Aravind's Decisive Win

The Youth Chess Olympiad U 16 finished a week ago in Gyor, Hungary. It was a an excellently organized chess event with a lot of suspense till the last minute.
India deservedly won the gold medals, but before the final round they were only second in the co-lead with the Iranian team.
Everything was decided in their last match against Turkey and it all started greatly for them with this game:


Great Chess in Gyor

The chess Olympiad under 16 takes place in Gyor, Hungary. It is a great idea to allow a chance to these young and perspective players compete in an official forum that big and to let them show their fabulous attacking chess.
There are many interesting games produced in Hungary!
The game that I chose for you is between the teams of Georgia and Germany. The German player is the rating favourite and has more than 250 elo points advantage.
According to the regulations all the teams should consist of four boys and one girl. Not all of them however stick to this rule. Unfortunately, there are some teams which simply state they have one but she either does not play, or even did not travel with the team...
Hopefully this situation will change for good in the next Olympiad because girls are capable of playing great games.
Take Nino Khomeriki as an example!
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "World Youth U-16 Chess Olympiad 2014"]
[Site "Gyor"]
[Date "2014.12.16"]
[Round "5.3"]
[White "Vogel, Roven"]
[Black "Khomeriki, Nino"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A15"]
[WhiteElo "2401"]
[BlackElo "2141"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "56"]
[EventDate "2014.12.13"]
[EventRounds "10"]
[EventCountry "HUN"]
[WhiteTeam "Germany"]
[BlackTeam "Georgia"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "GER"]
[BlackTeamCountry "GEO"]

1. b3 {Vogel plays the opening in original way. A quick look at his games
revealed that he uses pretty much every opening.} e5 2. Bb2 d6 3. c4 {Now the
game transposes into the English opening, or if we put it in another way-the
Reversed Sicilian.} Nf6 4. e3 g6 5. d3 Bg7 6. Nf3 O-O 7. Be2 Nbd7 ({Another
interesting plan for Black is} 7... Nc6 8. O-O Ng4 9. Nfd2 f5 10. Bxg4 fxg4 11.
Ne4 Qh4 {with active play on the kingside in Delgado Ramirez,N (2619)-Flores,D
(2608) Buenos Aires 2010}) 8. O-O {And this is the reversed King's Indian
Attack...} Nh5 $146 {[%cal Gf7f5] Diagram [#] A novelty as early as on move
eight. Khomeriki prepares kingside attack. Usually Black authomatically
replies with} (8... Re8 {with the idea to put the knight from d7 to f8 and
then prepare either the central advance d6-d5 or the kingside attack.}) 9. Nfd2
{The knight steps back from the possible e5-e4 advance and hits the knight.} ({
For example} 9. Nbd2 $2 e4 $1 10. Bxg7 exf3 11. Bxf8 fxe2 12. Qxe2 Nxf8 $17 {
and Black wins material.}) ({Both} 9. Qc2) ({and} 9. Nc3 {were also possible.})
9... Qg5 10. Ne4 {White decided to punish his opponent for the risky play.} ({
But maybe} 10. Nc3 $5 {was more stable} f5 11. Bxh5 gxh5 12. f4 Qh6 13. Nf3 $14
(13. Nd5 c6)) 10... Qh4 11. g3 Qe7 $1 {Black sacrifices a pawn for the attack.
There was no way back} (11... Qh3 $4 12. Bg4 {loses the black queen.}) 12. Bxh5
gxh5 13. Qxh5 {Diagram [#]} f5 14. Nec3 Nc5 15. Qe2 f4 $1 {In return for the
pawn Khomeriki gained some time which she used for quick kingside attack.
Owing the two bishops is not bad at all neither.} 16. exf4 ({Or else the pawn
will advance even further} 16. Nd2 f3 17. Nxf3 (17. Qd1 Nxd3) 17... Bg4 $19)
16... Bh3 {Consistent but perhaps} (16... Qf7 $1 {was more precise. Then if
White dares to capture once more} 17. fxe5 Bh3 18. Rd1 (18. Re1 Nxd3 $1) 18...
Bxe5 {[%csl Ya1,Yb1,Yf1,Yf3,Yg2,Yh1][%cal Re8e1,Rf8f1] Diagram [#] will lead
to strong attack for Black. Please, note that} 19. d4 {loses to} Rae8 20. dxe5
Rxe5 {when Qf3-f3-g2 mate is unstoppable.}) 17. Nd2 (17. Re1 {might transpose
to the above-mentioned line after} Qf7) ({But} 17. d4 $1 {was the better
defense} Bxf1 18. Kxf1 Ne6 19. Nd5 Qd7 20. dxe5 dxe5 21. Bxe5 {with unclear
play.}) 17... Qd7 $1 {Very good understanding by the Georgian girl! The bishop
on h3 is more important in the attack than the rook on f1 and she keeps it.} (
17... Qf7 {was also good.}) 18. Nde4 {It is diffciult to give a good advice to
Vogel. He is logically trying to shut the e file.} exf4 19. Nd5 $2 ({The
light-squared bishop can show teeth in case of} 19. Rfe1 Bg4 $5 20. f3 (20. Qf1
Nxe4 21. dxe4 fxg3 22. hxg3 Bf3 $1) 20... Nxe4 21. Nxe4 Bxf3 22. Qxf3 Bxb2 {
but maybe this was teh lesser evil for White.}) 19... Bxf1 {Now Khomeriki
takes the rook as she has full control of the light squares.} 20. Rxf1 f3 $1 {
Diagram [#]} 21. Qd2 Nxe4 22. dxe4 Bxb2 23. Qxb2 Qh3 24. Ne3 Rae8 {with the
threat to shift the rook along the sixth rank to h6. White is helpless.} 25.
Kh1 (25. Rd1 Re6 26. Rd5 Rh6 27. Rg5+ Kf7 28. Qg7+ Ke8 $19) 25... Re6 26. Qd2
Rh6 27. Qd5+ Kh8 28. Qd4+ Rff6 {Checks are over. White resigned. Wonderful
understanding of the attacking ideas by Nino Khomeriki!} 0-1

Today is the final round of the Olympiad. Iran and India are leading the field.
Complete report.


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Vishy Wins!

