[Event "FIDE Women's Grand Prix | Second Leg 202"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.02"] [Round "1"] [White "Abdumalik, Zhansaya"] [Black "Dzagnidze, Nana"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B96"] [WhiteElo "2496"] [BlackElo "2517"] [Annotator "Rafael"] [PlyCount "78"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 {Once 6.Bg5 had the undisputed status of being the main line against the Najdorf Variation. This predilection is now shared with the English Attack, starting with 6.Be3. But the old move remains one of the most dangerous weapons at White's disposal. If you're going to play the Najdorf as Black, it's good to start your studies here: in these lines, one careless move is fatal.} e6 (6... Nbd7 {is a modern move with a lot of theory.}) 7. f4 h6 8. Bh4 (8. Bxf6 {is also possible, when White trades the important bishop for a development advantage. A recent game continued:} Qxf6 9. Qd2 Bd7 10. O-O-O Nc6 11. Nxc6 Bxc6 12. Bc4 {with complicated play in Asadli-Durarbayli, Baku 2023.}) 8... Nbd7 (8... Qb6 { is also an important move and has been played many times by Najdorf's greatest contemporary specialist, GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.}) 9. Qf3 (9. Qe2 $1 { [%c_effect e2;square;e2;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The modern way of playing this variation involves developing the queen on e2 as opposed to the classic development on f3.} e5 10. fxe5 (10. O-O-O {is a thematic and dangerous move for Black, who needs to play with precision.} exd4 11. e5 dxe5 12. fxe5 Be7 13. exf6 Nxf6 14. Bxf6 gxf6 15. Qe4 f5 16. Qe5 O-O 17. Nd5 Bg5+ 18. Kb1 Re8 19. Qxd4 Re4 $1 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;GreatFind;persistent; true]} 20. Qf2 Be6 21. c4 Re5 {and Black successfully defended this position in a couple of correspondence games.}) 10... dxe5 (10... Nxe5 {is also possible.}) 11. Nf5 Nb6 12. Qf3 Bxf5 13. Qxf5 Be7 {This was played in Anand-Nepomniachtchi, Tata Steel 2019. The game later ended in a draw.}) 9... e5 $1 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] In the early days of the Najdorf, such a move would have been unthinkable—moving a pawn again instead of developing the bishop on f8, inviting the white knight to jump to the dangerous square on f5. But computers have shown that in chess, almost anything is possible.} 10. fxe5 $6 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type; Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (10. Nf5 {is the critical move to test Black's system.} exf4 11. Bxf6 (11. O-O-O $2 {[%c_effect c1;square;c1;type;Mistake; persistent;true]} g5 $1 {[%c_effect g5;square;g5;type;GreatFind;persistent; true]} 12. Bf2 Ne5 {with an advantage for Black.}) 11... Nxf6 12. O-O-O Bxf5 13. exf5 Be7 {White should fight for an advantage in this position as the game continuation is just good for Black.}) 10... Nxe5 11. Qe2 Be7 12. O-O-O Bg4 $1 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Taking the opportunity to gain time in development. It's already clear that something went wrong for White in the opening.} 13. Nf3 Rc8 14. h3 (14. Qe3 Bxf3 15. gxf3 Nfg4 $1 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 16. fxg4 (16. Bxe7 $2 {[%c_effect e7;square;e7;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} Nxe3 17. Bxd8 Nxd1 {wins the exchange.}) 16... Bxh4 {with a stable advantage for Black.}) ( 14. Be1 {avoids the exchange sacrifice on c3, but it's just too slow and too ugly of a move.}) (14. Bxf6 Bxf6 15. Nd5 O-O {is also better for Black.}) 14... Bxf3 15. gxf3 Rxc3 $1 {[%c_effect c3;square;c3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] A typical exchange sacrifice in the Sicilian Defense. This is one of those rare sacrifices that you can play without thinking.} 16. bxc3 Qa5 (16... O-O { As I like to say: when in doubt, just castle. The computer also likes this principle.}) 17. Qe3 (17. f4 $2 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;Mistake; persistent;true] leads to a draw by perpetual check after:} Qxc3 $2 { [%c_effect c3;square;c3;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (17... Ng6 $1 { [%c_effect g6;square;g6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is better, with a clear advantage.}) 18. Be1 Qa1+ 19. Kd2 Qd4+ {Luther-Delgado Ramirez, Havana 2004.}) (17. Kb1 $1 {[%c_effect b1;square;b1;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Another principle I'm a fan of: After castling long, when in doubt, play Kb1. I must admit that I didn't expect that principle to work here, but who am I to disagree with the machine $2} Qxc3 (17... O-O $5 {[%c_effect g8;square;g8;type; Interesting;persistent;true]}) 18. Be1 Qxf3 19. Qxf3 Nxf3 20. Bb4 Kd7 21. Be2 Ne5 22. Bc3 {White's idea is to fight for equality in this endgame, a task that will prove to be successful.}) 17... Qxa2 {Only now are we in uncharted territory.} (17... Ng6 $1 {[%c_effect g6;square;g6;type;GreatFind;persistent; true]} 18. Bf2 $2 {[%c_effect f2;square;f2;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (18. Be1 Qxa2 {is also advantageous for Black.}) (18. e5 {is the machine's attempt to complicate the game, but Black is better after capturing on e5, with either the knight or the pawn.}) 18... Ng4 $1 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} 19. hxg4 Bg5 {Black won a few moves later in Salina Herrera-Delgado Ramirez, Paraguay 2012.}) 18. Rg1 (18. f4 $1 {[%c_effect f4; square;f4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] White needed to take the opportunity to look for some kind of complication.} Ng6 19. Bxf6 $1 {[%c_effect f6;square; f6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Bxf6 20. e5 $1 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5; type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The computer indicates equality after this move. The lines are complicated, but the spirit is easy to understand: change the character of the game and try to attack too.} dxe5 21. Qc5 $1 {[%c_effect c5;square;c5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Qa1+ (21... Ne7 22. Qb4 $1 { [%c_effect b4;square;b4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Preparing Bc4.} Nd5 23. Qc5) 22. Kd2 Qa4 23. Kc1 {It's not clear whether Black has more than a perpetual check.}) 18... O-O $1 {[%c_effect g8;square;g8;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] Now the position is a nightmare for White, who is attacked without mercy.} 19. Rd4 (19. Qxh6 {loses to} Qa1+ 20. Kd2 Nxf3+) 19... Rc8 20. Kd2 Qa3 (20... Nfg4 $1 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] } 21. hxg4 Bxh4 {with a decisive advantage, for instance:} 22. f4 Qa3 $1 { [%c_effect a3;square;a3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The knight is immune and 23...Rxc3 24.Qxc3 Be1+ is threatened.}) 21. Be2 b5 (21... Nfg4 $1 { [%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is again very good.} 22. hxg4 Bxh4) 22. f4 Ng6 23. Bg3 $2 {[%c_effect g3;square;g3;type;Mistake; persistent;true]} (23. Bf2 {is a better try since Black cannot play in the same way as in the game.} d5 $6 {[%c_effect d5;square;d5;type;Inaccuracy; persistent;true]} (23... Bd8 $1 {[%c_effect d8;square;d8;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] is better.}) 24. exd5 Bc5 25. Rxg6 $1 {[%c_effect g6;square; g6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Bxd4 26. Rxg7+ $1 {[%c_effect g7;square;g7; type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Kxg7 27. Qxd4 {Now White is the one playing an exchange down, but the position has improved considerably.}) 23... d5 $1 { [%c_effect d5;square;d5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Bringing the bishop to the attack.} 24. exd5 Bc5 25. Bf3 b4 $1 {[%c_effect b4;square;b4;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] White's position collapses, but the adventures are far from over.} 26. Bf2 (26. cxb4 Bxb4+ 27. Rxb4 Qxb4+ 28. Kd1 Rc3 {wins easily.}) 26... Bxd4 27. Qxd4 Rxc3 (27... bxc3+ 28. Ke2 Qa2 {This is also winning.}) 28. Be4 Nxe4+ $6 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;Inaccuracy; persistent;true] An inaccurate move.} (28... Qa5 {wins easily. If White captures on g6, the attack on the c2-pawn is decisive.} 29. Bxg6 fxg6 30. Rxg6 Qa2) 29. Qxe4 Rf3 30. Be3 $2 {[%c_effect e3;square;e3;type;Mistake;persistent; true]} (30. Bd4 $1 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Rxf4 31. Qe3 {With good chances of defending as the d-pawn advance is unpleasant for Black.}) 30... Qc3+ 31. Ke2 Rxh3 {Now Black is winning again.} 32. d6 Rh2+ 33. Kf3 Nh4+ $2 {[%c_effect h4;square;h4;type;Mistake;persistent; true] A blunder.} (33... Qc8 $1 {[%c_effect c8;square;c8;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] Defends against the d-pawn advance and brings the queen to the attack at the same time.} 34. f5 Rh3+ 35. Ke2 Rh4 $1 {[%c_effect h4;square; h4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 36. Qd3 Ne5 {With an easy win.}) 34. Kg3 Re2 35. Kxh4 $2 {[%c_effect h4;square;h4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] The final mistake. White has a surprising draw after} (35. Qe8+ $1 {[%c_effect e8; square;e8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Kh7 36. Kxh4 Rxe3 37. Qxf7 Rh3+ 38. Kg4 {I suspect Abdumalik thought she would be mated here, but the attack is not as dangerous as it seems.} Rh2 (38... Qf3+ $2 {[%c_effect f3;square;f3; type;Mistake;persistent;true] This move even loses:} 39. Kf5 Rh5+ 40. Ke6 Qd5+ 41. Ke7 {and the brave king has escaped.}) 39. Qf5+ Kh8 40. Qf8+ {with a draw.} ) 35... Rxe3 36. Qf5 Re2 37. Kg4 g6 38. Qd5 Rd2 (38... h5+ 39. Kg5 Kg7 { also wins.}) 39. Qe5 f5+ 0-1 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.01.30"] [Round "1"] [White "Kosteniuk, Alexandra"] [Black "Kashlinskaya, Alina"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2519"] [BlackElo "2491"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Nc6 7. Nbd2 Nxd2 8. Bxd2 Bg4 9. O-O Be7 10. c3 O-O 11. h3 Bh5 12. g3 Qd7 13. Kg2 Bg6 14. Bxg6 fxg6 15. Qe2 Rae8 16. Qd3 Bd6 17. Rae1 Ne7 18. Re2 h6 19. Rfe1 g5 {Ambitious but also weakening of the light squares around Black's kingside.} 20. c4 $1 { [%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Kosteniuk seeks to open more diagonals on the light squares.} dxc4 21. Qxc4+ Kh8 22. Re6 Nc8 23. d5 {White takes the opportunity to anchor her rook on the far-reaching e6-outpost.} Nb6 24. Qg4 ({Even better is} 24. Qe4 $1 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4; type;GreatFind;persistent;true] which takes over the e-file or forces the creation of further weaknesses in Black's position:} Rxe6 (24... Rd8 $4 { [%c_effect d8;square;d8;type;Blunder;persistent;true]} 25. Rxh6+ gxh6 26. Bc3+ Kg8 27. Qg6+) 25. dxe6 Qc6 (25... Qe7 $2 {[%c_effect e7;square;e7;type;Mistake; persistent;true]} 26. Qxb7) (25... Qc8 $4 {[%c_effect c8;square;c8;type; Blunder;persistent;true]} 26. Bc3 Qe8 27. e7 Rf7 28. Qg6 Kg8 29. Nd4 Nd5 30. Nf5 $18) 26. Qxc6 bxc6 {To save the pawn, Black has accepted another pair of doubled pawns and isolated ones no less.} 27. Ne5 Bxe5 (27... Kg8 28. Nxc6) 28. Rxe5 Re8 29. Bc3 Nd5 30. Bd4 a5 31. Kf3 $16) 24... Qf7 25. Qe4 Rd8 26. Bc3 (26. Rxh6+ $4 {[%c_effect h6;square;h6;type;Blunder;persistent;true] no longer works } gxh6 27. Bc3+ Kg8 {and Qg6+ is prevented by Black's queen on f7.}) 26... Kg8 27. Rg6 Rfe8 28. Re6 (28. Qc2 {is a more effective way to continue White's attack:} Bf8 29. Ree6 $5 {[%c_effect e6;square;e6;type;Interesting;persistent; true]} Nxd5 30. Rxh6 gxh6 31. Rg6+) 28... Rf8 29. h4 g4 (29... gxh4 30. Rh1 ( 30. Nxh4 $4 {[%c_effect h4;square;h4;type;Blunder;persistent;true]} Qxf2+) (30. gxh4 Qf5) 30... Qf5) 30. Qxg4 Nxd5 31. Bd4 Ne7 $4 {[%c_effect e7;square;e7; type;Blunder;persistent;true]} ({Better is} 31... c5 32. Bc3 b5 33. Ba5 Rd7) 32. Rf6 $1 {[%c_effect f6;square;f6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Qe8 33. Rxd6 1-0 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.01.30"] [Round "1"] [White "Tan, Zhongyi"] [Black "Zhu, Jiner"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2530"] [BlackElo "2486"] [PlyCount "75"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 Bb4 5. Qc2 O-O 6. Nd5 Re8 7. Qf5 { Spending a couple tempi with the queen in the opening to damage Black's kingside.} d6 8. Nxf6+ gxf6 9. Qc2 e4 10. Nh4 d5 11. a3 Bf8 12. cxd5 Qxd5 { Black's control of the center and more active pieces compensate for her open kingside.} 13. d4 exd3 $6 {[%c_effect d3;square;d3;type;Inaccuracy;persistent; true] As the center opens up, it becomes easier for White to aim pieces towards the black king.} ({Better is} 13... Na5 {, aiming at the b3-hole on the white queenside.}) 14. Bxd3 Qh5 15. Nf3 Bg4 16. Be2 Rad8 17. Bd2 Ne5 18. O-O-O Nxf3 {It's hard to believe that opening the g-file is really worth it for Black as it opens a direct line of fire towards her king.} 19. gxf3 Bxf3 20. Rhg1+ Kh8 21. Bc3 Be7 22. Bxf3 Qxf3 23. Qa4 c6 24. Qb3 Rd5 $2 {[%c_effect d5;square;d5;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} ({Better is} 24... Rxd1+ 25. Rxd1 Qxf2 26. Qxf7 Qxe3+ 27. Kb1 Qe4+ 28. Ka1 Qg6) 25. Qxb7 Qxf2 26. Qxc6 Red8 27. Rdf1 Qxe3+ 28. Kb1 R5d6 29. Qg2 {The white queen jumps at the chance to create mating threats down the open g-file.} Qh6 30. Ka2 Re6 31. Rf5 Re3 32. Rh5 { The other white rook joins the party. The life of the black king rests in the hands of the overworking black queen.} Qf8 33. Bd2 Rxd2 ({There is no good escape for the e3-rook:} 33... Re5 34. Rxh7+ Kxh7 35. Qh3+) ({Or} 33... Red3 34. Rxh7+ Kxh7 35. Qe4+ f5 36. Qxf5+ Kh8 37. Qh5+) 34. Qxd2 Re5 35. Rh3 Rg5 36. Qc2 Qg8 37. Re1 Bd6 38. Re8 {Finally the black queen can save the king no more. } 1-0 [Event "Munich"] [Site "Munich"] [Date "2023.02.01"] [Round "1.6"] [White "Abdumalik, Zhansaya"] [Black "Dzagnidze, Nana"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "2496"] [BlackElo "2517"] [Annotator "Schulz,A"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 {Once the main move against the Najdorf variation.} e6 7. f4 h6 ({Leading to the famous poisoned pawn variation is} 7... Qb6) (7... Nbd7 8. Qf3 h6 9. Bh4 e5 {is a different move order.}) 8. Bh4 (8. Bxf6 Qxf6 {with good stats for Black.}) 8... Nbd7 9. Qf3 e5 10. fxe5 $6 ({More frequently we see} 10. Nf5) 10... Nxe5 11. Qe2 Be7 { White has not done well in this variation so far.} 12. O-O-O Bg4 13. Nf3 Rc8 14. h3 Bxf3 15. gxf3 Rxc3 {[#] The famous Sicilian exchange sacrifice on c3. Black already has enough compensation with the splitting of the pawns in front of the white king.} 16. bxc3 Qa5 17. Qe3 ({White can suffer greatly after:} 17. Kb2 $2 d5 18. Bxf6 Qa3+ 19. Kb1 Nc4 $19) 17... Qxa2 18. Rg1 $6 ({With} 18. f4 Ng6 19. Bxf6 Bxf6 20. e5 dxe5 21. Qc5 {White can hold things together.}) 18... O-O 19. Rd4 Rc8 20. Kd2 Qa3 (20... Nfg4 $5 21. fxg4 Bxh4 $19) 21. Be2 b5 22. f4 Ng6 23. Bg3 $2 ({Better was} 23. Rxg6 fxg6 24. e5 dxe5 25. fxe5 Nd5 26. Bxe7 Nxe7 27. Bg4 Nf5 28. Bxf5 gxf5 29. e6 {and the game is not over yet.}) 23... d5 {After opening the position in the centre, White is dismantled.} 24. exd5 Bc5 25. Bf3 b4 26. Bf2 Bxd4 27. Qxd4 Rxc3 ({Even stronger was} 27... bxc3+ 28. Ke2 Qb2 29. Qa4 Rb8 30. Z0 Rb4 $19) 28. Be4 Nxe4+ 29. Qxe4 Rf3 30. Be3 ({More resistance would have offered} 30. Qe8+ $5 Kh7 31. Bd4 Rxf4 32. Qe3 Qxe3+ 33. Kxe3 Rh4) 30... Qc3+ 31. Ke2 Rxh3 32. d6 Rh2+ 33. Kf3 {[#]} Nh4+ $2 {This move actually gives White a chance to save the draw.} (33... Nf8 $19) 34. Kg3 Re2 35. Kxh4 $2 {White returns the gift.} ({White had to start with} 35. Qe8+ { forcing a draw:} Kh7 36. Kxh4 Rxe3 37. Qxf7 {with counterplay against g7 and with the passed pawn. White can force a repetition of the position.} Rh3+ 38. Kg4 h5+ 39. Kg5 Qe3 40. Rg2 Qf3 41. Rg1 Qe3) 35... Rxe3 36. Qf5 Re2 37. Kg4 g6 38. Qd5 Rd2 0-1 [Event "FIDE Women's Grand Prix | Second Leg 202"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.03"] [Round "2"] [White "Paehtz, Elisabeth"] [Black "Kosteniuk, Alexandra"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "2464"] [BlackElo "2519"] [PlyCount "46"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 $5 {[%c_effect b4;square;b4;type; Interesting;persistent;true] It's always a thrill when an opening from the Romantic days of all-or-nothing king attack chess makes an appearance in modern events.} Bxb4 5. c3 Ba5 6. d4 d6 7. Qb3 Qd7 8. O-O Bb6 9. Nbd2 Na5 10. Qc2 Nxc4 11. Nxc4 Qc6 12. Nxb6 axb6 13. dxe5 dxe5 14. Nxe5 Qa4 15. Qd3 Ne7 16. Qg3 O-O 17. Re1 c5 {The players were following a trodden path until this new move, which Kosteniuk played to safeguard the c-pawn, although she felt that it was shaky due to the weakening of the d5-square.} 18. h4 $5 {[%c_effect h4; square;h4;type;Interesting;persistent;true] White has obtained a comfortable position with prospects for a king attack.} Ng6 19. Nf3 $6 {[%c_effect f3; square;f3;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} ({Better is} 19. Nd3 {as Kosteniuk noted in her interview and if} c4 20. Nb4 {with h4-h5 coming.}) 19... h5 20. Ne5 $6 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} Nxe5 21. Qxe5 Re8 {The extra tempi has given Black the chance to activate her rook.} 22. Qxh5 Rxe4 23. Bf4 $4 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;Blunder;persistent;true] Paehtz perhaps overlooked that the e4-rook is not actually pinned to the back rank because the queen guards the e8-square.} Rxf4 (23... Rxf4 24. Re8+ Qxe8) 0-1 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.03"] [Round "2"] [White "Zhu, Jiner"] [Black "Harika, Dronavalli"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2486"] [BlackElo "2507"] [PlyCount "100"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. c3 d6 8. d4 Bb6 9. a4 Rb8 10. a5 Ba7 11. h3 Bb7 12. Be3 Nxe4 13. d5 {Launching a desperado tactic that gives up a rook and three pawns for a knight and bishop but gains compensation in White's advanced passed pawn on b7 and greater activity.} Bxe3 14. dxc6 Nxf2 15. Qe2 Nxh3+ 16. Kh1 Nf2+ 17. Rxf2 Bxf2 18. cxb7 Ba7 19. Bd5 Qd7 20. Nd4 Qe7 21. Bc6+ Kf8 22. Nf3 d5 23. Qxe5 Qxe5 24. Nxe5 Ke7 25. Bxb5 axb5 26. a6 Kd6 27. Nxf7+ Kc6 28. Nxh8 Rxh8 29. Nd2 Re8 30. b4 Re6 31. Kh2 Rh6+ 32. Kg3 Rg6+ 33. Kh3 Rh6+ 34. Kg4 Rg6+ 35. Kf5 Rxg2 36. Nb3 Rf2+ 37. Ke6 Re2+ 38. Kf7 Re3 39. Ra5 {The rook ends up ineffective on this square due to Kb6 and c6, safeguarding the b5-pawn.} ({Better is} 39. Nc5 g6 40. Rf1 Kb6 41. Rf6+ c6 42. Rd6 Rxc3 43. Rd8 {bringing the rook to a much more active role, winning material.}) 39... Kb6 40. Nc5 c6 41. b8=Q+ Bxb8 42. a7 Bxa7 43. Ra6+ Kc7 44. Rxa7+ Kd6 45. Kxg7 Rxc3 46. Rd7+ Ke5 47. Rc7 Kd6 48. Rd7+ Ke5 49. Rc7 ({If} 49. Kxh7 Rc4 50. Na6 Ke4 51. Kg6 Ke3 52. Rh7 d4) 49... Kd6 50. Rd7+ Ke5 1/2-1/2 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.03"] [Round "2"] [White "Wagner, Dinara"] [Black "Muzychuk, Anna"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D85"] [WhiteElo "2413"] [BlackElo "2522"] [Annotator "Rafael"] [PlyCount "140"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Nf3 c5 8. Bb5+ Nc6 9. O-O O-O 10. d5 {This advance is just the third most popular move. 10.Be3 and 10.Bxc6 are played in roughly equal measure.} (10. Be3) (10. Bxc6) 10... Ne5 {Maybe Muzychuk was surprised by Wagner's opening choice. The text move is not the most accurate.} (10... Na5 $6 {[%c_effect a5;square;a5;type; Inaccuracy;persistent;true] is also not enough for equality. White has a big advantage after:} 11. Be3 Qc7 $6 {[%c_effect c7;square;c7;type;Inaccuracy; persistent;true]} 12. Qd2 {in Gunina-Nepomniachtchi, Moscow (rapid) 2018.}) ( 10... Qa5 11. Rb1 Ne5 12. Nxe5 Bxe5 13. Bg5 {is better for White in Pein-Forintos, Manchester 1982.}) (10... a6 {is an interesting option.} 11. Be2 Bxc3 12. Be3 $1 {[%c_effect e3;square;e3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} (12. Bh6 $6 {[%c_effect h6;square;h6;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} Nd4 13. Rc1 Nxf3+ 14. Bxf3 Bd4 $1 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 15. Bxf8 Kxf8 {with excellent compensation for the exchange in Florescu-Petrisor, Baile Felix Cup 2011.}) 12... Bxa1 13. Qxa1 Nd4 14. Nxd4 cxd4 15. Qxd4 f6 {White has the typical compensation for the exchange known in many Grunfeld variations.}) (10... Bxc3 {is the clearest path to an equal game. } 11. Be3 (11. Bh6 Nd4 12. Nxd4 Bxd4 13. Bxf8 Qxf8 {with good compensation for the exchange. Gerzhoy-So, Quebec 2012.