Havanur on ChessBase Magazine #166

7/12/2015 – The current issue carries trademark sections on tactics, strategy and the endgame. In all there are 2543 games of which 128 are annotated. "That’s a miniscule number, did you say? I spent a whole month worrying about just one position." Prof. Nagesh Havanur gives us a mystery puzzle to solve, one aimed to test your positional judgement.

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ChessBase Magazine #166

  • Date: June/July 2015
  • Languages: English, German
  • Delivery: Download, Post
  • Level: Any
  • Price: €19.95 – €16.76 without VAT (for customers outside the EU); $18.70 (without VAT)

Review by Prof. Nagesh Havanur

Mariya Muzychuk, queen of women’s chess has graced the cover of this issue. She earned her crown recently when she won the world championship for women. All the games of the event find their place here, several with annotations. The tournament had its highs and lows with a few players lacking preparation. Muzychuk, however, overcame the fierce challenge of her rivals. Here is an elegant finish:

[Event "Women's World Championship "] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Muzychuk, Mariya"] [Black "Koneru, Humpy"] [Result "1-0"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "3r2k1/1pp2pp1/1pn4p/8/qP2NPP1/2P4P/b4QB1/4R1K1 w - - 0 23"] [PlyCount "13"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] 23. b5 $1 {Playing on both flanks. White first blocks the Black queen's access to e8.} Na7 24. g5 $1 hxg5 25. Nxg5 f6 $4 {This natural move is a tragic blunder.} ({Not} 25... Qxb5 $4 26. Qxa2 $18) ({If} 25... Nxb5 $2 26. Qh4 Qc2 27. Be4 $18) ({Black missed} 25... Rd1 $1 26. Qe2 Rxe1+ 27. Qxe1 Qxb5 28. Qd2 Qc5+ 29. Kh2 Qd6 30. Qxa2 Qxf4+ 31. Kg1 Qxg5 32. Qxa7 Qc1+ 33. Kh2 Qf4+ $11 { It's a draw by perpetual check.}) 26. Qd2 $1 {A bolt from blue!} Rf8 ({After} 26... Rxd2 $4 {it's all over.} 27. Re8#) 27. Bd5+ Bxd5 28. Qxd5+ Kh8 29. Qf7 1-0

Apart from the women’s world championship this issue also includes games from major tournaments like World Team Championship and European Championship. While I was going through the games I was intrigued by the following position.

Here White could have won a pawn, but passed it over for another continuation. Had he overlooked the opportunity? The challenge before you is one of positional judgment, and there are no pat solutions. So do not look for an easy win or draw.

[Event "Erewhon "] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Mundi fortissimus"] [Black "Priore fortissimus"] [Result "*"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r1bqr1k1/pp3pp1/1bp4p/3n4/P2NB3/2P4P/1PQ2PP1/R1BR2K1 w - - 0 17"] [PlyCount "29"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] {White played} 17. a5 $1 ({He could have won a pawn instead with} 17. Nf3 $5 { . But after} Qe7 18. Bxd5 cxd5 19. Rxd5 {Black has counterplay with} Bd7 20. a5 Bc7 $44 {with...Bc6 followed by...Rad8 in the offing. The White player is known to be a self-avowed materialist, but he would not give away his initiative for a pawn.}) 17... Bxa5 18. Nf3 b5 ({If} 18... Qc7 $2 19. Bxd5 cxd5 20. Qa4 $1 $18) 19. Nd4 Bc7 $2 ({Correct is} 19... Bb7 $1 $11) 20. Nxc6 Qd6 21. g3 Bb7 ({Not} 21... Qxc6 $2 22. Bxd5 $16 {winning the exchange.}) ({If} 21... Be6 $2 22. Nb4 $1 $18) 22. Bf4 Qxc6 $2 ({Sadly,} 22... Qc5 $2 {fails to} 23. Bxd5 Bxc6 24. Qf5 $3 $18) ({At ChessPublishing.com Viktor Mikhalevski suggested a tougher defence with} 22... Qd7 $1 {and White has to find precise moves to maintain a clear edge.} 23. c4 $1 bxc4 24. Qxc4 Bxf4 25. Bxd5 Bd6 26. Na5 Bxd5 27. Qxd5 Qc7 $1 28. Rac1 ({White won't fall for the obvious trap} 28. Qxd6 $2 Re1+ $1 29. Kg2 Qxd6 30. Rxd6 Rxa1 $19) 28... Qb8 $1 29. Nc6 Qc7 30. b4 $16) 23. Bxd5 Re1+ 24. Kh2 $1 (24. Rxe1 $2 {would have allowed Black to escape with} Qxd5 25. Qe4 Qxe4 26. Rxe4 Bxe4 27. Bxc7 a6 $11) 24... Qxd5 25. Rxd5 Rxa1 26. Rd1 Rxd1 27. Qxd1 Rd8 28. Qe2 (28. Qg4 Bxf4 29. Qxf4 Ra8 30. Qd6 {should also win in the long run.}) 28... Bb6 ({If} 28... Bxf4 $2 29. Qxb5 $18) 29. Be3 Bxe3 30. Qxe3 Rd1 $2 ({Sterner resistance was offered by} 30... Ra8 $1 {the line indicated above, although this would also lose in the end.}) 31. g4 { Black fought on nearly 20 moves, but the outcome was never in doubt. 1-0, (49 moves)} *

