[Event "FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.10.26"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Chigaev, Maksim"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B81"]
[WhiteElo "2800"]
[BlackElo "2639"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 {It is extremely
hard to guess what will Caruana choose against the Najdorf, but this
modest-looking move seems to suit his style well.} e6 ({A recent game of the
American GM saw} 6... e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. g4 h6 9. Be3 Nbd7 10. a4 Nf8 11. Qf3 Ng6
12. O-O-O Bd7 13. a5 O-O 14. Kb1 {and White later won in Caruana,F (2822)
-Saric,I (2655) Chess.com 2020}) 7. g4 h6 ({Grischuk preferred instead to
avoid this move and opted for} 7... Be7 8. g5 Nfd7 9. Be3 b5 10. a3 Bb7 11. h4
Nc6 12. Nxc6 Bxc6 13. Qd4 O-O 14. O-O-O Nc5 15. f3 Rb8 16. Rg1 a5 {Duda,J
(2757)-Grischuk,A (2777) Chess.com 2020}) 8. a3 $5 {A crafty little move,
which still needs to prove it is useful later. But since Black's main idea is
to attack the center and the queenside with b7-b5-b4 thrust, it certainly
makes sense.} Be7 9. Be3 Nc6 10. Rg1 Nd7 $146 {A typical maneuver and a
novelty.} ({In an email predecessor Black chose instead} 10... Qc7 11. Qe2 Nxd4
12. Bxd4 e5 13. Be3 Be6 14. O-O-O Rc8 15. Kb1 Qc6 16. Bg2 Nd7 {Zolochevsky,V
(2365) -Ermolaev,A (2431) ICCF email 2011}) 11. Be2 g5 {\"Probably not really
good for Black.\" (Caruana)} ({Instead} 11... Rb8 $5 {looks more natural, when
Black intends to trade on d4 and then start pushing his b-pawn.}) 12. Qd2 Nce5
({After} 12... Nxd4 {White would have likely reacted with} 13. Bxd4 Ne5 14.
O-O-O {and then h3-h4 as in the game.}) 13. O-O-O b5 (13... Ng6 $5 {was an
interesting attempt to slow down the opponent's kingside initiative.}) 14. h4
$1 {This is the reason why Caruana did not trust the g7-g5 push. White will be
the one to capitalize on the opening of the h-file.} Bb7 ({Certainly not} 14...
gxh4 $2 15. f4 Ng6 16. f5 {when Black's position collapses at once.}) 15. hxg5
hxg5 16. Rh1 Rg8 $1 {Chigaev knows that this rook is a most important defender.
} 17. Rh5 {Very logical and straightforward play by White.} (17. Nb3 $5 {
looked interesting as well, gaining some extra control in the center. Then the
maneuver Nd7-b6-(c4) can be always met with Nb3-a5.}) 17... Rc8 18. Rdh1 Bf6 {
The exchange sacrifice is in the air and White prevents it with...} ({Here}
18... Nb6 {was already interesting. Chigaev might have disliked} 19. Rh8 {
but the black king feels surprising well in the center after} Kd7 20. Rxg8 Qxg8
21. b3) 19. f3 {...to which Chigaev keeps maneuvering} Qe7 ({This, however,
misses a good moment for a central strike with} 19... Nb6 $1 20. b3 d5 $1 {
Black solves all his problems , although the position gets extremely messy.})
20. Kb1 {A useful move.} ({The machine likes} 20. Nb3 {but a human would not
like to allow anything like} Rxc3 21. Qxc3 Nxf3 22. Qb4) 20... Nc4 ({Here}
20... Nb6 {does not seem as effective after} 21. b3 d5 22. f4 $1 gxf4 23. Bxf4
Ng6 24. e5 $1 Bg7 25. Bxb5+ $1 axb5 26. Ncxb5 {with large attack for White.})
21. Bxc4 Rxc4 {\"When I played\"} 22. b3 {\"I pretty much decided on the
sacrifice.\" (Caruana)} Rc8 23. Nd5 $1 {Caruana called it an extremely risky
sacrifice. \"It's not even like I have a very direct attack. I have some
initiative, which could last you know, for a move.\"} ({Caruana had a lot of
other reasonable alternatives, like} 23. Rh6) ({Or} 23. Rh7) ({Or} 23. Nde2)
23... exd5 24. Nf5 Qe6 25. Bxg5 {For the piece White got open files and
diagonals. And a 100-million-Pegasus.} Bc3 {A good move $1 It was however
played after quite a significant amount of time spent on the clock. Chigaev
was likely trying to put himself together.} ({Instead} 25... Bxg5 $2 {would
have left Black without enough defenders and losing due to} 26. Rxg5 Rxg5 27.
Qxg5) ({However, the other capture} 25... Rxg5 $5 {might have attracted Black.
The dark-squared bishop is far more valuable than Rg8 as it covers more
important squares and is good for both the defence and the counter-attack. The
game is unclear after} 26. Rxg5 Ne5 27. Rg8+ Kd7 28. Rxc8 Kxc8) 26. Qh2 {
Aiming at the other significant black weakness.} Ne5 {The best defence again.}
({Not} 26... Be5 27. f4) 27. Rh6 Rg6 {This time Chigaev errs, and this is all
that it takes for any of the sides to lose instantly in this super-sharp
position.} ({Strong was} 27... Ng6 $1 28. Nxd6+ Kd7 29. Nxb7 Kc6 {regaining
the knight in an original way. White then has enough for the piece, but Black
can also be happy with his improved king safety.}) 28. Rxg6 $1 {\"I think he
missed this.\" (Caruana) White trades a key defender and then quickly
infiltrates into the enemy camp.} ({Black apparently expected} 28. Ng7+ Rxg7
29. Rxe6+ fxe6 30. Bf6 {with a messy position.}) 28... Qxg6 29. Qf4 $1 {
All the white pieces gain coordination and Caruana converts in style.} Nxf3 ({
Perhaps Chigaev should have tried} 29... f6 30. Nxd6+ Kd7 31. Bxf6 Rf8 {
although here too, White is significantly better.}) (29... Kd7 30. Rh6 $1 {
loses on the spot.}) 30. Qxf3 dxe4 ({Or} 30... Qxg5 31. Nxd6+ Kd7 32. Nxc8 {
and White wins material.}) 31. Qe3 $1 {The decisive infiltration.} Bg7 32. Qa7
$1 Qxg5 33. Qxb7 Rd8 34. Rh7 1-0
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.10.28"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Predke, Alexandr"]
[Black "Yakubboev, Nodirbek"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E71"]
[WhiteElo "2666"]
[BlackElo "2621"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. h3 O-O 6. Bg5 {One of those
smothering systems that the KID players need to face.} Nc6 {After a lengthy
think Yakubboev opts for an aggressive line that aims to benefit on the
relevant weakness of the d4-pawn.} ({Black can also go for the direct} 6... h6
7. Be3 e5 8. d5 Na6 9. Bd3 Nd7 10. a3 Nac5 11. Bc2 f5 12. b4 Nxe4 13. Nxe4 fxe4
14. Bxe4 {as in Vallejo Pons,F (2701)-Jones,G (2657) Online 2021}) 7. Nf3 h6 {
It is important to break the pin before the next move.} 8. Be3 e5 9. d5 Nd4 {
That's the point behind Black's play. The central black pawn has been
sacrificed earlier too, and as a rule White avoids to capture it.} ({Instead}
9... Ne7 {looks too passive when White can opt for} 10. Qd2 ({Or the immediate
} 10. g4 $5) 10... Kh7 11. g4 {when White's main idea is to lock the kingside
first with aggressive play and they play a one-sided game on the opposite wing.
Knowing this, Black often risks and may fall into a proper kingside attack, as
in this game} c5 12. Bd3 a6 13. Ne2 b5 14. Ng3 bxc4 15. Bxc4 Bd7 16. g5 hxg5
17. Nxg5+ Kg8 18. Be2 Bb5 19. h4 Rb8 20. Kf1 Bxe2+ 21. Qxe2 Qb6 22. Kg2 Qb5 23.
Qf3 Qd7 24. h5 {Pultinevicius,P (2501)-Mamedov,R (2654) Online 2021}) 10. Nxd4
exd4 11. Qxd4 {Well, that is interesting. But how to react to} Ng4 12. hxg4 $3
$146 {Aha, here it is $1 This novelty will likely take away Blacks desire to
try and take over the initiative that early.} ({Instead, an earlier game
offered Black a pleasant play on the dark-squares after} 12. Qd2 Nxe3 13. Qxe3
f5 14. O-O-O a6 15. Bd3 b5 {and this is all that the KID players dream about $1
} 16. exf5 bxc4 17. Bxc4 Bxf5 18. g4 Re8 19. Qg3 Be4 20. Rhe1 Qf6 21. f4 Rab8
22. Rd2 Qxc3+ {0-1 (22) Potapov,A (2399)-Goluch,P (2231) Pardubice 2014}) 12...
Bxd4 13. Bxd4 {Now instead of attacking, Yakubboev will have to think about
the defence. Fun fact: it is Black who usually sacrifices his queen for a
couple of light pieces and a pawn. And there too, one of the pieces must be
the dark-squared bishop.} Kh7 {Most likely not the best defence.} ({The
machine suggests to evacuate his Majesty at once with} 13... f6 $1 14. Rxh6 Kf7
{with the point to meet} 15. g5 {with} Rh8 16. Bxf6 Qxf6 $1 17. gxf6 Rxh6 {
True, even here White is better.}) 14. Be2 {Intending f2-f4 and then g4-g5
with inevitable mate along the h-file.} f5 {Sooner or later Black will have to
physically try and block the enemy pawns.} ({If a normal development like}
14... Bd7 15. f4 $1 {threatens as we know g4-g5 and then} f6 16. O-O-O {
once again creates the same threat, for example after a neutral move like} a5 (
{Therefore Black would still need to push the pawn} 16... h5 {when White has a
pleasant choice between} 17. gxh5 ({And} 17. f5 $1) 17... g5 18. fxg5 fxg5 19.
Bd3 {with a growing attack.}) 17. g5 $1 {Leads to mate after} fxg5 18. Rxh6+
Kxh6 19. Rh1+ Bh3 20. Rxh3#) 15. exf5 $1 {Predke opens the diagonal for the
light-squared bishop and crashes through.} gxf5 16. Rh5 {Not just doubling the
rooks, but also controlling the f5-spot.} Kg6 (16... fxg4 17. Bd3+ {loses on
the spot.}) ({And in case of} 16... Rg8 {White would have brought more
attackers with either} 17. O-O-O ({Or} 17. Kd2)) 17. Kd2 $1 {White's attack
grows by itself.} fxg4 18. Rah1 Bf5 {At last bringing a defender out.} ({
The assault cannot be slowed down with} 18... Rh8 19. Bd3+ Kf7 20. Bxh8 Qxh8
21. Rxh6) 19. Rxh6+ Kf7 20. R1h5 {So far Predke was impeccable, but this last
move somewhat slows down his win. As we shall see, the Russian GM clearly
understood that the black bishop needed to be removed, but he was trying to
trap it.} ({The defender should have been swapped instead:} 20. Bd3 $3 Bxd3 21.
Kxd3 {when the black king would have been mated without a chance} Ke7 (21...
Ke8 22. Rh7 $1) (21... Qg5 22. Ne4) 22. Rh7+ Rf7 23. Re1+ Kf8 24. Rh8#) 20...
Ke7 21. Nd1 $1 {A nice maneuver. Predke is sticking to his plan of harassing
the black bishop.} ({It was not too late for} 21. Bd3 $3 Bxd3 22. Kxd3 {
Abd this time the winning idea is different. After} Kd7 {The black king
escapes the mate, but nevertheless loses the game after} 23. Rh7+ Kc8 24. Rh8
$1 {Yes, it is more comfortable on c8 and his Majesty will not be mated, but
the Ra8 cannot come to the rescue.}) 21... c5 22. Bc3 {The most controlled
continuation.} Kd7 ({After} 22... Qb6 23. Ne3 Bd7 24. Rh7+ Kd8 25. Rg5 {
the white rooks make it to the seventh rank.}) 23. Ne3 Bb1 24. Bxg4+ ({Even
easier was to hunt the bishop at once:} 24. Kc1 $1 {with the idea to clear the
seventh rank again:} Bxa2 (24... Be4 25. Re6 $1 {traps the bishop in the
middle of the board $1}) 25. Rh7+ Kc8 26. Bxg4+ Kb8 27. Rd7 Qe8 28. Rhh7 {
when Black is helpless.}) 24... Kc7 25. f3 Qe8 $1 {The best defence by Black
$1 Yakubboev wants to keep the bishop on the b1-h7 diagonal.} ({Or else his
key pawn would suffer after} 25... Bxa2 26. Nf5 $1) 26. Rh1 $1 {Another nice
maneuver.} ({Or} 26. Re6 Qf7 27. Rh1 Bh7 {Black's position is ugly, but
perhaps still playable.}) 26... Bg6 27. Re1 {A second open file is seized with
an ambush $1} Rg8 28. Be6 Qf8 {This is not the most resilient defence.} ({
Instead} 28... Rf8 29. Ng4 {lets the white knight to f6.}) ({However, a better
idea was} 28... Qa4 $1 29. Bxg8 Rxg8 {in order to try and find counter-chances
on the light squares.}) 29. Reh1 Re8 {This loses at once.} (29... Qe7 {was
Black's last chance although there too} 30. f4 {would have likely led to
White's slow win.}) 30. R1h4 $1 {Back to the fourth rank, everything is set
for more pins $1} Rxe6 {That means resignation, but there was nothing better
than that.} ({Or} 30... Kb8 31. Bxg8 Qxg8 32. Rg4 {and Black drops material.})
31. dxe6 Qe8 32. Nd5+ Kc6 33. Nf6 Qe7 34. Rg4 1-0
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.10.28"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Nihal, Sarin"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D32"]
[WhiteElo "2652"]
[BlackElo "2800"]
[Annotator "Peter,Doggers"]
[PlyCount "113"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. e3 Nf6 5. Nf3 a6 6. cxd5 exd5 7. Be2 Nc6 8. O-O
Bd6 9. dxc5 Bxc5 10. b3 O-O 11. Bb2 Ba7 12. Rc1 Re8 (12... Bg4 13. Nd4 Bxd4 14.
Bxg4 Be5 15. Bf3 Qd6 16. g3 Rad8 17. Bg2 d4 18. Ne4 Nxe4 19. Bxe4 Qh6 {
Naroditsky,D (2623)-Van Foreest,J (2698) Online 2021}) 13. h3 Qd6 $146 (13...
Be6 14. Ng5 Bf5 15. Bd3 Bg6 16. Bxg6 hxg6 17. Ne2 Ne4 18. Nxe4 dxe4 19. Qxd8
Raxd8 {Lakicevic,B (2027)-Chelushkina,I (2320) Valjevo 2010}) 14. Bd3 Bd7 15.
Ne2 Rad8 16. Ned4 Ne4 17. Qe2 $6 {This allows Black to develop an attack.} (17.
Nxc6 Bxc6 18. Bxe4 dxe4 19. Qxd6 Rxd6 20. Nd4) 17... Bb8 $1 {Moving the bishop
to a more useful diagonal.} 18. Rfd1 Qg6 19. Nh4 $2 ({Again, the best reaction
was} 19. Nxc6 bxc6 20. Bxe4 dxe4 {and now} 21. Ne1 {because} Bxh3 {is
surprisingly harmless here as it can be met by} 22. Rxd8 Rxd8 23. Qxa6) 19...
