Nagesh Havanur on ChessBase Magazine #164

by ChessBase
3/4/2015 – The electronic magazine that appears on DVD or per download every two months, is a vital weapon in the arsenal of tournament players. The latest issue includes 1479 top international games, 115 with expert annotations, and twelve opening surveys ranging from Vienna Game to Reti Opening. Professor Nagesh Havanur at ChessWorld recommends it warmly.

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ChessBase Magazine #164

Review by Prof Nagesh Havanur

It’s with a sense of déjà vu that one looks at Carlsen on the cover of this magazine. He did it again, winning the world championship match and retaining the title. A precious part of this issue is devoted to the games of The Match. After studying it all it’s important to carry forward the analysis and find sign posts for your own play.

From this point of view I found the analysis of game ten by Michal Krasenkow interesting. There is one point that he would not have known. During the game it was not clear why Anand did not play the critical sequence 12.Rd1 Bf5 13.d6. The answer to that question was to come from Anand himself early this year.

It's an intriguing game in which truth proved elusive for both players and commentators. In retrospect I am rather sceptical about the future of Prins Variation (7…Na6). The knight remains offside for a long time. Perhaps it should be brought into play sooner with…Nb4.

[Event "WCh 2014 "] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.11.21"] [Round "?"] [White "Anand, V."] [Black "Carlsen, M."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D97"] [WhiteElo "2792"] [BlackElo "2863"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O 7. e4 Na6 {The Prins Variation} 8. Be2 c5 9. d5 e6 10. O-O exd5 11. exd5 Re8 (11... Bf5 {is the main line.}) (11... Nb4 $5 12. Rd1 b6 {preparing...Ba6 has also been tried by GMs Sutovsky and Svidler.}) 12. Bg5 $5 {This move was first played by Wojtaszek, Anand's second in this Match. It forces a weakening of Black's kingside and its purpose is revealed on the 16th move.} ({Anand avoided} 12. Rd1 Bf5 13. d6 $1 {on account of} h6 ({Not} 13... Ne4 $2 14. d7 Re7 15. Nxe4 Rxe4 16. Bg5 $1 $16) 14. Be3 (14. Bf4 Nd7 {and the pawn on d6 is firmly blockaded.}) 14... Ng4 {.Months later he found some dynamite that would blow up Black's position.} 15. Bf4 $1 Bxc3 16. bxc3 Re4 17. Qb5 Rxf4 18. Qxb7 Ra4 19. d7 Be4 20. Qb3 Bc6 21. Rd6 Bxd7 22. Rad1 Qb8 23. Rxd7 Qxb3 24. axb3 Ra2 25. Bc4 Rf8 26. R7d6 Kg7 27. Rxa6 Rxf2 28. Re1 {1-0, Anand, V.-Aronian, L., Zurich Chess Classic 2015}) 12... h6 13. Be3 Bf5 14. Rad1 Ne4 {Carlsen is the first to deviate.} ({Stronger is} 14... Qb6 15. Qb5 Rad8 $13 {according to Glenn Flear}) 15. Nxe4 Bxe4 {This move runs into problems.} ({Garcia suggests} 15... Rxe4 16. Qc1 Nb4 17. d6 {and now} (17. Qxc5 $2 {fails to} b6 18. Qc1 Rc8 19. Qd2 Rc2 $19) ({or} 17. a3 $2 Nc2 $1) 17... Rc8 $13 {deserves attention-NSH}) 16. Qc1 {The point of the 12th move and part of his preparation.Sadly, its effect is neutralised by Black's counterpressure on b2.