Baku 3.1: Couple of Miracles, Many draws

by Alejandro Ramirez
9/17/2015 – 4/16 of the games today finished in decisive results, but a few of the games did see very tense drama unfold, especially close to time pressure. Lu Shanglei can count his lucky stars as he survived against Topalov basically down a piece. In Grischuk's topsy-turvy time trouble against Eljanov, it was complicated, then totally winning, then lost. And now he must win with black tomorrow to survive.

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World Cup

10th September – 5th October

Baku, Azerbaijan

Round Three - Game One

We are down to the round of 32, and we had some fascinating duels. Despite the high number of draws in today's round, there were many hard fights and a couple of lucky saves. First of all, Lu Shanglei is counting his lucky blessings having survived against Topalov:

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2015"] [Site "Baku AZE"] [Date "2015.09.17"] [Round "3.1"] [White "Topalov, Veselin"] [Black "Lu, Shanglei"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B76"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "2rr2k1/1p3p1p/p1n3p1/3N1b2/2B4P/5Pq1/PPPQ2P1/1K2R2R b - - 0 22"] [PlyCount "88"] [EventDate "2015.09.11"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 22... h5 23. Qc3 {Black is down a pawn and his position looks very sketchy. His king on g8 does not feel safe and his attack on the c2 pawn isn't quite that strong yet.} Qxg2 $6 {well, at least Black recovers his material... for now} 24. Ne3 $1 Qxf3 25. Rhf1 $6 (25. Ref1 $1 {prevents what happened in the game. For example} Qg3 (25... Qe4 26. Nxf5 $18) 26. Qf6 $1 $18 {Threatening mate with Bxf7+ and the f5 bishop. Black is positively lost.}) 25... Qg3 26. Rg1 (26. Bxf7+ $1 Kh7 (26... Kxf7 27. Qc4+ Kf6 (27... Kg7 28. Nxf5+ gxf5 29. Rg1 $18) 28. Nxf5 {gets swiftly mated.}) 27. Nxf5 Qxc3 28. bxc3 gxf5 29. Rxf5 $18) 26... Qe5 27. Nxf5 Qxc3 28. bxc3 Kf8 29. Nh6 (29. Ng3 Ne5 30. Rxe5 Rxc4 31. Ne4 {is an extra piece that White should eventually convert.}) 29... Ne5 30. Bxf7 $6 (30. Bb3 Nc4 (30... f6 31. Rxe5 fxe5 32. Rxg6 $18) 31. Bxc4 Rxc4 32. Ref1 {should be winning somehow.}) 30... Nf3 31. Bxg6 Nxe1 32. Rxe1 $2 (32. Bxh5 $1 $18 {keeps the knight on e1 trapped!}) 32... Kg7 33. Bf5 Rc6 $1 34. Re7+ Kf8 35. Rf7+ Ke8 {Strangely, now White is forced into a very awkward position with his minor pieces.} 36. Rh7 Rd1+ 37. Kb2 Rb6+ 38. Ka3 Rdd6 {the knight is trapped} 39. Rh8+ (39. Nf7 Rd5 {is a double attack on the bishop and a5... mate!}) 39... Ke7 40. Ng8+ Kf7 41. c4 Rdc6 $1 42. Bd3 Kg7 {Black wins back the exchange and eventually drew the game.} 43. Rxh5 Kxg8 44. Rd5 Rc7 45. h5 Kg7 46. c5 Rb1 47. c4 Rh1 48. Kb4 Rh2 49. a4 Kh6 50. Ka5 Rb2 51. Be4 Rb3 52. Re5 Rb2 53. c6 bxc6 54. Re6+ Kxh5 55. Rxc6 Re7 56. Bd5 Kg5 57. Rxa6 Kf5 58. Bc6 Ke5 59. Bb5 Rb7 60. Ra8 Kd6 61. Ka6 Rc7 62. Rd8+ Kc5 63. a5 Rh7 64. Rb8 Ra2 65. Rb6 Rg7 66. Rc6+ 1/2-1/2

Nepomniachtchi's symmetrical structure approach against Nakamura's Queen's Gambit Accepted was not strong enough to pose real problems for the American.

"Hi, we are looking for a Mr. Nakamura?"

The next highest rated player from the US, Caruana, simply demolished Kovalyov in the White side of the increasingly popular f3 (English Attack) Najdorf.

