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Aug 19,2002

chess chess

Round four.

Khalifman – Galkin [D31]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 e6

Black’s idea is plain, he wants to take the pawn c4, and if White defends it with 4. e3, then the opportunities of the bishop c1 are restricted considerably.

4. e4

The most aggressive answer to the development system, chosen by Black. Two years ago 4. Nf3 dxc4 5. Bg5 occurred between the same opponents at the Russia Championship in St.Petersburg.

4... Bb4

Black refused to go for the basic positions of the Slav Defence to appear after 4... dxe4 5. Nxe4 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Qxd4.

5. cxd5

White raised the pawn tension and got some space advantage on the centre. A delay of the exchange after 5. e5 Ne7 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 c5 8. cxd5 allowed Black to put pressure upon the d4-pawn with 8... Qxd5! and thus keep the big diagonal open for his pieces.

5... exd5

Black keeps an opportunity to develop the light-squared bishop on the diagonal c8-g4. In case of 5... cxd5 6. e5 White had a space advantage for nothing.

6. e5 Ne7

A curious detail: this position was seen with reversed colours after 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 e5 6. Ne2 e4 7. Bb5. Sometimes 6… c5 occurs instead of Black’s last move.

7. Nf3!?

It looks like this normal development move was played for the first time. 7. Bd3 is the usual answer. After 7… c5 8. a3 Bxc3+ 9. bxc3 Nbc6 10. Ne2 Bf5 11. Bg5 Qd7 12. Bxe7 Nxe7 13. O-O Rc8 14. Ng3 Bxd3 15. Qxd3 h5 16. h4 g6 17. f4 Nf5 in the game Murshed - Dreev (Yerevan (ol), 1996) Black managed to organise an exemplary blockade of White’s pawn advantage on the kingside.

7... c5 8. a3 Bxc3+

8... Ba5!? deserved serious attention, as White had to reckon with an attack of the square d4 continuously. Still, in the game Black preferred to block up the light squares.

9. bxc3 Nbc6 10. Be2

In case of 10. Bd3 Bg4 Black’s pressure upon the d4-pawn was rather perceptible.

10... Bg4

In case of 10... Bf5 Black had to reckon with 11. Nh4, and after 11... Be6 (11… Be4 was risky because of 12. f3 Nf5 13. O-O! with a dangerous initiative by White) 12. Rb1 Qd7 13. O-O 0-0 (no 13… Ng6 because of 14. Nxg6 hxg6 15. dxc5, whereafter in case of 15… Nxe5 there was an unpleasant 16. Qd4) 14. a4 White kept better chances.

11. O-O O-O 12. Rb1 Qc7?!

Black did not want to weaken his position on the queenside with the move 12... b6, but there was a way to defend the b7-pawn with 12... Qd7. After 13. a4 (in case of the capture 13. dxc5 there was 13…Bxf3 14. Bxf3 Nxe5, and the strength of White’s two bishops was neutralised with the weakness of his c-pawns) 13… Rfc8 14. h3 Bf5 15. Bd3 Bxd3 16. Qxd3 Nd8 Black had much more chances to get an active play on the queenside than in the game.

13. h3 Bh5

In case of 13... Bf5 14. Bd3 Bxd3 (in case of 14... Bg6 there was already 15. dxc5) 15. Qxd3 there was no 15… Rfc8 because of 16. Ng5 Ng6 17. f4! or an even stronger 16. e6! fxe6 17. Ng5 Ng6 18. Nxe6.

14. a4

White shows to his opponent that he could develop his dark-squared bishop to the diagonal a3-f8.

14… Bg6?!

Most probably this natural move was unhappy. The tension could have been maintained with 14... Rfe8, and if 15. Ba3, then 15… b6.

15. Bd3!

White ventured on an exchange of his good bishop, not allowing his opponent to dominate over the most important diagonal b1-h7.

15… Rfd8?!

A preventive measure: Black defended the pawn d5, thus avoiding a capture on c5 (16. dxc5) which was possible, for instance, in case of 15… Rfc8. If Black released the tension in the centre with 15... c4 16. Bc2, then White advanced his f-pawn sooner or later, as his knight could have left its stand on f3, not fearing for the d4-pawn. By the way, Black’s bishop had no way back with 15... Bh5? because of a standard blow 16. Bxh7+ Kxh7 17. Ng5+ Kg6 18. g4. Probably the move 15… b6 was worthy with the idea that after 16.. Rfc8 with a subsequent exchange on d4 Black could have attempted to organise a counterplay on the c-file, as after the move in the game the rook was quite uncomfortable on the dark square.

