(1) Karjakin,Sergey (2747) - Eljanov,Pavel (2761) [B12]
39th Olympiad Men Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (8), 29.09.2010
[Albert Silver]

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 c5 6.Be3 Qb6 7.Nc3 Qxb2 8.Qb1 Qxb1+ 9.Rxb1 c4 10.Rxb7 Nc6 11.Nb5 Nd8 12.Rc7

Placing a question mark here, knowing the engines will certainly disagree with it for the longest time, is not done lightly. The first time any of the engines even suspect there is a problem, is *much* later. Naturally, efforts were made to find the correct alternative when they did cry blunder, but all failed. This led to the obvious conclusion that the mistake had to have occured a move earlier, and thus the investigation was renewed, except that once again, all attempts to hold fell flat. This form of retrograde analysis continued until... You guessed it: the original novelty. The main analysis is here, though naturally readers are invited to do their own investigative work and share any new findings they might come across. [12...Bxc2 13.Nd6+ Bxd6 14.exd6 f6? 15.Bc1 Nf7 16.Kd2 Be4 17.Bd1 Ngh6 18.Ba4+ Kd8 19.Ba3 1-0 Lastin,A (2622)-Korobkov,P (2508)/Maikop 2008/CBM 124 Extra]

13.Nd6+ Bxd6 14.exd6

[14...Rb2 15.Rxa7 Bxc2 16.Bc1 Rb7 17.Ra8 Nh6 18.Kd2 Be4 (18...Bf5 19.Bd1 f6 20.Ba4+ Kf7 21.h3 Be4 22.Kc3 Nf5 23.Ba3 ) 19.Bd1! This move is not actually the main choice of any of the engines used, at least not in any reasonable time frame observed, but appears to be the strongest continuation. 19...f6 (19...0-0 20.d7 Rxd7 21.Ba3 f6 22.Bxf8 Kxf8 ) 20.Ba4+ Kf7 21.Kc3 Ng4 22.h3! Bxf3 (22...Nxf2 23.Ng5+! fxg5 24.Rf1 Kg6 25.Rxf2 Black is almost in zugzwang. The combination of bishop pair, pin on the 8th, and d6 pawn is overwhelming.) 23.hxg4 Bxg2 24.Rxh7 Rg8 (24...Rxh7 25.Rxd8 and black cannot stop the pawn without giving up material.) ; 14...Bxc2 15.Bc1 Rb6 16.Kd2 Bf5 17.Bd1! Ra6 18.a4 Nf6 19.Re7+ Kf8 20.Ba3 Ne4+ 21.Ke3 g5 22.Ne5 Kg7 23.d7 Rg8 24.h4! Black is hanging on a cliff.]

15.Bd1 Bxc2 16.Kd2 Bxd1 17.Rxd1 Rb6
[17...Rb2+ 18.Kc3 Rxa2 19.Rb1 Ra6 20.Bf4 Rb6 21.Rxb6 axb6 22.Bc1 is losing.]


Black is already out of good options at this point. The issues with the weak seventh and eighth ranks seems to have no solution, and even this natural move cannot hold. [18...Ra6 19.a4! This paradoxical looking move has a simple double purpose. If black takes with 19...Rxa4 then white can now play (If instead, black ignores the a-pawn and plays 19...Nf6 then 20.Re7+ Kf8 21.Rb1 Ne4+ 22.Kc2 Rb6 23.Rb5 threatening Rxa7 is winning.) 20.Rb1 with deadly effect and black's rook can no longer try to cover the hole with Rb6. 20...Ra2+ 21.Ke1 Ra6 22.Rb8 Rb6 23.Ra8 ; 18...Rb2+ only leads to misery after 19.Kc3 Rxa2 20.Rb1 Ra3+ 21.Kc2 Ra2+ 22.Kd1 and if 22...Rxf2 23.Rb8 ]

19.Re7+ Kf8 20.Rxa7 Ne4+
[20...Rb2+ also doesn't save after 21.Kc1! Rb7 (21...Rxf2 22.Ra8 Ke8 23.Bd2+- threatening Ba5. 23...Kd7 24.Ra7+ Ke8 25.Ne5 ) 22.Rxb7 Nxb7 23.Kc2 and the combination of racing a-pawn with the rook on the b-file are decisive. 23...Ne4 24.Rb1 Nbxd6 25.Bxd6+ Nxd6 26.Rb8+ Ne8 27.a4 Ke7 28.a5 Rf8 29.Ne5 f6 30.Rb7+ Kd8 31.Nc6+ Kc8 32.a6+- ]

21.Kc2 f6
[21...Nxd6? 22.Rb1 Rc6 (22...Rxb1 23.Bxd6+ ) 23.Ne5 Rc8 24.Nd7+ Ke7 25.Nb6+ Kf6 26.Bxd6 ]

22.h4 Nxf2 23.Rb1 Rxb1 24.Kxb1 Ne4 25.a4 Rg8 26.a5 Nc6 27.Ra6 Nb8 28.Ra7 Nc6 29.d7 Nd8 30.Kc2 Ke7 31.a6 e5 32.Bc1 Kd6 33.Ba3+ Kc6 34.Ra8 1-0