[Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.01.14"] [Round "1"] [White "Gukesh, D..."] [Black "Ding, Liren"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E15"] [WhiteElo "2725"] [BlackElo "2811"] [Annotator "rafael"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "6000+30"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 {The Queen's Indian has been somewhat absent from elite tournaments lately, in my opinion for no good reason other than the \"opening fashion.\"} Ba6 5. b3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Bg2 O-O 8. O-O d5 9. Nc3 {This move doesn't seem to promise much for White.} (9. cxd5 {is the most popular move. After} exd5 10. Nc3 {we have a classic Queen's Indian position that has been discussed in many games.}) 9... c6 10. Bf4 Nbd7 (10... dxc4 $2 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] is premature.} 11. bxc4 Bxc4 12. Bxb8 $1 {[%c_effect b8;square;b8;type;GreatFind;persistent; true] An important detail.} (12. Ne5 $6 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type; Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} Ba6) 12... Rxb8 13. Ne5 {With a big advantage for White.}) 11. cxd5 exd5 $5 {[%c_effect d5;square;d5;type;Interesting;persistent; true] I was surprised by this way of recapturing the pawn, but it had been tried before. With this move Ding shows that he is willing to take risks to play for the win. The c-pawn capture, now or after the knight exchange, leads to an even position, but in which Black would not have much chance of winning due to the symmetrical pawn structure.} (11... Nxd5 {was played in correspondence games and solves Black's problems, for instance:} 12. Nxd5 cxd5 13. Qd2 Rc8 {with equality in Dunlop-Morrow, ICCF email 2021.}) (11... cxd5 { is also playable.}) 12. Ne1 {A theoretical novelty. This is a thematic maneuver in these positions, taking the knight to d3.} (12. Rc1 {was tried in Bogner-Sevian, Titled Tuesday (blitz) 2020.}) 12... Re8 13. Nd3 Nf8 {Another typical knight maneuver.} 14. Bg5 {Gukesh wants to exchange on f6 and then play e2-e3, continuing the slow play characteristic of these positions, but this plan has a small problem.} (14. Re1 {is possible, taking the rook out of the x-ray rook from the a6-bishop. The game can follow:} Ne6 15. Be5 Nd7 { Of course this move is not forced.} 16. e4 $5 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type; Interesting;persistent;true]} dxe4 17. Bxe4 Bxd3 18. Qxd3 Nxe5 19. Bxh7+ Kf8 20. dxe5 Qxd3 21. Bxd3 Bb4 22. Rac1 Ba3 23. Rb1 Bb4 {with a draw. It's always a success for the commentator when his analysis ends in some random move repetition.}) 14... Ne6 15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. e3 Nc5 $1 {[%c_effect c5;square;c5; type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This move solves all of Black's problems. Not just that—his position becomes more comfortable. It's quite possible that the Indian GM missed this resource.} 17. dxc5 Bxc3 18. Rc1 Qf6 19. Qc2 d4 20. cxb6 axb6 21. Rfd1 Rad8 22. exd4 Bxd4 {The bishop pair is frightening and we know hundreds of historical games in which they were devastating—this will be another one of them. That said, it was still possible to fight for equality, but the position requires machine precision.} 23. Nf4 $2 {[%c_effect f4;square; f4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] An error that will be masterfully exploited by the Chinese grandmaster.} (23. Bxc6 $1 {[%c_effect c6;square;c6;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] is the only way to keep the balance. It's scary to voluntarily put yourself in a pin, but the computer isn't afraid.} Rc8 24. Nf4 $1 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] And White is saved in all variations, oddly enough. A possible continuation is:} Bb5 (24... Re2 25. Nxe2 Qxf2+ 26. Kh1 Bxe2 27. Rxd4 Bf3+ 28. Bxf3 Qxf3+ 29. Kg1 Qe3+ 30. Kg2 Rxc2+ 31. Rxc2 h5 {with a likely draw.}) (24... Re5 25. b4 $1 {[%c_effect b4; square;b4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] avoiding 25..Rc5.}) 25. Bxb5 (25. Bxe8 Rxc2 26. Rxc2 Bxe8 27. Rc8 Kf8 28. Re1 Be5 $1 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5; type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 29. Nd3 Qe6 $1 {[%c_effect e6;square;e6;type; GreatFind;persistent;true]} 30. Rxe8+ Qxe8 31. Rxe5 Qc6 {should also end in a draw.