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ChessBase Magazine #152

4/4/2013 – The great Mikhail Botvinnik would have frowned at the cover picture of CBM 152. While the Patriarch did maintain correct relations with his rivals, it would not have done to be too friendly with someone intent on wresting his crown. If you have not seen this issue of our DVD magazine with booklet you might want to take a look at what it has to offer. Review by Prof. Nagesh Havanur.
 

ChessBase Magazine #152
(DVD + Booklet)

Review by Prof. Nagesh Havanur

The cover of this magazine shows the world champion and the current numero uno sharing a light moment. Botvinnik would not have approved. The Patriarch did maintain "correct" relations with his rivals. But it would not have done to be too friendly with someone intent on wresting his crown.

Anand has no such hang-ups about his opponents. He would say, “We are all rivals, but don’t forget we are also colleagues.” Indeed, he has maintained a cordial relationship with Magnus Carlsen. But the easy camaraderie should not be mistaken for complacency. In recent years Magnus has given Vishy a tough time and also beaten him on occasion. Nevertheless, he has healthy respect for the knowledge and experience of the World Champion. I shall revert to this theme soon.

This issue of ChessBase Magazine deals with a number of important events like London Classic, Tashkent Grand Prix and Bucharest. It also continues Carlsen’s saga with his rivalry with experienced opponents like Anand and Kramnik who have both held the world title.

In London Chess Classic it was Kramnik who raced with Carlsen and remained unbeaten throughout. He finished second with +4, =4, –0 just behind Magnus (+5, =3,-0). Ordinarily their scores would have read: Carlsen 6.5/8 and Kramnik 6/8. But with the three-point system Carlsen made a whopping 18 points and Kramnik “only” 16 points. Anyway this DVD carries a nice post-mortem of their individual encounter which ended in a tough draw. Anand handicapped himself with a blunder against Michael Adams and a spate of draws. He showed his class in only one nice game (see the victory against Gawain Jones in this DVD). But the critical encounter was with Carlsen.

Here it’s deeply annotated by Evgeny Postny. Enjoy!

