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Mon Mar 5, 2012, 02:01 AM

Chess (March): 3-way tie in Aeroflot Op; Magnus still número uno

The JR Chess Report theme music: Merrick, The Look Sharp, Be Sharp March (From a broadcast of The Gillette Cavalcade of Spots).



Aeroflot Open ends in three-way tie


Photo by http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Stefan64 Stefan64 in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mateusz_Bartel.jpg Wikimedia Commons (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en Creative Commons License, Attribution/Share Alike)

The 11th annual Aeroflot Open ended in a three-way among Mateusz Bartel (Poland), Anton Korobov (Russia) and Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine) at 6½ points each out of nine rounds when play ended on February 15 in Moscow.

Bartel was awarded firt prize based on tie breaks. Alongs with the first prize goes a ticket to play in the elite tournament in Dortmund this summer.

Six players tied for second at 6 points each: Hrant Melkumyan, Fabiano Caruana, Dmitry Andreikin, Maxim Rodshtein and former FIDE knock out chmapion Alexander Khalifman. Il signore Caruana, the Italian national champion, lost two games, both to first place finishers.

Vietnamese grandmaster Le Quang Liem, winner of the ninth and tenth Aeroflot Opens, could garner only 4 points in his quest for a third straight Aeroflot title.


Bartel wins Polish Championship


Photo by http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Stefan64 Stefan64 in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mateusz_Bartel.jpg Wikimedia Commons (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en Creative Commons License, Attribution/Share Alike)

Mateusz Bartel, fresh off his equal first place finish at the Aeroflot Open in Moscow, won the Polish National Championship in Warsaw with 8 points out of nine rounds in competition completed February 26 in Warsaw.

Bartel won 7, lost 1 and drew 2.

Bartlomiej Macieja was the runner up with 7 points and Kamil Miton took third with 6½ points.

Ratings favorite Radoslaw Wojtaszek took fourth palce with 6 points.


Magnus Still Number One


Photo by Stefan64 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Stefan64 from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnus_Carlsen (Creative Commons License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en , Attribution/Share Alike)

Magnus Carlsen of Norway remains the world's hightest rated chess player with a rating of 2835 in the official list released March 1.

Magnus' rating is little changed since the last list was release on January 1.

Armenian GM Levon Aronian is again number two, but with a rating of 2820, up 15 points from January 1.

FIDE top 100 (Mark Crowther, The Week in Chess).


March Madness

Cappelle-la-Grande International Open 3-10 March, 9 rounds. Top seeds are French GM Christian Bauer and Wijk aan Zee Group B champion Pentala Harikrishna of India.

27th Reyjavik Open 6-13 March, 9 Rounds. Fabiano Caruana and Hou Yifan come to town after recent successes.

European Women's Championship, Gaziantep, Turkey 2-13 March, 11 rounds, Swiss system. Top seed is Anna Muzychuk.

European Championship, General, Plovdiv, Bulgaria 20-31 March, 11 rounds, Swiss system.

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Reply Chess (March): 3-way tie in Aeroflot Op; Magnus still número uno (Original post)
Jack Rabbit Mar 2012 OP
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Response to Jack Rabbit (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2012, 02:07 AM

1. February Games

The JR Chess Report theme music: Merrick, (Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops Orchestra)

Your humble hare acknowledges the assistance of Rybka 4 and Fritz 13 on analysis.

Diagrams on the Jack Rabbit Chess Report are made with Aquarium, a commercially available interface for Rybka.

Diagrams and other images are hosted on .com.

BLACK



WHITE
White to move
(This position is a theoretical draw)


I would like to thank my impressive and loyal staff: Buccaneer, Spitfire, Desperado, Swashbuckler, Pancho and Robin Hood.

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Response to Jack Rabbit (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 5, 2012, 02:12 AM

2. Tradewise Chess Festival, Masters Open, Gibraltar



Barbary Macaques on Gibraltar
Photo by http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Oltau Olaf Tausch (Oltau) in http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Gibraltar_Barbary_Macaques Wikimedia Commonms (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en Creative Commons License], Attribution/Share Alike)

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Response to Jack Rabbit (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 5, 2012, 02:14 AM

3. Koneru - Short, Round 6



Nigel Short

Photo by http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Stefan64 Stefan64] in http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Nigel_Short Wikimedia Commons (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en Creative Commons License, Attribution/Share Alike)


Koneru Humpy - Nigel Short
Tradewise Chess Festival, Masters Open, Round 6
Gibraltar, 29 January 2012

Royal Queen's Pawn Game: Mikenas Defense


1.d4 Nc6 2.c4 e5

  • This is the seldom-seen Mikenas Defense. It indicates that Mr. Short desires no theoretical discussion with Sushri Koneru.
  • (Royal Queen's Pawn Game: Mexican Defense) If 2...Nf6 3.Nf3 e6 then:
    • If 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Qc2 d6 6.Bd2 then:
      • If 6...e5 then:
        • If 7.d5 Bxc3 8.Bxc3 Ne7 9.e4 0-0 then:
          • If 10.g3 Nh5 11.Be2 then:
            • 11...g6 12.Nd2 f5 13.exf5 Bxf5 14.Qb3 Nf6 15.Qxb7 gives White an extra pawn and more space (Manyedi-Mansour, Ol, Khanty-Mansiysk, 2010).

            • 11...Nf6 12.0-0 Ng4 13.Nh4 f5 14.exf5 Nxf5 15.Ng2 gives White the advantage in space from the initiative (Szabo-Trifunovic, Ol, Stockholm, 1957).

          • If 10.Be2 Ng6 11.g3 a5 12.h4 Bg4 13.Nh2 Bxe2 14.Qxe2 gives White more freedom (Averbakh-Petrosian, IT, Yerevan, 1965).

        • If 7.a3 Bxc3 8.Bxc3 Qe7 then:
          • If 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.e3 then:
            • If 10...0-0 11.b4 Bg4 then:
              • If 12.Be2 e4 then:
                • 13.b5 exf3 14.gxf3 Bxf3 15.Bxf3 Ne5 16.Be2 Rfe8 is equal (Flohr-Keres, Soviet Ch, Leningrad, 1947).

                • If 13.Nd4 Ne5 14.0-0 Bxe2 15.Qxe2 Rfe8 16.Rad1 is equal (Kottnauer-Reshevsky, IT, Amsterdam, 1950).

              • If 9.d5 Nb8 then:
                • 10.e3 0-0 11.Bd3 Nbd7 12.Nd2 Re8 13.e4 gives White a slight advantage in space (S. G. Williams-J. P. Jackson, 4NCL, Reading, 2011).

                • If 12.Qb2 Nd7 13.Be2 f6 14.Rd1 Rad8 15.h3 gives White a slim advantage in space (M. Socko-Skripchenko, Euro ChTW, Crete, 2007).

              • If 10...a5 11.b3 0-0 12.Be2 Bg4 13.0-0 Rfe8 14.h3 is equal (Ragozin-Botvinnik, Tng Match, Leningrad, 1940).

            • If 10.e4 0-0 11.Be2 Nh5 12.g3 Bh3 13.Nh4 gives White a slim advantage in space and a slight initiative (Bareev-V. Filippov, Aeroflot Op, Moscow, 2009).

      • 6...0-0 7.a3 transposes into the the Zürich Variation of the Capablanca Opening to the Nimzo-Indian Defense; see Bacrot-David, French ChT, Mulhouse, 2011).

    • If 4.a3 then:
      • If 4...d6?! 5.Nc3! g6 6.e4 Bg7 then:
        • If 7.Be2 0-0 8.0-0 Re8 then:
          • If 9.Be3 e5 10.d5 Nd4 then:
            • If 11.Nxd4 exd4 12.Bxd4 Nxe4 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 then:
              • If 14.Nxe4 Rxe4 then:
                • If 15.Bd3 Re8 16.Qb3 b6 then:
                  • 17.Rfe1 Bd7 18.Qc3+ Qf6 19.Qxf6+ Kxf6 20.f4 Bf5 is equal (V. Popov-Bologan, Russian ChT, Tomsk, 2001).

                  • If 17.Qc2 Bd7 18.Rad1 Qf6 19.Qd2 Rac8 20.b3 Rb8 gives Black a slight advantage in space (The King-Rybka, Computer IT, Leiden, 2010).

                • 15.Qc2 Re8 16.Bd3 Bd7 17.f4 Qf6 18.f5 draw (Thorfinnsson-van Haastart, Euro Club Cup, Fügen, 2006).

              • 14.Nb5 a6 15.f3 axb5 16.fxe4 Rxe4 17.cxb5 Qg5 gives White the advantage in space (Ikonnikov-Pallister, Op, Isle of Man, 2005).

            • If a) 11.Rc1 Bd7 then:
              • 12.Nxd4!? exd4 13.Bxd4 Nxe4 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 is equal (Pacheco-Rowe, Ol, Bled, 2002).

              • 12.Re1 a5 13.b3 c5 14.dxc6 Bxc6 is equal.

            • b) 11.Re1 Bd7 12.h3 a5 13.Bf1 Nxf3+ 14.Qxf3 c5 15.dxc6 gives White the advantage in space (Summerscale-Pallister, British Ch, Scarborough, 2001).

          • If 9.d5 exd5 10.cxd5 Ne7 then:
            • 11.Bf4 c6 12.dxc6 Nxc6 13.Qc2 Qe7 14.Rfe1 Be6 15.Rad1 give White the advantage in space (A. Brown-Akshat, Op, Queenstown, New Zealand, 2012).

            • 11.Re1 c6 12.dxc6 Nxc6 13.Bf1 Bg4 14.h3 Bxf3 15.Qxf3 is equal (M. Nikolov-Arnaudov, Bulgarian Ch, Kyustendil, 2010).

        • If 7.h3 0-0 then:
          • If 8.Bg5 h6 9.Be3 Re8 10.Bd3 Nd7 then:
            • If 11.Bc2 a5 then:
              • 12.Qd2 g5 13.0-0-0 Nb6 14.Qe2 d5 15.h4 gives White stronger pawns and more freedom (L. Müller-Quinn, Eurp Club Cup, Ohrid, 2009).

              • If 12.0-0 Nb6 13.d5 Ne7 14.Nd2 c6 15.dxe6 Bxe6 is equal (Naundorf-Arnaudov, Op, Bad Wiesse, 2008).

            • 11.Be2 e5 12.d5 Nd4 13.Nxd4 exd4 14.Bxd4 Bxd4 15.Qxd4 gives White a comfortable advantage in space (Roiz-Riff, Euro Club Cup, Fügen, Austria, 2006).

          • 8.Be3 Re8 9.Bd3 Nd7 then:
            • 10.Be2 e5 11.d5 Nd4 12.Nxd4 exd4 13.Bxd4 Bxd4 14.Qxd4 gives White a very comfortable advantage in space (Reich-Promyshlyanskiy, Op, Nürnburg, 2006).

            • 10.Bc2!? Nb6! 11.b3 a5 12.Rc1 e5 13.d5 gives White a fair advantage in space (Estrema Panos-Ellis, EU Ch, Liverpool, 2008).

      • If 4...d5 5.Nc3 g6 then:
        • If 6.Bf4 a6 7.e3 Bg7 8.h3 0-0 then:
          • If 9.Rc1 Ne7 then:
            • 10.Be2 dxc4 11.Bxc4 b5 12.Be2 Bb7 13.0-0 gives White a small advantage in space (Mittleman-Galashvili, Euro Ch, Saint Vincent, 2000).

            • 10.Bd3 c6 11.c5 Nd7 12.b4 f6 13.Bd6 gives White an excellent game; the Bishop will be difficult to dislodge from d6 (S. Pedersen-Hagestäther, Nordic Ch, Bergen, 2001)

          • 9.c5 Re8 10.Be2 b6 11.cxb6 cxb6 12.Rc1 Bb7 13.0-0 gives White the advantage in space; Black should regroup his pieces (Dr. Lasker-van Foreest, IT, Amsterdam, 1889).

        • 6.Bg5 Bg7 7.e3 0-0 8.Bd3 h6 9.Bh4 Ne7 10.0-0 gives White a comfortable advantage in space (S. Larsen-Galashvili, Op, Hamburg, 1999).

  • 2...d5 transposes into the Royal Queen's Gambit, also called the Chigorin Defense. See Krush-Baginskaite, US ChW, St. Louis, 2009.

3.d5 Nce7 4.Nc3 Ng6 5.g3 a5 (N)

  • Mr. Short breaks out of the book early.
  • If 5...Nf6 6.Bg2 then:
    • If 6...Bc5 then:
      • If 7.Nf3 0-0 8.0-0 a6 then:
        • If 9.Bg5 h6 10.Bxf6 Qxf6 11.Ne4 Qe7 12.Nxc5 Qxc5 then:
          • 13.d6 cxd6 14.Nd2 f5 15.Nb3 Qc7 16.Rc1 gives White more freedom and space; Black must develop the Bishop on the flank, but must first move the Rook.(Oral-Hagesäther, World Youth, Halle, 1995).

          • 13.Nd2 d6 14.Rc1 f5 15.e4 f4 16.Nb3 Qa7 gives White a better center and Black more space (Bagaturov"-Lonnoy, Op, La Fare, France, 2006).

        • 9.Qd3 d6 10.e4 h6 11.Be3 Bxe3 12.Qxe3 Ng4 is equal (Lehtivaara-Paronen, Op, Jyvaskyla, Finland, 2001).

      • 7.e3 0-0 8.Nge2 a6 9.0-0 d6 10.Bd2 Bd7 gives Black a slight edge in space (Zhu Chen-Christiansen, TM, Seattle, 2001).

    • If 6...Bb4 7.Qc2 then:
      • If 7...0-0 8.Bd2 d6 9.h4 Ne7 then:
        • 10.a3 Bxc3 11.Bxc3 b5 12.cxb5 Nfxd5 is equal (Georgadze-Yermolinsky, Op, Philadelphia, 1991).

        • 10.e4 c6 11.Nge2 cxd5 12.cxd5 Bd7 is equal.

      • 7...a5 8.e4 d6 9.Nge2 0-0 10.0-0 Bd7 11.Na4 gives White a better grip on the center; Black has a small advantage in space (Smyslov-Rosetto, IT, Mar del Plata, 1966).

6.Bg2 Bc5 7.Na4 Bb4+ 8.Bd2 d6 9.Bxb4

  • 9.Nf3 Bd7 10.Nc3 Nf6 11.Qc2 0-0 12.a3 Bc5 remains equal.

9...axb4 10.b3!?

  • 10.a3 bxa3 11.Rxa3 h5 12.h4 Bd7 13.Qb3 Ra6 remains equal.

10...Bd7! 11.Nb2

  • 11.Nf3 Bxa4 12.bxa4 Qd7 13.a5 Rxa5 14.Qb3 Nf6 gives Black a comfortable advantage in space.

11...Ra3

  • 11...c6 12.dxc6 Bxc6 13.Nf3 then:
    • 13...Nf6 14.0-0 0-0 15.Ne1 Bxg2 16.Kxg2 b5 continues to give Black a slight advantage in space.
    • If 13...N8e7!? 14.0-0 0-0 15.Qd2 Nf5 is equal.

12.Nf3 Qa8 13.Qb1 Nf6 14.0-0

  • 14.Nd2 then:
    • 14...0-0 15.Nd3 c5 16.dxc6 Bxc6 continues to give Black a slight advantage in space.
    • If 14...c5 15.dxc6 then:
      • 15...bxc6 16.Na4 Qa6 17.Qd3 c5 18.Nb1 e4 continues to give Black a slight advantage in space.
      • 15...Bxc6 16.0-0 Bxg2 17.Kxg2 0-0 is equal.

14...Bg4 15.Nd1 0-0

  • With both sides having developed their pieces, Black has a small advantage in space.

16.Ne3 Qa5!?

  • White loses his advantage by allowing White counterplay on the queenside.
  • 16...Qa7 17.Nxg4 Nxg4 18.Ne1 Ra8 continues to give Black a small advantage in space.

17.Nc2!?

  • The Rook has no escape, but this allows Black more ways to counter.
  • A better alternative is 17.c5! Qxc5 18.Rc1 when:
    • If 18...Qb5 19.Rxc7 Nxd5 20.Nd4 exd4 21.Nxd5 then:
      • If 21...Ne5 22.Qe4 Qxe2 23.Qxe2 Bxe2 then:
        • 24.Nxb4 d3 25.f4 Nc6 26.Bxc6 bxc6 27.Rxc6 d2 28.Rxd6 is equal.
        • 24.Rxb7?! d3! 25.Ne3 Rc8 26.f4 Ng6 27.Bh3 Rca8 gives White a fair advantage.
      • 21...Qxe2 22.Rc4 Qe5 23.f4 Qe2 24.Rxd4 is equal.
    • If 18...Qb6?! 19.Nc4! then:
      • If 19...Qb5 20.Nxa3 bxa3 21.Rxc7 then:
        • 21...Qxe2 22.Ne1 Qa6 23.Qd3 Qb6 24.Rac1 leaves White with the material advantage and threats to Black's position.
        • 21...e4 22.Ng5 Nxd5 23.Rc1 Bxe2 24.Bxe4 leaves White with the exchange for a pawn.
      • 19...Qa6 20.e4 c6 21.dxc6 bxc6 22.Nxa3 bxa3 23.Qc2 gives White the exchange and the initiative.

17...Bf5!

  • Black prevents White from taking the exchange, at least for the moment.

18.Nfe1 Ra8 19.e4!

  • White is fully equal, but Black has used the time gained by the pin to to set up compensation for the exchange.


BLACK: Nigel Short




WHITE: Koneru Humpy
Position after 19.e2e4


19...Bxe4!!

  • Black will give up the exchange now, when he will be compensated with activity in the center and a strong queenside.
  • If 19...Bg4?! then after 20.Nxa3 bxa3 21.Qc2 Qc5 22.Nd3 Qd4 23.Rfe1 Black can make no further progress anywhere on the board.

20.Bxe4 Nxe4 21.Nxa3 Nd2

  • The game is equal.

22.Qc2?!

  • White should protect her Rook while she gets her Queen out of danger.
  • 22.Qd3 bxa3 23.b4! Qxb4 24.Nc2 e4 25.Rfd1 exd3 remains equal.

22...bxa3!

  • Black must not be too greedy.
  • 22...Nxf1? drops a piece to 23.Nb5!.

23.b4

  • White must sacrifice a pawn in order to save her Rook.

23...Qxb4 24.Nd3 Qa5 25.Rfd1 Nf3+!

  • The Knight decoys the King to a less safe square.

26.Kg2

  • No better is 26.Kh1 Nd4 27.Qd2 Qa4 28.Qb4 e4 29.Qxa4 Rxa4 30.Nf4 Rxc4 31.Nxg6 hxg6 leaves Black three pawns for the exchange.
  • If 28.Rdc1!? c5! 29.Rab1 Qd7 30.Qe3 Re8 31.f3 f5 leaves Black close to a won position.

26...Nd4 27.Qd2 Qa6!?

  • Black slips and gives White some room to breath.
  • font color="red"]27...Qa4 28.Qb4 e4 29.Qxb7 exd3 30.Rxd3 Nf5 gives Black power in the a-file.

28.Nb4! Qxc4?!

  • Black is now three pawns up, but may have underestimated the strength of White's reply.
  • If 28...Qa4 29.Rdc1 Qd7 30.f3 Qf5 31.Rc3 c5 32.dxc6 bxc6 gives Black a better center, stronger pawns and more space; White has some compensation in strength on the queenside.


BLACK: Nigel Short




WHITE: Koneru Humpy
Position after 28...Qa6c4:p


29.Rac1!

  • White skewers the Queen and c-pawn, leveling the game.

29...Qb5 30.Rxc7

  • White wins back a pawn.

30...h6 31.Qc3?!

  • This should cost White all she has gained in the last four moves.
  • 31.Rb1 Ra4 32.f3 f5 33.h4 Kf8 34.f4 Rxb4 remains equal.

31...Ra4!?

  • Black threatens a Knight, but could have threantened a Rook by putting his Queen's in the middle of White's camp.
  • 31...Qe2! 32.Rc1 Qe4+ 33.f3 Qe2+ 34.Kh1 Ra5 gives Black two pawns for the exchange, stronger pawns, more pressure on the center and more space; White has strength on the queenside.

32.Rxd4

  • 32.Rc8+ Kh7 33.Rc4 f5 34.Rb1 f4 35.Qd3 f3+ leaves Black using his extra pawns to push White back.

32...exd4 33.Qf3 Qe8 34.Rxb7?!

  • White wins back another pawn, but leaves the center to Black.
  • If 34.Qf5 then after 34...Ra8 35.Nc2 Ne5 36.Nxd4 Qa4 Black remains a pawn to the good.


BLACK: Nigel Short




WHITE: Koneru Humpy
Position after 34.Rc7b7:p


34...Ne5! 35.Qb3 Ra8 36.Na6

  • 36.Nc6 Nxc6 37.dxc6 Qxc6+ 38.Qf3 Qxf3+ 39.Kxf3 Rc8 leaves Black three pawns to the good.

36...Qd8 37.Nc7?

  • White's threat is ...Rb8, which keeps Black heavy peice on the there, and she does not want to interfere with that possibility.
  • Still, better is 37.Nb8 after which the Black Rook is unable to navigate its own back rank, but 37...Qc8 38.Nc6 Nxc6 39.dxc6 Qxc6+ 40.Qf3 Qxf3+ 41.Kxf3 Rc8 leaves Black with two extra pawns, weak but passed, going to a Rook and pawn ending.

37...Rc8 38.Nb5

BLACK: Nigel Short




WHITE: Koneru Humpy

Position after 38.Nc7b5


38...d3!

  • Black's foremost d-pawn just got more dangerous.

39.Nxa3

  • If 39.Qd1 then Black wins after 39...Rb8 40.Rxb8 Qxb8 41.Qa4 d2 42.Nc3 Qb2.

39...d2 40.Nb1 Nc4 41.Qd3 Qa5 42.Re7

  • No better is 42.a3 g6 43.h3 Qa6 44.Re7 d1Q 45.Qxd1 Ne5.


BLACK: Nigel Short




WHITE: Koneru Humpy
Position after 42.Rb7e7


42...Qb4!

  • Black takes command of a route to c1 with tempo.

43.Qf5

  • If 43.Re2 then Black wins material after 43...Ne5 when:
    • 44.Qxd2 Qxb1 leaves Black a piece to the good.
    • 44.Rxe5 d1Q 45.Qxd1 dxe5 46.Qd3 Qb2 leaves Black up by the excahbge

43...Rf8 44.Qc2 Rb8 45.Nc3 Qb2 0-1

  • If 46.Qxb2 then Black wins easily after 46...Rxb2 47.Re2 Rc2 48.Nd1 Rc1.
  • Sushri Koneru resigns.

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Response to Jack Rabbit (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 5, 2012, 02:15 AM

4. Hou Yifan - J. Polgar, Round 7

This game is the historic encounter between the Hou Yifan, reigning world women's champion, and Judit Polgar, the lady who is almost unanimously consider greatest woman chess player of all time.

It is apropos that Hou Nushi, who came to Gibraltar with an Elo score of 2605, left with a rating of 2639, the second highest ever achieved by a woman. Hianyzik Polgar, now rated 2709, peaked in 2005 with a rating of 2735 and was ranked at that time eighth in the world. Those are mountains Hou Nushi is yet to climb.



Hou Yifan
Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/karpidis/ karpidis modified from http://www.flickr.com/photos/8022405@N02/2750069891/ flickr in http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Hou_Yifan Wikimedia Commons (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en Creative Commons License, Attribution/Share Alike)


Hou Yifan - Judit Polgar
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1655416
Tradewise Chess Festival, Masters Open, Round 7
Gibraltar, 30 January 2012

Open Norman Sicilian Game: Taimanov Defense (Anti-Szen Variation)


1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 a6

  • For the most common variations, the Four Knights' Variation and the Bastrikov Variation, see Gashimov-Radjabov, IT A, Wijk aan Zee, 2012.
  • The main purpose of the text move is to prevent Black from playing 6.Ndb5, the Szen Opening. This is part of Taimanov's original idea.
  • White can also enter into the Szen Opening from the Bastrikov Variation. See the notes on the Bastrikov Variation, variation d) 6.Ndb5 in the Gashimov-Radjabov game cited above.

