Mar 6, 2001

Round 4

Adams - Kramnik [B31]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. d3 Bg7

In positions with such pawn structure it is usually not easy for Black to get an active counterplay. One year ago White developed an unpleasant pressure on Black's position in the game Adams - Gelfand (Dos Hermanas, 1999) after 5... Bg4 6. Nbd2 Bg7 7. O-O Nf6 8. h3 Bxf3 9. Qxf3 O-O 10. Qe2 e5 11. Nc4 Nd7 12. a4 and lost his chance with his last moves only.

6. h3 Nf6

In the last FIDE World Championship the game between the same opponents developed in a slightly other way. After 6... b6 7. Nc3 e5 8. Be3 Ne7 9. Qd2 h6 10. Nh2 Be6 11. O-O-O Qd7 12. Kb1 O-O-O 13. Qe2 f5 the game was drawn soon (Adams - Kramnik, Las Vegas, 1999).

7. Nc3 Nd7 8. O-O e5 9. Be3 O-O 10. Qd2 Re8 11. Nh2 Qe7 12. Bh6 Bh8

13. Ng4!

A new move. White wants to make Black go f7-f6 in order to perform then the advantage f2-f4, as the diagonal a1-h8 will be closed for Black's dark-squared bishop. Another participant of the Dortmund tournament, P. Leko, acted differently two weeks ago: after 13. Kh1 Nf8 14. f4 exf4 15. Rxf4 Be6 16. Raf1 Nd7 17. b3 Ne5 18. Nd1 a5 19. Ne3 a4 Black managed to arrange a good counterplay (Leko - Anand, Frankfurt (active), 2000), and the very dark-squared bishop of Black played an important part in achieving this.

13... Nf8 14. Bg5 f6 15. Nh6+ Kg7 16. Be3 Ne6 17. Ne2 Ng5 18. Ng4 h5?!

Black should not have weakened his position on the kingside. Most probably he had to make a choice between the passive defence with 18... Bxg4 19. hxg4 Rad8 20. Qc3 Ne6 or seeking chances after 18... Nf7 with the idea that an immediate 19. f4 would let him begin an active play with 19... Bxg4 20. hxg4 c4!?. In this case Black would get a counterplay for a pawn: 21. fxe5 (after dxc4 exf4 22. Rxf4 Ne5 23. Qc3 Kg8 he would be compensated too) 21...fxe5 22. dxc4 Qe6.

19. Nh2 Rd8 20. Qc3 Ne6 21. f4 Nd4 22. Rae1 Kh7 23. Nf3 Be6 24. fxe5 fxe5 25. Ng5+ Kg8 26. Nxe6 Nxe6

After Black's light-squared bishop left the board he was condemned to a passive defence.

27. Qb3 Kh7 28. Rf2 Rf8 29. Ref1 Bg7

An exchange of the rooks 29... Rxf2 30. Rxf2 Rf8 31. Rxf8 Nxf8 would not have solved all Black's problems as then after 32. Qa4 (forcing 32... a6) the weakness of Black's pawns on the queenside would tell.

30. Kh2 b6 31. Ng1 Nd4

Again after 31... Rxf2 32. Rxf2 Rf8 33. Rxf8 Nxf8 34. Nf3 Bf6 35. Qa4 White could began to prepare a play on the queenside with a2-a3 and b2-b4 keeping a stable advantage.

32. Qa4 b5 33. Qa3 a5 34. Qc3 a4 35. Nf3 Ne6

36. b3?!

White overlooked an opportunity to gain a decisive advantage with 36. Ng5+!. After 36... Nxg5 (36... Kg8 37. Nxe6 Qxe6 38. Bxc5) 37. Bxc5 Rxf2 38. Bxe7 Rxf1 (Black was bad also in case of 38... Nf3+ 39. Kg3 Rxf1 40. gxf3) 39. Qxc6 Ra7 40. Bxg5 White's queen and two extra pawns would overweigh two black rooks.

36... Kg8 37. Qd2 axb3 38. cxb3

A questionable decision. White wants to get to the black pawn 5 and opens up the c-file for his heavy pieces. This costs rather dearly. The central square of his pawn chain d3 becomes vulnerable.

