Apr 26, 2001

Round 3

Kasparov - Shirov [C11]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Nbd7 6. Nf3 Be7 7. Nxf6+ Bxf6 8. h4 O-O 9. Bd3 c5 10. Qe2 cxd4 11. Qe4 g6 12. O-O-O Qa5

At this moment A. Shirov deviated from the game Kasparov - Anand (Kopavogur (Iceland), 2000) where Black tried to keep the sacrificed pawn with 12... e5 13. Bxf6 Qxf6 14. Bb5 Rd8 15. Rhe1 Qb6.

13. Bxf6 Nxf6 14. Qxd4 Nh5 15. a3 Rd8 16. Qe3 Bd7

Black cannot prevent an advance of the white pawns on the kingside. If 16... Nf6, then a standard pawn sacrifice with 17. h5 Nxh5 18. Qh6 would give a strong attacking position to White. 16... Qc7 is not better because of 17. g4 Nf4 18. h5.

17. g4 Nf6 18. Qf4 Nd5 19. Qh6 Nf6 20. Ng5 Bc6

21. Bxg6!?

White destroyed the pawn shelter of the black king having sacrificed a piece. Such a critical decision could be postponed. After 21. f3 (with the threat of h4-h5) 21... Rd5 White would have a not less efficient way to destroy Black’s redoubts with 22. Nxf7! Kxf7 23. g5.

21... hxg6?

Black took the bishop just with the wrong pawn. After 21... Rxd1+ 22. Rxd1 fxg6 23. Nxe6 Kf7 24. Ng5+ (in case of 24. g5 Kxe6 25. gxf6 Kxf6 there is no mate threat for the black king) 24... Kg8 25. h5 Rd8! Black would exhaust White’s initiative totally having exchanged another pair of rooks. The forced line 26. Rxd8+ Qxd8 27. hxg6 Qe7 28. gxh7+ Kh8! leads to an approximately equal position.

22. Nxe6!

This sacrifice breaks the defence of the black king totally.

22... fxe6 23. Qxg6+ Kh8 24. Qxf6+ Kh7 25. Rhe1 Rxd1+ 26. Rxd1 Qc5

In case of 26... Re8, to be followed with 27. g5 Qf5 28. Qh6+ Kg8 29. g6 Qf6 30. h5, white pawns would soon get to the black king.

27. g5 Rf8 28. Qh6+ Kg8 29. Qxe6+ Kg7 30. Qh6+ Kg8 31. Qg6+ Kh8 32. Qh6+ Kg8 33. Qe6+ Kg7 34. Rd6 Be8 35. Qe7+ 1-0

Black resigned. If 35... Kg8, then 36. Rg6+ solves.

Anand - Leko [C65]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Bc5 5. c3 O-O 6. d4 Bb6 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bh4 d6 9. Qd3 Bd7 10. Nbd2 a6

Last year Leko won twice in this variation of the Ruy Lopez playing with V. Topalov in the tournaments in Frankfurt and Dortmund.

11. Bxc6

In the above mentioned games with White preserved his light-squared bishop and ventured on complications after 11. Bc4 exd4 12. cxd4 g5.

11... Bxc6 12. Rfe1 Re8 13. a4 Ba7 14. b3

A more active 14. b4 occurred.

14... Qe7

Complications like 14... exd4 15. cxd4 g5 16. Nxg5 hxg5 17. Bxg5 don’t attract Black.

15. h3 Rad8 16. b4 Bd7 17. b5 Bc8 18. Nf1 Qe6

19. Ng3!

White performed this knight manoeuvre which is usual for the Ruy Lopez not fearing that Black could make him part with the piece.


Black has not ventured on 19... g5, probably fearing 20. d5 (an even more strong immediate 20. Nxg5!? hxg5 21. Bxg5 would be possible in order to meet then 21...d5 with 22. Qf3) 20... Qe7 (Black would be very bad after 20... Qd7 21. Nxg5 hxg5 22. Bxg5) 21.Nxg5 Ng4 (in case of 21... hxg5 22. Bxg5 Bxf2+ 23. Kxf2 Ng4+ 24. hxg4 Qxg5 Black’s position would be bad too because of 25. Nf5! ) 22. Nf5 Bxf5 23. Nf3 Bxf2+ 24. Bxf2 Nxf2 25. Kxf2 Bc8 26.g4 with a perceptible positional advantage be White.

