Mar 6, 2001

Round two

Khalifman - Timman [C42]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6

Unlike the first round, this time the Dutch grandmaster preferred the Petroff Defence instead of the Ruy Lopez.

3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Nc6

In the late eighties J. Timman often played a symmetric variation of the Petroff Defence with 6... Bd6, but for the last decade his sympathy has shifted to the continuation, used in the game.

7. O-O Be7 8. c4 Nb4 9. Be2 O-O 10. Nc3 Be6 11. Ne5 f6

There was a worthy alternative of 11... c5 which after 12. Nxe4 dxe4 13. d5 Bd6 14. a3 Bxe5 15. axb4 Bf5 16. bxc5 Qc7 17. g3 (also 17. Be3!? Bxh2+ 18. Kh1 Be5 19. Bd4 Rfe8 20. b4 was good (Wahls - Pavasovic, Dresden, 1998)) 17... Qxc5 18. Be3 Qd6 19. c5 Qf6 20. Qb3 Bxb2 21. Ra4 allowed White to gain a considerable advantage at the recent Europe Club Cup in the game Baklan - Timman (Neum, 2000).

12. Nf3 Kh8

A solid move. 12... c5 which used to be popular once brought Black to a hard position after 13. Be3 Rc8 14. dxc5 Bxc5 15. Bxc5! Rxc5 16. Qb3 a5 17. Rad1 in the game Khalifman - Karpov (Bali, 2000).

13. Re1

The move 13. a3 allowed Black to keep the balance after 13... Nxc3 14. bxc3 Nc6 15. Nd2 f5 16. Re1 Bf6 17. Bf3 Bg8 18. cxd5 Bxd5 19. Nb3 b6 in the game Leko - Kramnik (Dortmund, 2000). Another opportunity to struggle for an advantage was connected with the move 13. Qb3!?. After 13... Nxc3 14. bxc3 dxc4 15. Bxc4 Bxc4 16. Qxc4 Qd5 (M. Adams mentioned also another Black’s reserve, in his opinion 16... Nd5 gained a slight advantage for White after 17. Rb1 Nb6 18. Qb3 c5 19. a4 c4 20. Qb5 Rc8 21. Bd2) 17. Qb3 Qxb3 18. axb3 Nd5 19. Re1 White got some advantage in the endgame in the game Adams - Timman (Wijk aan Zee, 2000).

13... c6?

Black reinforced the square d5, but at the same time he deprived the b4-knight of an important retreat point. 13... Bg8 14. a3 Nxc3 15. bxc3 Nc6 16. cxd5 Bxd5 17. Bb2 f5 18. Nd2 Bf6 19. c4 Bf7 occurred in the game Lutz - Van Der Sterren (Venlo, 2000) with a slight advantage by White.

14. a3 Na6 15. cxd5 cxd5

Probably Black should have chosen the line 15... Nxc3 16. bxc3 Bxd5 17. c4 Bf7, as now he got a very hard position.

16. Bd3 f5

Weakening disastrously the square e5 in Black’s camp, but another continuation 16... Nxc3 17. bxc3 Bg4 was no much better. After 18. h3 Bh5 19. Rb1 Qd7 (in case of 19... Qc7 there was 20. Bf4!) 20. g4 (an active 20. Ne5?! promised little to White after 20... fxe5 21. Qxh5 e4 22. Bb5 Qe6, but the line 20. Qb3!? Bxf3 21. Qxb7 Nc7 22. gxf3 Bd6 23. Kg2 deserved attention, as two white bishops defended the damaged pawn shelter of the king from Black’s attacks) 20... Bf7 (20... Bg6 was losing because of 21. Bxg6 hxg6 22. Qd3) 21. Bf5 Qc7 22. Bf4 Qxf4 23. Rxe7 White had an evident advantage.

17. Bf4

White’s dominance over the diagonal b8-h2 makes the defence of Black’s queenside a hard task.

17... Rc8

In case of 17... Qb6 there was an unpleasant 18. Na4 Qd8 (if 18... Qa5, then 19. b4) 19. Qb3 with White’s strong pressure upon the queenside of his adversary.

18. Qb3 Bf6

The endgame after 18... Qb6 19. Qxb6 axb6 was heavy for Black.