For the younger readers there is a mini quiz:

  1. Who are the players?
  2. What was the occasion?
  3. Who won the game?

This brings me to other sections of the magazine. There are as many as 13 opening surveys ranging from Caro-Kann to Queen’s Gambit. Among them I would single out Boris Schipkov’s analysis of an unusual line. It starts off as Anti-Grünfeld (3.f3) and transposes to King’s Indian Sämisch Variation (E60).

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Ne2 0-0 6. Be3 c5 7.d5 (pgn)

[Event "Boris Schipkov"] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Kings Indian"] [Black "Sämisch Variation"] [Result "*"] [ECO "E60"] [PlyCount "18"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 {The Anti-Grunfeld System.} Bg7 {With the knight on b1 this would transpose to a different kind of King's Indian Samisch.} ({If Black plays in Grunfeld style} 3... d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 {After} 5. e4 Nb6 {there is no knight on c3 to capture.} 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. Be3 O-O {White has a slight plus with more space and better development. Nevertheless, it's played and recognised as the Anti-Grunfeld System-NSH}) 4. e4 d6 5. Ne2 O-O 6. Be3 c5 7. d5 ({I prefer the more flexible} 7. Qd2 {that is also examined in this issue-NSH}) 7... Qb6 {The drawback of this move is that it does not allow the usual pawn advance, ...a6 and ...b5. But it limits White's options-NSH} 8. Bc1 {Practically forced.} ({If} 8. Qd2 $2 Nxe4 $1 9. fxe4 Bxb2 $19) ({Or} 8. Nbc3 $6 {and Black accepts the challenge with} Qxb2 {There may follow} 9. Na4 Qb4+ 10. Bd2 Qxc4 11. Nec3 Qd4 12. Nb5 Qe5 13. Bc3 (13. Nc7 $2 Nxe4 14. fxe4 Qxe4+ 15. Qe2 Qxa4 16. Rc1 Na6 17. Nxa8 Bd7 $19 {If White tries to castle, he will lose more pawns ensuring Black's victory.}) 13... Qg5 $1 $17) 8... Qd8 {Not a cowardly retreat. Now that the queen has forced back the White bishop to c1 she returns to allow the pawns to advance at a later stage.} 9. Nec3 (9. Be3 Qb6 {invites a draw by repetition.}) 9... e6 $13 *

Personally speaking, I am not enamoured of this line and the whole circus of moving the knight from g1 to c3 (ask the knight on b1 what he thinks, will you?) All the same I am wary. None other than Anand used it against Gelfand in world championship 2012 and won in a mere 17 moves. Here I have shown a simple line with which you may draw with Black. There are other lines and they are quite complicated. You need someone like Schipkov to navigate those choppy waters.

This brings me to the end of the review. The current issue carries trademark sections on tactics, strategy and the endgame. For reasons of space I have not dealt with them here. This time I didn’t see Telechess column (correspondence games). Hopefully, it would be back in the next issue.

In all there are 2543 games of which 128 are annotated. That’s a miniscule number, did you say? I spent a whole month worrying about just one position.

Your move!

