[Event "London Chess Classic"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.01"] [Round "1"] [Board "2"] [White "Gukesh D"] [Black "Bartel, Mateusz"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C11"] [WhiteElo "2720"] [BlackElo "2659"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "India"] [BlackTeam "Poland"] [WhiteTeamCountry "IND"] [BlackTeamCountry "POL"] 1. e4 e6 {The French Defense is played relatively rarely at the very top level, with this game as an example of why. Giving up space in the opening involves more risk than many top players are willing to entertain.} 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Be7 7. Be3 O-O 8. dxc5 {This is already rare.} Nxc5 9. Qd2 Nbd7 10. O-O-O Nb6 $5 {[%c_effect b6;square;b6;type;Interesting;persistent;true] The move that made Giri sigh. Any dreams of knights rampaging amid the white position are soon cut short.} 11. Bxc5 $1 {[%c_effect c5;square;c5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Giving up the bishop pair, but getting a perfect square for the bishop in return.} Bxc5 12. Bd3 {The knight on b6 is just one of the pieces guilty of failing to protect the king on the other side of the board.} f5 {The best attempt to defend, but it would be better if en passant wasn't a thing.} 13. exf6 Qxf6 14. Ne2 Bd7 15. Kb1 Bd6 $5 {[%c_effect d6;square;d6;type;Interesting;persistent;true] Almost the losing move. It turns out Black really doesn't have time for these bishop maneuvers.} 16. g3 Be8 $5 {[%c_effect e8;square;e8;type;Interesting;persistent;true]} 17. Ned4 Bg6 18. Rhe1 Rae8 19. Bxg6 hxg6 20. b3 e5 21. fxe5 Bxe5 22. Nxe5 Rxe5 23. Rxe5 Qxe5 24. Re1 Qf6 25. a4 {Material is equal, but the d4-knight has a dream outpost, while the black pawns are shattered and the king is weak. From here on, simple threats win material and the game.} Nd7 26. Nb5 $1 {[%c_effect b5;square;b5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Attacking the a7- and d5-pawns.} Qc6 27. Nxa7 Qc5 28. Nb5 Rc8 29. b4 Qf8 30. Qxd5+ Kh7 31. Re4 Qf1+ 32. Kb2 Nf6 33. Rh4+ Nh5 34. Qd3 Qf6+ 35. c3 Kh8 36. Nd6 Rf8 37. Ne4 Qe7 38. Qd6 $1 {[%c_effect d6;square;d6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The endgame is a very easy win for White, but so is what follows.} Qe8 39. g4 Rf1 40. gxh5 g5 41. Rg4 1-0 [Event "London Chess Classic 2023"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.01"] [Round "1"] [White "Adams, Michael"] [Black "Tabatabaei, M. Amin"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C50"] [WhiteElo "2661"] [BlackElo "2692"] [Annotator "rafael"] [PlyCount "93"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] {[%evp 0,93,20,9,9,9,14,7,7,7,6,14,14,5,9,7,8,-9,-9,-14,-7,-17,-21,-20,-17,-17,-13,-18,-10,-10,34,23,34,43,53,32,81,77,86,68,48,61,104,109,172,103,85,91,141,141,148,139,144,144,144,144,137,136,193,193,193,193,203,203,205,193,196,193,193,194,214,214,220,220,220,147,153,157,157,157,155,155,160,149,163,163,217,216,220,228,232,232,229,239,239,226]} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Nc3 {This Italian Opening with the knight on c3 was played a few days ago by Rapport. Adams had already played it a few times. Many different plans are possible in this opening and this is one of its attractions.} h6 (5... O-O {Aronian simply castled in the aforementioned game against Rapport.}) 6. O-O O-O 7. h3 d6 {I don't like this move very much, as it allows White to exchange the knight for the bishop, giving sense to the play with Nc3.} (7... a6 {is logical, opening the path for the bishop.}) (7... Re8 {is also possible.}) 8. Na4 $1 {[%c_effect a4;square;a4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Bb6 9. a3 {A necessary move to open the way for the bishop and not allow a similar maneuver for Black with ...Na5. The exchange on b6 does not need to be done now, as the bishop has nowhere to run. In chess it's good to be flexible.} Be6 {Other moves were tried recently:} (9... Bd7 10. Nxb6 axb6 11. Re1 Re8 12. c3 Be6 13. Bb5 Bd7 14. a4 Ne7 {with an equal position in Saric-Nihal, FIDE Grand Swiss Douglas 2023.}) (9... Re8 10. b4 Be6 11. Bxe6 Rxe6 12. c4 {White is better: Esipenko-Nakamura, Chess.com rapid 2023.}) 10. Bxe6 fxe6 11. c3 Qe8 12. b4 Ne7 13. Ra2 $1 {[%c_effect a2;square;a2;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This plan has become traditional in the Italian, especially after an exchange of bishops on e6. The rook is very useful on the second rank, defending White's king and also putting pressure in the opposite position, going to c2 or d2.} Kh8 {A new move. Tabatabaei has a dubious plan in mind.} (13... Nh5 14. Nxb6 axb6 {Van Foreest-Giri, NED-ch KO Utrecht 2023. Here the best move for White is} 15. a4 $1 {[%c_effect a4;square;a4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Preventing the move b6-b5 and keeping a small advantage.}) (13... Ng6 {is perfectly normal.} 14. Re1) (13... c6 14. Nxb6 axb6 15. Be3 b5 16. a4 bxa4 17. Rxa4 {with some pressure for White.}) 14. Re1 g5 $2 {[%c_effect g5;square;g5;type;Mistake;persistent;true] This plan is incorrect and is the main reason for Black's defeat. The position becomes very difficult to defend. It's a bit strange to play like this, considering that White has the supremacy of the dark squares and the king becomes a target on the a1-h8 diagonal.} (14... Ng6 {is better.}) 15. d4 $1 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The good old adage: against an attack on the flank, counterattack in the center.} Ng6 (15... exd4 16. cxd4 {is not good for Black either.}) 16. dxe5 dxe5 17. Nxb6 cxb6 {Another strange move, although I can understand that Tabatabaei wanted to use the c-file.} (17... axb6 18. c4 {Preparing Rd2 followed by Bb2.} g4 {Black must create some kind of attack.} 19. hxg4 Rd8 20. Rd2 Nxg4 {Here White has many paths to the advantage, but the most clear-cut is:} 21. Nh2 $1 {[%c_effect h2;square;h2;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Nxh2 22. Qh5 $1 {[%c_effect h5;square;h5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Rxd2 23. Bxd2 Ng4 24. Qxg4 {with an overwhelming advantage.}) 18. c4 Qc6 (18... g4 {The same variation we saw after 17...axb6 can happen now, in an even worse version for Black.} 19. hxg4 Rd8 20. Rd2 Nxg4 21. Nh2 $1 {[%c_effect h2;square;h2;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Nxh2 22. Qh5) 19. Rc2 {Adams is the co-author of an excellent book I read recently titled \"Think Like a Super GM.\" In this book, the GM, who is one of my favorite chess players in history and with whom I had the honor of playing twice, shows his decision-making process. One of the pieces of advice he gives that is useful for players of all levels is not to complicate a position that is already very favorable. He follows his own advice in the game we're analyzing. At times the computer suggests a sharper, possibly better move, but Adams prefers to control the game without adventures.} (19. Rd2 {is the machine's suggestion, sacrificing a pawn.} Qxc4 (19... Nxe4 20. Rd3 Qxc4 21. Bb2 {Black's position is about to collapse.}) 20. Bb2 {White firmly controls the d-file and the e5-pawn will soon be captured.}) 19... Rad8 20. Qe2 Qa4 (20... Nf4 {improves Bllack's pawn structure a little, but the position remains horrible after} 21. Bxf4 exf4 22. c5) 21. c5 $1 {[%c_effect c5;square;c5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Bringing the rook into the game.} Nh5 {This loses by force, but good advice is difficult.} (21... bxc5 22. Rxc5) (21... b5 22. c6 $1 {[%c_effect c6;square;c6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]}) 22. Rc3 {A solid choice, but here I really think Adams should have struck .} (22. Nxe5 $1 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] wins on the spot.} Nxe5 23. Bb2 {The knight on e5 is pinned and the other one is attacked.} (23. Qxh5 {Even this is winning, in this case with a bit of adventure.} Qxc2 24. Qxh6+ Kg8 25. Qxg5+ Kh7 (25... Kf7 26. Qxe5) 26. Qxe5 Qxf2+ 27. Kh2 Qxe1 28. Bb2 {Black cannot defend mate.} Rd7 29. Qh5+ Kg8 30. Qg6+)) (22. cxb6 {is also pretty good.} axb6 (22... Nhf4 23. Bxf4 Nxf4 24. Qc4 {with an easy win.}) 23. Rc7 $1 {[%c_effect c7;square;c7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] with a totally winning position.}) 22... Nhf4 23. Bxf4 Nxf4 (23... exf4 {Black is left without a weak pawn on e5, but also without any shadow of initiative.} 24. Rec1 {with a nearly winning position for White after the invasion on the c-file.}) 24. Qe3 Rd1 25. cxb6 (25. Nxe5 {is very tempting.}) 25... axb6 26. Kh2 {Typical Adams play: solid and effective.} Rxe1 27. Qxe1 Qd7 28. g3 Nh5 (28... Ng6 {doesn't help:} 29. Qe3 {Sooner or later White will take one or more pawns. Weaknesses abound.}) 29. Nxe5 Qg7 30. Rf3 $1 {[%c_effect f3;square;f3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The most accurate.} Rxf3 31. Nxf3 Nf6 32. Qe3 {As they say, the rest is a matter of technique, a skill that Adams isn't lacking.} Qc7 33. Qd4 Kg7 34. Ne5 h5 35. Nf3 $1 {[%c_effect f3;square;f3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} g4 (35... Kg6 36. Qd3 {wins easily as well.}) 36. hxg4 hxg4 37. e5 (37. Ne5 {is also good.}) 37... gxf3 38. exf6+ Kf7 39. Qg4 Kxf6 40. Qxf3+ Ke7 41. Qe4 $1 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] It's always good to centralize the queen. Black continues to have problems preventing the exchange of queens and defending the pawns, in addition to the material disadvantage he already has.} Qb8 42. Qh4+ Kd7 43. Qd4+ Kc6 44. Qc4+ Kd6 45. Qf4+ e5 46. Qf6+ Kd5 47. Qxb6 1-0 [Event "London Chess Classic"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.01"] [Round "1"] [Board "1"] [White "Vitiugov, Nikita"] [Black "Volokitin, Andrei"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A38"] [WhiteElo "2704"] [BlackElo "2659"] [PlyCount "87"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "England"] [BlackTeam "Ukraine"] [WhiteTeamCountry "ENG"] [BlackTeamCountry "UKR"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. b3 g6 3. Bb2 Bg7 4. g3 c5 5. c4 d6 6. Bg2 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. Nc3 O-O 9. d3 Ne8 10. a3 a5 11. Ne1 Nc7 12. Nc2 Rb8 13. Ne3 Bd7 14. Ned5 Nxd5 15. Nxd5 Ne7 16. Nxe7+ Qxe7 17. Bc3 b6 18. b4 axb4 19. axb4 b5 20. Ra7 cxb4 21. Bxb4 bxc4 22. Ba5 e4 $6 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] A bold move that worked out perfectly, but with a serious flaw.