Mukachevo Match: games three and four drawn

by ChessBase
8/17/2010 – Ukrainian GM Zahar Efimenko has not been able to equalise his match against GM Arkadij Naiditsch of Germany, in spite of enterprising play. In game four Efimenko had his opponent on the ropes with the black pieces, but missed his chance when he ran out of time. What exactly happened is described in the extensive match commentary by GM Mikhail Golubev.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


This is the third of a series of matches to take place in Ukraine, with local GM Zahar Efimenko playing German GM Arkadij Naiditsch in a six classical games. In 2007 it was rapid chess between Ivanchuk and Leko, and in 2009 a classical match between Efimenko and Short. The organiser and sponsor is Josef Resch and his company Universal Event Promotion. The match is being held in the Hotel Intourist, Dukhnovich str. 93, Mukachevo Zakarpatska obl, 89600 Ukraine.

Game three

Efimenko,Z (2689) - Naiditsch,A (2684) [E21]
Match Mukachevo UKR (3), 14.08.2010 [Golubev, Mikhail]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 c5 5.g3 0-0 6.Bg2 cxd4 7.Nxd4 d5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Qb3 Qa5 10.Bd2 Nc6 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.0-0 Bxc3 13.bxc3 Ba6 14.Rfd1 Qc5 15.e4 Bc4 16.Qa4 Nb6 17.Qb4 Qh5

18.Re1!? The famous Kramnik's novelty from the 2008 world championship match. Since then, a couple of new games on the same topic were played. 18...c5 19.Qa5 Rfc8 20.Be3 Be2 21.Bf4 Bd3. In Kramnik-Anand, Bonn Wch 2008 (Game 10) Black tried 21...e5 but did not manage to solve his problems and later lost. 22.Rad1. In the game Mamedyarov-Jakovenko, Astrakhan 2010 (Round 1) White achieved no advantage after 22.e5 Nd5 23.Be3 Qxe5 24.Bxc5 Qc7 25.Qxc7 Rxc7. 22...Be2. 22...Bc2 23.Rc1 Bd3 transposes to the game. 23.Rc1

23...Bd3!N Mamedyarov-Leko, Astrakhan 2010 (Round 12) saw 23...Bg4?! 24.c4! Bh3 25.Bxh3 Qxh3 26.Qb5 f6 27.e5 with a big White's advantage. 24.Bd6. Black's novelty was already analysed by GM Shipov who provided the line 24.e5 Nc4 25.Qa6 g5 26.Bxa8 Rxa8 with Black's attack. 24...e5. After the more obvious 24...Nc4 White must play 25.Qa6 This line was undoubtedly prepared by Efimenko. 25.Bxc5 After this capture, Black obtains a sufficient positional compensation for the pawn: White's dark squared bishop will be dominated by the black knight. 25...Nc4 26.Qb5 a6 27.Qd7

27...Be2! Avoiding 27...Rd8 28.Qf5! 28.Be7. Black also seems to be OK after 28.Rc2 Bg4. 28...Bg4 29.Qb7 f6!? Black hardly should go for 29...Rcb8 30.Qd5 Be6 31.Qd1. Possible was 29...Be6. 30.Bc5. This retreat is unimpressive. Maybe White could try 30.Rb1!? 30...Qe8.

Around here only Black could have tried to play for a win, but Naiditsch did not find serious chances. The game ended in a repetition of moves. 31.Be3 Be6 32.Bf1 Rcb8 33.Qc7 Rc8 34.Qb7 Rcb8 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Game four

The fourth game of the match turned to be tense long, and dissaponting for the local spectators, because Efimenko missed a clear win.

Naiditsch,A (2684) - Efimenko,Z (2689) [C97]
Match Mukachevo UKR (4), 16.08.2010 [Golubev, Mikhail]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d6 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Qc7. Thousands of games were played in this classical Chigorin's system. 12.d5. A more common direction is 12.Nbd2 but the text is also sometimes used by the world's top players. 12...Bd7 13.Nbd2 c4 14.Nf1 Nb7 15.Ng3 a5 16.Nh2 Nc5 17.f4 b4

18.f5!?N White releases the tension in centre, preparing an attack on the kingside. But Black's counterplay on the queenside should give him good chances. 18...Rab8 19.Re3 Kh8 20.Kh1 Bb5 21.Bd2 b3. Another obvious idea was 21...Nd3. 22.axb3 cxb3 23.Bb1. After 23.Bxb3?! Black plays 23...Bd7! regaining the pawn. 23...a4. White's rook and bishop are blocked on the queenside, but now Naiditsch finally begins his kingside assault. 24.Nh5 Nxh5 25.Qxh5 g6 26.Qh6 Rg8 27.Rf3. The immediate 27.Ng4!? was also possible. 27...f6 28.Ng4 Be2. Black also could have tried the less radical 28...Rbf8. 29.Rg3 Bxg4 30.Rxg4 gxf5 31.Rh4 Rg7 32.exf5 Rbg8 33.Be3!? Bd8!

