Nagesh Havanur on ChessBase Magazine #167

8/28/2015 – 1586 OTB games, 107 annotated, and 12,450 CC games, 33 games annotated. Apart from this basic supply you have 14 topical opening surveys, exercises in opening traps, middle game tactics and endgame technique. In ChessWorld review Prof. Nagesh Havanur rates this CBM issue as "Recommended" and illustrates his opinion with a dramatic example from its contents.

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ChessBase Magazine #167

  • Date: August/September 2015
  • Languages: English, German
  • Delivery: Download, Post
  • Level: Any
  • Price: €19.95 – €16.76 without VAT (for customers outside the EU); $18.70 (without VAT)

Review by Prof. Nagesh Havanur

History, they say, is written by winners. When you see Caruana and Nakamura on the cover of this DVD you wonder whether that’s right after all. They won the Grand Prix cycle and earned their places in Candidates’ 2016. But what about others? Two came quite close and ended up in a life and death combat with each other. Jakovenko, the younger of the two, just had to win this game in the 9th round to take his tally to 5.5 points, joining the leaders, Nakamura and Caruana. But then Gelfand had set himself the same target. Good old Boris had fought game after game only to be bogged down by draws. His hopes had been rekindled with a nice victory over Svildler. So when the veteran met the youthful warrior, sparks flew and the earth shook under the clang of their arms.

In this issue the battle is deeply annotated by Max Illingworth. I have simplified his analysis a bit and added a little explanation for younger readers. Players unfamiliar with theory should also check out Evgeny Postny’s commentary on the line in this issue.