Photo © John Saunders

The former world champion Vishy Anand said it right at the after-game analyzes: "I knew that with the soccer system the tournament definitely cannot be won. But there is a very high probability to end on last place." Which already speaks a lot about his attitude towards the last game at the LCC. Still, a silent Berlin quickly appeared on the board:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "6th London Chess Classic"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2014.12.14"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Adams, Michael"]
[Black "Anand , Viswanathan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C67"]
[WhiteElo "2745"]
[BlackElo "2793"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "72"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 {I can almost hear the sigh of disbelief from
Anand's admirers when the Berlin appeared on the board. It has the reputation
of a very solid and drawish opening, but like I mentioned this many times
already it is also played for a win at the highest level.} 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4
Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 Ke8 {Vishy had tried many
sublines in the Berlin and today he opted for the "modern" positioning of the
king.} 10. Nc3 h5 11. Rd1 {Diagram [#] I read somewhere that Mickey was the
secret Anti-Berlin weapon for Magnus Carlsen in the WCC in Sochi this year.} ({
Adams deviates from a game that was played less than a month ago} 11. Ne2 b6
12. Rd1 Ba6 13. Nf4 Bb7 {This was an excellent novelty which solved Black's
problems at once.} 14. e6 Bd6 15. exf7+ Kxf7 16. Ng5+ Kf6 17. Ne4+ Kf7 18. Ng5+
Kf6 19. Ne4+ Kf7 20. Ng5+ {1/2 (20) Carlsen,M (2863)-Anand,V (2792) Sochi 2014}
) 11... Be7 12. g3 b6 13. a4 Bb7 $146 {Curiously, it is once again Anand who
produces a novelty and once more it is the Bb7 move!} ({Previously} 13... a5 {
had been played by a great expert of the Berlin wall} 14. Bf4 Rg8 15. Ng5 Bb7
16. Rd3 Ba6 17. Rd2 Rd8 18. Rad1 Bc8 19. Kh2 Rxd2 20. Rxd2 Bd8 $11 {Efimenko,Z
(2689)-Bacrot,E (2705) Germany 2012}) 14. a5 ({The generally desirable trade
of the dark-squared bishops allows a fine square for the black king} 14. Bg5
Bxg5 15. Nxg5 Ke7 $11) 14... c5 {Vishy believes that the pawn thrust is not as
dangerous and that the long diagonal is of a greater importance,} 15. Nd5 Bd8 (
{The curious pawn sacrifice} 15... Rd8 16. Nxc7+ Kf8 17. Rxd8+ Bxd8 {where the
two white knights are hanging is not that appealing once that Black spots the
line} 18. axb6 axb6 19. Ne1 Bxc7 20. Ra7 $1) 16. Bg5 ({However Mickey could
have tried} 16. c4 $5 {at once with his knight controlling the d4 square.}) ({
Nothing gives} 16. axb6 axb6 17. Rxa8 Bxa8 $11) 16... Rf8 $1 {Diagram [#]
"This move was very important and I still have that counterplay along the
diagonal if he takes the pawn"- Vishy} ({he former world champion was also
considering} 16... Bxd5 17. Rxd5 Bxg5 18. Nxg5 Ke7 {but he was not sure that
the pawn sacrifice will be sound after} 19. Rad1 ({However, there was also the
typical central strike} 19. e6 $1 fxe6 20. Re1 $16 {with the tactical point}
Kf6 21. Rxe6+ Kxg5 22. f4#) 19... Rhd8 (19... Nd4 20. c3 $1 {wins for White})
20. Rxd8 Rxd8 21. Rxd8 Kxd8 22. Nxf7+ Ke7 {Sometimes this is enogh for an
equality stated Anand, but maybe not here, for instance} 23. Ng5 Nd4 24. c3
Ne2+ 25. Kf1 Nc1 26. a6 $1 (26. axb6 cxb6 $1) 26... Nd3 27. f4 Nxb2 ({Or} 27...
h4 28. Ke2 c4 29. gxh4 Nxf4+ 30. Ke3 Nd3 31. Nf3 Nxb2 32. Nd4 $16) 28. Ke2 $16)
17. c4 {Vishy did not like this move as it weakens the d4 square. This is an
excellent outpost for the black knight.} ({If White wants equality he could go
for} 17. Bxd8 {but Adams was still hoping for something more} Bxd5 18. Rxd5
Rxd8 19. Rxd8+ Kxd8 20. axb6 axb6 21. Ra8+ Ke7 $11) 17... Bxd5 18. Rxd5 ({
Nobody mentioned the other capture} 18. cxd5 $5 {but my feeling is that it was
good for White thanks to this little tactics} Bxg5 19. axb6 $1 {and if Black
keeps the bishop} Be7 (19... cxb6 {might be better but now Black will not be
able to undermine the white pawn center with c7-c6 like in the game.} 20. Nxg5
Nd4 21. Kg2 (21. f4 $5) 21... f6 22. exf6 gxf6 23. Re1+ Kd7 24. Ne6 $36) 20.
bxc7 {he is definitely in trouble. Just look at the white pawn mass in the
center!}) 18... Bxg5 19. Nxg5 Ke7 {[%cal Ga8d8] Diagram [#] Now Black
equalizes ad starts thinking of something more.} 20. Kg2 ({This time} 20. Rad1
{does not work to} Nd4 $1 {as there is no c2-c3 resource.}) 20... Nd4 21. Rd1 (
{One little nice trick was pointed by Vishy} 21. b4 Ne6 $1 {wins a pawn for
Black.}) 21... Rad8 {The knight on d4 holds black's position together until he
trades a pair of rooks. Once that the penetration on the seventh rank is out
of the question, Black can start attacking the overexposed pawn(s) on e5 and
possible d5.} ({Another idea was} 21... c6 22. Rd6 f6 23. Ne4 fxe5 24. Rg6 {"I
did not see Black getting anywhere" Anand.}) 22. Nf3 ({If} 22. Rxd8 Rxd8 23.
axb6 axb6 24. Ne4 {Black can go for the e5 pawn at once} Ke6 25. Ng5+ Kf5 26.
Nxf7 Rf8) 22... c6 ({Vishy was also considering the move} 22... Rxd5 {with the
idea to attack the white pawns later, but saw a nice idea for Mickey} 23. cxd5
Nxf3 (23... Nb3 24. axb6 axb6 25. d6+ (25. Nh4) 25... Kd7 26. Ng5 Nd4 27. dxc7
Kxc7 28. Ra1 $132) 24. Kxf3 f6 25. e6 Rd8 26. Ke4 {[%cal Gf2f4,Gf4f5] Diagram
[#] with the idea of a fast f2-f4-f5, when the undermining move} c6 $2 {fails
to} 27. dxc6 $1 Rxd1 28. c7 {and White wins.}) 23. Rxd8 Rxd8 24. Ng5 ({They
both agreed that White was holding after} 24. axb6 axb6 25. Rd3 Nxf3 26. Rxd8
Nh4+ 27. gxh4 Kxd8 28. f4 g6 29. Kf3 Ke7 30. b3 Ke6 31. Ke4 b5 32. Kd3 Kf5 33.
Ke3 $11) 24... b5 ({The play along the b file is not fast enough} 24... bxa5
25. Ne4 Rb8 26. Nxc5 Ne6 {(Anand) and here strong is} 27. Rd7+ $1 Ke8 28. Rb7)
25. cxb5 cxb5 {Black achieved a lot. He has a very strong knight in the center,
active king and pawn majority on the queenside. It is not pleasant for Adams
at all but it was hard to believe that his position will collapse that soon.}
26. Ne4 Nc6 $1 {A nice winning try.} 27. Rxd8 Kxd8 {[%csl Ya5,Rc5,Ye5] Diagram
[#]} 28. e6 $2 {A mistake. Mickey did not trust his kingside pawns and this
lost the game for him.} ({Also dubious is} 28. a6 $6 Nxe5 29. Nxc5 Kc7 $17) ({
However} 28. f4 $1 {was strong when White has enough counterplay after both}
Nxa5 ({Or} 28... c4 29. Nd6 a6 30. Nxf7+ Kd7 31. Kf3 Nxa5 32. Nd6) 29. Nxc5 Kc7
30. e6 $1 {The key move!} fxe6 (30... f6 $4 31. e7) 31. Nxe6+ Kd6 32. Nxg7 Nc4
33. Nf5+ Kd5 34. Kf3 Nxb2 35. Ne3+ Kd4 (35... Ke6 36. Ke4) 36. g4 hxg4+ 37.
hxg4 {and it should be a draw after say} Nc4 38. Nxc4 Kxc4 39. g5 Kd5 40. g6
Ke6 41. f5+ Kf6 42. Ke4 a5 43. Kd4 b4 $11) 28... fxe6 29. Nxc5 Ke7 $17 {[%csl
Ya5,Yb2][%cal Ge7d6,Gd6d5,Gd5c4,Gc4b3,Yc6a5] Diagram [#] Now that the game
gets one-sided it is the activity of the kings that decides.} 30. Nb3 Kd6 31.
Kf3 Kd5 32. Kf4 Kc4 33. Nc1 ({Anand had already seen the win after the more
resilent} 33. Nd2+ Kd3 34. Nf3 (34. Ne4 e5+ 35. Kf5 g6+ $19) 34... b4 $1 $19 ({
Rather than} 34... Nxa5 35. Ne5+ Kc2 36. b4 Nc4 37. Nc6)) 33... Nxa5 34. Kg5
Nb3 35. Ne2 b4 $1 36. Kxh5 a5 {The rook pawns are most unpleasant for the
knights and this one is unstoppable! This was the only win for the black
pieces at the LCC and it gave the best tie break to Vishy Anand who won the
tournament!} 0-1

