Akesson, Ralf (2495) - Ivanov, Sergey (2545) Stockholm, 2000, round 7 The game took place at round 7. By that time I had scored 5.5 points and was half a point ahead of my partner. Akesson is known as an uncompromise player, and I myself is ready to add fuel to the fire, so one could expect a hot battle. That was what happened. 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. e3 Nf6 5. Nf3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. g4 White shows his aggressive designs from the very beginning. Akesson had never used this lunge, so to some extent it became a surprise for me, but, frankly speaking, rather pleasant one. Let me a little digression to explain to my readers what these feelings are bound up with. I studied chess at the Leningrad Pioneers' Palace (subscribers of the "New in Chess" Magazine could feel its atmosphere with the help of the remarkable essay of Genna Sosonko, dedicated to Vladimir Zak ["A great teacher inspires" - see NIC 99/5]). A very experienced master Sergey Khavsky was my coach (by the way, a well-known St.Petersburg grandmaster Vladimir Epishin, living now in Germany, was one of his students). Well, master Khavsky inculcated us steadfast disgust for moves like g2-g4 and g7-g5, especially when one makes them at the open position or having a king unprovided for. He often said that "the only case to play g2-g4 is when you win at least a piece". We even invented a special term for such a move - "the anti-Khavsky move". Accordingly, when an opponent resorts to the move, I feel an insuperable desire to "punish" him for this untimely activity and permanently tell myself that "a pawn doesn't advance back" and that "the position weakening must adversaly affect early or late". 7...Bb4 In my opinion, it's one of the effective ways to oppose to the White's offensive, along with 7...Nxg4 8. Rg1 f5. Black moves a bishop two times in a row, but provides a knight for a firm outpost e4 in return. 8. a3!? A seldom but rather venemous plan. Usually White plays 8. Bd2. I had already had a quite good experience at this line: 8...Qe7 9. g5 Bxc3 10. Bxc3 Ne4 11. Bd3 Nxc3 12. Qxc3 dxc4! 13. Bxc4 b6 14. O-O-O Bb7 15. Ne5 Nxe5 16. dxe5 O-O 17. f4 c5 18. Rhf1 Rfd8 , and Black has not a shadow of difficulties, D.Shchukin - S.Ivanov, St.Petersburg 1998. 8...Bxc3+ 9. bxc3 Erroneous is 9. Qxc3? Nxg4 10. Rg1 Ngf6, and 11. Rxg7?? loses after 11...Ne4 12. Qc2 Qf6 Black has a decisive advantage. 9...b6 Black develops his bishop to the big diagonal, where it certainly would have what to do. After 9...Nxg4 10. Rg1 h5 11. h3 Nh6 or 9...e5 10. Rg1 e4 11. Nd2 Qc7 (11...O-O 12. a4 "White has a little advantage", E.Agrest) 12. g5 Ng8 13. f4 Ne7 the position is more sharp. 10. Rg1 Also tested was 10. cxd5 cxd5 11. Bb5 O-O 12. Bd3 Bb7 13. Bb2 Rc8 14. h4 with unclear play S.Kitte - J.Mewes, Germany, 1996. 10...Bb7 11. Nd2!? White managed to unload the big diagonal and at the same time to check the important square e4. In the case of straightforward 11. g5 Ne4 12. Bd3 I intended to play 12...Qc7!? with the idea 13. Bxe4 dxe4 14. Qxe4 c5 15. d5 (15. Qg4 cxd4 16. cxd4 Qxc4 Black has a little advantage) 15...O-O-O with compensation (or even 15...b5!?) 11...c5 Now the pawn structure at the center takes shape. Deserving attention was more flexible 11...Qc7!? 12. g5 Ng8 13. h3 Ne7, keeping the possibility to play on either side. 12. cxd5 12. g5 Ne4 13. Nxe4 dxe4 14. h4 h6!? 15. gxh6 g6!, and Black re-takes initiative. 12...exd5 13. g5 Ne4 14. Nxe4 dxe4 15. Bb2 Had a pawn stayed on g2 instead of g5, the advantage of White would have been incontestable, for he has two bishops and a solid center. But now the weakening of the White's kingside gives Black objects for counterplay. That moment I thought kindly of master Khavsky once more. 15...cxd4 I believed that the opening of the line c was in my favor, for the white king remained at the center. I didn't like 15...O-O because of 16. c4! cxd4 17. Bxd4, and the White's dark-square bishop becomes too active. Probably, it was worth to consider 15...Qc7 with the purpose to evacuate the king to the queenside. 16. cxd4 After 16. exd4 Qc7 17. Rg3 O-O 18. c4 f5!? 19. gxf6 Nxf6 a double-edged position appears, where either of partners has his own trumps. 16...O-O If I had imagined what the next move would be I would have preferred 16...Bd5, safely blocking the pawn d. 17. d5! the only move A bolt from the blue! I had examined only 17. Bc4 b5!, 17. Rd1 Bd5 or 17. Qb3 Rc8 with counterplay in any case. 17...Re8 I refused 17...Bxd5 without thinking a bit: it's obvious at first sight that dominating over almost all open files and diagonals, White easily forces the opponent's defence. In my opinion, the most spectacular way is the following: 18. Rd1 Rc8 19. Qa4 Rc5 (19...Bc6 20. Qd4 f6 21. gxf6 Rxf6 22. Bh3 White has a decisive advantage) 20. Bh3 f5 21. gxf6 Nxf6 22. Qxa7 g6 (22...Rf7 23. Be6! White has a decisive advantage; 22...Rc7 23. Rxd5! White has a decisive advantage) 23. Be6+ Kh8 24. Rg5 White has a decisive advantage. 18. Rd1 If 18. Qc3, then 18...Ne5; in the case of 18. Bb5 Rc8 19. Qa4 Ne5 20. Bxe8 Nd3+ 21. Kf1 Qxe8 Black has more than a sufficient compensation for an exchange. 