Belgium Chocolate

This sweet game was played in Belgium on Sunday. White sacrificed a pawn in the opening for better development and open files/diagonals and after one single inaccuracy from his opponent managed to convert the initiative into decisive material advantage.
Enjoy the chocolate!


The Miracle is a Fact!

Perhaps nobody believed this after the disastrous start of the match (0-2) that Karjakin will make it to the rapid and blitz tie-breaks. None, but his wife I suspect, maybe even Sergey had huge doubts.
But he did it, in style in the last, fourth classical game in Baku:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "FIDE World Chess Cup"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015.10.04"]
[Round "58.1"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Svidler, Peter"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2753"]
[BlackElo "2727"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "113"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:12:23"]
[BlackClock "0:15:27"]

1. Nf3 {Diagram [#] In the decisive game of the match Karjakin decides to
avoid the open games. Wise decision, especially taking into account the fact
how well Svidler did there at this tournament. Another argument about
Karjakin's opening choice is the fact that he also avoids the Gruenfeld.} d5 2.
d4 c5 {Svidler had already played like that, in a rapid game against
Nepomniachtchi.} 3. c4 cxd4 4. cxd5 Nf6 5. Qxd4 {The above-mentioned game saw:}
(5. Nxd4 Nxd5 6. e4 Nf6 7. Nc3 e5 8. Ndb5 a6 9. Qxd8+ Kxd8 10. Na3 Be6 {and
Black solved his opening problems, Nepomniachtchi,I (2702)-Svidler,P (2740)
Nizhnij Novgorod 2013}) 5... Qxd5 6. Nc3 Qxd4 7. Nxd4 {Diagram [#] Curiously,
this position was discussed in the match for the world championship between
Lasker and Tarrasch, roughly 100 years ago!} Bd7 {The second main move and the
beginning of Black's problems. Tarrasch reacted with} (7... e5 {but this also
allowed the white knight the b5 squre. After} 8. Ndb5 Kd8 9. Be3 Nc6 10. g3 Bd7
11. Rd1 Kc8 12. Bg2 {White had an edge, Lasker,E-Tarrasch,S Berlin 1916}) ({
The main move is} 7... a6) 8. Ndb5 Kd8 {Or} (8... Na6 9. Bf4 g6 10. e4 Bg7 11.
O-O-O Bc6 12. f3 {with advantage for White, Lindberg,B (2426)-Berkell,P (2249)
Sweden 2004}) 9. Be3 $1 {[%csl Ya7,Rb6][%cal Re3b6,Rb6a7] Diagram [#] Support
the white knight on b5.} Nc6 ({Black does not have the move} 9... a6 10. Bb6+
Kc8 11. Nc7) 10. f3 $146 {A novelty. The idea is to limit the black knights.} (
{A recent GM game saw Black demolished in mere seventeen moves after} 10. g3
Ng4 11. Bd2 Nb4 ({However, Black had plenty of improvements along the way, for
example here} 11... a6 12. Na3 e5) 12. Rc1 Nxa2 13. Nxa2 Bxb5 14. Bg2 e6 15.
Ba5+ Ke8 16. Bc7 Bc6 17. Rxc6 {[%csl Ya8,Ye8] Diagram [#] 1-0 (17) Grigoriants,
S (2606)-Gleizerov,E (2501) Dresden 2015}) 10... h5 {Stops the positional
threat g2-g4.} 11. O-O-O Kc8 12. Bg5 {[%csl Gb5,Gd1,Yf8,Gg5,Yh8] Diagram [#]
White can be very happy with the opening. He has better development, extra
space and on the top of this Black has huge difficulties in bringing his
dark-squared bishop out.} g6 {A sad choice but the alternatives were no better:
} ({Bad is} 12... e6 13. e4 Be7 14. Nd6+ Bxd6 15. Rxd6 $16) ({Even worse is
the attempt to get rid of the annoying knight:} 12... a6 13. Na4 axb5 14. Nb6+
Kb8 15. Nxa8 Kxa8 16. Bxf6) 13. Nd6+ exd6 14. Bxf6 Rg8 15. e4 {[%csl Yd6]
Diagram [#] One more advantage is added to white's position- the isolated d6
pawn.} Be6 16. Kb1 Kd7 17. Nd5 Bg7 18. Bxg7 Rxg7 19. Bb5 {The pins along the
a4-e8 diagonal and the half-open d file make Black's position very difficult.
