Apr 26, 2001
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Round 2

Shirov - Kramnik [B45]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nxc6 bxc6 7. e5 Nd5 8. Ne4 Bb7 9. Be2 c5 10. O-O Qc7 11. c4

It has been verified many times since the game Kasparov - Leko (Linares, 1999) that after 11. Nd6+ Bxd6 12. exd6 Qc6 13. f3 c4 14. Qd4 O-O 15. Bxc4 Qxd6 Black maintains the balance despite White’s advantage of two bishops. The move in the game leads to a play with bishops of different colours, and Black’s position will be solid, though a bit passive.

11... Ne3 12. Nd6+ Bxd6 13. exd6 Qc6 14. Bf3 Nxd1 15. Bxc6 Bxc6 16. Rxd1 O-O 17. Be3 Rfc8 18. Rac1 Rab8 19. Rd2 Be4 20. f3 Bg6 21. Rc3 Rb6 22. Ra3 a6 23. Ra5 Rbc6

24. b4

A. Shirov tries to liven up the play by opening up the position on the queenside.

24... cxb4 25. c5 b3

White will take back Black’s extra b-pawn soon. Black just can chose between defending the open b-file and closing the play again. He prefers the latter.

26. axb3 Rb8 27. Rb2 Bd3 28. b4 f6 29. Ra3 Bc4 30. f4 h6 31. Bd4 Kf7 32. h4 h5 33. Kf2 Rcc8 34. Ke1 Rb7 35. Kd2 Bb5 36. Kc3 Rbb8 37. Ra1 f5

It looks as if the position is totally closed. Nevertheless, A. Shirov continues to look for winning chances.

38. Rba2 Rc6 39. Re1 g6 40. Ra5 Rb7 41. Rea1 Rb8 42. Be5 Rb7 43. Re1 Rb8 44. Re3 Rb7 45. Rg3 Rb8 46. Ra1 Be2 47. Re1 Bb5 48. Bd4 Rbc8 49. Kd2 Ra8 50. Ra1 Rb8 51. Rg5 Re8 52. Re1 Rcc8 53. Re3

53... Rc6?

It would be enough for Black to have kept his rooks on the eighth horizontal in order to prevent White’s break-through on the kingside that followed in the game.

54. g4!

This break-through became possible only because of the broken co-ordination of the black rooks.

54... fxg4

After 54... hxg4 55. h5 gxh5 56. Rxh5 Rf8 57. Rh7+ Ke8 58. Bg7 Rg8 59. Bf6 Black’s position would be unenviable.

55. f5 exf5

Black tries to simplify the situation with an exchange of the rooks. If 55... gxf5, then White keeps a strong initiative after 56. Rxh5.

56. Rxe8 Kxe8 57. Rxg6 f4 58. Rg5 f3 59. Ke3

59. Rxh5 would be good, too, because White could answer 59... g3 with 60. Re5+ Kf7 61. Rf5+ Ke6 62. Rxf3.

59... Kf7 60. Rxh5 Rc8 61. Rf5+ Ke6 62. Re5+ Kf7 63. Kf4?

This way White loses a good deal of his advantage. After 63. h5 an exchange of the rooks with 63... Re8 64. Rxe8 Kxe8 65. h6 f2 66. Kxf2 Bd3 67. Ke3 would lead to an endgame with bishops of different colours that would be won by White.

63... Re8 64. Rf5+

Now if 64. Rxe8 Kxe8 65. h5 Kf7, then the black king has time to come to the white h-pawn, and Black maintains the balance after 66. Kxg4 Bc6.

64... Ke6 65. Kxg4 Rg8+ 66. Kf4 Bc6 67. Re5+ Kf7 68. h5 Rg2 69. Re7+ Kf8 70. Re1 Rh2 71. Kg5 Re2 72. Rf1 Kf7 73. h6 Rg2+

Black becomes much more active. It’s not so easy for White to find a way to strengthen his position, all the more that he is short on time.

74. Kf5 Rh2 75. Be3 Rh5+ 76. Kg4 Kg6

77. Rxf3

White sacrifices exchange in order to prepare a break-through on the queenside.

77... Bxf3+ 78. Kxf3 Rd5 79. Ke4 Rd1 80. Bd4 Rc1 81. Bg7?!

This move can only make troubles for White. After 81.Kd5 Rc2 (there is no 81... Kxh6?? because of 82.Be3+) a draw would be quite timely.

81.. Rc4+ 82. Kd5 Rxb4 83. Bd4 Rb5

After 83... Kxh6 84. c6 dxc6+ 85. Kc5 Rb8 86. Kxc6 the white d-pawn would cost a rook for Black.

84. Kc4 Kxh6 85. c6 dxc6 86. Bc5!

White prevents the black rook from getting to d5.

86... Rb7 87. Bd4 a5 88. Kc5 a4 89. Kxc6 Rb4 90. Be5 Rb1 91. d7 Rc1+ 92. Kb7 Rd1 93. Kc7 1/2-1/2

Draw.

Morozevich-Anand [B31]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. O-O Bg7 5. c3 Nf6 6. Qa4 O-O 7. d4 cxd4 8.cxd4 d6

The capture of the pawn 8... Nxe4?! would give the initiative to Black after 9. d5 Nc5 10. Qa3.

9. Nc3 Bd7 10. d5 Nb8 11. Be3 a6 12. Bxd7 Nbxd7 13. Qb3 Qa5

An immediate 13... b5 would be met with 14. a4, unpleasant for Black.

14. Bd4

The move 14. Qxb7 would allow to increase the activity of the black pieces after 14... Rab8 15. Qa7 Rxb2.