} 23. dxc4 $6 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] Regaining the pawn immediately, but missing a chance.} (23. Bh3 $1 {[%c_effect h3;square;h3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] and you can't defend the d7-bishop since the d8-square is under attack.} f5 {looks like a strong move that Black wants to play anyway, but after} 24. dxe4 $1 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] you can't recapture without dropping material. After e.g.} Rf7 25. exf5 gxf5 26. Bg2 {White has the initiative and a clear advantage.}) 23... Ra8 24. Rxa8 Rxa8 25. Bb4 Ra6 26. c5 dxc5 27. Bxc5 Qe8 {With all the pawns on one wing, it was all but inevitable that a draw would follow among such strong players.} 28. Qd2 Bc6 29. Rd1 Ra1 30. Rxa1 Bxa1 31. h4 h5 32. Bd4 Qd7 33. e3 Bxd4 34. Qxd4 Qe6 35. Bf1 Bd5 36. Bb5 Kh7 37. Qc5 Kg7 38. Kg2 Qf5 39. Qd6 Qf3+ 40. Kg1 Qd1+ 41. Kh2 Qb3 42. Qe5+ Kh7 43. Bd7 Be6 44. Bxe6 1/2-1/2 [Event "London Chess Classic 2023"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.01"] [Round "2"] [White "Bartel, Mateusz"] [Black "Moussard, Jules"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A17"] [WhiteElo "2659"] [BlackElo "2635"] [Annotator "rafael"] [PlyCount "59"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] {[%evp 0,59,19,22,24,11,17,23,29,3,17,9,21,-3,-27,-27,-24,-35,-9,-1,0,0,0,-33,-33,-78,-64,-37,-37,-62,-69,-90,-90,-75,-18,-21,-26,-64,-65,-78,-56,-100,-9,-36,62,61,77,60,106,106,115,36,28,29,141,142,242,299,1340,1339,1372,1372]} 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qb3 (4. Qc2 {is the most popular move.}) (4. g4 $5 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;Interesting;persistent;true] Even this is possible, a pawn advance we will soon see on the board.}) 4... c5 5. a3 Ba5 (5... Bxc3 $6 {[%c_effect c3;square;c3;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] is a positional error, as it simply hands the pair of bishops to White.}) 6. g4 $6 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] A thematic move in the English Opening but rare in this specific position. The computer isn't impressed, and the feeling is that this is a bad version of the g-pawn advance. It's important to highlight that the first chess player to try this move is the legendary grandmaster and World Champion Maia Chiburdanidze.} h6 $1 {[%c_effect h6;square;h6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The best reaction, stopping g4-g5.} (6... Nxg4 $6 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] This is playing into White's hands.} 7. Rg1 {followed by the capture of the g7-pawn.}) (6... Nc6 {is also possible but less accurate.} 7. g5 Ng4 8. Ne4 Qe7 9. Rg1 f5 10. gxf6 Nxf6 11. Qe3 {with a complicated game in Chiburdanidze-Razuvaev, Palma de Mallorca 1989.}) 7. Rg1 Nc6 {A new move and a good one.} (7... d5 {is also better for Black.} 8. cxd5 (8. h4 {is the best try:} d4 9. g5 {with a slightly better position for Black.}) 8... exd5 9. g5 hxg5 10. Rxg5 Be6 (10... Kf8 {is even better.}) 11. Qxb7 Nbd7 {with excellent compensation for the pawn in Naoum-Paravyan, Wch U16 Al Ain 2013.}) 8. h4 Nd4 $6 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (8... h5 $1 {[%c_effect h5;square;h5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is the best reply, giving Black a clear advantage after either 9.gxh5 or 9.g5. This move (h5) is common in Sicilian positions when White commonly plays g4 and h4. Yet another proof that chess patterns repeat themselves even in very different openings.} 9. gxh5 (9. g5 Ng4 {The kingside is closed, and White's plan loses meaning.}) 9... Kf8 $1 {[%c_effect f8;square;f8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Another very precise move with the idea of playing d7-d5. Black has a clear advantage.}) 9. Nxd4 cxd4 10. Nb5 d5 {The position is complicated, but it's still better to be in Black's shoes, both practically and objectively.} 11. c5 {An understandable reaction, so the center doesn't open up.} (11. Nxd4 e5 {with good play.}) (11. g5 hxg5 12. hxg5 Ne4 {with good counterplay for Black.}) 11... Ne4 $1 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Attacking the pawns on c5 and h4.} 12. Nxd4 {This is probably not the best. White could take the queen from b3 so the capture on c5 would no longer be possible due to the fork with b2-b4.} (12. Qf3 $1 {[%c_effect f3;square;f3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Now the computer recommends an extremely sophisticated maneuver to secure the initiative.} Qd7 (12... Nxc5 $2 {[%c_effect c5;square;c5;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} 13. b4 {loses a piece.}) (12... Bxd2+ $5 {[%c_effect d2;square;d2;type;Interesting;persistent;true]} 13. Bxd2 Nxd2 14. Kxd2 Qa5+ 15. b4 Qxb5 16. e4 dxe3+ 17. Qxe3 {with unclear play.}) 13. Nxd4 Bd8 $1 {[%c_effect d8;square;d8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] A subtle move, attacking the h4-pawn and preparing to place the bishop on f6.}) 12... Nxc5 13. Qb5+ Nd7 14. b4 Bb6 15. Bb2 {Both players don't seem to be very interested in the h4-pawn for some reason. The computer is a little greedier.} (15. Nf3 {is relatively best, although Black is better after} Qf6) 15... a6 (15... Qxh4 {There's nothing wrong with putting this pawn in the pocket.}) 16. Qa4 O-O $2 {[%c_effect g8;square;g8;type;Mistake;persistent;true] White is back in the game now.} (16... Qxh4 {Black is simply a pawn up and has the safer king. The computer already evaluates the advantage as winning.}) 17. g5 Ne5 (17... h5 {is a safe move, keeping the kingside closed.} 18. Nf3 {with an equal position.}) 18. gxh6 g6 19. Qb3 (19. h5 $2 {[%c_effect h5;square;h5;type;Mistake;persistent;true] is bad due to} Qh4 $1 {[%c_effect h4;square;h4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] attacking the d4-knight and the pawn on h5. There's also some pressure on the f2-pawn.}) 19... Qxh4 {The pawn is finally captured.} 20. h7+ Kh8 {Black has to decide between opening the h-file or placing the king on the dangerous diagonal of the b2-bishop.} (20... Qxh7 {is possible with complicated play. White has enough compensation for the pawn.}) 21. Qe3 (21. Qg3 {is better, keeping the game equal.} Qxg3 22. Rxg3 {The point is that the tempting 22...Nc4 doesn't work so well:} Nc4 $6 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (22... Kxh7) (22... f6) 23. Nxe6+ $1 {[%c_effect e6;square;e6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Nxb2 24. Nxf8 Bf5 25. Bh3 Bxh3 26. Nxg6+ fxg6 27. Rxh3 {with a slight advantage for White in this unbalanced endgame.}) 21... f6 $2 {[%c_effect f6;square;f6;type;Mistake;persistent;true] A losing mistake. Black has two good alternatives.} (21... Nc4 {A dangerous move, but it's tactically justified.} 22. Nf3+ Nxb2 23. Qe5+ $1 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} (23. Qxb6 Qf6 {with a good position.}) (23. Qc3+ d4 $1 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]}) 23... f6 24. Nxh4 Bxf2+ $1 {[%c_effect f2;square;f2;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The only move.} 25. Kxf2 fxe5+ 26. Ke1 Kxh7 27. Rc1 Bd7 28. Rc7 Rad8 {with a balanced position.}) (21... Qf6 $1 {[%c_effect f6;square;f6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is the most accurate move when Black keeps the better position.}) 22. Nf3 $1 {[%c_effect f3;square;f3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] A beautiful move, clearly missed by Moussard.} Nxf3+ (22... Bxe3 {loses material after} 23. Nxh4) 23. Qxf3 {Sadly for Black, there's no way to defend the important g6-pawn.} e5 (23... Kg7 $2 {[%c_effect g7;square;g7;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} 24. Rh1 Qg5 25. h8=Q+ Rxh8 26. Rxh8 Kxh8 27. Bxf6+) 24. Rxg6 Be6 25. Rc1 (25. e3 $1 {[%c_effect e3;square;e3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is the best move, immediately preparing Bd3.}) 25... Rf7 $1 {[%c_effect f7;square;f7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 26. e3 Re8 $2 {[%c_effect e8;square;e8;type;Mistake;persistent;true] The rook is not very useful on e8. It's better to move it to f8, defending the f6-pawn and making the e5-e4 advance a possibility.} (26... Raf8 $1 {[%c_effect f8;square;f8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]}) 27. Bd3 $1 {[%c_effect d3;square;d3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The bishop comes to play at the right time. Now it supports the pawn on h7, frees the path for the plan with Ke2-Rh1, and can also go to f5.} Bd8 {This loses on the spot.} 28. Bxe5 $1 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] A nice tactical solution.} Rxh7 (28... fxe5 {loses to} 29. Rxe6 $1 {[%c_effect e6;square;e6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Rxf3 (29... Rxe6 30. Qxf7) 30. Rxe8+ Kg7 31. Rg8+ {followed by the promotion with h7-h8.}) 29. Rxf6 Qh1+ 30. Ke2 1-0 [Event "London Chess Classic"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.02"] [Round "2"] [Board "2"] [White "Tabatabaei, M. Amin"] [Black "McShane, Luke J"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2692"] [BlackElo "2631"] [PlyCount "107"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "Iran"] [BlackTeam "England"] [WhiteTeamCountry "IRI"] [BlackTeamCountry "ENG"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. Bg5 Be7 7. Nbd2 d6 8. a4 Ng4 $5 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;Interesting;persistent;true] World Champions Vishy Anand and Hou Yifan had played this position with Black, but no one had gone for this radical decision. It doesn't work out too badly.