Complete report.


Nakamura Wins in Round Four

the only decisive game in round four at the LCC was the one between the American GM Hikaru Nakamura and the local Michael Adams.
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "6th London Chess Classic"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2014.12.13"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Adams, Michael"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D30"]
[WhiteElo "2767"]
[BlackElo "2745"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "79"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]

1. d4 {After the fascinating Evans gambit Hikaru switches to the semi-closed
openings. Which does not mean that he is up for a lenghty maneuvering battle...
} Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Bg5 Be7 5. Qc2 {Diagram [#] The words with which
Hikaru described his game in the opening are fun to listen "Well, I do not
know, it was interesting, I kind of just played something..."} ({The usual
continuation is} 5. Nc3 h6 6. Bh4 O-O 7. e3 Ne4 {and this was played by
Nakamura himself with the black pieces recently} 8. Bxe7 Qxe7 9. Rc1 c6 10. Bd3
Nxc3 11. Rxc3 dxc4 12. Rxc4 Nd7 13. O-O e5 {Aronian,L (2801)-Nakamura,H (2786)
Antalya 2013}) 5... h6 6. Bxf6 Bxf6 7. e3 c5 $6 $146 {Adams felt tempted to
use the absence of the white knight on c3 and strike in the center at once. t
will turn out that this attempt is premature and that the American GM had done
his homework well.} ({Instead} 7... O-O {would have transposed into the usual
QGD} 8. Nc3 b6 {and also} (8... c5) ({or} 8... c6 {are normal continuations})
9. O-O-O $5 Bb7 10. cxd5 exd5 {with interesting play.}) 8. cxd5 cxd4 9. Bb5+ {
The forced play is favourable for the first player who is slightly better
developed.} Bd7 10. dxe6 $1 {Diagram [#] A nice temporary piece sacrifice,
which was part of Nakamura's preparation.} (10. Bxd7+ Qxd7 11. dxe6 Qxe6 12.
O-O Nc6 13. exd4 O-O $1 {is nothing for White.}) 10... Qa5+ ({The bishop on b5
is defended tactically} 10... Bxb5 11. exf7+ Kd7 {or else White regains the
piece at once} (11... Ke7 12. Qc5+) (11... Kf8 12. Qc5+) (11... Kxf7 12. Qb3+
$16) 12. Qf5+ Kc6 13. a4 Ba6 14. b4 {and White will regain the material and
will have strong attack fro free} dxe3 15. b5+ Kb6 16. Ra3 exf2+ 17. Kxf2 $18)
11. Nbd2 Qxb5 ({Hikaru revealed at the press-conference that he mainly checked
the line} 11... Bxb5 12. Qc8+ Qd8 (12... Bd8 13. exf7+ Kxf7 14. Qxb7+ Bc7 15.
Nxd4 $1 {[%csl Ra8,Rb5][%cal Rb7a8,Rb7b5] loses heavily material for Black.}) (
{Nigel Short was very excited to play in "immortal style"} 12... Ke7 13. Qxh8 (
13. Qxb7+ Kxe6 {is unclear, to say at least...}) 13... Nd7 14. Qxa8 Nc5 15. Qc8
Nd3+ 16. Kf1 Nf4+ 17. Nc4 {"And that's the end of the excitement" Short.}) 13.
Qxb7 O-O 14. Qxb5 $1 $16 {The key move pointed out by Hikaru. Indeed, the rook
is poisoned} (14. Qxa8 $2 dxe3 15. fxe3 Qd3 16. exf7+ Kh8 17. Kf2 Qe2+ 18. Kg3
Bc6 19. Qxa7 Be5+ 20. Kh3 Bd7+ 21. g4 Rxf7 {with decisive attack for Black} 22.
Nxe5 Bxg4+ 23. Nxg4 Rxa7 $19)) 12. exd7+ Nxd7 13. Qe4+ Kf8 14. Nxd4 Qxb2 15.
Rb1 Qxa2 16. Qxb7 {Diagram [#] All these moves were more or less forced. Now a
curious situation arises where it becomes evident that Black will sooner or
later lose his a pawn and there will be an endgame four versus three on the
kingside. Will this be a win for White or a draw will depend on the
remaining pieces and the pawn structure. For example, very good for White
will be a pure knight endgame which a theoretical win. Very good for Black
will be a single rook endgame which is usually a draw. A critical moment had
arisen and Mickey has to make tough choice.} Rd8 (16... Rb8 $1 {suggested by
Hikaru was better. After} 17. Qxd7 Rxb1+ 18. Nxb1 Qxb1+ 19. Ke2 Qb2+ ({Black
cannot win the rook due to a cunning checkmate} 19... Qxh1 $4 20. Qc8+ Ke7 21.
Nf5# {[%csl Gc8,Re7,Gf5]}) 20. Kf3 g6 21. Qxa7 Bxd4 22. Qxd4 {[%csl Gb2,Rd4,
Rh1,Gh8] Diagram [#] Black will achieve one of the good combinations of pieces
when the game should be objectively a draw} Qb7+ 23. Kg3 Kg8 24. Ra1 Kh7 25.
Ra7 Qb8+ {"should be a draw"- Nakamura, Short.}) 17. Qb4+ ({Initially Nakamura
wanted to play} 17. Nc6 {but then he thought he is losing after} Nc5 $1 18. Qb4
Kg8 19. O-O Na6 {"I completely missed this move" Hikaru} 20. Qg4 h5 {A closer
look at the position reveals that it is a draw} 21. Qh3 Rxd2 22. Qc8+ Kh7 23.
Qf5+ Kg8 ({as Black cannot avoid the repetition with} 23... Kh6 $4 24. Rb5 $1
$18) 24. Qc8+ $11) 17... Kg8 18. O-O {Now logically the endgame in question
appears on the board after the sequence} a5 19. Qc3 Qd5 20. Qc7 Nf8 21. Rb5 Qd7
22. Qxd7 Rxd7 23. N2f3 Bxd4 24. Nxd4 {This weakens the pawn structure but the
knight is a trouble-maker and should be traded.} Ne6 ({The pawn can never be
saved} 24... Ra7 25. Ra1 a4 26. Rb4 a3 27. Rb3 a2 28. Rb2) 25. Nxe6 fxe6 26.
Rxa5 Kf7 27. g4 $1 {[%csl Re6][%cal Gh2h4,Gh4h5,Gg1g2,Gg2g3,Gf1b1,Gb1b5,Gb5e5,
Ga5a6,Ga6e6,Ge5e6,Yf2f4,Yg4g5] Diagram [#] White's plan is to advance the h
pawn to h5, bring the king to g3, eventually attack the e6 pawn with both
rooks (on a6 and e5 for example) and then push f2-f4 and g4-g5. Nakamura
thought that he has decent winning chances with both the rooks on the board
and cosidered the position a draw with a single pair of rooks.} Rc8 {[%cal
Gg1g2,Gg2g3,Gh2h4,Gh4h5,Gf2f4] It should be noted though that Vishy Anand's
classical knowledge and excellent memory gave us a good example to study and
understand the arising endgame. He mentioned the game Karpov-Hort, Waddinxween
1979 where the world champion then managed to win a similar endgame with only
one pair of rooks!} ({From the comment above, Nakamura suggested the idea}
27... Rhd8 28. h4 ({and he thought he needs to keep the two rooks alive with
the passive} 28. Raa1) 28... Rd1 29. Rxd1 Rxd1+ 30. Kg2 {[%cal Gh4h5,Gf2f4,
Gg2f3,Gf3e4]}) 28. Rb1 Rc2 ({Or else White improves the position as above}
28... Rdc7 29. Kg2 Rd7 30. h4 Rdc7 31. h5 Rd7 32. Kg3 Rdc7 33. Rbb5 Rd7 34. f4
{[%csl Ye6][%cal Gb5e5,Ga5a6,Gg4g5]}) 29. Ra8 Rc4 30. h3 h5 {A blunder.
Passive defense was more stubborn.} 31. gxh5 Rh4 32. Rh8 Kf6 ({Alas, the pawn
is untouchable} 32... Rxh3 $2 33. Kg2 Rh4 34. f4 $18 {[%csl Yh4] "The rook is
inboxed" Nakamura.} Rd5 35. Rb7+ Kf6 36. Rf8#) 33. Kh2 $1 {[%cal Rg1g8]
Diagram [#] The g file decides the battle.} Rd5 34. Rf8+ Ke7 35. Rf3 Rf5 ({
Black loses a second pawn after} 35... Rhxh5 36. Rb7+ Rd7 37. Rxd7+ Kxd7 38.
Rf7+) 36. Rxf5 exf5 37. Rg1 Kf6 38. Rg6+ Kf7 39. Rg5 Kf6 (39... f4 40. Rf5+ Ke6
41. Rxf4) 40. f4 {Diagram [#] The rook is lost, Adams resigned. A very nice
example of a nice opening preparation which lasted till the endgame!} 1-0

