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Světový pohár 2007

13. 12. 2007
Světový pohár 2007 (RUSKO)

Carlsen (2714) - Kamsky (2714) 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4! A successful attempt to avoid the opponent's home preparation. Carlsen has never been known as a Scotch Game devotee. 3...exd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Nxc6 5...bxc6! The return surprise. The mainstream theory starts with 5...Qf6. 6.Bd3 Qh4! From here the players just played chess without consulting their powerful memory. It does not happen that often – on the move 6 already! 7.Qe2 Magnus does not go to 7.0–0 Nf6, in order not to bother with the Nf6-g4 idea. Yet, the solution is quite simple: 8.Qe2! Ng4 9.h3 Ne5 10.Be3, etc. 7...Nf6 8.Be3 Trading Black's active bishop. 8...Bxe3 9.Qxe3 0–0 10.Nd2 Re8 Exchanges generally favor Black, who experiences certain lack of space. 11.0–0 d6 The 11...d5-break had its disadvantages, namely weakening the queenside structure. Just look at the c5- and c6-pawns. Concrete play is not dangerous for Black: 12.f3 dxe4 13.Nxe4 Nxe4 14.Bxe4, and now 14...f5? is weak due to 15.Bd5+! Kf8 16.Qc5+ Qe7 17.Qxc6, and Black is a pawn down. 12.Rae1 This natural move is a novelty. Earlier White played 12.Rfe1 Ng4 13.Qg3 Qxg3 14.hxg3 Rb8 15.b3 Ne5 16.Be2 c5 17.f4 Nc6 18.c3 h6 19.Bf3 Bb7 20.Nc4 f6 21.Rad1 Ne7 22.Rd2 Kf8 23.Kf2 Ba8 24.g4 g5 25.e5!, and White got an edge in Chytilek-Timoscenko, Czechia 2001. 12...a5 It is useful to seize more space. The bishop can go out to a6 is some lines. 13.Qg3 This move does not connect with the previous one. By keeping the rook on f1, White demonstrated his intention to attack with his pawns in the center. Without queens, this plan is pointless and even risky, as he can just end up with many pawn weaknesses. However, the problem is that there are no viable alternatives. The immediate 13.f4 leads to the same queen swap: 13...Ng4! 14.Qg3 Qxg3 15.hxg3, but this version is even less favorable for White, as Black can make some good use of the g4-square. The prophylactic 13.h3 allows Black activating the knight by 13...Nd5!, and it feels great on f4. And the conclusion is?.. Apparently, the novelty 12.Rae1 is unpromising. 13...Qxg3 14.hxg3 a4! Another good move. White's queenside is vulnerable. Black is in great shape. 15.f3 The idea g3-g4-g5 is never to be carried out. 15...Be6 The events on the opposite wing develop at a much quicker pace. Black already threatens taking on а 2. 16.b3 The a8-rook becomes very strong. Black is going to send it to a2 at the right time. 16...Nd7! The knight goes to е 5 to trade White's cementing bishop. Carlsen's supporters had all the reasons to start worrying here. 17.Re3!? An interesting maneuver. It seems like Kamsky misunderstood it. 17...axb3 18.axb3 Ne5 Missing his chance. By 18...Ra2! Black could seize the initiative. The White's bishop is chained to the c2-pawn. When the Black's knight comes out to с 5 or е 5, the 2 nd rank will become vulnerable to the Black's rook. 19.Be2 Ra2 20.Rc3! c5 Threatening Ne5-c6-d4, but Magnus strikes first. 21.b4! A good exchange operation. 21...cxb4 Here the players agreed to a draw. In the analysis it turned out that their chances were approximately even. However, the spectators were perplexed. I'll try to show what could happen next. 22.Rxc7 b3 A tempting continuation. However, White has a good reply: 23.f4! 23.Nxb3 Bxb3 24.Bb5 Ba4 25.Bxe8 Bxe8 gives Black some winning chances. 23...bxc2 24.Rc1 Weaker is 24.fxe5 c1Q! 25.Rfxc1 Rxd2 with a small but stable advantage to Black. 24...Bg4 (not 24...Nd7? due to 25.f5 Bxf5 26.Bc4!, and White wins) 25.fxe5 Bxe2 26.exd6 Bd3 Both sides have their trumps in this sharp endgame. A logical sequence of moves now leads to the planned outcome: 27.Rc3 Rea8! 28.Rxd3 Ra1 29.Nb3 Rxc1+ 30.Nxc1 Ra1 31.d7 Rxc1+ 32.Kf2 32...Rf1+! 33.Ke2 Or 33.Kxf1 c1Q+ 34.Ke2 Qc2+ 35.Ke3 Qc1+ 36.Ke2, peace again. 33...Re1+ 34.Kf3 Rf1+ 35.Ke2 (35.Kg4 h5+!) 35...Re1+ Perpetual check. Such conclusion of the game could be more illustrative. But okay... Shirov (2739) - Karjakin (2694) The opening duel led to the most complicated tactical fight, in which White had excellent winning chances. However, the young Ukrainian showed wonders of coolness, and managed to survive by extremely accurate calculation and with a little help of chess gods. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Nbd7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0–0–0 b5 10.Bd3 Bb7 11.Rhe1 Qb6 12.Nb3 b4 13.Nb1 Be7 14.N1d2 Qc7 The players went for a semi-forgotten line of the Najdorf Sicilian. White successfully regrouped his knights and stopped Black's queenside pawns. Black kept the king in the center in order to avoid getting mated on the kingside. However, sooner or later he has to castle. 15.Qh3 An interesting novelty. Earlier White played 15.Kb1 h6 16.Qh3, and here Black executed an odd-looking move 16...Rg8, which usually led to defeats: 17.Bxf6 Nxf6 18.f5 (or 18.Nc4 Nxe4 19.Bxe4 Bxe4 20.Nxd6+ Bxd6 21.Rxe4 Rc8 22.Nd4 Qc4 23.Qf3 Kd7 24.Rd2 Qc5 25.Nb3 Qb6 26.f5!, and White develops powerful attack, Kotronias-Michelakis, Greece, 2005) 18...e5 19.Nc4 a5 20.Nbd2 a4 21.Qe3 Nd7 22.Qe2 Nc5 23.g3 0–0–0 24.Ne3 Bg5 25.Bc4 Bxe3 26.Qxe3 Rge8 27.a3 bxa3 28.Qxa3, and White enjoys some positional plus, Ehlvest-Gelfand, Linares 1991. 15...e5 Of course, Karjakin avoids a childish trap: 15...0–0? 16.e5! dxe5 17.fxe5 Nxe5 18.Rxe5 Qxe5 19.Bxf6 Bxf6 20.Qxh7# – checkmate! 16.Nc4 0–0 Perhaps Black should pay more attention to 16...a5!? 17.Nba5! A strong maneuver. White cavalry blocks Black's queenside. 17...Bc8 Of course, with such a weak square d5 it is hard to trade a strong bishop. However, the bishop stands badly on c8. 18.Qg3 Re8 Here Black has an interesting tactical opportunity 18...h6!? with the idea 19.Bxh6 Nh5 20.Qf3 Ndf6! 21.fxe5 (21.Bxg7 Nxg7 22.f5) 21...Bg4 22.Qf1 dxe5, and he wins an exchange. Of course, this is a risky line against such a great attacker as Shirov. He could think out something creative and sacrificial. However, I cannot find anything in the analysis. 19.Kb1 Rb8 Logical and tempting. The first idea is to transfer the rook to b5, in order to drive the knight from а 5. 20.Rf1! Another very strong move. Now as the rook left f8, the f7-pawn became weak. And the knight on f6 can sometimes become a prey to this rook – which is what happened in the game. It is difficult to find a decent move for Black. Sergey dared to play the most risky continuation – he opened the center and allowed his opponent to attack. And somehow survived! 20...exf4! This turned out an excellent psychological decision! The thing is that Shirov spent a lot of time on his previous decisions and was approaching time trouble. With the text-move Karjakin offers him lots of variations to calculate. Alexei had no time to scrutinize them all. He had to guess – and he didn't. On 20...Rb5 there is 21.fxe5 dxe5 22.Nb3!, and now the White's knight from с 4 goes to е 3 and then to d5 or f5. 21.Bxf4 Rb5 After 21...Nh5 22.Bxd6 Nxg3 23.Bxc7 Nxf1 24.Bxb8 Nxb8 25.Rxf1 Black loses a pawn without compensation. White's options here are numerous! 22.Bxd6 Good. But not lethal. Much more accurate is 22.Nxd6! and now 22...Bxd6 23.Bxd6 Qxa5 24.Bc7! Qa4 25.e5 Nd5, and White's swift attack decides: 26.Bxh7+! Kxh7 27.Rxf7 Rg8 (or 27...Nc3+ 28.bxc3 bxc3+ 29.Ka1) 28.Qh3+ Kg6 29.Qf5+ Kh6 30.Rd3!, and it's over. Therefore the best reaction to 22.Nxd6 is 22...Qxa5. I found many lines that promise White advantage of different sorts. Here is the simplest solution: 23.Nc4!? Qd8 (23...Qa4 24.b3!) 24.Bc7! Rg5 (or 24...Nh5? 25.Qf3 Qxc7 26.Qxf7+ Kh8 27.Qxe8+ and mates) 25.Qxg5 Qxc7 26.e5! and weaknesses of f7 and h7 force Black to give up a piece and continue playing without an exchange. The point is that on 26...Nd5 White has 27.Bxh7+ Kxh7 28.Qh5+ Kg8 29.Qxf7+, etc. And after 26...h6 27.Qg3 Nd5 сильнее всего 28.Be4 N5b6 29.Rxf7! Kxf7 30.e6+ White wins a queen. 22...Bxd6 23.Nxd6 Rxa5 24.Rxf6 Nice but again not optimal! Probably due to lack of time, Shirov failed to give correct assessment to the ending with a rook and a pawn against two minor pieces, which arises after 24.Nxe8! Nxe8 25.Qxc7 Nxc7. Here White continues 26.Bc4 Ne6 27.Bxe6! (there's an interesting sideline 27.Rf5!? Rxf5 28.exf5 Nec5) 27...fxe6 28.Rd6, and White's rook are very active. Black has problems coordinating his pieces. Here is how the game could develop: 28...Re5 (bad is 28...Rc5 29.Rxe6! Nf6 30.Re7) 29.Rfd1 Rc5! (29...Rxe4? 30.Rc6! loses immediately, and after the waiting 29...h5 White does not trade his rook for two pieces, but simply adds more pressure: 30.R1d4!) 30.Rxd7 (less clear is 30.R1d4 a5! or 30.Rxe6 Kf7!) 30...Bxd7 31.Rxd7 – White is just a pawn up in a rook ending. The complications are not in Black's favor: 31...Rc4 32.Ra7 Rxe4 33.b3! Re2 34.Rxa6 Rxg2 35.Rb6 Rxh2 36.Rxb4, and the White's pawn run faster. 24...Nxf6 25.Nxe8 Qxg3! The idea of the Riga player was 25...Nxe8 26.Qxc7 Nxc7 27.Bxa6!, and the mating threat forces Black to return material with interest. 26.Nxf6+ gxf6 27.hxg3 White is a pawn up in the ending. In addition, Black's kingside is weak. Our initial feeling was that Black is doomed, but Karjakin's energetic play reveals true evaluation of the position. 27...Rg5! 28.Be2 Kg7 28...Bb7 29.Rd8+ Kg7 30.Rb8 Bxe4 31.Rxb4 Bxg2 leads to an incredibly sharp game with better chances to White: 32.Bxa6 Rxg3 33.a4, etc. 29.Rd3 29.Rd8 worth a try. Black has to put the bishop to b7, transposing to the previous line, as 29...Be6 is bad due to 30.Bxa6 Rxg3 31.Rd2! Bh3 32.Bf1, and White has a big advantage on the queenside while holding on the kingside. 29...a5 30.Re3 (defending against Bc8-a6!) 30...Re5! Black gives his opponent no time to regroup. The f6-f5 is coming. 31.g4 Rg5 Returning the pawn. 32.a3 (on 32.Rg3 there is 32...h5!) 32...Bxg4 33.Bxg4 Rxg4 34.axb4 axb4 35.g3 Kg6 36.Ka2 36...f5! Black simplifies everything on time. 37.exf5+ Kxf5 38.Kb3 h5 39.Rf3+ Ke6 40.Ka4 f5 41.Kb5 Ke5 Draw. An unfortunate result for Shirov and a miracle save by Karjakin! Round 6. Game 2. Kamsky (2714) – Carlsen (2714) 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 The Petroff. 3.d4 This move becomes popular again. The reason is that Black has very few problems after 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5. White looks for improvement, but cannot find any. 3...Nxe4 4.Bd3 d5 5.dxe5 In this branch the e5-square is occupied by a pawn, not a knight. 5...Be7 6.0-0 6...Bg4 Black offers playing the endgame. For better understanding of the subsequent events it is useful to examine Almasi-Huzman, Dresden, 2007: 6...Nc6 7.Nc3 Bf5 8.Qe2 Nxc3 9.bxc3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 Qd7 11.Rb1 b6 12.Rb5 0-0–0 13.Be3 Kb7 14.Rfb1 g5 15.Bd4 g4 16.Nd2 Qe6 17.a4 Qg6 18.Qe2 Qxc2 19.a5 Nxd4 20.cxd4 Rhg8 21.R5b2 Qa4 22.Nb3 Qc4 23.Qd1 Bb4 24.Rc1 Bc3 25.Nc5+ Ka8 26.Na4!, and White obtained a material advantage and converted it into a victory. 7.h3 The other semifinalist of the World Cup accepted the challenge once: 7.Bxe4 dxe4 8.Qxd8+ Bxd8 9.Nd4 0-0 10.Nc3 Nd7 11.h3 Bh5 12.e6 fxe6 13.Nxe6 Re8 14.Nxd8 Raxd8 15.Bg5 Nf6 16.Rfe1 Bg6 17.Rad1 Kf8 (17...e3! equalizes: 18.Rxe3 Rxd1+ 19.Nxd1 Rd8 20.Nc3 Rd2 – Black regains the pawn) 18.Bxf6 gxf6 19.Nd5 e3 20.Nxe3 c5 21.Kf1. White held an extra pawn and won the game, Shirov-Adams, Elista 2007. The point of keeping the knight on b8 for a moment is revealed after 7.Nc3 Nxc3 8.bxc3 Nd7! 9.Re1 Nc5 10.Be2 0-0 11.Nd4 Bxe2 12.Qxe2, and here in Kuzevanova-Utkin, St Petersburg , 2007 Black should have played 12...Qd7! with equal chances. 7...Bh5 8.Re1 As usual in the Petroff, White's main enemy is the daring Black's knight. 8...Nc6 8...0-0! looks more flexible to me, leaving more options for the queen's knight. 9.Nc3 The novelty. The central pawn was poisoned: 9.Bxe4? dxe4 10.Qxd8+ Rxd8 11.Rxe4 Bxf3 12.gxf3 Rd1+, and White is a piece down. Schmider-Kresovic , Germany 1993 continued 9.Bf4, and Black carried out a swift kingside attack: 9...g5!? 10.Bh2 g4 (as you see, h2-h3 has its diadvantages) 11.hxg4 Bxg4 12.Nc3 Nxf2 (bravely!) 13.Kxf2 Bc5+ 14.Kf1 Nd4 15.Be2? (15.Qd2! questions Black's offense) 15...Nxf3 16.Bxf3 Qh4! 17.Qe2 Qxh2 18.Qb5+ c6 19.Qxc5 Bxf3 20.gxf3 Rg8! (White's extra piece cannot save him) 21.Qf2 Qh3+, and White resigned, as he loses a queen. 9...Bg6?! Played after a 40-minute thought! Apparently, such time consumption is not advisable for a quick-playing guy like Carlsen. In addition, one has to consider tiredness of the 17-year-old. Time and again he tried to find out the truth about this position, but his brain simply refused to work. And the more he tried, he more tired he was getting. In the post-game analysis one can find the safer continuations. For example, 9...Bxf3 10.gxf3 (10.Qxf3 Nxe5!) 10...Nxc3 11.bxc3 Qd7 12.Kg2 0-0 13.f4 f5 14.Rb1 b6 15.Qf3 Qe6 followed by Nc6-a5. It is also unclear what bothered Magnus after 9...Nxc3 10.bxc3 0-0. E.g., 11.Rb1 b6 12.Rb5 is not dangerous for Black due to 12...Bc5! 10.Bd2! A non-trivial decision, and probably a good one! The simplest way to underscore White's advantage is 10.Qe2 Nxc3 11.bxc3 Bxd3 (after 11...0-0 12.Rd1! Black's d5-pawn is in trouble) 12.Qxd3, and we get to a well-known position with two extra moves for White, h2-h3 and Rf1–e1. See Almasi-Huzman after the move 10. Obviously, Black cannot hope for equality. Note that the pawn was once again tabooed: 10.Bxe4? dxe4 11.Qxd8+ Rxd8 12.Nxe4 Nb4!, and White has hard times paying the ransom. 10...Nxd2 We disliked this move during the online commentary. It allows White completing the development and obtaining an advantage in the center. The notorious two-bishop advantage is irrelevant here, because the light-squared bishops are doomed to trade. However, the line suggested for the audience – 10...Nxc3 11.Bxc3 – is also not at all simple. A human being cannot play 11...Bh5!?, while a more normal move sequence leads to serious problems after 11...0-0 12.Bxg6 hxg6 13.Qd3 Qd7 14.Rad1 Rad8, and now: 15.e6! fxe6 16.Qxg6 Bf6 17.Rxe6!, and there is no 17...Qxe6 due to 18.Ng5! 11.Qxd2 d4 The pawn cannot stay on d5. 12.Ne4 0-0 Perhaps for psychological reasons 12...Bb4!? 13.c3 Ba5! was more beneficial for Carlsen – objectively White's chances are higher, but everything still can change. 13.a3! Now Kamsky obtains a very comfortable game. His minor pieces are very active, and Black has no counterplay. 13...Qd5 The pressure on the e5-pawn is inefficient. 14.Qf4 The immediate 14.Ng3 intending to place the knight on f5 is also promising. 14...Rfe8 15.Re2 Gata plays with extreme margin of safety. He neglects all cavalry attacks. For instance, here he had tempting ideas of winning the d4-pawn, but this would give Black piece counterplay. 15...Bf8 Black has many alternatives, but none of them equalizes. For example, the idea 15...h6 16.Rae1 (16.Ng3 Bg5!) 16...Rad8 17.Ng3 Bg5 fails to 18.Nxg5 hxg5 19.Qxg5 Bxd3 20.cxd3 f6 21.Qh5! Rxe5 22.Rxe5 fxe5 23.Ne4, and Black's ruined pawn structure makes his task almost hopeless. 16.Ng3 Bxd3 Other ways to trade pieces are also hardly acceptable: 16...Re7 17.Rae1 Rae8 18.Nf5 Bxf5 19.Bxf5 g6 20.Be4 Qb5 21.Bxc6 Qxc6 22.Nxd4 Qb6 23.c3 Bg7 24.Nf3, and White is a sound pawn up. The most tenacious is keeping the bishop to g6 for as long as possible: 16...Rad8! 17.Rae1 a5, and only when White advances the h3-pawn to h5, take on d3. Because then the White's knight won't get to h5! 17.cxd3 Re6 17...g6 leads to an unpleasant ending: 18.Ne4 Bg7 19.Nf6+ Bxf6 20.exf6 Qd6 21.Qxd6 cxd6 22.Rae1, etc. 18.Nh5! The knight raid is devastating. 18...Rae8 18...Qb3! gives Black more chances to keep in the game, as 19.Nxd4 runs into 19...Qxd3! 19.Rae1 Black had made all the nice-looking moves, but set against the wall. 19...a5 20.Qg4! Black's queen failed to return on time and gets downtrodden. 