'Games from the Beijing FIDE Grand Prix'

Tue, 2013-07-16 18:52 -- IM Max Illingworth

[pgn][Event "FIDE GP Beijing"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [WhiteElo "2776"]
[Black "Wang Hao"] [BlackElo "2752"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]

{The start of the Beijing Grand Prix resembled the Stavanger Super Tournament,
in that Karjakin started with a winning streak! As early as the second round
he took the outright lead, beating local Wang Hao in a quirky Pirc line.} 1. e4
d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. f4 Bg7 5. Bd3 {This is a clever move order trick in
the Pirc, with the idea of preventing 5...c5 and transposing to the 5.Nf3 0-0
6.Bd3 variation should Black castle. However, nearly all of these 'transpo
tricks' allow options as well as prevent them, and Wang Hao finds such an
independent try.} e5 $5 (5... c5 6. dxc5 dxc5 7. e5 {is not playable for Black
because he has no space or chances for counterplay, and his normally active
g7-bishop is very passive.}) 6. dxe5 dxe5 7. Nf3 (7. fxe5 Ng4 {lets Black get
a good outpost on e5 for his knight, and most of the time that's good enough
for equality in the Pirc. Note that} 8. Bb5+ c6 9. Qxd8+ Kxd8 {is harmless as
the Black king is safe in the centre with the queens off the board in this
fairly static position.}) 7... exf4 (7... Nc6 8. fxe5 Ng4 {is positionally
well-founded but} 9. Bg5 Qd7 10. Nd5 $1 {with the idea of jumping in on f6 is
hard to meet.}) 8. Bxf4 {It's not so often that we get an 'IKP' (Isolated
King's Pawn) position!} O-O 9. Qd2 Nc6 10. O-O-O $14 {White's advantage
consists of his lead in development and extra space, which outweighs the
possible weakness of the e4-pawn. Also we'll see that White finds it easier to
attack on the kingside than Black does on the queenside.} Be6 11. h3 $1 {A
well-timed prophylactic move, before Black might entertain a ...Ng4-e5
manoeuvre.} Nd7 12. Bg5 (12. Bh6 {exchanges Black's 'Pirc' bishop, but after}
Nce5 13. Bxg7 Kxg7 14. Be2 c6 {Black is fairly solid.}) 12... Bf6 $6 {This
move seems unwarranted, due to White's reply.} (12... f6 13. Bf4 Nce5 {is an
improvement, when it's not so easy for White to make use of his lead in
development.}) 13. h4 $1 {White borrows an attacking theme from the Yugoslav
Attack in the Dragon, but it also has the point that after 13...Bxg5 14.hxg5
the h-file is opened for the h1-rook.} h5 (13... Bxg5 14. hxg5) 14. Qf4 (14.
Bb5 {is an interesting possibility, fighting for control of the key e5-square
by threatening to exchange a defender.}) 14... Bxg5 {This represents a
concession, but} (14... Nce5 15. Be2 Nxf3 16. gxf3 {keeps the pressure on
Black's position.}) 15. hxg5 Qe7 16. Bb5 $1 {This is a very strong move. If
White can get in e5 and Ne4, his kingside attack will surely be decisive (he
can follow with g4, for instance).} Nb6 $1 (16... Qc5 {is the computer's
suggestion but then we might take a free pawn with} 17. Qxc7 {.}) 17. Bxc6 bxc6
18. Ne5 $1 {White keeps an eye on both flanks, attacking the weak c6-pawn
while preparing to pry open a file with g4.} Nc4 19. Nxc4 (19. Nxc6 Qc5 20. Nd4
Qb4 {gives Black a queenside attack for the pawn. Rule of thumb: When you have
the initiative, you should often reject the first pawn your opponent offers if
it means releasing all the pressure on your opponent's position.}) 19... Bxc4
20. g4 $1 {Why grab a pawn when we can mate Black's king?} Rab8 21. gxh5 Qb4 {
This desperate counter-attack doesn't work, but it's the only line that gives
White any opportunity to falter.} 22. Rd4 (22. Na4 $1 {slowing down Black's
attack is decisive:} Qxa4 23. hxg6 fxg6 24. Qe5 {and Black can't prevent Rh8,
which will kill the king.}) 22... Qxb2+ 23. Kd2 Rfd8 {This loses, but even the
ingenious} (23... Rbd8 $1 24. Qf6 Rxd4+ 25. Qxd4 c5 $1 26. Qf6 Qb6 27. hxg6
Qxf6 28. gxf6 fxg6 29. e5 {is unlikely to save the game, as Black is
effectively a pawn down due to his doubled c-pawns and the connected passers
are safe.} Re8 30. Rh4 $1 {.}) 24. Qf6 Rxd4+ 25. Qxd4 Qb6 26. Qxc4 Rd8+ 27. Kc1
Rd4 28. Qe2 Qc5 29. Nb1 Qxg5+ 30. Nd2 {Black resigned.} 1-0[/pgn]

