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


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