38... Rad8 39. Qc3 g5

Black goes ahead. After 39... Qd6 40. Ng5 Nxg5 41. Bxg5 Rxf2 42. Rxf2 Qxd3 43. Qxc5 Qd6 he had every chance to hold in the endgame despite White's remote passed pawn on the a-file.

40. g3 Rd7 41. h4

41... gxh4?

41... g4!? deserved attention. After 42. Ng5 (in case of 42. Nxe5? Rxf2+ 43. Rxf2 b4 44. Qb2 Rxd3 it would be White who would have problems) 42... Rxf2+ 43. Rxf2 Nxg5 44. Bxg5 Qd6 45. Rd2 Bf8 Black still maintained the balance. The move in the game allows the white knight to come right up to the important f5.

42. Nxh4 Rxf2+ 43. Rxf2 Qd6 44. Rd2 Nd4 45. Qc1 Bf6?!

Black pieces lose their co-ordination. 45... Rf7 should have been played. Then 46. Bxd4 Qxd4 47. Nf5 would not do because of 47... Rxf5 48. exf5 Bh6, still a mere 46. Rf2 would let White keep a perceptible advantage.

46. Bxd4 Bxh4?

A full black-out. As a matter of fact, Black loses in one move. Still, it should be mentioned that even after 46... cxd4 47. Nf5 playing his position was not a big pleasure.

47. Bxc5!

This intermediate move proves to be enough to win the game. M. Adams breaks the unbeaten series of V. Kramnik in Dortmund tournaments that has lasted since 1993.

47... Qh6

After 47... Qf6 48. gxh4 Qxh4+ 49. Kg1 Rg7+ 50. Rg2 Rxg2+ 51. Kxg2 White's king would escape checks easily, and White would keep the extra bishop.

48. gxh4 Qf4+ 49. Kh1 Rg7 50.Qd1 1-0 Black resigned.

Piket - Leko [A34]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nb4 6. Bb5+ N8c6 7. a3

The variation with 7.d4 became notorious as a drawn deadlock after the tense game Lautier - Kasparov (Tilburg, 1997) as the well known moves 7. d4 cxd4 8. a3 dxc3 9. Qxd8+ Kxd8 10. axb4 cxb2 11. Bxb2 e6 12. O-O were followed with 12...Bd7! 13. Bxc6 Bxc6 14. Ne5 Ke8 15. Nxc6 bxc6 16. Ra4 f6 17. Rfa1 Kf7 18. Rxa7+ Rxa7 19. Rxa7+ Be7= and Black equalised easily.

7... Nd3+ 8. Ke2 Nf4+ 9. Kf1 Ne6 10. d3 g6 11. h4

White tries to gain from the clumsy position of the rook on h1. In the game Sunye Neto - Milos (Bogota, 1991) Black managed to get a good compensation for the sacrificed pawn after 11. Be3 Bg7 12. Na4 Qa5 13. Bc4 Ncd4 14. Nxd4 Bxd4 15. b4 Qd8 16. Nxc5 Nxc5 17. bxc5 O-O.

11... Bg7 12. h5 O-O 13.hxg6 hxg6 14. Bc4 Ned4 15. Nxd4 cxd4

Black decides to take on d4 with the pawn, closing the diagonal for his bishop on g7, whereafter long manoeuvres should begin. The capture 15... Nxd4 had its shortcomings, too.

16. Nd5 e6 17. Nf4 Ne5 18. Ba2 b6 19. Rh3 a5 20. Bd2 Re8 21. Rc1 Ba6 22. Bb1 Qd7 23. Ne2 Rac8 24. Rxc8 Rxc8 25. Qb3 Qc6 26.Kg1

The move 26. Nxd4?! did not attract White because of 26...Qxe4.

26... Nd7

Looking for some winning chance Black begins to worsen very slightly the positions of his pieces. While on e5, the knight was an insuperable obstacle which prevented the white queen from coming to the kingside. The pawn on d5 could have been defended very well with 26... Qc5 too.

