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openings 239 | July 31n 2013

what’s hot and what’s not?

Biel & Dortmund 9r+-mk-vl-tr0
IM Merijn van Delft & IM Robert Ris
After seven rounds in Biel the sole leader is Bacrot. Frequency
Meanwhile the top tournament in Dortmund has also
started and after four rounds Adams and Kramnik are in
the lead.

Adams' handling of 1.e4 e5 is highly impressive. In Dortmund he won the
notorious Berlin endgame with both colours: with White against Andreikin
and, in our Game of the Week, with Black against Caruana. With Black
against Fridman he had a serious endgame advantage from the Scotch
Four Knights. Wang Hao beat Fridman in the Petroff. Below we cover
Vachier-Lagrave – Moiseenko in the Alapin.

Moiseenko-Bacrot was a wild draw in the QGD, while in Ding Liren-

Moiseenko White converted his kingside initiative into a full point. In
Leko-Adams (covered below) and Khenkin-Meier we see ways for Black
to deal with the classical minority attack. Kramnik beat Wang Hao in the
QGA with the Slav move order 4...dxc4 5.a4 e6, but two rounds later
Khenkin managed to hold the former World Champion to a draw with
this opening (see p.4). Below we examine the Botwinnik complications
in Bacrot-Rapport.

The Grünfeld was the most popular opening against 1.d4 this week.
Meier beat Naiditsch with 4.£b3, but two rounds later Leko repaired the
line for Black. Vachier-Lagrave beat Nepomniachtchi 2-0 in their private
Grünfeld match. Kramnik showed that he's still the greatest Catalan Source: Megabase + TWIC, 2500+ only
expert by beating Meier with Black. Bacrot had to work hard for the draw
against Ding Liren in a complex 4.f3 Nimzo-Indian. With colours reversed
Bacrot eventually won from a King's Indian.

Since the 1.e4 and 1.d4 main lines have been analysed so deeply by now, many top players try an occasional 1.¤f3 or 1.c4 to have
more space for creativity. Actually this week Black had some trouble dealing with this approach. Ding Liren combined h4-h5 kingside
aggression with a b4 gambit to blow Vachier-Lagrave off the board. Moiseenko beat Rapport with 1.d4
e6 2.¤f3 c5 3.g3, and on p.4 we'll examine the sharp English battle in Vachier-Lagrave – Bacrot. what’snot?
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openings what’s hot and what’s not? 239 | July 31n 2013

Winning with the Berlin

The Berlin endgame is an excellent winning attempt for Black, as can be seen from the
following game played at the highest level. Or maybe it’s just Adams, since he also won this
endgame with the white pieces, only the day before.
gameoftheweek Caruana - Adams