6.Be2 Nge7

  • Many sources distinguish between the Taimanov and the Paulesn Defenses by where Black develops the King's Knight: if on e7, then it's a Taimanov and if on f6, then it's a Paulsen. We put the whole lot under the name Taimanov.li]
  • If 6...Nf6 7.Be3 Qc7 8.0-0 then:
    • If 8...Be7 9.f4 d6 10.Kh1 0-0 then:
      • If 11.a4 Re8 then:
        • If 12.Bf3 then:
          • If 12...Bf8 then:
            • If 13.Qd2 then:
              • If 13...Nd7 then:
                • If 14.Qf2 Rb8 15.Rad1 Nb4 16.e5 gives White a small advantage in space (Hou Yifan-Javakhishvili, Euro Club Cup W, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 2010).
                • 14.Rad1 Rb8 15.Rfe1 Nxd4 16.Bxd4 b6 gives White the advantage in space (Galkin-Ermenkov, Euro Ch, Ohrid, 2001).
              • If a) 13...Rb8 14.Qf2 e5 then:
                • 15.fxe5 dxe5 16.Nb3 Be6 17.Bb6 Qc8 18.a5 Bxb3 19.cxb3 gives White the advantage in space, but Black has stronger pawns (Hou Yifan-van Wely, TM, Amsterdam, 2009).
                • If 15.Nde2 b5 16.axb5 axb5 17.f5 Nb4 18.Ng3 Nxc2 then:
                  • 19.Bg5 Nxa1 20.Bxf6 Qc5 21.Qd2 Nb3 leaves Black with the material advantage for the moment, but after 22.Qg5 White has the advantage in space and the active game in compensation (Jakovenko-Rublevsky, IT, Poikovsky, 2008).
                  • 19.Qxc2 b4 20.Ra7 Bb7 21.Bg5 gives White the advantage in space.
              • If b) 13...Na5 then:
                • If 14.b3 Rb8 15.Rad1 then:
                  • 15...b6 16.e5 dxe5 17.fxe5 Nd7 is equal (Jansa-Stohl, Bundesliga 0203, Germany, 2002).
                  • 15...Nc6 16.Bf2 Nd7 17.Bg3 Nxd4 18.Qxd4 gives White the advantage in space (Adams-Topalov, IT A, Wijk aan Zee, 2006).
                • If 14.Qf2 Nc4 15.Bc1 e5 16.Nde2 d5 17.fxe5 Nxe5 18.Bf4 dxe4 19.Nxe4 then:
                  • 19...Nd5 20.Bg3 Qe7 21.Rad1 Nxf3 22.gxf3 Nf6 23.N2c3 Nxe4 24.fxe4 Bh3 gives Black advantages in pawn structure and initiative (Sutovsky-Kasparov, SX, Tel Aviv, 1998).
                  • 19...Qxc2 20.Nxf6+ gxf6 21.Qg3+ Qg6 22.Bd5 Nc6 is equal (Galkin-Poluljahov, Op, Novgorod, 1999).
            • If 13.Nb3 b6 14.a5 then:
              • If 14...Nd7 15.axb6 Nxb6 16.Nb5 axb5 17.Bxb6 Qb8 18.Rxa8 Qxa8 19.Qe2 then:
                • If 19...b4 20.Ra1 Qb7 21.Be3 gives White the advantage in space (Kovacevic-Stojanovic, TT, Herceg Novi, 2005).
                • 19.Qd3 b4 20.Ra1 Qb8 21.Be3 Bb7 22.Nd2 Qc7 23.Nc4 gives White the advantage in space (Babaev-Ulibin, Lasker Mem, Berlincek, 2001).
              • If 14...bxa5 15.e5 dxe5 16.fxe5 Rd8 17.Nd4 Nxd4 then:
                • 18.Bxd4 Bb7 19.exf6 e5 20.fxg7 Bxg7 then:
                  • 21.Bxb7 Qxb7 22.Ne2 exd4 23.Ng3 Rd5 24.Nf5 gives White a well-posted Knight and stronger pawns in compensation for his pawn minus (Kovacevic-Jakovljevic, Op, Ljubljana, 2005).
                  • 21.Bxe5 Qxe5 22.Qe1 Qxe1 23.Rfxe1 Bxf3 24.gxf3 Rd2 gives Black the advantage in space and a Rook on the seventh (Bach-van Wely, Op, Vilssingen, 2001).
                • If 18.Bxa8 Qxe5 19.Bf4 Qc5 20.Ne4 Nxe4 21.Bxe4 f5 then:
                  • 22.Bf3 e5 23.Be3 Qc7 is equal (Nisipeanu-K. Georgiev, FIDE Knock Out, New Delhi, 2000).
                  • 22.Bd3 e5 23.Be3 gives White the advantage in space.
          • If 12...Rb8 then:
            • If 13.g4 Nxd4 14.Bxd4 e5 15.fxe5 dxe5 16.Ba7 Ra8 17.g5 Rd8 18.Qe2 Ne8 19.Be3 Be6 20.Qf2 then:
              • If 20...Rdc8 then:
                • 21.Rad1 Bc5 22.Bxc5 Qxc5 23.Nd5 Bxd5 24.Rxd5 Qxc2 25.Rxe5 gives White a small advantage in space (Thinius-K. Szabo, 1st Saturday Feb, Budapest, 2005).
                • If 21.Bg4 then:
                  • 21...Qc6 22.Bxe6 Qxe6 23.Nd5 Bd8 24.Bc5 Rc6 25.Nb4 Rcc8 26.Nd5 Rc6 27.Nb4 Rcc8 28.Nd5 Rc6 draw (Maliangkay-Elwert, Corres, 1998).
                  • 21...Nd6 22.Bxe6 fxe6 23.g6 hxg6 24.Qg2 gives White healthier pawns and more active pieces (Xie Jun-Arakhamia, FIDE Knock Out W, Groningen, 1997).
                • If 20...Qc4 then:
                  • 21.Bb6 Rdc8 22.Be3 Bc5 23.Rad1 Bxe3 24.Qxe3 Qb4 gives Black a small advantage in space (Topalov-Kasparov, Ol, Yerevan, 1996).
                  • If 21.Nd5 Bxd5 22.b3 Qc3 23.exd5 Nd6 24.Rac1 then:
                    • 24...Rac8 25.Bd2 Qb2 26.c4 gives White the advantage in space (Hertel-Traeger, Corres, 2001).
                    • 24...b5 25.Bd2! gives White a solid advantage in space (Kozlov-Lastin, Op, Moscow, 1999).
              • If 13.Qd2 Bd7 then:
                • 14.Nb3 b6 15.g4 Bc8 16.g5 Nd7 17.Bg2 Na5 18.Qf2 Nxb3 19.cxb3 Nc5 20.Qc2 b5 21.axb5 axb5 gives White a small advantage in space.
                • If 14.Qf2 Nxd4 15.Bxd4 e5 16.Bb6 Qc4 17.Be2 Qc6 18.a5 exf4 19.Qxf4 gives White the advantage in space (Kuczynski-Jaworski, Polish ChT, Glagow, 2001).
        • If 12.Bd3 Nb4 13.a5 Bd7 14.Qe1 Rac8 15.Qg3 then:
          • 15...Nxd3 16.cxd3 Bc6 17.f5 e5 18.Nf3 Kh8 19.Bb6 Qd7 is equal (Czarnota-Ribli, Bundesliga 0607, Germany 2006).
          • 15...Nh5 16.Qf3 Nf6 17.Qg3 etc. draws.
      • If 11.Qe1 Bd7 12.Qg3 b5 13.a3 Nxd4 14.Bxd4 Bc6 15.Rae1 Qb7 16.Bd3 b4 17.Nd1 bxa3 18.bxa3 Rac8 19.Nc3 g6 20.f5 e5 21.Be3 then:
        • 21...Nxe4? 22.Nxe4 Bxe4 23.Bxe4 Qxe4 24.Bg5 Qb7 25.Rb1 White soon wins (Szelag-Jaracz, Polish ChT, Zakopane, 2000).
        • 21...Qb2 22.fxg6 hxg6 23.Bd2 Qxa3 24.Bc4 Kg7 25.Qg5 remains equal.
    • If 8...Bb4 9.Na4 Be7 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.Nb6 Rb8 12.Nxc8 Qxc8 then:
      • If 13.Bd4 c5 14.Be5 Rb6 15.Qd3 d6 16.Bc3 0-0 17.b3 d5 then:
        • 18.exd5 Nxd5 19.Be5 Rd8 20.Qg3 Bf6 21.Bxf6 Nxf6 22.Rad1 Nd5 23.Rd2 a5 24.Rfd1 Rf8 25.Bc4 gives White the advantage in space (Zdebskaya-Pertlova, Euro ChW, Rijeka, 2010).
        • If 18.e5 Nd7 19.f4 c4 20.bxc4 Rc6 21.Qh3 Nb6 22.Bd3 g6 then:
          • 23.f5 exf5 24.Rxf5 Qe6 25.cxd5 Nxd5 26.Bd2 gives White a small advantage in space (Coenen-Haba, Euro Club Cup, Ohrid, 2009).
          • 23.Rf3 Re8 24.cxd5 Rxc3 25.Bxg6 hxg6 26.Rxc3 Bc5+ gives Black the initiative (Spoelman-van der Werf, Essent Op, Hoogeveen, 2003).
      • If 13.e5 Nd5 14.Bc1 Bc5 15.c4 Ne7 16.b3 Qc7 17.Bb2 d6 18.exd6 Bxd6 19.g3 Be5 20.Bxe5 Qxe5 then:
        • If 21.Bf3 c5 22.Re1 Qc7 23.Be4 0-0 then:
          • 24.Qc2 h6 25.Rad1 Rfd8 26.Qb2 Nc6 27.Bxc6 Qxc6 is equal (J.Polgar-Milos, Match, São Paulo, 1996).
          • 24.Qh5 h6 25.Rad1 Rbd8 26.Bc2 Qb6 27.Rxd8 Rxd8 is equal (Lindberg-Hasangatin, Op, Padubice, 2001).
        • If 21.Re1 c5 then:
          • 22.Bd3 Qd6 23.Be4 Qc7 24.Qc2 f5 25.Bg2 gives White stronger pawns and pressure against a Black weakness on e6 (Ganguly-D. Mastrovasilis, World Jr Ch, Nakhchivan, 2003).
          • 22.Bh5 Qc7 23.Rxe6 g6 24.Rxa6 gxh5 25.Qxh5 0-0 gives White three pawns for a Knight (Facundo Pierrot-Vescovi, Najdorf Mem, Buenos Aires, 2000).

7.Bf4

  • If 7.Be3 Nxd4 8.Qxd4 b5 then:
    • If 9.0-0 Nc6 10.Qd2 Be7 then:
      • If 11.f4 0-0 12.Rad1 d6 then:
        • 13.Bf3 Bb7 14.Qf2 Qc8 15.Bb6 Rb8 16.Kh1 gives White a slight advantage in space (Medina Zamora-Taimanov, IT, New York, 1992).
        • If 11.Rad1 Bb7 then:
          • 12.Bf4 Rc8 13.Rfe1 Na5 14.Bd6 Bxd6 15.Qxd6 gives White a small advantage in space; the Queen cannot long remain at d6 (Tal-Romanishin, IT, Riga, 1981).
          • 13.Bd3 Bb7 14.Qf2 Qe8 15.Qg3 Nb4 16.f5 gives White stronger pawns (once the level at e6/f5 is resoved), leaves White one move away from command of the dark squares around Black's King and with the advantage in space (Velimirovic-Bukic, Vrbas, 1980).
        • If 12.f4 Rc8 13.Bf3 Na5 14.Bd4 Nc4 15.Qc1 0-0 is equal (Prandstetter-Romanishin, IZT, Taxco, 1985).
    • 9.f4 Nc6 10.Qd2 Be7 11.0-0-0 Qa5 12.e5 b4 gives Black more space, but he must lose a pawn (Martín González-Taimanov, IT, Montilla, Spain, 1977).

7...Ng6 8.Nxc6

  • If 8.Bg3 Be7 then:
    • If 9.0-0 0-0 10.Qd2 d6 11.Rad1 Qc7 then:
      • 12.Nb3 Nce5 13.f4 Nc4 14.Bxc4 Qxc4 15.f5 gives White some freedom. the initiative and a small advantage in space (van Eijk-Moor, Op, Oslo, 2011).
      • 12.Kh1 Rd8 13.f4 Nxd4 14.Qxd4 Bf6 15.Qe3 Bd7 is equal (E. Torre-Taimanov, IT A, Wijk aan Zee, 1981).
    • 9.Qd2 Bg5 10.f4 Nxf4 11.Bxf4 Bxf4 12.Qxf4 Nxd4 is equal (Lanc-Taimanov, IT, Bucharest, 1979).

8...bxc6 9.Bd6 Bxd6

  • If 9...Qb6 10.0-0 then:
    • 10...Bxd6 11.Qxd6 Qxb2 12.Na4 Qe5 13.Qxe5 Nxe5 is equal (Bielczyk-U. Andersson, Rubinstein Mem,Polanica Zdroj, 1978).
    • 10...c5 11.Bxf8 Rxf8 12.Qd2 Ra7 13.f4 Rc7 14.e5 gives White a fair advantage in space (Beliavsky-Taimanov, IT, Leningrad, 1977).

    10.Qxd6 Qe7

    • 10...Qb6 11.b3 Qa5 12.b4 Qe5 13.Qxe5 Nxe5 14.Na4 gives White a small advantage in space (Stean-Hartston IT 7374, Hastings 1974).

    11.0-0-0 Qxd6 12.Rxd6 Ke7

    • If 12...Kd8 13.Rhd1 Kc7 14.g3 then:
      • 14...f6 15.Na4 Ne5 16.Nc5 Kb6 17.b4 a5 18.Na4+gives White freedom and space in compensation for the pawn; the Rook will be difficult to dislodge from d6 (Adorjan-García Gonzales, IT, Banja Luka, 1979).
      • 14...Re8?! 15.Na4 Re7 16.f4 f6 17.c4 Rb8 18.Kc2 gives White a significant advantage in space (Marjanovic-Akesson, Bela Crkva, 1984).
  • While castling isn't illegal, it would prove somewhat awkward. If 12...0-0?! 13.g3 f5 14.f4 then:
    • 14...fxe4 15.Nxe4 Ne7 16.Re1 Nf5 17.Rd2 gives White stronger pawns and more space.
    • 14...Ne7?! 15.e5 g5 16.Na4 Ra7 17.c4 Kh8 18.Bh5 gives White more activity, freedom and space.

13.Rhd1 Nf4 14.Bf3 Rb8 15.R6d2 g5!? (N)

  • 15...e5 16.g3 Ne6 17.Bg4 Nc5 18.a3 a5 19.f4 is equal and shortly agreed drawn (Kupreichik-Taimanov, IT, New Delhi, 1982).

16.Na4!?

  • White has a slight advantage in space.
  • Somewhat better is 16.e5 h5 17.g3 Ng6 18.Re1 c5 19.Bd1 when White has pressure in the center.

16...d5 17.g3 Ng6 18.Re1 Kf6!?

  • Black brings her King out to put pressure on e5 in order to discourage any ideas White has about advancing her e-pawn.
  • Better is to just blockade the pawn: 18...Ne5 19.Bg2 Kf6 20.Rd4 h6 21.b3 a5 22.Nc5 continues to give White a slight advantage.

19.Bh5!?

  • White misses the oppotunity to improve her position.
  • 19.Nc5! Rb5 20.Nb3 Rb6 21.Be2 Ke7 22.Nc5 gives White more power in the center.

19...Rb4

  • This move is good, but there is a better one.
  • If 19...Ne5! (blockading the e-pawn is still a good idea) then 20.f4 gxf4 21.gxf4 Ng6 22.Nc3 Rd8 23.Rf1 leaves White once again with only a slight advantage.

20.Nc3 d4?!

  • While this move looks strong, it is quite insufficient.
  • If 20...a5 21.b3 Rf8 22.a3 Rb8 23.Bxg6 fxg6 24.h3 Kg7 25.Na4 gives White a small advantage with a more sound pawn structure.


BLACK: Judit Polgar




WHITE: Hou Yifan
Position after 20...d5d4


21.e5+!!

  • White advances the e-pawn, a card she been holding for a while, and by so doing sacrifices it.

21...Nxe5

  • 21...Ke7 22.Ne4 Nxe5 23.Nxg5 f6 24.f4 transposes into the note for Black's 23rd move.

22.Ne4+ Ke7 23.Nxg5

  • White recovers her sacrificed pawn and takes the initiative.

23...h6?

  • The most efficient move, both attacking White's Knight and covering Black's, is 23...f5.
  • If 23...f6 24.f4 fxg5 25.Rxe5 gxf4 26.gxf4 then:
    • 26...d3 27.Rc5 Rxf4 28.Rxc6 Rf1+ 29.Bd1 gives White stronger pawns; Black's d-pawn must fall.
    • 26...Rg8 27.a3 Rb5 28.Rxd4 Rd5 29.Rdxd5 cxd5 30.Bf3 gives White an extra pawn.

24.Nxe6! Bxe6 25.Rxe5

  • White is a pawn to the good with more active pieces.

25...Rd8 26.f4!?

  • White could have achieved a quicker win.
  • If 26.Be2! Rb7 27.Rh5 then:
    • 27...Rc7 28.Rxh6 a5 29.a4 c5 30.Bb5 c4 31.Re2 gives White two extra pawns, more activity and more freedom.
    • 27...Rbd7 28.Rxh6 a5 29.Bd3 a4 30.h4 Rf8 31.Re2 gives White two extra pawns, a passed pawn, more active pieces and a pin at e6.

26...Rb5!

  • Black wins a reprieve, but she's still in big trouble.

27.Rde2 Kf6 28.Bf3 c5?

  • This move is premature. Black needs to blunt White's initiative by creating a threat first.
  • If 28...Bc4! 29.Re1 d3 then:
    • 30.Rd1 Rxe5 31.fxe5+ Kxe5 32.b3 Be6 33.cxd3 gives White a clear advantage, but no clear win.
    • 30.cxd3!? Bxa2 31.Rxb5 cxb5 32.Kd2 Bd5 33.Bxd5 gives White an extra pawn in a Rook ending, but such endings are often drawn.


BLACK: Judit Polgar




WHITE: Hou Yifan
Position after 28...c6c5


29.a4!

  • White seizes the initiative.

29...Rb4

  • If 29...Ra5 30.b3 then:
    • If 30...Rc8 31.Rh5 Kg7 32.Ree5 then:
      • 32...Rc7 33.Kd2 Bc8 34.Re8 Be6 35.Re5 d3 36.c4 continues to give White an extra pawn and stronger pawns.
      • 32...Bd7 33.Re7 Be8 34.Kd2 Bc6 35.Bd5 Bxd5 36.Rxd5 continues to give White an extra pawn
    • If 30...Rg8 31.Rd2 then:
      • If 31...Rd8 32.c4 Rd6 33.Bd1 Rb6 34.Rxd4! then:
        • If 34...Rxa4 35.Rxc5 then:
          • 35...Ra2 36.Bc2 Ra1+ 37.Kb2 Rf1 38.h3 Rf2 39.g4 gives White two extra pawns.
          • 35...Ra1+ 36.Kb2 Ra4 37.f5!! Bxf5 38.Rf4 Ke7 39.Rfxf5 leaves White up by a piece.
        • 34...Bf5 loses quickly to 35.Rdd5 Bg6 36.Rxc5 when White is three pawns to the good.
      • 31...Rc8 32.Rxd4! Bxb3 33.Bb7! Rc7 34.Rd6+ Kg7 35.cxb3 continues to gives White an extra pawn.

30.Rxc5 Rxa4 31.b3 Rb4

  • Black has no satisfactory continuation.
  • If 31...Ra1+ then after 32.Kb2 Rf1 33.Bb7 Rd6 34.Rd2 White continues to enjoy the benefits of an extra pawn.

32.Be4 Bg4 33.Re1 Rd6 34.Bd3 Bd7

  • If 34...Be6 35.Kd2 Rb8 36.Re4 then:
    • 36...Rbd8 37.Rh5 Kg7 38.Ra5 Bc8 39.Re7 Rf6 40.Bc4 gives White an extra pawn and active pieces; all of Black's pawns weak.
    • 36...Rh8 37.Ra5 Bc8 38.Re1 h5 39.h4 Bg4 40.Rea1.

35.Ree5 Be6

  • If 35...Bg4 36.Red5 Rbb6 37.Kd2 then:
    • 37...Be6 38.Rxd6 Rxd6 39.Rh5 Kg7 40.Ra5 Bc8 41.Rc5 gives White the active Rook. an extra pawn and the initiative.
    • 37...Bd7 then White wins after 38.Ra5 Bc8 39.Be4 Rxd5 40.Rxd5 Bb7 41.Rf5+.

36.Kd2 Rbb6 37.Ra5

  • This isn't White's strongest move, but it won't change the result.
  • Better is 37.Rc7 Bd5 38.Rc8 Kg7 39.Ree8 Kf6 40.Rh8 leaves White with an extra pawn, stronger pawns and two wild boars ready to reck havoc from behind the enemy position.

37...Rbc6

  • No matter how Black plays, she must lose a second pawn.
  • If 37...Bc8 38.Red5 then:
    • If 38...Bb7 39.Rxd6+ Rxd6 40.Rc5 then:
      • If 40...Bd5 41.Rc7 then:
        • If 41...Rb6 42.Ra7 Bb7 43.Bc4 Kg6 44.Kd3 wins the d-pawn.
        • 41...Bh1 drops the a-pawn to 42.Ra7 Bd5 43.b4 Ke6 44.Rxa6.
      • 40...Ke7 41.Rc7+ Rd7 42.Rxd7+ Kxd7 43.Bc4 f6 44.Kd3 wins the d-pawn.
    • If 38...Kg7 39.Be4 then:
      • If 39...Re6 then the d-pawn falls after 40.Rxd4.
      • If 39...Rxd5 then White wins the d-pawn by 40.Rxd5 Bb7 41.Rxd4.


BLACK: Judit Polgar




WHITE: Hou Yifan
Position after 37...Rb6c6


38.Ra4

  • White goes after the d-pawn.

38...Rb6 39.Re4 Bf5 40.Rexd4

  • White is two pawns to the good.

40...Re6 41.Bc4

  • Also good is 41.Ra5 Bxd3 42.Rxd3 when:
    • 42...Rb5 43.Rxb5 axb5 44.c4 bxc4 45.bxc4 Ra6 46.c5 continues to leave White two pawns to the good.
    • If 42...Rb8 43.c4 then:
      • If 43...Rb7 then after 44.Kc3 Reb6 45.Kc2 Re7 46.Rad5 Re2+ 47.Rd2 White still enjoys two extra pawns and Black's pawns are weak.
      • 43...Rbb6 44.Rh5 Kg7 45.Re5 Rec6 46.Re7 Rc5 47.Kc3

41...Rec6 42.Ra5 Bc8

  • If 42...Rc7 43.Rad5 Be6 44.Rd6 then:
    • If 44...Rcc6 45.Rxc6 Rxc6 46.Bxe6 Rxe6 then:
      • White wins after 47.Rd5! (depriving Black of reserve pawn tempi) when:
        • 47...Rb6 48.h4 Kg7 49.h5 Rf6 50.Kd3 is a kind of Zugzwang: any move Black makes allows White to advance.
        • If 47...Re4 then White wins after 48.Rd6+ Kf5 49.Rxa6 f6 50.c4 Rd4+ 51.Kc3.
      • 47.g4 Rb6 48.h4 Ke7 49.Kc3 leaves White two pawns to the good.
    • If 44...Rxd6 then White wins after 45.Rxd6 Ke7 46.Rxa6 Bxc4 47.bxc4 f6 48.Ra5.


BLACK: Judit Polgar




WHITE: Hou Yifan
Position after 42...Be6c8


43.Bd3

  • White is two pawns up. Black's pawn weaknesses stretch her defense too thin. The end is near.

43...Be6 44.Rd8 Bc8 45.Rad5 Be6 46.Rh5 Kg7 47.f5 1-0

  • 47...Bxb3 48.cxb3 Rxb3 49.Rh4 Rb2+ 50.Ke3 leaves White a piece to the good.
  • If 47...Bc8 then White wins after 48.f6+ Rxf6 49.Rxc8.
  • Hianyzik Polgar resigns.

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Response to Jack Rabbit (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 01:46 PM

9. Shirov - Hou Yifan, Round 9

In the process os finishing an equal first in Gibraltar, Hou Nushi played impressively on the Black side with the Najdorf Defense.



Hou Yifan
Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/karpidis/ karpidis modified from http://www.flickr.com/photos/8022405@N02/2750069891/ flickr in http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Hou_Yifan Wikimedia Commons (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en Creative Commons License, Attribution/Share Alike)


Alexey Shirov - Hou Yifan
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1655568
Tradewise Chess Festival, Masters Open, Round 9
Gibraltar, 1 February 2012

Open Rat Sicilian Game: Najdorf-Sheveningen Defense (Rauzer Opening/Poison Pawn Variation)


1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2

  • The Poisoned Pawn Variation was a favorite of Bobby Fischer.
  • If 8.Nb3 (this is how White declines the variation) 8...Be7 9.Qf3 Nbd7 10.0-0-0 Qc7 then:
    • If 11.Bd3 b5 12.a3 then:
      • If 12...Rb8 13.Rhe1 then:
        • If 13...h6 14.Qh3 b4 15.axb4 Rxb4 16.Kb1 then:
          • 16...Qb8 17.Kc1 e5 18.f5 0-0 19.Bxh6 gxh6 20.Qxh6 Nh7 gives Black a slight advantage in space (Tiemann-Cardelli, Cyberspace, 2002).
          • 16...Bb7 17.f5 e5 18.Bd2 0-0 19.Re3 Rc8 20.Rg3 h5 gives White a small advantage in space(Equinox-Jonny, World CompCh, Pamplona, 2009).
        • If 13...b4 14.axb4 Rxb4 then:
          • If 15.Kb1 Bb7 16.Qh3 Nc5 17.Nxc5 then:
            • 17...Qxc5 18.f5 Nd7 19.fxe6 Rxb2+ 20.Kxb2 Qb4+ 21.Ka2 Qa5+ 22.Kb2 Qb4+ 23.Ka2 draw (Piccoli-Jirk, Cyberspace, 2002).
            • 17...dxc5 18.e5 Nd5 19.Nxd5 Bxd5 20.c3 Rb3 21.Bc2 gives White stronger pawns and more space (Leko-Kasparov, IT, Linares, 2002).
          • If 15.Qe2 h6 16.Bh4 then:
            • 16...Nxe4 17.Bxe7 Nxc3 18.bxc3 Rxf4 19.Qd2 gives White sommand of key avenues of attack and the advantage in space (Poli-T. Schmidt, Corres, 2004).
            • 16...0-0 17.g3 e5 18.Bxa6 Qa7 19.Bc4 exf4 20.gxf4 gives White the advantatge in space (Zanobini-Schoonhoven, Corres, 2002).
      • If 12...Bb7 13.Rhe1 0-0-0 then:
        • 14.Qe2 Nc5 15.Nxc5 dxc5 16.e5 c4 17.Be4 is equal (van der Wiel-R. Byrne, Op, Palma de Mallorca, 1989).
        • If 14.Qg3 h6 15.Bxf6 Nxf6 16.Qxg7 Nh5 17.Qg4 gives White the advantage in space (Atakisi-Stanoev, Euro Ch, Plovdiv, 2008).
    • If 11.g4 b5 12.Bxf6 Nxf6 13.g5 Nd7 then:
      • 14.a3 Rb8 then:
        • If 15.h4 b4 16.axb4 Rxb4 then:
          • if 17.Na2 Rb6 18.Qc3 Qxc3 19.Nxc3 h6 20.Be2 Bb7 21.Na5 Ba8 22.Nc4 Rc6 then:
            • 23.Kb1 Nb6 24.b3 Nxc4 25.Bxc4 Rc5 26.Kb2 a5 27.Bd3 Bc6 28.Na4 Bxa4 29.bxa4 draw (Topalov-Kasparov, IT, Novgorod, 1997).
            • If 23.b3 then:
              • 23...Nb6 24.Kb2 Nxc4+ 25.Bxc4 Bb7 26.Rhf1 g6 27.Ra1 is equal (Gronkowski-de Vriendt, Corres, 2000).
              • 23...Nf8 24.Bh5 Rh7 25.Kb2 Bb7 26.Bf3 Ng6 27.Ne2 gives White a small advantage in space (Seres-Hotting, Corres, 1997).
          • 17.f5 Ne5 18.Qg3 Qa7 19.Bd3 Bd7 20.Rhf1 a5 gives Black more freedom (Gronkowski-Degerhammer, Corres, 2000).
        • 15.Rd4 Nc5 16.Bd3 Nxb3+ 17.cxb3 Qc5 18.Rd1 Bd7 gives Black an active Queen, better pawns and the Bishop pair; Black has the advantage in space (Savchenko-Buss, Euro Ch, Rijeka, 2010).
      • 14.h4 b4 15.Ne2 Bb7 then:
        • 16.Bh3 d5 17.f5 Rc8 18.c3 dxe4 19.Qe3 Bc5 gives Black the active game (Kostiniuk-Zhu Chen, FIDE Knock Out W, Moscow, 2001).
        • 16.Ned4 a5 17.Kb1 a4 18.Nd2 Qc5 19.Qe3 0-0 gives Black more freedom and White more space (Yigit-Diesen, Euro Club Cup, Rogaska Slatina, 2011).
  • If 8.Qd3 h6 9.Bh4 Qxb2 10.Rb1 Qa3 then:
    • If 11.e5 then:
      • 11...Nd5 12.Nxd5 Qxd3 13.Bxd3 exd5 then:
        • 14.e6 Nc6 15.Nxc6 bxc6 16.exf7+ Kxf7 17.Rb6 c5 is equal (Tal-Mikenas, IT, Riga, 1959).
        • If 14.Kd2 dxe5 15.fxe5 Bc5 16.Nf5 Nc6 17.Nxg7+ Kf8 is equal (Keres-Olafsson, IT, Zürich. 1959).
      • If 11.f5 Be7 12.fxe6 then:
        • If 12...fxe6 then:
          • If 13.e5? then after 13...dxe5! 14.Qg6+ Kf8 15.Rb3 Qc1+ 16.Nd1 exd4 Black wins (Kuznetsov-Spassky, IT, Kislovodsk. 1960).
          • If 13.Be2 0-0 14.0-0Kh8 then:
            • If 15.Kh1!? then:
              • 15...Nbd7?! 16.Nxe6! Ne5 gives White a better center and a strong advantage in space (Berg-Vachier Lagrave, Op, Gibraltar, 2012).
              • 15...Qa5 16.Bf2 b5 17.Be1 Qc7 18.a4 Nc6 19.Nxc6 Qxc6 gives Black a small advantage in space.
            • 15.Rb3 Qa5 16.Bf2 Nc6 17.Nxc6 bxc6 remains equal.
        • If 12...Bxe6!? 13.Nxe6 fxe6 then:
          • 14.Be2?! Nbd7 15.0-0 Rc8 16.Bd1 Qc5+ 17.Kh1 Qe5 Black wins (Swiercz-Wojtaszek, Polish Ch, Warsaw, 2012).
          • If 14.Rxb7 Nbd7 15.Be2 Rc8 16.Rb3 continues to give White a small advantage in space.

