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Annotations v.07: Amber Blindfold/Rapid
Compiled by chessmoron
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#1: <1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be3 e5 7 Nb3 Be6 8 Qd2 Be7 9 f3 0-0 10 0-0-0 Nbd7 11 g4 b5> A very popular position. The game usually continues 12 g5 Nh5 13 Nd5 or 12 g5 b4 13 Ne2 Ne8. <12 Rg1> Introduced by Anand a year ago against Morozevich, who obtained a good position by 12 ... b4 13 Nd5 Bxd5 14 exd5 a5 15 g5 Nh5. Perhaps Anand would vary with the untested 13 Na4 a5 14 Bb5 Rb8 15 Qe2. <12Nb6> Also logical. <13 Na5!? Qc7 14 g5 Nfd7> Not bad, although 14 ... Nh5 makes sense too. <15 Nd5 Bxd5> White welcomes 15 ... Nxd5 16 exd5 Bf5 17 Nc6 Rfe8 18 Bd3. <16 exd5 Nxd5!?> Critical, as the safer 16 ... Rac8 17 Kb1 should favor White. <17 Qxd5 Qxa5 18 Bd3 Qc7?> Black must pause for 18 ... g6. Then 19 h4 gives White fair compensation for the pawn. <19 g6! Nf6?> Losing spectacularly. No better is 19 ... Rac8? 20 gxh7+ Kh8 21 Rxg7! Kxg7 (or 21 ... Nf6 22 Rg8+, exposing Black's King) 22 Rg1+ Kh8 23 Bh6 Bf6 24 Qe4, when White threatens 25 Rg8+ and mate at h7. Black had to try 19 ... hxg6 20 Rxg6 Bf6 (not 20...Nf6? because 21 Bh6! Nxd5 22 Rxg7+ mates) 21 Rg3 Rfd8 or 21 ... Nb6 22 Qe4 Rfc8, evacuating his King to e7. <20 gxf7+ Kh8 21 Rxg7!! Kxg7 22 Rg1+ Kh8 23 Bh6> Black has no defense to the threat of 24 Bg7 mate. If 23 ... Nh5, then 24 Bxf8 Rxf8 25 Rg8+ mates at g8 instead. <23Ng4 24 Rxg4 Rxf7> Setting the trap 25 Qxf7?? Bg5+. <25 Qxa8+, 1-0.>

#2: <1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 g3 d5 4 Bg2 Bb4+ 5 Bd2 Be7> A finesse that keeps White from developing his Bishop at b2. <6 Nf3 0-0 7 0-0 c6 8 Bf4> Not fearing 8dxc4 9 Ne5. b6 <9 Nc3 Bb7 10 Rc1 Nh5 11 Be5> Leko tried 11 Bxb8 Qxb8 12 Ne5 Nf6 13 e3 Rd8 14 cxd5 cxd5 15 f4 against Aronian in Morelia in February. <11Nd7> The solid 11f6 12 Bxb8 Rxb8 13 e3 (threatening 14 g4) g6 14 cxd5 cxd5 does not suit Aronian, who likes complications. <12 cxd5 exd5> Again, 12cxd5 is safer. <13 e4! f6?> Black's ambition betrays him. Too uncomfortable is 13dxe4?! 14 Nxe4 Nhf6 15 Nd6 or 14c5 15 Nd6, but Black could accept a small disadvantage by 13Nhf6 14 exd5 cxd5. <14 exd5 cxd5> White's pawns are overwhelming after 14fxe5 15 Nxe5 Nxe5 16 dxe5 g6 17 dxc6. <15 Bc7! Qxc7 16 Nh4!> A surprising crusher. Black must return the piece, and more. <16Nf4> White refutes 16g6 by 17 Nxd5 Qd8 18 Nxe7+ Qxe7 19 Bxb7, gaining a pawn. <17 gxf4 Rf7> Tougher is 17Rfc8 18 Qg4! Bf8, but 19 Nxd5 Qxc1 20 Qxd7! wins anyway. <18 Nxd5 Qb8 19 Nxe7+ Rxe7 20 Nf5> Picking up at least the exchange. <20Re8 21 Qb3+ Kh8 22 Bxb7 Qxb7 23 Nd6, 1-0.>

#3: <1 Nf3 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 d5 4 d4 dxc4 5 e4 Bb4 6 Bg5 b5 a4 c6 8 e5 h6 9 exf6 hxg5 10 fxg7 Rg8 11 g3 Bb7 12 Bg2 c5> Theory considers 12 ... Nd7 13 0-0 a6 14 axb5 axb5 15 Rxa8 Bxa8 16 Ne5 slightly in White's favor. <13 0-0 g4 14 axb5!> A powerful novelty. Previous games had tested 14 Nh4 Bxg2. <14gxf3> Perhaps Black should decline with 14 ... Rxg7. <15 Bxf3 Bxf3 16 Qxf3 Nd7 17 dxc5> White plans Rf1-d1. Black doesn't have time to deal with the d-file and to eliminate the passer at g7. <17Bxc3> After 17 ... Bxc5 18 Rfd1 (threatening 19 Rxd7! Qxd7 20 Qxa8+) Rc8 19 Ne4, White's other Rook may enter at a7. And 17 ... Rxg7 18 Rfd1 leaves Black helpless after either 18 ... Qb8 19 Qc6 Qc8 20 Rxd7 or 18 ... Qc8 19 b6! Nxc5 20 Rxa7. <18 bxc3 Nxc5 19 Rfd1 Qc8> Black cannot stand 19 ... Nd3 20 Qc6+ Ke7 21 Qxc4, winning the Knight. <20 Rd6!> Invasion! One point is that 20 ... Rxg7 21 Qh5! creates threats of 22 Qh8+ and 22 Rc6. <20Qb7 21 Qh5 Rc8 22 Rc6!> Crushing, as 22 ... Rxc6 23 bxc6 Qxc6 permits 24 Qh8. <22Nd3 23 Rxc8+ Qxc8 24 Rxa7, 1-0.>

#1
Anand vs Van Wely, 2007 
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 25 moves, 1-0

#2
Gelfand vs Aronian, 2007 
(E01) Catalan, Closed, 23 moves, 1-0

#3
Kramnik vs Carlsen, 2007 
(D39) Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation, 24 moves, 1-0

3 games

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