GM Evgeny Miroshnichenko comments on the games of the 14th round

 Viswanathan Anand – Peter Svidler

Ruy Lopez C89

 The winner of the tournament did not spend too much energy in the final round, which can be also explained by tiredness.

 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d3 Bd6 13.Re1 Bf5 14.Qf3.


14…Qf6!? A relatively fresh approach. More often Black tries 14…Qh4 15.g3 Qh3, here is a recent example: 16.Be3 Bxd3 17.Nd2 Qf5 18.Bd4 Rfe8 19.a4 h6 20.Kg2 Kf8 21.Rxe8+ Rxe8 22.axb5 axb5 23.Qxf5 Bxf5 24.Bxd5 cxd5 25.Ra6 Be7 26.Nf1 b4 with some initiative for White, Caruana-Aronian, Zurich 2014.

 15.Nd2 Qg6 16.Bd1 Bxd3 17.Ne4 Bxe4 18.Qxe4 Qxe4 19.Rxe4 Rae8 20.Rxe8 Rxe8 21.Kf1 Bf4 22.Bf3 Bxc1 23.Rxc1 Kf8.


24.a3. Until now the players followed Shirov-Nyback, Helsinki 2014, and only this move is a novelty, but it doesn’t influence the evaluation of the whole line as harmless for Black. The aforementioned game went on 24.b3 Re6 25.c4 Nb4 26.cxb5 cxb5 27.a4 bxa4 28.bxa4 Nd3 29.Rb1 Nc5 30.a5 Re5 31.Be2 Ne6, draw.

 24…Rd8 25.c4 Nf4. Or 25…Ne7 26.cxb5 axb5=.

 26.Bxc6 Nd3 27.Rc2 bxc4 28.Rxc4 Nxb2 29.Rc2 Rc8!


30.Ke2 Ke7 31.Be4 Rxc2+ 32.Bxc2 Nc4 33.Bd3 Nxa3 34.Bxa6. Game drawn.

 We congratulate Vishy with the brilliant tournament victory!

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov – Vladimir Kramnik

Nimzo-Indian Defense E32

 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0–0 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 d5 7.Nf3 dxc4 8.Qxc4 b6 9.Bg5 Ba6 10.Qa4 Qd7.


11.Qxd7. This occurs a lot less frequently than 11.Qc2, tested twice by Mamedyarov, and both times against Kramnik. In neither of these games Black experienced any problems: 11…c5 12.dxc5 Rc8 13.Rd1 (13.Bxf6 was already mentioned in my notes to Andreikin-Kramnik:13…gxf6 14.Qe4 Qb5 15.b4 bxc5 16.e3 Qb7 17.Qg4+ Kf8 18.b5 Bxb5 19.Rb1 a6 20.a4 f5 21.Qh4 Qe4 22.Qh6+ Ke7 23.Qg5+ Kf8 24.Qh6+ Ke7 25.Qg5+ Kf8 26.Qh6+ Ke7, draw, Mamedyarov-Kramnik, Moscow 2013) 13…Qe7 14.e4 Bxf1 15.Rxf1 h6 16.Bh4?! Rxc5 17.Qe2 e5, and Black seized the initiative, Mamedyarov-Kramnik, Geneve 2013.

 11…Nbxd7 12.Bxf6 Nxf6 13.e3 Bb7. Black doesn’t have any special problems after 13…Bxf1 14.Rxf1 Rfc8 15.Rc1 c5 16.dxc5 Rc7 17.Ke2 Rac8 18.Rfd1 Kf8 19.Ne5 Rxc5 20.Rxc5 Rxc5 21.Nd7+ Nxd7 22.Rxd7=, Lou-Lenderman, Moscow 2011.

 14.Rc1 Rac8. A rather insignificant novelty. Earlier Black played 14…c5 15.dxc5 Rac8 16.Bb5?! (stronger is 16.Ne5 bxc5 17.f3, hoping to get an advantage due to Black’s queenside weaknesses) 16…Rxc5 17.Rxc5 bxc5 18.Ke2 Rb8!, and Black converted his advantage in Span-Rotstein, Netherlands 2008.

