[Event "http://www.Chess.com"] [Site "http://www.Chess.com"] [Date "2022.03.30"] [Round "1"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2750"] [BlackElo "2776"] [Annotator "cahan"] [PlyCount "60"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] {[%evp 0,60,19,31,34,42,23,21,31,38,33,29,25,20,12,19,16,16,12,9,21,17,6,2,1, -1,13,-13,-13,-25,-12,-9,-8,-21,-25,-22,-22,-40,-40,-54,-39,-40,-45,-36,-50, -35,-39,-61,-48,-53,-60,-55,-53,-63,-14,-31,-29,-29,-13,-17,-13,-24,-18]} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Qe2 {A somewhat surprising choice by Nakamura. Even though it has been played by countless grandmasters, it is considered completely harmless and a way to send the game in the direction of a draw. Though, it should be said that former World Champion Boris Spassky played it quite frequently, but he did have a reputation of being a quite peaceful player at the end of his active career.} Qe7 6. d3 Nf6 7. Bg5 Qxe2+ 8. Bxe2 Be7 9. O-O ({The young Mamedyarov faced} 9. Nc3 {a couple of times:} h6 ( 9... c6 10. O-O-O Na6 11. Ne4 Nxe4 12. dxe4 Nc5 13. Rhe1 Bxg5+ 14. Nxg5 Ke7 15. Nf3 Be6 16. e5 dxe5 17. Nxe5 Rad8 18. Rxd8 Rxd8 {with equal chances in Dovliatov,S (2360)-Mamedyarov,S (2479) Baku 2001.}) 10. Bf4 Nc6 11. O-O-O Be6 12. d4 Nb4 13. a3 Nbd5 14. Nxd5 Nxd5 15. Bd2 O-O-O 16. Rhe1 Rhe8 17. h3 Nb6 18. b3 Bd5 19. Be3 Be4 {with fairly equal chances, McShane,L (2643) -Mamedyarov,S (2662) Lausanne 2004.}) 9... h6 10. Bd2 ({The best move. White has also tried} 10. Bh4 {but the bishop is misplaced on h4, allowing Black to gain the initiative, for instance,} Nc6 11. Nc3 Be6 12. a3 g5 13. Bg3 O-O-O {and even though the players soon agreed upon a draw, Black has the better chances at this point, Bogut,Z (2460)-Savic,M (2542) Sarajevo 2008.}) 10... c5 {A novelty by Mamedyarov, although it is nothing earthshattering.} ({Previously, Black has given preference to} 10... O-O) ({and} 10... Nc6 {.}) 11. c4 {This looks unambitious, basically saying: \"I intend no harm—let's be friends.\"} Nc6 12. Nc3 O-O 13. Rfe1 $6 (13. Rfd1 {intending to play d3-d4 seems like a better choice.}) 13... Be6 14. Bd1 $1 d5 15. Ba4 Rfd8 ({Not} 15... dxc4 16. Bxc6 bxc6 17. dxc4 {which is slightly better for White.}) 16. cxd5 Nxd5 17. Nxd5 Rxd5 18. Bxc6 bxc6 19. Ne5 Bf6 20. Bc3 Bxe5 21. Rxe5 Rxe5 22. Bxe5 {A draw is all but certain at this point. Now the players just have to reach move 30 without blundering any pieces. Unsurprisingly, the players managed this with no incidents.} Rd8 23. f3 Rxd3 24. Bc3 f6 25. a3 Kf7 26. h4 g5 27. hxg5 hxg5 28. Kf2 a6 29. Rh1 Kg7 30. Re1 Kf7 {½-½} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2022.03.30"] [Round "1"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Tabatabaei, M. Amin"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D36"] [WhiteElo "2778"] [BlackElo "2623"] [Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. Qc2 {The famous Carlsbad pawn structure has been reached, named after the current town Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic.} h6 {A modern treatment of the position.} ({ The main move is, of course,} 6... Be7) 7. Bh4 Be6 ({The world champion implemented a rare but quite logical plan instead recently:} 7... Be7 8. e3 O-O 9. Bd3 Ne8 $5 {Looks strange at a glance, as if Carlsen is setting back his pieces for a new game. However, since in the Carlsbad the most optimal square for the black knight is usually the d6-one, this plan makes perfect sense and Black did well after} 10. Bg3 Nd6 11. Nge2 Re8 12. O-O Bf8 13. Bf4 Be6 14. f3 Nd7 {Grischuk,A (2764)-Carlsen,M (2856) Warsaw 2021}) 8. e3 Nbd7 9. f3 { A flexible idea that can be attributed to Botvinnik. The great champion liked to play aggressively in the center in this system, rather than following the routine path of the minority attack.} Bd6 10. Bd3 c5 {Tabatabaei modifies the pawn structure, using the drawback of the f2-f3 advance. Since the capture on c5 is not desirable for White at the moment (e3-pawn being exposed) So has to concede some queenside space to his opponent.