About Horses and Donkeys

After the powerful start in Wijk an Zee, the second round offered less action yesterday. All the games in the Masters section ended peacefully, although all players fought hard. The Challengers section though offered some spectacular pieces:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "Tata Steel Chess - Challengers"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.01.17"]
[Round "2.5"]
[White "Bok, Benjamin"]
[Black "L'Ami, Erwin"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2607"]
[BlackElo "2627"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "75"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:00:58"]
[BlackClock "0:00:35"]

1. Nf3 {Surprising first move by Bok, who is generally and 1.e4 player.} f5 {
Diagram [#] A small counter-surprise in return. L'Ami inserted the Leningrad
Dutch in his repertoire last year and according to my Megabase has only five
games played so far in it.} 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 g6 4. O-O Bg7 5. d4 O-O 6. c4 d6
7. Nc3 c6 {The main move, although the Guru of the line Malanuik prefers} (7...
Qe8) 8. b3 {Diagram [#]} ({White can also try to advance this pawn more
aggressively with} 8. Rb1 Na6 9. b4 Ne4 {as in Kramnik,V (2783)-Caruana,F
(2811) Zurich 2015}) ({While the main line is} 8. d5 e5 9. dxe6 Bxe6 10. Qd3 {
one recent example-Harikrishna,P (2727)-Mamedyarov,S (2765) Beijing 2014}) 8...
Na6 (8... Qc7 {is another line} 9. Ba3 Ne4 {Karjakin,S (2760)-Caruana,F (2811)
Zurich 2015}) 9. Re1 Ne4 10. Bb2 d5 $146 {[%cal Gd5e4,Gf5e4] Diagram [#] A
novelty. An year earlier at this very place a game from the Masters section
saw:} (10... Nxc3 11. Bxc3 {When Caruana rerouted his knight towards the
center with} Nc5 {Which was met with an even more cunning knight maneuver} 12. Ng5
d5 13. Nh3 Ne4 {with complex battle ahead, Wojtaszek,R (2744)-Caruana,F (2820)
Wijk aan Zee 2015}) 11. cxd5 cxd5 12. Ne5 {[%csl Ya6,Gc3,Ye4,Ge5][%cal Gf2f3]
Similar positions may appear in the Fianchettoe line of the Gruenfeld defense.
The general difference between both positions is the situation of the knights.
While the one on e5 is on a stable outpost its collegue can be chased away
with f2-f3. And yes, the other black one is badly placed on the rim as well.}
Nb4 {Which is what L'Ami tries to change, but this comes at a certain price.} (
{A more patient way to level the energy of the white knights was connected with
} 12... Be6 13. f3 Nxc3 14. Bxc3 Rc8 {followed by Na6-b8-c6(d7).}) 13. Rc1 Be6
14. a3 Nc6 15. Nxc6 bxc6 {[%csl Yc6][%cal Rc1c6] Diagram [#] The bad knight
was swapped off, but a backward pawn on c6 is the price.} 16. Na4 {Bok decided
to keep the knight as he believes that after f2-f3 it will be still superior
to the black one.} ({Also good is} 16. f3 Nxc3 17. Rxc3 $14 {when White will
gang up against the "c" pawn after the preliminary e2-e3.}) 16... f4 $1 {
Black's only chance is activity or else the weaknesses will soon tell.} 17. f3
Nd6 $6 {But this retreat spoiled the plan. I have the feeling that L'Ami
should have gone for} (17... Ng5 18. Rxc6 Nh3+ 19. Bxh3 (19. Kf1 {looks riskier
