Tata Steel Chess Tournament: Round 3
Van Wely, Loek - Giri, Anish 1/2-1/2
76th Tata Steel Chess Masters 2014.01.13
Games between Van Wely and Giri are always interesting. Though Anish can now comfortably be considered the number 1 player of the Netherlands, Van Wely still enjoys teaching his young compatriot some lessons from time to time!
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5
The Trompovsky is rare in elite events but Van Wely has ventured this move before, against the same opponent and in the same tournament! It is interesting to note that Richard Rapport also used the Trompowsky in his game against Levon Aronian. Are we seeing a revival?
2... e6 ( In their previous encounter Anish chose2... c5 but after ( Aronian chose2... d5 today, but the game continuation is sharper. White is allowed to grab the centre, but has to give up the bishop pair in return.) 3.Bxf6 gxf6 4.d5 Qb6 5.Qc1 f5 6.g3 Bg7 7.c3 Qf6 8.e3 Na6 9.Ne2 Nc7 10.Nf4 Bh6 11.c4 d6 12.Nc3 Bd7 13.Be2 a6 14.a4 b6 15.Nh5 Qg6 16.Bf3 White was calling all the shots. Anish did manage to draw this game, but that was not because of the opening.)
3.e4 h6 4.Bxf6 ( Of course 4.Bh4 would run into4... g5! losing the e4-pawn.)
4... Qxf6 5.c3 d6 ( At this point Black's options are largely a matter of taste. A completely viable alternative is d5 since after 6.e5 Qd8 Black has a rather favourable version of the French opening.)
6.Bd3 e5 7.Ne2 ( 7.Nf3 would be a serious mistake. White has given up his bishop and has to act energetically in order to justify that decision. By developing his knight to e2 the advance f2-f4 is prepared.)
7... Qd8 ( It makes sense to bring the queen back because it may become vulnerable on f6. It is for good reason that beginners are tought not to bring the queen out to early! E.g.7... Be7 8.O-O O-O 9.f4)
8.O-O Be7 9.f4 O-O 10.Nd2 exd4 11.Nxd4 ( I was a bit surprised that 11.cxd4 did not appear on the board but I was wrong. With11... c5 Black immediately challenges the centre. By taking back with the knight Van Wely makes h5 available for the queen and is aiming at active play against the enemy king.)
( After this move Black already finds himself in a difficult position.11... Nc6 was preferable.)
12... Nd7 13.Bc4!
Powerplay! The rook is now forced to make a sad retreat.
13... Rf8 14.e5
White's position is overwhelming, perhaps winning in a higher sense.
14... Nb6 15.Bb3 c5 16.exd6?!
( Maybe not the best continuation, though it surely works out well in the game. Unfortunately for White 16.Nf5 ( 16.N4f3! really leaves Black in misery. White wants to follow up with Ne4 and Rad1 so Black has to act. However, both16... Be6 ( and16... d5 17.f5! ) 17.Bxe6 fxe6 18.Qg6 Rxf4 19.Nd4! with the beautiful idea ( 19.Qxe6+ Kh8 20.Rae1 would be 'only' slightly better.)19... Rxf1+ 20.Rxf1 cxd4 21.Rf7 Bf8 22.Ne4! 22... Nd5 23.Nf6+ Nxf6 24.exf6 and mate on g7 is unavoidable.)16... Bxf5 17.Qxf5 dxe5! attacks the knight on d2, which makes the position rather unclear, but)
Both captures on d6 were better! We now enter a forced sequence of moves.
17.dxe7 Qxe7 18.Rae1 Qd8 19.Ne4!
19... dxc3 20.f5!
( There was little wrong with the modest 20.bxc3 but Loek has correctly assessed that he has a mating attack and does not need to bother about pawns.)
20... Qd4+ 21.Kh1 cxb2 22.f6!
22... Be6 23.fxg7?
( 23.Bxe6! 23... fxe6 24.f7+ Kh8 25.Ng5! would have ended the game elegantly. After the game Van Wely mentioned he had missed the detail25... Qd5 26.h4! when there is no stopping Qg6, and if Black tries anyway with26... Qd3 then 27.Rf6 b1=Q 28.Rxb1 Qxb1+ 29.Kh2 is followed by Rxh6 check and mate.)
23... Qxg7 24.Rf3 ( Perhaps the other rook-lift was slightly trickier but objectively speaking it should not alter the result 24.Re3 Rac8! this amazing idea keeps Black's position together. During the online commentary Robert Ris and myself had a great deal of fun analysing the amazing complications. ( 25.Rg3 Rc1 26.Rxg7+ Kxg7 27.Qe5+ f6 28.Qg3+ Kh7 ( even Kh8 29.Qf4 Rxf1+ 30.Qxf1 Bxb3 31.axb3 Nd5! 32.Qb1 ( 32.Nd2 Rc8 33.Nc4 Rxc4! 34.bxc4 Nc3 forces White to give a perpetual with 35.Qxf6+ Kh7 36.Qf7+ etc.)32... Re8 33.Qxb2 Rxe4 looks like a fortress.) 29.Qf4 Rxf1+ 30.Qxf1 Rc8 and here things would be rather problematic for White were it not for 31.Nc3! 31... Bxb3 32.axb3 Rxc3 33.Qb1+ Kg7 34.Qxb2 and a draw is the most likely result. Black should be able to create a fortress by placing his knight on d5, rook on e5, pawns on b6, f6, h5 the a-pawn can even be given away when I do not see a way through.)24... Rac8!
25.Rg3 Qxg3 ( An error, according to the engine, but this is based on a misevaluation. The immediate Rc1 26.Bd1 Qxg3 27.hxg3 b1=Q would transpose to the game.) 26.hxg3 Rc1 27.Bd1 ( 27.Nf6+ is the reason why my computer preferred 25...Rc1, but after27... Kg7 28.Qe5 Rxe1+ ( b1=Q 29.Ne8+! 29... Kg6 30.Qg7+ Kh5 31.Nf6#) 29.Qxe1 Kxf6 30.Qc3+ Ke7 31.Qxb2 Bxb3 32.Qa3+ Ke8 33.axb3 Nd7 34.Qxa7 b6 Black holds without much difficulty. For instance: 35.Qa8+ Ke7 36.Qe4+ Kd8 37.Qh4+ f6 38.Qxh6 Re8 followed by Re5 with an impregnable position.)27... b1=Q 28.Qxh6 Nd5
Black is just in time to protect against Nf6 and now there is little else left for White than resigning to a perpetual.
29.Qg5+ Kh8 30.Qh6+ Kg8
a great fight!