8...Qxb2 9.Rb1 Qa3 10.e5

  • If 10.f5 Nc6 11.fxe6 fxe6 12.Nxc6 bxc6 13.e5 then:
    • If 13...dxe5 14.Bxf6 gxf6 15.Ne4 then:
      • If 15...Qxa2 16.Rd1 Be7 17.Be2 0-0 18.0-0 then:
        • If 18...Ra7 19.Rf3 Rd7 then:
          • 20.Bd3 f5 21.Qh6 Kh8 22.Ng5 Bc5+ 23.Kh1 gives White a vicious kingside attack; Black has three extra pawns (Grischuk-Anand, IT, Linares, 2009).
          • 20.Rg3+ Kh8 21.Qh6 Rxd1+ 22.Bxd1 Rf7 23.Qh5 Qa5 24.Kf1 Qd8 25.Qxf7 Qxd1+ 26.Kf2 Qxc2+ draw (Zelcic-Palac, Croatian Ch, Vukovar, 2005).
          • 20.Qh6 Rxd1+ 21.Bxd1 Rf7 22.Rg3+ Kh8 23.Qh5 Qd5 24.Qxf7 Qxd1+ 25.Kf2 Qxc2+ draw (Brkic-K. Georgiev, Euro ChT, Fügen, 2006).
        • If 18...f5 19.Qh6 then:
          • 19...Qxc2 20.Rd3 Qxe2 21.Rg3+ Kf7 22.Rxf5+ exf5 23.Rg7+ draw (Drössler-Behling, Corres, 2000). 23...Ke8 24.Qxc6+ Kd8 25.Qb6+ Ke8 26.Qc6+ Kd8 draw (Velimirovic-Ftacnik, Vrsac, 1981).
          • If 19...Rf7 20.Rd3 then after 20...Rg7?! then after 21.Rfd1!! fxe4 22.Rd8+ Bxd8 23.Rxd8+ White soon wins (Brunner-Stohl, IT, Dortmund, 1990).
      • If 15...Be7 16.Be2 h5 17.Rb3 Qa4 18.Nxf6+ Bxf6 19.c4 then:
        • If 19...Bh4+ 20.g3 Be7 21.0-0 Ra7 22.Rb8 Rc7 23.Kh1 h4 24.Qd3 c5 then:
          • If 25.Qg6+ Kd8 26.Qg7 Re8 27.Qxe5 Rf8 28.Rxf8+ Bxf8 Black is winning (Wojtkiewicz-Staniszewski, Rubinstein Mem, Polanica Zdroj, 1988).
          • 25.Bh5+ Rxh5 26.Qg6+ Kd8 27.Qxh5 Bd6 remains equal
        • If 19...Ra7 20.0-0 then:
          • 20...Rf7 21.Rbf3 Rd7 22.Qb2 Rb7 23.Rb3 0-0 24.Rxb7 Bxb7 25.Qxb7 Qxa2 26.Bxh5 e4 gives Black the winning game (Velimirovic-Dr. Nunn, Euro ChT, Skara, 1980).
          • 20...Rd7 21.Qe3 Qxa2 22.Rxf6 Qa1+ 23.Bf1 Rg7 24.Rf2 Qd4 gives Black two extra pawns (Velimirovic-Marjanovic, Yugoslav Ch, Vrbas, 1982).
    • If 13...Nd5 14.Nxd5 cxd5 15.Be2 dxe5 16.0-0 then:
      • 16...Bc5+ 17.Kh1 Rf8 18.c4 Rxf1+ 19.Rxf1 Bb7 20.Qc2 e4 21.Bg4 then:
        • 21...Be7? 22.Qf2! 0-0-0 23.Bf4 Bd6 24.Bxe6+ White wins (Tal-Bogdanovic, TM, Budva, 1967).
        • 21...h6 22.Bh5+ Kd7 23.Rf7+ Kc8 24.Bh4 Qd3 25.Qxd3 exd3 gives Black an advanced passer.
      • If 16...Ra7 17.c4 Qc5+ 18.Kh1 d4 then:
        • If 19.Bh5+ g6 20.Bd1 Be7 then:
          • If 21.Ba4+ Kd8 22.Rf7 h6 23.Bxh6 e4 then:
            • 24.h3 e5 25.Bg5 e3 26.Bxe3 Rh5 27.Rg7 Rb7 is equal (Timman-Neto, IT A, Wijk aan Zee, 1980).
            • 24.Be3 e5!? 25.Bg5 e3 26.Bxe3 is equal (Velimirovic-Cvitian, Yugoslav Ch, Vrbas, 1982).
          • 21.Bxe7 Kxe7 22.Qh6 Kd8 23.Qg5+ Kc7 is equal.
        • 19.Qc2?! Be7 20.Bxe7 Kxe7 21.Qe4 Rc7 22.Rb8 Kd6 gives Black two extra pawns while Black's problems on the back rank call for attention.

10...h6

  • If 10...dxe5 11.fxe5 Nfd7 then:
    • If 12.Bc4 Bb4 13.Rb3 Qa5 14.0-0 0-0 15.Bf6 then:
      • 15...Nxf6 16.exf6 Rd8 17.Rxb4 Qxb4 18.Qg5 g6 19.Rf4 b6 20.Rh4 Qf8 21.Qe3 Ra7 22.Ne4 Rad7 23.Rxh7 Black resigns (Tringov-Palmason, Ol, Havana, 1966).
      • 15...gxf6 16.Qh6 Qxe5 17.Nf5 exf5 18.Ne4 Bd2 19.Nxd2 Qd4+ 20.Kh1 Ne5 21.Rg3+ Ng4 22.h3 gives White more activity (R. Byrne-Evans, US Ch, New York, 1965).
    • If 12.Ne4 h6 13.Bh4 Qxa2 then:
      • If 14.Rd1 Qd5 15.Qe3 Qxe5 16.Be2 Bc5 17.Bg3 then:
        • If 17...Bxd4 18.Rxd4 Qa5+ 19.Rd2 0-0 20.Bd6 Nc6 21.0-0 then:
          • 21...Re8 22.Qg3 Qd8 23.c4 Ne7 24.Bc7 Nf5 25.Rxf5 Qe7 26.Bd6 Qd8 27.Bc7 Qe7 28.Bd6 draw (Shabalov-Ehlvest, US Ch, Stillwater, 2007).
          • 21...Nce5 22.Bxf8 Nxf8 23.Nd6 Bd7 24.Nxb7 Qb4 25.Nc5 gives White the initiative (So-Wu Xibin, Op, Dubai, 2008).
        • 17...Qd5 18.c4 Bxd4 19.Rxd4 Qa5+ 20.Rd2 0-0 gives Black three extra pawns, but his queenside pieces are idle (Borstnik-Queresma, Corres, 2008).
      • If 14.Rb3 Qa1+ 15.Kf2 Qa4 then:
        • 16.Bb5? axb5 17.Nxb5 Bc5+ 18.Nxc5 Qxh4+ 19.g3 Qd8 gives Black an extra pawn and an extra Bishop (Egorov-Wight, Guelph, Ontario, 2009).
        • 16.Be2 Bc5 17.Nxc5 Nxc5 18.Re3 Bd7 19.c3 g5 gives Black a fair advantage in space.

11.Bh4 dxe5 12.fxe5 Nd5

  • 12...Nfd7 13.Ne4 Qxa2 transposes into font color="darkred"]Shabalov-Ehlvest in the notes to Black's tenth move.

13.Nxd5 exd5 14.e6

  • If 14.Rb3?! Qa4! 15.e6 Bxe6! 16.Qf4 g5 17.Qe5 Nc6 gives Black a substantial advantage in space.(Swaminathan-Womacka, Op Rd 2, Gibraltar, 2012).

14...Bxe6 15.Nxe6 fxe6 16.Be2

  • If 16.Bd3 Be7 17.Bg6+ Kd8 18.Bxe7+ Qxe7 19.0-0 Nd7 then:
    • If 20.Rf7 Qc5+ 21.Kh1 Rf8 22.Rxg7 then:
      • 22...Kc7 23.Qe1 Qd4 24.Re7 e5 25.c4 Kd8 26.Rh7 is equal (T. Kosintseva-Forsaa, Op, Gibraltar, 2011).
      • 22...Rf6 23.Rg8+ Rf8 24.Rg7 Rf6 25.Rg8+ Rf8 26.Rg7 draw (Papp-Palac, Op, Zagreb, 2011).
    • 20.Rxb7 Qc5+ 21.Kh1 Ra7 22.Rb3 Rf8 23.Rxf8+ Nxf8 gives Black an extra pawn and the initiative; White commands the open b-file (Motylev-Sutovsky, Ol, Khanty-Mansiysk, 2010).

16...Be7 17.Bh5+ Kd8 18.Bxe7+ Qxe7 19.0-0 Nd7

  • 19...b5 20.Rf7 Qc5+ 21.Kh1 Nd7 22.Rxg7 Rc8 23.Qa5+ is equal (P. Carlsson-Andriasian, Op, Dubai, 2011).

20.Rxb7!? (N)

  • Hou Nushi varies from a game she played in the FIDE Women's Grand Prix last year.
  • 20.Rf7 Qc5+ 21.Kh1 Rf8 22.Rxg7 Rc8 23.h3 Rc6 24.Qxh6 is equal (N. Kosintseva-Hou Yifan, Grand Prix W, Rostov-on-Don, 2011).


BLACK: Hou Yifan




WHITE: Alexey Shirov
Position after 20...Rb1b7:p


20...Qc5+

  • Black has a small advantage in space.

21.Kh1 Rb8 22.Rxb8+ Nxb8 23.Qe2 Qb5

  • 23...Rf8 24.Rb1 Qd6 25.Bg4 Rf6 26.c4 Nd7 gives White a slight advantage in space.

24.Qxb5 axb5 25.Rf7 Nc6

  • Black continues to enjoy a small advantage in space.
  • 25...Rg8!? 26.Bg4 Re8 27.Rxg7 Nc6 28.Rh7 b4 is equal.

26.Rxg7 Rf8 27.Kg1 Nb4!?

  • Black forks two pawns, but doesn't do anything to restrain either.
  • Better is 27...b4! (neither pawn can move) 28.g3 Nd4 29.Rb7 Nxc2 30.Bf7 Ne3 giving Black an extra pawn and more freedom. If White moves the Rook, Black takes the Bishop; if White moves the Bishop, Black gives mate on f1.

28.Rb7!?

  • White attacks Black loose pawn, but that won't save his own pawns.
  • Better is 28.Ra7 Nxc2 29.Bf7 d4 30.Bxe6 Ne3 31.h4 Rf6 with equality.


BLACK: Hou Yifan




WHITE: Alexey Shirov
Position after 28.Rg7b7


28...Nxc2!

  • Black again has a small advantage in space.
  • If 28...Nxa2 29.Bf7 Nc3 30.Rb8+ Ke7 31.Rxf8 Kxf8 32.Bxe6 is equal,

29.Rxb5 Ke7 30.a4 Ra8 31.Rb2 Ne3!?

  • Black provides White with an opportunity to protect his a-pawn.
  • If 31...Nd4 32.Bd1 Rc8 then:
    • 33.Kf2 Rc1 34.Bf3 Ra1 35.Rb4 Ra2+ 36.Kg3 Nc2 still gives Black a small advantage: her passer duo gives her more freedom and space.
    • 33.Rb1 Kd6 34.Kf2 Rf8+ 35.Ke1 Nc6 36.Rb7 e5 continues to give Black a small advantage with her passer duo.

32.Kf2!?

  • Black attacks the night, but would do better to first activate the Rook.
  • If 32.Rb4! Nc4 33.Be2 Nd6 then:
    • 34.Rh4! e5 then:
      • 35.Bb5 Rb8 36.Rh5 Nf7 37.Kf2 Rc8 38.Ke3 Ke6 is equal.
      • 35.Kf1 e4 36.Bb5 Rf8+ 37.Ke1 Nxb5 38.axb5 Rf6 gives Black a slight advantage.
    • 34.Bf3!? Ra5 35.Bd1 Rc5 36.Kf2 Rc1 37.Ke2 Ra1 continues to give Black a small advantage.

32...Nc4!

  • Black continues to enjoy a small advantage with more activity.

33.Rb7+ Kd6 34.Bd1 e5!?

  • 34...Ke5 35.Ke2 Kd4 36.Rb5 Rg8 37.g3 Rf8 continues to give Black a small advantage in space.

35.Rh7!

  • The game is equal.

35...Nb2 36.Rxh6+ Kc5 37.Bc2!?

  • White is trying hard to hald on to his a-pawn, which really counts for nothing.
  • Better is just giving up on it: 37.Be2 Kd4 38.g4 Nxa4 39.g5 e4 40.Rf6 Ke5 remains equal.

37...Nxa4?!

  • Black may have pulled the trigger too soon.
  • If 37...e4! then:
    • 38.a5 Nc4 39.a6 Nd6 40.Bb3 d4 41.g4 e3+ gives Black fair winning chaces with his passer duo on a roll.
    • If 38.h4? Rf8+! then:
      • 39.Ke2 Rg8 40.Rf6 Rxg2+ 41.Rf2 Rg3 42.Rh2 Rc3 gives White good winning chances with his passer duo acting like a vise on White's King.
      • If 39.Kg3 Rg8+ then:
        • 40.Kf4 Re8 41.Bxe4 dxe4 42.Ke3 Nc4+ gives Black an estra piece to clear the way for the advancing passer.
        • If 40.Kf2 Kd4! then:
          • If 41.Rb6 then Black wins after 41...Nc4 42.Rb1 Ne3 43.Bd1 Rxg2+ 44.Ke1 Rh2.
          • 41.Rc6 then Black wins after 41...e3+ 42.Kg1 Re8 43.Kf1 Rf8+ 44.Ke1 Rf2.


BLACK: Hou Yifan




WHITE: Alexey Shirov
Position after 37...Nb2a4:p


38.h4?!

  • White, too, can pull the trigger too soon. He can't win a pawn race.
  • Better is to first restrain Black's passer duo: If38.Bxa4! Rxa4 then:
    • If 39.h4! Ra2+! then:
      • 40.Kg3 d4 41.Rh8 e4 42.h5 Kc4 43.h6 Ra7 44.Kf4 is equal.
      • 40.Ke3? d4+! 41.Ke4 Re2+ 42.Kd3 Re3+ 43.Kd2 Rg3 gives Black excellent winning chances.
    • If 39.Re6 Rf4+ 40.Ke2 Kd4 then:
      • 41.Ra6 41...Ke4 42.Ra3 d4 43.h3 Rf8 44.h4 Rc8 gives Black a small advantage.
      • 41.g3 Rf8 42.h4 Rg8 Black still has the advantage, but this game isn't over.

38...Nc3!

  • Perfect! Black's d-pawn is protected, allowing the e-pawn to advance cautiously.

39.Bf5 Ra2+!?

  • Now Black is being too cautious.
  • Better is 39...e4! 40.Re6 Ra2+ 41.Kg3 Ne2+ 42.Kg4 Nd4.

40.Kf1? Ra1+!?

  • Black does not seem to appreciate the strength of the pawn advance.
  • If 40...e4! would also have been stronger here: After 41.Re6 Ne2 42.Rg6 e3 43.g3 Nc3 Black's pawns continue to advance.

41.Kf2 Ra2+?!

  • This should have postponed Black's celebration through an endgame grind.
  • White wins after 41...e4! 42.Bg4 Kd4 43.Re6 e3+ 44.Rxe3 Ne4+ 45.Rxe4+ dxe4.

42.Kf1?

  • The King must command from the front. White needs to keep his King where he can join in the fight against Black' approaching pawns.
  • If 42.Kg3 Ne2+ 43.Kg4 Nd4 44.Rh8 Rxg2+ 45.Kh3 Rg1 continues to give White a strong advantage, but she must re-win the game.


BLACK: Hou Yifan




WHITE: Alexey Shirov
Position after 42.Kf2f1


42...Nd1

  • This move is sufficient to win.
  • Stronger is 42...e4! 43.Re6 Ne2 44.Rg6 Kd4 45.g3 Ke3 winning easily.

43.g4 Ne3+ 44.Ke1 Kd4 45.Bc8

  • If 45.h5 Nxf5 46.gxf5 Ke3 then:
    • If 47.Kd1 d4 then:
      • If 48.Rf6 then after 48...d3 49.Kc1 d2+ 50.Kb1 Ra6 51.Rxa6 d1Q+ Black soon gives mate.
      • If 48.Kc1 then Black wins after 48...d3 49.Kb1 d2 50.Kxa2 d1Q.
    • 47.Kf1 Rf2+ 48.Kg1 Rxf5 49.Rd6 d4 50.h6 d3 leaves White defenseless.

45...Ng2+ 46.Kd1 e4!

  • At last!

47.h5 e3 48.Ba6

  • If 48.Re6 then Black wins after 48...Kd3 49.Kc1 Rc2+ 50.Kb1 Rxc8.

48...Nf4 49.Rb6

BLACK: Hou Yifan




WHITE: Alexey Shirov
Position after 49.Rh6b6


49...Nd3!

  • Black threatens 50...Rd2#.

50.Bxd3 Kxd3 51.Rb3+

  • No better is 51.Rb1 d4 52.Ke1 Rh2 53.Rb3+ Ke4.

51...Ke4 52.h6 d4 53.h7 Rh2 0-1

  • Continuing further is pointless.
  • Alexey Dmitrievich resigns.

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Response to Jack Rabbit (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 01:47 PM

10. Berg - Vachier Lagrave, Round 10



Emanuel Berg

Photo by http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Samson1964 Frank Hoppe in http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wang_yue_20081119_olympiade_dresden.jpg Wikimedia Commons (Public Domian)


Emanuel Berg - Maxime Vachier Lagrave
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1655811
Tradewise Chess Festival, Masters Open, Round 10
Gibraltar, 2 February 2012

Open Rat Sicilian Game: Najdorf-Sheveningen Defense (Rauzer Opening/Poison Pawn Variation)


1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 h6 8.Bh4 Qb6 9.Qd3 Qxb2 10.Rb1 Qa3 11.f5 Be7 12.fxe6 fxe6 13.Be2 (N)

  • For notes through this move, see the line for Berg-Vachier Lagrave in Shirov-Hou Yifan, Op, Gibraltar, 2012, elsewhere on this thread.
  • If 13.e5? then after 13...dxe5! 14.Qg6+ Kf8 15.Rb3 Qc1+ 16.Nd1 exd4 Black wins (Kuznetsov-Spassky, IT, Kislovodsk. 1960).

13...0-0 14.0-0 Kh8 15.Kh1!?

  • White eschews the chance to drive Black's Queen away.
  • 15.Rb3 Qa5 16.Bf2 Nc6 17.Nxc6 bxc6 remains equal.

15...Nbd7?!

  • Black fails to capitalize on White's misplay.
  • 15...Qa5! 16.Bf2 b5 17.Be1 Qc7 18.a4 Nc6 19.Nxc6 Qxc6 gives Black a small advantage in space.

16.Nxe6!

  • White has a better center and a strong advantage in space.

16...Ne5

BLACK: Maxime Vachier Lagrave




WHITE: Emanuel Berg
Position after 16...Nd7e5


17.Nxf8!

  • White sacrifices his Queen
  • If 17.Qh3?! b5! 18.Rb3 Qa5 19.Bf3 Bd7 20.Nd5 Nfg4 leaves Black with better prospects, for example, 21.Nxe7 Bxe6 22.Nf5 Bxb3 23.axb3 Nf6, when Black wins the exchange.

17...Nxd3 18.Ng6+ Kh7 19.Bxd3 Kxg6

  • If 19...Bd8!? then:
    • If 20.Nd5! then:
      • 20...Kxg6 21.e5+! Kf7 22.exf6 Qxa2 23.Rb3 Qa5 24.Bc4 gives White a clearly more active game.
      • If 20...Kg8?! then:
        • 21.Nxf6+ gxf6 22.Bxf6 Bxf6 23.Rxf6 Qc3 24.e5 is an easy win for White.
        • Also good is 21.Nge7+ Kf8 22.Nxf6 gxf6 23.Bxf6 Ke8 24.Nd5.
    • 20.e5!? dxe5 21.Nxe5+ Kg8! 22.Bc4+ Kh7 23.Bd3+ Kh8 is equal.

20.e5+!

  • White opens the center to his advantage.

20...Kh5?

  • This is clearly a bad move. Black puts his King in the open.
  • If 20...Kf7 21.exf6 Bxf6 22.Nd5 then:
    • 22...Rb8 then White wins after 23.Nxf6 gxf6 24.Rxf6+ Ke8 25.Bg6+ Kd7 26.Rf7+.
    • 22...Qxa2? 23.Nb6 Qa5 24.Nxa8 b5 25.Be1 Qd8 26.Bf2 leaves White with two Rooks and a Knight against a Queen and two pawns.


BLACK: Maxime Vachier Lagrave




WHITE: Emanuel Berg
Position after 20...Kg6h5


21.exf6 Bxf6

  • Black shortens his agony.
  • He suffers longer after 21...Qxc3 22.fxe7 Bd7 23.Be1 Qe5 24.Rxb7.

22.Bxf6!

  • The end is near.
  • If 22.Be2+ Kg6 23.Bd3+ then:
    • 23...Kf7 24.Nd5 Qxa2 25.Nxf6 gxf6 26.Rxf6+ Ke8 27.c4 gives White activity all over the board while Black's Rook and Bisop are undeveloped.
    • If 23...Kh5 then White wins after 24.Bxf6 gxf6 25.Rb3 Qa5 26.Rxf6.

22...gxf6 23.Rb3 Qa5 24.Rxf6 Bd7

  • If 24...Qe5 25.Ne4 Qa1+ 26.Rf1 then:
    • 26...Qxf1+ 27.Bxf1 Kg6 28.Rg3+ Kf7 29.Nxd6+ gives White an extra piece.
    • If 26...Qe5 then White wins after 27.Nf6+ Kg5 28.Nh7+ Kh5 29.Rb4.

25.Ne4 Bg4

  • If 25...Qe1+ then White wins after 26.Rf1 Qe3 27.Rxb7 Ra7 28.Rb4 Kg6 29.Nxd6+.

26.h3 Rg8

BLACK: Maxime Vachier Lagrave




WHITE: Emanuel Berg
Position after 26...Ra8g8


27.hxg4+

  • White has a Rook and two minor pieces for the Queen.

27...Rxg4 28.Be2 Qe1+ 29.Kh2 1-0

  • 29...Qxe2 30.Rh3+ Rh4 31.Rxh4+ Kxh4 32.Rf4+ Kh5 33.Ng3+ wins the Queen.
  • If 29...Qh4+ then White wins after after 30.Rh3!.
  • M. Vachier Lagrave resigns.

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Response to Jack Rabbit (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 5, 2012, 02:19 AM

5. 11th Aeroflot Open, Moscow



Red Square, Moscow
Photo by Adam Baker, flickr (Creative Commons License, Attribution/Share Alike)

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Response to Jack Rabbit (Reply #5)

Mon Mar 5, 2012, 02:23 AM

6. Bartel - Caruana, Round 7

Last edited Fri Mar 16, 2012, 07:55 PM - Edit history (1)



Mateusz Bartel
Photo by http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Stefan64 Stefan64 in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mateusz_Bartel.jpg Wikimedia Commons (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en Creative Commons License, Attribution/Share Alike)


Marteusz Bartel - Fabiano Caruana
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1656822
11th Aeroflot Open, Round 7
Moscow, 13 February 2012

Slav Queen's Gambit: Tikhi Opening


1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bg4 5.Nc3 e6 6.h3 Bh5

  • For the more usual lines of the Tikhi Opening, see Jakovenko-Vitiugov, Russian Ch, Moscow, 2009.

7.Qb3

  • If 7.g4 Bg6 8.Ne5 Nbd7 then:
    • If 9.h4 dxc4 10.Nxg6 hxg6 then:
      • If 11.g5 Nd5 12.Bxc4 then:
        • If 12...Bb4 13.Bd2 Qe7 14.a3 then:
          • 14...Nxc3 15.bxc3 Ba5 16.f4 0-0-0 gives Black more freedom (Giri-Morozevich, IT 1112, Reggio Emilia, 2011).
          • 14...Ba5 15.Qc2 Nxc3 16.Bxc3 Bxc3+ 17.Qxc3 Nb6 18.Bb3 is equal and is shortly agreed drawn (Tregubov-Inarkiev, Russian ChT, Dagomys, 2009).
        • If 12...Be7 13.Qf3 then:
          • 13...N7b6 14.Bb3 Nb4 15.Ke2 c5 16.Qxb7 is equal (Lautier-Chernin, Rpd Op, Corsica, 2001).
          • If 13...Qc7 14.Bb3 then:
            • 14...N5b6 15.e4 Rf8 16.Bf4 Bd6 17.Be3 e5 18.Rc1 gives White a fair advantage in space (Aronian-Gufstafsson, German I-Net Ch, Cyberspace, 2004).
            • 14...Qa5! 15.Bd2 Nxc3 16.Bxc3 Bb4 17.Rc1 Nb6 18.Kd2 is equal.
      • If 11.Bxc4 Bb4 12.Bd2 Bxc3 then:
        • 13.bxc3 Ne4 14.Qf3 Nxd2 15.Kxd2 Ne5 16.Qe2 Nxc4+ gives Black a small advantage in space (Stohl-Timoshchenko, Czech ChT, 2005).
        • 13.Bxc3 Ne4 14.h5 gxh5 15.gxh5 Nxc3 16.bxc3 Qa5 gives Black a small advantage in space (J. Cori Tello-Hovhannisyan, World Jr Ch, Chotowa, Poland, 2010).
    • If 9.Nxg6 hxg6 then:
      • If 10.Bd2 Bb4 then:
        • If 11.Qb3 a5 then:
          • 12.g5 Ne4 13.Nxe4 dxe4 14.Bxb4 axb4 15.h4 Qa5 16.Bg2 gives White a small advantage in space (Vallejo-Najer, Op, Baku, 2011).
          • 12.Bg2 Qc7 13.a3 Bxc3 14.Bxc3 a4 15.Qa2 Nb6 16.cxd5 exd5 gives Black a slight advantage in space (Malaniuk-Movsesian, Rpd IT, Warsaw, 2005).
        • 11.Rc1 Qc7 12.a3 Bxc3 13.Bxc3 Ne4 14.Bg2 Nxc3 gives Black a slight advantage in space (Bareev-Najer, Op, Philadelphia, 2009).
      • If a) 10.Bg2 dxc4 11.Qe2 Nb6 12.0-0 Be7 then:
        • If 13.Rd1 then:
          • 13...g5 14.a4 a5 15.e4 Nfd7 16.Be3 e5 17.d5 is equal; Black's extra pawn counts for nothing (Hebden-L'Ami, EU Ch, Liverpool, 2008).
          • If 13...Nfd7 then:
            • 14.e4 e5 15.dxe5 Qc7 16.e6 fxe6 17.g5 gives Black an extra pawn (Stefanova-Predojevic, Op, Chalkida, 2009).
            • 14.Ne4 Rc8 15.a4 a5 16.Nd2 Bd6 17.Nxc4 Nxc4 18.Qxc4 regains the pawn with equality.
        • 13.a4 a5 14.Rd1 Nfd5 15.e4 Nb4 16.Be3 0-0 gives Black an extra pawn, but White has better pawns (Tukmakov-Malakhatko, Op, Winterthur, 2002).
      • If b) 10.Qb3 Qc7 then:
        • If 11.g5 dxc4 12.Bxc4 Nd5 then:
          • 13.e4 Nf4 14.e5 Rh4 15.Bxf4 Rxf4 16.Ne2 Rh4 is equal (Bacrot-Komarov, French ChT, Mulhouse, 2009).
          • 13.Bd2 N7b6 14.Bf1 Be7 15.f4 0-0-0 16.Ne4 f6 is equal (Lenic-Postny, Euro Ch, Budva, 2009).
        • 11.Bg2 Be7 12.Bd2 Nb6 transposes into Z. Rahman-Kazhgeleyev in the notes to White's eighth move.

7...Qc7 8.Nh4 (N)

  • If 8.g4 Bg6 9.Ne5 Nbd7 10.Nxg6 hxg6 then:
    • 11.g5 Nh5 12.cxd5 exd5 13.Be2 Be7 14.h4 0-0-0 is equal (Su. Polgar-Madl, OlW, Palma de Mallorca, 2004).
    • 11.Bg2 Be7 12.Bd2 Nb6 13.cxd5 exd5 14.g5 Nh7 is equal (Z. Rahman-Kazhgaleyev, Asian Ch, Subic Bay, 2009).

8...Nbd7

  • The game is equal.
  • 8...dxc4 9.Bxc4 Nbd7 10.a4 Be7 11.g4 Bg6 12.Be2 is equal.
  • 8...Be7!? 9.Bd2 then:
    • 9...0-0 10.g4 Bg6 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.Rc1 gives White a slight advantage in space.
    • 9...Ne4!? 10.Nxe4! dxe4 11.g4 c5 12.d5 gives White a small advantage in space.

9.Bd2 Nb6 10.cxd5 exd5!?

  • As is often the case with most varieties of the Queen's Gambit, White has a bit more space; up to this point, Black's equality has been based on the possbility of his keeping the center fluid.
  • Better is 10...Nbxd5 11.Nxd5 Nxd5 when:
    • 12.Nf3 a5 13.e4 Nf6 14.Qe3 Bxf3 15.gxf3 0-0-0 is equal.
    • 12.e4!? Nf6 13.Bd3 0-0-0 14.Be3 Be7 is equal.

