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.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Linares: Round 8 Recap

An excellent round today! All three games were very hard-fought, thoroughly making up for yesterday's theft of the spectators' time and the sponsors' money.

First, congratulations to Vallejo Pons on the occasion of his first victory; doubly so for achieving what no one else has in this event - beating Kasimdzhanov! (That also means he beat Kasimdzhanov in the two-game series, something no one was able to do in the 2004 FIDE knockout championship in Tripoli - nice job by Kasimdzhanov!)

Vallejo Pons,Francisco (2686) - Kasimdzhanov,Rustam (2678) [D37]
XXII SuperGM Linares ESP (8), 03.03.2005

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 e6 3.c4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Bxf6 7.Qc2 0-0 8.0-0-0 c5 9.dxc5 d4 10.Nxd4 Bxd4 11.Qe4N [11.e3 Bxe3+ 12.fxe3 Qg5 13.Qe4 Qxc5 14.Bd3 f5 15.Qd4 Qe7 16.Be2 Nc6 17.Qd6 Qg5 18.Qf4 Qe7 19.Qd6 Qg5 20.Qg3 Qxg3 21.hxg3 Ne5 22.e4 Bd7 1/2-1/2, Goldin (2570)-Pigusov (2570), Russian ch. (Elista) 1996] 11...Nc6 12.e3 f5 13.Qf3 Qg5 14.h4 Bxe3+ 15.Qxe3 Qxe3+ 16.fxe3 Ne5 17.Be2 Bd7 18.Rd6 Kf7 19.Bf3 Rac8 20.Rhd1 Rc7 21.b4 Ke7 22.Nb5 Bxb5 23.cxb5 b6 24.c6 g5 25.R6d4 Kf6 26.a4 Ng6 27.hxg5+ hxg5 28.Rd7 Rfc8 29.R1d6 g4 30.Bd1 Nf8 31.Rxc7 Rxc7 32.Bb3 Ke7 33.Rd1 Nh7 34.Rh1 Nf6 35.Rh6 Rc8 36.Kc2 Kf7 37.Bc4 Rd8 38.Rh1 Ke7 39.a5 Rb8 40.Kb3 Rd8 41.axb6 axb6 42.Ra1 Ne4 43.Ra7+ Kf6 44.Rd7 Rh8 45.Bd3 Nf2 46.Bc2 g3 47.Rb7 Ng4 48.Rxb6 Rc8 49.Ra6 Nxe3 50.b6 Nxc2 51.b7 Rxc6 52.b5 Rc5 53.Rb6 Nd4+ 54.Kb4 Rxb5+ 55.Rxb5 Nc6+ 56.Kc3 f4 57.Rc5 f3 58.Rxc6 fxg2 59.b8Q g1Q 60.Qf4+ 1-0

Next, Adams-Topalov was a sharp Najdorf with Adams pressing throughout, but an out-of-form Adams failed to convert: drawn in 48 moves.

Adams,Michael (2741) - Topalov,Veselin (2757) [B90]
XXII SuperGM Linares ESP (8), 03.03.2005

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.Be2 Nbd7 8.g4 h6 9.f4 g6 10.h3N b5 11.Bf3 Bb7 12.e5 Bxf3 13.Qxf3 b4 14.Nc6 Qc8 15.Nxb4 dxe5 16.Nd3 exf4 17.Bxf4 Bg7 18.Bd6 Bf8 19.Bxf8 Kxf8 20.Rf1 Kg7 21.h4 Rf8 22.g5 hxg5 23.hxg5 Nh7 24.Qe3 Qd8 25.Rg1 Qb6 26.Qg3 Rac8 27.0-0-0 Rc4 28.Rdf1 Qa5 29.Qd6 Qc7 30.Qxc7 Rxc7 31.Ne4 Rc4 32.Rf4 Rd4 33.b3 Rd5 34.Kb2 a5 35.Rg3 Ne5 36.Ndf2 f5 37.gxf6+ Nxf6 38.Ng5 Re8 39.Rg1 Ned7 40.Rf3 e5 41.Rfg3 e4 42.Ngxe4 Nxe4 43.Rxg6+ Kh7 44.Rg7+ Kh8 45.R7g4 Nef6 46.Rh4+ Nh7 47.Nh3 Rg8 48.Nf4 1/2-1/2

