The Move of the Year?

The EICC finished yesterday in Jerusalem and as far as I can see from the various pictures, great coverage of the event and thoughts shared in internet it was a greatly organized event.
It is hard to say which of the games played in Jerusalem was the best, everyone will definitely has his/her own preferences.
The following game however is special. It was played in a crucial moment, round ten of the event and the winner was receiving a chance to play for the title. It was also crowned by a spectacular move which will stay in the treasury of the chess world.
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "European Championship"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015.03.06"]
[Round "10.3"]
[White "Khismatullin, Denis"]
[Black "Eljanov, Pavel"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2653"]
[BlackElo "2727"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "113"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:02:23"]
[BlackClock "0:02:39"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 {The Nimtzo-Indian Defense is a good sign that a
complicated, tough battle is about to come.} 4. e3 O-O 5. Nge2 Re8 6. a3 Bf8 7.
Ng3 d5 8. Be2 a6 {Eljanov chooses the more complicated continuation. The
capture} (8... dxc4 {leads to a symmetrical play and offers better chances of
equality to the second player-} 9. O-O c5 10. dxc5 Bxc5 11. Bxc4 {Kuzubov,Y
(2661)-Kryvoruchko,Y (2706) Lvov 2014}) 9. O-O c5 10. dxc5 Bxc5 11. cxd5 $146 {
[%cal Gc4d5] Diagram [#] Previously only} (11. b4 {had been checked with
promising position for White after} Ba7 12. Qc2 dxc4 13. Bxc4 Qc7 14. Bd3 Nbd7
15. Bb2 {El Debs,F (2514)-Henriquez Villagra,C (2466) Praia da Pipa 2014})
11... exd5 12. Bf3 {A somewhat strange version of the IQP arised. The white
knight normally stays on f3 in these positions, and the bishop is on e2. The
different positions of these pieces have their pros and cons. For instance, a
knight on f3 would make it harder for Black to break in the center with d5-d4,
but will allow a chance to the black bishop to get on g4. On the other hand
the white bishop on f3 is far more active than on e2.} Be6 {A natural desire
of the isolated pawn is to go forward. However after} (12... d4 13. Nce4 Bb6
14. exd4 Bxd4 15. Bf4 $1 {White will have big lead in the development and if
Black dares to take the pawn with} Bxb2 $6 {He will get smothered after} 16.
Ra2 $1 Nxe4 17. Nxe4 Bf6 18. Rd2 Nd7 19. Nd6 {with domination of the white
pieces.}) 13. b4 Bd6 14. Bb2 {The pawn is untouchable due to} (14. Nxd5 $2 Bxg3
15. Nxf6+ Qxf6 {when the rook is hanging on a1.}) 14... Be5 {Eljanov decided
to get rid of the bishop as it was idirectly helping the attack against the
isolani. This is visible in the line} (14... Nc6 15. Na4 Rc8 16. Bxf6 Qxf6 17.
Bxd5 {where the pawn falls. If we continue the line though, we shall see that
Black is OK after} Bxg3 18. hxg3 Red8 19. e4 Ne7) 15. Na4 {Trading the
dark-squared bishops is good for White, as long as he can black the d5 pawn.
In the next moves both sides play around the d4 square.} Bxb2 16. Nxb2 Nc6 17.
Nd3 Qb6 ({Black could have also played} 17... d4 $5 {[%cal Rd5d4] Diagram [#]}
18. Bxc6 ({Or} 18. Nc5 dxe3 19. Qxd8 exf2+ 20. Rxf2 Nxd8 21. Nxb7 Nxb7 22. Bxb7
Ra7) 18... bxc6 19. exd4 Qxd4 20. Nc5 {It seems as White is better, but} Qxd1
21. Rfxd1 a5 $1 {clarifies the situation. Black is OK.}) 18. Rc1 a5 $1 {Good
strategy by Eljanov. He wants to get rid of the queenside pawns and to open
room for his pieces. Black obviously did well in the opening.} 19. Rb1 axb4 20.