Complete report.


A Tribute to Captain Evans

Round three of London Chess Classic saw only peaceful games at the end. And while two of the games were solid Berlin defenses the third one was a different affair:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "6th London Chess Classic"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2014.12.12"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C52"]
[WhiteElo "2775"]
[BlackElo "2793"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "71"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 {Diagram [#] Wow! The Evans Gambit at the
highest possible level! Hikaru supoprts his reputation of a trouble-maker.
Some years back he tried the King's Gambit, now it is the turn of the Evans
one. "It is an English opening", Hikaru explained later, "and much better
than the King's gambit." Since the opening is named after the Welsh sea
Captain William Davies Evans the hosts felt quite enthusiastic about it and
Nijel Short even joked that Nakamura had already deserved his next year's
invitation with this choice.} Bxb4 5. c3 Ba5 {On the other hand, Hikaru's
opening choice should not be a complete surprive if we recall the player who
revived the gamebit. Garry Kasparov that is, yes! The following crushing game
was played roughly 25 years ago, and the victim is... Anand} (5... Be7 6. d4
Na5 7. Be2 $5 exd4 8. Qxd4 $1 $146 Nf6 $6 (8... d6 $5 9. Qxg7 Bf6 10. Qg3 Qe7)
9. e5 Nc6 10. Qh4 Nd5 11. Qg3 g6 (11... O-O $6 12. Bh6 g6 13. h4 $5 $40) 12.
O-O Nb6 (12... d6 13. Rd1 $44) 13. c4 d6 14. Rd1 Nd7 15. Bh6 $1 {and Garry
went on to win in mere 25 moves, Kasparov,G (2805)-Anand,V (2715) Riga 1995.
We should not forget that Nakamura worked with Kasparov some years back. Vishy
on his turn menntioned at the press conference that he had looked at the Evans
recently.}) 6. d4 d6 7. Qb3 Qd7 8. dxe5 Bb6 9. a4 {Diagram [#] "This got me
slightly off-line" Vishy. Indeed, this is quite a rare move and the majority
of the games continued instead} (9. Nbd2 {One recent example saw} dxe5 10. Ba3
Na5 11. Qb4 c5 12. Qb2 Nxc4 13. Nxc4 Qe6 14. Nfxe5 Nf6 15. Qb5+ Nd7 16. Rd1 a6
17. Qb3 Bc7 18. Nd6+ Bxd6 19. Qxe6+ fxe6 20. Nxd7 Bxd7 21. Rxd6 {with pressure
for White in Najer,E (2664)-Melkumyan,H (2649) Germany 2012 rue, Black has
plenty of scope for improvement upon this game.}) 9... Na5 {The ight-squared
bishop is a beast and should be traded at once!} 10. Qa2 Nxc4 11. Qxc4 Ne7 ({
Please note that the pawn is untouchable} 11... dxe5 12. a5 {and this is one
of the ideas behind the a2-a4 push.}) 12. exd6 ({If} 12. O-O {then} d5 {is
possible and the players agreed there is no problem at all for Black.}) 12...
cxd6 13. O-O $146 ({There is a predecessor:} 13. a5 Bc7 (13... Bc5 $5 {can
transpose to the game}) 14. O-O O-O 15. Rd1 Nc6 16. Be3 Re8 17. Qd5 {with some
pressure for White in Spiegel,W (2363)-Koegeler,A (2242) ICCF email 2010})
13... O-O {Vishy decided to make the sensible and solid moves first and not to
risk unnecessarily.} ({Black cannot easily clarify the situation in the center
as he risks to get stuck with the king in the middle} 13... d5 14. exd5 Qxd5
15. Qe2 Be6 16. Rd1 Qa5 17. Ba3 $1 $40) 14. Qd3 Ng6 ({There was a second route
for the knight} 14... Nc6 {and from here the knight will stop all the a4-a5
ideas. Black is comfortable after} 15. Na3 {(Nakamura)} Ne5 16. Nxe5 dxe5 17.
Qxd7 Bxd7 18. Nc4 Bc7 19. Ba3 Rfc8 {The players briefly discussed this
position and I tend to agree with Anand who was optimistic about the black
chances. He owes the bishop pair an dthe better pawn structure and it is
Nakamura who needs to prove equality.}) 15. a5 Bc5 16. Be3 {Diagram [#] White
wants to attack the d6 pawn and needs the bishops off the board.} Re8 {Vishy
plays in a very classical way and prepares the d6-d5 advance.} (16... Qe7 {
[%cal Gf7f5,Gc8d7]} 17. Nbd2 Ne5 {looks OK for Black as well.}) 17. Nbd2 Bxe3
18. Qxe3 d5 19. Rfe1 dxe4 20. Nxe4 {The weak isolated pawn disappeared but
White has the initiative. He threatens now Ne4-f6!} Qe7 ({There is a second
defensive way} 20... Re7 21. Qd4 Qxd4 22. Nxd4 Be6 {when Black solves the
problem of the bishop development.}) 21. Nd6 Qxe3 22. fxe3 Rd8 {The white
pawns are a mess but since Black did not finish the development there are
various problems along the open d and half-open b files.} ({Hikaru thought that
} 22... Re6 {is the easier eqaulizer} 23. Rad1 Ne5 24. Nb5 Nxf3+ 25. gxf3 Rg6+
26. Kf2 Bh3 $11) 23. Red1 Rb8 24. Rd4 ({In case of} 24. c4 {Anand intended} b6
25. a6 Ne7 $1 {with the idea Ne7-c6. The knight defends the a7 pawn and
further intends Nc6-a5 to win the a6 one.} 26. Ne5 f6) 24... Be6 {The bishop
is out and it is time for White to take care of the balance.} 25. c4 b6 26.
axb6 axb6 27. Ra7 h6 28. h3 Ra8 29. Rb7 Rdb8 30. Rc7 {Nakamura keeps the
active rook on the board.} Ra5 $1 31. Kh2 Rc5 32. Ra7 Kf8 33. g4 {Diagram [#]}
Ra5 {Vishy forces the draw.} ({He could have tried to play a bit further with}
33... Ne7 $5 {Indeed, he is not risking at all thanks to his better pawn
structure. At least until Hikaru starts shooting tactics} 34. Rf4 {"I would
have played for tricks" Nakamura} Nc8 35. Nd4 {Looks very scary for Black, but
he has at least two good replies} ({Instead} 35. Nxc8 {forces a draw} Rbxc8 36.
Rb7 Rxc4 37. Rxb6 $11) 35... Bxc4 $1 {(Anand)} (35... Nxd6 $2 36. Nxe6+ Kg8 37.
Nxc5) (35... Nxa7 36. Nxe6+ Ke7 37. Nxc5 Kxd6 $11) 36. Nxc4 Nxa7 37. Ne6+ Kg8
38. Nxc5 bxc5 {and Black wins a pawn.}) 34. Rc7 {Nakamura cannot avoid the
repetition.} (34. Rxa5 bxa5 $15) 34... Rc5 35. Ra7 (35. Rxc5 bxc5 36. Rd3 Rd8
$15) 35... Ra5 36. Rc7 1/2-1/2

Complete report.