}) 11... Nd4 12. Nxd4 cxd4 13. Bxd4 Bxa1 14. Bxa1 Bd7 15. Bc4 Rc8 16. Bb3 Bb5 17. Qd4 f6 18. Rb1 e5 19. dxe6 Qxd4 20. e7+ Qc4 $1 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 21. exf8=Q+ Kxf8 22. Bxc4 Bxc4 {with a drawn position in Vitiugov-Matlakov, Ufa 2021.}) 11. Nxe5 Bxe5 12. Be3 $1 {[%c_effect e3;square;e3;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} Bd7 $6 {[%c_effect d7;square;d7;type;Inaccuracy;persistent; true] After this, White gets a stable advantage due to the strong pawns in the center.} (12... a6 13. Be2 Bxc3 14. Rc1 Qa5 15. Bxc5 $5 {[%c_effect c5;square; c5;type;Interesting;persistent;true]} Qxc5 16. Qd3 Qd4 17. Rxc3 Qxd3 18. Bxd3 { White has a pleasant edge, but Black still has defensive resources.}) (12... e6 $5 {[%c_effect e6;square;e6;type;Interesting;persistent;true] is my favorite move, fighting for central control.}) 13. Bxd7 Qxd7 14. Qd2 (14. Rc1 {is also good and led to an advantage in Vitiugov-Svidler, World Cup 2021.}) 14... Rac8 15. Rac1 {Wagner's plan is understandable. She wants to reinforce the center with c3-c4, and the rook is useful on c1 to protect this pawn. Other plans are also interesting.} (15. Bh6 Bg7 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. Rad1 {This is a classical Grunfeld-type of advantage for White. Black has no compensation for White's pawn superiority in the center.}) (15. f4 Bg7 16. a4 $5 {[%c_effect a4;square; a4;type;Interesting;persistent;true] This is a nice prophylactic move, removing the a4-square from the queen and also restricting the move b7-b5.} ( 16. e5 Rfd8 17. c4 b5 $1 {[%c_effect b5;square;b5;type;GreatFind;persistent; true] gives Black some counterplay.})) 15... Bg7 16. f4 Rfd8 17. c4 (17. f5 { is tempting, taking advantage of the fact that the black rook is no longer on the f-column.}) 17... e6 18. Rfd1 e5 $1 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] Now Black is fighting back.} 19. Rf1 exf4 20. Rxf4 Qd6 {The queen is not a good blockader, so the alternatives are probably better.} (20... Qe8) (20... b6) (20... Be5) 21. Rcf1 Rc7 22. Qf2 Rf8 23. Rf3 $1 {[%c_effect f3;square;f3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Leaving the f4-square to the bishop.} Be5 24. g4 $6 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;Inaccuracy; persistent;true] This move is a bit optimistic, but it will work well.} (24. h4 h5 25. Bf4 {gives White a slight advantage.}) 24... f6 $6 {[%c_effect f6; square;f6;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (24... Qd7 25. h3 Qa4 $5 { [%c_effect a4;square;a4;type;Interesting;persistent;true] Black must always seek active play in the Grunfeld, and this seems a good try. Play may continue: } 26. Bxc5 Qxc4 27. Bxf8 Bd4 28. Re3 Kxf8 {with chances for both sides.}) 25. g5 {Now Black needs to be careful.} f5 $2 {[%c_effect f5;square;f5;type; Mistake;persistent;true]} (25... b6 $1 {[%c_effect b6;square;b6;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] is the only way to achieve equality. The game might end in a draw after:} 26. Bf4 Rcf7 $1 {[%c_effect f7;square;f7;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} 27. Qg3 (27. Bxe5 Qxe5 28. gxf6 Qxe4 {is also equal.}) 27... Bxf4 28. Rxf4 f5 $1 {[%c_effect f5;square;f5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 29. exf5 Rxf5 30. Rxf5 Qxg3+ 31. hxg3 Rxf5 32. Rxf5 gxf5 33. Kf2 Kf7 34. Ke3 Ke7 {This pawn endgame ends in a draw.}) 26. exf5 Rxf5 27. Rxf5 gxf5 28. Qxf5 Bxh2+ 29. Kh1 {White has a decisive advantage in this position. Black's pieces are unhinged, the d-pawn is a monster, and the f-file is tightly controlled.} b6 30. a4 Be5 31. Bf4 $1 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;GreatFind;persistent; true] Swapping bishops accentuates the weaknesses in Black's position.} Bxf4 32. Rxf4 Qe7 33. Kg2 Qe8 34. d6 $4 {[%c_effect d6;square;d6;type;Blunder; persistent;true] An unfortunate blunder by Wagner. She had a forced win at this point.} (34. Qe6+ $1 {[%c_effect e6;square;e6;type;GreatFind;persistent; true]} Qxe6 35. dxe6 {The rook endgame is easily winning since Black is unable to stop the king march.} a6 (35... Kg7 36. Kf3 {followed by Ke4-d5.}) (35... Re7 36. Rf6) 36. Kf3 b5 37. axb5 axb5 38. cxb5 c4 39. b6 Rb7 40. Rxc4 Rxb6 41. Rc8+ Kg7 42. e7) 34... Qc6+ 35. Re4 {Mistakes never come alone in chess; this a harsh reality. White will go from winning to losing very quickly.} (35. Qd5+ Qxd5+ 36. cxd5 {Black still has to play precisely to get a draw here.} Rf7 $1 { [%c_effect f7;square;f7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} (36... Rd7 $2 { [%c_effect d7;square;d7;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} 37. Kf3 (37. Rf6 { is also good.}) 37... Rxd6 38. Ke4 {with an easy win.}) 37. Re4 Kf8 38. Kg3 a6 $1 {[%c_effect a6;square;a6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Black is in time to play b6-b5 and get a draw.}) 35... Qxd6 36. Rf4 $2 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4; type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (36. Re6 $1 {[%c_effect e6;square;e6;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] White has enough activity for a draw a pawn down.} Qd2+ 37. Kg3 Qc3+ 38. Kg4 Rf7 39. Qe4) 36... Rd7 $1 {[%c_effect d7;square;d7; type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Now the endgame is winning for Black, since White can't create threats.} 37. Rf2 Qe7 $1 {[%c_effect e7;square;e7;type; GreatFind;persistent;true]} 38. Kh2 Rd4 39. Kg1 Re4 (39... Kg7 $1 {[%c_effect g7;square;g7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is slightly more accurate, avoiding the queen endgame.}) 40. Qd5+ Kg7 41. Rf7+ $1 {[%c_effect f7;square; f7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Queen endgames are notoriously difficult to play, so this is the best chance.} Qxf7 42. Qxe4 Qd7 $1 {[%c_effect d7;square; d7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 43. Kg2 Qd2+ 44. Kh3 Qxg5 45. Qb7+ Kg6 ( 45... Kf6 $1 {[%c_effect f6;square;f6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is better, since Black manages to keep a two-pawn advantage,} 46. Qc6+ (46. Qxa7 Qh6+ $1 {[%c_effect h6;square;h6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 47. Kg4 Qg7+ {This is the point. The queens are exchanged.}) (46. Qxh7 Qf5+) 46... Kf7 47. Qd7+ Qe7) 46. Qxa7 Qe3+ 47. Kg2 Qe4+ 48. Kg3 Qe5+ 49. Kg2 Qb2+ 50. Kg3 h5 $2 { [%c_effect h5;square;h5;type;Mistake;persistent;true] This move lets victory slip away.} (50... Qe5+ 51. Kg2 Qe6 {The best plan is to centralize the queen and then prepare to take the king to the queenside.}) 51. Qb7 $2 {[%c_effect b7;square;b7;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (51. Qe7 $1 {[%c_effect e7;square; e7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] activates the queen, and the desired draw might be achieved.}) 51... Qb3+ 52. Kg2 Qc2+ 53. Kg3 Qd3+ 54. Kg2 Qe2+ 55. Kg3 Qe3+ 56. Kg2 Qd2+ 57. Kg3 Qd6+ 58. Kg2 h4 $2 {[%c_effect h4;square;h4;type; Mistake;persistent;true]} (58... Qe6 $1 {[%c_effect e6;square;e6;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] Again this is the right plan.}) 59. Qe4+ Kg5 60. Qe3+ Qf4 61. Qe7+ Kf5 62. Qd7+ Ke4 63. Qc6+ Kd4 64. Qxb6 Qg3+ 65. Kh1 Qf3+ { White is close to a draw; it remains only to take the king to the right square. } 66. Kh2 $4 {[%c_effect h2;square;h2;type;Blunder;persistent;true] Now the game is over.} (66. Kg1 $1 {[%c_effect g1;square;g1;type;GreatFind;persistent; true]} Kxc4 (66... h3 67. Qb2+) (66... Qg3+ 67. Kh1) 67. Qb5+ Kd4 68. Qb2+) 66... Qf2+ $1 {[%c_effect f2;square;f2;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 67. Kh1 h3 $1 {[%c_effect h3;square;h3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This is the problem. The queen remains on the ideal f2-square, controlling the opponent's check on b2.} 68. Qd6+ Kc3 69. Qe5+ Kb4 70. Qb8+ Ka3 {A typical device: to use the opponent's pawn as a shelter against the checks. Dvoretsky liked to call this theme \"The Umbrella.\" White resigned.} (70... Ka3 71. Qg8 Qg2+ 72. Qxg2 hxg2+ 73. Kxg2 Kxa4 74. Kf3 Kb3 75. Ke3 Kxc4 76. Kd2 Kb3 {with a winning pawn endgame.}) 0-1 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.03"] [Round "2"] [White "Koneru, Humpy"] [Black "Abdumalik, Zhansaya"] [Result "*"] [WhiteElo "2572"] [BlackElo "2496"] [PlyCount "150"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O Nc6 7. a3 a6 8. Qe2 b5 9. Ba2 Bb7 10. Rd1 Qc7 11. dxc5 Bxc5 12. b4 Bd6 13. Bb2 Ne5 14. Nbd2 O-O 15. Rac1 Qb8 16. Nd4 Rc8 17. h3 Rxc1 18. Rxc1 Ne4 19. N2f3 Nxf3+ 20. gxf3 Nf6 21. Nc6 Qe8 22. Na5 Bc8 23. Qd3 Bf8 24. Bb1 e5 25. Rc6 Qd7 26. h4 Qxd3 27. Bxd3 Bd7 28. Rb6 $2 {[%c_effect b6;square;b6;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} Nd5 29. Rb7 Bc8 {The white rook has run out of safe squares.} 30. Bxe5 Bxb7 31. Nxb7 Rc8 { Abdumalik immediately activates her rook, the strongest piece left on the board.} 32. Bd4 Rc1+ 33. Kg2 Rd1 34. Bc2 Nf4+ 35. Kh2 Rd2 36. Bf5 g6 37. Bc8 Rxf2+ 38. Kg3 Rc2 39. Kxf4 Rxc8 40. Ke4 Rc2 41. Nc5 h5 42. Nxa6 g5 {Clearing the way for Black's h-pawn.} 43. hxg5 h4 44. Be5 Bg7 45. Bf4 h3 46. Kf5 Bb2 47. Nc7 Bxa3 48. Nxb5 Bxb4 {Black's material advantage is about to increase, but White has eliminated most of Black's pawns, attempting to create drawing chances.} 49. Nc7 h2 50. Bxh2 Rxh2 51. Nd5 Bc5 52. f4 Re2 53. e4 Bd4 54. e5 Kg7 55. Nf6 Rf2 56. Nh5+ Kf8 57. g6 fxg6+ 58. Kxg6 {Black's last pawn leaves the board. Still, the extra rook should be enough to win, but it's getting trickier.} Ke7 59. Kf5 Be3 60. Ke4 Bc1 61. Kf5 Rf1 62. Kg5 Ke6 63. Ng7+ Kd5 64. Nh5 Bd2 65. Kf5 Rf2 66. Nf6+ Kc6 67. Nh5 Bc1 68. Kg5 Kd5 69. Kf5 Kd4 70. e6 Ba3 ({A surprisingly tricky position to win. Best was} 70... Kc5 71. Ke5 Bb2+ 72. Kf5 Kd6 73. Ng3 Ke7 74. Ne4 Rf1 75. Nd2 Rd1 76. Nf3 Rd5+ 77. Ke4 Kxe6) 71. Kf6 Kd5 72. Kf7 Re2 (72... Rb2 73. Nf6+ Kc6 74. f5 Rb7+ 75. Kg6 Kd6 {halts White's pawns.}) 73. f5 Re5 74. Ng7 Bb4 75. f6 Ba3 {Against all odds, White holds the game despite being down a rook.} * [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.04"] [Round "3"] [White "Muzychuk, Anna"] [Black "Dzagnidze, Nana"] [Result "*"] [WhiteElo "2522"] [BlackElo "2517"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Ngf6 6. O-O a6 7. Bd3 Nc5 8. Re1 e6 9. c4 {Heading into the classic Maroczy Bind structure where White aims to maintain her control of the center due to her e4- and c4-pawns while Black strives to crack the position open with ...d5 or ...b5.} Be7 10. Nc3 Nxd3 11. Qxd3 O-O 12. a4 Bd7 13. h3 Rc8 14. b3 Qc7 15. Be3 Qa5 16. Bd2 Qc7 17. a5 { The a5-pawn serves as an anchor to the outpost on b6, which could be a great home for one of White's pieces, especially one of her knights.} Rfd8 18. Rec1 Qb8 19. Be3 Be8 20. Nf3 Nd7 21. Qb1 Bf6 22. Ra2 h6 23. Na4 {White maneuvers to strengthen her grip on the queenside and center.} d5 {Black achieves the key break but at the cost of a pawn.} 24. exd5 exd5 25. cxd5 Rxc1+ 26. Qxc1 Ne5 27. Nxe5 Qxe5 28. Nb6 Bb5 29. Rc2 Qe4 30. Rc7 Qb4 31. Rxb7 {It seems premature to accept a draw as plenty of life seems left in the position.} ({Play could have continued:} 31. Rxb7 Qxb3 (31... Qxa5 32. Kh2 Qb4 33. Qc7) 32. Bf4 Qb4 33. d6 Re8 34. Nd5 Re1+ 35. Kh2 Rxc1 36. Nxb4 Rd1) * [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.04"] [Round "3"] [White "Abdumalik, Zhansaya"] [Black "Zhu, Jiner"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B33"] [WhiteElo "2496"] [BlackElo "2486"] [Annotator "Rafael"] [PlyCount "90"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 {If you want to play the Sveshnikov Variation but don't want to allow White to play the Rossolimo (3.Bb5), then this is the move order to choose. White gets another option, as we'll see.} 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 {Here White has an important choice to make: face Sveshnikov, one of the lines with the best reputation in the Sicilian, or else capture on c6. I'm not an expert on either of these two lines, but it looks like Black is holding up well on both.} 6. Ndb5 (6. Nxc6 bxc6 7. e5 Nd5 8. Ne4) 6... d6 7. Bf4 e5 8. Bg5 a6 9. Na3 b5 {Here White has another important decision to make: capture on f6 or play 10.Nd5. Both are very popular. In my king pawn days, I used to choose the second option, influenced by one of my favorite opening books and which I studied with dedication as a child: \"Beating The Sicilian\" by John Nunn.} 10. Nd5 (10. Bxf6) 10... Be7 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. c3 {This is the move suggested by Nunn in the aforementioned book. And that's as far as I can remember: unfortunately, I lost the book in one of my many residence changes since the early 1990s.} (12. c4 {is a move that has become very popular in recent years.}) 12... Bg5 13. Nc2 Rb8 14. Be2 (14. a4 {is a thematic move, but everything here has already been studied a lot.} bxa4 15. Ncb4 Nxb4 16. cxb4 ( 16. Nxb4 Bd7 {Black also equalizes. Here is a recent example:} 17. Bxa6 Qa5 18. Qxd6 Rb6 19. Qd3 Be6 20. O-O O-O 21. Bc4 Rd8 22. Bd5 Bxd5 23. exd5 Be7 { Ter-Sahakyan-Wang, Abu Dhabi 2022.}) 16... O-O 17. Rxa4 a5 $1 {[%c_effect a5; square;a5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Here, as usual in the Sveshnikov, we have long forced lines in which Black achieves equality.}) (14. a3 $5 { [%c_effect a3;square;a3;type;Interesting;persistent;true] Taking the knight to b4 and then capturing it with a pawn is a recent idea.}) 14... O-O 15. O-O Be6 16. Ndb4 (16. Qd3 {is the most common.}) 16... Nxb4 17. Nxb4 Qb6 18. Qd3 (18. a4 a5 19. Nd5 Bxd5 20. Qxd5 bxa4 {It seems that Black achieves a forced draw here.} 21. Rfb1 Rfc8 22. Bc4 Qc5 23. Rxa4 Qxd5 24. Bxd5 Bd2 $1 {[%c_effect d2; square;d2;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 25. Raa1 Rc5 {Uecker-Loeffler, email 2017.}) (18. Bg4 a5 19. Bxe6 fxe6 20. Nd3 {This is also possible, but not very dangerous for Black, since he doesn't need to worry about the d5-square anymore, and that's a huge relief.}) 18... Bc4 19. Qd1 (19. Qf3 a5 $1 {[%c_effect a5;square;a5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]}) 19... Be6 20. Qd3 a5 {An ambitious decision, refusing to repeat moves.} 21. Nd5 Qb7 22. Rad1 (22. Rfd1 {is more popular.} Rfc8 {There's still a lot of theory here, but Black is fine. One possible plan is to activate the dark-squared bishop with Bd8 and then take it to b6, just in time.}) 22... b4 {A pretty straightforward move, but still nothing new. A recent correspondence game followed with the more natural 22...Rfc8.} (22... Rfc8 23. a3 Bd8 24. h3 Rc5 25. b4 Rcc8 {and the game later ended in a draw. Wosch-Perez, email 2019.}) 23. c4 $6 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] This move puts White in an uncomfortable position.} (23. cxb4 {is better:} axb4 24. Qg3 Bh6 {It is not clear that this is the best square for the bishop.} 25. Bc4 {and White can fight for a small advantage, since he has stabilized the knight on d5. All this was played in Boskovic-Vuckovic, Palic 2014.}) 23... b3 $1 {[%c_effect b3; square;b3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 24. a3 Rfc8 {Black changed the pawn structure on the queenside, and this is clear to her benefit as she gains a square on d4, which in a distant dream can be occupied after the Bd8-b6 maneuver. White's position will quickly collapse in the next few moves, so we can consider this position as critical: Abdumalik needs a good plan.} 25. Qg3 ( 25. h3 {Looks good, preparing to play Bg4, but Black gets a clear advantage after} Rc5 $1 {[%c_effect c5;square;c5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Preparing to capture the d5-knight without allowing White to recapture with the queen.}) 25... Bd8 {Only now does a new move appear on the board.} (25... Bh6 $6 {[%c_effect h6;square;h6;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] was played in Pineda-Bouaziz, Tripoli 1976.}) 26. Kh1 $6 {[%c_effect h1;square;h1;type; Inaccuracy;persistent;true] One of my favorite concepts in positional play is \"harmony,\" which means making sense of your moves, one flowing with the other. Smyslov, for example, was a harmony genius. White's next move doesn't make a good impression in this regard; it doesn't seem to flow naturally and White's plan of advancing the pawn to f4 is hardly effective. This is what we call an \"ugly\" move. I must be honest: there are many instances where ugly moves are the best ones. Alas, to Abdumalik's bad luck, this is not one of them.} (26. Nc3 $1 {[%c_effect c3;square;c3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is the best attempt. White must desperately try to change the trend of the game.} Qc6 (26... Bxc4 $6 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} 27. Bxc4 Rxc4 28. Rxd6 {This is what White wants.}) 27. Nb5 $1 {[%c_effect b5; square;b5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Qxe4 28. Bf3 Qf4 29. Nxd6 Rc7 30. Rfe1 {Although Black retains a minimal advantage, it's very clear that this is better than the game continuation.}) 26... Rc5 $1 {[%c_effect c5;square;c5; type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The most accurate move. By the way, I was impressed by Zhu's precision in carrying out her initiative.} (26... Bb6 { is natural, but Black's advantage is not so big after} 27. f4 $1 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} (27. Qxb3 Bd4) 27... Bxd5 (27... Bd4 $2 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] leads to a surprisingly lethal attack after} 28. Nf6+ Kh8 29. Nxh7 $1 {[%c_effect h7; square;h7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Kxh7 30. f5 Bd7 31. f6 $1 { [%c_effect f6;square;f6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} gxf6 32. Rxf6) 28. Rxd5 Bd4) 27. Nc3 (27. f4 $2 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;Mistake;persistent; true]} Bxd5 28. exd5 Bf6 {with a dream position for Black.}) 27... Qc6 28. f4 Bxc4 (28... exf4 29. Qxf4 Re5 {This is also very good for Black.}) 29. Bxc4 Rxc4 30. fxe5 {It's hard to recommend anything.} (30. f5 Rxc3 $1 {[%c_effect c3;square;c3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The typical Sicilian sacrifice must always be analyzed.} 31. Qxc3 Qxc3 32. bxc3 b2 33. Rb1 Bg5 $1 {[%c_effect g5;square;g5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] And the bishop goes to c1 with a clear advantage.}) (30. Nd5 exf4 (30... Rxe4 $2 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type; Mistake;persistent;true]} 31. Qf3 $1 {[%c_effect f3;square;f3;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] gives White counterplay.}) 31. Qxf4 Qe8 32. Qxd6 Rbc8 { again with a clear advantage for Black.}) 30... dxe5 31. Qxe5 {White regains the pawn but opens the game to Black's bishop.} Bc7 32. Qh5 Qe6 $1 {[%c_effect e6;square;e6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Getting ready to take the bishop to his ideal square, e5.} 33. Rd5 f6 $1 {[%c_effect f6;square;f6;type; GreatFind;persistent;true]} 34. Rb5 Rd4 (34... Rxb5 35. Qxb5 Rd4 {is also very good.}) 35. Rxb8+ Bxb8 36. Qxa5 Rd2 37. Qh5 (37. Rb1 {leads to a pretty checkmate after} Qg4 38. Rg1 Qh4 39. h3 Qxh3+ 40. gxh3 Rh2#) (37. Qb5 Qe5 $1 { [%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 38. Qxe5 (38. Qxb3+ Kh8 39. g3 Rxh2+ 40. Kxh2 Qxg3+ 41. Kh1 Qh2#) 38... Bxe5 39. Rb1 Bxc3 40. bxc3 b2 41. h3 Kf7 {The endgame is winning for Black, even a pawn down. White's rook is very passive, and the king will march to the queenside.}) (37. Rd1 $5 { [%c_effect d1;square;d1;type;Interesting;persistent;true] is the best chance. Precision is required now.} Qc4 $1 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} (37... Rxd1+ 38. Nxd1 Qxe4 39. Qd2 {Here White has good drawing chances.}) 38. Qh5 (38. Rxd2 $2 {[%c_effect d2;square;d2;type;Mistake; persistent;true]} Qf1#) 38... h6 $1 {[%c_effect h6;square;h6;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} 39. Qf3 Rxd1+ 40. Nxd1 Be5 {White is tied up; Black should win this endgame with accurate play.}) 37... Rxb2 38. Rd1 Bd6 $1 {[%c_effect d6;square;d6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 39. Nb5 Qxe4 $1 {[%c_effect e4; square;e4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Very well calculated.} 40. Qf7+ Kh8 $1 {[%c_effect h8;square;h8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Of course, this was seen in advance by the Chinese player.