Dennis M's Chess Site

This is a blog for chess fans by a chess fan. I enjoy winning as much as anyone else, and I've had a reasonable amount of success as a competitor, but what keeps me coming back to the game is its beauty. And that, primarily, is what this site will be about! All material copyrighted.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Linares: Round 12 Recap

Something new - two wins in one day! In fact, it should have been three, but Anand gutted out a draw in a lost rook and pawn ending to keep his slim chances for first place alive.

Anand,Viswanathan (2786) - Vallejo Pons,Francisco (2686) [A30]
XXII SuperGM Linares ESP (12), 08.03.2005

1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 b6 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.0-0 e6 6.Nc3 Be7 7.d4 cxd4 8.Qxd4 Nc6 9.Qf4 Qb8 10.Qxb8+ Rxb8 11.Bf4 Rc8 12.Nb5 Ne4 13.Rfd1 a6 14.Nd6+ Nxd6 15.Bxd6 Bxd6 16.Rxd6 Ke7 17.Rad1 Rc7 18.b3 f6 19.Ne1 Rb8 20.Nc2 Bc8 21.f4 Nd8 22.e4 Nf7 23.R6d2 Bb7 24.a4 a5 25.h4 Rd8 26.Kf2 Rc5 27.Nd4 Ba8 28.Ke3 Bb7 29.Bf3 Ba8 30.f5 Even though it leaves a hole on e5, White has to play something like this if he's to convert his space advantage into something tangible. 30...Re5 31.g4 Nd6 32.fxe6 dxe6 33.Nb5 Nf7 34.Rxd8 Nxd8 35.Na7 [35.Nd6 will also be met by 35...Bb7] 35...Bb7 36.Rb1 Kd7=

37.b4?-+ Around here Kasparov was finishing his win over Adams, and perhaps Anand felt pressured to make something happen. Something does happen now, but it's not favorable to White! 37...axb4 38.Rxb4 Ra5 39.Nb5 Nc6 And just as simple as that, White is out a pawn for absolutely nothing - in fact, Black has the better position too, to boot! 40.Rb1 Ne5 41.Be2 Rxa4 42.Nc3 Ra3 43.Kd2 Kc6 44.g5 Ba6 45.gxf6 gxf6 46.Rf1 Nxc4+ [46...Bxc4 47.Rxf6 b5 may be even better than the game, with ...b4 on the agenda. For example, if 48.Bxc4 Nxc4+ 49.Kc2 b4 50.Nd1 Kc5 51.Rxe6 (51.Rf7 is better but also hopeless: 51...b3+ 52.Kc3 b2+ 53.Kc2 Rh3 54.Rc7+ (54.Nxb2 Rh2+; 54.Rxh7 Rh2+ 55.Kb1 Na3+ 56.Ka2 b1Q+ 57.Kxa3 Ra2#) 54...Kd4 55.Rd7+ Ke5 56.Rb7 Rxh4 with what should prove a routine win.) 51...Ra2+ 52.Kb1 Rd2 53.Kc1 b3 (threatening mate in three with 54...Rc2+ 55.Kb1 Na3+ 56.Ka1 Ra2#) 54.Ra6 Ra2 wins, as White's choices are (a) to trade, thereby allowing the pawn to promote, (b) to move the rook and allow the mate in three just mentioned, or (c) to allow Black to capture the rook for free.] 47.Bxc4 Bxc4 48.Rxf6 b5 49.Nd5! The last chance! 49...Bxd5 50.exd5+ Kxd5 51.Rf7 h5 52.Rh7 e5 53.Rxh5 Kd4 54.Rh8 Ra2+ 55.Kd1 Everything since 49.Nd5 has been more or less forced, and now it's time to figure out if and how Black wins this ending. 55...Rh2 This is a sensible move, but is it best? Black has at least 2-3 moves he can play before that's a necessity, and perhaps the time can be better spent on other moves. [55...e4 56.h5 Kd3 57.Rd8+ Ke3 58.h6 Rh2 59.Rh8 (59.Rb8 The pawn swap is good for White, but only if the rook is on the e-file once it happens. Clearly that's not happening here, and so Black wins: 59...Rxh6 60.Rxb5 Rh1+ The only winning move. 61.Kc2 Kf2 That's why White needs the rook on the e-file - this would drop the pawn! 62.Rf5+ Ke2 and Black will creep forward to reach a win via the Lucena position: 63.Re5 e3 64.Re7 Kf2 65.Rf7+ Ke1 66.Re7 e2 67.Rf7 Rh5! (67...Rf1 68.Rd7 Rf5 69.Rh7 Kf2 70.Rh2+ Kf3 71.Rh1 Kg2 is an even faster win, but a less generally applicable method.) 68.Rf8 Rc5+ 69.Kb3 Kd2 70.Rd8+ Ke3 71.Re8+ Kd3 72.Re7 (72.Rd8+ Ke4 73.Re8+ Re5 and the pawn queens.) 72...Rc3+ 73.Kb4 Rc4+ 74.Kb3 Re4 75.Rd7+ Ke3 and queens.) 59...Rd2+! A very nice, important idea: instead of defending the h-pawn from behind, Black will defend it from the side. The point is that Black forces the White king to choose which pawn it will cover: the b-pawn or the e-pawn. It can't do both jobs, so Black wins: 60.Kc1 (60.Ke1 Rd6 61.Kf1 Rb6 62.Kg2 b4 63.Kg3 b3 64.h7 Rb7 65.Rd8 Rg7+ 66.Kh3 Rxh7+ 67.Kg4 Rb7 wins.) 60...Rd6 61.Kc2 (61.Rb8 Rxh6 62.Rxb5 Ke2 will again lead to the winning Lucena position.) 61...Rf6 62.Kc3 Kf3 63.Kd2 e3+ 64.Ke1 b4 65.h7 Rf7 and it's game over.] 56.h5 b4 [56...e4 57.h6 Ke3 58.Kc1! The idea is to avoid the Rd2-d6 maneuver. 58...Ke2 59.Kc2 e3 60.Kc3 Ke1 61.h7 e2 62.Kb4 Rh5 63.Ka5 might look like a clever drawing mechanism, but Black can win here: 63...Kd2 64.Rd8+ Kc3 65.Rc8+ Kb3 66.Re8 b4+ 67.Kb6 Rxh7 68.Rxe2 Rh5 (68...Ka3 is a move faster, but 68...Rh5, cutting off the White king, is thematic and conceptually simple.) 69.Re7 Kb2 70.Re2+ Ka3 71.Re1 b3 etc.] 57.h6 Kd3 58.Kc1 Kc3 59.Rc8+ Kb3 60.Rh8 Kc3 [60...Rc2+! again wins, with the same idea as in move 59 of the main variation mentioned in the notes to Black's 55th move: Black plays Rc6 and defends against the h-pawn from the side. As there, so too here Black wins: 61.Kd1 Rc6 62.Ke2 Kc3 63.Kd1 e4 64.Kc1 e3 65.h7 Rc7 66.Kd1 b3 67.Re8 Rxh7 68.Rxe3+ Kb2 and a Lucena position win is inevitable.] 61.Rc8+ Kb3 62.Rh8 e4 [62...Rc2+ transposes to the line in the note to move 60.] 63.Kd1 Kb2 64.Ke1 b3 65.h7 e3 66.Kd1 Up to now, Black's failure to maneuver the rook to a sideways defensive post has been innocuous, as he has always had more chances to find the idea. But now this is it - one last chance!

