Mukachevo Match: Naiditsch beats Efimenko 3.5:2.5

8/19/2010 – The chess match between Zahar Efimenko and Arkadij Naiditsch, organised by Universal Event Promotion and the Mukachevo Chess Club 32x64 in Mukachevo, Ukraine, was won by Naiditsch. The German GM held on to a second-round lead and drew the rest of the games to by a 3.5:2.5 score. Final report with game commentary by GM Mikhail Golubev.

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This was the third of a series of matches to take place in Ukraine, with local GM Zahar Efimenko playing German GM Arkadij Naiditsch in a six classical games. In 2007 it was rapid chess between Ivanchuk and Leko, and in 2009 a classical match between Efimenko and Short. The organiser and sponsor is Josef Resch and his company Universal Event Promotion.

The match was held in the Hotel Intourist in Mukachevo Zakarpatska obl, Ukraine

Game five

Efimenko,Z (2689) - Naiditsch,A (2684) [C63]
Match Mukachevo UKR (5), 17.08.2010 [Golubev, Mikhail]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5. A surprise. In the past Naiditsch hardly ever played the Jaenisch-Schliemann Gambit with black. Though he has excellent results with White against this system. 4.Nc3. Another important line, which was topical lately, is 4.d3 fxe4 5.dxe4 Nf6 6.0-0 Bc5 7.Qd3. 4...fxe4 5.Nxe4 Nf6 6.Nxf6+ Qxf6 7.Qe2 Be7 8.Bxc6 bxc6!? The alternative direction is 8...dxc6 9.Nxe5 Bf5. 9.Nxe5. A more principled move is 9.d4! where 9...exd4?! (9...Qg6 with a sharp play) 10.Bg5 Qe6 11.Qxe6 dxe6 12.Bxe7 Kxe7 13.Nxd4 is better for White. 9...0-0 10.0-0 Qe6 11.Re1 Bc5 12.Nf3 Qxe2 13.Rxe2 d6! It is very hard for White to use his extra pawn. 14.d3. Possibly White should prefer 14.d4!? Bb6 which was tested in several games. 14...Bg4 15.Be3

15...Bb6N. After 15...Bb4 which was played before, White maybe can try 16.c3 (16.a3 Ba5 17.b4 Bb6 18.Bxb6 axb6 19.Re7 Bxf3 20.gxf3 Rf7 21.Rxf7 Kxf7 22.a4 c5! was OK for Black in Leko-Radjabov, Monaco 2007.) 16...Ba5 17.d4!? and if 17...Bb6 18.c4 threatening with c4-c5!. Curiously, both Efimenko and Naiditsch were unaware of the Monaco game.

16.Bxb6 cxb6!? 17.Re3 Bxf3 18.gxf3 Rf6 19.Rae1 Raf8 20.Re6. After 20.Kg2 Rg6+ 21.Kf1 Black can play 21...Rh6 (though 21...Rgf6 22.Ke2 Rh6 23.Rh1 does not look too dangerous for him either.) 20...Rxf3 21.Rxd6 Rxf2 22.Rxc6 h5 23.Rc7