} (40... Kxf7 $6 {[%c_effect f7; square;f7;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] Of course, this was not the intention, but, just for readers' curiosity, it's possible that even this position is winning.} 41. Nxd6+ Ke6 42. Nxe4 Rc2 $1 {[%c_effect c2;square;c2; type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 43. Nd2 b2 44. Nb1 Rc1 45. Rg1 Ke5 {White is paralyzed, and the king is going to the queenside.}) 41. Rg1 Bc5 42. h3 h6 ( 42... Rb1 43. Rxb1 Qxb1+ 44. Kh2 Qe1 $1 {[%c_effect e1;square;e1;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] This is also a nice way to win. The white queen must feel bad being so close to the king and not being able to give a check.}) 43. Nc3 Qa8 44. Nd5 Bxg1 45. Kxg1 Rxg2+ $1 {[%c_effect g2;square;g2;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] A beautiful ending to a game masterfully handled by Zhu.} (45... Rxg2+ 46. Kxg2 b2) 0-1 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.04"] [Round "3"] [White "Harika, Dronavalli"] [Black "Kashlinskaya, Alina"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2507"] [BlackElo "2491"] [PlyCount "125"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Nbd7 6. Nxf6+ Nxf6 7. Nf3 h6 8. Bh4 c5 9. Be2 cxd4 10. Qxd4 Qxd4 11. Nxd4 {Despite such an early queen trade, the players take part in a lively struggle.} Bc5 12. Nb3 Bb6 13. Bf3 Ke7 14. O-O-O Bc7 15. Rd4 $5 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;Interesting;persistent; true] White takes advantage of the open center square to maneuver her rook to add pressure on the queenside.} Rd8 16. Rc4 {Pressing on Black's weak queenside points.} Bb6 17. Bg3 {White's two bishops side by side cover a wealth of squares in the center and on her opponent's queenside.} Nd5 18. Rd1 Bd7 $1 {[%c_effect d7;square;d7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Rather than allowing White's powerful bishops and rooks to paralyze her pieces, Black sacrifices a pawn to finish her development and gain the bishop pair.} 19. Bxd5 exd5 20. Rxd5 Bc6 21. Re5+ Kf8 22. f3 Rd5 23. Rxd5 Bxd5 24. Rc3 Re8 25. Nc5 Re2 {Black's newfound activity helps compensate for the lost pawn.} 26. Nd7+ Ke7 27. Nxb6 {Though this mars Black's pawn structure, it also trades off another pair of minor pieces, getting closer to an opposite-color bishop ending, which offers many drawing chances for a player down a pawn.} axb6 28. Rd3 Ke6 29. Rd2 {The rook trade gets Black closer to a draw, but without it, the black rook is more active than its counterpart, and the g2-pawn is lost.} Rxd2 30. Kxd2 b5 31. Bf2 h5 32. Ke3 Kd7 33. Kd4 Kc6 34. a3 g6 35. Ke5 Bc4 36. Kf6 {While this level of king activity might be winning in another type of ending, here White is unable to add additional pressure to any pawns on light squares because she has only a dark-squared bishop.} Be6 37. Be3 Bd5 38. Kg5 Kd7 39. Kf6 Be6 40. Ke5 Bf5 41. Kf6 Ke8 42. c3 Be6 43. h3 Bc4 44. g4 Be2 45. gxh5 gxh5 46. f4 Bf1 47. h4 Be2 48. Bd4 Bd1 49. Be5 Bb3 50. Bd4 Kd7 51. Bc5 Kc6 52. Bf8 Kd7 53. Be7 Kc6 54. Kg5 Bd1 55. b4 Kd7 56. Kf6 Bb3 57. Bc5 Kc6 58. Bd4 Bc4 59. Be5 Bb3 60. Bd4 Bc4 61. Bf2 Bb3 62. Be1 Bc4 63. Bf2 {A well-fought game by both sides $1} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.04"] [Round "3"] [White "Kosteniuk, Alexandra"] [Black "Wagner, Dinara"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2519"] [BlackElo "2414"] [PlyCount "111"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. Ba4 Ngf6 5. O-O a6 6. c4 e6 7. Nc3 Be7 8. d4 cxd4 9. Nxd4 O-O 10. Qe2 Ne5 11. Kh1 Qc7 12. Bb3 Bd7 13. f4 Nc6 14. Nxc6 Bxc6 15. a4 b6 16. Bc2 Qb7 17. b4 d5 {Although this is a thematic break in the Maroczy Bind structure, here Black's pieces aren't prepared to support it. Black ends up left with an isolated pawn and open lines for the white pieces to aim down.} 18. b5 axb5 19. exd5 exd5 20. cxb5 Be8 21. Bb2 Bc5 22. Rad1 Rd8 23. Qf3 Qa8 24. Qg3 d4 25. Ne2 Ne4 26. Qf3 {Black's pieces are active, but they lack targets.} f5 27. Nxd4 Bg6 28. Nc6 {In the midst of the complicated middlegame, both players were in time trouble by this point.} ({Better is} 28. Ne6) 28... Rxd1 29. Qxd1 Qb7 30. Bd4 (30. Bb3+ Bf7 31. Nd8 $1 $18 {[%c_effect d8;square;d8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]}) 30... Kh8 31. Bxe4 Bxd4 32. Qxd4 fxe4 33. f5 Qf7 34. g4 Qb3 35. Qd6 Rf6 36. Qd8+ {The players were in intense time pressure now. each under one minute.} Qg8 37. Qxg8+ Kxg8 38. Re1 Be8 39. Ne7+ Kf8 40. Rxe4 h6 41. Kg2 {The smoke has cleared, and time control has been reached with two extra pawns for Kosteniuk.} g6 42. fxg6 Bxg6 43. Nxg6+ Rxg6 44. Kf3 Rd6 45. Kf4 Rd2 46. Re6 Rd4+ 47. Kf5 Kg7 48. Rg6+ Kh7 49. Rxb6 Rxa4 50. Rb7+ Kg8 51. b6 Rb4 52. h3 Rb3 53. Kg6 Kf8 54. Rb8+ Ke7 55. b7 Rb6+ 56. Kh7 1-0 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.04"] [Round "3"] [White "Tan, Zhongyi"] [Black "Paehtz, Elisabeth"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2530"] [BlackElo "2464"] [PlyCount "144"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. d4 O-O 6. h3 Nc6 7. Be2 e5 8. d5 Nd4 {Paehtz sacs a pawn to open lines in the center and aim at White's king.} 9. Nxd4 exd4 10. Qxd4 Re8 11. Qd3 Qe7 12. Bg5 h6 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. Bf3 Be5 15. Kf1 $5 {[%c_effect f1;square;f1;type;Interesting;persistent;true] Since castling to either side could be dangerous, Tan solves the problem in an unusual way, moving the king off e1, yet leaving the kingside rook on its post to help defend there.} h5 16. h4 f5 17. exf5 Bxf5 18. Ne4 Bxb2 {Black grabs her sacrificed pawn back to level material while keeping her edge in activity.} 19. Re1 Qg7 20. g3 {Now Tan strives to castle by hand.} Re7 21. Kg2 Rae8 22. Re2 Qd4 23. Qxd4 Bxd4 24. Rhe1 Kf8 25. Ng5 Rxe2 26. Rxe2 Rxe2 27. Bxe2 Ke7 28. f3 Bb1 29. Ne6 Be3 30. Nxc7 Bxa2 {Black's bishop pair on the open board with pawns on both sides give her an advantage in this endgame.} 31. Bd3 a5 32. Kf1 Bb3 33. Ke2 Bc1 34. Nb5 Bb2 35. Ke3 a4 36. Nd4 Ba2 37. Bc2 {White offers up two pawns (c4 and d5) to get rid of Black's potent, passed a4-pawn.} Bxc4 38. Bxa4 Bxd5 39. Ne2 Be6 40. Kd2 Be5 41. Bc2 Kf6 42. Bd3 Bd7 43. f4 Ba1 44. Nc3 Be6 45. Be4 Bxc3+ ({Black could also try} 45... b6 {and soon go after the weak white kingside pawns:} 46. Bc6 Kf5 47. Be4+ Kg4 48. Bxg6 Bd7 49. Ne4 d5 50. Nc3 Kxg3 51. Bxh5 d4 52. Ne4+ Kxh4 {but Black is running out of pawns and with them, winning chances.}) 46. Kxc3 b5 47. Bd3 Bc4 48. Bc2 Bf7 49. Bd3 Be8 50. Kd4 {White's actively placed king and bishop hold off Black's passed pawns.} Ke6 51. Bc2 Kf6 52. Bd3 Bd7 53. Kc3 Bc6 54. Kd4 Be8 55. Bc2 Bf7 56. Kc3 Bc4 57. Bb1 Be2 58. Be4 Bf1 59. Kb4 Bc4 60. Kc3 Be6 61. Bd3 Bc4 62. Be4 d5 63. Bc2 Be2 64. Kd4 Bf3 65. Kc5 Be4 66. Bd1 Kf5 67. Kxb5 Bd3+ 68. Kc5 Ke4 69. f5 gxf5 70. Bxh5 Ke5 71. Bd1 Be4 72. h5 Kf6 1/2-1/2 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.05"] [Round "4"] [White "Kosteniuk, Alexandra"] [Black "Tan, Zhongyi"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B27"] [WhiteElo "2519"] [BlackElo "2530"] [Annotator "Rafael"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 {This Sicilian Variation is not very popular at the highest level. After 3.d4 the game can go to what we know as the \"Maroczy Bind\" or else to lines of the \"Accelerated Dragon.\" But the game quickly takes an original road.} 3. c3 d5 (3... Bg7 4. d4 cxd4 5. cxd4 d5 6. e5 {This is the main line, and there's a lot of theory here.}) 4. e5 (4. exd5 {is also a popular move.}) 4... Nc6 5. Bb5 {An interesting move and far less played than 5.d4.} (5. d4 {A recent game continued:} cxd4 6. cxd4 Bg4 7. Bb5 Rc8 { Wang-Guseinov, Shusha (blitz) 2022.}) 5... Bg4 6. O-O Qb6 7. c4 $2 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] A very optimistic move that puts White in serious trouble.} (7. Bxc6+ {is the natural move and had been played previously:} Qxc6 8. d4 {with chances for both sides in Mammadova-Movileanu, Batumi 2019.}) 7... O-O-O (7... dxc4 {is also very good for Black.} 8. Na3 (8. Bxc4 Nxe5 {Black wins a pawn for no compensation.}) 8... a6 9. Qa4 Bxf3 10. gxf3 Rc8 11. Bxc6+ Qxc6 12. Qxc6+ Rxc6 13. Nxc4 Nh6 {White will suffer in this endgame since Black's pawn structure is much better.}) 8. Bxc6 Qxc6 9. h3 Be6 { Black already has an almost winning advantage here, although with kings on opposite sides there is always hope of complicating the game. That's what Kosteniuk starts trying now.} 10. Ng5 $5 {[%c_effect g5;square;g5;type; Interesting;persistent;true] Sacrificing a pawn.} (10. cxd5 Bxd5 {Black has an advantage in development and a monster light-squared bishop.}) 10... dxc4 11. Nxe6 Qxe6 12. Re1 Nh6 13. b3 $1 {[%c_effect b3;square;b3;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] White does everything to open files on the queenside.} Nf5 14. Ba3 b6 15. b4 cxb4 16. Bxb4 Qc6 $2 {[%c_effect c6;square;c6;type;Mistake; persistent;true] An imprecise move that gives chances to White. The queen is less useful than it looks on this diagonal. The priority is to develop the bishop on f8 and to remove the king from the c-file.} (16... Bh6 17. Na3 Kb8 { White has very little to show in exchange for the pawn.}) 17. Na3 {Now 18.Nxc4 is threatened, and the rook is coming to c1, positioning itself in an x-ray with the black queen.} Rd4 (17... Kb8 18. Rc1 {and the c4-pawn will fall. It should be mentioned that the attempt to defend with 18...b5 leads to disaster.} b5 $2 {[%c_effect b5;square;b5;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} 19. Nxb5 $1 { [%c_effect b5;square;b5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Qxb5 20. Rb1 {With a decisive attack against the naked king.}) 18. Nc2 Rd3 19. Rc1 Bh6 20. Qg4 $1 { [%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The queen is very well positioned here, keeping an eye on the c4-pawn.} Kb7 $6 {[%c_effect b7;square; b7;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (20... Kb8 $1 {[%c_effect b8;square;b8; type;GreatFind;persistent;true] There is a subtle difference in the placement of the king on b8 or on b7. This is the correct square, and the main reason is to leave a way back to the queen.} 21. Re4 {If White continues as in the game, then the idea appears:} c3 $1 {[%c_effect c3;square;c3;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] This move only works with the king on b8.} 22. Rc4 (22. Bxc3 $2 {[%c_effect c3;square;c3;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} Rxc3 23. dxc3 Bxc1 { wins a piece.}) 22... Qb7 $1 {[%c_effect b7;square;b7;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} 23. Bxc3 (23. Rxc3 Rxd2 {with a sound pawn up.}) 23... Rxc3 24. Rxc3 Bxd2 25. Nb4 Bxc3 26. Rxc3 Rc8 {with excellent winning chances for Black.}) 21. Re4 $1 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} b5 (21... c3 $2 {[%c_effect c3;square;c3;type;Mistake;persistent;true] This move doesn't work now.} 22. Bxc3 (22. Rc4 {is also good.}) 22... Rxc3 23. dxc3 Bxc1 24. Nb4 $1 {[%c_effect b4;square;b4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Surprisingly the attack is decisive now.} Qxc3 25. Rc4 Qe1+ 26. Kh2 Qxe5+ 27. g3 {There is no good way to avoid a mortal queen check.}) (21... Rc8 22. Ne1 $1 {[%c_effect e1;square;e1;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Rdd8 23. Rexc4 Qd5 24. Rxc8 Rxc8 25. Rxc8 Kxc8 26. Bc3 Qxa2 27. Qe4 {White has good compensation for the pawn and good chances of achieving a draw.}) 22. Rb1 {Bringing the rook into the attack and also setting up Bc3, freeing up the b4-square for the knight.} (22. a4 {is also possible.}) 22... Rc8 (22... Ka8 $6 {[%c_effect a8; square;a8;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} 23. Bc3 $1 {[%c_effect c3;square; c3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is very unpleasant for Black.}) 23. Bc3 { Black only has one move now. The trend of the game is not good, and the evaluation of the position has changed from \"comfortable advantage\" to \"very dangerous.\" In these cases, it's very difficult to be cold-blooded enough to find the best moves.} a5 $2 {[%c_effect a5;square;a5;type;Mistake; persistent;true]} (23... Bxd2 $1 {[%c_effect d2;square;d2;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] It's necessary to embark on this complication.} 24. Nb4 Qb6 25. Nxd3 Bxc3 {The position is very complicated, but with accurate play the balance is maintained.} 26. Qf3 Kb8 (26... cxd3 $2 {[%c_effect d3;square;d3; type;Mistake;persistent;true] loses to} 27. Rxb5 $1 {[%c_effect b5;square;b5; type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Qxb5 28. Rb4+ Kb6 29. Rxb5+ Kxb5 30. Qb7+) 27. Nc5 $1 {[%c_effect c5;square;c5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Rxc5 28. Qxc3 Qc6 29. Re2 {With chances for both sides in this position with material imbalance.}) 24. Na3 $1 {[%c_effect a3;square;a3;type;GreatFind;persistent; true] Black's position completely collapses now. All pawns on the queenside pawns will be captured.} (24. Bxa5 $6 {[%c_effect a5;square;a5;type;Inaccuracy; persistent;true]} Bxd2 {This was Tan's idea, I believe.}) 24... Ka6 (24... b4 25. Nxc4) 25. Rxb5 Rxc3 (25... Qxb5 26. Nxb5 Kxb5 27. a4+ {The c4-pawn falls.}) 26. dxc3 Bc1 27. Rxc4 Qxc4 28. Rxa5+ Kxa5 29. Nxc4+ Kb5 30. a4+ Kc5 31. Na5 Rb8 32. Qc4+ Kb6 33. Qb5+ Kc7 34. Qc6+ 1-0 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.05"] [Round "4"] [White "Zhu, Jiner"] [Black "Muzychuk, Mariya"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "2486"] [BlackElo "2523"] [PlyCount "90"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 e6 4. O-O Nge7 5. Bxc6 Nxc6 6. d4 cxd4 7. Nxd4 d6 8. c4 Be7 9. Be3 O-O 10. Nc3 Bd7 11. Nxc6 $2 {[%c_effect c6;square;c6;type; Mistake;persistent;true] Much like in a Maroczy Bind, this line of the Nyezhmetdinov-Rossolimo Attack normally encourages White to keep material on the board and squeeze Black. White's choice here is curious as it gives Black the bishop pair and reduces the \"squeeze\" effect.} (11. Nde2 {A logical choice in the context of this position.}) 11... Bxc6 12. Qd2 Bf6 13. Bd4 { White's true plan comes to light. Jiner hopes to play a good knight against bad bishop middlegame and target the weak d6-pawn.} Bxd4 14. Qxd4 Qe7 15. Rad1 Rfd8 16. Rd2 {Not exactly subtle but subtlety is not needed here.} b6 17. Rfd1 Rd7 18. Qe3 Rad8 19. Qg3 h6 {White's plan of honing in on the weak d6-pawn has so far been successful; however, where the breakthrough will be is not obvious. } 20. h4 Kh7 21. a4 {In AlphaZero style, Jiner launches her h- and a-pawns up the board in order to gain space.} g6 22. b3 f5 23. e5 {The only way to break through for White.} (23. f3 {If White plays too defensively, Black may begin to gain space in the center with moves such as} Qf6 24. Rd3 e5 {While things are close to equal here, it feels as though Black has made some progress on the kingside.}) 23... dxe5 24. Rxd7 Rxd7 25. Qxe5 (25. Rxd7 $2 {[%c_effect d7; square;d7;type;Mistake;persistent;true] An alternate move order here for White leads to complications.} Qxd7 26. Qxe5 {Black has control of the open file, although she cannot infiltrate immediately.} Qg7 27. Qxe6 (27. Qg3 g5 {White begins to feel uncomfortable in this position as Black rolls in.}) 27... Qxc3 28. Qxc6 Qe1+ 29. Kh2 Qxf2 {A completely drawn line.}) 25... Rxd1+ 26. Nxd1 Kg8 27. Nc3 Kf7 28. Ne2 Bd7 29. Nf4 Qxh4 {White did not blunder this pawn. The idea here is to trade the pawn for activity.} 30. Nd3 {Not the most accurate response. Here,} (30. Qc7 {is the best move as it asks more immediate questions of Black's position.} Qe7 31. Qxa7 $2 {[%c_effect a7;square;a7;type; Mistake;persistent;true] This favors Black as} (31. a5 bxa5 32. Nd3 {It is certainly a risk for White to play this way; however, it will pay dividends if the c-pawn can begin to push.}) 31... Qd6 {gives the black queen immense control over the center.}) 30... Be8 31. a5 bxa5 32. c5 Bb5 33. Nf4 $2 { [%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] A good-looking move but it's unfortunately not active enough.} (33. Qc7+ Qe7 34. Ne5+ {White needs to put pressure on Black's king.} Kf6 35. Qxa5) 33... Qe7 $1 {[%c_effect e7; square;e7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Holding everything together.} 34. Qc3 Qc7 35. g3 g5 36. Qh8 $2 {[%c_effect h8;square;h8;type;Mistake;persistent;true] } (36. Ng2 {White's best move, a backwards knight move, is not exactly inspiring.}) 36... Qe7 $1 {[%c_effect e7;square;e7;type;GreatFind;persistent; true] The e7-square is so critical to Black's defense.} 37. Nh5 $2 {[%c_effect h5;square;h5;type;Mistake;persistent;true] An attractive idea but losing with correct defense. Muzychuk, who barely missed a beat all game, finds the way.} Kg6 38. g4 {White tries to rip open the kingside now and set up traps, but Black calls the bluff.} fxg4 39. Ng3 Bc6 {Black's bishop comes to life and now just needs to avoid perpetual checks.} 40. Qg8+ Kf6 41. Qh8+ Kf7 42. Qe5 Bd5 43. Qc3 Qf6 44. Qxa5 Qf3 45. Qxa7+ $2 {[%c_effect a7;square;a7;type;Mistake; persistent;true]} (45. Kf1 {White survives for longer but is still in a dire situation.}) 45... Kg6 {The checks run out $1} 0-1 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.05"] [Round "4"] [White "Koneru, Humpy"] [Black "Muzychuk, Anna"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2572"] [BlackElo "2522"] [PlyCount "105"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. h4 c6 6. cxd5 cxd5 7. Bf4 Nc6 8. e3 O-O 9. Qb3 Na5 10. Qa3 Bf5 11. Be2 Nc4 12. Qb3 Qb6 13. O-O Nxb2 14. Ne5 Rfc8 15. Rfc1 Nc4 16. Nxc4 dxc4 17. Bxc4 Qxb3 18. axb3 Be6 19. Nb5 Nd5 20. Nxa7 $2 { [%c_effect a7;square;a7;type;Mistake;persistent;true] Without a doubt, this is the most critical moment of the game. White has inaccurately grabbed the a7-pawn, and with perfect play Black can garner a slight edge.} Rxa7 $2 { [%c_effect a7;square;a7;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (20... Rxc4 $1 { [%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] A great move. Black can trade straight down to an equal, if not better, endgame.} 21. bxc4 (21. Rxc4 Nxf4 22. exf4 (22. Rc7 Nd3 23. Rxb7 Nc5 $1 {[%c_effect c5;square;c5;type; GreatFind;persistent;true]} 24. Rc7 Nxb3 {Black stands slightly better with great chances to score a result.}) 22... Bxc4 23. bxc4 Bxd4 {This would spell the end for Koneru.}) 21... Nxf4 22. exf4 Bxd4 {[%c_arrow d4a7;keyPressed;none; from;d4;opacity;0.8;to;a7;persistent;false,a8a7;keyPressed;none;from;a8; opacity;0.8;to;a7;persistent;false]} 23. c5 Bxa1 24. Rxa1 {White still has to deal with the pinned knight, and the kingside pawn structure is suboptimal.}) 21. Rxa7 {Koneru is immediately better now. Control of the a-file will be the most important feature of this game.} Nxf4 (21... b5 $5 {[%c_effect b5;square; b5;type;Interesting;persistent;true] A fascinating try that makes sense to her. Pin to win $1} 22. Bg3 bxc4 23. Rxc4 {White doesn't mind this position as the central pawns will started rolling, although Black's bishop pair will cause some problems.}) 22. Rca1 $1 {[%c_effect a1;square;a1;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} Nd5 23. Rxb7 Bf6 24. Ra5 Rd8 25. g3 (25. Rab5 {The threat of a rook trade is enough reason to consider this move. Black cannot afford further simplification.}) 25... Nc3 26. Rba7 Kg7 27. Ra8 $1 {[%c_effect a8; square;a8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Rd7 28. R5a7 Rd6 {Avoiding the rook trade at all costs.} 29. Ra6 Rd7 30. R8a7 Rd8 31. Ra8 Rd7 32. Bxe6 {Koneru decides against an easy draw and correctly chooses to play for a win.} fxe6 33. Rxe6 Rb7 34. Raa6 Rxb3 35. Reb6 {White forces the trade of rooks, and Muzychuk is left clutching at straws to defend this position.} Rxb6 36. Rxb6 h6 37. Rc6 Ne4 38. Kg2 g5 39. Kf3 Nd6 (39... Nd2+ {Being as pesky as possible is Black's only chance of tricking White now.} 40. Kg4 gxh4 41. gxh4 Kf7 42. Rc2 Ne4 43. f4 Nd6 {With one less pawn on the board, White will still need to work hard to convert.}) 40. h5 Kf7 41. g4 Bg7 42. Ke2 Ne4 (42... Ke6 {The king is Black's best attacking piece left and must be used.}) 43. f3 Nf6 44. e4 Nd7 45. e5 { Without a serious blunder now, White can win easily with a spoonful of patience.} Nf8 46. Ke3 Ne6 47. Ke4 Nf4 48. d5 Ne2 49. Rc2 Ng3+ 50. Kd4 Kf8 51. Rg2 Nf1 52. Ke4 Kf7 53. f4 {The break is enough to convince Muzychuk that the day is done.