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Aug 17,2002
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Round 8

Ponomariov - Svidler [D97]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O 7. e4 a6

Once again Piotr Svidler proves his fidelity to one of the keenest ways of struggling against White’s mighty pawn centre in a popular line of the Gruenfeld Defence, that is in the Hungarian Variation.

8. e5 b5 9. Qb3 Nfd7 10. e6

The line with 10. Be3 c5 11. e6 which used to be popular in the past is out of business now because of 11... cxd4!.

10... fxe6 11. Be3 Nf6

Black wants to have the knight closer to the king. In case of 11... Nb6 he took a chance to suffer a dangerous attack after 12. h4 Nc6 13. h5 like it happened in the game Kasparov - Svidler (Wijk aan Zee, 1999).

12. a4

Since Black’s knight went to the right, White strikes a blow on the left.

12... bxa4 13. Rxa4 Nd5

After 13... Nc6 14. Bc4 Rb8 White got a slightly better endgame with 15. Bxe6+ Kh8 16. Qc4 Bxe6 17. Qxe6 Qd6 18. Ng5 Rxb2 19. O-O Nd8 20. Qh3 Qd7 21. Qxd7 Nxd7 22. Rxa6 in the game Karpov - Svidler (Dos Hermanas, 1999).

14. Bc4

The withdrawal of Black’s knight from the kingside could have been used with 14. h4 Qd6 15. h5. After 15... Bd7 16. hxg6 Bxa4 17. gxh7+ Kh8 18. Qxa4 Nxe3 19. Nh4 e5 20. fxe3 White gained a powerful initiative for the sacrificed exchange in the game Kozul - Ruck (Pula, 1999).

14... c6

15. Ng5

A new way of struggling against the continuation 12... Nd5 which became popular after Black had solved all his problems successfully in the game Piket - Shirov (Monte Carlo (active), 1999) in the line with 15. h4 after 15... Nd7 16. h5 N7b6 17. hxg6 hxg6 18. Bd3 Nxa4 19. Qxa4 Qd6 20. Bxg6 Rxf3 21. Nxd5 exd5 22. Bh7+ Kf8 23. gxf3 Rb8. White tried to gain an advantage also with 15. Ra3, for instance in the recent game Beliavsky - Ruck (Hungary, 2000) where a keen position occurred after 15... Nd7 16. Nxd5 cxd5 17. Bxd5 Nc5 18. dxc5 exd5 19. O-O Bg4 20. Nd4 Rc8 21. Rxa6 Bxd4 22. Bxd4 Be2 23. Re6 Bxf1 24. Kxf1.

15... h6 16. Nf3

After 16. Nxe6 Bxe6 17. Qb7 White had to reckon with 17... Qd7! (there was no 17... Nd7? because of 18. Qxc6) 18. Qxa8 Nb6 19. Bxe6+ Qxe6 20. Qa7 Nxa4 21. Nxa4 Qa2 which gave an advantage to Black.

16... Nd7 17. Nxd5 exd5

In case of 17. Bxd5+? cxd5 18. Qxd5+ White encountered 18... e6 19. Qxa8 Nb6 20. Qc6 Bd7 and lost a piece.

18. Bd3 Nb6 19. Rb4 Nc4 20. Bxc4

The balance would have been maintained also after 20. Bxg6 Qd6 21. Bd3 (in case of 21. Bc2 there was a strong 21... Bh3) 21... Bh3 (21... Nxe3 22. fxe3 e5 was not dangerous for White because of a simple 23. O-O ) 22. O-O Rxf3 23. gxf3 Bxf1 24. Bxf1 Qg6+ 25. Kh1 Qf5.

20... a5 21. Rb6 dxc4 22. Qxc4+ Kh7 23. Rxc6

In case of 23. Qxc6 White had to reckon with 23... Bf5 as there was no 24. O-O? because of 24... Rf6.

23... Bb7 24. Rc7 24... Bxf3 25. gxf3 Rb8

White’s extra pawn is a temporary effect because his whole pawn chain is invalid.