} 9. Bxe7 Qxe7 10. a5 Kh8 11. h3 Nf6 12. Nf1 Be6 13. Qb3 b6 14. Bxe6 fxe6 15. axb6 axb6 16. Rxa8 Rxa8 17. Ng3 Ra1+ 18. Ke2 Rxh1 19. Nxh1 Nh5 20. Kf1 Nd8 21. Qb5 g6 22. Kg1 Nf7 23. Kh2 Kg7 24. Ng3 Nxg3 25. Kxg3 Qf6 26. h4 h6 27. Qd7 g5 {It's a curious position, where it feels both sides are on the attack.} 28. Kh3 $1 {[%c_effect h3;square;h3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] A cool move, avoiding any checks, and also a strong one. The computer insists the position is completely equal.} c5 29. h5 c4 30. dxc4 g4+ 31. Kxg4 Qf4+ 32. Kh3 Qxe4 33. Kh2 Qxc4 34. Kg1 Qb3 35. g3 Kf6 36. Nh2 Qd1+ 37. Kg2 {In hindsight, McShane might simply have kept control of the center and queenside with a move such as ...Qd5. Black would be in no way worse with a draw very likely.} Qxh5 $5 {[%c_effect h5;square;h5;type;Interesting;persistent;true] Now the players begin to play on opposite flanks.} 38. Qb5 d5 39. Qxb6 Qd1 40. b4 $1 {[%c_effect b4;square;b4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Passed pawns must be pushed $1} e4 $6 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] An unfortunate move, which prevents Black from playing d4, since now with Qxd4 White would be giving check.} (40... d4 $1 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is a better way to generate necessary counterplay, although less radical options are also good.}) 41. b5 {Now Black has to play very accurately to hold on.} Ne5 $2 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;Mistake;persistent;true] And this is already the losing move $1} 42. Qd8+ $1 {[%c_effect d8;square;d8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Kf7 43. Qc7+ Kf6 44. b6 {The pawn is a monster, while the h2-knight is single-handedly stopping any counterplay on the kingside.} Nf3 45. Qf4+ Ke7 46. Nxf3 exf3+ 47. Qxf3 Qb1 48. Qe3 Kf7 49. Qf4+ Ke7 50. Qc7+ Kf6 51. b7 Qe4+ 52. Kh2 Qe2 53. Qf4+ Kg6 54. b8=Q {Two queens are better than one.} 1-0 [Event "London Chess Classic"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.02"] [Round "2"] [Board "1"] [White "Volokitin, Andrei"] [Black "Royal, Shreyas"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C78"] [WhiteElo "2659"] [BlackElo "2438"] [PlyCount "83"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "Ukraine"] [BlackTeam "England"] [WhiteTeamCountry "UKR"] [BlackTeamCountry "ENG"] 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. Be3 O-O 10. Nbd2 Re8 11. a4 Rb8 12. Qe2 Bd7 13. axb5 axb5 14. Ng5 Rf8 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Bxb6 Rxb6 17. f4 exf4 18. e5 Bg4 19. Ndf3 Bxf3 20. Rxf3 Nd5 21. Nh3 Qe7 22. Kh1 Nf6 23. Re1 Re8 24. e6 fxe6 25. Nxf4 Nd8 26. Re3 c5 27. Bxe6+ Nxe6 28. Nxe6 c4 29. h3 Qd7 $2 {[%c_effect d7;square;d7;type;Mistake;persistent;true][%c_arrow e6g7;keyPressed;none;from;e6;opacity;0.8;to;g7;persistent;false]} (29... Qb7 {or}) (29... Rbb8 {would have avoided what followed.}) 30. Nxg7 $1 {[%c_effect g7;square;g7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Played with just six seconds to spare $1} Kxg7 {A sad necessity, accepting the loss of a pawn.} (30... Rxe3 $2 {[%c_effect e3;square;e3;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} 31. Qxe3 {and we see the problem with the loose rook on b6—since it's under attack, Black has no time to take the knight on g7.}) 31. Rxe8 Qxe8 32. Qxe8 Nxe8 33. Rxe8 Rd6 $2 {[%c_effect d6;square;d6;type;Mistake;persistent;true] The nail in Black's coffin. It is necessary to try and hold key squares with} (33... Kf6 $1 {[%c_effect f6;square;f6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]}) 34. Re5 $1 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Now Black will be forced into passive defense, while the white king can gradually enter with decisive effect.} b4 35. cxb4 Rd2 36. Rc5 Rc2 37. Kh2 Kg6 38. Kg3 h5 39. h4 Kh6 40. Rc6+ Kg7 41. Kf3 Kh7 42. g3 1-0 [Event "London Chess Classic"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.02"] [Round "2"] [Board "3"] [White "Niemann, Hans Moke"] [Black "Adams, Michael"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A20"] [WhiteElo "2667"] [BlackElo "2661"] [PlyCount "68"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "United States"] [BlackTeam "England"] [WhiteTeamCountry "USA"] [BlackTeamCountry "ENG"] 1. c4 e5 2. g3 c6 3. Nf3 e4 4. Nd4 d5 5. cxd5 Qxd5 6. Nc2 Nf6 7. Nc3 Qe5 8. Bg2 Na6 9. O-O Be7 10. Ne3 O-O 11. a3 Nc7 (11... Re8 {Niemann played this move in the 2022 Charity Cup and went on to beat Ding Liren.}) 12. b4 Nfd5 13. Nexd5 Nxd5 14. Bb2 Bf5 15. Qc2 Nxc3 16. Bxc3 Qe6 17. Qb2 Qg6 18. b5 h5 19. a4 h4 20. a5 $5 {[%c_effect a5;square;a5;type;Interesting;persistent;true]} a6 (20... h3 $1 {[%c_effect h3;square;h3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is the computer's choice, and it's a fan of Black's position, though there's also nothing wrong with the move in the game.}) 21. bxa6 bxa6 22. Ra4 Rfe8 23. Qb6 Bf8 24. Rc4 Re6 $5 {[%c_effect e6;square;e6;type;Interesting;persistent;true]} (24... h3 $1 {[%c_effect h3;square;h3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is again strong.}) 25. Qb7 $1 {[%c_effect b7;square;b7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Niemann takes over on the queenside, so it becomes a case of Adams needing to succeed on the kingside or he'll be lost.} Rae8 26. Qxa6 c5 27. Qb5 Qh5 28. a6 h3 $1 {[%c_effect h3;square;h3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Better late than never, and it's still strong $1} 29. Bh1 Qxe2 30. Rxc5 Bg4 $1 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The only move but a good one $1} (30... Qxb5 $4 {[%c_effect b5;square;b5;type;Blunder;persistent;true]} 31. Rxb5 {would be a huge mistake. The problem is that hanging bishop on f5, so there's no time to take the a6-pawn. After} Bg4 32. a7 {Black is lost.}) 31. Qxe2 Bxe2 32. Ra5 Rxa6 {No pawn, no problem.} 33. Rxa6 Bxa6 34. Re1 f5 {And here Adams' draw offer was accepted—depriving us of some more potential bloodshed.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "London Chess Classic"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.02"] [Round "2"] [Board "5"] [White "Vitiugov, Nikita"] [Black "Gukesh D"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D14"] [WhiteElo "2704"] [BlackElo "2720"] [PlyCount "155"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "England"] [BlackTeam "India"] [WhiteTeamCountry "ENG"] [BlackTeamCountry "IND"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bf4 {The London System in London.} Bf5 7. e3 e6 8. Ne5 Nd7 (8... Nxe5 {has been played more often, and is presumably what Gukesh was pondering in the 17 minutes he spent here.}) 9. Nxc6 bxc6 10. a3 {This little move was played fast by Vitiugov and leads to an almost new position. He clearly knew exactly what he was doing, and Gukesh came under heavy pressure.} Be7 11. Be2 O-O 12. Rc1 c5 13. dxc5 Nxc5 14. b4 Ne4 15. Nxe4 Bxe4 16. O-O Bd6 17. Bxd6 Qxd6 18. Qd2 Rfc8 19. Rc3 e5 20. Rfc1 Rd8 21. Rc7 d4 22. f3 Bd5 23. exd4 Be6 24. d5 Qb6+ 25. R1c5 Rxd5 26. Qe3 Rxc5 27. Qxc5 f6 28. Kf1 Qxc5 29. Rxc5 Rc8 30. Rxc8+ Bxc8 {A sharp struggle has led to an almost equal endgame, but Vitiugov has the advantage with the much easier task of creating a passed pawn on the queenside.} 31. Bc4+ Kf8 32. Ke2 Ke7 33. Kd3 f5 34. a4 g5 35. Bd5 Kd6 36. Kc4 Bd7 37. b5 h6 38. Ba8 Be6+ 39. Kb4 Bf7 $2 {[%c_effect f7;square;f7;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (39... Bc8 $1 {[%c_effect c8;square;c8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] or}) (39... h5 {is recommended by the computer. In fact, pushing the h5-pawn is the saving resource in most lines.}) 40. a5 $1 {[%c_effect a5;square;a5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Kc7 41. Kc5 Bb3 42. Bc6 Bc2 43. b6+ axb6+ 44. axb6+ Kb8 {Vitiugov has a dream setup, with the b6-pawn and bishop completely restricting the black king, so that the white king is free to set off on a hunt for black pawns.} 45. Kd5 e4 46. Kd4 $1 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} (46. fxe4 $2 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] and after} Bxe4+ {it's only a draw.}) 46... exf3 47. Bxf3 f4 48. Ke5 Bg6 49. Kf6 Be8 50. Ke7 Bb5 51. Kf6 (51. h3 $1 {[%c_effect h3;square;h3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] and then moving the king toward the h6-pawn is winning already, as Giri pointed out.}) 51... Be8 52. Kg7 $2 {[%c_effect g7;square;g7;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (52. h3 $1 {[%c_effect h3;square;h3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] would prevent what happened in the game.}) 52... h5 $1 {[%c_effect h5;square;h5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Black is just in time $1} 53. Kf6 g4 54. Be4 f3 55. gxf3 gxf3 56. Bxf3 h4 57. Kg5 h3 58. Kh4 Bd7 59. Kg3 Be6 60. Kf4 Bd7 61. Bg4 {Vitiugov correctly calculates that the pawn endgame after swapping off bishops here would be winning, but Gukesh doesn't need to go for it.} Be8 $1 {[%c_effect e8;square;e8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Surprisingly, this is the only bishop move that doesn't lose the game, immediately taking aim at one of the squares on the h-file that the white h2-pawn would have to cross to win the game.} 62. Bf3 (62. Bxh3 Kb7 {and with the b-pawn dropping, the black bishop will be able to stop the remaining pawn.}) 62... Bd7 63. Kg5 Be8 64. Kf5 Bb5 65. Ke5 Bf1 66. Kf4 Bg2 67. Kg3 Bxf3 68. Kxf3 Kb7 69. Kg4 Kxb6 70. Kxh3 {One of those positions where the black king looks too distant, but in fact it's just in time to stop the pawn.