Caruana,F (2796) - Adams,M (2740) XIIIIIIIIY XIIIIIIIIY

Dortmund, 28.07.2013 9r+k+lvl-tr0 9r+-+-sN-+0
C67, Ruy Lopez, Berlin Ending 9zppzp-snpzp-0 9zpkzp-snpzp-0
9-+p+-+-+0 9-zpl+-+-+0
1.e4 e5 2.¤f3 ¤c6 3.¥b5 ¤f6 4.0–0 9+-+-zP-sNp0 9+-zp-zPP+-0
In last year’s event Caruana opted for 4.d3 in 9-+-+-zPP+0 9-+-+-+P+0
his game versus Kramnik (CVO 186). 9+-+-+-+P0 9+-sN-+-mK-0
4...¤xe4 5.d4 9PzPP+-+-+0 9PzPr+-+-+0
The alternative 5.¦e1 has major drawish
9tRNvLR+-mK-0 9tR-vLR+-+-0
tendencies, as confirmed by the relatively
quiet draw between Naiditsch in Kramnik in
xiiiiiiiiy xiiiiiiiiy
the second round. 14.¢f2 21.f6?
5...¤d6 6.¥xc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 ¤f5 8.£xd8+ Caruana attempts to improve upon a game he Caruana seems to lose track around here.
¢xd8 9.h3 ¥d7 10.¦d1 played last month. After 14.f5 the former World White has various alternatives at his disposal,
Caruana attempts to advance his kingside Champion revealed some excellent home but best is 21.¥g5 ¦g2+ 22.¢f4 ¦f2+ 23.¢g3
majority as fast as possible. Earlier games preparation: 14...hxg4 15.hxg4 ¦h4 16.¢f2 (23.¢e3?! ¦f3+ 24.¢e2 ¤xf5 25.gxf5 ¦xf5)
featured 10.¤c3 and now after 10...b6 ¦xg4 17.¦h1 ¤xf5 18.¦h8 ¥c5+ 19.¢f3 ¦g1 23...¦f3+ 24.¢h4 ¦xf8 25.¥xe7 ¦e8 26.f6
11.g4 ¤e7 12.¤g5 ¢e8 13.f4 in Karjakin- 20.¦xe8+ ¢d7 21.¦xa8 ¤d4+ 22.¢e4 ¦xc1 g5+ 27.¢xg5 ¦g8+ 28.¢h4 ¦h8+ and the
Harikrishna, Black came up with the strong 23.b4 ¥b6 24.c4 c5 25.a3 ¦e1+ 26.¢d3 ¦d1+ perpetual check seems inevitable.
novelty 13...f6! which we covered in CVO 213 27.¢c3 ¦c1+ 28.¢d3 ¦d1+ 29.¢c3 ¦c1+ 21...¦g2+ 22.¢f4
and 214. 30.¢d3 ½–½, Caruana-Kramnik, Moscow 22.¢h3 isn’t any better, even though Black
10...¢c8 2013. has to play precisely: Stronger is 22...gxf6
The other option 10...¢e8 is less consistent as 14...b6 (22...¦xf8?! 23.fxg7 ¦g8 24.¥h6 allows White
Black could have left the ¥ on its initial square. Black completes his development before to put up further resistance.) 23.¥h6 f5! 24.g5
11.g4 ¤e7 12.¤g5 ¥e8 13.f4 opening the kingside. Premature is 14...hxg4 f4! 25.¦f1 ¤f5 and, after the elimination of the
A normal developing move doesn’t pose 15.hxg4 ¦h2+? in view of 16.¢g3 ¦xc2? ¥ on h6, White’s position falls apart.
Black too many problems. Two examples after 17.¤h7 ¤g6 18.f5 and White wins. 22...gxf6 23.exf6 ¦f2+ 24.¢e3
13.¤c3: 15.f5 ¢b7 16.¤c3 24.¢g5 can be easily refuted by 24...¦xf8
a) 13...h6 14.¤ge4 ¤g6 15.f4 ¥e7 16.¥e3 b6 If 16.¢g3 Black can just proceed with 16...c5, 25.fxe7 ¦g8+ 26.¢h4 ¦g2 and Black wins.
17.¦d2 ¢b7 18.¦ad1 h5 19.g5 ¤h4 20.¢f2 vacating the c6–square, or further undermine 24...¦xf6 25.¤h7 ¦f3+ 26.¢d2
¤f5 and Black is fine in Sutovsky-Kalod, the kingside with 16...f6!?. 26.¢e2 doesn’t offer salvation either, e.g.
Austria 2009. 16...hxg4 17.hxg4 ¦h2+ 18.¢g3 ¦xc2 26...¦h8 27.¤g5 ¦h2+ 28.¢e1 ¦ff2 and
b) 13... b6 14.¥e3 ¢b7 15.f3 c5 16.¢g2 h6 19.¤h7 White’s forces are totally dominated.
17.¤ge4 ¥c6 18.¥f2 ¦e8 19.¥g3 ¤g6 20.f4 Another interesting continuation is 19.e6 and 26...¦d8+ 27.¢c2
f5 21.gxf5 ¤e7 22.¢h2 ¤xf5 23.¤d5 g5! and now, after the forcing sequence 19...f6 20.¤h7 27.¢e2 ¦h8 and play transposes to 26.¢e2.
it’s clear something has gone seriously amiss c5 21.¤xf8 ¥c6 22.¤g6 ¦g2+ 23.¢f4 ¦f2+ 27...¦xc3+! 28.bxc3
for White in Ganguly-McShane, Wijk aan Zee 24.¢e3 ¦f3+ 25.¢e2 ¤xg6 26.fxg6 ¦g3 , Black Also, after 28.¢xc3 ¦xd1, White’s position
2011. seems to have reasonable compensation in remains hopeless. Caruana might have
13...h5 view of the weak §s. considered resignation here too, but instead
This direct reaction brings White’s 19...c5 20.¤xf8 plays a couple more moves, in vain.
straightforward set-up into question. 13...b6 It is still possible to play 20.e6 f6 with a 28...¥a4+ 29.¢b2 ¦xd1 30.¥g5 ¤c6 31.¦xd1
was tried in Sutovsky-Harikrishna, Ningbo transposition to the previous note. ¥xd1 32.¥f4 ¥xg4 33.¤f6 ¥f3 34.¤e8 ¤a5
2011, which finally resulted in a ¦ ending with 20...¥c6 35.¤xc7 ¥c6 36.¢c2 ¢c8 37.¢d3 ¢d7
opposite-coloured ¥s which we covered in 38.¢c2 ¤c4 39.¤a6 ¥b7 40.¤b8+ ¢c8
CVT 20. (diagram) 41.¢d3 b5 0–1

