[Event "Tata Steel Chess Masters 2023"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.01.27"] [Round "11"] [White "Praggnanandhaa, R..."] [Black "Maghsoodloo, Parham"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2684"] [BlackElo "2719"] [Annotator "Rafael"] [PlyCount "104"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "6000+30"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e5 7. Nf3 {Only the third most played move in this position. The original idea of the move 6.h3 is to withdraw the knight to e2 and then play g4-Ng3. Many players also turn the knight back to b3 and then try to play in English Attack style, with Be3 and the g4-g5 push. But the 7.Nf3 move is more difficult to understand, despite having been played in many games. Praggnanandhaa will make his intentions clearer with his next move.} Qc7 {A thematic move, aimed at avoiding the development of the white bishop on c4.} (7... Be7 8. Bc4 {This position was played in a recent game of importance to opening theory.} O-O 9. O-O Be6 10. Bb3 b5 11. Nd5 Nxd5 12. Bxd5 Bxd5 13. Qxd5 Nd7 {with a balanced game Naiditsch-Saric, Hungary 2022.}) 8. Nh2 $5 {[%c_effect h2;square;h2;type; Interesting;keyPressed;undefined;persistent;true] A creative move, which has only been attempted once before. I'm always happy when I see new ideas in openings as studied as the Najdorf Defense, as it shows that chess is very much alive. The idea of the knight returning to h2 is perhaps more associated with Ruy Lopez positions. Here the plan is to take the knight to g4 and then to e3, reinforcing control of the d5-square.} (8. g4) (8. Bg5) (8. Bd3) 8... Nbd7 {A novelty.} (8... Be6 9. Be2 Nbd7 10. a4 Be7 11. Ng4 {was played in Nestorovic-Lazov, Paracin Summer Open 2017.}) 9. Ng4 b5 {A natural moveā€”the b5-advance is part of Black's strategy in almost all of the Najdorf's positions.} 10. Ne3 Nb6 11. a3 {...Avoiding the b5-b4 move and stabilizing the knight's position on c3.} Be7 12. Bd3 Be6 13. Qf3 g6 14. O-O {Moves by both sides have been pretty logical so far, each player developing their pieces or avoiding the opponent's plan. Now Black commits an inaccuracy.} Nfd7 $6 { [%c_effect d7;square;d7;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (14... O-O {When in doubt, just castle $1 It is not yet time to move this knight.}) 15. Bd2 Nc5 16. Be2 O-O 17. Nf5 $2 {[%c_effect f5;square;f5;type;Mistake;persistent;true] A nice tactical move, but one that only gives White a headache.} (17. b4 $1 { [%c_effect b4;square;b4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This move was suggested by my colleague GM Quintiliano during the live stream and is the machine's choice.} Ncd7 (17... Nca4 18. Nxa4 Nxa4 19. c4 $1 {[%c_effect c4; square;c4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} bxc4 20. Rfc1 c3 21. Nd1 $1 { [%c_effect d1;square;d1;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] With pressure on the queenside.}) 18. a4 $1 {[%c_effect a4;square;a4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] } bxa4 19. Nxa4 Nc4 20. Nxc4 Bxc4 21. Ra3 {White has a better pawn structure and can try to hammer the a6-pawn. It's possible to fight for a small advantage.}) 17... Bxf5 {It's hard to choose between this move and 17...gxf5. Both give Black an advantage.} (17... gxf5 18. exf5 Kh8 $1 {[%c_effect h8; square;h8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] During the broadcast, I believed that Black should play like this.} (18... Bd7 $2 {[%c_effect d7;square;d7;type; Mistake;persistent;true]} 19. f6 {This is White's idea: the piece is recovered with a decisive attack.}) 19. b4 $1 {[%c_effect b4;square;b4;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} (19. fxe6 fxe6 {And the black rooks will use the g- and f-files to attack the white king.}) 19... Ncd7 20. fxe6 fxe6 21. Qg4 Rf6 (21... Rf5 {is also possible:} 22. Bd3 Rg8 23. Bxf5 Rxg4 24. Bxg4 Nf8 {Two rooks versus queen positions are often difficult to assess, and this one is no exception.