axb4 Rad8 {Another promising continuation is the typical} (20... d4 $1 21. b5 (
21. e4 Bc4) 21... Na5 22. exd4 (22. e4 Nc4) 22... Qxd4 {If anyone is better
here, it ain't White...}) 21. b5 Na5 22. Ne2 Ne4 23. Ndf4 Nc4 24. Bxe4 $1 {The
black knights became too active and Khismatullin hurries to get rid of one of
them.} (24. Nd4 Nc3) 24... dxe4 25. Nd4 Bc8 {The position has been modified
but remains approximately equal.} ({Also possible was} 25... Bd7 $11 {with the
idea to prevent} 26. Rc1 $6 Bxb5 27. Rb1 Na3 28. Rb2 (28. Rb3 Qd6 $1) 28... Qf6
) 26. Rc1 Ne5 27. Qb3 Qh6 $1 {A crafty little move!} 28. Rc5 $1 {Khismatullin
is aleart. What can be more natural than occupying the sevent rank?! Nothing,
except that after} (28. Rc7 $2 {[%csl Yc7,Rh2] Diagram [#] Eljanov had
prepared the nasty} Rxd4 $3 29. exd4 Nf3+ $1 {with huge advantage for Black,
say} 30. gxf3 Qxf4 31. Rxc8 Rxc8 32. fxe4 Qxe4) 28... b6 29. Rd5 {The rook
carefully avoids the mines. Now one interesting continuation was} (29. Rxe5 $5
Rxe5 30. Nc6 Qd6 31. Nxd8 Qxd8 32. Rd1 {when White is a tad better but the
game looks drawish.}) ({Just as before} 29. Rc7 $2 {is bad due to} Rxd4 30.
exd4 Nf3+ $1 31. gxf3 Qxf4 32. Qc3 exf3 (32... Bh3)) 29... Bb7 30. Rxd8 Rxd8
31. Rd1 Qg5 32. Kf1 $1 {Another good prophylaxis. Worse is} (32. h3 Nf3+ 33.
Nxf3 exf3 34. g3 h6 {when the f3 pawn will feel like a bone in White's throat.}
) 32... g6 33. h3 Nd3 34. Nc6 $1 {Khismatullin avoids the draw in the line.} (
34. Nxd3 exd3 35. Nc6 Bxc6 36. bxc6 Qc5 37. Rxd3 Rxd3 38. Qxd3 Qxc6 $11) 34...
Bxc6 35. bxc6 Qc5 $1 {So does Eljanov! Black can force a perpetual after} (
35... Nxf4 36. Rxd8+ Qxd8 37. exf4 Qd2 38. Qa4 ({This way of avoding the draw}
38. Qc4 $4 {is not the brightest ever} Qd1#) 38... e3 39. fxe3 Qxe3 40. Qc4 b5
$1 41. Qxb5 Qxf4+ 42. Kg1 Qc1+ $11 {with perpetual.}) 36. Qa4 Kg7 37. Qa1+ Kg8
38. Qa4 {In the time trouble Eljanov rejects the repetion with a blunder} Rd6
$2 {[%csl Rc6] Diagram [#]} 39. Qa8+ $2 {That goes unpunished. Instead} (39. c7
$1 Qxc7 40. Qe8+ Kg7 41. Qxe4 f5 (41... Nxf4 42. Qe5+) 42. Ne6+ Kf7 43. Qxf5+
gxf5 44. Nxc7 {would have won a pawn for White.}) 39... Kg7 40. Qa1+ Kh6 {The
strong threat is Qc5-c2 and Khismatullin goes for the extreme} 41. Nxd3 exd3
42. Qh8 $3 {Thus abandoning his own king. If Eljanov was crafty earlier, then
Khismatullin's devilish at least... Anyway, who would not play here} Qc2 ({
Wrong was} 42... Qxc6 $2 43. Qf8+ Kg5 44. Qxf7 Qc2 $4 45. Qf4+ Kh5 46. g4+ Kh4
47. Qh6#) ({But} 42... Rxc6 43. Rxd3 $11 {should be a draw.}) 43. Qf8+ Kg5 {
[%csl Yf1,Gf8,Yg5][%cal Rc2d1,Rd3d2,Rd2d1] Diagram [#] Now take a deep breath
as what follows is magic.} 44. Kg1 $3 {What a move!!! White gives his rook
with a check! And...wins!!!} Qxd1+ {There was no way back.} (44... Qxc6 45.
