[Event "Berlin"] [Site "Berlin"] [Date "2022.02.06"] [Round "3"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Shirov, Alexei"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D12"] [WhiteElo "2772"] [BlackElo "2704"] [Annotator "Saravanan,Venkatachalam"] [PlyCount "99"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] [EventCountry "GER"] 1. c4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. e3 Bf5 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nh4 Be4 7. f3 Bg6 8. Bd2 dxc4 9. Bxc4 b5 10. Bb3 Bd3 {The game is already in original territory, and Shirov decided to take the plunge here to infuse dynamism into the position after a long 20 minutes' thought. Black has decided to sacrifice a pawn on c4, hoping that White's disrupted pawn center, lack of development, and a wayward knight on h4 will give him enough long-term compensation.} 11. Bc1 Bc4 12. Bxc4 bxc4 13. g3 c5 14. Qa4+ Nbd7 15. Qxc4 cxd4 16. Qxd4 Bc5 17. Qc4 Rc8 18. Qe2 { For the sacrificed pawn, Black has a development advantage and the potential to make inroads into White's position.} Ne5 19. O-O Qd3 20. Qxd3 Nxd3 21. Ng2 Ke7 {This was Black's idea all along, to keep the king in the center.} 22. Rd1 Rhd8 {It is not difficult to see that Black's enthusiastic play in the opening has given him a satisfactory position.} 23. Kf1 Bb4 24. Ne2 Ne5 $2 {Shirov misses the thread of the game here, and he later claimed that he had overlooked a simple resource for White.} (24... Nxc1 25. Raxc1 Rxc1 26. Rxc1 Rd2 {and Black will achieve easy equality}) (24... g5 {can also be a good alternative, keeping up the pressure and keeping White's pieces all tied up.}) 25. Rxd8 Rxd8 26. Nd4 Bc5 27. Nb3 $16 {Shirov claimed later that he had \"completely missed\" this move. From hereon, So starts to play his brand of simple and efficient chess.} Bb6 28. Ke2 Nd5 29. e4 Nb4 30. Bd2 a5 31. Bc3 { Having an extra pawn, all White needs to do is to bring all his pieces out and exchange them $1} Nc4 32. a4 Nd3 33. Rb1 f6 34. Ne1 {Even though low on time, So continued to make effective moves. At this point, White had two minutes on his clock while Black had seven minutes.} Nde5 35. Rc1 g5 36. f4 gxf4 37. gxf4 Ng6 38. Nd3 Be3 39. Rf1 Bb6 40. f5 {A point to note - even though it is the crucial 40th move, So doesn't mind settling for concrete decisions.} exf5 41. Rxf5 Rd6 42. Rh5 {White is winning now.} Re6 43. Rxh7+ Kd6 44. Kf3 Kc6 45. Nf4 Nxf4 46. Kxf4 Rd6 47. Rf7 Ne5 48. Rg7 Rd1 49. Nxa5+ Kd6 50. Bb4+ 1-0 [Event "Berlin"] [Site "Berlin"] [Date "2022.02.06"] [Round "3"] [White "Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi"] [Black "Dubov, Daniil"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D78"] [WhiteElo "2727"] [BlackElo "2720"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] [EventCountry "GER"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. d4 d5 5. c4 c6 6. O-O O-O 7. Qb3 a5 8. cxd5 a4 9. Qd1 cxd5 10. Nc3 Qa5 11. Bd2 Nc6 12. e3 Qa6 13. b3 {A new idea, as Vidit explained after the game.} axb3 14. Qxb3 {Vidit - \"The position was close to equal, but I had some initiative. He had to play precise here.\"} Na5 15. Qb4 Nc6 16. Qb2 Bf5 17. Rfc1 Rfc8 18. Ne5 Qa3 {Both the players pointed out this moment as the critical one in the game. In the resultant position, Dubov loses his way.} 19. Qxa3 Rxa3 20. g4 $5 Nxg4 21. Nxg4 Bxg4 22. Nxd5 Rca8 23. Nb4 { Another critical position; Black still had chances to hold the game.} Na5 $2 { Dubov later admitted that he overestimated his chances here.} ({A simple} 23... Kf8 {might have put up a better defense here.}) 24. Rab1 Bf8 25. Rc7 Be6 $2 ( 25... Rc8 {was a better defense.