Apr 27, 2001

Quarterfinal. Second games (round 1.2)

Movsesian - Milos [B80]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. g3 a6 7. Bg2 Nf6 8. O-O d6 9. Re1 Nd7

In this way Black wants to avoid the line 9... Be7 10. Nxc6 bxc6 11. e5.

10. Nxc6 bxc6 11. Na4 Bb7 12. c4 c5 13. b3 Be7 14. Bb2 O-O 15. Qd2 Bc6 16. Nc3

White plays too ingenuously. Making a natural move, he allows Black to perform an exchange of the dark-squared bishops easily. 16. Rad1 which occurred previously was more tricky. After 16... Rfd8 (if 16... Bxa4, then 17. e5 Nxe5 18. Bxe5 dxe5 19. Bxa8 Rxa8 20. bxa4, White getting a material advantage) 17. Nc3 Nf8 18. Ne2 a5 19. h4 a4 20. Nf4 in the game Velicka - Jansa (Zlin, 1997) Black played incautiously 20... axb3? (20... Ng6 was the correct move with mutual chances) and allowed White to develop a very strong attack with 21. Bxg7!!.

16... Bf6 17. Ne2 Bxb2 18. Qxb2 Ne5 19. Rad1 Bb7 20. f4 Nc6

21. e5?!

White overestimates his opportunities. It’s clear that Black was going to perform the advance e6-e5 with his next move and then to put his knight on d4. Now White attempts to prevent the fulfillment of this plan. Still, it was better to let Black accomplish his plan as after the move in the game White’s position in the centre gets considerably weakened.

21... dxe5 22. fxe5 Rfd8 23. Qc3 h6 24. Qe3 Nb4 25. Bxb7 Qxb7 26. Rf1

White ventures on the sacrifice of a pawn. Otherwise after 26. Rd2 Rxd2 27.Qxd2 Qc7 (27... Qe4 was insufficient because of 28. Nf4) 28. Nf4 Rd8 29. Qf2 Qa5 30. Re2 Nc6 the advantage of Black’s pieces in the centre would have become evident very soon.

26... Nxa2 27. Nf4

There is already no way to return the pawn. After 27. Rxd8+ Rxd8 28. Ra1 (in case of 28. Qxc5 Qxb3 29. Qa7 Rf8 Black had an extra pawn, and White failed to create any real threats) 28... Nb4 29. Qxc5 Nc2 30. Rf1 Rd2 31. Nf4 g5 Black created quickly serious threats to the white king.

27... Rab8

Also 27... Qb6!? deserved attention, not allowing the white rook to get to d6.

28. Rd6 Qc7

An exchange on d6 is bad for Black because after 28... Rxd6 29. exd6 Qxb3 30. Qxc5 White created a strong passed pawn on the d-file.

29. Rfd1 Nb4 30. R1d2 Qa5 31. Rxd8+?!

White forces the play, and it’s very likely for nothing. In case of 31. Qf2 he probably did not want to encounter 31... Nc6!? 32. Nd3 Nd4 33. Ra2 Qc3, his problems staying unsolved, but after the move in the game his position becomes just hopeless.

31... Rxd8 32. Rxd8+ Qxd8 33. Qxc5 Qd1+ 34. Kg2 Qxb3 35. Qc8+ Kh7 36. Qb7 Qxc4 37. Qxf7 Qe4+ 38. Kg1 Qe1+ 39. Kg2 Qe4+ 40. Kg1

40... Qf5! 41. Qe8

After 41. Qxe6 Qxe6 42. Nxe6 Nc6 43. Nc5 a5 44. e6 Kg6 45. Kf2 Kf6 46. Ke3 Ke5 Black’s remote passed pawn on the a-file decided the game.

