After seven rounds of the Chess Olympiad in Baku, Ian Nepomniachtchi, a Russian grandmaster, has played every round and won all his games.

Part of the fun of a Chess Olympiad, like the one now taking place in Baku, Azerbaijan, is not just following the teams but enjoying the individual performances. After seven rounds, one of the most outstanding performances has been turned in by Ian Nepomniachtchi, Russia’s fourth board. He has played every round, six times on Board 3, and won all his games.

Nepomniachtchi began the competition rated 2740 —high enough to be Board 1 on almost any other team— but in Baku he’s behind Sergey Karjakin, Vladimir Kramnik, and Evgeny Tomashevsky in the board order. (Alexander Grishchuk is also on the team.) Nepomniachtchi’s six wins have catapulted him to No. 15 in the world on the Live Ratings web site. Here is how he got to 6-0, round by round.

He began against Oladapo Adu, an international master from Nigeria. Adu, who had White,opted for a very safe and solid opening opening, but then seemed to change his mind when he ceded the bishop pair to achieve h4-h5. This was not a good idea from a positional perspective and Nepomniachtchi combined the superiority of his minor pieces with the power of a mobile pawn majority on the queenside to win the game in impressive fashion.

Adu, Oladapo vs. Nepomniachtchi, Ian
42nd Olympiad 2016 | Baku AZE | Round 1.3 | 02 Sep 2016 | ECO: A48 | 0-1
1. Nf3 g6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Bg5 A very safe approach by the Nigerian IM. If the super-GM is going to win, he isn't going to get any help from his opponent.
3... Bg7 4. e3 O-O 5. Nbd2 d6 6. c3 Qe8 Going for a quick ...e5. Black often plays (for) ...c5 instead, while another way to prepare ...e5 is with ...Nbd7, as Nepomniachtchi himself played in an earlier game.
6... Nbd7 7. Bd3 e5 8. O-O h6 9. Bh4 Qe8 10. e4 b6 11. Re1 Bb7 12. a4 a5 13. Bb5 Qc8 14. dxe5 Nxe5 15. Nxe5 dxe5 16. f3 Rd8 17. Qc2 Qe6 18. Bf2 Nh5 19. b4 Bf8 20. Reb1 Nf4 21. Bf1 Ba6 22. b5 Bb7 23. c4 Bb4 24. Rxb4 axb4 25. c5 Qf6 26. Nc4 bxc5 27. Bxc5 Ne6 28. Bxb4 Nd4 29. Qc3 Bc8 30. Ba5 Qe7 31. Kh1 Bb7 32. Bb4 Qe6 33. Na5 Qb6 34. Nc4 Qe6 35. Na5 Qb6 36. Rc1 Rd7 37. h3 Kh7 38. Nc4 Qe6 39. a5 Rb8 40. Ne3 h5 41. a6 Ba8 42. Qc5 Qb3 43. Bc3 Qe6 44. Bc4 Qf6 45. Bxd4 exd4 46. Nd5 Qh8 47. Rd1 d3 48. Rxd3 Qa1+ 49. Qg1 Qxg1+ 50. Kxg1 Kg7 51. Ra3 f5 52. a7 Rb7 53. Ra6 fxe4 54. fxe4 Rf7 55. e5 c6 56. Nb6 Rfe7 57. bxc6 Rxa7 58. Nxa8 1-0 (58) Kramnik,V (2783)-Nepomniachtchi,I (2714) Sochi 2015  )
7. Be2 e5 8. Bxf6 A strategically risky decision, giving up the bishop pair without acquiring any long-term dividend in return.