[Event "KM FIDE GP 2015 "] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.05.24"] [Round "?"] [White "Jakovenko, Dmitry"] [Black "Gelfand, Boris"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2738"] [BlackElo "2744"] [Annotator "Illingworth,Max/Havanur,N"] [PlyCount "105"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 {Gelfand is a connoisseur of Sicilian Najdorf Variation.} 6. h3 e5 ({The Scheveningen style move} 6... e6 {is also possible.If} 7. g4 d5 {-NSH}) 7. Nde2 {More on this line may be found in the opening survey by Evgeny Postny.} (7. Nb3 Be6 {was seen in Karjakin-Gelfand, FIDE GP 2014, with Boris outplaying his opponent and drawing the game only after missing a win.}) 7... h5 {preventing g4, the move envisaged by White with 6.h3} 8. g3 b5 9. Nd5 Nbd7 ({It would be dangerous to take the e-pawn with the greedy} 9... Nxe4 $2 {on account of} 10. Bg2 $1 {with potent threats along the diagonal according to Postny. After} Nc5 ({Not} 10... Bf5 $4 11. Ne3 Bg6 12. Qd5 Nd7 13. Bxe4 Bxe4 14. Qxe4 $18) (10... f5 $2 {also fails on account of} 11. Nec3 Nxc3 12. Nxc3 e4 13. f3 $1 {and Black's centre is collapsing-NSH}) 11. b4 Ne6 12. a4 bxa4 (12... Bb7 {is met by} 13. Nf6+ { followed by 14.Bxb7}) 13. Be3 $16 {White dominates the position.}) 10. Bg5 (10. Nec3 Bb7 {is the other line.} ({An attempt to exchange all knights would be wrong.} 10... Nxd5 11. Nxd5 Nb6 12. Bg5 Qxg5 13. Nxb6 Rb8 14. Nxc8 Rxc8 15. a4 $16) ({Gelfand might have prepared} 10... Rb8 $5 {according to Postny.})) 10... Bb7 11. Nec3 Rc8 12. Bg2 Be7 {with the transparent threat of ...Nxd5} 13. Nxe7 (13. Bxf6 Nxf6 14. O-O {deserves attention-NSH}) 13... Qxe7 14. O-O ({After the prophylactic move} 14. a3 $5 {preventing...b4 advance there follows} Qe6 { threatening...Rxc3 followed by...Nxe4 with compensation for the exchange} 15. Qe2 O-O 16. h4 {opening up h3 for the bishop} Rc4 17. Rd1 Nc5 {Black has cleared up the diagonal, h3-c8 with counterpressure on e4. Now Illingworth suggests} 18. f3 $5 (18. Bxf6 Qxf6 19. O-O Qg6 $11 {was tried in the game, Sethuraman-Y.Wei, Hyderabad 2015 and ended in a draw.}) 18... Qe7 {vacating the square for the knight} 19. O-O Ne6 20. Be3 $14) 14... Qe6 15. Re1 b4 16. Nd5 Bxd5 {The subsequent course of the game shows, this move is good enough for a draw.} ({But Illingworth comes up with} 16... Nxd5 $5 17. exd5 Qg6 {with some extraordinary variations.Here is one of them.} 18. h4 Qxc2 19. Qd4 Nc5 20. Rxe5+ dxe5 21. Qxe5+ Kf8 22. Qe7+ Kg8 23. Rc1 Qf5 24. Rxc5 Rxc5 25. Qxc5 Kh7 $44 {and Black rook would soon be activated with ...Re8. However, White's two bishops and the advanced pawn on d5 would keep the position dynamically balanced.}) 17. exd5 Qf5 18. Bd2 {Accepting the challenge.} ({Illingworth prefers Black after} 18. Bxf6 Nxf6 19. Rc1 O-O $15 {The knight is stronger than the bishop. Also, Black can pile up pressure on the c-file with moves like ...Rc4 followed by...R(f8)-c8. The latent threat of...e5-e4 advance would keep White on his toes-NSH}) 18... Rxc2 19. Rc1 Rxc1 20. Qxc1 Nc5 21. Bxb4 Nd3 22. Qc6+ Qd7 23. Qa8+ Qd8 24. Qc6+ Nd7 $4 {Needing a full point to advance in the tournament Gelfand takes risks. But this move preparing...f5 loses.With the knight pinned on d7 and a weak pawn on d6 Black has little chance of counterplay-NSH} ({There was a draw by repetition of moves with} 24... Qd7 $1 { "However, after thirty minutes of thinking Boris decided to avoid the repetition, simply overlooking White's reply"- Postny}) 25. Re4 $1 $18 f5 ({If } 25... Nxb4 $2 26. Rxb4 O-O 27. Qxd6 $18) 26. Rc4 {This move sounds the death knell for Black.