} Kc7 71. Kg4 Kd7 72. Kg5 Ke7 73. Kg6 Kf8 74. h4 Kg8 75. h5 Kh8 76. h6 Kg8 77. h7+ Kh8 78. Kh6 {Stalemate $1} 1/2-1/2 [Event "London Chess Classic"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.03"] [Round "3"] [Board "5"] [White "Royal, Shreyas"] [Black "Tabatabaei, M. Amin"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D38"] [WhiteElo "2438"] [BlackElo "2692"] [Annotator "3700"] [PlyCount "106"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "England"] [BlackTeam "Iran"] [WhiteTeamCountry "ENG"] [BlackTeamCountry "IRI"] {[%evp 0,106,19,31,14,-11,-14,-7,6,-29,-8,1,2,10,10,10,3,10,7,3,9,10,29,19,31,20,31,-2,0,3,1,1,11,10,10,2,-5,0,-10,-7,0,-9,41,30,66,80,108,87,85,78,186,121,94,113,125,119,119,120,119,127,134,134,145,146,143,126,135,147,148,112,113,111,141,146,143,162,134,138,133,130,136,134,132,129,134,139,129,135,162,142,239,230,276,280,292,325,492,492,537,544,545,548,557,570,570,579,611,649,1002]} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 Bb4 6. Nf3 h6 7. Bxf6 Qxf6 8. Qb3 Qd6 9. a3 Bxc3+ 10. Qxc3 O-O 11. e3 Bf5 12. Rc1 c6 13. Ne5 {A new move that ultimately works to perfection.} (13. Be2 {was Smyslov's more circumspect choice, which led to a 25-move draw against Averbakh in the 1953 Candidates.} Nd7 14. O-O a5 15. Ne1 Nf6 16. Nd3 Bxd3 17. Qxd3 Rfe8 18. Bf3 Ne4 19. Bxe4 Rxe4 20. Qb3 Qd7 21. Rc5 Rg4 22. h3 Rg6 23. Kh1 a4 24. Qb4 Rf6 25. Kg1 {1/2 Smyslov,V-Averbakh,Y Candidates Tournament Zuerich 1953 (16)}) 13... Nd7 14. Bd3 {Simple chess.} Bxd3 15. Nxd3 Rfe8 16. O-O Nf6 17. b4 {The famous \"minority attack.\" White attacks on the flank where he has fewer pawns in order to create weaknesses in the black camp.} a6 18. a4 Ne4 19. Qb2 Qe7 20. b5 cxb5 $5 {[%c_effect b5;square;b5;type;Interesting;persistent;true] Safety first is seldom the approach when facing a much lower-rated opponent, but this choice allows Royal to get a grip on the position.} (20... axb5 $1 {[%c_effect b5;square;b5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 21. axb5 Qa3 $1 {[%c_effect a3;square;a3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] and Black exploits the loose knight on d3 to equalize the position.}) 21. axb5 a5 22. b6 $1 {[%c_effect b6;square;b6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The threat of putting a rook on c7 is obvious, but Tabatabaei decides he can live with that.} Qd6 $2 {[%c_effect d6;square;d6;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (22... Rec8 {challenging White's dominance of the c-file, looks much safer.}) 23. Rc7 {It's already only a question of whether Black can hold on.} Re7 24. Rfc1 Rae8 25. Nc5 $1 {[%c_effect c5;square;c5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Nxc5 26. dxc5 Qe6 27. Rxe7 Qxe7 28. Qb5 {Simple and strong. The black position is in ruins.} Rb8 29. Qxa5 Qd7 30. h3 Qc6 31. Qc3 Rc8 32. Qe5 g6 33. h4 h5 34. Kh2 Re8 35. Qd6 {Forcing off queens isn't the only option, but once again simplicity works out perfectly for Royal. If the endgame is defendable for Black, it takes a lot of proving.} Qxd6+ 36. cxd6 Rd8 37. Rc7 Rxd6 38. Rxb7 Kg7 39. Kg3 Kf6 40. Kf3 d4 $1 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] A good attempt to trick his young opponent. Just one move keeps a clearly winning advantage.} 41. Ke2 $1 {[%c_effect e2;square;e2;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Here, and in what follows, White is up to the task.} dxe3 42. Kxe3 Ke6 43. f3 Kf6 44. g3 g5 45. Rb8 gxh4 46. Rh8 $1 {[%c_effect h8;square;h8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Again by far the best option.} Re6+ (46... Rxb6 $4 {[%c_effect b6;square;b6;type;Blunder;persistent;true] is, of course, impossible due to} 47. Rh6+ {and the rook falls.}) 47. Kf4 hxg3 48. b7 $1 {[%c_effect b7;square;b7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Fearing no ghosts, or new queens.} g2 49. b8=Q g1=Q 50. Qd8+ {As so often in such cases, being able to give the first check is decisive.} Re7 51. Rh6+ Qg6 {A sad necessity.} (51... Kg7 52. Qh8# {is checkmate.}) 52. Qd4+ (52. Rxg6+ {is perfectly sufficient, but all top chess players have a sadistic streak.}) 52... Ke6 53. Qb6+ {Now White will win not just the queen but a pawn. Tabatabaei probably resigned here, with the next move the arbiter moving the kings to signal a huge win for 14-year-old Royal.} Kd5 1-0 [Event "London Chess Classic 2023"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.03"] [Round "3"] [White "Gukesh D"] [Black "Volokitin, Andrei"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A34"] [WhiteElo "2720"] [BlackElo "2659"] [Annotator "rafael"] [PlyCount "55"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] {[%evp 0,55,35,-14,-14,-9,22,1,25,25,25,25,58,29,22,18,11,23,19,19,82,14,14,-16,-1,-38,17,17,47,-38,-44,-44,-33,-51,-23,-23,-23,-40,-9,-9,-6,-35,23,23,23,23,326,184,247,227,435,478,500,522,534,521,794,816]} 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 c5 3. g3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Bg2 Nc7 6. b3 {A rare choice.} (6. Nf3 {is the main move.}) 6... e5 {Black's natural reaction, achieving a pawn formation known as the \"Maroczy Bind.\"} 7. Bb2 Be7 8. Rc1 {White's game is very concrete and based on a quick attack on the \"Maroczy's pawns,\" even if this comes at the price of neglecting the development of the kingside.} O-O {The best reaction. When in doubt, just castle.} (8... Ne6 $6 {[%c_effect e6;square;e6;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] This move gives the d5-square to White.} 9. Nd5 Bd6 10. e3 O-O 11. Ne2 {with the advantage in Spraggett-Fier, Linares 2015.}) (8... f6 {is a solid choice, protecting the e5-pawn.} 9. Nh3 Be6 10. f4 Qd7 11. Nf2 Nc6 {with chances for both sides in Spraggett-Umetsubo, Famalicao op 2022.}) 9. Ne4 {This natural move is a novelty. Gukesh came well-prepared to this game.} (9. Na4 {Has been played a few times, although it's curious to place the knight at the edge of the board.} Nd7) (9. Nf3 {has also been tried.} f6 {with equal chances.}) 9... b6 $1 {[%c_effect b6;square;b6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] An excellent reply. Volokitin is a very strong player, especially when he has the initiative. Sacrificing material for development is not a problem for him.} (9... Nd7 {is also possible, preserving material equality.} 10. d3 b6 (10... f5 11. Nd2 {Black has advanced the pawns too quickly and is overextended.}) 11. Nf3 Bb7 12. O-O f6 {Here White can try a variety of plans. In general, I think he has a slight advantage.}) 10. Bxe5 {Black's previous move was both a pawn sacrifice and an exchange sacrifice. It's better to accept the former than the latter.} (10. Nc3 {The rook on a8 will be captured, but it's hard to believe that Black has no compensation after this back and forth with the knight.} Qd7 11. Bxa8 Nxa8 {The light-squared bishop is certainly worth a rook.}) 10... Bb7 11. Ba1 {Black was threatening to play f7-f5, forcing White to lose more time before developing the pieces.} (11. Nf6+ $2 {[%c_effect f6;square;f6;type;Mistake;persistent;true] doesn't work:} Bxf6 (11... gxf6 12. Bxb7 fxe5 13. Bxa8 Nxa8 {is also winning.}) 12. Bxf6 Qc8 $1 {[%c_effect c8;square;c8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Black wins material.}) 11... Qc8 {Protecting the b7-bishop and renewing the threat of f7-f5.} 12. g4 $1 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} (12. Kf1 {is the other option, but Gukesh's choice is more dynamic. It's hard to play with the king stuck in the middle.}) 12... Ne6 $2 {[%c_effect e6;square;e6;type;Mistake;persistent;true] Here Gukesh finally started to think. Excellent preparation in a variation with not too much theory. 12...Nc6 and 12...f5 are better attempts to demonstrate compensation for the pawn.} (12... Nc6 13. g5 Qd7 {Followed by Rad8.}) (12... f5 13. gxf5 Qxf5 14. d3 {Black has managed to weaken the white king's position, but it's difficult to say whether the compensation is sufficient for the pawn.}) 13. Nh3 {Now White can complete the development, and the pawns on the kingside are ready to advance.} Nc6 14. e3 $6 {[%c_effect e3;square;e3;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] A prophylactic move, preventing the knight from going to d4. This subtlety, however, is unnecessary.} (14. O-O $1 {[%c_effect g1;square;g1;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Ncd4 15. e3 f5 {I suppose this is the line Gukesh wanted to avoid.} 16. gxf5 Nxf5 17. f4 {White has a clear advantage with a pawn up and the monster bishop on a1.}) 14... Nb4 $1 {[%c_effect b4;square;b4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} (14... Ba6 $5 {[%c_effect a6;square;a6;type;Interesting;persistent;true] is another natural move, but after} 15. a3 Qd7 16. g5 $1 {[%c_effect g5;square;g5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] White wants to play f4-Kf2. Black certainly still has a few tricks here, but further sacrifices are necessary.}) 15. O-O Nxa2 16. Rb1 {Black has managed to recover the material but needs to be careful: the plan with f4-f5 is very dangerous.} Nb4 $6 {[%c_effect b4;square;b4;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (16... Qd7 $1 {[%c_effect d7;square;d7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is a better chance, followed by Rad8. It's not yet time for the knight to come back.}) 17. f4 $1 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} f6 18. Qf3 $6 {[%c_effect f3;square;f3;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] White had a forced win, but it's easy to find it with a cup of coffee and the computer on.} (18. f5 $1 {[%c_effect f5;square;f5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Ng5 19. Nhxg5 fxg5 20. f6 $1 {[%c_effect f6;square;f6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} gxf6 (20... Bxf6 21. Nd6 {An important detail.}) 21. Rf5 $1 {[%c_effect f5;square;f5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] An accurate move. Now Black either captures on e4 and suffers on the light squares, or loses the pawn on f6. The machine evaluation is ruthless: White is winning.}) 18... Bc6 19. f5 Nc7 $2 {[%c_effect c7;square;c7;type;Mistake;persistent;true] The decisive error, after which Gukesh executes a forced destruction sequence on the black king.