White intends to double his rooks along the d file (or sometimes along the c
one too!) The e4-e5 threat is always in the air and the g7 rook is stuck on
this ugly square.} Kd8 $1 (19... Rd8 20. Rd2) (19... Bxd5 $2 20. exd5) 20. Rd2
Bxd5 21. Rxd5 Kc7 22. Rc1 Re8 $1 23. Rd4 ({Another idea was} 23. Bd3 {
intending to meet} Re5 {with} 24. f4 Re6 25. b4 $1) 23... Re5 {[%csl Yc1][%cal
Ga8e8,Ge8e5,Ge5c5] Diagram [#]} 24. Ba4 {The bishop is clearly superior to the
knight and Karjakin wants to keep it on board. The endgame of this game has
similarities with the one that the Russian GM won against P. Eljanov at the
decisive second rapid game of their tie-break.} ({The rook endgame promises
good drawing chances to Black} 24. Bxc6 bxc6 25. Rdc4 c5 26. f4 Re6 27. e5 g5
28. exd6+ Kxd6 29. Rxc5 gxf4) 24... b5 25. Bb3 Rc5 26. Rd5 Rxc1+ 27. Kxc1 a6 {
Svidler did the best that he could-traded one of the active white rooks, got
rid of the pins, but his position still remains clearly worse.} 28. Rd3 g5 {
Black plays for fortress.} (28... f5 $1 {[%csl Rg1][%cal Rg8g1] Diagram [#] to
exchange pawns and open files was better, for example} 29. Bd5 (29. exf5 gxf5
30. g3 h4) 29... Nb4 30. Rc3+ Kd7 31. Bb3 fxe4 32. fxe4 Re7 {with excellent
chances for a draw.}) 29. Kd2 h4 30. Rc3 Kb6 31. Rd3 Kc7 32. Ke3 f6 33. Rc3 Kb6
34. Rd3 {Karjakin does not hurry.} Kc7 35. Rc3 Kb6 36. Bd5 Ne7 37. Kd4 Rh7 38.
Be6 $1 {[%csl Rc8,Yd6,Rf5][%cal Gd4d5,Gd5d6,Re6c8,Re6f5] Diagram [#] All the
white pieces are optimally placed. The bishop took under control important
squares (c8 in particular) and opened the road for the white king. It is time
to somehow break the black fortress.} Rh8 39. a3 Rd8 {Perhaps Black should
have tried to take the open file with} (39... Ra8 40. Rc2 Ra7 41. g3 hxg3 42.
hxg3 Rc7) 40. Rc2 $1 {[%cal Gc2f2,Gf3f4] The idea is to open a second front
after Rc2-f2 and f3-f4!} Rh8 41. Rf2 Ng6 $1 {The best defense. Otherwise f3-f4
would be played but now the white king gets in.} 42. Kd5 Rd8 {With the threat
Ng6-f4xe6.} 43. Bf5 Nf4+ 44. Kd4 {Diagram [#]} Re8 $2 {This loses. The
critical line was} (44... d5 $1 45. e5 fxe5+ 46. Kxe5 d4 {It seems as Black
will soon lose this pawn and the last hope, but the position somehow holds.
For example} 47. Rd2 Kc5 48. Rc2+ Kb6 49. Be4 d3 50. Rd2 Kc5 51. g3 hxg3 52.
hxg3 Nh5 53. Bxd3 Nxg3 54. Rc2+ Kb6 {Diagram [#] A lot of pawns have been
traded and what is best, White does not have time to win the g5 one-} 55. Bg6
Rf8 {and Black should hold this.}) 45. g3 Ne6+ 46. Bxe6 $1 {Diagram [#]
Probably Svidler has spent most of his time calculating the line} (46. Kd5 hxg3
47. hxg3 Nc5 48. Kxd6 g4 $1 49. Bxg4 (49. fxg4 Rxe4 50. b4 Nb7+ 51. Kd7 $16)
49... Rxe4 50. fxe4 Nxe4+ 51. Ke6 Nxf2 52. Bf5 Kc5 {and maybe he found a draw
there, but Karjakin found a better way.} (52... b4 $5)) 46... Rxe6 47. Kd5 {
White wins a pawn which together with the active pieces secures him the win.}
Re5+ 48. Kxd6 hxg3 49. hxg3 g4 50. fxg4 Rxe4 51. Rf4 $1 {[%cal Gg4g5,Gg5g6,
Gg6g7,Gg7g8] Diagram [#] Much better than} (51. Rxf6 Rxg4 52. Ke5+ Ka5 53. Rf3
Rg8 54. Kf5 Rf8+ 55. Kg4 Rg8+ 56. Kh3 b4) 51... Re3 52. Rxf6 Rxg3 53. Ke5+ Kb7
54. Kf5 Rb3 55. g5 Rxb2 56. g6 Rg2 57. Ke6 {[%csl Yg2][%cal Ge6f7,Gg6g7,Gg7g8,
Rf6a6] Diagram [#] Followed by Ke6-f7 and wins the rook. An important detail
is that the white rooks cuts the black king along the sixth rank and Black
cannot create a dangerous passer.} 1-0



Miracles in Game Three

Those of you who have followed closely the matches from the World Cup remember how easily Svidler went through the semi-final. After a win with the black pieces in game one against Anish Giri, he simply did not let a single chance to his opponent in game two by choosing an ultra-solid opening line as White. Soon many of the pieces disappeared and the Russian GM comfortably went into the final.
