Round nine of Tata Steel saw Magnus Carlsen firmly occupying the first place after a win against his second Michael Adams. The other big news were Wei Yi's first win in the event. And what a win that was:

A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "Tata Steel Chess - Masters"]

[Site "?"]

[Date "2016.01.26"]

[Round "9.3"]

[White "Wei, Yi"]

[Black "Navara, David"]

[Result "1-0"]

[WhiteElo "2706"]

[BlackElo "2730"]

[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]

[PlyCount "55"]

[EventDate "2016.??.??"]

[WhiteClock "0:38:08"]

[BlackClock "0:01:40"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 {The Anti-Berlin is getting more and more

popular of lately. It seems as White has not much there as well, but at least

the queens are still on the board!} Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nbd2 O-O {Diagram [#]}

({Another plan is} 6... Qe7 7. h3 O-O 8. Nc4 Nd7 9. Qe2 b5 10. Ne3 Nb6 {

as in Caruana,F (2787)-Nakamura,H (2793) London 2015}) 7. Nc4 Nd7 8. Qe2 Re8 9.

Bd2 Bd6 10. h4 $146 {[%csl Yg6][%cal Gh4h5,Gg2g4,Gg4g5] Diagram [#]} ({So far

all the games saw} 10. g4 {One fresh example goes} Nf8 11. Ne3 Ne6 12. Nf5 a5

$1 13. h4 a4 14. Ng5 a3 {when the Dutch GM managed to create serious

counter play in Anand,V (2803)-Giri,A (2798) Bilbao 2015}) 10... c5 {Navara

wants to occupy the d4 outpost with comfort.} ({The knight can come back to}

10... Nf6 {but it will hardly stop the white pawns there.}) ({On the other hand

} 10... Nf8 {can be met with} 11. h5 {attacking and depriving the black knight

of the g6 square and this might be the critical test for Wei's novelty after}

Ne6) 11. h5 h6 {[%csl Rh6] Diagram [#] This is dubious to say at least. In now

way should have Black allowed a hook on the kingside. Both} ({the immediate}

11... Nb8) ({Or} 11... Nf8 12. h6 g6 {were better.}) 12. O-O-O {The immediate}

(12. g4 {was also good for White, for example} Nf8 13. g5 hxg5 14. Bxg5 f6 15.

Bd2 b5 16. Nxd6 cxd6 17. Rg1 {with attack.}) 12... Nb8 13. Rdg1 {Wei is not in

a hurry.} ({Once again} 13. g4 {is possible as Black is not willing to capture

the pawn} Bxg4 $2 (13... f6 14. Nh4) 14. Rdg1 Bxf3 (14... Qd7 15. Rh4 Bxf3 16.

Qxf3) 15. Qxf3 {[%csl Yf7,Rh6][%cal Rf3f7,Rd2h6] Diagram [#] This is not even

winning a pawn as the h6 and f7 spots cannot be defended simultaneously.})

13... Nc6 14. g4 f6 {Navara was obviously counting on this move to seal the

kingside. However...} ({Or else the kingside will be badly opened.} 14... Nd4

15. Nxd4 cxd4 16. g5) 15. g5 $1 {[%csl Yf6,Yg7,Rg8,Yh6][%cal Gg1g8,Gh1h8]

Diagram [#] Wei blows the barricades at once!} (15. Nh4 {will be the

traditional way to play.}) 15... fxg5 16. Nxg5 Nd4 ({In case of the immediate}

16... hxg5 17. Bxg5 {White's attack is also very strong. For example} Be7 (

17... Qd7 18. Bf6 Bf8 19. h6 $18) ({There is no need to transpose into the

game after} 17... Nd4 18. Qe3) 18. Bxe7 (18. Be3 $5) 18... Qxe7 19. h6 g5 20.

Qh5 g4 (20... Kh8 21. Rxg5) 21. Ne3 Kh8 22. Nxg4 Bxg4 23. Rxg4 Rg8 24. Rg7 Qf6

{Diagram [#] with two pawns for the piece and strong threats.}) 17. Qd1 hxg5

18. Bxg5 Be7 {It seems as the attack will soon peter out, but Wei had foreseen

the amazing} ({The other move loses quickly} 18... Qd7 19. Bf6) 19. Be3 $3 {

[%csl Yg7,Yg8][%cal Gg5e3,Rg1g8] Diagram [#] Human beings have difficulties in

seeing backward moves when attacking, but not the Chinese GM. The threat h5-h6

forces Black to go} Bf6 (19... Bd6 20. h6 $18) {But} 20. h6 {is played anyway

and it becomes obvious that the two rooks will have a great party on the open

files.} Re7 ({Black cannot hide behind the pawns as the lines prove} 20... g5

21. Bxg5 $1 {Diagram [#]} (21. Qh5 g4 22. f4) 21... Bxg5+ 22. f4 exf4 23. Qh5

Ne2+ 24. Kd1 Nxg1 25. Qg6+ Kh8 26. Qg7#) (20... g6 21. Qh5 $1 $18) 21. hxg7

Rxg7 22. Qh5 {Now that the black king is opened everything finishes in just a

few moves. The black queenside pieces never took part in the battle.} Be6 23.

Bh6 {Diagram [#] The simplest win.} ({There was a dual} 23. Qh8+ Kf7 24. Rxg7+

Bxg7 25. Nxe5+ Bxe5 26. Rh7+ Kg6 27. Rh6+ Kf7 28. Qxe5 $18) 23... Bf7 24. Bxg7

Bxh5 25. Bxf6+ Kf8 26. Bxd8 Ne2+ 27. Kb1 Nxg1 28. Bxc7 {Diagram [#]} 1-0

Report.