} 1-0 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.05"] [Round "4"] [White "Kashlinskaya, Alina"] [Black "Abdumalik, Zhansaya"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2491"] [BlackElo "2496"] [PlyCount "64"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 c6 5. Bg5 Be7 6. e3 Nbd7 7. Bd3 h6 8. Bh4 O-O 9. O-O dxc4 10. Bxc4 b5 11. Bd3 Bb7 12. Rc1 Rc8 13. Bxf6 Nxf6 14. Ne4 Nxe4 15. Bxe4 f5 16. Bc2 c5 17. dxc5 Bxc5 18. Bb3 Qe7 19. Nd4 Rf6 20. Ne2 Rd8 21. Qc2 Bb6 22. Nf4 Kh8 23. Rfd1 Rdf8 24. Qc3 e5 25. Nd5 Bxd5 26. Rxd5 b4 27. Qxe5 Re6 28. Qf4 Rxe3 $3 {[%c_effect e3;square;e3;type;Brilliant;persistent;true] Having given away a pawn earlier for piece activity, Abdumalik wins it back in style.} 29. Rf1 {Kashlinskaya is forced to go on defense.} (29. fxe3 $4 { [%c_effect e3;square;e3;type;Blunder;persistent;true]} Bxe3+ {The devastating idea.}) 29... Re4 30. Qf3 Re2 31. Bc4 $1 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type; GreatFind;persistent;true]} Re5 (31... Rxf2 $1 {[%c_effect f2;square;f2;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] An amazing way to force a draw (at least).} 32. Rxf2 Rc8 33. Rxf5 Rxc4 34. Rf8+ Kh7 35. Qf5+ g6 36. Rf7+ Kh8 37. Rxe7 $4 { [%c_effect e7;square;e7;type;Blunder;persistent;true]} (37. Rf8+ Kh7 38. Rf7+ { A humorous way to draw by repetition.}) 37... Rc1+ {Checkmate is unavoidable.}) (31... Rxb2 32. Rxf5 {The position is equal but easier to play for Black. This could have been considered.}) 32. b3 Rxd5 {Sensing a drawish opposite-colored bishop ending, the players agree to a draw early.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.06"] [Round "5"] [White "Harika, Dronavalli"] [Black "Kosteniuk, Alexandra"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2507"] [BlackElo "2519"] [PlyCount "109"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Bf4 Nc6 5. e3 Nf6 6. Nc3 Bf5 7. Nf3 e6 8. Qb3 Bb4 9. Ne5 O-O ({Black shouldn't allow White to leave her with a backward pawn on c6:} 9... Bxc3+ 10. bxc3 Nxe5 11. Bxe5 O-O 12. Qxb7 Rc8) 10. Nxc6 Bxc3+ 11. Qxc3 bxc6 12. Qa3 $16 ({If} 12. Qxc6 {Black has a lead in development to compensate for the pawn:} Qa5+ 13. Qc3 Qb6 14. Qb3 (14. Be2 Rfc8 15. Qb3 (15. Qa3 Rc2) 15... Qa5+ $17) (14. Bd3 Rfc8 15. Qa3 Bxd3 16. Qxd3 Qb4+ 17. Kf1 Qxb2 $17) 14... Qa5+ 15. Qc3) 12... Nd7 13. Rc1 Qb6 14. Be2 Rfe8 15. O-O e5 16. dxe5 Nxe5 17. Rfe1 Re6 18. Qc3 Nd7 19. Red1 h6 20. b4 Nf6 21. a4 Ne4 22. Qd4 Qb7 23. b5 Rd8 24. f3 Nf6 25. e4 Bg6 26. bxc6 Rxc6 27. Rxc6 Qxc6 28. Be5 (28. Bb5 $1 { [%c_effect b5;square;b5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] wins a pawn:} Qc2 ( 28... Qb7 29. Bxh6) (28... Qb6 29. Qxb6 axb6 30. Be3 {leaves Black with weak pawns on b6 and d5 to protect.}) 29. Rc1 Qb3 30. Bc6 a6 31. exd5) 28... a5 29. Bb5 Qc2 30. Rd2 Qc1+ 31. Rd1 Qc2 32. Re1 Nh5 33. exd5 {FInally, the pinned pawn falls.} f6 34. Bg3 Nxg3 35. hxg3 Qc7 36. Rd1 Rd6 37. Bc6 Rd8 38. Kh2 Bf7 39. Qc5 Rd6 40. Qb5 Rd8 41. Qb7 Qd6 42. Qb6 {Harika's advantage grows as she's ready to gobble up another one of Black's weak pawns.} Rb8 43. Qxa5 Rb4 44. Kh1 ({Better is} 44. Bd7 {rerouting the bishop to bother the black king while clearing the c6-square for the white queen to disrupt the blockade on the d5-passer.} Kh7 45. f4 h5 46. Bf5+ Bg6 47. Bxg6+ Kxg6 48. Qa8 Rb8 49. Qc6) 44... h5 $5 {[%c_effect h5;square;h5;type;Interesting;persistent;true] Kosteniuk prepares counterplay on the kingside.} 45. Rc1 Rb2 ({Better is} 45... h4 $5 {[%c_effect h4;square;h4;type;Interesting;persistent;true] loosening White's kingside while keeping the white queen blocked on the queenside. White should give a pawn back to get the queens off the board:} 46. Qc5 Qxc5 47. Rxc5 hxg3 48. Rc1 Rd4 49. a5 Bxd5 50. Bxd5+ Rxd5 51. Ra1 $16) 46. Qc3 (46. Qe1 $1 { [%c_effect e1;square;e1;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] holds the g3-pawn and keeps the kingside safer.}) 46... Rf2 47. f4 h4 48. Kg1 (48. Kh2 {maintained White's advantage} hxg3+ 49. Qxg3 {and if} Rxf4 $4 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4; type;Blunder;persistent;true]} 50. Rc4 $18) 48... hxg3 49. Qxg3 Rxf4 50. Rc3 ({ With the king on g1,} 50. Rc4 $4 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;Blunder; persistent;true] fails to} Rf1+) 50... Qb4 {Kosteniuk's vast activity and Harika's open king give Black enough counterplay to hold the balance.} 51. Rf3 Qb1+ 52. Kh2 Qh7+ 53. Kg1 Qb1+ 54. Kh2 Qh7+ 55. Kg1 1/2-1/2 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.06"] [Round "5"] [White "Muzychuk, Mariya"] [Black "Kashlinskaya, Alina"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C24"] [WhiteElo "2523"] [BlackElo "2491"] [Annotator "Rafael"] [PlyCount "134"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 d5 $5 {[%c_effect d5;square;d5;type; Interesting;persistent;true] The belief in the old days was that this very fast advance is bad for Black, but as I've written a few times, the computer shows that everything is more or less playable.} 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. h3 {This move is much less played than the main line 6.0-0, and it does seem a little slow.} (6. O-O {is the critical test.} Nb6 $5 {[%c_effect b6;square;b6;type; Interesting;persistent;true] Mamedyarov played this move a few times recently.} (6... Be7 {is also possible and a recent game went:} 7. Re1 f6 8. d4 Nb6 9. Bb5 {Esipenko-Vidit, Mayrhofen 2022.})) 6... Be7 {Whether this is the best way to develop is something open to question.} (6... Bc5 7. O-O O-O 8. Re1 Be6 { Vidit-Duda, Aimchess (rapid) 2022.}) (6... Bf5 $5 {[%c_effect f5;square;f5; type;Interesting;persistent;true] This is a move the computer approves, though it's nearly untried.}) 7. O-O Nb6 $1 {[%c_effect b6;square;b6;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} (7... O-O 8. Re1 {Black has some problems in defending the e-pawn. In general, this is the problem with the quick d5-advance.}) 8. Bb3 a5 $1 {[%c_effect a5;square;a5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This is an important move for Black, but it's not easy to understand what's the big advantage over the direct 8...Qd6. I think this is clear in the following line: } (8... Qd6 $6 {[%c_effect d6;square;d6;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} 9. Nc3 Qg6 10. Kh1 Be6 11. Re1 $1 {[%c_effect e1;square;e1;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} Bxb3 12. axb3 {This is the point: White is able to recapture with the pawn, an option that will be lost in the game continuation.} f6 13. Nb5 $1 {[%c_effect b5;square;b5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] with the initiative.}) 9. a3 Qd6 10. Re1 (10. Nc3 Qg6 11. Kh1 a4 12. Ba2 Be6 {This position is now acceptable for Black.}) 10... a4 {This natural move is a novelty. It's hard to say without a deeper study whether this is better than the immediate 10...Be6.} (10... Be6 11. Bxe6 Qxe6 12. Qe2 f6 13. d4 O-O-O $5 { [%c_effect c8;square;c8;type;Interesting;persistent;true]} 14. dxe5 fxe5 15. Nc3 {With chances for both sides in Demchenko-Aditya, Sitges 2022.}) 11. Ba2 Be6 12. Bxe6 Qxe6 13. Qe2 O-O $2 {[%c_effect g8;square;g8;type;Mistake; persistent;true] Black doesn't have adequate compensation for the lost pawn. 13...f6, 13...Bd6 or 13...Bf6 are better.} (13... f6 14. d4 O-O 15. dxe5 Nxe5 16. Nxe5 fxe5 17. Be3 Nd5 {with a balanced position.}) (13... Bd6) (13... Bf6) 14. Nxe5 Nd4 15. Qd1 Rae8 16. Nd2 Bf6 17. Nef3 Nxf3+ 18. Nxf3 {White has consolidated and is a clear pawn up.} Qd5 19. Nd2 (19. c3 {is good, preparing to develop the bishop.}) 19... Be5 20. Ne4 Re6 (20... h6 {is better, avoiding White's next move.}) 21. Ng5 $1 {[%c_effect g5;square;g5;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] The knight continues to dance. It's funny that this piece will go back to f3, where it was in the first place, but even so White's position has improved.} Ree8 22. c3 h6 23. Nf3 Bd6 24. Be3 c5 25. c4 Qf5 26. Rc1 (26. b4 {Opens the queenside and is immediately winning, but the move played is also OK.}) 26... Re6 27. d4 Rfe8 $6 {[%c_effect e8;square;e8;type; Inaccuracy;persistent;true] This loses more material, although it's hard to give any advice.} 28. dxc5 Bxc5 29. Nd4 $2 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type; Mistake;persistent;true]} (29. g4 $1 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] wins immediately, as the queen cannot protect the c5-bishop anymore.} Rg6 30. Nh4) 29... Bxd4 30. Qxd4 Rg6 31. Kh1 (31. Kf1 $1 {[%c_effect f1;square;f1;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is more accurate, bringing the king closer to the center in anticipation of a queen exchange.}) 31... Kh7 $6 { [%c_effect h7;square;h7;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (31... Qe4 $1 { [%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This move gives chances of a draw in a slightly worse endgame for Black after} 32. f3 Qxd4 33. Bxd4 Rxe1+ 34. Rxe1 Nxc4 35. Re8+ Kh7 36. Re7 Nd6) 32. Red1 Qe6 33. Rd3 (33. c5 {is more natural. Black intended} Qc6 $1 {[%c_effect c6;square;c6;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] but White is able to keep a better position after} 34. f3 Nd5 35. Bf2) 33... Re7 $1 {[%c_effect e7;square;e7;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} 34. f3 $4 {[%c_effect f3;square;f3;type;Blunder;persistent; true] An unfortunate mistake that completely changes the course of the game.} ( 34. Qc3 {and the position is still clearly better for White.}) 34... Rd7 35. Qc3 Rxg2 $1 {[%c_effect g2;square;g2;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] That's it. A nice \"Puzzle Rush\" tactic that gives a nearly decisive advantage for Black. } 36. Kxg2 Qg6+ 37. Kf2 Rxd3 38. Qe5 Nd7 39. Qf4 (39. Qe4 {The exchange of queens brings no relief for White.} Qxe4 40. fxe4 Ne5 {with a technically winning endgame due to the better pawn structure and the monster knight.}) 39... Qe6 40. Rg1 g5 (40... Ne5 {is also very good.}) 41. Qe4+ Qxe4 42. fxe4 Ne5 {White's queenside falls apart, and the rest is easy.} 43. Ke2 Rb3 44. Bd4 Nf3 45. Rd1 Nxd4+ 46. Rxd4 Rxb2+ 47. Kf1 Rb3 {It turns out that not all rook endgames are drawn.} 48. Rd7 Kg6 49. Kg2 Kf6 50. c5 h5 51. Rc7 h4 52. c6 bxc6 53. Rxc6+ Kg7 54. Rc5 f6 55. e5 fxe5 56. Rxe5 Kf6 57. Ra5 Rxa3 58. Kh2 Kg6 59. Ra8 Kf5 60. Rf8+ Ke4 61. Re8+ Kf3 62. Rf8+ Ke2 63. Ra8 Ra2 64. Ra5 Kf3+ 65. Kg1 g4 $1 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 66. hxg4 Kg3 { A nice final touch. The g4-pawn gives shelter against the checks. It works like an umbrella.} 67. Kf1 h3 0-1 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.06"] [Round "5"] [White "Dzagnidze, Nana"] [Black "Koneru, Humpy"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2517"] [BlackElo "2572"] [PlyCount "78"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Bb4 3. Qc2 Nf6 4. a3 Bxc3 5. Qxc3 O-O 6. e3 Re8 7. b4 d5 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Qc2 Nc6 10. d3 a5 11. bxa5 {An unusual choice that helps Black develop her pieces.} Rxa5 12. Be2 Qd6 13. Nf3 Rc5 14. Qd2 Nc3 {Due to Black's activity and lead in development as well as the weaknesses on White's queenside, Koneru already has a comfortable edge with the black pieces.} 15. Bb2 Nxe2 16. Qxe2 Bg4 17. O-O Rd5 {Soon winning White's weak d3-pawn.} ({ Black may have been able to squeeze more out of the position with:} 17... Qg6 18. Rfc1 Rb5 19. Kh1 Qh5 20. Rc4 Rd8 21. Rg1 Rd6 {gradually increasing the pressure on both sides of the board.}) 18. h3 (18. Rfd1 Rd8 {and White has run out of ways to guard d3.}) 18... Bxf3 19. Qxf3 Rxd3 20. a4 Rd8 21. Qg4 Qd7 22. Qh4 Qd5 (22... Rb3 {pushes the white bishop to a more passive square:} 23. Bc1 $17 ({If} 23. Ba3 {Black can chase the bishop all over the board while increasing her activity.} Qd3 24. Bc5 Rc3 25. Be7 Rd5 26. Bg5 Rc4 27. Qh5 Qf5 28. Qe2 Rdc5 29. f4 Rc2 $17)) 23. Rfc1 h6 24. Qg4 Qe6 {Trading queens in this way gives up a lot of Black's advantage due to the doubled isolated pawns.} 25. Qxe6 fxe6 26. a5 Rb3 27. Rxc6 $5 {[%c_effect c6;square;c6;type;Interesting; persistent;true] Dzagnidze finds a way to generate counterplay, sacrificing the exchange to clear the way for the now-passed a5-pawn.} bxc6 28. Bxe5 Ra8 29. a6 Rb5 30. Bxc7 Ra7 31. f4 Kf7 ({There's no need for White to guard the bishop with such a powerful passer ready to leap toward the queening square.} 31... Rxc7 32. a7) 32. Kf2 g6 33. Kf3 Ke7 34. g4 c5 35. h4 Kd7 36. Be5 Kc6 37. h5 gxh5 38. gxh5 Rb6 39. Rg1 Kb5 ({It seems that Koneru could have continued playing for the advantage with:} 39... Raxa6 40. Rg6 Kd5 41. Rxh6 Rb3 42. Rh7 Raa3 43. Rd7+ Kc4 44. h6 Rxe3+ 45. Kf2 Rh3 46. h7 Ra2+ 47. Kg1 Rah2 48. h8=Q Rxh8 49. Bxh8 Rxh8) 1/2-1/2 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.06"] [Round "5"] [White "Tan, Zhongyi"] [Black "Wagner, Dinara"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2530"] [BlackElo "2414"] [PlyCount "89"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 dxc4 5. Qa4+ Nbd7 6. Qxc4 c5 7. Nf3 a6 8. Qc2 cxd4 9. Nxd4 Bc5 10. Nb3 Bd6 11. O-O O-O 12. Rd1 Qe7 13. Nc3 {White's pieces, especially her fianchettoed bishop, stare into the black queenside.} Rb8 {To unpin the b7-pawn.} 14. Be3 Ne5 15. Bg5 Qc7 16. Bxf6 gxf6 17. Qd2 { White switches gears to set her sights on Black's newly weakened kingside, but most of her pieces are more ready to focus on the queenside.} Be7 18. Rac1 Qb6 19. Ne4 Kg7 20. g4 $6 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] } Nxg4 21. h3 Ne5 22. Qf4 Bd7 23. Ng3 Bc6 {With the activation of the light-squared bishop to counter the g2 one, Black has solved her queenside development problems.} 24. Bxc6 bxc6 {White's superior pawn structure gives her compensation for the pawn.} 25. Nd4 Kh8 26. b3 Rg8 27. Kf1 c5 28. Nf3 Ng6 29. Qe3 Rbd8 30. Ne4 Qc7 31. Rxd8 Rxd8 32. b4 c4 33. a3 Nf4 {Wagner has outmaneuvered her opponent. Her pieces have reached dynamic squares, and her isolated c-pawn has become a powerful passer.} 34. Qc3 e5 35. Nfd2 Qd7 36. Nxc4 Rc8 37. Ned2 Qf5 38. Qf3 Rg8 39. Rc3 Qg5 40. Qg4 Qh6 41. Qf5 Rg5 42. Qc8+ { With Black's level of activity and kingside pressure, Tan is happy to make a draw by repetition.} Rg8 43. Qf5 Rg5 44. Qc8+ Rg8 45. Qf5 1/2-1/2 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.08"] [Round "6"] [White "Kosteniuk, Alexandra"] [Black "Abdumalik, Zhansaya"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B12"] [WhiteElo "2519"] [BlackElo "2496"] [Annotator "Rafael"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. g4 {An ultra-aggressive option against the Caro-Kann Defense.} Be4 $1 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;GreatFind;persistent; true] The most accurate move, provoking the white pawn to f3.} 5. f3 Bg6 6. h4 (6. e6 $1 {[%c_effect e6;square;e6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] My impression is that this move order is more accurate.} fxe6 7. h4) 6... h5 7. e6 {This move is the point of White's opening idea: a pawn sacrifice to create weaknesses around the opponent's king. But now Black is not obliged to accept the gift.} Qd6 $1 {[%c_effect d6;square;d6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} ( 7... fxe6 8. Bd3 Bxd3 9. Qxd3 Qd6 {leads to a chaotic position with chances for both sides.}) 8. exf7+ Kxf7 $6 {[%c_effect f7;square;f7;type;Inaccuracy; persistent;true] Probably Abdumalik was already out of preparation, as the computer doesn't like this move and the capture with the bishop was played almost unanimously before.} (8... Bxf7 $1 {[%c_effect f7;square;f7;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] Black has a fine position, for instance:} 9. Be3 hxg4 10. fxg4 Nf6 11. Nc3 Qe6 {Vallejo Pons-So, Tbilisi 2017.}) 9. g5 $2 { [%c_effect g5;square;g5;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (9. Qe2 $1 {[%c_effect e2;square;e2;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This is the best way to fight for the initiative.} hxg4 (9... Qg3+ $6 {[%c_effect g3;square;g3;type;Inaccuracy; persistent;true]} 10. Kd1 $1 {[%c_effect d1;square;d1;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] White is not afraid to play the king in the center in this line.}) (9... Nd7 10. Nh3) 10. fxg4 Nf6 11. Nf3 {with good attacking chances for White.}) 9... e5 (9... Qg3+ {is also very good.} 10. Kd2 (10. Ke2 Nd7) 10... e5 $1 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Playing with a king on d2 is not very pleasant. Black has a clear advantage.}) 10. Ne2 Ne7 11. Bh3 Bf5 $1 {[%c_effect f5;square;f5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 12. Bxf5 Nxf5 {It's clear that the opening was a complete success for Black. Her king, even on f7, is safer than White's, the knight on f5 is very well placed, and her remaining pieces have free development, while White has barely left the first rank. Quite a result for just over 10 moves in the Caro-Kann $1} 13. dxe5 Qxe5 14. Bf4 Qe6 15. Qd2 g6 $6 {[%c_effect g6;square;g6;type; Inaccuracy;persistent;true] It doesn't seem necessary to lose time before developing the bishop.} (15... Bc5 16. Nbc3 Re8 17. O-O-O Nd7 {with a clear advantage.}) 16. Nbc3 Bg7 17. O-O-O d4 $2 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type; Mistake;persistent;true]} (17... Nd7 {is better:} 18. Rhe1 Ne5) 18. Ne4 $6 { [%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] Missing a golden chance to sacrifice a piece for the initiative. Now it's White's turn to play with better development.} (18. Rhe1 $3 {[%c_effect e1;square;e1;type;Brilliant; persistent;true]} Qc4 {Accepting the sacrifice leads to a dangerous position.} (18... dxc3 $6 {[%c_effect c3;square;c3;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} 19. Nxc3 Qc4 20. Be5 $1 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Na6 (20... Rf8 21. Re4 $1 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;GreatFind;persistent; true]} Qc5 22. Bxg7 Kxg7 23. b4 $1 {[%c_effect b4;square;b4;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} Qb6 24. Na4 {Followed by 25.Nc5 with a strong attack.}) 21. Qd7+ Kg8 22. Qxb7 {Black is in trouble.}) 19. Ne4 Qxa2 20. Qb4 {with the same position as in the game, but with White's rook already on e1.}) 18... Qxa2 19. Qb4 {The game becomes sharp.} b6 20. Nxd4 $1 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] Offering material to open the position.} Na6 { A solid and good reaction.} (20... c5 21. Nxc5 $5 {[%c_effect c5;square;c5; type;Interesting;persistent;true]} (21. Qb3+ Qxb3 22. Nxb3 {leads to an equal endgame.}) 21... bxc5 22. Qb7+ Ne7 23. Rhe1 Re8 24. Bd6 {After the storm comes the calm. The game ends in perpetual check.} Qa1+ 25. Kd2 Qa5+ 26. Kc1 Qa1+) ( 20... Nxd4 $6 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} 21. Rxd4 c5 (21... Bxd4 $2 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] This is just suicide.} 22. Qxd4 {With a decisive attack due to the dark squares.}) 22. Qa4 Qxa4 23. Rxa4 Nc6 24. Nd6+ Kg8 25. Re1 {With some advantage for White in the endgame.}) 21. Qb3+ Qxb3 22. Nxb3 {The endgame is roughly equal.} Rad8 23. c3 c5 (23... Rxd1+ 24. Rxd1 Ke6 {This is fine for Black.}) 24. Kc2 (24. Nbd2 $5 {[%c_effect d2;square;d2;type;Interesting;persistent;true] is a better attempt to gain an advantage, although the game remains equal after} Nb8 25. Nc4 Rxd1+ 26. Rxd1 Nxh4 27. Ned6+ Ke7 28. Re1+ Kd7) 24... Nb8 $1 { [%c_effect b8;square;b8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The knight heads to c6. } 25. Nbd2 Nc6 26. Nc4 Rxd1 27. Rxd1 Rd8 28. Ned6+ Nxd6 29. Nxd6+ Ke6 30. Re1+ Kd7 31. Rd1 Ke6 32. Re1+ Kd7 {It seems that everything will end in a draw, but Kosteniuk decides to continue the fight.} 33. Nc4 Rf8 34. Re4 $6 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] This creates some problems for White.} (34. Rd1+ Ke8 35. Re1+ {with a draw.}) 34... b5 35. Ne3 Nd8 $1 { [%c_effect d8;square;d8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 36. Nd5 Ne6 {Now only Black can play to win.} 37. b3 Rf5 38. c4 b4 39. Kd3 Bc3 $6 {[%c_effect c3; square;c3;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (39... Rf7 $1 {[%c_effect f7; square;f7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This move defends the seventh rank and prepares to take the knight to d4. White would have an arduous task ahead, fighting for a draw.}) 40. Ke3 {The game is equal again, and the players decided to call it a day.