18...a6 White plans to transfer the queen at the center, to the square d4, through d2 or a4, and Black can't prevent it. My last move is connected with the preparation of the advance b6-b5 with the purpose to open a way out to the queen and to take the important square c4 under control (immediate 18...b5 was impossible because of 19. Bxb5 Qa5+ 20. Qc3). But this plan proves to be somewhat sluggish. It was worth to choose 18...Rc8 19. Qa4 Ne5 20. Qxe4 Nc4, and if White sacrifices the queen - 21. Qxc4 Rxc4 22. Bxc4, then Black has a retort 22...Qc7 leading to unclear play. 19. Qa4 19. Bh3 (threatening 20. Bxd7 and 21. Qc3) is met by 19...Rc8 20. Qd2 (20. Qa4?! b5 21. Qd4 Ne5 22. Qxe4 Rc4 Black has a little advantage, re-gaining initiative) 20...Rc4! (control over the square d4!) 21. Bxd7 Qxd7 22. Ba1 Qb5 (control over the square b2!), and Black's chances seem to be better. 19...b5 20. Qd4 Ne5 21. Be2 Rc8 Both sides has fully completed development. The very next moves are to show whose trumps are more significant. 22. Qxe4 Leads to simplifications and lightens Black's play. During the game I feared 22. d6, for after natural 22...Qd7 (22...Rc2 23. d7 Re6 [23...Re7 24. Qb6! White has a decisive advantage] 24. Qa7!? With initiative; 22...Rc4 23. Qa7! White has the upper hand) White strikes the unexpected blow - 23. Bg4! Qxg4! 24. Rxg4 Nf3+ 25. Kf1 Nxd4 26. d7! Nf3 27. Kg2, and Black hasn't a sufficient compensation for an exchange. 22...Nc4 23. Qd4 Nxb2 24. Qxb2 Bxd5! the only move Judging by my partner's reaction, he had evidently underestimated this simple capture. A bishop boldly stands under the pin, but the open location of the king doesn't let White to derive profits from it. 25. Kf1?! In search of a slipping advantage White goes too far. Also erroneous is 25. Bf3? Qa5+ 26. Ke2 Bc4+ Black has a decisive advantage; if 25. Qd2, then Black just takes the bishop away - 25...Be6. In the case of cunning 25. Qb4 (defending from Qa5+) I had intended to play 25...Re7 (however, possible is 25...Rc7 26. e4 Rc2 27. Kf1 Qa8!, and even 25...Re5) 26. Bg4 (26. Rxd5?? Qxd5 27. Qxe7 Rc1+ Black has a decisive advantage) 26...Re4 27. Qd2 Rc5 28. Bf3 Re5, firmly defending the bishop d5. White ought to include the second rook into play - 25. Rg4, and after 25...Rc5 (25...Qa5+ 26. Qb4 Qxb4+ 27. axb4 White has a little advantage) 26. Qb4 Qc7 27. Rgd4 Be6 the position is approximately even. 25...Qd7! Thanks to the pawn g5 Black makes both ends meet once more - 26. Qd4 replies with more than convincing 26...Qh3+ 27. Ke1 Qh2 Black has a decisive advantage. Master Khavsky was remembered with gratitude again. 26. Bg4? This is lost. After 26. Rg3 White would have kept a defendable position, although it would have been Black who possesses doubtless initiative. 26...Bc4+ 27. Ke1 Qc7! In the case of 27...Qa7 possible is sharp 28. Bxc8 Rxe3+ 29. Kd2 Re2+ 30. Kc1 Qc7 31. Rd2, as well as quiet 28. Qd4. 28. Bxc8 Qxh2 29. Rg4 29. Rg3 would have prolonged White's resistance, but would have hardly let him to escape: 29...Qh1+ (unclear is 29...Rxc8 30. Qc2) 30. Kd2 Rd8+ 31. Qd4 Rxd4+ 32. exd4 Qd5 Black has the upper hand. 29...Rxc8 White can't protect his king from co-ordinate attack of all black pieces. In addition, Akesson was in a terrible time trouble. 30. Rc1 Neither 30. Rf4 Qg1+ 31. Kd2 Rd8+ 32. Rd4 Qxf2+ 33. Kc1 Qxe3+ Black has a decisive advantage, nor 30. Qd4 Qh1+ 31. Kd2 Qf3 Black has a decisive advantage, nor 30. Rdd4 Qh1+ 31. Kd2 Bd5! with a dreadful threat 32...Bf3 (also quite good is 31...Qf1 32. Qc3 Qxf2+) helps. 30...Qh1+ 31. Kd2 Qf3 Black has a decisive advantage 32. Rcxc4 bxc4 33. Rf4 Rd8+ 34. Kc3 Rd3+ 0:1 Mate in several moves is inevitable. Alekseev, Evgeny (2300) - Ivanov, Sergey (2548) St.Petersburg Men Championship, 1999 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Bd7 I think, this is a more flexible continuation compared to the classical 5...Qb6, for Black keeps a possibility to develop his queen on the square c7, intending to play against the pawn e5 by f7-f6. 6. a3 In the case of 6. Bd3 Black can switch the game to the old Milner-Barry gambit by 6...cxd4 7. cxd4 Qb6. Modern theory consider this opening as safe for Black. Interesting is also 6...Rc8!? 7. a3 (7. O-O cxd4 8. cxd4 Nb4) 7...cxd4 8. cxd4 Qb6 9. Bc2 (9. O-O Nxd4 10. Nxd4 Qxd4 11. Nc3 Qxe5 12. Re1 Qb8!), and now sudden 9...g5!? 10. h3 Nxd4! 11. Nxd4 Bc5 12. Ne2 Bxf2+ 13. Kf1 f6 leads to a sharp and unclear position, E.Sveshnikov - A.Chernin, Riga, 1985. Often used is 6. Be2, and Black can choose between two main plans: to attack the pawn d4 - 6...Nge7 7. Na3 cxd4 8. cxd4 Nf5 9. Nc2, or to remove the pawn e5 - 6...f6 7. O-O fxe5 8. Nxe5 Nxe5 9. dxe5 Qc7 10. c4 O-O-O 11. cxd5 Qxe5. 6...f6 7. Bd3 7. exf6 gxf6 8. Nh4 is countered by 8...Qe7 9. Qh5+ Qf7 with unclear play. Interesting is 7. b4!? fxe5 (7...c4 8. Be2 Qc7) 8. b5 Na5 9. Nxe5 Nf6 10. Bd3 (10. Bg5!? Be7 11. Bd3 O-O 12. Nd2 White has a little advantage, M.Kiselev - S.Ivanov, Yerevan, 1983) 10...Bd6 (10...c4!?) 11. Bg5 O-O 12. Qc2 Qe8!? 13. Bxf6 gxf6 14. Bxh7+ Kg7 15. Bg6 Qe7 16. Nxd7 Qxd7 17. dxc5 Bxc5 18. Bd3 e5 with unclear play, A.Faas - S.Ivanov, Leningrad, 1982. 