In the Spirit of the Old Masters

Georgia's capital Tbilisi is hosting the third tournament from the FIDE Grand Prix series. Half of the event have already passed and the best player so far is the former European champion Evgeny Tomashevsky from Russia. However, we cannot miss a game between two of the most artistic performers. It took place in round five:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "FIDE Grand Prix - Tbilisi"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015.02.20"]
[Round "5.6"]
[White "Jobava, Baadur"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2696"]
[BlackElo "2759"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "54"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:02:21"]
[BlackClock "0:51:07"]

1. b3 {The Nimzowitch-Larsen opening can nowadays be named after Baadur who is
commonly using it and keeps on finding fresh ideas.} Nf6 2. Bb2 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7
4. d4 {[%csl Yb2][%cal Gb2d4] Diagram [#] Georgian's favorite move. It seems
illogical to close the bishop that had just occupied the long diagonal, but
Jobava has an opinion of his own.} c5 5. e3 cxd4 6. exd4 d5 7. Qd2 Nc6 8. O-O-O
({One very fresh example of Baadur's saw} 8. f3 h5 {Perhaps this is what
inspired Shakh for what he did later in the game.} 9. Bb5 Qd6 10. Nge2 Bh6 11.
Qd1 Bf5 {and Black already very comfortable in Jobava,B (2727)-Carlsen,M (2862)
Wijk aan Zee 2015}) 8... Qa5 $146 ({A novelty upon a game these two played
earlier. That game saw} 8... O-O 9. f3 h5 10. Kb1 Bf5 11. a3 Rc8 {with
double-edged game in Jobava,B (2711)-Mamedyarov,S (2764) Beijing 2012}) 9. f3
h5 10. Kb1 Bf5 11. Bd3 $1 {[%csl Yd4][%cal Re1e8,Rd1d8] Diagram [#] This
enterprising pawn sacrifice is practically forced.} ({The normal development}
11. Nge2 $2 {is just bad as Black has concrete threats} Nb4 12. Rc1 Nxa2 $1) ({
While a waiting move like} 11. a3 {allows all the joy for Black after either}
Rc8 ({Or} 11... a6)) 11... Nxd4 $1 {Shakh goes for it! He could have easily
kept the balance after} (11... Bxd3 12. Qxd3 e6 {but he decided that the risk
is worth it.}) 12. Nge2 Nxe2 ({Worse is} 12... Bxd3 13. Nxd4 Ba6 14. Rhe1 {
when Black cannot easily evacuate the king from the center. For example} e6 15.
Nxe6 $1 fxe6 16. Rxe6+ Kf7 17. Nxd5 Qxd2 18. Re7+ Kf8 19. Rxd2 {and the attack
continues in the endgame.}) 13. Qxe2 Bd7 $1 {Correct decision. Generally,
Black would be happy to trade pieces. The problem with the move} (13... Bxd3 {
however is that it brings the white attackers too quick} 14. Rxd3 Rd8 (14... e6
$2 15. Nxd5 $1 {is a nice tactical shot.}) 15. Rhd1 {when Black is once again
losing the central pawn} e6 16. Nxd5 Rxd5 17. Rxd5 Nxd5 18. Bxg7 {with clear
advantage for White} Nc3+ 19. Bxc3 Qxc3 20. Qb5+ Qc6 21. Qxc6+ bxc6 22. Rd6)
14. Rhe1 e6 {For the pawn Baadur managed to bring his rooks in the center, but
what comes next? One more move and the black king will escape from the
dangerous zone and Shakh will start converting the extra pawn.} 15. Bxg6 $5 {
[%csl Ye8] Diagram [#] ! Nope, the king will stay in the center. Jobava
follows the classical rule. If the opponent's king is in the center, open
files to reach it.} fxg6 16. Nxd5 Nxd5 ({There is no time to escape} 16... O-O
17. Nxf6+ Bxf6 18. Rxd7) 17. Bxg7 Rg8 $5 {Mamedyarov rejects the draw after} (
17... Nc3+ 18. Bxc3 Qxc3 19. Rxd7 $1 Kxd7 20. Qxe6+ Kc7 21. Qf7+ Kc8 {The king
has to stay on the back rank as going up may lead to a big fall down} (21...
