "Yuffa,D"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] {Nepomniachtchi decided to use Aronian's own weapon against him.} 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nb6 7. O-O Be7 8. a3 ({Usually White starts with} 8. d3 O-O {and there White has an interesting and slightly unexpected idea if Black plays too actively:} 9. Be3 Be6 10. Rc1 f5 {This active and aggressive move provokes White into a response:} (10... f6 {is quite solid.} 11. a3 $5 {is a positional trap} Qd7 $1 ({if} 11... a5 12. d4 $1 exd4 13. Nxd4 Nxd4 14. Qxd4 $16 {Marin - Strambu, 1-0, 2007}) 12. Ne4 Nd5 13. Bc5 b6 14. Bxe7 Ndxe7 15. Qa4 $11 {and both sides have equal chances}) (10... Nd5 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12. Qa4 Re8 13. Rc3 a6 14. a3 Bf6 15. Rc5 {Tomashevsky - Karjakin, 2015, and instead of} Nd4 16. Rxd5 Nxe2+ 17. Kh1 Qxd5 18. Nd4 Qxg2+ 19. Kxg2 Nxd4 20. Bxd4 exd4 21. Qb4 Rab8 22. Re1 $16 {with big chances for White's success Black should have played 15...Be7, offering a repetition}) ( 10... Qd7 11. a3 f6 12. Nd2 Rfd8 {and the computer considers that the position is absolutely equal}) 11. b4 $5 a6 (11... Nxb4 12. Nxe5 c6 13. Qd2 {is slightly better for White because of the centre}) (11... Bxb4 $6 {This pawn is poisoned} 12. Ng5 Bf7 13. Nxf7 Rxf7 14. Qb3 $1 Bxc3 15. Rxc3 Nd4 16. Bxd4 exd4 17. Rc5 c6 18. Rxf5 Qe7 (18... Qd7 19. Bh3 Nd5 20. Rf4 $1 $18) 19. Rf4 Rd8 20. Bh3 Kf8 21. Rxf7+ Qxf7 22. Qa3+ $18) 12. a3 Kh8 (12... Bf6 13. Nd2 $14 { is slightly better because of space on queenside and the pressure on c-file}) 13. Bc5 (13. Na4 Nxa4 14. Qxa4 Bd5 15. Bc5 Bd6 16. Qc2 {Anand - Hammer, 1-0, 2015. The position is almost equal, but in my view it's a bit easier to play White there which was proved in the game.}) (13. Re1 Qe8 14. Qd2 Bd6 15. Bxb6 cxb6 16. d4 exd4 17. Nxd4) 13... Bg8 14. e3 $5 Bxc5 15. bxc5 Nd5 16. Qd2 Qe7 { Caruana - Giri, 1/2, 2014, with mutual chances.}) 8... a5 (8... O-O {is also a possibility} 9. b4 Be6 10. d3 (10. Rb1 {This is almost useless} f6 $5 (10... a6 11. d3 f6 12. Ne4 Ba2 13. Rb2 Bd5 14. Nc5 {is approximately equal}) 11. d3 a5 12. b5 Nd4 13. Nd2 Qc8 14. e3 Nf5 15. Qc2 a4 {and Black has a slight edge.}) ( 10. b5 $5 Nd4 11. Rb1 Nxf3+ {This can be an inaccuracy} (11... f6 $5 $13) 12. Bxf3 Qc8 13. d3 a5 14. a4 Rd8 15. Qc2 {The position might be equal but it's a bit more convenient to play White there.}) 10... a5 11. b5 Nd4 12. Nd2 c6 13. bxc6 Nxc6 14. Rb1 a4 {despite the good pawn structure, White has a lack of space}) 9. d3 O-O 10. Be3 Be6 11. Rc1 a4 $5 {The most principled and convincing.} (11... f5 12. Na4 Nxa4 13. Qxa4 $14 {is slightly better for White because of pressure on the c-file and the threat of an exchange sacrifice on c6.}) 12. Nd2 ({An attempt to win the pawn immediately leads to sufficient counterplay for Black:} 12. Bxb6 cxb6 13. Nxa4 e4 14. Ne1 Bg5 15. Rc3 {and Black at least has a repetition after 15...Bf6} (15. Ra1 exd3 16. Nxd3 Nd4 17. Nc3 Nb3 $44) (15. e3 $6 exd3 $36)) 12... f5 $146 {It seems to me that this move is the first inaccuracy for Black. I think that Aronian knew that after 12...Nd5 the position becomes dry and he wanted to create a mess on the board.} (12... Nd5 {was more solid} 13. Nxd5 Bxd5 14. Bf3 Bxf3 15. Nxf3 Qd5 $11) 13. Bxb6 cxb6 14. Nxa4 Bg5 15. Nc3 e4 16. Rb1 Ne5 (16... Rf7 17. Nc4 Rd7 18. b3 Bf6 19. Nb5 exd3 20. exd3 Nd4 $14 {and the compensation is already sufficient.}) 17. Nb3 Ng4 18. Qc2 ({Black aimed for an attack. It was better to terrorise the knight on g4 immediately:} 18. h3 $5 Nxf2 19. Kxf2 (19. Rxf2 $2 Be3 $17 { , threating f4}) 19... Qd6 20. h4 $16 {escaping.}) 18... Be3 19. dxe4 $2 { Blundering.} (19. Bh3 {was the only move to maintain equality:} Nxf2 20. Rxf2 Qd7 21. Rbf1 f4 22. Bxe6+ Qxe6 23. g4 f3 24. exf3 Rxf3 25. Nxe4 Qxg4+ 26. Kh1 Rxf2 27. Rxf2 Bxf2 28. Nxf2 Qf3+ 29. Kg1 Rf8 $11) 19... Qg5 $2 {Aronian misses a beautiful pinning idea:} (19... Nxf2 $1 20. Rxf2 fxe4 21. Rbf1 (21. Nxe4 $2 Rc8) 21... Qc7 $1 {The point of conception. The pair of bishops is pinning all the white pieces.} 22. Bxe4 (22. Nc1 Bxf2+ 23. Rxf2 Rxf2 24. Kxf2 Qc5+ $19) 22... Rxf2 23. Rxf2 Qf7 $1 {...executing ...} 24. Bf3 Bxb3 $17) 20. fxe3 Qxe3+ 21. Kh1 Qh6 22. h3 $2 {Wasting the advantage.} (22. h4 {looks a bit more risky but it works:} f4 23. Qc1 Ne3 24. Rf3 Bxb3 25. gxf4 Nxg2 26. Kxg2 Qxh4 27. f5 $16) 22... Ne3 23. Qd2 f4 24. gxf4 Nxf1 $2 (24... Nxg2 {doesn't make a draw because} 25. Kxg2 Qxh3+ 26. Kf2 Qh4+ 27. Ke3 Bxb3 28. Qd4 $14 Rad8 29. Qe5 { looks a bit dangerous, but Black has nothing tangible for the pawn.}) (24... Rxf4 $1 25. Rxf4 Qxf4 {that's a bit fantastic but Black is ok there a piece down. White must give up that lead.} 26. Rg1 Bxb3 27. Nd5 Bxd5 28. exd5 Nxg2 29. Qc3 g6 30. Rxg2 Rd8 31. Qd3 Re8 32. Qf3 Qc1+ 33. Kh2 Qc7+ 34. Qg3 Qc4 $11) 25. Rxf1 {Now it's a technical stage. White's central pawn fist is crushing Black's position.} Bxb3 26. e5 Rae8 (26... Rad8 $5 27. Qe3 Rd7 28. Ne4 Bd5 29. Nd6 $16 {it's still tough, but not losing yet.}) 27. Ne4 Kh8 28. Kh2 Bg8 29. e3 Re6 30. Nd6 Qh4 31. Qd4 $18 Rg6 32. Rf3 Qe1 33. f5 Rg5 34. h4 Rh5 35. Rg3 Be6 36. fxe6 {This was a game of mutual chances, where Aronian didn't want to agree to a peaceful flow of the game and played 12...f5!?N. That, probably, was a mistake despite the less than smooth play of both sides.} 1-0 [Event "Geneva FIDE GP"] [Site "Geneva"] [Date "2017.07.15"] [Round "9"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Hou, Yifan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D35"] [WhiteElo "2749"] [BlackElo "2666"] [Annotator "Roiz,M"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2017.07.06"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SUI"] [SourceTitle "CBM 180"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 c5 7. Rb1 { Peter is emloying a considerably rare continuation, that enables White to avoid the major simplifications.} ({The main line} 7. Nf3 cxd4 8. cxd4 Bb4+ 9. Bd2 Bxd2+ 10. Qxd2 O-O {has proved to be very solid for Black.}) 7... Be7 8. Nf3 (8. Bb5+ {was also recently tested on the highest level:} Bd7 9. Bxd7+ (9. Nf3 Bxb5 10. Rxb5 b6 11. O-O O-O $11) 9... Qxd7 10. d5 exd5 11. exd5 O-O 12. Nf3 Bf6 13. O-O b5 $132 {Aronian,L - Vallejo Pons,F Sharjah UAE 2017}) 8... O-O 9. Bc4 {This is the most natural way of development. White's bishop is supporting the thematic d4-d5 advance now.} (9. Bd3 cxd4 10. cxd4 Nc6 {offers Black comfortable play due to the pressure on the d4-pawn.}) 9... Nc6 ({ The more modest} 9... Nd7 10. O-O Qc7 11. Qe2 b6 12. d5 exd5 13. Bxd5 Bb7 14. Bf4 Qxf4 15. Bxb7 Rab8 16. Bc6 $14 {(Vitiugov,N - Miton,K Czech Republic CZE 2013) didn't offer Black a full equality.}) 10. O-O b6 $146 {A natural novelty. There is no reason for delaying the development of the passive c8-bishop.} ({ The preceding encounter was played almost half a century ago:} 10... Qc7 11. Qe2 b6 12. Rd1 Na5 13. Bd3 Bb7 14. d5 c4 15. Bc2 e5 16. Be3 $14 {Polugaevsky, L-Petrosian,T Soviet Union 1970}) 11. d5 $1 {Only this ambitious continuation might pose Black any problems.} (11. Bf4 Bb7 12. Re1 cxd4 13. cxd4 Rc8 $11) 11... Na5 (11... exd5 12. Bxd5 Qc7 13. Re1 $14 {looks rather passive for Black. }) 12. Bd3 c4 {This move makes the d5-pawn vulnerable. On the other hand, the a5-knight is definitely misplaced now.} 13. Bc2 exd5 14. exd5 Bb7 {Black's main counterplay is based on attacking the Pd5, but the Kg8 is getting more exposed now.} ({Possibly, a safer try was} 14... Bg4 $5 15. Qe2 (15. h3 Bh5 16. Re1 Bd6 $132) (15. Bf4 Nb7 16. h3 Bh5 17. Re1 Bd6 $132) 15... Bh5 $1 16. Re1 Bd6 $132 {securing the king and intending to attack the d5-pawn in the long run.}) 15. Re1 Bf6 $2 {This move is inviting serious troubles - Black shouldn't let White advance the passer.} ({A much better move was} 15... Qd6 $1 16. Ne5 (16. Rb5 a6 17. Rb1 Rae8 18. Be3 Bd8 $132) 16... Qxd5 17. Qg4 Rad8 18. Qh3 f5 19. Bf4 Bc8 $1 {, and it looks like White has sufficient play for a pawn, but hardly more. For instance,} 20. Rbd1 (20. Ng6 hxg6 21. Rxe7 Rfe8 22. Rxg7+ Kxg7 23. Qh6+ Kg8 24. Qxg6+ Kh8 {with a perpetual}) 20... Qc5 21. g4 Rxd1 22. Rxd1 Bg5 $1 23. Bg3 h6 24. gxf5 Nc6 25. Nd7 Bxd7 26. Rxd7 Ne5 {and Black is OK.}) 16. d6 $1 {Of course, GM Svidler doesn't miss this chance.} (16. Ba3 $6 {is much weaker:} Re8 17. Rxe8+ Qxe8 18. Qd2 Qd7 19. Rd1 Rd8 20. d6 Bxf3 21. gxf3 g6 $132) 16... Re8 ({In the event of} 16... Qd7 17. Ne5 Bxe5 18. Rxe5 Rfe8 19. Bf4 Rxe5 20. Bxe5 Re8 21. Bg3 $16 {White's powerful bishops would support the passer, so Black is in big troubles.}) 17. Rxe8+ Qxe8 18. Bf4 Rd8 (18... Qd7 19. Nd4 g6 20. Ba4 Nc6 21. Qd2 $16) 19. Bf5 $1 {Now the passer has perfect support from both White's bishops.} g6 $2 {The decisive mistake.} ({It was necessary to remove the queen from the back-rank:} 19... Qc6 20. d7 g6 21. Bh3 Bxc3 22. Rc1 {, even though White's initiative lasts there too:} Bf6 23. Qe2 Qe4 24. Qxe4 Bxe4 25. Bc7 Rf8 26. Ne5 $36) 20. d7 Qf8 ({A more stubborn option was} 20... Qe7 21. Bh3 Bc6 22. Bc7 Rxd7 23. Bxd7 Qxd7 24. Qxd7 Bxd7 25. Be5 $18 {, but White should be able to convert his material advantage into a full point.}) 21. Bh3 Be4 22. Rc1 {White is not in a rush.} Qc5 (22... Nb7 {offered no hope either:} 23. Bc7 Nc5 24. Bxd8 Qxd8 25. Qe2 $18) 23. Qe2 Bf5 {Alas, this move doesn't help Black to release the tension.} 24. Rd1 Bxh3 25. gxh3 Kg7 ({Or} 25... Nb7 26. Qe4 Qf5 27. Qxf5 gxf5 28. Bc7 Rf8 29. Nd4 $18) 26. Rd6 $1 { The most effective.} Bxc3 (26... Nb7 27. Rxf6 Kxf6 28. Be5+ Ke7 29. Bd4+ $18) 27. Ng5 {All Black's pieces are too far away from the king, so White's attack is unstoppable.} Qf5 28. Qe7 {The rest is just an agony.} h6 29. Ne6+ Kh7 30. Nxd8 Qxf4 31. Nxf7 1-0 [Event "FIDE Grand Prix Palma 2017"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.16"] [Round "1"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Gelfand, Boris"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B35"] [WhiteElo "2796"] [BlackElo "2719"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 {Gelfand often reverts to the Accelerated Dragon in case that his opponent adopts the Anti-Sveshnikov move order. By doing so he avoids the Maroczy Bind formation.} 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Bc4 O-O 8. Bb3 d5 {This is how the Israeli GM likes to play, lately.} (8... d6 { reverts the game back into the normal Dragon where Vachier-Lagrave has a lot of experience. One example is the following blitz game} 9. f3 Bd7 10. Qd2 Rc8 11. h4 h5 12. O-O-O Ne5 13. Kb1 Nc4 14. Bxc4 Rxc4 15. Nde2 {and the theory had not yet begun, Vachier-Lagrave,M (2796)-Grischuk,A (2761) Paris 2017}) ({ The genuine Accelerated Dragon players may also choose the line} 8... a5 9. O-O a4 10. Nxa4 Nxe4 11. Nb5 Rxa4 12. Bxa4 Bxb2 {as in Karjakin,S (2694)-Jones,G (2567) Heraklion 2007}) 9. exd5 Na5 10. O-O ({An alternative for White is} 10. Qf3 Nxb3 11. axb3 Bg4 12. Qg3 Bh5 13. d6 exd6 14. O-O {when the weak pawn on d6 is compensated by the bishop pair by Black, Wei,Y (2753)-Li,C (2744) Huocheng County 2017}) 10... Nxb3 11. Nxb3 b6 12. d6 {The pawn cannot be defended on d5 and White hurries to cause some damage to the opponent's position.} e6 {In return Black postpones the capture hoping that he will have a better opportunity for that.