 15.Ne5 Rfd8 16.f3 c5 17.dxc5.


17…Nd7! This move completely sterilizes the position. White cannot even hope to get an advantage. Less clear is 17…bxc5 18.Bc4 Nd5 19.Kf2 Nb6 20.Rhd1 with some practical chances for White.

 18.Nxd7 Rxd7 19.e4 Kf8 20.b4 bxc5 21.Bb5. This leads to mass exchanges and a quick draw. White could create some tension by 21.b5, however, both 21…f5 22.Bc4 Re8 23.Be2 fxe4 24.Rxc5 Ke7 25.fxe4 Bxe4 26.0–0 Rd2 anf 21…c4 22.Rxc4 Rxc4 23.Bxc4 Rc7 24.Bf1 Rc2 25.a4 Ra2 26.Be2 Rxa4 is enough to equalize.

 21…Rdc7 22.Kd2 cxb4 23.axb4 Rxc1 24.Rxc1 Rxc1 25.Kxc1 e5 26.Kd2 Ke7 27.Kd3 Kd6 28.Bc4 f6 29.g4 g5 30.Kc3 Bc8. Draw.

Veselin Topalov – Dmitry Andreikin

Ruy Lopez C65

 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.0–0 Nd4 6.Nxd4 Bxd4 7.c3 Bb6 8.Na3!? A rare continuation. Usually White searches for an advantage by 8.Bg5 or 8.Nd2.

 8…c6 9.Ba4 0–0 10.Bg5 h6. A novelty. Venkatesh-Gupta, Bikaner 2004 saw 10…d6 11.Nc4 h6 12.Bh4 Be6 13.Nxb6 axb6 14.a3 Qe7 15.Bc2 Rad8 16.d4 Rfe8 17.Qf3 b5 18.h3 with a small advantage to White.

 11.Bh4 d5.


Black takes the center under control first, creating some tension on the board. The evaluation now depends on a fate of his central pawns.

 12.exd5 cxd5 13.Bb3 g5 14.Bg3 Re8 15.Re1 Bc7 16.Nc2. Black dodged a few threats, and White brings the reinforcements – the knight goes to е3. There was an interesting idea of transferring the bishop to g4 by 16.h3 Bf5 17.d4!? e4 18.Bxc7 Qxc7 19.Nc2 with some pressure on Black’s center.

 16…Bg4 17.Qd2 d4. A concrete decision – Black does not let the enemy knight go to e3, but in turn weakens the light squares and brings the b3-bishop to life.

 17…Nh5 deserved attention, and then 18.h3 Bf5 19.Bh2 Nf4 20.Ne3 Be6 21.Ng4 Bxg4 22.hxg4 Qd7 with a balanced position.

 18.h3. 18.Bc4!? threatening с3xd4 is very interesting. After 18…dxc3 19.Qxc3 Nd7 20.Bd5! Rb8 21.Ne3 Be6 22.Bxe6 Rxe6 23.d4 exd4 24.Qxd4 Bxg3 25.hxg3 White keeps some pressure.

 18…Bf5 19.Ba4 Bd7. Safer is 19…dxc3 20.Qxc3 Nd5 21.Qa3 Re7 22.d4 e4 23.Ne3 Nxe3 24.Bxc7 Rxc7 25.fxe3, and Black’s chances are not worse.

 20.Bxd7 dxc3 21.Qxc3 Nxd7 22.d4 Rc8 23.Qb3.