20...Rg6 21.Nf4! Rxg4 22.Nxd5 Rg6 White can calmly take on с 7 with a technically winning position. However, Kamsky wants more. 23.g4!? Rd8 The position after 23...h5 24.Nh4 Rh6 25.g5 Rh8 can be published in ‘This is curious' chapter: the king's rook has returned to the initial square, and shall witness the end of the game there. A similar idea in a different form looks more interesting: 23...Ne7 24.Nxc7 Rc8 25.Nb5, and now 25...h5! Although, if we are being serious... 24.Nf4 Rh6 25.g5 Re6 26.Nxe6 fxe6 An extra exchange must tell eventually. Gata did not play best in time trouble, but he never put the fate of the game in doubt. Magnus was unable to build a fortress. 27.Rc1 Rd5 28.Rc4 Bc5 29.h4 Bb6 30.Kg2 Ne7 31.h5 Rd8 32.Re4 Nf5 33.Nh4 Ne7 34.Kg3 g6 35.Kg4 Rd5 36.hxg6 hxg6 37.a4 Kf7 38.Rc1 Rd8 (38...Nc6! is more tenacious) 39.Rh1 Kg7 40.Ng2 Nf5 41.Nf4 Re8 42.Ree1! c5 43.Rh3! The White's rooks inevitably come to h7. Black resigns. Karjakin (2694) – Shirov (2739) 1. e 4 e 5 2. Nf 3 Nc 6 3. Bb 5 a 6 4. Ba 4 Nf 6 5.0-0 Be 7 6. Re 1 b 5 7. Bb 3 d 6 8. c 3 0-0 9. h 3 Re 8 10. d 4 Bb 7 11. Nbd 2 Bf 8 12. a 4 Na 5 13. Ba 2 exd 4 14. cxd 4 A fashionable line of the Ruy Lopez. Its main distinction from the more regular lines is that White's light-squared bishop retreated to a more active position on c2, keeping an eye on f7. 14...c5 The e4-pawn could cost Black too dearly: 14...Nxe4? 15.Nxe4 Rxe4 (15...Bxe4 16.Rxe4! Rxe4 17.Bd5) 16.Bxf7+! Kh8 17.Rxe4 Bxe4 18.Ng5 d5 (18...Bb7 19.Qh5 h6 20.Qg6!) 19.axb5 axb5 20.Qh5 with irresistible attack. 15.d5! A strong and logical novelty. The d-pawn considerably hampers Black's pieces. An attempt to get to the f7-throat failed in Volokitin-Morozevich, 2006: 15.b4?! cxb4 16.Ng5 Nc4 17.axb5 axb5 18.Nxc4 Rxa2! 19.Rxa2 bxc4 20.Qa4 b3 21.Rae2 Qc7 22.d5 Rb8 23.Re3 Nd7 24.Rc3 Nc5 25.Rxc4 h6 26.Nf3 Qb6 27.Qa1 f5! 28.Be3 fxe4 29.Rxe4 Bxd5, and Black got a large advantage. 15...c4?! A dubious decision. Black is still not prepared for sharp struggle. He should have started with 15...g6!, activating the bishop. 16.b4! A very strong reply! 16...cxb3 Diving into 16...c3 17.Nb1!? Rxe4 18.Rxe4 Nxe4 19.bxa5 Qxa5 without deep home analysis is hopeless. 17.Bxb3 White expands his territory in the center. 17...b4 17...Nxb3 also fails to impress: 18.Qxb3 Nd7 19.Ba3!? 18.Bc2! The а 5-knight is shame of Black's position. However, the b7-bishop is in fact not much better. In addition, the b4-pawn is weak. Apparently, the opening did not work out for Black. 18...Bc8! Alexei launches an exemplary campaign of saving an inferior position. 19.Rb1 Rb8 20.Ba3 The quiet 20.Nd4 Bd7 21.Bd3 Qb6 22.Bb2 retains an advantage, but Sergey just didn't want keeping the doomed pawn on board. 20...Bxh3! 21.Bxb4 Everything goes according to the White's plan. He traded his unimportant edge pawn to the Black's passed pawn, and got new squares for his minor pieces. 21...Bg4 In the line 21...Bd7 22.Bd3 Ng4 White easily parries Black's light threats: 23.Rf1! g6 24.Bxa6 Qb6 25.Bb5 Bxb5 26.axb5, and if 26...Qxb5?, then 27.Bxd6! 22.Bd3 The а 6-pawn is a new weakness. So far Black has to keep the knight on а 5. 22...Ra8 Patience, patience, patience! 23.Re3!? Increasing the pressure by 23.Qe2 is impossible due to 23...Nxd5! This elegant rook maneuver prepares the queen transfer to the f1-a8 diagonal. A simple move 23.Qc2 intending Qc2-c3, suggested by the microphone-man, if probably not worse. 23...Nb7! Time to get rid of the Tarrasch curse. Black fails to equalize after 23...g6 24.Qf1 Bg7 (24...Bh6 25.Ree1) 25.Bxa6, and now 25...Bxf3 26.gxf3 Nxd5 27.exd5 Rxe3 28.fxe3 Qg5+ 29.Kh2 Qh4+ leads to a cheerless ending: 30.Qh3 Qxh3+ 31.Kxh3 Rxa6 32.Rc1!, and the a5-knight again plays a fool. 24.Qf1 This is possibly a critical moment of the game. White's main idea is carried out by 24.Qe2!, for instance, 24...Nc5 (24...a5 25.Ba3 Qc7 26.Bb5 Bd7 27.Nc4 leaves Black in a strategically inferior position) 25.Bxc5 dxc5 26.Bxa6! Bxf3 27.Rxf3 Nxd5 28.Bc4! Nf6 29.Rb7 Re7 30.Rxe7 Bxe7 31.e5, and the f7-pawn finally falls. 24...Bxf3 25.Rxf3 Not much is gained by 25.Nxf3 Nc5 26.Bxc5 dxc5 27.Bxa6 Rxe4! 25...Nc5! The situation has changed! 26.Bxc5 dxc5 27.Rb7 Here 27.Bxa6? is simply bad due to 27...Qa5! with a fork on а 6 and d2. 27...Rb8! Shirov successfully trades White's active pieces. 28.Rxb8 The tempting 28.Ra7 could be rejected by Karjakin due to 28...c4! 29.Bxc4 Bc5 30.Rxa6 Bb4, and the Black's pieces are active like never before. 28...Qxb8 29.Qb1 Qxb1+ 30.Bxb1 30...c4! Nice tactics that underscore equality. 31.Nxc4 Nxe4 32.Re3 Nd6 33.Rxe8 Game drawn. Round 5. Carlsen – Cheparinov 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bg5 Bg7 4.Nbd2 Magnus doesn't want to compete in theoretical knowledge. 4...d6 5.e4 0–0 6.c3 White builds up a strong center, restricting Black's dark-squared bishop. 6...c5 This break secures Black new squares for his minor pieces. 7.dxc5 It is well-known that 7.Bd3 is not good due to 7...cxd4 8.cxd4 h6 9.Bh4 (9.Be3 Ng4 10.Bf4 e5!) 9...Nh5, and Black seizes the initiative after trading White's dark-squared bishop. 7...dxc5 8.Bc4 Nc6 9.0–0 Qc7 10.Qe2 h6 11.Bh4 11.Be3 fails to convince: 11...Na5 12.Bd3 Ng4! 11...Nh5! A very important maneuver for Black. He targets White's bishops. 12.Rfe1 Bg4 The bishop can be developed in another direction: 12...g5 13.Bg3 Nxg3 14.hxg3 b6 and 15...Bb7. 12...Na5 is a viable alternative: 13.Bd5 (13.Bb5 a6 14.Ba4 b5!) 13...e6 14.Bb3 Nf4 15.Qf1 Nxb3 16.axb3 e5 17.Nc4 Be6 with a good game for Black, Sargissian - Ni Hua, Athens , 2001. 12...Ne5 was questioned in Van Wely-Leko, Tilburg 1996: 13.Nxe5 Bxe5 14.g3! Bh8 15.f4 Ng7 16.Qf3 Be6 17.Rad1 Rad8 18.Bxe6 Nxe6 19.f5!, and White developed a dangerous attack. 13.Qe3! A multi-purpose move. The light-squared bishop can now retreat to f1, the f3-knight is not pinned, etc. 13...g5 A novelty. The game between two Israelis continued 13...b6 14.e5 Qc8 15.h3 Bxh3 16.gxh3 Qxh3 17.Qe4 g5 18.Bxg5 Nxe5 19.Nxe5 Bxe5 20.Qg2 Qf5 21.Rxe5, and here Black had to resign, Tyomkin-Ribshtein , Israel 1996. 14.Bg3 Nxg3 15.hxg3 b6 Black can brag about his bishop pair. Are there any achievements for White? 16.Nh2 Bh5 A dubious decision. Ivan clearly provokes unsound activity from his opponent. This strategy eventually led to his defeat. More careful is 16...Bd7! 17.g4 Bg6 18.g3! Magnus prepares pawn advance in the center. 18...Rad8 19.f4 Head-spinning complications start here. The spectators were completely lost, trying to explain the players' decisions. 19...Nd4!? 20.Rac1 Not 20.cxd4? Bxd4, and White loses the queen. 20...b5 The knight leap can only be justified by extremely aggressive play. 21.Bf1 gxf4 21...c4!? looked promising – White cannot advance any of his central pawns. 22.gxf4 Ne6 Cheparinov keeps calling fire upon himself, and quite successfully! 23.e5 After 23.f5 Be5 24.Nhf3 Bf4 25.Qf2 Ng5 White cannot capture the bishops by 26.fxg6? – 26...Bxd2 27.Nxd2 Rxd2! 28.Qxd2 Nf3+, etc. 23...f5! Breakthrough! 24.exf6 The most principled – Carlsen accepts all the sacrifices! 24...Rxf6 25.f5! Ng5 26.fxg6 Re6 27.Qf2 Be5! Black's initiative for the piece is quite serious. The White's king is weak, and his knights and rooks are vulnerable. Both players have to calculate a lot, and the struggle is quite tense. 28.Rxe5 Sooner or later White has to part with some material. The following line was discussed outside the playing hall: 28.Ndf3!? Bg3 29.Qg2 Bxe1 30.Rxe1 Rxe1 31.Nxe1 c4! 32.Nef3 Qb6+ 33.Kh1 Qxg6, and Black destroys White's main partisan. 28...Qxe5 29.Ndf3 In the case of 29.Bg2 Qe2! 30.Ndf3 Rd1+ 31.Rxd1 Qxd1+ 32.Qf1 Qxf1+ (32...Qc2? 33.Nxg5 hxg5 34.Qf7+!) 33.Bxf1 Nxf3+ 34.Nxf3 a6 35.Nh4 Re4 Black is safe in the ending. 29...Nxf3+ 30.Nxf3 Qf4 31.Re1! The game must be simplified as soon as possible. 31...Rxe1 32.Nxe1 Qxf2+ 33.Kxf2 Rd2+ It seemed like Black obtains an advantage, threatening to demolish the White's queenside, however, the reality was disillusioning. Actually the position is equal! 34.Ke3 Rd1 Capturing everything leads to an easier draw: 34...Rxb2! 35.Nd3 Rc2! (weaker is 35...Rxa2 36.Nxc5) 36.Nxc5 Rxc3+ 37.Kd4 Rg3 38.Be2 Kg7, and Black is at least not worse. 35.Ke2! Ra1 Not good is 35...Rb1 36.b3! 36.Bg2 c4 (36...Rxa2? 37.Bd5+) 37.a3 Black holds after 37.b4 Rxa2+ 38.Ke3 Kg7 39.Be4 e5 40.Nf3 Ra3 41.Kd2 Ra2+ 42.Ke3 ( or 42.Bc2 e4 43.Nd4 Kxg6 44.Ke3 Kg5 45.Bxe4 a6 46.Bf5=) 42...Ra3 43.Kd2 Ra2+ 44.Bc2 e4! 45.Nd4 Kxg6 46.Ke3 Kg5 47.Bxe4 a6. 37...Rb1 38.Be4! A very important nuance – White keeps the g6-pawn afloat. It is his main trump from now on. 38...Rxb2+ 39.Nc2 Kg7 40.Ke3 Rb3 After 40...e5 41.Nb4 Rb3 42.Nd5 Rxa3 43.Bf5! White has a dangerous threat Nd5-c7-e8! Then 43...b4 44.Nc7! (nevertheless) 44...Kf8 45.Ke4 bxc3 (45...Ra5 46.cxb4 c3 47.Kd3!) 46.Kxe5 Ke7 (46...c2 47.Kf6!) 47.Nd5+ Kf8 48.Nf4 Ra6 49.Kd4, and Black's pawns fall, the White's knight arrives to h5, and White wins. 41.Kd2 Moving forward leads only to a draw : 41.Kd4 e6 42.Ke5 Rxc3 43.Nd4 (43.Kxe6 Rb3 44.Nd4 Rxa3 45.Nxb5 Re3 46.Kf5 Rxe4!) 43...Rxa3 44.Nxe6+ Kg8 45.Nf4 Re3 46.Kf5 Rxe4 47.Kxe4 c3 48.Kd3 b4 49.Kc2 Kg7 50.Kb3 a5 51.Kc2 a4 52.Nd5 Kxg6 53.Nxb4 Kg5 54.Kxc3 Kxg4 55.Nd3=. 41...Kf6? Overestimating the position. The knight has to be held by 41...Rb2!, and Black defends. 42.Nd4! Forward – to е 8 or h5! 42...Rxa3 42...Rb2+ 43.Ke3 e6 44.Ne2! is no better for Black. 43.Nxb5 Ra5 44.Nc7 Kg7 44...Rg5 does not save Black: 45.Bf5! h5 (45...e5 46.Ne8+ Ke7 47.Ng7! a5 48.Ne6+-) 46.Ne8+ Ke5 47.gxh5 Kxf5 48.g7, and the passed pawns decide the game. 45.Ne6+ Kh8 The only way to prolong the resistance. Bad is 45...Kg8 46.Bc6! Re5 47.Be8 Rxe6 48.Bf7+. 46.Ke3! White already has a big advantage. The Black's king is out of play, so the Black's rook has to struggle against three enemy pieces. Unfair! 46...Ra1 In the case of 46...h5 47.gxh5 Rxh5 White simply continues 48.Kd4 Rh4 49.Nc5 Kg7 50.Kxc4 Kf6 51.Kd4, etc. 47.Kd4 a5 The last chance. 48.Bc6 Magnus thinks he can win at once, and complicates the situation! An experienced grandmaster would never calculate lengthy lines, preferring the simple 48.Kxc4! – the Black's king is trapped, and White successfully fights against the Black's passer. If necessary, White can transfer the knight to h5. On 48...a4 the strongest is 49.Bd5! Rb1 (49...a3 50.Kb3 a2 51.c4!, winning, or 49...Re1 50.Kb4!) 50.Nf4 Re1, and White has a pleasant choice. He will probably have to give up one of the g-pawns, but the passed c3-pawn is more valuable: 51.Nh5 e6 (defending against Bd5-f7!) 52.Bc6 Rg1 53.g7+ Kg8 54.Bxa4 Rxg4+ 55.Kb3 Rh4 56.Be8 e5 57.c4 e4 58.c5 e3 59.Kc3, and the Black's pawn is stopped. The curtains. 48...a4 49.Be8 Rg1! 50.g5! The key idea – White tries to block the file. 50...a3! Carlsen probably counted on the cooperative 50...hxg5? 51.Bf7 and mates. 51.Bf7 Rxg5! This resource was probably underestimated. 52.Nxg5 hxg5 53.Bxc4 Kg7 Here both players had very little time left on the clock, and the position became incredibly sharp. White has a problem stopping all the Black's pawns. Any inaccurate move can lose the game. 54.Kd3? This move is natural, but it misses the win: 54.Ke5! Kxg6 55.Ba2, and Black's counterplay is insufficient: 55...g4 56.Kf4 Kh5 57.c4 Kh4 58.c5 g3 59.Kf3! – luring the enemy king ¬– 59...Kh3 ( or 59...e5 60.c6 e4+ 61.Kg2 e3 62.Kf3 etc. ) 60.c6 g2 61.c7 g1Q 62.c8Q+ Kh4 (62...Kh2 63.Qh8#) 63.Qh8+ Kg5 64.Qg7+, and Black loses the newborn queen. 54...Kxg6 55.Kc2 g4! Run! 56.Kb3 Kf5 Wastes a tempo. After 56...e5! White must defend very accurately: 57.Bd5! (other moves are bad) 57...Kf5 58.c4 e4 59.c5 e3 60.c6 e2 61.c7 e1Q 62.c8Q+ – the saving check. The ending is drawn. 57.Kxa3 White got an opportunity to return the king into play. 57...g3? Black fails to demonstrate consistency: 57...Ke4!, and now 58.Kb2 g3 59.Bf1 Kf3 60.c4 Kf2 61.Bh3 e5 62.c5 e4 63.c6 e3 64.c7 e2 65.c8Q e1Q leads to a dead draw. 58.Bf1? Much stronger is 58.Bd5!, and Black has no time to promote the pawn: 58...e5 59.Bg2! e4 (59...Kf4 60.Kb3 Ke3 61.Kc4!) 60.Kb3 e3 61.Kc2, and wins. 58...e5? What can I say? This is time trouble. The players cannot calculate anymore, so they play by instincts. Black still had a draw: 58...Ke4! 59.c4 (59.Kb3 Kf3) 59...Kd4 60.Kb4 e5 61.c5 e4 62.c6 e3 63.c7 g2!=. 59.Kb3? (59.Bg2!+-) 59...Kf4? The last error in this painful game. The correct way is 59...Ke4! 60.c4 (60.Kc4? is dangerous for White: 60...Kf3 61.Kd5 e4 62.c4 Kf2!) 60...Kf3 61.c5 Kf2 62.Bh3 e4!, and the position is drawish. 60.Bg2! 60...Ke3 Or 60...e4 61.Kc2 Ke3 62.Bh1! 61.Kc4! This move reveals successful piece management by White. The bishop sacrifices itself for the g3-pawn, while the king picks up the e5-pawn. 61...Kf2 On 61...e4 White wins by 62.Bh1! 62.Be4! Black resigns. A colossal game, highly interesting and even dramatic! Shirov – Jakovenko The encounter of the two opening experts is like iceberg: the greater part of it is hidden under the surface. Both grandmasters made a tremendous homework, and it looks like Alexei was more successful than Dmitry. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d3 Bd6 13.Re1 Bf5 14.Qf3 Qh4 15.g3 Qh3 16.Bxd5 cxd5 17.Qxd5 Rad8 18.Qg2 Qh5 19.Be3 Bxd3 20.Nd2 Bf5 21.Qc6 The very bottom of the Marshall counterattack. Grandmasters dig deeper and deeper. 21...Be6 A new attempt to transfer the bishop to the h1-a8 diagonal. The White's king cover is unreliable. The threat of the queen invasion to g2 is quite real. 21...Bh3 was questioned in Stellwagen-Pashikian, Yerevan , 2007 – 22.a4!? (22.Bd4 leads only to Bb8 23.Re3 Rd6 24.Qb7 Bd7 25.Qf3 Bg4 26.Qg2 Bh3 27.Qf3 Bg4 28.Qg2 – drawn, Smeets-Khalifman, Amsterdam 2007 ) 22...Bb8 (22...bxa4!?) 23.axb5 axb5 24.Ra5 Bd7 25.Qc5 Qg6 26.Qg5 Qd3 27.Bd4 f6 28.Qd5+ Kh8 29.Nb3 Rde8 30.Raa1 Bg4 31.Nc5 Rxe1+ 32.Rxe1 Qd2 33.Qe4 – White kept an extra pawn and parried the threats. Interesting is 21...Be5!? with the idea 22.Qxa6 b4! 22.Qxa6! Shirov played so confidently that there is doubt about his high-quality preparation. He is a brilliant attacker and knows the danger of pawn-grabbing. However, he captured it. Therefore, all the moves are written in his computer. 22...Qd5 On 22...Bd5 follows 23.Qxb5!, and the Black's queen cannot leave the d5-bishop unprotected. 23.Qb6! Calling back! White has two extra pawns, and this is enough. The 23.a4-break would be overambitious – 23...Bh3 24.f3 Bc5!, and the White's queen does not retreat in some lines. For example, 25.Ne4 Qf5! 26.Kf2 (26.Qc6 Rc8!) 26...Bg4 27.Nxc5 Qxf3+ 28.Kg1 Bh3 29.Qb7 Rd5! 30.Re2 Qxe2 31.Qxd5 Qxe3+ 32.Kh1 Qe2!, threatening Rf8-e8 and taking on b2. White is in trouble. 23...Bh3?! Jakovenko begins the counterattack, but misses concrete refutation. A more patient strategy was more promising: 23...Rfe8 or 23...Rd7 24.f3 f5 Black threatens f5-f4. And the threat will be executed if White wastes time. 25.Qd4! Alexei is extremely accurate! Mechanic centralization of the rook leads to dangerous complications: 25.Rad1 f4! 26.Ne4 Qh5! 27.Nxd6 (27.g4 Bxg4 28.Rxd6 Rde8! is unclear) 27...Qxf3 28.Qb7 fxe3! ( weaker is 28...Qxb7 29.Nxb7 Rxd1 30.Rxd1 fxe3 31.Rd8!) 29.Qxf3 Rxf3 30.Ne4 Rdf8 31.Ng5 e2! 32.Nxh3 exd1Q 33.Rxd1 Re3, and Black's extra exchange outweighs White's two pawns. 25...Qc6 Of course, Black rejects transposing to an ending without two pawns. The line 25...Qf7 26.Qh4 f4 27.Qxh3 fxe3 28.Ne4 has its disadvantages. 28...Qxf3 loses to 29.Qe6+ Kh8 30.Rf1! 26.Qh4 The most active Black bishop is trapped. 26...Bc5 26...f4 is fruitless – 27.Qxh3 fxe3 28.Ne4, and this time 28...Rxf3? is bad due to 29.Ng5! With the text-move, Black attacks the d2-knight, but White replies with the centralizing 27.Bd4! 27...Bxd4+ 27...Bg4 gives more practical chances: 28.Nb3! (28.fxg4? is a blunder: 28...Rxd4 29.cxd4 Bxd4+ 30.Kf1 fxg4+ 31.Ke2 Qc2! , but this is not Shirov's style ) 28...Bxd4+ 29.Nxd4 Rxd4 30.cxd4 Bxf3, and this position without an exchange is more or less playable, as the White's king is exposed. 