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Aug 17,2002

chess chess

Round 10

Gelfand - Svidler [C92]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Nd7 10. d4 Bf6

The opponents play one of the most popular variations of the Ruy Lopez. Black’s aim is to hinder the development of White’s knight b1 by the means of pressure upon the central pawn d4.

11. a4 Bb7 12. Na3 exd4

Black surrenders the centre, hoping to develop strong pressure upon White’s pawns here and get an active play on the queenside. Another line of this variation is connected with Black’s move 12... Nb6. The Israeli grandmaster encountered this line in the semi-final match of the FIDE World Championship. After 13. axb5 axb5 14. d5 Ne7 15. Be3 c6 16. dxc6 Bxc6 17. Nh2 Ng6 18. Ng4 Be7 19. Qd3 Na4 Black managed to equalise in the game Gelfand - Karpov (Sanghi Nagar (m/5),1995).

13. cxd4 Re8 14. axb5

Usually White attempts to gain an advantage with the move 14. Bf4 which leads to a keen play after 14... Na5 15. Bc2 b4. The complexity of the position after Black’s thirteenth move can be well illustrated with a curious miniature where White lost in five moves. After 14. Qd3? Nxd4! 15. Nxd4 Nc5 16. Qf3 Rxe4 17. Ne2 Re5 18. Qg3 Bh4 White resigned in the game Kr. Georgiev – Papazov (Dupnica, 1998).

14... axb5 15. Bf4 Na5 16. Bc2 b4 17. Nb5

This active move became possible after the preliminary exchange of the a-pawns.

17... Bc6 18. Qd3

A new move. Only 18. Bd3 was seen previously.

18... Nf8

Black’s idea is quite simple. He wants to win the black knight with 19...Qd7.

19. d5!

Black’s plan failed. Black begins an advance of his central pawns.

19... Bd7 20. e5 dxe5 21. Nxe5 b3 22. Nxd7

Of course the pawn cannot be taken. After 22. Bxb3? Nxb3 23. Rxa8 Qxa8 24. Qxb3 (if 24. Nxc7, then 24... Qa5 wins) 24... Bxb5 25. Qxb5 Ng6 Black is to win.

22... Qxd7 23. Rxe8!

A good response. After 23. Nxc7 (23. Bxb3? was totally bad for White because of 23... Nxb3 24. Qxb3 Rxe1+ 25. Rxe1 Rb8) 23... Rxe1+ 24. Rxe1 Rb8 (24... Rc8 was weaker because of 25. Bxb3 Nxb3 26. Qxb3 Rxc7 27. Bxc7 Qxc7, and two White’s pawn plus the rook outweighed Black’s two pieces.) 25. Bd1 Bxb2 26. Bg4 Qa4 Black still could have maintained an equality.

23... Rxe8

24. Bb1?!

It looks as if White failed with this move. Two questions have stayed unanswered: -"What should have been done by Black after 24. Bxb3 or 24. Bd1?". In the first case after 24. Bxb3 Nxb3 25. Qxb3 Rb8 26. Ra5 Bd4 (with the idea Bd4-b6 and then Bb6xf2+ after the white rook retreats) White had 27. Qc4! (after 27. Be3 Bxe3 28. fxe3 Qf5 Black’s activity was enough to compensate the missing pawn), and there were no obvious answers by Black as after the planned 27... Bb6 (in case of 27... Qe8 there was a mere 28. Kf1) he had to reckon with 28. Bxc7 Rc8 29. Ra6! Rxc7 (if 29... Bxc7, then30. Rc6) 30. Nxc7 Bxc7 31. b4 with a considerable advantage by White. After 24. Bd1 Black was also not good because the line 24... Re1+ (both 24... Ne6 and 24... Nb7 were bad because of 25. Bg4) 25. Kh2 Nb7 26. Bg4 Qe7 27. Ra7 Nc5 28. Qd2 presented fairly difficult problems to Black too.

24... Nb7 25. Nxc7

In case of 25. Qxb3 Black had 25... Re1+ 26. Kh2 Rxb1! 27. Rxb1 Qf5 with a double attack of the bishop and of the rook.

25... Bxb2 26. Nxe8 Bxa1 27. Qxb3 Qxe8 28. Qxb7 Qe1+ 29. Kh2 Qxf2 30. Bg3 Qe3 31. Bxh7+ Kh8!

To capture is not obligatory in chess. After 31... Kxh7? White had 32. Qb1+, and in case of 31... Nxh7? there was a strong 32. Qa8+, White keeping an extra pawn in both cases.

32. Bc2

The threat of 32... Ba1-d4 is too serious to let the bishop stay on the dangerous square h7.

32... Be5!

Now this is evidently a draw.