23…Ba5?! A somewhat extravagant move that gives White additional chances of fighting for an advantage. Black should gradually equalize after 23…exd4 24.Rxe8+ Qxe8 25.Re1 Qd8 26.Bxc7 Qxc7 27.Nxd4 Qf4! This is a key resource that allows Black to withstand White’s unpleasant pressure. Now after 28.Qxb7 Rc1 29.Nf3 Ne5! White must take a draw – 30.Rxc1 Qxc1+ 31.Kh2 Qf4+ 32.Kh1 Qc1+, and 33.Ng1 Nd3 promises White nothing. Activity of black pieces should suffice at least for equality.

 24.Re2. Stronger is 24.Red1!? exd4 25.Nxd4 Nc5 26.Qf3 Ne4 27.Nf5 Qf6 28.Rd7, and defending is hard for Black.

 24…exd4 25.Rxe8+ Qxe8 26.Nxd4 Nc5 27.Qf3 Qe4. Black decides to trade the queens, correctly assuming that active pieces in the endgame compensate for minimal material deficit. He could also opt for 27…Rd8!?, not worrying about 28.Nf5 Qe6, and improving his position is hard for White.

 28.Nf5 Qxf3 29.gxf3 Rd8 30.Nxh6+ Kg7 31.Nf5+ Kg6 32.Nd6 Bb6 33.Nc4 Ne6.


White’s extra pawn is insignificant due to his kingside pawn weaknesses and activity of black pieces.

 34.Re1. Taking the bishop doesn’t offer much – 34.Nxb6 axb6 35.Re1 Rd2 36.Be5 Rc2, and Black plays without risk, as he can always transpose to a drawn rook ending by Кf4.

 34…Bd4 35.b3 Rd5. After 35…b5 Dmitry could dislike 36.Nd6, temporary cutting off the black rook, but the computer extends the line by 36…Bc3! 37.Rc1 b4 38.Nb5 Rd3 39.Kf1 f6! with equality. After 40.Nxc3 bxc3 41.Ke2 Rd2+ 42.Ke3 Rxa2 43.Rxc3 f5 White has to force a draw: 44.f4 gxf4+ 45.Bxf4 Nxf4 46.Kxf4 Rxf2+.

 36.Kf1 Bc5 37.Re2 a6 38.Rd2. Black agrees to trade rooks, correctly judging that he should easily make a draw in a minor piece endgame.

 38…Rxd2 39.Nxd2 f5 40.Bb8 f4 41.Ne4 Be7. White’s extra pawn loses its value in this position. For a while Topalov tries to trick his less experienced opponent.

 42.Ba7 Kh5 43.Bb6 Kh4 44.Kg2 Bd8.


45.Bc5. 45.Bxd8 Nxd8 46.Nc5 a5 47.a4 b6 48.Nd7 Ne6 49.Nxb6 Nc5 leads to an annihilation of the queenside.

 45…Kh5 46.Bd6 Kh4 47.Bb4 Kh5 48.Ba3 Kg6 49.Kf1 Kh5 50.Bb4 Kg6 51.Nd2 Kh5 52.Nc4 Bc7 53.Be7 Kh4 54.Kg2 Bd8 55.Bb4 Bc7 56.Nd2 Kh5 57.Ne4 Bd8 58.Kf1 Kg6 59.Bd6 Kh5 60.Ba3 Kg6 61.Bb2 Be7 62.a4. Now Black can force a draw.

62…Kh5. Or 62…Nc5 63.Nxc5 Bxc5, and White cannot make progress.

63.Be5 Kh4 64.Kg2 Nc5 65.Nxc5 Bxc5 66.Bf6 Bd6 67.Kf1 Kxh3 68.Bxg5 Kh2 69.Ke2 Kg2. Draw.

Levon Aronian – Sergey Karjakin

Sicilian Defense B23

 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.Bc4 a6 4.a3 e6 5.d3 Nf6 6.Ba2 Nc6 7.Nf3 Be7 8.0–0 0–0 9.Re1 b5 10.Ne2 Bb7 11.Ng3 d5 12.e5 Nd7. A creative opening led to a King’s Indian type of position with reversed colors, with White’s light-squared bishop doing nothing on a2.



