[Event "Altibox Norway Chess"] [Site "?"] [Date "2020.10.05"] [Round "1.3"] [White "Duda, Jan-Krzysztof"] [Black "Firouzja, Alireza"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B19"] [WhiteElo "2757"] [BlackElo "2728"] [Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"] [PlyCount "90"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] {Rh1! would finish the game as well.} 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 {The solid Caro-Kann.} 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 ({In an earlier blitz game Firouzja faced} 6. Nf3 Nd7 7. Bf4 Ngf6 8. Bd3 Qa5+ 9. c3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 e6 11. O-O Be7 12. h3 O-O 13. Rfe1 Rad8 {with approximate equality, Kushagra,M (2351) -Firouzja,A (2728) chess.com 2020}) 6... h6 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. h5 Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 e6 11. Bd2 Ngf6 12. O-O-O Be7 {Players now tend to castle short in the Caro-Kann. The dangers of checkmates have been carefully checked by the machines, and they apparently approve the way that the second player goes.} 13. Kb1 O-O ({The last time Duda faced this line was two years ago. He was not convincing then:} 13... Qb6 14. c4 Rd8 15. Bf4 O-O 16. Qc2 Rfe8 17. Nf1 c5 18. d5 exd5 19. cxd5 Ng4 20. N3h2 Nxh2 21. Rxh2 Bf6 22. Rh3 c4 {with a better position for Black in Duda,J (2724)-Esipenko,A (2571) Gibraltar 2018}) 14. Ne4 c5 {And Duda sank into deep thought. More than half an hour was spent on his clock, while the commentators were contemplating the reason for the thinking. Ultimately they came to the conclusion that he is not certain about his opening knowledge.} 15. Be3 {A very risky choice, called "very passive" by Firouzja.} ({The main line is:} 15. g4 Nxg4 16. Qe2 Qb6 17. Ne5 Ndxe5 18. dxe5 f5 {which in a recent top-GM game led practically to a draw straight of the opening:} 19. exf6 Nxf6 20. Rdg1 Nxe4 21. Qxe4 Bf6 22. b3 c4 23. Bxh6 cxb3 24. axb3 Rf7 25. Bc1 Qxf2 26. Bb2 Bxb2 27. Kxb2 Qf5 28. Qe2 Qf2 29. Qxe6 Qf6+ 30. Qxf6 Rxf6 {and the peace treaty was soon signed in So,W (2765) -Navara,D (2738) Saint Louis 2019}) 15... Nxe4 16. Qxe4 Nf6 17. Qxb7 {"I thought I will always have compensation" (Firouzja).} Nd5 {For the pawn Firouzja gets a tremendous initiative. Black often strives to the open the queenside anyway, and here he was assisted by his opponent.} ({Another plausible possibility is} 17... Rb8 { Then White cannot take the pawn:} 18. Qxa7 ({Or} 18. Qa6 Qc7) 18... Ra8 19. Qb7 Qa5 20. Qb3 Rfb8 21. Qc4 Ne4 22. Rd3 Rb4 {as Black's attack is decisive.}) 18. Qa6 ({Maybe Duda should have defended a la Kramnik with} 18. dxc5 $5 {(also the best try according to Firouzja)} Nc3+ 19. bxc3 Rb8 20. Qb3 Qa5 21. Ne5 Rxb3+ 22. axb3 Rc8 {when White has enough material for the queen.}) 18... Rb8 ( 18... Qc7 $5 {seems more accurate.}) 19. Bd2 {After this Black firmly takes over the initiative.} (19. dxc5 $1 {is compulsory. He does not need to fear} Nc3+ ({After} 19... Qc7 {White can also sacrifice the exchange:} 20. Rxd5 $5 ({ Or may choose instead} 20. Bd4 $1 Rfc8 21. c6 {which keeps the queenside under control.}) 20... exd5 21. c6 {with compensation for the exchange.}) 20. Kc1 Nxd1 21. Rxd1 Qc7 22. c6 Bf6 23. c3 {with the idea of Rd1-d7. It is far more important to seal the queenside than to think about the material.}) 19... cxd4 (19... Bf6 {Again Firouzja had an interesting choice:} 20. c4 Nb4 21. Qa3 ({Not } 21. Qxa7 Nd3) 21... Qc7 {with strong attacking position.}) 20. Nxd4 Bf6 { Duda temporary blocks the queenside, but the black pieces keep coming closer easily.} 21. Nb3 Qc7 22. Rhe1 Rfc8 23. Rc1 ({If} 23. c3 Rb6 24. Qd3 a5 $1 { would open all the files} 25. Nxa5 Rxb2+ 26. Kxb2 Qxa5 {with a decisive attack. }) ({Perhaps the best chance is} 23. c4 Qxc4 24. Qxc4 Rxc4 25. g3 Nb4 { although Black's initivative continues in the endgame as well.