[pgn][Event "FIDE GP Beijing"]
[White "Grischuk, A."] [WhiteElo "2780"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, S."] [BlackElo "2761"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]

{Karjakin's main pursuer in the next few rounds was Grischuk, who defeated
Mamedyarov in a significant fifth round encounter.} 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3
Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nb6 7. O-O Be7 {The Be2 system is not very
threatening in the Dragon, but sometimes harmless systems as White can prove
to be effective equalisers as Black.} 8. a3 O-O 9. d3 Be6 10. Be3 {This
harmless looking Be3 plan has been gaining some high-level adherents lately.
It even has the World Champion's seal of approval - although Anand only played
it against 'The World'!} Nd5 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 {The exchange of knights helps
Black by avoiding a Ne4-c5 plan which would put a lot of pressure on the
b7-pawn.} 12. Qa4 Re8 13. Rac1 {These sorts of positions used to be considered
completely equal but it's not so easy to nullify White's light pressure. He
can still think of bringing a knight to c5 with Nd2-e4-c5.} a6 (13... f5 {with
ideas of ...Bf6 and ...e4 is fairly typical for these positions and would be
more ambitious (not necessarily better) than Mamedyarov's choice.}) 14. Rfd1
Bf8 15. Rc3 h6 (15... Bxf3 {is a typical computer move, using the fact that
after} 16. Bxf3 Nd4 {Black can use the vulnerability of the e2-pawn to take
the f3-bishop next move. But if White plays 16.exf3 instead the light-squared
bishop is unopposed and will start breathing fire once f4 comes.}) 16. Rdc1 Rc8
{This seems inaccurate because of Grischuk's next manoeuvre.} 17. Bh3 Rb8 18.
Bf5 {As explained in the previous note, White isn't afraid of ...Bxf3.} g6 19.
Be4 Bxe4 {This is a bit too cooperative.} (19... f5 20. Bxd5+ Qxd5 {would be
stronger but White keeps his pull. Black's centre looks nice but all ...e4 or .
..f4 does is give White's pieces squares.}) 20. dxe4 $1 {A very strong
recapture - now Black's counterplay is squelched and White can press on with
his queenside minority attack.} Qd7 21. Kg2 Qe6 22. b4 Qg4 23. Qc2 Qe6 24. Qa4
Qg4 25. Qc2 Qe6 26. h3 g5 {Black tries to generate some sort of counterplay as
otherwise his position is quite depressing.} 27. Qa4 Qg6 28. Nd2 Rbd8 29. Rxc6
$1 {This exchange sacrifice is very typical for these pawn structures. Black's
pawn structure is completely messed up.} bxc6 30. Rxc6 Re6 31. Rc4 (31. Rxc7 $6
{would allow} Rxd2 32. Bxd2 Qxe4+ 33. Kh2 Qxe2 34. Be3 {when Black obtains
unnecessary counterplay.}) 31... h5 32. Nf3 Be7 33. Nd2 g4 34. h4 Bf8 35. Qc2
c6 36. Nf1 Red6 37. Bg5 R8d7 38. Be3 Re6 39. Rc3 Rd8 40. Nd2 Bg7 41. Rc5 {The
time control has been reached and White is probably winning - Black's pawns
are as weak as ever and the knight is just as good as a rook here.} Bf8 42. Ra5
c5 43. bxc5 Rc6 44. Ra4 Qe6 45. Rc4 Rc7 46. Nb3 Qc6 47. a4 Rb8 48. Qc3 Qe6 49.
Nc1 Rb2 50. Qxb2 Qxc4 51. Qxe5 Rc6 52. Qd5 Qxa4 53. Nd3 Re6 54. Bd4 Bg7 55. e5
Bh6 56. Nf4 Bxf4 57. gxf4 Qc2 {Black might seem to be getting enough
counterplay, but Grischuk has calculated everything accurately.} 58. e4 $1 Qd1
59. f5 Re8 60. e6 Qf3+ 61. Kg1 {That's the end of Black's attack, who resigned
here. An off-day for Mamedyarov, though he came back very strongly in the next
few rounds!} 1-0[/pgn]

