[Event "FIDE Grand Prix-I KO 2022"] [Site "Berlin"] [Date "2022.02.13"] [Round "1.2"] [White "Dominguez Perez, Leinier"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C55"] [WhiteElo "2752"] [BlackElo "2772"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2022.02.12"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventCountry "GER"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2022.02.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 Be7 5. O-O O-O (5... d6 6. a3 Nd7 7. Ba2 O-O 8. Nc3 Nb6 {was Aronian's way of handling the position in Nepomniachtchi,I (2740)-Aronian,L (2795) Tal Memorial, Moscow 2016.}) 6. Re1 d6 7. a4 Na5 8. Ba2 c5 9. c3 Nc6 10. Na3 Be6 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12. Bd2 a6 13. b4 {It may not be advisable to second-guess the middlegame plan adopted by a super-GM, but it is this direct plan which seems to have let to neutralization of White's advantage.} ({A slower plan with} 13. h3 Qe8 14. Nc4 {has been adopted in a few Correspondence games around here.}) 13... cxb4 14. cxb4 d5 15. Nc2 b5 { Dominguez called Black's previous two moves as \"very concrete.\" After a flurry of simplifications, the position becomes almost level.} 16. axb5 axb5 17. Rxa8 Qxa8 18. exd5 Nxd5 {\"I am not even better after these complications, \" confessed Dominguez about this position.} 19. Nxe5 Ncxb4 20. Nxb4 Nxb4 { A mild error by Aronian.} (20... Bxb4 21. Bxb4 Nxb4 22. Qg4 Qa2 $1 {and Black equalizes.}) 21. Qb3 ({A better try could have been} 21. Qg4 Qa2 22. Re2 Qb1+ 23. Be1 Rf5 {and though the position is still quite level, White could have carried on, being on the better side of equality.}) 21... Qd5 {The position is completely equal now.} 22. Rb1 Qxe5 23. Bxb4 Bxb4 24. Qxb4 Qe2 25. Qc5 Qxd3 26. Qxb5 Qxb5 27. Rxb5 Rd8 28. g3 Kf7 29. Kg2 Kf6 30. h4 h6 31. Rb4 1/2-1/2 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2022.02.12"] [Round "1"] [White "Rapport, Richard"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A07"] [WhiteElo "2763"] [BlackElo "2736"] [Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"] [PlyCount "60"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] 1. Nf3 {Rapport needs only a win and, therefore, decides to avoid the classical theoretical lines on which his opponent has built his opening repertoire.} d5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 e6 4. O-O Be7 5. d3 O-O 6. Nbd2 {There is revived interest in the King's Indian Attack.} Nc6 {Which, in turn, forces Black to search for new resources. The move in the game prepares e6-e5, effectively entering into a reversed Pirc.} 7. d4 {Rapport had already played like that in the past. He is trying to make use of the fact that c7-c5 is not possible at the moment.} ({Nakamura, too, has experience in the line as the following game suggests} 7. e4 dxe4 8. dxe4 e5 9. c3 Be6 10. Qe2 a5 $5 11. Rd1 $146 Qc8 12. Nc4 Bg4 13. Ne3 Bc5 14. Nd5 Ne8 15. Be3 Bd6 {with approximate equality in Mamedyarov,S (2770)-Nakamura,H (2736) chess24.com INT 2021}) 7... Ne4 {Black also makes use of the given opportunity.} ({In the after-match encounter, the world champion and the contender discussed the consequences of the immediate bishop development} 7... b6 8. b3 Bb7 9. Bb2 Na5 10. Ne5 c5 11. dxc5 Bxc5 12. c4 Rc8 13. Rc1 Qe7 14. cxd5 Bxd5 15. Nd3 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 Bd6 { and at this point of the game, Black had little to complain about, Carlsen,M (2856) -Nepomniachtchi,I (2782) Warsaw 2021}) 8. c3 f5 {And builds a Stonewall setup. It is amusing how often a pawn chain can be readapted in semi-closed openings.