8. O-O has been usual, with decent results for White overall in a fairly limited pool of games. The top game went well for Black - here's Kramnik again:
8... h6 9. Bh4 Note that Short wasn't willing to exchange on f6 -
...  Bf5 10. a4 Nc6 11. a5 e4 12. Ne1 g5 13. Bg3 Ne7 14. a6 b6 15. Nc2 Bg6 16. Nb4 c5 17. Nc2 Nf5 18. Na3 Rd8 19. Qb3 Qe7 20. Nb5 h5 21. h3 g4 22. Bf4 gxh3 23. gxh3 Nh7 24. Kh2 Qh4 25. Nxe4 Nxd4 26. cxd4 Bxe4 27. Bg3 Qe7 28. Bxh5 Kh8 29. Rad1 d5 30. Nc3 c4 31. Qa3 Qg5 32. Be2 Bf5 33. Rh1 Qh6 34. Kg2 Rg8 35. Bg4 Qg6 36. Qe7 Be6 37. Bxe6 fxe6 38. h4 Rde8 39. Qxa7 Bh6 40. h5 Qc2 41. Rh3 Bxe3 42. Kh1 Bh6 43. Qf7 Ng5 44. Be5+ Bg7 45. Qf4 Nxh3 0-1 (45) Short,N (2665)-Kramnik, V (2775) Moscow 1996  )
8... Bxf6 9. h4
9. dxe5 dxe5 10. Ne4 Bg7 11. h4  )
9... exd4 10. cxd4 Qe7 11. Qc2 c5 Black may already be better, and it's clear that his bishops will be a factor. White's kingside play isn't going to result in mate, and it's also worth wondering where his own king is headed. He will almost surely have to castle kingside, but then h4 will be a wasted tempo at best.
12. dxc5
12. Ne4 was better, maybe even forced. Black should be forced to sac a pawn or return the bishops rather than getting to enjoy a serious initiative for free.
12... Bg7 13. dxc5 dxc5 14. Nxc5 Bf5 15. Nd3 Rc8 16. Qb3 is easier for Black to play than White, but it's nothing serious just yet.  )
12... dxc5 13. h5 Bf5 14. Qb3
14. e4 was better.  )
14... Nc6 Now White is in trouble. Black's bishops are very strong and pointed at the queenside, where Black has a pawn majority. By activating that majority his advantage on that flank will become life-threatening to White.
15. hxg6 hxg6 16. a3 Rab8 17. O-O Rfd8 18. Rfe1 b5 19. Rac1 c4 20. Qa2 A horrible square for the queen, but the b-pawn needs protection.
20... a6
20... Kg7 was possible, ironically suggesting to White that the open h-file might be the source of an attack alright, but not the way White might have hoped or intended when he played h4.  )
21. Nf1 Bg7 22. Ng3 Bd3 23. Red1 Bxe2 24. Nxe2 Rxd1+ 25. Rxd1 Rd8 Nepomniachtchi is counting on his huge queenside space advantage and his pawn majority on that flank. Everything else is largely superfluous, so he's willing to exchange to help him focus on his queenside pluses.
26. Rc1? Surrendering the d-file gives White one more problem to deal with, and now it's clearly at least one too many.
26... Ne5 27. Nxe5 Bxe5 28. b3 c3! 29. Qb1
29. Nxc3 Bxc3 30. Rxc3 fails to
30... Rd1+ 31. Kh2 Qh4#  )
29... Rd2 30. Kf1 Qh4 31. f4 c2
31... c2 32. Rxc2 Qh1+ 33. Ng1 Qxg2+ 34. Ke1 Qf2#  )