11.Rc1!

  • White has a small advantage in space.

11...Bg6!?

  • Black's plan is to trade his Bishop for White's Knight in order to activate the Rook on the h-file. It's not all that good of an idea. Black's Bishop, while "bad," is still more active than White's Knight off-sided Knight.
  • If 11...Qe7 then:
    • 12.Bd3 13.Nf3 Ne4 14.a4 Nd6 15.Ne2 Bxf3 16.gxf3 gives White a small advantge in that Black's weaknesses, although easy to repair, are more exploitable.
    • 12.Be2 Bxe2 13.Nxe2 Nc4 14.Nf3) 12...g5 (12...0-0-0?! 13.a4! Kb8 14.a5 Nc4 15.Bxc4 dxc4 16.Qxc4 gives White an extra pawn.
  • If 11...Qd8 then:
    • 12.a4 a5 13.Nf5 Bg6 14.Bd3 Bxf5 15.Bxf5 Bb4 is equal.
    • If 12.Bd3!? Ne4! then:
      • If 13.Bxe4 dxe4 14.Nf5 then:
        • 14...Bg6! 15.g4 h5 16.Rg1 hxg4 17.hxg4 Bxf5 18.gxf5 is equal.
        • 14...Qd7?! 15.Ng3! Bg6 16.Ncxe4 Qd5 17.f3 leaves White with an extra pawn.
      • 13.Nf3 Bxf3 14.gxf3 Nxd2 15.Kxd2 Qh4 16.Rcf1 Bd6 is equal.


BLACK: Fabiano Carauna




WHITE: Mateusz Bartel

Position after 11...Bh5g6


12.Nxg6!

  • White accepts the challenge.
  • 12.Be2 Be7 13.0-0 a5 14.Nxg6 hxg6 15.Rfe1 continues to give White a small advantage.

12...hxg6 13.Bd3!?

  • 13.Be2 g5 14.e4 dxe4 15.Bxg5 Be7 16.0-0 continues to give White a small advantage, but the isolated pawn may be a problem.

13...Be7?!

  • If 13...g5 then:
    • 14.Ke2 Be7 15.a4 a5 16.Rhe1 Bb4 is equal.
    • If 14.Kd1!? a5! 15.Re1 then:
      • If 15...Be7 16.e4 a4 17.Qc2 dxe4 then:
        • 18.Nxe4 Nxe4 19.Bxe4 is equal.
        • 18.Bxe4 0-0 gives Black a slim edge in space.
      • 15...a4!? 16.Qc2! Be7 17.e4 dxe4 18.Nxe4 0-0-0 19.Nxg5 leaves White with a small advantage.

14.0-0!

  • The King is safe as Black can bring no minor pieces into any possible attack. It will take Black several moves set up a Kingside create any potent threats.

14...Kf8 15.a4 a5 16.e4 dxe4 17.Nxe4 Rh5!?

  • The rank is not as navigable for the Rook as it looks.
  • Better is 17...Nfd5 18.Rfe1 Rh4 19.Bf1 Kg8 20.g3 Rh5 21.h4 when White has a comfortable advantage in space.

18.Rfe1!

  • White simply protects the Knight.

18...Nxe4?!

  • 18...Rd5 then:
    • If 19.Rcd1 Nxe4 20.Rxe4 Bf6 21.Rde1 Kg8 22.Re8+ then:
      • 22...Kh7 23.Rxa8 Nxa8 24.Bc4 Rxd4 25.Re2 gives White command of the a2/g7 diagonal and the e-file.
      • 22...Rxe8?! 23.Rxe8+ Kh7 24.Be4 then:
        • 24...Bxd4 25.Bxd5 Nxd5 26.Qa3 Nf6 27.Re7 Qd8 28.Rxb7 gives White more aggressive pieces and stronger pawns.
        • 24...Rxd4?? 25.Bxg6+ then:
          • If 25...Kxg6 then 26.Qc2+ Kh5 27.Rh8#.
          • If 25...fxg6 then 26.Qg8#.
    • 19.Nc3?! Rd7 20.Re2 Bb4 21.Bg5 gives White a small advantage in space.
  • If 19...Bf6? 20.d5! c5 then:
    • 21.Bf3 Re5 22.Red1 c4 23.Qb5 Nc8 24.Qxc4 gives White nothing to fear after the exchange of Queens.
    • 21...Rf5 22.Qb5 Nd7 23.Be3 Kg8 24.Red1 leaves Black's pieces no room to maneuver.

19.Bxe4!

  • White begins setting up a queenside attack.

19...Bd6?

  • 19...Rh4 20.g4 Bd6 21.Rc2 Nd7 22.Bg5 Rh8 23.Qf3 leaves Black with a playable game, at least for the moment.


BLACK: Fabiano Caruana




WHITE: Mateusz Bartel

Position after 19...Be7d6


20.Qf3!

  • White is threatening Black's King position.

20...Nxa4

  • This is the equivalent of self-immolation.
  • Black lasts longer after 20...Kg8 21.Bxc6 bxc6 22.Rxc6 Bh2+ 23.Kh1 Rf5 24.Qe4.

21.Bxg6!

  • White starts the attack on the Black King with tempo.

21...Rh8 22.Bg5 1-0

  • White threatens 23.Be7+ when Black must either lose the Queen or submit to mate.
  • If 22...f6 23.Re2! then:
    • White wins after 23...Nb6 24.Rce1 Kg8 25.Re8+.
    • If 23...Be7 then White wins after 24.Rce1 Qd7 25.Rxe7 Qxe7 26.Rxe7 Kxe7 27.Qa3+.
  • Il signore Caruana resigns.

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Response to Jack Rabbit (Reply #5)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 02:17 AM

11. Korobov - Caruana, Round 4

Anton Korobov was another of the three players who finished the Aeroflot Open with 6½ points out of nine.



There is no photo of Anton Korobov available with an internet-friendly copyright

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Anton Korobov - Fabiano Caruana
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1656331
11th Aeroflot Open, Round 4
Moscow, 10 February 2012

West India Game: Tal-Indian Defense (Benko Gambit)


1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5

BLACK




WHITE

West India Game: Tal-Indian Defense (Benko Gambit)
Position after 3...b7b5

  • The Benko Gambit, known outside the United States mostly as the Volga Gambit, isn't a personal favorite of ours, but it's pretty easy to explain what's going on. Black proffers a pawn and usually a second pawn to gain time for quick development. The issue, after Black regains one of the pawns, usally becomes one of whether Black gets enough space in compensation for the pawn. Often, although not more often, he does.

4.cxb5

  • The gambit is usually accepted thus; some brief outlines of declining the gambit are given here.
  • 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bg5 exd5 6.cxd5 d6 7.e4 leads to positions more resembling the mainline Tal-Indian (Modern Benoni) Defense except that ...b5 is played in lieu of ...g6, giving Black even less room to maneuver.
  • 4.Nd2 bxc4 5.e4 c3 6.bxc3 g6 7.c4 d6 8.Rb1 is basically a mainline Tal-Indian with an open b-file, that will more than like be controled by White in the early going. The center may remained closed, giving White at least a slight edge in space.
  • 4.a4 bxc4 5.Nc3 d6 6.e4 g6 7.Bxc4 Bg7 8.Nf3 is basically a mainline Tal-Indian with an open b-file, that will more than like be controled by White in the early going. The center may remained closed, giving White at least a slight edge in space.
  • For 4.Qc2 e6 5.e4 see Peng-Haast, Dutch ChW, Boxtel, 2011.

4...a6

  • The text move, proffering a second pawn, is the overwhelming choice here.
  • If 4...e6?! 5.Nc3! exd5 6.Nxd5 Bb7 then:
    • If 7.e4 Nxe4 8.Bc4 then:
      • If 8...Bd6 then:
        • 9.Qg4! Bxd5 10.Bxd5 Qa5+ 11.Kf1 Qxb5+ 12.Qe2 White coasts to a win (Lilienthal-Mokatsian, Soviet Ch, Yerevan, 1955).
        • If 9.Nf3!? then:
          • 9...Qa5+? 10.Nd2 Ng5 11.0-0 Ne6 12.Ne4 already gives White a winning position (Krogius-A. Kuznetsov, Soviet ChT, Leningrad, 1962).
          • 9...0-0 10.0-0 a6 11.b6 Kh8 12.Re1 f5 13.Nc3 gives White a substantial advantage in space.
      • 8...Nd6 9.Qe2+ Be7 10.Bg5 f6 11.Bf4 Nxc4 12.Qxc4 gives White a firm upper hand with the threat of 13.Nc7+ (Kunze-Partys, Euro Ch, Rijeka, 2010).
    • If 7.Nxf6+ Qxf6 8.Nf3 d5 9.g3 then:
      • If 9...Bd6 10.Bg2 0-0 11.0-0 a6 then:
        • 12.bxa6?! Nxa6! 13.Bg5 limits White to a small advantage in space (B. Moore-A. Thomas, IT, Paignton, England, 1956).
        • 12.Ng5 axb5 13.Bxd5 Bxd5 14.Qxd5 gives White a strong advantage (Wood-A. Thomas, British Ch, York, 1959).
      • 9...Qb6 10.a4 Be7 11.Bg2 Bf6 12.0-0 0-0 13.Rb1 gives White an extra pawn (Alatortsev-Ratner, Soviet Ch, Moscow, 1945).

5.bxa6

  • White is under no obligation to take this pawn and may simply use the opportunity to return the pawn in order to gain time for his own development.
  • If 5.b6 d6 6.Nc3 Qxb6 7.e4 g6 then:
    • If 8.Nf3 Bg7 9.Nd2 0-0 10.Be2 then:
      • If 10...Nbd7 11.Nc4 Qc7 then:
        • If 12.Bf4 Nb6 13.Ne3 then:
          • If 13...a5 14.a4 Ba6 15.Bxa6 Rxa6 16.0-0 then:
            • If 16...Qb7 17.Rc1 then:
              • 17...Rb8 18.h3 Nbd7 19.Nc4 Qb3 is equal (Novak-Verdier, Corres, 1998).
              • If 17...Raa8!? then:
                • If 18.b3!? then:
                  • 18...Rab8!? 19.Bg5 Rfe8 20.Bxf6 Bxf6 21.Nb5 gives White a better center and a small advantage in space (Alterman-Adams, Rpd IT, Cap d'Agde, 1994).
                  • 18...Rfc8! 19.f3 c4 20.Nb5 cxb3 21.Rxc8+ Rxc8 22.Qxb3 remains equal.
                • 18.Bg5! h6 19.Bxf6 Bxf6 20.b3 Nc8 21.Nc4 gives White a small advantage in space.
            • If 16...Rb8 then:
              • 17.Rb1 17...Qb7 18.Qc2 Nbd7!? 19.Nb5! Ne8 20.b3 Nc7 21.Na3 gives White a small advantage in space (Mchedlishvili-Slobodan, Euro Ch, Ohrid, 2001).
              • 17.Qd2 Raa8 18.Rfc1 Qd7 19.b3 is equal (Pakidze-Ivakhinova, Gaziantep, Turkey, 2012).
          • If 13...Bd7 14.0-0 Rfb8 15.a4 then:
            • If 15...Nc8 16.Nc4 Nb6 17.Ne3 Nc8 then:
              • 18.Nc4 Nb6 19.Ne3 draws by repetition (Grabarczyk-Malakhatko, Op, Krakow, 1999).
              • 18.Rfb1 Rb4 19.Ra3 Bd4 20.Ng4 Ne5 21.Nh6+ gives White a fair advantage in space.
            • If 15...Be8 16.Qc2 then:
              • If 16...Nfd7!? 17.a5! Nc8 18.Nc4?! Ne5 19.Bxe5 Bxe5 20.Nxe5 dxe5 21.Rfc1 Nd6 is equal (Gaprindashvili-Hendricks, IT, Arnhem, Holland, 2007).
              • 16...Nbd7 17.Bg3 Qb7 18.Ra2 Qb3 19.Qd3 continues to give White a small advantage in space.
        • 12.0-0 Nb6 13.Ne3 e6 14.a4 exd5 15.a5 gives White stronger pawns and a dangerous initiative; Black still has an extra pawn (Murzibn-Friedel, Op, Philadelphia, 2003).
      • If 10...a5 then:
        • If 11.Nc4 Qd8 12.0-0 Nbd7 then:
          • 13.Bg5 a4 14.Qc2 Nb6 15.Ne3 Ba6 16.Bxa6 Rxa6 17.f4 (Shabalov-Fedorowicz, US Ch, Seattle, 2003).
          • 13.Bf4 Ba6 14.h3 Bxc4 15.Bxc4 Rb8 16.Qe2 gives White only a slight advantage in spite of leading in the space count 14-8; White's Queen is in danger of becoming overloaded, giving Black more freedom (Kacheishvili-Stanojoski, Euro Ch, Ohrid, 2001).
        • If 11.a4 then:
          • 11...Nbd7 then:
            • 12.Nc4 Qd8 13.0-0 Ne8 14.Be3 Nb6 15.Na3 gives White a slight advantage; Black's best continuation is to play against White's pawn center with 15...f5 (Depoorter-Vachier Lagrave, French ChU14, Amiens, 2001).
            • 12.Bb5 Bb7 13.0-0 Qd8 14.f4 Nb6 15.f5 is equal (I. Smirin-Jolles, Op, Komotini, Greece, 1992).
          • 11...Ba6!? 12.Bb5! then:
            • If 12...Ne8?! 13.Nc4 Qd8 14.0-0 Nd7 15.Bf4 then:
              • 15...Ne5?! 16.Bxe5 Bxe5 17.Bxa6 Rxa6 18.Nb5 Bg7 19.Qd2 gives White active Knights and a small advantage in space (Alterman-K. Georgiev, FIDE Knock Out, Gronigen, 1997).
              • 15...Nc7 16.Qb3 Bxc3 17.Bxa6 Be5 18.Bxe5 Nxe5 19.Nxe5 dxe5 20.Bc4 gives White a small advantage in space.
            • 12...Qc7 13.0-0 Nbd7 14.Qe2 Bb7 15.Nc4 gives White a small advantage in space.
    • If 8.a4 Bg7 9.a5 then:
      • If 9...Qb4 10.Ra4 Qb7 11.Nf3 0-0 then:
        • If 12.Nd2 then:
          • If 12...Bd7 13.Ra3 then:
            • If 13...Bb5 14.Qb3 Nbd7 15.Nxb5 axb5 16.Qxb5 Qc7 then:
              • 17.a6 Rfb8 18.Qa5 Qb6 19.Be2 Ne8 20.Qa4 gives White an extra pawn and a comfortable advantage in space (van Wely-K. Georgiev, IT, Gronigen, 1994).
              • 17.Qa4 Ra7 18.Bb5 Rb8 19.0-0 Qb7 20.Rb3 gives White an extra pawn, more space and serious tactical threats (Van Wely-Riemersma, Dutch Ch, Amsterdam, 1995).
            • If 13...Qb4?! 14.Be2! (White has a fair advantage) then:
              • If 14...Bb5?! 15.Bxb5! axb5 16.Rb3 then:
                • 16...Qxa5?? 17.Ra3! White skewers the Queen and Rook and Black resigns (Soln-Zorko, Slovenian ChT, Bled, 2001).
                • Black has enough to keep fighting after 16...Qd4 17.Nxb5 Qa4 18.Nc3 Qe8 19.Nc4, but White already has an overwhelming advantage.
              • 14...Ra7 15.0-0 Bb5 16.Bxb5 axb5 17.Qe2 Nh5 18.g4 when White has a better center and more freedom.
          • 12...e6 13.Nc4 exd5 14.exd5 Bg4 15.Be2 Bxe2 16.Kxe2 Re8+ gives Black the initiative and assures him of leveling the material balance; White has the advantage in space (Hillarp Persson-Conquest, Op, Torshavn, Faroe Islands, 2000).
        • 12.Be2 Bd7 13.Ra3 Bb5 14.0-0 Nbd7 15.Re1 is equal (Podzielny-Naundorf, Op, Goch, Germany, 2010).
      • 9...Qc7 10.Bc4 0-0 11.Nge2 e5 12.f3 Qe7 13.Bg5 gives White a comfortable advantage in space (Shirov-Benjamin, IT, Stockholm, 1990).
  • If 5.e3 g6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Nf3 0-0 8.a4 then:
    • If 8...d6 9.e4 then:
      • If 9...axb5 10.Bxb5 Ba6 then:
        • If 11.Bd2 then:
          • 11...Bxb5 12.axb5 Rxa1 13.Qxa1 Qb6 14.0-0 Ne8 15.Bg5 gives White an extra pawn and active minor pieces; he wins quickly (Moiseenko-Khairullin, Euro Ch, Warsaw, 2005).
          • 11...Nbd7 12.0-0 Ng4 13.Qe2 Qa5 14.Ra3 Rfb8 15.Rfa1 gives White an extra pawn, more freedom and more space (Beliavesky-J. M. Hodgson, Op, London, 1985).
        • If 11.Bf4 Nbd7 12.0-0 Ng4 13.Qe2 then:
          • 13...Bxb5? 14.axb5! Nge5 15.Nxe5 Nxe5 16.Ra6 Rb8 17.f3 gives White an extra pawn and an impressive advantage in space; White whould win with a queen push (Farago-Koehler, Op, Haarlem, 1996).
          • 13...Qa5 14.Nd2 Nge5 15.Bg5 f6 16.Be3 Bxb5 17.Nxb5 gives White an extra pawn and more space (Y. Vovk-Zherebukh, Ukrainian ChU20, Lvov, 2007).
      • If 9...Nbd7 then:
        • If 10.Bd2 Ne8 11.Be2 Nc7 12.0-0 then:
          • If 12...axb5 13.axb5 Bb7 then:
            • If 14.Qb3 Nb6 15.Na4 Nxa4 16.Rxa4 Rxa4 17.Qxa4 then:
              • If 17...Bxb2? then after 18.b6 Na8 19.Rb1 Bg7 20.Qa7 Qb8 21.Bg5 White wins (Zhukova-Kadziolka, Euro ChW, St. Petersburg, 2009).
              • 17...Qd7 18.Qb3 Ra8 19.Bd3 Qd8 20.Bc3 gives White two extra pawns.
            • 14.Ng5!? drops one of White's extra pawns to 14...Nb6! 15.Na4 h6 16.Nxf7 Kxf7 17.Nxb6.
          • If 12...Rb8 13.Qc2 axb5 14.axb5 Nb6 then:
            • If 15.Ra2 e6 16.dxe6 Nxe6 then:
              • If 17.Nd5?! then:
                • If 17...Bb7? then:
                  • 18.Ba5? Bxd5 19.exd5 Nf4 20.Bc4 is equal (Zhukova-Rohonyan, FIDE Knock Out W, Nalchik, 2008).
                  • 18.Nxb6 Qxb6 19.Ba5 Qa7 20.Bc4 Ra8 21.Bc3 gives White a powerful initiative.
                • 17...Nxd5! 18.exd5 Nc7 19.Ba5 Qd7 20.Bxc7 Qxc7 21.Qb3 maintains White's extra pawn, but now Black has better pawns.
              • 17.b3! Bb7 18.Bc4 Nd4 19.Nxd4 cxd4 20.Nd5 continues to gives White an extra pawn and more space; both side have pawn weaknesses.
            • 15.Be3! f5 16.Rfd1 Bd7 17.Bg5 h6 18.Be3 proviokes a new weakness in Black's kingside.
        • If 10.Ra3 then:
          • 10...Ne8 11.Be2 axb5 then:
            • 12.Nxb5 Ba6 13.0-0 Nc7 14.Qb3 Nf6 15.Re1 gives White an extra pawn and the advantage in space, but it is prolematic whether he can hold the pawn (G. Flear-Sandstrom, Op, London, 1993).
            • 12.Bxb5 Nc7 13.Be2 Ba6 14.0-0 Bxe2 15.Qxe2 continues to give White an extra pawn, which now looks dangerous (Chandra Purnama-Collutiis, Ol, Khanty-Mansiysk, 2010).
          • 10...Ng4?! 11.Nd2 Nh6 12.Be2 f5 13.0-0 fxe4 14.Ndxe4 continues to give White an extra pawn and more space; Black has slightly stronger pawns (Henrey-Samani, US Op, Framingham, Massachusetts, 2001).
    • If 8...Bb7 9.Ra3 e6 10.dxe6 fxe6 11.Qd6 then:
      • If 11...axb5 12.Bxb5 then:
        • If 12...Ne4 13.Nxe4 Bxe4 then:
          • 14.0-0 Rf5 15.Be2 Nc6 16.Qg3 d5 17.Qh3 Qe7 gives White an extra pawn that cannot be held and Black has more space (M. Petursson-J. M. Hodgson, IT, Moscow, 1987).
          • If 14.Bd3?! then:
            • 14...Bxd3!? 15.Rxd3 Qa5+ 16.Bd2 Qxa4 17.Ra3 Qc6 gives Black a big advantage in King safety and more space (N. S. Babu-Hebden, Op, London, 1990).
            • 14...Bxf3! 15.gxf3 Rxf3 16.Be4 Ra6 17.Qxc5 Rf7 gives White an extra pawn and more space, but Black has a much safer King.
        • If 12...Bxf3 13.gxf3 Qc8 then:
          • 14.0-0 Ne8 15.Qg3 Nc6 16.Ne4 Ne5 17.f4 gives White an extra pawn and a small advantage in space (M. Petursson-Fedorowicz, Match, Reykjavik, 1990).
          • 14.h4 Rf7 15.Rg1 c4 16.Ne4 Nxe4 17.fxe4 Nc6 gives White an extra pawn, more pawn weaknesses and an awkward Queen at d6 (Markus-B. Vuckovic, Serbian ChT, Zlatibor, 2006).
      • If 11...Qc8 12.Be2 then:
        • If 12...Ne8 13.Qg3 axb5 14.Nxb5 then:
          • 14...Nc6 15.0-0 Ne7 16.Rd1 Nf5 17.Qh3 d5 18.Bf1 gives White a small advantage thanks to his extra pawn; Black has a better center and slight advantage in space (Jobava-Nedobora, IT, Kharkov, 1999).
          • 14...d5 15.0-0 Nc6 16.b3 Ne7 17.Ra2 Nf5 18.Qh3 gives White an extra pawn and a small advantage in space (Fedorowicz-Kohlweyer, IT, Dortmund, 1986).
        • If 12...axb5 then:
          • If 13.axb5 Ne8 14.Qd2 d5 15.Rxa8 Bxa8 16.0-0 then:
            • 16...Nd7 17.b3 Nef6 18.Bb2 e5 19.Na4 Qb8 20.Qc2 gives White an extra pawn and more space (K. Georgiev-Rogers, IZT, Biel, 1993).
            • If 16...Qb7 17.b3 Nd7 18.Ba3 Nc7 19.Na4 then:
              • if 19...Nxb5 20.Nxc5 Nxc5 21.Bxc5 Rc8 then:
                • if 22.b4?! then:
                  • 22...e5? 23.Ra1 Qc6 24.Bxb5 Qxb5 25.Rxa8 Black resigns (Schussler-So. Polgar, IT, Farum, Denamrk, 1989).
                  • 22...Nc3 23.Nd4 Nxe2+ 24.Qxe2 e5 25.Nb5 gives White only a comfortable advantage; he'll have to win the game over again.
                • If 22.Rc1! Qd7 23.b4 Re8 24.Nd4 Nxd4 25.Bxd4 gives White more activity and an extra pawn.
              • If 19...Rb8? then White wins after 20.b6 Nxb6 21.Nxc5 Qa7 22.Bb4.
          • 13.Bxb5 Ne8 14.Qg3 Bxf3 15.gxf3 Nc6 16.0-0 d5 is equal (Hertneck-Mainka, Bundesliga 9192, Germany, 1991).

