GOTM; October, 2006.   

Welcome to my  "Game of The Month"  feature!  (For October, 2006.)  (Games considered, file.) 

This is a game, that is annotated in a <light-to-medium> fashion. Hopefully it is done in a way that is both entertaining and also informative. The main purpose {and thrust} of this column is to try and educate the general chess public. 

I have deeply annotated this game on my hard drive, you are welcome to contact me if you would like to try and obtain a copy. (Because of copyright violations, I ONLY offer a printed version!)  

This is a feature where I will try to pick a game that was recently played at the GM level. Then I will annotate it and try to basically explain what happened. ---> This column is aimed primarily at lower-rated players.  (Say 1600 & below.) 

I hope that you enjoy this game ... feedback is both encouraged and welcome. (Please respect my copyright.) 

    Click  HERE  to see an explanation of the symbols I commonly use - when annotating a chess game.     

    Click  HERE  to go to another server ... where you can search for this game in a "re-playable" format.   

Essent Chess Tournament, 2006. (Crown group)  

GM "Shak" Mamedyarov and GM Judit Polgar won the Essent Crown Chess tournament.  

It was a real fighting tournament with many more decisive games than is the "norm" at this level. 

In the last round, there were many possible scenario's ... however, in the end, both Judit Polgar and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov wound up tied for first ... after an extremely tough tournament schedule.  [more]   

gotm_oct-06_ct.gif, 06 KB

  GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2728) - GM Veselin Topalov (2813) 
  ICT, 10th Essent Crown  
Hoogeveen, NED; (R1) / 22,10,2006.  

gotm_oct-06_medal.gif, 02 KB


This game is for my "GOTM" column for the month of October, 2006. (Please consult TWIC # 624.)  

I would like to say that both parties played a very creative game. The simple truth may be that they were following another game played just a couple of days before this one, and either Topalov erred ... or simply forgot the analysis.  


 1.d4 d5;  2.c4 c6;  3.Nc3 Nf6;  4.e3,   
White protects his c-Pawn, this is usually played early if a GM thinks that his opponent might play the lines that feature an 
early ...d5xc4. (Sometimes when Black plays the early ...d5xc4 lines, White is forced into playing a gambit. 4.e3 is the best way for White to avoid the gambit lines.) 

     [ For the variation of:  4.Nf3 a6!?5.c5!?,  please see the game: 
       GM V. Topalov - GM G. Kamsky; / ICT, MTel Masters / Sofia, BUL; 2006 
       {White won a smashing game, 1-0 in just 42 moves.}   

       Also see my column for January, 2006. (It has nice coverage and also   
       analysis of several of the key systems in the popular Semi-Slav lines.) ]  


 4...e6;  5.Nf3 Nbd7;  (Semi-Slav)   
One of the most popular "Tabiya's" of modern chess praxis. (It is played by the novice, amateurs and even seasoned masters. There are literally thousands of games in the database with this position.)   


     [ The line of:  5...a66.Qc2 Nbd77.b3 Bd68.Be2 0-09.0-0,  "+/="   yields White a small advantage.   

       See the contest of: GM L. Portisch - GM G. Kasparov; (FIDE) Men's Olympiad (tt) / Dubai, UAE; (4) / 1986. 
       {A fantastic, fighting game of chess that eventually ended in a draw after an incredible 71 moves.}   

        This is also similar to the system that Kramnik used in game three of his WCS tie-break set {4 games} 
         with GM Veselin Topalov. ]  


 6.Bd3 dxc4;  7.Bxc4 b5;  8.Bd3 Bb7;  
Black immediately fianchetto's his Queen's Bishop, Black can also play ...a7-a6; aiming for the quick Pawn break of ...c6-c5.  

     [ Another continuation would be:  8...a69.e4 c510.e5!? ("Kicks" the Knight on f6.)   

       This is the older way of playing this system, 10.d5 leads to the lines known as  
       "The Reynolds Variation."   


            ( For the popular system, with the following moves:     
              10.d5 c411.Bc2! Qc712.dxe6 fxe6{Diagram?}   
               see MCO-14, page # 464; columns # 19 - 22, and all relevant notes.    

