[Event "Belgrade SRB"] [Site "Belgrade SRB"] [Date "2022.03.09"] [Round "1.1"] [White "Rapport, Richard"] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D87"] [Annotator "cahan"] [PlyCount "73"] [EventDate "2022.03.09"] {[%evp 0,73,14,20,31,-28,38,40,63,51,51,51,51,51,51,51,51,33,33,29,29,31,26,39, 17,41,32,29,29,43,43,37,59,51,59,41,20,33,56,54,108,97,144,185,188,230,230,215, 274,274,257,256,256,216,216,216,216,309,361,223,223,189,233,221,228,228,222, 222,243,203,220,261,262,264,274,278]} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Bc4 c5 8. Ne2 O-O 9. Be3 Nc6 10. Rc1 ({This is a slightly unusual move. It can still transpose to the main lines that arise after} 10. O-O {but it also has some individual points which we will touch upon in the continuation.}) 10... cxd4 ({The main line. Two other options are} 10... Qa5 11. O-O {and}) (10... Qc7 11. O-O {which is a line that has been played thousands of times.}) 11. cxd4 Qa5+ 12. Rc3 $5 ({Now we are really heading down very lightly explored paths. In the latter part of the 1980s, Soviet GM and several-time World Championship candidate Lev Polugaevsky introduced the world to} 12. Kf1 {intending to follow up with h2-h4 and attack on the kingside. Generally speaking, that line is no longer considered problematic for Black. The text move has been used a few times German GM Matthias Bl├╝baum.}) 12... e5 $6 ({This is probably inaccurate. Black has a couple of alternatives that are worth taking a look at:} 12... Rd8 13. Qd2 Bg4 $5 (13... e6 14. O-O b5 15. Bb3 Bb7 16. Rfc1 Rac8 17. h4 {was already comfortably better for Whitein Salem,A (2682)-Preotu,R (2487) Chess.com INT 2021}) (13... Bd7 14. O-O Rac8 15. Rfc1 e6 16. Bb3 Be8 17. h4 {and White similarly had a clear advantage, Bluebaum,M (2647)-Kavyev,R (2327) Chess.com INT 2020}) 14. f3 Bd7 $6 (14... Be6 $1 15. Bxe6 fxe6 {is better, albeit slightly better for White.}) 15. Kf2 Be8 16. Rb1 Nxd4 17. Nxd4 e5 18. Rd3 Qxd2+ 19. Bxd2 exd4 20. Rxb7 {and White had a clear advantage in Bluebaum,M (2647) -Sychev,K (2572) Chess.com INT 2020.}) (12... Bg4 $1 {is untried but seems best, for instance,} 13. f3 Rad8 14. Qd2 (14. fxg4 $4 {loses to} Nxd4 {and White's position collapses}) 14... Be6 15. Bxe6 fxe6 {and Black has equalized.} ) 13. d5 Nd4 $6 ({This is consistent with Black's previous move, but it leads Black to a clearly worse position without much hope of counterplay. A better try was} 13... b5 $5) 14. Bd2 $5 ({Rapport thought about this move for more than 30 minutes. In another online game by Bluebaum, White played} 14. Qd2 Nxe2 15. Bxe2 Bd7 16. O-O f5 17. Rfc1 {(White is already winning, according to the engine)} fxe4 18. Rc7 Bf5 $4 19. Qxa5 {1-0 (19) Bluebaum,M (2647) -Baldauf,M (2503) Chess.com INT 2020.}) 14... Bd7 $6 ({Another passive move which makes Black drift further into a depressing position. Instead} 14... f5 {would have provided some counterplay, for instance,} 15. exf5 b5 16. Bb3 Nxb3 17. Qxb3 { with a sharp position where White nevertheless has the upper hand.}) 15. Nxd4 exd4 16. Rc1 Qa3 17. Qb3 Qxb3 18. Bxb3 Rae8 $2 ({Black's position is far from enviable, but it is also far from lost. However, the text move, leaving the c-file to White, moves the evaluation bar heavily in a favorable direction for White. It does seem logical to attack White's center, but it cannot be at the cost of everything else. Therefore, Black should have played either} 18... Rac8 ) ({or} 18... Rfc8 {when White's advantage is kept at a manageable level.}) 19. f3 f5 $4 (19... Rc8 {was necessary. After the text move, White is completely winning.}) 20. Rc7 $1 Bb5 21. a4 $1 ({Precision work by Rapport. The tempting} 21. d6+ {is good but less accurate, for instance,} Kh8 22. d7 Rd8 23. Be6 fxe4 {when Black may still be able to create some confusion.}) 21... Bd3 22. d6+ $1 Kh8 23. d7 Rb8 24. Bb4 $1 {Rapport is not letting up.} Be5 25. Bxf8 Bxc7 26. Be7 {Threatening mate with Bf6.