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openings what’s hot and what’s not? 239 | July 31n 2013

Sicilian, Taimanov 1.e4 c5 2.¤f3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.¤xd4 ¤c6 5.¤c3 £c7 6.¥e3 a6 7.£d2 ¤f6 8.0–0–0 ¥e7
XIIIIIIIIY 9.f3 b5 10.g4 ¤xd4 11.£xd4 ¥b7 12.g5 ¤h5 13.¥h3 ¦c8 14.£d2 b4 15.¤a4 ¥c6 16.¤b6
9-+-+k+-tr0 ¦b8 17.¥g4 ¦xb6 18.¥xb6 £xb6 19.¥xh5 £a5 20.¢b1 £xg5 21.£xg5 ¥xg5 22.¥g4 ¥f4
9+-+p+pzpp0 Last week we summarised the state of affairs in the Sicilian Taimanov and we concluded that Black is doing
9p+l+p+-+0 very well. This week more evidence was provided in support of this claim. In the rapid section of the China-USA
9+-+-+-+-0 match Wang Yue was content to stick to his Taimanov and produced another model game, this time around
9-zp-+PvlL+0 against Robson. In the diagram position Black has beautiful compensation for the exchange. His king can sit on
e7 and Black can safely play against the weaknesses in White's position. At the Dutch Open, in Pruijssers-Zwirs,
White tried 12.¦g1 ¦c8 13.¦g2 but again Black could have headed for a comfortable endgame with 13...¥c5.
9PzPP+-+-zP0 White's alternatives on the 13th move do not seem to promise anything either. Almasi-Inarkiev, Havana 2013
9+K+R+-+R0 is a critical encounter, but Black can improve on that game with yet another positional exchange sacrifice. In Lu
xiiiiiiiiy Shanglei-Shankland White tried the Fianchetto Variation against the Taimanov, but also suffered defeat.