5...g6 6.Nc3 Bxa6 7.Nf3

  • If 7.e4 Bxf1 8.Kxf1 d6 then:
    • If 9.g3 Bg7 10.Kg2 0-0 11.Nf3 Nbd7 then:
      • If 12.Re1 Ng4 then:
        • If 13.Qe2 Nge5 14.Nd2 Nb6 15.f4 Ned7 then:
          • If 16.a4 Ra7 17.a5 Qa8 then:
            • 18.a6 Qc8 19.Nb5 Ra8 20.Nf3 c4 21.Nfd4 Rxa6 22.Nc6 gives White the initiative and more space (Vaisser-Degraeve, French Ch, Marbonne, 1997).
            • 18.Qb5 Rb8 19.axb6 Rxa1 20.Qxd7 Rxb6 21.Ndb1 is a bit wild, but White is attacking an unprotected pawn and thus has a slight advantage (Lugovoi-Khalifman, Op, St. Petersburg, 1996).
          • If 13.Re2 then:
            • If 13...Qa5 14.Bg5 Rfe8 15.Rc1 then:
              • 15...Nb6 16.h3 Ne5 17.Nxe5 Bxe5 18.Qd3 Qb4 19.a3 gives White a strong initiative; Black's Queen is out of the game for a moment (Spassky-Vaganian, IT, Linares, 1985).
              • 15...Qa6 16.b3 Nge5 17.Nxe5 Nxe5 18.Na4 Rab8 19.Bd2 gives White an extra pawn and Black more space (Gavrilov-Tseshkovsky, Soviet ChT, Moscow, 1979).
            • If 16.Nf3 Na4 17.Nd1 then:
              • 17...Qc8 18.e5 Qb7 19.Qe4 Kh8 20.b3 Nab6 21.Nc3 gives White a center duo that blocks Black's access through the center, but 21...f5! will begin breaking it down (Jussupow-Baklan, Bundesliga 9798, Germany, 1998).
              • 17...Ndb6?! 18.Rb1 Ra7 19.Bd2! c4 20.b3 Nc5 21.Bc3 neutralizes Black's proud Bishop and threatens the pawn at c4 (M. Gurevich-Keessen, Op, Vlissingen, 1998).
          • If 13...Qb6 14.Qc2 Qa6 then:
            • 15.Bg5 Rfb8 16.Rd1 Nge5 17.Nxe5 Bxe5 18.h4 gives White a slight advantage with the attack on e7 (Gligoric-Kozomara, Op, Belgrade, 1961).
            • 15.Bd2 Rfb8 16.Be1 Nge5 17.Nxe5 Nxe5 18.Rd1 c4 gives White an extra pawn and Black more space (Kholmov-Platonov, Soviet Ch, Baku, 1972).
      • If 12.h3 then:
        • If 12...Ra6 13.Re1 Qa8 then:
          • If 14.Re2 Rb8 15.Qc2 Ne8 then:
            • 16.Be3 Nc7 17.Rd1 Nb5 18.Nxb5 Rxb5 19.b3 gives White an extra pawn, but Black has her Rooks in front of the two most dangerous ones and should be all right (M. Gurevich-A. Muzychuk, Op, Gibraltar, 2008).
            • 16.Bg5 Kf8 17.Qc1 Nc7 18.Bh6 Nb5 19.b3 gives White an extra pawn and more space (Roghani-Khaghani, Iranian Ch, Tehran, 2001).
          • If 14.Bg5 then:
            • If 14...h6 15.Bd2 e6 16.dxe6 fxe6 17.Qc2 g5 18.a4 d5 19.Ra3 then:
              • If 19...Rf7 20.exd5 exd5 21.Nb5 then:
                • 21...Qb7? 22.Bxg5!! hxg5 23.Nxg5 Nf8 24.Nxf7 gives White a Rook and two pawns for a Knight (S. Atalik-Khalifman, Op, Hastings, 1996).
                • 21...Rc6 22.Qf5 Rb6 23.Nc7 Qc6 24.Ne6 continues to give White an extra pawn; if 24...Rxb2? then White wins after 25.Nd8! Qa8 26.Nxf7.
              • If 19...Rb6 then:
                • If 20.Bc1?! Rf7 then:
                  • If 21.Nd2?! Rb4 22.Rb3 Rxb3 23.Qxb3 c4! (the tables turn) then:
                    • 24.Nxc4 dxc4 25.Qxc4 Ne5 26.Qxe6 Nd3 gives Black two minor pieces for four pawns (Ljubojevic-Topalov, IT, Linares, 1995).
                    • 24.Qb5?! Ne5 25.Rf1 Nxe4 26.Ndxe4 d4 Black wins a Knight.
                  • If 21.exd5! exd5 22.Nb5 Bf8 23.Nc7 Qb8 24.a5 gives White an extra pawn and the initiative.
                • If 20.a5 Ra6 21.e5 Nh5 22.Na4 gives White an extra pawn and the initiative.
            • If 14...Rb8 then:
              • If 15.Qc2 then:
                • 15...Ne8 16.Re2 Rab6 17.Bc1 Nc7 18.a4 Qa5 19.Ra3 gives White an extra pawn; space is approximately equal (Feller-Krylov, Aeroflot Op, Moscow, 2010).
              • 15...e6?! 16.dxe6! fxe6 17.Rad1 d5 18.exd5 exd5 19.Re7 gives White the active game in addition to the extra pawn; he soon wins (Blot-Conquest, French ChT, Mulhouse, 2001).
        • If 12...Qa5 13.Re1 Rfb8 then:
          • If 14.Re2 Ne8 15.Rc2 then:
            • If 15...Nb6 16.Qe2 Qa6 17.Qxa6 Rxa6 then:
              • 18.Rb1 Na4 19.Nd1 Nc7 20.b3 f5 21.Nd2 gives White an extra pawn and a better center; Black has more space and is contesting White's grip on the center (Neverov-van der Weide, Op, Hoogeveen, 1999).
              • 18.b3 f5 19.exf5 gxf5 20.Bb2 Bxc3 21.Bxc3 Nxd5 gives Black a grip on dark square in White's queenside and center (Zlotnik-Carrasco, IT, Lorca, Spain, 2001).
            • If 15...Nc7 16.Bg5 then:
              • If 16...Qa6 17.Rac1 h6 18.Bf4 Nb5 19.Nxb5 Qxb5 20.b3 gives White an extra pawn and a better center; Black has more space, but, paradixically, no effective pawn moves (Mithil-Prasannaa, World Jr Ch, Chennai, 2011).
              • 16...Kf8 17.Rac1 Nb5 18.Nxb5 Qxb5 19.b3 Ra3 20.Re2 gives White an extra pawn; Black has a slight advantage in space and the e5 square at her command (Seirawan-J. Polgar, Rpd IT, Roquebrune, 1992).
          • If 14.e5 dxe5 15.Nxe5 Nxe5 16.Rxe5 then:
            • If 16...Rb7 17.Qe2 Qd8 18.Qf3 then:
              • 18...Nd7 19.Re2 Ne5 20.Qe4 Rb4 21.Qc2 gives White an extra pawn and Black more space (Lilienthal-S. Webb, IT, Decin, 1977).
              • 18...Ne8?! 19.Re2 Nd6 20.Bf4! Rd7 21.g4 Nc4 22.Rae1 gives White an extra pawn and more space (Elsness-B. Vuckovic, Ol, Khanty-Mansiysk, 2010).
            • 16...Ra7 17.Qe2 Rbb7 18.g4 Ne8 19.Re3 Nd6 20.a4 gives White an extra pawnand Black more space (Spassky-Ivanchuk, IT, Linares, 1990).
    • If 9.Nf3 Bg7 then:
      • If 10.h3 0-0 11.Kg1 then:
        • If 11...Nbd7 12.Kh2 then:
          • If 12...Qa5 13.Re1 Rfb8 then:
            • If 14.Re2 Ne8 15.Rc2 then:
              • If 15...Nc7 then:
                • If 16.Bg5 Kf8 17.Rac1 then:
                  • 17...h6 18.Bf4 Kg8 19.Re2 Qa6 20.Qd2 g5 21.Bg3 gives White an extra pawn and Black more space; Black's King position may be somewhat compromised by the advance to g5, but White cannot bring his forces to the kingside fast enough to make the sacrifice 22.Nxg5 hxg5 23.Qxg5 worthwhile (Graf-van Kempen, Op, Cappelle-la-Grande, 2009).
                  • 17...Rb4 18.Re2 Ne5 19.Nxe5 Bxe5+ 20.f4 Bg7 21.e5 gives White an extra pawn (Kuemin-Guidarelli, IT, Saint Vincent, 2001).
                • 16.Bd2 Qa6 17.Rac1 Qd3 18.Be3 Qxd1 19.Rxd1 gives White an extra pawn, but Black has more good moves (Matejka-Shinkevich, Op, Pardubive, 2000).
              • If 15...Nb6 16.Qe2 Qa6 then:
                • If 17.Qxa6 Rxa6 then:
                  • 18.Bg5 Na4 19.Nd1 Nxb2 20.Rb1 Rab6 is equal (Hofland-Spasov, Corres, 2003).
                  • 18.Rb1 Nc4 19.a3 Rb3 20.g4 Nf6 gives White an extra pawn, but he has tied himself up in an attempt to hang on to it (Dosi-Spasov, Corres, 2004).
                • 17.Bg5 Qxe2 18.Rxe2 Bxc3 19.bxc3 f6 20.Bc1 leaves White with an extra pawn and Black more freedom (Graf-Züger, Op, Geneva, 1999).
            • If 14.Qc2 Nb6 15.Nd1 then:
              • If 15...c4!? then:
                • 16.Be3?! Nfd7! 17.Re2 Nc5 18.Nd2 gives White a slight advantage, if any (Haba-Prusikin, Bundesliga 0304, Germany, 2003).
                • 16.a4! Nbd7 17.Bd2 Qa6 18.Be3 Rc8 19.Nd4 gives White an extra pawn and a small advantage in space.
              • If 15...Qa6 16.Bd2 then:
                • 16...Rb7?! 17.Kg1 Rba7 18.a4 Nc4 19.Bc3 Rb7 20.b3 gives White an extra pawn (Haba-Prusikin, Bundesliga 0001, Germany, 2000).
                • 16...Na4! 17.Rb1 c4 18.Nc3 Nc5 19.Be3 Nd3 20.Rf1 gives White an extra pawn against Black's queenside pressure and a comfortable advantage in space.
          • If 12...Qb6 13.Re1 Rfb8 14.Re2 Qa6 then:
            • 15.Kg1 Nb6 16.Rb1 gives White an extra pawn; Black has more freedom and a small adavantage in space (Sanna-J.-R. Koch, EU ChT, Haifa, 1989).
            • If 15.Bg5 h6 then:
              • 16.Bh4!? g5 17.Bg3 Nh5 18.Rc1 Nxg3 19.fxg3 Rb4 gives Black a comfortable advantage in space as full compensagtion for the pawn (Ker-Sarfati, New Zealand Ch, Wellington, 1995).
              • 16.Be3 Nh5 17.Rc1 Ne5 18.Nxe5 Bxe5+ 19.g3 continues to give White an extra pawn and Black a small advantage in space.
        • If 11...Na6 12.Kh2 Qb6 13.Re1 then:
          • If 13...Nd7 14.Re2 then:
            • 14...Ne5 15.Nxe5 Bxe5+ 16.Kg1 Nb4 17.Bg5 Rfe8 18.Qd2 gives White and extra pawn and Black a fair advantage in space (Altenburg-Arndt, Corres, 2000).
            • 14...Nb4 15.Bg5 Rfe8 16.a3 Qa6 17.Rd2 gives White an extra pawn; Black has more freedom (M. Koch-Colombo Berra, Corres, 1992).
          • 13...Rfb8 14.Re2 Nb4 15.Be3 Nd7 16.Rd2 Qa6 17.a3 is equal (W. Schön-J. Polgar, IT, Reykjavik, 1988).
      • 10.g3 transpoeses into the main line of this set of notes.

7...d6 8.g3 Nbd7 9.Bg2 Bg7 10.Rb1 0-0

  • If 10...Nb6 11.b3 then:
    • If 11...Bc8 12.Nh4 h6 13.Qc2 Qd7 then:
      • If 14.f4 Bb7 then:
        • 15.Qd2 g5 16.fxg5 hxg5 17.Qxg5 Bh6 18.Qf5 gives White an extra pawnand more space (Bluvshtein-Reeve, Op, Edmonton, Ontario, 2008).
        • If 15.e4 0-0 16.0-0 Ng4 17.h3 Nf6 18.Be3 gives White an extra pawnand more space (Zaiatz-Ivakhinova, Russian ChW HL, Chelyabinsk, 2008).
      • If 14.Bb2 g5 15.Nf3 then:
        • If 15...Bb7 16.e4 Ba6 17.h4 g4 18.Ng1 then:
          • 18...Qc8 19.a4 Rb8 20.Nd1 0-0 21.Ne3 Re8 22.Nf5 gives White an extra pawn, a better center and a small advantage in space; the Knight at f5 is very powerful (Potkin-Brandenburg, Bundesliga 0809, Emsdetten, 2008).
          • 18...e6 19.dxe6 Qxe6 20.Nge2 0-0 21.0-0 Bxe2 22.Qxe2 gives White an extra pawn and Black more space; White will have an easier time adding to his territory (Antonsen-Fitzsimmons, Ol, Khanty-Mansiysk, 2010).
        • If 15...Qf5 16.e4 Qg6 17.0-0 0-0 then:
          • 18.Rbc1 Ng4 19.a4 f5 20.exf5 Bxf5 21.Qd2 gives White an extra pawn and Black more space (Savina-I. Turova, Russian ChW HL, Chelyabinsk, 2008).
          • 18.Qd2 Qh5 19.e5 Ng4 20.exd6 exd6 21.Rfe1 gives White an extra pawn and a better center; Black has more space (Kasimdzhanov-van der Weide, Op, Gronigen, 1999).
    • If 11...Bb7 12.Nh4 0-0 13.0-0 Ne8 14.Bb2 then:
      • If 14...Nc7 15.Qd2 then:
        • If 15...Bxc3 then:
          • If 16.Qxc3 f6 17.e4 Rxa2 18.Ra1 Nb5 19.Qd2 Qa8 then:
            • 20.Nf3 Bc8 21.e5 fxe5 22.Qh6 Rf7 23.Ng5 gives White an attack on the Black's King, but one that is easily stopped (Rogozenko-M. Pap, Op, Timisoara, 2005).
            • 20.Qh6 Nd4 21.Bxd4 cxd4 22.Rxa2 Qxa2 23.Nxg6 hxg6 24.Qxg6+ Kh8 25.Qh6+ Kg8 draw (Lambert-Geismann, Euro Club Cup, Rogaska Slatina, 2011).
          • If 16.Bxc3?! Nbxd5 17.Ba1 Ra7 18.b4 Nf6 19.Bxf6 exf6 20.Rfd1 Bxg2 21.Nxg2 Ne6 draw (Geo. Timoshenko-Derjabin, Ukrainian ChT, Alushta, 2001).
        • If 15...Qd7 16.e4 Ra7 17.a4 Rb8 18.Nd1 Bxb2 19.Rxb2 gives White the better center and more space; Black's pieces are cramped on the queenside (Damljanovic-Djokic, Serbian ChT, Obrenovac, 2010).
      • If 14...Bxc3 15.Bxc3 Rxa2 16.b4 then:
        • 16...Nd7 17.e4 Nef6 18.Re1 Qa8 19.Bh3 cxb4 20.Rxb4 is equal (Adianto-Gheam Maghami, Op, Doha, 2006).
        • If 16...c4 17.Qd4 then:
          • 17...f6?! 18.e4! Qc7 19.Ra1 Rxa1 20.Rxa1 Ng7 21.Nf3 gives White a better center and greater restaint on his opponent's passed pawn (Gordon-Savage, 4NCL, Reading, England, 2011).
          • 17...Nf6 18.e4 Na4 19.Ba1 c3 20.Qc4 gives White a better center and Black a passed pawn that is of concern to White.

11.0-0 Qa5

  • If 11...Ne8 then:
    • If 12.Qc2 Nc7 13.Rd1 then:
      • If 13...Bxc3 then:
        • If 14.Qxc3 Bxe2 15.Bh6 Nf6 then:
          • If 16.Rd2 Bxf3 17.Bxf3 Re8 18.b4 Nb5 then:
            • 19.Qa1 Na3 20.Rb3 cxb4 21.Rxb4 Qc7 22.Rb3 is equal (Malakhatko-A. Tate, Op, Gibraltar, 2010).
            • 19.Qc1 Rc8 20.bxc5 Rxc5 21.Qb2 Nc3 22.Rc1 Qc7 is equal (Rombaldoni-Shytaj, IT 0607, Reggio Emilia, 2007).
          • 16.Re1 Ncxd5 17.Qd2 Bb5 18.Bxf8 Qxf8 19.a3 gives White the exchange for a pawn and Black more space (Spoelman-Brandenburg, Dutch Ch, Boxtel, 2011).
        • If 14.bxc3 Bc4 15.e4 Rxa2 16.Rb2 then:
          • 16...Rxb2 17.Qxb2 Qb8 18.Nd2 Be2 19.Re1 Qxb2 20.Bxb2 is equal (Medic-Berke, Euro ChW, Rijeka, 2010).
          • 16...Ra1 17.Nd2 Be2 18.Re1 Bb5 19.c4 Ba6 20.Qc3 gives White a better center and a significant advantage in space (Vasquez-Landriel, Op, Villa Martelli, Argentina, 2008).
      • If 13...Nb6 14.e4 Bc8 then:
        • If 15.h3 Bd7 16.b3 Qc8 then:
          • 17.Kh2 f5 18.Nd2 Bd4 19.Bb2 fxe4 20.Ndxe4 gives White an extra pawn and Black a little more space (Medic-Calzetta Ruiz, Euro ChW, Dresden, 2007).
          • 17.a4 Bxh3 18.Bb2 Bg4 19.Re1 Na6 20.Nb5 is equal (Carlsen-Anand, Blitz, Reykjavik, 2006).
      • If 15.b3 then:
        • 15...f5 16.e5 dxe5 17.Ng5 e4 18.Be3 Bd4 gives Black a slight advantage in space (Sandipan-Andreikin, Aeroflot Op Rd 4, Moscow, 2012).
        • 15...Bd7 16.Bb2 Qc8 17.Re1 Bh3 18.Bxh3 Qxh3 19.Rbd1 gives White an extra pawn and Black more space (Laznicka-Macias Murillo, Ol, Khanty-Mansiysk, 2010).
  • If 12.Re1 Nc7 then:
    • If 13.e4 Nb5 14.Ne2 Qb6 15.Be3 Rfb8 then:
      • 16.a4 Nc7 17.b4 Bxe2 18.Qxe2 Rxa4 19.Bh3 gives White a better center and the advantage in space (Avrukh-Hendricks, IT B, Wijk aan Zee, 2000).
      • 16.Bf1 Nf6 17.a4 Nc7 18.Nc3 Bxf1 19.Kxf1 gives White a better center and more space (Dydyshko-Kryvoruchko, Polish ChT, Ustron, 2006).
    • If 13.a4 Bc4 14.e4 Qb8 15.Bf4 Bb3 16.Qd2 gives White a small advantage in space (Babula-Lauk, Euro ChT, Crete, 2007).

12.Qc2

  • If 12.Bd2 Rfb8 13.Qc2 Ng4 14.a4 Nge5 15.Nxe5 Nxe5 then:
    • If 16.b3 then:
      • If 16...Qc7 17.Rfe1 Ra7 then:
        • 18.f4 Nd7 19.e3 Rab7 20.Bf1 Bxf1 21.Rxf1 gives White an extra pawn, that being a protected passer and a small advantage in space; Black has command of the b-file with his Rooks trained on a weak pawn (Kirusha-Mirovshchikov, Chigorin Mem Op, St. Petersburg, 2001).
        • If 18.h3 Nd7 19.Na2 Nf6 20.b4 then:
          • If 20...cxb4? 21.Qxc7 Rxc7 22.Nxb4 then:
            • 22...Rcb7 23.Nxa6 Rxb1 24.Nxb8 Rxb8 25.e4 gives White an extra pawn, a passed pawn that will be difficult to advance, a better center and the Bishop pair (Livner-Ajavazi, Euro Club Cup, Rogaska Slatina, 2011).
            • 22...Bc8 23.Rbc1 Rxc1 24.Rxc1 Kf8 25.Rc7 Ra8 26.a5 gives White an extra pawn that is an advanced passer; Black would lose a piece after 26...Rxa5.
          • If 20...Ne8 21.e4 Bc8 22.a5 Bd7 23.Bf1 then:
            • 23...Rba8 24.a6 Rxa6 25.Bxa6 Rxa6 26.bxc5 dxc5 leaves White up by the excahnge.
            • 23...Rab7? 24.b5 Bxb5 25.a6 Bxa6 26.Bxa6 Rb2 27.Rxb2 gives White the exchange for a pawn.
      • If 16...Qb6 17.h3 Bc8 18.Kh2 Bf5 19.e4 Bc8 20.Be3 gives White an extra pawn and more freedom; Black has an arrack on White's weak pawn at b3 (Zaiatz-Pogonina, Russian ChTW, Serpukhov, 2002).

12...Nb6 13.Rd1 Nfd7 14.Bd2 (N)

  • 14.Bg5 Nc4 15.Rdc1 h6 16.Bf4 Rfb8 17.h4 gives White a slight advantage in space (Yakovic-Raznikov, Euro Ch, Aix-les-Bains, 2011).

14...Nc4

BLACK: Fabiano Caruana




WHITE: Anton Korobov
Position after 14...Nb6c4


15.Be1

  • White has a small advantage in space.

15...Rfb8 16.Qc1 Nde5 17.Nxe5 Nxe5 18.h3

  • If 18.Bh3!? then:
    • 18...h5 19.Qc2 Nc4 20.Bd7 Ne5 21.Ba4 Qc7 is equal.
    • 18...Qc7!? 19.b3 Bc8 20.Bxc8 Qxc8 21.a4 Qh3 22.f3 continues to give White a small advantage.

18...Bc8!?

  • Black removes part of his control over c4.
  • 18...Qc7 19.f4 Nd7 20.Qc2 c4! 21.Bf2 Nc5 22.Bf3 continues to give White a small advantage in space.

19.b3!

  • White lays the foundation for counterplay in the center.

19...c4

  • If 19...Qa3 then:
    • 20.f4 Nd7 21.Na4 Qxc1 22.Rbxc1 Nb6 23.Nxb6 Rxb6 gives White a fair advantage with an extra pawn and the d-pawn secure in the center.
    • If 20.Bd2 Nd7 21.Qc2 Be5 then:
      • 22.f4 Bd4+ 23.e3 Bg7 24.Kh2 Nb6 25.e4 continues to give White a small advantage in space.
      • 22.Rb2!? Rb7! 23.f4 Bg7 24.Rbb1 Rab8 25.Qc1 is equal.

20.f4!

  • White blasts Black's Knight out of the center.

20...Nd7 21.Qe3!?

  • White puts the breaks on his queenside counterplay too soon.
  • If 21.Na4! then:
    • If 21...Qc7 22.Qe3 then:
      • 22...Qd8 23.Bf2 Ra5 24.Rdc1 cxb3 25.axb3 Rab5 26.Qd3 continues to gives White a fair advantage in space.
      • 22...Nb6 23.Nxb6 Rxb6 24.Rbc1 Ra3 25.Bc3 Ba6 26.Bxg7 continues to gives White a fair advantage in space.
    • If 21...Qa7+!? 22.Bf2! Qc7 23.Rd2 then:
      • 23...Ra5 24.Qc2 Nc5 25.Nxc5 Rxc5 26.Bxc5 Qxc5+ 27.Kh2 gives White a comfortable advantage in space.
      • 23...Qa5 24.Rc2 cxb3 25.axb3 Bb7 26.Qd1 f5 27.Qd3 continues to gives White a fair advantage in space.

21...cxb3! 22.axb3 Qd8 23.Na4 Nf6 24.Bf2!?

  • White removes his Bishop from an open diagonal and leaves h5 available to Black's Knight.
  • 24.g4! Rb7 25.Rdc1 Bd7 26.Bf3 Qb8 27.Qd3 Bb5 continues to give White a small advantage in space.
  • 24.Bc3!? Bf5 25.Rb2 h5 26.Kh2 Rb5 27.Rc1 h4 is equal.


BLACK: Fabiano Caruana




WHITE: Anton Korobov
Position after 24.Bd1f2


24...Bf5!

  • The game is equal.

25.Rbc1 Rb4 26.g4

  • 26.Be1 Rb7 27.Rc6 Rab8 28.b4 Bd7 29.Qb3 remains equal.

26...Bd7 27.Rc6 Rab8

  • 27...Bxc6 28.dxc6 Ne8 29.Nb6 Rb8 30.Nd5 Rxb3 31.Qa7 remains equal.

28.Rd3 Bxc6 29.dxc6 Qc7

  • Black blockades the pawn.
  • If 29...e6?! 30.Nc5! Qc8 31.Rxd6 then:
    • If 31...Nd5 32.Qd2 Bf8 33.Rxd5 then:
      • If 33...exd5 34.Bxd5 then:
        • 34...Bxc5 35.Bxc5 Rxb3 36.Bxb3 Rxb3 37.Qd6 Rb8 38.c7! Black must lose at least one heavy piece.
        • 34...R8b5 35.Nd7 Be7 36.Ne5 Qd8 37.Bxf7+ Kg7 38.Qxd8 Bxd8 39.Bc4 gives White a huge advantage with three passed pawns.
      • If 33...Qxc6? then White wins after 34.Rd8 Qb5 35.Nb7 Rxd8 36.Qxd8 Kg7 37.Bd4+.
    • If 31...Bf8 32.Rd3 then:
      • 32...Nd5 33.Bxd5 exd5 34.Nd7 Qxc6 35.Nxb8 Rxb8 36.Qf3 gives White a passed pawn and a comfortable game.
      • If 32...Bxc5? then White wins after 33.Qxc5! Rxb3 34.Rxb3 Rxb3 35.Qe7 Ne8 36.Bc5

30.Be1

  • The game remains level.
  • If 30.Nc3 then:
    • If 30...e6 31.f5 gxf5 32.gxf5 exf5 then:
      • 33.Qg5 f4 34.Nd5 Nxd5 35.Bxd5 Kh8 36.Qf5 gives White two passed pawns (both blockaded) and a little more space.
      • 33.Bd5!? Ra8 34.Qf3 Ra5 35.Kg2 Kf8 36.Bc4 remains equal.
    • If 30...Rxb3?! 31.g5! Ne8 32.Nd5 Rxd3 33.exd3 Qd8 34.Nxe7+ gives White a passed pawn, the Bishop pair and a comfortable advantage in space; Black has command of the b-file.

30...R4b5 31.Nc3 Ra5?!

  • Better is simply to take the pawn.
  • If 31...Rxb3 32.g5 Ne8 33.Nd5 Rxd3 34.Qxd3 Qd8 35.Qc4 remains equal.


BLACK: Fabiano Caruana




WHITE: Anton Korobov
Position after 31...Rb5a5


32.g5!

  • White has an extra pawn, two passers and command of the key d5 square.

32...Nh5!?

  • Blackl tries to find counterplay on the kingside, but the queenside is not secure.
  • 32...Ne8 33.Nd5 Rxd5 34.Rxd5 Qxc6 35.Re5 d5 36.Rxd5 gives White an extra pawn (passed), command of the d-file, command of the e-file from the third rank with the Queen attacking aun unprotected pawn, the Bishop pair and a huge advantage in space; Black has command of the b- and c-files..

33.Nd5!

  • White, already a pawn up, forces Black to give up the exchange.

33...Rxd5

  • 33...Qa7? loses to 34.Bxa5 Qxa5 35.c7 Re8 36.Nxe7+.

34.Bxd5 e6 35.Bf3 Rb5?

  • Black's position is already difficult. He should pressure the c-pawn.
  • If 35...d5 36.Bxh5 gxh5 37.Bc3 then:
    • 37...Rxb3 38.Bxg7 Rb1+ 39.Kg2 Kxg7 40.Qd4+ Kg8 41.Rc3 gives White a clear advantage.
    • If 37...d4? then:
      • 38.Rxd4! Bxd4 39.Qxd4 Qb6 40.c7 Qxd4+ 41.Bxd4 Rc8 42.Be5 White wins by advancing the b-pawn.
      • 38.Bxd4!? Bxd4 39.Rxd4 Qxc6 40.b4 Qb5 41.Kf2 Re8 42.Qf3 gives White an extra pawn that is passed, command of the d-file and a substantial advantage in space; Black has the pawn blockaded.

36.Bc3!?

  • White would like to bring the Rook to the c-file.
  • A more effecient way of accomplishing this goal is 36.Rd2! Rf5 then:
    • If 37.Bxh5 gxh5 38.Rc2 then:
      • 38...Bf8 39.Bf2 Rc5 40.Rxc5 dxc5 41.Qe4 Bd6 42.Be3 gives White an extra pawn and a substantial advantage in space.
      • If 38...Rd5 then White wins after 39.Kg2 Rd1 40.Bd2 Rb1 41.b4.
    • 37.Rc2? Nxf4 38.h4 h6 39.gxh6 Bxh6 40.Qd4 Bg7 is equal.

36...e5?

  • Black destroys the possibility of effectively playing ...d6d5 and cutting White's c-pawn from protection.
  • If 36...Rxb3 37.Bxh5 Rb1+ then:
    • If 38.Kh2 Bxc3 39.Rxc3 gxh5 40.Rc1 then:
      • 40...Rb5 41.Kg2 Kg7 42.Qd4+ Kg8 43.e3 e5 44.Qd3 gives White an advanced passer and fewer pawn weaknesses.
      • 40...Rxc1? 41.Qxc1 h4 42.Kg2 e5 43.Qc3 Kg7 44.e4 gives White an advanced passer and fewer pawn weaknesses; Black is running out of benign moves.
    • 38.Kf2 Bxc3 39.Rxc3 gxh5 40.Rc1 Rb5 41.Kg2 gives White an advanced passed pawn and the advantage in space.


BLACK: Fabiano Caruana




WHITE: Anton Korobov
Position after 36...e6e5


37.fxe5! Bxe5 38.Bxe5 Rxe5 39.Qd2 Qa7+

  • 39...Qb6+ 40.Kg2 Rf5 41.Rxd6 Nf4+ 42.Kh1 Rxg5 43.Qd4 leaves no good square for the Knight.
  • 39...Re6 40.Bd5 Qa7+ 41.Kf1 Re7 42.Rf3 Ng7 43.e4 gives White an extra pawn, two passers and more space.

40.Kg2 Qe7 41.h4

  • If 41.Rxd6 Rxg5+ 42.Kf1 then:
    • 42...Nf6 43.Qxg5 Qxd6 44.c7 Qxc7 45.Qxf6 leaves White up by a piece.
    • If 42...h6 43.Rd8+ Kh7 44.Qd7 then:
      • 44...Qf6 45.Qd4 Re5 46.Ke1 Nf4 47.c7 the pawn will soon queen.
      • 44...Ng3+ then White wins after 45.Kf2 Nf5 46.Qxe7 Nxe7 47.b4.

41...d5 42.b4 Qd6

  • Black is toast. That White's connected passed pawns carry the day is shown in the following.
  • If 42...Ng7 43.b5 then:
    • If 43...Ne6 44.b6 then:
      • If 44...d4 then White wins after 45.Rb3 Qd6 46.b7 Qb8 47.Ra3 Nc7 48.Qxd4./li]]
      • If 44...Qd6 then White wins after 45.b7 Qb8 46.Rxd5 Rxd5 47.Bxd5 Nf4+ 48.Kf3
    • If 43...Qc7 44.Bxd5 Nh5 45.Rf3 then:
      • 45...Rf5 46.b6 Qxb6 47.Bxf7+ Rxf7 48.Qd5 White exhanges on f7, leaving Black no way to stop the c-pawn.]
      • 45...Re7 then White wins after 46.e4 Qa7 47.Qf2 Qxf2+ 48.Kxf2 Rc7 49.b6.


BLACK: Fabiano Caruana




WHITE: Anton Korobov
Position after 42...Qe7d6


43.b5!

  • White's passed pawns are connected.

43...Re6 44.Bxh5 gxh5 45.Rxd5 Rxe2+

  • If 45...Qc7 then White forces Black to surrender the Queen: 46.Rd8+ Kg7 47.Qc3+ Kg6 48.Rg8+ Kf5 49.Qh3+ Ke4 50.Qd3+ Ke5 51.Qg3+.

46.Qxe2

  • An even quicker win is 46.Kf3 Rxd2 47.Rxd6 Rxd6 48.c7.

