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  1. Round 3 at Zurich. Nakamura had Carlsen against the ropes today, but Magnus still managed to scape with the full point. A game worthy of study, no doubt! See full annotations below. Aronian-Gelfand was a draw where not very much happened. Although longer, not much happened in Caruana-Anand either. You can view all games by clicking on the menu above the little board. [pgn][Event "Zurich Chess Challenge 2014"] [site "Zurich SUI"] [Date "2014.02.01"] [Round "3.2"] [White "Nakamur a, Hikaru"] [black "Carlse n, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E20"] [WhiteElo "2789"] [blackElo "2872"] [Annotator "I.M. Javier Gil"] [PlyCount "122"] [EventDate "2014.01.30"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. f3 {Javier: This is still one of the sharpest systems against the Nimzo-Indian defence. Unfortunately 4.Qc2 has become so popular that people have just given up on finding anything else!} d5 5. a3 Be7 6. e4 dxe4 7. fxe4 e5 8. d5 Bc5 9. Bg5 {Javier: This is probably a better move than 9.Nf3, as it avoids the tricky line with 9.Nf3 Ng4.} (9. Nf3 Ng4 $1 10. b4 Bf2+ 11. Ke2 {Javier: And now 11...c5!? 12.h3 Bd4 is one interesting idea, although 11...Bh4!? has also been tried.}) 9... O-O $6 {Javier: This and Carlse n's next few moves seem a little mechanical, as though he wasn't really aware of the danger.} (9... h6 $1 {Javier: I think this is a better move in this position.} 10. Bh4 Bd4 11. Nb5 $6 {Javier: This is what GM Malaniuk chose when he first played this position. It's interesting because he also plays the Nimzo-Indian defence as black, and he too took up this move a couple of years later.} (11. Nce2 Nxe4 12. Qxd4 Qxh4+ 13. g3 exd4 14. gxh4 c5 $1 15. dxc6 Nxc6 16. Rd1 Bg4 (16... d3 $1 17. Rxd3 O-O {Javier: With a extremely difficult position for white.}) 17. Bg2 f5 {And later white was able to draw, but he's struggling here. 1/2-1/2 Kutuzovic,B (2375)-Malaniuk,V (2505) Pula 1990.}) (11. Nge2 Nxe4 $1 12. Qa4+ Bd7 13. Bxd8 Bf2+ 14. Kd1 Bxa4+ 15. Nxa4 Kxd8 $17) 11... Bxb2 12. Rb1 a6 13. Bxf6 {Javier: Exploiting the fact that c7 is hanging.} (13. Rxb2 axb5 $17 {Javier: And the P on a3 is hanging and white's position is full of weaknesses.}) 13... gxf6 14. Qa4 (14. Nxc7+ Qxc7 15. Rxb2 Qa5+ 16. Qd2 Qxa3 17. Bd3 $13) 14... axb5 $1 15. Qxa8 Bc3+ 16. Kd1 Na6 17. Kc2 O-O $3 (17... Bd4 {Javier: Nothing wrong with this move, black has excellent compensation for the exchange.}) 18. Kxc3 Qd6 19. Rxb5 c6 20. Ra5 cxd5 21. Rxa6 (21. exd5 Qb6 $17) (21. cxd5 Qc7+ $19) 21... bxa6 22. Qxd5 Qb6 23. Qd3 Rd8 24. Qg3+ Kh7 25. Bd3 Qa5+ 26. Kc2 Bd7 27. Ne2 Ba4+ 28. Kc1 Bb3 29. Rf1 Qxa3+ 30. Kd2 Bxc4 $19 31. Nc1 Qb2+ 32. Kd1 Bxd3 {0-1 Malaniuk,V (2515)-Kveinys,A (2345)/Minsk 1988/ EXT 1998}) 10. Nf3 Bg4 11. h3 Bxf3 12. Qxf3 {Javier: I think white has a clear advantage here. White's not only got the 2 BB, those PP in the center are very powerful. White has more space.