Leko and Giri have fulfilled 1/9th of their prophecy:

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2015"] [Site "Baku AZE"] [Date "2015.09.17"] [Round "3.4"] [White "Leko, Peter"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B90"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "66"] [EventDate "2015.09.11"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] {Everyone knew this game would end in a draw, but just how that draw was going to happen was still a mystery.} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 Ng4 7. Bc1 Nf6 8. f3 e6 9. Be3 b5 10. Qd2 Nbd7 11. g4 h6 12. O-O-O b4 13. Nce2 Qc7 14. h4 d5 15. Bf4 e5 16. Bh2 dxe4 17. g5 hxg5 18. hxg5 Rxh2 19. Rxh2 exd4 20. Rh4 Ng4 (20... b3 {was Leko-Grischuk, 2012. That game also ended in a draw but Leko had the upper hand for some time.}) 21. Rxg4 Nc5 22. Rh4 d3 23. Nd4 Bb7 24. Rh8 {Played after a little bit of thought} O-O-O { And after this Leko finally sank into a 20 minute think. A complicated position that Giri no doubt had deeply analyzed.} 25. g6 (25. Kb1 dxc2+ {was Jakovenko-Artemiev, 2013. Jakovenko won that game but the computers found a way of equalizing somewhere somehow.}) 25... fxg6 {Giri seemed to finally be on his own here, but he played this after only thinking 10 minutes.} 26. fxe4 Bxe4 27. Nb3 Nxb3+ 28. axb3 Be7 29. Bxd3 (29. Rxd8+ Qxd8 30. Bh3+ Kb7 31. Rg1 $1 Qb6 {should also only be equal. Black's king is exposed but White's isn't happy either.}) 29... Rxh8 30. Bxe4 Rd8 31. Qe3 Rxd1+ 32. Kxd1 Qc5 33. Qxc5+ Bxc5 {for example.} 1/2-1/2

So pushed for a while against Le Quang Liem but the Vietnamese defenses were always strong. Even when it seemed that White's c-pawn might do something Black had everything under control.

Big Vlad (Kramnik, above) had no problems holding a draw against Andreikin. He had aggressive ideas in the Queen's Gambit exchange variation that drove White back. Also is that a heart shape with the handle on the mug?

Grischuk cannot be happy with himself. In time trouble the position went from complicated, to +11, to -3:

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2015"] [Site "Baku AZE"] [Date "2015.09.17"] [Round "3.7"] [White "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Black "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A13"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "5rk1/5pp1/Q6p/Ppq5/4p3/1P4P1/5P1P/4rRK1 w - - 0 29"] [PlyCount "56"] [EventDate "2015.09.11"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 29. Rxe1 f5 30. Qe6+ (30. Rd1 f4 31. Qd6 Qc2 $132) 30... Kh7 31. Rd1 Rf6 32. Qd5 Qc2 {Black's counterplay is still annoying.} 33. Rd2 Qc3 34. Ra2 Qe1+ 35. Kg2 f4 36. a6 $5 {Very brave, computer approved.} (36. Rc2 {is the computer recommendationg, I assume trying to mate Black with Rc8. It would never have occured to me.}) 36... f3+ 37. Kh3 Rg6 $4 {with... what threat, exactly?} ( 37... e3 $1 38. a7 exf2 $13) 38. Kh4 $4 (38. a7 $1 Qf1+ 39. Kh4 Qg2 40. h3 { and White is perfectly safe! The pawn queens and Black gets mated.}) 38... Qb4 $2 (38... e3 $1) 39. Kh3 (39. Qf5 $1) 39... Rg5 $1 {Suddenly the tables turn and the attack is decisive.} 40. Qf7 Qc5 {Time control, but White's king is too weak now.} 41. g4 Qc1 42. a7 h5 43. Qxh5+ {The only hope.} Rxh5+ 44. gxh5 Qc8+ 45. Kg3 Qa8 46. Ra6 Kg8 47. b4 Kf8 48. Kf4 Ke7 {The endgame isn't trivial just yet, it seems impossible to remove the queen from a8} 49. Ke3 (49. h6 $1 gxh6 50. Rxh6 e3 $1 {what else?} 51. Rh7+ Kf6 52. Kxe3 {is still not entirely clear to me.}) 49... Kd7 50. Kd4 Kc7 51. Ke3 Kb7 52. Ra5 Kb6 53. Ra3 Kc6 54. Ra5 Kd6 55. Kd4 $2 (55. Kf4 {still would have forced Black to work somewhat, but after Kd5 and c4 it seems like a winning position.}) 55... Qd5+ 56. Ke3 Ke5 $1 {White ultimately gets mated!} 0-1

Daniel King shows the game Grischuk vs Eljanov

Svidler drew Radjabov with black

Gadir Guseinov drew with white against Ding Liren

Ivanchuk chillaxing. It's a word.

Ivanchuk and Jakovenko split the point while the other Ukrainian still in the tournament, Areschenko, had an edge against Wei Yi in a crazy game, but it is hard to say if he ever really missed any chances.