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.08"] [Round "6"] [White "Wagner, Dinara"] [Black "Koneru, Humpy"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2414"] [BlackElo "2572"] [PlyCount "106"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Bb4 5. e3 h6 6. Bh4 g5 {Black makes the double-edged choice of breaking the pin and gaining space but also loosening her kingside.} 7. Bg3 Ne4 {Obtaining the bishop pair.} 8. Nge2 h5 9. h4 Nxg3 10. Nxg3 gxh4 11. Nxh5 Qg5 12. g4 hxg3 13. Qf3 Ke7 (13... gxf2+ {only helps White develop:} 14. Kxf2 Kd8 15. Bd3 Nd7 16. Rag1) 14. Nxg3 Rxh1 15. Qxh1 Nd7 16. O-O-O Bxc3 {As soon as the white king ventures to the queenside, Black loosens the structure there.} 17. bxc3 Nf6 18. Bd3 dxc4 19. Bxc4 Rb8 { Preparing to maneuver the bishop to c6 to take over the long a8-h1 diagonal.} 20. Rg1 Bd7 21. Kb2 Bc6 22. Qh3 Rg8 23. Ne2 Qf5 24. Qxf5 exf5 {White hopes to take advantage of her better pawn structure in the ending.} 25. Rxg8 Nxg8 26. Ng3 Nh6 27. Be2 Kf6 28. f4 {Fixing the f5-pawn on a weak light square where the white bishop can aim at it but creating a hole on e4 at the same time.} Be4 29. c4 c6 30. Kc3 Ke6 31. Bf1 Ng4 32. Bh3 Nf2 33. Bf1 Bb1 34. Kb2 Bd3 35. Bxd3 Nxd3+ 36. Kc3 Nf2 37. Nf1 Ne4+ 38. Kd3 b5 39. cxb5 cxb5 40. Nh2 a5 41. Nf3 f6 { Black has the worse pawn structure but a better-placed knight on the e4-outpost, making the position equal.} 42. Nd2 Nd6 43. Nb3 Nb7 44. a3 Kd5 45. Nc1 Nd6 46. Na2 Kc6 47. Nc3 a4 48. Na2 Nc4 49. Nb4+ Kd6 50. Nc2 Nb6 51. Nb4 Nc4 52. Nc2 Nb6 53. Nb4 Nc4 1/2-1/2 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.08"] [Round "6"] [White "Tan, Zhongyi"] [Black "Harika, Dronavalli"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2530"] [BlackElo "2507"] [PlyCount "98"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Nc3 Nf6 6. Bg5 Be6 7. Bxf6 Qxf6 8. e4 dxe4 9. Nxe4 Qf4 10. Nfg5 (10. Bb5+ Nc6 11. Qe2 {activates more of White's pieces.}) 10... c4 11. Qd2 Qxd2+ 12. Nxd2 Nc6 13. Nxe6 fxe6 14. Bxc4 Nxd4 15. O-O Bb4 {The players have reached an ending where Black has more pawn islands but enough activity to compensate.} 16. Rfd1 Ke7 17. Bd3 Rac8 18. Nc4 Rhd8 19. Rab1 b5 20. Ne5 Bd6 21. Nf3 (21. Ng4 h5 22. Ne3 {keeps White's slightly better pawn structure.}) 21... Nxf3+ 22. gxf3 Rc5 23. Kf1 Rh5 24. Ke2 b4 25. Rh1 Bf4 26. Rbd1 Rhd5 ({Black can consider taking the pawn with} 26... Bxh2 {Though this move self-pins the bishop and it's a hassle for Black to unravel from it, eventually Black can keep the edge after:} 27. Bc2 Rxd1 28. Bxd1 Rh6 29. a3 bxa3 30. bxa3 Bf4) (26... Rxh2 $6 {[%c_effect h2;square;h2;type;Inaccuracy; persistent;true]} 27. Rxh2 Bxh2 28. Bxh7 {and White wins the pawn back.}) 27. h4 h5 28. b3 R8d6 29. Rhe1 Rd4 30. Bc4 Bd2 31. Rh1 Kf6 32. Rh3 a5 33. Rhh1 Rd8 34. Rh3 e5 35. Rhh1 R8d6 {With the rooks and opposite-colored bishops fighting for a stake in the center and most of the files closed, it's a tense fight where Black has the better structure and more activity, but it's hard to make progress.} 36. Rh3 Ke7 37. Rhh1 Rd7 38. Bb5 Rd8 39. Bc4 R8d6 40. Bb5 Kf6 41. Bc4 g6 42. Bb5 Kg7 43. Rhg1 Kh6 {Harika continues to try to make progress, preparing the g5-break.} 44. Be8 g5 45. hxg5+ Bxg5 46. Rxd4 exd4 47. Bb5 Rf6 48. Bd3 Rc6 49. Be4 {The opposite-colored bishops make it hard to make any further progress.} Rc1 1/2-1/2 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.08"] [Round "6"] [White "Zhu, Jiner"] [Black "Dzagnidze, Nana"] [Result "*"] [WhiteElo "2486"] [BlackElo "2517"] [PlyCount "111"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. Nf3 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nc6 6. c4 e6 7. Nc3 Bb4 8. Nxc6 bxc6 9. Bd3 Ne7 10. cxd5 Qxd5 11. O-O {Sacrificing a pawn for a lead in development and perhaps hoping to generate early attacking play on the open lines.} Qxe5 12. Re1 Qa5 13. Bd2 Ng6 14. Qf3 Bb7 15. a3 Be7 16. Rad1 O-O 17. Ne4 Qc7 18. Qh5 {Zhu aims her pieces at the Black kingside, but Dzagnidze has enough resources to fend off White's attacking attempts.} c5 19. Ng5 Bxg5 20. Bxg5 Qc6 {Now it's Black aiming pieces at White's kingside.} 21. Qh3 Rab8 22. Rd2 c4 23. Be4 Qb5 24. Bxg6 (24. Bxb7 $4 {[%c_effect b7;square;b7;type;Blunder; persistent;true]} Qxg5 $19) 24... hxg6 25. Qh4 Rbc8 26. Be7 Rfe8 27. Bb4 a5 28. Bc3 f6 29. Red1 Bd5 30. Re1 Kf7 {Dzagnidze tightens up her kingside.} 31. h3 Re7 32. Red1 Ree8 33. Re1 a4 34. f3 e5 35. Red1 Rcd8 36. Kh1 Rd7 37. Qe1 Red8 38. Qe3 g5 39. Kg1 Be6 40. Rxd7+ Rxd7 41. Rxd7+ Qxd7 {Though Black is ahead a pawn, with the rooks leaving the board and the opposite-colored bishops remaining, it is tough to generate winning chances.} 42. Qd2 Qc6 43. Bb4 Bd5 44. Qe3 Kg6 45. Kf2 Qe6 46. Qc5 e4 47. Qe7 Qb6+ 48. Qc5 Qb7 49. Qe7 {The opposing queens dance for position, getting nowhere.} Qb6+ 50. Qc5 Qxc5+ 51. Bxc5 exf3 52. gxf3 Kh5 53. Bf8 g6 54. Kg3 f5 55. Bb4 Be6 56. Be1 * [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.09"] [Round "7"] [White "Harika, Dronavalli"] [Black "Wagner, Dinara"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2507"] [BlackElo "2414"] [PlyCount "117"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 c5 3. Bg2 Nc6 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 g6 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. e4 O-O 8. h3 h6 9. Nxd5 Nxd5 10. exd5 Qxd5 11. Be3 Qd6 12. Nd2 b6 13. Nc4 Qd7 14. a4 {Fixing the knight on the c4-square at least for the time being by making it more difficult for Black to play b5.} Rb8 15. Qd2 Kh7 16. f4 Bb7 17. Kh2 Nd4 18. Bxb7 Qxb7 19. Bxd4 cxd4 20. f5 {Harika seeks to open lines on the kingside to create play.} gxf5 21. Rxf5 e6 22. Rf2 Qd5 23. Qe2 Rbc8 24. Raf1 Rc7 25. b3 Kg8 26. Rf4 f5 27. Qg2 Qc5 28. Qe2 Qd5 29. g4 Rcf7 30. Qg2 Qc5 31. gxf5 exf5 { Leaving Black with an isolated pawn that White can target.} 32. Kh1 a6 33. Re1 Kh8 34. Re6 Rf6 35. Re5 Qc7 36. Qf3 Rg6 37. Re2 b5 $1 {[%c_effect b5;square;b5; type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Kicking back the well-placed c4-knight, which has limited squares to retreat to.} 38. axb5 (38. Nb2 {Leaves the knight too far away from the action, allowing Black to create dangerous kingside threats:} Rg8 39. Rxf5 Bf8) 38... axb5 39. Nd2 Qxc2 40. Nf1 Qxb3 41. Rxf5 Rg8 42. Re7 Qa3 43. Rff7 {Harika maximizes her activity to try to compensate for her material deficit.} Qc1 44. h4 b4 {Black's passer is beginning to be a real threat.} 45. Qe4 Qc6 46. Qxc6 Rxc6 47. Rb7 {Keeping a close watch on the b4-pawn.} Rc3 48. Rxb4 Rxd3 49. Rbb7 Rh3+ 50. Kg2 Rxh4 51. Ng3 Rg4 52. Kf3 Rg5 53. Nf5 {White's activity is just enough to hold the game despite being down two pawns.} d3 54. Nxg7 d2 55. Rbd7 R8xg7 56. Rxg7 Rxg7 57. Rxd2 Kh7 58. Rg2 Rxg2 59. Kxg2 1/2-1/2 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.09"] [Round "7"] [White "Dzagnidze, Nana"] [Black "Kashlinskaya, Alina"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E92"] [WhiteElo "2517"] [BlackElo "2491"] [Annotator "Rafael"] [PlyCount "97"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. h3 O-O 6. Be3 e5 7. d5 {This is a typical King Indian pawn structure, and the space advantage is why the computer likes White so much against this defense. A good suggestion for the brave King's Indian players, eternal optimists, is to do their opening analysis with the machine turned off: it's a little depressing to see the computer always giving White the advantage.} Na6 8. Nf3 Nc5 9. Nd2 a5 10. Be2 Bd7 (10... Ne8 {GM Amin is a huge KID fan and played this move recently (on my 43th birthday, to be more exact):} 11. g4 f5 12. gxf5 gxf5 13. Rg1 Kh8 { with chances for both sides in Grischuk-Amin, Wch Rapid Almaty 2022.}) 11. Qc2 {White gets ready to send the king to the queenside.} a4 (11... b6 {This was tried in 2022 by a strong GM.} 12. g4 a4 13. a3 c6 $5 {[%c_effect c6;square;c6; type;Interesting;persistent;true]} 14. f3 $6 {[%c_effect f3;square;f3;type; Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (14. O-O-O $1 {[%c_effect c1;square;c1;type; GreatFind;persistent;true]}) 14... Rc8 15. O-O h5 {with a good position for Black in Assaubayeva-Demchenko, Novi Sad 2022.}) 12. a3 Ne8 $6 {[%c_effect e8; square;e8;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (12... c6 $1 {[%c_effect c6;square; c6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This is the right way to get counterplay. If White castles short, then prepare f5.}) 13. g4 $1 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4; type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} f5 $6 {[%c_effect f5;square;f5;type; Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (13... Bf6 {This is interesting, with the idea of exchanging the dark-squared bishops with Bg5.}) 14. exf5 {A new move. The position is already quite bad for Black.} (14. gxf5 gxf5 15. O-O-O {also led to an advantage in Goryachkina-Fominykh, Khanty-Mansiysk 2012.}) 14... gxf5 15. O-O-O {This is a typical advantageous position for White in the King's Indian and one of the reasons why this defense is positionally dangerous. White will sooner or later have the juicy square on e4 available for a knight.} Qh4 16. Rdf1 (16. Kb1 {As I always say, you're never too wrong playing Kb1 after a long castle. But White will play this on the next move anyway.}) 16... Kh8 17. Kb1 Ra6 {Black doesn't have a good plan and probably for that reason she played this creative move.} (17... e4 18. f3 $5 {[%c_effect f3;square;f3;type; Interesting;persistent;true] In this line we see how the f1-rook can come into play.}) 18. g5 $1 {[%c_effect g5;square;g5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] A good move, cutting the black queen out of the game.} f4 19. Bxc5 Bf5 20. Bd3 Bxd3 21. Qxd3 dxc5 22. Nde4 Ra5 23. Qf3 Nd6 24. Nxd6 cxd6 {For King's Indian players, this position is the perfect description of a nightmare or a horror movie. The white knight is a chess version of Freddy Krueger.} 25. Qg4 (25. Ne4 {is also good.}) 25... Qxg4 26. hxg4 {The endgame is hopeless.} f3 27. Re1 (27. Ne4 Ra6 28. g6 {This leads to an immediate win.} Rf4 (28... h6 29. g5) 29. Re1 Rxg4 30. gxh7 {White will now haunt the f3-pawn, and Black has too many weaknesses.}) 27... Kg8 28. Rh3 Raa8 29. Kc2 Rf4 30. Re4 Rf7 31. Kd3 {The only possible counterplay is to attack the g5-pawn, but it's difficult to realize this plan.} Bf8 32. Re3 Rf4 (32... Be7 33. Rexf3 Rxf3+ 34. Rxf3 Bxg5 35. Ne4 { Black won't resist long.}) 33. Re4 Rf7 34. Re3 Rf4 35. Ne4 $1 {[%c_effect e4; square;e4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Be7 36. Rexf3 Rxg4 37. Rh6 $2 { [%c_effect h6;square;h6;type;Mistake;persistent;true] This is a serious mistake and shows that chess has so many resources and that it's important to be accurate even in the so-called \"easily winning positions.\"} (37. Rf6 $1 { [%c_effect f6;square;f6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] We can see why this move is better in the following line:} b5 (37... Rxe4 38. Kxe4 Bxf6 39. gxf6 { White king will march decisively to f5.}) 38. cxb5 c4+ 39. Ke3 Rb8 40. Kf3 $1 { [%c_effect f3;square;f3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This is the difference. Now White is winning.} Rg1 (40... Rxg5 41. Nxg5 Bxf6 42. Ne4 Be7 43. Nc3 $1 { [%c_effect c3;square;c3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]}) 41. Re6) 37... Ra6 $2 {[%c_effect a6;square;a6;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (37... b5 $1 { [%c_effect b5;square;b5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This is the only possible chance. It seems incredible, but after only one bad move, Black is back in the game, even in such a difficult endgame.} 38. cxb5 c4+ $1 { [%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 39. Ke3 Rb8 {With adequate counterplay. The computer evaluates the position as equal.}) 38. Re6 Bxg5 39. Rf5 (39. Rg3 $1 {[%c_effect g3;square;g3;type;GreatFind;persistent; true] is the simplest.} Rxg3+ 40. fxg3 {The d6-pawn will fall.}) 39... h6 40. Nxd6 Rd4+ 41. Kc3 Bd2+ 42. Kc2 Bf4 (42... Bg5 {is more stubborn.}) 43. Nxb7 ( 43. Re8+ $1 {[%c_effect e8;square;e8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Kg7 44. Re7+ Kg8 (44... Kg6 45. Re6+ Kg7 46. Rf7+ Kg8 47. Re8#) 45. Rf6 {with decisive mating threats.}) 43... Rxc4+ 44. Kb1 Rc1+ 45. Ka2 Rxe6 46. dxe6 Bg5 47. Nd6 Rd1 48. Rxg5+ $1 {[%c_effect g5;square;g5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Kf8 (48... hxg5 49. e7) 49. Rg8+ (49. Rg8+ Ke7 50. Re8+ Kxd6 51. Rd8+ {Black's rook is captured.}) 1-0 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.09"] [Round "7"] [White "Muzychuk, Mariya"] [Black "Kosteniuk, Alexandra"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2523"] [BlackElo "2519"] [PlyCount "88"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. h3 d5 7. exd5 Nxd5 8. Re1 Be6 9. c3 {Kosteniuk said she forgot the line after this move.} a5 10. Bb5 Na7 11. Ba4 b5 12. Bc2 Nc6 13. d4 exd4 14. Qd3 g6 15. Qxb5 Qd6 16. Nbd2 Rab8 17. Qf1 Ne3 18. fxe3 dxe3 19. Kh1 (19. Ne4 e2+ {when Black will capture the white queen with check and then save her own:} 20. Kh1 (20. Qf2 Bxf2+) 20... exf1=Q+) 19... exd2 20. Nxd2 f5 ({Better is} 20... Bd5 {preparing for White's Ne4 while not opening the a2-g8 diagonal.}) 21. Nc4 (21. b4 $1 {[%c_effect b4; square;b4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is a difficult idea to find:} Nxb4 ( 21... Ba7 $4 {[%c_effect a7;square;a7;type;Blunder;persistent;true]} 22. Rxe6 Qxe6 23. Bb3 $18) 22. cxb4 Rxb4 23. Bb3 $18) 21... Qd7 22. Bh6 Rfd8 23. Bb3 Bd5 24. Bg5 ({Better is} 24. Rad1 Qf7 25. Rxd5 Rxd5 26. Ba4 Na7 (26... Qf6 27. Qf3 Rbd8 28. Re8+ Rxe8 29. Qxd5+ Kh8 30. Qxc5)) 24... f4 25. Kh2 f3 26. gxf3 Qf5 27. Bxd8 Qf4+ 28. Kg2 Rxd8 29. Rad1 a4 30. Bxa4 Bxc4 31. Rxd8+ Nxd8 32. Qxc4+ Qxc4 33. Bb3 Qxb3 34. axb3 Kf7 {After many dynamic moves and exchanges, the game has wound down into an imbalanced yet balanced ending. Black's bishop and knight are stronger than White's rook, but White's two extra pawns level out the chances.} 35. b4 Bd6 36. h4 Ne6 37. Rd1 Nf4+ 38. Kf2 Ke6 39. Rd4 Be5 40. Rd1 Bf6 41. Kg3 Ne2+ 42. Kf2 Nf4 43. Kg3 Ne2+ 44. Kf2 Ke5 1/2-1/2 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.09"] [Round "7"] [White "Abdumalik, Zhansaya"] [Black "Tan, Zhongyi"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2496"] [BlackElo "2530"] [PlyCount "106"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 {The Fantasy Variation. White hopes to keep full control of the center and obtain a half-open f-file if Black captures on e4.} dxe4 4. fxe4 e5 {Tan immediately counterstrikes in the center.} 5. Nf3 Bg4 6. Bc4 Nd7 7. O-O {You can see White's hungry pieces eyeing the f7-pawn.} Ngf6 8. c3 {Now White bolsters the other side of her center.} Bd6 9. a4 {Abdumalik grabs space on the queenside as well.} O-O 10. Nbd2 Bc7 11. Qe1 {Unpinning the f3-knight.} Bh5 12. Kh1 Re8 13. Bb3 exd4 14. cxd4 c5 15. d5 Ne5 16. Nxe5 Rxe5 17. Bc2 Nxd5 {This move sets off a roaring brawl for the initiative by each player.} 18. Nf3 Nb4 {Black responds to the attack on her rook by threatening White's bishop and a fork along with it.} 19. Bb3 Nd3 {Tan continues to counterattack?while leaping her knight into the far-reaching d3-square?instead of retreating her threatened rook.} 20. Qe3 Re8 21. Ng5 { Pressuring on f7 from all sides of the board.} Ne5 22. Qh3 Bg6 23. Bd5 { White finds another target, pinning the b7-pawn.} h6 24. Nf3 Nd3 {Black doesn't bother to defend the b7-pawn but instead threatens White's e4-pawn.} 25. Bxh6 {Abdumalik sacrifices on the kingside $1} Bf4 {Tan doesn't even recapture the white bishop as it devours a pawn around her king $1} (25... gxh6 26. Qxh6 Qd6 27. Ng5 Qxh2+ 28. Qxh2 Bxh2 29. Kxh2 {holds the balance.}) 26. Nh4 {The bishop on g6 is hanging since the f7-pawn is pinned.} Bxe4 27. Bxf7+ { Another piece of Black's kingside cover is destroyed.} Kxf7 28. Bxf4 Kg8 29. Nf5 Qf6 30. Bg3 Rf8 31. Ne3 Qh6 32. Qxh6 gxh6 33. Ng4 Kg7 34. Nf2 Nxf2+ 35. Rxf2 Rxf2 36. Bxf2 Rd8 37. Bxc5 Rd2 38. Bxa7 Rxg2 39. h4 Kh7 {With Black's lingering discovered check, the dynamic energy in the position still hasn't wound down. White must watch out for threats every move, keeping her pieces on guarded or hard to reach sqaures.} 40. a5 (40. Re1 $4 {[%c_effect e1;square;e1; type;Blunder;persistent;true]} Re2+) 40... h5 41. Bb6 Bc6 42. Ra3 Kg6 43. Rc3 Be4 44. Re3 Bd5 45. Rc3 Kf6 46. Rc5 Be4 47. Bd8+ Ke6 48. Bb6 Kd6 49. Rc3 Ke5 50. Re3 Rxb2+ 51. Kg1 Kf4 52. Rc3 Kg4 53. Rc4 Kf3 1/2-1/2 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.09"] [Round "7"] [White "Koneru, Humpy"] [Black "Zhu, Jiner"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2572"] [BlackElo "2486"] [PlyCount "93"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Bg5 Bb4+ 5. Nc3 h6 6. Bxf6 Qxf6 7. e3 O-O 8. Rc1 dxc4 9. Bxc4 c5 10. O-O cxd4 11. Ne4 Qe7 12. a3 Ba5 13. exd4 Rd8 14. Rc2 Bd7 15. Re2 Rc8 16. Qd3 Bc6 17. b4 Bb6 18. Rfe1 Qd8 19. Neg5 $5 {[%c_effect g5; square;g5;type;Interesting;persistent;true]} ({Also strong is} 19. Ne5 Qxd4 20. Qg3 Bxe4 (20... Rd8 21. Bxe6 fxe6 22. Nf6+ Kf8 23. Qg6 $18) 21. Rxe4 Qd6 22. Rg4 Qf8 23. Qf3 Rxc4 (23... Qe7 24. Nxf7 $18) 24. Rxc4 $18) 19... hxg5 20. Rxe6 {Koneru sets the board on fire with one sacrifice after another $1} Bxf3 (20... fxe6 21. Bxe6+ Kf8 22. Qh7 Nd7 23. Bc4 {and Black can't prevent White's mate threat, Qg8#.}) 21. Qxf3 Qf8 (21... fxe6 22. Bxe6+ Kh8 23. Qh3#) 22. Re8 Rxe8 23. Qxf7+ Qxf7 24. Rxe8+ Kh7 25. Bxf7 Bxd4 26. Bd5 a5 27. b5 Ra7 28. Rxb8 b6 29. Be4+ g6 30. Kf1 {The dust clears from Koneru's Wild West shootout with an extra pawn for White. Unfortunately for her, rook and opposite-color bishop endings are two of the hardest to win.} Rf7 31. f3 g4 32. Rd8 Bc5 33. a4 Rf6 34. Rd5 Kh6 35. Ke2 gxf3+ 36. gxf3 Rd6 37. Re5 Rd4 38. Re6 Rd6 39. Re8 Rd4 40. Bc2 Rc4 41. Kd3 Rf4 42. Ke2 Rc4 43. Kd3 Rf4 44. Bd1 Rd4+ 45. Ke2 Kg7 46. Re4 Rxe4+ 47. fxe4 1/2-1/2 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.10"] [Round "8"] [White "Kosteniuk, Alexandra"] [Black "Muzychuk, Anna"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B23"] [WhiteElo "2519"] [BlackElo "2522"] [Annotator "Rafael"] [PlyCount "115"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Bb5 {A popular sub-variation for those who don't like opening the game against the Sicilian.} Nd4 4. Bc4 (4. Nf3 {is also possible.}) 4... e6 5. Nge2 a6 (5... Nf6 {immediately is also popular.}) 6. a4 Nf6 7. O-O d5 8. exd5 exd5 {It's clear that Black has absolutely no problems in this position.} 9. Ba2 Nxe2+ (9... Bg4 {was played by Carlsen before he became the World Champion. This seems like ages ago, but he was already over 2800, so it's not such a long time.} 10. f3 (10. h3 $1 {[%c_effect h3;square;h3;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] is better.}) 10... Be6 11. d3 Nc6 {Black was fine in Radjabov-Carlsen, Bazna 2010.}) (9... Bd6 {is also fine.}) 10. Qxe2+ Be7 11. d3 O-O $6 {[%c_effect g8;square;g8;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] This allows White to win a pawn.} (11... Be6 12. Bg5 O-O {This transposes to a position we will see later in the analysis.}) (11... Bg4 $1 {[%c_effect g4; square;g4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is probably the most accurate.} 12. f3 Be6 13. f4 Qd7 {with a good position.}) 12. Nxd5 $1 {[%c_effect d5;square; d5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} (12. Bg5 Be6 13. Qf3 c4 $1 {[%c_effect c4; square;c4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] with a balanced position.} (13... d4 {is also close to equal after} 14. Bxf6 Bxf6 15. Ne4 Bxa2 16. Rxa2 Be7)) 12... Nxd5 13. Bxd5 Qxd5 14. Qxe7 {Black is close to equality thanks to his activity and the opposite colored bishops. But I'd rather have equality being a pawn up than a pawn down.} Be6 (14... Bf5 15. Re1 {was played in Gu-Pogonina, Istanbul 2005.}) (14... c4 $1 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is the most accurate and was played in Magem Badals-Van der Stricht, France 2005.}) 15. Qg5 (15. b3 $1 {[%c_effect b3;square;b3;type;GreatFind;persistent; true] is a subtle move, avoiding the c5-c4 advance. This is the best chance for an advantage.}) 15... Qxg5 {Only now does the game take a unique character. } (15... c4 16. Qxd5 Bxd5 17. dxc4 Bxc4 18. Rd1 {This is similar to what we will see in the game. Excellent drawing chances, but White is playing risk-free.