1. e4d62. Nc3e53. Nge2Nf64. g3Be75. Bg2O-O6. d4exd47. Nxd4Re88. O-OBf89. h3Nbd710. Re1Nc5So far, the game has been nothing special. But now Vallejo begins to make things interesting. 11. Nb3!White needs to remove the Black knight on c5.
( 11. Be3This would be a natural developing move, but 11... Ncxe4Wins a pawn )
( 11... Nxb312. axb3Also looks good for White )
12. a4!I like it. White gains space before doing anything else.
( 12. Be3Nb6This looks a bit annoying as Black may try to follow-up with Be6 and Nc4. )
( 12... a5This looked more natural to me, though I still would have preferred Whites position. )
13. a5!Preventing Nb6. 13... Qc7
( 13... Ne514. f4Nc415. Qd3Putting pressure on the Black knight. )
( 14... Ne515. Nd2!And then f4. )
15. f4!Just 15 moves into the game, Black already has no good active moves. 15... b6Black felt compelled to do this to gain some breathing room for the bishop on b7, but now his pawn structure is in ruins
( 15... Nb8This is the computer's
suggestion. As bad as it looks, it might be the best move. 16. g4Na617. Qd2White is better and can play on both the kingside and queenside. )
16. axb6Nxb617. Bd4!Energetic and strong; Bxf6 is a serious positional threat. 17... Nfd718. Na5!Another strong move. The threat is to play e5. 18... Rb8
( 18... c519. Nb5!And White would be winning easily. )
19. Kh2Nice and simple; Black still can barely move. 19... a6
( 19... Bb720. Nxb7Would obviously be a train wreck for Black. )
20. Bf2The final move to prepare the advance e5.
( 20. e5d5This is still a very good position for White, but he might also have moved the bishop first to get it out of the way of Black's plan to play c5. )
20... d5?Black's position was already difficult, but this loses quickly. 21. Nxc6!Qxc622. exd5And Black's position collapses. If the queen moves, Rxe8 wins a rook. 22... Rxe1
( 22... Qd623. Rxe8 )
23. dxc6!Rxd124. Rxd1Black will lose his temporary material advantage and still have all the problems inherent in his position. The game is effectively over. 24... g6
( 24... f525. c7!White doesn't even bother taking the knight. After White's advance to c7, Black is dead, no matter what he does. )
( 25. cxd7Nxd726. b3Also would be winning, but it's slower and less flashy. )
Samuel Shankland is a United States grandmaster ranked No. 5 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