Many people expected a similar scenario in game three of the final match. Svidler needed only a draw to win the event outright after the furious 2-0 start. At the beginning everything seemed fine with his strategy, although Karjakin tried to complicate matters at an early stage of the game:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "FIDE World Chess Cup"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015.10.03"]
[Round "57.1"]
[White "Svidler, Peter"]
[Black "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2727"]
[BlackElo "2753"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "60"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:12:32"]
[BlackClock "0:16:45"]

1. e4 c5 {In a must-win situation Karjakin probably did not even consider the
Berlin as an option.} 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4 {Diagram [#] The last time
Svidler played this solid was back in 1999 against Garry Kasparov.} a6 5. c4
Nc6 6. Qe3 Nf6 7. h3 g6 8. Nc3 Bg7 9. Be2 Nd7 {[%cal Gg7a1] Diagram [#] Sooner
or later this knight will step back to open up the bishop and get to a better
position. Black can also start with the castling:} ({Relevant:} 9... O-O 10.
O-O Rb8 11. Rd1 Nd7 12. Rb1 Qb6 13. Qd2 Nde5 {as in Lagarde,M (2540)-Edouard,R
(2634) Saint Quentin 2015}) 10. Rb1 {White carefully finishes the development.}
Nde5 11. O-O O-O 12. Rd1 Nxf3+ 13. Bxf3 {Both sides achieved what they wanted-
approximate equality. However, we should not forget that Karjakin is in a
must-win situation.} f5 {The typical Accelerated Dragon counter-play.} 14. exf5
$146 {[%csl Re7][%cal Re1e7,Rd1d8] Diagram [#] And a standard reply which
appears to be a novelty. Svidler does not want to allow the f5-f4 advance. In
correspondence game another player with the white pieces did:} ({Predecessor:}
14. Nd5 e6 15. Nf4 e5 16. Ne2 f4 17. Qa3 Qg5 18. Rxd6 Bxh3 {with complications
in Szymanski,R (2372)-Chomicki,H (2229) ICCF email 2011. Karjakin definitely
would not mind these.}) 14... Bxf5 15. Be4 Qd7 16. Nd5 Qe6 17. Bxf5 Qxf5 {
Diagram [#] One more light piece disappeared. At least Black got some activity
along the half-open f file.} 18. Bd2 {Of course not} (18. Nxe7+ $4 Nxe7 19.
Qxe7 Rae8 20. Qxd6 Qxf2+ 21. Kh1 Re1+ 22. Rxe1 Qxe1+ 23. Kh2 Be5+ $19) 18...
Rae8 19. Bc3 e6 20. Nb6 d5 $1 {[%csl Yb6,Rg1] Diagram [#] The only chance to
complicate matters. Black starts an attack through the center while the white
knight is away from the main battlefield.} 21. Bxg7 Kxg7 {Third light piece
leaves the board...} 22. Qc5 ({Black is somewhat better in the endgame after}
22. cxd5 $6 exd5 23. Qc5 d4 24. Qxf5 Rxf5 25. Rd2 $15) 22... Rf6 {A risky
decision, the only real chance to play for a win! If this was an ordinary game
Karjakin would have opted for} (22... dxc4 23. Qxf5 exf5 24. Nxc4 Re7 $11 {
Diagram [#]}) 23. b4 {With the idea b4-b5. Once again the d5 pawn is poisoned
due to} (23. cxd5 exd5 24. Nxd5 Re2 25. Qb6 Qxf2+ 26. Qxf2 Rfxf2 {and the
rooks rock.}) 23... Ne5 24. cxd5 Nd3 {This was the position that Karjakin had
in mind. He will regain the pawn on f2 and open up the white king. True, in
the process his knight might get trapped, but did he have anything to lose?}
25. Qe3 ({Another way to defend is} 25. Qc7+ $5 {when Black has to choose
wisely where to go with the king. The obvious square} Kg8 $2 {is a bad choice
because of} (25... Kh8 {is better but then the line} 26. Qc3 Nxf2 ({White has
risk-free advantage in the line} 26... Qxf2+ 27. Kh1 e5 28. Qxd3 Qxb6 29. d6
$14) 27. Nd7 {is good for White.}) ({According to the computer, the best move
is} 25... Kh6 {but then White can win a tempo with a timely check against the
enemy king as in the line} 26. Qg3 Nf4 27. Qh4+ $1 {(away from the fork on e2)}
Kg7 28. dxe6 g5 29. Qg4 $11) 26. Nd7 Qxf2+ 27. Kh2 Rf7 28. Rf1 Qxf1 29. Rxf1
Rxf1 30. dxe6) 25... Nxf2 {The match situation is not about rational decisions
any more! Once again, from objective perspective best was} (25... Qxf2+ 26.