Karjakin defeated Yu Yangyi in fine positional style as his king went all over the center to protects important squares and pawns.

Karjakin is 1-0 against...

Yu Yangyi.

Mamedyarov was the fourth decisive result of the day as he outplayed Sethuraman in a complicated Caro-Kann variation.

All Round 3.1 Games

Round Three Pairings

Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 Pts
V. Topalov (BUL) 2816
½
           
Shanglei Lu (CHN) 2599
½
           
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 Pts
Peter Svilder (RUS) 2727
½
           
Teimour Radjabov (AZE) 2738
½
           
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 Pts
Ding Liren (CHN) 2782
½
           
Gadir Guseinov (AZE) 2634
½
 
           
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 Pts
Alexander Areschenko (UKR) 2661
½
           
Wei Yi (CHN) 2734
½
           
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 Pts
Anish Giri (NED) 2793
½
           
Peter Leko (HUN) 2707
½
 
           
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 Pts
Julio Granda Zuniga (PER) 2667
½
           
Radoslaw Wojtaszek (POL) 2741
½
           
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 Pts
Wesley So (USA) 2773
½
           
Le Quang Liem (VIE) 2697
½
           
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 Pts
Evgeny Tomashevsky (RUS) 2758
½
           
Maxime Vachier Lagrave (FRA) 2744
½
 
           
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 Pts
Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 2814
½
           
Ian Nepomniachtchi (RUS) 2705
½
 
           
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 Pts
Michael Adams (ENG) 2742
½
           
Leiner Dominguez Perez (CUB) 2732
½
           
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 Pts
Alexander Grischuk (RUS) 2771
0
           
Pavel Eljanov (UKR) 2717
1
           
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 Pts
Dmitry Jakovenko (RUS) 2748
½
           
Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR) 2726
½
 
           
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 Pts
Fabiano Caruana (USA) 2808
1
           
Anton Kovalyov (CAN) 2616
0
           
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 Pts
S.P. Sethuraman (IND) 2640
0
           
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE) 2736
1
 
           
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 Pts
Vladimir Kramnik (RUS) 2777
½
           
Dmitry Andreikin (RUS) 2720
½
 
           
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 Pts
Sergey Karjakin (RUS) 2762
1
           
Yu Yangyi (CHN) 2721
0
           

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Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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David Herz David Herz 9/20/2015 09:47
hasn't anyone noticed that Kovalyov missed a simple perpetual after 55. Q-G5 when the black queen shuttles back and forth between H1 and G1...surely Kovalyov would have prefered that. Is this due to blindly following chess engine analysis or am I blind? It happens
thanks
KevinC KevinC 9/18/2015 01:05
anonimous is correct, that is a tablebase win, mating in 26.

White brings the N back to f3 and it defends the P, which will move to h4 based on the exact sequence of moves, but even on h2, the Nf3 and the P defend each other (You can't get to Nf3 without allowing h4). In the meantime, the white K can just pick up the a-pawn, and then walk over to queen the pawn.
disneychannel disneychannel 9/18/2015 12:46
grischuk is mad
Pionki Pionki 9/18/2015 10:56
Sasha, Sort out your clock!
anonimous anonimous 9/18/2015 08:59
@soumava.

No, after 36...Txb2+, 37. Rxb2 Bxb2, 38. Kxb2 Kxf5, White wins (Tablebases).
soumava soumava 9/18/2015 08:36
Sethuraman missed the move 36. .......Rxb2+!. It was forced draw.
KevinC KevinC 9/18/2015 03:38
@Nisarg, Sethu was very much outplayed by most definitions. That just happened to cause the pressure, and final blunder, which is common in significantly inferior positions.
NGT7 NGT7 9/18/2015 12:56
Caruana'game was a najdorf with f3 and not withsh3.Also what Grischuk was afraid and did not play 38.a7 was Qg1 which complicate matters and should had seen Qf5!.
gmwdim gmwdim 9/17/2015 10:28
Sethu's position already looks lost anyways. Even without the blunder white should eventually win with 2 extra pawns.
Nisarg Nisarg 9/17/2015 09:53
I doubt Mamedyarov's victory can be attributed to his outplaying Sethuraman, rather than Sethu blundering on the 40th move in time trouble.
ChiliBean ChiliBean 9/17/2015 08:42
Grischuk, Alexander–Eljanov, Pavel game made my day. Very intense!
vandal vandal 9/17/2015 07:32
cheers to Lu Shanglei despite missed chance i like Topalov's play especially 23.Qc3 going to f6 it's strange why he rejected 25.Ref1 and 26.Qf6 but this things happens and better early than late so nothing to worry about tommorow he'll beat him with Black:)
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