28.cxd4 Qc2 29.Red1! All the moves by White can be awarded with exclamation marks. He keeps the opportunity to drive the Black's queen by Ra1–c1! Weaker is 29.Rad1 in view of 29...Rfe8! 29...Qxb2 The last chances is 29...Bg4! 30.fxg4 Rxd4, and now White can get into a trap by 31.Qg5 Rfd8 32.Rac1 (32.Qxf5 Qxf5 33.gxf5 Rxd2 34.Rxd2 Rxd2) 32...Qxb2 33.Rc7 R4d5 34.Qe7 Qf6 (34...fxg4 35.Qf7+ Kh8 36.Qxd5!) 35.Qxf6 gxf6 36.Rc2 fxg4 37.Kf2 Kg7 – he is a piece up, but cannot untangle from the pin: 38.Ke2 Re8+ 39.Kf2 Red8 with equality. Much stronger is 31.Rac1 Qxb2 32.Nf3! Rd3! 33.Rxd3 Qxc1+ 34.Kg2 Qc4, and now the only way to a victory is the brilliant 35.Qd8!! 30.Qxh3 Qxd4+ 30...Rxd4 brings White no problems: 31.Nf1 Rxd1 32.Rxd1 Qxa2 33.Qg2. 31.Kh1 Black is a piece down. The pin on d-file is not dangerous. The rest is just technique. 31...Rd5 32.Qf1 Rfd8 33.Rac1 Qd3 34.Qe1 h6 35.Kg2 Qa3 36.Nb1 Qxa2+ 37.Kh3 b4 38.Qe6+ Kh7 39.Rc7 f4 40.Qe4+ Kh8 41.Rxd5 Qxd5 42.Qxd5 Rxd5 43.Rc2 Black resigns. Kamsky – Ponomariov The result of the game was predetermined between the 17 th and 22 nd moves. After that White was basically converting his advantage. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Nb3 Bd7 11.0–0–0 0–0–0 12.Be2 h5 13.Rhf1 Be7 14.Rf3 Rdg8 15.Bf1 Kb8 16.Kb1 h4 Here is a typical structure in which White has two dangerous plans: 1. Attacking the h4-pawn by Qd2-e1 and Rf3-h3. 2. Creating pressure on e6 by f4-f5 followed by bringing the knights to d4 or f4. 17.Qe1 Gata follows the first plan. Luther-Sedlak, Arvier, 2007 surprisingly quickly ended in a draw after 17.a3 Rh5! 18.Rd3 Na5 19.Qe2 Rgh8 20.Rd4 Nc6 21.R4d3 Na5 22.Rd4 Nc6 23.R4d3 Na5. 17...Rg4 A new move, and it doesn't look home-prepared. Ruslan holds White's attack by exerting pressure on f4. Meanwhile, the crucial ideas of the position were already demonstrated in practice: 17...Rh5! (the key maneuver) 18.Rh3 f5! 19.Qe2 Rgh8 20.Nd5!? exd5 21.exd5 Ne5 22.fxe5 f4! 23.e6 (23.exd6 Qxd6 24.Rc3 Bf6 25.Rc5 h3!) 23...Re5 24.Qg4 fxe6 25.Rf3?! (25.Rhd3!) 25...Bg5 26.Bc4 Be8 – Black won an exchange and the game, Todorovic-Popovic, Vrnjacka Banja, 2005. 18.a3 A useful prophylactic move. 18...Qc7?! Black has difficulties finding useful moves. Brining the queen to с 7 is also not very useful. Better is 18...Rh5 or 18...Bc8. 19.Ne2! An introduction to the plan number two. Kamsky correctly refused a tempting idea to sacrifice the knight – 19.Nd5 exd5 20.exd5, and now Black can play tricky... or just allow White executing his main idea: 20...Ne5 21.fxe5 dxe5 22.d6 Bxd6. It is unclear, how the Black's bishops can be captured: 23.Rfd3 (23.Qd2?! Bc6 24.Qxd6 Qxd6 25.Rxd6 Bxf3 26.gxf3 Rg1 27.Nd2 h3! , and Black is much better ) 23...Bf5! 24.Rxd6 Bxc2+ 25.Ka2 Re4 26.Qd2 Bxd1 27.Qxd1 Re1 28.Qxe1 Qxd6, and the chances are approximately equal. 19...Rh5? An extremely unsuccessful move! This rook move is completely untimely. Probably Ponomariov was too tired to calculate the variations, so he played rather schematically. 20.h3 Rg8 21.f5! Now the White's knight comes to f4 with a tempo. 21...Rhh8 Black accepts his fault, but makes it even worse. Probably he should have gone for broke: 21...exf5!? 22.Nf4 fxe4! 23.Qxe4 Re5 24.Qh7 Rg3, although Black's position here is very difficult as well. 22.Nf4 Black's position is strategically inferior. He cannot hold the е 6-pawn, yielding the light squares to White's pieces. 22...Bf8 23.Qf2 Rg5 24.fxe6 Gata rules out any surprises. Apparently, he didn't want counting variation after 24.Rc3 exf5!? 24...fxe6 25.Rc3! The White's rook is very active, threatening Nb3-d4! 25...Rh6 26.Nd4 Re5 The Black's rook controls the weakness on e6, however, White decides the game by tactical means. 27.Nd3! Rxe4 28.Nb4! Black's queenside is cracking under the pressure. 28...Rxd4 The only way to avoid immediate disaster. 29.Rxd4 Black does not get real compensation. 29...Qa5 30.Rxh4! Mating attacks are rejected in favor of pure materialism. And this is correct. Minimizing risk is a good quality of an experienced practical player. 30...f5 31.Rxh6 Bxh6 32.Rb3 Nxb4 33.Rxb4 Bc6 34.g4! White opens files and breaks into the enemy camp. 34...fxg4 35.Rxg4 Qe5 36.Rg8+ Kc7 37.Bd3 Be3 38.Qg3 Qc5 39.b4! The last effort. Trading the queens is unavoidable. 39...Qd4 On 39...Qb6 White wins by 40.Qh4! 40.Qg7+ Qxg7 41.Rxg7+ Kd8 42.h4 e5 43.h5 e4 44.Be2 Bf4 45.Rg6 Black resigns. Kamsky played excellently. He defeated a very dangerous opponent without any complications. This means truly superior skill ! Round 5. Tie break. Karjakin (2694) –Alekseev (2716) The fate of the tie-break was decided by deep opening preparation of the Ukrainian. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 The Najdorf Sicilian. 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.f3 Be6 9.Qd2 Nbd7 10.g4 0–0 11.0–0–0 Qc7 12.Kb1 b5 13.g5 Nh5 14.f4 exf4 15.Bxf4 Nxf4 16.Qxf4 Rac8 17.Nd4 Nb6 18.Bd3 Qc5 The cutting edge of theory. 19.Nf5! A strong novelty. Trading on f5 is clearly bad for Black, so he has to defend. In the earlier games the parties showed their peaceful intentions by 19.Nd5 Nxd5 20.exd5 Bxd5 21.Nf5 Rce8 22.Nxe7+ Rxe7 23.Bxh7+ Kxh7 (drawn, Grischuk-Areshchenko, Foros 2006) 24.Qf5+ g6 25.Qxd5 Re2 26.c3, and a draw was agreed in Lupulescu-Kempinski, Kemer 2007. 19...Rce8? Ugly, passive, non-Sicilian. On more natural 19...Rfe8 Sergey prepared 20.Nxe7+ Rxe7 21.e5! – this was one of the main directions of his home analysis. Future will show Sergey's ideas after 19...Bd8!? 20.Nxe7+ During the game I suggested 20.h4, but in this case Black creates solid defense by 20...Qe5! 20...Rxe7 21.e5! A spectacular breakthrough. White instantly livens up both of his minor pieces. The d3-knight aims at h7, and the knight is planning to get to the kingside via е 4. 21...d5 The only move. Both 21...dxe5 22.Qh4 g6 23.Ne4 Qd4 24.Nf6+ Kg7 25.Qxh7# and 21...Qxe5 22.Qh4 g6 23.Rhe1 (or 23.Rde1) 23...Qg7 24.Ne4 Kh8 25.Nf6 Rc7 26.Qd4 Rc6 27.h4 are unsatisfactory. 22.h4 The first suggestion of a positional player is 22.Ne2, and it is quite sensible. However, this move contained a psychological trap. Having placed the knight to d4, White will not get a comfortable advantage, but sharp struggle in the center! See: 22...Nc4 23.Nd4 Qc7! (23...Qb4? 24.Bxc4 bxc4 25.Nc6!) 24.Rde1 Rfe8 25.Re2 Bc8 26.Rhe1, and the e5-pawn tastes badly: 26...Rxe5 (26...Nxe5? 27.Nf3+-) 27.a4! (27.Nf3 Rxe2!; 27.Bxc4? Rxe2!) 27...Rxe2 (27...bxa4 28.Bxc4!) 28.Rxe2 Qd8 (28...Qxf4 29.Rxe8#) 29.axb5 axb5 30.Nxb5, and White gets an advantage in the ending. 22...Nc4 22...d4? is very dangerous for Black: 23.Ne4 Qd5 24.Nf6+! gxf6 25.gxf6 Qxa2+ 26.Kc1 Qa1+ 27.Kd2 Qa5+ 28.Ke2, and Black's losses are severe. 23.h5! The most energetic continuation. White manages to explode the wall. There was another chance to switch to positional play by 23.Bxc4, no tricks this time: 23...bxc4 (23...dxc4 24.Ne4; 23...Qxc4 24.Rd4!) 24.Qd4! with a small but lasting advantage. 23...d4 After 23...Qe3 24.Qh4! White plays Bd3xh7+! and g5-g6+ no matter what, and captures the rook on e7. 24.h6! Logical and strong. The man with a microphone suggested 24.Qe4 g6 25.hxg6 fxg6 (we aren't even talking about 25...Qb4!?) 26.Rxh7?, but Black has the refreshing 26...Bf5!, and White is just a rook down. 24.Qe4 does not win after the more careful 24...g6 25.Bxc4 dxc3 26.Bxe6 Rxe6 27.hxg6 fxg6 28.Rd7 Qxe5 29.Qxe5 Rxe5 30.bxc3 Rf7 31.Rxf7 Kxf7 32.Rxh7+ Ke6 33.Ra7 Rxg5 34.Rxa6+ Kd5, and the rook ending is drawish. 24...g6 The last error. Of the Quarterfinal! After 24...Qxe5! White has a very narrow and beautiful way to a victory, with sacrifices and quiet moves. It starts with 25.Bxh7+! Kxh7 26.hxg7+ Kxg7 27.Qh4, and now 1. 27...Rc8 28.Qh6+ Kg8, and here the only way to win the game is 29.Qf6! Qxf6 30.gxf6 – the e7-rook again lets Black down. 30...Ne5 (otherwise Black is checkmated) 31.fxe7 Ng6 32.Rxd4 Nxe7 33.a4, and White's position is technically winning; 2. The main line: 27… Bf5 28.Qh6+ Kg8 29.Nd5! Bxc2+! (Black also has some nice moves) 30.Ka1! (of course, not 30.Kxc2? Qe2+ 31.Kb1 Qxb2#) 30...f5. The Black's king can run away, but he loses too many defenders in passing: 31.Nxe7+ Qxe7 (or 31...Kf7 32.Qg6+ Kxe7 33.Rh7+ Kd8 34.Qc6!) 32.Qh8+ Kf7 33.Rh7+ Kg6 (33...Ke8 34.Rxe7+ Kxe7 35.Re1+ Be4 36.Qxd4+-) 34.Rh6+! Kxg5 (34...Kf7 35.g6+ Ke8 36.g7!+-) 35.Rg1+ Kf4 36.Qxd4+ Be4. And here White completes the attack by the brilliant 37.Rh2! with an irresistible threat of Rh2-f2. 25.Nd5! A quick knocking out blow. 25...Qxd5 26.Bxc4 The knight that threatened the e5-pawn is destroyed with a tempo. 26...Qxc4 27.Qf6! And here Black resigned. After 27...Qxa2+ 28.Kc1 Qa1+ 29.Kd2 Qa5+ 30.Ke2 d3+ 31.Kf1 the White's king runs out of checks, and his Black's fellow is being checkmated. A nice game! Ponomariov (2705) - Sasikiran (2661) 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 e5 4.Nf3 exd4 5.Bxc4 Nc6 6.0–0 Be6 7.Bb5 Bc5 8.b4 Bb6 9.a4 a6 10.Bxc6+ bxc6 A popular position of the Queen's Gambit Accepted. 11.Nbd2 An interesting novelty. White keeps the bishop on с 1. Probably there are some lines in which it is developed to some other square than b2. Earlier White either played 11.Bb2 immediately, e.g., 11...Nf6 12.a5 Ba7 13.Nbd2 0–0 14.Qc2 Ng4 15.h3 Nf6 16.Ne5 Bd7 17.Rfe1 Qe7 18.Ndf3 c5 19.bxc5 Qxc5 20.Qd2 Qe7 21.Ba3 c5 22.Qxd4 Bb5 23.Qc3 with an advantage to White, Topalov-Nisipeanu, 2007, or included 11.a5 Ba7 and then 12.Bb2, for instance, 12...Qd6 13.Qc2 Ne7 14.Rd1 Bg4 15.Nbd2 0–0 16.Nc4 Qe6 17.Nce5 f5 18.Nxg4 fxg4 19.Nxd4 Qf7 20.Rd2 Rad8 21.Rad1 Rd6 with a good counterplay for Black, Huang Qian-Korbut, Nizhniy Novgorod, 2007. 11...Nf6 12.Qc2 White abstains from е 4- е 5, because it makes Black's counterplay a lot easier. 12...0–0 Keeping a pawn is dangerous: 12...Qd7?! 13.Ne5 Qd6 14.a5! Ba7 15.Nxc6 d3 16.Qc3 Ng4 17.Nf3 0–0 18.Ba3!, and Black indeed has to pay for everything. 13.Qxc6 Re8 Black has returned a pawn and completed development. Considering his bishop pair and a strong pawn on d4, his position looks quite promising. 14.Bb2 Bd7 15.Qc2 Qe7 15...Bg4! looks very strong, and now 16.Rfe1 ( after 16.Ra3 Rc8! Black explodes the center in almost all the variations by с 6- с 5 ) 16...d3! 17.Bxf6 ( safer is 17.Qc4 Bxf3 18.Bxf6 Qxf6 19.Nxf3 Rad8) 17...dxc2 18.Bxd8 Raxd8 19.Rac1 c5 20.Nc4 cxb4! 21.Nxb6 b3 22.Nc4 Bxf3 23.gxf3 Rd3, and White has to seek salvation with an extra piece. 16.Nxd4 Qxb4 It is hard to believe, but 16...Nxe4!? does not lose: 17.Rae1 f5 – the pin looks dangerous. And the Black's king is somewhat weakened. However, is it possible to use it? 17.Bc3 Qc5 18.a5 Ba7 19.Rac1 White has consolidated. He doesn't have any advantage, but at least does not stand worse. It is amazing how quickly Ruslan managed to transform this modest assessment into a completely winning position. 19...Rac8 Krishnan starts making strange moves. He clearly loses control of the game. Stronger is 19...Rad8! 20.Rfe1 Qh5 21.Nf1! A skillful maneuver. White strengthens the center and creates kingside threats. 21...Ng4 22.f3 Ne5 The knight only wasted time, and, moreover, will soon assist White's attack. 23.Kh1 g6? I don't understand how can one play such a move with the bishop on c3 and the queens on board. One could achieve the same goals in a different way: 23...Qg5!, for example, 24.Ne3 c5 25.Ndf5 c4!, and the sequence of Black's previous moves suddenly becomes sensible. 24.Ne3 c6 Allowing the White's knight to f6 via d5 is scary. 25.f4! The knight gives White an important tempo. An important defender is removed from the a1-h8 diagonal 25...Ng4 There is no other way to go. 26.Nxg4 Bxg4 Not better is 26...Qxg4 27.Ne2 Bf2 28.Ba1!, and the thunder roars. 27.Ba1! The battery is about to be set up. 27...Bb8 28.Rf1! Accurate execution. Nothing is gained by 28.Ne2 Bxe2 29.Qb2 f6 30.Qxf6 Qh6 31.Rxe2 Bxf4 32.h3 Be5! 33.Bxe5 Qxc1+ 34.Kh2 Rxe5 35.Qxe5 Qc4, and Black holds. 28...Qh6 In the line 28...c5 29.Nb3 Rf8 the most accurate reply is 30.Nxc5 Bd6 31.Qb2 f6 32.Nb7! Rxc1 33.Qxc1, and White keeps not only a pawn, but the attack as well. 29.Qc3! f6 Neither 29...Bxf4 can help: 30.Rxf4! Qxf4 31.Ne6 Qxc1+ 32.Qxc1 Rxe6 (32...Bxe6 33.Bf6!) 33.h3 Be2 34.Qb2 , and White is winning. 30.Qb3+ Kg7 31.e5! White easily chops the way to the Black's king. 31... c 5 32. Qb 7+ Rc 7 33. Qb 6! Rf7 34.Nc6 Bc7 It is a pleasure to attack with an extra pawn. 35.Qxc5 Qh4 36.exf6+ Kh6 37.Ne7 Bd8 38.Qc4 Rff8 39.Ng8+ Kh5 40.f7 Re7 41.Bf6 And here Black finally resigned. Akopian - Shirov Alexei goes for broke! He started winning game after game with Black pieces. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 The Spanish Sicilian. 3...e6 4.0–0 Nge7 5.b3 a6 6.Bxc6 Nxc6 7.Bb2 b5 8.c4 White fights for the queenside space. 8...bxc4 9.bxc4 Rb8 10.Bc3 d6 11.Na3 e5 And this fight ends in a complete lack of mobility in the center. 12.Nc2 g6! A novelty, and not just a new move, but a whole new developmental plan! Vladimir has such a wonderful memories about this variation that he simply couldn't abstain from repeating it: 12...Be7 13.Ne3 0–0 14.d3 Qe8 15.Rb1 Rxb1 16.Qxb1 Bd8 17.Nd2 g6 18.Nd5 f5 19.exf5 gxf5 20.f4 Rf7 21.Qe1 Rg7 22.Nf3 Qg6 23.g3 Rf7 24.fxe5 f4 25.exd6!, and White won in Akopian-Kasparov, Moscow, 2002. Few people can brag about beating such an opponent... 13.Ne3 Bh6! Indeed, why should the bishop set against the e5-pawn, if there is a chance to run free? 14.Qa4 An attempt to seize the initiative leads to dire consequences. 14...Bd7! Who cares about the a6-pawn anyway? 15.Rfb1 Not knowing what happens next. After 15.Qxa6 Ra8 16.Qb7 (16.Qb5? Nb4 ! ) 16...Rb8 17.Qa6 Black is at least equal . 15...Bxe3! Who could expect Black parting with his bishop so quickly? 16.fxe3 Nd4 Here Akopian sunk into thought. Apparently, his was in extremely aggressive mood, and it predetermined his loss. 17.Qxa6?! There is no danger after 17.Qd1. 17...Ne2+ 18.Kf2 The king decides to support the weak pawns. 18...Nxc3 19.dxc3 Ke7! The Black's king is also quite busy. What a rare pawn structure! I've never seen anything like this, although I studied thousands games. We, mere spectators, failed to realize that White stands worse, despite having an extra pawn. His main problem is total lack of prospective for the knight. It can never be landed on d 5. The pawns are chronically weak . And no real counterplay is seen anywhere . 20.Nd2 A human being is unable to see and play 20.Qa7!? Ra8 21.Qb7 Qa5 22.Qd5, based on the idea 22...Qxc3 23.Ng5 Rhf8 24.Nxh7! Rfb8 25.Rxb8 Rxb8 26.Rd1 with a good game for White. Yet, a human being is quite capable of finding an improvement: 21...Qc8! 20...Ra8 21.Qb7 Qa5! Black begins working on White's numerous weaknesses. 22.Qb2 22.Rb3 Rhb8! 23.Qd5 Be6 24.Qd3 Rxb3 25.Nxb3 Qa3 is also hopeless. 22...Rhb8 23.Qc2 23.Qxb8 Rxb8 24.Rxb8 is completely unacceptable due to 24...Qxc3 25.Rd1 Qc2 (25...Ba4 26.Nb3 Bc6 27.Nd2 Qc2 28.Rbb1) 26.Rbb1 Bg4 27.Rbc1 Qxa2 28.Ra1 Qc2 29.Rac1 Bxd1 30.Rxc2 Bxc2 – the knight is forever chained to the pawns, and the Black's king penetrates via the queenside. 23...Rxb1 24.Nxb1 Rb8 25.Nd2 Qa4! 26.Rc1 After 26.Qxa4 Bxa4 27.Rb1 Rxb1 28.Nxb1 Bc2 29.Nd2 Black wins according to the known plan: 29...Kd7! 30.Kf3 Bd3 31.Kf2 Kc6 32.Ke1 Bc2! 33.Ke2 Kb6 , etc . 26...Qxc2 27.Rxc2 Ba4 28.Nb3 Allowing the rook to b2 is deadly. 28...Bc6 The bishop calls for more pleasures. 29.Nd2 Ba4 30.Nb3 30...h5! Shirov opens the second front, and the more extended it is, the more difficult is White's defensive task. 31.Ke1 The game cannot be closed by 31.h4 f6 32.g3 g5! or 31.g3 f5 32.exf5 gxf5 33.Ke2 h4! 31...h4! Gains space and fixes a weakness. 32.Kd2 Bc6 33.Kd3 f5! It is clear how much more powerful is the bishop compared to the knight with the struggle going on both wings. 34.exf5 After 34.Nd2 Ke6! White quickly gets into zugzwang. 