Nxd4 20. Bxd4 Qh6 {This is much worse. Black is all set for taking on h3 next.}
21. Nf3 Bxh3 $1 22. gxh3 Qxh3 {There are too many threats (a rook to the sixth
rank, or ...Ng5) so White has to return the piece, and play a position two
pawns down.} 23. Qf1 Qxf3 24. Qg2 Qxg2+ 25. Kxg2 h6 26. b4 Re6 ({The engine
likes} 26... Be5 27. Bxe5 Rxe5 28. Rc7 Nd6) 27. a4 h5 28. Rc2 Be5 29. Bxe5 Rxe5
30. Rc7 Nd6 (30... Rg5+ 31. Kf1 Rb8) 31. Be2 Rg5+ 32. Kf1 Rf5 33. Kg2 Rg5+ 34.
Kf1 Rf5 35. Kg2 {Somehow it's really hard to make progress for Black.} b5 36.
axb5 Nxb5 37. Rc5 {White seems to have enough counterplay already.} Rb8 38. Bf1
Rg5+ 39. Kh2 Rg4 40. Rdxd5 Rxb4 41. Rxh5 g6 42. Rhd5 Kg7 43. Kg3 Rb6 44. Bd3
Rb2 45. f3 Rb3 46. e4 Rd6 47. Rxb5 Rxd3 48. Rxd3 Rxd3 49. Rb6 a5 50. Ra6 Ra3
51. e5 a4 52. Ra7 Kf8 53. Kg4 Re3 54. Kf4 Ra3 55. Kg4 Re3 56. Kf4 Ra3 57. Kg4
1/2-1/2
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.10.29"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Durarbayli, Vasif"]
[Black "Dubov, Daniil"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C84"]
[WhiteElo "2629"]
[BlackElo "2714"]
[Annotator "Peter,Doggers"]
[PlyCount "68"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d4 exd4 6. O-O Be7 7. e5 Ne4 8.
Nxd4 O-O 9. Nf5 d5 10. Nxe7+ Nxe7 11. c3 Nc5 12. Bc2 Bf5 13. Na3 Qd7 14. Be3
Ne6 15. f4 $6 $146 {Perhaps White was hoping for g2-g4 next, but Black comes
first:} (15. Qh5 Bg6 16. Qh3 f6 17. exf6 Rxf6 18. Bd4 Rf7 19. Be5 Bxc2 20. Nxc2
Ng6 21. Rae1 Nxe5 22. Rxe5 Nf4 23. Qxd7 Rxd7 {Zelcic,R (2530) -Plenca,J (2475)
Zagreb 2018}) 15... f6 $1 16. exf6 Rxf6 17. Qd2 Raf8 18. Rad1 h5 19. Bxf5 $2 {
After this White lacks any counterplay.} (19. Bb3 c6 20. Nc4 {was still more
or less OK.}) 19... Nxf5 20. Nc2 c6 21. Bf2 Nd6 22. Bg3 Nc4 23. Qc1 h4 24. Bxh4
Nxf4 25. Rf2 Qg4 26. Bxf6 Nh3+ 27. Kf1 Nxf2 28. Kxf2 Rxf6+ 29. Kg1 Qe2 30. Re1
Qf2+ 31. Kh1 Nxb2 32. h3 Rg6 33. g4 Qf3+ 34. Kh2 Rh6 0-1
[Event "chess24.com"]
[Site "chess24.com"]
[Date "2021.10.29"]
[Round "3.5"]
[White "Tari, Aryan"]
[Black "Fedoseev, Vladimir"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B12"]
[WhiteElo "2646"]
[BlackElo "2704"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "44"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 {The solid Caro-Kann is becoming a key weapon in the battle
for the full point as Black nowadays.} 3. e5 c5 4. dxc5 e6 5. a3 ({A few weeks
ago two other top-GM discussed the consequences of:} 5. Bd3 Nd7 6. Nf3 Bxc5 7.
O-O Ne7 8. Re1 Ng6 9. a3 O-O 10. b4 Bb6 11. Bb2 Nf4 12. c4 f6 {Svidler went
for the sharp continuation:} 13. c5 fxe5 14. cxb6 e4 {A piece offer which
Dominguez turned down and claimed advantage instead with:} 15. Bxe4 dxe4 16.
Rxe4 Nxb6 17. Qxd8 Rxd8 18. Nc3 {Dominguez Perez, L (2758)-Svidler,P (2714)
Saint Louis 2021}) 5... Bxc5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. b4 Bb6 8. Bb2 {The players are in
now in French waters with both sides fiercely fighting for the central squares.
} Nge7 9. Bd3 Ng6 10. b5 Na5 11. h4 Qc7 {This looks risky as the black knight
is vulnerable after:} 12. h5 Nf4 13. Bf1 {However Black has done his homework
well.} Nc4 14. Bd4 {[#] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 (The solid Caro-Kann is becoming a
key weapon in the battle for the full point as Black nowadays. e5 c5 dxc5 e6 a3
} ({A few weeks ago two other top-GM discussed the consequences of:} 14. Bd3 {
Nd7 Nf3} Bc5 15. O-O {Ne7 Re1} Ng6 {a3 O-O b4 Bb6 Bb2 Nf4 c4 f6 Svidler went
for the sharp continuation: c5 fxe5 cxb6 e4 A piece offer which Dominguez
turned down and claimed advantage instead with:} 16. Be4 dxe4 {Rxe4 Nxb6} 17.
Qd8+ {Rxd8 Nc3 Dominguez Perez, L (2758)-Svidler,P (2714) Saint Louis 2021})
14... Bc5 {Nf3 Nc6 b4 Bb6} 15. Bb2 {The players are in now in French waters
with both sides fiercely fighting for the central squares. Nge7 Bd3} Ng6 {
b5 Na5 h4 Qc7 This looks risky as the black knight is vulnerable after: h5 Nf4
Bf1 However Black has done his homework well. Nc4} 16. Bd4 $146 {All of this
has been seen before but not Fedoseev comes with a strong novelty.} ({Safer
seems:} 16. Bc3 $5 {g6 Nbd2}) ({Ba5+ Black did not do great in the predecessor
after:} 16. hxg6 Bb6 {axb6} 17. Qd4 {Nxh5 Bxc4 Qxc4 Qxc4 dxc4 Nbd2 Ra4 Rh4
Severiukhina,Z (2279)-Okun,E (2145) Moscow 2012}) {c3} 16... f6 $1 {Tari must
have uderestimated this undermining idea. His center crumbles and his king is
getting exposed.} 17. g3 {The only move.} ({After:} 17. exf6 gxf6 18. Bxf6 Rf8
19. Bh4 Qg7 $1 {Black would quickly get to the enemy king.}) 17... fxe5 18.
Nxe5 $1 {Nxe5 gxf4 Nf7 Another strong maneuver. e6-e5 is all that Fedoseev
wants.} h6 $4 ({Nothing changes: Bxg7} 18... Rg8 19. h6 {Qxf4 Black is
complete control.}) {Qxf4 hxg7 Rg8 The outcome of the opening is painful for
Tari. His pieces lack coordination, the white king is in constant danger and
the feeling is that he should quickly succumb to the pressure.} 19. Be2 ({
There is no time for: Rxh7 Qe4+ And:} 19. Bd3 $4 {Qxd4 ain't better neither.})
19... Bd7 20. Rh3 {At least the rook is activated.} ({Perhaps:} 20. Qd2 $5 {
was somewhat more stubborn, although Black has all the fun with: Qe4 f3 Qf5}) {
e5 Be3 Qf6 Rf3 Qe6 Qa4} 20... Bb6 {Fedoseev decided that the white bishop is
his main defender and is worth the trade.} ({However, the black bishop was
good at its spot and the simple:} 20... b6 $1 {Rg3 Qf6 would have fixed
Black's large edge instead.}) {Rg3} 21. Be3 $1 {fxe3 Qh6} Nd2 $1 {Nd6 Black is
following an idea, but it has a tactical flow.} ({It was not too late for a
simple but good: Rxg7 Rxg7 Qxg7} 21... O-O-O {Rc8}) ({O-O-O Qh2 After: Rxg7
Rxg7 Qxg7 Qb4 Rg5 \"I immediately realized that draw would be a huge success
for me.\" (Fedoseev) Rc8 Black is indeed helpless after: Qxe2 Rxe5+} 21... Kd8
{Rxd5 Ne8} 22. Qd4) ({And the computer recommendation:} 21... O-O-O {Qxa7 Qxe2
Qc5+ Kb8 Qxd6+ Ka8 Qxe5 cannot save the second player neither.}) ({Qb4 The
preliminary check: Bh5+} 21... Kd8 $3 {And the attack after: Qb4 Nxb5 Rf1 Also
seem crushing. However, it transpires that the second player can hold with a
nice sacrificial idea in the line: Rxc3+ Kd1 Rxa3 Rf8+ Kc7 Qc5+ Bc6 Rxg8 All
of this forced. It looks as the white king escapes the checks after: Ra1+ Kc2}
22. Ra2 $3 {Kb1 However there is: Rb2+ Kxb2 Qxd2+ and a perpetual $1}) ({
Kb3 Rb2+ Qxe2 Rxe5+ After:} 21... Qd6 $1 {Rxc3+ Kb2 Rxe3 Black defends his
pawn and is out of danger.}) ({Kd8 Qxd6 Now Black gets a chance to escape $1
Tari might disliked the line: Rxd5 Qxe3 Rxd6 But in this line the computer
move: Kb1 Promises White the advantage. True, it is not obvious how big it is
after the forcing: Qxc3 Qh4+ Kc7 Rc1 Bf5+ Rxf5 Qxc1+ Kxc1 Nxf5 Qf4+ Kd7+ Qxc3+
Qxc3 Rxc3+ Kb2 Rc7 with a likely draw. The other plausible attempt would have
been: b6 When: axb6 Loses to: However, nothing is yet certain after: Rc6 bxa7
Kc7 Qxb6+ Rc7 Rf1 Rxc3+ Black's turn to attack. Kb2 Qd3 Nb1 Qc2+ Incredible $1
Fedoseev wants to play for a win, still $1 Rb3+ Ka1 Qxd1} 21... Qb8 {Bc8 Qd6+
Bd7 Qb8+ would have been a draw instead.}) ({Ka1 Qxd1 Re7 Now Black is again
in trouble. Qg4 For: Rc7 loses to. Rf7 Qf6 A brilliant ambush $1 Black would
have been fine instead in case of: Nxc3 Rxg7 Rc4 b6 Once more this move $1 The
idea is great, the problem is that somehow Black finds a way out. A pity for
Tari who could have won thanks to: Re4+ Kc7 Kc8 Qf8+ Rxg4 Rxg4 Nc3 The Q+$146
in the attack quickly win material or mate the black king after: R4xg7 Nxd5+
Kc8 Qc3+ White's idea is understandable in the line: Rf7+ Kc7} 21... Qxe5 {
Kb6 where the black king escapes via exactly this square.}) ({Qg6 The only
move. After: axb6 Rf7+ Kc7} 21... Qxe5 {Kc6 Rf6+ Kb5} 22. Qxd5 {Ka6 Qxg8 White
should win.}) ({Qf8+ Be8 bxa7 Ra4 An another only move. The rook needs to stay
active. There is no way Black can survive after:} 21... Rc8 {Rxb7}) {Rxb7
Qxg7+ That is it, Fedoseev can liquidate into a draw endgame and save the
half-point. Qxg7 Rxg7 Rxg7 Bd7 Rg8+ Be8 Rg7 Bd7} 22. Nc3 {Rxa3+ Kb2 Rxa7 Nxd5
Rb7+ Kc3} Bc6 {Rxb7} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.10.30"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Bjerre, Jonas Buhl"]
[Black "Adhiban, B..."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B67"]
[WhiteElo "2569"]
[BlackElo "2672"]
[Annotator "Peter,Doggers"]
[PlyCount "87"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Bg5 a6 7. Qd2 e6 8.
O-O-O Bd7 9. f4 b5 10. Bxf6 gxf6 11. Kb1 Qb6 12. Nxc6 Bxc6 13. f5 h5 ({More
common is} 13... b4 14. Ne2 e5) 14. fxe6 fxe6 15. Qf4 Be7 16. g3 Qc5 17. Bh3
Bd7 18. Ne2 Kf7 19. Qd2 h4 $146 (19... Rac8 20. Rhf1 Rc7 21. Nd4 Rg8 22. Rf3
Qg5 23. Qd3 Qe5 24. Rf2 Rc4 {Sankalp,G (2359)-Dai,C (2480) Xingtai 2019}) 20.
Nf4 Rag8 21. Rdf1 Bc8 22. Qe1 hxg3 23. hxg3 Qg5 24. Rh2 Rh6 25. Rfh1 Rgh8 26.
Qc3 $5 {Not the only way but a pretty one.} e5 27. Qxc8 $1 {The point.} Rxc8
28. Be6+ Kg7 29. Rxh6 Qxh6 (29... exf4 {leads to mate:} 30. Rh7+ Kf8 31. Rh8+
Kg7 32. R1h7+ Kg6 33. Bf7#) 30. Rxh6 Kxh6 31. Bxc8 exf4 32. gxf4 a5 33. c3 {
Bjerre correctly evaluated this position as winning.} d5 (33... Kg6 34. Be6 $1)
34. exd5 Bd6 35. Bd7 b4 36. Kc2 Bxf4 37. Kb3 bxc3 38. bxc3 Kg7 39. c4 Be3 40.
Ka4 Kf7 41. Kb5 Ke7 42. Kc6 Ba7 43. d6+ Kd8 44. Bf5 1-0
[Event "Chess.com"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2021.10.30"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Najer, Evgeniy"]
[Black "Saric, Ivan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B92"]
[WhiteElo "2654"]
[BlackElo "2644"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "50"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
{Ke6 Rg8 Rxa2+ Kd3 Rf2 Ke3 Rf1 Rxg6 Grand battle $1} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4
cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Be3 Be6 9. Nd5 Nbd7 10. Qd3
{There was a burst of popularity in this line four years back. Even the world
champion gave it a try in a couple of games.} Bxd5 {The most natural choice
and the main line.} ({Vachier-Lagrave chose instead:} 10... O-O {Against the
world champion. Then:} 11. O-O Bxd5 12. exd5 Ne8 13. a4 Bg5 14. a5 Bxe3 15.