Giri and Kramnik in the Lead

Two games proved decisive yesterday in London. Vladimir Kramnik won quickly to Hikaru Nakamura and Anish Giri managed to grind down Michael Adams's stubborn defense at the end.
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "6th London Chess Classic"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2014.12.11"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "Adams, Michael"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E04"]
[WhiteElo "2768"]
[BlackElo "2745"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "93"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Bb4+ 5. Nd2 (5. Bd2 {is the more
conventional choice but Anish prepared something interesting for the game.})
5... O-O 6. Ngf3 dxc4 7. Qc2 {[%csl Yh7][%cal Gc2h7] Diagram [#] A tricky
opening line.} ({Caruana had tested the castling twice. His game with Gelfand
saw} 7. O-O b5 8. a4 c6 9. b3 c3 10. Nb1 Bb7 11. Qc2 bxa4 12. Rxa4 c5 13. Nxc3
a5 {with approximately equal chances, Caruana,F (2697)-Gelfand,B (2739)
Amsterdam 2010}) 7... c5 {Anish thought that Mickey was not too familiar with
the line. According to my Megabase, this is the third main move.} ({The main
move is} 7... Nc6 {One recent game saw} 8. Qxc4 Qd5 9. O-O Bxd2 10. Qxd5 exd5
11. Bxd2 Re8 12. e3 Bf5 13. Rfc1 Be4 {and Black held the ballance in Belov,V
(2625)-Tomashevsky,E (2708) Irkutsk 2010}) ({The idea of White's early queen
sortie is revealed in the line} 7... b5 8. a4 $1 c6 (8... bxa4 9. O-O {is very
nice for White who enjoys clear play against the black weak pawns.}) 9. axb5
cxb5 $2 ({Black can avaoid the immediate disater but his position will not be
enviable after} 9... Qd5 10. b6 Ba6 11. bxa7 Bxd2+ 12. Bxd2 Rxa7 13. O-O $16 {
Roiz,M (2579)-Gaprindashvili,V (2415) Warsaw 2005}) 10. Ng5 $1 $18 {White win
at least the exchange as} Nd5 11. Qxh7# {does not look great for the second
player...Giri revealed that a lot of Grandmasters had felt for this idea only
to realize in the process the Nf3-g5! resource.}) 8. dxc5 c3 {It is useful to
break the opponent's pawn chain whenever possible.} 9. bxc3 Bxc5 10. O-O Qc7 ({
More natural seems to be the development of the knight} 10... Nc6 {This was
played three times by Sergey Tiviakov. Giri mentioned the idea} 11. Ng5 ({
Rather than} 11. Ne4 Be7 12. Rd1 Qa5 13. Nd4 Nxd4 14. cxd4 Bd7 15. Nxf6+ Bxf6
16. Bxb7 Rab8 17. Be4 Ba4 18. Qd2 Qd8 19. Ba3 Re8 20. Bc2 Bxc2 21. Qxc2 Bxd4 {
1/2 (21) Riazantsev,A (2621)-Tiviakov,S (2663) Sochi 2007}) 11... h6 12. Nde4
Nxe4 13. Nxe4 Be7 14. Rd1 Qc7 {although the impression is that Black should be
able to gradually equalize. If he did not already.}) 11. Ne4 $146 {[%cal Gg2a8,
Gf4b8] A logical novelty. White clears the road for his pieces.} ({The only
previous game saw the interesting pawn sacrifice} 11. Nc4 $5 {which Tiviakov
decided not to accept} Nbd7 (11... Bxf2+ 12. Rxf2 Qxc4 13. Ba3 Re8 14. Ng5 {
would lead to sharp, lively play instead.}) 12. Qb3 e5 13. a4 Rb8 14. Bg5 Re8
15. a5 Bf8 16. Na3 a6 17. Nc4 b5 18. axb6 Nxb6 19. Nxb6 Rxb6 $11 {Kaidanov,G
(2540)-Tiviakov,S (2520) Torcy 1991}) 11... Nxe4 12. Qxe4 Nd7 13. Bf4 $14 {
White's lead in the development gives him the advantage.} Bd6 14. Bxd6 Qxd6 15.
Rfd1 Qc7 (15... Qc5 {can be answered} 16. Rab1 {when the pawn on c3 is
untouchable} (16. Qb4 {is not bad either.}) 16... Qxc3 17. Rbc1 Qa5 18. Rxc8
Raxc8 19. Rxd7 $16) 16. Qb4 {[%csl Yb7,Rc8][%cal Gg2b7,Gb1b8] Black's main
problem is his bishop on c8. If it can come out and jump on c6, everything
will be fine. But since the white bishop dominates on the long diagonal and
the half-open b file is in White's hands this is not easy to achieve. That is
what Catalan is all about!} Nf6 (16... Nc5 17. Nd4 Bd7 18. Nb3 Nxb3 19. axb3
Bc6 20. Qc5 {is aline given by Giri where he believed he wins a pawn. If go a
bit deeper} Qb6 21. Qxb6 axb6 22. Rxa8 Rxa8 23. Bxc6 bxc6 24. Rd6 Rc8 25. f4 {
we see that the rook endgame is very unpleasant for Black. The active rook
makes the big difference. Still, from a hinsight this was probably Black's
best chance.}) 17. Nd4 {Opens the g2 monster and threatens Nd4-b5-d6.} a6 18.
