The Black Cat Naiditsch

Arkadij Naiditsch turns into a very serious trouble to the reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen. At least for the last two games. However, while at the last Olympiad Arkadij won from a suspect (to say at least) position yesterday he managed to convincingly outplay his rival at the the Grenke Classics.
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "GRENKE Chess Classic 2015"]
[Site "Baden-Baden"]
[Date "2015.02.04"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Naiditsch, Arkadij"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B06"]
[WhiteElo "2706"]
[BlackElo "2865"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "121"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

{A couple of years ago Arkadij revealed that his favourite player ever was
Magnus Carlsen. "I do not see how to beat him", added he with a smile. The
last two games between these two proved that things have changed. At least for
the second statement.} 1. e4 g6 {Carlsen did not use the Pirc since 2012 and
with a good reason as his results are not great here. It seems as he was ready
to risk more than usual in this game.} 2. d4 Bg7 ({The exotic} 2... Nf6 3. e5
Nh5 4. Be2 {did not anywhere in Adams,M (2728)-Carlsen,M (2826)
Khanty-Mansiysk 2010}) 3. Nc3 d6 4. Be3 a6 5. a4 Nf6 6. h3 O-O 7. g4 ({A
quiter plan is} 7. Nf3 e5 8. dxe5 dxe5 9. Qxd8 Rxd8 10. Bc4 Nc6 11. O-O {
although this did not provide anything significant to White, Jakovenko,D (2729)
-Kempinski,R (2610) Plovdiv 2012}) 7... e5 ({The great Pirc specialist Zurab
Azmaiparashvili prefers the move} 7... c5 {here and this might be the better
choice.}) 8. d5 c6 9. Nge2 $146 {A logical novelty. White wants to bring the
knight on g3 as quick as possible to kill any counterplay related with the
f7-f5 advance.} ({Previously only} 9. Bg2 Qa5 10. Nge2 cxd5 11. exd5 Nbd7 {was
seen in Nikolova,A (2341)-Tonel,G (2036) Rijeka 2014}) 9... cxd5 10. exd5 Bxg4
{Diagram [#] An unexpected move to say at least... "I was of course quite
shocked when he played this but maybe it is not such a bad practical chnce as
I was already threatening Ne2-g3". (Naiditsch)} ({After} 10... Nbd7 11. Ng3 {
[%csl Ge4][%cal Gg4g5,Gg3e4] "followed by g4-g5 and Ng3-e4 White has clear
positional advantage. Of course, one should be desperate to sacrifice on g4".
(Naiditsch)}) 11. hxg4 Nxg4 12. Qd2 {Not the best move according to the winner.
} ({Arkadij spend a lot of time calculating the following line} 12. Bd2 Qb6 13.
Ne4 f5 14. N2c3 h5 15. a5 Qa7 16. Bh3 (16. Qe2 {might be more subtle with the
idea} fxe4 17. Nxe4 Qd4 18. f3 Nf6 19. Bc3 Qxd5 20. Rd1 Qc6 21. Rxd6 Qc7 22.
Qc4+ Qxc4 23. Bxc4+ Kh8 24. Bd3 {where White is completely dominating.}) 16...
fxe4 17. Nxe4 Qd4 (17... Nxf2 $4 18. Be6+ Kh7 19. Rxh5+ gxh5 20. Qxh5+ Bh6 21.
Qxh6#) 18. Qe2 {"White's advantage is massive as he is checkmating" (Naiditsch)
.}) 12... Nd7 13. Ne4 {White is slowing dow the opponent's pawns in the center.
} (13. O-O-O {is also possible but for understandable reasons White does not
feel like doing it anytime soon.}) 13... f5 14. Bg5 Qb6 15. Bh3 Ndf6 16. Nxf6+
Nxf6 17. Nc3 {With the idea to castle long.} ({Naiditsch considered less
promising the continuation} 17. Bxf6 Bxf6 18. c3 Rac8) (17. O-O-O {at once is
not clear after} Ne4 18. Be3 Nxd2 19. Bxb6 Nc4 20. Be3 b5 {whe the black pawns
look scary.}) ({I have the feeling though that the white king is best placed
on the kingside} 17. Bg2 $5 Qxb2 18. O-O Rac8 19. Rfc1 Rc7 20. Rab1 Qa3 21. Qa5
{should be better for White.}) 17... Qxb2 18. Rb1 Qa3 19. Rxb7 ({Objectively
better was} 19. Rb3 Qc5 20. O-O {with slight advantage for White.}) 19... Rf7 {
Magnus was afraid of the line} (19... Rab8 20. Rxg7+ $5 ({Instead} 20. Rxb8
Rxb8 21. Bg2 Rc8 {should be still little better for White.}) 20... Kxg7 21.
Bxf5 gxf5 22. Bxf6+ Kxf6 {Diagram [#] which looks indeed horrifying for a
human being. The poor king lacks any defence and is attacked by both teh queen
and the rook. Still, the cold-blooded machine finds no more than a draw after
