CBM #147: Commended for the ambitious player

7/27/2012 – "ChessBase Magazine is the flagship of the company," writes reviewer Nagesh Havanur. "With its database of recent events and presentation on every aspect of the game it provides both the arsenal and field manual to the ambitious player." Prof. Havanur, who resides in Bangalore, India, gives us an impression of issue 147, which dealt with Wijk aan Zee and Gibraltar. Review.

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ChessBase Magazine # 147 (DVD+Booklet)

Review by Prof. Nagesh Havanur

ChessBase Magazine is the flagship of the company. With its database of recent events and presentation on every aspect of the game it provides both the arsenal and field manual to the ambitious player.

The issue we are reviewing includes games from elite tournaments like the Wijk aan Zee and Gibralter 2012, not to mention other events like Aeroflot Open and Bundesliga 2011-2012. The Wijk aan Zee event was won by Levon Aronian ahead of Teimour Radjabov and Magnus Carlsen.

In round three Carlsen beat his most dangerous rival Levon Aronian

But I cannot help feeling that Magnus was the moral victor with his imaginative play. He also beat the tournament winner, Aronian in a stirring battle. The game is beautifully annotated by Igor Stohl in this issue.

Magnus Carlsen (right) graciously congratulates Levon Aronian on his victory

The highlight of the tournament was Carlsen’s eleventh round encounter with Topalov...

...a game that had connoisseurs like Vladimir Kramnik and Dirk Poldauf...

... and John Nunn (seated) quite engrossed.

In this issue the game is annotated by GM Alvarez Ramirez. I have added my own comment wherever necessary.

