(1) Ivanchuk,Vassily (2779) - Ponomariov,Ruslan (2743) [C65]
TCh-RUS Premier Olginka RUS (8), 20.04.2011



1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.0-0 d6 6.c3 0-0 7.Nbd2 a6
This line of the Ruy Lopez Berlin has been very popular at the Super-GM level with Karjakin being its most significant contributor, playing it as both Black *and* White. Most prefers 8.Ba4 as White, but Movsesian, Svidler, and now Ivanchuk play Bxc6 just as readily.

8.Bxc6 bxc6 9.d4 exd4 10.cxd4 Bb6 11.Qc2 Re8 12.Re1 Bd7
[12...c5 13.e5 Nd5 14.Nc4 h6 15.Bd2 Be6 16.exd6 cxd6 17.Nxb6 Qxb6 18.dxc5 dxc5 19.Ne5 Nb4 20.Qa4 Nd5 21.Qc2 Nb4 22.Qa4 Nd5 1/2-1/2 (22) Svidler,P (2722)-Karjakin,S (2760)/Moscow 2010/Mega2010 Update 53]

13.b3 c5! 14.d5 c6! 15.dxc6 Bxc6
With his last moves, Ponomariov has managed to revitialize his bishop pair and his piece activity is about to take on life.

16.Bb2 Ba5 17.Rad1 h6 18.Re3 Re6
Rook lift? Two can play at that game buster.

19.Nc4 Bc7 20.e5 Nd5 21.Ree1 Nf4
It doesn't take a genius to see just how threatening Ruslan's pieces are with all of them poised for a blitzkrieg on White's position.

22.Qf5?
[22.exd6 Bxf3 23.dxc7 Although the engines do not see any win here for Black (bully for them), if you had been told there *was* winning continuation, would anyone have been surprised? Though the move played loses, it is hard to really get down on Ivanchuk for being uncomfortable entering this line. ]

22...Bxf3 23.gxf3 Qh4 24.Re4 dxe5 25.Rd7?
A game-ending blunder, but Ivanchuk was objectively lost anyhow.

25...Rg6+ 26.Kf1 Rg2 0-1