Recommended: ChessBase Magazine #163

12/29/2014 – In his review of ChessBase Magazine 163 Prof. Nagesh Havanur draws attention to a critical Najdorf encounter between the 2800+ star Fabiano Caruana and Israeli GM Boris Gelfand, who was playing this opening before Fabiano was born. The review also provides and overview of the contents of CBM 163. You can check out if there are anything that you play or are interested to learn.

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ChessBase Magazine #163

Review by Prof. Nagesh Havanur

Italian talent Fabiano Caruana is a spoilsport. Right after the crowning of Carlsen as world champion he set out to remind everyone that the chess world was a republic and not a monarchy. He did it by beating the new ruler time and again.

As is known, Fabiano has a healthy disrespect for authority, but on occasion the enfant terrible goes too far. Early this year he beat Gelfand in Wijk aan Zee and in his annotations to the game commented, tongue in cheek, “Boris has been playing the Sveshnikov a lot recently, but for this game he returned to his old love the Najdorf; no doubt inspired by my recent games.” (Caruana was probably alluding to his own loss to Topalov with White in Zug Grand Prix 2013).

Boris was not amused. He was playing the Najdorf before Caruana was born and this cheeky lad here was saying, the inspiration came from him. Surely, such impudence deserved a lesson and he did not have to wait for long. The wonder boy and the veteran met in the recent Baku Grand Prix Tournament with both vying for top honours. And their individual encounter had all suspense and drama, with Boris repeating the same line he had lost before.

At first Fabiano met his rival’s determination with nonchalance, only to have his position rocked by a series of tactical blows. It was with some resourceful play that he earned a draw. The enthralling encounter is annotated in this issue by grandmaster Kr. Szabo (I have kept the commentary easy and simple for younger readers to follow and added lines wherever necessary):