26. O-O Rxb2 27. Qc5 Rf7 28. Ra1 Rb5 29. Qxb5 Qxc7 30. Qxa5 Qxa5 31. Rxa5 Rxf3 32. Kg2 1/2-1/2 Draw.

Gelfand - Van Wely [A30]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. g3 b6 4. Bg2 Bb7 5. O-O g6 6. b3

White answers the Double Fianchetto System of the English Opening with a rather quiet continuation, avoiding the fashionable line 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. d4 cxd4 8. Qxd4.

6... Bg7 7. Bb2 O-O 8. Nc3 d5

Black opens up the position, using White’s sluggish play. 8… Na6! is known to be the most reliable continuation in this position, still the move in the game is not at all bad.

9. Nxd5 Nxd5 10. Bxg7 Kxg7 11. cxd5 Qxd5

After 11... Bxd5 12. d4 Nd7 13. dxc5 Nxc5 14. Qd4+ f6 15. Rfd1 Bxf3 16. Qe3 or 15... Bb7 16. Qe3 Black encountered some problems.

12. d4 cxd4 13. Qxd4+ Qxd4 14. Nxd4 Bxg2 15. Kxg2

A well known position which occurred often in the seventies. The Swedish grandmaster Ulf Andersson played it especially good.

15... Rc8

15... Nd7, 15... a6 and 15... Na6 occurred in this position too. The last one is considered to be not very good because of 16. Rfd1 Rfc8 17. Rac1 Kf6 18. Nb5! Nc5 19. b4 which was seen in the game Smyslov - Castro (Biel (izt), 1976). As for the first two, Ulf Andersson had endgame masterpieces in each of them. His victories after 15... Nd7 16. Rfd1 Nf6 17. Nb5! Rfc8 18. Rac1 Rxc1 19. Rxc1 a6 20. Nd4 Rd8 21. e3 Nd5 22. Rc6 Rd6 23. Rxd6 exd6 24. Kf1 (Andersson - D. Marovic, Banja Luka, 1976) and after 15... a6 16. Rac1 Ra7 17. Rc2 Rd8 18. e3 e5 19. Nf3 f6 20. g4 Rd6 21. Rfc1 Nd7 22. Rc6 (Andersson - Robatsch, Munich, 1979) can be called classical.

16. Rac1 Nd7 17. Rfd1 Nf6

The move 17... Nc5 can be met with 18. b4, Black having serious difficulties after 18... Ne4 19. Nb5! Rxc1 20. Rxc1 a5 21. Rc4! (Lisitsyn - Levenfish, USSR (ch), 1948) or after 18... Na4 19. Nb5! Rxc1 20. Rxc1 a5 21. a3!, (Smyslov - Benko, Monte-Carlo, 1968).

18. e3

White lets his opponent go readily. After 18. Nb5!? the game would have been reduced to the above mentioned game Andersson - D. Marovic (Banja Luka, 1976).

18... a6 19. Kf1 1/2-1/2 Draw. 19. a4 Ne4 20. Nc6 occurred previously, whereafter the opponents agreed to a draw too (Tal - Savon, Moscow, 1973).

Gallagher - Milov [B43]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Nc3 b5 6. Bd3 Bc5 7. Be3 Qb6

8. Qg4!

A very interesting novelty. 8. Be2 is played usually. So, 8... Nc6 9. Nxc6 Bxe3 10. fxe3 dxc6 11. Qd4 Qxd4 12. exd4 e5 13. d5 Bb7 occurred recently in a game between two participants of the present tournament (Svidler - Milov, Frankfurt (active), 2000).

8... Bxd4 9. e5 Bxe3 10. Qxg7 Bxf2+ 11. Kf1 Bh4 12. g3 Bb7?!