23...R8f4!? Or 23...h4 where 24.Ree7 Rf1+ 25.Kg2 R8f3 26.Rxg7+ Kh8 27.Rh7+ Kg8 28.Rxh4 R1f2+ is a draw. 24.Re4. Playing for a win by 24.h3 is unsafe for White: 24...h4 and Black has attacking possibilities such as ...R2f3 at some point. 24...Rf1+. Now the game ends as the white king cannot escape from perpetual check. 25.Kg2 R1f2+ 26.Kg1 Rf1+ 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Naiditsch,A (2684) - Efimenko,Z (2689) [C46]
Match Mukachevo UKR (6), 18.08.2010 [Golubev, Mikhail]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Bc5!? Efimenko desperately needed to play for a win, so he avoided the Four Knights Defence: 3...Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5. Clearly better for White is 4...Bxf2+ 5.Kxf2 Nxe5 6.d4. 5.d4 Bd6 6.dxe5 Bxe5 7.Nd5. An extremely rare move. One interesting continuation is 7.Qd3!? Nf6 8.Bd2 0-0 9.0-0-0 Re8 10.f3 c6 which happened for the first time in Bologan-Romanishin, Nikolaev Zonal 1995. 7...c6 8.Ne3. After 8.Bf4 d6! 9.Bxe5 dxe5 Black has a pleasant game. 8...Nf6 9.Bd3. 9.Bc4?! 0-0 10.Qd3 Re8 11.Qb3 (11.0-0 Nxe4!) 11...d5 with Black's advantage. Of possible interest is 9.Nc4 and if 9...Nxe4 10.Qe2 but Naiditsch did not want even to think about such a sharp lines. 9...d5 10.exd5 cxd5 11.0-0 0-0. The white knight is misplaced on e3, so Black is somewhat better. 12.c3. The alternative was 12.c4!? 12...Re8 13.Nf5 Qc7 14.h3 Ne4 15.Nd4 Qb6 16.Bc2 Bc7 17.Ne2. Instead, 17.Nb5 Qxb5 18.Ba4 can be played rather by a computer. In this line White wins an exchange but Black develops a strong initiative. 17...Qg6!? 18.Qd3. A practical decision. White loses a pawn, but gets a position with the opposite coloured bishops and good chances for a draw. 18...Bf5! 19.Nf4 Bxf4 20.Bxf4 Nxc3 21.Qxc3 Bxc2 22.Rac1

22...Rac8. An inaccuracy. After the game Naiditsch pointed that he would have had more problems after 22...Be4! with the idea of 23.f3 (!?) 23...Bf5 and then ... Re2. 23.Rfe1! Red8 24.Bc7 Be4

25.Qg3. 25.f3! d4!? (the main point, missed by both opponents, is 25...Rd7 26.Qb3!! Rdxc7 27.Rxc7 Rxc7 28.Qxd5!=) 26.Qa3 d3 27.Rxe4 (possibly White holds also in the variation with 27.Bxd8!? d2) 27...Rxc7 (or 27...d2 28.Rd1 Rxc7 29.Rxd2=) 28.Rxc7 Qb6+ 29.Kh1 d2 30.Rd7 d1Q+ 31.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 32.Kh2=.

25...Qxg3 26.Bxg3 Rxc1 27.Rxc1 d4 28.Bc7 Rc8 29.f3 Bg6. After 29...Bb1 Naiditsch planned to continue 30.a3 (If 30.Rxb1 Rxc7 31.Rd1 Rd7 MG.) 30...d3 31.Bf4 Bc2 and now, say, 32.Kf2 with good chances for a draw. 30.Kf2 f6 31.Ke1 Kf7 32.Kd2 Ke6 33.h4.

Spectators (and also Efimenko after the game) tried various options for Black in the analyses but, in short, nothing serious was found. 33...Kd5 34.Bh2 Rxc1 35.Kxc1 Bd3 36.Kd2 Bf1 37.g4

37...g5. Here, for example, no progress is achieved by Black after 37...Bg2 38.Ke2 g5 (If 38...d3+ 39.Kxd3 Bxf3 40.g5) 39.hxg5 fxg5 40.Kf2 (or even 40.Bc7!? d3+ 41.Kxd3 Bxf3 42.Bd8 h6 43.Bf6 Bxg4 44.Bg7 h5 45.Bf6 Bf5+ 46.Ke3 g4 47.Kf4=) 40...d3 41.f4. 38.hxg5 fxg5 39.Bc7! Planning Ba5 or Bd8-f6-g7. Naiditsch gets a desired draw and wins the match by a narrow margin. 39...h6 40.Ba5 Ke5 41.Ke1 Bc4 42.a3 Be6 43.Bb4 a6 44.Bf8 d3 45.Bxh6 Kf4 46.Kd2 Bc4 47.Kc3 Bb5 48.b4 Bc6 49.Kxd3 Bxf3 50.a4 Bxg4 51.Kd2 Bd7 52.a5 Bb5 53.Ke1 Kf5 54.Kf2 g4 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Prizegiving at the closing ceremony

The winner with his trophy: German GM Arkadij Naiditsch

Final standings

 Zahar Efimenko UKR
 Arkadij Naiditsch GER

All pictures by Petro Parovinchak


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