1.e4 c5 2.¤f3 ¤c6 3.c3 ¤f6 4.e5 ¤d5 5.¥c4 e6 6.d4 cxd4 7.cxd4 d6 8.0–0 ¥e7 9.£e2 0–0 10.¤c3 ¤xc3 11.bxc3 Sicilian, Alapin
dxe5 12.dxe5 £a5 13.¥d2 ¥d7 14.¦ab1 ¦ab8 15.¥b3 ¦fd8 16.£e4 ¥e8 17.¦fe1 g6 18.h4 h5 19.¦bd1 ¥f8 XIIIIIIIIY
Because of the problems in the Open Sicilian (Sveshnikov, Taimanov), Vachier-Lagrave happily switched to 9-tr-trlvlk+0
the Alapin to create fresh problems for his opponent Moiseenko. The position after 13.¥d2 is an important one. 9zpp+-+p+-0
With 13...¥d7 Black started the Steinitz manoeuvre of putting the bishop on e8, but while this manoeuvre tends 9-+n+p+p+0
to function well in isolated d-pawn positions, here it may actually be a bit too passive. The alternative 13...¦d8 9wq-+-zP-+p0
14.¦fe1 b6 is more active and looks like the healthier option. Furthermore, Black should probably improve with 9-+-+Q+-zP0
19...£a6 20.g4 £d3, since in the diagram position Vachier-Lagrave started attacking with 20.g4! and soon
achieved a completely winning position. Black tends to defend with a positional exchange sacrifice on d2, but
in the game that didn't work well. After White missed the right way to finish off the attack, Black escaped with a
draw. This game is another example of the modern trend away from the main lines.

1.d4 ¤f6 2.c4 e6 3.¤c3 d5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.¥g5 c6 6.£c2 ¥e7 7.e3 ¤bd7 8.¥d3 h6
QGD, Exchange 9.¥h4 ¤h5 10.¥xe7 £xe7 11.¤ge2 ¤b6 12.0–0 0–0 13.¦ab1 a5 14.£b3 £d8 15.¤a4
XIIIIIIIIY ¤xa4 16.£xa4 ¥g4 17.¤c3 ¦e8 18.£c2 £g5 19.¢h1 ¤f6 20.a3 £h5 21.b4 axb4 22.axb4
9r+-+r+k+0 The Carlsbad pawn structure (cxd5, exd5) in the Queen's Gambit Declined offers both sides various plans
9+p+-+pzp-0 and those players who prefer to avoid the more forcing variations will surely feel at home. Adams certainly
9-+p+-sn-zp0 belongs to this group of players and easily managed to hold Leko to a draw with the black pieces. In a well-
9+-+p+-+q0 known position he refrained from the common continuations 8...0–0 and 8...¤h5, only to offer the exchange
9-zP-zP-+l+0 of the dark-squared ¥s after the inclusion of 8...h6 9.¥h4 ¤h5!?. The Hungarian player continued quietly,
completing his development, but when he finally succeeded in getting the typical minority attack going it was
Black who was able to force a draw with 22...¥f3! (see diagram). It's quite typical for Black in this line to wait a
9-+Q+-zPPzP0 bit until White has revealed his plans and in the event of the more critical 11.0–0–0 or 12.0–0–0, Black might have
9+R+-+R+K0 considered bringing his ¢ over to the same wing. In addition, it's worth having a look at classical examples such
xiiiiiiiiy as Kasparov-Andersson and Timman-Short.

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.¤f3 ¤f6 4.¤c3 e6 5.¥g5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.¥h4 g5 9.¤xg5 hxg5
10.¥xg5 ¤bd7 11.g3 ¦g8 12.h4 ¦xg5 13.hxg5 ¤d5 14.g6 fxg6 15.£g4 £e7 16.¥g2 ¢d8 17.£xg6
¦b8 18.¥xd5 exd5 19.f4 ¥g7 20.£xc6 ¦b6 21.£xd5 ¥b7 22.£g8+ ¤f8 23.¤d5 £d7 24.¤xb6 Semi-Slav, Botvinnik
Being a leading expert in a particular line comes with some disadvantages. In Bacrot-Rapport the Frenchman XIIIIIIIIY
was caught by an amazing piece of home preparation by his opponent who, up to the position in the diagram, 9-+-mk-snQ+0
had blitzed out almost all of his moves. Bacrot had considered this specific line (11.g3 ¦g8) of the Botvinnik Slav 9zpl+q+-vl-0
to be extremely dangerous for Black. Evidently the Hungarian player had a closer look at an old game of his 9-sN-+-+-+0
opponent against one of his current sparring partners (Fressinet). In that game Black failed to deal with White's 9+p+-zP-+-0
marching kingside §s and thus the improvement (to recapture with the e-pawn on d5) is very natural. In the
diagram Black automatically recaptured on b6, but had he found 24...£g4! White wouldn't have been able to
avoid a perpetual check. The strength of this mysterious new idea 17...¦b8!? has to be determined accurately as
along the way White has some promising alternatives, whereas Black is mainly relying on only moves. 23.¦h7!?
in particular seems to offer White a better ending. 9tR-+-mK-+R0
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openings what’s hot and what’s not? 239 | July 31n 2013