12... Qe3!? was interesting too. After 13. Qxh8 (in case of 13. Be4 Black had a draw with a perpetual check after 13... d5! 14. Qxh8 dxe4 15. Qxg8+ Ke7 16. Qxc8 Bxg3 17. hxg3 Qf3+ 18. Kg1 Qxg3+) Qf3+ 14. Kg1 Bb7 15. Qxg8+ Ke7 16. Be4 Qe3+ 17. Kg2 Bxe4+ 18. Nxe4 Qxe4+ 19. Kh3. So the position would be still unclear, whereas the move in the game gives an advantage to White.

13. Qxh8 Bxh1 14. Qxg8+ Ke7 15. Qg4

15. gxh4 looks not bad, preventing the black king from getting to the pieces for some time.

15... Kd8

An extra pawn that could have been won by Black with 15... Bxg3 16. hxg3 Qc6 would be lost soon, yet White’s initiative after 17. Qh4+ Ke8 18. Ne4 would remain.

16. Qxh4+ Kc7 17. Ke2 Bg2

18. Rd1?

White’s first mistake in this game, the most interesting in the round. After 18. Qb4! f6 (18... Nc6 was not good for Black because of 19. Qd6+ Kc8 20. Bxh7 Nd4+ 21. Kd3, and in case of 18... f5 there were both 19. exf6 and a promising 19. a4! bxa4 20. Qxb6+ Kxb6 21. Rxa4, because a natural 21... Nc6?! led Black into great troubles after 22. Kf2 Bh1 23. Ra1) 19. exf6 (also 19. Be4 Bxe4 20. Qxe4 Nc6 21. exf6 was possible) 19... Nc6 20. Qf4+ e5 21. Qe3 Black hardly could have reckoned on any sufficient compensation for the missing pawn.

18... Nc6 19. Be4

If 19. Qxh7, then 19... Qc5 was strong.

19... Bxe4 20. Nxe4

In case of 20. Qxe4 there was 20... Qc5.

20... Nd4+ 21. Kd3 Nf5 22. Qf4 Qd4+ 23. Ke2 Qc4+?!

Black’s disregard for pawns is not comprehensible. 23... Qxb2 looked good, all the more that in case of 24. Nf6 there was 24... Rd8, and Black’s chances were obviously better.

24. Kf3 Nd4+ 25. Kg2 Qe2+ 26. Nf2 Nc6

After a careless 26... Nxc2?! White recovered his advantage with 27. Kg1.

27. Qxf7 Rd8?!

It seems that 27... Nxe5 28. Qf4 (of course no 28. Qxh7? because of 28... Rf8 ) 28... d6 with an approximate equality was more natural. Still, now it is again White who has an advantage.

28. Qxh7 Qxe5

Black rejected the move 28... Nxe5?! because of 29. Qe4, as then he would have to play an endgame having one pawn less.

29. c3?!

White returns easily the advantage that he has just gained. After 29. b3!? Nb4 30. c4 he parted with his extra pawn, but instead he opened the position of the black king.

29... Qe2 30. Qd3 Qxb2 31. Rd2 Qa3 32. h4 d5 33. Nh3 e5 34. Ng5 Kb6 35. Nf7 Rd7?

Another blunder in this dramatic game. After 35... e4! 36. Qe3+ d4 37. Qxe4 Rd7 38. Ne5 (in case of 38. Qf5 there was 38... Qxc3, and no 39. Rc2?? because of 39... Rxf7!, and if White played 38. Ng5, then after 38... Re7 39. Qf5 dxc3 Black was OK) 38... Nxe5 39. Qxe5 Qxc3 40. Qe6+ Ka5 Black kept the material balance.

36. Nxe5!

Once more, White has an advantage of a pawn.

36... Nxe5 37. Qd4+ Qc5 38. Qxe5 a5 39. h5

White had a wide choice of promising continuations here. So, there was an attack of the black king’s position with 39. Qb8+ Ka6 (39... Rb7? was bad because of 40. Qd8+ Rc7 41. Rxd5) 40. Qa8+ Kb6 41. Re2. A rook endgame to appear after 39. Qd4 b4 40. cxb4 axb4 41. g4 Qxd4 42. Rxd4 Kc5 43. Rd2 Kc4 44. g5 Kc3 45. Rd1 seems to be winning for him too, owing to the great power of his joined passed pawns g and h. The move in the game is also good.

