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Aug 19,2002
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Round 2

Svidler - Gelfand [B70]

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. Nge2 Nf6 4. g3

P. Svidler wants to avoid the Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defence which would be played inevitably in case of 4. d4.

4... Nc6 5. Bg2 g6 6. d4 cxd4 7. Nxd4 Nxd4 8. Qxd4 Bg7 9. O-O O-O 10. h3

Very slowly. Now it is White who can encounter difficulties. After 10. Qb4 a5 11. Qb3 Be6 the struggle would be more tense.

10... Be6 11. Qb4 Qc8

They played variously in this position: 11... Qc7, 11... Qd7, 11... Rb8, 11... Nd7 and 11... a5, but the natural move in the game (Black defends and attacks the pawn h3 at the same time) seems to occur for the first time.

12. Kh2 a5 13. Qa3

White had problems after 13. Qb6 Ra6 14. Qe3 b5 too.

13... b5!

Black is constantly attacking something.

14. Nd5

White has to part with the pawn. There was no 14. Nxb5? because of 14... Bc4, White losing by an exchange. In case of 14. e5 b4 15. Qa4 he had to reckon with 15... Nd7! 16. Bxa8 Qxa8 17. Nd1 Nxe5 with a deadly attack against the white king.

14... Bxd5 15. exd5 Qxc2

For the pawn White becomes a minor compensation of the advantage of two bishops, still this is evidently not sufficient.

16. Qe3 Rfe8 17. Re1 Nd7 18. Re2 Qc4 19. b3 Qc3 20. Rb1 Rac8 21. Be4 Nf6 22. Bg2 b4 23. a3 bxa3?!

Black himself makes the achievement of his extra pawn more difficult. After 23... e6 24. axb4 axb4 25. Bd2 (25. dxe6 was bad because of 25... Rxe6 26. Qf3 Qxf3 27. Bxf3 Rxe2 28. Bxe2 Rc2, Black winning another pawn) 25... Qxe3 26. Rxe3 Nxd5 27. Bxd5 exd5 he had probably more winning chances.

24. Ra2 Qc5 25. Qd2 Qb5 26. Rxa3 Rc5 27. Rba1 Qb6 28. Qd1 Rb5

Of course the position to appear after 28... Nxd5? 29. Bxd5 Bxa1 30. Rxa1 suits White.

29. Be3 Qc7 30. Qd3 Reb8 31. Qc4 Qd8?!

Most likely this move was not the strongest. There was an interesting 31... Ne8 32. Rxa5 (in case of 32. R1a2 there was 32... Bc3) 32... Rxb3, and Black had every reason to fight for a win, though White evidently achieved much after he won an extra pawn.

32. Bd2 Qb6 33. Be3 Qd8 34. Bd2 Nd7

Black does not want to repeat the position, he is striving for a victory.

35. R1a2?

A strange decision. After 35.Bxa5 Rxa5 36. Rxa5 Bxa1 37. Rxa1 Qb6 (White was OK also after 37... Ne5 38. Qc3 Qb6 39. f4 Nd7 40. Re1) 38. Qe2 White’s problem would have been solved.

35... Ne5 36. Qa4

36... Rb4!

A nice tactical trick which allows Black to get rid of his weak pawn a5.

37. Qxa5

There was no 37. Bxb4?? because of 37... axb4, catching the white rook a3.

37... Qxa5 38. Rxa5 Rxb3 39. Ra7 Kf8 40. Bg5 f6 41. Bf4 Nd3 42. Be3 f5 43. Bf1 Bf6 44. R2a3 Ne1 45. Rxb3 Rxb3 46. Ba6 Ra3 47. Be2 Rb3 48. Ba6 Bg5

Black wants to deprive White of his advantage of two bishops with tactical methods. Probably there was an even more efficient way to achieve this: 48... Bd4! 49.Bh6+ (after 49. Bxd4 Nf3+ Black gets the desired exchange) 49... Kf7 50. Ra8 g5! (isolating White’s dark-squared bishop) 51. Kg1 Nf3+ 52. Kg2 Rb2, and Black is to win.

49. Ra8+ Kg7 50. Ba7 Bf6 51. Bc8 Ra3 52. Be6 Nf3+ 53. Kg2 Nd4 54. Rg8+

In case of 54. Bd7 White had to reckon with 54... f4.

54... Kh6 55. Bb6

After 55. Bxd4 Bxd4 there was a position similar to the one in the game.

55... Ra6

There was an alluring opportunity 55... Nxe6 56. dxe6 Ra4 with the idea to get to the white pawn e6, but in this case after 57. Be3+ Kh5 58. Rb8 the position of the black king was rather dubious, as in case of the planned 58... Re4 there was 59. Rb5 with a most unpleasant threat g3-g4.

