'Somehow, With My Last Strength'

Время публикации: 25.01.2015 02:26 | Последнее обновление: 25.01.2015 02:53

It took Anish Giri more than 7 hours to beat his invincible opponent

The duel of the 12th round between Anish Giri and Wesley So was to determine a player who would keep the best chance of catching up or even surpassing Magnus Carlsen at the finish of the Tata Steel main tournament. Before this round, the newly-fledged American had been the only participant to have avoided a single loss. Moreover, Wesley's previous loss in a classical game had happened as long ago as in April 2014! Our website has carried out a preliminary research which shows that, before this round, Wesley So's unbeaten streak amounted to 54 classical games.

It took Giri 111 moves and more than 7 hours of play to break the streak, even though he has got serious advantage already in the opening.

'I think at first I was playing well', says Giri. 'I won a pawn and then began to convert it into win. After the first time control, I thought the position would be winning easily, but suddenly - as well as in the game vs Ding Liren - I found out that the things were not so simple. At some point it even started to look like a draw, but then, somehow, with my last strength, I managed to win'. This is his 4th victory in a row, we might add.

Of course, the fact that the game was far from ideal can be explained easily by the tense tournament situation, let alone it having been played at the finish of an extremely strong and long competition. The 30th move by Giri, 30.b4?, was inaccurate (30.Qc1 would have been better), but the chance went unnoticed by So.


After 30...h5! (making an exit for the king and counter-attacking at the same time) 31.bxa5 (if 31.h4 then 31...Qf3 32.Rxd4 Re2 34.Rf4 [the only move] 34...Rxd2 35.Rxf3 axb4 with a draw) 31...h4! White has either to open up his king or to allow ...h4-h3. Both options give Black sufficient counterplay.
30...axb4? 31.Qxb4 h5 32.Rxd4 Qf3. White is already 2 pawns up, and it was seeming the struggle wouldn't be long.

33.Re4. The simple 33.Qb1!?, with the idea of protecting both extra pawns, was possible, but Giri decided to drop off some material in order to get a technically simple position.
33...Rd8 34.Re3 Qd1+ 35.Kg2 Rxd3 36.Rxd3?! The more technical way is 36.Re8+ Kh7 37.Qe4+ g6 38.a5, since it disturbes the black king, in addition. One can be almost sure Anish would have chosen this way, had he known how long the queen ending torture would be.
36...Qxd3 37.h4 (37.h3!?) 37...g5! 38.Qb8+ (38.hxg5 Qd5+ is similar to the game) 38... Kg7 39.Qe5+ f6 40.Qe3 Qc4 41.hxg5 Qd5+ 42.Qf3 Qxg5.

White is still winning, but his king is a bit open which makes the task a bit difficult. There is, however, a well-known rule - applied to games between humans, of course - which says nearly all queen endings like this one (with a distant passed pawn) should be winning, and it's only a matter of time and patience.

Wesley So kept putting up very tenacious resistance, while Giri made some slight inaccuracies. As a result, White couldn't make significant progress for a very long time. The position on the next diagram occurred after White's 90th move.

Had the American played 90...Kg4! the outcome would have been unclear, since Black hides his king behind the g-pawn from the threat of queens' exchange, while the white king isn't able to approach the a-pawn easily. After 90...Qa4? 91.Kd2? (91.Qe6! Kg4 92.Kf2) Black could also have played 91...Qa5+ followed by 92...Kg4. But So has missed this chance, and Giri managed to find the correct plan at last. ...1-0

In another key game of the round, Magnus Carlsen drew Ding Liren. The encounter was much shorter, nevertheless 'not so easy', according to the leader.

'The result was good. My position was a little bit suspicious', said the world champion in a brief interview for the official website after the game.

