Exciting Draw as a Desert

The Tashkent Grand Prix brought a lot of joy and excitement for the chess fans all over the world.
This game from the last round was a sweet finish of the event:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent 2014-15"]
[Site "Tashkent"]
[Date "2014.11.02"]
[Round "11"]
[White "Jobava, Baadur"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A70"]
[WhiteElo "2717"]
[BlackElo "2764"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "74"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "UZB"]

{For the first and last time in this tournament we are going to break the
tradition and analyze a draw game instead of a decisive one.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4
c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 {In the decisive round Mamedyarov pays a
tribute to his great compatriot Vugar Gashimov. The Benoni took key part in
Vugar's opening repertoire and it is quite likely the two Azeri Super-GMs have
studied the opening together.} ({Still, the choice of the opening should have
been a surprise for Baadur, as I have found only one game in the database
where Shakhriyar chose the Snake Benoni} 5... Bd6) 6. e4 ({Rather surprisingly,
the Benoni is a rare guest in Jobava's games. He had tried here the rare lines
after} 6. Nf3 g6 7. Bg5 ({And also} 7. Qa4+)) 6... g6 7. Nf3 Bg7 8. h3 {This
time the sharp modern line was chosen by Jobava.} O-O 9. Bd3 b5 10. Nxb5 Nxe4
$5 {Many sources consider this option tempting, but inferior. This evaluation
might reconsidered after the game.} ({Vugar Gashimov preferred instead the
main line} 10... Re8 11. O-O Nxe4 12. Re1 a6 13. Na3 Nf6 14. Rxe8+ Nxe8 $11 {
Karjakin,S (2721)-Gashimov,V (2730) Baku 2009}) 11. Bxe4 Re8 12. Ng5 Qa5+ 13.
Nc3 Ba6 {Black sacrificed a whole piece but managed to keep the opponent's
king in the center. The white pieces are rather lose as well and various
threats, like teh simple pawn pushes h7-h6 and f7-f5 are in the air.} 14. Bd2
Nd7 $1 {Development above all! Bad is:} (14... h6 15. Ne6 $1 fxe6 16. dxe6 Rxe6
17. Qg4 $16) ({and} 14... f5 15. Ne6 fxe4 16. Nxe4 $16) 15. Qc2 Rab8 $1 {Once
again Shakh neglects the material in favour of the pure energy.} ({A tempting
alternative is} 15... Ne5 16. O-O-O f5 17. f4 Nc4 18. Bd3 Nxb2 $1 19. Kxb2 {
Diagram [#] in conjunction with the computer blow} Re3 $3 $146 {[%csl Rb2,Yc3,
Yd3][%cal Rg7a1,Ra5c3,Rb8b1,Re3d3] None has ever tested this in over the board
game and it is definitely worth analyzes!} ({Instead} 19... Bxd3 20. Qxd3 $18 {
left Black with no counterplay in Murali Krishnan,B (2412)-Turov,M (2624)
Mumbai 2010}) {The key idea of the line is} 20. Bxe3 Rb8+ 21. Kc1 Qa3+ 22. Kd2
Rb2) ({Once again regaining the piece seems insufficient} 15... f5 16. Ne6 fxe4
17. Nxe4 Qb6 18. Bc3 Bh6 19. Bd2 Ne5 20. Bxh6 Qb4+ 21. Bd2 {1-0 (21) Ulibin,M
(2523)-Munoz Pantoja,M (2459) Montcada 2013}) 16. O-O-O Ne5 {This whole line
was mentioned in a recent book on the Benoni by GM Petrov. The eveluation is
clear plus for White on the account of the game below.} 17. Rhe1 $146 {[%csl
Ye8][%cal Ge1e8] Diagram [#] The most natural move is a novelty. "I understood
that Shakhriyar is very well prepared and decided to play safe"- Jobava.} ({
The only predecessor saw:} 17. Na4 Qd8 18. Rde1 f5 19. f4 fxe4 20. fxe5 Bd3 21.
Qd1 Bxe5 {and eventhough White managed to win later it is quite obvious that
Black has at least clear compensation for the piece, Bern,I (2590)-Olafsson,H
(2545) Sweden 1994}) 17... Rec8 $1 {The idea is to meet the threat Nc3-a4 with
the next move.} ({The main problem for Black now is that he cannot play