7...Qc7 Other possibilities - 7...fxe5 8. Nxe5 Nxe5 9. dxe5 Ne7 10. O-O Qc7 with a double-edged play, or 7...cxd4 8. cxd4 Nh6 9. O-O Nf7 10. Re1 Be7 11. Nc3 O-O 12. Qc2 f5 13. Nxd5!? exd5 14. e6 White has a little advantage, J.Hodgson - M.Sharif, Linares, 1995. 8. O-O O-O-O Risky is 8...fxe5 9. Nxe5 Nxe5 10. Bf4! (quite good is also is 10. dxe5 Qxe5?! 11. Re1 Qd6 12. Qh5+ with attack) 10...Qb6 (10...Bd6 11. dxe5 White has the upper hand) 11. Bxe5 Qxb2 12. Qh5+ Ke7 13. Qg5+ Nf6 14. Nd2 with attack. 9. Re1 9. Bf4 looks temptingly, but it turns out to be unsuccessful at this situation, for the bishop just stimulates activation of black pawns: 9...c4 10. Bc2 h6! 11. h4 (11. Bg3 f5 12. h4 Be8) 11...Be8 12. b3 cxb3 13. Bxb3 Bh5 14. Nbd2 fxe5 (14...g5!) 15. dxe5 Bc5 16. Qb1 Nge7 Black has a little advantage, M.Adams - V.Epishin, Ter Apel, 1992. 9...fxe5 10. dxe5 Here 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. Bf4?! is obviously insufficient - after 11...c4 12. Bc2 Qb6 13. Bxe5 Qxb2 14. Nd2 Qxc3 White has no compensation for two pawns. 10...c4!? White planned a strike c3-c4, so Black radically prevents it, bearing in mind that it is difficult for a white knight to occupy the ideal square d4, because the pawn e5 is weak. 11. Bc2 Bc5 12. Nbd2 It would have been profitable for White to exchange black-square bishops - 12. Be3 Bxe3 13. Rxe3, but in this case Black would have got counterplay: 13...Nh6 14. h3 Nf7 15. Qe2 g5 16. Nbd2 Rdg8 17. b3 h5. 12...Nh6 Looking closely not only to the pawn e5, but also to the square f2. 13. b4 Bb6 14. h3 Nf7 15. Qe2 White has strengthened his outpost on the square e5 and intends to drive the enemy knight from c6, in order to activate his "runner" on the square d4. Black needs to undertake counter-actions quickly. 15...Rdf8!? Setting up an ambush - to attack the square f2! 16. Kh1 White makes a prophylactic move, hesitating to 16. a4!? (it's more precise than immediate 16. b5 Ncxe5!) 16...a5 17. b5 Ncxe5! 18. Nxe5 Nxe5 19. Qxe5 Bxf2+ 20. Kh1 Bxe1 21. Qxe1 e5 22. Ba3 (22. b6!?) 22...Rf6 23. Nf3 Bf5. The position is hard to estimate, but White is at least not worse because of the unsafe position of the black king. 16...g5 After the white king has moved to the square h1, a pawn attack becomes more effective. 17. a4 a5 18. b5 Ne7 19. Nf1 More active was 19. Ba3 with idea 19...Bc5 (19...Re8 is more reliable) 20. b6!? Qxb6 (20...Qc6 21. Nd4 Bxd4 22. cxd4 White has the upper hand) 21. Nxc4! Qc7 (21...dxc4 22. Qxc4 White has a decisive advantage) 22. Bxc5 Qxc5 23. Nd6+ Nxd6 24. exd6 Qxd6 25. Nxg5 White has a little advantage 19...h5 20. Nd4 Preventing files opening: if g5-g4, then h3-h4. 20...Rfg8 21. Ng3 g4 22. h4 Ng6 An important achievement of Black: now White is forced to exchange his light-square bishop. 23. Bxg6 Rxg6 24. Nf1 Threatening was 24...Qd8, and the pawn h4 is defenceless. 24...Qd8 25. g3 Rf8 The position seems to be even. Pawn chains enclose all the board, making breakthroughs into an alien camp difficult. Nevertheless, Black has some possibilities to reinforce his pieces; for example, he can transmit his light-square bishop along the route d7-e8-g6 and double his rooks on the file f. Also the pawn e5 is weak, and White has to play extremely careful. 26. Ba3 Re8 27. Kg1? White doesn't feel danger. Neccessary was 27. Bc1, and if 27...Bc7, then 28. Bf4. 27...Bc7! 28. f4 White has to permit the opening of the file g, for not to lose the pawn e5. 28...gxf3 29. Nxf3 Reg8 Black pieces have revived and have found new objects to attack. 30. Qf2 Nh6 31. Bc5 Ng4 It seems that 31...Nf5 32. Ng5 Rxg5 33. hxg5 Qxg5 with a number of threats was even stronger. 32. Qg2 Erroneous was 32. Qe2? Nxe5! 33. Nxe5 Rxg3+ A) 34. Kh1 Qxh4+ (34...Rh3+ 35. Nh2 d4!?) 35. Nh2 Rh3 with a heavy attack B) 34. Nxg3 Rxg3+ 35. Kf1 Qxh4 Black has a decisive advantage. Deserving attention was 32. Qd4, and White doesn't allow Black to occupy the important diagonal g1-a7. 32...Bb6! 33. Bd4 Rf8 34. Ra2 Rg7 Threatening to double rooks on the file f and to breakthrough into the White's camp. 35. Ng5 Bxd4+ 36. cxd4 Qb6 37. Rd2 Be8 A "French" bishop, sleeping so far, intends to enter play with a decisive effect. 38. Nh2 Nxh2? Having reach a strategically winning position, Black makes a serious error. Simple 38...Bg6 39. Nxg4 hxg4 40. Qe2 Bf5 would have left no chances for White: the knight g5 is hobbled, Black can prepare the queen's transmit to the square b4 without haste and, binding White pieces, rush to the file f. Black had also a tactical possibility: 38...c3!? 39. Rd3 Rf2 40. Rxc3+ Kb8, forcing White to give the queen away. 39. Kxh2 Bg6 40. Rf1 Rxf1 41. Qxf1 The time control had passed, there was the time to deepen in a position. As it seemed to me, I found the way to win. 41...c3 41...Bf5 would have now been met by 42. Qf3. However, after 42...Kb8! (43. Qxh5 c3 Black has a decisive advantage) Black retained good chances to win. 42. Rc2!! A brilliant defence! White rook puts its' body in the way of a black passed pawn. Other attempts were unsufficient: 42. Qf8+ Qd8 43. Qxg7 (43. Rf2 Qxf8 44. Rxf8+ Kd7 45. Rb8 c2 46. Rxb7+ Kc8 47. Rxg7 c1=Q Black has a decisive advantage; 43. Qc5+ Rc7 44. Qa7 cxd2 45. Nxe6 Qe7 Black has a decisive advantage) 43...cxd2 44. Nxe6 d1=Q 45. Nxd8 Qe2+ 46. Kg1 Qe1+ 47. Kh2 Qf2+ 48. Kh3 Bf5+ Black has a decisive advantage; or 42. Rf2 Bf5 (42...Kb8!?) 