[Event "Wijk aan Zee 2012 "] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Magnus Carlsen"] [Black "Veselin Topalov"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B51"] [PlyCount "111"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 (2... Nc6 3. Bb5) 3. Bb5+ {An offshoot of the regular Rossolimo that comes with 2...Nc6 3.Bb5.} Nd7 4. c3 {Ths gradual buildup of the centre with c3 and d4 is slowly becoming popular.} (4. d4 {is more usual.}) 4... Ngf6 5. Qe2 a6 6. Ba4 Qc7 (6... b5 {is more often played.}) 7. O-O e5 { Ramirez writes, this move is new. But it has been seen before in quite a few games.} ({The immediate} 7... b5 {is still possible-NSH}) 8. d4 b5 9. Bc2 cxd4 10. cxd4 Be7 11. Nc3 O-O {Now the position is similar to the Spanish as pointed out by Ramirez.} 12. Bg5 h6 13. Bh4 Bb7 14. Rad1 Rac8 {Piling up pressure on c-file.This move has a transparent threat, 15...b4 followed by 16.. .Qxc2.} 15. Bb3 Rfe8 16. dxe5 dxe5 17. Bg3 Bf8 18. h3 Nb6 19. Nh4 {Carlsen commences ambitious play on the kingside.But this decentralizing move eases the pressure on e5-NSH} (19. Rc1 $5 {followed by 20.Rad1 deserves attention-NSH }) 19... Nc4 20. Nf5 {Carlsen said afterwards,"Immediately after I made my move I saw that he could take the pawn, of course. But then after the initial shock I started to calculate and got very excited. I thought I was going to create a masterpiece and lie afterwards and say that I had seen everything!"} ( {Ramirez writes, there is no satisfactory way to defend the b-pawn. If} 20. Rc1 Bb4 21. Bxc4 Qxc4 22. Qxc4 Rxc4 {with pressure on c-file-NSH}) 20... Nxb2 $1 { Topalov takes up the gauntlet.} 21. Bh4 Nxd1 22. Bxf6 Nxc3 23. Qg4 Bxe4 { Ramirez prefers this move."The bishop hurries back to the defence and attacks the f5-N. It also covers the b1-h7 diagonal which can be important in many variations."} ({He is not so sure about} 23... Re6 24. Nxh6+ ({If} 24. Bxe6 fxe6 {At the cost of exchange Black eliminates the dangerous bishop. Now the queen defends the second rank and the knight is attacked.} 25. Ne7+ Kh8 26. Qg6 Bxe4 27. Qxh6+ Bh7 28. Nxc8 Qxc8 29. Bxe5 b4 $19 {-Shipov}) 24... Kh7 25. Nxf7 {and says, it's unclear. However, if we see a little further, Black wins.} Qxf7 $1 ({Not} 25... Rxf6 $2 26. Qh5+ Rh6 27. Ng5+ Kh8 28. Nf7+ $11 {draw by perpetual check-NSH}) 26. Bxe6 Qxf6 27. Bxc8 Bxc8 28. Qxc8 Ne2+ 29. Kh2 Qf4+ $1 $19 {as shown by Shipov.}) 24. Nxh6+ (24. Nxg7 $6 Kh7 25. Nxe8 Rxe8 26. Rd1 $1 Bg6 $8 (26... Nxd1 $4 27. Qxe4+ Kg8 28. Qg6+ $1 Bg7 29. Qxg7#) 27. Rd7 Ne2+ 28. Kf1 Ng3+ $3 29. fxg3 Qc1+ 30. Ke2 {with an incredibly messy position-Ramirez. However, if we continue the same line a bit, matters become a little clearer.} h5 31. Qg5 ({After} 31. Qf3 Bb4 {given by Shipov Black enjoys a dangerous initiative.}) 31... Qxg5 32. Bxg5 Rc8 $1 $17 {still gives Black the advantage on account of pressure on c-file and queenside pawn majority -NSH}) (24. Bxg7 $4 Bxf5 25. Bxe5+ Bxg4 26. Bxc7 Rxc7 27. hxg4 Ne2+ {followed by...Rc1+ wins.}) 24... Kh7 {An incredible position reminiscent of Tal. White is a whole rook down. His bishop and knight are also attacked. Something should give way.} 25. Bxf7 $5 {Adding fuel to fire.} Qxf7 $6 {By now Topalov was in terrible time trouble and goes astray. While this move does not lose, it gives White's attack a new lease of life.} (25... Bd3 $3 26. Kh1 (26. Bg8+ Kh8 27. Qh4 gxf6 $1 28. Bf7 Kg7 $1 29. Bxe8 Rxe8 30. Re1 Ne2+ 31. Kh1 Qc6 $19 {The threat of... f5 brings about a decisive liquidation-NSH}) 26... Ne2 27. Bg8+ Kh8 28. Bd5 Nf4 29. Nf7+ Kg8 30. Bxe5 (30. Nh6+ $2 Kh7) 30... Nxd5 31. Bxc7 Nf6 $1 32. Nh6+ Kh7 33. Qh4 Bxf1 34. Ng4+ Kg6 35. Nxf6 gxf6 $19 {with too much material for the queen.A hair-raising variation given by Shipov.}) 26. Nxf7 gxf6 27. f4 $1 Bg6 ( {Sadly, an attempt to counterattack with} 27... Bc5+ 28. Kh2 Rg8 {fails to} 29. Qh4+ Kg7 30. fxe5 $1 $18 {For example,} Be7 31. Rxf6 $1 Bxf6 32. Qxf6+ Kf8 33. Nd6# {-NSH}) 28. Qh4+ Kg7 $2 (28... Kg8 $1 29. Nh6+ Bxh6 30. Qxh6 Bd3 31. Qxf6 Bxf1 32. Qg6+ Kh8 33. Qh6+ $11 {draw by perpetual check-Shipov}) 29. fxe5 Ne4 30. Rxf6 $1 Bc5+ (30... Nxf6 $4 31. Qxf6+ Kh7 32. Qh8#) 31. Kh2 Nxf6 32. Qxf6+ Kh7 33. Ng5+ Kh6 34. Ne6 $1 Rxe6 35. Qxe6 Re8 36. Qf6 Be7 $2 {Topalov is anxious to drive away the queen and keep his pieces close to the king. But this loses a pawn and Black has no longer a queenside majority-NSH} (36... a5 $1 {activates the pawns on the queenside while keeping the pressure on the e5 pawn.}) 37. Qxa6 b4 38. Qc4 Bf8 39. g4 Kh7 (39... Rxe5 $4 40. Qf4+ $18) 40. e6 Bd6+ 41. Kg2 Be7 42. Qc7 Kg8 43. Kg3 Kf8 $2 (43... Bf6 $1 44. Qc4 Be5+ 45. Kf3 Kg7 46. Qd5 Bf6 47. g5 Be7 48. Qe5+ Kg8 49. h4 Rc8 $11 {-Shipov}) 44. Qf4+ $6 { An inaccuracy in a long and tense game.} (44. Qe5 $1 {(threatening Qh8 mate)} Kg8 $8 45. h4 $18 {would have been decisive-Ramirez}) 44... Kg7 45. Qd4+ Kg8 46. h4 Rd8 47. Qc4 (47. Qa7 Rd3+) 47... Bd3 $2 (47... Rd3+ $1 48. Kf4 (48. Kg2 Rd2+ (48... Bxh4 $2 49. e7+ $1 $18) 49. Kf3 Bxh4 $11 {and White cannot make progress as pointed out by Ramirez.}) 48... Bd6+ 49. Kg5 Kg7 50. h5 Be7+ 51. Kf4 Bd6+ $11 {by perpetual check-Shipov}) 48. Qc6 {It's hard to believe that Black's move} Bb1 $2 {threatening both 49... Bxa2 and 49...Rd3 can be a mistake-NSH} (48... Kg7 $1 {would have offered tougher resistance.For example,} 49. g5 Bg6 $11 {The White king will be pushed back with rook checks if he crosses the 4th rank to help his pawns.}) 49. h5 $2 {This natural move does not spoil anything, but makes the win longer.} (49. Qb7 $1 Re8 (49... Bd6+ 50. Kh3 {threatening both 51.e7 and 51.Qf7+ wins.}) (49... Kf8 50. Qf3+ Kg8 51. Qf7+ $18) 50. Qd7 ({Not the immediate} 50. Qf3 $2 Rf8 {and the queen is pushed back-NSH}) 50... Kf8 51. Qd1 {threatening a check on f-file wins.}) 49... Bxa2 (49... Kg7 50. Qc1 Bd3 (50... Bxa2 $4 51. Qb2+ $1 $18) (50... Be4 51. Qc7 $1 $18) 51. Qb2+ Kh7 52. Qg2 {with threat of 53.Qb7 wins-NSH}) 50. Qe4 Kh8 51. h6 Bf6 52. e7 $1 Re8 53. Qf4 $1 Bg7 54. hxg7+ Kxg7 55. g5 Kg8 56. Qf6 {(Shipov's analyis of critical variations in this game is from the Russian web site, Crestbook.)} 1-0