} Kg7 27. e5 $1 b5 ({Or} 27... Bxe5 28. d8=Q { , leaving White a rook up.}) 28. Bf6+ Kf8 29. e6 $6 ({Sufficient, but the computers are calling for} 29. Kf2 {, clearing the path for the rook to run to the c-file and end Black's suffering.}) 29... Bd8 30. Be5 Rb6 31. Bxd4 { White is still completely winning.} Rc6 32. axb5 Bxb5 33. Kf2 Ke7 34. Be3 { Threatening Bg5+.} Bb6 35. Rd1 {Ouch! Now the pawn will not be stopped much longer.} Bxe3+ 36. Kxe3 Rc3+ 37. Kf4 {and Black resigned.} 1-0 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2022.03.09"] [Round "1"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Andreikin, Dmitry"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B40"] [WhiteElo "2771"] [BlackElo "2724"] [Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. b3 {A nice side-line to avoid the heavy theory.} b6 { This is considered to be one of the most plausible replies for Black. The reason: White does not seem to have a convenient way to defend his e4-pawn after the coming Bc8-b7 development.} ({Another direction is} 3... Nc6 4. Bb2 a6 5. d4 cxd4 6. Nxd4 Qa5+ 7. Nd2 Nf6 8. Nxc6 dxc6 9. Bd3 Bb4 10. Ke2 {Carlsen, M (2847)-Duda,J (2738) Chess24.com INT 2021}) 4. Bb2 Bb7 5. Nc3 {More or less forced, but now the knight blocks his own bishop.} Nf6 ({Giri certainly was aware of the following game:} 5... Nc6 6. g3 d6 7. Bg2 Nf6 8. O-O Be7 9. e5 dxe5 10. Nxe5 Qc8 11. f4 {Onischuk,V (2622)-Andreikin,D (2724) Chess.com INT 2021}) 6. e5 Ne4 (6... Nd5 {is more common.}) 7. Nxe4 Bxe4 8. Qe2 Bb7 { Andreikin achieved what he wanted: he locked the long diagonal, but at the expense of a few tempi. Giri's next move is a novelty.} 9. h4 $146 {An idea borrowed from the French defense. Even though the black pawn is on the d7 rather than the d5-square, the kingside attack plan remains White's primary idea.} ({The predecessor witnessed some interesting maneuvers:} 9. Qe3 Nc6 10. Bd3 Nb4 11. Be4 Be7 12. O-O Nd5 13. Qe1 Qc7 14. c4 Nf4 15. Qe3 g5 {Meszaros,T (2438)-Gara,A (2326) Zalakaros 2014}) 9... Nc6 10. h5 $1 {Postponing castling for the time being. That is the most unpleasant strategy for Black, who seems to lack many useful moves.} (10. O-O-O Qc7 11. d4 {was the other way to play it, but White wants to strengthen his pieces before opening the game.}) 10... Nb4 11. d3 b5 {All of this seems logical as Black needs to do something on the opposite wing, but this pawn may turn itself into a weakness.} ({The bishop swap} 11... Bxf3 12. gxf3 Nc6 13. f4 Nd4 14. Qd1 Be7 15. Bg2 {promises White long-term pressure on the light squares.}) ({On the other hand, it made sense to accomplish the development with} 11... Be7 {and wait for White to show his cards, for example} 12. Rh3 ({If} 12. a3 {then} Bxf3 13. gxf3 Nc6 14. f4 Nd4 { and the extra tempo matters.}) 12... O-O 13. a3 Bxf3 14. Rxf3 Nc6 {White seems better here as well, but not as much as in the game.}) 12. a3 Nc6 {Finally abandoning the idea of a bishop swap.} ({As before} 12... Bxf3 13. gxf3 Nc6 14. f4 {favors White.}) 13. Qd2 {An accurate move.} (13. Rh3 {allows an unpleasant check} Qa5+) 13... Rc8 {Black is getting ready to meet long castling.} ({ It is more and more evident that Andreikin will have difficulties freeing himself. For instance} 13... d6 14. exd6 Qxd6 {can be met with either} 15. d4 $1 ({Or} 15. a4 $1)) 14. Rh3 $1 {Once again, the nastiest way to play it. The rook would be working perfectly along the third rank.} (14. O-O-O Nd4 {is what Black's last move was all about.}) 14... Qc7 15. O-O-O {The time had come.} ({ There were no more useful preparatory moves as} 15. Rg3 {is parried with} Ne7 16. Nh4 Nc6) 15... Na5 {A difficult decision to make.} (15... Nd4 {looked like the logical way to play it, but apparently Black figured out that his d4-pawn might be lost in the long run after something like} 16. Nxd4 cxd4 17. Re1 Be7 18. Kb1 O-O) 16. Ng5 {The knight is heading to the e4-outpost and then might land very, very close to the enemy king.