Tata Steel Chess Tournament: Round 2

Jan 13, 2014
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Giri, Anish - Naiditsch, Arkadij 1-0

76th Tata Steel Chess 2014.01.12

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+

The Bogo-Indian is knows to be a solid system but the hyper-aggressive way in which Giri handles the line might change that reputation alltogether!


The most principled reply. White is trying to prove that the check on b4 was premature while Black insists that the knight is misplaced on d2.

4... O-O 5.a3 Be7 ( Giving up the bishop pair with Bxd2+ 6.Bxd2 b6 7.Bg5 gives White a risk-free advantage. With the game continuation, Black keeps the bishop but hands White the centre.)

6.e4 d5 ( Last year, the move d6 had a short surge of popularity but the game Riazantsev-Vitiugov ended the discussion in the first player's favour. 7.Be2 Nbd7 8.Qc2 e5 9.Nb1! 9... Re8 10.Nc3 an instructive regrouping, marking White's advantage. After the further10... Bf8 11.d5 a5 12.h3 Nc5 13.Be3 a4 14.Nd2 Bd7 15.g4! 15... Kh8 16.g5 Ng8 17.h4 Ne7 18.h5 White's advantage was already overwhelming and he went on to win a fine game.)

7.e5 Nfd7 ( Leaping forward with Ne4 is not advisable; 8.Qc2 already forces the knight to exchange itself on d2, which only speeds up White's development.)

8.Bd3 c5

White can't be allowed to keep his beautiful centre together.


BD_13_25_0.pngDiagram #1

Played with clear intentions!

9... g6 ( White's idea becomes clear after9... Nc6 when ( The reason the game continuation is better than9... h6 lays in the fact that 10.Bb1! sets up a powerful battery on the b1-h7 diagonal. Now10... cxd4 11.cxd5 exd5 12.Qc2 f5 ( g6 13.h5! doesn't help much.) 13.Nb3 Nc6 14.Bf4 is clearly better for White. He will soon restore material balance by taking on d4 while keeping all the advantages of his position.) 10.Bxh7+! 10... Kxh7 11.Ng5+ Bxg5 12.hxg5+ Kg8 13.Qh5 f5 14.g6 is a classical mate.)

10.h5 cxd4

The old rule that a flank attack must be met with a thrust in the centre is put in practice!


BD_13_25_1.pngDiagram #2

Both sides seem to ignore eachothers moves. That can't go on forever!

11... Nc5 12.cxd5 ( Black's last move was aimed at 12.hxg6 which can now be met with12... Nxd3+ (12... fxg6?

BD_13_25_2.pngDiagram #3

13.Bxg6! ) 13.Qxd3 fxg6 with advantage for Black.)

12... Nxd3+ 13.Qxd3 Qxd5?!

BD_13_25_3.pngDiagram #4

( This quickly lands Black in trouble. Future games in this line will probably focus on exd5 when 14.hxg6 fxg6 15.Nxd4 Rf4!? is very messy.)


Freeing the c1-bishop and eing the f6-square. The computer finds Black's position completely acceptable but it's misevaluating the chronic weaknesses in Black's camp.

14... Nc6 ( The other knight development faces a very curious refutation.14... Nd7 15.Bh6! ( Not 15.Bg5 Nxe5 16.Nxe5 Bxg5! and wins.)15... Re8 ( The exchange sacrifice15... Nxe5 16.Nxe5 Qxe5 17.f4! 17... Qa5+ 18.b4 Qd8 19.hxg6 fxg6 20.Bxf8 Qxf8 21.Qxd4 looks rather hopeless.) 16.Bg5! why lure the rook to e8 before making this move? The answer comes in a few moves.16... Nxe5 17.Nxe5 Bxg5 ( Qxe5 18.f4 Qa5+ 19.Kf2 gives White an incredible initiative over the black squares.) 18.Nxf7! this is the difference! Without luring the rook to e8 this move would not have been possible. Now White crashes through. For instance18... Kxf7 19.hxg6+ hxg6 20.Rh7+ Kf8 ( Kg8 21.Nf6+! 21... Bxf6 22.Qxg6+ and mate next move.) 21.Qf3+ Qf5 22.Rh8+ Ke7 23.Rxe8+ and White wins because taking back the rook allows a knight fork on d6.)