Finally, Kasparov-Leko showed off Leko's tremendous defensive prowess in all its flame retardant glory. Kasparov played a novelty on move 13 against one of Leko's pet lines (I don't know if this variation with 3...e5 against 3.Nc3 has a name yet, but it might be called the Anti-Anti-Sveshnikov) and continued moving quickly through the sacrificial 18.Be3, strongly suggesting home preparation. Leko decided not to take the bait with 18...Qxe4, and while Kasparov continued to have some initiative after that, Black was able to neutralize White's chances and the game concluded, reasonably, in a well-played draw.

Kasparov,Garry (2804) - Leko,Peter (2749) [B30]
XXII SuperGM Linares ESP (8), 03.03.2005

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5 A Leko specialty. 4.Bc4 d6 5.d3 Be7 6.Nd2 Bg5 7.h4 Bxd2+ [7...Bxh4 8.Qh5+-] 8.Bxd2 Nf6 9.0-0 Be6 10.f4 was sort of a novelty, only it transposed back into an earlier Leko game, as we will see. 10...Bxc4 11.dxc4 h5 12.f5N [12.fxe5 dxe5 13.Bg5 Qxd1 14.Raxd1 Ng4 15.Nb5 0-0 16.c3 f6 17.Bc1 a6 18.Nd6 b6 19.Nf5 Rad8 20.Rd5 Kf7 21.Rfd1 Rxd5 22.cxd5 Rd8 23.Kf1 Ne7 24.Nxe7 1/2-1/2, Svidler-Leko, Dortmund 2004] 12...Ng4

Positionally forced, avoiding the pin and hitting h4, but White can still put some serious pressure on the Black position with 13.f6! gxf6 [13...Nxf6? 14.Bg5] 14.Nd5 Ne7 Too bad Black doesn't have an additional pawn on h7 - then 15.Qxg4! wins - 15...hxg4 (15...Nxd5 16.Qg7+-) 16.Nxf6+ Kf8 17.Bh6 mate. However, there isn't such a pawn, and so Black's last move safely evicts White's monster knight on d5 before it can inflict lethal damage on Black's position. This demonstrates a key defensive idea: exchange - especially the opponent's best-placed pieces. 15.Nxf6+ Nxf6 16.Rxf6 Ng8! [16...Ng6 17.Bg5 is lethal - d6 is hanging and lots of juicy rook discoveries are in the air too.] 17.Rf5 Qxh4 18.Be3!