} 9. Ne1 {A typical pirouette in the Stonewall. Knight on the right frees the spot for its colleague while heading towards the d3-square in order to take the vital e5-point under a firm control.} e5 {Not giving the square without a fight.} 10. Ndf3 Bf6 11. e3 b6 $146 {This is a novelty. So far both players have followed an earlier game of the Hungarian GM.} ({There he quickly got everything that he wanted with:} 11... Kh8 12. Nd3 exd4 13. exd4 Be6 14. h4 Ne7 15. Re1 Bg8 16. Nfe5 {Rapport,R (2726)-Coenen,M (2364) Germany 2019}) 12. Nd3 {Following his main plan.} ({The immediate} 12. dxe5 {is cheeky when} Nxe5 $2 {may suddenly bring Black into trouble after} ({However, the other recapture } 12... Bxe5 $1 {is perfectly safe for Black.}) 13. Nxe5 Bxe5 14. f3 {and the knight has no retreat square, for example} Nc5 (14... Nd6 15. Qxd5+) (14... Nf6 15. f4) 15. f4) 12... Re8 {The center deserves to be overprotected.} 13. Re1 Ba6 14. Bh3 {And before forcing the situation in the center Rapport decided to provoke a weakening. Alas, he does not have the time for it.} ({Therefore, stronger is the immediate capture with} 14. Ndxe5 Nxe5 15. dxe5 Bxe5 16. Nxe5 Rxe5 {The position is balanced, but on the long run White can hope to make use of the power of his bishop pair. Also here} 17. b3 $1 {is possible since} Nxc3 $4 {fails to} 18. Qd4) 14... Bxd3 $1 {Effective thinking by Nakamura $1 He destroys one of the most important pieces in the opponent's camp and fixes as much as he can the position for his knights.} ({The other move is} 14... g6 { when in comparison to above the line} 15. Ndxe5 Nxe5 16. dxe5 Bxe5 17. Nxe5 Rxe5 18. b3 {promises White more chances to play for a win thanks to the weakened black kingside.}) 15. Qxd3 Qd7 {Also solid and good. It is all about the solid central control.} 16. Rd1 ({Rapport already has to be careful, for instance} 16. b3 {is unpleasantly met with} g5 $5) 16... Rad8 ({Here} 16... g5 $2 {might backfire after} 17. dxe5 Bxe5 ({White is also significantly better in case of} 17... Nxe5 18. Nxe5 Rxe5 19. f4 $1) 18. Qxe4 $1) 17. b4 {One final effort to seize the center, but it won't be enough.} ({The straightforward} 17. dxe5 Nxe5 18. Nxe5 Rxe5 {should be equal, and there are not too many ways to unbalance the situation.}) 17... Qe6 $1 {Again the strongest continuation by the American GM.} (17... g5 {would have been OK too, as after} 18. b5 Na5 19. dxe5 Bxe5 20. Nxe5 Rxe5 21. Bf1 Qf7 {Black controls a lot of key squares for his knights.}) 18. b5 Na5 19. dxe5 Bxe5 20. Nd4 Qh6 21. Bg2 Qf6 22. a4 { Intending Ra1-a2 and then to slowly prepare something in the center.} Bxd4 $1 { But the second proper trade of a bishop for a knight leaves Black dominating.} (22... Rd7 {is possible as well, slowly preparing Na5-c4, but then Black would always have to consider some Nd4-c6 maneuvers} 23. Ra2 g6) 23. cxd4 ({Or} 23. exd4 Nc4 {when the white bishops have no career at all.}) 23... c5 {The threat is c5-c4; White's next is forced.} 24. bxc6 Qxc6 25. Bd2 Nc4 {And the knights look far better than the bishops. After a few more maneuvers} 26. Rdc1 Rc8 27. Be1 Qe6 28. Rcb1 (28. f3 Nf6 {loses the e3-pawn.}) 28... a6 29. Rb3 Rc6 30. Rab1 g5 {Nakamura offered a draw, and Rapport accepted his match defeat.} ({ As the Hungarian GM clearly knew that it is only Black who can play for the full point after say} 30... g5 31. f3 Nf6 32. Bf2 g4) 1/2-1/2