One secret to Boris Gelfand’s longevity as one of the world’s top players is that he finds ways to create problems for his opponents, even in bad positions, as in the following game.
Boris Gelfand of Israel has been one of the world’s top players for more than 25 years. He has a well-deserved reputation for a deep positional understanding of thee game, but as this game against Friso Nijboer, a Dutch grandmaster, shows, he can play sharp positions and is not afraid to mix it up.
Nijboer, F. vs. Gelfand, B.
32nd ECC Open 2016 |Novi Sad SRB |Round 1.3 |06 Nov 2016 |ECO: B94 |0-1
( 7. Qe2Nowadays this move is the most popular choice. I won two nice games from this position recently, one with each color. )
7... Qb68. Bb3
( 8. O-OI would be tempted to play in the spirit of the Bg5 Najdorf and sacrifice a pawn in this position. )
8... e69. Qd2Be710. O-O-ONc511. Qe2Qc712. f4White prepares e5, a threat that Gelfand surely must respect, right? 12... b5!Nope! Black proceeds with his own play as if nothing is happening in the center. White should push forward now or else some combination of Bb7 and b4 will give him a lot of problems. 13. e5dxe514. fxe5Nd5!This is possible because of the tactical possibilities for Black. 15. Bxe7
( 15. Nxd5Nxb3+!16. axb3Bxg5+17. Ne3Qxe5and Black has a big edge. )
15... Nxe716. Ne4Nxe4!Simple and strong. Gelfand does not want the knight to get to d6. 17. Qxe4Rb8!A very tough move to make.
( 17... Bb7This looks totally automatic, but it's wrong because after 18. Qg4!Black faces problems. For example: 18... O-OFails to 19. Nxe6!fxe620. Qxe6+Kh821. Rd7 )
( 18... O-OI see no reason not to castle in this position. )
19. h5h6!Stopping any action on the kingside. Black now plans to start his queenside counterplay rolling by playing a5. 20. Rh3a521. a3Qb6
( 21... a4Black cannot play this yet since 22. Ba2b423. axb4Rxb4Does not work after 24. Nxe6! )
22. c3b4!Black begins to open lines on the queenside. 23. axb4axb424. c4Qb725. Qg4
( 25. Qxb7I would consider exchanging queens in this position since White's king is more open, though the engine prefers the move played by White. )
25... Ra8!26. Kb1Ra527. Qxg7Rg828. Qh7?!
( 28. Qxh6!There are no ghosts in this position. While it looks very scary, white is indeed winning. )
28... Qa729. Nc2Bc630. Rhd3!The position looks lost for Black. He is down material down and White is threatening Rd8+. But good players are always lucky, and that luck comes from resourceful defense. 30... Qc731. Nxb4
( 31. Nd4!This is the easiest way to achieve a winning position. )
( 31. Rd8+I think this move would also have been good enough as it forces simplification of the position. 31... Qxd832. Rxd8+Kxd833. Qxh6 )
Samuel Shankland is a United States grandmaster ranked No. 4 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 was also a member of the team that won the gold medal at the 2016 Chess Olympiad. 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.
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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.
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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.
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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