34...gxf5 35.Rf2 Ke6 36.Ke2 Ra8 37.Ke1 Worrying about the g2-pawn leads to losing the c4-pawn. 37...Ra4! 38.g3 hxg3 39.hxg3 Be4! Rushing isn't good: 39...Rxc4 40.Na5? ... though, to be honest, the following line is not that great for White: 40...Rxc3 41.Nxc6 Rxe3+ 42.Kf1 Rxg3. However, why should Black seek such adventures? In the game he wins easily and with simple measures. 40.Rh2 Rxc4 41.Kd2 Ra4 42.Kc1 The material is equal, but White has 4 times more pawn islands than Black. So many weaknesses! 42...c4! 43.Na1 What a humiliation for the knight! 43...Ra8 44.Rd2 After 44.Nc2 Black wins by the unexpected 44...Bxc2 45.Rxc2 Kd5 46.Rd2+ Ke4 47.Rxd6 Rxa2 48.Rc6 Kd3 49.Rc5 Kxc3 50.Kb1 Rb2+ 51.Ka1 (51.Kc1 Re2) 51...Rb8 52.Rxe5 Kc2, and it's all over. 44...Rg8 45.a4 Further resistance is pointless. 45...Rxg3 46.Nc2 Bxc2 47.Rxc2 Rxe3 48.a5 Kd7 49.a6 Kc7 White resigns. Shirov played on a sky-high level in this game! Carlsen – Adams 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 At present Magnus is one of the main inventors in this fashionable line of the Nimzo-Indian. 6...dxc4 7.Qxc4 b6 8.Bf4 Ba6 A daring idea – Black sacrifices a pawn for the initiative, allowing White to trade queens in passing. 9.Qxc7 Qxc7 10.Bxc7 Now only extremely accurate play can give Black compensation for the missing pawn. 10...0–0 A new move. Earlier Black preferred to keep the king in the center, which is perfectly reasonable in the endgame. The preceding games do not create a clear picture of the situation. Actually, top grandmasters aren't paying attention to these games. After 10...Nc6 11.Nf3 Rc8 12.Be5 (12.Bf4!?) 12...Nxe5 13.dxe5 Nd7 14.b4 Bb7 15.e3 Bxf3 16.gxf3 Nxe5 Black equalized in Baburin-Short, Port Erin 1998. A more recent game is 10...Nbd7 11.Bf4 Rc8 12.f3 Rc2 13.Rb1 Nd5 14.Nh3 Nxf4 15.Nxf4 g5 16.Nh3 g4 17.Nf4 Ke7 18.e4 Bxf1 19.Rxf1 gxf3 20.Rxf3, and Black has problems, Bocharov-Kornev, Krasnoyarsk, 2007. 11.Nf3 Rc8 Black's key idea is to invade to c2 with the rook. 12.Bf4 Nbd7 The immediate 12...Rc2 13.Rb1 Nbd7 14.Kd1 Rac8 15.Ne1! R2c6 16.f3!? is promising for White . 13.Nd2 An introduction to a brilliant maneuver. One can also start with 13.Rb1. 13...Rc2 14.Rb1 By no means White should touch the b2-pawn, as it gives new invasion squares for Black's pieces. 14...Rac8 Attention ! Magnus drives the Black's rook from c2 is highly unconventional way: 15.Nb3! And the knight goes to a1! Nothing is too much for him... 15...Bc4 As sad as it is, it was better to retreat at once: 15...R2c6, although White retains an advantage in any case by 16.e3! 16.Na1! An ideal square for the knight! Please don't get me wrong – I am not being sarcastic! In this particular case the odd-looking knight maneuver is indeed very strong. 16...Ba2 17.Nxc2 Bxb1 18.Na1! Black to the post. The rook invasion is no longer possible. 18...Nd5 19.Bd2 e5 Black's only chance is opening the center. 20.e3 Ultimate greed ! We analyzed 20.g3!? exd4 21.Bh3 N5f6 22.0–0 with a comfortable advantage for White, for example, 22...Ba2 23.Rc1 Rxc1+ 24.Bxc1 – the bishop pair is very strong even with equal material. 20...exd4 21.exd4 Nb8 The other way to pick up the d4-pawn is 21...Nf8!? 22.Ba6 Re8+ 23.Kd1 Ne6 24.Re1 Rd8, although it does not bring much relief compared to the text. 22.f3 Nc6 23.Bc4?! The simple 23.Kf2! is clearly stronger, as there is no 23...Nxd4? due to 24.Ba6 Rd8 25.Rxb1. 23...Rd8?! Black returns the favor. Both players failed to calculate the tricky maneuver 23...Ncb4! 24.b3 Nd3+ 25.Kf1 (25.Ke2 Re8+) 25...Nc7! 26.Ke2 Re8+ 27.Be3 Nf4+ 28.Kf2 Nd3+, and White has to trade his powerful light-squared bishop, which considerably hinders his winning chances. 24.Kf2 Bf5 25.Nb3 The knight has returned . White is a pawn up , and his bishop pair is very strong . In fact, the rest of the game is a matter of technique. And Carlsen is up to the task. 25...Be6 26.Rc1 f6 27.a4 a5 28.Bc3 Bf7 After 28...Nf4 29.Bxe6+ Nxe6 White has 30.d5! Rxd5 31.Bxf6! with a big advantage . 29.Nd2 Nde7 30.Bf1 An interesting turn of the plot. 30...Nxd4 31.Re1 White returns the pawn and obtains strong initiative due to weakness of the b6-pawn. 31...Ndc6 32.Nc4 Nd5 33.Rb1! This subtle maneuver had to be foreseen. White saves his bishops . 33...Kf8 In the line 33...Nxc3 34.bxc3 Black cannot save the pawn. 34.Be1! Ke7 35.Kg1! Magnus creates ideal condition for his cannons. 35...Nb8 36.Bf2 Nd7 37.Re1+ Kf8 38.Rd1 Ke7 39.Re1+ Kf8 40.Nd6! A draw is out of question. 40...Ne5 41.Nxf7 Kxf7 The knights are placed well but do nothing. 42.Rd1 Ke7 43.f4! Driving the knights away. As soon as the b6-pawn falls, the a5-pawn is doomed. 43...Ng4 44.Re1+ Kf8 45.Bd4! Look how well Magnus manages his bishops! They attack pawns and restrict the enemy knights . 45...Rd6 46.h3 Nh6 Here Michael has a good practical chance 46...Nxf4!? 47.Re4 Ne6 48.Rxe6 Rxe6 49.hxg4 Re4! 50.Bxb6 Rxa4. Of course, this is better for White, but he has to put a lot of effort to win. 47.Rd1 Nf5 47...Nxf4? 48. Bc 5! drops an exchange. 48.Bf2 Ke7 49.g4 Nh6 50.f5 The pawn advance cleared the way for the White's bishops. Carlsen ' s advantage is already huge. 50...Nf7 51.Bg2 The Black's queenside perishes. 51...Nf4 52.Rxd6 Nxd6 53.Bxb6 Nc4 54.Bc5+ Kd7 55.Bf1 55.b3! is an easy win. 55...Nxb2 56.Bb5+ Kd8 This move is not inferior to other moves. After 56...Kc7 the kingside attack wins: 57.Bf8 Nxh3+ 58.Kh2 Nf2 59.g5! 57.Bb6+ Ke7 58.Kh2 He picked up the enemy pawn and defended his own one. Being greedy means being strong! 58...Nd5 59.Bxa5 White easily won in 18 more moves. Round 4. Game 2. Wang Yue ¬– Cheparinov 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0–0 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.Qd2 f5 9.0–0–0 a6 10.Kb1 Nd7 11.Bd3 Nc5 12.Bc2 A typical position of the Saemisch Variation of the King's Indian. Both sides have to play energetically. The White's idea is to open the files for the kingside attack by exchanging on f5 followed by g2-g4! Black has to act first. 12...b5! 13.cxb5?! Playing into the opponent's hands. More consistent is 13.b4 Nd7 14.c5, and now 14...Ndf6 15.Nge2 Kh8 16.h3 a5 17.a3 axb4 18.axb4 dxc5 19.Bxc5 Rf7 20.g4 Nf4 21.Nxf4 exf4 22.gxf5 Nd7 23.Bd4 Ne5 24.Bb3 Qd6 25.Nxb5 Qb6 26.Qc3!, and White obtained a big advantage in Kohweyer-Goldschmidt , Germany , 1996. 13...axb5 14.Nxb5 Ba6 Black has got two excellent files, and will transfer uncalled visitors to the White's king. 15.Nc3 A novelty. The predecessors weren't great: 15.Bxc5 Bxb5 16.Be3 Qc8 17.Bd3? Qa6 18.a3 (18.Bxb5 Qxa2+ 19.Kc2 Rfb8 20.Qd3 Ra5!) 18...Rfb8 19.Qc3 Bxd3+ 20.Rxd3 fxe4 21.fxe4 Nf6!, and the downfall of the e4-pawn signaled a disaster for White, Palmisano-Bonaveri, Buenos Aires , 1993. 15...Qb8 16.Nge2 The idea of exf5 and g2-g4 is almost gone now. As soon as the e4-pawn leaves its post, opening of the a1-h8 diagonal becomes deadly for White. 16...Qb4 17.Bxc5 On 17.a3 there is 17...Qa5! Hope I don't have to annotate ‘winning a piece' by 18.b4? 17...dxc5 18.a3 Qa5! 18...Qc4? is no good: 19.b3 Rfb8 20.Ka2. 19.Nc1 A nice example of strength of the dark-squared bishops: 19.exf5? Rfb8! 20.Na4 (20.fxg6 Qxa3) 20...Bxe2 21.Qxe2 e4! 22.fxg6 Rxb2+! (rooks are worthless, the bishop is paramount!) 23.Nxb2 Qxa3 24.gxh7+ Kh8 25.Ba4 Rb8 26.Rd2 Nf4, and White loses despite an extra rook. 19...Bc4! No more retreats! The schematic 19...Rfb8? is bad due to 20.Nb3 Qb6 21.Na4!, and the White's knights rule on the queenside. The prophylactic 19...c4 also doesn't work in view of... actually, it is difficult to make a choice! 20.d6! – looks sufficient to me. 20.Bb3 (20.Nb3 Qb6!) 20...Bxb3 21.Nxb3 Qb6 The b3-knight lacks foundation now. It is also important that the road for the a8-rook is cleared. Its power will be revealed soon. 22.Qc2 Rfb8 23.Ka2 Transferring and holding the knight on с 4 can be done only in dreams – 23.Nd2 Qa6! 24.Ka1 Nf4! 25.g3 Nd3 26.Rb1 Nb4 27.Qb3 Qd3, and Black's attack is very dangerous. Now Black has to activate minor pieces to develop the attack. 23...Nf4! The first one comes out. 24.Nc1 c4! And here is the road for the second one. 25.Rd2 Bf8! The last attacker joins the action. White is already helpless. He didn't make any serious mistakes, just selected a wrong strategy: see the 13 th move. 26.g3 Allowing a direct punch. The alternatives are negligible. 26...Bxa3! 27.bxa3 Rxa3+! A classic combination on destroying the king's cover. 28.Kxa3 Qb4+ 29.Ka2 Ra8+ 30.Na4 The king cannot be defended without serious material concessions. 30...c3! What a punishment! In the variation 30...Rxa4+ 31.Qxa4 Qxa4+ 32.Kb1 c3 (32...Nh3 33.exf5 gxf5 34.Re1!) 33.Rc2 Nh3 34.exf5 Qb5+ 35.Ka1 gxf5 36.Na2 White could still resist. 31.Ka1! Wang Yue balances on the brink of a defeat. In the case of 31.Rf2 Rxa4+ 32.Qxa4 Qxa4+ 33.Kb1 the move 33...Nh3 comes with tempo, which is important. The game can continue 34.Ra2 Qb4+ 35.Ka1 fxe4 – the White's center falls apart, and Black wins. 31...cxd2 32.Na2 Rxa4 33.gxf4 White retains an extra piece, but he lacks a tempo for organizing the defense. It all would be different with the rook standing on d1. 33...Qd4+ 34.Kb1 The problem is that 34.Qb2 is met by 34...d1Q+! 34...Rc4! 35.Qb3 Having driven away the queen, Black starts collecting central pawns. 35...fxe4 36.d6 The last attempt. 36...cxd6 37.fxe4 Qxe4+ 38.Kb2 Qxh1 39.Qxc4+ Kg7 40.Qe6! Attention, trap! 40...d1N+! Playing real chess is different from blitzing on the ICC. There is no auto-queen here! 40...d1Q? leads only to a draw: 41.Qe7+ Kg8 42.Qe8+ Kg7 43.Qe7+ Kh6 44.Qg5+! (44.Qh4+? Qh5) 44...Kg7 45.Qe7+. This is perpetual. 41.Kc2 (or 41.Kb3 Qf3+ 42.Kb4 Qxf4+) 41...Ne3+ 42.Kd3 Nf5 The knight comes to defend his king. 43.fxe5 Qf3+ 44.Kd2 Qf2+ 45.Kd3 Qd4+ 46.Kc2 dxe5 The ending with two extra pawns is easily won. 47.Nc3 Qf2+ 48.Kb1 Qg1+ 49.Kb2 Qxh2+ Three extra pawns... 50.Ka3 Qg3 51.Kb4 Qf4+ 52.Ka5 Qd4 53.Nd5 Qc5+ 54.Ka4 Qd6 White resigns. Cheparinov conducted this game in classic King's Indian fashion. Geller and Bronstein would be happy. Nisipeanu – Karjakin The ending does not look dangerous for White. His pieces are active, and the pawn deficit should not be a problem, considering the opposite-colored bishops. So, quick conclusion of this game was quite unexpected. 29...Kh6! An excellent maneuver. The Black's king is heading to f4. 30.a4 bxa4 31.Rxa6?! A serious mistake. After the game Sergey Karjakin suggested the tricky 31.fxg6! with the idea to force taking with the h7-pawn, and then trade the rooks. After 31...fxg6 White can keep the rooks on board by 32.Bxa6! with good drawing chances. 31...Rxa6 32.Bxa6 Kg5 33.fxg6 In the line 33.Kc2 gxf5 34.exf5 Kxf5 35.Bb5 e4 36.Bxa4 Ke5 White cannot stop Black's passers. 33...fxg6! A highly important nuance! The natural 33...hxg6 does not win in view of 34.Kc2 Kf4 35.Kd3 f5 36.Bb7 (but not 36.Bb5? Kf3!) 36...Bc5 37.Bc6 Bd4 38.Bxa4! Kf3 (38...fxe4+ 39.Ke2=) 39.exf5 gxf5 40.Bc6+ Kf4 41.b4 Bb6 42.h4, and the White's pawn distract Black from his enjoyable activity. 34.Kc2 Kh4! The simplest. Black doesn't need the е 4-pawn. 35.Bc8 35.Bf1 is also hopeless: 35...g5 36.Kd3 g4 37.Kc4 (37.Ke2 Bc5!) 37...Bg5 38.Kb4 Bf4–+ 35...g5! 36.Kd3 36.h3 doesn't help in view of 36...h5 37.Bd7 Bc5! 38.Kd3 Bd4, and White has no time to capture the a4-pawn. Therefore, Black simply exchanges pawns on g4, advances his passed pawn, and wins the bishop and the game. 36...g4 37.Kc4 Kh3 After h7-h5 the h2-pawn falls. White resigns. Adams – Carlsen Magnus had to defend a very difficult position for the entire game. It is possible that his position can be held passively, but isn't it better to force a draw immediately? The only problem is that the calculation must be very accurate. 78...Bxc5+! One can easily imagine Adams ' surprise! He thought he played a comfortable position with an extra pawn, and suddenly the opponent delivers a crushing blow. It turns out that the White's queen is vulnerable! 79.dxc5 After 79.Kxc5 Qd5+ the king cannot retreat to b4 due to с 6- с 5+!, and Black captures the queen. And after 80.Kb6 Black must select the checking squares correctly. 80...Qb5+? is a bad mistake: 81.Ka7 Qa5+ 82.Kb8! Qd8+ 83.Kb7, and White wins. Checking from the distance is correct: 80...Qb3+! 81.Ka7 Qa2+ 82.Kb8 Qg8+!, and the king cannot hide. 79...Qxe5 80.Qb7+ Qc7! Black easily holds the pawn ending. 81.Qxc7+ Kxc7 82.Kc4 (82.Ka5 Kb7!) 82...Kd7 83.Kd3 Draw. Round 4. Tie break. Alekseev – Bareev In the namesake's clash the younger one prevailed. White seized a lot of space, but he is not prepared for direct attack. Black starts his offensive first. 26...f6! 27.exf6 gxf6 28.g5?! Opening the enemy king is tempting, but Alekseev misses a strong counterblow. 28.Nc5! is better, finding a spot for the passive knight. 28...fxg5 Simple, but not the best. Black could launch his counterattack by the spectacular 28...e5! Bareev saw it, but he was worried about 29.g6 (on 29.gxh6 there is 29...Qg4!, and on 29.fxe5 Black has 29...hxg5!). Unfortunately, he missed the continuation: 29...exd4! 30.Qg3 Re3 31.Rf3 Kg7!, and the king is very safe on g7, while White has great problems in the center. There is no 32.Nxd4? in view of 32...Nxd4 33.Rxe3 Nf5! 29.fxg5 hxg5 Another inaccuracy. 29...Rf5! retains some advantage. 30.Bxg5 Qh7 30...Rf5 is better again, but the elder Evgeny was already occupied by unsound ideas. 31.Bf6+ Rxf6 This exchange sac is forced. 32.Rxf6 Qxh5+ 33.Kg2 Rg8+ Can White run away? The answer determines the result of the game. 34.Kf1 Qh1+ 35.Ke2 Rg2+ 36.Rf2! He can run away, though not immediately. If Black counted on 36.Kd3? Nb4+ 37.Kc3 Nxa2+ 38.Kd3 Qh7+, he was wrong. 36...Qh2 36...Rxf2+ leads to an inferior ending: 37.Qxf2 Qe4+ 38.Kd2 Nxd4 39.Qf6+ Kh7 40.Nxd4 Qxd4+ 41.Qxd4 Bxd4 42.Rc7+. The most tenacious is 36...Qh5+ 37.Qf3 (less clear is 37.Kd2 Rxf2+ 38.Qxf2 Qh6+ 39.Qe3 Qh2+) 37...Qxf3+ (after 37...Rxf2+ 38.Kxf2 Bxd4+ 39.Nxd4 Qh4+ 40.Kf1 Qxd4 41.Rc2! Black cannot defend the king) 38.Kxf3 Rxf2+ 39.Kxf2 Nxd4 40.Nxd4 Bxd4+ 41.Kf3, although Black can survive only with a little help from his opponent. 37.Rcf1 Here in mutual time trouble Black makes the last mistake. 37...e5? 38.Qf3! After the rook swap on f2, White creates deadly attack against the enemy king. Therefore, Black resigned. ROUND 3. GAME 1. Cheparinov (2670) - Mamedyarov (2752) 1. Nf 3 Nf 6 2. c 4 e 6 3. d 4 d 5 4. Nc 3 Bb 4 5. cxd 5 exd 5 6. Bg 5 Nbd 7 7. e 3 c 5 8. Qc 2 Qa 5 9. Bd 3 c 4 10. Bf 5 0–0 11.0–0 Re 8 12. Nd 2 A popular line. Many elite players apply it with both colors, and Mamedyarov is one of them. 12...g6 13.Bxd7 13.Bh3 occurs more frequently, for example, 13...Kg7 14.Rae1 Ne4 15.Ndxe4 dxe4 16.Bh4 Nb6 17.Bxc8 Raxc8 18.f3 Bxc3 19.bxc3 Qd5 20.Bf6+ Kg8 21.Be5 Nd7 22.fxe4 Qe6 23.Rb1 Nxe5 24.dxe5 Rc7, and weak pawns deprived White of any advantage, Beliavsky-Mamedyarov, Crete, 2007. 13...Nxd7 14.h4 Position search on each move brings references to Mamedyarov's games. A year ago he had White: 14.f3 Nb6 15.Bf4 Bxc3 16.bxc3 Qa4 17.Qc1 Bf5 18.Re1 Qc6 19.Nf1 Bd3 20.Ng3 Re6 21.Nh1 f6 22.h4 Rae8 23.Nf2 Qa4 24.Rd1 Kg7 25.Qb2 R8e7 26.Nxd3 cxd3 27.Rxd3 Nc4 28.Qf2 Rb6!, and Black obtained dangerous initiative for a pawn, Mamedyarov-Aronian, Moscow, 2006. 14...Nb6 15.f3 White is ready to meet Bc8-f5 with a central blow. 15...Bf8 It is time to fortify the kingside. In the case of 15...Bxc3 16.bxc3 Qa4 White plays 17.Qb1!, maintaining control of the e4-square and targeting the b7-pawn. 16.e4 This breakthrough was planned. Weakening of the d4-square is unimportant. 16...Bg7 17.Be3 17...Be6 A new move. In the preceding game Black reacted too sharply: 17...dxe4 18.fxe4 f5 19.e5 Be6 20.h5 Rac8 21.hxg6 hxg6 22.Nf3 Nd5 23.Nxd5 Qxd5 24.Ng5 Bd7 25.Rf3 Bc6 26.Qf2 Bh6 27.Rh3 Bxg5 28.Bxg5. White got a strong initiative but eventually lost in Erwich-Khurtsidze, Korinthos, 2001. 18.a4 Unexpected and strong move. White is ready to hit the b6-knight as soon as the Black's queen leaves the a5-square. 