Bishop In Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush

Время публикации: 14.01.2015 00:09 | Последнее обновление: 24.01.2015 11:14

Vassily Ivanchuk is the sole leader in Wijk aan Zee after 4 rounds

After 4 rounds, neither Carlsen nor any other rating favorite is in the lead of the main tournament in Wijk aan Zee. The crosstable is being topped by Vassily Ivanchuk who has been playing like during his best days, proving once more that he can be still considered a favorite in any tournament he takes part, irrespective of his rating.

Even though Ivanchuk had three 'white' games out of 4 at the start (unlike, for instance, Carlsen who was Black thrice in turn), his 3.5 points are impressive - so is the style the victories have been achieved in.

Having demolished Van Wely yesterday, Ivanchuk has found another victim in round 4, this time Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, again in the Najdorf variation of the Sicilian Defence. As Vassily explained in his commentary to Evgeny Surov, the opponent came quite unprepared, allowing White to get a promising position very quickly.


14...b5. Najdorf is the Frenchman's main weapon as Black, and of course he must have known what he was doing, but the alternative 14...Na5 seems to be more reliable.
15.a4!? (Adams played 15.Nd5 against Vallejo) 15...b4 16.Nd5 e6 17.Ne3 Bb7 18.Qd2 Qc7. 18...Qe7!? (keeping the queen closer to the f6-square) can be suggested instead. If 19.0-0 then Black can play 19...Rd8 having short castle in mind.
19.0-0-0 0-0-0 20.Kb1. White is clearly better as Black has no sufficient compensation for the exposed position of his king.

By the series of excellent maneuvers, Ivanchuk managed to increase his advantage, while some moves by the Frenchman can be considered dubious: 20...Kb8 21.f3! (restricting the b7-bishop and preparing Bf2) 21...a5 (a committing move which gives White access to the b5-square) 22.h4 Na7 23.Nd4 Ng6 24.hxg5 hxg5 25.Rxh8 Bxh8 26.Bc4!? Nf4.

Right after the game Ivanchuk came to the commentator's booth to join Yasser Seirawan and discuss the game. 'I was extremely lucky!', he couldn't help exclaiming cheerfully when it came to this position. (Same as after the starting round, we might add - CN.) The thing is that he grabbed the c4-bishop in order to put it on b3 and then suddenly noticed 27...Bxd4 28.Qxd4 Ne2 with the fork. So, with the bishop in his hand, Ivanchuk tried to calm down, thinking what to do next: moving the bishop back to f1 didn't seem too attractive. Then, after some time, he understood that 27.Bb3! was in fact possible as he would have 29.Qxd6! in the end of the line.
After that, the game lasted only 3 move moves: 27...Qc5?! 28.Nc4 (crawling towards the black king) 28...Ba6?
'A horrible blunder' - Ivanchuk. In the live analysis, he suggested 28...d5!: 'White is better but it's not so clear'. Ivanchuk and Seirawan have come to a conclusion that White's best reply would have been 29.Ne2 e5, and then the positional 30.Ne3 d4 31.Nf5 thinking about Nc1-d3 'with advantage'.
29.Bf2! Bxc4. If 29...Qc7 then 30.Nb5 also wins. Most likely, Vachier-Lagrave thought only about 30.Nxe6 where Black has 30...Qe5!, but...
30.Nb5! Black resigned - the line 30...Qc6 (30...Qe5 31.Bxa7+ and 32.Bd4) 31.Bxa7+ Ka8 (31...Kb7 32.Nxd6+ Rxd6 33.Qxd6 Kxa7 34.Qe7+) 32.Qxc4 Qxc4 33.Bb6 Rd7 34.Bxa5 is convincing enough.
1-0 (Annotated by GM Andrey Deviatkin)

Three other games of round 3 have also proved decisive. The world champion has managed to score his first victory - he outplayed Loek Van Wely who has been obviously having hard days after missing an easy victory against Wojtaszek in round 2. Baadur Jobava has been punished for his overcreativeness by Ivan Saric. However, apart from Ivanchuk's victory, the most important outcome of the round is Ding Liren's win with Black in a double-edged fight against Teimour Radjabov: the Chinese GM is somehow staying in the shadows of the Ukrainian's GM brilliant play, but we shouldn't forget that he won already his third game in a row after the starting loss.