20. Rab1 g5

Black has decided to prove whether White’s plan was really correct.

21. Nxg5 hxg5 22. Bxg5 axb5 23. axb5 exd4 24. cxd4 cxb5 25. Rxb5 Nh7

The withdrawal of the rook from the binding 25... Rd7 would allow White to develop a very strong initiative with 26. Ra1! (an immediate 26. Bxf6 Qxf6 27. Nh5 is not good because of 27...Qxd4 28. Qg3+ Kf8, as well as 26. Nf5 is bad because of 26... Nxe4 27. f3 Nxg5 28. Rxe6 Nxe6, and Black is OK) 26... Bb8 (26... b6 27. Bxf6 Qxf6 28. Nh5 would not change much) 27. Bxf6! Qxf6 28. Nh5, as now White can answer any retreat of the black queen with 29. Qf3, threatening to fork the black king and both rooks with Nf6+.

26. Bxd8 Rxd8 27. Nf5 Qf6 28. Rd1

Black’s activity in the centre of the board could have been prevented with 28. Ra1 Bb8 29. Ne3.

28... d5 29. Ng3 dxe4 30. Nxe4 Qg6 31. Nc5 Bf5 32. Qa3 Bxc5 33. Rxc5 Ng5 34. Rc3 Ne4 35. Re3 Kh7

36. d5?

From this point the mutual time trouble that hindered the opponents to calculate variants can be felt. 36. Qe7! Rg8 37. Qh4+ Kg7 38. Rde1 could bring an easy win to White.

36... Rg8 37. g3 Bxh3 38. Qe7 Ng5!

Black begins to play for a win. A trial to block the white pawn with 38... Nd6 would then allow White to feel comfortable after 39. Qh4+.

39. d6 Bg4

A transfer of the queen to the big diagonal a8-h1 with 39... Qc2 40. Rde1 Qc6 looked not bad.

40. Rdd3 Ra8?!

As the following play will show, 40... Rc8! would be more precise. After 41. Rc3 Rxc3 42. Rxc3 Qb1+ 43. Kh2 (43.Kg2 gives nothing because of 43...Bh3+ 44.Kh2 Qf1 with Black’s win) Qf5 44. f4 Nf3+ 45.Kg2 (45. Rxf3 Bxf3 46. Kg1 is not enough because of 46... Bc6) 45...Qd5 White would be not able to defend his king.

41. Qe5 Qh5?!

Black has overlooked the strongest continuation again. After 41... Ra2! 42. Kg2 (if 42. d7, then 42... Qc6) 42... Nh3 his attack would be irresistible.

42. Qf6 Bd7?

Another Black’s slip. A decisive advantage could be gained with 42... Rc8! 43. Rc3 Rxc3 44. Qxc3 Nf3+ (a win probably could be achieved with 44... Bf3 45. Rxf3 Qxf3 too) 45. Kf1 Qh1+ 46. Ke2 Ne5+ 47. f3 Qg2+ 48. Kd1 Bxf3+ 49. Rxf3 Nxf3, and now in case of 50. Qd3+ Kg7 51. d7 the solution is 51... Qg1+ 52. Ke2 Nd4+ 53. Kd2 Qf2+ 54. Kc3 Nc6 55.d8Q Nc6 56. Qxd8 Qxg3+.

43. f3?

He had to play 43. g4!. After 43... Bxg4 44. d7 Bf3 45. Rxf3 Nxf3+ 46. Qxf3 Ra1+ 47. Kg2 Qh1+ 48. Kg3 Rg1+ 49. Kf4 it would be impossible to catch the white king despite his walk into the centre of the board.

43... Rg8??

After 43... Ra2! White would be mated as early as on the sixth move.