} ({The best move is} 16. d6 $1 {recommended by Krasenkow in this issue. Pavel Maletin offers a line of defence with} Bc6 ({If} 16... Bxb2 $2 17. Bxh6 {with a powerful attack}) 17. d7 Re4 18. Qc2 Nb8 19. Rd6 Nxd7 20. Rxc6 Rxe3 21. Rxg6 fxg6 22. fxe3 Kh7 23. Bd3 Qe8 {Now White can dispense with his e-pawn and attack with} 24. Rd1 { followed by h4-NSH}) 16... Qf6 $1 (16... Kh7 $2 {is too passive. After} 17. d6 {Black is pushed on the defensive.}) 17. Bxh6 Qxb2 {This is an error. He should get rid of the d-pawn first.} ({Krasenkow rightly commends Golubev's move} 17... Bxd5 18. Rxd5 Rxe2 19. Bxg7 Kxg7 20. Rd7 Re7 $11) 18. Qxb2 Bxb2 19. Ng5 {This abandons control of d4 and Carlsen immediately seizes the chance to bring back his bishiop into play.} ({In his ChessBase report on the Match Ramirez rightly recommends} 19. d6 $1 Nb4 20. d7 Red8 21. Bg5 f6 22. Bc4+ Kg7 23. Be3 $16) 19... Bd4 $1 ({Not} 19... Bxd5 $4 20. Bxa6 $18) ({If} 19... Bf5 $2 20. Bb5 Red8 21. d6 Bd4 22. Bc4 Rd7 23. Rfe1 {with the threat of 24.Re7 is decisive as pointed out by Jacob Aagaard.}) 20. Nxe4 $6 {This move was widely criticised. But during the game Anand must have thought he was going to prevail with two bishops as Black knight is still offside.} ({Quite a few experts suggested} 20. Bb5 $1 {that would have won the exchange.} Bxd5 ({It's no use trying to save the rook with} 20... Re5 $2 {White wins after} 21. Rfe1 Bc2 22. Rxe5 Bxe5 23. Re1 Bd6 24. Be8 f6 25. Re6 Be5 26. Re7 $18 {as shown by Aagaard again.}) 21. Bxe8 Rxe8 22. Rfe1 Rc8 $1 {(Svidler) Black preserves the rook both to guard the back rank and also to push the queenside pawns. Now perhaps the quiet move} 23. a3 {denying entry to the knight deserves attention-NSH}) 20... Rxe4 21. Bf3 Re7 22. d6 Rd7 23. Bf4 Nb4 24. Rd2 $6 {A reflex action that unwittingly gives Black counterchances.} ({White missed} 24. Rfe1 $1 {After} Rad8 {Krasenkow recommends in this issue} (24... Nxa2 $2 25. Re7 Rxe7 26. dxe7 Re8 27. Re1 Nb4 28. Bxb7 f6 29. Bd6 Kf7 30. h4 $1 {preparing Bf3 and h5 wins.}) 25. a3 ({After} 25. Re7 Kf8 {also Black is under pressure, but no immediate win for White.}) 25... Nc6 26. h4 $16 {and Black runs out of moves.}) 24... Re8 $1 25. Rc1 Re6 26. h4 Be5 27. Bxe5 Rxe5 28. Bxb7 {Anand was roundly criticised for forcing simplification with this move. But there isn't much left.} ({If} 28. a3 Nc6 29. Bxc6 bxc6 $11) 28... Rxb7 29. d7 Nc6 30. d8=Q+ Nxd8 31. Rxd8+ Kg7 32. Rd2 1/2-1/2

In the above game Carlsen chose 11… Re8 rather than 11… Bf5, the main line in this variation. But after Anand’s TN in the game with Aronian at Zürich Chess Classic 2015 its state has become rather critical.

Here is the game with fine commentary by Lubomir Kavalek

Apart from the World Championship this issue also carries brief reports on London Classic, Qatar Open and Petrosian Memorial Tournaments. All the games from these events are included and a number of them are annotated. There are also games from other events like the Bundesliga.

I was particularly interested in the following encounter from Qatar Open. IM Sagar Shah, who annotates the game in this issue, makes a valid point. Black stood worse after the opening and it was only later errors that led to White’s loss. The challenge for the practical player is to investigate how White could have played better.