34.g4? A wrong, gambling move. Instead, White could have maintained the approximate equality by 34.Rg4 Rxg4 35.hxg4 Rxg4 36.Bxc5 Qxc5 and now 37.Rxa4! regains the pawn, as 37...Rxa4? is impossible due to 38.Qf8#.

34...Qb7! Beginning of the sequence, which leads to a big black advantage. 35.c4 Qb4! 36.g5 Qe1+ 37.Bg1 fxg5! 38.Rg4. After 38.f6? gxh4 39.fxg7+ Rxg7 White loses. 38...Qf1! Ruslan Ponomariov, who witnessed the game, proposed another solution: 38...Nd7 and if 39.Qxd6 Nf6. 39.f6

39...Qf3+? Efimenko had not enough time before the control to calculate accurately the winning line 39...Bxf6 40.Be4 (otherwise White is simply two pawns down) 40...Qxa1 41.Bxh7 and now 41...Rf8! [Ponomariov]. 40.Kh2 Qxf6?! Not 40...Bxf6 because of 41.Rg3!; But 40...Rf7! (GM Brodsky) was probably better than the text. 41.Qxf6 Bxf6 42.Bxc5 dxc5 43.Rxa4. After 43.Be4 Ra7 White's defence is not particularly easy. 43...e4 44.Rxe4 Bxb2 45.Ra6 g4 46.Rxg4? Naiditsch simply misses Black's next move. Correct was 46.hxg4 with all chances for a draw after, e.g. 46...Rxg4 47.Rxg4 Rxg4 48.Rb6 Be5+ 49.Kh3 Rg3+ 50.Kh4. 46...Be5+! 47.Kh1 Rxg4 48.hxg4 Rxg4 49.d6 Rd4 50.Kg2

50...b2? Also wrong is 50...Bxd6? because of 51.Rb6! But I do not understand why Efimenko did not play 50...Rxd6! where 51.Rxd6 Bxd6 looks as a winning endgame for Black. 51.Ra7 Rxd6 52.Rxh7+ Kg8 53.Rb7 Rf6 54.Rb3 Ra6 55.Kf3 Ra1 56.Bd3 Kf7 57.Ke4 Re1+ 58.Kd5! Bd4

In the remaining part of the game Black did not manage to make any progress. 59.Bh7 Kf6 60.Kc6 Ke5 61.Kb5 Kf4 62.Bg6 Rg1 63.Bh7 Rg7 64.Bc2 Rg2 65.Bb1 Rh2 66.Bg6 Ke5 67.Bb1 Rh1 68.Bc2 Re1 69.Bg6 Re2 70.Bh7 Be3 71.Bg6 Bf2 72.Bb1 Rd2 73.Ka4 Bd4 74.Kb5 Kf4 75.Bg6 Be3 76.Ka4 Rg2 [Or 76...Kf3 77.Ka3! disallowing Black to regroup by ...Kf2, ...Bd4.] 77.Bh7 Rg7 78.Bc2 Bd4 79.Kb5 Rg1 80.Bh7 Rc1 81.Bg6 Ke5 82.Bh7 Rd1 83.Bg6 Rd2 84.Bh7 Bg1 85.Ka4 Rh2 86.Bb1 Rg2 87.Ka3 Bd4 88.Ka4 Rd2 89.Bg6 Kd6 90.Kb5 Re2 91.Bh7 Re8 92.Bg6 Rb8+ 93.Ka4 Rg8 94.Bh7 Rg7 95.Bf5 Re7 96.Kb5 Re8 97.Bg6 Rb8+ 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

The trophy they are playing for in Mukachevo


 Zahar Efimenko UKR
 Arkadij Naiditsch GER

On Sunday top Ukrainian GM Ruslan Ponomariov gave a simul in Mukachevo

"Pono" played against children – guests of the Transkarpathian Cup. The 2002-2004
FIDE world champion won all his games [photos by Petro Parovinchak].

Winners of the Transcarpathian Cup Open

All pictures by Petro Parovinchak


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register