} (19... Ng5 $1 {[%c_effect g5;square;g5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is necessary. The game is not clear after} 20. Nhxg5 fxg5) 20. g5 $1 {[%c_effect g5;square;g5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} fxg5 21. Qg3 $1 {[%c_effect g3;square;g3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] White's bishops cross the board with lethal force, especially the one on a1.} h6 22. f6 $1 {[%c_effect f6;square;f6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} gxf6 (22... Bxe4 23. fxe7 $1 {[%c_effect e7;square;e7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] and the black position collapses.}) 23. Bxf6 Bxe4 (23... Bxf6 24. Nxf6+ {Followed by a knight sac on g5.}) 24. Nxg5 $1 {[%c_effect g5;square;g5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The decisive blow.} Bxf6 25. Rxf6 Rxf6 26. Nxe4+ Kh8 (26... Kf7 27. Nxf6 Kxf6 28. Rf1+ {The king will soon be mated.}) 27. Nxf6 Qf5 28. Rf1 1-0 [Event "London Chess Classic"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.03"] [Round "3"] [Board "2"] [White "Moussard, Jules"] [Black "Vitiugov, Nikita"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2635"] [BlackElo "2704"] [PlyCount "153"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "France"] [BlackTeam "England"] [WhiteTeamCountry "FRA"] [BlackTeamCountry "ENG"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 b4 9. d3 d6 10. Nbd2 Na5 11. Ba2 c5 12. c3 Rb8 13. d4 Qc7 14. dxe5 dxe5 15. Nc4 Rd8 16. Qe2 b3 17. Nxa5 bxa2 18. Nc4 Be6 19. Rxa2 $1 {[%c_effect a2;square;a2;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Fearing no pins—all this was preparation.} Nd7 20. Ra1 f6 21. Be3 Nb6 22. Nfd2 Nxc4 23. Nxc4 Qc6 24. f3 {Black seems to have compensation for the pawn, but it requires bold play.} Bf7 (24... a5 $1 {[%c_effect a5;square;a5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 25. Nxa5 Qa8 26. Nc4 Qa6 $1 {[%c_effect a6;square;a6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is the kind of thing you want to have prepared at home. The pressure on the a4 and b2-pawns is strong e.g.} 27. Na3 Qxa4 {and, with the queen heading to b3 next, Black has a clamp on the queenside.}) 25. b3 Rd7 26. Reb1 Rbd8 27. Rd1 Qb7 28. Rxd7 Qxd7 29. Kf2 Rb8 30. Rb1 Qc7 31. Rb2 h5 32. Nd2 Qa5 33. c4 Qb4 34. Qd3 Be6 35. Rc2 Qb7 36. Rc3 h4 37. Qc2 g6 38. Rd3 f5 39. Ke1 h3 40. g3 Rf8 41. Qc3 Qc7 42. Kd1 Bf6 43. Kc2 Rf7 44. Qa1 Qc6 45. Qg1 Be7 46. g4 fxg4 47. fxg4 Qc8 48. Qg3 Bxg4 49. Qxe5 Qe6 50. Qg3 Be2 51. Rd5 Qg4 52. Qb8+ Kg7 53. Bxc5 Bxc5 54. Qe5+ Kh7 55. Rxc5 Qf4 {Vitiugov has seen a difficult position crumble, so heads for an endgame as a last resort. It very nearly worked.} 56. Qxf4 Rxf4 57. b4 Rf2 58. b5 axb5 59. axb5 Rxh2 60. b6 Bf3 61. Re5 Rxd2+ 62. Kxd2 h2 63. Re7+ (63. b7 $1 {[%c_effect b7;square;b7;type;GreatFind;keyPressed;undefined;persistent;true] a la Royal, is stronger, allowing Black to queen first.}) 63... Kh6 64. Re8 Kg5 65. Rh8 $2 {[%c_effect h8;square;h8;type;Mistake;persistent;true] Objectively this lets the win slip.} (65. b7 $1 {[%c_effect b7;square;b7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is again the move.}) 65... Bh5 $1 {[%c_effect h5;square;h5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 66. b7 h1=Q 67. b8=Q Qd1+ 68. Kc3 Qe1+ 69. Kd4 Qd2+ 70. Kc5 Qe3+ 71. Kb4 Qe1+ $2 {[%c_effect e1;square;e1;type;Mistake;persistent;true] After this move, the checks run out.} (71... Qd2+ $1 {[%c_effect d2;square;d2;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] and there's no escape from the checks, e.g.} 72. Kb5 Qb2+ 73. Kc5 Qf2+ 74. Kc6 Qf6+ 75. Kb7 Qb2+ {and so on.}) 72. Kb5 Qxe4 {Picking up a pawn, but allowing Moussard to seize the initiative. He doesn't need to be asked twice.} (72... Qb1+ 73. Kc5 {and there are no more checks.}) 73. Qg3+ $1 {[%c_effect g3;square;g3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Bg4 (73... Qg4 74. Qxg4+ Bxg4 75. c5 {is a relatively simple endgame win.}) 74. Qh4+ $1 {[%c_effect h4;square;h4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Kf4 75. Rf8+ Ke3 76. Qf2+ Kd3 77. Rd8+ {Instead of Vitiugov giving perpetual check on the dark squares, Moussard is giving checkmate along the same squares. The number-two seed resigned.} 1-0 [Event "London Chess Classic"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.03"] [Round "3"] [Board "4"] [White "McShane, Luke J"] [Black "Niemann, Hans Moke"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2631"] [BlackElo "2667"] [PlyCount "74"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "England"] [BlackTeam "United States"] [WhiteTeamCountry "ENG"] [BlackTeamCountry "USA"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. Re1 Nd6 6. Nxe5 Be7 7. Bf1 Nxe5 8. Rxe5 O-O 9. d4 Bf6 10. Re2 {A move played by Carlsen in game three of his world championship match against Karjakin.} b6 11. Re1 Bb7 {Niemann knew what he was doing and used little time as he steered the game to a draw.} (11... Re8 {was Karjakin's choice.}) 12. Bf4 Ne4 13. Nd2 Re8 14. c3 d6 15. Nxe4 Rxe4 16. Rxe4 Bxe4 17. Qa4 a6 18. Qb3 Qd7 19. Re1 Bb7 20. Bc4 b5 21. Bd5 Bc6 22. g3 Re8 23. Rxe8+ Qxe8 24. Be3 h5 25. h4 g6 26. Kh2 Kg7 27. Bxc6 Qxc6 28. d5 Qd7 29. c4 Be5 30. cxb5 axb5 31. Qc2 Qc8 32. b3 Qa8 33. Qd3 b4 34. Qc4 Qxa2 35. Qxb4 Qa6 36. Qc4 Qxc4 37. bxc4 Kf8 1/2-1/2 [Event "13th London Chess Classic 2023"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.03"] [Round "3.1"] [White "Gukesh D"] [Black "Volokitin, Andrei"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A34"] [WhiteElo "2746"] [BlackElo "2660"] [Annotator "Mueller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "55"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] { 1-} 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 c5 3. g3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Bg2 Nc7 6. b3 e5 7. Bb2 Be7 8. Rc1 O-O 9. Ne4 b6 10. Bxe5 Bb7 11. Ba1 Qc8 12. g4 $5 {Very creative. The pawn will have a great future.} Ne6 $6 {This is very artificial.} (12... Nc6 {is more natural.}) ({Of course not} 12... Qxg4 $2 13. Nf6+ Bxf6 14. Bxb7 $16) 13. Nh3 Nc6 14. e3 (14. O-O $5) 14... Nb4 15. O-O Nxa2 16. Rb1 Nb4 $2 {Black does not have for this.} (16... Qd7 17. f4 Rad8 {was called for to limit the damage.}) 17. f4 {A strong attacker comes following the saying f for forward.} f6 18. Qf3 $2 {This is too slow.} ({The direct} 18. f5 Ng5 19. Nhxg5 fxg5 20. f6 gxf6 21. Rf5 {gives White a very strong attack.}) 18... Bc6 19. f5 Nc7 $2 {Here the knight is too far away from the king defense.} (19... Ng5 20. Nhxg5 fxg5 $11 {was forced.}) 20. g5 {The battering ram opens the gates of Black's castle.} fxg5 (20... Ne8 {does not defend due to} 21. Qh5 Nd3 22. gxf6 Nxf6 23. Nxf6+ Bxf6 24. Ng5 Bxg5 25. Qxg5 Rf7 26. e4 Qb7 27. Rf3 Bxe4 28. Rxd3 $18) 21. Qg3 h6 22. f6 {The battering rams just keep coming.} gxf6 (22... Bxf6 {can even be met by} 23. Nxf6+ gxf6 24. Nxg5 hxg5 25. Rxf6 Ne6 26. Rbf1 Bxg2 27. Qxg2 Qc6 28. Qg4 Rae8 29. Rg6+ $18) 23. Bxf6 Bxe4 24. Nxg5 $1 {It is typical that a knight sacrifice opens the roads for the long range pieces.} Bxf6 25. Rxf6 Rxf6 (25... Bxb1 26. Nf7+ Kh7 27. Rxh6#) 26. Nxe4+ Kh8 (26... Kf7 {is met by} 27. Nxf6 Kxf6 28. Rf1+ {and Black's king is too open, e.g.} Ke7 29. Qh4+ Kd6 30. Rf6+ Ne6 31. Qf4+ Ke7 32. Rf7+ Ke8 33. Qf6 $18) 27. Nxf6 Qf5 (27... Qf8 28. Bxa8 $18) 28. Rf1 (28. Rf1 Qg5 29. Qxc7 $18) (28. Bxa8 Qxb1+ 29. Kg2 $18 {wins as well by the way.}) 1-0 [Event "London Chess Classic 2023"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.04"] [Round "4"] [White "Niemann, Hans Moke"] [Black "Royal, Shreyas"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2667"] [BlackElo "2438"] [Annotator "rafael"] [PlyCount "89"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] {[%evp 0,89,26,31,20,20,12,19,19,19,10,19,8,8,8,8,8,-17,7,0,0,0,7,5,7,-24,-24,-24,7,2,1,-33,-16,-47,-28,-28,5,-31,-14,-7,6,-19,-11,-17,-1,0,4,7,19,27,23,25,42,22,25,-63,-63,-63,-52,-80,-93,-126,-77,-156,-160,-146,-160,-160,-156,-177,-68,-75,139,120,185,226,232,226,651,672,833,858,901,918,875,877,877,885,884,883,885,890]} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d3 Nf6 5. O-O d6 6. c3 a5 7. Re1 O-O 8. h3 h6 9. Nbd2 Be6 10. Bb5 Qb8 11. Nf1 Qa7 {This is one important position for the line with a7-a5 in the Italian.} 12. Re2 $5 {[%c_effect e2;square;e2;type;Interesting;persistent;true] A modern idea, keeping the bishops on the board.} (12. Be3 Bxe3 13. Nxe3 Ne7 {Followed by Ng6.}) (12. d4 {leads to a complicated position where Black has good chances after} exd4 13. Bxc6 dxc3 $5 {[%c_effect c3;square;c3;type;Interesting;persistent;true]} 14. Ba4 Bxf2+) 12... a4 13. Ng3 Qa5 14. Bxc6 bxc6 {Both players were still clearly in book, having played all these moves quickly.} 15. Rc2 $5 {[%c_effect c2;square;c2;type;Interesting;persistent;true] This move has been played before, and it's a difficult one to play, to say the least. It seems strange to take the rook off e2 and place it behind a pawn. The continuation of the game will offer some hints about the hidden idea of this move, but we can still take the opportunity to remember Nimzowitsch's concept: the \"mysterious rook move.\" Being a precursor to the concept of prophylaxis, we can suspect that this concept holds the key to White's idea: the fight against the d6-d5 move. In fact, after White plays c4, the move d6-d5 becomes, perhaps, less attractive as it opens the way to the rook.} (15. Nh4 Rfe8 {with the idea of playing d5 followed by Bf8, controlling the center and protecting the king.}) (15. d4 Bb6) 15... Rfb8 $6 {[%c_effect b8;square;b8;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] This is a new move. Speaking of \"mysterious rook moves,\" I really don't like this one. The rook seems to be too far from the king and does not fulfill a very important role here. The computer, naturally, disagrees with everything I wrote and considers the move to be ok.