**Round 7**

**Van Wely - Ponomariov [D20]**

**1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e4 c5 4. d5 Nf6 5. Nc3 b5 6. Bf4 **

The move 6. Bf4 began to draw attention after it was found out
that White has nothing in the line 6. e5 b4 7. exf6 bxc3 8. bxc3
Nd7!.

**6... Ba6 **

Looks not too elegant, still this is the best answer for Black
at present. In case of 6... b4 there is an unpleasant 7. Nb5,
after 6... a6 White gains an advantage with 7. e5 b4 8. exf6 bxc3
9. bxc3, and in case of 6... Qa5 that used to be popular Black
has to reckon with 7. f3, creating a threat of a2-a4.

**7. e5 b4 **

In case of 7... Nfd7 after 8. e6 Nb6 (if 8... Nf6, then 9.
Bxc4 ) 9. exf7+ Kxf7 10. Qf3 Ke8 11. O-O-O Black got into big
troubles for the extra pawn.

**8. Qa4+ **

Black is ready to exchange the knights with 8. exf6 bxc3 9.
bxc3 because after 9... Qa5 10. Qf3 Nd7 he has a good
counterplay. After 8. e6 fxe6 9. Qa4+ Qd7 10. dxe6 Qxa4 11. Nxa4
Bb5 12. Nxc5 Nc6 13. Rc1 Nd5 14. Bxc4 Bxc4 15. Rxc4 Black
encountered insoluble problems in the game Sakaev - I. Ibragimov
(Moscow, 1999), still there was also 8... Qa5!? which after 9.
Qa4+ Qxa4 10. Nxa4 Nxd5 led to the same position like in the
considered game.

**8... Qd7 9. e6 Qxa4 10. Nxa4 Nxd5 **

After 10... c3 11. Rd1 Black was not able to eliminate the
white pawn e6, so he would have to play with a whole army of
paralysed pieces.

**11. exf7+ Kxf7 12. Nxc5 Bb5 **

Black keeps the extra pawn. In case of 12... Nxf4 13. Nxa6
Nxa6 14. Bxc4+ e6 15. g3 he had to give it back.

**13. Bg3 e6 14. Ne4 Nd7 15. Nf3 Be7 **

It’s obvious that Black got an advantage from the opening.
Nevertheless, White still has some counterchances. So, in case of
15... h6, wanting not to allow White to get the advantage of two
bishops, White got back the pawn, sacrificed on the second move:
16. Rc1 Rc8 17. Ned2 N5b6 18. b3.

**16. Nfg5+ Bxg5 17. Nxg5+ Ke7 18. Ne4 a6 19. Bd6+ Kf7 20. a4
**

Now if White tried to win back the pawn with 20. Ng5+ Kg6 21.
Nxe6, then after 21... Rhe8 22. O-O-O Rxe6 23. Rxd5 Nb6 24. Rd4
(in case of 24. Rd1 there was 24... Ba4) 24... Re1+ 25. Kc2 b3+
26. Kc3 Na4+ he suffered a dangerous attack.

**20... bxa3 21. Rxa3 N5f6 **

In case of 21... Rhc8 Black had to reckon with the move 22.
Bg3, involving an unpleasant threat of 23. Nd6.

**22. Ng5+ Kg6 23. Nxe6 **

**23... Rhe8 ?! **

It seems that Black has put just the wrong rook on e8. After
23... Rae8! 24. Re3 Ng4 25. Nf4+ (there was neither 25. Re4?
because of 25... Kf5 nor 25. Nc7? because of 25... Nxe3 26. Nxe8
Nf5 with Black’s win, and in case of 25. Re2 there was 25...
c3) 25... Kf7 or 25... Kf5 White still had serious problems. But
now the worst has passed.

**24. Re3 Ng4 25. Nc7 **

White would be deprived of this resource if another black rook
was on e8.

**25... Nxe3 26. fxe3 Rxe3+ 27. Kf2 Rae8 28. Nxe8 Rxe8 29.
Be2 **

It’s evident that the advantage of two bishops compensates
the missing pawn to White nearly sufficiently.

**29... Nb6 30. Bd1 Nd5 31. Bc2+ Kf7 32. Rd1 **

There was no 32. Bxh7? because of 32... g6, trapping the white
bishop.

**32... Ne3 33. Rd2 **

L. Van Wely is not afraid of an exchange of the black knight
for White’s light-squared bishop, because the bishops of
different colours make a draw the most probable result of the
game in this case.

**33... Bc6 34. Bc5 **

Again, there was no 34. Bxh7? because of 34... g6 35. Bc5
(35... Kg7 was threatening) 35... Ng4+ 36. Kg3 (in case of 36.
Kf1 there was a strong 36... Bb5!) 36... Nf6 37. Rf2 Ke6! 38.
Bxg6 Rg8, and the bishop could not have been saved.

**34... Ng4+ 35. Kg3 Nf6 36. Bd4 h6 37. h3 Be4?!**

Black could have kept certain advantage with 37... Rd8 though
White’s resources might suffice very well to hold this
position.

