[Event "FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "Khanty Mansiysk"]
[Date "2019.09.12"]
[Round "1.2"]
[White "Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi"]
[Black "Pichot, Alan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E04"]
[WhiteElo "2718"]
[BlackElo "2600"]
[Annotator "Vidit,Santosh Gujrathi"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2019.09.10"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "RUS"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 192"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2019.10.31"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2019.10.31"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. Nf3 {The first game of Round 1 had ended in a peaceful draw. Going into
this game, I didn't know what opening to expect from Alan, as he had been
changing his lines quite often.} (1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 {1-0 (32) Anand,V
(2787)-Topalov,V (2805) Sofia BUL 2010}) 1... d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. g3 dxc4
5. Bg2 c6 $5 {The first surprise. Everything was blitzed instantly. In fact,
throughout the game Alan was playing very quickly. A couple of months ago,
Nikita Vitiugov played c6 against me. It was a very sharp game which
eventually ended in a draw. I didn't repeat the line, as I expected him to
improve on the game.} (5... Bb4+ 6. Bd2 a5 7. Qc2 Bxd2+ 8. Qxd2 c6 9. a4 {
is a more common move order to reach the position in the game.}) 6. a4 {
A more solid approach. Typical for the World Cup!} (6. Ne5 Bb4+ 7. Bd2 Be7 8.
e3 b5 9. Nxc6 Nxc6 10. Bxc6+ Bd7 11. Bxa8 Qxa8 12. f3 e5 $132 13. dxe5 Ng4 14.
O-O Nxe5 15. Bc3 Nd3 16. b3 O-O 17. bxc4 bxc4 18. Nd2 Bh3 19. Nxc4 Bxf1 20.
Kxf1 Rd8 21. Bd4 Bf6 22. Bxf6 gxf6 23. Qe2 Qc8 24. Nd2 Nc1 25. Qe1 Nd3 26. Qe2
Nc1 27. Qe1 Nd3 {1/2-1/2 (27) Vidit,S (2711) -Vitiugov,N (2726) Prague 2019})
6... Bb4+ $5 (6... c5 7. O-O Nc6 8. dxc5 Qxd1 9. Rxd1 Bxc5 10. Nbd2 {leads to
a typical catalan endgame. I feel White has some pressure here.}) 7. Bd2 (7.
Nbd2 b5 {leads to more unclear lines.}) 7... a5 8. Qc2 {By a very strange move
order, we have transposed into a very topical line. Usually this position is
reached via 5...Bb4+.} Bxd2+ 9. Qxd2 b5 $5 {Almost a forgotten line. I
remember first seeing this in the WCh match Anand-Topalov.} (9... Ne4 {is more
trendy, nowadays. The lines are very complex and fun to analyze :)} 10. Qf4 Qb6
11. O-O Qxb2 12. Ne5 O-O 13. Na3 Nc3 14. Qe3 {is one example of a complete
mess!}) 10. axb5 {The most common move.} (10. Na3 {led to the famous Catalan
victory of Vishy over Topalov.} Bd7 11. Ne5 Nd5 12. e4 Nb4 13. O-O O-O 14. Rfd1
Be8 15. d5 Qd6 16. Ng4 Qc5 17. Ne3 N8a6 18. dxc6 bxa4 19. Naxc4 Bxc6 20. Rac1
h6 21. Nd6 Qa7 22. Ng4 Rad8 23. Nxh6+ gxh6 24. Qxh6 f6 25. e5 Bxg2 26. exf6
Rxd6 27. Rxd6 Be4 28. Rxe6 Nd3 29. Rc2 Qh7 30. f7+ Qxf7 31. Rxe4 Qf5 32. Re7 {
1-0 (32) Anand,V (2787)-Topalov,V (2805) Sofia BUL 2010}) 10... cxb5 11. Qg5 {
[%cal Rg5g7,Rg5b5]} O-O 12. Qxb5 Ba6 13. Qa4 (13. Qxa5 Bb7 14. Qxd8 Rxa1 $1 {
The point of the entire variation.} 15. Qxf8+ Kxf8 16. O-O Ra2 $1 $11) 13...