} (15... Kh7 16. Bd2 Bb6 17. c4 Qa7 18. Bc3 c5 19. Bd2 c6 {with a good position for Black in Santos Ruiz,-Meskovs, Bundesliga 2022.}) (15... Rfe8 16. Nh4 d5 17. Qf3 Nh7 18. Nhf5 Bf8 {with equal play: Yu-Le, Aimchess Rapid 2023.}) (15... Bb6 {is very useful, anticipating d4 and preparing the c6-c5,c7-c6 plan: Dabrowski-Annoni, EU-ch 2022 email.}) 16. c4 $1 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Qb6 17. Qe2 Kh7 (17... Nd7 {is better, with the idea of playing d5.}) 18. Rb1 (18. Bd2 {It's more accurate to start with this move, as it's not clear whether the white rook should go to b1 or directly to f1 to prepare for the f2-f4 advance.}) 18... Qa7 (18... Nd7 {This is again the correct move.}) 19. Bd2 Bb6 {The impression one gets is that Royal didn't know what plan to execute. Not having a plan is a chess player's worst nightmare.} 20. b4 (20. Nh4 {with the idea of playing Rf1-Kh2 and f4 is very promising.}) 20... axb3 21. axb3 c5 22. Nh4 Ng8 $6 {[%c_effect g8;square;g8;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (22... c6 $1 {[%c_effect c6;square;c6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] It's time to bring the queen to the defense.} 23. Nhf5 Qd7) 23. f4 exf4 24. Bxf4 {White has achieved a very comfortable position, with a space advantage and attacking prospects on the kingside, with Black's heavy pieces dangerously far from the king.} Re8 25. Bd2 $6 {[%c_effect d2;square;d2;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] Niemann brings the bishop to c3, but this is more sophisticated than the position requires.} (25. Rf1 $1 {[%c_effect f1;square;f1;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is simple and good.}) 25... c6 $1 {[%c_effect c6;square;c6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 26. Ngf5 $6 {[%c_effect f5;square;f5;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] This leaves the knight in an awkward position on h4.} (26. Nhf5 {is better.}) 26... d5 (26... Bd8 $1 {[%c_effect d8;square;d8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is more precise, preparing Qd7 or g6.}) 27. Bc3 (27. Nd6 $1 {[%c_effect d6;square;d6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is the right way to fight for the initiative.} Red8 28. e5 {with chances for both sides.}) 27... d4 28. Bd2 {A hard-working bishop.} Bc7 (28... Qb8 {The computer is very happy with Black's position.} 29. Qf3 Bc7 {The queen can help the defense by going to d8, and the rook can help in the counterattack by going to a3.}) 29. Qf3 (29. g4 {immediately looks better.}) 29... g6 (29... Qb8) 30. g4 $1 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Bd8 $6 {[%c_effect d8;square;d8;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (30... Qb8 $1 {[%c_effect b8;square;b8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is again the right move.}) 31. Ng2 gxf5 $6 {[%c_effect f5;square;f5;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] There's no need to capture the knight, no matter how uncomfortable it is.} (31... Qb8 {The rook might go to a7, helping to defend from the seventh rank.}) 32. gxf5 Bc8 33. Kh1 {I've always admired chess players who still manage to play calmly even when they are down a piece.} Qe7 $6 {[%c_effect e7;square;e7;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (33... Bg5 $1 {[%c_effect g5;square;g5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This very difficult move is necessary.} 34. Bxg5 (34. Nf4 {is also possible.}) 34... hxg5 35. Qh5+ Nh6 36. Qxg5 Rg8 37. Qh4 Qc7 38. Nf4 Qd8 39. f6 {My machine believes the position is equal. I must admit that, without its guidance, I wouldn't have a clue about the evaluation.}) 34. Rg1 Bc7 35. Qh5 {The white attack develops slowly and steadily. The fate of the black king already seems inevitable.} Be5 $2 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (35... Qf8 {is the only chance.}) 36. Nh4 $1 {[%c_effect h4;square;h4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The knight joins the attack.} Ra7 37. Nf3 Bg7 38. Bf4 {The rook is ready to participate, and White officially has all the pieces attacking.} Bf8 39. Rxg8 $1 {[%c_effect g8;square;g8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The most clear-cut.} (39. e5 {is also winning.}) 39... Kxg8 40. Rg2+ Bg7 {Other moves lead to mate.} (40... Kh8 41. Bxh6) (40... Kh7 41. Qg4) 41. Rxg7+ (41. Bxh6 {is also winning.}) 41... Kxg7 42. Bxh6+ Kh7 43. Bg5+ (43. Ng5+ {ends in a pretty mate:} Kg8 44. Bg7 Kxg7 45. Qh7+ Kf6 46. Qh6+ Ke5 47. Nf3#) 43... Kg8 44. Bxe7 Rexe7 45. f6 1-0 [Event "London Chess Classic"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.04"] [Round "4"] [Board "5"] [White "Gukesh D"] [Black "Moussard, Jules"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2720"] [BlackElo "2635"] [PlyCount "66"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "India"] [BlackTeam "France"] [WhiteTeamCountry "IND"] [BlackTeamCountry "FRA"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 {The Petroff Defense—one of the most solid openings in chess.} 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nd7 9. O-O-O {It was this plan with opposite-side castling that revived the opening for White—and saw many top players switch to playing the Berlin with Black.} Nf6 10. Bd3 Re8 11. a3 d5 12. Rhe1 Bg4 13. h3 {A quid pro quo: you can ruin my pawn structure, but I'll get the open g-file.} Bxf3 {Accepted $1} 14. gxf3 Qd7 {Targetting the h3-pawn.} 15. Rg1 $1 {[%c_effect g1;square;g1;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Ignoring the attack.} Qxh3 {Moussard has never been a player to back down from complications.} 16. Bd4 (16. Rg3 $1 {[%c_effect g3;square;g3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This obvious move to prepare the doubling of the rooks with tempo was also strong.}) 16... g6 {Strictly an only move.} 17. Qf4 $1 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] A double attack, that sees Gukesh's focus switch to the queenside.} Nh5 18. Qxc7 Qxf3 {Too greedy, even if it all worked out well in the end $1} (18... Bf6 {was best.}) 19. Bb5 $1 {[%c_effect b5;square;b5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Rac8 20. Qxb7 Rb8 21. Qa6 Red8 22. Be2 Qf4+ 23. Be3 Qe5 24. Qxa7 Nf4 25. Bf3 Bd6 26. Rd2 $4 {[%c_effect d2;square;d2;type;Blunder;persistent;true][%c_arrow d6a3;keyPressed;none;from;d6;opacity;0.8;to;a3;persistent;false,b8a8;keyPressed;none;from;b8;opacity;0.8;to;a8;persistent;false,a8a1;keyPressed;none;from;a8;opacity;0.8;to;a1;persistent;false,a1c1;keyPressed;none;from;a1;opacity;0.8;to;c1;persistent;false][%c_highlight a3;keyPressed;none;opacity;0.8;square;a3;persistent;false,c1;keyPressed;none;opacity;0.8;square;c1;persistent;false] Almost a self-mate, though the following blow was easy to overlook.} (26. Qd4 $1 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] and White has everything covered, with a winning position.}) 26... Bxa3 $3 {[%c_effect a3;square;a3;type;Brilliant;persistent;true] White has gone from winning to losing in the space of a move, and Gukesh puts up little resistance.} 27. Rd4 (27. Qxa3 {It was better to allow Black to demonstrate his idea:} Ra8 {The queen can't move to a safe square without allowing Ra1 and checkmate, but} 28. Qxa8 Rxa8 29. Rdd1 {and the bishop pair gives White some hope of holding on.}) 27... Bxb2+ 28. Kd2 Ne6 $1 {[%c_effect e6;square;e6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Moussard is absolutely ruthless now he gets his chance.} 29. Rd3 Bxc3+ $1 {[%c_effect c3;square;c3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 30. Rxc3 d4 $1 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 31. Rd3 dxe3+ 32. Qxe3 Rxd3+ 33. cxd3 {White is \"only\" a pawn down, but it's clear that Black must have an overwhelming attack against the stranded white king. In fact both checks on b2 win, but Moussard picks the most elegant solution.} Nd4 $1 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] A little trick that provokes resignation.} (33... Nd4 34. Qxe5 Nxf3+ 35. Ke3 Nxe5 {is the point.}) 0-1 [Event "London Chess Classic"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.04"] [Round "4"] [Board "4"] [White "Vitiugov, Nikita"] [Black "Adams, Michael"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2704"] [BlackElo "2661"] [PlyCount "101"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "England"] [BlackTeam "England"] [WhiteTeamCountry "ENG"] [BlackTeamCountry "ENG"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. c5 c6 8. h3 b6 9. b4 a5 10. a3 {A season-appropriate Christmas tree formation.} h6 11. Bd3 Ba6 12. O-O Qc8 13. Qc2 Bxd3 14. Qxd3 Qb7 15. Rfc1 Rfc8 16. Qd1 Bd8 17. Ne1 Bc7 18. Nd3 Bxf4 19. exf4 Ra7 20. Rab1 axb4 21. axb4 b5 22. f3 Rca8 23. Qd2 Nf8 24. Rc2 Ng6 25. Ne2 Nd7 26. Rbb2 h5 27. g3 Ra1+ 28. Kg2 h4 29. g4 $1 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] It perhaps wasn't worth 50 minutes, but Vitiugov correctly decides to keep the position closed. Any other moves only weaken White's position, even if it seems visually that it should be possible to overwhelm the g6-knight that's defending the black king.} R8a4 30. Ra2 Qa7 31. Nc3 Ra3 32. Rxa1 Rxa1 33. Ra2 Rxa2 34. Qxa2 Qb8 35. Ne2 f6 36. Qa6 Ne7 37. Qa1 Nf8 38. Kg1 Nfg6 39. Kf2 Kf7 40. Ke3 Nf8 41. Kd2 Nfg6 42. Kc2 Ke8 43. Qa6 Kd7 44. Qa1 Ke8 45. Kd2 Kf7 46. Qa6 Nf8 47. Qb6 Qa8 48. Qa5 Qb8 49. Qb6 Qa8 50. Qa5 Qb8 51. Qb6 {The players settle for a draw by repetition.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "London Chess Classic"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.04"] [Round "4"] [Board "1"] [White "Volokitin, Andrei"] [Black "Tabatabaei, M. Amin"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C77"] [WhiteElo "2659"] [BlackElo "2692"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "Ukraine"] [BlackTeam "Iran"] [WhiteTeamCountry "UKR"] [BlackTeamCountry "IRI"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. c3 g6 7. O-O Bg7 8. h3 O-O 9. Re1 h6 10. a3 b5 11. Bc2 Bb7 12. Be3 Re8 13. Qc1 Kh7 14. Nbd2 Nb8 15. b4 Nbd7 16. Nb3 Rc8 17. a4 c6 18. Qd2 Nb6 19. axb5 cxb5 20. Na5 Ba8 21. c4 bxc4 22. Bxb6 Qxb6 23. Nxc4 Qc7 24. Bb3 Rcd8 25. Rxa6 d5 26. Ncxe5 Rxe5 $1 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 27. Nxe5 Qxe5 28. exd5 Qd4 {An excellent panic-inducing move for time trouble $1} 29. Bc4 $2 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] Trying to solidify everything, but it was too late for that.