Pentala Harikrishna Annotates

Harikrishna,P - Ivanesevic,I [E90]
[Pentala Harikrishna]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 d6 5.Nc3 g6 6.h3 Bg7 7.e4 0–0 8.Bd3 Na6 9.0–0 e5 10.Rb1 Kh8 11.a3 Ng8 12.Nh2! White can go to e1 as well but i wanted to keep it on h2 so that the king will will be safe. 12...f5 Another way to play would be: [12...Bh6 13.Bxh6 Nxh6 14.Qd2 Kg7 15.f4 f6] 13.f4 exf4 14.Bxf4 g5 Other options for Black here were: [14...Nf6 after which I would play 15.e5 or:; 14...Bd4+ 15.Kh1 Nf6 16.exf5 Nh5 17.Ne2 Nxf4 18.Nxf4 gxf5 19.Qh5±] 15.Bd2 f4

Till here my opponent made all his moves very quickly. I was under the impression that he had prepared all this probably, and he probably had, but I think this position is quite dubious for black.16.Qh5! I could also play h4 which is more safer and probably easier. I saw both the moves however i decided to go for Qh5 by the simple fact that not everyday you get a chance to sacrifice your queen:) [16.h4 gxh4 17.Bxf4 h3 (17...Rxf4 18.Rxf4 Be5) ] 16...h6 17.h4 Nf6 [17...Bd7 18.hxg5 Qxg5 19.Qxg5 hxg5 20.Nb5 (20.g3; 20.Nf3) 20...Bxb5 21.cxb5 Nc7 22.Nf3 Bf6 23.g3 (23.Bc3 g4) 23...fxg3 24.Nxg5; 17...Bd7] 18.Qg6 18.Qe8 was possible here. However, I think the position is better for White. I must thank my opponent for letting me sacrifice the queen:) 18...Bd7 19.hxg5 Be8
20.Qxg7+!! This was what I was aiming for, although even after: [20.Qf5 Nh5 21.Qh3 Bd4+ 22.Rf2 Qxg5 (22...hxg5) 23.Ne2 I think even this White is better since Black's pieces are not developed and his king is very weak.] 20...Kxg7 21.gxf6+ Rxf6 22.Ne2 I have seen this far when i was playing Nh2 and I thought that this position is better for White already. 22...Nb8 [22...Kg8 23.Nxf4 Rf7 24.Rf3±] 23.Nxf4

After playing 23.Nf4 i felt that 23.Ng4 is better during the game and was much simpler. After checking with the engine however, I think that what I had played in the game-23. Nf4 is better. Nevertheless, after:[23.Ng4 Nd7 24.Bc3 Ne5 25.Nxe5 dxe5 26.Bxe5 Kg8 27.Nxf4 Rf7 28.Ne6 (28.Rf3 Qg5 29.Bd6 Bd7 30.Rbf1 Bg4) 28...Qh4 29.Rbe1± (29.Bd6) ] 23...Nd7 24.Ng4 Rxf4 25.Rxf4 Ne5 26.Nxe5 dxe5 27.Rf5 Bg6 28.Rxe5 Qh4 29.Bc3 Although this doesnt spoil anything 29.Rf1 was better and doesn't give Black any counterplay- [29.Rf1
29...Rf8 30.Rxf8 Kxf8 31.d6 Be8 (31...Qg3) 32.Be2+-] 29...Kg8 30.Rf1 Rf8 31.d6?! [31.Rxf8+ was better and after 31...Kf8 32.Be2 followed by Bf3 is what the engine suggest. 31...Kxf8] 31...Qg3 32.Re6? [32.Rxf8+ Kxf8 33.Be2] 32...Rxf1+ 33.Bxf1 Qe3+ 34.Kh2 Bxe4 35.Re8+ It was important to include Re8 to gain an important tempo, as you can later see in the game. [35.Be5 Bc6 (35...Qf2) 36.b4 Qe1] 35...Kf7 36.Re7+ Kf8 37.Bg7+ Kg8 38.Be5 Bc6 39.b4 Qe1 40.b5 Bd7 41.Bg3 Qxf1 42.Rxd7
My opponent defended extremely well after my mistake on 32nd move. I didn't had much choice other than this endgame. Although White keeps some winning chances with the help of engine black can draw. However in a practical game it is not very easy to make a draw here for Black. 42...Qf5 43.Re7 Qh5+ 44.Kg1 Qd1+ 45.Re1 Qd4+ I think 45...Qg4 is more stubborn. 46.Kh2 Qg4 47.Re5 b6 48.Rd5 [48.a4 This idea was mentioned by Mr Skembris. The idea is to put the pawn on a6 and play as i did in the game. Probably this is better than what I did in the game.] 48...Qd7 [48...Qxc4 49.Rd2 Qc3 50.Bf4 Qf6 51.g3+-] 49.Bf4 Qg4 50.Bg3

