[Event "FIDE Chess Grand Prix 1 2022 | Pool C"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.02.04"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E48"]
[WhiteElo "2772"]
[BlackElo "2727"]
[PlyCount "127"]
[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
c6 9. Nge2 Re8 10. Bd2 b6 11. O-O Ba6 12. Kh1 c5 13. Rad1 g6 14. Qb1 Bb7 15.
Nf4 Nbd7 16. f3 Nf8 17. b4 cxd4 18. exd4 Bxf4 19. Bxf4 Nh5 20. Be5 f6 21. Bg3
Nxg3+ 22. hxg3 Qc7 23. Ne2 Re3 24. Qa2 Rae8 25. Qd2 Qd6 26. Rc1 R3e7 27. Bb5
Rc8 28. Rxc8 Bxc8 29. Qf4 Qxf4 30. Nxf4 Bb7 31. Kg1 Kf7 32. Kf2 Ne6 33. Rh1 h5
34. Bd3 Nxf4 35. gxf4 Rc7 {Vidit felt this was the pivotal moment where he
could have defended better.} (35... f5 36. g4 hxg4 37. fxg4 Bc8 {might have
been a better defense, though Black remains passive.}) 36. f5 g5 37. Rxh5 Kg7
38. Rh1 Rc3 39. Ke2 Bc6 40. Ra1 {White is ahead by a pawn for good now.} Bd7
41. Kd2 Rc8 42. b5 Rh8 43. g4 Rc8 44. a4 Kf8 45. a5 Ke7 46. axb6 axb6 47. Ra7
Rb8 48. Ke3 Kd6 49. f4 Re8+ 50. Kf3 gxf4 51. Kxf4 Bxb5 52. Bxb5 Re4+ 53. Kf3
Rf4+ 54. Ke3 Re4+ 55. Kf2 Rf4+ 56. Ke1 Rxd4 57. Ra4 Rxa4 58. Bxa4 Ke5 59. Kd2
Kf4 60. Bd1 d4 61. Kd3 Ke5 62. Kc4 Ke4 63. Bc2+ Ke3 64. Bb1 1-0
[Event "Chess.com"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.02.04"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"]
[Black "Rapport, Richard"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E04"]
[WhiteElo "2686"]
[BlackElo "2763"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "115"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
1. d4 e6 2. c4 Bb4+ 3. Bd2 a5 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. g3 {Wojtaszek is one of the
greatest experts of the Catalan in the world, and he is notorious for his
quality opening preparation.} d5 6. Bg2 dxc4 7. Qc2 ({Apparently, Rapport was
not intimidated by the hot line that the world champion had chosen to
practically seal Tata Steel this year:} 7. O-O O-O 8. e3 Ra6 9. Qc2 b5 10. a4
c6 11. Nc3 Rb6 12. e4 Be7 13. e5 Nd5 14. axb5 cxb5 15. Nxd5 exd5 16. Bxa5 {
Carlsen,M (2865)-Mamedyarov,S (2767) Wijk aan Zee 2022}) 7... c5 8. a3 Bxd2+ 9.
Nbxd2 cxd4 10. Nxc4 O-O 11. Qd3 $5 $146 {Here comes the novelty $1 Wojtaszek
makes sure that his queen will remain on the board, at least for the time
being.} ({In the predecessor, Black managed to defend the endgame after:} 11.
Rd1 Nc6 12. O-O Rb8 13. Rd2 Re8 14. Nfe5 Bd7 15. Rfd1 Qc7 16. Nxc6 Bxc6 17.
Bxc6 Qxc6 18. Rxd4 b5 19. Ne3 Qxc2 20. Nxc2 Nd5 {Vidit,S (2711)-Melkumyan,H
(2660) Douglas 2018}) 11... Nc6 12. O-O Ra6 {Rapport moves the rook off of the
major diagonal, a pure human reaction.} ({Surprisingly, the seeming blunder}
12... b6 {was in fact playable with the point that after} 13. Nxd4 Qxd4 14.
Qxd4 Nxd4 15. Bxa8 Ba6 16. Nxb6 Rb8 {Black somewhat manages to regain his
material, for instance} 17. Rfd1 Nb3 18. Rab1 Bxe2 19. Bg2 Bxd1 20. Rxd1 {
Nevertheless, White keeps better prospects even at the end of the line thanks
to his Catalan bishop.}) 13. Rfd1 b5 14. Nce5 Bb7 15. Nxc6 Bxc6 16. Qxd4 {
And White obtained a certain advantage.} Qa8 {More or less forced, but this
means that White is in charge in the center.} ({The major point behind the
Polish GM/^s prep: in his version, the trade of the queens.} 16... Qxd4 17.
Nxd4 Bxg2 18. Kxg2 Rb6 19. Rac1 {Keeps White in full control as he would soon
establish a monstrous knight on the c6-square.}) 17. Rac1 h6 18. Bf1 $3 {
A brilliant idea $1 White is going to slowly smother the black minor pieces.} (
{After} 18. Nh4 Bxg2 19. Nxg2 Rc6 {Black would be able to equalize.}) 18... Bd5
({Or else after} 18... Bxf3 19. exf3 Qxf3 20. Bxb5 {the white bishop would
dominate as already seen.}) 19. Ne5 Qb8 {Rapport is very resourceful in the
defense and is about to set a devilish trap.} ({The machine finds an even more
amazing defense in the spectacular line} 19... Ra7 $3 20. f3 Nd7 $1 {The first
point is to self-pin $1} 21. e4 Nxe5 22. Qxe5 Bc4 $1 {And the second point is
to give up a pawn.} 23. Bxc4 bxc4 24. Rxc4 Rd8 25. Rcd4 Rxd4 26. Qxd4 Rb7 $1 {
And finally Black generates almost enough play for the sacrificed material.})
20. f3 $1 {This is what the Bg2-f1 maneuver was all about $1 The pawn wedge on
e4-f3 will completely deprive both the black bishop and knight of any
reasonable squares—while opening the d-file for the major white pieces $1}
Rd6 $1 {The trap $1} 21. Qc5 $1 {Is rejected $1} ({The neat point would have
been seen in the line} 21. e4 Rdd8 $3) 21... Ra6 {Sad, but best.} ({Black
would suffocate badly after} 21... Rfd8 22. e4 Ba8 23. Rxd6 Rxd6 24. Qc8+ Rd8
25. Qxb8 Rxb8 26. Rc7 {and White wins.}) 22. Qc7 Bc4 $1 {Here too, the
sacrifice of a pawn is Black's best try.} 23. Qxb8 Rxb8 24. e4 $1 {And this
restriction remains White's best as well. White wants to keep his dominant
knight alive, and this would net him the pawn no mater what Black does.} ({
After} 24. Nxc4 bxc4 25. Rxc4 Rab6 $1 {Black would be suddenly alright $1} ({
Rather than} 25... Rxb2 $2 26. Rd8+ Kh7 27. Rc7)) 24... Rab6 ({Black is
suffering in case of} 24... Bxf1 25. Kxf1) 25. Rd2 {Wojtaszek knows that his
opponent has nowhere to go.} (25. Rd4 $5 {looked good as well.}) ({That is why
White is not in a rush to cash in the pawn with} 25. Bxc4 bxc4 26. Nxc4 Rb3 27.
Kf2 {Then Black would have likely sought counterplay with} g5 {anyway.}) 25...
g5 $1 {The nasty pawn pair in the center needs to get unpaired $1} 26. g4 ({
Since} 26. Bxc4 bxc4 27. Nxc4 Rb3 28. Kf2 (28. Nxa5 Rxf3) 28... g4 {
complicates matter for White, to put it mildly.}) 26... Kg7 27. Bxc4 bxc4 28.
Nxc4 {White won a pawn and kept control on both the open files. And still, it
is not over.} Rb3 29. Kf2 a4 30. Rcc2 h5 31. h3 hxg4 {Surprisingly, this makes
White's task easier.} ({Stronger was to fix some weaknesses on the kingside
with} 31... h4 $1 32. Ne5 R3b5 33. Nd3 Nd7 34. Rc7 Ne5 35. Nxe5 Rxe5 36. Rdd7
Rf8 {And despite the pawn deficit, and the passive rook, Black still holds on
$1}) 32. hxg4 Rh8 33. Ne5 Rb5 ({The computer-generated} 33... Rh2+ 34. Kf1 Rxd2
35. Rxd2 Nh7 {would hardly occur to any human brain.}) 34. Nd3 Rh2+ {Now,
after some trades in time trouble...} 35. Kf1 Rxd2 36. Rxd2 Nd7 37. Ke2 Kf6 38.
Rc2 Rb8 39. Rc4 Ne5 40. Rb4 Rxb4 41. Nxb4 {White reaches a position which
should be technically won. After all, as Botvinnik summarized, knight endgames
are pawn endgames in disguise...} Nc4 (41... Ke7 {was more stubborn.}) 42. Nd3
({For now, White missed a study-like win} 42. Nc6 $3 Nxb2 43. e5+ $1 Kg6 44.
Na5 $1 {trapping the black knight $1}) 42... Ke7 43. Kd1 Kd6 {This is just
hopeless.} ({The last chance was related to the massive pawn trades—as in
the line} 43... f5 $1 44. exf5 exf5 45. gxf5 Kf6 46. Kc2 Ne3+ 47. Kc3 Nxf5 48.
Kb4 Nd4 {and it is not yet clear if White wins.}) 44. Kc2 Kc6 45. Kc3 Kb5 46.
Kd4 $1 {Centralization cannot be bad.} ({The alternative was} 46. b3 $1 Nxa3
47. bxa4+ Kxa4 48. Ne5 $1 {winning as well.}) 46... f6 47. e5 $1 {Wojtaszek is
breaking through and the rest is pure technique.} f5 48. gxf5 exf5 49. e6 g4
50. e7 Nd6 51. Kd5 Ne8 52. f4 g3 53. Ne1 Ng7 54. Ng2 Kb6 55. Kd6 Kb5 56. Ne3
Kb6 57. Kd7 Kc5 58. e8=Q (58. e8=Q Nxe8 59. Kxe8 Kd4 60. Nxf5+) 1-0
[Event "Chess.com"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.02.04"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Fedoseev, Vladimir"]
[Black "Oparin, Grigoriy"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E05"]
[WhiteElo "2704"]
[BlackElo "2681"]
[PlyCount "95"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Be7 5. Nf3 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Qc2 b5 8. a4
Bb7 9. axb5 a6 10. Nc3 axb5 11. Rxa8 Bxa8 12. Nxb5 Bd5 13. Rd1 c5 14. dxc5 Qa5
15. Nfd4 Bxc5 16. Bxd5 exd5 17. b3 Rc8 18. bxc4 Bxd4 19. Nxd4 Rxc4 20. Qb1 {
White has established a simple but long-lasting advantage, with his bishop in
an open position and an isolated pawn for Black on d5.} Nbd7 21. Bb2 Qb4 22.
Nf5 {Fedoseev conducts the game instructively, probing Black's position.} h5
23. Ne3 Re4 24. Qa1 h4 25. Bd4 h3 $2 {Searching for counter-play, Black
over-extends. He will ultimately lose the h3-pawn.} 26. f3 Re8 27. Kf2 Qe7 28.
Qc3 Qe6 29. Rc1 Qe7 30. Rc2 Rb8 31. Qa1 Re8 32. Qc3 Qd6 33. Qd3 Qb4 34. Qd2 Qb1
35. Rc1 Qg6 36. Qc2 Qh6 37. Qf5 Nf8 38. Rc2 {White has increased his advantage
effortlessly.} N6d7 39. Qxd5 Qg6 40. Rc1 Qa6 41. Ra1 Qg6 42. Rd1 Qa6 43. Qf5
Qa4 44. Qg4 f6 45. Ra1 Qb5 46. Ra7 Ne6 47. Nf5 Ng5 48. Be3 1-0
[Event "Chess.com"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.02.04"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Esipenko, Andrey"]
[Black "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A14"]
[WhiteElo "2714"]
[BlackElo "2764"]
[PlyCount "75"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. b3 dxc4 7. bxc4 c5 8. O-O
cxd4 9. Nxd4 a6 10. Ba3 Bxa3 11. Nxa3 Qc7 12. Qc1 Bd7 13. Rd1 Ba4 14. Rd2 Nbd7
15. Rb1 Nc5 16. Nb3 Rad8 17. Rxd8 Rxd8 18. Qe3 Nxb3 19. axb3 Bc6 20. b4 h6 21.
Bxc6 Qxc6 22. f3 b5 23. cxb5 axb5 24. Qc5 Qa6 25. Ra1 Rc8 26. Qd4 Qa4 27. Qb2
Nd5 28. Qb1 $4 {White blunders in a difficult position. Grischuk could have
taken over the advantage here, but missed it in time pressure.} Nxb4 $2 (28...
Nc3 29. Qb2 Qa7+ 30. Kg2 Qe3 {with a winning position.}) 29. Kg2 g6 30. Qb2 Nc2
31. Nxc2 Rxc2 32. Qf6 Rxe2+ 33. Kh3 Ra2 34. Rc1 Rc2 35. Ra1 Ra2 36. Rc1 Rc2 37.
Ra1 Ra2 38. Rc1 1/2-1/2
[Event "Chess.com"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.02.05"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Shirov, Alexei"]
[Black "Dominguez Perez, Leinier"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B23"]
[WhiteElo "2704"]
[BlackElo "2752"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "76"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
1. e4 c5 {Dominguez mainly uses the solid open games against strong opposition,
but today he decided to play big and opted for his beloved Sicilian.} 2. Nc3 d6
3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4 {Probably this line was the reason. Shirov had used it
quite a bit lately, and Black had prepared well for it.} Nc6 5. Qd2 g6 6. b3
Bh6 {Asking White the awkward question: do you trade the dark-squared bishops,
which would be an opening failure, or do you self-pin $2} 7. f4 Nf6 ({Another
recent game of Shirov’s went:} 7... f5 8. Bb2 Nf6 9. O-O-O Rf8 10. exf5 Bxf5
11. Bb5 Qb6 12. Re1 O-O-O 13. Nf3 e5 {Shirov,A (2704)-Santos Latasa,J (2639)
Salamanca 2021}) 8. Bb2 O-O 9. O-O-O e5 {Black is practically blitzing and
Shirov starts to take time on his clock. In fact, for the next three (still
known moves) the Latvian-born-Spanish GM would spend more than an hour of his
precious time.} 10. g3 Re8 {An obvious and strong move. It is Dominguez who is
better developed, thus he is the one seeking a quick opening of the center.} ({
Another interesting top-level game went} 10... exf4 11. gxf4 Re8 12. Bd3 Bg4
13. Nge2 Qa5 14. Kb1 Bxe2 15. Qxe2 Bxf4 16. Bc4 Be5 {Andriasian,Z (2887)
-Firouzja,A (3053) Chess.com INT 2019}) 11. Kb1 Nd4 12. Bg2 Bg4 13. Rf1 d5 $1 {
Of course $1 Black is hardly trying to take over the initiative. And notice:
he does this while heavily on top on the clock.} 14. h3 $1 $146 {This logical
move is a novelty.} ({The predecessor saw:} 14. exd5 Bf5 (14... Rc8 $5 {
at once also looks appealing.}) 15. Rc1 b5 16. Nge2 b4 {With an initiative for
Black, who emerged victorious after} 17. Na4 Nxd5 ({Perhaps even stronger was}
17... Nxe2 $1 18. Qxe2 exf4) 18. Nxd4 exd4 19. Bxd4 Qa5 {Di Nicolantonio,L
(2408)-Lamard,G (2452) Paris 2019}) ({Also} 14. Nxd5 {changes little due to}
Nxd5 15. exd5 Rc8 16. Rc1 Bf5 {with Black's edge.}) 14... Be6 {Black also
starts to think a lot and this would soon lead to mutual time-trouble.} 15. g4
{Fire on board $1} ({After} 15. exd5 {Black could have switched back to the
predecessor with} Bf5 $1) 15... Nxe4 ({Certainly not} 15... Bxf4 $2 16. Rxf4
exf4 17. Qxd4) 16. Nxe4 dxe4 17. Bxe4 Rc8 {The center has been opened and both
sides start their walk into the minefield.} 18. Qd3 {Unpinning seems best.} ({
The other logical move was to develop at once with} 18. Ne2 Nxe2 19. Qxe2 {
with the idea} Bxf4 ({However} 19... exf4 $1 {is stronger, and better for the
second player.}) 20. Bxb7) 18... Qa5 {A risky affair.} ({Safer was to deprive
White of his next resource with} 18... f5 $5 19. gxf5 Nxf5 {The threat of a
fork on the g3-square practically forces White to swap the queens after} 20.
Ne2 Qxd3 21. cxd3 exf4 22. Nxf4 Ng3 23. Nxe6 Nxe4 24. dxe4 Rxe6 {which should
be approximately equal.}) 19. f5 $1 {The logical follow-up which, however, has
a hidden flaw.} Bd5 {The most logical move.} ({But there was this amazing,
unbelievable resource instead} 19... Nxc2 $3 20. fxe6 Nb4 $1 21. exf7+ Kh8 $3 {
In the spirit of the Spassky-Bronstein game, Black can sacrifice a rook with a
check, adding a knight and a pawn on the road. Still, after} ({Notice that}
21... Kg7 $2 {does not work due to the underpromotion fxe8=$146+ Rxe8} 22. Qd7
{and White wins.}) 22. fxe8=Q+ Rxe8 {White, who is up heavily on material,
will have to part with loads of material to safeguard his king. First, the
queen would leave after} 23. a4 Nxd3 24. Bxd3 {But then there is also the
double-attack} Qd5 $1 {that wins a whole rook more for Black and then} 25. Bc4
Qe4+ $1 26. Ka1 Qxh1 {should be big edge for the second player.}) 20. Rh2 ({
Apparently, Dominguez was not afraid of} 20. Bxd5 Qxd5 21. Ne2 Rxc2 22. Nxd4
Rxb2+ 23. Kxb2 exd4 {as he lost a similar situation with the white pieces
against the world champion.}) 20... Bxe4 21. Qxe4 Nb5 {Again the most logical
continuation. This knight is looking for glory $1} ({Here} 21... Qa6 22. Re1
Bf4 23. Rf2 g5 {might be better according to the machine.}) 22. Qxb7 {Shirov
decided to risk it and snack on the pawn.} ({This was the last good moment to
finally bring the knight into the game with} 22. Ne2 {when White needs not to
fear} Na3+ ({Perhaps Shirov disliked} 22... Nd6 {but there, too, he has good
play with} 23. Qh1 $1 Bf4 24. Nxf4 exf4 25. fxg6 hxg6 26. a4) 23. Bxa3 Qxa3 24.
fxg6 fxg6 25. g5 Bxg5 26. h4 {with nice attacking prospects for the first
player.}) 22... Nd6 {The point behind the maneuver. Dominguez wants to bring
his passer into motion while opening the important long diagonal.} ({Although
there was nothing wrong with} 22... Nc3+ 23. Bxc3 Qxc3 24. Qe4 Red8 25. Ne2 Qc5
{when Black should have enough for the pawn.}) 23. Qf3 e4 24. Qd1 {Stepping on
a mine...} ({Correct was} 24. Qf2 $1 {hitting the f7-pawn and thus preventing}
Nb5 ({True, there is the highly dangerous idea} 24... e3 $1 25. Qh4 Bg7 26.
Bxg7 Ne4 $3 {when the forcing play} 27. fxg6 fxg6 28. Bd4 Nd2+ 29. Rxd2 exd2
30. Nf3 Rxc2 $3 {leads, as strange as it looks, to a draw, at least after a
quick engine tackling} 31. Kxc2 Qxa2+ 32. Kc3 Rc8+ 33. Kd3 Qc2+ 34. Ke3 Re8+
35. Be5 Qc1 36. Rxc1 dxc1=Q+ 37. Kf2 g5 38. Qh6 Rxe5 39. Nxe5 Qc5+) 25. fxg6 $1
) 24... Nb5 $1 {Back to the c3-spot $1 Once the diagonal has been opened, both
sides want to have it, no matter the price.} 25. c4 ({Alas, it is too late for
} 25. Ne2 Qc7 26. Rg2 Red8 $1 {when White cannot defend his c2-root-pawn.})
25... Nc3+ 26. Bxc3 Qxc3 {Practically, it is over. The huge battery on the
long diagonal leaves the white pieces horribly fragile.} 27. Rc2 Qe5 $1 {
Luring the white queen away from the first rank.} ({Correctly avoiding} 27...
Qf6 28. fxg6 $1) 28. Qd5 Qf6 {Now the rook on f1 is hanging.} 29. a3 ({Once
more, there is no time to activate the knight with} 29. Ne2 Bg7 30. Nc3 Rcd8
31. Qb5 a6 32. Qb7 Re7 33. Qb4 e3 {and Black should destroy the opponent's
defenses soon.}) 29... Bg7 (29... Rcd8 $1 {would have been equally good.}) 30.
Ka2 Rcd8 31. Qa5 Rd3 {The decisive infiltration begins. The
Cuban-born-American GM will force more weaknesses first.} 32. Ne2 Rb8 33. b4
Rbd8 {Both players are in horrible time trouble, but it is far easier to
attack than to defend when low on time.} ({There was also the beautiful idea}
33... Rc8 34. c5 Qc6 35. Nf4 e3 $3) 34. b5 {Missing his last chance.} ({
Which was connected with} 34. g5 $1 {and if the automatic} Qxg5 {White can get
rid of the queens with} ({Black should be still able to win with} 34... Qd6 $1
35. f6 Rd2) 35. fxg6 Qxa5 36. gxf7+ Kf8 37. bxa5) 34... e3 35. Rfc1 Rd2 {
With the threat of Qf6-b2+ above all.} 36. Kb3 R8d3+ 37. Rc3 ({Or} 37. Nc3 Rxc2
38. Rxc2 e2 $1) 37... Qd6 {All the black pieces are involved and Shirov's
position collapses.} 38. Qxa7 Rxe2 {A pretty attack by Dominguez $1} 0-1
[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.05"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Harikrishna, Pentala"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C67"]
[WhiteElo "2717"]
[BlackElo "2772"]
[PlyCount "97"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. Re1 Nd6 6. a4 Be7 7. Nc3 a6 8.