[Event "London Classic 4th"] [Site "London"] [Date "2012.12.10"] [Round "9"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C48"] [WhiteElo "2848"] [BlackElo "2775"] [Annotator "Postny,E"] [PlyCount "121"] [EventDate "2012.12.01"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [EventCategory "21"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2013.01.15"] {The clashes between the top rated player and the current World Champion are always the centre of attention.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 {As usual, Magnus doesn't wish to enter the main line, trying, and mostly succeeding, to outplay his opponents in the long-term battle. His choice for the current game is understandable, as the opening knowledge of the World Champion is way better.} Bc5 5. Nc3 d6 {Anand likes to play with knights, so he doesn't mind allowing the exchange that now follows.} ({To avoid the exchange of the bishop that happened in the game, Black can play} 5... O-O) 6. Na4 Bb6 7. Nxb6 {Carlsen deviates from his previous game.} (7. O-O Bd7 8. c3 Ne7 9. Nxb6 axb6 10. Bxd7+ Qxd7 11. Bg5 Ng6 12. Bxf6 gxf6 13. Nd2 f5 $11 {1/ 2-1/2 (59) Carlsen,M (2765)-Wang Yue (2689) Baku 2008}) 7... axb6 8. c3 Bd7 9. Ba4 {White's only chance for an advantage is to keep the pair of bishops, that might tell in the long run. Therefore, he should hide his light-squared bishop from the exchange. Still, the position is equal.} Ne7 (9... O-O 10. Bc2 Ne7 11. Bg5 Ng6 12. h4 h6 13. h5 Nf4 14. Bxf4 exf4 15. Qd2 Ra5 16. Qxf4 Rxh5 17. O-O-O Rxh1 18. Rxh1 $14 {1/2-1/2 (34) Short,N (2702)-Aronian,L (2648) Reykjavik 2004} ) 10. Bc2 Ng6 11. h3 O-O 12. O-O h6 ({In the following game Black performed some original rook manoeuvres:} 12... Bc6 13. Re1 Re8 14. Nh2 h6 15. Ng4 Nxg4 16. Qxg4 Re6 17. g3 Rf6 18. Qh5 Bd7 19. Be3 Ra5 $1 $132 {1/2-1/2 (48) Efimenko, Z (2637)-Almasi,Z (2640) Germany 2005}) 13. Re1 Re8 14. d4 Bc6 $1 {Attacking the Pe4 and forcing White to make a slight concession: either to close the centre by d4-d5 or to exchange pawns.} 15. dxe5 (15. d5 Bd7 16. c4 Nh5 $132) 15... dxe5 {It's obvious that Black is not experiencing any problems.} 16. Qxd8 Rexd8 $146 (16... Raxd8 17. a4 Nh5 18. Be3 Nhf4 19. Red1 f6 $11 {1/2-1/2 (24) Balogh,C (2561)-Georgiev,K (2649) Sibenik 2007}) 17. g3 Nd7 {The knight is heading to the d3-square. In fact, only Black can be better here.} 18. Be3 Nc5 19. Nd2 (19. Bxc5 bxc5 20. a3 $11) 19... Nf8 20. f3 Nfe6 21. h4 {Magnus is not bothered by anything.} Bb5 22. a3 Rd7 $6 {It was more consistent to put the bishop on d3.} (22... Bd3 23. Bd1 b5 {Even if this position is equal, everyone would like to be on the black side.}) 23. b4 $1 Nd3 $6 (23... Ba4 $1 24. bxc5 Bxc2 $11 {Opposite coloured bishops promise a future draw.}) 24. Reb1 Ba4 25. Bxa4 Rxa4 {Anand has achieved the favourable exchange of bishops, but his knight is ensconced on d3, and just a headache for Black.} 26. Kf1 b5 27. Ke2 Ra6 28. h5 {Fixing the kingside, just in case.} c5 $6 {It's clear that Anand got worried that he may eventually lose his Nd3. So, he decided to liberate it now, before it is too late, even at a price of a pawn. In fact, concrete variations do not support his choice.} (28... Rc6 29. c4 ({Also after} 29. Rb3 f6 30. Rd1 Kf7 31. Nf1 Rcd6 32. Rbb1 Rd8 33. Rd2 Ke7 34. Rbd1 Nb2 {the knight escapes.}) 29... b6 $1 (29... bxc4 $2 30. b5 $16) 30. cxb5 (30. a4 bxa4 31. Rxa4 Rcd6 32. c5 bxc5 33. Nc4 Nxb4 34. Nxd6 cxd6 $11) 30... Rc2 31. a4 Nb2 32. Rc1 Rdxd2+ $1 33. Bxd2 Nd4+ 34. Ke3 (34. Ke1 Nd3+ 35. Kd1 Nb2+ $11) 34... Nc4+ 35. Kd3 Nb2+ $11) 29. bxc5 Ndxc5 30. Rxb5 Na4 31. Rc1 Rc7 32. Nb1 {Now Black has a long fight for a draw.} f6 33. c4 b6 34. Rd5 Nac5 35. Rc2 Rc6 {All Black's pieces are well placed. It's now up to White to show some plan of improvement.} 36. Rb2 Kh7 37. Rb4 g6 $5 {This is controversial. It is, normally, recommended for the defending side to exchange pawns, but now Black gets some weaknesses on the kingside.} (37... Kg8 {would be more natural.}) 38. hxg6+ Kxg6 39. Rd2 h5 40. Nc3 $5 {Of course, every existing engine would condemn this move. On the other hand, it seems impossible for White to achieve any progress only by manoeuvering. Magnus is trying to activate his pieces and create some threats against Black's vulnerable king.} Rxa3 41. Nd5 Kf7 42. Nxb6 Nb3 $1 {The knight is heading to d4.} 43. Rd7+ Ke8 {Before playing 42...Nb3, Anand had to bear in mind that his king might be in danger on the back rank.} 44. Rb7 Nbd4+ 45. Bxd4 Nxd4+ 46. Kd1 Kd8 $2 {After long meditation Anand decided to keep his active pieces as they are and not to take the pawn. However, this loss of tempi could bring him to the verge of losing.} (46... Ra1+ 47. Kd2 Nxf3+ 48. Kc3 Ng5 49. Nd5 Nxe4+ 50. Kb2 Rd1 51. Re7+ Kd8 52. Rh7 Kc8 53. Ne7+ Kc7 54. Nxc6+ Kxc6 {Black's compensation is sufficient for a draw. }) 47. Rd7+ $2 (47. Kc1 $1 {was very strong. The idea is to bring the king to b2, and push away Black's rook from the a-file. After that White's rook will get an opportunity to join the attack via a4.} Ne6 (47... Nxf3 48. Rg7 $1 Ne1 49. Rb5 Nd3+ 50. Kc2 Nc5 51. Nd5 $18) (47... Rxf3 $2 48. Ra4 $18) 48. Kb2 Rxf3 (48... Ra6 49. Rb5 Nc7 50. Rb3 $18) 49. Ra4 Nc7 50. Raa7 $1 Rxg3 51. Rb8+ Ke7 52. Nd5+ Kd6 53. Rd8+ Kc5 54. Nxc7 Rb6+ 55. Kc2 h4 56. Rd2 Kxc4 57. Nd5 {with good winning chances.}) 47... Ke8 48. Rb7 Kd8 $2 (48... Ra1+ $1 {- see 46... Ra1.}) 49. Nd5 $2 ({It was the last chance for} 49. Kc1 $1) 49... Ra1+ 50. Kd2 Ra2+ 51. Rb2 (51. Kc1 {Now it wasn't so effective.} Rc2+ 52. Kd1 R6xc4 53. Rxc4 Rxc4 54. Rh7 Rc6 {and Black will eventually hold.} (54... Nxf3 $4 55. Rh8+ Kd7 56. Nb6+ $18)) 51... Rxb2+ 52. Rxb2 Nxf3+ 53. Kd3 Ng5 54. Rb8+ Kd7 55. Rb7+ Kd6 56. Nxf6 Ra6 {Black is safe now. Suddenly, all his pieces are well placed.} 57. Ne8+ Kc5 58. Rc7+ Kb4 59. Rb7+ Kc5 60. Rc7+ Kb4 61. Rb7+ 1/2-1/2