[Event "Qatar Masters Open 2014 "] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.12.03"] [Round "?"] [White "Salem, A.R. Saleh"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D63"] [WhiteElo "2586"] [BlackElo "2760"] [PlyCount "110"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 {Thus we have Queen's Gambit by transposition.} 4. Nc3 Nbd7 {A non-standard move.} (4... Be7 {followed by 0-0 leads to more well-known lines.}) 5. Bg5 (5. Bf4 {could be met by} c6 6. e3 Nh5 {as pointed out by Sagar Shah.}) 5... h6 {off the beaten track, keeping the opponent in suspense.} (5... Be7 {followed by 0-0 is more obvious.}) 6. Bh4 (6. Bxf6 Nxf6 { would ease Black's position. That was the point of 4...Nbd7.}) 6... Be7 7. e3 O-O (7... b6 $2 {preparing...Bb7 is bad as it opens up a4-e8 diagonal for white bishop.} 8. Bxf6 Nxf6 9. cxd5 exd5 10. Bb5+ Bd7 11. Bxd7+ Qxd7 12. Ne5 Qe6 13. Qa4+ Kf8 14. Nb5 $16) 8. Rc1 c5 (8... b6 9. cxd5 exd5 10. Bd3 Bb7 11. O-O c5 {as played by Mihail Marin is a better way of playing for equality than the line chosen by Kramnik.}) 9. cxd5 Nxd5 ({After} 9... exd5 10. Bd3 {White has a slight edge according to Sagar Shah. Perhaps that's the lesser evil-NSH}) 10. Bxe7 Nxe7 {Forced. White is now better developed than Black-NSH} (10... Qxe7 $2 {loses a pawn after} 11. Nxd5 exd5 12. dxc5 Nxc5 13. Qxd5 $16) 11. Be2 b6 12. O-O Bb7 13. dxc5 (13. Qa4 {is met by} cxd4 {and the queen would be targeted by the knights as shown by the game Davidson-Tartakower, Semmering 1926.}) ({Instead} 13. Qc2 {preparing 14.Rfd1 could be considered. It maintains tension without giving away useful squares to the knight on d7-NSH}) 13... Nxc5 14. Nd4 (14. b4 Ne4 15. Nxe4 Bxe4 16. Qa4 {preparing b5 advance as well as Rfd1 deserves attention-NSH}) 14... Nf5 15. Nxf5 (15. Bf3 { neutralising the power of the bishop on b7 may be preferable. If} Bxf3 ({or} 15... Nxd4 16. Bxb7 Nxb7 17. exd4 Rc8) 16. Nxf3 Qxd1 17. Rfxd1 $11) 15... exf5 16. Bf3 {He should have played this move before. Now it allows Black to inflict damage on White's kingside pawns.} (16. Qxd8 Rfxd8 17. Rfd1 $11 {is a simple way to draw.}) 16... Qxd1 $1 (16... Be4 17. Bxe4 (17. Nxe4 fxe4 18. Be2 $11) 17... fxe4 {is also possible. But white would contest Black's control of e4 and it would not be easy to secure a knight outpost on d3-NSH}) 17. Rfxd1 Bxf3 {The point of the queen exchange.