[Event "Lindores Abbey Stars"] [Site "Cupar"] [Date "2019.05.25"] [Round "3"] [White "Ding, Liren"] [Black "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2805"] [BlackElo "2752"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2019.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 {This variation is becoming fashionable in Super GM Level Events due to its complexity and tactical nature. The Catalan system is very flexible opening that can switch to either solid or open game.} Bb4+ { Obviously, black wants to castle early like the Nimzo-Indian idea. This bishop either takes the piece at d2 or just retreats to e7 square gaining a tempo and to set-up a Queen's Gambit formation.} 4. Bd2 Be7 5. Bg2 {White just continues to develop the kingside, one thing I like about white's set-up is the king is super safe.} d5 {Now, black is on Queen's Gambit set-up now imposing central control.} 6. Nf3 O-O 7. O-O Nbd7 {Black must quickly develop the bishop at c8, otherwise it cramps black's queenside. This is always the problem with Queen's Gambit set-up.} 8. Qb3 {White is checking on b7 and providing space for the rook at f1 to have an option to settle to c1 square.} Nb6 {Is this move forced? } ({Other move is:} 8... c6 9. Rc1 h6 10. h4 Ng4 11. a4 Ndf6 12. Be1) 9. c5 Nc4 10. Qc2 {NOW LET'S STOP HERE: WHITE ARE WHITE'S PLAN HERE? CHECK THE POSSIBLE REACTION OF BLACK, AND HOW TO RESPOND ON IT.} b6 {Yes, black must hit the over-extended c5 pawn but does black check the 11. c6 move?} 11. c6 {This move looks awkward since it's too extended, however, nothing really bad about this move, maybe overlooked by black.} a5 {After the 10th move only now, the black bishop at c8 has the chance to develop.} 12. Bf4 Ba6 13. Rd1 h6 14. Ne5 { White is getting the feel of the position slowly pressuring black's center.} Qe8 {Black is feeling the presence of the c6 pawn because it controls some squares. Black must eliminate the c6 pawn.} 15. a4 {What is the idea of this move? Kindly analyze it.} Nxe5 16. dxe5 {Truly, this is the best move for white since it continuously goes to the purpose of pressuring black's center.} ({Other move is:} 16. Bxe5 Ng4 17. Bf4 g5 18. Bxc7 Rc8 19. Bxb6 Rxc6 20. Bc5 Bxc5 21. dxc5 Qe7) 16... Ng4 {This knight looks trapped here, if the knight goes to h7 will be useless.} 17. h3 Nxf2 {GM Sergey Karjakin is NO FISH. He is always a dangerous player, will this sacrifice prosper? We also know that GM Ding Liren is a super defender. Let's see....} 18. Kxf2 Bc5+ 19. Be3 Bxe3+ 20. Kxe3 f6 {This is the real purpose of sacrificing the knight at f2. The timely position when white's king is vulnerably placed.} 21. exf6 Rxf6 22. Bf3 { LET'S STOP HERE AGAIN. WHERE DO YOU THINK THE BEST PLACE TO HIDE THE WHITE KING?} Qe7 23. Kd2 {King must hide fast, once it is safe and will be able to place the knight to b5. White can win this game.} Qd6 24. Kc1 {It looks funny but white's king must be at b1 to be sure it is safe, which is the only way for white to execute the next plan.} Qxg3 {If black takes the h3 pawn then there is a chance to win in my opinion.} 25. Ra3 Raf8 26. Nc3 ({If} 26. Bxd5 Qg5+) 26... Kh8 {Avoiding any future checks.} 27. Nb5 {Here we go, white now has the chance to win here because soon the bishop at f3 will find ways to be useful later.} Bxb5 28. axb5 Qh4 29. Kb1 {Best square for the king.} Rf4 30. Re3 {Yes, the e6 is the weakest link.} R8f6 31. Bg4 {With this move, white now is dictating the position, it is a change of situation when white now is in full control.} Rc4 32. Qd3 {Simply side stepping.} Rb4 33. Bxe6 {Black Resigned: How patient GM Ding Liren played, his nerves are amazing. But the climatic point of the game started from the pawn at c6, I find it very interesting. Wonderful game... thanks GM Ding Liren. Keep safe and God bless to all and the people in Ukraine to keep them safe always...} 1-0