27. Qd1 Nc5 28. Nf4 Bb5

An attempt to attack White's queenside with 28... Na4 would turn out a disaster for Black on the opposite side of the board after 29. Qg4! Nxb2 30. Nxg6 fxg6 31. Qxg6.

29. Ba2 Nd7 30. Qg4 Nf8 31. Rg3 Qd6

All Black's pieces are hurrying home to help their king. Any activity would be punished by White immediately, for instance 31... Qc2 32. Nxg6! Nxg6 33. Bxe6 with a crushing defeat.

32. Nh5!

In comparison with the previous diagram the position of white pieces is much better. White hastens to make use of his advantageous position and is ready to sacrifice.

32... Rc2 33. Bf4!

The performance of the fine plan is continued. Now he cannot stop. After 33. Nxg7 Rxd2 34. Qg5 Rd1+ 35. Kh2 Kxg7 36. Qxb5 Qf4 White kept a material balance but then Black would get an opportunity to concern with his king more closely.

33... e5

Black wins a piece, still another dangerous assailant is engaged in the attack now, namely the bishop a2.

34. Bg5 gxh5

A hunt for another bishop 34... Rxb2 would bring Black to a mate after 35.Qh4! Rxa2 (there was also no 35... gxh5 because of 36. Bf6 Ng6 37. Rxg6) 36. Nf6+ Bxf6 37. Bxf6 Nh7 38. Qxh7+!.

35. Qf5!

White's onslaught is getting more fierce with every move.

35... Rc7

It's not easy for Black to find a good defence. After 35... Qg6 (a similar situation arose after 35... Qd7 36. Bf6 too) 36. Bf6 Qxf5 White had a quiet 37. exf5! (weaker was an intermediate 37. Rxg7+?!, after 37... Kh8 38. exf5 Black was saved with 38... Nd7!, so that now in case of 39. Rxf7+ Nxf6 40. Rxf6 Bxd3 41. Rxb6 Bxf5 Black's pawns in the centre would have overweighed all White's achievements) 37... Nd7 38. Bxg7 Rxb2 39. Bd5, whereafter his two bishops together with the rook would have smashed Black's kingside.

36. Bf6 Ne6 37. Bxe5 Qe7

No better was 37... Rc1+38. Kh2 Qe7 because of 39. Bxe6 fxe6 40. Qf4!.

38. Bxc7?

Having carried out the grand work, White made a mistake when he was just a step away from the victory. After 38. Bxe6 fxe6 39. Qf4 Black's position would be absolutely lost.

38... Nxc7 39. Qxh5 Be8 40. f4 Qf6 41. Rg5?

Despite the mistake of the thirty eighth move White still could have struggled for a win if he went 41. Qg6 Qxg6 42. Rxg6 Bb5 43. Rxb6 Bxd3 44. e5.

41... Qxf4 42. Qg6 Qc1+ 43. Kh2 Qf4+ 44. Kg1 Qc1+ 45. Kh2 Qf4+ 1/2-1/2 Draw.

Bareev - Anand [D46]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Bd3 Bd6 7. e4 dxe4 8. Nxe4 Nxe4 9. Bxe4 e5 10. O-O exd4 11. Qxd4 Qf6 12. Rd1

In the game Akopian - Anand (Dortmund, 2000) Black managed to equalise very easily after 12. Bg5 Qxd4 13. Nxd4 Nc5 14. Bf5 O-O 15. Rad1 Re8 16. Be3=. E. Bareev gave no such opportunity to the Indian grandmaster.

12... Be7

12... Qxd4 13. Nxd4 Bc7 14. Nf5 g6 15. Nd6+ Bxd6 16. Rxd6 Nc5 17. Bf3 Be6 18. Bg5 occurred in the game Bagaturov - Anastasian (Protvino, 1993), and though Black managed to draw he had to solve problems of neutralisation White's two bishops.

13. Be3 Qxd4 14. Nxd4 Nf6 15. Bc2 O-O 16. h3 Re8 17. Nf5 Bxf5 18. Bxf5 Bf8 19. Bc2 a6 20. Rac1

Looks as if White lost a tempo. An immediate 20. g4 suggested itself.

20... Rad8 21. Rxd8

If White went at once 21. g4, then he would have to reckon with 21... Nd7.