Qxf7 $1) (44... Rxc6 45. Qxf7 $1) 45. Kh2 Rxc6 ({Or the prosaic win after}
45... Qc2 46. Qxd6 Qxf2 (46... d2 47. Qf4+ Kh5 48. g4+ Kh4 49. Qh6#) 47. Qxd3)
46. Qe7+ {Before working the lines till the end Khismatullin gives a chance to
his opponent to lose faster. Eljanov has no choice anyway.} Kh6 {Everything
else loses as well} (46... Kh5 47. g4+ Kh6 48. Qf8+ Kg5 49. Qxf7) (46... Kf5
47. g4+) (46... f6 {This one is tricky as after} 47. f4+ Kh6 48. Qf8+ Kh5 {
White has to avoid one more trick with the spectacular} 49. Qg7 $3 ({While the
obvious} 49. g4+ {will be only a draw after} Qxg4 $3 {Forced, but nevertheless
beautiful and White has to find the draw after} 50. hxg4+ Kxg4 {as} 51. Qd8 $2
{even loses!} ({Instead both} 51. Qb4 $1 Rc2+ 52. Kg1 Kg3 53. Qe1+ Kf3 54. Qd1+
Kxe3 55. Qe1+ $11) ({and} 51. f5 $1 $11 {should draw.}) 51... Rc2+ 52. Kg1 Kg3
{[%csl Yg1][%cal Rc2c1] Diagram [#]})) (46... Rf6 47. f4+ {wins as well for
White.}) 47. Qf8+ Kg5 48. Qxf7 $1 {[%csl Yg5] Diagram [#] Unbelievable, yet
true. Despite the extra rook, super strong passer and the fact that White
attacks only with his queen and pawns Black has no defense! The game concluded}
Rf6 49. f4+ Kh6 50. Qxf6 Qe2 51. Qf8+ Kh5 52. Qg7 h6 53. Qe5+ Kh4 54. Qf6+ Kh5
55. f5 $1 gxf5 56. Qxf5+ Kh4 57. Qg6 {And not waiting to see the mate after} (
57. Qg6 d2 58. Qxh6+ Qh5 59. g3# {Diagram [#] Eljanov resigned. Hats off to
Denis Khismatullin!}) 1-0

Report and congratulations to the winninr, GM Evgeniy Najer from Russia!.


David and the Total Chess

The EICC in Jerusalem is approaching its end. But the great games produced their are countless.
The following one has an important impact on the general standings:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "European Championship"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015.03.05"]
[Round "9.1"]
[White "Navara, David"]
[Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2735"]
[BlackElo "2714"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "105"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:03:41"]
[BlackClock "0:16:04"]

1. Nf3 {Navara plays pretty much everything and varies his openings on accaunt
of the opponent. In this game he chose a tricky opening idea to deal with the
Gruenfeld defense.} Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e3 {In search of
innovation! This line is quite fresh and fashionable. White is mainly pinning
his hopes for an opening advantage with one of the following continuations:} (
5. g3) (5. d4) (5. e4) 5... Nxc3 {This was perhaps easy to predict.} ({Peter
Leko's careful aproach led to a completely different game after} 5... e6 6. d4
cxd4 7. exd4 Be7 {with a typical IQP position that arises from the Panov/
Nimtzo-Indian/Tarrasch openings, Tomashevsky,E (2714)-Leko,P (2731) Sochi
2014. The problem with this aproach however is that Nepomniachtchi does not
play neither of these openings, at least with the black pieces. He is an
expert of the Panov attack, but as White.}) 6. bxc3 Qc7 7. Bb2 $1 $146 {[%csl
Rg7][%cal Rb2g7,Gc3c4] Diagram [#] A novelty on move seven! It seems illogical
to place the bishop on the diagonal which is blocked by the pawn, but this is
only temporary. The world champion had tested} (7. d4 g6 8. Bb5+ Bd7 9. a4 Bg7
10. O-O O-O 11. Ba3 b6 {when the position still resembles the Gruenfeld,
Carlsen,M (2881)-Giri,A (2752) Stavanger 2014}) 7... Nd7 ({If anything, Black
is not going to fianchettoe the bishop!} 7... g6 $6 8. c4 {is awkward for the
second player.}) ({Perhaps Black will try in the future} 7... e5 {with natural
development- Bf8-e7, Nb8-c6 and central control.}) 8. Qb3 e6 ({Once more the
fianchettoe is not appealing} 8... g6 9. Ng5 e6 10. c4 e5 {when White has a
pleasant choice between the aggressive} 11. h4 ({and} 11. f4) ({or the
positional} 11. Be2 {after which the knight on g5 will be rerouted to the d5
square via e4-c3.})) 9. c4 {The opening operation was successful! Navara took
his opponent out of the book and objectively speaking White enjoys some
pressure. The bishop on b2 is very nicely placed.} b6 10. a4 {Since the black
kingside is frozen, White prepares a "warm" welcome for the black monarch.} Bb7
({The careless} 10... e5 $6 11. a5 Bb7 $2 {allows a nice combination} 12. axb6
axb6 13. Rxa8+ Bxa8 {[%csl Ya8,Ye8] Diagram [#]} 14. Nxe5 $1 Nxe5 15. Bxe5 Qxe5
16. Qa4+ {and wins.}) 11. a5 $1 f6 {Nepomniachtchi tries to close the long
diagonal and free his bishop.} ({Things are not very optimistic for Black after
} 11... O-O-O 12. axb6 (12. Be2) (12. Bd3) 12... axb6 13. Be2) (11... e5 $2 {
transposes to the above-mentioned line after} 12. axb6 axb6 13. Rxa8+ Bxa8 14.