Bf1 e4 9. Nxe4 Nxe4 10. Rxe4 d5 11. Re1 Bg4 12. h3 Bh5 13. Be2 O-O 14. d4 Bd6
15. Ne5 Bxe2 16. Rxe2 Nxe5 $6 {[Black's troubles start here.]} (16... Bxe5 17.
dxe5 d4 {could be a better way to defend.}) 17. dxe5 Be7 18. Rd2 c6 19. c4 Qa5
20. cxd5 cxd5 21. Rd3 $1 (21. Rxd5 Rad8 22. Rxd8 Rxd8 23. Qe2 Rd4 24. b3 Qd5 {
will give Black equality.}) 21... Rfd8 22. Be3 Rac8 23. Qb3 Qb4 {[A remarkable
concept. So judges that his control of the d-file should be enough to give him
equality, even after losing the d-pawn in the future.]} 24. Qxb4 Bxb4 25. Rad1
Kf8 26. Rxd5 $6 (26. Bb6 Rd7 27. Rd4 $1 Be7 28. Rxd5 Rxd5 29. Rxd5 Rc2 30. Rd7
Rxb2 31. Rxb7 Ke8 {was a better try for White.}) 26... Rxd5 27. Rxd5 Ke7 28.
Rd4 a5 29. Rh4 h6 30. Rg4 Kf8 31. Kf1 Rc2 32. b3 Bc5 $1 {[So liquidates into a
rook ending.]} 33. Re4 Bxe3 34. Rxe3 Ke7 {[The relative difference of the
kings' activity gives Black adequate counter-play to level the game.]} 35. f4
g6 36. Rd3 b5 37. axb5 Rc5 38. Kf2 Rxb5 39. Kf3 h5 40. g4 hxg4+ 41. hxg4 Ke6
42. Kg3 g5 43. fxg5 Rxe5 44. Kh4 Ke7 45. Rf3 Re4 46. g6 fxg6 47. Kg5 a4 48.
bxa4 Rxa4 49. Kxg6 1/2-1/2
[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.05"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Rapport, Richard"]
[Black "Fedoseev, Vladimir"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E32"]
[WhiteElo "2763"]
[BlackElo "2704"]
[PlyCount "103"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 b6 7. Bg5 Bb7 8.
Nh3 h6 9. Bh4 d6 10. f3 Nbd7 11. e4 c5 12. Nf2 {[A new move, but quite a
familiar pawn structure.]} Re8 13. dxc5 Nxc5 $6 14. Bxf6 $1 {(White correctly
judges his chances in a queenless middlegame.]} Qxf6 15. Qxf6 gxf6 16. b4 Nb3
$6 {[Risky. Though the subsequent course of the game justified Fedoseev's
decision, this was not entirely warranted.]} (16... Nd7 17. Rd1 Ne5 18. Rxd6
Rac8 {and White will keep an advantage.}) 17. Rd1 a5 18. Rxd6 axb4 19. axb4
Ra1+ 20. Rd1 Rea8 {[Though objectively White is better, Black's counterplay is
a major factor in a practical game. This was the main reason for how Fedoseev
fought back remarkably in this phase of the game.]} 21. Be2 Nc1 22. Ng4 R8a2
23. Nxf6+ Kf8 24. Kf2 $2 {[Rapport cracks under relentless pressure, allowing
Fedoseev to equalize.]} (24. Bf1 Nd3+ 25. Bxd3 Rxd1+ 26. Kxd1 Ra1+ 27. Ke2 Rxh1
28. Nd7+ Ke7 29. Nxb6 {was the way to go, and White should not be worse in the
final position.}) 24... Rxe2+ 25. Kg3 Rc2 26. Kh4 {[Even though White is down
a piece, he has counterplay against the black king and the knight on c1 which
cannot move]} Kg7 27. Nh5+ Kg6 $2 {[And this is where Black gets ambitious $1]}
(27... Kf8 28. Nf6 Rxc4 (28... Kg7) 29. Kh5 {with a complex position.}) 28. Rd8
Ra8 29. Rhd1 {[Suddenly the black king is in trouble.]} Rxc4 30. Rxa8 Bxa8 31.
Rd8 Bxe4 32. g4 $3 {[Not very often do we see a side being down a piece still
rejecting the offer to get it back, preferring to play for the initiative
instead.]} (32. fxe4 $2 Rxe4+ 33. g4 f5) 32... Kh7 33. fxe4 $18 e5 34. Nf6+ Kg6
35. Rd6 Ne2 36. Ng8+ Kg7 37. Nxh6 Rxe4 38. Nf5+ Kh7 39. Rh6+ Kg8 40. Rxb6 Nf4
41. Kg5 f6+ 42. Kh6 Re2 43. h4 Kf7 44. b5 Rb2 45. Rb8 Nd5 46. h5 e4 47. Nd6+
Ke7 48. Nxe4 Rb4 49. b6 f5 50. gxf5 Rxe4 51. b7 Nf6 52. Rd8 1-0
[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.05"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"]
[Black "Oparin, Grigoriy"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D33"]
[WhiteElo "2686"]
[BlackElo "2681"]
[PlyCount "82"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 c5 3. g3 e6 4. Nf3 d5 5. cxd5 exd5 6. d4 Nc6 7. Bg2 cxd4 8.
Nxd4 Bc5 9. Nb3 Bb6 10. Na4 O-O 11. Nxb6 axb6 12. Be3 h5 13. O-O h4 14. gxh4 {
(A remarkable decision. White weighs that his kingside weakness will not be
significant in the ensuing middlegame, and boldly aims for a complicated
struggle.]} Bg4 15. f3 Bf5 16. Nd4 Bg6 17. Qd2 {[Look at the position $1 One
of the most difficult concepts of chess play is when there are imbalances
present on the board. Apart from white's bishop pair, the broken pawn
structures for both the sides, the presence of doubled and isolated pawns, and
the number of pawn islands all contribute to a remarkably complicated struggle
$1]} Re8 18. Rfe1 Nh5 19. Bf2 Qf6 20. Qg5 $1 {[Correctly aiming for an endgame
where White's bishops will exert their dominance.]} Nxd4 21. Qxf6 Nxe2+ 22.
Rxe2 gxf6 23. Rxe8+ Rxe8 24. Bxb6 $6 {(A slip]} (24. Bf1 {and Black's
counterplay would have been a non-starter if the black rook was prevented from
reaching the seventh rank.}) 24... Re2 25. Bd4 Rc2 26. Bf1 Nf4 27. Bxf6 Bd3 $2
(27... Bf5 {with the idea of ...Nf4-h3+, would have offered better counterplay}
) 28. Bxd3 Nxd3 29. Rd1 Nf4 30. Kf1 Kh7 31. Be5 $2 {(Throwing away the win.
Wojtaszek confessed after the game that he overlooked Black's reply.]} (31. Bg5
Ne6 32. Rd2 {with a much better position.}) 31... Ng2 $1 32. Rd3 {[White is
still better, but Wojtasjek lost his way in the ensuing endgame.]} Nxh4 33.
Rxd5 $2 (33. Rb3) 33... Nxf3 34. Bc3 Kg6 35. h3 f5 36. Rd3 Ng5 37. Rd6+ Kh5 38.
Rf6 Ne4 39. Rxf5+ Kg6 40. Rb5 Nxc3 41. bxc3 Rxc3 1/2-1/2
[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.05"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Esipenko, Andrey"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A29"]
[WhiteElo "2736"]
[BlackElo "2714"]
[PlyCount "91"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Bc5 7. O-O O-O 8.
Qc2 Nf6 9. a3 {[Seems to be a new move in the position.]} Nd4 10. Nxd4 exd4 11.
b4 Bb6 12. Na4 Re8 13. Nxb6 axb6 14. e3 {[White has a slight advantage due to
his pair of bishops and a certain crampedness in Black's position.]} d3 15. Qc3
Ne4 16. Qc4 Bf5 17. Bb2 Qd7 18. Bxe4 {[A remarkable decision, taken after half
an hour's deliberation: Nakamura aims for a middlegame with opposite-colored
bishops, assuming that his domination on the dark squares will enable him to
develop an attack on the black king.]} Bxe4 19. f3 Bc6 20. Rac1 Re7 21. Qf4 f6
22. Rc4 Rd8 23. Rfc1 {[White's pressure can be felt at this point.]} Qe6 $2 (
23... Rc8 {was better, defending the weak pawn at c7.}) 24. b5 $1 {[Staying
alert, Nakamura exhibits remarkable accuracy.]} Bxb5 25. Re4 $1 {[A prelude to
an accurately calculated deep combination $1]} Qf7 26. Rxe7 Qxe7 27. Rxc7 Rd7
28. Rc8+ Rd8 29. Bxf6 $3 gxf6 30. Qg4+ Kf8 31. Rxd8+ Qxd8 32. Qb4+ Qe7 33. Qxb5
{[Reaching a won ending, which Nakamura wraps up with ease.]} Qxa3 34. Kf2 Qc5
35. Qxd3 b5 36. Qc3 Qe7 37. Ke2 Kg7 38. Qd4 Qf7 39. Qg4+ Kh8 40. Qb4 Qe8 41.
Qd6 Qf7 42. Qc5 Qe8 43. g4 Kg7 44. h4 Qd7 45. h5 Kg8 46. h6 1-0
[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.06"]
[Round "3"]
[White "So, Wesley"]
[Black "Shirov, Alexei"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D12"]
[WhiteElo "2772"]
[BlackElo "2704"]
[Annotator "Saravanan,Venkatachalam"]
[PlyCount "99"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
{[%evp 0,99,32,-19,40,33,41,31,31,36,24,32,12,14,24,14,11,-6,45,39,73,47,47,52,
42,35,36,13,13,11,11,11,11,-23,-36,-44,-42,-30,-41,-35,-30,-6,-21,-10,2,-64,2,
-27,-48,-27,-11,-4,0,0,20,0,5,15,60,30,46,46,39,48,50,15,70,64,62,71,88,114,
100,99,100,102,102,110,167,102,102,156,222,218,214,183,205,205,236,243,232,236,
232,246,236,209,239,228,232,172,618,628]} 1. c4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. e3
Bf5 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nh4 Be4 7. f3 Bg6 8. Bd2 dxc4 9. Bxc4 b5 10. Bb3 Bd3 {The
game is already in original territory, and Shirov decided to take the plunge
here to infuse dynamism into the position after a long 20 minutes' thought.
Black has decided to sacrifice a pawn on c4, hoping that White's disrupted
pawn center, lack of development, and a wayward knight on h4 will give him
enough long-term compensation.} 11. Bc1 Bc4 12. Bxc4 bxc4 13. g3 c5 14. Qa4+
Nbd7 15. Qxc4 cxd4 16. Qxd4 Bc5 17. Qc4 Rc8 18. Qe2 {For the sacrificed pawn,
Black has a development advantage and the potential to make inroads into
White's position.} Ne5 19. O-O Qd3 20. Qxd3 Nxd3 21. Ng2 Ke7 {This was Black's
idea all along, to keep the king in the center.} 22. Rd1 Rhd8 {It is not
difficult to see that Black's enthusiastic play in the opening has given him a
satisfactory position.} 23. Kf1 Bb4 24. Ne2 Ne5 $2 {Shirov misses the thread
of the game here, and he later claimed that he had overlooked a simple
resource for White.} (24... Nxc1 25. Raxc1 Rxc1 26. Rxc1 Rd2 {[%csl Ga2,Gb2]
[%cal Rd2a2] and Black will achieve easy equality}) (24... g5 {can also be a
good alternative, keeping up the pressure and keeping White's pieces all tied
up. Stockfish 271221:} 25. Bd2 ({Stockfish 271221:} 25. Nd4 Ne5 26. Ne1 Bxe1
27. Kxe1 g4 28. fxg4 Ne4 29. Bd2 Nxg4 30. Ba5 Rg8 31. Rac1 Nxh2 32. Nc6+ Kf6
33. Bd8+ Kg7 34. Bh4 Rc7 35. Ne5 Rgc8 36. Rxc7 Rxc7 37. Rd7 Rxd7 38. Nxd7 Ng4
39. Ke2 Kg6 40. b4 Kf5 41. Kd3 Nef2+ 42. Ke2 $11 {[%eval 0,52] [%wdl 26,947,27]
}) ({Stockfish 271221:} 25. a3 Ba5 26. Nd4 Ne5 27. Ke2 g4 28. Nh4 h5 29. Bd2
Bxd2 30. Rxd2 Nd5 31. e4 Nc4 32. exd5 Nxd2 33. Kxd2 Rxd5 34. Ke3 Re5+ 35. Kf4
Rec5 36. Ke3 Rc1 37. Rxc1 Rxc1 38. fxg4 hxg4 39. Kf4 Rc4 40. Ke4 Rc1 $11 {
[%eval 0,52] [%wdl 26,947,27]}) 25... g4 26. Bxb4+ Nxb4 27. Rxd8 Kxd8 28. Nd4
Nd3 29. b3 gxf3 30. Nxf3 Rc3 31. Rd1 Ke7 32. Nd4 Nb4 33. Ke2 Nxa2 34. Ra1 Nc1+
35. Kf3 Nxb3 36. Rxa7+ Kf8 37. Nxb3 Rxb3 38. Nf4 Rb5 39. h3 h6 40. Ne2 Rc5 41.
Nf4 h5 42. Nd3 Rd5 43. Ra3 Rf5+ 44. Nf4 Re5 45. Nd3 Rf5+ $11 {[%eval 0,52]
[%wdl 26,947,27]}) 25. Rxd8 Rxd8 26. Nd4 Bc5 27. Nb3 $16 {Shirov claimed later
that he had \"completely missed\" this move. From hereon, So starts to play
his brand of simple and efficient chess.} Bb6 28. Ke2 Nd5 29. e4 Nb4 30. Bd2 a5
31. Bc3 {Having an extra pawn, all White needs to do is to bring all his
pieces out and exchange them $1} Nc4 32. a4 {[%cal Ga1d1]} Nd3 33. Rb1 {
[%csl Gb2][%cal Rb3a5,Rc3a5]} f6 34. Ne1 {[%cal Re1d3] Even though low on time,
So continued to make effective moves. At this point, White had two minutes on
his clock while Black had seven minutes.} Nde5 35. Rc1 $6 {[%csl Rc3,Rc4]} ({
Stockfish 271221:} 35. f4 Nc6 36. Rc1 e5 37. Nf3 Rd6 38. fxe5 N4xe5 39. Nxe5
fxe5 40. Rc2 Rd8 41. Rd2 Nd4+ 42. Bxd4 exd4 43. Kd3 Rb8 44. Rc2 Ke6 45. Rc4 g6
46. Nd2 Bd8 47. b4 $1 {[%cal Ra4a5]} axb4 48. Nb3 Bg5 49. a5 Be3 50. a6 Bg1 51.
Rc2 Ra8 52. Rg2 Be3 53. Ra2 Ra7 54. Ra5 Kd7 55. Nxd4 Bg1 56. e5 Bxh2 57. e6+
Ke7 58. Nc6+ $18 Kxe6 {[%eval 420,40] [%wdl 1000,0,0]}) 35... g5 36. f4 gxf4
37. gxf4 Ng6 38. Nd3 Be3 39. Rf1 $1 Bb6 40. f5 {A point to note - even though
it is the crucial 40th move, So doesn't mind settling for concrete decisions.}
exf5 41. Rxf5 {[%cal Rf5b5,Rf5h5]} Rd6 42. Rh5 {White is winning now.} Re6 43.
Rxh7+ Kd6 44. Kf3 Kc6 45. Nf4 Nxf4 46. Kxf4 Rd6 47. Rf7 Ne5 48. Rg7 Rd1 49.
Nxa5+ Kd6 50. Bb4+ 1-0
[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.06"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi"]
[Black "Dubov, Daniil"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D78"]
[WhiteElo "2727"]
[BlackElo "2720"]
[Annotator "3700"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
{[%evp 0,85,34,19,19,2,14,25,23,23,31,7,4,-3,5,-3,50,-2,-2,31,25,19,0,-1,14,7,
16,28,3,4,0,0,22,6,-23,7,16,-45,58,50,38,-3,3,0,50,50,31,-1,57,24,24,16,66,86,
86,41,43,48,48,-15,-37,-42,-31,-45,81,100,122,92,172,159,149,164,242,241,254,
246,240,240,250,258,258,258,260,265,262,262,262,267]} 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3.
Bg2 Bg7 4. d4 d5 5. c4 c6 6. O-O O-O 7. Qb3 a5 8. cxd5 a4 9. Qd1 cxd5 10. Nc3
Qa5 11. Bd2 Nc6 12. e3 Qa6 13. b3 {A new idea, as Vidit explained after the
game.} axb3 14. Qxb3 {Vidit - \"The position was close to equal, but I had
some initiative. He had to play precise here.\"} Na5 15. Qb4 Nc6 16. Qb2 Bf5
17. Rfc1 Rfc8 18. Ne5 Qa3 {Both the players pointed out this moment as the
critical one in the game. In the resultant position, Dubov loses his way.} 19.
Qxa3 Rxa3 20. g4 $5 {[%csl Rg4][%cal Gf6g4,Rc3d5]} Nxg4 21. Nxg4 Bxg4 22. Nxd5
Rca8 {[%cal Gd2b4,Rb4a3,Rb4e7]} 23. Nb4 {Another critical position; Black
still had chances to hold the game.} Na5 $2 {[%cal Ga5c4,Rc4d2] Dubov later
admitted that he overestimated his chances here.} ({A simple} 23... Kf8 {
[%csl Ge7][%cal Gf8e7] might have put up a better defense here. Stockfish
271221:} 24. Nxc6 Rxa2 25. Rxa2 Rxa2 26. Nxe7 Rxd2 27. Nd5 Be6 28. Rb1 b5 29.
Kf1 Bg4 30. Be4 f5 31. Bg2 Rd1+ 32. Rxd1 Bxd1 33. Ke1 Bb3 34. Nc7 Bf6 35. Nxb5
Bd8 36. Na7 Ba5+ 37. Kf1 g5 38. Nc6 Bc7 39. Kg1 h6 40. Nb4 f4 41. Nd3 Bc4 42.
Nc5 Ke7 43. h4 fxe3 44. fxe3 gxh4 45. Bh3 Bf7 46. Kg2 Bd5+ 47. e4 Bc4 48. Nd7
$14 {[%eval 31,48] [%wdl 67,922,11]}) 24. Rab1 Bf8 25. Rc7 Be6 $2 (25... Rc8 {
was a better defense.}) 26. d5 Bg4 27. h3 Bf5 28. e4 Bxh3 29. Bc1 Bxg2 30. Bxa3
Bxe4 31. Re1 Bf5 32. Nc2 Bxc2 33. Rxc2 Nc4 34. Rxc4 Rxa3 35. d6 $1 {[%csl Gf8]
[%cal Rc4c8,Re1e8] This pretty move ensures a win for White.} e6 36. Rd1 Rxa2
37. d7 Be7 38. d8=Q+ Bxd8 39. Rxd8+ Kg7 40. Rd7 Ra5 41. Rf4 Rf5 42. Rxf5 exf5
43. f4 1-0
[Event "Chess.com"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.02.06"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Keymer, Vincent"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B13"]
[WhiteElo "2772"]
[BlackElo "2664"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
{[%evp 0,83,20,19,78,59,59,54,62,35,34,33,2,0,50,39,57,14,23,24,23,26,20,11,6,
17,4,-9,0,15,23,36,59,44,59,59,50,57,40,45,45,45,46,39,36,34,36,56,42,44,44,53,
55,42,33,33,34,32,34,49,49,49,57,63,62,56,69,70,71,71,71,71,79,78,79,69,78,86,
201,281,359,432,402,339,331,424]} 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 {
The Exchange line that Fischer revived in the 1970s lives a new life thanks to
the rise of the London System. A lot of positions transpose from both the
openings and the pawn chains are quite similar.} Nf6 5. h3 {Underlining
Black's major problem in the position: the future of his light-squared bishop.}
Nc6 ({One way to solve the problem is connected with the instant fianchetto:}
5... g6 6. Nf3 Bg7 7. O-O O-O 8. c3 Qc7 9. Re1 Nc6 10. Be3 Re8 11. Nbd2 Bd7 12.
Rc1 Rac8 13. Nb3 Ne4 {as in Grandelius,$146 (2670)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2758)
chess24.com INT 2021}) 6. Nf3 Nb4 7. Nc3 $5 {This is quite an interesting
sideline, but should not have come as a major surprise. Aronian is playing his
Ragozin with colors reversed.} (7. Bb5+) (7. Be2) (7. O-O) 7... g6 $146 {
Still trying to solve the bishop problem.} ({The predecessor saw:} 7... e6 8.
Bf4 Nxd3+ 9. cxd3 Bd6 10. Bxd6 Qxd6 11. Rc1 O-O 12. O-O Bd7 13. Qb3 {Rodriguez
Redondo,A (1314)-Ramos Aguilar,J (2176) Tenerife 2012}) ({However, this might
have been the right moment to swap off the bishop.} 7... Nxd3+ 8. cxd3 (8. Qxd3
)) 8. Ne5 a6 ({Now} 8... Nxd3+ {can be met with} 9. Qxd3 Bf5 10. Qb5+ {picking
up a pawn.}) 9. O-O Bg7 ({Here} 9... Nxd3 {would have been certainly met with}
10. cxd3) 10. Re1 O-O ({In case of} 10... Nd7 {White has a pleasant choice
between} 11. Bf4 ({And} 11. Nf3 $5)) 11. Bg5 {White's plan is very easy and
straightforward: bring the queen out, trade the dark-squared bishop, and mate
on the kingside.} ({If he wanted, White could have already saved the bishop
with} 11. Bf1 $5 {as} Bf5 {is ineffective due to} 12. g4 $1 {when both
captures do not work well for Black.} Bxc2 ({Or} 12... Nxc2 13. gxf5 {winning
material as well.}) 13. Qd2 {and one of the black pieces will fall.}) 11...
Nxd3 {Lines like the above-mentioned forced Keymer to make up his mind.} ({
Instead} 11... Bf5 12. Bxf5 gxf5 13. Qd2 {leaves the black king poorly
defended.}) ({Whereas} 11... h6 12. Bf4 {only helps White.}) 12. cxd3 $1 {
[%csl Re4][%cal Gd3e4,Gc3e4] Played without any thought $1 Aronian is already
envisioning perfect domination with the beautiful knight pair on the c5- and
e5-outposts.} ({Sure enough} 12. Qxd3 {was not what the line was all about, as
then the black pieces come back into life with} Bf5 13. Qd2 Ne4 $11 ({Or} 13...
