Mar 6, 2001

Round 8

Kramnik - Huebner [D27]

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 dxc4 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O a6 7. Bb3 cxd4 8. exd4 Nc6 9. Nc3 Be7 10. Re1 O-O

11. h4!?

The diagram shows one of standard modern opening positions in the Queen's Gambit Accepted. White's usual continuation is 11. a3. In this game V. Kramnik proves another way to struggle for an advantage.

11... Na5

This move was more or less necessary. In case of 11... b5 Black had to reckon with 12. d5 exd5 13. Nxd5 Nxd5 14. Qxd5 Bb7 15. Qh5 with a dangerous initiative on the kingside by White.

12. Bc2 b5 13. Qd3 Bb7 14. h5 Bxf3

Black takes the offered pawn, White acquiring the advantage of two bishops instead as a compensation. If he refused he could have suffered very soon a crushing attack of white pieces. Thus, after a passive 14... Nc4 Black's kingside would have been smashed immediately with 15. Ng5 g6 16. hxg6 hxg6 17. Rxe6!, and in case of 14... h6 there was a strong 15. Ne5 with a most unpleasant threat of Ne5-g4.

15. Qxf3 Qxd4 16. Bf4 b4 17.Rad1 Qc4

Black gives new tempos for White to develop his initiative. The queen could have been put on a black square. So, after 17... Qc5 (17... Qb6 was possible too) Black's position in case of 18. Re5 Qc6 19. Rxa5 Qxf3 20. gxf3 bxc3 21. bxc3 Rfc8 was quite acceptable.

18. Bd3 Qc6 19. Ne4 Nd5 20. Be5 f5?!

Black continues to weaken his position. In case of 20... f6 it would be much harder to break through Black's defence.

21. Qg3 Rf7

22. Nd2!

Many players might possibly have preferred 22. Ng5 Bxg5 23. Qxg5 with a good compensation for the pawn, but the intention of V. Kramnik is much more insidious. His knight is going to get to d4.

22... Nb7

Black feels no danger. He is tardy with the transfer of the knight into the centre of the board. What he should have done now was to choose between 22... Bf6 23. Nf3 and 22... Qb7 with the idea that in case of 23. Nf3 the square c6 could have been used for the knight: 23... Nc6. Generally, the position after Black's 22nd move is quite remarkable. All black pieces except the dark-squared bishop are occupying white squares (in the absence of the light-squared bishop!).

23. Nf3 Nc5

Probably 23... Bc5 was better with the idea that after 24. Nd4 White's dangerous knight could have been annihilated: 24...Bxd4 25. Bxd4. After the move in the game White has a forced win.

24. Nd4 Qb6

Other retreats were none the better. After 24... Qa4 the solution was 25. Nxe6 Nxe6 26. Bc4.

25. Nxf5!

As it was to be expected. In the sixth round V. Anand managed to hang not a few of his set on the diagonal b1-h7, and now the German grandmaster has to pay for the crowding of his pieces on white squares.

25... exf5 26. Bc4 Nf6

If 26... Re8 27. Bxd5 Ne6, then 28. Qb3 wins.

27. Bc7! 1-0 Black resigned.

Anand - Leko [B33]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5

The Hungarian grandmaster plays the Sveshnikov Variation for Black not very often. Nevertheless, even in this keen variation only very few players managed to break through Leko's defence.

9. Nd5 Be7 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. c3 O-O 12. Nc2 Bg5 13. a3 Ne7

A new move. Previously 13... Rb8 and 13... Bb7 occurred.

14. Ncb4 Be6 15. Qd3

White is ready for complications. After a quiet 15. Nxe7+ Qxe7 16. Nd5 Qb7 Black had no problems, as well as White.

15... f5 16. h4 Bh6 17. Rd1 fxe4 18. Qxe4 a5 19. Nxe7+ Qxe7 20. Nd5

In case of 20. Bd3 Black had a choice between a guaranteed draw after 20... axb4 21. Qxh7+ Kf7 22. Qg6+ Kg8 and a keen continuation wit mutual chances which would arise after 20... g6 21. Nc2.

20... Qa7 21. f3 Bf4 22. Bd3

If White captured the pawn with 22. Bxb5, then after 22... Bg3+ 23. Kd2 Rab8 24. c4 Qf2+ Black would have got a better play.

22... Bf5 23. Qe2

23... e4!?