46...Qxd5+ 47.Kg3 Qd6+

  • If 47...Qd4 48.Kf3 Kf8 49.Qe4 then:
    • If 49...Qa1 50.Qc4 then:
      • 50...Qh1+ then White wins after 51.Ke3 Qe1+ 52.Kd3 Qg3+ 53.Kc2 Qc7 54.Qc5+.
      • 50...Qa3+ then White wins after 51.Ke4 Qe7+ 52.Kd3 Qd6+ 53.Qd4 Qg3+ 54.Kc4.
    • If 49...Qc3+ then White wins after 50.Kf4 Qc1+ 51.Ke5 Qc5+ 52.Qd5

48.Kf3 Qd5+ 49.Kf4 Qd6+

  • There is no defense.
  • If 49...Kf8 50.Qb2 then:
    • If 50...Kg8 51.Qb4 h6 52.c7 hxg5+ 53.hxg5 then:
      • 53...Qe6 then after 54.b6 Qg4+ 55.Ke3 Qxb4 56.c8Q+ Kg7 57.b7 the pawn queens.
      • If 53...Qd7 then White wins after 54.Qc5 Qg4+ 55.Ke5 Qxg5+ 56.Kd6 Qg6+ 57.Kd7.
    • If 50...Qd6+ 51.Ke4 Kg8 52.Qd4 then:
      • 52...Qe6+ 53.Kf4 h6 54.Qd8+ Kh7 55.c7 hxg5+ 56.hxg5 White goes up by a Queen.
      • 52...Qb8 53.b6 Qe8+ 54.Kd3 Qxc6 55.Qd8+ Kg7 56.Qf6+ the Queens are exchanged and the pawn queens.

50.Ke4 Qe6+ 51.Kd3 1-0

  • After 51...Qd5+ 52.Kc3 Qc5+ 53.Kb3 Qd5+ 54.Qc4 Qd1+ 55.Kb4 the the pawns start advancing once Black is out of checks.
  • Il signore Caruana resigns.

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Response to Jack Rabbit (Reply #5)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 02:18 AM

12. Eljanov - Korobov, Round 7

Ukrainian GM Pavel Eljanov has had his ups and down the last two or three years, but was the third GM to finish equal first in the Aeroflot Open. On the way, he defeated fellow co-champion and Ukrainian Korobov.



Pavel Eljanov
Photo by http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Stefan64 Stefan64 in http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fileawel_Eljanow.jpg Wikimedia Commons (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en Creative Commons License, Attribution/Share Alike)


Pavel Eljanov - Anton Korobov
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1656828
11th Aeroflot Open, Round 7
Moscow, 13 February 2012

Semi-Slav Queen's Gambit: Stoltz Opening


1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Nf3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0 dxc4 9.Bxc4 b5

  • For a survey of the Stoltz Opening up to here, see Giri-Spoelman, Dutch Ch, Boxtel, 2011.

10.Bd3

  • If 10.Be2 Bb7 11.Rd1 then:
    • If 11...Qc7 then:
      • If 12.Bd2 e5 13.Rac1 a6 14.b4 Rfe8 then:
        • If 15.Bd3 Bxb4 16.Ng5 then:
          • 16...Nf8 17.Nxb5 axb5 18.Bxb4 exd4 19.exd4 Qf4 20.Nf3 Ne6 is equal (Soltau-van Kempen, Corres, 2003).
          • 16...h6? fails to 17.Nxb5!! axb5 18.Bh7! giving White a significant advantage in space after the forced exchange of Queens (Gelfand-Karjakin, World Cup, Khanty-Mansiysk, 2009).
        • 15.h3 h6 16.a3 exd4 17.exd4 Nb6 18.Re1 Nbd5 19.Nxd5 Nxd5 20.Bd3 a5 21.Bh7+ Kh8 22.Be4 gives White the advantage in space (Beliavsky-Pavasovic, Vidmar mem, Terme Zrece, 2003).
        • 15.a3 h6 16.Bd3 exd4 17.exd4 Nb6 18.Re1 Rad8 19.Ne2 Nbd5 20.Ng3 Rxe1+ 21.Rxe1 Ng4 22.Bh7+ Kh8 23.Bf5 gives White the advantage in space (Soltau-Benejam, cyberspace, 2003).
      • If 12.e4 e5 then:
        • If 13.g3 Rfe8 14.dxe5 Nxe5 15.Bg5 then:
          • 15...b4 16.Bxf6 gxf6 17.Nxe5 Rxe5 18.Nb1 c5 19.Nd2 Bf8 20.Bg4 Rae8 21.f3 Rg5 22.Bf5 Bd6 23.Nf1 c4 gives Black the advantage in space (Szeberenyi-Pavasovic, Hungarian ChT, Hungary, 2003).
          • 15...Nxf3+ 16.Bxf3 Qe7 17.Bg2 Be5 18.Ne2 Qb4 19.Rd2 Rad8 20.Rad1 Rxd2 21.Rxd2 Qa5 22.b3 c5 23.Rd1 h6 24.Bd2 Qa6 25.Bc3 Bxc3 26.Nxc3 b4 27.Nd5 Nxd5 28.exd5 Qd6 is equal (Ibragimov-Asrian, Op, Dubai, 2000).
        • 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Nd4 Bc5 15.h3 Qb6 16.Be3 Rad8 17.Nf5 Bxe3 18.Nxe3 Ng6 19.Rxd8 Rxd8 draw (Parker-Thorhallsson, Euro ChT, Saint Vincent, 2005).
    • If 11...Qb8 12.e4 e5 then:
      • If 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Nd4 then:
        • 14...Neg4 15.g3 g6 16.Bf3 is equal (Koneru-Pérez Candelario, IT Merida, 2008).
        • If 14...Ng6 15.g3 Re8 16.Nf5 then:
          • 16...Bf8 17.Bf3 b4 18.Nb1 c5 favors Black since White's queenside is cramped (Evdokimov-Asrian, Euro Ch, Dresden, 2007).
          • 16...Bc5 17.a3 a5 18.Bg5 Qe5 19.Bf3 Rac8 20.Bxf6 Qxf6 21.Na4 Bf8 22.Nc5 Ne5 23.Be2 Rc7 24.Nxb7 Rxb7 is equal (Alverez-Scheffner, cyberspace, 2000).
      • 13.g3 Re8 14.dxe5 Nxe5 15.Bg5 Nxf3+ 16.Bxf3 Be5 17.Rd2 h6 draw (Morovic-Fridman, Ol, Calvia, 2004).

10...Bb7 11.e4

  • If 11.Rd1 then:
    • If 11...Qc7 then:
      • If 12.h3 then:
        • If 12...a6 13.a4 b4 14.Ne4 Nxe4 15.Bxe4 Nf6 16.Bd3 c5 gives Black a small advantage in space (Muhammad-Kaufman, World Op, Philadelphia, 2004).
        • 12...b4 13.Ne4 Nxe4 14.Bxe4 Nf6 15.Nd2 Rac8 16.b3 is equal (Stefansson-Sundararajan, Op, New Delhi, 2011).
      • 12.a3 a5 13.e4 e5 14.Ne2 c5 15.dxc5 Bxc5 16.Be3 draw (Butnorius-Sakalauskas, Lithuanian Ch, Siauliai, 2007).
    • 11...Qe7 12.e4 e5 13.Ne2 Rfe8 14.Ng3 g6 15.Bg5 draw (Nieman-Wiley, Op, Goch, 2008).

11...e5 12.h3

  • If 12.dxe5 Nxe5 13.Nxe5 Bxe5 14.h3 Re8 15.Be3 Qe7 then:
    • 16.Rfd1 a6 17.Ne2 c5 18.Bxc5 Qc7 19.f3 Bxb2 20.Qxb2 Qxc5+ is equal (Krämer-Shirov, Bundesliga 1011, Hamburg, 2010).
    • 16.Ne2 Rad8 17.f4 Rxd3 18.Qxd3 Bxb2 19.Rab1 Qxe4 20.Qxe4 Rxe4 21.Rxb2 Rxe3 is equal (Kononenko-Medic, Euro ChW, Warsaw, 2001).

12...a6

  • 12...exd4 13.Nxd4 Nc5 14.Rd1 b4 15.Na4 Nxd3 16.Qxd3 is equal (Shen Yang-Wang Yu, Chinese ChW, Xianghua, 2009).

13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Nxe5 Bxe5 15.Be3 c5

  • If 15...Re8 then:
    • 16.f4 Bxc3 17.bxc3 c5 18.e5 c4 19.Bf5 g6 is equal (Ponomariov-Shirov, IT, Saratov, 2011).
    • 16.Rfd1 Qc7 17.a4 Rac8 18.Rac1 Qa5 19.f4 gives White a small advantagge in space (Sasikiran-Anand, Rpd IT, Corsica, 2011).

16.Bxc5 Re8 17.Rad1 Nd7?! (N)

  • If 17...Qc7 18.Nd5 Nxd5 19.exd5 g6 20.Be2 then:
    • 20...Rad8?! 21.Bf3! a5 22.Qc1 Qb8 23.b4 axb4 24.Bxb4 gives White a comfortable advantage in space (Sasikiran-Shirov, IT, Lublin, Poland, 2011).
    • 20...Rac8 21.b4 Bh2+ 22.Kh1 Bd6 23.Bf3 Bxc5 24.bxc5 gives White a passer duo and Black command of an open file and more space.

18.Be3!

  • White has an extra pawn and more space; Black has pressure on the e-pawn.

18...Qc7

BLACK: Anton Korobov




WHITE: Pavel Eljanov
Position after 18...Qd8c7


19.Nxb5!!

  • The Knight sacrifice on b5 is an option if White can bring more of his pieces into the action quickly (LeMoir, David, Essenitial Chess Sacrifices, London: Gambit Chess, 2003, p. 6). In this case, White appears to sacrifice and offer an exchange of Queens at the same time. Does he see something the rest of us do not?
  • If 19.Rc1 Rac8 20.Qb1 Qb8 then:
    • 21.Nd5 Rxc1 22.Qxc1 Bh2+ 23.Kh1 Be5 24.Rd1 gives White an extra pawn and a healthy advantage in space.
    • 21.Ne2 Bc7 22.f4 Bb6 23.Bxb6 Nxb6 24.Rxc8 Rxc8 gives White an extra pawn and more space.
  • Equally good is 19.f4 Bxc3 20.bxc3 Nc5 21.e5 Nxd3 22.Qxd3 Rac8 23.Bd4.

19...axb5

  • What did White see? Black has no choice but to accept the Knight.
  • 19...Qxc2?! 20.Bxc2 axb5 21.Rxd7 Bc6 22.Rd2 leaves White two pawns to the good.

20.Qxc7 Bxc7 21.Bxb5

  • White still has a fair advantage in space and assured of winning at least the exchange; Black has three pawns for a Knight, but must get one back.

21...Nf6

  • Simply giving up the exchange is the best way to handle the situation.
  • If 21...Rad8? drops a piece to 22.Rxd7 Rxd7 23.Bxd7 Rd8 24.Ba4, leaving White two pawns up.

22.Bxe8

  • White has two extra pawns (not counting one he is about to lose) and a Rook for two minor pieces; Black has the Bishop pair on a fairly open board.

22...Nxe8

BLACK: Anton Korobov




WHITE: Pavel Eljanov

Position after 22...Nf6e8:B


23.a3!?

  • White must lose a pawn, but can choose which pawn to give up.
  • Better is to keep the center pawn: 23.f3 Rxa2 24.b4 Ra3 25.Bf2 Bc6 26.Ra1 then:
    • 26...Rxa1 27.Rxa1 f6 28.Ra6 Bb5 29.Ra7 Be5 30.g4 leaves White with a passed pawn on one wing and a healthy pawn majority on the other.
    • 26...Rb3 27.Rfb1 Rxb1+ 28.Rxb1 Bb5 29.g4 f6 30.Kg2 leaves White with a passed pawn on one wing and a healthy pawn majority on the other.

23...Bxe4!

  • Black takes the central pawn.

24.Rd4 f5 25.f3 f4

  • This is probably better than moving the Bishop.
  • If 25...Bc2 26.Rc1 Bb3 27.Rd3 Rb8 28.Rxc7 Nxc7 29.Bf4 forces Black to give up a minor piece, leaving White a clean two pawns up.
  • A better try is 25...Bb7 26.Rc1 Bb6 27.Rd3 Ba6 28.Rdc3, but even so White continues to enjoy a material advantage.

26.Bf2!

  • White finds the best continuation and still enjoys the advantage.
  • If 26.Rxe4!? fxe3! 27.Rc1 Bg3 28.Rc2 Bf2+ 29.Kf1 continues to give White a Rook and two pawns for two minor pieces, but Black now has a dangerous passed pawn to give him counterplay.

26...Bf5 27.Rc1 Rb8 28.Rd2!?

  • This is obviously a passive move. 28.b4 is to be preferred.
  • 28.b4! Ra8 29.Rd5 Be6 30.Rd3 Bf5 31.Rdc3 continues to give White the material advantage while mobilizing his connected passers.

28...Ra8?!

  • Black takes pressure off the backward pawn.
  • If 28...Kf7 29.b4 Be6 then:
    • If 30.Rc6 h6 31.Ba7 Rb7 32.Bc5 Be5 then:
      • If 33.a4! then:
        • 33...Bc3 34.Re2 Bc4 35.Re4 Bd5 36.Rxf4+ Nf6 37.Rd6 gives White a Rook and three pawns against two minor pieces.
        • 33...Nf6?! 34.b5 Bb3 35.Ra6 Bb8 36.b6 gives White a mechanism to destroy the blockade in the b-file.
      • 33.Re2!? Bd7 34.Rb6 Rxb6 35.Bxb6 Bf6 36.Rd2 continues to give Black a safe material advantage, but Black's position is safe for now.
    • 30.Bc5 Ra8 31.b5 Rb8 32.Rb2 Be5 33.Re2 gives White the active game.


BLACK: Anton Korobov




WHITE: Pavel Eljanov

Position after 28...Rb8a8


29.Re2! Bd6 30.Bc5

  • 30.Rd1 Bf8 31.Rd4 Nf6 32.Rxf4 Bd7 33.Rd4 leaves White with three extra pawns.

30...Bc7

  • If 30...Bxc5+ 31.Rxc5 Bg6 32.Rd2 then:
    • If 32...Nf6 33.Rd4 Nh5 then:
      • 34.a4! Re8 35.Kf2 Ra8 36.a5 Kf7 37.Ra4 gives White a moble a-pawn, which should be enough to win.
      • 34.Rc7!? Be8 35.Kf2 h6 36.Rdc4 Ra6 37.Re4 White's active Rooks are a significant advantage to him.
    • 32...Ra4 33.Rcd5 Bf7 34.R2d4 Ra8 35.Rc5 Nf6 36.Rxf4 gives White a third extra pawn.

31.Bd4 Bd6 32.Be5 Bg6?

  • Black has had a difficult game since the beginning, but the echange of dark bound Bishops is enough for White to bring the game home.
  • If 32...Bd3 33.Ree1 Bg6 34.Rc6 then:
    • leaves Black just good enough to fight on.
    • 34...Bb8? 35.Bd4 Bd6 36.Rxe8+! Rxe8 37.Rxd6 leaves White two connected passed pawns to the good.


BLACK: Anton Korobov




WHITE: Pavel Eljanov

Position after 32...Bf5g6


33.Bxd6! Nxd6 34.Rd2 Nf5

  • If 34...Ra6 then White wins after 35.Rd4 Kf7 36.Rc5 Ke6 37.Rxf4.
  • If 34...Nf7 then White wins after 35.Rc4 Nd8 36.Rxf4 Ne6 37.Rc4.

35.Rc4 h5

  • Black is trying to keep White's kingside restrained, but this does nothing about the connected passer on the other wing.
  • No better is 35...Kf7 36.Rxf4 Ke7 37.Re4+ Kf8 38.Kf2 Ne7 39.Re5.
  • If 35...Ne3 then White wins after 36.Rxf4 Rc8 37.Rfd4.


BLACK: Anton Korobov




WHITE: Pavel Eljanov

Position after 35...h7h5


36.Rxf4

  • White now has pawn majorities on either side of the board.

36...Rc8 37.h4 Rc1+ 38.Kf2 Ne7 39.b4 Nc6 40.b5 1-0

  • White has a material advantage of a Rook and three pawns, including connected passed pawns, against two minor pieces.
  • Anton Sergeyevich resigns.

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Response to Jack Rabbit (Reply #5)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 02:20 AM

13. Carauana - Melkumyan, Round 6

Fabiano Caruana, the teenager who is the Florida-born, Brooklyn-bred Italian national champion, lost only two games in Moscow while winning five. Since we've presented both of his losses, we thought the least we could do offer one of his victories.

Fabiano won the Reykjavik Open last week and has been playing torrid chess since the start of the year. On January 1, Fabiano was ranked 17th in the world with an Elo score of 2736. As of today (March 16), he is unofficially ranked sixth with a rating of 2773.



Fabiano Caruana

Photo by http://www.flickr.com/people/39649493@N00 Ted Cross from http://www.flickr.com/photos/39649493@N00/2307926939 flickr (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en Creative Commons License, Attribution/Share Alike)


Fabiano Caruana - Hrunt Melkumyan
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1656792
11th Aeroflot Open, Round 6
Moscow, 12 February 2012

Orthodox Exchange Queen's Gambit: London Opening


1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 Be7 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bf4 c6

  • If 5...Nf6 6.e3 0-0 7.Bd3 c5 then:
    • If 8.Nf3 Nc6 9.0-0 then:
      • 9...c4 10.Bc2 Bg4 11.h3 Bh5 12.g4 Bg6 13.Ne5 Bb4 14.Bg5 Bxc2 15.Qxc2 Bxc3 16.bxc3 Re8
      • 9...Bg4 10.dxc5 Bxc5 11.h3 Bxf3 12.Qxf3 d4 13.Ne4 Be7 14.Nxf6+ Bxf6 15.e4 Ne5 16.Bxe5 Bxe5 is equal (Yakovich-Timoshchenko, Soviet Ch prelim, Barnaul, 1988).
    • 8.Nge2 Nc6 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.0-0 Be6 11.Rc1 Bd6 12.Qa4 Ne5 13.Rfd1 Qb6 14.Qb5 Nxd3 15.Qxb6 axb6 16.Rxd3 Be7 17.a3 Rac8 18.f3 Rfd8 19.Kf2 h6 20.Rdd1 gives White the advantage in space (Braun-Porat, World Youth, Belfort, 2005).

6.e3

  • If 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bxd6 Qxd6 8.e3 Ne7 9.Bd3 then:
    • If 9...b6 10.Nf3 Ba6 11.0-0 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 then:
      • 12...Nd7 13.e4 0-0 14.e5 Qe6 15.Rae1 Rfe8 16.Nh4 is equal (Carlsen-Jakovenko, Grand Prix, Nanjing, 2009).

      • 12...0-0 13.Rac1 Nd7 14.Rc2 Qg6 15.Qxg6 hxg6 16.Ne2 f6 17.h4 Kf7 18.Nf4 Rfd8 19.Rfc1 Nf8 20.Ne1 draw (Harikrishna-Kasimdzhanov, Commonwealth Ch, Mumbai, 2003).

    • a) 9...Nd7 10.Nge2 h6 11.0-0 0-0 12.a3 a5 13.Rad1 is equal (Kasparov-Karpov, Rpd Match, Valencia, 2009).

    • If b) 9...g6 10.Nge2 Bf5 11.0-0 0-0 then:
      • 12.f3 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 Nd7 14.e4 gives White the advantage in space (Timoshchenko-Fokin, TT, Novosibirsk, 1986).

      • 12.Nf4 Nd7 13.Rfd1 a5 14.Rac1 Qf6 15.Na4 Qg5 16.Nc5 Nxc5 17.Qxc5 Bxd3 18.Rxd3 Nf5 19.Rb3 gives Black a more active game (Tandivar-Kayumov, Op, Dubai, 2004).

6...Bf5 7.g4 Be6 8.h4

  • If 8.h3 Nd7 then:
    • If 9.Bd3 h5 10.gxh5 Ndf6 then:
      • If 11.h6 Nxh6 12.Qc2 then:
        • 12...Qd7 13.Nf3 Bf5 14.Ne5 Bxd3 15.Nxd3 Bd6 16.Be5 is equal (Lputian-Geller, Soviet Ch, Riga, 1985).

        • 12...Nh5 13.Be5 f6 14.Bh2 Bd6 15.Bg6+ Bf7 16.Nf3 is equal (Botvinnik-Petrosian, World Ch Match, Moscow, 1963).

      • If 11.Qf3 Nxh5 12.Nge2 then:
        • If 12...Bd6 13.Bxd6 Qxd6 14.0-0-0 then:
          • 14...0-0-0 15.Ng3 Ngf6 16.Nf5 Bxf5 17.Bxf5+ Kb8 gives Black stronger pawns (Wintzer-Vaganian, Bundesliga 0506, Baden-Baden, 2006).

          • 14...Ngf6 15.Kb1 0-0-0 16.Na4 b6 17.Rc1 Kb8 gives Black stronger pawns (Mamedyarov-Solomon, Ol, Khanty-Mansiysk, 2010).

        • 12...Ngf6 13.0-0-0 Qd7 14.Be5 0-0-0 15.Kb1 gives White an active acentalized Bishop in compensation for his pawn weaknesses.

    • If 9.Nf3 then:
      • 9...Ngf6 10.Bd3 Nb6 11.Qc2 g6 12.Bh6 gives White a clear advantage in space (Bronstein-Draga, IZT, Amsterdam, 1964).

      • 9...g5 10.Bg3 h5 11.gxh5 Rxh5 12.Ne5 Rh6 is equal (Miedema-Becker, Op, Amsterdam, 2006).


8...Nd7 9.g5 h6 10.g6 fxg6 (N)

  • 10...Ngf6 11.gxf7+ Bxf7 12.Bd3 Nh5 13.Be5 0-0 14.Qg4 Nhf6 15.Qg3 Nh5 16.Qg4 Nhf6 17.Qg3 Nh5 draw (Morozevich-Giri, IT 1112, Reggio Emilia, 2012).

11.Bd3

  • Black has an extra pawn, White has more space and both sides have pawn weaknesses. White has a weakness at h4 and an unprotected pawn at b2; Black has a weakness at g6 and an unprotected pawn at b7.

11...Nf8

  • Black has a pawn to give and should not slavishly hang on to a weak one.
  • Better is 11...Bf7 12.Qc2 Ngf6!! 13.Bxg6 0-0 14.0-0-0 Nh5 15.Nge2 with equality; Black has stronger pawns, White has command of the b1/h7 diagonal and can take the g-file.


BLACK: Hrant Melkumyan




WHITE: Fabiano Caruana
Position after 11...Nd7f8


12.Nf3

  • White quietly continues his development rather than attack the weak formost g-pawn immediately.
  • If 12.Qc2 Bf6 then:
    • 13.0-0-0 Ne7 14.Nge2 Bf5 15.Bxf5 gxf5 is equal; Black should now move his Knight from f8 and castle short before King safety becomes an issue.
    • 13.Bxg6+ Nxg6 14.Qxg6+ Bf7 15.Qg3 doesn't gain anything for White.
  • If 12.Qb3 Qb6 then:
    • 13.Qc2 0-0-0 14.Nf3 Nf6 15.Ne5 gives White a slight advantage; the weak g-pawn will fall, but it does little to harm Black's game.
    • 13.Qxb6?! axb6 14.Nf3 Bf5! 15.Kd2 Nf6 gives White problems in King safety and Black command of attacking lanes.

12...Bf5!?

  • Black is hoping for White to help in relieving his spatial problems by exchanging at f5.
  • Better is 12...Bg4 (pinning the Knight so it can be taken any time the pin is in effect) when:
    • If 13.Rg1 then:
      • 13...h5 14.Qc2 Bxf3 15.Bxg6+ Nxg6 16.Qxg6+ Kd7 17.Qf5+ leaves neither side with anything better than perpetual check.
      • 13...Nf6 14.Qc2 Bxf3 15.Bxg6+ Nxg6 16.Qxg6+ Kd7 17.Qf5+ ends in perpetual check.
    • 13.Be2 Ne6 14.Ne5 Bf5 15.Bd3 Nxf4 16.Bxf5 gxf5 is equal.

13.Ne5!

  • The Knight sits proudly in the center, putting pressure on the weak pawn at g6.

13...Nf6

  • 13...Bxh4? 14.Bxf5! gxf5 15.Qh5+ g6 16.Qxh4 Qxh4 17.Rxh4 leaves white with a piece for two pawns and piece activity in the center; Black is hurting.

14.Rg1

  • White puts more pressure on the g-pawn.
  • If 14.Qc2 Bxd3 (forced; White was threatening 15.Bxf4 gxf5 16.Qxf5, winning a pawn) 15.Qxd3 Rg8 16.0-0-0 Bb4 17.Na4 continues to give White the advantage in space.

14...Ne4?!

  • Black wants to exchange pieces to gain space for manuvering, but the better move toward that end is to eliminate White's good Bishop trained on the weak g-pawn.
  • If 14...Bxd3 15.Qxd3 Nh5 16.Rxg6 Bf6 17.Bh2 Bxe5 18.Bxe5 continues to give White a small advantage in space.

15.Bxe4!

  • The exchanges leave White dominating the center.

15...Bxe4 16.Nxe4 dxe4

BLACK: Hrant Melkumyan




WHITE: Fabiano Caruana
Position after 16...de4:N


17.Qb3!

  • White opens an attack on Black's other weak pawn. White's strategic idea is to pull Black's defense in two directions until the position snaps.
  • If 17.Nxg6?! (finishing off the first weakness before attacking the second) 17...Nxg6 18.Rxg6 then:
    • 18...Bf6! 19.Qg4 h5 20.Qe6+ Qe7 21.Qxe7+ Kxe7 22.Ke2 leaves White with only a small advantage in space.
    • 18...Qa5+?! 19.Kf1 Bxh4 20.Qg4! Bf6 21.Qe6+ puts the Black King in a mating net.

17...Qa5+ 18.Kf1 Qb5+ 19.Qxb5 cxb5 20.Rc1 Bxh4

  • Each side has a passed pawn, but White's can help but to be part of the endgmae battle while Black's must be treated with care.

21.Bh2!?

  • This move figures in the plans, but this is the wrong move order.
  • If 21.Rg4 Bd8 22.Bh2 then:
    • 22...Nh7 23.Nxg6 Nf6 24.Rxe4+ Nxe4 25.Nxh8 g5 26.Ke2 gives White connected passed pawns and an active Rook, while Black's Rook still hasn't moved from its starting square.
    • 22...Nd7 23.Rxg6 Nxe5 24.Bxe5 Rg8 25.Rxg7 Rxg7 26.Bxg7 gives Black an active Rook and a passed pawn; Black has a less effective passed pawn..

21...Bd8?!

  • Black proactively removes his Bishop from h4 in anticipation of 22.Rg4.
  • Correct is prevent 22.Rg4 altogether: 21...h5! 22.Rc7 Ne6 23.Rxb7 0-0 24.Bg3 Bxg3 25.Rxg3 is equal.

22.Rg4!

  • A Black pawn must fall.

22...Nd7!?

  • Fritz recommends 22...Nh7, which is difficult for an organic mind to find.


Analysis Diagram
BLACK


DIAGRAM



Position after 22...Nh7 (Analysis)


  • If 22...Nh7 then:
    • 23.Nxg6 Nf6 24.Rxe4+ Nxe4 25.Nxh8 gives White two passed pawn and an active Rook.

    • The justification for 22...Nh7 over 22...Nd7 is shown in the variation 23.Rxg6?! gives Black the opportunity to keep his pawn when:
      • 23...0-0! (the only move that saves the pawn) 24.Kg2 Rf5 25.Bf4 Rf6 (the Rook is covered by the Knight) with equality.

      • a) 23...Bf6?! drops at least a pawn to 24.Rc7! when:
        • If 24...Rf8 then:
          • 25.Rxb7 Rc8 26.d5 then:
            • 26...Ng5 27.Nd7 Rc2 28.Nxf8 Kxf8 29.Bd6+ gives White a material advantage and active pieces.

            • If 26...Rc1+? then White wins after 27.Kg2 a6 28.d6 Kd8 29.Rd7+.

        • If 24...Rg8? then White wins after 25.Nf7! Ng5 26.Nd6+ Kd8 27.Rxb7.

      • b) 23...Rg8?! fails in saving the pawn to 24.Re6+ Kf8 25.Nd7+ Kf7 26.Rxe4.

