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 31, 2005

Melody Amber, Round 11

As expected, Anand coasted in with a pair of quick draws, completing a sweep of both sections and therefore the overall crown. This result is just another confirmation of what has been clear for a long time: Anand is the king of rapid chess (with the exception of the now-retired Kasparov).

Despite Anand's non-games, and the last round siestas of others, there were a number of exciting games today, too, most notably the near-brilliancy between Evgeny Bareev and Vasily Ivanchuk.

Bareev,Evgeny (2709) - Ivanchuk,Vasily (2711) [D80]
Amber Blindfold (11.1), 31.03.2005

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Ne4 5.Bh4 Bg7 6.cxd5 Nxc3 7.bxc3 Qxd5 8.e3 c5 9.Qf3 Qd8 10.Bc4 0-0 11.Ne2 cxd4 12.exd4 Nc6N [12...Qc7 13.Bb3 Nc6 14.0-0 Na5 15.Rfe1 Nxb3 16.axb3 Bd7 has been played before and leaves White with just a small edge.] 13.0-0 Bd7 14.Rfe1 Rc8 15.Bb3 Na5 16.Nf4 Playing a series of very natural moves, White has already managed to achieve a large advantage. Black's e-pawn is under attack; more significantly, there's no convenient way to defend it. 16...Bf6 This keeps all the pawns protected, but White's access to Black's weakened kingside dark squares is more serious than Ivanchuk must have suspected. [16...Re8?? Takes care of the e-pawn, but only at the cost of something much worse: 17.Bxf7+ Kxf7 18.Ne6+ and White wins the queen.; If Black tries to prepare the Re8 idea in this way, the problem is that both the a- and b-pawns become vulnerable: 16...Nxb3 17.axb3 Re8 18.Qxb7 leaves White with an extra pawn and the better position. Note that 18...Rxc3 makes things even worse for Black after 19.Nd5 followed by Nxe7+.; 16...Nc6 is also possible, but it's an embarrassing move to play after 15...Na5. And even if he does play it, White has a huge advantage with 17.Re3 followed by doubling rooks and/or playing Nd5.] 17.Bxf6 exf6 18.Nd5? [Building with 18.Re3+/- improves, in light of the tactical possibility Black misses next move.] 18...Kg7? [18...Bc6 is the ideal move if it works. Does it? 19.Nxf6+ Kg7 20.Nh5+ gxh5 21.Qxh5 Nxb3 22.axb3 Qf6 23.Rxa7 Rfe8 It does: Black stands better.] 19.Re7 f5 20.Qf4 Nc6

It looks like Black has everything under control here: the knight is covering e5 and attacking the Re7, and once White retreats the rook Black plays Re8 or Be6, closing the e-file and the a2-g8 diagonal and chasing the White knight from d5. White will still have a clear advantage, but Black won't be in any immediate danger. 21.Rae1!! But Bareev has "seen" (it was the blindfold game) more deeply! What counts most is the activity of the White pieces and how many can swarm around the Black king, not just the abstract material value of a rook compared to a knight. By leaving the rook on e7, ...Be6 is prevented (21...Be6?? 22.R1xe6), ...Re8 is prevented and 21...Nxe7 gives the White queen access to the groovy e5 square. Since everything else is work, Black tries to grab and hold: 21...Nxe7 [21...Re8 22.Rxf7+ Kxf7 23.Nc7+ Kg7 24.Rxe8 Bxe8 (24...Qxc7 25.Rg8+ Kf6 (25...Rxg8 26.Qxc7+-) 26.Qh4+ g5 27.Qxg5#) 25.Ne6+ is the punchline.] 22.Rxe7 Re8 [22...Rc6 is a tougher try, but it fails to the brilliant 23.Qe5+ Kh6 24.Nf6! Be6 25.g4!!

and White wins, because 25...Qxe7 26.h4+- wins the queen, and Black cannot otherwise meet the threat of 27.g5+ Kg7 28.Nxh5+ Kg8 (or on 28...Kf8, if, for example, Black were to have moved the rook away, then 29.Qh8#) 29.Qg7# 26...fxg4 (26...Qxf6 27.g5+ Qxg5+ 28.hxg5+ Kxg5 29.d5 Rb6 30.dxe6 fxe6 31.Qg7+-) 27.Nxg4+ Bxg4 28.Qxe7 Kg7 29.d5+-] 23.Qe5+ Kh6 24.Qe3+ missing the win, but as Black can't avoid the repetition Bareev gets a second chance... 24...Kg7 25.Qe5+ Kh6

26.h4? which he misses, unfortunately. [26.g4!! The point of this funny little move is that the White queen can't check the king without chasing him back; on the other hand, the attack isn't going to get anywhere without another check to draw the king up. So the aim of 26.g4 is 27.g5+, when 27...Kxg5 (27...Kh5 28.Bd1+ Kh4 29.Qg3#) 28.Qf4+ (the queen is free to check!) Kh5 29.Nf6 is mate. Black can only prevent a quick mate with the drastic 26...Qxe7 , but then he is completely lost on crude materialistic grounds after (26...Rxe7 27.g5+ Kxg5 (27...Kh5 28.Bd1+ Kh4 29.Qg3#) 28.Qf4+ Kh5 29.Nf6#) 27.Nxe7 Rxc3 (27...Rcd8 28.gxf5 is even worse for Black, due to the threats of Bxf7 and f6 followed by Qf4+.) 28.Nxf5+ Bxf5 (28...gxf5 29.Qf6#) 29.Qxe8+-] 26...Rxe7! 27.Nxe7 Rxc3! 28.Qf6 Qb8 with the minor threat of ...Rc1+ and mate next move! Worse still, White can't even manage to stop the threat without allowing Black enough counterplay to draw, and that's just what happens: 29.g3 Rxg3+ 30.fxg3 Qxg3+ 31.Kh1 [31.Kf1?? Bb5+ 32.Bc4 Bxc4#] 31...Qh3+ 1/2-1/2

Round 11 summary:


Bareev-Ivanchuk 1/2-1/2
Gelfand-Anand 1/2-1/2
van Wely-Kramnik 1-0
Svidler-Topalov 0-1
Leko-Shirov 1/2-1/2
Morozevich-Vallejo 1/2-1/2


Ivanchuk-Bareev 1/2-1/2
Anand-Gelfand 1/2-1/2
Kramnik-van Wely 1-0
Topalov-Svidler 1-0
Shirov-Leko 1-0
Vallejo-Morozevich 0-1

Final Standings:


Anand 8
Ivanchuk, Leko, Morozevich, Topalov, Vallejo 6
Gelfand, Kramnik, Svidler 5.5
Shirov 4.5
van Wely 4
Bareev 3


Anand 7.5
Morozevich 7
Shirov 6.5
Ivanchuk, Leko, Kramnik 6
Svidler 5.5
Bareev, Topalov 5
Gelfand 4.5
Vallejo, van Wely 3.5


Anand 15.5
Morozevich 13
Ivanchuk, Leko 12
Kramnik 11.5
Shirov, Svidler, Topalov 11
Gelfand 10
Vallejo 9.5
Bareev 8
van Wely 7.5


Post a Comment

<< Home