33. Bxe5 1/2-1/2 Draw.

Ponomariov - Gallagher [B43]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Nc3 b5 6. Bd3 Bc5 7. Nb3

In the eighth round after the well known 7. Be3 Qb6 White delivered an impressing blow with 8. Qg4!? Bxd4 9. e5 in the game Gallagher – Milov (Biel, 2000). Probably the Swiss grandmaster had some other preparations too, but Ruslan Ponomariov hurries to avoid this line.

7... Be7 8. Qg4 g6?!

Now Black will surely encounter great problems. In the game Tiviakov - Bosboom (Hoogeveen, 1999) he preferred to play the complicated position to appear after 8... Nf6 9. Qxg7 Rg8 10. Qh6 Nc6 and eventually succeeded, having confused his opponent.

9. Qe2 d6 10. O-O b4 11. Nd1 Bb7 12. a3 Nc6 13. Bd2 bxa3 14. Rxa3 Qc8 15. Ne3 Nf6 16. Nc4

Black will find no time to castle in this whole game. At the moment a fork is threatening.

16... Qc7 17. Nca5 Ne5

This time there was no 17... O-O because of 18. Nxb7 Qxb7 19. Bxa6, Black losing a pawn.

18. Nxb7 Nxd3 19. cxd3 Qxb7

20. Na5!

Black won’t have a respite.

20... Qd7

The pawn could have been taken with 20... Qxb2, but it was hard to hold this position then. After 21. Rb3 Qd4 (if 21... Qe5, then after 22. Rfb1 Rc8 23. Rb6 the problems remained as Black’s castling 23... 0-0? allowed 24. Nc6, and if 21... Qa2, then after 22. Rfb1 O-O 23. Qd1 Qa4 24. Ra1 Qe8 25. Bh6 Black lost by an exchange) 22. Rfb1 Rc8 23. Nc4 Qc5(after 23... O-O 24. Be3 Black’s queen was trapped in the very centre of the board) 24. Rb7 Black still was not able to solve his castling problem.

21. Rb3 Rc8

The move 21... O-O is bad again because of 22. Rb7 Qe8 (if 22... Qd8, then 23. Nc6) 23. Bh6.

22. Nc4 Bd8 23. Bh6

By this time it is already obvious that Black’s king will spend all his life in the centre of the board.

23... d5 24. Nb6 Bxb6 25. Rxb6

Besides the problems with the king Black’s position has got worse because of the weak black squares.

25... Qa4 26. Qf3 Nd7 27. b3 dxe4 28. dxe4 Qa5 29. Rb7 Qh5

Gallagherattempts to remove the disturbing white bishop which has settled itself in the rear of Black’s camp but fails.

30. Qf4 e5 31. Qd2 Nc5 32. Ra7 g5

After 32... Qg4 33. Qc3 Qe6 34. Rc1 with the crucial binding on the c-file White also would not suffer for a long time.

33. Qd6 1-0 Black resigned.

Van Wely - Milov [D38]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 O-O 8. Bg5 h6 9. Bh4 g5

9... Bd7 was played in this position once very long ago. Black’s move in the game looks more fundamental and strong.

10. Bg3 Ne4 11. Qc2 h5 12. Ne5 h4 13. Nxc6 bxc6 14. f3 Nd6 15. Bxd6 cxd6 16. e4 Qf6 17. Bd3 dxe4 18. fxe4

Black has a good play also after 18. Bxe4 d5 19. Bh7+ Kh8 20. cxd5 cxd5 21. O-O Ba6.

18... c5 19. Qf2 Qxf2+ 20. Kxf2 Ba6

Black’s position is evidently more pleasant but to gain a real profit from his pluses is not an easy task.

21. dxc5 dxc5 22. e5 Rfd8

Black wants to get the d-file under his control. He could have created a passed pawn at once with 22... f6 23. exf6 Rxf6+, but after 24. Ke3 Raf8 25. Rhf1 to be followed with an exchange of the rooks he hardly would be able to win the bishop endgame as the white king would be quite secure on e3 and might not fear a zugzwang.

23. Ke3 Rd7 24. g3 Rad8

After 24... hxg3 25. hxg3 Rad8 White had 26. Be4! (after 26. Be2 Rd2 27. Rh5 Rc2 he had problems) 26... Bxc4 27. Rh5, maintaining the balance.

25. Be2 Rd2 26. gxh4 gxh4 27. Rhd1 Rxd1 28. Rxd1 Rxd1 29. Bxd1 Kg7

After 29... Bxc4 30. Kf4 Kg7 31. Kg4 White would have taken Black’s h-pawn soon.

30. Kf4 f6 31. Be2 Kg6 32. Kg4 fxe5 33. Bd3+ Kf6 34. Kxh4 Bb7 35. Kg3 Bc6 36. Kg4 Ba4 37. Kf3 1/2-1/2 Draw.

"He who fears an isolated queen's pawn should give up chess". Siegbert Tarrasch

"The most powerful weapon in chess is to have the next move"! David Bronstein.

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