[Event "Altibox Norway Chess 2017"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.06"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Black "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2808"]
[BlackElo "2781"]
[Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"]
[PlyCount "88"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. a4 a6 7. c3 d5 8. exd5
Nxd5 9. Nbd2 Kh8 10. Re1 f6 11. d4 Ba7 (11... exd4 12. Nb3 Ba7 13. Nbxd4 Nxd4
14. Nxd4 {was on the better side for White in Giri-Tomashevsky of September
last year. White's pressure stems from the space advantage on the queenside
and the weakness on e6. It isn't very serious, and probably black can hold
with precise play, but it's much more comfortable to play white.}) 12. dxe5
Nxe5 13. Nxe5 fxe5 14. Nf3 (14. Ne4 {seems natural, but it releases the
pressure on e5. Nf3 is a bit more ambitious but it clearly has a couple of
problems, mainly the weakness on f2.}) 14... c6 (14... Bxf2+ {was already
possible, but not entirely clear} 15. Kxf2 Qh4+ 16. Kg1 Qxc4 17. Rxe5 {and
after a forced sequence White's position is still slightly more comfortable.
His pieces are a bit more active, even though again, black should be ok.}) 15.
Bg5 {Choices aren't easy in chess, and Kramnik presents his opponent with
three distinct ones:} (15. Bxd5 $5 cxd5 16. Rxe5 Bg4 {looks a bit dodgy. White
will retain extra material (at least one pawn, more if he wants) but his
structure on the kingside will be shattered and his king permanently exposed.
These kinds of positions sometimes boil down to style, and Kramnik here
prefers the initiative.}) 15... Qb6 $6 {Not the most precise. Kramnik ditches
the f2 pawn for piece activity and central control} (15... Bxf2+ 16. Kxf2 (16.
Kh1 Qd6 17. Re2 Be6 $1 18. Rxf2 e4 {is also wildly unclear}) 16... Qxg5 17. Kg1
Qd8 18. Nxe5 $14 {seems to be a bit better for White}) (15... Qd6 $5 {Keeping
the defense on the e5 pawn, now for example:} 16. Bh4 $5 (16. Re4 Qg6 $1 17.
Bxd5 cxd5 18. Rxe5 Bg4 19. Kh1 $1 {with a huge mess}) 16... Bg4 17. Bg3 Bxf3
18. gxf3 Rf5 $13) 16. Bxd5 cxd5 (16... Qxf2+ 17. Kh1 cxd5 18. Qxd5 {with e5
falling next, White's king is much safer than Black's.}) 17. Be3 $1 Qxb2 18.
Bxa7 Rxa7 19. Qxd5 {Kramnik is a cunning trickster} b6 (19... Qxc3 $2 20. Qd6
$1 Rg8 21. Qb8 {and the rook cannot be saved!}) 20. Rab1 $6 (20. Qc4 {the pawn
deserved to live. This move also threatens Ra2, winning on the spot} e4 $1 21.
Ra2 Rc7 22. Qxc7 Qxa2 23. Rxe4 $16) 20... Qxc3 21. Rxb6 Raf7 22. Qxe5 Qxe5 23.
Rxe5 {White is up a pawn in the resulting endgame, but because of the pressure
on f2, the superiority of a bishop over a knight, and the reduced amount of
pawns, winning is tough.} Bg4 24. Re3 Kg8 25. Ne5 (25. Rxa6 Bxf3 26. Rxf3 Rxf3
27. gxf3 Rxf3 {is a draw as the rook gets in behind the pawn}) 25... Rxf2 26.
h3 Bc8 27. Nc6 Rf1+ 28. Kh2 R1f6 29. a5 h6 30. Ne7+ Kf7 31. Nc6 Kg8 32. Rc3 {
White retains some pressure, but now Black can neutralize it and Karjakin has
no problems doing so.} Kh7 33. Ne7 Bd7 34. Nd5 Rf5 35. Rd6 Bb5 36. Nc7 Bf1 37.
Rd7 Rf2 38. Rg3 R8f7 39. Rxf7 Rxf7 40. Rc3 Rf5 41. Rc1 Bd3 42. Rc3 Bf1 43. Rc1
Bd3 44. Rc3 Bf1 1/2-1/2
[Event "Norway Chess 2017"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.06"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Hikaru Nakamura"]
[Black "Anish Giri"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D80"]
[WhiteElo "2785"]
[BlackElo "2771"]
[PlyCount "133"]
[EventDate "2017.06.05"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Bg5 {Nakamura avoids mainline Grunfeld theory,
which is extremely well developed. Instead, he essayed a sideline that I am
particularly fond of.} (4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Nf3 c5 {is, of
course, standard.}) 4... Ne4 5. Bh4 (5. Bf4 {is also played here, though Black
obtains some much needed activity.} Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Nf3 c5) 5... Nxc3 6.
bxc3 dxc4 7. e3 Be6 8. Qb1 (8. Nf3 {is more common, but I am partial to the
game continuation. Kasimdzhanov demonstrated precise chess in the following
win with Black:} Bg7 9. Be2 O-O 10. O-O c5 11. Rb1 b6 12. Qc2 Nc6 13. Rfd1 cxd4
14. cxd4 Bf5 15. e4 Bg4 16. d5 Na5 17. d6 Bf6 18. Bxf6 exf6 19. Nd4 Bd7 20. Nb5
Rc8 21. Nc7 Nb7 22. Rd4 Nxd6 23. Na6 Qe7 24. Rbd1 Bb5 25. Nb4 Ne8 26. Nd5 Qa3
27. Bxc4 Kg7 28. Qd3 Qxd3 29. Bxd3 Nc7 30. Nxc7 Bxd3 31. Rd7 Be2 32. Re1 Bg4
33. Re7 Rfd8 34. h3 Kf8 35. Nd5 Bd7 36. g4 b5 37. Kg2 Rc2 38. a3 a5 39. Kg3 Rc5
40. Re3 b4 41. axb4 axb4 42. Rxd7 Rxd7 43. Nxb4 f5 44. gxf5 gxf5 45. f3 Rd4 46.
Nd5 Rcxd5 {0-1 (46) Nisipeanu,L (2641)-Kasimdzhanov,R (2669) Khanty-Mansiysk
2011}) 8... b6 9. Nh3 Bh6 (9... f6 $2 {is a huge blunder here} 10. Nf4 Bf7 11.
Qe4 {is crushing. White threatens both Bxf6 and Qxa8, and the only way to
protect both is} Nd7 {which runs right into the devastating} 12. Ne6) 10. Bg5 (
10. Ng5 Bxg5 11. Bxg5 {might appear pleasant for White, who claims the two
bishops advantage while Black has compromised dark squares on the kingside.
Yet, the reality is that the c4 pawn will be extremely difficult to recoup and
Black activates quickly. Paco Vallejo demolished his opponent from the black
side of this position:} Qd5 12. Bh4 Nc6 13. f3 Qa5 14. Qb2 O-O-O 15. Be2 g5 16.
Bg3 f5 17. O-O Rhg8 18. e4 f4 19. Bf2 g4 20. fxg4 Bxg4 21. Bxc4 Qh5 22. Bxg8
Rxg8 23. Qd2 Bf3 24. Bg3 fxg3 25. gxf3 Qh3 26. Qe2 Nd8 27. f4 Ne6 28. Qd2 Rg4
29. Rad1 Nxf4 30. e5 gxh2+ 31. Kh1 Nh5 32. Rf8+ Kb7 {0-1 (32) Kacheishvili,G
(2599)-Vallejo Pons,F (2678) Mallorca 2004}) 10... Bxg5 11. Nxg5 Qd5 12. Nxe6
Qxe6 13. Qb4 $146 (13. Qb5+ {had been played in previous games. Compared to
Nakamura's choice, this move provides Black an extra tempo after} c6 14. Qxc4
Qxc4 15. Bxc4) 13... Qd5 14. Qxc4 Qxc4 15. Bxc4 {Material is equal, though
White holds a slight edge thanks to the bishop's superiority over the enemy
knight. The bishop has pretty free reign over the board, whereas the knight
has inherent limitation simply because of the way it moves. Nakamura can also
claim the better pawn structure, as he can initiate breaks (via a4-a5 or h4-h5)
whereas Giri is forced to parry those ideas.} e6 16. Be2 Nd7 17. a4 Ke7 (17...
a5 {is certainly playable, but Giri was uninterested in handing Nakamura's
bishop unlimited access on the light squares.}) 18. a5 c6 19. Kd2 (19. c4 {
was definitely worth consideration, as it makes Giri task of playing b5 more
difficult.}) 19... b5 20. Rab1 Rab8 21. Rb2 f5 22. Rhb1 Kd6 23. f3 e5 24. c4 {
If Nakamura was hoping to reel in a full point, this was his lone opportunity.}
exd4 (24... a6 {is the instinctive reply, though Giri might have been hesitant
to play it for fear of getting himself into trouble. Black's 27th move seems
to eliminate the remnants White's advantage:} 25. d5 bxc4 (25... cxd5 26. cxb5
{is great for White, whose outside passed pawn is the difference.}) 26. dxc6
Rxb2+ 27. Rxb2 Rb8 $1 28. Rc2 c3+ 29. Rxc3 Nc5 {Black scoops up the c-pawn and
holds.}) 25. cxb5 cxb5 26. Bxb5 dxe3+ 27. Kxe3 {Nakamura felt that the game
was quite even until this moment. Bobby Fischer had many famous games where
his bishop outclassed an opponent's knight, and Nakamura put his studies to
use in this ending. The essential concept to understand here is that a white
pawn on a6, defended by a bishop, is deadly. Meanwhile, the black pawn on a7
is a pain to defend, as the knight can only defend it from a light square and
thus fall victim to the attack of the bishop. So if the pawn gets to a6 and
the bishop supports it from b7...} Nf6 28. Bc4 Rxb2 (28... Rhe8+ {was
certainly a better starting point. If White's king is forced to retreat, Black
has at least gained some space. If the White king marches forward, then} 29.
Kd4 Rbd8 {forces both sides to face discomfort.}) 29. Rxb2 Re8+ 30. Kd4 {
Now the king is very safe in the center.} Re7 31. Rb8 Rd7 (31... Nd7) 32. Rc8 {
A fine move that prevents Giri from defending the queenside with his king.
Black surely can't offer an exchange of rooks, since Nakamura's king
infiltrates immediately.} Rb7 33. a6 Rb4 (33... Re7 34. Bb5 {is overwhelming.})
34. Kc3 Ra4 35. Kb3 Nd7 36. Bb5 {This move turns out to be imprecise, as it
allowed Giri back into the game.} (36. Kxa4 $2 Nb6+ 37. Kb5 Nxc8 38. Bg8 h6 {
is just a draw, since the knight will come to e7 and defend everything.
Black's king is positioned perfectly to keep all infiltration squares under
control.}) ({Starting with} 36. Rd8 {makes it impossible for Black to defend
a7.} Ra1 37. Ra8 Rb1+ 38. Kc2 Rg1 39. Rxa7 {and White is far ahead, thanks to
the advanced a-pawn. If Black can hold this, it's a miracle.}) 36... Ra5 37.
Kb4 Ra1 38. Rd8 Rb1+ 39. Ka5 Ra1+ 40. Kb4 Rb1+ 41. Ka4 Ra1+ 42. Kb3 Rb1+ 43.
Kc4 Rc1+ 44. Kd3 Rc7 45. Kd4 Ke7 {Giri improved his drawing chances, but his
situation remains difficult. Black is required to remain passive and hope that
his position may bend but won't break.} 46. Ra8 ({White would have been very
wrong to exchange all of the pieces in this endgame, since} 46. Rxd7+ Rxd7+ 47.
Bxd7 Kxd7 48. Ke5 Kc6 {is even.} (48... Ke7 $4 49. f4 h6 50. h3 Kf7 51. Kd6 Kf6
52. Kc7 Ke7 53. Kb7 Kd7 54. Kxa7 Kc7 55. h4 h5 56. g3 {and wins.}) 49. Kf6 Kb5
50. Kg7 Kxa6 51. Kxh7 Kb5 52. Kxg6 a5 53. g4 fxg4 54. f4 a4 55. f5 a3 56. f6 a2
57. f7 a1=Q 58. f8=Q {with a dead draw. If the queens get traded, White isn't
winning with an h-pawn.}) 46... Kd6 47. h4 {This move exemplifies endgame
technique 101. When you have one advantage (in this case, the a-pawn) that is
not yet enough to carry you to victory, create a second weakness for your
opponent. Giri hardly has any useful moves, and kingside progress would be
catastrophic for Black. If White had a free move, Rd8 is a deadly threat: that
king and pawn ending from the previous note would be winning for White with
the pawn already on h4.} Ke7 $2 {An unfortunate oversight by Giri, who must
have completely forgotten that the rook ending is totally lost.} (47... Nf6 {
was the best attempt. There does not appear to be an immediate knockout blow,
since} 48. Rd8+ Ke7 49. Rb8 Kd6 50. Rb7 Re7 51. Rxe7 Kxe7 52. Kc5 {should not
win. Even if White captures on a7, Black will box the king in by placing his
king on c7.}) (47... Nb6 {also is a plausible option, though the knight is
restricted here.}) 48. Bxd7 $1 Rxd7+ (48... Kxd7 {is no better.} 49. Kd5 Ke7
50. Rh8 Kf6 51. Kd6 {forces the rook off the seventh rank:} Rc2 52. Rxh7 Rxg2
53. Rxa7 {with a technical win.}) 49. Ke5 Kf7 50. Rb8 Re7+ (50... Ke7 51. Rh8 {
is immediately decisive.}) (50... Rc7 51. Rb7 {as well.}) 51. Kd5 Kf6 52. Rb7
Re5+ 53. Kd4 Ra5 54. Rxa7 {If the rook were on a8 and pawn on a7, then the
position would be a draw. However, here there is space for the king to enter,
which is the winning plan for White.} f4 55. Kc4 (55. Rxh7 $2 {would be a
silly move, since} Rxa6 {is a defensible three on two endgame.}) 55... Ra2 56.
Kc5 h5 57. Ra8 Rc2+ 58. Kb6 Rb2+ 59. Kc5 Rc2+ 60. Kb6 Rb2+ 61. Ka7 {The point.
Nakamura maneuvers his rook around, which allows his pawn to promote.} Rxg2 62.
Rb8 Rf2 63. Rb6+ Kg7 64. Kb7 Rxf3 65. a7 Ra3 66. Ra6 Rb3+ 67. Kc6 1-0
[Event "Altibox Norway Chess 2017"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.07"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2786"]
[BlackElo "2808"]
[PlyCount "120"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Nc6 {
[%emt 0:00:08]} 3. Bb5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} a6 {[%emt 0:00:17]} 4. Ba4 {[%emt 0:00:
06]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 5. O-O {[%emt 0:00:09]} Bc5 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 6. Nc3 {
[%emt 0:04:05]} b5 {[%emt 0:02:59]} 7. Bb3 {[%emt 0:00:16]} O-O {[%emt 0:01:34]
LiveBook: 25 Games. C77: Ruy Lopez: 3...a6 4 Ba4 Nf6, unusual lines} 8. Nd5 {
[%emt 0:11:05]} (8. d3 h6 9. Nd5 d6 10. a4 Rb8 11. axb5 axb5 12. Be3 Nxd5 13.
exd5 Bxe3 14. fxe3 Ne7 15. e4 Ng6 16. Qd2 {0-1 (38) Dominguez Perez,L (2732)
-Ding,L (2766) Huaian 2016}) 8... Nxe4 {[%emt 0:18:46]} 9. d3 {[%emt 0:00:37]}
Nf6 {[%emt 0:02:20] The position is equal.} 10. Bg5 $146 {[%emt 0:00:16]} ({
Predecessor:} 10. Nxf6+ Qxf6 11. Bg5 Qg6 12. Re1 d6 13. Bd5 Bd7 14. Bxc6 Bxc6
15. Be3 Bxe3 16. Rxe3 f5 17. Nh4 Qf6 18. g3 f4 19. Re1 fxg3 20. fxg3 {0-1 (20)
Tassinati,M (559)-Matugin,S (1727) LSS email 2010}) 10... Be7 $1 {[%emt 0:03:
11]} 11. Nxe7+ {[%emt 0:00:25]} Qxe7 {[%emt 0:00:24]} 12. Re1 {[%emt 0:01:15]}
h6 {[%emt 0:15:08]} 13. Bh4 {[%emt 0:00:47]} Bb7 {[%emt 0:05:05]} 14. c3 {
[%emt 0:17:14]} Rfe8 {[%emt 0:05:04]} 15. d4 {[%emt 0:09:32] Black must now
prevent dxe5.} e4 {[%emt 0:02:46]} 16. Nd2 {[%emt 0:02:50]} Na5 {[%emt 0:01:16]
} 17. Bc2 {[%emt 0:01:14]} g5 {[%emt 0:01:29]} 18. Bg3 {[%emt 0:00:17]} Nc4 {
[%emt 0:00:07]} 19. Nxc4 {[%emt 0:08:21]} bxc4 {[%emt 0:00:21]} 20. b3 {
[%emt 0:00:17]} Bd5 {[%emt 0:07:30]} 21. Be5 {[%emt 0:12:30]} ({White should
try} 21. h4 $14) 21... d6 $11 {[%emt 0:00:47]} 22. Bxf6 {[%emt 0:01:25]} Qxf6 {
[%emt 0:00:05]} 23. bxc4 {[%emt 0:00:16]} Bxc4 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 24. Rxe4 {
[%emt 0:02:36]} Rxe4 {[%emt 0:03:38]} 25. Bxe4 {[%emt 0:00:14]} Re8 {[%emt 0:
00:09]} 26. Bd3 {[%emt 0:00:52]} Qe6 {[%emt 0:00:39]} 27. Bxc4 {[%emt 0:04:38]}
Qxc4 $15 {[%emt 0:00:05] Endgame KQR-KQR} 28. Qb3 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Qd3 {
[%emt 0:01:47]} 29. h3 {[%emt 0:01:12]} Kg7 {[%emt 0:00:12]} 30. Rd1 {[%emt 0:
00:27]} Qe2 {[%emt 0:00:26]} 31. Rf1 {[%emt 0:01:01]} Re6 {[%emt 0:02:47]} 32.
Qd5 {[%emt 0:01:24]} Qd2 {[%emt 0:06:08]} 33. Qc4 {[%emt 0:02:41]} a5 {[%emt 0:
00:47]} 34. Qxc7 {[%emt 0:00:26]} (34. a4 $11) 34... Qxa2 $17 {[%emt 0:00:11]}
35. c4 {[%emt 0:03:23]} Qd2 {[%emt 0:02:51]} 36. Qb6 {[%emt 0:02:48]} a4 {
[%emt 0:05:08]} 37. Qa7 {[%emt 0:01:09] [#]} Qb4 $1 {[%emt 0:00:38]} 38. f4 {
[%emt 0:02:48]} (38. Kh2 $17 {was necessary.}) 38... Re1 $19 {[%emt 0:00:49]}
39. fxg5 $2 {[%emt 0:00:18]} (39. Rxe1 Qxe1+ 40. Kh2 gxf4 41. Qxa4 Qg3+ 42. Kh1
) 39... Rxf1+ {[%emt 0:00:13]} 40. Kxf1 {[%emt 0:00:00]} hxg5 {[%emt 0:01:19]
KQ-KQ} 41. Kg1 {[%emt 0:01:59]} Qxc4 {[%emt 0:15:01]} 42. Kh2 {[%emt 0:00:24]}
Qb4 {[%emt 0:06:42]} 43. Qe7 {[%emt 0:00:46]} Qd2 {[%emt 0:04:34]} 44. Qa7 {
[%emt 0:00:05]} Qf4+ {[%emt 0:00:29]} 45. Kh1 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Qc1+ {[%emt 0:
00:11]} 46. Kh2 {[%emt 0:00:05]} a3 {[%emt 0:00:43]} 47. Qa5 {[%emt 0:03:05]}
Qf4+ {[%emt 0:00:53]} 48. Kh1 {[%emt 0:00:11]} Qc1+ {[%emt 0:00:09]} 49. Kh2 {
[%emt 0:00:05]} Qe3 {[%emt 0:00:19]} 50. Kh1 {[%emt 0:01:14]} f6 $2 {[%emt 0:
03:00]} (50... Kg6 $19 {and Black stays clearly on top.} 51. Qa8 Qb3 52. Qg8+
Kf6) 51. Qa4 $2 $11 {[%emt 0:06:16] was the only way to keep the balance.} (51.
Qa7+ $17 {was the only defense.} Kg6 52. Qa4) 51... Qc1+ {[%emt 0:05:16]} (
51... Qc3 $142 52. Kh2 Kg6 53. Qe8+ Kf5 54. Qd7+ Ke4 55. Qxd6 Qa5 56. Qxf6 a2
57. Qf3+ Kxd4 58. Qg4+ Ke3 59. Qf3+ Kd2 60. Qf2+ Kd1 61. Qf3+ Kc2 62. Qe4+ Kd1
63. Qg4+ Kc2 64. Qc4+ Kb2 65. Qe2+ Kb3 66. Qd1+ Kc4 67. Qg4+ Kc3 68. Qf3+ Kd2
69. Qf2+ Kd3 70. Qf3+ Kd4 71. Qg4+ Kc3 72. Qf3+ Kd4) 52. Kh2 {[%emt 0:00:07]}
Qf4+ {[%emt 0:00:07]} ({Better is} 52... Kf8 $19 {Threatens to win with ...Qb2.
} 53. Qa8+ Kf7 54. Qd5+ Ke7 55. Qb7+ Ke6 56. Qe4+ Kd7 57. Qb7+ Qc7) 53. Kh1 {
[%emt 0:00:14]} Qe3 {[%emt 0:00:12] And now ...Qc3 would win.} 54. Kh2 $2 {
[%emt 0:01:44]} Kf7 {[%emt 0:07:30]} 55. Kh1 {[%emt 0:04:47]} Kg6 {[%emt 0:01:
58]} 56. Qa8 $2 {[%emt 0:02:07]} (56. Qc4 Kh5 57. Qd5) 56... Kg7 $2 {[%emt 0:
01:53]} 57. Qb7+ {[%emt 0:00:39]} Kg6 $2 {[%emt 0:00:07]} (57... Kh6 $17 58.
Qf7 Qc1+ 59. Kh2 Qf4+ 60. Kh1 Qxd4) 58. Qa8 $1 {[%emt 0:00:08] intending Qg8+.}
Qb3 $19 {[%emt 0:00:51]} 59. Qe4+ {[%emt 0:20:10]} (59. d5 Kf5 60. Qc8+ Ke4 61.
Qe6+ Kd3 62. Qf5+ Ke2) 59... Kg7 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 60. Qe7+ {[%emt 0:00:00] [#]}
Qf7 $1 {[%emt 0:00:07] Precision: White = 49%, Black = 64%.} 0-1
[Event "5th Norway Chess 2017"]
[Site "Stavanger NOR"]
[Date "2017.06.07"]
[Round "2.3"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2786"]
[BlackElo "2808"]
[Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"]
[PlyCount "120"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Bc5 {An Archangel seems to be
a breath of fresh air after multiple Berlins and Marshalls.} 6. Nc3 $5 {
Something Vishy must have cooked before hand. A specialty of Dominguez, it is
very rare compared to 6.c3} b5 (6... O-O 7. Bxc6 dxc6 8. Nxe5 Re8 {recovers
the pawn, which makes castling a viable alternative to the move in the game})
7. Bb3 O-O 8. Nd5 (8. d3 h6 9. Nd5 {is much more common, seen in many of
Dominguez's games. Anand has his own idea, involving a pawn sacrifice.}) 8...
Nxe4 {Kramnik isn't one to refuse a challenge. Also, any other move lacks
justification} (8... h6 9. c3 {with the idea of a quick d4, looks dangerous}) (
8... Bb7 9. c3 {again might be an issue.}) 9. d3 Nf6 10. Bg5 Be7 11. Nxe7+ Qxe7
12. Re1 {After a more or less forced sequence we arrive at this position.
White clearly has compensation for the pawn: two bishops, pressure on e5 and
better development. Black must play accurately, but his position is still
solid and it is hard to crack any weakness. Sometimes, recovering e5 will not
be sufficient for an advantage.} h6 13. Bh4 (13. Bxf6 Qxf6 14. Bd5 Bb7 15. Nxe5
Nxe5 16. Bxb7 Rae8 {is completely fine for Black, even perhaps better for him
due to the superior piece placement!}) 13... Bb7 14. c3 Rfe8 15. d4 (15. Nxe5
Nxe5 16. d4 Nf3+ 17. gxf3 Qd6 {gives Black an edge. The crippled pawns on the
kingside are worth more than the, for now, uncoordinated bishops.}) 15... e4
16. Nd2 Na5 17. Bc2 g5 18. Bg3 Nc4 {Releasing some pressure off of e4 seems
natural, though Black now has to suffer against the activation of some
important pieces.} (18... d5 19. h4 {gives White obvious counterplay. The
position is still terribly murky.}) 19. Nxc4 bxc4 20. b3 Bd5 21. Be5 $6 {
despite recovering the pawn, this move isn't precise} (21. h4 $1 Qe6 22. hxg5
hxg5 23. Qd2 {puts real pressure on g5}) (21. Bxc7 $5 {is also worth
considering, as the bishop will hide on a5 without problems.}) 21... d6 22.
Bxf6 Qxf6 23. bxc4 Bxc4 24. Rxe4 Rxe4 25. Bxe4 Re8 {Material is even, but
Black retains a nagging edge now that his rook controls the only open file and
his pieces are slightly better placed.} 26. Bd3 Qe6 27. Bxc4 Qxc4 28. Qb3 Qd3
29. h3 Kg7 30. Rd1 Qe2 31. Rf1 Re6 32. Qd5 Qd2 {The situation hasn't changed.
Anand has played very well to get to this position and continues holding on.}
33. Qc4 a5 34. Qxc7 $2 {But this is a mistake. Giving Black the outside passed
pawn proves catastrophic.} (34. a4 Re1 {looks dangerous, but after} 35. Rxe1
Qxe1+ 36. Kh2 Qxf2 37. Qxc7 {there isn't anything but a perpetual.}) 34... Qxa2
35. c4 Qd2 36. Qb6 a4 37. Qa7 Qb4 38. f4 Re1 $1 {The transition to the queen
endgame is perfectly timed. The Black king is not easily caught in a perpetual
check.} 39. fxg5 Rxf1+ 40. Kxf1 hxg5 41. Kg1 Qxc4 (41... a3 {immediately was
winning.} 42. Kh2 Qb2 43. Qe7 Qd2 $1 {and wWhite can't prevent the pawn from
advancing}) 42. Kh2 Qb4 43. Qe7 Qd2 44. Qa7 Qf4+ 45. Kh1 Qc1+ 46. Kh2 a3 47.
Qa5 Qf4+ 48. Kh1 Qc1+ 49. Kh2 Qe3 50. Kh1 f6 $2 (50... Kg6 {made Kramnik's
life slightly easier. The point is that White is almost zugzwanged, as the
queen has to keep an eye on the kingside and the a-pawn. This is easy for
computers to see, but for humans it's a huge headache to calculate queen
endgames.} 51. Qa8 Qb3 52. Qg8+ Kf5 53. Qh7+ Ke6 {and the king escapes
successfully.}) 51. Qa4 (51. Qc7+ Kg6 52. Qc4 $1 {would have made Black's task
much, much harder}) 51... Qc1+ 52. Kh2 Qf4+ 53. Kh1 Qe3 54. Kh2 Kf7 55. Kh1 (
55. Qa7+ Kg6 56. Qa8 Qb3 $1 {is winning. Black places the king on g7, the
queen on f7 and finally pushes a2.}) 55... Kg6 56. Qa8 (56. Qc4 $1 {is still
winning for Black, but much, much harder}) 56... Kg7 57. Qb7+ Kg6 58. Qa8 (58.
Qd5 $1) 58... Qb3 {Now the pawn advances without problems} 59. Qe4+ Kg7 60.
Qe7+ Qf7 0-1
[Event "Norway Chess 2017"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.07"]
[Round "2.3"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C77"]
[WhiteElo "2786"]
[BlackElo "2808"]
[Annotator "Hess, R"]
[PlyCount "120"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:34:21"]
[BlackClock "0:07:31"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Bc5 (5... Be7 {is the most
common reply.}) 6. Nc3 (6. c3 {playing for a d4 is another strong option here.}
) 6... b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. Nd5 $6 {I'm not a fan of this move. Black's equalizing
task is not particularly difficult, whereas White now must be careful to avoid
being much worse.} (8. d3 h6 9. Nd5 d6 10. a4 Rb8 11. axb5 axb5 12. Be3 Nxd5
13. exd5 Bxe3 14. fxe3 Ne7 15. e4 Ng6 {Dominguez Perez,L (2732)-Ding,L (2766)
Huaian 2016}) 8... Nxe4 9. d3 ({Attempting to play a quick d2-d4 with} 9. c3 {
runs into} Nxf2 10. Rxf2 Bxf2+ 11. Kxf2 e4 {where White will be fortunate to
survive. Black has a rook and two pawns for a bishop and knight, which is
approximately a level trade, but has a tremendous initiative thanks to the
exposed kingside. Dynamically, Black is far ahead.}) 9... Nf6 10. Bg5 $146 (10.
Nxf6+ {had been played previously, but Black is already much, much better.})
10... Be7 11. Nxe7+ Qxe7 {White has two bishops, while Black is a pawn up.
Here, this favors the side with the extra material, as the best Anand can do
here is part with the bishop pair in order to recoup the sacrificed pawn.} 12.
Re1 h6 (12... d6 13. d4 {equalizes, and if Black is not cautious can end up in
trouble.}) 13. Bh4 (13. Bxf6 Qxf6 14. Bd5 {is pretty close to a draw (Kramnik)}
) 13... Bb7 {"I think Black is fine, for sure, but I don't know how fine."
(Kramnik)} 14. c3 (14. Nxe5 {with the idea of restoring material equality
would have been incorrect.} Nxe5 15. d4 Nf3+ $1 {Is an intermediate check that
is easy to overlook. But here it ruins White's kingside pawn structure,
leaving Black in the driver's seat.}) 14... Rfe8 15. d4 (15. Nxe5 Nxe5 16. d4
Nf3+ {again is uncomfortable.}) 15... e4 16. Nd2 Na5 {Black is attempting to
consolidate his advantage. If White does not strike soon, he will lose his
opportunity to recover his sacrificed pawn.} 17. Bc2 g5 18. Bg3 Nc4 {An
interesting decision, with the intention of swapping an offsides knight for a
centralized counterpart. Kramnik offers Anand a pawn in exchange for time to
shore up his positional weaknesses.} (18... d5 19. f3 (19. h4 {also deserves
serious attention.}) 19... c5 (19... e3 20. Nb3 {is quickly becoming
problematic for Black, as the diaganols have opened up and there are numerous
weak squares for White's pieces to make use of.}) 20. Bf2 {is double-edged.
Considering the tension, I prefer White's chances, for Kramnik's kingside
safety is sufficient compensation for the material deficit.}) 19. Nxc4 bxc4 20.
b3 (20. Bxc7 d6 21. Ba5 Qe6 {Black's extra space makes up for his odd pawn
structure. White might be a tiny bit better, but the path forward is anything
but clear.}) (20. h4 {should always be kept in mind when it threatens a pawn
on g5. Here it likely is not optimal, but it should remain a move candidate
nonetheless.}) 20... Bd5 {Both players didn't see anything better for White
than what follows, but Anand said that if he has to go for these trades,
something went wrong already.} 21. Be5 (21. h4 Qe6 {is complex, but now was
the time to strike. If the h-file opens, Black should be first to the punch.
But in the interim, Black has some weak pawns to defend and White can strike
back with a timely f2-f3.}) 21... d6 22. Bxf6 Qxf6 23. bxc4 Bxc4 24. Rxe4 Rxe4
25. Bxe4 Re8 {Kramnik can claim a nagging edge here, thanks to his activity.
Material equality is far less important than the placement of the pieces in
this position, where White is forced to defend.} 26. Bd3 Qe6 27. Bxc4 Qxc4 28.