In Round 2, Nepomniachtchi was White against Saparmyrat Atabayev, a FIDE master from Turkmenistan. Nepomniacthichi won by doing what many stronger players do against lower-rated opposition: give them enough rope to hang themselves. Black’s 19th move was pretty, creative, and bad, and transformed the game from complicated to clearly winning for White.

Nepomniachtchi, Ian vs. Atabayev, Saparmyrat
42nd Olympiad 2016 | Baku AZE | Round 2.3 | 03 Sep 2016 | ECO: B90 | 1-0
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e5 7. Nde2 Be7 Black almost always plays
7... h5 nowadays, preventing White from fully expanding with g2-g4.  )
8. g4 h6 9. a4 Rare here, but a very normal Najdorf move, preventing or at least slowing down Black's ...b5 advance.
9. Bg2 and  )
9. Ng3 are usual.  )
9... Be6 10. Bg2 O-O 11. O-O Nbd7 12. Ng3 Re8 13. Nf5 Qc7 14. Nxe7+ An interesting decision. Many players might reject the capture, reasoning that Black's bishop is so passive that trading is doing him a favor. But the flip side is that this seemingly bad bishop can sometimes come to life, especially when White plays f4, so the swap makes sense.
14. h4!?  )
14... Rxe7 15. f4!? The point, although it might have been better for White to first interpolate
15. a5  )
15... exf4 16. Bxf4 Qc5+ 17. Kh1 Ne5 18. g5 hxg5 19. Bxg5 Neg4? Too much talent, as the expression goes. It's a creative idea, but unfortunately for Black it just doesn't work.
19... Ned7!  )
20. Qd2!
20. hxg4?? Qxg5  )
20... Nh5 This was of course the intention behind the previous move.
21. hxg4
21. Bxe7?? would allow a very pretty mate.
21... Ng3#  )
21... Ng3+ 22. Kh2 Nxf1+ 23. Rxf1 White is winning, as his two minor pieces easily outweigh Black's rook.
23... Rd7 24. Be3 Qe5+ 25. Bf4 Qc5 26. Be3 Qe5+ 27. Kg1 Bxg4 28. Bd4 Qh5 29. Nd5 Rf8 30. Rf6!? A pretty move with an even prettier threat: 31.Rh6!
30... Kh7
30... b5? 31. Rh6! Qxh6 32. Qxh6 gxh6 33. Nf6+ Kg7 34. Nxd7+ f6 35. Nxf8  )
30... Re8  )
31. Qf2 Bh3? 32. Bxh3 Qxh3 33. Rf4 g5 34. Nf6+ Kg6 35. Rg4 White has all sorts of horrible threats, most especially Qf5+ followed by Rxg5+ or Qxg5+. Black gave up.

In Round 3, Nepomniachtchi faced a grandmaster for the first time in the event, Dmitry Svetushkin of Moldova. Like Adu in Round 1, Svetushkin opted for safety with White rather than trying to take advantage of having the first move. For a long time, Svetushkin had a safe position, and although Nepomniachtchi was finding little ways to increase the pressure, a draw was by far the likeliest result. As often happens when a player faces prolonged pressure, however, the defender misses something somewhere, and that happened to Svetushkin. White’s 42nd move made excellent sense as the first step in a plan to improve the activity of his minor pieces, but it had a fatal tactical flaw that Nepomniachtchi saw and exploited.

Svetushkin, Dmitry vs. Nepomniachtchi, Ian
42nd Olympiad 2016 | Baku AZE | Round 3.3 | 04 Sep 2016 | ECO: B51 | 0-1