41... Qb1+ 42. Kg2 Qc2+ 43. Kf1

Another retreat of the king was also bad. After 43. Kg1 Qc5+ 44. Kf1 Qb5+ 45. Qxb5 axb5 46. Nxe6 Nc6 47. Nc7 b4 48. e6 b3 49. Nd5 b2 50. Nc3 Kg6 White had problems to escape in the knight endgame with a remote passed pawn by Black.

43... Qc4+ 44. Ke1 Qe4+ 45. Kf2 Qf5 46. Kg1

No use of 46. Qxe6 because of 46... Nd3+ 47. Ke3 Qxe6 48. Nxe6 Nxe5, and Black’s extra pawn in the knight endgame wins him the game.

46... Qb1+ 47. Kg2 Qc2+ 48. Kf1

It was already mentioned that the line 48. Kg1 Qc5+ 49. Kf1 Qb5+ 50. Qxb5 axb5 51. Nxe6 Nc6 was inadmissible for White.

48... Nd5 49. Nxe6 Ne3+ 50. Ke1 Ng2+

Now a forced 50... Qd1+! 51. Kf2 Ng4+ 52. Kg2 Qe2+ 53. Kh3 Nf2+ 54. Kg2 (54. Kh4 Qg4#) 54... Nd3+ 55. Kh3 Qf1+ 56. Kh4 (56. Kg4 Nxe5+ 57. Kh4 Nf3+ 58. Kg4 Nxh2+ 59. Kh4 Nf3+ 60. Kg4 Ne5+ 61. Kh4 Qh1#) 56... Nxe5 57. Nf8+ (Black mated after other continuations, e. g. 57. h3 Qf6+ 58. Kh5 Qf5+ 59. Kh4 g5+ 60. Nxg5+ Qxg5#) 57... Qxf8 58. Qxf8 Ng6+ gave an extra piece to Black and allowed him to win most quickly, however the move which was played in the game did not spoil his position either.

51. Kf1 Ne3+ 52. Ke1 Qd1+ 53. Kf2 Ng4+ 54. Kg2 Ne3+ 55. Kf2 Ng4+ 56. Kg2 Qe2+ 57. Kh3 Nf2+ 58. Kg2 Nd3+ 59. Kh3 Qf1+ 60. Kh4

60... g5+?

Black was just one step away from a victory. After 60... Nxe5! White’s only way to escape a quick mate was 61. Nf8+, but a plain combination won a piece to Black after 61... Qxf8! 62. Qxf8 Ng6+.

61. Nxg5+ hxg5+ 62. Kxg5 Qc1+ 63. Kf5 Qf1+ 64. Kg5 Qc1+ 65. Kf5 Qf1+ 1/2-1/2 Draw.

Azmaiparashvili - Bareev [A46]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 c5 3. c3

White’s wish to avoid a complex play is understandable if we take into account the standings in the match.

3... e6 4. g3

Looks not quite consistent. The moves c2-c3 and g2-g3 don’t comply very well.

4... d5 5. Bg2 Nc6 6. O-O Be7 7. Bg5

As a matter of fact, this is the Schlechter Variation which is some middle line between the Slav and the Gruenfeld Defences, but of course with reversed colours.

7... cxd4

Black relieves the tension in the centre, but instead the unlucky position of White’s bishop on g2 behind the pawn d5 gets emphasised.

8. cxd4 Qb6 9. b3

A non-pretentious but quite reliable 9. Bc1 was seen here too.

9... Bd7

Previously they played 9... O-O in this position. This move looks more crafty.

10. Nc3

10... Ne4!

A good resource which allows Black to reinforce his position in the centre.

11. Na4

No other way, White lost both after 11. Nxe4? dxe4 12. Bxe7 exf3 13. Bc5 because of 13... fxg2 14. Bxb6 gxf1Q+ 15. Qxf1 axb6, and after 11. Bxe7? because of 11... Nxc3 12. Qc2 Nxe2+ 13. Qxe2 Kxe7.

11... Qa5 12. Bxe7

After 12. Bc1 b5 White’s position on the queenside got noticeably worse.