[Event "Baku FIDE Grand Prix 2014 "] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.10.03"] [Round "?"] [White "Caruana, F."] [Black "Gelfand, B."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2844"] [BlackElo "2748"] [PlyCount "74"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 {Sicilian Najdorf with which Gelfand has scored some great victories} 6. f3 {The English Attack made popular by Short, Nunn and Chandler. In the old setup White played Be3, Qd2 and 0-0-0 and launched an attack on the kingside with g2-g4. Over the years it has undergone change, with White opting for castling on the kingside and operations on the queenside!} e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. Be3 (8. Nd5 $2 {would be premature on account of} Bxd5 9. exd5 {and Black would soon play...g6 and... Bg7 with a Benoni-type position.}) 8... h5 {This move, not allowing g4 is an idea of Topalov. It allows Black to initiate activity on the queenside. On the flipside it makes kingside castling risky.} ({Usually Black plays} 8... Nbd7 { first.}) 9. Qd2 (9. Nd5 Bxd5 10. exd5 {transposes to the game.}) 9... Nbd7 10. Nd5 {White avoids castling for quite some time to come and focuses first on the centre.} ({otherwise he could have played} 10. O-O-O) 10... Bxd5 (10... Nxd5 11. exd5 Bf5 {is the alternative line for Black-Kr. Szabo}) 11. exd5 g6 { Now that there is a clampdown on d6 it is only logical to post the bishop on a more effective diagonal with... Bg7.} ({After} 11... Qc7 $2 {Black cannot equalise as he is not able to exchange the dark-squared bishops as observed by experts, Georgiev and Kolev. They cite moves} 12. O-O-O Nb6 13. Qa5 Rc8 14. c3 Nc4 15. Qxc7 Rxc7 16. Bxc4 Rxc4 17. Na5 Rc7 18. c4 g6 19. Kb1 $16 {from the game, Socko-Miniboeck, Istanbul 2000.}) 12. Be2 {He intends to castle on the kingside.} ({If} 12. O-O-O Nb6 13. Qa5 Bh6 14. Bxh6 Rxh6 15. Kb1 Kf8 $11 { Black has successfully traded the bishops.}) ({After} 12. c4 Bg7 13. Na5 $5 { deserves attention with follow-up similar to the game.} ({or else the double-edged continuation} 13. O-O-O $5)) 12... Bg7 (12... Qc7 {is also played here-Kr. Szabo}) 13. Na5 $1 {The knight paralyses Black's queenside as any move by the b-pawn allows Nc6.} ({The earlier game between the rivals went} 13. O-O O-O 14. Rac1 b6 {and Black stopped both Na5 and c5-c6. Although Caruana won, he was not satisfied with his play. Caruana-Gelfand, Wijk aan Zee 2014. The game is annotated by Caruana himself in CBM 159.}) 13... Qc7 (13... Rb8 $13 {was seen in Leko-Wojtaszek, Istanbul 2012.}) 14. c4 (14. O-O {may transpose to the game continuation.}) 14... e4 (14... O-O {has also been tried here -Kr. Szabo}) 15. O-O (15. f4 $2 Ng4 16. Bxg4 hxg4 17. O-O Nc5 ({probably stronger than} 17... f5 {mentioned by Kr. Szabo.