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  1. No draws today in Zurich. Carlsen played an amazing game and defeating Caruana very convincingly (from a rather insipid opening position, as usual!). See analysis below. Anand played his best game so far and managed to beat Gelfand. Nakamura hasn't fully recovered from yesterday's dramatic loss against Carlsen and it showed in his game against Aronian, who got a very good game out of the opening. [pgn][Event "Zurich Chess Challenge 2014"] [site "Zurich SUI"] [Date "2014.02.02"] [Round "4.2"] [White "Carlse n, Magnus"] [black "Caruan a, Fabiano"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2872"] [blackElo "2782"] [Annotator "I.M. Javier Gil"] [PlyCount "93"] [EventDate "2014.01.30"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 {Javier: Could this be the new weapon against the Berlin defence? It didn't end too well for Anan d against Nakamura in round 2, but white did seem a little better out of the opening in that game, a detail that probably didn't scape Carlse n's attention!} Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 { Javier: White's basically playing an delayed exchange variation of a Ruy Lopez where black's pieces are not ideally posted as the N on f6 isn't doing much and, as the above mentioned game between Anan d and Nakamura showed, neither is the c5 B doing that much.} 6. h3 Nd7 {Javier: Nakamura chose 6...Be6 followed by Qd6.} 7. Be3 Bd6 (7... Bxe3 8. fxe3 {Javier: With some play along the f-file later on. White's pawns control important central squares also.}) 8. Nc3 c5 9. O-O Nf8 10. Nd2 {Heading for c4 and preparing f4 later.} Ng6 11. Nc4 Be6 12. Ne2 {Javier: White isn't worried about black taking on c4 because that would leave black with an awful B.} Qd7 {Javier: Both Caruan a and Carlse n were critical of this move in analysis room, but I pretty much doubt that this move would make much difference in a position like this, which is basically equal. Carlse n mentioned that 12...0-0 seemed more natural.} 13. Nxd6+ cxd6 (13... Qxd6 $5 14. f4 exf4 15. Nxf4 Nxf4 16. Bxf4 Qd7 (16... Qe7 17. Qf3 O-O-O { Javier: This is possible also.}) 17. Qh5 b6 18. Be5 O-O-O (18... O-O 19. Qg5 $1 ) 19. Bxg7 Rhg8 {Javier: Black gets play along the g-file.} 20. Bf6 (20. Qxh7 $4 f6 $19) (20. Qh6 $2 f5 $1 $17) 20... Bxh3 21. Rf2 Rde8 22. Kh1 Bg4 (22... Be6 {Javier: Perhaps this is a better square for the B, as f7 might need protection later.}) 23. Qxh7 Rg6 $44 {Javier: Black has compensation.}) 14. f4 exf4 15. Nxf4 Nxf4 16. Rxf4 b6 (16... O-O $11 {Javier: This seems like a most reasonable alternative.} 17. Qh5 f5) 17. Qh5 d5 (17... O-O-O 18. a4 $14 {Would be slightly uncomfortable for black.}) 18. d4 c4 (18... cxd4 19. Bxd4 O-O-O 20. Bxg7 Rhg8 21. Bf6 Bxh3 22. Bxd8 {Javier: And black doesn't have enough.}) 19. b3 Qc6 (19... cxb3 $2 20. axb3 $16 {Javier: This would be just bad for black as now exd followed by c4 will be hard to stop.}) (19... Rc8 {Javier: This was a reasonable alternative. Black will castle short.}) 20. Raf1 O-O-O 21. bxc4 Qxc4 22. Rxf7 $3 {Javier: A powerful exchange sacrifice. In Carlse n's words, "it was always going to be quite difficult for the black K"} Bxf7 23. Rxf7 Rd7 24. Rxd7 Kxd7 25. exd5 $16 {Javier: Black's K is vulnerable indeed. Qf7 is the immediate threat.} g6 26. Qg4+ Kc7 27. Qe6 Kb7 28. Qe7+ (28. Qf6 $5 {Javier: This was, perhaps, stronger.} Qe2 $5 (28... Rc8 29. d6 Qc6 30. Qe7+ $18) 29. Bf2 Rc8 30. d6 Rxc2 31. Qf7+ $1 (31. d7 Qd1+ 32. Kh2 Rxf2 33. Qxf2 Kc7 34. Qh4 $16) 31... Ka6 32. d7 $18) 28... Qc7 29. Qe4 Qd7 30. d6+ Ka6 31. Bf4 Rc8 32. Kh2 {Javier: The basic problem for black is that his pieces can never become active, as they have to keep an eye on the d-pawn. This gives white enough time to maneuver.} Rc4 33. Bg3 (33. Qe7 $6 Qxe7 34. dxe7 Rc8 35. d5 Kb7 $1 { Javier: And the ending is not so clear now as white can't advance his PP.