A Good Bad Bishop

Время публикации: 18.05.2015 11:50 | Последнее обновление: 23.05.2015 19:33

Caruana becomes sole leader of the final GP stage in Khanty-Mansiysk

Today is the first rest day in the decisive stage of the FIDE Grand Prix cycle. Yesterday was round four, which produced a sole leader in the shape of Fabiano Caruana, the rating favourite and only 2800-player in the event, who scored his second successive win: one day earlier he beat Tomashevsky, and yesterday he convincingly defeated Maxime Vachier-Lagrave as Black.

In reply to 1.d4 Caruana chose the Ragozin Defence, which somewhat surprised his opponent. However, play soon went into lines typical of the Queen's Gambit, which the Frenchman had expected anyway. 


This position can arise in one of the sidelines of the Cambridge Springs Defence, with the sole difference that the Rc1 would normally be on a1. The extra tempo here makes no difference to the assessment, but does introduce some interesting nuances.
14.Ne5 Ng4! In the "original form", this knight jump isn't good due to 14...Bxe5 15.dxe5 Ng4, but here this leads to unpleasantness: 16.Bf5! Nxe5 (Relatively best is 16...Qc7!, although after 17.Bxg4 Bxg4 18.f4 Black has problems) 17.Bxc8 Rxc8 18.Qf5 Nd7 19.Nxd5.
15.Nf3 (After 15.Nxg4 Bxg4 the position is equal) 15...Nf6 16.h3. To set up the Pillsbury Bind (Ne5 and f2-f4), White needs to spend a tempo on this move of the RP. However, the decision to avoid a repetition is reasonable.
16...O-O (Here Fabiano thought for a long time over the immediate 16...a6!? and 17...с5) 17.Ne5 a6 18.f4. Caruana's suggestion of the prophylactic 18.Na4!? is interesting- this was the reason Black thought so long about the "obvious" castling. However, Vachier, by his own admission, was not afraid of c6-c5.
18...c5 19.g4! cxd4 20.exd4 Be6. And here, barely out of the opening, the French GM made a serious mistake.  

21.Qb3? Since White's play involves an attack on the king, here the queen does absolutely nothing. After the correct 21.Qf2 (or 21.Kh1!? - Caruana) White's chances are slightly better, eg. 21...Rac8 22.a3!, and 22...Bxa3 is dangerous because of 23.g5!
21...b5 22.f5 Qb6! This intermediate move, which Vachier had missed, is stronger than 22...Bc8? 23.Nc6! and 24.Nxd5, with advantage.
23.Nf3 Bc8 24.Kg2. Only White, whose king is exposed, can have problems here. An interesting line is that pointed out by Maxime at the press conference: 24.a4 b4 25.Nxd5 Nxd5 26.Qxd5 Bb7 27.a5! Bxd5 28.axb6 Rfb8 29.Bc4 with rough equality, although this variation is far from forced. 
24...Bb7 (The bishop may look completely dead here, but that is a mistaken impression.) 25.Na4 Qa7 26.Nc5 Rac8.

27.a4? Upset by the previous course of the game, Vachier makes a further mistake, and this time decisive. At the press conference, the players came to the conclusion that 27.Qa3 Ne4 28.b4 Qb8! (if 29.Nd7, then 29...Bxb4!) is also bad, and that White had to play 27.Nxb7 Qxb7 and then, for example, 28.a4 b4 29.a5, although here too, Black's position is clearly the more pleasant.
27...Bxc5 28.dxc5 d4! The bishop, which only a few moments ago looked "bad", suddenly becomes a hero. Pawns do not matter, since with such a king, White will not survive. "I was still hoping to set a few traps, but the problem is that Black has more than one way to win," – Vachier-Lagrave.
29.axb5 axb5 30.Qxb5 Bc6! 31.Qb6 Qd7. Here the curtain could be pulled down. With logical moves, Caruana carries his attack to its logical conclusion.
32.Kg1 Rfe8 33.Rce1 Rxe1 34.Nxe1 Re8 35.Ng2 Nd5 36.Qb3 Ne3 37.Nxe3 dxe3 38.Qc4 Qc7 39.Qf4 Qxf4 40.Rxf4 e2 41.Bxe2 Rxe2 42.Rb4 Rg2+ 43.Kf1 Rc2 0-1 (Notes by GM Andrey Deviatkin).