19. Be5!

White’s bishop gets a stronghold in the centre of the board. If White took the pawn with the move 19. Qxb7?!, then after 19... Nac5! 20. dxc5 Nxc5 21. Qxa7 Nxd3 22. Rxe6 Nxf4 23. Ree1 (the line 23. Re3 d4 24. Rd1 has a refutation of 24... dxe3! 25. Rxd8 exf2+ 26. Kxf2 Rfxd8) 23... Rxc3 24. bxc3 Bxc3 Black survived.

19... Qe7 20. Rac1 Bg8?!

The passive stand of the a6-knight suggests an idea to involve it into the game. There was an opportunity to do this now with 20... Bxe5 21. Nxe5 Nb8, as there was no showy 22. Nxd5?! Qd6 23. Rxc8 Rxc8 24. Bxe4 fxe4 25. Qh3!? because of 25... Qxd5! 26. Ng6+ Kg8 27. Ne7+ Kf7 28. Nxd5 Bxh3 29. gxh3 Nc6 30. Rxe4 Rd8, and Black was more or less OK. Most likely in this case White would have had to be satisfied with a perceptible positional advantage after 22. Rc2 or 22. Ne2. Let’s note that an immediate 20... Nb8 encountered 21. Bxf6! (no 21. Nxd5? Qf7 22. Rxc8 Rxc8 23. Bc4 because of 23... Rxc4! 24. Qxc4 Nc6), and Black’s best chance was an ugly 21... gxf6, because in case of 21... Qxf6 there was 22. Qxb7, for 21... Nxf6 there was 22. Bxf5, and 21... Rxf6 encountered 22. Nxd5! Rxc1 23. Rxc1 Qf7, White winning after 24. Nxf6! Bxb3 25. Rc8+ owing to the weakness of the eighth horizontal.

21. Bxa6

White had an interesting resource of 21. Bxf6!?. Normal moves 21... Qxf6 or 21... Rxf6 promised nothing good to Black: the former because of 22. Qxb7 Nac5 23. dxc5 Nxc5 24. Nxd5 Qd6 25. Rxc5 Rxc5 26. Nb4 a5 27. Na6 Rc6 28. Qe7!, the latter because of 22. Nxd5! Rxc1 (also 22... Qe6 was losing because of 23. Rxc8 Qxc8 24. Ne7) 23. Rxc1 Qf7 (in case of 23... Qd6 there was a beautiful solution 24. Nxf6! Bxb3 25. Rc8+, and 23... Qd8 was bad because of 24. Qxb7 Nac5 25. dxc5 Bxd5 26. Qxa7) 24. Ne5! Qxd5 25. Qxd5 Bxd5 26. Rc8+ Bg8 27. Bc4, Black losing his g8-bishop. Well, there was still the unsightly 21... gxf6, with White’s answer 22. Ne2, similarly to the development of the game.

21... bxa6 22. Ne2 Bxe5

Black did not stand the strain in the centre and made concessions.

23. Nxe5 Rb8

An attempt to organise something on the kingside with 23... Rxc1 24. Rxc1 Qh4 is not dangerous for White, because after 25. g3 Qh6 26. Nf4 there was no 26... Nxf2 27. Kxf2 Qxh2+ because of 28. Ng2 f4 29. g4, and Black’s attack expired.

24. Qh3 Rb6

A fatal 25. Ng6# was threatening.

25. Nf4

The threat is again actual.

25... Bf7?

After this move Black will lose without struggle. 25... Qg5 was more stubborn, though even then after 26. Qe3 Qd8 (Black was bad also after 26... Rh6 because of 27. Rc7) 27. b4 White had a huge positional advantage.

26. f3!

Now Black’s hours (minutes or moves) are counted, as the knight has no retreat because of the advance of any of the white knights to g6.

26... g5

No other way.

27. fxe4 gxf4 28. exf5 Qg5

After 28... Qf6 Black’s problems are connected with 29. Rc7! (stronger than a quiet 29. b4) whereafter there is no 29... Rxb2 because of 30. Nxf7+ Rxf7 31. Re8+ Kg7 32. Qg4+ Kh6 33. Re6, Black losing his queen.

