(1) Gelfand,B (2737) - Radjabov,T (2735) [E94]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (11), 25.01.2008
[Mihail Marin]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Nf3 e5 7.0-0 Nbd7 8.Be3

A relatively rare move. Black provokes his opponent to lock the centre, but theory considers that the rook will remain misplaced after

, when Black's counterplay is based on ...f5.

9...Nh5 10.g3 Bf8

A couple of years ago, a very good friend of mine mentioned this plan to me. In the King's Indian, Black frequently suffers from lack of space for his minor pieces. After the bishop's retreat, such a regrouping is enabled: ...Nh5-g7, ...Be7, ...f5, ...Rf8 and ...Nf6. My friend also added that White can spare several tempi (4, if I counted well) by playing the Czech Benoni: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e5 4.Nc3 d6 5.e4 Be7, later to be followed by ...Nd7, ...Ne8 or ...Nh5, ...g6, Ng7, etc. We both included this outfashioned opening into our repertoire and obtained good results with it (each one at his own level, of course). We also decided to call it "The Romanian Benoni", because decades ago it served Victor Ciocāltea and Florin Gheorghiu rather well... In any case, the "worsened" form of the Czech Benoni will work out well in this game, too.

11.Ne1 Ng7 12.Nd3 f5 13.f3 Be7 14.Qd2 Nf6

Well, in the Czech Benoni you do not have to fear this move really.

15...fxe4 16.fxe4 Bh3 17.cxd6 cxd6 18.Rfc1 Ng4 19.Bxg4 Bxg4 20.Nb5 Rf8 21.Rc3 a6 22.Nc7 Rc8 23.Rac1 Qd7 24.Nf2 Bd8 25.Qc2 Rf3 26.Qb3 Rxc7 27.Rxc7 Bxc7 28.Nxg4 Qxg4 29.Rxc7 Ne8 30.Re7 Qxe4 31.Rxe8+ Kf7 32.Rc8 Rxe3 33.Qxb7+ Kf6 34.Rf8+ Kg5

With both kings exposed, a draw by perpetual is not completely out of question.

[Overlooking a simple detail. He should have driven the enemy king back with 35.Qe7+ Kh6 , when after, say, 36.Qxd6 Black could have forced a draw in several ways, for instance with 36...Re1+ 37.Rf1 Qd4+ 38.Kg2 Re2+ 39.Kh3 Qxb2 40.Qf8+ Kg5 41.Qe7+ Kh6 42.Qf8+ and so on, but nothing more than that.]

35...Re1+ 36.Rf1 Qd4+ 37.Kg2

[The difference is that after 37...Re2+ 38.Kh3 the black king becomes a useful attacking piece, enabling mate in one with 38...Qg4# ] 0-1