40...Rb1+! 40...Raxa2? would have given White many ways to deliver the perpetual. Now White has to resign as after 41.Kd2 Rxa2 42.Ke3 Re1+ his queen will be lost. 0-1

Tomorrow the Wijk aan Zee festival has its first day-off. The next round will take place on January 15th in Rotterdam; note that it will start at 13:00 GMT.

The crosstable, all games and other information about the supertournament

The games of round 4 can be viewed below.

[Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.13"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Jobava, Baadur"] [Black "Saric, Ivan"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D43"] [WhiteElo "2727"] [BlackElo "2666"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 e6 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bxf6 Qxf6 7. e3 g6 8. e4 dxe4 9. Nxe4 Bb4+ 10. Ke2 Qe7 11. c5 O-O 12. Qa4 Na6 13. a3 b5 14. Qb3 Ba5 15. Ne5 Nb8 16. Qg3 Bc7 17. Ke3 g5 18. f4 f5 19. h4 Bxe5 20. dxe5 fxe4 21. hxg5 hxg5 22. Rh5 Rf5 23. Be2 Qg7 24. fxg5 Nd7 25. Rah1 Nf8 26. Rh8+ Qxh8 27. Rxh8+ Kxh8 28. Kxe4 Bd7 29. Ke3 Rf7 30. Qh4+ Kg8 31. Qe4 Rc8 32. a4 bxa4 33. Qxa4 Rb8 34. b4 Rf5 35. Bf3 Rxe5+ 36. Kd4 Rxg5 37. Kc3 Rc8 38. Qxa7 Rg7 0-1 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.13"] [Round "4.2"] [White "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Black "Ding Liren"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E90"] [WhiteElo "2734"] [BlackElo "2732"] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. h3 e5 7. d5 Nh5 8. g3 f5 9. exf5 gxf5 10. Ng5 Qe8 11. Be2 Nf6 12. Be3 Na6 13. Qd2 Bd7 14. O-O-O h6 15. Nf3 Nc5 16. Nh4 Nce4 17. Nxe4 Nxe4 18. Qc2 Ng5 19. Bd3 e4 20. Be2 Rc8 21. Kb1 c5 22. dxc6 Rxc6 23. Qd2 Be6 24. Bxg5 hxg5 25. Qxg5 Ra6 26. Rd2 b5 27. Rc1 Qf7 28. Ng6 Bf6 29. Qh6 Rb8 30. Nf4 Bxc4 31. Rxc4 bxc4 32. Nd5 Bg7 33. Qg5 c3 34. Bc4 cxd2 35. Nf6+ Kf8 36. Nh7+ Ke8 37. Bxf7+ Kxf7 38. Qxf5+ Kg8 39. Kc2 Rxb2+ 40. Kd1 Rb1+ 0-1 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.13"] [Round "4.3"] [White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2715"] [BlackElo "2757"] [PlyCount "59"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 Ng4 7. Bc1 Nf6 8. Be3 Ng4 9. Bg5 h6 10. Bh4 g5 11. Bg3 Bg7 12. h3 Ne5 13. Be2 Nbc6 14. Nb3 b5 15. a4 b4 16. Nd5 e6 17. Ne3 Bb7 18. Qd2 Qc7 19. O-O-O O-O-O 20. Kb1 Kb8 21. f3 a5 22. h4 Na7 23. Nd4 Ng6 24. hxg5 hxg5 25. Rxh8 Bxh8 26. Bc4 Nf4 27. Bb3 Qc5 28. Nc4 Ba6 29. Bf2 Bxc4 30. Nb5 1-0 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.13"] [Round "4.4"] [White "Van