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Jun 3,2002

chess chess

Round 5

Van Wely - Svidler [D85]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 c5 8. Rb1 O-O 9. Be2 cxd4 10. cxd4 Qa5+ 11. Bd2

The rivals begin their opposition with one of the main lines of the Gruenfeld Defence. Trying to avoid an exchange of the queens, White sacrifices the pawn and hopes to gain profit in the future from his better development and mighty pawn centre.

11... Qxa2 12. O-O Bg4 13. Bg5

In order to understand better the further events it’s useful to give a look now at how this position developed in the game Bacrot - Illescas Cordoba (Pamplona, 1997). After 13. Be3 Nc6 14. d5 Bxf3 15. Bxf3 Ne5 16. Rxb7 Black played 16... a5!, staking on the passed a-pawn, and the following complications 17. Rxe7 a4 18. Bd4 Nxf3+ 19. gxf3 Bxd4 20. Qxd4 a3 21. Kg2 Qb2 22. Qxb2 axb2 23. Rb1 Rfb8 brought him to a rook endgame where his far advanced pawn on b2 defended him quite reliably from any possible troubles.

13... h6 14. Be3 Nc6 15. d5 Bxf3 16. Bxf3 Ne5 17. Rxb7

17... a5!

It looks as if this move did not occur previously in this position. You see that the only difference from the above mentioned game Bacrot - Illescas Cordoba is in the position of Black’s h-pawn on h6 instead of h7. Previously Black played 17... e6 in order to equalise. After 18. dxe6 Nxf3+ 19. Qxf3 Qxe6 20. Rxa7 Rxa7 21. Bxa7 Re8 22. Re1 f5 he usually managed to obtain a draw without particular problems, but it seems that in case of 18. Qe2!? the position would be not so clear.

18. Bc5

After 18. Rxe7 a4 to be followed with 19. Bd4 Nxf3+ 20. gxf3 Bxd4 21. Qxd4 a3 the play could have developed similarly to the previously mentioned game, and the difference in the position of the h-pawn would not influence the estimation.

18... a4 19. Bxe7 Rfb8 20. Rxb8+ Rxb8 21. d6

It occurred to White that his d-pawn is also passed.

21... Qe6 22. Qxa4

Practically this move was necessary. After 22. Be2 a3 23. Qa4 a2 24. f4 Rb1 Black’s a-pawn passed.

22... Nxf3+ 23. gxf3 Qh3

An unpleasant threat of 24... Be5 makes White to part with one of his two extra pawns and agree to a perpetual check.

24. Qa5 Qxf3 25. Qd5 Qg4+ 1/2-1/2 Draw.

Gelfand - Gallagher [E94]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. Nf3 d6 5. e4 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Na6 8. Re1 c6 9. Bf1 Bg4

As for B. Gelfand, in this variation of the King's Indian Defence he prefers struggling for an equalisation with 9... exd4 10. Nxd4 Ng4 11. h3 Qb6 12. hxg4 Qxd4 13. Bf4 Qxd1 14. Raxd1 Be5 15. Bh6 Re8 which he played, for instance, in the game Van der Sterren - Gelfand (Wijk aan Zee, 1998).

10. d5 Ne8

Black hurries to remove the knight as soon as possible to avoid a binding. In case of 10... c5 11. h3 Bd7 he had to reckon with 12. Bg5!. The Swiss grandmaster has already some negative experience in this line. After 12... h6 13. Be3 Be8 14. Qd2 Kh7 15. a3 Nd7 16. g3 f5 17. exf5 gxf5 18. Nh4! Black encountered problems in the game Tukmakov - Gallagher (Lugano, 1999). A similar situation appears often after 10... Nb4 11. Be2 a5 12. Bg5!.

11. h3 Bd7

12. dxc6

A new move. 12. Rb1 c5 13. a3 f5 14. b4 f4 which occurred previously provided Black with a good play.

12... bxc6 13. Bg5!

A helpful intermediate move. The diagonal a1-h8 is locked twice for the bishop g7.

13...f6 14. Be3 c5

This move complies with Black’s plan to occupy the square d4, besides, in case of a delay (14... f5 or 14... Nac7) White could have gained an advantage with 15. c5!.

15. Nd5 Nac7 16. b4

In case of 16. Nxc7 Qxc7 17. Qd5+ Kh8 18. Qxa8 White won Black’s rook, but lost his own queen after 18... Bc6.