Rc8)) 12... Qb6 ({Here} 12... Bf5 {[%csl Gb7][%cal Gd3e4,Gc3e4,Rf6e4,Rf5e4,
Gd1b3,Rb3b7] weakens the b7-pawn and can be met with} 13. Qb3) 13. Nf3 $1 {
[%csl Gb2][%cal Gf3d4] A strong reaction $1} e6 ({And Black correctly abandons
the thought of a free pawn as the lines after} 13... Qxb2 $2 14. Na4 {[%cal
Gb2b4,Gb2b5]} Qb4 ({Somewhat safer seems} 14... Qb5 15. Rb1 Qe8 16. Nb6 Ra7 17.
Nxc8 $5 {[%cal Re1e7]} Qxc8 18. Rxe7 $18 {[%cal Re7b7,Rb1b7] although White
totally dominates here as well.}) 15. Rb1 Qa5 16. Nb6 Ra7 17. Qc2 $18 {[%cal
Gg2g4,Rg4f5] underline how vulnerable the black pieces are. Not only is the
bishop hanging, but the queen also cannot be saved from the Bg5-d2 threat.}) ({
And} 13... h6 {can be answered with the in-between} 14. Na4) 14. Na4 Qd6 15.
Qd2 {[%cal Gd2b4,Gd2f4,Rg5f4,Rf4d6] Aronian's opening choice was a huge
success. He managed to smother the opponent's light-squared bishop and is in
full charge of the dark-squares.} a5 {[%cal Gd6b4,Ga5b4]} ({After} 15... Bd7
16. Bf4 Qe7 17. Nb6 {the white pieces start to occupy powerful outposts, too
close to the enemy camp.}) 16. Rac1 Bd7 {Keymer was counting on this natural
development to force the active knight back, but he was about to be
unpleasantly surprised.} ({How powerful the dark-squared domination can be is
demonstrated by the line} 16... Qb4 $2 17. Qxb4 axb4 18. Nb6 Rb8 19. Bf4 $18)
17. Nc5 b6 {It seems the knight needs to retreat...} ({Perhaps the young
German should have chosen the ugly, but solid defense} 17... Bc6 18. Ne5 Ra7)
18. Bf4 Qe7 19. Nxd7 $3 {[%cal Rc1c7] But no, Aronian plays instead in the
spirit of the famous Fischer-Petrosian game and is voluntarily parting with
his amazing knight.} Nxd7 ({Even worse might have been} 19... Qxd7 20. Rc7 Qa4
21. Rec1 {As Black is not really threatening the pawn} Qxa2 {would lose to} 22.
Bd6 Rfe8 23. Ne5 $1 $18) 20. Rc7 {[%csl Rc7]} Rfc8 21. Rec1 Qd8 22. Qc2 {
That is the price for the good knight: the only open file is in Aronian's
hands and he infiltrates with his major pieces.} Rxc7 23. Qxc7 Qxc7 24. Rxc7
Rd8 25. Rb7 {The black pawns are beautiful, but it is the activity of the
pieces that comes first when evaluating these positions, and the difference
there is horrendous.} Kf8 {[%cal Gf4d6,Gf4c7]} 26. Bd6+ ({It is too early to
cash in the advantage} 26. Bc7 $2 Rc8 27. Bxb6 Nxb6 28. Rxb6 Rc1+ 29. Kh2 Rf1
$11 {would have let Black off the hook.}) 26... Ke8 27. Ne5 {Another strong
move, completely paralyzing the opponent.} Bxe5 ({Or else} 27... Nxe5 28. dxe5
Bf8 29. Bc7 {would lose too much material for Black.}) ({Black would be also
helpless in case of} 27... f6 28. Nxd7 Rxd7 29. Rxb6) 28. dxe5 {Ironically,
instead of a pair of perfect knights White got the domination of a bishop
versus a knight, and perfect pawn structure $1} Rc8 {[%cal Rc8c2,Rc8c1] After
this Keymer stands no chance.} ({The last try was the couter-intuitive} 28...
Nc5 $1 {[%cal Rc5d3]} 29. Re7+ Kf8 30. Rxe6+ Kg8 31. Re7 {and now} Rc8 $16 {
[%cal Rc8c1,Rc8c2,Rc5d3]} ({Rather than} 31... Nxd3 32. Bc7 Rc8 33. Bxb6 $18 {
which does not leave Black too much to play for.})) 29. d4 Kd8 ({Alas, the
lonely warrior will have to retreat empty-handed in the line} 29... Rc1+ 30.
Kh2 Rc2 31. Ra7 $1 $18 {[%csl Gb2,Gf2][%cal Ra7a8]}) 30. Ra7 {Now after some
final preparation} Rc4 31. b3 Rc1+ 32. Kh2 {White improves his king.} h6 33.
Kg3 Rc3+ 34. f3 Rc6 {And finally creates a second weakness with} 35. h4 $1 Rc8
({Or else the white king will make it into the enemy castle.} 35... h5 36. Kf4)
36. h5 $1 Rc6 37. Kh4 Rc8 38. g4 Ke8 39. f4 Kd8 40. hxg6 fxg6 {And White
finished the game in the most artistic way with} 41. g5 (41. f5 $1 {would have
been equally good.} gxf5 42. gxf5 exf5 43. e6) 41... h5 42. f5 $1 {[%cal Rg5g6,
Re5e6] An unstoppable passer will be the next weakness, and therefore Black
resigns.} 1-0
[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.06"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Fedoseev, Vladimir"]
[Black "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B23"]
[WhiteElo "2704"]
[BlackElo "2686"]
[Annotator "3700"]
[PlyCount "80"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
{[%evp 0,80,19,38,72,51,90,49,53,47,47,30,34,-27,-16,-32,13,-22,-18,-100,25,
-74,-73,-40,-2,12,0,-31,14,-23,-20,-9,-34,-28,-15,-42,-49,-78,-62,-59,-45,-37,
-44,-33,-21,14,0,0,22,-65,-74,-70,-78,-63,-74,-62,-65,-71,-70,-70,-66,-81,-74,
-98,-102,-94,-99,-106,-109,-118,-116,-118,-109,-110,-110,-108,-58,-45,-52,-86,
-82,-82,-65]} 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 $6 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4 Nc6 5. Qd2 g6 6. b3 Bh6
7. f4 f5 {An interesting way to treat this off-beat Sicilian variation. The
justification may be that, since White has wasted precious tempi in finding a
good setup for his pieces, Black has to act immediatelly to disrupt White's
center here.} 8. Bb2 Nf6 9. O-O-O Rf8 10. g3 fxe4 11. Bg2 Qa5 12. Nxe4 Qxd2+
13. Nxd2 Ng4 14. Ne4 Bf5 15. Rd2 $2 {[%cal Ge4f2,Gd2f2]} ({Fedoseev misses} 15.
Nh3 $1 O-O-O (15... Ne3 {is met with} 16. Nxd6+ $1 {Stockfish 271221:} exd6 17.
Rhe1 Kd7 18. Rxe3 Rae8 19. Rxe8 Rxe8 20. Kd2 d5 21. Ng5 Bxg5 22. fxg5 Nb4 23.
Bf3 Bxc2 24. Bg4+ Bf5 25. Bxf5+ gxf5 26. Rf1 Rc8 27. Bc3 Nxa2 28. Bf6 d4 29.
Rxf5 Nc1 30. Rb5 d3 31. Rxb7+ Ke6 32. Bc3 Kf5 33. Rxh7 Nxb3+ 34. Kxd3 Kxg5 35.
Rxa7 Kg4 36. Be5 Kf3 37. Rh7 Nc1+ 38. Kd4 Nb3+ 39. Kd5 Kg2 40. Bf4 $18 {
[%eval 207,41] [%wdl 901,99,0]}) 16. Rhe1 d5 (16... Nxh2 {is met with} 17. Nhf2
$1 Ng4 18. Rh1 $1 $18 {[%cal Rh1h6,Rh1h7]}) 17. Nc5 {[%csl Re6][%cal Rc5e6,
Re1e6] with a complex position. Stockfish 271221:} e5 ({Stockfish 271221:}
17... Nb4 {[%cal Rb4a2]} 18. Rd2 e5 19. Ba3 a5 20. Bxb4 axb4 21. Bxd5 Kc7 22.
Bg2 Kb6 23. Nd3 Bxd3 24. cxd3 Rd4 25. Kd1 Ka7 26. Re4 Rxe4 27. dxe4 Nxh2 28.
Rd7 exf4 29. gxf4 Bxf4 30. e5 Bxe5 31. Rxb7+ Ka6 32. Rxb4 Nf3 33. Ke2 Nd4+ 34.
Kd3 Ne6 35. Rc4 $11 {[%eval 20,35] [%wdl 51,932,17]}) 18. Rxd5 Rde8 19. Ne4
Bxe4 20. Bxe4 Nf6 21. Rd2 Nxe4 22. Rxe4 exf4 23. Rxe8+ Rxe8 24. gxf4 Re1+ 25.
Rd1 Re2 26. Rh1 Rg2 27. Kb1 Bf8 28. Ng5 h5 29. a4 a6 30. h3 Be7 31. Rf1 Bxg5
32. fxg5 Rxg5 33. Rf8+ Kd7 34. Rf7+ Kc8 35. Bc1 Rg2 36. Rf8+ Kd7 37. Rg8 $11 {
[%eval 9,35] [%wdl 39,938,23]}) 15... O-O-O 16. Ne2 Ne3 17. Bf3 d5 18. N4c3 d4
19. Nd1 Nxd1 20. Rhxd1 e5 21. h3 exf4 $6 (21... e4 $1 {Fedoseev later admitted
that this was the moment he thought Black was winning.} 22. Bg4 Bg7 23. Bxf5+ (
23. Bxd4 Bxd4 24. Nxd4 e3 {Wojtaszek didn't see this line.} 25. Rd3 Rxd4 26.
Rxd4 Bxg4 27. hxg4 e2 $19 {[%cal Re2d1,Rc6d4] wins for Black.}) 23... Rxf5 $17
{with a healthy advantage for Black.}) 22. gxf4 d3 23. cxd3 Nb4 24. Bg4 Bxg4
25. hxg4 Rxf4 26. Bg7 $1 Bxg7 27. Nxf4 Bh6 28. Ne6 Bxd2+ 29. Rxd2 {Though the
ending is still better for Black, Fedoseev held his nerve to force a draw.}
Rxd3 30. Rh2 Rd6 (30... Rc3+ 31. Kd1 Re3 32. Nf8 Rg3 33. Rxh7 Rxg4 34. a3) 31.
Nf8 h5 32. gxh5 gxh5 33. Rxh5 Nxa2+ 34. Kb1 Nb4 35. Nh7 Rd3 36. Kb2 b6 37. Nf6
Kb7 38. Rh7+ Ka6 39. Ne4 Nc6 40. Rh6 Kb7 1/2-1/2
[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.06"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Esipenko, Andrey"]
[Black "Bacrot, Etienne"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C11"]
[WhiteElo "2714"]
[BlackElo "2642"]
[Annotator "Saravanan,Venkatachalam"]
[PlyCount "72"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 a6 8. a3
cxd4 9. Nxd4 Bc5 10. Qd2 O-O 11. O-O-O Rb8 12. h4 Bxd4 13. Bxd4 b5 14. Rh3 Qc7
15. b4 f6 16. exf6 Nxd4 17. Qxd4 Rxf6 18. Ne2 Nb6 19. Rc3 Nc4 20. g3 Bd7 21.
Ng1 Be8 22. Re1 a5 23. Nf3 axb4 24. axb4 Qe7 25. Rb3 Ra8 26. Qc5 Qb7 27. Bxc4
bxc4 28. Rb1 Bg6 29. b5 Be4 30. Nd4 {The position is almost level here.} Rc8 $2
({Black could have simply waited here with an innocuous} 30... h6) ({
Adventurous could be} 30... e5 31. fxe5 Rf2 32. e6 {with a messy position.})
31. Nc6 {The white knight occupies a menacing square.} Rf7 {Black had about
six minutes here on his clock to reach move 40.} 32. Ra1 {White plans to raid
Black's seventh rank.} Rfc7 $2 33. Ra6 Qxa6 $4 {Inexplicable. Black doesn't
seem to have any great compensation for this queen sacrifice.} (33... h6 34.
Qb6 Qxb6 35. Rxb6 c3 {and White still has to win the position, though he seems
to be clearly better here.}) 34. bxa6 Rxc6 35. Qb5 Rc5 36. Qd7 c3 1-0
[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.06"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D27"]
[WhiteElo "2764"]
[BlackElo "2736"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 dxc4 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O a6 7. Re1 Nc6 8. Nc3
Be7 9. dxc5 Qxd1 10. Rxd1 Bxc5 11. Bd2 Bd7 12. Rac1 O-O 13. Be2 Ba7 14. Ng5 Ne7
15. Nce4 Nxe4 16. Nxe4 Bc6 17. Nd6 Rfd8 18. Nxb7 $2 {The point when Grischuk
felt \"when something was wrong\" even when playing the move.} ({White could
have even gained a slight advantage with} 18. Ba5 Rd7 19. b3) 18... Bxb7 19.
Rc7 Bc6 $1 ({Grischuk calculated} 19... Be4 20. Rxe7 Bc2 21. Rc1 Rxd2 22. Bf3
Bxe3 {as fine for White.} (22... Rad8 $2 {is met with} 23. Rxa7 Be4 24. h4 Bxf3
25. gxf3 Rxb2 26. Rcc7 {with an obvious advantage for White.})) 20. Rxe7 Bb6 {
The white rook on e7 feels quite unsafe now.} 21. Kf1 (21. Bc3 Rxd1+ 22. Bxd1
Bd8) 21... a5 {Grischuk - \"I missed this idea.\" The point is: Black stops
Bd2-b4 and threatens ...Kg8-f8, now trapping the rook on e7.} 22. Rc1 {White
is lucky to have this resource here.} Be4 ({A better try was} 22... Bxg2+ 23.
Kxg2 Rxd2 24. Bf3 Rad8 {Black is threatening ...Bb6xe3 here.} 25. Kg3 Rxb2 {
and Black is up a pawn, though the presence of opposite-colored bishops gives
White good chances to salvage the draw.}) 23. Rc4 $1 {The remarkable ability
of Grischuk is to find such crucial resources—even under tremendous time
pressure—as he had a less than a minute in his clock at this point.} Kf8 24.
Rxe4 Kxe7 25. Bc3 g5 26. g4 {Even though Black has an advantage of an exchange,
White has a solid enough position.} Rac8 27. Ra4 Rd5 28. Kg2 h6 29. h3 Rdc5 30.
Kf3 Rxc3 31. bxc3 Rxc3 32. Ke4 1/2-1/2
[Event "FIDE Chess Grand Prix 1 2022 | Pool D"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.07"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Dominguez Perez, Leinier"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C54"]
[WhiteElo "2752"]
[BlackElo "2772"]
[Annotator "Saravanan,Venkatachalam"]
[PlyCount "78"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
{[%evp 0,78,30,18,33,12,14,24,24,1,23,1,12,0,40,-18,15,-11,-2,-1,-1,-4,1,8,9,
-23,5,6,11,11,14,2,6,28,14,3,18,-1,31,26,48,26,75,100,29,33,15,0,0,0,-7,-5,-8,
-56,-54,-76,-76,-97,-85,-84,-73,-193,-193,-233,-238,-239,-237,-254,-238,-391,
-385,-418,-411,-418,-418,-418,-418,-418,-418,-418,-418]} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3.
Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. c3 a5 7. Re1 Ba7 8. Nbd2 O-O 9. h3 Be6 10. Bb5
Ne7 11. d4 Ng6 12. Ba4 Nh5 13. Nf1 Nhf4 14. Ng3 exd4 15. Nxd4 Bxd4 16. cxd4 d5
17. Qf3 Qf6 18. Bd1 Qh4 19. Bd2 c6 20. Rc1 f5 21. exf5 $6 ({White had to play}
21. e5 Rf7 (21... Nxg2 $5 22. Kxg2 Qxd4 23. Qe3 Qxe3 24. fxe3 Nxe5 $18 {
[%cal Gd1e2,Gd1c2] is fine for White, as Black doesn't have complete
compensation for the piece yet.}) 22. Nf1 {[%cal Gg2g3,Rg3f4,Rg3h4,Gf4h3] with
a complex position where White might even be slightly better.}) 21... Bxf5 22.
Nxf5 Rxf5 23. Qg3 $2 {Dominguez admitted after the game that this mistake was
borne out of an oversight.} (23. Bc2 $6 Rg5 24. g3 $11 {leads to complications
but where White may not be worse.}) 23... Qxg3 24. fxg3 Nd3 $1 25. Bc2 Rf2 $1 {
Dominguez had originally overlooked this.} 26. Bxd3 $6 ({White's best defense
is} 26. Bc3 Rxc2 27. Rxc2 Nxe1 28. Bxe1 $17 {and though he is worse, White
still had practical chances to hold the game. Stockfish 271221:} Nf8 29. Rc3
Ne6 30. Rb3 b5 31. Bf2 h5 32. Rc3 Rc8 33. Rf3 Re8 34. Re3 Kf7 35. Kf1 Ke7 36.
Rf3 a4 37. Ke2 Kd6 38. Kd1 Ng5 39. Rf5 Ne4 40. Be3 g6 41. Bf4+ Kd7 42. Rf7+ Re7
43. Rf8 g5 44. Be5 Ke6 45. Bb8 Rf7 46. Rxf7 Kxf7 47. Ke2 g4 48. hxg4 hxg4 49.
Kd3 Ke6 50. b3 axb3 51. axb3 c5 52. dxc5 Nxc5+ 53. Kc3 {[%eval -84,43] [%wdl 2,
731,267]}) 26... Rxd2 27. Bxg6 $2 ({White could have still tried} 27. Bf5 {
to hold the position.}) 27... hxg6 28. Re7 Rxb2 29. Rce1 Rf8 30. Rd7 $2 {
This hastens the win for Black, but White's position is difficult anyway.} (30.
R7e2 Rxe2 31. Rxe2 Kf7 {and Black is still winning.}) 30... Rff2 {Black's
rooks are dominating the game now.} 31. Ree7 Rxg2+ 32. Kf1 Kh7 33. h4 Kh6 34.
Re5 Rbf2+ 35. Ke1 Rxa2 36. Kf1 Rh2 37. Kg1 Rag2+ 38. Kf1 Rb2 39. Kg1 Rhd2 0-1
[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.07"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Dubov, Daniil"]
[Black "Keymer, Vincent"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B12"]
[WhiteElo "2720"]
[BlackElo "2664"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 c5 6. Be3 Qb6 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. O-O
Qxb2 9. Qe1 cxd4 10. Bxd4 Nxd4 11. Nxd4 Bb4 12. Ndb5 Ba5 13. Rb1 Qxc2 14. Rc1
Qb2 15. Na4 Bxe1 16. Nxb2 Ba5 17. Nd6+ Ke7 18. Nxb7 Bd8 19. Nxd8 Kxd8 20. Rfd1
{Incredibly, even this position is part of a long theoretical discussion $1
Both players reached here almost without any long think, thus indicating their
preparedness. But it was here that Keymer started fumbling in his treatment of
the position.} Rb8 $6 (20... Nh6 21. Nc4 Ke7 (21... f6 22. f4 Bg4 23. Bxg4 Nxg4
24. h3 Nh6 25. Nd6 {with an advantage for White in Sarana,A - Rozum,I,
Khanty-Mansiysk 2018}) 22. Nd6 Rhd8 {and Black should be able to hold the game.
}) 21. Nc4 g5 $2 {Dubov singled out this moment as the turning point of the
game.} (21... Ne7 22. Nd6 Bg6 23. Rc5 Nf5 {was a better defense here.}) 22. Nd6
Bg6 23. Rd4 {Dubov later felt that he could have played this part of the game
more precisely.} (23. Ba6 $1 {It is important to control the c8-square here.}
Ne7 24. a4 Nf5 (24... Rb6 25. Bb5) 25. Nb5 $1 {This would not have been
possible without 23.Ba6 $1}) 23... Ne7 24. g4 $2 Rb6 $2 ({The only way to
defend is} 24... Kd7 25. Bb5+ Rxb5 $1 {This remarkable exchange sacrifice
saves the day for Black.} 26. Nxb5 Rb8 {and Black should be able to achieve
equality. The pivotal elements for Black's defense are his bishop, which will
cover all his weaknesses on the kingside, and his protected passed pawn at d5.}
) 25. Bb5 $1 {An important move. White stops the black rook from exchanging
with his counterpart at c1 with ...Rb6-a6. Now his threat of 26.Ra4 is quite
serious.} (25. Ra4 Rc6) 25... Rb8 (25... a6 26. Ra4 $1) 26. Ra4 Nc8 27. Rxc8+
Rxc8 28. Rxa7 {The position is simply lost for Black.} Rc7 29. Ra8+ Ke7 30.
Rxh8 f6 31. Rc8 Ra7 32. Rc6 1-0
[Event "Chess.com"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.02.07"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Oparin, Grigoriy"]
[Black "Fedoseev, Vladimir"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B30"]
[WhiteElo "2681"]
[BlackElo "2704"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "27"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
{[%evp 0,36,51,22,75,56,56,51,57,38,33,30,56,23,27,33,59,41,32,11,6,5,5,15,38,
1,20,20,14,-5,-2,-18,-9,-13,0,-99,-121,-161,-142]} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 {
Anti-Sveshnikov. The author of the system considered the lines that avoid the
Sveshnikov the only lines playable.} e5 4. Bc4 d6 5. d3 Be7 {Now it is almost
an Italian but with a black pawn placed on the c5-square. This certainly
weakens the d5-spot, but the question is, can White profit from that?} 6. a4 ({
The more modest:} 6. a3 {is also possible as this recent top-GM game} Be6 7.
Nd5 Nf6 8. O-O O-O 9. c3 Rb8 10. b4 b5 11. Nxf6+ Bxf6 12. Bxe6 fxe6 13. Be3 Qe7
14. Nd2 Bg5 {Grischuk,A (2778)-Maghsoodloo,P (2698) Chess.com INT 2021} 15. Qe2
Rfc8 16. bxc5 dxc5 17. Nb3 Bxe3 18. Qxe3 Nd8 19. a4 c4 20. Nd2 cxd3 21. Qxd3 b4
22. cxb4 Rxb4 23. Nf3 Nf7 24. Rfc1 Rd8 25. Qe3 h6 26. h3 Qb7 27. Re1 Rb3 28.