} ({Apparently, Gelfand was not too excited repeating the endgame he had an year ago after} 12... Qxd6 13. Qxd6 exd6 14. Rfe1 Bf5 15. Nd4 Bd7 16. h3 {as in Oparin,G (2616)-Gelfand,B (2725) Moscow 2016 }) 13. Qf3 Rb8 14. Rfd1 $146 {A logical novelty. The question which rook has always been more difficult than one could imagine. Here the the placement of the rooks on c1 and d1 has one obvious advantage: they both support the advance of the pawns. The less obvious plus is that the rook on f1 may fall victim to a bishop skewer on the a6-f1 diagonal.} ({The only predecessor is a game of Gelfand himself. He managed to survive after:} 14. Rad1 Bb7 15. Qh3 Nd5 16. Nxd5 Bxd5 17. Bd4 Bxd4 18. Rxd4 Rc8 (18... b5 $5 19. Qh6) 19. Qh6 (19. Qd3 $1 b5 20. Qxb5 ({One disadvantage of the queenside rook sorie is revealed after } 20. c3 Bc4 {skewering some meat on the diagonal.}) 20... Rxc2) 19... Qf6 20. Rc1 {although this might have been pleasant to repeat as White, Adhiban,B (2670)-Gelfand,B (2737) Douglas 2017}) 14... Bb7 15. Qh3 {Gelfand sank into thought.} Rc8 ({The less obvious advantage of the move Rf1-d1 becomes clear in the line} 15... Nd5 16. Nxd5 Bxd5 17. Bd4 Bxd4 18. Rxd4 Rc8 19. Qd3 $1 (19. Qh6 Qf6) 19... b5 20. c3 Bc4 {and this bishop attacks only the queen, which moves away:} (20... Qxd6 21. Qxb5) 21. Qg3 {with advantage for White. Small details like these form the opening theory for years to come.}) 16. Bd4 Nd5 (16... Rc6 {would be well met with} 17. Qf3 $1) 17. Nxd5 Bxd5 18. Bxg7 Kxg7 19. Rac1 $1 { Here is the second advantage in action. The white pieces are placed (almost) ideally to help the passers run. Vachier-Lagrave's novelty worked out quite well.} b5 (19... Qxd6 $4 {drops a piece after} 20. c4) ({In case of} 19... Rc6 {White has a choice between the sharp} 20. c4 $5 ({And the calm} 20. Qg3) 20... Bxc4 21. Qg3 {with advantage for White in both cases. But this was perhaps the lesser evil in comparison to the game.}) 20. Qg3 Qf6 ({Or} 20... Rc6 21. Nd4 Rxd6 (21... Rb6 22. b3 b4 23. Nf5+ $5 Kh8 24. Ne3) 22. Nxb5 {with a solid extra pawn.}) 21. Nd4 b4 {Trying to keep the pawns blocked. However} 22. c4 $1 {is still very strong.} bxc3 ({If} 22... Rxc4 23. Rxc4 Bxc4 24. Nc6 Bd5 25. Nxb4 {keeps the extra material.}) (22... Bxc4 $2 {is even worse for Black after } 23. d7 Rc5 24. b3) 23. Rxc3 Rxc3 $6 {This makes things easier for White. The two passers are massive.} ({The most resilient way was} 23... Rb8 24. b3 Rfd8 { although White's advantage is indusputable here as well.}) 24. bxc3 Rd8 ({If} 24... Rc8 25. d7 Rd8 26. Qd6 {and the pawns will resume their motion shortly.}) 25. h4 {Another nice touch. One idea is to trade the queens in the proper moment. The other is to have air for the king in case of any back rank checks.} e5 26. Nf5+ Qxf5 27. Rxd5 Qe4 ({You have already noticed that} 27... Qb1+ { is not mate and White should win after} 28. Kh2 Qxa2 29. Qxe5+) 28. c4 { Keeping the passers together is the best.} (28. Rxe5 $6 Qb1+ 29. Kh2 Rxd6 { is not that great for White.}) 28... f6 ({The white passer is unstoppable after } 28... Qxc4 29. Qxe5+ Kg8 30. d7 Qxh4 31. Rb5) 29. Qc3 Qb1+ 30. Kh2 Qxa2 31. Rd2 {Calm play. MVL knows that the pawns are unstoppable.} ({There was also the flashy win after} 31. Rxe5 fxe5 ({But why to allow any checks after} 31... Qxf2 32. Re7+ Kg8 33. c5) 32. Qxe5+ Kg8 33. Qe6+ Kg7 34. Qe7+) 31... Qa4 32. g3 Qc6 33. c5 Rd7 34. Qc4 {Once that the blockade is lifted nobody can stop the passers.} (34. Qc4 {A possible finish would have been} Kf8 35. Qd5 Qxd5 36. Rxd5 Ke8 37. c6 Rg7 38. d7+ Kd8 39. c7+) 1-0 [Event "FIDE Grand Prix Palma 2017"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.19"] [Round "4"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A16"] [WhiteElo "2801"] [BlackElo "2762"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "53"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 {The Anti-Gruenfeld was to be expected against Giri. } d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. d3 ({The endgame arising after} 5. e4 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Qxd1+ 7. Kxd1 {is very popular of lately, So,W (2812)-Mamedyarov,S (2800) Paris 2017} ) ({But Aronian himself prefers to keep the queens on the board as in a game against the same opponent an year ago:} 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Ba3 O-O 8. d4 b6 9. Bc4 {Aronian, L (2792)-Giri,A (2782) Leuven 2016}) 5... Bg7 6. Bd2 O-O 7. g3 c5 8. h4 $146 {A novelty. I have noticed that the creative attacking players have passion for this move. Before Aronian, there was Larsen.} ({ The standart way of attacking the kingside is} 8. Bg2 Nc6 9. O-O e6 10. Qc1 b6 11. Bh6 Bb7 12. Bxg7 Kxg7 13. Rd1 Rc8 {But this does not yield White much, Bischoff,K (2504)-Li,C (2711) Germany 2014}) 8... Nc6 {Solid central play by Giri.} ({We are all curious to see what did the Armenian wizard prepare after} 8... h5) 9. h5 Nxc3 10. bxc3 c4 $1 {This is a must as otherwise White would do whatever he likes on the kingside.} 11. hxg6 hxg6 12. Qa4 {Swinging over the queen onto the kingside along the fourth.} Na5 ({Aronian believed that the strongest move was} 12... Qd5 $1 13. dxc4 ({with the key idea to swap the queens off after} 13. Qxc4 Qxc4 14. dxc4) ({However, there is the super-sharp line} 13. e4 Qc5 14. d4 Nxd4 15. cxd4 Bxd4 {which one should enter only after a week spent with oyur silicon friend.}) 13... Qa5 {chasing the white queen and in order to trade it.}) (12... cxd3 {looks dangerous at least after} 13. Qh4 f6 14. Bh6) 13. d4 b6 14. Bg2 Bb7 15. Qc2 {Now White's plan is more than obvious -- to mate along the open h-file. What Black is doing remains a mystery.} Qd5 16. Nh4 Qd7 17. e4 e5 {Fighting for the center again.} (17... Bc6 18. Qc1) 18. d5 $1 {No brainer. The center should remain blocked.} Bc8 ({ Similar would be} 18... Ba6 19. f4 {With the idea to meet} (19. Nf3 $5) 19... Qg4 {with} 20. Bf3 $3 Qxg3+ 21. Ke2 {The queen is trapped and even the tricky} Nb3 {does not help after} 22. Rag1 Nd4+ 23. cxd4 c3+ 24. Kd1 Qf2 25. Bxc3 { with a win for White.}) 19. f4 Qe7 ({Once again} 19... Qg4 {is met with} 20. Bf3 $1 Qxg3+ 21. Ke2) ({While} 19... exf4 20. gxf4 Nb7 21. Be3 {leaves Black poorly coordinated and centerless....}) 20. f5 $1 {The pawns open the games for the heavy pieces.} g5 (20... gxf5 {would have led to a disaster after} 21. Bh3 fxe4 22. Bxc8 Raxc8 23. Nf5 {Black is completely helpless against the knight on f5. A sample line-} Qd7 24. Qxe4 Rfe8 25. Nxg7 Kxg7 26. Qh7+ Kf6 27. Rh6+ Ke7 28. Bg5+ Kf8 29. Qh8#) ({But maybe} 20... Qd6 {was more stubborn.}) 21. Qd1 $3 {Aronian in action! Guess what is my sissy computer is suggesting?} ({Yeah, it is the retreat} 21. Nf3) 21... gxh4 22. Rxh4 Rd8 ({The defensive set-up after} 22... f6 {is breached with} 23. Qh5 Rf7 24. Qh7+ Kf8 25. Bf3 $1 Qc5 26. Kf1 $1 {To stop any checks and the rest is clear-} Nb7 27. Rg4 Nd6 28. Rxg7 Rxg7 29. Qh8+ Kf7 30. Bh5+) ({The king cannot stay on the flank-} 22... Re8 23. Qg4 Kf8 24. Rh8+ $1 Bxh8 25. Bh6+ Bg7 26. Qxg7#) 23. Qh5 Kf8 ({If} 23... f6 24. Qh7+ Kf8 25. Rg4 $1 {destroys the last defender after} Nb7 26. Rxg7 Qxg7 27. Bh6) 24. Rg4 Bf6 {This loses on the spot.} ({The last try was} 24... Qd6 $1 {In that case I suspect that Aronian wanted to play} 25. Rxg7 $1 Kxg7 26. Qg5+ Kf8 27. Kf2 $1 ({Not on} 27. Ke2 {since in the line} Ke8 28. Qg7 ({Or} 28. Rh1 Kd7 29. Rh6 Qf8 {and Black seems to organize his defense.}) 28... Qf8 29. Qxe5+ Qe7 30. Qg7 f6 $1 ({Or even} 30... Bxf5 {the king on e2 disturbs the attack.})) 27... Ke8 28. Qg7 {White's atatck is still very strong. For example} Kd7 ({Here} 28... Qf8 29. Qxe5+ Qe7 30. Qg7 f6 31. Qg6+ Qf7 32. Rh1 $1 {suprisingly leads to a won endgame down a rook for White!} Qxg6 33. fxg6 Ke7 34. e5 {and Black is helpless.}) 29. Qxf7+ Qe7 30. Qxe7+ $1 {One again White does not mind trading the queens.} Kxe7 31. Bg5+ Kd7 32. Bxd8 Kxd8 33. Rh1 { and thanks to the strong pieces and advanced passers White should win.}) 25. Bh6+ Ke8 26. Rg8+ Kd7 27. d6 $1 {The queen is trapped and Black loses at least a rook.} (27. d6 Qxd6 (27... Kxd6 28. Rd1+ Kc7 29. Rgxd8) 28. Rd1 Qxd1+ 29. Qxd1+) 1-0 [Event "FIDE Grand Prix Palma 2017"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.19"] [Round "4"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2801"] [BlackElo "2762"] [Annotator "Alex Yermolinsky"] [PlyCount "53"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 {These days White is having a nice streak of success in the Anti-Grunfeld setups.} 5. d3 ({Also, the immediate} 5. h4 {has been seen a lot lately.}) 5... Bg7 6. Bd2 O-O 7. g3 c5 {I'm not a big fan of this move here. For one thing, this is not a developing move. If you look at the similar position with reversed colors, Black is doing quite well with this Bd7 and Qc8 thing, and here with an extra tempo White can really cause problems for the black king.} ({Both} 7... Nc6 8. Bg2 Nb6) ({and} 7... e5 8. Bg2 Ne7 {seem more suitable to meet White's h2-h4 offensive.}) 8. h4 $1 { [#] Officially, a novelty. I mentioned in my previous reports how Aronian's opening preparation blends with his style of play. Levon seems to be getting his kind of positions nearly every time he has White.} Nc6 ({Surrendering the g5-square is unpleasant:} 8... h5 9. Bg2 Nc6 10. Ng5 Nc7 {and now White can even try} 11. Bxc6 $5) (8... h6 {on the other hand, gives White a tempo} 9. Qc1 Kh7 10. h5 g5 11. Bg2 {and how does Black protect his c5-pawn now?}) (8... Bg4 $5 9. Bg2 Nc6 10. Qa4 Nf6 {may be Black's best option. At least, he's well mobilized, as seen from a sample line} 11. Be3 Rc8 $1 12. Bxc5 Bxf3 13. Bxf3 Ne5) 9. h5 Nxc3 ({I wonder if Black can get away with} 9... b6 10. hxg6 hxg6 11. Bg2 (11. Qa4 Nd4) 11... Bb7 12. Ne4 Nd4 13. Nxd4 cxd4 {or some such play.}) 10. bxc3 c4 $1 {An interesting concept from Anish. Too bad he didn't follow through on his ideas a couple of moves later.} 11. hxg6 hxg6 12. Qa4 {Aronian is very good in setting his opponents up with positional riddles.} ({The immediate} 12. d4 {allows Black to strike in the center with} e5 {and there's d4-d5 in reply to it.}) 12... Na5 $2 {That's exactly what Levon hoped to see.} ({The principled reply} 12... cxd3 {was most likely turned down because of} 13. Qh4 {Indeed, this had to be the idea behind White's previous move. It takes a lot of nerve to dismiss the other guy's ideas when he happens to be the World's #2. Still,} f6 $1 {[#] was fully playable. Nevermind the danger to the king: we're destroying White's center! The most direct attacking line,} 14. Bh6 (14. exd3 {meets with} Kf7 $1 {and Black is ready to intrercept the h-file, while his light-squared bishop covers the king from e6. You know what? White may be worse here.}) 14... Qa5 15. Qc4+ Rf7 16. Bxg7 {is countered by a nice shot} Be6 $1 ({Anyway, from the theoretical point of view even} 16... Kxg7 17. Rh7+ Kxh7 18. Qxf7+ Kh6 {is good enough, because White is forced to give a perpetual.}) 17. Bxf6 $5 exf6 18. Qxd3 Bf5 19. Qd2 Rd8 20. Qb2 Re7 {It looks like Black has a lot of compensation for a pawn.}) 13. d4 $1 {Now, as the black knight moved away from the center, Aronian stakes his claim in the middle of the board.} b6 14. Bg2 Bb7 15. Qc2 {If Black could only have his c-pawn back on c5, he would have had a normal Grunfeld. As it is, he has no counterplay to speak of.} Qd5 16. Nh4 Qd7 17. e4 e5 18. d5 Bc8 {Giri just cleared the b7-square for his knight, but he won't be given the time to complete his maneuvering.