Qb3 Qd3 29. h3 Kg7 30. Rd1 Qe2 {It's already unpleasant for White.} 31. Rf1 Re6
32. Qd5 Qd2 33. Qc4 a5 34. Qxc7 $2 {"Very close to the decisive mistake."
(Anand)} (34. a4 Re7 {"should be a draw objectively." (Kramnik). White is
still slightly worse, though it is hard to even see how Black attempts to make
any progress.}) 34... Qxa2 {The a-pawn is far easier to push, so Black is much
better.} 35. c4 Qd2 36. Qb6 ({When he took on c7 Anand missed that} 36. c5 {
is simply answered by} Qxd4 {. While Anand overlooked this possibility, he
probably should have went for it anyway. The a-pawn was more dangerous than
the d-pawn could have been.} 37. c6 d5 38. Qxa5 Rxc6 {will be an unpleasant
defensive effort, but still within drawing distance.}) 36... a4 37. Qa7 Qb4 38.
f4 {Asking for it, although the desire to break the position open is natural
considering the alternative is a slow demise.} (38. Kh2 {was absolutely
required here. White suffers, but is not immediately losing.} Qxc4 (38... Re2)
39. Ra1 Qc2 40. Kg1 Qd2 41. Qxa4 Re1+ 42. Rxe1 Qxe1+ 43. Kh2 Qxf2 {and Black's
conversion task will take some time, but White should succumb.}) 38... Re1 39.
fxg5 (39. Rxe1 Qxe1+ 40. Kh2 gxf4 41. Qxa4 Qg3+ 42. Kh1 f3 {is won. White's
pawns go down with checks.} 43. gxf3 (43. Qc2 Qe1+ 44. Kh2 f2 {leads to
promotion.}) 43... Qxh3+ 44. Kg1 Qg3+ 45. Kf1 Qxf3+ 46. Kg1 Qg4+ 47. Kh2 Qxd4 {
is simple.}) 39... Rxf1+ 40. Kxf1 hxg5 41. Kg1 Qxc4 42. Kh2 Qb4 43. Qe7 Qd2 (
43... Qa5 {was best. Quantity of pawns is not important, it is all about the
quality. From a5, the queen defends the kingside while supporting the passer.}
44. Qxd6 a3 45. d5 a2 46. Qe5+ Kg6 47. Qd6+ (47. Qe4+ Kh6) 47... f6 {and the
checks will soon run out, leaving Black a queen up.}) 44. Qa7 Qf4+ 45. Kh1 Qc1+
46. Kh2 a3 47. Qa5 Qf4+ 48. Kh1 Qc1+ 49. Kh2 Qe3 50. Kh1 f6 (50... Kg6 {
was the most precise way to get out of harm's way.} 51. Qa8 Qb3 52. Qg8+ Kf6 {
or 52...Kf5 and Kramnik's pawn promotes.}) 51. Qa4 (51. Qa7+ Kg6 52. Qa4 {
allowed Anand better practical chances. The check on a7 drags Kramnik's king
out into the open, meaning Kramnik's queen has to aid in the defense. The key
to surviving such a position is to pose as many threats (or illusions of
threats) as possible.}) 51... Qc1+ 52. Kh2 Qf4+ (52... Kf8 53. Qa8+ Kf7 54.
Qb7+ Ke6 55. Qe4+ Kd7 56. Qb7+ Qc7 57. Qd5 {still leaves a ton of work.}) 53.
Kh1 Qe3 {The perfect square for the queen, covering important squares to
protect the king.} 54. Kh2 Kf7 55. Kh1 Kg6 56. Qa8 Kg7 57. Qb7+ Kg6 (57... Kh6)
58. Qa8 Qb3 59. Qe4+ (59. d5 {cuts the queen off from the g8 square, but it is
too little, too late.} a2 60. Qe8+ Kf5 61. Qe6+ Kf4 62. Qxd6+ (62. Qg4+ Ke5 63.
Qe6+ Kd4 64. Qxf6+ Kc4 65. Kh2 Qe3 {wins, thanks to the threat of Qe5+.}) 62...
Ke4 63. Qe6+ Kd3 64. Qf5+ Kd2 65. Qf2+ Kc1 66. Qxf6 Qb1) 59... Kg7 60. Qe7+ Qf7
{Anand throws in the towel, since the pawn roams free.} 0-1
[Event "Stavanger NOR"]
[Site "Stavanger NOR"]
[Date "2017.06.08"]
[Round "3.1"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2832"]
[BlackElo "2785"]
[Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"]
[PlyCount "80"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 g6 {The reason that
this move is not very popular is that many consider 6.h3 to be more useful
generally than 6...a6 in the normal Dragon. That, however, is truly up to
debate.} 7. g3 Nc6 8. Be3 {An example of h3 being useful, normally this runs
into Ng4.} Bg7 9. Bg2 O-O 10. O-O Nd7 11. b3 Nxd4 12. Bxd4 Bxd4 13. Qxd4 {
Black plays unambitiously, hoping to defend a solid though slightly worse
position.} b6 14. Nd5 Bb7 15. c4 e5 {The weakness on d6 is not easy to target,
while Black hopes to use the break b5 and the control over the dark squares to
create counterplay.} (15... b5 {immediately was also possible.}) 16. Qe3 (16.
Qd2 {keeping pressure on d6 rather than on b6, seemed more logical. Black is
going to play b5 anyway.}) 16... b5 17. Rac1 bxc4 18. Rxc4 Bxd5 19. exd5 {
The eternal fight between the bishop and the knight. In this instance the
knight doesn't have many good anchor squares (it will get kicked out of c5 if
it goes there), on the other hand the bishop on g2 causes no great impression.}
a5 20. Rfc1 Nc5 21. a3 f5 $6 {Black gains space, but truly he simply weakens
his position.} (21... a4 {it's strange Nakamura did not go for this option} 22.
bxa4 $1 (22. b4 {strategically Black usually does not want to allow this, but
after} Nb3 {the knight heads for the d4 square}) 22... Qd7 {and the knight is
superb on c5.}) 22. b4 axb4 23. axb4 Nd7 24. Rc6 f4 25. gxf4 $1 {Black has to
decide how to lose a pawn} exf4 (25... Rxf4 26. Rxd6 Qe7 27. Re6 $1 Qxb4 28. d6
$1 {and with the bishop activated Black's position is difficult, but not
without resources:} (28. Rc7 {might be more precise}) 28... Ra3 29. Qe2 Qd4 {
with counterplay}) 26. Qe6+ Rf7 27. Qxd6 Qg5 {again Black finds resources.
Thanks to the exchange of the g-pawn, White's king is exposed and Nakamura
clings on to this as his hope to battle White's passed pawns.} 28. Kh1 (28.
Rc8+ Rxc8 (28... Kg7 29. h4 $1 {doesn't work for Black}) 29. Rxc8+ Kg7 30. Kh1
f3 31. Bf1 {was a better version of the game}) 28... f3 29. Bf1 Nf6 {The game
is certainly sharp. White is up material but his king is weak, and so are his
pawns. Black's king isn't particularly save either, and any move can be a
fatal mistake.} 30. Qe6 $6 {Now Nakamura finds strong counterplay} (30. Qg3
Qxg3 31. fxg3 Ra2 32. b5 Rb2 {is better for White, despite the passed position
of the f2 pawn}) 30... Kg7 {Unpinning the rook is an obvious start} 31. Rc7
Rxc7 $1 32. Rxc7+ Kh6 $1 {Black's king now hides on h6, where it is much safer
than on g8. With the weakness of White's king it is Carlsen that has to be
careful} 33. Qe1 Ra2 34. Re7 Ng4 {Forcing the result.} (34... Qxd5 {and Black
isn't in much danger, but he is not better either.}) 35. hxg4 Qh4+ 36. Kg1
Qxg4+ 37. Kh1 Qh4+ 38. Kg1 Qg4+ 39. Kh1 Qh4+ 40. Kg1 Qg4+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "Altibox Norway Chess 2017"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.08"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "*"]
[WhiteElo "2832"]
[BlackElo "2785"]
[Annotator "ChessBase"]
[PlyCount "80"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:03]} c5 {[%emt 0:00:17]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:12]} (2. Ne2 d6
3. Nbc3 a6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. d4 cxd4 7. Nxd4 Nf6 8. O-O O-O {0-1 (50)
Carlsen,M (2855)-Nakamura,H (2787) Bilbao 2016 CBM 174 [CB]}) 2... d6 {[%emt 0:
00:18]} 3. d4 {[%emt 0:00:40]} cxd4 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 4. Nxd4 {[%emt 0:00:08]}
Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 5. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:08]} a6 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 6. h3 {
[%emt 0:00:17]} g6 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 7. g3 {[%emt 0:02:22]} Nc6 {[%emt 0:01:08]}
8. Be3 {[%emt 0:00:28]} Bg7 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 9. Bg2 {[%emt 0:00:10]} O-O {
[%emt 0:01:43]} (9... Bd7 10. O-O O-O 11. Nd5 b5 (11... Rc8 12. c3 Ne5 13. a4
Nxd5 14. exd5 Nc4 15. Bc1 Qa5 {½-½ (29) Adams,M (2737)-Grischuk,A (2747)
London 2015 CBM 170 [Szabo,Kr]}) 12. Ne2 Rb8 {½-½ (39) Tarasov,V-Kortschnoj,
V Moscow 1961}) 10. O-O {[%emt 0:00:11]} Nd7 {[%emt 0:01:30]} (10... Bd7) 11.
b3 {[%emt 0:11:20]} (11. Qd2 Nde5 12. Qe2 Nxd4 13. Bxd4 Nf3+ 14. Qxf3 Bxd4 {
0-1 (74) Ivanov,A (2413)-Khismatullin,D (2601) Dagomys 2009}) 11... Nxd4 {
[%emt 0:03:19]} 12. Bxd4 {[%emt 0:00:43]} Bxd4 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 13. Qxd4 {
[%emt 0:00:16]} b6 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 14. Nd5 {[%emt 0:10:36]} Bb7 {[%emt 0:00:
33]} 15. c4 {[%emt 0:02:01]} e5 {[%emt 0:12:43]} 16. Qe3 {[%emt 0:00:18]} b5 {
[%emt 0:02:28]} (16... Bxd5 17. cxd5 a5 18. Rac1 Nc5 19. a3 a4 20. b4 Nb3 21.
Rc6 Nd4 22. Rfc1 Nxc6 23. dxc6 Qc7 24. b5) 17. Rac1 {[%emt 0:01:56]} bxc4 {
[%emt 0:13:05]} 18. Rxc4 {[%emt 0:00:03]} Bxd5 {[%emt 0:00:20]} 19. exd5 {
[%emt 0:00:12]} a5 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 20. Rfc1 {[%emt 0:08:15]} Nc5 {[%emt 0:03:
12]} 21. a3 {[%emt 0:01:46]} f5 {[%emt 0:07:10] 'What he did looked insanely
risky for him' - Carlsen} (21... a4 22. b4 (22. bxa4 Qd7) 22... Nb3 23. R1c3
Nd4 24. Rxd4 exd4 25. Qxd4) 22. b4 {[%emt 0:07:50]} axb4 {[%emt 0:04:21]} 23.
axb4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Nd7 {[%emt 0:02:58]} 24. Rc6 {[%emt 0:10:15] 'Rc6 wasn't
such a good practical choice' - Carlsen} (24. b5 {'I have no idea why I didn't
go for this...I have no clue what he is going to do' - Carlsen} Nc5 25. Rxc5
dxc5 26. Qxe5 (26. Rxc5)) 24... f4 {[%emt 0:03:59]} 25. gxf4 {[%emt 0:03:21]}
exf4 {[%emt 0:01:49]} 26. Qe6+ {[%emt 0:00:33]} Rf7 {[%emt 0:00:12]} 27. Qxd6 {
[%emt 0:10:10]} Qg5 {[%emt 0:04:05]} 28. Kh1 {[%emt 0:02:07]} (28. Rc8+ Rxc8
29. Rxc8+ Kg7 30. Kh1 f3 31. Bf1) 28... f3 {[%emt 0:13:44]} 29. Bf1 {[%emt 0:
00:11]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:01:28] 'After I played ...Nf6 I started to get
optimistic' - Nakamura} 30. Qe6 {[%emt 0:10:02]} (30. Qg3 Qxg3 31. fxg3 Ra2)
30... Kg7 {[%emt 0:01:36] 'After ...Kg7 White has to be very precise' -
Nakamura} 31. Rc7 {[%emt 0:06:03]} Rxc7 {[%emt 0:00:29]} 32. Rxc7+ {[%emt 0:00:
01]} Kh6 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 33. Qe1 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Ra2 {[%emt 0:03:15]} 34. Re7
{[%emt 0:05:10]} Ng4 {[%emt 0:03:39]} (34... Nxd5 35. Re5 Qd2 (35... Re2 36.
Rxe2 fxe2 37. Bxe2 Qf4 $132) 36. Bc4 Qxe1+ 37. Rxe1 Rd2 38. Bxd5 Rxd5 39. Kh2)
35. hxg4 {[%emt 0:00:14]} Qh4+ {[%emt 0:00:04]} 36. Kg1 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Qxg4+
{[%emt 0:00:04]} 37. Kh1 {[%emt 0:00:13]} Qh4+ {[%emt 0:00:10]} 38. Kg1 {
[%emt 0:00:05]} Qg4+ {[%emt 0:00:03]} 39. Kh1 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Qh4+ {[%emt 0:
00:02]} 40. Kg1 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Qg4+ *
[Event "5th Norway Chess 2017"]
[Site "Stavanger NOR"]
[Date "2017.06.08"]
[Round "3.5"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2793"]
[BlackElo "2771"]
[Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"]
[PlyCount "106"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. e3 O-O 7. Qc2 Re8 8. Bd2
a6 9. h3 Bd6 10. a3 Bd7 11. Be2 dxc4 12. Bxc4 h6 13. O-O e5 14. Rae1 Qe7 15.
Nh4 Qd8 16. Qb3 Rf8 17. Qd1 b5 18. Ba2 Kh8 19. Bc1 {Aronian's last move seems
timid, but actually it provokes Black into a strong reaction. Black has two
logical ways of exploiting the knight's position on h4.} g5 $6 (19... e4 20.
Qc2 g5 21. f3 $5 {is a huge mess. Here are some lines as an example:} gxh4 (
21... Nh5 22. fxe4 (22. Bd5 $1) 22... g4 $1 $40) 22. fxe4 Rg8 (22... Bxh3 23.
Re2 $1 $13 (23. e5 Rg8 24. Rxf6 Rxg2+ 25. Qxg2 Bxg2 26. Kxg2 Nxe5 27. dxe5 Bxe5
28. Rxh6+ Kg7 29. e4 $13)) 23. Re2 Bxh3 24. Bxf7 $1 $13) 20. dxe5 $1 (20. Nf3
g4 {gives Black some attacking chances, and was Giri's point}) 20... Nxe5 21.
f4 {And we have a mess in our hands. Black has to take the knight on h4} gxh4 (
21... Nc6 22. fxg5 hxg5 23. Nd5 $18) (21... gxf4 22. exf4 {is not much better})
22. fxe5 Bxe5 23. e4 $1 {White is down a pawn, but this is inconsequential. He
has plenty of targets on the kingside to attack. Both sides must hurry to
create threats} Rg8 24. Bxf7 $6 {Tempting but perhaps not the most precise.
The f7 pawn was not a key part of Black's defense or offense.} (24. Bf4 $1 Bxf4
(24... Bxh3 25. Bxe5 Rxg2+ 26. Kh1 {leads to nothing}) (24... Qe7 25. Qf3 $16)
25. Rxf4 Bxh3 26. Qxd8 Raxd8 27. Kh2 $1 Nh5 $1 {Otherwise Black loses material}
28. Rxh4 Bg4 29. Bxf7 Rg5 30. Nd5 $36 {with pressure on Black's kingside})
24... Rg7 25. Bf4 Bxf4 26. Rxf4 Bxh3 27. Kh2 (27. Qxd8+ Rxd8 28. Re3 $1 (28.
Kh2 Rxf7 29. Kxh3 $11) 28... Bxg2 (28... Rxg2+ 29. Kh1 {and Black can't save
both of his pieces, nor create a mating threat}) 29. Rxf6 $16) 27... Bd7 28.
Be6 $1 {Covering g4} Ng4+ 29. Rxg4 Bxe6 30. Qxd8+ Rxd8 31. Rxh4 Kh7 {
Unfortunately at the end of the day we reached an endgame that is not much for
either side, though black is to be preferred because of the bishop} 32. Re2 Rd4
33. Rf2 Rf7 34. Rxf7+ Bxf7 35. Rf4 Kg7 36. Rf5 Rc4 37. Kg3 c5 38. Kf3 b4 39.
axb4 cxb4 40. Nd5 b3 41. Ne3 Rd4 42. Ra5 Bg6 43. Nf5+ Bxf5 44. exf5 Rd2 45.
Rxa6 Rxb2 {the draw is now trivial} 46. Rg6+ Kh7 47. Rb6 Rb1 48. Rb7+ Kg8 49.
g3 b2 50. Kg2 Kf8 51. Kh2 Kg8 52. Kg2 Kf8 53. Kh2 Kg8 1/2-1/2
[Event "Norway Chess 2017"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.08"]
[Round "3.1"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B90"]
[WhiteElo "2832"]
[BlackElo "2785"]
[PlyCount "80"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:50:59"]
[BlackClock "0:09:35"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 ({Last year in Bilbao Carlsen used the move order} 2. Ne2 d6 3.
Nbc3 a6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. d4 cxd4 7. Nxd4 {and eventually Nakaura would
win his first ever classical game against him.}) 2... d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 g6 7. g3 {Nakamura expected this.} Nc6 8. Be3 Bg7 9. Bg2 O-O
10. O-O Nd7 11. b3 {Carlsen said he was "ashamed" of this move as he "didn't
grasp Hikaru's idea at all."} Nxd4 12. Bxd4 Bxd4 13. Qxd4 b6 14. Nd5 Bb7 15. c4
e5 16. Qe3 (16. Qd2) 16... b5 ({Also possible was} 16... Bxd5 17. cxd5 a5 18.
Rac1 Nc5 19. a3 a4 20. b4 Nb3 21. Rc6 Nd4 22. Rfc1 {and now} b5 {is safer than
taking the exchange.}) 17. Rac1 bxc4 18. Rxc4 Bxd5 19. exd5 a5 20. Rfc1 Nc5 {
is the same.} 21. a3 f5 {"What he did was insanely risky." (Carlsen)} ({
The world champ expected} 21... a4) 22. b4 axb4 23. axb4 Nd7 (23... f4 {
doesn't work because of} 24. gxf4 exf4 25. Qf3) 24. Rc6 {"Perhaps not such a
good practical choice," said Carlsen.} ({He regretted that he didn't play} 24.
b5 {with the idea} Nc5 25. Rxc5 dxc5 26. Qxe5 Re8 27. Qf4) 24... f4 25. gxf4
exf4 26. Qe6+ Rf7 27. Qxd6 ({Carlsen "didn't see anything better" but Nakamura
was a bit concerned about} 27. Rc7 {and rightly so. The engine says} Ra1 $1 {
is the only move for an equal position} ({although} 27... f3 28. Bxf3 Qg5+ 29.
Bg2 Qf4 {doesn't look bad either.})) 27... Qg5 28. Kh1 $6 {Carlsen said he
started to miss things here.} ({A slightly better try was} 28. Rc8+ Rxc8 29.
Rxc8+ Kg7 {and only then} 30. Kh1 (30. h4 Qg4 $1 (30... Qxh4 31. Rc7))) 28...
f3 29. Bf1 Nf6 {Here Nakamura started to get "really optimistic."} 30. Qe6 Kg7
{Carlsen "completely missed" this move.} ({He was fixated at} 30... Re8 31. Rc8
Kg7 32. Rxe8 Qxc1 33. Qe1 Qxe1 34. Rxe1) 31. Rc7 $6 ({Here a better try was}
31. d6 Re8 32. Qb3 {and now Black's best try is probably} (32. Qc4 Re4 33. Qc2
Rg4 $1 34. Rc5 $1 Rg1+ 35. Kh2 Rg2+ 36. Kh1 {is a draw}) 32... Re2 {with a
mess.}) 31... Rxc7 32. Rxc7+ Kh6 33. Qe1 Ra2 34. Re7 Ng4 {Forcing the draw.} ({
After the game Carlsen asked Nakamura why he didn't play} 34... Nxd5 {but the
American player didn't see much of an advantage after} 35. Re5 Qd2 36. Qxd2+
Rxd2 37. b5) 35. hxg4 Qh4+ 36. Kg1 Qxg4+ 37. Kh1 Qh4+ 38. Kg1 Qg4+ 39. Kh1 Qh4+
40. Kg1 Qg4+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.08"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Levon Aronian"]
[Black "Anish Giri"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A00"]
[WhiteElo "2793"]
[BlackElo "2771"]
[Annotator "Hess, R"]
[PlyCount "106"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2017.06.08"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. e3 O-O 7. Qc2 (7. Bd2 {
is frequently played here, and makes sense as it avoids moving the queen twice
in the first seven moves. Note that the queen has done its job, forcing the
knight to c6 so that Black can't break in the center with c7-c5.}) 7... Re8 8.
Bd2 a6 9. h3 Bd6 10. a3 Bd7 11. Be2 {In the postmortem, Giri said that during
the game he realized that Aronian probably was looking at this position in
preparation for his second round game against Nakamura. Aronian's no-nonsense
response: "I was."} dxc4 {Now is the time to release the tension. Both sides
have made useful moves waiting for the capture. Giri had no interest in
capturing this pawn until Aronian developed his bishop, so as not to allow
Bxc4 in one move. In that sense, Black gained a tempo.} 12. Bxc4 h6 13. O-O {
White ideally castles queenside and launches a kingside attack. Then reality
sinks in and it is abundantly clear that castling long simply walks right into
a ferocious assault that begins with b7-b5-b4.} ({Commentator Nigel Short
inquired about a "30-second suggestion" he considered, the thrust} 13. g4 {
but Aronian rejected it because of} e5 (13... b5 {as recommended by Giri also
is enough for an edge.}) 14. g5 exd4 15. gxf6 (15. Rg1 $1 {creates fire on
board!}) 15... Qxf6 {with a large advantage for Black as both knights are
under attack.}) 13... e5 14. Rae1 $5 {An idea Aronian came up with over the
board, which Giri referred to as "cool."} ({In this structure, as Aronian
stated after the game, White likes to play} 14. Rad1 {followed by Bc1. But
Black has already struck in the center, so Giri is content.}) 14... Qe7 ({
Aronian proposed} 14... Qc8 15. dxe5 (15. Nd5 {bothered Giri, but} Nxd5 16.
Bxd5 exd4 {looks like equality.}) (15. Qb3 {is certainly worth a thought})
15... Bxh3 {is quite a mess:} 16. exf6 Qg4 (16... Bxg2 $2 {is a typical
sacrifice, but here it loses on the spot} 17. Qg6 {and White mates first.}) 17.
Nh4 Qxc4 18. f4 {Black has the two bishops, but the worse king.}) 15. Nh4 Qd8
$1 {I really appreciate this move. Giri understands that Ng6 is an annoying
threat, and wisely retreats. With d4 under attack, White can't take advantage
of this Qd8-e7-d8 yo-yo.} 16. Qb3 {Aronian has no interest in a draw. He
forces Giri's rook to an inferior square before retreating his queen.} ({
Discussed by the players was} 16. Nf5 Bxf5 17. Qxf5 exd4 18. exd4 Nxd4 19. Qg6
Ne6 20. Rxe6 fxe6 21. Bxh6 Qd7 {with compensation for the sacrificed exchange,
but Black is to be preferred.}) (16. Nf3 Qe7 {was a plausible repetition.})
16... Rf8 (16... Qe7 $4 17. Ng6 {is a simple tactic.}) 17. Qd1 {Aronian
defends d4 tactically.} b5 {Giri was criticial of his queenside expansion, but
it is a perfectly good idea. While pawn pushes leave behind compromised
squares, here White's pieces are incapable of taking advantage of them.} (17...
exd4 18. exd4 Nxd4 19. Bxh6 {restores material equality, with an edge for
White.}) 18. Ba2 Kh8 ({The following sequence changes the dynamics of the game
} 18... b4 19. axb4 exd4 20. exd4 Rb8 {where Black's position appears
respectable.}) 19. Bc1 (19. dxe5 Nxe5 20. e4 {was good for White. Aronian
looks to expand in the center, where Giri seems ill-equipped to fend off the
pawn storm. The players discussed} Nfg4 {with the funny idea of Nh2, but} (
20... Nd3 {is not enough for Black. In fact, the exchange sacrifice} 21. Nf3
Nxe1 22. Rxe1 {is much better for White, since the spatial advantage more than
compensates for the material.}) 21. Nf5 Bxf5 22. exf5 {is just great for White.
If} Nh2 {White can just capture. At best, Black gets a rook for two minors...
in a lost position.}) 19... g5 {Aronian didn't expect Giri to unleash this,
but loved the fight that ensued. However, it was the wrong choice.} (19... e4 {
gives Black a huge advantage. The knight on h4 is in grave danger. I'm pretty
shocked Giri did not play this move.} 20. f4 Be7 (20... Nh7 21. g3 Bxh3 22. Rf2
{is dangerous for Black, as White's attack will quickly pick up steam.}) 21. f5
Bd6 {White has no attack, Black can open up the queenside, and the threat of
removing the knight and on f6 hitting the knight on h4 is looming.}) 20. dxe5 (
20. Nf3 g4 21. Nxe5 Nxe5 22. dxe5 Bxe5 23. h4 {was discussed by Aronian, who
thought White was doing well here. However, Black seems fine after} Be6) 20...
Nxe5 21. f4 gxh4 22. fxe5 Bxe5 23. e4 Rg8 24. Bxf7 (24. Bf4 {Was the top line,
and it comes with a surprising twist.} Bxf4 25. Rxf4 Bxh3 26. Qxd8 Raxd8 27.
Kh2 $1 (27. Re3 $4 {was analyzed in the postmortem, though the three
grandmasters missed the fairly obvious} Rxg2+ 28. Kh1 Nh5 {and Black cruises.})
(27. Rxf6 $2 Rxg2+ 28. Kh1 Rdd2 {and the only way to stop checkmate is to
sacrifice material with} 29. Ne2 Rdxe2 30. Rxe2 Rxe2 {Black is completely
winning.}) 27... Nh5 28. Rxh4 Bg4 29. Bxf7 Rg5 {Black is dangerously close to
losing, as White's passer is strong and Black's pieces are uncoordinated.})
24... Rg7 25. Bf4 Bxf4 26. Rxf4 Bxh3 {Compared to the variation stemming from
24. Bf4, here White's bishop is en prise.} 27. Kh2 ({Aronian certainly had
better winning chances after} 27. Qxd8+ Rxd8 28. Re3 Rxf7 29. Rxh3 Kg7 30.
Rfxh4 {is slightly better for White, but Black should be able to hold.}) 27...
Bd7 (27... Qe7 {was double-edged. Both sides have horribly exposed kings.} 28.
e5 Nh7 {and the game is dynamically level.}) (27... Rxg2+ 28. Kxh3 Rd2 29. Rxf6
Rxd1 30. Rxh6+ Kg7 31. Rxd1 Qc8+ 32. Be6 Qf8 (32... Qe8 33. Bd7 Qf7 34. Rxh4
Qf3+ 35. Kh2 Qf2+ 36. Kh3 {with a repetition.}) 33. Rxh4 Qf3+ 34. Kh2 Qf2+ {
is drawn.}) 28. Be6 $1 {Otherwise White is worse.} Ng4+ ({Aronian was more
concerned about} 28... Qe7 {because now} 29. e5 {doesn't work, due to} Qxe6 30.
exf6 Rxg2+ $1 31. Kxg2 Qh3+ {with a deadly attack.}) (28... Bxe6 29. Qxd8+ Rxd8
30. Rxf6 {can only be better for White.}) 29. Rxg4 Bxe6 30. Qxd8+ Rxd8 31. Rxh4
{The dust has settled, material equality has been restored, and now the game
is heading toward a draw. Aronian's clock was ticking down, so as long as he
reached move 40 the point would be split.} Kh7 32. Re2 Rd4 33. Rf2 Rf7 {
Not the most challenging move to play in your opponent's time trouble, as
Nigel Short joked. "Any stupid trick is worth it!"} (33... c5 34. Rh5 b4 35.
Nd5 {and White has nothing to worry about.}) (33... Rg5 34. Rf6 {keeps the
status quo.}) 34. Rxf7+ Bxf7 35. Rf4 Kg7 36. Rf5 Rc4 (36... Rd2 37. b4) 37. Kg3
c5 38. Kf3 b4 39. axb4 cxb4 40. Nd5 b3 (40... Bh5+ {is of course a horrendous
move, but Aronian was essentially planning to "premove" Ne3. This kind of
check only works online, but not over the board :)}) 41. Ne3 {Now that time
control has been reached, the rest of the game is a straightforward draw.} Rd4
42. Ra5 Bg6 43. Nf5+ Bxf5 44. exf5 Rd2 45. Rxa6 Rxb2 46. Rg6+ Kh7 47. Rb6 Rb1
48. Rb7+ Kg8 49. g3 b2 50. Kg2 Kf8 51. Kh2 Kg8 52. Kg2 Kf8 53. Kh2 Kg8 1/2-1/2
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.08"]
[Round "3.3"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C67"]
[WhiteElo "2781"]
[BlackElo "2786"]
[PlyCount "66"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "1:02:36"]
[BlackClock "0:43:09"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. Re1 Nd6 6. Nxe5 Be7 7. Bf1 Nxe5
8. Rxe5 O-O 9. d4 Bf6 10. Re1 Re8 11. Bf4 (11. c3 Rxe1 12. Qxe1 Ne8 13. Bf4 d5
14. Bd3 g6 15. Nd2 c6 16. Nf3 Ng7 17. Qe2 Bf5 {Topalov,V (2741)-So,W (2822)
Shamkir 2017}) 11... Rxe1 12. Qxe1 Ne8 13. Nc3 Bxd4 14. Nd5 d6 15. Bg5 f6 16.
Bh4 $146 {It's a tricky position if you don't know what you're doing, but
Anand managed to recall his home analysis.} (16. Be3 Be5 17. f4 Bxb2 18. Rb1
Ba3 19. Qa5 Bc5 20. Bxc5 dxc5 21. Qxc5 Qd6 22. Qxd6 cxd6 23. Ne7+ Kf7 24. Nxc8
Rxc8 25. Rxb7+ Rc7 26. Rb2 f5 27. Bd3 {1/2-1/2 (27) Andreikin,D (2733)
-Jakovenko,D (2712) Poikovsky 2016}) 16... Bxb2 17. Rb1 Be5 18. f4 c6 19. fxe5
cxd5 20. exf6 Nxf6 21. Bd3 Bd7 $1 {The key move for Black.} 22. h3 ({The point
is} 22. Rxb7 Qc8 {(unpinning the knight with tempo)} 23. Rb1 (23. Bxf6 $2 Qxb7
24. Qg3 Be8) 23... Ne4 {and Black is OK.}) 22... b5 23. Bxb5 Qe8 24. Qxe8+ Bxe8
25. Ba6 Bg6 26. Bxf6 gxf6 27. Bb7 Re8 28. Bxd5+ Bf7 29. Bxf7+ Kxf7 30. Rb7+ Kg6
31. Rxa7 Rc8 32. Rd7 Rxc2 33. Rxd6 Rxa2 1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.06.10"]
[Round "4.2"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D45"]
[WhiteElo "2793"]
[BlackElo "2832"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:08:51"]
[BlackClock "0:04:22"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. e3 a6 {Carlsen challenges Aronian in
the Chebanenko Slav, a line which the Armenian GM knows very well and scores
excellently in. In fact, according to Megabase he had won all his white games
so far!} 6. b3 {Aronian's pet line, although he had tried} (6. c5 {as well:}
Nbd7 7. b4 b6 8. Bb2 a5 9. a3 Be7 10. Bd3 O-O 11. O-O Qc7 12. Qe2 {Aronian,L
(2754)-Akopian,V (2696) Nalchik 2009}) 6... Bb4 7. Bd2 Nbd7 ({White also faced
previously} 7... O-O 8. Bd3 Bd6 9. e4 dxe4 10. Nxe4 Nxe4 11. Bxe4 Nd7 12. c5 {
with some advantage for White in Aronian,L (2768)-Inarkiev,E (2675) Jermuk 2009
}) 8. Bd3 O-O 9. O-O Qe7 (9... Bd6 {remains the main continuation when after}
10. Rc1 h6 11. Qc2 {Carlsen won a nice rapid game in Doha} ({However Aronian
might have tested him in the line} 11. Ne2 b6 12. Ng3 {as in Aronian,L (2786)
-Jakovenko,D (2736) Moscow 2009}) 11... Re8 12. h3 Qe7 13. c5 Bc7 14. e4 e5 15.