}) 26. d5 Bg4 27. h3 Bf5 28. e4 Bxh3 29. Bc1 Bxg2 30. Bxa3 Bxe4 31. Re1 Bf5 32. Nc2 Bxc2 33. Rxc2 Nc4 34. Rxc4 Rxa3 35. d6 $1 {This pretty move ensures a win for White.} e6 36. Rd1 Rxa2 37. d7 Be7 38. d8=Q+ Bxd8 39. Rxd8+ Kg7 40. Rd7 Ra5 41. Rf4 Rf5 42. Rxf5 exf5 43. f4 1-0 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2022.02.06"] [Round "3"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Keymer, Vincent"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B13"] [WhiteElo "2772"] [BlackElo "2664"] [Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"] [PlyCount "83"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 {The Exchange line that Fischer revived in the 1970s lives a new life thanks to the rise of the London System. A lot of positions transpose from both the openings and the pawn chains are quite similar.} Nf6 5. h3 {Underlining Black's major problem in the position: the future of his light-squared bishop.} Nc6 ({One way to solve the problem is connected with the instant fianchetto:} 5... g6 6. Nf3 Bg7 7. O-O O-O 8. c3 Qc7 9. Re1 Nc6 10. Be3 Re8 11. Nbd2 Bd7 12. Rc1 Rac8 13. Nb3 Ne4 {as in Grandelius, $146 (2670)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2758) chess24.com INT 2021}) 6. Nf3 Nb4 7. Nc3 $5 {This is quite an interesting sideline, but should not have come as a major surprise. Aronian is playing his Ragozin with colors reversed.} g6 $146 { Still trying to solve the bishop problem.} ({The predecessor saw:} 7... e6 8. Bf4 Nxd3+ 9. cxd3 Bd6 10. Bxd6 Qxd6 11. Rc1 O-O 12. O-O Bd7 13. Qb3 {Rodriguez Redondo,A (1314)-Ramos Aguilar,J (2176) Tenerife 2012}) ({However, this might have been the right moment to swap off the bishop.} 7... Nxd3+ 8. cxd3 (8. Qxd3 )) 8. Ne5 a6 ({Now} 8... Nxd3+ {can be met with} 9. Qxd3 Bf5 10. Qb5+ {picking up a pawn.}) 9. O-O Bg7 ({Here} 9... Nxd3 {would have been certainly met with} 10. cxd3) 10. Re1 O-O ({In case of} 10... Nd7 {White has a pleasant choice between} 11. Bf4 ({And} 11. Nf3 $5)) 11. Bg5 {White's plan is very easy and straightforward: bring the queen out, trade the dark-squared bishop, and mate on the kingside.} ({If he wanted, White could have already saved the bishop with} 11. Bf1 $5 {as} Bf5 {is ineffective due to} 12. g4 $1 {when both captures do not work well for Black.} Bxc2 ({Or} 12... Nxc2 13. gxf5 {winning material as well.}) 13. Qd2 {and one of the black pieces will fall.}) 11... Nxd3 {Lines like the above-mentioned forced Keymer to make up his mind.} ({ Instead} 11... Bf5 12. Bxf5 gxf5 13. Qd2 {leaves the black king poorly defended.}) ({Whereas} 11... h6 12. Bf4 {only helps White.}) 12. cxd3 $1 { Played without any thought $1 Aronian is already envisioning perfect domination with the beautiful knight pair on the c5- and e5-outposts.} ({ Sure enough} 12. Qxd3 {was not what the line was all about, as then the black pieces come back into life with} Bf5 13. Qd2 Ne4 ({Or} 13... Rc8)) 12... Qb6 ({ Here} 12... Bf5 {weakens the b7-pawn and can be met with} 13. Qb3) 13. Nf3 $1 { A strong reaction $1} e6 ({And Black correctly abandons the thought of a free pawn as the lines after} 13... Qxb2 14. Na4 Qb4 ({Somewhat safer seems} 14... Qb5 15. Rb1 Qe8 16. Nb6 Ra7 17. Nxc8 Qxc8 18. Rxe7 {although White totally dominates here as well.}) 15. Rb1 Qa5 16. Nb6 Ra7 17. Qc2 {underline how vulnerable the black pieces are. Not only is the bishop hanging, but the queen also cannot be saved from the Bg5-d2 threat.}) ({And} 13... h6 {can be answered with the in-between} 14. Na4) 14. Na4 Qd6 15. Qd2 {Aronian's opening choice was a huge success. He managed to smother the opponent's light-squared bishop and is in full charge of the dark-squares.} a5 ({After} 15... Bd7 16. Bf4 Qe7 17. Nb6 {the white pieces start to occupy powerful outposts, too close to the enemy camp.