} 18. gxf3 {White's f-pawns are doubled and the h-pawn is isolated and vulnerable. This would not be fatal if White can exchange the h-pawn or exert pressure on the queenside-NSH} Rfd8 19. Kf1 g6 20. Ke2 Kg7 21. Nb5 Kf6 22. Rxd8 Rxd8 23. b4 ({Sagar Shah suggests} 23. Nxa7 $5 Ra8 24. Nc8 Rxa2 ({or} 24... Rxc8 25. b4 Ra8 26. bxc5 Rxa2+ 27. Kf1 bxc5 28. Rxc5 $11) 25. Rc2 Ra6 26. Nxb6 Rxb6 27. Rxc5 $11) 23... Ne6 24. Rc6 {probably intending Nc7.} ({But the immediate} 24. Nc7 {was good enough.} Rd7 25. Nxe6 fxe6 $11) 24... Ke7 25. a3 Rd7 26. Rc8 a6 27. Nc3 b5 28. Ra8 Rd6 29. Rh8 $6 { This turns out to be a mirage. Instead White has to exert pressure on the queenside.} ({Max Illingworth shows the way with} 29. a4 $1 bxa4 30. Nxa4 $11) (29. f4 g5 30. fxg5 {still allows Black some mischief with} Nxg5) (29. h4 $5 { also deserves attention. If} Rc6 30. Kd3 {and Black cannot make headway-NSH}) 29... g5 30. Ra8 ({It's only now that he realizes,} 30. Rxh6 {would be a blunder on account of} Nf4+ $19) 30... Kf6 31. Ra7 Kg6 32. Na2 {preparing Nc1 followed by Nb3 or even better Nd3} ({Not} 32. e4 $4 Nd4+ 33. Ke3 f4+ 34. Kd2 Nxf3+ $19) (32. Kf1 $2 Rd3 $19 {The loss of the a-pawn would be the beginning of the end.}) ({Again} 32. a4 $1 bxa4 33. Nxa4 Rc6 34. Kd3 {is the easier way to draw as mentioned by Max Illingworth.}) 32... Nd8 $1 {The knight guards the f7 pawn before the king marches on to pick the White pawn on h2.} 33. Ke1 $2 { Weak and indecisive.} ({He should have played} 33. Nc1 {as planned before and followed up with Nd3.}) 33... Kh5 34. Nc1 Kh4 35. Nb3 $2 {Now it's too late.} ( {Elsewhere Max Illingworth gives an incredible variation to draw with} 35. Ne2 $1 Kh3 36. Ng3 Kxh2 37. Nxf5 Rf6 38. e4 Kg2 39. Ke2 h5 40. f4 Ne6 ({or} 40... gxf4 41. Ra8) 41. Ne3+ Kg1 42. f5 Nd4+ 43. Ke1 $11 {White rook would come to the first rank via d-file and together with the knight harass the Black king.}) 35... Kh3 36. Nd4 (36. Nc5 {fails to} Kxh2 37. Rxa6 Rxa6 38. Nxa6 Kg2 $19 {as pointed out by Sagar Shah.}) 36... f4 37. Ra8 Kxh2 38. Nf5 Rf6 39. e4 ({The plausible move} 39. Nxh6 $2 {loses to} Rxh6 40. Rxd8 Kg2 41. Rg8 (41. Ke2 g4 $1 42. fxg4 f3+ 43. Kd3 Kxf2 44. g5 Rg6 45. Rd7 Ke1 $19 {White will have to give up the rook to stop the pawn from queening.}) 41... Kxf3 42. Rxg5 fxe3 43. Rf5+ Ke4 44. Rxf7 exf2+ 45. Kxf2 Kd3 $1 $19 {a move found by Max Illingworth} ({ stronger than} 45... Rh3 46. Ke2 Rxa3 47. Kd2 {given by Sagar Shah})) 39... Nc6 40. Rxa6 Rg6 $1 41. Kf1 Ne5 42. Ra5 Nxf3 43. Rxb5 g4 44. Rd5 h5 45. Ng3 $1 {A touch of bravado in a lost position.} h4 ({Of course Kramnik would not fall for } 45... fxg3 $4 46. Rxh5+ Nh4 47. Rxh4#) 46. Ne2 g3 47. fxg3 fxg3 48. b5 Rf6 49. Rf5 Rxf5 50. exf5 g2+ 51. Kf2 Nd4 52. Ng1 Nxb5 53. a4 Nc3 54. Nf3+ Kh1 55. a5 h3 0-1