Qxe3 Nef6 16. c4 {and eventually held in Carlsen,M (2838)-Vachier Lagrave,M
(2803) Karlsruhe/ Baden-Baden 2017}) 11. exd5 Rc8 12. O-O-O {Sacrificing a
pawn.} ({Another recent game saw:} 12. c4 O-O 13. O-O Ne8 14. Qd2 b6 15. Rac1
a5 16. Na1 f5 17. f3 f4 18. Bf2 Bh4 {and with the swap of the dark-squared
bishop, Black hardly had anything to complain about, Georgiadis,N (2526)
-Mamedyarov,S (2801) Biel 2018}) 12... Nb6 13. Kb1 O-O {Which Saric decided to
reject.} ({After:} 13... Nbxd5 {White can develop his initiative with:} 14. Bd2
Qc7 15. g4) (13... Nfxd5 {Looks somewhat better with White developing his
initiative in a similar fashion:} 14. Bd2 {It is important to keep this bishop
alive.} Qc7 15. g4 ({Or:} 15. Rhe1)) 14. Bf3 Nc4 15. Bc1 {[#] (} e4 {c5 Nf3 d6
d4 cxd4} 16. Nd4 {Nf6 Nc3 a6 Be2 e5 Nb3 Be7 Be3 Be6} Nxd5 $146 {Nbd7 Qd3 There
was a burst of popularity in this line four years back. Even the world
champion gave it a try in a couple of games. Bxd5 The most natural choice and
the main line.} ({Vachier-Lagrave chose instead: O-O Against the world
champion. Then: O-O Bxd5 exd5} 16... Ne8 17. a4 Bg5 18. a5 Be3 19. Qxe3 Nf6 {
c4 and eventually held in Carlsen,M (2838)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2803) Karlsruhe/
Baden-Baden 2017}) ({exd5 Rc8 O-O-O Sacrificing a pawn. Another recent game
saw: c4 O-O O-O} 16... Ne8 17. Qd2 b6 {Rac1 a5 Na1 f5 f3 f4 Bf2 Bh4 and with
the swap of the dark-squared bishop, Black hardly had anything to complain
about, Georgiadis,$146 (2526)-Mamedyarov,S (2801) Biel 2018}) ({Nb6 Kb1 O-O
Which Saric decided to reject. After: Nbxd5 White can develop his initiative
with: Bd2} 16... Qc7 17. g4) (16... Nxd5 {Looks somewhat better with White
developing his initiative in a similar fashion:} 17. Bd2 {It is important to
keep this bishop alive.} Qc7 18. g4 ({Or:} 18. Rhe1)) ({Bf3 Nc4 Bc1 Qd7 The
predecessors were a couple of games of Lobanov, which Najer apparently studied
and liked:} 16... Nd7 17. Bxe4 ({And:} 17. h4 f5 18. Be2 a5 19. g4 a4 {Nd2 e4}
20. Qh3 Nd2+ 21. Bxd2 Bf6 22. gxf5 Qb6 23. Qa3 {Qxf2 Bb5} Ne5 {with irrational
position where White seems better, Lobanov,S (2435)-Tran,T (2538) Tarvisio 2017
}) 17... g6 18. g4 Bh4 19. Rdg1 Nf6 20. f3 b5 21. Rg2 a5 {Nd2} 22. Bg5 {
h4 Bxd2 Bxd2} Nd2+ 23. Rxd2 Rc4 {Lobanov,S (2435)-Sarana,A (2543) Tarvisio 2017
}) 17. h3 $1 {Preparing not only g2-g4, but often threatening with Bf3-g4 $1
Qa4 This stops the latter and creates a threat in return.} ({After: Bd8 White
can opt for:} 17. Bg4 $5 {Or the direct: g4 Nxg4 hxg4} f5 18. Qh3 {with
kingside initiative.}) ({Rhe1 Najer is aware of the danger. The simple-hearted:
} 17. g4 $1 {would have turned into a disaster due to: e4 Bxe4 Nxe4 Qxe4} Na3+)
({Bd8 Rfe8} 17. g4 {would likely transpose into the game.}) {g4 Next White's
attack developed much more convincingly. After all, his pieces are not
standing on the road of his pawns.} 17... Re8 18. Bxe4 $1 g6 $5 ({Or: Nxe4
Rxe4 Qb5 h4 When:} 18... Bh4 {g5 Bxf2 Rf1 risks too much for Black.}) 19. f3 $3
{Nd7 h4 A purely positional pawn sacrifice. For the material Najer will build
an attacking blockade.} ({The alternative was quite tempting too: g5 Looks
good for White as well as he is not parting with material. Any opening of the
kingside seems extremely risky for Black, e.g.: f5 gxf6 Nxf6} 19. Bxg6 $1 {
h4 also looks good.} hxg6 20. Qxg6+ Kh8 $3 {Re4 The rook is immune, but
somehow Black can still defend with: Rc7 Rh4+ Nh7 Although White's attack runs
strong with: Rg4}) 19... Bh4 $1 {Rg1 Another neat move. Bf6 Rh1 There is no
rush, just pure smothering power.} ({Otherwise, the bishop might be
reactivated with: Rh1 Bg3 Rather than:} 19... g5 {Bg7 Rg4 which loses control
of the position after: f5 gxf6 Nxf6}) ({Bg7 Rh3 Nf8 Rdh1 Only the queen is
left to join the kingside attack and is ready to follow with Qd3-e2-h2. Thus,
Saric tries to prevent this with: Qb5 Now comes another fabulous decision by
the former European champion: Both:} 19... Rc7) ({Are preferred by the machine,
although these two moves should not change the assessment of the position as
highly favorable for White.} 19... Qd7) ({Nd2 That is a much better version of
the: Qf1 Nb6 trade. Nb6 Black does not have much of a choice. The line:} 19...
Nd2+ 20. Qxd2 Qd7 {Qh2 Illustrates the dangers that await Black on the
kingside: b5 Rxh7 Nxh7 Qxh7+ Kf8 Bh6 Bxh6} 21. Qh6 {Ke7 Qg5+ and wins.}) ({
Qxb5 axb5 Nf1 White simply follows his plan. However, it seems as: c3 might
have been more accurate when:} 19... Rc5 {Can be met with: Whereas: Nfd7 (see
below) does not inspire due to: Rxh7 Nf6 R7h2 Nfxd5 Bxd5 Nxd5 Ne4 Rc6 Rd1 with
White's edge.} 20. Nb3) ({Red8 Here the hidden resource: Nfd7 Rxh7} 19... Nf6 {
R7h2 Nbxd5 Could have solved many of the Black problems. True, White is still
gaining more than enough for the pawn with: Ng3}) 20. Bg5 $3 {Rd7 b3 Najer
wants to control everything, and this is a great thought, but the reality is
slightly different.} ({Instead:} 20. a3 $5 {Rdc7 Followed by: c3 would have
fixed White's edge. The pawn on b5 is doomed in the long run. Or: Ng3}) {
Rdc7 Bd2 Nbd7 An important resource. The knight is back in the game. Bd3 Or:
Ne3 Nc5 e4 Time to unblock $1 The black knights are starting to enjoy life
again. fxe4 The better choice. Black is just fine after: Bxe4 Nf6 Nc5 Next a
forced sequence: The machine prefers: Ne5 But does not say what to do after:
Ne3 Nxd3 cxd3 Nd7 g5 Rxh7 Ne5 Ba5} 20... Re7 $1 {Nd2 Nxd3 cxd3 Nd7 Bb4 Nc5
Rxh7 Leads to a pawn gain for White.} ({But swapping the defender would have
been even more awesome, especially with a fabulous maneuver like: Ba3} 20...
Ra8 $1 {Bb2 with a clear edge for White.}) ({Nxd3 Bxd6 Rd7 Bg3 b6 Rc3 at once
also makes sense. g5 Rc3 It seems as Black is out of the woods, but there
comes: Nf3 That creates a concrete threat, and it is Saric's moment to be
aware of the danger. Rd8 He is $1 White would have won instead after say: b4}
20... Ne5 $3 {Nxe5 Bxe5 is even easier: Bxe5 Nxe5 Rh8+ Kg7 R1h7# Rxg7+ Kxg7
Bxe5+ and wins.}) {Ne5 Nevertheless the knight inches in closer to the enemy
king. Re8 The most natural move is a step in the wrong direction. Both players
likely came to the conclusion that the retreat: Nc5 Is bad for Black after:
Nxf7 Kxf7 However, the stone-cold computer discovery: Rd7 Would have saved
Black instead: Rxg7+ Kxg7 Be5+ Kxf7 Bxc3 Nxe4 Be5 and this is indeed truth.}
21. Nc6 Rxe4 {Bd6 Nf2 This could have ended badly.} ({As dangerous as it is:}
21... f5 $1 {is Siaric's best choice. The machine holds somehow after: gxf6}
22. Bf6 {Ra7} g5) 22. Ne7+ Rxe7 23. Bxe7 {Nxh1 Rxh1} Rc7 {A sad retreat... d6
Rd7} {The pawn is unstoppable after: Rd3 d6 Be5 Kc2 Rd5 Rd1} 24. Rc1 {Be5} Rc8
{Kg7 White is winning. But the key idea is far from trivial. f7-f5 (f6) is a
positional threat that might free Black. Therefore:} 25. Bf8 ({Black was not
actually threatening to push the pawn as this line proves: Kc2} 25. b4 Rc6 {f5}
26. Bf6 $3 Bxf6 $3 {Rc7 and wins.}) {Kh7} 25... Be7 $1 {Kg7 Kc2 Najer is back
to the right track. f5 gxf6+ No $1 Fatigue had the final word.} ({The Russian
GM missed a well-deserved win with the study-like:} 25... Bf6 $3 {Bxf6 Rc7
Bxg5 Rxd7+ Kf6 Rb7}) ({Kf7 Rc6 This misses the last chance to wrap up the game.
It is related to yet another unbelievable study-like concept: Rf8+ Ke6 Rg8
Bxd6 Bxd6 Rxd6 Rxg6} 25... Rc6 $3 {Kb2 Kf7 Rg4 Kxf6 Ka3 and White picks up
both opponent's pawns.}) ({Ra7 The rook is out; Black is safe $1 Rc8 Or: Kb1}
25... Bf6 {Bxf6 Kxf6 d7+ Ke7 Rxg6 Rxd7 Rxb6 Rd5}) 1/2-1/2
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.10.30"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Demchenko, Anton"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C60"]
[WhiteElo "2763"]
[BlackElo "2651"]
[Annotator "Peter,Doggers"]
[PlyCount "55"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. c3 Bg7 5. d4 exd4 6. cxd4 a6 7. Ba4 b5 8. Bc2
d6 (8... d5 9. Bg5 Nge7 10. Nc3 h6 11. Bxe7 Nxe7 12. e5 O-O 13. O-O Bg4 14. h3
Bxf3 15. Qxf3 c5 16. dxc5 Qc7 {Grandelius,$146 (2666)-Nihal,S (2652) Malmo 2021
}) 9. h3 Nf6 10. O-O Bb7 11. a3 O-O 12. Re1 Re8 $146 (12... Na5 13. Nc3 Re8 14.
d5 Nc4 15. Rb1 c5 {Valantiejus,V (2048)-Klabis,R (2333) Lithuania 2019}) 13.
Bg5 h6 14. Bh4 Ne7 15. Nc3 Nh5 16. e5 Qd7 17. d5 Nf4 18. e6 fxe6 19. dxe6 Qc6
$6 ({Black's best chance was} 19... Nxe6 20. Ne5 Bxe5 21. Rxe5 c5 {but it does
look dangerous.}) 20. Re4 $1 Ned5 ({The main point was} 20... g5 21. Rxf4 $1
gxf4 22. Qd3 {with a winning attack.}) 21. Nxd5 Nxd5 22. Rg4 Rxe6 23. Bb3 Bxb2
24. Rb1 Bxa3 25. Nd4 Qe8 26. Nxe6 Qxe6 27. Qd2 h5 28. Re1 (28. Re1 Qf7 29. Bxd5
Bxd5 30. Rxg6+ $1) 1-0
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.10.30"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Van Foreest, Jorden"]
[Black "Ganguly, Surya Shekhar"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A18"]
[WhiteElo "2691"]
[BlackElo "2617"]
[Annotator "Peter,Doggers"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. e4 d5 4. e5 d4 5. exf6 dxc3 6. bxc3 Qxf6 7. Nf3 b6 8. c5
$146 {An early novelty prepared by the Dutchman. He succeeded in his main goal:
Ganguly used a lot of time in the opening.} (8. g3 Bb7 9. Bg2 Qd8 10. O-O Be7
11. d4 Nd7 12. a4 a5 13. Re1 O-O 14. Bf4 Re8 15. Rb1 Ra7 {Xiong,J (2710)
-Shankland,S (2709) Saint Louis 2021}) 8... Bxc5 9. d4 Bd6 10. Bd3 h6 11. Be4
c6 12. O-O O-O 13. Re1 Rd8 14. c4 Bb7 15. Rb1 Nd7 16. Rb3 Rac8 ({Van Foreest
preferred} 16... Qe7 17. Bb1 Nf8) 17. Bb2 Re8 18. c5 Bf8 19. h4 {Let's coin
this a \"prophylactic attacking move.\" White can now always throw in h4-h5
after Black goes ...g7-g6.} Qd8 20. Bb1 Rc7 21. Qc2 f5 22. Rbe3 Bc8 23. Qb3 Nf6
24. Bxf5 Nd5 {The pawn is back, but how to continue $2} 25. Bb1 $1 {Simply
going for the battery along the diagonal, while sacrificing the exchange.} Nxe3
26. Rxe3 Be7 27. Qc2 Bf6 28. Qh7+ Kf8 29. Ne5 {The attack is easy to play.}
Bxe5 30. dxe5 Qxh4 31. Bg6 Bd7 32. Rd3 {With killing threats.} 1-0
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.10.31"]
[Round "5.2"]
[White "Batsiashvili, Nino"]
[Black "Kosteniuk, Alexandra"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D38"]
[WhiteElo "2484"]
[BlackElo "2518"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
[BlackTeam "Russia"]
[BlackTeamCountry "RUS"]
{[%evp 0,65,19,29,23,27,34,-23,-11,12,16,-60,-14,-34,-30,-34,-9,-11,5,19,21,10,
16,19,33,48,51,31,53,26,93,29,40,43,53,-62,-66,-13,-13,11,303,283,436,348,382,
275,279,320,293,277,325,291,291,319,337,354,308,421,472,413,992,1582,1582,1468,
29985,1536,1536,1889]} 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 Bb4 {Kosteniuk has
played the Ragozin Defense four times in the last two years, and its
occurrence might have been a mild surprise for Batsiashvili.} 5. Qa4+ {A
relative side-move. Kosteniuk had never faced it before. And Batsiashvili had
never opted for it either $1} ({Instead} 5. Bg5) ({And} 5. cxd5 {are far more
popular continuations for White.}) 5... Nc6 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 h6 ({White got
full compensation for his pawn after} 7... Ne4 8. e3 O-O 9. Bd3 Nxc3 10. Qc2
Ne4 11. O-O Na5 12. Ne5 Nf6 13. cxd5 exd5 14. Bd2 c6 15. Rab1 Be6 16. a4 {
Giri,A (2776)-Van Foreest,J (2698) Online 2021} Rb8 17. Rb2 Nc4 18. Nxc4 dxc4
19. Bxc4 Bxc4 20. Qxc4 Qd5 21. Rc1 Qf5 22. f3 Rfd8 23. a5 h6 24. e4 Qd7 25. Bf4
Rbc8 26. Be5 Ne8 27. Rcb1 b5 28. axb6 axb6 29. Rxb6 Nd6 30. Qc5 Qe6 31. Bxd6
Rxd6 32. d5 Qd7 33. Rc1 f5 34. Rb7 Qxb7 35. Qxd6 fxe4 36. Qe6+ Kh8 37. dxc6
Qb6+ 38. Kh1 Rd8 39. Qxe4 Qc7 40. f4 Ra8 41. Qe5 Qxc6 42. Rxc6 {1-0 (42) Giri,
A (2776)-Van Foreest,J (2698) Chess24.com INT 2021}) 8. e3 Bd7 9. Qc2 {White
is ready to bring her center in motion, thus opening room for her bishop pair.
That is not a scenario her opponent can allow, and Kosteniuk is looking for a
blockade with the next move, a novelty:} Na5 $146 ({Black did well in after}
9... O-O 10. Bd3 dxc4 11. Bxc4 Na5 12. Be2 c5 13. a4 cxd4 14. cxd4 Rc8 15. Qb2
Nc4 16. Bxc4 Rxc4 {Miton,K (2596)-Bartel,M (2601) Prievidza 2009} 17. O-O Qc7
18. Ne5 Rc2 19. Qb3 Rc8 20. Bb2 Ne4 21. Qa3 Bxa4 22. Qxa4 Rxb2 23. Qxa7 Nd2 24.
Qa3 Qc2 25. Qe7 Nxf1 26. Qxf7+ Kh7 27. Rxf1 Rb1 28. g4 Rxf1+ 29. Kxf1 Qe4 30.
g5 Rc1+ 31. Ke2 Qc2+ 32. Kf3 Qf5+ 33. Qxf5+ exf5 34. g6+ Kg8 35. Kf4 b5 36. Nd3
Rc3 37. Nb4 Rc4 38. Nd3 b4 39. Kxf5 b3 40. d5 Rc3 41. Nb2 Rc2 42. Na4 Ra2 43.