}) 23... Nb6 $1 { A nice maneuver.} 24. Re4 Nc4 25. Na1 ({Black won in an earlier game after} 25. Qc6 Rb4 {Qxg2 Qxa7 Qxf2} 26. a4 Bxb2 27. Rf4 {Qe2 Re1 Qg2 Qxf7+} Kh8 {Rxe6 Nd5 Rg6 Qxd2 0-1 Beliavsky,A (2652)-Gyimesi,Z (2580) Bled 2002}) ({Bf4 Desperately trying to provoke e6-e5 that would block the black bishop.} 25. c3 {would not stop Black from mounting more pressure with} Rb6 26. Qa4 Rc6) 25... Qb6 $1 { A counterintuitive decision, which works perfectly fine for Black. Firouzja does not retreat or slow down, and the endgame attack nets him material.} ({ But not} 25... e5 26. Be3) 26. Qxb6 Rxb6 27. Be3 ({There is no time to defend with} 27. c3 a5 $1 28. Rc2 ({Or else White loses material after} 28. Re2 a4 { Nd4 e5}) 28... a4 {Nc1 Na3+ and wins.}) 27... Rb4 28. f3 {Once again, Duda sank into thought, but there does not seem to be an alternative.} (28. Rf4 a5 29. a3 Rbb8 {leaves Black in charge of the enemy queenside.}) 28... a5 { Everything is in accordance to the plan; a5-a4 is a deadly threat.} ({Avoiding } 28... Bxb2 $2 29. Rxc4) 29. Rxc4 {The only move.} Rcxc4 30. Bd2 Rb5 31. Bxa5 Rxh5 {The white pawns are too far from the promotional squares; therefore, Black should be close to winning.} 32. Rg1 Rb5 {The only slip by Firouzja in this game. He decided to keep both rooks on the board to slow the enemy pawns down.} ({However, the trade of a rook pair} 32... Rch4 $1 33. Bd2 Rh1 {would have led to the win instead.}) 33. Bd2 h5 {Next, both players try to improve their chances on their flanks.} 34. c3 g5 35. Kc2 g4 {Nc1} 36. g3 {b3} { If gxf3 gxf3+ Kf8 Rg2 and White consolidates.} Rc8 37. a4 Rf5 ({Similar is} 37... Rbc5 {Ne2 h4} 38. c4) {Ne2 h4} 38. c4 e5 39. Be3 {An obvious but not the best move.} ({Strong is} 39. Be1 $1 {The bishop is eyeing the enemy passers, while the knight maneuvers to the optimal spots with} Kg7 {Nc3 Be7} 40. Rh1 { with an unclear position.}) {White, however, needs to avoid the immediate Nc3 due to h3!} 39... Bg5 40. Bxg5 Rxg5 41. Rh1 {Rh5 Kc3 It is Duda now who becomes ambitious!} ({This time Nc3 f5 Instead Nxg3 Rg5 Ne4} 41. Rg2 {Kc3 Re2 It is only Black risking in case of Rd8 c5 Kd3 Rb2 Kc3 Re2 Kd3 should lead to a draw.}) 41... f5 42. b4 ({This time the pawn capture Nxg3 is not as appealing as Rg5 Nf1 Rxg2} 42. Rh4 {Rf2 forces the knight to jump to a poor rim square: Nh2}) 42... f4 {The game enters the most beautiful and dramatic phase.} ({The immediate breakthrough is already on the agenda: h3 Rxh3 Rxh3 gxh3} 42... f4 43. b5 e4 {leads to an extremely sharp situation where both pawn phalanxes are too dangerous. This is practically impossible to calculate by a human, while the computer projects the following drawish line: Ng1 Re8} 44. b6 exf3 {Nxf3 Kg7} {There is no time for Re3+ Kb4 Rxf3 b7} 45. c5 {Re3+ Kc4 Rxf3 b7 g2 b8=Q Rg3! when White needs to force perpetual.}) 43. a5 { Too rushy.} ({Duda needed to be patient for one more move. Ng1!! would most likely lead to a draw after, say e4 fxe4 Re5 Kd4 Re7 Nf3 Rd8+} 43. Kc3 { Rxe4 Rxh4 Re3+ Kc2 Rdd3 with a perpetual check coming. Or Re2+}) ({h3!! The decisive breakthrough. gxh3 Black wins in a study-like manner after} 43. Rh3 { Rxh3} gxh3 {thanks to the beautiful Ra8!! which stops the pawns from moving. Then} 44. Kd2 ({Or} 44. c5 Kf7 45. c6 Ke7 {when the pawns are stopped.}) 44... Kf7 {The black king joins the action, and this decides matters after} 45. Ke1 Ke6 {Nc3 Rd8 Nd5 Rg8} 46. Kf1 {g2+ Kg1} e4 $1 47. fxe4 f3 {Nf4+ Ke5 Nd3+ Kxe4 Nf2+ Kd4}) 43... e4 44. fxe4 ({Or Nxf4 Rf5} 44. Rg1 {Rxf4 fxe4 Rxe4 Rxg3+} Kf7 45. c5 Rb8 {and Black should win.}) {g2 Rg1 Rxh3+ Kd4} 44... f3 {The black pawns crash through and win the game.} 45. c5 {Nf4 Rh1 is over too.} Kf7 { Nf4 f2} 0-1
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