} e4 27. Qxa6 {The threat of Rc8 forces the liquidation of Black knight on d3.} ({Illingworth's idea,} 27. Bxd6 Rh6 28. Qxa6 {also wins. But there are complications after} Nb6 29. Qb5+ Nd7) 27... Nxb4 ({Or} 27... Kf7 28. Qxd6 Rh6 29. Qc7 Qe8 30. Bc3 Kg8 31. Bf1 $18 {-NSH}) 28. Qxd6 Nd3 29. Qe6+ Kf8 30. Qxf5+ Kg8 31. Qe6+ ({As Illingworth points out, simpler is} 31. Rxe4 $1 {If} Rh6 32. Re6) 31... Kf8 32. Qd6+ Kg8 33. Qe6+ {gaining time with repetition of moves} Kf8 34. Qxe4 N3e5 35. Qf5+ Kg8 36. d6 Rh6 ({After} 36... g6 {Illingworth gives} 37. Qe6+ Kg7 38. Rc7 $18 {Now if} Re8 (38... Kf8 $4 39. Rc8 $1 Qxc8 40. Qe7+ Kg8 41. Bd5+ Nf7 42. Qxf7#) 39. Qb3 Qf6 40. f4 Qxd6 41. Qc3 {winning-NSH}) 37. Re4 $2 {Time trouble!} ({Illingworth gives} 37. Bd5+ $1 Kh8 38. Ra4 Nb6 39. Re4 Nxd5 40. Rxe5 Nf6 ({Or} 40... Rxd6 41. Qxh5+ Kg8 42. Re8+ $18) 41. Qd3 $18 {The passed pawns have the last word.}) 37... h4 $2 ({ Gelfand would have made White's task tough with} 37... Rxd6 $1 38. Qxh5 Nf7 { according to Illingworth. Now} 39. Qb5 {targeting e8 among other things would have given White winning chances-NSH} ({Probably Boris was too wary of leaving the h-file to the mercy of the White queen and the rook. But this could have been parried. For example,} 39. Rh4 $2 Nf6)) 38. Rxh4 Rxh4 39. gxh4 Qxh4 40. Bd5+ Kh8 41. Kh1 Qh6 ({Sadly, there is no way of activating the king. Illingworth gives} 41... g6 42. Qe6 Kg7 43. Qg8+ Kh6 44. Qh8+ Kg5 45. Qxh4+ Kxh4 46. a4 $18) 42. f4 g6 43. Qe6 Qf8 {Bravo!} 44. Bb3 $2 ({After} 44. fxe5 $4 {there is a draw with} Qf1+ 45. Kh2 Qf2+ 46. Bg2 Qf4+ $11 {and it's perpetual check.}) ({Illingworth gives} 44. h4 $1 Qc8 $5 {the only fighting chance and after} 45. fxe5 (45. Kh2 Qc2+ 46. Bg2 Qc4 47. Qxc4 Nxc4 48. Bh3 {and White will have to grind out a technical win-NSH}) 45... Qc1+ 46. Kh2 {Black will run out of checks.}) 44... g5 $1 45. f5 Nd3 $1 {Fantasy or bluff!? This is a gamble worthy of Tal.} ({Illingworth gives} 45... Kg7 $1 {as the correct move and then offers an intriguing sequence for White.} 46. Kh2 Qc8 47. Qe7+ Kh6 48. f6 $1 {This pawn sacrifice appears to be necessary to force Black queen into passive defence.} Qh8 49. Kg1 Qxf6 50. Bc2 {with winning chances.}) 46. Qxd7 Qa8+ 47. Kg1 Nf4 48. Kf2 g4 $1 {A move full of daring.Dr. Lasker would have approved.} ({After} 48... Qg2+ $2 {White escape from checks, starting with the moves.} 49. Ke3 Qe2+ 50. Kd4) 49. hxg4 $2 ({Among others White would have won with} 49. Kg3 $1 Qf3+ 50. Kh4 Qf2+ 51. Kg5 Nxh3+ 52. Kg6 Nf4+ 53. Kf7 $18) 49... Qg2+ 50. Ke3 Nd5+ $1 51. Kd4 ({Capture of the knight results in stalemate.} 51. Bxd5 Qd2+ 52. Ke4 Qe3+ 53. Kxe3 $11) ({Or} 51. Kd3 Qg3+ 52. Kc2 Qf2+ $11 {Draw by perpetual check.}) 51... Qf2+ 52. Kxd5 Qd4+ $3 53. Kxd4 ({ There was no way of avoiding stalemate with} 53. Ke6 Qe5+ 54. Kf7 Qf6+ 55. Ke8 Qf8+ $11) (53. Kc6 Qc5+ 54. Kb7 Qc7+ 55. Kxc7 $11 {comes to the same thing.}) 1/2-1/2

