Games from Gibraltar 2014

Tue, 2014-02-18 12:21 -- IM Max Illingworth
[Event "Gibraltar Masters 2014"]
[Site "Caleta ENG"]
[Date "2014.01.28"]
[Round "1.6"]
[White "Tomashevsky, E."]
[Black "Deac, Bogdan-Daniel"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E90"]
[WhiteElo "2715"]
[BlackElo "2289"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "47"]
[EventDate "2014.01.28"]
[EventRounds "10"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[Source "Mark Crowther"]
[SourceDate "2014.02.03"]

{For this week's blog post I will analyse some games from the recent Gibraltar
open.} 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. e4 d6 4. d4 Bg7 5. Nf3 O-O 6. h3 e5 7. d5 a5 (
7... Nh5 {is the critical variation, trying to disrupt White's normal setup
involving g4 at some point.}) 8. g4 Na6 9. Be3 (9. Bg5 {was also possible, but
we'll see that White doesn't have to fear Black's ...f5 break.}) 9... Nd7 (9...
Nc5 {is more common but} 10. Qc2 c6 11. O-O-O cxd5 12. exd5 {seems good for
White; Black can't make any progress on the queenside and meanwhile White will
prepare h4-h5 with moves like Be2, Rdg1 and Nd2.}) 10. a3 f5 {In hindsight
Black should have delayed this break with something like} (10... Nac5 {, though
} 11. Rg1 a4 12. Nd2 {still favours White as Black is not able to successfully
achieve the ...f5 break and otherwise he is lacking a good break.}) 11. gxf5
gxf5 12. exf5 Nac5 (12... Nf6 13. Qc2 Nh5 14. Ng5 Bxf5 15. Bd3 Qd7 16. Bxf5
Qxf5 17. Qxf5 Rxf5 18. Ne6 {is winning for White because of his domination of
the position once his other knight comes to e4.}) 13. Rg1 Nf6 14. Qc2 Nh5 15.
Bxc5 {It's not unusual for White to give up his dark-squared bishop in this
line as Black's dark-squared bishop will be useless unless he can achieve ...
e4.} dxc5 (15... Bxf5 16. Bd3 Bxd3 17. Qxd3 dxc5 18. Ng5 {is crushing.}) 16.
Bd3 Nf4 17. Be4 Qf6 18. O-O-O {White has complete control over the position 
(he owns the e4 square and all of Black's pieces are passive except the
f4-knight).} Kh8 19. Kb1 Bxf5 20. h4 (20. Rg5 Bg6 21. Rdg1 {was another strong
way to build up.}) 20... h6 21. Bxf5 Qxf5 22. Ne4 b6 (22... Nxd5 23. cxd5 Qxf3
24. Rg6 Qf5 25. Rdg1 Rf7 26. f3 Qxf3 27. Nxc5 {followed by Ne6 is very strong.}
) 23. h5 {This is a nice idea, clearing the way for Nh4-g6. Black completely
misses the threat.} Nxh5 (23... Qxh5 {was better but still probably losing
after} 24. Rh1 Qg4 (24... Qxf3 25. Ng5 {wins the queen or checkmates.}) 25. Nh4
Nh3 26. Rde1 Qxh4 27. Re3 Rf4 28. Rexh3 Qg4 29. Ka2 {and it is hard for Black
to stop White's attack with f3, Rg3, Rhg1 and Qg2. Black's big problem is that
his g7-bishop is so passive compared to the e4-knight.}) 24. Nh4 {Black
resigned.} 1-0 
[Event "Gibraltar Masters 2014"]
[Site "Caleta ENG"]
[Date "2014.01.28"]
[Round "1.8"]
[White "Vallejo Pons, F."]
