[Event "FIDE Grand Prix 2 Pool D"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.01"]
[Round "1.8"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Predke, Alexandr"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C93"]
[WhiteElo "2761"]
[BlackElo "2682"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "106"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
{[%evp 0,106,19,31,34,19,13,4,13,-2,-9,3,20,-8,-4,-11,10,-27,-10,-13,-4,-13,
-12,-14,38,1,2,20,17,23,27,40,54,55,57,66,68,66,85,-43,-60,-77,-72,-78,-63,-69,
-69,-67,-69,-70,-68,-70,-64,-64,-64,-75,-64,-58,-63,-58,-31,-26,-26,-26,-19,
-68,-30,-51,-55,-61,-55,-54,-57,-52,-56,-70,-73,-72,-52,-52,-72,-73,-59,-65,
-53,-65,-57,-37,-52,-51,-50,-48,-22,-77,-63,-66,-36,-36,-36,-26,-29,-70,-75,
-15,-67,-53,-10,-4,-5]} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6.
Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Re8 10. d4 Bb7 11. Nbd2 Bf8 12. a3 h6 13. Bc2
Nb8 14. b3 Nbd7 15. Bb2 Rc8 ({In the game against Firouzja, Predke chose} 15...
Rb8 16. Rb1 g6 17. Bd3 c6 18. Qc2 Nh5 19. Bf1 Ng7 20. dxe5 dxe5 21. c4 Rc8 22.
Rbd1 Qe7 23. c5 Nxc5 24. Nxe5 Nd7 25. Ndc4 Nxe5 26. Nxe5 Red8 27. Qc3 h5 28.
Rxd8 Qxd8 29. Re3 Rc7 30. Rd3 Qe7 31. Qd2 Bc8 32. f4 c5 33. Rf3 Ne6 34. a4 Nd4
35. Bxd4 cxd4 36. axb5 axb5 37. Bxb5 Qb4 38. Qxb4 Bxb4 39. Bc4 Kg7 40. Rf2 Ra7
41. Nc6 Ra1+ 42. Rf1 Rxf1+ 43. Kxf1 Bd2 44. Ke2 Bxf4 45. Kd3 Bd7 46. Nxd4 g5
47. Kc3 Be5 48. Be2 g4 49. hxg4 hxg4 50. Kc4 Kf6 51. Kd5 Bc8 52. b4 Bb7+ 53.
Nc6 g3 54. b5 Bc7 55. Kc5 Kg5 56. e5 Kf4 57. Bf3 Ke3 58. b6 Bb8 59. Nxb8 Bxf3
60. Nc6 Bxg2 61. b7 Be4 62. b8=Q g2 63. Qb2 {1-0 (63) Firouzja,A (2770)-Predke,
A (2666) Riga 2021}) 16. a4 Rb8 (16... c6 {could also be considered.}) ({
Less accurate is} 16... b4 $6 17. cxb4 exd4 {was played in Topalov,V (2761)
-Ding,L (2755) Saint Louis 2016 where White could have claimed a clear
advantage with} 18. Nxd4 {.}) 17. axb5 ({In an email game, White had
previously tried} 17. Ba3 {which also seems to offer White an edge.}) 17...
axb5 18. Bd3 d5 ({Very combative and complex.} 18... c6 {was more solid.}) 19.
dxe5 $2 ({A bizarre blunder by MVL who is now in serious trouble. It would
have been better to play} 19. exd5 Nxd5 ({if} 19... exd4 {then} 20. Rxe8 Qxe8
21. Nxd4 Bxd5 22. Nxb5 $14 {[%csl Rb3,Rc3,Gc7] would have offered White the
better chances.}) 20. dxe5 b4 21. cxb4 Nf4 22. Bf1 Bxb4 23. Re3 $14 {and White
has a very small plus.}) 19... dxe4 20. Nxe4 Nxe5 21. Nxe5 Rxe5 22. Qb1 ({
Essentially the only move. After} 22. Nxf6+ Qxf6 23. Rxe5 Qxe5 $17 {[%cal
Gf8d6,Rb7g2,Rd6h2] , Black is more or less winning.}) 22... Bxe4 23. Bxe4 Rxe4
24. Rxe4 Nxe4 25. Qxe4 Qd2 $19 26. Rb1 Bc5 $2 ({Around here, Black seems at
loss for the right way forward. The computer indicates} 26... Rb6 $1 {as best
although Black would then after} 27. c4 {have to find the less than obvious}
Qb4 $1 $19 {and White should praise himself lucky if he does not lose both
queenside pawns $1} ({not} 27... bxc4 $2 28. Qxc4 {which seems to hold for
White})) 27. Qf5 Be7 ({The beginning of the wrong plan. Both} 27... Bd6 $5) ({
and particularly} 27... Bf8 $1 {would have been better options.}) 28. Ba1 Bf6
$2 ({Black follows his plan from the previous move but it allows White to
escape into a pawn-down rook ending that is easy for White to hold. The last
winning chance was offered in} 28... Qa2 29. Re1 Bf8 $17 {with clearly better
chances for Black}) 29. c4 $1 {Now White escapes.} Bxa1 30. Rxa1 bxc4 31. bxc4
Qc3 32. Rd1 $1 Qxc4 33. Rd7 Re8 34. Kh2 c6 35. Rc7 Qe6 {Not a move Black
wanted to play as the departure of the queens makes White's defensive task
easy.} 36. Qxe6 Rxe6 37. f4 g6 38. g4 Kf8 39. Kg2 Re2+ 40. Kf3 Rc2 41. h4 $1 {
White plays to reduce the pawns on the kingside, securing an easy draw.} Rc4
42. h5 Kg7 43. hxg6 Kxg6 44. Rd7 Rc1 45. Rd6+ Kg7 46. Kg3 c5 47. Rc6 Rc3+ 48.
Kh4 Rc4 49. Kg3 Rc1 50. Kh4 $1 c4 51. g5 hxg5+ 52. Kxg5 c3 53. Kf5 c2 {and
draw agreed.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.01"]
[Round "1.7"]
[White "Yu Yangyi"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C45"]
[WhiteElo "2713"]
[BlackElo "2767"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "71"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
{[%evp 0,71,19,28,20,25,17,9,2,20,7,8,2,0,0,0,17,-14,-17,-15,-20,-43,-48,-27,
-28,-27,5,6,-8,-8,-16,-16,6,-1,16,24,43,40,34,34,27,21,21,21,20,14,17,5,0,6,12,
10,7,13,12,5,6,5,7,0,0,0,0,0,5,3,1,6,6,9,8,3,0,4]} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4
exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. e5 Qe7 7. Qe2 Nd5 8. h4 $6 (8. c4 $5) 8... Qe6
9. Nd2 d6 ({The main line and probably better move is} 9... a5 {which is
considered completely okay for Black.}) 10. exd6 Bxd6 11. Nc4 Bc5 12. a3 O-O
13. Qxe6 Bxe6 14. Bd3 Rfe8 ({Black has also tried} 14... a5 15. O-O Rfb8 16.
Ne5 Rb6 17. Nc4 Rbb8 18. Ne5 Rb6 19. Nc4 Rb7 20. Ne5 f6 21. Nc4 Nb6 $11 {
which was equal in Tsydypov,Z (2552)-Deac,B (2625) Lichess.org INT 2021, a
game that ended in a draw after 60 moves.}) 15. O-O Nf6 (15... a5 16. Ne5 Bc8
17. Nc4 Be6 18. Re1 Nb6 19. Ne5 Bd5 20. Be3 Bd6 21. Bd4 c5 22. Bc3 c4 23. Bf1
Na4 24. Bd4 c5 {1/2-1/2 (38) Caruana,F (2828)-Robson,R (2667) Saint Louis 2019}
) 16. Be3 Bb6 17. Nxb6 cxb6 18. Rfe1 Nd7 19. Rad1 Ne5 20. Bf1 Bc4 21. b3 $6 ({
White should have tried} 21. Bd4 $1 Bxf1 22. Kxf1 Ng6 23. h5 Nf4 {and now} 24.
h6 $1 {would have given White a nice plus. Stockfish 271221:} Rxe1+ ({
Stockfish 271221:} 24... gxh6 25. Be5 Ng6 26. Bc3 Rxe1+ 27. Bxe1 Nf8 28. Bc3
Re8 29. a4 h5 30. Rd3 Rc8 31. Rh3 Rd8 32. Rxh5 Ng6 33. Rf5 Rd6 34. a5 Ne7 35.
Rg5+ Kf8 36. Rh5 Kg8 37. Ke2 f6 38. Rh3 Ng6 39. Bd2 bxa5 40. Rd3 $16 {[%eval
90,34] [%wdl 296,702,2]}) 25. Rxe1 Ne6 26. Re4 gxh6 27. Bf6 h5 28. Re5 h6 29.
Rxh5 Kh7 30. Rh3 Kg6 31. Bc3 Rd8 32. Rg3+ Kh5 33. Bf6 Rd1+ 34. Ke2 Rd6 35. Be5
Rd8 36. Rc3 c5 37. Rd3 Re8 38. Kf1 Kg6 39. Bc3 Rd8 40. Rg3+ Kh5 41. Bf6 Re8 42.
f4 $14 Nxf4 {[%eval 68,34] [%wdl 178,818,4]}) 21... Bxf1 22. Kxf1 f6 23. Rd6 (
23. a4 {to attack on the queenside seemed better, threatening to play a4-a5
later.}) 23... Rad8 24. Red1 Rxd6 25. Rxd6 Kf7 {Now Black is in safe territory.
} 26. Bf4 c5 27. a4 Re6 28. Bxe5 Rxe5 29. Rd7+ Re7 30. Rd8 Kg6 31. Rd5 Re4 32.
g3 c4 33. a5 cxb3 34. cxb3 bxa5 35. Rxa5 Rb4 36. Rxa7 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.01"]
[Round "1.5"]
[White "Rapport, Richard"]
[Black "Fedoseev, Vladimir"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E32"]
[WhiteElo "2763"]
[BlackElo "2704"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "75"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
{[%evp 0,75,29,27,31,-10,-15,-11,28,-10,-17,-10,-8,-23,-7,-7,6,-28,-33,-35,-22,
-49,-37,-50,-42,-34,-28,-13,-4,-13,-3,-21,-32,-25,-8,-17,16,20,29,28,28,-15,
-25,22,0,21,-3,-5,-6,18,19,67,60,45,65,58,66,20,66,56,59,66,56,60,86,77,89,89,
57,79,67,76,63,76,68,58,66,4]} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. a3
Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 b6 7. Bg5 Bb7 8. e3 h6 9. Bh4 Re8 (9... d6 10. Ne2 Nbd7 {is more
normal and probably best.}) 10. Ne2 d6 11. Rd1 Nbd7 12. Qc2 g5 $6 {This pawn
push seems a little too optimistic, especially with White not yet having
castled and thus having the option to play on the kingside with either h2-h4
or f2-f3 at some point.} 13. Bg3 Be4 14. Qc1 e5 15. h4 g4 16. h5 Qe7 17. Nc3 ({
Or} 17. dxe5 Nxe5 18. Bh4 Ned7 19. Nd4 Qe5 20. Bg3 Qg5 21. Bf4 $16 Qg7 {
[%csl Rh5][%cal Rh5g6] and White seems to have a clear advantage on account of
his better pawn structure and bishop pair while Black really does not have
much going for him.}) 17... Qf8 $6 ({Probably another less than accurate move.
The engine suggests} 17... Qe6 18. Nb5 Rec8 {as a better choice for Black.})
18. dxe5 Nxe5 19. Bh4 $1 Ned7 ({Of course,} 19... Nxh5 $4 {cannot be played
because of} 20. Nxe4 {.}) 20. Be2 Qg7 21. Kf1 ({Or} 21. Rd4 Re5 22. Qd1 {
with a clear advantage for White.}) 21... Re5 22. Bg3 Rf5 23. Kg1 Re8 24. Rd4
Nc5 25. Qd1 Nxh5 26. Bh4 {White has sacrificed a pawn, but Black's position
seems at the verge of collapse. Therefore, he went for a reduction of material
in a very aggressive fashion...} Bf3 $5 {Wow $1 Black's only chance to stay in
the game.} 27. Rxg4 $1 Qxg4 28. Bxf3 Rxf3 29. Qxf3 Qxf3 30. gxf3 {White has
won the pawn back, has a space advantage and the relatively better pawn
structure as well as a bishop which with all of Black's pawns on dark squares
could become a wonderful asset. Unfortunately for White, he had used a lot of
time and was heading into serious time trouble.} c6 31. Kg2 Re6 32. Rd1 $6 ({
It was better to play} 32. b4 $1 Rg6+ 33. Kf1 Nd7 34. f4 $18 {when White has
excellent winning chances.}) 32... f5 33. Ne2 Nb3 34. Bg3 $6 ({Short on time,
Rapport starts playing imprecisely.} 34. Kh3 c5 35. Bd8 Na5 36. Kh4 {would
have offered White reasonable winning chances.}) 34... Rg6 35. Kh3 Na5 36. Rc1
c5 37. b4 Nc6 38. bxc5 $2 ({With only two seconds on the clock White played
this move and offered a draw which was accepted, which seems entirely
reasonable.} 38. Bh2 Ng7 39. Nf4 Rg5 40. Nd5 {would still have offered White
good chances in the endgame.}) 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.01"]
[Round "1.6"]
[White "Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi"]
[Black "Shirov, Alexei"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B90"]
[WhiteElo "2727"]
[BlackElo "2704"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "59"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Qd3 $5 {Like the Qd3 in
the Harikrishna-Vitiugov game, this move was played by Spaniards GM Vallejo
Pons & GM Anton Guijarro. It is still relatively rare, although it has been
played by Magnus Carlsen as well as other top grandmasters.} Nbd7 ({The main
alternative is} 6... g6 {which would the game in the direction of a Dragon
Variation.}) 7. Be2 b5 8. Nd5 ({A new move $1} 8. a4 $5 {was played in Van
Foreest,J (2671)-Grandelius,$146 (2663) Wijk aan Zee 2021.}) 8... Bb7 9. a4 Nc5
10. Nxf6+ gxf6 11. Qe3 bxa4 12. f3 e5 $6 ({True to his nature, Shirov plays
very direct and very aggressive. It would have been more solid to opt for}
12... e6 13. O-O Bg7 {with chances to both sides.}) 13. Nf5 d5 14. exd5 $6 ({
Obvious but not best, after} 14. O-O {would would have gotten the king to
relative safety.}) 14... Qxd5 15. Qf2 e4 $2 ({This advance is a little too
aggressive. It would have been better to play} 15... Rg8 16. Be3 Rc8 {when
Black through his active pieces would have had excellent counterplay.}) 16. Ne3
({Dropping the knight on this square seems appealing as it provides an anchor
for the bishop to move to c4 or possibly jump to c4 itself. However,} 16. Ng3 {
was possibly best, e.g.,} exf3 17. Bxf3 {which looks comfortably better for
White until we look at the engine's suggestion which continues} Qe5+ 18. Be3
Bh6 19. Ra3 O-O-O ({or} 19... Nb3 20. Bxb7 Bxe3 21. Qf5 Qxb2 22. Rxb3 axb3 23.
Bxa8 Qxc2 {which the computer assesses as clearly better for White... hmm $1})
20. O-O Bxe3 21. Rxe3 Qxb2 22. Nf5 {and White has the upper hand on account of
Black's vulnerable king.}) 16... Qc6 $6 (16... Qe6 17. Bc4 Qd7 {was relatively
better.}) 17. O-O O-O-O 18. Nc4 Qe6 19. b3 $5 (19. Na5 $5) 19... axb3 20. cxb3
({The friendly engine generously offers} 20. Ra5 $1 {as an improvement but
that just looks crazy from a human perspective.}) 20... Nxb3 21. Nb6+ Kb8 $2 ({
Somewhat surprisingly, the always tactically adept Shirov missed a great
defensive tactic; it was best to play} 21... Qxb6 $3 22. Qxb6 Bc5+ 23. Qxc5+
Nxc5 24. fxe4 Rhg8 {with good chances of saving a draw or Black in the endgame.
}) 22. Bf4+ Bd6 23. Bc4 Qe8 $4 ({A simple blunder. The interference move} 23...
e3 {would have kept Black in the game, for instance,} 24. Qa2 Qf5 25. Bxd6+
Rxd6 26. Qxb3 e2 {followed by ...Qc5+ and Black has survival chances.}) 24.
Bxd6+ Rxd6 25. Bxb3 {White has won a piece.} Rg8 26. Nc4 Rd3 27. Bc2 exf3 28.
g3 Rc3 29. Na5 Qe2 30. Bxh7 {Black resigned.} 1-0
[Event "Chess.com"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.03.01"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "Tabatabaei, M. Amin"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C24"]
[WhiteElo "2772"]
[BlackElo "2643"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "115"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. O-O O-O 6. h3 d5 {In the past,
such aggression was deemed premature; however, the strong computers nowadays
prove over and over that practically anything can be played.} 7. exd5 Nxd5 8.
Nbd2 Be6 9. Ne4 Bb6 {Tabatabaei chooses to stay on the more active diagonal
while still blitzing. Giri's next move, though, made him revise his beliefs
about the situation.} (9... Be7 10. Nfg5 Bxg5 11. Nxg5 Qd6 12. Nxe6 Qxe6 13. f4
{Guadamuro Torrente,A (2107)-Tamajon Castilla,F (1960) Campillos 2007}) 10. b4
$146 {Quite a novelty $1 Giri is coming armed to the teeth for the game. White
attacks the opponent's center from the flank, while opening the long diagonal
for the bishop.} ({The predecessor saw:} 10. a4 f6 11. b4 a6 12. a5 Ba7 13. Bd2
Kh8 14. Re1 Nce7 15. Nc5 Bxc5 16. bxc5 Bf7 {with White eventually emerging
victorious in Nepomniachtchi,I (2773)-Abdusattorov,$146 (2651) chess24. com
INT 2022}) ({Please note that the immediate assault} 10. Nfg5 Bf5 11. Qf3 {
is parried by the simple and effective} Nd4 $1) 10... Ndxb4 ({After} 10...
Ncxb4 {White likely did not intend to take the pawn at once with} 11. Nxe5 {
due to} ({However, without the black knight close to the center, the maneuver}
11. Nfg5 $1 Bf5 12. Qf3 {makes perfect sense as} Bg6 {is bad due to} 13. c3 {
when White wins a piece} Nc6 14. Bxd5 Qxd5 15. Nf6+) 11... Bd4) 11. Bxe6 fxe6
12. Rb1 {As a result of his fruitful preparation, Giri managed to spoil the
opponent's pawn structure, and besides the weakness of the e-pawns, he can
also enjoy a powerful attacking outpost on the e4-square.} h6 {Tabatabaei
decided to part with the extra pawn at once.} ({However, it made sense to keep
it, at least for the time being, especially when} 12... Nd5 $5 13. Nfg5 {
does not yield White anything significant in the line} Qe7 14. Qg4 Nf6) 13.
Nxe5 Nxe5 14. Rxb4 a5 {This looks suspicious. Why voluntarily weaken the
queenside $2} ({Both} 14... Qd7 $5) ({And even the immediate} 14... Qh4 $5 {
looked better, as White has no way of exploiting the x-raying power of the
rook.}) 15. Rb1 Qh4 {Black does not have enough power to create trouble on the
kingside, and after some preparation, Giri starts to show who is in charge.}
16. Qe2 Rad8 ({The drawbacks of the queenside weakening may easily start to be
felt. For example, the obvious} 16... Rf7 {leads to White's huge edge after}
17. Rxb6 $1 cxb6 18. Nd6) 17. Kh2 Qe7 18. f4 Nd7 19. Rf3 {The white pieces
constantly find beautiful working places.} Nf6 20. Bd2 (20. Rb5 $5 {to provoke
another weakness also made sense.}) 20... Qa3 21. Nc3 ({The other way to play
it was} 21. Bc3 Nxe4 22. dxe4 Qa4 23. Rg3) 21... Rde8 22. Qe5 $1 {A very neat
queen maneuver $1} Nd7 23. Qb5 Qe7 (23... c6 24. Qc4 {is actually what White
wants.}) (23... Re7 24. Qc4) 24. Qc4 {The queen is perfect on the c4-square.
Once the black queen has been removed from the active position, White can
start working on the enemy's weaknesses.} Kh8 25. Ne4 c6 {And, as strange as
it sounds, this is a decisive weakening. It is, however, difficult to find a
way to avoid this move.} 26. d4 $1 {Tabatabaei might have missed this. The
kingside rook immediately rushes toward the now weak b7-pawn.} ({Black
probably expected something along the line of} 26. Bc3 Kh7 27. Rg3 Rf7 {
and here, too, Black suffers.}) 26... Rb8 27. Rfb3 Qd8 28. Qxe6 Bxd4 29. Rxb7 {
Plain and simple, White nets a pawn.} ({Aparently, Giri did not like the
complications after} 29. Rd3 c5 30. c3 Nf6 31. cxd4 ({But there is a winning
move in this line for White.} 31. Nd6 $1) 31... Re8) 29... Rxb7 30. Rxb7 Nc5
31. Nxc5 Bxc5 32. Rd7 Qf6 33. Qxf6 Rxf6 34. Bc3 {This was a bit rushy though.}
({The patient} 34. Kg3 $1 Bb4 35. Be3 {would have saved White some energy.})
34... Rxf4 35. Bxg7+ Kg8 36. Bxh6 Ra4 37. g4 $1 {The quality of the pawns is
by far more important than their quantity.} Rxa2 38. g5 Rxc2+ 39. Kg3 {The
white pawns are moving fast while threatening mate and, therefore, Black's
position remains gloomy.} Be3 ({Nothing changes.} 39... Rc4 40. g6 Rd4 41. Rg7+
Kh8 42. Rf7 Kg8 43. h4) 40. Rd8+ Kh7 41. Kg4 Rd2 42. Re8 Bc5 43. Kh5 Rd5 44.
Ra8 Bd4 45. h4 Bc3 46. Bf8 $1 {Takes the sixth rank under control.} (46. Rc8
Rd6 47. Kg4 {should have worked too.}) 46... Bd4 47. Rc8 a4 ({Or else} 47... c5
48. Rc7+ Kg8 49. Be7) 48. Ra8 c5 49. Rxa4 Rd8 50. Ra7+ Kg8 51. Be7 Rc8 52. Kg6
({The other winning way was} 52. Bf6 $1 Bxf6 53. gxf6 c4 54. Kg6 c3 55. Rg7+
Kf8 56. Rh7 {when White is also in time.}) 52... c4 53. Rd7 $1 {Everything is
well calculated, Giri is in time to capture the black rook.} Bh8 ({Or mate in
case of} 53... Bb2 54. Bf6 c3 55. Rh7) 54. Bf6 c3 55. Rh7 Bxf6 56. gxf6 Rc6 57.
Rd7 Rc8 58. Rg7+ {PLAY CHESS, NOT WAR.} 1-0
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.01"]
[Round "1.3"]
[White "Harikrishna, Pentala"]
[Black "Vitiugov, Nikita"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B45"]
[WhiteElo "2719"]
[BlackElo "2726"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "48"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Qd3 {This relatively
rare move was originally introduced by the Spanish GM Romero Holmes, but has
been played several times in recent years, including by Caruana in the
Candidates tournament.} d5 ({The main line is} 6... Qc7 7. Ndb5 Qb8 8. Qg3 d6 {
which is pleasant for White.}) 7. exd5 Nb4 8. Qg3 ({The aforementioned game by
Caruana went} 8. Qc4 Nbxd5 9. Bg5 Bb4 10. Bd3 Bd7 11. O-O Bxc3 12. bxc3 Rc8 13.
Qb3 Qb6 14. Qxb6 Nxb6 15. a4 h6 {and Black had equalized in Caruana,F (2842)
-Grischuk,A (2777) Ekaterinburg 2021; the game was eventually drawn in 65
moves.}) 8... Bc5 9. a3 Nbxd5 10. Bb5+ Kf8 11. Nde2 Bd7 12. Bxd7 Qxd7 13. Nxd5
$4 ({The first new move and, unfortunately for White, a massive blunder.} 13.
O-O Rd8 14. b4 Bd6 15. Qf3 Be5 16. Bb2 Qc6 17. Rad1 {would have given White an
advantage as in Tari,A (2639)-Vidit,S (2726) chess24.com INT 2021.}) 13... Ne4
$1 {Harikrishna had undoubtedly only accounted for Black recapturing on d5.
Now he is almost lost.} 14. Qb3 $2 ({White makes a second mistake. It was
necessary to play} 14. Qd3 {although} Bxf2+ 15. Kf1 exd5 16. Nc3 Bc5 17. Qxd5
Qxd5 18. Nxd5 Rd8 19. c4 Nf2 20. Rg1 Nd3 21. Rh1 Re8 {would have been much
better for Black; White is unable to get the pieces properly coordinated.})
14... Bxf2+ 15. Kf1 exd5 {Black is winning.} 16. Be3 Qf5 17. Nd4 Qf6 18. Nf3
Bxe3 19. Qxe3 Qxb2 20. Re1 Qxc2 21. Kg1 Qc5 22. Nd4 Rc8 23. h4 h5 24. Kh2 Qd6+
{Three pawns down and with ...Rc3 to come, White ended his own suffering.} 0-1
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.01"]
[Round "1.2"]
[White "Bacrot, Etienne"]
[Black "Shankland, Sam"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B51"]
[WhiteElo "2642"]
[BlackElo "2708"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "91"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
{[%evp 0,91,28,40,51,55,82,56,62,74,45,32,32,35,27,21,23,27,26,1,7,-5,-13,-32,
0,8,12,12,12,2,0,40,24,28,50,20,70,38,70,57,97,68,90,68,51,72,85,48,61,67,52,
43,51,56,70,76,83,38,40,63,44,43,52,28,86,19,19,19,28,-22,-26,-4,21,-43,39,35,
55,55,73,62,48,32,29,36,36,-34,7,-68,-64,-59,-58,-41,-45,-47]} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3
d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. Ba4 ({In his earlier games against 3...Nd7, Bacrot has given
preference to} 4. O-O a6 5. Bd3 {.}) 4... Ngf6 5. O-O a6 6. c4 e6 7. Nc3 Be7 8.
d4 cxd4 9. Nxd4 Qc7 10. Qe2 O-O 11. Kh1 Ne5 12. Bb3 Bd7 13. f4 Nc6 14. Nf3 Rfc8
15. e5 $1 {White has a strong initiative.} Ne8 16. Bc2 g6 17. Bd2 Nb4 18. Bb3
a5 19. Nb5 Qd8 20. Bc3 d5 21. Bxb4 Bxb4 22. cxd5 Bxb5 23. Qxb5 Nc7 24. Qxb7 $2
({A logical choice, but actually throwing away all of his advantage. White
should have played} 24. Qe2 {although it would force White into the committal}
a4 25. dxe6 (25. Bc4 {allows Black to equalize after} Nxd5) 25... axb3 26.
exf7+ Kh8 27. a3 Bf8 28. Ng5 {with three pawns and the initiative for the
piece.}) 24... Rab8 25. Qa7 Nxd5 26. Ng5 Qc7 27. Qf2 Be7 28. Ne4 $6 ({For some
reason, White abstained from} 28. Bxd5 exd5 29. Nf3 Qc2 30. b3 {which seems to
offer White the somewhat better chances although Black through his activity
has excellent chances to defend.}) 28... Nb6 29. Nc3 Qc5 30. Qg3 $6 {White is
still ambitiously playing for a win but now the initiative shifts to Black.}
Kh8 $6 ({Black could have tried} 30... a4 $1 {when} 31. Nxa4 Nxa4 32. Bxa4 Rxb2
{despite having a pawn less, Black has the initiative and the upper hand.}) 31.
Rae1 Qc6 ({Once more,} 31... a4 $1 {was the way to go, for instance,} 32. Bxa4
Nxa4 33. Nxa4 Qa5 34. b3 Rc2 35. Rd1 Rbc8 {, recovering the a-pawn right away
and through his more active pieces pushing for more. However, White should he
able to hold without too many problems.}) 32. Ne4 a4 33. Bd1 Nd5 34. Ng5 Kg8 $6
({According to the engines, Black's best was} 34... Bxg5 35. fxg5 Kg8 {
although this would look like a risky decision at the board.}) 35. b3 $6 ({
Another natural, but less than accurate move. White had option to play} 35. f5
$5 {but again, this seems very risky, as the main line,} exf5 36. Rxf5 Rxb2 37.
Nxf7 Qc3 38. Nh6+ Kh8 39. Rf3 Qd2 {has to be calculated very accurately with
plenty of opportunity to go wrong.}) 35... a3 36. f5 exf5 37. Rxf5 Bxg5 38.
Qxg5 {White seems to have regained a solid advantage but here Shankland finds
a sequence of only moves that secures equality.} Qc1 $1 39. e6 Qxg5 $1 40.
exf7+ Kf8 $1 41. Rxg5 Nb4 $1 {Attacking the a-pawn and securing the necessary
counterplay to get into drawing territory.} 42. Bg4 Rc2 43. Be6 Rxa2 44. Ra5
Rb2 45. Rxa3 Nc2 46. Raa1 {and draw agreed.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.01"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Black "Andreikin, Dmitry"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B48"]
[WhiteElo "2764"]
[BlackElo "2724"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "70"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
{[%evp 0,70,25,16,39,44,44,29,27,27,27,44,94,70,66,43,53,41,61,36,54,46,57,29,
53,35,45,42,42,30,47,47,67,40,61,62,55,57,35,22,49,-25,-43,-57,-66,-66,-60,-66,
-75,-97,-132,-123,-109,-122,-116,-117,-118,-125,-121,-151,-115,-121,-127,-174,
-174,-193,-193,-202,-202,-196,-209,-207,-212]} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4.
Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 Nf6 7. a3 d6 8. f4 Qc7 9. Bd3 Be7 10. O-O O-O 11. Kh1
Re8 ({A rare move;} 11... Nxd4 12. Bxd4 e5 {is more common.}) 12. Qf3 Bd7 13.
Rae1 Rac8 14. Qg3 Nh5 15. Qf3 ({Inviting to repeat moves or just regretting
placing the queen on g3 $2 Possibly} 15. Qf2 {would have been better.}) ({
The tempting} 15. Qh3 {can be met with} Nxf4 16. Bxf4 Nxd4 {and now one long
and quite crazy line runs} 17. e5 Nf5 18. Nd5 exd5 19. Bxf5 Bxf5 20. Qxf5 Qc6
21. exd6 g6 22. Qxc8 Qxc8 23. Rxe7 Rxe7 24. dxe7 Qe6 25. Bg5 f6 26. Bxf6 Qe2
27. Kg1 Qe3+ 28. Kh1 {when neither side has better than to repeat the moves.
However, the odds for both players finding their way through this mess on
their own is perhaps not entirely likely.}) 15... g6 (15... Nf6 {would have
accepted the repetition or allowed Grischuk to choose another square for the
queen.}) 16. f5 $6 ({White should probably have given preference to} 16. Qf2 $5
{, for instance,} Nf6 17. h3 Nxd4 18. Bxd4 Bc6 19. f5 {with a strong
initiative for White.}) 16... Ne5 ({Natural but probably not the most accurate;
with} 16... Bf6 {Black seemed to have better chances of neutralizing White's
pressure, for instance,} 17. fxg6 fxg6 18. Nxc6 Bxc6 19. g4 Bxc3 20. bxc3 Rf8
21. Qe2 Ng7 {with chances to both sides.}) 17. Qh3 Qd8 18. fxe6 $6 (18. Be2 $5
Nf6 19. fxe6 fxe6 20. Rd1 {with pressure for White seemed better.}) 18... fxe6
19. Nxe6 $6 ({This capture is difficult to explain: now the knight is stuck
and pinned unless White can make his attack land which seems unlikely. Again,}
19. Be2 {would have been a better choice.}) 19... Qa5 20. Nd5 $6 ({Another
natural move, but it should have been prefaced by} 20. b4 Qxa3 {and only then}
21. Nd5 {when Black has to be careful not to get hurt on the kingside; Black's
best is likely} Bf8 22. Ra1 Qb2 23. Rab1 Qa3 24. Ra1 {with a draw by
repetition.}) 20... Bd8 21. Bh6 $4 {[#] Consistent but very bad.} Qxe1 $3 ({
A brilliant strike which was missed by White. Of course, Black could not
capture on e6:} 21... Bxe6 22. Qxe6+ Rxe6 23. Rf8# {.}) 22. Rxe1 Bxe6 23. Qe3
Ng4 $1 {Black brilliantly exploits the awkwardly placed white pieces to pick
the third piece for the queen, leaving Black with a decisive material
advantage.} 24. Qd2 Nxh6 25. Be2 ({If} 25. Qxh6 {then} Bxd5 {, exploiting the
unprotected rook on e1 to secure a material advantage.}) 25... Ng7 26. Rf1 Nf7
{Black now has to coordinate his pieces to convert his advantage into a win.}
27. Nf6+ $6 {After this exchange, Black's task becomes a little easier.} Bxf6
28. Rxf6 Rc5 29. h3 Nh5 30. Bxh5 Rxh5 31. Qf2 Re5 {Black has finished
coordinating his pieces; now the win becomes rather trivial.} 32. Qb6 Re7 33.