13…d4?! Clearly not the most obvious idea. Now White gets an excellent outpost on e4 for his knight, and the a2-bishop plays a more important role than before. A queenside expansion deserved attention: 13…a5, and after 14.d4 b4 15.Bb1 Re8! followed byКf8 it is not easy for White to come up with real threats on the kingside.

 14.cxd4 cxd4 15.Bf4 Nc5 16.Rc1 b4.


17.Bg5. 17.Nh5! is a tempting alternative, and after the careless 17…Kh8 (perhaps 17…Nd7!? 18.Rxc6 Bxc6 19.Nxd4 Qb6! 20.Nxe6 b3!! is stronger, and Black holds, although one should not expect from the players such computer-like variations as 21.Nexg7 Bc5 22.Nf5 Bxf2+ 23.Kf1 Kh8 24.Qxb3 Qxb3 25.Bxb3 Bxe1 26.Kxe1 Rab8 27.Bh6 Rg8 28.Bxf7 Rb5, and the position is still unclear!) 18.Rxc5! Bxc5 19.Ng5, and Black cannot survive, e. g., 19…Be7 20.Nxh7 Kxh7 21.Nxg7 Kxg7 22.Qg4+ Kh7 23.Qh5+ Kg8 24.Bh6! Bf6 25.exf6 Qxf6 26.Re4! Ne7 27.Rf4! Nf5 28.Rg4+ Ng7 29.Bxg7 Qxg7 30.Rxg7+ Kxg7 31.Qg5+ and wins.

 17…b3!? The plain and simple 17…Bxg5 18.Nxg5 Qxg5 19.Rxc5 bxa3 20.bxa3 Qe7 equalizes as well.

 18.Bb1 h6?! Stronger is 18…Bxg5 19.Nxg5 (after 19.Rxc5? Be7 20.Rc1 Qb6 White must work hard to unpack the bishop from b1) 19…Qxg5 20.Rxc5 Ne7 21.Qxb3 Bd5 22.Qc2 Ng6 with good compensation for a pawn.

 19.Bxe7 Qxe7 20.Ne4 Nxe4 21.dxe4! Rab8.


22.Qxb3?! The unhurried 22.Bd3!? is very interesting. Black cannot save the pawn, and after 22…Rfc8 (22…Ba8?! 23.Bxa6±) 23.Qxb3 Ba8 24.Qc2 White gets a much better version of the game position.

 22…Ba8 23.Qc2 Rb6 24.Rcd1. Here Levon was already rather short on time. It seems 24.b4 is stronger, but Black has sufficient counterplay after 24…a5 25.bxa5 Ra6 26.Qc5 Qd8 27.Bd3 Rxa5 28.Bb5 d3! 29.Rcd1 Na7 30.a4 Nxb5 31.axb5 Ra4! 32.Nd2 Qa5.

 24…Rfb8 25.Re2 Qb7 26.Rdd2 Rb3! 27.Qd1 Qc7 28.Qc1.


28…Rxf3! From practical point of view this exchange sac can be labeled as a winning move. Defending as White is very difficult, especially in the time trouble.

 29.gxf3 Qxe5 30.Rd3 Qh5 31.Qf4 Ne5. An interesting rook transfer 31…Rb5 deserved attention. After 32.Kh1 Rg5 33.Re1 Ne5 Black stands much better.

 32.Rc2. The following sequence of inaccurate moves is explained by the mutual time trouble. More accurate is 32.Kg2, threatening to take on d4, and the lengthy line 32…Rb5 (32…Nxd3?? 33.Qxb8++-; 32…Rd8 33.Rd1) 33.Rxd4 Ng6 34.Rd8+ Kh7 35.e5 f5 36.exf6 Rg5+ 37.Kf1 Bxf3 38.Re3 Qh3+ 39.Ke1 Rg1+ 40.Kd2 Qf1 41.Qxf3 Qc1+ 42.Kd3 ends with the perpetual check – 42…Qxb1+ (42…Rd1+ 43.Ke2 Re1+=) 43.Kc3 Rc1+ 44.Kb3 Qc2+ 45.Ka2=.