50...Qd7 There are no concrete plans for White here. I thought it is very important for me to force him push the pawn to h5 and then try to queen the d6 pawn. 51.Rd3 Qf5 52.Rf3 Qg4 53.Rf4 Qd1 54.Rh4 Kh7 55.Bf4 h5 56.Bg3 Kg6 57.Re4 Kf5 58.Rf4+ [58.Re5+ Kg4 59.Re7] 58...Kg5 59.a4 Kg6 60.Re4 Kf5 I was in time pressure and had made few moves to find the right plan and to calculate the variation. 61.Rh4 Kg5 62.Rh3 Kf5 63.Rh4 Kg5 64.Rf4 Kg6 65.Re4 Kf5 66.Re5+ [66.Re7 Qd3] 66...Kg4 67.Re7 It may seem funny that I only played this now, as I had the chance to play it a move few moves back with the pawn on a3 and I had to make all these moves in order not to get into some kind of threefold repition:) It took quite sometime to find this idea and even after this he could have given the h-pawn and defended more stubbornly. 67...Qd3

[67...h4 Blacks last chance.] 68.Be5! The engine suggests 68.Rg7 followed by d7 which is also winning. 68...Kf5 69.d7 Qxc4 70.Bg3 Qd3 71.Bc7 Qc4 72.d8Q Black resigned.
I would like to mention that the atmosphere in our team was very nice and friendly. The interesting thing is that the juniors took me out and showed me the city after my game against Miroshnichenko. This had helped me to get into good mood and play a nice game:) The juniors of our club played extremely well and played a crucial role in our winning the championship.


Where Ne Means Yes (for NIC)