18...Bd7 It is hard to understand why Black had to react to White's previous move. For example, after 18...Rac8 Black should not be worried about 19.Nb5 because of 19...Rc6 followed by Be6-d7. 19.h5 Breaking through in the main direction. The front of the White's attack is very extended! The spectacular 19.b4 leads only to equality after 19...cxb3 (19...Qxb4? 20.a5!) 20.Nxb3 Qb4 21.a5 Nc4 22.Nxd5 Nxe3 23.Nxb4 Nxc2 24.Nxc2 Rac8 25.Nc5 Bxd4+ 26.Nxd4 Rxc5, etc. 19...Rac8 An attempt to take the h5-pawn with the queen does not impress White: 19...dxe4 20.fxe4! Qxh5 21.a5! Nc8 22.Nxc4 b5 23.axb6 Nxb6 24.Nd6 Re7 25.e5, and he gets an overwhelming advantage in the center. 20.Rfe1 As I noticed, Cheparinov does not like playing h5-h6 as White and is not afraid of this move when playing Black. 20...Bc6?! Not best. Or, at least, it does not combine well with Black's previous move. The multi-purpose 20...Rc6!? is advisable. 21.hxg6 hxg6 22.e5! White gains space, utilizing the fact that the opponent's light-squared bishop does not control the f5-square. 22...Na8 This move speaks for itself. Black has problems. The turnaround was useless: 22...Bd7 23.g4!. Perhaps Black should have brought his queen back to the kingside by 22...Qb4, not worrying about 23.a5 – 23...Nd7! 23.Nf1 White received many tempi to build up his attack. 23...Nc7 24.f4 24.Nh2!? also looked promising, relocating the knight to g4. 24...Bd7 The queenside counterplay seems late: 24...Na6 25.f5 Nb4 26.Qd2 Nd3 (26...gxf5 27.Ng3) 27.f6 Bf8 28.Nh2!, and White's attack on the dark squares brings him more than an exchange. 25.Ng3 The bishop cannot get to f5. White is ready to start direct attacking action. 25...Qb6 The return of the main defender does not ease the life of the Black's king. 26.a5 Qe6 27.f5! gxf5 28.Nh5 The simple 28.Rf1! is even stronger. 28...Qg6 29.Nxg7 The direct 29.Nf4 Qg4 30.Ncxd5 (30.Rf1 f6!) 30...Nxd5 31.Nxd5 Bc6 32.Nf4 Bh6 leads nowhere, as Black has certain counterplay. 29...Kxg7 30.Bf4 A successful bluff! In my opinion, White must choose a different way of brining his rooks into play: 30.Rf1 Rh8 31.Rf3 (31.Ne2 Rh4) 31...Rh4 32.Ne2 Rch8 33.Nf4 Qh7 34.Kf2, and his chances are higher. The game can continue 34...Rg8 35.Qd2 Kh8 36.Qb4 Rh2 37.Qe7 Qh4+ 38.Qxh4+ Rxh4 39.Rh3 Rxh3 40.gxh3, and Black has to work hard for a draw. 30...Ne6? One must immediately start fortifying on g4: 30...Rh8! 31.Re3 (31.Qf2 Rh5! 32.Re3 Rch8) 31...Rh4! 32.Rf1 Bc6, and only then touch the knight. It looks like Shakhriyar rejected 30...Rh8 due to 31.e6, but this thrust proves innocent. Black can sacrifice an exchange by 31...fxe6. 31...Nxe6! also gives Black significant counterplay in all variation, e.g., 32.Qf2 (32.Nxd5 Nxf4 33.Nxf4 Qg3! 34.Qd2 (34.Qf2? Rh1+) 34...Rh4!) 32...Qh5 33.Qg3+ Qg4 34.Nxd5 Nxf4 35.Qxf4 Qxf4 36.Nxf4 Rhe8 – this endgame is at least not worse for Black. 31.Qf2! Now there is no time to set up defense. The White's rooks parades to g3. 31...Rh8 32.Re3 Rh5 Perhaps a different way to part with the queen is more tenacious: 32...Nxf4 33.Rg3 ( the banal 33.Qxf4 is also okay) 33...Nd3 34.Rxg6+ fxg6 35.Qd2 Rh5, however, White easily parries Black's counterplay – 36.Nd1! Rch8 37.Nf2, etc. 33.Rg3 Rch8 34.Rxg6+ fxg6 35.Qf3 Rh1+ 36.Kf2 Rxa1 37.Qxd5 Black obtained sufficient material value for the queen, but his pieces lack any coordination. White's attack in the center decides the game. 37...Bc8 Or 37...Nxf4 38.Qxd7+ Kh6 39.e6 Nd3+ 40.Ke3 Re1+ 41.Kd2 Rh7 42.Qc8, and the pawns advance. 38.Ne2 g5 The lost harmony cannot be returned: 38...Rd8 39.Qxc4 Rd1 40.Qc2! Ra1 41.d5!, and White wins. 39.Bc1 The rook is arrested. 39...f4 40.Qxc4 b6 41.d5 Nc5 42.e6 Ra4 42...Ba6 43.Qc3+ Kh7 44.Qh3+! Kg7 45.Qf5 is also hopeless. 43.Qc3+ Kg8 Black's last hope is the knight fork 44.Qf6? Ne4+! 44.Kg1 Re4 And here Mamedyarov resigned, anticipating the queen's invasion to f6. Adams (2729) – Zhou Jianchao (2566) The ending doesn't look dangerous for Black. The White's rook is passive, and the c4-pawn is weak. The Chinese player prematurely loses concentration. 39...a4? A serious positional error. Correct is 39...f6, stopping White's advance on the kingside. 40.Ke4 Rd1 41.g5! Having taken the f6-square under control, White creates a promising idea of f3-f4-f5. In some variations his king comes to f6. 41...Re1+ 42.Kf4 Kd7 43.Bf2! Rf1 44.Ke4 The White's bishop skillfully restricts the opponent's rook. 44...Bxc4 Trading the opposite-colored bishops is an achievement for the side with an advantage. The power of the White's attack is visible in 44...Rb1 45.Ke5 Rb4 46.Rd2+ Ke8 47.g6!, and the pawn suddenly breaks to the 7 th rank. 45.Rxc4 Rxf2 46.Rxa4 The rook ending is very difficult for Black. White has in fact two passed pawns on different wings. 46...Ke6 47.Kf4! Adams executes another accurate move. 47...Ke7 White stretches the enemy defenses in all variation. For example, 47...Rc2 48.a3!? Rc3 49.Kg4 c5 50.f4 c4 51.Ra6+ Ke7 (51...Kd5 52.Ra7) 52.Kf5 Re3 53.Ra7+ Kd6 (53...Kf8 54.a4 c3 55.Rc7) 54.Rxf7 c3 55.Rh7 c2 56.Rh1 Rxa3 57.Rc1 Rc3 58.Kf6! Kd5 59.f5 Ke4 60.g6 Rc5 61.g7 Rxf5+ 62.Kg6 Rf2 63.Rg1! 48.Re4+ Kf8 Black plans to hold on the f7-pawn until the bitter end. However, he loses control over the event on another side of the board. 49.a4 Rf1 50.Rc4 Ra1 51.Kf5 Ke7 52.f4 Ra2 53.Rb4 Rd2 54.Re4+ Kf8 55.Re5! Step by step! No need to rush. 55...Kg7 56.Rc5 Rd4 57.a5 Ra4 Now the strongest pieces joins the action. 58.Ke5! f6+ (or 58...Kg6 59.Kd6 Rxf4 60.Kxc6+-) 59.gxf6+ Kf7 60.f5 The White's kind advances to the queenside. Black resigns. Dominguez (2683) – Carlsen (2714) White has a certain advantage. However, it can only be developed with extremely fine play and some assistance from the opponent. 29.Rc8 Rd8?! A hasty reaction. Stronger is 29...Rd1+! 30.Kh2 Rd8 30.Rc7 A birthday gift to the young opponent. Here White had a very strong 30.e6!!, transposing to the queen ending with an extra pawn in all lines. The main line is 30...Rxc8 31.exf7+ Qxf7 32.Qxc8+ Kh7 33.Qxa6 Qc4 34.Qa3! Qc1+ 35.Kh2 b4 36.Qe3 (36.Qxb4? Qf4+ 37.Kg1 Qc1+) 36...Qxb2 37.Qxe4+ Kh8 ( or 37...g6 38.Qe7+ Kg8 39.Qe6+ Kg7 40.f4) 38.Qe8+ Kh7 39.Qf7, and now White slowly advances on the kingside. Then he can place the queen to d5 and activate his king. 30...Rd1+! Magnus immediately corrects his mistake. 31.Kh2 Rd5 32.Rc8 Rd8 33.Rxd8 Here 33.e6 gives nothing: 33...Rxc8 34.exf7+ Qxf7 35.Qxc8+ Kh7, and the weak pawn of f2 hinders White. 33...Qxd8 34.Qxe4 Qd2! White has no time to consolidate and keep the material. 35.Qa8+ Kh7 36.Qe4+ Kg8 37.f4 Qxb2 38.e6 fxe6 39.Qxe6+ Kh7 40.Qe4+ Kh8 41.Qa8+ Kh7 42.Qxa6 Qd4 The queen cannot hide his monarch from annoying checks. 43.Qxb5 Qxf4+ 44.Kg1 Qd4+ Retreating to f1 drops the а 2-pawn after the check from а 1. 45.Kh2 Game drawn. Kamsky (2714) - Georgiev (2649) White created unpleasant pressure on the kingside. How should Black defend? 25...gxh5?! A risky solution. The structural change isn't in Black's favor. I think Kiril correctly decided that he cannot preserve the pawn structure on the kingside, because White's threats are very dangerous. For example, 25...Kg8 26.c3! Ne6 ( after 26...Nxb3 27.Qg3 White will soon capture the greedy knight ) 27.Ng4! Kg7 (27...Qg7 is bad: 28.hxg6 hxg6 29.Nh6+ Kh8 30.Kf2!) 28.hxg6 hxg6 29.Qh6+ Kg8 30.Kf2! Qh7 31.Qd2 Qe7 32.Rh1 Ng5 33.Bc1 Kg7 34.Qd5! Nf7 35.Bh6+ Nxh6 36.Rxh6 Rh8 37.Rxh8 Kxh8 38.Qc6, and the White's rook invades on d7 with devastating effect. However, it is unclear why he rejected 25...g5! This move makes it difficult for White to create anything real. 26.c3 can be met by 26...Ne6!, then Black just plays Bd8-e7 and Re8-d8. Trade the rooks, put the bishop on d6 – very solid position for Black! 26.c3! Ne6 26...Nxb3 27.Nf5 is bad for Black, as his knight never comes back. 27.Nf5 Ng7 28.Qh3 White does not prevent trading the knights. He has already made serious progress. 28...Nxf5 29.Qxf5 Re6? A suicidal maneuver . Black retains drawing chances by 29...Rg8! and now 30.Rd7 (30.Bc1 Qg6! 31.Re2 Be7!) 30...Qg6 31.Qh3 (31.Qxg6 hxg6 32.Red1 f5 33.Bc1 f4!=) 31...Re7 32.Red1 Rxd7 33.Rxd7 Qg5! 34.Kf1 Be7! 35.Rxe7 Qd2 36.Kg1 h4 37.Rxc7 Rg3 38.Qc8+ Rg8 39.Qh3 Rg3 with a draw. 30.Kf2! Rd6 31.Rxd6 cxd6 32.Rh1 Now White regains a pawn with a clear advantage. 32...Qg6 33.Rxh5 Qxf5 33...Rg8 would only prolong hopeless resistance. 34.exf5 A red carpet lies in front of the White's king. The rest is a matter of technique, and Kamsky's technique has always been very good. 34...Rg8 35.Bc1 Rg7 36.Bh6 Rd7 37.Ke2 Be7 Perhaps this was the best moment to block the road by 37...d5! 38.cxd5 Rxd5 39.Rh4 Rd7, and White has to put some effort to win the game. 38.Rh4 Rd8 Now it is too late: 38...d5? 39.cxd5 Rxd5 40.Rg4! and Bh6-g7xf6. 39.Kd3! The first step . 39...d5 40.cxd5 Rxd5+ 41.Kc4 Rd7 Black has no counterplay: 41...Rd1? 42.Rg4! 42.Rg4 Bd8 43.Kb5 Rf7 44.Kc6! The king has arrived ! 44...Ra7 45.Bf8 h5 46.Rg6 Kh7 47.c4 Rf7 48.Rh6+ Kg8 49.Bd6 All White's pieces have broken into the Black's camp for plundering. 49...Be7 50.Bc7 Rg7 51.Rg6 Rxg6 52.fxg6 Kg7 53.Kd7 Bf8 54.Bxb6 Kxg6 Black resigns. Jakovenko (2710) - Almasi (2691) Dmitry achieved a serious advantage with consistent play in a typical Berlin ending. 42.a4! Pressure on b6 destroys Black's queenside. Transposing to a pawn ending with a protected passed pawn only leads to a draw! White cannot break through the queenside after 47...b5!. 42...Bh5+ 43.Ke3 Bd1 44.a5! bxa5 Passive strategy gives White too wide of a choice of winning combinations. For example, 44...Bc2 45.Nc4 b5 46.Nd6 Bb3 ( or 46...a6 47.Nb7 Kd5 48.b4! and Nb7-c5xa6 ) 47.a6! Ba2 48.Nb7 Kd5 49.Na5! Bb1 50.e6 Kxe6 51.Nxc6 and takes on а7. 45.c4 45.Nb7! significantly simplifies the task: 45...Kd5 46.Nxa5 c4 ( bad is 46...Bh5 47.c4+ Ke6 48.Nb7) 47.Nb7 Bc2 48.Nd6 a6 (48...Bb1 49.Nxc4!), and now White can turn his attention to the h4-pawn – 49.Nf7! Bd1 50.Ng5 Bh5 51.Nf3 Bxf3 52.Kxf3 – this pawn ending is won easily. The king gets to the queenside via b1 and a2. 45...Bb3 46.Kd3 Bd1! Black wants to attack the h3-pawn by Bd1–f3-g2 or even Bd1–g4! 47.Ke3 Bb3 48.Kd3 Bd1 49.Nb7 The only way to play for a win. 49...Bf3 50.Nxc5+ Ke7 51.Nb3 Bg2 52.Nd4 On 52.Nxa5 there is 52...Kd7! 52...Bxh3 53.Nxc6+ Kd7 54.Nd4 Bf1+ 55.Ke3 h3 White has no time to pick up the f5-pawn. 56.Nf3 Bxc4 57.Kf2 Bd5 58.Kg3 h2! 59.Nxh2 Kc6 Here public at the press room got nervous, as people noticed Black's idea to bring his king to b2 and promote his a-pawn. The RCF President Alexander Zhukov started suggesting drawing lines. Probably Jakovenko also had doubts about strength of his position, so he played rather hesitantly. 60.Nf1 The king could bring White a victory: 60.Kh4! Kc5 61.Nf1! ( not 61.Kg5 Kc4!, and Black it at least equal) 61...Kd4 ( on 61...Kc4 follows 62.Ne3+, and on 61...Kb4 – 62.Nd2!) 62.Kg5 Kd3 (62...Ke4 63.Ng3+ Kd3) 63.Kxf5 Bg2 (63...Kc2 64.Ne3+!) 64.e6! Bxf1 65.e7 Bh3+ 66.Kg6 Bd7 67.f5, and White's newborn queen prevents the Black's pawn from queening. 60...Kc5 61.Kf2? Giving up any advantage. It was not too late to switch to the correct 61.Kh4! 61...Kd4 62.Ng3 Be6 63.Nh5 Tricks do not work: 63.Ke2 Kc4 64.Kd2 Kd4 65.Nh5 Ke4! 66.Ng7 Bf7 67.e6 Bg6 68.e7 Kxf4 69.e8Q Bxe8 70.Nxe8 Ke5! 71.Nc7 f4 72.Nb5 Kd5, and Black makes a draw. 63...Kd3 (63...Ke4 also equalizes) 64.Ng7 Bc8 65.e6 Kc2 66.e7 Bd7 67.Nxf5 67.e8Q? even loses to 67...Bxe8 68.Nxe8 Kxb2. 67...Kxb2 68.Nd6 a4 69.f5 a3 70.f6 a2 71.f7 a1Q 72.f8Q The position is equal . The maximum White can achieve is the ending with Q+N vs. Q, which is impossible to win. However, Dmitry decided to continue playing and somehow managed to outsmart his opponent! 72...Qa2 (72...Qa4! is simpler) 73.Qf6+ Kc1+ 74.Kg3 Qb3+ (74...Qd5! 75.Qc3+ Kb1 76.Qb4+ Kc2=) 75.Kf4 Qb4+ 76.Ne4 Qb8+ (76...a5!) 77.Kg5 (77.Qe5 Qxe5+ 78.Kxe5 Be8!=) 77...Qb5+ 78.Kh4 Qb4 79.Qf4+ Kb2 80.Qe5+ Kb1 81.Kg5 a5 82.Nc3+ Kc2 83.Nd5 Qb5 84.Kh6 a4 85.Qe4+ Kb2 86.Qd4+ Kc2 87.Ne3+ Kb3 88.Qd1+ Kc3 89.Nd5+ Kc4 90.Ne3+ Kc3 91.Qc2+ Kd4 92.Qd2+ Ke4 (92...Ke5! 93.Nc4+ Kf6 94.Qd6+ Be6=) 93.Nc4! Qd5 94.Qe3+ Kf5 95.Qg5+ Ke4 96.Qe3+ Kf5 97.Qg5+ Ke4 98.Qg6+! 98...Kd4? The decisive mistake. Zoltan cracks under pressure. Black holds after 98...Kf3! 99.Nb6 Qd2+ 100.Kg7 Qc3+ 101.Kf7 Bc6=. 99.Nb6! Qh1+ 100.Kg7 Bc6 101.Qd6+ Ke3 102.Nd5+! The bishop cannot clone itself. Black resigns . Round 3. Game 2. Alekseev – Fressinet Black's position is unpleasant. His minor pieces are passive and the c5-pawn is weak. It is hard to guess which of the White's central pawns advances, however, Black does not have to rush his fate... 28...f5? Bad time for playing actively. Black should defend carefully by 28...Rc7! 29.Ra7! This was clearly unexpected. 29...fxe4 There is no defense already. In the line 29...Rfe8 30.exf5 Bxf5 31.g4! Be6 32.f5 White drives the bishop from the important diagonal and penetrated to d7 with his rook: 32...Bb3 33.Rdd7 Rcd8 34.Rxd8 Rxd8 35.f6! gxf6 36.Nf5, winning. 29...Qe8 30.exf5 Bxf5 31.Qe5 is also winning for White. 30.f5! Nd5 Or 30...Bxf5 31.Nxf5, and Black loses a piece. 31.Rxd5 Qxa7 32.fxe6 Two pieces for a rook is not all the bad news for Black: the passed pawn on e6 is a real trouble. 32...Rcd8 33.Bxe4 33.Rxd8 Rxd8 34.Nf5! Re8 35.Qe5 decides immediately, as White pushes his pawn to e7. 33...c4 34.Kg2 Rde8 More tenacious is 34...Rxd5 35.Bxd5 Qa2+ 36.Nc2 Qa7, and Black retains some practical chances for a draw. 35.Rd7 Qa2+ 36.Bc2 Rf6 The g7-square cannot be adequately covered. 37.Nd5 Qa8 38.Kg1! Black resigns. Akopian – Malakhov Malakhov was let down by his opening inflexibility, or inexact execution of the opening analysis. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 Qa5 Malakhov's favorite maneuver. The queen can come to h5 in some lines. 8.0–0 0–0 9.Bb3 d6 10.h3 Bd7 11.Re1 Rfc8 After 11...Rac8 12.Nf3 Qh5 13.Qe2 h6 14.Rad1 g5 15.Nd5 Nxd5 16.Bxd5 Ne5 17.Nxe5 Qxe2 18.Rxe2 Bxe5 Black obtained a more pleasant endgame, Wang Hao-Malakhov, Khanty-Mansiysk, 2005 12.Qd2! Less dangerous for Black is 12.Qe2 Qh5! 13.Nf3 h6 14.Rad1 g5 15.Nd5 Nxd5 16.exd5 Ne5 17.Nxe5 Qxe2 18.Rxe2 Bxe5 19.c3 a5, with an approximately even ending, Bologan-Malakhov , Monaco 2006. 12...Be8 A novelty. 10 days before the World Cup Malakhov reacted differently – 12...Qh5 13.Nde2 Qa5 14.Rad1 Be8 15.Bh6 Rd8 16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.Nf4 e5 18.Nfe2 b5 19.Qg5 h6 20.Qe3 Rab8 21.Nd5 Nxd5 22.Bxd5 Ne7 23.Bb3 Qb6 24.Qf3 b4 25.Ng3 Qc7 26.Qg4 Qc8 27.Qh4! White for the initiative and eventually won, Timofeev-Malakhov, Serpukhov 2007. 13.Rad1 A simple and logical reply. 13...Ne5 Preparing the knight invasion to с 4. Since the idea to trade queens on h5 is no longer on the agenda, it is difficult to come up with a better plan for Black. 14.Bh6 This move is also by no means surprising. I can't help wondering whether Malakhov analyzed this position at home. He should have done the homework! 14...Bxh6?! An inaccuracy. On 14...Bh8 there is an unpleasant 15.Nf5, and now 15...Qd8 (or 15...gxf5 16.exf5!, and there is no defense against Qg5) 16.Bf4! Nfd7 (16...gxf5? drops a queen: 17.Bxe5 dxe5 18.Qg5+) 17.Nh6+ Kf8 18.Bg5 – White has strong pressure. Stronger is 14...Nc4! 15.Bxc4, and only now – 15...Bxh6 (on 15...Rxc4 16.Nd5! is unpleasant for White) 16.Qxh6 Rxc4 – this position is quite playable. 15.Qxh6 Now Black has serious problems. 15...Kh8 Trying to drive the queen away from h6. The problem is that after 15...Nc4 White doesn't need to trade on с 4. Much stronger is 16.Nd5! Nxd5 (16...Nxb2? 17.Nxe7+ Kh8 18.Qf8+) 17.exd5, and Black cannot defend his king. And no wonder, as all the defenders are far away. For example, 17...Nxb2 (17...Qd8 18.Re4! and 19.Rh4.) 18.Rxe7 Nxd1 19.Ne6! Qe1+ 20.Kh2 Qe5+ 21.f4, and the mate is inevitable. 16.Nd5 White plays simply and strongly. 16...Ng8 17.Qh4 The queen has to leave the h6-square, but h4 is also a useful square. 