} 19. f4 $1 Qe7 (19... exf4 20. gxf4 Nb7 21. Be3 $1 Nc5 22. Bxc5 bxc5 23. Bf3 {followed by e4-e5 and, of course, Qh2 is decisive.}) ({or} 19... Nb7 20. Be3 Qd6 21. Nf3 exf4 22. gxf4 Nc5 23. e5 Bf5 24. Qxf5 gxf5 25. exd6 Bxc3+ 26. Ke2 Bxa1 27. Rxa1 Rfe8 28. Ne5 $18) 20. f5 $1 {[#] The most energetic.} g5 21. Qd1 $3 {Levon is in the zone!} gxh4 22. Rxh4 Rd8 (22... f6 23. Qh5 Rf7 24. Qg6 {and White only needs to bring the other rook to the h-file to force resignation.}) 23. Qh5 Kf8 (23... Qd6 24. Qh7+ Kf8 25. Bh6 Bxh6 26. Rxh6 $18) 24. Rg4 $6 {This is the one and only slip-up from Aronian in this brilliant game.} ({The somewhat counter-intuitive} 24. Qg4 $1 {would wrap it up soon:} Bf6 25. Rh7 Ke8 26. Bh6 Nb7 (26... Kd7 27. Qh5) 27. Qg8+ Kd7 28. Qxf7 Qxf7 29. Rxf7+ Be7 30. f6 {etc.}) 24... Bf6 $2 {Very unfortunate.} ({ Anish had a chance to put up stiff resistance:} 24... Qd6 $1 {I can only assume Levon planned to sacrifice more:} 25. Rxg7 Kxg7 26. Qg5+ Kf8 27. Kf2 Ke8 28. Qg7 {White's attack is formidable, but it's by no means over for Black.}) 25. Bh6+ Ke8 26. Rg8+ Kd7 27. d6 1-0 [Event "FIDE Grand Prix Palma 2017"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.16"] [Round "1"] [White "Inarkiev, Ernesto"] [Black "Li, Chao b"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D85"] [WhiteElo "2683"] [BlackElo "2741"] [Annotator "Alex Yermolinsky"] [PlyCount "57"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Qa4+ Nd7 ({ Personally, I have always preferred} 7... Qd7 8. Qb3 O-O 9. Nf3 c5 {but recent developments after a new (to me) move} 10. d5 {leave me worried. For example,} e6 11. Be3 exd5 12. exd5 b6 {and here} 13. Bb5 $5 {was Nakamura-Vachier Lagrave, Chess.com Blitz 2016. I wonder what's going on after} Bxc3+ 14. Kd1 ( 14. Ke2 $4 Qxb5+ 15. Qxb5 Ba6 $19) 14... Bxa1 15. Bxd7 Nxd7 {isn't Black supposed to be more than OK here?}) 8. Nf3 O-O 9. Be2 Nb6 $6 {I know I'm not supposed to treat a 2740 player like a schoolboy, but has Li Chao ever heard the famous Dr. Tarrasch dictum "Nb6 always stands badly"?} ({Databases contain hundreds of games with a standard} 9... c5 {and White's results show not more than a normal few percentage points edge.}) 10. Qb4 Qd6 11. O-O Bg4 $6 { What is the point of parting with a bishop when Black isn't attacking d4? More questions that only Li Chao can answer.} (11... Qxb4 12. cxb4 Bg4 {would make more sense.}) 12. Qb3 $1 c6 $6 {To me, an old Grunfeld hand, this move always signifies Black's failure to follow through on this great opening's ideas.} ({ No matter what} 12... c5 13. Ba3 Qc6 {had to be tried.}) 13. Rd1 Qc7 14. Ba3 Nc8 15. Rac1 Bxf3 16. Bxf3 Rd8 {[#] Just like that White has obtained a sizeable advantage without breaking a drop of sweat.} 17. e5 $1 e6 18. c4 Rb8 19. Be4 c5 $6 {A desperate attempt to break out that is doomed to fail.} 20. Bxc5 f6 21. Bb4 (21. Qh3 {also looked mighty good}) 21... fxe5 22. d5 $1 b6 23. dxe6 Ne7 {[#]Now the simple, yet elegant finish.} 24. Rd7 $1 Rxd7 25. exd7 Qxd7 26. c5+ Kh8 27. c6 Rc8 28. Qf7 Qd4 29. Bxe7 1-0 [Event "Palma De Mallorca GP 2017"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca ESP"] [Date "2017.11.17"] [Round "2.2"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Inarkiev, Ernesto"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2801"] [BlackElo "2683"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2017.11.16"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 c5 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. Qc2 Nc6 9. Rd1 Qa5 10. a3 Re8 11. Nd2 e5 12. Bg5 Nd4 {A topical line.} 13. Qb1 (13. Qc1 Bf5 14. Bxf6 Nc2+ 15. Ke2 Nd4+ 16. Ke1 Nc2+ 17. Ke2 Nd4+ 18. Ke1 Nc2+ { ½-½ Carlsen,M (2827)-Nakamura,H (2781) Douglas 2017}) (13. Qa4 Qxa4 14. Nxa4 Nc2+ 15. Ke2 Nd4+ 16. Ke1 Nc2+ 17. Ke2 Nd4+ 18. Ke1 Nc2+ {1/2-1/2 (18) Karjakin,S (2773)-Nakamura,H (2787) Bilbao ESP 2016}) 13... Bf5 14. Bd3 Bxd3 $1 {This was Zumsande's novelty from two years ago.} ({In the stem game, Kortchnoi refuted Black's play over the board and won in 60 moves vs Karpov.} 14... e4 15. Bc2 Nxc2+ 16. Qxc2 Qa6 17. Bxf6 Qxf6 18. Nb3 Bd6 {Kortschnoj,V (2665)-Karpov,A (2725) Baguio City 1978}) 15. Qxd3 Ne4 16. Nxd5 $146 {And this is Aronian's novelty!} (16. Ncxe4 dxe4 17. Qxe4 Qb6 18. Qb1 Ne6 19. Bh4 Bxe3 20. fxe3 Qxe3+ 21. Kf1 Qf4+ 22. Bf2 Rad8 23. g3 Qh6 24. Ne4 Qh3+ 25. Kg1 Nf4 { 0-1 Tarjan,J (2479)-Zumsande,M (2422) Douglas ENG 2015}) (16. cxd5 Nxc3 17. bxc3 Nb5 18. Ne4 Nd6 19. Nxd6 Bxd6 20. e4 Rec8 {Le,Q (2726)-Yu,Y (2753) Danzhou 2017}) 16... Nxg5 17. b4 Qa6 18. bxc5 Rad8 19. Nb4 Qa4 20. Qb1 a5 $6 ({ It looks like Inarkiev is the first to have trouble remembering the preparation. Better is} 20... Nc6 21. Qb3 Qa5) 21. Nd5 Nc2+ 22. Ke2 Ne4 23. Nxe4 Qxc4+ 24. Kf3 Rxd5 25. g4 f5 26. gxf5 Rf8 27. Qxb7 Rxf5+ 28. Kg3 Rxd1 29. Rxd1 Nd4 30. exd4 Rf7 31. Qb1 Rf4 32. f3 Qe6 33. Ng5 Qh6 34. Qb8+ (34. Qb8+ { And resigns because White will both pick up the black queen and checkmate right after:} Rf8 35. Qb3+ Kh8 36. Nf7+ Kg8 37. Nxh6+ Kh8 38. Qg8+ Rxg8 39. Nf7#) 1-0 [Event "Palma de Mallorca ESP"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca ESP"] [Date "2017.11.17"] [Round "2.1"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B96"] [WhiteElo "2762"] [BlackElo "2796"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2017.11.16"] [EventType "swiss"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 h6 8. Bh4 Qb6 9. a3 Be7 10. Bf2 (10. Qd3 Nbd7 11. O-O-O g5 12. fxg5 Ne5 13. Qd2 Nh7 14. Nf3 hxg5 15. Bf2 Qc7 {Caruana,F (2807)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2791) Saint Louis 2017}) 10... Qc7 11. Qf3 Nbd7 12. O-O-O b5 13. g4 Bb7 (13... g5 14. h4 gxf4 15. Be2 Rg8 {Giri,A (2790)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2788) Stavanger NOR 2016 and now} 16. g5 $1 {is good for White.}) 14. h4 Nc5 15. Bd3 h5 16. g5 Ng4 17. Rhg1 $146 (17. f5 Nxd3+ 18. cxd3 e5 19. Nc2 Rc8 20. Kb1 d5 21. Rc1 d4 22. Nd5 Bxd5 23. exd5 Qd7 {Konguvel,P (2388)-Niekras,D (2291) Warsaw 2017}) 17... g6 18. Rxg4 hxg4 19. Qxg4 e5 20. Nf3 Rc8 21. fxe5 dxe5 22. Kb1 Rd8 23. Nd5 Bxd5 24. exd5 Nxd3 25. Rxd3 O-O 26. h5 (26. Bg3 Rc8 27. c3 Bd6 28. Nd2 $1 {and the knight goes to e4.}) 26... Qc4 27. Qh3 Qc8 28. Qxc8 Rxc8 29. Nxe5 Bxg5 30. d6 Bf4 31. d7 1/2-1/2 [Event "Palma de Mallorca"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.17"] [Round "2"] [White "Vallejo Pons, Francisco"] [Black "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E73"] [WhiteElo "2705"] [BlackElo "2741"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "74"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Be2 ({Later in the annotations this game will be mentioned:} 5. f3 O-O 6. Be3 e5 7. d5 c5 8. Bd3 Nh5 9. Nge2 f5 10. exf5 gxf5 11. Qc2 {and now the key move} e4 $1 12. fxe4 f4 $1 13. Bf2 Nd7 14. Ng1 Qg5 15. Bf1 Ne5 16. Nf3 Qe7 17. Nxe5 Qxe5 18. O-O-O Nf6 19. h3 Bd7 20. Bd3 a6 21. Nb1 f3 22. gxf3 Nh5 23. Nd2 Nf4 24. Bf1 b5 25. h4 Kh8 26. Rg1 Bf6 27. Nb3 Rab8 28. Be1 b4 29. Kb1 Ra8 30. Bg3 Rg8 31. Qh2 Rxg3 32. Rxg3 Ne2 33. Qxe2 Qxg3 34. Nc1 a5 35. Nd3 Bd4 36. h5 Qh4 37. Bg2 Rg8 38. Rh1 Qg3 39. Bf1 a4 40. Kc2 a3 41. b3 {1/2-1/2 Kotov,A-Gligoric,S Zurich 1953}) 5... O-O 6. Be3 { A look in the database reveals that Radjabov had never faced this move before, while Vallejo had never even developed the light-squared bishop to e2 on the previous move.} ({In the Averbakh System White often tries to lure the pawn to h6 before stepping on e3 with} 6. Bg5 h6 7. Be3) 6... e5 7. d5 a5 8. g4 Na6 9. h4 {Not really and attack, but more of a defensive prophylaxis. White wants to control the kingside.} Nc5 10. f3 h5 11. g5 Nh7 ({Very often this knight is rerouted to the queenside with} 11... Nfd7 12. Nh3 Nb6 {as in Debashis,D (2472) -Firouzja,A (2456) Doha 2016}) 12. Kd2 $146 {A novelty. The king is often safe behind the blocked center in these lines.} ({The "normal" way to play it is} 12. Qd2 f6 13. gxf6 {In a recent game from the ETCC White was better after} ({ Or} 13. O-O-O fxg5 14. hxg5 Bd7 15. Nh3 Qe7 16. Kb1 Rf7 17. Nf2 Raf8 18. Rdg1 Rf4 {1/2-1/2 Riazantsev,A (2646)-Amonatov,F (2592) St Petersburg 2015}) 13... Rxf6 ({However} 13... Bxf6 {seems more natural to play.}) 14. O-O-O Bd7 15. Nh3 {Rodshtein,M (2699)-Kovalev,V (2636) Heraklio 2017}) ({Another option for White is} 12. Nh3 {for example} Bxh3 {I do not like this...} 13. Rxh3 f6 14. gxf6 (14. Qd2 $5) 14... Rxf6 15. Qd2 {which looks good for White, Debashis,D (2472) -Karthikeyan,M (2578) Moscow 2017}) 12... Bd7 {Radjabov proceeds with the normal development and prepares the opening of the center.} 13. Nh3 c6 14. Nf2 cxd5 15. exd5 {Vallejo's point. His knights get an access to the wonderful e4 spot.} ({Or} 15. cxd5 a4 {followed by Qd8-a5 and b7-b5 with strong play on the queenside.}) 15... f5 ({The computer recommends} 15... b6 {but no real KID player will allow} 16. Nfe4 {that easily.}) 16. gxf6 Nxf6 17. Bxc5 $6 {A contraversial decision. The knights will make it to the e4 square, but the bishop on g7 remains without an opponent.} dxc5 18. Kc2 ({Some of the problems due to the lack of the white bishop are revealed in the line} 18. Nfe4 Nxe4+ 19. Nxe4 Rf4 {when the pawn on h4 becomes vulnerable. After} 20. Qe1 Qb6 21. Kc2 Bf5 {Black is better.}) 18... a4 (18... e4 $5 {was already interesting, but before breaking through Radjabov wants to soften the long diagonal.}) 19. Qd2 a3 20. b3 e4 $1 {Every KID players knows ;-) This idea, reminiscent of the glorious game Kotov-Gligoric from the Interzonal tournament Zurich 1953, is the main weapon of every KID player. The Beast on g7 is released and things do not look rosy for Vallejo at all. To make things worse, he was getting very low on time.} 21. fxe4 ({Worse was} 21. Nfxe4 Nxe4 22. fxe4 Rf2 {and Black breaks into the opponent's camp.}) 21... Ng4 22. Nxg4 (22. Nd3 {is too artifical to be true. After} Bh6 23. Qe1 Ne3+ 24. Kb1 Qe7 {Black develops a strong attack on the dark squares.}) 22... hxg4 {I could not believe my eyes when I saw the computer evaluation here (0.00)... Black's play is very easy and strong. The queen will come out on either f6 or e7, then on the long diagonal, rooks want to get into the scond file, there's a strong passer on g3. ..} ({Of course not} 22... Bxg4 23. Bxg4 hxg4 {which will make White's defense easier.}) 23. h5 ({Or} 23. Raf1 Rxf1 24. Bxf1 Qf6 {and the black pieces dominate the board.}) 23... Rf2 24. h6 ({In case of} 24. hxg6 {Black will simply ignore the g6 pawn and proceed with his plan:} Qe7 25. Rh7 ({Even the endgame is bad for White after} 25. d6 Qe5 26. Qd5+ Qxd5 27. cxd5 g3 $1 ({ No need to complicate thing with} 27... Bxc3 {when a curious line that leads to a draw runs after} 28. Kxc3 Rxe2 29. Rh7 Be8 30. Rah1 g3 31. d7 g2 32. Rh8+ Kg7 33. R1h7+ Kxg6 34. Rh6+ Kg5 35. Rh5+ Bxh5 36. Rxa8 Re3+ 37. Kd2 Re2+)) 25... g3 {with big advantage for the second player.}) 24... Be5 25. Raf1 g3 26. Rxf2 ({Or} 26. Qe3 Rh2 $1 (26... Qf6 27. Nd1 Rxf1 28. Rxf1 Qe7 {looks less convincing.})) 26... gxf2 27. Nd1 Qf6 28. Rf1 Bd4 29. Nxf2 {Vallejo understands that the positon is hopeless strategically and tries tactics. But this only speeds up his defeat.} (29. Bd3 Rf8 30. h7+ Kxh7 31. Rh1+ Kg8 32. Qh6 Rf7 {leads White nowehere neither.}) 29... Bxf2 30. e5 Qxe5 31. Rxf2 Bf5+ 32. Kd1 (32. Rxf5 Qxf5+ {is hopeless as well.}) 32... Qa1+ {Not the only wy to win the game, but convincing enough.