“Ne, ne” was Hristos Banikas saying, nodding with his head. “Yes, yes”, I was shaking my head from left to the right. This was the first time when I spoke with a Greek and we both look very astonished from our reactions. The point is that the Bulgarians usually nod their heads when denying something (I have heard that Indians are the only other people in the world who do the same, but have no proof on the matter), while Greeks use the word “ne” for confirmation (“ne” is yes).
The first time that I took part in the Greek team competition was back in 2005. I was the lowest rated player with 2522 on board one, and the average rating of my opponents was 2615. Among the coryphaeuses were Navara, Volokitin, Izoria, Gustafsson, Avrukh, Inarkiev and many others. Coryphaeus (the top of the head) is a typical Greek word that we use constantly nowadays for someone very experienced, leading person. I remember the worm and nice team atmosphere which helped me get over the shock, and I made a good result. Since then Greece has become one of my favourite places.
Harikrishna Relaxing
In 2006 the incredible David Navara scored “plus five” on board one, and passed the 2700 elo barrier. I may never forget the astonished Vasilios Kotronias analyzing again and again their game. “Usually I get very angry when losing a game, but this time I felt that everything was logical. Navara used a new plan, got slightly better position out of the opening and never made a mistake. I checked it out with a computer later-flawless! Unbelievable! This guy is a genious!”
Greek team competitions are made on 12 boards. It is probably one of the very few places where people take care about their youngsters, giving them chance to decide the overall result of the matches. There are four boys (under 12, 14, 16 and 18) and two girls (under 16 and 18). Attention is paid to the women too-one female board is a must. Some eight years ago Vassilis Theodoridis, vice-president of Greece Chess Federation and Vassilis Liogkas, president of the strongest chess club “Kavala” suggested the idea and it was never changed after. Still, the fact that the children can play in the event does not really mean that they are taught in the best way. This year we witnessed a curious game in which eighteen-year old girl did not know how to mate with a bishop and knight against a sole king. Strange, but happens.
Greece had always enjoyed huge popularity as a touristic destination. The climate is hot, even for Pentala Harikrishna it was too much, despite the fact that he comes from India. The usual Greek regime includes jolly time in the taverns, discotheques and bars until 4-5 in the morning when the weather is fresh, and sleep in the hot hours of the day. But note that you can no longer break plates in the taverns, now you can throw pink blossoms instead. Greeks are very proud nation, and they have opinion on most of the things in life. Their ancient culture and language are good reasons for this (I cannot help recalling the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the father of the future bride was explaining to everyone that all the words in the world have Greek roots). It is hard to change their mind if they think they are right (they still call Istanbul Constantinopoli), and always take the chance to show the positive parts of their life and country. Usually they conduct the Leagues in luxury resorts on the beach, where you can enjoy almost every attraction you may think of. Every inch of the ground is a fine piece of work-no matter if it a flower, bush, garden, or palm tree.
My roommate is a good friend of mine Atanas Dimitrov, semi- Bulgarian, semi- Greek, who introduces me in the life of the locals. I see him chatting with one of the referees once, and he tells me an old story of his grown prestige: “We were sharing a room with that arbiter in a tournament where he was a player as well. One night while I was sleeping they were analyzing with his friends his daily game. I woke up for a second, had a glance at the boards, said the best move, and felt asleep again. Ever since my prestige grew enormously.”
Stelios Halkias
Greeks are very religious people; you can see Orthodox churches and chapels practically everywhere. Theology is a compulsory subject at schools.
Their top player at the moment is Ioannis Papaioannou, who recently qualified for the World cup from the Plovdiv EICC. I congratulate him with this achievement on which he modestly replies that he does not feel like a chess professional, had a lot of luck for the qualifying, and that the World cup will be great experience for him.
A strange coincidence it is but almost all top Greek players are born in Thessaloniki. This includes their current champion-Ioannis Papadopoulos. He is only twenty, and is already expecting his GM title. Very modest and obviously hard-working his chess prospects look nice.
Being chess professional in Greece is not an easy task. As most countries with good living standard it is much more reliable for the chess player to start a casual job (probably this is the reason why Papaioannou does not call himself profi). Some years ago Stelios Halkias, another prominent Greek player with exquisite sense of humor was dropping in to Bulgaria for some rapid tournaments, complaining that there are not enough in Greece. But obviously things change, and now I can think of at least dozen of good tournaments in this worm country.
Two days before the team championships the finals of the Greek cup were conducted in the same fine resort-Kallithea. SA “Thessaloniki” (A. Mastrovasilis, D. Mastrovasilis, V. Iotov, and D. Zakarian) triumphed with the title after four hard matches. The point is that in case of equality in the final four the match is replayed until one of the teams win (while in the preliminary matches in case of a match draw the team who won on top boards advances).
From 6-th till 10-th of July the Greek team finals started with twenty teams to compete in a seven-round Swiss tournament. The fact that no team was dropping out of the league did not prevent a strong field of participants. “The usual suspects” from SO “Kavalas” led by Harikrishna, and having in their disposal most of the Greek Olympic players (Kotronias, Papaioannou, Halkias, Skembris, Botsari), and excellent children boards claimed the title convincingly with six consecutive wins, and one final draw. Silver ran for the cup winner “Thessaloniki”, bronze for “Kidon”-Chania.
Next year 34 teams will participate in Greek highest league, and the expectancies are for harder fight.



Atalik,Suat (2585) - Harikrishna,Pentala (2668) [D10]
36th Teams Ch-GR Kallithea Halkidiki (7.1), 10.07.2008
[Dejan Bojkov]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.e3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.Qc2 b5 6.b3 Bg4 7.Nge2 Nbd7 8.h3 Bh5 9.Nf4 Bg6 10.Nxg6 hxg6 11.Be2 e6 12.0–0 Rc8