}) 25... Rxc2 26. Rxc2 Rd8 {White has enough for the missing queen. The position is equal.}) 23... g5 $1 {[%c_effect g5;square;g5;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] Forcing the knight to the edge of the board.} 24. Nh5 Qh6 25. Bf3 {Defending the knight and the rook invasion on e2.} c5 {A knight on the rim is dim. A good commentator should never miss a chance to use this saying, as I have done dozens of times.} 26. g4 {Gukesh prepares to bring the knight back to the game.} f5 $3 {[%c_effect f5;square;f5;type;Brilliant;persistent; true] The best move of the game. Black breaks through on the kingside, sacrificing a few pawns along the way.} 27. Ng3 (27. gxf5 g4 $1 {[%c_effect g4; square;g4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 28. Bxg4 Qg5 (28... Qc6 {with idea of playing Bb7, might be even stronger.}) 29. h3 Re2 30. Rxd4 Rxd4 31. Qc3 Rd3 {with a winning position.}) (27. Qxf5 Bc8 $1 {[%c_effect c8;square;c8;type; GreatFind;persistent;true]} 28. Qc2 Rf8 29. Qe2 Qd6 $1 {[%c_effect d6;square; d6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] An accurate move.} (29... Rde8 {is not so good.} 30. Qc4+ Be6 31. Bd5) 30. Ng3 Rde8 {with a winning attack.}) 27... fxg4 28. Nf5 (28. Bxg4 Bb7 {Look at those bishops. As I like to say, this is a position that deserves a picture $1}) 28... Qf6 29. Be4 (29. Nxd4 cxd4 30. Bxg4 d3 {Black loses the bishop pair but gains another strong asset: the d-pawn decides the game.}) (29. Bxg4 Bc8 {is also winning for Black.}) 29... h5 $6 { [%c_effect h5;square;h5;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] An inaccuracy.} (29... Qe5 $1 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] leads to an ending with likely decisive advantage for Black after} 30. Nxd4 Qxe4 31. Qxe4 Rxe4 32. Nf5 Rxd1+ 33. Rxd1 h5) 30. b4 $1 {[%c_effect b4;square;b4;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] The best chance. White needs to create some active play.} Kf8 {A prophylactic move, taking the king off the a2-g8 diagonal.} ( 30... h4 {is also possible.}) 31. a3 $6 {[%c_effect a3;square;a3;type; Inaccuracy;persistent;true] Too slow. Now White is definitely lost.} (31. a4 $1 {[%c_effect a4;square;a4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is the computer's suggestion, with the idea of playing b4-b5 or a4-a5.} Bb2 32. Rxd8 Rxd8 33. Rd1 cxb4 34. Rxd8+ Qxd8 35. a5 $1 {[%c_effect a5;square;a5;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} (35. Qxb2 $2 {[%c_effect b2;square;b2;type;Mistake; persistent;true] leads to a pretty mate after} Qd1+ 36. Kg2 Qf1+ 37. Kg3 Qh3#) 35... Bf6 (35... bxa5 $2 {[%c_effect a5;square;a5;type;Mistake;persistent;true] } 36. Qc5+) 36. axb6 Qxb6 37. Bd5 {with some drawing chances for White, despite being two pawns down.}) 31... h4 {Preparing g3, sacrificing a pawn but mortally opening up White's position.} 32. Re1 {It loses on the spot, but it's hard to make recommendations.} (32. Nxd4 Rxd4 33. Rxd4 cxd4 {The d-pawn decides the game.}) (32. bxc5 Bxc5 {is also easily winning for Black.}) 32... Rxe4 $1 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The most clearcut way to win.} (32... g3 {also wins and I will show this variation so the reader has an idea of how Black could win If White had played some random move instead of 32.Re1.} 33. hxg3 hxg3 34. Nxg3 (34. Nxd4 cxd4 35. fxg3 d3 { wins material.}) 34... Qf4 $1 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] Threatening to take the g3-knight.} 35. Kg2 (35. Nf5 Be5) 35... Bxf2 $1 {[%c_effect f2;square;f2;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 36. Qxf2 Rd2 37. Ne2 Qxf2+ 38. Kxf2 Rxe4 {The e2-knight is captured and Black wins. }) 33. Qxe4 (33. Rxe4 Bd3 $1 {[%c_effect d3;square;d3;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]}) 33... Bd3 $1 {[%c_effect d3;square;d3;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] This is the point. I don't want to sound repetitive, but look at these bishops $1} 34. Qe6 (34. Qxd3 Bxf2+ 35. Kxf2 Rxd3) 34... Qxe6 35. Rxe6 Bxf5 36. Rxb6 g3 37. hxg3 hxg3 38. bxc5 Bh3 {A brilliant game by the world title contender. 0-} 0-1
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