43. Rxf5 exf5 44. Qxf5+ Kb8 45. e6 (45. Qf8+ Ka7 46. Qxg7? c2 Black has a decisive advantage) 45...Ka7 Black has the upper hand 42...Bxc2 43. Qf8+ Kc7 Curiously, here Black could lose: 43...Qd8? 44. Qxg7 Bf5 45. Nf7 Qe7 (45...c2? 46. Nd6+! Qxd6 47. exd6 c1=Q 48. Qf8+ Kd7 49. Qe7+ Kc8 50. Qe8#) 46. Nd6+ Kd7 47. Qh8 Qd8 48. Qxh5 c2 49. Qh6. 44. Qxg7+ Kb8 45. Qf8+! Just so - a queen must keep the file f and the diagonal a3-f8 under control. Erroneous was 45. Qg8+? Ka7 46. Nxe6 Bxa4 47. Nc5 Qxb5 Black has a decisive advantage. 45...Ka7 46. Nxe6? After perfectly carrying out a difficult defence, my young opponent took a false last step. Leading to draw was 46. Nf7! Qxd4 47. Nd6 Qd2+ 48. Kg1 Qe1+ 49. Kh2, and Black has no more then a perpetual check. 46...Qxe6 47. Qc5+ Qb6 48. Qxc3 Bxa4 0:1 Ivanov, Sergey (2550) - Solovjov, Sergey (2445) St.Petersburg Men Championship, 1999 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 e6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 Bb4 6. e3 b5 7. Bd2 The double-edged Noteboom system becomes very popular nowadays. Just one example: 7...Qe7 8. axb5 Bxc3 9. Bxc3 cxb5 10. d5 Nf6 11. dxe6 (11. d6 Qb7 12. b3 With compensation) 11...Bxe6 12. Nd4 Bd7 13. Qf3 Ne4 14. g4 (14. Nf5!?) 14...O-O 15. Bg2 Re8 16. O-O a6 17. Rfd1 Nxc3 18. bxc3 Ra7 Black has a little advantage, Alander - V.Bagirov, Berlin, 1998. 7...a5 8. axb5 Bxc3 9. Bxc3 cxb5 10. b3 Bb7 11. bxc4 Another popular line - 11. d5 Nf6 12. bxc4 b4 13. Bxf6 Qxf6 14. Qa4+ Nd7 15. Nd4 e5 (15...Ke7 16. d6+ Kxd6 17. Rd1 Kc7!? with unclear play) 16. Nb3 Ke7 17. Be2 (17. Qb5 Ba6 18. Qxa5 Rhb8 19. d6+ Ke8! Black has the upper hand) 17...Rhc8 - hasn't still gained a certain estimation. 11...b4 12. Bb2 Nf6 13. Bd3 Nbd7 14. O-O O-O 15. Re1 Re8 This variation is of the most frequently use. There are 31 games in Chess Assistant 4.0 on it, played mainly in 1997-98. A detailed survey of this variant is given at the "Chess St.Petersburg", N 2(8)/1998. 15...Qc7 is considered to be less accurate because of 16. e4 e5 17. c5! exd4 18. Rc1!, and the black queen's position on c7 is not good. It lets White to take initiative. 16. Rc1!? This is a new plan. Not without reasons, White believes that his central pawns, if advance, will be more dangerous than the queensude's black passed pawns. Immediate 16. e4 doesn't seem to be well prepared: 16...e5 17. c5 exd4 18. Rc1 Bxe4 19. c6 Nf8!?, and White has to prove that his activity costs a pawn. Usually White tries 16. c5. One of the latest examples: 16...Bc6 17. Bc2 Ne4 18. Ba4 Qc7 19. Nd2 Bxa4 20. Rxa4 Ndxc5! 21. dxc5 Rad8 22. Bd4 Nxd2 23. Qxd2 e5 Black has a little advantage, J.Piket - V.Ivanchuk, Monako, 1999. 16...a4 This is the most reliable reply to the White's idea. Black takes the opportunity to advance his pawns further to bind the opponent's pieces. The possibility 16...e5 is standard too. Possible is 17. Nxe5 (interesting is also 17. dxe5 or 17. Bf5) 17...Nxe5 18. dxe5 Nd7 19. e6!? (19. c5 Nxe5! 20. Bxe5 Rxe5 with idea 21. c6? Bxc6! 22. Rxc6 Rd5 Black has the upper hand) 19...fxe6. Now erroneous is 20. Qh5?! Nf6 21. Bxf6 Qxd3 22. Qg5 (22. Bxg7 Kxg7 23. Rcd1 Qg6 24. Rd7+ Kg8 25. Qxg6+ hxg6 26. Rxb7 Reb8 Black has a decisive advantage) 22...Qg6 23. Qxg6 hxg6 24. Be5 a4, and White gained a hard ending, S.Ivanov - V.Malakhov, Cappelle la Grande, 1999. But 20. c5 Bc6 (20...Rc8 21. Bb5 Bc6 22. Qa4!? with initiative) is stronger: 21. Rc4 e5 (21...Nf6 22. Rd4 Qc7 23. Rd6) 22. Qc2 Nf6 23. Rh4 e4 24. Bc4 Kh8 25. Rd1 Qe7 26. Rd6 with attack 17. e4 a3 18. Ba1 e5 In the case of 18...Bc6 White has a pleasant choice between 19. e5 Nh5 (unfortunately, the square e8 is not free) 20. Nd2 Nf4 21. Be4 Bxe4 22. Nxe4 with the subsequent Nd6 White has a little advantage 19. Bc2 b3 (19...e5? 20. d5 Bb7 21. Qd2 Qa5 22. Rb1 White has the upper hand) 20. Bxb3 Bxe4 21. Ne5 White has a little advantage 19. c5 Bc6 19...Rc8? is bad because of 20. dxe5 (20. Qa4!?) 20...Ng4 21. Bb5 Bc6 22. Bxc6 Rxc6 23. Qd4! White has the upper hand (but not 23. Nd4 Qh4! With unclear play or 23. h3 Nxf2! 24. Kxf2 Nxc5 with unclear play) 20. d5 20. dxe5 Ng4 is quite good for Black. 20...Ba4 21. Qd2 Bad was 21. Bc2 Nxc5 22. Bxa4 Nxa4 23. Nxe5 (23. Qb3 Nc3 Black has a little advantage) 23...Nb2 24. Qd4 Rxe5! 25. Qxe5 Nd3 Black has a little advantage. After 20...Ba4 the white queen has only two free squares, and it is quite difficult to decide which of them is better. Now I understand that my choice was wrong. It turned out to be that I was under impression of my home analysis, where I paid the main attention to the move 21. Qd2. Nevertheless, 21. Qe2 is stronger. Now after A) 21...Qa5 22. c6 Nc5 23. Bxe5 (worse is 23. Nxe5 Nb3 24. Rb1 Nxa1 25. Nc4 Qd8! 