A terrible disappointment for young Jakovenko who came so close to winning.

Undeterred, he went on to beat Caruana in the next round. After that supreme effort luck eluded him and he had to resign himself to draws. Boris fared no better, but he had earned his ticket to the Hall of Fame with this game. As for the winners, you can check out the games Caruana-Tomashevsky and Nakamura-Vachier-Lagrave in this issue. If you are aspiring to be a professional player, you should also focus on games by others and see why seasoned campaigners like Karjakin, Svidler and Grischuk failed.

Misery has many lessons and one of them is not to take Caissa for granted. Carlsen learnt it the hard way on his home turf in 3rd Norway 2015, scoring 3.5/9. So did Caruana with 4/9 points. The tournament was deservedly won by Topalov (notwithstanding the “gift” by Magnus in the first round) ahead of Anand and Nakamura. If you wish to develop as a steady player with a smooth style you should study Vishy’s games in this issue. The Indian maestro makes it look easy! Nakamura on the other hand is a sharp shooter and when he is in form his performance looks like a typical Western. A serious student learns from both.

This issue also includes games from recent events, Capablanca Memorial Tournament and Dortmund 2015 won by Yu Yangyi and Caruana respectively. Between the two, Caruana’s style is well-known, Yu Yangyi’s play, however, must be seen to be believed.

In this issue he has annotated his encounter with Dominguez from the Havana event. Here is the critical position.

Yu,Yangyi (2715) - Dominguez Perez,Leinier (2746) [B90]
50th Capablanca Mem Elite Havana CUB (8.2), 23.06.2015

White has just played 30.Nxe6!! The cascade of sacrifices in the game is reminiscent of Tal. To his credit Yu Yangyi has also shown lines of defence in his analysis. This player would go far.

I should also make a special mention of European Chess Championship for Women that turned out be a race between Natalia Zhukova and Nino Batsiashvili. The latter was leading till the end only to be stopped by Zhukova in a tense encounter. Here is the decisive moment.

[Event "European Championship for Women "] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Batsiashvili"] [Black "Zhukova"] [Result "0-1"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "3q1r2/4ppkp/6p1/2p5/8/1P1n2PP/r3RPB1/1R1Q2K1 b - - 0 22"] [PlyCount "5"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] 22... Nc1 $1 23. Qxc1 (23. Rxc1 Qxd1+ 24. Rxd1 Rxe2 $19) (23. Re1 Ne2+ $1 24. Kf1 Rd2 $19) 23... Rxe2 24. Qxc5 Qd3 $19 {and Black went on to win.} 0-1

Zhukova shone with similar elegant play in other games of the tournament. She finished with 9.5/11 half point ahead of her rival, Batsiashvili who finished with 9.0/11. The Ukranian player’s victory, coming as it did after a gap of 15 years, delighted her fans.

Zhukova, however, cannot afford to rest on her laurels as she has a challenge coming up nearer home:

“If I play there, will you turn your king down?” – Zhukova playing with her daughter, photo ChessPro

This brings me to other sections of the Magazine. There are 14 opening surveys ranging from the Slav to the Sicilian. Among them I would single out Emanuel Berg’s analysis of a gambit against c3 Sicilian: 1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Nf6!? (B22):

[Event " "] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "?"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] [ECO "B22"] [PlyCount "14"] 1. e4 c5 2. c3 {The theory of this move emanating from 19th Century master Alapin has been enriched by the work of Sveshnikov among others.} d5 (2... Nf6 {is the other main line.}) 3. exd5 Nf6 $5 4. Bb5+ (4. Qa4+ Nbd7 (4... Bd7 {is a saner move.}) 5. c4 b5 $5 {A "crazy" sideline suggested by Berg} (5... e6 { is his main line.}) 6. Qxb5 Rb8 7. Qa4 e6 $13) (4. c4 $6 e6 $1 5. dxe6 Bxe6 $44 {Black has excellent compensation on account of his superior development and mobility of pieces.}) 4... Nbd7 5. c4 a6 6. Bxd7+ Qxd7 (6... Bxd7 {is also good.}) 7. Nc3 e6 $44 *

Inspiration or insanity!? Only time would tell. But if you are an e4 player and love c3 Sicilian, it may be desirable to know these lines for the other side. Forewarned is forearmed.

Apart from these surveys, there are regular exercises in opening traps, middle game tactics and endgame technique. In all, this DVD has 1586 OTB games of which 107 are annotated. What is more, there are as many as 12,450 CC games of which 33 games are annotated. For reasons of space (not to mention time!) I have not been able to do justice to them. The discerning reader would know how to make use of this magazine.

Recommended – Order ChessBase Magazine here


All Opening Surveys in CBM #167

Stohl: English Mikenas A18
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.e4 d5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.e5 Ne4

According to Igor Stohl here is a trend here away from 4.e5 towards the intermediate exchange on d5. With precise play – starting with 5...Ne4 – Black can probably maintain equality, but it is not sufficient to act intuitively at the board, some knowledge is required.