Qxf2 Nxf2 27. Re1 Nd3 28. Re3 Nf4 {Diagram [#] with a draw.}) 26. Rf1 {The
knight is trapped.} Qe4 27. Rbe1 {Svidler plays according to the position. He
had probably calculated the line which happened later in the game. A draw
could have been achieved by simple means with} (27. Qxe4 Nxe4 28. dxe6 Rfxe6
29. Nd5 Nd2 30. Nc7 $11) 27... exd5 (27... Ref8 28. Qxe4 Nxe4 29. Rxf6 Nxf6 $16
{leaves Black no hint of a chance.}) 28. Rxf2 $6 {Diagram [#] Not yet a
mistake but a huge step forward it. White could have won the knight with} (28.
Qd2 Nxh3+ 29. gxh3 Rxf1+ 30. Rxf1 {Diagram [#] when Black has chances for a
draw. But only in this game, not in the match...}) 28... Qh4 {Probably Svidler
was hoping for the nice line:} (28... Qxe3 29. Rxe3 Rxe3 30. Rxf6 Kxf6 31.
Nxd5+) 29. Qd2 $4 {[%csl Re1] Diagram [#] Unbelievable! The exhausting matches
and the final pressure came too much for Svidler. He blunders the game away.} (
{Instead} 29. Qxe8 Qxf2+ 30. Kh2 Qxb6 {would give some winning chances for
Black but should be still a draw with careful play. For example} 31. Re7+ Kh6
32. Rd7 Qxb4 33. Qg8 Qf4+ 34. Kh1 Qe5 35. Rxh7+ Kg5 36. Qd8 {followed by
Rh7-d7. Black cannot win with his king that exposed.}) 29... Rxf2 30. Qc3+ (30.
Qxf2 Rxe1+) 30... d4 {Diagram [#] Svidler resigned due to} (30... d4 31. Qc7+
Rf7) 0-1



Almost There

Peter Svidler made a huge step towards the overall win at the FIDE World Cup 2015. He was successful in the second game against Sergey Karjakin. Excellent opening preparation gave him a chance to almost effortlessly equalize and when the game was heading to the logical result...Karjakin blundered badly:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "FIDE World Chess Cup"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015.10.02"]
[Round "56.1"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Svidler, Peter"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2753"]
[BlackElo "2727"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "76"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:14:23"]
[BlackClock "0:02:37"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 {Diagram [#] The Ruy Lopez was the most expected
opening in this game. It served very well Svidler so far and Karjakin would
not mind the complex, rich positions that he can get.} a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7
6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. c3 d6 9. h3 Nb8 {Diagram [#] Today's choice is the
Breyer line. Black reroutes the c6 knight to d7 and opens up the bishop on b7.