[pgn][Event "FIDE GP Beijing"]
[Date "2013.07.10"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [WhiteElo "2776"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, S."] [BlackElo "2761"]
[Result "0-1"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]

{You might be wondering what happened to Karjakin - unfortunately after his
splendid start he lost three games in a row and fell out of the running for a
top place. This gave Mamedyarov and Grischuk the opportunity to reach the top
of the crosstable.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 Nxc3 6.
dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 Nc6 8. Qd2 Be6 9. O-O-O Qd7 10. Kb1 h6 11. h3 a6 {It's very
unusual for Black to delay castling for so long in this opening, but I can
sympathise with this approach as I like to delay castling for as long as
possible in my games as well!} 12. g4 h5 $1 13. gxh5 (13. Bg2 hxg4 14. hxg4
O-O-O {is also very solid for Black - notice how g4 looks a bit out of place
now Black has castled queenside. White would have preferred to play Bb5 and
provoke ...a6 and ...b5.}) 13... Rxh5 14. Rg1 Bf6 15. Bg5 O-O-O 16. Bxf6 gxf6 {
Already Black is doing well as the h3-pawn is very weak and Black's pieces are
very well placed, but White's next only makes things worse.} 17. h4 $6 (17. Nd4
Nxd4 18. cxd4 Bxh3 19. Bxh3 Rxh3 20. Qf4 {would bring the game relatively
closer to a draw.}) 17... Ne5 18. Qe3 Kb8 19. b3 Bg4 20. Be2 Bxf3 21. Bxf3 Rxh4
{Now Black has the stronger minor piece as well as an extra (though not very
useful) pawn. Mamedyarov went on to win, though it took a lot of grinding, as
it often does!} 22. Bg2 Qf5 23. Rd4 Rg4 24. Rxg4 Nxg4 25. Qd4 Qxf2 26. Qxf2
Nxf2 27. Rf1 Ng4 28. Bh3 Ne5 29. Rxf6 c6 30. Rf2 Rg8 31. c4 Rg3 32. Bf5 Kc7 33.
Rh2 Rf3 34. Rh5 a5 35. Kb2 Rg3 36. Rh7 Kb6 37. Bc8 Rg8 38. Bf5 Kc5 39. Rh4 Rg2
40. Rf4 Rg3 41. Bc8 b6 42. a3 Rf3 43. Rxf3 Nxf3 44. Kc3 d5 45. b4+ axb4+ 46.
axb4+ Kd6 47. cxd5 cxd5 48. Kd3 Ne5+ 49. Ke3 Nc6 50. c3 Ke5 51. Kd3 Ne7 52. Bb7
Nf5 53. Bc8 Nd6 54. Bg4 f5 55. Bf3 f4 56. Bh5 Nc4 57. Bf3 Ne3 58. Be2 Ng2 59.
Bg4 Ne3 60. Be2 Nc4 61. Bf3 Nd6 62. Bh5 Ne4 63. c4 d4 64. Bf3 Ng5 65. Bg4 f3
66. c5 f2 67. Ke2 bxc5 68. bxc5 Kf4 69. c6 Kg3 70. c7 Kg2 71. c8=Q f1=Q+ 72.
Kd2 Ne4+ 73. Kc2 d3+ 74. Kb2 Kg3 75. Qf5 Qg2+ 76. Ka3 Qh1 77. Bd1 Qxd1 78. Qxe4
Qe2 79. Qg6+ Kf2 80. Qf6+ Qf3 81. Qd4+ Ke2 82. Qe5+ Kf2 83. Qd4+ Kf1 84. Qa1+
Kg2 85. Qg7+ Qg3 86. Qb7+ Kf2 87. Kb2 Ke2 88. Qe4+ Qe3 89. Qg2+ Qf2 90. Qe4+
Kd2 91. Kb3 Qb6+ 92. Kc4 Qa6+ 93. Kb3 Qb5+ 94. Ka2 Kc3 95. Qe1+ Kc2 0-1[/pgn]