26. Rxa1 Nd5) the white queen doesn't find itsself under the fork and after 23...Nxd3 (23...b3 24. Bc3 White has the upper hand) 24. Qxd3 b3 25. Bxf6 gxf6 26. Nd4 White's chances are obviously better. But, as a matter of the fact, after 21. Qe2 the pawn b4 is not under attack, so Black has the option of B) 21...Ra5 22. c6 Nc5, and in the case of 23. Bxe5 (23. Rb1!? with idea 23...b3 24. Bc3) 23...Bxc6! 24. Bxf6 gxf6 25. Rxc5 Rxc5 26. dxc6 b3 the position is unclear. 21...Qa5 Of course, bad is 21...b3? 22. c6 b2 (22...Nf8 23. Bxe5 b2 24. Rc3 White has a decisive advantage) 23. cxd7 Qxd7 24. Bxb2 axb2 25. Qxb2 White has the upper hand 22. c6 White can't prevent black knight to occupy the square c5: 22. Qe3 Ng4! 23. Qg5 Nxc5 24. Rxc5 Qxc5 25. Qxg4 f6 with a very dangerous threat of b4-b3-b2. 22...Nc5 23. Nxe5 Deserving attention was 23. Bxe5!? Nb3 24. Qg5 h6 25. Qg3 Nh5 26. Qg4 Nxc1 27. Rxc1 With compensation, for example, 27...g6 (or 27...Rxe5 28. Nxe5 Nf6 29. Qf5 with idea 29...b3 30. c7) 28. c7 Rec8 29. d6. 23...Nb3 24. Qa2 I had been thinking for 45 minutes here, but, nevertheless, didn't bring myself to 24. Qg5. May be, computer analyses will allow to prove that White would have lost in this case too. But at the practical game this aggressive move was apparently the best solution. The game could develop like this: 24...h6 25. Qg3 (25. Qf5!?) 25...Nxc1 (if 25...Nxa1, then 26. Rxa1 Nh5 27. Nc4 or 26. Nc4 is possible) 26. Nc4 (it seems that strong is 26. Nd7 Nh5 27. Nf6+ Nxf6 28. Bxf6 g6 29. Rxc1 with attack, but a counterattack exists: 26...b3! 27. Nxf6+ Kh8 28. Rxc1 b2 29. Qe3 bxa1=Q 30. Rxa1 Qc3 Black has a decisive advantage) 26...Nh5! (26...Qxd5 27. Bxf6 with attack) A) 27. Nxa5 Nxg3 28. Rxc1 Nxe4 Black has a decisive advantage B) 27. Qe3 Nxd3 (27...Qxd5!?) 28. Nxa5 Nxe1 29. Qxe1 Rxa5 with idea 30. Qxb4 Rb5 Black has a decisive advantage C) 27. Qd6!? Qd8!? (27...Nxd3 28. Nxa5 Nxe1 29. Qxb4 with unclear play) 28. Rxc1 (28. Qxd8 Rexd8 29. Rxc1 Bxc6 Black has the upper hand) 28...Qg5 29. Ne3 Nf4 30. h4 Nh3!+ (30...Qxh4 31. g3 Nh3+ 32. Kg2 Qh5 33. Rh1 White has the upper hand) 31. Kh2 Qf4+ 32. Qxf4 Nxf4 Black has a decisive advantage There was another way for White: 24. Qe3. A) 24...Nxc1 25. Rxc1 b3 26. Nc4 Qb4 (26...Nxd5? 27. Qg5! White has a decisive advantage) 27. Bc3 with unclear play. But Black has a simple B) 24...Nxa1 25. Nc4 Qd8 26. Rxa1 Nxd5 Black has the upper hand 24...Nxc1 25. Rxc1 Qb6 Black has to prevent the white bishop to consolidate on the square d4. Dubious was 25...Qc7?! 26. d6! Qxd6 27. Nxf7 (27. Qxf7+ Kh8 28. Qb7 Bb3 with unclear play) 27...Qf4, and White has at least a perpetual check. 26. Nc4 26. d6 is refuted by 26...b3! 27. Qxa3 Bxc6. 26...Qc5 27. Bxf6 This exchange was necessary - otherwise White couldn't defence the pawn e4. 27...gxf6 28. Qa1 Bb5 Black was threatened with 29. Nxa3 and the unpleasant transfer of the knight c4 to the f5 through the e3. 29. Qxf6?! I refused 29. Ne3 because of 29...Qxc1 30. Qxc1 Bxd3. On the face of it, black pawns can't be stopped. But it turns out that after 31. Ng4! the white queen and the knight cooperate perfectly and produce dangerous threats to the black king. For example: A) 31...b3? 32. Nf6+ Kh8 (32...Kf8 33. d6 Kg7 34. Qg5+ Kh8 35. Nh5) 33. Qh6 Bxe4 34. Nh5 Rg8 35. Qf6+ White has a decisive advantage B) 31...a2 32. Nf6+ Kh8 33. Qa1 Re7 34. d6 White has a decisive advantage. That's why black would have faced with the dilemma: to admit the line B) or to choose between 30...a2 and 30...b3 with unclear play. 29...Qe7! After the brown study my opponent decides to continue the struggle, and he didn't make the mistake as I did. He had only a draw after 29...Bxc4 30. Qg5+ Kf8 31. Qh6+ Ke7 32. Qg5+, and Black can't avoid a perpetual check. 30. Qxe7 White would have had more practical chances after 30. Qh6 with idea 30...b3 31. d6 or 31. f5 with attack. In this case Black had to continue with 30...Qf8, protecting the king. 30...Rxe7 31. d6 In the case of 31. Nb6 Black has several ways to the win: 31...Bxd3 (possible is 31...b3 32. Nxa8 b2 33. Rd1 a2) 32. Nxa8. A) 32...Ra7 33. c7 (33. d6 Rxa8 34. d7 Bb5 Black has a decisive advantage) 33...Rxa8 34. c8=Q+ Rxc8 35. Rxc8+ Kg7 36. Ra8 Bxe4 Black has a decisive advantage B) 32...b3 33. d6 b2 34. Rd1 Kf8! 35. d7 (35. dxe7+ Kxe7 36. c7 Ba6 Black has a decisive advantage) 35...Rxd7 36. cxd7 Ke7 Black has a decisive advantage. 31...Re6 The rook must attack passed pawns. If 31...Rea7, then White could gain good chances to a draw by sudden 32. Nxa3! (32. c7 a2 33. Ra1 b3 Black has a little advantage; 32. Ne5 b3! 33. c7 a2 Black has a decisive advantage) 32...Bxc6 (32...Bxd3 33. c7 bxa3 34. d7 Rxc7 35. Rxc7 Ba6 36. Ra7! Rb8 37. f3) 33. Nb1. 32. c7 After 32. Nxa3 Bxc6 the pawn d6 is undefendable. 32. Nb6 Bxc6 33. Nxa8 Rxd6 also didn't help. 32...a2 Of course, impossible was 32...Bxc4?? 33. d7! White has a decisive advantage. 33. Ra1? The decisive mistake. Losing was also 33. e5 a1=Q 34. c8=Q+ Rxc8 35. Rxa1 Bxc4 36. Bxc4 Rxe5. White had to play 33. Nb6!? Rxd6 (33...a1=Q 34. c8=Q+ Rxc8 35. Rxa1 With unclear play) 34. Nxa8 Rc6!? (34...Bd7 35. Bb5 Bc8 36. Rf1 with idea 36...b3 37. Bc4) 35. c8=Q+ Rxc8 36. Rxc8+ Kg7 37. Bxb5 a1=Q+ 38. Bf1, and even after taking the rook for the pawn b the Black's victory is not clear. 33...b3 34. Nb2 White couldn't longer escape: 34. e5 Bxc4 35. d7 Ree8 36. dxe8=Q+ Rxe8 37. Bxc4 b2. 