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Peter Svidler vs Alexander Grischuk
Tal Memorial (2006)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B90)  ·  0-1
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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-12-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  suenteus po 147: I couldn't understand why Svidler would play this so poorly, until someone reminded me on the tournament page that Svidler often "ran out of gas" about halfway through a tournament, failing to capitalize on his early advantages. Is it is his health that accounts for this?
Nov-12-06  aw1988: Probably his stamina, I think he admitted this himself once. But that isn't usually health related.
Nov-12-06  Ezzy: Svidler,P (2750) - Grischuk,A (2710) [B90]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (6), 12.11.2006
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 Ng4 7.Bc1 <New try for Svidler; he always plays 7 Bg5. He beat Grischuk with 7 Bg5 in this years Amber blindfold.> 7...Nf6 8.f3 Qb6 9.g4 Nc6 10.Nb3 e6 11.Bf4 <11 Qe2 is always exclusively played.> 11...Qc7 12.Qd2 Ne5 13.Be2 Be7 14.Bg3 b5 15.g5 Nfd7 16.h4 Nb6 17.Qd4 <With the idea 18 f4 winning the g7 pawn.> 17...0–0 18.0–0–0 Rd8 19.a3 Nec4 20.Bxc4?! <Unnecessarily opening up lines against his king, and leaving a strong well protected pawn on c4.> 20...bxc4 21.Nd2 e5 22.Qe3 Be6 23.Kb1 Rab8< Already threatening mayhem down this 'b' file with 24...Qb7 when white cannot defend all the threats.> 24.Ka1 Qc6 25.Rb1< Svidler's already in defensive mode.> 25...Na4 26.Rhd1 Rd7 27.f4 exf4 28.Bxf4 Rdb7 29.Nxa4 Qxa4 30.Qc3 g6 31.h5 gxh5 32.Rh1 Bf8 33.Rxh5 Bg7 34.e5 d5 <34...Bf5 35.Nxc4 d5 36.Nd6 Qxf4 37.Nxb7 Rxb7 38.Re1 Qf2 and black looks strong> 35.Be3 <35.Nf3 Rb3! 36.cxb3 Rxb3 37.Qc1 c3 Threatens mate in 5 and is pure carnage for white.> 35...Bf5 36.Bd4 Bxc2 37.e6? <37.Rc1 Bd3 38.e6 fxe6 39.Bxg7 Rb3 40.Nxb3 Rxb3 If the queen moves, then 41...Rxa3+ and mates. 41.Rh3 Rxc3 42.Bxc3 and Svidler still looks in serious trouble, but surviving.> 37...Bxb1 38.Nxb1 fxe6< And black is material down with his position in tatters. 0–1>

Grischuk’s pressure on b2 was too unbearable for Svidler to survive. But as he was defending desperately, Svidler was creating some chances against black’s king, but he never had enough time.

Great game, and a fantastic win for Grischuk.

This Najdorf scares me to death!

Nov-13-06  Confuse: congrats to grischuk for his first win, fantastic. lets hope carlsen can follow suit.
Nov-13-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  virginmind: congratulations to grischuk.
Nov-13-06  AdrianP: <I couldn't understand why Svidler would play this so poorly> Why is this poorly played? It was aggressively played by Svidler, and even better played by Grischuk. You can't go in for these super-sharp lines without the risk of occasionally being on the wrong side of a decisive result. Grischuk's no muppet and there's no shame in losing an interesting game like this.
Nov-13-06  percyblakeney: This was a great game by Grischuk, and his first "real" win against Svidler (not counting blitz and rapid).
Nov-13-06  euripides: A beautiful attacking game by Grischuk, rather in Kasparov's style. Svidler's pieces get a little tangled after Be2, when the absence of e2 for the knight in response to ...b4 may contribute to his decision to play 19 a3.

After 20...bxc4 the structure is hard to assess, but White's knights get driven to pasive squares. If 21 Na5 e5 22 Qd2 Nd7 the white knight on a5 is in some danger; perhaps White could rely on protecting it with the queen after Ne2, but ...Nc5 and ...d5 become interesting for Black.

Compare S Andriasian vs A Jensen, 2006. Jovanka Houska annotated that game in 'Chess', and says that the combination of Nc4 and bxc4 there 'wrecks the Black position'. Black's kingside was less well developed in that game and White's attack much further on; also, the development of the bishop on b7 actually impedes Black's attack.

27.f4 looks questionable, given the role the diagonal comes to play; perhaps white could try to attack with h5 and g6, though it doesn't look very good. Possibly Svidler was hoping to activate the d2 knight.

White should try to anticipate Black's seizure of the long black diagonal but if 31.Be3 then 31...d5 looks very strong when the queen's retreats along the third rank are blocked and Bb4 is a serious threat.

If 37.Rc1 then I guess 37...Rxb2 38.Qxb2 Rxb2 when both 39.Bxb2 c3 and 39.Kxb2 Bf8 40.Ra1 Bd1 look dire for White.

Nov-13-06  Mateo: <Ezzy> I think a turning point is 31.h5?. This is in fact a losing move as the game actually played showed. It would have been better for Svidler to play 31.Nf3 (to go to d4) Rb3! 32.cxb3 Rxb3 33.Qxb3! (only move as 33.Qc2? Rxa3+ loses; or 33.Qc1? c3 loses too) Qxb3 (33...cxb3?! 34.Rd4) 34.Nd4 is unbalanced and unclear. White has 2 Rooks vs Queen and pawn. There are chances for both sides.