Qb6 14. O-O $5 (14. Nbd2 {I couldn't recall my analysis at this point. I
remembered having the position until 18.Ne5. So I just had to figure out the
right move order. Over the board I realized that starting with Nbd2 is
incorrect.} Bb5 $1 (14... Qxb2 15. Rb1 Qc3 16. O-O $18 {Rfc1 comes next}) 15.
Qa3 Nc6 {Black has comfortable development.}) 14... Qxb2 (14... Bb5 {is not so
effective like in 14.Nbd2, as the knight can come to c3, which is a much
better square.}) 15. Nbd2 Bb5 16. Nxc4 Bxa4 17. Nxb2 Bb5 18. Ne5 $1 {[%cal
Rg2a8]} Ra7 19. Nbc4 $146 {This novelty was suggested by my good friend, Deep
Sengupta. It doesn't change the balance much, but at least leads to unknown
positions, which worked out quite well in the game.} Nbd7 {Played within a
minute's thought. At this point, I sank into a deep thought. I wanted to
squeeze the maximum out of this position.} 20. Nxa5 (20. Nc6 Rc7 $1 {didn't
seem much.} 21. N4xa5 Bxc6 22. Nxc6 $16) (20. Rfc1 Nxe5 21. dxe5 Bxc4 22. Rxc4
Nd7 $11) (20. Rxa5 Rxa5 21. Nxa5 Bxe2 22. Re1 Bh5 {Compared to the game, Black
has won a few tempi.}) 20... Bxe2 21. Rfe1 Bh5 (21... Bb5 22. Nb7 $1 (22. Reb1
Rb8 23. Bb7 {During the game, I thought this is quite pretty, but apparently
it's not the best.} Raxb7 (23... Ba6 $1 {saves the day, as no fork on c6 seems
sufficient.}) 24. Nxb7 Rxb7 25. Ra5 Ba6 26. Rxb7 Bxb7 27. Ra7 $16 {is the
point.}) 22... Rxa1 23. Rxa1 {with some pressure.}) 22. Nac6 Rxa1 (22... Rc7 $5
23. Rac1 (23. Ne7+ Kh8 24. Rec1 Rxc1+ 25. Rxc1 g5 $1 26. Rc7 Nxe5 27. dxe5 Ng8
28. Nc6 Bg6 {looks like just a draw.}) (23. Rec1 $5) 23... Nb6 24. Rc5 $14) 23.
Rxa1 Nxe5 24. dxe5 Nd7 25. f4 Re8 {My opponent didn't take more than 15-20
minutes for his last 5 moves. I guess he felt that the position is just a draw.
Objectively it should be, but practically I felt it's awkward to play with
Black.} 26. Ra7 Nc5 27. Kf2 Kf8 (27... h6 {with the idea of g5 made more sense.
But the move in the game is also good enough.}) 28. Ke3 {At this point I
started to get a little ambitious. For example there are ideas of going Kd4
and almost trapping the knight on c5!} Bg6 (28... h6 {still seemed better.})
29. g4 $1 (29. Kd4 {doesn't quite work, as the knight has just enough squares
to escape:} Nb3+ 30. Kc4 Nd2+ 31. Kc3 Be4 $1 $11) 29... Rc8 $6 {A strange
decision. It made much more sense to exchange one pair of pawns on the
kingside.} (29... h5 $1 30. h3 hxg4 31. hxg4 {White still keeps some pressure,
but obviously compared to the game it's a much better version.}) 30. Ne7 {
I thought for a long time on this move. And I was quite low on time. I was
trying to work out all the details after Ne7. On the other hand, retreating
the knight to d4 also looked tempting.} (30. f5 exf5 31. gxf5 Bxf5 32. Ne7 Re8
{is the cute point!} 33. Nxf5 Rxe5+ 34. Kf4 Nd3+ 35. Kg3 Rxf5 36. Be4 Re5 37.