16... Ne6

A capture 16... cxb4 made it already possible to play 17. Nxc7 Qxc7 (in case of 17... Nxc7 the way to an advantage was connected with 18. Qxd6) 18. Qd5+ Rf7 19. Qxa8, because in case of 19... Bc6 there was 20. Qxa7.

17. Rb1 Kh8

Another useful move. In case of 17... cxb4 18. Nxb4 f5 19. exf5 gxf5 20. Qd5 White’s position was preferable, while 17... Nd4 allowed him to get a better play after18. bxc5 dxc5 19. Nxd4 cxd4 (19... exd4 20. Bf4) 20. Bd2 owing to his knight, occupying a strong position on d5.

18. Nd2 f5 19. exf5 gxf5 20. f4

A standard but rather important move. 20. Nb3!? deserved attention, not fearing 20... f4 21. Bd2.

20... cxb4 21. Rxb4 Bc6 22. Nf3 Qa5 23. Rb1

White begins a combination, longing to keep the eluding advantage. After 23. Qd2 N8c7 24. Rd1 Bxd5 25. cxd5 Nxf4 the play became equal.

23... N8c7!

Black refuses to take the sacrificed pawn. After 23... Qxa2 White had the move 24. fxe5 (Black was OK after 24. Nb4 Bxf3 25. Qxf3 e4) 24... dxe5, and then 25. Nxe5! Bxe5 26. Bf2 Bh2+ (in the endgame after 26... Ba4 27. Qe2 Qxe2 28. Rxe2 White’s chances were also better) 27.Kxh2 Qxf2 28. Rxe6 White had an advantage.

24. fxe5?!

White surrenders the centre. Probably he had to agree to the line 24. Nxc7 Qxc7 25. c5 dxc5 26. Nxe5 Bxe5 27.fxe5, because he had a sufficient compensation for the pawn in form of the advantage of two bishops and the play on black squares.

24... dxe5 25. Ne7?!

This move looks too artificial, hardly it can be absolutely correct. On the other hand, in case of a passive 25. Bf2 Black’s pawns began an advance with 25... e4 and he had an easy play.

25... Be4 26. Nh4

White has to continue playing in the gambit style, because after 26. Rb3 Rae8 his knight would have perished in Black’s camp.

26... Nf4

A good continuation, but it’s interesting what was prepared by White in case of a mere 26... Bxb1. After 27. Qh5 Rf6 28. Rxb1 (in case of 28. Nhg6+ Rxg6 29. Nxg6+ Kg8 30. Ne7+ Kf8 31. Rxb1 Kxe7 32. Qxf5 h6 White seemed to have no sufficient compensation for the piece) 28... Nf4 29. Bxf4 Qc5+ 30. Kh1 Qxe7 31. Re1 (there was no 31. Bg5 because of 31... Qf7), and now a mere 31... Qf7 repulsed White’s threats. 26... f4!? looked quite reasonable too, because after 27. Qh5 Rf6 there was no 28. Bb6 (after 28. Bf2 Bxb1 29. Rxb1 Rh6 Black repelled the attack and kept the material advantage) because of 28... axb6 29. Rxe4 Qc5+, Black keeping an extra piece.

27. Bxf4 Qc5+ 28. Be3 Qxe7 29. Qh5

29... Qf7?

Black had to have ventured on 29... f4 30. Bxf4 (if 30. Bb6, then after 30... Bxb1 31. Rxb1 Qf7 he got an extra exchange), because then he would have 30... exf4!, and after 31. Bd3 Bd4+ 32. Kh1 Be3 he escaped all threats and kept the extra material. At the same time, the capture 30... Rxf4 allowed White to develop a strongest attack with 31. Rxe4! Qc5+ 32. Kh2 Rxe4 33. Bd3 Qd4 34. Ng6+ Kg8 35. Ne7+ Kf8 (in case of 35... Kh8 there was 36. Rb3!! with the threat of 37. Nf5!) 36. Qxh7 Qxd3 37. Ng6+ Ke8 (there was no 37... Kf7 because of 38. Nxe5+ Rxe5 39. Qxd3) 38. Qxg7.

30. Qxf7 Rxf7

The position is approximately equal. White’s chances are probably some better owing to his passed c-pawn and the control over the open d-file.