12... Kxe7!?

Black joins his rooks as soon as possible. It’s very hard for White to gain profit from the position of Black’s king in the centre of the board now. A more natural 12... Nxe7 allowed White to begin the struggle for the c-file first with 13. Rc1.

13. a3

Now in case of 13. Rc1 there was 13... Rhc8, so White contemplates b3-b4 to be followed with Na4-c5.

13... b6 14.Qd3?

Probably this move became the main reason of White’s defeat. His own queen deprived the knight from an excellent transfer square d3. After 14. Nb2 Black had no 14... Nc3? because of 15. Qd3, creating an awful threat of b2-b4, and in case of 14... Qc3 a mere 15. Na4 was enough to make the black queen return on a5.

14... Rac8 15. Rfc1

Now it’s already not at all easy to find an admissible continuation for White. After 15. Nb2 Qc3 16. Rab1 Black won a pawn with 16... Qxd3 17. Nxd3 Nc3 18. Rb2 Nb5 19. e3 Nxa3.

15... Nb8!

Emphasising the unlucky position of the knight on a4.

16. Ne5

There is no way to escape from a4, as in case of 16. Nb2 there is 16... Rxc1+ 17. Rxc1 Qxa3, depriving White of the pawn.

16... Rxc1+ 17. Rxc1 Rc8

18. Rd1

It’s obvious that White’s fight is lost. In case of 18. Rxc8? the solution was 18... Qe1+ 19. Bf1 Qxf2+, Black mating, and if 18. Qd1, then after 18... Rxc1 19. Qxc1 Qd2! 20. Qxd2 Nxd2 Black’s material losses were inevitable and fatal.

18... Bxa4 19. Bxe4

White attempts to complicate the position with the sacrifice of a piece. After 19.bxa4 Qxa4 White simply lost a pawn without any shade of a counterplay.

19... dxe4 20. Qxe4 Bc6 21. Qxh7 Qd5 22. Nxc6+ Nxc6 23. Qxg7 Rd8 24. e3 Qxb3 25. Rc1

After 25. Qg5+ Kd7 Black’s king escaped to the queenside.

25... Qb2 26. Rc4

No 26. Rxc6? because of 26... Qb1+ 27. Kg2 Qe4+, Black winning the rook.

26... Qb1+ 27. Kg2 Qe4+ 28. f3 Qd5 29. Rc2 Rd6 30. h4 Qb3 31. Qg5+ Kd7 32. Rf2 Qd5

After 32... Qxa3 Black had to reckon with 33. h5.

33. Qg8 e5 34. e4

The line 34.dxe5 Nxe5 35. h5 Nc4 did not suit White in any case.

34... Ne7 35. Qg4+ Qe6 36. Qxe6+ Kxe6 37. d5+ Kd7 38. h5 b5 39. g4

White tries to meet the creation of the black passed pawn on the b-file with his own passed pawn on the h-file, but the levels of support of these two pawns are too different.

39... a5 40. Rb2 Rb6 41. Kf2 Nc8 42. Ke2

After 42. g5 Nd6 43. h6 Rb8 Black hampered White’s pawns on the kingside easily.

42... Nd6 43. Rc2 f6 44. Kd3 Rb8 45. Rc6 b4 46. axb4 axb4 47. Kc2 b3+ 48. Kb2 Rb4 49. Rc1 Nc4+ 50. Kc3 Rb8 51. Rb1 Rc8 52. Kd3

No 52. Rxb3 because of 52... Na5+.

52... b2 53. h6 Kd6 54. h7 Kc5 55. d6 Rh8

Black wants to play super-reliably. 55... Kxd6 56. h8Q Rxh8 57. Kxc4 Rb8 58. Rd1+ Kc7 59. Rb1 Kc6 was also possible, and the rook endgame was hopeless for White despite the material balance. So, after 60. Kc3 Kc5 61. Kc2 (the pawn endgame after 61. Rxb2 Rxb2 62. Kxb2 Kd4 63. Kb3 Ke3 was lost for White) 61... Kd4 62. Rd1+ Ke3 63. Kb1 Rb6 Black won without problems.