Nc3 Kf8 44. Ke6 Ke8 45. d6 Rxf2 46. e4 Rf6+ 47. Kd5 b2 48. e5 Rf3 49. Nb1 Rf1
50. Nc3 Rc1 {0-1 (50) Miton,K (2596)-Bartel,M (2601) Prievidza 2009}) 10. cxd5
exd5 11. a4 Ne4 {The first in-depth thought by the former world champion, and
it seems she mixed up the ideas.} ({Stronger seems} 11... O-O 12. Bd3 {and then
} c5 $1 13. dxc5 ({White should not allow the Nimzo-Indian blockade} 13. O-O $2
c4 $1) 13... Ne4 {Then, in return for the two pawns, Black will develop strong
play along the light squares after} 14. Bxe4 dxe4 15. Qxe4 Bc6) 12. Bd3 ({
Even better might have been} 12. c4 $5 {spoiling the opponent's blockade. Then
White need not to worry about} Bf5 {due to the strong reply} 13. cxd5 $1 Ng3
14. Qc3 Nxh1 15. Qxa5 {and the knight on the rim will be spooked on Halloween.}
) 12... Nd6 {The queenside is put in order, but what about the opposite side $2
} 13. O-O O-O 14. Ne5 {White's plan is clear: open the center, mate the king.}
Be8 {Taking under control the g6-point.} ({Of course not} 14... f6 $2 15. Bh7+
Kh8 16. Ng6+ Kxh7 17. Nxf8+) 15. f3 f6 16. Ng4 ({White also avoids a small
trap:} 16. Ng6 $2 Bxg6 17. Bxg6 f5) 16... Qc8 {Dark clouds are gathering
around the black king, and Black simply cannot afford to wait an extra move $1}
({A better try would have been} 16... Ndc4 17. e4 c5 $1 {in order to challenge
the center.}) 17. e4 $1 {Now that the center in open, the next phase you
already know...} dxe4 {And like a thunder...} (17... c5 {no longer helps due to
} 18. e5 fxe5 19. dxe5 Ndc4 20. Nxh6+ $1 {Same idea as in the game.} gxh6 21.
Bxh6 Rf7 22. Qf2 {With unstoppable mating attack.}) 18. Nxh6+ $3 {Without any
further preparation or delay $1} gxh6 19. fxe4 Kg7 ({Or} 19... Rf7 20. Bxh6 {
when White practically attacks for free, and the rook lift along the third
rank would be decisive.}) 20. e5 $1 {Another energetic blow.} Nac4 {The last
slim hope to organize a defense, but Batsiashvili is on fire.} ({Since} 20...
fxe5 21. Bxh6+ $1 Kxh6 22. Qd2+ $1 {leads to mate at once.}) 21. Qf2 $1 {
Not even paying attention to the knight.} ({Although there is nothing wrong
with the obvious} 21. exd6 Nxd6 {when practically any sensible move wins for
White} 22. c4 (22. Qf2) (22. Qd2)) 21... f5 ({Not that the knight is going
anywhere} 21... Nf7 22. Qxf6+ Kg8 23. Qg6+ Kh8 24. Qh7#) 22. exd6 Nxd6 23. Bf4
{White is dominating, and the rest is a perfect execution of dark-squares
attacking strategy.} Bg6 24. Qh4 Nf7 25. Rae1 Re8 26. Rxe8 {Simply adding more
resources to the attack.} Qxe8 27. Re1 Qxa4 28. Re7 {When the rook occupies
the seventh rank, mate becomes inevitable.} Qa1+ 29. Bf1 h5 ({Or} 29... Rh8 30.
Be5+) 30. Be5+ Kf8 31. Rxc7 Qc1 32. Qe7+ Kg8 33. Qf6 1-0
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.10.31"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Hovhannisyan, Robert"]
[Black "Najer, Evgeniy"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B94"]
[WhiteElo "2622"]
[BlackElo "2654"]
[Annotator "Peter,Doggers"]
[PlyCount "96"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 Nbd7 7. Bc4 Qb6 8.
Bb3 e6 9. Bxf6 Nxf6 10. Qd2 Nd7 11. O-O-O Nc5 12. f4 Bd7 13. f5 O-O-O 14. Kb1
Kb8 $146 (14... g6 15. fxe6 fxe6 16. Qe3 Qa5 17. Qg3 Qc7 18. Rhf1 Bg7 19. Rf7
Be5 20. Qe3 Qa5 21. Nce2 Rdf8 22. Rxf8+ Rxf8 23. Nf3 Bg7 24. Rxd6 {1/2-1/2 (24)
Fischer,W (2437)-Williamson,H (2503) ICCF email 2019}) 15. Qe3 Nxb3 16. cxb3
Be7 17. Qg3 Bf6 18. Nf3 Bc8 19. fxe6 Bxe6 20. Rd3 Rd7 21. Na4 Qb4 22. a3 Qa5
23. Rxd6 Rc7 $1 {A nice concept. White doesn't have anything on the h2-b8
diagonal, and b3 is now hanging.} 24. Rd3 Bxb3 25. Rxb3 Qxa4 26. Nd2 Qd4 27.
Qd3 $2 ({A much better square is} 27. Qe3 {when} Qxe3 28. Rxe3 Rhc8 29. Nf3 Rc2
30. e5 Be7 31. g3 {is only slightly better for Black.}) 27... Rd8 ({Also
strong is} 27... Qf2) 28. Qxd4 Rxd4 {Now Black wins an important pawn. Perhaps
Hovhannisyan could have defended better because as it goes, Black soon gets a
completely winning position.} 29. e5 Bxe5 30. Nf3 Rd5 31. Nxe5 Rxe5 32. h4 Rce7
33. Rhh3 Re4 34. Rhg3 f6 35. h5 Rh4 36. Rh3 Rxh3 37. Rxh3 Re5 38. Rg3 Rg5 39.
Rxg5 fxg5 40. Kc2 Kc7 41. Kd3 Kd6 42. Kd4 h6 43. a4 Ke6 44. a5 g6 45. hxg6 Kf6
46. b4 h5 47. b5 axb5 48. Kc5 h4 0-1
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.10.31"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Saric, Ivan"]
[Black "Shirov, Alexei"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C78"]
[WhiteElo "2644"]
[BlackElo "2659"]
[Annotator "Peter,Doggers"]
[PlyCount "60"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. c3 d6 8. a4
Rb8 9. d4 Bb6 10. a5 Ba7 11. h3 Bb7 12. Be3 (12. Re1 O-O 13. Be3 exd4 14. cxd4
Ne7 15. e5 Nfd5 16. Bg5 dxe5 17. dxe5 Re8 {Giri,A (2777)-Aronian,L (2782)
Online 2021}) 12... Nxe4 13. Re1 exd4 14. cxd4 d5 15. Nbd2 Ne7 16. Nxe4 dxe4
17. Ne5 $146 (17. Ng5 Bd5 18. Bxd5 Qxd5 19. Rc1 Qd7 20. Qh5 g6 21. Qh4 f5 {
Ter Sahakyan,S (2640)-Sargsyan,S (2596) Yerevan 2021}) 17... O-O 18. Qg4 Bd5 {
Starting from here, White loses the thread of the game.} 19. Bxd5 $6 ({Good
for equality was} 19. Bh6 Ng6 20. Bg5 $1 Qd6 (20... f6 $6 21. Nc6 $1) 21. Bxd5
Qxd5 22. Qxe4) 19... Qxd5 20. Rac1 c5 21. dxc5 $2 {A serious miscalculation.} (
21. Qd7 Rb7 $1 22. Qxd5 Nxd5 23. dxc5 Rc7 {is only slightly better for Black,
who will take on e3 and c5 next.}) 21... Qxe5 22. Bf4 Qxb2 23. Qd7 Ng6 24. Bd6
{This was White's point, but it doesn't work.} e3 $1 {The strongest.} 25. Rf1 (
25. fxe3 Rfd8 $1 26. Qxa7 Nh4) 25... exf2+ 26. Kh1 Rbe8 $1 {You can leave
tactics to Shirov.} 27. Rcd1 (27. Qxa7 Qxc1) 27... Bb8 28. Bxf8 Kxf8 29. g3
Bxg3 30. c6 Qc2 0-1
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.11.01"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Dubov, Daniil"]
[Black "Saric, Ivan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B51"]
[WhiteElo "2714"]
[BlackElo "2644"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
{[%evp 0,83,27,33,49,58,85,48,69,47,64,30,42,-3,-3,10,28,28,29,8,16,-21,-6,-28,
-28,-40,-17,-61,-57,-123,-120,-20,-21,-45,-25,-72,-63,-59,-27,-140,0,0,31,0,0,
0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,13,10,14,14,21,39,67,45,77,56,44,44,44,-1,25,5,0,244,271,365,
442,569,576,842,896,866,1002,896,1016,1016,1016,1016]} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3.
Bb5+ Nd7 4. O-O a6 5. Bd3 {Dubov gave this line a try earlier this year, and
this was certainly noticed by Saric.} Ngf6 6. c3 ({The calmer continuation is}
6. Re1 e6 7. c3 Be7 8. Bc2 b5 9. d4 Bb7 10. Nbd2 Qc7 11. Nf1 O-O 12. Bg5 h6 13.
Bd2 Rfc8 14. Rc1 Qb6 15. Ng3 cxd4 16. cxd4 b4 $11 {as in Svidler,P (2714)
-Shankland,S (2709) World Cup 2021}) 6... b5 7. a4 Bb7 8. axb5 axb5 9. Rxa8
Qxa8 10. Na3 $5 {Trademark Dubov. All of this has been player earlier and
White's last move initiates super-sharp complications.} ({The obvious capture}
10. Bxb5 {is still the main line, but the impression is that it has been more
or less exhausted with this game:} Bxe4 11. d4 Bxb1 12. dxc5 Be4 13. Re1 e6 14.
Rxe4 Qxe4 15. c6 Be7 16. Nd2 Qd5 17. cxd7+ Nxd7 18. Qa4 Qb7 19. Bc6 Qc7 20. Nc4
d5 21. Ne5 Qxe5 22. Bxd7+ Kd8 23. Qa8+ Kxd7 24. Qa4+ Kd8 25. Qa8+ Kd7 26. Qa4+
Kd8 27. Qa8+ Kd7 {1/2-1/2 Harikrishna,P (2732)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2784) Online
2020}) 10... b4 {Surprisingly, this was played after a deep thought.} ({
Could Saric have missed Dubov's earlier encounter $2 It went} 10... Bxe4 11.
Bxe4 Nxe4 12. Nxb5 Qb7 13. c4 e6 14. d3 Nef6 15. d4 {and Black later held in
Dubov,D (2702)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2784) Online 2021}) 11. Nb5 Qa5 12. cxb4 $146
{A novelty. Speed, give me what I need...} ({The following game led White
nowhere after} 12. Qe2 e5 13. Bc2 Bc6 14. c4 Be7 15. Nh4 g6 16. f4 Nh5 17. fxe5
Bxb5 18. cxb5 Bxh4 {Pogany,Z (2259)-Papadiamandis,E (2333) Budapest 2021})
12... cxb4 {Saric also saves tempi.} ({For} 12... Qxb4 13. b3 Nxe4 14. Bb2 {
speeds up White's development.}) 13. Bc4 {Time for sacrifices.} Nxe4 14. d3 d5
15. Bf4 {That was what White wanted: almost all his pieces are out, whereas
the black king is still in the center.} e5 $1 {Without a blink. That is the
proper way to accept the sacrifice.} ({After} 15... dxc4 16. Nc7+ Kd8 17. dxe4
Kc8 18. Nd5 {the black king would be left on the wrong wing, completely
deprived of any pawn cover.}) 16. Nxe5 dxc4 17. dxc4 {Dubov lost the piece but
opened wide the gates towards Black's most precious piece.} ({Certainly not}
17. dxe4 $2 Qxb5) 17... Nxe5 {And Saric sensibly initiates further trades.} ({
The fearless machine claims that Black can be greedy with} 17... Qd8 $1 {
for instance} 18. Nxd7 ({Or} 18. Qh5 Nxe5 19. Qxe5+ Be7 20. Qxg7 Bf6) ({
Finally, after} 18. Qe2 Nxe5 19. Bxe5 {Black can develop with} Bc5 $1 {as if
nothing happened.}) 18... Qxd7 19. Nc7+ Kd8 20. Qh5 Kc8 {when the black king
is again on the wrong side of the board, but White is missing some attackers.})
18. Bxe5 Bc5 {Very natural $1 Saric not only develops his bishop, but creates
threats too.} ({The defense} 18... f6 {was possible too, for after} 19. Bc7 Qa6
20. Qd8+ Kf7 {The king is surprisingly well positioned, e.g.} 21. Rd1 ({Or} 21.
Bb6 Be7 $1 22. Qxh8 Qxb6 {and White is poorly coordinated.}) 21... Qc6 $1) 19.
Bd6 $1 {As long as the black king stays in the middle, Dubov can always count
on large compensation. Not only that his Majesty may get checkmated, the black
rook is as well excluded from the game.} ({Instead} 19. Bxg7 {might lead to
the opposite mate} Rg8 20. Be5 Nc3 $1 21. bxc3 Rxg2+ 22. Kh1 Rxf2+ 23. Kg1 Rg2+
24. Kh1 Rg1#) ({In the process, White rejects a possible draw:} 19. Qg4 Nxf2 $1
20. Qxg7 (20. Rxf2 Qa1+) 20... Nh3+ 21. Kh1 Nf2+ {with a perpetual.}) 19...
Bxd6 {Saric risks in return and keeps the piece.} ({Here too} 19... Bxf2+ {
was possible, albeit far more dangerous for Black from the line above. Then}
20. Rxf2 Nxf2 21. Kxf2 Qb6+ 22. c5 {looks scary for Black at a glance, but
eventually it should peter out to a draw:} Qc6 ({And the line} 22... Qxb5 23.
Qe1+ Kd7 24. Qe7+ Kc6 25. Qc7+ Kd5 26. Qxf7+ Kc6 27. Qf3+ {leads to a
perpetual check.}) 23. Qg4 Qxb5 24. Qxg7 Qd3 25. Qxh8+ Kd7 26. Qe5 Qc2+ $11 {
and a draw.}) 20. Nxd6+ Nxd6 21. Qxd6 Bc8 22. Re1+ Be6 23. Rd1 (23. f4 g6 {
seems to help Black.}) 23... Qa8 24. c5 {All of this was pretty forcing and
Black's position seems extremely unpleasant. Dubov has two obvious plans: to
either advance his passer, or bring his rook close to the back ranks, whereas
Saric needs to find a way to let his rook out. Urgently.} Qc8 25. c6 $1 ({
White too, has to be careful:} 25. Rd4 f6 $1 26. Rxb4 Kf7 {and as the b7
square is defended, Black is out of any imminent danger.}) 25... h5 $1 {
The only move $1} ({After} 25... f6 26. Ra1 $1 {the king would not run too far
away:} Kf7 27. Ra7+ Kg6 28. Qg3+) ({Whereas} 25... g6 26. Rd4 {followed by the
rook infiltration on b8 should end Black's resistance.}) 26. Re1 $1 {Freeze $1}
({As if} 26. Rd4 Rh6 27. Rxb4 Bf5 $1 {Black would not only be in time to
defend, but will even be able to win.}) 26... Rh6 27. Re5 Qd8 {In order to
deal with the queen once and for all.} (27... b3 $5 {to keep this pawn alive
also made a lot of sense. Then the likely continuation} 28. h4 Qd8 29. Qc5 {
would lead to a much improved version of the game for Saric with} Qc7) 28. Qxb4
Qc7 29. Qc5 Qe7 {The human move.} ({The machine finds the following
interesting counterplay:} 29... h4 $5 30. h3 (30. b4 h3 31. b5 Rg6 32. g3 Qd8)
30... g6 31. b4 {And now the point is} Rh5 $3 32. Rxh5 gxh5 33. b5 Qa5 {
with a likely perpetual to follow.}) 30. Qc3 Qc7 31. b4 Ke7 {The king is out,
while the white passers march forward.} 32. b5 Rh8 33. Qg3 {Setting up a trap.}
({However, stronger was to defend the back rank in advance with} 33. Re1 $1 {
with the idea to meet} Rd8 {with} 34. Qc5+ ({Worse is} 34. Qxg7 Rd5 $1) 34...