Qe2 a5 29. Rac1 Rb4 30. Rc4 Qb6 31. Rec1 Rb2 32. R4c2 {1-0 (32) Grischuk,A
(2778)-Maghsoodloo,P (2698) Chess.com INT 2021}) 6... Nf6 7. Bg5 Nd7 $5 {
[%mdl 4] ( e4 c5 Nf3 Nc6 Nc3 Anti-Sveshnikov. The author of the system
considered the lines that avoid the Sveshnikov the only lines playable. e5 Bc4
d6 d3} 8. Bxe7 {Now it is almost an Italian but with a black pawn placed on
the c5-square. This certainly weakens the d5-spot, but the question is, can
White profit from that $2 a4} ({The more modest: a3 is also possible as this
recent top-GM game} 8. Be6 $4 {Nd5 Stockfish 271221:} fxe6 9. Bxe7 Qxe7 10. h4
Nf6 11. h5 Bd7 12. Qd2 O-O-O 13. h6 Rhg8 14. O-O-O a6 15. Kb1 Kb8 16. Qg5 gxh6
17. Qxh6 Rg6 18. Qc1 Rdg8 19. Nd2 d5 20. g4 Nxg4 21. Rdg1 d4 22. Nd1 Be8 23.
Nc4 R6g7 24. c3 Nf6 25. Rxg7 Rxg7 26. f4 exf4 27. cxd4 e5 28. Nxe5 Nxd4 {
[%eval -823,43] [%wdl 0,0,1000]}) 8... Nf6 $4 $146 {Bg5 Nd7 Not a novelty, and
certainly a move to know in this line. The knight can control the d5-square;
therefore, Fedoseev preserves it. It is also generally desirable for Black to
swap off his dark-squared bishop. Bd2 That is the reason why Oparin keeps the
dark-squared bishops alive. He did play this novelty though after a lengthy
thought.} ({In the predecessor, Short got an interesting kingside play with:
Bxe7} 8... Qxe7 9. Nd5 Qd8 10. c3 O-O 11. Nd2 Nf6 12. Nxf6+ Qxf6 13. Nf1 Qg5
14. Ne3 Kh8 15. h4 Qd8 16. g4 a6 17. Qf3 Be6 {but Black eventually held his
own, Short,$146 (2690) -Illescas Cordoba,M (2591) Sestao 2010}) 9. O-O $4 (9.
Bxd8) 9... Nd5 $1 {Nb6 This is why the knight is kept alive. Nxb6 axb6 Black
is getting ready for a kingside attack, and the move in the game does two
things. It stabilizes the center and opens a file in case that White decides
to hide his king there. c3 Kh8 After O-O Kh8 would have been played anyway.}
10. b4 {Qe8 Thanks to the central stability, Fedoseev is ready to break open
the kingside with f7-f5. His game seems far more straightforward and simpler.}
b5 {Oparin finds a clever plan to counteract.} ({Castling does not seem
appealing O-O due to} 10... f5 11. b5 Na5 {with a tempo $1} 12. Bxd5 f4 $1 {
when Black is ready to throw all his kingside pawns forward and it is pretty
one-sided.}) ({The immediate h4 is not good either due to} 10... cxb4 $1 {
cxb4 Bg4}) {Nd8} 11. h4 $1 {That is White's point: he may also fight back for
the kingside.} f5 12. h5 $1 ({Also interesting is} 12. exf5 Bxf5 13. Ng5) 12...
Be6 $1 (12... h6 $5) ({Qb3 There is one serious issue that Oparin did not
solve yet: where to hide his king. Black is obviously not worried about} 12...
h6 {g6}) ({Qd7 Kd1 An attempt to hide his majesty on the queenside, but this
is a mistake. Stronger is} 12... h6 {g6} 13. Bxd5 $1 {when White seems to keep
things under relative control. The important detail is that} f4 {does not work
that well due to} 14. d4) ({fxe4 dxe4 Bxc4 Qxc4 Qg4 Double attack. Qd3 And
this makes things even worse. Instead Rh2 would not have been a defense due to
Rxf3 gxf3 Qg1+ It is not clear what Oparin missed. Maybe something in the line
Kc2 Qxg2 Nh4 Bxh4 Rag1 Did he simply calculate Qxf2 only when White is on top
with Did White miss the simple retreat Qf3 Rxh4 Qxf2 Rhg4 Qf7 when Black has
it all well defended $2 Rf1 c4 The alternative Qxg2 Ke2} 12... bxc4 $1 {
is equally good.}) ({Qe3 Ne6 When the knight comes on the freshly created
d3-outpost, the white king will have nowhere to hide. Rg1 Perhaps he should
have kept this pawn alive at least} 12... h6) {Nf4 Kc1 Qxh5 Black won a pawn
while building a huge positional advantage. The game is essentially over. Kc2
Qg6} 13. g3 $1 {Nd3 Nh4 Qe6 Nf5 The only active try, but Rxf5 Opens a crucial
diagonal against the white king, and this quickly translates into a mating
attack. exf5 Qxf5 g4 Nb4+ Kd1 Qc2+ Ke1 Qb2 Rc1 Nd3+ Ke2} Rf8 $1 {Bringing
everybody into the action.} ({The move in the game is even stronger than the
prosaic Nxc1+ Rxc1} 13... h6) ({f3 e4 d5 would do too. Rh1 Or Rcf1} 13... Nf4 {
when the white king still has nowhere to hide. Kf2 Kd1 Qb3+} 14. Bh4) 14. exd5
{fxe4 Rf2+ Kd1 Qb3+ Rc2 Qb1+ Rc1 Nxc1 Qxf2 Nd3+ Ke2 Qxh1} 0-1
[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.07"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Bacrot, Etienne"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C11"]
[WhiteElo "2736"]
[BlackElo "2642"]
[PlyCount "50"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 a6 8. a3
cxd4 9. Nxd4 Bc5 10. Qd2 g5 $5 {This drastic push sets the tone of the game,
as the French grandmaster had obviously come prepared for a sharp struggle.} ({
Bacrot had earlier employed} 10... O-O 11. O-O-O (11. Be2 Qc7 12. O-O b5 13.
Bf3 Nxd4 14. Bxd4 Bxd4+ 15. Qxd4 Bb7 16. Be2 Qc5 17. Rad1 Rfc8 18. Qxc5 Nxc5 {
with equality in Van Foreest,J - Bacrot,E Malmo SWE 2021.}) 11... Rb8 12. h4
Bxd4 13. Bxd4 b5 {with a complex game in the previous round: Esipenko,A (2714)
-Bacrot,E (2642) Berlin 2022}) 11. Nf3 {\"I didn't want to play Nf3. Somehow,
there is probably something better\" Nakamura.} ({Nakamura's move is an
improvement ( $2) over} 11. f5 Nxd4 12. Bxd4 Bxd4 13. Qxd4 Qb6 14. Qxb6 Nxb6 {
with a complex endgame in Svidler,P - Nepomniachtchi,I, Paris 2021.}) 11... d4
$1 {Obviously a prepared retort.} 12. Bxd4 Nxd4 13. Nxd4 gxf4 14. Qxf4 Nxe5 15.
Nb3 (15. Ndb5 {was suggested as an improvement by Bacrot after the game,
claiming White might get a slight edge in the long run.}) 15... Ng6 16. Qf3 {
Somewhere around here, Nakamura understood that this was \"not the situation
to go crazy,\" as he was still in lead in the group and there was no necessity
for burning any bridges.} Ba7 $6 {Bacrot termed this a \"blunder,\" though it
still gives him a compensation of more than a tempo.} (16... Be7 {and Black
might even be a little better in the resultant position.}) 17. Bxa6 O-O 18. Bd3
Qh4+ 19. Qg3 Qh6 {Keeping the white king in the center, Black has compensation
for being down a pawn.} 20. h4 f5 21. Nd2 Bb8 22. Qf2 Ba7 23. Qg3 Bb8 24. Qf2
Ba7 25. Qg3 Bb8 1/2-1/2
[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.05"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Bacrot, Etienne"]
[Black "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B08"]
[WhiteElo "2642"]
[BlackElo "2764"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Be2 O-O 6. O-O a6 7. a4 b6 8. Re1 e6
{[For the last three moves, Grischuk consumed about 45 minutes on the clock.]}
9. e5 dxe5 10. Nxe5 Bb7 11. Bf3 Qc8 12. Bg5 {[With harmoniously developed
pieces and a space advantage, White has a small advantage here.]} Nfd7 13. Bf4
Rd8 14. Ng4 {[White looks to be in command here, and Bacrot only needed to
find a tactical combination to achieve a breakthrough.]} Rf8 $6 15. d5 h5 16.
Ne5 (16. Nh6+ Kh7 17. Nxf7 Rxf7 18. dxe6 Rxf4 19. exd7 Nxd7 20. Bxb7 Qxb7 21.
Qxd7 {and White has an extra pawn.}) 16... Nxe5 17. Bxe5 f6 {[At this point,
Grischuk had only less than a minute on his clock.]} 18. d6 $2 {[Bacrot later
blamed this as the crucial position where he lost his advantage.]} (18. Bg3 e5
19. Qd3 Qe8 20. d6 Bxf3 21. Qxf3 {and White preserves his advantage.}) 18...
fxe5 19. d7 Nxd7 20. Bxb7 Qxb7 21. Qxd7 Qc8 22. Qc6 {[White still keeps some
advantage, but Grischuk fought back well in mutual time scramble.]} Rf7 23.
Rad1 Qe8 24. Qe4 Rf4 25. Qb7 Rc4 26. Qf3 Rd8 27. Rxd8 Qxd8 28. Qe2 Rd4 29. Qxa6
Rd2 30. Qc4 Qd4 31. Qxe6+ Kh7 32. Qf7 Qf4 33. Qxf4 exf4 34. Rc1 Bxc3 35. bxc3
1/2-1/2
[Event "FIDE Chess Grand Prix 1 2022 | Pool D"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.09"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Harikrishna, Pentala"]
[Black "Dominguez Perez, Leinier"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B22"]
[WhiteElo "2717"]
[BlackElo "2752"]
[PlyCount "102"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
1. e4 c5 2. c3 Nf6 3. e5 Nd5 4. Bc4 {Dominguez admitted that he had not
expected this variation and playing natural moves from here on out.} Nb6 5. Bb3
Nc6 6. d4 cxd4 7. cxd4 d5 8. Bc2 $1 {Creative play by Harikrishna—he aims to
block the black bishop from coming out with ...Bc8-f5.} Nb4 9. h3 $5 {Once
again, single-mindedly concentraing on the c8-bishop.} (9. Nc3 Bg4 $5) 9...
Nxc2+ 10. Qxc2 Bd7 {Dominguez gets the thread of the game, and desires to
bring the bishop out of the pawn chain at any cost.} 11. Nc3 Qc8 {Aiming to
play 12...Bf5.} 12. Qd3 {Realizing that the black bishop is going to reach the
f5-square anyway, Harikrishna decides to shift his queen to the kingside,
stopping Black from developing his pieces.} Bf5 13. Qg3 e6 14. Nge2 Qc4 15. Be3
Rc8 16. O-O h5 $6 {This was when it appeared that Black was showing signs of
cracking under White's creative play. Black's kingside got weakened in the
process.} 17. Rac1 h4 18. Qf3 Qc6 19. Bg5 Qd7 20. Nf4 Nc4 21. Qe2 {Now the
black pawn on h4 is a weakness.} Bb4 {Harikrishna admitted that he overlooked
Black's plan of ...Bb4-a5-d8 in the long run.} 22. a3 (22. g4 $1 {White had to
act drastically to mount an attack on the black king.}) 22... Ba5 23. a4 $6 {
After the game, Harikrishna was quite critical of his own play during this
phase of the game.} ({White had an interesting alternative with} 23. b3 Nxe5 (
23... Nxa3 24. Nb5 $1 {with complications}) 24. b4) 23... a6 24. Rfd1 $6 Bd8
25. Bxd8 Qxd8 {Having removed the thorn at g5, Black has even gained the upper
hand here.} 26. Nd3 Qb6 27. Nc5 Qxb2 28. Qf3 $2 Bc2 {Black is enjoying an
advantage now—he converted his advantage patiently.} 29. Re1 b6 30. Nxa6 Nd2
31. Qe3 Qxc3 32. Qxc3 Rxc3 33. Nb4 Kd7 34. Rxc2 Rxc2 35. Nxc2 Rc8 {This
endgame is winning for Black.} 36. Ne3 Ra8 37. Ra1 Nb3 38. Rb1 Nxd4 39. Rxb6
Nc6 40. Ng4 Rxa4 41. Rb7+ Ke8 42. Rc7 Ne7 43. Kf1 Ng6 44. Rc8+ Kd7 45. Rg8 Nf4
46. Kg1 d4 47. Rb8 d3 48. Ne3 d2 49. Rb1 Ne2+ 50. Kh2 Nc3 51. Rb3 Re4 0-1
[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.09"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Dubov, Daniil"]
[Black "Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D40"]
[WhiteElo "2720"]
[BlackElo "2727"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 c5 5. e3 Nc6 6. a3 dxc4 7. Bxc4 a6 8. O-O
b5 9. Ba2 Bb7 10. Qe2 cxd4 11. Rd1 b4 12. exd4 bxc3 13. d5 Nxd5 14. Rxd5 Qc7
15. Rd3 Be7 16. Rxc3 O-O 17. Be3 Rac8 18. Rac1 Qb8 19. Bb1 Bf6 20. Rc5 Ne7 21.
b4 g6 22. Bd3 Qa8 23. h3 Nd5 24. Bh6 Rxc5 25. Rxc5 Rc8 26. Ne5 Rxc5 27. bxc5
Qc8 28. c6 Bxc6 29. Nxc6 Qxc6 30. Bxa6 g5 31. Bd3 Nf4 32. Qe4 Qxe4 33. Bxe4 Bd8
34. Kf1 f5 35. Bc2 $2 (35. Bc6 {White is threatening 36.h4.} Ng6 36. Be8 $1 {
Paralyzing the black king. Black finds it difficult to extricate himself here.}
Nh8 (36... Ne5 37. f4) (36... Nf4 37. h4) 37. h4 gxh4 38. Bd2 {and White has a
strong outside passer in his a-pawn.}) 35... Ng6 36. a4 Kf7 37. g3 Kf6 38. Ke2
e5 39. f3 Ba5 40. g4 Nf4+ 41. Kf1 fxg4 42. h4 1/2-1/2
[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.09"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Keymer, Vincent"]
[Black "Aronian, Levon"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D38"]
[WhiteElo "2664"]
[BlackElo "2772"]
[PlyCount "70"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. e3 O-O 7. Qc2 Qe7 8. Bd2
dxc4 9. Bxc4 e5 10. d5 Qc5 {Till this point, both the players had played in
rapid tempo, and Aronian's move is a new move in the position.} 11. Ne4 Nxe4
12. Qxe4 Ne7 13. Nxe5 $5 {A daring decision, as Keymer shows his willingness
to take his king out for a walk in the middle of the board.} Bf5 14. Qf4 Bxd2+
15. Kxd2 Qb4+ ({Better might have been} 15... g6 {[Targetting White's pawn at
d5.]} 16. Qd4 (16. g4 Nxd5 $1) 16... Qxd4+ 17. exd4 Rad8 {with a tiny
advantage for Black.}) 16. Kc1 Qc5 17. g4 g5 $3 {Brilliant. This tactical shot
was the basis of Black's play.} 18. b4 $3 {A counter shot. Both players rose
to the occasion here, earning praise from all the online commentators.} (18.
Qxg5+ $4 Bg6 {and Black's threat of ...b7-b5 is too strong.}) (18. Qd4 Qxd4 19.
exd4 Be4 20. Re1 Bxd5 {and Black is slightly better due to his pawn structure.}
) 18... Qxb4 19. Qd4 Ng6 $5 {Keymer later confessed that he had overlooked
this move, which threw him off-balance.} (19... Bg6 20. a3 Qa4 21. Nxg6 Nxg6 {
with a complicated position.}) 20. Bb3 Qa3+ 21. Kd2 c5 $1 {Brilliant. Aronian
conducts this part of the game energeticaly, opening all roads to the white
king in the center.} (21... Nxe5 22. Qxe5 Bg6 23. h4 {would give White enough
counterplay.}) 22. Qc3 Nxe5 23. gxf5 (23. Qxe5 Bg6 {Compared to the above line
after 21...Nxe5, the black pawn on c5 makes all the difference here, in
mounting an attack on the white king.} 24. h4 gxh4 25. Rxh4 c4 $1) 23... Rfe8 {
The position is extremely complex. Of course, the engines predict a simple 0.
00 verdict here $1} 24. Rhg1 $1 {Suddenly, the black king doesn't look too
safe either.} b5 $2 (24... Nf3+ $2 25. Ke2 Nxg1+ 26. Rxg1 h6 27. h4 {and the
black king comes under fire.}) (24... h6 {and position is extremely wild. A
sample variation:} 25. f4 Nf3+ 26. Ke2 Nxg1+ 27. Rxg1 c4 28. fxg5 cxb3 29.
gxh6+ Kf8 {with a chaotic position where White still has counterplay.}) 25.
Rxg5+ Kh8 26. Bd1 $2 {Short of time, Keymer loses his way.} (26. Rag1 $1 f6 (
26... c4 $4 27. Rg8+ $3) 27. R5g3 c4 28. Bc2 {with a slight advantage for
White.}) 26... Qa6 {Black is threatening ...b5-b4 here.} 27. Be2 Rad8 28. e4
Qa4 29. Rh5 $4 {Having less than a minute on the clock, Keymer cracks under
relentless pressure. When asked if he sensed that this was a losing move,
Aronian came up with a brilliant one-liner, \"If it doesn't win on the spot,
it definitely loses $1\"} (29. f3 b4 (29... Rxd5+ {was the resource quoted by
Keymer and Aronian after the game.}) 30. Qb3 {and the position is nowhere
close to clarity.}) 29... Qxe4 30. Rg1 Rxd5+ {Black is winning now.} 31. Kc1
Qf4+ 32. Kb1 Rd4 33. Bxb5 Rb4+ 34. Ka1 Rxb5 35. Re1 f6 0-1
[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.09"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Rapport, Richard"]
[Black "Oparin, Grigoriy"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D32"]
[WhiteElo "2763"]
[BlackElo "2681"]
[PlyCount "115"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 c5 5. e3 Nc6 6. cxd5 exd5 7. Bb5 cxd4 8.
Nxd4 Bd7 9. O-O Bd6 10. Nf3 Be6 11. b3 O-O 12. Bb2 Qe7 13. Rc1 Rac8 14. Bd3 a6
15. h3 Rfd8 16. Ne2 Ne4 17. Nf4 Bxf4 18. exf4 f6 19. Qe2 Qc7 20. Qe3 Re8 21.
Bb1 Bf5 22. Rfe1 Qf7 23. Red1 Ng3 24. Qd2 Re2 25. Qxd5 Qxd5 26. Rxd5 Rxb2 27.
Bxf5 Nxf5 28. Rxf5 Rd8 29. Rfc5 Rxa2 30. R5c3 Re2 31. f5 h5 32. Kf1 Re4 33. Re1
Rf4 34. Rc5 Rd6 35. Re6 Rd1+ 36. Ke2 Rb1 37. Nd2 Rb2 38. Ke3 Rd4 39. Rcxc6
Rdxd2 40. Rc8+ Kh7 41. Rc7 Rxf2 $2 ({Black misses} 41... Re2+ $1 42. Kd3 (42.
Kf3 Rxf2+ 43. Ke4 Rxb3 {wins for Black.}) 42... Rbd2+ 43. Kc3 Rc2+ $1 44. Kd3 (
44. Kb4 Rxf2) 44... Red2+ 45. Ke3 Rxf2 $1 {and White will lose even more
material.}) 42. Rxf6 Rxg2 43. Rxb7 Rxb3+ 44. Rxb3 gxf6 45. Rb6 Kg7 46. Rb7+ Kf8
47. Rb6 Ke7 48. Re6+ Kf7 49. Rxa6 Rg3+ 50. Kf2 Rxh3 51. Ra7+ Kg8 52. Kg2 Re3
53. Rb7 Re5 54. Kg3 Rxf5 55. Kh4 Re5 56. Ra7 Kf8 57. Rb7 Re7 58. Rb4 1/2-1/2
[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.09"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Bacrot, Etienne"]
[Black "Esipenko, Andrey"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C88"]
[WhiteElo "2642"]
[BlackElo "2714"]
[PlyCount "88"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4
b4 9. d4 d6 10. dxe5 Nxe5 11. Nxe5 dxe5 12. Qxd8 Rxd8 13. Nd2 Bc5 14. Nf3 Re8
15. Be3 Bxe3 16. Rxe3 Bb7 17. Rd1 Kf8 18. Nd2 Red8 19. f3 a5 20. Bc4 Bc6 21. b3
Nd7 22. Be2 Nc5 23. Kf2 f6 24. c3 Be8 25. Ke1 Bf7 26. cxb4 axb4 27. Bc4 Rd4 28.
Rc1 Bxc4 29. Rxc4 Rxc4 30. Nxc4 Rd8 31. g3 $2 {Esipenko singled out this
moment when the tide turned in his favour.} ({Better was} 31. Na5 Rd6 {To stop
the threatened 32.Nc6.} (31... Nd3+ 32. Kf1 $1 {and White maintains equality})
(31... Rd7 32. Nc6) 32. Nc4 Rd4 33. Na5 {with equality.}) 31... Ke7 {The
difference in dynamism between both the kings will an important factor in the
ensuing endgame.} 32. Ke2 Rd4 {Esipenko pointed out the significance after the
game—White's b3 pawn becomes a weakness here.} 33. Nd2 g5 34. Kd1 h5 35. Kc2
g4 36. f4 $6 (36. a5 Kd7 37. f4 exf4 38. gxf4 h4 39. f5 {could be a better try.