} 33. Qc1 Qxa2 34. Rxf5 Qxb3+ ({Surely} 34... gxf5 $4 {would give the win to White after} 35. Qg5+ Kf7 36. Qg7+ Ke8 37. h7) 35. Kd2 Qa2+ {Radjabov repeats the moves once.} (35... a2 {would have won after } 36. Qa1 Qb4+ 37. Kc2 Qb1+ 38. Qxb1 axb1=Q+ 39. Kxb1 gxf5) 36. Ke1 {Vallejo deviates, but there is no salvation anyways.} (36. Kd1 Qb3+ {would force Radjabov to use the winning line from above.}) 36... Qb2 37. Qf4 Qb1+ 0-1 [Event "Palma de Mallorca ESP"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca ESP"] [Date "2017.11.18"] [Round "3.5"] [White "Hammer, Jon Ludvig"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B51"] [WhiteElo "2629"] [BlackElo "2763"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "78"] [EventDate "2017.11.16"] [EventType "swiss"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 {This move reveals aggressive intentions. In the Moscow line both knight moves (3...Nb8-c6) have fighting reputation, while the bishop cover enjoys the label "safe."} 4. d4 cxd4 5. Qxd4 a6 6. Bxd7+ Bxd7 7. Nc3 e5 {An accurate move.} ({The main thing that Black needs to avoid in the line is the premature development of his knight:} 7... Nf6 {as the Boleslavsky pawn structure that arises after} 8. Bg5 Rc8 9. O-O-O h6 10. Bxf6 gxf6 11. Nd5 {favours White, Georgiev,K (2443)-Bernadskiy,V (2559) Sunny Beach 2014}) 8. Qd3 Rc8 ({The other way to play it is} 8... h6 {as in the blitz game between two living legends} 9. Nd2 Be6 10. Nc4 Rc8 11. Ne3 Nf6 12. O-O Be7 13. Rd1 O-O {White achieved almost everything he wanted and still has no advantage, Anand,V (2783)-Kasparov,G (2812) Saint Louis 2017}) 9. Nd2 {The knight is shifted towards the d5 spot.} Be6 10. Nf1 Be7 11. Ne3 Nf6 {Only now when the pin Bc1-g5 is not possible does Svidler develop the knight.} 12. O-O Qc7 $146 { A very interesting novelty backed up by a sound plan.} ({Interestingly, Black did great in the only predecessor after:} 12... O-O 13. a4 Qc7 14. Bd2 h6 15. b3 Rfd8 16. Rfd1 d5 $1 {Fernandez Garcia,J (2457)-Alonso Bouza,J (2266) Havana 2009}) 13. a4 Qc5 14. Rd1 O-O {It is not very clear how can White develop further.} 15. Bd2 ({After} 15. a5 h6 {the ball is back into White's court.}) ({ White's main problem is that the knight jumps on d5 are just bad at the moment as they both will lead to the sealing of the d5 square and better pawn structure for Black after} 15. Ncd5 $2 Nxd5 16. exd5 Bd7) ({Or} 15. Ned5 $2 Nxd5 16. exd5 Bd7) 15... Bd8 {The point behind Black's novelty. Svidler brings the dark-squared bishop to an active position.} 16. Nf5 $2 {A horrible move.} ( {The only chance was in the complications arising after} 16. a5 $1 Bxa5 17. Ncd5 Bd8 ({Or} 17... Bxd2 18. Nxf6+ gxf6 19. Qxd2 Rfd8 20. Qe2 {with some compensation for a pawn.}) 18. Bb4 {Now Black has a choice between the sharp} Qc6 ({And the solid} 18... Qd4 19. Bxd6 (19. Qxd4 exd4 20. Rxd4 Bxd5 21. exd5 Bb6 {favors Black.}) 19... Qxd3 20. Rxd3 {with approximate equality.}) 19. Bxd6 Bxd5 20. Bxf8 Bxe4 21. Qxd8 Rxd8 22. Rxd8 {It's messy.}) ({Black is better after} 16. Be1 Ba5 17. Qxd6 Qxd6 18. Rxd6 Bxc3 19. bxc3 Nxe4) 16... Bxf5 17. exf5 d5 {Hammer's opening became a disaster. Svidler has a strong center, good pieces and there is a weakness on f5.} 18. Rac1 ({There is not enough compensation after} 18. Bg5 d4 19. Bxf6 Bxf6 20. Ne4 Qxc2 21. Nxf6+ gxf6 22. Qf3 Qxb2) 18... Bb6 19. Qe2 h6 {A neat move that secures the center.} 20. a5 ({ After} 20. Qxe5 Qxf2+ 21. Kh1 Ng4 {White may easily get mated:} 22. Qxd5 $2 ({ The lesser evil is to give up the exchange} 22. Qg3 Qxg3 23. hxg3 Nf2+ { but this is also hopeless.}) 22... Qg1+ 23. Rxg1 Nf2#) 20... Ba7 ({Even better than} 20... Bxa5 21. Qxe5 Rfe8 22. Qf4 {although Black has the upper hand here as well.}) 21. Na4 Qc6 22. b3 Rfe8 {The central pawns get ready to rock.} 23. Kh1 Qd7 24. g4 {The only way to create some threats, but with a weak center those should never work.} d4 25. Qf3 ({Or} 25. h4 Qd5+ 26. Kg1 e4) 25... e4 26. Qg2 Qc6 27. g5 hxg5 28. Bxg5 e3 {As usual, the central play refutes the flank attack.} 29. f3 ({If} 29. fxe3 Ne4 $1 (29... dxe3 {should also do.}) 30. Bh4 Qh6 31. Rg1 dxe3 {leaves White completely helpless.}) 29... Re5 30. Qh3 e2 31. Rg1 d3 $1 {The decisive break.} 32. Nb6 ({White is getting checkmated after} 32. cxd3 Qxc1 33. Rxc1 ({Or loses a piece in case of} 33. Bxc1 Bxg1 34. Bd2 e1=Q 35. Bxe1 Rxe1) 33... e1=Q+ 34. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 35. Kg2 Rg1#) 32... Bxb6 33. axb6 Rce8 {Possible because of Black's next move.} 34. Bh6 ({Once more the capture} 34. cxd3 {does not safe White due to} Qxc1 35. Rxc1 ({Or} 35. Bxc1 e1=Q 36. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 37. Kg2 R8e2+ 38. Kg3 Rxc1 {and Black wins.}) 35... e1=Q+ 36. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 37. Kg2 R8e2+ 38. Kg3 Rg1+ 39. Kh4 Nd5 {With complete domination which will sooner or later end with the queen gain. Say} 40. Bd8 Nf4 ) 34... Ng4 35. Rxg4 {Now it is a forced mate.} ({While} 35. Qxg4 Qxh6 { would be an extra rook for Black at least.}) 35... e1=Q+ 36. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 37. Kg2 R8e2+ 38. Kg3 Rg1+ 39. Kh4 Qxh6# 0-1 [Event "Palma de Mallorca"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.19"] [Round "4"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B30"] [WhiteElo "2780"] [BlackElo "2741"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "83"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 {Radjabov is known for his mastery in the Sveshnikov/Kalshnikov lines. Thus the choice of Nakamura makes a lot of sense.} ({Even though the American GM managed to win an important game four years ago in the line:} 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d6 6. N1c3 a6 7. Na3 b5 8. Nd5 Nf6 9. c4 $5 {Nakamura,H (2775)-Radjabov,T (2745) Stavanger 2013}) 3... e6 4. O-O Nge7 5. d4 cxd4 6. Nxd4 Ng6 7. Be3 Be7 8. Be2 O-O 9. Nc3 ({The alternative was } 9. c4 Nxd4 10. Bxd4 b6 11. Re1 Bb7 12. Nc3 Bc6 {with solid position for the seond player in Nepomniachtchi,I (2733)-Lenic,L (2650) Heraklio 2017}) 9... Qc7 10. f4 {This was Nakamura's idea. He drags the opponent into an unfamiliar position - a Scheveningen type. There is an important difference though: The black kingside knight is placed on g6 rather than on f6. Who will profit from that?} Nxd4 $146 ({A predecessor ended quickly in a draw after:} 10... a6 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. e5 d6 13. exd6 Bxd6 14. Qd2 Rd8 15. Bd3 Rb8 16. b3 Qa5 17. Ne4 Qxd2 18. Bxd2 Bc7 19. Be3 {1/2-1/2 (19) Kulish,I (2280)-Shumiakina,T (2407) Moscow 1999}) 11. Qxd4 b6 {The most convincing way to finish the development.} 12. Qd2 ({The computer suggestion} 12. Qc4 Qxc4 13. Bxc4 Bb7 {is harmless for Black.}) 12... Bb7 13. Rad1 Bc6 (13... Rad8 $5 {intending Be7-c5 also makes sense.}) 14. a3 Bf6 {Radjabov provokes the advance of the white pawns. Other options were also possible:} (14... Rad8) (14... Rfd8) (14... d6) 15. g3 { Nakamura is not advancing the central pawn yet.} ({Indeed} 15. e5 Be7 16. Nb5 Bxb5 17. Bxb5 Rfd8 18. Qf2 d6 {looks OK for Black.}) 15... Rac8 16. e5 { Only now.} Be7 17. h4 {Grabbing more space. The only piece that does not fit well in Black's solid construction is the knight. But this might be a minor concern in case Radjabov manages to free himself with a timely d7-d6 advance as the steed will get access to the game via the d7 square.} Rfd8 18. h5 ({Or} 18. Ba6 Bb7 19. Nb5 Qb8 20. Bxb7 Qxb7 21. h5 Nf8 22. Qe2) 18... Nf8 19. Ba6 { The rook should be kicked away from the half-open file.} ({If} 19. Nb5 Bxb5 20. Bxb5 Qxc2) 19... Rb8 (19... Bb7 {would be answered} 20. Nb5 Qb8 21. Bxb7 Qxb7 22. Qe2 {followed by Nb7-d6 when the Black pieces will start to suffocate soon. }) 20. Qd6 $1 {What? Nakamura gives a free queen??} ({Apparently White saw that in the line} 20. Nb5 Bxb5 21. Bxb5 Bc5 ({However, this whole line is not mandatory and Radjabov can still level the chances with} 21... d6 $1 22. exd6 Bxd6 23. Qe2 Bc5 {with equality.}) 22. b4 $1 Bxe3+ 23. Qxe3 {He would be clearly better as the pawn is poisoned-} Qxc2 24. Rc1 Qa2 (24... Qf5 25. Qf3 { is not appealing neither.}) 25. Bc4 Qb2 26. Rf2 {and the queen is trapped.}) 20... Bxd6 21. exd6 {It's OK, now the Black queen is trapped. So what was the exclam for? The beauty? This one too, but it is mainly for the psychology behind the move. If Radjabov has missed the move he might had become less confident and eventhough the position remains close to equal this could matter for his future decision-making.} Qc8 22. Bxc8 Rbxc8 23. a4 {Attacking the queenside pawns. Black is practically down a piece there (you did not forget the knight on f8, did you?) and this is what Nakamura will try to exploit.} h6 24. Ra1 (24. a5 {does not yield much after} Rb8 25. Ra1 Nh7) 24... Ba8 { Not yet a mistake, but this looks very artificial.} ({Radjabov needed to get the knight out as soon as possible-} 24... Nh7 $1 25. a5 Rb8 26. axb6 ({Or} 26. Bd4 Nf6 27. axb6 axb6 28. Bxf6 gxf6) 26... axb6 27. Bd4 Nf6 28. Bxf6 gxf6 { would have led to approximately equal positions.}) 25. a5 Rc6 26. Rfd1 b5 { This is really wrong. Black must have miscalculated something.} ({Correct was} 26... bxa5 $1 27. Rxa5 ({Or} 27. Bxa7 Ra6 28. Bc5 Bf3 29. Rd3 Bxh5 30. b4 Bg6 31. Rd2 Rc8 $1) 27... a6 28. Rda1 Bb7 {as long as the queenside is safe Black will have the desired time to bring the kngiht out.}) 27. a6 $1 {This pawn will cost Black dearly. Now both the black queenside pawns are separated and will be soon lost.} b4 28. Nb5 Rxc2 29. Rd2 ({Maybe Radjabov was hoping for some counter-play like this-} 29. Bxa7 e5 $1 30. fxe5 Ne6 31. Bb6 Ng5 $1 32. Bxd8 Nf3+ 33. Kf1 Nh2+ {with perpetual. Here the knight would be the hero.}) 29... Rdc8 30. Nc7 $1 {Perhaps this is what Black missed.} (30. Nxa7 {is not as clear after} Rxd2 31. Bxd2 Rc2 32. Bxb4 Rxb2 33. Bc5 e5 34. fxe5 Ne6 { and Black is pretty much alive and kicking.}) 30... Rxd2 31. Bxd2 Bc6 ({ Probably the last chance was} 31... e5 32. fxe5 Ne6 33. Nxa8 Rxa8 34. Be3 { although then too White should be capable of winning after bringing his rook out via Ra1-a4(a5)-b4(b5).}) 32. Be3 Nh7 33. Bxa7 Nf6 34. Bc5 Ne4 (34... Nxh5 { would be similar to the game after} 35. a7 Nxg3 36. Ra6 $1 Be4 37. Rb6) 35. Bxb4 Nxg3 {The kngith is finally out but still not where it is needed...} 36. a7 Ne2+ 37. Kh2 Nxf4 38. Ra6 $1 ({No rush to cashout-} 38. a8=Q Bxa8 39. Rxa8 Rxa8 40. Nxa8 Nxh5 {will requre some technical work by the first player.}) 38... Be4 39. Rb6 {Now it is easy. The queenside passers decide the game-} Nxh5 40. Rb8 Rf8 41. Bd2 Nf6 42. b4 1-0 [Event "Grand Prix 2017"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.22"] [Round "6"] [White "Tomashevsky, Evgeny"] [Black "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B08"] [WhiteElo "2702"] [BlackElo "2741"] [Annotator "Bojov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "115"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. d4 d6 2. e4 Nf6 {In a must-win situation Radjabov tries to pull out Tomashevsky from his comfort zone and opts for the Pirc.} 3. Nc3 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Be2 O-O 6. O-O c6 7. a4 Nbd7 {Allowing the white pawn to a5 is considered risky.} ({More common moves are} 7... Qc7 8. Bf4 Nbd7 9. e5 Nh5 10. Bg5) ({Or} 7... a5 {followed by Nb8-a6-b4.