Black wants to open up as many files in the centre as possible. Having deprived the white king of his castling with 23... Bg3+ Black would not get much because of 24. Kd2 (24. Kf1? was dangerous to be followed with 24... e4 ) 24... Bxd3 25. Qxd3 Qf2+ 26. Qe2 Qxe2+ 27. Kxe2 e4 28. Rh3.

24. Bxb5

Opening up the play in the centre with 24. fxe4 appears to be dangerous for White. Nevertheless, the position would still remain equal after 24... Bxe4 25. Nxf4 (there was neither 25. Bxe4? because of 25... Bg3+ 26. Kd2 Rf2, nor 25. Qxe4? because of 25... Rae8) 25... Bxd3 (even after 25... Rxf4 26. Bxe4 Re8 27. Rd4 Qxd4 28. Bxh7+ Kxh7 29. cxd4 Rxe2+ 30. Kxe2 Rxd4 there was an equal rook endgame) 26. Rxd3 Rxf4 27. Rf1 Rxf1+ (27... Rxh4? was dangerous because of 28. Qe6+ Kh8 29. Rdf3!) 28. Kxf1.

24... exf3 1/2-1/2 Draw. The peace treaty was signed at the moment when a real struggle just was going to begin. After 25. gxf3 (25. Qxf3 looked risky because of 25... Be5) there were both 25... Bg3+ 26. Kd2 Rab8 27. Kc1 Kh8 and 25... Bd7, Black having a sufficient compensation for the pawn in both lines.

Bareev - Akopian [E41]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 c5 5. Bd3 d5 6. cxd5 exd5 7. Nge2 Nc6 8. a3 cxd4 9. axb4 dxc3 10. b5 Ne5 11. Nxc3 Bg4

The variation which was chosen by Black in the Nimzo-Indian Defence cannot guarantee him a full equalisation even though positions with bishops of different colours are common for this opening. Let's note that a quick breakthrough in the centre 11... d4 12. exd4 Qxd4 13. Be2 Qxd1+ 14. Nxd1 Bf5 15. Ra3 O-O 16. Bf4 Rfe8 17. Ne3 in the game Sashikiran - Plaskett (Hampstead, 1998) gave no equality to Black as well. An immediate exchange of the knight for the opponent's bishop with 11... Nxd3+ 12. Qxd3 O-O has its merits and supporters too.

12. f3 Nxd3+ 13. Qxd3 Be6 14. Qd4 a6

It's better to advance namely the a-pawn. After 14... b6 White got a great advantage with 15. O-O O-O 16. b3 Qe7 17. Bb2 Rfd8 18. Rfc1 Ne8 19. Ra4 f6 20. Rca1 Qf7 21. Ne2 with a subsequent transfer of the knight through e2-d4-c6 in the game Raicevic - Marjanovic (Nis, 1985).

15. bxa6 bxa6

Now we see the results of spending tempos for the manoeuvre with the light-squared bishop and non-castling by Black. There was no exchange of rooks with 15... Rxa6? 16. Rxa6 bxa6 because of 17. Qa4+.

16. Bd2 O-O 17. Ne2 Re8 18. Bc3 Bd7 19. Nf4!

White can neglect his castling. It's much more important to withdraw his pieces from white squares saving them from possible attacks of Black's bishop.

19... Bb5 20. Kf2 Rc8 21. b3

21... Re4!?

Having received a little promising position, Black wants to make the play keener. In case of a passive play, for instance after 21... Re7 22. Rhd1 Rec7 23. Rac1 Qd7 24. Qd2, he would suffer from the pressure of White's pieces.

22. fxe4

White could also have refused to take the sacrificed exchange, but after 22. Qd2 Black would have 22... g5!? 23. Nh3 (if 23. Bxf6, then 23... gxf4 24. Bxd8 fxe3+, and was 25. Qxe3? bad because of 25... Rc2+ , and after 23. Ne2 Bxe2 24. Kxe2 Re6 White's own king in the centre of the board would be a trouble for him) 23... h6 24. Rhc1 Rc6 making the position rather keen.

22... Nxe4+ 23. Kg1 Nxc3 24. h4 Ne4 25. Rd1

To take the pawn with the knight 25. Nxd5 was risky because of 25... Ng3 26. Qe5 Ne2+ (there was no 26... Nxh1? with 27. Ne7+) 27. Kf2 (27. Kh2?? Qxh4#) 27... Rc2 28. Ne7+ Kh8, Black maintaining a dangerous initiative. Still, there was yet 25. Qxd5, though after 25... Qe8 or 25... Qe7 to be followed with 26... Rd8 White had to be careful about Black's play.

