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Annotations v.07: Misc. III
Compiled by chessmoron
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<World Open (2007) >

#1: <1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Nc3 Nc6 4 Bb5 Nd4 5 Bc4 Nxf3+ 6 gxf3!?> Najer's specialty. The routine 6 Qxf3 d6 7 h3 Be7 is harmless. <6d6> White develops quickly after 6 ... c6 7 d4. More challenging is 6 ... Bc5, but 7 f4 d6 8 Rg1 causes trouble. <7 d4 Be6 8 d5 Bh3> In 2005, Mamedyarov suffered against Najer with 8 ... Bd7 9 f4 exf4 10 Bxf4 g6 11 Qd2 Bg7 12 0-0-0: E Najer vs Mamedyarov, 2005 <9 f4 exf4 10 Bxf4 Nd7 11 Rg1> Already, Black has severe development problems. <11Qc8 12 Qf3 Nb6 13 Bb3 h5 14 Qe3> Or 14 e5. <14f6 15 Qd3 a5 16 a4 Bd7 17 0-0-0 Kf7?!> Losing. After 17 ... g5, not so clear is 18 e5 Bf5, but 18 Be3 Be7 19 Bd4 increases the pressure. <18 e5! fxe5 19 Qg6+ Kg8 20 Ne4 Qd8 21 Bxe5!> Setting up 22 Nf6+. Another method is 21 Bg5 Be7 22 Bf6! Rh7 23 Bxe7 Qxe7 24 Nf6+. <21Bg4 22 Nf6+ Qxf6 23 Bxf6 Rh6> Or 23 ... Bxd1 24 Bxg7. <24 Qxh6, 1-0.> The ending is easy after 24 ... gxh6 25 f3 Kf7 26 fxg4.

<US Women's Championship (2007) >

#2: <1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 Nc6> Less common than 4 ... c5 or 4 ... d5. <5 Nf3 d6 6 Bd2 0-0 7 a3 Bxc3 8 Bxc3 Qe7 9 e3 e5 10 d5> White has a useful advantage in space. Nb8 11 Be2 Ne8 Probably expecting 12 0-0 f5. Other plans begin with 11 ... Bg4 and 11 ... c6. <12 h3> Sneaky! <12f5 13 g4! f4> Neither 13 ... e4? 14 Nd4 nor 13 ... fxg4?! 14 hxg4 g6 15 Nd2 helps, but 13 ... c5!? may improve. <14 0-0-0 a5 15 exf4! Rxf4 16 Bd2 Rf8 17 Ng5 Nf6 18 Bd3> Forcing a serious weakness. After 18 ... g6 19 Rde1 Qg7 20 Rhf1, White will break through with f2-f4. <18h6 19 Nh7 Nxh7 20 Bxh7+ Kh8 21 Be3 Nd7 22 Rhg1> Next g4-g5 will expose Black's King. <22c6 23 Kb1 b5?> Yielding a pawn distracts White only momentarily from her Kingside attack. Black's last hope was 23 ... cxd5 24 cxd5 Nf6 25 Bg6 Bd7 26 g5 hxg5 27 Bxg5 Be8. <24 dxc6 Nf6 25 Bg6 bxc4 26 Qxc4 Be6 27 Qe2 Nd5 28 g5> Not minding 28 ... Nxe3 29 fxe3. <28Rab8 29 Rc1 Nf4 30 Bxf4 Rxf4 31 gxh6 gxh6 32 Bd3 Qa7> If 32 ... Rh4, White wins on the Queenside with 33 c7 Rc8 34 Qc2 Rxh3 35 Ba6. <33 c7 Rbf8 34 Qh5 R4f6 35 Rg6, 1-0.>