               Perhaps the best known example - this game is quoted in several books    
               and also in theory magazines - would be the following contest  
               GM V. Topalov - GM J. LautierICT, Masters / Dos Hermanas, ESP; (R6) / 1994   
               {A tough draw in 41 moves.} )   


       10...cxd4; 11.Nxb5 axb512.exf6,  "+/="  see the super-GM contest:   
        Evgeny Bareev - Alexei Shirov; / Novgorod, RUS; (R8) / 1994. (Search for this game.)    
        {A hard fought struggle that ended in a draw (1/2-1/2) after thirty-six (36) overall moves.}   

        [ See also MCO-14, page # 461; columns # 13-15 and all notes. ] ]   


 9.e4 b4;  (Hitting the N on c3.)   
Maybe the best line for Black? (Black immediately boots White's QN from the excellent c3-square, where it protected the e4 pawn.)  

[ Another commonly played line would have to be:  
  9...a610.0-0 c511.d5 Qc712.dxe6 fxe613.Bc2 c414.Qe2  
  A decent and sensible try. (White also plays Ng5 and Nd4 in this position as well.)   


        ( For the continuation of:  14.Nd4!? Nc5;  15.Be3 e5!;  16.Nf3!? Be7;     
          17.Ng5!? 0-0!!;  18.Bxc5 Bxc5;  19.Ne6 Qb6;   20.Nxf8 Rxf8;  "~"  {D?}    
           please see the contest 
           G. Kasparov - R. Kasimdzhanov
; / ICT, Super-GM / Linares, 2005.   

           (This is another game that I very carefully annotated, it was posted on my    
            main web site just shortly after it was played.) )   


   14...Bd615.Ng5 Nc516.f4,  "+/="   with a (small) solid plus for White.   

   GM Alexander Panchenko (2495) GM Sergey Dolmatov (2535); [D48]   
    URS-ch FL48 / Tashkent, U.S.S.R. / 1980.   {Search for this game.} 
   {White won an interesting game ... and a model ending. 1-0 in 46 moves.} ]     


 10.Na4,  (It's grim on the rim?)    {Diagram below.}  
This is practically the only move for White, Ne2 has a much lower winning percentage ... 
according to the statistics garnered from the CB database and also the new "Power-Book" for 2006.   

gotm_10-06_pos01.gif, 09 KB

  r2qkb1r/pb1n1ppp/2p1pn2/8/Np1PP3/3B1N2/PP3PPP/R1BQK2R b  


10.Nb1 looks to be a bad loss of tempo ... 
further the Knight on b1 would take too many tempi to be redeployed to a decent square. 


 10...c5;  11.e5,  (tempo)    
White must deal with the threat to his KP, meanwhile 11.dxc5, BxP/e4; looks OK for Black.  


The next few moves appear to be nearly forced and/or best.   
 11...Nd5;  12.Nxc5 Nxc5;  13.dxc5 Bxc5;  14.0-0 h6;   
Black prevents his opponent from playing Bg5, this move (14...h6) is the Number One {move} choice, according to the CB "Power-Book."  

     [ Black can also play his Queen to the c7-square here, but White gets an advantage in that line as well. 

       For example: 
       14...Qc715.Bd2 h616.Rc1 Qb617.Qe2,  "+/="   with a comfortable edge for White. (Maybe "+/")   

        V. Milov (2595) - P. Varga (2484); / French Team (FRA-chT1) / France, (R #2.2) / 02,02,2002.   
        {White won a nice game, 1-0 in just 39 total moves. Search for this game.} ]   


 15.Nd2!?,    {Diagram below.}  
White is aiming for the important e4-square ...   

gotm_10-06_pos02.gif, 09 KB

  r2qk2r/pb3pp1/4p2p/2bnP3/1p6/3B4/PP1N1PPP/R1BQ1RK1 b  


This move is the first choice of most masters in this position, however Fritz greatly prefers the try of Qa4+ here.   