}) 16. Rac1 Bd7 {Keymer was counting on this natural development to force the active knight back, but he was about to be unpleasantly surprised.} ({How powerful the dark-squared domination can be is demonstrated by the line} 16... Qb4 $2 17. Qxb4 axb4 18. Nb6 Rb8 19. Bf4) 17. Nc5 b6 {It seems the knight needs to retreat...} ({Perhaps the young German should have chosen the ugly, but solid defense} 17... Bc6 18. Ne5 Ra7) 18. Bf4 Qe7 19. Nxd7 $3 {But no, Aronian plays instead in the spirit of the famous Fischer-Petrosian game and is voluntarily parting with his amazing knight.} Nxd7 ({Even worse might have been} 19... Qxd7 20. Rc7 Qa4 21. Rec1 {As Black is not really threatening the pawn} Qxa2 {would lose to} 22. Bd6 Rfe8 23. Ne5 $1) 20. Rc7 Rfc8 21. Rec1 Qd8 22. Qc2 {That is the price for the good knight: the only open file is in Aronian's hands and he infiltrates with his major pieces.} Rxc7 23. Qxc7 Qxc7 24. Rxc7 Rd8 25. Rb7 {The black pawns are beautiful, but it is the activity of the pieces that comes first when evaluating these positions, and the difference there is horrendous.} Kf8 26. Bd6+ ({It is too early to cash in the advantage} 26. Bc7 $2 Rc8 27. Bxb6 Nxb6 28. Rxb6 Rc1+ 29. Kh2 Rf1 {would have let Black off the hook.}) 26... Ke8 27. Ne5 {Another strong move, completely paralyzing the opponent.} Bxe5 ({Or else} 27... Nxe5 28. dxe5 Bf8 29. Bc7 {would lose too much material for Black.}) ({ Black would be also helpless in case of} 27... f6 28. Nxd7 Rxd7 29. Rxb6) 28. dxe5 {Ironically, instead of a pair of perfect knights White got the domination of a bishop versus a knight, and perfect pawn structure $1} Rc8 { After this Keymer stands no chance.} ({The last try was the couter-intuitive} 28... Nc5 $1 29. Re7+ Kf8 30. Rxe6+ Kg8 31. Re7 {and now} Rc8 $1 ({Rather than } 31... Nxd3 32. Bc7 Rc8 33. Bxb6 {which does not leave Black too much to play for.})) 29. d4 Kd8 ({Alas, the lonely warrior will have to retreat empty-handed in the line} 29... Rc1+ 30. Kh2 Rc2 31. Ra7 $1) 30. Ra7 {Now after some final preparation} Rc4 31. b3 Rc1+ 32. Kh2 {White improves his king. } h6 33. Kg3 Rc3+ 34. f3 Rc6 {And finally creates a second weakness with} 35. h4 $1 Rc8 ({Or else the white king will make it into the enemy castle.} 35... h5 36. Kf4) 36. h5 Rc6 37. Kh4 Rc8 38. g4 Ke8 39. f4 Kd8 40. hxg6 fxg6 { And White finished the game in the most artistic way with} 41. g5 (41. f5 $1 { would have been equally good.} gxf5 42. gxf5 exf5 43. e6) 41... h5 42. f5 $1 { An unstoppable passer will be the next weakness, and therefore Black resigns.} 1-0 [Event "Berlin"] [Site "Berlin"] [Date "2022.02.06"] [Round "3"] [White "Fedoseev, Vladimir"] [Black "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B23"] [WhiteElo "2704"] [BlackElo "2686"] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] [EventCountry "GER"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4 Nc6 5. Qd2 g6 6. b3 Bh6 7. f4 f5 { An interesting way to treat this off-beat Sicilian variation. The justification may be that, since White has wasted precious tempi in finding a good setup for his pieces, Black has to act immediatelly to disrupt White's center here.} 8. Bb2 Nf6 9. O-O-O Rf8 10. g3 fxe4 11. Bg2 Qa5 12. Nxe4 Qxd2+ 13. Nxd2 Ng4 14. Ne4 Bf5 15. Rd2 $2 ({Fedoseev misses} 15. Nh3 $1 O-O-O (15... Ne3 {is met with} 16. Nxd6+ $1) 16. Rhe1 d5 (16... Nxh2 {is met with} 17. Nhf2 $1 Ng4 18. Rh1 $1) 17. Nc5 {with a complex position.}) 15... O-O-O 16. Ne2 Ne3 17. Bf3 d5 18. N4c3 d4 19. Nd1 Nxd1 20. Rhxd1 e5 21. h3 exf4 $6 (21... e4 $1 { Fedoseev later admitted that this was the moment he thought Black was winning.