17...Nc6 17...Nc4 is disastrous – 18.Nf5! gxf5 19.exf5 – White's unhurried attack reaches it goal – 19...Ne5 20.Nxe7 Nxe7 21.Qf6+! Kg8 22.Qxe7 Ba4 (22...Qd8 23.Rxe5!; 22...Nd7 23.Qg5+ Kh8 24.Re7) 23.Qg5+ Kh8 24.Qf6+ Kg8 25.Qh6 Kh8 26.Bxa4 Qxa4 27.Rxd6 Qxc2 28.Qf6+ Kg8 29.Qxe5, etc. For better or for worse, one had to play 17...e6. 18.e5!! A classy blow! Immediate capturing the е 7-pawn by 18.Nxc6 bxc6 19.Nxe7 doesn't work in view of 19...g5! Of course, the line can be continued, and maybe in the end White has an advantage, but this is too little compared to the game. 18...dxe5 On 18...Nxe5 the strongest reply is 19.f4! Nc6 20.f5!, and Black will pay much more than a single pawn. 19.Nxc6 Bxc6 (or 19...bxc6 20.Nxe7) 20.Nxe7 White's pieces dancing wild in the center. Black cannot defend. 20...Rf8 21.Nxc6 bxc6 22.Qe4 Rac8 23.Qxe5+ Qxe5 24.Rxe5 White has an extra pawn and a serious positional advantage. The rest is a matter of technique. In 25 moves Black resigns. Ponomariov – Tomashevsky Black has an inferior ending. However, the degree of its inferiority is not easy to grasp quickly! 25.Rc6! d5 26.Rd4! An outstanding maneuver. The rook's motion on the 4 th rank shakes Black's defense. The first threat is 27.Ra4! 26...Rd7 27.Rf4+ Ke7 28.Rg4 Kf7 28...g6 drops an important pawn after 29.Rh4! h5 30.Bg5+ Kf7 31.Rf4+ Kg7 32.Rxe6. 28...Rg8 is met by 29.Bc1! – the bishop goes to a3. 29.Rf4+ Ke7 30.Rg4 Kf7 31.Bd4! Rg8 It seems Black has managed to defend all his weaknesses, but a small combination in Capablanca style quickly disillusions him. 32.Rc8!! e5 The main line goes 32...Rxc8 33.Rxg7+ Ke8 34.Rg8+, and White wins a pawn. 33.Rxg8 Kxg8 34.Bxe5 Nc5 Ruslan converts his material and positional advantage in his brand manner – slowly and carefully. 35.Rd4 Kf7 36.Rd2 g5 37.f3 h5 Evgeny's nervous reaction is understandable – no one can just stand still waiting for the inevitable. However, most of his moves only create more weaknesses. 38.b4 Ke6 39.Bd4 Na6 40.a3 Nc7 41.Be3 g4 42.a4! Fixing Black's pawns on the squares of its bishop is quite useful. 42...Ne8 43.Rd4 Rg7 44.Bf4 Nf6 45.Rd3 Rd7 46.Re3+ Kf7 47.Be5 Ng8 48.h3! The king joins the struggle. 48...gxh3+ 49.Kxh3 Ne7 50.b5! a6 51.Rb3 axb5 52.Rxb5 Ra7 53.Rxb6 Rxa4 White picks up a second pawn, and further resistance loses any meaning. 54.Rf6+ Ke8 55.Bd6 Nc8 56.Bf4 Ra2 57.e3 Ne7 58.Bg5 Nc8 59.Rh6 Rf2 60.Rh8+ Kd7 61.Rd8+ Kc7 62.Rxd5 Black resigns. Onischuk – Shirov 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.e3 b5 6.a4 Bb4 7.Bd2 a5 8.axb5 Bxc3 9.Bxc3 cxb5 10.b3 Bb7 11.bxc4 b4 12.Bb2 Nf6 13.Bd3 0–0 14.0–0 Nbd7 15.Re1 Ne4 16.Qc2 f5 17.c5 Qc7 18.Bb5 Bd5 One of the critical position in the Noteboom Variation. Black has occupied the key squares and prepares the kingside attack. 19.Qe2 A new move based on general positional considerations. In Rogozenko-Apicella, Bucharest , 2000, a draw was agreed after 19.Rec1 Ndf6 20.h3. A clearly premature decision! Another positional idea 19.Nd2, intending to put the pawn on f3, runs into the concrete 19...Nxd2 20.Qxd2 Qb7 21.Qe2 (21.Bf1 a4!) 21...Bxg2 22.Bxd7 (22.e4!? Bf3!) 22...Rf6! 23.c6 Rg6 24.Bxe6+ (24.cxb7 Bf3+ 25.Kf1 Bg2+ 26.Kg1=) 24...Kh8 25.Bxf5 Qxc6 26.Qh5 Bh1+ 27.Kf1 Bf3 28.Bxg6 Bxh5 29.Bxh5 a4, and both parties are accepting great risks in this wild position. 19...Ndf6 20.h3?! A very risky move that creates a target for Black's attack! Interesting complications arise after 20.Ne5!? Ng4! 21.f3 Nxe5 22.fxe4 (22.dxe5? Nxc5) 22...Ng4 23.e5, and the chances of both sides appear to be balanced. 20...g5! Aggressive chess is winning chess! Albeit no one could expect that the effect will be so drastic. 21.Ne5 It feels like the strong knight on е 5 secures White from any dangers, but... 21...g4! 22.hxg4 The first reflex of the defender is to lock the position in a dangerous zone. However, 22.h4 has a disadvantage – 22...g3! 23.f3 Nf2, and the Black's queen goes to take the h4-pawn. The second reflex is to drive back the attacking pieces. However, the relevant lines are very complicated: 22.f3!? gxf3 23.gxf3 Ng5 24.h4 Nf7, and now 25.Kf2 is followed by 25...Nxe5 26.dxe5 Ng4+! 27.fxg4 (27.Kg1) 27...fxg4+ 28.Kg1 Rf3 with dangerous attack. Therefore 25.Red1! Kh8 26.Kf2, and the White's king is ready to escape via е 1. This was the chance! 22...fxg4 The butchers come to the White's king via the opened files. 23.Nd3 23.f3?! is not critical any longer, as Black has a simple way to keep their siege crew near the gate – 23...Ng3! 24.Qd1 (24.Qf2 Nfe4!) 24...gxf3 25.gxf3 Qg7, etc. The greedy 23.Nxg4 is not better: 23...Qg7 24.f3 Nxg4 25.fxe4 Rf2! 23...Qg7! A simple and strong idea – the queen goes to h6, and then Black plays g4-g3. White's position is already very difficult! 24.Nf4 Qh6 25.Rf1 Or 25.Qc2 g3 26.fxg3 Ng4 27.Nh3 Rf2! 28.Re2 Rxg2+! 29.Rxg2 Qxh3, and White is helpless. 25...g3 26.Nh3 Rotary movements of the knight led him to an unpromising square. 26...gxf2+ 27.Rxf2 (27.Nxf2 is also unsatisfactory: 27...Ng3 28.Qd1 Nfe4) 27...Nxf2 28.Nxf2 Having achieved a noticeable advantage, Alexei doesn't stop. He continues the attack is a spectacular manner: 28...Bxg2! 29.Kxg2 Ra7 A very strong quiet move. With the arrival of the last reserve piece, Black takes firm control of the situation. 30.Rh1 On 30.Kf1 Ne4 31.Qg4+ Black wins by 31...Qg6! 30...Qg6+ 31.Kf1 Ng4 Playing White, most players would think about immediate resignation, but Alexander finds a stunning resource. 32.Be8! Qb1+ (32...Rxe8? 33.Qxg4) 33.Kg2 Rxf2+ 34.Qxf2 Qxh1+! 35.Kxh1 Nxf2+ The complications ended in the position with an extra exchange to Black. He wins by pushing the passed pawns. 36.Kg2 Nd1 37.Bc1 b3 38.e4 b2 39.Bxb2 Nxb2 40.Bb5 a4 41.d5 exd5 42.exd5 a3 And White resigns. Carlsen – Dominguez Black could place the king on g7, but he didn't do it. 24.fxg6 hxg6 25.Bd7! And here is the punishment. The rook has to pay for its king laziness. 25...Rc4 The idea is simple: 25...Rc7 26.Nd5! Rxd7 27.Nf6+, and White wins an exchange. 26.b3! Rc7 On 26...Nxb3 the strongest reply is 27.Nxb5 axb5 (27...Nd2 28.Qd5 Rf8 29.Nxd6 Rd4 30.Qc6) 28.Qxb3 Rf8 29.Bxb5 Rc1 30.Rxc1 Qxc1 – an extra pawn and positional advantage should bring White the victory. 27.Nd5 Rc1? Reluctance to follow the lines suggested by the opponent only worsens the situation for Dominguez. Black should play without an exchange. 28.h4! Rxe1 Probably the Cuban missed 30.Qf1! after 28...Qd8 29.Rxc1 Bxc1. 29.hxg5 Bxg5 30.Bg4 A rook is no match for a queen. The game continued for 11 move moves, and then Black resigned. Round 3. Tie break. Inarkiev – Aronian Everything went right for the young Russian in the beginning. He demonstrated a strong novelty, won material and obtained a big lead on the clock. However, the outcome was sad... 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.0–0 Nbd7 11.Ne5 Bg7 12.Nxd7 Nxd7 13.Bd6 a6 In this well-known position of the Anti-Moscow Gambit, Inarkiev uncorks a new idea. 14.Re1! Earlier White played 14.a4, 14.Bh5 and 14.e5 with many games in each direction. 14...c5 Aronian bravely faces the danger. 15.dxc5 Rc8 16.a4 White breaks the opponent's pawn phalanx on the queenside. This is a necessary intro to the combination. 16…b4 17.c6! Bxc6 17...bxc3 leads to a difficult position after 18.cxb7 Rc7 19.bxc3 Rxb7, and here, apart from taking the c4-pawn, White has an interesting idea 20.e5! 18.Nd5! Now the е 1-rook works to its full potential. Obviously, accepting the sacrifice leads to a disaster. 18...Ne5 19.Be7! Qd7 Levon makes a difficult decision to part with the queen. He obviously realized that the most principled continuations were thoroughly analyzed and memorized by his opponent. For instance, 19...Qa5 20.Bxb4 Qd8, and here White can choose between 21.Ne7 and 21.Bh5!? 20.Nf6+ Kxe7 21.Nxd7 Bxd7 Here Aronian had less than 5 minutes left on the clock. Inarkiev enjoyed the same starting 25 minutes. However, the position is kind of misleading. Indeed, White has a big material advantage, but there is certain positional compensation. Black's queenside pawns are potentially dangerous. Even during the analysis it is difficult to find a direct way to a win for White. 22.Qd2 a5 23.Rad1 Ernesto doesn't want to think about defending, and leaves the a4-pawn unprotected. The queen could go to b6 in a different way: 23.Qe3. 23.Red1 is a viable alternative. 23...Rhd8 24.Qd6+ Ke8 25.Qb6 Ra8! Levon acts extremely calmly in this critical situation. The queen's trip turned pointless. 26.Rd6 26.Qe3!?, turning attention to the kingside, looked more promising. 26...Rdb8 27.Qc5 Rc8 28.Qb6 Rcb8 29.Qe3 Rc8 Black speculates by the possibility of creating a passed pawn by с 4- с 3. 30.h4 Ke7 Suddenly it turns out that the White's rook doesn't have a decent square. 31.Rb6 g4 32.f4 In my opinion 32.Rb7 Ke8 33.Ra7 is simpler – after the rooks are swapped, the queen comes back to business. 32...gxf3 33.gxf3 Bxa4 Here the position is already unclear. Black obtained real counterplay. Inarkiev goes all-in. 34.f4 White could still hope to take the upper hand after 34.Ra1!, concentrating on the queenside action. 34...Nd7 35.e5 There is no coming back: 35.Rb7 Bxb2! 35...Nxb6 36.Qxb6 Kf8 A well-timed escape. 37.Bh5 37.Bf3 Rab8 38.Qxa5 Be8 gives no winning chances, but might help to make a draw. 37...c3! 38.f5!? The big race starts. Either White mates, or loses due to Black's overwhelming material advantage. One could still return to a defensive plan by 38.bxc3 bxc3 39.Rc1. 38...cxb2 39.Qd6+? The decisive mistake. White could make a draw by 39.Qb7! Be8 40.f6 Rc1 (not 40...Bh8? 41.Qe4 Rc1 42.Qh7 Rxe1+ 43.Kh2) 41.Bxf7! Rxe1+ 42.Kh2 Bxf7 (or 42...Rh1+ 43.Qxh1 Bxf6 44.exf6 Kxf7 45.Qg2! Kxf6 46.Qxb2+ Kf7=) 43.Qxa8+ Be8 44.Qa7!, and Black cannot avoid the draw even by 44...Bd7 45.fxg7+ Kg8 46.Qa8+ Kxg7 47.Qg2+ Kh8 48.Qxb2 Bc6 49.Qf2 with perpetual. 39...Kg8 40.Bxf7+ Kh8! 41.f6 Rc1 42.fxg7+ Kxg7 43.Qe7 Rxe1+ 44.Kh2 Rh1+! 44...b1Q is premature: 45.Bh5+ Kh8 46.Qf6+ Kh7 47.Qf7+, etc.. 45.Kg3 Rg1+! 46.Kh2 And now, when the rook can protect its king, it is time to place a new queen. 46...b1Q 47.Be8+ Kh8 48.Qf6+ Rg7 White runs out of checks and resigns. ROUND 2. Day 1 Aronian (2741) - Gustafsson (2606) The Anti-Moscow theme remains dominant at the World Cup. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4! Levon absorbed the Mexican lesson and is again ready to continue the theoretical discussion. He is ready to the r-r-r-rumble! 6...dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Ne5 h5 10.h4 g4 11.Be2 Bb7 12.0–0 Nbd7 13.Qc2 Nxe5 14.Bxe5 Bg7 15.Bg3 Qxd4 White has sacrifices two pawns for the initiative. Black has a single but serious problem – king's safety. For instance, if he castles short, White can quickly create mating threats by e4-e5 and Nc3-e4-g5! 16.Rad1 The last revelation from the great ones is 16.Rfd1 Qc5 17.Bd6 Qb6 18.a4 a6 19.e5 Nd7 20.a5 Qa7 21.Ne4 c5 22.Ng5 Nxe5 23.Bxe5 Bxe5 24.Bxc4 bxc4 25.Qa4+ Kf8 26.Rd7 Bd5 27.Rd1 Bd4 28.Rxa7 Rxa7 29.b3!, and White retains dangerous initiative, Grischuk-Svidler, Mexico, 2007. 16...Qb6 17.b3! A strong novelty. White makes the queenside unattractive for the Black's king. Straightforward play leads nowhere – 17.e5 Nd5 18.Ne4 0–0–0 19.Nd6+ Rxd6! 20.exd6 f5 21.Kh2, and here in Wu Shaobin-Al Sayed, Doha, 2003, Black could get a big advantage by 21...f4! 22.Qg6 Bxb2 23.d7+ Kb8 24.Qe8+ Qd8! – White's threats are parried, and he is too short on material. 17...cxb3 18.axb3 a6 On 18...Nd7 19.e5! looks very strong: 19...Nxe5 (19...0–0–0 20.Nxb5) 20.Ne4, and the dark-squared wind begins blowing around the Black's king. 19.Rd2 A tricky prelude. Levon keeps the pawn on e4 for a moment. 19...c5 A very double-edged decision. Formal logic (the b7-bishop plays a more active role) does not work in such a sharp position. Everything is very concrete! 19...Nd7 deserved very serious attention. 20.Rd6 20...Qa5?! This move is definitely not the best. One must not send the queen away from the siege. Safer is 20...Bc6, e.g., 21.e5 Nd7 22.Ne4 Bf8 23.Rfd1 Bxd6 24.Nxd6+ Ke7 25.Bf4 Rag8, and Black holds. 21.e5 Now it's the time! 21...Nd7 In the line 21...Nd5 22.Ne4 Nb4 White chooses between simple queen retreat to b1 and an interesting queen sacrifice – 23.Rxe6+!? fxe6 24.Nd6+ Kd7 25.Qg6 Kc6 26.Qxg7 Qc7 27.Qg6 Qe7 28.Rc1 Kb6 29.Bf4 Rag8 30.Qb1, and White has a dangerous attack for an exchange. 22.Rfd1 More accurate is 22.Ne4! with the idea 22...Nxe5 23.Bxe5 Bxe5 24.Qxc5! 22...0–0–0 And here 22...Nxe5!? would give Black certain chances. 23.Ne4 Qc7 23...Qb4 is adequately met by 24.Ng5 Rhf8 25.Qh7! 24.Nf6! The d6-square was occupied, but there is another one, and also quite decent. The g3-bishop plays the first violin in White's attack. 24...Nxe5 An attempt to pay the ransom. One can keep the material balance, but it does not help surviving: 24...Bxf6 25.exf6 e5 26.Qf5 Bc6 27.f3!, and White tears Black's shaky fortress apart. 25.Bxe5 Rxd6 26.Rxd6 Bxf6 27.Bxf6 Qxd6 28.Bxh8 Black will not last till the endgame. White's attack on the dark squares decides the game. 28...Qd5 29.Bf1 Kc7 30.Qc3 Kb6 31.b4! c4 (or 31...cxb4 32.Bd4+ Ka5 33.Qa1+!) 32.Qa1 Kc6 33.Qf6 Qd7 34.Qh6 Qd5 35.Qf8 You can't stop the flood like that. 35...Qf5 36.Qe8+ Kc7 37.Qe7+ Now 37...Kc6 is followed by 38.g3!, and 37...Kc8 runs into 38.Bf6! Therefore Black resigns. Mamedyarov (2752) - Kozul (2609) Black defended a difficult position for quite a while, but failed to complete his task. 36...Rd5? One could keep balancing on a brink by 36...Rd7 37.Bb3 Rf8 (weaker is 37...Kg6 38.Rxf7 Rxf7 39.h5+! Kg7 40.Bxf7 Kxf7 41.Rxd4+-) 38.Bxf7 Rfxf7 39.Rxh6+ Ke5 40.Re1+ (40.Rh5+ Ke4 41.Rg5 Rg7) 40...Kd5 41.Rh5+ Kc4 42.Rg5 Kd3!, and the d4-pawn can become a headache for White. 37.Rxf7+! And Black resigns, not waiting for 37...Kxf7 38.Bb3 Rbd8 39.Rxd4 Ke6 40.f3, and White wins the pawn ending. Avrukh (2641) - Kamsky (2714) The sharp middlegame struggle led to an unpleasant ending for White. 44.Re2?! An unfortunate inaccuracy, probably provoked by tiredness and lack of time. White has to bring the king to the center as soon as possible: 44.Kf3! Rd3+ 45.Be3 b4 46.Ke2 Rd5 47.Rc4 Rd6 48.e7! Re6 49.Kd2 Kxe7 (49...b3 50.Rc3 b2 51.Rb3 Na5 52.Rb8+ Kxe7 53.Kd3=) 50.Bc5+ Kf6 51.Bxb4 Nxb4 52.Rxb4, and White makes a draw. 44...Rd5! 45.Bf2 b4 Continuing the lethal maneuver. 46.Ra2? Missing the last opportunity to centralize His Majesty by 46.Rc2 Rd6 47.Kf3 Rxe6 48.Rb2, and as soon as the Black's rook leaves the e-file, the king progresses. 46...b3! 47.Ra1 b2 48.Rb1 Rd2 49.Kf3 Too late. 49...Na5 50.Bh4 Nc4 51.f5! Boris defends resourcefully. On 51.Bf6 the simplest is 51...Rc2 52.Ke4 Rc1 53.Rxb2 Nxb2 54.Bxb2 Re1+! 55.Kd5 Rh1, etc. 51...Rd5 Gata avoids the trap. 51...gxf5? 52.Bf6! Kf8 53.Rg1 Rd6 (53...Nd6 54.Rb1!) 54.e7+ Kf7 55.Rg8 Re6 56.Rf8+ Kg6 57.Bxb2 Rxe7 58.Bd4 gives White good saving chances. However, more accurate is 51...Rd6!, and the White's king does not have a good retreat square. On 52.Kg3 Black wins by 52...Rd5! 52.fxg6? The final blowup. White is still in the game after 52.Ke2! gxf5 53.Rg1! For instance, he has a chance to survive in the following ending: 53...Re5+ 54.Kd3 Rxe6 55.Kxc4 Re4+ (55...Rc6+ 56.Kb3 Rc1 57.Rg8+ Kf7 58.Kxb2!=) 56.Kb3 Rxh4 57.Kxb2 Rxh3 58.Rf1! Rh5 59.Kc3 – a book draw, although Black's practical chances to win a slightly higher. 52...hxg6 53.Kg4 Rd1! White resigns. Ponomariov (2705) – Wang Hao (2643) It looks like White has time to regain the d3-knight and obtain strong compensation for a pawn. However, the Chinese player finds a nice exchange combination that transposes to a winning ending. 25...Qxd1! 26.Qxd1 Nxb2 The weak back rank is White's major problem in this position. 27.Qf1 Rd1 28.Re1 Rxe1 29.Qxe1 Rd8! The second shell falls into the same hole – to d1. 30.Bd6 Bxc5! Bishops cannot stop the shells. Their mass is larger, but their impulse is smaller! 31.Bxc5 Rd1 32.Qxd1 Nxd1 33.Bd4 The Black's knight is trapped, but it gets assistance from the pawns. 