} (16. Kb1 $5) 16... Be7 {At last, the kingside is moving, but this might be a bit too late.} ({It is hard to help Black with good advice though. The line} 16... h6 17. Ne4 Bxe4 18. dxe4 c4 19. Kb1 {clearly favors White.}) 17. Rg3 {The black kingside is on the verge of collapse.} c4 {Last chance. Andreikin needs to muddy up the waters.} 18. dxc4 bxc4 19. b4 $1 h6 ({Or else White completely dominates after} 19... Nc6 20. Ne4 $1) 20. Nxf7 {Giri went for the most tempting line.} ({A pity for the Dutchman, as the simple retreat,} 20. Nh3 $1 {would have been more or less decisive. The white knight does not make it (yet) to the e4-square, but as a consolation White would win at least a pawn in the line} Nc6 21. Bxc4 {Now any discovered attacks would backfire, for instance} (21. Rxg7 Nxe5 {is not as clear.}) 21... Nxb4 22. axb4 Qxc4 23. Qxd7+ Kf8 24. Rc3 $1 {Which means that once the c4-pawn is captured White has not just an extra pawn but better pieces, and a safer king.}) 20... Kxf7 21. bxa5 {Obvious, and not optimal.} ({The other capture would have preserved some edge for White after} 21. Qxd7 $1 Qxd7 ({No time to save the knight} 21... Nc6 22. Rf3+ Kg8 23. Qxe6+ Kh7 24. Qg6+ Kg8 25. Bxc4#) 22. Rxd7 Rhd8 23. Rxe7+ Kxe7 24. bxa5 Kf7 25. Bc3 $1 {two pawns for an exchange should make White happy, especially thanks to his solid grip on the position.}) 21... Bd5 22. Qf4+ Kg8 {The king looks safer here, but it blocks the rook from entering the battle.} ({It is very messy after} 22... Ke8 23. Rxg7 Rf8 24. Rxe7+ $1 ({But not} 24. Qxh6 {when White should look for a draw with} c3 25. Rxe7+ Kxe7 26. Qg5+ Ke8 27. Bd3 cxb2+ 28. Kb1 Rf5 29. Qg8+ Ke7 30. Qg7+ $11) 24... Kxe7 25. Qh4+ Ke8 26. Bc3 $1) 23. Rxd5 {A nice concept!} ({ But still, objectively better would have been} 23. Qg4 $1 Rh7 24. Be2 Rb8 25. Bc3 Bxa3+ 26. Kd2 {and with the black rook stuck on -h7 indefinitely, White's chances should be higher.}) 23... Bg5 $1 {The only move.} ({Or else Black is mated after} 23... exd5 24. Rxg7+ Kxg7 25. e6+) 24. Rxg5 hxg5 25. Qd4 ({ A better version of the sacrifice seems to be} 25. Qxc4 Qxc4 26. Bxc4 exd5 27. Bxd5+ Kh7 28. Bd4 Rc7 {with three pawns for the two exchanges. Wow!}) 25... exd5 26. Qxd5+ Kf8 {Andreikin believes that his king is safe enough and leaves the h-file open for his rook.} ({The other retreat} 26... Kh7 {leads to a similar situation as in the game, but with the queens on the board, which might have worried the Russian player, say after} 27. e6 Qf4+ 28. Kb1 Rb8 29. Bxc4 Rxb2+ 30. Kxb2 Rb8+ 31. Ka2 Qf6 32. Qe4+ Kh6 33. Bb3 dxe6 34. g4 {and it is unclear!}) 27. Bd4 {A highly unusual situation arose at the top-GM level. Andreikin is two exchanges ahead, but the bishops are often no worse than the major pieces in open positions. Add to that the two pawns that White possesses and the clock situation (both players down to 2-3 minutes on the clocks) and you can get a vague idea of the complexity of the situation.} (27. Bc3 { would have been met with} Qc6) 27... Qc6 $1 {The most practical solution. There will hardly be any mate.} 28. Qxc6 Rxc6 29. Be2 {Not letting the rook out.} ({Although} 29. Bxa7 Rxh5 30. Be2 Rh4 {is playable too.}) 29... a6 30. Kd2 Ke7 31. Kc3 Rb8 32. a4 $1 {In these positions, the side that owes the minor pieces should be always considering the exchange counter-sacrifices.} ({ Here, for instance, the obvious} 32. Bb6 $1 {would have allowed} Rcxb6 33. axb6 Rxb6 34. Bxc4 a5 35. Bd3 Rb1 {when Black gets serious chances to at least torture his opponent for very, very long.}) 32... Rb1 33. Bf3 {PLAY CHESS, NOT WAR.} ({Giri decided to check what his opponent is playing for, and Andreikin declared he is happy with the draw. Indeed, the position is approximately balanced and a computer-generated drawing line could have been} 33. Bf3 Rc8 34. Bb6 Ra1 35. Bb7 Rb8 36. Bc5+ Ke6 37. Bxa6 Rxa4 38. Bd6 Ra8 39. Bxc4+ Rxc4+ 40. Kxc4 Rxa5) 1/2-1/2
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