25... Qe8 26. Nxd5 h5

This way, as there was no 26... Ng3? because of 27. Nf6+! gxf6 28. Qg4+.

27. Nf4 Ng3 28. Rh3 Ne2+ 29. Nxe2 Bxe2 30. Rd2

After the exchange of the knights Black's attacking potential decreased considerably.

30... Bg4 31. Rh1 Qe6 32. Kh2

White wants to introduce the rook h1 into the play as soon as possible. After 32. Rd3 Rc2 33. Qd5 Qg6 or 32. b4 Rc4 33. Qd8+ Kh7 he could have suffered another peak of activity of Black's pieces.

32... Qxb3 33. Rb2 Qe6 34. Rhb1 Kh7 35. Rb6 Qe7 36. Kg3 Bf5

In case of 36... Re8 37. R1b3 Qc7+ 38. Qd6 Qc1 Black had to reckon with 39. Qd3+ g6 40. Qc3.

37. Rf1 Bg6

Black gives away his last pawn on the queenside. He could have tried to keep it with 37... Rd8 38. Qf4 Bg4 as there was no 39. Rxa6? because of 39... Be2, but he follows another strategy. He wants to arrange a safe shelter for his king on h7 first of all, having the bishop on the diagonal b1-h7.

38. Rxa6 Rd8 39. Ra7 Qe8 40. Qf4 Rd5

41. e4

The time control is over. Can White take the fortress which was erected by Black? The answer is far from evident. It's only clear that any simplifications are good for White, but getting them is not an easy task, considering the weakened positions of his king and pawn on e4.

41... Rd4 42. Re1 Qc6 43. Rc7 Qb6 44. Kh2 Rb4 45. Re7 Qd8 46. Ra7!?

White wants to stimulate complications, otherwise he'd have preferred 46. Qg5 because there was no 46... f6?? to be followed with 47. Qxf6.

46... Rb2!

Black does not allow White to provoke him and holds to the same position outline. If he took White's pawn with 46... f5 47. Qg3 Rxe4 48. Rxe4 fxe4, then White would have obtained a number of definite pluses in the continuation: he would have exchanged a pair of rooks, Black's pawn g7 would have become vulnerable, and the main thing, an exchange of the queens would mean a losing endgame for Black.

47. Ra3 Qd4 48. Rf3 Qb4 49. Ree3 Qd2 50. Qg3 Rb1 51. Rf2 Qc1 52. Qf4 Qg1+ 53. Kg3 Qc1 54. Rfe2 Qc5 55. Rd2 Qc1 56. Ree2 Rb3+ 57. Kh2 Rb1 58. Qe3 Rb4 59. Rd5 Qc7+ 60. Qg3 Qc4 61. Qf3 Qc7+ 62. g3 Qc1 63. Red2 Rb8 64. Rf2 Qc4 65. Qe2 Qc7 66. Qe3 Rb1

67. Qc5??

White failed to gain anything with his last twenty moves and now he makes a crucial mistake.

67... Bxe4!

A surprise.

68. Rxh5+

Black's queen is invulnerable. After 68. Qxc7?? the solution was 68... Rh1#. Neither the move in the game can be called good. Still, even after the most persistent 68. Kh3 Black had a way to win: 68... g5!! (68... Rh1+ gave nothing because of 69. Rh2) 69. hxg5 Qb7 70. Rdd2 Rh1+ 71. Rh2 Rc1! (distracting) 72. g6+ (there was no 72. Qxc1 because of 72... Bf5+ 73. Kh4 Qe4+, Black mating) 72... fxg6 73. Qd4 (after 73. Qg5 Black was to win with 73... Bf5+ 74. g4 Qe4 75. Kh4 Rg1) 73... Bf5+ 74. g4 Bxg4+ 75. Kh4 (if 75. Kg3, then 75... Qf3+ 76. Kh4 Rg1) 75... Qe7+ 76. Kg3 Qg5, so Black's attack was irresistible.

68... Kg8 69. Rg2

In case of 69. Kh3 Black won very simply with 69... Qd7+ 70. g4 (if 70. Rhf5, then 70... g6 ) 70... Qd3+.

69... Qd7 70. Qf2 Qd1 0-1 White resigned.

Adams - Khalifman [A08]

1. e4 e6 2. d3

White avoids main lines of the French Defence, preferring to reduce the play to the King's Indian Defence.