} 11. Nge2 c4 12. Bf5 O-O 13. O-O Qe8 14. Bxe6 fxe6 {The first moment about which one can argue. The black king is getting exposed in the long run. Still, this is not yet relevant, at least for the foreseeable future.} ({More solid is} 14... Qxe6 {when White would have likely switched to central play with} 15. Bf2 Rfe8 16. Rae1) 15. a4 $146 { A novelty that intends to keep the black pawns separated. So hopes to swap his b-pawn for his opponent’s c4-one, thus exposing a potential weakness on the b-file.} ({Predecessor:} 15. b3 Rc8 16. Bg3 Bxg3 17. Nxg3 Nb8 18. bxc4 Rxc4 19. Qd2 Qf7 20. Nge2 Ne8 21. Nd1 Nd6 {Fekih,B (2296)-Ben Fredj,J (2317) ICCF email 2019}) 15... a6 16. b3 Rc8 17. Rab1 $1 {For the time being, neither of the sides wants to make a concession and improve the opponent's rook.} ({Black is doing fine after} 17. bxc4 Rxc4 18. a5 e5) 17... Bb4 ({Perhaps} 17... Nb6 $5 { at once was even better.}) 18. Be1 Nb6 19. Qa2 {The first major thought by So, who spent almost half an hour on his clock. It is indeed hard to suggest a more useful move than the one in the game. The queen simply side-steps the pin, protects the a4-pawn, and supports its further advance.} ({Black is perfectly fine after} 19. bxc4 Rxc4 20. Qb3 Rf7) 19... Rf7 $5 {A solid move that protects the b7-pawn and prepares the doubling of the rooks on the c-file.} ({ However, even better seemed} 19... Bxc3 $1 20. Nxc3 cxb3 21. Rxb3 (21. Qxb3 Nc4 ) 21... Nc4 22. Ne2 b6 {with such a knight on c4, Black can never be worse.}) 20. bxc4 Rxc4 21. a5 Bxc3 {And this is a serious inaccuracy.} ({The time had come to transfer the knight a la Petrosian with} 21... Nc8 $1 22. Ne4 Bxe1 23. Nxf6+ Rxf6 24. Rfxe1 Nd6 {just like Carlsen did in his game against Grischuk from above. Black does not have to worry about a thing.}) 22. Nxc3 Na4 { And that completes the wrong plan.} ({It was not too late for} 22... Nc8 $1 23. Rb3 Nd6) 23. Nxa4 Rxa4 ({The endgame is also poor for Black} 23... Qxa4 24. Qxa4 Rxa4 25. Rf2 {as the second knight would never enjoy the c4-outpost.} Ne8 26. Rb6 $1) 24. Qd2 $1 {A very neat move $1 So protects the a5-pawn in advance and prepares the maneuver Be1-g3, after which his rooks would be soon doubled on the b-file and his whole strategy would triumph.} ({The more logical-looking } 24. Qb2 {allows Black a defense} Rc7 25. Bg3 Rcc4 26. Qxb7 Rxa5 {and White is only a bit better.}) 24... Rc7 {Tabatabaei decided to sacrifice the ill pawn at once.} ({The computer suggestion} 24... e5 25. dxe5 Qxe5 26. Bg3 { leaves all the black weaknesses aboard while exposing the king.}) ({Whereas the attempt to ruin White's plan with} 24... Nh5 {can be met with} 25. g4 $5 Nf6 26. Bg3) 25. Bg3 Rc6 ({Surely enough, Black did not play his previous move only to lose a couple of tempi after} 25... Rd7 26. Rb6) 26. Rxb7 Qg6 {There is a typical burst of energy once one sacrifices a pawn in Black's position, but this would not last for long.} 27. Rc7 $1 {It is instructive how neat So is when repelling the opponent's initiative.} Rxc7 28. Bxc7 Rc4 29. Rc1 $1 Qe8 30. Bg3 Qb5 31. Rxc4 dxc4 32. e4 Qb3 33. Be1 $1 {The initiative is gone, the extra pawn remains, and the frustrated Tabatabaei quickly collapses under the pressure.} Ne8 (33... Kf7 {would have been more stubborn.}) 34. d5 $1 {With the activation of the white queen, all of Black's hopes quickly fade away.} exd5 35. Qxd5+ Kh7 ({Nothing changes} 35... Kh8 36. Qd4) 36. Qf5+ Kg8 37. Qd5+ Kh7 38. Qf5+ {A practical decision to reach the time control.} Kg8 39. Qe6+ Kf8 40. h4 $1 ({Or equally good} 40. Kf2 $1 Qb2+ 41. Kg3 Qb1 42. Bd2) 40... Qd1 41. Kf2 Qd4+ 42. Kg3 c3 43. Bf2 {PLAY CHESS, NOT WAR.} ({The only way to prevent the mate is} 43. Bf2 Qb4 44. Qd5 Qd6+ 45. Qxd6+ Nxd6 {But then Black loses the knight in the pin and White is just in time to stop the pawn.} 46. Bc5 Ke7 47. e5 c2 48. Bxd6+ Ke6 49. Ba3) 1-0