Rfe1 Qd8 16. exd5 cxd5 17. dxe5 Nxe5 18. Nxe5 Rxe5 19. Rxe5 Bxe5 20. Na4 Be6
21. Qd1 Ne4 22. Be3 Qh4 23. c6 bxc6 24. Rxc6 d4 25. Qc2 dxe3 26. Bxe4 Rd8 27.
Rxa6 Qxe4 {0-1 (27) Flores,D (2579)-Carlsen,M (2840) Doha 2016}) 10. Bc2 $146 (
{Deviating from} 10. Re1 a5 11. Ne2 b6 12. Ng3 Bb7 13. Qc1 Rac8 14. Bxb4 axb4
15. a4 c5 {where Black was very comfortable in Matlakov,M (2691)-Andreikin,D
(2736) Sochi 2016}) 10... Rd8 (10... b6 {is interesting for Black.}) 11. a3 $1
{"Home preparation from 2003. But during the game I could not actually figure
out what I want." (Aronian)} (11. c5 e5 {looks good for Black instead.}) 11...
Bxa3 {Carlsen boldly accepts the sacrifice.} (11... Ba5 $2 {is no good to} 12.
Nxd5) ({The only reasonable choice was} 11... Bd6 12. e4 dxe4 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14.
Bxe4 Nf6 {with slight edge for White.} ({Here Black can hardly capture the
pawn-} 14... Bxa3 $2 15. c5)) 12. Rxa3 $1 {The point.} ({White discarded his
original thought} 12. e4 dxe4 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14. Bxe4 Bb4 {as he believed he
has nothing here.}) 12... Qxa3 13. c5 {As a result of White's piece investment
the black queen is temporarily excluded from the game. It also is a strong
candidate of leaving the board for good.} b6 {Best.} ({The dangers of Black's
position demonstrates the line:} 13... h6 {(generally a useful move)} 14. Nb1
Qa2 15. Bb4 $1 {and the queen is indeed trapped after} a5 16. Nc3 Qb2 17. Na4
Qa2 18. Bb1 {as} Qa1 {drops it anyway to} 19. Bh7+) ({Even worse for Black is}
13... a5 $6 14. Bc1 Qb4 $2 (14... Qa1 15. Qd2 h6 16. Bb2 $1 {would not save
the queen neither but is at least more stubborn.}) 15. Na2 Qb5 16. Bd3 {
and White wins.}) ({The attempt to free the queen at once with} 13... Nxc5 {
would be met with the clever intermezzo} 14. Nb1 $1) ({Finally, the obvious}
13... Qa5 {is met with the even more obvious} 14. Nxd5 Qa2 15. Nxf6+ Nxf6 16.
Ne5 {with the threat Bc2-b1 followed by either Bb1xh7+ (a familiar theme) or
Ne5-c3 trapping the queen on a3.}) ({The other critical move was mentioned by
Aronian} 13... e5 {but it seems as White is better here after} 14. Nxe5 Nxe5
15. Nb1 Qa2 16. dxe5) 14. b4 $5 {A nice practical choice.} ({Aronian could
have won the queen with} 14. Nb1 {but he decided not to do so and to play for
the initiative instead. Indeed, after} Qa2 (14... Qb2 15. Bc3 Qa2 {gives White
an additional resource:} 16. Re1 $5) 15. Bb4 ({But perhaps better is the line
given by Short} 15. Qc1 $5 bxc5 16. Nc3 Qa5 17. Nxd5 Qb5 18. Nc7 Qb7 19. Nxa8
Qxa8 {with advantage for White.}) 15... bxc5 16. Nc3 Qb2 (16... Qxc2 17. Qxc2
cxb4 18. Na4 a5 19. Qxc6 Ba6) 17. Na4 Qa2 18. Bb1 Qxb1 19. Qxb1 cxb4 {Black
takes plenty of stuff for his strongest piece and the position will be very
unclear.}) 14... Ne4 ({After} 14... Qb2 {White has a lot of ways to harrass
the queen and play for initiative, for example} 15. Na4 (15. Ne1 $5) 15... Qa2
16. Ne5 (16. Nc3 {could repeat the moves.}) 16... Nxe5 17. dxe5 Nd7 18. cxb6 {
and since Black did not solve the problem of the queen yet, White's play is
easier.}) ({As usual, lining the queen with the bishop on d2 is not a good
idea for Black:} 14... Qxb4 15. Nxd5 Qc4 16. Ne7+ Kf8 17. Nxc6 Re8 18. Nce5
Nxe5 19. Nxe5 Qd5 20. cxb6) 15. Nxe4 dxe4 16. Bxe4 ({"At first I saw this":}
16. Ng5 Nf6 17. f3 bxc5 18. bxc5 h6 19. Nxf7 Kxf7 20. fxe4 {"but this is very
stupid. This cannot be more than a play for a draw." (Aronian)}) 16... Rb8 $1 {
The best defense.} ({The line} 16... Bb7 17. Qc2 Nf6 ({Or} 17... f5 18. Bd3 a5
19. Bc4 Nf8 20. Ne5 {and Black has barely any moves.}) 18. cxb6 Nxe4 19. Qxe4
Qa2 20. Ng5 {is extremely dangerous for Black. The main point is that} Qxd2 $6
{loses to} 21. Qxh7+ Kf8 22. Qh8+ Ke7 23. Qxg7 Rf8 24. Qe5 Qc2 25. Ne4 {
with the threat Qe5-d6+ and Ne4-f6 mate.} Rad8 26. Nc5 $1 {A beautiful positon.
Despite the extra rook Black has no defense!}) ({In case of} 16... a5 {White
was planning} 17. bxa5 (17. b5 $5 {was also foreseen by the Armenian GM who
believed Black refutes this with} bxc5 18. bxc6 Nf6 19. c7 Rd5 $1 {but if we
continue the line a bit we can see that White still enjoys his position after}
20. Bxd5 Nxd5 21. Qb1 $1) 17... bxa5 18. Bxc6 Ba6 19. Qa1 $1 {with advantage.})
17. Bxh7+ $1 {Aronian needs no further invitation.} Kxh7 18. Ng5+ Kg8 ({
The Armenian saw the spectacular win after} 18... Kg6 19. Qg4 f5 20. Qg3 Kf6
21. d5 $3 {Black is helpless, check the lines:} ({Not} 21. Nh7+ Kf7 22. Ng5+
Kf6 {with repetition.} (22... Kg8 $2 23. Nxe6)) 21... Re8 (21... cxd5 22. c6) (
21... exd5 22. Qd6+ Kxg5 23. e4+ Kh5 24. Qf4 {and mate.}) (21... e5 22. Ne6 $1)
) 19. Qh5 Nf6 $1 (19... Nf8 20. Qxf7+ Kh8 21. Qe7 {drops the rook on d8 and
the game at once.} Bd7 22. Nf7+) 20. Qxf7+ Kh8 21. Qc7 (21. Qe7 Re8) 21... Bd7
22. Nf7+ Kh7 {"I thought that Magnus played really well here." (Aronian)} 23.
Nxd8 Rc8 {This is the difference in comparison to the line from above. The
knight on d8 is in trouble.} 24. Qxb6 ({White's position is so strong that he
can even go for} 24. Qf4 Rxd8 25. e4 {and keep some edge.}) 24... Nd5 25. Qa7 (
{Aronian rejected} 25. Qb7 {due to} Rxd8 26. e4 Bc8 (26... Nf6 27. Bg5 {
is a better version of the game continuation for White.}) 27. Qxc6 Ne7 {
"when it is still unclear"} 28. Qc7 Rxd4 29. Bc1 {although White is definitely
in the driver's seat.}) 25... Rxd8 26. e4 Qd3 ({White expected} 26... Nf6 27.
Bg5 Qxb4 28. e5 Qxd4 (28... Kg6 $5 {might be interesting as well when after}
29. h4 Qxd4 30. exf6 gxf6 31. Qb6 Bc8 {White is definitely better, but is he
winning?!}) 29. exf6 gxf6 30. Qc7 Rc8 31. Bxf6 Qxf2+ 32. Rxf2 Rxc7 33. Be5 {
"which should be very unpleasant for Black" (Aronian)}) 27. exd5 ({"If I am
blind I am going to lose the game"} 27. Bg5 $2 Qxe4 28. Bxd8 Nf4 {and Black
mates (Aronian)}) 27... Qxd2 28. Qc7 Qg5 29. dxc6 (29. d6 $5) 29... Bc8 (29...
Be8 30. Qb7 $1 {is an important detail (Aronian)}) 30. h3 {Prepares the
introduction of the rook into the game. For example} (30. Re1 Qd2 31. Re3 $4
Qd1+) 30... Qd5 ({White expected} 30... e5 31. f4 exf4 32. Qxf4 Qxf4 33. Rxf4 {
"Maybe White is winning, maybe he is not" (Aronian)}) 31. Rd1 e5 (31... Rf8 $5
{was a very interesting defensive idea trying to escape with perpetual after}
32. Qd6 Qb3 33. Rd2 Qxb4 34. Qxf8 Qxd2 35. Qxc8 Qc1+ 36. Kh2 Qf4+) 32. Rd3 exd4
({Perhaps the world champion should have defended the position after} 32... e4
33. Rg3 Qxd4 34. Rxg7+ Qxg7 35. Qxd8 Qa1+ 36. Kh2 Qe5+ 37. g3 Qf5) 33. Qe7 Bf5
$2 {In a difficult position Carlsen errs.} ({The last chance was the unhuman}
33... Rg8 {although it is highly questionalble if Black can survive after} 34.
Qh4+ Kg6 35. c7 (35. Rxd4)) 34. Rg3 Bg6 (34... Qg8 35. Qh4#) (34... Rg8 35.
Qh4#) 35. Qh4+ 1-0
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.10"]
[Round "4.3"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B90"]
[WhiteElo "2785"]
[BlackElo "2796"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:19:03"]
[BlackClock "0:04:41"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bd3 {A little known
sideline.} ({Similar was} 6. Be3 Ng4 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bc1 Nf6 9. Bd3 e5 10. Nde2
Be7 11. O-O O-O 12. Ng3 Nbd7 13. a4 Nc5 14. Be2 Be6 {Grischuk,A (2750)-Vachier
Lagrave,M (2795) Moscow RUS 2017}) 6... e5 7. Nde2 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Ng3 (9. f4
Nbd7 10. Kh1 b5 11. a3 Nc5 12. Ng3 Be6 13. fxe5 dxe5 14. Be3 Nfd7 {Ponomariov,
R (2723)-Karjakin,S (2660) Cuernavaca 2006}) 9... Be6 10. Nd5 Bxd5 $146 (10...
Nxd5 11. exd5 Bc8 12. c3 f5 13. a4 a5 14. Re1 Na6 15. Qc2 g6 {Hanio,J (2372)
-Falatowicz,P (2378) corr. 2012}) 11. exd5 g6 {This wouldn't be playable with
the pawn on h6 as in Grischuk-MVL.} 12. c4 (12. Bh6 Re8 13. Re1 Nbd7 14. c4 Bf8
15. Bd2) 12... Ne8 13. Bh6 Ng7 14. b4 Nd7 15. Rc1 a5 16. a3 axb4 17. axb4 Ra3 (
{The immediate} 17... f5 {is problematic:} 18. c5 dxc5 19. d6 Bxd6 20. Bc4+)
18. Ne4 $1 {Improving the knight's position is key here.} (18. c5 dxc5 19. d6
Bxd6 20. Bxg6 hxg6 21. Qxd6 Ra6 22. Qd5 Nf6 {Nakamura}) 18... f5 19. Nc3 e4 20.
Be2 Bg5 21. Bxg5 Qxg5 22. c5 Ne5 23. c6 Nh5 24. Bxh5 gxh5 25. Kh1 $1 {Very
strong because it gives White ideas of f2-f3 or f2-f4. MVL missed this when he
played 23...Nh5.} Qh4 (25... Ng4 26. f3 Ne3 27. Qd2 f4 28. Rg1 $1 {wins.}) (
25... Nd3 $5) 26. Qd4 Ng4 27. h3 f4 28. Kg1 {"It looks somehow threatening but
it's an illusion." (Short)} e3 29. hxg4 hxg4 30. cxb7 exf2+ 31. Rxf2 g3 32.
Rxf4 Qh2+ 33. Kf1 1-0
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.10"]
[Round "4.4"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A21"]
[WhiteElo "2771"]
[BlackElo "2786"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:06:00"]
[BlackClock "0:06:44"]
1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Bb4 3. Nd5 Bc5 4. e3 Nf6 5. b4 Nxd5 6. bxc5 Nf6 7. Nf3 Nc6 $146
(7... Qe7 8. Be2 e4 9. Nd4 Na6 {and here Giri said he intended an improvement
over} 10. g4 $6 Nxc5 11. Nf5 Qf8 12. g5 d6 13. Ng3 Nfd7 {Giri,A (2785)
-Grischuk,A (2750) Moscow 2017}) 8. Be2 O-O 9. Bb2 d6 10. cxd6 cxd6 11. O-O Re8
12. a4 b6 13. d3 Bg4 14. h3 Bh5 15. g4 Bg6 16. Nh4 Rc8 ({Giri missed} 16...
Nxg4 17. Nxg6 Nh6 {and Anand said he should have played it, but White keeps an
edge with} 18. Bf3 Rc8 19. Nxe5 dxe5 20. Qe2) 17. Nxg6 hxg6 18. Bf3 g5 19. Bg2
Nd7 (19... Ne7 20. a5 Ng6 {Anand} 21. axb6 axb6 22. Qb3 Nh4 23. Bh1) 20. f4 {
"When this works for White it's a disaster, and I think it works." (Giri)} gxf4
21. exf4 Nc5 (21... Nd4 22. g5) 22. fxe5 dxe5 23. Bd5 Rf8 24. Qf3 Qd7 25. Bc3 (
{After} 25. Rae1 Nxa4 {Giri couldn't find a forced win, but there is:} 26. Ba3
Nc5 27. g5 g6 (27... Nd4 28. Qh5) 28. Qf6 Kh7 29. Bxc5 bxc5 30. Kh2) 25... Ne6
26. Rae1 Ne7 27. Rxe5 Nxd5 28. Rxd5 Qxa4 29. g5 $6 ({Winning was} 29. Rh5 $1 {
(threatening 30.Qf5)} Rc5 (29... Qa3 30. Bf6 $1 {followed by 31.Qe4 is
beautiful}) 30. Be5 f6 31. Qf5 Ng5 {and here Giri missed} 32. d4 $1) 29... Rc5
30. h4 Rxd5 31. cxd5 Nc5 $2 ({Missing} 31... Qxh4 32. dxe6 Qxg5+ {and e6 also
drops. Black has drawing chances in all lines.}) 32. g6 Qd7 33. Bb4 (33. Bb4 a5
34. Ba3 {and the threat of 35.d4 is killing.}) 1-0
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.10"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C65"]
[WhiteElo "2808"]
[BlackElo "2808"]
[PlyCount "105"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:02:48"]
[BlackClock "0:10:40"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 d5 (5... O-O 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bh4
Be7 8. O-O d6 9. Bg3 Bd7 10. h3 Nh7 11. Nbd2 Ng5 12. Re1 Nxf3+ 13. Nxf3 Bf6 {
Vachier Lagrave,M (2795)-Malakhov,V (2712) Chartres 2017}) 6. exd5 Qxd5 7. Bc4
Qd6 8. Qe2 O-O 9. Bg5 $146 (9. Nbd2 a5 10. Ng5 Qe7 11. Nde4 Bd6 12. a4 h6 13.
h4 Nd8 14. Qf3 Ng4 15. Qe2 Kh8 16. f3 Nf6 {Svidler,P (2745)-Inarkiev,E (2732)
Novosibirsk 2016}) 9... Be6 10. Nbd2 Bxc4 11. Nxc4 Qe6 12. Bxf6 gxf6 13. Nfd2
b5 14. Ne3 f5 15. a4 f4 $2 (15... b4 16. Nec4 Kh8 17. O-O Rg8 {is about equal.}
) 16. Qg4+ Qg6 $6 (16... Qxg4 17. Nxg4 b4 18. Nf6+ Kg7 19. Nd7 {is what
Kramnik missed on move 15.}) (16... Kh8 $5 17. Qxe6 fxe6) 17. Qxg6+ hxg6 18.
Nd5 Rad8 19. Nf6+ (19. Ne4 b4 $1) 19... Kg7 20. Nfe4 Bb6 21. axb5 Ne7 22. Ke2 (
22. c4 $5) 22... Nd5 23. g3 f5 24. Ng5 Rfe8 25. Nc4 e4 26. d4 f3+ 27. Kd2 Nf6
28. Ne3 Rd7 29. h4 Kh6 30. Rhd1 Nd5 31. Ra4 ({Here White should win with} 31.
c4 $1 Nxe3 32. Kxe3 Red8 33. Kf4 Bxd4 34. Rxd4 Rxd4 35. Nf7+ Kg7 36. Nxd8 Rxd8
37. Rxa7) 31... Kh5 32. Nh3 ({Here} 32. Nh7 $1 Rxh7 33. Nxd5 Rf7 34. Rc4 {
gives a close to winning advantage.}) 32... Nxe3 33. Kxe3 Kg4 34. Nf4 Rd6 35.
Rc4 Re5 36. Rb4 Re8 37. Ra1 Re5 38. Ra6 Re8 39. Raa4 (39. Rc4 $5 g5 40. hxg5
Kxg5 41. Rc6) 39... Rh8 40. Ra1 Re8 41. Ra3 Rh8 42. Rba4 a5 43. Ra1 (43. bxa6
c5) 43... c5 44. bxc6 Rxc6 45. Rxa5 Bxa5 46. Rxa5 g5 47. hxg5 Rh1 48. d5 Rc8
49. g6 Re1+ 50. Kd2 Rf1 51. Ke3 Re1+ 52. Kd2 Rf1 53. Ke3 1/2-1/2
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.10"]
[Round "4.5"]
[White "So, Wesley"]
[Black "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C50"]
[WhiteElo "2812"]
[BlackElo "2781"]
[PlyCount "141"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:04:56"]
[BlackClock "0:04:53"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. a4 a6 7. c3 d6 8. Re1
Ba7 9. h3 Ne7 (9... h6 10. Nbd2 Be6 11. b4 Re8 12. Bxe6 Rxe6 13. Qc2 d5 14. Nb3
Ne7 {Fressinet,L (2662)-Amin,B (2660) Sharjah 2017}) 10. d4 Ng6 11. Nbd2 c6 12.
Bf1 Re8 13. dxe5 $146 (13. a5 h6 14. b4 Qc7 15. dxe5 Nxe5 16. Nxe5 Rxe5 17. c4
Re8 18. Bb2 Nd7 {Vaishali,R (2295)-Arpita,M (2040) Rajahmundry 2016}) 13...
dxe5 14. Qc2 b5 15. b4 Be6 16. Nb3 Qe7 17. Bd2 h6 18. c4 Rac8 19. c5 Bb8 20.
axb5 axb5 21. Ra6 Red8 22. Na5 Qe8 23. Bc3 Nh7 24. g3 Nhf8 25. Rb6 Kh7 ({
Black is one move too late for} 25... f6 26. Nxc6 $1 Rxc6 27. Bxb5 Ne7 28. Nh4
$1) 26. Rxb8 $1 {An excellent positional exchange sacrifice.} Rxb8 27. Nxe5
Nxe5 28. Bxe5 Ra8 29. Bd6 Ra6 30. f4 Rda8 31. f5 Bc4 32. Bxc4 bxc4 33. e5 Nd7
34. Qxc4 $2 {Spoiling a nice, strategic game. So completely missed Black's
next move after which he's suddenly very solid.} (34. Kf1) 34... Nf6 $1 35. e6
Nd5 36. Qe4 f6 37. e7 Nxb4 38. Qxb4 Rxa5 39. Qg4 Kg8 40. Qg6 Ra2 41. g4 Rc2 42.
Kf1 Rb2 43. h4 Rb4 44. h5 $6 ({White could still prepare g4-g5 with e.g.} 44.
Re2 {and it's not easy for Black.}) 44... Rb2 {Now Black has a fortress.} 45.
Bc7 Rd2 46. Bf4 Rd4 47. Bd6 Rb4 48. Re2 Rb1+ 49. Kf2 Rb3 50. Bc7 Rd3 51. Bf4
Rd4 52. Bd6 Rb4 53. Kg3 Rb3+ 54. Kh4 Rba3 55. Re6 R3a7 56. Re3 Ra4 57. Kg3 Rb4
58. Bc7 Rd4 59. Bf4 Rd7 60. Bd6 Rb7 61. g5 hxg5 62. h6 Qxg6 63. fxg6 Re8 64.
h7+ Kh8 65. Kg4 {The black king is stalemated, so from now on Karjakin can
play Losing Chess!} f5+ $1 66. Kxg5 Rb1 67. Ra3 Rg1+ 68. Kxf5 Re1 69. Ra2 R8xe7
$1 70. Bxe7 Re5+ 71. Kxe5 {Stalemate.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.10"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2771"]
[BlackElo "2786"]
[Annotator "Alex Yermolinsky"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Bb4 3. Nd5 Bc5 4. e3 Nf6 5. b4 {Anish doesn't quit on his
ideas.} Nxd5 6. bxc5 Nf6 7. Nf3 Nc6 {The old lion smells the trap.} ({
Giri-Grischuk, Moscow Grand Prix 2017, went} 7... Qe7 8. Be2 $1 e4 9. Nd4 Na6 {
and here Anish missed a great idea} 10. O-O $1 ({Instead he went crazy with}
10. g4 {and soon was forced to fight for a draw in a pawn down endgame.}) 10...
Nxc5 11. Nf5 $3 Qe5 12. Nxg7+ Kf8 13. Rb1 Kxg7 14. Bb2 Qe7 15. f3 {with huge
attack against the hopelessly pinned Nf6.}) 8. Be2 O-O 9. Bb2 d6 {By playing
like this Black simply accepts a slightly worse position.} 10. cxd6 cxd6 11.
O-O Re8 12. a4 b6 13. d3 Bg4 14. h3 Bh5 15. g4 Bg6 16. Nh4 Rc8 17. Nxg6 hxg6
18. Bf3 g5 (18... Nd7 19. Ba3 Qf6 20. Bd5) 19. Bg2 Nd7 20. f4 gxf4 21. exf4 {
[#]} Nc5 {One of those small mistakes that leads to grave consequences.} ({
Black had to prevent the white bishop from coming to d5, and that could have
been accomplished by} 21... Qh4 $1 22. fxe5 Ndxe5 23. Qd2 Qg3 {Eventually
White will have to trade queens and be content with a mere endgame advantage.})
22. fxe5 dxe5 23. Bd5 Rf8 (23... Re7 24. Qf3 Qc7 25. g5 $16) 24. Qf3 Qd7 25.
Bc3 Ne6 26. Rae1 Ne7 27. Rxe5 Nxd5 28. Rxd5 Qxa4 29. g5 $6 {very consistent,
yet inaccurate.} ({A player with an eye for a king hunt would quickly spot} 29.
Rh5 $1 Rc5 30. Be5 f6 31. Qf5 Ng5 32. d4 {winning the exchange and the game in
short order.}) 29... Rc5 (29... Qa3 30. Bf6 {favors White, but it's a game.})
30. h4 Rxd5 31. cxd5 Nc5 $2 {Vishy appears to be off his best form.} ({The
only way to continue was} 31... Qxh4 32. dxe6 Qxg5+ 33. Qg2 Qe3+ 34. Rf2 Qc1+
35. Qf1 Qg5+ {and it doesn't seem to be totally hopeless.}) 32. g6 $18 Qd7 (
32... Qxh4 33. gxf7+ Kh7 34. Kg2 Qg5+ 35. Kf2) 33. Bb4 {Now White will win by
playing d3-d4.} 1-0
[Event "Norway Chess 2017"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.11"]
[Round "5.3"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C50"]
[WhiteElo "2832"]
[BlackElo "2771"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:57:11"]
[BlackClock "0:54:18"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. h3 d6 7. c3 a6 8. a4 (8.
Re1 h6 9. Bb3 Re8 10. Nbd2 Ba7 11. Nf1 Be6 12. Ng3 Bxb3 13. Qxb3 Qd7 14. Be3
Bxe3 15. Rxe3 d5 {Harikrishna,P (2762)-Matlakov,M (2691) Germany 2017}) 8...
Ba7 9. Re1 h6 10. Nbd2 Be6 11. b4 Nh5 $146 (11... Re8 12. Bxe6 Rxe6 13. Qc2 d5
14. Nb3 Ne7 15. exd5 Qxd5 16. c4 Qd6 17. Nc5 Bxc5 18. bxc5 Qxc5 {Fressinet,L
(2662)-Amin,B (2660) Sharjah 2017}) 12. Nf1 Qf6 13. Ne3 {"He is trying to play
without taking on e6." (Giri)} Bxc4 14. Nxc4 Nf4 15. Be3 Bxe3 16. fxe3 {
Giri felt that Carlsen's last two moves were "strange" and "too timid."} Ng6
17. b5 axb5 18. axb5 Nce7 19. Qb3 d5 20. Rxa8 Rxa8 21. Ncd2 c6 22. d4 Qd6 23.
Qb2 dxe4 24. Nxe4 Qd5 {Carlsen missed this move.} 25. Ned2 cxb5 26. e4 Qc6 27.
Kh1 $1 {Getting out of the checks is very useful here.} (27. Rb1) 27... Rc8 $6
(27... exd4 $1 28. Nxd4 (28. cxd4 Nf4) 28... Qc5) 28. d5 $1 ({Giri kind of
forgot about this move because c3 hangs. He was hoping for} 28. Rc1) 28... Qxc3
(28... Qd7 29. Rb1 Rc5 30. Nb3 Rc8 31. Nbd2) 29. Qxb5 {This is just equal.} Qc7
30. Rb1 f5 31. Qb4 fxe4 32. d6 Nd5 33. dxc7 Nxb4 34. Rxb4 exf3 35. Rxb7 f2 36.
g3 Kh7 37. Kg2 Ne7 38. Kxf2 Nd5 39. Nc4 Rxc7 40. Rxc7 Nxc7 41. Nxe5 1/2-1/2
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.11"]
[Round "5.5"]
[White "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B50"]
[WhiteElo "2808"]
[BlackElo "2785"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "98"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:03:17"]
[BlackClock "0:07:14"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Qxd4 a6 6. e5 {Kramnik chose "a
strange move order."} Nc6 7. Qa4 dxe5 ({Another possibility was} 7... Ng4 8.
Bf4 dxe5 9. Nxe5 Ngxe5 10. Bxe5 Bd7 {as in Naiditsch,A (2647)-Lupulescu,C
(2562) Kemer 2007}) 8. Nxe5 Bd7 9. Nxd7 Qxd7 10. Bd2 {This was the position
that White was aiming for. It is a bit more pleasant for him thanks to the
bishop pair.} g6 ({The fianchettoe is not mandatory. Black may also chose}
10... e6 11. O-O-O Qd4 12. Be3 Qxa4 13. Nxa4 Nd5 {with chances for equality in
Movsesian,S (2666)-Duda,J (2671) Banska Stiavnica 2016}) 11. O-O-O Bg7 12. Bg5
$146 {An agressive move which offers an endgame.} ({Previously only} 12. Be3 {
was tested-} Qc8 13. h3 (13. Be2 $5) 13... O-O 14. g4 b5 15. Qb3 Na5 16. Qb4
Nc6 {Blehm,P (2420)-Janssen,R (2345) Calicut 1998}) 12... Qg4 {Not the most
accurate decision.} ({Kramnik believed that} 12... Qf5 {was more precise, with
possible lines:} 13. f4 ({Or} 13. Qf4 Qa5 14. Bc4 O-O ({Bad was} 14... h6 15.
Bxf6 Bxf6 16. Ne4 {with clear edge for White.}) 15. h4 {with double-edged
position.}) 13... O-O 14. Bd3 Qg4 {and it is unclear (Kramnik, Nakamura)}) ({
Kramnik's idea is revealed in the line:} 12... Qc8 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. Nd5 {
and because of the fork on b6 Black has to go for something like} Ra7 15. Nxf6+
exf6 16. Qa3 {which looks horrible for him.}) 13. Bxf6 (13. Qxg4 $5 {was
interesting as well, the point being that the attack against the f2 pawn with}
Nxg4 14. Ne4 Bd4 15. Bh4 f5 {can be stopped with} 16. Be2 {when White seems
better.}) 13... Qxa4 14. Nxa4 Bxf6 {The endgame is unpleasant for Black who
has to patiently stop his opponent's threats. Still, since Nakamura did not do
anything wrong his position remains solid enough to maintain the balance.} 15.
c3 {What follows next is very logical. Kramnik is trying to convert his
activity into something tangible and piles his rooks on the open file.} ({On}
15. g3 Bd4 $1 {is strong (Kramnik, Nakamura)}) 15... e6 (15... O-O 16. g3 Rad8
17. Rxd8 Rxd8 18. Nc5 {would be the dream position White is aiming for.}) 16.
g3 Rc8 17. Bg2 Be7 ({Once again} 17... O-O {is wrong due to} 18. Nb6 Rc7 19.
Nd7) 18. Rd2 h5 $1 {Apparently, Black will not castle but he needs his rook
out. Nakamura opens the h-file for it.} 19. Rhd1 ({On} 19. h4 Rc7 20. Rhd1 g5 {
is strong for Black and he will open the file anyway.}) 19... h4 20. Nb6 Rc7
21. Na8 ({Kramnik also considered some generally useful move like} 21. a4 {
but after} hxg3 22. hxg3 Na5 23. Kc2 Rh2 24. f4 Bc5 25. Na8 Rc8 {"the white
knight is miserable" (Nakamura)}) 21... Rc8 22. Nb6 Rc7 23. f4 hxg3 24. hxg3
Rh5 {The rook is out and ready to deal with the annoying night. White forces
matters.} 25. Na8 Rc8 26. Rd7 Rh2 {Change of counter-attacking objects.} ({
The knight is invincible:} 26... Rxa8 $2 27. Rxb7 Rc8 28. Bxc6+ Rxc6 29. Rb8+ {
wins for White.}) 27. Be4 ({A tricky idea was:} 27. Bf3 {with the strong point}
Rf2 $6 ({White abandoned the line because of the move} 27... Nd8 {but this is
not convincing after} 28. Nb6 Rb8 29. Rc7 {with excellent winning chances for
White.}) ({Kramnik also considered the tricky} 27... Ba3 $6 {which however
loses to} 28. Nc7+ Rxc7 29. Rxc7 Rxb2 30. Bxc6+ bxc6 31. Rdd7 {(Kramnik,
Nakamura)}) ({None of the players mentioned the move} 27... Bc5 {which is
probably Black's best bet when after} 28. Nc7+ Kf8 29. Bxc6 bxc6 30. Nxa6 Bf2 {
Black seems to have counter-play similar to the game.}) 28. Bxc6 bxc6 29. Nc7+
Kf8 30. Rh1 Bf6 31. Rh7 Bg7 32. Nxe6+ $1 {which wins a pawn and the game
(Kramnik, Nakamura)}) 27... Re2 28. Bxc6 {Throws away the biggest part of the
advantage.} ({Kramnik dismissed} 28. Bf3 $1 {due to} Re3 {when "the threat
against the important g3-pawn is a bit too much." (Kramnik, Nakamura) Had he
gone a bit further he would have noticed that in the line} 29. Bxc6 bxc6 30.
