[Event "Chennai Women's Chess Olympiad"] [Site "chess.com"] [Date "2022.08.05"] [Round "7.2"] [White "Harika, Dronavalli"] [Black "Balajayeva, Khanim"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D27"] [WhiteElo "2517"] [BlackElo "2344"] [Annotator "Saravanan,V"] [PlyCount "119"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "India"] [BlackTeam "Azerbaijan"] [WhiteTeamCountry "IND"] [BlackTeamCountry "AZE"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O a6 7. Be2 Nbd7 8. b3 b6 9. Ne5 Bb7 10. Bf3 Nd5 11. Nxd7 Qxd7 12. Bb2 Rd8 13. Nd2 cxd4 14. Bxd4 Bb4 15. Nc4 b5 16. Nb6 Nxb6 17. Bxb6 Bxf3 18. Qxf3 Rc8 19. Bd4 Bc3 20. Rad1 Bxd4 21. Rxd4 Qc6 22. Rfd1 O-O 23. Qxc6 Rxc6 24. Rd6 Rxd6 25. Rxd6 Ra8 26. Rb6 Kf8 27. Kf1 Ke7 28. Ke2 Ra7 29. a4 bxa4 30. bxa4 h5 31. h4 g6 32. Kf3 Kf6 33. Kf4 Rc7 34. Rxa6 Rc2 35. Kg3 Ra2 36. Ra7 Kg7 37. a5 Kf6 38. a6 Kg7 39. Kf3 Kf6 40. Ra8 Kg7 41. e4 e5 42. g3 Kf6 43. Ke3 Ra3+ 44. Kd2 Ra2+ 45. Kc3 Rxf2 46. Rc8 $4 (46. Kb3 Rf1 47. Kb4 {with good chances of a win.}) 46... Ra2 47. Rc6+ Kg7 48. Kb3 Ra1 49. Kb4 f5 50. exf5 gxf5 51. Kb5 f4 52. gxf4 exf4 53. Rc4 f3 54. Rf4 Rb1+ 55. Kc6 Ra1 56. Kb7 Rb1+ 57. Kc7 Ra1 58. Kb7 Rb1+ 59. Kc7 Ra1 60. Kb7 1/2-1/2 [Event "Chennai Chess Olympiad | Open"] [Site "chess.com"] [Date "2022.08.05"] [Round "7.4"] [White "Puranik, Abhimanyu"] [Black "Narayanan.S.L"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C77"] [WhiteElo "2612"] [BlackElo "2659"] [Annotator "Saravanan,V"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "India"] [BlackTeam "India"] [WhiteTeamCountry "IND"] [BlackTeamCountry "IND"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bh4 d6 9. c3 g5 10. Bg3 O-O 11. O-O Bb6 12. a4 Rb8 13. axb5 axb5 14. h3 Ne7 15. Nbd2 Ng6 16. d4 Re8 17. Re1 c5 18. Bc2 $2 (18. dxe5 dxe5 19. c4 {would have given White even a slightly better position.}) 18... cxd4 19. cxd4 g4 20. hxg4 Bxg4 {White's center comes under pressure now.} 21. dxe5 $2 (21. Nf1 Bxd4 22. Ne3 Bxe3 (22... Bh5 23. Nf5) 23. Rxe3 $15 {is the lesser evil.}) 21... Nh5 $1 22. Nf1 Nxg3 23. Nxg3 Nxe5 {White's kingside crumbles now.} 24. Ra3 Qf6 25. Nf5 d5 26. Ng3 Kh8 $2 (26... Rbc8 27. Bb1 h5 {puts White under considerable pressure.}) 27. exd5 Bxf3 $2 ({Better is} 27... Nxf3+ 28. gxf3 Qf4 $1 29. Kh2 ( 29. Kg2 Bh3+ $3 30. Kxh3 Bxf2 31. Rxe8+ Rxe8 32. Nf5 Rg8 {and Black wins.}) 29... Bd7 $3 {with an irresistible attack on the kingside.}) 28. gxf3 Qh4 29. Kg2 Bxf2 30. Kxf2 Qh2+ 31. Kf1 Qh3+ 32. Kf2 Qh2+ 33. Kf1 Qxg3 34. Qd4 {The position is level now.} f6 35. Qd2 $4 (35. Qf2 Qh3+ 36. Qg2 Qxg2+ 37. Kxg2 Nc4 38. Rxe8+ Rxe8 39. Rc3 Nxb2 40. Rc5 Nc4 41. Kg3 {and White equalizes.}) 35... Qh4 {Threatening 36...Qh1.} 36. Be4 Rg8 37. f4 Nc4 38. Qc1 Qh2 {0-} 0-1 [Event "WCO"] [Site "Chennai, India"] [Date "2022.08.05"] [Round "7.2"] [White "So Wesley"] [Black "Melkumyan Hrant"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B11"] [WhiteElo "2773"] [BlackElo "2634"] [Annotator "Kuljasevic, Davorin"] [PlyCount "59"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] {Wesley So is renowned for his positional finesse and endgame technique, but he reminds us of his exceptional attacking and combinational talent every once in a while. His opponent's grave blunder marked today's game, but it was a spectacular game, nevertheless. As they say, it takes two to tango.} 1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 {Wesley goes for the flexible Two Knights variation against the Caro-Kann.} ({Recently So mostly played} 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nd2 $5 {, an interesting positional line that he suggested in his 1.e4 Lifetime Repertoire course.