**38. Bxf6! **

The advantage of two bishops consists chiefly in an
opportunity to get rid of them at a proper moment. Now it’s
just such a moment for White, whereas after 38. Ba4 Rd8 he still
experienced some difficulties.

**38... Kxf6 **

Of course Black does not want to split his pawns with 38...
gxf6, turning his pawn chain into miserable remnants. Still,
Black had a symbolic advantage in this case, whereas after the
move in the game he lost it absolutely. So, after 38... gxf6 39.
Bxe4 Rxe4 40. Kf3 Re5 41. Rc2 Rb5 (in case of 41... Rc5 Black had
to reckon both with 42. Ke4 to be followed with Kd4, and with an
even tougher continuation 42. b4!? Rc7 43. Ke4 ) 42. Rxc4 Rxb2,
and White could keep the equality notwithstanding Black’s extra
pawn. The simplest way to achieve this was 43. Ra4! Rb6 44. g4 to
be followed with Ra5, making the black king watch the pawns f6
and h6.

**39. Rf2+ Kg5 40. h4+ Kh5 **

No other way. In case of 40... Kg6? White won after 41. Re2
Kf5 42. Rxe4 Rxe4 43. Kf3.

**41. Re2 Bc6 42. Rd2 **

Enough for a draw, but 42. Rf2!? deserved attention too. The
point is that White wants to launch a procedure involving
bishop’s checks from d1 and c2, which works successfully for
instance in case of 42... Re6 with 43. Bd1+ Kg6 44. Bc2+ . An
attempt to prevent him from doing this with 42... Re1 (there is
neither 42... Be4? because of 43. Re2 nor 43... g5? because of
44. Rf6) allows White to win a piece with 43. Rf5+! g5 44. Rf6
Be8 (if 44... gxh4+, then 45. Kf2 Rc1 46. Bg6+, and in case of
44... Be4 there is 45. Kf2) 45. hxg5 hxg5 46. Kf2 Rc1 47. g4+!
Kxg4 (no 47... Kh4? because of 48. Bf5, and Black can escape a
mate at a very dear cost only) 48. Bf5+ Kf4 (if 48... Kh4, then
49. Rh6+ Bh5 50. Bg6) 49. Bc8+ Ke5 50. Re6+, and though an extra
piece is not enough to win this position, still White can put
many problems before his opponent.

**42... Re6 43. Bf5 Rf6 44. Bc2 g5 **

There seems to be no other way to free the king from the
imprisonment.

**45. hxg5 hxg5 **

If 45... Kxg5, then the pawn would have been got back with 46.
Rd4.

**46. Rd4 Bb5 47. Rd8 Kh6 **

No better was 47... Rb6 because of 48. Rh8+ Rh6 49. Rg8.

**48. Rh8+ Kg7 49. Rh5 Rf1 50. Rxg5+ Kf6 51. Rh5 Ke6 52. Be4
Kd6 53. Rd5+ Kc7 54. Kg4?! **

Having solved successfully defending problems in this hard
position, White makes a blunder at the end. After a mere 54. Rd2
he was no worse, but now he has to play without a pawn again.

**54... Rf2 55. Rd1 Rxb2 56. Kf4 Bc6 **

It’s White’s luck that there is already too little
material on the board to punish him for his negligence. If Black
began to advance his a-pawn 56... a5 , then after 57. g4 a4 58.
g5 a3 59. g6 White would have escaped problems owing to his
passed g-pawn which stayed out of reach of Black’s pieces.

**57. Rc1 Rb4 **

After 57... Bxe4 58. Kxe4 Black would have lost soon the pawn
c4.

**58. Ke5 a5 59. g4 a4 60. g5 Rb5+ 61. Kd4 Bxe4 62. Kxe4 Rxg5
63. Rxc4+ Kb6 64. Kd3 Kb5 65. Rc8 Kb4 1/2-1/2 Draw. **

**Svidler - Gallagher [B90]**

**1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 **

White chooses the most aggressive continuation against the
Najdorf Variation in the Sicilian Defence.

**6... e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. f3 Nbd7 9. g4 b5 10. g5 b4 11. Nd5 **

The line with 11. Ne2 Nh5 12. Qd2 is more popular, but Piotr
Svidler evidently has his own considerations concerning this
problem.

**11... Nxd5 12. exd5 Bf5 13. Bd3 Bxd3 14. Qxd3 Be7 15. h4 **

After 15. Rg1 O-O 16. O-O-O a5 17. Nd2 f5 18. gxf6 Nxf6 19.
Kb1 Nh5 20. Rg4 Qd7 21. Rc4 Qf5 Black equalised easily in the
game Leko - Kasparov (Linares, 1999).

**15... O-O 16. O-O-O a5 17. Nd2 f5 18. gxf6 Nxf6 19. h5 Qc8
20. h6 g6 **

**21. Rdg1!? **

A reinforcement. In the game Shirov - Svidler (Wijk aan Zee,
1999) 21. Rhg1 Kh8 was played, whereafter White managed to keep a
slight advantage with 22. f4 Ng4 23. fxe5 Nxe5 24. Bd4 Bf6 25.
Qe3 Qc7 26. Ne4 Rac8 27. Rg2. After that game P. Svidler told
that Black could have got a convenient play with 21. ... Nh5!.
Really, the sacrifice 22. Rxg6+ hxg6 23. Qxg6+ Kh8 gives nothing
to White, and after 22. Rg4 Qf5 Black has a convenient play. So,
White puts namely the queen’s rook on g1 in order to prevent
the black knight from this manoeuvre.