2... d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. Ngf3 c5 5. g3 Nc6 6. Bg2 g6 7. O-O Bg7 8. c3

8. Re1, 8. Qe2 and 8. exd5 were seen in this position as well.

8... O-O 9. e5 Nd7 10. d4 b5 11. Re1 b4 12. Nf1

12. Nb3 c4 13. Nbd2 Qa5 which occurred previously caused no serious troubles for Black.

12... Ba6 13. h4 bxc3 14. bxc3 Qa5

White acts as tough as he can. Another opportunity was connected with 14... Rb8 , so that in case of 15. Bg5 (if 15. Qa4, then 15... Bb5) Black had 15... Qa5.

15. Bd2

15... Nb6!?

Black continues playing actively, ready to possibly sacrifice the pawn.

16. c4

White has to take the sacrifice, otherwise Black had an excellent play in case of 16. Ne3 Nc4.

16... Qa4 17. cxd5 Qxd1 18. Raxd1 Nxd5 19. dxc5 Rac8 20. a3

No other way. In case of 20. Ne3 White had to reckon with 20... Ndb4.

20... Rc7 21. Ne3 Nce7 22. Nxd5 Nxd5

Occupying the central square d5, the knight nearly compensates the missing pawn for Black.

23. Bb4

23. Rc1 could not have changed the situation because of 23... Rfc8 24. Bb4 Bf8.

23... Rb8 24. Rd4 Bf8 25. Rc1 Rbc8 26. Ng5 Bxc5 27. Rxc5 Rxc5 28. Bxc5 Rxc5

Black takes back the sacrificed pawn.

29. Ra4 Nc7 30. f4 Rc1+ 31. Kh2 Rc4 32. Ra5

After 32. Rxc4 Bxc4 the opponents could have agreed to a draw at once.

32... Rc2 33. Kh3 h5 34. Ne4

34... Be2!

Sacrificing the pawn, Black rushes with all his pieces to the attack of the opponent's king.

35. Nf6+ Kf8 36. Rxa7 Nd5 37. Ra8+ Kg7 38. Rg8+ Kh6 39. Rh8+

White has to play the perpetual check either now or after 39. a4 Bg4+ 40. Kh2 Bf3.

39... Kg7 40. Rh7+ Kf8 41. Rh8+ Kg7

Of course no 41... Ke7?? because of 42. Re8#.

42. Rg8+ Kh6 43. Rh8+ 1/2-1/2 Draw.

Junior 6 - Piket [B15]

1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 c6 4. Nf3 d5 5. h3 a6 6. Bf4 Nf6

Like most of his predecessors, J. Piket tries to partition the chess board with pawn chains.

7. e5 Nfd7 8. Qd2 e6 9. Bg5

9. Bh6 was suggesting itself.

9... Qb6 10. O-O-O?

This one is a typical stupid computer-like action. It should not have castled on the kingside. There was a natural 10. Na4.

10... h6 11. Be3 Qc7 12. h4 b5 13. Bf4 Nb6 14. a3 N8d7 15. Kb1 a5 16. Na2 Qa7 17. g4 Bf8 18. c3 Ba6 19. Qe1 Nc4 20. Bd2 Be7

The Holland grandmaster gathers gradually his reserves for an attack of the white king. The computer has no real counterplay.

21. Nc1 Ndb6 22. h5 g5 23. Na2 Kd7 24. Bc1 Rhb8 25. Ka1

25... b4!

Like a bolt from the blue. White's position wrecks in several moves.

26. Nd2

To take the sacrificed pawn with 26. cxb4 axb4 27. Nxb4 was dangerous: after 27...Na4! 28. Nxa6 (in case of 28. Bxc4 the solution was in the intermediate 28... Bxb4! 29. axb4 Bxc4) 28... Qxa6 29. Bxc4 (the threat of the capture on b2 is more than real) 29...dxc4 the advance c4-c3 was threatening along with the capture on b2.

26... Nxd2 27. Bxd2 Bxf1 28. Rxf1 Nc4 29. Rb1 b3 30. Nc1 Bxa3 31. Qd1

If 31. bxa3 b2+ 32. Ka2 bxc1=Q 33. Qxc1 Rxb1 34. Kxb1 Rb8+ 35. Kc2, then the quickest method was 35... Qa6 (after 35... Rb2+ 36. Qxb2 Nxb2 37. Kxb2 Qb7+ 38. Kc2 Qb5 39. Re1 an opposition was still possible) 36. Re1 Qb5, White's position being still not absolutely hopeless.

31... Qb6 32. bxa3 b2+ 33. Ka2 bxc1=Q 34. Qxc1 Qxb1+ 0-1 White resigned.

"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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