15.Bh6 Qa5+ ( Re8 16.Bg5 Nxe5 17.Nxe5 Qxe5 18.f4 leads to the line given above.)


BD_13_25_4.pngDiagram #5

( 16.Kf1 Nxe5 17.Nxe5 Qxe5 is not that clear but Anish correctly assessed that even in the endgame White's initiative is ongoing.)

16... Qxd2+ 17.Kxd2 Rd8 18.hxg6 fxg6 ( Of course hxg6 19.Nf6+! is completely out of the question.)


BD_13_25_5.pngDiagram #6

Taking off the bishops makes Black's position strategically hopeless.

19... h5 20.g4?!

BD_13_25_6.pngDiagram #7

( When commenting upon this game with Yasser Seirawan today we shared a general feeling of surprise that White did not chose 20.Bxe7 Nxe7 21.Nfg5 followed by f4, g4 etc. White has a risk-free winning advantage. ( Even stronger is the computer suggestion 21.g4! because21... hxg4?

BD_13_25_7.pngDiagram #8

leads to a quick mate. Although the move chosen by Anish does not spoil his advantage completely it's unnecessarily forcefull and gives Black counterchances.))

20... Bxg5+ 21.Nfxg5?!

BD_13_25_8.pngDiagram #9

( And here 21.Nexg5! was much stronger. Because21... hxg4 (21... Na5 22.Rag1! ) 22.Rh6 gxf3 23.Rah1 decides the game by optimaly using the the open h-file.)

21... Nxe5

Though still facing some development issues with his bishop, Black is now back in the game.

22.gxh5 Nc4+ ( Black tries to misplace the king before finishing his development. Though Bd7 looks dangerous there is nothing decisive after 23.hxg6 Bc6 24.Rh7 Rf8! )

23.Ke1 ( The rook on a1 is not happy with this move. Instead Seirawan suggested 23.Kd3 Ne5+ 24.Ke2 because24... b6 25.Rag1 Ba6+ 26.Kd1! leaves Black struggling.)

23... Bd7 24.b3 Na5?

BD_13_25_9.pngDiagram #10

( From here the knight's action radius is rather small. Bringing the knight to the centre was called for Ne5 when the position remain unclear.)


BD_13_25_10.pngDiagram #11

25... Bc6 ( Trying to prevent Rc7.25... Nxb3 26.hxg6 Nxc1 ( Kg7 27.Rh7+ Kxg6 28.Rc7 is crushing as well.) 27.Rh7! 27... Rf8 28.Nf7 is mating. There is no stopping Nf6!)

26.hxg6 Bxe4 27.Nxe4 Kg7 28.Rc7+ Kxg6

Taking the g-pawn of the board does not end the worries of Black's king.

29.Rg1+ Kf5 30.f3!

BD_13_25_11.pngDiagram #12

Threatening mate in 2.

30... e5?

BD_13_25_12.pngDiagram #13

( A blunder decides the game prematurely. Black retains some practical chances with30... Rg8 31.Rxg8 Rxg8 32.Rc5+ Kf4 33.Rxa5 b6 though White should win e.g 34.Rb5 Ke3 35.Ng5 Rc8 36.Kd1 .)

31.Rg5+ Kf4 32.Kf2 Rf8 33.Rh7!

BD_13_25_13.pngDiagram #14

Black resigns, it's possible to stop the mate on h4 with 33. Rh7 Rh8 but then 34. Rf7# follows. Not a game without mistakes but powerful opening play and instructive finish from Giri.

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