}) 18. Rab1 Nd3 19. b4 b5 20. c5 Rh5 $1 {-analysis by Georgiev and Kolev}) 15... exf3 16. gxf3 ({After} 16. Bxf3 O-O { Kr. Szabo recommends ...Rae8 followed by...Ne4. But I think the QR is needed on the other side. So after} 17. b4 Rfe8 {is preferable-NSH} ({rather than} 17... Rae8)) 16... O-O 17. b4 Rfe8 18. Rac1 ({If} 18. Rae1 Nxd5 $3 19. cxd5 Bc3 20. Qc1 Rac8 21. Bd1 Ne5 22. Re2 Nd3 23. Qb1 Nxb4 24. Nb3 Nxd5 $13 {-analysis by Georgiev and Kolev}) ({As Kr. Szabo points out, White cannot avoid the ensuing exchange sacrifice with} 18. Bf4 $2 Nxd5 $1 19. cxd5 Qb6+ {(only thus)} (19... Bxa1 $6 {would be premature on account of} 20. Rxa1 Qb6+ (20... Rxe2 $4 21. Qxe2 Qb6+ 22. Be3 $18) 21. Kf1 $16 {-NSH}) 20. Kg2 Bxa1 21. Rxa1 Rxe2+ 22. Qxe2 Qd4 $1 $19) (18. Bd4 $5 {seeking to neutralise his counterpart on g7 may not be adequate. Black may play...Re7 followed by...Rae8 with pressure on the "e" file-NSH}) 18... Rxe3 $3 $146 {This is an idea of Gelfand's second Alexander Huzman who showed it to him before the game-NSH} 19. Qxe3 Re8 20. Qd2 ({or} 20. Qf2 Bh6 21. f4 Re4 $40 (21... Ne4 $44)) 20... Kh7 $2 {Preparing... Bh6. But as the next variation shows, he would have done without this move, a loss of tempo.} ({Kr. Szabo points out, Black missed} 20... Qb6+ $1 21. Kh1 Bh6 $1 22. f4 ({not} 22. Qxh6 $2 Rxe2 $36) 22... Ne4 $44) 21. Nb3 {The knight was not doing anything on a5. So he returns to prepare the advance c5.} ({Fritz suggests} 21. Kg2 $1 {(no more threat with...Qb6+)} Bh6 22. f4 Ne4 23. Qd3 { with a comfortable position-Kr. Szabo}) 21... Bh6 22. f4 Ne4 23. Qe1 (23. Qd3 $2 {loses a pawn.} Qb6+ 24. Kg2 Qxb4) 23... Ndf6 24. Bd3 Qd7 25. Rc2 $1 { combining attack and defence. White prepares Re2 and is also with Rg2 in case of...Qg4+-Kr.Szabo} ({After} 25. Bxe4 $2 {Fritz gives} Rxe4 26. Qc3 ({If} 26. Qg3 $2 Qf5 27. Nd2 Rd4 $1 {stronger than 27...Rxf4}) 26... b5 $1 {striking at c4 and consequently d5. White has to be careful and try to defend with moves like 27. Rf3 or Kh1.If} 27. Qxf6 $4 Qg4+ 28. Kh1 Re2 29. Qxf7+ Bg7 $19 {-NSH}) 25... Qh3 26. Qd1 $2 ({After} 26. Bxe4 $2 {Kr.Szabo gives} Rxe4 27. Qc3 ({or} 27. Qg3 $2 Qf5 28. Nd2 Rxf4 29. Rcc1 Qe5 $1 30. Nf3 Qb2 $19 {-NSH}) 27... Qf5 28. Nd4 Rxd4 29. Qxd4 Qxc2 30. Qxf6 Bg7 31. Qxf7 Qe2 $1 $11 {and Black draws by perpetual check.}) ({Fritz commends} 26. Qe2 $1 Nf2 27. Bxg6+ fxg6 28. Qxf2 Re4 29. Nd2 Rxf4 30. Qe2 $16 {as mentioned by Kr. Szabo}) 26... Bxf4 $1 27. Qf3 ({White only has a draw with} 27. Rxf4 Qe3+ 28. Rff2 Nxf2 29. Rxf2 Ng4 30. Qf3 Nxf2 31. Qxf7+ Kh8 32. Qf6+ $11) 27... Qxf3 28. Rxf3 Ng5 $1 29. Rf1 (29. Rxf4 $4 Nh3+ $19) 29... Re3 30. Nc1 $2 {Needlessly withdrawing the knight that would have helped the advance c4-c5. Probably Caruana hoped to force ...Be5 after which his rook would have some pressure on the 'f' file.} ({Kr. Szabo rightly recommends} 30. Be2 $1 {forestalling counterplay with...Ng4.}) 30... Ng4 31. c5 $1 dxc5 32. bxc5 Re8 $2 {Short of time, Gelfand panics.} ({He missed the tough move} 32... Be5 $1 33. c6 (33. d6 $2 {is beautifully refuted.} Rh3 34. d7 Bxh2+ 35. Rxh2 Rxh2 36. d8=Q Nh3# {as shown by Houdini.}) 33... bxc6 34. dxc6 Bc7 35. Re2 Rh3 $17) 33. h4 $2 {Returning the compliment. This plausible move meets with a stunning reply.} ({With} 33. Kh1 $1 {White would have put an end to Black's attack.} Be3 (33... Ne3 34. Re2 $18) (33... Nh3 34. Kg2 $1 $18) 34. c6 $18) 33... Re3 $3 34. hxg5 Rg3+ 35. Kh1 ({If} 35. Rg2 $4 Be3+ 36. Kh1 Rh3+ $19) 35... Rh3+ 36. Kg2 Rg3+ 37. Kh1 Rh3+ 1/2-1/2