Wely, Loek"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E60"] [WhiteElo "2667"] [BlackElo "2862"] [PlyCount "88"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nb6 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. O-O O-O 9. d5 Na5 10. Qc2 c6 11. dxc6 Nxc6 12. Rd1 Bd7 13. Bf4 Qc8 14. Rac1 Bf5 15. e4 Bg4 16. Qb3 Qe6 17. Qxe6 fxe6 18. e5 Nd5 19. Nxd5 exd5 20. Ng5 e6 21. f3 h6 22. fxg4 hxg5 23. Bxg5 Nxe5 24. Bf4 Nc6 25. g5 Bxb2 26. Rc2 Bd4+ 27. Kh1 Rad8 28. Rb1 Rf7 29. Bh3 Re8 30. Re2 e5 31. Rb5 Ref8 32. Be6 exf4 33. Rxb7 f3 34. Rd2 Kg7 35. Bxf7 Rxf7 36. Rxf7+ Kxf7 37. Rd3 f2 38. Kg2 Ke6 39. h4 Bb6 40. Rf3 Ne5 41. Rf6+ Ke7 42. a4 Bd4 43. g4 Nxg4 44. Rf4 Nh2 0-1 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.13"] [Round "4.5"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C84"] [WhiteElo "2820"] [BlackElo "2762"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. Nc3 d6 9. a3 Nb8 10. a4 b4 11. Nd5 Nxd5 12. Bxd5 c6 13. Bb3 Nd7 14. d4 a5 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Qe2 Qc7 17. Be3 c5 18. Bc4 Nb6 19. Bb5 f5 20. exf5 Bxf5 21. c3 bxc3 22. bxc3 Kh8 23. Nd2 Nd5 24. Rac1 Rad8 25. Nc4 Bf6 26. f3 Nf4 27. Bxf4 exf4 28. Nd2 c4 29. Ne4 Rd3 30. Nxf6 Qb6+ 31. Qf2 1/2-1/2 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.13"] [Round "4.6"] [White "Hou Yifan"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C55"] [WhiteElo "2673"] [BlackElo "2784"] [PlyCount "40"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. Re1 d6 7. a4 Kh8 8. h3 Ng8 9. d4 f5 10. dxe5 fxe4 11. Rxe4 Bf5 12. Re1 dxe5 13. Qxd8 Raxd8 14. Nc3 Nb4 15. Rxe5 Nxc2 16. Ra2 Bd6 17. Re2 Nb4 18. Ra1 Nc2 19. Ra2 Nb4 20. Ra1 Nc2 1/2-1/2 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.13"] [Round "4.7"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A13"] [WhiteElo "2797"] [BlackElo "2744"] [PlyCount "94"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. g3 e6 3. Bg2 d5 4. Nf3 dxc4 5. Qa4+ Nbd7 6. Qxc4 a6 7. Qc2 c5 8. Nc3 Qc7 9. O-O b6 10. d4 Bb7 11. dxc5 Bxc5 12. Bf4 Bd6 13. Bxd6 Qxd6 14. Rfd1 Qc7 15. Rac1 Rc8 16. Qb1 Qb8 17. Ng5 Bxg2 18. Kxg2 Qb7+ 19. f3 O-O 20. Nce4 Rxc1 21. Rxc1 Qb8 22. Rd1 h6 23. Rxd7 Nxd7 24. Nc5 hxg5 25. Nxd7 Qc7 26. Nxf8 Kxf8 27. Qd3 a5 28. Qe3 Qd8 29. Kf2 Kg8 30. Ke1 Kf8 31. Qe5 Kg8 32. h3 Kf8 33. Qe3 Ke8 34. Qd2 Qf6 35. Qc1 Kd7 36. Qd1+ Kc7 37. Qc2+ Kd6 38. Qd3+ Kc6 39. Qc4+ Kd6 40. Qb5 Kc7 41. Qc4+ Kd6 42. Qb5 Kc7 43. Qe8 Qxb2 44. Qxf7+ Kd6 45. Qf8+ Kd7 46. Qf7+ Kd6 47. Qf8+ Kd7 1/2-1/2 



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