Nxe5 $1) 12. Bd3 $1 {Once that the pawn had moved on f6 the black kingside
became vulnerable and the Czech Grandmaster neatly uses that.} Bd6 $6 {An
inaccuracy.} ({Better was} 12... Be7 $5 {with the idea} 13. Qc2 f5 14. Bxg7 Rg8
15. Bc3 Rxg2 {with slightly better chances for White.}) 13. Qc2 f5 ({White is
also much better after} 13... Nf8 14. Be4) 14. Ng5 $1 {[%csl Re6,Rg7][%cal
Gg5e6,Gb2g7,Gg7h8,Ga5b6,Ya5a6] Diagram [#] Play on both flanks!} ({Black was
OK after} 14. Bxg7 Rg8 15. Bc3 ({Not} 15. Qc3 $2 Bxf3 $1 16. gxf3 Kf7 17. Bh6 (
17. Rg1 Bf8 $1) 17... Be5 {when Black is on top.}) 15... Rxg2 $11) 14... Nf8 {
The most reasonable defense.} ({Black's position falls apart after} 14... e5 $2
15. Ne6) ({And} 14... Ke7 {can be met by the simple} 15. f4 {with large
advantage} ({Or the more entertaining} 15. Nxe6 $5 Kxe6 16. Bxf5+ Kf7 17. Bxh7)
) 15. f4 $1 h6 ({It suddenly transpired that the pawn on g2 is invincible. In
the line} 15... Bxg2 16. Rg1 Bc6 (16... Qb7 {loses prosaically after} 17. axb6
axb6 18. Rxa8+ Qxa8 19. Bxg7 Rg8 20. Bxf8 $18) 17. axb6 axb6 (17... Qxb6 18.
Bxg7 {is a mess for Black.}) 18. Rxa8+ Bxa8 {[%csl Ya8,Ye8,Rg7][%cal Rg1g7,
Rb2g7,Yc2a4,Ya4e8,Ya4a8] White has the fantastic resource} 19. Nf7 $3 {with an
instant win. For example} ({By the way} 19. Nxe6 $1 Nxe6 20. Bxf5 {would also
work.}) 19... Qxf7 (19... Kxf7 20. Rxg7+) (19... Rg8 20. Nh6 Rh8 21. Bxg7) 20.
Rxg7 ({or also} 20. Qa4+ {in either case with a win.})) 16. Nf3 Ng6 {The black
king has not peace after neither} (16... O-O-O 17. O-O $16) ({Nor} 16... Kf7
17. O-O (17. Ne5+) 17... Nh7 18. Ne5+) 17. h4 $1 {Amazing play with the rook
pawns! Larsen would be so proud of Navara. Now the black king is not safe
anywhere...} O-O-O {Nepomniachtchi decided this is the lesser evil. However...}
({Or:} 17... O-O 18. Rh3 $1 {[%csl Rg6,Rg7][%cal Gh3g3,Rg3g7,Yh4h5] followed
by Rh3-g3 and h4-h5. You did not forget about the bishop on b2, did you?}) 18.
axb6 axb6 {Diagram [#]} 19. Bxf5 $1 {Well calculated combination!} Nxf4 (19...