} Nbd7 13. O-O-O {Javier: As the game goes on, it becomes clear that white's attacking chances on the Kside are much better than black's ones on the Qside.} Bd4 14. Ne2 c5 15. g4 a5 16. Kb1 Ra6 17. Ng3 g6 18. h4 {Javier: White hasn't done anything out of the ordinary and yet, his attack progesses smoothly.} a4 19. Rh2 Qa5 20. Bd2 Qc7 21. g5 Ne8 22. h5 Rb6 { Javier: The first threat, but a very easy one to stop.} 23. Bc1 Rb3 24. Qg4 ( 24. Rd3 {There was nothing wrong with this, but Hiraku wants to use this R to double up along the h-file.}) 24... Nb6 25. Be2 Nd6 26. Rdh1 $6 (26. hxg6 $1 { Javier: This simple move seems to give white a winning advantage.} fxg6 27. Qe6+ Qf7 (27... Rf7 28. Nf5 $3 gxf5 29. g6 hxg6 30. Rdh1 $18) 28. Rdh1 $1 h5 ( 28... Rxg3 29. Rxh7 Qxe6 30. dxe6 $18) 29. Nxh5 $1 gxh5 30. Rxh5 $18) 26... Bxb2 {Javier: Carlse n senses that this is his only chance to stay alive.} ( 26... Nbxc4 27. Bxc4 Nxc4 28. hxg6 Bxb2 (28... fxg6 29. Qe6+ $18) 29. Bxb2 { Javier: Transposing into the game.}) 27. Bxb2 Nbxc4 28. Bxc4 Nxc4 29. hxg6 Qb6 (29... fxg6 30. Qe6+ $1 Kh8 31. Qxg6 $18) (29... Nxb2 30. g7 $1 (30. gxh7+ Kh8 31. Rxb2 Qb6 32. Rhh2 c4 {Javier: And no matter what the computers say, this position is not clear at all!}) 30... Nd3+ 31. Kc2 $1 (31. Ka2 Nb4+ 32. axb4 cxb4 33. gxf8=Q+ Kxf8 {Javier: And black seems to have enough to draw here as those pawns support the R checks on a3 and b3.}) 31... Rxa3 32. Qh5 $1 $18) 30. g7 $6 {Javier: Probably not the best, but it shouldn't spoil the win.} (30. gxf7+ $1 Rxf7 31. Nh5 $3 Rxb2+ 32. Ka1 $18 {Javier: And black's counterattack has run out of steam, but white's one is unstoppable.}) 30... Rd8 31. Qh4 Rxb2+ 32. Ka1 Rxh2 33. Rxh2 Qg6 34. Nf5 Re8 (34... Rd7 $2 35. Qg4 $1 $18) 35. Qg4 Qb6 36. Qh3 Qg6 37. d6 $4 (37. Qf1 $3 $18 {Javier: This was incredibly strong. Not only is the N threatened, white's preparing Rxh7!! next.} b5 38. Rxh7 $3 Qxh7 ( 38... Kxh7 39. Qh3+ $18) 39. Nh6+ Qxh6 40. gxh6 $18) 37... Nxd6 $1 38. Nxd6 Rd8 $1 {Javier: Although white shouldn't lose here, putting oneself together after having been so close is incredibly difficult.} 39. Nc4 (39. Nf5 $4 Rd1+ 40. Ka2 (40. Kb2 Qb6+ $19) 40... Qe6+ 41. Kb2 Qb6+ $19) (39. Nc8 $1 {Javier: This has the virtue of not only threaten Ne7, but also cover the b6 square to prevent the Q check in some variations.} Kxg7 40. Ne7 Rd1+ 41. Ka2 Qe6+ 42. Qxe6 fxe6 43. Rh6 {Javier: And white should definitely not lose this position. In fact, he might have winning chances...}) 39... Qxe4 {Javier: With white's K so exposed and with so many PP for the piece, Carlse n has turned the tables.} 40. Qh5 Rd3 $1 41. Rh4 Qf5 $1 $19 42. Qe2 b5 43. Nd2 Qxg5 $2 (43... Rxa3+ $1 { Javier: This was stronger.