The other one may go to g7 in order to open the e file and put more pressure
on white's center. This line was a favorite one to the twelfth world champion-
Anatoly Karpov in the mid-seventies and the beginning of the 1980-ties.} 10. d4
Nbd7 11. Nbd2 Bb7 12. Bc2 Re8 13. a4 Bf8 14. Bd3 c6 15. Qc2 ({Another plan is}
15. Nf1 Qc7 16. Ng3 g6 17. Bg5 {as in Dominguez Perez,L (2732)-Adams,M (2742)
Baku 2015}) 15... Rc8 16. axb5 axb5 17. b4 c5 $1 $146 {[%csl Rc2][%cal Rc8c2]
Diagram [#] "A very new interesting, sharp idea which probably solves Black's
problems" Svidler. The Russian GM revealed also that this was an idea of a
friend(s) of his which he received in a conversation through Skype. The name(s)
of the helper(s) remained a secret.} ({Previously Black had developed with}
17... Qc7 18. Bb2 Ra8 19. Rad1 Nb6 20. c4 {as in the game...Karjakin,S (2767)
-Carlsen,M (2868) Stavanger 2013. Svidler also mentioned that he lost a
similar position to his opponent before and was aware how strong Karjakin is
in these type of positions.}) 18. bxc5 {The only move to play for the
advantage. Both} (18. dxc5 dxc5 19. Bxb5 cxb4) ({And} 18. Bxb5 cxb4 {promise
White no advantage at all.} (18... cxd4)) 18... exd4 19. c6 $5 {[%csl Gc6]
[%cal Gc5c6] Diagram [#] A surprise for Svidler, who criticized himself for
the following play.} ({The main line which he analyzed was} 19. Nxd4 {when
Black should continue} b4 {and then} 20. c6 {is best and might have transposed
to the game. Instead, the obvious} (20. cxb4 $6 dxc5 21. bxc5 $2 {loses to}
Bxc5 {and White cannot escape with the d4 knight due to the discovered check
on f2.})) 19... dxc3 {Black believed this should lead to a forced draw.
Otherwise he would have gone back into the main line of his analyzes with} (
19... Bxc6 20. Nxd4 b4 {Let's go a bit further here} 21. Ba6 (21. cxb4 {is
immediately equal after} Bxe4 22. Qb3 Bxd3 23. Rxe8 Nxe8 24. Qxd3 Qb6 $11) {
Now I suspect that the main line was this-} 21... bxc3 ({Although Black may go
as well for} 21... Rc7 22. cxb4 Bxe4 (22... Bb5 $5) 23. Qd1 {The computer
claims slight advantage for White but since ,amy pawns were already traded and
the queen's flank pawns have almost disappeared completely, Black should hold.
And Black had definitely analyzed this further.}) 22. Bxc8 cxd2 23. Bxd2 Bxe4
24. Bxd7 Bxc2 25. Bxe8 Nxe8 {Diagram [#]}) 20. cxb7 ({Not} 20. cxd7 cxd2 21.
Qxd2 Nxd7 {where White has to hold.}) 20... cxd2 21. Qxd2 $1 {Diagram [#]
Clearly better than} (21. bxc8=Q dxe1=Q+ 22. Nxe1 Qxc8 23. Bxb5 Qxc2 24. Nxc2
Rxe4 {when everything disappears and the game peters out to a draw.}) 21... Rb8
22. Bxb5 Qb6 {From far away Svidler was planning} (22... Rxb7 23. Bc6 Rb6 24.
Nd4 ({But here he saw the unpleasant resource} 24. Ra8 $1 {Diagram [#] and
dismissed the line. Actually, after} Qc7 25. Rxe8 Nxe8 26. Ba4 Nef6 {the
position will be very similar to the one in the game.}) 24... Qc7 $11) 23. Rb1
Qxb7 24. Bd3 Qa8 25. Rxb8 Rxb8 26. Bb2 {Plenty of things have been traded but
Black is not yet quite there. Karjakin owes the bishop pair and the pawn on d6
might be a target, thus Svidler has to play energetically.} Qa2 $1 {[%cal
Ga2b2] Diagram [#]} 27. Re2 $1 {[%csl Gb2,Gd2,Gd3,Ge2] The best move to keep
as many pieces on the board as he can.} (27. Bd4 Qxd2 28. Nxd2 g6 {should be a
draw.}) 27... h6 {Svidler wanted to trade off everything after} (27... d5 {but
was not sure about the line} 28. e5 (28. Bxf6 Qxd2 29. Rxd2 Nxf6 30. exd5 $14 {
was fine with Black, he knew he can hold this.}) 28... Ne4 {It seems as Black
is fine indeed-} 29. Qc2 Ndc5 30. Bd4 Qxc2 31. Bxc2 Ne6 $11) 28. Qc1 {[%csl
Ya2][%cal Rb2f6] Diagram [#] Karjakin regroups and creates a simple threat in
the process Bb2xf6} Qb3 29. Bc4 Qb7 30. Qd1 {A tough position for both the
players. White has a slight edge but no real way to increase it. Black on his
turn has no safe path to the draw. On the top of that Svidler was getting low
on time.} ({Nothing gives} 30. Qf4 Qc6 {when the bishop has no good squares-}
31. Ba2 Qa6 $1 {(Svidler) Although this is a draw after} 32. Qe3 Qxa2 33. Bxf6
$11) ({An important resource for him is} 30. Bxf6 Nxf6 31. e5 Qb1 $1 $11 {
(Svidler)}) (30. e5 dxe5 31. Nxe5 Nxe5 32. Bxe5 Qb1 $11) 30... Re8 {The
pressure on the e4 pawn forces White to trade pieces.} 31. Bxf6 Nxf6 32. e5
dxe5 33. Nxe5 Re7 34. Qd4 ({Karjakin suggested the semi-waiting move} 34. g3 {
in the post-mortem, but also showed what he did not like} Nd7 35. Bd5 Qb5 36.
