Gibraltar: Excellent Attack by Harikrishna

Время публикации: 30.01.2015 19:04 | Последнее обновление: 11.02.2015 18:56

Apart from two crushing wins by female GMs over their stronger opponents, the 3rd round of the Gibraltar Masters saw at least one more encounter worth mentioning. Indian GM Pentala Harikrishna made use of Ioan-Christian Chirila's mistakes in a topical line of the Ruy Lopez and became one of the leaders with 3/3.

Photo by John Saunders (

The Ruy Lopez

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.O-O Nd4 (another line is 5...d6 which has been seen, for instance, in recent games by Carlsen) 6.Nxd4 Bxd4 7.Nd2 (7.c3 Bb6 8.Na3 is more common) 7...O-O. Perhaps 7...c6 8.Ba4 d6 is more accurate. Now Black is counting on 8.Nf3 Bb6! 9.Nxe5 d5 regaining the pawn, but White isn't obliged to enter this line.
8.c3 Bc5?! 8...Bb6 is definitely better. Most likely, White would have replied with 9.Nc4 transposing into a position which occurred in the Vachier-Lagrave - Giri game from the Tata Steel main tournament.

9.d4! exd4 10.e5 dxc3. Even though the alternative 10...Ne8 11.Ne4 Be7 12.cxd4 isn't very appealing, the decision to weaken the king permanently doesn't look like a good idea. 11.exf6 cxd2 12.fxg7 Kxg7 13.Bxd2 d6 14.Bc3+ f6 15.Qh5 (White's attack is obviously very strong just for a pawn) 15...Qe7 16.Bd3 Kg8 17.Rae1 Qf7 18.Qh4 h5. Now White needs only the rook on the 3rd rank to win the fight, but the e3-square is controlled by the bishop. How to do that, then?

19.Re3! Nevertheless! Тhe thing is that once the rook is eliminated, the f-file is opened and another rook comes instantly into play, which means the end for Black. 19...Bxe3 20.fxe3 Qg7 21.Qxh5 c6 22.Rf4 Bd7 23.Bf5 Bxf5 24.Qxf5 Qh6 25.Rg4+ Kh8 26. Rg5. 1-0 (Annotated by GM Andrey Deviatkin)

[Event "Gibraltar Masters 2015"] [Site "Caleta ENG"] [Date "2015.01.27"] [Round "3.5"] [White "Harikrishna, Pentala"] [Black "Chirila, Ioan-Cristian"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C65"] [Opening "Ruy Lopez"] [Variation "Berlin defence"] [EventDate "2015.01.27"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. O-O Nd4 6. Nxd4 Bxd4 7. Nd2 O-O 8. c3 Bc5 9. d4 exd4 10. e5 dxc3 11. exf6 cxd2 12. fxg7 Kxg7 13. Bxd2 d6 14. Bc3+ f6 15. Qh5 Qe7 16. Bd3 Kg8 17. Rae1 Qf7 18. Qh4 h5 19. Re3 Bxe3 20. fxe3 Qg7 21. Qxh5 c6 22. Rf4 Bd7 23. Bf5 Bxf5 24. Qxf5 Qh6 25. Rg4+ Kh8 26. Rg5 1-0


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