56. Bxd4 Bxd4 57. f4 Ra2+ 58. Kh1 Ra3 59. Kg2 Ra2+ 60. Kh1 Bf2 61. g4 fxg4 62. hxg4 Be3 63. Rf8 Ra4 64. g5+ Kh5 65. Rh8 Bxf4 66. Rxh7+ Kxg5 67. Rxe7

It seems that White has gained much: there are bishops of different colours on the board and only two pawns. Nevertheless, to get a draw is not at all easy.

67... Kf6 68. Rf7+ Ke5 69. Rh7 Ra2 70. Rh3

If White’s rook would occupy a square behind the passed g-pawn after 70. Rg7 g5 71. Kg1 Ke4 according to the classical rules, then the king took the chance to suffer a mating attack.

70... Ke4 71. Kg1 Be3+ 72. Kf1 g5 73. Rg3 Rf2+ 74. Kg1 Rb2+ 75. Kf1 Kf4 76. Rg2 Rb1+ 77. Ke2 Rb2+ 78. Kf1 Rb1+ 79. Ke2 Ke4 80. Bg8 Rb2+ 81. Kf1 Rb1+ 82. Ke2 Rb2+ 83. Kf1 Rb3 84. Ke2 Ra3 85. Bf7 Bf4 86. Be6

86... Bg3!

Black makes a very unpleasant threat of 87... Ra2+ to be followed with 88... Kf3. White has no satisfactory defence.

87. Bf7 g4 88. Bh5 Re3+ 89. Kd2 Be1+ 90. Kd1 g3 0-1 White resigned. An unpleasant 91... Bf2 was threatening, and in case of 91. Ra2 there was 91... Ke5! (a simpler and longer line 91... Bf2 92. Ra4+ Kxd5 93. Rg4 Kc5 was also enough to win) 92. Bf3 (there was no 92. Re2 because of 92... Rxe2 93. Kxe2 g2, and the pawn passed, whereas in case of 92. Bg4 Bf2 93. Bh3 there was 93... Re1+ 94. Kc2 Rh1 95. Bg2 Rh2 96. Bf1 g2 97. Bxg2 Rxg2, winning a piece) 92... Rxf3 (no 92... Bf2?? because of 93. Re2 ) 93. Kxe1 Kxd5, and two extra pawns in the rook endgame ensured an easy victory to Black.

Ivanchuk - A. Fedorov [B76]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. O-O-O

Black chose the keen Dragon Variation, and White’s answer was most fundamental. Now Black has to venture on a variation with the sacrifice of a pawn or he may stay without any counterplay.

9... d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. Nxd5 cxd5 13. Qxd5 Qc7 14. Qc5

After 14. Qxa8 Bf5 15. Qxf8+ Kxf8 16. Rd2 h5 Black was better.

14... Qb7

After 14... Qb8 15. b3 Bf5 16. Bd3 Rc8 17. Qa5 Rc3 18. Bxf5 Rxe3 19. Be4 Qf4 there was a complex position in the game Ivanchuk - Hodgson (Amsterdam, 1996).

15. Qa3

After 15. b3 Bf5 16. Bd3 Rfc8 Black, as a rule, becomes a very good compensation for the sacrificed pawn.

15... Bf5 16. Bd3 Rab8 17. b3 Rbc8

17... Rfc8 was seen too.

18. Bxf5 gxf5 19. Rd3

A novelty. Only 19. Qa5 was played previously.

19... Qc6

20. c4!

A brave and strong move. With a long step forward the white pawn reduces the influence area of Black’s heavy pieces.

20... Qf6 21. Rhd1 Rc6

It turns out that an intrusion of the black queen into White’s camp with 21... Qa1+ is not at all dangerous after 22. Kc2.

22. Bd4 e5 23. Bc3 Ra6 24. Qb2 Qh6+ 25. Kb1 Qxh2

Black returned the pawn, but you can see how considerably the activity of the centralised white pieces has grown for this time.

26. Rd8 Bf6 27. R8d7 Bg7 28. Qc2 Rg6 29. R1d2 Qg1+ 30. Kb2 f4 31. Re2 Rg5 32. b4 a5 33. b5 h5

Maybe 33... Qc5 was more persistent, though after 34. Qe4 Black’s position was hard too.

34. Qd1!

Another excellent non-showy move. Now the struggle is practically finished.

34... Qc5

After 34... Rxg2 35.Qxg1 Rxg1 36. c5 White’s united passed pawns decide the game in his favour.

35. Qd5 Qg1

In case of 35... Qb6 there was a strong 36. a4 to be followed with an advance of the c-pawn.