exf5 20. Qxf5+) 20. Be4 $1 ({But not} 20. exf4 exf5 21. Qxf5+ Kb8 22. Ne5 Bxg2
{when the black bishops come into life.}) 20... Bxe4 21. Qxe4 Nd3+ $1 {The
Russian GM finds the best defense.} 22. Ke2 $1 ({Definitely not} 22. Qxd3 $4
Bg3+) 22... Nxb2 23. Rhb1 $1 {Navara regains the knight while developing!} Rhe8
24. Rxb2 Qb7 25. Qb1 $1 {Once again the best continuation. White's
concentration in the attack is enviable!} ({Both} 25. Qg4) ({and} 25. Qg6 {
were tempting but the text is stronger.}) 25... Bc7 26. Rba2 {White's position
is overwhelming. The rooks are about to enter the king's castle.} Bb8 27. Ra8
Rd6 28. R1a7 $5 {A somewhat surprising, but strong idea! The queen will
co-operate much better with the knight than the black rooks and the bishop.} (
28. Qg6 $1 Re7 (28... Red8 29. R1a7 Qxa7 30. Rxa7 Bxa7 31. Qxg7) 29. Ne5) 28...
Qxa7 ({Or} 28... Qc6 29. Qg6 Red8 30. Ke1 $1 {with the unstoppable threat
Nf3-e5!}) 29. Rxa7 Bxa7 30. Ne5 Red8 {Black's defense is extremely difficult.}
(30... Bb8 31. Qb5 Red8 32. d3 {with the threats Ne5-f7 and Ne5-c6 looks
winning for White}) 31. d3 Rf8 32. g4 $1 {Once again Navara plays on both
flanks and opens operative room for the queen. Grand play!} Bb8 33. Qh1 $1 {
[%csl Ya8,Rb8,Yc6,Yd7,Yf7,Yg6][%cal Rb1h1,Rh1a8,Gg4f5,Ge5f7,Ge5d7,Ge5c6,Ge5g6]
Diagram [#]} h5 {The only chance. Black is completely paralized after} (33...
Bc7 34. Qa8+ Bb8 35. h5 $18) 34. gxh5 Rf5 35. Ng6 Rf7 ({Or else the rook will
be in trouble in the line} 35... Rxh5 36. Qf3 Rh6 (36... Rh7 37. Qf7 Rd8 38.
Qxe6+) 37. Qf8+ Rd8 38. Qxg7) 36. Qe4 Rf6 37. Ne7+ Kc7 {One sweet line of a
Q+N team work is} (37... Kd7 38. Qb7+ Bc7 {[%csl Gb7,Yd7,Ge7] Diagram [#]} 39.
Nc8 $1 Rc6 40. Na7 $3 Rd6 41. Qc8+ Ke7 42. Qxc7+) 38. Qh7 Rf7 39. Ng6 {A total
domination! The threat h5-h6 is unstoppable!} e5 40. Nxe5 {Now it should have
been over. White's plan is to place the knight on d5 after the preliminary
e3-e4 if needed. But every epic battle needs at least a pinch of a drama...}
Re7 41. Ng6 (41. Ng4 {was a win.}) 41... Red7 42. Nf4 $2 {Diagram [#] Here it
is! The dramatic blunder. Instead, the correct} (42. Qg8 Rxd3 43. Nf8 Rd2+ 44.
Kf3 Re7 45. Ne6+ Kb7 46. Nxg7 {still wins.}) 42... Kb7 $2 {The favour is
returned. Black could have saved the game after} (42... g5 {Ouch!} 43. Nd5+ ({
I doubt that the pawns are as good as the rook in the line} 43. Qxd7+ Kxd7 44.
hxg5 Ke7) 43... Rxd5 44. Qe4 Rxd3 $1 (44... R5d6 45. hxg5 {might still be a
win for White!}) 45. hxg5 ({Perhaps White missed that in the line} 45. Qxd3 $2
Rxd3 46. Kxd3 gxh4 47. h6 Kd7 48. Ke4 Ke6 {Black can stop the pawn?}) 45...
Rd2+ 46. Kf3 Rh2 47. h6 Rf7+ 48. Kg4 Rf1 {and the active rooks should save the
game.}) 43. Qf5 Bc7 44. e4 {Now everything is under control and Navara
finishes the game in style.} b5 45. Nd5 bxc4 46. dxc4 Rd8 47. e5 Re8 ({There
is not fortress after} 47... Rxd5 48. cxd5 Rxd5 49. Qe4 Kc6 50. e6) 48. Nxc7
Kxc7 49. Qf7+ Kd8 50. Qxe8+ Kxe8 51. exd6 Kd7 52. Kf3 Kxd6 {Diagram [#]} 53.
Ke4 {I suspect that this move was not played but was registered after
Nepomniachtchi resigned. What a game!} ({Both} 53. Kf4) ({and} 53. Kg4 {win
easily.}) 1-0


Tomashevsky's Endgame on Video

Three light pieces versus a rook is a rare endgame, but a recent game by Evgeny Tomashevsky (versus Maxime Vachier Lagrave) placed in into the spotlight. In this video I will try to explain the winning mechanism for the stronger side.