}) 2... d5 3. Nf3 Bg4 {Melkumyan goes for the classical line.} ({ In modern times,} 3... dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 $5 {has been a popular alternative for Black, inviting White to capture} 5. Nxf6+ {when} (5. Qe2 {is better.}) 5... exf6 {leads to a dynamic pawn structure where Black usually scores well.}) 4. h3 Bxf3 5. Qxf3 e6 {Having exchanged his problematic light-squared bishop, Black sets up a super-solid pyramidal structure in the center. It allows him to develop his pieces to their natural squares and complete the opening smoothly. On the other hand, White's bishop pair may prove to be an asset in the long run, but it isn't simple to open up the position to maximize its potential. Moreover, the knight is not placed ideally on c3, and White usually needs to reroute it to a better square in the future. In short, both sides have something to look forward to in the ensuing middlegame.} 6. Be2 {This simple developing move is probably the most popular among several reasonable options.} ({Bobby Fischer used to play} 6. d3 {, often in combination with g2-g3,}) ({while} 6. d4 {is a more direct approach.}) 6... Bc5 {Black takes control of the d4-square since White might want to go d2-d4 at some point.} 7. O-O Nd7 8. exd5 {Typically, White doesn't release the tension in the center so early, but Wesley wants to prepare the d4-break without worrying about his opponent pushing the pawn to d4 himself.} ({In the event of the immediate} 8. Rd1 {Black has a strong tactical retort:} d4 9. Nb1 Ne5 10. Qg3 d3 $1 11. Qxe5 ({If White takes the pawn} 11. Bxd3 Nxd3 12. cxd3 {Black has a typical positional compensation for the pawn after} Ne7 $1) 11... Bd4 $1 12. Qg3 dxc2 13. Re1 cxb1=Q 14. Rxb1 Nf6 {Black returned the sacrificed material and had a pleasant position in Sarana,A (2649)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2784) Chess.com INT 2021, 0-1 (48)}) ({I should mention another relevant alternative} 8. Qg3 $5 Bd4 9. exd5 exd5 {when White can carry out a cool regrouping maneuver:} 10. Bd1 $1 Ne7 11. Ne2 Be5 12. Qf3 O-O 13. d4 Bc7 14. c3 Nf6 15. Bc2 {and he appears to have a tiny edge in this symmetrical structure thanks to the bishop pair. Tomczak,J (2584)-Socko,B (2636) Kruszwica 2022, 1-0 (83)}) 8... cxd5 ({If Black recaptures with the e-pawn} 8... exd5 {, White can achieve something similar to the abovementioned line by playing} 9. Re1 Ne7 10. Na4 Bd6 11. d4 O-O 12. Bd3 {with a slight positional edge.}) 9. Rd1 Ngf6 10. d4 {We are about to enter the reversed Carlsbad structure, quite typical of the Caro-Kann Defense. Because both sides have some pieces on suboptimal squares, adjustments are needed; over the next few moves, Black will reroute his knight to c6, while White will bring the bishop to the b1-h7 diagonal and transfer the knight from c3 to e2.} Be7 ({Black wouldn't mind placing his bishop on a more active diagonal with} 10... Bd6 {in principle. However, in this position, it runs into} 11. Nb5 $1 Bb8 12. c4 {and White will open up the position for his bishops.}) 11. Bd3 O-O 12. Bf4 {A sensible novelty. With the bishop on f4, the position starts to resemble some lines of the London System.} ({A previous game in this position saw} 12. Ne2 Qb8 13. Nf4 b5 14. h4 {with double-edged play. Dragnev,V (2535)-Fridman,D (2626) Katowice 2021, ½-½ (64)}) 12... Nb8 13. Ne2 Nc6 14. c3 Re8 {Black slowly prepares the e5-break.} ({He had decent alternatives in} 14... Bd6 15. Bg5 h6 16. Bh4 Be7 {, trying to exchange the dark-squared bishops;}) ({and} 14... a6 15. Re1 Rc8 {, preparing queenside counterplay with ...Nc6-a5-c4, ...b7-b5, etc.