Qd6 35. Qg5+ Kf8 36. b6 $1) 33... Rd8 $1 {Saric ignores the threat and creates
an even stronger one $1} 34. h4 ({As the back-rank is weak in case of the
greedy} 34. Rxe6+ $4 Kxe6 $1 35. Qxc7 Rd1#) 34... Kf8 {And, just when
everything seemed finally save for Saric, he relaxed a move too early, and
this led to a disaster.} ({The neatest way to the draw was} 34... Rd1+ 35. Kh2
Qd6 36. Qxg7 Rd5 37. f4 Rxe5 38. fxe5 Qc5 39. Qh8 Qf2 40. Qxh5 Qf4+ {and a
perpetual is inevitable.}) 35. Rxe6 $1 {That is it, White needs to swap the
queens, nothing more, and nothing less. So far he was only trying to keep them
alive to mate the opponent.} Qxg3 ({Nothing changes} 35... Rd1+ 36. Kh2 Qxg3+
37. Kxg3 fxe6 38. b6) 36. fxg3 fxe6 37. c7 {The pawns advanced far enough not
to need anyone's support.} Ke7 38. cxd8=Q+ Kxd8 39. Kf2 Kc7 40. Ke3 Kb6 41. Kd4
Kxb5 42. Ke5 1-0
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.11.01"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Jobava, Baadur"]
[Black "Moussard, Jules"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C21"]
[WhiteElo "2582"]
[BlackElo "2632"]
[Annotator "Peter,Doggers"]
[PlyCount "27"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. Nf3 Bb4+ 4. Nbd2 d5 5. Nxd4 Ne7 6. c3 Bc5 7. N2b3 Bb6 8.
Bg5 O-O 9. exd5 Qxd5 10. Bxe7 Re8 11. Ne2 {Moussard might have missed this
knight retreat and now choses the wrong square for the queen:} Qh5 $2 ({
Correct was} 11... Qf5 {(attacking f2) and after e.g.} 12. Bh4 Nc6 13. Qd2 Qe4
$1 {(winning another tempo)} 14. Bg3 Bg4 $1 {all pieces come out fast and
Black actually has enough compensation for the piece.}) 12. Qd2 {Now White is
just a piece up.} h6 13. O-O-O Nc6 14. Nf4 1-0
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.11.01"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Najer, Evgeniy"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B45"]
[WhiteElo "2654"]
[BlackElo "2800"]
[Annotator "Peter,Doggers"]
[PlyCount "116"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Nxc6 bxc6 7. e5 Nd5 8.
Ne4 Qc7 9. f4 Qb6 10. c4 Bb4+ 11. Ke2 f5 12. exf6 Nxf6 13. Be3 Qd8 14. Nd6+
Bxd6 15. Qxd6 Bb7 16. Rd1 (16. Kd1 c5 17. Qxc5 Be4 18. Be2 d6 19. Qd4 O-O 20.
Kc1 Qc7 {Vachier Lagrave,M (2749)-Praggnanandhaa,R (2608) World Cup 2021})
16... Rc8 17. g4 c5 18. Rg1 Rf8 19. Bg2 (19. f5 Qb6 20. fxe6 dxe6 21. g5 Nd5
22. Qxb6 Nxb6 23. Ke1 Nd7 24. Be2 Ke7 {Karjakin,S (2762)-Yu Yangyi (2721) Baku
2015}) 19... Bxg2 20. Rxg2 Rf7 21. Kf1 Qb6 $146 (21... Qc7 22. Kg1 Qxd6 23.
Rxd6 h5 24. gxh5 Nxh5 25. Ra6 Nxf4 26. Bxf4 Rxf4 27. Rxg7 Rf7 {1/2-1/2 (27)
Fabri,L (2330)-Troia,E (2313) ICCF email 2013}) 22. Kg1 Rc6 23. Qd3 d5 24. g5
dxc4 25. Qe2 Ng8 26. Qxc4 Ne7 27. Rgd2 Rf5 28. Qe4 Qc7 29. b3 a6 30. Rd3 Qc8
31. Bc1 g6 32. Bb2 Rd5 33. Rxd5 exd5 34. Rxd5 Re6 35. Re5 Rxe5 36. fxe5 (36.
Bxe5 $5) 36... Qd7 37. e6 Qd1+ 38. Kg2 Qd2+ 39. Kh3 Qd5 40. Qxd5 Nxd5 41. Kg4
Ke7 42. Ba3 Kd6 43. Kf3 Ne7 44. Ke4 Nd5 45. e7 Nxe7 46. b4 Nc6 47. bxc5+ Ke6
48. Bc1 Ne7 49. Bd2 Nc6 50. Bc3 Ne7 {The first time the position appears...}
51. Kd4 Nf5+ 52. Ke4 Ne7 {...and the second time.} 53. Be5 Nc6 54. Bf4 Nb4 55.
Kd4 Nc6+ 56. Ke4 Nb4 57. Bd2 Nc6 58. Bc3 Ne7 1/2-1/2
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.11.01"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Shirov, Alexei"]
[Black "Firouzja, Alireza"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B12"]
[WhiteElo "2659"]
[BlackElo "2770"]
[Annotator "Peter,Doggers"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h5 5. Bd3 Bxd3 6. Qxd3 Qa5+ 7. Nd2 e6 8. Ngf3
Nh6 9. O-O Nf5 (9... Be7 10. c4 Nf5 11. g3 Na6 12. b3 Rd8 13. Bb2 c5 14. cxd5
Nb4 15. Qe4 Nxd5 16. Nc4 Qa6 {Anand,V (2753)-Duda,J (2738) Zagreb 2021}) 10.
Nb3 Qa6 11. Qd1 Be7 12. Bg5 Bxg5 13. Nc5 Qb6 14. Nxg5 $146 (14. hxg5 h4 15. g6
fxg6 16. Nxe6 Ke7 17. Nf4 Rh6 18. Qd3 Nd7 19. Nxg6+ Rxg6 20. Qxf5 Rh6 {Kollars,
D (2586)-Kobalia,M (2614) Chess.com 2020}) 14... Na6 15. Nxa6 Qxa6 16. c3 Nxh4
17. g3 Nf5 18. Kg2 Qb6 19. b4 Qd8 20. Qd2 Qe7 21. Rab1 Rh6 22. Rh1 O-O-O 23. b5
cxb5 24. Rxb5 h4 25. g4 h3+ 26. Kf1 Rg6 27. gxf5 Rxg5 28. fxe6 fxe6 29. Rxh3
Rf5 30. c4 dxc4 31. Qc3 Rdf8 ({Firouzja's best chance in the whole game seems
to be} 31... Kb8 32. Qxc4 Rc8 33. Qd3 Qf7 {but even this doesn't look so clear.
}) 32. Qxc4+ Kb8 33. Rb2 Qf7 34. Qe2 Qc7 35. Qc2 Qd7 ({After} 35... Qf7 36. d5
$5 exd5 37. Qc5 {is a nice way to remain active and defending at the same time.
}) 36. Rhb3 b6 (36... Rxf2+ 37. Qxf2 Rxf2+ 38. Rxf2 {should be a draw as well.}
) 37. Qc5 $1 ({In fact} 37. Rxb6+ $1 axb6 38. Rxb6+ Ka7 (38... Ka8 39. Qc4) 39.
Qc5 {would have forced a similar draw.}) 37... Qb7 38. Rxb6 axb6 39. Rxb6 Rxf2+
40. Ke1 Rf1+ 41. Ke2 R1f2+ 42. Ke1 Rf1+ 43. Ke2 1/2-1/2
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.11.01"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Ponkratov, Pavel"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C02"]
[WhiteElo "2763"]
[BlackElo "2659"]
[Annotator "Peter,Doggers"]
[PlyCount "51"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Qb6 6. Bd3 cxd4 7. O-O Bd7 8. Re1 (
{MVL said he had been inspired by this game:} 8. Nbd2 Rc8 9. Nb3 dxc3 10. bxc3
Qc7 11. Re1 Nge7 12. h4 Ng6 13. Qe2 Be7 14. h5 Ngxe5 15. Nxe5 Qxe5 16. Qxe5
Nxe5 17. Rxe5 Bf6 18. Re3 Rxc3 19. Rb1 {and White won in Carlsen,M (2863)
-Harikrishna,P (2732) Online 2020.}) 8... Nge7 9. h4 h6 10. a3 Rc8 11. b4 $146
(11. Bc2 Nf5 12. Bxf5 exf5 13. cxd4 Be7 14. Nc3 Be6 15. Re2 O-O 16. Bf4 Na5 17.
h5 Nb3 18. Rb1 Rc4 {Svoboda,S (2409)-Krak,T (2349) Slovakia 2019}) 11... a6 12.
Bb2 g5 13. Nh2 Bg7 14. Ng4 gxh4 15. cxd4 h5 $6 {This cannot be right.} ({
Critical was} 15... Nxd4) 16. Nf6+ Bxf6 17. exf6 Ng8 18. Qf3 Rh6 19. Qxd5 Nxf6
20. Qg5 Ng4 21. Nc3 {Ponkratov must have underestimated the strength of this
\"simple\" developing move. White is winning.} Qd8 22. Qxd8+ ({Vachier-Lagrave
calculated} 22. Qg8+ Ke7 23. Nd5+ Kd6 24. Qxf7 Kxd5 25. Qf4 Qf8 26. Be4+ Kc4
27. Qc1+ Kb5 28. Qc5+ Qxc5 29. dxc5 {when there's no win for White.}) 22...
Kxd8 23. Ne4 $1 {With, among the threats, 24.f3 and 24.Nd6.} e5 24. f3 Nxd4 25.
fxg4 hxg4 26. Ng5 1-0
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.11.03"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Esipenko, Andrey"]
[Black "Shirov, Alexei"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C78"]
[WhiteElo "2720"]
[BlackElo "2659"]
[Annotator "Peter,Doggers"]
[PlyCount "109"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. a4 Rb8 8. c3
d6 9. d4 Bb6 10. a5 Ba7 11. Be3 (11. h3 Bb7 12. Re1 O-O 13. Be3 exd4 14. cxd4
Ne7 15. e5 Nfd5 16. Bg5 dxe5 17. dxe5 Re8 {Giri,A (2777)-Aronian,L (2782)
Online 2021}) 11... Bg4 12. Nbd2 exd4 13. cxd4 O-O 14. h3 Bh5 15. Re1 $146 {
Sacrificing a pawn.} (15. Qc1 Nb4 16. g4 Bg6 17. Bg5 h6 18. Bh4 c5 19. Qc3 cxd4
20. Nxd4 Nxe4 21. Nxe4 Qxh4 {Wei,Y (2721)-Santos Ruiz,M (2560) Khanty Mansiysk
2019}) 15... Bxd4 16. Nxd4 Nxd4 17. g4 Nxb3 18. Qxb3 Bg6 19. Bg5 h6 20. Bh4 Bh7
21. f4 {White has nice compensation but Shirov finds an amazing answer.} g5 $5
22. fxg5 Nd7 {A concept mostly seen in the Sicilian.} 23. Nf3 Ne5 24. Nxe5 dxe5
25. Qe3 hxg5 26. Bxg5 f6 27. Bh4 Qd4 28. Rac1 Qxb2 29. Rc6 Qd4 30. Bxf6 Rf7 31.
g5 b4 (31... Qxe3+ 32. Rxe3 b4 {might have been more accurate.}) 32. Qxd4 exd4
33. Bxd4 ({The engines like to include} 33. e5 Bf5 34. e6 Rh7 {first before
going} 35. Bxd4 {and White is doing well.}) 33... Rd7 $1 34. Bb2 Rd2 {Now
Black has enough counterplay.} 35. Bc1 Rd3 36. Kf2 Rf8+ 37. Kg2 Rff3 38. Rxc7
Rg3+ 39. Kf2 Rdf3+ 40. Ke2 Bxe4 41. Kd1 Rd3+ 42. Bd2 Rg2 43. Rxe4 Rgxd2+ 44.
Kc1 Rd1+ 45. Kb2 R1d2+ 46. Rc2 Rxc2+ 47. Kxc2 Rxh3 48. Re6 Rc3+ 49. Kb2 Ra3 50.
Rxa6 Kg7 51. Ra8 Kg6 52. a6 Kg7 53. a7 Kh7 54. g6+ Kg7 55. Rb8 1/2-1/2
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.11.03"]
[Round "7.1"]
[White "Firouzja, Alireza"]
[Black "Najer, Evgeniy"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C43"]
[WhiteElo "2770"]
[BlackElo "2654"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "117"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 {The experienced Najer decided to tame the young tallent
with a solid Petroff. What's more, the last time he had played this opening
was in 2004, when Firouzja was a one year old...} 3. d4 Nxe4 4. dxe5 d5 5. Nbd2
Nxd2 6. Bxd2 Be7 ({On the other hand, Najer is an expert of this line, but as
White. Here is a game of his:} 6... h6 7. b4 c5 8. Bb5+ Nc6 9. O-O Be7 10. bxc5
Bxc5 11. Rb1 O-O 12. Re1 Bg4 13. h3 Bh5 14. Bd3 {Najer,E (2648)-Andreikin,D
(2726) Sochi 2020}) 7. c3 (7. Bd3 c5 8. c3 {is the common move order.}) 7... c5
8. Bd3 Nc6 9. O-O Bg4 10. Re1 {The pawn structure forces White to search for
an attack on the kingside, whereas his opponent would try to keep him busy in
the center.} Qd7 11. h3 Bh5 12. Bf4 Qe6 {The pawn needs to be blocked. Another
question is if the queen is the best piece for that purpose.} ({The natural}
12... O-O {can be met with} 13. Qc2 Bg6 14. Bxg6 hxg6 15. Rad1 {with an
advantage for White. In this line Black will always have to worry about the
e5-e6 breaks. On the other hand, a solid blockade of the e-pawn will give
Black a chance to recapture on g6 with the f7-pawn, thus eliminating the
attack once and for all.}) 13. Be2 $1 {Firouzja's play is very logical and
straightforward. The queen is freed.} O-O 14. Qd2 Bg6 {This also seems forced.}
({For the natural} 14... Rad8 $2 15. Ng5 Bxg5 16. Bxg5 {wins material for
White.}) ({Whereas if Najer prepares the Ra8-d8 maneuver with} 14... h6 {then}
15. Nd4 cxd4 16. Bxh5 {wins a hefty bishop pair for White.}) 15. Rad1 Be4 {
A risky decision.} ({However, Black cannot solve his problems with trades:}
15... d4 16. cxd4 cxd4 17. Nxd4 Nxd4 18. Qxd4 Qxa2 19. Bc4 Qa5 20. e6 $1 {
and White's initiative is annoying.}) 16. Ng5 {Still winning the bishop pair.}
Bxg5 17. Bxg5 d4 $146 {This is a novelty and it follows the general idea of
striking in the center. However, since a lot of files and diagonals are opened
Najer has more problems to solve.} ({In an earlier game, White preserved his
advantage after} 17... h6 18. Be3 d4 19. cxd4 Rfd8 20. Qc3 Qg6 21. g3 cxd4 22.
