Comments by Sergey Zagrebelny. Round 8

The report of the most brilliant games of the eighth round is proposed to the attention of the readers by GM Sergey Zagrebelny. 

 Karjakin Sergey (2747 Russia-1) – Eljanov Pavel (2761  Ukraine)


1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 c5 6.Be3 Qb6 7.Nc3 Qxb2 8.Qb1 Qxb1+ 9.Rxb1 c4 10.Rxb7 Nc6.

A well-known theoretical position. Eljanov already played it against Inarkiev in Astrakhan 2010 –11.Kd2 Bb4 12.Rb1 Ba5 13.g4 Bxg4 14.Rxf7 Bxf3 15.Rxf3 Nge7 16.Rg1 Rg8 17.Rh3 Nf5, and Black eventually won. 11.Nb5 Nd8 12.Rc7 Rb8. A novelty.  In Lastin-Korobkov, Maykop 2008 White got an advantage by 12...Bxc2 13.Nd6+ Bxd6 14.exd6 f6 15.Bc1 Nf7 16.Kd2 Be4 17.Bd1 Ngh6 18.Ba4+ Kd8 19.Ba3. 13.Nd6+ Bxd6 14.exd6 Rb1+ 15.Bd1 Bxc2 16.Kd2 Bxd1 17.Rxd1. 

17...Rb6  18.Bf4 Nf6  19.Re7+ Kf8  20.Rxa7 Ne4+ 21.Kc2 f6 22.h4 Nxf2 23.Rb1 Rxb1 24.Kxb1 Ne4 25.a4. White shows his main trump. Note that Karjakin played all the moves instantly, while his opponent was already in time trouble.

25...Rg8 26.a5 Nc6 27.Ra6 Sergey was probably out of preparation by now, otherwise he would play 27.d7! Nd8 28.Kc2. 27...Nb8 28.Ra7 Nc6 29.d7! White returns to the right path. 29...Nd8 30.Kc2 Also good is 30.Rc7 Kf7 31.Kc2! (31.a6 Nc3+ 32.Kc2 Nb5) 31...g5 32.hxg5 fxg5 33.Bc1. 30...Ke7 31.a6

31...e5. Desperation.However, there is no defense, e. g., 31...Nd6 32.Rc7 Nb5 33.a7 Nxc7 34.Bxc7 Nc6 35.d8Q+or 31...Nd6 32.Rc7 Nb5 33.a7 Nxa7 34.Rxa7 Rh8. 32.Bc1. The simple 32.dxe5 is also good. 32...Kd6 On 32...Nd6 White wins by 33.Ba3 Ke6 34.Bxd6 Kxd6 35.dxe5+ fxe5 36.Ra8 Kc7 37.Nxe5. 33.Ba3+ Kc6 34.Ra8 Black resigns.

Shirov Alexei (2749 Spain)  - Berg Emanuel (2616 Sveden)

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Nbd7 8.Qe2 Qc7 9.0–0–0 b5 10.a3 Bb7 11.g4 Be7 12.Bh4 Nb6 13.g5 Nfd7 14.f5 e5

15.Nf3. Earlier White preferred Nb3. 15...Nc4 16.Bh3 f6 17.gxf6 gxf6 18.Nd5 Bxd5 19.Rxd5 Ndb6 20.Rd3.

With the kings being on the opposite sides of the board, it is important to strike first. 20...b4!? 21.a4. On 21.axb4 Black can play 21…a5 22.b5 a4. 21...Nxb2!? Another interesting try is 21...Nxa4 22.b3 Qa5. 22.Kxb2 Nxa4+ 23.Kc1 Nc3 24.Qe3 Rc8 25.Kd2.

25...d5. Black has many tempting continuations, for example, 25...Nb1+ 26.Ke1 Qxc2 or 25...Qa5!? It is difficult to choose between them. 26.exd5 e4 27.Bxf6 Bxf6. Much stronger is 27...Nxd5! 28.Rxd5 Qxc2+ 29.Ke1 Bxf6, keeping the initiative. 28.d6 Qd7? The losing move. Black had to play 28...Qc6! 29.d7+ Kf7 30.dxc8Q Rxc8. 

 29.Ne5!–+. What a brilliant move! Typical Shirov! 29…Bxe5 30.f6 Nb1+ 31.Ke1! Weaker is 31.Rxb1 due to 31…Rxc2+! 32.Kxc2 exd3+ 33.Kd2 Qxd6 34.Re1 Kf7 35.Qxe5 Qxe5 36.Rxe5 Kxf6. 31...Qc6 32.d7+ Kf7 33.dxc8Q Rxc8 34.Rd7+ Ke8 35.Re7+ Kd8 36.Rxe5 Black resigns.

Gelfand Boris (2751 Israel) - Van Wely Loek (2679 Netherlands)

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Ne4 5.Bh4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 dxc4 7.e3 Be6 8.Nf3 Bg7 9.Be2 0–0 10.0–0 Nd7 11.Ng5 Bd5 12.e4 h6.

13.exd5 hxg5 14.Bxg5 Nb6 15.Qd2 Qd7.  A novelty. Before this game Black tried 15...Re8 16.Bh6 Bf6 etc. 16.Rfe1 Nxd5 17.Bxc4 e6 18.Rac1 Rac8 19.Bb3 Rfe8. 

At the first glance the position looks completely equal. However, there is a slight defect in Black’s structure... 20.h4! Gelfand starts his attack by ramming the g6-pawn.20…c6 21.Qd1 b5 22.h5 gxh5 23.Qxh5 c5 24.dxc5 Rxc5 25.Bh6 Qe7 26.Bxg7 Kxg7 27.Qg4+ Kf8 28.Re5 Nf6.

29.Qh4 Rxe5 30.Qh8+ Ng8 31.Qxe5 a6 32.c4 Rc8 33.c5 Qc7 34.Qe3 Nf6

 35.c6? Boris misses the spectacular 35.Qh6+ Ke7 36.Bxe6! and then 36…Kxe6 37.Qh3+ Ke5 38.f4+ Kd5 39.Qf3+ Ke6 40.Qe3+ Kd7 41.Rd1+ Kc6 42.Rd6+ Kb7 43.c6+ Kb8 44.Rxf6.  35...Ng4? Black maintained the equality by 35...Qd6. 36.Qc5+ Ke8 37.Qh5 Qf4? The losing move. Black’s only move is 37...Nf6.  38.Rd1 Qxf2+ 39.Kh1 Qb2 40.Bxe6 Nf2+ 41.Kg1. Black resigns.