21... Rxd8 22. g4

An exchange of the second pair of the rooks is not good for White. The advantage of two bishops can be realised most conveniently in the presence of a rook by each side on the board.

22... g6

There was no 22... Nd7? because of 23. Rd1.

23. Kg2 Ne8 24. f4 Be7 25. Kf3 Ng7 26. f5 Ne8 27. Re1 Rd7

28. Re2

White's most dangerous piece is the light-squared bishop. It has no opponent on the board. As a rule, White tries to open diagonals namely for this bishop when playing such positions. In this connection a move like 28. g5!? deserved attention. Then after 28... Bb4 29. Re2 Nd6 White could make a choice between 30.a3 Ba5 31. Bd4 Kf8 32. f6 and 30. fxg6 fxg6 31. a3 Ba5 32. b4 Bc7 33. c5. As for the move in the game, now V. Anand can restrict the opportunities of the light-squared bishop of his opponent.

28... g5!

Now White is faced with a hard dilemma. Should he venture on a position with bishops of different colours plus an extra pawn or keep trying to achieve the advantage of two bishops in the situation that became already slightly worse for him?

29. b3

White chose the second way. In case of 29. Bxg5 Bxg5 30. Rxe8+ Kg7 the move 31. Be4!? deserved attention. After 31... Rd2 32. Rb8 Rxb2 33. Bxc6 Rxa2 34. Rxb7 or 32... b5 33. cxb5 cxb5 34. Rb7 the position with the bishops of different colours would tend to a draw, still Black would have to reckon constantly with the danger that White's bishop would get to the diagonal a2-g8 and then arrange serious threats to the square f7.

29... f6 30. c5

Probably White had to choose 30. Bd2 with the idea of a4-a5, because now the square d5 would be weakened considerably.

30... a5 31. Rd2

A transfer of the black knight to d5 was threatening, so White had to agree to the exchange of the rooks which was non-profitable for him.

31... Rxd2 32. Bxd2 Bxc5 33. Bxa5 Nd6

As a matter of fact, Black managed to build a fortress that became an insurmountable barrier for the white king. He controls all the important squares in the centre (c5, e5, c4, d4, e4). White's further attempts to get over this barrier were futile.

34. a4 Bd4 35. Bc7 Bc5 36. Ba5 Bd4 37. Be1 Kf8 38. Ke2 Ke7 39. Kd3 Bg1 40. b4 h6 41. Bb3 Ba7 42. Be6 Bg1 43. h4 Ba7 44. h5 Bg1 45. Bc3 Bf2 46. Bb2 Bg1 47. Ba3 Bf2 48. Bc4 Be1 49. b5 cxb5 50. Bxb5 Bf2 51. Bb4 b6 52. Bc6 Bg1 53. Ke2 Bd4 54. Kd3 Bg1 55. Bd5 Bf2 56. Ke2 Bg1 57. Kd3 Bf2 58. Bf3 Bg1 59. Be2 Bf2 60. Ba3 Bg1 61. Bb4 Bf2 1/2-1/2 Draw.

Akopian-Huebner [D27]

1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e3 Nf6 4. Bxc4 e6 5. O-O c5 6. d4 a6 7. Bb3 Nc6 8. Qe2

White agrees to play with an isolated pawn. Another popular opportunity in this position was 8. dxc5.

8... cxd4 9. Rd1 Be7 10. Nc3 O-O 11. exd4 Nb4 12. Ne5 Bd7

The time for 12... Nbd5 had not come yet. After 13. Rd3 (not bad was also 13. Qf3 h6 14. Qh3 Bd6 15. Rd3 Nxc3 16. bxc3 Ne4 17. Bxh6!, in the game Vaulin - Danielian (Novgorod, 1999) White arranged irrefutable threats for the black king in this way) 13... Bd7 14. Rg3, and now both 14... g6 15. Bh6 Re8 16. h4 (Filip - Conrady,Varna (ol), 1962) and 14... Re8 15. Bh6 Bf8 16. Qf3 (P. Nikolic - Ricardi, Buenos Aires, 1992) gave a strong initiative to White.