}) 36... exf4 37. gxf4 h4 $1 {Black creates a passed pawn on the kingside, and
creates a winning advatange.} 38. a5 Kd7 39. Kd1 g3 40. hxg3 hxg3 41. Kc2 g2
42. Re1 Nd3 43. Ra1 Nxf4 44. a6 Kc6 0-1
[Event "Chess.com"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.02.09"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E73"]
[WhiteElo "2736"]
[BlackElo "2764"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
{[%evp 0,83,19,31,14,-14,43,38,37,33,33,33,38,12,16,10,22,0,-1,-18,9,1,43,36,
42,42,45,47,29,40,93,51,85,79,101,71,63,63,76,67,78,64,57,46,41,42,49,50,46,31,
50,29,29,48,16,44,60,49,84,103,86,95,104,98,107,94,92,-33,92,64,27,51,49,0,0,
-61,-72,98,98,98,96,98,462,493,315,591]} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6
5. Be2 O-O 6. Be3 {A form of the Averbakh system, where the bishop is
provocatively placed on the g5-square. The oldest living GM just turned 100,
and this is a good occasion to honor him $1} e5 {6...Na6 is the other main
line.} 7. d5 Na6 ({More common is} 7... a5) 8. h4 {That is the major point
behind the Averbakh system. By delaying the development of his kingside knight,
White keeps the path for his pawns opened.} ({The other pawn can also get
straight into motion.} 8. g4 Nc5 9. Bf3 Bd7 10. b4 Na6 11. Rb1 Qc8 12. g5 Ne8
13. h4 f6 14. Be2 fxg5 15. hxg5 Rf7 16. c5 Nb8 17. Nf3 a5 18. a3 axb4 19. axb4
{and White achieved everything he wished for in Aronian,L (2773)-Firouzja,A
(2728) Lichess.org INT 2020}) 8... Nc5 {After some thought, Grischuk deviated
from an earlier game of his.} ({That game went:} 8... h5 9. Qd2 Nc5 10. f3 Bd7
11. Bd1 a5 12. b3 Qb8 13. Nge2 b5 14. cxb5 Bxb5 15. Nxb5 Qxb5 {and Black got
enough counterplay in Aronian,L (2773)-Grischuk,A (2777) Lichess.org INT 2020})
9. Qc2 {Nakamura is practically blitzing his moves.} c6 10. h5 cxd5 11. cxd5
Qa5 ({Nobody had yet tested} 11... Qc7 $5 {here, or on the previous move with
the rude threat Nc5xe4 $1}) 12. h6 {A modern treatment of the position. In the
past, the Averbakh adherents used their kingside pawns to try and completely
seal that part of the board. Nakamura tries \"only\" to lock the
bishop—ideally forever.} Bh8 13. f3 Bd7 ({The active move} 13... Nh5 {
simply begs for} 14. Rxh5 {and an active player like Gunina could not stand
the temptation. After} gxh5 15. Qd2 Bf6 16. f4 Nb3 17. axb3 Qxa1+ 18. Kf2 Kh8
19. Bxh5 Bd7 20. fxe5 dxe5 21. Bg5 Qa6 22. d6 Qb6+ 23. Kf1 Qd8 24. Nf3 {
it was as crazy as it may get, Gunina,V (2471) -Kashlinskaya,A (2490) Chess.
com INT 2021} Be6 25. Be3 Rc8 26. Nd5 Bxd5 27. Qxd5 Rc6 28. Nxe5 Rxd6 29. Nxf7+
Rxf7 30. Qxf7 Rd7 31. Qe6 Rd6 32. Qf5 Qe7 33. Bf4 Rd8 34. e5 Bh4 35. e6 Rf8 36.
Bf7 Bf6 37. Be5 Rxf7 38. exf7 Qxf7 39. Qxf6+ Qxf6+ 40. Bxf6+ Kg8 41. Bd4 {
1-0 (41) Gunina,V (2471)-Kashlinskaya,A (2490) Chess.com INT 2021}) 14. Rb1 Na4
{Grischuk creates some queenside trouble, just in time.} 15. Qd2 ({There was
also the interesting computer suggestion} 15. Bd3 $5 Nxc3 16. Qxc3 Qxa2 17. Ne2
{but judging by the speed with which the American GM was blizting his moves,
it was not interesting enough.}) 15... Nxc3 16. bxc3 Qc7 {[#]} 17. g4 $146 {
This novelty was also blitzed out. White enjoys more space and better
perspectives on both flanks.} ({Black held his own in the predecessor:} 17. c4
b6 18. g4 Bc8 19. Nh3 Nd7 20. Nf2 Nc5 21. Nd3 Bf6 22. Nxc5 bxc5 23. O-O Bd7 24.
Rb3 Rab8 25. Rfb1 Rb6 {Eljanov,P (2676)-Demchenko,A (2679) Germany 2019}) 17...
Bc8 $1 {A nice regrouping.} ({The typical opening of a file on the kingside}
17... Ne8 18. Nh3 f5 $2 {would have backfired} 19. gxf5 gxf5 20. Rg1+ Kf7 21.
Ng5+ {and White wins.}) 18. Nh3 Nd7 19. Nf2 {At last some thought by the
American GM, who as expected was way ahead on the clock.} ({The move in the
game was certainly stronger than} 19. g5 Nc5 20. Nf2 f6 {and White cannot seal
the kingside.}) 19... Bf6 {Out, in freedom $1} ({However, there was an
argument for} 19... Nc5 20. Nd3 Nxd3+ 21. Bxd3 Bf6 22. a4 Bd7 {although here
too White keeps an edge.}) 20. O-O Be7 ({And here there was an even stronger
argument to transfer the knight to a better square first with} 20... Nc5 $5 21.
Nd3 Na4 22. c4 b6) 21. Kh2 Nc5 22. Nd3 {The black knight is a key piece and
needs to leave.} b6 $1 {Ultimately Grischuk decided to defend as Demchenko did,
allowing the opening of the b-file.} ({Instead} 22... Nxd3 23. Bxd3 Bd7 24. c4
b6 25. Ra1 {followed by the a-pawn advance looked clearly better for White.})
23. Nxc5 bxc5 ({Certainly not} 23... dxc5 24. a4 (24. f4 $5) 24... Bd6 25. Bb5
$1) 24. f4 $1 {That is the difference in comparison to the above-mentioned
stem game. White can open a second front on the kingside. It turns out that
the h-pawn was not only good for blocking the black dark-squared bishop.} exf4
$1 {Black cannot afford to let a pawn get to the f5-square.} ({As the line}
24... f6 25. f5 g5 26. Qb2 {looks horrible for Black.}) 25. Bxf4 Bd7 {Now it
is all about the long diagonal; who will have it $2} ({Unfortunately for Black,
he is a move short in establishing the e5 outpost in the line} 25... Bf6 26.
Qe3 Re8 27. Qf3 Qe7 28. Bb5 $1) 26. c4 Rab8 {Only this move seems like a
serious inaccuracy by Black.} ({So far Grischuk defended with great precision
and} 26... Bf6 $1 {would have brought him very close to equality. For example}
27. Qe3 ({Perhaps the Russian GM disliked the typical sacrifice} 27. e5 $5 {
but it seems he is in time after} dxe5 28. d6 Qd8 29. Be3 e4 $1) 27... Rae8 $1
{As we shall see, Black often needed both his rooks to hold the fort.}) 27. Qc3
$1 {Now the long diagonal is in White's hands.} f6 28. Rb3 {Nothing should be
forced yet. Plus, both sides are trying to force the opponent to make a
concession and capture first.} ({A premature clash might make things easier
for the defender.} 28. g5 Rxb1 29. Rxb1 Qd8) 28... Rb6 {One more inaccuracy.
Grischuk might have missed White's next idea.} ({Here, a better choice seemed
to be} 28... Rf7 $5 29. Bc1 Re8 30. Bb2) ({Or even} 28... Rxb3 29. axb3 Rf7)
29. g5 Rf7 30. Bc1 $3 {The long diagonal it is $1} Qd8 31. Bb2 Qf8 32. Kg2 $1 {
One more accurate move. Grischuk will be soon running out of moves.} Bd8 33.
Qf3 Bc8 ({Definitely not} 33... fxg5 $4 34. Qc3) ({Whereas the computer
suggests as more resilient} 33... Rxb3 34. axb3 a5 {but does not say how will
it defend both the f6- and a5-weaknesses.}) 34. Qe3 $1 {One last preparation.}
Rxb3 ({Maybe Grischuk should have tried} 34... Be7 35. Rxb6 axb6 36. Qc3 Bd8 {
although here too} 37. Rf4 $1 {should be winning somehow. A plausible plan
seems to be to bring the light-squared bishop to c2, thus threatening further
infiltration via the a4-e8 diagonal, then capture the f6-pawn, and
breakthrough with a timely e4-e5 to finally sacrifice on g6 and make it to the
enemy king.}) 35. axb3 fxg5 {Now it is all happening by force.} 36. Qc3 Rxf1
37. Qh8+ Kf7 38. Qxh7+ Ke8 39. Qxg6+ ({Not falling into the trap} 39. Bxf1 $4
Bh3+) 39... Ke7 ({After} 39... Rf7 {both} 40. h7 $1 ({And} 40. Bh5 $1 {win
outright.})) 40. Qxg5+ Rf6 {Now the pawn is unstoppable.} ({But Grischuk would
not have saved himself after} 40... Kd7 41. Bg4+ Kc7 42. Qg7+ Kb8 43. Qxf8 Rxf8
44. Bxc8 Kxc8 45. h7 {either, as after regaining the rook White has a clear
plan of trading his e4-pawn for the one on d6 and winning while playing
against the two black weaknesses.}) 41. h7 Kd7 42. Qg8 {The pawn is
unstoppable and Nakamura wins an excellent game $1} 1-0
[Event "FIDE Grand Chess Prix 1 All Pools 2022"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.02.10"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Dominguez Perez, Leinier"]
[Black "Shirov, Alexei"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C55"]
[WhiteElo "2752"]
[BlackElo "2704"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
{[%evp 0,65,19,31,34,19,13,17,4,11,14,23,19,2,24,20,16,-9,9,2,-4,14,21,-8,74,
18,16,7,5,-25,59,79,50,57,53,56,61,37,54,16,20,28,41,18,36,34,74,68,102,102,84,
68,74,74,93,31,46,107,101,127,174,167,176,184,262,176,296,296]} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3
Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 h6 {A modern, aggressive line with which Shirov scored
quite well.} 5. O-O ({Here is Black's latest successful effort in the line.} 5.
c3 d6 6. Nbd2 g5 7. h4 g4 8. Nh2 h5 9. Qb3 Qd7 $146 10. Nhf1 Na5 11. Qc2 Nxc4
12. Nxc4 d5 {and Black eventually prevailed in Esipenko,A (2720)-Shirov,A
(2652) Struga 2021} 13. Nce3 dxe4 14. dxe4 b6 15. Bd2 Bb7 16. f3 O-O-O 17.
O-O-O Qe6 18. Qb3 Qxb3 19. axb3 Rg8 20. Nf5 gxf3 21. gxf3 Nxe4 22. fxe4 Bxe4
23. N1e3 Bxh1 24. Rxh1 Kd7 25. b4 Ke6 26. Kd1 a5 27. Ke2 axb4 28. cxb4 c5 29.
Rc1 Ra8 30. Kd3 Rd8+ 31. Ke2 Rg6 32. bxc5 Bxc5 33. b4 Bxe3 34. Nxe3 Rd4 35. Be1
Rg8 36. b5 Ra8 37. Rc2 Raa4 38. Kf3 Rf4+ 39. Ke2 Rfd4 40. Kf3 Rd3 41. Ke2 Rb3
42. Rc6+ Kd7 43. Rf6 Rxb5 44. Rxf7+ Ke6 45. Rb7 Rb2+ 46. Kd3 Rb3+ 47. Bc3 Rxh4
48. Kc2 Rb5 49. Rh7 Rh3 50. Rh6+ Kf7 51. Kd3 Rb3 52. Kc2 Rxc3+ 53. Kxc3 Rxe3+
54. Kd2 Rb3 55. Kc2 Rb5 56. Kc3 Rc5+ 57. Kd3 b5 58. Ke4 h4 59. Kf5 e4+ 60. Kf4
Rc4 61. Ke3 h3 62. Kd2 Rd4+ 63. Ke2 Rd3 64. Rh4 Rb3 65. Rxe4 h2 66. Rh4 Rb1 {
0-1 (66) Esipenko,A (2720)-Shirov,A (2652) Struga 2021}) 5... d6 6. c3 g5 {
That is the modern treatment—when Black is in fact currently scoring better
than the usual 6... g6.} ({Although, of course, Black can always switch to the
normal lines with:} 6... Be7 7. Nbd2 O-O 8. a4 Be6 9. a5 a6 10. Re1 Bxc4 11.
dxc4 b6 12. axb6 cxb6 13. Nf1 {as in Firouzja,A (2759)-Le,Q (2709) chess24.com
INT 2021}) 7. Nbd2 {So far Dominguez is confidently executing his moves.} ({
One more blitz game of Shirov was quite short} 7. Re1 Bg7 8. Nbd2 g4 9. Nh4
Nxe4 10. dxe4 Qxh4 11. Nf1 f5 12. exf5 Bxf5 13. Ne3 Bd7 14. Nd5 O-O-O 15. Be3
g3 {0-1 (15) Salem,A (2682) -Shirov, A (2647) Chess.com INT 2020}) 7... Bg7 8.
Bb3 g4 {In a fierce battle for the center, Black is trying to stop the
opponent from his central break with d3-d4.} 9. Ne1 {The problem with this
approach is obvious—Black is burning his bridges on the kingside and his
king might become vulnerable in the center.} h5 10. f4 {Therefore, White is
aiming for the f7-pawn.} exf4 11. Rxf4 d5 (11... Be6 $5) 12. Rf1 $146 {
Dominguez's first major expenditure on the clock produces a novelty.} ({
But he was certainly aware of the predecessor between the young American GMs:}
12. exd5 Nxd5 13. Rf1 f5 14. Nc4 O-O 15. d4 f4 16. Ne5 Nxe5 17. dxe5 Be6 {
Burke,J (2538)-Yoo,C (2479) Saint Louis 2021} 18. Nd3 f3 19. gxf3 c6 20. Nc5
Bf5 21. Qd4 Kh8 22. c4 Nb4 23. Qxd8 Raxd8 24. fxg4 Bxg4 25. Bg5 Bxe5 26. Bxd8
Rxd8 27. a3 Nd3 28. Nxd3 Rxd3 29. Bd1 Be6 30. Bxh5 Rd2 31. Rad1 Rxb2 32. Rf3
Bxc4 33. Bf7 Be2 34. Rd8+ Kh7 35. Re3 Bc7 36. Bg8+ Kh6 37. Re6+ Kg5 38. h4+
Kxh4 39. Rd4+ Kg3 40. Rg6+ Kf3 41. Rf6+ Kg3 42. Rg6+ Kf3 43. Rf6+ Kg3 44. Rg6+
Kf3 {1/2 (44) Burke,J (2538)-Yoo,C (2479) Saint Louis 2021}) 12... Be6 ({After
} 12... dxe4 {White can temporarily sacrifice a piece with} 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14.
Bxf7+ Kf8 {when the simplest solution is} (14... Ke7 15. Qe2) 15. dxe4 Qxd1 16.
Bb3+ {with a solid extra pawn.}) 13. d4 ({Also} 13. exd5 $5 {looks like a good
attempt for an edge} Bxd5 (13... Nxd5 14. Ne4) 14. Nc4 $1 O-O 15. d4 {when
White looks prettier.}) 13... dxe4 14. Qe2 Qd7 {Shirov hurries to castle long.}
({However, it made sense to slow down a bit before regaining the pawn with}
14... Bxb3 15. axb3 Qe7) 15. Nxe4 Nxe4 16. Qxe4 O-O-O {The king is safe, or so
it seems.} 17. Nc2 $1 {A nice move that solidifies the center.} ({The more
obvious} 17. Bg5 $5 Bxb3 18. axb3 Rde8 19. Qd3 {also looks good for White at
first sight; however, there might be some future problems with his d4-pawn,
like in this line} h4 20. Qc4 Nxd4 $3 21. cxd4 b5 22. Qc2 Bxd4+ 23. Kh1 Rh5 24.
Bf4 Rc5 25. Qd2 Rd5 {and it is extremely messy, exactly what Shirov would have
loved.}) 17... Bxb3 18. axb3 Rde8 ({The strange computer suggestion} 18... Qe6
{can be simply met with} 19. Qxe6+ $1 ({Or as in the game} 19. Qf5 $1) 19...
fxe6 20. b4) 19. Qf5 {White firmly follows his policy of a better endgame with
no tactical chances at all.} (19. Qd3 $5 {also looks fine.}) 19... Qxf5 20.
Rxf5 f6 {Not a desirable move, but what else $2} ({The side-defense} 20... Re7
21. Bg5 Rd7 22. b4 {cannot succeed.}) 21. Bf4 $1 {Even though this is not
objectively the best move, the concept that Dominguez was heading for was
extremely powerful and beautiful.} (21. b4 $5 {would have been en edge for
White.}) 21... Re2 {Shirov would not miss a chance to demonstrate activity,
but as we shall see, this works nicely into White's plan. The key to the
position is the proper coordination of the rooks, and Black's last move leaves
them separated.} ({The amazingly beautiful} 21... Ne7 $3 {would have equalized
in full as the obvious pawn gain} 22. Rc5 (22. Rfa5 a6 {yields nothing to
White.}) 22... c6 23. Rxa7 Nd5 {would not leave the white rooks uncoordinated
and Black may even take over the initiative after} 24. Bg3 Re2) 22. Ne3 $1 {
Separating the black rooks while heading to the optimal d5-square..} ({Not} 22.
Rc1 $2 Ne7) 22... Rxb2 23. b4 b6 ({After} 23... a6 24. Re1 {looks like the
neatest reply, with Ne3-d5 to come.} ({Although} 24. Nd5 {also looks great for
the first player as Black cannot counter-attack quickly enough with} Re8 25.
Rxh5 Ree2 26. Rh7 Rxg2+ 27. Kh1 Bf8 28. Rh8 {trapping the bishop.})) 24. Nd5 {
Complete domination $1} h4 {The last active try.} ({Otherwise, the second
white rook will occupy the open e-file anyway—as in the line} 24... Rc2 25.
b5 Na5 26. Re1 $1) ({Or} 24... Rb3 25. Re1 Kb7 26. Nxc7 Rxc3 27. Nb5 Rc2 28. d5
{winning a piece.}) 25. Re1 {With the inclusion of the last piece into the
attack, Dominguez is ready for the final infiltration.} h3 26. gxh3 Rxh3 ({
Nothing changes.} 26... gxh3 27. Ne7+ Nxe7 28. Rxe7 Rg8 29. Rxc7+ Kd8 30. Rxa7
Bh6+ 31. Bg3) 27. Bg3 $1 {The neatest move. The black rooks will never be
connected.} a5 ({Or} 27... Rb3 28. Nxc7 $1 Rxg3+ 29. hxg3 Kxc7 30. b5) 28. bxa5
bxa5 29. Ne7+ $1 {Now the white rook will occupy the seventh rank.} Nxe7 30.
Rxe7 Bh6 31. Rxc7+ Kb8 ({Or} 31... Kd8 32. Rd5+ Ke8 33. Rxa5) 32. Re7+ Rxg3+
33. hxg3 1-0
[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.10"]
[Round "6.8"]
[White "So, Wesley"]
[Black "Harikrishna, Pentala"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E11"]
[WhiteElo "2772"]
[BlackElo "2717"]
[Annotator "Saravanan,Venkatachalam"]
[PlyCount "71"]
[EventDate "2022.02.04"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[SourceTitle "playchess.com"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 a5 6. Bg2 O-O 7. Qc2 c5 8. cxd5
cxd4 9. Nxd4 Qb6 10. e3 exd5 11. O-O Nc6 12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. Rc1 Rb8 14. Bxb4
Qxb4 15. b3 Be6 16. Nc3 c5 17. Ne2 Rfc8 18. Nf4 c4 19. bxc4 Rxc4 20. Qd1 Qc5
21. Nxe6 fxe6 22. Bf1 Rc3 23. Rxc3 Qxc3 24. Rc1 Qb2 25. Rc2 Qb6 26. Qc1 e5 27.
Rc6 Qd8 28. Qc3 e4 {White has firmly outplayed Black and has a near-winning
advantage here.} 29. a4 $2 {After 14 minutes of thinking, So shows a bit of
nervousness here.} (29. Bh3 Kh8 30. Be6 {with a winning position.}) 29... Qd7 {
Later So confessed to having missed this move.} 30. Bb5 {After consuming
another 10 minutes for the move.} Qg4 31. Qxa5 $4 Qd1+ 32. Bf1 Rb1 33. Qa6 (33.
Qd8+ Kf7 34. Rxf6+) 33... h5 34. Rb6 {With only five minutes on the clock.} Ra1
35. Rxf6 gxf6 36. Qe6+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.10"]
[Round "6.3"]
[White "Oparin, Grigoriy"]
[Black "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A09"]
[WhiteElo "2681"]
[BlackElo "2686"]
[Annotator "Saravanan,Venkatachalam"]
[PlyCount "78"]
[EventDate "2022.02.04"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[SourceTitle "playchess.com"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 d4 3. b4 c5 4. e3 Nf6 5. b5 Qc7 6. exd4 cxd4 7. Bb2 e5 8. Qe2
Bd6 9. Nxd4 O-O 10. Nc2 Nbd7 11. Nc3 Nc5 12. Ne3 Be6 13. Qd1 e4 14. Ncd5 Nxd5
15. cxd5 Bd7 16. Rc1 Rae8 17. Bd4 b6 18. Nc4 Nd3+ 19. Bxd3 exd3+ 20. Ne3 Qd8
21. g3 Re4 22. Ba1 f5 23. Qb3 {Black has played efficiently till this point
and he just needs a direct attack on the white king to win the game.} Qe8 {
This doesn't spoil anything, but Black could have played more vigorously.} (
23... f4 $1 24. gxf4 Rfxf4 25. Qxd3 (25. Rg1 {It was probably direct threats
on his king that deterred Black from conducting such direct attacks.} Bg4 26.
Qxd3 Qh4 27. Qf1 Rf7 {and Black has a winning position.}) 25... Qh4 26. Rf1 (
26. Qe2 Bg4) 26... Bh3) 24. Rc6 Bxc6 $2 {The lure of material $1 White gains
enough counterplay now.} (24... f4 $1 25. gxf4 Qg6 26. Qxd3 (26. Rf1 Rb4) 26...
Rxe3+ $1 27. Qxe3 Qb1+ 28. Ke2 Qxh1) 25. dxc6+ Qe6 26. Qxd3 Bc5 27. Qb3 Qxb3
28. axb3 Rb4 29. Ke2 Rxb5 30. d4 Bd6 31. Rd1 f4 32. Nc4 f3+ $2 {Black even
gets into trouble here.} (32... Re8+ {and Black still keeps a slight edge.})
33. Kd3 Bb8 34. Kc2 Rd8 35. Ne3 Kf7 36. d5 Rc5+ 37. Kb1 Rb5 38. Kc2 Rc5+ 39.
Kb1 Rb5 {Black is more than happy to repeat moves, as it is White who has an
advantage in the final position.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.10"]
[Round "6.1"]
[White "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Black "Bacrot, Etienne"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B67"]
[WhiteElo "2764"]
[BlackElo "2642"]
[Annotator "Saravanan,Venkatachalam"]
[PlyCount "146"]
[EventDate "2022.02.04"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[SourceTitle "playchess.com"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 a6 8.