39... b4 40. cxb4 axb4 41. Rd4 Qc2+ 42. Kh3 Qb1 43. Rf4 Ka5 44. Qd4

An immediate 44. a3! was not bad too, with the idea to answer 44... bxa3 (if 44... Qh1+ , then 45. Kg4 Qd1+ 46. Kg5, and White’s king is in perfect security) with 45. Qd4 Qh1+ 46. Kg4, whereafter Black failed both to defend his own king and to arrange any counterthreats.

44... Kb5

45. a3!

It appears to be absolutely impossible that Black still will save a half-point after such a blow.

45... Rd8

There was no 45... bxa3 because of 46. Qa4+ Kc5 ( 46... Kb6 47. Rb4+) 47. Qxa3+ Kb5 48. Qa4+ Kc5 49. Qxd7 Qh1+ 50. Kg4 Qd1+ 51. Kg5 with an extra rook by White.

46. a4+?

What for is this show? It’s absolutely evident that after 46. Qxb4+ Qxb4 47. Rxb4+ Kc5 48. g4 White’s joint passed pawns g and h would get to the eighth horizontal and gain a victory for White.

46... Kc6 47. Kh4 Qh1+ 48. Kg5 Qe1 49. Rf6+

White forces the play. There were reasons for struggling after 49. g4 Rd6 (49... Rg8+ was insufficient because of 50. Kh6 Rd8 51. g5 with White’s win) 50. Qa7 Qe5+ 51. Rf5 with good winning chances by White.

49... Rd6 50. Rxd6+ Kxd6 51. Qf4+ Kc6 52. h6 Qe7+ 53. Qf6+ Qxf6+ 54. Kxf6 b3 55. h7 b2 56. h8Q b1Q 57. Qc8+ Kd6 58. Qf8+ Kc6 59. Qc8+ Kd6 60. Qd8+ Kc6 61. Qe8+ Kd6 62. Qe5+ Kc5

In case of 62... Kc6 after 63. g4 Qe4 64. g5 White’s g-pawn began a headlong advance.

63. Qc7+ Kd4 64. a5

The a-pawn moves quickly towards the eighth horizontal, creating on the way a fearful threat of 65. Qb6+. Black’s passed pawn on the d-file is definitely tardy. V. Milov can hope for an opportunity of a perpetual check only.

64... Qa2 65. Qb6+ Ke4 66. a6 Qa1+ 67. Kg6 Qa4 68. Kf6!

A good move. After 68. Qe6+ Kf3 69. Qxd5+ Kxg3 Black still had some drawing chances, and in case of 68. a7 Qe8+ 69. Kg5 Qe5+ 70. Kh4 Qh8+ he had a perpetual check at once.

68... Qa3 69. Kf7 Qa4

70. a7?

White has hurried with this. After 70. Qc7! which secured the king against a perpetual check Black lost the game inevitably. The point was that in case of 70... Qxa6 (if 70... d4, then the solution was 71. Qb7+ Kf5 72. a7 Qa2+ 73. Kg7, and if 70... Qd1, then 71. Qf4+ Kd3 72. Qf5+ Kc3 73. a7) White had 71. Qf4+ Kd3 72. Qf1+, winning Black’s queen.

70... Qd7+ 71. Kf6 Qf5+ 72. Ke7 Qh7+ 73. Kd6 Qh6+ 74. Kc7 Qg7+ 75. Kc8 Qf8+ 76. Kb7 Qe7+ 77. Qc7 Qb4+ 78. Kc6 Qc3+ 79. Kd7 Qg7+ 80. Kc8 Qf8+ 81. Kd7 Qg7+ 82. Kc6 Qc3+ 83. Kb7 Qb4+ 84. Kc8 Qf8+ 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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