[pgn][Event "FIDE GP Beijing"]
[Date "2013.07.07"]
[White "Wang Yue"] [WhiteElo "2705"]
[Black "Kamsky, G."] [BlackElo "2763"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]

{The locals haven't been in contention for the very top places in this
tournament, with Wang Hao having a bad tournament while Wang Yue is on a solid
50%. I won't analyse this game as it's quite long and not of theoretical
importance but I recommend you study the rook endgame carefully as it is very
instructive.} 1. c4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Nf3 g6 4. e3 Bg7 5. d4 d6 6. Be2 e6 7. O-O
Nf6 8. b3 O-O 9. Bb2 b6 10. Qd2 Bb7 11. d5 exd5 12. cxd5 Nb4 13. e4 Re8 14. a3
Na6 15. Bd3 Nc7 16. Rfe1 Qd7 17. Rad1 Ng4 18. a4 a6 19. Nb1 f6 20. Na3 b5 21.
h3 Nh6 22. Bxf6 Bxf6 23. Qxh6 Bb2 24. Nc2 Rf8 25. Ne3 Qg7 26. Qg5 Rad8 27. axb5
Nxb5 28. Nc4 Bc3 29. Re3 h6 30. Qg3 g5 31. Bf1 Bf6 32. Na5 Nd4 33. Nc6 Bxc6 34.
dxc6 Nxc6 35. Bc4+ Kh7 36. Rxd6 Be5 37. Nxe5 Rxd6 38. Nxc6 Qa1+ 39. Kh2 Rxc6
40. e5 Qd4 41. Rd3 Qf4 42. Rd7+ Kh8 43. e6 Qxg3+ 44. Kxg3 Re8 45. Kg4 Rcxe6 46.
Bxe6 Rxe6 47. Kh5 Rc6 48. g3 Kg8 49. Re7 Kf8 50. Rh7 Rf6 51. g4 a5 52. Rb7 Ke8
53. Rb5 Rxf2 54. Kxh6 Rf3 55. Kxg5 Rxh3 56. Kg6 Rc3 57. g5 Kd7 58. Kf5 Kc6 59.
Rb8 a4 60. bxa4 Rf3+ 61. Ke6 Re3+ 62. Kf6 Rf3+ 63. Kg7 c4 64. g6 Kc5 65. a5 Kd4
66. Rc8 Ra3 67. Kf6 Rf3+ 68. Ke6 Rg3 69. Kf5 Rf3+ 70. Kg4 Rf1 71. a6 Ra1 72.
Kf3 Ra3+ 73. Ke2 Re3+ 74. Kd2 Re7 75. Rd8+ Kc5 76. Rg8 Kb4 77. g7 Ka5 78. Kc3
Rc7 79. a7 Rxa7 80. Kxc4 Ka6 81. Kd5 1-0[/pgn]