O-O-O Bd7 9. f3 Nxd4 10. Qxd4 Be7 11. Kb1 Qc7 12. g4 h5 13. gxh5 Nxh5 14. Bxe7
Kxe7 15. Rg1 Qc5 16. Qd2 Bc6 17. Bc4 {A rather cute move. Observe how White
keeps his pieces trained toward the black king.} Rad8 (17... Qxc4 18. Qxd6+ Ke8
19. Rd4 {wins for White.}) 18. Bb3 g6 19. f4 Nf6 20. Rg5 Qb6 21. Re1 Rh7 $2 22.
Nd5+ exd5 23. exd5+ Kf8 24. dxc6 Qxc6 25. Qd4 (25. f5 $1) 25... Re8 26. Rgg1 $2
(26. Rd1) 26... Rxe1+ 27. Rxe1 d5 28. a3 Rxh2 29. f5 gxf5 30. Qf4 Rg2 31. Qxf5
Kg7 32. Rh1 Qc5 $2 33. Ka2 Rg1 34. Rh3 Rg6 35. Qe5 Qc8 36. Rh1 b5 37. c3 Qe6
38. Qh2 {The black king is caught in an attack once again.} Kf8 39. Qb8+ Ne8
40. Qd8 Kg7 41. Bxd5 {White has a winning position, and he goes on to convert
the point slowly. Though the ensuing play was not flawless, it was
entertaining nevertheless.} Qe5 42. Bb3 Qe4 43. Qd1 Nd6 44. Qh5 Kf8 45. Bd5 Qf4
46. Qh8+ Rg8 47. Qh3 Qd2 48. Qh5 Rg5 49. Qh6+ Ke7 50. Bf3 Qe3 51. Qh4 Kd7 52.
Re1 Qc5 53. Qh3+ Qf5 54. Qh1 Qc5 55. Rd1 Kc7 56. Rd4 Qe5 57. Bd5 Rh5 58. Qf3
Rf5 59. Qg2 a5 60. Bb3 a4 61. Bd5 Qe1 62. Ba8 Qe6+ 63. Bd5 Qe1 64. Bf3 Qe3 65.
Bg4 Rf4 66. Rd1 Qe4 67. Qd2 Qe5 68. Bh3 Rh4 69. Bg2 Qc5 70. Qe1 Qc4+ 71. Ka1
Kd7 72. Bf1 Qe4 73. Qd2 Qf4 1-0
[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.10"]
[Round "6.2"]
[White "Esipenko, Andrey"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C50"]
[WhiteElo "2714"]
[BlackElo "2736"]
[Annotator "Saravanan,Venkatachalam"]
[PlyCount "115"]
[EventDate "2022.02.04"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[SourceTitle "playchess.com"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d3 Nf6 5. a4 a6 6. O-O d6 7. a5 Ba7 8. c3 O-O
9. h3 h6 10. Be3 Re8 $6 11. Qb3 Qe7 12. Nbd2 Rb8 13. Bxa7 Nxa7 14. d4 {White
has gained a slight edge.} Nc6 $2 {This looked like a simple error.} 15. Rfe1
$2 {White defers from acting decisively.} (15. d5 Na7 16. Bxa6 Bxh3 17. Bxb7 {
and it was difficult to see compensation for Black.}) 15... Bd7 16. d5 Na7 17.
Bf1 Nh7 18. c4 Ng5 {With these \"active-looking\" measures, Black only enables
White to improve his position.} 19. Qe3 Nxf3+ 20. Nxf3 Nc8 21. b4 {Black's
pieces are cramped and White's advantage is obvious on the queenside.} f5 22.
Bd3 ({Better is} 22. b5 {and Black still has to generate counterplay.}) 22...
Qf6 23. exf5 Bxf5 24. Bxf5 Qxf5 25. Nd4 Qf7 26. f4 $2 {White loses his
considerable advantage here, but neither player saw a hidden resource for
Black in this position.} c6 $4 (26... Nb6 $3 27. axb6 exd4 28. Qxd4 cxb6 {
and Black has generated the much-needed counterplay.}) 27. fxe5 cxd5 28. e6 (
28. Qg3 $3 {The hidden tactical point is the \"loose\" black rook on the
b8-square.} dxe5 (28... dxc4 29. exd6 Rd8 30. Re6 {with a winning position.})
29. Rxe5 Rxe5 (29... Nd6 $4 30. Rxe8+ {and White wins.}) 30. Qxe5 Qf6 31. Qxd5+
{and White is simply winning.}) 28... Qg6 29. Rf1 $4 (29. cxd5 Ne7 30. Rac1
Nxd5 31. Qf3 Ne7 32. Rc7 {and White's pieces are dominating.}) 29... Ne7 $2 ({
Better was} 29... dxc4 30. Rac1 Ne7 31. Rxc4 Rf8 {and Black has generated
counterplay.}) 30. Rf7 $4 (30. cxd5 Nxd5 31. Qe2 {and the passer on e6 will
decide the game in White's favor.}) 30... dxc4 31. Raf1 Kh8 {Down to one
minute on the clock for Esipenko. About six minutes for Nakamura.} 32. R1f3 Nc6
$4 {Short of time, Nakamura blunders.} (32... Nd5 $1 33. Qe1 c3 {and though
White still has an advantage, Black has generated counterplay.}) 33. Nxc6 bxc6
34. e7 $18 Kh7 35. Qf4 Rg8 36. Rg3 (36. Qxc4 {was much simpler}) 36... Qe6 37.
Re3 Qg6 38. Rf8 {Entering into simplifications that will ultimately cause
White to see his advantages disappear.} (38. Qxc4 d5 39. Qf4 $18) 38... Re8 39.
Rxg8 Kxg8 40. Qxc4+ Qf7 41. Qxa6 Rxe7 42. Rxe7 Qxe7 43. Qxc6 Qe1+ 44. Kh2 Qxb4
{After this Nakamura defends the position effectively.} 45. Qd5+ Kh8 46. Qa2
Qf4+ 47. g3 Qd4 48. a6 Qa7 49. h4 d5 50. Qe2 Qd4 51. Qa2 Qa7 52. Kg2 d4 53. Qe2
Qd7 54. Qe4 d3 55. Qb7 Qd8 56. a7 d2 57. a8=Q d1=Q 58. Qxd8+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "FIDE Grand Chess Prix 1 All Pools 2022"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.02.11"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Dominguez Perez, Leinier"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C54"]
[WhiteElo "2752"]
[BlackElo "2772"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
{[%evp 0,67,18,12,12,13,24,12,7,7,7,15,4,-8,0,-5,7,-20,-15,-14,-1,-3,-1,13,-1,
-8,17,10,4,19,18,11,26,23,31,34,51,53,53,61,62,66,63,21,13,19,54,61,102,46,146,
86,86,26,23,64,117,117,117,117,117,149,158,153,400,402,886,918,29997,29998]} 1.
e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 {Two major Italian experts clash $1} Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5.
O-O ({Their latest encounter in the line went} 5. c3 d6 6. O-O h6 7. b4 Bb6 8.
Nbd2 O-O 9. Re1 Ne7 10. Bb3 c6 11. a4 Ng6 12. a5 Bc7 13. d4 Re8 {and Black
held his own later in Dominguez Perez,L (2758)-So,W (2772) Saint Louis 2021}
14. dxe5 dxe5 15. Qc2 Nh7 16. Bc4 Qf6 17. g3 Bh3 18. Be2 Nf4 19. Bf1 Bxf1 20.
Nxf1 Ne6 21. Kg2 Rad8 22. h4 Qg6 23. Kh1 Nf6 24. N1h2 Rd7 25. Bb2 Red8 26. c4
Ng4 27. Nxg4 Qxg4 28. Ra3 g5 29. Bc1 Kh7 30. Nh2 Qh5 31. g4 Qxh4 32. Kg2 Nf4+
33. Bxf4 gxf4 34. Rh3 Qg5 35. Nf3 Qxg4+ 36. Kh2 f6 37. Rg1 Qe6 38. Qe2 Rg8 39.
Rxg8 Qxg8 40. Nh4 Rg7 41. Qf3 Qxc4 42. Nf5 Rg6 43. Ne7 Rg5 44. Nf5 Rg6 45. Ne7
Rg5 46. Nf5 Rg6 47. Ne7 {1/2 (47) Dominguez Perez,L (2758)-So,W (2772) Saint
Louis 2021}) 5... O-O 6. h3 d6 7. c3 a5 8. Re1 Be6 {A solid move.} ({
Unsurprisingly, So has experience in the line with the reversed colors as well.
} 8... h6 9. Bb3 Be6 10. Ba4 Ba7 11. d4 Bd7 12. Bc2 exd4 13. cxd4 Nb4 14. Nc3
Nxc2 15. Qxc2 c5 16. Be3 cxd4 17. Bxd4 Bxd4 18. Nxd4 Qb6 {as in So,W (2780)
-Nakamura,H (2777) Chess. com INT 2018}) 9. Bb5 Ba7 10. Nbd2 Ne7 11. d4 Ng6 12.
Ba4 ({The world champion faced instead:} 12. Nf1 c6 13. Bd3 a4 14. Ng3 b5 15.
Be3 Qc7 16. Qc2 Bb6 17. b3 h6 18. Rac1 {Alekseenko,K (2702)-Carlsen,M (2856)
Warsaw 2021}) 12... Nh5 13. Nf1 Nhf4 14. Ng3 c6 15. Bc2 Qd7 16. Nf5 {All these
opening moves were very logical, but still, the speed with which they were
executed by both players was remarkable. They were practically blitzing $1} f6
17. Be3 $5 $146 {After spending more than seven minutes on the clock (half of
the time allowance) So went for} ({The predecessor saw:} 17. h4 d5 18. Bxf4
Nxf4 19. dxe5 dxe4 20. Qxd7 Bxd7 21. Bxe4 fxe5 22. Ne3 Rae8 {with a bishop
pair to compensate for the weakened pawn structure, Sjugirov,S (2680)
-Hovhannisyan,R (2643) Warsaw 2021}) 17... Kh8 {But this did not solve Black's
problems.} ({Stronger was the immediate central break} 17... d5 $1 {when Black
was seemingly solving his opening problems, say after} 18. dxe5 (18. N3h4 dxe4
19. Bxe4 exd4 {getting rid of the central pawns and the pressure. Stockfish
271221:} 20. Nxd4 ({Stockfish 271221:} 20. cxd4 Nxh4 21. Nxh4 Nd5 22. Bd2 Bxd4
23. Qc2 f5 24. Bd3 Kh8 25. Rad1 Bf6 26. Nxf5 a4 27. Re2 a3 28. Rde1 Bg8 29. b3
Rad8 30. g4 h6 31. Be4 Bh7 32. Qc5 Rfe8 33. Qxa3 Nc3 34. Bxc3 Bxc3 35. Rc1 Bxf5
36. Bxf5 Qd5 37. Re7 Qf3 38. Rxe8+ Rxe8 {[%eval -19,33] [%wdl 17,934,49]}) ({
Stockfish 271221:} 20. Bxf4 $6 Nxf4 21. Qf3 Qc7 22. Nxd4 Bf7 23. Nhf5 Rae8 24.
Bc2 Bb8 25. Ng3 g6 26. Bb3 f5 27. Nf1 h5 28. Qd1 Re4 29. Bxf7+ Qxf7 30. Nf3
Rfe8 31. Qd2 Re2 32. Rxe2 Rxe2 33. Qd8+ Qe8 34. Qb6 Nd3 35. Rd1 Rxb2 36. Qxa5
Qe2 37. Qd8+ Kg7 {[%eval -50,33] [%wdl 7,882,111]}) ({Stockfish 271221:} 20.
Bxd4 Bxd4 21. cxd4 Rad8 22. Qd2 Nxh4 23. Nxh4 g5 24. Nf3 Rfe8 25. Qc2 Bd5 26.
Bxd5+ Qxd5 27. Kh2 Kg7 28. Re3 Re6 29. a4 Rde8 30. Rae1 h5 31. Rxe6 Rxe6 32.
Re3 h4 33. Qd2 Qd6 34. Kg1 b6 35. Rxe6 Nxe6 36. Qc2 Qd5 37. Qe2 Qb3 {[%eval
-75,33] [%wdl 3,796,201]}) 20... Nxh4 21. Bxf4 Bxd4 22. cxd4 Ng6 23. Be3 Rfe8
24. f3 Ne7 25. Qc2 g6 26. Qf2 a4 27. Bd2 Bc4 28. a3 b5 29. Rac1 Rad8 30. Ba5
Ra8 31. Bc3 Rad8 32. Bd2 Kg7 33. Bb4 Nd5 34. Bxd5 Bxd5 35. Rxe8 Rxe8 36. Re1 {
[%eval 10,33] [%wdl 38,940,22]}) 18... fxe5 (18... Bxe3 $5 {might well work as
White cannot gain material with} 19. fxe3 {[%cal Rf4g2,Re6f5] due to the
little trick} Nxg2 $1 20. Kxg2 dxe4 {Stockfish 271221:} 21. Bxe4 ({Stockfish
271221:} 21. Qxd7 exf3+ 22. Kg3 Bxd7 23. Bb3+ Kh8 24. e6 Bc8 25. Nd6 a4 26. Bc4
b5 27. e7 Nxe7 28. Nf7+ Rxf7 29. Bxf7 Nf5+ 30. Kf2 Nd6 31. Bh5 Ne4+ 32. Kxf3
Ng5+ 33. Kg3 Bxh3 34. Rad1 Be6 35. e4 g6 36. Bf3 Bxa2 37. Rd6 a3 38. bxa3 Rxa3
39. Rxc6 Bc4 40. Re3 Kg7 41. Rc7+ Kh6 42. Rc6 f5 43. exf5 Nxf3 44. fxg6 hxg6
45. Rxc4 bxc4 46. Kxf3 g5 47. Kg4 Kg6 48. Re6+ Kf7 49. Rb6 {[%eval -36,35]
[%wdl 10,914,76]}) ({Stockfish 271221:} 21. N3h4 $2 Bxf5 22. Nxg6 Qxd1 23.
Rexd1 hxg6 24. exf6 gxf6 25. Rd4 Rae8 26. h4 Kg7 27. a4 Rh8 28. Rh1 c5 29. Rd5
Rd8 30. Rxd8 Rxd8 31. Kg3 Rd2 32. Rh2 Rxh2 33. Kxh2 Kh6 34. Kg3 g5 35. hxg5+
fxg5 36. Kg2 Kg7 37. Bb3 Bd7 38. Bd5 Bc6 39. Bb3 Kg6 40. Bd1 Bd7 41. Bc2 Kf5
42. Kg3 Be6 43. Bd1 Kg6 {[%eval -190,35] [%wdl 0,124,876]}) ({Stockfish 271221:
} 21. N3d4 $4 Bxf5 22. e6 Nh4+ 23. Kh1 Qe8 24. Nxf5 Nxf5 25. Qg4 g6 26. Kg1 a4
27. Qxe4 Nd6 28. Qg4 f5 29. Qd4 Qxe6 30. Bxa4 c5 31. Bb3 c4 32. Bc2 Ra5 33. a4
Re5 34. Rad1 Rf6 35. Qf4 Qe7 36. Rd4 g5 37. Qf3 Rfe6 38. Kf2 Kg7 39. Re2 h6 40.
b4 cxb3 41. Bxb3 Rf6 42. Kg1 Ne4 43. Rb2 Nxc3 {[%eval -212,35] [%wdl 0,70,930]}
) 21... Bxf5 22. Qxd7 Bxd7 23. Bxg6 hxg6 24. e4 c5 25. Rad1 Bc6 26. Kg3 Rad8
27. Rxd8 Rxd8 28. h4 a4 29. a3 Kf7 30. Kf4 Rd3 31. Rf1 Bb5 32. Rg1 Bc4 33. Rg2
Bb3 34. Rd2 Rxd2 35. Nxd2 Ke6 36. exf6 gxf6 37. Nf3 Bd1 38. Ne1 Be2 39. Ke3 Bb5
40. Nf3 Bc6 41. Kf4 {[%eval -11,35] [%wdl 21,941,38]}) 19. Bxa7 Rxa7 20. Ng5 {
This also seems scary for Black, as the light-squared bishop is vulnerable,
but the machine claims enough compensation after} a4 $3 {I swear I will never
understand these moves $1} 21. Nxe6 Qxe6 22. Bxa4 Qf6 $11) 18. dxe5 fxe5 $5 {
[%csl Gf5][%cal Rf8f5,Re6f5,Rd7f5]} ({Certainly not the endgame} 18... dxe5 $2
19. Qxd7 Bxd7 20. Red1 Rfd8 21. Nd6 $1 $18 {[%csl Ga7,Gb7,Gf7][%cal Rd6f7,
Rd6b7] when White clearly dominates.}) 19. Ng5 d5 ({The logical followup of
the king maneuver would have been} 19... Bg8 {to save the bishop. However,
after} 20. Bxa7 Rxa7 21. g3 {Black's knight will be miserable.} ({Or} 21. h4 $5
)) 20. Nxe6 ({There was also the interesting pawn sacrifice} 20. g3 dxe4 21.
Qxd7 Bxd7 22. Nd6 Nxh3+ 23. Nxh3 Bxh3 24. Bxe4 $1 $16 {[%csl Ge5][%cal Re1e5,
Ga1d1,Rd1d8] when White has more than enough for the sacrificed material.})
20... Qxe6 {The only move.} ({Otherwise Black's center will collapse after}
20... Nxe6 21. Bxa7 Rxa7 22. exd5 cxd5 23. Ne3) 21. Bxa7 {Slightly
discombobulating the black pieces.} ({The immediate} 21. Qg4 {was there too,
when Black can trade massively with} Bxe3 22. fxe3 dxe4 23. exf4 Qxf5 24. Qxf5
Rxf5 25. Bxe4 Rxf4 26. Bxg6 hxg6 27. Rxe5 {and although White still keeps some
edge, Black should be able to hold.}) 21... Rxa7 22. Qg4 Qf6 {A key moment of
the game $1 So goes for an aggressive idea which will cost him two valuable
tempi.} ({He should have brought the queenside rook into the game at once
instead with} 22... b5 $1) ({Or} 22... b6 {followed by Ra7-f7.}) 23. Rad1 {
Obvious and good. The center should be pressurized. And just like yesterday,
Dominguez makes sure that all his pieces will be participating.} ({With little
time on the clock one tries not to burn any bridges, although} 23. g3 $5 {
would have been still an excellent idea. Say,} h5 24. Qf3 Nxh3+ 25. Kh2 Ng5 26.
Qxh5+ {when White is on top.}) 23... h5 ({It was not too late for} 23... b6)
24. Qf3 Qg5 25. Qg3 $1 {Very strong $1 Black needs to retreat.} Qf6 ({As} 25...
Qxg3 26. fxg3 $1 {leads to an immediate central collapse.}) 26. Kh2 $1 {
An excellent preparation.} Raa8 (26... h4 {only helps White improve his queen
with} 27. Qg4) 27. Qf3 Nh4 {So forces matters, but unfortunately for him,
Dominguez has enough resources to repel the assault.} ({With the white king
away from the pin} 27... Qg5 {backfires due to} 28. g3 dxe4 29. Qxe4 Nd5 30. h4
{and White is close to winning.}) 28. Nxh4 Qxh4 29. exd5 Nxg2 {This was the
point $1} 30. Qd3 $1 {So had this covered.} ({Certainly not} 30. Qxg2 $2 Rxf2)
30... e4 {But White also has something up his sleeve.} 31. Rxe4 $1 Qxf2 {
But the cold-blooded} ({Unfortunately for Black, the line} 31... Nf4 32. Qe3
cxd5 {does not work due to the timely in-between checks} 33. Rxd5 Nxd5 34. Rxh4
Nxe3 35. Rxh5+ $1 Kg8 36. Bb3+ Rf7 37. fxe3) 32. Kh1 $3 {settles the dust and
it becomes obvious whose king is safer. The attacking pair of a queen and
knight needs two tempi to coordinate, but there is no time for that.} ({
Anything else was losing, for instance} 32. Re2 Ne1+ 33. Rxf2 Rxf2+ 34. Kg1
Nxd3 {and Black wins material.}) 32... Nh4 ({Or} 32... g6 33. Re2) 33. Rxh4 {
And White mated after} g6 34. Rxh5+ 1-0
[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.11"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"]
[Black "Rapport, Richard"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E62"]
[WhiteElo "2686"]
[BlackElo "2763"]
[PlyCount "92"]
[EventDate "2022.02.04"]
[EventType "match"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2022.02.12"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 d6 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 g6 4. g3 Bg7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O c6 7. Nc3 Qb6 {
A typical \"variation for faster time controls.\" More than anything, it suits
the style of Rapport who wishes to bring Wojtaszek out of his comfort zone and
create as much chaos in the position as possible.} 8. h3 {Clearly surprised,
Wojtaszek took more than 40 seconds to play this move.} Qa6 9. b3 b5 10. Nd2
bxc4 11. Nxc4 Bb7 12. Bb2 Nbd7 13. e4 {Ironically, it is this logical pawn
move, occupying the center, which gives Black a chance to equalize the game by
allowing ...d6-d5 later on.} Rfd8 14. Qc2 d5 15. Ne5 dxe4 16. Nxe4 Nxe4 17.
Bxe4 Rac8 {Rapport's opening choice has proved to be successful—he achieved
near equality on the board and was almost always ahead of Wojtaszek by about a
minute and a half on the clock henceforth.} 18. Rfd1 (18. Rac1) 18... c5 19.
Bxb7 Qxb7 20. Nxd7 Rxd7 21. Rac1 $2 ({Better was} 21. dxc5 {with equality.
Speaking after the match, Wojtaszek pointed out this instance where he made
the critical error, hoping to get more than equality from the position.}) 21...
