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Tata Steel Chess Tournament: Round 8

Jan 21, 2014
StaffCoachIGMLessenmakers 2565
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Dominguez Perez, Leinier - So, Wesley

76th Tata Steel Masters 2014.01.21

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6

The Petroff-defence. An opening that was long considered to 'refute' 1.e4, but nowadays the attention has moved to the Berlin Wall as we have seen in, for instance, the game Dominguez-Nakamura two rounds ago.

3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.dxc3

It is this system that has posed most problems for Black as of late, despite the almost symmetrical position!

6... Be7 7.Be3 O-O 8.Qd2 b6 9.O-O-O Bb7 10.h4 ( A novelty; before, the logical 10.Nd4 Nc6 11.Nf5 was played, trying to take advantage of the fact that the black bishop is no longer guarding f5. One high-level game continued11... Bf6 12.h4 Ne7 13.Ng3 Nd5 14.Bg5 h6 15.Bc4 hxg5 16.Bxd5 Bxd5 17.Qxd5 gxh4 18.Ne4 Re8 19.Qf5 Re5 20.Nxf6+ Qxf6 21.Qxf6 gxf6 22.Rxh4 Rae8 and the rook endgame looks even and was eventually drawn in Karjakin-Wang Hao, Beijing 2013. In the press conference Dominguez explained he had different plans for his knight, as he prepares an onslaught on the kingside with h2-h4.)

10... Nd7 11.Bd3 Nf6 ( Ne5 12.Ng5 Nxd3+ 13.Qxd3 g6 14.Nxh7! is a pretty idea shown by Dominguez in that same press conference. White's attack is crashing through after for instance14... Kxh7 15.h5 Kg7 16.hxg6 fxg6 17.Bh6+ (17... Kf7 18.Bxf8 Bxf8 19.Qc4+ d5 20.Qf4+ Kg8 21.Rh7! 21... Kxh7 22.Qf7+ Kh6 23.Rh1+ Kg5 24.f4+ Kg4 25.Qxg6+ Kxf4 26.Rf1+ Ke5 27.Rf5+ Ke4 28.Qe6# with a mate on the middle of the board!) 12.Bd4 c5

Basically forced, since Ng5 was threatened. It did take So around 40 minutes to make this move and though this is too long, it makes sense as well. One can't move pawns backwards and whether the weakness on d6 will be a big issue here had to be carefully assessed.

13.Bxf6 Bxf6 14.Qf4 ( Very natural. The alternative was 14.Bc4 but Leinier refrained from this because of14... Bxf3 ( Much better is14... b5 15.Bd5 Bxd5 16.Qxd5 b4! with strong counterplay ones the a1-h8 diagonal opening up a bit.) 15.gxf3 Bxh4 but here 16.Rdg1 leads to an irresistable attack.)14... d5 15.h5 Re8 16.g4 g6?

BD_60_37_0.pngDiagram #1

( This is refuted in beautiful fashion! I have not been able to find anything convicing for White after d4! and now both 17.c4 ( and 17.g5 Bxf3 18.gxf6 Qxf6! ( not Bxd1 19.Rg1 g6 20.hxg6 fxg6 21.Bc4+ Kh8 22.f7! and wins, as22... Rf8 23.Qe5+ is mate next move.) 19.Qxf6 gxf6 20.Rdg1+ Kh8 21.Rh3 Be4)17... Re6! 18.g5 Qd6! 19.Qf5 Bxf3 20.Qxf3 Bxg5+ are fine for Black.) 17.hxg6 hxg6 18.g5 Bg7 19.Rh7!!

BD_60_37_1.pngDiagram #2

An incredible blow!

19... d4 ( It is difficult to suggest an alternative. Take the bait with19... Kxh7 leads to a quick mate following ( Another sensible move is19... Qb8 trying to exhange queens, but this runs into 20.Rxg7+ Kxg7 21.Qf6+ Kg8 22.Rh1 and mate on h8 is inevitable.) 20.Qxf7 and Rh1 next!) 20.Bc4 Qe7?

BD_60_37_2.pngDiagram #3

( Perhaps shocked by the sudden penetration of the rook on h7 Black goes wrong yet again. It was essential to play Bxf3 and now the forced sequence 21.Rxg7+ Kxg7 22.Qxf7+ Kh8 23.Qxg6 ( 23.Qxf3 Qxg5+! is far less clear.)23... Re7! ( 24.Qf6+ Rg7 25.Qxf3 Qxg5+ 26.Kb1 and despite that Black has survived the first wave of the attack, a second one is coming as Black's king is without shelter. Dominguez considered White's advantage to be almost winning here.) 21.Qh4!

BD_60_37_3.pngDiagram #4

Black resigned because of 21...Bxf3 22.Rxg7+ Kxg7 23.Qh6+ Kg8 24.Qxg6+ Kf8 25.Qh6+ Kg8 26.g6! Bxd1 27.Qh7+ Kf8 when White can deliver mate in one in two different ways. Instructive attacking play by Dominguez!


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