Bc6 Qxe5 (36... Qc5 $11 {is easier}) 37. Rxe5 Nxe5 {with a fortress.}) ({Low
on time and close to his aim Svidler saw ghosts in the lines after} 34. Qd8 Qb4
{is a third way to defend.} (34... Qc7 35. Nxf7 $1 {Diagram [#] he thought
this is winning for White but Black has the cold-blooded} Qxc4 36. Rxe7 Qc1+
37. Kh2 Qf4+ {with perpetual.}) ({And in the beautiful line that he had
calculated} 34... Qb1+ 35. Kh2 Qf5 36. Ng6 $1 {White indeed wins after the
obvious} Rxe2 ({But} 36... Re8 $1 {Diagram [#] which Svidler also saw (but was
not sure about) was a forced draw} 37. Rxe8 Nxe8 38. Qxe8 Qxg6 $11) 37. Qxf8+
Kh7 38. Bxf7 $18 {as Black has only one check (Svidler).})) 34... Nd7 35. Nxf7
{Which is OK. A more interesting attempt was} (35. Rb2 $5 {when Black has to
avoid} Qxb2 $2 ({And has to defend with} 35... Qc7 {White can still try
various things, say} 36. Bxf7+ Rxf7 37. Nxf7 Kxf7 38. Qd5+ Kg6 39. Qe4+ Kf7 40.
Rb7 Qd6 41. Qf5+ Ke8 {but Black should hold.}) 36. Bxf7+ $1 {Diagram [#]
(Svidler)}) 35... Rxf7 36. Rb2 Qc6 {The critical position of the game and
maybe the match. The game was heading towards the draw which meant that
Karjakin will have only one white color till the end to try and level the
score. He tried} 37. Rb5 $4 {[%csl Yb5][%cal Rc4f7,Rc4b5] Diagram [#] A
tragical mistake!} ({It was time to force a draw with} 37. Qd5 Qxd5 38. Bxd5 g5
39. Rb7 Ne5 $11) 37... Kh8 $1 {All of a sudden, Black wins a piece. With two
minutes on the clock Svidler almost went for the prepared drawish line after} (
37... Nf6 $11) 38. Rd5 {Makes things easier, but Black was already winning
anyway after} (38. Bxf7 Qxb5) 38... Nb6 {Diagram [#] It is over, Black wins a
whole rook.} 0-1



Svidler Takes the Lead in Baku

Peter Svidler managed to make an important step towards the overall win of the World Cup 2015. Yesterday, he was more creative and outwitted his compatriot Sergey Karjakin to take an early lead in their match of four games:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "FIDE World Chess Cup"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015.10.01"]
[Round "55.1"]
[White "Svidler, Peter"]
[Black "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2727"]
[BlackElo "2753"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "57"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:22:20"]
[BlackClock "0:02:14"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 e6 4. O-O Be7 5. d3 O-O {Diagram [#]} (5... c5 6. e4
$5 Nc6 7. Qe2 O-O 8. e5 Nd7 9. c4 d4 10. h4 $5 {Svidler,P (2758)-Karjakin,S
(2766) Khanty-Mansiysk 2014 CBM 160}) 6. Nbd2 c5 7. e4 Nc6 8. Re1 b5 9. exd5 {
Diagram [#]} ({The two players have also discussed the positions arising after:
} 9. e5 Nd7 10. Nf1 b4 (10... Bb7 11. h4 Qc7 12. Bf4 Rfc8 13. Ne3 Qd8 14. Ng4
Bf8 15. c4 Ne7 16. b3 Bc6 17. h5 h6 18. Ne3 Nb6 19. Qe2 bxc4 20. dxc4 dxc4 21.
