Your Top Grandmaster analyses

9/3/2020 – The new ChessBase Magazine # 197 comes with two exciting "Specials". The first is the exclusive contribution by Anish Giri: the current number 10 in the world shows you his nine best games with the Italian. Top games with a cutting-edge opening, commented in detail by one of the strongest grandmasters in the world! Today, we offer you one of these nine analyses as a reading sample. Enjoy!

ChessBase Magazine 197 ChessBase Magazine 197

Specials: Anish Giri presents his best games with the Italian + Palma de Mallorca 1970 - an extensive retrospect. Analyses from Biel 2020 by Wojtaszek, Harikrishna, Adams, Keymer et al. Videos by Marin, King and Ris. 11 opening articles and much more!

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Your Top Grandmaster analyses

Anish Giri presents his best games in the Italian

Anish Giri broke through the Elo sound barrier of 2700 in 2011, and since then has indubitably belonged to the players at the absolute peak of world chess. In ChessBase Magazine #197 Giri has contributed something very special for the delectation of our readers: he presents his nine best games with the Italian Opening from between  2014 and 2020 against the strongest of all opposition – Anton Guijarro, Alekseenko, Anand, Ding, Eljanov, Harikrishna and Kovalev. What is especially interesting is that Anish played the opening with both colours (and won!) – the overall score being 5-4 for White.

The focus of Giri’s analyses lies at first of course on the subtleties in the opening phase but the Dutch player also presents extremely instructive insights into the thinking of a top grandmaster concerning the middlegame, strategy and planning. The notes are refreshingly frank in places. Today, we offer the readers of our news site one of Giri's nine analyses from ChessBase Magazine # 197 – top class games with a highly topical opening being analysed extensively by one of the world’s top grandmasters!

Anish Giri (2780) - David Anton Guijarro (2674)
European Team Championship Batumi 2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4

Italian has been one of my main weapons for a while and although often times the games end up being rather dull, occasionally there are these pleasant exceptions.3...Bc5 4.0-0 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.c3 a5

David Anton likes this principled system. Black doesn't allow any space grabbing on the queenside, on the other hand the fact that he will not threaten Na5 (which is the case after ...a6, ...Ba7 and ...0-0) gives White more time to develop his pieces quickly.7.Re1 0-0 8.h3 [8.Bg5 Used to be all the rage, but now the theory has become broader.] 8...h6 9.Nbd2 Be6

10.Bb5 Qb8 11.Bxc6 bxc6 12.d4 exd4 13.cxd4 Bb6

14.a4 A peculiar new idea. The rook is suddenly ready to join the game via a3! 14...Re8 I thought the tempo-moves ...d5 and ...Qa7 were more tempting, but this waiting move is actually very decent. 15.Ra3 Qb7?! [15...Qa7! is main, when the d4 pawn is under attack and 16.Nf1 is met with 16...d5! where the analyses begin.] I had to play on my own here, but the following moves looked very natural to me and I didn't bother doubting myself too much. 16.Rae3! Rab8

17.b3! The bishop joins the game as well. 17...Ba7! 18.Bb2?! I could, and objectively, should have played for the eventual grip on the c5 square, but I got too tempted with mating ideas. [18.Ba3 d5 19.e5 Ne4 20.Qc1 is a stable plus, as Black is unable to breakthrough with ...c5 and White will proceed with Nf1-Ng3.] 18...d5 19.e5 

19...Nd7! To be honest I underestimated this move. Fortunately I didn't see my opponent's defensive resource and proceeded casually. [19...Ne4 20.Nxe4 dxe4 21.Nd2 is what I was counting on, when Black is worse, because if he starts any sort of action of his own with let's say ...c5, he will get steamrolled with Nxe4/Rg3/Qh5 ideas.] 20.Nh4 Inspired and careless. 20...c5??

Natural, but horrible. We both totally missed Black's defensive idea here. [20...Qb4! was a very beautiful resource. Black brings the queen back in! 21.Bc3 Qe7! 22.Qh5 Qg5! and it is White who has to think about equality here. 23.Qxg5 hxg5 24.Nhf3 c5!] 21.Rg3 Now all goes according to the plan. The attack is swift! 21...Qa6 Not good, but it was already late to set up a real defense here. 22.Qh5 I tried this attacking setup against both Karjakin and Ding Liren previously, but it was only in this game that it brought me a full point. 22...Kh8 23.Bc1! The easiest, bringing all the boys into the action. 23...Rg8 24.Ndf3 Nf8

25.Bxh6! Standard stuff. 25...g6 [25...gxh6 26.Qxh6+ Nh7 27.Ng5 Rxg5 28.Rxg5 Rg8 29.Rxg8+ Kxg8 30.Nf5 and White collects - 30...Bxf5 31.Qxa6] 26.Nxg6+! It's bad news when even I am sacrificing a piece. 26...fxg6 27.Qh4 Nh7

28.Ng5! White is crushing - Black's queenside pieces never got to take part in the defense. 1-0

In ChessBase Magazine #197 (September/October 2020) you will find all nine annotated games by Anish Giri.

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