Ris: English A22
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 Bb4 4.Bg2 0-0 5.e4 Bxc3 6.bxc3

Taking towards the centre on move 6 is probably preferable. Nevertheless White will not achieve an opening advantage. According to Robert Ris Black should start with 6...c6, then the most frequently played move is 7.Ne2 though 7.d4 and 7.Qb3 are probably more critical.

Marin: Kangaroo Defence A40
1.d4 e6 2.c4 Bb4+ 3.Nd2 b6

Even after 3.Nd2 Mihail Marin follows an original path – first 3...b6, then generally ...f5 and ...Nf6. White can secure the bishop pair with 4.a3, but that does not necessarily lead to an advantage.

Schipkov: Wade Defence A41
1.d4 d6 2.Nf3 Bg4 3.c4 Bxf3 4.exf3

Here there is an unusual structure on the board straight away and the usual plans cannot be employed. Boris Schipkov recommends in most lines a rapid h4 and g4; then White should get an advantage.

Illingworth: Sicilian Defence B20
1.e4 c5 2.b3

Max Illingworth champions 2.b3 above all as a rapid chess repertoire. But it can be more than that as is shown by Tamaz Gelashvili, who in his 117 games in Mega has a score of 82%. But this does not mean that White gets an advantage with 2.b3.

Berg: Sicilian Defence B22
1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Nf6

The unusual move presented by Emanuel Berg, 3...Nf6, sometimes leads to really sharp positions, above all when White wants to hang on to his extra pawn. But if he does not do so, then, according to the analyses of the Swedish grandmaster, Black should easily equalise.

Krasenkow: Sicilian Defence B30
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 e6

Michal Krasenkow presents his own repertoire (3...e6) against the Rossolimo Variation. In part 1 he deals with all the variations except 4.0-0; the focus is on 4.Bxc6 bxc6. The Polish grandmaster sees no problems for Black.

Gormally: Sicilian Defence B47
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.f4

The move 6.f4 is an interesting attempt to avoid the much analysed lines after 6.Be3. Daniel Gormally presents a series of model games, the study of which should improve your understanding of the different types of position.

Postny: Sicilian Defence B90
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.h3 e5 7.Nde2 h5

Evgeny Postny bases his article above all on recent games from elite tournaments. His analyses see equality for Black, but in many lines after 6.h3 there are still blank spots in the analysis and surprises are possible.

Havasi: French Defence C03
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 h6

According to Gergö Havasi Black would like to use this move of the rook pawn to transpose to variations in which ...h6 is useful and in which White has adopted an unfortunate setup. For example he may have played Ngf3, but Ne2 would suit better.

Souleidis: Philidor Defence C41
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.Bc4 exd4

Since after 5...Be7 White can immediately play 6.a4! (6.0-0 Nb6!?), Georgios Souleidis suggests 5...exd4. After 6.Nxd4 Nb6 would have achieved his aim, but 6.Qxd4 is better. Nevertheless the analyses show that Black’s plan is well suited to use as a surprise.

Kuzmin: Queen's Gambit D38
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Bb4 5.Qb3

The best surprise weapons are those in which the opponent can only equalise with precise play. As Alexey Kuzmin shows in his article on 5.Qb3, Black really has to know what he is doing here, because he can then easily hold the balance.

Schandorff: Semi-Slav D48
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 Bb7

For some time there has been hope for White in the main variation: 14.Ne2!? is according to the statistics clearly more successful than the alternatives, though this is still based on a very small number of games. Lars Schandorff, howver, presents two strong replies for Black.

Szabo: King's Indian E90
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.Nc3 d6 6.Nf3 Nbd7 7.0-0 e5 8.e4 exd4 9.Nxd4 Re8 10.h3 a6 11.Re1

The Gallagher Variation (10...a6) is designed to be active rapidly (...c5 and ...b5). In the first part of his contribution Krisztian Szabo presents 11.Re1, but his analyses show that the rook move does not bring an advantage for the White side.

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chessbibliophile chessbibliophile 8/29/2015 04:46
Zhukova is married to GM Alexander Grischuk.
It’s a happy family.