} 44. Kb2 Rg3 45. Ne4 a3+ 46. Ka2 Qe6+ $19) 44. Qxd3 Qxh4 45. Ne4 Kxg7 46. Qf3 Qf4 {"All your ending belong to us". } 47. Qg2+ Kf8 48. Kb2 h5 49. Nd2 h4 50. Kc2 b4 51. axb4 cxb4 52. Qa8+ Kg7 53. Qxa4 h3 54. Qb3 h2 55. Qd5 e4 $1 56. Qh5 e3 57. Nf3 e2 58. Kb3 f6 59. Ne1 Qg3+ 60. Ka4 Qg1 61. Qxe2 Qa7+ {Javier: A most disappointing game for Nakamur a, but he's getting closer and closer. He deserved better! This was a terrific fighting gae though. ..} 0-1 [Event "Zurich Chess Challenge 2014"] [site "Zurich SUI"] [Date "2014.02.01"] [Round "3.1"] [White "Aronia n, Levon"] [black "Gelfan d, Boris"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteTitle "GM"] [blackTitle "GM"] [WhiteElo "2812"] [blackElo "2777"] [ECO "E60"] [Opening "King's Indian"] [Variation "3.g3"] [WhiteFideId "13300474"] [blackFideId "2805677"] [EventDate "2014.01.30"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 c6 4. Bg2 d5 5. cxd5 cxd5 6. Nf3 Bg7 7. Ne5 Ne4 8. Nd2 Nxd2 9. Bxd2 O-O 10. O-O Nd7 11. Bc3 Nf6 12. Qb3 Ne4 13. Bxe4 dxe4 14. Rfd1 Qb6 15. Qxb6 axb6 16. Nc4 Be6 17. d5 Bg4 18. Bxg7 Kxg7 19. Kf1 b5 20. Ne3 Bd7 21. a3 Rfc8 22. Rac1 Kf6 23. Rxc8 Rxc8 24. d6 e6 25. Ng4+ Kf5 26. Ne3+ Kf6 27. Ng4+ Kf5 1/2-1/2 [Event "Zurich Chess Challenge 2014"] [site "Zurich SUI"] [Date "2014.02.01"] [Round "3.3"] [White "Caruan a, Fabiano"] [black "Anan d, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteTitle "GM"] [blackTitle "GM"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [blackElo "2773"] [ECO "D11"] [Opening "QGD Slav"] [Variation "4.e3"] [WhiteFideId "2020009"] [blackFideId "5000017"] [EventDate "2014.01.30"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 c6 3. d4 Nf6 4. e3 Bg4 5. Nc3 e6 6. h3 Bh5 7. g4 Bg6 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Ne5 Bb4 10. Bd2 Nd7 11. Nxg6 hxg6 12. a3 Ba5 13. Bg2 g5 14. Qc2 Rc8 15. Rd1 Bc7 16. Ne2 Nf8 17. Qb3 Rb8 18. e4 Nf4 19. Bxf4 Bxf4 20. h4 e5 21. d5 Ng6 22. dxc6 Qa5+ 23. Nc3 O-O 24. cxb7 Qc7 25. Nd5 Qxb7 26. Qxb7 Rxb7 27. b4 gxh4 28. Bf1 Bg5 29. Rh3 Rd8 30. Bc4 Rbb8 31. Rhd3 Rdc8 32. Bb3 Rb7 33. a4 a6 34. Rb1 Nf8 35. Nc3 Ng6 36. Nd5 Nf8 37. Nc3 Ng6 38. Nd5 Nf8 39. Nc3 Ng6 40. Nd5 Nf8 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
  2. It's sad to see Anand losing 2 games in a row. His next tournament will be the candidates and if he scores badly for the rest of the tournament (he still has to play against Carlsen!), I doubt he'll be able to recover psychologically for that event. Vishy had doubts about taking part in it to begin with, although he did confirm that he'd be taking part. Truth be told, Nakamura played a formidable game against him... Meanwhile Carlsen didn't get much out of the opening against Aronian and had to fight for the draw. Gelfand-Nakamura was a very interesting draw. Gelfand seemed a little worse at several points, but ended up a pawn up, although Fabiano was never in serious danger or losing. First game is annotated. You can view the other games by clicking on the menu above the little