Sergey Ivanov

Sergey Ivanov,

Ivanov, Sergey (2545) - Westerinen, Heikki M J (2390)
Stockholm, 1999, round 4

The game ran on the 30th of December and was to become the last game of the 1999 year. I wished to finish the year worthy and to play a good and attractive game. Course of the game shows that my partner was overwhelmed with the same feelings.

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c5

A very experienced Finnish grandmaster has been upholding this seldom continuation not without success for several last years. Frankly speaking, at home preparation I hadn't managed to find a way to gain a more or less tangible advantage for White.

3. cxd5 Nf6

Diagram 1

4. Nf3

4. dxc5 Qxd5 5. Qxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 ( 6. a3 Nd7 7. b4 a5 With counterplay ) 6...Nb4 7. Na3 e5 8. Nf3 f6 promises White no favour, because a pawn c5 falls a prey of Black pieces.

Diagram 2

For example, 9. Be3 ( 9. Bd2 N8c6 10. Bb5 Bxc5 11. Ke2 Ke7! =, V.Korchnoi - J.Piket, Antwerpen, 1993) 9...N8a6 10. Bxa6 Nxa6 11. Rc1 Bd7 ( With idea Rc8 ) 12. Nc4 Bxc5! = 1/2, F.Gheorghiu - H.Westerinen, Liechtenstein, 1998. Not till coming back to St.Petersburg, I found out in the latest volume of the "New in Chess Yearbook" (NIC Yearbook, v.52) a paper of Genna Sosonko "Symmetry", in "Sosonko's corner". The grandmaster offers to play 4. e4! Nxe4 5. dxc5 Nxc5

Diagram 3

6. Nc3 , with a value of White has the upper hand Seemingly, this reply is optimal for White, but 6. Nf3! is more exact, for 6. Nc3 permits 6...e5!? 7. Nf3 Bd6 8. Nd2 O-O 9. Nc4

Diagram 4

9...Bf5 10. Be2 Ne4 11. Bd2 Bc5 12. O-O Nd7 =, J.Yrjola - H.Westerinen, Vantaa, 1999. Curiously, the right way was showed two rounds later at the game E.Gleizerov - H.Westerinen, Stockholm, 2000: after 6. Nf3 e6 7. Nc3 exd5 8. Qxd5

Diagram 5

8...Qxd5 (to keep queens is even worse: 8...Qe7+ 9. Be3 Nc6 10. Bb5 Bd7 11. O-O Ne6 12. Ne5 Nxe5 13. Qxe5 Bxb5 14. Nxb5 a6

Diagram 6

15. Rad1! Rd8 16. Bb6 Rxd1 17. Rxd1 f6 18. Qf5 g6 19. Nc7+ Kf7 20. Qd5 1:0, L.Portisch - D.Bronstein, Monte Carlo, 1969) 9. Nxd5 Nba6 10. Bb5+ Bd7 11. Bxd7 Nxd7 12. O-O f6 13. Be3 Kf7 14. Rfd1 Black got a very unpleasant ending.

Diagram 7

Unloading 14...Bc5 didn't help - by drastic 15. Nc7! Rad8 16. Nxa6 Bxe3 17. fxe3 bxa6 18. Rac1 Nb6 19. Rc7+ Kg6 20. Rxd8 Rxd8 21. Rxa7 White won a pawn and the game shortly after.

4...cxd4 5. Qxd4

Alternative ways 5. Nxd4 Nxd5 or 5...a6!? see in NIC Yearbook 52, "Sosonko's corner".

5...Qxd5 6. Nc3

Diagram 8


That day my opponent evidently didn't want to play a boring ending, which could appear after 6...Qxd4 7. Nxd4 a6 , and after long thinking he preferred to continue the struggle with queens. It's not excluded that his choice was influenced by the result of the recent game A.Kuzmin - H.Westerinen, Andorra, 1999, where White had showed a fresh idea: 8. g3 ( 8. Bg5 Nbd7 [ 8...e5 9. Bxf6 gxf6 10. Nc2 White has a little advantage ; 8..e6 9. g3 White has a little advantage ] 9. g3 [interesting is also the idea of G.Levenfish - 9. O-O-O!? ] 9...h6 10. Be3 e5 11. Nb3 b6 [O.Romanishin - E.Prandstetter, Moscow, 1977] 12. Bg2 White has a little advantage ) 8...Bd7 9. Bg2 e5 10. Nf3!? ( 10. Nb3 and 10. Nc2 see in "Sosonko's corner". By 10. Nf3 White prevents from his strong "Catalanian" bishop trade) 10...Bc6 11. O-O Nbd7 12. b3 g6 13. Bb2 Bg7 14. Rac1 O-O

Diagram 9

15. Rc2 Rfe8 16. Nd2 (now it's time to trade light-square bishops) 16...Bxg2 17. Kxg2 Rac8 18. Rfc1 Nb6 19. a4 White has a little advantage , keeping annoying pressure. I'd known that game and had intended to choose between 8. g3 and the less explored 8. Bg5!? .

7. b4!

Suddenly it turns out that black queen feels itself uncomfortably. Here my partner spent much time again and took an unhappy decision.