[Black "Maisuradze, N."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B23"]
[WhiteElo "2707"]
[BlackElo "2279"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "102"]
[EventDate "2014.01.28"]
[EventRounds "10"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[Source "Mark Crowther"]
[SourceDate "2014.02.03"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Nf3 e5 4. Bc4 d6 5. d3 Be7 6. a3 {Already an unusual
move; normally White opts for} (6. Nd2 {when} Nf6 7. Nf1 Bg4 8. Qd2 {has been
trendy lately.}) 6... Nf6 7. Bg5 {White's plan is simple; exchange on f6 and
obtain full control over the d5-square.} O-O (7... Nd7 8. Bxe7 Nxe7 {fails to}
9. Ng5 O-O 10. Qh5 {.}) 8. Bxf6 Bxf6 9. Nd5 Be6 10. O-O Bxd5 (10... Rb8 11. a4
Bg5 12. c3 Bh6 {is better, when Black is ready to play ...Ne7 to equalise the
position.}) 11. Bxd5 {In this middlegame the presence of opposite-coloured
bishops doesn't make the position drawish at all. White's bishop is stronger
than Black's, which gives him an advantage.} Qd7 12. a4 Ne7 13. Bc4 d5 {This
break leads to problems, whereas} (13... a6 14. a5 Nc6 15. Nd2 Bg5 16. Bd5 Bxd2
17. Qxd2 Ne7 18. Bc4 {still leaves White with the superior minor piece, and he
will also have a better pawn structure when f4 comes.}) 14. exd5 Nxd5 15. Re1
Qd6 (15... Rad8 {may have been better as} 16. Nxe5 Qd6 17. Bxd5 Bxe5 18. Bxb7
Bxh2+ 19. Kf1 Be5 {at least sees Black break out and get his bishop active for
the sacrificed pawn.}) 16. Nd2 {This very strong move poses Black big problems
as she is unable to defend her pieces properly.} Nf4 (16... Qc6 17. Ne4 Rad8
18. Qh5 {also gives White a fantastic position, threatening Nxf6.}) 17. Ne4 Qc6
18. Qf3 {This move threatens Nxf6 completely destroying Black's pawn structure,
so Black retreats the bishop.} Be7 {But now the e5-pawn is undefended and
White can continue his attack on the light squares.} 19. g3 Ne6 20. c3 {
Black's knight does not have a good square - actually none of Black's pieces
have good squares.} Kh8 (20... Qc7 {tempts White into taking on e6, which is
still good for White, but retaining the pressure with} 21. h4 {is much better
again. White can contemplate Bd5 and Nd2-c4 to gang up on the e5-pawn.}) 21.
Qf5 Nc7 22. Qxe5 Rae8 23. Qf5 {White is a pawn up with a big initiative, so
the position is simply winning.} g6 24. Qf4 f5 25. Nd2 (25. Ng5 Bxg5 26. Qxg5 {
is also good.}) 25... Bd6 26. Qh6 f4 (26... Rxe1+ 27. Rxe1 Qxa4 {regains the
pawn but hands White} 28. Bb3 Qd7 29. Nc4 {with total domination of the
position.}) 27. Re4 a6 28. a5 Nd5 29. Rxe8 Rxe8 30. Ne4 fxg3 31. hxg3 {It
takes White some time, but the result of the game is never in doubt.} Re5 32.
Ng5 Qd7 33. Bxd5 Rxd5 34. Re1 Kg8 35. Nxh7 Qf5 (35... Qxh7 36. Re8+ {wins the
queen.}) 36. Re8+ Kf7 37. Re3 (37. Re4 {threatens g4 followed by Ng5, and} Qh5
38. Rf4+ Bxf4 39. Qf8+ Ke6 40. Qe8+ Kd6 41. Nf8 {is a nice mating pattern as}
Qf5 {fails to} 42. Qd8+ Ke5 43. Qe7+ {.}) 37... Qh5 38. Qxh5 Rxh5 39. Rf3+ {
Still, the endgame is easily winning for White.} Rf5 40. Ng5+ Kg7 41. Rxf5 gxf5
42. d4 Kf6 43. Nf3 cxd4 44. Nxd4 Ke5 45. Kf1 Bc7 46. b4 f4 47. g4 Kd5 48. Ke2
Kc4 49. Kd2 Be5 50. f3 Bf6 51. Kc2 Kd5 1-0
[Event "Gibraltar Masters 2014"]
[Site "Caleta ENG"]
[Date "2014.01.29"]
[Round "2.7"]
[White "Kamsky, G."]