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Like Adu in round 1, Svetushkin takes refuge in solidity.
3... Nd7 The sharpest of the options.
4. c3
4. d4 cxd4 5. Qxd4 a6 6. Bxd7+ Bxd7 used to be automatic, but Black's results here have been too good - White isn't even scoring 50% here.  )
4. O-O and  )
4. a4 are the main moves these days.  )
4... Nf6 5. Qe2 a6 6. Ba4 b5
6... e6 and  )
6... e5 are important alternatives.  )
7. Bc2 Bb7 8. O-O g6 9. d4 Bg7 10. Re1 e5 Turning the game into a kind of Ruy Lopez.
11. a4
11. d5!?  )
11... O-O
11... exd4 12. cxd4 O-O is an important option for Black, aiming to put maximum pressure on White's e-pawn. It seems that Black is at least equal here.  )
12. dxe5 Nxe5 13. Nxe5 dxe5 14. axb5 axb5 15. Rxa8 Qxa8 16. Na3 b4 17. Nc4 White's position is a little more comfortable, thanks largely to Black's underachieving dark-squared bishop.
17... Rd8 18. Bg5 Preparing a questionable decision - the same one we saw in Nepomniachtchi's round 1 game.
18... h6 19. Bxf6 Bxf6 20. Bb3 White's idea is a good one - a dream, in fact. He'd like to play Ne3 followed by Bd5, trade the light squared bishops and put the knight on d5 forever. Black must not - and will not - allow this.
20... bxc3 21. bxc3 Qa6 22. Qf3 Kg7 23. Ne3 Rd3 No time for Bd5.
24. Bc2 Rd2 25. Rd1 Qd6 26. h3 Bg5 27. Nc4 Rxd1+ 28. Bxd1 Qa6 The position is still equal, but the trend is in Black's favor. Black is moving forward and starting to pester White's pawns on c3 and e4, while White's pieces are getting less rather than more coordinated.
29. Qd3 Qa1 30. Kh2?!
30. Nxe5 Bf4 31. Nf3 Ba6 32. Qc2 Bc7 followed by ...Ba5 will regain the pawn soon, with a small advantage, but this was White's best option.  )
30... Qa2 31. Be2 Ba6 32. g3
32. Kg1  )
32... Bd8 33. Kg2 Ba5 34. Bf1 Qa1!?
34... Bxc4 35. Qxc4 Qxc4 36. Bxc4 Bxc3 is pointless for Black unless he needs to draw. White will never lose this position.  )
35. Qd5
35. Qd7! is a sneaky and clever move, preventing Black from taking on c4 because of the weakness of f7, and if Black's queen leaves the first rank there's Nd6 and Nxe5 to contend with. This holds the balance.  )
35... Bxc3 36. Qxc5 Qb1 37. Qe3 Qb4 38. Qd3 Bd4 39. Qc2 Qe1 40. Qe2 Qa1 41. Qc2 Bc8 Black has been tacking around, and so far White has defended well enough. With the time control having been made one would expect White to hold the position, or at least to avoid danger for the foreseeable future. Instead, he blunders.
42. Nd2?? The idea is very reasonable: he'd like to put the bishop on c4 (or at least d3) and bring the knight to f3. Then his coordination would be excellent; unfortunately, there's a tactical problem that decides the game.
42... Qe1! 43. Nf3 Bxh3+! The point. If the bishop had already left f1, then everything would have been fine. As it is, White loses not just one but two pawns, and his position is hopeless as a result.
44. Kxh3 Qxf1+ 45. Kh2 Bxf2 46. Qb2 Be3! A nice final touch.
46... Be3! 47. Qxe5+ Kh7 48. Qf6 Bg1+ 49. Kh1 Bd4+  )