Kc6 $2 22. Re6+ Kc5 23. Qc7+ {and mate after} Kb4 24. Qxb7+ Kc5 25. Qc6+ Kb4
26. a3+ Kxa3 27. Qa4#) 22. Re8+ Rxe8 23. Qxe8+ Kc7 24. Qxa8 {White regains the
piece and is even a piece up, but the presense of their Majesties on the board
with the kings wide open will sooner or later lead to a perpetual after} Qe1+
25. Kb2 Qe5+ 26. c3 Qxh2 27. Qxa7 Qxg2+ $11) ({However, it seems as that the
best defense was the subtle} 17... Rh7 $1 18. Qe5 (18. Bb2 $5 Nc3+ 19. Bxc3
Qxc3 20. Rd6 O-O-O {brings the king into safety.}) 18... Kf7 19. c4 ({The
difference with the game continuation becomes apparent after} 19. Rxd5 Qxd5 20.
Qf6+ Kg8 $1) 19... Rxg7 20. cxd5 Kg8 21. dxe6 Qxe5 22. Rxe5 {White has two
pawns for the piece, but this is not enough here.}) 18. Qe5 Rxg7 $6 {[%csl Yd5]
Diagram [#] Tempting! When under attack it makes sense to annihilate as many
many active pieces as possible, even if we give back part of the material.
This however has a nice refutation.} ({White's attack is very strong in case of
} 18... Kf7 19. Rxd5 Qxd5 20. Qf6+ Ke8 21. Qxg6+ Kd8 22. Qf7 Kc7 23. Re3) ({But
} 18... Qc7 {looked like the best defense with the idea} 19. Qxd5 (19. Qb2
O-O-O) 19... Rxg7 20. Rxe6+ $6 ({Instead} 20. Qd4 $1 Kf8 21. g4 {keeps the
game unclear as the king is still vulnerable.}) 20... Bxe6 21. Qxe6+ Qe7 {and
Black holds and wins.}) 19. Rxd5 $1 {The knight is a very important defender.
Now the attack on the open files is furious!} Qb4 20. Rd6 Kf8 ({Once more
there is no time to saveguard the king} 20... O-O-O $2 21. Re4 Qa3 22. Rc4+ Bc6
23. Rxd8+ Kxd8 24. Qxg7) 21. Red1 Bc6 $2 {This loses instantly, but
objectively speaking Black was already in bad shape. True, after the most
resilent} (21... Be8 22. Rxe6 Bf7 23. Rd7 Kg8 {[%csl Rg8] Diagram [#] Baadur
had to find the following amazing resource} 24. Rxf7 $3 Kxf7 (24... Rxf7 {is
easier for White after} 25. Rxg6+ Kf8 26. Rh6) 25. Qd5 $3 {Ambush.} Kf8 26. Re4
$3 {A truly remarkable position! The two white heavy pieces dominate the three
black. Spirit rules material. White wins the queen at least. For example} Qa3 (
26... Qc3 27. Rf4+ Ke8 28. Qb5+ Kd8 29. Re4 Rc8 30. Qe8+ Kc7 31. Rc4+ Qxc4 32.
Qe5+) 27. Rf4+ Ke8 28. Ra4 Qf8 29. Re4+ Re7 30. Qb5+ Kf7 31. Rf4+) 22. R1d4 {
Not bad, but there was an instant win.} ({It seems as both the players missed
the important deflection after} 22. Rd8+ Rxd8 23. Rxd8+ Kf7 (23... Be8 24. Qf6+
Rf7 25. Qh8+) (23... Ke7 24. Rd4) 24. a3 $3 {when the queen has to abandon the
f4 square and thus lose the game} (24. c3 {should also do}) 24... Qe7 ({Or
mate after} 24... Qxa3 25. Qf4+ Ke7 26. Qf8#) 25. Qf4+ Qf6 26. Rf8+ $1 Kxf8 27.
Qxf6+ {and White wins.}) 22... Qb5 23. Rd8+ $2 {Lets the win slip away.} (23.
Qxe6 $1 {kept tremendous attack, say} Qg5 24. h4 Qe7 25. Qc4) 23... Rxd8 24.
Rxd8+ Ke7 25. Qd6+ Kf6 26. Qd4+ {Diagram [#]} Kf7 $4 {The culmination of the
battle and the last mistake. Shakh became once more overambitious and
blundered checkmate.} (26... Ke7 $1 {was mandatory when White can repeat the
moves} 27. Qd6+ ({Or try} 27. a4 {which should also lead to some perpetual
after} Qf5 28. Qd6+ Kf6 29. Rf8+ Rf7 30. Qd8+ Kg7 31. Rg8+ Kh6 32. Rh8+ Kg7 ({
But not} 32... Rh7 33. h4 $3 {when the black king is once again surrounded} Qf7
34. Rg8 $1 Rg7 35. Rf8 {Oh wait, was that the queen?}) 33. Rg8+ $11)) 27. Qf4+
Ke7 {An epic battle of two of the most creative players of our time!} ({And
not waiting to see the mate, Shakh resigned.} 27... Ke7 28. Qf8#) 1-0


No comments: