CBM Extra #200: "The brilliancy"

by ChessBase
3/30/2021 – ChessBase Magazine Extra is the supplement to the ChessBase Magazine. In addition to opening videos, CBM Extra since more than a year has offered a collection of annotated games. The "Lucky bag" of the current issue, #200, contains 33 games with analyses by Anish Giri, Romain Edouard, Nodirbek Abdusattorov, Davorin Kuljasevic et al. With “"The brilliancy" we highlight one of these 33 extensively annotated games. Sagar Shah was so impressed by a game of his young countryman Nihal Sarin that he felt that he simply had to analyse it! Take a look and be inspired by Nihal's double sacrifice!

ChessBase Magazine Extra 200 ChessBase Magazine Extra 200

Brand new opening videos by Jan Werle (Rossolimo variant) and Mihail Marin (Italian duels Carslen vs. So). "Lucky bag" with analyses by Giri, Edouard, Abdusattorov, Kuljasevic et al. Over 47,000 new games for your database


"The brilliancy"

by Sagar Shah

Nihal Sarin - Sonis Francesco (World Online Youth under–18, 22.12.2020)

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 dxc4 The game now ventures into Vienna territory. One of Nihal's favourite openings.

6.e4 h6 7.Bxf6 Qxf6 8.Bxc4 c5 9.0–0 cxd4 10.e5 Qd8 11.Ne4 0–0 12.Nxd4 12.Qe2 This was considered as the main line where sometimes White would not even care about recapturing the d4 pawn. He would put his rook to d1, the bishop on d3, pull the knight back to g3 and with Qe4 try for an attack on the h7 square. Also possible in many lines is the advance g4–g5.

12...Qc7!? This move is what Nihal had already played with the black pieces in his online practice games against Sergey Drygalov.

A year ago Nihal facing this position with black had pulled back his bishop to e7 and had drawn the game against Sarana: 12...Be7 13.Nb5 Nc6 14.Qh5 Qa5 15.f4 Qb6+ 16.Kh1 Nd4 17.Nxd4 Qxd4 18.Qe2 b5 19.Bxb5 Bb7 20.Bd3 Rad8 21.Rad1 Qb6 22.Nc3 Rd4 23.Nb5 Rd5 24.Nc3 Rd4 25.Nb5 Rd5 26.Nc3 ½–½ (26) Sarana,A (2655)-Nihal,S (2610) Cap d'Agde 2019


Played instantly. Nihal was well aware of all the intricacies here. 13.Bd3 Qxe5; 13.Qe2 Qxe5

13...Kh8 13...gxf6 14.Qg4+ Kh8 (14...Kh7? 15.exf6+– With the bishop coming back to d3, it is all over. 15...Rg8 16.Bd3+ Rg6 17.Bxg6+ fxg6 18.Rac1 Qd8 19.Rfd1+–) 15.Qf4! This is an important move. The game is far from over here, but White is not worse. This was also seen in the game between Sarana and Gharibyan in Chess.com's titled Tuesday. 15...Kh7 (15...Qxe5 16.Qxh6+ transposes to the game.) 16.Bd3+ f5 17.Rac1 Nc6 (17...Qd8 18.Rxc8! Qxc8 19.Nxf5+–) 18.Nxc6 bxc6 19.Qxb4 White is at the very least slightly better.

14.Qc2 gxf6 The knight has to be taken.


Qxe5 15...Kg7 16.exf6+ Kxf6 17.a3!? (17.Qxh6+ is also possible. But inserting a3 might just be a tad more accurate. 17...Ke7 18.Qg5+ f6 19.Qg4?) 17...Bd6 18.Qxh6+ Ke7 19.Rfe1 Bxh2+ 20.Qxh2 (20.Kh1 Qf4?) 20...Qxh2+ 21.Kxh2?; 15...Kh7 16.Bd3++–

16.Qxh6+ Kg8 And here comes the most important moment of the game.


What a move by Nihal. It's not often that you see a position where a side who is a piece down, offers another piece with a check. And not just that, after the queen takes the knight on d4, even the bishop on c4 is hanging! So it would mean, you could very well lose three pieces and yet win the game!

17.Nf3 Qf5–+; 17.Rfe1 Bxe1–+

17...Qxd4+ 18.Kh1 Qe4 18...Qxb2 19.Rab1 Qc2 (19...Qc3 20.Rb3+–) 20.Rb3 Qg6 21.Rg3 Qxg3 22.hxg3 and White has an edge; 18...Qxc4 19.Rf3 Qe4 20.Rh3+– leads to a forced mate. (20.Rg3+ Qg6)

19.Rf3 Qg6 19...Qxf3 20.gxf3+–

20.Rg3 Qxg3 21.hxg3

The resulting position is better for White. Although Black is doing well materially, White is just much better coordinated with all his pieces coming into the game.

21...Re8 21...Nc6!?

22.Qxf6 Be7 23.Qh6 Bf8 24.Qg5+ Bg7 25.Rd1 Nd7 25...Nc6 26.g4 b6 27.f5 exf5 28.gxf5+–

26.Bb5 Not allowing to consolidate with ...Nf6.

26...f6 27.Qg6 Re7 28.Rd6

A very strong idea was to start pushing the g-pawn down the board: 28.g4! a6 29.Bc4 b5 (29...Nf8 30.Rd8+–) 30.g5! (30.Bb3?! Nf8 31.Rd8 Bb7!?) 30...fxg5 (30...bxc4 31.gxf6 Nxf6 32.Rd8+ Re8 33.Rxe8+ Nxe8 34.Qxe8+ Kh7 35.Qc6 Rb8 36.Qxc4+–) 31.Bxe6++–

28...a6 29.Bd3 b5 30.Qe4 30.Qh7+ Kf8 (30...Kf7 31.Qh5+ Kf8 32.Qf3+–) 31.Qe4 Rb8 (31...Ra7 32.Qe3 (32.Rxe6 Nc5?) 32...Rc7 33.Rxe6+–) 32.Qe3? The e6 pawn is loose and Qa7 ideas are also in the air. White is better.

30...Ra7 31.Rxe6 31.Qe3 Nf8 This was the reason why an intermediate Qh7+ would have been very helpful. The knight doesn't get this square because the king is on f8. Once the knight comes to f8, Black seems to have consolidated.

31...Nc5 32.Qh7+ 32.Rxe7 Nxe4 33.Rxa7 Nd6

32...Kf8 33.Rc6 33.Rxe7 Rxe7 34.Bf5 and White is slightly better.

33...Rac7 34.Rxc7 Rxc7 35.Bf5

An important moment of the game has been reached here. Exchanging the light-squared bishops gives the white queen a lot of mobility in the position. And so ...Ne6! would be the best move with still a lot of fight left in the position.

35...Bb7? The final mistake of the game. 35...Ne6! was a better choice.

36.b4! The knight is asked to move and next Be6 simply wins a lot of material.

36...Nd7 37.Be6 Ke7 38.Bxd7 Rxd7 39.Qxg7+ Ke8 40.Qxf6 Rf7 41.Qc3 Re7 42.Qd2 Rd7 43.Qc2 Re7 44.Kg1 Kd7 45.g4 Re4 46.g5 Rc4 47.Qh7+ A great game by Nihal and also impressive conversion of the opening preparation into a full point. This game also shows how one can learn from his own losses and then improvise in his future games. He also won the Gazprom Brilliancy prize award for this victory!

Also in CBM Extra #200: Brand new opening videos by Jan Werle (Rossolimo Variation) and Mihail Marin (Italian duels Carslen vs. So) - total playing time: over 1 hour. "Lucky bag" with 33 detailed analyses by Giri, Edouard, Abdusattorov, Kuljasevic and many more Over 47,000 new games for your database!

New: ChessBase Magazine Extra #200

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