GRENKE Rd4: Two Blunders, Two Black wins

by Alejandro Ramirez
2/6/2015 – What a round! Two major blunders defined the two victories, games that were on the verge of being wildly interesting and dissipated into a win for Black as in both cases the White side simply missed Black's resources or overestimated his own attacking chances. Carlsen bounced back with a win over Anand in a stonewall, while Baramidze basically gave Naiditsch the tournament lead.

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Round 04 - February 06, 2015, 15:00
Anand Viswanathan 2797
0-1
Carlsen Magnus 2865
Baramidze David 2594
0-1
Naiditsch Arkadij 2706
Caruana Fabiano 2811
½-½
Adams Michael 2738
Bacrot Etienne 2711
½-½
Aronian Levon 2777

Daniel King shows the games Baramidze vs Naidistsch and Anand vs Carlsen

Anand, Viswanathan 0-1 Carlsen, Magnus

 

The Dutch! But the Stonewall version this time. Carlsen certainly wouldn't have used this against Anand in a long World Championship Match, but the risk he takes makes sense in a small seven round tournament where he needs to start accumulating points if he wants to win. There are only three rounds left!

 

Magnus Carlsen employed a risky strategy and it paid off handsomely

Vishy Anand blundered in a very complicated position

[Event "3rd GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden Baden GER"] [Date "2015.02.06"] [Round "4.3"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A90"] [WhiteElo "2797"] [BlackElo "2865"] [PlyCount "72"] [EventDate "2015.02.02"] 1. d4 f5 $1 {The Dutch! Carlsen lost with this recently against Wojtaszek, and yet he wants to take it for a spin against Anand.} 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 e6 4. c4 c6 {A different breed of Dutch, however, known as the Stonewall. It is a completely different system than the Leningrad (which involves kingside fianchetto). The positions are very complicated. It used to be a very popular "anti-computer" type of structure as the engines have little clue on what to do here usually.} 5. Nf3 d5 6. O-O Bd6 7. b3 Qe7 {There are plenty of ways of playing this position, but on the basic level White has a nice e5 outpost and usually attacks on the queenside, while Black does the same on the kingside.} 8. Ne5 (8. a4 {trying to trade the bishops with Ba3, is also a common idea.}) 8... O-O 9. Nd2 a5 10. Bb2 Nbd7 11. Qc2 a4 $5 {This cheeky advance of the a-pawn is quite troublesome. White doesn't want to take it as it would ruin his structure some, but if it's left advancing it will blockade the queenside by installing itself on a3.} 12. Ndf3 Ne4 13. e3 a3 14. Bc3 Nxe5 15. Nxe5 Bd7 16. Nxd7 Qxd7 17. c5 Bc7 18. b4 {White's space advantage on the queenside keeps his threats of attacking their alive, but as usual in these positions the pair of bishops is rather meaningless.... that is, until the position somehow opens up!} h5 19. Be1 e5 $5 {Opening diagonals is always double edged, but it is certainly tempting to play this move and activate the c7 bishop.} 20. dxe5 Bxe5 21. Rd1 Qe6 22. f3 Nf6 23. Bh3 g6 24. e4 {This move is very tempting, and it starts a series of complications that is very hard to calculate. The point of course is that f5 is hard to defend, but surprisingly, this gives the a-pawn a chance to almost promote...} dxe4 25. fxe4 Bb2 $1 {Carlsen's point - the a2 pawn will fall, clearing the way for the black a3 pawn. This will cause White enormous amounts of headaches, and he has to relatiate on the kingside quickly.} 26. exf5 Qxa2 27. Bf2 (27. fxg6 $4 {it's important that this move is not possible.} Bd4+ {and it's bye bye queen on c2.}) 27... g5 {Black closes down the kingside before anything bad happens.} 28. Rfe1 Qf7 $1 29. Re6 Ng4 ( 29... Rfe8 $5) 30. Bxg4 hxg4 31. Rg6+ Kh7 32. Rd7 $4 {This is based on a big miscalculation.} (32. Re6 $1 {and Black might still have chances to push for a win with 32...Rfe8, but his position looks a little loose and White certainly has play.}) 32... Qxd7 33. f6 {To me it is not entirely clear what Anand missed, as even though the move played in the game is winning, it is not the only one.} Qd1+ $1 {The cleanest.} (33... Bxf6 34. Rxf6+ $11) (33... Rxf6 $1 34. Rxf6+ Kg8 35. Rg6+ Kf8 $1 {and White has no more checks.}) 34. Qxd1 Kxg6 35. Qd3+ Kh6 {White has no more checks and material is currently even. The big problem for Anand is that there is no defense against a2-a1.} 36. h4 gxh3 0-1

Baramidze, David 0-1 Naiditsch, Arkadij
Similar to Anand-Carlsen, what could have been a great game was ruined by an over-optimistic blunder.

Never a bad time to ask for an autograph!

Arkadij Naiditsch leads the tournament, despite playing three games with black!