} 22. Bg4 Bg7 23. Bxf5+ (23. Bxd4 Bxd4 24. Nxd4 e3 {Wojtaszek didn't see this line.} 25. Rd3 Rxd4 26. Rxd4 Bxg4 27. hxg4 e2 {wins for Black.}) 23... Rxf5 { with a healthy advantage for Black.}) 22. gxf4 d3 23. cxd3 Nb4 24. Bg4 Bxg4 25. hxg4 Rxf4 26. Bg7 $1 Bxg7 27. Nxf4 Bh6 28. Ne6 Bxd2+ 29. Rxd2 {Though the ending is still better for Black, Fedoseev held his nerve to force a draw.} Rxd3 30. Rh2 Rd6 (30... Rc3+ 31. Kd1 Re3 32. Nf8 Rg3 33. Rxh7 Rxg4 34. a3) 31. Nf8 h5 32. gxh5 gxh5 33. Rxh5 Nxa2+ 34. Kb1 Nb4 35. Nh7 Rd3 36. Kb2 b6 37. Nf6 Kb7 38. Rh7+ Ka6 39. Ne4 Nc6 40. Rh6 Kb7 1/2-1/2 [Event "Berlin"] [Site "Berlin"] [Date "2022.02.06"] [Round "3"] [White "Esipenko, Andrey"] [Black "Bacrot, Etienne"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C11"] [WhiteElo "2714"] [BlackElo "2642"] [Annotator "Saravanan,Venkatachalam"] [PlyCount "72"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] [EventCountry "GER"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 a6 8. a3 cxd4 9. Nxd4 Bc5 10. Qd2 O-O 11. O-O-O Rb8 12. h4 Bxd4 13. Bxd4 b5 14. Rh3 Qc7 15. b4 f6 16. exf6 Nxd4 17. Qxd4 Rxf6 18. Ne2 Nb6 19. Rc3 Nc4 20. g3 Bd7 21. Ng1 Be8 22. Re1 a5 23. Nf3 axb4 24. axb4 Qe7 25. Rb3 Ra8 26. Qc5 Qb7 27. Bxc4 bxc4 28. Rb1 Bg6 29. b5 Be4 30. Nd4 {The position is almost level here.} Rc8 $2 ({Black could have simply waited here with an innocuous} 30... h6) ({ Adventurous could be} 30... e5 31. fxe5 Rf2 32. e6 {with a messy position.}) 31. Nc6 {The white knight occupies a menacing square.} Rf7 {Black had about six minutes here on his clock to reach move 40.} 32. Ra1 {White plans to raid Black's seventh rank.} Rfc7 $2 33. Ra6 Qxa6 $4 {Inexplicable. Black doesn't seem to have any great compensation for this queen sacrifice.} (33... h6 34. Qb6 Qxb6 35. Rxb6 c3 {and White still has to win the position, though he seems to be clearly better here.}) 34. bxa6 Rxc6 35. Qb5 Rc5 36. Qd7 c3 1-0 [Event "Berlin"] [Site "Berlin"] [Date "2022.02.06"] [Round "3"] [White "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D27"] [WhiteElo "2764"] [BlackElo "2736"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] [EventCountry "GER"] 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 dxc4 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O a6 7. Re1 Nc6 8. Nc3 Be7 9. dxc5 Qxd1 10. Rxd1 Bxc5 11. Bd2 Bd7 12. Rac1 O-O 13. Be2 Ba7 14. Ng5 Ne7 15. Nce4 Nxe4 16. Nxe4 Bc6 17. Nd6 Rfd8 18. Nxb7 $2 {The point when Grischuk felt \"when something was wrong\" even when playing the move.} ({White could have even gained a slight advantage with} 18. Ba5 Rd7 19. b3) 18... Bxb7 19. Rc7 Bc6 $1 ({Grischuk calculated} 19... Be4 20. Rxe7 Bc2 21. Rc1 Rxd2 22. Bf3 Bxe3 {as fine for White.} (22... Rad8 $2 {is met with} 23. Rxa7 Be4 24. h4 Bxf3 25. gxf3 Rxb2 26. Rcc7 {with an obvious advantage for White.})) 20. Rxe7 Bb6 { The white rook on e7 feels quite unsafe now.} 21. Kf1 (21. Bc3 Rxd1+ 22. Bxd1 Bd8) 21... a5 {Grischuk - \"I missed this idea.\" The point is: Black stops Bd2-b4 and threatens ...Kg8-f8, now trapping the rook on e7.} 22. Rc1 {White is lucky to have this resource here.} Be4 ({A better try was} 22... Bxg2+ 23. Kxg2 Rxd2 24. Bf3 Rad8 {Black is threatening ...Bb6xe3 here.} 25. Kg3 Rxb2 { and Black is up a pawn, though the presence of opposite-colored bishops gives White good chances to salvage the draw.}) 23. Rc4 $1 {The remarkable ability of Grischuk is to find such crucial resources—even under tremendous time pressure—as he had a less than a minute in his clock at this point.} Kf8 24. Rxe4 Kxe7 25. Bc3 g5 26. g4 {Even though Black has an advantage of an exchange, White has a solid enough position.} Rac8 27. Ra4 Rd5 28. Kg2 h6 29. h3 Rdc5 30. Kf3 Rxc3 31. bxc3 Rxc3 32. Ke4 1/2-1/2