Rf4 g5 34. Rf2 Rxe4 35. b3 Bd5 {and White resigned.} 0-1
[Event "FIDE Grand Prix 2 Pool D"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.02"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C83"]
[WhiteElo "2761"]
[BlackElo "2767"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
{[%evp 0,63,19,38,25,16,14,23,25,0,10,12,21,17,10,7,12,15,12,-23,-6,-12,-6,-4,
-20,-17,0,76,59,82,60,101,92,92,117,41,43,53,41,41,47,59,25,25,0,12,12,-131,
-135,-141,-170,-254,-239,-246,-243,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0]} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 {Not a real surprise. Mamedyarov is one the
few top players who most consistently plays the Open Ruy Lopez.} 6. d4 b5 7.
Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. c3 Be7 10. Bc2 ({The first real surprise of the game.
This bishop move has been played many times but is considered less critical
the main lines, which begin with} 10. Nbd2) ({and} 10. Be3 {. However, the
text move has been played by players such as Giri, Grischuk, and even Karpov.})
10... Bg4 11. Qe1 O-O ({A very interesting decision. The normal Open Spanish
move is} 11... Nc5 {which MVL faced a few years back:} 12. Nd4 Nxd4 13. cxd4
Ne6 14. Qd2 O-O 15. Nc3 f5 16. Qd3 Kh8 17. Bb3 c6 18. h3 Bh5 {(Black already
has a comfortable position.)} 19. f4 g5 20. Kh2 gxf4 21. Bd1 Bxd1 22. Qxd1 Bg5
23. Ne2 Ra7 24. Bxf4 Rg7 25. Qd2 Rfg8 26. Bxg5 Rxg5 27. Rf2 c5 28. b4 cxb4 29.
Qxb4 R5g6 30. Qc3 Qh4 31. Raf1 f4 32. Qf3 Rg3 33. Qxd5 Ng5 34. Nxf4 Nxh3 35.
Qxg8+ Rxg8 36. Nxh3 Qxd4 37. e6 Qd6+ 38. Nf4 Rf8 39. g3 Rxf4 40. gxf4 Qxe6 41.
f5 Qh6+ 42. Kg3 Qg5+ 43. Kh3 Qh5+ 44. Kg3 Qg5+ 45. Kh3 Qh5+ 46. Kg3 {1/2-1/2
(46) Vachier Lagrave,M (2779)-Giri,A (2779) Zagreb 2019}) 12. Nd4 $1 {This is
the reason why the previous move was somewhat surprising. Now Black has to
enter a highly speculative line. That being said, Mamedyarov was either very
well-prepared or played a high-stakes bluff, because he played very fast at
this point.} Nxe5 $5 {Black is forced to play this piece sacrifice.} 13. f3 c5
14. Ne2 Bh4 15. Ng3 Re8 16. fxe4 dxe4 {Black is a piece down, but White will
take years to develop his warehouse of pieces on the queenside.} 17. Be3 Nd3
18. Bxd3 exd3 19. Qf2 f5 20. Nd2 {It is beginning to look like White has
managed to consolidate his material advantage by getting his queenside
developed.} Be2 $5 ({The computer indicates that either} 20... Qd5) ({or} 20...
g5 {would have been better, but honestly, who can tell in the heat of the
battle $2}) 21. Rfe1 $2 ({White tries to hang on to his piece advantage, but
it would have been best to return some material with} 21. Bxc5 $1 {when White
possibly has the slightly better chances, but I only sound this clever because
I have an engine to help me navigate this madness $1}) 21... g5 $1 {Boom $1
All of a sudden, White is in serious trouble.} 22. Nf3 ({Or} 22. Bxc5 f4) 22...
f4 23. Nxh4 fxe3 {This is beginning to look a bit like the wonderful
McDonnell-Labourdonnais from 1834. If you don't know it, look it up $1 There
are several wonderful videos available on YouTube about it. You will not
regret it.} 24. Qf5 d2 $2 ({Nooo $1 After his brave and imaginative play,
Mamedyarov lets the advantage slip out of his hands. The right way to go was}
24... Ra7 $1 {or}) (24... gxh4 {followed by ... Ra7 with a clear advantage for
Black. Now the game peters out in a perpetual check.}) 25. Rxe2 d1=Q+ 26. Rxd1
Qxd1+ 27. Nf1 Qxe2 {Black has won two exchanges but the king will not escape
White's checks.} 28. Qxg5+ Kf7 29. Qf5+ Kg8 30. Qg5+ Kf7 31. Qf5+ Kg8 32. Qg5+
1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.02"]
[Round "2.2"]
[White "Predke, Alexandr"]
[Black "Yu Yangyi"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C43"]
[WhiteElo "2682"]
[BlackElo "2713"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "70"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. Bd3 Nc6 $5 5. Nxe5 Nxe5 6. dxe5 (6. Bxe4 {
was played in the Shirov-Rapport game.}) 6... Nc5 7. Bc4 d6 8. Qf3 Ne6 9. exd6
Bxd6 10. Be3 Bd7 ({This was Yu's new move. In an earlier game with Predke
behind the white , he had tried} 10... O-O 11. Nc3 Be5 12. Bd3 Qh4 13. O-O-O
Bxc3 14. bxc3 c6 15. g3 Qe7 16. Qe4 g6 17. Kb2 {and although the game later
ended in a draw, White has the clearly better chances at this point on account
of his advantage in space and bishop pair, which more than makes up for the
weakened pawn structure on the queenside, Predke,A (2676)-Bai,J (2600) Moscow
2019.}) 11. Bd5 c6 12. Bc4 O-O 13. Nd2 ({White had an interesting alternative
in} 13. Nc3 {, for instance,} Be5 14. O-O-O Qc7 ({or} 14... Bxc3 15. bxc3 Qe7
16. Kb2 {with parallels to the earlier Predke game.}) 15. Rd3 b5 16. Bb3 Rad8 (
16... c5 {is unpleasant for Black after} 17. Rhd1) 17. Rhd1 {and White has
some initiative.}) 13... b5 14. Bb3 a5 15. a3 Qc7 $6 ({Black should have
played more aggressively with} 15... a4 $5 16. Ba2 c5 {when Black is doing
fine.}) 16. Ne4 Be5 17. O-O-O a4 18. Ba2 Rad8 19. Nc5 $6 (19. Rhe1 $1 {looks
uncomfortable for Black as White is threatening Nc5.}) 19... Bc8 20. Nxe6 $6 ({
This exchange is basically a draw offer, killing all of the excitement in the
game and initiating a series of exchanges. White could have tried} 20. Qe4 Nxc5
21. Bxc5 Bf4+ 22. Kb1 {which gives White a tiny initiative, but Black is not
in any serious danger.}) 20... Bxe6 21. Bxe6 fxe6 22. Qe4 Rd5 23. f4 Bxf4 24.
Qxe6+ Qf7 25. Qxf7+ Rxf7 26. Bxf4 Rxd1+ 27. Kxd1 Rxf4 28. Ke2 Kf7 29. Ke3 Rc4
30. Kd3 Ke6 31. Re1+ Kd5 32. Re7 Rg4 33. g3 h5 34. b3 g6 35. Rg7 h4 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.02"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi"]
[Black "Fedoseev, Vladimir"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E32"]
[WhiteElo "2727"]
[BlackElo "2704"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "109"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 b6 7. Bg5 Bb7 8.
f3 d5 (8... h6 9. Bh4 d5 {is more common if Black wants to play for ...d7-d5.})
9. cxd5 exd5 10. e3 Re8 11. Bb5 c6 12. Ba4 Nbd7 13. Ne2 h6 14. Bh4 Ba6 15. Bd1
Qe7 16. Bf2 c5 17. Qd2 Rac8 $6 ({Black's best was probably} 17... cxd4 18. exd4
Bxe2 19. Bxe2 b5 20. Kf1 Nb6 21. b3 Qd7 22. Bh4 Qf5 23. Kg1 Rac8 24. Bd3 Qe6
25. Bf2 {and draw agreed, ½-½, in Palladino,M (2300)-Villarreal,B (2382)
ICCF email 2020. These correspondence players with their engines know what's
up.}) 18. O-O $1 ({The first new move and possibly a very good one $1
Previously, White had tried} 18. Rc1 Bc4 19. O-O cxd4 20. exd4 Bxe2 21. Rxc8
Bxf1 22. Rxe8+ Nxe8 23. Kxf1 {when White possibly had a tiny edge in Duda,J
(2756)-Deac,B (2651) Terme Catez 2021, but the game eventually ended in a draw.
}) 18... Nb8 19. Re1 Nc6 20. Nc3 Na5 21. b3 {White has a small but clear
advantage thanks to his bishop pair and Black's hanging pawn center.} Qd8 22.
Rc1 Re6 23. dxc5 bxc5 24. Na4 Rec6 25. Bh4 Nb7 26. Bc2 Qa5 $2 27. Qxa5 (27. Qd1
Re8 28. Bf5 {was much better for White.}) 27... Nxa5 28. Rcd1 g5 (28... d4 $5 {
was a better chance.}) 29. Bg3 Re6 $2 (29... d4 $5) 30. Bf5 Nxb3 31. h4 Rcc6
32. Bxe6 fxe6 33. hxg5 hxg5 {Black pieces look active, but White is winning.}
34. Kf2 c4 35. Be5 Nd7 36. Bc3 Bb5 37. Nb2 Ndc5 38. Rh1 Nd3+ 39. Nxd3 cxd3 40.
Rh8+ $4 (40. Be5 {was far better and completely winning for White.}) 40... Kf7
41. Rh7+ Ke8 $4 ({Black misses his chance. After} 41... Kg8 42. Rh8+ Kf7 43.
Be5 Rc2+ {and it is not certain that White will win the game.}) 42. a4 $3 {
Just brilliant and possibly what Fedoseev had overlooked. The text move allows
White to launch the decisive attack.} Bxa4 43. Bf6 $1 {The point, supported by
the bishop White penetrates with his rooks.} e5 44. Bxg5 Nc5 45. Rdh1 Kf8 46.
Rxa7 Kg8 47. e4 dxe4 48. Rhh7 Ne6 49. Bd2 Rc2 50. Ke3 exf3 51. gxf3 Bc6 52.
Rhe7 Nc5 53. Rec7 Bb7 54. Rxc5 Rxc5 55. Rxb7 1-0
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.02"]
[Round "2.2"]
[White "Shirov, Alexei"]
[Black "Rapport, Richard"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C43"]
[WhiteElo "2704"]
[BlackElo "2763"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "60"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. Bd3 Nc6 {This move was originally introduced
by Israeli GM Yakov Murey in a game against GM Jan Timman in 1993.} 5. Nxe5 ({
The stem game went} 5. Bxe4 d5 6. Bg5 Qd7 7. Bd3 e4 8. O-O f6 9. Re1 Be7 10.
Bf4 exd3 11. Qxd3 O-O {with approximately equal chances, but later 1-0 in 54
moves, Timman,J (2635)-Murey,J (2530) France 1993.}) 5... Nxe5 6. Bxe4 d5 7.
dxe5 dxe4 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Nc3 Bb4 10. Bd2 Bxc3 11. Bxc3 Ke7 ({Black could
also play} 11... Bf5 12. Kd2 Ke7 13. Ke3 Ke6 14. Rad1 Rhd8 15. h3 h5 16. Kf4
Bg6 {when Black later managed to win the game, but at this juncture, the
chances were completely even, 0-1 (58) Sveshnikov,V (2426) -Meijers,V (2490)
Riga 2012.}) 12. O-O-O Bf5 13. Rd4 Rhd8 ({Or} 13... Rad8 14. Rhd1 Rxd4 15. Bxd4
Ke6 {with equal chances in Sorroche Lupion,F-Morau,J Liape email 2004.}) 14.
Rhd1 Rxd4 15. Rxd4 Rd8 16. Bb4+ Ke8 17. Rxd8+ Kxd8 {Had it not been for the
tournament rules, a draw would have been agreed a this point, but the players
made it to move 30 without making any mistakes that could tip the balance.} 18.
Bf8 g6 19. Kd2 h5 20. Ke3 Kd7 21. c3 a5 22. b4 axb4 23. cxb4 b5 24. a3 Ke8 25.
Bh6 Kd7 26. Kd4 Kc6 27. g3 Kd7 28. Kd5 c6+ 29. Kd4 Ke6 30. h4 Kd7 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.02"]
[Round "2.2"]
[White "Tabatabaei, M. Amin"]
[Black "Harikrishna, Pentala"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B15"]
[WhiteElo "2623"]
[BlackElo "2719"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "71"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 {This move was undoubtedly a
surprise for Tabatabaei. I could only find a few games by Harikrishna using
this line.} 5. Nxf6+ exf6 6. c3 ({In the only other game by Harikrishna with
this particular line for Black, White played the tame} 6. Nf3 Bd6 7. Bd3 O-O 8.
O-O Bg4 9. Re1 Qc7 10. h3 Bh5 11. Be3 Nd7 12. Be2 Rfe8 13. Nd2 Bxe2 14. Qxe2 $4
(14. Rxe2 {would have kept the chances about equal.}) 14... f5 {and although
the game much later ended in a draw, Black at this point had a large advantage,
Radjabov,T (2734)-Harikrishna,P (2727) Beijing 2014.}) 6... Bd6 7. Bd3 O-O 8.
Qc2 Re8+ 9. Ne2 h6 ({An interesting choice. Nowadays, Black players tend to
give preference to} 9... h5 $5 {followed by 10...h4 to lay claim on the dark
squares on the kingside, a common theme in this variation. The text move is
generally considered a little too passive to offer Black real chances of
equalizing.}) 10. O-O Nd7 11. Bd2 Nf8 12. Rae1 Qc7 13. h3 Be6 14. f4 $2 ({
A positional misunderstanding by White as he tries to claim a space advantage,
possibly combining it with c3-c4 on the queenside. However, it weakens White's
kingside considerably. It was better to play} 14. c4 {with perhaps a small
advantage.}) 14... c5 $1 15. f5 $6 ({Another misguided move, laying the dark
squares terribly weak. Relatively better was} 15. c4 cxd4 16. b4 b6 17. Nxd4
Bd7 {when I would prefer Black, but White is still firmly in the game.}) 15...
Bd7 16. dxc5 Qxc5+ 17. Nd4 Bc6 (17... Rac8 $5 {was also worth considering.})
18. b4 Qb6 19. Kh1 Rac8 20. Nxc6 bxc6 ({An interesting decision, seemingly
accepting a poor pawn structure for no particular reason. However, Black wants
to push the pawn to c5, using it to force White's pawns on light squares,
leaving the black knight stronger than White's light-squared bishop. The
alternative} 20... Qxc6 21. Rxe8 Rxe8 22. Re1 {would leave the chances close
to equal.}) 21. c4 $2 {White was concerned that Black would play ...c6-c5-c4
with a clear advantage, but this advance makes things worse.} Rxe1 22. Rxe1 Qf2
23. Re4 ({Or} 23. Be4 Rd8 {and Black is clearly better.}) 23... Qg3 {Black
marches into White's position on the hopelessly weak dark squares.} 24. Kg1
Qh2+ 25. Kf1 Rd8 ({Here, Black could have played stronger with} 25... Bg3 $1 {
for instance,} 26. Be3 Qh1+ 27. Bg1 c5 28. b5 Nd7 29. Re3 Bh2 30. Qf2 Ne5 31.
g4 Bxg1 32. Qxg1 Qb7 {and Black has an overwhelming positional advantage.}) 26.
c5 $2 ({Another mistake. It was necessary to defend with} 26. Be1 {when} Be5
27. Qe2 Bd4 28. Qf3 c5 {would have given Black a clear advantage, but White
could still put up considerable resistance.}) 26... Bg3 27. Qc4 Qh1+ 28. Ke2
Qxg2+ $2 ({Here, the chain begins to jump off for Harikrishna. With} 28... Be5
29. a4 (29. Kf2 Qd1 $1 {is even worse.}) 29... Qxg2+ 30. Kd1 Qf3+ 31. Kc2 Qxf5
{, Black could have obtained a decisive advantage.}) 29. Kd1 Be5 $2 ({Annother
mistake. Here,} 29... Nd7 30. Bf1 Qf3+ 31. Qe2 Qxf5 32. Qd3 Be5 {should have
been winning for Black.}) 30. Kc2 Qxh3 31. Re3 Qg2 $2 ({Last chance to avoid
the draw was} 31... Qh2 32. Re2 Qh5 {when Black can still push for the win.})
32. Qe4 $1 Qg1 33. Re1 Qg3 34. Re3 Qg1 35. Re1 Qg3 36. Re3 {and draw agreed.
Tough defense by Tabatabaei, sad miss for Harikrishna.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Chess.com"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.03.02"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "Vitiugov, Nikita"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C54"]
[WhiteElo "2772"]
[BlackElo "2736"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 {Just like yesterday, Giri pins his hopes on the
fashionable Italian game.} Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. c3 h6 7. Re1 O-O 8. Nbd2
a5 {The modern treatment.} ({Although Esipenko was super-successful last week
with:} 8... Bb6 9. Bb3 Ng4 10. Re2 Na5 11. Bc2 f5 12. h3 Nf6 13. d4 fxe4 14.
Nxe4 Nxe4 15. Rxe4 Bf5 16. Re1 Bxc2 17. Qxc2 exd4 18. Bxh6 Rxf3 19. gxf3 Qh4
20. Bc1 d3 {0-1 (20) Aronian,L (2772)-Esipenko,A (2714) chess24.com INT 2022})
9. h3 Be6 10. b3 {And a flexible move in return by Giri. This idea has already
been tested twice by his compatriot Van Foreest.} d5 11. exd5 Nxd5 12. Ne4 Bb6
$146 {Only to see his opponent reacting in a flash with} ({The predecessor was
comfortable for White after:} 12... Ba7 13. Bd2 Re8 14. a3 Nf6 15. Nxf6+ Qxf6
16. Bxe6 Rxe6 17. b4 Rd8 18. Qc2 Qg6 19. Be3 Qxd3 20. Qxd3 Rxd3 21. b5 {
Van Foreest,J (2613)-Van den Doel,E (2615) Amstelveen 2018}) 13. Qd2 $3 {
It appears that this is the perfect square for the queen. For starters, it
eyeballs the opponent's kingside.} ({Her Grace is also away from some annoying
knight kicks, as in this line.} 13. Qc2 Qd7 14. Bb5 Ncb4 $1) 13... Qc8 ({
Black is not well-prepared to fight for the center. The line} 13... f5 14. Ng3
Qd6 {backfires after} 15. a4 Bc5 16. Bb5 Nde7 17. Nxe5 $1) ({Perhaps the best
move was} 13... Qd7 {intending to enter huge complications in the line} 14. Bb5
(14. Ng3 {is still possible though.}) 14... Bxh3 15. Nxe5 Qe6 16. Bxc6 bxc6 17.
d4 f5 18. Nc5 {but launching this unprepared sequence should be suicidal.}) ({
After} 13... Re8 14. Bb5 {might be annoying.}) 14. Ng3 {Giri, once more,
managed to pressurize the center, causing the black pieces to obstruct each
other.} f6 15. d4 $1 {Judjing by the speed with which the Dutch GM was
executing his moves, the impression is that this was all standing on his home
table for some time before the event.} Qd7 ({Plenty of amusing lines arise in
case of the capture} 15... exd4 16. Nh5 $3 ({Also good seems} 16. Qd3 $1 {
with the major idea} Qd7 17. Bxh6 $3 gxh6 18. Rxe6 $1 Qxe6 19. Qg6+ Kh8 20.
Qxh6+ Kg8 21. Ng5 $1 {winning.}) 16... Qd7 ({Or} 16... dxc3 17. Qd3 Rf7 18.
Bxh6 $1 {with decisive attack.}) 17. Nxg7 $3 {One more proof that the white
queen is ideally placed on the c1-h6 diagonal $1} Kxg7 18. Qxh6+ Kf7 (18... Kg8
19. Rxe6 $1 {transposes to the winning line from above.}) 19. Qh5+ Kg8 20. Rxe6
Qxe6 21. Qg6+ Kh8 22. Qh6+ Kg8 23. Ng5 Qe1+ 24. Kh2 fxg5 25. Bxd5+ ({Or} 25.
Qxg5+) 25... Rf7 26. Be3 $3 {cutting the black queen away from the defense and
thus Black is helpless.}) 16. Ba3 $1 {Not just finishing the development, but
also aiming to remove the rook from the f-file.} ({As, otherwise, it will work
like crazy there.} 16. dxe5 fxe5) 16... Rf7 17. Re4 {Giri was tempted by a
direct kingside attack.} ({But there was a simpler and more convincing way} 17.
Rad1 $1 a4 ({Or} 17... Rd8 18. Qc2 {and the x-raying along the d-file is
unbearable for the second player.}) 18. b4 exd4 19. cxd4 {with a large edge
for White.}) 17... a4 $1 {Vitiugov forces a concession.} ({Of course not} 17...
f5 $2 18. Nxe5) ({Or} 17... exd4 18. cxd4 {when White dominates.}) 18. b4 Nf4 {
And he gets rid of the pin, at last.} 19. Bxe6 Nxe6 20. Rae1 ({Still, stronger
was to play in the center.} 20. d5 Ng5 21. Nxg5 hxg5 22. Rd1 Ne7 23. c4 {
with an edge.}) 20... Ng5 21. Nxg5 hxg5 22. b5 ({Here} 22. d5 Ne7 23. c4 Rd8 {
does not seem as convincing for White.}) 22... Na7 23. h4 {That was Giri's
inspiring point $1 The rook on e4 quickly joins efforts with the relentless
queen and the threats quickly start to mount.} Nxb5 ({Vituigov correctly avoids
} 23... gxh4 24. Rxh4 Nxb5 25. Qd3 g5 26. Rh6 $1 Nxa3 27. Nh5 {when White
crashes through.}) ({However,} 23... g4 $5 {to keep the h-file locked, made
perfect sense too.}) 24. hxg5 fxg5 ({Not} 24... Nxa3 $2 25. g6 Re7 26. Qe2 {
with mate to come.}) 25. Qxg5 Nxa3 {What can be more obvious than that $1 Not
only does Vituigov win a piece, but he also gets rid of a strong attacker
while opening a safety road for his king.} ({But, it was the modest pawn that
needed to be taken instead.} 25... Nxc3 $1 {Black seems to hold everywhere,
somehow.} 26. Rxe5 ({Or} 26. Rh4 Bxd4 $1) 26... Bxd4 27. Re7 ({And if} 27. Rf5
Re8 $1) 27... Bf6 $1) 26. Rh4 Re8 27. Qh5 Rf6 ({There is no time to run.} 27...
Kf8 28. Rxe5 Rxe5 29. Qxe5 Kg8 30. Qe4) 28. Ne4 Rf5 {Getting ready to get rid
of the knight.} 29. Ng5 Rxg5 30. Qxg5 c5 {The last mistake.} ({The Russian GM
should have tried to bring his knight close to the king ASAP.} 30... Nc4 $1 31.
Qg6 Nd6 {Then, White would have had a pleasant choice between play for an
attack with} 32. Qh7+ ({Or playing an advantageous endgame with} 32. Rxe5 Rxe5
33. dxe5 Qf5 34. Qxf5 Nxf5 35. Rxa4) 32... Kf7 33. Re3) 31. Qg6 Bd8 32. Rh7 {
PLAY CHESS, NOT WAR.} ({Qg6-h5 and Rh7xg7+ threats cannot be stopped
adequately. The final moves could have been} 32. Rh7 Bf6 33. Qh5 Kf8 34. dxe5
Rxe5 35. Rh8+ Ke7 36. Rxe5+) 1-0
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.02"]
[Round "2.2"]
[White "Shankland, Sam"]
[Black "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E36"]
[WhiteElo "2708"]
[BlackElo "2764"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 d5 7. Nf3 b6 8.
Bg5 dxc4 9. Qxc4 c5 $5 ({A new move and a pawn sacrifice. The main line is}
9... Ba6 {which has been played in nearly 1,000 games in my database.}) 10.
dxc5 bxc5 11. Nd2 $6 ({Shankland decides to decline the pawn sacrifice,
assessing that Black would get sufficient counterplay after} 11. Qxc5 Nbd7 12.
Qd4 h6 13. Bxf6 Nxf6 14. e3 a5 {when Black's lead in development more or less
counterbalances the material deficit.}) 11... Ba6 12. Qc2 h6 13. Bh4 Nbd7 14.
e3 Bxf1 15. Rxf1 c4 $1 ({In addition to the text move, Black could also
consider} 15... Qb8 16. Bg3 Qb5 {, in both cases giving Black a comfortable
position. White has the better pawn structure, but, with the king in the
center and not ideal piece coordination, White has to be careful.}) 16. Ke2 Qb8
17. Bg3 Qb7 18. f3 Rfc8 $6 ({This is probably a case of right square, wong
rook. After} 18... Rac8 19. Rac1 Nc5 {, Black would have been clearly better,
for instance,} 20. Bd6 c3 $1) 19. Rfc1 Nc5 $2 ({Here,} 19... Nb6 {would have
been best. Now, White can get away with capturing on c4.}) 20. Qxc4 Nce4 21.
Qb3 Qa6+ 22. Nc4 Rc6 $4 ({A peculiar blunder. Normally, you would think that
it would be because Grischuk was in time trouble, but that did not seem to be
the case at this point. Perhaps he had forgotten that the knight was hanging
on e4 $2 After} 22... Nxg3+ 23. hxg3 Rab8 24. Qd3 Rd8 25. Qc2 Nd7 {, the
chances would have been about even.}) 23. fxe4 Rac8 24. Qd3 Rxc4 25. Rxc4 Qxc4
26. Qxc4 Rxc4 {This is not what Black wants: White has a fairly
easy-to-convert endgame. While Shankland manages to win, it may not have been
as simple as he thought it to be.} 27. Kd3 Rc8 28. Rd1 (28. b4 $1 a6 29. Bd6 {
seems more accurate.}) 28... Rd8+ 29. Ke2 Rxd1 30. Kxd1 Nxe4 31. Kc2 Kf8 32.
Kd3 Nxg3 33. hxg3 Ke7 34. Kc4 h5 35. Kc5 Kd7 36. b4 $2 ({Yes, this still wins,
but now it requires more accuracy. White should actually have played} 36. b3 $1
Kc7 37. b4 $1 {and White wins. It matters where Black's king is placed.}) 36...
g5 $4 ({Maybe desperation, but this pawn push makes no sense. Black should
have stayed passively:} 36... Kc7 $1 37. b5 f6 38. a4 Kb7 39. a5 (39. Kd6 $4
Kb6 {wins for Black.}) 39... Kc7 40. e4 $1 {(Only move to win.)} Kd7 $1 41. b6
$1 {(Only move.)} axb6+ 42. Kxb6 Kc8 43. Kc6 $1 {(Only move.)} e5 44. Kd5 Kb7
45. Ke6 Ka6 46. Kf5 $3 {(Only move to win.)} Kxa5 47. Kg6 Ka4 48. Kxg7 f5 49.
exf5 e4 50. f6 e3 51. f7 e2 52. f8=Q e1=Q 53. Qf4+ Kb3 {and White has an
endgame that he should win but still requires a lot of work.}) 37. b5 h4 38.
gxh4 gxh4 39. a4 {Black resigned.} 1-0
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.02"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Bacrot, Etienne"]
[Black "Andreikin, Dmitry"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C60"]
[WhiteElo "2642"]
[BlackElo "2724"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "82"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6 5. O-O Bd7 6. c3 g6 7. d4 Bg7 8. Re1
Nf6 9. Nbd2 O-O 10. h3 Re8 11. Bc2 Qe7 12. Nf1 Qf8 {This line has been played
several times and while the computer engines decidedly do not like Black's
position, they do not like anything resembling a King's Indian in general, it
is noteworthy that both Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana and indeed also
Andreikin himself have reached this position previously.} 13. Bg5 ({This move
was first played by French number-one, Alireza Firouzja, last year. Previously,
White had preferred} 13. Ng3 Rad8 ({in a later game, Caruana tried} 13... a5
14. Ba4 Rad8 15. Bg5 h6 16. Bd2 b6 17. Rc1 Nh7 18. Qb3 Re7 19. Qc4 Qe8 {
and while the computer loves White's position, Black's position is solid and
flexible, and he eventually won the game, 0-1 (76) Patel,A (2478)-Caruana,F
(2811) Chess.com INT 2018}) (13... Bh6 14. Ng5 Nd8 15. Bb3 Ne6 16. h4 Rad8 17.
Be3 Bg7 {was played by the world champion who also eventually won a long game,
0-1 (66) Firouzja,A (2723)-Carlsen,M (2872) Moscow 2019}) 14. d5 Ne7 15. Nh2
Bh6 16. Qf3 Bxc1 17. Raxc1 Qg7 {(having gotten rid of the bad dark-squared
bishop, Black is more or less equal at this point.)} 18. Qe3 Nh5 19. Nxh5 gxh5
20. Kh1 f5 21. exf5 Bxf5 22. Bxf5 Nxf5 23. Qd3 Rf8 24. Nf3 Ne7 25. c4 Ng6 26.
Rc3 Kh8 27. Qf1 Qf6 28. Re4 a5 29. Rb3 b6 30. h4 Rd7 31. g3 Qf5 32. Re2 Qg4 33.
Nd2 Rdf7 34. Ne4 Rf3 35. Rxf3 Qxf3+ 36. Kh2 h6 37. Re1 Ne7 38. Qe2 Qf7 39. Qd2
Nf5 40. Nc3 Qg6 41. Re4 {1/2-1/2 (41) Caruana,F (2774)-Andreikin,D (2713)
Moscow 2013}) 13... h6 (13... Nh5 14. dxe5 Nxe5 15. Nxe5 Bxe5 16. Ne3 {was
played in 1-0 (34) Firouzja,A (2804)-Saraci,$146 (2486) Warsaw 2021, when
Black here should have played} f6 $1 17. Bb3+ Kh8 18. Bh4 Qh6 {and Black has
taken over the initiative.}) 14. Bd2 Rad8 15. d5 Ne7 16. c4 Nh5 17. b4 f5 18.
exf5 Bxf5 {Black's pieces are slowly but surely crawling out of their hive.}
19. Rc1 $6 ({Here, my engine calls for the drastic} 19. Bxf5 gxf5 20. Nxe5 Bxe5
21. Qxh5 Bxa1 22. Rxa1 {insisting that White has more than adequate
compensation for the sacrificed exchange.}) 19... Qf7 20. g4 $6 {White is
playing for control of the e4-square, but the text move is quite weakening.}
Bxc2 21. Rxc2 Rf8 $1 {Boom $1 Now, Black is taking the initiative.} 22. Kg2 Nf6
23. Ng3 Ne8 24. Bg5 $6 {A radical and probably insufficient solution to his
problems, but Bacrot did not like the flow of the game and decided to change
the inferior static factors to more more dynamic ones, entirely in accordance
with his former coach, the renowned Iosif Dorfman. Good or bad decision $2
That is hard to tell at this juncture, but Bacrot clearly felt he had not
choice.} Qxf3+ 25. Qxf3 Rxf3 26. Bxe7 Rxg3+ 27. Kxg3 Rd7 28. Bxd6 cxd6 {
White has gotten a rook and a pawn for two minor pieces and hopes that Black
will not be able to activate the minor pieces, in which case he would be in
serious trouble.} 29. a4 Nf6 30. a5 Rc7 31. Ree2 Kf7 32. h4 Bf8 33. f4 Be7 $6 (
{Here,} 33... Nd7 {seemed best.}) 34. Kf3 $6 ({According to the silicon beast,
White should have played} 34. fxe5 dxe5 35. Kh3 Bxb4 36. Rxe5 Nh7 {when White
is probably even very slightly better.}) 34... exf4 35. Kxf4 Nd7 36. g5 hxg5+
37. hxg5 Ne5 38. Re4 {The position is stabilized once more and it is not clear
how Black will break through, so Andreikin offers a repetition of moves...}
Nd3+ 39. Ke3 Ne5 40. Kf4 Nd3+ 41. Ke3 Ne5 1/2-1/2
[Event "FIDE Grand Prix 2 Pool D"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.03"]
[Round "3.8"]
[White "Yu Yangyi"]
[Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D87"]
[WhiteElo "2713"]
[BlackElo "2761"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "76"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Bc4 c5 8.