}) 8. a5 Qc7 ({One of the dangers behind the pawn on a5 are demonstrated by the lines after} 8... e5 9. dxe5 dxe5 10. a6 Qc7 (10... b6 11. Qd6 c5) (10... bxa6 11. Qd6 Qb6 12. Bc4 {]} (12. b3 {]})) 11. axb7 Bxb7 12. Be3 {In all of them the timely a5-a6 caused confusion in Black's army.}) 9. Be3 e5 ({Maybe more promising is} 9... Rb8 10. d5 Nc5 11. Nd2 b6 12. axb6 axb6 13. Bf3 {as in Yilmaz,M (2531)-Kokarev,D (2635) Moscow 2013}) 10. h3 {Other options for White are} (10. d5 {with the positional threat a5-a6 to destroy the queenside pawn structure.}) ({Or} 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. Nd2 {followed by Nd2-c4-d6, or Qd1-b1-a2 and pressure along the a2-g8 diagonal.}) 10... exd4 11. Bxd4 Re8 12. Bc4 Nf8 13. Re1 Be6 14. Bf1 $146 {A logical novelty. White does not want to trade the pieces but rather leave them step on each other's toes.} ({An email game saw Black doing well after} 14. e5 Bxc4 15. exf6 Bh8 16. b3 Rxe1+ 17. Qxe1 Be6 {Yepez Gutierrez,J (2187)-Martins Mesquita,U (2458) CADAP email 2004}) 14... N8d7 15. Ng5 {If anything White will take the bishop pair.} a6 16. Qd2 c5 17. Be3 Ne5 18. Bf4 Rad8 (18... Bd7 {is not good because of} 19. Red1) 19. Nxe6 fxe6 {Tomashevsky won the bishop pair but Radjabov can be satisfied with his position. The strong bishop on g7 remained and both knights have good perspectives. All in all it is equal.} 20. Na4 ({After} 20. Bxe5 dxe5 21. Qe3 Rd4 {the black pawns are an asset rather than weakness.}) 20... Nf7 ({An interesting idea is to atatck on the kingside with} 20... Nh5 $5 21. Bg5 Bf6 22. Be2 Bxg5 23. Qxg5 Kh8 $5 {Trying to open as many files as possible. After} 24. Bxh5 gxh5 25. Qxh5 ({However, White can spoil the fun with an endgame-} 25. Qf6+ Qg7 26. Qxg7+ Kxg7 27. Rad1 {where he is slightly better.}) 25... Rg8 {Black has compensation for the pawn.}) 21. Rad1 Nh5 22. Be3 {A silent draw offer.} ({Similar was} 22. Bh2 Bh6 23. Qc3 Bg7) 22... Nf6 23. Bf4 Qc6 {Repetition rejected. Radjabov needs to win.} 24. Nc3 Kh8 25. b3 h6 26. Bd3 g5 {Objectively however this only weakens Black's position.} 27. Bh2 Nd7 28. Ne2 {White shifts all his pieces onto the kingside.} ({It also made sense to send the bishop on the kingside with} 28. Be2 $5 Be5 29. Bh5 Rf8 30. h4 {with nice atatcking prospects for the first player.}) 28... Nfe5 29. f4 $1 gxf4 30. Nxf4 Bf6 31. Kh1 {Both players were rather low on time.} (31. Be2 $1 { was even stronger here. For example} Qxe4 {drops the exchange due to} ({And if } 31... Nf8 32. Bh5 (32. Bg3) 32... Re7 33. Rf1 {with White's attack.}) 32. Bh5 ) 31... Kh7 32. Rf1 Bg5 33. Qe2 {Now the queen enjoys the hospitable light squares.} Nf6 34. Nh5 Rf8 {Radjabov is holding narrowly.} ({Worse was} 34... Nxh5 35. Qxh5 Rf8 36. Bxe5 dxe5 37. Rf7+) 35. Bxe5 dxe5 36. Nxf6+ Bxf6 ({ Similar was} 36... Rxf6 37. Rxf6 Bxf6 38. Rf1 Rf8 39. Bc4) 37. Bc4 Qe8 38. Qg4 Rxd1 39. Rxd1 Rg8 40. Qxe6 {The last move before the time control. With few seconds left on the clock Tomashevsky takes the practical decision to play an engame up a pawn.} ({However, objectively speaking White's chances are connected with the queens as the black king is weak. Correct was} 40. Qf3 $1 Qe7 41. Rd3 {With the idea Qf3-d1 and eventually Rd3-d7. If} Rd8 42. Rxd8 Qxd8 43. Bxe6 {would be already won as White has crushing attack.}) 40... Qxe6 41. Bxe6 Rd8 42. Bd5 {Another practical decision.} ({Winning a second pawn in return of the rooks will lead to a draw only:} 42. Rxd8 Bxd8 43. Bc8 Bxa5 44. Bxb7 {Now an important move is} h5 $1 {in order to nullify White's extra pawn on the kingside. After} 45. Bxa6 Be1 {The plan is to bring the king on the queenside to block White's extra pawn and leave the bishop on the kingside to hold the fort. Here is a possible continuation-} 46. Kg1 Kg6 47. Kf1 Bg3 48. Ke2 Kf6 49. Kd3 Ke6 50. Kc4 Kd6 51. c3 h4 52. b4 cxb4 53. cxb4 Kc7 {and a draw. }) 42... Kg7 43. g3 Rd7 44. h4 Bd8 45. Ra1 Kf6 {White kept the rooks but Black managed to regroup and defend the queenside. Objectively speaking it should end in a draw. ..} 46. Kg2 Kg6 47. Kf3 Rg7 48. c3 h5 49. Ra2 Kf6 50. Kg2 Kg6 51. Kf2 Kf6 52. Kf3 Kg6 53. b4 cxb4 54. cxb4 Kh6 55. Rc2 Be7 (55... Rc7 $2 56. Rxc7 Bxc7 57. Bxb7 Bd6 58. b5 $1 (58. Bxa6 Bxb4) 58... axb5 59. a6) 56. Rb2 Bd8 57. Rb3 b6 $4 {A tragical oversight. Radjabov thought that he forces the draw at once. Alas.. .} ({Instead something like} 57... Rc7 $5 {would have most likely ended in a draw after say} 58. b5 axb5 59. Rxb5 Rc3+ 60. Kg2 Ra3 61. Rxb7 Bxa5) ({Or even the semi-waiting move} 57... Kh7 {should have held for Black.}) 58. b5 $1 {A nasty surprise. The pawn break wins instantly.} (58. b5 { The pawn is unstoppable after} bxa5 ({And the rook is trapped after} 58... axb5 59. a6 Ra7 60. Bb7) 59. b6) ({Instead} 58. axb6 Bxb6 59. Ra3 Ra7 {followed by a6-a5 would have been indeed a draw.}) 1-0 [Event "Palma de Mallorca"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.19"] [Round "4"] [White "Harikrishna, Pentala"] [Black "Vallejo Pons, Francisco"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A21"] [WhiteElo "2738"] [BlackElo "2705"] [Annotator "Sagar,Shah"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. c4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e5 {64} 2. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Bb4 {300} 3. Nd5 {74} Na6 {[%emt 0:00:33]} (3... Bc5 {is the main move here. 1-0 (34) Aronian,L (2793)-Anand,V (2786) Leuven 2017}) 4. Nxb4 {556} Nxb4 {[%emt 0:00:59]} 5. a3 { [%emt 0:00:13]} Nc6 {70} 6. b4 {75 White has the bishop pair and the black knight has moved twice in the opening. What can be the reason that Black would be willing to do this? Well the answer is that Black has the centre and he would like to rapidly complete his development with Nf6, 0-0 and then break with d5.} d5 $5 {1351 With no knight coming to c3, it makes sense to play this move. The queen will be safe on d5. Vallejo had already spent 22 minutes on this move which meant he was out of his prep.} 7. e3 $146 {200} ({Predecessor: } 7. b5 Na5 8. cxd5 Qxd5 9. Rb1 Qa2 10. Rb4 Be6 11. d3 {½-½ (64) Monte,E (1713)-Paiva,L (1753) Fortaleza 2012}) 7... Nf6 {267} 8. Bb2 {673} d4 {527 This definitely seems very logical. The bishop is on b2 and the move d4 closes its diagonal.} 9. Nf3 {361 Hari puts pressure on the centre and threatens b5.} Bg4 {158} 10. h3 {139} Bxf3 {215} 11. gxf3 {33 Hari's position is strategically quite dangerous. He has ruined his structure and his hoping that the bishops will able to get some play going.} (11. Qxf3 {is interesting.} O-O 12. Be2 Re8 13. O-O Qe7 14. Bd1 $13) 11... O-O {257} 12. Qc2 {219} a5 {1001} ( 12... Re8 $13 {I do not think Black can be worse here, but at the same time it is a game filled with rich ideas and all three results are possible.}) 13. b5 $36 {50 White fights for an advantage.} Ne7 {[%emt 0:00:13]} 14. f4 $1 { 690 Hari takes his chance to bring down this e5-d4 structure.} dxe3 {359} ( 14... exf4 15. Bxd4 $14) 15. O-O-O $1 {1059 Brilliant play by Harikrishna! All that he wants is to open the position at all costs.} e2 {351} (15... exf2 16. fxe5 $36) (15... exf4 16. dxe3 $16) 16. Bxe2 {[%emt 0:00:32]} exf4 {[%emt 0:00: 03]} 17. h4 {159} (17. Bxf6 gxf6 {was possible, but not something that Hari would like to do if he doesn't see an immediate way of taking advantage. The bishop on b2 is just too powerful.}) 17... Kh8 {612} ({Black should try} 17... c6) 18. h5 $16 {414 White has strong compensation.} h6 {1 [#]} 19. Rdg1 $1 {251 } Qd6 {193 [#]} (19... Neg8 {stays solid, but White has all the time in the world to improve his position, mainly by doubling the rooks on the g-file. So he should be better.}) 20. c5 $2 {357} (20. Rxg7 $3 {This was a brilliant sacrifice that Hari missed.} Kxg7 21. Rg1+ Kh8 22. c5 Qe6 23. Bc4 {And Black has to give up his queen.} Rg8 24. Rxg8+ Rxg8 25. Bxe6 Rg1+ 26. Qd1 Rxd1+ 27. Kxd1 Kg7 28. Bc4 $18 {It's a perennial pin down the diagonal.}) 20... Qd5 {104} 21. Rh4 {84 Threatening Rxg7 once again.} (21. Rxg7 Qxh1+ $19) 21... Rfe8 {346} 22. Rxf4 {269 White is clearly winning.} Neg8 {[%emt 0:00:24]} 23. Bf3 { [%emt 0:00:37]} Qe6 {[%emt 0:00:28]} 24. Qc3 {122} Rad8 {337 [#]} 25. Rfg4 $1 { 88} Qf5 {13 Strongly threatening ...Rd3.} (25... Nxg4 26. Qxg7#) 26. Rxg7 { [%emt 0:00:23]} Re1+ {[%emt 0:00:16]} 27. Rxe1 {138} Kxg7 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 28. Bxb7 {74} Kf8 {75} 29. f3 {212} Nxh5 {[%emt 0:00:19]} 30. Qe5 {92} Qd7 { [%emt 0:00:04]} (30... Qxe5 31. Bxe5 $18) 31. Bc3 {[%emt 0:00:53]} Ngf6 {76} 32. Bc6 {[%emt 0:00:26]} Qe6 {[%emt 0:00:53]} 33. Qxe6 {97 The a5 pawn falls, and with it also the game. A fine display by Hari.} 1-0 [Event "Grand Prix 2017"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.23"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Black "Li, Chao"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A10"] [WhiteElo "2741"] [BlackElo "2741"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "105"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. c4 g6 2. e4 e5 3. d4 Nf6 {Quite a rare line. Although some strong players, including Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So have used it successfully (So with both colors.)} 4. Nf3 {The main move.} (4. dxe5 Nxe4 5. Qd4 {is what Topalov chose against Wesley So} Nc5) 4... exd4 ({Relevant:} 4... Bb4+ 5. Nc3 Nxe4 6. Qc2 f5 7. Nxe5 c5 {Jakovenko,D (2704)-Kokarev,D (2643) Khanty-Mansiysk 2016}) 5. e5 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Qe7 7. Bxb4 Qxb4+ 8. Qd2 Qxd2+ 9. Nbxd2 Nh5 10. Nxd4 {An endgame emerged by force. Black's knight on h5 does not seem particularly happy at the moment, but White's central pawn may turn a bit overoptimistic.} Nc6 11. N2f3 $146 {And a novelty by Radjabov. The Azeri GM is determined to fight till the last bullet.} ({The predecessor saw White spoiling the opponent's haircut with: } 11. Nxc6 dxc6 12. O-O-O Bf5 13. g3 O-O-O 14. Be2 Ng7 {at the expense of the development, Suba,M (2531)-Jansa,V (2477) Bad Zwischenahn 2008}) 11... b6 { Now it is all about the e5 pawn. Will it survive or not?} ({Clearly worse for Black is} 11... f6 12. Nb5 Kd8 13. g4) 12. Nb5 {Before anything the black king should remain stuck in the middle.} Kd8 13. O-O-O Re8 14. g3 a6 ({So far so good.} 14... Nxe5 {would be met with} 15. Nxe5 Rxe5 16. Bg2 Rb8 17. Nxa7 { and the knight on a7 is surprisingly jolly.}) 15. Nbd4 Bb7 ({Here} 15... Nxe5 $4 {would be even worse} 16. Nxe5 Rxe5 17. Nc6+) 16. Nxc6+ Bxc6 17. Bh3 $1 { A nice "disappearing" move. Before placing his bishop on the long diagonal Radjabov wants to force the move f7-f5.} ({The immediate} 17. Bg2 {would be strongly met with} f6 $1) 17... f5 ({Instead} 17... Bxf3 $2 {loses to} 18. Rxd7+ Kc8 19. Rxf7+) ({If} 17... Kc8 18. Rd3 {would start the pre-programmed doubling of the rooks on the half-open file and} Bxf3 $2 {would be still a bad idea due to} 19. Rxf3 Re7 20. Rd1 {with large advantage for White.}) 18. Bg2 ({ Of course not} 18. exf6 $6 Nxf6 {when the black pieces enter the game.}) 18... b5 19. Rhe1 bxc4 20. Nh4 Bxg2 21. Nxg2 {The central pawn survived and became extremely valuable. It helps White comfortably maneuver with their rooks and spoils the party for the black ones.} Rb8 22. Rd4 ({Also good was} 22. f4 Ng7 23. Ne3) 22... g5 ({In case of} 22... c3 {White would keep his pawns intact with} 23. b3 $1) ({White is also comfortably better after} 22... Ng7 23. Red1 Re7 24. Ne3 Ne6 25. Rxc4) 23. Red1 Rxe5 {Li Chao decided to try the active defense.