16. Bg5 Rd7

There was no 16... Be4 17. Re1 Bxf3 18. Qxf3 cxd4 19. cxd4 Nxd4 because after 20. Qg4 Ne6 21. Rec1 Qd7 22. Bb5 Black lost by an exchange.

17. Rb5 b6 18. Re1

Now Black will have to reckon with the possible e5-e6 all the time.

18…a6 19. Rb1 c4

It’s already not easy for Black to maintain the tension in the centre. So, after 19… Nd8 20. Bxe7 Rxe7 21. Bxg6 hxg6 22. Qb3 he lost a pawn, as well as in case of 19… Bxd3 20. Qxd3 Nd8 21.dxc5 Qxc5 22. Bxe7 Qxe7 23. Red1.

20. Bc2

In case of 20. Bxg6 Black was obliged to continue with 20… Nxg6, because after 20... fxg6 or 20... hxg6 there was a very strong 21. e6!.

20... Nd8

Now Black had 20... Bxc2 21. Qxc2 Ng6 with the idea to decrease the efficiency of the intrusion of the white knight on h4, but after 22. Nh4 (the natural break-through 22. e6 gave nothing to White after 22... fxe6 23. Rxe6 Rf7 24. Rbe1 Raf8, but 22. Nh2!? deserved attention with the idea to advance the f-pawn after the bishop retreats) 22… Nxh4 23. Bxh4 Nd8 White, apart from an advance of the f-pawn, had a very strong 24. Qb2!, because after 24… Rb8 there was 25. e6! fxe6 26. Bg3 Nf4 27. Qxb6!!, and the weakness of Black’s eighth horizontal was decisive.

21. Nh4 Rb8

In case of 21... Bxc2 22. Qxc2 (22... Ne6 was losing because of 23. Nxg6 hxg6 24. Bxd8 Rdxd8 25. e6) 23. Bd2! it was also not clear how Black had to defend against an advance of the white f-pawn.

22. f4 Bxc2 23. Qxc2 b5

After 23... h6 24. Bxe7 (in case of 24. Bf6 Nec6 25. Nf5 Ne6 Black still held) 24... Rxe7 there was 25. f5 with White’s strong initiative on the kingside or 25. Nf5 Re6 26. Nd6, because for 26…Nb7 White had 27. f5 Re7 28. f6 Nxd6 29. fxe7 Ne4 30. Rxe4 with a great advantage.

24. f5 Ndc6 25. f6

The white f-pawn broke Black’s defence in four moves.

25… Ng6

After 25... gxf6 26. exf6 or 26. Bxf6 Black also lost soon.

26. Nf5 h6

In case of 26... b4 there was 27. fxg7 b3 28. Bf6!.

27. e6 hxg5

In case of 27... fxe6 the solution was 28. Nxg7.

28. exd7 Qxd7 29. axb5 axb5 30. Nxg7 b4 31. Qd2!

Two black pawns are attacked at the same time.

31… Nf4 32. cxb4 Qa7 33. Nf5 1-0

Black resigned.

Timman – Polgar [E15]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. b3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Bg2 c6 8. Bc3 d5 9. Ne5 Ne4

J. Polgar refused to repeat the opening experiment which took place in her recent game with A. Karpov in Buenos Aires when after the well known moves 9... Nfd7 10. Nxd7 Nxd7 11. Nd2 O-O 12. O-O Nf6 13. e4 b5 14. Re1 dxe4 15. Qc2 Rc8 16. Rad1 Nd5 17. Bb2 Black sacrificed a piece with 17… f5 18. cxd5 cxd5 and got a good compensation.

10. O-O Nxc3 11. Nxc3 O-O

Black got the advantage of two bishops, but he has still some problems with the development of his queenside.

12. Rc1 Bf6

There were alternative lines 12... Ba3 13. Rc2 f6 14. Nd3 Re8 (Vainerman - I. Novikov, Simferopol, 1991) or 12... Bb7 13. e4 dxc4 14. Nxc4 Nd7 (Grabarczyk - Pieniazek, Krynica, 1997).