Bxd4 Qe6 23. Kh2 Rac8 24. Qe3 Bf5 25. Bc3 {So,W (2760)-Yu,Y (2738) Jerusalem
2019}) ({White is also significantly better in the possible endgame after}
17... Nxe5 18. f3 Bg6 19. f4 Nc6 20. Bg4 Qd6 21. Qxd5) 18. Bf1 (18. f4 $5)
18... Qg6 19. Qf4 {Once more, very logical and straightforward play from
Firouzja who fights back in the center and proves that his pieces are better
prepared for the task.} Bc2 20. Rd2 Rae8 21. Bh4 Kh8 (21... a6 $5 {to prevent
White's next idea was perhaps more accurate.}) 22. f3 {Further limiting the
bishop.} ({As now Firouzja had the interesting resource} 22. Bb5 $5 {with a
serious edge in all lines. The young GM might have worried about the
liquidation into an opposite-colored bishop ending after} Qf5 (22... dxc3 23.
bxc3) (22... d3 23. Re3) 23. Qxf5 Bxf5 24. cxd4 cxd4 25. Bxc6 bxc6 26. Rxd4 {
White is up a pawn, but the opposite-colored bishops certainly provide Black
drawing chances.}) 22... a6 23. Bf2 Rd8 24. Rc1 Bb1 ({Or} 24... Bf5 25. cxd4
Nxd4 26. Bxd4 cxd4 27. Kh2 {and the d4-pawn is doomed.}) 25. cxd4 Nxd4 26. Bxd4
cxd4 27. a3 Ba2 28. Rxd4 {Up to here Firouzja completely outplayed his
opponent, but around here he rushed and almost missed the win.} ({Both} 28. b4)
({And} 28. Kh2 {were depriving Black of any chances.}) 28... Qb6 29. Rcd1 Rfe8
30. Kh2 {That is the real mistake.} ({Instead} 30. b4 $1 {would have converted
the advantage without any unpleasant surprises. In comparison to the game
continuation, the line} Rxd4 31. Qxd4 Qxd4+ 32. Rxd4 g5 33. Rd7 b5 34. Ra7 Rxe5
35. Rxa6 Bc4 (35... Bb3 36. Kf2) 36. Bxc4 bxc4 37. Kf2 $1 {leaves Black no
chances.}) 30... Rxd4 31. Qxd4 Qxd4 32. Rxd4 {It seems as there is no
difference, but Najer has a nice resource now:} g5 $3 {This quickly leads to a
rook endgame, full of survival chances for the defender.} 33. Rd7 b5 34. Rd6 ({
With the king on h2, the line} 34. Ra7 Rxe5 35. Rxa6 Bc4 $1 36. Bxc4 bxc4 37.
Rc6 Re2 $1 {leads White nowhere.}) 34... Rxe5 35. Rxa6 Bc4 36. Bxc4 bxc4 37. a4
{This seems like White's best try. Firouzja wants to defend his passer
sideways.} ({Rather than} 37. Rc6 Rb5 {when the a-pawn would not make too many
moves.}) 37... Rc5 38. Rb6 c3 39. bxc3 Rxc3 40. a5 Kg7 41. a6 Ra3 {The a6-pawn
is dangerous, but while bringing in the supporters White will have to part
with his kingside pawns. Objectively, it is a draw.} 42. Kg3 Ra2 $1 {That
forces White to abandon the pawn early.} 43. f4 gxf4+ 44. Kxf4 Rxg2 45. Ke5 Ra2
$1 46. Kd6 f5 $1 {The key resource. The f-passer is really dangerous.} ({Not}
46... Kg6 47. Kc7+ Kg5 48. Kb7 f5 49. a7 Rxa7+ 50. Kxa7 f4 51. Rb5+ Kh4 52. Rb3
{when White wins.}) 47. Kc7 f4 48. Kb8 f3 49. a7 f2 50. Rb1 f1=Q {But at the
very final moment Najer succumbs to the pressure.} ({Firouzja rightly pointed
out that this pawn should not have been given that easily and indeed, Black
makes a draw after} 50... Kg6 $1 51. a8=Q ({Or} 51. Rf1 Rb2+ 52. Kc7 Ra2) 51...
Rxa8+ 52. Kxa8 Kg5 53. Rf1 Kh4 54. Rxf2 Kxh3 55. Kb7 h5 56. Kc6 Kg3) 51. Rxf1
Rb2+ 52. Ka8 Rb3 53. Rc1 Kg6 54. Rc7 h5 55. Rb7 {The king is out.} Rxh3 56.
Rb6+ Kg5 57. Kb7 Ra3 58. Ra6 Rb3+ 59. Kc7 {The king marches all the way to h7.}
1-0
[Event "FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.11.04"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Firouzja, Alireza"]
[Black "Sasikiran, Krishnan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C54"]
[WhiteElo "2770"]
[BlackElo "2640"]
[Annotator "Peter,Doggers"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. O-O d5 7. exd5 Nxd5 8.
Re1 Bg4 9. Nbd2 Nb6 10. h3 Bh5 11. Bb3 Kh8 (11... Qxd3 12. Nxe5 Qf5 13. Nef3
Bg6 14. Nf1 Rad8 15. Qe2 Qc8 16. Qb5 Be7 17. Ng3 a6 18. Qe2 Rfe8 {Svidler,P
(2694)-Nakamura,H (2736) Chess.com 2021}) 12. Ne4 Nd7 13. Bd5 f5 $146 {This
exchange sacrifice doesn't really work.} (13... Bb6 14. Ng3 Bxf3 15. Qxf3 f5
16. d4 f4 17. Ne4 Qh4 18. Nd2 exd4 19. Nc4 Rad8 20. Bxc6 bxc6 {Vachier Lagrave,
M (2751)-Swiercz,D (2655) Saint Louis 2021}) 14. Neg5 h6 15. Ne6 Qf6 16. Nxf8 (
{According to the engine} 16. d4 {was an even stronger move order.}) 16... Rxf8
(16... Bxf8 {on Black's turn was better here.}) 17. d4 $1 {Practically
deciding the game.} e4 (17... exd4 18. Re6 Qd8 19. Bxc6 bxc6 {and now White is
spoiled for choice, e.g.} 20. Bxh6) 18. dxc5 Nde5 19. Nxe5 $1 {White is
getting two minor pieces and a rook for the queen.} Bxd1 20. Nd7 Qd8 21. Bxc6
Re8 22. Rxd1 bxc6 23. Bf4 Qh4 24. Bxc7 e3 25. fxe3 Rxe3 26. Rd4 Qe7 27. Bf4 Re2
28. b4 Qe8 29. Rf1 Qe6 30. Rf2 Rxf2 31. Kxf2 Qxa2+ 32. Bd2 Qe6 33. c4 a6 34.
Bf4 Qe7 35. b5 axb5 36. cxb5 Qe6 37. b6 Qb3 38. Kg1 g5 39. Bd2 g4 40. Rb4 Qd1+
41. Kh2 g3+ 42. Kxg3 f4+ 43. Kh2 1-0
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.11.04"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Sevian, Samuel"]
[Black "Navara, David"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D38"]
[WhiteElo "2654"]
[BlackElo "2691"]
[Annotator "Peter,Doggers"]
[PlyCount "97"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. e3 O-O 7. Bd2 dxc4 8.
Bxc4 Bd6 9. Qc2 e5 10. dxe5 Nxe5 11. Nxe5 Bxe5 12. O-O (12. f4 Bxc3 13. Bxc3 g6
14. e4 Re8 15. Bd3 Nxe4 16. Bxe4 Bf5 17. Be5 Bxe4 18. Qxe4 f6 19. O-O fxe5 20.
fxe5 Qe7 {Xiong,J (2700)-Caruana,F (2800) Saint Louis 2021}) 12... Qe7 13. f4
Bxc3 14. Bxc3 Qxe3+ 15. Kh1 Be6 16. Rf3 $146 (16. Bxf6 Bxc4 17. Qxc4 gxf6 18.
Qxc7 Qb6 19. Qxb6 axb6 20. a3 Rfe8 {½-½ Agrest,E (2583)-Laznicka,V (2598)
Catalunya 2009}) 16... Qb6 17. Bd3 Bd5 18. Rg3 h6 19. Be5 Rfe8 20. Bxc7 Qe6 21.
Be5 Nh5 22. Re3 f6 (22... Rac8) 23. Bg6 Qg4 $6 24. h3 Qh4 25. Qd1 (25. Bxe8
Rxe8 26. Qd2) 25... Red8 26. Qxh5 Qxh5 27. Bxh5 fxe5 28. fxe5 Be6 29. Bf3 a5
30. a3 Rd2 31. b3 Rad8 32. b4 axb4 33. axb4 Rb2 34. Bxb7 Rxb4 35. Ra7 Rb3 36.
Re1 Rb5 37. Be4 Bf7 38. Bc6 Rb6 39. Rc7 Be6 40. Be4 Rd7 $2 ({Inserting} 40...
g5 {first was probably good for a draw.}) 41. Rc8+ Kf7 42. Rf1+ Ke7 43. Bc6 $1
{Suddenly Black cannot avoid the loss of material.} Bc4 44. Rf4 Rd1+ 45. Kh2
Bf7 46. Rc7+ Ke6 47. Rfxf7 Rxc6 48. Rfe7+ Kd5 49. Rcd7+ 1-0
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.11.04"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Tabatabaei, M. Amin"]
[Black "Alekseenko, Kirill"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E04"]
[WhiteElo "2639"]
[BlackElo "2710"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "72"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Bb4+ {One of the plausible ways to meet the
Catalan. There is a very long list of strong GMs who have it in their
repertoires.} 5. Nbd2 {This move is a favorite of Dubov. White sacrifices a
pawn in return for a strong center.} dxc4 6. Bg2 b5 ({Dubov won a top-GM
miniature this year after} 6... a5 7. a3 Bxd2+ 8. Bxd2 O-O 9. Qc2 b5 10. a4 c6
11. h4 Nbd7 12. h5 h6 13. g4 Nxg4 14. axb5 Bb7 15. Nh2 Nxf2 16. Kxf2 Qh4+ 17.
Kf1 Qf6+ 18. Bf3 {1-0 (18) Dubov,D (2710)-Ding,L (2791) Online 2021}) 7. a3 Be7
8. Ne5 $146 ({Black managed to consolidate after} 8. b3 cxb3 9. Nxb3 Bb7 10.
O-O O-O 11. Bd2 Nbd7 12. Qb1 Be4 13. Qb2 Nb6 {in the game Karner,C (2372)
-Zelcic,R (2555) Oberwart 2011}) 8... Nd5 9. a4 {But this might not be the
most accurate.} ({Craftier seems} 9. O-O {at once, in order to provoke} Bb7 {
and only then to opt for} 10. a4 {which forces Black to block his own bishop
with} c6 {Then White has enough for the pawn with} 11. e4 Nf6 12. Ndf3 {as}
Nxe4 $2 {is a bit too much and is punished instantly:} 13. Nxf7 $1) 9... c6 10.
O-O a5 {Alekseenko keeps his king in the center for the time being.} ({After}
10... O-O {White typically expands on the kingside with} 11. h4) 11. e4 (11. h4
$5) 11... Nf6 {The knight is destined to defend the kingside.} 12. Ng4 {
Until traded.} Nxg4 13. Qxg4 h5 {This is what Alekseenko was waiting for $1}
14. Qe2 ({Surely not} 14. Qxg7 $4 Bf6 $1) 14... e5 {Instead of taking a pawn,
Black offers one $1} ({After} 14... Qxd4 15. e5 $1 Ba6 16. Rd1 Qd3 17. Qe1 {
White gets what he wants: his knight will soon land on the d6-square.}) 15.
dxe5 {After a lengthy thought, Tabatabaei decided that he can open files like
that too.} ({To an unclear situation leads} 15. d5 h4 16. Rd1 Qc7 {when the
black king feels very safe in the center.}) 15... Na6 16. e6 {But White does
not want to keep the pawn at all, he needs the open files $1} ({Stronger seemed
} 16. Rd1 Qc7 17. Nf3 Nc5 18. Nd4 {moving the knight closer to the enemy
king's residence.}) 16... Bxe6 17. e5 {Still, Tabatabaei underestimated
Black's next move.} Nb4 $1 {A powerful exchange sacrifice $1} ({Rather than}
17... Bd5 18. Ne4 {when a check on d6 or f6 is unstoppable and highly
unpleasant for Black.}) 18. axb5 cxb5 19. Ne4 {Initiative and only initiative
$1} ({Black's initiative for the exchange is so powerful, that he can even
afford playing down a full exchange as in the line} 19. Bxa8 Qxa8 20. Ne4 Bh3
21. Rd1 O-O $5 22. Qxh5 Qxe4 23. Qxh3 a4 {and it is even easier to play as
Black here.}) 19... Ra6 20. Nd6+ {Once again sacrificing a pawn $1} ({Not much
is yielded after} 20. Rd1 Nd3) 20... Bxd6 21. exd6 Nd3 $1 {The pawn on d6 will
go nowhere, therefore Alekseenko uses the time to build a blockade.} (21...
Rxd6 22. Bf4 Rd3 23. Qe5 {would have been nice for White instead.}) 22. Bd2 h4
{Alekseenko also thinks only about the initiative.} ({Here better seemed} 22...
b4 $5 23. b3 O-O 24. Qxh5 Qxd6 25. bxc4 Qc5 $1 {keeping the situation under
control.}) 23. Bc3 hxg3 ({Here and on the next move} 23... O-O {was safer.})
24. hxg3 Qxd6 (24... O-O $5) 25. Bxg7 Rg8 26. Bc3 {Now that both kings are
under fire the question is who will be more creative in the attack.} Kf8 {
The king steps out of the pin.} ({However, stronger seemed the centralization
with} 26... b4 27. Bd2 ({Or} 27. Bf6 Rg6 28. Bh4 Qd4) 27... Qc5) 27. Qh5 $1 {
Tabatabaei does not miss the chance to activate the queen.} b4 28. Bd2 Bg4 29.
Qb5 Be2 30. Qxc4 $1 {It is White's turn to sacrifice the exchange $1 It is
funny how many times the players were offering material to each other.} ({
White could have also retreated with the rook} 30. Rfb1 {But then} Nxf2 {
could have forced a draw in the line} (30... Qf6 31. Be3 {looks better for
White.}) 31. Bxb4 axb4 32. Rxa6 Nh3+ 33. Kh1 Nf2+) 30... Rg4 {Now Black
rejects a possible draw $1} ({This would have happened after} 30... Bxf1 31.
Kxf1 Nxb2 32. Qc8+ Kg7 33. Qg4+ Qg6 34. Qd4+ Qf6 35. Qg4+ {with a perpetual.})
31. Qc8+ Kg7 32. Be3 Qe6 ({Also interesting would have been} 32... Ne5 33. Qf5
Bd3 34. Qh5 Bxf1 35. Kxf1 Qd3+ 36. Kg1 Qb5 37. Kh1 Rag6 {when it is anyone's
game.}) 33. Qb8 {Once again, White wants to keep the queens on the board.} ({
Whereas the endgame after} 33. Qxe6 Rxe6 34. Rfb1 Rxe3 35. fxe3 Rxg3 36. Kh2
Rxe3 37. Rxa5 {should be about equal.}) 33... Rd6 {Now that the white queen is
excluded from the defence of the kingside, the threat 34...Nd3xf2 is in the
air, and Tabatabaei panicks.} ({The correct execution was} 33... Bxf1 $1 34.
Rxf1 Rd6 {with an edge for Black, but Alekseenko believes that his centralized
pieces will keep his king safe enough.}) 34. Kh2 {This makes things worse.} ({
White missed a fantastic resource to turn the tables in his favour with the
sudden rook maneuver} 34. Rxa5 $3 Bxf1 ({And if} 34... Rxg3 {Another fabulous
counter-attacking idea} 35. Bd4+ $3 Rxd4 36. Qxg3+ Rg4 37. Rg5+ $1 {and White
is in control.}) 35. Rh5 $1 {And in order to stop the checkmate Black will
have to part with the queen.}) ({Alekseenko's main attacking idea is
demonstrated in the line} 34. Rfb1 Rxg3 $1 35. fxg3 Qxe3+ 36. Kh2 Rh6+ 37. Bh3
Qf2+ 38. Kh1 {And a pleasant choice between} Rxh3# ({And} 38... Bf3#)) 34...