An exciting battle!

In Baku Caruana and Gelfand shared the first prize. But neither could keep pace in the Tashkent event that followed a week later. While Caruana could occupy the middle rung of the tournament table Gelfand shared the bottom place with Kasimdzhanov. It was Andreikin who came first with an unbeaten 7.0/11.

This brings me to the contents of the current issue of ChessBase Magazine. Apart from the Baku and Tashkent Grand Prix events it also has commentary on games from the Bilbao Grand Prix and the European Union Cup 2014. The Bilbao Grand Prix, as is known, was won by Anand. The other tournament was more interesting. The European Cup was a tough competition with 52 teams participating. The Azeri team SOCAR scored an unbeaten first followed by Novy Bor.

There are as many as 13 opening surveys ranging from the Sicilian to Staunton Gambit. Among them the analysis of 9…Ne8 line in King’s Indian (E98) deserves special mention. For quite some time this line has languished for want of attention.

Kr. Szabo (yes, we are with him again!) makes a persuasive bid for reviving the whole line. Here is a critical game annotated by him. (Again I have kept it easy and simple for readers not familiar with theory. I have also made a couple of suggestions for White).

[Event "Vienna Clock Simul. "] [Site "?"] [Date "2012.04.27"] [Round "?"] [White "Topalov, Veselin"] [Black "Rapport, Richard"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E98"] [WhiteElo "2752"] [BlackElo "2559"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 {The King's Indian Defence,once a favourite of Fischer, Tal and Kasparov. Nowadays it's played by Nakamura and Radjabov, not to mention young lions, Kr.Szabo and Richard Rapport.} 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O (7. d5 {, the Petrosian Variation was recently seen in the game, Vladimir Kramnik-Hikaru Nakamura, London Chess Classic, 2014 (1-0, 41 moves).}) 7... Nc6 8. d5 Ne7 9. Ne1 Ne8 {Kasparov revived this line against Korchnoi and Shirov in 1992. Kr. Szabo annotates both games in this issue.} (9... Nd7 {is the main line. If White advances with f2-f4 and plays fxe5, Black can respond with...Nxe5. The knight on d7 also prevents c4-c5 advance.}) 10. Be3 (10. Nd3 { activating the knight and preparing c4-c5 advance may be better-NSH}) 10... f5 11. f3 f4 12. Bf2 h5 13. c5 g5 14. a4 {This pawn advance is an idea of Korchnoi. It spearheads an attack on the queenside and the square a3 would be useful for the rook in defending the third rank or allowing the knight to retreat in case of Nb5 a6.} Ng6 15. a5 Bh6 {vacating the square so that Black can play... Rf7-Rg7.} ({Preventing the knight sortie, Nb5 with} 15... a6 { would allow him to enter via b6 with} 16. cxd6 cxd6 17. Na4 {and threaten the bishop who is needed in the attack on the kingside.}) 16. Nb5 a6 17. Na3 Rf7 18. Nc4 Rg7 19. cxd6 Nxd6 $1 (19... cxd6 $2 {allows White to lay siege to Black's queenside with Nd3, Rc1 and Nb6.}) 20. Ra3 ({If white tries to prevent ...g4 with} 20. h3 {it still comes after} Nxc4 21. Bxc4 g4 {according to Kr. Szabo. Indeed, after} 22. fxg4 hxg4 23. hxg4 Nh8 ({not} 23... Qg5 24. Be2 Nh8 25. Nd3 Nf7 26. Rc1 $16) 24. Be2 Nf7 {threatening...Qg5 followed by ....Bxg4, it's not easy for White to claim advantage.}) 20... Nxc4 21. Bxc4 g4 $1 22. fxg4 (22. d6+ $2 {does not work because of} Kh7 23. Rd3 g3 24. hxg3 fxg3 25. Bxg3 h4 $17) 22... hxg4 23. g3 Kh7 24. Nd3 Qg5 25. Nc5 Qh5 {threatening...f3 and...Qh3 followed by ...Qg2 mate} 26. Qc2 {guarding the second rank and also making way for the rook for the advance, d5-d6.} ({If} 26. Ne6 Bxe6 27. dxe6 Rh8 $40 {with latent threats on the h-file, once the king moves away from h7.}) 26... Bg5 $1 27. Rd1 Be7 28. b4 Bd6 $36 {Black has sealed the centre and now prepares for Bd7 followed by Rh8.} 29. Bf1 Bd7 30. Nxb7 Bxb4 31. Ra2 ({If} 31. Rb3 $2 Ba4 $19) 31... Nh4 $1 32. gxh4 g3 33. hxg3 fxg3 34. Be3 $2 {White's defence cracks up only now.} ({Fritz gives} 34. Bc5 $1 Bxc5+ 35. Nxc5 g2 $1 36. Bxg2 Bh3 37. Rd2 Bxg2 38. Ne6 $1 ({not} 38. Rxg2 $2 Rxg2+ 39. Qxg2 Rg8 $17) 38... Bxe4+ 39. Nxg7 Qf3 $1 40. Qxc7 Qh1+ 41. Kf2 Qf3+ $11 {Draw by perpetual check-NSH}) 34... Rf8 35. Qb3 Rf2 $1 36. Rxf2 gxf2+ 37. Kxf2 Qxh4+ 38. Ke2 Bb5+ 0-1

A terrifying game in which Black’s attack played itself and the editorial verdict: White is better, but Black wins. In my view White should bring the knight early into play with 10.Nd3. It might give him better chances.

CBM 163 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 1437 OTB games of which 132 are annotated. The Telechess Section has 10,000 correspondence games of which 33 are annotated by GMs Robert Alvarez and Juan Morgado. One would like to see coverage of high class events like the ICCF World Championship. Recently none other than Caruana revealed that he picks his ideas from the gurus of correspondence chess. Need one say more?

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All Opening Surveys in CBM #163

Check out if there are any lines here that you play or are interested to learn...

Illingworth: Reti Opening A11
1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 c6 3.Bg2 d5 4.Nf3 g6 5.b3 Bg7 6.Bb2 0-0 7.0-0

This flexible setup allows one to decide at a later point whether to follow it up with d3 or with d4. Max Illingworth has studded his article with numerous rules of thumb so that it is to a great extent possible to avoid having to learn long theoretical variations.