**21... Kh8 22. f4 Qa6?! **

The idea of Black’s opponent should have been proved
thoroughly with 22... Ng4 23. fxe5 Nxe5 24. Bd4 Bf6 25. Qe3 a4
26. Kb1 (in case of 26. Ne4 there was a very strong 26... b3 )
26... Ra5, Black could have put considerable pressure upon the
pawn d5, all the more that White’s rook had left the d-file.
So, Black was OK after 27. Ne4 Rxd5 28. Nxd6 Rxd6 29. Bxe5 Qe8
30. Rf1 Kg8. After the move in the game Black’s heavy pieces
will be engaged in the play, still the light ones will have
nothing to do.

**23. Nc4 Rfc8 **

If 23... exf4, then apart from a dull 24. Bxf4 Rfc8 25. b3
White could have chosen a more definite 24. Bd4! Rac8 25. b3 with
excellent attacking opportunities.

**24. b3 a4 **

In case of 24... exf4 Black had no chances to survive after
25. Bd4 a4 26. Rxg6 hxg6 27. Qxg6 Rg8 28. Qf7 Rae8 29. Re1.

**25. fxe5 dxe5 26. d6! **

White’s achievements in the centre of the board outweigh his
concessions to Black on the queenside.

**26... axb3 27. axb3 Rd8 **

If 27... Bd8, then after 28. Rf1 Nd7 29. Kd2 the advantage of
white pieces in the centre of the board should have told.

**28. Bg5 Ng8 **

In case of 28... Rd7 29. Qf3 Qa1+ (if 29... Rf8, then 30. Kb2)
30. Kd2 Qd4+ 31. Ke2 White’s king was relatively safe in the
centre, unlike Black’s light pieces which were just hanged.

**29. Qe3 Bxg5 30. Rxg5 Rxd6 31. Nxd6 Qxd6 32. Kb1?! **

White’s extra exchange will tell if he manages to secure the
position of his king, but White makes not the best move to
achieve this. 32. Re1!? deserved attention, putting more pressure
upon the pawn e5. After 32... e4 (if 32... Ra1+ 33. Kb2 Rxe1 34.
Qxe1 Qd4+ 35. Kb1 e4, then White also won after 36. Rb5) 33. Qxe4
Ra1+ 34. Kb2 Qf6+ 35. Re5 White would haev achieved gradually his
extra exchange both in case of 35... Ra5 36. Qd4 and after 35...
Rxe1 36. Qxe1 Nxh6 37. Kb1.

**32... Ra5 33. Qc1? **

33. Re1!? was better, though in this case White had not more
than a draw after 34... Qa6 34. Kc1 Rd5 35. Kb1.

**33... Qf6? **

Besides an opportunity to take a pawn with the move 33... Nxh6
as there was no 34. Rxh6? because of 34... Qa6!, Black had also a
very strong 33... Nf6! with the idea to get to c3 through d5 or
e4. After 34. Rd1 (in case of 34. Re1 the solution was 34... Nd5)
34... Ne4! 35. Rg3 ( 35.Rxd6 Nc3+ 36. Kb2 Ra2#) 35...Qf8! Black
won the game.

**34. Rg4 Nxh6?? **

White has invented a way to lose in one move. After 34... Qa6
35. Qb2 Qd6 he could still have struggled quite successfully.

**35. Qxh6 1-0 Black resigned. **Probably he had reckoned
on 35. Rxh6?? Qa6, but evidently he failed in his calculations.

**Milov - Gelfand [D27]**

**1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. e3 **

Such play cannot promise anything to White.

**5... a6 6. a4 c5 7. Bxc4 Nc6 8. O-O Be7 9. Qe2 cxd4 10. Rd1
**

**10... e5 **

The game is reduced to a well known position of the Queen's
Gambit Accepted in which the white knight was put on c3 too
early.

**11. exd4 exd4 12. Nxd4 Nxd4 13. Qe5 Qd6 14. Qxd4 **

Boris Gelfand preferred once 14. Qxd6 Bxd6 15. Rxd4 Be5 16.
Rh4 O-O 17. Bf4 in this position, and after an inaccurate 17...
Bxf4 (stronger was 17... Bxc3 18. bxc3 Bd7 19. Be5 Rfe8 with an
equalisation like in the game Huzman - S. Ivanov (Beer-Sheva,
1998)) 18. Rxf4 Be6 19. Bxe6 fxe6 20. Rb4 White got an advantage
in the game Gelfand - P. Nikolic (Tilburg, 1990).

**14... Qxd4 15. Rxd4 Bc5 16. Rd1 O-O 17. Bf4 **

A more tensed situation could have arisen after 17. Bg5 which
was seen many times, but even then Black would have no reasons to
trouble.

**17... Bg4 18. Re1 Rfe8 19. h3 1/2-1/2 Draw.**