Bxf1 35. Rxf1 ({Still, it was worth trying} 35. Bxf1 {Although here too, Black
should win with} Nxf2 $1 36. Bxf2 Qe5 $1 37. Kg2 Rh4 $3) 35... Qe5 36. Bf3 Nxf2
$1 {White's position collapses, Tabatabaei resigns.} (36... Nxf2 $1 37. Rxf2 (
37. Bxf2 Rh6+) 37... Qxg3+ 38. Kh1 Qg1#) 0-1
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.11.04"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Vitiugov, Nikita"]
[Black "Ponkratov, Pavel"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A20"]
[WhiteElo "2727"]
[BlackElo "2659"]
[Annotator "Peter,Doggers"]
[PlyCount "51"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. O-O f5 (6... Nb6 7. b3
Bd6 8. Nc3 O-O 9. d4 Nxd4 10. Nxd4 exd4 11. Qxd4 Be7 12. Qe4 Bf6 13. Qc2 Qe7 {
Giri,A (2777)-Carlsen,M (2855) Online 2021}) 7. Nc3 Nxc3 8. bxc3 Bd6 $146 (8...
e4 9. Ne1 Bc5 10. d3 Qe7 11. Qc2 exd3 12. exd3 O-O 13. d4 Bd6 14. Nd3 Kh8 15.
Re1 Qf7 {Pantsulaia,L (2553)-Ponkratov,P (2623) Chess.com 2020}) 9. d4 e4 10.
Ng5 h6 11. Nh3 O-O 12. f3 exf3 13. Bxf3 Na5 14. c4 Be6 15. d5 Bf7 $6 16. Qd3 c6
17. Bd2 $6 {Inaccurate, but it's tough to see why.} Rc8 $2 ({After the nice
engine suggestion} 17... b5 $1 {which involves a pawn sacrifice, Black seems
OK:} 18. cxb5 (18. dxc6 $6 Nxc4) 18... cxb5 19. Qxb5 Qb6+ 20. Qxb6 axb6 {
and the open a-file gives Black good compensation.}) 18. Rac1 {Now White is
indeed much better.} cxd5 19. cxd5 Kh8 20. Rxc8 Qxc8 21. Rc1 Qd8 22. Nf4 b5 23.
Qxf5 Bxf4 24. Qxf4 Bxd5 25. Bxa5 Qe8 26. Qd4 1-0
[Event "Chess.com"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2021.11.05"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Gelfand, Boris"]
[Black "Movsesian, Sergei"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D15"]
[WhiteElo "2674"]
[BlackElo "2618"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. e4 b5 6. Be2 e6 7. a4 $5 {
Exploring less charted territory. There were just four games played so far in
this line but since it got some exposure, Gelfand decided to uncork his
novelty.} ({Another super-exciting game in the line went:} 7. O-O Bb7 8. Rb1
Nbd7 9. b3 Bb4 10. Qc2 Bxc3 11. Qxc3 Nxe4 12. Qe3 c5 13. bxc4 b4 14. d5 exd5
15. cxd5 Bxd5 16. Rd1 O-O 17. Rxd5 Nc3 18. Bc4 Nxb1 19. Qd3 {with more
tactical strikes to follow by both sides, which eventually ended in a draw, Li,
C (2683)-Ma,Q (2630) Liaocheng 2021}) 7... b4 ({One of the very fresh games of
the tournament went} 7... Bb7 8. axb5 cxb5 9. e5 Ne4 10. Nxb5 Bb4+ 11. Kf1 Bd5
12. Na3 Bxa3 13. Rxa3 O-O 14. h4 {Zhou,J (2629)-Cori,J (2655) FIDE Chess.com
Grand Swiss 2021}) 8. e5 bxc3 9. exf6 cxb2 10. fxg7 bxa1=Q ({An there was
another game of Zhou in Riga:} 10... Bxg7 11. Bxb2 Qa5+ 12. Nd2 Ba6 13. Rc1 O-O
14. O-O Nd7 15. Bxc4 Bxc4 16. Nxc4 Qd5 17. Ne3 Qe4 18. a5 {with an edge for
White in Zhou,J (2629)-Bartel,M (2597) FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss 2021}) 11.
gxh8=Q {[%emt 0:00:11] A picturesque position $1 I am not sure, in which other
opening line we get four queens as early as on move $1} Qa5+ 12. Nd2 $146 {
\"I kind of prepared this sacrifice, but I could not remember so much.\"
(Gelfand)} ({The earlier game was equally wild and went} 12. Kf1 Q5xa4 13. Qxa4
Qxa4 14. g3 Nd7 15. Kg2 Bb7 16. Bf4 O-O-O 17. Qxh7 Qa2 18. Nd2 c5+ 19. Bf3 Qa6
20. Rb1 Bxf3+ 21. Nxf3 Qc6 {and Black managed to consolidate in Halkias,S
(2553) -Heinemann,J (2255) Riga 2019. Interestingly, it seems as almost all
the games in this line were played in Tal's birth city Riga $1}) 12... c3 13.
O-O {The actual sacrifice, which was already forced.} cxd2 14. Bxd2 Qxd1 15.
Rxd1 {And, here we are, almost a \"normal\" position. At least from a queen
count perspective.} Qxa4 {Already a very risky decision by Movsesian. It is
not about the pawn, rather the Armenian GM tries to keep the enemy pieces tied
up.} ({The computer believes that} 15... Qf5 {to keep the queen close to the
kingside is the only defence. Then} 16. Bh6 $2 {leads White nowhere due to} ({
Black however, might have been afraid of the spectacular} 16. d5 $3 {The pawn
is immune:} cxd5 $2 {For} ({Equally bad for Black is} 16... exd5 $2 17. Bb4 Nd7
18. Bd3 {and the check along the freshly opened e-file would be deadly.}) ({
But, there was an equally amazing defence:} 16... Qg6 $3 {Black is threatening
to swap the queens. Then one of the many amazing lines runs} 17. Qe5 Nd7 18.
Qc7 {Rerouting the major attacker still leads to problems for Black. Somehow,
it seems as he holds though with} exd5 19. Bh5 $3 Qxh5 20. Re1+ Be7 21. Bb4 Qh4
$1 22. Bxe7 Qxe7 23. Rxe7+ Kxe7 24. Qxc6 Rb8 ({A slightly tricky improvement is
} 24... Bb7 $1 25. Qh6 Rc8 {when anything is possible.}) 25. h4 {Although the
same Tal would have loved to have the queen in this position.}) 17. Bb4 Nd7 18.
Bb5 {pins Black decisively.}) (16. Bb4 $2 {is helping Black just as the other
pin and he does well with} Nd7) 16... Nd7 {With the simple but strong threat
Qf5-f6 $1}) 16. Qxh7 {Gelfand decided to try an original plan. Rather than
mating the enemy king he wants...} ({Actually, it seems as there was nothing
wrong with the direct mating play:} 16. Bh5 $1 Nd7 {Then another bunch of
brilliant moves} ({Or} 16... Qb5 17. d5 $3 {To win again some time.} cxd5 18.
Qg8 Qb7 19. Rc1 Na6 {And now a move that a human being can hardly remember or
understand:} 20. h3 $3 {with an edge for White.}) 17. Bg5 $1 h6 18. Bh4 $3 Qb5
19. d5 $1 cxd5 20. Qg8 Ne5 21. Bf6 {lead to huge attack for White.}) 16... a5 {
Movsesian is trying to bring the rook out for the defence.} ({Stronger was to
sacrifice a pawn in return:} 16... e5 $1 {in order to bring the light-squared
bishop out at once. After} 17. Bh6 ({Or} 17. h4 Be6 18. h5 Nd7 19. h6 O-O-O {
and the black rook can participate in the defense against the white passer.})
17... Qb4 18. dxe5 Be6 {the position is extremely complex, and White
apparently has plenty for the piece.}) 17. h4 $3 {This is what the Israeli GM
had in mind. The pawn is extremely powerful.} Ra7 {Waiting for the pawn to
make another step.} ({This time} 17... e5 {comes late due to} 18. h5 Be6 19. h6
Nd7 20. Bg5 $1 {when Black will not get a chance to castle.}) 18. h5 Ba6 {
Now there is no Be2-h5, but:} 19. Bf3 $1 {is equally good for White.} Rd7 ({
The other try was} 19... Nd7 20. h6 Rb7 {when after} 21. Qg8 ({However, the
power move that we shall see later in the game} 21. Bg5 $1 {would push Black
on the ropes.}) 21... Bd3 22. h7 Bxh7 23. Qxh7 Nf6 24. Qh4 {the position seems
unclear.}) 20. h6 {Gelfand forces matters.} ({The calm} 20. Be3 $1 {was
surprisingly strong too.}) 20... Rxd4 ({The other capture} 20... Qxd4 {should
not have saved Black either after} 21. Qg8 Bd3 22. Bg5 $3 {The same idea $1
The black bishop is pinned and in order to stop the h-passer Black needs to
play} Qe5 23. Bh5 Bg6 {When} 24. Rxd7 {wins in all lines, e.g.} Qxg5 ({Or}
24... Kxd7 25. Qxf8 Qxg5 26. Bxg6 Qxg6 27. Qg7 $1) ({And finally} 24... Nxd7
25. Bxg6 fxg6 26. Qxg6#) 25. Rxf7 $1) 21. Bh5 Rd7 ({The last chance was} 21...
Qxd1+ $1 22. Bxd1 Rxd2 23. Bh5 Rd7 {although here too, White should prevail
thanks to the centralization:} 24. Qe4 $1 {when} Bxh6 {loses to} ({Whereas}
24... Bd3 {leads to large advantage for White after} 25. Qxe6+ Kd8 26. Qe5 Na6
27. Qxa5+ Nc7 28. Qg5+ $1 ({Or} 28. Qe5 $1)) 25. Qxe6+) 22. Qg8 Bd3 23. Bg5 $1
{One threat is to sacrifice the exchange for the bishop and promote.} Bg6 ({
Another is to mate in case of any other bishop retreat:} 23... Bf5 24. Qxf7+
Rxf7 25. Rd8#) 24. Re1 $3 {Suddenly, Gelfand switches back to the attack and
this time it proves unstoppable as Movsesian also has a huge passer to deal
with.} Bxh5 25. h7 {The passer will be crowned $1} Qb4 ({Or another sweet mate
after} 25... Bg6 26. Qxf8+ Kxf8 27. h8=Q#) 26. Rxe6+ ({Not yet} 26. h8=Q $2
Qxe1+ 27. Kh2 Qb4 {when nothing is clear $1}) 26... fxe6 27. Qxe6+ Re7 28. Qc8+
Kf7 29. Qf5+ ({Avoiding the temptation again:} 29. h8=Q $2 Re1+ 30. Kh2 Qd6+
31. g3 Bg6) 29... Ke8 30. Qc8+ Kf7 31. Qf5+ Ke8 32. h8=Q {Finally $1 It was
quite the run $1} Re1+ 33. Kh2 Bg4 ({With the queen centralized} 33... Qd6+ {
does not bother White:} 34. Bf4) 34. Qg6+ {The two queens quickly finish Black.
} Kd7 35. Qf7+ Be7 36. Qhe8+ Kc7 37. Bxe7 1-0
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.11.05"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Howell, David W L"]
[Black "Korobov, Anton"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E18"]
[WhiteElo "2648"]
[BlackElo "2684"]
[Annotator "Peter,Doggers"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 b6 4. Bg2 Bb7 5. d4 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Re1 Na6 8. Nc3
Ne4 9. Bd2 (9. Bf4 Qc8 10. h4 d6 11. Qb3 f5 12. Rad1 Bf6 {Checa,$146 (2789)
-Korobov,A (2965) Chess.com 2020}) 9... f5 10. Ne5 d6 11. Nd3 Bf6 $146 (11...
Bg5 12. Bxg5 Qxg5 13. Nf4 Qf6 14. h4 Nxc3 15. bxc3 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 e5 17. Nd5 Qf7
{De Jong,M (2342)-Grochal,J (2196) Vlissingen 2016}) 12. Nxe4 fxe4 13. e3 e5
14. Qg4 Qc8 15. Qxc8 Raxc8 16. dxe5 dxe5 17. Bc3 Rfe8 18. b4 Rcd8 19. Rad1 Ba8
20. Nc1 c5 21. b5 Nc7 22. h4 Ne6 23. Rxd8 Rxd8 24. Nb3 {Already worse, Black
now speeds up his loss:} Rd3 $6 25. Rc1 g5 26. Nd2 $1 Nd4 {A nice concept, if
it wasn't for...} 27. Bf1 $1 {Picking up the rook instead of the knight, which
would give a dangerous pawn mass. Korobov might have seen this as well, but
the line continues and White will end up an exchange up in all the lines:} Rxd2
28. Bxd2 Nf3+ 29. Kg2 Nxd2 30. Rd1 Nxf1 31. Rd7 Nd2 32. Rxd2 Bb7 33. Rd6 {
And 34.Td7 next.} 1-0
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.11.05"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Kosteniuk, Alexandra"]
[Black "Lei, Tingjie"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B11"]
[WhiteElo "2518"]
[BlackElo "2505"]
[Annotator "Peter,Doggers"]
[PlyCount "100"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Qe2 Bg4 (5... Nxe4 6. Qxe4 Nd7 7.
d4 Nf6 8. Qf4 Nd5 9. Qd2 Bf5 10. Bd3 Bxd3 11. Qxd3 e6 12. O-O Bd6 13. c4 Ne7 {
Nakamura,H (2736)-Caruana,F (2806) Saint Louis 2021}) 6. h3 Bh5 7. Nxf6+ gxf6
8. b3 $5 (8. d3 Nd7 9. g4 Bg6 10. Nh4 h5 11. Bg2 Qc7 12. Bd2 {Nakamura,H (2736)
-Artemiev,V (2731) Moscow RUS 2019}) (8. g3 e6 9. Bg2 Na6 10. d3 Bd6 11. O-O {
Vachier Lagrave,M (2780)-Shimanov,A (2626) Chess.com 2018}) 8... Na6 $146 (8...
Qd5 9. g4 Bg6 10. c4 Qd6 11. Bb2 Na6 12. Nh4 O-O-O 13. Nxg6 hxg6 14. O-O-O e5 {
Stukopin,A (2580)-Rozman,L (2389) Chicago 2018}) 9. Bb2 Nb4 10. Qc4 e6 11. a3
Nd5 12. Qh4 (12. Be2) 12... Bxf3 13. gxf3 Be7 14. Qg3 Qb6 15. f4 Bd6 16. Qf3
O-O-O (16... Bxf4 $2 17. c4) (16... Nxf4 17. Bxf6) 17. f5 (17. O-O-O) 17... Be5
18. O-O-O Bxb2+ 19. Kxb2 Qd4+ 20. c3 Qf4 21. Qxf4 Nxf4 22. Rg1 (22. fxe6 fxe6
23. d4 Rhg8 24. Kc2 Kc7 {is also slightly better for Black.}) 22... Rhg8 23.
Rg3 h5 24. d4 h4 25. Re3 e5 26. Kc2 Rg1 27. Re4 Rh1 28. a4 Kc7 29. b4 Nxh3 30.
Bxh3 Rxh3 31. dxe5 fxe5 32. Rxe5 Rxc3+ 33. Kxc3 Rxd1 34. Re7+ Rd7 35. Re4 h3
36. Rh4 Rd5 37. Rxh3 Rxf5 38. f3 Kb6 39. Kb3 Rf4 40. a5+ Kb5 41. Kc3 Rc4+ 42.
Kd3 Kxb4 43. a6 b5 44. Ke3 Kc3 45. Rh7 b4 46. Rxf7 b3 47. Rxa7 b2 48. Rb7 Ra4
49. a7 c5 50. f4 Rxa7 0-1
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.11.06"]
[Round "10"]
[White "Firouzja, Alireza"]
[Black "Howell, David W L"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C54"]
[WhiteElo "2770"]
[BlackElo "2648"]
[Annotator "Peter,Doggers"]
[PlyCount "113"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 h6 6. c3 d6 7. Re1 O-O 8. h3 a5
(8... Bb6 9. Nbd2 Ne7 10. Bb3 c6 11. Nc4 Bc7 12. d4 Ng6 13. dxe5 Nxe5 14. Nfxe5
dxe5 15. Qf3 Qe7 {Vachier Lagrave,M (2763)-Carlsen,M (2855) Online 2021}) 9.