Qf3 ({Black missed} 21... Bh6 22. f4 {Only move.} Bg7 {and White's kingside is
considerably weakened.}) 22. Ba1 h5 $5 {Rapport is such a fine player with the
initiative and he finds the best way to pressurize White into a
tightrope-walking act to save the position, even though it is objectively only
equal here. An onslaught on the opponent's king is always the best way to play
in quicker time controls, after all.} 23. Qd3 $6 {By this point, Wojtaszek had
about three and a half minutes on his clock against Rapport's seven, and the
queen exchange is a typical blitz reaction against an opponent's threatened
kingside onslaught, however mild it is.} (23. dxc5 $2 Rxc5 $1) ({The
computer's suggestion was} 23. Rd3 Qf5 24. Rdd1 $1 {Is it impossible for the
human brain to find such moves $6} Qxh3 25. dxc5 Rxd1+ 26. Rxd1 {with
objective equality.}) 23... Qxd3 24. Rxd3 h4 {With a two-minute advantage for
Black.} 25. gxh4 Rd5 26. b4 $6 (26. Rdd1 Rcd8 {and Black still has a miniscule
advantage.}) 26... c4 27. Ra3 Bxd4 $6 (27... Rc7 {and Black will enjoy a
slight advantage due to his strong passed pawn on c4.}) 28. Bxd4 Rxd4 29. Rxa7
c3 30. Rxe7 $1 {Admirably for Wojtaszek, he boldly finds the correct way to
play even when down to a minute and a half on the clock, against the
opponent's four.} c2 31. Kf1 Rxb4 32. Ke2 Rxh4 33. Re3 Ra4 34. a3 Kg7 35. Kd2 {
Wojtaszek had less than a minute on his clock here against Rapport's two
minutes. The clock pressure and the annoying presence of black pawn on c2, and
a potential black king raid on the kingside, all combined together to create
enough panic in White's defense.} (35. Rd3 Kh6 36. Rd2 {could have been an
easier way to defend the position here.}) 35... Rf4 36. f3 $6 ({Wojtaszek
missed a clear path to equality here:} 36. Ke1 $1 {1) Keep the king safe in a
major-pieces ending.} Kh6 37. Re2 {2) \"A passed pawn is a criminal which
should be kept under lock and key.\" Sounds familiar $6} Rfc4 38. a4 {3)
Passed pawns must be pushed.} Kg5 39. a5 Kh4 40. a6 Kxh3 41. a7 Ra8 42. Rexc2
Rxc2 43. Rxc2 Rxa7 44. Rc3+ {with a probable draw.}) 36... Rfc4 37. Rb3 R4c5 $1
{Unhurried play. It is quite admirable to observe the way Rapport creates
tension on the board even in such a simple-looking ending.} 38. a4 Kh6 39. Ra3
$2 Kg5 40. Ra2 $4 {Brought under relentless pressure, White cracks.} Rd5+ 41.
Ke3 Re8+ 42. Kf2 Rd2+ 43. Kg3 Ree2 {And suddenly, there is mating attack on
the board—Rapport territory.} 44. f4+ Kf5 $2 ({Black could have created a
better mating net around the white king with} 44... Kh5 45. Kf3 f5 46. a5 Rf2+
47. Ke3 (47. Kg3 Rg2+ 48. Kf3 Kh4 $19) 47... Kh4 48. Raa1 Rfe2+ (48... Kg3 $4
49. Rg1+ {and Black doesn't have a win anymore.}) 49. Kf3 Re4 $1 {Threatening
mate with ... Re4-d4-d3.} (49... Rh2 50. Ke3) 50. a6 Red4 51. Ra3 Rh2 {and
Black wins.}) 45. Rb2 $4 (45. Kf3 Rf2+ 46. Ke3 {and even though the white king
is still under a mating attack, it might have been difficult to convert with
minutes on the clock.}) 45... Rd3+ 46. Kh4 g5+ 0-1
[Event "FIDE Grand Prix-I KO 2022"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.12"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Rapport, Richard"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D36"]
[WhiteElo "2736"]
[BlackElo "2763"]
[PlyCount "141"]
[EventDate "2022.02.12"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2022.02.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. Qc2 Be7 7. e3 Nbd7 8.
Bd3 Nh5 9. Bxe7 Qxe7 {Anand: \"Interesting choice by Rapport, but he probably
wants a solid opening.\"} 10. O-O-O Nb6 11. h3 g6 {Black wants to re-route his
knight with ...Nh5-g7 and bring out his light-squared bishop to f5.} 12. Nf3
Ng7 13. g4 {Stopping the light-squared bishops from being exchanged.} Be6 14.
Ne2 {The knight is headed to f4, keeping pressure on the kingside.} O-O-O 15.
Kb1 ({The game referred to in the post-game interview with Nakamura was} 15.
Nf4 Kb8 16. Be2 Ne8 17. Nd2 Nd6 18. h4 Bc8 19. Nb3 Ne4 20. Bf3 f5 {with a draw
in Kasparov,G (2760)-Smyslov,V (2550) Moscow 1988.}) 15... Kb8 16. Rc1 Ne8 {
Black maneuvers patiently and. as per middlegame basics, activates his
worst-placed knight.} 17. Nf4 Nd6 18. a4 Ndc4 {Unusually for Nakamura, he had
already consumed about 49 minutes on his clock by this point. And this is
where he started his excellent onslaught on Black's position, uncorking a
brilliantly imaginative sequence of moves.} 19. a5 {Outwardly, this even looks
dubious, as White parts with a pawn now along with an exchange of queens.} Qb4
20. Qc3 Qxa5 21. Qxa5 Nxa5 {Though Black is a pawn up here, observe that his
queenside knights will take a long, long time to return back to action.} 22.
Ng5 {White starts his onslaught now.} Rdf8 {One of those \"mysterious rook
moves\" which is forced here.} (22... Rde8 {will be met with} 23. Nfxe6 fxe6
24. Nxh7 $1 Rxh7 25. Bxg6 Reh8 26. Bxh7 Rxh7 27. g5 {and White's connected
passers on the kingside will decide the game in his favor.}) 23. Bxg6 $3 {
Brilliant $1 This is the point behind the pawn sacrifice which started with 19.
a5.} Nb3 (23... hxg6 24. Ngxe6 fxe6 25. Nxg6 Nbc4 26. Nxh8 Rxh8 27. h4 {
and White's connected passers on the kingside look menacing. This was the crux
of Nakamura's imagination.}) 24. Nfxe6 $6 (24. Nxh7 $1 Rc8 (24... Nxc1 25. Nxf8
Bxg4 (25... Rxf8 26. Nxe6 fxe6 27. Kxc1 {is a simple win for White.}) 26. Rxc1
fxg6 27. hxg4 Rxf8 28. Rh1 {and White still has a huge advantage.}) 25. Nxe6
Nxc1 26. Kxc1 fxg6 27. Nf6 {and White has some advantage here.}) 24... fxe6 25.
Nxh7 Rfg8 $6 ({Better was} 25... Rxf2 26. Rc2 Nd2+ 27. Ka2 Nbc4 {and Black has
counterplay.}) 26. Bd3 Nxc1 27. Kxc1 {White has sacrifced an exchange for the
sake of gaining connected passed pawns on the kingside.} Rg7 28. Nf6 Rf7 $2 {
This proved to be a decisive error.} (28... Rh4 $1 {Stopping White's kingside
pawns.} 29. f3 Nc4 30. e4 {with a complicated dynamic ending where it is
difficult to predict any advantage for either side.}) 29. g5 Rxf6 {Black
decides to part with the exchange and try to hold the resultant ending.} 30.
gxf6 Rf8 31. h4 Rxf6 32. h5 Rh6 33. Kd2 $16 {White brings his king to the
kingside, after which he will gain a decisive advantage.} Kc7 34. Ke2 Kd6 35.
Kf3 Ke7 36. Kg4 Kf6 37. Rh3 Nc8 38. Rf3+ Kg7 39. Bg6 {White is winning now.}
Nd6 40. Kg5 a5 41. Rf4 Ne4+ 42. Bxe4 dxe4 43. Rxe4 {A pure rook ending has
been reached and Nakamura patiently converts his advantage.} Rf6 44. f4 Rf5+
45. Kg4 Rb5 46. Rxe6 a4 47. Re7+ Kh6 48. Re8 Rxb2 49. Rh8+ Kg7 50. Ra8 b5 51.
e4 Ra2 52. Ra7+ ({White could have won with a speedier finish here, but it was
probably too difficult to spot and was not necessary too:} 52. e5 b4 53. f5 b3
54. f6+ Kf7 55. d5 $3 {The important nuance of winning the rook ending here.}
cxd5 56. Ra7+ Kg8 (56... Ke6 57. Re7#) 57. e6 b2 58. Ra8+ Kh7 59. e7 b1=Q 60.
Rh8+ Kxh8 61. e8=Q+ {winning}) 52... Kh6 53. Ra6 Kh7 54. Ra7+ Kh6 55. Ra6 Kh7
56. e5 b4 57. e6 b3 58. Kf5 Ra1 59. Rb6 Re1 60. Kf6 Re4 61. e7 Rxf4+ 62. Ke5
Rf1 63. Kd6 Re1 64. Kd7 c5 65. dxc5 Rd1+ 66. Kc7 Re1 67. Kd6 Rd1+ 68. Kc6 Re1
69. Rb4 b2 70. Rxb2 Rxe7 71. Ra2 1-0
[Event "Chess.com"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.02.12"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Dominguez Perez, Leinier"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D20"]
[WhiteElo "2772"]
[BlackElo "2752"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
{[%evp 0,81,19,31,19,-16,44,20,30,48,56,56,67,61,31,92,140,137,137,139,138,138,
108,122,122,107,115,115,106,68,73,28,84,58,60,20,47,49,33,1,0,-3,32,23,40,51,
72,61,72,83,113,135,135,94,73,73,0,0,0,14,25,-5,68,144,133,146,146,90,73,79,95,
143,146,126,132,134,154,159,175,175,205,187,187,201]} 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e4
b5 {One can only admire Dominguez's spirit $1 After an extremely tense and
tiring tiebreaker, he is not afraid to enter one of the most complex and sharp
lines in the Queen’s Gambit Accepted.} 4. a4 c6 5. axb5 cxb5 6. Nc3 Qb6 {
This is now more promising than 6... Bd7, at least according to Megabase.} 7.
Nd5 $5 $14 {The most aggressive move. It should be noted that not only did the
white pieces rapidly create threats while developing but they were moved at a
very rapid speed by their commander too.} ({Another highly creative player had
chosen instead:} 7. Be2 e6 8. Nh3 Bb7 9. O-O Nf6 10. e5 Nd5 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12.
Nf4 Nc6 13. Be3 Rd8 14. b3 {and the sharp battle eventually ended in a draw in
Duda,J (2760) -Karjakin,S (2743) Wijk aan Zee 2022}) 7... Qb7 ({Stockfish
271221:} 7... Qb7 8. Bf4 e5 9. Bxe5 Nd7 10. Bf4 Ngf6 11. Nc7+ Kd8 12. Nxa8
Qxe4+ 13. Ne2 Qxa8 14. Nc3 Bb4 15. f3 Re8+ 16. Be2 a5 17. O-O Qc6 18. Bd2 Qb6
19. Be1 Bb7 20. Kh1 a4 21. Qc2 Bxc3 22. bxc3 Nd5 23. Qb2 N7f6 24. Rf2 Ne3 25.
Bd2 Nfd5 26. Bf1 Bc6 27. Qb1 g6 28. Re2 Kd7 29. Qc1 Nxf1 30. Qxf1 Rxe2 31. Qxe2
{[%eval 38,40] [%wdl 85,900,15]}) 8. Bf4 e5 {A key resource to bring the idle
pieces out.} 9. Bxe5 Nd7 10. Bf4 Ngf6 {Black needs to sacrifice the exchange
but at least is gaining the initiative back.} 11. Nc7+ Kd8 12. Nxa8 Qxe4+ {
Another important, subtle move that destroys White's coordination.} 13. Ne2
Qxa8 14. f3 {Aronian intends to castle by hand.} ({Previously, White had tried
to develop with} 14. Nc3 {but did not get much after} Bb4 $146 ({The
predecessor was:} 14... a6 15. f3 Nd5 16. Bg5+ f6 17. Bd2 Nxc3 18. bxc3 Bd6 19.
Kf2 h5 20. Qc2 Qa7 {1/2-1/2 (36) Skonieczna,B (2361)-Karasova,E (2315) ICCF
email 2011}) 15. f3 Re8+ 16. Be2 a5 17. O-O Qc6 18. Re1 Bxc3 19. bxc3 Nd5 20.
Qd2 b4 {Fodor,B (2120)-Dev,S (2243) Budapest 2021}) 14... Nd5 ({The other
knight would not stand so well in the center.} 14... Nb6 15. Kf2 Nbd5 $6 16.
Bd2 $1 {as Black has problems with the king.}) 15. Bg5+ $146 {And the former
Armenian and now American defends once again his reputation as an extremely
well-prepared player by banging out a novelty.} ({The predecessor saw:} 15. Bd2
Bd6 16. Nc3 b4 17. Ne4 Re8 18. Be2 Bb8 19. O-O N7b6 20. Ra5 h6 {Nechaeva,M
(2372)-Dev,S (2248) Chess.com INT 2022}) 15... f6 {An obvious reply, but it
cost Black a precious [almost] half-an-hour on the clock.} ({In the future,
the ugly self-pin} 15... N7f6 $5 $11 {might be tested.}) ({As well as
something wild like} 15... Be7 16. Bxe7+ Kxe7 17. Nc3 Re8 18. Kf2 Kf8 19. Nxb5
Qc6 20. Nc3 Nc5 $3 21. dxc5 $2 {Stockfish 271221:} Qxc5+ 22. Kg3 Ne3 23. h3 (
23. Qa4 {Stockfish 271221:} Qe5+ 24. f4 Nf5+ 25. Kh3 Qxf4 26. Qxc4 Qh6+ 27. Kg4
Qh4+ 28. Kf3 Re3# {[%eval -32755,43] [%wdl 0,0,1000]}) 23... Nxd1 24. Rxd1 Qc7+
25. f4 Re3+ 26. Kh2 Qxf4+ 27. Kg1 Bb7 28. h4 Rg3 29. Rh2 Qe3+ 30. Kh1 Qf2 31.
h5 h6 32. Ne2 Rd3 33. Rb1 Re3 34. Rd1 Bxg2+ 35. Bxg2 Rxe2 36. Rd8+ Ke7 37. Re8+
Kxe8 38. Bc6+ Ke7 39. Rxf2 Rxf2 40. Bd5 Rxb2 41. Bxc4 Rc2 42. Bd5 Kf6 43. Kg1
Rc7 $19 44. Bf3 {[%eval -930,27] [%wdl 0,0,1000]}) 16. Bd2 Bd6 17. Ng3 {
This is the first moment in which White slightly slowed down and took some
time on the clock. b2-b3 is a threat, and therefore Black's next is best.} ({
The other way to accomplish his plan was} 17. Kf2 {when} Qb8 {is not good due
to} ({Therefore Black likely would have answered with} 17... Qc6 $1 $14) 18. b3
$16) 17... Qb8 18. Kf2 {White's plan is obvious: accomplish the development of
pieces and castle by hand. After some more thought, Dominguez went for} Re8 ({
Here it appears that the maneuver} 18... Bc7 $1 {intending Bc7-b6 is strong,
when} 19. Ba5 {can be met with} ({And if} 19. Be2 {then Black would have an
extra choice in comparison to the game in the line} Bb6 20. Ba5 Qf4 $5 21.
Bxb6+ N7xb6 22. Rxa7 Re8 $1 $19 {with a strong initiative for the exchange.})
19... Bxa5 20. Rxa5 Qb6 21. Ra1 Ne5 $1 $17 {[%csl Gd4,Gf2][%cal Rb6f2] and
another nice maneuver will be completed with Ne5-c6 $1}) 19. Be2 Bc7 $1 {
The same maneuver is still excellent; however, Aronian managed to escape the
danger zone.} 20. Re1 Bb6 21. Kg1 {[%cal Gg1h1]} Ne5 {And this maneuver is
still there; Black is heading for the d4-pawn. But… this is the moment in
which the computer goes bananas, and it falls in love with White's position.} (
{Something solid like} 21... Qc7 {[%cal Gc7c4,Rc4c3]} 22. Kh1 Bb7 23. Bf1 $16 {
seemed normal.}) ({It is clear why Black is reluctant to open the d-file at
once.} 21... Bxd4+ $6 22. Kh1 Bb6 23. Qc2 $18 {[%csl Gd8][%cal Ra1d1,Rd1d8]
The black king is about to catch a cold along the d-file.}) 22. Kh1 $1 {
This was part of his plan anyway.} Nc6 {[%tqu "En","","","","b2b3","Aronian
knows that the opening of the files can only serve him well.",10]} 23. b3 $3 {
[%csl Gb5,Gc4][%cal Re2b5,Rd1b3] Aronian knows that the opening of the files
can only serve him well.} c3 {The only reasonable move.} ({Or} 23... cxb3 24.
Qxb3 $18 {[%cal Rb3d5,Rb3b5,Re2b5,Rb5e8] which is simply horrible for Black.})
24. Bxb5 $1 {[%cal Rb5e8]} Bd7 {It seems as if the c3-passer is too big to
fall.} ({After} 24... Rxe1+ 25. Bxe1 Nxd4 {White has} 26. Bc4 c2 27. Qd2 Qd6
28. Ne4 $18 {[%csl Rc4,Re4][%cal Ge1f2,Rf2d4,Rd2d4,Rd2d5] followed by Be1-f2
$1, eventually reaching the c2-pawn.}) 25. Rxe8+ Bxe8 26. Be1 $6 {And White
starts to play around the passer.} ({A pity $1 The forcing lines after} 26.
Bxc6 $1 Bxc6 27. Bxc3 $3 {would have won the game on the spot. The lines are
super-complicated, but the machine confirms that Black cannot hold on to the
extra pieces, say} Nxc3 28. Qc2 {[%csl Gc3,Gc6][%cal Rc2c6]} Bxd4 29. Qd3 Qe5 (
{Or:} 29... Nb5 30. Ne2 Qd6 31. Nxd4 Qxd4 32. Qxd4+ Nxd4 33. Rd1 $18 {[%cal
Rd1d8]}) 30. Nf5 {[%cal Rf5d4,Rf5g7] And most lolvely followup is} Ne2 31. Rd1
Bb5 32. Nxd4 $3 {[%cal Gd4c6,Rc6d8,Rc6e5]} Bxd3 33. Nc6+ {[%cal Rc6e5,Rc6d8,
Rd1d8] A nice geometrical combination $1}) 26... Nxd4 27. Bxe8 $6 {Most likely
Aronian simply believed that this is the easiest route to victory.} ({However,
stronger seemed to get rid of both black knights at once with} 27. Bc4 $3 Qe5
28. Bxd5 c2 29. Qd2 Qxd5 30. Bf2 {[%csl Gc2][%cal Rf2d4]} Bc6 (30... Bg6 $2 31.
Ne2 $18 {[%cal Rd2d4,Re2d4,Rf2d4,Gd5d4,Gb6d4]}) 31. Bxd4 Qxd4 32. Qxd4+ Bxd4
33. Rc1 $1 {[%csl Gc2,Gc6][%cal Rc1c6,Rc1c2] when White should convert his
material advantage.}) 27... c2 $1 {The only move $1} ({White certainly liked
the prospect of} 27... Kxe8 28. Bxc3 $1 Nxc3 29. Qe1+ Nce2 {And now the fine
finishing touch} 30. Ra2 $1 {[%cal Ra2e2,Re1e2]} ({Rather than} 30. Nxe2 $2 Nc2
$1)) 28. Qd3 Kxe8 29. Bd2 ({It was not too late to convert with} 29. Ne2 $1 Qe5
30. Nxd4 Bxd4 31. Rc1 {when, despite the scary passer, White is somehow always
in time.} Bb2 ({Or} 31... Ne3 32. Bg3 Qc5 33. Bf2 $18 {[%cal Rf2e3,Rd3c2,Rc1c2]
}) 32. Bg3 Nb4 33. Bxe5 Nxd3 34. Bxb2 {[%csl Gc2][%cal Rc1c2,Gd3c1,Gb2c1,Gh1g1,
Gf2e2,Ge2d2,Gg1f2] and White wins.}) 29... Qe5 30. Rc1 ({Not:} 30. Re1 $4 Qxe1+
31. Bxe1 c1=Q) 30... f5 $1 {Dominguez finds the only idea to stay in the game.}
31. Qc4 Ne3 {But the time trouble finally takes its toll.} ({The knight entry
should have been prepared with the preliminary} 31... f4 32. Ne4 ({Or} 32. Qc8+
Kf7 33. Ne4 h6 $14) 32... Ne3 {Then} 33. Qc8+ Ke7 34. Bb4+ Kf7 35. Qf8+ Kg6 36.
Bd6 Qf5 37. Qe8+ Qf7 38. Qxf7+ Kxf7 39. Bxf4 Nd5 40. Bd2 Bd8 $13 {Leads to a
very peculiar endgame where White cannot find a proper way to swap the knight
on d4. Therefore, nothing would have been clear yet $1}) 32. Qc8+ {Now Aronian
wins by force} Kf7 33. Qd7+ Kg6 (33... Kf6 {loses even faster after} 34. f4 $1
$18 {[%cal Gg3h5,Rh5f6,Rh5f4]}) 34. f4 $1 {Nevertheless, the queens are traded.
} Qe6 ({Since} 34... Qxf4 35. Qe8+ {[%cal Rd2e3,Re8e3,Re8g6] drops the knight.}
) 35. Qxe6+ Nxe6 36. Ne2 $1 {Precision $1 The c2-pawn is not going anywhere,
so why give Black another pawn in return $2} ({would have won as well.} 36.
Bxe3 Bxe3 37. Rxc2 $18) 36... Ng4 37. g3 Nc5 38. b4 Nd3 39. Rxc2 Ngf2+ 40. Kg2
Ne4 41. Nc1 {The new-American is delivering $1} 1-0
[Event "FIDE Grand Prix-I KO 2022"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "2022.02.13"]
[Round "1.2"]
[White "Dominguez Perez, Leinier"]
[Black "Aronian, Levon"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C55"]
[WhiteElo "2752"]
[BlackElo "2772"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2022.02.12"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2022.02.13"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 Be7 5. O-O O-O (5... d6 6. a3 Nd7 7. Ba2
O-O 8. Nc3 Nb6 {was Aronian's way of handling the position in Nepomniachtchi,I
(2740)-Aronian,L (2795) Tal Memorial, Moscow 2016.}) 6. Re1 d6 7. a4 Na5 8. Ba2
c5 9. c3 Nc6 10. Na3 Be6 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12. Bd2 a6 13. b4 {It may not be
advisable to second-guess the middlegame plan adopted by a super-GM, but it is
this direct plan which seems to have let to neutralization of White's
advantage.} ({A slower plan with} 13. h3 Qe8 14. Nc4 {has been adopted in a
few Correspondence games around here.}) 13... cxb4 14. cxb4 d5 15. Nc2 b5 {
Dominguez called Black's previous two moves as \"very concrete.\" After a
flurry of simplifications, the position becomes almost level.} 16. axb5 axb5
17. Rxa8 Qxa8 18. exd5 Nxd5 {\"I am not even better after these complications,
\" confessed Dominguez about this position.} 19. Nxe5 Ncxb4 20. Nxb4 Nxb4 {
A mild error by Aronian.} (20... Bxb4 21. Bxb4 Nxb4 22. Qg4 Qa2 $1 {and Black
equalizes.}) 21. Qb3 ({A better try could have been} 21. Qg4 Qa2 22. Re2 Qb1+
23. Be1 Rf5 {and though the position is still quite level, White could have
carried on, being on the better side of equality.}) 21... Qd5 {The position is
completely equal now.} 22. Rb1 Qxe5 23. Bxb4 Bxb4 24. Qxb4 Qe2 25. Qc5 Qxd3 26.