In Round 4, the opponent was even better. Nepomniachtchi had Black again, but against Anton Korobov of Ukraine, an erstwhile 2700-rated player. Nepomniachtchi played the Grunfeld Defense and Korobov chose an unpretentious line against it, which was still enough to gain a slight edge coming out of the opening. Rather than be satisfied having a little extra space on the kingside, Korobov pushed his e- and f-pawns to e5 and f4 respectively, and found himself permanently on the defensive thereafter as he tried to plug up all the holes created by pushing his pawns so far forward.  Like Svetushkin in the previous round, Korobov defended well for a long time, but he finally collapsed under Black’s persistent pressure.

Korobov, Anton vs. Nepomniachtchi, Ian
42nd Olympiad 2016 | Baku AZE | Round 4.3 | 05 Sep 2016 | ECO: D94 | 0-1
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. e3 A very quiet system. For the third time in three games with the black pieces, Nepomniachtchi's opponent opts for a safety-first opening.
5... O-O 6. Bd2 A classic game that should be known by all chess fans:
6. Be2 dxc4 7. Bxc4 c5 8. d5 e6 9. dxe6 Qxd1+ 10. Kxd1 Bxe6 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12. Ke2 Nc6 13. Rd1 Rad8 14. Rxd8 Rxd8 15. Ng5 Re8 16. Nge4 Nxe4 17. Nxe4 b6 18. Rb1 Nb4 19. Bd2 Nd5 20. a4 Rc8 21. b3 Bf8 22. Rc1 Be7 23. b4 c4 24. b5 Kf7 25. Bc3 Ba3 26. Rc2 Nxc3+ 27. Rxc3 Bb4 28. Rc2 Ke7 29. Nd2 c3 30. Ne4 Ba5 31. Kd3 Rd8+ 32. Kc4 Rd1 33. Nxc3 Rh1 34. Ne4 Rxh2 35. Kd4 Kd7 36. g3 Bb4 37. Ke5 Rh5+ 38. Kf6 Be7+ 39. Kg7 e5 40. Rc6 Rh1 41. Kf7 Ra1 42. Re6 Bd8 43. Rd6+ Kc8 44. Ke8 Bc7 45. Rc6 Rd1 46. Ng5 Rd8+ 47. Kf7 Rd7+ 48. Kg8 1-0 (48) Petrosian,T-Botvinnik,M Moscow 1963 (World Championship, game 5)  )
6... c6 The standard Gruenfeld thrust
6... c5 is the main alternative.  )
7. Qb3 e6 8. Bd3 dxc4 Black generally prefers to maintain the tension with
8... Nbd7  )
9. Bxc4 Nbd7 10. O-O c5 11. Rfd1 Qe7
11... cxd4 12. exd4 Nb6 13. Be2 Nbd5 has been played and looks reasonable for both sides.  )
12. Rac1 b6 13. d5 exd5 14. Bxd5 Rb8 15. e4 Ne5 16. Bf4 Nh5 17. Bxe5 Bxe5 18. Nxe5 Qxe5 White wants to keep the knight off of f4 without allowing the bishop to take up permanent residence on g4, but he must choose.
19. g3
19. f3 Nf4 20. Rc2 Be6 21. g3 Bxd5 22. Nxd5 Nxd5 23. Rxd5  )
19... Bg4 20. Rd2 Qe7 21. f4?!
21. Kg2 is a typical move in such positions, intending to chase away the bishop with f3. As was the case after 19.f3, White is slightly better here as well.  )
21... Rbd8 22. e5 Whenever a player has a big space advantage as far as the pawns are concerned, the key question is whether the squares behind the pawn are filled in by the pieces. If not - and they're not here - then if the pawn mass can be blown up the space "advantage" can prove to be a disadvantage.
22... Nf6
22... g5!  )
23. Rcc2
23. exf6?? Qe3+ wins an exchange and the game.  )
23... Nxd5 24. Nxd5 Qe6 25. Nf6+ Kg7 26. Nxg4 Qxg4 White's kingside is a little airy, but he should still be able to keep everything protected.
27. Kg2
27. Rd5! g5 28. Rcd2 Rxd5 29. Qxd5 gxf4 30. Qe4 regains the pawn and keeps the king safe.  )
27... Qf5! 28. Kf3 h5! White's position is starting to leak and creak. He has to supervise the d-file, the light squares, his brittle pawn structure and soon the h-file will be added to the list of potential worries.
29. Qe3 Qh3 30. Qe2 h4 31. Rxd8 hxg3 32. hxg3
32. Rxf8?? gxh2+ 33. Kf2 h1=Q  )
32... Rxd8 33. Rd2 White is still okay.
33... Rh8 34. Rd1?!
34. Qg2 Qe6  )
34. b3 might be best, waiting for Black to commit to one idea or another.  )
34... Qh5+ 35. g4?! Qh4?
35... Qh3+! 36. Ke4 Re8!  )
36. Ke4?
36. Qg2  )
36... Qe7! Threatening ...Qb7+.
37. Kd3 Qd7+! 38. Ke3 Rh3+ 39. Ke4?
39. Kf2 Qc6 40. Ke1 Qa4! White can't keep all his weaknesses covered.  )
39... Qc6+ After such games, we may be inclined to single out the decisive error, the one before which a player wasn't losing and after which he was. But that ignores the fact that in certain sorts of positions those decisive errors are much more likely to appear than in other kinds of positions. In this game, for instance, there were significant stretches where the engine claimed the position was entirely equal. But in practice it's anything but: Black would have to play exceptionally poorly or make a string of irrelevant moves to get into trouble, but for White accuracy was required for move after move after move. In the end, he couldn't maintain a perfect defense, and it's not all that surprising that in the end, he lost.
39... Qc6+ 40. Rd5 Qa4+ mates after at most three pointless interpositions.  )

In Round 5, Nepomniachtchi had White again. His opponent was Adham Fawzy of Egypt, an international master. It was yet another endgame, but this time Nepomniachtchi started with an edge and managed to increase it. His play from move 30 on was particularly outstanding.