33...b5! 34.axb5 The line 34.Kf1 b4 35.Ke2 Nc3+ 36.Bxc3 bxc3 37.Kd3 Kd7 38.Kxc3 leads to a pawn ending, in which Black could get stuck on a reef: 38...Kd6 39.Kc4 c5 40.g4 Kc6 41.f4 Kd6 42.h4, and here one should not pay attention to White's actions: 42...Kc6! (after 42...h6? 43.h5! White even wins! The breakthrough threat g4-g5 forces Black to abandon the c5-pawn) 43.g5 f5 44.h5 Kd6 45.Kb5 Kd5 46.Kxa5 Kd4! 47.Kb6 c4 48.a5 c3 49.a6 c2 50.a7 c1Q 51.a8Q Qc5+. Trading the queens is inevitable, and the Black's king comes to the kingside first. 34...cxb5 35.Kf1 b4 36.Ke2 Nc3+ 37.Kd3 f5 Black has successfully evacuated the knight. The game continued until the move 76, but its outcome was never in doubt. White resigns. Van Wely (2679) - Bareev (2653) The Dutch grandmaster made a wrong step when the draw was within his reach. 49.Qe3? A neat pawn sacrifice could force the queen trade: 49.h5! Qxh5 50.Rd2! Ra5 51.Rh2! – a draw is inevitable. 49...Qc7+! Now White cannot survive. 50.Qf4 After 50.Rf4 the Black's king delivers the final blow: 50...Ra4 51.Kg4 f5+ 52.Kg3 Kf6 53.Qd2, and now 53...g5! 54.hxg5+ Kxg5, and the White's rook perishes. 50...Qc2 51.Qe5+ Kh7 52.Kg4 Qc1! An accurate finish of the attack. White resigns. Onischuk (2674) - Nikolic (2657) The following exchange sacrifice became standard nowadays. 16.Rxe6! fxe6 17.Qe2 The е 6-pawn is threatened, and the White's queen is heading to h7. Even if White fails to capture material, he gains long-lasting initiative. 17...Qd7 18.Qe4 g5 Bad is 18...Rfe8 19.Qh7+ Kf8 20.Nxd5 exd5 (or 20...Qxd5 21.Rc5! Qd7 22.Rxc6! bxc6 23.Bb4+ Re7 24.Bg6, and mate on h8) 21.Bg6 Qe6 22.Re1 Qg8 23.Qxg8+ Kxg8 24.Bxe8, and Black loses a piece. An attempt to keep the material advantage without creating additional weaknesses by 18...Rfd8 reminds of healing with arsenic: 19.Qh7+ Kf8 20.Nxd5 (less clear is 20.Bg6 Nxc3 21.bxc3 Ke7!) 20...exd5 21.Ne5! Bxe5 (21...Nxe5 22.dxe5 Bxe5 23.Re1!) 22.dxe5 Nxe5 (22...Qe6 23.Bf5 Qxe5 24.Re1 Qf6 25.Bb4+! Nxb4 26.Bg6!) 23.Bb4+ Kf7 24.Bf5 Rh8 25.Qxh8 Rxh8 26.Bxd7 Nxd7 27.Rxc7, and White obtains an almost decisive advantage. 19.h4 The weather around the Black's king is getting stormy. White could launch the wave from another wing as well: 19.Na4!? 19...Rae8 20.hxg5 hxg5 21.Nxg5 21.Ne2! is the most unpleasant reaction for Black. 21...Bxd4 22.Nf3 The Black's king is completely exposed, and can only be assisted by his pieces. 22...Nf6 23.Qg6+ Kh8 In the variation 23...Qg7 24.Nxd4 (24.Bh6 Bxf2+!) 24...Nxd4 25.Bh6 Qxg6 26.Bxg6 White regains an exchange and obtains a small edge in the ending. 24.Ne2! White regroups in a direction of the main target. 24...Bb6 Being greedy is wrong: 24...Bxb2 25.Rb1 Bxa3? 26.Bc3 e5 27.Rxb7 Bd6 28.Qh6+ Nh7 29.Ng5 Re7 30.Nf4!, and White gets back the material with interest. 25.Bh6 The unhurried 25.Nf4! is even stronger, planning to meet 25...Qg7 by 26.Ng5! 25...Rf7 26.Ng5 The exchange has to be returned. 26...Ne5! However, it is not all that bad. 27.Nxf7+ Qxf7 28.Qxf7 Nxf7 29.Bf4 Black made the maximum: obtained a slightly inferior ending. However, he eventually lost in the subsequent struggle. 29...Ng4 30.Bg3 Nfe5 31.Be4 Rf8 32.Rf1 c6 33.Nf4 Rf6 34.Nh3 Nc4 35.Rd1 Rf7 36.b3 Nxa3 37.Bf3 Rg7 38.Re1 Nb5 39.Rxe6 Nc7 40.Bxc7 Bxc7 41.Re8+ And Black resigns in view of 41...Kh7 42.Be4+ Kh6 43.Rh8+ Rh7 44.Rxh7#. ROUND 2. Day 2 Radjabov (2742) - Macieja (2606) Black grabbed a pawn in the opening and insisted on holding it at all costs. The b3-bishop looks ugly indeed. However, right now Black has created his first threat in this game. 23.Ne4? Too hesitant and probably wrong. Radjabov should have punched first by 23.d5! (suggested by Svidler) 23...b4 (other replies are just bad) 24.axb4 axb4 25.dxc6 bxc3 (25...Nc5? 26.Nd5) 26.cxd7 Qxd7 27.bxc3 Ra6 28.Bd4 – White retains the initiative with even material. The Black's bishop stays on awkward b3-square. 23...c3! What was ugly, becomes beautiful! 24.Nxc3 Bc4 25.Qh5 A bit more accurate is 25.Qc2 Bxf1 26.Rxf1 with the idea 26...c5 27.Nxb5! 25...Bxf1 26.Rxf1 c5! Another powerful thrust. Black not only released his bishop and won an exchange, but also demolished the White's center. 27.Bf4 Bad is 27.d5? Bg5!. It is not easy to survive after 27.Bd5 Nb6! 28.Qxg6 Nxd5 29.Qe4 Nxe3 30.Qxe3 cxd4 31.Qxd4 Qc6, too. 27...cxd4 28.Nxb5 Nc5 29.Nxd4 Ne6 30.Nf5 Teimour wants to keep as many pieces on board as possible. 30...Nxf4 31.gxf4 Bc5+ 32.Kh1 Qb5 However this allows the opponent activating his pieces. 33.Ng3 Rd8 34.Qh4 White has ran out of attacking resources. 34.Be4 is met by a nice combination 34...Qxf1+! 35.Nxf1 Rg1#. 34...Rd2 35.f5 Rg5 36.e6 The last desperate blow and, coincidently, a blunder. 36...Rxg2! After the queen check from е 2 and a capture on g3 Black captures the rook on f1. White resigns. Gustafsson (2606) - Aronian (2741) Tune in for another daily episode of the Anti-Moscow Gambit series! After titanic struggle in the first game, the players flipped the board, but not the character of struggle. 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.0–0 Nbd7 11.Ne5 Bg7 12.Nxd7 Nxd7 13.Bd6 a6 14.a4 e5 15.d5 c5 16.b4 The theory of this line keeps moving forward. Levon demonstrates a strong novelty: 16...Qb6! Black shows no interest in material and simply completes development. This line can safely be named the Khanty-Mansiysk. One can make a nice collection of games from this World Cup already: 16...cxb4 17.Bxb4 a5 18.Bd6 b4 19.Nb5 Rc8 20.Bxc4 Rxc4 21.Qb3. The crossroads. In the first round Black tested 21...Rc8 22.Rac1 Bf8 23.Rxc8 Qxc8 24.Qe3 Nf6 25.Rc1 Qd8 26.Bxe5 Be7 27.d6 0–0 28.dxe7 Qxe7 29.Bd6 Qxe4 30.Qxe4 Bxe4 31.Bxf8, and White won, Zhao Jun (2552) -Harikrishna,P (2668)/ Khanty-Mansiysk 2007. The second round saw 21...Qc8 (22.Bc7 Qxc7 23.Nxc7+ Rxc7 24.Rac1 Nc5 25.Qh3 Bc8 26.Qf3 g4 27.Qe3 Bf8 28.f4 gxf3 29.Qxf3 f5 30.Qg3, and the result was the same, Gustafsson,J (2606) - Rodshtein,M (2615)/ Khanty-Mansiysk 2007. 17.bxc5 Nxc5 18.Bxc5 Qxc5 19.axb5 White cannot allow b5-b4. 19...axb5 20.Rxa8+ Bxa8 21.Qa1 Only White can have problems after 21.Qb1 b4 22.Na4 Qa5 23.Qa2 0–0 24.Bxc4 Rc8 25.Bb3 Bf8. 21...0–0 22.Qa5 Rb8 23.Rb1 Bf8 The forced play is over. White has to choose which way he is going to gather Black's pawns. 24.Rxb5 On 24.Nxb5 24...f5! looks promising. For instance, 25.Qa6 fxe4 26.Qe6+ Kh7! 27.Qf5+ Kg8 28.Qe6+ Kh7, and White cannot avoid the move repetition. 24...Rxb5 25.Qxb5 Let us examine the only way to get away from the drawing lane: 25.Nxb5!? Bb7 26.Qa4 c3! (26...Qb6) 27.Qc2 Ba6 28.Qxc3 Bxb5 29.Qxc5 Bxc5 30.Bxb5 – but here is the draw again! 25...Qxb5 26.Nxb5 Bb7 At a lightning speed! 27.Bxc4 This is over. Exchanges are inevitable. 28.Kf1 Bxb5 29.Bxb5 Bc5 Of course, this pawn should be killed. Do not fool around with bishops! 27...Ba6 What we see here is a conclusion of the opening discussion. Total dry equality. 30.f3 Kf8 31.g3 Ke7 32.Kg2 Be3 33.Kh3 Bg1 34.Bc4 Kd6 35.Ba6 Kc7 36.Kg2 Be3 37.h4 gxh4 38.gxh4 Kd6 39.Kg3 Ke7 40.Kg4 f6 Game drawn. Shirov (2739) - Shulman (2616) Black won the opening battle. His pieces are active, the White's king is vulnerable, and White's queenside is out of play. However, one has to rush, as the White's pawn trio is near promotion. 24...Ne3 The most accurate is 24...d3! 25.cxd3 (25.Qg2 Qh5+! and d3-d2) 25...Rh8!, and White is helpless. 25.Bxe3 dxe3 26.Rd1 The most tenacious is 26.Rh1, but it is possible that Shirov would lose after that move. Therefore, he made the right choice! Here Shulman started doing everything wrong. 26...e2? Cutting off all the winning possibilities (and there are quite a few of them), we shall concentrate on the simplest and the most natural one: 26...Nd4+ 27.Rxd4 (27.Kxe3 Qe5+ 28.Kf2 Qf4+ 29.Kg2 Qg4+ 30.Kf2 Qf3+ 31.Ke1 Nxc2#) 27...Rxd4 – Black is an exchange up and has a mating attack. And there is no defense! For instance, 28.Rg4 (28.Rg3 Qxc2 29.Rg4 e2 30.Qxe2 Rd3+ 31.Kf2 Rd2–+) 28...Rxg4 29.Kxg4 e2 30.Qe1 Rh8 – Black either delivers mate or brings another queen on board. 27.Qxe2 Ne5+ Probably Black anticipate that the opponent must give up the queen, but it's just an illusion. The strongest continuation 27...Nd4+ leaves Black with very marginal drawing chances after 28.Rxd4 Qxg1 29.f7! Qxd4 30.fxe8Q Rxe8 31.f6!, and the White's pawns have the Black's rook on the ropes. 28.Ke3! Qh3+ 29.Kf4! The brave king squeezes the enemy out of the center. White's advantage is already huge. 29...Nc6 30.Qg4 Qh2+ 31.Qg3 Qxc2 32.f7 Rh8 33.g6 Since la Bourdonnais it is known that three passed pawns on the brink of promotion are stronger than most pieces. 33...Rxd1 34.g7! Rhd8 35.f8Q Rxg1 36.Qxg1 Qd2+ 37.Qe3 Ka8 38.Qxd2 More consistent is 38.g8Q! 38...cxd2 39.Bb3! Black resigns. Pavasovic (2597) - Svidler (2732) White could even claim some advantage if he had h2-h3 played. 28...f5! The White's wall falls apart without its cornerstone. 29.exf5 Do or die. Dusko didn't want playing an unpromising position arising after 29.Ng3 fxg4 30.fxg4, as he needed to come from behind. 29...Nxg4 30.Ng7 Ne3+ 31.Kf2 Nxd1+ 32.Rxd1 The White's idea is to take on с 4 with the bishop followed by moving the f5-pawn is not going to be fulfilled. 32...Rxe2+! 33.Kxe2 Rg8 White's weak king and isolated pawns make his situation hopeless. 34.f6 Rf8 35.Rg1 h6 36.h4 gxh4 37.Rg4 h3 38.Rh4 Qg6! White resigns. Adams (2729) - Gurevich (2627) Michael slices all the pins with one blow: 28.Nxe6! Qe5 29.Rge3 Black resigns. Naiditsch (2639) - Carlsen (2714) A highly complicated, head-spinning position! The modern way of handling such positions is to make the most active move and offer a draw! Let the opponent decide and resist the temptation. 21.Bg6! And Magnus failed to resist it. Draw! The assessment of the final position remained mysterious for the spectators. Deciphering it to full equality is almost impossible. 21...Bxf5! 22.Bxf5 Ne7 Apparently, only here Black can look for something more. 23.d5 Qxd5! Too dangerous is 23...Nxf5 24.Qxf5 Qxb2 25.Ng5! g6 26.Qd3!, while 23...Rae8 24.Bxh7 Kxh7 25.Qh5+ Kg8 26.Nxf6+ gxf6 27.Qg4+ Kh8 28.Qh5+ Kg8 leads to perpetual. 24.Nc3 After 24.Bc5 Nxf5! 25.Bxf8 Rxf8 26.Rxf5 Qd4 Black's pawns are stronger than the White's knight. 24...Qd6 24...Qb3 looks fairly risky: 25.Bb1 Qxb2 26.Bd4 Rae8 27.Qh3 f5 28.Qg3 with dangerous initiative. 25.Bc2 f5 (25...Rae8!?) 26.Qc4 Rad8 The assessment remains the same – a complex position with mutual chances. However, everything was left off screen. Wang Hao (2643) - Ponomariov (2705) White's initiative evaporates due to Black's skilled actions. 20...f5! 21.exf6 Playing without the e4-square is very unpleasant. 21...Qxg3 22.f7+ 22.hxg3 gxf6! also favors Black. 22...Kxf7 23.hxg3 Kg8 24.Ne5 Nxe5 25.Bxe5 Red8 26.d4 Ruslan converts the two-bishop advantage in a non-standard way. 26...Bd6!? He immediately trades a couple of bishops in exchange for some files for his rooks. 27.Rfd1 Bxe5 28.dxe5 Rxd1+ 29.Rxd1 And now comes a multi-stage rook maneuver: watch closely! 29...Rf8! 30.Kg1 Rf5 31.Re1 Rg5! 32.Re3 Rg4! 33.Ne2 Rb4 34.b3 Kf7 White has too many weak pawns to expect him to put any serious resistance. In the subsequent game Ponomariov calmly picks up the fruits. 35.Rd3 Bb5 36.Rf3+ Ke7 37.Nf4 Bc6 38.Re3 Rb5 39.g4 Rb4 40.g3 h6 41.Kf2 g5 42.Nh5 Rxg4 43.Nf6 Rb4 44.g4 Rb5 45.Ke2 Bd5! 46.Rd3 Rxa5 47.Ke3 Rb5 48.Kd4 a5 49.Rc3 Rb4+ 50.Kd3 Bc6 And White resigns. Cheparinov (2670) - Tkachiev (2661) White played poorly in the opening and fell under attack. 16...Bd4! 17.Nxd5 Accepting the sacrifice would give Black powerful attack:17.exd4 Nxd4 18.Qd2 Rxb2 19.Qxb2 Nxc3 20.Bxa6 Nxf3+ 21.Kg2 Qh4 22.h3 Qf4, e.g., 23.Bb7 Qh2+! 24.Kxf3 Qxh3+ 25.Kf4 Rd8!, and the White's king perishes. 17...Rxb2 18.Qxc6 exd5 19.Rad1 19.exd4 Qg5+ 20.Kh1 Rxe2 21.Qxa6 Re6! 22.Qd3 Qh4 23.Rg1 Qxf2 24.Rgf1 Qh4 is unpleasant for White. 19...Bxe3! Another powerful blow of the kamikaze-bishop destroys the fortress of the White's king. 20.Qxd5 Totally hopeless is 20.fxe3 Qg5+ 21.Kh1 (21.Kf2 Qh4+) 21...Rxe2 22.Rg1 Qh4 23.Rg2 Rxe3, and Black wins a couple of pawns. 20...Qh4 21.fxe3 Rxe2 The king is under the gunfire of Black's heavy pieces. 22.Qe5 Qxa4 An extra pawn is always appreciated. 23.Rd6 Qa3 24.Ra1 Qb3! Queens are not exchanged in such cases: 24...Qxe3+? 25.Qxe3 Rxe3 26.Kf2, and White survives. 25.Qd4! Qc2 26.Qf4! So far Ivan manages to keep his position together, but this task is too demanding. 26...a5! The ambushers are coming! 27.Ra6? This overly optimistic move surprisingly saves White. 27...Rc8 28.e4 Black has many ways to a victory. 28...h6 Starting here, Vladislav begins to forgive his opponent. The most accurate is 28...Rd2! (threatening Qc2- с 1+!) 29.Rf1 (29.Qg3 Rd1+ 30.Rxd1 Qxd1+ 31.Kg2 Qe2+ 32.Kh3 Qxa6) 29...Qc5+! 30.Kh1 Qc1 31.Kg1 Qxf1+! 32.Kxf1 Rc1# - one can't avoid the backrank mate! 29.R6xa5 Rg2+ (29...Rc6! is not bad, too) 30.Kh1 Rg6? A blunder. Black could still win by 30...Qb2!, and the threat R с 8- с 2 leaves White no chances: 31.Ra8 (31.R5a2 Qxa2 32.Rxa2 Rxa2 33.Qe3 Rcc2 34.Qg1 Rxh2+! 35.Qxh2 Rxh2+ 36.Kxh2 g5+-) 31...Rxa8 32.Rxa8+ Kh7 33.Ra1 Rxh2+ 34.Qxh2 Qxa1+ 35.Kg2 Qb2+, and the pawn ending is won for Black. 31.R5a2! Now Black has no winning chances. In 17 more moves a draw was agreed. An unfortunate omission by Tkachiev! ROUND 2. Tie-breaks Cheparinov (2670) - Tkachiev (2661) Black is underdeveloped, and White builds up mating attack. 16.h4! Bg7 Perhaps simplifying the position was a good idea: 16...Nd7 17.h5 Bxg5 18.Nxg5 Qf4! 17.h5 White creates dangerous tension on the kingside. 17...Nd7 18.hxg6 18.Nxh7!? looked interesting. After 18...Kxh7 19.hxg6+ Kg8 20.Ng5 Nf6! 21.gxf7+ Rxf7 White can slowly increase his pressure. 18...hxg6 19.Qe4! It took great effort from Ivan to resist the temptation. Spectators demanded 19.Rxe6, however, this allows Black setting up some defense: 19...fxe6 20.Nxe6 (20.Qxg6 Nf6) 20...Rxf3! 21.gxf3 Qd6 22.Qxg6 Qe7 23.Re1 Re8!, and he is at least not worse. 19...Rfe8 20.Qh4 Nf8 21.Re4! The fourth rank becomes a highway for White's attacking pieces. 21...Rad8 It is hard to believe, but the ugly-looking 21...f6! 22.Nh3 Rad8 23.Rde1 c5 gives Black certain counterchances. For instance, 24.d5 is adequately met by 24...Qf7! 22.Rde1! b5 Now 22...c5 is strongly met by 23.d5! 23.b3 It is early to attack yet: 23.Rf4 f6 24.Ne4 f5 25.Neg5 c5!, and Black seizes the initiative. 23...bxc4 24.bxc4 Qa5 Black has no fruitful ideas. 25.R1e3 White brings all the pieces closer to the main action. 25...Rb8 26.Rf4 f6?! More tenacious is 26...Rb7, and if 27.Ne5, then 27...f6! 27.Ne4 g5 27...Nh7 28.Rg4 Rb1+ 29.Kh2 Qc7+ is not better because of 30.Ne5! fxe5 31.Rxg6 and 32.Reg3. 28.Nfxg5 fxg5 29.Nxg5 The Black's king is exposed and cannot be defended. 29...Rb1+ 30.Kh2 Re7 31.Rg4 Ivan attacks very methodically. 31...Qf5 32.Rf3 Qg6 The queen comes back in attempt to help her king, and they die together. 33.Ne4 Qh7 34.Nf6+ Black resigns. ROUND 1. Notes by international grandmaster Sergey Shipov ROUND 1. DAY 1. Hobaica (2427) - Aronian (2741) Black comes up with a neat geometric operation: 27...a3! It is important to remove the foundation for the c3-knight. 28.b3 Bh6 29.f4? More tenacious is 29.Qb6, to which Black replies 29...Qg5 30.Kh1 Qf5!, retaining the initiative. 29...Rxf4! 30.Rxf4 Bxf4 31.Qxf4 Qc5+. The knight's weakness finally tells. 32.Kh2 Qxc3 33.Qe4? Qxc1 White resigns. El Gindy (2503) - Ponomariov (2705) White was too optimistic about his attack – Black's two extra pawns should tell. However, the favorite failed to avoid mistakes. 55...Ke8? A correct idea of blocking the White's pawn is executed incorrectly. By 55...Ke6! 56.Rd2 (56.d7 Rd8!) 56...Kd7 Black parries the opponent's threats and proceeds to converting his advantage. 56.d7+! A good shot. The Black's king comes under gunfire. 56...Kxd7 57.Qd1+ Kc6 58.Qd6+ Kb5? Bad things come together. After 58...Kb7 59.Qd7+ Kb8 60.Qd6+ Kb7 White has nothing more than a perpetual. 