13.Bg5 Bc6

14. Rac1

It's hard to pierce Black's position with positional methods. In the game Agzamov Velikov (Frunze, 1985) White acted more actively. After fierce complications 14. Nxf7 Rxf7 15. Qxe6 Nfd5 16. a3 Bxg5 17. axb4 Qf6 18. Bxd5 Qxf2+ 19. Kh1 Bxd5 20. Qxd5 Qf5 21. Qxf5 Rxf5 White got an extra pawn.

14... Bd5 15. Nxd5 Nbxd5 16. Qf3 Rc8 17. Rxc8 Qxc8 18. Rc1 Qd8 19. g3 Qd6 20. h4 h6 21. Bxf6 Bxf6 22. Qe4

All that White could get after 22. Bxd5 exd5 was to worsen his position.

22... Rd8 23. Rc4 Qb6 24. Ng4 Be7 25. Ne5 Bf6 26. Ng4 Be7 27. Ne5 1/2-1/2 Draw.

Junior 6 - Khalifman [B08]

1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 c6 4. Nf3 d6 5. Be3 Nf6 6. Qd2 b5 7. Bd3 Bg4 8. e5 b4 9. Ne4

The position was equal after 9. exf6 bxc3 10. bxc3 exf6 that occurred in the game J. Polgar - Ehlvest (Bali, 2000).

9... Nxe4

Worse was 9... Nd5 because of 10. Bh6 O-O 11. h4 Bxf3 12. gxf3 dxe5 13. h5 (Short - Irzhanov, Elista (ol), 1998).

10. Bxe4 d5 11. Bd3 Bxf312. gxf3 Qb6

12... a5 was weaker: 13. h4! Nd7 14. h5 Qb6 15. c4 followed in the game Leko - Beliavsky (Madrid, 1998)


13. a3 bxa3 14. b4 Na6 15. c3 Nc7 16. Rxa3 O-O 17. Ra5 with a better play by White deserved attention (Nguyen Anh Dung - Postny, Budapest, 2000).

13... Nd7 14. h5 c5 15. dxc5 Nxc5 16. Be2 O-O

In case of 16... e6 the pawn should be given away after 17. a3 b3 18. Qc3 so that Black would be bad.

17. Qxd5 Rac8 18. hxg6 hxg6 19. Qd4

19... g5!

An excellent move, Black prevents a transfer of the white queen to h4.

20. Bxg5

A human probably would have preferred 20. Qg4. The computer went for the black pawns and got nothing.

20... Ne6 21. Qxb6 axb6 22. Bxe7 Rfe8 23. Bd6

If 23. Bxb4, then there was a strong 23... Nd4

23... Nd4 24. Bd3 Bxe5 25. O-O-O Bxd6 26. Bh7+ Kf8 27. Rxd4 Bc5 28. Rg4 Ke7 29. Re1+ Kd6 30. Rd1+ Kc7 31. Bd3 Rcd8 32. Rf1 Rd4 33. Be4 Re5 34. Rh1 Re7 35. Rg5 Rd6 36. Rg2 Red7 37. Bf5 Re7 38. Rf1 Re5 39. Be4 Re7 40. Rh2 Red7 41. f4 Rd4 42. f3 Bd6 43. Rh4 Bc5 44. Rhh1 Rd2 45. Kb1 Rg2 46. f5 Bd4 47. Rd1 Bc5 48. Bd3 Rg3 49. Rdf1 Re7 50. Be4 Rd7 51. Ka1 Bd4 52. Bd3 Re7 53. Bc4 f6 54. Kb1 Reg7 55. Rh4 Bc5 56. Re4 Rg1 57. Rc1 R7g5 58. Be2 Rxc1+ 59. Kxc1 Rxf5 60. Kd2 Rd5+ 61. Bd3 Bd4 62. Kc1 Bc5 63. Re6 Rd6 64. Re2 Rd7 65. Rg2 1/2-1/2 Draw.

"And his six pawns were scattered like the ships of the Armada that should have conquered England; the Lord blew, and they were all isolated."

-Hans Kmoch, Groningen 1946 tournament book

"Nowadays, when you're not a grandmaster at 14, you can forget about it."

Anand Vishwanathan

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