} (29. Re7 $1 {[%c_effect e7;square;e7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] hitting f7 and in some cases preparing to double the rooks on the seventh rank, would have given White the advantage.}) 29... Bb7 $1 {[%c_effect b7;square;b7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 30. Ra5 Nxd5 31. Re4 {This resource was working for White when the white rook was on a6 so that the black queen was deprived of the b6 and f6-squares.} Qf6 32. Ra4 {Things fall apart. Volokitin may well have lost on time here, or simply resigned in disgust since e.g.} (32. Ra4 Nc3 {forking the two rooks, is crushing.}) 0-1 [Event "London Chess Classic"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.04"] [Round "4"] [Board "3"] [White "Bartel, Mateusz"] [Black "McShane, Luke J"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2659"] [BlackElo "2631"] [PlyCount "77"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "Poland"] [BlackTeam "England"] [WhiteTeamCountry "POL"] [BlackTeamCountry "ENG"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 d6 7. Nc3 Bd7 8. Na4 Bb6 9. Nxb6 axb6 10. c3 g5 11. Bg3 Ne7 12. Bc4 Ng6 13. h4 Ng4 14. Qd2 f6 15. O-O-O Qe7 16. h5 Nf4 17. Bxf4 exf4 18. Nd4 O-O-O 19. Bb3 Rhe8 20. Rde1 Qh7 21. g3 Ne5 22. gxf4 gxf4 23. Rd1 c5 24. Ne2 Bg4 25. Nxf4 Bxd1 26. Rxd1 Kb8 27. Nd5 Rf8 $2 {[%c_effect f8;square;f8;type;Mistake;persistent;true] The beginning of the end, played with under 30 seconds on the clock.} (27... Qf7 $1 {[%c_effect f7;square;f7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] , hitting the pawn on h5, was the way to hold the balance, but who can put their queen in line with the b3-bishop with no time to figure out the consequences $2}) 28. f4 $1 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Nc6 29. f5 Qg7 30. Nxb6 Qg5 31. Be6 Qxh5 32. Nd7+ Rxd7 33. Bxd7 Ne5 34. Be6 Qg5 35. Kc2 h5 36. d4 Nf3 $2 {[%c_effect f3;square;f3;type;Mistake;persistent;true] Black's position was bad, but now the knight will get trapped and it becomes a whole lot worse.} 37. Qf2 Qf4 38. dxc5 $1 {[%c_effect c5;square;c5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} (38. Rd3 $4 {[%c_effect d3;square;d3;type;Blunder;persistent;true] It's never too late to blunder.} Nxd4+ $1 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] , picking up the white queen, and the swindle has worked.}) 38... h4 39. Rd3 $1 {[%c_effect d3;square;d3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] And the knight is finally trapped.} (39. Rd3 {Now} Nd4+ {fails to the simple} 40. Qxd4) 1-0 [Event "London Chess Classic"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.05"] [Round "5"] [Board "2"] [White "Adams, Michael"] [Black "Gukesh D"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B30"] [WhiteElo "2661"] [BlackElo "2720"] [PlyCount "107"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "England"] [BlackTeam "India"] [WhiteTeamCountry "ENG"] [BlackTeamCountry "IND"] 1. e4 c5 {A rare Sicilian at this year's London Chess Classic.} 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 {Unsurprisingly Adams goes for a more positional approach.} e6 4. O-O Nge7 5. Re1 b6 6. c3 a6 7. Ba4 c4 8. d4 cxd3 9. Qxd3 Ng6 10. Nd4 Qc7 11. Nxc6 dxc6 12. e5 $1 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Seizing space. The pawn can be grabbed, but it's not advisable.} Bb7 (12... Nxe5 13. Rxe5 b5 $1 {[%c_effect b5;square;b5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} (13... Qxe5 $2 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} 14. Bxc6+ {would be game over.}) 14. Re4 $1 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} bxa4 15. Bf4 $1 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] and White is on top.}) 13. Nd2 Be7 14. Bc2 c5 15. Nf3 Rd8 16. Qe2 Qc6 17. Kf1 Kd7 $5 {[%c_effect d7;square;d7;type;Interesting;persistent;true] The king decides to seek its fortune on the queenside.} (17... O-O {was a perfectly decent move.}) 18. Bd3 b5 19. Qc2 Kc7 20. Be4 Qd7 21. a4 Bxe4 22. Qxe4 Qd5 23. Qe2 Qd3 24. Qxd3 Rxd3 25. axb5 axb5 26. Be3 Rb8 27. Ra5 Rd5 28. Rea1 Rb7 29. Ra8 Nf8 30. Bg5 Ng6 31. Bxe7 Nxe7 32. Rf8 Ng6 33. Rg8 Kb6 34. Rxg7 h5 35. Re1 Nf4 36. g3 Nd3 37. Re2 Ra7 38. h4 c4 $1 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Suddenly it's not clear who's better.} 39. Rh7 Rd8 40. Rd2 (40. Ng5 $1 {[%c_effect g5;square;g5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] taking advantage of Black having removed the pressure on the e5-pawn, was very strong.}) 40... Ra2 41. Rxf7 Rxb2 42. Re7 Rb1+ 43. Ke2 Rc1 44. Rxe6+ Kc5 45. Ng5 b4 $2 {[%c_effect b4;square;b4;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (45... Re1+ 46. Kf3 b4 {was much stronger, first driving the king away from the passed pawn.}) 46. cxb4+ Kxb4 47. Nf3 Rc3 48. Rb6+ Kc5 49. Rf6 Re8 50. e6 $1 {[%c_effect e6;square;e6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] It's no longer clear who has the best pawn.} Nc1+ 51. Kf1 Nd3 52. Ke2 Nc1+ 53. Kf1 Nd3 54. Rd1 {An unexpected draw $1} (54. Kg2 {and Black very much has to prove that he has something in return for being down two pawns.}) 1/2-1/2 [Event "London Chess Classic"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.05"] [Round "5"] [Board "3"] [White "McShane, Luke J"] [Black "Vitiugov, Nikita"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B51"] [WhiteElo "2631"] [BlackElo "2704"] [PlyCount "57"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "England"] [BlackTeam "England"] [WhiteTeamCountry "ENG"] [BlackTeamCountry "ENG"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. Ba4 Ngf6 5. d3 e6 6. c4 Be7 7. Nc3 O-O 8. O-O a6 9. Ne1 d5 10. Qe2 b5 11. Bc2 d4 12. Nd1 e5 13. f4 exf4 14. Bxf4 Bb7 15. Nf2 Re8 16. Nf3 Nf8 17. Bb3 Ng6 18. Bd2 b4 19. Ba4 Rf8 20. Rae1 Bd6 21. Bg5 Bf4 22. Bxf4 Nxf4 23. Qd2 Ng6 24. e5 Nd7 25. Ne4 Nb6 26. Bd1 Nd7 27. Ba4 Nb6 28. Bd1 Nd7 29. Ba4 (29. Neg5 $1 {[%c_effect g5;square;g5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} h6 30. e6 $1 {[%c_effect e6;square;e6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is the sort of thing McShane might have got to play if he was feeling more confident. Instead he took a draw against the new English number-one.}) 1/2-1/2 [Event "London Chess Classic"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.05"] [Round "5"] [Board "1"] [White "Moussard, Jules"] [Black "Volokitin, Andrei"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2635"] [BlackElo "2659"] [PlyCount "84"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "France"] [BlackTeam "Ukraine"] [WhiteTeamCountry "FRA"] [BlackTeamCountry "UKR"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nf6 7. O-O h6 8. a3 a6 9. b4 Bd6 10. d4 O-O 11. d5 Na7 12. Nd2 Nb5 13. Bb2 Nxc3 14. Bxc3 Bg4 15. h3 Bh5 16. Nc4 Re8 17. Rc1 Bg6 18. Qb3 Be4 19. Rfd1 Qd7 {The sequence of six captures in a row that follow sets the game on the path to a draw.} 20. Nxd6 Bxg2 21. Nxe8 Qxh3 22. Nxf6+ gxf6 23. f3 $1 {[%c_effect f3;square;f3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Strictly the only move.} (23. f4 $2 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} Qxg3 {and there's no defense with} 24. Be1 {since without the pawn on f3 Black can play} Qxb3) 23... Bf1 24. Rxf1 Qxg3+ 25. Kh1 Qh3+ 26. Kg1 Qg3+ 27. Kh1 Kh8 $1 {[%c_effect h8;square;h8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] No draw just yet.} 28. Qc4 $1 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The only move to draw.} (28. a4 $4 {[%c_effect a4;square;a4;type;Blunder;persistent;true] illustrates Black's threats:} Qh4+ {and wherever the king goes ...Rg8# will be checkmate next move.}) 28... Qh3+ 29. Kg1 Qg3+ 30. Kh1 Rg8 $1 {[%c_effect g8;square;g8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] One last test instead of just taking the draw.} 31. Qg4 $1 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Again, the only defense.} Rxg4 32. fxg4 Qh3+ 33. Kg1 Qg3+ 34. Kh1 Qh4+ 35. Kg1 Qxg4+ 36. Kh1 Qe4+ 37. Kg1 Qg4+ 38. Kh1 Qh3+ 39. Kg1 Qg3+ 40. Kh1 Qh4+ 41. Kg1 Qg5+ 42. Kh1 Qh5+ {Volokitin has had some fun, but White has too many pieces for the queen to make playing on an option. Draw.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "London Chess Classic 2023"] [Site "London"] [Date "2023.12.05"] [Round "5"] [White "Royal, Shreyas"] [Black "Bartel, Mateusz"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D94"] [WhiteElo "2438"] [BlackElo "2659"] [Annotator "rafael"] [PlyCount "114"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] {[%evp 0,114,25,27,27,10,45,34,27,27,49,49,50,38,35,35,36,39,34,34,44,44,60,47,57,29,43,20,40,36,36,29,51,32,26,34,47,49,44,26,30,30,44,-24,33,35,18,2,36,36,32,28,34,23,34,30,15,10,17,-96,-86,-97,-97,-103,-97,-99,-98,-101,-102,-109,-106,-104,-104,-104,-104,-105,-97,-97,-94,-144,-144,-144,-144,-144,-144,-107,-107,-107,-103,-211,-228,-225,-231,-289,-289,-323,-323,-323,-323,-323,-329,-323,-329,-321,-196,-232,-217,-242,-254,-305,-291,-306,-317,-565,-573,-532,-520]} 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 g6 {The Schlechter Variation is passive and leads to an advantage for White without any major problems or risks. But it's still a playable line, as will be demonstrated in this game.} 5. Nc3 Bg7 6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O Be6 {Not the most popular choice, but it was played recently by Abdusattorov in a rapid game. Bartel has also played it in November, so it was probably not a big surprise for Royal.