Ne2 O-O 9. O-O Nc6 10. Be3 b6 {This is far from Black's most popular line, but
it is a line that MVL has played several times, including in the previous
Candidates tournament.} 11. Rc1 ({Yu Yangyi's countryman, Wang Hao, opted for}
11. h4 {against MVL in the Candidates tournament:} e6 12. h5 Qh4 13. hxg6 hxg6
14. f3 Bb7 15. Qd2 cxd4 16. cxd4 Rfd8 17. Rac1 Qe7 18. Rfd1 Rac8 19. Bg5 Bf6
20. Bxf6 Qxf6 {(Black is very close to having equalized.)} 21. Qe3 Kg7 22. Kf2
Rh8 23. Rh1 Rxh1 24. Rxh1 Rh8 25. Rxh8 Kxh8 26. Qc3 Kg8 27. d5 Qxc3 28. Nxc3
Na5 29. Bd3 exd5 30. exd5 {(This endgame is clearly better for White, but he
failed to convert after a solid defensive effort by MVL.)} Kf8 31. Ke3 Ke7 32.
Kd4 Bc8 33. Nb5 a6 34. Nc7 Kd6 35. Nxa6 Nb7 36. g4 g5 37. Nb4 Bd7 38. Nc2 Ke7
39. Ne3 Nd6 40. Nd1 Ba4 41. Nf2 f6 42. Be2 Be8 43. Nd1 Ba4 44. Nb2 Be8 45. Bd1
Nb5+ 46. Kc4 Nc7 47. Bb3 Kd6 48. Kd4 Nb5+ 49. Kd3 Nc7 50. Nc4+ Kc5 51. Nd2 Bb5+
52. Ke4 Bd7 53. Nf1 Nb5 54. Ng3 Nd6+ 55. Ke3 f5 56. gxf5 Bxf5 57. Nxf5 Nxf5+
58. Ke4 Nh4 59. Ba4 Kd6 60. Be8 Ng2 61. Bf7 Ne1 62. a4 Nc2 63. Be8 Ne1 64. Bb5
Ng2 65. Bc4 Nh4 66. Bf1 Kc5 67. Bh3 Kd6 68. Be6 Ng6 69. Bf7 Nh4 70. Be8 Ng2 71.
Bb5 Nh4 72. Bd3 Kc5 73. Bf1 Kd6 74. Bh3 Ng6 75. Be6 Nh4 76. Bf7 Ke7 77. Bh5 Kd6
78. Bg4 Ng2 79. Kf5 Kxd5 80. Kxg5 Ke5 81. Kg6 Nf4+ 82. Kf7 Nd3 83. Ke7 {
1/2-1/2 (83) Wang,H (2762)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2767) Ekaterinburg 2020}) 11...
Bb7 12. Bb5 Rc8 13. Qd2 cxd4 14. cxd4 e6 15. Rfd1 Qd6 ({Or} 15... Na5 16. Rxc8
Qxc8 17. Bg5 Qc7 18. d5 exd5 19. exd5 Qc5 20. Qd3 {with marginally better
chances for White, Giri,A (2764)-Ding,L (2791) chess24.com INT 2020.}) 16. h4
a6 ({A new move. Black had tried some other moves in online games against Giri:
} 16... Rfd8 17. Bg5 Ne7 18. Qe3 h6 19. Bxh6 Bxh6 20. Qxh6 Bxe4 {and Black was
okay, Giri,A (2764)-Preotu,R (2487) Chess.com INT 2020.}) (16... Qb4 17. Qd3
Rfd8 18. a3 Qe7 19. Bg5 Bf6 20. Qe3 h6 21. Bxh6 Nxd4 22. Rxc8 Nxe2+ 23. Bxe2
Bxc8 {with equal chances, Giri,A (2764)-Nepomniachtchi,I (2784) chess24.com
INT 2020.}) 17. Bxc6 Bxc6 18. e5 Qd5 19. f3 f6 20. Nf4 Qd7 21. d5 ({After this
move, all the pieces come off the board and a draw becomes the obvious result.
White could have considered} 21. Qb2 $5 {to keep the tension, but Black is
more or less okay anyway.}) 21... Bxd5 22. Nxd5 exd5 23. Rxc8 Rxc8 24. Qxd5+
Qxd5 25. Rxd5 fxe5 26. Bxb6 Rc4 27. Ra5 e4 28. fxe4 Rxe4 29. Rxa6 Bd4+ $5 {
Black could also have captured the pawn on h4, but MVL knows that after the
exchange of bishops, it will be impossible for him to lose despite being a
pawn down.} 30. Bxd4 Rxd4 31. g3 Kg7 32. Kf2 Rd3 33. a4 h5 34. a5 Ra3 35. Ra8
Kf6 36. a6 Kg7 37. Ra7+ Kf6 38. Ra8 Kg7 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.03"]
[Round "3.7"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Predke, Alexandr"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D38"]
[WhiteElo "2767"]
[BlackElo "2682"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "110"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Bg5 O-O 6. e3 c5 (6... h6 7. Bh4 c5
8. dxc5 Nbd7 9. Qc2 Qa5 10. Nd2 Qxc5 11. Nb3 Qc7 12. a3 Be7 13. cxd5 Nxd5 14.
Bxe7 Nxe7 15. Be2 b6 16. Bf3 Rb8 17. O-O Ne5 18. Be2 Bb7 19. Rac1 Rbc8 20. Nd4
Rfd8 21. Rfd1 Qb8 22. Qa4 N7g6 23. f3 Nc6 24. Nxc6 Rxd1+ 25. Rxd1 Bxc6 26. Qd4
Qe5 27. Ba6 Rb8 28. Qxe5 Nxe5 29. Rd6 Be8 30. f4 Nc6 31. Bb5 Na5 32. Bxe8 Rxe8
33. Rd7 Nc4 34. Rxa7 Nxb2 35. Nb5 Rd8 36. Kf2 g5 37. Nd4 gxf4 38. Nc6 Rd2+ 39.
Kf3 fxe3 40. Kxe3 Rxg2 41. Ne5 Rxh2 42. Nxf7 Nc4+ 43. Kd4 Rh4+ 44. Kc3 e5 45.
Nxh6+ Rxh6 46. Kxc4 Rd6 47. Re7 Kf8 48. Rxe5 Kf7 49. Kb5 Kf6 50. Re3 Kf7 51. a4
Kf8 52. Rc3 Ke7 53. Rc6 Rd4 54. Rxb6 Kd7 55. Rc6 Rxa4 56. Kxa4 Kxc6 {1/2-1/2
(56) Mamedyarov,S (2770)-Andreikin,D (2725) Lichess.org INT 2021}) 7. cxd5 exd5
8. Be2 h6 9. Bxf6 Qxf6 10. O-O Bxc3 11. bxc3 Be6 12. Ne5 Nd7 {A new move.} ({
Previously, Black had tried} 12... Nc6 13. Nxc6 bxc6 14. Qa4 Bf5 15. dxc5 Rfb8
16. Qa3 Qg5 17. Rad1 {with a small but clear advantage for White, Li Chao
(2750)-Yu Yangyi (2736) Doha 2015.}) 13. Nxd7 Bxd7 14. dxc5 Be6 {Compared to
the line with 12...Nc6, Black has an isolated d-pawn that can prove to be
vulnerable, but at the same time, White's doubled c-pawns are now on the open
c-file and therefore considerably easier for Black to attack.} 15. Qd4 Qe7 16.
Rab1 Rfc8 17. Rb5 a6 18. Ra5 Rc7 19. Rb1 Rac8 20. Bd3 Qf8 21. f4 $6 ({Here, I
think White missed an interesting opportunity in} 21. c6 $5 {, for instance,}
Rxc6 (21... bxc6 $4 22. Rxa6 {is much better for White.}) 22. Rxb7 Rxc3 23. h3
Ra3 24. Rxa3 Qxa3 25. f4 {and White has some pressure.}) ({Or} 21. h4 Rxc5 22.
Rxc5 Qxc5 23. Rxb7 Qxc3 24. Qxc3 Rxc3 25. Bxa6 {with a position similar to the
game, but with a pawn on h4 instead of f4.}) 21... Bd7 22. Ra3 Qxc5 23. Qxc5
Rxc5 24. Rxb7 Rxc3 25. Rxc3 Rxc3 26. Bxa6 Bf5 $1 ({This is stronger than
immediately playing to win the a2-pawn. For instance,} 26... Ra3 27. Rb8+ Kh7
28. Bb7 Be6 ({but not} 28... Rxa2 $4 29. Bxd5 Re2 30. e4 {which looks drawish
but is very unpleasant for Black.}) 29. f5 Bxf5 30. Bxd5 Be6 31. Bb3 g5 {
and Black should hold the draw.}) 27. Rb3 Rc2 28. Bd3 Bxd3 29. Rxd3 Rxa2 30.
Rxd5 {Objectively speaking, this should be an easy draw, but chess history has
several examples of the weaker side losing after nonchalant defensive play.} g6
31. h4 h5 $1 {Stopping the advance of White's pawns. If White was allowed to
play h4-h5, he would have some winning chances, even if it objectively still
would be a draw. The remainder of the game saw Mamedyarov try for more but
never truly getting close to a proper shot at winning.} 32. f5 Kg7 33. fxg6
Kxg6 $1 {Not allowing White a passed pawn on the e-file.} 34. Kh2 Ra3 35. Rg5+
Kh6 36. Re5 Ra4 37. Kg3 f6 38. Rf5 Kg6 39. Rf4 Ra1 40. Rb4 Rf1 41. Rf4 Ra1 42.
Kf2 Rh1 43. g3 Ra1 44. g4 hxg4 45. Rxg4+ Kf7 46. Kg2 Ra5 47. Rg3 Rh5 48. Rh3
Kg6 49. Kf3 Rf5+ 50. Kg4 Re5 51. Rg3 Rf5 52. e4 Re5 53. Kf4+ Kf7 54. Rd3 Rh5
55. Kg4 Re5 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.03"]
[Round "3.5"]
[White "Fedoseev, Vladimir"]
[Black "Shirov, Alexei"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D43"]
[WhiteElo "2704"]
[BlackElo "2704"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. Qd3 b6 ({An usual choice. In his
only other encounter with 5.Qd3, Shirov opted for} 5... Nbd7 6. e4 dxe4 7. Nxe4
Nxe4 8. Qxe4 Bb4+ 9. Bd2 Bxd2+ 10. Nxd2 O-O 11. O-O-O Qa5 12. Bd3 Nf6 13. Qh4
Qh5 14. Qxh5 Nxh5 15. g3 {with an unpleasant, passive, queenless middlegame
for Black in Navara,D (2692)-Shirov,A (2730) Novi Sad 2009.}) (5... dxc4 {
is the other main line.}) 6. cxd5 Ba6 7. Qc2 cxd5 {Now the structure resembles
the Exchange Variation of the Slav Defense (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.cxd5 cxd5), but
where Black has played a somewhat unusual ...b7-b6, weakening the light
squares on the queenside.} 8. Bf4 Nbd7 ({Because of Black's early troubles, it
makes sense to look for an improvement. Here,} 8... Bd6 {would run into} 9.
Qa4+ Ke7 ({or} 9... b5 10. Nxb5 Bxf4 11. Nc7+ Ke7 12. Nxa6 {with an extra pawn
for White.}) 10. g3 {with somewhat better chances for White. although there is
nothing seriously wrong with Black's position.}) 9. Qa4 Qc8 10. Ne5 b5 $6 ({
Now this is definitely not the best. More solid, and probably better, was}
10... Qb7 {, for instance,} 11. Nxd7 Nxd7 12. Nb5 Bxb5 13. Qxb5 a6 14. Qb3 Be7
15. e3 {when White has the bishop pair and some pressure, but Black may be
able to defend.}) 11. Qa5 b4 12. Nb5 Bxb5 13. Qxb5 Qc2 $6 {Active but not
particularly good.} 14. Nd3 $1 {Essentially a pawn sacrifice, threatening Rc1
with a nasty initiative.} Qc4 15. Qa4 Qxd4 16. Qc6 {Neither side has castled
nor completed the development, but it is Black who is in trouble due to
White's control of the c-file as well Black's inability to find a safe square
for the rook on a8.} Rd8 17. Bc7 Rc8 18. Qb7 Rxc7 19. Qxc7 Be7 20. e3 Qe4 21.
Qxa7 O-O 22. Rc1 {Black has a pawn for the exchange, but he is struggling to
create real counterplay.} b3 $5 {An attempt for play on the dark squares.} 23.
axb3 Rb8 $4 ({Logical but very bad. It was better to play} 23... e5 24. f3 Qg6
{when White is still dealing with issues of coordinating his pieces and
getting the h1-rook into play.}) 24. f3 Qh4+ 25. g3 Qh6 26. Be2 g6 27. Ne5 $1 {
Now Black's position collapses; too many loose pieces.} Rxb3 28. Nxd7 Nxd7 29.
Qxd7 Bb4+ 30. Kf1 $1 {The only move to win, but unfortunately for Black, not
too difficult to find.} Qxe3 31. Rc7 1-0
[Event "Chess.com"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.03.03"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Rapport, Richard"]
[Black "Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E48"]
[WhiteElo "2763"]
[BlackElo "2727"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "79"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. cxd5 exd5 7. a3 Bd6 8. Qc2
{Rapport and Vidit are entering one of the most complex structures, a Carlsbad
with a white dark-squared bishop behind the pawn chain.} a6 ({The Indian GM
has experience with the other main continuation in the first GP tournament:}
8... c6 9. Nge2 Re8 10. Bd2 b6 11. O-O Ba6 12. Kh1 c5 13. Rad1 g6 14. Qb1 Bb7
15. Nf4 {and White eventually prevailed in Aronian,L (2772)-Vidit,S (2727)
Berlin 2022}) 9. Nge2 Re8 10. O-O {[%mdl 4] 10.0-0 is the recent fashion
according to Megabase.} b6 ({Sure enough, Rapport knows that the Greek gift
sacrifice} 10... Bxh2+ $2 11. Kxh2 Ng4+ {would not work due to} 12. Kg3 $1 Qg5
13. f4 Qh6 14. Bd2 Qh2+ 15. Kf3 {and the king escapes.}) 11. b4 {First and
foremost, White needs to take the teeth out of the c7-c5 break.} Nbd7 $146 {
Rapport sank into deep thought and, after more than thirty minutes on the
clock, came up with a good plan.} ({The predecessor witnessed highly
instructive play by White:} 11... Bb7 12. Rb1 Qe7 13. h3 Nbd7 14. b5 a5 15. a4
Rac8 16. Qb3 Nf8 17. Nf4 Rcd8 18. Ra1 $1 {the white problematic bishop is
about to be traded while the opponent's bad one on b7 will suffer till the end
of the game, Milov, V (2680)-Riff,J (2474) Kemer 2007}) 12. Nf4 {First and
foremost, the Hungarian GM lures the opponent's bishop on b7 anyway.} (12. b5
$5 {like in the above-mentioned predecessor also made a lot of sense.}) 12...
Bb7 13. Rb1 $1 {Now c7-c5 would be difficult to execute.} Nf8 ({One other
classical idea in the Carlsbad} 13... b5 {intending to transfer the knight via
the b6-square to the c4-outpost would be met with the timely} 14. a4 {Notice
that the white rook defends the b4 pawn.} c6 15. a5 {with White's edge.}) 14.
f3 {Now that c7-c5 is out of the question, Rapport can concentrate on
Botvinnik's idea of preparing e3-e4 $1} Ng6 {Vidit hopes to swap some pieces
and reduce the attacking potential of his opponent.} ({Here, and on the
previous move, the trade} 14... Bxf4 15. exf4 {never works for Black as the
black knights will lack good outposts, whereas White will find a way to
transfer his only horsie all the way to the vulnerable e5-point.}) 15. Nfe2 $3
{But his offer is rejected $1 The white knight has far better perspectives.} ({
Further on, the straightforward} 15. Nxg6 hxg6 16. e4 {would have failed
tactically due to} dxe4 17. fxe4 Nxe4 $1 18. Nxe4 Bxe4 19. Bxe4 Qh4 {when
Black wins material.}) 15... Qe7 16. Ng3 {The knight found an even better
career, and his salary would raise after reaching the f5-square.} Qd7 ({
The attempt to stop the knight with} 16... Nh4 {releases the e-pawn} 17. e4) ({
However, the machine claims that Black could have defended better with the
passive} 16... Bc8 {Its main point is that in the line} 17. e4 dxe4 18. fxe4 {
There is} Ng4 {and Black somehow gets enough play against the enemy king. This
is hard to believe, but the machine insists and prints the following line:} 19.
e5 Qh4 20. h3 Qxg3 21. hxg4 Rxe5 $3 22. dxe5 Bxe5 23. Ne2 Qh2+ 24. Kf2 Bb7 {
It seems as Black has enough for the rook, somehow, and should be able to find
a perpetual with} 25. Be4 Qh4+ 26. Ke3 Qg5+ 27. Kf2 Qh4+ {I honestly do not
buy any of this...}) 17. Nf5 Bf8 18. Kh1 $1 {The final preparation. And a move
of a true master $1 Why rush when the opponent is forced to sit and wait for
your decision $2} Ne7 ({The active attempt} 18... c5 19. bxc5 bxc5 20. dxc5
Bxc5 21. Na4 {only makes things worse for Black.}) 19. Ng3 $1 {A second
retreat $1 And, once again, it is the black knight that looks silly, clumsily
blocking his own pieces.} Rad8 ({There will be no repetition after} 19... Ng6
20. Bd2) ({And, in the case of the pseudo-active} 19... h5 {White can finally
go for} 20. e4 $5 dxe4 21. fxe4 Qxd4 {Without a check.} (21... h4 22. Rxf6 $1)
22. Nce2 {with a massive attack.}) 20. Nce2 Ng6 21. e4 {The time had come.} (
21. Bd2 $5) 21... dxe4 22. fxe4 Re6 {Vidit is apparently afraid of the
exchange sacrifice on f6, but the move in the game will soon lead to complete
White domination.} ({Maybe it was worth trying} 22... c5 23. bxc5 bxc5 24. Rxf6
$1 gxf6 25. d5 {at least hoping for some practical chances.}) 23. Bb2 ({
Apparently, the Indian GM hoped to sacrifice an exchange himself in the line}
23. d5 Re5 24. Bb2 (24. Nd4 $1 {is a big advantage for White though.}) 24...
Ng4 25. Bxe5 N6xe5 {when the dark-squared domination indeed compensates Black
somewhat.}) 23... Ng4 24. Qb3 b5 ({Or} 24... Nh4 25. Bc2 $1) 25. Bc2 $1 Rc6 26.
Nf5 {A picturesque position $1 Just like that, Rapport is completely winning.
Vidit's pieces are scattered all over the place, completely oblivious to
reality.} Re8 ({Maybe it was worth at least trying for the last time to trade
THAT knight with} 26... Ne7 27. Neg3 ({But, since the knight was insulted so
many times, Black might have feared the third retreat:} 27. Nfg3 $5) ({Or the
retreat forward} 27. Nxg7 $1 Bxg7 28. Rxf7) 27... Nxf5 28. Nxf5 {although it
will be immediately replaced by the other.}) 27. Neg3 a5 {Desperation.} 28. Bd3
({Nothing wrong with the immediate} 28. bxa5) 28... Rce6 29. bxa5 c6 30. e5 Be7
31. Nh5 {Rapport is winning as he likes and chooses his way.} (31. Qd1 $1 {
would have been another solution} Nh6 32. Nxh6+ gxh6 33. Be4) 31... Bf8 32. h3
Nh6 33. Nxh6+ gxh6 34. Nf6+ Rxf6 35. Rxf6 Bg7 36. Rf2 Rb8 37. Be4 c5 38. Bxb7
c4 39. Qf3 Rxb7 40. Bc3 {PLAY CHESS, NOT WAR.} 1-0
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.03"]
[Round "3.3"]
[White "Vitiugov, Nikita"]
[Black "Tabatabaei, M. Amin"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D35"]
[WhiteElo "2726"]
[BlackElo "2623"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "80"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. e3 Bf5 {A super-solid
line that Tabatabaei previously had used once in the FIDE Grand Swiss in Riga
last year.} 7. Qf3 Bg6 8. Bxf6 Qxf6 9. Qxf6 gxf6 {Black has accepted some ugly
pawns on the kingside, but in return he has the bishop pair.} 10. Nf3 ({
The game from Riga went} 10. Nge2 Nd7 11. h4 h5 12. Nf4 Bd6 13. g3 a5 14. Kd2
a4 15. Bd3 Bxf4 16. exf4 Bxd3 17. Kxd3 Ke7 18. Nd1 f5 19. Re1+ Kf6 20. Nc3 Nb6
21. Re2 Rhe8 22. Rae1 Re6 {and Black had a small but clear advantage although
he lost the game in the end, Abdusattorov,$146 (2690)-Tabatabaei,M (2555) Riga
2021.}) ({The first of Vitiugov's games with this line saw White try} 10. h4
Nd7 11. h5 Bf5 12. Nge2 h6 13. Nf4 a5 14. f3 Bd6 15. Kf2 a4 16. a3 Nb6 17. Rc1
Ke7 18. Be2 Ra5 19. Rhe1 Bd7 20. Bd3 f5 21. g3 Kd8 22. Nce2 {½-½ (22)
Vitiugov,$146 (2738)-Ponomariov,R (2711) Czech Republic 2015}) 10... Nd7 11.
Nh4 ({This approach with the knight to h4 was popularized by World Champion
Magnus Carlsen, who used it to beat Vladimir Kramnik in very convincing
fashion. Another try was seen in another Vitiugov game:} 11. g3 Nb6 12. Nh4 Be7
13. O-O-O Nc8 14. Bd3 Nd6 15. Ng2 Bxd3 16. Rxd3 f5 17. Rdd1 Ne4 18. Rhf1 Kd7
19. Kc2 h5 20. h4 Bd6 21. Kd3 a5 22. Ne2 Rhg8 23. Ngf4 {(and, objectively,
White has a small advantage, but it is very difficult for either side to break
through.)} Nf6 24. Nh3 Ke7 25. Nef4 Rh8 26. Ke2 Ne4 27. Kd3 Ra6 28. Kc2 Raa8
29. Rd3 a4 30. a3 Bxf4 31. Nxf4 Nd6 32. Ne2 Kf6 33. Rdd1 Nc4 {1/2-1/2 (33)
Vitiugov,$146 (2734)-Andreikin,D (2713) Khanty-Mansiysk 2013}) 11... Be7 12.
Ne2 ({Vitiugov has also tried} 12. f4 $2 {, but this is just a poor idea and
Black is already very comfortable in this position:} f5 13. Nf3 Nb6 14. Bd3 a5
15. a4 Nc8 16. Ne2 Nd6 17. Ng3 Kd7 18. O-O Ke6 19. Rfe1 h6 20. Ne5 Ra7 21. Rec1
Raa8 22. Nf1 Ne4 23. Rc2 Bh7 24. Nd2 f6 25. Nef3 Bb4 26. Nb3 Kf7 27. Nc5 Rab8
28. Kf1 Rhg8 29. g3 Bg6 30. Nh4 Rge8 31. Be2 Nxc5 32. dxc5 Rxe3 33. Rd1 Rbe8
34. Bd3 Bh5 35. Rdd2 Bxd2 36. Rxd2 Rxd3 {0-1 (36) Vitiugov, $146 (2734)
-Grachev,B (2683) Khanty-Mansiysk 2013}) 12... f5 ({The aforementioned game by
the world champion saw Black try} 12... Nb6 13. Ng3 Bb4+ 14. Kd1 Na4 15. Ngf5
$1 Kd7 16. Rb1 Ke6 17. Bd3 Rhc8 18. Ke2 Bf8 19. g4 {(Black is already more or
less losing.)} c5 20. Ng2 cxd4 21. exd4 Bd6 22. h4 h5 23. Ng7+ Ke7 24. gxh5
Bxd3+ 25. Kxd3 Kd7 26. Ne3 Nb6 27. Ng4 Rh8 28. Rhe1 Be7 29. Nf5 Bd8 30. h6 Rc8
31. b3 Rc6 32. Nge3 Bc7 33. Rbc1 Rxc1 34. Rxc1 Bf4 35. Rc5 Ke6 36. Ng7+ Kd6 37.
Ng4 Nd7 38. Rc2 f5 39. Nxf5+ Ke6 40. Ng7+ Kd6 41. Re2 Kc6 42. Re8 Rxe8 43. Nxe8
Nf8 44. Ne5+ Bxe5 45. dxe5 Kd7 46. Nf6+ Ke6 47. h5 Kxe5 48. Nd7+ Nxd7 49. h7
Nc5+ 50. Ke2 {1-0 (50) Carlsen,M (2851)-Kramnik,V (2801) Stavanger 2016}) 13.
Nf3 ({From the online world, we find the last of Vitiugov's previous
experiences with this particular line:} 13. g3 Bxh4 14. gxh4 Nf6 15. Rg1 Ke7
16. Bh3 Nh5 17. Kd2 Kf6 18. b4 Rhe8 19. Bg2 f4 20. Bf3 fxe3+ 21. fxe3 Ke7 {
when White, at most, had a marginal plus, Vitiugov, $146 (2722)-Kuzubov,Y
(2643) Chess.com INT 2020.}) 13... Bb4+ 14. Kd1 Bd6 ({A novelty over} 14... Nf6
15. Nf4 Ne4 16. Nd3 Bd6 17. Rc1 Rg8 18. Be2 a5 19. g3 {which was comfortably
better for White in Ponkratov,P (2641)-Andreikin,D (2724) Chess.com INT 2022.})
15. Ne1 Bh5 16. Nd3 Bxe2+ 17. Kxe2 Ke7 18. g3 {White has the clearly better
pawn structure, but Black has lost the bishop pair, leaving White with a small
but clear advantage.} a5 19. Bh3 Kf6 20. a4 $6 {White intends to play for a
b2-b4, followed by pressure on the b-file and the advance of the a-pawn.
However, this does not appear to accomplish much in light of Black's response.}
Ra6 $5 21. b3 Rb6 {No b2-b4 for you $1} 22. Rab1 h5 23. Kf3 Nf8 {Black has a
comfortable position.} 24. Ke2 Ne6 25. f4 Ng7 26. Ne5 Ke6 27. Kd3 Bb4 (27...
Ne8 {intending ...Be7 followed by ... Ne8-d6(or f6)-e4 would give Black the
better chances. The rest of the game resembled shadow-boxing.}) 28. Nf3 Ne8 29.
Nh4 Nd6 30. Rhc1 Kf6 31. Rc2 Ra6 32. Rbc1 Raa8 33. Re2 Rae8 34. Rcc2 Re7 35.
Rc1 Rc8 36. Rec2 Rce8 37. Re2 Ba3 38. Ra1 Bb4 39. Rc1 Ba3 40. Ra1 Bb4 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.03"]
[Round "3.4"]
[White "Harikrishna, Pentala"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C83"]
[WhiteElo "2719"]
[BlackElo "2772"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5
Be6 9. Nbd2 Nc5 10. c3 Be7 11. Bc2 d4 12. Nb3 d3 13. Bb1 Nxb3 14. axb3 Bf5 15.
Be3 ({The combatants had previously explored two other options at this
juncture:} 15. Re1 O-O 16. b4 Qd7 17. h3 Rfd8 18. g4 Bg6 19. Bf4 a5 ({or} 19...
Qc8 20. Ba2 a5 21. e6 f6 22. bxa5 Nxa5 23. b4 Nc4 24. Bxc4 bxc4 {with a
complex position where White eventually won in Harikrishna,P (2755)-Ding Liren
(2778) Danzhou 2016}) 20. bxa5 Rxa5 21. Ba2 Rf8 22. b4 Ra4 {and Black had
equalized in Caruana,F (2805)-Giri,A (2773) Stavanger 2015.}) (15. b4 O-O 16.
Bf4 Qd7 17. h3 Rfd8 18. g4 Bg6 19. Bg3 Kh8 (19... a5 $1 {is better as seen in
some email games}) 20. Re1 Qc8 {was seen in Harikrishna,P (2752)-Caruana,F
(2808) Baku 2016, and here} 21. Nh4 $1 {would have offered White a clear
advantage.}) 15... O-O 16. Bd4 Qd5 17. Re1 b4 ({An interesting choice. The
main line moves are} 17... d2) ({and} 17... Rfd8 {, whereas the text move, as
far as I know, only has been played in one prior game.}) 18. Bxd3 Bxd3 19. Qxd3
bxc3 20. bxc3 Qxb3 21. e6 ({The first deviation from prior praxis:} 21. Reb1
Qe6 22. Ra4 a5 23. Qe4 Rfb8 24. Rba1 Rb5 25. Be3 Qg6 26. g3 Qxe4 27. Rxe4 Kf8
28. Kg2 Ra6 29. g4 Ke8 30. g5 Kd7 31. Raa4 Bc5 32. Bd2 Be7 33. Be3 Bc5 34. Bd2
Be7 35. h3 {1/2-1/2 (35) Koch,C (2343)-Koslowski,V (2273) LSS email 2020})
21... fxe6 22. Qe2 a5 23. c4 Qxf3 $5 ({Yowsers $1 What a stunning move.
However, I strongly suspect that this move, as well as the rest of the game
for that matter, had already been on the computer at the Giri household.
Alternatively, Black could also have played} 23... Nxd4 24. Nxd4 Qb6 25. Nxe6
Rf7) ({and} 23... Rxf3 24. Qxe6+ Rf7 25. Qxc6 Rd8 {, in both cases with about
equal chances.}) 24. gxf3 Nxd4 25. Qe4 Nxf3+ 26. Kh1 Nxe1 27. Qxe6+ Rf7 28.
Rxe1 Raf8 29. Rd1 Kh8 30. Rd7 Rxf2 31. Qxe7 Rf1+ 32. Kg2 R1f2+ 33. Kg1 Rf1+ 34.
Kg2 R1f2+ 35. Kg1 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.03"]
[Round "3.2"]
[White "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Black "Bacrot, Etienne"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C42"]
[WhiteElo "2764"]
[BlackElo "2642"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
{[%evp 0,63,22,19,19,22,43,9,35,36,31,-8,2,-18,44,44,59,50,48,48,48,49,41,42,
109,95,87,80,107,23,77,18,103,77,71,64,63,62,70,67,81,63,78,75,63,70,66,62,59,
46,54,50,36,40,42,40,36,38,38,24,19,20,20,27,24,29]} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3.
Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. c4 c6 9. cxd5 cxd5 10.
Nc3 Nxc3 11. bxc3 Bg4 12. Rb1 {This line was played countless times 20-25
years ago, but even nowadays it is seen in grandmaster games.} Nd7 13. h3 Bh5
14. Rb5 Nf6 ({The main line is} 14... Nb6 {, and one example featuring
Grischuk went} 15. c4 Bxf3 16. Qxf3 dxc4 17. Bc2 Qd7 18. a4 g6 19. Be3 Rac8 20.
Rfb1 c3 21. a5 Nc4 22. Rxb7 Qe6 23. Bb3 Qf5 24. Qxf5 gxf5 25. Ra1 f4 26. Bc1
Rfe8 27. f3 c2 28. Kf2 a6 29. Ra4 Nb2 30. Bxf7+ Kf8 31. Bxb2 c1=Q 32. Bxc1 Rc2+
33. Kf1 Rxc1+ 34. Kf2 Rc2+ 35. Kf1 Rc1+ {1/2-1/2 (35) Grischuk,A (2606)-Shirov,
A (2746) New Delhi/Teheran 2000}) 15. Bg5 ({In a very recent game, Grischuk
took the black pieces against a fellow Russian top grandmaster:} 15. g4 a6 16.
Rxb7 Bxg4 17. hxg4 Qc8 18. Rb6 Qxg4+ 19. Kh1 Qh3+ 20. Kg1 Qg4+ 21. Kh1 Qh3+ 22.
Kg1 Qg4+ 23. Kh1 Qh3+ 24. Kg1 Qg4+ 25. Kh1 Qh3+ 26. Kg1 Qg4+ 27. Kh1 Qh3+ 28.
Kg1 Qg4+ 29. Kh1 Qh3+ 30. Kg1 Qg4+ {1/2-1/2 (30) Svidler,P (2701)-Grischuk,A
(2775) Struga 2021}) 15... a6 16. Bxf6 Qxf6 17. Rxd5 Bxf3 18. Qxf3 Qxf3 19.
gxf3 {White has won a pawn, but a draw is nevertheless still an almost
certainty.} Rfd8 20. Kg2 ({Or} 20. c4 Be7 21. Be4 b5 22. Rc1 bxc4 23. Rxc4 Rab8
{with an endgame nobody is going to win.}) 20... b5 21. c4 Ba3 22. Rxd8+ Rxd8
23. cxb5 axb5 24. Bxb5 Rxd4 25. Re1 g6 26. Re3 Bb4 27. Re4 Bc5 28. a4 Rd2 29.