23.Rxg6!

  • With the Knight at d7, taking with the Rook is correct.
  • If 23.Nxg6!? Nf6 then:
    • 24.Rxe4+ Nxe4 25.Nxh8 g5 26.Ke2 Bb6! 27.Be5 doesn't give White a bad game at all, but it's no better than the one he had before Black's last misplay.
    • 24.Rf4?! Rg8 25.Ke2 Bb6! 26.f3 Kf7 27.Ne5+ is equal.

23...Bf6?

  • Black protects one flank but leaves the other vulnerable.
  • Better is 23...Nxe5, but after 24.Bxe5 Rg8 25.Rxg7 Rxg7 26.Bxg7 White's active Rook breaks into action and Black must lose another pawn.


BLACK: Hrant Melkumyan




WHITE: Fabiano Caruana

Position after 23...Bd8f6


24.Rc7!

  • The Rook comes to the seventh rank and drives away the Knight.

24...Nf8

  • No better is 24...Bxe5 25.dxe5 Rh7 26.Rxb7 Nc5 27.Rbxg7 Rxg7 28.Rxg7.

25.Rg4 Ne6 26.Rxb7 0-0

  • A better try is 26...Ng5, but Black's defense is still in shambles after 27.Ng6 Rg8 28.Be5 a5 29.Rf4 Bxe5 30.Nxe5.

27.Nd7 Rf7 28.Rxe4 Rd8

  • After this, Black's game quickly spins into oblivion.
  • More stubborn is 28...Ng5 29.Rf4 a6 30.Nxf6+ Rxf6 31.Rxf6 gxf6 32.Rc7.

29.Nxf6+ Rxf6

  • The alternative is 29...gxf6, when Black loses another pawn after 30.Rg4+ Kf8 31.Rxb5 Ng5 32.Ke2.

30.Rxa7 Rc8

  • If 30...Rf7 31.Rxf7 Kxf7 32.Re5 b4 33.Rb5 the b-pawn falls, giving White four passed pawns.


BLACK: Hrant Melkumyan




WHITE: Fabiano Caruana
Position after 30...Rd8c8


31.d5!

  • The pawn advance is decisive.

31...Ng5 32.Ree7 Rc1+

  • If 32...Rf7 then White wins after 33.Rxf7 Nxf7 34.Rb7 Ra8 35.a3 Rd8 36.Rxb5

33.Kg2 Rg6

  • If 33...Rf7 then after 34.Bf4 Rxe7 35.Rxe7 Rd1 36.d6 Kf8 37.Bxg5 reduces to a Rook and pawn ending where White has more and healthier pawns.

34.Bg3 h5 35.d6 Rd1

  • Black puts his Rook behind the pawn, but it is to no avail.
  • If 35...Kh7 36.Ra8 Rd1 37.d7 then:
    • If 37...Ne6 then 38.Rxe6 Rxe6 39.d8Q Rxd8 40.Rxd8 wins easily.
    • If 37...Re6 then White wins after 38.Rxe6 Nxe6 39.Re8.


BLACK: Hrant Melkumyan




WHITE: Fabiano Caruana
Position after 36...Rc1d1


36.d7!

  • Like the Energizer bunny, the pawn just keeps going and going.

36...Kh7 37.Ra8 h4 38.d8Q

  • Black's most aggressive piece must now give himself up in defense.
  • Also good is 38.Bxh4 Ne6+ 39.Bg3 Rd5 40.Rae8 Rgg5 41.e4.

38...Rxd8 39.Rxd8 hxg3 40.f4 1-0

  • White has an extra pawn and the exchange, stronger pawns and the initiative.
  • Paron Melkumyan resigns.

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Response to Jack Rabbit (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 02:35 PM

7. Polish Championships, Warsaw



Statue of Frédéric Chopin, Łazienki Park, Warsaw

Photo by http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Cezary_p Cezary p in http://pl.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Plikomnik_Chopina_w_Warszawie.jpg&filetimestamp=20100420154029 Wikipedia (Polish Language) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en Creative Commons License, Attribution/Share Alike)

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Response to Jack Rabbit (Reply #7)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 02:37 PM

8. B. Socko - Bartel, General Group, Round 6

Right after finishing first among equals in the Aeroflot Open, Mateusz Bartel went home to Warsaw and won the Polish National Championship.



Mateusz Bartel
Photo by http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Stefan64 Stefan64] in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mateusz_Bartel.jpg Wikimedia Commons (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en Creative Commons License, Attribution/Share Alike)


Bartosz Socko - Mateusz Bartel
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1657884
Polish Championships, General Group, Round 6
Warsaw, 23 February 2012

Italian Royal Game: Gothic Defense (Clam Opening)
(Two Knights' Defense)


1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3

  • This is the objectively best move. It evokes such adjectives as "safe," "solid" and "really dull."
  • Another good move is 4.d4, the Center Opening (see Tal-Miller, SX, Chicago, 1988).
  • For good fun chess, the move is 4.Ng5!?, the Prussian Opening (see Kostiniuk-Duhayon, Op, Gibraltar, 2010).
  • 4...Bc5 gives us the Neo-Classical Defense to the Italian Royal Game. See Ivankchuk-Karjakin, IT, Medias, Romania, 2011.
  • Finally, there are several ways of getting to the Italo-Scotch Nexus, a series of gambits mostly seen at club level but only rarely in master play. See Kosteniuk-Zhao Xue, Grand Prix W, Malchik, 2011.

4...Be7 5.Nbd2

  • If 5.0-0 0-0 6.Re1 d6 then:
    • If 7.a4 then:
      • If 7...Na5 8.Ba2 c5 9.c3 Nc6 10.Nbd2 then:
        • If 10...Be6 11.Nc4 then:
          • 11...h6 12.Ne3 Qd7 13.h3 Rfe8 14.Nh2 Bd8 15.Nhg4 is equal (Rizouk-Pavasovich, Op, Deizisau, 2005).
          • 11...Re8 12.Ng5 Qd7 13.Nxe6 fxe6 14.f4 gives White a small advantage in space (Adhiban-E. Pähtz, IT C, Wijk aan Zee, 2012).
        • 10...h6 11.Nf1 Be6 12.Ng3 Re8 13.h3 Bxa2 14.Rxa2is equal (Movsesian-Karjakin, Tal Mem Blitz, Moscow, 2008).
      • If 7...Be6 8.Nbd2 Qd7 then:
        • If 9.c3 Rfe8 10.a5 a6 then:
          • 11.Qb3 Nd8 12.h3 Bf8 13.Qc2 g6 14.b4 is equal (Dr. Nunn-Janetschek, IT, Baden-Baden, 1980).
          • 11.Bb3 Bf8 12.Ba4 Qc8 13.d4 Bd7 14.Bb3 gives White a small advantage in space (Sebag-Thao Nguyen Pham Le, World Youth Girls, Heraklio, 2004).
        • 9.a5 b6 10.a6 Bxc4 11.dxc4 Nb4 12.Nf1 Qc8 is equal (Kasparov-Telegin, SX, New York, 2000).


    • 7.c3 Na5 8.Bb5 a6 9.Ba4 b5 10.Bc2 transposes into the note to White's seventh move.

5...0-0 6.0-0

  • If 6.c3 then:
    • If 6...d5 7.Bb3 dxe4 8.dxe4 Bg4 then:
      • If 9.Qe2 Kh8 10.h3 then:
        • If 10...Bxf3?! 11.Nxf3! then:
          • If 11...Nd7?! 12.0-0 then:
            • If 12...Nc5 13.Bd5 then:
              • 13...Bd6? 14.Ng5 Qf6 15.Qh5 Qg6 16.Nxf7+ Rxf7 17.Qxg6 hxg6 18.Bxf7 White soon wins (I. Kharisma Sukandar-Lee Wing Yan, TT, Macau, 2007).
              • 13...Qe8 14.b4 Na4 15.Qc2 Nb6 16.Rd1 f6 17.a3 gives White a better center and a substantial advantage in space, but not an immediate win.
            • 12...h6 13.Rd1 Bd6 14.Be3 Nf6 15.Bc2 Qd7 16.Nh4 gives White a substantial advantage in space.]
          • 11...Bc5 12.0-0 h6 13.Nh4 Ne7 14.a4 Qd6 15.a5gives White a little more activity, the Bishop pair and a slim edge in space; Black is a little better developed.
        • 10...Bh5 11.Ba4 Bd6 12.Nc4 a6 13.Bxc6 bxc6 14.Bg5 gives White more acticity, stronger pawns and a slight edge in space.
      • 9.h3 Bh5 10.0-0 Bc5 11.Qe2 Qe7 12.Re1 is equal (Carlsen-E. Pähtz, Young Masters, Lausanne, 2005).
    • 6...d6 7.0-0 Na5 8.Bb5 a6 9.Ba4 b5 transposes into the note to White's seventh move.

6...d6 7.Bb3 (N)

  • 7.c3 Na5 8.Bb5 a6 9.Ba4 b5 10.Bc2 c5 11.Re1 transposes into the Grand Spanish Royal Game: Clam Opening/Pilnik Variation) (see van den Doel-Nikolic, Op, Leiden, 2011, part 2 of 4).

7...Na5

  • The game is equal.

8.Ba4 c5

  • Black has a bind on the d4 square.

9.c3!?

  • Black has already established a bind on the d4 square, but White intends to advance his d-pawn anyway.
  • If 9.Qe2 Be6 10.Nc4 Nxc4 11.dxc4 Qa5 12.Bb3 Qa6 remains equal.
  • 9.c4 Nc6 10.h3 a6 11.Re1 Rb8 12.Nf1 b5remains equal.


BLACK: Mateusz Bartel




WHITE: Bartosz Socko
Position after 9.c2c3


9...Rb8!

  • Black intends to establish space on the queenside.
  • 9...a6 with the same idea is thwarted by 10.b4 cxb4 11.cxb4 Nc6 12.Bxc6 bxc6remains equal.

10.d4

  • White follows in his own plan.

10...b5!?

  • Black takes the initiative by expanding on the queenside, but this gives White an opportunity to expand in the center.
  • Better is to punish White for challenging the bind with 10...cxd4! 11.cxd4 b5 12.Bc2 Bb7 13.dxe5 dxe5 when Black has the advantage in space and better development.
  • 10...Qc7 11.Qe2 a6 12.d5 b5 13.Bc2 Bd7 remains equal.

11.Bc2!

  • The simple retreat is best.
  • 11.dxe5?! dxe5 12.Bc2 Qc7 13.h3 b4 14.cxb4 cxb4 gives Black a fair advantage in space.

11...Qc7 12.d5 c4 13.h3!

  • The game is equal. While Black continues to enjoy the advantage in space, White is making it as difficult as possible for Black to exploit it.
  • 13.Nh4!? Bd7! 14.Ndf3 Nb7 15.Re1 Rfc8 16.Bg5 Nc5 continues to give Black a small advantage in space.

13...Nb7 14.Re1 Bd7 15.Nf1 Nc5

  • 15...Rfc8 16.Qe2 Nc5 17.Ng3 h6 18.Bd2 a5 remains equal.

16.g4?!

  • White weakens his kingside.
  • If 16.Qe2 h6 17.Ng3 Rfc8 18.Bd2 a5 19.Rad1 Ra8 remains equal.

16...Nfxe4!?

  • The sacrifice is speculative, but Black will have ample compensation.
  • 16...b4 17.cxb4 Rxb4 18.Ng3 Qb7 19.a3 Rb5 20.Qe2 gives Black a small advantage in space.
  • If 16...h5!? 17.gxh5! then:
    • 17...Rfc8 18.Ng3 Bxh3 19.h6 gxh6 20.Bxh6 is equal.
    • 17...Nxh5 18.Nxe5 dxe5 19.Qxh5 b4 is equal.


BLACK: Mateusz Bartel




WHITE: Bartosz Socko
Position after 16...Nf6e4:p


17.Bxe4 Nxe4 18.Rxe4 f5!

  • Black will now try to expoit White's weakened kingside.

19.gxf5 Bxf5 20.Ng3!?

  • So far, Black has a pawn, a small advantage in space and the initiative for the sacrificed piece.
  • If 20.Re1 Bxh3 21.Ng5 Bxg5 22.Bxg5 Qf7 23.Be3 h5 gives Black two pawns and activity on the kingside. in compensation for the piece.

20...Qd7!?

  • Black misses the best reply; the game remains equal.
  • 20...Bxe4! 21.Nxe4 Qc8 22.Nfg5 Bxg5 23.Nxg5 Qf5 levels the material balance and gives Black a considerable advantage in space and a lasting initiative.

21.Re1!?

  • Of course, the Rook had to move, but could have found a post to proctect a piece otherwise without cover.
  • 21.Re3 Bxh3 22.Nh2 Bg5 23.Rf3 Bf4 24.Be3 b4 remains equal.

21...Bxh3!

  • Black has a second pawn for the piece and a fair advantage in space. King safety is now a concern for White.

22.Nh2

  • White prevents 22...Bg4! pinning the Knight to the White Queen.

22...Rf6!?

  • Wite agina throws away his advantage.
  • If 22...Bh4! (attacking the Knight first gives White fewer options) 23.Re3 Rf6 then:
    • If 24.Qh5 Rh6 25.Qd1 Rg6 26.Qh5 then:
      • 26...Bd8 27.Rf3 e4 28.Rf4 Bb6 gives Black more activity and a small advantage in space in addition to two pawns for the piece.
      • 24.Re4 Rxf2 25.Kxf2 Rf8+ 26.Nf3 Bg4 27.Re3 Bg5 gives White a strong overall advantage with a safer King, the Bishop pair and three passed pawns against a Knight.
  • 26...Rh6?! etc. draws.

23.Be3!

  • White has again equalized.

23...Rbf8 24.a4 Rg6 25.Qh5?!

  • White should look to the safety of his King.
  • 25.Kh1 Bh4 26.Rg1 Bxg3 27.Rxg3 Rxg3 28.fxg3 Qf5 gives Black nothing better than a safer King and the advantage in space in addition to two pawns for a scrificed piece.


BLACK: Mateusz Bartel




WHITE: Bartosz Socko
Position after 25.Qd1h5


25...bxa4!

  • Black assumes a substantial advantage in space.

26.Ra2 Bd8 27.Rea1 Bb6?!

  • The ensuing exchange allows White to get counterplay on the queenside.
  • If 27...Bf5! 28.Rxa4 Qb7 29.Rxc4 Qxb2 30.Re1 Qa2 continues to gives Black two pawns for the piece sacrificed on move 16, active pieces and more space.

28.Bxb6!

  • White has equalized.

28...axb6 29.Rxa4

  • White has counterplay.

29...Qf7 30.Qe2?

  • White should have just taken the Bishop. The game is now beyond repair.
  • If 30.Qxh3! Qxf2+ 31.Kh1 Rxg3 32.Qf1 then:
    • 32...Rd3 33.Qxf2 Rxf2 34.Ra8+ Rf8 35.R8a7 h6 36.Rd7 remains equal.
    • 32...b5? 33.Ra8 Qxf1+ 34.Nxf1 Rd3 remains equal.


BLACK: Mateusz Bartel




WHITE: Bartosz Socko
Position after 30.Qh5e2


30...h5!

  • Black, who has two pawns for the sacrificed piece, now forces White to return the piece and wins quickly.

31.Ra8

  • The Knight t g3 cannot be saved.
  • If 31.Kh1 then Black wins easily after 31...Qxd5+ 32.f3 Rxg3 33.Rg1 Rxg1+ 34.Kxg1 b5.

31...h4 32.Rxf8+ Qxf8 33.Qf3

  • This leads to the loss of a second pawn along with the Knight.
  • 33.Qe3 Qf5 34.Rc1 Qh5 35.Re1 hxg3 36.fxg3 e4 leaves Black a pawn to the good.

33...hxg3 34.fxg3 Qxf3

  • Also good is 34...Qc8 35.Qf2 Rf6 36.Qe3 Qf5 37.Rd1 Rg6.

35.Nxf3 Rxg3+ 36.Kf2 Rg2+ 37.Ke3

  • If 37.Ke1 then Black wins after 37...e4 38.Ra8+ Kf7 39.Rh8 Bg4 40.Ng5+ Kg6.

37...Bg4 38.Ra8+ Kf7 39.Ra7+ Kf6 0-1

  • Black is up by two pawns with active pieces.
  • Grandmaster Socko resigns.

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Response to Jack Rabbit (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 07:29 PM

14. Endgame: I. Radziewicz Rajlich - Szczepkowska Horowska (Women's Group), Round 8

Iweta Rajlich, wife of Rybka creator Vas Rajlich, won the Polish women's title.

This game wasn't terribly interesting until the end, when an error by her oppoent allowed Mrs. Rajlich to launch fireworks.



Iweta Radziewicz Rajlich
Photo by http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Samson1964 Frank Hoppe in http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rajlich_iweta_20081119_olympiade_dresden.jpg Wikimedia Commons (Public Domian)


Iweta Radziewicz Rajlich - Karina Szczepkowska Horowska
Polish Championships (Women's Group), Round 8
Warsaw, 25 February 2012



BLACK: Karina Szczepkowska Horowska




WHITE: Iweta Radziewicz Rajlich
White to Move


49.Rd6+

  • There is a right way and a wrong way to take Black's menacing e-pawn. The text is the right way.
  • If 49.Rxe3?! Rc4+! then:
    • If 50.Kf3 then after 50...h5 51.Ke2 Rg4 52.Ke1 Rd4 53.Ke2 Rd5 White's center pawn must fall.
    • If 50.Kd3 then after 50...Rg4 51.Ke2 h5 52.Kf2 Rc4 53.Ke2 Rd4 Black wins the e-pawn.

49...Ke7 50.Kxe3 Rc3+ 51.Ke4 Rxa3

  • If 51...Rxg3 52.Rxh6 Rxa3 53.Kf5 then:
    • 53...a5 54.Rh7+ Kd8 55.bxa5 Rxa5 56.Kxg5 b4 57.Kf6 remains equal.
    • 53...Kd7 54.Kxg5 a5 55.bxa5 Rxa5 56.Rd6+ Ke7 57.Kf5 remains equal.

52.g4

  • If 52.Rxh6 Rxg3 then:
    • 53.Rxa6 Rb3 54.Kd5 Rxb4 55.Rb6 Ke8 56.Rb7 g4 remains equal.
    • 53.Kf5 Rb3 54.Rxa6 Rxb4 55.Ra7+ Ke8 56.Kxg5 remains equal.

52...Rg3 53.Rxh6 Rxg4+ 54.Kd5 Rxb4 55.Rxa6

  • 55.Re6+ Kd7 56.Rd6+ Kc7 57.Rxa6 Rc4 58.Rg6 g4 remains equal.

55...Ra4

  • 55...g4 56.Ra7+ Ke8 57.Ra8+ Kf7 58.e6+ Ke7 59.Ra7+ drops the Black King its back rank; the White King will not be able to get in front of its pawn and, therefore, White cannot win.

56.Rb6 b4 57.Rb7+ Kf8 58.Ke6 g4?

  • Oh, the irony! Black thinks her extra pawn affords her an advantage in this position, so she plays for a win. She does better to just concede that the game is drawn and set up Philidor's third-rank defense, a drawing mechanism known from the eighteenth century.
  • If 58...Ra6+! 59.Kf5 Rh6 60.Kxg5 Ra6 then:
    • If 61.Rb8+ Ke7 62.Kf5 b3 63.Rb7+ Ke8 64.Rxb3 then:
      • 64...Ke7 65.Rb7+ Ke8

        Analysis Diagram
        BLACK: Karina Szczepkowska Horowska




        WHITE: Iweta Radziewicz Rajlich

        Position after 65...Ke8 (Analysis)
        Philidor Position: Third Rank Defense


        66.e6 Ra1 67.Kf6 Rf1+ White cannot escape perpetual check.

      • 64...Rh6 65.Rb8+ Ke7 66.Rb7+ Ke8 67.e6 Rh1 sets up perpetual check.

    • 61.Rxb4 Rc6 62.Rb7 Ra6 63.Kf5 Rh6 64.e6 Rh1 set's up the later stage of Philidor's ending.


BLACK: Karina Szczepkowska Horowska




WHITE: Iweta Radziewicz Rajlich
Position after 58...g5g4


59.Kf6!

  • White threatens mate. The irony is that Black's pawn gives White time to win.

59...Ra8

  • If 59...Ra6+ then White wins after 60.e6! Kg8 61.Rb8+ Kh7 62.Rxb4 Kh6 63.Rxg4.

60.Rxb4 g3 61.e6 g2

BLACK: Karina Szczepkowska Horowska




WHITE: Iweta Radziewicz Rajlich
Position after 61...g3g2


62.Rh4!!

  • What's this? White allows Black to queen?
  • If 62.Rg4?? Ra6! then:
    • 63.Rxg2 Ra7 64.Re2 Ra1 65.e7+ Ke8 66.Re4 Ra2 draws.
    • 63.Rg5 Rc6 64.Rg4 Ra6 65.Rg3 Rc6 66.Rxg2 Rc7 draws.

62...g1Q 63.Rh8+ Qg8 64.e7+

  • Black must lose her remaining pieces and allow White's pawn to queen.
  • Ms. Szczepkowska Horowska resigns.

Addendum: The Philidor Position
(See notes to Black's 58th move)

YouTube, ChessVideos

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Response to Jack Rabbit (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 03:56 PM

17. Bundesliga 2011/12, Rounds 10-11



Ruins of Roman Baths, Trier, Germany
Photo by http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Berthold_Werner Berthold Werner
in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Trier_Kaiserthermen_BW_1.JPG Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

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Response to Jack Rabbit (Reply #17)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 04:00 PM

18. Rabiega - Vallejo, König Tegel vs. Baden-Baden, Round 10, Trier

A journeyman grandmaster takes on a member of the 2700 club and goes in for complications following a sacrifice on move 11 that almost works.



Paco Vallejo
Photo by http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Stefan64 Stefan64 from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Francisco_Vallejo_Pons|Wikimedia Commons (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en|Creative Commons License], Attribution/Share Alike)


Robert Rabiega (König Tegel) - Paco Vallejo (Baden-Baden)
Bundesliga 2011/12, Round 10/Board 1
Trier, 25 February 2012

French Exchange Game: Petroff Nexus


1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Bd3 c5 5.dxc5 Bxc5 6.Nf3 Nf6 7.0-0 0-0

  • For a discussion of the French Exchange, see Forgacs-Rubinstein, IT, St. Petersburg, 1909.

8.Nc3

  • If 8.Nbd2 Be6 9.Nb3 Bb6 10.Re1 Bg4 then:
    • 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bh4 g5 13.Bg3 Nc6 14.c3 Ne4 is equal (Kosashvili-Thesing, Dutch ChT, Breda, 2001).
    • 11.Be3 Nc6 12.Bxb6 Qxb6 draw (Dr. Hübner-Dreev, World Cup, Manila, 1990).

8...h6 9.Bf4 Bg4 (N)

  • If 9...Nc6 10.Qd2 then:
    • 10...Bb4 11.a3 Ne4 12.Bxe4 Bxc3 13.Bh7+ Kxh7 14.Qxc3 is equal and drawish (Nimzovich-Bogoljubow, IT, Bled, 1931).
    • 10...Re8 11.Rae1 Be6 12.a3 a6 13.Ne5 Rc8 is equal (Hussan-Bagirov, Op, Abu Dhabi, 2001).

10.Qd2

  • The game is equal.
  • 10.h3 Bh5 11.Re1 Nc6 12.g4 Bg6 is also equal.

10...Bb4?!

  • Black ignores the threat to his kingside and entices White to sacrifice.
  • If 10...Bxf3 11.gxf3 Nc6 then:
    • 12.Bxh6 Ne5 13.Kh1 Re8 14.Rae1 remains equal,
    • If 12.Kh1 Re8 13.Rg1 Ne5 then:
      • 14.Bxe5 Rxe5 15.Rg2 Rh5 16.Rag1 Bf8 17.Nb5 a6 18.Nd4 remains equal,
      • If 14.Bxh6 g6 15.Bg5 Rc8 16.Be4 then:
        • 16...Nxe4 then:
          • 17.Nxe4 Be7 18.Bxe7 Rxe7 19.Nf6+ Kg7 20.Ng4 Nxg4 21.Rxg4 remains equal.
          • 17.Bxd8?? Nxd2 18.Bf6 Nexf3! 19.Rg3 Bf8 leaves Black up a piece.
        • 16...dxe4 17.Qxd8 Rcxd8 18.Bxf6 Nxf3 19.Bxd8 Nxg1 20.Kxg1 is equal.


BLACK: Francisco Vallejo Pons




WHITE: Robert Rabiega
Position after 10...Bc5b4


11.Bxh6!!

  • White sacrifices and the competitors enter a phase of rough and tumble play.
  • Given the wealth of diacritics in what follows, one might conclude that the play was sloppy. While that may be true, one should consider how complicated the position grew out of White's last move. This is one of the wildest and most original middle games we've seen in a while.

11...Re8

  • If 11...Bxc3 12.Qg5 Ne4 13.Qxg4 then:
    • 13...Bxb2 14.Rab1 Qd7 15.Qxd7 Nxd7 16.Be3 Ba3 17.Rxb7 gives White an extra pawn and more activity.
    • 13...Qd7 14.Qxd7 Nxd7 15.Bc1 Bf6 16.c3 Rac8 17.Be3 gives White an extra pawn and stronger pawns.

12.Bxg7!?

  • Another sacrifice introduces more complications into the game. It is not possible for either player to calculate all of the laberynthine variations that arise.
  • If 12.Rae1! then:
    • If 12...Bxc3 13.bxc3 then:
      • If 13...gxh6 14.Qxh6 then:
        • 14...Ne4 15.Ng5 Bf5 16.Re3 Qb6 17.Qxb6 axb6 18.f3 gives White two extra pawns.
        • If 14...Bxf3? then after 15.gxf3 Re6 16.Kh1 Ng4 17.Qh7+ Kf8 18.Rxe6 fxe6 19.fxg4 White advances his kingside pawns and wins.
      • If 13...Rxe1? then White wins after 14.Rxe1 gxh6 15.Qxh6 Ne4 16.Ne5 Bf5 17.Qf4.
    • If 12...Bxf3? then White wins after 13.Bxg7! Kxg7 14.Qg5+ Kf8 15.Qh6+
    • 12...Rxe1 13.Rxe1 gxh6 14.Qxh6 Bf8 15.Qg5+ Bg7 16.Nxd5 gives White three pawns and greater activity for the sacrificed piece.

12...Kxg7

  • Black has a piece for two pawns, but White has a healthy lead in development. White's pawns are stronger, although Black can exchange with one or both of his Bishops and leave White's pawns quite ugly. Space is approximately equal and thus should favor Black when and if he completes his development.

13.Qg5+ Kf8 14.Rae1!?

  • Black isn't going to trade Rooks.
  • Better is 14.Rfe1 Be6 15.Nd4 Bxc3 16.Qh6+ Ke7 17.bxc3 when White has three pawns for a piece, made all the more powerful in that Black has yet to complete his development.
  • 14.Bb5!? Nc6! 15.Qh6+ Ke7 16.Bxc6 bxc6 17.Ne5 Qd6 is equal.

14...Be6!

  • This is Black's only playable move. In the event of 15.Qh6+, the King runs to the queenside.
  • 14...Rxe1?! 15.Rxe1 Nbd7 16.Qh6+! Kg8 17.Ne5! then:
    • 17...Qf8 18.Nxg4 Qxh6 19.Nxh6+ Kf8 20.g4 still leaves White with three pawns for a piece with pawns ready to run up the kingside.
    • If 17...Bxc3 then White wins after 18.bxc3 Qf8 19.Nxg4 Qxh6 20.Nxh6+ Kf8 21.g4.
15.Nd4?!

  • Black's reply is forced, but that doesn't mean it's bad.
  • 15.Qh4! Bxc3 16.bxc3 Nbd7 17.Qh6+ Ke7 18.Nd4 gives White more activity; Black still has a piece for two pawns.


BLACK: Francisco Vallejo Pons




WHITE: Robert Rabiega
Position after 15.Nf3d4


15...Bxc3!