36. Rxf7!

This not complicated tactical blow puts an end to the game.

36... Rxf7 37. Qd8+ Rf8 38. Qxg5 Qf1 39. Rc2 1-0 Black resigned.

Van Wely - Krasenkow [D31]

1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 c6 4. e3 f5

Black transfers the play from the Slav to the Dutch Defence, safely preventing White from a possible advance e3-e4.

5. Nf3 Nf6 6. Bd3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. b3 Qe7 9. Bb2 Bd7 10. Ne2

Only an immediate 10. Ne5 was seen previously.

10... Be8 11. Ne5 Nfd7

A more natural move 11... Nbd7 could not make a threat of the exchange of the knights on e5.

12. f4 Nf6 13. c5 Bc7 14. b4 Bh5 15. b5 cxb5 16. Bxb5 Ne4 17. Rb1 Bxe5 18. fxe5 Nc6

The knight on b8 still proved to be useful for Black.

19. Qe1 Bxe2 20. Qxe2 Rf7 21. Rf3 Raf8 22. Rbf1 Qc7 23. Rc1 Qa5 24. a3 f4 25. Bd3 fxe3 26. Rxf7 Rxf7

27. Qxe3

The perspective to stay with the bad dark-squared bishop is not very tempting for White. After 27. Bxe4 dxe4 28. Qxe3 Ne7 29. Re1 (in case of 29. Qxe4 there was a strong 29... Qd2 30. Qc2 Qe3+ 31. Kh1 Rf2) 29... Qb5 30. Ba1 (if 30. Bc1, then after 30... Nf5 31. Qxe4 Rd7 32. Rd1 Qa4 Black also returned the pawn and got a better position) 30... Nd5 31. Qxe4 Qb3 Black maintained the material balance again.

27... Ne7 28. Qe1 Qa4 29. Qb4 Qd7 30. Rf1 Rxf1+ 31. Bxf1 Nc6 32. Qe1 Qf7 33. Bd3 Qf5 34. Qf1 Qg5

If 34... Qxf1+ 35. Kxf1 Nd2+ 36. Ke2 Nc4, then after 37. Bxc4 dxc4 38. Kd2 b5 39. cxb6 axb6 40. a4 White could have struggled for a win.

35. Qe1 Qf5 36. Be2 h5 37. Qf1 g6 38. Qxf5 exf5

The endgame is better for Black owing to his well locked pawn chain, notwithstanding the two bishops and a defended passed pawn by White.

39. Bd3 Kf7 40. Kf1 Ke6 41. Ke2 Na5 42. Bc1 Nc4 43. Kf3

White chooses an active method of defence. 43. Bc2 was also possible with the idea that in case of 43... Nc3+ 44. Kd3 Na2 White had 45. Bd2! Nxa3 46. Bb3, catching the black knight on a2.

43... Nc3 44. Kf4 Na2 45. Be3 g5+

In case of 45... Nxa3 46. Kg5 Nb4 47. Be2 Nac2 48. Bf2 Nc6 49. Kxg6 N2xd4 50. Bxh5 Kxe5 51. h4 Ne6 52. Bf3 the passed pawn h on the side of the board could have brought a lot of troubles to Black.

46. Kf3 f4 47. Bf2

47... Nd2+

There was a most interesting 47... Nc1 48. Bxc4 with a strong intermediate move 48... Kf5! (48... dxc4 was bad because of 49. Ke4 ) 49. Bd3+ Nxd3 50. Ke2 Nb2, Black still keeping a winning chance.

48. Ke2 Ne4 49. Kf1 Nac3 50. Ke1 Ke7 51. Bg1 Kd7 52. Bf2 a6 53. Kf1 Nb5 54. a4 Nc7 55. Bg1 Kc6 56. Ke1 Ne6 57. a5 g4 58. Bc2!?

A good plan. White is ready to face the complications. After 58. Bf1 Nc3 59. Kd2 Nb5 60. Kd3 there was an approximate equality on the board.

58... Kb5 59. Bxe4 dxe4 60. d5 Nc7 61. c6 bxc6 62. d6 Ne6 63. Bb6

63... Kc4

Black gives up the piece at once. Otherwise he could have lost after 63... Nf8 64. Bd8 f3 65. gxf3 gxf3 66. Bg5 Kxa5 67. d7 Nxd7 68. e6.

64. d7 Kd5 65. d8Q+ Nxd8 66. Bxd8 Kxe5

Three extra pawns make up a sufficient compensation for the bishop.