}) 16. Bxg5 f6 17. Be3 c4 18. dxc4 Bxc4 19. Rfe1 {The endgame has a great tendency for a draw, but White can press without any risk. That's a pleasant feeling for a chess player—you know you're going to have your opponent defending for hours, and the worst that can happen is to get a draw.} b5 20. a5 $1 {[%c_effect a5;square;a5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] When you have a material advantage in an endgame, keep the pawns on the board. This is a classic rule that has multiple exceptions, but it's still good to know.} Rfe8 21. Rad1 (21. Bc5 $1 {[%c_effect c5;square;c5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This prophylactic move is important to avoid the b5-b4 advance.}) 21... Rad8 22. Rxd8 Rxd8 23. f3 Kf7 {Black will play the endgame very passively, and that will be the problem. In the next few moves, it's possible to try an active plan, playing b4 and then b3 or Rd5.} (23... b4 $1 {[%c_effect b4;square;b4; type;GreatFind;persistent;true]}) 24. Kf2 h5 (24... b4 $1 {[%c_effect b4; square;b4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]}) 25. h4 Be6 (25... b4 $1 { [%c_effect b4;square;b4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]}) 26. Rc1 Rc8 27. Ke2 Rc4 $6 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (27... b4 $1 {[%c_effect b4;square;b4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]}) 28. g3 Rc8 29. Bd4 Re8 30. Ke3 Bd5+ 31. Kf2 Be6 (31... b4 {Again $1}) 32. Rg1 Bf5 (32... b4 { Once more $1}) 33. c3 $1 {[%c_effect c3;square;c3;type;GreatFind;persistent; true] Even after this move, Black might consider playing b4, as it's not so bad to lose the pawn as long as the bishop can blockade the queenside pawns.} Bc8 34. Bb6 Re7 35. Be3 Be6 36. g4 hxg4 37. fxg4 Rc7 $6 {[%c_effect c7;square; c7;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] Muzychuk keeps waiting, but this strategy costs her the game.} (37... b4 $1 {[%c_effect b4;square;b4;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] Again $1} 38. cxb4 (38. Bc5 Rd7 39. Bxb4 Rd2+ 40. Kg3 Rxb2 { with some counterplay.}) 38... Bc4 {with excellent drawing chances.}) 38. g5 { Now it's getting really dangerous.} Rc4 $2 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type; Mistake;persistent;true] The decisive mistake.} (38... fxg5 {is necessary, with good chances to save the game.} 39. Rxg5 (39. hxg5 Kg6) 39... g6) 39. g6+ $1 {[%c_effect g6;square;g6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] After this move, the pawn structure on the kingside is annoying for Black, and it's no longer possible to save the game.} Ke7 40. Bd4 Rc8 41. Kg3 (41. h5 {is also winning. A nice variation is:} Rh8 42. Bc5+ Kd7 43. Rd1+ Kc7 44. Be3 $1 {[%c_effect e3; square;e3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Rxh5 45. Bf4+ Kc8 (45... Kb7 46. Re1 ) 46. Rd6 {The a6-pawn will be captured and White wins.}) 41... Bd5 42. Re1+ Kd7 43. Rd1 Ke6 44. Be3 (44. h5 Rh8 45. Kg4 $18) 44... Rc4 45. Bd4 Rc8 46. Kg4 Rh8 47. h5 f5+ 48. Kg5 Rxh5+ {This tactical trick is not enough to save the game.} 49. Kxh5 Bf3+ 50. Kg5 Bxd1 51. b4 Bb3 52. Bxg7 Bc4 53. Bd4 {A key factor in opposite-colored bishop endgames is being able to create passed pawns on both flanks, as is the case here.} f4 {This pawn would be lost anyway. } 54. Kxf4 Bb3 55. Kg5 Bc4 56. Kh6 Kd7 (56... Bd3 57. c4 $1 {[%c_effect c4; square;c4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This variation illustrates White's strategy of creating passed pawns on both sides of the board.} bxc4 (57... Bxc4 58. g7 Kf7 59. Kh7) 58. b5 $1 {[%c_effect b5;square;b5;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} axb5 59. a6 Be4 60. a7 b4 61. g7 Kf7 62. a8=Q $1 {[%c_effect a8;square;a8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Bxa8 63. Kh7 {The pawn promotes.} ) 57. Kg7 Bd3 58. Kf7 1-0 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.10"] [Round "8"] [White "Paehtz, Elisabeth"] [Black "Dzagnidze, Nana"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2464"] [BlackElo "2517"] [PlyCount "117"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Rg1 e5 7. Nb3 h5 8. Bg5 Be6 9. Qd2 Nbd7 10. f4 Rc8 11. O-O-O b5 12. Bd3 Be7 13. Kb1 Nb6 14. Qe1 Nfd7 15. Bxe7 Qxe7 16. Ne2 Nf6 17. Qg3 Bg4 18. Rde1 Bxe2 19. Rxe2 exf4 20. Qxf4 Qe5 21. Rf1 O-O 22. Qh4 Na4 23. c3 Rxc3 $3 {[%c_effect c3;square;c3;type;Brilliant; persistent;true] Pedal to the metal $1 Nzagnidze's brand of chess is always exciting and dangerous. Here though, she meets her tactical match in Paehtz.} 24. Rf5 {A sensible option to counteract Nzagnide's proclivity for violent chess.} (24. bxc3 Nxc3+ 25. Kc1 Nxe2+ 26. Bxe2 Rc8+ 27. Kb1 Nxe4 { Fascinatingly, this position is completely drawn. It must be said that White has a tough job in terms of defense with Nc3+ on the way. If you're going to draw... do it with gusto $1}) 24... Rxd3 $5 {[%c_effect d3;square;d3;type; Interesting;persistent;true] Both players are clearly after the full point here.} (24... Qxf5 {An alternative that leaves Black with a slightly different pawn structure.} 25. exf5 Rxd3 26. Qe1) 25. Rxe5 dxe5 26. Qe1 Rfd8 27. Rd2 Rxd2 28. Nxd2 {Black's position is fine although her queen is no more however coordinating three pieces against a queen and knight should prove a difficult task.} Nb6 $2 {[%c_effect b6;square;b6;type;Mistake;persistent;true] This is already a mistake. If anything, this is an indicator that these types of positions are far more difficult for the player with more pieces to deal with.} (28... g6 {Setting the foundations for a defense needs to be Black's number one priority.}) 29. Nf3 Nc4 30. b3 Nd6 31. Ng5 {Cleverly taking advantage of the h5-pawn push from earlier. The knight on g5 should prove a thorn in Black's side.} Rc8 $2 {[%c_effect c8;square;c8;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} ( 31... Nh7 {The White knight needs to be traded immediately to avoid dire tactical consequences.} 32. Nxh7 Kxh7) 32. Kb2 $2 {[%c_effect b2;square;b2; type;Mistake;persistent;true] Not perfect but still logical. White wants to escape the possibility of pesky knight checks via e4.} (32. Qa5 {Black will struggle to defend the queenside pawns.}) 32... Nh7 $2 {[%c_effect h7;square; h7;type;Mistake;persistent;true] A losing move now. White's queen gains too much power as Black has many loose pieces.} 33. Nxh7 Kxh7 34. Qd1 $1 { [%c_effect d1;square;d1;type;GreatFind;persistent;true][%c_arrow d1d6; keyPressed;none;from;d1;opacity;0.8;to;d6;persistent;false,d1h5;keyPressed; none;from;d1;opacity;0.8;to;h5;persistent;false] This position sums up why the queen is pertinent in scenarios such as this.} Nxe4 35. Qxh5+ Kg8 36. Qf5 { Almost teasing Black here with forks. White doesn't even need to capture the e5 pawn as piece pressure also gets the job done.} Nd6 37. Qd7 {Now it is impossible for Black to defend both pieces.} Re8 38. Qxd6 Re6 39. Qd8+ Kh7 { Amusingly, there are many rook vs queen endgames that allow the defender to setup a fortress. This is not one of those.} 40. Qh4+ Kg6 41. Qg4+ Kf6 42. h4 g6 43. Qe4 {An important move that blockades the passed e-pawn.} Kg7 44. g4 Re8 45. Kc3 Re6 46. Kd3 Kf6 47. Ke3 Kg7 48. a3 Kf8 49. Qa8+ Kg7 50. Ke4 b4 51. a4 Rd6 52. g5 Rd4+ 53. Kxe5 {The king reigns supreme $1 This is a common story in endgames where the queen is tying down the opposition's own king.} Rd3 54. Qxa6 Rxb3 55. Qf6+ Kg8 56. h5 Re3+ 57. Kd4 Re6 58. Qd8+ Kh7 59. Qf8 {Checkmate in six moves is now unavoidable.} (59. Qf8 gxh5 60. Qxf7+ Kh8 61. Qxe6 Kg7 62. Qf6+ Kg8 63. g6 b3 64. Qf7+ Kh8 65. Qh7#) 1-0 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.10"] [Round "8"] [White "Kashlinskaya, Alina"] [Black "Koneru, Humpy"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "2491"] [BlackElo "2572"] [PlyCount "84"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 d6 4. O-O Be7 5. d4 Nf6 6. dxe5 Nxe5 7. Nxe5 dxe5 8. Qe2 Qd4 9. Nd2 Bg4 10. Qd3 Qxd3 11. Bxd3 O-O-O 12. Nc4 Nd7 13. Bd2 Be6 14. Bc3 Nc5 15. Nxe5 f6 16. Nf3 Nxd3 17. cxd3 Rxd3 18. Nd4 Bd7 19. Rad1 Rxd1 20. Rxd1 Rd8 21. Nf5 Bxf5 {As pieces fly off the board, it becomes clear that bishops, kings, and pawns will remain.} 22. Rxd8+ Kxd8 23. exf5 {There are several notable features of this position which Koneru highlighted in her post-match interview. The first is Black's queenside pawn majority which is oft winnable even if the three vs two (with bishops) are the only pieces left on the board. Black's king will also find its way to the center quicker which tends to lead to more attacking options in the future.} Kd7 24. Kf1 Kc6 25. Ke2 Kd5 26. Kd3 $2 {[%c_effect d3;square;d3;type;Mistake;persistent;true] Cited as a mistake by Stockfish however the intent can't be criticized. Black's king must not be allowed to infiltrate.} (26. b3 {The best move in the position which supports a fortress attempt.} Ke4 27. g4 Kf4 28. f3 {Allowing the king's entry seems strange but the doubled f-pawns defend each other well.}) 26... c5 {A logical idea. Black begins to press with the pawn majority.} (26... Bd6 {Stockfish gives this as a risky alternative.} 27. b3 Bxh2 {Anyone who has studied Bobby Fischer games wouldn't be too fond of this move... For those unaware of the reference I would point you in the direction of game one of the 1972 World Chess Championship.} 28. g3) 27. b3 {Naturally, White needs to stop Black from pushing the king back with c4+.} b5 28. g4 Bd6 (28... c4+ $5 {[%c_effect c4; square;c4;type;Interesting;persistent;true] Is in fact possible here but with a pawn trade ensuing, Black's majority becomes far less dangerous.} 29. bxc4+ bxc4+ 30. Ke2) 29. h3 Be5 30. Be1 c4+ {The best time to play c4. With the e5-bishop supporting the c3 square, White has to come up with a daring defensive plan.} 31. bxc4+ bxc4+ 32. Ke3 Bd4+ 33. Ke2 Kc5 34. a4 Bb2 35. f3 $2 {[%c_effect f3;square;f3;type;Mistake;persistent;true] Not the most accurate move.} (35. Kd1 {The king needs to function as a protector on the f-file so that White's bishop can travel freely once more.}) 35... a6 $2 {[%c_effect a6; square;a6;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (35... Ba3 {Stockfish appreciates the idea of forcing White's bishop away from the defense of the c-pawn.} 36. Bd2 a6 {A waiting move.} 37. Bc3 Bb4 38. Ba1 Kb6 {Hooking the king around to potentially win the a-pawn.}) 36. h4 $4 {[%c_effect h4;square;h4;type;Blunder; persistent;true] Ambitious but now Black has too much control over the queenside.} (36. Kd1 {A backwards king move was the only thing standing between Kashlinskaya and a draw.}) 36... Kd4 $1 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type; GreatFind;persistent;true]} 37. Bf2+ Kc3 $1 {[%c_effect c3;square;c3;type; GreatFind;persistent;true]} 38. g5 {Unfortunately White's doubled pawns make the kingside majority negligible. White is now at the mercy of Black's king.} Kb3 39. f4 c3 40. h5 c2 41. Be3 {Once last clever try to trick Black.} h6 ( 41... c1=Q $4 {[%c_effect c1;square;c1;type;Blunder;persistent;true] A complete reversal of the evaluation due to a nasty trick.} 42. Bxc1 $1 { [%c_effect c1;square;c1;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Bxc1 43. h6 $1 { [%c_effect h6;square;h6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} gxh6 44. g6 $1 { [%c_effect g6;square;g6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Suddenly, White is able to promote.}) 42. g6 Kc4 {Black will now promote and win easily.} 0-1 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.10"] [Round "8"] [White "Wagner, Dinara"] [Black "Zhu, Jiner"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "2414"] [BlackElo "2486"] [PlyCount "100"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 dxc4 8. Bxc4 c5 9. Bd3 Nc6 10. Nf3 Qc7 11. Bb2 e5 12. dxe5 Nxe5 13. Nxe5 Qxe5 14. Qb3 b6 15. c4 Qe6 16. O-O Bb7 17. Rfe1 Rad8 18. f3 Nd7 19. Qc2 h6 20. Bf5 Qe7 21. Rad1 Ne5 22. Qc3 f6 23. Qc2 $2 {[%c_effect c2;square;c2;type;Mistake; persistent;true] The queen is better off on the dark squares for now, especially as a defender of the e3 square...} (23. h3) 23... Rxd1 24. Rxd1 { Wagner blitzed out most of her moves to this point and finds herself with the bishop pair but with two annoying isolated pawns on the queenside.} Nxf3+ $3 { [%c_effect f3;square;f3;type;Brilliant;persistent;true] Boom $1 Black strikes and now it is garlingly obvious that the e3 pawn is a problem for White.} 25. gxf3 Qxe3+ 26. Qf2 {At a glance, it appears as though White has successfully defended against the sacrifice but Zhu's lines run deeper still.} Qg5+ $1 { [%c_arrow g5f5;keyPressed;none;from;g5;opacity;0.8;to;f5;persistent;false,g5g1; keyPressed;none;from;g5;opacity;0.8;to;g1;persistent;false][%c_effect g5; square;g5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 27. Bg4 {Forced.} h5 $1 {[%c_effect h5;square;h5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 28. Qd2 Qg6 $1 {[%c_effect g6; square;g6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Keeping the queens on for as long as possible.} (28... Qxd2 29. Rxd2 hxg4 30. fxg4 Bc8 {Black is still winning here but it's easy to imagine draw possibilities.}) 29. Qd3 f5 $1 {[%c_effect f5; square;f5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] A multi-faceted move that puts additional pressure on the bishop and once again avoids the queen trade.} 30. Qd6 Qxd6 31. Rxd6 fxg4 {Suddenly, Zhu is up by two pawns and it appears the knight sacrifice was a success $1} 32. Rd7 Rf7 {Black's only move.} 33. Rxf7 Kxf7 {[%c_arrow b2e5;keyPressed;none;from;b2;opacity;0.8;to;e5;persistent; false,e5b8;keyPressed;none;from;e5;opacity;0.8;to;b8;persistent;false,b8a7; keyPressed;none;from;b8;opacity;0.8;to;a7;persistent;false,a7c5;keyPressed; none;from;a7;opacity;0.8;to;c5;persistent;false] Wagner's only chance is to pray that the opposite-colored bishops lead to a drawish endgame. The fact that Black's pawns are fixed on dark squares give White's bishop a glimmer of hope.} 34. fxg4 Ba6 $2 {[%c_effect a6;square;a6;type;Mistake;persistent;true] Blunder alert $1 Better for Black was the simple} (34... hxg4 35. Be5 Ke6 36. Bb8 (36. Bxg7 Ba6 $1 {[%c_effect a6;square;a6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] White will again be up by two pawns but this time will possess a passed one.}) 36... Kd7 37. Bxa7 Kc7 {White's bishop is trapped.} 38. a4 Kc6 39. Bb8 Ba6) 35. Be5 $2 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (35. gxh5 Bxc4 36. Be5 {This will be tough for Black to win now.}) 35... Ke6 $1 {[%c_effect e6;square;e6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Using similar ideas to the lines given on move 34.} 36. Bb8 Kd7 37. gxh5 Bxc4 (37... Kc6 {Slightly more accurate as it saves the a7 pawn.}) 38. Kf2 Bf7 39. Be5 Kc6 40. Bxg7 $2 { [%c_effect g7;square;g7;type;Mistake;persistent;true] Black's king is too quick on the queenside now.} (40. Ke3 Kb5 41. h6 gxh6 42. Bb8 a6 43. Bc7 Kc6 44. Bf4 {White's last try is to slow Black's progress.}) 40... Kb5 $1 { [%c_effect b5;square;b5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 41. Be5 Ka4 $1 { [%c_effect a4;square;a4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 42. Bb8 a6 43. Ba7 { Although this wins a pawn, Black's split passers will be too hard for White to stop.} Kxa3 44. Bxb6 c4 45. Ke3 c3 46. Kd3 Kb3 47. Ba5 c2 48. Bd2 a5 {Passed pawns must be pushed $1} 49. h6 Bg6+ 50. Ke3 a4 0-1 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.11"] [Round "9"] [White "Koneru, Humpy"] [Black "Paehtz, Elisabeth"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2572"] [BlackElo "2464"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 {The players head into the thrilling King's Indian Defense where White gains more space in the center and queenside while Black aims for kingside attacking chances.} d6 5. Be2 O-O 6. Be3 c5 7. d5 e6 8. Nf3 exd5 9. cxd5 b5 10. e5 {Undermining the c5-pawn.} dxe5 11. Bxc5 Re8 12. Bxb5 Nbd7 13. Be3 Ng4 14. O-O Nxe3 15. fxe3 {As Koneru mentioned, the extra pawn isn't as important here as the battle for the center.} Rb8 16. Kh1 { Unnecessary.} (16. Nd2 {is another move that Koneru considered with the knight heading to the influential c4-square.}) 16... a6 17. Bc6 e4 18. Nd2 f5 19. Nc4 Rf8 20. d6 {Though currently blockaded, the d6-pawn is very far down the board and firmly supported by White's pieces. Black will have to careful about this pawn as long as it exists.} Kh8 21. Rc1 {Every white piece has found an active square and contributes to the position. However, Black has the opportunity to create a monster knight on the d3-outpost.} Nf6 (21... Nc5 22. Qd5 Nd3) 22. b3 Be6 23. Nd5 Bxd5 ({Better is} 23... Ng4 24. h3 Qh4) 24. Bxd5 Rb5 25. Bc6 Rc5 26. Ba4 {Despite being locked on the edge of the board, the bishop limits the movement of Black's pieces with its reach down the a4-e8 diagonal.} Ng4 27. Qd2 Qh4 28. g3 Qh5 29. Rc2 Rd8 30. b4 Rcc8 31. d7 {White's passed pawn takes another step toward promotion. Black's resources to stop it have worn thin.} Rc7 32. Nd6 $18 {The knight looks for opportunities to attack the d-pawn's queening square from f7 or b7.} Rxc2 33. Qxc2 Ne5 34. Nb7 Rf8 35. d8=Q Rxd8 36. Nxd8 1-0 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.11"] [Round "9"] [White "Zhu, Jiner"] [Black "Kashlinskaya, Alina"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C02"] [WhiteElo "2486"] [BlackElo "2491"] [Annotator "3700"] [PlyCount "118"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] {[%evp 0,118,19,31,41,46,51,33,15,4,-3,-2,10,2,31,16,27,-38,4,36,-2,-28,-6,-3, -4,3,19,19,16,19,20,21,10,2,61,42,82,69,82,80,65,52,70,55,74,77,77,74,59,59,59, 59,39,17,1,-19,-16,-20,1,2,6,9,0,-28,-20,-16,-21,-3,-7,-18,0,-47,-11,-122,16,4, 13,-3,2,2,68,80,49,-68,-56,-68,-210,-134,-204,-274,-258,-274,-263,-274,-251, -329,-332,-325,-328,-417,-314,-355,-407,-429,-344,-446,-378,-441,-586,-586, -578,-608,-507,-552,-575,-728,-918,-918,-877,-953,-1017]} 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Qb6 6. a3 c4 {Gaining space on the queenside yet releasing the tension on White's expanded center.} 7. Be2 Bd7 8. h4 O-O-O 9. Nbd2 Na5 10. h5 h6 11. Rb1 Ne7 12. Nf1 Kb8 13. Bf4 g5 {With her king tucked away on the queenside, Kashlinskaya seeks to open lines on the kingside and center.} 14. hxg6 Nxg6 15. Be3 Be7 16. Ng3 f6 17. exf6 Bxf6 18. Nh5 Be7 19. Nf4 Be8 20. Qc2 Nf8 21. Ne5 Nc6 {Black aims to get rid of the well-placed e5-knight.} 22. Neg6 Nxg6 23. Nxg6 Bxg6 24. Qxg6 e5 25. dxe5 Bc5 26. Bxc5 Qxc5 27. O-O ({White should not try to keep the extra pawn:} 27. f4 Rhg8 28. Qh5 Rxg2) 27... Nxe5 28. Qh5 Qd6 29. f4 {It's risky to push pawns on the same side as your king with so many pieces left on the board.} ({Good is the simple} 29. Rbd1) 29... Nd7 30. Rbd1 Qb6+ 31. Rf2 Rde8 32. Bf3 Nf6 33. Qh4 h5 34. Rd4 Ka8 35. f5 Ng4 36. Re2 Nf6 37. Rxe8+ Rxe8 38. Kh2 a6 39. Rd2 Ng4+ 40. Bxg4 hxg4 41. Rf2 (41. Rxd5 {would prevent Black from sinking her queen into White's side of the board:} Qe3 $4 {[%c_effect e3;square;e3;type;Blunder;persistent;true]} 42. Rd8+ Ka7 (42... Rxd8 43. Qxd8+ Ka7 44. Qd4+ Qxd4 45. cxd4 Kb6 46. f6 $18) 43. Rxe8 Qxe8 44. Qxg4 $18) 41... Qe3 {By bringing her queen to this prominent post, Black begins to take over the position.} 42. Rf1 g3+ 43. Kh3 Rg8 44. Qf4 Qe7 45. Rf3 Qg7 {Black's mate threat is too hard to prevent.} 46. Qh4 Rh8 47. Qxh8+ Qxh8+ 48. Kxg3 Qf6 49. Kf4 Kb8 50. g4 Qh4 51. Re3 Kc7 52. Re6 {With her rook and two connected passers, White tries to make a fight of it, but the queen and potential passers on the queenside are too powerful.} Kd7 53. Rg6 Qh2+ 54. Kg5 Qxb2 55. Rg7+ Ke8 56. f6 Qxc3 57. Rxb7 Qe5+ 58. Kg6 Qe4+ 59. Kh5 c3 0-1 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.11"] [Round "9"] [White "Muzychuk, Anna"] [Black "Tan, Zhongyi"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B81"] [WhiteElo "2522"] [BlackElo "2530"] [Annotator "Rafael"] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 {The Scheveningen Variation is not a regular guest in elite tournaments these days, mainly because of the Keres Attack, which we see in the game.} 6. g4 $1 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Clearly the most uncomfortable move for Black. White does not need to ask for permission to make this move, as is often the case against Najdorf, for example.} h6 7. Rg1 {White has other promising options.} (7. g5 {is a little out of fashion.} hxg5 8. Bxg5 Nc6 { With hundreds of games in this position.