} (7... Bg4) (7... a6) 8. b3 {A natural choice. Many moves are playable and almost all of them offer a small advantage to White. We have a long positional battle ahead and Bartel probably counted on that.} (8. h3 {is a useful move for White normally, to prevent Bg4. To play it after Black has placed the bishop on e6 seems provocative.} Ne4 (8... dxc4 $1 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is the most challenging move.}) 9. Qb3 {with a slight advantage for White in Keymer-Abdusattorov, Tata Steel India rapid Kolkata 2023.}) (8. Ng5 Bf5) (8. Qb3 Qb6) (8. cxd5 cxd5 {This is the idea: by inviting White to capture on d5, the knight is ready to go to c6. Anyway, White is slightly better.}) 8... Ne4 9. Bb2 Nxc3 (9... f5 $6 {[%c_effect f5;square;f5;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] was played by Bartel in a rapid game.} 10. Rc1 {White has the advantage: Moranda-Bartel, POL Superleague Rapid Final Bydgoszcz 2023.}) 10. Bxc3 h6 {Played in order to prevent Ng5.} (10... Bg4 {is possible:} 11. h3 Bxf3 12. Bxf3 e6 {This is vintage Schlechter Defense. White has the pair of bishop's and more space, but Black is utterly solid. We have at least fifty moves of maneuvering ahead.}) 11. Qc2 (11. h3 {is good prophylaxis against Bg4 or even g5-g4. This later idea seems absurd at the moment, but don't hurry with your conclusions.}) 11... Bf5 {This natural move is a novelty.} (11... Nd7 {allows White to play e4 and achieve the advantage.} 12. e4 dxe4 13. Qxe4 {Andersson-Engqvist, Sweden 2015.}) 12. Qb2 e6 {Bartel reinforces the center and now has the option to capture on d5 with the e-pawn. Of course, the bishop is in an uncomfortable position and this will need to be resolved with g5 or h5.} 13. Rfc1 (13. Ne5 {forces} h5 $1 {[%c_effect h5;square;h5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] But this is still not a big problem for Black.} 14. h3 h4 {With the typical and unavoidable slight advantage for White.}) 13... g5 {Freeing some space for the bishop.} (13... Nd7 {is possible.}) 14. Nd2 {This is probably not the best plan.} (14. b4 {immediately is possible:} dxc4 15. Bxc4 Nd7) (14. cxd5 {is interesting:} cxd5 (14... exd5 15. b4 {with the minority attack and a slight edge.}) 15. h3 {Avoiding g4. If Black's knight is developed on c6, White can chase it with b4-b5.} (15. Ne5 Nd7 16. Nd3 {is also possible.})) 14... Nd7 15. b4 Rc8 (15... dxc4 16. Nxc4 {This is good for White, as the knight becomes active.}) (15... g4 $1 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This surprisingly primitive plan is suggested by the computer.} 16. b5 h5 {Black just starts pushing the pawns as well, apparently with good counterplay, if my machine has not gone mad.}) 16. a4 {The advance of the queenside pawns is the natural plan.} Re8 17. b5 (17. c5 $1 {[%c_effect c5;square;c5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This is the most accurate way of playing. White has the advantage after} e5 18. b5) 17... c5 $1 {[%c_effect c5;square;c5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 18. cxd5 exd5 19. dxc5 $6 {[%c_effect c5;square;c5;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (19. Bf3 $1 {[%c_effect f3;square;f3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is the best way to fight for an advantage.} Be6 ({or} 19... cxd4 20. Bxd4 Rxc1+ 21. Rxc1 Ne5 22. Be2 {with the advantage.}) 20. dxc5 (20. h3 $5 {[%c_effect h3;square;h3;type;Interesting;persistent;true] is also possible.}) 20... Bxc3 21. Qxc3 Rxc5 22. Qd4 {with a small advantage for White.}) 19... Bxc3 20. Qxc3 (20. Rxc3 $2 {[%c_effect c3;square;c3;type;Mistake;persistent;true] is tactically flawed:} d4 $1 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]}) 20... Nxc5 21. Qb4 (21. Qd4 {leads to an equal endgame after} Ne6 $1 {[%c_effect e6;square;e6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} (21... b6 22. Bf3) 22. Rxc8 (22. Qxa7 $2 {[%c_effect a7;square;a7;type;Mistake;persistent;true] loses the queen after} Ra8 23. Qxb7 Re7 24. Qc6 Rc7) 22... Nxd4 23. Rxd8 Nxe2+ 24. Kf1 Rxd8 25. Kxe2 Rc8) 21... b6 (21... Qf6 $5 {[%c_effect f6;square;f6;type;Interesting;persistent;true]}) 22. Nf3 Qf6 23. Qa3 {Probably played to avoid ...Bd3, although he shouldn't have worried too much.} (23. Nd4 Bd3 24. Bg4 $1 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]}) 23... Ne4 (23... Ne6 {is a good way of playing, controlling d4 instead of attacking f2.}) 24. Nd4 Bg6 25. Bf3 Nxf2 {[%c_arrow e4f2;keyPressed;none;from;e4;opacity;0.8;to;f2;persistent;false]} (25... Rc4 $5 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;Interesting;persistent;true] is a good alternative.}) 26. Kxf2 (26. Rf1 $5 {[%c_effect f1;square;f1;type;Interesting;persistent;true] leads to equal play:} Nd3 27. Bxd5 Qe5 28. Bxf7+ $1 {[%c_effect f7;square;f7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Bxf7 29. Qxd3 Qxe3+ 30. Qxe3 Rxe3) (26. Rxc8 {is also possible:} Rxc8 27. Rf1 Nd3 28. Bxd5 Qe5 29. Bxf7+ Kg7 30. Kh1 Qxe3 31. Ne6+ Kh7 32. Nf8+ Kg7 33. Ne6+ {The game surprisingly ends in a draw. I love random perpetual-check variations.}) 26... g4 $6 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (26... Rxc1 $1 {[%c_effect c1;square;c1;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] It's better to exchange rooks first.} 27. Rxc1 g4 28. Qc3 (28. Rc6 Qh4+ 29. g3 $2 {[%c_effect g3;square;g3;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} Qxh2+ 30. Bg2 Be4 {This is the difference: there's no way of protecting the g2-bishop.}) 28... gxf3 29. Nxf3) 27. Rxc8 $6 {[%c_effect c8;square;c8;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (27. Rc6 $1 {[%c_effect c6;square;c6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is very unpleasant for Black. The key to finding this type of move is to use the \"Candidate Moves\" technique. As suggested by respected author and GM Jacob Aagaard, this is only possible by calculating slowly and looking for ideas that are not immediately apparent.} Rxc6 (27... Qh4+ $2 {[%c_effect h4;square;h4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] loses after} 28. g3 Qxh2+ 29. Bg2 Be4 30. Rg1 $1 {[%c_effect g1;square;g1;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]}) 28. bxc6 gxf3 29. gxf3 {Here Black has to fight for survival. An important variation goes:} Qh4+ 30. Kg2 Qg5+ 31. Kh1 $1 {[%c_effect h1;square;h1;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] and now Black cannot take on e3, as after} Rxe3 $2 {[%c_effect e3;square;e3;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} 32. c7 {White is winning.}) 27... Rxc8 28. Rc1 (28. Rf1 $5 {[%c_effect f1;square;f1;type;Interesting;persistent;true] White has many alternative routes for this rook and this is one of them.} gxf3 29. gxf3 {with a balanced position.}) 28... Rc4 $1 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This strong move was probably missed by Royal.} 29. Ke2 $2 {[%c_effect e2;square;e2;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (29. Rxc4 $2 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} dxc4 {leaves Black with a dangerous passed pawn.}) (29. Rf1 {is still possible.}) 29... gxf3+ 30. Nxf3 (30. gxf3 Qh4 31. Rh1 Qh3 32. Kf2 Kh7 {White's pieces are tied up.}) 30... Bc2 $1 {[%c_effect c2;square;c2;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This subtle move wins the a-pawn.} 31. Nd4 $2 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (31. Qa1 $1 {[%c_effect a1;square;a1;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is the only chance, when white's position is difficult, but not lost.}) 31... Rxa4 32. Qb2 Be4 33. Qb3 Rc4 (33... Ra5 $1 {[%c_effect a5;square;a5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is better. Black has a winning position: the rook is not as bad as it seems.}) 34. Rxc4 dxc4 35. Qxc4 Bxg2 36. Qc8+ Kh7 37. Qc2+ Qg6 38. Qc7 Be4 $2 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] This lets the win slip.} (38... Bd5 $1 {[%c_effect d5;square;d5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is better. In case Wihte captures the a-pawn, Black is winning after} 39. Qxa7 Bc4+ 40. Kf2 Qf6+ 41. Kg3 Qe5+ {The queen and bishop coordinate very well in the attack against White's king and pawns.}) 39. Kd2 $2 {[%c_effect d2;square;d2;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (39. Qxa7 $1 {[%c_effect a7;square;a7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] leads to a likely draw after} Qg2+ 40. Ke1 Qg1+ 41. Kd2 Qxh2+ 42. Kc3 Qf2 43. Qxb6 Qxe3+ 44. Kb4) 39... Qg2+ 40. Ke1 (40. Kc3 {is not enough:} Qf2 41. Qf4 Qxf4 42. exf4 Kg7 $1 {[%c_effect g7;square;g7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] with a winning endgame.} (42... Kg6 $2 {[%c_effect g6;square;g6;type;Mistake;persistent;true] This looks natural but it's a mistake:} 43. Nc6 a5 44. Ne7+ $1 {[%c_effect e7;square;e7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This is the difference.} Kh5 45. Nc8 {with a draw.})) 40... Qg1+ 41. Ke2 Bg6 $1 {[%c_effect g6;square;g6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 42. Qe5 (42. Qxa7 Qxh2+ {The h-pawn will eventually decide the game.}) 42... Qg2+ 43. Ke1 Qe4 $1 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 44. Nc6 (44. Qxe4 Bxe4 {This endgame is hopeless for White. The important detail is that the knight cannot go to c6:} 45. Nc6 a5 $1 {[%c_effect a5;square;a5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} (45... a6 {is also good.})) 44... Qb1+ 45. Kf2 a5 $1 {[%c_effect a5;square;a5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The final detail. Black drastically improves his pawn structure and creates a passed pawn.} 46. Ne7 (46. bxa6 {loses the knight after} Qc2+) 46... Bd3 47. Nd5 Qf1+ 48. Kg3 Qg1+ 49. Kf3 Qf1+ 50. Kg3 Qg1+ 51. Kf3 Qg5 52. Qd4 Bxb5 53. h4 (53. Nxb6 Qf5+ 54. Qf4 (54. Kg3 Bc6) 54... Qxf4+ 55. Kxf4 a4 56. Nd5 a3 {with an easy win.}) 53... Qf5+ 54. Kg3 h5 55. Nf6+ Kg6 56. Qxb6 Qe5+ 57. Kg2 Bf1+ {0-} 0-1
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