board. [pgn][Event "Zurich Chess Challenge 2014"] [site "Zurich SUI"] [Date "2014.01.31"] [Round "2.2"] [White "Anan d, Viswanathan"] [black "Nakamur a, Hikaru"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2773"] [blackElo "2789"] [Annotator "I.M. Javier Gil"] [PlyCount "72"] [EventDate "2014.01.30"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 {Javier: I guess Anan d is keeping his anti-Berlin preparation for the candidates...} Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. h3 (6. Nxe5 $4 Qd4 7. Be3 Qxe5 8. d4 Qxe4 9. dxc5 Qxg2 10. Rf1 Bh3 11. Nd2 O-O-O $19) 6... Be6 7. Nc3 {Javier: A new move in this position, but it's unlikely to catch on given the result this game...} Qd6 8. O-O O-O-O 9. a3 Nh5 10. Na4 Bb6 11. Nxb6+ axb6 12. a4 {Javier: White's position looks a little bit more comfortable to play.} f6 13. Be3 (13. Ng5 fxg5 (13... g6 14. Nxe6 Qxe6 15. Be3 Nf4 16. a5 b5 17. a6 b6 18. Bxf4 exf4 {Javier: And although the chess engines give white the advantage here (+0.89), I very much doubt this will amount to anything serious. }) 14. Qxh5 h6 $11) 13... Nf4 {Javier: If white keeps still, black will play .. .g5 and things could get nasty for white on the Kside.} 14. a5 b5 15. d4 $2 { Javier: Missing an excellent opportunity with 15.a6!.} (15. a6 $1 b6 (15... bxa6 16. Rxa6 g5 17. Qd2 Rhg8 18. Rfa1 g4 19. hxg4 Rxg4 20. g3 $16 {Javier: And white's attack is far more dangerous than black's.}) (15... g5 $2 16. a7 Kd7 17. d4 $1 $18) 16. Bxf4 exf4 17. Re1 {Javier: White's got better chances here.} Kb8 18. e5 fxe5 19. Nxe5 $16) 15... Nxh3+ $1 16. gxh3 Bxh3 17. dxe5 (17. Re1 Qd7 $1 18. Nd2 exd4 19. Bf4 g5 20. Bh2) 17... Qe6 (17... Qb4 18. Nd2 Bxf1 19. Kxf1 fxe5 20. a6 b6 $13) 18. Nd2 Bxf1 19. Qxf1 Qxe5 {Javier: Objectively, white's still doing ok here, but the position is unbalanced and black's not without chances on the Kside.} 20. c3 Kb8 21. a6 b6 22. Qg2 Rd6 23. Nf1 $2 { Javier: Too passive.} (23. Qxg7 {Javier: This daring move is perhaps not as risky as it seems, as white's King will be pretty safe on f1.} Rdd8 24. Kf1 Rhg8 25. Qh6 Rxd2 $5 {Javier: Makes sense, as white's N is what's keeping white's position together.} (25... Qd6 26. f3 Qd3+ 27. Kf2 Qc2 28. Rg1 Rxd2+ 29. Bxd2 Rd8 30. Ke1 Qb1+ 31. Bc1 Qc2 32. Bd2 Qb1+ 33. Bc1 $11) 26. Bxd2 Qxe4 27. a7+ Ka8 28. Re1 Qd3+ 29. Re2 Re8 30. Be3 Rg8 {Javier: And black will have no trouble getting a draw here, as Qb1+ and Qd3+ is basically unstoppable.} 31. Qxf6 Qb1+ 32. Re1 Qd3+ $11) 23... f5 $1 {[%cal Gd6g6] Javier: Threatening Rg6. Yes, white will block on g3 with his N later, but then black will advance his h P and white's going to need to start defending, which is not a good sign...} 24. exf5 Qxf5 25. Ng3 Qd7 26. Qe4 Ka7 27. Kg2 h5 $1 28. Qf5 Qe8 {Javier: Black avoids the exchange of QQ, as white's K is vulnerable and he'll need all his pieces to attack.