<Staunton Memorial (2007) >

#3: <1 e4 c5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 f4 g6 4 Nf3 Bg7 5 Bb5 Nd4 6 0-0 a6 7 Bd3> The awkward placement of this Bishop negates White's lead in development. <7b5> Or 7d6. <8 Nxd4 Bxd4+> After 8cxd4 9 Ne2 d6, White gets the edge with 10 c3 dxc3 11 dxc3. <9 Kh1 Bb7?!> Natural, but Black should pause for 9d6. 10 e5! Cutting off the retreat of Black's KB. <Ra7?!> Weak unless White falls for 11 Ne2?? Qa8. White would treat 10d5?! roughly by 11 Nxb5! axb5 12 Bxb5+ Kf8 13 c3, but 10d6 11 Nxb5 dxe5 survives. <11 Be4! Bxc3> The superior 11c4 12 Bxb7 Rxb7 13 Ne2 Bb6 14 d4 gives Black a lifeless position, so Van Wely gambles on complications. <12 Bxb7 Bxb2> Similar is 12Bxd2 13 Bxd2 Rxb7 14 f5. <13 Bxb2 Rxb7 14 f5!> Black is lost. He has an extra pawn but faces an invasion on the f-file. <14Nh6> After 14gxf5 15 e6 Nf6 16 Bxf6 exf6 17 exf7+, Black's loose pawns will fall quickly. <15 Qf3 Qb6 16 e6!> Inviting 160-0 17 f6!, when 17fxe6 18 fxe7 Rxf3 19 e8Q+ and 17Nf5 18 fxe7 Re8 19 Qc3! end it. f6 Nor can Black stand 16Rf8 17 fxg6 hxg6 18 Bg7 or 16Rg8 17 exf7+ Nxf7 18 fxg6 Qxg6 19 Qxb7. <17 fxg6 hxg6> If 17dxe6, White grabs material by 18 g7 Rg8 19 Qh5+ Nf7 20 Qxh7. <18 Bxf6! exf6> Black loses only a pawn with 18Rf8 19 Qg3 Rxf6 20 Rxf6 exf6 21 Qxg6+ Ke7 22 exd7 Rxd7 23 Qxh6, but that decides the outcome. <19 Qxf6 Rg8 20 Rae1> Threatening both 21 exd7+ and 21 Qf7+. <20d5 21 Qg5!> Seeing the crushers 21Rh7 22 Rf7! and 21Nf5 22 Rxf5. <21Re7 22 Qxh6 Qa5> Black drops a Rook by 22Rxe6 23 Qh7! Rf8 24 Qxg6+ Kd7 25 Qg7+. <23 Rf6 Qxa2 24 Rxg6 Rf8 25 Qxf8+!, 1-0.> A sparkling upset of the best Dutch player.

<French Championship (2007) >

#4: <1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 Be7 6 Re1 b5 7 Bb3 d6 8 c3 0-0 9 h3 Bb7 10 d4 Re8 11 Nbd2 Bf8 12 a3 Nb8?> A standard maneuver, mistimed. Either 12. . . h6 or 12. . . g6 is fine. <13 Ng5> Several 1980s games tested another powerful response, 13 dxe5 dxe5 14 Ng5 Re7 15 Nxf7 Rxf7 16 Nf3. <13Re7> After 13. . . d5, White can gain a pawn by 14 exd5 exd4 15 Rxe8 Qxe8 16 d6 Bd5 17 dxc7 Nbd7 18 Nxh7!? Kxh7 19 Bxd5 Nxd5 20 Qh5+ or simply attack with 14 dxe5 Rxe5 15 Ndf3 Re7 16 e5 Ne8 17 Qd3 g6 18 e6. <14 Ndf3 exd4?!> From bad to worse. Nor does Black have much hope after 14. . . Nc6?! 15 Nxf7 Rxf7 16 Ng5 d5 17 Nxf7 (not 17 exd5? Na5!) Kxf7 18 Bg5. Only the ugly 14. . . h6 15 dxe5 hxg5 16 exf6 gxf6 keeps him alive. <15 Nxf7! Rxf7 16 Ng5 d5 17 Nxf7> Convincing. Not so clear is 17 e5?! Re7. <17Kxf7 18 e5 Ne8> Else Black loses too much material. <19 Qf3+ Kg8 20 Bg5! Qxg5> Or 20. . . Qd7 21 e6. <21 Bxd5+ Bxd5 22 Qxd5+ Kh8 23 Qxa8 Qd8> Three pieces sometimes can fight two Rooks, but not when they are stuck on the back rank. <24 Rad1 c6> If 24. . . c5, White can pick off another pawn by 25 cxd4 cxd4 26 Qa7. <25 Rxd4 Qc8> Allowing the cutest finish. White dispatches 25. . . Qc7 most forcefully by 26 Red1 Be7 27 e6! Nd6 28 Rxd6 Bxd6 29 Rxd6 Qxd6 30 e7 Qe5 31 Qb7, or 27. . . Nf6 28 Rd7 Nxd7 29 Rxd7 Qf4 30 g3! Qe5 31 Rxe7. <26 Red1 Be7 27 Qa7! Nc7> Or 27. . . Bg5 28 Qf7 h6 29 Rd8! Bxd8 30 Qxe8+. <28 Qb7!, 1-0.>