31. Rbd1 Bf6 32. Nf3 Rg8 33. Kh2 Ne6 34. Rd6 Bxf3

Black wants to simplify the position. After 34... Re7 he had to reckon with 35. c5 to be continued with 35... Rc8, whereafter White had an unpleasant 36. Bc4.

35. gxf3 Bh4 36. Re2 f4 37. Bf2

It’s better for Black to agree to exchange the dark-squared bishops, because after 37. Bg1 Rfg7 38. Bg2 Ng5 the activity of black pieces can grow considerably.

37... Bxf2 38. Rxf2 Nd4 39. Rd5 Rg5?

39... Rg3 40. Bg2 Re7 41. c5 Kg7 was stronger, bringing the king up to the c-pawn.

40. Bd3 h5

40... Kg7 was preferable, because after 41. c5 Kf6 42. Rd6+ Ke7 43. Ra6 Kd8 Black held, though a mere 41. Be4 allowed White to keep his advantage.

41. h4 Rg3 42. Be4 Re7 43. c5 Kg7 44. Rg2

The active black rook should be exchanged.

44... Rxg2+ 45. Kxg2 Kf6 46. Rd6+ Re6

After 46... Kg7 47. c6 Rc7 48. Rg6+ Kf7 49. Rh6 or 46... Kf7 47. Rh6 Black was doomed as well. But now it’s even simpler.

47. c6!

A simple but elegant blow.

47... Nb5

After 47... Rxd6 48. c7 White’s pawn would have passed.

48. Rd8 Re7 49. Rh8 Rg7+ 50. Kf1 Nd6 51. Rh6+ Ke7 52. Rxh5 Nxe4 53. Rxe5+ Kd6 54. Rxe4 Kxc6 55. Rxf4

Two extra pawns should be enough for White to win.

55... Kd5 56. Re4 Rb7 57. Kf2 Rb2+ 58. Re2 Rb8 59. f4 Rh8 60. Kg3 Rg8+ 61. Kf3 Rh8 62. Re5+ Kd6 63. h5 Rg8 64. Ra5 1-0 Black resigned.

Ponomariov - Milov [B43]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. Nc3 a6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 b5 6. Bd3 Qb6

The Swiss grandmaster avoids the unhappy development which took place in the first round after 6... Bb7 7. O-O Qb6 8. Be3 Bc5 9. Nce2 Nf6 10. b4! Bxd4 11. Bxd4 Qc7 12. c4! in the game Svidler - Milov (Biel, 2000).

7. Nf3 Qc7 8.0-0 Nc6

Previously only 8... d6 and 8... Bb7 were seen in this position.

9. Re1 d6 10. a4 b4 11. Na2 Nf6 12. Bd2 a5 13. c3 bxc3 14. Nxc3 Be7 15. Nb5 Qb8 16. Bf4 e5 17. Rc1 Bd7 18. Bg5 O-O

19. Bc4

White became an obvious advantage from the opening.

19... Nb4 20. b3 Bxb5 21. axb5

A strange decision. After a mere 21. Bxb5 White had a long lasting advantage.

21... Rd8 22. Qe2 Qb7 23. Bd2 Rd7 24. Bxb4

The move 24. Ng5 Black could have repulsed with 24... Bd8, but there was no necessity to hurry with the exchange on b4. There were ways to strengthen the position with 24. Bc3 or 24. h3.

24... axb4 25. h3 Bd8 26. Nh2 h5 27. Nf3 g6 28. g4 hxg4 29. hxg4 Ra3 30. g5 Nh5 31. Bd5 Qa7 32. Rc8 Nf4 33.Qe3 Qxe3 34. Rxe3 Nxd5 35. exd5 Kg7 36. Re4 Rxb3 37. Kg2 Bb6

The pawn on b5 should not be underestimated. In case of 37... f5 38. gxf6+ Kxf6 39. Rb8 Kf5 40. Rc4 Rb2 41. b6 e4 42. Nd4+ Ke5 White won with 43. Rxd8! Rxd8 44. Nc6+ Kxd4 45. Nxd8 Kxc4 46. b7.

38. Rb8 Ba7 39. Ra8 Bb6 40. Rb8 Ba7

If 40... Bd8, then after 41. b6 White’s pawn went up to the transformation square very quickly.

41. Ra8 Bb6 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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