Re2 Rxe2 30. Bxe2 Bb6 31. f4 f5 32. Kf3 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.03"]
[Round "3.1"]
[White "Andreikin, Dmitry"]
[Black "Shankland, Sam"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D85"]
[WhiteElo "2724"]
[BlackElo "2708"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "60"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Nf3 c5 8.
Bb5+ Nc6 ({The only previous game that I could find with Shankland in this
variation went} 8... Bd7 9. Be2 Qa5 10. Bd2 O-O 11. O-O Rd8 12. Qb3 Qc7 13. d5
Bg4 14. Rab1 b6 15. Bg5 Qd6 16. Rfe1 {and White was clearly better although
the game later ended in a draw, ½-½ (40) Bogner,S (2584)-Shankland,S (2713)
Biel 2019.}) 9. O-O O-O 10. Bxc6 ({The main line is} 10. Be3 Bg4 11. Bxc6 bxc6
12. Rc1 Qa5 13. Qc2 Bxf3 14. gxf3 cxd4 15. cxd4 Qh5 16. Kg2 {with an advantage
for White as in Andreikin,D (2724)-Xiong,J (2687) Chess.com INT 2021.}) 10...
bxc6 11. Qc2 cxd4 12. cxd4 Bg4 13. Ne5 Qxd4 14. Bb2 Qb6 15. Rab1 ({In the FIDE
Grand Swiss, Dubov put the other rook on b1:} 15. Rfb1 Be6 $4 ({immediate
bingo; Black should have played} 15... Bxe5 16. Bxe5 Qa5 17. Bd4 Rfd8 {and
Black had already solved his opening problems in Sarana,A (2666)-Preotu,R
(2473) Chess.com INT 2021}) 16. Nxg6 $1 hxg6 17. Bxg7 Kxg7 18. Rxb6 axb6 19.
Qb2+ Kg8 20. Qxb6 Rfb8 21. Qc7 Rb2 22. h4 Kf8 23. Qe5 {1-0 (23) Dubov,D (2747)
-Chigaev,M (2610) Riga 2021.}) 15... Bxe5 16. Bxe5 Qa5 ({In another game from
the FIDE Grand Swiss, Black played the less accurate} 16... Qa6 {which allows
White's queen to c5 with an ongoing initiative:} 17. Qc5 Rfe8 18. Bc3 Qxa2 19.
Rb2 Qa4 20. f3 Bc8 21. Rc1 f6 22. e5 Qf4 23. Re1 Qf5 $6 24. g4 Qxf3 25. exf6
Be6 26. Rf2 Qxg4+ $2 27. Rg2 Qf4 28. Rxe6 exf6 29. Rxf6 {and White eventually
won, 1-0 (55) Praggnanandhaa,R (2618)-Adhiban,B (2672) Riga 2021.}) 17. Bc3 Qc5
({This is the first new move and was undoubtedly part of Shankland's
impressive preparation as he was still blitzing out the moves at this point.
That being said, in another recent game, Black went for} 17... Qa6 18. Qd2 Be6
19. Qf4 f6 20. Rfc1 Rad8 21. h4 Rd7 {with even chances and an eventual draw in
Solomon,A (2337)-Dvoirys,S (2436) Tel Aviv 2021.}) 18. Qb2 a5 {At the moment,
Black has an extra pawn. but it seems unlikely that he will be able to do
anything with it and the absence of Black's dark-squared bishop gives White
fully sufficient compensation.} 19. Rfc1 Qd6 20. Be5 Qd7 21. Qc3 Rfd8 22. Qxc6
Rac8 23. Qxd7 Rxc1+ 24. Rxc1 Bxd7 25. Bc7 Rc8 26. Bf4 Rxc1+ 27. Bxc1 f6 28. f3
Kf7 29. a4 Bxa4 30. Bd2 Bb5 1/2-1/2
[Event "Chess.com"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.03.04"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Predke, Alexandr"]
[Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B95"]
[WhiteElo "2682"]
[BlackElo "2761"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "88"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
{[%evp 0,88,19,31,72,53,86,80,55,57,55,20,70,45,90,49,48,38,70,81,40,25,37,0,
18,-19,-23,-19,-4,-24,0,-10,0,-59,-46,-45,-45,-45,-46,-52,-38,-38,-18,-59,-42,
-69,-74,-60,-63,-77,-77,-56,-71,-45,-29,-79,-93,-91,-59,-83,-100,-253,-272,
-319,-323,-336,-382,-385,-399,-418,-338,-350,-355,-384,-401,-408,-414,-424,
-414,-414,-370,-414,-414,-414,-409,-462,-475,-518,-568,-592,-603]} 1. e4 c5 2.
Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qf3 {[%cal Ge1c1] A rare
line, which became popular thanks to the efforts of the unforgettable
Bronstein. Recently Nepomniachtchi added it to his repertoire as well.} (7. f4)
(7. Qd2) (7. Be2) (7. Bc4) 7... Be7 ({The above-mentioned players ended up in
identical positions, seprated appart by almost seventy years of chess
development and a modest pawn advance (on a3)} 7... Nbd7 8. O-O-O Qc7 9. a3 (9.
Qg3 b5 10. Bxb5 axb5 11. Ndxb5 Qb8 12. Nxd6+ Bxd6 13. Qxd6 Qxd6 14. Rxd6 {
as in Bronstein,D-Najdorf,M Buenos Aires 1954}) 9... Be7 10. Qg3 b5 11. Bxb5
axb5 12. Ndxb5 Qb8 13. Nxd6+ Bxd6 14. Qxd6 Qxd6 15. Rxd6 {interestingly both
White players won in these games, Nepomniachtchi, I (2784)-Abdusattorov,$146
(2627) Chess.com INT 2020}) 8. O-O-O Qa5 {Vachier-Lagrave is as always
perfectly prepared in his beloved Najdorf.} ({In the majority of the cases
Black prefers to develop his knight on d7, here, or on the next move. Here is
an example:} 8... Nbd7 9. Be2 Qc7 10. Qg3 b5 11. a3 Bb7 12. Rhe1 Rc8 13. f4
Nxe4 14. Nxe4 Bxe4 15. Bxe7 Kxe7 16. Bd3 Bxd3 17. Qxd3 Nc5 18. Nf5+ Kf6 19. Qg3
Ne4 20. Qxg7+ Kxf5 21. g4+ Kxf4 22. Rf1+ {1-0 (22) Yoo,C (2647)-Drygalov,S
(2838) Chess.com INT 2020}) 9. h4 Bd7 $5 {[%mdl 4] Black indicates that he
would like to develop his knight to c6.} (9... Nbd7) 10. Bc4 $146 {After a
heavy thought, Predke decided to switch to Sozin-like development.} ({The
predecessor saw:} 10. g4 Nc6 11. Nb3 Qc7 12. Qe2 b5 13. Be3 h5 14. g5 Ng4 15.
a3 Rb8 16. Bd2 b4 {with active counter-play for Black, Sedlak,$146 (2524)
-Ljubicic,F (2406) Pula 2003}) ({Critical seems} 10. e5 $5 dxe5 {when} 11. Qxb7
$2 {certainly does not work due to} ({However} 11. Nxe6 $1 {leads to
interesting complications and unclear play after} fxe6 12. Bxf6 O-O 13. Qxb7
gxf6 14. Rxd7 ({But not} 14. Qxa8 $2 Bc6 15. Qa7 Bc5 {when the queen is
suddenly trapped.}) 14... Nxd7 15. Qxd7 Kf7 {and it is anyone's game.}) 11...
exd4 12. Qxa8 Qb6 {and Black wins material.}) ({The machine likes Bronstein's}
10. Qg3 $5) 10... Nc6 11. Bb3 h6 ({Another way to play it is} 11... Nxd4 12.
Rxd4 Bc6 {but Vachier-Lagrave wants to keep this knight alive for greater
deeds.}) 12. Be3 ({Perhaps the computer's} 12. Nxc6 Bxc6 13. Bf4 {is an
improvement $2}) 12... Ne5 13. Qe2 ({The queen can be left in front of the
pawns with} 13. Qg3 {but from here it does not threaten anything yet, and
Black can proceed as in the game} Rc8 14. Qxg7 $2 Rg8 15. Qxh6 Neg4 {and Black
will win a piece.}) 13... Rc8 14. Kb1 $1 {Careful play by Predke.} ({The
immediate} 14. f4 {is spectacularly refuted with} Rxc3 $1 15. Bd2 (15. bxc3
Nxe4 {is plain bad for White.}) 15... Nd3+ 16. Kb1 Qh5 $1 {and Black is
clearly on top.}) 14... b5 15. f4 {Another major decision point. The Russian
GM decided to force matters in the center.} ({Th alternative was the
doubled-edge position after} 15. a3 b4 16. axb4 Qxb4 17. f3) 15... Neg4 ({
This time} 15... Rxc3 16. Bd2 $1 {does not work for Black.}) 16. e5 ({After}
16. Bg1 b4 $1 {suddenly embarrasses the white knight.}) ({However} 16. a3 {
was still possible.}) 16... dxe5 17. fxe5 Nxe5 18. Bxh6 Rxh6 19. Qxe5 {As a
result, Vachier-Lagrave won a hefty bishop pair and from here on every endgame
he enters would be close (if not perfectly) winning for him. But before that
he needs to solve the problem of his king in the middle. Right now Predke
threatens various knight jumps, like Nd4-f5, or even Nd4xe6 $1} Qc7 $1 {
Very useful $1 The white queen is removed from her optimal position.} 20. Qe2 (
{As we know, the endgame after} 20. Qxc7 $2 Rxc7 {is horrific for White.})
20... Qf4 {Black finds a clever idea to insert the second rook into the
assault.} ({There was an interesting alternative} 20... b4 $5 21. Na4 Rh5 22.
g4 Re5 $1 (22... Ra5 23. g5) 23. Qg2 Ra5 {with Black's edge.}) 21. Rh3 ({Here}
21. Rhe1 $1 {looked stronger, when White can consolidate his kingside thank to
small tactics, like} Kf8 ({Or} 21... Qxh4 $2 22. Nf5) ({Or} 21... Rxh4 $2 22.
Nxe6 $1 fxe6 23. Bxe6 Bxe6 24. Qxe6 Qc7 25. Nd5 $1) 22. g3 {capitalizing on
the extra tempo to defend.}) 21... Rc5 $1 {The point behind Vahcier-Lagrave's
play. The second rook enters the battle.} (21... Qg4 $5 22. Qe1 b4 {looks good
for Black too.}) 22. Re3 Qg4 23. Nf3 Bc6 24. a4 {This turns out to be a
weakening.} ({Safer looked} 24. a3 {with the idea to meet} Bxf3 25. gxf3 Qxh4 {
with} 26. Bxe6 $3 fxe6 27. Rxe6 Nh5 28. Rxh6 gxh6 29. Qe6 $1 {[%cal Re6g8]
when the same old machine claims that White has enough initiative for a
perpetual.}) 24... Kf8 25. axb5 axb5 26. g3 b4 {Black took full control and
now pushes the knight to the edge.} 27. Na2 (27. Na4 Rf5 {is awkward for White.
}) 27... Rf5 {The pin is unbearable and Predke goes for a forcing line.} 28.
Nd4 Qxe2 29. Rxe2 ({As we already know the endgame after} 29. Nxe2 Ng4 {
is practically unplayable for White.}) 29... Bf3 30. Rxe6 {This was White's
point. Alas, there is a drawback.} ({However, the endgames were pretty bad for
White as well} 30. Nxf3 Rxf3 31. Rd3 Rxd3 32. cxd3 Bd6) ({Or} 30. Nxf5 Bxe2 31.
Re1 (31. Nxh6 Bxd1) 31... exf5 32. Rxe2 Ne4 {with massive Black advantage in
both cases.}) 30... Bxd1 31. Rxe7 ({No time for} 31. Nxf5 fxe6) 31... Bxc2+ $1
{A decisive in-between spoiler $1} ({Predke likely only saw} 31... Kxe7 32.
Nxf5+ Kf8 33. Nxh6 gxh6 {when White should be the one to win.}) 32. Kxc2 (32.
Bxc2 Rf1+ {changes nothing.}) 32... Rc5+ {Vachier-Lagrave keeps the rook alive
and quickly converts his advantage.} 33. Kd3 Kxe7 34. Nxb4 Nd7 35. Nd5+ Kf8 36.
Nf5 Rg6 37. Nde3 Rb6 38. Nd4 Ne5+ 39. Ke4 Nc6 40. Bd5 Ne7 41. b3 Rg6 42. b4 Rc3
43. Bc4 Rxg3 44. Ndc2 Rg4+ $1 {PLAY CHESS, NOT WAR.} 0-1
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.04"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Fedoseev, Vladimir"]
[Black "Rapport, Richard"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C42"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "84"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. c4
c6 9. Nc3 Nxc3 10. bxc3 dxc4 ({The alternative} 10... Bg4 11. cxd5 cxd5 12. Rb1
{was played in Grischuk-Bacrot yesterday.}) 11. Bxc4 Bf5 12. Bg5 ({In a game
by the very young Fedoseev, White opted for} 12. Re1 Nd7 13. a4 a5 14. Bg5 Qc7
15. Nh4 Be6 16. Rxe6 fxe6 17. Bxe6+ Rf7 18. Bxf7+ Kxf7 19. Qb3+ {and was
clearly winning although it took him some time to convert it, Fedoseev,V (2171)
-Kharitonov,A (2092) Peterhof 2009.}) 12... Qa5 13. d5 Qc5 14. Qb3 ({Here
White departs from previous grandmaster play. Previously, White had tried} 14.
Bb3 cxd5 15. Be3 ({or} 15. Bxd5 Nc6 16. Be3 Qa3 17. Nh4 Bc8 18. Bb3 Ne5 19. h3
Be6 20. Bd4 Nc6 21. Bxe6 fxe6 22. Qg4 Nxd4 23. cxd4 Rae8 {½-½ (23) Wagner,D
(2572)-Banusz,T (2631) Biel 2021}) 15... Qc7 16. Qxd5 Be6 17. Qh5 Bxb3 18. axb3
Qxc3 19. Bd4 Qc2 20. Rfc1 Qg6 21. Qxg6 hxg6 22. Bxa7 Nc6 {with equal chances
and later a draw, Karjakin,S (2752)-Esipenko,A (2686) Moscow 2020.}) 14... b5
15. Be2 Be4 ({In a recent game, Black tried} 15... Qxd5 16. Qxd5 cxd5 17. Nd4
Bd7 18. Nxb5 Be5 19. Be3 a6 20. Nd4 Nc6 {and the chances were close to equal,
Caspi,I (2510)-Vardan,$146 (2366) Belgrade 2021.}) 16. Be3 $6 ({White had an
interesting alternative in} 16. Rad1 {, for instance,} Bxd5 17. c4 Bxf3 ({both
} 17... bxc4 18. Qb7) ({and} 17... Bxc4 18. Bxc4 bxc4 19. Qb7 {are terrible
for Black}) 18. Bxf3 Bc7 19. Be3 Qxc4 20. Qa3 {when Black has two extra pawns,
but is struggling to get his queenside pieces into play. White has sufficient
compensation, but I don't know how much more than that.}) 16... Qxd5 17. Rfd1
Qxb3 18. axb3 Be7 19. Nd2 Bc2 20. Rdc1 Bf5 21. c4 {White has some initiative,
but it is hard to believe that Black should be in any kind of trouble at this
point.} bxc4 22. Nxc4 Nd7 23. Bf3 Rfc8 24. Ra6 Rab8 25. Rxa7 Bf8 26. Na5 Ne5
27. Be2 Ra8 28. Nxc6 Rxa7 29. Nxa7 Rxc1+ 30. Bxc1 Bc2 31. Bb2 Nd3 32. Bxd3 Bxd3
33. Bc3 {White has won a pawn but with a bishop pair on Black's hands, it is
difficult for White to hope to make real progress.} f6 34. Nc6 Be4 35. Na5 Kf7
36. Nc4 Ke6 37. b4 Bd3 38. Ne3 Bd6 39. g3 g5 40. Ng2 Be2 41. h3 f5 42. Bd2 g4
1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.04"]
[Round "4.2"]
[White "Tabatabaei, M. Amin"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B30"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 e6 4. O-O Nge7 5. d4 cxd4 6. Nxd4 Ng6 7. Be3 Be7 8.
c3 O-O 9. Nd2 a6 $5 ({A departure from what has previously been played in
grandmaster games:} 9... Bg5 10. Qe1 Nxd4 ({or} 10... Bf4 11. g3 Bxe3 12. Qxe3
e5 $6 13. Nf5 d5 14. Rad1 Qf6 15. exd5 {and White had an obvious advantage in
Sevian,S (2654)-Praggnanandhaa,R (2618) Riga 2021}) 11. cxd4 Bxe3 12. Qxe3 d6
13. Rfc1 Bd7 14. Bf1 Rc8 15. d5 exd5 16. exd5 {with a tiny edge for White in
Matlakov,M (2682)-Ivic,V (2606) Riga 2021, although Black soon made his own
life miserable and lost.}) (9... Qc7 10. f4 d5 11. e5 f6 12. exf6 Rxf6 13. g3
e5 14. fxe5 Ncxe5 15. Qb3 {and White had a structural advantage, Svidler,P
(2723)-Gelfand,B (2676) chess24.com INT 2020.}) 10. Be2 Nxd4 11. cxd4 b5 12. a4
({A better try was} 12. Bd3 d6 13. Nf3 {with a small plus for White .}) 12...
bxa4 $1 13. d5 exd5 14. exd5 Bg5 15. Bxg5 Qxg5 16. Rxa4 Bb7 {Black has
completely equalized. Now, the players find a way to vacuum off the remainder
of the pieces in a hurry.} 17. Bf3 Bxd5 18. Ne4 Bxe4 19. Bxe4 Rab8 20. Rxa6
Rxb2 21. Qxd7 Nf4 22. g3 Rd2 23. Qf5 Qxf5 24. Bxf5 Rd5 25. Bxh7+ Kxh7 26. gxf4
Rd4 27. Ra3 Rxf4 28. Rh3+ Kg8 29. Kg2 g6 30. Rf3 Rxf3 31. Kxf3 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.04"]
[Round "4.2"]
[White "Shankland, Sam"]
[Black "Bacrot, Etienne"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D10"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "87"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e4 b5 4. a4 c6 5. Nc3 {As far as I can see, we are now
already out of what these players have played before. The line is supposed to
lead to approximately equal chances, but it can be strategically complex
because of the uneven pawn structure, giving both sides something to play for.}
b4 6. Nb1 Ba6 7. Qc2 Nf6 8. Nd2 Qxd4 9. Ngf3 b3 10. Nxd4 bxc2 11. f3 e6 $6 ({
This is almost certainly not the best move. Neither is} 11... c3 12. bxc3 Bxf1
13. Rxf1 e5 14. Nxc2 {when White has an easier time exploiting Black's
structural weaknesses, Svane,R (2599)-Warmerdam,M (2450) Moscow 2019.}) ({
Black's best appears to be the untried} 11... g6 {, applying pressure along
the h8-a1 diagonal and fighting for control over the d4-square, possibly with..
.c6-c5 and ...Nc6 to come.}) 12. Nxc2 Be7 13. Nxc4 O-O 14. Be3 c5 15. Ne5 $2 ({
White lets the advantage slip out of his hands. It was better to play} 15.
O-O-O Nc6 (15... Bxc4 16. Bxc4 Nc6 17. Ba6 {leads to a similar position}) (
15... Nfd7 16. N2a3 {gives White a nice clamp on the queenside where he can
then prepare to attack Black's weak c-pawn while Black is struggling to
organize his pieces.}) 16. Ne5 Nxe5 17. Bxa6 {with a clear positional
advantage thanks to the bishop pair and Black's isolated c-pawn.}) 15... Bxf1
16. Rxf1 Nfd7 17. Nc4 Nc6 18. Ke2 Nb6 {Now, Black is mostly okay.} 19. Nd2 Rab8
20. b3 Rfd8 21. Rfc1 f5 $1 {Black defends energetically which is necessary. If
White is allowed too much time, then the c5-pawn can become a real headache
for Black.} 22. Rab1 fxe4 (22... Rb7 {intending ...Rbd7 is possibly better.})
23. fxe4 Rb7 $6 ({Now Black starts sliding into an inferior position. It was
better to play} 23... Nd7 24. Ne1 e5 25. Nd3 Nd4+ {when Black maintains about
equal chances, but perhaps Bacrot was concerned about putting his pawns on the
color of his own bishop.}) 24. Ne1 Nd4+ $6 25. Bxd4 Rxd4 ({Or} 25... cxd4 26.
Nd3 {when Black is really struggling with because he has not yet had the
opportunity to play ...e6-e5 and eventually White's a- + b- vs a-pawn majority
will be of importance.}) 26. Nef3 Rb4 27. Ne5 Rd4 $2 (27... Rc7 {was better
keeping White's advantage within limits.}) 28. Nc6 $1 Rxd2+ 29. Kxd2 Bg5+ 30.
Ke2 Bxc1 31. Rxc1 {This endgame is very unpleasant for Black who will have to
take a very passive defensive stance to hang on to his three isolated pawns.}
Nd7 32. Rd1 Nf6 33. Rd8+ Kf7 34. Ra8 $2 ({White seems to be winning after} 34.
e5 Ng8 35. Rd3 {, for instance,} Kg6 36. Nd8 Rb4 37. Nxe6 {.}) 34... Kg6 35.
Rxa7 Rxb3 36. a5 $2 ({White lets the remainder of his advantage out of his
hands. The correct move was} 36. Re7 Rb2+ ({after} 36... Nxe4 {things are also
far from easy for Black, e.g.,} 37. Rxe6+ Kf5 38. Re5+ Kf4 39. g3+ Nxg3+ 40.
hxg3+ Rxg3 41. Rxc5) 37. Kd3 Rxg2 38. a5 Rxh2 39. a6 Ra2 40. a7 {but Black may
have just about enough counterplay to save the draw if he pushes his h-pawn.})
36... Nxe4 37. Re7 Kf6 38. a6 Nc3+ 39. Kd2 Ra3 40. a7 Nb5 41. Rb7 Ra2+ 42. Ke3
Nxa7 $1 {When commentators David Preuss and Keti Tsatsalashvili first looked
at this position, they failed to account for this option for Black. Black
sacrifices the knight to win White's remaining pawns, ensuring a draw.} 43.
Rxa7 Rxg2 44. Ra5 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.04"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Andreikin, Dmitry"]
[Black "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D85"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Nf3 c5 8.
Be3 Qa5 9. Qd2 Nc6 10. Rb1 a6 11. Rc1 cxd4 12. cxd4 Qxd2+ 13. Kxd2 e6 14. Bd3
O-O 15. h4 ({The main alternative is} 15. Rc4 {but Black does not have any
discernable problems, for instance,} Bd7 16. Rhc1 Rfd8 17. Bg5 f6 18. Be3 Be8
19. Ke2 Rac8 20. g3 Bf8 21. R4c3 b5 22. h4 Bb4 23. Rb3 Be7 24. Rbc3 Bb4 25. Rb3
Bd6 26. Rbc3 Bb4 {1/2-1/2 (26) Karjakin,S (2776)-Nepomniachtchi,I (2733)
Moscow 2011}) 15... Rd8 16. e5 ({The text move basically starts a sequence
that leads to a draw. Admittedly, it looks exciting, but keep in mind that
both players knew where it would take them. If White wanted more, he should
have played} 16. Rc4 Bd7 17. h5 b5 18. Rcc1 Be8 19. e5 {and White has a small
but clear advantage as in (40) Ding Liren (2805)-Tomczak,J (2605) Chess.com
INT 2020.}) 16... h6 17. h5 g5 18. Nxg5 Nxd4 19. Bh7+ Kf8 20. Nxf7 Kxf7 21.
Rc7+ Kf8 22. Rd1 Nf5+ 23. Ke2 Rxd1 24. Bc5+ Ke8 25. Kxd1 Bd7 26. Bg6+ Kd8 27.
Bb6 Rc8 28. Rc6+ Ke7 29. Bc5+ Kd8 30. Bb6+ Ke7 31. Bc5+ Kd8 32. Bb6+ {with a
draw by repetition} 1/2-1/2
[Event "FIDE Grand Prix 2 Pool D"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.06"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Predke, Alexandr"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C54"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "115"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
{[%evp 0,115,31,21,13,8,13,8,17,3,0,6,3,1,7,2,29,10,-1,-14,-4,-14,-4,-11,-16,
-3,4,-18,0,2,17,13,20,11,3,-12,0,3,-7,-39,-20,-118,-3,-24,-12,-11,-9,-29,-30,
-15,-17,-15,-83,-56,-42,-56,-23,-43,-22,-12,-30,-30,-17,2,165,0,19,36,9,0,0,0,
0,0,0,9,9,0,0,8,12,3,5,15,7,10,6,6,7,15,23,21,41,18,17,15,32,26,42,16,75,56,67,
14,10,9,12,10,41,47,27,9,0,0,0,0,0,0]} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O
Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. h3 h6 7. c3 d6 8. Re1 a5 9. Nbd2 Be6 10. Bb5 Nd7 11. Nf1 f5
12. exf5 Bxf5 13. Ng3 Bg6 14. d4 exd4 15. cxd4 Bb6 16. a3 Nf6 17. Kh2 $6 Nh5
18. Bd3 Nxg3 19. Bxg6 Nf5 20. Re4 $2 Qf6 $2 ({Here, Black has the opportunity
to play} 20... d5 $1 21. Rg4 Nfxd4 22. Nxd4 Qd6+ $1 ({The move order matters;
after} 22... Nxd4 23. Bxh6 Qd6+ 24. Kh1 Ne6 25. Be3 Bxe3 26. fxe3 {both sides
have their shares of chances.}) 23. f4 Nxd4 {with a clear advantage for Black.}
) 21. Bxf5 Qxf5 22. Rg4 Rf6 23. Qb3+ Kh8 24. Rf4 Qg6 25. Nh4 Qh5 26. Rxf6 gxf6
27. Nf3 Nxd4 28. Nxd4 Qe5+ 29. g3 Bxd4 {Maybe Mamedyarov had assessed this as
better for him, but White holds it together just fine.} 30. Be3 b6 31. Re1 Rf8
32. Qc2 f5 33. Qxc7 f4 34. Qe7 fxg3+ 35. fxg3 Qxe7 36. Bxd4+ Qg7 37. Bxg7+ Kxg7
38. Kg2 Rc8 39. Kf3 Kf6 40. Re3 Rc5 41. Ke4 Rh5 42. Rf3+ Ke6 43. g4 Rb5 44. b3
h5 45. Kf4 Kf6 46. h4 hxg4 47. Kxg4+ Kg7 48. Rd3 Kf7 49. Kf4 Rh5 50. Kg4 Rb5
51. Rf3+ Kg6 52. Re3 Kh6 53. Rd3 Kg7 54. h5 Kh7 55. Re3 Kh6 56. Re6+ Kh7 57.
Re7+ Kh6 58. Re6+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.06"]
[Round "5.2"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Yu Yangyi"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C43"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "112"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. O-O (5. Nxe5 Nxe5 6. dxe5 {
was played in Predke-Yu Yangyi in round two.}) 5... d5 6. dxe5 Bg4 (6... Be7 {
is the main alternative.}) 7. Nc3 Nxc3 8. bxc3 Bc5 ({Black can also consider}
8... Qd7 9. Re1 O-O-O 10. h3 Bh5 {with a sharp position and chances to both
sides.}) 9. Re1 O-O ({Or} 9... Qd7 10. h3 Bh5 11. Be3 Bb6 {and White is, at
best, slightly better.}) 10. h3 Bh5 11. Rb1 f6 12. e6 Qd6 13. Rxb7 ({The first
new move but possibly not the best. In an \"oldish\" email game, White gained
an advantage after} 13. Be3 Bxe3 14. Rxe3 Bxf3 15. Qxf3 Ne5 16. Qh5 g6 {
as seen in Buessing,O (2470)-Aleksandrov,V (2490) ICCF email 2007, and here}
17. Qh4 $1 {seems to offer White the better chances; the e6-pawn is not as
easy for Black to get his hands on as it would appear at first glance.}) 13...
Ne5 14. Be2 Qxe6 15. Rb5 Qd6 16. Nxe5 Bxe2 17. Qxe2 fxe5 18. Be3 $1 Bb6 19.
Bxb6 axb6 {Black seems to have the much better pawn structure, but the black
pawns are more difficult to hang on to than you would imagine.} 20. c4 $1 c6 ({
Or} 20... Rxa2 21. Rxd5 Qg6 22. Rd3 {with better chances for White.}) 21. Rxb6
Qc5 22. Rb7 e4 23. cxd5 $6 ({According to the computer, White's best chance
consisted of playing the far from obvious} 23. c3 $1 {, keeping both the a2-
and f2-pawns protected by the queen.}) 23... cxd5 24. c4 $1 {White maintains
the initiative, but the slipping number of pieces left on the board makes it
more and more difficult for White to do something with it if Black keeps an
eye on his somewhat exposed king.} dxc4 25. Qc2 Rae8 26. Re3 Qd4 27. Rb4 Rc8
28. a4 Rfd8 29. Rb1 c3 30. Rc1 Rc4 31. a5 Rdc8 32. Rd1 Qc5 33. Rxe4 Rxe4 34.
Qxe4 c2 35. Rc1 h6 {It seems certain that the players will end up with an
endgame where White has an extra pawn on the kingside that will prove
impossible to exploit. White will try to put himself in the best possible
position to enter that situation, and Black will be careful not to do anything
stupid.} 36. a6 Rc7 37. g3 Qc6 38. Qd3 Qc4 39. Qd2 Kh7 40. Kh2 Qxa6 41. Rxc2
Rxc2 42. Qxc2+ {This endgame should be a draw, but, of course, MVL must
continue, just in case Black slips up.} Kh8 43. h4 Qf1 44. Qc8+ Kh7 45. Qf5+
Kg8 46. g4 Qc4 47. Kg3 Qc3+ 48. Kg2 Qc4 49. Kg3 Qc3+ 50. Qf3 Qc7+ 51. Qf4 Qc3+
52. Qe3 Qc7+ 53. f4 Qf7 54. f5 Qc7+ 55. Kh3 Qd7 56. Qf3 Qd2 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.06"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Shirov, Alexei"]
[Black "Fedoseev, Vladimir"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B33"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Nd5 Nxd5 8.
exd5 Ne7 9. c4 Nf5 10. Bd3 g6 11. O-O a6 12. Nc3 Bg7 13. Bxf5 ({Was this
Shirov's preparation $2 In a previous game by Fedoseev, White tried} 13. b3 O-O
(13... e4 $4 14. Nxe4 Bxa1 15. Bg5 {wins for White}) 14. Ne4 Qc7 15. Ba3 Rd8
16. Rc1 b6 17. Re1 Nh6 18. Qd2 f5 19. Ng5 Ng4 20. b4 h6 21. Ne6 Bxe6 22. dxe6
Qe7 23. f3 Nf6 24. Qe3 Rab8 25. Bc2 Kh7 26. Bb3 Ne8 27. c5 d5 28. cxb6 d4 29.
Qd3 Rxb6 30. Rc5 Nd6 31. Rcxe5 Bxe5 32. Rxe5 Nb5 33. Bc1 Nc7 34. Qd2 Qg7 35. e7
Re8 36. Re1 Rd6 37. b5 Nxb5 38. a4 Nc3 39. Ba3 Rb6 40. Bc2 Nd5 41. a5 Rb7 42.
h4 Ne3 43. h5 gxh5 44. Rxe3 dxe3 45. Bxf5+ Kh8 46. Qxe3 Qf6 47. Be4 Rexe7 48.
Bxe7 Rxe7 49. Qc5 h4 50. Bd3 h3 51. gxh3 Qa1+ 52. Bf1 Qe1 53. Qc8+ Re8 54. Qxa6
Qg3+ 55. Kh1 Qxf3+ 56. Kh2 Qf4+ 57. Kh1 Rg8 58. Qd3 Rg3 59. Qd8+ Rg8 60. Qd3
Rg3 61. Qd8+ Rg8 {1/2-1/2 (61) Inarkiev,E (2665)-Fedoseev,V (2672) Budva 2019})
13... Bxf5 14. Be3 O-O ({The first new move; previously Black had played} 14...