[18.Qf3 f6 19.Bg5 Qg4 20.Bxf6 (20.Qxg4 hxg4 21.Bxf6 Nxf6 22.Rxf6 Ke7 23.Raf1 prevents Black from heading for the pawn ending, as the g4 pawn would fall. On the other hand, Black might have some counterplay on the h-file after 23...Rh7 24.Rg6 Rah8 25.Kf2 Rf8+ 26.Ke2 Rxf1 27.Kxf1 Rh1+ 28.Ke2 Rb1 , when White is better but Black has counterplay.) 20...Qxf3 21.Rxf3 Nxf6 22.Rxf6 Ke7 23.Raf1 Rhf8 24.Rxf8 (24.Rh6!? Rxf1+ 25.Kxf1 Rf8+ 26.Ke2 Rf4 27.Ke3 Rg4 28.Rxh5 Rxg2 29.Rh7+ Ke6 30.Rxb7 Rxc2 31.Kd3 Rh2=) 24...Rxf8 25.Rxf8 Kxf8 26.Kh2 Kg7 27.Kh3 Kg6 28.Kh4 a5 29.a3 b6 30.b3 Kh6 31.c3 Kg6 32.b4 Kh6 33.b5 Kg6 34.g4 hxg4 35.Kxg4 with a drawn ending - apparently this line was examined by Leko during the game (see Michiel Abeln's report on TWIC).] 18...Qe7 [18...Qxe4 19.Qxd6! Qxe3+ (19...Qxf5 is hopeless: 20.Bxc5 Rh6 (20...Rd8 21.Qf8+ Kd7 22.Rd1++-; 20...Rc8 21.Rd1 mates in two; 20...Qf6 21.Qf8+ Kd7 22.Qxa8+-) 21.Qf8+ Kd7 22.Qxa8 Kc6 23.Qxa7+-) 20.Kh1 f6 21.Qe6+ (21.Rd1 Kf7 (21...Rh7 22.Qe6+ Kf8 (22...Ne7 23.Rxf6 Rd8 24.Rxd8+ Kxd8 25.Qd6+ Ke8 26.Qb8+ Kd7 27.Rd6# TWIC) 23.Rxf6+ Nxf6 24.Qxf6+ Kg8 25.Rd8+ Rxd8 26.Qxd8+ Kg7 27.Qe7+ Kg6 28.Qe6+ Kg5 29.Qg8+ Kf4 30.Qxh7 Kg3 31.Qg7+ Kf2 32.Qf8+ Ke2 and Black is winning this ending, as the e-pawn will advance while the Black king inhales White's queenside pawns seriatim.) 22.Rdf1 Rh6 23.Qd5+ Kf8 24.Rxe5 Qd4 25.Qxb7 Qxe5 26.Qxa8+ Kf7 27.Qxa7+ Ne7-+) 21...Ne7 (21...Kf8 22.Rxf6+ Nxf6 23.Qxf6+ Kg8 24.Qg6+ Kf8 25.Rf1+ Ke7 26.Rf7+ Kd8 27.Qd6+ Kc8 28.Qc7#) 22.Qxf6 Rh6 23.Qf7+ Kd7 24.Rd1+ Rd6 25.Rxd6+ Kxd6 26.Rf6+ Kd7 27.Qe6+ Ke8 28.Qf7+ Kd7= (IM Konstantin Maslak); 18...Rd8 19.Bg5 Qxe4 20.Bxd8 Qxf5 21.Qxd6 Rh6 22.Qb8+-] 19.Rxh5 [19.Qd5 Nf6 20.Rxf6 Qxf6 21.Qxb7 0-0 22.Rf1 Qg6 23.Rf5 f6 24.Qd5+ Kh7 25.Qd1 is unclear; 19.b4 was an interesting suggestion of GM Akobian's on, attempting to break Black's queenside and central structure before he castles away into safety. 19...cxb4 20.c5 dxc5 21.Qd5 Akobian, but 21...Rd8 may buy Black out at the cost of some of the (3!) extra pawns.] 19...Rxh5 20.Qxh5 0-0-0 21.Bg5 [21.Rf1 f6 is similar, but the White bishop isn't as active on e3.] 21...f6 22.Bh4 Qe8 Again, Leko defends by chasing off White's most aggressively-posted pieces. If White's queen runs away from the exchange, Black's queen will be well-posted on e6 or g6; with the queens traded, however, Black can consolidate - and that's what happens. 23.Qf5+ Qd7 24.Rf1 Qxf5 25.Rxf5 Rf8 26.Rh5 [26.g4 Nh6 27.Rxf6 Rxf6 28.Bxf6 Nxg4 29.Bg5 Kd7 30.Kg2 Ke6 Just in time to save the knight! 31.Kf3 Nf6=] 26...Kd7 27.Rh8 [27.Rh7+ Ne7 28.Rh6 Ng8 repeats.] 27...Ke6 28.g4 Rc8 29.Kg2 Ne7 30.Rh6 Ng8 31.Rh8

Nice defense by Leko, who was under severe pressure by Kasparov all the way. These guys are good! [31.Rg6?? Kf7-+] 1/2-1/2

Standings after Round 8:

Kasparov 4.5/7
Topalov 4/7
Anand 3.5/6
Leko 3.5/7
Adams, Kasimdzhanov 3/7
Vallejo Pons 2.5/7

Pairings for Round 9:

Vallejo Pons - bye


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