}) 15. Re1 {Wesley slides his rook to the e-file, preparing for the upcoming kingside battle.} g6 {It is not uncommon for Black to set up a sort of a Stonewall on the light squares in this type of position. This way, he diminishes the attacking power of the light-squared bishop and covers some critical squares like f5 and h5. On the flip side, this move weakens the dark squares around the king. It also creates a hook for piece sacrifices on e6, f7, or g6.} 16. Ng3 Nd7 {A multi-purpose move, giving Black options like ...e6-e5 and ...Be7-f6/g5.} 17. Re3 {This is a controversial choice of a square for the rook. White should double the rooks on the e-file, but it feels more exposed here than on e2.} (17. Re2 Bf6 18. Rae1 {would have been simpler as Black will find it difficult to push ...e6-e5. }) 17... e5 $5 {Melkumyan takes the bull by the horns. Instead of waiting for White to pile up his pieces on the kingside and start the attack, he opens the center, hoping to obtain active counterplay. A quiet maneuvering struggle transforms into a double-edged affair in an instant $1} 18. Bh6 $6 {It is difficult to decide whether this move is a blunder or a perfect trap. It took Wesley 10 minutes to make it, so there was certainly a significant element of the latter.} ({Objectively speaking, it would have been better to respond with } 18. dxe5 {and after} Bc5 19. e6 $1 Rxe6 20. Rxe6 fxe6 {White could claim a slight plus thanks to a better pawn structure.}) 18... e4 $4 {It is difficult to say what Melkumyan thought when he played this move. Perhaps he analyzed only positions where White sacrifices a bishop or knight on e4, but he forgot about} ({So surely saw that 18. ...e4 doesn't work before making his 18th move, so he probably thought that his opponent would play} 18... exd4 19. cxd4 Nxd4 20. Qxd5 Nc5 {which leads to roughly balanced play.}) ({However, he missed an equally devilish intermezzo} 18... Bf8 $1 19. Bxf8 {which makes} e4 $1 { work since White cannot sacrifice on e4 anymore. After} 20. Qf4 Nxf8 {Black would have a clear advantage thanks to the space gained over the last few moves.}) 19. Rxe4 $3 {This may easily end up being the move of the Olympiad $1 The rook sacrifice is stunning, but its follow-up is even more brilliant.} Nf8 {It is difficult to recover from such a shock, but Melkumyan managed to pull himself together and continue the game. Unfortunately, without the pawn, his position is hopeless.} (19... dxe4 {would lead to a forced checkmate in six moves after the queen sacrifice} 20. Qxf7+ $1 {to lure the black king out in the open.} Kxf7 21. Bc4+ Kf6 22. Nxe4+ Kf5 23. g4+ Kxe4 24. Re1+ Kf3 {and White would have a tough choice between} 25. Re3# ({and} 25. Bd5# {Such king-chase combinations were much more common in romantic 19th-century chess than today, so it's always refreshing to see them in modern grandmaster games $1})) 20. Rf4 $1 {Some people would start retreating after winning material, hoping to trade into a winning endgame. But not Wesley. He wants to finish the game in style $1} f5 21. Nxf5 $1 {Of course, he did not put the rook on f4 to just stand there; this piece sacrifice was planned so that he could utilize his attacking momentum.} gxf5 22. Rxf5 Qd6 23. Qg4+ Ng6 {Forced,} ({since} 23... Qg6 {loses the queen to} 24. Rxf8+) 24. Rxd5 $3 {White king's rook is the star piece of the game. This is the second time it is sacrificing itself for the greater good. Just like in the first instance, Black shouldn't capture it.