bxc4 Na4 22. Qc2 Rab8 23. Reb1 Qa5 24. Rb3 Nb6 25. Qe2 Nd7 26. Rab1 Qc7 27. g4
Be4 28. Rxb8 Rxb8 29. Rxb8 Qxb8 30. Nf1 Bc6 {1/2-1/2 (30) Karjakin,S (2753)
-Dominguez Perez,L (2734) Khanty-Mansiysk 2015}) 11. h4 a5 12. Bf4 a4 13. a3
bxa3 14. bxa3 Ba6 15. Ne3 Rb8 16. c4 dxc4 17. Nxc4 Nb6 18. Nd6 Nd5 19. Qxa4 Rb6
20. Rac1 Nxf4 21. Qxf4 Nxe5 22. Nxe5 Bxd6 23. Qe3 Rb3 24. a4 Qc7 25. Nc4 Be7
26. Ne5 Bd6 27. Nc4 Be7 28. Ne5 {1/2 (28) Svidler,P (2756)-Karjakin,S (2772)
Loo RUS 2014}) 9... Nxd5 {A slight surprise.} ({"Generally, Sergey takes"} 9...
exd5 {"which is fine for Black." Obviously Svidler put his efforts in the
study of that line.}) 10. Ne4 ({"I suppose I should play"} 10. a4 {Diagram [#]}
b4 11. Nc4 {"But then Black simply develops with Qd8-c7, Bc8-b7, Ra8-d8 and I
am not sure what is my plan." Svidler}) 10... Bb7 11. c3 $146 {Diagram [#]} ({
Predecessor saw:} 11. Bd2 Qc7 12. c4 bxc4 13. dxc4 Ndb4 14. Bc3 {Grossmann,S
(1886)-Lindenberg,G (1889) Greifswald 2003}) (11. Bg5 f6 12. Bd2 e5) 11... a6 (
{Svidler suggested instead} 11... h6 {[%csl Rf7,Yg5][%cal Rf7e6] Diagram [#]
to rule out Bc1-g5 and to keep the pawn on f7 thus depriving White of targets.
After the possible} 12. d4 cxd4 13. Nxd4 Nxd4 14. Qxd4 {he explained that
without the dark-squared bishops on the board his position would be better,
but since it is still alive he would rather prefer to have the black pieces.})
12. a4 {Before White does anything he wants to weaken the black queenside.} ({
White considered teh curious idea} 12. Bg5 f6 13. Bc1 $5 {Not to obstruct the
queen in its support for the d3-d4 break. However, he could not convince
himself that he is better in the line} e5 ({Some preparatory move like} 13...
Qd7 $5 $11 {Diagram [#] though looks good for Black. He can bring his rooks
first on d8 and e8 and play e6-e5 later.}) 14. d4 cxd4 ({Another option for
Black is} 14... exd4 $5 15. cxd4 c4 {with good position.}) 15. cxd4 f5 16. Nc5
Bxc5 17. dxc5 e4 {However, in the final position White has the strong} 18. Ng5
{and if} Qd7 19. f3 $1 {to break open his bishops with advantage.}) 12... b4 {
This is not forced at all. A reasonable alternative was} (12... h6 {followed
by Qd8-c7 with equality.}) 13. Bg5 f6 14. Bd2 e5 15. Rc1 {[%csl Rc5][%cal
Rc1c5] Diagram [#] For a moment White felt optimistic as he has targets on the
queenside.} Rf7 {Svidler suggested as a better defense the move} (15... Rc8 $1
{With the idea to take control of the c5 square. The point becomes obvious in
the line} 16. d4 ({Probably Karjakin was afraid of the move} 16. Bh3 {and after
} f5 {Either} {Or} 17. Neg5 (17. Nfg5 {However, if he is careful with} Qd7 $1 {
he should be fine. The main thing Black needs to avoid is greediness after} (
17... fxe4 $2 18. Be6+ Kh8 19. Nxh7 $1 {[%csl Yh8] Diagram [#] A typical trick
as} Kxh7 20. Qh5#)) 17... Qd6 {but in both cases Black holds.}) 16... cxd4 17.
cxd4 Nxd4 18. Nxd4 exd4 {and in comparison to the game c5 is under control.})
16. d4 $1 {White got the initiative and what followed next was connected with
oversight by Black.} bxc3 17. bxc3 cxd4 18. cxd4 {Diagram [#]} Nxd4 $2 {
Svidler did not mention this but that move might be the worst mistake Karjakin
did today. The fact that these two knights were traded was very favourable for
White who made excellent use of his fianchettoed bishop.} (18... exd4 $1 {
Instead was more tenacious. White still keeps an edge but he has to play first
of all very energetically with} 19. Qb3 Rb8 20. Nfg5 $1 fxg5 21. Nc5 Ncb4 22.