34...Rxd6 The easiest way. 35. Bxb5 Rd2 36. Nd1 b2 37. Nxb2 Rxb2 38. Bf1 Rc8 0:1 Ivanov, Sergey (2543) - Vaulin, Alexander (2540) Russian Club Championship, Smolensk, 2000 The match vs. Siberia (Tomsk) was of decisive importance for determination of the Championship's winner. For I played with white, a task was set to me to keep tension all the game, but to play firmly, avoiding unfounded risk. It was desirable to "drag" a rival into an unfamiliar for him position, to make him solving non-standart problems and, bearing in mind his disposition to long thought, to "drive" him into the time trouble. It is a reader who should judge which of our plans were realized. 1. d4 d6 Wow! The basic opening of Grandmaster A.Vaulin is accepted queen's gambit, but it when he plays for a draw. By the first move, that day the contender had an aggressive mood. 2. Nf3! An axclamation a mark - for the right decision in the psychological plan. Earlier in this position I played only 2. c4 e5 3. Nf3 e4 4. Ng5 f5 5. Nc3 etc. Arose complex in the strategic plan positions, in which Black usually built the pawn centre, and White consistently undermined it. But now I would like to struggle absolutely in the other key, and main - to bring down the partner from concrete preparation. 2... Bg4 As Vaulin had no experience of playing King's indian (2... Nf6 3. c4 g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. e4 etc.) , I could to afford "prematurely" to move by knight on f3 (then my favourite Averbach system is possible). 3. e4 While there is an opportunity, it is meaningful to grasp the centre by the pawn. Alternative The continuation 3. c4 Nd7 etc. repeatedly met in practice of the contender. 3... Nf6 4. h3 It is useful to find out intentions of the black bishop. 4... Bh5 Obviously, that the exchange 4... ▒:f3 5. ■:f3 gave for White small, but proof advantage. 5. Bd3 e6 6. c4 White throw forward one more pawn, that on prepared d6-d5 to have an opportunity c4:d5 and e4-e5, keeping the pawn superiority in the centre. In case of 6. 0-0 Be7 7. Re1 d5 8. ed5 ┼:d5 9. N bd2 0-0 10. Nb3 Nd7 the play is approximately equal, U.Bonsch - G.Hickl, Lippstadt, 1994. 6... Nc6 The correct reaction - it is necessary for Black to attack the white centre immediately. Played Black in the game more poorly, on which, actually, and mine was under construction home preparation: 6... Be7 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. Be3 0-0 9. Qe2 Bg6 10. Rd1 d5 11. cd5 ed5 12. e5 Ne4 13. 0-0 Qd7 14. Bc1 f5? 15. ┼:d5! White has a decisive advantage, G.Kasparov - V.Anand, Paris, 1992, (rapid). 7. Be3 The most natural answer. 7. g4 Bg6 8. Nc3 d5 9. cd5 ed5 10. e5 Ne4 With unclear game, it seemed to me too causing. 7... d5!? While White yet didn't castle, Black hurry up to put impact in the centre. Met 7... B:f3 8. Q:f3 g6 (8... Nb4 9. Qd1 N:d3 + 10. Q:d3 White has a small advantage) 9. Na3 (9. Nc3 Bg7 10. Rd1!?) 9... Bg7 10. Nc2 0-0 11. 0-0 a5 (L.Hansen - G.Hickl, Polianiza-Zdrui, 1993) with game in the spirit of King's indian constructions, that, I repeat, not in the taste of my opponent. 8. cd5 ed5 9. e5 Bb4 + The important move, differently in case of 9... ╗e4 10. 0-0 with subsequent Nc3 White leads the game to the favourable position from the game Kasparov - Anand. 10. Nc3 Considerably less actively 10. N bd2 Ne4, and the pins of the white knights are rather unpleasant. 10... Ne4 Up to this moment on my clock has passed 7 minutes , and on the clock of my partner - about 40. But now it was my turn to medidate longer. Certainly, White here has the strong move 11.R╞c1, probably, the strongest in this position. but then the play of Black would be simple and clear: 11... 0-0 12. 0-0 B:c3 13. bc3 f5 etc. But for me it would be desirable to hold the contender uder the pressure constantly, to put before him concrete problems and to force to choice from the several opportunities. On the other hand, the strategy of reliability ordered to act circumspectly. And still, having counted the variants and some time having hasitated, I have accepted the decision and have played with the sure appearance 11. 0-0 When in 30 minutes the answer has followed 11... B:c3 , I have understood, that my decision was justified - contender was above what to think. Let's look, whether Black could take the pawn. 11... B:f3 12. Q:f3 N:c3 13. bc3 B:c3 14. R ac1 allows for White to develop the initiative without troubles: A) 14... N:d4 15. Qg4 Ne6 16. R:c3 d4 17. Rd1 Wwhite has an advantage B) 14... Bb4 15. Bb5 Qd7 16. Qg3 with the initiative (or 16. Qd1 with idea Qa4 with the initiative) C) 14... B:d4 15. R:c6! B:e3 16. fe3! bc6 17. Q:f7# - this nice variation move me to choice for the benefit of 11. 0-0. 11.. N:c3 12. bc3 B:c3 more problematically. But here White plays already 13. Rb1! (on 13. Rc1 now it is possible 13... B:d4), and after 13.. B:f3 (13... B:d4 14. B:d4 B:f3 15. gf3! Qg5 + 16. Kh1 N:d4 17. Qa4 + Nc6 18. R:b7 White has a decisive advantage) 14. Q:f3 (14. gf3!?) 