} Bd7 20. Rc3 fxg3 21. hxg3 g5) 19... Bxh3 20. g4 Rc8 21. Rxc8 Qxc8 {[%csl Ya4,
Yb2,Yg1][%cal Gh7h5] Diagram [#] with compensation for the pawn.}) 18. Nc5 $1 {
There is no need to enter complications when you are better strategically.} (
18. Rxc6 Bd7 19. Rc1 Bxa4 20. bxa4 fxg3 21. hxg3 Nf5 {would be fun for Black
instead.}) 18... Bd7 (18... Bc8 {seems more accurate but still not fun.}) 19.
e4 $1 {Powerplay by Bok.} g5 ({After} 19... fxe3 $6 20. Rxe3 {White will add a
backward pawn on e7 and plenty of weak squares along the "e" file to his
treasure box.}) ({White will have strong center after} 19... fxg3 20. hxg3) 20.
exd5 cxd5 {White has serious positional advantage and cashes it in with cute
tactic:} 21. Re5 $3 {[%csl Yd5,Yg5][%cal Re5d5,Re5g5] Diagram [#] Double
attack.} e6 {Best chance is to try and make use of the poor position of the
white rook.} ({The rook is untouchable} 21... Bxe5 22. dxe5 Nf5 23. Qxd5+) (
21... h6 22. Rxd5) 22. Nxd7 Qxd7 23. Rxg5 Nf5 24. Qd3 Rab8 ({Maybe} 24... Qe7 {
with the idea} 25. Rh5 (25. gxf4 Kh8) 25... Qe8 26. g4 Qg6 {was worth a try.})
25. Bh3 Kh8 26. Rh5 Qf7 27. Bg4 h6 28. gxf4 {White simply takes everything
that he can but this weakens his position a bit.} Ne7 $1 {[%csl Yf4,Rh5][%cal
Ge7g6,Gg6f4] Diagram [#]} 29. Re1 ({In case of} 29. Rc7 Rfc8 30. Rxa7 {Black
has} Qf6 {with the idea Ne7-g6:f4 and it ain't over yet.}) 29... Ng6 30. Bc1
Nxf4 31. Bxf4 Qxf4 {L'Ami squeezed everything he could from the position but
two pawns are still a lot. Still, the arising mutual time-trouble gave him
some extra chances.} 32. Kg2 Rbc8 ({The pawn is poisoned} 32... Qxd4 $2 33.
Rxh6+ Kg8 34. Qh7+ Kf7 35. Qg6+) ({Or} 32... Bxd4 $6 33. Rxe6) 33. Bxe6 {
There was nothing wrong with} (33. Rxe6 Qc1 34. Qe3 Rc2+ 35. Kg3 Qxe3 36. Rxe3
Bxd4 37. Re7 {and White is close to winning.}) 33... Rce8 ({A trick is always
worth a try in lost positions. Here} 33... Rc2+ $1 {[%csl Rg2] Diagram [#]
would be both tricky and good} {The rook is not edible} 34. Qxc2 $4 (34. Re2 $1
{is best although Black has serious drawing chances after} Rxe2+ 35. Qxe2 Qf6
$1 {When tactics seem to work in Black's favour} ({Or even} 35... Qxd4 36. Bxd5
Qf6) 36. Bf5 ({Worse is} 36. Rxd5 Re8 37. Rd6 Qg5+ 38. Kf1 Qf4) ({While} 36.
Bxd5 $4 {drops a piece after} Qg6+) 36... Qxd4) 34... Qxf3+ 35. Kg1 Bxd4+ {
due to the mate.}) 34. Re2 (34. Rxd5 {was better.}) 34... Bxd4 35. Bg4 (35.
Rxd5 {is still best} Bg7) 35... Rd8 $2 {L'Ami gives the open file in the
crucial moment of the game and this loses instantly. Instead} (35... Rxe2+ 36.
Qxe2 Rd8 37. Be6 Bf6 $1 {[%csl Rg2,Yh5][%cal Gf6g5] Diagram [#] leads to a
position which is definitely not winning for White. For example} 38. Bxd5 (38.
Rxd5 $2 Rxd5 39. Bxd5 Qg5+ {drops a piece.}) 38... Bg5 {The white rook is
excluded and the threat Rd8-d2 forces White to play} 39. Qb2+ Kh7 40. Be4+ Kg8
41. Qc3 Rd2+ 42. Kf1 Rd1+ 43. Ke2 Rd2+ 44. Ke1 Rd8 {White still has two extra
pawns but the insecure position of his king is a primary factor.}) 36. Re7 Bg7
37. Qg6 {[%csl Rg7,Rh7][%cal Rg6g7,Gg4f5,Rf5h7] Diagram [#] Mate is
unstoppable.} Qd2+ (37... Rg8 38. Bf5) 38. Kh3 (38. Kh3 Rg8 39. Bf5) 1-0


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