Nepomniachtchi, Ian vs. Fawzy, Adham
42nd Olympiad 2016 | Baku AZE | Round 5.3 | 06 Sep 2016 | ECO: B32 | 1-0
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d6 6. g3 Definitely a sideline. Nepomniachtchi likes opening ideas that are slightly off the beaten track.
6. N1c3  )
6. c4 have both been played many thousands of times.  )
6... Be7 Here is one of the very few games involving super-GMs to see 6.g3:
6... h5 7. N1c3 a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Nd5 Nge7 10. Bg2 Bg4 11. f3 Be6 12. c3 h4 13. Nc2 Bxd5 14. exd5 Na5 15. f4 Nf5 16. g4 h3 17. Be4 Nh4 18. O-O g6 19. Kh1 Bg7 20. f5 gxf5 21. gxf5 Ng2 22. f6 Bf8 23. Qf3 Qc7 24. Nb4 Nb7 25. Nc6 Nc5 26. Bf5 Nd7 27. Bg5 Rg8 28. Qh5 Nb6 29. Be6 Rxg5 30. Qxg5 fxe6 31. dxe6 1-0 (31) Carlsen, M (2861)-Nakamura,H (2769) Wijk aan Zee 2013  )
7. Bg2 Nf6 8. O-O Be6 9. N5c3 O-O 10. Nd5 Rc8 11. b3 Yes, that's the third novelty - it often happens that after a new move, a tranposition to older positions may arise either immediately or after a few natural moves.
11... Qd7 12. Nxe7+ Qxe7 13. Bb2 b5 14. Nc3 Nd4 15. Rc1 b4
15... Qb7!  )
16. Ne2
16. Na4!  )
16... Nb5?! The knight is pretty clumsy here, but it's on its way to c3. Not a bad idea, but as the details emerge it turns out to favor White. The knight will look nice on c3, but it comes at a cost and doesn't do as much as one might hope.
16... Nc6  )
17. Qd2 d5 18. exd5 Nxd5 19. Bxe5 Rfd8 20. Nf4
20. Rfe1! Ndc3 21. Qe3  )
20... Ndc3 21. Qe1 Re8 22. Nxe6 Qxe6 23. Bxc3 Nxc3 24. Qxe6 fxe6 25. Rce1 Nxa2 26. Be4 The smoke has cleared, and White has both the better minor piece and a healthier pawn structure. Perhaps with best play Black can hold this, but keeping the a- and e-pawns safe while combating the long-range power of White's bishop will be a tough task.
26... Nc3 27. Bd3 e5 28. Ra1 Re7 29. Ra6
29. f3 first was better.  )
29... Rcc7
29... e4!  )
30. f3 Back on track.
30... g6 31. Re1 Kf7 32. Kg2 Kg7 33. h4 Rc5 White finds an ingenious triangulation idea now. It didn't have to work - Black didn't need to play the game - but he does and pays the price.
34. Kh3 Kh6 35. Kh2 Kg7 36. Kg2 Kh6?
36... Kh8 was a better way to mark time.  )
37. Rea1! Rcc7 38. Rh1! Threatening h5, creating another front Black must defend. This is one too many.
38... e4
38... Kg7 39. h5 gxh5 40. Rxh5 Kg8 41. Ra5 e4 42. fxe4 Nxe4 43. Rhb5 wins a pawn while keeping all the other positional advantages intact.  )
39. fxe4 Nxe4? 40. h5! Nc5 41. hxg6+ Kg5 42. gxh7 Nxd3 43. Ra5+! Kg6 44. Rh6+! Perfectly precise.
44. Rh6+! Kf7 45. Rf5+ Ke8 46. h8=Q+ Kd7 47. Rd5#  )

In Round 6, Nepomniachtchi faced Daniel Fridman, a very strong German grandmaster. Fridman had Black and played the Petroff, which is a specialty of his. Fridman got a good position out of the opening and there were even moments in the middlegame when he had an advantage. But Nepomniachtchi kept fighting and taking risks rather than trying for a draw or accepting one if Fridman seemed to be steering for that sort of result.  In the second time control, Nepomniachtchi’s efforts bore fruit.