     [ A possible improvement was: 
       (>/=) 15.Qa4+ Kf816.Qc2 Rc817.Qe2 a518.Bd2 Qb619.Rac1,  "+/="  ("+/")   
        and White gains a sizeable edge by doubling on the c-file here. ]  


 15...0-0; 16.Ne4 Bd4!?;  (Dubious?)    
This is typical of Topalov's play, challenging his opponent's set-up at every opportunity. However, the idea is of questionable merit, as White greatly increases the size of his edge here. (The d6-square becomes available to the WN. Perhaps 16...Be7 was best?) 


 17.Nd6 Bc6;   
Black could also play 17...Qb6 here, but Topalov decides to save his light-squared Bishop instead.  


Now White picks off the Bishop on d4.   
 18.Bh7+! Kxh7;  19.Qxd4 f6;   
Black is trying to undermine the Pawn on e5 ... because this key infantryman supports the rogue cavalry stationed on d6.  


 20.Bd2 Qd7!?;  (hmmm)   
Black usually captures on e5 here. (Originally, I thought that this play represented a TN here. However, an IM - who was present at the tournament - informed me, via e-mail, that this idea was played in a contest in the open section just a day or two prior to this game.)   

     [ Theory would probably endorse the following continuation:   
       (>/=) 20...fxe521.Qe4+!? Kg822.Qxe5 Qd723.Rfe1 Rad824.Ne4,  "+/="   
        because of the contest:   
        V. Milov (2574) - P. Nielsen (2625); / Fourth EU Champ. (EU-ch, 4th)   
        Istanbul, TUR; (R10) / 10,06,2003.  
        {Black won a crisp effort, 0-1 in 37 total moves.} ]   


Now my first choice was to play the simple 21.f2-f4, "+/="  ('')  and I was not surprised to see that Fritz chooses this move as well. (White chooses a different path.)   
 21.Rac1!? a5!?;  (Dubious?)   {Diagram below.}  
Black plays a somewhat routine move.   

gotm_10-06_pos03.gif, 09 KB

  r4r2/3q2pk/2bNpp1p/p2nP3/1p1Q4/8/PP1B1PPP/2R2RK1 w  


Black missed an opportunity to undermine White's outpost on d6. But I also understand why GM V. Topalov might have been reluctant to capture on e5, this exchange splits Black's pawns. (However, the half-open f-file, and the increased activity of Black's pieces seem to offset this deficiency, and most strong programs seem to agree with me on this point.)    

     [ Probably better was:   
       (>/=)  21...fxe522.Qxe5 Rad823.Nc4 Rf524.Qg3, "+/="  24...Nf6;  "~"   
       when Black has more play than in the actual game. ]   


Now good was the simple Rfe1, the move in the game also seems to yield White a solid plus. 
 22.Qd3+ f5?!;    
>/= 22...Kh8 looked safer. (White must constantly be on guard of the threat of ...f6xe5.) Now the presence of the Knight on 
d6 guarantees the first player a real advantage.  


 23.Rc5 Ne7;  24.Rfc1 Ra7;  25.Be3,    {Diagram below.}   
Now White has a threat of a double capture on c6, followed by BxR/a7, winning a piece.   
(25.a3!? also looked interesting.)   

gotm_10-06_pos04.gif, 09 KB

  5r2/r2qn1pk/2bNp2p/p1R1Pp2/1p6/3QB3/PP3PPP/2R3K1 b  


Now would be a good time to try and appraise the position. White has the upper hand by virtue of his edge in space, the fact that his pieces are well placed, and also because the first player lacks any real weakness in his position.  


 25...Rfa8;  26.Qe2 Ra6;    
Black solidifies his position. (His last move gave added support to the c6-square.)   


 27.h4,  ('!?')   
White expands on the King-side.  

     [ Fritz's move of  (>/=) 27.Qc4,  ''   also looked to give a substantial advantage to White. ]   


 27...Qd8;  28.Bg5,  ('!?')    
Some annotators gave this move an exclam, such is the kind of work you get when analysis is cranked out in a quick and shoddy fashion. (White might have missed a forced win here.)   


