Khanty-Mansiysk: Carlsen and Shirov win first quarterfinal game

12/6/2007 – Two games were decisive: Alexei Shirov and Magnus Carlsen won with white against Dmitry Jakovenko and Ivan Cheparinov respectively. The game Carlsen vs Cheparinov was especially tense and exciting. The two had already met in the third round of the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk two years ago, when Magnus knocked Ivan out. Full report with commentary by GM Dorian Rogozenko.

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A total of 126 participants turned up on November 23 for the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, located about 1400 miles (2250 km) east of Moscow. The competition is taking place from November 24 to December 18.

Round five Game one (Thursday, December 6th)

On the first day of the fifth round of the World Cup two games were decisive: Shirov and Carlsen won with white against Jakovenko and Cheparinov respectively. The game Carlsen-Cheparinov was especially tense and exciting.
Kamsky defended with his typical coolness to slowly neutralize Ponomariov's initiative. Karjakin-Alekseev made an uneventful draw: the players stopped playing in a position when the battle just started to begin.

Round five results

No.   Name Nat Rtng
R1 R2 B1 B2 SD Tot.
 1  Carlsen, Magnus NOR 2714
 Cheparinov, Ivan BUL 2670
 2  Karjakin, Sergey UKR 2694
 Alekseev, Evgeny RUS 2716
 3  Ponomariov, Ruslan   UKR 2705
 Kamsky, Gata USA 2714
 4  Shirov, Alexei ESP 2739
 Jakovenko, Dmitry RUS 2710

Quarterfinals game one

Commentary by GM Dorian Rogozenko

1.d4? Cheparinov, left, does not seem happy with Carlsen's first move

Carlsen,M. (2714) - Cheparinov,I. (2670) [A48]
World Cup Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (5.1), 06.12.2007

Carlsen and Cheparinov already met in the third round of the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk two years ago. The two regular games ended with the score 1-1 then, each of the opponents winning with the black pieces! After that in the rapid Magnus knocked out Ivan by winning both games. In the two years period both players constantly grew in strength and now belong to the strongest grandmasters in the world. High time for a new confrontation!

Ivan Cheparinov, second of Veselin Topalov

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6. The King's Indian is a dangerous weapon in hands of tactical players. It usually leads to sharp tactical battle, where White gains space advantage, but where Black often keeps good counterplay possibilities against the white king. It fits perfectly to Cheparinov's aggressive playing style. 3.Bg5. No, thank you. The young Norwegian, who, by the way plays the King's Indian himself from time to time, declines the invitation and chooses a solid and quiet set-up, without big ambitions to fight for the opening advantage. Earlier Carlsen used to play 3.g3 in this position. 3...Bg7 4.Nbd2 d6 5.e4 0-0 6.c3 c5 7.dxc5 dxc5 8.Bc4 Nc6 9.0-0 Qc7 10.Qe2 h6 11.Bh4 Nh5 12.Rfe1 Bg4 13.Qe3 g5

A novelty. Cheparinov gains the bishop pair for the price of weakening his kingside pawn structure. 14.Bg3 Nxg3 15.hxg3 b6 16.Nh2 Bh5

17.g4. So after all Carlsen couldn't resist the temptation and tries to exploit opponent's provokative play. The more cautious 17.Be2 is answered with 17...Bg6 and again in order to avoid passivity White must take some aggressive actions connected with f2-f4. 17...Bg6 18.g3 Rad8 19.f4 Nd4

Who said anything about "/portals/all/_for_legal_reasons.jpg"? Well, in reality the players' style and fighting spirit counts more than any other factors. It is curious that in spite of wild complications the position remains about equal. The only difference to the usual equality is that here any mistake can lead to immediate disaster for either side. 20.Rac1 b5 21.Bf1 gxf4 22.gxf4 Ne6

I doubt that the cautious 22...Bh7 in order to keep the material balance did cross Cheparinov's mind. 23.e5. Due to the large amount of variations to calculate, it is difficult to choose which pawn to advance. Carlsen's move is more cautious, opening fewer diagonals for black pieces and trying to keep the queen away from the white king. Advancing the other pawn looks possible too: 23.f5 Be5 24.Ndf3 (worse is 24.Nhf3 Bf4) 24...Bf4 25.Qf2 Bxc1 26.Rxc1 Qf4 (or 26...Nf4 after which White is not necessarily forced to take the bishop, but can choose between moves like 27.e5 or 27.Qh4, with compensation for the exchange.) 27.Re1 Ng5 28.Nxg5 Qxg5 29.fxg6 fxg6 30.Qg3 a6 with a double-edged position. 23...f5 24.exf6 Rxf6 25.f5 Ng5 26.fxg6 Re6 27.Qf2 Be5

28.Rxe5 [28.Nhf3 is bad in view of 28...Bg3] 28...Qxe5 29.Ndf3 Nxf3+ 30.Nxf3 Qf4 31.Re1

31...Rxe1. In such positions the side with the rook usually aims to exchange pieces, since in endgame the rook with a pawn has better chances to fight against two minor pieces. Nevertheless it deserved attention 31...Qxg4+ 32.Bg2 Rxe1+ 33.Qxe1 and now interesting is 33...Rd6 with complicated play. White can't activate his minor pieces due to his vulnerable king. 32.Nxe1 Qxf2+ 33.Kxf2 Rd2+ 34.Ke3

Thanks to the pawn on g6 White's chances are preferable, but Black should be able to make a draw. However, Magnus showed a better technique and nicely used the small inaccuracies made by Cheparinov, achieving a winning position. Then in the end both players missed the right continuations. The last one to err was Cheparinov.... 34...Rd1. 34...Rxb2 35.Nd3 Rxa2 36.Nxc5 Rb2 is a possible alternative. 35.Ke2 Ra1. 35...Rb1 36.b3 Rb2+ 37.Ke3 Rxa2 38.Bxb5+/-. 36.Bg2 c4 [36...Rxa2?? 37.Bd5+] 37.a3 Rb1 38.Nc2 Rxb2 39.Be4 Kg7 40.Ke3 Rb3 41.Kd2 Kf6 [41...e5] 42.Nd4 Rxa3 43.Nxb5 Ra5 44.Nc7 Kg7 45.Ne6+ Kh8 46.Ke3 Ra1 47.Kd4 a5 48.Bc6 a4 49.Be8 Rg1

50.g5 a3 51.Bf7 Rxg5 52.Nxg5 hxg5 53.Bxc4 Kg7

54.Kd3? [54.Ke5 Kxg6 55.Ba2 g4 56.Kf4 Kf6 57.Kxg4 Ke5 58.Kf3+-] 54...Kxg6 55.Kc2 g4 56.Kb3 [56.Bd3+ Kg5 57.c4 e5 58.c5 g3 59.Bf1 (or 59.Be4 Kf4 60.Bg2 e4 61.c6 e3 62.c7 e2 63.Kd2 a2) 59...e4 60.c6 e3 61.c7 g2 62.Bxg2 e2 63.Kd2 a2=] 56...Kf5 57.Kxa3

This endgame is easy to analyze thanks to the available so-called tablebases. Playing it with no time is a completely different thing, so I will just indicate the mistakes, without deep analysis. 57...g3? 57...Ke4 58.Ba6 e5= Also 57...Kf4 and 57...e5 are sufficient for a draw. 58.Bf1? Correct is 58.Bd5 e5 59.Bg2 (or 59.Bh1) 59...e4 60.Kb3 e3 61.Kc2 winning. 58...e5? 58...Kf4 (or immediately 58...Ke4) 59.c4 Ke4 60.Kb4 e5 61.Kc3 (61.c5 Kd5 62.Kb5 e4 63.Bg2 Kd4 64.c6 e3 65.c7 e2 66.c8Q e1Q=) 61...Kf3 62.c5 Kf2 63.Bh3 e4 64.c6 e3 65.c7 e2 66.c8Q e1Q+=. 59.Kb3?

This move again allows Black to escape. White must start with 59.Bg2 e4 (59...Kf4 60.c4+-) 60.Kb3 Ke5 61.Kc4+-. 59...Kf4? The last mistake. 59...Ke4! 60.Bg2+ Kd3! still achieves a draw. 60.Bg2 Ke3 61.Kc4 Kf2 62.Be4 [62... g2 63.Bxg2 Kxg2 64.Kd5+-] 1-0. [Click to replay]

On the way to the very top: Magnus Carlsen

Shirov,A. (2739) - Jakovenko,D. (2710) [C89]
World Cup Khanty-Mansiysk (5.1), 06.12.2007

Maybe size does matter in the FIDE World Cup?!

Shirov and Jakovenko met only six times before, all of the games being played during the last two years. Alexey won two of these games, the others ended in a draw. It was clear that today the Russian grandmaster will have a tough starting game, also because yesterday he had a difficult tiebreak match versus Aronian, while Shirov could rest.

1.e4. In their last encounter exactly one month ago, Shirov started with 1.d4. That game ended in a draw. 1...e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0. Jakovenko was also unsuccessful with the Zaitsev Variation against Shirov: 7...d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Re8 10.d4 Bb7 11.Ng5 Rf8 12.Nf3 Re8 13.a4 h6 14.Nbd2 Bf8 15.Bc2 exd4 16.cxd4 Nb4 17.Bb1 c5 18.d5 Nd7 19.Ra3 f5 20.g4! f4 21.Nb3 c4 22.Bd2 a5 23.Nbd4 and White converted his large advantage into a full point, Shirov,A (2720)-Jakovenko,D (2671)/Lugo 2006. 8.c3 d5. The famous Marshall Attack. 9.exd5

Alexei Shirov has just played 9.exd5

9...Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d3 Bd6 13.Re1 Bf5 14.Qf3 Qh4 15.g3 Qh3 16.Bxd5 16.Nd2 is deeply analyzed and leads almost by force to a draw. 16...cxd5

17.Qxd5. Just like that. White takes the second pawn and for the moment ignores development. Earlier White used to play 17.Be3 and 17.Bf4. 17...Rad8 18.Qg2 Qh5 19.Be3 Bxd3 20.Nd2 Bf5 21.Qc6

This variation for White was introduced in practice by two young Dutch grandmasters just few weeks ago. Shirov must have analyzed the position very well (yesterday?) and probably his conclusion was that in spite of the bishop pair, it is not easy for Black to create threats. The game confirmed such evaluation. 21...Be6. With the intention to transfer the bishop to the long diagonal. Shirov continues to take pawns. 21...Bh3 22.a4 (22.Bd4 Bb8 23.Re3 Rd6 24.Qb7 Bd7 25.Qf3 Bg4 26.Qg2 Bh3 27.Qf3 Bg4 28.Qg2 1/2-1/2 Smeets,J (2538)-Khalifman,A (2632)/Amsterdam 2007) 22...Bb8 23.axb5 axb5 24.Ra5 Bd7 25.Qc5 Qg6 26.Qg5 Qd3 27.Bd4 f6 28.Qd5+ Kh8 29.Nb3 Rde8 30.Raa1 Bg4 31.Nc5 Rxe1+ 32.Rxe1 Qd2 33.Qe4 h5 34.Kg2 Bd6 35.h3 Bc8 36.Re2 Qg5 37.Ne6 Bxe6 38.Qxe6 Bb8 39.h4 Qg6 40.Qd5 1-0 Stellwagen,D (2639)-Pashikian,A (2534)/Yerevan 2007. 22.Qxa6 Qd5 After 22...Bd5 White continues in the same manner: 23.Qxb5 Rb8 24.Qd3 Rfd8 25.Bd4 Qh3 26.Qf1 and with three extra pawns things are clear. 23.Qb6 Bh3 24.f3 f5?! 25.Qd4! Qc6 26.Qh4

26...Bc5. It was better not to give up the bishop and continue 26...f4 although White has an advantage: 27.Qxh3 The most "/portals/all/_for_legal_reasons.jpg" decision. There are other moves as well. 27...fxe3 28.Ne4 Rde8 (Black cannot take the pawn 28...Rxf3 in view of 29.Ng5) 29.Rad1 Bc5 30.Re2 and Black doesn't have sufficient compensation for being two pawns down. 27.Bd4 Bxd4+ 28.cxd4 Qc2 29.Red1! Not with the other one: 29.Rad1? Rfe8! and Black is okay. 29...Qxb2 30.Qxh3 Qxd4+. 30...Rxd4 31.Nb3 Rxd1+ 32.Rxd1 Qxa2 33.Nd4 is also hopeless. 31.Kh1 Rd5 32.Qf1 Rfd8 33.Rac1 Qd3

34.Qe1! With the queen in front of the rooks the pin is not so strong and Shirov rightly avoids the exchange. After 34.Qxd3? Rxd3 35.Rc2 Kf7 36.Kg2 g5 37.f4 (or 37.Kf2 f4!? 38.Rb2 R8d5 39.Ke2 Re3+ 40.Kf1 Red3 41.h4 h6) 37...g4 38.Kf2 R3d6 39.Rb2 Kg6 40.Ke2 Re6+ 41.Kf2 Red6 White cannot unpin the knight. 34...h6 35.Kg2 Qa3. In case of 35...Kh7 36.Nb3 Qxd1 37.Rxd1 Rxd1 38.Qe6 White will soon bring the knight to the kingside, creating the decisive threats. 36.Nb1! Qxa2+ 37.Kh3 b4 38.Qe6+ Kh7 39.Rc7 f4. Because of the pin on the diagonal a2-g8 Black couldn't take on d1. 40.Qe4+ Kh8 41.Rxd5 Qxd5 [41...Rxd5 42.Rc8+ mates] 42.Qxd5 Rxd5 43.Rc2 The knight comes into play via d2 and therefore Jakovenko resigned. 1-0. [Click to replay]

A relaxed Shirov taking a stroll (Ponomariov vs Kamsky on the left)

All pictures by Eugeny Atarov for the official World Cup web site


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