Diagram 10


Of course, 7...Qb6 8. Qxb6 axb6 9. Bb2 is of little attraction, for black queenside pawns are very weak. It was necessary to recede to the opposite side - 7...Qh5 . I remembered that theory advises 8. Ne5! , preserving the queen from attack Nc6 , but further my knowledge stopped. While my opponent was thinking, I studied the most annoying (to my mind) reply 8...Nfd7!? (worse is 8...Nbd7 9. f4!? , or 8...Bd7 9. b5! , or 8...Nc6 9. Nxc6 bxc6 10. e4 e5 11. Qc4 Bd7 12. Be3 Qg4 ( 12...a5!? , 12...Ng4!? ) 13. a3 White has a little advantage , B.Gelfand - P.Wolff, Wijk aan Zee, 1993), but in no way could evaluate the lunge 9. Nd5 (Gelfand recommended 9. Nxd7 Bxd7 10. b5!? With initiative ) 9...Qxe5 ( 9...Na6!? ) 10. Qxe5 Nxe5 11. Nc7+ Kd8 12. Nxa8 .

Diagram 11

Only after placing this position on a board at home, I realized that it's in favour of White. An "electronic friend" also says that White "has decisive advantage".

8. Qc4!?

White put himself to unwarrantable risk. But I wanted very much to keep up the fighting mood of my partner and to play "battle" chess, although I saw that I could gain a quiet ending with an extra pawn by 8. bxa5 exd4

Diagram 12

9. Nb5! Bb4+ 10. Bd2 Bxd2+ 11. Nxd2 Nd5 12. Nxd4 Nc6 13. Nxc6 bxc6 White has the upper hand


Black has no choice - both 8...Be6? 9. Qxe6+ White has a decisive advantage and 8...Qd8? 9. Ng5! Qd7 10. Nxf7! White has a decisive advantage are entirely bad.

9. Qxc8+ Ke7 10. Qxh8

10. Qxb7? would have been a terrible mistake, for after 10...Nbd7 11. Bd2 Bxc3 it is Black who has the decisive attack.

10...Bxc3+ 11. Bd2 Ne4

After 11...e4 White has a resource 12. Rc1 .

12. Rd1

Diagram 13

White has defended all his weak points and is ready to start development - e3 , Bd3 etc. Pay attention to the strong position of the queen on h8 - it holds black pieces of the queenside and doesn't let them to enter play.


Now White wins forcely. It's easy to win in the case of 12...Bxd2+ 13. Nxd2 Nc3 14. Nc4 Qc7 15. Ne3 White has a decisive advantage , but 12...Nd7 sets much more complex tasks, for White would have been to find several only moves: 13. Qxa8 Qb6 ( 13...Nxd2 14. Nxd2 Qxa2 15. f3 White has a decisive advantage ) 14. e3 Nxd2 15. Nxd2 (it may be, that it's simpler to return a part of the extra material but to develop the kingside - 15. Bd3!? Nxf3+ 16. Ke2 White has a decisive advantage ) 15...Bxd2+ 16. Rxd2 Qb1+

Diagram 14

17. Rd1! (it is necessary to empty the square d2 , drawn is 17. Ke2 Qb5+ 18. Kf3? e4+ 19. Kxe4 Nf6+ 20. Kf4 Nh5+ 21. Kf3 Qf5+ 22. Ke2 Nf4+! 23. exf4 Qe4+ with a perpetual check) 17...Qb4+ 18. Ke2 Qb5+ 19. Kf3 e4+ 20. Kxe4 Qe5+! ( 20...Nf6+ 21. Kf4! g5+ 22. Kf3 Qf5+ 23. Ke2 Qb5+ 24. Rd3 Qb2+ 25. Kf3 ) 21. Kd3 ( 21. Kf3 Qf6+ 22. Ke2 Qb2+ ) 21...Qd5+ ( 21...Qb5+ 22. Kc3 Qa5+ 23. Kb3 Qb6+ [ 23...Nc5+ 24. Kc4 ]

Diagram 15

24. Bb5! Qxb5+ 25. Kc2 White has a decisive advantage ) 22. Kc3 (it's inevitable to return a rook, otherwise the game ends with a perpetual check) 22...Qxd1 23. Qxb7 Qc1+ 24. Kd3 Qd1+ 25. Ke4 Qg4+

Diagram 16

26. f4 f5+ 27. Kd4 Qd1+ 28. Bd3 Qxh1 29. Qb4+ Ke8 30. Bxf5 White has a decisive advantage

13. Qxa8 Qb6 14. e3 Nxd2 15. Nxd2

Now White has no need moves like 15. Bd3 .

Diagram 17

15...Bxd2+ 16. Rxd2 Qb1+ 17. Ke2 Qb5+

17...Nd4+ with a trap ( 18. exd4? Qe4+ =) is refuted by 18. Rxd4 exd4 19. Qc8 White has a decisive advantage

18. Kf3 e4+

Diagram 18

19. Kg4!

In contrast to the variant with 12...Nd7 , now this move is possible, for Black has no resource Nd7-f6 . Meanwhile, erroneous is 19. Kxe4? Qe5+ 20. Kd3 ( 20. Kf3 Qf5+ 21. Ke2 Qb5+ ) 20...Qd5+ 21. Kc3 Qa5+ , and the white king can't hide from a perpetual.


Neither 19...Ne5+ 20. Kg3 Nd3 21. h4 White has a decisive advantage , nor 19...h5+ 20. Kh4 g5+ 21. Kxh5 Qf5 22. Qxb7+ Kf8 23. Qxc6 White has a decisive advantage saves.

20. Be2

The simplest.


20...Qxd2 21. Qxb7+ Kd6 22. Rd1 White has a decisive advantage

21. Kg3 Qxd2

Diagram 19

22. Rd1! Qxe2 23. Qd8+

Now it is the black king who appears in a mating net, and his white wis-a-wis takes the very active part in the former's capture.

23...Ke6 24. Rd6+ Kf5 25. Qc8+ Kg5 26. h4+ 1:0

Black resigned, not awaiting for 26...Kh5 27. Qf5+ g5 28. Qg5#

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