} 29. Qe4 Qf7 30. Kh1 h4 31. Ne2 Re8 32. Qg4 Rg6 33. Qh3 $2 ( 33. Qf4 Qd5+ 34. f3 Qd7 {Javier: Protecting c7 and threatening ...Qh3.} 35. Ng1 {Javier: This was white's best chance, but I doubt he can survive here.}) 33... Qd5+ 34. Kh2 Rxe3 $1 35. fxe3 Qd2 36. Qf1 Rf6 {Javier: And Anan d resigned. A mighty exhibition of strength by Nakamura...} (36... Rf6 37. Qg2 Qxe3 38. Rf1 h3 $1 $19) 0-1 [Event "Zurich Chess Challenge 2014"] [site "Zurich SUI"] [Date "2014.01.31"] [Round "2.1"] [White "Gelfan d, Boris"] [black "Caruan a, Fabiano"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteTitle "GM"] [blackTitle "GM"] [WhiteElo "2777"] [blackElo "2782"] [ECO "A88"] [Opening "Dutch"] [Variation "Leningrad, main variation with c6"] [WhiteFideId "2805677"] [blackFideId "2020009"] [EventDate "2014.01.30"] 1. d4 d6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 f5 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. g3 Bg7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O c6 8. b4 e5 9. dxe5 dxe5 10. e4 Be6 11. exf5 gxf5 12. Nxe5 Qxd1 13. Rxd1 Nfd7 14. Nxd7 Nxd7 15. Bb2 Nb6 16. Rac1 Bxc4 17. Ba1 Rad8 18. Rxd8 Rxd8 19. Bh3 Bd3 20. Nd1 Nc4 21. Bxg7 Kxg7 22. Bf1 Bxf1 23. Kxf1 Rd4 24. Ke2 Kf6 25. f3 Na3 26. Rc3 Nb5 27. Rb3 Rc4 28. Kd3 Rc1 29. Nc3 Rf1 30. Ke3 Re1+ 31. Kd3 Rf1 32. Ke3 Re1+ 33. Kd3 a6 34. a4 Nd6 35. Rb1 Rxb1 36. Nxb1 b5 37. axb5 axb5 38. Kd4 Nc4 39. Kc5 Ne5 40. Nd2 h5 41. f4 Nd3+ 42. Kxc6 Nxb4+ 43. Kxb5 Nd3 44. Nf3 Nf2 45. Kc6 Ng4 46. Kd6 h4 47. gxh4 Ne3 48. Ne5 Ng2 49. Nd7+ Kg7 50. Ke5 Nxh4 51. h3 Kf7 52. Nb8 Kg6 53. Nc6 Nf3+ 54. Ke6 Ng1 55. Ne5+ Kh5 56. Kxf5 1/2-1/2 [Event "Zurich Chess Challenge 2014"] [site "Zurich SUI"] [Date "2014.01.31"] [Round "2.3"] [White "Carlse n, Magnus"] [black "Aronia n, Levon"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteTitle "GM"] [blackTitle "GM"] [WhiteElo "2872"] [blackElo "2812"] [ECO "A29"] [Opening "English"] [Variation "four knights, kingside fianchetto"] [WhiteFideId "1503014"] [blackFideId "13300474"] [EventDate "2014.01.30"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nb6 7. O-O Be7 8. a3 O-O 9. d3 Re8 10. b4 Bf8 11. Rb1 a5 12. b5 Nd4 13. e3 Nxf3+ 14. Bxf3 a4 15. Qe2 Ra7 16. Bb2 Be6 17. Rfc1 Qd7 18. Ne4 Ba2 19. Ra1 Bd5 20. Bg4 Qd8 21. Bc3 Nd7 22. Bf3 b6 23. Bb4 Bxb4 24. axb4 Qe7 25. Nc3 Bxf3 26. Qxf3 Nf6 27. Rxa4 Rxa4 28. Nxa4 Qxb4 29. Nc3 Qb2 30. Qd1 Rd8 31. Kg2 h6 32. h3 Rxd3 33. Qxd3 Qxc1 34. Qd8+ Kh7 35. Qxc7 Ne4 36. Qxe5 Nxc3 37. Qf5+ Kg8 38. Qc8+ Kh7 39. Qf5+ Kh8 40. Qc8+ Kh7 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
  3. 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/
