[Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2022.01.26"] [Round "10"] [White "Dubov, Daniil"] [Black "Grandelius, Nils"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B50"] [WhiteElo "2720"] [BlackElo "2672"] [Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"] [PlyCount "164"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] 1. Nf3 c5 2. e4 d6 3. Bb5+ Bd7 4. Bxd7+ Nxd7 5. c3 Ngf6 6. Qe2 e6 7. d4 cxd4 8. cxd4 {Let's quickly skip the opening, saying that the solid Rossolimo quickly led to an innocent-looking French pawn structure.} d5 9. e5 Bb4+ 10. Bd2 Bxd2+ 11. Nbxd2 Ng8 {At least innocent-looking up to here, when there came...} 12. O-O-O $146 {\"Very interesting! And it took me completely by surprise. This is Daniil Dubov: he is going long-castle whenever possible\" (Grandelius)} ({ White got a slight edge after the conventional:} 12. O-O Ne7 13. Rac1 O-O 14. Qb5 Nb6 15. Rc3 Nc6 16. a3 Rc8 17. Rfc1 h6 18. h3 a6 19. Qb3 Rb8 20. Qc2 { in the predecessor Riazantsev,A (2634)-Matlakov,M (2674) Warsaw 2021}) 12... Ne7 13. Kb1 Nc6 14. h4 {Dubov is not hiding his intentions at all. He wants to push all his pawns on the kingside and mate whenever the black king shows itself there. If not—well, he will have a kingside edge and potentially an open c-file.} Qb6 ({Definitely not castling into it yet.} 14... O-O 15. h5) 15. Qe3 Rc8 {Grandelius is somehow finding the most precise moves, gaining enough counterplay. But this comes at a price as he is burning loads of time on his clock.} 16. h5 h6 17. g4 Qb5 $1 {Just in time. The further advance of the white pawns is coming with a price, and Black is creating threats on his own.} 18. Rc1 $1 {Pinning the rook at once.} ({As, otherwise, the knight has interesting routes like} 18. g5 Ne7 $1) ({Or} 18. Rhg1 Nb4 $1) 18... O-O $1 { The rooks need to be defended to resume the threats!} 19. a3 $5 {This stops the Nc6-b4 maneuver and avoids the trade of the rooks.} ({In case of} 19. g5 Nb4 $1 {Black is just in time if he chooses the proper trades in the line} 20. gxh6 Nd3 21. Nb3 Rxc1+ $1 {Trading both the white rooks is mandatory!} ({ But not} 21... Nxc1 22. Nxc1 {when White would soon mate.}) 22. Rxc1 Nxc1 23. Nxc1 (23. hxg7 Kxg7 {is similar.}) 23... gxh6 24. Qxh6 Rc8 {And this is somehow balanced, e.g.} 25. Qg5+ Kf8 $1 26. h6 Qc4 {Yes, Black also has threats and this forces White into a passive defense} 27. Qd2 Qf1 ({Or even} 27... Kg8)) 19... Ne7 $1 {The ideal square for the knight. Time to offer the rooks swap once again.} 20. Nh4 ({As before} 20. g5 {is met with} Nf5) ({And} 20. Rhg1 Rxc1+ 21. Rxc1 Nb6 {will prepare Rf8-c8.}) 20... Nb6 21. Ka2 {Dubov is still trying to deviate from the threats, but he apparently starts to burn the bridges.} ({After} 21. f4 {Grandelius can proceed with the trades} Rxc1+ ({ Or he can search for counterplay with} 21... Nc4 $5 22. Nxc4 dxc4) 22. Rxc1 Rc8 ) 21... Nc4 22. Qb3 {Maybe here Dubov realized that he miscalculated a thing or two.} ({As in the line} 22. Nxc4 dxc4 $1 23. g5 c3 $3 {when it is Black who wins by force with tactical shots} 24. bxc3 Nd5 25. Qd2 Nxc3+ $1 26. Rxc3 Qd5+) 22... Qa6 {Black is playing for an attack now!} ({Although he had quite a decent choice with} 22... Qxb3+ 23. Nxb3 g5 $1) 23. Nhf3 {A sad retreat.} ({ However} 23. Rcd1 Nc6 {was even worse.}) 23... Rc6 {This is why Black avoided the trade of the queens, but as he was very low on time, Grandelius soon accepted a safe choice.} 24. Qd3 Qb5 25. Qb3 Qa6 26. Qd3 Rfc8 27. Rc3 {This only makes things worse.} ({It is still not convincing to go for} 27. g5 $5 Qb5 28. Qb3 {due to} Qa5 $1) ({But perhaps White should have gone in full passive mode with} 27. Nb3 Qb5 28. Rc3 a5 29. Rb1) 27... Nxd2 28. Qxd2 ({Black wins too many pawns in the line} 28. Qxa6 bxa6 29. Nxd2 Rxc3 30. bxc3 Rxc3 31. Nb3 Rc2+) 28... Rxc3 29. bxc3 Qc4+ {Now the white king is badly exposed.} 30. Kb2 Qb5+ 31. Ka2 Qc4+ 32. Kb2 Rc6 33. Qc2 Rb6+ (33... Qb5+ 34. Kc1) 34. Kc1 Ra6 35. Kb2 Rb6+ {Too bad that Grandelius was that low on time.