     [ After the fairly simple moves:  >/=  28.Qh5! Be8 (Forced?)   
       White threatened Bg5 winning outright ... Black has to do something about this idea.   

        29.Qf3 Nd5 Black must play something.  (Passive play will lose badly.)   

             ( </=  29...Bd7?!;  30.h5! a4!?;  31.R1c4 Nd5!?;  32.Qg3! Nxe3;   
                33.Qg6+ Kg8;  34.Qf7+ Kh7;  35.fxe3 b3;  36.a3,  '' or even "+/-" )   

       30.Nxf5! exf531.Rxd5 Qxh432.Qxf5+ Bg633.Qd7, ''  {D?}    
       with a solid edge (+1P) for White. ]   


Now Black takes on g5, when the play should reach a drawn game by a series of precise moves.   
 28...hxg5; ('!?')  29.Qh5+ Kg8;  30.Qf7+ Kh7;  31.Qh5+ Kg8;  32.Qf7+ Kh7;  33.hxg5 Ng6!?;    {Diagram below.}  
This appears to be somewhat unnecessary and also tempts fate. (Maybe '?!' or even '?') However, if the machine analysis proves - beyond a shadow of a doubt - that the game is drawn, then the point might be entirely moot.   

gotm_10-06_pos05.gif, 09 KB

  r2q4/5Qpk/r1bNp1n1/p1R1PpP1/1p6/8/PP3PP1/2R3K1 w  


     [ >/=  33...Be8[]34.Qxe6,  "~" ]   


 34.Rxc6 Qxg5;   
<< Now material is equal but White has a powerful attack. >>   - The ChessBase website.   


 35.Rc8 Nf4?;  (TN)   
Only now does White play the first original move of this game ...  and it is also a bad mistake ...   
 that loses by force. (Maybe - '??')   

     [ Much better was:  
       >/=  35...Rxc836.Rxc8 Rxd6!!37.exd6 Qd2!38.g3 Qd1+;   
       39.Kg2 Nf4+!40.gxf4 Qg4+;  "="   with a draw.  (1/2-1/2)    

       P. Doggers - E. Woudt;  ICT, Essent Masters (open)    
       / Hoogeveen, NED; (R5) / 20,10,2006.  {Search for this game.}  
       (Is this game real? If so, it takes most of the luster out of this 
        Mamedyarov - Topalov encounter.) ]   


 36.g3 Rxc8;  37.Rxc8 Qg4;  38.Qg8+ Kg6;  39.Qe8+ Kh7[];   
This is forced.   

     [ </=  39...Kg5?40.Qe7+ Kg641.Rh8 Rc6??42.Qf7+ Kg543.Qxg7+ Ng644.Nf7#. ]    


 40.Qh8+ Kg6;  41.Rc7 Qd1+;  42.Kh2 Qh5;  "[]"    
Without this move, Black might actually get mated.   

     [ Instead, after the moves:  
       </=  42...Nh5?43.Ne8! f444.g4! Qxg445.Rxg7+! Nxg7  
       46.Qxg7+ Kf547.Nd6+ Rxd648.Qxg4+ Kxg4!?49.exd6,   "+/-"   
       Black cannot stop White's runaway d-pawn. ]   


 43.Qxh5+ Nxh5;  44.Re7! Rc6;  45.Rxe6+ Kh7;  46.Nf7! Rxe6;    {Diagram below.}  
This could be forced ... of course not  </= 46...Rc2??; 47.Ng5+,  and Black will be mated next move.   

gotm_10-06_pos06.gif, 08 KB

  8/5Npk/4r3/p3Pp1n/1p6/6P1/PP3P1K/8 w  


  47.Ng5+,   "+/-"   Black Resigns.    
A nice win by the {former} World Junior Champion over the ex-FIDE champ. The tactics are well worth taking a careful look at. See this link,, for photo's and more details of the first round of this prestigious event.  


  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 2006. All rights reserved.  


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  This page was first posted on:  Wednesday; November 08th, 2006.   Final format completed on: March 26th, 2007.    This page was last updated on 03/18/15 .  

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