Rc8 15. Qa4+ Qd7 16. Qxd7+ (16. Rac1 $5 {improves}) 16... Bxd7 17. Ne4 Bf8 18.
f4 f5 19. Nf6+ Ke7 20. fxe5 dxe5 21. Nxd7 Kxd7 {with equal chances in
Maghsoodloo, P (2695)-Fawzy,A (2488) Sharjah 2021.}) 15. Qb3 $2 ({Shirov goes
wrong. White should have preferred} 15. Rc1 {with slightly better chances.})
15... Bd3 $1 {A very strong move that makes it difficult for White to reach
the type of position he would be angling for.} 16. Rfc1 ({Also} 16. Rfd1 {
can be met by} e4 {with an advantage for Black.}) 16... e4 17. c5 f5 18. cxd6
f4 $6 ({Black would have an advantage after} 18... b5 19. Bc5 Rf7 $1 {when
White would be struggling to hang on to his only trumps: his doubled, passed
d-pawns, whereas Black would get ready to attack on the kingside.}) 19. Bb6 Qg5
$2 ({This looks logical and normal: the idea is to follow up with ...f4-f3 and
try to checkmate White on the light squares. However, this proves to be a
serious mistake; Black should have captured on d6:} 19... Qxd6 20. Bc7 Qxc7 21.
Nxe4 Qxc1+ 22. Rxc1 Bxe4 23. Rc7 Rad8 24. d6+ {with a complex position and
uneven material. The computer assesses this as about equal, but I would
definitely prefer Black.}) 20. d7 $1 f3 21. d6+ ({Or} 21. g3 {immediately.})
21... Kh8 22. g3 Qf5 ({If} 22... e3 {then} 23. Nd5 exf2+ 24. Bxf2 Bf5 25. Rc7
Be6 26. Rd1 {would give White a large advantage.}) 23. Nd5 Qh3 24. Ne3 Qxd7 25.
Rc7 Qxd6 26. Rac1 Rg8 27. Ba5 Bb5 28. Rxb7 Rac8 29. Rc2 $4 ({White throws his
advantage away. After} 29. Rxc8 Rxc8 30. Bc3 {White would be in the position
reached in the game after move 32 but without Black having any chances to
change the direction of the game.}) 29... Rxc2 30. Qxc2 Rd8 $4 ({Black
blunders back. After} 30... Qc6 31. Qxc6 Bxc6 32. Rc7 Bb5 33. b3 Bd4 34. Bc3 {
White would have a slight advantage in the endgame.}) 31. Qb3 $2 ({Another
mistake. It is necessary to play} 31. Bxd8 Qxd8 32. Qxe4 Qd6 33. Rb6 $1 Qd8 (
33... Qxb6 34. Qa8+ {and White checkmates.}) 34. Re6 {and White is winning.})
31... Rc8 $2 ({Here} 31... Rd7 32. Bb4 Qe5 33. Bc3 Qd6 {is necessary with
plenty of play left in the game, even if White has the better chances.}) 32.
Bc3 $1 ({Black resigned as} 32. Bc3 $1 Bxc3 {will be met with} 33. Qf7 $1 {
ending the game.}) 1-0
[Event "Chess.com"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.03.06"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi"]
[Black "Rapport, Richard"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C02"]
[WhiteElo "2727"]
[BlackElo "2763"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "122"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
{[%evp 0,122,20,12,43,40,36,1,-1,10,4,1,-2,29,39,36,57,48,43,42,57,30,25,21,24,
35,24,32,51,48,38,31,38,38,26,-15,0,0,-23,0,20,10,-4,3,-5,-9,0,0,0,0,-22,-45,
-24,-101,-43,-108,-112,-121,-125,-106,-70,-122,-108,-121,-100,-117,-137,-140,
-137,-188,-197,-222,-131,-175,-137,-213,-227,-226,-237,-238,-241,-248,-274,
-253,-244,-253,-338,-387,-355,-439,-451,-461,-251,-255,-292,-295,-337,-344,
-272,-284,-317,-325,-316,-343,-313,-327,-299,-329,-336,-350,-363,-364,-409,
-417,-421,-448,-456,-478,-488,-527,-547,-547,-557,-557,-557]} 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5
3. e5 {The Advanced French visits the top-GM level tournaments nowadays mainly
thanks to the efforts of Grischuk.} c5 4. c3 Qb6 5. Nf3 Bd7 {Rapport tries a
sound positional idea that, however, requires perfect timing as Black will be
seriously lagging in development.} 6. Be2 cxd4 7. cxd4 Bb5 8. Bxb5+ ({White
may also allow a chance to the opponent to capture with:} 8. O-O Bxe2 9. Qxe2
Nc6 10. Nc3 Nge7 11. Qd3 Rc8 12. Rd1 h6 13. Bd2 Ng6 14. h4 Bb4 {as in the
recent game Grandelius,$146 (2663)-Harikrishna,P (2732) Wijk aan Zee 2021} 15.
Na4 Qc7 16. h5 Nge7 17. Bf4 Qa5 18. b3 b5 19. Nb2 Ba3 20. Qe2 O-O 21. Rab1 Rc7
22. Nd3 Qb6 23. b4 a5 24. bxa5 Nxa5 25. Bc1 Bxc1 26. Rdxc1 Rxc1+ 27. Nxc1 Nc4
28. Nb3 Ra8 29. Rc1 Nc6 30. g3 Ra3 31. Kg2 Qa7 32. Rc2 Nb4 33. Rc3 Nxa2 34. Rd3
Rxb3 35. Rxb3 Nc1 36. Qc2 Nxb3 37. Qxb3 Qa4 38. Qb1 b4 {0-1 (38) Grandelius,N
(2663)-Harikrishna,P (2732) Wijk aan Zee 2021 CBM 200 [Harikrishna, Pentala]})
8... Qxb5 9. Nc3 Qa6 {As a result of his operation, Black managed to get rid
of his \"poor\" bishop but at the expense of his pieces being stuck on the
back rank. The nature of the position is indeed closed, but this does not mean
that Vidit will not try to make use of the time factor.} 10. a4 {Nc3-b5 is a
concrete threat; therefore} Bb4 11. Bd2 Bxc3 12. Bxc3 Ne7 13. b4 $1 {Black
should be tortured; otherwise, he will catch up with the development, and his
position would be sound.} (13. Qe2 {to offer an endgame would be a concession,
as White will part with his hopes for an edge.}) 13... Qc4 $146 {A novelty,
and a very risky move. The queen is moving bravely closer to the opponent's
pieces, provoking weaknesses.} ({The predecessor ended peacefully after:} 13...
O-O 14. b5 Qb6 15. Qd3 h6 16. Bb4 Re8 17. h4 a6 18. Qa3 Ng6 19. Bc5 Qa5+ 20.
Bb4 Qb6 21. Bc5 Qa5+ 22. Bb4 {1/2-1/2 (22) Tkac,P-Hagara,V (1967) Tatranske
Matliare 2008}) (13... Qc6 {is best, according to the engine, but looks way
too passive to be good.}) 14. Rc1 Nbc6 {This, on the other hand, might have
ended badly for the Hungarian GM} ({Safer is} 14... Nd7 15. Nd2 ({Or} 15. Bd2
Qd3) 15... Qd3 16. h4 O-O 17. Rh3 Qf5 {when the queen has enough room on the
kingside.}) 15. Bd2 {The most natural move does not pose that many problems $1}
({Strong is the other attack} 15. Nd2 $1 Qd3 16. b5 $1 {A key difference. Now
after} Nd8 17. h4 $1 {the rook is again entering the battle but has strong
support from the other side and} O-O 18. Rh3 Qf5 (18... Qg6 19. Kf1 {followed
by the same maneuver.}) 19. Bb4 $1 {adds more fuel to White's initiative, and
he is much better.}) 15... Qd3 16. Qe2 Qa3 $1 {The right decision is to
continue playing cat-and-mouse with the enemy pieces.} ({Black is correctly
rejecting} 16... Qxe2+ 17. Kxe2 Nf5 18. Kd3 {when White has the better endgame.
}) 17. O-O {Now Black finally consolidates, and everything starts to make
perfect sense for him.} ({Stronger is the active} 17. b5 Na5 18. Rc7 $1 {
Then after} ({Or even} 18. O-O $1 Qxa4 19. Rc7) 18... Nc4 19. O-O Kd8 20. Rxb7
Kc8 {Black would trap the enemy rook, but White should have enough
compensation for it with} 21. Rxe7 Qxe7 22. Rb1) 17... Nf5 18. Bc3 Rc8 $1 {
Now the opening experiment works more than well for Rapport. He starts
creating threats on his own, and in the long run the white bishop might become
a liability.} 19. g4 {One more weakening, but what else $2} (19. Rfd1 {does
not save anything} Ncxd4) 19... Nfe7 $1 {Same policy, play for a win $1} ({
The alternative} 19... Ncxd4 20. Bxd4 Rxc1 21. gxf5 Rxf1+ 22. Kxf1 Qxb4 {
would lead to a messy situation.}) 20. Bd2 ({Perhaps the solid} 20. Rc2 {
is somewhat better, to which Black needs to continue as in the game with} Qb3 (
{since the pawn capture} 20... Qxa4 21. Ra1 Qb3 22. Rcc1 Qc4 23. Qxc4 dxc4 24.
b5 {is comfortable for Black.}) 21. Rfc1 h5) 20... h5 $1 {Black destroys the
enemy defenses.} ({Not yet} 20... Qxa4 21. Ra1) 21. gxh5 ({After} 21. h3 Qxa4
22. Ra1 Qc2 23. Rfc1 Qg6 {the queen retreats with a crucial tempo.}) 21... Qxa4
22. Ra1 Qc2 23. b5 {Vidit knows that things have gone wrong for him and looks
for active counterplay.} Nd8 24. Rfc1 Qf5 25. Rxc8 ({A somewhat better
alternative is} 25. Nh4 Qxh5 26. Qxh5 Rxc1+ 27. Bxc1 Rxh5 28. Nf3 {which only
speaks how bad White's position actually is.}) 25... Nxc8 26. Rc1 Ne7 {A slip
in the approaching time scramble.} ({Safer is} 26... Nb6 27. Rc7 Rxh5) 27. Rc7
({For now Vidit missed a golden chance to at least get rid of the powerful
black knight with} 27. Bb4 $1 Rxh5 28. Bxe7 Kxe7 29. Qe3) 27... Rxh5 28. Bb4
Ng6 {Phew, just in time $1 Black is dominating, although some accuracy is
still required.} 29. b6 $1 {A practical shot.} Qb1+ {But Black is careful.} ({
But not} 29... axb6 30. Qb5+ Nc6 31. Rxc6 $1 {and it is White who is mating.})
30. Qe1 ({A better chance is} 30. Qf1 $5 Qxf1+ 31. Kxf1 axb6 32. h4) 30...
Qxe1+ 31. Nxe1 axb6 32. Nc2 {Vidit hopes to transfer his knight all the way to
the d6-square, but that would not happen.} Rh3 $1 33. Bd6 ({If} 33. Na3 Nc6 34.
Bd6 Nxd4 {wins for Black.}) 33... Nc6 34. Rxb7 {The next moves were played in
severe mutual time trouble. Vidit did not want to repeat moves and let his
opponent reach move 40 easily.} ({However} 34. Rc8+ $1 {is mandatory when} Nd8
35. Rc7 {forces Black to try something different, like} Rh4 ({Or} 35... Rd3 {
with excellent winning chances in either line.})) 34... Rc3 35. Ne3 Nh4 {
Good enough for the win.} ({Although} 35... Rc1+ $1 36. Kg2 Nf4+ 37. Kg3 Rg1+
$1 38. Kxf4 g5+ 39. Kf3 Nxd4# {would be even faster.}) 36. Kf1 Rb3 37. Nc2 Rb2
38. Na3 Nf5 {Rapport consolidates and wins the key game in the group.} 39. Bc5
Nfxd4 40. h4 ({Nothing changes} 40. Rxb6 Rxb6 41. Bxb6 Nf3) 40... Nf5 41. Bd6
Rb3 42. Nc2 d4 43. Ke1 Nxh4 44. f4 Nf3+ 45. Kf2 Nfxe5 {Many roads lead to Rome,
but the Hungarian GM chooses the most practical one, the one that deprives his
opponent even the slightest chance.} (45... d3 {is a win as well.}) 46. fxe5
Rb2 47. Kf3 Rxc2 48. Rxb6 Rc3+ 49. Kf4 f6 50. exf6 gxf6 51. Rb7 Rc4 52. Ba3 Ra4
53. Bc1 Ra7 54. Rb6 Kd7 55. Ke4 f5+ 56. Kd3 e5 57. Kc4 Kd6 58. Bd2 Ra2 59. Bb4+
Kc7 60. Bc5 Rc2+ 61. Kd5 Ne7+ {PLAY CHESS, NOT WAR.} 0-1
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.06"]
[Round "5.2"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "Harikrishna, Pentala"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D38"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "62"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
{[%evp 0,62,27,27,27,0,6,6,6,6,16,-31,-26,-8,-7,-18,-8,1,31,0,50,26,36,20,27,
32,29,29,33,33,29,30,33,31,51,46,26,22,27,-11,-28,-44,20,-7,-10,-4,-16,-16,-26,
-22,-42,-30,-26,-37,-4,-10,-8,-13,-5,-2,-10,0,0,1,-3]} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3.
Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. e3 O-O 7. Qc2 Re8 8. Bd2 Bf8 9. a3 a6 10. Rd1
b6 11. Bd3 Bb7 12. O-O h6 13. Bc1 Na5 14. cxd5 exd5 15. b4 Nc6 16. Bb2 Nb8 17.
Ne5 c5 18. bxc5 ({Giri had the interesting} 18. Nxf7 $5 {available, when} Kxf7
19. dxc5 Nbd7 20. Nxd5 Bxd5 21. e4 {gives White enough for the sacrificed
material, but this is not how you play when a draw is likely a satisfactory
result.}) 18... bxc5 19. Ne2 $2 ({This is an odd move, forcing Black to make a
move he would possibly play anyway. Better options are} 19. Bf5) ({and} 19. Rb1
{.}) 19... c4 20. Bf5 Bc8 21. Nc3 {Giri decided that his knight did not belong
on e2, but he has just lost two tempi and Black has a comfortable advantage.}
Ra7 22. Bxc8 Qxc8 23. e4 $5 {Objectively speaking, this is not the best move,
but Giri clearly was not happy with the direction of the game and the
prospects he would face if the pawn structure remained static. With an uneven
pawn structure, Giri seemed to think that his chances of equalizing would be
better.} dxe4 24. Rfe1 $2 (24. Na4 Rc7 25. Bc3) 24... Nbd7 $6 ({Black should
have played} 24... Rc7 25. Nxe4 Nxe4 26. Rxe4 c3 27. Bc1 Nd7 28. h3 Nf6 29. Re2
Nd5 {and Black would have a large advantage: the knight on d5 is
overwhelmingly strong, perfectly supporting the passed pawn on c3.}) 25. Nxe4
Nxe4 26. Rxe4 Nf6 27. Ree1 Rc7 28. Bc3 Bxa3 $2 ({Harikrishna throws the
remainder of his advantage away. The better option is} 28... Qa8 {to gain
access to the d5-square and command the a8-h1 diagonal as well as allow his
pieces to reorganize. If White continues as in the game with} 29. Ba5 {then}
Rcc8 {when the pawn on c4 is untouchable.}) 29. Ba5 Rce7 30. Nxc4 Rxe1+ 31.
Bxe1 Bf8 {and draw agreed.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.06"]
[Round "5.2"]
[White "Bacrot, Etienne"]
[Black "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C90"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "46"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 d6 7. c3 O-O 8. Re1
Re8 9. Nbd2 Bf8 10. Nf1 b5 11. Bb3 h6 12. Ng3 Ne7 13. a4 Bb7 14. c4 $2 ({
This is definitely wrong and also entirely against the spirit of the position.
White's best is} 14. d4 $5 Ng6 15. Bc2 {gives White an edge.}) 14... b4 15. c5
({White has to play aggressively to avoid a passive position with counterplay.
If} 15. a5 {then} c5 16. Ba4 Nc6 17. Nf5 Kh7 {would offer a comfortable edge
for Black.}) 15... Ng6 $6 ({Black appears able to improve with} 15... Nc6 16.
cxd6 cxd6 17. d4 exd4 18. Nxd4 Rc8 {when Black has no problems at all.}) 16.
cxd6 cxd6 17. a5 d5 $5 18. Bd2 $6 ({This type of bishop move is quite normal
in such positions, but the computer instead suggests the interesting} 18. h4 $5
{but} dxe4 19. dxe4 Qxd1 20. Rxd1 Nxe4 21. Nxe4 Bxe4 22. Rd7 Be7 {with equal
chances that seem to solve Black's problems. However, after the text move,
Black is entirely without problems.}) 18... Rc8 19. h3 Bc5 20. Ba4 Re6 ({
A draw offer; if Black intends to play for a win, then} 20... Re7 {is the way
to go.}) 21. Bb3 Re8 22. Ba4 Re6 23. Bb3 Re8 {and draw by repetition.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.06"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Shankland, Sam"]
[Black "Andreikin, Dmitry"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D37"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "47"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
{[%evp 0,47,18,27,27,-15,-2,6,15,-3,-3,18,18,27,30,31,28,16,48,11,17,18,24,24,
17,-7,2,2,2,0,-13,-9,-1,-1,-10,0,-11,-7,0,-19,-8,-8,0,0,0,-8,0,0,0,-8]} 1. d4
d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 a6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Nf3 Nf6 6. Bg5 Be6 7. e3 Nbd7 8. Bd3 h6
9. Bh4 Bd6 10. Bg3 $6 ({In my opinion, this is not the critical line, but, in
fact, something that Andreikin had faced a few times before. More problematic
for Black is} 10. O-O O-O 11. Rc1 c6 12. h3 ({or} 12. Nd2 Qe7 13. Re1 {with an
edge for White}) 12... Re8 13. Ne2 Qb6 14. Qc2 Ne4 15. Bxe4 dxe4 16. Nd2 Bd5
17. Nc3 {and White had a comfortable advantage in Grischuk,A (2754)-Carlsen,M
(2857) Chess.com INT 2016.}) 10... Bxg3 11. hxg3 O-O ({In Andreikin's earlier
games, he opted for} 11... c6 12. Qc2 ({Another game saw} 12. O-O Bg4 13. Rc1 (
13. Qb3 $5 Rb8 14. Qa3 {with an edge for White, a possible improvement.}) 13...
O-O 14. Na4 Ne4 15. Qc2 Re8 16. Nc5 Nexc5 17. dxc5 {was seen in Brunner, $146
(2428)-Andreikin,D (2726) chess.com INT 2020, and now} h5 {would give Black a
pleasant initiative.}) 12... Qe7 13. O-O O-O 14. Rfe1 Qd6 15. Rab1 Bg4 16. b4
Rfe8 (16... b5 $5 {is worth considering}) 17. Na4 Re7 18. Nc5 Qc7 19. Nxd7 Nxd7
20. a4 {and White had the upper hand and eventually converted, Lopez Martinez,
J (2580)-Andreikin,D (2719) Sitges 2018.}) 12. Ne2 ({Not a terribly ambitious
move. Another try is} 12. Qc2 Re8 13. O-O c5 14. dxc5 Nxc5 15. Rfd1 Rc8 16.
Rac1 Qb6 17. Nd4 Bg4 {with more or less equal chances in Bu Xiangzhi (2730)
-Fedoseev,V (2718) Riadh 2017.}) 12... c5 13. dxc5 Qa5+ 14. Qd2 Qxd2+ 15. Nxd2
Nxc5 {Black has equalized.} 16. Bc2 Rfc8 17. f3 Rc7 (17... Nfd7 $5 {intending .
..Ne5 seems like a clean path to equality.}) 18. Nd4 Rac8 19. Ke2 Bd7 20. Bd3
Ba4 ({The computer indicates} 20... Nxd3 {as best, for instance,} 21. Kxd3 Bb5+
22. Nxb5 axb5 23. Rh4 Nd7 24. Rb4 Ne5+ {with equality, but I can understand
why Andreikin opted for the text move, keeping more pieces on the board and
tacitly inviting White to a repetition of moves.}) 21. Bf5 {White notices the
draw offer...} Bd7 22. Bd3 Ba4 23. Bf5 Bd7 24. Bd3 1/2-1/2
[Event "FIDE Grand Prix 2 Pool D"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.07"]
[Round "6.1"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D36"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. e3 Be7 7. Qc2 Nbd7 8.
Bd3 h6 9. Bf4 (9. Bh4 {is the main line.}) 9... Nh5 10. Nf3 Nxf4 11. exf4 Bd6 (
{In an earlier game by Mamedyarov, Black tried} 11... O-O 12. O-O-O Bb4 13. g4
Nf6 14. h3 Bxc3 15. bxc3 Ne4 16. f5 c5 17. Bxe4 dxe4 18. dxc5 Qa5 19. Nd2 Bd7
20. Nb3 Qc7 21. Qd2 Rad8 22. Qe3 Ba4 23. Rxd8 Rxd8 24. Rd1 Rxd1+ 25. Kxd1 Qh2
26. Kc1 Bb5 27. Nd2 Qh1+ 28. Kb2 Bd3 29. Nb3 Bf1 30. g5 hxg5 31. Qxg5 Qxh3 32.
Nd2 Bd3 33. f3 f6 34. Qe3 Qxf5 35. fxe4 Qd7 36. c4 f5 37. e5 Be4 38. Nxe4 {
½-½ (38) Mamedyarov,S (2743)-Grachev,B (2672) Kocaeli 2014. Clearly,
Mamedyarov would not have minded getting these kinds of chances in today's
game.}) 12. g3 $5 ({This is a novelty. Previously, White had only tried} 12.
Ne5 Qb6 (12... Nxe5 13. fxe5 Bb4 14. O-O Bxc3 15. Qxc3 O-O 16. f4 f5 17. b4 {
was overwhelmingly better for White, Sarwinski,M (2395)-Jankovec,I (2325)
Rzeszow 1986.}) 13. Rd1 Bxe5 (13... Qxd4 $4 14. Nxf7 $1 {1-0 (14) Vaznonis,V
(2378)-Stauskas,L (2321) Lithuania 2018}) 14. dxe5 Qb4 15. Qd2 g5 {with a
complicated position and chances to both sides.}) 12... O-O 13. O-O-O b5 $6 ({
It was possibly better to play} 13... a5 {, for instance,} 14. Kb1 a4 15. a3 (
15. Nxa4 $2 Qa5 16. b3 Bb4 {is much better for Black}) 15... b5 {and Black's
queenside attack will arrive soon.}) 14. Ne5 Qc7 15. Kb1 Nb6 16. Rhg1 b4 ({
I don't like this decision as it allows White to play Na4. I think} 16... a5 {
would have been better although} 17. g4 b4 18. g5 h5 19. Ne2 a4 {would be
difficult to assess accurately.}) 17. Na4 Nxa4 18. Qxa4 c5 {Black has to play
actively in order to avoid sitting with a depressing position after a white
Rc1.} 19. dxc5 Qxc5 20. Nd7 ({According to the computer, White's best move is}
20. Rd2 {but from a practical perspective, the text move looks far more
dangerous for Black.}) 20... Bxd7 21. Qxd7 Rfd8 22. Qf5 {Provoking the g7-pawn
forward.} g6 23. Qg4 {This looks impossibly dangerous for Black as f4-f5 looks
devastating to Black's kingside shield.} b3 $1 ({Obviously, MVL did not feel
like entering the madness after} 23... Qxf2 $6 24. Bxg6 {even though Black
seems able to defend after} Bf8 $3 ({but not} 24... fxg6 25. Qxg6+ Kh8 26.
Qxh6+ Kg8 27. Qg6+ Kh8 28. Rgf1 Qb6 29. Rxd5 {and White is winning}) 25. Be4+
Bg7 26. Rg2 Qe3 27. Re2 Qb6 28. Bxd5 Qf6 {with more or less adequate
counterplay for the lost pawn.}) 24. a3 ({If} 24. axb3 {then} Rab8 25. Bxg6 Bf8
26. Bc2+ Bg7 {and Black's counterplay on the dark squares and along the open
files on the queenside compensates for the sacrificed pawn.}) 24... Be7 $1 25.
f5 g5 $1 26. f4 Bf6 {Black's kingside looks like it is put together by
matchsticks and bandaids, but it is surprisingly robust, particularly the
bishop on f6 is a beast, doubling as a defender to the kingside and as an
attacker on the queenside.} 27. fxg5 hxg5 28. Rg2 {Black was threatening ...
Qf2, eyeing a checkmate on b2.} Rac8 29. h4 Qe3 $1 {A beautiful move with a
spectacular point which we will see executed in the game.} 30. Re2 ({After} 30.
hxg5 Qxg5 {, Black would be doing fine.}) 30... Rc1+ $1 {Boom $1} 31. Rxc1
Qxd3+ 32. Ka1 Qa6 $1 {The point behind the previous moves and seen by MVL
ahead of playing ... Qe3: Black threatens ...Qxa3+ with mate to follow.} 33.
Kb1 Qd3+ {And the repetition of moves commences...} 34. Ka1 Qa6 35. Kb1 {
and draw agreed. What a game $1} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.07"]
[Round "6.1"]
[White "Fedoseev, Vladimir"]
[Black "Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C42"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "118"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 O-O
8. Qd2 Nd7 9. O-O-O Re8 10. Kb1 ({The main lines are} 10. Bd3) ({and} 10. h4 {.
}) 10... Nf6 11. Bd3 d5 12. h3 c5 $1 {This already looks pleasant for Black.}
13. c4 ({This is the first completely new move. In an online game, White had
tried} 13. Rhe1 Be6 (13... Qb6 $1 {is pleasant for Black}) 14. Ng5 Bd7 $4 15.
f4 $4 {0-1 (75) Kevlishvili,R (2502)-Papp,P (2334) Chess.com INT 2018} ({
both players missed} 15. Nxh7 $3 Nxh7 16. Bxh7+ Kxh7 17. Qxd5 Bc6 18. Qh5+ {
winning for White}) 15... Qc7 $1 {and Black has the better chances.}) 13... b5
$1 {Boom $1 Vidit is not kidding about playing for a win today.} 14. cxd5 c4
15. d6 ({Or} 15. Be2 Ne4 16. Qc1 Bb7 {with a strong initiative for Black.})
15... cxd3 16. dxe7 dxc2+ 17. Qxc2 Qxe7 18. Rhe1 Bb7 $1 {A beautiful idea,
coordinating the pieces to attack on the weak light squares in White's
position.} 19. Ka1 Be4 20. Qd2 Qb7 ({The computer wanted to insert} 20... h6
21. Nd4 {before playing} Qb7 {, but the text move also gives Black an
advantage.}) 21. Nh4 Qa6 ({Here the computer wanted Black to play} 21... h6 {
so to be able to answer} 22. f3 {with} Bh7 {.}) 22. Qd6 {That was the problem
with Black's move, now White is allowed to exchange queens, relieving some of
the pressure that Black was exerting on White's vulnerable king.} Qxd6 23. Rxd6
a5 {Black still has the initiative and still plays for the full point even
though Rapport-Shirov had already ended in a draw.} 24. b3 $6 a4 $1 25. Kb2
Rec8 26. Rc1 a3+ $1 27. Ka1 Nd5 {Now Black is much better once more: White's
king is very vulnerable in the corner.} 28. Nf5 Re8 $4 ({Black was probably
just winning outright after} 28... Rd8 29. Rxd8+ Rxd8 30. Nd6 Nxe3 31. Nxe4
Nxg2 32. b4 Nf4 {.}) 29. Bd2 $2 ({White missed} 29. Nxg7 $1 Kxg7 30. Bh6+ Kg8
31. f3 {with at least equal chances.}) 29... Bxf5 30. Rxd5 Be4 31. Rxb5 Bxg2 {
The opposite-colored bishops are not yet a drawing factor because of the
majorities on each wing, but a draw seems to come closer, yet it is far from
over...} 32. h4 h6 33. Rg1 Re2 34. Be3 Kh7 35. Rc5 Bh3 36. h5 Rc8 37. Ra5 Bg4
38. Rxa3 Bxh5 39. Ra5 g5 40. b4 f5 41. Ra7+ Kg6 42. Ra6+ Kh7 43. Rh1 f4 44. Bc5
$2 ({White should have played} 44. Rxh5 {with the not too difficult to
calculate} fxe3 45. Rhxh6+ Kg7 46. Rag6+ Kf7 47. Rf6+ Ke7 48. Re6+ {would be a
draw.}) 44... Rd8 45. b5 Bf3 $2 ({A peculiar decision. A better try was} 45...
Kg7 $1 46. Ra7+ (46. Rxh5 $4 Rd1#) 46... Kg6 47. Ra6+ Kf5 48. Rxh6 Bf3 {
and Black has excellent winning chances due to his very active pieces.}) 46.
Rhxh6+ Kg8 47. Rhg6+ Kh7 48. Rgd6 Rxd6 49. Rxd6 Re5 50. Rd7+ Kg6 51. Rc7 g4 52.
b6 g3 53. fxg3 fxg3 54. Bd4 g2 $1 55. Rc1 Re2 56. a3 Rd2 57. Bc5 Bd5 58. Kb1
Be4+ 59. Ka1 Bd5 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.07"]
[Round "6.2"]
[White "Rapport, Richard"]
[Black "Shirov, Alexei"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A33"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "60"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
{[%evp 0,60,19,-12,11,15,15,-31,-19,-10,-23,-15,8,6,16,-28,-5,-14,-23,-17,-5,
-7,-5,-6,-3,-7,-2,4,7,0,11,15,11,24,24,26,26,36,21,7,2,3,42,28,29,39,29,18,42,
42,32,40,33,-19,-11,-15,-19,-20,-12,-13,-11,-16,-4]} 1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4
cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Bf4 d5 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Nxc6 bxc6 9. Bd2 Bb4 10.
Qc2 Rb8 11. e3 Nxc3 12. a3 Qa5 13. Qc1 Qb6 ({As Black, Rapport has also tried
the sharper} 13... Ne4 14. axb4 Qf5 15. f3 Nxd2 16. Qxd2 Qg5 {(Black has some
initiative, but objectively speaking, the chances are more or less completely
even.)} 17. Bd3 Qh4+ 18. Ke2 Qxb4 19. Qxb4 Rxb4 20. Rhb1 a6 21. Bxa6 Ke7 22. b3
Bxa6+ 23. Rxa6 Rhb8 24. Rxc6 Rxb3 25. Rxb3 Rxb3 {1/2-1/2 (25) Ragger,M (2668)
-Rapport,R (2676) Germany 2014}) 14. axb4 Ne4 15. Bc3 O-O 16. Bd3 Nxc3 17. bxc3
c5 18. b5 c4 19. Bxc4 Bd7 20. O-O Rfc8 21. Be2 Bxb5 22. Bxb5 Qxb5 23. Rxa7 Qc4
({Or} 23... Qc6 24. Ra3 Rb5 25. Rd1 Rc5 26. Qc2 g6 27. h3 h5 28. Rd3 Kg7 29.
Qb2 Kg8 30. Qd2 Rg5 31. e4 Qxe4 32. Rd8+ Kg7 33. Qxg5 {1/2-1/2 (33) Banusz,T
(2580)-Rapport,R (2621) Germany 2013}) 24. Rd7 Rb3 25. Qd1 h6 26. Rd8+ Rxd8 27.
Qxd8+ Kh7 28. Qd4 Rxc3 29. Qxc4 Rxc4 30. g3 Kg6 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.07"]
[Round "6.2"]
[White "Harikrishna, Pentala"]
[Black "Tabatabaei, M. Amin"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C83"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "123"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
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. Be3 Be7 10. c3 O-O 11. Nbd2 Bg4 12. h3 Nxd2 13. hxg4 {This exchange
sacrifice was introduced by Russian Grandmaster Gergei Smagin. Objectively
speaking, it should not give White any advantage, but it presents Black with
different problems than in a normal Open Ruy Lopez.} Nxf1 14. Kxf1 Na5 15. Bxd5
c6 16. Be4 Qxd1+ 17. Rxd1 Nc4 ({The Smagin game went} 17... Rad8 $2 18. Rxd8
Bxd8 19. b4 Nc4 20. Bc5 Re8 21. Bxc6 Re6 22. Bd7 {and White was already much
better and eventually won the game, Smagin,S (2540)-Kotliar,M (2270)
Philadelphia 1989.}) 18. Bc1 Rad8 (18... Rfd8 19. Re1 Rac8 20. g5 $6 g6 21. g3
Bf8 22. b3 Nb6 {and Black had taken control of the game and eventually won,
0-1 (74) Caruana,F (2806)-Dominguez Perez,L (2758) Saint Louis 2021.}) 19. Re1
c5 20. g3 Nb6 (20... h6 21. Kg2 g5 22. b3 Nb6 23. Bb7 {was played in
Shevchenko,K (2633)-Vidit,S (2727) Chess.com INT 2021, and here} Nd5 $1 {
would have equalized.}) 21. Kg2 Rd7 22. Bf5 Rdd8 23. Be4 Rd7 24. Bc2 Re8 25.
Bf5 $6 Rdd8 26. Be4 $6 {White seems to be struggling for a plan and this
allows Black to take the initiative.} Nd5 $1 27. Bd2 c4 $1 28. b3 $2 {White
either misses or completely underestimates the strength of Black's next move...
