CG - "Problem of the Day"  
  (July 5th, 2007.) 


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Alexander Grischuk (2719) - Jakov Geller (2489) 
 
[B48]  
  Russia Team Championship  
Sochi, RUS(R#6)  / 25,04,2004.  

cg-pod01_medal.gif, 01 KB

  [A.J. Goldsby I]  

A game where it was not easy to see exactly where Black went wrong. 
(When I first went over this clash, - admittedly rather quickly - Black's mistakes were not obvious.) 

 1.e4 c5;  2.Nf3 e6;  3.d4 cxd4;  4.Nxd4 Nc6;  5.Nc3 Qc7;  
Thus far we have a Taimanov Sicilian.  
[See MCO-14, beginning on page #300 for more details.] 

 

 6.Be3,   
A standard developing move, White is probably aiming for the "English Attack" here.   

More common would probably be 6.Be2, see MCO-14, page # 304. 

     [ In another famous contest, Bobby Fischer chose  6.g3,  "+/="  
       and went on to win a nice game. (Vs. GM M. Tal)  

       [See MCO-14, page # 302; all columns and notes.] ]  

 

 6...a6;  7.Qd2,   
This is a flexible move, White simply develops and adds control to the central dark squares. 
(Meanwhile, he is hoping that Black will tip his hand sometime in the near future.) 

     [ Another line for White is: 
        7.Bd3 Nf68.0-0 Ne59.h3 Bc510.Kh1 d611.f4 Ng612.Qe1 0-013.f5, "+/="  
         with White being slightly better ... the first party has a dangerous initiative.   

         See the master battle:  GM N. Mitkov (2532) - GM S. Rublevsky (2670); [B48]   
         16th EUCup / Neum (R#1) / 24,09,2000.  {White won a sharp game.}   

           [ See also MCO-14, page # 307; column # 14, and all the corresponding notes   
             for that particular column. ] ]   

 

 7...Nf6;  8.0-0-0 Bb4!?;   
To me, this is a tad risky and winds up losing Black a few tempi. 
(In the Sicilian, Black is usually best served by placing this piece on the e7-square.)  

It surprised me to see that this is the top move choice in the new "Power-Book," although I am not sure that I entirely trust this as a safe option for Black.   

     [ To me, saner was:  (>/=)  8...Be79.f3 d610.g4, "+/="  10...0-0;   
        when White holds the edge out of the opening, (nothing new about that!) ...   
        but Black's position appears to be sound, and fully playable.   

        One example would be: 
        GM Lenier Dominguez (2613) - IM Erling Mortensen (2450); [B80]   
        ICT, 24th Politiken Cup / Copenhagen, DEN; (R#10) 2002.   
        {White won an intense struggle, although Black's defense could probably   
         be improved in several different places.} ]   

 

 9.f3 Ne5;   
This is OK, 9...Na5; was also a move to be considered here.   

 

 10.Nb3! b5;   
This looks dangerous, while the BK remains in the center.  
(Castling or even >/= 10...d5 looked to be better.)   

     [ Perhaps even worse would be: 
       10...Nc4!?; ('?!') 11.Bxc4 Qxc4;  12.Bd4, "+/="  ('')   
        and White is clearly better here. ]  

 

 11.Qe1,   (Maybe - '!')   
The Queen moves to a safer square, now in some lines, the first player threatens Nd5 or even NxP/b5. (The alternative was to play 11.Bd4, instead.)  

 

  11...Be7?!;  (Maybe - '?')   
If Black was afraid to capture on c3, the Bishop should have never been developed to b4 ... in the first place! (IMOHO ... I would have taken on c3 before retreating.) 

In order to avoid a disaster, Black had to play something like 11...Rb8. 

     [ Definitely worse was:  
       </= 11...0-0?!;  12.Nxb5! axb5;  13.Qxb4 d5;  14.Qc5!, "+/="  {D?}   
       and White is solidly better. ('') ]   

 

Now White lashes out.   
 12.f4! Nc4;  13.e5!, "+/="   13...Ng4;   
This isn't pretty, but the alternative now was to retreat to the g8-square.   

cg-potd01_pos1.gif, 10 KB

  r1b1k2r/2qpbppp/p3p3/1p2P3/2n2Pn1/1NN1B3/PPP3PP/2KRQB1R w  

 

Several programs confirm that - while White is already solidly better - the first player's advantage is a long way from being decisive. 

     [ </= 13...Nxe3!?;  14.Qxe3 Ng8;  15.Qg3, '' ]   

 

 14.Bd4! f5?;   
It seems that simply castling was better than this provocative move, which winds up weakening Black's whole King-side. 

     [ After the following moves:   
        >/= 14...0-0;  15.Bd3, "+/="  15...Bb7;  White is solidly better.   
       (Yet this remains a fairly substantial improvement over the actual course of the game.) ]   

 

Now Black's Knight is kicked back to a decidedly inferior square. 
 15.h3! Nh6;  16.Qf2!,   
Now the White Queen (plus the WQB) put pressure down a key dark-squared diagonal.   