66...Kb1?? [66...Rd2+! 67.Ke1 Rd7 68.Ke2 Rc7 69.Kxe3 Kc3 and now White has to give up the h-pawn and lose via the Lucena position: 70.Re8 Rxh7 71.Rc8+ Kb2 72.Rb8 Kc2 73.Rc8+ Kb1 74.Rb8 b2 75.Ra8 Rd7 76.Ke2 Rd5 77.Ke3 Kc2 78.Rc8+ Kb3 79.Rb8+ Kc3 80.Rb7 Rd3+ 81.Ke2 Rd4 followed by ...Rb4 - game over! But alas...] 67.Rb8 Rxh7 1/2-1/2

Next, Adams-Kasparov. Sometimes Kasparov has trouble with Black against Adams, but in this game he was well-prepared and an exciting battle was underway. The online spectators thought Black might be in trouble after White's 18th, but the position remained approximately equal through move 20. White's choice there was second-best, unjustifiably blocking the g-file, but things still weren't completely clear until White blundered on move 22, after which the execution was swift and sure.

Adams,Michael (2741) - Kasparov,Garry (2804) [B90]
XXII SuperGM Linares ESP (12), 08.03.2005

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.Be2 Qc7 8.Qd2 b5 9.a3 Bb7 10.f3 Nc6 [10...Nbd7; and 10...Be7 have been played a number of times, but Kasparov's move seems to be a novelty.] 11.0-0-0 b4 12.axb4 Nxb4 13.g4 Be7 14.g5 Nd7 15.h4 Nc5 16.Kb1 Rb8 [16...Rc8 17.h5 Qa5 18.g6 fxg6 19.Bc4 (19.hxg6 Bxe4 20.Rxh7 (20.fxe4 Nxe4-+) 20...Rxh7 21.gxh7 Bxh7-+) 19...Nxe4 20.fxe4 Rxc4 21.Nb3 Qc7 22.hxg6 h6 23.Nd4 Qc8 24.Bxh6 gxh6 25.g7 Rg8 26.Rxh6 Bxe4 27.Nxe4 Rxd4 28.Qxd4 Qxc2+ 29.Ka1 Qa4+= is a wild but fairly plausible line.] 17.h5 0-0 18.g6