Ra8+ Ke7 38. Ra7+ $11) (30. Nd4 f6 (30... Nb3 31. Nxb3 Rc3+ 32. Kd4 Rxb3 33. f5
$1 exf5 34. Ra8+ Ke7 35. Bc6 $1 {The point. It's not easy to avoid mate on e8}
f6 36. Ra7+ Kd8 37. e6 $18) 31. h4 $16 {with pressure.}) 30... Rd8 31. f5 exf5
(31... Rd3+ {starting with check allows some extra options.} 32. Ke2 (32. Kf2 {
was my intention. It would transpose to the next note.}) 32... exf5 33. Nd5 $5
{Surprisingly, the mate threat on a8 is very hard to meet!} (33. Nc6 $5 f6 {
Only move.} 34. e6 fxg4 35. e7+ Kf7 36. Ra8 Ke6 $1 37. e8=Q+ Bxe8 38. Rxe8+ Kf7
39. Ra8 Rd6 {and Black survives.}) 33... Ke8 (33... Rxd5 34. Bxd5 fxg4 35. Ke3
Ne6 {Although, I believe this should be a fortress.}) 34. Rc7 $1 $18) 32. gxf5
Bh5 $6 {Played within few minutes! I was pleasantly surprised :) Clearly going
for active counterplay made more sense.} (32... Rd3+ 33. Kf2 Rd2+ 34. Kg1 Rd1+
35. Bf1 Bh5 36. Nc6 {When I played 30.Ne7 I was trying to understand this
position. I felt it's dangerous, but objectively Black holds quite easily.} (
36. f6 Rd8) 36... f6 $1 (36... Ke8 37. e6 $5 (37. Kf2 Ne4+ 38. Kg2 Rd2+ 39. Kg1
Ng5 $132) 37... fxe6 38. fxe6 Nxe6 39. Re7+ Kf8 40. Rxe6 {I thought this is
winning, but Black survives by a miracle.} Be8 $3 41. Na7 (41. Kf2 Bd7 $1)
41... Bd7 42. Re3 Ra1 $132) (36... g5 $5 37. f6 Ke8 38. Re7+ Kf8 39. Rc7 {
I couldn't see further than this, but the position seemed dangerous for Black.}
Ke8 40. Nb8 Bg4 $1 {and Black kind of survives.}) 37. e6 Be8 $1 38. e7+ Kg8 39.
Nd8 Ne4 $1 $11 {with a series of good moves, Black equalizes.}) 33. Nc6 $6 {
This worked out well in the game, but Nd5 was a better choice as it didn't
allow the option of ...Rd3.} (33. Nd5 $1 Re8 (33... Bg4 $5 34. Ra5 Bh3 $5 {
Not easy to see!} 35. e6 $1 fxe6 36. fxe6 Bxe6 37. Nc7 (37. Rxc5 Bxd5 38. Bxd5
g6 {might objectively hold, although it's still very unpleasant.}) 37... Rd3+
38. Kf2 Bh3 39. Bxh3 Rxh3 40. Kg2 Rc3 41. Rxc5 $1) 34. Kd4 Nb3+ 35. Kc3 Nc1 (
35... Nc5 36. Kc4 {and the knight is trapped!}) 36. Nb6 $1 $16 {with huge
pressure}) 33... Rc8 $2 {Passive defence is terrible. Now all my pieces are
centralized. Black had to go for active play.} (33... Rd3+ 34. Kf2 (34. Kf4 f6
35. exf6 gxf6 36. Rxh7 Bf7 {It's not easy to convert the extra pawn.}) 34... g5
$1 (34... Rd2+ 35. Kg3) 35. h3 $16 {Black still has some problems to solve,
but at least he is active.}) 34. Bd5 $18 {The knight is trapped on c5!} h6 (
34... g5 35. Kd4 Nb3+ 36. Bxb3 Rxc6 37. f6 Rc8 38. e6 fxe6 39. Rxh7 $18) 35.
Kd4 Nb3+ 36. Bxb3 Rxc6 37. Ra8+ Ke7 38. Ba4 $18 {Black can't save the rook and
avoid mate on e8.} Bf3 39. Ra7+ Kf8 40. Bxc6 Bxc6 41. Kc5 Be4 42. Kd6 g5 43. e6
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