29. Rc8

White chose the most efficient from many alluring continuations, though he had also a simple mating attack against the black king with 29. Nxf7+ Rxf7 30. Rc8+ Kg7 31. Ree8! It’s obvious that in all lines with a forced 31... Kf6 Black either is mated or loses his queen: 32. Rg8 Rg7 (32... Qxf5 33. Qh6+ Ke7 34. Rc7+) 33. Rcf8+ Ke7 34. f6+ Rxf6 35. Re8+ Kd6 (35... Kf7 36. Qd7+ Kg6 37. Qxg7+) 36. Rd8+ Kc6 (36... Ke7 37. Qd7#) 37. Qc3+ Kb5 38. Qc5+ Ka4 39. Qb4#.

29... Qg7

No 29... Rxc8 because of 30. Nxf7+, Black losing the queen.

30. Rxf8+ Qxf8 31. Nd7 Qg7 32. f6!

White’s position is winning also in case of 32. Nxb6 Qxd4+ 33. Kh1 Qxb6 34. Qc3+ d4 35. Qd2, but the move in the game wins even more simply.

32... Rxf6 33. Nxf6 Qxf6 34. Kh1 Qxd4 35. Qc3 Qg7 36. Re7 1-0

Black resigned. He had no resources to continue the struggle.


Galkin - Polgar [B20]

1. e4 c5 2. Ne2

White probably wanted to avoid the main lines of the Najdorf System. The knight move which looks a bit clumsy was used occasionally by P. Keres, A. Karpov, V. Ivanchuk.

2... d6

There was a more hard continuation 2... Nf6. Well, now White can develop his forces freely.

3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 Nc6 5. c3 e5 6. d4 cxd4 7. cxd4 Qa5+

Only 7... Bg4 and 7... Qb6 were seen before.

8. Nbc3 Bg4 9. f3 exd4

Black did not want to allow d4-d5.

10. Nxd4 Bd7 11. O-O Be7

A break-through 11... d5 is inappropriate before the development is completed, because after 12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. exd5 the black king suffers a strong attack from the open e-file.

12. Be3 O-O 13. Qb3 Rfe8

14. Rfd1

There was no 14. Qxb7 because of 14... Nxd4 15. Bxd4 Reb8 16. b4 Qa3 17. Qc7 Rxb4, Black getting a better position.

14... Bf8 15. Bf2

Again, no 15. Qxb7 because of 15... Nxd4 16. Bxd4 Reb8 17. b4 Qa3 18. Qc7 Rc8, and in case of 19. Qa5 (if 19. Qb7, then after 19... Bc6 White’s queen was trapped) there was 19... Rxc3.

15... Ne5 16. Rac1

Now it seems that here White could have afforded 16. Qxb7, as after 16... Reb8 he had 17. Nb3!. After 17... Qxc3?! (even in case of a relatively better 17... Rxb7 18. Nxa5 Rxb2 19. Bd4 Bh3 20. Bh1 Black had a worse endgame) 18. Qxa8 (also 18. Qxb8 was good, because 18... Nxf3+ 19. Kh1 Nxe4 was not dangerous for White because owing to 20. Rf1!) 18... Qxb3 19. axb3 Rxa8 20. f4 Nc6 21. e5 Black experienced great difficulties.

16... Rac8 17. Ndb5

Once more, no 17. Qxb7 because of 17... Rb8 18. Nb3 Qxc3! 19. Qxb8 Qxc1.

17... Be6

This way only.

18. Qa3?!

It looks as if White missed his advantage with this move. After 18. Qc2! Black’s position was much harder, because in case of 18... a6 (18... Nc6 was unconvincing because of 19. Nxd6 Bxd6 20. Rxd6 Nb4 21. Qd2 Nxa2 22. Ra1) White had 19. Nxd6 Bxd6 20. Rxd6 Bxa2 21. Ra1 Bb3, catching the black queen with 22. Qxb3! Qxa1+ 23. Rd1 Qa5 24. Bb6!.

18... Qxa3 19. bxa3 a6 20. Nxd6 Bxd6 21. Rxd6 Nc4 22. Rdd1 Nxa3 1/2-1/2

Draw. Black already lost a great deal of his advantage.

"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

Click Here!

Back to Top | Home Page
© 2000 GMChess. All rights reserved.
About | Our Policies | E-Mail | Site Map