  • Any other move loses.
  • If 15...Nbd7? 16.Qh6+! then:
    • If 16...Kg8 17.Re3 Bg4 18.Nxd5!! then:
      • 18...Bf8 19.Rxe8 Qxe8 20.Nxf6+ Nxf6 21.Qxf6 leaves White with a dominating position and two extra pawns.
      • If 18...Nxd5 then White wins after 19.Qh7+ Kf8 20.Qh8#.
    • If 16...Ke7?? then 17.Nf5#.
  • If 15...a6? then:
    • If 16.Nxd5!! Qxd5 17.Qxf6! Bxe1 18.Rxe1 then:
      • 18...Nd7 19.Nxe6+ Rxe6 20.Qh8+ Ke7 21.Rxe6+ Qxe6 22.Qxa8 leaves White three pawns to the good.
      • If 18...Qh5 19.Nxe6+ Rxe6 20.Rxe6 Nd7 then White wins after 21.Qf4 Kg8 22.Be2 Qh8 23.Re3.
      • If 20...Qd1+ then White wins after 21.Bf1 Qg4 22.Qh8+.
  • Also good is 16.Qh6+ Ke7 17.Bf5 Bxc3 18.Nxe6 fxe6 19.Rxe6+.

16.Qh6+

  • If 16.bxc3 Nc6 17.Qh6+ Ke7 then:
    • If 18.Rb1 Qd7 then:
      • 19.Nxc6+! bxc6 20.Rfe1 Rh8 21.Qe3 Rag8 22.f4 Qc7 gives Black a small advantage in space.
      • 19.Nxe6?! Rh8! 20.Qf4 fxe6 21.Rfe1 Kf7 22.Bb5 Rac8 gives Black pressure on White's kingside a piece for two pawns
    • 18.Qe3 Nxd4 19.Qxd4 Qb6 20.Rb1 Qxd4 21.cxd4 b6 gives White a piece for two pawns.

16...Ke7 17.bxc3 Nc6 18.Bb5?!

  • The pin is easily broken, resulting in a big advantage for Black.
  • 18.Rb1 Qd7 19.Nxe6 Rh8 20.Qg5 Rh5 21.Qg3 Qxe6 continues to give Black a piece for two pawns; space is slightly in White's favor.
18...Nxd4!?

  • Black grabs the Knight, sacrificing the exchange.
  • If 18...Rh8! 19.Qc1 Nxd4 20.cxd4 Qd6 21.f4 Rag8 continues to give Black a piece for two pawns and a fair advantage in space.

19.Bxe8

  • Black has two minor pieces for a Rook and a pawn.

19...Nf5?!

  • Black tickles White's Queen.
  • Black's long term prospects are served better by 19...Nf3+! (spoiling White's kingside pawns) 20.gxf3 Nxe8 21.c4 dxc4 22.Qf4 Qa5 gives Black stronger pawns and two minor pieces for a Rook.


20.Qg5!?

  • Perhpas in the heat of calculating confusing variations, White misses a complex pin.
  • If 20.Qh3! (pinning the Knight to the pinned Bishop) then:
    • If 20...Ne4 21.Bb5 Qh8 22.Qxh8 Rxh8 23.Bd3 Nfd6 gives Black two minor pieces for a Rook and a pawn, but without Queens on the board the game is approximately equal.
    • If 20...Qxe8 21.Qxf5 Ne4 22.Qf4 Rc8 then:
      • If 23.Qh4+ Kd7 then:
        • If 24.Rxe4!! dxe4 25.Rd1+ Kc6 then:
          • If 26.Qxe4+ then:
            • 26...Kc7 27.Qe5+ Kb6 then:
              • 28.Qd6+! Ka5 29.Qb4+ Ka6 30.Qa3+ Kb6 31.Qd6+ Ka5 32.Qb4+ etc. draws by repetition.
              • 28.Rb1+?! Ka6 29.Qe2+ Bc4 30.Qxe8 Rxe8 gives Black more activity and a Bishop for three pawns.
            • If 26...Kb6?! 27.Rb1+! Kc5 28.Qb4+ then:
              • 28...Kc6 29.Qxb7+ Kd6 30.Qxa7 Rc4 31.Rd1+ leaves King safety a issue for both sides, but even in that respect White has a clear advantage.
              • 28...Kd5? then White wins after 29.Rd1+ Ke5 30.Qd4+ Kf5 31.Qg7 Rc4 32.Re1.
          • 26.a4? f5! 27.Qf6 b6 28.a5 Kb7 29.axb6 axb6 leaves White a piece to the good.
        • 24.f3?! Nxc3 25.Qd4 b6 26.f4 f5 27.Rf3 Rc4 28.Qe5 Ne4 gives Black two minor pieces for a Rook and a pawn and more freedom.
      • 23.f3!? Nxc3 24.Qb4+ Kd8 25.Qxb7 Qe7 26.Qa6 Qc5+ gives White a Rook and two pawns for two minor pieces; Black will take command of the b-file and have enough space to compensate for the material handicap.
  • 20.Qf4!? Nd6! 21.Ba4 Rc8 22.Bb3 Nde4 23.Qe3 Qa5! wins White's foremost c-pawn.


BLACK: Francisco Vallejo Pons




WHITE: Robert Rabiega
Position after 20.Qh6g5


20...Nd6!

  • The position is still complicated and very difficult to judge. White has a Rook and two pawns for two minor pieces. On the other hand, White's weak queen are open to an attack from ...Rc8 and ...Nd6e4, about neither of which White can do very much.
  • If 20...Qxe8 21.Qxf5! Ne4 22.Qe5 Qc6 23.Re3 is equal.

21.Ba4 Qh8!?

  • A kingside attack is premature. Black should play on the queenside, where White has a loose Bishop and weak pawns.
  • 21...Qa5 22.Bb3 Qxc3 23.f3 Rg8 24.Qf4 then:
    • 24...Nb5 25.Rd1 Qc5+ 26.Kh1 Rg6 27.g4 Nd7 28.h4 is equal.
    • If 24...Kd7 25.Re5 Bh3 26.g3 then:
      • 26...Rg6 27.Rd1 Qc5+ 28.Qe3 Qxe3+ 29.Rxe3 gives Black two minor pieces for a Rook and a pawn, a blockade on White's passed pawn and a comfortable advantage in space; White has control of the e5 square, by which he can pressure Black's d-pawn after playing Re3d5.
      • If 26...Qc5+ 27.Rf2 Qc3 28.Rf1! then:
        • 28...Kc8 29.Rd1 Qc5+ 30.Qd4 Qxd4+ 31.Rxd4 Be6 gives Black a slight advantage in space.
        • If 28...Bxf1? then White wins after 29.Qxf6! Qc6 30.Kxf1 Re8 31.Rxd5.
  • Black's best bet seems to be 21...Qb6! 22.Bb3 Nde4 when:
    • If 23.Qf4 Rh8 24.h3 Qd6 25.Qxd6+ Kxd6 26.Re3 Rc8 gives Black pressure on White's foremost pawn at c3 and an impressive advantage in space; White has a Rook and two pawns for two minor pieces, a passed h-pawn and a 3:1 kingside pawn majority.
    • If 23.Qe3!? Qxe3 24.Rxe3 Rc8 25.Rd1 then:
      • If 25...b5 then:
        • 26.Rd4 Rxc3 27.Rxc3 Nxc3 28.Rd3 d4 29.Kf1 a5 gives Black two minor pieces for a Rook and a pawn and a great deal more space; White can generate counterplay on the kingside where he has three pawns against Black's one.
        • 26.Rdd3?! Ng4 27.Re1 Ngxf2 28.Rd4 Kd6 29.Re2 a5 gives White two minor pieces for a Rook and a pawn, pressure on White's foremost c-pawn and a lot more space; White has a passed pawn on the kingside on which to pin his hopes for counterplay.
      • 25...Ng4 26.Ree1 Nxc3 27.Rd4 Nf6 28.a4 Kd6 gives White two minor pieces for a Rook and a pawn and more space; White has a passed pawn and a 3:1 pawn majority on the kingside on which to pin his hopes for counterplay.

22.f3!

  • White has a Rook and two pawns for two minor pieces and a small advantage in space; Black can bring his Rook into play on wither c8, pressuring White's doubled c-pawns, or on g8, harrassing White's Queen.
  • The text move further deprives Black of the use of e4, which in many variations is quite useful to him.

22...Rg8!

  • Black attacks White's Queen.
  • If 22...a5 23.c4 then:
    • If 23...Rg8 24.Qf4! then:
      • 24...Nxc4 25.Qc7+ Kf8 26.c3 Nd2 27.Rf2 Qh4 28.Bd1 gives Black has two minor pieces for a Rook and a pawn, a pin at f2 and more space; White a safer King.
      • 24...Rc8!? 25.cxd5 Nxd5 26.Qg5+ Kf8 27.Bd7! Rxc2 28.Bxe6 fxe6 gives Black two minor pieces for a Rook and two pawns and more space.
    • If 23...Nxc4 24.Bb3 Qc8 25.Bxc4 then:
      • 25...Qc5+! 26.Rf2 Qxc4 27.Qe3 Rc8 28.Rb1 Qxa2 29.Rxb7+ is equal.
      • 25...Qxc4?! 26.Rxe6+! Kxe6 27.Re1+ Ne4 28.fxe4 dxe4 29.g4 gives White the active Rook
  • If 22...Rc8!? 23.Re2 Rxc3 then:
    • 24.Rd1 Qg8 25.Rxd5 Qxg5 26.Rxg5 Nh7 27.Rge5 gives White a Rook and two pawns for two minor pieces and more space.
    • 24.Qd2?! Qc8! 25.Kh1 Qc5 26.Rd1 Nf5 27.Rb1 b6 gives Black two minor pieces for a Rook and a pawn and more space.

23.Qe5 Qh5 24.Qd4 Rh8 25.h3

  • 25.Qf4 Qh4 26.Qxh4 Rxh4 27.Bb3 Kf8 remains equal.

25...Qh4 26.Qxa7!?

  • White grabs a pawn and takes pressure off the center.
  • If 26.Qxh4 Rxh4 27.Bb3 Kf8 28.a4 Rh8 29.Kh2 Kg7 remains equal.
26...Nh5!

  • Black takes control of the dark squares around White's King.

27.Qd4?

  • White's best chance is to exchange Queens.
  • If 27.f4 then:
    • If 27...Ng3! 28.Rf3 Nge4 then:
      • 29.Qe3 Rg8 30.Re2 Nc4! 31.Qd3 Ncd2 gives White a Rook and three pawns for two minor pieces, but Black has the better center and greater activity
      • 29.Ree3?! Rg8! 30.Qb6 Kf8 31.Rxe4 Nxe4 gives Black two pieces for three pawns.
    • If 27...Nxf4 28.Qe3 then:
      • 28...Nxg2 29.Kxg2 Rg8+ 30.Kh1 Ne4 31.Rf3 Ng3+ remains equal.
      • 28...Ng6 29.Bb3 Kd7 30.Re2 Ra8 31.a4 Kc6 32.Rf3 remains equal.


BLACK: Francisco Vallejo Pons




WHITE: Robert Rabiega

Position after 27.Qa7d4


27...Nf4!

  • Black will not allow White to kill the attack by exchanging Queens. Black proceeds no methodically draw a mating net around the White King.

28.Rf2

  • If 28.Qg7 Nxg2 29.Kxg2 Qxh3+ 30.Kf2 Qh4+ then:
    • 31.Qg3 Qxa4 32.Re2 Kd7 33.Qe5 Qh4+ 34.Qg3 Qf6 should make White feel uncomortable for his weak pawns.
    • 31.Ke2 Qxa4 32.Kd1 Re8 33.Rxe6+ Kxe6 34.Re1+ Kd7 35.Rxe8 Kxe8 leaves Black up by a piece.

28...Rg8 29.Kf1 Nf5 30.Qb4+

  • If 30.Qb6 Kf6 then:
    • 31.Bb5 Qg3 32.Rxe6+ fxe6 33.h4 Nxg2 34.Bd3 Nf4 all but finishes off White.
    • If 31.Qxb7 then 31...Qxf2+!! 32.Kxf2 Rxg2+ 33.Kf1 Ng3#.

30...Kf6 31.c4 Ng3+

  • Black misses 31...Qxf2+!! etc.

32.Kg1 Nxh3+ 33.gxh3 Ne4+ 0-1

  • White is soon mated.
  • Grandmaster Rabiega resigns.

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Response to Jack Rabbit (Reply #17)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 04:09 PM

19. Efimenko - Fedorchuk, Bremen vs. Remagen, Round 10, Remagen



Zahar Efimenko
Photo by http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Stefan64 Stefan64 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Zahar_Efimenko.jpg Wikimedia Commons (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en|Creative Commons License], Attribution/Share Alike)


Zahar Efimenko (Bremen) - Sergey Fedorchuk (Remagen)
Bundesliga 2011/12, Round 10/Board 1
Remagen, 25 February 2012

Grand Spanish Royal Game: Cozio Defense


1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nge7

  • The Cozio Defense is seldom seen. For an overview, see the green notes to Black's fourth move in van den Doel-Nikolic, Op, Leiden, 2011.

5.0-0 g6 6.c3 Bg7 7.d4 exd4 8.cxd4 b5 9.Bb3 Na5 10.Bc2 d6 11.Nc3

  • 11.h3 0-0 12.d5 c6 13.dxc6 Nexc6 14.Nc3 Be6 is equal (Djukic-Khalifman, Euro Ch, Aix-les-Bains, 2011).

11...0-0 12.d5

  • If 12.h3 c5 13.Bg5 h6 then:
    • If 14.Bf4 Nc4 then:
      • 15.b3 Na3 16.Bd3 g5 17.Be3 c4 18.Be2 b4 19.bxc4 bxc3 20.Qa4 Nxc4 21.Qxc4 d5 is equal (Sukandar-Harika, Asian Games RpdW, Guangzhou, 2010).
      • 15.Rb1 Nc6 16.dxc5 dxc5 17.Nd5 Bb7 18.Qc1 is equal (Paridar-Zhao Xue, Asian Games RpdW, Guangzhou, 2010).
    • 14.Bh4 g5 15.Bg3 cxd4 16.Nxd4 Nc4 17.Rb1 Bb7 18.Nd5 is equal (Gopal-Nazed, Masters, Gibraltar, 2010).

12...Bg4! (N)

  • If 12...h6!? 13.Rb1 Nc4 14.Ne2 then:
    • 14...f5?! 15.b3!? Ne5 16.Nxe5 dxe5 17.f3 gives White a stronger center (J. Polgar-Aronian, Tal Mem Blitz, Moscow, 2009).
    • 14...c6! 15.b3 Nb6 16.dxc6 Nxc6 remains equal.

13.h3

  • Black's novelty is a good one; the game is equal.

13...Bxf3 14.Qxf3 c5!?

  • The question for Black is whether he can live better with a weak pawn on c7 or on d6.
  • 14...Rc8 15.Bd3 Re8 16.a4 Nb3 17.Ra2 b4 18.Ne2 remains equal.


BLACK: Sergey Fedorchuk




WHITE: Zahar Efimenko
Position after 14...c7c5


15.dxc6!

  • White opens the file leading to White's weak d-pawn.

15...Nexc6 16.Qd1 Nd4

  • White parks his Knight in the outpost in front of the d-pawn.
  • If 16...Rc8 17.Nd5 then:
    • 17...Re8 18.Re1 Nd4 19.Bd3 Nc4 20.a4 remains equal.
    • If a) 17...Nc4 18.a4 Nxb2 19.Bxb2 Bxb2 20.Rb1 then:
      • If 20...Be5 21.axb5 axb5 22.Bd3 Ne7 then:
        • If 23.Ne3 Rc5 24.Rxb5 Qc7 then:
          • 25.Qd2 Rc8 26.Rd1 Rxb5 27.Bxb5 Rb8 28.Rc1 Qa7 remains equal.
          • 25.Rxc5 Qxc5 26.Qe2 Bd4 27.Nc2 Nc6 28.Rb1 Kg7 remains equal.
        • 23.Nxe7+ Qxe7 24.Rxb5 Qf6 25.Rb7 Rc3 26.Qd2 remains equal.
      • 20...Bf6 21.Bd3 Be5 22.axb5 axb5 23.Bxb5 Ne7 24.Ne3 gives Black a slight advantage with stronger pawns, but the game is already looking drawish.
    • If b) 17...Ne7?! 18.Bg5! then:
      • 18...Nac6 19.Qd2 h6 20.Bxh6 Bxh6 21.Qxh6 Nxd5 (forced as White is threatening 22.Nf6#) 22.exd5 Ne5 23.Rac1 leaves White a pawn to the good.
      • 18...f6 19.Bf4 Nxd5 20.Qxd5+ Kh8 21.Rac1 f5 22.b3 gives White a beter center ant the advantage in space; Black has command of the c-file and the diagonal, but can't quite secure c3 for his use.
  • 16...Ne7 17.Bg5 h6 18.Bf4 Rc8 19.Bb3 Nc4 remains equal.

17.Bd3!

  • White takes aim at Black's flank pawns.

17...Rc8?!

  • Black leaves d5 open for White's exploitation.
  • If 17...Ne6 then:
    • If 18.Nd5! Nc7! then:
      • 19.Nf4 Ne6 20.Rb1 Rc8 21.a4 Nxf4 22.Bxf4 continues to gives White a small advantage in space.
      • 19.Bd2!? Nxd5! 20.exd5 Bxb2 21.Rb1 Be5 22.a4 Nc4 is equal.
      • 19.Nxc7 Qxc7 20.a4 Qb6 21.Be2 Qc6 22.axb5 axb5 23.Qd3 continues to gives White a small advantage in space.
  • 18.a4 Nc5 19.axb5 Nab3 20.Rb1 Nxc1 21.Rxc1 axb5 22.b4 gives White a slight edge in space.
  • 18.Be3 Bxc3 19.bxc3 Nc5 20.Bxc5 dxc5 21.e5 Qe7 is equal.

18.Nd5!

  • The Knight hits the dark squares in Black's territory.

18...Nc4 19.Bxc4 Rxc4

  • If 19...bxc4?! 20.Be3! then:
    • If 20...Ne6 21.Qe2 Nc5 22.Qxc4 then:
      • If 22...Re8 23.Rac1 Bxb2 24.Rc2 then:
        • 24...Bf6 25.Rfc1 Bg7 26.f3 Qa5 27.Bf4 Qd8 28.Rd1 givesd White a better center, better pawns and a small advantage in space.
        • If 24...Nxe4? then 25.Qxc8 Qxc8 26.Rxc8 Rxc8 27.Ne7+! wins a Rook.
      • 22...Bxb2 23.Rab1 Bf6 24.f4 Bh4 25.Rfc1 a5 26.e5 gives White a better center, stronger pawns and a huge advantage in space.
    • If 20...Nb5?! 21.Bb6! Qd7 22.a4 then:
      • 22...Nc7 23.Nxc7 Rxc7 24.Bxc7 Qxc7 25.Qe2 gives White stronger pawns, although he also has some pawn weaknesses.
      • If 22...Na7 23.Bd4 then:
        • 23...Qb7 24.Bxg7 Kxg7 25.Qd4+ f6 26.Rac1 Rc5 27.Nf4 gives White stronger pawns and more space.
        • If 23...Nc6? then 24.Bxg7 Kxg7 25.Nb6 wins the exchange.

20.b3 Rc8

  • If 20...Rxc1? 21.Rxc1 Ne6 22.f4 Nc5 23.Re1 then:
    • If 23...a5 24.Qd2 Kh8 25.Qe3 Re8 26.Qf3 then:
      • 26...Bd4+ 27.Kh2 g5 28.Rcd1 Bg7 29.fxg5 Qxg5 30.Qxf7 leaves White a pawn to the good.
      • If 26...Bb2 27.Rc2 Bg7 28.Qf1 Qb8 29.Kh2 Qb7 30.Qf3 gives White a better center and stronger pawns; Black has commnad of the long diagonal, but derives little benefit from it.
    • If 23...Bh6 then White wins after 24.g3 Bg7 25.Kg2 a5 26.Qe2 Qd7 27.e5.

21.Bb2 Nf3+

  • If 21...Ne6?! 22.Bxg7 Kxg7 23.Rc1 then:
    • 23...Qg5 24.f4 Qg3 25.Qd2 Rc5 26.b4 Rcc8 27.Rf3 gives White a better center, stronger pawns and the initiative.
    • 23...Rxc1 24.Qxc1 f6 25.Rd1 Qd7 26.Qd2 Nc5 27.f3 gives White a better center, stronger pawns and the initiative.

22.Qxf3 Bxb2 23.Rab1 Bg7

  • If 23...Be5 24.Qd3 Bg7 then:
    • If 25.a4! Rc5 26.axb5 axb5 27.Rbc1 then:
      • 27... Re8 28.b4 Rc8 29.Rfd1 Bb2 30.Rxc8 Qxc8 31.Qd2 gives Black a better center and the initiative.
      • 27...Qh4 28.b4 Rxc1 29.Rxc1 Ra8 30.Re1 Be5 31.Rf1 gives Black a better center and the initiative.
    • 25.f4!? Qd7 26.Rbc1 Qa7+ 27.Kh2 h5 28.Rfe1 gives Black a better cente.

24.Rbc1 Qg5 25.Qe3

  • If 25.Rxc8 Rxc8 26.Qd3 Qe5 27.Rd1 then:
    • If 27...Re8 White doesn't a pawn after 28.Nc7 Rc8 29.Nxa6 Qb2 then:
      • 30.Nb4 Rc1! 31.Rxc1 Qxc1+ 32.Qf1 Qd2 33.Nd5 Qxa2 regains the pawn.
      • 30.Qxd6?! Be5! 31.Qd3 Rc1 32.g3 Rxd1+ 33.Qxd1 Bd4 is equal as Black regains the pawn.
    • If 27...h5?! 28.g3! then:
      • 28...Kh7 29.Kg2 Rc5 30.a3 Qe6 31.Re1 gives White stronger pawns and Black more space.
      • 28...Qg5!? 29.h4! Qe5 30.a4 Rc5 31.axb5 axb5 32.Kg2 gives White stronger pawns and Black more space.

25...Qxe3 26.fxe3 Rce8!?

  • Black unnecessarily concedes the c-file to White, giving White command of two files.
  • 26...Rxc1 27.Ne7+ Kh8 28.Rxc1 Re8 29.Rc7 Bh6 30.Kf2 continues give White a small advantage in space.


BLACK: Sergey Fedorchuk




WHITE: Zahar Efimenko
Position after 26...Rc8e8


27.Rc6!

  • The Rook forks two unprotected pawns.

27...a5 28.Ra6!?

  • The d-pawn is hardly poisoned and should have been taken.
  • 28.Rxd6! Rxe4 29.Rb6 b4 30.Ra6 Re5 31.Rxa5 leaves Black a pawn up.
28...a4!

  • Black must lose a pawn, but he finds the way to lose it that does the least harm.
  • If 28...Rxe4?! 29.Rxa5 b4 30.Ra6 then:
    • If 30...Rd8 31.Ra7 Rf8 32.Rd7! then:
      • 32...Re6 33.Rf3 Bh6 34.Kf2 wins a pawn.
      • 32...Ree8 33.Rxd6 f5 34.Rb6 Ra8 35.Rf2 leaves White with an extra pawn.
    • 30...Be5 31.Rb6 f5 32.Rxb4 Rxb4 33.Nxb4 leaves White a pawn to the good.
  • If 28...Be5 29.Rxa5 Ra8 30.Rxa8 Rxa8 31.Rf2 h5 32.Rc2 gives White an extra pawn.

29.bxa4 bxa4 30.Rxa4

  • White has a remote passed pawn, but his Rook is in front of it.

30...Ra8?!

  • This move is dubious as a matter of technique. Black doesn't need to worry about White's passer yet as it is already blocked for the moment by its own Rook.
  • If 30...h5 31.Rc4 Ra8 (now is the time to restrain the criminal) 32.a4 Ra6 33.Ne7+ Kh7 34.Rb1 contnues to gives White a significant advantage in space, but Black is restraining the a-pawn, has command of the logn diagonal and can improve the position of his King's Rook.


BLACK: Sergey Fedorchuk




WHITE: Zahar Efimenko
Position after 30...Re8a8


31.Ne7+!

  • The King is forced away from the center, weakening the defense of the f-pawn.
  • If 31.Rxa8?! Rxa8 then:
    • 32.Rf2 Ra4 33.Rc2 h5 34.Kf2 Rxe4 35.Rc8+ gives White nothing better than a slight advantage owing to the passed pawn.
    • 32.Ne7+?! drops the passer to 32...Kf8! 33.Nc6 Rxa2.

31...Kh8 32.Rxa8 Rxa8 33.Rc1

  • 33.Rxf7?! drops the passer to 33...Rxa2! 34.Kf1 Be5 35.Nd5 Ra4 36.Re7. making Black burden fo defense much lighter.

33...Bh6?

  • Black loses some critical time attacking White's least important pawn.
  • 33...Bb2 34.Rc8+ Rxc8 35.Nxc8 then:
    • 35...Ba3 36.Nb6 Kg7 37.Nc4 Bb4 38.a4 keeps Black in the game for now.
    • 35...Bc1? (the hindmost e-pawn is still unimportant) 36.a4! Bxe3+ 37.Kf1 Bc5 wins like the text.


BLACK: Sergey Fedorchuk




WHITE: Zahar Efimenko
Position after 33...Bg7h6


34.Rc8+!

  • After the exchange of Rooks, the a-pawn runs.

34...Rxc8 35.Nxc8 Bxe3+ 36.Kf1 Bc5

  • If 36...Kg7 then White just advances the passer 37.a4 Kf6 38.Ke2 Bc5 39.a5 Ke5 40.a6 and exchanges his pawn for Black's Bishop on a7.
37.a4

  • The pawn is off to the races and it will cost Black the Bishop to keep it from queening.

37...Kg7 38.a5 Kf6 39.a6 Ke5 40.Ke2 Kxe4

BLACK: Sergey Fedorchuk




WHITE: Zahar Efimenko

Position after 40...Ke5e4:p


41.Nxd6+!

  • "And just what are you going to do about that?" White asks. Black could have thrown in the towel here.

41...Kd5

  • Black cannot allow his Bishop to be deflected from the defense of a7 under any circumstances.
  • If 41...Bxd6 then 42.a7! wins immediately.
  • If 41...Ke5 42.Nxf7+ then:
    • 42...Kf6 43.Nd8! Ke7 44.a7!! Bxa7 45.Nc6+ White wins.
    • If 42...Kf5 43.Nd6+! then:
      • 43...Ke5 44.Nc8 Kf5 45.Kf3 Bd4 46.Ne7+ Kg5 47.Nc6.
      • If 43...Kf4 44.g3+ then:
        • If 44...Ke5 then White wins after 45.Nb5 followed by 46...a7.
        • 44...Kxg3 loses immediately to 45.Ne4+.
  • 41...Kf4 42.Nxf7 Kg3 43.Kf1 is futile.

42.Nxf7

  • The Black King is too far away from the mass of kingside pawns to do anything about it.

42...Kc6 43.Ng5 h5

  • If 43...h6 44.Nf7 Bf8 45.Ne5+ Kc7 then White wins after 46.Nxg6 Bg7 47.Ne7 Kb6 48.Nf5 Bf8 49.Kf3.
  • If 45...Kb6 then White wins after 46.Nxg6 Bg7 47.Kf3 Kxa6 48.Ne7 Be5 49.Kg4 followed by 50.Nf5

44.Ne6 1-0

  • 44...Be7 45.Nf4 Bf6 46.Kf3 Bd4 47.Nxg6 White will soon have passed pawns on both sides of the board.
  • Grandmaster Fedorchuk resigns.

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Response to Jack Rabbit (Original post)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 07:33 PM

15. I saw Magnus on 60 Minutes once

Amazing the things he can do.

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Response to JonLP24 (Reply #15)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 09:17 PM

16. It was a good piece

I posted it last month.

The world record for blindfold games was set last November at 46 games simultaneously by Marc Lang of Germany. Prior to that, the officially recognized record was held by George Koltanowski, the late chess editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and one-time president of the US Chess Federation, who played blindfold on 34 boards simultaneously at an exhibition in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1937. Miguel Najdorf, a Polish Jew who settled in Argentina during World War II, claimed to have played 45 blindfold games simultaneously in São Paulo in 1947, but the conditions were less stringent than those under which Koltanowski played and Najdorf's record was not universally recognized.

I met George Koltanowski once at a chess tournament in Tucson in 1978.

I can start a game (one) blindfolded, but would get lost before too long.

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