}) 22. Bd3 Rg8 23. Qh5 Nf8 {With an advantage for Black, since the white king is not very comfortable.}) 18. exf5 d5 $1 {[%c_effect d5;square;d5; type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This is the move that justifies Black's play, and I believe it was not seen by Praggnanandhaa.} 19. Bh6 (19. Nxd5 $2 { [%c_effect d5;square;d5;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} Nxd5 20. Qxd5 Rad8 { and the d2-bishop is lost.}) 19... Rfd8 {Black's center pawns are advancing, and White's position becomes difficult to play.} 20. Rad1 $6 {[%c_effect d1; square;d1;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (20. Qg3 $1 {[%c_effect g3;square; g3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is a better try. The idea is to sacrifice a pawn after} d4 {(This move is not forced.)} 21. b4 $1 {[%c_effect b4;square;b4; type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} dxc3 22. bxc5 Qxc5 23. Bd3 {With compensation thanks to the pair of bishops pointing to the black king.}) 20... e4 $1 { [%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The pawns keep marching.} 21. Qg4 Nca4 $1 {[%c_effect a4;square;a4;type;GreatFind;persistent; true]} 22. Nxa4 Nxa4 {The queenside is under attack, and White tries a desperate counterplay on the opposite flank.} 23. fxg6 {Here or on the next move, 23.Rb1 would be a sad but possible way to defend.} (23. Rb1 Qe5 {With only a small advantage for Black.} (23... Qxc2 $2 {[%c_effect c2;square;c2; type;Mistake;persistent;true] Evidently this is very bad.} 24. Rfc1 Qb3 25. Rc7 )) 23... hxg6 24. f4 $2 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] This is a move you play hoping for the best, even though you know it won't work. A refutation of the attack is not difficult to find.} (24. Rb1) 24... Qb6+ 25. Kh1 f5 $1 {[%c_effect f5;square;f5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 26. Qg3 Nxb2 {With an extra pawn, a powerful center, and the white bishops neutralized, Black's position is easily winning.} 27. Rb1 Nc4 (27... Na4 { is also possible.}) 28. a4 Kh7 $6 {[%c_effect h7;square;h7;type;Inaccuracy; persistent;true] Not the most accurate.} (28... Rd6) (28... b4) 29. Bxc4 $6 { [%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (29. Bg5 $1 { [%c_effect g5;square;g5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Gives some practical chances.} Bxg5 30. fxg5 {White can now try a plan with Qh4-h6. Black needs to play with precision.} Rac8 31. axb5 axb5 32. Qh4+ Kg8 33. Qh6 Rd6 34. Rf4 Ne5 $1 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The knight is the king's best friend, this is clear.} 35. Rh4 Nf7 36. Qh7+ Kf8 {The attack is repelled.}) 29... Kxh6 $1 {[%c_effect h6;square;h6;type;GreatFind;persistent; true] Any White chance of counterplay disappears.} 30. Bb3 Rac8 31. axb5 axb5 32. Rfd1 d4 33. Qf2 Rc3 34. Ra1 Qf6 35. Ra7 Qh4 36. Qf1 d3 37. g3 dxc2 (37... Qxg3 {The computer indicates this move as even more accurate.} 38. Rxe7 d2 39. Qg2 Qxf4 {Followed by 40...Rg3.}) 38. Rxd8 (38. gxh4 Rxd1 39. Qxd1 cxd1=Q+ 40. Bxd1 Bxh4 {With a winning endgame for Black, almost the same as what we will see in the game.}) 38... Bxd8 (38... c1=Q {is even better.} 39. Rd1 (39. Rh8+ Kg7) 39... Rxg3 40. Rxc1 Rxh3+ 41. Qxh3 Qxh3+ 42. Kg1 Qe3+ {And literally all of White's pieces are attacked.}) 39. gxh4 c1=Q 40. Qxc1 Rxc1+ 41. Kg2 Bxh4 { The endgame presents no technical difficulty.} 42. Ra6 Rc3 43. Be6 Rc2+ 44. Kh1 Bf6 (44... Kg7 {also wins easily.} 45. Ra7+ Kf8) 45. Bd7 (45. Bxf5 gxf5 46. Rxf6+ Kg7 47. Rxf5 e3 48. Re5 e2 49. Kg1 b4 50. Kf2 b3 {The pawns decide the game.}) 45... Kg7 46. Bxb5 Rf2 (46... e3 {is also possible:} 47. Re6 Bd4 { followed by the king advance down the h-file.}) 47. Ra7+ Kh6 48. Ra6 Bd4 49. Be8 e3 $1 {[%c_effect e3;square;e3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 50. Rxg6+ Kh7 51. Rg1 e2 52. Bb5 Rh2+ $1 {[%c_effect h2;square;h2;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] The only winning move.} (52... Rh2+ 53. Kxh2 Bxg1+ 54. Kxg1 e1=Q+) 0-1