  4. 22 Year old Norwegian GM Magnus Carlsen has won the IV London classic (his third English title!) with a rather impressive score of 6.5 out of 8, and a performance rating of 2994 (!). This result will push Carlsen's rating to a staggering 2861 (+13.4), the highest ever on the planet!! However, there are some clouds over the horizon: although Magnus result was very impressive indeed, the games were... how would I put it, BORING! not exactly spectacular! He played no less than 7 endgames, some of them were not particularly brilliant and looked rather drawish but he still managed to scrap the full point. His victory over Adams was somewhat dramatic, as Michael was even a little better at several points. Kramnik's second place, with just half a point less, was on another level. His chess was pretty impressive all along, and he did have his chances against Carlsen as well. Anand, now 7th in the world, will need to struggle a little if he's to make it back into the top 5 again. Aronian played some of the worst openings of his life and was fighting for equality in several games from very early on. Nakamura did pretty well and is now back in the top 10 (9th with 2768). Polgar suffered and lost 9 ratings points and loses the 2700 mark... not sure if she'll ever be able to get it back again, as she has growing family commitments and doesn't compete much anymore... Michael Adams had a wonderful tournament and proves once again that at 41, he's still got it. McShane was not at the level of last year's event, but that's understandable considering that he's not a professional player. Jones was only able to get 3 draws, but some of his games showed "potential"... Here's the final standings: And here's my favourite game of the tournament, fully annotated. [pgn][Event "4th London Chess Classic"] [site "London ENG"] [Date "2012.12.06"] [Round "5.1"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [black "McShane, Luke J"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D15"] [WhiteElo "2795"] [blackElo "2713"] [Annotator "I.M. Javier Gil"] [PlyCount "97"] [EventDate "2012.12.01"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 a6 5. g3 {Javier: This is a pretty tough line against the Shebanenko variation of the Slav defence.} dxc4 6. a4 e6 7. Bg2 c5 8. O-O cxd4 9. Nxd4 Nbd7 10. Nc2 Qc7 (10... Bc5 {This was Karjakin's choice against Kramnik in Moscow 2010. It didn't end well for black. ..} 11. Ne3 Ne5 12. Qxd8+ Kxd8 13. a5 Rb8 14. Na4 Bb4 15. f4 Neg4 16. Nxc4 Bd7 17. h3 Bb5 18. b3 Nh6 19. g4 Nd7 20. f5 exf5 21. Bf4 Rc8 22. Bxb7 fxg4 23. Bxc8 Kxc8 24. Ncb6+ Kb7 25. Rfc1 {Javier: And black resigned.}) 11. Bf4 $146 (11. Qd4 { Javier: There's no doubt that McShane had studied the game Kramnik - Gelfand, where Kramnik played 11.Qd4 and the game ended in a draw in just 15 moves. But it's been 16 years since that game, and Luke must have expected a new move from Kramnik somewhere, and here it is. 11.Bf4 is a novelty.} Bc5 12. Qh4 Be7 13. Na3 Ne5 14. Bf4 h6 15. Bxe5 {1/2-1/2 Kramnik,V (2740) - Gelfand,B (2700) Linares 1997}) 11... e5 (11... Qc5 12. Be3 Qc7 13. Qd4 {Javier: This would be an improved version of the game against Gelfand. In that game, white's B was still on c1, and ...Bc5 is then a good move, as 12.Qxc4?? would lose to 12... Bxf2 discovered check. However, that trick wouldn't be possible here..