The Gibralter event was won by veteran Nigel Short, above left with Tradewise CEO James Humphries.

“How could you call me a veteran? That makes me feel like a grandpa!” The icing on the cake was beating Hou Yifan, Women’s World Champion, in a tie-break. Nigel is on his way to make it to Guinness Book of Records with a record run of first prizes in 29 countries.

The tournament also saw the participation of old-timers like Judit Polgar and Alexie Shirov, not to mention Viktor Korchnoi, who shows no sign of retiring from active play.(“He only wants to make our life miserable,” complained a youngster). When you are looking at the games from this event here, don’t miss Shirov’s win against Yusupov. He knows how to stir the pot, win or lose.

This brings me to the other sections of the Magazine. There are 13 detailed opening surveys ranging from the Sicilian to Slav. These opening surveys are crystal clear in presentation with a handful of thematic games. Even a novice would be able to learn from them. However, one particular variation that is yet to appear for analysis in CBM is the Aronian line in the QGD. In this issue it is shown in the game, Ernst-Harikrishna (Wijk aan Zee B Tournament).

[Event "Tata Steel-B 74th "] [Site "?"] [Date "2012.01.27"] [Round "?"] [White "Sipke Ernst"] [Black "Penteala Harikrishna"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D56"] [WhiteElo "2606"] [BlackElo "2665"] [PlyCount "87"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 O-O 7. e3 Ne4 8. Bxe7 Qxe7 9. Rc1 c6 10. h4 {The Aronian line with which White launches a pawn storm on the kingside.} Rd8 11. g4 c5 12. g5 Nc6 13. gxh6 Qf6 14. hxg7 cxd4 15. Nxe4 dxe4 16. Nxd4 Qh6 17. Rg1 Nxd4 18. exd4 e3 19. Bd3 f5 20. d5 exd5 21. Qf3 Be6 22. Qxe3 f4 23. Qe5 Re8 24. Kd2 Bf7 25. Qg5 Qb6 26. Qf5 Qxb2+ 27. Kd1 Re4 28. cxd5 Rae8 29. Bxe4 Qd4+ 30. Bd3 Bh5+ 31. Kc2 Qa4+ 32. Kb2 Qb4+ 33. Kc2 Qa4+ 34. Kd2 Qa5+ 35. Rc3 Qxa2+ 36. Rc2 Qa5+ 37. Rc3 Qa2+ 38. Bc2 Re2+ 39. Kd3 Qa6+ 40. Rc4 Qa3+ 41. Rc3 Qa6+ 42. Kd4 Rd2+ 43. Ke5 Qe2+ 44. Kf6 1-0

Perhaps the opening experts on CBM could come up with an improvement for Black. Apart from these surveys, there are the regular exercises in opening traps, middle game tactics and endgame technique.

Overall, this DVD has 2097 games of which nearly 100 are annotated. This looks like a small number. Hopefully, we shall see more annotated games in forthcoming issues.


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