Nc7+ Kf8 31. Rh1 Bf6 32. Nxa6 Rxg3 (32... Ra8 33. Nc7 Rxa2 34. Kb1 Ra4 35. Rh7
Bg7 36. Rd8+ Ke7 37. Re8+ Kd7 38. Rxg7 Kxc7 39. Rxf7+ {with good winning
chances for White.}) 33. Nc5 {his knight would have had the freedom that he
needed so badly later.}) 28... bxc6 29. Nc7+ (29. Ra7 Rb8 30. b4 {The simplest
seems to be} Rxa2 {with equality.} (30... Bf6 31. Rd3 (31. Nc7+ Kf8 32. Nxa6
Rc8 {(Kramnik, Nakamura)}) 31... Rd8 {(Kramnik, Nakamura)})) 29... Kf8 30. Rh1
Bf6 31. Nxa6 {Temporarily White is up a pawn but the black pieces will show
muscles.} (31. Kd1 {is equal after} Rxb2 ({Not} 31... Re4 32. Kd2 $1) 32. Rh7)
31... Ra8 32. Nb4 c5 33. Nd3 Rxa2 34. Kb1 Ra8 35. Nxc5 {The other attempts
yield White nothing either:} (35. Rh7 Bg7 36. Ne5 Kg8 37. Rxg7+ Kxg7 38. Rxf7+
Kg8 39. Rf6 (39. Rb7 g5 40. Nd7 gxf4 41. gxf4 c4) 39... Rb8 $1 {(Kramnik,
Nakamura)}) (35. Rb7 Kg8 ({Or even better} 35... c4 36. Ne5 Bxe5 37. fxe5 Kg7
38. Rf1 Rf8 39. Rf4 Rxe5 40. Rxc4) 36. Nxc5 Re3 37. g4 {(Kramnik, Nakamura)}) (
{Finally} 35. Rc7 Rb8 36. Rxc5 Re3 37. Nb4 Rxg3 {cannot be worse for Black who
has the stronger minor piece (Kramnik, Nakamura)}) 35... Rb8 36. Rb7 (36. Nb7
Rg2 {is equal too.}) 36... Rxb7 37. Nxb7 Rg2 38. Rh3 {Ugly, but at least White
is playing for two results now only.} ({Instead} 38. Nc5 Be7 39. Nd7+ (39. Nd3
Rxg3 40. Rd1 g5 {would be a draw.}) 39... Ke8 40. Ne5 Rxg3 41. Rh8+ Bf8 42. c4
f6 43. Nc6 g5 44. fxg5 fxg5 45. b4 {is messy and most likely a draw too,
(Kramnik, Nakamura)}) 38... g5 39. fxg5 Bxg5 {As it often happens in the
Sicilian White wins a pawn with energetic play, but it is insufficent for the
win as the stronger bishop versus knight compensates for it. Here the active
black rook plays an important role as well.} 40. Nc5 Be7 41. Nd3 Bd6 42. Nf4
Rf2 43. Rh4 ({Or} 43. b4 Rf3 44. Ne2 Rf2 {(Kramnik, Nakamura)}) 43... Ke7 44.
Rg4 Rf1+ ({Also good for Black and sufficent for equality was} 44... f5 45.
Rg7+ Kf6 46. Nh5+ Ke5 47. Rg6 Kd5 {(Kramnik)}) 45. Kc2 Rf2+ 46. Kb3 Rd2 47. Rg8
Rf2 ({Nakamura avoids all the complications in the line:} 47... e5 48. Nh5 f5 (
48... e4 49. Ng7 Kf6 50. Ne8+ Kf5 51. Nxd6+ Rxd6 52. Re8 (52. Kc2) 52... Rg6
53. Kc4 Rxg3 54. b4) 49. Rg7+ Ke6 50. Rg6+ Ke7 51. Rf6 (51. g4 f4 52. g5 e4 53.
Rf6 f3 54. g6 Rg2 55. Kc4 Be5) 51... Rf2 52. g4 {(Kramnik, Nakamura)}) 48. Rg4
Rd2 49. Rg8 Rf2 1/2-1/2
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.11"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2781"]
[BlackElo "2808"]
[Annotator "A. Silver"]
[PlyCount "146"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. c4
c6 9. Re1 Bf5 10. Qb3 Qd7 11. Nc3 Nxc3 12. Bxf5 Qxf5 13. Qxb7 {[#]} Ne4 $146 (
13... Qd7 14. Qxd7 Nxd7 15. c5 Bxh2+ 16. Nxh2 Ne4 17. Bf4 Rfe8 18. f3 {1/2-1/2
(53) Svidler,P (2728) -Ivanchuk,V (2750) Morelia/Linares 2007}) 14. Qxa8 Qd7 $1
15. cxd5 Nf6 $1 16. Re3 $1 Nxd5 17. Rb3 $1 Nb4 $1 18. Rxb4 $1 (18. a3 $2 {
for example, with big eyes on the b7 square, is just the sort of mistake Black
would dream of, but knows he is unlikely to get.} Nc2 19. Rb1 Qe6 {and here
White would need to play} 20. Bf4 $1 ({The precipitated} 20. Qb7 $2 {would be
severely punished by} Nxd4 $1 21. Re3 Nxf3+ 22. gxf3 Qg6+ {winning the rook on
b1.}) 20... Bxf4 {before trying to get out with} 21. Qb7) 18... Bxb4 19. Be3 $1
Bd6 $1 20. d5 $1 c5 $1 21. b4 $1 cxb4 22. Rc1 Rd8 23. Qxa7 Qxa7 24. Bxa7 Nd7
25. Bd4 Ra8 26. Kf1 Ra5 27. Rc8+ Bf8 28. d6 Rd5 29. Ne5 Nxe5 30. Bxe5 f6 31.
Bg3 Kf7 32. Rb8 Bxd6 33. Bxd6 Rxd6 34. Rxb4 Rd2 35. a4 Ra2 {[#] The dust has
settled, and Black is down a pawn in a rook endgame, but his rook is
all-powerful, secure behind the pawn, and with great activity. In rook
endgames, activity is often the difference between a draw or defeat.} 36. h4 h5
37. g3 Kg6 38. Rf4 Kf7 39. Ke1 Ke6 40. Rb4 Kf5 41. Kd1 Ke5 42. Ke1 Kf5 $1 43.
Kf1 Kg6 44. Rc4 Kh6 45. Rf4 Kg6 46. Ke1 Kf7 47. Kf1 Kg6 $1 48. Kg2 Ra3 49. Kh3
Ra2 50. g4 Ra3+ 51. f3 hxg4+ 52. Kxg4 Ra1 53. Rc4 Ra2 54. h5+ Kh6 55. f4 Rg2+
56. Kf5 Rh2 57. Ke6 Rxh5 58. f5 Rh1 59. Rc5 Kg5 60. Kf7 Rh7 61. a5 g6+ 62. Ke6
Rh1 63. a6 Ra1 64. fxg6+ Kxg6 65. Rc6 f5 66. Kd6 Kg5 67. Kc7 f4 68. Kb7 f3 69.
Rc2 Kf4 70. a7 Kg3 71. a8=Q Rxa8 72. Kxa8 f2 73. Rxf2 Kxf2 1/2-1/2
[Event "Norway Chess 2017"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.12"]
[Round "6.3"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D41"]
[WhiteElo "2793"]
[BlackElo "2808"]
[Annotator "mycomputer"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:51:49"]
[BlackClock "0:02:32"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 c5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 cxd4 8.
cxd4 Bb4+ 9. Bd2 Bxd2+ 10. Qxd2 O-O 11. Bc4 Nd7 12. O-O b6 13. Rac1 (13. a4 Bb7
14. Bd3 Nf6 15. Rfe1 h6 16. a5 bxa5 17. Rxa5 Qc7 18. Qb4 Rfb8 19. Qa3 Rc8 20.
h3 a6 {Svidler,P (2755)-Kramnik,V (2811) Sochi 2017}) 13... Bb7 14. d5 Nc5 15.
Rfe1 Qf6 $146 (15... exd5 16. exd5 Qf6 17. Rcd1 Rad8 18. Qe3 h6 19. Ne5 Rd6 20.
Rd4 Qg5 21. f4 Qf5 {Kaszowski,D (2299)-Hnydiuk,A (2366) Opole 2006}) 16. Qe3
Rac8 (16... Rad8 {Kramnik}) 17. e5 Qg6 18. d6 f6 19. Nh4 Qg4 $2 ({Better
squares are} 19... Qh5 {or}) (19... Qg5 {and Black should be OK.}) 20. g3 fxe5
$2 ({Black should go for} 20... Kh8 21. f4 g5 22. Ng2 {but White is better.})
21. Qxe5 {Black is in big trouble here and perhaps already lost.} Rcd8 ({
Kramnik dismissed} 21... Kh8 {because of} 22. f3 $1 (22. f4 $5) 22... Bxf3 23.
Bxe6 Nxe6 24. Rxc8 Rxc8 25. d7 Rd8 26. Qxe6 Qxe6 27. Rxe6 Bh5 {and now e.g.}
28. g4 Bf7 29. Rd6 Kg8 30. Nf3 Kf8 31. Ne5 Ke7 32. Rd2 Ke6 33. Nc6 Rxd7 34.
Nd8+ Rxd8 35. Rxd8 {should be a winning endgame.}) 22. f4 $1 {Black is busted.
His queen will get trapped, and there's no good defense anymore.} Rf6 (22...
Ba6 23. Bxa6 Nxa6 24. Kg2 g5 25. h3 Qh5 {and now the simple} 26. Nf3 $1 {
is crushing, e.g.} Nc5 27. Rxc5 $1 bxc5 28. Nxg5 {and the knight will take on
e6 followed by g3-g4 and f4-f5.}) 23. Rc3 $1 {Quickly played and the most
accurate way to win. The threat is 24.Be2 Qh3 25.Bf1 Qg4 26.h3.} Rh6 (23... Ba6
24. Bxa6 Nxa6 25. f5 exf5 26. d7 Rff8 27. Rc8 $1 Rxc8 28. dxc8=Q Rxc8 29. Qe6+)
24. Be2 Qh3 25. Qg5 Qxh4 {The most resilient, but not enough.} 26. gxh4 Rg6 27.
Rd1 Bd5 28. f5 Rxg5+ 29. hxg5 Kf8 30. fxe6 Bxe6 31. Bc4 $1 {When you're
material up, you trade.} Bf5 32. Re3 g6 33. Re7 Rd7 34. Rde1 1-0
[Event "Norway Chess 2017"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.12"]
[Round "6.5"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A21"]
[WhiteElo "2808"]
[BlackElo "2786"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "94"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Bb4 3. Nd5 Bc5 4. Nf3 c6 5. Nc3 d6 {Arelatively rare, but
topical line was chosen by Anand.} 6. e3 {Both players had already discussed
this line earlier.} ({Then the other main move was tested} 6. g3 Nf6 7. Bg2 O-O
8. O-O Re8 9. d3 h6 10. Na4 Bb4 11. a3 Ba5 12. b4 Bc7 13. e4 {Caruana,F (2823)
-Anand,V (2779) London 2016}) (6. d4 {is also possible.}) 6... Bb4 ({An
important game for the whole variation was played in January:} 6... Qe7 7. d4
exd4 8. Nxd4 Nf6 9. Be2 O-O 10. O-O d5 11. cxd5 cxd5 12. Nb3 Bb4 13. Nxd5 Nxd5
14. Qxd5 Rd8 15. Qh5 Nc6 {with compensation for the pawn in Nepomniachtchi,I
(2767)-Carlsen,M (2840) Wijk aan Zee 2017}) 7. d4 Nd7 $146 {In-depth home
preparation by the former world champion.} ({Against Nakamura he tried a
Nimzo-Indian approach with} 7... Bxc3+ 8. bxc3 e4 9. Nd2 Nf6 10. Ba3 b6 11. f4
c5 {Nakamura,H (2779)-Anand,V (2779) Saint Louis 2016}) 8. Qc2 Ngf6 9. a3 Bxc3+
10. Qxc3 O-O 11. Be2 Re8 12. b4 {"I realized this is risky, but I believed I
can carry out b4-b5 after Bc1-a3" (Caruana)} ({Both players considered} 12. b3
{which is "safer structurally" (Anand). Then after} e4 13. Nd2 d5 14. a4 Nf8
15. Ba3 ({After} 15. h3 {White will keep the bishop alive and} Ng6 16. Ba3 h5 {
Anand thought that White would still need to go for b3-b4-b5 in order "to
break through."}) 15... Bg4 {is a key resource for Black.}) 12... e4 13. Nd2 d5
{Now the position resembles the French defense with reversed colors. The pawn
chains clearly point the sides on which both players will attack. Black has
easy play on the kingside; White needs to attack on the opposite wing.} 14. a4
{Anand have studied both b2-b3 and b2-b4 plans.} ({Here the Indian GM intended
to meet the normal development} 14. O-O {with} dxc4 15. Nxc4 Nb6) 14... dxc4
15. Nxc4 Nb6 16. Na5 Nbd5 17. Qd2 Qc7 18. h3 ({Anand felt that his pieces are
a bit clumsy and was afraid of} 18. b5 {with the idea Bc1-a3. To that, though,
Caruana disliked} cxb5 19. axb5 Bg4 {which trades the important light-squared
bishop.}) 18... Re6 $1 {"I realized my knight needs to go to e8." (Anand) The
idea is to shift the rook on the kingside for the attack. One of the reasons
why Black wants to attack on the kingside is that he can easily transfer his
heavy pieces along the sixth rank thanks to the extra space.} 19. Ba3 ({
Both players thought that after} 19. b5 cxb5 20. axb5 Bd7 21. Ba3 b6 {there is
a problem with the white knight.} 22. Rc1 Qd8 23. Nc6 {is risky for White after
} Qe8 {followed by a7-a6.}) ({Maybe} 19. Bb2 a6 20. b5 {is an option but it
does not seem bad at all for Black.}) 19... a6 20. Nb3 {"This is probably a
serious mistake." (Caruana)} ({The American GM suggested instead} 20. Nc4 Ne8
21. Ne5 {with the idea to deprive the rook of an access to the g6-square.})
20... Ne8 21. Nc5 (21. b5 {might backfire after} axb5 22. axb5 cxb5 23. Bxb5 ({
Or} 23. O-O {when Anand suggested} Rg6 (23... Rea6 {instead is better for
Black though.}) 24. Rfc1 Qd8 {but missed the strong blow} 25. Be7 $1) 23... Rb6
{(Anand)}) 21... Rg6 $1 ({Caruana thought that he is forcing the rook back.}
21... Re7) 22. g3 ({After the game White regretted that he did not try the
risky} 22. Nxe4 Rxg2 23. O-O-O Bf5 (23... a5 24. bxa5 Rxa5 {(Short) also looks
scary for White.}) 24. Bf3 Rg6 {White's position seems a mess, but at least
there is a hope that Black can go wrong too.}) 22... Nd6 23. a5 {In order to
prepare castling queenside. However, once White closes that part of the board,
the game becomes very one-sided as Black is clearly superior on the kingside.}
Bf5 24. Qc2 (24. Kf1 {is castling into it:} Qc8 25. Kg2 Rh6) 24... Re8 25.
O-O-O Qc8 26. g4 (26. h4 Bg4 {would be horrible for the light squares.}) 26...
Bd7 {To the problems on the kingside we should add the weaknesses on a3 and b4.
White's position is hopeless strategically.} 27. Kb1 f5 {Opens the game where
he is stronger.} 28. gxf5 Rf6 29. Rdg1 Bxf5 30. h4 Ref8 31. Rh2 Kh8 32. Qd2 Rg6
({Black was considering direct options like} 32... Nf4 {to which Caruana
wanted badly to sacrifice a pawn} 33. d5 {and bring his bishop into life.}) 33.
Rxg6 hxg6 34. h5 {"This makes things easier for me as the pawns gain mobility"
(Anand)} ({On} 34. Rg2 {Anand intended the pretty} Bh3 35. Rxg6 Rxf2 36. Rxd6
Rxe2 $1 {winning.}) 34... g5 35. h6 g6 36. Bb2 Bg4 37. Bf1 {The only hope as
if the bishops are traded the black pieces will start flooding along the light
squares.} Kh7 38. Ka1 Bf3 39. Rh3 g4 40. Rg3 Rf5 {With the main idea Rf5-h5-h1.
The decisive penetration is inevitable.} 41. Na4 Qf8 (41... Rh5 {would do too.}
) 42. Nb6 Qxh6 43. Nxd5 cxd5 44. Qc1 Qh1 45. Qc7+ Rf7 46. Qxd6 Qxf1+ 47. Ka2
Be2 {There is no escape from the checkmate on the light squares.} (47... Be2
48. Qc5 Bc4+ 49. Ka3 Qd3+) 0-1
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.12"]
[Round "6.4"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A37"]
[WhiteElo "2771"]
[BlackElo "2812"]
[PlyCount "118"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:27:15"]
[BlackClock "0:26:25"]
1. c4 c5 2. Nc3 g6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. Nf3 e6 6. h4 (6. d4 cxd4 7. Nb5 d5
8. cxd5 exd5 9. O-O Nge7 10. Bf4 O-O 11. Qd2 Nf5 12. g4 Nfe7 13. h3 a6 {
Grischuk,A (2754)-Carlsen,M (2857) chess.com INT 2016}) 6... Nf6 7. d4 cxd4 8.
Nxd4 O-O 9. O-O d5 10. cxd5 (10. Nxc6 bxc6 11. Qa4 Qb6 12. Be3 Qa6 13. Rac1 Nd7
14. Qd1 Qa5 15. h5 Ba6 16. h6 Bf6 {Le Roux,J (2276)-Vallin,G (2396) Amiens 2001
}) 10... Nxd5 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. Bd2 Nxc3 13. Bxc3 Bxc3 14. bxc3 Ba6 15. Qc2 Qa5
16. Rfd1 Qc5 ({So didn't like} 16... Rad8 17. c4 (17. Bxc6 Rc8) 17... Qc5 18.
Rac1 Rxd1+ 19. Qxd1) 17. Rd7 Rad8 18. Rad1 Rxd7 19. Rxd7 Bc4 20. Qd2 a5 21. Bf3
Qa3 22. h5 Qxa2 23. Qd4 c5 24. Qe3 a4 25. Kg2 Qb1 26. h6 Qf5 27. g4 Qf6 28.
Qxc5 Bd5 29. e4 Ba8 {"My position was desperate already when I have to make
moves like [this]." (So)} 30. Ra7 e5 (30... Qf4 31. Qd4 Qxh6 32. Qxa4) 31. Rxa4
({So suggested} 31. Qa5 Bc6 32. Ra6 {but Black has} Qe6) 31... Qf4 32. Qe3 (32.
Rb4 Qxh6 33. Qxe5 Qg7 34. Qxg7+ Kxg7 35. Kg3 {was also interesting.}) 32...
Qxe3 33. fxe3 Rc8 34. Ra5 (34. g5 $5 {Short} Bc6 35. Rc4 Bd7 36. Rxc8+ Bxc8 37.
c4 Kf8 (37... f6) 38. c5 Bb7 (38... Ke7 39. Be2 Bb7 40. Kf3) 39. Be2 Bxe4+ 40.
Bf3 Bf5 41. Bd5 {So}) 34... Kf8 35. Kg3 Bc6 36. c4 (36. Rxe5 Bd7 {and c3 will
fall.}) 36... Bd7 37. Be2 Be6 38. Rxe5 Bxc4 39. Bxc4 Rxc4 {In hindsight Giri
didn't really understand why he went for the rook endgame.} 40. Kf4 Rc6 41. g5
Rc1 42. Ra5 Ke7 43. Ke5 Rc7 44. Rb5 Ra7 45. Rc5 Rb7 46. Ra5 Rc7 47. Ra8 Rc5+
48. Kf4 Rc1 49. Ra7+ Ke6 50. Ra6+ Ke7 51. e5 Rf1+ 52. Ke4 Rg1 53. Ra8 Rxg5 54.
Ra7+ Ke6 55. Ra6+ Ke7 56. Kd5 Rh5 57. Ra7+ Kf8 58. Ra8+ Ke7 59. Ra7+ Kf8
1/2-1/2
[Event "Stavanger NOR"]
[Site "Stavanger NOR"]
[Date "2017.06.07"]
[Round "2.3"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C77"]
[WhiteElo "2786"]
[BlackElo "2808"]
[Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"]
[PlyCount "120"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Bc5 {An Archangel seems to be
a breath of fresh air after multiple Berlins and Marshalls.} 6. Nc3 $5 {
Something Vishy must have cooked before hand. A specialty of Dominguez, it is
very rare compared to 6.c3} b5 (6... O-O 7. Bxc6 dxc6 8. Nxe5 Re8 {recovers
the pawn, which makes castling a viable alternative to the move in the game})
7. Bb3 O-O 8. Nd5 (8. d3 h6 9. Nd5 {is much more common, seen in many of
Dominguez's games. Anand has his own idea, involving a pawn sacrifice.}) 8...
Nxe4 {Kramnik isn't one to refuse a challenge. Also, any other move lacks
justification} (8... h6 9. c3 {with the idea of a quick d4, looks dangerous}) (
8... Bb7 9. c3 {again might be an issue.}) 9. d3 Nf6 10. Bg5 Be7 11. Nxe7+ Qxe7
12. Re1 {After a more or less forced sequence we arrive at this position.
White clearly has compensation for the pawn: two bishops, pressure on e5 and
better development. Black must play accurately, but his position is still
solid and it is hard to crack any weakness. Sometimes, recovering e5 will not
be sufficient for an advantage.} h6 13. Bh4 (13. Bxf6 Qxf6 14. Bd5 Bb7 15. Nxe5
Nxe5 16. Bxb7 Rae8 {is completely fine for Black, even perhaps better for him
due to the superior piece placement!}) 13... Bb7 14. c3 Rfe8 15. d4 (15. Nxe5
Nxe5 16. d4 Nf3+ 17. gxf3 Qd6 {gives Black an edge. The crippled pawns on the
kingside are worth more than the, for now, uncoordinated bishops.}) 15... e4
16. Nd2 Na5 17. Bc2 g5 18. Bg3 Nc4 {Releasing some pressure off of e4 seems
natural, though Black now has to suffer against the activation of some
important pieces.} (18... d5 19. h4 {gives White obvious counterplay. The
position is still terribly murky.}) 19. Nxc4 bxc4 20. b3 Bd5 21. Be5 $6 {
despite recovering the pawn, this move isn't precise} (21. h4 $1 Qe6 22. hxg5
hxg5 23. Qd2 {puts real pressure on g5}) (21. Bxc7 $5 {is also worth
considering, as the bishop will hide on a5 without problems.}) 21... d6 22.
Bxf6 Qxf6 23. bxc4 Bxc4 24. Rxe4 Rxe4 25. Bxe4 Re8 {Material is even, but
Black retains a nagging edge now that his rook controls the only open file and
his pieces are slightly better placed.} 26. Bd3 Qe6 27. Bxc4 Qxc4 28. Qb3 Qd3
29. h3 Kg7 30. Rd1 Qe2 31. Rf1 Re6 32. Qd5 Qd2 {The situation hasn't changed.
Anand has played very well to get to this position and continues holding on.}
33. Qc4 a5 34. Qxc7 $2 {But this is a mistake. Giving Black the outside passed
pawn proves catastrophic.} (34. a4 Re1 {looks dangerous, but after} 35. Rxe1
Qxe1+ 36. Kh2 Qxf2 37. Qxc7 {there isn't anything but a perpetual.}) 34... Qxa2
35. c4 Qd2 36. Qb6 a4 37. Qa7 Qb4 38. f4 Re1 $1 {The transition to the queen
endgame is perfectly timed. The Black king is not easily caught in a perpetual
check.} 39. fxg5 Rxf1+ 40. Kxf1 hxg5 41. Kg1 Qxc4 (41... a3 {immediately was
winning.} 42. Kh2 Qb2 43. Qe7 Qd2 $1 {and White can't prevent the pawn from
advancing}) 42. Kh2 Qb4 43. Qe7 Qd2 44. Qa7 Qf4+ 45. Kh1 Qc1+ 46. Kh2 a3 47.
Qa5 Qf4+ 48. Kh1 Qc1+ 49. Kh2 Qe3 50. Kh1 f6 $2 (50... Kg6 {made Kramnik's
life slightly easier. The point is that White is almost zugzwanged, as the
queen has to keep an eye on the kingside and the a-pawn. This is easy for
computers to see, but for humans it's a huge headache to calculate queen
endgames.} 51. Qa8 Qb3 52. Qg8+ Kf5 53. Qh7+ Ke6 {and the king escapes
successfully.}) 51. Qa4 (51. Qc7+ Kg6 52. Qc4 $1 {would have made Black's task
much, much harder}) 51... Qc1+ 52. Kh2 Qf4+ 53. Kh1 Qe3 54. Kh2 Kf7 55. Kh1 (
55. Qa7+ Kg6 56. Qa8 Qb3 $1 {is winning. Black places the king on g7, the
queen on f7 and finally pushes a2.}) 55... Kg6 56. Qa8 (56. Qc4 $1 {is still
winning for Black, but much, much harder}) 56... Kg7 57. Qb7+ Kg6 58. Qa8 (58.
Qd5 $1) 58... Qb3 {Now the pawn advances without problems} 59. Qe4+ Kg7 60.
Qe7+ Qf7 0-1
[Event "Stavanger NOR"]
[Site "Stavanger NOR"]
[Date "2017.06.11"]
[Round "5.2"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C50"]
[WhiteElo "2786"]
[BlackElo "2812"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2017.06.06"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. a4 a6 7. c3 d5 8. exd5
Nxd5 9. Re1 (9. Nbd2 {is the main move in the position.}) 9... Bg4 (9... Nb6
10. Bb3 Bd6 11. Bg5 $16) 10. h3 Bh5 11. Nbd2 (11. g4 Bg6 12. Nxe5 Nxe5 13. Rxe5
c6 $44) 11... Nb6 12. Ba2 $5 {Anand sacrifices a pawn in order to go into an
endgame where he would have some compensation.} (12. Ne4 {is an interesting
move, but after} Nxc4 13. Nxc5 Nd6 14. g4 Bg6 {Black seems to be doing
completely fine.}) 12... Qxd3 13. a5 Bxf3 $1 (13... Nd7 14. Ne4 Qxd1 15. Rxd1
Bxf3 16. gxf3 Bd6 17. Nxd6 cxd6 18. Rxd6 $16) 14. Nxf3 Qxd1 15. Rxd1 {White
has the bishop pair and control of the d-file as the compensation for the pawn.
} Nc8 16. b4 Ba7 17. Re1 Nd6 {Wesley is a pragmatic player. He gives back the
pawn in order to get his piece co-ordinated.} 18. Nxe5 Nxe5 19. Rxe5 Rfe8 20.
Rxe8+ Rxe8 21. Kf1 Ne4 22. Bd5 c6 (22... Nxf2 23. Bxb7 $16) 23. Bxe4 Rxe4 24.
Bd2 Kf8 25. Re1 Rxe1+ 26. Bxe1 {The position is just drawn.} Ke7 27. Ke2 c5 28.
Kd3 cxb4 29. cxb4 Kd6 30. Kc4 b5+ 31. axb6 Bxb6 32. b5 axb5+ 33. Kxb5 1/2-1/2
[Event "Stavanger NOR"]
[Site "Stavanger NOR"]
[Date "2017.06.10"]
[Round "4.2"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D45"]
[WhiteElo "2793"]
[BlackElo "2832"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[EventDate "2017.06.06"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. e3 {The Meran. Whenever you see this
line, your mind is drawn to thousands of theoretical games played over the
years. But when Levon is on the white side you can always expect some fresh
ideas!} a6 6. b3 Bb4 7. Bd2 Nbd7 8. Bd3 O-O 9. O-O {So far so good. Both
players have developed and castled their king.} Qe7 10. Bc2 $5 {[%cal Gd3c2]
In a position where 200 games have been played Aronian comes up with a
novelty! That's Levon for you!} (10. a3 Bxa3 11. Rxa3 dxc4 $1 (11... Qxa3 12.
c5 {should be good compensation for White.}) 12. Bxh7+ Nxh7 13. Ra1 cxb3 14.
Qxb3 c5 {And Black has no problems. Now you understand why Bc2 was played. To
avoid the intermediate dxc4.}) 10... Rd8 11. a3 $5 {[%cal Ga2a3] A provocation.
} Bxa3 (11... Bd6 {Carlsen could have played this way, but he prefers the most
ambitious approach.}) 12. Rxa3 $3 {A brilliant exchange sacrifice and one of
the key ideas for moving the bishop to c2.} Qxa3 13. c5 b6 14. b4 (14. Nb1 {
might be a more accurate way to continue.} Qa2 15. Qc1 bxc5 16. Nc3 Qa5 17.
Nxd5 Qb5 18. Nc7 Qb8 19. Nxa8 Qxa8 20. Ba5 $16 {And White is clearly better.})
14... Ne4 $6 {Desperation from Magnus, who is crushed for space.} (14... Qb2 {
was the most accurate move to stay in the game, but not at all easy to play
such positions on the board.}) 15. Nxe4 dxe4 16. Bxe4 {Whit is threatening Qc2
now with the idea of trapping the queen.} Rb8 (16... Z0 17. Qc2 Nf6 18. Bxc6
$18) 17. Bxh7+ $3 {[%cal Ge4h7] A bolt from the blue. Objectively it is not
winning, but the complications are surely in White's favour.} Kxh7 18. Ng5+ Kg8
(18... Kg6 19. Qg4 $16 {is already very risky.}) 19. Qh5 Nf6 20. Qxf7+ Kh8 21.
Qc7 $1 {[%cal Gf7c7] Key move attacking both the rooks and threatening Nf7+}
Bd7 22. Nf7+ Kh7 23. Nxd8 Rc8 24. Qxb6 $16 {White has a tangible advantage.}
Nd5 25. Qa7 Rxd8 26. e4 Qd3 (26... Nf6 27. Bg5 $44) 27. exd5 Qxd2 28. Qc7 Qg5
29. dxc6 Bc8 30. h3 $1 {[%cal Gh2h3] A classy move! Black can do nothing much,
White just secures his backrank.} Qd5 31. Rd1 e5 $2 {The critical mistake of
the game.} (31... Rf8 32. Qd6 Qb3 33. Qxf8 Qxd1+ 34. Kh2 Qxd4 35. Qxc8 Qf4+ $11
{is just an illustrative line of how Black could have maintained the balance.})
32. Rd3 (32. Qe7 $1 {was stronger because of} exd4 33. Rd3 $18) 32... exd4 (
32... e4 {was better than what occurred in the game.}) 33. Qe7 Bf5 34. Rg3 {
Now it's all over.} Bg6 35. Qh4+ {After the king move, the bishop on g6 falls.
What a game by Levon! Genius is the only word that comes to my mind!} 1-0
[Event "Stavanger NOR"]
[Site "Stavanger NOR"]
[Date "2017.06.08"]
[Round "3.1"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B90"]
[WhiteElo "2832"]
[BlackElo "2785"]
[Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"]
[PlyCount "80"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 g6 {The reason that
this move is not very popular is that many consider 6.h3 to be more useful
generally than 6...a6 in the normal Dragon. That, however, is truly up to
debate.} 7. g3 Nc6 8. Be3 {An example of h3 being useful, normally this runs
into Ng4.} Bg7 9. Bg2 O-O 10. O-O Nd7 11. b3 Nxd4 12. Bxd4 Bxd4 13. Qxd4 {
Black plays unambitiously, hoping to defend a solid though slightly worse
position.} b6 14. Nd5 Bb7 15. c4 e5 {The weakness on d6 is not easy to target,
while Black hopes to use the break b5 and the control over the dark squares to
create counterplay.} (15... b5 {immediately was also possible.}) 16. Qe3 (16.