}) 12. Bd2 (12. Bg5 {Javier: This look like a more logical square for the B. Can't really see what's so good about 12.Bd2 to be honest!} h6 (12... Be7 $6 13. Ne3 $1 {Javier: When Nd5 becomes a threat.}) 13. Bxf6 Nxf6 14. Ne3 {Javier: White has the usual compensation, the d5 square, pressure against c4, better development...} Be6 15. a5 Bc5 16. Qa4+ Bd7 17. Ncd5 $5 {Javier: Instead of taking on c4.} (17. Qxc4 {Javier: Intending b4.} Rc8 18. Qb3 {Javier: Planning Nd5.} Bxe3 19. fxe3 Bc6 20. Bxc6+ Qxc6 21. Qb4 Qc5 22. Qxb7 Qxe3+ 23. Kh1 O-O 24. Qxa6 {Javier: Looks a little better for white.}) 17... Nxd5 18. Nxd5 Qc8 19. Qc2 O-O 20. Rfc1 Bb5 21. b4 $1 {Javier: And white wins the exchange, as the N is attacking both b6 and e7.} Bd6 22. Nb6 Qc7 23. Nxa8 Rxa8 24. Bd5 Rc8 25. Rab1 $14) 12... Nc5 (12... Bc5 13. Ne3 Bxe3 14. Bxe3 Nc5 15. Nd5 Nxd5 16. Qxd5 Nb3 17. Rad1 O-O 18. Qd6 Qxd6 19. Rxd6 {Javier: An black's position is a little uncomfortable, due to the pressure of the 2 white BB.}) 13. Bg5 Be6 ( 13... Nb3 14. Bxf6 gxf6 15. Ne3 Nxa1 16. Ned5 Qd8 17. Qxa1 {Javier: And the position would resemble the one in the game.}) 14. Bxf6 gxf6 15. Nd5 Qd8 16. Nce3 Nb3 17. a5 $1 {Javier: A very nice exchange sacrifice. White has better development, Black's K is still in the center, f6, b7 and c4 are targets, the b6 square is weak...} Rc8 (17... Nxa1 18. Qa4+ Bd7 $8 19. Qxc4 Rc8 20. Qh4 Rc6 21. Rxa1 f5 22. Qh5 $44 {With good compensation for the exchange.}) 18. Ra4 Nd4 19. Nb6 Rc7 20. Rxc4 $3 {Javier: White insists on sacrificing the exchange!} Bxc4 21. Nexc4 {Javier: The whole point is that white has total control over the light squares now, d5 and f5 in particular being the axis of white's idea.} Nb5 22. Qb1 Qd4 23. Rd1 Qc5 24. e3 Be7 25. Qf5 $16 Kf8 (25... O-O $4 26. Be4 $18) 26. Bd5 Kg7 27. Qg4+ Kh6 (27... Kf8 28. Nd7+ Rxd7 29. Qxd7 $18) 28. e4 { Javier: Planning Ne3, then the N has access to f5.} Nd4 29. Ne3 {Javier: Threatening Rxd4 and then Nf5.} f5 30. Qh3+ Kg7 31. Rxd4 $3 {Javier: Double exchange sacrifice!} exd4 32. Nxf5+ Kf8 33. Qh6+ Ke8 34. Bxf7+ Kd8 (34... Kxf7 35. Qg7+ Ke8 36. Qxh8+ Bf8 37. b4 $1 Qxb4 38. Qe5+ Kd8 39. Nd5 {Javier: And white's NN will become a tornado.}) 35. Qg7 Rf8 36. Nxd4 Rc6 37. Nxc6+ bxc6 38. Qg4 Kc7 $8 39. Qd7+ Kb8 40. Qd2 $6 (40. e5 $1 Qxe5 (40... Rxf7 $4 41. Qc8+ Ka7 42. Qc7#) 41. Qxc6 Ka7 42. Nc8+ Rxc8 (42... Kb8 43. Qb6+ Kxc8 44. Be6+ $18) 43. Qxc8 $18) 40... Kc7 41. Qd7+ Kb8 42. Kg2 Bd6 (42... Qd6 43. e5 Qxd7 44. Nxd7+ Kc8 45. Nxf8 Bxf8 46. f4 {Javier: And white has too many passed PP on the Kside.}) 43. b4 Qd4 (43... Qxb4 44. Qxc6 $18) 44. Qxc6 Ka7 45. Kh3 Qd1 46. Nc8+ Rxc8 47. Qxc8 $6 {Javier: Doesn't really spoil anything, but 47.Qb6! was more accurate.} (47. Qb6+ Ka8 48. Qxa6+ Kb8 49. Qb6+ Ka8 50. Bd5+ Qxd5 51. exd5 $18) 47... Qf1+ 48. Kg4 h5+ 49. Kxh5 {Black resigned.} 1-0 [/pgn]
