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Tata Steel Chess Tournament: Round 11

Jan 27, 2014
StaffCoachIGMLessenmakers 2565
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Naiditsch, Arkadij - Rapport, Richard 

76th Tata Steel Masters 2014.01.26

For Naiditsch the tournament was too short: after starting with 1,5 out of 9 he won his last two games! Today Rapport's original play was severely punished!

1.e4 d6

A Pirc, rare at top level but we have seen much bigger opening experiments by Rapport this event.

2.d4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Nf3 c6 5.Be3 Qc7?!

BD_60_43_0.pngDiagram #1

Since it is not yet clear whether this is best square for the queen it is better to start with 'forced' moves like Nd7 or Nf6. The placement of the queen can then be decided upon later on.

6.Qd2 Nd7 7.O-O-O b5?!

BD_60_43_1.pngDiagram #2


BD_60_43_2.pngDiagram #3

Making use of Black's lack of development!

8... d5?

BD_60_43_3.pngDiagram #4

(8... dxe5 9.dxe5 Nxe5 is very dangerous. For instance 10.Nxe5 ( 10.Bf4!? )10... Bxe5 11.f4 Bf6 12.Bxb5 when12... cxb5 13.Nxb5 already crashes through. Closing the position is logical but Black does not get any time to catch his breath.)


BD_60_43_4.pngDiagram #5

( 9.e6!? 9... fxe6 10.Bf4 was interesting as well, but the game continuation is much harder to meet.)

9... Qa5 10.h5 Nb6 ( b4 11.Nb1 Rb8 12.a3!? also doesn't look that scary for White. There are simply not enough pieces in the attack. With 10...Nb6 Black tries to build a slow attack against the White king but it is just never going to materialise.)

11.hxg6 fxg6 (11...hxg6 12.Rxh8 Bxh8 13.b3! leaves the knight stranded on b6.)

12.a3 ( Also here 12.b3 was a strong alternative.)

12... Rb8 13.Ne4 b4 (13...Qxd2+ 14.Nexd2 Nc4 15.Bf4! is an endgame where White is calling the shots. Square c5 will be occupied by a knight and the c4-knight will be expelled with b2-b3.)

14.Nc5 Nc4 15.Bxc4 dxc4 16.a4!

BD_60_43_5.pngDiagram #6

Decisive. Black will now be unable to break on the queenside and his position on the kingside is hopelessly lost.

16... c3 17.Qd3 cxb2+ 18.Kxb2 b3 19.c3!

BD_60_43_6.pngDiagram #7

Locking up the queenside forever.

19... Qd8 20.Rxh7!

BD_60_43_7.pngDiagram #8

In winning positions it is easy to make pretty moves.

20... Bf5 21.Qc4 Kf8 ( The point was 21...Rxh7 22.Qxg8+! )

22.Ng5 Qd5 23.Qxd5 ( Easy and strong, but 23.Nce6+ Bxe6 24.Nxe6+ Kf7 25.Ng5+ Kf8 26.Qd3! may even be a bit faster. It's impossible to defend g6.)

23... cxd5 24.Nce6+ Bxe6 25.Nxe6+ Kf7 26.Rxg7+ Kxe6 27.Rxg6+

The endgame is an easy win and does not require any commentary.

27... Kf7 28.Ra6 Rb7 29.Ra1 Rh2 30.g3 e6 31.Ra3 Ne7 32.Rxb3 Rc7 33.Kc2

Black resigned. Three pawns is enough indeed! A crushing victory!


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