Nb3 a5 $6 {An important moment. Adams lures teh queen on c5 in order to win a
tempo for the b7-b6 move and free the bishop. That appears a bit slow though.}
({Giri was afraid of the typical pawn sacrifice} 18... Nd5 $5 19. Bxd5 exd5 20.
Rxd5 Be6 21. Rc5 Qe7 (21... Qd7 $5) 22. Nd4 Bh3 {For the pawn Black has some
play on the light squares and a good bishop. Still, White should be better.})
19. Qc5 Qb8 ({Black loses a pawn in the endgame} 19... Qxc5 20. Nxc5 Rb8 21.
Rab1 b6 22. Rd6 b5 23. a4 b4 24. cxb4 axb4 25. Rd4 $18) 20. Rab1 {Mounts the
pressure along the b file. Mickey will have to sacrifice a pawn to free his
position sooner or later. However Anish missed some counterplay by his
opponent.} (20. Rd6 $5 {not to allow b7-b6 was also good, for example} Nd7 21.
Qa3 Ne5 22. Nd2 Qc7 23. Rb1 {and White dominates.}) 20... b6 21. Qd6 Nd5 $1 {
Or else Black is completely paralized} (21... Qxd6 22. Rxd6 Ra6 (22... Rb8 23.
Nxa5) 23. Nd4 e5 24. Nb5 $16) 22. Qxb8 Rxb8 23. Bxd5 exd5 24. Nxa5 {Captures
the more important pawn.} (24. Rxd5 Be6 25. Rd2 Rfc8 26. Rc1 b5 27. Nxa5 b4 28.
c4 Ra8 29. Nb3 Rxc4 30. Rxc4 Bxc4 {gives excellent drawing chances to Black.})
24... Bf5 $1 {Initially missed by White when he played Ra1-b1.} 25. Nc6 Bxb1
26. Nxb8 Bxa2 27. Nd7 Re8 28. Nxb6 Rxe2 {[%csl Ga2,Ge2] Diagram [#] Mickey can
be happy with his defense so far. He managed to trade a lot of pawns and
activate his pieces. Anish tries his best chance} 29. c4 $1 ({The rook endgame
after} 29. Nxd5 Bxd5 30. Rxd5 g6 {should be a draw with precise defense. The
most dangerous passer on the queenside in these situations is the b one.})
29... Kf8 30. Rxd5 $1 {Giri admitted at the press conference that the position
should be objectively a draw "Of course" and started producing devilish tricks.
} ({Black holds after} 30. cxd5 Ke7 (30... Rb2 31. d6 Ke8 32. d7+ Kd8 33. Rd6
Rc2 {followed by Ba2-e6 and Rc2-c7 is equal as well.}) 31. d6+ Kd8 32. Rc1 Be6
33. d7 (33. Ra1 Ba2 $1) 33... Bxd7 34. Rd1 Re7 $11) 30... Bb1 {The move in the
game intended to meet the natural} (30... Re6 {with the nice regrouping} 31.
Rb5 $1 Rc6 32. Nd5 {threatens back-rank mate.} Rc8 33. Rb4 g6 ({One more trcik
is seen after} 33... Bxc4 $2 34. Nb6) (33... Rxc4 34. Rb8+ Rc8 35. Rxc8#) 34.
Ne3 {the pawn is well defended and more importantly- the black bishop is out
of the game for very long time, if not for ever.}) 31. Rd8+ $1 {An important
in-between check. Anish did not want to allow the bishop a chance to seize the
long diagonal} (31. Kf1 Rb2 32. c5 Be4 {when Black will have plenty of
counterplay.}) 31... Ke7 32. Rd1 Bc2 $6 ({Now} 32... Be4 33. Kf1 Rb2 34. Nc8+ {
looks awkward for Black. In the arising time trouble Adams did not dare to go
for this line and this was probably a mistake. After} (34. Re1 Rxb6 35. Rxe4+
Kd6 {is very close to a draw}) 34... Kf6 35. Rc1 Ra2 36. c5 Bc6 {[%cal Gf6e6,
Ge6d5] Black should be able to hold.}) 33. Nc8+ {One more nasty in-between
check.} Kf6 ({White's idea is revealed in the line} 33... Ke8 34. Rd4 Re1+ 35.
Kg2 Be4+ $2 36. Rxe4+ Rxe4 37. Nd6+ $18) 34. Rd6+ Kg5 ({The central sqaure is
not advisible due to the tricky knight again} 34... Ke5 $2 35. Kf1 Re4 36. f4+
Kf5 37. Rd2 {with the dual threat of a knight fork and the bishop.}) 35. Kf1
Re8 36. Rd5+ (36. Nb6 $5) 36... Kf6 37. Nd6 Ra8 38. Ke2 {Giri made a lot of
progress. He centralized his pieces and the king and deprived the black pieces
from their best squares. It is somewhat unusual to see the bishop dominated by
the knight in such an empty board.} Ra1 {Diagram [#] A blunder in the time
trouble.} ({Both the king moves were preferable} 38... Ke6 39. Nb5 Ke7) ({Or}
38... Ke7 39. Ke3 {In either case though it is not certain if Black could
survive.}) 39. Ne8+ $1 {White wins a second pawn and the game.} Kg6 (39... Ke7
40. Nxg7) 40. Rd6+ f6 41. Rd7 Kh6 42. Nxg7 Ra2 43. Ke3 Ra5 ({Anish also
mentioned the last chance for Black} 43... Ra3+ 44. Kf4 Rc3 {but here too
White wins after} 45. Rc7 Bd3 46. Ne6 Rxc4+ (46... Bxc4 47. Nf8) 47. Rxc4 Bxc4
48. Kf5 $18) 44. Re7 Rc5 45. Kd4 Re5 46. Rxe5 fxe5+ 47. Kc3 {A fine win by
Giri who used the little details to turn the small advantage into a win!} 1-0