Nxb7 Rxb7 23. Bxb4 Rxb4 24. Qxd5 Rb8 25. Qc4 {And then it is not yet clear of
the opposite bishop position after} d3 $1 {[%cal Rd3d2] Diagram [#]} 26. Bd5 (
26. Rcd1 d2 27. Re2 Rb1 28. Rxb1 d1=Q+ 29. Rxd1 Qxd1+ 30. Bf1 Qd6 {is also
better for White but maybe hold able.}) 26... d2 27. Bxf7+ Kh8 28. Qxa6 Bc5 $5
$16 {is actually won for White.}) 19. Nxd4 exd4 20. Qb3 ({Karjakin only
expected} 20. Nc5 Bxc5 21. Rxc5 Nc3 {with massive liquidations and a draw after
} 22. Bxc3 Bxg2 23. Kxg2 dxc3 $11) 20... Rb8 $6 {Objectively, a mistake. From
far away Karjakin considered this a good move and good position for him, but
White's next reply clarifies the situation.} ({Better was} 20... Qd7 $1 {
Diagram [#] although after} 21. Rc4 {White is clearly better. For example} f5
22. Ng5 Bxg5 23. Bxg5 Nf6 $1 {to break the pin at once} 24. Bxb7 Qxb7 25. Qxb7
Rxb7 26. Bxf6 gxf6 27. Rxd4 $16 {Although White keeps winning chances Black
has hopes to hold this endgame.}) 21. Rb1 $1 {[%csl Yb7,Rb8,Yd5,Rg8][%cal
Rb1b8,Rg2a8,Ra2g8] Diagram [#] This pin is more than annoying.} Qd7 (21... Rf8
22. Bf4 $1 {reveals one point behind the pin.}) 22. Rec1 ({Worse is the greedy
} 22. Ng5 fxg5 23. Bxd5 Bxd5 24. Qxb8+ Rf8 {[%csl Gd5,Yg1] Diagram [#] with
huge compensation for a pawn (Svidler).}) 22... Qe6 {The last mistake
according to White. Svidler was afraid of the move} (22... h6 {Diagram [#]
when he could not see a clear win. True, after} 23. Nc5 ({Or} 23. Rc4 {which
would practically lead to the same after} f5 24. Nc5 ({As} 24. Rxd4 fxe4 25.
Bxe4 Bc5 {is good only for Black.}) 24... Bxc5 25. Rxc5 Nc3) 23... Bxc5 24.
Rxc5 ({Once again White should avoid capturing the exchange} 24. Bxd5 $2 Bxd5
25. Qxb8+ Rf8 {with a win for Black actually!}) 24... Nc3 25. Bxc3 dxc3 {
Diagram [#] Now Svidler considered two winning attempts:} {White can take the
exchange} 26. Bd5 ({The quiet} 26. Rxc3 {when Black is completely tied up but
it is not that easy to pick up the black bishop as Black is always threatening
to move away his rook with a tempo, or sacrifice the exchange:} Kh7 {If White
tries to triple his pieces along the b file there is} 27. Qc2+ (27. Qb2 Bxg2 ({
Or even the preparatory} 27... Re7 28. Rb3 Bxg2 29. Rxb8 Be4 (29... Qh3 $5 {
looks good too.})) 28. Qxb8 Be4 {and White still has to prove his win.}) 27...
f5 28. Rcb3 $2 Rc8 $1 $11) 26... Bxd5 27. Qxb8+ Rf8 (27... Kh7 28. Rd1) 28. Qc7
{And Black can still fight} (28. Qf4 $1 {is best with decent winning chances.})
28... Qe6 {In all these lines White is close to winning but there is still
plenty of play going on.} ({But Karjakin has to avoid E. Miroshnichenko's
discovery} 28... Qf5 $2 29. Rb7 $1)) 23. Nc5 Bxc5 24. Rxc5 Rd8 25. Ba5 $1 {
Diagram [#]} Rd6 ({In case of} 25... Rdd7 {Svidler saw the beautiful win after}
26. Re1 Qf5 ({But he was not so sure about the line} 26... Qd6 {when he had to
find an even more stunning win} 27. Bb4 $3 {[%csl Gb4] Diagram [#] when Black
is doomed, since} Nxb4 28. Re8+ {loses the queen to start with.}) 27. Qxb7 Rxb7
28. Re8+ Rf8 29. Bxd5+) 26. Qc4 {White is completely dominating and Rb1xb7 is
a deadly threat. Unstoppable.} Nc3 27. Rxb7 ({Svidler saw another win} 27. Qxe6
Rxe6 28. Bxc3 Bxg2 29. Rc8+ Rf8 30. Rxf8+ Kxf8 31. Bb4+ Kf7 32. Kxg2 Rb6 33.
Rb2 $18) 27... Qe1+ 28. Bf1 Ne2+ 29. Qxe2 {Diagram [#]} 1-0