1. Nf3Nf62. g3g63. Bg2Bg74. O-OO-O5. c4d66. d4Nbd7I never thought much
of this setup for Black. It always struck me that White's extra space should
promise him an edge 7. Nc3e58. h3?!
( 8. e4Would be my choice. It is a bit more
8... exd49. Nxd4Re810. e4Nc511. Re1Bd7The problem with playing h3 is already becoming apparent. White's best setup in this position is f3 and Be3-f2, but
he is unable to effectively create that set up because he compromised his kingside with h3. 12. Bf4
( 12. f3Nh5!13. Kh2f5!With counterplay )
12... h613. Qc2White is just one move away from having an edge. If he can play Rad1,
he will have totally consolidated his center and have a pleasant space
advantage. So, Black feels obliged to strike: 13... Nfxe4!a nice tactical shot.
Black will lose the h6 pawn, but this is an excellent exchange for him 14. Nxe4Bxd415. Qd2Rxe4?!I like Black's spirit, but this is wrong
( 15... Bg7There was nothing wrong with this, but it's definitely a bit more dry. 16. Nxc5dxc517. Rxe8+Bxe818. Bxh6Qxd219. Bxd2 )
16. Bxe4?It's hard to
imagine this automatic move is a mistake, but now Black takes control.
( 16. Rxe4!White needed to give back the material 16... Nxe417. Qxd4With the
dark squares weakened, White should have a slight edge, despite being down a pawn. )
16... Qf6!Now the situation is out of control. Black
already has one pawn for the exchange, his pieces are incredibly active, and
both b2 and h3 are attacked. 17. Qc2?
( 17. Rab1!This was by far the most
resilient, though Black is definitely better. The simplest would
be: 17... g518. Be3Nxe419. Qxd4Qxd420. Bxd4Nd2When Wlack wins back his
exchange and remains a pawn up. Still, with opposite-colored bishops,
White would have drawing chances. )
17... Ba4!another strong move. Black creates some unpleasant questions for the White queen, for which she has no answer. 18. b3Personally I probably would prefer to resign than to play this move, but I
can't fault White for not wanting to lose such a miniature.
( 18. Qd2Bxb2And the twin threats of Bxa1 and Bc3 decide things rather quickly )
( 18. Qe2Re8!Bringing the last piece into the attack )
18... Bxa119. bxa4Re820. Re2Rxe421. Rxe4Nxe422. Qxe4Bd4With an extra pawn and a superior
structure, the game is effectively over. The rest was not necessary. 23. Qxb7Qe624. Kg2Qe225. Qf3Qxa226. Bxh6Qxc427. a5Qa228. Qf4Qd5+29. Kh2c530. a6Qa2
Samuel Shankland is a United States grandmaster ranked No. 7 in the country. He is a professional player and recipient of the Samford Fellowship in 2013, the most prestigious award in the United States for young chess players. He is at @GMShanky on Twitter and is also on Facebook.
FIDE and World Chess announces today that the 2018 World Chess Championship Match will take place in London in November 2018. The world’s most prestigious chess tournament is to be the climax of a season of high-profile activity to extend the sport’s appeal among global audiences – and make 2018 the Year of Chess in the UK.
After 9 days of intense chess battles at the last leg of the World Chess Grand Prix series 2017 in Palma de Mallorca, the two winners of the series were finally determined: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan, overall 340 points in the series) and Alexander Grischuk (Russia, 336,4 points). They qualified for the Candidates Tournament – the next part of the World Chess Championship cycle, which leads up to the Championship match.
The sole leader of the Palma de Mallorca Grand Prix Levon Aronian made a quick draw with Evgeny Tomashevsky today, inviting the group of rivals to join him at the top. But same as in the previous rounds all games on the top boards finished peacefully and not a single player came close to catching up with him.
After seven rounds Aronian is in the lead with 4,5 points. A group of 8 players is half a point behind, including Vachier-Lagrave. In order to qualify for the Candidates, the Frenchman needs to win at least one more game. Boris Gelfand defeated Alexander Riazantsev, Pavel Eljanov won against Jon Ludvig Hammer, while Teimour Rajabov outplayed Li Chao. After the victory the Azerbaijani Grandmaster still hopes to qualify, but in that case has to win both games.
Javier Ochoa, Honorary FIDE Vice President and President of the Spanish Chess Federation, made the first symbolic move to start the fourth round, which turned out to be the most exciting round of the tournament so far, with six decisive games out of nine.
In the Third Round of the FIDE Grand Prix in Palma de Mallorca games between the four leaders, Vachier-Lagrave-Aronian and Rajabov-Giri, finished in a draw. Peter Svidler joined the group of leaders by beating Jon-Ludvig Hammer in the third round.
The world’s best chess players and chess establishment came together in Bellver Castle to celebrate the opening of the final leg of the FIDE 2017 World Chess Grand Prix Palma de Mallorca – a prestigious qualifier for the World Chess Candidates Tournament.
Katerina Lagno, one of the strongest Russian women-grandmasters won the historic Moscow Blitz Tournament, beating her fellow Russian Olympic team members Alexandra Kosteniuk, Valentina Gunina and Olga Girya.
After a draw against Ian Nepomniachtchi, Teimur Rajabov won the tournament. One of the strongest players, Rajabov had not won a major tournament lately, but has shown phenomenal form in Geneva and managed to overpower some of top world’s players