[pgn][Event "FIDE GP Beijing"]
[Date "2013.07.15"]
[White "Giri, A."] [WhiteElo "2734"]
[Black "Topalov, V."] [BlackElo "2767"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]

{I'll conclude with a game from today's round, where Giri smashed former FIDE
World Champion Topalov. Giri has had an up-and-down tournament but is
currently on a humble 50% score, as is Topalov.} 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4.
Nf3 e6 5. Be2 {Personally I think the popularity of the Short System isn't due
to being such a strong line (Black seems to be okay) but because the
equalisers against White's other tries have been fairly well worked out. At
least the Advance leads to a strategic struggle and keeps the pieces and
tension on the board.} Bg6 6. O-O Nh6 {This is a rather unusual system by
Topalov, aiming to develop with ...Nf5, ...Be7 and ...0-0 or prepare ...f6/...
Nf7 to attack the e5-pawn in French style.} 7. c3 (7. Bxh6 gxh6 8. c4 {seems
the right reaction, as Black would normally want to play} dxc4 9. Bxc4 Nd7 10.
Nc3 Nb6 11. Bd3 {but White can put his knight on e4 and exploit the weak
f6-square (or tie the Black pieces to its defence, in any case).}) 7... Be7 $6
{In hindsight, this is too provocative.} (7... Nf5 8. Qb3 {(provoking the
queen to defend b7 so Black can't meet g4 with ...Nh4)} Qc7 9. g4 Ne7 10. Nh4 {
must have been the line that worried Black, but} c5 11. Be3 Nec6 $1 {and ...
Be7 is a typical regrouping that should be okay for Black.}) 8. Bxh6 $1 gxh6 9.
g3 {Now Black would prefer his bishop on f8, in order to play ...Bg7 and ...f6,
attacking White's centre while keeping h6 defended.} O-O 10. Nbd2 (10. b4 {is
sometimes an interesting idea, but here} a5 11. b5 a4 {is fine for Black.})
10... a5 11. Ne1 c5 12. h4 $1 {White starts his play on the kingside. Even so
Black is probably okay with best play. A lot of us are taught to play on the
side of the board where our pawn chain 'points' (White's pawn chain b2-e5
points to the kingside) but in the Advance Caro-Kann there are a lot of
exceptions to this guideline!} cxd4 13. h5 Be4 14. cxd4 Nc6 15. Bf3 Bf5 $2 {
Only this move rots Black's position.} (15... Bxf3 16. Ndxf3 Qb6 {is a decent
version of an Advance French - Black exchanged his light-squared bishop
(typically his problem piece in this pawn structure) and he will eliminate
White's space advantage with ...f6 next.}) 16. g4 Nxd4 {This piece sacrifice
doesn't help, but} (16... Be4 17. Nxe4 dxe4 18. Bxe4 Nxd4 19. Nf3 $5 Nxf3+ 20.
Qxf3 {is still very promising for White, because Black finds it hard to defend
against White's light-squared attack.}) 17. gxf5 Kh8 (17... Nxf5 18. Bg4 {
followed by Nd3 or Nf3 also fails to offer compensation for the knight.}) 18.
f6 Bb4 (18... Rg8+ 19. Kh1 Bxf6 20. exf6 Qxf6 21. Bg2 {puts a stop to any
premise of a kingside attack.}) 19. Bg2 Rg8 20. Ndf3 Nc6 21. Nd3 Qb6 22. Kh1
Bc5 23. Qc1 {Black resigned. Going into the final round Mamedyarov leads with
6.5/10 and Grischuk follows on 6/10, despite both these players losing in the
tenth round! The next pursuers (Morozevich and Leko) have +1 and only a
theoretical chance to take first place. That's my report on Beijing; the next
big Chinese tournament is the World Youth U16 Olympiad in Chongqing, where
Australia is represented by a strong team - good luck to them!} 1-0[/pgn]