} b4 $1 29. Bxd5 ({White should have settled for} 29. bxc4 Nxc3 30. Bxc3 (30.
Bc6 Rf8 31. Bxc3 bxc3 {may be better}) 30... bxc3 {when Black has the upper
hand; White's bishop pair is gone and Black has a passed pawn on c3.}) 29...
Rxd5 30. cxb4 Red8 $1 31. Re2 Rc8 ({Or} 31... cxb3 32. axb3 Rd3 {would have
given Black a clear advantage.}) 32. bxc4 Rxc4 33. Bf4 Rxb4 {Black's advantage
is growing.} 34. Rc2 Kf8 35. Rc8+ Rd8 36. Rc7 Ra4 37. Rc2 Ke8 38. g5 Rd5 39.
Be3 Kd7 $2 40. Bb6 $2 (40. Nd2 $5 {was a better chance.}) 40... Bd8 41. Be3
Rda5 (41... Rb5 42. Rd2+ Ke8 {is decisively better for Black. Instead, Black
gets impatient trying to cash in on his advantage, letting White get some
unnecessary counterplay.}) 42. Rc1 Rxa2 $6 (42... Rd5 $1) 43. Rh1 Be7 44. Rxh7
Bf8 {It is no longer a certainty that Black is going to win this.} 45. Bd4 Rd5
46. e6+ $4 ({Oh no, White messes up. A better chance was} 46. Rh8 Bc5 47. Bxc5
Rxc5 48. g6 fxg6 49. Rg8 Rcc2 50. Rxg7+ Kc8 51. Kh3 Rxf2 52. Nh4 {when Black
has excellent winning chances put there is a lot of good moves that need to be
played before the full point gets on the board.}) 46... Kxe6 47. Bxg7 Bxg7 48.
Rxg7 a5 49. g6 fxg6 50. Rxg6+ Kd7 51. g4 a4 52. Ra6 Kc7 53. g5 Kb7 54. Re6 Rc2
55. Re3 Ra5 {The rook behind the passed pawn.} 56. Ra3 Kc7 57. g6 Kd6 58. Nd4
Rg5+ {As the commentators pointed out, if Black can avoid unfortunate knight
forks, the win should be a certainty.} 59. Kh3 Rc1 ({Threatening mate, whereas
} 59... Rxf2 $4 60. Rxa4 {likely does not win for Black.}) 60. Kh2 Rc4 61. f4
Rxg6 62. Rd3 {and White resigned at the same time.} 0-1
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.07"]
[Round "6.1"]
[White "Vitiugov, Nikita"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D33"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
{[%evp 0,61,18,-16,-9,-31,13,6,-3,0,0,13,6,6,3,-17,2,11,12,12,12,6,6,0,-10,-35,
-27,4,4,2,0,0,0,0,29,16,30,41,70,48,41,44,44,40,102,91,38,19,33,21,15,16,14,10,
4,4,13,11,19,16,15,6,26,11]} 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 c5 3. g3 e6 4. Nf3 d5 5. cxd5
exd5 6. d4 Nc6 7. a3 $5 ({A departure from the main line which is} 7. Bg2 {
, and now the Dubov Variation goes} cxd4 8. Nxd4 Bc5 9. Nb3 Bb6 {with sharp
play.}) 7... cxd4 8. Nxd4 Bc5 9. Be3 Bb6 {Similar to the Dubov Variation, but
where White has played the unusual a2-a3 and somewhat unusual Be3. However,
this position is quite well-known from the Panov Attack (which essentially is
a Tarrasch Queen's Gambit with the colors reversed).} 10. Bg2 O-O 11. Qd2 Na5
$1 {Attempting to take advantage of the light-squared weaknesses that White's
a2-a3 created.} 12. Rd1 Nc4 13. Qc1 Nxe3 14. Qxe3 Re8 15. Qf4 Bg4 16. O-O Bxd4
17. Rxd4 Bxe2 18. Rb1 Rc8 19. Nxd5 Nxd5 20. Bxd5 {This position looks somewhat
scary for Black but seems to have everything under control.} Qc7 21. Re1 Qxf4
22. Rxf4 Rc7 23. Rc4 Rce7 24. Rc2 b6 25. Bc6 Bg4 26. Rxe7 Rxe7 27. f3 Be6 28.
Kf2 g5 29. Bb5 Kg7 30. Rc3 Kf6 31. Bd3 1/2-1/2
[Event "Chess.com"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.03.07"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Andreikin, Dmitry"]
[Black "Bacrot, Etienne"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D27"]
[WhiteElo "2724"]
[BlackElo "2642"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 dxc4 4. e3 Nf6 5. Bxc4 c5 {The solid QGA.} 6. O-O a6
7. Nbd2 {Andreikin, known for his original thinking, found an unbeaten path to
fight against one of the most reliable black openings.} cxd4 ({The Russian was
nevertheless not the first top GM to use the line:} 7... Nc6 8. dxc5 Bxc5 9. a3
b5 10. Be2 Bb7 11. b4 Be7 12. Bb2 O-O 13. Nb3 a5 14. Nc5 Bxc5 15. bxc5 Qxd1 16.
Rfxd1 b4 17. axb4 axb4 18. Nd2 Na5 {was the course of Ding,L (2791)-Yu,Y (2709)
chess24.com INT 2020}) 8. Nxd4 Bc5 9. N4b3 $146 ({The predecessor witnessed a
fascinating draw after:} 9. b3 Bxd4 10. exd4 b5 11. Ba3 Nc6 12. Rc1 bxc4 13.
Nxc4 Ne7 14. Nd6+ Kf8 15. Qf3 Bd7 16. Rc7 Rb8 17. Rfc1 Kg8 18. Nb7 Qe8 19. Nd6
Qd8 20. Nb7 Qe8 21. Nd6 {½-½ (21) Theodorou,$146 (2577)-Shlyakhtenko,R (2364)
New York 2022}) 9... Be7 10. Be2 b5 11. a4 ({Black is also successfully
solving his opening problems after} 11. Bf3 Ra7 12. Ne4 Qxd1 13. Rxd1 Nxe4 14.
Bxe4 Bb7) 11... bxa4 12. Rxa4 O-O 13. Nc4 Bd7 {Once Bacrot catches up with his
development, he should have nothing to complain about.} 14. Ra1 Nc6 15. Nbd2 $5
{The game has been equalized and Andreikin needs to find something interesting
if he wishes to win the group outright.} ({Normal play like} 15. Bd2 Qb8 16.
Bc3 Rd8 17. Bf3 Be8 {would lead to a normal draw once that the players clash
their major pieces along the open files.}) 15... Nd5 16. Nf3 {The point behind
the maneuver: the knight reaches the almost-perfect e5-square. The ideal one
would be the c6 square, but how to get there $2} Ncb4 {Bacrot also improves
his situation on the queenside.} (16... Bf6 {is less appealing due to} 17. e4)
17. Bd2 ({If} 17. Nfe5 Bb5 {regroups nicely for Black.}) 17... Qb8 18. Nce5 Bb5
{Once the problem of this bishop is solved, it seems as if the game would soon
peter out in a draw.} 19. Bxb5 Qxb5 20. Nd4 Qb7 21. Qb3 Qc7 ({Here the active}
21... Bf6 $5 {was interesting as White cannot exploit the pin after} 22. Nec6
Qb6 23. Nxb4 Bxd4 24. exd4 a5 $1) 22. Ndf3 {Black's only minor problem could
be the c-file and, in particular, the c6 square.} ({If} 22. Nef3 {both} a5 ({
And} 22... Nc6 {look good for Black.})) 22... Rfb8 {A natural move.} ({On the
other hand, had Bacrot wanted a draw, he could have gone for the solid} 22...
Qc2 $5 23. Qxc2 Nxc2 24. Ra4 Rfc8 {with full equality.}) 23. Rfc1 Qd6 24. e4 {
That is the chance that White was searching for $1 Now things get spicy.} Nc6
$1 {Black accepts the challenge $1} ({White would have squeezed some edge after
} 24... Nf6 25. Qe3 ({Or} 25. Rc4)) 25. Qxb8+ $3 {And even spicier $1
Andreikin spent a bit over a minute on this move, and it is strictly his only
way to play for something. Moreover, it was evident that he was heading for
this sacrifice in advance, and his intuition did not fail him.} ({It is only
White who risks losing after} 25. Rxc6 Rxb3 26. Rxd6 Bxd6 27. exd5 Bxe5 28.
Nxe5 Rxb2 29. Bc3 Rc2 {as Black will also pick up the d-pawn.}) 25... Nxb8 $1 {
An only move.} 26. Rc8+ Bf8 $1 {And an only move again.} ({The other retreat
would have lost in a study-like fashion after} 26... Bd8 27. exd5 Qxd5 28. Ra5
$3 {It is mandatory to spoil the coordination between the black queen and rook.
} ({In comparison,} 28. Ra3 Nc6 $3 {works well for Black as after} 29. Rxa8
Nxe5 {the white rook on a8 hangs.}) 28... Qd6 29. Ra3 $1 {And there is no
adequate way to meet the threat of Ra3-d3 $1}) 27. exd5 exd5 {Bacrot spent
valuable ten minutes from his remaining time for the capture, but did not
guess right.} ({Two other ideas, both connected with an exchange sacrifice,
would have worked better. First} 27... Qxd5 28. Ra4 Nd7 $1 {would have likely
led to a draw after} 29. Rxa8 Nxe5 30. R4xa6 Nxf3+ 31. gxf3 Qxd2 32. Rb8 g6 33.
Raa8) ({And the cunning} 27... f6 28. Nc6 Nxc6 $1 {might have also led to a
perpetual in the semi-forcing line} 29. Rxa8 Qxd5 30. R1xa6 ({Black seems OK
in the posiiton after} 30. R8xa6 Bc5) 30... Ne5 31. Bb4 Nxf3+ 32. gxf3 Qg5+ 33.
Kh1 ({Not} 33. Kf1 $2 Qb5+) 33... Qc1+ $11) 28. Rac1 {But this time Andreikin
did not guess right $1} ({The rook belonged on the other open file} 28. Re1 $3
{and thus both the white major pieces would have united their efforts along
the eighth rank as quickly as possible. It seems Black has no defense, e.g.} f6
({If} 28... Qe6 29. Rec1 f6 30. Bb4 $1 {exploits the pin.}) ({If} 28... a5 {
to cover the -b4 square} 29. Nd3 {opens the file for the white rook.}) 29. Nd3
Kf7 30. Ree8 Be7 31. Bb4 {And Black loses material.}) 28... f6 29. Nc6 {
And this, too, only plays into Black's hands.} ({White would have still kept
control, and an advantage, with} 29. Nd3 a5 30. Re1 Kf7 31. Ree8 Be7 32. Bf4
Qa6 33. Nfe1) 29... a5 ({The exchange sacrifice} 29... Nxc6 $1 {is still
recommended by the machine} 30. Rxa8 Qd7 31. Rxa6 Ne5 {It is not clear why
White does not dominate after} 32. Nd4 {but the compy says it's all right after
} Qb7) 30. Rd8 {All very natural, very scary, and well off the mark $1} ({
The unhuman move backward} 30. Ncd4 $3 {leads to a position where Black does
not seem to have a good move, say} Qa6 ({Or} 30... Qb6 31. Re8) ({Or} 30... Kf7
31. R1c7+ Nd7 32. Rxd7+ $1) 31. Rd8 {would have preserved White's edge.}) 30...
Qc7 31. Nfd4 (31. Rc8 $5 {is objectively better} Qb7 32. Nxa5 Qxb2 {when it is
anyone's game.}) 31... Qb7 {Bacrot gets very close to complete consolidation
but also-very short of time. Now the real drama starts.} ({The exchange
sacrifice} 31... Nxc6 $1 {would have been still interesting when Black seems
fine in the line} 32. Rxa8 Qb7 33. Rxf8+ Kxf8 34. Rxc6 Qxb2 35. Nf3 a4) 32.
Nxa5 Qxb2 33. Ndb3 $5 {The danger in the game influenced Andreikin.} ({This
should be the reason why he rejected the obvious} 33. Ne6 Kf7 34. Nxf8 Qxd2 35.
Rc7+ {It seems like a win, but Black actually has} Nd7 $3 {and White needs to
force a draw with} 36. Rdxd7+ ({Or else the back-rank weakness will tell} 36.
Rcxd7+ $2 Kg8 $1) 36... Kxf8 37. Rf7+) 33... Kf7 {The king is on the run. Once
it is out, the black extra material should finally prevail.} 34. Bf4 Bb4 35.
Rc7+ ({Or else why did White reject the draw $2 The line} 35. Rxd5 Na6 {
is good for Black.}) 35... Kg6 36. Rg8 Bxa5 37. Nxa5 {The culmination of this
incredible thriller. Bacrot played the most obvious} Rxa5 ({But $1 Since the
king was on the run} 37... Kf5 $3 {to safeguard, it would have worked better
$1 Black wins after} 38. Bc1 Qb4 {Back-rank weakness $1} 39. g3 Na6 40. Rxa8
Nxc7) ({Speaking of the back-rank weakness, the beautiful intereference} 37...
Nc6 $3 {would have won for Black as well.}) 38. g4 $3 {A nasty move in the
time trouble. The black king is in a mating net. Black spent his last seconds
for} Nd7 ({But} 38... f5 $1 {to cover the g7-spot would have been better when
it is again Black who should play for the full point. Perhaps Bacrot saw} 39.
Rxb8 Qxb8 $4 ({However, there was a defense} 39... Qa1+ $1 40. Kg2 Ra6 {
and Black should be more than fine.}) 40. Rc6+ {which indeed wins for White.})
39. Rxd7 {When short of time, the human gives checks. So did Bacrot} Qb1+ ({
It was not too late for} 39... f5 $1) 40. Kg2 Qe4+ 41. Kg3 Ra3+ 42. Kh4 $1 {
PLAY CHESS, NOT WAR.} ({And he resigned as the mate is inevitable after} 42.
Kh4 f5 43. Rgxg7+ Kf6 44. g5+ Ke6 45. Rde7#) 1-0
[Event "Belgrade"]
[Site "Belgrade"]
[Date "2022.03.07"]
[Round "6.2"]
[White "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Black "Shankland, Sam"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B51"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "60"]
[EventDate "2022.03.01"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Ngf6 6. c4 g6 7. Nc3 Bg7 8.
O-O O-O 9. Bxd7 Bxd7 10. Qd3 ({The normal continuation is} 10. b3 a6 {which is
considered okay for Black.}) 10... a6 11. a4 Ng4 12. Nf3 b5 $5 ({A novelty and
a good one at that. Rather than the patient approach with} 12... Rc8 {(as
played in Ameir,M (2352)-Saric,I (2645) Petrovac 2021), Black breaks
everything open. The only problem for Shankland is that if he had hoped to win,
it would be exceedingly difficult because all the pieces now get exchanged.})
13. axb5 axb5 14. Rxa8 Qxa8 15. cxb5 Bxc3 $1 {Not a decision that Black should
make lightly: handing over your fianchetto bishop when White still has his
dark-squared bishop. However, Shankland has calculated everything through to
the end and knows that he will be okay.} 16. bxc3 Qa4 17. Qd4 ({If White tries
to hang on to the pawn with} 17. c4 {, then Black equalizes smoothly with} Be6
18. Nd2 Ne5 {.}) 17... Bxb5 18. Qxa4 Bxa4 {Obviously, Black has no problems
but also no winning chances. The players quickly find a way to make it to move
30 and the draw.} 19. h3 Nf6 20. e5 dxe5 21. Nxe5 Rc8 22. Ba3 Rxc3 23. Bxe7 Nd5
24. Ra1 Nxe7 25. Rxa4 Rc7 26. Rc4 Rxc4 27. Nxc4 Kg7 28. g3 Kf6 29. Kg2 Ke6 30.
Nd2 f6 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade SRB"]
[Site "Belgrade SRB"]
[Date "2022.03.09"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Rapport, Richard"]
[Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D87"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "2022.03.09"]
{[%evp 0,73,14,20,31,-28,38,40,63,51,51,51,51,51,51,51,51,33,33,29,29,31,26,39,
17,41,32,29,29,43,43,37,59,51,59,41,20,33,56,54,108,97,144,185,188,230,230,215,
274,274,257,256,256,216,216,216,216,309,361,223,223,189,233,221,228,228,222,
222,243,203,220,261,262,264,274,278]} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5
5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Bc4 c5 8. Ne2 O-O (8... Nc6 $5) 9. Be3 Nc6 10. Rc1 ({
This is a slightly unusual move. It can still transpose to the main lines that
arise after} 10. O-O {but it also has some individual points which we will
touch upon in the continuation.}) 10... cxd4 ({The main line. Two other
options are} 10... Qa5 11. O-O {and}) (10... Qc7 11. O-O {which is a line that
has been played thousands of times.}) 11. cxd4 Qa5+ 12. Rc3 $5 ({Now we are
really heading down very lightly explored paths. In the latter part of the
1980s, Soviet GM and several-time World Championship candidate Lev Polugaevsky
introduced the world to} 12. Kf1 {intending to follow up with h2-h4 and attack
on the kingside. Generally speaking, that line is no longer considered
problematic for Black. The text move has been used a few times German GM
Matthias Blübaum.}) (12. Qd2) (12. Bd2) 12... e5 $6 ({This is probably
inaccurate. Black has a couple of alternatives that are worth taking a look at:
} 12... Rd8 13. Qd2 Bg4 $5 (13... e6 14. O-O b5 15. Bb3 Bb7 16. Rfc1 Rac8 17.
h4 {was already comfortably better for Whitein Salem,A (2682)-Preotu,R (2487)
Chess.com INT 2021}) (13... Bd7 14. O-O Rac8 15. Rfc1 e6 16. Bb3 Be8 17. h4 {
and White similarly had a clear advantage, Bluebaum,M (2647)-Kavyev,R (2327)
Chess.com INT 2020}) 14. f3 Bd7 $6 (14... Be6 $1 15. Bxe6 fxe6 {is better,
albeit slightly better for White.}) 15. Kf2 Be8 16. Rb1 Nxd4 17. Nxd4 e5 18.
Rd3 Qxd2+ 19. Bxd2 exd4 20. Rxb7 {and White had a clear advantage in Bluebaum,
M (2647) -Sychev,K (2572) Chess.com INT 2020.}) (12... Bg4 $1 {is untried but
seems best, for instance,} 13. f3 Rad8 14. Qd2 (14. fxg4 $4 {loses to} Nxd4 {
and White's position collapses}) 14... Be6 15. Bxe6 fxe6 {and Black has
equalized.}) 13. d5 Nd4 $6 ({This is consistent with Black's previous move,
but it leads Black to a clearly worse position without much hope of
counterplay. A better try was} 13... b5 $5) 14. Bd2 $5 ({Rapport thought about
this move for more than 30 minutes. In another online game by Bluebaum, White
played} 14. Qd2 Nxe2 15. Bxe2 Bd7 16. O-O f5 17. Rfc1 {(White is already
winning, according to the engine)} fxe4 18. Rc7 Bf5 $4 19. Qxa5 {1-0 (19)
Bluebaum,M (2647) -Baldauf,M (2503) Chess.com INT 2020.}) 14... Bd7 $6 ({
Another passive move which makes Black drift further into a depressing
position. Instead} 14... f5 {would have provided some counterplay, for
instance,} 15. exf5 b5 16. Bb3 Nxb3 17. Qxb3 {with a sharp position where
White nevertheless has the upper hand.}) 15. Nxd4 exd4 16. Rc1 Qa3 17. Qb3 Qxb3
18. Bxb3 Rae8 $2 ({Black's position is far from enviable, but it is also far
from lost. However, the text move, leaving the c-file to White, moves the
evaluation bar heavily in a favorable direction for White. It does seem
logical to attack White's center, but it cannot be at the cost of everything
else. Therefore, Black should have played either} 18... Rac8) ({or} 18... Rfc8
{when White's advantage is kept at a manageable level.}) 19. f3 f5 $4 (19...
Rc8 {was necessary. After the text move, White is completely winning.}) 20. Rc7
$1 Bb5 21. a4 $1 ({Precision work by Rapport. The tempting} 21. d6+ {is good
but less accurate, for instance,} Kh8 22. d7 Rd8 23. Be6 fxe4 {when Black may
still be able to create some confusion.}) 21... Bd3 22. d6+ $1 Kh8 23. d7 Rb8
24. Bb4 $1 {Rapport is not letting up.} Be5 25. Bxf8 Bxc7 26. Be7 {Threatening
mate with Bf6.} Kg7 27. e5 $1 b5 ({Or} 27... Bxe5 28. d8=Q {, leaving White a
rook up.}) 28. Bf6+ Kf8 29. e6 $6 ({Sufficient, but the computers are calling
for} 29. Kf2 {, clearing the path for the rook to run to the c-file and end
Black's suffering.}) 29... Bd8 30. Be5 Rb6 31. Bxd4 {White is still completely
winning.} Rc6 32. axb5 Bxb5 33. Kf2 Ke7 34. Be3 {Threatening Bg5+.} Bb6 35. Rd1
{Ouch! Now the pawn will not be stopped much longer.} Bxe3+ 36. Kxe3 Rc3+ 37.
Kf4 {and Black resigned.} 1-0
[Event "Chess.com"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.03.09"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "Andreikin, Dmitry"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B40"]
[WhiteElo "2771"]
[BlackElo "2724"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
{[%evp 0,65,19,29,72,53,56,30,51,44,41,41,69,33,48,46,30,27,20,20,18,2,16,-2,
22,36,46,32,15,-12,-6,3,58,19,93,12,140,89,146,136,107,99,99,45,46,-53,-49,-39,
-34,-34,-34,-67,-69,-69,-67,-59,-58,-58,-57,-57,-35,-37,-37,-31,-56,-53,-70,
-39]} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. b3 {A nice side-line to avoid the heavy theory.} (
3. d4) (3. c3) (3. Nc3) 3... b6 {This is considered to be one of the most
plausible replies for Black. The reason: White does not seem to have a
convenient way to defend his e4-pawn after the coming Bc8-b7 development.} ({
Another direction is} 3... Nc6 4. Bb2 a6 5. d4 cxd4 6. Nxd4 Qa5+ 7. Nd2 Nf6 8.
Nxc6 dxc6 9. Bd3 Bb4 10. Ke2 {Carlsen, M (2847)-Duda,J (2738) Chess24.com INT
2021}) 4. Bb2 Bb7 5. Nc3 {More or less forced, but now the knight blocks his
own bishop.} Nf6 ({Giri certainly was aware of the following game:} 5... Nc6 6.
g3 d6 7. Bg2 Nf6 8. O-O Be7 9. e5 dxe5 10. Nxe5 Qc8 11. f4 {Onischuk,V (2622)
-Andreikin,D (2724) Chess.com INT 2021}) 6. e5 Ne4 (6... Nd5 {is more common.})
7. Nxe4 Bxe4 8. Qe2 Bb7 {Andreikin achieved what he wanted: he locked the long
diagonal, but at the expense of a few tempi. Giri's next move is a novelty.} 9.
h4 $146 {An idea borrowed from the French defense. Even though the black pawn
is on the d7 rather than the d5-square, the kingside attack plan remains
White's primary idea.} ({The predecessor witnessed some interesting maneuvers:
} 9. Qe3 Nc6 10. Bd3 Nb4 11. Be4 Be7 12. O-O Nd5 13. Qe1 Qc7 14. c4 Nf4 15. Qe3
g5 {Meszaros,T (2438)-Gara,A (2326) Zalakaros 2014}) 9... Nc6 10. h5 $1 {
[%cal Rh5g6,Gh5h6] Postponing castling for the time being. That is the most
unpleasant strategy for Black, who seems to lack many useful moves.} (10. O-O-O
Qc7 11. d4 {was the other way to play it, but White wants to strengthen his
pieces before opening the game.}) 10... Nb4 11. d3 b5 {All of this seems
logical as Black needs to do something on the opposite wing, but this pawn may
turn itself into a weakness.} ({The bishop swap} 11... Bxf3 12. gxf3 Nc6 13. f4
Nd4 14. Qd1 Be7 15. Bg2 {promises White long-term pressure on the light
squares.}) ({On the other hand, it made sense to accomplish the development
with} 11... Be7 {and wait for White to show his cards, for example} 12. Rh3 ({
If} 12. a3 {then} Bxf3 13. gxf3 Nc6 14. f4 Nd4 {and the extra tempo matters.})
12... O-O 13. a3 Bxf3 14. Rxf3 Nc6 {White seems better here as well, but not
as much as in the game.}) 12. a3 Nc6 {Finally abandoning the idea of a bishop
swap.} ({As before} 12... Bxf3 13. gxf3 Nc6 14. f4 {favors White.}) 13. Qd2 {
An accurate move.} (13. Rh3 {allows an unpleasant check} Qa5+) 13... Rc8 {
Black is getting ready to meet long castling.} ({It is more and more evident
that Andreikin will have difficulties freeing himself. For instance} 13... d6
14. exd6 Qxd6 {can be met with either} 15. d4 $1 ({Or} 15. a4 $1)) 14. Rh3 $1 {
Once again, the nastiest way to play it. The rook would be working perfectly
along the third rank.} (14. O-O-O Nd4 {is what Black's last move was all about.
}) 14... Qc7 15. O-O-O {The time had come.} ({There were no more useful
preparatory moves as} 15. Rg3 {is parried with} Ne7 16. Nh4 Nc6) 15... Na5 {
A difficult decision to make.} (15... Nd4 {looked like the logical way to play
it, but apparently Black figured out that his d4-pawn might be lost in the
long run after something like} 16. Nxd4 cxd4 17. Re1 Be7 18. Kb1 O-O) 16. Ng5 {
The knight is heading to the e4-outpost and then might land very, very close
to the enemy king.} (16. Kb1 $5) 16... Be7 {At last, the kingside is moving,
but this might be a bit too late.} ({It is hard to help Black with good advice
though. The line} 16... h6 17. Ne4 Bxe4 18. dxe4 c4 19. Kb1 {clearly favors
White.}) 17. Rg3 {The black kingside is on the verge of collapse.} c4 {Last
chance. Andreikin needs to muddy up the waters.} 18. dxc4 bxc4 {[%tqu "En","",
"","","b3b4","",10]} 19. b4 $1 h6 ({Or else White completely dominates after}
19... Nc6 20. Ne4 $1 $18 {[%cal Rg3g7,Re4d6,Gd2d6,Gd1d6]}) 20. Nxf7 {Giri went
for the most tempting line.} ({A pity for the Dutchman, as the simple retreat,
} 20. Nh3 $1 {would have been more or less decisive. The white knight does not
make it (yet) to the e4-square, but as a consolation White would win at least
a pawn in the line} Nc6 21. Bxc4 {Now any discovered attacks would backfire,
for instance} (21. Rxg7 Nxe5 {is not as clear.}) 21... Nxb4 22. axb4 Qxc4 23.
Qxd7+ Kf8 24. Rc3 $1 {Which means that once the c4-pawn is captured White has
not just an extra pawn but better pieces, and a safer king.}) 20... Kxf7 21.
bxa5 {Obvious, and not optimal.} ({The other capture would have preserved some
edge for White after} 21. Qxd7 $1 Qxd7 ({No time to save the knight} 21... Nc6
22. Rf3+ Kg8 23. Qxe6+ Kh7 24. Qg6+ Kg8 25. Bxc4#) 22. Rxd7 Rhd8 23. Rxe7+ Kxe7
24. bxa5 Kf7 25. Bc3 $1 {two pawns for an exchange should make White happy,
especially thanks to his solid grip on the position.}) 21... Bd5 22. Qf4+ Kg8 {
The king looks safer here, but it blocks the rook from entering the battle.} ({
It is very messy after} 22... Ke8 23. Rxg7 Rf8 24. Rxe7+ $1 ({But not} 24. Qxh6
{when White should look for a draw with} c3 25. Rxe7+ Kxe7 26. Qg5+ Ke8 27. Bd3
cxb2+ 28. Kb1 Rf5 29. Qg8+ Ke7 30. Qg7+ $11) 24... Kxe7 25. Qh4+ Ke8 26. Bc3 $1
) 23. Rxd5 {A nice concept!} ({But still, objectively better would have been}
23. Qg4 $1 Rh7 24. Be2 Rb8 25. Bc3 Bxa3+ 26. Kd2 {and with the black rook
stuck on -h7 indefinitely, White's chances should be higher.}) 23... Bg5 $1 {
The only move.} ({Or else Black is mated after} 23... exd5 24. Rxg7+ Kxg7 25.
e6+) 24. Rxg5 hxg5 25. Qd4 ({A better version of the sacrifice seems to be} 25.
Qxc4 Qxc4 26. Bxc4 exd5 27. Bxd5+ Kh7 28. Bd4 Rc7 {with three pawns for the
two exchanges. Wow!}) 25... exd5 26. Qxd5+ Kf8 {Andreikin believes that his
king is safe enough and leaves the h-file open for his rook.} ({The other
retreat} 26... Kh7 {leads to a similar situation as in the game, but with the
queens on the board, which might have worried the Russian player, say after}
27. e6 Qf4+ 28. Kb1 Rb8 29. Bxc4 Rxb2+ 30. Kxb2 Rb8+ 31. Ka2 Qf6 32. Qe4+ Kh6
33. Bb3 dxe6 34. g4 {and it is unclear!}) 27. Bd4 {A highly unusual situation
arose at the top-GM level. Andreikin is two exchanges ahead, but the bishops
are often no worse than the major pieces in open positions. Add to that the
two pawns that White possesses and the clock situation (both players down to
2-3 minutes on the clocks) and you can get a vague idea of the complexity of
the situation.} (27. Bc3 {would have been met with} Qc6) 27... Qc6 $1 {The
most practical solution. There will hardly be any mate.} 28. Qxc6 Rxc6 29. Be2
{Not letting the rook out.} ({Although} 29. Bxa7 Rxh5 30. Be2 Rh4 {is playable
too.}) 29... a6 30. Kd2 Ke7 31. Kc3 Rb8 32. a4 $1 {In these positions, the
side that owes the minor pieces should be always considering the exchange
counter-sacrifices.} ({Here, for instance, the obvious} 32. Bb6 $1 {would have
allowed} Rcxb6 33. axb6 Rxb6 34. Bxc4 a5 35. Bd3 Rb1 {when Black gets serious
chances to at least torture his opponent for very, very long.}) 32... Rb1 33.
Bf3 {PLAY CHESS, NOT WAR.} ({Giri decided to check what his opponent is
playing for, and Andreikin declared he is happy with the draw. Indeed, the
position is approximately balanced and a computer-generated drawing line could
have been} 33. Bf3 Rc8 34. Bb6 Ra1 35. Bb7 Rb8 36. Bc5+ Ke6 37. Bxa6 Rxa4 38.
Bd6 Ra8 39. Bxc4+ Rxc4+ 40. Kxc4 Rxa5) 1/2-1/2
[Event "FIDE Chess Grand Prix 2 2022 | Knockout"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.03.10"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Rapport, Richard"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C72"]
[WhiteElo "2761"]
[BlackElo "2762"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "131"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
{[%evp 0,131,19,38,25,7,17,8,16,-2,35,18,31,37,64,8,40,36,208,188,188,214,102,
48,100,97,118,55,139,50,50,-19,-21,-21,-13,-22,8,-24,7,-41,-36,-38,-16,-16,-18,
-18,-13,-13,0,-15,-7,0,0,12,33,34,72,21,100,72,91,72,99,107,104,126,125,123,
129,125,131,125,130,66,159,159,158,130,152,159,158,150,137,165,162,169,174,163,
163,192,165,186,189,197,150,142,143,138,138,162,157,80,82,25,0,0,17,22,-22,-20,
-20,23,21,36,0,0,0,43,31,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0]} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3.