44. Re7 Bc6?!

Black would have kept the initiative after 44... Qh3.

45. d7 Qh3 46. Rxf7+

An immediate transformation of the pawn into a queen 46.d8Q led to a draw after 46... Qxg3+ 47. Kf1 Rxd8 48. Qf5+ (a careless 48. Rxd8? would be punished with 48...Bb5+) 48... Kg7 49. Rxd8 Qxf3+ 50. Qxf3 Nxf3.

46... Nxf7 47. Qxf7+ Rg7 48. Qxg7+ Kxg7 49. d8Q Qxg3+ 50. Kf1 Qh3+ ??

Black wants to lose the game at all costs. There was an easy draw after 50... Bb5! 51. Qd4+ Kh7.

51. Ke1 Qh1+ 52. Kd2 Qh2+ 53. Kc3 Qh6 54. Qe7+ 1-0

Black resigned.

Kramnik - Morozevich [D07]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 Nc6 3. Nf3

Struggling against the Chigorin Defence, White chose not the keenest continuation.

3... Bg4 4. Nc3 e6 5. Bf4 Bxf3 6. gxf3 Bd6 7. Bg3 Nge7 8. e3 Qd7 9. Qc2 f5 10. Bxd6 Qxd6 11. O-O-O O-O 12. f4 a6

12... dxc4!? deserved attention with the idea that after 13. Bxc4 Nd5 the key central square d5 would be occupied with the knight.

13. Kb1 Nd8 14. Rg1 c6 15. Ne2 Nf7 16. Nc1 Nc8 17. Rg3 Qe7

18. c5!

White fixes his qualitative pawn advantage on the queenside. On the kingside the semi-opened g-file gives him an initiative, while for Black it is not easy to open up files on the opposite side of the board.

18...Qc7 19. Be2 Kh8 20. Rdg1 Rg8 21. Nd3 Ne7 22. h4 g6 23. h5 Rg7 24. hxg6 Nxg6

Black dares not take on g6 with the pawn fearing to close the file where his rook acts, and he obviously does not want to take with the rook 24... Rxg6 because of 25. Bh5.

25. Rh1 Rag8 26. Rgh3 Nf8 27. Qd1 Qe7 28. Bh5 Nd8 29. a3 Nd7 30. Ka2 Nf6 31. Ne5 Nd7 32. Bg6 Nf8 33. Bh5 Nd7 34. Nf3 Nf6 35. Ng5 Ne4 36. Nxe4

White failed to keep the knight from an exchange. But now he can arrange a break-through in the centre.

36... dxe4 37. f3 exf3 38. Bxf3 Rf8 39. e4

White’s heavy pieces need files to intrude into the opponent’s camp.

39... Rf6 40. exf5 exf5

41. d5?

White parts with the pawn getting practically nothing instead. After 41. Re1 Qf8 (in case of 41... Ne6, 41... Qd7 or 41... Qf7+ it would be good to play 42. d5, and in case of 41... Re6 there would be 42. Re5), White would keep an unpleasant pressure with 42. Qb3.

41... Qxc5 42. Qe2 cxd5 43. Qe5?!

White could have avoided all the following tortures with 43. Rh6!, as then 43... Rxh6 would let him arrange a perpetual check after 44. Qe8+ Rg8 45. Qe5+ Rg7.

43... Qd6 44. Bxd5 Nc6 45. Qxd6 Rxd6

White will take pains over an endgame without a pawn.

46. Bb3 Nd4 47. Bc4 Rc7 48. Bd3 Re7 49. Rh5 Rf6 50. Rg5 Ne6 51. Rxf5 Rxf5 52. Bxf5 Nxf4 53. Rh4 Nd5 54. Rh6 Rf7 55. Be4 Nf6 56. Bf3 Kg7 57. Rh2 Kg6 58. Rg2+ Kf5 59. Rh2 Kg5 60. Rg2+ Kf4 61. Bd1 h5?

Black paid his debt. After 61... Rc7 there would be still a long play.

62. Bxh5! Re7 1/2-1/2


"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

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