[18.Rdg1 attempts to economize a tempo for the attack by making Black have to wait to play Bf6. Black can try to use the tempo to blow up the center with 18...d5 White has three responses, each reflecting a different way of dealing with the central pawn tension: pushing, exchanging, or letting it remain. 19.e5 a) 19.exd5 Nxd5 20.g6 Rfd8 21.Nxd5 Bxd5 22.gxh7+ Kxh7 23.Qc3 Bf6 24.Bd3+ Nxd3 25.Qxc7 Rxb2+ 26.Ka1 Ra2+ 27.Kb1 Rb2+ is another surprising perpetual check line.; b) 19.g6 dxe4 20.Bf4 Bd6 (20...e5 21.h6+-) 21.gxh7+ Kh8 22.h6 g6 23.Nxe6 Bxf4 24.Nxf4 Rfd8 25.Nfd5 Rxd5 26.Nxd5 Nxd5 27.Qd4+ f6 28.Rxg6 Ne6 29.Rg8+ Kxh7 30.Qxe4+ Kxg8 31.Qxe6+ Kh8 32.c4 and now, yet another drawing variation, though not by perpetual: 32...Nc3+ 33.Kc2 Nd5 34.Kb1 Nc3+=; 19...Qa5 (19...Qxe5?? 20.Bf4+-; 19...Nd7 20.f4 Nb6 21.g6 Nc4 22.Bxc4 dxc4 23.h6+- and Black's kingside will be eviscerated.) 20.g6 Na4 21.gxh7+ Kh8 22.Nxa4 Qxa4 23.Bc4!! dxc4 24.Qg2 Rg8 25.hxg8Q+ (25.Bh6 g5-+) 25...Rxg8 26.Qg4 Qa2+ 27.Kc1 Qa1+ 28.Kd2 Qxb2 29.Rb1 Qa2 30.h6 g5 31.Rhc1 c3+ 32.Ke2 Rg6 and I have no idea what's going on here.] 18...Bf6 19.Rdg1 Ba8 [19...Rfc8 according to a speaker on the server, Kasparov considered this move as well, but ultimately preferred and was proud of the text move, uncovering the b-file.] 20.Bg5 This move came in for some criticism, as it blocks the g-file and makes it harder for White's attack to proceed. [20.gxh7+ Kxh7 (20...Kh8 21.Bh6 (21.Bg5!?) 21...Nbd3 22.Ndb5 axb5 23.Bxd3 Nxd3 24.cxd3 b4 25.Ne2 b3 26.Be3 Qc2+ 27.Qxc2 bxc2+ 28.Kc1 Bxb2+ 29.Kxc2=) 21.Rh3!?; 20.h6 fxg6 21.Bc4 (21.hxg7 Bxg7 22.Bh6 Nbd3 A Dragon idea! 23.cxd3 Bxd4 24.Bxf8 Bxg1 25.Rxg1 Rxf8-/+) 21...d5 22.exd5 Nxd5 23.Bxd5 Bxd5 24.Bf4 Qb7 25.Bxb8 Rxb8-+ leaves White up the exchange but (soon) down a king.] 20...Be5 21.gxh7+ Kxh7 Black is probably a bit better now, as White will have to spend a tempo undoing 20.Bg5, but White's next move is simply a blunder. 22.Nb3?

Nxc2! 23.Nxc5 Na3+ 24.Ka2 Qxc5 25.Na4 Nc2! 26.Kb1 [26.Nxc5 Rxb2#] 26...Qa3 [26...Qa3 27.Qxc2 Rfc8 28.h6 g6 29.Qd2 Qxa4 is hopeless for White.] 0-1

Finally, Topalov reached a tie for second and gained a measure of revenge for his defeat in the semi-finals in Libya by defeating Kasimdzhanov, continuing the latter's dramatic second-half collapse to the bottom of the tournament table.

Topalov,Veselin (2757) - Kasimdzhanov,Rustam (2678) [D31]
XXII SuperGM Linares ESP (12), 08.03.2005

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Be7 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bf4 0-0 6.e3 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.a3 Nc6 9.Qc2 Qa5 10.Nd2 Bb4 11.cxd5 exd5 12.Bd3 d4 13.0-0 Bxc3 14.Nc4 Qh5 15.bxc3 Nd5 16.Bg3 dxe3 17.Rae1 Be6 18.fxe3 Nde7 19.Nd6 b6 20.Rb1 f6 21.Rb5 Ne5 22.Rf4 N7g6 23.Rd4 Bd7 24.Rbd5 Be6 25.Be2 Qh6 26.Bf4 Nxf4 27.exf4 g6 28.Qe4 Bxd5 29.Qxd5+ Kh8 30.Re4 Nd7 31.Nf7+ Rxf7 32.Qxf7 1-0

Standings after Round 12:

Kasparov 7.5/10
Anand, Topalov 6/10
Leko 5/10
Adams 4.5/11
Kasimdzhanov 3.5/11
Vallejo Pons 3.5/10

Pairings for Round 13:

Vallejo Pons-Topalov
Adams - bye

Kasparov is clearly in the driver's seat, but at least his closest pursuers, Anand and Topalov, get to take their cracks at him in the next two rounds. Stay tuned!


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