Positional Sacrifice

Anish Giri continued to play well at the end of the Tata Steel tournament and came in shared third place after a nice win against his compatriot Loek van Wely. The younger Dutchman played creatively and sacrificed twice to grind down his more experienced opponent.
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "Tata Steel Masters"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015.01.23"]
[Round "11.6"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "Van Wely, Loek"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2784"]
[BlackElo "2667"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "103"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:43:17"]
[BlackClock "0:23:42"]

1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 {The Pirc is a rare guest on top level. Since Kramnik is
missing in Wijk, one should normally expect it from Ivanchuk here, but it is
Van Wely who gives it a try.} 3. Nc3 g6 4. f4 {The Austrian attack remains
White's most aggressive choice.} Bg7 5. Bd3 e5 {Not the most common move, but
one that was recently tested at the top level.} ({Black usually} 5... O-O {for
example} 6. Nf3 Na6 (6... Nc6 {seems like a good alternative} 7. e5 dxe5 8.
fxe5 Nh5 9. Be3 Bg4 10. Be2 f6 11. exf6 exf6 12. O-O Re8 {with playable
position for Black in Karjakin,S (2777)-Jones,G (2664) Bilbao 2014}) 7. O-O c5
8. d5 Rb8 9. a4 {when the position resembles the Benoni with the white pawn
shy of getting to c4, Polgar,J (2705)-Carlsen,M (2848) Mexico City 2012}) (5...
Nc6) 6. dxe5 dxe5 7. Nf3 exf4 8. Bxf4 O-O 9. Qd2 Nc6 10. O-O-O Ng4 $146 {
Diagram [#] Loek is trying to take control of the e5 square.} ({A novelty in
comparison to} 10... Be6 11. h3 Nd7 12. Bg5 (12. Bb5 $5) 12... Bf6 13. h4 h5
14. Qf4 Bxg5 15. hxg5 $1 {with strong pressure for White in Karjakin,S (2776)
-Wang,H (2752) Beijing 2013}) 11. Nd5 {You win something, you lose another.
The d5 square is no longer protected by the knight on f6. White's central
control secures him an edge.} Nce5 {The other move seems more natural} (11...
Nge5 {but is has its drawbacks as well. In particular in the line} 12. Bg5 (12.
Qe3 $5) 12... Qd6 13. Nxe5 Nxe5 $2 {is not good due to} 14. Be7) 12. h3 {Anish
is now fighting for the e5 square. He wants it all and now obviously.} Nxf3 ({
Perhaps the pawn sacrifice is interesting after} 12... c6 13. hxg4 Nxd3+ 14.
Qxd3 cxd5 15. g5 Bg4 16. exd5 Re8) 13. gxf3 Ne5 14. Be2 Be6 15. Bg5 {White
lures the pawn to the f6 square to lock the bsihop in prison. At least for a
while. Anish have taken down one of the knights. Now} (15. Qc3 $1 {to get rid
of the second one made a lot of sense. After} Nc6 16. Qe3 {seems as a fine
regroupment as now} Ne5 17. Bg5 {is way mre effective as in the game. In
particular} f6 {is hardly a move anymore...} 18. Nxf6+) 15... f6 ({Or else}
15... Qd7 16. f4) 16. Be3 c6 {Naturally, Black does not tolerate the knight in
the center.} 17. f4 $1 {An important idea. Giri plays extremely energetically
to hold the initiative.} (17. Nc3 Qa5 {would be great for Black.}) 17... Nf7
18. f5 $1 {Diagram [#]} gxf5 {Forced as the endgame is very bad for Black} (
18... Bxd5 19. exd5 Qxd5 (19... cxd5 20. Bf3 $16) 20. Qxd5 cxd5 21. Bf3 Rfe8 (
21... Bh6 22. Bxh6 Nxh6 23. Bxd5+) 22. Bf4 {the bishops rule, not King Loek.})
19. Nf4 $1 {Diagram [#] Completeting the idea. The knight is optimally placed
on f4 and the black pawns on f5 and f6 limit the scope of the black pieces.}