Nepomniachtchi, Ian vs. Fridman, Daniel
42nd Olympiad 2016 | Baku AZE | Round 6.4 | 08 Sep 2016 | ECO: C42 | 1-0
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nd7 9. O-O-O c6 10. Kb1 Re8
10... Qa5  )
10... d5  )
10... Ne5  )
11. h4 Ne5
11... Qa5 12. h5 h6 13. Bd3 Ne5 14. Nxe5 dxe5 15. Qe2 Be6 16. Bc4 Bxc4 17. Qxc4 Rad8 18. Qg4 Kf8 19. Rd7 Rxd7 20. Qxd7 Qd5 21. Qxd5 cxd5 22. Bxa7 Ra8 23. Be3 b5 24. Rd1 Rd8 25. b4 f6 26. Kb2 Kf7 27. Kb3 Ke6 28. a4 bxa4+ 29. Kxa4 f5 30. Re1 e4 31. Kb3 Bf6 32. Ra1 Rc8 33. Ra6+ Kf7 34. Ra7+ Ke6 35. Ra6+ Kf7 36. Bd4 f4 37. b5 e3 38. fxe3 fxe3 39. Ra1 e2 40. Re1 Re8 41. g3 Bg5 42. Bf2 Bd2 43. Ra1 e1=Q 44. Bxe1 Bxe1 45. Rd1 Re3 46. Rxd5 Rxc3+ 47. Kb2 Rxg3 48. c4 Rg5 49. Rd6 Bg3 50. Rc6 Rxh5 51. b6 Re5 52. b7 Re7 53. Rb6 Bb8 54. c5 h5 55. c6 h4 56. Rb3 Re6 57. Rc3 Bc7 58. Kb3 h3 59. Rd3 h2 60. Rd7+ Kg6 0-1 (60) Dominguez Perez,L (2713)-Gelfand,B (2750) Nice 2010 (rapid)  )
12. Nxe5 dxe5 13. Bd3 Be6 14. Qe2 Qc8
14... Qa5  )
15. Bc1
15. h5  )
15... Bf8 16. h5?! White has won the opening battle, but this is an inaccuracy, allowing Black a nice little tactic.
16. c4  )
16... e4! 17. Bc4
17. Bxe4? f5 is the point: moving the bishop allows ...Bxa2+ followed by ...Rxe2.  )
17... Bg4 18. f3 exf3 19. Qf2 Be6
19... b5! 20. gxf3 Bf5 looks better, and looks better for Black, intending to continue with ...a5 and at least the beginnings of an assault on White's queenside.  )
20. Bxe6 Qxe6 21. gxf3 Keeping the position tense, even though Black might be the primary beneficiary.
21. Qxf3  )
21... Qf5 22. h6 g6 23. Rhe1 b6
23... b5  )
24. Qg3
24. c4  )
24. b3  )
24... Rxe1 25. Rxe1 Qd7 26. Qe5 Qh3
26... Qd5  )
27. Qe3 Rd8 28. Qf4 Qd7 29. Qe4 Qe6 30. Qh4 Qd7 31. Qa4 Although the position is at least equal for Black, it's Nepomniachtchi who is working hard to avoid a draw, trying to stir up any trouble he can.
31... c5 32. Qa6
32. Qf4  )
32... Qc6 33. a4 Qxf3
33... c4!?  )
34. Qxa7 Qc6 Threatening to win the queen by ...Ra8.
35. Rf1 Rd7
35... f5 36. Qa6 Qe6  )
36. Qa6 Qe6 37. b3 Rd6
37... f5  )
37... c4!?  )
38. Qb7
38. Bf4  )
38... Rd7
38... c4  )
38... Qd5  )
39. Qb8 Qd6 40. Qa8 Qd5 41. Qa6 Qe6
41... Qc6  )
42. Kb2 Rd5 43. Qa8 Qd7?
43... Rd7  )
44. Re1 Qd8 45. Qa6?
45. Re8! Qxa8 46. Rxa8 f5 47. Ra6! Rd6 48. Bf4 Re6 49. a5  )
45... Rd7? 46. Qb5 White is able to infiltrate and then to attack Black's king, while White's king is as safe as can be.
46... Be7 47. Bf4 Kf8 48. Be5! f6 49. Bg3 g5 50. Qc6 f5 51. Be5 Kf7 52. Qf3 Kg6 53. Rf1!
53. Rf1! Qf8 54. Qc6+  )

Editor’s note: This article originally misstated the country that Saparmyrat Atabayev represents. It is Turkmenistan, not Turkey. The error was introduced in the editing process.


Dennis Monokroussos is a FIDE master who has written about chess on his blog “The Chess Mind,” since 2005. He has been teaching chess for almost 20 years and for the last 10 years has been making instructional chess videos, which can be found at Between 1995 and 2006, he taught philosophy, including a four-year stint at the University of Notre Dame.