 32…Rb5 33.h4 Bb7 34.Rcd2 Rb6 35.Kf1.


35…Nxd3. 35…a5! is very strong.After 36.Rxd4 Ba6+ 37.Bd3 Nxd3 38.R4xd3 Rb3 39.Qd6 Bxd3+ 40.Rxd3 Qb5 41.Ke2 Rxb2+ 42.Ke1 Rb1+ 43.Rd1 Rb3 Black wins.

 36.Bxd3 e5 37.Qg3. Better is 37.Qg4! Qxg4 38.fxg4, and White is not hopeless yet.

 37…Rf6 38.Be2 Rf4 39.Rxd4 Rxh4 40.Rd8+ Kh7. The time trouble is over, and White survived the direct attack, but his position is still precarious.


41.Kg2. Now the king gets stuck in the danger zone. Playing Black is much easier in a practical game, while White must always maintain the highest level of concentration to avoid the immediate disaster. An attempt to run away by 41.Ke1 Rf4 42.Kd2 deserved attention, and I don’t think anything decisive for Black.

 41…Rf4 42.Rd1 g5 43.Qh3 Qg6 44.Kf1 Rh4 45.Qg3 Qe6 46.Kg2 Rf4 47.Rc1 Qd6 48.Rd1 Qf6 49.Rc1 a5 50.b4 axb4 51.axb4 Qd6 52.Rh1 Kg7 53.b5 Bc8 54.Qh2 Qg6 55.Qh5 Qf6 56.Qh2 Kh7 57.Qg3 Bb7 58.Rc1 Qd6 59.Rd1 Qf6 60.Rc1 Qd6 61.Rh1 Kg7 62.Qh3 Rh4 63.Qg3. For more than 20 moves Black did not manage to achieve any progress, but slowly Aronian’s tiredness begins to tell.


63…Rf4 64.Qh3 Rf6 65.Rd1 Qc5 66.Qg3 Rf4 67.Rh1 Qc2 68.Qh2 Rf6 69.Re1 Qd2! 70.Kf1 Rf4?! 70…Bc8 seems stronger – Black aims at h3 and forces White into zugzwang. After 71.Qg2 Be6 72.Rb1 Qc2 73.Re1 Qc3 White cannot survive.

 71.Rd1 Qc3.


72.Kg2? White could still fight by 72.Rd3, but Levon preferred to go down in flames.

 72…Qb2 73.Rh1. A hopeless counterattacking attempt. After 73.Re1 Rh4 74.Qg3 Bc8 75.b6 Rh3 76.Qxh3 Bxh3+ 77.Kxh3 Qxb6 78.Kg2 Black must win, although he still has some technical obstacles.

 73…Rh4 74.Qg3 Rxh1 75.Kxh1 Qxe2 76.Qxe5+ Kh7 77.Kg2 Qc4 78.Qe7 Bc8 79.b6 Ba6 80.Kh2 Qb3 81.Qa7 Bf1 82.Kg1 Bh3 83.f4.


83…gxf4. A simple human solution. The machine prefers 83…g4 84.Kh2 Bf1 85.Kg1 Be2 86.Qd7 g3! 87.Qf5+ (87.b7 Qb1+ 88.Kg2 Qf1+ 89.Kxg3 Qg1+ 90.Kh3 Bf1+ 91.Kh4 Qh2+ 92.Kg4 Qh3#) 87…Kg7 88.Qe5+ Kg8 with a quick checkmate.

 84.Qc7 Qd1+ 85.Kh2 Qh5 86.Qxf4 Bc8+ 87.Kg2 Qg5+ 88.Kf3 Qxf4+ 89.Kxf4 Kg6 90.Ke5 h5 91.Kd6 h4 92.Kc7 Ba6 93.Kb8 h3 94.Ka7 h2. White resigns.

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