13.c5N [13.Rd1 Bd6 14.Bf3 Nh7 15.e4 Ng5 16.Qe2 Bb4 17.Nb1 Nxf3+ 18.Qxf3 bxc4 19.bxc4 Nb6 20.exd5 cxd5 21.c5 Nc4 22.Bd2 Ba5 23.Bc3 Ѕ–Ѕ Savchenko,S (2585)-Belikov,V (2470)/Russia 1995/CBM 048] 13...e5 Probably: [13...Be7 should be preferred, although after: 14.b4 Qc7 15.a4 0–0+/=
White has a stable advantage due to the space that he owes, and the fact that he can double his rooks on the "a" file before opening it.] 14.b4 e4 15.a4 Be7 16.axb5 axb5 17.Ra6 Nf8?
Black decides to postpone the castling again, and seeks better prospects for his knight. His position is not picnic either after: [17...0–0 18.Bb2 Qc7 19.Rfa1± but at least he had chances to organize his defense. Now his position collapses.] 18.Rxc6!! Rxc6 19.Bxb5 Qc8 [19...Qa8 does not change anything- 20.Qa2 Qb7 21.Qa4] 20.Qa4 Kd7 21.Bxc6+ Qxc6 22.b5
22...Qc8 [22...Qc7 23.Qa8 Rg8 24.Nxd5 Nxd5 25.Qxd5+ Ke8 26.b6+-] 23.b6+ Also good enough is: [23.c6+ Kd8 (23...Ke6 24.f3 exf3 25.e4 Nxe4 26.Nxe4 dxe4 27.d5+ is mate in ten :)) 24.b6 Ne6 25.c7+ Nxc7 26.bxc7+ Qxc7 27.Nxd5 Nxd5 28.Qa8+ Qc8 29.Qxd5+ Ke8 30.Qxe4+-] 23...Ke6 [23...Qc6 24.Nb5! with the idea Qa6-Na7-c6 and the pawns will decide. 24...Ne6 25.Qa7+ Ke8 26.b7 wins.] 24.f3 exf3 25.e4 Atalik energetically wraps up the game. The rest is silense... 25...Bxc5 [25...Nxe4 26.Nxe4 dxe4 27.Qb3+ Kd7 28.b7 Qb8 29.Bf4 and White queens.] 26.exd5+ Ke7 [26...Kd6 27.Rxf3 Nxd5 28.b7 Qxb7 29.dxc5+ Kxc5 30.Ne4+ Kb6 31.Rb3+] 27.Re1+ [27.dxc5 Qxc5+ 28.Rf2 Qxb6 29.Ba3+ Kd8 30.Qa8+ Kd7 31.Na4 Qb1+ 32.Rf1 f2+ 33.Kxf2 Qc2+ 34.Kg1 is convenient enough.] 27...Ne6 28.dxc5 Qxc5+ 29.Re3 Qxb6
30.Qa3+ Qd6 31.dxe6 fxe6 32.Qa7+ Qd7 33.Ba3+ Kf7 34.Qxd7+ Nxd7 35.Rxf3+ Nf6 36.Ne4 Rb8 37.g4 Kg8 38.Nxf6+ gxf6 39.Rxf6 Rb3 40.Bf8 Rxh3 41.Kg2 Rc3 42.Bh6 Kh7 43.g5 e5 44.Rf7+ Kh8 45.Re7 1–0


For the Sake of the Books

Movsesian,Sergei (2723) - Papadopoulos,Ioannis K (2490) [B33]
36th Teams Ch-GR Kallithea Halkidiki (4.4), 08.07.2008
[Dejan Bojkov]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Nd5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c4 b4 12.Nc2 a5 13.Qf3 Be6 I have heard recently lots of sceptical opinions about the use of the chess books, and have never agreed to the idea. I am delighted to present you this game. 14.Rd1

14...a4!?N This move is a novelty, but a one that was already suggested in the fresh book "The Easiest Sicilian" by A. Kolev and T. Nedev. "Kolev's idea is to anticipate the enemy's activity and radically disturb his plans."-"The Easiest Sicilian". Previously other moves were met: [14...Bxd5 15.Rxd5 Ne7 16.Rd1 Qb6 17.Be2 0–0 18.0–0 Bg5 19.g3 Rad8 20.Qd3 g6 now after: 21.Kg2 draw was agreed Ѕ–Ѕ Watzka,H (2325)-Horvath,T (2440)/Austria 1993/EXT 1998

'(21.Ne3 was a new move by Kobalia, but unsuccessful- 21...Bxe3 22.Qxe3 Qc7 23.f4 exf4 24.gxf4 f5 and Black eventually won, 0–1 Kobalia,M (2627)-Krasenkow,M (2624)/Dagomys RUS 2008 (45)) ; 14...Be7 15.c5 0–0 16.Bb5 Na7 17.Ba4 is the original fresh idea for White in the line, 1–0 Nepomniachtchi,I (2600)-Andriasian,Z (2532)/Moscow RUS 2008 (45)] 15.Be2 Let me quote the book again: [15.c5?! Qa5!; 15.Nxf6+ gxf6!?
Take care about this line-you will see it in the game, too. (15...Qxf6!?) 16.Be2 b3 17.axb3 Rb8 18.b4 Nxb4 19.Na3 Nc6 20.Nb5 Qa5+ 21.Rd2 Ke7 22.Qd3 Nd4 23.Nxd4 exd4 24.Qxd4 Qc5 with compensation 25.Qxc5 dxc5 26.0–0 Rb4 27.Rc1 Rhb8 28.Rcc2 f5 29.f3 fxe4 30.fxe4 Kf6 31.Kf2