56. d7 Kb4 57. f4 exf4 58. e5 Nxe5+ 59. Ke4 Ka3 60. g5

60... f3

Black won also after 60... Ka2 61. Rxb2+ Kxb2 62. Kxf4 (if 62. Kf5, then after 62...f3 63. g6 f2 64. g7 f1Q+ 65. Ke6 Qh3+ Black took all Black’s pawns) 62... Nxd7 63. g6 Nf8 64. g7 (if 64. Kf5, then simply 64... Nxh7) 64... Ne6+! 65. Kf5 Nxg7+ 66. Kxf6 Rxh7.

61. Kf5 Ka2 62. g6 Nxg6 63. Kxg6 Kxb1 64. Kg7 Rxh7+ 65. Kxh7 Kc1!

This is probably the simplest way. The far advanced f-pawn ensured an easy win to Black in the queen endgame. After 65... f2 66. d8Q f1Q it was a bit more complicated.

66. d8Q b1Q+ 67. Kh6 Qf5 68. Qc7+ Kd1 69. Qd6+ Ke2 70. Qe7+ Qe5 71. Qb7 f2 0-1 White resigned.

Ye Jiangchuan - Gelfand [B91]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. g3 e5 7. Nde2 Be7 8. Bg2 b5 9. h3

White wants to get the square g3 for his knight as soon as possible. After 9. O-O Nbd7 10. h3 Bb7 11. g4 b4 12. Nd5 Nxd5 13. exd5 in the game Kamsky - Gelfand (Tilburg, 1990) Black could have gained an excellent play at once with 13... h5! 14. Ng3 hxg4 15. hxg4 g6.

9... Nbd7 10. g4 b4

Previously they played 10... Nb6, 10... Nc5 and 10... O-O. The move which was made by B. Gelfand is probably even more consistent as it restricts Black’s choice. If White managed to play Ne2-g3, then the knight c3 would have had an additional square e2 for a retreat.

11. Nd5 Nxd5 12. exd5

In case of 12. Qxd5 Rb8 the white queen would be driven away from d5 soon, and White would have no resources to maintain an appropriate control over the strategically important square d5.

12... a5

Now 12... h5 was irrelevant: after 13. Ng3 hxg4 14. Qxg4 two black pawns were attacked at the same time, b4 and g7.

13. Ng3 Ba6

14. h4

The blockade character of the position in the centre allows White to try to organise an active play on the kingside despite the impossibility of a castling.

14... O-O 15. Be3 Qc7

To take the sacrificed pawn with 15... Bxh4?! was more than dangerous for Black. After 16. Nf5 Be7 17. Qf3 White could have developed a very strong initiative.

16. Rc1 Nc5 17. b3 a4 18. Qd2 Rab8 19. h5 axb3 20. axb3 Bc8 21. g5 f5 22. f4 Ba6

Having supported the blocking advance f7-f5, Black’s bishop returns to the duty position on a6.

23. Bh3 exf4 24. Bxf4 Rbe8 25. Kd1 Bd8 26. Ra1

There was no 26. Bxf5?, because after 26... Rxf5! 27. Nxf5 Ne4 Black won.

26... Bb7 27. h6

Black did not venture on 27. Bxf5?! again, because after 27... Rxf5! 28. Nxf5 Ne4 29. Qxb4 (if 29. Re1, then White had to reckon with 29... Qd7) 29... Qf7! 30. Rf1 Qxf5 31. Qxb7 Nc3+ 32. Kc1 Re2 Black’s attack might become irresistible.

