Wijk aan Zee: Maraphon Games Aren't Helpful; Ivanchuk & Giri Get Crushed in Round 8

Время публикации: 18.01.2015 22:08 | Последнее обновление: 19.01.2015 08:56

As we have already observed, queen endgames can be very crafty. Who would, however, expect them to be so crafty that their influence passes on the next day as well?! Both Vassily Ivanchuk and Anish Giri, after their yesterday's marathon, have been crushed today very quickly. To be fair, both have faced severe home preparation by their opponents.


The position (after 14.Nd2-f3) looks quite innocuous for White, and it might seem Black can hope for sufficient compensation only. 14...Nxg2! 15.Kxg2 a5!! came out of the blue: suddenly, White has hard time neutralizing both a5-a4 and, more important, Ra6-g6 (f6).

In the course of the round, it turned out that the Black's idea had been already published in New In Chess #3/2014, in Anish Giri's analysis of Anand - Aronian game (Contenders 2014):

Picture: twitter.com/OlimpiuUrcan

After the game, Wesley So confirmed that he had been aware of this analysis, unlike Ivanchuk. Over the board, the Ukrainian GM has failed to find the best reaction:
16.Rxe7? (quite a panic decision) 16...Qxe7 17.c3 Ra6 18.d4 Rf6 19.d5 a4 20. Bc2 Rd8 (most likely, White is already lost) 21.Qe1 Qd7 22.Ng5 (the most tenacious is 22.Qe4 Qxd5 23.Qxd5 Bxd5 24.Bd1 but the resulting endgame is extremely difficult for White) 22...h6 23. Ne4 Rg6+ 24.Kh2 f5 25.Ng3 Qxd5 26.Qg1

The most spectacular way to finish White off is 26...Rxg3!! 27.fxg3 Qd2+ which has been pointed out, without any computer assistance, by the British GM Raymond Keene (who has been out of competitive chess for decades) in the press center. It should be added that if 27.Kxg3 then 27...Rd6 28.Kh2 Rg6! 29.Qxg6 Qh1+ 30.Kg3 Qg2+ and Qxg6.
Wesley So played the 'human' 26...Qf3 which also left no choice to Ivanchuk but to resign: the threat is 27...Rxg3 28.fxg3 Qe2+, while if 27.Be3 then 27...Qxe3! 28.fxe3 Rd2+. 0-1


This duel has also started from Ruy Lopez. Black, who wants to play Be6 with equality, seems to be safe, but the next excellent move by the French GM proves the opposite.
15.d4! exd4?! Strangely enough, Black had to refrain from creating an isolani. 15...Rfe8 (or 15...Be6!? 16.d5 Bf5) is more reliable.
16.cxd4 Nf6 (another 'common-sense' move which faces a strong concrete reply; the alternative is 16...с6!?) 17.Bf4! Qd7 18.Be5 Be6. Black's defence is already far from easy. If 18...Nd5? then of course not 19.Bxd5? with the drawish opposite-coloured bishops position - instead, White has a pleasant choice between 19.Bxg7! Kxg7 20.Qg5+ and 19.Qg5 f6 20.Bxf6!.
19.Bxf6 gxf6 (19...Bxc4?? 20.Qg5) 20.d5 c6? Probably the decisive mistake. Giri had to accept an unpleasant but perhaps holdable position after 20...Bf5.
21.Qh6! cxd5 22.Rad1 Qe7 23.Bd3 f5 24.Rfe1

Now it's all over because all the white pieces are joining the attack against the exposed black king. Giri tried to look for chances in the rook endgame which appeared to be absolutely hopeless: 24...Ra4 25.Bxf5 Rh4 26.Qe3 Re8 27.Bxe6 fxe6 28.Rxd5 exd5 29.Qxe7 Rxe7 30.Rxe7 Rc4 31.g3 Rc2 32.b3 d4 33.Rd7 1-0

A hard defeat...

[Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.18"] [Round "8.3"] [White "Ivanchuk, Vasil"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "2715"] [BlackElo "2762"] [ECO "C88"] [Opening "Ruy Lopez"] [Variation "closed, 7...O-O"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. h3 Bb7 9. d3 d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Nbd2 Qd7 12. Nxe5 Nxe5 13. Rxe5 Nf4 14. Nf3 Nxg2 15. Kxg2 a5 16. Rxe7 Qxe7 17. c3 Ra6 18. d4 Rf6 19. d5 a4 20. Bc2 Rd8 21. Qe1 Qd7 22. Ng5 h6 23. Ne4 Rg6+ 24. Kh2 f5 25. Ng3 Qxd5 26. Qg1 Qf3 0-1 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.18"] [Round "8.5"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2757"] [BlackElo "2784"] [ECO "C65"] [Opening "Ruy Lopez"] [Variation "Berlin defence"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Nbd2 Nd4 6. Nxd4 Bxd4 7. c3 Bb6 8. Nc4 O-O 9. O-O d5 10. exd5 Qxd5 11. Nxb6 axb6 12. Bc4 Qd6 13. Bg5 Bg4 14. Qd2 Nd7 15. d4 exd4 16. cxd4 Nf6 17. Bf4 Qd7 18. Be5 Be6 19. Bxf6 gxf6 20. d5 c6 21. Qh6 cxd5 22. Rad1 Qe7 23. Bd3 f5 24. Rfe1 Ra4 25. Bxf5 Rh4 26. Qe3 Re8 27. Bxe6 fxe6 28. Rxd5 exd5 29. Qxe7 Rxe7 30. Rxe7 Rc4 31. g3 Rc2 32. b3 d4 33. Rd7 1-0

These successes allowed So and Vachier-Lagraev to outstrip Ivanchuk with 5.5 points out of 8 for each. Had Carlsen drawn his round 8 game vs Jobava they would have caught up with him, but Magnus won again (the separate report to follow soon - CN).
Wijk aan Zee, tournament A: all the information


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