67. Bc7+ Kf5 68. Kd2 c5??

Black found a way to lose the game. After 68... h4 69. Bd8 (in case of 69. h3 e3+ 70. Kd3 c5 it was only Black who had some winning chances) 69... h3 70. gxh3 gxh3 71. Bb6 Kg4 72. Ke2 Kf5 the front line of the black pawns was impregnable.

69. g3

Now it’s easy to block up the black pawns.

69... f3 70. Bb6 Ke5 71. Bxc5 Kd5 72. Bb6 1-0 Black resigned.

Movsesian - Markowski [A43]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4 Bg7 4. d5 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Bb5+ Nbd7 7. a4 O-O 8. O-O a6 9. Be2 Rb8 10. Nd2

10. Bf4 looked more natural.

10... Ne8 11. Re1

In case of 11. Nc4 White had to reckon with 11... Nb6.

11... Nc7 12. Nc4 b6 13. f4 Bb7 14. Bf3

14. Bf1 was seen previously.

14... Ba8 15. Kh1 b5 16. axb5 axb5 17. Na5 Nb6 18. Ra2 e6

19. dxe6

If White has to make moves like this, he evidently lost the opening fight. In case of a more pretentious 19. Nc6 Bxc6 20. dxc6 b4 21. Ne2 Qe7 Black’s chances looked also better.

19... fxe6 20. Ne2 e5 21. c3 Qe7 22. b4 Rbd8 23. bxc5 dxc5 24. Qc2 exf4 25. Nb3?

A strange move: White gives up a pawn for nothing. He had to play 25. Bxf4 Ne6, though in this case Black was still better.

25... Qe5 26. Ra7 Nc4 27. Qa2 Kh8 28. Na5 Nb6 29. Nb3 Na4 30. c4 bxc4 31. Nd2

The play would have been reduced to the position in the game after 31. Qxa4 cxb3 32. Qxb3 Ne6 too, just a bit sooner.

31... Nb6 32. Nxc4 Nxc4 33. Qxc4 Ne6 34. Ba3 Rfe8 35. Rb1 Rb8 36. Rd1 Bc6 37. Qc2 Ra8

38. Rxg7?

Losing the game, and quickly. 38. Rxa8 Rxa8 39. Bc1 was preferable, because in case of 39... Ba4 there was 40. Qa2.

38... Rxa3 39. Rf7 Kg8

It turns out that the white rook has no convenient square to retreat.

40. Rfd7 Bxd7 41. Rxd7 Ra1+ 42. Ng1 Rd8 0-1 White resigned.

Shirov - Almasi [C67]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8

The Brasilia Variation of the Ruy Lopez acquired a wide popularity for the recent years.

9. Nc3 Bd7

An uncommon move.

10. h3

Only 10. Bg5+ and 10. Bf4 were played in this position previously.

10... h6 11. Bf4 b6 12. a4 a5 13. Rad1 Kc8 14. b3 Bb4 15. Ne4 Be6 16. c4 c5 17. g4 Ne7 18. Ne1 Bd7

Black begins to play for a win. After 18... h5 he had to reckon with 19. Ng5 hxg4 20. Nxe6 fxe6 21. hxg4 with an approximate equality.

19. Ng3 g5 20. Be3 Ng6 21. Nd3 Bc6 22. f4 gxf4 23. Nxf4 Bc3

If 23... Nxe5, then after 24. Nd5 Kb7 25. Bf4 Black encountered problems in keeping his extra pawn.

24. Nfe2?!

White could have got into great troubles in this way. After 24. Nxg6 fxg6 25. Rf6 Kb7 (in case of 25... Be8 there was 26. Re6) 26. Rxg6 Bxe5 27. Nf5 h5 Black was a little better, nothing more.

24... Bxe5 25. Rxf7 Kb7 26. Rff1 Rae8 27. Rd3

27... Re6?!

Black lingers. He could have looked for winning opportunities after 27... Nh4! with an unpleasant threat of the intrusion on f3. Probably White planned 28. Bd2 Bg2 29. Rf2 Bxh3 30. Rh2 in this case, but then Black had 30... Rd8! 31. Rxd8 Nf3+ (this intermediate move is very important) 32. Kh1 Rxd8 33. Rxh3 Rxd2 34. Rxh6 Rb2 with good winning prospects.

28. Rf2 Rhe8

Now 28... Nh4 could have been repelled with a mere 29. Bd2.

29. Bd2 Nh4 30. Kf1 Bd6 31. Nc3 Bxg3 32. Rxg3 Rd8 33. Bc1 Rde8 34. Bd2 Rd8 35. Bc1 Rd7 36. Bf4 Rde7 37. Bd2 Rd7 38. Bc1 Rde7 39. Bd2 Rd7 40. Bc1 Rde7 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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