14.. B:d4 (14... N:d4 15. B:d4 B:d4 16. Qg4 B:e5 17. R fe1 Qe7 18. f4 Bd4 + 19. Kf1 Be3 20. R:e3 Q:e3 21. Re1 White has an advantage) 15. R:b7 ( 15. B:d4 N:d4 16. Qg4 with compensation) 15... B:e3 16. Bb5 0-0 17. B:c6 Bb6 18. B:d5 the chances can be at White only. 12. bc3 0-0 13. Фc2 It was better, apparently, 13. Rc1 with idea 13... f5 14. ef6 Q:f6 15. Be2, and White keeps the minimal advantage. The move in the game is connected with the small miscalculation. 13... f5 13.. B:f3 14. gf3 Ng5 15. Kg2 h6 16. f4 Ne6 17. f5 Ng5 18. f4 White has an advantage, white quite would arrange. 14. R ab1 Not only attacking b7-pawn, but also preparing c3-c4 - to undermine the Black foundations in the centre. At first I planned to play here 14. ef6 B:f3 15. fg7 K:g7 (it is necessary to study and 15... Rf7!?) 16. gf3. But when I have found out 16... Ng5 17. B:g5 Q:g5 + 18. Kh1 R:f3 19. Rg1 R:h1#!, the capture en passant was rejected immediately. Was not pleasant to me and 14. Nh2 f4 15. Bc1 f3!, and Black has counterplay. More precisely 14. Nd2 (planning f2-f3), but also here after 14... f4 15. N:e4 de4 (15... fe3? 16. Ng3 White has an advantage) 16. Bc4 + Kh8 17. Bc1 Bg6 the complete clearness is not present. 14... f4 15. Bc1 B:f3 16. gf3 Ng5 Black is not going to sit out in defense, and is going to organize attack on the white king, the pawn covering of which is destroyed. 17. Kg2 Qe8 18. Rh1 The prophylaktic is necessary here . 18. h4 Qh5 19. hg5 (19. Qe2) resulted to the perpetual check: 19... Qg5 + 20. Kh2 Qh4 + 18... Qh5 19. Qe2 b6 20. Ba3 R fe8 It was not necessary to lose the control above the f5-field. After right 20.. Rf7 there was a position of dynamic balance. And for white too it is impossible to lose vigilance. His king is opened, and what the dangers can be here , shows next variation: 21.Bb5 Ne7 22. B:e7 ( 22. e6? Rf6 with idea 23. B:e7 R:e6 Black has a decisive advantage) 22.. R:e7 23. Bc6 Rd8 24. Rb5 Qg6! 25. B:d5 + Nf7 + 26. Kh2 R:d5 27. R:d5 c6. the rook has got in a trap in the centre of the board, but White can escape here by way 28. Qa6 Qe6 29. Rd6 N:d6 30. ed6 Q:d6 31.Qc8 +. And in case of 21. Rb5 Ne7 22. B:e7 Black has an intermediate move 22... c6! 21. Bf5! White has defenced all weak pawn and begins operation on the replacement of black pieces from the K-side. 21... Rad8 After 21... N:f3 keeps advantager 22. B:h7 + (22. Q:f3 Q:f5 23. Q:d5 + Re6 leads to unclear play, and 22.Bd7? even loses - 22.. Nh4 + 23. Kf1 Qg6! Black has a decisive advantage) 22... K:h7 23. Q:f3 White has a small advantage 22. Bg4 Qg6 In case of 22... Qh4 23. e6 the passed pawn "e" can become dangerous, as 23... h5 does not comprise any threat. White simply will play 24. e7 ┼:e7 25. ▒:e7 hg4 26. hg4 White has a decisive advantage, and the queen is caught! 23. h4 h5? Already lacking time, Black suppose a mistake, incorrectly having estimated the arisen position. It was necessary to continue 23... Ne6 24. h5 Qg5, and though White owns the initiative, all struggle was ahead more. 24. hg5 hg4 25. fg4 Rd7 It is clear, that after 25... Q:g5 26.R╞h5 Qg6 27. R bh1 Black will not hold on long. 26. R bd1! Nd8 27. Qd3 Black planned manoeuvre Nd8-e6:g5, but last by two moves White has prevented this opportunity. 27... Re6 It is necessary to take a field of knight, as it is bad 27... Q:d3 28. R:d3 Ne6 29. g6 White has an advantage or 27... Qe4 + 28. Q:e4 de4 29. Rde1 White has a decisive advantage 28. Rh3?! Here I slightly have relaxed and have made a mediocre move. 28.R╞h5 Q:d3 ( 28... Rf7 29. Rdh1 White has a decisive advantage) 29. R:d3 etc. resulted to positions from the game, but with an extrapawn at white. 28... Q:d3 29. Rd:d3 Rg6 Or 29... Nf7 30. R hf3 N:g5 31. R:f4 White has an advantage, and White has a healthy extra pawn. 30. Rh5 Ne6 31. Bc1 c5 32. dc5 N:c5? Here my contender who was already in the strong zeitnot, supposes decisive mistake. To continue struggle it was possible by 32... bc5, on what I was going to answer 33. Rf3. Now in case of 33... d4 34. B:f4 ( 34. cd4 R:d4 with unclear game) 34.. N:f4 + (34... dc3 35. Bc1 c2 36. Rc3 Nd4 37.Be3 White has a decisive advantage) 35. R:f4 d3 36. Rh1 White should win. More strongly 33... N:g5 34. R:f4 Ne6 35. Ra4 d4 36. f3. White has an extra pawn, but Black has counterchances - game yet is finished. 33. Rf3 White has a decisive advantage. f4 pawn falls, then the outcome of struggle does not cause doubts. 33... Ne4 34. B:f4 Rc7 35. Rd3 N:c3 36. Bd2 N:a2 37. f4 The avalanche of the white pawns has come in movement, preparing displace all on the way. 37... Rc2 38. R:d5 Nc3 39. Rd8 + Kf7 40. Kf3 Rc6 41. f5 1:0 This victory has allowed our team to be fixed on the first place, and me has brought also moral satisfaction that it was possible to execute almost all trainer's installations and to realize the strategic plan conceived at to preparation for the game. 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 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. 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 6. Nc3 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 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 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 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. 