actively with the knight} 17... Nc4 18. Bd3 Rxe1 19. Rxe1 Rxb2 20. Re8+ Bf8 21.
Qxb2 (21. Qa4 $1 {looks also very strong.}) 21... Nxb2 22. Bxa6 {and both the
players agreed that White has too much material for the queen.}) 18. Na4 Rb4 $1
{"I was chocked when you played this as I thought I was winning" said Baadur
to his opponent at the press conference. "Yes, but after..."} 19. f4 {"The
only move"-Shakh.} Nc4 20. Bf5 $1 {[%csl Rf7,Rh7][%cal Rf5c8,Yc2f5,Rf5f7,Rf5h7]
Diagram [#] "I remembered somehing- my analyzes", said Shakh. "Now White is
either winning, or losing."} ({One of the lines where White is losing arises
after the natural capture-} 20. Bxb4 $2 cxb4 21. Bd3 b3 $1 22. axb3 Bxb2+ $1
23. Nxb2 Qa1+ 24. Qb1 Na3+ $19) 20... Rcb8 {This time this is an only move for
Black.} ({Bad is} 20... gxf5 21. Qxf5 Qxa4 22. Qxf7+ Kh8 23. Bc3 {as it is
White who is mating.}) ({And also} 20... Nxd2 21. Bxc8 $18 {wins simply for
White.}) 21. Bxb4 Qxb4 22. a3 (22. Qb3 $5 gxf5 (22... Bb5 23. Qxb4 cxb4 24. Bc2
$18) 23. Qxb4 (23. Re7 Bb5 24. Nc3 Nxb2 25. Qxb4 cxb4 26. Nxb5 Nxd1 27. Nxd6
Bf8 28. Rxa7 Bxd6 29. Kxd1 Bxf4 30. Nxf7) 23... cxb4 {[%cal Ga6b5] followed by
Ba6-b5. "I did not like this as the bishop on g7 is very strong"- Jobava.} 24.
Re7 Bb5 25. Rxa7 Bxa4 26. Rxa4 Nxb2 27. Ra6 (27. Ra7)) 22... Nxa3 $1 {Missed
by Jobava.} ({White was hoping for} 22... Qa5 {although it seems as the
players were seeing ghosts in the post mortem-} 23. Bd3 $2 ({Probably White
should go for the wild complications after} 23. b3 Nxa3 24. Qd2 Qb5 25. Qe3
gxf5 26. Nxf7 Qxa4 $5 27. Nh6+ (27. bxa4 Rb1+ 28. Kd2 Rb2+ 29. Kc1 Rc2#) 27...
Bxh6 28. Qg3+ Kf7 29. Re7+ Kxe7 30. Qh4+ Kd7 31. bxa4 {when nothing is clear
as usual in this game.}) 23... Nxb2 24. Nxb2 Qxa3 ({None of them mentioned the
simple move} 24... Bxb2+ {after which it is Black who is winning} 25. Qxb2 Rxb2
26. Kxb2 Bxd3 27. Re8+ {or else the rook on e1 is hanging} Kg7 28. Rxd3 Qb5+ $1
{[%csl Rd3,Re8][%cal Rb5d3,Rb5e8]}) 25. Bxa6 Bc3 26. Rd3 {and even in this
line White is not winning, say} Qa1+ 27. Qb1 Bxb2+ 28. Kc2 Qa4+ 29. Kd2 Bc3+
30. Kxc3 Rxb1 31. Rxb1 Qxa6 {the active queen is capable of miracles when the
opponent's king is not safe.}) 23. bxa3 Qxa3+ ({Better than} 23... Qxf4+ 24.
Rd2 (24. Qd2 $2 Qxa4) 24... Qxg5 25. Bd3 c4 26. Bxc4 Rc8 (26... Qg3 $5 {is
still unclear!}) 27. Bxa6 Rxc2+ 28. Kxc2 {with the idea} Qh4 $2 29. Re8+ $18)
24. Kd2 Qg3 $1 {"Once that I found this move I thought it is great for me. I
have no rook, no knight, but that is OK!"- Mamedyarov.} 25. Rb1 $1 {Baadur
trades the active black rook and saves the game.} (25. Re4 gxf5 $19) 25...
Qxf4+ 26. Kd1 Rxb1+ 27. Qxb1 Qd4+ 28. Kc1 Qf4+ 29. Kd1 gxf5 {Shakh tries his
last chance for a win.} ({The Azeri GM did not like the endgame after} 29...
Qxa4+ 30. Qc2 Qd4+ 31. Qd2 Qxd2+ $6 ({Here too Black can force a draw if he
likes} 31... Qa1+ 32. Qc1 Qd4+ $11) 32. Kxd2 gxf5 33. Re8+ Bf8 34. Nxh7 $16)
30. Re8+ Bf8 {Diagram [#]} 31. Nxc5 $1 {Once more a very precise decision.} ({
The position remains equal after} 31. Rxf8+ Kxf8 32. Ne6+ fxe6 33. Qb8+ Kg7 34.
Qxa7+ Kf6 35. Qxa6 Qd4+ 36. Ke1 Qxd5 37. Nc3 $11 {but it is definitely much
easier to play here as Black!}) 31... Qd4+ 32. Kc1 Qxc5+ 33. Qc2 Qg1+ 34. Qd1
Qc5+ 35. Qc2 Qg1+ 36. Qd1 Qxg2 {The last try.} 37. Qh5 (37. Nxh7 Kxh7 38. Rxf8
Qxh3 39. Rxf7+ Kg6 {would be once more easier to play as Black albeit drawish.}
) 37... Qg1+ {And due to the mating threats Black is forced to give the
perpetual. One of those draws we would be happy to see more often!} 1/2-1/2

Congratulations to Dmitry Andreikin for the clear win of the event!

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