} ({Objectively speaking} 23... Re7 {was more stubborn, although after} 24. Ne3 Ng7 25. f4 (25. Nxc4 Rb5) 25... gxf4 26. gxf4 Rf7 27. Rxc4 Ne6 { White's advantage is undisputable.}) 24. Rxd7+ Kc8 25. Rxh7 Nf6 26. Rh8+ Kb7 27. Rxb8+ Kxb8 28. Ne3 {The superb opening preparation and fine middlegame play netted White a pawn.} f4 ({Perhaps Black should have tried} 28... c3 29. bxc3 ({Here} 29. b3 $6 f4 $1 {is not convincing at all.}) 29... f4 30. Nc4) 29. Nxc4 Re2 30. Rd2 Re1+ 31. Kc2 {Next White activates everything that he has.} Kb7 ({Similar is} 31... Rh1 32. gxf4 gxf4 33. f3 Rf1 34. Ne5) 32. Kd3 Rh1 33. gxf4 gxf4 34. f3 Rf1 35. Ne5 Re1 36. Ng4 $1 {A nice regroupment. Radjabov co-ordinates his pieces with the outside passer. He is winning now.} Nd5 ({ White is perfectly co-ordinated in the rook endgame as well} 36... Nxg4 37. fxg4 Rg1 38. h3 Rg3+ 39. Ke4 Rxh3 40. Kxf4) 37. h4 c5 ({Anytime that the rook is placed behind the pawn} 37... Rh1 {there comes} 38. Rh2) 38. h5 Nb4+ 39. Kc4 Rc1+ 40. Kb3 Nc6 41. h6 Nd4+ {Li Chao tries some final tricks.} ({The pawn was unstopabble anyways-} 41... Rh1 42. Rh2) 42. Ka3 ({Or} 42. Ka4 Rc4+ 43. Ka3 Nb5+ 44. Kb3 Rb4+ 45. Kc2 {and wins.}) 42... Nxf3 43. h7 Nxd2 44. h8=Q Nc4+ 45. Ka4 Nb6+ 46. Kb3 a5 ({The king escapes after} 46... c4+ 47. Kb4 Nd5+ 48. Kc5) 47. Qf6 a4+ 48. Ka3 Ka6 49. Qxf4 Nc4+ 50. Kxa4 Nxb2+ 51. Kb3 Nd3 52. Qd6+ Kb5 53. a4+ ({White could even fall into the trap with} 53. Qxd3+ c4+ 54. Kb2 cxd3 55. Kxc1) 1-0 [Event "Palma de Mallorca"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.24"] [Round "8"] [White "Gelfand, Boris"] [Black "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E18"] [WhiteElo "2719"] [BlackElo "2741"] [Annotator "Tiger Hillarp Persson"] [PlyCount "96"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 ({No one has been as persistent about playing} 2... g6 { as Radjabov, at such a high level, but lately he has turned to more classical openings. It is a mature decision. The dark squared openings are, generally speaking, more powerful when your opponent has to spend some time preparing against classical alternatives.}) 3. Nf3 b6 {This is already a small surprise as Radjabov usually heads for a QGD-set-up.} 4. g3 Bb7 ({The most popular continuation (and the main reason why so many try to avoid this opening) is} 4... Ba6 5. b3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Nc3 d5 8. cxd5 exd5 9. Bg2 O-O 10. O-O Re8 { as in, for instance, Nakamura,H (2785)-Karjakin,S (2780) GCT Rapid Paris 2017. b2-b3 makes it harder for White to put the rook on c1 without being harrassed, which is the main reason Black is happy to (soon) lose a tempo with Bc8-a6-b7. This would not be so much trouble for White if only the bishop could go to b2, and there we have the reason for the other tempo-loss: Bf8-b4-e7.}) 5. Bg2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Ne4 8. Bd2 {This is a well trafficked crossroad for Black.} Nxd2 (8... Bf6 {is usually met with} 9. Rc1 (9. Be1 {is a promising alternative:} c5 10. Qc2 $5) 9... Nxd2 10. Qxd2 d6 {with similar play to the game.}) (8... f5 9. Ne5 Nxc3 10. Bxc3 Bxg2 11. Kxg2 Bf6 12. Qd3 d5 13. Rfd1 $14 {L'Ami,E (2596)-Tiviakov,S (2677) Wijk aan Zee 2012.}) (8... d5 {is the traditional way, but after} 9. cxd5 exd5 10. Rc1 {White gets the kind of position that the 4...Ba6-line (see above) is aimed at avoiding.}) 9. Qxd2 d6 10. Rad1 {I suspect there to be a deep reason why Gelfand prefers this move to 10.e4, but I cannot find it. Apart from e4/d5, it is hard to see a good plan for White.} ({Beliavsky has experienced the position after} 10. e4 {from both sides:} Nd7 11. Rfe1 a6 12. Qe2 (12. Rad1 b5 13. cxb5 axb5 14. a3 c6 15. d5 e5 16. dxc6 Bxc6 17. Nd5 {led to equality, in Huebner,R (2570)-Beliavsky,A (2605) 17th Puhajarve Rapid 2016.}) 12... c5 13. d5 e5 14. h4 $1 {I quite like Beliavsky's plan here.} Rb8 15. a4 Nf6 16. Bh3 {White has played economically and - compared to our game - has avoided both b3 and Rad1 (which are two moves that seem less than optimal).} g6 17. Kg2 Kg7 18. Rh1 h5 {This set-up doesn't turn out well for Black, so an improvement should be sought for around here.} 19. Ng5 Bc8 {A terrible concession for Black. White gets rid of his least wanted minor piece and keeps a free hand on the kingside, while Black has no real counterplay.} 20. Bxc8 Qxc8 21. Raf1 (21. f3 $1 Ne8 22. Nh3 Nc7 23. Nf2 $14 {looks more flexible.} b5 24. axb5 axb5 25. cxb5) 21... Rb7 22. f3 Ne8 23. Rf2 (23. Nh3 Nc7) 23... Bxg5 24. hxg5 f6 {and Black had equalized although White eventually won, in Beliavsky,A (2605)-Livaic,L (2435) 26th TCh-SLO 2016.} ) 10... Nd7 11. Rfe1 c5 {This is the only central break that comes into consideration here.} (11... e5 $2 12. Nxe5 $1) (11... d5 $6 12. cxd5 exd5 13. Qc2 {and White is perfectly coordinated to make life miserable for Black. Next, after} Re8 14. e4 dxe4 15. Nxe4 {is even worse than it at first seems, for Black. For instance} Nf6 16. Nxf6+ Bxf6 17. Rxe8+ Qxe8 18. Qxc7 {loses a pawn.} ) 12. e4 {White will soon have to play d4-d5, or run out of constructive moves. e4 will help in all the structures that might possibly arise then.} a6 13. d5 e5 $1 {So, even though it started as a light-squared opening (Queen's Indian) Radjabov has managed to get a typical dark-squared-opening pawn structure (Old Benoni style). He is back on his home turf. It does not matter very much that Black has the bishop pair here, but Be7 is quite well placed as it keeps Nf3 from accessing h4, from where it would make f5 very hard to achieve. Black is not to happy about the placement of Bb7, which would be better placed on the c8-h3 diagonal, but the rook is equally off track on e1.} 14. b3 {If White is going to stop Black from playing b6-b5, then I see no reason not to play a2-a4 immediately.} (14. a4 $1) (14. Rf1 b5) 14... g6 $1 {Black has two possible breaks: b6-b5 and f7-f5. The latter is no good unless Black can answer exf5 with gxf5. Ergo: Black's last move.} (14... f5 $4 15. exf5 Rxf5 16. Qe2 { , followed by Bh3 and Black is completely lost. Radjabov spends a few moves preparing f5 before taking the leap.}) 15. Rf1 (15. h4 $5 {is a logical move here. The point is that the exchange of the h-pawns would benefit White somewhat as f7-f5 would leave the Black king much more exposed than is the case in the game.} h5 $6 16. a3 {and again it becomes hard for Black to play f7-f5:} f5 $2 17. Qh6 $18) 15... Bc8 16. Ne1 {Gelfand is following a traditional script on how to treat such a position. By re-routing the knight to d3, White finds coordination and is prepared to meet f5 with f4 (aiming for the e6-square).} Rb8 (16... b5 {After} 17. cxb5 axb5 18. Nxb5 Ba6 19. a4 Bxb5 20. axb5 Qb6 21. Qd3 Ra5 22. Nf3 Qxb5 23. Qxb5 Rxb5 24. Nd2 Nb6 25. h4 { White seems to hold the balance comfortably. The engine comes up with the surprising} g5 $1 26. h5 (26. hxg5 Bxg5 27. f4 (27. Nc4 Nxc4 28. bxc4 Rb4 $15)) 26... g4 $1 27. Rfe1 Rb4 28. Bf1 f5 {when Black keeps some initiative. So, perhaps this is the more challenging move.}) 17. a4 f5 $1 {There is no convincing way for Black to prepare this break further, while it is not obviously bad, so it should be played.} (17... Bg5 18. Qe2 {and b5 has become out of the question.}) (17... Kh8 18. Nd3 (18. h4 $6 f5 19. h5 gxh5 $17) 18... f5 19. f4 Bf6 20. Kh1 Qe7 21. exf5 gxf5 22. fxe5 Nxe5 23. Nf4 Ng4 $13) 18. f4 ( 18. Nd3 Bg5 19. f4 exf4 20. gxf4 Bf6 {and White is struggling to keep Black's activity under the lid. For instance:} 21. exf5 gxf5 22. Bh3 Bg7 23. Kh1 Qh4 { backfires.}) (18. Nf3 $5 {is not an easy move to play when you just came that way, but the f3-g5-idea makes it harder for Black to develp his initiative on the kingside:} Rf7 19. Bh3 Nf8 $5 20. Ne1 {Ha! We don't mind going back again.} Bd7 21. Nd3 $132) ({If White still had the dark squared bishop on the board, then} 18. exf5 gxf5 19. f4 Bf6 20. Kh1 e4 {, would be good for him. Here, however, Black's bishop is too strong and White can only hope for a successful defence.}) ({The most direct way to fight for the light squares (yes, I mean f5) is} 18. Bh3 Nf6 $1 19. Nc2 f4 (19... fxe4 20. Be6+ Bxe6 21. dxe6 Qc8 22. Ne3 Qxe6 23. Qc2 $44) 20. Be6+ Bxe6 21. dxe6 Qc8 22. f3 Qxe6 23. gxf4 exf4 24. Qxf4 Nh5 25. Qd2 {with a complex game.}) 18... exf4 19. gxf4 fxe4 20. Nxe4 b5 { The game has opened up and the two most important factors in the position are Black's activity on the b-file and the weak e6-square. A race to set the opponent serious threats ensues.} 21. a5 {This move loses a tempo, which is why I would be reluctant to play it. I'm guessing that Gelfand's reasons for playing it were much more complex than my reasons for not to.} (21. axb5 axb5 22. Nf3 bxc4 23. bxc4 Nb6 $5 (23... Nf6 24. Nfg5 Nxe4 25. Bxe4 Bxg5 26. fxg5 { looks pretty equal to me.}) 24. Rc1 Bf5 25. Neg5 Bxg5 26. Nxg5 Qf6 {and White has some problems to solve in order not to end up in a really depressing endgame.}) 21... bxc4 22. bxc4 Rb4 23. Rc1 Nf6 24. Ng5 Qxa5 ({Possibly more precise is} 24... Ra4 $1 {, intending} 25. Nd3 (25. Qe3 $2 Ng4 $19) (25. Ne6 Bxe6 26. dxe6 Qxa5 {is a better version of the game for Black, as the e6-pawn is well blockaded and rather obstructs White.}) 25... Ng4 $1 {which sets White some serious problems.}) 25. Nd3 Ra4 26. Qe3 Qd8 ({Black loses important time here, but the alternative} 26... Re8 27. Bh3 $1 Bf8 28. Be6+ Bxe6 29. Nxe6 { is even better for White.}) 27. Rce1 {White has the worst behind him.} Bf5 { Now the game gets very tense. The next few moves are very forcing and I presume that Radjabov had planned it up to move 33...Ra2, at least.} 28. Bh3 $1 {White's life depends on whether he can tuck a knight in on e6 without it being exchanged.} (28. Ne6 Qc8 $1 29. Bh3 Rxc4 30. Bxf5 Nxd5 $1 31. Nxf8 Qxf5 32. Qf3 {Yes, we are in sample-line-territory by now.} Kxf8 33. Ne5 Rd4 34. Nc6 Rxf4 35. Nxe7 {is about equal, but only leaves Black with winning chances.}) 28... Nxd5 $3 {A splendid move, without which Black would be clearly worse.} 29. cxd5 Bxg5 30. Bxf5 Rxf5 31. Qe6+ Kg7 (31... Kh8 32. fxg5 Qxg5+ 33. Kh1 Ra2 34. Qe8+ Kg7 35. Qe7+ {leads to the game.}) 32. fxg5 Qxg5+ 33. Kh1 Ra2 { This is the position that Radjabov must have evaluated before playing 28... Nxd5 (and he must have spotted it at least a move before that, or Bf5 would not have made much sense).} 34. Qe7+ ({If White is interested in a draw (and has the time to look at the consequences) then} 34. Qe4 {is the safest bet:} Qd2 35. Qe7+ Kg8 (35... Kh6 36. Qh4+ Rh5 37. Qf2 Qxf2 38. Nxf2 Rxd5 39. Ng4+ Kg5 40. Nf6 Rf5 41. Ne4+ $14) 36. Qe8+ $11) 34... Qxe7 35. Rxe7+ Kf8 36. Ree1 $1 Rxf1+ {From a human point of view it seems to minimize White's tactical options to exchange a pair of rooks (and the human view is pretty much spot on here).} ({After} 36... a5 37. Nf4 a4 38. Ne6+ Kg8 39. Rb1 {things get complex-on-the-verge-of-out-of-hand:} a3 40. Rb8+ Kf7 41. Re1 Rb2 42. Rf8+ Ke7 43. Ra8 a2 44. Nd4+ Kf6 45. Nxf5 gxf5 {and White can - and should - force a draw with} 46. Rg1 c4 47. Rg2 Rb1+ 48. Rg1) 37. Rxf1+ Ke7 38. Re1+ $6 {White is definitely under pressure here and possibly worse. The main problem is that the knight is awfully placed on d3. White's last move does nothing to remedy the situation and suddenly Black's advantage becomes clear.