Nbd2 Be6 10. Bb5 Ba7 11. Nf1 Ne7 12. Ng3 c6 13. Ba4 b5 14. Bc2 a4 (14... c5 15.
d4 Qc7 16. Be3 Rac8 17. d5 Bd7 18. a4 c4 19. Nxe5 Bxe3 20. Rxe3 dxe5 21. d6 Qb6
22. dxe7 Rfe8 {Dominguez Perez,L (2750)-Fedoseev,V (2683) Hengshui CH$146 2019}
) 15. d4 Ng6 16. Be3 Re8 17. Bd3 Bb6 18. a3 Qc7 19. Rc1 Ba5 20. Re2 Qb7 21. c4
bxc4 22. Bxc4 d5 23. Bd3 exd4 24. Nxd4 Bd7 ({Perhaps preferable was} 24... Bc7
25. Nxe6 Rxe6 26. exd5 Nxd5 27. Bd4 Ngf4 28. Rxe6 Nxe6) 25. Ndf5 Bc7 26. exd5
cxd5 $6 ({Here} 26... Nxd5 27. Bd4 Ndf4 {offered better chances.}) 27. Bd4 {
White's pieces start to look rarther menacing.} Be5 28. Nxh6+ $5 ({Even
stronger was} 28. Rxe5 $1 Nxe5 (28... Rxe5 29. Nxh6+ $1 gxh6 30. Bxg6 Rg5 31.
Bb1 {and Black's kingside has been weakened too much}) 29. Nd6 Qb8 30. Nxe8
Qxe8 31. Bb1 {and White's advantage is huge.}) 28... gxh6 29. Bxg6 Bxg3 30.
Rxe8+ Rxe8 31. Qf3 $6 ({If Firouzja had seen Black's reply he would have gone
for} 31. fxg3 fxg6 32. Bxf6) 31... Qc6 $3 {Played with just four seconds left
on the clock $1} 32. Bc2 $1 {Firouzja said he was lucky he wasn't losing on
the spot.} (32. Rxc6 Re1#) 32... Bb8 $6 (32... Qxc2 33. Qxg3+ Qg6 34. Qxg6+
fxg6 35. Bxf6 Kf7 36. Bd4 h5 {provides better drawing chances than in the game.
}) ({Also} 32... Be5 {was possible when} 33. Bxe5 Rxe5 34. Bh7+ Nxh7 35. Rxc6
Bxc6 36. Qg4+ Kh8 37. Qf4 f6 38. Qxh6 Be8 {could well be a fortress.}) 33. Qxf6
Qxf6 34. Bxf6 {This endgame is a tough one and Howell eventually goes down:}
Rc8 35. Bc3 d4 $6 ({The last chance was} 35... Bd6 $1 36. Bd3 Be5 {when White
has some difficulty to untangle.}) 36. Bd2 Kg7 37. Bd3 Rxc1+ 38. Bxc1 h5 39. h4
Bc6 40. g3 Bd7 41. Kf1 Be5 42. Ke2 Bg4+ 43. Kd2 Bd7 44. Kc2 Be6 45. Bb5 Bb3+
46. Kd3 Kg6 47. Bd7 Bd1 48. Bd2 f5 49. Bf4 Bg7 50. Bd6 Bf6 51. Be8+ Kh6 52. Bc5
f4 53. Bxd4 Bd8 54. Kd2 Bb3 55. Be5 fxg3 56. fxg3 Ba5+ 57. Kc1 1-0
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.11.06"]
[Round "10"]
[White "Keymer, Vincent"]
[Black "Alekseenko, Kirill"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D38"]
[WhiteElo "2639"]
[BlackElo "2710"]
[Annotator "Peter,Doggers"]
[PlyCount "51"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Qa4+ (5. e3 O-O 6. Bd2 b6 7. Rc1 a6
8. cxd5 exd5 9. Bd3 Bb7 10. O-O Bd6 11. Ne5 c5 12. Ne2 Nc6 13. Nxc6 Bxc6 14.
dxc5 bxc5 {Keymer,V (2591)-Alekseenko,K (2699) Biel 2021}) 5... Nc6 6. e3 O-O
7. Qc2 (7. Bd2 dxc4 8. Bxc4 Bd6 9. Qc2 e5 10. dxe5 Nxe5 11. Nxe5 Bxe5 12. f4
Bxc3 13. Bxc3 g6 {Xiong,J (2700)-Caruana,F (2800) Saint Louis 2021}) 7... Re8
8. Bd2 h6 9. Rd1 Bf8 10. Be2 $146 (10. Bc1 a6 11. b3 Qe7 12. Bb2 dxc4 13. Bxc4
b5 14. Be2 Bb7 15. O-O e5 16. Nxe5 Nxe5 17. dxe5 Qxe5 18. Nd5 Qg5 19. f4 Qh4
20. Bxf6 gxf6 21. g3 Qh3 22. Bg4 {1-0 (22) Weichselbaumer,E-Benkner,O
Saarbruecken 1950}) 10... a6 11. a3 dxc4 12. Bxc4 b5 13. Bd3 Bb7 14. Ne4 Nd7
15. Ng3 Ne7 16. b4 f5 17. O-O Nf6 18. Rfe1 Nc8 $6 ({Better was} 18... Bxf3 19.
gxf3 Ng6 20. Kh1 Nh4 21. Be2 Qd7 {but White is better there as well.}) 19. Ne5
Bd6 20. e4 $1 {Already a decisive breakthrough.} fxe4 21. Nxe4 Bxe5 22. dxe5
Nxe4 23. Bxe4 Bxe4 24. Rxe4 {With Ra8 and Nc8 out of play, Black cannot defend
his kingside.} h5 25. Bh6 Qe7 26. Re3 (26. Re3 gxh6 27. Qg6+ Kh8 28. Rg3) 1-0
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.11.06"]
[Round "10"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C88"]
[WhiteElo "2766"]
[BlackElo "2791"]
[Annotator "Peter,Doggers"]
[PlyCount "105"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
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
Bb7 9. d3 d6 10. Bd2 b4 11. c3 Rb8 (11... bxc3 12. bxc3 Na5 13. Ba2 Rb8 14. Bg5
Nd7 15. Be3 Bc6 16. Nbd2 Nb6 17. Bxb6 Rxb6 {Santos Latasa,J (2616)-Anton
Guijarro,D (2659) Linares 2021}) 12. cxb4 (12. a5 Bc8 13. Bc4 bxc3 14. bxc3 Be6
15. Qa4 Bxc4 16. Qxc4 Qd7 17. Qxa6 Ra8 18. Qc4 Nxa5 19. Qa2 Qc6 {Pichot,A
(2630)-Nihal,S (2620) Biel SUI 2021}) 12... Bc8 (12... Ba8 13. Bc4 Nxb4 14. Nc3
Nd7 15. Na2 a5 16. Nxb4 axb4 {½-½ Smagin,S (2500)-Geller,E (2525) Moscow 1986
}) 13. b5 axb5 14. axb5 Rxb5 15. h3 (15. Ra8 Rb8 16. Rxb8 Nxb8 17. d4 exd4 18.
Nxd4 c5 19. Nf3 Nc6 20. Bc3 Be6 21. Nbd2 d5 {Vachier Lagrave,M (2775)
-Tomashevsky,E (2716) Tbilisi 2015}) 15... Rb8 16. Nc3 Be6 17. Nd5 Bxd5 18.
Bxd5 Nxd5 19. exd5 Nb4 20. Qb3 c5 21. Ra4 $146 (21. dxc6 Nxc6 22. Qc4 Qd7 23.
Ra6 Rfc8 24. Qa4 Rb7 25. Rc1 Nb8 26. Rxc8+ Qxc8 27. Ra7 Bf8 28. Rxb7 Qxb7 29.
Qe8 Na6 30. Bc3 {½-½ Liang,A (2572)-Gledura,B (2621) Saint Louis 2018}) 21...
Na6 22. Qa2 Nc7 23. Ba5 Qd7 24. Bxc7 Qxc7 25. Nd2 Qb7 26. Ra7 Qb4 27. Rd1 Rb7
28. Nc4 Rxa7 29. Qxa7 Qb3 30. Re1 Qxd3 31. Qxe7 Qxc4 32. Qxd6 Qd4 33. Qxe5 (33.
Rxe5 h6 34. b3 Ra8) 33... Qxe5 34. Rxe5 f6 35. Rf5 Rb8 36. d6 Rxb2 37. Rxc5 Rd2
38. Rc8+ Kf7 39. Rc7+ Kf8 40. Rd7 g5 41. g3 h5 42. h4 gxh4 43. gxh4 Ke8 44. Rh7
Rxd6 45. Rxh5 Kf7 46. Kg2 Kg6 47. Ra5 Rd3 48. h5+ Kh6 49. f3 Rd1 50. Kg3 Rg1+
51. Kf4 Rh1 52. Rf5 Rh4+ 53. Kg3 1/2-1/2
[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2021.11.06"]
[Round "10"]
[White "Vitiugov, Nikita"]
[Black "Oparin, Grigoriy"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E24"]
[WhiteElo "2734"]
[BlackElo "2659"]
[Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"]
[PlyCount "92"]
[EventDate "2021.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. a3 Bxc3+ 5. bxc3 c5 6. f3 {Whenever the name
Samisch is concerned, the white f-pawn modestly moves to the f3 square. It
does, however, help White build the strongest possible center, which on its
turn might translate into a decisive kingside attack. At least, this is what
White is dreaming about.} Nc6 {Black, on his turn, realizes that the opponent
has burned certain bridges, and that the pawn on c4 might well be attacked
with every single black piece. More or less, this pawn is doomed, dreams Black,
and he has visions of a won queenside battle.} 7. e4 d6 8. Be3 b6 9. Bd3 e5 {
Kasparov named this the Portish-Hubner wall and my database indicates that 9. .
..0-0 is vanishing. Rightly so, why castle into White's attack $2} ({Black can,
however, prepare the opposite-castling with} 9... Qc7 10. Ne2 Na5 11. O-O Ba6
12. Bg5 Nd7 13. f4 Bxc4 14. f5 e5 15. f6 g6 16. dxe5 Bxd3 17. Qxd3 dxe5 18. c4
O-O-O 19. Nc3 Kb8 {and Black won the opening battle in Boyer,M (2465)-Dubov,D
(3093) Chess.com 2020}) 10. d5 Na5 11. Ne2 Kd7 $146 {A nice novelty $1 The
king often walks toward the queenside on its own in the Nimzo-Indian defence,
not necessarily using the castling crutch.} ({Although, in an earlier game
Black did fine after} 11... Ba6 12. Ng3 Qd7 13. Qe2 O-O-O 14. a4 (14. Bg5 $5)
14... Rdg8 15. h4 g6 16. Kd1 Nh5 17. Nf1 f5 18. Kc2 fxe4 19. fxe4 Rf8 {Ang,A
(2195)-Winkelman,A (2283) Melbourne 2019}) ({Once again, why castle into an
attack with} 11... O-O {when besides the instant g2-g4, White can prepare the
kingside assault with} 12. Ng3 ({Or with} 12. Ra2 $5)) 12. O-O Kc7 13. f4 {
Vitiugov hurries to open the center.} Ng4 {Whereas Oparin tries to keep
everything under blockade.} 14. Bd2 exf4 15. Bxf4 f6 {White's play seems done.}
16. Nd4 $1 {Not so fast, there is this sacrifice that intends to open up the
black king's guard. The price of a knight to set the center in motion and open
up the bishops is totally worth it.} Ne5 $1 {At least the knight got closer to
the black king.} ({After} 16... cxd4 17. cxd4 Kb7 18. h3 Nh6 19. c5 $1 {
Black will be quickly dismantled.}) 17. Nb5+ (17. Bxe5 dxe5 18. Nb5+ Kb7 {
would have likely transposed.}) 17... Kb7 18. Bxe5 dxe5 {In any case, Vitiugov
needs to demonstrate immense creativity in order to keep the his initiative
looming.} 19. d6 $1 ({After} 19. a4 a6 20. Na3 Ka7 {Black consolidates and
intends to reroute the knight to the d6-square.}) 19... Rb8 $1 ({Pushing the
knight where it wants to go.} 19... a6 20. Nc7 {does not make sense.}) 20. Be2
Be6 21. Nc7 Bf7 {Black is just in time.} ({In case of} 21... Qd7 {White can
search for a play with} 22. Nxe6 Qxe6 23. Ra2 Rbd8 24. Rd2) 22. Rb1 {Almost
all the white pieces are active, but is it enough $2} ({The machine suggests
instead the pretty drawish line} 22. Rf3 $5 Nxc4 23. Rd3 $1 Nb2 24. Rd2 $1 Nxd1
25. Ba6+ $1 Kc6 26. Bb5+ $1) 22... Qd7 $1 {Oparin also brings his pieces out,
and wants to deal with the d6-pawn once and for all.} ({The capture was also
possible:} 22... Nxc4 23. Bxc4 Bxc4 24. Rf2 Qd7 25. Rd2 {and it would have
still led to interesting compensation for the pawn.}) 23. Bg4 Qc6 24. Be6 {
White bets on the power of his passer.} ({The other idea was} 24. Nd5 $5 {
when White once again is ready to part with a pawn in return for an initiative,
this time, in the endgame:} Qxd6 25. Nxf6 Qxd1 26. Rbxd1 Bxc4 27. Rd7+ Ka6 28.
Nd5 {Here Black can try to play for more than half-a-point with} Rhd8 $5 ({
Or else a forced draw:} 28... Bxf1 29. Nc7+ Kb7 30. Nb5+ Ka6 31. Nc7+)) 24...
Bxe6 25. Nxe6 Nxc4 26. Qg4 Rhg8 27. d7 {This, however, turns out to be wrong.}
({A better try was} 27. Rfd1 Nxd6 28. Rd5 Ka8 29. Rbd1 {when anything was
possible. Despite the two-pawn deficit, White has plenty of compensation
thanks to his powerful pieces.}) 27... Ne3 28. Qh3 ({Maybe from afar Vitiugov
thought that the underpromotion line} 28. Qxg7 $5 Rxg7 $1 {d8=$146+ is not
just beautiful, but effective. But then saw that in the line Rxd8} 29. Nd8+ Kc7
30. Nxc6 Nxf1 31. Rxf1 Kxc6 32. Rxf6+ Kb5 {Black gets his dream endgame (see
the opening phase...)}) 28... Nxf1 29. Rxf1 Qxe4 (29... Qd6 $5 {also made a
lot of sense.}) 30. Qh5 ({Or} 30. Rd1 Rbd8 31. Nxd8+ Rxd8 32. Qe6 Qc6 33. Qe7
Kc7 {and the d7-pawn would vanish.}) 30... Rgd8 {This is more or less it $1
White will get a portion of his material back, but not everything.} 31. Rd1 g6
32. Qxh7 Qe2 33. Rb1 Qc2 34. Rf1 Qd3 35. Nxd8+ Rxd8 36. Qe7 Rxd7 37. Qxf6 Qxc3
38. Qxg6 Qe3+ 39. Kh1 c4 $1 {This passer decides. The grand strategy to win
the c-pawn and promote his one worked for Oparin.} ({But not the flashy} 39...
Qf2 $2 40. Qe4+ $1 {when White escapes.}) 40. Qe6 Qd3 41. Kg1 c3 42. Qxe5 c2
43. Rc1 Qd1+ 44. Kf2 ({Or} 44. Qe1 Qxc1 45. Qxc1 Rd1+) 44... Qd2+ 45. Kg3 Rd3+
46. Kh4 Qxg2 {0-} 0-1