both} 23. Rxh7 ({Or} 23. Qh6+ Ke7 24. Qe6+ Kd8 25. Rxh7 Qxc3+ 26. Kf1 Qc4+ 27.
Kg2 Qg4+ 28. Kh2 Qf4+ $11) 23... f4 24. Qd3 Qc1+ 25. Ke2 Rf7 26. Rxf7+ Kxf7 27.
Qf5+ Kg8 28. Qg6+) 20. Rb3 Qc5 21. Qe3 $1 {The king will be safe without the
queens on the board.} Qc7 22. Qb6 e4 23. Qc6 $5 {Naiditsch lures the rook on
c8.} Rc8 {The only move as after} (23... Qxc6 24. dxc6 Rc8 25. Bxf6 Bxf6 26.
Nd5 Rxc6 {White has the nice trick} 27. Bxf5 $1 gxf5 28. Rg1+ Kf8 (28... Rg7
29. Nxf6+) 29. Rb8+ Bd8 30. Rxd8#) 24. O-O {Arkadij calculated that he wins
the pawn back. The trick} (24. Bxf6 Bxf6 25. Nxe4 $4 {fails to} Qa5+) 24...
Qxc6 25. dxc6 Rxc6 {"Endgame should be close to winning for White" (Naiditsch)}
26. Rfb1 h6 27. Bxf6 $1 {White is happy to have the rook on f7. Another
tempting continuation was} (27. Rb8+ Kh7 28. Bxf6 Bxf6 29. Nd5 {with the idea}
Rxc2 $4 ({But Black can defend after} 29... Be5) 30. Nxf6+ Rxf6 31. R1b7+ Rf7
32. Rxf7#) 27... Bxf6 {Diagram [#]} 28. Nxe4 $1 {[%csl Yf7,Yg8][%cal Gh3e6]
The point behind White's previous play! White regains the pawn and destroys
the black pawn chain.} Be5 (28... fxe4 {is hopeless after} 29. Be6 Kg7 30. Bxf7
Kxf7 31. Rb6 {as White wins both d6 and a6 pawns.}) 29. Nd2 Rxc2 30. Nf3 Ra2
31. Bg2 {A slip for which Arkadij was furous about. He could have won with} (
31. Nxe5 $1 dxe5 32. Rb4 $1 ({Rather than the sugegsted by many commentators}
32. Rb6 {which he also calculated but felt correctly should be a clear win
after} Rxa4 33. Rxg6+ Kh7 34. Rbb6 Rh4 35. Kg2 Rh5 $1 {White has only one gold
pawn left and is anything but sure of winning} 36. Rbf6 Rxf6 37. Rxf6 Kg7 38.
Rxf5 (38. Rxa6 {gives some practical chances but hardly a win.}) 38... Rxf5 39.
Bxf5 Kf6 {followed by Kf6-g5-f4 (Naiditsch)}) 32... a5 33. Rc4 {Next the
bishop comes to f1, White slowly improves and takes the a pawn and the game
home.}) 31... Bf6 32. Nh2 Kg7 {Now the game starts again. White is still
better but has to maneuver a lot to prove that.} 33. Bd5 Re7 34. Rb4 Rd2 35.
Bc4 a5 36. Rb7 Rd4 37. Rxe7+ Bxe7 38. Bb5 h5 39. Nf3 Rf4 40. Kg2 h4 ({Perhaps}
40... Bf6 41. Rd1 Rg4+ 42. Kf1 Rf4 43. Rd3 g5 {was a better defense.}) 41. Rd1
{Intending to swap off the rooks after Rd1-d4.} Rg4+ 42. Kf1 h3 43. Rd3 $1 {
[%csl Gf1,Yf3][%cal Gf1g1,Gg1h1,Yh2f1,Yf1e3,Ye3c4,Ye3d5,Yf3h2] A nice
regroupment. The white king goes to the h file to deal with the Black's
complex of a dangerous passer and rook behind it. The knight is set free for
greater deeds.} Bf6 44. Nh2 Rh4 45. Kg1 Bd4 46. Rf3 Kf6 47. Nf1 Be5 $6 ({A
much more resilent defense is} 47... Ke5 48. Nd2 d5 {trying to keep the knight
blocked. For example} ({Not} 48... g5 $2 49. Bd7) 49. Rg3 Kf6 50. Nf3 $2 Bxf2+
$1 51. Kxf2 h2 52. Nxh2 (52. Nxh4 h1=Q 53. Rxg6+ Kf7 54. Rh6 Qh2+ $11) 52...
Rxh2+ 53. Ke3 Rh4 {with a draw. Naturally, White can improve his play in this
line, but he will still have to work very hard to win (if this is even
possible).}) 48. Ne3 Kg5 49. Kh1 Kf6 $6 {The last chance for teh World
Champion was the line} (49... Rf4 50. Rxf4 (50. Rg3+ Kh4 51. Rxg6 Rxf2 52. Rh6+
Kg3 53. Nf1+ Kg4 $11) 50... Kxf4 51. Nc4 Bc3 52. Nxd6 Kf3 53. Be8 Bb4 {when it
is not yer certain if this is a win for White.}) 50. Nc4 g5 51. Nxa5 g4 52. Rd3
f4 53. Nc4 Rh7 54. Nxe5 $1 {[%cal Ra4a5,Ra5a6,Ra6a7,Ra7a8,Rb5c6,Rd3a3] Diagram
[#] Without the bishop on the board Black cannot stop the white passer. The
game is essentially over although some accuracy is still needed.} dxe5 55. a5
Rc7 56. Ra3 $1 {The last subtle move. Rook behind the pawnpromotes it
authomatically. It also kills the black counter-chances related with his
strong pawns. Worse is} (56. Rd1 Rc5 57. Rb1 g3 58. fxg3 fxg3 59. a6 Rc2 60.
Ra1 Rh2+ 61. Kg1 Rg2+ 62. Kf1 Rf2+ 63. Ke1 $4 (63. Kg1 $11) 63... e4 $1 {
(Gustafsson) when it is Black who wins!} 64. Bc6 e3 65. a7 g2) 56... Rc1+ 57.
Kh2 Rc2 58. a6 Rxf2+ 59. Kh1 g3 60. a7 Rd2 61. Ra1 {Arkadij Naiditsch won his
second game in a row against the World Champion Magnus Carlsen and can be
proud with the game that he had played!} 1-0

Report by Kostya Kavutskiy.

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