59.Qd7+ Ka5 60.Nd6 Qf1+ 61.Ka2 Ra8 In the case of 61...Qa6 62.Rc2, the threat 63.Nc4+ is decisive. 62.Rc2! Qd3 63.Rc3 Qe2 64.Rc4! The mate is inevitable. Black resigns. Eljanov (2691) - Hossain (2514) White's position is hopeless – the king cannot be saved. However, Pavel continues resisting and tries his last chance. 37.f3! Qd3?! A pleasant surprise. After 37...Rh5+ 38.Kg2 Nxf3! 39.Qxe4 Rxh2# Black delivers checkmate. 38.Rbf2 However, the evaluation of the position remains unchanged. 38...Nxf3?! Here comes another mistake. Much stronger is 38...Rxf3 39.Rxf3 Nxf3, and there is no 40.Kg2 due to 40...Qxf1+! 41.Kxf1 Ng5+, and Black is left with an extra queen. 39.Kg2! Significantly complicating Black's task. The knight suddenly turns into prey. 39...R5f6 40.Qe7 Qb3. 40...Qg6! allows Black to retain his chances. Now 41.Rxf3 Rxf3 42.Rxf3 Qc2+ 43.Bd2! Qxd2+ 44.Kh3 Rxf3 45.Qe8+ Kh7 46.Qe4+ Kg8 47.Qxf3 Qg5 gives him a pawn in the queen's ending. 41.Bf4 Further simplifications will inevitably bring equality. 41...Ng5 42.Bxg5 Qd5+ 43.Kg1 Rxf2 44.Rxf2 Rxf2 45.Kxf2 hxg5 (45...Qxg5 46.Qxg5 hxg5 47.Kf3 also leads to a draw) 46.Qe8+ White announces the perpetual. A draw was agreed. Malakhov (2690) - Xu Yuhua (2517) How can one with an ending with opposite-colored bishops? The task is very difficult, and even an extra pawn does not guarantee success. The well-known endgame master from Russia finds an unusual method – the trades the bishops! 70...Bg2+? On this and on the next move the Women's World Champion had to move her bishop further into the corner. Stronger is 70...Bh1! 71.Kg3 Kd5 72.Ba3! The Black's rook is overloaded. 72...Rb3+ Dealing with the opponent's passer is, of course, more important. 73.Kxg2 Rxa3 74.Rf6 Black loses the second pawn, or... 74...Ra2+ 75.Rf2 Ra8 76.b7 Rb8 77.Rb2 ... or allows unfavorable arrangement of the rooks. 77...Kc6 78.Kf3 Kc7 79.Kg3 Kd6 80.Kf4 Rf8+ 81.Ke4 Rb8 82.Kd4 Black is in zugzwang. The White's king breaks to one or another wing. Therefore the Chinese player resigned. Landa (2678) - Nevednichy (2531) For quite a while Black forced defending a difficult and at times even losing position. However, he was alert to pick up an unexpected chance. 45...Nf5! Somehow the White's queen is in danger! 46.Rxh7+ The key variation is 46.Nxf5 Rxh2+ 47.Kxh2 Ng4+! 48.Kg3 Qxa1 49.Kxg4 Qg1+, and the Black's queen pushes the e4-pawn forward. 46...Qxh7+ 47.Kg1 Qg7+ Harvesting is a bit premature: 47...Nxe3? 48.Qxf6+ 48.Ng2 Nd4 49.Qf1 One can hold a bit longer by 49.Kf1. 49...e3! 50.Qd3 On 50.Bh3 there is 50...e2 51.Qf2 e1Q+ 52.Qxe1 Nf3+, winning the queen. 50...Nf3+ 51.Kf1 Qxg2+! Now Black wins a piece. Not a queen, but still should be enough. White resigns. Rublevsky (2676) - Hera (2544) Black's position is solid, and if he could return his queen back home, everything would be fine. However, Sergey proves that the timing factor is the most important in chess very convincingly. 17.d5!! Blocking the d5-square. 17...Qa5 The main line goes 17...exd5 18.Na4! b5 (18...d4 does not help due to 19.Bc4!) 19.Ra1 Qxa4 20.Rxa4 bxa4 21.Qxa4 0–0 22.Qxc6, and Black's compensation for a queen is clearly insufficient. A very beautiful line is 17...Qa7 18.Nd7! Ra8 (18...Kxd7 19.dxc6+ Ke8 20.Qd7+ Kf8 21.c7 is too bad for Black; while 18...Rd8 19.Ra1 loses the queen again ) 19.dxc6 bxc6 20.Rxc6 Qxd7 (20...Rd8 21.Bb5! Rxd7 22.Rc3!), and here White sets up a ‘discovered mate' by 21.Bb5! Qxd1 22.Rc8# 18.dxc6 Rd8 Black seems to prevent the queen's invasion to d7. 19.Qd7+! Nevertheless! 19...Rxd7 20.cxd7+ Kf8 21.Rc8+ The payback. 21...Bd8 22.Rxd8+ Ke7 23.Rxh8 Qxb6 24.Bb5! After 25.Re8+ and 26.d8Q White nets a couple of rooks. Black resigns. Motylev (2645) - Savchenko (2583) An illusion of Black's fortress is dispelled after the following devastating blow: 29.Rxf5!! Qh7 29...exf5 loses even quicker after 30.e6+ Kh7 31.Qxf5+ Kh6 32.Qg6# 30.Rgxg5 Rg7 31.Ka2 There is no need in additional fireworks such as 31.Ne4 here. 31...exf5 32.e6 The overwhelming d4-bishop decides the fate of the struggle. 32...Nxe6 33.Rxg7! Exactly. 33...Nxg7 34.Qh4 Rd7 35.h6 The g7-square is pierced. 35...Kg8 36.Qg5 f4 37.Nxd5 Qf5 38.Nf6+ Kf7 39.Qxg7+ And Black resigns. Berg (2593) - Najer (2635) This game reveals a brilliant home analysis of the Moscow grandmaster. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2 9.Rb1 Qa3 10.e5 h6 11.Bh4 dxe5 12.fxe5 Nfd7 13.Ne4 Qxa2 14.Rd1 Qd5 15.Qe3 The Najdorf. This is one of the hottest opening positions of the present time. 15...Bc5! A highly important novelty! Previously 15...Qxe5 was considered the main move, followed by the forest of theoretical variation. It seems the forest will now expand in a different direction. 16.Nxe6! A strong reply. However, Najer is prepared. 16...Bb4+! 16...Qxd1+? leads to a neat checkmate: 17.Kxd1 Bxe3 18.Nd6#. Bad is 16...Bxe3 17.Nc7+ Kf8 18.Rxd5 Ra7 19.Nd6 b5 20.e6. 17.c3 Qxe6 18.cxb4 0–0 19.Be2 Nc6 20.0–0 Qxe5 White retains strong initiative for the lost pawns, but he must play with machine precision that is impossible to demonstrate over the board. 21.Bc4 The analyst Vassily Lebedev published his findings on the www.crestbook.com : he analyzed 21.Rf4! and ended up with a draw by perpetual on the move 33! Has to be checked... 21...Qh5 22.Qg3 Kh7 23.Rd5 f5! A powerful counterblow that had to be found in advance. 23...Qg6 brings only equal chances after 24.Ng5+! hxg5 (24...Kg8? 25.Bd3) 25.Bd3 gxh4 26.Bxg6+ fxg6 27.Qxh4+ Kg8 28.Rxf8+ Nxf8 29.Rd6 Be6, etc. 24.Rdxf5?! Very impatient. After 24.Nd6! there is still everything to play for. 24...Rxf5 25.Rxf5 Qxf5 26.Ng5+ hxg5 27.Bd3 Nde5 28.Bxf5+ Bxf5 29.Qxg5 Rf8 White won the queen, but the price was too high. In the subsequent play Black gradually converted his advantage. 30.Be1 Rf6 31.Qh5+ Kg8 32.Bc3 Rf7 33.h3 Nd3 34.Qg5 Be4 35.Qg4 Nf4 36.Bxg7 Rxg7 37.Qxf4 Bxg2 38.Kh2 Bd5 39.h4 Bf7 40.Qf5 Bg6 41.Qe6+ Kh7 42.h5 Bxh5 43.Qf5+ Kh6 44.Qf6+ Rg6 45.Qf4+ Rg5 46.Qf6+ Bg6 47.Qh8+ Bh7 48.Qf6+ Kh5 49.Qh8 Kg4 50.Qc8+ Kf4 51.Qxb7 Ne5 52.Qc7 Be4 53.Qc1+ Kg4 54.Qc8+ Rf5 55.Kg1 Bd3 56.Kg2 Bf1+ 57.Kg1 Bc4 58.Kg2 Bf1+ 59.Kg1 Bb5 60.Kg2 Bc6+ 61.Kg1 Kg3 62.Qg8+ Kf3 63.Qb3+ Kg4 64.Qg8+ Rg5 65.Qb3 Kf4+ 66.Kf2 Rg2+ 67.Kf1 Rg3 68.Qe6 Bb5+ 69.Ke1 Re3+ 70.Kd1 Ba4+ White resigns. Macieja (2606) - Laznicka (2610) Surprisingly for the starting round, the quickest win occurred in a game between two well-known strong grandmasters. 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Nxf6+ Nxf6 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bh4 c5 9.Bb5+ Bd7 10.Bxd7+ Qxd7 11.Qe2 cxd4 12.0–0–0 Bc5 13.Qe5 Be7?! Too modest. Stronger is 13...Rc8. 14.Nxd4 Qa4 15.Qc7! Rd8? The only way to continue the struggle is 15...Qa6!, which is a theoretical recommendation. 16.Nf5! It all over – almost right where it started. Black is helpless. 16...Rd7 16...exf5 leads to a checkmate after 17.Rxd8+ Bxd8 18.Re1+ Ne4 19.Qxd8#. 17.Qc8+ Rd8 18.Nxg7+ Here Black abandoned his resistance. There are many variations that prove his point, for example, 18...Kf8 19.Nxe6+ fxe6 20.Rxd8+ Bxd8 21.Qxd8+ Ne8 22.Qe7+ Kg8 23.Qxe6+, etc. Galkin (2608) - Bartel (2608) 95...Ba5? Being one step away for salvation, Black slips. He could secure a well-known book draw by 95...Be5 96.Bd8 Kc4! 97.Bc7 Bc3 98.Bg3 Ba5 99.Bf2 Kb5. 96.Be3! The bishop arrives at b6, and the pawn queens. Black resigns. ROUND 1.DAY 2. Carlsen (2714) - Zhao Zong Yuan (2491) One cannot get to the c6-pawn by therapeutic means. Magnus applies surgery. 24.Rc7 Qd8 25.Rc6! A thematic pawn sacrifice. 25...Bxc6 26.dxc6 The White's pawn became a powerful passer. The remaining rook comes to d6. 26...d5 In the variation 26...Nf8 27.Rd1 d5 the Black's center falls apart – 28.Nc3! ( but not 28.Rxd5? Ra1+!) 28...d4 29.Qxe5 Ne6 30.Nb5, etc. 27.cxd7 dxe4 28.Bxe4 Ra4 Probably, 28...Ra7 29.Bc6 Rxd7 30.Bxd7 Qxd7 31.Qxe5 Re8 gives Black more chances to survive. 29.Bc6! The d7-pawn is the most important. 29...Rxb4 30.Qxe5 And Black cannot conquer it. 30...Qf8 On 30...h6 comes 31.Rd1 with inevitable threat 32.Qxb8+! 31.Rd1 Rd8 32.Rd3! The rook comes to е 3 with a secret idea of Qe5-c7xd8! and Re3-e8. 32...Rg4 33.Re3 Rg6 34.Qe7 Re6 Bad is 34...Rxc6? 35.Qxd8! In the case of 34...Qxe7 35.Rxe7 Rf8 36.Re8 Rd6 Black gets paralyzed. White can quietly prepare the decisive attack – 37.e4! 35.Rxe6 fxe6 36.Qxe6+ The winning plan is simple: the queen goes to е 8, and the е 2-pawn - to е 7. Black resigns. Ponomariov (2705) - El Gindy (2503) Black got too involved in positional struggle and missed a thematic Sicilian tactical blow – 20.Rxf6! Bxf6 21.Nd5! As usual, the prophylactic Kc1–b1 proves very useful. 21...Bd8 The main line is 21...Qxd2 22.Nxf6+ Kf8 (22...Ke7 23.Nxg8+ – check! ) 23.Rxd2, and Black is too short on the pieces. 22.Nf6+! Distraction! 22...Kf8 23.Qxa5 Bxa5 24.Nxg8 Kxg8 25.Bxg5 Bd8 26.Bd2 d5 27.e5 Kg7 28.Bg2 Bc7 29.f4 White has consolidated his position. He has a healthy extra pawn. Ponomariov was precise in the ending. Tkachiev (2661) - Balogh (2562) 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 Bb4 6.Bg5 c5 7.Bxc4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Qa5 10.Bb5+ Bd7 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.Bxd7+ Nxd7 13.0–0 a6 14.Rb1 Qc7 15.Qh5 Nc5 16.Rb4 Qe5 17.Qh4 A topical position of the Vienna Variation. The Hungarian grandmaster makes an attempt to improve the Black's play by 17...Rd8. This centralization is probably premature. Recently in Gelfand-Jakovenko, Moscow , 2007, Black preferred 17...Qg5 18.Qh3 Qe5 19.Re1 Rd8 and eventually survived. 20.Qe3 Rg8 21.Nf3 Qc7 22.Rd4 Nd7 23.Red1 Ke7 24.g3 Ne5, etc. 18.Nf3! A strong reply. 18...Qxc3 19.e5! By sacrificing a pawn, White obtains serious initiative. 19...f5 Interesting is 19...Rg8!? 20.Qxh7 Ke7!, while 19...fxe5?! 20.Rc4 Qa5 is absolutely uninspiring! White plays 21.Qh5! and then directs his knight to either е 5 or g5 with powerful attack. 20.Rc4 Qa5 21.Ng5! The idea behind the knight thrust is simple and easy to pick: Ng5xh7-f6+! 21...Ne4 In the case of 21...Nd7 White is in no hurry: 22.f4! 22.Rxe4! An excellent exchange sacrifice. 22...fxe4 23.Qf4 The White's knight is superior to any of the Black's rooks. 23...Rf8 The following neat variation is possible: 23...Qc7 24.Nxe4 h5 25.Nd6+ Kf8 26.Nxb7! Qxb7 27.Qf6, and White picks up one of the rooks, keeping an extra pawn. 24.Nxh7 More accurate route is the one via е 4. 24...Rh8 25.Ng5 Rf8? This is already a serious mistake. The last chance is 25...Qc7 26.Nxe4 Kf8 27.Nd6 f5! 26.Nxe4 Kd7 Desperation. 27.Rc1 Rc8 28.Nf6+ Ke7 29.Ng8+! The heroic knight delivers the final blow. 29...Kd7 Or 29...Rxg8 30.Qf6+ Ke8 31.Rxc8+ Kd7 32.Rc1!, winning. 30.Qd4+ Black has to part with the queen to avoid being checkmate, so he resigns. Gustafsson (2606) - Rodshtein (2615) 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.0–0 Nbd7 11.Ne5 Bg7 12.Nxd7 Nxd7 13.Bd6 a6 14.a4 e5 15.d5 c5 16.b4 cxb4 17.Bxb4 a5 18.Bd6 b4 19.Nb5 Rc8 20.Bxc4 Rxc4 The Anti-Moscow Gambit of the Slav became enormously popular recently, and its theory is growing rapidly. And mostly in Khanty-Mansiysk! 21.Qb3 An interesting novelty. White failed to achieve much in Izoria-Erenburg, Khanty-Mansiysk, 2005 – 21.Rc1 Rxc1 22.Qxc1 Qb6 23.Nc7+ Kd8 24.Nb5 Ke8 25.Nc7+, and a draw. 21...Qc8 Interesting is 21...Rc8 22.Rac1 Bf8, however, Black has some problems there, too – 23.Nc7+!? Rxc7 24.Bxc7 Qa8 25.Qg3! Bg7 26.Qg4 Qa6 27.Qf5 Qf6 28.Qh3!, and weakness of the a5-pawn is an important factor. 22.Bc7! Vacating the square. 22...Qxc7 In the line 22...Rxc7 23.Nd6+ Ke7 24.Nxc8+ Rhxc8 White has a strong blow: 25.d6+! Kxd6 26.Qxf7, and the Black's king experiences hard times. 23.Nxc7+ Rxc7 Black has three pieces for a queen. If he could complete the development, his position would be excellent. However, White skillfully utilizes his development lead. 24.Rac1! Nc5 25.Qh3 Bc8 One could defend only by 25...Bf8! 26.Qf5 Bg7! 26.Qf3 g4 This leads to new and irreparable weaknesses. Also bad is 26...Bd7 27.d6! Rc6 28.Qe3, or 26...0–0 27.d6 Rc6 28.Qe3, and the c5-knight perishes. 27.Qe3 Bf8 28.f4! The final breakthrough! 28...gxf3 29.Qxf3 Threatening to invade to f6. 29...f5 The more tenacious 29...Rg8 30.Qf6 Rg6 31.Qxe5+ Kd8 loses to 32.Rf6! 30.Qg3! Black resigns. ROUND 1. TIEBREAKS . Short (2649) - Baramidze (2569) Black has a good game in the ending because of the activity of the rook. 30.Ra1! During the game this move looked like a mistake. However, the analysis did not confirm it at all! 30...Rxc3+! The exclamation mark is given for purely psychological reasons. 31.bxc3 Ne4+ 32.Kf4 Nxd6 33.Rxa6 Actually, Black hasn't gained any advantage. All his pawns are weak. As soon as White creates a passed pawn on the queenside, he will gain a serious advantage. 33...Nc4 34.Ra7 The line 34.Kxf5 Bxc3 35.Kg5 Bxb4 36.Kxh5 brings equality. 34...Kg6 35.Rb7?! White could force the move repetition by 35.Ra6+, as after 35...Bf6 36.Rc6! the b5-pawn is threatened. 35...Be5+! This was unexpected! Now Black manages to push the White's king away from the center and protect the b5-pawn. The subsequent play is complicated and maneuvering. 36.Kf3 Nd6 37.Rb6 Kf6 38.Ke2 Ke6 39.Kd3 h4 40.Rb8 Kd5 41.Rb6 Bg3 42.Rb8 Kc6 43.Rf8 Be5 44.Ra8 Kd5 45.Ra5 Ke6 46.Ra6 f4 47.Rc6 Kf5 48.Rc5 f6 49.Rd5 Having gained enough time on the clock, David begins active operations. 49...f3 50.gxf3! Kf4 51.Ke2 Kg3 52.c4! Nigel defends well. 52...bxc4 53.b5 Kxh3 54.f4 Bxf4 55.Kf3 Be5 56.b6 c3 57.Rc5 Kh2 58.Rc7 Nf5 The final act of the drama: 59.Rc8?! 59.Rc5! forces immediate handshake, as the threat to sacrifice an exchange on e5 followed by the pawn queening cannot be adequately met: 59...Nd6 60.Rc7 with a draw. 59...Nd4+ Stronger is 59...h3! 60.Ke4? Decisive mistake. One had to keep the king in the cage: 60.Kf2! 60...Nxc2 61.b7 Nb4 62.Rxc3 After 62.b8Q Bxb8 63.Rxb8 c2 64.Rc8 Kg2 65.Ke3 h3 66.Rg8+ Kh1 67.Kd2 f5 68.Rf8 f4 White cannot stop all the passed pawns. On 69.Rxf4 follows 69...c1Q+ 70.Kxc1 Nd3+. 62...Kg2 63.Rc8 Na6 64.Rg8+ Bg3 65.Ra8 Nc5+ 66.Kf5 Nxb7 67.Ra2+ Bf2 68.Kxf6 h3 69.Ra8 Bh4+ 70.Kf5 h2 71.Ra1 Nc5 72.Rd1 Nd3 White even cannot give up his rook for the pawn. White resigns. A knock-out... Belov (2587) - Khalifman (2643) Black has a decent compensation for the exchange. A sharp struggle in the center begins. 17.e4! Nh5 18.e5 Nxf4 19.Qf3 Nxg2? Alexander overestimates his position. He should have played 19...dxe5 20.Nxe5 g5 with an unclear game. 20.e6! fxe6 20...Nxe1? 21.Qxf7+ Kh8 22.e7! loses for Black, however, White's task is more difficult after 20...Bxe6 21.dxe6 Nxe1 22.Qxf7+ Kh8 23.e7, and the only move is 23...Nf3+! 24.Kh1 Qe8 25.Nxd6 Qc6 26.e8Q+ Rxe8 27.Qxe8+ Qxe8 28.Nxe8 b6 29.Nd6, although this ending also favors White. 21.dxe6 Bxe6 22.Rxe6 Nh4 23.Qd5 Qg5+ With queens on board White has a chance to create mating attack. 24.Qxg5 Nf3+ 25.Kg2 Nxg5 26.Rxd6 b6 27.Rd7! The modest а 2-pawn will eventually secure White's victory. 27...Bd4 28.Re1 Rf8 29.f4! Eliminating Black's counterplay completely. 29...Rxf4 30.Re8+ Rf8 31.Rxf8+ Kxf8 32.a4! This important move had to be foreseen earlier. The Black's pawns are falling, and the White's pawns are queening. 32...Nf7 33.Rxa7 Ne5 34.Nxe5 Bxe5 35.Rb7 And Black resigns.
 

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(MELNIK68, 5. 12. 2021 8:25)

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(VANDEBERG01, 4. 12. 2021 20:36)

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(KIELMAN6100, 4. 12. 2021 20:28)

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(STORMAN9221, 4. 12. 2021 10:38)

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(DRUM33, 4. 12. 2021 8:24)

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(FOLKER65, 4. 12. 2021 2:28)

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(KASTMAN74, 3. 12. 2021 14:37)

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