Kramnik and Giri share the lead after two rounds. Full report.


Adams Starts Strong in London

After days filled with rapid and blitz action the London Classics treats us with the main dish.
I decided to annotate the only decisive game for you.
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "6th London Chess Classic"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2014.12.10"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Adams, Michael"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C90"]
[WhiteElo "2745"]
[BlackElo "2829"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "145"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]

1. e4 {Michael Adams is one of the few top players who sticks to this
aggressive move mainly.} e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 {Good news. Fabiano Caruana
prefers play with more pieces on the board. This decision might be influenced
by the fact that Adams was revealed as Carlsen's secret weapon in Sochi, where
there were plenty of Berlins. Decisive Berlins actually.} 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7
6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. d3 {The Anti Marshall is another good sign for the
viewers. Both the sides keep their options wide open, even though there is no
immediate central clash.} d6 9. c3 Na5 10. Bc2 c5 11. Nbd2 Nc6 12. Nf1 h6 {
[%csl Rd5,Yf6,Rg5,Gh6][%cal Gh7h6,Ge7f8,Gf8e8,Yc1g5] A small subtlety. Fabiano
excludes the option Bc1-g5xf6 after which the white knight from f1 will go to
d5 in great comfort (Nf1-e3-d5). Then White will get a chance to dominate on
the light squares, although I know a lot of people who have no fear of this.}
13. Ne3 ({A more common way is to develop the knight on g3. Here is one recent
example} 13. h3 Re8 14. Ng3 Be6 15. Bb3 Bf8 16. d4 cxd4 17. cxd4 Bxb3 18. axb3
d5 $1 $132 {Vallejo Pons,F (2698)-Zhang,Z (2611) Tromsoe 2014}) 13... Re8 {
Black's plan is to regroup with Be7-f8, and eventually to fianchettoe it later
after g7-g6. The main idea is to carry out the freeing central blow d6-d5.} 14.
a4 Be6 15. h3 Bf8 16. Nh2 {The idea is to once more weaken the control on the
d5 square with Nh2-g4. Mickey can also go for the kingside attack with Qd1-f3
and Ne3-f5.} b4 $146 {[%cal Ga8b8,Gb8b1,Ya1a4] Diagram [#] Fabiano comes out
with a novelty first. I have the feeling though that the principled move
remains d6-d5, for example} (16... d5 17. axb5 (17. exd5 Nxd5 18. Nxd5 Qxd5)
17... axb5 18. Rxa8 Qxa8 19. exd5 Nxd5 20. Neg4 (20. Nxd5 {might be better}
Bxd5 21. Ng4 {and Black cannot easily expand in the center} f5 {because of} 22.
Ne3 Be6 23. d4 $1) 20... Nf4 21. Nf3 Ng6 $11 {Spraggett,K (2568)-Sargissian,G
(2671) Linares 2013}) 17. Bb3 {[%csl Ga2,Gb3,Gc4,Gd5,Ge6,Gf7] Very logical.
Adams takes care of the light squares.} Rb8 18. Bc4 ({Naturally not} 18. Bxe6
fxe6 {which will support the weak d5 and f5 squares and kill all the white
play.}) 18... bxc3 {Fabiano also playes logically and opens the b file for his
rook. Next comes an excellent resource.} 19. bxc3 d5 $1 {[%csl Rc5,Rd5,Re5]
The same old central approach. This time it is tactically supported by the
lose position of the c3 pawn.} ({Weak is} 19... a5 $2 20. Bb5 $16 {when Black
will suffer on the ight squares till teh end of the game.}) 20. Bxa6 ({A
curious line runs after} 20. exd5 Nxd5 21. Nxd5 Bxd5 22. Bxa6 Qa5 23. Bb5 {
best as} (23. Bc4 $6 {leads to clear edge for Black after} Bxc4 24. dxc4 Qxc3
$17) 23... Rxb5 24. c4 Rbb8 25. cxd5 Nb4 $11 {This was White's best choice.})
20... Qa5 21. c4 (21. exd5 Nxd5 22. Nxd5 Bxd5 {will transpose to the line from
above}) ({While the immedaite} 21. Bb5 Rxb5 22. axb5 Qxa1 23. bxc6 Qxc3 {
favors Black who owes the bishop pair and the future.}) 21... Qxa6 {Safe and
strong.} ({Another possibility was} 21... d4 22. Bb5 Rxb5 (22... dxe3 {is good
for White after} 23. Bxc6 exf2+ 24. Kxf2 Red8 25. Bd5) 23. cxb5 dxe3 24. bxc6
exf2+ 25. Kxf2 c4 {with a mess.}) 22. exd5 Bxd5 23. cxd5 Nb4 $15 {[%csl Ya4,
Gb4,Yd3,Yd5] The outcome of the central break is positive for Fabiano. He
shattered Mickey's central control and now enjoys clear play against the white
and d PP.} 24. Ra3 Nfxd5 25. Neg4 f6 26. Nf1 $1 {White reroutes his pieces to
their optimal squares.} Rbd8 {So does Black. The idea is to pile against the d
pawn and capture it at the end.} (26... Red8 {might be more accurate.}) 27. Ng3
c4 {Caruana decided that the time had come to cash in the advantage. However,