[Event "3rd GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden Baden GER"] [Date "2015.02.06"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Baramidze, David"] [Black "Naiditsch, Arkadij"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A30"] [WhiteElo "2594"] [BlackElo "2706"] [PlyCount "54"] [EventDate "2015.02.02"] 1. c4 c5 2. g3 Nc6 3. Bg2 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. O-O d6 6. Nc3 f5 $5 {How strong this move can be debated. It is certainly risky strategically as Black weakens some key squares. That being said, it does make sense since e5 is unstoppable and that structure is supposed to be alright for Black.} 7. a3 a5 8. Rb1 Bd7 9. b3 {It's hard to believe such a passive approcach can punish Black for his ambitious play.} e5 10. Nb5 Qb8 11. d4 $5 {That's more like it! The pawn sacrifice emphasizes the weakness of d6.} cxd4 12. e3 Nce7 (12... d3 13. Qxd3 e4 14. Nxd6+ Ke7 15. Nxe4 {is simply suicidal and is not worth winning a piece for.}) 13. exd4 e4 $1 {The correct reaction. Black closes the center. Baramidze must rip it apart to make progress.} 14. Ng5 h6 15. Nh3 Bxb5 16. cxb5 Nd5 17. Nf4 Nge7 18. f3 $5 {Sacrificing a good amoutn of material for even more initiative! White blasts open the center and Naiditsch has no choice but to accept the material.} Nc3 19. Qc2 Bxd4+ 20. Kh1 Nxb1 21. fxe4 $5 (21. Qxb1 { also gave compensation.}) 21... Nc3 22. exf5 gxf5 {White is down a full rook, but he has well placed pieces that are ready to put pressure on Black's king. The only defender of Black's majesty is that knight on e7, and the rooks are yet to participate in the game!} 23. Ng6 $4 {But this was completely uncalled for.} (23. Bd2 $5 Ne4 (23... Qc8 24. Qd3 $1 {With a very complicated game. White is threatening Rc1, regaining a piece and keeping the attack.}) 24. Bxe4 fxe4 25. Qxe4 $13) 23... Nxg6 24. Qxf5 Ne7 25. Qf7+ Kd8 {A rook and a piece is a lot of material, and here White's attack is dying down.} 26. b6 Qc8 27. Bxh6 Ne2 {Now if the bishop moves from h6 there is checkmate on g3, and without this bishop there isn't even a way of creating a threat. An abrupt end to what could have been a wonderfully interesting game.} 0-1

Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ Adams, Michael
Caruana used a relatively rare version against the Slav, but he was able to obtain a small advantage that eventually transformed into the pair of bishops and a better strcuture. Caruana was too hasty to cash that in and tried to pawn grab, but it allowed Adams to come back into the game with some counterplay.

The resulting endgame was very well played by the Englishman to hold a draw.

Bacrot, Etienne ½-½ Aronian, Levon
Not too interesting game. The handling of the Ragozin resulted in a very locked position, that was eventually drawn.

Aronian looked for a solid draw after a loss, which is very different from Carlsen's approach

Solid! All draws so far for Etienne Bacrot.

Standings

Replay Round Four Games

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Schedule

Round 01 - February 02, 2015, 15:00
Caruana Fabiano 2811 ½-½ Anand Viswanathan 2797
Bacrot Etienne 2711 ½-½ Baramidze David 2594
Aronian Levon 2777 ½-½ Carlsen Magnus 2865
Adams Michael 2738 ½-½ Naiditsch Arkadij 2706
Round 02 - February 03, 2015, 15:00
Anand Viswanathan 2797 ½-½ Naiditsch Arkadij 2706
Carlsen Magnus 2865 1-0 Adams Michael 2738
Baramidze David 2594 ½-½ Aronian Levon 2777
Caruana Fabiano 2811 ½-½ Bacrot Etienne 2711
Round 03 - February 04, 2015, 15:00
Bacrot Etienne 2711
½-½
Anand Viswanathan 2797
Aronian Levon 2777
0-1
Caruana Fabiano 2811
Adams Michael 2738
1-0
Baramidze David 2594
Naiditsch Arkadij 2706
1-0
Carlsen Magnus 2865
Round 04 - February 06, 2015, 15:00
Anand Viswanathan 2797
0-1
Carlsen Magnus 2865
Baramidze David 2594
0-1
Naiditsch Arkadij 2706
Caruana Fabiano 2811
½-½
Adams Michael 2738
Bacrot Etienne 2711
½-½
Aronian Levon 2777
Round 05 - February 07, 2015, 15:00
Aronian Levon 2777 - Anand Viswanathan 2797
Adams Michael 2738 - Bacrot Etienne 2711
Naiditsch Arkadij 2706 - Caruana Fabiano 2811
Carlsen Magnus 2865 - Baramidze David 2594
Round 06 - February 08, 2015, 15:00
Anand Viswanathan 2797 - Baramidze David 2594
Caruana Fabiano 2811 - Carlsen Magnus 2865
Bacrot Etienne 2711 - Naiditsch Arkadij 2706
Aronian Levon 2777 - Adams Michael 2738
Round 07 - February 09, 2015, 15:00
Adams Michael 2738 - Anand Viswanathan 2797
Naiditsch Arkadij 2706 - Aronian Levon 2777
Carlsen Magnus 2865 - Bacrot Etienne 2711
Baramidze David 2594 - Caruana Fabiano 2811

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Commentary (free for Premium members)

04.02.2014 Round 3 Daniel King
05.02.2014 Free Day  
06.02.2014 Round 4 Daniel King
07.02.2014 Round 5 Oliver Reeh/Dorian Rogozenco
08.02.2014 Round 6 Simon Williams
09.02.2014 Round 7 Mihail Marin

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All photos: Georgios Souleidis


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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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