Carlsen's 8...Ba6!? in the Queen's Gambit Declined was an interesting novelty, yet it led him to a worse position typical for the opening: the pawn structure was symmetrical but White's setup was better. On the 22nd move, Magnus had to find an unobvious way:


22...a5! In order to release from the pressure, Black has to use tactics. The dangers of calmer play can be demonstrated by the following approximate line: 22...Bd8 23.Nd6! Qd5 24.Rd1 Qb3? (24...Qc6 is better, but after 25.g3 White keeps some pressure) 25.Bc2! Qxa3 26.Nxf7! and White wins, since 26...Kxf7 27.Qc4+ leads to mate.
23.Rc7 (if 23.bxa5 bxa5 24.Rc7 then 24...Qd5 24.Bxh7+ Kxh7! 25.Rxe7 Rc8 26.Qf1 Rc2 with supreme counterplay for a pawn) 23...Qd5 24.Bd3 (24.Bxh7+ Kxh7 25.Rxe7 Rc8) 24...Qg5 (Black survives thanks to the opportunity of checking from c1) 26.Rxf7 Qc1+ 27.Qf1 Qxf1+ 28.Kxf1 Rxf7 29.Nd6 axb4 30.Nxf7 Be7 31.Nd8+ Kf8 32.Ne6+ Kf7 33.Nc7+ Kg6 34.axb4 Bxb4 35.Nd5 Nxd5 36. Bxd5. 1/2 (Games annotated by GM Andrey Deviatkin)

'If Giri wins [which has happened - CN] that's good for me, since he has more difficult pairing than So in the last round. But most of all I need to jam myself and play a good game', Carlsen commented on the tournament situation after this draw.

The last round of the Tata Steel supertournament will begin today, on January 25th, earlier than usual - at 11:00 GMT. Carlsen has 8.5 points out of 12, Giri is half-a-point behind. A group of 3 players with 7.5 points each (So, Vachier-Lagrave, and Ding Liren) shouldn't be forgotten too.
The crosstable, final round pairings, all games, etc.

All the games of the 12th round can be viewed below.

[Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.24"] [Round "12.5"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2784"] [BlackElo "2762"] [ECO "A13"] [Opening "English opening"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. c4 e6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 Nf6 4. Nf3 d4 5. O-O c5 6. e3 Nc6 7. exd4 cxd4 8. d3 Bd6 9. Na3 e5 10. c5 Bxc5 11. Nc4 Nd7 12. Re1 O-O 13. Nfxe5 Ncxe5 14. Nxe5 Nxe5 15. Rxe5 Qb6 16. a4 a5 17. Qc2 Bb4 18. Rb5 Qe6 19. Bf4 Bd7 20. Bd5 Qf6 21. Rxb7 Rac8 22. Qd1 Be6 23. Rb6 Rfe8 24. Bxe6 Rxe6 25. Rc1 Rce8 26. Rxe6 Qxe6 27. Bd2 Bxd2 28. Qxd2 Qf5 29. Rc4 Qd5 30. b4 axb4 31. Qxb4 h5 32. Rxd4 Qf3 33. Re4 Rd8 34. Re3 Qd1+ 35. Kg2 Rxd3 36. Rxd3 Qxd3 37. h4 g5 38. Qb8+ Kg7 39. Qe5+ f6 40. Qe3 Qc4 41. hxg5 Qd5+ 42. Qf3 Qxg5 43. Qb7+ Kh6 44. Qa8 Kg7 45. Qa7+ Kg6 46. Qa8 Qf5 47. Qf3 Qe5 48. Kh2 Kf7 49. Qb3+ Kg7 50. Qb4 Qc7 51. Qe4 Qc5 52. Kg2 Qg5 53. Qe7+ Kg6 54. Qe8+ Kg7 55. Qd7+ Kh6 56. Qd6 Kg6 57. Qd3+ Kg7 58. Qe4 Qc5 59. Qb7+ Kg6 60. Qb1+ Kg7 61. Qe4 Qg5 62. Qe7+ Kg6 63. Qe8+ Kg7 64. Qb5 Qg4 65. Qb7+ Kg6 66. Qb1+ Kg7 67. a5 h4 68. Qd3 Qc8 69. a6 Qc6+ 70. Kh2 Qb6 71. Kg2 h3+ 72. Kxh3 Qxf2 73. Qc4 Kg6 74. Qf4 Qg1 75. Qe4+ f5 76. Qg2 Qa1 77. Qc6+ Kg5 78. Kg2 Qa2+ 79. Kf3 Qa3+ 80. Ke2 Qa2+ 81. Kd3 Qb3+ 82. Qc3 Qd5+ 83. Qd4 Qb5+ 84. Qc4 Qb1+ 85. Kd2 Qb2+ 86. Ke3 Qa3+ 87. Kf2 Qa5 88. Qf4+ Kg6 89. Qd6+ Kh5 90. Ke3 Qa4 91. Kd2 Qb3 92. Qd3 Qa2+ 93. Ke3 Kg5 94. Kf3 Qa1 95. Qd8+ Kh5 96. Qe8+ Kg5 97. Qe7+ Kg6 98. Qe6+ Kg5 99. Qe3+ Kf6 100. a7 Qf1+ 101. Qf2 Qh1+ 102. Ke2 Qe4+ 103. Qe3 Qc4+ 104. Ke1 Qb4+ 105. Kf1 Qb1+ 106. Kg2 Qb7+ 107. Kh2 Kf7 108. Qa3 Qa8 109. Qb3+ Kg7 110. Qb8 Qf3 111. a8=Q 1-0 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.24"] [Round "12.6"] [White "Ivanchuk, Vasil"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2715"] [BlackElo "2820"] [ECO "D91"] [Opening "Gruenfeld"] [Variation "5.Bg5"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. d4 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. Nc3 d5 5. Bg5 Ne4 6. Bf4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 c5 8. cxd5 Qxd5 9. e3 cxd4 10. cxd4 O-O 11. Be2 Qa5+ 12. Qd2 Qxd2+ 13. Kxd2 Nc6 14. Rhc1 Rd8 15. Ke1 Bf5 16. h3 h5 17. Nh4 Bc8 18. Bc4 Nxd4 19. Bc7 Rd7 20. exd4 Rxd4 21. Nxg6 Re4+ 22. Kf1 Bxa1 23. Bd5 Bf5 24. Bxe4 Bxe4 25. Nxe7+ Kf8 26. Rxa1 Bd3+ 27. Kg1 Kxe7 28. Re1+ Kf6 29. Bg3 Rc8 30. Bh4+ Kg7 31. Re3 Bg6 32. Bg3 Rc4 33. f3 Bf5 34. Re7 Be6 35. Rxb7 Ra4 36. Rb5 Kg6 37. Be1 Rxa2 38. Ra5 1/2-1/2 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.24"] [Round "12.7"] [White "Van Wely, Loek"] [Black "Jobava, Baadur"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2667"] [BlackElo "2727"] [ECO "E11"] [Opening "Bogo-Indian defence"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Bb4+ 4. Bd2 Bxd2+ 5. Qxd2 O-O 6. g3 b6 7. Bg2 Bb7 8. Nc3 d6 9. d5 e5 10. O-O a5 11. e4 Na6 12. Ne1 Nc5 13. Nc2 Re8 14. b3 h6 15. Rae1 Bc8 16. h3 Nh5 17. Bf3 Nf6 18. Bg2 Nh5 19. Bf3 Nf6 20. Bg2 1/2-1/2 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.24"] [Round "12.1"] [White "Saric, Ivan"] [Black "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2666"] [BlackElo "2744"] [ECO "B90"] [Opening "Sicilian"] [Variation "Najdorf, Byrne (English) attack"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. f3 Be7 9. Qd2 O-O 10. O-O-O Nbd7 11. g4 b5 12. g5 b4 13. Ne2 Ne8 14. f4 a5 15. f5 a4 16. fxe6 axb3 17. cxb3 fxe6 18. Bh3 Rxa2 19. Bxe6+ Kh8 20. Ng3 Nc7 21. Bc4 Qa8 22. Rhf1 Ra1+ 23. Kc2 Rxf1 24. Rxf1 Rxf1 25. Bxf1 d5 26. h4 g6 27. Qf2 Kg7 28. Kb1 Qf8 29. Qc2 Nc5 30. exd5 Nxd5 31. Bxc5 Bxc5 32. Bc4 Ne3 33. Qe4 Qe7 34. Qf3 Nxc4 35. bxc4 Qd7 36. Ne4 Be7 37. Kc2 Qa4+ 38. Qb3 Qc6 39. Qd3 Qa4+ 40. b3 Qa2+ 41. Kd1 Qg2 42. Qd5 Qh1+ 43. Kc2 Qh2+ 44. Nd2 Qg3 45. Nf3 Qf2+ 46. Kd3 Bd6 47. Nd2 Qg3+ 48. Ke2 Qg4+ 49. Qf3 Qe6 50. Qe4 h6 51. Nf3 hxg5 52. Nxg5 Qf6 53. Qb7+ Be7 54. c5 e4 55. Qxb4 Qb2+ 56. Ke3 Qc1+ 57. Kxe4 Qc2+ 58. Kd5 Qf5+ 59. Kc6 Qc8+ 60. Kb5 Qb8+ 61. Ka4 Qa8+ 62. Qa5 Qc6+ 63. Qb5 Qd5 64. Qb6 Kh6 65. c6 Kh5 66. Nh7 Qe4+ 67. Ka5 Kxh4 68. c7 Qa8+ 69. Qa6 Qd5+ 70. Qb5 Qa8+ 71. Kb6 1-0 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.24"] [Round "12.2"] [White "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Black "Hou Yifan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2734"] [BlackElo "2673"] [ECO "E06"] [Opening "Catalan"] [Variation "closed, 5.Nf3"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Be7 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Nc3 dxc4 7. Ne5 c5 8. dxc5 Qxd1+ 9. Nxd1 Bxc5 10. Nxc4 Rd8 11. Be3 Bb4+ 12. Nc3 Nc6 13. Rc1 Nd5 14. Bd2 Bxc3 15. Bxc3 Nxc3 16. Rxc3 Bd7 17. f4 Kf8 18. Kf2 Ke7 19. Rhc1 f6 20. a3 Rab8 21. Nd2 Nd4 22. Nb3 Nxb3 23. Rxb3 Rdc8 24. Rxc8 Bxc8 25. g4 h6 26. h4 b6 27. Rc3 Kd6 28. Rd3+ Kc7 29. g5 hxg5 30. hxg5 Bb7 31. Bxb7 Rxb7 32. e4 fxg5 33. fxg5 Kc6 34. Ke3 1/2-1/2 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.24"] [Round "12.3"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2757"] [BlackElo "2797"] [ECO "A07"] [Opening "Reti"] [Variation "King's Indian attack (Barcza system)"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 e6 4. O-O Be7 5. d4 O-O 6. c4 dxc4 7. Qc2 a6 8. Qxc4 b5 9. Qc2 Bb7 10. Bd2 Bd6 11. Re1 Be4 12. Qc1 Bb7 13. Qc2 Be4 14. Qc1 Bb7 15. Bg5 Nbd7 16. Nbd2 c5 17. e4 Be7 18. e5 Nd5 19. Bxe7 Qxe7 20. Ne4 cxd4 21. Qd2 Rad8 22. Rac1 Qb4 23. Qd3 Qxb2 24. a3 Nc3 25. Neg5 g6 26. Nxd4 Bxg2 27. Kxg2 Na4 28. Rcd1 Ndc5 29. Qe3 Qc3 30. Qf4 Nd3 31. Qh4 Nxe1+ 32. Rxe1 h5 33. Ne4 1/2-1/2 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.24"] [Round "12.4"] [White "Ding Liren"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2732"] [BlackElo "2862"] [ECO "D37"] [Opening "QGD"] [Variation "classical variation (5.Bf4)"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 b6 7. Bd3 dxc4 8. Bxc4 Ba6 9. Qe2 Qc8 10. O-O c5 11. Nb5 Nbd7 12. Rac1 Qb7 13. dxc5 Nxc5 14. b4 Nce4 15. Nfd4 Rac8 16. a3 Nd5 17. Bd3 Bxb5 18. Nxb5 Nxf4 19. exf4 Nf6 20. f5 exf5 21. Bxf5 Rxc1 22. Rxc1 a5 23. Rc7 Qd5 24. Bd3 Bd8 25. Bc4 Qg5 26. Rxf7 Qc1+ 27. Qf1 Qxf1+ 28. Kxf1 Rxf7 29. Nd6 axb4 30. Nxf7 Be7 31. Nd8+ Kf8 32. Ne6+ Kf7 33. Nc7+ Kg6 34. axb4 Bxb4 35. Nd5 Nxd5 36. Bxd5 1/2-1/2


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