Qd2 {keeping pressure on d6 rather than on b6, seemed more logical. Black is
going to play b5 anyway.}) 16... b5 17. Rac1 bxc4 18. Rxc4 Bxd5 19. exd5 {
The eternal fight between the bishop and the knight. In this instance the
knight doesn't have many good anchor squares (it will get kicked out of c5 if
it goes there), on the other hand the bishop on g2 causes no great impression.}
a5 20. Rfc1 Nc5 21. a3 f5 $6 {Black gains space, but truly he simply weakens
his position.} (21... a4 {it's strange Nakamura did not go for this option} 22.
bxa4 $1 (22. b4 {strategically Black usually does not want to allow this, but
after} Nb3 {the knight heads for the d4 square}) 22... Qd7 {and the knight is
superb on c5.}) 22. b4 axb4 23. axb4 Nd7 24. Rc6 f4 25. gxf4 $1 {Black has to
decide how to lose a pawn} exf4 (25... Rxf4 26. Rxd6 Qe7 27. Re6 $1 Qxb4 28. d6
$1 {and with the bishop activated Black's position is difficult, but not
without resources:} (28. Rc7 {might be more precise}) 28... Ra3 29. Qe2 Qd4 {
with counterplay}) 26. Qe6+ Rf7 27. Qxd6 Qg5 {again Black finds resources.
Thanks to the exchange of the g-pawn, White's king is exposed and Nakamura
clings on to this as his hope to battle White's passed pawns.} 28. Kh1 (28.
Rc8+ Rxc8 (28... Kg7 29. h4 $1 {doesn't work for Black}) 29. Rxc8+ Kg7 30. Kh1
f3 31. Bf1 {was a better version of the game}) 28... f3 29. Bf1 Nf6 {The game
is certainly sharp. White is up material but his king is weak, and so are his
pawns. Black's king isn't particularly save either, and any move can be a
fatal mistake.} 30. Qe6 $6 {Now Nakamura finds strong counterplay} (30. Qg3
Qxg3 31. fxg3 Ra2 32. b5 Rb2 {is better for White, despite the passed position
of the f2 pawn}) 30... Kg7 {Unpinning the rook is an obvious start} 31. Rc7
Rxc7 $1 32. Rxc7+ Kh6 $1 {Black's king now hides on h6, where it is much safer
than on g8. With the weakness of White's king it is Carlsen that has to be
careful} 33. Qe1 Ra2 34. Re7 Ng4 {Forcing the result.} (34... Qxd5 {and Black
isn't in much danger, but he is not better either.}) 35. hxg4 Qh4+ 36. Kg1
Qxg4+ 37. Kh1 Qh4+ 38. Kg1 Qg4+ 39. Kh1 Qh4+ 40. Kg1 Qg4+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "Stavanger NOR"]
[Site "Stavanger NOR"]
[Date "2017.06.10"]
[Round "4.4"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A21"]
[WhiteElo "2771"]
[BlackElo "2786"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2017.06.06"]
1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Bb4 {Anand has been using this move quite often recently.} 3.
Nd5 Bc5 4. e3 Nf6 5. b4 Nxd5 6. bxc5 Nf6 7. Nf3 {We are following the game
Giri vs Grischuk. The Russian had now played Qe7, but Anand goes for Nc6.} Nc6
{A novelty! Quite a logical one though!} 8. Be2 O-O 9. Bb2 d6 10. cxd6 cxd6 11.
O-O {Overall White's position is preferable because he has the bishop pair and
the ability to break in the centre with d4.} Re8 12. a4 b6 13. d3 Bg4 14. h3
Bh5 15. g4 Bg6 16. Nh4 {Giri loves bishops! Perhaps the kingside weakening in
order to win the bishop was not worth it, but the position is nonetheless
quite interesting and balanced.} Rc8 17. Nxg6 hxg6 18. Bf3 g5 19. Bg2 Nd7 20.
f4 {Inspired play by the Dutch grandmaster. When you have the bishops, you
must open the position.} gxf4 21. exf4 Nc5 22. fxe5 dxe5 23. Bd5 Rf8 (23... Re7
{was possible, but White keeps the pressure with} 24. Qf3 Qd7 25. Rae1 $14) 24.
Qf3 Qd7 25. Bc3 Ne6 26. Rae1 Ne7 27. Rxe5 (27. Bxe6 fxe6 28. Qe4 $16) 27...
Nxd5 28. Rxd5 Qxa4 29. g5 Rc5 30. h4 Rxd5 31. cxd5 Nc5 (31... Qxh4 32. dxe6
Qxg5+ 33. Kh2 Qh6+ 34. Qh3 Qxh3+ 35. Kxh3 fxe6 {This is surely a better
position for White, but I think Black has enough resources to hold the draw.})
32. g6 Qd7 $2 33. Bb4 $1 {The idea in very simple words is d4 and there is no
way to stop the loss of material.} (33. Bb4 Qe7 34. d4 Qxh4 35. gxf7+ Kh8 36.
Qh1 $1 $18 {is a nice way to finish off the game.}) 1-0
[Event "Stavanger NOR"]
[Site "Stavanger NOR"]
[Date "2017.06.08"]
[Round "3.3"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C67"]
[WhiteElo "2781"]
[BlackElo "2786"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "66"]
[EventDate "2017.06.06"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. Re1 Nd6 6. Nxe5 Be7 7. Bf1 Nxe5
8. Rxe5 O-O 9. d4 Bf6 10. Re1 Re8 11. Bf4 Rxe1 12. Qxe1 Ne8 (12... Bxd4 13. c3
Bf6 14. Bxd6 cxd6 15. Na3 $44) 13. Nc3 Bxd4 14. Nd5 d6 (14... Bxb2 15. Rb1 Bf6
16. Qe4 $1 d6 17. Bd3 g6 18. Qxe8+ Qxe8 19. Nxf6+ Kf8 20. Nxe8 $18) 15. Bg5 f6
{This was already played in four games before.} 16. Bh4 $146 {This was
Karjakin's novelty.} (16. Be3 Be5 17. f4 Bxb2 18. Rb1 Ba3 19. Qa5 Bc5 20. Bxc5
dxc5 21. Qxc5 Qd6 22. Qxd6 cxd6 23. Ne7+ Kf7 24. Nxc8 Rxc8 25. Rxb7+ Rc7 26.
Rb2 f5 27. Bd3 $11 {1/2-1/2 (27) Andreikin,D (2733)-Jakovenko,D (2712)
Poikovsky 2016}) 16... Bxb2 17. Rb1 Be5 18. f4 c6 {The knight cannot move as
then the f4 pawn will fall.} 19. fxe5 cxd5 20. exf6 (20. e6 Qe7 $17) 20... Nxf6
{Black is two pawns up.} 21. Bd3 Bd7 22. h3 (22. Rxb7 Qc8 23. Rb1 Ne4 24. Bxe4
dxe4 25. Qxe4 Qc6 $11 {is even.}) 22... b5 (22... Bc6 {is also possible.}) 23.
Bxb5 Qe8 $1 {This forces the queen exchange.} 24. Qxe8+ (24. Qf1 $6 Bxb5 25.
Rxb5 Ne4 $15) 24... Bxe8 25. Ba6 Bg6 26. Bxf6 gxf6 27. Bb7 Re8 28. Bxd5+ {
White has recovered the pawns, Black has regained his activity. The game is
even.} Bf7 29. Bxf7+ Kxf7 30. Rb7+ Kg6 (30... Re7 31. Rxe7+ Kxe7 32. Kf2 {
Might be a dangerous endgame for Black to play.}) 31. Rxa7 Rc8 32. Rd7 Rxc2 33.
Rxd6 Rxa2 1/2-1/2
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.11"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B53"]
[WhiteElo "2808"]
[BlackElo "2785"]
[Annotator "Tiger Hillarp-Persson"]
[PlyCount "98"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Nc3 {The point of this move is to get Black to put the
knight on f6 before playing d4. In this way White avoids some of Black's most
popular antidotes.} (3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4 {and Black has three main options:} a6
(4... Nc6 5. Bb5 Bd7 {(Compare this position to the one that arises after 5...
Nc6 later.)} 6. Qd3 {is one of those awkward lines that are aimed at getting a
Maroczy setup, even at the price of playing some strange moves.} (6. Bxc6 Bxc6
7. Nc3 {, is similar to the game, but here Black can also play} h6 {,
intending e7-e5 and Nf6.}) 6... g6 7. O-O Bg7 8. c4 Nf6 9. Nc3 O-O 10. h3 a6
11. Bxc6 Bxc6 12. Nd4 {could be called a tabiya.}) (4... Nf6 {has become more
popular lately and White usually continues} 5. Bb5+ Bd7 6. c4 $5 (6. Bxd7+ Qxd7
7. c4 Nc6 8. Qd3 Qg4 9. Nc3 (9. O-O Qxe4 10. Qb3 Rb8 $2 (10... Ne5 $1 {and
White has little to show for having squandered the center.}) 11. Nc3 $36 {
Bozinovic,B (1969)-Vucinic,G (2294) Veliko Gradiste 2016}) 9... Qxg2 10. Rf1
Rc8 {was good for Black, in Carlsen,M (2855)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2789) Leuven
2016.}) 6... g6 7. Nc3 Bg7 8. O-O O-O 9. Qd3 {with another typical Maroczy/
Bb5+-Sicilian.}) 5. c4 Nc6 6. Qe3 $5 {The
let's-put-the-queen-on-a-strange-square has gone so far that "strange" has
aquired a different meaning. If it works it is good and works it does.} g6 7.
h3 Bh6 8. Qc3 Qa5 9. Qxa5 Nxa5 10. Bxh6 Nxh6 11. Nc3 Be6 12. b3 (12. Nd5 $1)
12... O-O 13. Nd4 Nc6 14. Nxe6 $2 fxe6 $15 {0-1 (49) Muzychuk,M (2528)-Edouard,
R (2636) Cap d'Agde 2015}) 3... Nf6 ({After} 3... a6 $5 {White's only decent
way to avoid the Najdorf is} 4. g3 $5 {when Black can choose between a dragon
set-up and a more traditional Taimanov- or Najdorf-fianchetto.}) 4. d4 cxd4 5.
Qxd4 a6 ({White is hoping for} 5... Nc6 6. Bb5 Bd7 7. Bxc6 Bxc6 8. Bg5 e6 9.
O-O-O {which is a whole different ball game. Last I checked theory seemed to
agree that Black is all right here, but with the rise of the machines it is
quite possible that this verdict has changed.} Be7 10. Qd3 Qa5 11. h4 {leads
to a sharp game, but whether it is balanced I don't know.}) 6. e5 $1 {
Otherwise Black gets a perfect Sicilian with Nc6 on the next move.} Nc6 7. Qa4
dxe5 8. Nxe5 Bd7 9. Nxd7 Qxd7 {White has gained the bishop pair, but Black has
a harmonious position and develops fast. Intuitively I would not evaluate this
position as "better for White", as my silicon friend does, but the more I look
at it the more I feel that I perhaps should.} 10. Bd2 {A logical move that
paves the way for 0-0-0, but there is also something to be said for the
alternative, more positional way:} (10. Be3 {White is aiming to play g3, Bg2,
Rd1 and then take it from there. Black cannot sit idly by and wait, but needs
to find a way to put a stick into White's wheel.} e6 (10... g6 $6 11. Rd1 Qc7
12. g3 Bg7 13. Bg2 O-O 14. O-O Rac8 15. Bf4 Qb6 16. Qb3 Qxb3 17. axb3 $14) 11.
Rd1 Qc7 12. g3 Bb4 (12... Be7 $6 13. Bg2 Rc8 14. O-O O-O 15. Bf4 Qb6 16. Qb3 {
and again White gets a comfortable engame advantage.}) 13. Bg2 O-O 14. Qb3 Ng4
15. Bf4 e5 16. Be3 Bxc3+ 17. Qxc3 Nxe3 18. fxe3 Rad8 {and Black is closing in
on equality. Still, this line clearly shows that Black is under some pressure.}
) (10. Bg5 {is less logical since it is Black's queenside that ought to be
attacked. After} e6 11. g3 Bb4 {White cannot play} 12. Bg2 $4 {due to} b5 13.
Qb3 Nd4 $1) 10... g6 {With white's king evacuating towards the queenside, it
is a good idea to aim the bishop towards b2.} 11. O-O-O Bg7 12. Bg5 {This is a
new move.} (12. Be3 Qc8 13. h3 $6 (13. g3 $5 {is more to the point, but I feel
Black should be fine here.}) 13... O-O 14. g4 {This arrangement is too slow
for White as it does not threaten the king while Black is not afraid to have
the knight kicked away from f6.} b5 15. Qb3 $6 Na5 (15... e6 $1) 16. Qb4 {
was unclear, in Blehm,P (2420)-Janssen,R (2345) Calicut 1998.}) 12... Qg4 (
12... Qf5 {is more ambitious. Perhaps Nakamura wanted to avoid Kramnik's
preparation, thinking "he probably thought I would keep the queens on, so I'll
swap them!". Maybe not.} 13. h4 (13. Bxf6 $2 Qxf6 {is absolutely horrendous
for White}) 13... O-O 14. f3 b5 15. Qf4 Qxf4+ 16. Bxf4 Rad8 {and with Black's
pieces are working very well together.}) 13. Bxf6 {From a general
which-piece-ought-to-be-swapped point of view, this move is a bit surprising,
but it soon becomes obvious that it is a good move.} Qxa4 14. Nxa4 ({Not} 14.
Bxg7 $2 Qf4+ 15. Kb1 Rg8 $19) 14... Bxf6 15. c3 $1 {This move restricts both
the knight and the bishop. Black has no equivalent move to neutralize White's
minor pieces and thus Black's queenside comes under pressure.} e6 {At some
point Black must take control of d5 and this is as good a time as any.} ({
The active} 15... b5 {doesn't solve Black's problems:} 16. Nc5 (16. Nb6 Ra7 17.
g3 e6 18. Bg2 Nb8 $5 19. Rd3 O-O 20. Rhd1 $36) 16... O-O {and although there
are other ways to get some advantage, the principled} 17. Nd7 {seems the
simplest. After} Rfe8 18. Nxf6+ exf6 19. g3 Ne5 20. h3 Rac8 21. Kb1 {Black's
knight is not quite at par with the bishop.}) (15... Rc8 16. g3 Rc7 17. Nb6 e6)
16. g3 Rc8 17. Bg2 Be7 18. Rd2 h5 $1 {Since there is no way to exchange ones
way out of the pressure, priority number one becomes to get some counterplay.}
(18... O-O 19. Nb6 Rc7 20. Rhd1 Rd8 21. Rxd8+ Nxd8 22. Kc2 {and White has
terrific pressure on the queenside.}) 19. Rhd1 (19. h4 $2 {would reduce
White's winning chances significantly as the kingside pawns are set to be
chewed on by Black's bishop.}) 19... h4 20. Nb6 (20. g4 $2 Bg5) 20... Rc7 21.
Na8 {This kind of repetition saves time and also sends a message to the
opponent about who is in the drivers seat.} Rc8 22. Nb6 Rc7 (22... Rd8 23. b4
hxg3 24. hxg3 Rxd2 25. Rxd2 Rh2 26. Bxc6+ bxc6 27. a4 {, followed by Nc4, is
difficult for Black as both a6, c6 and - at some point - f7 are weak.}) 23. f4
$1 hxg3 24. hxg3 Rh5 (24... g5 $6 25. f5 $1 exf5 26. Nd5 Rc8 27. Rf2 {is just
awful for Black. Observe that} Rh2 $2 {fails due to} 28. Nb6 $1 {followed by
Bxc6+ and Rxh2.}) 25. Na8 $1 Rc8 26. Rd7 $1 {A wonderful concept built on the
strength of the unopposed bishop.} Rh2 (26... Rxa8 27. Rxb7 Rc8 (27... Nd8 28.
Rxe7+ Kxe7 29. Bxa8 $16) 28. Bxc6+ Rxc6 29. Rb8+ {and Black has to give the
bishop.}) 27. Be4 $1 Re2 28. Bxc6 $2 {This move ruins it for Kramnik.} ({
The best move is} 28. Bf3 $1 {The point is that if Black plays} Re3 {, then} (
28... Rh2 29. Nb6 Rd8 30. Rxb7 $16) 29. Bxc6 bxc6 30. Nc7+ Kf8 31. Rh1 Bf6 32.
Rh7 Bg7 {looks almost exactly like the game, with the exception of the
placement of Black's active rook. In the game it is on e2, but here it is on
e3. But how can this be better for White? Now the rook is not just active but
also threatening a pawn! However, what is most important is that the rook is
not just on a casual stroll, windowshopping for g-pawns, but on an important
mission to protect the e6-pawn. If the rook moves away White will strike with
Nxe6! So, White can continue with} 33. Kd2 $1 {and the rook ends up in a
pickle:} Re4 (33... Rxg3 $1 {might be the best still although} 34. Nxe6+ fxe6
35. Rdxg7 Rg2+ 36. Kc1 $1 (36. Ke3 Rxb2 37. Ra7 Kg8 {is less clear.}) 36...
Rg1+ 37. Kc2 Rg2+ 38. Kb3 Rb8+ 39. Rb7 Rxb7+ 40. Rxb7 Rg4 41. Ra7 Rxf4 42. Rxa6
g5 43. Rxc6 Kf7 44. a4 g4 45. Rd6 {and White should win.}) 34. b3 c5 35. Rh1 c4
36. b4 e5 37. f5 $1 gxf5 38. Rh5 Rg4 39. Rxf5 Rxg3 40. Ke2 $1 f6 41. Kf2 Rg4 (
41... Rxc3 $2 42. Ne6+) 42. a4 {with complete domination.}) 28... bxc6 29. Nc7+
Kf8 30. Rh1 Bf6 31. Nxa6 Ra8 $1 {Black's activity is no less valuable than
White's extra pawn.} 32. Nb4 (32. Rh7 $2 Rxa6 33. Rhxf7+ (33. Rdxf7+ Kg8) 33...
Ke8) 32... c5 33. Nd3 Rxa2 34. Kb1 Ra8 $1 35. Nxc5 Rb8 36. Rb7 Rxb7 37. Nxb7
Rg2 38. Rh3 g5 $1 {Improving the scope of the bishop and opening up a road
towards g4 for the king.} 39. fxg5 Bxg5 40. Nc5 Be7 $1 {If White's knight goes
to d3, the bishop will control if from d6. If the knight goes to e4, then the
bishop is already in the right spot and Black can play f7-f5.} 41. Nd3 Bd6 42.
Nf4 Rf2 43. Rh4 (43. b4 Ke7 $1 {and White cannot go forward with the pawns
without the support of the king.} (43... Bxf4 44. gxf4 Rxf4 45. Kb2 Ke7 46. Kb3
f5 {also works, but there is no reason for Black to hurry with such an
exchange.})) 43... Ke7 44. Rg4 Rf1+ 45. Kc2 Rf2+ 46. Kb3 Rd2 47. Rg8 Rf2 48.
Rg4 Rd2 49. Rg8 Rf2 1/2-1/2
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.06"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D80"]
[WhiteElo "2785"]
[BlackElo "2771"]
[Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"]
[PlyCount "133"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Bg5 Ne4 5. Bh4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 dxc4 7. e3 Be6 8.
Qb1 b6 9. Nh3 Bh6 10. Bg5 Bxg5 11. Nxg5 Qd5 12. Nxe6 Qxe6 13. Qb4 Qd5 14. Qxc4
Qxc4 15. Bxc4 e6 16. Be2 Nd7 17. a4 Ke7 18. a5 c6 19. Kd2 b5 20. Rab1 Rab8 21.
Rb2 f5 22. Rhb1 Kd6 23. f3 e5 24. c4 exd4 25. cxb5 cxb5 26. Bxb5 dxe3+ 27. Kxe3
{Let us start looking at the game here. Before this, it was a Grunfeld and we
got to this position which, though perhaps almost equal, does hold a bit of
danger for Black. Bishops are superior to knights, and the kingside pawns will
be vulnerable to an attack by the light-squared diagonal user. This endgame is
a bit reminiscent of what Fischer called the "minor exchange".} Nf6 28. Bc4
Rxb2 (28... Rhe8+ 29. Kd4 Rbd8 $1 {Was the unnatural, but best way, to hold.
The point is that the rooks create an unsafe environment for the kings, which
makes it difficult for White to make progress.} 30. Rb7 Kc6+ 31. Kc3 Re3+ 32.
Kc2 Rd4 {for example}) 29. Rxb2 Re8+ 30. Kd4 {Notice how Black's knight is
uncomfortably controlled compared to White's bishop.} Re7 31. Rb8 Rd7 32. Rc8
Rb7 33. a6 $1 {Puttin in the squeeze. The rook can't stay on the seventh rank,
but there isn't enough time to create counterplay.} Rb4 (33... Re7 34. Bb5 {
and the surprising checkmate on c6 is not so easy to parry.}) 34. Kc3 Ra4 35.
Kb3 Nd7 36. Bb5 (36. Kxa4 Nb6+ 37. Kb5 Nxc8 38. Bg8 h6 {is no dangerous for
Black as there is no penetration square once the knight reaches e7}) 36... Ra5
37. Kb4 Ra1 38. Rd8 Rb1+ 39. Ka5 Ra1+ 40. Kb4 Rb1+ 41. Ka4 Ra1+ 42. Kb3 Rb1+
43. Kc4 Rc1+ 44. Kd3 Rc7 45. Kd4 {Black has stabilized from now, but he is far
from out of danger.} Ke7 46. Ra8 Kd6 47. h4 $1 {Now phase two, if you will:
White advances a bit on the kingside to creat threats} Ke7 $2 {An unfortunate
timing} (47... Nb6 48. Rh8 Ke6 49. Re8+ Kd6 50. h5 {is still very hard to hold}
) 48. Bxd7 $1 {Nakamura does not miss his chances. The rook endgame is
hopeless.} Rxd7+ (48... Kxd7 49. Kd5 Ke7 50. Rh8 Kf6 51. Kd6 {and everything
falls apart} Rc2 {! the only way to resist} 52. Rxh7 Rxg2 53. Rxa7) 49. Ke5 Kf7
50. Rb8 {This is the killing maneuver. Any rook trade is hopeless.} Re7+ 51.
Kd5 Kf6 52. Rb7 Re5+ 53. Kd4 Ra5 54. Rxa7 {This endgame is sometimes a draw,
but not in this csae, with a weak kingside and the pawn on the sixth and not
the seventh, as you will find out why soon!} f4 55. Kc4 Ra2 56. Kc5 h5 57. Ra8
Rc2+ 58. Kb6 Rb2+ 59. Kc5 Rc2+ 60. Kb6 Rb2+ 61. Ka7 Rxg2 62. Rb8 Rf2 63. Rb6+
Kg7 64. Kb7 Rxf3 65. a7 Ra3 66. Ra6 Rb3+ 67. Kc6 1-0
[Event "Stavanger NOR"]
[Site "Stavanger NOR"]
[Date "2017.06.06"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B12"]
[WhiteElo "2796"]
[BlackElo "2786"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "87"]
[EventDate "2017.06.06"]
1. e4 c6 {Anand goes for the Caro Kann. It was with this opening that he had
defeated MVL at the Leuven rapid. So why not again?!} 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 $5 {
Risky stuff. Usually 3...Bf5 is considered to be normal. But here Black goes
for something much combative.} 4. Ne2 (4. dxc5 {is the main move.}) 4... Nc6 5.
c3 Bg4 6. h3 (6. f3 {is what people usually play.}) 6... Bxe2 7. Bxe2 e6 {
I would already feel that Black is comfotable. He has exchanged his
problematic bishop in the French and has a clear cut plan of development for
his remaining guys. The knight could go from e7 or h6 to f5, bishop to e7
followed by 0-0. The queen can come to b6 and put pressure on d4. All that
being said, White has the bishop pair and also more space. So we can say he is
slightly better.} 8. O-O Qb6 {The pressure on the d4 pawn forces White to
release the tension.} 9. dxc5 Bxc5 10. b4 Be7 11. Be3 Qc7 {It's true that
White's pawn structure is not the best, but he has free flowing development.
It's always a trade off between more than one advantage.} 12. f4 Nh6 13. Na3 (
13. g4 {Stopping Nf5, but seems to weakening.} O-O 14. Nd2 f6 $1 15. exf6 Bxf6
$13 16. g5 Nf5 $1) 13... a6 14. Bd3 O-O 15. Nc2 f6 $1 {At the right moment
Black breaks in the centre and equalizes the position. This is extremely
important, because if White is able to get a grip on the position with Nd4, it
would be very difficult for Black to wriggle out.} 16. Nd4 (16. exf6 Bxf6 $11)
16... Nxd4 $1 (16... Qd7 $6 17. Qc2 $1 fxe5 18. Bxh7+ Kh8 19. Nxc6 bxc6 20.
fxe5 $16) 17. Bxd4 (17. cxd4 Bxb4 18. Rc1 Qe7 {White has some compensation but
nothing special.}) 17... fxe5 18. Bxe5 Bd6 19. Bxd6 Qxd6 $11 {Black is
completely fine. The e6 weakness is compensated by the c3 weakness. The knight
will stand well on f5. In general Anand has nothing to worry.} 20. Qd2 Nf5 21.
Rae1 Rac8 22. Re5 Rf6 (22... g6 $11) 23. Rfe1 (23. Bxf5 Rxf5 24. Rxf5 exf5 25.
Re1 {White keeps a miniscule edge.}) 23... g6 24. Bxf5 gxf5 25. Qe3 Rc6 26. a4
Qc7 27. c4 $1 {A very strong pawn sacrifice by Maxime.} Rxc4 (27... dxc4 {
What exactly is the problem with this move?} 28. b5 $1 axb5 29. axb5 Rd6 30.
Rc5 Qd7 31. Qe5 Rg6 32. Rxc4 $16) 28. Rxe6 Re4 $1 29. Qg3+ Qg7 30. Re8+ Rf8 {
It's quite a funny position where all the pieces are aiming against each other.
In the next three moves, all three pairs of major pieces come off and the game
peters out into a drawn pawn endgame.} 31. Qxg7+ Kxg7 32. R1xe4 fxe4 (32...
dxe4 {was also enough for a draw.} 33. Rxf8 Kxf8 34. g4 Kf7 35. Kf2 Ke6 36. Ke3
b5 37. a5 Kf6 $11) 33. Rxf8 Kxf8 34. Kf2 d4 35. g4 Kf7 36. h4 h5 37. gxh5 Kf6
38. h6 Kg6 39. f5+ Kxh6 40. a5 Kh5 41. Ke2 Kh6 42. Kf2 Kh5 43. Ke2 Kh6 44. Kf2
{A fine counterattacking game by Anand. He didn't really have to struggle much
for the half point.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.12"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A21"]
[WhiteElo "2805"]
[BlackElo "2786"]
[Annotator "Tiger Hillarp-Persson"]
[PlyCount "94"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. c4 {This is rare occurance for Caruana who usually starts out with 1.e4.} ({
It is worth comparing what happens in the game with the not purely fictional
line:} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 d6 7. Nf3
Nbd7 8. e3 (8. g3) 8... Re8 9. b4 e5 10. Be2 c6 {when we get a position that
will arise later in this game, but with Black to move.} (10... e4 $1)) 1... e5
{I have heard GM:s saying that the problem with the English is - in order - 1..
.e5, 1...c5 and 1...e6, and then there is nothing wrong with 1...Nf6 or 1...c6.
Further down on the list 1...b6 and 1...g6 argues about which one is the most
respectable.} 2. Nc3 ({When Mihail Marin wrote his wonderful books on the
English, he chose to recommend} 2. g3 {as the second move here. The only
downside to leaving out Nc3, is that Black can play the immediate} c6 3. d4 (3.
Nf3 e4 {is another fashionable possibility.}) 3... e4 $5 4. Nc3 d5 {and Black
seems to be doing fine.}) 2... Bb4 $5 ({Another Bb4-line arises after} 2... Nf6
3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bb4 {This line was already at the center of attention in the
classic Wch match between Kasparov and Karpov, in 1987. Their 2:nd and 4:th
game (with Kasparov as White) both went} (4... d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5) 5. Bg2 O-O 6.
O-O e4 7. Ng5 Bxc3 8. bxc3 Re8 9. f3 $1 {Lately White has been scoring very
well here and Caruana was able to score a nice win against Anand in the Moscow
Candidates 2016 (a game that has been excellently commented on in CBM by
Mihail Marin). He was possibly hoping to repeat this line.} exf3 10. Nxf3 d5
11. d4 dxc4 12. Qc2 h6 13. Bf4 Ne4 14. Rad1 Bf5 15. Ne5 Nd6 $6 16. e4 Bh7 17.
Qe2 $14 {Caruana,F (2794)-Anand,V (2762) Moscow 2016.}) (2... c6 {is not as
good here as after 2.g3, as} 3. Nf3 $1 d6 4. d4 {leaves Black with little
choice but to play either the Old Indian or a sideline of the KID.} Nd7 5. e4
$14) 3. Nd5 (3. g3 Bxc3 4. bxc3 $1 (4. dxc3 d6 5. Bg2 Nc6 6. Nf3 Nge7 {is even
nicer for Black.}) 4... d6 $1 5. Bg2 Ne7 $5 {and Black is well organized to
deal with any central set-up that White might choose. The knight is more
flexible on e7 than on f6 and it is a good reason to try Bb4 before Nf6.}) 3...
Bc5 (3... Be7 $5 4. d4 (4. g3) 4... d6 5. e4 Nf6 6. Nxe7 Qxe7 7. f3 exd4 8.
Qxd4 Nc6 {is another insteresting line, where White has to decide where the
queen is best placed. 9.Qc3 seems to be the consensus, but in a game against
Ginger GM in 2015 I came to the conclusion that e3 looked like a better square:
} 9. Qe3 O-O 10. Ne2 {This is why I didn't want my queen on c3.} a5 11. Nc3 Nb4
12. Qd2 Nd7 13. a3 Nc6 14. Nd5 Qd8 15. Qc3 f5 16. exf5 Ne7 17. g4 Nxd5 18. cxd5
Qh4+ 19. Kd1 Ne5 $2 (19... Nc5 20. Be3 Bd7 $13) 20. Bf4 $16 {Hillarp Persson,T
(2521)-Williams,S (2439) London 2015}) 4. Nf3 c6 5. Nc3 d6 {Anand reached this
position no less than five times in 2016 and obviously has a lot of faith in
its soundness.} 6. e3 (6. g3 Nf6 7. Bg2 O-O 8. O-O Re8 9. d3 (9. d4 exd4 10.
Nxd4 a5 11. b3 Bg4 12. h3 Bh5 13. Bb2 {, looks a bit better for White, to me,
but Black's pieces are active and I can understand why this kind of position
would suit Anands active style.}) 9... h6 10. Na4 Bb4 11. a3 Ba5 12. b4 Bc7 13.
e4 Bg4 $132 {Caruana,F (2820)-Anand,V (2775) 8th London Classic 2016}) (6. a3
Nf6 7. e3 (7. Na4 e4) 7... e4 (7... Bb6 $5) 8. Nd4 O-O 9. d3 d5 10. cxd5 cxd5
11. Be2 Qe7 12. b4 Bb6 13. O-O Rd8 {, was perhaps somewhat more comfortable
for White, in Topalov,V (2760)-Anand,V (2775) Champions Showdown 2016.}) 6...