[Black "Guo Qi"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D31"]
[WhiteElo "2709"]
[BlackElo "2451"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "115"]
[EventDate "2014.01.28"]
[EventRounds "10"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[Source "Mark Crowther"]
[SourceDate "2014.02.03"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Be7 4. Bf4 Nf6 5. e3 O-O 6. Nf3 c5 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. a3
Nc6 9. Be2 (9. Qc2 {is the main line, preparing to bring a rook to the d-file.}
) 9... dxc4 {The most common move, but the ending looks thankless for Black.} (
9... Ne4 10. Nxe4 dxe4 11. Qxd8 Rxd8 12. Nd2 f5 13. b4 Be7 14. c5 {meanwhile
is just better for White, who has the far stronger majority.}) 10. Bxc4 Qxd1+ (
10... Nh5 11. Bg5 Be7 12. Qxd8 Rxd8 13. Bxe7 Nxe7 14. Ke2 Bd7 15. Ne5 {is
similarly a very safe plus for White.}) 11. Rxd1 a6 {This move is important in
stopping Nb5.} 12. Bd3 Be7 13. h3 {The idea of this move is to meet ...Nh5
with Bh2.} (13. Ke2 Nh5 14. Bc7 {however seems quite good for White.}) 13... b5
14. Ne4 Nd5 (14... Rd8 {would neutralise White's pressure:} 15. Nxf6+ Bxf6 16.
Bg5 Bxg5 17. Nxg5 h6 18. Nf3 Bb7 19. Ke2 Rac8 {and Black has absolutely no
problems.}) 15. Bh2 (15. Bd6 Bxd6 16. Nxd6 Rd8 17. Ne4 {slightly favours White
due to the weakness of the c5-square.}) 15... Rd8 (15... f5 16. Nd6 Rd8 17.
Nxc8 Raxc8 {looks loosening, but Black obtains counterplay with ...Bf6 and ...
Na5-c4, which is better than what she gets in the game.}) 16. Rc1 Bb7 17. Ke2 {
White has a real advantage in this position, again due to the weakness of the
c5-square.} Rac8 18. Nc5 Bxc5 19. Rxc5 Na5 20. Rxc8 (20. Rhc1 Rxc5 21. Rxc5 Nb3
22. Rc2 Na1 {would be somewhat annoying.}) 20... Rxc8 21. Nd2 {White's bishop
pair offers him a small edge here.} Nb6 22. e4 Nbc4 (22... f6 23. Rb1 Kf7 24.
Bg1 e5 25. f3 Na4 {is probably equal, but only White can press because of his
bishop pair.}) 23. Nxc4 Nxc4 24. Rb1 e5 25. f3 f6 26. Bg3 Nb6 27. Be1 Na4 28.
Ke3 Kf7 29. Bb4 {White has definite pressure here and it's not as easy as it
looks to draw this as Black.} Ke8 30. h4 {White sees how much progress he can
make on the kingside before showing his cards.} h5 {It would have been better
to not touch the kingside pawns, but admittedly that's not an easy thing to do
in an OTB game.} (30... Rc6 31. g3 Kf7 32. f4 exf4+ 33. gxf4 Rc8 {for instance
is a better defence, though White is still clearly for choice.}) 31. g3 Rc6 32.
f4 Nc5 {After this error White is much better.} (32... Nb6 {seems to hold:} 33.
b3 exf4+ 34. gxf4 f5 35. Kf2 Rc7 36. exf5 Nd5 37. Ba5 Rd7 38. f6 Nxf6 39. Bg6+
Kf8 40. Bb4+ Kg8 41. Rc1 {and though White's position looks impressive, I
don't see a way for White to make progress if Black just shuffles with his
knight and king.}) 33. Be2 g6 34. Bf3 {It is hard for Black to defend his
e5-pawn without going completely passive.} Nb3 (34... Nd7 35. f5 Kf7 36. g4
hxg4 37. fxg6+ Kxg6 38. Bxg4 {is much better for White, because of his outside
passed pawn.}) 35. Bc3 Rc4 36. fxe5 f5 37. Rd1 fxe4 (37... Bxe4 38. Rd6 Bxf3
39. Kxf3 a5 40. Rb6 {(an important move to prevent ...b4) is close to winning.}
) 38. Be2 Rc6 39. g4 hxg4 40. Bxg4 {Black is unable to stop her position
cracking apart. The bishops are simply too good.} Nc5 41. Rd6 Rxd6 42. exd6 Bc6
43. b4 Nb7 44. Be5 a5 45. Kd4 axb4 46. axb4 Bd7 47. Be2 Bc6 48. Bf4 (48. h5
gxh5 49. Bxh5+ Kd7 50. Bg4+ Ke8 51. Bf5 {is even more efficient. Eventually
Black's fortress will have to give due to zugzwang.}) 48... Nd8 49. Ke5 Bd7 50.
Kxe4 Ne6 51. Bg5 Kf7 52. Ke5 Ng7 53. Bf3 Nf5 54. Bd5+ Ke8 55. Be4 Kf7 56. h5
Kg7 57. h6+ Kh7 58. Bxf5 {Black resigned.} 1-0