A hard fight that offers a foretaste of the bitter battle that lies ahead between the World Champion and the Challenger.

The second major tournament, Tashkent Grand Prix was won by Sergey Karjakin, Alexander Morozevich and Wang Hao with 6.5/11. In their individual encounter Karjakin shone with a beautiful combination against Morozevich, his fellow-winner.

As he himself admits in his commentary on the game in this issue, it was not smooth sailing for him. Such modesty notwithstanding it’s a fine finish.

[Event "Tashkent FIDE GP 2nd"] [Site "Tashkent"] [Date "2012.11.29"] [Round "7"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Morozevich, Alexander"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B85"] [WhiteElo "2775"] [BlackElo "2748"] [Annotator "Karjakin,S"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/1p1r4/PR6/1P4kp/6p1/3K2P1/8/8 w - - 0 52"] [PlyCount "33"] [EventDate "2012.11.22"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "UZB"] [EventCategory "20"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2013.01.15"] 52. Kc4 ({An important line is} 52. Ke3 Re7+ 53. Kf2 Rf7+ 54. Kg2 bxa6 55. bxa6 Rf5 $3 (55... Ra7 56. Rb5+ Kg6 57. Ra5 {is probably lost for Black}) 56. a7 Ra5 57. Rb5+ Rxb5 58. a8=Q Rf5 $11) 52... Rc7+ $2 {Of course it is a piece of luck, but after the not so simple endgame Black loses his concentration just for one move, and it costs him the game.} (52... bxa6 53. bxa6 {was a simple draw:} Rc7+ 54. Kb4 (54. Kd3 {to go to the line with an extra queen}) 54... h4 55. Rb5+ Kh6 56. gxh4 Ra7 57. Ka5 g3 58. Rg5 Rg7 $11) 53. Rc6 {Now Black is completely lost.} bxc6 54. b6 Rc8 55. b7 Rb8 56. Kc5 h4 57. a7 Rxb7 58. a8=Q Rh7 59. Qg8+ Kh6 60. gxh4 Rg7 61. Qh8+ Kg6 62. h5+ Kf7 63. h6 Rg5+ 64. Kd6 g3 65. Qh7+ Kf6 66. Qe7+ Kf5 67. Qxg5+ Kxg5 68. h7 1-0

The drawing combination shown on the candidate move 52.Ke3 is no less remarkable than the finale of the game itself. It’s a pity that the talented Sergey is not among the current contenders for the world championship.

For reasons of space I cannot do justice to other events reported in this issue like the King’s Tournament at Bucharest. Vassily Ivanchuk and Veselin Topalov vied for first place, and the Bulgarian was a bit unlucky to lose in the tie-break.

This brings me to the other sections of the Magazine. There are eleven detailed opening surveys ranging from Sicilian to Semi-Slav. Apart from these surveys, there are regular exercises in opening traps, middlegame tactics and endgame technique. Jolly stuff! I wish I had shown some here.

In all this DVD has 850 games of which 112 are annotated. A word on these annotations. Quite a few of them are in chess video format with the players sharing their impressions in post-mortem. Listening to them gives us a fair idea of what was going on during the game. Nevertheless, this kind of analysis has its limitations. After a long and hard struggle players are very tired and it is just not fair to drag them before the cameras and ask them to field questions. In any case what they say in the post-mortem would not go far enough. When they analyse the same in the quiet of their study they are able to see more and assess it better. Personally speaking, I prefer this latter method of detailed analysis, and not the clever talk of compères with players. In this respect the present DVD does not fall behind. Apart from Evgeny Postny (whose analysis we have just seen) it also has annotations by others like Mihail Marin, Lubomir Ftácnik and Michal Krasenkow.

Last but not least, this DVD comes with the latest version of ChessBase Reader and I have found its analytical abilities quite helpful.

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