} ( 35... Kb5 $4 36. Be3 $1 $18 {Javier: And c4! is next no matter what black does. })) 33... Rc8 34. Qd3+ Kb7 35. c4 {Javier: Black can only wait.} Qc6 36. Qb3 Ka8 (36... Qxc4 $2 37. d7 $18) 37. a4 Re8 38. a5 Kb7 (38... bxa5 39. c5 h5 40. Qc4 Rc8 41. Qe6 a4 42. d5 $1 Qxc5 43. d7 Rd8 44. Qc6+ Qxc6 45. dxc6 $18) 39. c5 Kc8 40. axb6 axb6 41. d5 $1 Qxc5 42. Qa4 Re3 (42... Rd8 43. Qa8+ Kd7 44. Qb7+ Ke8 45. Qe7#) 43. Qa8+ Kd7 44. Qb7+ Ke8 45. d7+ Kd8 46. Bh4+ Re7 47. Qc8+ { Javier: Black resigned. A truly impressive victory by Carlse n.} 1-0 [Event "Zurich Chess Challenge 2014"] [site "Zurich SUI"] [Date "2014.02.02"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Gelfand, Boris"] [black "Anan d, Viswanathan"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteTitle "GM"] [blackTitle "GM"] [WhiteElo "2777"] [blackElo "2773"] [ECO "D11"] [Opening "QGD Slav"] [Variation "4.e3"] [WhiteFideId "2805677"] [blackFideId "5000017"] [EventDate "2014.01.30"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bg4 5. Nc3 e6 6. h3 Bh5 7. g4 Bg6 8. Nh4 Bb4 9. Qb3 Qe7 10. Bd2 a5 11. Nxg6 hxg6 12. cxd5 exd5 13. f3 a4 14. Qc2 a3 15. b3 Nbd7 16. O-O-O O-O 17. Kb1 Rfc8 18. h4 Nb6 19. g5 Nh5 20. Bh3 Re8 21. Rhe1 Rad8 22. Bg4 Qd6 23. Ne2 Bxd2 24. Qxd2 Nd7 25. Nf4 Nxf4 26. exf4 f5 27. gxf6 Nxf6 28. Re5 Nxg4 29. fxg4 Rxe5 30. fxe5 Qe7 31. Rh1 Rf8 32. h5 Qf7 33. h6 Qf3 34. Re1 gxh6 35. e6 Re8 36. g5 Qf5+ 0-1 [Event "Zurich Chess Challenge 2014"] [site "Zurich SUI"] [Date "2014.02.02"] [Round "4.3"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteTitle "GM"] [blackTitle "GM"] [WhiteElo "2812"] [blackElo "2789"] [ECO "E63"] [Opening "King's Indian"] [Variation "fianchetto, Panno variation"] [WhiteFideId "13300474"] [blackFideId "2016192"] [EventDate "2014.01.30"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. g3 d6 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O Nc6 7. d4 a6 8. h3 Rb8 9. e4 b5 10. d5 b4 11. Ne2 Na5 12. Qc2 c6 13. Nfd4 cxd5 14. exd5 Qc7 15. b3 e5 16. dxe6 fxe6 17. a3 bxa3 18. Bd2 Nb7 19. Rxa3 e5 20. Nc6 Ra8 21. Nb4 a5 22. Qa2 Bf5 23. Nd5 Nxd5 24. Bxd5+ Kh8 25. b4 Bxh3 26. Rb1 Bf5 27. Rb2 Bd7 28. bxa5 Bc6 29. Nc3 Nc5 30. Be3 e4 31. a6 Nd3 32. Rb7 Qc8 33. Nxe4 Bxd5 34. cxd5 Qg4 35. Rxd3 Qxe4 36. Rdb3 Qxd5 37. Qe2 Qc6 38. a7 d5 39. Rxg7 Kxg7 40. Bd4+ Kh6 41. Qe3+ Kh5 42. g4+ Kh4 43. Qh6+ Kxg4 44. Qh3+ Kf4 45. Rf3+ 1-0[/pgn]
  2. After his triumph in London, a new event appears in the Norwegian GM´s calendar in January: The 75th Tata Steel Chess Tournament: from 11 to 27 January in Wijk aan Zee. Here's the list of players: GM Carlsen, Magnus NOR GM Aronian, Levon ARM GM Caruana, Fabiano ITA GM Anand, Viswanathan IND GM Karjakin, Sergey RUS GM Nakamura, Hikaru USA GM Wang, Hao CHN GM Leko, Peter HUN GM Giri, Anish NED GM Harikrishna, Pentala IND GM van Wely, Loek NED GM Sokolov, Ivan NED GM L'Ami, Erwin NED GM Hou, Yifan CHN Besides Kramnik, other big names missing are Radjabov, Topalov, Mamedyarov ... it would have been nice to have seen the taking part in this event. What I like about this event is how the organisers are quite willing to sacrifice the tournament category and instead prefer to promote local chess, a concept which not everyone understands (I remember some editions of the Linares tournament without a single Spaniard!). Also interesting is how the inclusion of a female player is now becoming a norm: Hou Yifan, with 2606, is ranked below the 200th spot on the FIDE list... but so what?? In any case, this new edition (75th!!) of a real classic tournament will be interesting. We will have to look closely at Caruana´s performance. Will Aronian prove that his result in London was accidental? maybe. Will Anand wake up this time? I don't think so. An unexpected victory for Chinese Chess by Wang Hao? unlikely. Will this be Nakamura´s tournament? I doubt it. Will Carlsen improve his rating? impossible! Here's the link to the official website, but not much info is available yet: http://www.tatasteelchess.com/
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