} (38. Nf2 $1 Rd2 ( 38... a5 39. Re1+ Kd7 40. Ne4 Ra4 41. Nf6+ Kc7 42. Re7+ Kb6 43. Re6 {looks as dangerous for Black as it does for White.}) 39. Kg2 Rxd5 40. Ra1 {and White should be able to draw.}) 38... Kd7 {Now, due to the miss in move order, White is unable to get the knight to e4.} 39. Re3 $6 (39. Kg1 $1 a5 (39... Rd2 $1 40. Nf2 Rxd5 41. Ra1 Kc6 42. Rxa6+ Kb5 43. Ra7 Rh5 $15) 40. Nf2 a4 41. Ne4 a3 { and although Black is significantly faster than in the line after 38.Nf2, White is still able to hold the balance:} 42. Nf6+ Kc7 (42... Kc8 43. Ne4 Kc7 44. Nc3) 43. Ne8+ Kb6 44. Nxd6 Rc2 45. Rb1+ Ka5 46. Ne4 a2 47. Ra1 Kb6 48. h4 h6 49. Kf1 $11) 39... a5 $1 {"Passed pawns should be pushed". ...especially if they can not be blocked or caught.} 40. Rh3 h5 41. Nf4 (41. Kg1 a4 42. Kf1 Kc7 43. Nf2 a3 44. Ne4) 41... a4 42. Nxg6 a3 43. Rf3 $2 {This makes winning a simple matter for Black, but it was already too late to save the game.} (43. Rc3 c4 $1 44. Rxc4 Rb2 45. Ra4 a2 {also wins for Black.}) (43. Nf8+ Kc8 44. Rb3 c4 $1 {A distraction!} 45. Rc3 Kb7 $1 46. Rxc4 Rb2 47. Nd7 a2 48. Ra4 Rb1+ 49. Kg2 a1=Q 50. Rxa1 Rxa1 51. Nf6 Kb6 {and with the demise of the d5-pawn Black will win with ease.} 52. Nxh5 Kc5 53. Nf4 Kd4 $19) 43... c4 $1 44. Nf4 (44. Rf7+ Kd8 45. Rf8+ Kc7 $19) 44... Ra1+ 45. Kg2 a2 $1 46. Ra3 c3 $1 47. Ne2 $6 ({ The fight could have continued a bit longer after} 47. Ra7+ Kc8 48. Nd3 Rd1 49. Rxa2 (49. Nc1 Rxc1 50. Rxa2 c2) 49... Rxd3 50. Ra6 Kd7 51. Rc6 Ke7 52. Kf2 Kf6 $1 53. Rxd6+ (53. Ke2 Rh3 54. Rxd6+ Ke5 55. Rc6 Rxh2+ 56. Kd3 Kxd5 57. Rc8 c2 $19) 53... Ke5 54. Rd8 (54. Rc6 Kxd5) 54... Rd2+ 55. Ke3 Rxh2 $19) (47. Rxc3 Rg1+ $1) 47... c2 48. Kf2 Rh1 {Taking the pawn on a2 is met with Rxh2+ and Rxe2, so White resigned.} 0-1 [Event "Grand Prix 2017"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.24"] [Round "8.1"] [White "Gelfand, Boris"] [Black "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E18"] [WhiteElo "2719"] [BlackElo "2741"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "96"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 {In a do-or-die game Radjabov would definitely go for the sharp KID, right?} 2. c4 e6 {Oh, OK, it should be the Benoni then?} 3. Nf3 b6 {Most likely Gelfand expected the QGD, which Radjabov had played more or less regularly. Nope, it is the other fianchetto! The QID, that Radjabov has tried only once, but in a very fresh game.} 4. g3 ({The very fresh game that I mentioned is from the just finished ETCC where the Azerbaijani players won the gold. It went} 4. e3 Bb7 5. Bd3 d5 6. cxd5 exd5 7. O-O Bd6 {and later Radjabov managed to outplay his opponent, Hamitevici,V (2519)-Radjabov,T (2741) Heraklio 2017}) 4... Bb7 5. Bg2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Ne4 {Gelfand has played six official game against this line.} 8. Bd2 Nxd2 {But none has ever captured his bishop at this stage of the game.} ({The main moves are} 8... f5) ({And} 8... Bf6) 9. Qxd2 d6 10. Rad1 ({Another game at the same ETCC that took place in Crete a couple of weeks ago saw} 10. Qc2 g6 11. b4 Bf6 12. Rfd1 Bg7 13. e3 Qe7 14. a4 c5 15. dxc5 dxc5 16. b5 a5 $1 {and Black was doing fine in Kuzubov, Y (2690)-Sanal,V (2549) Heraklio 2017}) 10... Nd7 11. Rfe1 c5 12. e4 a6 13. d5 $146 {A novelty.} ({In comparison to} 13. e5 Bxf3 14. Bxf3 cxd4 15. Qxd4 Nxe5 16. Bxa8 Qxa8 17. Rxe5 dxe5 18. Qxb6 Qc8 {with approximate equality, Moroni,L (2448)-Romanov,E (2636) Llucmajor 2017}) 13... e5 {Now an old QID pawn structure arises. The question is who is going to attack the center first? Is it going to be White with timely b2-b4 and/or f2-f4 or Black with the similar pawn breaks?} 14. b3 g6 15. Rf1 {Prepares the next maneuver.} Bc8 ({If the game was not that imporatnt for the qualification Black would have most likely chosen} 15... b5 {with the possible line} 16. cxb5 axb5 17. Nxb5 Ba6 18. a4 Bxb5 19. axb5 Qa5 20. Qd3 Rfb8 {and eventual draw.}) 16. Ne1 Rb8 {Black still wants to carry out b6-b5.} 17. a4 f5 {Or this one too.} 18. f4 {The situation is heating up.} exf4 19. gxf4 fxe4 20. Nxe4 {More or less forced.} ({The other capture passes the initiative into Black's hands:} 20. Bxe4 Nf6 21. Bg2 Nh5 22. Nd3 Bf6 {followed by Bf6-d4+, Qd8-h4 and why not mate with Nh5-g3!}) 20... b5 21. a5 {Doubled-edged and correct pawn sacrifice!} ({Black takes over the initiative after:} 21. axb5 axb5 22. Rc1 bxc4 23. bxc4 Rb3) 21... bxc4 22. bxc4 Rb4 {The pawn on a5 is doomed, but this will require the efforts of two of the major black pieces. While away, they will leave the kingside opened...} 23. Rc1 Nf6 ({The immediate capture} 23... Qxa5 {seems less accuratedue to} 24. Nd3 Ra4 25. Qe3 Ra2 ({Now} 25... Qd8 {will be met with} 26. f5 $1 ({But not} 26. Nxd6 $4 Bxd6 27. Qe6+ Kg7 28. Qxd6 Rf6 {and the queen is trapped!}) 26... gxf5 27. Nxd6 Bxd6 28. Qe6+ Kh8 29. Qxd6 {with strong initiative for the pawn.}) 26. f5 $1 {The same idea again. White needs the opponent's king opened. After} gxf5 27. Nc3 Ra3 28. Qxe7 Rxc3 29. Nf4 {the attack looks very dangerous.}) 24. Ng5 Qxa5 {Now is better.} 25. Nd3 Ra4 26. Qe3 {But White still has compensation for the pawn. Mainly because he can use teh light squares for the atatck.} Qd8 ({The computer suggests} 26... Re8 {instead but this makes little sense to the human being who knows he needs more pieces into the defense.}) 27. Rce1 Bf5 $1 {Blocks the dangerous pawn and thus the f1 rook.} (27... Re8 {is too dangerous due to} 28. f5 $1 gxf5 29. Ne6 Bxe6 30. Qxe6+ Kh8 31. Rxf5) 28. Bh3 $1 { Gelfand understands that he needs to remove the key defender to be successful.} ({Instead} 28. Qxe7 $2 {woulds have most likely lost after} Qxe7 29. Rxe7 Bxd3 {White's chances are connected with the middlegame and mate.}) ({Also bad would have been} 28. Ne6 $6 {when Radjabov would happily sacrifice the exchange with} Qc8 $1 29. Nxf8 Bxf8 {In return for the attack. Now in order to keep the fire of the assault White needs to go for extreme measures with} 30. Ne5 $3 {With complete mess.} ({Calm play favors Black who has the bishop pair and the safer king after} 30. Nb2 Rb4 31. Qe2 Rb3 ({Or} 31... Bg7)) 30... dxe5 31. fxe5 Ng4 32. Qg3 {With the idea} Rxc4 33. h3 Nh6 ({Black may also try to take over the initiative with} 33... Rd4 $5 34. hxg4 Rxg4 35. Qc3 c4 36. d6 h5) 34. e6 $1) 28... Nxd5 $1 {A powerful defensive resource. Radjabov trades the active white pieces.} (28... Bxh3 $2 {would have most likely lost after} 29. Qxh3 Re8 30. Qe6+ Kg7 31. Qf7+ Kh8 32. Ne6 {and wins.}) 29. cxd5 Bxg5 30. Bxf5 {Now it is all forced.} ({Safer was} 30. fxg5 Re4 31. Qg3 Rxe1 32. Nxe1 Bxh3 33. Rxf8+ Kxf8 34. Qxh3 Qxg5+ {when the draw should be the most likely result. In comparison to the game Gelfand will have a queen instead of a rook, and the queens are famous for delivering perpetual checks on their own.}) 30... Rxf5 31. Qe6+ Kg7 32. fxg5 Qxg5+ 33. Kh1 Ra2 {For the piece Black has three pawns. He can hardly lose. But can he win?} 34. Qe7+ ({Attention!} 34. Rg1 $4 { would be mate after} Rxh2+ 35. Kxh2 Qh4+ 36. Kg2 Qg4+ 37. Kh2 Rh5#) ({However, keeping the queen on the board was once again best} 34. Qe4 $1 {when the game should most likely end in a draw as active moves like} Qd2 {would allow perpetual after} 35. Qe7+ Kh6 36. Qh4+) 34... Qxe7 35. Rxe7+ Kf8 $1 ({Not} 35... Kh6 $2 36. Rxf5 gxf5 37. Re6+ {and it is White who plays for the win.}) 36. Ree1 ({Worse is} 36. Rxf5+ Kxe7) 36... Rxf1+ 37. Rxf1+ Ke7 38. Re1+ { In time trouble Gelfand misses the best chance to co-ordinate his pieces.} ({ Strong was the sudden retreat} 38. Nf2 $1 {when White should safe the half point after} Rd2 ({Or} 38... a5 39. Re1+ Kd7 40. Ne4 Rb2 41. Nf6+ Kc7 42. Ne8+ Kd7 43. Nf6+ {in this like the knight and the rook were perfectly co-ordinated. }) 39. Kg2 Rxd5 40. Ra1 {without the a-pawn Black's winning chances are not that great.}) 38... Kd7 39. Re3 a5 {This pawn is headache.} 40. Rh3 h5 41. Nf4 a4 42. Nxg6 a3 43. Rf3 {Now White loses.} ({the last chance was} 43. Nf8+ $1 Kc7 44. Rb3 c4 45. Ne6+ Kc8 46. Rc3 {with possible draw.}) 43... c4 $1 { No rush!} (43... Ra1+ {would ahve let the win slip away-} 44. Kg2 a2 45. Rf7+ Kd8 46. Ra7 c4 47. Ne7 c3 48. Nc6+ Ke8 49. Nb4 Rb1 50. Nxa2 Ra1 51. Kf3 c2 52. Rc7 Rxa2 53. Ke4 {and darw as teh black king does not participate into the game.}) 44. Nf4 ({Here} 44. Rf7+ {does not help as the king escapes after} Kd8 45. Rf8+ Kc7) 44... Ra1+ 45. Kg2 a2 46. Ra3 c3 $1 {The pawns are unstoppable.} 47. Ne2 ({After} 47. Rxc3 Rg1+ 48. Kxg1 a1=Q+ {White loses also he rook.}) 47... c2 48. Kf2 ({Or} 48. Kh3 Re1 49. Rxa2 Rxe2 50. Ra1 Kc7) 48... Rh1 { An monstrous game by Radjabov! And an epic comeback!} (48... Rh1 {Gelfand resigned due to the line:} 49. Rxa2 Rxh2+ 50. Kg3 {or anywhere else} Rxe2) 0-1 [Event "Palma de Mallorca"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.25"] [Round "9.1"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Jakovenko, Dmitry"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2796"] [BlackElo "2721"] [Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"] [PlyCount "88"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 {The best way to play for a win is to avoid the Berlin. At least for now...} Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 a6 6. O-O d6 7. a4 { Vachier-Lagrave used this line successfully in Tbilisi at the World Cup. It helped him knock out Grischuk and to torture Svidler. Perhaps the former had some influence on the Frenchman's opening choice as he was trying to surpass exactly Grischuk in the Grand Prix overall standings.} Ba7 ({In Tbilisi the Russian Grandmasters were choosing:} 7... h6 8. Re1 O-O 9. h3 a5 10. Nbd2 Be6 11. Bb5 Ne7 (11... Na7 12. d4 exd4 13. cxd4 Bb4 14. Bd3 d5 15. e5 {Vachier Lagrave,M (2804)-Svidler,P (2751) Tbilisi 2017}) 12. d4 exd4 13. Nxd4 Ng6 14. N2f3 {Vachier Lagrave,M (2804)-Grischuk,A (2783) Tbilisi 2017}) 8. Re1 O-O 9. h3 h6 10. Nbd2 {White has the usual minimal advantage from the opening, but will it be good enough for the win?} Re8 11. b4 Ne7 {Shifting the knight to the kingside.} 12. Qb3 ({There is nobody to attack on the queenside now.} 12. b5 $6 axb5 {Moreover, White has to be careful} 13. axb5 $2 Bxf2+) 12... Rf8 13. d4 exd4 14. cxd4 d5 {One of the points behind the knight retreat on e7.} 15. exd5 $146 {A novelty in comparion to:} ({The predecessor:} 15. Bd3 dxe4 16. Nxe4 Nxe4 17. Bxe4 c6 {Urbanik,L (1993)-Zsitva,N (1838) Namestovo 2017}) 15... Nexd5 {Vachier-Lagrave isolated his central pawn but his pieces got access to some juicy squares. However, Black can be optimistic as long as he can hold on to the blockading d5 square.} 16. b5 ({The other idea was to try and lift the central blockade with} 16. Ne4 {Now} Nxe4 ({However, after the solid} 16... Nb6 $1 17. Bd3 Be6 18. Qa3 Nxe4 19. Bxe4 Nd5 {Black manages to keep control the situation.}) 17. Bxd5 Nf6 18. Bc4 {Looks good for White. For example very risky is:} Bxd4 ({Or} 18... c6 19. b5 {when White definitely has pressure.}) 19. Nxd4 Qxd4 20. Bb2 Qf4 21. Re3 {with strong kingside innitiative.}) 16... Be6 ({More precise seems} 16... axb5 17. axb5 Be6 {the lesser pawns on the queenside, the easier the draw.}) 17. bxa6 bxa6 18. Ba3 Re8 19. Ne5 {Vachier's play is very aggressive and to the point where Jakovenko has to find only moves.} Nf4 $1 ({Wrong was} 19... Bb6 20. a5 $1) ({Even worse is} 19... Bxd4 $2 20. Nc6) 20. Ndf3 {Very natural move. But was it the best?