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 Qa5 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 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. 7...e5? 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. 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 9. Nb5! Bb4+ 10. Bd2 Bxd2+ 11. Nxd2 Nd5 12. Nxd4 Nc6 13. Nxc6 bxc6 8...Bxb4 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 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. 12...Nc6 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. f3White 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+ 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] 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+ 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 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+ 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 check. 19...Qb4 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...Ne5+ 20...Qxd2 21. Qxb7+ Kd6 22. Rd1 White has a decisive advantage. 21. Kg3 Qxd2 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#. Korchnoi, Viktor (2675) - Spassky, Boris (2550) St.Petersburg, 1999, m/8. 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. cxb5 a6 5. bxa6 g6 6. Nc3 Bxa6 7. e4 Bxf1 8. Kxf1 d6 9. Nf3 Bg7 10. g3 O-O 11. Kg2 Nbd7 12. h3 Ra6 13. Re1 Qa8 14. Bg5!? 14. Bf4; 14. Re2; 14. Qc2 14...h6 14...e6 15. Qd2! exd5 16. exd5 Rb8 17. Rad1 Qb7 18. b3 White has a little advantage, P.Ricardi - S.Giardelli, Buenos Aires, 1995. 15. Bd2 15. Be3!?, A.Beliavsky. 15...e6!? 15...Rb8 16. b3 Ne8 17. Re2! Nc7 18. Rc1! Ra7 (18...Bxc3 19. Rxc3 Rxa2 20. Bxh6 White has the upper hand; 18...Nb5 19. Nxb5 Rxb5 20. a4 Rb8 21. a5 White has the upper hand, A.Karpov) 19. Qc2 Na6 20. Na4 Nb4 21. Bxb4 Rxb4 22. Qd3 Ra5 23. Rec2 h5 24. Rc4 White has the upper hand, A.Karpov - B.Gelfand, Sanghi Nagar, 1995, m/6. 16. dxe6 fxe6 17. Qc2 17. a4 d5?! (17...g5!) 18. exd5 exd5 19. Nb5 Qb7 20. Bf4! g5 21. Bd6 Rf7 22. Nd2 d4+ 23. Qf3 White has a little advantage, A.Beliavsky - A.Khalifman, Novosibirsk, 1995. 17...g5 17...Rf7 18. a4 c4?! 19. Be3 d5 (S.Atalik - D.Gurevich, San Francisco, 1998) 20. e5!? Nh7 21. Bd4 Qf8 22. Nh4 White has the upper hand, S.Atalik. 18. a4 g4 N 18...d5!? A) 19. exd5 exd5 A1) 20. Nb5 Qb7 A1a) 21. Rad1 Ne4 with attack A1b) 21. Nh2 Ne4 (21...d4 22. Kg1 with unclear play) 22. f3 Nxd2 23. Qxd2 Ne5 with initiative A1c) 21. Re7 g4 22. hxg4 Nxg4 with initiative A1d) 21. Bxg5? hxg5 22. Nxg5 d4+ 23. Kg1 Qd5! 24. Nc7 Qxg5 25. Nxa6 Ne5 26. Rxe5 Qxe5 27. Nxc5 Qd5 Black has the upper hand, C.Minzer - A.Khalifman, Linares, 1997. A2) 20. Re7!? d4 21. Nb5 with initiative (21. Qg6 Ne8) B) 19. Ra3 Rb6 (19...Nb6 20. e5 Nc4? 21. exf6 Nxa3 22. bxa3 Rxf6 White has the upper hand; 19...Rf7?! 20. exd5 exd5 21. Nb5 Qb7 22. Bxg5! hxg5 23. Nxg5 Nf8 24. Nxf7 Qxf7 25. Rf3! White has the upper hand, (S.Atalik - A.Khalifman, Hastings, 1995/96) 20. Bc1 (20. a5!? Ra6 with unclear play, A.Khalifman) 20...Rf7 21. Nd2 Rb4 with unclear play, L.Ljubojevic - V.Topalov, Linares, 1995. 19. hxg4 Nxg4 20. Bf4 weak point) 20...d5 21. Nb5 21. exd5 exd5 22. Re7 White has the upper hand 21...e5! 22. Nc7 22. Bd2!? dxe4 23. Qxe4 Qxe4 24. Rxe4 White has a little advantage 22...Qa7 22...Qb7? 23. Nxa6 exf4 24. Nxc5 White has a decisive advantage 23. Nxa6 23. Nxe5!? Ndxe5 (23...Qxc7 24. Nxg4 Rxf4 25. gxf4 Qxf4 26. Qd1 White has the upper hand) 24. Nxa6 Qxa6 25. exd5 Nd3 26. Re6 With unclear play. 23...exf4 24. exd5 24. Qd3 c4 (24...fxg3 25. Qxd5+ Rf7) 25. Qxd5+ Rf7 26. Re2 Qxa6 (26...fxg3!?) 27. e5 c3 with unclear play. 24...Qxa6 25. Re6 25. Qe2 Qxe2 26. Rxe2 fxg3 27. Kxg3!? (27. fxg3 Nb6 28. d6 Nc4 with counterplay) 27...Nge5 28. Nxe5 Bxe5 29. Kg2 White has a little advantage; 25. Re7 Qd6 26. Qe4 Nb6 27. Re6 Qd5 28. Re1 Qe4 29. R1e4 Nd5 30. a5 White has a little advantage. 25...Qb7 25...Qa8 26. Qg6! (26. Re7 Nde5) 26...Nge5 27. Nxe5 Qxd5+ 28. Nf3 fxg3 29. Qe4 White has the upper hand. 26. Re7!? 26. Qg6 Qxb2 27. Qxg4 Qxa1 28. Re7 fxg3 29. Rxd7 gxf2 30. Kxf2 Qd4+ = 26...fxg3 26...Qxd5?? 27. Rd1 White has a decisive advantage. 27. Qg6 Qxb2 28. Ra2 28. Qg4 Qxa1 (28...Qxf2+? 29. Kh3 White has a decisive advantage) 29. Rxd7 - 26. Qg6 28...Ne3+ 28...Qf6!? 29. Qxf6 Ngxf6 30. fxg3 Rd8 Black has a little advantage. 29. Kh3 The only move 29. Rxe3? Qxa2 Black has a decisive advantage; 29. Kxg3? Nf5+ 30. Kg2 Qxa2 Black has a decisive advantage. 29...gxf2 29...Qf6 30. Qxf6 Nxf6 31. Rxe3 Nxd5 32. Kxg3 Nxe3 33. fxe3 =; 29...Nxd5!? 30. Qe6+ Kh8 31. Rxb2 (31. Qxd5 gxf2 32. Nh2 Qc3+ 33. Kg2 Rg8! Black has the upper hand) 31...Nf4+ 32. Kxg3 Nxe6 33. Rb7 Ne5 34. Nxe5 (34. Rxe6 Nxf3 35. Ree7 Be5 with unclear play) 34...Bxe5+ 35. Kg2 Nf4+ 36. Kf1 Nd3 with unclear play. 30. Rxb2 f1=Q+ Better is 30...Rxf3+ 31. Kh2 Rh3+!!(M.Taimanov) (31...f1=N+? 32. Kg1 Rxg3+ 33. Qxg3 Nxg3 34. Rb7 White has a decisive advantage) 32. Kxh3 f1=Q+ 33. Kh2 Qf4+ 34. Kg1 Qf1+ =. 31. Kh2 Nf5 32. Rg2 Qxg2+ 32...Qa1 33. Rxd7 White has a decisive advantage; 32...Kh8 33. Rxg7 Qxg2+ 34. Kxg2 Nxg7 35. Qd6 White has a decisive advantage. 33. Kxg2 Nxe7 34. Qe6+ Rf7 35. Qxd7 White has a decisive advantage 35...Nf5 36. Qc8+ Bf8 37. Ne5 Rg7+ 38. Kh3 Nd6 39. Qe6+ Kh7 40. Nd7 Be7 41. Nxc5 1:0 |