Maxime is clearly unhappy with his play, and not without reason. PHOTO - http://khantymansiysk2015.fide.com)

The other games of the fourth round were all drawn, mostly without great interest. The exception was the meeting between the two Russians, Tomashevsky and Jakovenko. With White, Evgeny was pressing the whole time, but could not convert his advantage into a full point.


41.a5? A typical case of a mistake on the move after the time-control. Tomashevsky saw the correct move 41.Qb4 with the idea of 41...h5 (the computer recommends going into a difficult rook ending with 41...Qf8) 42.Rb8! Rxa4 43.Qb7 Qf6 44.Qc8 Kh6 45.Qf8+ Qg7 46.Qe7 with irresistible threats, but in the end refrained from the queen move because of 41...Qf6 42.Rb8 Kh6. Interestingly, at the press conference the players spent some time exchanging their analysis at this point, looking at complicated lines, but missing the simple two-move win 43.Qf8+ Kh5 44.Rb7.
UPD. We have been too harsh on the GMs. The win is short indeed, but the continuation of the line is not obvious: 44...Ra2 45.Rxf7! (the only move) 45...Rxf2+ 46.Kh3! Qxf7 47.g4#
41...Ra2 42.Qc3 h5 (Now White cannot strengthen his position because of the permanent threat ...Qf6) 43.Rb6 Ra4 44.Rb5. 1/2

After four round, Caruana has 3 points, Dominguez and Svidler 2.5, Grischuk, Tomashevsky, Nakamura, Karjakin, and Gelfand 2. The fifth round is tomorrow, 19 May. Taking into account today's results, the current overall GP standings are as follows: 

Concluding stage of FIDE Grand Prix - results, games and all material on the event

Games of round four:

[Event "KM FIDE GP 2015"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2015.05.17"] [Round "4.5"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D38"] [WhiteElo "2754"] [BlackElo "2803"] [PlyCount "86"] [EventDate "2015.05.14"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 Nbd7 7. Rc1 c6 8. e3 Qa5 9. Bd3 Ne4 10. O-O Nxg5 11. Nxg5 Nf6 12. Qc2 h6 13. Nf3 Bd6 14. Ne5 Ng4 15. Nf3 Nf6 16. h3 O-O 17. Ne5 a6 18. f4 c5 19. g4 cxd4 20. exd4 Be6 21. Qb3 b5 22. f5 Qb6 23. Nf3 Bc8 24. Kg2 Bb7 25. Na4 Qa7 26. Nc5 Rac8 27. a4 Bxc5 28. dxc5 d4 29. axb5 axb5 30. Qxb5 Bc6 31. Qb6 Qd7 32. Kg1 Rfe8 33. Rce1 Rxe1 34. Nxe1 Re8 35. Ng2 Nd5 36. Qb3 Ne3 37. Nxe3 dxe3 38. Qc4 Qc7 39. Qf4 Qxf4 40. Rxf4 e2 41. Bxe2 Rxe2 42. Rb4 Rg2+ 43. Kf1 Rc2 0-1 [Event "KM FIDE GP 2015"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2015.05.17"] [Round "4.4"] [White "Tomashevsky, Evgeny"] [Black "Jakovenko, Dmitry"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E00"] [WhiteElo "2749"] [BlackElo "2738"] [PlyCount "87"] [EventDate "2015.05.14"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Bb4+ 4. Bd2 Bxd2+ 5. Qxd2 d5 6. Bg2 c6 7. Nf3 Nbd7 8. O-O b6 9. Rc1 O-O 10. Ne5 Bb7 11. cxd5 cxd5 12. Nc3 a6 13. Na4 Qb8 14. Qf4 Nh5 15. Qg5 Nhf6 16. Nxd7 Nxd7 17. Qe7 Ra7 18. Qxd7 Ba8 19. Nxb6 Qxb6 20. Qa4 Qxb2 21. e3 Rb8 22. Bf1 g6 23. Bd3 Qd2 24. Qa3 a5 25. Rc2 Qb4 26. Qc1 Qd6 27. a4 Kg7 28. Bb5 Re7 29. Rc5 Bb7 30. Qc3 Ra8 31. Rc1 Qd8 32. h4 Ba6 33. Bxa6 Rxa6 34. Rb1 Raa7 35. Rbb5 Reb7 36. Rxb7 Rxb7 37. Rxa5 Rb1+ 38. Kg2 Qb8 39. Qc5 Ra1 40. Rb5 Qd8 41. a5 Ra2 42. Qc3 h5 43. Rb6 Ra4 44. Rb5 1/2-1/2 [Event "KM FIDE GP 2015"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2015.05.17"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Gelfand, Boris"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D38"] [WhiteElo "2744"] [BlackElo "2776"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2015.05.14"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bxf6 Qxf6 7. e3 O-O 8. Rc1 dxc4 9. Bxc4 c5 10. O-O cxd4 11. Ne4 Qe7 12. Nxd4 Bd7 13. Bd3 Nc6 14. Nb3 Na5 15. Rc7 Rfd8 16. a3 Nxb3 17. Qxb3 Ba5 18. Rxb7 Ba4 19. Rxe7 Bxb3 20. Nc5 Bb6 21. Nxb3 Rxd3 22. Nd4 Bxd4 23. exd4 Rb8 24. Rxa7 Rxb2 25. Ra4 Ra2 26. h4 g6 27. g3 Kg7 28. Kg2 g5 29. hxg5 hxg5 30. g4 Kf6 31. Re1 Rdd2 32. Rf1 Rd3 33. Re1 Rdxa3 34. Rxa3 Rxa3 35. Rd1 Ke7 36. d5 e5 37. Rb1 Rd3 38. Rb7+ Kf6 39. Rb6+ Ke7 40. Rb7+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "KM FIDE GP 2015"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2015.05.17"] [Round "4.2"] [White "Dominguez Perez, Leinier"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B32"] [WhiteElo "2734"] [BlackElo "2799"] [PlyCount "46"] [EventDate "2015.05.14"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d6 6. N1c3 a6 7. Na3 Be7 8. Be3 Nf6 9. Nc4 b5 10. Nb6 Rb8 11. Nxc8 Qxc8 12. Be2 O-O 13. O-O b4 14. Nd5 Nxe4 15. a3 Bd8 16. axb4 Nxb4 17. Nxb4 Rxb4 18. Bxa6 Qc6 19. Bd3 Rxb2 20. Ra6 Qb7 21. Ra7 Qc6 22. Ra6 Qb7 23. Ra7 Qc6 1/2-1/2 [Event "KM FIDE GP 2015"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2015.05.17"] [Round "4.3"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A05"] [WhiteElo "2734"] [BlackElo "2753"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2015.05.14"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 c5 3. Bg2 Nc6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 e5 6. Nb3 d5 7. Bg5 Be6 8. O-O Be7 9. Bxf6 Bxf6 10. c4 dxc4 11. Nc5 e4 12. Nd2 Bxb2 13. Nxe6 fxe6 14. Rb1 c3 15. Bxe4 Qxd2 16. Qxd2 cxd2 17. Rxb2 O-O-O 18. Rd1 Rd4 19. f3 Rhd8 20. Bxh7 Ne5 21. h4 a6 22. Rc2+ Kb8 23. h5 Rh8 24. Be4 Rxh5 25. Rcxd2 Rxd2 26. Rxd2 Kc7 27. Kg2 Nc4 28. Rd4 Nd6 29. Bc2 Rc5 30. Bb3 Kd7 31. Rg4 1/2-1/2 [Event "KM FIDE GP 2015"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2015.05.17"] [Round "4.6"] [White "Jobava, Baadur"] [Black "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C53"] [WhiteElo "2699"] [BlackElo "2780"] [PlyCount "46"] [EventDate "2015.05.14"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d4 exd4 6. e5 d5 7. Bb5 Ne4 8. cxd4 Bb6 9. h3 O-O 10. O-O f6 11. Bxc6 bxc6 12. Be3 fxe5 13. Nxe5 Ba6 14. Re1 Ba5 15. Nxc6 Qh4 16. Nxa5 Rxf2 17. Nc3 Rxg2+ 18. Kxg2 Qg3+ 19. Kh1 Qxh3+ 20. Kg1 Qg3+ 21. Kh1 Qh3+ 22. Kg1 Qg3+ 23. Kh1 Qh3+ 1/2-1/2 

Main photo - khantymansiysk2015.fide.com


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