13. f4

A novelty. Previously 13. cxd5 cxd5 14. f4 (after 14. b4 Bxe5 15. dxe5 Bc4 16. f4 Nc6 17. a3 b5 like in the game Hultin - M. Rytshagov (Stockholm, 1997) White can get even a worse position) 14... Bxe5 15. dxe5 Nd7 16. Re1 Rc8 17. e4 Nc5 occurred in the game Van Wely - Adams (Groningen, 1997) with equal chances.

13... Bxe5?!

With this exchange Black hopes to develop his knight as soon as possible. In case of 13... Bb7 White had 14. e4. Still, the most fundamental refutation for White’s thirteenth move was 13... dxc4, though with 14. b4 (after 14. bxc4 Bxe5 15. fxe5 Bxc4 or 14. Ne4 cxb3 15. axb3 Be7 White had no compensation for the pawn) 14... Qe7 (in case of 14... Bb7 15. e3 Qe7 16. Nxc4 Qxb4 17. Ne4 White had a full compensation for the pawn, threatening to intrude to d6, as 17… Be7 did not prevent him from playing so because of 18. Ned6 Bxd6 19. a3! ) 15. Ng4 (15. b5 was insufficient because of 15… Bxe5 16. fxe5 Bb7) 15... Qxb4 16. Nxf6+ gxf6, and now 17. e4 or 17. f5, White having a serious initiative for the missing material.

14. fxe5 Nd7 15. cxd5 cxd5 16. Rf2

Preparing e2-e4.

16… Rc8

If 16... Bb7, then 17. Nb5 with an intrusion to d6.

17. e4 dxe4 18. Nxe4 f6 19. Bh3 Qe7

After 19... Rxc1 20. Bxe6+ Kh8 21. Qxc1 fxe5 22. Bxd7 Rxf2 23. Nxf2 Qxd7 24. Qa3! Qc8 25. dxe5 White could have won a pawn in a forced line.

20. Rxc8?!

With this exchange the Dutch grandmaster lost a great deal of his advantage. After the strongest 20. exf6! Nxf6 (if 20... gxf6 21. Rxc8 Rxc8, then 22. d5!, and if 20... Rxc1 21. Qxc1 gxf6, then 22. Qc7) 21. Ng5 Rxc1 22. Qxc1 Bc8 23. Rc2 Bd7 24. Rc7 Qd6 25. Qf4 Black’s position was hopeless as his pieces were absolutely helpless.

20... Bxc8!

The only move. After 20... Rxc8 21. exf6 Nxf6 (no better was 21... gxf6 because of 22. d5!) 22. Nxf6+ gxf6 23. d5 White won.

21. Nd6 fxe5 22. Rxf8+ Nxf8

Black’s trick became possible owing to the erroneous exchange, performed by White on the twentieth move. The bishop c8 gets lost temporarily. After 22... Qxf8 23. Bxe6+ there was no doubt about the possible result of the game.

23. Nxc8 Qc7 24. Nxa7 Qxa7

The material balance is restored.

25. d5

25… Qd7?

Now this was the decisive mistake. Bad was also 25... exd5 26. Qxd5+ Kh8 (if 26... Qf7, then 27. Qxe5) 27. Qd6!, and Black experienced great problems. The correct line was 25... b5+! 26. Kh1 (in case of 26. Kf1 there was 26… Qf7+) 26... Qa8! (this is the point) 27. Bg2 Qxa2 28. d6 Qa7 (also 28… b4!? was possible, as there was no 29. d7?? because of 29… Nxd7 30. Qxd7 Qa1+), and Black held, as in case of 29. b4 (with the idea to use the weakness of the b5-pawn) White had 29… Qd4! 30. Qxd4 exd4 31. Bc6 Kf7 32. Bxb5 e5 33. Bc4+ Ke8 with an equality.

26. d6 Qc6 27. a4 e4 28. b4 Kf7 29. Bf1!

The threat Bf1-b5 decides the game White’s favour.

29... Qd5 30. Qxd5 exd5 31. a5 bxa5 32. bxa5 Nd7 33. a6 Nb6 34. Bh3 h5

34... d4 did not help because of 35. Kf2 Kf6 36. a7.

35. a7 g5 36. Bf5 e3

Black could not take the bishop as the white pawns queened then.

37. Kf1 d4 38. Ke2 Kf6 39. Kd3 h4 40. Bg4 hxg3 41. hxg3 1-0

Black resigned before his central pawns were annihilated.

"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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