Qxb5 Qxb5 27. Rxb5 Rd8 28. g3 Kf7 29. Kg2 Kf6 30. h4 h6 31. Rb4 1/2-1/2
[Event "Chess.com"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.02.12"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Rapport, Richard"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A07"]
[WhiteElo "2763"]
[BlackElo "2736"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "60"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
{[%evp 0,60,34,34,29,-22,-13,-12,18,1,4,1,19,-2,-5,-23,-8,6,17,13,21,17,31,-11,
-3,19,-12,7,-2,-37,-36,-28,-28,-53,-44,-51,-2,-42,-44,-23,-24,-32,-14,-14,-34,
-26,14,21,2,-13,-9,-32,-14,-5,-3,-9,-6,8,-2,-14,10,-10,-20]} 1. Nf3 {Rapport
needs only a win and, therefore, decides to avoid the classical theoretical
lines on which his opponent has built his opening repertoire.} d5 2. g3 Nf6 3.
Bg2 e6 4. O-O Be7 5. d3 O-O 6. Nbd2 {There is revived interest in the King's
Indian Attack.} Nc6 {Which, in turn, forces Black to search for new resources.
The move in the game prepares e6-e5, effectively entering into a reversed Pirc.
} 7. d4 $6 {Rapport had already played like that in the past. He is trying to
make use of the fact that c7-c5 is not possible at the moment.} ({Nakamura,
too, has experience in the line as the following game suggests} 7. e4 dxe4 8.
dxe4 e5 9. c3 Be6 10. Qe2 a5 $5 11. Rd1 $146 Qc8 12. Nc4 Bg4 13. Ne3 Bc5 14.
Nd5 Ne8 15. Be3 Bd6 {with approximate equality in Mamedyarov,S (2770)-Nakamura,
H (2736) chess24.com INT 2021}) 7... Ne4 {Black also makes use of the given
opportunity.} ({In the after-match encounter, the world champion and the
contender discussed the consequences of the immediate bishop development} 7...
b6 8. b3 Bb7 9. Bb2 Na5 10. Ne5 c5 11. dxc5 Bxc5 12. c4 Rc8 13. Rc1 Qe7 14.
cxd5 Bxd5 15. Nd3 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 Bd6 {and at this point of the game, Black had
little to complain about, Carlsen,M (2856) -Nepomniachtchi,I (2782) Warsaw 2021
}) 8. c3 f5 {And builds a Stonewall setup. It is amusing how often a pawn
chain can be readapted in semi-closed openings.} 9. Ne1 {[%cal Gf2f3,Rf3e4,
Ge1d3,Gd3f4,Gd3e5,Gd3c5] A typical pirouette in the Stonewall. Knight on the
right frees the spot for its colleague while heading towards the d3-square in
order to take the vital e5-point under a firm control.} e5 {Not giving the
square without a fight.} 10. Ndf3 $6 Bf6 11. e3 b6 $146 {This is a novelty. So
far both players have followed an earlier game of the Hungarian GM.} ({There
he quickly got everything that he wanted with:} 11... Kh8 12. Nd3 exd4 13. exd4
Be6 14. h4 Ne7 15. Re1 Bg8 16. Nfe5 {Rapport,R (2726)-Coenen,M (2364) Germany
2019} Nc8 17. Bf4 Nb6 18. Qc2 Nd7 19. Rad1 Re8 20. Bh3 Be6 21. f3 Nd6 22. Nc5
Nf8 23. Re2 Bxh4 24. gxh4 Qxh4 25. Qd2 Nc4 26. Nxc4 Ng6 27. Bxc7 dxc4 28. Nxe6
Qxh3 29. Rh2 {1-0 (29) Rapport,R (2726)-Coenen, M (2364) Germany 2019}) 12. Nd3
{Following his main plan.} ({The immediate} 12. dxe5 {is cheeky when} Nxe5 $2 {
may suddenly bring Black into trouble after} ({However, the other recapture}
12... Bxe5 $1 {is perfectly safe for Black.}) 13. Nxe5 Bxe5 14. f3 {and the
knight has no retreat square, for example} Nc5 (14... Nd6 15. Qxd5+) (14... Nf6
15. f4) 15. f4) 12... Re8 {The center deserves to be overprotected.} 13. Re1
Ba6 14. Bh3 {[%cal Rh3f5] And before forcing the situation in the center
Rapport decided to provoke a weakening. Alas, he does not have the time for it.
} ({Therefore, stronger is the immediate capture with} 14. Ndxe5 Nxe5 15. dxe5
Bxe5 16. Nxe5 Rxe5 {The position is balanced, but on the long run White can
hope to make use of the power of his bishop pair. Also here} 17. b3 $1 {
[%csl Rc3][%cal Gb3c4,Gb3a4] is possible since} Nxc3 $4 {fails to} 18. Qd4)
14... Bxd3 $1 {Effective thinking by Nakamura $1 He destroys one of the most
important pieces in the opponent's camp and fixes as much as he can the
position for his knights.} ({The other move is} 14... g6 {when in comparison
to above the line} 15. Ndxe5 Nxe5 16. dxe5 Bxe5 17. Nxe5 Rxe5 18. b3 $11 {
promises White more chances to play for a win thanks to the weakened black
kingside.}) 15. Qxd3 Qd7 {Also solid and good. It is all about the solid
central control.} 16. Rd1 ({Rapport already has to be careful, for instance}
16. b3 {[%cal Gc1b2] is unpleasantly met with} g5 $5 $17 {[%cal Rg5g4]}) 16...
Rad8 ({Here} 16... g5 $2 {might backfire after} 17. dxe5 Bxe5 ({White is also
significantly better in case of} 17... Nxe5 18. Nxe5 Rxe5 19. f4 $1 $14 {
[%cal Rf4e5]}) 18. Qxe4 $1) 17. b4 {One final effort to seize the center, but
it won't be enough.} ({The straightforward} 17. dxe5 Nxe5 18. Nxe5 Rxe5 {
should be equal, and there are not too many ways to unbalance the situation.})
17... Qe6 $1 {Again the strongest continuation by the American GM.} (17... g5 {
would have been OK too, as after} 18. b5 Na5 19. dxe5 Bxe5 20. Nxe5 Rxe5 21.
Bf1 Qf7 {Black controls a lot of key squares for his knights.}) 18. b5 Na5 19.
dxe5 Bxe5 20. Nd4 Qh6 21. Bg2 Qf6 22. a4 {Intending Ra1-a2 and then to slowly
prepare something in the center.} Bxd4 $1 {But the second proper trade of a
bishop for a knight leaves Black dominating.} (22... Rd7 {is possible as well,
slowly preparing Na5-c4, but then Black would always have to consider some
Nd4-c6 maneuvers} 23. Ra2 g6) 23. cxd4 ({Or} 23. exd4 Nc4 $11 {[%csl Ga1,Gc1,
Gd1][%cal Rc4b2,Rc4a3] when the white bishops have no career at all.}) 23... c5
{The threat is c5-c4; White's next is forced.} 24. bxc6 Qxc6 25. Bd2 Nc4 {
And the knights look far better than the bishops. After a few more maneuvers}
26. Rdc1 {[%cal Rc1c6]} Rc8 27. Be1 Qe6 28. Rcb1 (28. f3 Nf6 $15 {[%csl Ge3]
loses the e3-pawn.}) 28... a6 29. Rb3 Rc6 30. Rab1 g5 $15 {Nakamura offered a
draw, and Rapport accepted his match defeat.} ({As the Hungarian GM clearly
knew that it is only Black who can play for the full point after say} 30... g5
31. f3 Nf6 32. Bf2 g4) 1/2-1/2
[Event "FIDE Chess Grand Prix 1 2022 | Knockout"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.02.13"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Aronian, Levon"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C88"]
[WhiteElo "2736"]
[BlackElo "2772"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "108"]
[EventDate "2022.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. h3
{Very few people dare to enter the Marshall Attack against Aronian these days.}
Bb7 9. d3 d6 10. a3 Qd7 11. Nc3 {The first major thought by White.} Nd8 {
The first critical moment of the game. After some more thought, Nakamura
played a novelty.} ({Aronian himself used this same line to defeat Black in
the following recent game:} 11... Rfe8 12. Ne2 Nd8 13. Ng3 Ne6 14. Ng5 Nxg5 15.
Bxg5 h6 16. Bd2 c5 17. Qf3 Bd8 18. Nf5 {with an advantage for White in Aronian,
L (2782)-Ding,L (2799) Chess. com INT 2021}) 12. Nh2 $146 ({The predecessor
saw:} 12. Nd5 Nxd5 13. exd5 c6 14. c4 cxd5 15. cxd5 f6 16. a4 Nf7 17. d4 {
with approximate equality in Maghsoodloo,P (2676)-Svidler,P (2723) Chess.com
INT 2020}) ({This moment was interesting as White could have used the somewhat
softened center and moved aggressively forward with} 12. d4 {It was not quite
clear what Nakamura did not like (perhaps the fact that Aronian once again
guessed the opening fine and practically blitzed his moves). The interesting
pawn sacrifice in the line} Ne6 $5 {might have been the issue, for example
after} 13. dxe5 dxe5 14. Nxe5 ({However} 14. Bd5 {wins the pawn, although after
} c6 15. Nxe5 Qc7 16. Bxe6 fxe6 17. Nd3 c5 {Black seems to have good
compensation thanks to his potent bishop pair.}) ({It is also equal in case of
} 14. Qxd7 Nxd7 15. Bd5 Rfb8 $1) 14... Qxd1 15. Rxd1 Nxe4 {it is even.}) 12...
Ne6 13. Ng4 {The point of the maneuver, but Black is well prepared for it.} Kh8
(13... c6 $5) 14. Nxf6 Bxf6 15. Qg4 (15. Nd5 Bd8 {only helps Black regroup
nicely.}) 15... Rae8 $1 {A nice move that overprotects the knight and sets
free the black queen. The opening was quite a success for Aronian. His play is
easy, he has a lot of interesting maneuvers, and he has a clear plan of a
kingside expansion once the f7-f5 break is prepared.} 16. a4 {An attempt to
occupy the open file.} ({Black's last move also prevented.} 16. f4 {would be
nicely met with} exf4 17. Bxf4 Qd8 $1 18. Bg3 Nd4) 16... b4 $1 {Aronian plays
for the initiative with his usual creativity and optimism.} 17. Ne2 {And
Nakamura decides once again to reject the pawn sacrifice.} ({In the line} 17.
Nd5 Bd8 18. Nxb4 {The white knight is poorly misplaced on the queenside which
provides White extra possibilities on the opposite wing and} f5 {comes just in
time, for example} (18... g6 $5) 19. exf5 Nd4 20. f6 Qxg4 21. hxg4 c5 22. fxg7+
Kxg7 23. Na2 Rxf2 $1 24. Kxf2 Bh4+ 25. g3 Rf8+ 26. Kg1 Nf3+ {and White needs
to fight fiercely for his skin.}) 17... Qd8 {Black just follows his plan.} ({
Although there were a couple of nice alternatives like} 17... g6 $5) ({Or}
17... Bd8 $5) 18. c3 bxc3 19. bxc3 g6 20. Bd5 {Nakamura found a way to create
counterplay. He clears the fourth rank for the queen and starts looking at the
black weaknesses on the queenside.} Bxd5 21. exd5 Nc5 22. Bh6 $1 {Time for
Nakamura to be creative $1 It is his turn to sacrifice a pawn.} ({Perhaps the
immediate} 22. Qc4 $5 {was safer, when} e4 {looks fearsome, but White is OK
after} 23. Ng3 $1 exd3 (23... Nxd3 24. Rxe4) 24. Be3) 22... Nxd3 {And Aronian
needs no second invitation.} ({However, here} 22... Bg7 $5 23. Bxg7+ Kxg7 24.
Qc4 e4 {looked more promising for Black than before.}) 23. Bxf8 Nxe1 24. Rxe1
Rxf8 25. Qc4 Qa8 26. Rb1 {Playing for domination. For his (doubled) pawn White
got some extra air for his pieces—open files and squares—and a clear shot
at the c7- and a6-pawns. The latter is especially important for both sides. In
perspective, White can also hope for a perfect pair of a queen-and-a-knight
versus queen-and-a-bishop.} ({Nakamura is correctly rejecting} 26. Qxc7 {
on account of} Qxd5 27. Ng3 Bd8 $1 {A neat move that wins a tempo against the
white queen.} ({Not the immediate} 27... Bh4 28. Ne4 {with the threat of a
g2-g3 $1}) 28. Qd7 Bh4 29. Ne4 Rd8 {and Black is much better.}) 26... Rb8 {
Here and in the future, it seemed as if Aronian helped his opponent a bit.} ({
My feeling is that the rooks should have been kept on the board, for example
with} 26... Rc8 $5 27. Ng3 (27. Qc6 Qxc6 28. dxc6 d5 $1 {does not bother the
second player.}) 27... Kg7 {then Black can prepare the c7-c6 advance in a good
moment.}) 27. Rb4 {A very solid construction was built by White, but he is
starting to feel the time deficit.} Kg7 28. Ng3 h5 {Aronian needs to bring his
pawns into motion.} 29. Ne4 Bd8 30. a5 Qa7 ({There was still} 30... Rc8 $1 31.
g3 h4 32. g4 Be7 {with c7-c6 to follow soon.}) 31. g3 $1 {In order to secure
some more squares for the knight, but also to hide the king from the possible
double-attacks.} ({Like this one} 31. Rxb8 Qxb8 32. Qxa6 $4 Qb1+) 31... f5 32.
Nd2 Rxb4 {In the opponent's time trouble, Aronian tries to complicate matters
as much as possible.} ({Or else White will win the a-pawn, say in this line}
32... Bf6 33. Rxb8 Qxb8 34. Qxa6 Qb2 35. Nf1 Qxc3 36. Qb5 {and, with outside
passer, Nakamura will risk nothing.}) 33. cxb4 e4 {But this softens the
important d4-square.} 34. Nb3 Bf6 35. Kg2 {A curious position $1 The white
queen is watching both black weaknesses, whereas the black bishop is very
aware of the opponent's knight’s intention to jump all the way to the e6- or
c6-outposts. Nakamura now owns the better pair of pieces and this should have
made Aronian more alert.} h4 {Nope, he tries to push further for a win.} ({
It was time to consider some} 35... e3 {and eventually look for a perpetual
once that the diagonal for the queen is cleared later.} 36. f3 (36. f4)) 36.
gxh4 $1 {This one is for free.} Kf7 ({The d4-square is important for Black.}
36... Bxh4 $4 37. Qd4+ Qxd4 38. Nxd4 {followed by b4-b5 makes the a-passer a
queen.}) ({It was about time to force a draw with something like} 36... e3 37.
f4 e2 38. Qxe2 Bxh4 39. Qd2 Bf6 40. Qd3 Qb7 41. Qc4 Qa7) 37. h5 {Short on time,
Nakamura feels that this is the moment and spends his last seconds to see the
best continuation.} ({It seems as if White missed a golden chance. The move}
37. Qc6 $3 {would have allowed him almost decisive infiltration, for example
in the beautiful line} Bxh4 ({Black's last chance in this line would have been
} 37... Kg7 {However, it is not clear if he can survive after} 38. h5 ({Or} 38.
Qd7+ $5) 38... gxh5 39. Qd7+ Kg6 40. Qe8+ Kg7 41. b5 axb5 42. Qxb5 {and in
comparison to the game, White is a few tempi ahead.}) 38. Qd7+ Kg8 39. Nc5 $3 {
wins on the spot after} dxc5 40. d6 cxb4 41. Qc8+ Kf7 42. Qxc7+ Qxc7 43. dxc7 {
yet another passer reaches the final row.}) 37... gxh5 38. b5 e3 $1 {Time to
bail out. Her majesty would do the job, with a little help from her friends.
(the bands Queen and Beatles have nothing to do with the story.)} 39. f4 ({Or}
39. bxa6 exf2 40. Nd2 Kg6) 39... Qb8 40. Kf1 ({After} 40. bxa6 {it is only
White who risks, although the machine claims this to be a draw as well after
something like} Qg8+ 41. Kh1 Qg3 42. Qf1 e2 43. Qxe2 Qxh3+ 44. Kg1 Qxb3 45.
Qe6+ Kg7 46. Qd7+) 40... axb5 41. Qc6 e2+ 42. Kxe2 Qa7 $1 43. a6 {This passer
is still huge, and will finally become a queen, but Aronian finds some
study-like ideas to survive just in time.} Qg1 44. Qxc7+ Kg6 45. Nd2 Qh2+ 46.
Kd1 Qxf4 47. a7 Bg5 48. Qa5 ({Nothing changes.} 48. Qc2 Qd4 49. a8=Q Qg1+ 50.
Ke2 Qe3+ 51. Kf1 Qxh3+) 48... b4 49. Qa2 b3 $1 50. Qa5 Qe3 51. a8=Q Qg1+ 52.
Ke2 Qe3+ 53. Kd1 Qg1+ 54. Ke2 Qe3+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "FIDE Chess Grand Prix 1 2022 | Knockout"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.02.16"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C54"]
[WhiteElo "2772"]
[BlackElo "2736"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "58"]
[EventDate "2022.02.16"]
1. e4 e5 {So far, a very classical match.} 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 {Aronian's choice
is the Italian instead of the Ruy Lopez.} Bc5 {The most aggressive development
of the bishop.} 4. d3 Nf6 5. O-O d6 6. c3 a6 7. a4 {Nowadays, this advance is
more popular than 7.Bb3.} Ba7 8. Na3 {A flexible development and one more
route for the knight to reach the f5-outpost.} ({Although the standard} 8. Nbd2
{is still White's more common choice, as in this recent game.} O-O 9. h3 h6 10.
Re1 Re8 11. b4 Be6 12. Bxe6 Rxe6 13. Bb2 Ne7 14. Nf1 Ng6 15. c4 {And White got
a bit of a pull in Karjakin,S (2743)-Amin,B (2680) Warsaw 2021}) 8... Ne7 9.
Nc2 Ng6 {Both sides are nicely re-deploying their knights.} 10. Be3 Bxe3 11.
Nxe3 O-O 12. a5 {Now, in the case of the hypothetical swap of d-pawns, White's
pawn structure will be always somewhat better.} c6 13. Bb3 h6 14. Bc2 Re8 15.
Re1 {Both sides are shifting their troops toward the center, where the opening
outcome will be finally determined.} Qc7 $146 {Played after more than half an
hour of thought! Apparently, Nakamura was carefully checking if his active
play will work.} ({They both were likely aware of the email predecessor:} 15...
d5 16. exd5 cxd5 17. d4 e4 18. Nd2 Nf4 19. f3 Bd7 20. Kh1 Qc7 21. fxe4 dxe4 22.
Ndc4 Bc6 23. Nb6 Rad8 24. Rf1 N4d5 {when, after the central trades, the game
petered out into a draw, Keuter,K (2421)-Bastos,P (2460) GER email 2016}) 16.
d4 {The only way to question Black's strategy. If Black does not strike in the
center, White will.} exd4 {This is more or less forced positionally, as
mentioned above.} 17. Qxd4 c5 {Nakamura's play is very aggressive but risky.
If Aronian could manage to fix the weaknesses, Black would suffer till the end
of the game.} ({The immediate} 17... Bg4 {is not convincing due to} 18. Nxg4
Nxg4 19. h3 N4e5 20. Nd2 {when White can later Prepare the f2-f4 advance.}) 18.
Qd2 {This obvious retreat does not promise White anything.} ({The other two
retreats might have promised more. First of all} 18. Qd3 $5 {does not lose a
pawn due to the line} Rxe4 $2 ({However, Nakamura can opt for} 18... Bd7 $5 {
when} 19. Red1 (19. Rad1 Bc6 20. Qxd6 Qxa5 {is equal.}) 19... Re6 {Looks fine
for Black, one point being that} 20. Bb3 {is plain bad due to} Nf4 $1) 19. Nd5
$1 Rxe1+ 20. Rxe1 Nxd5 21. Re8+ $1 {when Black is suddenly not capable of
defending.} Kh7 (21... Nf8 22. Qh7#) 22. Qxd5 {Here a freeing} Be6 {is needed
but does not work due to the neat} 23. Rxe6 $1 fxe6 24. Qxe6) ({Perhaps the
best option was to retreat to the initial square.} 18. Qd1 $5 {Then,} Bg4 {
can be met with} ({And here} 18... Bd7 {could be answered with} 19. c4 $1 Bc6
20. Nd5 Bxd5 21. cxd5 {looking for a favorable Benoni-type structure. Still,
it is not quite certain if White has achieved that much.}) 19. Nxg4 Nxg4 20.
Nd2 {followed by Nd2-c4, with a white edge.}) 18... Bg4 $1 {An equalizer.} ({
Correctly avoiding} 18... Bd7 19. Red1 Re6 20. Bb3 $1 Nxe4 21. Qc2 Ree8 22. Nd5
$1 {with obvious White domination.}) 19. Nxg4 Nxg4 20. Qd1 {Aronian admits his
mistake, but the given tempo can be used by his opponent.} b5 {Once again
demonstrating activity.} ({The other way was} 20... N4e5 21. Nd2 Nf4 {although
here Black still has to maneuver carefully.}) 21. axb6 Qxb6 22. Nd2 {Aronian
does not see any advantage for himself and opts for a draw.} (22. Rb1 $5 {
was the last fighting try.}) 22... Qxb2 {Carefully calculated, as always.} 23.
Nc4 Qxc3 24. Nb6 Rab8 25. Nd5 Qb2 {The only square, but sufficient. The queen
needs to stick to the white bishop.} (25... Qc4 $2 {loses material after} 26.
Ra4) 26. Rb1 Qa2 27. Ra1 Qb2 28. Rb1 Qa2 29. Ra1 Qb2 1/2-1/2