14... b5 15. Rfe1 Rfc8 16. a3 Rab8 17. Na2 Nc5

18. Bxc5

An important move. Now White has to oppose something to Black’s activity on the queenside. A dynamic balance would have kept in the position after 18. Qd1 with the idea that 18... Ncxe4 can be followed with 19. Bxf6 Nxf6 20. Nb4 or after 18. Qe3 (with the idea that 18... Nfxe4 can be met with 19. Nb4 ).

18... dxc5 19. e5 Nd7 20. e6 fxe6 21. Ng5?

White tries to reach the black king, but the indifferent position of the knight on a2 prevents him from developing his initiative. In case of a quiet 21. Rxe6 Bxf6 White would have to reckon with the advance of black pawns on the queenside.

21... Nf8 22. Nc3

White could take back the pawn with 22. Nxe6 Nxe6 23. Rxe6, but after 23... Qd2 24. Nc3 c4 Black would develop an unpleasant initiative.

22...b4 23. Nce4

After 23. axb4 Qxb4 24. Qxb4 cxb4 Black would win.

23... h6 24. d6

White tries to trouble the situation. In case of 24. Nxe6 Nxe6 25. dxe6 bxa3 26. Qxa3 (26. Qf3 can be met with 26... Rf8 27. Qg4 g5 28. h4 c4, and White stays without attack) 26... Qxa3 27. Rxa3 Rc6 the white pawns would be caught by black pieces one after another.

24... c4 25. Qh3 exd6

In case of 25... hxg5 Black has to reckon with 26. dxe7.

26. Nxe6 Bxb2 27. Qxh6

If 27. Nxf8 Rxf8 28. axb4, then White has problems avoiding a difficult endgame after 28... Qf5. The continuation in the game was not better.

27... Qh5 28. Qe3 Nxe6 29. Nxd6 Nf8 30. Rad1 bxa3 31. Qf4 Rc7 32. g4 Qh7 33. Ne8 Rbc8 34. Rd2 Qf7 0-1 White resigned.

Leko-Kasparov [B52]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Bd7 4. Bxd7+ Qxd7 5. O-O Nf6 6. Re1 Nc6 7. b3 g6 8. c3 Bg7 9. d4 cxd4 10. cxd4 d5 11. e5 Ne4 12. Nbd2

More precise is 12. Bb2 O-O 13. Nbd2 like in the game L. Christiansen - C. Hansen (Reykjavik, 1998) for instance.

12... Nc3!

A curious manoeuvre. After 12... Nxd2 13. Bxd2 the position would be rather vapid.

13. Qc2 Nb5 14. Qc5

After 14. Bb2 Nb4 the black knights would be trouble for the white queen.

14... Nc7 15. Nf1 O-O 16. Qc3 f6

Black strikes a blow at White’s head pawn.

17. Bb2

The exchange 17. exf6 Rxf6 would arrange an area of activity for Black’s rooks after 18. Bb2 Raf8.

17... Ne6 18. Rad1 Rac8 19. Qd2 f5

Black closes the position with the idea to organise a pawn attack on the kingside. There was an alternative of 19... fxe5 20. Nxe5 Nxe5 21. dxe5 Rfd8 with certain pressure on White’s position.

20. h3 h6 21. Nh4 Qe8 22. Ne3 Rd8

23. f4!?

White finds an interesting opportunity to struggle against the forthcoming pawn advance of Black on the kingside.

23... Nxf4 24. Nexf5 g5

G. Kasparov dares not take the sacrificed pawn. After 24... Nxh3+ 25. gxh3 gxf5 26. Kh2 White would have a rather unpleasant initiative. The white knight would be ready to attack the black king at any moment, while the black bishop g7 would hamper considerably the co-ordination of black pieces.

25. Rf1

White keeps the tension. 25. Nxg7 Kxg7 26. Nf3 Nxh3+ would by certainly not profitable for him.

25... Qh5 26. Kh2 gxh4

After 26... Nxh3 27. gxh3 gxh4 28. Nxg7 Kxg7 29. Rg1+ White begins to disturb the black king first.

27. Qxf4 e6 28. Nxg7 Kxg7 29. Qg4+ Qxg4 30. hxg4 Rxf1 31. Rxf1 Rf8

32. Rf3?

A serious mistake. After 32. Rxf8 Kxf8 33. Kh3 Kf7 34. Kxh4 Kg6 35. Bc3 White’s extra pawn could be still not enough for a win, but now Black is going to beat his opponent.

32... Rxf3 33. gxf3 Nb4 34. Kh3?

After the passive 34. a3 Nd3 35. Bc3 Nc1 36. b4 Ne2 37. Ba1 Kg6 38. Kh3 Kg5 White’s position would be bad, but a temporary isolation of the black knight with 34. Bc3 Nxa2 35. Bd2 would let White draw the game in case of 35... a5 after 36. Kh3 b5 37. Bxa5 Nc1 38. b4 Ne2 39. Bb6 Ng1+ 40. Kg2.

34... Nxa2 35. f4 Kg6 36. Kxh4 Nb4 37. Kg3 Nc6 38. Kf3 h5

Black arranges a way of white squares into the opponent’s camp for his king.

39. gxh5+ Kxh5 40. Bc3 Kg6 41. Kg4 a5

The creation of a remote passed pawn on the queenside determines the result of the game.

42. Bb2 b5 43. Bc3 a4 44. bxa4 bxa4 45. f5+ exf5+ 46. Kf4 Nd8 47. Bb2 Ne6+ 48. Kf3 Kg5 0-1

White resigned.

























 
"Chess is so interesting in itself, as not to need the view of gain to induce engaging in it;and thence it is never played for money."

Benjamin Franklin, "Chess made easy", 1802






"It is one of the insights of modern players, and especially of the best ones, that one has toplay the position itself, not some abstract idea of the position."

John Watson, "Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy", 1998













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