}) (7. h3 {is a solid move, planning the development of the bishop on g2 and in no hurry to advance the pawns. The position is normal, but I still think White can get more out of the h4-g5 plan. }) (7. h4 Nc6 8. Rg1 h5 $5 {[%c_effect h5;square;h5;type;Interesting; persistent;true]} (8... d5 {is also a popular move.}) 9. gxh5 (9. g5 Ng4 { with an acceptable position for Black.}) 9... Nxh5 {White definitely has the advantage here, but I got a key win with Black at the 2008 World Correspondence Chess Championship. This victory helped me to achieve the title of GM in this modality.} 10. Be3 a6 11. Qd2 Bd7 12. O-O-O b5 {Lanc-Leitao, ICCF email 2008.}) 7... Nc6 8. Be3 Be7 {A critical position. Karpov had great games against the Scheveningen and three of them in this position.} 9. Qd2 (9. h4 d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Nxd5 exd5 (11... Qxd5 {This is the computer's favorite move.}) 12. g5 hxg5 13. hxg5 Rh4 14. Qd2 Nxd4 15. Bxd4 Kf8 16. O-O-O {White has a clear advantage. Bacrot-Hou, Cap d'Agde 2019.}) (9. Qe2 $5 {[%c_effect e2;square;e2;type;Interesting;persistent;true]} Nxd4 (9... Bd7 10. h4 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 e5 12. Be3 Bc6 13. Qd3 Qa5 14. O-O-O Nxe4 15. Nxe4 d5 16. Qb3 dxe4 17. Bc4 Rf8 18. Rd5 $5 {[%c_effect d5;square;d5;type;Interesting;persistent;true]} Bxd5 19. Bxd5 {with excellent compensation for the exchange. This is one of Karpov's best games. Karpov-Sax, Linares 1983.}) 10. Bxd4 e5 11. Be3 Be6 12. O-O-O Nd7 13. Kb1 {with some advantage for White in Karpov-Andersson, Turin 1982.}) (9. Be2 a6 10. Qd2 Nxd4 11. Qxd4 e5 12. Qd2 Be6 13. Bf3 Nd7 14. Nd5 Bg5 15. O-O-O Rc8 16. Kb1 Bxd5 17. exd5 Nc5 {Black was fine in Karpov-Timman, Mar del Plata 1982.}) 9... Nxd4 10. Qxd4 e5 $5 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type; Interesting;persistent;true] Black changes the character of the game.} 11. Qa4+ Kf8 (11... Bd7 12. Bb5 {The position looks bad for Black, as the exchange of bishops accentuates the weakness on d5. But Black managed to draw a messy correspondence game.} a6 13. Bxd7+ Qxd7 14. Qb3 (14. Qxd7+ Kxd7 15. O-O-O { is slightly better for White.}) 14... Nxg4 15. Nd5 Nxe3 16. fxe3 Bh4+ 17. Kd2 O-O 18. Nb6 Qh3 19. Nxa8 Rxa8 20. Qxb7 Rc8 21. c3 Bf2 22. Rgd1 d5 23. exd5 Qxe3+ {with perpetual check in Moll-Banet, ICCF email 2012.}) 12. f3 {With Black's uncastled king in a typical English Attack position, White has to have the upper hand. But things are never easy in the Sicilian.} a6 13. O-O-O Be6 14. Nd5 (14. Kb1 {I like to test the Kb1 move in random positions, with the aim of proving my principle that this move is never too bad. Interestingly, this is one of the machine's favorite moves.} b5 15. Qa3 d5 16. Bc5 $1 { [%c_effect c5;square;c5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]}) 14... b5 {Only this move is new.} (14... Bxd5 15. exd5 Rc8 16. Kb1 {was Abedeji-Alvarez Abejon, Madrid 2005.}) 15. Qb4 Bxd5 16. exd5 Nd7 {Black's dream is to play Bg5 and exchange bishops, but White avoids this with her next move.} 17. h4 $1 { [%c_effect h4;square;h4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Qc7 (17... Bxh4 $2 { [%c_effect h4;square;h4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] The pawn cannot be taken. } 18. Qxd6+ Be7 19. Qc6 {with a winning positional advantage for White.}) 18. Rd2 $2 {[%c_effect d2;square;d2;type;Mistake;persistent;true] With this move, White loses all the advantage. There's no need to surrender the h-pawn.} (18. g5 {is the most natural.} hxg5 19. hxg5 g6 $1 {[%c_effect g6;square;g6;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] With the idea of Kg7, connecting the rooks.} (19... Rh2 {is not good.} 20. Rd2) 20. f4) (18. Rh1 $5 {[%c_effect h1;square;h1;type; Interesting;persistent;true]}) (18. Qe1 $1 {[%c_effect e1;square;e1;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] is my favorite move, defending the pawn and waiting to advance it at the best moment.}) 18... Bxh4 $1 {[%c_effect h4;square;h4; type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 19. Rh2 g5 $1 {[%c_effect g5;square;g5;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] A difficult move to play, but now White can no longer advance the dangerous g-pawn.} (19... Be7 20. g5 {is unpleasant.}) 20. f4 $2 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] A mistake never comes alone...} (20. c4 {I thought this move could be interesting, preparing to bring the rook into the game via c2. But the computer is unimpressed.} Rb8 $1 {[%c_effect b8;square;b8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] With the idea of playing a5-b4.} (20... bxc4 21. Rc2 $1 {[%c_effect c2;square;c2;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]})) (20. Kb1 {is possible, as always. White has some compensation for the pawn, thanks to weaknesses on the light squares.}) 20... Rc8 $2 {[%c_effect c8;square;c8;type;Mistake;persistent;true] Black should immediately follow the plan that she will carry out later in the game.} (20... exf4 21. Bxf4 (21. Bd4 f6) 21... gxf4 22. Rxh4 Rc8 {And the knight will jump to e5 with advantage for Black.}) 21. Bd3 $2 {[%c_effect d3;square;d3;type; Mistake;persistent;true]} (21. fxg5 $1 {[%c_effect g5;square;g5;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} hxg5 22. Bd3 {The bishop goes to f5, and now White has great compensation.}) 21... exf4 $1 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} 22. Bxf4 (22. Bd4 {Perhaps Muzychuk counted on this move, but it looks better than it actually is.} f6 (22... Rg8 {is also possible, sacrificing the exchange.} 23. Bh7 $6 {[%c_effect h7;square;h7;type;Inaccuracy; persistent;true]} Re8 $1 {[%c_effect e8;square;e8;type;GreatFind;persistent; true]} 24. Bxg8 Kxg8 {With excellent compensation.}) 23. Bf5 (23. Re2 Ne5 24. Bxe5 fxe5 25. Rxe5 Qc5 $1 {[%c_effect c5;square;c5;type;GreatFind;persistent; true]} 26. Qxc5 Rxc5 {with a winning endgame for Black. The h4-bishop has become a monster.}) 23... Kg7 {White doesn't have enough compensation for the two pawns.}) 22... gxf4 23. Rxh4 Ne5 {Considering what happened in the opening, this position seems like a sweet dream for Black. The knight on e5 is such a strong piece in this pawn structure.} 24. Qe4 (24. Bf5 $2 {[%c_effect f5; square;f5;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} Qxc2+ $1 {[%c_effect c2;square;c2; type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 25. Bxc2 Nd3+ {wins more material.}) 24... Qc5 25. Rgh1 (25. Rf1 {is a better try.}) 25... Re8 26. R4h3 f3 $1 {[%c_effect f3; square;f3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 27. Rf1 Rg8 $1 {[%c_effect g8; square;g8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 28. Qh7 Qe3+ 29. Kd1 h5 $6 { [%c_effect h5;square;h5;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] Tan was in severe time trouble and plays a pretty move that objectively is not the best.} (29... Nxd3 30. Qxd3 Qe2+ 31. Kc1 {This is similar to what will happen in the game later but not so effective.} Re3 32. Qxe2 fxe2 33. Rxf7+ $1 {[%c_effect f7; square;f7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Kxf7 34. Rxe3) (29... Rg6 $3 { [%c_effect g6;square;g6;type;Brilliant;persistent;true] This is a superb computer move. The queen is cut from the game.} 30. Re1 (30. Bxg6 Qe2+) 30... Qd4 {White's position collapses.}) 30. g5 $6 {[%c_effect g5;square;g5;type; Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (30. gxh5 $2 {[%c_effect h5;square;h5;type; Mistake;persistent;true]} Rg2 {followed by mate.}) (30. Rxh5 $2 {[%c_effect h5; square;h5;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} Nxg4 {and now White cannot capture on f3.}) (30. Qxh5 $2 {[%c_effect h5;square;h5;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} Nxd3 ) (30. Re1 $1 {[%c_effect e1;square;e1;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This is the only move to keep the fight.}) 30... Nxd3 (30... Rg6 {is also good.}) 31. Qxd3 Qe2+ 32. Kc1 Qxd3 (32... Re3 {also wins:} 33. Qxe2 fxe2 34. Rxf7+ Kxf7 35. Rxe3 Rxg5 36. Rxe2 Rxd5) 33. cxd3 Rxg5 34. Rhxf3 Re7 {The d5-pawn will fall. The endgame is winning.} 35. Kd2 Rxd5 36. Rc1 Ree5 (36... Kg7) 37. Rc7 (37. Rcf1 $1 {[%c_effect f1;square;f1;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is more stubborn.}) 37... Rf5 38. Rxf5 Rxf5 39. Rc6 h4 40. Rxd6 Rh5 (40... Rh5 41. Rf6 h3 42. Rf1 h2 43. Rh1 Ke7) 0-1 [Event "FIDE Women's Grand Prix | Second Leg 202"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.12"] [Round "10"] [White "Wagner, Dinara"] [Black "Kashlinskaya, Alina"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2414"] [BlackElo "2491"] [PlyCount "161"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 a6 5. b3 Bf5 6. Nbd2 e6 7. Ne5 Bb4 8. Bd3 Bxd3 9. Nxd3 Bd6 10. O-O O-O 11. Qf3 Nbd7 12. e4 dxe4 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14. Qxe4 Qa5 15. Bb2 Rad8 16. Rfe1 Nf6 17. Qe2 Ba3 18. Rad1 Bxb2 19. Qxb2 Rd6 20. Nc5 Qc7 21. Rd3 Rfd8 22. Red1 a5 23. Qe2 h6 24. h3 Qe7 25. Qe3 Qc7 26. Qe2 Qe7 27. Qe5 b6 28. Na4 Nd7 29. Qe2 b5 30. Nc3 bxc4 31. bxc4 Nf6 32. Qe5 Qa7 33. c5 R6d7 34. Rg3 Kf8 $2 {[%c_effect f8;square;f8;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (34... Ne8) 35. Rxg7 $3 {[%c_effect g7;square;g7;type;Brilliant;persistent;true] The start of a beautiful attacking sequence.} Kxg7 36. Ne4 $1 {[%c_effect e4; square;e4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Rd5 $2 {[%c_effect d5;square;d5; type;Mistake;persistent;true] Gifting White the opportunity to attack in the quickest way possible.} (36... Qb8 {Black needs to re-route the queen to assist with kingside defense.}) 37. Qxf6+ Kh7 38. Qh4 $2 {[%c_effect h4;square; h4;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (38. Rd3 {Move order matters here and while Qh4 has some nice ideas attached, it would have worked better with Rd3 injected first.} Rg8 39. Qh4 {Now the fork threat on f6 involves three pieces rather than two.}) 38... Qa6 $4 {[%c_effect a6;square;a6;type;Blunder; persistent;true] Black's move here is far too slow. A blunder.} 39. Nf6+ Kg7 40. Nxd5 $2 {[%c_effect d5;square;d5;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (40. Ng4 $1 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Rather than snapping up the free pawn, White has the option to threaten checkmate, which is the best approach.} Rh8 41. Qf6+ Kg8 42. Rb1 Qc8 43. Rb3 {This tricky line leaves White with a decisive advantage.} Qd8 44. Nxh6+ Rxh6 45. Qxh6 Rg5 46. Qxg5+ $1 {[%c_effect g5;square;g5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Qxg5 47. Rg3 Qxg3 48. fxg3 {This is a winning king and pawn ending due to the passed h-pawn.}) 40... Rxd5 41. Qg4+ Rg5 $1 {[%c_effect g5;square;g5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 42. Qe4 a4 $2 {[%c_effect a4;square;a4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] Getting the sense that Kashlinskaya is attempting to play for a win here but is perhaps causing more problems for herself.} (42... Qc4 {Recentralization of the queen should almost always come before pawn pushing.}) 43. h4 Rf5 44. Rd3 Qc4 45. Rg3+ Kf8 46. Qxc6 Qxd4 47. Qd6+ Qxd6 48. cxd6 Rd5 {This endgame is close to drawn with best play; however, White will be able to press for a long time.} 49. Rg4 Rxd6 50. Rxa4 Rd2 51. g3 Kg7 52. Kg2 Rd3 53. Ra5 Kg6 54. h5+ Kf6 55. g4 Rc3 56. f3 e5 57. Kf2 Rd3 58. Ke2 Rc3 59. Kf2 Rd3 60. Ra7 Rc3 61. Ke2 e4 62. fxe4 Rg3 $2 {[%c_effect g3;square;g3;type;Mistake;persistent;true] Black misses one of White's key tricks.} (62... Kg5 {The most precise way to attempt a draw.}) 63. Ra5 $1 {[%c_effect a5;square;a5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Black's king is cut off from moving forward.} Rxg4 64. Ke3 Rg2 65. Rf5+ Ke6 66. a4 Ra2 67. a5 f6 68. Rb5 Ra1 69. Kd4 Kd7 70. Rb7+ Kc8 71. Rb5 Kd7 72. Kd5 Rd1+ 73. Kc5 Kc7 74. a6 Rc1+ 75. Kd5 Rd1+ 76. Kc4 Rc1+ 77. Kd4 Ra1 78. Rb7+ $1 { [%c_effect b7;square;b7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Wagner puts on a brilliant display of technique in this ending.} Kc8 79. Rb6 Ra5 80. Rxf6 Rxh5 81. Rf8+ {Nothing can stop pawn promotion on a8.} 1-0 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.12"] [Round "10"] [White "Harika, Dronavalli"] [Black "Muzychuk, Anna"] [Result "*"] [WhiteElo "2507"] [BlackElo "2522"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. g3 Qb6 7. Ndb5 Ne5 8. Bf4 Nfg4 9. e3 a6 {In 40 database games, this position has been reached with a relatively even spread of results.} 10. Qa4 {Spicing things up immediately.} Ra7 $5 {[%c_effect a7;square;a7;type;Interesting;persistent;true] A fascinating move. White cannot take the rook due to Qxb2.} (10... Rb8 {The number-one move according to Stockfish.}) 11. h3 $1 {[%c_effect h3;square;h3; type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} (11. Nxa7 Qxb2 {[%c_arrow b2a1;keyPressed; none;from;b2;opacity;0.8;to;a1;persistent;false,b2c3;keyPressed;none;from;b2; opacity;0.8;to;c3;persistent;false,b2f2;keyPressed;none;from;b2;opacity;0.8;to; f2;persistent;false] The fork and checkmate threat spell doom for White.}) 11... axb5 {White's temporary material loss is quickly recouped after a queen trade with initiative.} 12. Qxb5 Qxb5 13. Nxb5 Bb4+ 14. Ke2 Ra5 15. hxg4 Nxc4 $1 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 16. Rc1 d5 $1 { [%c_effect d5;square;d5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Both players have played perfectly thus far which is incredible considering the complexity of the exchanges.} 17. a3 $2 {[%c_effect a3;square;a3;type;Mistake;persistent; true]} (17. a4 {The best move as} Rxa4 {leads to annoying counterplay from White.} 18. Kf3 {with a threat of 19.b3 $1} Bd7 19. Bxc4 dxc4 20. Rxc4 { The knight cannot be captured due to Rc8+.}) 17... Rxb5 18. axb4 e5 $2 { [%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;Mistake;persistent;true] Black tries to get a little too tricky. Best is...} (18... Rxb4) 19. Bxe5 Bxg4+ 20. Ke1 f6 21. Bc3 Rb6 {This position is interesting because quick, tempo-gaining moves can put White back on top despite Dronavalli's obvious inactivity.} 22. b3 Ne5 23. f4 $1 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Nf7 24. Bg2 $2 { [%c_effect g2;square;g2;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (24. b5 {Clamping down on the rook is optimal.}) 24... Be6 25. Rh5 Rb5 $2 {[%c_effect b5;square;b5; type;Mistake;persistent;true] Defending the pawn laterally only puts more pressure on Black's position.} 26. Bf1 $1 {[%c_effect f1;square;f1;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] A move that Muzychuk likely underestimated.} Rb6 27. b5 {Black's rook's movement is extremely limited, and now White has the opportunity to reactivate underperforming pieces.} g6 28. Rh2 Bd7 29. Bd4 $1 { [%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The centralized bishop casts a spiderweb from the center of the board.} Rd6 30. Bc5 Re6 31. Bh3 { Forcing Black to fix the pawn structure.} f5 32. Bg2 b6 33. Bd4 O-O 34. Bxd5 { Black's center finally crumbles, and now the bishop pair can go to work.} Rd6 35. Bc4 Be6 {With the looming threat of Be5, trapping the rook, Black has no choice but to try this move.} 36. Be5 (36. Be5 Nxe5 37. fxe5 Bxc4 38. exd6) ( 36. Be5 Bxc4 37. Bxd6 Nxd6 38. bxc4 Re8 39. Ke2) * [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.12"] [Round "10"] [White "Tan, Zhongyi"] [Black "Dzagnidze, Nana"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "2530"] [BlackElo "2517"] [PlyCount "102"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. d4 d5 6. a3 a6 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. b4 Bd6 9. cxd5 exd5 10. Bb2 O-O 11. Be2 Be6 12. O-O b5 13. Qd2 Qe7 14. Rfd1 Rfd8 15. Nd4 Rac8 16. Nxc6 Rxc6 17. Qd4 Qc7 18. f4 Qb8 {The players reach a typical position out of the Semi-Tarrasch where often coming up with concrete plans includes making some concessions.} 19. a4 {Tan tries to utilize her queenside piece placement but, unfortunately, this was to no avail.} bxa4 20. Nxa4 $2 { [%c_effect a4;square;a4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] Losing a pawn. Tan may have felt that there is sufficient compensation after Black's pawn structure is ruptured with an eventual Bxf6.} (20. Ba3 {An awkward but necessary move to play before recapturing on a4.} Rdc8 21. Nxa4 {Black's position is still slightly favorable due to control of the open file.}) 20... Qxb4 21. Qxb4 Bxb4 22. Bxf6 (22. Bf3 {To not ruin the pawn structure after losing a pawn is a psychological concession which is likely why Tan didn't select this move.}) 22... gxf6 {On the surface, it appears as though Black's pawn structure is weak, although the bishop pair coupled with the passed a-pawn should prove to be sufficient in compensation.} 23. Rd4 Be7 24. Rad1 f5 25. Bf3 Rc4 {A key move that brings Dzagnidze closer to a winning ending.} 26. Be2 Rxd4 27. Rxd4 $2 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] At this point, White needs to keep the rook free and available to control one of the two open files in the position.} (27. exd4) 27... a5 28. Bf3 Bf6 29. Rd1 d4 {Black begins breaking through. The bishops gain more power with each passing move.} 30. Nc5 dxe3 31. Rxd8+ Bxd8 32. Nxe6 fxe6 {Opposite-colored bishop endgames have a tendency to be drawn, although this one is far from drawn. Here, the principle of two weaknesses applies, and Black's duo of passed pawns can both be considered individual weaknesses for White.} 33. Bd1 Bc7 34. g3 e5 {Cleverly undoubling the pawns and attempting to connect the f-pawn to the e-pawn.} 35. fxe5 Bxe5 36. Kg2 f4 $4 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;Blunder;keyPressed; undefined;persistent;true] A rushed move $1 White now has great drawing chances after Kf3.} (36... Bd4 {Having the extra pawns on the board is optimal for Black, who can now bring the king in before committing to any forward play. }) 37. gxf4 $4 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;Blunder;keyPressed;undefined; persistent;true] A blunder $1 Black is completely winning now.} (37. Kf3 $1 { [%c_effect f3;square;f3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} fxg3 38. Kxe3 $1 { [%c_effect e3;square;e3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The only move.} (38. hxg3 $4 {[%c_effect g3;square;g3;type;Blunder;persistent;true]} Bd4 39. Bc2 h6 40. Ke2 Kf7 {[%c_arrow f7d5;keyPressed;none;from;f7;opacity;0.8;to;d5; persistent;false,d5c5;keyPressed;none;from;d5;opacity;0.8;to;c5;persistent; false,c5b4;keyPressed;none;from;c5;opacity;0.8;to;b4;persistent;false,a5a1; keyPressed;none;from;a5;opacity;0.8;to;a1;persistent;false,e3e1;keyPressed; none;from;e3;opacity;0.8;to;e1;persistent;false] Black will win the white bishop for either the a- or -pawn, after which the endgame will be winning.}) 38... gxh2 (38... g2 39. Kf2) 39. Bf3 {The h-pawns are headed toward the wrong-color square $1 White simply exchanges his bishop for the a-pawn, puts her king on h1, and makes a draw.}) 37... Bxf4 38. Kf3 Bh6 39. h4 Kf7 40. Bc2 Ke6 41. Ke2 {White's pieces are tied down to the passed pawns and cannot move from their posts.} (41. Bxh7 {Black can give up the pawn for king activity.} a4 $1 {[%c_effect a4;square;a4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This is a tablebase win as White cannot stop both passed pawns.} 42. Ke2 Ke5 43. Kd3 Kf4) 41... Ke5 42. Bxh7 a4 43. Kd3 Kf4 44. Bg6 a3 45. Bf7 Kg3 46. Ke2 Kxh4 47. Kf3 Kg5 48. Ba2 (48. Kxe3 Kf6+ $1 {[%c_effect f6;square;f6;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} 49. Kd3 Kxf7 {[%c_highlight a3;keyPressed;none;opacity;0.8; square;a3;persistent;false,a1;keyPressed;none;opacity;0.8;square;a1;persistent; false,h6;keyPressed;none;opacity;0.8;square;h6;persistent;false] Black has the correct color of bishop to force promotion.}) 48... Kf5 49. Ke2 Ke4 50. Bg8 Kd4 51. Kd1 {Black king's entry to assist with pawn promotion is now unstoppable.} Ke5 (51... Kc3 52. Ke2 Kb2) 0-1 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.12"] [Round "10"] [White "Kosteniuk, Alexandra"] [Black "Koneru, Humpy"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C84"] [WhiteElo "2519"] [BlackElo "2572"] [Annotator "Rafael"] [PlyCount "156"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 Be7 $5 {[%c_effect e7;square;e7;type;Interesting;persistent;true] A not-so-popular move but interesting to play as a surprise factor. It has been employed a few times by Carlsen, among others.