(1) Gelfand,Boris - Ivanchuk,Vassily [A04]
Kings' Tournament Bazna ROM (8), 22.06.2009



1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 5.Nb5 d6 6.g3 a6 7.N5c3 Nf6 8.Bg2 Be7 9.0-0 0-0 10.Bf4 Qc7
This natural move is new.

11.Na3 Rd8 12.Rc1
Typically for such positions White threatens Nc3-d5.

12...Ne5 13.Qb3 Nfd7
[The development of the bishop via d7 to c6 is bad because of the mentioned idea Nc3-d5: 13...Bd7 14.Rfd1 Bc6 15.Nd5 exd5 16.cxd5 and the change of pawn structure favours White.]

14.Rfd1 Rb8








Black's plan is to complete development with b6 and Bb7, after which he will have a good version of the so-called Hedgehog structure. All he has to do is to watch out for some tactical tricks.

15.Be3 Re8!
The main advantage of this move is that it frees square d8 for the queen. [15...b6 would be a big tactical mistake in view of 16.Ncb5 axb5 17.Nxb5 and the black queen is trapped! After the forced 17...Nc5 18.Nxc7 Nxb3 19.axb3 White remains with a pawn up in endgame.]

16.Ba7 Ra8 17.Bd4 Rb8
White won a tempo by transferring the bishop to d4, but this changes nothing: Black is ready again to play 18...b6, with equality. Gelfand took a good practical decision to force a draw. After all White is not better and Ivanchuk had time advantage. Moreover, such Hedgehog-type of positions are very tricky and any inaccuracy from White's side can be severely punished. So Gelfand decided to repeat the position.

18.Ba7 Ra8 19.Bd4 Rb8 20.Ba7 1/2-1/2