#5: <1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 c3 Nf6 5 d3> The restrained modern treatment of the Giuoco Piano. The ancient 5 d4 exd4 6 cxd4 Bb4+ 7 Nc3 Nxe4 has been analyzed to exhaustion. <5d6 6 Nbd2 0-0 7 Bb3 a6 8 Nf1> Or 8 0-0. <8d5> Sharpest. <9 exd5 Nxd5 10 Ng3 Nf6> To restrain d3-d4. If 10. . . f6 11 0-0 Be6 12 Be3, White will soon advance d3-d4. <11 0-0 h6 12 Be3 Bxe3 13 fxe3 Re8 14 Nh4 Be6 15 Nhf5 Bxb3?!> An uncharacteristic slip from a veteran GM and former Soviet champion. Black would remain nearly equal after the correct 15 . . . e4 16 d4 Na5, welcoming 17 Bxe6? fxe6. <16 Qxb3!> Creating deadly threats on the f-file. White can refute 16 . . . Rb8? by 17 Nxg7! Kxg7 18 Rxf6!, anticipating 18 . . . Kxf6 19 Rf1+ Kg7 20 Qxf7+ Kh8 21 Rf6. And 16 . . . Qxd3? permits 17 Nxh6+! gxh6 18 Rxf6, when 18 . . . Qxe3+ 19 Kh1 Nd8 loses to 20 Rg6+! and 21 Nf5. <16Re6!> The only defense. <17 Qxb7 Ra7> To recover the pawn. Black's King is safer after 17 . . . Rb8 18 Qxa6 Rxb2, but 19 Qc4 keeps the extra pawn. <18 Qb3 Qxd3 19 Rad1 Qb5 20 Qc2 Rb7?> Black had to find one more good move, 20 . . . e4!, to hold White to a small advantage. <21 Ne4!> Eliminating the Knight at f6 leaves Black helpless. <21Ne8> If 21 . . . Qxb2 22 Nxf6+, Black must lose a Knight to 22 . . . Rxf6 23 Ne7+! Kf8 24 Qxb2 Rxb2 25 Rxf6 gxf6 26 Nxc6 or his Queen to 22 . . . gxf6 23 Qe4 Qe2 24 Qh4 h5 25 Qg3+ Qg4 26 Nh6+. If Black instead guards his back rank by 21 . . . Nxe4 22 Qxe4 Rb8, White invades with 23 Rd7. A pretty possibility is 23 . . . Nd4 24 Rxf7! Ne2+ 25 Kh1 Nxc3 26 Nxh6+! Rxh6 27 Qg4 g6 28 Rf8+! Rxf8 29 Qe6+, mating. <22 Qf2 Kh7> After 22 . . . f6 23 Qg3 Kf7, most persuasive is the flashy 24 a4! Qc4 25 Rd7+ Ne7 26 Nxf6!, with the surprising finish 26 . . . gxf6 27 Nxh6+ Kf8 28 Qg8+! Nxg8 29 Rf7 mate. <23 Nxh6!, 1-0.> Black cannot avoid mate after 23 . . . Kxh6 24 Qh4+ Kg6 25 Rf5! or 23 . . . gxh6 24 Qxf7+ Ng7 25 Rd7 Ne7 26 Rxe7 Rxe7 27 Nf6+.