On <euripides> suggestion of 31.Be3, as the Black Bishop is no longer tied to the defence of the d6 pawn, Black can try to break through with 31...Bd8 with the idea Ba5. This is dangerous for White.

Nov-13-06  euripides: <mateo> after 31.Nf3 does Black need to hurry into Rb3 ? One possibility is 31...Bg4 keeping up the pressure.
Nov-13-06  Mateo: <euripides: <mateo> after 31.Nf3 does Black need to hurry into Rb3 ? One possibility is 31...Bg4 keeping up the pressure.> You don't care about the d pawn? 32.Bxd6 Bxf3 33.Qxf3 Bxd6 34.Rxd6 Qxc2 35.Qf6! looks good for White. On f6 the Rook defends b2 and at the same time allows the White Rook to invade the 8th rank.

But tehre is something else for White even stronger: 32.Rd4! unpinning the Knight, attacking c4 and d6. If 32...Bxf3? 33.Rxc4! Qb5 34.Rc8+ Rxc8 35.Qxc8+ Kg7 (35...Bf8 36.Bxd6 )36.Qc3+ and 37.Qxf3, White wins. Funny, don't you think so? As 32...Bxf3 is bad, Black has to play 32...Rc8 but after 33.Nh2, White wins the d pawn.

My conclusion is that 31...Bg4 does not work.

Nov-13-06  Mateo: <euripides> I made a small script mistake in a previous kibitz: <31.Nf3 (to go to d4)> Some words are lacking: to allow the Rook <to go to d4>. Not the same at all.
Nov-13-06  euripides: <mateo> Indeed I don't care about the d pawn, but I do care about the black-squared bishop and (somewhat less) the b8 rook, so I agree 32.Bxd6 is a problem and 32.Rd4 also looks good. <31.Nf3> d5 also seems worth considering e.g. 32. exd5 Bb4 33.Qe3(Qxc4 Rc8) c3 threatening Bxa3.
Nov-13-06  Mateo: <euripides: <mateo> Indeed I don't care about the d pawn, but I do care about the black-squared bishop and (somewhat less) the b8 rook, so I agree 32.Bxd6 is a problem and 32.Rd4 also looks good. <31.Nf3> d5 also seems worth considering e.g. 32. exd5 Bb4 33.Qe3(Qxc4 Rc8) c3 threatening Bxa3.> Okay, you care much about the Black Bishop than about the Black Rook. But maybe the Black Rook is of bigger value than the White bishop? What about 31...d5 32.Bxb8?
Nov-13-06  euripides: <mateo> yes I noticed Bxb8 after posting ... I am not sure whether something like <31.Nf3 d5 32.Bxb8> Bb4 33.Qe3 c3 has any chance of working ?
Nov-13-06  Ezzy: <Mateo: <Ezzy> I think a turning point is 31.h5?.> Most definately.

<Mateo: It would have been better for Svidler to play 31.Nf3 (to go to d4) Rb3! 32.cxb3 Rxb3 33.Qxb3! (only move as 33.Qc2? Rxa3+ loses; or 33.Qc1? c3 loses too) Qxb3 (33...cxb3?! 34.Rd4) 34.Nd4 is unbalanced and unclear. White has 2 Rooks vs Queen and pawn. There are chances for both sides.> That line is certainly a possibility, but I still like black's chances more.

After looking at the postion again, I think this might be the best way for white to continue. Instead of 31 Be3 which gives black the option of 31...Bd8, I think 31 Bg3 is better, then 31...Bf8 32 Bf2 Bg7 33 Bd4 Bxd4 34 Qxd4 Qxc2 35 Rdc1 Qa4 36 Qxd6 and white seems a lot better than all the other variations.

I like 31 Bg3! It aims for the d4 square without immediately neglecting the d6 pawn, and cuts out black's possibility of 31...Bd8 32...Ba5

Nov-14-06  Mateo: <euripides: <mateo> yes I noticed Bxb8 after posting ... I am not sure whether something like <31.Nf3 d5 32.Bxb8> Bb4 33.Qe3 c3 has any chance of working ?> Interesting suggestion showing all the hidden possibilities in a position! It nearly works, too bad. If the Bishop retreats to e5 (34.Be5), then 34...Bxa3 and Black wins!

So what else could do White to defend himself against that apparent killer, 34...Bxa3? 35.Ka2? d4+ 36.Ka1 Bxa3!, Black wins too.

But White has a good defence, 35.Rd4! pinning the Bishop. After 35...Rxb8 (35...cxb2? 36.Rxb2 with double pinn!) 36.exd5, White wins.

Nov-14-06  Mateo: <Ezzy: After looking at the position again, I think this might be the best way for white to continue. Instead of 31 Be3 which gives black the option of 31...Bd8, I think 31 Bg3 is better, then 31...Bf8 32 Bf2 Bg7 33 Bd4 Bxd4 34 Qxd4 Qxc2 35 Rdc1 Qa4 36 Qxd6 and white seems a lot better than all the other variations.> Interesting variation worthy studying. So White has two options: 31.Nf3!? (really I think it is dubious Black has real winning prospects in my variation) and 31.Bg3. And we came to the conclusion that 31.h5? is bad. Good point. In your variation, I think we should not neglect <euripides> right intuition that Black should wake up the dark square Bishop which could become powerful. But like he noticed, the diagonal a3-f8 could be a very dangerous one, maybe even more than the long diagonal (like in your variation). As 31...d5 is premature, why not 31...Rc8 unpinning the d pawn? Doesn't the threat d6-d5 coming with stunning effect?
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