Bb4 $1 7. d4 Nd7 ({It seems that Anand either has lost faith in or got bored
with} 7... Bxc3+ 8. bxc3 e4 9. Nd2 Nf6 {Nakamura played the principled} 10. Ba3
{and only got half a point out of two:} (10. f3 exf3 $6 (10... Bf5 $5) 11. Qxf3
O-O 12. h3 Qa5 13. Bb2 (13. e4 $1) 13... Qf5 $132 {Nepomniachtchi,I (2740)
-Anand,V (2775) 10th Tal Mem 2016}) 10... b6 (10... O-O 11. c5 $5 d5 12. Be2
Re8 13. O-O b5 14. Bc1 a6 15. a4 Qd7 16. f4 ({It seems to me (and the engine)
that something like} 16. axb5 cxb5 17. f3 exf3 18. Rxf3 {, intending a
sacrifice on f6, surely must be much better for White.}) 16... exf3 17. Nxf3
Ne4 18. Ne5 $6 Rxe5 19. dxe5 Nxc3 20. Qc2 Nxa4 21. e4 Qe8 22. Bd3 $2 d4 $1 {
and Black went on to win, in Nakamura,H (2775)-Anand,V (2775) Champions
Showdown 2016.}) 11. f4 $6 (11. f3 $1) 11... c5 $1 12. Be2 h5 13. Qc2 Bf5 14.
g3 Nc6 15. h3 Qd7 {and White was lucky to escape with a draw, in Nakamura,H
(2775)-Anand,V (2775) Champions Showdown Rapid 2016. Nimzowitsch could rise
from the dead just to get a chance to play this position from the black side.})
8. Qc2 {A sensible way to avoid the doubled pawn on c3.} Ngf6 9. a3 Bxc3+ 10.
Qxc3 O-O 11. Be2 Re8 12. b4 {This pawn move always make me cringe on the
inside. I'm not saying that it is bad, but when Black starts shuffling his
pieces around on the light squares it might be nice to still have this pawn on
b3. I guess there are a few GM:s who feel with me, but the majority seem to
value space more than any vague notions about light squares.} e4 $1 {[%cal
Ge5e4] This is one of those moves that you shouldn't hesitate to make. It is
clearly the best Black can hope for with this pawn structure.} 13. Nd2 d5 $1 {
This is where I first logged in to watch the games and I felt something had
gone wrong for Caruana. (...and I also felt that the b4 pawn might have been
happier on b3, so that White could play Ba3 and perhaps Qc3-b4-d6.)} 14. a4 ({
The engines love - if that is the right word - to play} 14. c5 $5 {, but
although White gets a free hand on the queenside, the same is basically true
for Black on the kingside. Also, should White choose to play 0-0-0, it is
still possible to apply the can opener with b6 and a5.} Nf8 15. h3 Ng6 16. a4
Bd7 17. b5 Nh4 18. Kf1 (18. O-O Qc8 19. Kh2 Nxg2) (18. Rg1 Qc7) (18. g3 Nf3+ $1
19. Nxf3 exf3 20. Bxf3 cxb5 {and Bc1 is a hundred miles awar from a life.})
18... h6 {and with Nf6-h7-g5 coming next, White must start wondering whether
it will be enough to get a rook down to b7? (The answer is: probably not.)})
14... dxc4 $1 {[%cal Gd5c4] If White had more pressure on e4, this would not
be recommendable, but in this situation Black is better developed, has a
wonderful square for a knight on d5 and does not have to worry about e4.} 15.
Nxc4 Nb6 $1 16. Na5 (16. Ne5 Nfd5 $1) (16. O-O Bg4 $1 17. Bxg4 Nxg4 18. h3 Nf6
19. Bd2 {and the engine wants me to believe that the position is almost equal.
Well... after} Nfd5 20. Qb3 Nxc4 21. Qxc4 Re6 22. b5 Qd7 23. Qb3 a6 $1 24. bxc6
Rxc6 25. Rfc1 Rac8 {I would under no circumstances want to play the White side.
}) 16... Nbd5 (16... Nfd5 17. Qd2 Qg5 {looks very promising too.}) 17. Qd2 Qc7
18. h3 Re6 $5 {[%cal Ge8e6] A lovely move that has more than one function. ON
one hand it is ready to attack the kingside at any moment, but also it might
come in handy if White continues with b4-b5.} 19. Ba3 (19. Nc4 Ne8 20. b5 cxb5
(20... a6 21. bxa6 b5 $5) 21. axb5 Nd6 22. Nxd6 Rxd6 23. Bb2 Rg6 24. Rc1 Qd6
25. Kf1 Be6 26. Rc5 Qd7) ({White's natural plan is to play b4-b5, but when
Black's pieces are so well organized and active, it tends to backfire:} 19. b5
$6 cxb5 20. axb5 Bd7 $1 21. Ba3 b6 22. Rc1 Qb8 23. Nc6 Qe8 {and pawns will
fall.}) 19... a6 20. Nb3 $6 {This knight is feeling a bit lost. It was well
placed on a5, but there was no way forward. Now it seeks greener pastures, but
it turns out to be no better than the last one. In the mean time Anand
improves his forces coordination further.} Ne8 $3 {[%cal Gf6e8] Another great
move. From d6 the knight keeps and eye on e4, c4 and f5, while it makes b4-b5
harder to play for White. It also opens the road to g6 for the rook. You
cannot ask for more of one move.} 21. Nc5 Rg6 22. g3 ({It's horrible to leave
the f-pawn behind in this way, but} 22. Kf1 Nd6 {was not an option.}) 22... Nd6
23. a5 {This move looks like a sign of desperation. Not only does White give
up all future counterplay on the queenside, but also the bishop on a3 gets
completely entombed. I would normally give such a move a "?!", but I trust
that Caruana had better reasons that my engine and I can whip up in five
minutes.} Bf5 $1 24. Qc2 Re8 25. O-O-O Qc8 (25... Ra8 $5) 26. g4 Bd7 27. Kb1 f5
$5 {[%cal Gf7f5]} ({There is some kind of mute, unformulated guideline, that
tells me to attack the g4-pawn with} 27... h5 {rather than move the f-pawn.
Perhaps it is because I prefer to keep my pawns in one long chain. However, in
this position, Anands choice makes even more sense as it opens the f-file
towards f2.} 28. Rh2 hxg4 29. hxg4 Bxg4 30. Rdh1 f5 $17) 28. gxf5 Rf6 29. Rdg1
Bxf5 30. h4 Ref8 31. Rh2 Kh8 {It seems that Anand is keeping the tempo up as
Caruana feels the pressure from the clock.} ({Here I see no defence against}
31... Qc7 32. Rhg2 Bc8 $1 {and the f2-pawn falls:} 33. Bc1 (33. Bd1 Nb5 $19) (
33. Bf1 Qf7) (33. Rxg7+ Qxg7 34. Rxg7+ Kxg7 {is utterly hopeless for White who
has only one active piece.}) 33... Rxf2) 32. Qd2 Rg6 33. Rxg6 hxg6 $5 {This
makes things a bit harder, but in time pressure it is almost impossible for
White to find the defence.} (33... Bxg6) 34. h5 $1 g5 35. h6 g6 36. Bb2 $6 {
After this move White is irreversibly lost. The only chance was to try to
exchange Be2 for another piece than Black's bishop:} (36. Bd1 $1 Bg4 37. Bb3
Bf3 $1 38. Qc1 {and White can try something with Bxd5 and then queen to g3.
Still, Black should win with g4 and then Rf8-f5-h5.}) 36... Bg4 $1 37. Bf1 Kh7
38. Ka1 Bf3 {To quote Italo Svevo, White's position has become the "tomb of
its (sic) good intentions". The rest is just a demonstration of how helpless
White is.} 39. Rh3 g4 40. Rg3 Rf5 41. Na4 Qf8 42. Nb6 Qxh6 43. Nxd5 cxd5 44.
Qc1 Qh1 45. Qc7+ {This loses fast, but everything else loses almost as fast.}
Rf7 46. Qxd6 Qxf1+ 47. Ka2 Be2 {[%csl Rb2][%cal Gf3e2] White has no way to
deal with Bc4+, followed by Qd3, so he resigned.} 0-1
[Event "Norway Chess 2017"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.14"]
[Round "7.3"]
[White "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C54"]
[WhiteElo "2808"]
[BlackElo "2832"]
[Annotator "Hess, R"]
[PlyCount "79"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:56:02"]
[BlackClock "0:00:11"]
{Kramnik was happy to have the white pieces against Magnus, as he's faced the
World Champion with black in many of their recent games.} 1. e4 e5 {In the
post-game interview Kramnik admitted that he was expecting Carlsen, who sat at
just 2.5/6, to play a Sicilian.} 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 {The Italian game continues
to be played at the game's highest level. Kramnik, who plays both 1. d4 and 1.
e4, remains one of the toughest players to prepare for.} Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 d6
6. O-O a6 7. Re1 (7. Bb3 {is the most common continuation, but Kramnik had a
particular position in mind when he entered the Giuoco Piano.}) 7... Ba7 8. a4
O-O 9. h3 Ne7 10. d4 Ng6 11. Nbd2 c6 12. Bd3 {Kramnik referred to this as a
"dangerous move" for it prevents Black from playing d5. White's idea is to
maneuver the knight to g3 and keep the center protected. If Black is forced to
sit passively, then he certainly is worse.} Re8 $146 {The game's first new
move.} ({Previously tried was} 12... exd4 13. Nxd4 Re8 14. N2f3 Bd7 15. Bc2 d5
{which resulted in a draw in Sjugirov,S (2660)-Eliseev,U (2606) St Petersburg
2016.}) 13. Bc2 h6 14. Nf1 exd4 {Carlsen likely became tired of sitting and
waiting.} (14... d5 15. exd5 e4 16. Ne5 cxd5 17. Nxg6 fxg6 18. Bf4 {provides
White a longterm structural advantage. Sure, at the moment Black is not doing
that badly, but White will plant his knight on e3 and eventually chip away at
the Black center. The pawn on e4 can be undermined by a timely c4 and f3 will
also be an idea to spring free the bishop.}) ({A patient continuation, which
still slightly favors White, is} 14... Qc7 15. Ng3 Bd7 16. Be3 c5) 15. cxd4 c5
(15... d5 16. e5 Ne4 17. Ng3 {the essential point of this move - as compared
to N1d2 - is that it prevents Black from playing Bf5. Liquidation, even at the
cost of the d-pawn, often optimizes Black's equalizing chances.} (17. Bxe4 dxe4
18. Rxe4 {is an extra pawn in exchange for compensation on the light squares.
White claims a temporary advantage but Black's quick development and pressure
on the d4 pawn gives him a decent game.}) (17. N1d2 {should also be considered,
but White needs to keep an eye on the tactic} Nxe5 {which doesn't work out.} (
17... Bf5 18. Nxe4 Bxe4 19. Bxe4 dxe4 20. Rxe4 Qd5 {is a nice blockade. White
is slightly better thanks to the extra pawn, but Black is incredibly solid.})
18. Nxe5 Rxe5 19. Nxe4 (19. dxe5 Nxf2 {allows chaos to ensue, and I think it
would only favor Black. Test the lines for yourself!}) 19... Rxe4 20. Bxe4 dxe4
21. Rxe4 Bf5 {and Black is an exchange down with the best-case scenario of
holding a draw.}) 17... Nxg3 18. fxg3 {is good for White. The doubled pawns
are an asset, as g3-g4-g5 is a threat and the open f-file will allow pressure
on the kingside.}) 16. d5 (16. Be3 cxd4 17. Bxd4 {according to Kramnik is
pleasant for White, but nothing special.}) 16... b5 17. axb5 axb5 18. Ng3 ({
Kramnik felt that} 18. b4 {was premature.} cxb4 (18... Bd7 19. Rxa7 $1 Rxa7 20.
bxc5 dxc5 21. e5 {is a problem. Carlsen would have nothing better than to
sacrifice his knight and rely on the queenside passers as compensation.}) (
18... Bb7 {Kramnik suggested this strange move, but I doubt even he takes it
that seriously. The exchange sacrifice on a7 no longer works since d5 is under
threat, but now White can consider the typical kingside initiative.}) 19. Be3
Qc7 {and despite the odd placement of Black's pieces, Kramnik wasn't sure if
he had anything here. After further review, in my estimation all he has is the
slightly worse chances.}) 18... Bd7 19. Be3 Bb6 (19... Qc7 20. Qd2 c4 21. Bxh6
{looks very dangerous for Black, as Kramnik correctly pointed out in the
postmortem. But Carlsen would have the fantastic intermezzo} c3 $1 {freeing
the c3 square for the queen to simultaneously attack and defend. The flurry of
tactical sacrifices gives Black excellent chances.} 22. bxc3 gxh6 23. Qxh6 Qxc3
24. Rac1 Bxh3 $1 25. Qxh3 Bxf2+ $1 26. Kxf2 Ra2 27. Re2 Nf4 {Is a messy
variation. It's no wonder the computers tend to give positions like this
straight zeros.} 28. Qf5 Nxe2 29. Nxe2 Nxe4+ 30. Bxe4 Qxc1 31. Ng5 Rxe2+ (31...
Qc5+ 32. Kg3 Ra7 {is not for the faint of heart. The minor pieces are
preferred, but only if they coordinate well to pressure the enemy king.}) 32.
Kxe2 Qc4+ 33. Kf2 Qd4+ {with a likely draw.}) 20. Rxa8 Qxa8 21. b4 Qa7 (21...
Rc8 22. Qd2 {keeps both the pin and kingside threats alive.}) 22. Qa1 $1 {
A really nice move. Queen exchanges should favor White, whose pawn mass in the
center attacks pieces when they push forward.} Qc7 $2 {Played quickly, because
- as Magnus told Kramnik after the game - Carlsen just missed White's next
move.} (22... Ra8 23. Qxa7 Rxa7 24. Rd1 {White's initiative here has grown
tremendously. The pin on the dark squares coupled with the threat of capturing
on c5 and playing e4-e5 is a lot to handle.}) (22... Qxa1 23. Rxa1 Rb8 24. bxc5
Bxc5 (24... dxc5 25. Rd1) 25. Bxc5 dxc5 26. Ra7 {optically looks great for
White, but those queenside passers are also a great deal to handle.}) 23. Bxh6
{The only reason Carlsen would miss such a move is if he is in poor playing
shape. It obviously undermines the protection of the knight on f6 by capturing
an important kingside pawn. A strange oversight.} cxb4 24. Bxg7 Qxc2 (24...
Kxg7 25. Nh5+ {is lights out.} Kh6 (25... Kf8 26. Qxf6 Bxf2+ 27. Kxf2 Qxc2+ 28.
Kg3) 26. Qc1+ Kh7 27. Nxf6+) 25. Qxf6 Qxf2+ (25... Bxf2+ {was the last real
chance to salvage a half point. [Carlsen thought it was hopeless and felt that
taking with the queen would give better practical chances - PD.]} 26. Kh2 Bxe1
(26... Qc3 27. Re2 Qxf6 28. Bxf6 Bc5 ({Kramnik mentioned} 28... Bxg3+ 29. Kxg3
{but this is just great for White. Material may be equal, but pawn structure
and minor piece placement clearly favor White.}) 29. Nh5 {keeps Black fighting,
but of course White has excellent winning chances. Most of Black's pawns and
pieces are paralyzed, whereas White can move more freely.}) 27. Bh6 Qc3 28. e5
{with mate on g7.}) 26. Kh2 Bd8 27. Qxd6 (27. Qb2 Qxb2 28. Bxb2 {is also good
for White, but Kramnik has no reason to liquidate rather than attempt to
deliver checkmate.}) 27... Nh4 28. Nxh4 Bxh4 29. Nh5 {Apparently Carlsen
missed this move, too. A bad day at the office for the highest rated player in
the world.} Bxh3 (29... Qxe1 30. Qh6 {leads to forced mate.}) 30. Rg1 (30. Kxh3
$2 Qxe1 {and it is Black who wins.}) 30... Bg5 31. Bf6 Bg4 (31... Bxg2 32. Qg3
$1 {was an amazing winning resource, and the only one at that.} (32. Rxg2 $2
Qh4+ {is a draw by repetition.} 33. Kg1 Qe1+ 34. Kh2 Qh4+ {is a draw by
repetition.}) 32... Qxg3+ 33. Kxg3 {and both bishops are en prise.}) (31... Be3
32. Kxh3 Bc5 33. Rf1 {is the easiest way to end complications.}) 32. Bxg5 Bxh5
33. Qh6 Rxe4 ({Tragically for Carlsen,} 33... Bg6 {does not allow him to hold.}
34. d6 Qd4 35. d7 Qxd7 (35... Rf8 36. Rc1 {with Rc8 to follow.}) 36. Bf6 Qd6+
37. e5 {and Black is forced to sacrifice his queen to stop checkmate.}) 34.
Qxh5 {Up a piece, the rest is easy.} Qf5 35. Qh6 b3 (35... Re5 36. Ra1) 36. Bf6
Qf4+ 37. Qxf4 Rxf4 38. d6 Rxf6 39. Rd1 Rh6+ 40. Kg1 1-0
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.14"]
[Round "7.1"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C50"]
[WhiteElo "2786"]
[BlackElo "2785"]
[PlyCount "92"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:38:50"]
[BlackClock "0:22:58"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d3 Nf6 5. c3 d6 6. O-O a6 7. a4 O-O 8. Re1
Ba7 9. h3 Ne7 10. Nbd2 Ng6 11. Bb3 (11. Nf1 c6 12. Ba2 Be6 13. Bxe6 fxe6 14.
Ng3 d5 15. Be3 Bxe3 16. Rxe3 Qb6 {Howell,D (2667)-Ipatov,A (2660) Saint Louis
2017}) 11... Be6 $146 (11... Re8 12. d4 h6 13. Bc2 c6 14. Nf1 d5 15. Nxe5 Nxe5
16. dxe5 Nxe4 17. Bxe4 dxe4 18. Qxd8 Rxd8 {Anand,V (2770)-Aronian,L (2792)
Saint Louis 2016}) 12. d4 Bxb3 13. Qxb3 Qd7 14. Nf1 exd4 15. cxd4 d5 16. e5 Ne4
17. N1d2 c5 18. Nxe4 dxe4 19. Rxe4 cxd4 20. e6 (20. Bd2 Rfe8 21. Rae1 Nf8 22.
Ng5 Ne6 23. Nxe6 fxe6 {Nakamura}) 20... fxe6 21. Rxe6 Kh8 ({A long and forced
line goes} 21... Qf7 22. Bd2 Rae8 23. Ng5 (23. Rae1) 23... Qxf2+ 24. Kh1 Rxe6
25. Qxe6+ Kh8 26. Bb4 Qxb2 27. Bxf8 Qxa1+ 28. Kh2 Bb8+ 29. Bd6 Bxd6+ 30. Qxd6
Qf1 31. Nf3 Qc4 {which is equal.}) 22. Bg5 Qf7 23. Qd5 Rae8 24. Rae1 h6 25. Bd2
d3 26. Rd6 (26. Bc3 Kh7 27. Qh5 $2 {doesn't work because of} (27. Qe4 Rxe6 28.
Qxe6 Qxe6 29. Rxe6 Nf4 30. Re7 Ne2+ 31. Kf1 Nxc3 32. bxc3 Rc8 $1 {Nakamura})
27... Bxf2+ $1 (27... Rxe6 28. Ng5+) 28. Kh1 {and now what Anand had missed
earlier was} (28. Kxf2 Rxe6 29. Rxe6 Qxe6 {and the knight on f3 is pinned.})
28... Bxe1 $1 29. Ng5+ Kg8 30. Nxf7 Rxe6 {and Black wins.}) 26... Qxd5 27. Rxd5
Re2 28. Rxd3 Bxf2+ 29. Kf1 Rxe1+ 30. Nxe1 Ne5 31. Rb3 Be3+ 32. Ke2 Bxd2 33.
Kxd2 Rf2+ 34. Kc3 ({In fact also possible is} 34. Ke3 Rxb2 35. Rxb2 Nc4+ 36.
Kd4 Nxb2 37. a5 {And in the post-mortem Anand tricked Nakamura with} Na4 $2 38.
Nd3 $1 b6 39. Nb2 $1 {and suddenly White is on top.}) 34... Re2 35. Nd3 Nxd3
36. Kxd3 Rxg2 37. Rxb7 Rg3+ 38. Kc4 Rxh3 39. Ra7 (39. b4 Ra3 40. a5 h5 41. Rb6
h4 42. Rxa6 h3 43. Re6 Kh7 {is equal.}) ({In hindsight Anand regretted that he
didn't try} 39. a5 {after which Black needs to be accurate:} h5 40. Rb6 Rh4+ $1
(40... Rh2 41. b4 h4 42. Rxa6 Ra2 43. Rg6 $1) 41. Kc5 Ra4 42. Rxa6 h4 43. b4 h3
44. Rd6 h2 45. Rd1 Ra2) 39... Rh4+ 40. Kb3 g5 41. a5 Rf4 42. Rxa6 Kg7 43. Ra7+
Kg6 44. Ra8 Kg7 45. Ra7+ Kg6 46. Ra8 Kg7 1/2-1/2
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.14"]
[Round "7.5"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Aronian, Levon"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C50"]
[WhiteElo "2781"]
[BlackElo "2793"]
[PlyCount "82"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:48:02"]
[BlackClock "0:57:06"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. a4 a5 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bh4
Be7 9. Bg3 d6 10. h3 Kh8 $146 (10... Nd7 11. Re1 Kh8 12. c3 Nb6 13. Bb3 f5 14.
exf5 Bxf5 {Caruana,F (2808)-Aronian,L (2793) Stavanger 2017}) 11. c3 Nh7 12.
Qb3 f5 13. exf5 Bf6 14. Be6 Ne7 15. Nh4 Qe8 16. Bxc8 Rxc8 17. Ng6+ Nxg6 18.
fxg6 Qxg6 19. Qxb7 Ng5 (19... Qxd3 20. Qb5 Qg6 21. Nd2 Bg5) 20. h4 Ne6 21. Qe4
Qh5 22. Nd2 Nf4 ({Aronian was planning} 22... g5 {but here he didn't like} 23.
Qd5) 23. Bxf4 exf4 24. Qf3 Qxh4 25. Rfe1 Rb8 26. Nc4 g5 27. Re6 (27. Qh3 {
Karjakin} f3 28. Qxh4 gxh4 {Aronian}) (27. Re2 g4 28. Qxf4 Bxc3 {Karjakin})
27... Bg7 28. Rg6 Rbe8 29. d4 Kh7 30. Qd3 Kg8 31. d5 $2 ({Repeating with} 31.
Qf3 {was better.}) 31... f3 $1 {Now Black is taking over.} 32. gxf3 ({Here} 32.
g3 Qh3 33. Qf1 {was the alternative but after} Qxf1+ 34. Kxf1 Kf7 35. Re6 Rxe6
36. dxe6+ Kxe6 37. Nxa5 Rb8 {Black is better.}) 32... Rf4 33. Kg2 (33. Nd2 Qh3
34. Qf1 Qh5 35. Re6 Ref8 {Aronian}) 33... Ref8 {Black's attack is crushing.}
34. Nd2 g4 35. Kg1 R8f5 36. Ne4 Rxf3 37. Qd4 Re5 38. Ng3 Rxg3+ 39. fxg3 Qxg3+
40. Kf1 Kh7 41. Rxg7+ Kxg7 0-1
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.14"]
[Round "7.2"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B35"]
[WhiteElo "2796"]
[BlackElo "2771"]
[PlyCount "66"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:15:50"]
[BlackClock "0:30:49"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Bc4 O-O 8.
Bb3 d6 9. f3 Bd7 10. Qd2 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 b5 12. a4 b4 (12... bxa4 13. Nxa4 Be6
14. Bxe6 fxe6 15. O-O Qc7 16. Kh1 Rfc8 17. Nc3 a6 18. Ra2 Qc4 {Grigoriants,S
(2563)-Navara,D (2725) Tallinn 2016}) 13. Nd5 Nxd5 14. Bxg7 Kxg7 15. exd5 Qb6
16. h4 h5 17. O-O-O Qa5 18. g4 Bxa4 19. Kb1 $6 $146 (19. Bxa4 Qxa4 20. Qd4+ Kh6
21. gxh5 Rac8 22. Rh2 Qa1+ 23. Kd2 Qa2 {Shomoev,A (2482)-Savchenko,B (2569)
Moscow 2006}) ({Giri showed one line from his preparation:} 19. Qd4+ Kg8 20.
Kb1 (20. Bxa4 Qxa4 21. gxh5 Rac8 22. Rh2 Qa1+ 23. Kd2 Qa2 24. h6 f6 25. Qe4 Kh8
26. Qxe7 Qxd5+ 27. Kc1 Rf7 28. Rxd5 Rxe7 29. Rxd6 Rf7) 20... Bxb3 21. cxb3 Qc5
22. Qe4 a5 23. gxh5 a4 24. hxg6 axb3 25. Rhg1 Rac8 26. gxf7+ Kh8 27. Qd4+ Qxd4
28. Rxd4 Rxf7 29. Rd3 Rc4 30. h5 Kh7 {and it's a draw.}) 19... Bxb3 ({Even
more accurate might be} 19... Rh8) 20. cxb3 Rh8 21. Rc1 Rae8 22. Rc6 Qb5 $1 {
Missed by MVL.} 23. Rc7 a5 24. g5 (24. Qd4+ Kg8 25. g5 Qe2) 24... a4 25. Qd4+
Kh7 26. bxa4 (26. Qc4 Qa5 $1) 26... Qxa4 27. Re1 Rhf8 28. Ra7 $6 ({A better
try was} 28. f4 {when, like in the game, the prophylactic} Kg8 {might be best.}
) 28... Qb5 29. f4 Kg8 $1 30. f5 gxf5 31. Kc2 (31. g6 fxg6 32. Re6 Rf6) (31.
Ka2 b3+ 32. Ka3 Rc8 33. Ra4 Rc7) 31... b3+ 32. Kd1 (32. Kb1 Ra8) 32... Rc8 33.
g6 Rc5 (33... Rc5 34. gxf7+ Kh7) 0-1
[Event "Stavanger NOR"]
[Site "Stavanger NOR"]
[Date "2017.06.14"]
[Round "7.1"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C50"]
[WhiteElo "2786"]
[BlackElo "2785"]
[PlyCount "92"]
[EventDate "2017.06.06"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d3 Nf6 5. c3 d6 6. O-O a6 7. a4 O-O 8. Re1
Ba7 9. h3 Ne7 10. Nbd2 Ng6 11. Bb3 Be6 12. d4 Bxb3 13. Qxb3 Qd7 14. Nf1 (14.
Qxb7 Bxd4 $1 15. Qb3 Ba7 $11) 14... exd4 15. cxd4 d5 16. e5 Ne4 17. N1d2 c5 $1
(17... Nxd2 18. Bxd2 c5 19. dxc5 Bxc5 20. Be3 $14 {is a pleasant position for
White to play.}) 18. Nxe4 (18. dxc5 Nxc5 $17) 18... dxe4 19. Rxe4 cxd4 20. e6 (
20. Bd2 $5) 20... fxe6 21. Rxe6 Kh8 22. Bg5 Qf7 23. Qd5 Rae8 24. Rae1 h6 25.
Bd2 d3 26. Rd6 Qxd5 27. Rxd5 Re2 $1 {The d3 pawn is falling, but Black makes
use of it while it's still on the board.} 28. Rxd3 (28. Rxe2 dxe2 29. Be1 Nf4 {
It is not so easy to win the e2 pawn.} 30. Re5 Nxh3+ 31. gxh3 Rxf3 32. Kg2 Rf4
33. b4 $11) 28... Bxf2+ 29. Kf1 Rxe1+ 30. Nxe1 (30. Bxe1 Bxe1 31. Kxe1 Nf4 32.
Rd2 Nxg2+ $17) 30... Ne5 31. Rb3 {Anand ensures that there are no dangerous
discovered checks.} Be3+ 32. Ke2 Bxd2 33. Kxd2 Rf2+ 34. Kc3 Re2 35. Nd3 Nxd3
36. Kxd3 Rxg2 37. Rxb7 Rg3+ 38. Kc4 Rxh3 39. Ra7 (39. a5 $5 g5 40. b4 g4 41. b5
axb5+ 42. Rxb5 Ra3 43. Kb4 Ra2 44. Kb3 Ra1 45. Kb2 Rf1 46. a6 Rf2+ 47. Kb3 Rf3+
48. Kb4 Rf4+ 49. Ka5 Rf1 $11) 39... Rh4+ 40. Kb3 g5 41. a5 Rf4 42. Rxa6 Kg7 43.
Ra7+ Kg6 44. Ra8 Kg7 45. Ra7+ Kg6 46. Ra8 Kg7 1/2-1/2
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.14"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Aronian, Levon"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C50"]
[Annotator "Aleksandr Lenderman"]
[PlyCount "82"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
{I chose this game as the game of the day since it was not only a decisive
game but also a very high quality game by Levon who is in excellent form in
this tournament.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 {These days the Italian game has
probably taken over in popularity over the Ruy Lopez, mostly because of the
Berlin and the Marshall.} Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. a4 a5 {The Aronian
speciality. Aronian has already played this move in several games, despite not
being the most common move. According to my database the most common move is
the less committal 6...a6} (6... a6) (6... d6) (6... h6 {were also played.}) 7.
Bg5 (7. c3 {was also played a few times against Aronian without great opening
success.} d5 8. exd5 Nxd5 9. Re1 Bg4 10. Nbd2 Nb6 11. Bb5 Bd6 12. h3 Bh5 13.
Ne4 (13. Bxc6 bxc6 14. Ne4 f5 15. Ng3 Bxf3 16. Qxf3 Qd7 $15 {Was already very
comfortable for Black.1/2 (80) Nepomniachtchi,I (2767)-Aronian,L (2785) Doha
QAT 2016}) 13... f5 14. Ng3 Bxf3 15. Qxf3 Ne7 16. Bg5 c6 $17 {And Black got an
excellent opening even though in the end Black lost the game.1-0 (41) Vachier
Lagrave,M (2804)-Aronian,L (2785) London ENG 2016}) 7... h6 8. Bh4 Be7 9. Bg3
d6 10. h3 Kh8 $5 {This move is already a foray into rare territory, and
according to my database is a novelty. Aronian is attempting to improve on his
own play. Before, two times against the same opponent, Fabiano Caruana,
including in the prelimiarly blitz event before the main tournament in Norway,
Aronian played 10...Nd7!?} (10... Nd7 11. Nc3 {White was a tiny bit better
here but Black can probably hold this.} (11. Re1 Kh8 12. c3 Nb6 13. Bb3 f5 14.
exf5 Bxf5 15. d4 (15. Na3 $5 {Might've been an improvement for White.}) 15...
e4 16. Nfd2 d5 17. f3 Bh4 $17 {was very good for Black in... 1/2 (25) Caruana,
F (2808)-Aronian,L (2793) Stavanger NOR 2017}) 11... Nb6 12. Bb3 Kh8 13. d4
Nxd4 14. Nxd4 exd4 15. Qxd4 Bf6 16. e5 (16. Qd2) (16. Qe3) 16... dxe5 17. Qxd8
Rxd8 18. Rfe1 Be6 19. Bxe6 fxe6 20. Ne4 (20. Bxe5) 20... Kg8 21. Nc5 Rd5 {
was already good for Black. 1/2 (61) Caruana,F (2817) -Aronian,L (2774)
Karlsruhe GER 2017}) 11. c3 Nh7 {This is the point of Kh8. Now Black tries to
play for the kingside initiative.} 12. Qb3 f5 $1 {According to Playchess,
Black spent 12 minutes here. This is a pawn sacrifice though.} (12... Qe8 {
Maybe Black also considered something like this but of course this is an
awkward move and a concession.} 13. Nbd2 $14) 13. exf5 Bf6 $5 (13... Bxf5 {
was also probably possible.} 14. Nbd2 (14. Qxb7 {This is a bit dangerous for
White.} Bd7 15. Bd5 (15. Qb3 Rxf3 $1 16. gxf3 Rb8 17. Qc2 Bxh3 18. Re1 Bh4 $36
(18... Qf8 $36 {Black has a strong initiative.})) 15... Rb8 16. Qa6 Rb6 17. Qc4
Nf6 {Here Black is fine.} 18. Nbd2 (18. b3 $2 Nb8 $1) 18... Nxd5 19. Qxd5 Rxb2
$11) 14... Rb8 15. Rae1 {with a playable position for both.}) 14. Be6 {The
principled move.} (14. Nbd2 $5 {was also possible.}) 14... Ne7 15. Nh4 Qe8 16.
Bxc8 Rxc8 17. Ng6+ Nxg6 18. fxg6 Qxg6 19. Qxb7 Ng5 $5 {Black continues to play
ambitiously, down a pawn for long-term compensation in view of piece activity
and initiative. It worked great in this game. Very brave play by Aronian!} (
19... Qxd3 20. Qb5 e4 (20... Qxb5 21. axb5 Ra8 22. Nd2 $16 {is of course not
great for Black since White simply has the better game without facing much
counterplay.} Rfb8 23. c4 Ng5 24. Ra2 $14 {And Black's pawn on a5 is weak as
well as his bishop on f6 can be a problem with all Black's pawns on the dark
squares.}) 21. Qxa5 (21. Qxd3 exd3 22. Na3 {Here only White can be better.})
21... e3) 20. h4 Ne6 21. Qe4 Qh5 22. Nd2 Nf4 $1 {Of course Black has to play
energetically here to try to prove he has compensation for his pawn.} 23. Bxf4
exf4 24. Qf3 $6 {This move seems to be the first inaccuracy by White since
eventually the queen on f3 might not be ideally placed and Black will take on
h4 eventually anyway.} (24. d4 $5 g5 $1 {Seems like Black's best reply.} (24...