} ({The win, however, was far from trivial} 35... Nc6 $1 36. g5 Rb6+ 37. Kc1 Qa6 $3 ({Or the equally hard, study-like maneuver} 37... Na5 38. gxh6 Nb3+ 39. Kd1 Na1 $3) 38. Kd2 ({ No time for} 38. gxh6 Qxa3+ 39. Kd2 Rb2) 38... Na5 $1 {and the threat of decisive infiltration with Rb6-b2! decides the outcome of the game.}) 36. Kc1 Qb3 {\"This decision was heavily influenced by my [lack of] time.\" (Grandelius)} 37. Qxb3 Rxb3 38. Kc2 Rxa3 39. Kb2 Ra4 40. Nd2 {Now White is threatening to resume the motion of his kingside pawns, even in the endgame.} Nc6 41. Nb3 b5 42. Rc1 Na5 43. Nd2 {A strange decision.} ({After the natural} 43. Nxa5 Rxa5 44. f4 Ra4 45. Rg1 a5 46. g5 {Dubov had all the chances to survive.}) 43... b4 44. cxb4 {It was not too late to enter the rook endgame once more.} ({Strong was} 44. c4 dxc4 45. Nxc4 Nxc4+ 46. Rxc4 a5 47. Rc8+ Kh7 { with the following beautiful counterplay} 48. d5 $3 exd5 49. Rf8 b3 50. Rxf7 Rb4 51. e6 a4 52. e7 Re4 53. Rf4 $1 {and White should once again survive.}) 44... Rxb4+ 45. Kc3 Nc6 {Now Black is once again winning.} 46. Kd3 ({White is naturally avoiding the knight endgame.} 46. Nf3 Rc4+ 47. Kb2 Rxc1 48. Kxc1 f6 { which should be a technical win for the second player.}) 46... Nxd4 {The next string of moves is quite forcing:} 47. Rc8+ Kh7 48. Rc7 a5 49. Rxf7 Nc6 50. f4 a4 51. Rc7 Rb6 52. Rc8 a3 53. Ra8 Nb4+ {And, Grandelius is once again short of time and rushes a bit.} ({The neat} 53... a2 $1 {threatening the same maneuver as in the game, would have won as} 54. Kc3 ({Or} 54. Ke3 Nb4) 54... Rb4 $1 { would mop up all the white pawns.}) 54. Kc3 Na6 55. Nb3 a2 56. Na1 Rb1 57. Nc2 {Seems to be White's last chance.} ({However, the rook endgame might have still worked} 57. Rxa6 $1 Rxa1 58. Kb2 Rf1 59. Kxa2 Rxf4 60. Rxe6 Rxg4 { Now White needs to see in advance the accurate counterplay} 61. Kb3 $3 { It is mandatory to activate the king.} ({Or else White loses to} 61. Rd6 Rh4 62. Rxd5 Rxh5) 61... Rh4 62. Kc3 Rxh5 63. Kd4 $1 {And the white passer, nicely supported by both the rook and the king, should yield White enough play.}) 57... a1=Q+ 58. Nxa1 Rxa1 59. f5 $1 {This breakthrough is obviously what Dubov was pinning his hopes on.} exf5 60. gxf5 Rc1+ $1 {But this spoiler keeps Grandelius in charge!} ({The Swedish GM correctly avoided} 60... Re1 61. f6 $1 gxf6 62. exf6) ({As well as} 60... Rf1 61. Rxa6 Rxf5 62. Kd4 $1) 61. Kd2 ({ Or another spoiler after} 61. Kd4 Rd1+ $1) 61... Rf1 62. f6 {The last chance!} Nc5 {The knight somehow survived.} 63. Ra7 Kg8 $1 ({Not} 63... Ne6 64. Re7) 64. Rxg7+ Kf8 65. Rc7 Ne6 66. Rb7 Ng5 {Not a bad move, but a more central square would have worked better.} (66... Nd4 $1 {would have been a neat win after, say,} 67. Rd7 ({Or} 67. Ke3 Nc6 $1) 67... Rf5 68. Rxd5 Nf3+) 67. Ke3 Rf5 { This, however, is a mistake, and Dubov, who had almost an hour more on the clock, gets a chance to survive once again.} ({Pushing the enemy king toward his own seems suicidal, and yes, in time-trouble all sorts of scary mating pictures appear, but the line} 67... Re1+ $1 68. Kf4 (68. Kd4 Nf3+) 68... Ne6+ 69. Kf5 Nd4+ 70. Kg6 Nc6 $1 {was just winning.}) 68. Rb8+ Kf7 69. Rb7+ Kf8 70. Rb8+ Kf7 71. Rb7+ Ke8 72. Re7+ $1 {That is the thing: this check now works for White!} ({Not} 72. Rb8+ Kd7) 72... Kf8 73. Kd4 Nf7 74. Kxd5 Rxh5 75. Ke4 Rg5 76. Kf4 {Alas, Dubov became careless and let the half-point fly away.} ({After } 76. e6 $1 Nd8 ({Maybe the Russian GM missed that in the line} 76... Nd6+ { he has the only move} 77. Kd3 $3 Rd5+ 78. Kc2 Re5 79. Rh7 $11) 77. Rh7 Nxe6 78. Rxh6 $11) ({even the neutral} 76. Re6 {would have been a draw according to the machine.}) 76... Nh8 $3 {Or maybe White simply missed this non-obvious move! The knight is never shy to step back in order to jump to a better square.} 77. Ke4 Ng6 78. Rh7 ({Or} 78. Re6 h5) 78... Rxe5+ 79. Kd4 h5 80. Rg7 Rg5 81. Rh7 Ne5 82. Rg7 Nf7 0-1
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