 

 16...Bb7;   
"Normal" development, but the Knight on c4 may soon need some help ... so playing the d-Pawn to the d5-square might have been a better alternative.  

 

 17.Bxc4! bxc4;   
This gives Black an ugly Pawn structure, but taking with the Queen wasn't much better. 
(In fact, it may have been worse.) 

     [ 17...Qxc4!?;  18.Bc5 b4;  19.Na4 Bxc5;  20.Naxc5 Bd5;  21.Rd4 Qb5;  22.Rhd1,  '' ]   

 

 18.Bb6 Qc6?!;    
Another bad idea, and it loses a tempo as well. (Black winds up snagging the g-pawn, but allows White too much play ... In the end, it is the open file on the K-side that spells out Black's speedy demise.)  

     [ Black's wisest course was to play (instead):  >/=  18...Qc8;  19.Na5 Bb4;  20.Nxc4, ''  20...0-0;    
       hoping to achieve a measure of counterplay on the b and c-files on the Q-side. ]   

 

 19.Na5 Qxg2!?; 
Having said, "A" Black might as well follow up with "B."   

     [ After 19...Qc8; then 20.Rd4, ''  and Black loses a Pawn ...   
       and does not even have a shred of counterplay to show for it. ]   

 

 20.Qd4! Bc8;  {Box?}    
There is not much choice now. (See the variation just below.)  

     [ Even worse was: </= 20...Qxh1?!;  and now after the moves 21.Qxd7+ Kf8;   
       22.Rxh1 Bxh1;  23.Qxe6,  "+/-"  (24.NxP/c4 is next.)  (and)  Black's Rooks   
       will never even get into the game. ]   

 

 21.Bc5!,  
Once the dark-squared Bishops come off, the weakness of the d6-square becomes glaringly obvious to the whole world. 

 

cg-potd01_pos2.gif, 09 KB

  r1b1k2r/3pb1pp/p3p2n/N1B1Pp2/2pQ1P2/2N4P/PPP3q1/2KR3R b  

 

Its safe to say that Black's opening experiment has been a disaster.  

     [ Also good was: 21.Rhg1 Qxh3;  22.Rxg7,  "+/-"  with White  
       dominating play on BOTH sides of the chessboard! ]  

 

 21...Bxc5;  22.Qxc5 Kf7;  
Everything probably loses now. 
(Even so, >/= 22...Nf7 was probably a more sturdy defense.)   

 

 23.Qe3!,   
The purpose of this move is not readily obvious. (White will play Rg1 next, but now does not want to drop the g-pawn ... plus Black's Queen is now in danger of being trapped.) 

     [ White could have also played: 23.Nxc4 , "+/-"  which also yields   
        White a definite advantage here. ]  

 

 23...Rb8;  24.Rhg1 Qa8;  25.Nxc4 Rf8!?;  (Really - '?')   
Another error, but one that comes in a completely lost cause, so I find it difficult to be too hard on Black here. (The only move to continue the fight was 25...g6[].) 

 

cg-potd01_pos3.gif, 09 KB

  qrb2r2/3p1kpp/p3p2n/4Pp2/2N2P2/2N1Q2P/PPP5/2KR2R1 w  

 

Now it is a simple win for White from this position.   

 

It is now White to play.  
 26.Nd6+ Kg8;   
Black's last move looks forced ...  
(</= 26...Ke7?;  27.RxP/g7+,  etc.)   

This is the position for "The Problem of The Day" for Thursday; July 05th, 2007.   

 

 27.Rxg7+!,   "+/-"   Black Resigns.   
There is no point in continuing, White has a number of ways to win ... Black will even get mated if he is not careful. 

 

A nice effort by Grischuk, his moves seem to flow effortlessly out of the position. (If you have it, I think that this game is also annotated in ChessBase Magazine, issue # 101. It is also annotated in the appropriate issue {9?} of ... "The Informant" series. 

     [ After the further moves:  27.Rxg7+! Kxg728.Qg3+ Kh829.Rg1 Ng4;  This is forced.  

              (But not: 29...Rg8; ('?')  20.QxR/g8+!,  and mate next move.)    

       30.hxg4 Qa731.gxf5, "+/-"   Fritz 10 shows that Black must give up his Queen or be mated. ]  

 

  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 2007. All rights reserved.   

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    The analysis for this page was prepared with the excellent programChessBase 9.0. 

    The HTML was polished with several different tools and programs, (mostly FP)  ...  the text was checked for spelling with MS Word.  

    The diagrams were created with the program,  Chess Captor 2.25.  


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This page was first generated in: July, 2007.  (Posted on: Friday; July 6th, 2007.) This game was last edited, altered or saved on:  October 07, 2015 12:46 AM


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