} (6... b5 {This is the main variation of the Open Ruy Lopez with thousands of games.} 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6) 7. dxe5 $6 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] A harmless move, indicating that Kosteniuk was surprised by Koneru's opening choice.} (7. Re1 b5 8. Rxe4 d5 9. Nxe5 Nxe5 10. Rxe5 bxa4 {This is the critical position of the system, and White must look for an advantage here.}) 7... Nc5 8. Bxc6 dxc6 9. Qe2 (9. Qxd8+ Bxd8 {This ending is a better version for Black compared to the Berlin Defense, as it's still possible to castle.}) 9... Bg4 (9... Qd7 {it's an interesting move, preparing to take the queen to g4.}) 10. h3 (10. Rd1) 10... Bh5 {This move, surprisingly, is innacurate.} (10... Bxf3 $1 {[%c_effect f3;square;f3; type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 11. Qxf3 Qd5 $1 {[%c_effect d5;square;d5;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] Black trades the advantage of the pair of bishops for a quick and harmonious development. This \"exchange of advantages\" is one of the hardest strategies to understand in chess.} 12. Qe2 (12. Qg3 Ne4 13. Qxg7 O-O-O {with a strong initiative.}) 12... O-O-O 13. Nc3 Qe6 {with a comfortable position for Black.}) 11. Rd1 {This natural move is a novelty.} ( 11. Nc3 {I am amazed at how many games relevant to opening theory are played on Titled Tuesdays.} Qc8 12. Re1 O-O 13. Be3 {Bologan-Khanin, Titled Tuesday 2021.}) (11. g4 $1 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is the right way to fight for the initiative.} Bg6 12. Rd1 Qc8 13. Nd4 h5 14. Nc3 {with a complicated game.}) 11... Qc8 12. Be3 (12. g4 {Now Black has the option to sacrifice the bishop and execute perpetual check.} Bxg4 13. hxg4 Qxg4+ 14. Kh2 Qh5+ {with a draw.}) 12... Ne6 (12... O-O {is also possible, following the principle: \"When in doubt, just castle.\"}) 13. Nbd2 Bg6 14. Qc4 c5 15. a4 O-O {The position is a little more comfortable for Black, thanks to the pair of bishops.} 16. Nf1 $6 {[%c_effect f1;square;f1;type;Inaccuracy; persistent;true]} (16. Ne1 {keeps the game more or less balanced. The move is useful to prepare the advance of the kingside pawns and also to protect the c2-pawn.}) 16... Rd8 (16... b5 $1 {[%c_effect b5;square;b5;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] Black can play this pawn advance immediately. Now we see why it's important to have the c2-pawn defended.} 17. axb5 axb5 18. Qe2 (18. Qxb5 Bxc2 19. Rxa8 Qxa8 20. Rd2 Be4 {with a clear advantage. We will have a similar position in the game later.}) 18... Qb7 {with a better position for Black.}) 17. Ng3 Rxd1+ 18. Rxd1 Qe8 (18... b5 {Again this move is possible, but the move played is also good.}) 19. h4 b5 20. Qe2 h6 21. h5 Bh7 22. axb5 axb5 23. c4 $6 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] This makes things worse.} (23. Ne1 $15) 23... bxc4 $1 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type; GreatFind;persistent;true]} 24. Qxc4 Rb8 {Now the rook is more active and can go to b4. The b-pawn becomes a target.} 25. Qa2 Qb5 26. Rd2 Qc6 27. Qa3 Rb4 ( 27... Ra8 28. Qc3 Be4 $1 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;GreatFind;persistent; true] Once again in this game we see a case in which it's interesting to surrender the advantage of the bishop pair. In this case, the explanation is the attack on the h5-pawn, which will inevitably be captured.} 29. Nxe4 Qxe4) 28. Rd1 Ra4 29. Qc3 Qb5 30. Rd2 Bf8 31. Ne2 $6 {[%c_effect e2;square;e2;type; Inaccuracy;persistent;true] This move allows Black to improve the bishop. It is better to make a random waiting move.} (31. Kh2) 31... Be4 32. b3 $6 { [%c_effect b3;square;b3;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (32. Ng3) 32... Rb4 33. Nc1 Bxf3 34. gxf3 c4 $1 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;GreatFind;persistent; true] Black has a decisive advantage. Her pieces are more active, White's pawns are too weak, and the king is exposed.} 35. Rb2 Qb7 36. Bd2 Bc5 37. Rb1 Nd4 (37... Bd4 {is a nice way to finish the game:} 38. Qxb4 Qxf3 39. Be3 Nf4 $1 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] with a decisive attack.}) 38. Kg2 Nxb3 (38... cxb3 $1 {[%c_effect b3;square;b3;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] is more accurate. Black decides the game with a mating attack. } 39. Qxc5 Qxf3+ 40. Kh2 Qxh5+ 41. Kg2 Qg4+ 42. Kf1 (42. Kh2 Nf3+) 42... Qh3+ 43. Ke1 Qh1#) 39. Be1 Nxc1 40. Rxb4 Bxb4 41. Qxc1 Bxe1 42. Qxe1 {I've written in previous analysis that queen endgames are the most difficult in chess. \"A queen gives a lot of checks\" is a common saying among chess players. But no reason for Black to worry so much, as the position is still winning.} Qd5 43. Qb4 Qxe5 44. Qb8+ Kh7 45. Qb1+ f5 46. Qb7 Qc5 47. Qa6 c3 (47... Qe7 {wins easily. We will see this same pattern later.} 48. Qxc4 Qg5+ 49. Kf1 Qxh5 { with a two-pawn advantage.}) 48. Qg6+ Kg8 49. Qe8+ Qf8 50. Qc6 {Now Black only has one winning move.} Qf6 $2 {[%c_effect f6;square;f6;type;Mistake;persistent; true]} (50... Qe7 $1 {[%c_effect e7;square;e7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 51. Qxc3 Qg5+ 52. Kf1 Qxh5 53. Qxc7 Qxf3 {with an easy win.}) 51. Qxc7 Kh7 ( 51... Qg5+ 52. Kf1 Qxh5 53. Qxc3 {This is the difference: the queen captures the pawn and protects f3 at the same time. It turns out that this endgame is a draw.}) 52. Kh3 {Sooner or later Black will have to exchange the c3-pawn for the h5-pawn.} f4 53. Qc5 Kg8 54. Qc8+ Kf7 55. Qd7+ Kf8 56. Qc8+ Ke7 57. Qc7+ Ke6 58. Qc6+ Ke7 59. Qc7+ Kf8 60. Qc8+ Kf7 61. Qd7+ Kg8 62. Qc8+ Kh7 63. Qc5 Qg5 64. Qxc3 Qxh5+ 65. Kg2 Qg6+ 66. Kh2 {The endgame is an easy draw, as Black has no plan to advance the pawns and escape from the checks.} Qf5 67. Qa1 Kg6 68. Qd4 Qh5+ 69. Kg2 Qg5+ 70. Kh2 Kh5 71. Qd7 Kg6 72. Qe8+ Kh7 73. Qe4+ g6 74. Qb7+ Kg8 75. Qc8+ Kf7 76. Qc7+ Ke6 77. Qc6+ Kf7 78. Qc7+ Ke6 1/2-1/2 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.13"] [Round "11"] [White "Zhu, Jiner"] [Black "Kosteniuk, Alexandra"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E49"] [WhiteElo "2486"] [BlackElo "2519"] [Annotator "rafael"] [PlyCount "127"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 dxc4 8. Bxc4 c5 9. Ne2 {The advantage of this move over the more natural development of the knight on f3 is that it can now go to g3, supporting the advance of the e-pawn.} (9. Nf3) 9... Qc7 10. Ba2 (10. Bd3 {This retreat is more popular these days, but 10.Ba2 was played twice by Caruana this year.}) 10... b6 11. O-O Ba6 {An excellent diagonal for the bishop.} (11... Bb7 {This development is also natural, but the bishop is somewhat limited when White plays f3.} 12. Ng3) 12. Re1 Nc6 13. Ng3 Rfd8 14. Rb1 {This move was a novelty by Caruana, and the idea becomes clear in a moment.} Rac8 15. Rb2 $1 {[%c_effect b2;square;b2; type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This is the idea: the rook prepares to travel to d2 and defend the d4-pawn, thus enabling the e3-e4 advance. This idea is known from many openings, including the Nimzo-Indian itself, although the rooknormally travels from a2. This is one of the secrets of high-level chess—using similar ideas in different positions. Giri used the same pattern in his excellent win against Gukesh in the Tata Steel tournament.} e5 $6 { [%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] Only now does the game deviate from Caruana's previous experiences, but this novelty is a mistake.} (15... h6 16. f4 Na5 17. e4 cxd4 18. cxd4 Qd7 19. Rd2 Bc4 20. Bxc4 Rxc4 21. Bb2 Qa4 {Caruana-Sevian, St. Louis 2022.}) (15... Na5 16. e4 cxd4 17. cxd4 {with some initiative for White in Caruana-Nepomniachtchi, St. Louis (rapid) 2022.}) 16. d5 e4 {Otherwise White plays e4. Black prepares to drive the knight to d3, but White avoids this with her next move.} 17. Qa4 $1 { [%c_effect a4;square;a4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Na5 {A sad necessity. This is the only way to defend both attacked pieces.} 18. c4 {Strategically, the position is very dangerous for Black, as White has the bishop pair and a protected passed pawn. Furthermore, the black pieces on the queenside find it difficult to participate in the game. White's plan is simple: take the rook off b2 and put a bishop in its place. Black needs to act quickly.} h5 $5 { [%c_effect h5;square;h5;type;Interesting;persistent;true]} (18... Ng4 $5 { [%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;Interesting;persistent;true] is another attempt, but it seems insufficient to solve the problems after} 19. Bd2) 19. f4 $6 { [%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] I liked this move very much the first time I saw it. Black cannot capture this pawn, and as a result, White's structure improves even further. But the computer disagrees and proves this to be a mistake.} (19. f3 $1 {[%c_effect f3;square;f3;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] This is the correct move as White manages to organize a surprisingly strong attack, for instance:} h4 (19... Re8 20. Rf2 $1 {[%c_effect f2;square;f2;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]}) 20. Nxe4 Nxe4 21. fxe4 Re8 (21... Qe5 22. Rf2 Qxe4 23. Rf4 {is also much better for White.}) 22. Rf2 $1 {[%c_effect f2;square;f2;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Rxe4 23. Bb1 Rxc4 24. Qd1 {The white pieces have enormous potential, even though they are on seemingly harmless squares. After all, this is precisely one of the advantages of the bishop pair: they are long-ranged pieces.}) 19... Qd7 $6 { [%c_effect d7;square;d7;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] Not such a bad move, but there is a better option.} (19... exf3 $2 {[%c_effect f3;square;f3;type; Mistake;persistent;true] This is suicide. After} 20. gxf3 {The rook is ready to go to g2, supporting troops that might include a knight on f5, a bishop on b2, a queen on c2, and a bishop on b1. It's scary just thinking about it.}) ( 19... h4 $1 {[%c_effect h4;square;h4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] solves all the problems.} 20. Nf5 Qd7 $1 {[%c_effect d7;square;d7;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} 21. Qxd7 Rxd7 22. Rc2 (22. Nxh4 $2 {[%c_effect h4;square;h4; type;Mistake;persistent;true]} Bxc4) 22... b5 {Black has adequate counterplay as the pawn chain is broken.}) 20. Qxd7 $6 {[%c_effect d7;square;d7;type; Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (20. Qc2 $1 {[%c_effect c2;square;c2;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] It's better to keep the queens on the board since there's attacking potential.} Re8 21. Bd2 h4 22. Nf1 (22. Nh1 $5 {[%c_effect h1;square;h1;type;Interesting;persistent;true]}) 22... Nb7 23. Bc3 {with an advantage for White.}) 20... Rxd7 21. Rc2 h4 (21... b5 {is a typical move, breaking the pawn structure. After} 22. Bb2 h4 $1 {[%c_effect h4;square;h4; type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 23. Nf5 (23. Bxf6 hxg3 $1 {[%c_effect g3; square;g3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]}) 23... Nxc4 24. Bxc4 bxc4 25. Bxf6 gxf6 26. d6 Rb8 {we arrive at a complex endgame where Black's chances are not worse.}) 22. Nf5 Ne8 $1 {[%c_effect e8;square;e8;type;GreatFind;persistent; true] The knight heads to d6 to attack the c4-pawn.} 23. Bb2 (23. Nxh4 $2 { [%c_effect h4;square;h4;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} Nd6) 23... f6 24. Rec1 Kf7 25. Kf2 (25. Nxh4 Nd6 26. g4 {Similar to the game, but now Black has} Rh8 $1 {[%c_effect h8;square;h8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 27. Ng2 Bxc4 28. Bxc4 (28. Rxc4 Ndxc4 29. Rxc4 Nxc4 30. Bxc4 b5 $1 {[%c_effect b5;square;b5; type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 31. Ba2 (31. Bxb5 Rb7) 31... c4 {The d5-pawn falls and Black is winning.}) 28... Ndxc4 29. Rxc4 Nxc4 30. Rxc4 Rxd5 {This exchange on c4 is Black's main idea. This endgame is winning, as the rooks are much better than the minor pieces.}) 25... Rcc7 $2 {[%c_effect c7;square;c7; type;Mistake;persistent;true] This is a clear mistake. This is a very unfortunate square for the rook.} (25... g6 $1 {[%c_effect g6;square;g6;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] is the most accurate. The idea is} 26. Nxh4 (26. Nh6+ {is better.}) 26... Nd6 27. g4 Bxc4 $1 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] This is similar to the game, but we can see the difference in the variation:} 28. Rxc4 Naxc4 29. Rxc4 $2 {[%c_effect c4;square; c4;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (29. Bxc4 Nxc4 30. Rxc4 Rxd5 {is better for Black.}) 29... Nxc4 30. Bxc4 b5 $1 {[%c_effect b5;square;b5;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] And now, compared to the game, the b5-pawn cannot be taken.}) (25... Nd6 {is a simple solution.} 26. Nxd6+ Rxd6 {A draw is the most likely result, but I'd rather play Black.}) 26. Nxh4 Nd6 27. g4 $1 {[%c_effect g4; square;g4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Naxc4 28. Rxc4 $1 {[%c_effect c4; square;c4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] It's vital for White to capture this knight the right way.} (28. Bxc4 $2 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;Mistake; persistent;true]} Nxc4 29. Rxc4 Bxc4 30. Rxc4 Rxd5 {with a double-edged endgame. Positions with a rook against two minor pieces can be hard to evaluate correctly.}) 28... Bxc4 29. Rxc4 $1 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] Kosteniuk probably underestimated this move.} Nxc4 30. Bxc4 {The three pieces, together with the d-pawn, create dangerous threats. } b5 31. Bxb5 {If the black rook were on c8, as it had been for a long time, then 31...Rb7 would win here. There are so many \"ifs\" in life—this is just one more.} Rb7 32. Bxd7 Rxd7 33. Nf5 Rxd5 34. Ke2 {The endgame is easily winning. Kosteniuk has escaped many difficult positions throughout the tournament, but this time she finally fails. But she still ended up achieving what really mattered—the tournament victory.} g6 35. Nh6+ Ke6 36. f5+ gxf5 37. gxf5+ Ke7 38. h4 c4 39. Ng8+ Kf7 40. Nxf6 Rxf5 41. Nxe4 Rh5 42. Nd6+ Ke6 43. Nxc4 Rxh4 {The best that could happen for Black here would be to end up with a king, bishop, and knight versus king endgame. What do you do in these positions $2 Do you continue playing to see if your opponent knows how to mate $2 I would resign right away, but I've always been a pessimist.} 44. Bd4 Kd5 45. Kd3 Rg4 46. Nd2 Kc6 47. Ne4 a5 48. Nc3 Rg1 49. Kc4 Ra1 50. Kb3 Kb7 51. Ka4 Ka6 52. Ne4 Rb1 53. Nc5+ Kb6 54. Nb3+ Ka6 55. Bc3 (55. Nxa5 $4 {[%c_effect a5; square;a5;type;Blunder;persistent;true] In chess, there's always room for one more blunder.} Rb4+ $3 {[%c_effect b4;square;b4;type;Brilliant;persistent;true] with a curious stalemate.}) 55... Rh1 56. Bxa5 Rh5 57. Bb4 Kb6 58. Nd4 Rh3 59. Nc2 Kc6 60. Kb3 Kd5 61. Kc3 Ke4 62. Bc5 Rh8 63. a4 Kd5 64. Bb6 1-0 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.13"] [Round "11"] [White "Koneru, Humpy"] [Black "Tan, Zhongyi"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2572"] [BlackElo "2530"] [PlyCount "62"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 c6 4. Bg2 d5 5. cxd5 cxd5 6. Nf3 Bg7 7. O-O O-O 8. Ne5 Bf5 9. Nc3 Ne4 10. Bf4 Nc6 11. Nxc6 bxc6 {This theoretical position in the Grunfeld has been reached 17 times at the master level. Typically, White scores well when 12. Na4 is played.} 12. Rc1 {A novelty $1} (12. Na4 {White's idea is to control the c5-square and play against the backwards c6-pawn.} Qa5 13. Rc1 Rac8 14. a3 Rfe8 15. Nc5 e5 16. Bxe4 dxe4 17. dxe5 Bxe5 18. Bxe5 Rxe5 { This is one such example from 1986 where White achieves the type of position they're after. The c6-pawn will remain a serious target, and Black's light-squared bishop is underwhelming.}) 12... Nxc3 13. bxc3 Qb6 14. Qd2 { With a symmetrical pawn structure governing the position, pawn breaks and open files are the only ways left to try and press.} Rfe8 15. Rfd1 e5 16. dxe5 Bxe5 17. Bxe5 Rxe5 18. c4 d4 {The simplest way to achieve equality. White doesn't have any promising options other than Qxd4 now.} (18... dxc4 {Although an exchange here is fine, Black doesn't want to have to defend the weak c6-pawn.} 19. Rxc4 Rc8 20. Bf3 c5 21. Qc3) 19. Qxd4 Qxd4 20. Rxd4 Rxe2 21. Bxc6 (21. g4 { An interesting intermezzo.} Be6 {The g4 will likely become a liability, and it can't be claimed that Black's bishop is any worse than before.}) 21... Rc8 22. Bf3 Rxa2 23. c5 a5 24. c6 {The passed pawn provides a glimmer of hope for Koneru to steal first from Kosteniuk.} Rc7 25. g4 (25. Rd5 {Noted as the only move that gives realistic winning chances. While the margins are slim, the following line looks promising...} a4 26. g4 Be6 27. Rb5 Ra3 28. Rb7 Rc8 29. Be4 {Progress has been made, and Black will struggle to defend against the c-pawn.}) 25... Be6 26. Rd8+ Kg7 27. Rb1 {This plan is ultimately drawn.} Rc2 28. Kg2 a4 29. Rb7 R2xc6 {A lovely resource showing Black's drawing idea.} 30. Bxc6 Rxc6 31. Ra7 Bxg4 {Black can easily set up a fortress with Be6 and keep the rook on the sixth rank.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.02.13"] [Round "11"] [White "Kashlinskaya, Alina"] [Black "Paehtz, Elisabeth"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2491"] [BlackElo "2464"] [PlyCount "69"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 a6 5. e3 g6 6. Be2 Bg7 7. O-O O-O 8. h3 b5 9. cxd5 cxd5 10. Ne5 e6 11. Bd2 Nfd7 12. Nd3 Nc6 13. b4 {This is a typical structure in Slav Defense: Exchange setups. Generally, the players will race to plant knights on c4 and c5 respectively before conjuring up a central pawn break.} Nb6 $2 {[%c_effect b6;square;b6;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (13... e5 {Black is perfectly poised to break the center. Given White's awkward minor piece placement, White won't be able to find any edge here.} 14. Nxd5 (14. dxe5 Ndxe5 15. Nxe5 Bxe5 16. Rc1 Nxb4 {Not as free as it seems $1} 17. Nb1 $5 { [%c_effect b1;square;b1;type;Interesting;persistent;true]} Nxa2 $2 {[%c_effect a2;square;a2;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (17... a5 18. a3 Na6 19. Bxb5 { White stands better.}) 18. Rc2 $1 {[%c_effect c2;square;c2;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]}) 14... Bb7 15. Qb3 exd4 16. e4 {Interestingly, it is Black who is slightly better here. All three results are still possible from here.}) 14. a4 $1 {[%c_effect a4;square;a4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] A timely challenge.} e5 {Black follows the principle of striking at the center to combat a challenge on the flanks.} 15. dxe5 (15. Nxe5 Nxe5 16. dxe5 Bxe5 17. axb5 {White has a considerable edge here.} Nc4 18. Be1) 15... d4 16. exd4 Nxd4 17. Bf3 $2 {[%c_effect f3;square;f3;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (17. axb5 { Reluctance to trade on b5 ended up costing White a shot at victory.} axb5 ( 17... Nxb5 18. Nxb5 axb5 19. Rxa8 Nxa8 20. Qc1) 18. Rxa8 Nxa8) 17... Nxf3+ $1 { [%c_effect f3;square;f3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Black gets away with things here.} 18. Qxf3 Bf5 19. Ne4 $1 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} Qd4 20. Rfe1 Nc4 $2 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;Mistake; persistent;true]} (20... Bxe4 21. Qxe4 Qxe4 22. Rxe4 Rad8 23. Be3 Nc4 {Keeping things simple is Black's best plan.}) 21. Bg5 bxa4 22. Rxa4 $2 {[%c_effect a4; square;a4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] White's last chance to play for a win has come and gone.} (22. Nf6+ $1 {[%c_effect f6;square;f6;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} Bxf6 (22... Kh8 23. Rad1 h6 24. Nc5 {White's has strong initiative here and can attack ferociously.} Nxe5 25. Qxa8 Qxd1 26. Qxf8+ Bxf8 27. Rxd1 hxg5 28. Rd8) 23. Bxf6 {Black's dark squares around the king are too weak.}) 22... Nxe5 (22... Rae8 {The best move.}) 23. Nxe5 Bxe5 24. Ng3 $2 { [%c_effect g3;square;g3;type;Mistake;persistent;true] All but assuring a draw now.} (24. Ra2 {The b-pawn is not vital for White here. Rook activity trumps material.}) 24... Bc2 25. Ra2 Rac8 26. Be7 Rfe8 27. Bc5 Qc4 28. Ra3 Bg7 29. Rxe8+ Rxe8 30. Re3 Qb5 31. Ne4 Bxe4 32. Rxe4 h5 33. Rxe8+ Qxe8 {A draw is inevitable.} 34. g3 Qe6 35. Kg2 1/2-1/2
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