Bxh4 25. b4 $1 $14 {The point of d4. Now White wants to create quick
counterplay thanks to a passed a-pawn and White seems to be doing well now.}) (
24... Qxh4 25. Nf3 $16) 25. Rfe1 (25. hxg5 hxg5 26. Qd5 Kg7 $36 {is a bit
dangerous for White.}) 25... Qxh4 26. f3 {with a complex game but White seems
fine, if not better still.}) 24... Qxh4 25. Rfe1 Rb8 (25... g5 {This move
right away was also interesting.}) 26. Nc4 (26. Rab1 g5 27. Qc6 g4 28. Qxc7 Be5
29. Rxe5 dxe5 30. Qxe5+ Kg8 {is also very unclear and as such is unlikely to
be an improvement for White.}) 26... g5 $1 {Now Black starts his initiative.
Objectively the position is roughly equal but probably Black is for choice
here since he has the initiative.} 27. Re6 Bg7 28. Rg6 $6 {Now this is
probably already a serious practical inaccuracy since now the e-file goes to
Black and Black at the very least will have a serious initiative if not
already an advantage.} (28. Qh3 $11 {This was the simplest route to clean
equality.} Qxh3 29. gxh3 d5 30. Nxa5 Rxb2 31. d4 $11) (28. Rae1 g4 29. Qe4 f3
30. g3 Qh3 31. Ne3 Rxb2 32. Re8 {is also level.}) (28. Nxa5 $4 {On the other
hand is just a blunder because of} g4 29. Qd5 (29. Qe4 d5 30. Qxd5 g3 $19)
29... g3) 28... Rbe8 $1 29. d4 Kh7 $1 30. Qd3 Kg8 {After this nice sequence of
moves White is already in some trouble. However White's next move doesn't make
it easier for him.} 31. d5 $6 (31. Qf3 $1 {Here White should've paused Black's
initiative at least for now.} Kf7 32. Qd3 Qh5 33. Qf5+ Kg8 34. Qd5+ Kh8 35. Re6
Rxe6 36. Qxe6 g4 37. Re1 g3 38. Qh3 Qg6 $15 {Black is a bit better but White
can still fight.} 39. Na3 f3 40. Rf1 $1 {And White is still defending
succesfully although Black is for choice.}) 31... f3 {This move is good enough
for an advantage and it's very difficult for White to play, but I wanted to
mention that Black seemed to have another interesting viable alternative here.}
(31... g4 $5 {would also be quite hard to meet.} 32. Rd1 $1 {Seems like
practically the only move.} (32. g3 $2 Qh5 33. Re6 Rxe6 34. dxe6 fxg3 35. Qxg3
Rf3 $19) (32. Nxa5 $2 Re5 $19) (32. Rf1 Re7 33. Re6 Ref7 $1) (32. Rb1 Qh5 33.
Re6 g3 34. Qf3 Qh2+ 35. Kf1 Qh1+ {Because of this line, it's really important
for White to play Rd1.}) 32... Kh8 $3 {This move was very hard to find though,
and it Black would still be much better.} (32... Qh5 {is less effective.} 33.
Re6 g3 34. Qf3 gxf2+ 35. Kxf2) (32... Re7 33. Re6 Rxe6 (33... Ref7 34. Nxa5 g3
35. Qf3 {Here also White defends succesfully.}) 34. dxe6 $15) 33. Re6 (33. g3
fxg3 34. Qxg3 (34. fxg3 $2 Qh3 $19) 34... Qxg3+ 35. fxg3 Re4 36. Nxa5 Rf3 $17)
33... Rxe6 34. dxe6 g3 35. Qf3 Re8 36. Re1 Qh2+ 37. Kf1 Qh1+ 38. Ke2 Rxe6+ 39.
Ne3 Qh4 40. fxg3 fxg3 41. Qa8+ Kh7 42. Qxa5 Qe4 43. Kd2 d5 $17 {And Black is
much better thanks to his long-lasting initiative against White's weak king.})
32. gxf3 $6 {This makes matters worse for White.} (32. g3 Qh3 33. Qf1 Qf5 34.
Qb1 $2 (34. Re6 Qxd5 35. Re3 $1 $15 {White is still almost ok, only slightly
worse.} (35. Rxe8 Rxe8 36. Ne3 Qd2)) 34... Qxd5) 32... Rf4 33. Kg2 $6 {Likely
following a faulty plan. At this point Sergey was already in serious time
pressure and this position is very unpleasant to play. Sergey probably missed
some of Levon's ideas.} (33. Nd2 {After this more resiliant move White can
still fight, although honestly speaking probably not for that long either.} Qh3
$1 {This is probably why Sergey played Kg2.} 34. Qf1 Qh5 35. Re6 Rb8 $19 {
And Black is winning but at least White doesn't have to resign right away.
He's not losing by force yet.}) 33... Ref8 $1 {The only winning move. Which
means probably Levon had to see it when he played 31... f3} (33... g4 $2 34.
Rxg4 Rxg4+ 35. fxg4 Qxg4+ 36. Kf1 $11) 34. Nd2 (34. Rh1 {Important of course
is that Rh1 doesn't work because of} Rg4+ 35. fxg4 Qxf2+ 36. Kh3 Rf3+ 37. Qxf3
Qxf3+ 38. Kh2 Qf2+ 39. Kh3 Qh4+ 40. Kg2 Qxg4+ 41. Kh2 Qh4+ 42. Kg2 Qe4+ $19)
34... g4 {Now it's completely over.} 35. Kg1 R8f5 $1 36. Ne4 Rxf3 37. Qd4 Re5
$1 38. Ng3 Rxg3+ $1 39. fxg3 Qxg3+ 40. Kf1 Kh7 41. Rxg7+ (41. Rxg4 Rf5+) (41.
Qxg4 Qd3+) 41... Kxg7 {And White resigned since After Kg6, the only way to
stop a mating attack would be to give up the queen. Brilliant game by Levon
and now he's in prime position to win such a super tournament!} 0-1
[Event "Stavanger NOR"]
[Site "Stavanger NOR"]
[Date "2017.06.14"]
[Round "7.3"]
[White "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C53"]
[WhiteElo "2808"]
[BlackElo "2832"]
[PlyCount "79"]
[EventDate "2017.06.06"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. O-O a6 7. Re1 Ba7 8. a4
O-O 9. h3 Ne7 10. d4 Ng6 11. Nbd2 c6 12. Bd3 $5 {This is the interesting idea
that Kramnik had prepared for the game. It was played in 2016 by Sjugirov
against Eliseev.} Re8 (12... Nf4 13. Nf1 $5 (13. Bf1) 13... Nxd3 14. Qxd3) 13.
Bc2 h6 14. Nf1 exd4 15. cxd4 c5 16. d5 {Now we have a Benoni like position
which is clearly in White's favour.} b5 17. axb5 axb5 18. Ng3 Bd7 19. Be3 Bb6
20. Rxa8 Qxa8 21. b4 Qa7 $6 (21... Qb8 $1 $11) 22. Qa1 $1 Qc7 23. Bxh6 {
Magnus said after the game that he had overlooked this move. It doesn't lose
material just as yet.} cxb4 24. Bxg7 $5 Qxc2 (24... Kxg7 25. Nh5+ $18) 25. Qxf6
Qxf2+ (25... Bxf2+ 26. Kh2 Qc3 27. Re2 Qxf6 28. Bxf6 Bc5 {According to Kramnik
this is a winning position for White. The engines claim it is equal. I am not
sure who is right! Perhaps in a practical game the White player's chances of
winning are much better than a draw.}) 26. Kh2 Bd8 27. Qxd6 Nh4 28. Nxh4 Bxh4
29. Nh5 Bxh3 (29... Qxe1 30. Qh6 $18) 30. Rg1 $1 (30. Kxh3 Qxe1 $19) 30... Bg5
31. Bf6 Bg4 32. Bxg5 Bxh5 33. Qh6 Rxe4 (33... Bg6 34. d6 $18) 34. Qxh5 Qf5 35.
Qh6 b3 36. Bf6 Qf4+ 37. Qxf4 Rxf4 38. d6 Rxf6 39. Rd1 Rh6+ 40. Kg1 {A fine
game by Kramnik.} 1-0
[Event "Stavanger NOR"]
[Site "Stavanger NOR"]
[Date "2017.06.14"]
[Round "7.2"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B35"]
[WhiteElo "2796"]
[BlackElo "2771"]
[PlyCount "66"]
[EventDate "2017.06.06"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Bc4 O-O 8.
Bb3 d6 9. f3 Bd7 10. Qd2 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 b5 12. a4 (12. h4 {is the main move.})
12... b4 13. Nd5 Nxd5 14. Bxg7 Kxg7 15. exd5 Qb6 16. h4 h5 17. O-O-O Qa5 {
This position has been reached in 13 games before including the correspondence
games.} 18. g4 Bxa4 19. Kb1 {The first new move that has never really been
played.} (19. Qd4+ Kg8 20. Kb1 Bxb3 21. cxb3 Qc5 {leads to a round about even
position.}) 19... Bxb3 20. cxb3 Rh8 21. Rc1 Rae8 22. Rc6 Qb5 23. Rc7 $6 (23.
Ka2 $5) 23... a5 (23... e5 $1 24. dxe6 Rxe6 $17) 24. g5 a4 25. Qd4+ Kh7 26.
bxa4 Qxa4 27. Re1 Rhf8 28. Ra7 Qb5 29. f4 Kg8 30. f5 gxf5 31. Kc2 b3+ 32. Kd1
Rc8 33. g6 Rc5 (33... Rc5 34. gxf7+ Kh7 $19 {It's not so easy to pin point
where White went wrong, but Giri played a nearly flawless game.}) 0-1
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.15"]
[Round "8.4"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E10"]
[WhiteElo "2793"]
[BlackElo "2786"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:28:30"]
[BlackClock "0:39:08"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Be7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O Nbd7 8. a4
(8. Qc2 c6 9. Rd1 b6 10. b3 a5 11. Bc3 Ne4 12. Ne5 Nxe5 13. Bxe4 f5 14. Bxd5
exd5 15. dxe5 f4 {Ding,L (2773)-Giri,A (2785) Moscow 2017}) 8... a5 9. Qc2 c6
10. Rc1 Ne4 11. Ne1 $146 (11. Be3 f5 12. Nc3 Bd6 13. Rd1 Qe7 14. Rac1 Ndf6 15.
Ne5 Bxe5 16. dxe5 Ng4 17. Bd4 c5 18. Nxe4 dxe4 19. Bc3 Ra6 {Aronian,L (2780)
-Wei,Y (2706) Wijk aan Zee 2017}) 11... Nd6 12. Na3 b6 13. cxd5 cxd5 14. Qb3
Ba6 15. Nb5 Rc8 16. Bf4 Bxb5 17. axb5 Nf5 18. Nf3 Bd6 19. Bxd6 Nxd6 20. e3 Rc7
21. Bf1 Qc8 22. Qd1 Rd8 23. Bd3 h6 24. Rxc7 Qxc7 25. Rc1 Qb7 26. Qa4 (26. Ne5
Nxe5 27. dxe5 Nc8 28. Qc2 Ne7 29. Qc7 Rd7 {was the "first disappointment."
(Aronian)}) 26... Rc8 27. Rc6 Ne8 28. Bh7+ (28. Ne5 Nxe5 29. dxe5 Rxc6 30. bxc6
Qe7 {Aronian}) 28... Kh8 29. Bb1 Kg8 ({After} 29... g6 {White has many ideas,
e.g.} 30. Bxg6 $5 (30. Qc2 Rc7 31. h4 Nb8 32. Ne5 Nxc6 33. bxc6 Qc8 34. h5 Kg7
35. hxg6 f6) 30... fxg6 31. Qc2 Rc7 32. Qxg6 Ng7 33. Qxh6+ Kg8 34. Qg6) 30.
Bh7+ (30. Qc2 Rc7 31. Ne5 Nxe5 32. dxe5 Kf8 33. f4 Rxc6 34. bxc6 Qc7 {Aronian})
30... Kh8 31. Bb1 Kg8 32. Bh7+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.15"]
[Round "8.2"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E48"]
[WhiteElo "2832"]
[BlackElo "2781"]
[Annotator "Hess, R"]
[PlyCount "87"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:31:58"]
[BlackClock "0:04:28"]
{These two competitors are becoming familiar foes, having faced one another
for the World Championship in November of 2016. Carlsen won that match to
retain his title, but Karjakin put up incredible resistance.} 1. d4 {In the WC
match, Carlsen mostly played 1. e4 against Karjakin. The Russian challenger
surely prepared nearly every opening, but when going up against the world's
highest rated player who has many weapons, accurately predicting the correct
variation is nearly impossible.} Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6.
cxd5 exd5 7. Nge2 Re8 8. Bd2 Bf8 (8... c5 {is a plausible option, though Black
will be forced to part with the two bishops. Karjakin, ever the principled
player, prefers to retreat rather than exchange.} 9. a3 Bxc3 10. Bxc3 c4 11.
Bc2 {has been played a handful of times by the strong Belarusian GM Aleksej
Aleksandrov.}) 9. O-O b6 (9... c6 {appears solid, but Black's minor pieces
lack active development and it only invites a pawn minority attack on the
queenside.}) 10. Rc1 c5 11. Nf4 Bb7 12. Qf3 Na6 (12... c4 {would be an ideal
move, if not for} 13. Bxc4 {exploiting the unprotected bishop on b7.}) (12...
Bc6 {is a very strange-looking move, though it makes some sense. Black defends
the bishop, which means that c5-c4 is in the cards. White can't immediately
exploit the fact that Black has spent several tempi with his bishops.}) (12...
g6 $2 13. Nfxd5 Nxd5 14. Bc4 {is problematic for Black.}) 13. Rfd1 cxd4 $146 {
The game's first new move, played to avoid being left with hanging pawns.} (
13... Nc7 14. dxc5 bxc5 15. Na4 Nd7 16. Ba5 {was just about winning for White
already, though a draw was eventually reached in Nguyen,C (2370)-Fayard,A
(2212) Paris 2014}) 14. exd4 Nc7 {Let's pause and take stock of the position.
The pawn structure has become symmetrical, with only two pawns exchanged per
side. White's isolated pawn on d4 is unprotected, but hard to attack. Black's
isolani on d5 is defended four (!) times, but is also currently targeted by
three attackers. Black's bishops are very passive, White's have promise.
Karjakin has committed his pawn to b6, otherwise all pawns are a mirror image
of their counterpart. Importantly, because of the fianchettoed queenside
bishop, there are some holes to work with, notably the c6 square. Ultimately,
Black is extremely solid and his slight disadvantage stems is due to his
inactivity. Without the ability to infiltrate, White's edge is largely an
illusion.} 15. Bc2 (15. Nb5 Nxb5 16. Bxb5 {looks like progress, but Black
remains solid with} Re4 {Because of the pawn on d4, White isn't quick enough
to seize the open c-file. And frankly, even taking over that file doesn't yet
amount to much.}) 15... Bd6 16. Be3 Ne4 17. Ba4 Re7 18. Bb3 Qd7 19. h3 (19.
Nfxd5 Nxd5 20. Bxd5 Bxd5 21. Nxd5 Bxh2+ 22. Kxh2 Qxd5 {is better for Black, a
study-like middlegame where knight dominates bishop.}) 19... Nxc3 {Karjakin
was out of ways to improve his position, so it was time to release the tension
by swapping knights. If he didn't, d5 was was en prise, since Bh2+ as in the
above analysis does not capture a pawn.} 20. bxc3 Bc6 21. Nh5 (21. Nxd5 $2 Nxd5
22. Bxd5 Bxd5 23. Qxd5 Bh2+ {is an elementary tactic.}) 21... Re6 {Necessary,
lest White uncork a vicious attack with Bh6.} (21... Rae8 {also prevented} 22.
Bh6 {because of the tactic} Qe6 $1 {Of course not} 23. Bxg7 $4 Qe1+ 24. Rxe1
Rxe1+ 25. Rxe1 Rxe1#) 22. Bc2 (22. Re1 {was certainly an improvement. Carlsen
needed this move to reroute his bishop kingside via c2.}) 22... Ba4 23. c4 dxc4
24. d5 Rg6 $1 {An excellent move, and not even a sacrifice.} 25. Bd4 {Played
out of necessity more than anything. Carlsen sat at 2.5/7 and needed a
positive result to secure his standing as the world's best player. There are
tactics galore, though Black objectively should be a bit better here.} (25.
Bxg6 fxg6 26. Ng3 Bxd1 27. Rxd1 {is a clean pawn up for Black.}) 25... Bxc2 26.
Rxc2 Qa4 27. Rcc1 Qxa2 $6 {This move is by no means awful, but it allows
Carlsen to take over the initiative. Especially in time trouble, there is no
reason to allow your opponent to rip apart your kingside.} ({Karjakin seemed
upset with himself after the game for not playing} 27... Ne8 {This move
totally quashes any imminent kingside attack. It actually is quite surprising
that Karjakin, nicknamed the "Russian Minister of Defense", did not use this
resource during the game.}) 28. Nxg7 Rxg7 29. Bxg7 Kxg7 30. Qg4+ Kf8 31. Qh4
Qb2 32. Rxc4 ({Surely tempting is} 32. Qh6+ {forcing the king out into the
open after} Ke7 {However, the attack is hardly decisive, and if Black can
coordinate his pieces, he is better. After all, two minors are superior to a
rook.} 33. Rxc4 (33. Qg5+ Kd7 34. Qf5+ Ke7 35. Rxc4 Re8 {is anybody's game.})
33... Kd7 {is unclear in a way that, in my estimation, favors Black.}) 32...
Ne8 (32... Kg7 $1 {is counterintuitive, for bringing one's king into an attack
is generally not recommended. Yet here the king can run to the corner, where
it is secure thanks to the queen on b2. Black can actually claim a growing
advantage. For instance,} 33. Qg5+ Kh8 34. Rcd4 (34. Rg4 Qe5 {is just great
for Black.}) 34... Ne8) 33. Re1 {Karjakin thought he was better here, but the
position is anything but clear.} Qf6 ({Karjakin was sure of his position,
although many would have proceeded by protecting h7. However, defending a pawn
does not actually make one's position safer; in fact, Black is quite tied down
after} 33... Kg8 34. Rg4+ Kh8 35. Qh6 {The threat of Rxe8+ followed by Qxd6 is
worrisome, since material is even and Black's king is more exposed. The
unopposed queenside passers are sufficient compensation, but such positions
tend to be easier to play with the safer king, not to mention the more
advanced passed pawn.}) 34. Qxh7 (34. Rxe8+ $4 {"winning" the queen is a
tragic blunder:} Rxe8 35. Qxf6 Re1#) 34... Qg7 35. Qc2 (35. Qf5 {was the more
aggressive - and better - square. Rc8 remains a deadly threat, and from f5 the
queen can travel to d7 or h5, depending on Black's move.}) 35... Qf6 (35... Qg6
{freeing up g7 for the king was important.} 36. Qc3 (36. Qxg6 $2 fxg6 37. Re6
a5 {Black's pawns are way faster.}) 36... Nf6 {and now Rc8+ does not lead to
mate.}) (35... Nf6 $2 36. Rc8+ Rxc8 37. Qxc8+ Ne8 38. Qxe8#) 36. Rg4 Bc5 37.
Re2 Qh6 38. g3 Nf6 ({In the postmortem, Karjakin acknowledged that he
initially thought that Carlsen blundered before realizing that} 38... Qxh3 {
runs right into} 39. Qf5 (39. Rh4 $2 {is what Karjakin thought his opponent
overlooked, which fails to the obvious} Qxg3+ {and Black wins.})) 39. Rh4 Qg7
40. Kg2 Qg5 (40... Rd8 41. Re5 {worried Karjakin, though} Rxd5 {should hold
the balance.}) 41. Qc3 Bd6 $2 {The losing move. In the postmortem, Karjakin
stated that thought he was solidifying his position to make a draw.
Unfortunately, he overlooked White's 44th move.} ({Karjakin also discussed his
intention to play} 41... Qxd5+ {but was scared off by} 42. Kh2 Qc6 (42... Qd6
43. Rf4 {is decisive, since} Ng8 44. Qf3 {hits both a8 and f7.}) (42... Qg5 {
is the only move that keeps Black in the game, but he is still worse after} 43.
Rf4 Nd5 (43... Be7 44. Rxe7 Kxe7 45. Qc7+ Kf8 46. Qc6 Rd8 47. Rxf6) (43... Kg7
44. Rg4 {and all the pins result in a win.}) 44. Qf3 Nxf4 45. Qxa8+ Kg7 46.
gxf4 Qxf4+ 47. Kg2 {with great chances for Black to hold thanks to the the
passed pawns and mutually exposed kings.}) 43. Re5 {where the White rooks
dominate.}) 42. Rh8+ Ng8 43. Re4 Qg7 44. Rxg8+ $1 (44. Rxg8+ Kxg8 (44... Qxg8
45. Qf6 Bc5 46. Rg4 Qh7 47. d6 {and Black can't prevent Qe7#, d7, and Rh4 all
at once.} (47. Rh4 $2 Be7 {saves the day.})) 45. Rg4 {wins the queen}) 1-0
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.15"]
[Round "8.3"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C65"]
[WhiteElo "2796"]
[BlackElo "2808"]
[PlyCount "95"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:53:51"]
[BlackClock "0:12:26"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 d5 (5... O-O 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bh4
Be7 8. O-O d6 9. Bg3 Bd7 10. h3 Nh7 11. Nbd2 Ng5 {Vachier Lagrave,M (2795)
-Malakhov,V (2712) Chartres 2017}) 6. exd5 Qxd5 7. Bc4 Qd6 8. b4 Bb6 9. a4 e4
10. dxe4 Qxd1+ 11. Kxd1 Nxe4 12. Kc2 Bf5 $146 (12... Nd6 13. Re1+ Ne7 14. Bb3
Bf5+ 15. Kb2 a5 16. Bf4 Bxf2 17. Re2 Bb6 18. Na3 Be6 {Caruana,F (2817)-Xiong,J
(2674) Saint Louis 2017}) 13. Nh4 Bd7 14. Re1 f5 15. Nxf5 Bxf5 16. f3 Ne5 17.
fxe4 Bg4 18. h3 Nxc4 19. hxg4 O-O 20. Re2 a5 21. Nd2 $6 (21. bxa5 Rxa5 22. Nd2)
21... Ne3+ 22. Kb3 axb4 23. cxb4 Rfd8 24. Bb2 (24. a5 Rd3+ 25. Ka4 Nc2 {
is the problem.}) 24... Rd3+ 25. Bc3 Bd4 26. Rc1 Nd1 27. Nb1 Nxc3 28. Nxc3 Be5
({"The simplest way was} 28... Bxc3 29. Rxc3 Rxc3+ 30. Kxc3 Rxa4 {to make an
easy draw but obviously Vlady was playing for a win." (MVL)}) 29. a5 Rg3 30.
Rf2 c6 31. Rf3 Rxg4 32. Na4 Rxg2 (32... Re8 $5 33. Nc5 Re7 {Short}) 33. Nc5
Rb2+ 34. Kc4 Bd6 35. Rd1 Bxc5 36. Kxc5 Re8 37. Rd7 Re5+ 38. Kc4 h5 ({MVL
expected} 38... Rxe4+ {and it's not clear if White is winning, e.g.} 39. Kc3
Rbe2 40. Rxb7 h5 {but} 41. a6 Ra2 42. a7 Kh7 43. Rf8 Re3+ 44. Kd4 Rea3 45. Rff7
Kh6 46. Rxg7 Ra6) 39. Rxb7 Rxe4+ 40. Kc5 Rc2+ 41. Kd6 Rd4+ 42. Kc7 Ra2 43. Kxc6
h4 44. Rb6 Rg4 $2 {The losing move.} ({Black should play} 44... Ra4 $1 {
and it might still be defensible.}) 45. a6 Kh7 (45... Rg3 46. Rxg3 hxg3 47. Kb5
Kh7 48. Rc6) 46. Rf5 Ra4 47. Rh5+ Kg6 48. Rxh4 {A beautiful final move.} (48.
Rxh4 Rxh4 49. Kb5+) 1-0
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.15"]
[Round "8.5"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D27"]
[WhiteElo "2771"]
[BlackElo "2808"]
[PlyCount "133"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:07:30"]
[BlackClock "0:28:07"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O a6 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8.
Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Be2 Ke7 10. b3 (10. Ne5 Nbd7 11. Nd3 Bd6 12. Nd2 b5 13. Nb3 Bb7
14. Na5 Bd5 15. Bd2 Rhc8 {So,W (2812)-Caruana,F (2808) Stavanger 2017}) 10...
b6 11. Nbd2 Nbd7 (11... a5 12. Ne5 Ba6 13. Ndc4 Nfd7 14. Nxd7 Nxd7 15. Bb2 f6 {
Nakamura,H (2785)-Caruana,F (2827) Gibraltar 2017}) 12. Ne1 a5 13. Bb2 Rd8 14.
Rc1 Kf8 $146 (14... Ba6 15. Bxa6 Rxa6 16. Nd3 Bd6 17. g3 Nc5 18. Bxf6+ gxf6 19.
Nxc5 Bxc5 20. Ne4 Bd6 21. Nxd6 Rxd6 {Zakharov,Y (2187)-Dugushov, S (1998) corr.
2012}) 15. Nc4 Ba6 16. Nc2 Nd5 17. Rfd1 Nb4 18. a3 Nxc2 19. Rxc2 Nf6 20. Rdc1
Bxc4 21. Rxc4 Rd2 22. R1c2 Rad8 23. Kf1 Ne4 24. Ke1 f6 (24... Be7 $5 25. Rxd2
Nxd2 26. Rc6 Bc5 {Caruana}) 25. Rxd2 Nxd2 26. Rc3 Ne4 27. Rd3 Nd6 28. Rd1 Ke7
29. Bd3 h6 30. Rb1 Rc8 31. Ke2 Rc7 32. f4 Nb7 33. b4 {"Probably practically
not a good move." (Caruana)} (33. g4 Bd6 {and 34...Nc5 (Giri)}) (33. e4 Nd8 34.
e5 Nc6 35. exf6+ gxf6 {Caruana}) 33... axb4 34. axb4 Bxb4 35. Bxf6+ Kxf6 $1 ({
Giri was hoping for} 35... gxf6 36. Rxb4 Nc5 37. Rxb6 Nxd3 38. Kxd3 {"This is
suffering. The classical suffering. Timman analysed this."}) 36. Rxb4 Nc5 37.
Rxb6 Rb7 $1 {Giri had missed this move. Black gets a fortress.} 38. Rxb7 Nxb7
39. Kf3 Nd6 40. Kg4 e5 41. h4 exf4 42. exf4 g6 43. h5 g5 44. fxg5+ hxg5 45. h6
Nf7 46. Kh5 Ne5 47. Bb5 Nf7 48. Bc4 Ne5 49. Bd5 Nd7 50. Be4 Ne5 51. h7 Kg7 52.
Kxg5 {This is a theoretical draw based on the fact that White has the wrong
colored bishop.} Nf7+ 53. Kf4 Nh8 54. Bd3 Nf7 55. Bc2 Nh8 56. Ke5 Nf7+ 57. Kf4
Nh8 58. Bb1 Nf7 59. Bf5 Nh8 60. Kg4 Nf7 61. Kg3 Nh8 62. Bc2 Nf7 63. Kf4 Nh8 64.
Bd1 Ng6+ 65. Kg5 Ne5 66. Bc2 Nf7+ 67. Kf4 1/2-1/2
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.15"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E48"]
[WhiteElo "2832"]
[BlackElo "2781"]
[Annotator "Alex Yermolinsky"]
[PlyCount "87"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. cxd5 exd5 7. Nge2 {
A modest system, but not without venom. White plans a classic Botvinnik Pawn
Roller, made famous by his win over Capablanca, AVRO 1938.} Re8 8. Bd2 Bf8 {
The most solid choice.} ({Unlike in similar lines of the QGD, where the white
bishop goes to g5, here White's K-side seems a bit vulnerable, so} 8... Bd6 {
was tried on numerous occasions.} 9. O-O c6 10. Rc1 {[#] was seen In
Khismatullin-Anand, World Rapid 2015. Vishy chose} Ng4 $5 ({The tempting} 10...
Bxh2+ {doesn't quite work here:} 11. Kxh2 Ng4+ 12. Kg3 $1 Qd6+ 13. f4 ({
White can also contemplate} 13. Nf4 $5 g5 14. Rh1 f5 15. f3 $1 Nxe3 16. Bxe3
Rxe3 17. Ncxd5 $1 gxf4+ 18. Nxf4 {where he will soon get his turn to take
potshots at the enemy king.}) 13... Rxe3+ 14. Bxe3 Nxe3 15. Qd2 $18) 11. h3 $2
(11. g3 {is normal}) 11... Nh2 12. Re1 Nf3+ 13. gxf3 Qg5+ 14. Kh1 {and should
have won the game, but for some reason he rejected the obvious} Bxh3 ({The
game went} 14... Qh4 15. Nf4 Bxh3 16. Ng2 Qxf2 17. Bf1 Re6 18. e4 Qg3 $2 19. e5
Bxg2+ 20. Bxg2 Qh4+ 21. Kg1 Qxd4+ 22. Be3 {and White eventually won})) 9. O-O
b6 (9... c6 10. Rc1 a5 11. f3 b5 $5 12. Ng3 Ba6 13. Nce2 b4 14. Bxa6 Rxa6 {
was seen in Jobava-Mareco, World Rapid 2016. Two of my favorite players
slugging it out!}) 10. Rc1 c5 11. Nf4 Bb7 (11... Ba6 {appears a bit risky
because of the d5-pawn coming under assault after} 12. dxc5 Bxd3 13. Nxd3 bxc5
14. Na4 c4 15. Nf4 Nc6 16. Bc3 {but, perhaps, Black can just give it away:} d4
17. exd4 Rc8 18. d5 Nb4 $44) 12. Qf3 {[#]} Na6 {Dull, standard play.} ({
Ivan Saric tried to uphold Black's colors (Jolly Roger?) a couple of times.
One of his efforts saw} 12... Nc6 $5 13. Ncxd5 Nxd5 14. Nxd5 Ne5 15. dxe5 Qxd5
16. Qxd5 Bxd5 17. Bc3 Bxa2 {Black doesn't look to be worse at all.
Martinovic-Saric, 2017.}) ({I like} 12... Bc6 $5 {There's no white knight
anywhere near e5, and Black is planning to follow up c5-c4 with b6-b5!}) 13.
Rfd1 cxd4 {True to his newfound identity of "MInister of Defense" Sergey
dutifully accepts a slightly worse position.} ({Truth be told,} 13... Nc7 $6
14. dxc5 $1 bxc5 15. Na4 Ne4 16. Ba5 Qe7 17. b4 $1 {would have been a much
worse outcome.}) 14. exd4 Nc7 15. Bc2 Bd6 16. Be3 Ne4 $1 17. Ba4 Re7 18. Bb3
Qd7 19. h3 Nxc3 20. bxc3 $5 {Magnus is desperate to unbalance the position.
Actually, the resulting pawn structure is not that bad: with d4 defended White
can concentrate on the d5-pawn.} (20. Rxc3 Rae8 21. Rdc1 g6 {doesn't lead
White anywhere.}) 20... Bc6 21. Nh5 Re6 22. Bc2 $2 {Oh, Magnus....} ({First}
22. Re1 $1 {then Bc2 to keep that bishop alive!}) 22... Ba4 $1 {[#] Being
Magnus at this moment in time: no wins to his credit, no chance to contend for
first place, the media demanding explanations, the chess internet swirling
with rumors, the damned glasses make his head ache.... He just had to do
something about it.} 23. c4 $5 dxc4 24. d5 Rg6 $1 {So far Sergey is showing
himself up to the task.} 25. Bd4 (25. Bxg6 fxg6 26. Ng3 Bxd1 27. Rxd1 Qf7 $17)
({Objectively best was} 25. Bxa4 Qxa4 26. Nf4 Rf6 27. Qg4) 25... Bxc2 26. Rxc2
Qa4 27. Rcc1 {[#]} Qxa2 $2 {I love the concrete approach to positions, but
every once in a while we should think like Petrosian.} ({The natural defensive
move} 27... Ne8 $1 {would leave Carlsen staring at the dreadful possibility of
a third defeat in this tournament and the loss of the Number One position in
the Live Ratings list for the first time since 2011.}) 28. Nxg7 $1 Rxg7 29.
