[Event "Berlin"] [Site "Berlin"] [Date "2022.02.11"] [Round "1.1"] [White "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"] [Black "Rapport, Richard"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E62"] [WhiteElo "2686"] [BlackElo "2763"] [PlyCount "92"] [EventDate "2022.02.04"] [EventType "match"] [EventCountry "GER"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2022.02.12"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 d6 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 g6 4. g3 Bg7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O c6 7. Nc3 Qb6 { A typical \"variation for faster time controls.\" More than anything, it suits the style of Rapport who wishes to bring Wojtaszek out of his comfort zone and create as much chaos in the position as possible.} 8. h3 {Clearly surprised, Wojtaszek took more than 40 seconds to play this move.} Qa6 9. b3 b5 10. Nd2 bxc4 11. Nxc4 Bb7 12. Bb2 Nbd7 13. e4 {Ironically, it is this logical pawn move, occupying the center, which gives Black a chance to equalize the game by allowing ...d6-d5 later on.} Rfd8 14. Qc2 d5 15. Ne5 dxe4 16. Nxe4 Nxe4 17. Bxe4 Rac8 {Rapport's opening choice has proved to be successful—he achieved near equality on the board and was almost always ahead of Wojtaszek by about a minute and a half on the clock henceforth.} 18. Rfd1 (18. Rac1) 18... c5 19. Bxb7 Qxb7 20. Nxd7 Rxd7 21. Rac1 $2 ({Better was} 21. dxc5 {with equality. Speaking after the match, Wojtaszek pointed out this instance where he made the critical error, hoping to get more than equality from the position.}) 21... Qf3 ({Black missed} 21... Bh6 22. f4 {Only move.} Bg7 {and White's kingside is considerably weakened.}) 22. Ba1 h5 $5 {Rapport is such a fine player with the initiative and he finds the best way to pressurize White into a tightrope-walking act to save the position, even though it is objectively only equal here. An onslaught on the opponent's king is always the best way to play in quicker time controls, after all.} 23. Qd3 $6 {By this point, Wojtaszek had about three and a half minutes on his clock against Rapport's seven, and the queen exchange is a typical blitz reaction against an opponent's threatened kingside onslaught, however mild it is.} (23. dxc5 $2 Rxc5 $1) ({The computer's suggestion was} 23. Rd3 Qf5 24. Rdd1 $1 {Is it impossible for the human brain to find such moves $6} Qxh3 25. dxc5 Rxd1+ 26. Rxd1 {with objective equality.}) 23... Qxd3 24. Rxd3 h4 {With a two-minute advantage for Black.} 25. gxh4 Rd5 26. b4 $6 (26. Rdd1 Rcd8 {and Black still has a miniscule advantage.}) 26... c4 27. Ra3 Bxd4 $6 (27... Rc7 {and Black will enjoy a slight advantage due to his strong passed pawn on c4.}) 28. Bxd4 Rxd4 29. Rxa7 c3 30. Rxe7 $1 {Admirably for Wojtaszek, he boldly finds the correct way to play even when down to a minute and a half on the clock, against the opponent's four.} c2 31. Kf1 Rxb4 32. Ke2 Rxh4 33. Re3 Ra4 34. a3 Kg7 35. Kd2 { Wojtaszek had less than a minute on his clock here against Rapport's two minutes. The clock pressure and the annoying presence of black pawn on c2, and a potential black king raid on the kingside, all combined together to create enough panic in White's defense.} (35. Rd3 Kh6 36. Rd2 {could have been an easier way to defend the position here.}) 35... Rf4 36. f3 $6 ({Wojtaszek missed a clear path to equality here:} 36. Ke1 $1 {1) Keep the king safe in a major-pieces ending.} Kh6 37. Re2 {2) \"A passed pawn is a criminal which should be kept under lock and key.\" Sounds familiar $6} Rfc4 38. a4 {3) Passed pawns must be pushed.} Kg5 39. a5 Kh4 40. a6 Kxh3 41. a7 Ra8 42. Rexc2 Rxc2 43. Rxc2 Rxa7 44. Rc3+ {with a probable draw.}) 36... Rfc4 37. Rb3 R4c5 $1 {Unhurried play. It is quite admirable to observe the way Rapport creates tension on the board even in such a simple-looking ending.} 38. a4 Kh6 39. Ra3 $2 Kg5 40. Ra2 $4 {Brought under relentless pressure, White cracks.} Rd5+ 41. Ke3 Re8+ 42. Kf2 Rd2+ 43. Kg3 Ree2 {And suddenly, there is mating attack on the board—Rapport territory.} 44. f4+ Kf5 $2 ({Black could have created a better mating net around the white king with} 44... Kh5 45. Kf3 f5 46. a5 Rf2+ 47. Ke3 (47. Kg3 Rg2+ 48. Kf3 Kh4 $19) 47... Kh4 48. Raa1 Rfe2+ (48... Kg3 $4 49. Rg1+ {and Black doesn't have a win anymore.}) 49. Kf3 Re4 $1 {Threatening mate with ... Re4-d4-d3.} (49... Rh2 50. Ke3) 50. a6 Red4 51. Ra3 Rh2 {and Black wins.}) 45. Rb2 $4 (45. Kf3 Rf2+ 46. Ke3 {and even though the white king is still under a mating attack, it might have been difficult to convert with minutes on the clock.}) 45... Rd3+ 46. Kh4 g5+ {0-} 0-1