Qxd2+ 20. Bxd2 ({But not} 20. Rxd2 $2 Bh6 $1) 20... Rae8 {Alas, Black is
losing one of the bishops} (20... Bc8 {would be even worse for him} 21. Rhg1
Kh8 22. Bb4 Re8 23. Nh5 Bf8 24. Bc3) 21. Rhg1 $5 {This is tempting, but White
had solid alternative instead that would have given him the advantage without
any risk} (21. Nh5 $5 Kh8 22. Nxg7 Kxg7 23. Rhg1+ Kh8 24. Bh5 {with the threat
Bd2-c3} Rd8 ({Or else Black loses the exchange} 24... fxe4 25. Bc3 Ne5 26. Bxe8
Rxe8 27. Rdf1) 25. exf5 Bxf5 26. Rdf1 {The two bishops will soon shatter
Black's defense.}) 21... Kh8 {Diagram [#]} 22. Rxg7 $5 {This was Anish's point
but not Loek could have defended. The amazing profilaxys} (22. Kb1 $3 {would
have kept White in control as now Bg7-h6 is no longer a defenseive resourse.
Some lines:} Bh6 ({White wins the exchange after} 22... fxe4 23. Nxe6 Rxe6 24.
Bb4 Rfe8 25. Bc4) 23. Nxe6 Rxe6 24. Bb4 Rb8 25. Bc3 Ne5 26. exf5 $16 {with
clear advantage for White.}) 22... Kxg7 23. Nh5+ Kg6 $6 {Correct was} (23...
Kh8 $1 {Now in the line} 24. Bc3 ({But Van Wely saw ghosts in the line} 24.
Nxf6 Rd8 25. Bc3 Rxd1+ 26. Bxd1 Rd8 27. exf5 {it is extremely unpleasant for a
human being to play with the constat discovered threat in the air, but the cool
} Bc8 $1 {is a defense.} ({Rather than} 27... Bxf5 $2 28. Nd5+ Kg8 29. Ne7+ {
when White wins})) 24... Ne5 25. Nxf6 Rxf6 26. Bxe5 Kg7 27. Rg1+ Kf7 28. Bh5+
Rg6 29. Rf1 {White wins a pawn but Black should survive the OCB endgame after}
Kg8 30. exf5 Rf8 31. Bxg6 hxg6 32. f6 $14) 24. Rg1+ {The king is in danger,
White wins the knight.} Ng5 25. Nf4+ Kg7 26. h4 h6 27. Bh5 (27. Bc3 $5) 27...
Bf7 28. exf5 Bxh5 29. Nxh5+ Kf7 30. hxg5 fxg5 $6 {This gives White another
trump. Better was} (30... hxg5 31. Bc3 {with the idea} Re3 32. Bxf6 (32. Rd1 $1
{instead will keep White's chances higher.}) 32... Rh3 33. Rxg5 Rxh5 34. Rxh5
Kxf6) 31. Ng3 (31. Bb4 $1 {is more subtle.} Rg8 32. Bc3) 31... Rd8 32. Rh1 {
Diagram [#] In the endgame a R and a P are usually as good as the two light
pieces, and sometimes even better. However, this is not the case in the
actual position as the rooks are lacking open files and the balck pawns on the
kingside are weaknesses rather than passers. Giri converts his advantage with
an iron hand.} Rd4 ({The pawn cannot be saved} 32... Rh8 33. Bc3 Rh7 34. Ne4)
33. Rxh6 Rfd8 34. Rh7+ {Useful in between check to worsen the position of the
king.} (34. Rh2 Rg4) 34... Kg8 35. Rh2 Rg4 36. Ne2 Rd5 37. Rf2 Kf7 38. b3 {
White stabilized the situation.} b5 (38... Kf6 39. Bc3+ Kf7 40. Kb2) 39. b4 {
Fixes the pawns in order to attack them later with pieces.} c5 40. a3 cxb4 41.
axb4 a5 $1 {Loek correctly tries to trade as many pawns as possible.} 42. Nc3
Re5 43. bxa5 b4 44. Na2 Rxa5 45. Nxb4 Rg1+ ({Perhaps Black saw that in the line
} 45... Rb5 46. c3 Kf6 47. Kc2 {he cannot capture the pawn due to the trick}
Rxf5 $2 ({But instead} 47... Rg3 $1 {would have given him great drawing
chances.}) 48. Nd5+ $1 Ke5 49. Rxf5+ Kxf5 50. Ne3+) 46. Kb2 g4 47. Nd3 Rb5+ 48.
Kc3 g3 49. Rf3 Rb7 ({More stubborn was} 49... g2 50. Rg3 Rxf5 51. Be3 Ra1 52.
Rxg2) 50. Bf4 g2 51. Rg3 Re7 $2 {A blunder.} ({The game would have continued
after} 51... Kf6 52. Be3 Rc7+ 53. Kd2) 52. Ne5+ {A very creative and
intersteing game in which Anish Giri sacrificed first a pawn and then an
exchange to prove his advantage.} (52. Ne5+ {with the rook as} Ke8 53. Rg8# {
is a nice checkmate.}) 1-0


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