Bxg7 Kxg7 30. Qg4+ Kf8 31. Qh4 Qb2 32. Rxc4 $2 {In looming time trouble Magnus
lets the black king escape.} (32. Qh6+ Ke7 33. Rxc4 Qe5 34. Kf1 {White's
intiative should net him more pawns, such is the case in} Kd7 35. Qxh7 Re8 36.
Qxf7+ Kd8 37. Qf3 Qh2 38. g4 {although he's hardly better here.}) 32... Ne8 $2
({The position after the obvious} 32... Kg7 33. g3 Kh8 {favors Black}) 33. Re1
Qf6 34. Qxh7 Qg7 35. Qc2 Qf6 36. Rg4 Bc5 37. Re2 Qh6 38. g3 Nf6 39. Rh4 Qg7 40.
Kg2 Qg5 $6 ({If only Sergey had another minute to calculate} 40... Nxd5 {
as completely safe he would have never lost this game.} 41. Qf5 Rd8 42. Re6 a5
43. Reh6 Bd4 {etc.}) 41. Qc3 Bd6 $2 {This howler was a product of a 25 minute
think.} ({Still,} 41... Qg7 $11) 42. Rh8+ Ng8 43. Re4 Qg7 44. Rxg8+ $1 (44.
Rxg8+ Qxg8 45. Qf6 Bc5 46. Rg4 Qh7 47. d6 $18) 1-0
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.15"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C65"]
[WhiteElo "2796"]
[BlackElo "2808"]
[Annotator "Alex Yermolinsky"]
[PlyCount "95"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 d5 $5 {An intriguing line.} 6.
exd5 (6. Nbd2 {is a practical choice, Vachier Lagrave-Hou Yifan, Grenke 2017})
6... Qxd5 7. Bc4 Qd6 8. b4 {Energetic.} (8. Qe2 O-O 9. Nbd2 a5 {
Topalov-Aronian, 2016}) 8... Bb6 9. a4 e4 (9... a6 10. Nbd2 O-O 11. O-O h6 12.
Ba3 $14) 10. dxe4 Qxd1+ 11. Kxd1 Nxe4 12. Kc2 {[#]} Bf5 {Novelty, and a good
one.} (12... Nd6 {was seen in Caruana-Xiong, US Ch 2017, where Fabiano at some
point had a sizeable advantage only to squander it away and fight for a draw
later on.}) 13. Nh4 Bd7 14. Re1 f5 15. Nxf5 (15. f3 Bf2 16. Re2 Bxh4 17. fxe4
fxe4 18. Rxe4+ Be7 {is equal, because White has to stop Bf5, and therefore has
no time to exploit the pin on the e-file.}) 15... Bxf5 16. f3 Ne5 17. fxe4 Bg4
{Black enjoys full compensation for a sacrificed pawn.} 18. h3 (18. Na3 Bf2 19.
Rf1 Rf8 20. Kb3 O-O-O {Same here.}) 18... Nxc4 19. hxg4 O-O 20. Re2 a5 21. Nd2
(21. Na3 Ne5 22. Bb2 Rf4 23. g5 c6 24. Rd1 Rg4 $11) 21... Ne3+ 22. Kb3 axb4 23.
cxb4 Rfd8 {[#]} 24. Bb2 {The ensuing complications kept the game roughly
balanced.} ({However, MVL had a much better move.} 24. Nf3 $1 Nxg4 (24... Nxg2
25. a5 Rd3+ 26. Kb2) 25. a5 Bf2 26. b5 $14 {Once Black's threats run out the
active king will help White on the Q-side, while his black counterpart is
miles away from the action.}) 24... Rd3+ 25. Bc3 Bd4 26. Rc1 Nd1 27. Nb1 Nxc3
28. Nxc3 Be5 29. a5 Rg3 30. Rf2 c6 31. Rf3 Rxg4 32. Na4 Rxg2 33. Nc5 Rb2+ 34.
Kc4 Bd6 $2 {I suspect Vladimir stole a look or two at the Carlsen-Karjakin
game, hoping his teammate could bring the Champ down. Grabbing that Number One
Position in the live rating list would be so sweet.} ({Normally this game
should have ended peacefully after something like this:} 34... Rb8 35. Rd1 h5
36. Rf5 Rc2+ 37. Kb3 Rc3+ 38. Ka2 (38. Ka4 $4 b5+ 39. axb6 Ra8+ 40. Na6 Rxa6#)
38... Bf6 39. Rxh5 Rc2+) 35. Rd1 Bxc5 36. Kxc5 {[#] Suddenly it's Black who's
in huge trouble. From the hunted, harried piece the chameleon King turns into
the fearsome hunter in the blink of an eye.} Re8 37. Rd7 Re5+ 38. Kc4 $1 h5 $2
({The salvation was there after a rook trade:} 38... Rxe4+ 39. Kc3 Rbe2 40.
Rxb7 R4e3+ 41. Rxe3 Rxe3+ 42. Kd4 Ra3 43. Kc5 g5 44. Kb6 g4 45. a6 g3 46. Re7
h5 47. Re5 h4 48. Ra5 Rxa5 {and both sides will get their new queens to arrive
in a drawn ending.}) 39. Rxb7 Rxe4+ 40. Kc5 {Not the same script with four
rooks present. Black will find it difficult to advance his pawns as his king
falls behind.} Rc2+ 41. Kd6 Rd4+ 42. Kc7 Ra2 43. Kxc6 h4 44. Rb6 Rg4 $2 (44...
Rc2+ 45. Kb7 Rd7+ 46. Ka6 Rd5 47. Rb8+ (47. b5 Rb2) 47... Kh7 48. Rff8 g5 49.
b5 {Still, a lot of work left for White.}) 45. a6 Kh7 46. Rf5 $1 {[#]} Ra4 (
46... g5 47. Re5 h3 48. Re7+ Kg6 49. Kd5+ Kf5 50. Rf7# {is a good visual on
why four rook endings are of a special kind.}) (46... Re4 47. Kd5 Rg4 48. Rh5+
Kg8 49. Kc6 g6 50. Ra5 $18) 47. Rh5+ Kg6 48. Rxh4 $1 {An elegant finish, and
MVL finally lights up the scoreboard!} 1-0
[Event "Stavanger"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.16"]
[Round "9.2"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B97"]
[WhiteElo "2808"]
[BlackElo "2785"]
[Annotator "Hess, R"]
[PlyCount "117"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:56:07"]
[BlackClock "0:29:58"]
{The final round encounter between Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura was a
tale of opening preparation. Caruana admitted as much in his postgame
interview, stating that he included in his preparation file "nobody will play
this." Unfortunately for Nakamura, he faced a novelty and could not find his
way through the maze of tactics.} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5.
Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 {Caruana expected the Najdorf, but not this line in
particular.} (6... Nbd7 {has been played by Nakamura in the past as well.}) 7.
f4 Qb6 {Nakamura certainly had no interest in repeating the variation he chose
at the 2016 London Chess Classic. After all, Caruana crushed him with a
magnificent queen sacrifice:} (7... h6 8. Bh4 Qb6 9. a3 Be7 10. Bf2 Qc7 11. Qf3
Nbd7 12. O-O-O b5 13. g4 g5 14. h4 gxf4 15. Be2 b4 16. axb4 Ne5 17. Qxf4 Nexg4
18. Bxg4 e5 19. Qxf6 Bxf6 20. Nd5 Qd8 21. Nf5 Rb8 22. Nxf6+ Qxf6 23. Rxd6 Be6
24. Rhd1 O-O 25. h5 Qg5+ 26. Be3 Qf6 27. Nxh6+ Kh8 28. Bf5 Qe7 29. b5 Qe8 30.
Nxf7+ Rxf7 31. Rxe6 Qxb5 32. Rh6+ {1-0 Caruana, F (2823) - Nakamura, H (2779)
London 2016}) 8. Qd3 {A favorite of the late Vugar Gashimov.} (8. Qd2 Qxb2 9.
Rb1 Qa3 {and now 10. f5 and 10. e5 are the main continuations. These sharp
battles are not for underprepared players, as the theory runs deep.}) 8... Qxb2
9. Rb1 Qa3 10. f5 Be7 11. fxe6 fxe6 12. Be2 Qa5 13. Bd2 Qc7 14. g4 h6 {The
only reasonable response. Black suffers grave consequences after other moves.}
({For example, a miniature ensued after:} 14... h5 15. g5 Ng4 16. Qh3 Qc5 17.
Bxg4 Qxd4 18. Bxe6 Nd7 19. Rf1 Kd8 20. Nd5 Qxe4+ 21. Kd1 Nb6 22. Bxc8 Qxd5 23.
Be6 Qd4 24. Qd3 {1-0 (24) Lastin,A (2625)-Kokarev,D (2510) St Petersburg 2002})
15. Rg1 $146 {A new move, both to the chess world at large and to Hikaru
Nakamura in particular. Caruana could not remember the entirety of his
preparation, but he was happy to reveal this novelty.} ({Both Caruana and
Nakamura undoubtedly were familiar with the meat of the equality that occurred
after:} 15. Qh3 O-O 16. g5 hxg5 17. Nxe6 Qc6 18. Rf1 g4 19. Bxg4 Nxg4 20. Rxf8+
Bxf8 21. Qxg4 Qe8 22. Nd5 Qxe6 23. Qxe6+ Bxe6 24. Nc7 Ra7 25. Nxe6 b5 26. a4
Nc6 27. axb5 axb5 28. Rxb5 Ra4 29. Ng5 Be7 30. h4 Bxg5 31. Bxg5 Rxe4+ 32. Kf2
Ne5 33. Rd5 Rc4 34. Rxd6 Rxc2+ 35. Rd2 Rxd2+ 36. Bxd2 Ng6 37. Kg3 Nxh4 {
1/2-1/2 (37) Mamedov,R (2688)-Jobava,B (2701) Moscow 2017}) 15... Bd7 (15...
Nc6 16. Nxc6 Qxc6 17. e5 {and another benefit of Rg1 becomes evident: is not
hit by the queen on c6. This position is immensely complicated, as White
sacrifices a second pawn to unleash a vicious kingside attack.}) 16. g5 hxg5
17. Rxg5 Nc6 {Caruana was surprised by this decision, for he felt that you can
only jettison the g-pawn if you're thoroughly prepared. In fact, the only way
to enter this gauntlet is if you see the optimal moves through outrageous
complications until move 25.} (17... Rg8 {keeps the rook out of harm's way,
but diminishes Black's ability to counterattack.}) (17... Rh7 {may seem like
odd placement, but the rook simultaneously defends g7 and keeps pressure on h2.
Without the assistance of powerful engines, the following continuation, for
example, would be nearly impossible to calculate accurately.} 18. Bf4 e5 (18...
Nc6) 19. Nd5 Qa5+ 20. Bd2 Qxa2 21. Rxb7) 18. Rxg7 O-O-O 19. Ncb5 $1 {First it
was the rook on the king's knight's file, now it's the rook on the queen's
knight's file's turn.} (19. Qxa6 {looks fancy, but the queen can be ignored
and pieces can be captured with} Nxd4 (19... bxa6 $4 20. Bxa6+ Qb7 21. Bxb7+
Kc7 22. Bxc6 Bxc6 23. Rxe7+ {is easy.}) 20. Rxe7 Rxh2 {with a stronger attack
for Black than for White.}) 19... axb5 20. Nxb5 Ne5 ({Nakamura could not
afford to retreat, for keeping the queens on the board with such an exposed
king is ill-advised.} 20... Qb8 21. Rxe7 d5 (21... Nxe7 22. Nxd6+ Kc7 23. Bf4 {
is decisive.}) 22. exd5 Nxd5 23. Qa3 Ndxe7 (23... Qxh2 24. Nd6+ Qxd6 25. Qxd6
Ncxe7 26. c4 {takes advantage of the knights' predicament, and wins.}) 24. Nd6+
Kc7 25. Nxb7 Qxb7 26. Ba5+ $1 {an important move, eliminating the protector of
the knight on e7.} Nxa5 (26... Kc8 27. Rxb7 Kxb7 28. Ba6+ $1 Kxa6 29. Bxd8+ Kb7
30. Qb2+ {and the rook on h8 is lost.}) 27. Qxa5+ Kb8 28. Rxb7+ Kxb7 29. Qb4+ {
Black's two rooks are hardly a match for a queen and two pawns, especially
with such an exposed king.}) 21. Nxc7 Nxd3+ 22. cxd3 Ng8 {It is hard to give
this move a question mark, but it is in effect the losing move. Nakamura
needed access to Caruana's notes to find the saving grace here.} (22... Rxh2 $1
23. Rc1 Rh1+ 24. Bf1 Kb8 25. Rxe7 Rf8 {This was the move that had to be seen
before Black can safely commit to 17...Nc6. But even after getting to the game
position after Caruana's 22nd move, Nakamura could not find this insanely
difficult defense. Amazingly, up a piece and with the move, White can do
nothing to prevent Black from recouping the sacrificed material. The game
should peter out into a draw:} 26. Nxe6 Bxe6 27. Bh6 (27. Rxe6 Ng4 28. Kd1 ({
If White gets greedy, he loses immediately.} 28. Ke2 Rf2+ 29. Kd1 Ne3+ 30. Bxe3
Rhxf1#) 28... Rhxf1+ 29. Kc2 R1f2 {and only Black can be better here.}) 27...
Rxh6 28. Rxe6 Rh1 29. Kd2 Nxe4+ 30. dxe4 Rfxf1 31. Rxf1 Rxf1 32. Rxd6 Rf2+ 33.
Ke3 Rxa2 {with an easy draw.}) 23. Na8 (23. Ba5 {was even stronger.} Rxh2 24.
Kd2 Bf6 25. Nb5 {Black's position is hopeless. At best, he ends up down an
exchange or down two pawns with no shelter for his king.}) 23... Kb8 24. Nb6
Bc6 25. Bf4 e5 {This move helps Caruana, since it vacates the f-file for his
rook to retreat.} ({Better was} 25... Bf6 26. Rf7 (26. Rg2 Bc3+ 27. Kd1 Nf6 {
made Caruana a bit uneasy, considering the threat of Nxe4. White still remains
ahead, though, after} 28. Nc4 Nxe4 (28... Ka7 {is probably a better try.}) 29.
dxe4 Bxe4 30. Rb3 Bxg2 31. Rxc3) 26... Be8 {is what Caruana saw as providing
legitimate defense for Black. Interestingly, White is still better after
losing the exchange with} 27. Rxf6 Nxf6 28. e5 (28. Bg5 Rf8 29. Kd2 Bc6 30. Rf1
Nxe4+ 31. dxe4 Rxf1 32. Bxf1 (32. Bxd8 Rf2 33. Ke3 Rxh2 34. Bg4 {with a small
plus for White.}) 32... Rg8 33. h4 {is an unclear endgame that should likely
be drawn, but slightly favor White.})) 26. Bg3 Bf6 27. Rf7 Be8 28. Rf8 Bg7 (
28... Be7 29. Rf2 Bh4 30. Kd2 Bxg3 31. hxg3 {The extra pawn a better minor
pieces combine to give White a nearly winning advantage.}) 29. Rf2 Ne7 30. Bg4
{For all intents and purposes, the advantage is already decisive here.} Nc6 31.
Rfb2 Nd4 32. Nd5 b5 33. a4 Bh6 34. axb5 Rg8 35. h3 Kb7 36. Ne7 Rf8 37. Nc6 Bxc6
38. bxc6+ Kxc6 39. Bf2 Rxf2 {A sad necessity, otherwise checkmate is
inevitable. "Normal" moves just lose on the spot to a simple
removing-the-guard idea.} (39... Ra8 40. Bxd4 exd4 41. Rc2#) 40. Kxf2 Rf8+ 41.
Kg2 Be3 42. Rb8 Rxb8 {Typically the only way to fight on when down an exchange
is to muster up some sort of attack. However, with checkmate again threatened,
Black had no choice but to swap rooks.} (42... Rf2+ 43. Kh1 Kc5 44. Rc8+ Nc6
45. Bd7 {is over as well.}) 43. Rxb8 d5 44. Rc8+ Kd6 45. Rd8+ Ke7 46. Rd7+ Kf6
47. exd5 e4 48. dxe4 Bf4 49. h4 Nb5 50. h5 Be5 51. Bf5 Kg5 52. Bg6 Nd6 53. Re7
Nc4 54. Re6 Bf6 55. d6 Ne5 56. Bf5 Nd3 57. Rxf6 Kxf6 58. d7 Ke7 59. h6 1-0
[Event "Norway Chess 2017"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.16"]
[Round "9.4"]
[White "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D05"]
[WhiteElo "2808"]
[BlackElo "2771"]
[PlyCount "39"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:37:21"]
[BlackClock "0:32:50"]
1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. e3 e6 4. Bd3 c5 5. O-O {"I don't know why I castled. I
was planning to play b3 against any move." (Kramnik)} c4 {"A bit annoying
surprise." (Kramnik)} 6. Be2 b5 7. b3 Bb7 8. Nc3 {"Very dubious, I felt."
(Giri)} ({Safer was} 8. bxc4 bxc4 9. Nc3 {(Kramnik)}) (8. a4 a6) 8... b4 $146 (
8... a6 9. Ne5 Qc7 10. Bd2 Nc6 11. f4 Bd6 12. Bf3 Ne7 13. Rb1 b4 14. Na4 c3 15.
Be1 O-O {Rakhmanov,A (2616)-Vallejo Pons,F (2695) Legnica 2013}) 9. Na4 c3 (
9... cxb3 10. c3 $5 {Kramnik} (10. cxb3)) 10. Ne5 Bd6 $2 {Now White can
destroy Black's possbility to castle.} (10... Nc6 11. a3 a5 12. Bb5 Qc7 13. Nd3
(13. e4 Nxe4 14. Bf4 Bd6) 13... Bd6 14. Nac5 O-O {is a much better version for
Black than the game. It's a huge difference.}) 11. a3 a5 12. Bb5+ Kf8 ({
Other moves fail tactically, e.g.} 12... Nbd7 13. Nxd7 Nxd7 14. Nc5 Bxc5 15.
dxc5 Qc7 16. axb4 axb4 17. Rxa8+ Bxa8 18. Qg4 O-O 19. Bxd7 Qxd7 20. Qxb4) 13.
Nc5 {"I realized I was almost lost here." (Giri)} Qb6 14. Nxb7 Qxb7 15. Qe2 g6
$2 ({With other moves Black can definitely fight, e.g.} 15... h5) (15... Ra7) (
15... Kg8) 16. e4 $1 {Black is basically lost already.} Nxe4 17. Bh6+ Ke7 (
17... Kg8 18. Ng4 Be7 19. axb4 axb4 20. Rxa8 Qxa8 21. f3 Nd6 22. Qe5 Nf5 23.
Qf6 Na6 24. Qxe7) 18. f3 Nd2 19. Rfe1 Kd8 20. Bf4 1-0
[Event "Norway Chess 2017"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.16"]
[Round "9.5"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C54"]
[WhiteElo "2786"]
[BlackElo "2832"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:35:31"]
[BlackClock "0:41:09"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. O-O a6 7. a4 (7. Re1 O-O
8. h3 Ba7 9. Bb3 Re8 10. Nbd2 Be6 11. Bc2 h6 12. Nf1 d5 13. exd5 Bxd5 14. Ng3
Qd7 {Giri,A (2785)-Nakamura,H (2786) Moscow 2017}) 7... Ba7 8. Re1 O-O 9. h3 h6
10. Nbd2 Be6 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12. b4 Nh5 13. Ra2 $146 (13. Nf1 Qf6 14. Ra2 Nf4 15.
Kh2 Ne7 16. Be3 Rf7 17. Bxa7 Rxa7 18. Ng1 Qg6 19. g3 Nh5 {Jumabayev,R (2625)
-Nguyen,N (2632) Chengdu 2017}) 13... Qf6 14. Nc4 b5 15. Ne3 Bb6 16. Ng4 Qe7
17. Be3 Bxe3 18. fxe3 Rab8 19. axb5 axb5 20. Ra6 {Maybe too early (Anand).} (
20. Qb3) 20... Nd8 21. d4 exd4 22. cxd4 Nf7 23. Qc2 Nf6 24. Nxf6+ Qxf6 25. Rc6
Ng5 (25... Rb7 $2 {doesn't work:} 26. Rxc7 Rxc7 27. Qxc7 Ng5 28. Rf1 Nxe4 29.
Nd2 {(Anand)}) 26. Nxg5 Qxg5 27. Rxc7 Qg3 28. Qe2 Ra8 29. Rcc1 Ra3 30. Ra1 Rb3
31. Rab1 Ra3 32. Ra1 Rb3 33. Rab1 Ra3 34. Ra1 1/2-1/2
[Event "Altibox Norway Chess 2017"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.16"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B97"]
[WhiteElo "2808"]
[BlackElo "2785"]
[Annotator "Alex Yermolinsky"]
[PlyCount "117"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qb6 8. Qd3
Qxb2 9. Rb1 Qa3 10. f5 Be7 11. fxe6 fxe6 12. Be2 Qa5 13. Bd2 Qc7 14. g4 h6 {
[#] Lots of theory here, in this modern take on the Poisoned Pawn.} 15. Rg1 {
Caruana seeks his own way.} ({The originators of the whole line, the Azeri
stars Radjabov, Gashimov and Mamedov, split their efforts between} 15. Qh3) ({
and} 15. e5) 15... Bd7 16. g5 hxg5 17. Rxg5 Nc6 {Hikaru decides to gives back
the pawn right away. By doing this he utilizes a common approach of
sidestepping the bulk of opponent's preparation. The drawback is in settling
for an inferior move.} ({I'm sure Fabi had some home cooking ready for} 17...
Rh7 {but likely, it was not} 18. e5 dxe5 19. Ne4 $2 Nxe4 20. Qxe4 Bxg5 21. Qxh7
Bxd2+ 22. Kxd2 Qa5+ 23. Kd1 Qd5 $17) 18. Rxg7 O-O-O (18... Nxd4 19. Qxd4 {
and Black cannot castle.}) 19. Ncb5 $1 axb5 20. Nxb5 Ne5 $1 (20... Qb8 {
gets trashed by} 21. Rxe7 Nxe7 22. Nxd6+ Kc7 23. Bf4) 21. Nxc7 Nxd3+ 22. cxd3 {
[#]} Ng8 $2 ({The redemption could only be found in an incredible
computer-generated idea:} 22... Rxh2 $3 23. Rxe7 Rh1+ 24. Bf1 Rf8 {and Black
wins his piece back.}) 23. Na8 ({Also,} 23. Ba5 Rxh2 24. Kd2 {was quite good
for White.}) 23... Kb8 24. Nb6 Bc6 25. Bf4 {In the immortal words of Roman
Dzindzi, White has the pawn and the compensation.} e5 26. Bg3 Bf6 27. Rf7 Be8
28. Rf8 Bg7 29. Rf2 Ne7 30. Bg4 Nc6 31. Rfb2 Nd4 32. Nd5 b5 33. a4 Bh6 34. axb5
Rg8 35. h3 Kb7 36. Ne7 Rf8 37. Nc6 $1 {The shortest way to victory.} Bxc6 38.
bxc6+ Kxc6 39. Bf2 {[#]Now White threatens to eliminate Nd4 with checkmate to
follow. Hikaru had no choice, but he knew it wasn't going to be enough.} Rxf2
40. Kxf2 Rf8+ 41. Kg2 Be3 42. Rb8 Rxb8 43. Rxb8 d5 44. Rc8+ Kd6 45. Rd8+ Ke7
46. Rd7+ Kf6 47. exd5 e4 48. dxe4 Bf4 49. h4 Nb5 50. h5 Be5 51. Bf5 Kg5 52. Bg6
Nd6 53. Re7 Nc4 54. Re6 Bf6 55. d6 Ne5 56. Bf5 Nd3 57. Rxf6 Kxf6 58. d7 Ke7 59.
h6 1-0
[Event "Altibox Norway Chess 2017"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.16"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D05"]
[WhiteElo "2808"]
[BlackElo "2771"]
[Annotator "Alex Yermolinsky"]
[PlyCount "39"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. e3 e6 4. Bd3 c5 5. O-O c4 $5 {A relatively obscure idea
that has a lot of ambition behind it. Black goes for space at the cost of
relieving pressure against the d4-pawn.} 6. Be2 b5 7. b3 Bb7 8. Nc3 $6 {
A provocative reply from Vladimir.} (8. a4 a6 9. c3 Nbd7 10. Nbd2 Be7 11. Ba3
O-O 12. Qc2 {was Kuraica-Bareev, 2003 which ended in an upset win by the
Bosnian veteran.}) 8... b4 {Anish doesn't hesitate to go for a space grab.} ({
Rakhmanov-Vallejo Pons, 2013 saw a more subtly approach by Black:} 8... a6 9.
Ne5 (9. bxc4 dxc4 $1) 9... Qc7 10. Bd2 Nc6 11. f4 Bd6 12. Bf3 Ne7 13. Rb1 {
and only now} b4 $1 {[#] Here White missed his last chance to make a game out
of his dubious setup.} 14. Nxd5 $5 exd5 15. bxc4 a5 $1 (15... dxc4 16. Bxb7
Qxb7 17. Nxc4 Qc7 18. Nxd6+ Qxd6 19. Bxb4 Qc6 20. Qd3 Qe4 21. f5 {White isn't
in such a bad way here.}) 16. a3 O-O 17. c5 Bxe5 18. fxe5 Ne4 19. axb4 axb4 20.
Rxb4 {but Black is probably better here.}) 9. Na4 c3 10. Ne5 {[#]} Bd6 $2 ({
The correct} 10... Nc6 11. a3 a5 12. Bb5 Qc7 {would practically compel White
to try the highly speculative} 13. e4 {because otherwise his Bc1 would have no
way out.} Nxe4 14. Qg4 h5 15. Qe2 Bd6 16. Be3 $15) 11. a3 ({Also,} 11. Bb5+ {
right away has its points.} Kf8 12. Nc5 Qb6 (12... Bxc5 {is depressing. After}
13. dxc5 Qa5 14. a4 Qc7 15. Qd4 {White has full control of the dark squares.})
13. Nxb7 Qxb7 14. Qd3 a6 15. Ba4 {How does Black develop here? It won't take
White long to prepare e3-e4.}) 11... a5 (11... O-O {would be a major
concession. White simply goes} 12. axb4 Bxb4 13. Ba3 a5 14. Nc5 Qc7 15. Bxb4
axb4 16. Rxa8 Bxa8 17. Qd3 Nc6 18. f4 {and he has all the play on the a-file
and against the weak b4-pawn. That's the problem with attempting to grab space:
it only works when we get to push his pieces back. Once the opponent finds his
way around the advancing pawns (Na4-c5 in this case), they become terribly
weak.}) 12. Bb5+ Kf8 ({Same story unfolds in case of} 12... Nbd7 13. Nxd7 Nxd7
14. Nc5 Bxc5 15. dxc5 Qc7 16. axb4 axb4 17. Rxa8+ Bxa8 18. Qd4 O-O 19. Bxd7
Qxd7 20. Qxb4 $18) 13. Nc5 Qb6 14. Nxb7 Qxb7 15. Qe2 {[#] The black king is in
more trouble than it seems, and, of course, the black rooks aren't coordinated.
} g6 {One of those "positional" moves that at times can meet with a direct
tactical refutation.} (15... h5 16. f3 h4 17. e4 Qb6 18. Kh1 Qxd4 19. Bf4 {
is quite dangerous for Black, yet, it seemed a better choice.}) 16. e4 Nxe4 (
16... dxe4 17. Bh6+ Kg8 18. axb4 Bxb4 19. f3) (16... Kg7 17. Nxf7 $1 {Perhaps,
Anish missed that one.} Kxf7 18. e5 $18) 17. Bh6+ Ke7 (17... Kg8 18. Ng4 Be7
19. axb4 axb4 20. Rxa8 Qxa8 21. f3 Nf6 22. Qe5 $18) 18. f3 $18 {Black won't
last long here.} Nd2 ({Some spectacular lines Anish Giri decided to leave in
the dark:} 18... Bxe5 19. fxe4 Bxd4+ 20. Kh1 dxe4 21. Rad1 e5 22. Qc4) ({or}
18... Nf6 19. Rfe1 Bxe5 20. dxe5 Nfd7 21. axb4 axb4 22. Rxa8 Qxa8 23. Qf2 Qa5
24. Qh4+ Ke8 25. Qf6 Rg8 26. Bg5) 19. Rfe1 Kd8 20. Bf4 (20. Bf4 Kc7 21. axb4
axb4 22. Rxa8 Qxa8 23. Nxf7 Bxf4 24. Qxe6 Rc8 25. Qf6 $1) 1-0
[Event "Altibox Norway Chess 2017"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2017.06.16"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C54"]
[WhiteElo "2786"]
[BlackElo "2832"]
[Annotator "Alex Yermolinsky"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. O-O a6 7. a4 Ba7 8. Re1
O-O 9. h3 h6 10. Nbd2 Be6 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12. b4 Nh5 13. Ra2 Qf6 14. Nc4 {
[#] This Italian Guoco Piano/Anti-Berlin Ruy Lopez is a staple of top level
chess these days. Between the two of them Anand and Carlsen must have played
it a hundred times, including many battles against each other.} b5 $6 {I don't
particularly like this move and I suspect Magnus didn't much fancy it either.}
({The thing is, the normal} 14... Ne7 {allows} 15. d4 $1 {and even if Black
can hold his own after} exd4 16. cxd4 Ng6 17. e5 $1 Qf5 {which is not a fact
yet, the position after} 18. exd6 Qd5 19. Rc2 cxd6 {offers White a chance to
wrap it up with repetition:} 20. Ne3 Qe4 21. Nc4) 15. Ne3 ({White has to be a
bit careful not to walk into} 15. axb5 axb5 16. Ne3 $2 Bxe3 17. Rxa8 Bxf2+)
15... Bb6 16. Ng4 Qe7 17. Be3 Bxe3 18. fxe3 {In the resulted symmetrical
structure White holds two advantages: pressure against b5 and better posts for
his knights. Granted, it's not much yet, but White's prospects look much
brighter.} Rab8 {Concession no.1} 19. axb5 axb5 20. Ra6 Nd8 {Concession no.2
of the same} 21. d4 exd4 22. cxd4 Nf7 {[#]} 23. Qc2 $2 {Not a bad move in
itself, but I mark it down for a missed opportunity.} (23. e5 $1 Ng3 24. Qc2
Nf5 (24... Ng5 {offers no compensation whatsoever:} 25. Nxg5 Qxg5 26. exd6 cxd6
27. Rxd6 h5 28. Ne5 $16) 25. e4 Ng3 (25... Nh4 26. Nf6+ gxf6 27. Nxh4 Kg7 28.
exd6 cxd6 29. d5 {is disastrous for Black.}) 26. Rc6 {would put Magnus on the
ropes yet again. We are used to his indifference to playing for an opening
advantage with white because we know of his ability to win from equal
positions. Getting in trouble with black, as it consistently happened to
Carlsen in this tournament, is another kettle of fish.}) 23... Nf6 $1 {At the
last moment the hapless knight escapes.} 24. Nxf6+ Qxf6 25. Rc6 Ng5 $1 {
Now Carlsen has a clear path to counterplay.} 26. Nxg5 Qxg5 27. Rxc7 Qg3 $1 28.
Qe2 ({Still,} 28. Re2 Ra8 29. Qc1 Ra4 30. Qe1 {was worth trying.}) 28... Ra8
29. Rcc1 Ra3 30. Ra1 Rb3 31. Rab1 Ra3 32. Ra1 Rb3 33. Rab1 Ra3 34. Ra1 1/2-1/2