Bb5 {In a must-win situation Vachier-Lagrave chooses the most complex opening,
the Ruy Lopez.} a6 4. Ba4 d6 (4... Nf6) (4... Bc5) 5. O-O Bg4 {Rapport's
choice, on the other hand can be called anything but solid. The Improved
Stenitz could not have been expected by him, as the Hungarian GM tries for the
first time, at least according to Megabase!} 6. h3 h5 7. d4 $5 {After some
hesitation, White opts for the main line. The pawn is offered in return for
the control over the -g5 square.} (7. Bxc6+) 7... b5 8. Bb3 Nxd4 9. hxg4 $16 {
Now White can grab the piece as he can block the black queen access towards
his king.} hxg4 {The older line.} ({The Guru of the line, GM Yandemirov
preferred instead} 9... Nxb3 10. axb3 hxg4 {Stockfish 271221:} 11. Ng5 Qd7 (
11... f6 $4 12. Ne6 {[%cal Re6d8,Re6f8,Re6g7]}) 12. b4 Ne7 13. c4 bxc4 14. b5
a5 15. Na3 f6 16. b6 fxg5 17. bxc7 Nc6 18. Qd5 Qxc7 19. Nxc4 Rd8 20. Be3 {
[%cal Ge3b6]} Ne7 21. Qb5+ Qc6 22. Rxa5 Qxb5 23. Rxb5 Nc6 24. b4 Be7 25. Na5
Nd4 26. Bxd4 exd4 27. Nc6 Ra8 28. Nxe7 Kxe7 29. Rxg5 Kf6 30. Rd5 Ra2 31. Rd1
Rb2 32. Rxd6+ Kg5 {[%eval 144,33] [%wdl 570,429,1]}) 10. Ng5 Nh6 {All of this
was blitzed by Rapport, and his opponent sank into deep thought.} ({The
position is razor-sharp and any of the sides might easily err, for example}
10... Nxb3 $4 {loses to} 11. Qd5 $1 {[%cal Rd5f7,Rd5a8]} Nh6 12. Qc6+ Ke7 {
[%csl Gf8]} 13. Nc3 $1 $18 {[%cal Rc3d5] Stockfish 271221:} Kf6 14. Nd5+ Kg6
15. axb3 Be7 16. f4 gxf3 17. Nxf3 Ng4 18. g3 Ra7 19. Kg2 {[%cal Gf1h1]} Bf6 20.
Bd2 Qe8 21. Qc3 Qd7 22. Rh1 Rxh1 23. Rxh1 c6 24. Ne3 Nh6 25. Qd3 Rc7 26. Ra1
Rc8 27. Rxa6 Kh7 28. Nd1 Kg8 29. Bxh6 d5 30. Ra1 d4 31. Bd2 $18 {[%eval 726,37]
[%wdl 1000,0,0]}) 11. g3 $5 {After more than half-an-hour on his clock,
Vachier-Lagrave deviates from the main theory.} ({A few years back Short won a
complex game thanks to:} 11. f4 c6 (11... d5) (11... Nxb3) (11... Be7) 12. g3
Nxb3 13. cxb3 exf4 14. gxf4 Qd7 15. f5 d5 16. Bf4 O-O-O 17. Nc3 Bd6 18. Qd4 {
Short,N (2675)-Timman,J (2650) Pamplona 2000} Bxf4 19. Rxf4 Qc7 20. Qf2 d4 21.
Ne2 d3 22. Ng3 Kb7 23. Qe3 d2 24. Rff1 Rd7 25. Rad1 Rhd8 26. Qf4 Qb6+ 27. Rf2
Rd3 28. Kg2 Qd4 29. e5 Qxb2 30. N5e4 R8d5 31. f6 Rf3 32. Rxf3 gxf3+ 33. Kxf3
Qxa2 34. fxg7 Qxb3+ 35. Ke2 Qc4+ 36. Kf2 Qd4+ 37. Kg2 {1-0 (37) Short,N (2675)
-Timman,J (2650) Pamplona 2000 CBM 075 [Wedberg,T]}) (11. Bd5 $5) 11... Be7 12.
f4 {[#]} Qd7 $146 {But Rapport was not taken by surprise and quickly fired a
novelty.} ({The predecessor saw:} 12... c6 $5 13. Be3 Nxb3 14. cxb3 d5 15. Qc1
Rc8 16. fxe5 d4 17. Rd1 dxe3 18. Rxd8+ Rxd8 19. Qxc6+ Kf8 20. Nc3 Bxg5 21. e6
Kg8 {Kindermann, S (2565)-Jussupow,A (2680) Germany 1996 GER-chT} 22. Qc5 f6
23. Nd5 Kh7 24. Re1 Rhe8 25. Nc7 Rc8 26. e7 f5 27. Nxe8 Rxc5 28. Nf6+ Bxf6 29.
e8=Q Re5 30. Qc6 Rxe4 31. Qxa6 b4 32. Re2 Nf7 33. a4 Ng5 34. a5 Nf3+ 35. Kg2
Nd4 36. Qd3 Nxe2 37. Qxe2 Bxb2 38. a6 Bd4 39. Kf1 Re7 40. Ke1 Bc3+ 41. Kd1 Kg6
42. Kc2 Bd4 43. Kd3 Ba7 44. Kc4 Re4+ 45. Kd5 Kg5 46. Kc6 Re5 47. Kb7 Bd4 48.
Kc6 Kf6 49. Kd6 Bc5+ 50. Kc6 Ba7 51. Kd6 Re6+ 52. Kd7 Bd4 53. Qc4 Re7+ 54. Kc6
Be5 55. Qe2 Bxg3 56. a7 Rxa7 57. Qxe3 Rc7+ 58. Kb5 Bd6 59. Qd4+ Ke6 60. Qe3+
Kf7 61. Qd3 Ke6 62. Qe3+ Be5 63. Qg5 Rb7+ 64. Kc6 Rb8 65. Kc5 Bf6 66. Qf4 Be7+
67. Kd4 Rd8+ 68. Ke3 Kf6 69. Ke2 Rd6 70. Kf1 Rd3 71. Qc4 Rc3 72. Qd4+ Kg6 73.
Qd5 Bf6 74. Qe6 Kg5 75. Qd5 Kh4 76. Qh1+ Rh3 77. Qd5 f4 78. Qc4 Rc3 79. Qd5
Rc1+ 80. Kf2 Rc2+ 81. Kg1 f3 82. Kf1 Kh3 {0-1 (82) Kindermann,S (2565)
-Jussupow,A (2680) Germany 1996}) ({Another direction might be} 12... gxf3 $5
13. Nxf3 Qd7 14. Kg2 O-O-O) 13. f5 {Only now did Black start to think.} ({
Rapport likely concentrated his preparation on the move} 13. Qd3 {when White
does not fear} f6 {due to} 14. Ne6 $1 {anyway and Black is left empty-handed
in the line} Nxe6 15. Qd5 $1 $18 {[%cal Rd5a8,Rd5e6] Stockfish 271221:} c6 ({
Stockfish 271221:} 15... Rc8 16. Qxe6 d5 17. Bxd5 c6 18. Qxd7+ Kxd7 19. Bb3 Rh7
20. Kg2 Nf7 21. Be3 Rch8 22. Bg1 Rh1 23. Bxf7 Bc5 24. Nc3 Bxg1 25. Rxg1 R1h2+
26. Kf1 Rxc2 27. fxe5 fxe5 28. Bb3 Rxb2 29. Nd1 Rd2 30. Nf2 Rf8 31. Rg2 c5 32.
Kg1 Rd4 33. Nxg4 Kd6 34. Bc2 a5 35. Ne3 g6 36. Rd1 a4 37. Rgd2 $18 a3 {[%eval
581,32] [%wdl 1000,0,0]}) ({Stockfish 271221:} 15... Rd8 16. Qxe6 d5 17. Qxd7+
Kxd7 18. Bxd5 c6 19. Bb3 Ke8 20. a4 b4 21. fxe5 Nf7 22. exf6 gxf6 23. Kg2 Ne5
24. Nd2 a5 25. Be6 Rd4 26. Bf5 Kf7 27. Nb3 Rc4 28. Rf2 Nf3 29. Rxf3 gxf3+ 30.
Kxf3 Ke8 31. Nxa5 Rxc2 32. Be3 Rhh2 33. Rd1 Rxb2 34. Nxc6 $18 {[%eval 575,31]
[%wdl 1000,0,0]}) 16. Qxe6 exf4 17. Bxf4 d5 18. Qxd7+ Kxd7 19. Nc3 d4 20. Nd1
Bd6 21. a4 Bxf4 22. Rxf4 Kc7 23. Nf2 Kb6 24. a5+ Kc7 25. Nd3 Rh7 26. Re1 Rah8
27. Kg2 Ng8 28. Bxg8 Rh2+ 29. Kf1 Rxc2 30. Re2 Rh1+ 31. Kg2 Rxe2+ 32. Kxh1 Re3
33. Nf2 c5 34. Rxg4 c4 35. Rxg7+ Kd6 36. Rg6 $18 {[%eval 489,32] [%wdl 1000,0,
0]}) 13... c6 {More than half-an-our thought for Black too.} ({There was also}
13... Qd8 $5 14. Qd2 a5 (14... c6)) 14. Nc3 ({Maybe} 14. Kg2 {makes more sense
as White can eventually exploit the h-file. The game would be unclear then
after say} d5 15. Nc3 O-O-O) ({The importance of the h-file is demonstrated by
the line} 14. c3 Nxb3 15. axb3 Qd8 $1 {[%cal Re7g5,Rd8g5]} 16. Qd2 {[%cal
Re7g5,Rd8g5,Gd2g5,Gc1g5]} Ng8 $3 {[%cal Gh8h5,Rh5g5,Re7g5,Rd8g5] with
inevitable Rh8-h5!}) 14... Qd8 ({It also made sense to throw-in} 14... a5 $5
15. a3 Qd8 16. Nxf7 $5 Nxf7 17. Qxg4 Nxb3 18. cxb3 $15 {slightly hampering
White's pawn structure.}) 15. Nxf7 {More or less forced.} ({As seen from above,
White cannot defend his knight any more} 15. Qd2 Nxb3 16. axb3 Ng8 $1) 15...
Nxf7 16. Qxg4 Nxb3 17. axb3 Bg5 $1 {The opening was a big success for Rapport,
he equalized in full.} 18. Kg2 {[%cal Gf1h1,Rh1h8]} Qf6 {However, this is a
slight inaccuracy.} ({Safer looked the instant queen swap attempt with} 18...
Bxc1 19. Rfxc1 Qg5 20. Qf3 Ke7 $15 {which is still even. Stockfish 271221:} 21.
Rh1 Rh6 22. Rxh6 Nxh6 23. Rh1 Qd2+ 24. Qf2 Qxf2+ 25. Kxf2 a5 26. Ra1 Kf6 27.
Nd1 d5 28. exd5 cxd5 29. Nc3 d4 30. Nxb5 Nxf5 31. c3 d3 32. g4 Nh6 33. Kf3 Rf8
34. c4 Ke6+ 35. Ke3 Nxg4+ 36. Kxd3 Rf3+ 37. Ke2 Rxb3 38. Rxa5 g5 39. Ra3 Rxb2+
40. Kf3 Nf6 41. Ra6+ Kf7 42. Nd6+ Kg7 43. Nf5+ Kg6 44. Ne7+ Kf7 45. Nf5 g4+ 46.
Ke3 Rb3+ 47. Ke2 {[%eval -40,33] [%wdl 9,906,85]}) 19. Nd1 $1 {[%cal Gd1f2,
Gf2e4] A pretty move! The knight lands on the optimal f2-square from where it
will guard the white king forever.} Bxc1 (19... Qh6 $6 20. Nf2 Qh2+ $2 21. Kf3
$18 {only works for White.}) 20. Rxc1 Qg5 {There is nothing better.} 21. Nf2
Qxg4 22. Nxg4 Ng5 {The beginning of a poor plan.} ({The black king stood well
in the center and accurate play like} 22... a5 $5 23. Ra1 Ke7 24. Ra3 Ng5 {
would have kep the balance, for example} 25. Rfa1 Nxe4 26. Rxa5 Rxa5 27. Rxa5
Rh5 28. Ra7+ Kf8 {and White has a perpetual, but does he have anything more?})
23. Nf2 O-O-O 24. c4 $1 {Now Vachier-Lagrave skillfully starts to create
problems.} Kc7 25. Rh1 bxc4 ({It is curious that the machine suggests the ugly
} 25... Rh6 26. Rxh6 gxh6 27. Rh1 Nf7 $14) 26. bxc4 a5 27. Ra1 Kb6 {An
automatic move, and a mistake. Rapport created a weakness on the queenside,
and now allows a maneuver that would highlight the weakness.} (27... Rxh1 $1 {
was caled for and after} 28. Rxh1 Kd7 {Black seems to be in time to defend
both sides.}) 28. Rhd1 $3 {A move of a great master!} Rh7 29. Rd3 $1 Rdh8 30.
Rb3+ {This is why this rook should have been traded earlier. The white major
pieces do whatever they want on the queenside, whereas the black rooks are
easily stopped by the white only knight.} Ka6 31. Rba3 Rh2+ 32. Kf1 Kb6 33.
Rxa5 Nf3 34. c5+ $1 {One more excellent decision in the time-trouble.
Vachier-Lagrave is almost winning.} (34. Ra6+ Kc5 35. R1a5+ Kd4 {lets the
black king slip away.}) 34... dxc5 35. Ra6+ Kb5 {Now after a few checks in the
zeitnot} 36. R1a5+ Kb4 37. Ra4+ Kb5 38. R6a5+ Kb6 39. Ra6+ Kb5 40. R4a5+ Kb4 {
White finds} 41. Ra3 $1 {which not only attacks the knight, but sets a mating
net around the black king.} Nd2+ {The knight rushes to the resque.} (41... Nd4
$5) ({Or else Black may get checkmated after say} 41... Ng5 $2 42. Rb6+ Kc4 43.
Ra4#) 42. Kg1 $1 (42. Ke2 {does not create a threat instead and Black can
still go for} Nc4 ({Or may choose} 42... c4)) 42... Nc4 (42... c4 $2 43. Rxc6)
43. Rd3 $1 {The proper square for the rook, b2-b3 is a major threat.} R2h6 {
[%cal Gh6c6]} 44. Ra7 $2 {But that is a step in the wrong direction.} ({
Both players definitely studied the critical line} 44. b3 $1 {when the knight
is forced to step on a poor square} Nb2 {Then, after few changes of the angle
of the attack} 45. Rd7 Kc3 46. Ra1 $1 Kc2 47. Ra5 $1 {White would have
unbalanced the opponent's defense} c4 48. bxc4 Nxc4 49. Rc5 Kc3 {And the
study-like} 50. Kg2 $3 {A pretty position! Black lack a good move, e.g:} ({
Certainly not} 50. Rxg7 $2 Kd4 {[%csl Gc5] which traps the white rook.}) ({Nor
} 50. Ng4 Kb4 51. Nxh6 Kxc5 52. Nf7 Rg8 {would make as much of a progress as
the calm king move.}) 50... Rg8 ({Or} 50... Kb4 51. Nd3+ Kb3 52. Rb7+ Kc3 53.
Nxe5 Kd4 54. Rxc4+ Kxe5 55. Kf3 $18 {and White should win in both cases.}) 51.
Ng4 $18) 44... Rb8 $1 {Yet another piece comes to the resque.} 45. b3 $2 {
Missing one more chance.} (45. Rxg7 Nxb2 {yield White nothing.}) ({However,
the immediate} 45. Ng4 $1 {might have worked better, as in the line} Nxb2 46.
Rdd7 Rhh8 47. Nxe5 {white pieces are too strong.}) 45... Na5 46. Ng4 Nxb3 {
The culmination of the game, and the match. Rapport managed to organize his
defense and is now looking for a speedy promotion. His previously iffy king is
leading the army. And still, Black was not yet out of the woods.} 47. Rxg7 {
Only this finally lets Black off the hook.} ({The last chance was} 47. Nxh6 $1
c4 48. Rd6 gxh6 49. Rxc6 Nd4 50. Rxh6 c3 51. Rc7 Nb5 52. Rcc6 Nd4 53. Kf2 $1 {
is it a win, or not would be proved by further, extensive analyzes, but that
was all the Vachier-Lagrave was left with.}) 47... c4 $1 {This passer will
cost White deerly.} 48. Rd1 Rhh8 49. Nxe5 Rhc8 50. Rg6 c5 $1 {The passer's
speed is worth the exchange.} 51. Nc6+ Rxc6 52. Rxc6 c3 53. f6 c2 54. Rf1 c1=Q
55. Rxc1 Nxc1 {One rook taken, one more passer available.} 56. e5 Ne2+ 57. Kf2
Nd4 58. Rd6 Nb5 59. Rd7 c4 60. e6 {White is just as fast as the opponent and
that leads to a perpetual.} c3 61. e7 c2 62. f7 c1=Q 63. e8=Q Qc5+ 64. Kg2 Qc6+
65. Kh3 Qh6+ 66. Kg2 {PLAY CHESS, NOT WAR.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade SRB"]
[Site "Belgrade SRB"]
[Date "2022.03.10"]
[Round "1.2"]
[White "Andreikin, Dmitry"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A48"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "64"]
[EventDate "2022.03.09"]
{[%evp 0,64,30,30,30,29,54,10,10,10,31,31,28,37,28,28,34,21,21,12,12,12,0,4,
-16,-24,-29,-23,-20,-13,-2,-2,4,6,0,-11,-4,-9,6,-13,16,6,28,21,18,3,0,0,0,2,2,
4,-1,9,14,0,0,0,-2,-2,5,-9,-2,-2,0,-11,-2]} 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. b3 Bg7 4.
Bb2 c5 5. dxc5 ({Caruana played the main line move} 5. e3 {, but Giri found a
path to a comfortable position without problems after} cxd4 6. exd4 O-O 7. Nbd2
d5 8. Bd3 Nc6 9. a3 Bf5 (9... Nh5 $1 10. O-O Nf4 11. Bb5 Bg4 12. h3 Bh5 {
with a clear advantage for Black in Mamedyarov,S (2808)-Aronian,L (2764)
Leuven 2018}) 10. Bxf5 gxf5 11. O-O e6 12. Ne1 $6 Ne4 $1 {and Black had a
clear advantage in Caruana,F (2792)-Giri,A (2772) Chess.com INT 2022.}) 5...
Qa5+ 6. Nbd2 Qxc5 7. e3 O-O 8. c4 b6 (8... d6 9. Be2 Qc7 10. O-O Nc6 11. Rc1 e5
$6 12. Nb1 Ne4 13. Nfd2 Nc5 14. Nc3 Qd8 $2 15. Nde4 {(White is already clearly
better)} Nd4 $2 16. exd4 exd4 17. Nxc5 dxc3 18. Nxb7 Bxb7 19. Bxc3 Bxc3 20.
Rxc3 {(White has an extra pawn and is clearly winning)} Qa5 21. Qd2 Rfe8 22.
Rd3 Qe5 23. Bf3 Bxf3 24. Rxf3 Re6 25. Re3 Qg5 26. Rfe1 Rae8 27. g3 Qf5 28. Rxe6
Rxe6 29. Rxe6 Qxe6 30. Qe3 Qd7 31. h4 h5 32. Qd4 Qe7 33. Kg2 Qb7+ 34. Qd5 Qe7
35. b4 Qc7 36. c5 dxc5 37. bxc5 Kf8 38. Kf3 Ke7 39. Ke4 Qa5 40. Qd6+ Ke8 41.
Qe5+ Kd8 42. Qd4+ Ke7 43. Qd6+ Ke8 44. Qe5+ Kd8 45. Qf6+ Ke8 46. Qc6+ Ke7 47.
Qb7+ Ke6 48. Qb3+ Ke7 49. Qc2 Kd7 50. Qc4 Ke7 51. Kf3 Kd8 52. Qxf7 {1-0 (52)
Andreikin,D (2724)-Salem,A (2675) Moscow 2019}) 9. Be2 Bb7 10. O-O d6 (10...
Qc7 11. Rc1 d6 12. Nb1 Nbd7 13. Nc3 Rac8 14. Rc2 Qb8 15. Qa1 a6 16. Rd2 Rfe8
17. Rfd1 {with a marginal plus for White and later 1-0 (48) Kramnik,V (2800)
-Grischuk,A (2767) Berlin 2018.}) 11. Rc1 ({Or} 11. Nd4 Nbd7 12. Bf3 Qc7 13.
Nb5 Qb8 14. Nd4 Qc7 15. Nb5 Qb8 16. Nd4 Qc7 {and draw agreed, ½-½, in Wei,Y
(2737)-Cheparinov,I (2666) Changsha 2019.}) 11... Nbd7 12. Nb1 Ne4 ({Two
alternatives for Black are:} 12... Rad8 13. Nc3 Ne4 14. Nxe4 Bxe4 15. Bxg7 Kxg7
16. Qd2 Nf6 17. Rfd1 Bb7 18. Qb2 Qc8 (18... Rd7 $5) 19. Nd4 Kg8 20. Nb5 {
and White has more space and pressure, Swapnil,S (2488)-Gupta,A (2606) New
Delhi 2019.}) (12... Rac8 13. Nc3 Ne4 14. Nxe4 Bxe4 15. Qd2 Bxb2 16. Qxb2 Bxf3
17. Bxf3 Qe5 18. Qa3 Qa5 19. Qb2 Qe5 {with equal chances, Blohberger, F (2434)
-Triapishko,A (2502) Moscow 2019.}) 13. Bxg7 Kxg7 14. Nfd2 ({Only here,
Andreikin departed known paths. Previously, White had tried:} 14. Qc2 Ndf6 15.
Nc3 Rac8 16. Nxe4 Nxe4 17. Rfd1 e5 (17... Nf6 $5) 18. Nd2 Nf6 19. Bf3 Bxf3 20.
Nxf3 {as played in Pogonina,N (2457)-Bodnaruk,A (2429) Izhevsk 2019, when} Qa3
{is about equal.}) (14. Nd4 Qg5 15. g3 h5 16. Nd2 Ndf6 17. Nxe4 Nxe4 18. Bf3 h4
{and Black had the initiative in Ankit,R (2454)-Huber,M (2337) Vienna 2019.})
14... Nxd2 15. Qxd2 Qg5 $1 {I like this move a lot, more or less forcing White
to play 16.f3, which will make it necessary for White to play e3-e4 later,
weakening the dark squares.} 16. f3 ({If} 16. g3 {then} h5 {would give Black
all the counterplay he could dream about.}) 16... Nf6 17. e4 Qxd2 18. Nxd2 Rac8
{White has more space but objectively Black has no problems.} 19. Nb1 Rc5 20.
Nc3 Rfc8 21. Kf2 a6 {Preparing ...b6-b5.} 22. Na4 {This move does not stop
Black from ...b6-b5 in the long run, it just allows White more ways to
recapture on c4.} R5c6 23. Nb2 b5 {The first pawn break has been accomplished.}
24. Ra1 bxc4 25. Nxc4 Rc5 26. Rfd1 a5 27. Ne3 d5 {The second pawn break
accomplished.} 28. exd5 Nxd5 29. Bc4 Nb6 {An invitation to repeat the moves.}
30. Bf1 Nd5 31. Bc4 Nb6 32. Bf1 Nd5 1/2-1/2
[Event "FIDE Chess Grand Prix 2 2022 | Knockout"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.03.11"]
[Round "10"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "Andreikin, Dmitry"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B46"]
[WhiteElo "2771"]
[BlackElo "2724"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "126"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 {The Taimanov Sicilian is
Andreikin's main weapon; therefore it was easy to predict its appearance,
especially in rapid and blitz.} 5. Nc3 a6 6. Nxc6 bxc6 7. Bd3 d5 8. O-O Nf6 9.
Qf3 ({The other main move is:} 9. Re1 Be7 10. e5 Nd7 11. Qg4 g6 12. Na4 h5 13.
Qe2 c5 14. c4 d4 15. b3 {as in Anand,V (2753)-Nepomniachtchi,I (2792) Zagreb
2021}) 9... Bb7 10. Re1 Be7 11. Qg3 h5 $1 $146 {[%mdl 8] A top-notch novelty.
This is the reason why the top players play \"their openings\" in short time
controls. They know them perfectly well, with all the nuances, and have
enormous experience in the arising structures.} ({The predecessor was the
recent GM game:} 11... O-O 12. Bh6 Ne8 13. Bf4 g6 14. Rad1 Rc8 15. Na4 Nf6 16.
Bh6 Re8 17. e5 Nh5 18. Qg4 c5 19. c4 d4 20. b3 Ng7 21. Be4 Qc7 22. Bxb7 Qxb7
23. Rd3 Nf5 24. Bg5 {½-½ (24) Zwirs,$146 (2461)-Fedorchuk,S (2605) Cappelle
la Grande 2022}) 12. h3 {Giri is not taken by surprise and reacts quickly.
After all, there is a Dutch connection present from the predecessor.} ({
It is risky to accept the pawn sacrifice} 12. Qxg7 {would be likely met with}
Rg8 13. Qh6 Qb6 {The threat is Nf6-g4 and after} 14. e5 ({Black also has
plenty of compensation in case of} 14. Qf4 O-O-O) 14... Ng4 15. Qf4 c5 {
White's position looks scary, to say at least}) 12... Kf8 {Once the g4-square
has been taken under control, White already threatened to capture the pawn,
thus the move in the game.} ({For instance} 12... h4 13. Qxg7 Rg8 14. Qh6 Qb6
15. e5 $1 {here looks good as Nf6-g4 does not exist anymore.}) 13. Bf4 {
Giri can be happy with the opening outcome. Andreikin's king will have to
suffer for a while.} (13. Bg5 $5) 13... h4 14. Qf3 Kg8 15. Rad1 $1 {White is
preparing the maneuver Nc3-a4 followed by c2-c4, and playing in the center
makes perfect sense with the idle black kingside.} Nh5 16. Bh2 Bd6 ({Or} 16...
Rh6 17. Na4 {as planned.}) 17. Bxd6 Qxd6 18. e5 $1 {Giri wants to keep the
queens alive.} ({Another interesting possibility was} 18. Na4 $5 {but then
White might have disliked} Qf4 {However, White seems better here as well with}
({It is also difficult to assess if the center will be an asset or liability
in the line} 18... e5 19. exd5 cxd5 20. c4 {However, it seems as White is in
control, say} Bc6 21. Nc3 d4 22. Be4 {and the pawns become targets.}) 19. Be2
$5 (19. Qe2 $5 {to keep the queens is an option.}) 19... Qxf3 20. Bxf3 Nf4 21.
Nc5) 18... Qb4 19. Ne2 g6 20. c3 {Giri switches to a blockading play.} ({
Even stronger seemed} 20. c4 $1 Kg7 (20... dxc4 21. Be4) 21. cxd5 cxd5 22. Qe3
{planting a super-knight on the d4-outpost.}) 20... Qe7 21. b4 a5 $1 {
Andreikin is alert and quickly gets rid of a potential weakness, and a
relatively bad bishop.} 22. a3 Ba6 23. Nd4 Bxd3 24. Qxd3 ({The machine claims
an edge for White in the line} 24. Rxd3 axb4 25. axb4 c5 26. bxc5 Qxc5 27. g3 {
but I personally cannot digest this evaluation.}) 24... Qb7 {This allows White
a chance to finally open a file for his rooks and launch a serious attack
against the opponent's king.} ({Safer was to finish his plan with} 24... axb4
25. axb4 ({Weaker is} 25. Nxc6 Qc7 26. Nxb4 Rxa3) 25... c5 26. bxc5 Qxc5 {
with approximate equality.}) 25. Rb1 Qa6 26. b5 (26. Qf3 $5 {eyeballing the
black king might have been equally good.}) 26... cxb5 27. Rxb5 Ng7 ({Here}
27... Kg7 $5 {seems more to the point.}) 28. Reb1 Qc8 ({If} 28... Nf5 29. Nxf5
gxf5 30. Qd2 {and the black king is in major danger.}) 29. Rb6 Qc5 ({However,
now} 29... Nf5 {was possible and needed and after} 30. Nxf5 gxf5 31. Qd2 Rh5 {
Black has good chances to repel the attack.}) 30. Qf3 $1 {A powerful move $1
Giri is ready to sacrifice two pawns but get to the enemy king.} Rf8 {A wise
decision $1 Somewhere around here, both players entered the under-five-minute
zone.} ({Andreikin correctly rejects} 30... Qxa3 31. Qf6 $1 Qxc3 32. Nf3 $1 {
when White attacks practically with an extra rook and dominates completely, e.
g.} Rf8 33. Rb8 Ne8 34. Qe7 {and Black's position in on the verge of the
collapse.}) 31. Rb8 Qxa3 32. Rxf8+ {A pity $1 Up to here Giri's play was
inspiring and almost perfect. The Dutchman felt that he needed to bring his
knight closer to the opponent's king, but did not have the time to figure out
the correct route.} ({Instead} 32. Nb5 $3 Qc5 33. Nd6 $1 {would have
transferred the knight on the optimal square and that would have been all that
White could have hoped for. White is winning, for example} Rxb8 ({Or} 33... Nf5
34. Rxf8+ Kxf8 35. Rb7 {and Black is in trouble.}) 34. Rxb8+ Kh7 35. Rb5 Qc6
36. Qxf7 {and it is basically over.}) 32... Qxf8 33. Nc6 ({It was not too late
for} 33. Qf6 $1 {keeping some edge.}) 33... Qc5 34. Rb7 Nf5 $1 {Now Black is
out of trouble and it is White who needs to prove the draw.} 35. Ne7+ Kg7 {
Giri saw a seemingly forcing draw line and went for it} 36. Nxg6 ({The draw
would have been achieved with} 36. Nxf5+ $1 gxf5 (36... exf5 37. e6 Rf8 38. Rd7
) 37. Qf4 Rh5 38. g4 hxg3 39. Qxg3+ {It is even Black who needs to find the
correct idea here} Kh6 $1 40. Rb8 Rg5 41. Rh8+ Kg7 42. Qxg5+ Kxh8 43. Qh6+ {
with a perpetual check.}) 36... Qc6 $1 {A cold shower $1 In-between moves like
these are the best blitzers’ bread-and-butter.} ({Giri likely only expected}
36... Kxg6 37. Qg4+ Kh6 38. Qf4+ {with inevitable perpetual.} Kg6 ({Black
cannot deviate} 38... Kh7 $4 39. Rxf7+ Kg8 40. Rd7 {as it is White who mates
here.}) 39. Qg4+) ({Also great would have been} 36... Qc8 $1) 37. Rxf7+ ({Or}
37. Ra7 Qb6 38. Rd7 Qb5 39. Ra7 Qb8 40. Rd7 Qe8 $1 {and once the f7-point is
defended Black can finally pick up the knight} 41. Ra7 Kxg6 42. Qg4+ Kh6 43.
Qf4+ Kh7) 37... Kxf7 38. Nxh8+ Kg7 {While freeing his knight, White will have
to part with a bunch of pawns.} 39. Qh5 Qxc3 40. Nf7 ({No perpetual after} 40.
Qf7+ Kxh8 41. Qf8+ Kh7 42. Qf7+ Ng7) 40... Qe1+ 41. Kh2 Qxf2 42. Ng5 ({Once
more, the black knight is a perfect defender against the checks in the line}
42. Qh8+ Kxf7 43. Qf6+ Ke8 44. Qxe6+ Ne7) 42... Qg3+ 43. Kg1 Qe1+ 44. Kh2 Qxe5+
45. Kg1 Qe3+ 46. Kh2 Qg3+ 47. Kg1 Qe1+ $1 {The most practical decision.} ({
Black would have also won with} 47... Ne3 {but why allow the many checks after}
48. Qf7+ Kh6 49. Qxe6+ Kxg5 50. Qe7+ Kf5) 48. Kh2 Qh1+ $1 {The point $1 The
knight endgame is easily won.} 49. Kxh1 Ng3+ 50. Kg1 Nxh5 51. Nxe6+ Kf6 52. Nc5
Ke5 53. Kf2 d4 54. Ke2 Nf4+ 55. Kf3 Kd5 $1 56. Na4 (56. Nb3 a4) 56... Ne6 57.
g3 hxg3 58. h4 (58. Kxg3 Kc4) 58... d3 59. Kxg3 Kc4 60. h5 Kb3 61. h6 Nf8 62.
Nc5+ Kc2 63. Ne6 d2 {PLAY CHESS, NOT WAR.} 0-1
[Event "Belgrade SRB"]
[Site "Belgrade SRB"]
[Date "2022.03.11"]
[Round "1.3"]
[White "Andreikin, Dmitry"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C28"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "41"]
[EventDate "2022.03.09"]
{[%evp 0,41,19,38,25,41,14,-5,16,-4,16,23,16,34,34,10,2,-3,-3,-4,53,82,54,26,
25,28,81,39,52,7,14,-12,-18,20,-3,-5,-41,-32,-3,-19,-36,-48,-19,-48]} 1. e4 e5
2. Bc4 {A surprise.} Nf6 3. d3 Nc6 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Nge2 ({Giri has also faced} 5.
Nf3 {, for instance,} d5 (5... d6 6. O-O Bxc3 7. bxc3 Na5 $6 {(the main line,
but this is, in my opinion, not particularly good, allowing White a
comfortable edge.)} 8. Bb3 h6 9. h3 (9. Nd2 $5) 9... Qe7 10. Nh2 $6 (10. Ba4+
$5) 10... Nxb3 $2 (10... g5 $1 {was much better}) 11. axb3 {(White has a clear
advantage as the overall pawn structure favors White, having the ability to
play on both wings.)} g5 12. Re1 Rg8 13. Nf1 g4 14. h4 g3 15. fxg3 Rg6 16. b4
Nh5 17. Qxh5 Bg4 18. Qxg6 fxg6 19. Bxh6 Kd7 20. Ne3 Be6 21. Rf1 Qh7 22. Bg5 Qg8
23. Rf6 a6 24. Raf1 Re8 25. c4 b6 26. Nd5 Kc6 27. R6f2 Qg7 28. Kh2 Kb7 29. Nc3
Ra8 30. Rf6 Qg8 31. c5 Qe8 32. Nd5 dxc5 33. bxc5 bxc5 34. Rb1+ Kc8 35. Bh6 Kd7
36. Rb7 Bxd5 37. exd5 Kc8 38. Rb1 Kd7 39. Rbf1 Rd8 40. Rf8 Qe7 {1-0 (40)
Nepomniachtchi,I (2784)-Giri,A (2764) chess24.com INT 2020}) 6. exd5 Nxd5 7.