O 9r+lwq-trk+0 o9r+-wq-trk+0
9zppzp-sn-+p0 9zpp+l+pzpp0
9-+-zp-+pvl0 9-+n+psn-+0
9+P+-zp-+n0 9+-+-zP-+-0
9-+P+-zp-+0 9PvlLsN-vL-+0
9vL-sNP+NzP-0 9+-sN-+-+-0
9P+-+PzPLzP0 9-zP-+-zPPzP0
9+-tRQ+RmK-0 9tR-+Q+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy xiiiiiiiiy

Sengupta-Nikolic, Leiden 2013 9r+-wqk+-tr0
A natural continuation would have been to complete development by castling kingside. However, then the 9zpp+lsnpzp-0
advance of the h-pawn would have been rendered senseless. Sengupta comes up with an interesting novelty. 9-+-+p+-zp0
13.¦h3!? This ¦ lift frequently appears in this opening. An earlier game went 13.¥d2 ¥c6 14.¥b4 ¤c4 15.¤d2?! 9sn-+pzP-+P0
¤f5 16.0–0 ¤xd4 17.¥xc4 dxc4 18.¤xc4 ¤f3+! 19.gxf3 £g5+ 20.¢h2 £h4+ 21.¢g1 £xc4 and Black was better
in Stevic-Nikolic, Celje 2003. 13...£c7 14.¢f1 0–0–0?! This looks rather dangerous, but the black ¢ isn’t entirely
safe after 14...0–0 15.¥d3! either. 15.a4! Activating the ¥. 15...¢b8 16.¥a3 ¤c8 17.¤d2 ¢a8 18.¥b4 f6 19.¦c3
¥c6 20.£c1 ¤c4 20...fxe5? runs into 21.¥xa5 £xa5 22.¦xc6 bxc6 23.£xc6#. 21.¤xc4 dxc4 22.¦xc4 and
White is clearly better. 9+RvLQmK-+R0
XIIIIIIIIY xiiiiiiiiy
9r+-tr-+k+0 Lenderman-Wang Yue, Yinzhou Cup China-USA (Ningbo), 2013
9zpp+-+pvlp0 The black queen looks rather exposed, but with the unusual 16...g5! he has everything under control. 17.¥c3
9-+nzppsnp+0 £c5 18.£d2 g4! The correct follow-up, gaining the bishop pair. 19.b4 £b6 20.¥xf6 ¥xf6 21.¥e4 ¥g7 22.¤xd6?
9+N+-wq-+-0 22.a4! a5 23.c5! was the only tactical defence, but hard to find. 22...£d4! Winning material, and with it the game.
23.£xd4 ¤xd4 24.¤xb7 ¤xe2+ 25.¢h1 ¦d4 26.¤d6 ¤xc1 27.¥xa8 ¤xa2 28.c5 ¤xb4 29.c6 ¤xc6 30.¤xf7
¢xf7 31.¥xc6 ¦d2 32.¥e4 a5 33.¦c1 ¥b2 34.¦e1 ¦xf2 35.¤f4 a4 36.¥xh7 a3 37.¥g6+ ¢g7 38.¥b1 e5
9+P+-+LzPl0 39.¤d3 ¦d2 40.¤xb2 ¦xb2 41.¥e4 a2 42.¦a1 ¢f6 43.¢g1 ¢e7 44.¦d1 ¥g2 0–1

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