Kuzmin: Benkö Gambit A58
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 g6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.e4 0-0 8.Nf3 Qa5

As Alexey Kuzmin explains, what we have here is a totally new approach to playing the Volga. Black does not want to take on a6 quickly in order to prevent White from castling with Ba6xf1. Instead of that he is even prepared to rapidly exchange his queen.

Stohl: Benoni A60
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 c5 4.d5 cxd5 5.exd5 b5

The Fianchetto Variation may not be reckoned the strongest way to fight the Modern Benoni, but nevertheless White does have chances of getting an advantage. So, with 5...b5!? Black is trying to go his own way at an early point; Igor Stohl investigates how dangerous that is for him.

Karolyi: Dutch Defence A83
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Nc6 5.d5 Ne5 6.Qd4 Nf7 7.h4

Till now in this variation of the Staunton Gambit 7.Bxf6 was played – however it led to good results for Black. But as Tibor Karolyi demonstrates in his article, after 7.h4! Black has to face much greater problems. That represents a considerable upward revaluation of the move 2.e4.

Havasi: Modern Defence B06
1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.f4 a6 5.Nf3 b5 6. Bd3 Bb7 7.Be3

At first White develops naturally with Bd3 and Be3. But as Gergö Havasi demonstrates in his analyses, you would require good knowledge of the theory specific to this variation in order to really get an advantage in the long run.

Krasenkow: Sicilian B22
1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 e6

At the level of club players, the Alapin Variation 2.c3 is very popular. So Michal Krasenkow makes you acquainted with his own repertoire against it. Early on 4...e6 is a subtle move, since White can hardly reply 5.dxc5 (5...Qxd1+).

Sumets: French C11
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 Qb6 8.Na4 Qa5+ 9.c3 b6

After the strongest continuation 10.Bd2 c4 11.b4 there are two quite distinct lines: 11...Qa6 and 11...Nxb4. Andrey Sumets’ investigations prove that the knight sacrifice has a greater tendency to give Black satisfactory play.

Antic: French C12
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Bb4 5.e5 h6 6.Bh4 g5 7.Bg3 Ne4 8.Nge2

6.Bh4 provokes 6...g5, and White hopes to be able to go on and exploit the weakness. Dejan Antic deals with 8...h5 and 8...f5, before turning to the main move 8...c5. It appears that White cannot lay claim to any objective advantage.

Müller: King's Gambit C37
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Nc3

From the position in the diagram Black has several moves: 4...g4?!, 4...Bg7, the subtle 4...d6 and 4...Nc6, which leads to a position which is frequently arrived at via a transposition of moves. Karsten Müller introduces you to the subtleties and goes far beyond present theory.

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 e6 8.axb5

This is one of the sharpest variations of the Queen’s Gambit Accepted. By playing 7...e6 Black returns the pawn immediately. Daniel Gormally acquaints you with both continuations: 8...Bb4 and Miles’ 8...Nb6.

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 e6 8.axb5

This is one of the sharpest variations of the Queen’s Gambit Accepted. By playing 7...e6 Black returns the pawn immediately. Daniel Gormally acquaints you with both continuations: 8...Bb4 and Miles’ 8...Nb6.

Postny: Grünfeld Defence D85
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Bd2 Bg7 6.e4 Nxc3 7.Bxc3 0-0 8.Qd2

Nowadays 5.Bd2 is no longer a surprise way to meet the Grünfeld Defence. Evgeny Postny has worked intensively on the position in the diagram and come to the conclusion that there are several continuations for Black which give him a level game.

Marin: Nimzoindian E41
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 c5 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.Nf3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 d6 8.0-0 e5 9.d5 Ne7

The so-called Hübner Variation (Mihail Marin mentions earlier games by Portisch in the 1950s) is not an easy one to defuse. Our Romanian author tries to do so with 10.Nd2 and in his extensive article he is able to show a slight plus for White.

Szabo: King's Indian E98
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 Ne8 10.Be3 f5 11.f3 f4 12.Bf2 h5 13.c5 g5

Krisztian Szabo is a specialist in this sharp variation, which can be characterised in brief as follows: White is better, but Black wins. So the risk factor is extremely high for both sides.

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