O-O Bxc3 8. bxc3 O-O 9. Qe1 Re8 10. Ng5 Bf5 11. f3 $6 (11. Rb1 $5) 11... Na5
12. Bb3 Nxb3 13. axb3 Bg6 {(Black has comfortably equalized.)} 14. Kh1 a5 15.
Bd2 b6 16. Qg3 f6 17. Nh3 Qd7 18. Nf2 a4 19. c4 Ne7 20. bxa4 Rxa4 21. Ne4 Rea8
22. Rac1 Rd8 23. h3 Nf5 24. Qf2 Nd4 25. Be3 Ne6 26. Nc3 Ra3 27. Nb5 Ra2 28. Nc3
Ra3 29. Nb5 Ra2 30. Nc3 Ra3 {1/2-1/2 (30) Grischuk,A (2777)-Giri,A (2764)
chess24.com INT 2020}) 5... d5 $1 ({In his first adventure in this variation,
Giri played the clearl inferior} 5... Na5 $2 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. Nxc3 Nxc4 8. dxc4
h6 9. Be3 d6 10. f3 Be6 11. Qe2 Qe7 12. O-O-O a6 13. b3 c6 14. Bb6 O-O 15. Kb2
c5 16. Qd2 {(White is already strategically winning at this point.)} Ne8 17. a4
Rc8 18. a5 Rc6 19. g4 Qh4 20. Qg2 Nf6 21. Rd3 Nd7 22. Na4 Nxb6 23. Nxb6 Rd8 24.
Rhd1 Kf8 25. h3 h5 26. Rg1 Ke7 27. Qd2 g5 28. Rd1 f6 29. b4 cxb4 30. c5 Qxh3
31. cxd6+ Kf7 32. gxh5 b3 33. cxb3 Qxh5 34. d7 Qh8 35. Rc3 Rxc3 36. Qxc3 Qh2+
37. Rd2 Qf4 38. Rd6 Qh2+ 39. Ka3 Qg1 40. Kb4 Qf1 41. Ka3 Qg1 42. Rd3 Ke7 43.
Qb4+ Kf7 44. Qd2 Qa1+ 45. Kb4 Kg6 46. Kc5 Qh1 47. Kd6 Kf7 48. Kc7 Qh8 49. Qb4
Qg8 50. Rd2 Qh8 51. Rh2 Qxh2 52. Kxd8 Kg6 53. Kc7 Bxd7 54. Nxd7 Qe2 55. Qb6 Kh5
56. Qxf6 Qc2+ 57. Kb8 Kh4 58. Nxe5 Qxb3 59. Qh6+ Kg3 60. Qxg5+ Kf2 61. Qd2+ Kg3
62. f4 Qg8+ 63. Ka7 Kh3 64. Qe3+ Kh4 65. Qe1+ {1-0 (65) Ivanchuk,V (2775)-Giri,
A (2714) Beijing 2011}) 6. exd5 Nxd5 7. O-O Be6 8. Bxd5 ({White did not
achieve anything from} 8. a3 Bxc3 9. bxc3 O-O 10. Bxd5 Qxd5 11. Be3 b6 12. Qd2
Rad8 13. Ng3 f5 {(Black has a clear advantage at this point.)} 14. f4 e4 15. c4
Qa5 16. Rfd1 Qxd2 17. Rxd2 Na5 18. Rad1 c5 19. dxe4 Rxd2 20. Bxd2 Nxc4 21. exf5
Bc8 22. Bc1 h6 23. Kf2 Kh7 24. h3 a5 25. c3 a4 26. h4 Kg8 27. h5 Rf7 28. Rd8+
Rf8 29. Rd5 Rf7 30. Rd8+ Rf8 31. Rd3 Rf7 32. Kf3 Rd7 33. Rxd7 Bxd7 34. f6 gxf6
35. Nf1 f5 36. Ne3 Nd6 37. c4 Be6 38. Bb2 Nxc4 39. Nxc4 Bxc4 40. Be5 Bd5+ 41.
Kf2 Bf7 42. Bc7 b5 43. Bd6 c4 44. Ke3 Bxh5 45. Kd4 Kf7 46. g3 Bf3 47. Bb4 Kg6
48. Kc3 Kh5 49. Bf8 Bc6 50. Kb4 Be8 51. Kc3 Kg6 52. Kd4 h5 53. Kc3 Kf7 54. Bb4
Ke6 55. Kd4 {1/2-1/2 (55) Nakamura,H (2736)-Giri,A (2768) Chess.com INT 2020})
8... Bxd5 9. f4 f6 10. fxe5 Nxe5 11. Nxd5 Qxd5 12. Nf4 $6 ({The first new move,
but it is hardly a move that takes your breath away. An earlier Giri game saw
White try} 12. c3 Bd6 13. Nf4 Qf7 14. d4 O-O-O 15. Qa4 a6 16. Qb3 Qxb3 17. axb3
Ng6 18. Nxg6 $2 (18. Nh5 $5 {would have kept the position balanced; after the
text move, Black gained a significant initiative.}) 18... hxg6 19. Bf4 Bxf4 20.
Rxf4 Rde8 21. h3 g5 22. Rf5 Re2 23. Rf2 Rhe8 {(Black has a clear advantage in
the rook ending thanks to his control over the e-file, but taking advantage of
it is another issue altogether)} 24. Raf1 Kd7 25. Rxe2 Rxe2 26. Rf2 Re1+ 27.
Rf1 Re2 28. Rf2 Re1+ 29. Rf1 Rxf1+ 30. Kxf1 Ke6 31. Ke2 Kf5 32. Kf3 a5 33. c4
b6 34. Ke3 Ke6 {1/2-1/2 (34) Adhiban,B (2653)-Giri,A (2773) Wijk aan Zee 2017})
12... Qd7 13. c3 Bd6 14. d4 O-O-O 15. Qb3 $6 Ng6 $1 {Like in the Adhiban game
above, this is the right square for the knight. White, of course, should not
exchange in this position either, as the attack against White's king could
easily prove irresistible.} 16. Ne6 $2 ({Ultimately, this move proves to be a
good decision, but objectively, it is a rather poor move. A better option for
keeping the position balanced would have been} 16. Qc2 Rhe8 17. h3 Qb5 18. a4
Qc4 19. b3 {when White is only slightly worse.}) 16... Rde8 17. d5 Nf8 18. Nd4
Ng6 $6 {A very odd decision: Giri invites a repetition of moves despite having
a clear advantage on the board.} ({Both} 18... Qg4) ({and} 18... Bc5 {offered
Black a clear advantage.}) 19. Ne6 Nf8 20. Nd4 Ng6 $2 21. Ne6 {Andreikin
happily accepted the repetition.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Belgrade SRB"]
[Site "Belgrade SRB"]
[Date "2022.03.12"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Andreikin, Dmitry"]
[Black "Rapport, Richard"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "C47"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "2022.03.09"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 ({The Petroff. The previous Andreikin-Rapport encounter
went} 2... Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. Nc3 d6 7. a3 Be6 8. Nd5 Qd7
9. Bg5 Bxd5 10. exd5 Nd4 11. Nxd4 exd4 12. Qf3 Rae8 13. Rae1 Bd8 14. h3 Qa4 15.
Qd1 Qd7 16. Bd2 h6 17. b4 Re5 18. Qa1 Nxd5 19. Qxd4 Rxe1 20. Rxe1 Nb6 21. Bb3
Re8 22. Rxe8+ Qxe8 23. Qe4 Qxe4 24. dxe4 Nd7 25. g3 b5 26. a4 {(White has a
clear advantage in the endgame thanks to paying with a pair of bishops against
knight + bishop.)} Ne5 27. Kf1 bxa4 28. Bxa4 Nc4 29. Be1 c5 30. Ke2 cxb4 31.
Bb3 Nb6 32. Bxb4 Bc7 33. f4 Nd7 34. Kd3 g5 35. Kd4 a5 36. Bd2 Bb6+ 37. Kc4 Nf6
38. e5 Ne4 39. Be1 gxf4 40. gxf4 dxe5 41. fxe5 Ng5 42. Bd2 Kg7 43. h4 Nf3 44.
Bc3 Kg6 45. h5+ Kf5 46. Kb5 Bc7 47. Bxf7 Bxe5 48. Bg6+ Kg5 49. Bxa5 Nd4+ 50.
Kc4 Nxc2 51. Kd3 Nd4 52. Ke4 Kf6 53. Kd5 Kg7 54. Bc3 Bf6 55. Bxd4 {1/2-1/2 (55)
Andreikin,D (2736)-Rapport,R (2702) Wijk aan Zee 2017}) 3. Nc3 Nc6 {The Four
Knights is one of the oldest openings in chess. It had a renaissance in the
1980s when particularly the English top players such as Short and Nunn played
it with some success. The fact that it is still being contested in top -level
chess shows the versatility of the opening.} 4. d4 exd4 5. Nxd4 Bb4 6. Nxc6
bxc6 7. Bd3 d5 8. Bd2 ({This bishop move is a relatively recent discovery at
grandmaster level. It only came to prominensce in 2018 when Andreikin's
countrymen Vitugov, Nepomniachtchi and Motylev started playing it. More
recently, it has been played by other world-class players such as Karjakin and
So. Objectively speaking, it should not lead to any kind of significant
problems for Black, but some precision is required. The main line, of course,
is} 8. exd5 {which Rapport has faced in an earlier game:} O-O 9. O-O cxd5 10.
Bg5 c6 11. Qf3 Bd6 12. Bxf6 Qxf6 13. Qxf6 gxf6 {(despite his inferior pawn
structure, Black has the slightly better chances on account of his bishop pair.
)} 14. Ne2 Rb8 15. Rab1 Re8 16. Ng3 h6 17. Nf5 Bxf5 18. Bxf5 Rb7 19. Bd3 Be5
20. Rfe1 Kf8 21. b3 Rbe7 22. Kf1 Bc3 23. Rxe7 Kxe7 24. Rd1 Kf8 25. Be2 d4 26.
Rd3 Re5 27. Rh3 Kg7 28. Rh5 Kg6 29. Rxe5 fxe5 30. Bd3+ f5 31. f3 {1/2-1/2 (31)
Ni, H (2674)-Rapport,R (2707) China 2017}) 8... O-O 9. O-O Bxc3 ({A solid
choice, which has been played by Magnus Carlsen as well as in that previous
game by Andreikin against Matlakov. Rapport, however, has also tried} 9... Rb8
10. Re1 Re8 11. a3 Bxc3 12. Bxc3 dxe4 13. Bxe4 Qxd1 14. Raxd1 Nxe4 15. Rxe4 Bf5
16. Rxe8+ Rxe8 17. h3 Bxc2 {(At this point, White has no more than a small
plus but Black's defensive task is a dull affair and mistakes can easily sneak
in)} 18. Rd7 Rc8 19. Rd4 Bb3 20. Rg4 g6 21. Rb4 Bd5 22. Ra4 Ra8 23. Ra6 c5 24.
Ra5 c6 25. Rxc5 f5 26. Ra5 a6 27. Ra4 Kf7 28. Rb4 Ra7 29. f3 a5 30. Rb8 a4 31.
h4 Ke6 32. Kf2 f4 $2 ({Impatient defense. Black should have settled for} 32...
Rf7) 33. Rb4 Kf5 34. Bd2 Bb3 35. Rxf4+ Ke6 36. Bc3 Re7 37. Kg3 Rf7 38. Re4+ Kd7
39. Rb4 Ke6 40. Rb6 Kd5 41. Ra6 c5 42. h5 gxh5 43. Rh6 Bc2 44. Rxh5+ Kc6 45.
Kf2 Bg6 46. Re5 Kd6 47. Re1 Re7 48. Rd1+ Ke6 49. g4 h5 50. Kg3 hxg4 51. fxg4
Kf7 52. Rd5 Rc7 53. Rd6 Bc2 54. g5 Re7 55. Rf6+ Kg8 56. Rc6 Re3+ 57. Kf4 Re4+
58. Kg3 Re3+ 59. Kf2 Re7 60. g6 Re8 61. g7 Bb3 62. Rxc5 Kf7 63. Rf5+ Kg8 64.
Rh5 Kf7 65. Rh8 Rg8 66. Ke3 Ke7 67. Kf4 Re8 68. Kg5 Bg8 69. Rh6 Ra8 70. Rf6 Bf7
71. Bb4+ {1-0 (71) Karjakin,S (2750)-Rapport,R (2747) Saint Louis 2019}) 10.
Bxc3 dxe4 11. Bxf6 Qxf6 12. Bxe4 Qxb2 13. Bxc6 Rb8 14. Rb1 Qxb1 15. Qxb1 Rxb1
16. Rxb1 Rd8 17. Bf3 Bf5 ({Here Black typically has given preference to} 17...
Kf8 18. Rb8 Re8 19. h4 ({Andreikin tried} 19. h3 Ba6 20. Rb4 Re5 21. Ra4 Be2
22. Ba8 $6 a5 23. g4 $6 Rc5 {(Black has taken over the initiative at this
point.)} 24. Be4 Bd1 25. Kg2 g6 26. Ra3 Bxc2 27. Bxc2 Rxc2 28. Rxa5 c5 29. a4
c4 30. Kf3 c3 31. Ke3 Ra2 32. Ra8+ Kg7 33. g5 h6 34. h4 hxg5 35. hxg5 c2 36.
Kd2 Kh7 37. f4 Kg7 38. a5 Kh7 39. a6 Kg7 40. Ra7 Kg8 41. Kc1 Kg7 42. Ra8 Kh7
43. Kd2 Kg7 44. Ra7 Kg8 45. Rc7 Rxa6 46. Rxc2 Ra3 47. Rc3 Ra2+ 48. Ke3 Ra4 49.
Rd3 Rb4 50. Rd4 Rb3+ 51. Ke4 Kg7 52. f5 gxf5+ 53. Kxf5 Rb5+ 54. Kg4 Ra5 55. Rd7
Rb5 56. Kh5 Ra5 57. Rc7 Rb5 58. Ra7 Rc5 {1/2-1/2 (58) Andreikin,D (2724)
-Csonka,B (2474) Chess.com INT 2022}) 19... Ba6 ({In the other prior game of
Andreikin's, he faced} 19... Bf5 20. Rb7 Bxc2 21. Rxc7 Be4 22. Rxa7 Bxf3 23.
gxf3 {(White is a pawn up in the endgame, but it is a stone-cold draw.)} Rc8
24. Kg2 Rc4 25. Kg3 g6 26. Ra5 Kg7 27. f4 Kf6 28. a4 h5 29. Ra7 Ke6 30. Ra6+
Kf5 31. Ra5+ Kf6 32. Ra7 Ke6 33. a5 Ra4 34. a6 f6 35. Ra8 Kf5 36. a7 Ra3+ 37.
Kg2 Kxf4 38. Rf8 Rxa7 39. Rxf6+ Kg4 40. Rxg6+ Kxh4 41. f4 Ra2+ ({Black had a
fun alternative in} 41... Rg7 $1 42. f5 (42. Rxg7 {is a stalemate.}) 42... Rf7
43. f6 Rg7 $1 {with a draw.}) 42. Kf3 Ra3+ 43. Ke4 Ra4+ 44. Ke5 Ra5+ 45. Kf6
Ra6+ 46. Kg7 Rxg6+ 47. Kxg6 Kg3 48. Kxh5 Kxf4 {1/2-1/2 (48) Andreikin,D (2728)
-Matlakov,M (2682) Ufa 2021}) 20. Rb3 Be2 $1 (20... Re1+ $6 21. Kh2 Re5 22. Rc3
Be2 23. Bxe2 Rxe2 24. Kg3 Re4 25. Rxc7 Ra4 26. c4 Rxa2 27. c5 a5 28. Ra7 a4 29.
c6 Rc2 30. c7 Ke8 31. Rxa4 {1/2-1/2 (31) Mastrovasilis,D (2619)-Grischuk,A
(2773) Terme Catez 2021}) (20... Re5 $6 21. Rc3 Re7 22. Ra3 Re6 23. Bd5 Rb6 24.
Bb3 c5 25. Ra4 g6 26. f3 Rd6 27. c4 Ke7 28. Ra5 Kd8 29. Rxc5 {with a won
edgame which Karjakin duly converted, 1-0 (64) Karjakin,S (2743)-Vidit,S (2727)
Wijk aan Zee 2022.}) 21. Bxe2 Rxe2 22. Rc3 Re7 23. f3 Ke8 24. Kf2 Kd7 25. Ra3
Re5 26. Rxa7 Rc5 {with an eventual draw in So,W (2765)-Carlsen,M (2872) Wijk
aan Zee 2020.}) 18. Rb7 Bxc2 19. Rxc7 ({The first new move. In the only other
game in my database, White instead opted for} 19. h3 f5 $2 ({Very weakening
and difficult to understand. as it forces Black to enter an unpleasant and
clearly worse endgame; instead, Black should have played} 19... c5 20. Rc7 Bd3
21. Bd5 Kf8 22. Bxf7 (22. Rxc5 Rd7 {should be impossible for Black to lose.}) (
{whereas} 22. Rxf7+ $4 Ke8 $1 {wins for Black.}) 22... Rd4 23. f3 a5 24. Kf2
Bc4 {with an endgame that should be a draw.}) 20. Rxc7 Be4 21. Bxe4 fxe4 22.
Kf1 Rd2 23. Rxa7 {(This endgame should be lost for Black, whereas if the
e4-pawn would be on f6, it would be a draw.)} h6 24. a4 Kh7 25. a5 Ra2 26. a6
Kg6 27. Ra8 Kg5 28. Ke1 Kh4 29. Rg8 $4 (29. a7 {wins for White.}) 29... e3 $1
30. fxe3 g5 $4 ({A blunder, but apparently McShane missed that after} 30...
Rxa6 $1 31. Rxg7 h5 $1 {White cannot win because the black king is stalemated
on h4, for instance,} 32. g4 ({if} 32. Kf2 {then Black has a perpetual check
after} Ra2+ 33. Kf3 Rf2+ 34. Ke4 Rf4+ {, the rook cannot be captured because
of the stalemate.}) ({also} 32. Rf7 Kg3 33. Rf5 ({or} 33. Rg7+ Kh4 $1) 33...
Kxg2 34. Rxh5 Kf3 35. Re5 Ra2 {is a draw.}) 32... hxg4 33. hxg4 Ra2 34. Rg8 Kg3
35. g5 (35. e4 Kf4) 35... Kg4 36. g6 Kg5 37. g7 Kg6 {with a draw.}) 31. Ra8 Kg3
32. a7 $4 (32. e4 $1 {is a trivial win for White.}) 32... Kxg2 33. e4 Kxh3 34.
e5 g4 35. e6 Ra6 36. Kd2 Rd6+ 37. Kc3 Rxe6 38. Rh8 Ra6 39. Rxh6+ Rxh6 40. a8=Q
Kh2 $1 41. Qa2+ Kg3 42. Qf7 Rh2 43. Kd3 Rf2 {(Black has set up a fortress that
held up despite White trying to break through for another 44 moves): 1/2-1/2
(87) Heimann,A (2617) -McShane,L (2680) Karlsruhe 2020}) 19... Be4 20. Be2 g5
21. h3 $6 ({After the text move, Black is allowed to hang on to the pawn.
Objectively speaking, a better winning attempt was} 21. Rxa7 Rd2 22. Bg4 {
but Black does not have any issues after} Bf5 23. Ra8+ Kg7 24. h3 Bxg4 25. hxg4
{with an endgame that Rapport will not lose.}) 21... a5 22. Ra7 Ra8 23. Re7 Bd5
24. Bf3 ({Andreikin tries to create an imbalance. After} 24. a3 h6 {, the
endgame is completely even.}) 24... Bxf3 25. gxf3 {This endgame is completely
drawn, but, of course, the rules dictate that the players have to reach move
30 before a draw can be agreed upon.} f6 ({Most moves should lead to a draw at
this point, but the decision to play the text move nevertheless surprised me
as it ties the black king to the back rank. It seemed more obvious to play}
25... Kg7 {, letting the king out.}) 26. Kg2 Rc8 27. Ra7 Rc5 28. f4 $5 {
White's only try for an advantage, trying to find a path through for the white
king.} (28. Kg3 Rf5 29. Kg4 (29. a3 Kh8 {does not lead anywhere for White})
29... Rf4+ 30. Kg3 (30. Kh5 $4 Rh4#) 30... a4 ({or} 30... Rf5) 31. a3 Rd4 {
and neither side can make any progress.}) 28... gxf4 29. Kf3 Rc3+ {Rapport
chooses to defend with an active rook rather than holding the fifth rank, but
that too would have been sufficient for a draw.} 30. Kg4 Ra3 31. Kf5 Rxh3 {
Black has an extra pawn, but the activity of White's king and rook means that
it is still Black who has to hold the draw.} 32. a4 ({White has to keep in
mind that} 32. Rxa5 $4 Rh5+ {will cost White the rook.}) 32... f3 33. Kxf6 {
Now White is threatening mate with Ra8, so the king has to be checked away
from the f6-square.} Rh6+ 34. Kg5 Rh2 $1 35. Kf6 Rh6+ 36. Kg5 Rh2 37. Kf6 {
and draw by repetition.} *
[Event "FIDE Grand Prix 2 Playoff"]
[Site "Belgrade SRB"]
[Date "2022.03.13"]
[Round "2.2"]
[White "Rapport, Richard"]
[Black "Andreikin, Dmitry"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D31"]
[Annotator "cahan"]
[PlyCount "91"]
[EventDate "2022.03.09"]
{[%evp 0,13,25,27,29,-14,0,-4,18,-4,21,6,20,38,30,29]} 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3
a6 {Repeating his choice from his game against Shankland in the pool play.} 4.
cxd5 ({This is far and away the main line. In an online game, Andreikin had
also faced the peculiar-looking} 4. c5 b6 5. cxb6 c5 6. e3 Nd7 7. Nf3 Ngf6 8.
Be2 Nxb6 9. O-O Bd6 10. b3 cxd4 11. exd4 O-O 12. Bd3 Bb7 {(The chances are
pretty much even at this point.)} 13. Bg5 Nbd7 14. Qe2 Qa5 15. Rac1 Rac8 16.
Bd2 Qb6 17. Na4 Qa7 18. b4 {(Here White has taken control of the game.)} a5 19.
b5 Ne4 20. Qe1 Ba3 21. Rb1 Nxd2 22. Qxd2 Bb4 23. Qf4 h6 24. Rfc1 Ba3 25. Rxc8
Rxc8 26. h4 Qb8 27. Qxb8 Rxb8 28. Rb3 $2 (28. Nd2 $1) 28... Bb4 29. Kf1 Rc8 30.
Ke2 Kf8 31. Ne1 Ke7 32. Nc2 Bd6 33. Rc3 Rxc3 34. Nxc3 Nb6 35. Na1 Bb4 36. Nb1
a4 37. Nc2 Ba5 38. Ne3 f6 39. f4 Bc8 40. Bc2 Bb4 41. a3 Bd6 42. Nc3 Bd7 43. Kd2
Bxf4 44. Kd3 Bd6 45. Kd2 Bxa3 46. Nxa4 Bb4+ 47. Kc1 Nxa4 48. Bxa4 Kd6 49. h5
Bc3 50. Nc2 e5 51. dxe5+ fxe5 52. Ne3 e4 53. b6 Bd4 54. b7 Bxe3+ 55. Kc2 Ba7 {
0-1 (55) Ibrahimli,M (2418)-Andreikin,D (2724) Chess.com INT 2022.}) 4... exd5
5. a3 ({Andreikin's game against Shankland went} 5. Nf3 Nf6 6. Bg5 Be6 7. e3
Nbd7 8. Bd3 h6 9. Bh4 Bd6 10. Bg3 Bxg3 11. hxg3 O-O 12. Ne2 c5 13. dxc5 Qa5+
14. Qd2 Qxd2+ 15. Nxd2 Nxc5 16. Bc2 Rfc8 17. f3 Rc7 18. Nd4 Rac8 19. Ke2 Bd7
20. Bd3 Ba4 21. Bf5 Bd7 22. Bd3 Ba4 23. Bf5 Bd7 24. Bd3 {½-½ (24) Shankland,
S (2708)-Andreikin,D (2724) Belgrade 2022.}) ({The other main lines are} 5. Bf4
) ({and} 5. Qb3 {.}) 5... h6 6. Bf4 Nf6 7. e3 c5 $5 {Very sharp and very
principled. Black accepts that he will get an isolated pawn, but in return he
gets very active pieces.} 8. Be5 $5 {White decides to threaten to capture on
f6, which, followed by dxc5, could win White a pawn.} Be6 9. Nge2 ({White
cannot go for the d5-pawn, as} 9. Bxf6 Qxf6 10. dxc5 Bxc5 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12.
Qxd5 Qxb2 {and Black has a clear advantage.}) 9... Nc6 10. Nf4 ({The knight
attacks the d5-pawn, but just importantly, it takes a look at the bishop on e6.
Another option for White is} 10. g3 $5 {, for instance,} cxd4 11. Bxd4 Nxd4 12.
Nxd4 Bg4 13. Qd2 {and White has an edge.}) 10... cxd4 11. Bxd4 Nxd4 12. Qxd4 {
Black has won the bishop pair, but this will likely not be a long-term asset
as White can capture Black's bishop on e6,} Bd6 13. g3 ({In a normal Tarrasch
Queen's Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5), White frequently deploys his bishop
to g2, and that is the kind of set-up that Rapport is angling for. It was, of
course, also possible to play the normal development move} 13. Be2 {but Black
should not have too much to worry about after} O-O 14. O-O {.}) 13... Rc8 14.
Rd1 ({An alternative is} 14. Nxe6 fxe6 15. Bh3 {when Black probably will have
to play} Kf7 {with} 16. O-O Rc4 17. Qd3 Be5 {being the likely continuation,
reaching something closely similar to the game continuation.}) 14... Qa5 ({
A sharp alternative is} 14... Bxf4 $5 15. gxf4 (15. Qxf4 O-O 16. Be2 Qb6 {
is okay for Black.}) 15... O-O 16. Rg1 Kh8 17. Be2) 15. Rc1 O-O $6 {This move
was played after a long think, but it is likely not the best.} ({If Black
instead had opted} 15... Rc6 {then} 16. Nxe6 fxe6 17. Bh3 Kf7 {would had led
to a superior version of the game continuation for Black as the h8-rook will
head to c8 without a pit stop on f8.}) 16. Nxe6 fxe6 17. Bh3 Kf7 18. O-O Rc4
19. Qd3 Be5 20. Ne2 {White has a tiny positional edge, but Black's pieces are
very active. The presence of the opposite-colored bishops is, as of yet, not a
factor, although Black has to be careful around the light squares on the
kingside because of his king on f7.} Rfc8 21. Rxc4 Rxc4 22. b4 ({A surprising
decision by Rapport, considerably weakening the queenside. Co-commentator
Benjamin Bok felt that this was too risky an approach for White. A sharp
alternative discussed by the commentators was} 22. f4 {but Black seems to okay
after} Bxb2 23. Rb1 Qxa3 ({also} 23... Bxa3 24. Rxb7+ Be7 {is okay for Black
according to the engines.}) 24. Qxa3 Bxa3 25. Rxb7+ Ke8 (25... Be7 $2 26. Nd4 {
is much better for White.}) 26. Rxg7 Bc5 27. Kg2 Bxe3 28. Bxe6 Bc5 {with a
complex endgame which the engines assess as equal, but with two open kings and
very uneven pawn distribution, a draw seems far from a certainty.}) ({In the
broadcast, Bok was quite convinced that Rapport would opt for the more solid}
22. Rb1 {which is about equal but safe and gives the opportunity to play on in
a less forcing way.}) 22... Qa4 23. Nf4 Bxf4 $1 {Black has no alternatives
because of the threat to e6 as well as Qg6+.} ({White wins on the spot after}
23... Rc6 24. Qg6+ Kf8 25. Nxe6+ {.}) 24. exf4 Qc6 25. Qe3 {White targets the
e6-pawn, but Black has both ...Re4 and ...Ne4 available.} Ne4 26. f3 Rc3 27.
Qd4 Rc4 28. Qe3 Rc3 29. Qd4 Rc4 {Andreikin is offering a draw by repepition.}
30. Qe5 $3 {A stunning decision. Rapport thought until he had less than two
minutes left on the clock (vs. more than eight minutes for Andreikin), and
declined the draw that the commentators thought a certainty. The exclamation
points are not given because of the objective value of the move, but rather
the practical value. The position is still equal according to the engines, but
having emotionally settled for a draw when offering the repetition, Andreikin
would be challenged to find the right continuation by Rapport's bold decision.}
Nd2 {Played immediately by Andreikin.} 31. f5 $1 ({White cannot save the rook;
after} 31. Rf2 Rc1+ 32. Kg2 Nc4 33. Qd4 Rd1 34. Qa7 ({or} 34. Qxd1 Ne3+ {.})
34... d4 {, Black is winning due to the devastating ...Ne3+.}) 31... Nxf1 ({
Also played promptly by Black. He could also have played} 31... Qb6+ 32. Kh1
Nxf1 33. fxe6+ Kg8 $1 {(Only move.)} 34. Qb8+ Kh7 35. Bf5+ g6 36. e7 (36. Bxg6+
Kxg6 37. Qg8+ Kf6 38. Qf7+ Ke5 39. Qg7+ Kd6 40. Qd7+ {with a perpetual check
and}) 36... Nxg3+ 37. Kg2 $1 Nh5 38. e8=Q Nf4+ 39. Qxf4 Rxf4 40. Qf7+ {with
another perpetual check.}) 32. fxe6+ Ke8 $4 {A natural move that throws the
game away.} ({Black had to find} 32... Ke7 {which looks completely illogical
because it allows White to capture on g7 with a check, but the black king is
safe, for instance,} 33. Qxg7+ Kd6 34. Qf8+ Kc7 35. e7 ({or} 35. Qf7+ Kb8 36.
e7 Qb6+ 37. Kxf1 Rc1+ 38. Ke2 Qb5+ 39. Kd2 Rc2+ {with another perpetual check.}
) 35... Qb6+ 36. Kxf1 Rc1+ 37. Ke2 Qb5+ 38. Kd2 Rc2+ 39. Kxc2 Qe2+ {with a
perpetual check.}) ({Note that} 32... Kg8 $4 {loses after} 33. e7 Kf7 34. e8=Q+
Qxe8 35. Qxd5+ Kf8 36. Qxc4 {with a won position for White.}) 33. Qxg7 $1 {
White is a full rook down, but Black's king is vulnerable.} Qb6+ $2 ({This
check pretty much seals Black's fate. The last and best try would have been}
33... Qc7 34. Qg6+ Ke7 35. Bxf1 Qb6+ 36. Kg2 Qxe6 37. Qxe6+ Kxe6 38. Bxc4 dxc4
39. Kf2 Kf5 40. Ke2 b5 {when it is far from certain that White can win.}) 34.
Kxf1 Rc1+ 35. Ke2 Re1+ $2 ({A desperate try that is easily refuted. Black
could have tried} 35... Rc7 36. Qg8+ Ke7 37. Qf7+ Kd6 38. Qf6 Re7 39. f4 Qg1
40. Qe5+ Kc6 41. Bf1 {, preparing to advance the f-pawn with a winning
position for White}) 36. Kxe1 Qe3+ {Black is hoping for a perpetual check, but
unlike the lines we looked at after 32...Ke7, White's queen on f6 is ideally
placed to interfere with Black's desperate attempt at saving the game.} 37. Kd1
Qd3+ 38. Kc1 Qe3+ 39. Kb1 Qd3+ 40. Kc1 Qe3+ 41. Kb2 Qd2+ 42. Ka1 Qc1+ 43. Ka2
Qc4+ 44. Kb2 Qe2+ 45. Ka1 Qf1+ {One last joke by Andreikin.} ({After} 45...
Qd1+ 46. Ka2 Qe2+ 47. Qb2 Qc4+ 48. Kb1 {, Black is out of checks.}) 46. Bxf1 {
Black resigned and congratulated White on winning the tournament.} 1-0