[Event "Tata Steel Chess - Masters"]

[Site "?"]

[Date "2016.01.26"]

[Round "9.3"]

[White "Wei, Yi"]

[Black "Navara, David"]

[Result "1-0"]

[WhiteElo "2706"]

[BlackElo "2730"]

[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]

[PlyCount "55"]

[EventDate "2016.??.??"]

[WhiteClock "0:38:08"]

[BlackClock "0:01:40"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 {The Anti-Berlin is getting more and more

popular of lately. It seems as White has not much there as well, but at least

the queens are still on the board!} Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nbd2 O-O {Diagram [#]}

({Another plan is} 6... Qe7 7. h3 O-O 8. Nc4 Nd7 9. Qe2 b5 10. Ne3 Nb6 {

as in Caruana,F (2787)-Nakamura,H (2793) London 2015}) 7. Nc4 Nd7 8. Qe2 Re8 9.

Bd2 Bd6 10. h4 $146 {[%csl Yg6][%cal Gh4h5,Gg2g4,Gg4g5] Diagram [#]} ({So far

all the games saw} 10. g4 {One fresh example goes} Nf8 11. Ne3 Ne6 12. Nf5 a5

$1 13. h4 a4 14. Ng5 a3 {when the Dutch GM managed to create serious

counter play in Anand,V (2803)-Giri,A (2798) Bilbao 2015}) 10... c5 {Navara

wants to occupy the d4 outpost with comfort.} ({The knight can come back to}

10... Nf6 {but it will hardly stop the white pawns there.}) ({On the other hand

} 10... Nf8 {can be met with} 11. h5 {attacking and depriving the black knight

of the g6 square and this might be the critical test for Wei's novelty after}

Ne6) 11. h5 h6 {[%csl Rh6] Diagram [#] This is dubious to say at least. In now

way should have Black allowed a hook on the kingside. Both} ({the immediate}

11... Nb8) ({Or} 11... Nf8 12. h6 g6 {were better.}) 12. O-O-O {The immediate}

(12. g4 {was also good for White, for example} Nf8 13. g5 hxg5 14. Bxg5 f6 15.

Bd2 b5 16. Nxd6 cxd6 17. Rg1 {with attack.}) 12... Nb8 13. Rdg1 {Wei is not in

a hurry.} ({Once again} 13. g4 {is possible as Black is not willing to capture

the pawn} Bxg4 $2 (13... f6 14. Nh4) 14. Rdg1 Bxf3 (14... Qd7 15. Rh4 Bxf3 16.

Qxf3) 15. Qxf3 {[%csl Yf7,Rh6][%cal Rf3f7,Rd2h6] Diagram [#] This is not even

winning a pawn as the h6 and f7 spots cannot be defended simultaneously.})

13... Nc6 14. g4 f6 {Navara was obviously counting on this move to seal the

kingside. However...} ({Or else the kingside will be badly opened.} 14... Nd4

15. Nxd4 cxd4 16. g5) 15. g5 $1 {[%csl Yf6,Yg7,Rg8,Yh6][%cal Gg1g8,Gh1h8]

Diagram [#] Wei blows the barricades at once!} (15. Nh4 {will be the

traditional way to play.}) 15... fxg5 16. Nxg5 Nd4 ({In case of the immediate}

16... hxg5 17. Bxg5 {White's attack is also very strong. For example} Be7 (

17... Qd7 18. Bf6 Bf8 19. h6 $18) ({There is no need to transpose into the

game after} 17... Nd4 18. Qe3) 18. Bxe7 (18. Be3 $5) 18... Qxe7 19. h6 g5 20.

Qh5 g4 (20... Kh8 21. Rxg5) 21. Ne3 Kh8 22. Nxg4 Bxg4 23. Rxg4 Rg8 24. Rg7 Qf6

{Diagram [#] with two pawns for the piece and strong threats.}) 17. Qd1 hxg5

18. Bxg5 Be7 {It seems as the attack will soon peter out, but Wei had foreseen

the amazing} ({The other move loses quickly} 18... Qd7 19. Bf6) 19. Be3 $3 {

[%csl Yg7,Yg8][%cal Gg5e3,Rg1g8] Diagram [#] Human beings have difficulties in

seeing backward moves when attacking, but not the Chinese GM. The threat h5-h6

forces Black to go} Bf6 (19... Bd6 20. h6 $18) {But} 20. h6 {is played anyway

and it becomes obvious that the two rooks will have a great party on the open

files.} Re7 ({Black cannot hide behind the pawns as the lines prove} 20... g5

21. Bxg5 $1 {Diagram [#]} (21. Qh5 g4 22. f4) 21... Bxg5+ 22. f4 exf4 23. Qh5

Ne2+ 24. Kd1 Nxg1 25. Qg6+ Kh8 26. Qg7#) (20... g6 21. Qh5 $1 $18) 21. hxg7

Rxg7 22. Qh5 {Now that the black king is opened everything finishes in just a

few moves. The black queenside pieces never took part in the battle.} Be6 23.

Bh6 {Diagram [#] The simplest win.} ({There was a dual} 23. Qh8+ Kf7 24. Rxg7+

Bxg7 25. Nxe5+ Bxe5 26. Rh7+ Kg6 27. Rh6+ Kf7 28. Qxe5 $18) 23... Bf7 24. Bxg7

Bxh5 25. Bxf6+ Kf8 26. Bxd8 Ne2+ 27. Kb1 Nxg1 28. Bxc7 {Diagram [#]} 1-0

Report.