  5. A cup system for a blitz tournament is as ridiculous as a Tennis Tournament where a player gets knocked out in a 2 games match, but I guess the organisers wanted a bit of publicity... Here's what happened: Biel Exhibition Blitz 2012 Final ----- Bacrot,Etienne 0.5 Nakamura,Hikaru 1.5 Semi-final ---------- Bacrot,Etienne 1.5 Kosteniuk,Alexandra 0.5 Morozevich,Alexander 0.0 Nakamura,Hikaru 2.0 Quarter-final ------------- Bacrot,Etienne 2.0 Carlsen,Magnus 1.0 Kosteniuk,Alexandra 1.5 Wang,Hao 0.5 Morozevich,Alexander 2.0 Pelletier,Yannick 1.0 Harikrishna,Pentala 0.5 Nakamura,Hikaru 1.5 And here's Nakamura's win in the final against Bacrot: [pgn][Event "Biel Exhibition Blitz"] [site "Biel SUI"] [Date "2012.07.22"] [Round "3.2"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [black "Bacrot, Etienne"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A23"] [WhiteElo "2778"] [blackElo "2713"] [PlyCount "53"] [EventDate "2012.07.22"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 c6 4. Nf3 e4 5. Nd4 d5 6. cxd5 Qb6 7. Nb3 a5 {A risky move. White will try to destroy the black center, but what exactly is black's goal? you tell me!} (7... cxd5 8. Bg2 {With the idea of d3, is the main line.}) 8. d3 a4 9. Nd2 exd3 10. Bg2 Bb4 $2 (10... cxd5 {This looks much better in this position.} 11. O-O (11. exd3 Bg4) 11... d4 $1 12. Nce4 (12. Nxa4 $2 Qb5 $1 $19) 12... Nxe4 13. Nxe4 dxe2 14. Qxe2 Be7 {And white still has to prove that he has enough compensation.}) 11. O-O O-O 12. Nc4 Qd8 (12... Qc5 13. Qxd3 Bxc3 14. Be3 $1 Qb5 15. Qxc3 Nxd5 $2 16. Bxd5 $1 cxd5 (16... Qxd5 17. Nb6) 17. Nb6 $18) 13. dxc6 dxe2 14. Qxe2 Nxc6 15. Rd1 {White has a comfortable advantage.} Qe7 16. Qxe7 Bxe7 17. Nb6 Ra6 (17... Bg4 18. Nxa8 Bxd1 19. Nb6 Bc2 20. Nbxa4 $16) 18. Nxc8 (18. Ncxa4 $5) 18... Rxc8 19. a3 $16 Kf8 20. Be3 Rb8 21. Bf1 Raa8 22. Bb5 Na5 23. Bxa4 Nc4 24. Bc1 Rc8 25. Bb3 Nxa3 26. Bd2 Rd8 ( 26... Bb4 27. Na4 $1 $18) 27. bxa3 1-0 [/pgn]
  6. The 45th edition of the Biel Tournament begins today in Switzerland. 6 Gms are taking part: Magnus Carlsen (Norway, Elo 2837) Hiraku Nakamura (USA, Elo 2778) Alexander Morozevic (Russia, Elo 2770) Wang Hao (PRC, Elo 2739) Etienne Bracto (France, Elo 2713) Anish Giri (Holland, Elo 2696) The tournament is a double round robin, as it should be!. Giri has just won the Dutch Championship and a few people are expecting him to do well here as well, but how well? His rating is actually a little higher (2710 at present) but FIDE only publishes chess ratings on a monthly basis. By the way, Switzerland would be an awesome country to defect to for Wang Hao, although I can't think of any Chinese Elite player who has "migrated" in recent times. But give them time... Official website: http://www.bielchess...val.ch/en/home/
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