In his recent victory at the Hasselbacken Open, Dmitry Andreikin had to contend with an elite opponent who unveiled a surprise on Move 2.
Dmitry Andreikin, a Russian grandmaster, has an impressive record of tournament wins, including being the the runner-up in the 2013 World Cup and winning the Russian Championship in 2012. Yet, he is often overshadowed by some of his more illustrious countrymen. He sometimes will go months without playing an event. But he never seems to lose touch with the game, showing great consistency whenever he does play.
In early May, he won the Hasselbacken Open in Sweden, an extremely strong new addition to the chess calender. Crucial to his success was a last round win with Black. He was probably quite happy to be paired against the very enterprising Bosnian grandmaster Borki Predojevic. Predojevic enjoys playing unusual and aggressive chess, which is very welcome when a player needs to win with Black. The game was unusual right from the start, with both players playing extremely provocatively in the opening.
Predojevic, B. vs. Andreikin, D.
Hasselbacken Open 2016 |Stockholm SWE |Round 9.1 |08 May 2016 |ECO: B06 |0-1
1. e4g62. h4!?True to his style, Predojevic goes for the most
entertaining and provocative possible line. I have always been a big
fan of h4 ideas in any possible position, but I usually don't dare play stuff like this in a classical game. If Black ignores h4 completely, then h5 actually does start to look somewhat annoying for Black. 2... Nf6!?Andreikin goes for the most provoctive reply! This makes sense as there is even the infamous line 2. d4 Nf6 3.e5 Nh5 that was played by Magnus Carlsen against Michael Adams. If Predojevic plays the same way, it might be a bit better for Black with the White pawn already on h4.
( 2... h5is the most common reply, but this validates White's move perfectly. Now he can switch to playing the usual lines with d4 and having the Black pawn on h5 clearly weakens the g5 square, which could be easily exploited. If White sticks a bishop or a knight on g5, it will be impossible for Black to get rid of it as playing f6 weakens too many squares near his king. )
3. e5Nh54. Be2?Careless!
White expects Black to continue naturally and defend the knight on h5, either by playing Nf4 or Ng7, which would help White develop further. But Bxh5 isn't a real threat because giving up the bishop, particularly when White isn't very developed, seems unwise.
( 4. g4Ng75. d4d6even though the Black knight has already moved several times, White
pawns are rather exposed and rather weak. )
4... d6!Bxh5 would trade the excellent bishop for the lowly knight on the side of the board. Clearly there is no reason to worry about sacrificing a pawn like this!
( 4... Ng75. d4d66. Nf3would have been a
great position for White. )
5. d4White accepts that the opening didn't quite work out as he hoped and offers to simplify into an endgame. But the problem is that the e5 pawn will remain a serious weakness. And Bxh5 will never be a real threat in the endgame.
( 5. Bxh5gxh56. Qxh5Nc67. exd6Rg8!And Black has a huge lead in development. )
5... dxe56. dxe5Qxd1+7. Bxd1Nc68. Nc3White can't easily defend the pawn with
( 8. f4because h4 has already been played. 8... Ng3 )
( 8. Nf3Bg4 )
8... Be69. Nh3
( 9. Nf3trying to hold on to the pawn was probably a better try but eventually Black will win the pawn on e5. 9... Bg410. O-OBg7 )
9... Nxe510. Ng5An attempt to generate counterplay with knight jumps to Ng5 and Nb5. 10... Bc4!?An interesting and forcing move. Andreikin correctly evaluates the resulting imbalanced endgame as being in his fvor. Blacks move also doesn't allow White many other options as
Black takes away White's hopes of counterplay with Nb5. 11. b3Obviously Andreikin saw this before playing Bc4. His idea was 11... Bg7!The lines don't look very hard to see, but Black did need some very precise calculation to make sure it all works out. This is particularly commendable because Andreikin could have just tried to keep his extra pawn and play safely. 12. Bxh5
( 12. bxc4Nd3+13. Kd2Nxf2 )
12... Nd3+13. Kd2
( 13. cxd3Bxc3+14. Ke2Bxa115. dxc4gxh5 )
13... Rd814. bxc4Nxf2+15. Ke3Bd4+16. Kf3Nxh117. Bb2Nf218. Bg4White has two pieces for the rook, which would normally be enough
compensation in a middlegame. But in an endgame, the rook is usually more
powerful because the two pieces don't give White any chances for an initiative. In addition, Black also has two extra pawns. Andreikin could now have found a more tactical way to increase his advantage, but he makes the pragmatic choice of playing for a better endgame of rook plus two pawns vs two knights. 18... h619. Nh3Nxg420. Kxg4f5+21. Kf3e522. Rb1Kd723. Nd5Bxb224. Rxb2b625. Rb1c626. Ne3Ke6Black continues to play very natural
moves. The two knights are both misplaced. 27. Re1Rd428. g3g529. Nf2
( 29. hxg5hxg530. Nxg5+Kf6!and the knight is trapped. )
29... e4+30. Kg2Ke5Continuing to play strategically. White has no way to make his knights more active, so Black maintains his advantage and takes his time. 31. c3Rd732. hxg5hxg533. Nc2c534. g4Now Black must be a bit precise: 34... Rd2!35. Ne3f436. Nf1Re2!
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