[Event "Tata Steel Chess Masters 2023"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.01.15"] [Round "2"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Gukesh, D.."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D38"] [WhiteElo "2764"] [BlackElo "2725"] [Annotator "Rafael Leitao"] [PlyCount "53"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "6000+30"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bxf6 Qxf6 7. e3 O-O 8. Rc1 dxc4 9. Bxc4 c5 10. O-O {This is a popular line of the Ragozin Defense, played in hundreds of games, including the highest level. As is often the case, the white player needs to show a new idea in these variations, as the known paths lead to equality. That's exactly what Giri will do in this game.} cxd4 11. Ne4 (11. Nxd4 {is also possible, but White has been unable to prove an advantage after} Bd7) 11... Qe7 12. a3 Ba5 13. exd4 {This rare capture was tried in two high-profile games in 2022. We have a position on the board with one of the most important structures in chess, the isolated queen's pawn. Every good chess player needs to know how to play this type of position. Roughly summarized, White has more space and more active pieces, but needs to play quickly to build up some attack before Black finishes development.} (13. Qxd4 { is more popular.}) 13... Rd8 14. Rc2 $5 {[%c_effect c2;square;c2;type; Interesting;persistent;true] A very interesting theoretical novelty. White intends to develop the rook on the second rank, either on d2 or e2. These are the most dangerous novelties, the ones that don't appear in a tactical, forced variation, moves that aren't the computer's first choices. The idea will work as a charm.} (14. Ba2 {was played in the two games mentioned previously.} Bd7 15. b4 Bb6 16. Re1 Bc6 17. Qc2 Na6 $1 {[%c_effect a6;square;a6;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} (17... a5 18. h4 Bxe4 19. Rxe4 Nd7 {with a complicated game in Mamedyarov-Dominguez Perez, Berlin 2022.}) 18. h4 Nc7 {and Black later won in Mamedyarov-Erigaisi, FTX Road to Miami 2022.}) 14... Bd7 {The question is how Black should finish development. Other attempts are also possible.} (14... Na6 {This weird move has the idea of getting the knight to d5 via c7, but it's not the most accurate.} 15. Ne5 Nc7 16. Be2 $1 {[%c_effect e2;square;e2;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] with the idea of playing Bh5, with unpleasant pressure.}) (14... Nc6 {This is very natural.} 15. b4 Bb6 16. Rd2 {Here we see one of the benefits of White's plan. The rook protects the d-pawn and is ready to support its advance.} Qc7 $1 {[%c_effect c7;square;c7;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] This is an important move to fight for equality.} (16... Bd7 { is dubious because the queen is poorly placed on e7.} 17. Re1 {With advantage for White.})) (14... Nd7 {I think this is the best move. The idea is to send the knight to f6 and against 15.d5 the computer helps us find the right way.} 15. d5 (15. Re2 Nf6 {Black has nothing to worry about.}) 15... exd5 16. Qxd5 Nb6 $1 {[%c_effect b6;square;b6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 17. Qxa5 Qxe4 18. Bb3 Be6 {with equality.}) 15. Re2 Bc6 16. Qc2 {Suddenly the position becomes dangerous for Black. Themes with the knight jumping to g5 begin to appear. White might even support this plan by playing h2-h4. The x-ray of the rook with the queen on e7 is also cause for concern.} Bb6 $6 {[%c_effect b6; square;b6;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] The first clear mistake.} (16... Nd7 $2 {[%c_effect d7;square;d7;type;Mistake;persistent;true] This move loses.} 17. d5 $1 {[%c_effect d5;square;d5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} exd5 18. Neg5) (16... Bxe4 {This is the best. It's necessary to remove the menacing knight and develop as soon as possible.} 17. Rxe4 {The most dangerous.} (17. Qxe4 Nc6 18. Bb5 Rac8 19. Rc2 Bb6 20. Bxc6 Rxc6 21. Rxc6 bxc6 {and Black is close to equality.}) 17... Nd7 18. d5 e5 {White's position still looks threatening, but objectively Black manages to hold the balance.} (18... Nf6 $2 {[%c_effect f6; square;f6;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} 19. dxe6 $1 {[%c_effect e6;square;e6; type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Nxe4 20. Qxe4 {with a winning attack.})) 17. Rfe1 {Now White's pieces are ready for a decisive assault and extreme measures are necessary.} Kh8 $2 {[%c_effect h8;square;h8;type;Mistake;persistent;true] The losing move. Gukesh wants to remove the king from the unpleasant a2-g8 diagonal, but he has no time for that.} (17... Bd5 $1 {[%c_effect d5;square;d5; type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Black has to exchange the dangerous opponent's bishop.} 18. Bxd5 Rxd5 19. Nc3 {This is the problem. White will push the d-pawn forward.} Rd6 $1 {[%c_effect d6;square;d6;type;GreatFind;persistent; true]} 20. d5 Nd7 {It's clear that White is better, but the position is not winning and Black won't be mated anytime soon.}) 18. Neg5 $3 {[%c_effect g5; square;g5;type;Brilliant;persistent;true] Giri executes a brilliant combination to finish the game in style.} hxg5 19. Rxe6 $1 {[%c_effect e6; square;e6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The natural continuation of the previous move. When analyzing a sacrifice, it's usually useful to look at the relative strength of the pieces left on the board, that is, what they are actually doing. Notice that Black's rook and knight haven't moved yet. It's emblematic that a rook and a knight are precisely the pieces sacrificed by Giri. Of course it's always easier to come up with theories to justify a combination when it's not our pieces that are being sacrificed.} fxe6 20. Rxe6 {If the queen moves then the g5-pawn is captured and the attack is irresistible.} Qxe6 (20... Qf7 21. Nxg5 Qh5 22. Rh6+ $1 {[%c_effect h6;square; h6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The cleanest.} Qxh6 (22... gxh6 23. Qh7#) 23. Nf7+ Kg8 24. Nxh6+ Kh8 (24... Kf8 25. Qf5+ Ke7 26. Qe6+ Kf8 27. Qf7#) 25. Bg8 $1 {[%c_effect g8;square;g8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This one hurts. } Rxg8 26. Nf7#) 21. Bxe6 Bxf3 22. Qf5 $1 {[%c_effect f5;square;f5;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] The queen and bishop are enough to create a mating attack. 23.Qh3 is threatened.} Be4 {A desperate attempt to slow down the attack.} 23. Qxe4 Rxd4 24. Qf3 $1 {[%c_effect f3;square;f3;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] The only move, but it's more than enough.} g4 25. Qf8+ Kh7 26. Bf5+ Kh6 (26... g6 27. Qf7+ Kh8 28. Qf6+ (28. Bc2 {is also easily winning.}) 28... Kg8 29. Qxg6+ Kf8 30. Qf6+ Ke8 31. g3 {The attack continues and Black still cannot move the queenside.}) 27. Bc2 {27.Qh8 is threatened and the queenside is paralyzed. Gukesh decided to resign. A brilliant game by Giri.} 1-0