} Qf6 (24... Qxd5 {would lead to a checkmate or decisive loss of material after} 25. Bxg6 Kh8 26. Bxe8 {etc.}) 25. g3 {White is already winning on all possible grounds: attacking, positional, material, so he is in no rush.} ({ Wesley wanted to ensure that Black cannot exchange the queens after} 25. Rf5 Qh4) 25... Bf8 26. Rf5 {The lively rook returns to the f-file, where it can do the most damage.} Qe7 27. Bc4+ Kh8 28. Bg5 {Melkumyan resigned because he would be losing a lot of material soon. For example,} Qd6 29. Rf6 Qc7 30. Rf7 { and he would have to give up the queen to avoid the checkmate on h7.} 1-0 [Event "Chennai Chess Olympiad | Open"] [Site "chess.com"] [Date "2022.08.05"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Albornoz Cabrera, Carlos Daniel"] [Black "Gukesh D"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B22"] [WhiteElo "2566"] [BlackElo "2684"] [Annotator "Saravanan,V"] [PlyCount "91"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "Cuba"] [BlackTeam "India"] [WhiteTeamCountry "CUB"] [BlackTeamCountry "IND"] {0-} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 d5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. d4 Nf6 6. dxc5 Qxd1+ 7. Kxd1 e6 8. b4 a5 9. b5 Ne7 10. Ne5 Ng6 11. Nxg6 hxg6 12. Be3 Ng4 13. c6 bxc6 14. bxc6 Nxe3+ 15. fxe3 Ba6 16. Nd2 Bxf1 17. Nxf1 Rh5 18. Ng3 Re5 19. Re1 Bd6 20. Rb1 Ra6 21. Kc2 Rxc6 $17 {All black's pieces occupy active positions.} 22. e4 Rc7 23. Re3 Ke7 24. Rd3 Rec5 25. Ne2 Be5 26. g3 Rc4 27. Re3 Bd6 {Threatening 28.... Bc5 removing the defender for the e4-pawn. Gukesh instructively converts his advantage.} 28. Kd3 Ra4 29. Nc1 g5 30. Rb5 f6 31. Kc2 Be5 32. Kb3 Rac4 33. Ne2 a4+ 34. Kc2 g4 35. Rb6 g5 36. Ra6 Bd6 37. Kd3 a3 38. e5 fxe5 39. Ra5 Kf6 40. Rb5 Kf5 41. Nd4+ Kf6 42. Ne2 Ra4 43. Nc1 e4+ 44. Kc2 Rac4 45. Kb3 Bf4 $3 {A beautiful finish $1} 46. gxf4 (46. gxf4 gxf4 47. Re1 Rxc3+ 48. Ka4 Rxc1 49. Rxc1 Rxc1 50. Kxa3 e3 {and Black's passers will decide the issue.}) 0-1 [Event "Chennai Chess Olympiad | Open"] [Site "chess.com"] [Date "2022.08.05"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Erigaisi Arjun"] [Black "Gupta, Abhijeet"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D02"] [WhiteElo "2689"] [BlackElo "2627"] [Annotator "Saravanan,V"] [PlyCount "91"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "India"] [BlackTeam "India"] [WhiteTeamCountry "IND"] [BlackTeamCountry "IND"] 1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 Nf6 3. e3 c5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Nbd2 Nh5 6. Be5 e6 7. Bb5 f6 8. Bg3 Nxg3 9. hxg3 cxd4 10. exd4 Bd6 11. c4 O-O 12. O-O Kh8 13. cxd5 exd5 14. Bxc6 bxc6 15. Qc2 Bd7 16. Nb3 Rb8 17. Nc5 Bxc5 18. dxc5 f5 19. Ne5 f4 20. g4 Kg8 21. Rfe1 Qc7 22. f3 a5 23. Qd2 Bc8 24. g5 $2 (24. Nd3 Ba6 25. Nf2 $1 {It is important for White to retain the knight, as it will prove to be a better piece than the black bishop in the long run.} Rbe8 26. Rxe8 Rxe8 27. Re1 { Aiming for a classical queen and knight vs. queen and bishop ending.} Rxe1+ 28. Qxe1 Kf7 29. b3 $16 {with a clear advantage for White.}) 24... Bf5 25. b3 Rbe8 26. Qd4 Re6 27. Nd3 Rxe1+ 28. Rxe1 Bxd3 29. Qxd3 Qd8 (29... Qa7 30. Qc2 Rd8 31. Re6 $16) 30. Re5 Re8 (30... Qb8 31. Re6 {with a slightly better ending for White.}) 31. Qd4 Rxe5 $4 (31... Re7 $1 32. Qxf4 Qc7 33. Rf5 Qxf4 34. Rxf4 Re1+ 35. Kf2 Rc1 {with a slightly better ending for White.}) 32. Qxe5 d4 33. Kf1 d3 34. Ke1 a4 35. b4 g6 36. Kd2 Qd7 37. Qxf4 Qd5 38. Qb8+ Kf7 39. Qa7+ Kf8 40. Qxa4 Qxg5+ 41. Kxd3 Qf5+ 42. Kd2 Qg5+ 43. Kd1 Qe3 44. Qa8+ Kg7 45. Qb7+ Kh6 46. Qd7 1-0
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