from a hinsight this might not be the most optimal thing. He could have been
more cautious with} (27... Kh8 {when the similar attack would not lead to the
same} 28. Nf5 (28. Qf3 $2 Nc2) 28... Ne7 29. Ngxh6 gxh6 30. Nxh6 Bxh6 31. Bxh6
Qe6 {as White lacks the mighty knight.} 32. Qh5 Qf5 33. Qf7 Qg6) 28. Nxh6+ $1 {
[%csl Rg8] Diagram [#] Superb! Adams needs no second invitation! For the
sacrificed piece he will get two pawns and constant threats against the weak
black king.} (28. dxc4 Qxc4 29. Qb3 Qxb3 30. Rxb3 Ra8 $17) 28... gxh6 29. Qg4+
Kh8 ({Worse is} 29... Kf7 30. dxc4 Ne7 31. Qh5+ Ng6 32. Nf5 {with the threat
Ra3-g3} Nd3 33. Rxd3 $1 Rxd3 34. Nh4 f5 35. Qxf5+ Qf6 36. Qxd3 Qxh4 37. Be3 $16
) ({But} 29... Kh7 $1 {was probably better as in the line} 30. dxc4 Ne7 31. Qh5
{the king defends the pawn on h6 and Fabiano will have one tempo to bring the
defenders closer} Qe6 32. Ne4 Ng8 $13) 30. dxc4 Ne7 31. Qh5 Ng8 32. Nf5 ({
Adams also had the nice} 32. Bxh6 $1 {After which White wins third pawn and
continues the attack} Bxh6 33. Nf5 Kh7 $2 ({Best is} 33... Qe6 $1 34. Nxh6 Rd7
35. Nf7+ Kg7 36. Rg3+ Kf8 37. Nh8 $1 $16 {although White is clearly better
here as well.}) 34. Rg3 {with the threats Rg3-g7+ and Nf5xh6 both followed by
Qh5-g6} Qa7 (34... Rd7 35. Nxh6 Nxh6 36. Qg6+ Kh8 37. Qxe8+) 35. Nxh6 Nxh6 36.
Qg6+ Kh8 37. Qxh6+ Qh7 38. Qxf6+ Qg7 39. Qxg7#) 32... Qb7 33. Rg3 (33. Nh4 $5 {
is another way to attack.}) 33... Qh7 34. Nh4 {Ah! This slows down the attack.
Mickey was winning with the beautiful line:} (34. Re4 $1 Nc6 (34... Na2 35.
Reg4 Nxc1 36. Rxg8+ Qxg8 37. Rxg8+ Kxg8 38. Qg6+ Kh8 39. Nxh6 Bxh6 40. Qxh6+
Kg8 41. Qxc1 $18) 35. Reg4 Nce7 {Diagram [#]} 36. Nd6 $3 {[%csl Re8,Rf8,Rg8,
Yh8][%cal Rh5e8,Rg3g8,Re8f8]} Rxd6 37. Qxe8 Rd1+ 38. Kh2 h5 39. Rxg8+ Nxg8 40.
Qxf8 Rxc1 41. Rxg8+ Qxg8 42. Qh6+ $18 {Needless to say, I am using my computer
to find all of these moves.}) 34... Ne7 {Now Fabiano stabilizes the sitution
although it remains very delicate for both sides. Black always risks to
blunder some material or get checkmated, while White needs to skilfully mount
pressure or else he might end up losing slowly.} 35. Ba3 Nbc6 36. Kh2 Bg7 37.
Bxe7 Nxe7 38. Rd1 {Both the players are skilfully maneuvering. Instead of the
last move, White could have traded some pawns with} (38. f4 {this will both
open the black king further and will prepare successful defense in the edngame
in case that something goes wrong.}) 38... Qg8 39. Rb1 Rb8 40. Rd1 Red8 {Black
rejects the repetition of moves.} 41. c5 Rxd1 42. Qxd1 Rb4 $2 {without the
rook pair Black's position becomes more vulnerable. He has too many squares to
defend. The pawns too become stronger.} ({Instead of the move in the game}
42... Qc8 43. a5 f5 {was the better choice.}) 43. Qd7 Rxh4 44. Qxe7 Rd4 (44...
Rc4 45. a5 $16 {is still difficult for Black.}) (44... Rxa4 $2 {would be a
blunder after} 45. Rxg7 Qxg7 46. Qe8+ $18) 45. c6 Qf8 46. Qb7 Rb4 47. Qd7 Rd4
48. Qb7 Rb4 {Diagram [#]} 49. Rc3 $1 {[%cal Gc6c7,Gc7c8] It is Mickey's turn
to turn the repetition offer down! He risks nothing indeed.} f5 ({Bad is} 49...
Rxb7 50. cxb7 Qb4 51. Rc8+ Kh7 52. b8=Q $18) 50. Qd7 Rd4 51. Qe6 Rd6 $1 {
Diagram [#] Fabiano could not find satisfactory defense against the pawn
promoting plan and sacrifice the piece back for the c passer.} ({If} 51... Rd8
52. c7 Rc8 53. a5 {There is seemingly no defense against the march of the a
pawn all the way to a8 which will release the other one.}) 52. Qxd6 $1 Qxd6 53.
c7 e4+ 54. g3 Bxc3 55. c8=Q+ Kh7 56. Qxc3 f4 $1 {The best defense again.
Black's only chance is the perpetual check.} 57. gxf4 Qxf4+ 58. Qg3 Qd2 {[%csl
Ye4,Yh7] Diagram [#]} 59. Qc7+ $1 {Alas, this defense does not work to the
iron grip by Adams. He wins a second pawn by force.} Kg6 60. Qb6+ Kh7 (60...
Kh5 61. Qe3 $1) 61. Qb7+ $1 Kh8 62. Qa8+ $1 Kg7 63. Qxe4 Kf6 (63... Qxf2+ 64.
Qg2+ {was the point of the previous checks. Now White wins.}) 64. Qf3+ Kg6 65.
Kg2 Qa2 66. Qe4+ Kf6 67. Qf4+ Kg6 68. Qd6+ Kg7 69. Qe5+ Kh7 70. a5 Qg8+ 71. Kh2
Qf7 72. Qe4+ Kg7 73. a6 {An excellent start for Adams who proved once again
his perfect understanding of the Ruy Lopez!} 1-0

Complete report by Peter Doggers here.


The Olympiad in Tromso from PNG Angle

The Olympiad ended at the middle of August but since it was such a lovely event it definitely deserves a video. This one is created by my player Craig Skehan, enjoy!