} ({It seems as} 20. Nc6 $1 {was giving more chances. After} Qd7 21. Qf3 {Is a key move in White's attack. Then} Bxc4 (21... Bxd4 {might transpose after} 22. Rad1 Bxc4 23. Nxc4 Rxe1+ 24. Rxe1) ({If} 21... N4d5 22. Nxa7 Rxa7 23. Nb3 {is serious advantage for White.}) ({The other knight retreat also looks great for White-} 21... Ng6 22. Bxe6 fxe6 (22... Rxe6 $2 23. Ne7+ {drops the rook on a8.}) 23. Qc3) 22. Nxc4 Bxd4 23. Rad1 Rxe1+ 24. Rxe1 {leads to a position where besides the loose pieces, the black rook does not have a move! The only chance is} Bxf2+ (24... N4d5 {is impossible due to} 25. Nxd4) 25. Qxf2 Nxh3+ 26. gxh3 Qxc6 {with three pawns for the piece, but Black still needs to prove the draw.}) 20... Bxc4 21. Qxc4 Qd5 $1 {Jakovenko is known for his defensive skills. This move is once again best. The endgame is unpleasant, but is Black's best try.} 22. Qxd5 (22. Qxc7 $2 Bxd4 {lets the black pieces out.}) 22... N6xd5 23. Nc6 {As before the wite pieces are more active but they are getting less and less.} ({Or the immediate} 23. g3 {with the idea} Nxh3+ (23... Ne6 24. Nc6) ({Black would have most likely reverted to the game with} 23... Ng6 24. Nc6) 24. Kg2 Ng5 25. Nxg5 hxg5 26. Nc6) 23... Rxe1+ 24. Rxe1 a5 $1 {Another only move. The idea is to secure the b6 square for the bishop, thus to allow the rook to come out.} ( 24... Bb6 $2 {would be strongly met with} 25. a5) 25. g3 (25. Nxa5 $2 {fails to } Bxd4) 25... Ng6 ({Much worse was} 25... Nxh3+ $2 26. Kg2 Ng5 27. Nxg5 hxg5 28. Re5 {when White should be winning.}) 26. Nxa7 Rxa7 27. Re8+ Kh7 28. h4 Rb7 29. Nd2 {Now the position completely dries.} ({The last slim chance to play for the win was} 29. Bc5 {Although here too Black should survive either with} Rb3 ({Or} 29... Nb6 30. Bxb6 cxb6 31. h5 Ne7) 30. Nd2 Rb2 31. Nc4 Ra2 32. h5 Nh8 {The knight is eagly but the pawn are few...} 33. Nxa5 Rxa4 34. Nc6 Nf6 35. Re7 Nxh5 36. Rxc7 Nf6) 29... Nc3 30. h5 ({Or} 30. Nc4 Nxa4 31. Nxa5) 30... Nh8 31. Nc4 Nxa4 32. Ne5 (32. Nxa5 {is a draw again.}) 32... Nb6 33. Bc5 a4 { I was not watching the game live and do not know what happened here. Perhaps White lost on time? Or was his resignation a result of frustration? Or something else? Our man there will clarify, thanks MIke!} (33... a4 {It should be a draw after the forcing:} 34. Nc6 Nd7 35. Ra8 Nxc5 36. dxc5 Rb5 37. Ne5 Rxc5 38. Nd7 Rxh5 39. Nf8+) 34. d5 {[A note that the game did not end, but we hardly blame our annotator -- the transmission blockages and in this case errors have become well known in Agon-run events.]} f6 35. Nc6 Nd7 36. Bd4 Rb5 37. Nd8 $2 Rb8 {The pin is deadly. MVL flails about trying for something, but there's nothing -- M.K.} 38. Bb2 Rxb2 39. Ne6 a3 40. Re7 Nf7 41. Rxf7 a2 42. Rxg7+ Kh8 43. Rxd7 a1=Q+ 44. Kg2 Qe1 {There is no perpetual since the Black king can slither via the light squares to safety, so it's time to call it a day.} 0-1 [Event "Palma de Mallorca"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca"] [Date "2017.11.25"] [Round "9"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2780"] [BlackElo "2801"] [Annotator "A. Silver"] [PlyCount "86"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. c3 d5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. Rxe5 c6 12. Re1 Bd6 13. d3 Bf5 14. Qf3 Qh4 15. g3 Qh3 16. Bxd5 {[#]} Bg4 $146 {The novelty. It is interesting this zwischenzug had never been played before, at least no record exists in Mega 2018.} (16... cxd5 {was played in the 122 previous games in the database.} 17. Qxd5 Rad8 18. Qg2 Qxg2+ (18... Qh5 19. Be3 Bh3 20. Qh1 f5 21. Bb6 Rd7 22. Qd5+ Kh8 23. Nd2 Bxg3 24. Qxd7 Bf4 25. Qc6 Bxd2 26. Bc5 Rg8 27. Qd5 Bf4 28. Re3 Bxe3 29. fxe3 Qe2 30. Bd4 h6 31. b3 Kh7 32. Qb7 Kg6 33. Qxa6+ Kh5 34. Qc6 Rc8 35. Qb7 Re8 36. Qf7+ g6 {0-1 (36) Paravyan,D (2525)-Swiercz,D (2645) Moscow 2017}) 19. Kxg2 Bxd3 20. Be3 Rfe8 21. Nd2 b4 22. Rad1 bxc3 23. bxc3 {1/2-1/2 (41) Almasi,Z (2689)-Tomashevsky,E (2743) Reykjavik 2015}) 17. Qg2 cxd5 18. Qxh3 Bxh3 19. Be3 {Granted Black still has a development edge and pressure on the White squares, but with no queens on board or mate threats, it is hard to understand why Black would enter this line willingly.} Bf5 20. d4 Rfe8 ({ The back rank pressure isn't really serious, so why not play the minority attack with} 20... Rfc8 {with the idea of ...b4?}) 21. Nd2 f6 22. Bf4 Bf8 23. Nf1 Rxe1 24. Rxe1 Rc8 25. f3 Kf7 26. Bd2 h5 27. Ne3 Be6 28. f4 Bd6 29. f5 Bd7 30. Rf1 $36 {White has some pressure.} Re8 31. Rf2 Bc6 32. Ng2 b4 33. cxb4 Bb5 {Black is down two pawns now, but in exchange has a ton of activity. Even if it is not quite enough compensation objectively, the practical problems for White extricate himelf from it are not to be underestimated.} 34. Rf3 Re2 {[#]} 35. Bc3 $1 Ke8 36. Rf2 Kd7 37. Nh4 (37. a3 $16) ({Usually the wisdom is to exchange pieces when ahead in pawns, but here after} 37. Rxe2 Bxe2 38. Kf2 Bd3 39. Ne3 Be4 {White had very little. Ex:} 40. h3 Kc6 41. g4 Kb5 42. gxh5 (42. Nf1 Bb1 43. a3 hxg4 44. hxg4 Bc2 45. Kg2 Bf4 46. Ng3 Bh6) 42... Bf4 43. h4 Bxe3+ 44. Kxe3 Bxf5 {and White is cut off.} 45. Kf4 Bc2 46. h6 gxh6 47. Kg4 Bd1+ 48. Kf5 h5) 37... Kc6 38. a3 Re8 39. Kg2 Be2 40. Nf3 {White's only ace up his sleeve is the trap threatening Ne5+! Aronian sees this easily and sidesteps it.} Bd3 ({To illustrate, if Black played} 40... Re7 $2 {White would have the winning trick} 41. Ne5+ $1 fxe5 42. dxe5 Bg4 43. exd6 Rf7 $18 { and now those extra pawns are fatal.}) 41. Ne1 Be2 42. Nf3 {A last try.} Bd3 { No dice so White accedes to the draw.} 43. Ne1 Be2 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE Grand Prix Palma de Mallorca"] [Site "Palma de Mallorca, Spain"] [Date "2017.11.22"] [Round "9"] [White "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Jakovenko, Dmitry"] [Result "0-1"] [Annotator "GM Elshan Moradiabadi"] [PlyCount "88"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] {In what was probably the most important game of MVL's career to this point, he needed to beat the solid Jakovenko!} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 a6 6. O-O d6 7. a4 Ba7 $5 {The Russian's approach to Anand's a4!} 8. Re1 (8. Na3 {would have been my choice but proabably the two super GMs had this prepared till the end so MVL chose a line that keeps more pieces on the board and avoids early exchanges.} h6 9. Nc2 O-O 10. Be3 Bxe3 (10... Ne7 $6 11. Bxa7 Rxa7 12. Ne3 c6 13. Qc2 $14) 11. Nxe3 Be6 12. Bxe6 fxe6 13. a5 (13. b4 Qe8 {does not seem to offer whole lot}) 13... d5 14. Qb3 Qd6 15. exd5 exd5 16. c4 Kh7 17. Nxd5 Rad8 18. Qxb7 Nxd5 19. cxd5 Qxd5 20. Rac1 Rd6 21. Nd2 Rg6 22. Ne4 Qxd3 23. Ng3 Nd4 24. Rc3 Ne2+ 25. Nxe2 Qxe2 26. Re3 Qd2 27. Qe4 Qxb2 28. Rg3 Rff6 29. Rxg6 Rxg6 30. g3 Qd4 31. Qf5 Qd5 32. Re1 Qxa5 33. Rxe5 Qa1+ 34. Kg2 Qc1 35. h4 Qc6+ 36. Kg1 Qf6 37. Qe4 Qc6 38. Qd3 Kh8 39. Qd8+ Kh7 40. Qd3 Kh8 41. Qd8+ Kh7 42. Qd3 {1/2-1/2 (42) Adams,M (2761)-Eljanov,P (2751) Shamkir 2017 }) 8... O-O 9. h3 (9. Nbd2 Ng4 10. Re2 Kh8 11. h3 f5 {would not be so much fun at all! Especially when you are desperate for a win!} 12. exf5 Nxf2 13. Rxf2 Bxf2+ 14. Kxf2 d5 15. Bb3 Bxf5 16. Kg1 Bxd3 17. Ne1 Bg6 18. Ndf3 e4 19. Nh2 Ne7 20. Be3 Qd6 21. Nc2 Rad8 22. Qd2 c5 23. Rd1 h6 24. Ng4 Bh5 25. Ba2 a5 26. Qe1 Be8 27. b3 b6 28. Bf2 Bh5 29. Bh4 Rd7 30. b4 axb4 31. cxb4 d4 32. Nce3 Bxg4 33. hxg4 Ng6 34. Bg3 Qf6 35. Nf5 e3 36. bxc5 bxc5 37. Qe2 Ne5 38. Bb1 Rfd8 39. Bxe5 Qxe5 40. Nh4 Qg5 41. Ng6+ Kg8 42. Qc4+ Rd5 43. Be4 Qxg4 44. Bxd5+ Kh7 45. Qd3 { 1-0 (45) Topalov,V (2761)-Nakamura,H (2787) Leuven 2016}) 9... h6 10. Nbd2 Re8 {The most solid line.} (10... Ne7 11. Nf1 (11. Bb3 {was played twice by MVL himself.} Ng6 12. d4 Re8 13. Bc2 Bd7 14. a5 c6 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Nc4 Qe7 17. Qd6 Qxd6 18. Nxd6 Re6 19. Rd1 Rb8 20. Kf1 Re7 21. Nc4 Rbe8 22. b3 Be6 23. Nb6 Bxb6 24. axb6 Rd7 25. Be3 Rc8 26. c4 Rxd1+ 27. Rxd1 c5 28. Ne1 Nd7 29. Nd3 f6 30. Ra1 Ne7 31. Ke2 Kf7 32. Kd2 f5 33. f4 exf4 34. Nxf4 g5 35. Nxe6 Kxe6 36. exf5+ Nxf5 37. Bg1 Nd4 38. Re1+ Kf6 39. Rf1+ Ke7 40. Re1+ Kd8 41. Be4 Nxb3+ 42. Kc3 Nd4 43. Bh2 {1-0 (43) Vachier Lagrave,M (2791)-So,W (2810) Saint Louis 2017 }) 11... Ng6 12. Ba2 Re8 13. Ng3 Be6 14. Bxe6 Rxe6 15. d4 Qd7 16. Be3 Ree8 17. dxe5 dxe5 18. Bxa7 Rxa7 19. Qxd7 Nxd7 20. Rad1 Nc5 21. a5 Raa8 22. b4 Na4 23. Ne2 Rad8 24. Kf1 f6 25. g3 Ne7 26. Rd2 Rxd2 27. Nxd2 Rd8 28. Nc4 Rd3 29. Rc1 Nc8 30. Ke1 b5 31. axb6 cxb6 32. Rd1 Rxd1+ 33. Kxd1 Kf7 34. Kc2 Ke6 35. Ne3 Nd6 36. f3 b5 37. Nc1 Nc4 38. Nf5 Kf7 39. g4 Nab6 40. Nb3 Nd7 41. Kd3 Nb2+ 42. Kc2 Nc4 43. Kd3 Nb2+ 44. Kc2 Nc4 {1/2-1/2 (44) Giri,A (2782)-Caruana,F (2804) Leuven 2016}) 11. b4 Ne7 $5 {An interesting idea.} 12. Qb3 {So Black loses a tempo but how good is the queen on b3?} Rf8 13. d4 exd4 {the typical reaction.} 14. cxd4 d5 15. exd5 Nexd5 16. b5 Be6 $6 {A serious inaccuracy.} (16... axb5 17. axb5 Be6 {seems reasonably more solid! I do not know why Jakovenko chose such a provocative move.}) 17. bxa6 bxa6 18. Ba3 Re8 19. Ne5 Nf4 {[#] Here comes the moment of truth!} 20. Ndf3 $6 {A poor practical decision.} (20. Nc6 Qd7 21. Qf3 {is rather artificial but poses more problems.} Bxd4 22. Rad1 Bxc4 23. Nxc4 Rxe1+ 24. Rxe1 {what else?} Bxf2+ 25. Qxf2 Nxh3+ 26. gxh3 Qxc6 27. Qg2 Qxg2+ 28. Kxg2 {Good or bad MVL should have gone for this endgame!}) (20. Ndf3 Bxc4 21. Qxc4 Qd5 22. Qxd5 N4xd5 23. a5 Nc3 24. Bb2 Nb5 25. Nc6 Nd5 26. Rac1 Rxe1+ 27. Nxe1 Re8 28. Kf1 Re6 29. g3 h5 30. Nf3 f6 31. Ne1 g5 32. Nd3 Rd6 33. Kg2 Re6 34. Rc2 Rd6 35. h4 g4 36. Rc4 Re6 37. Kf1 Nd6 38. Rc1 Nb5 39. Nxa7 Nxa7 40. Nc5 Rd6) 20... Bxc4 21. Qxc4 Qd5 $1 {And Black equalizes easily. MVL tries some tricks but the position remains close to equal until Jakovenko starts making inaccuracies.} 22. Qxd5 N6xd5 23. Nc6 Rxe1+ (23... Re2 $1 {makes more sense.} 24. Kf1 Rc2 25. Rac1 Rxc1 26. Rxc1 a5 $1 {equalizes.}) 24. Rxe1 a5 25. g3 $1 {Now MVL has a tangible initiative. The e-file is very important and Jakovenko has been neglecting it.} Ng6 26. Nxa7 Rxa7 27. Re8+ Kh7 28. h4 $1 { Let's go to the Candidates! Just not yet!} Rb7 29. Nd2 $6 (29. Bc5 Rb3 30. Nd2 {would have posed a lot of difficulties for Black.}) 29... Nc3 30. h5 Nh8 { an awkward square but the knight will come back to the game soon. Without the a4-pawn White's hopes to win this game would be close to zero!} 31. Nc4 Nxa4 32. Ne5 Nb6 33. Bc5 a4 {It is time to make a draw but MVL goes all in. He has never been this close to making it to the Candidates so his choice, regardless of its incorrectness, is praiseworthy. Any great player would have tried this regardless of the result!} 34. d5 $2 {Now the position is bad for White but still manageable.} f6 35. Nc6 Nd7 $2 {gives back White some hope after he had given up!} (35... Nxd5 36. Nd4 Nf7 37. Ra8 {is better for Black but still very tenacious.}) 36. Bd4 Rb5 37. Nd8 $4 {A terrible blunder} (37. d6 cxd6 38. Re7 Ne5 39. Bxe5 dxe5 40. Ra7 {should still be a draw.}) 37... Rb8 $1 {A deadly pin! The game and fate of the Candidates is sealed now.} 38. Bb2 Rxb2 39. Ne6 a3 40. Re7 Nf7 $1 {No miracle this time!} 41. Rxf7 a2 42. Rxg7+ Kh8 43. Rxd7 a1=Q+ 44. Kg2 Qe1 {There is no perpetual! White resigned. MVL fought hard but a few misses prevented him from scoring the much needed win! I am sure we will see MVL in the coming Candidates cycles soon! Just not this time!} 0-1