This brings me to other contents of the current issue. There are as many as twelve opening surveys ranging from Vienna Game to Reti Opening. Among them Alexey Kuzmin’s analysis of Sicilian Paulsen deserves special mention. As is known, the line 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Bb4 arose in the sixth game of the World Championship 2014. Here Carlsen played 7.Qd3 and Anand got into a difficult position. Quite a few experts like Rustam Kasimdzhanov thought, 7…d5 would have solved Black’s problems. Alexey Kuzmin does not agree.

He proposes an improvement a move earlier with 6…Qc7.
This makes sense and it is more in the spirit of Paulsen.

This issue also carries trademark sections with middle game strategy, tactics and endgame technique. For reasons of space I have not dealt with them here. In all there are 1479 games of which 115 are annotated. This time I did not see the trade mark feature, the Telechess section with correspondence games. Hopefully commentators Robert Alvarez and Juan Morgado would be back in the next issue.

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All Opening Surveys in CBM #164

Illingworth: Reti Opening A11
1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 c6 3.Bg2 d5 4.Nf3 g6 5.b3 Bg6 6.Bb2 0-0 7.0-0

In the second part of his article on the double fianchetto Max Illingworth looks into the most frequently played moves 7...a5 and 7...Bg4. As he does so, the author demonstrates above all what happens in the early middlegame – what White can make out of his positions which are generally slightly in his favour.

Moskalenko: Pirc Defence B09
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Bd3 Nc6

In the diagram 7.0-0 is the move played most often, but as Viktor Moskalenko explains Black has absolutely no need to fear the tactical complications after 7...e5 8.fxe5 dxe5 9.d5 Nd4. And in the main variation 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5 Black even has two good moves: 8...Nh5 and 8...Ng4.

Kuzmin: Sicilian Defence B41
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Bb4 7.Qd3

The queen move was a strong surprise weapon for Carlsen against Anand, but as Alexey Kuzmin shows in his article, it is more than that. It is difficult for Black to equalise at all and it can be supposed that in the future players will deviate.

Postny: Sicilian Defence B48
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be3 a6 7.Qf3

Instead of 7.Qd2 and 7.Bd3, moves played thousands of time, and other continuations, this time it is 7.Qf3 which is up for debate – a move which only the 11th most frequent. But as Evgeny Postny shows, the move has potential, its main idea consisting of Qg3, because after the exchange of queens White gets a very pleasant endgame.

Havasi: French Defence C06
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 b6

The early exchange of bishops is a tried and trusted manoeuvre in the French. As Gergö Havasi demonstrates, with aggressive play White can build up some pressure, but the closed positions offer Black good chances of getting away with his plan.

Marin: French Defence C09
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.exd5 exd5 5.Ngf3 Nc6 6.Bb5 (cxd4/Qe7+)

If you play 6...cxd4 or 6...Qe7+ (instead of the main move 6...Bd6), you have to be prepared to exchange queens at an early stage. In his extensive article Mihail Marin refers to many Korchnoi games, but also shows the modern treatment by Vadim Zvjaginsev.

Müller: Vienna Game C26
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3

Karsten Müller’s new article is linked to his articles on the King’s Gambit: after 2...Nc6 the transposition is made with 3.f4. However, this time it is principally about 2...Bc5 (3.Nf3) and even more important - 2...Nf6 (3.g3). This way speculative sacrifices are avoided.

Ris: Queen’s Gambit Accepted D20
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 b5 4.a4 c6 5.axb5 cxb5 6.Nc3 a6 7.Nxb5 axb5 8.Rxa8 Bb7

The 3...b5 variation is supposed to be made playable with a surprising exchange sacrifice. In his analyses Robert Ris comes to the conclusion that White can obtain a slight advantage, but in practice these positions are far from easy to play.

Gormally: Queen’s Gambit Accepted D24
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.e4 b5 6.e5 Nd5 7.a4

In Part 2 Daniel Gormally turns to the sharp lines in which Black tries to defend his extra pawn. But all these attempts are dubious. Even when the positions which are reached are okay according to the engines, in practice Black is facing grave problems.

Krasenkow: Bogo-Indian E11
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Nbd2

Michal Krasenkow presents his own repertoire against the Bogo-Indian. In the first part he shows above all what he has up his sleeve against the present main variation 4...0-0 5.a3 Be7, namely: 6.b4, which has not been played often so far but which is very venomous.

Breutigam: King’s Indian E60
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.e3

As long as White has not played Nc3, Black cannot transpose to the Grünfeld Defence. But Martin Breutigam sees more in the setup he is presenting: after transpositions to the Benoni or the King’s Indian the pawn on e3 (instead of e4) also has an advantage: there is no need to defend it.

Szabo: King’s Indian E73
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 Na6 7.f4 c6

In the Averbakh Variation too, ...Na6 is a common move. White then strengthens his centre with 7.f4. But as Krisztian Szabo shows in his article, Black will then attack it rapidly with ...d5. In the sharp lines a good knowledge of the theory ids advisable.

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