Mini quiz solutions:

  1. Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik
  2. 3rd Gashimov Memorial Tournament, Shamkir 2015
  3. Carlsen won.

Recommended – Order ChessBase Magazine here

All Opening Surveys in CBM #166

Ris: English A22

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 Bb4 4.Bg2 0-0 5.e4 Bxc3 6.dxc3

The setup with 5.e4 named after Botvinnik involves an immediate capture on c3, otherwise White would play Nge2 and protect the Nc3. In the first part Robert Ris examines the capture with the d-pawn, which, however, Black does not need to fear.

Skembris: English Symmetry A39

1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6 4.g3 Bg7 5.Bg2 Nf6 6.d4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 0-0 8.0-0 Qa5

The white setup is disrupted with 8...Qa5. If the Nd4 moves away, Black can develop with ...d6. As Spyridon Skembris explains in his article, the most promising setup for White consists of 9.Nb3 Qh5 10.c5.

Marin: Kangaroo Defence A40

1.d4 e6 2.c4 Bb4+ 3.Nc3 b6

With 3.Nc3 (instead of the more popular moves 3.Bd2 and 3.Nd2) White signals that he would have nothing against the Nimzo-Indian. But Mihail Marin tries to avoid precisely this with his suggestion for Black. His extensive analyses prove that this can succeed.

Sumets: Caro-Kann B12

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 Ne7 6.0-0 c5 7.c4

Here White has a lead in development and would like to open the centre. Andrey Sumets investigates the most important plans for both sides and at the moment considers that it is more up to Black to look for improvements.

Illingworth: French C05

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ndf3

According to Max Illingworth White cannot force an advantage with this setup. However, it has become a little unfashionable and could set Black some unexpected problems. The article of our Australian author, from White’s point of view, represents some major help.

Wyss: French C18

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 0-0 8.Bd3 f5 9.exf6 Rxf6 10.Bg5 Rf7 11.Qh5 g6 12.Qd1 e5

Our Swiss author Jonas Wyss has successfully employed the pawn sacrifice 12...e5 several times in his practice. With the most exact play White can probably achieve a minimal advantage, but very probably that is impossible without some pre-knowledge.

Souleidis: Philidor Defence C41

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.Bc4 Be7 6.0-0 Nb6

The move 6...Nb6 is a relatively new try. The idea: before a safe square on a2 beckons to the Bc4, it is challenged. Georgios Souleidis investigates on the DVD the most important variations and cannot see any advantage for White. So 6.a4 is already being played frequently these days.

Kuzmin: Four Knights Game C47

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0 Re8

The drawing rate is high in the Four Knights Game, but Black can perhaps obtain more interesting positions with the move recommended by Alexey Kuzmin, 8...Re8. According to the state of theory so far, Black should hold his ground successfully.

Karolyi: Queen's Pawn Game D02

1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Nc6 3.d4 Bf5

As Tibor Karolyi explains in his detailed article, Black would like with his plan to avoid the King’s Indian Attack. The Bf5 is aiming in two directions: with ...Nb4 the white setup is disrupted, but this is also frequently followed by a later ...Bh3.

Krasenkow: Queen's Gambit/Semi-Slav D23/D43

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.Qa4+

With the queen check White avoids the Vienna Variation (5.e4 Bb4), but after 5...c6 6.Qxc4 the Semi-Slav has been reached. Michal Krasenkow presents a suggestion for White which forces Black to play very precisely.

Postny: Queen's Gambit D37

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 0-0 6.e3 Nbd7 7.c5 Ne4

The theory of the 5.Bf4 variation has grown enormously in recent years. As Evgeny Postny explains, with 7...Ne4 Black would like not only to avoid theory, but also to become slightly more active himself. It appears to be sufficient for equality, but White retains the activity.

Schipkov: King's Indian E60

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Ne2

The move 3.f3 has become very popular in recent years as a weapon against the Grünfeld Defence. But if Black plays the King’s Indian White can also abstain from a transposition to the Sämisch System – he omits Nb1-c3. Boris Schipkov presents the latest results.

Szabo: King's Indian E90

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.h3 e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.g3

This variation has been uncommonly popular of late. Krisztian Szabo has investigated the most important new developments and sees “a sound variation which is playable for both sides”. Much depends on how well you understand the ensuing positions.

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