27... g6 28. Bg2 Ne4 29. Nxe4 fxe4 30. Ra7

30... Qf7

Black ignores the alluring 30... Rxf4, and probably this is correct, because consequences of 31. Qxf4 Qc5 32. Rf1! Qxd5+ 33. Qd2 Qxd2+ 34. Kxd2 Bxg5+ 35. Ke2 Re7 36. Bh3! (with the idea 37. Rxb7 and 38. Be6+) are far from evident. Black’s king which has to huddle to the eighth horizontal looks too weak now.

31. Be3

After 31. Bxd6 e3 32. Qe2 Bb6 33. Ra4 (if 33. Ra1, then 33... Ra8) 33... Bxd5 34. Bxf8 Bxg2 35. Qxg2 e2+ 36. Ke1 Qd7 Black’s e-pawn simply split White’s position.

31... Re7 32. Qxb4 Qxd5+ 33. Kc1 Rc7 34. Rd1 Qc6 35. c4 d5 36. Qc3 dxc4?

Having defined the position in the centre, Black raised the tension too early. After 36... Qe6! 37. Bf1 Qf5!? 38. Qd2 Be7 White’s play was much more complex.

37. b4!

Suddenly it turns out that to find an acceptable continuation for Black is not at all easy.

37... Qb5

Losing immediately, but other continuations were no better. So, after 37... Re8 38. Bf1 Ba6 39. Rxc7 Qxc7 40. Bh3 White created a fatal threat with 41. Rxd8! Rxd8 42. Be6+, and Black had no sufficient defence. If 37... Qe6, then after 38. Bf1 Qc8 (otherwise the solution was 39. Rxb7! Rxb7 40. Bxc4) 39. Kb2! Black could have met the threat of a sacrifice by an exchange on b7 only with a counter-sacrifice on f1, still this measure did not save him too.

38. Bh3 Re8 39. Ra5 Qc6 40. b5 1-0 Black resigned. Black’s queen has no good square to retreat.

Anand - Ivanchuk [B22]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. c3

Of course with an advantage of one point and playing White V. Anand tries to make the play as insipid as he can.

3... d5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. d4 Nf6 6. Be2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. c4 Qd8 9. Nc3 cxd4 10. Qxd4

10. Nxd4 occurs more frequently, but the move in the game is OK if White wants a draw.

10... Bd7

Only 10... Nc6 was seen previously.

11. Ne5 Nc6 12. Nxc6 Bxc6 13. Qxd8 Rfxd8

Black got a good position, but it is not enough to play for a win. It will be hard for him to avoid simplifications on the d-file without any concessions to White.

14. Be3 Kf8 15. Rfd1 Rdc8 16. Rac1 h6 17. Kf1 a6 18. a3 a5 19. Nb5 Rd8 20. Rxd8+ Rxd8 21. Nd4 Be8 22. Bf3 b6 23. Nc2 Nd7 24. b4 Rc8 25. Be2 Ra8 26. Bf3 Rc8 27. Be2 axb4 28. axb4 Ra8 29. Bd4 Bf6

With the move 29... Ra2 Black could have hampered the simplifications for one move only, because after 30. Bd3 the threat of an exchange of the rooks with Rc1-a1 recommenced.

30. Bxf6 Nxf6 31. Ra1 Rxa1+ 32. Nxa1 Ba4

Of course the opportunities of White’s knight on a1 are considerably restricted, but Black cannot prevent the white king from helping it.

33. f3 Ke7 34. Kf2 Nd7 35. Ke3 Ne5 36. Kd4 Nc6+ 37. Kc3 e5 38. Bd3 Nd4 39. Nc2

Now that the white knight is free we can drop the curtain. A draw will follow inevitably.

39... Bxc2 40. Bxc2 Kd6 41. Bd3 g5 42. Be4 f5 43. Bd3 h5 44. h3 h4 45. Kd2 Ke6 46. Kc3 Kd6 47. Kd2 Nb3+ 48. Kc3 Nd4 1/2-1/2 Draw.

"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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