31...Ke5 and Black is doing fine.] 15...b3 16.axb3 Rb8 17.Nxf6+ gxf6 18.b4 Nxb4 19.Na3 Nc6 20.Nb5 Qa5+ 21.Rd2 Ke7 22.Qe3
22...Nd4! 23.Nxd4 exd4 24.Qxd4 Qc5 25.Qxc5 Despite of the fact that chess engines gives huge advantage for White here the position is about equal. Papadopoulos did not spend much time on this game. Draw.


Grandmaster Duel in Charming Luzern

Probably Luzern is one of the most beautiful towns in Switzerland, and Europe. Situated picturesquely between four mountains, and possessing the Luzern Lake gives the town an incredible charm. Ships and boats are ruling the lake all the way round, but the water is clean and there are even brave people willing to take a bath. Swans and ducks are crossing the waters in search for food and attention. There are benches all over the lake boulevard and one can take a rest viewing the wonderful mountains Rigi, Mount Pilatus, and Swiss Alps from the distance. Another unique atmosphere can be felt in the old part of the town. There are old churches, and buildings, all of their facades being painted in original pictures. There is also a famous bridge-Kapellbruecke that crosses the Reuss River. It is also the oldest wooden bridge in Europe, and was constructed back in 1333. You can see paintings inside it that represent part of the Luzern history, and were painted in 17-th century. Unfortunately, about only 1/3 of these pictures survived the fire in 1993 caused by incautious smokers. Just a few meters away from the lake boulevard is situated the Luzern Grand Casino-a place where chess tournaments took part. There were three events at the same time-Master tournament, Main Tournament, and the match of the Grandmasters-the cherry in the pie. The events broke the records in the number of participants.
In honour of the legendary German grandmaster Robert Huebner the club of Luzern organized a match for him against the best Swiss player (if we exclude another legend-Viktor Korchnoi) - Yannick Pelletier. It was a four-game match with the first two games to be played in classical modus, and the next two in rapid chess (thirty minutes for each player). The games were life-transmitted at the Swiss Chess server. All games saw semi-closed openings, which I think was in favour of the more experienced player. After three seemingly uneventful but fightful draws in the first games, Pelletier playing as white in the fourth sacrificed an exchange, but failed to prove compensation and eventually lost. Thus Robert Huebner made a nice present for his coming 60-th anniversary winning the match with 2.5-1.5. Without any doubt this result speaks a lot for the German Grandmaster who is almost twice the age of his opponent. For the pleasure of the ordinary chess lovers both grandmasters continued to analyze their game long after it had finished, and the audience could observe their analyses on the monitors. Later they both visited the analyze room and shared some of their experience and knowledge with other players. Huebner is a member of Luzern Schachklub. This year the team ended only eight in the Swiss team championship, but has ambitions for the coming season.
Yannik Pelletier seemed to recover after his poor result in Biel, and looked in good mood. His next tournament will be the ECC in Kallithea, Greece at the end of October. There he will represent his French club-Clichy which won the French Team Championship for a second consecutive year. “It was very tough this time”, recalled Pelletier “since the last match had to decide everything. We had poor positions on two of our white boards straight from the opening, but eventually drew the match 1-1 and this was enough for the title”. Yannik now prefers to live more in Montpellier with his girlfriend rather than in Switzerland.
The main tournament was a triumph for the Latvian GM Vijesturs Meijers. His willingness to earn the maximum of every position served him well at the end. Excellently physically prepared the Latvian was the last one to finish his final three games! Even the closing ceremony had to be postponed for an hour thanks to his last game. First he won an endgame rook and bishop against a rook in the fifth round, and in the final one managed to defend a rook and a knight versus rook endgame. His opponent from the final round Stefan Loetscher was actually winning before that drawish construction occurred, but missed to claim the first price. Marcus Raeber from Switzerland quite unexpectedly, but fully deservedly won the second price. I was very disappointed with my finish-only half a point in the last two games which had thrown me from leading position to tenth place.
The Main tournament group was won by a player who did not have any rating. Simon Abächerli scored 6.5 points from seven games.