<Russia - China Match (2007) >

#6: <1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 c4 c6 4 Nc3 dxc4 5 a4 Bf5 6 Ne5> Almost as popular as the main line, 6 e3 e6 7 Bxc4 Bb4. <6e6 7 f3 c5> Lately, Black has shied away from the piece sacrifice 7Bb4 8 e4 Bxe4 9 fxe4 Nxe4, as 10 Bd2 Qxd4 11 Nxe4 has scored well for White. <8 e4 cxd4> Kramnik prefers 8Bg6. <9 exf5 Bb4 10 Bxc4 dxc3 11 Qxd8+ Kxd8 12 Nxf7+!> This new idea involves a Rook sacrifice. Earlier games showed that Black can survive 12 Ke2 cxb2 13 Bxb2 Ke7. <12Ke8 13 bxc3 Bxc3+ 14 Ke2 Bxa1> Black's King is the target after 14Kxf7 15 fxe6+ Kg6 16 Bd3+ Kh5 17 h4! Bxa1 18 Bf5! (intending 19 g4+) or 15Ke8 16 Rb1 b6 17 Ba3. The latter variation might continue 17Nc6 18 Bb5 Rc8 19 Rhd1, threatening 20 Rbc1 or 20 Rd6. <15 fxe6! Rg8 16 Ba3> White has only a pawn for the Rook, but he is winning. Black's Rooks are particularly ineffective. <16Bd4 17 Rb1> Even stronger is 17 Rd1. If 17Nc6, White's Knight runs wild with 18 Nd6+ Kd8 19 Nb5 Ke8 20 Nxd4 Rd8 21 Nf5 Rxd1 22 Kxd1 g6 23 Nd6+ Kd8 24 e7+ Nxe7 25 Nxb7+ Kd7 26 Bxg8. Or, if 17Bb6 18 Nd6+ Kd8, either 19 a5 or 19 e7+ Kxe7 20 Ne4+ gains material. <17b6 18 Bb5+ Nbd7 19 Bc6> Another way is 19 Rd1 Bc5 20 Bxc5 bxc5 21 Ne5. <19Rc8> Heading for an ending with a pawn less. However, 19Rb8 20 Kd3! Bf2 21 Ne5 seems just as bad. <20 Nd6+ Ke7 21 Nxc8+ Kxe6 22 Nxa7> White's brilliant novelty has netted a reward of one pawn. Exploiting it won't be easy. <22Ne5> At last, Black's pieces are working. <23 Rd1 Nxc6 24 Nxc6 Be5> White's task is tougher after 24Bc5 25 Bxc5 (perhaps 25 Nd4+ improves) bxc5 because of his misplaced Knight. There is no clear path to victory after 26 a5 Ra8 or 26 Nd8+ Ke7 27 Nb7 c4 28 a5 Ra8. <25 Nd8+! Kf5 26 g4+ Kg6 27 h4 h6 28 h5+ Kh7> A safe hideout, but White has made progress. <29 Kf2 Re8 30 Nc6 Bf4 31 Bd6> Exchanges favor White. <31Re6 32 Bxf4 Rxc6 33 Rd4 Rc5 34 Ke2 Kg8 35 Kd3 Kf7 36 Bd2 Rc7 37 Be3 Ra7 38 Rc4 Nd5 39 Bd2 Nc7> Dreaming of b7-b5, exchanging the Queenside pawns. <40 Rf4+ Ke6 41 Re4+ Kd7 42 Be3 Nd5 43 Bd4 Kd6?!> A mistake, but 43Kc6 44 Re8! Rxa4 45 Bxg7 or 44Rf7 45 Kc4 Nc7 46 Rb8 would cost Black a second pawn. <44 Be5+! Kc6 45 Rc4+, 1-0.>

<Russian Championship Higher League (2007) >

#7: <1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 b5 6 Bb3 Bc5 7 a4 Rb8> Or 7Bb7. <8 c3 d6 9 d4 Bb6 10 a5!?> Inviting 10Nxa5 11 Rxa5 Bxa5 12 dxe5, when 12dxe5 gives back material to 13 Qxd8+ Kxd8 14 Nxe5. Critical is 12Ng4 13 Bg5 f6 14 exf6 gxf6 15 Bh4, with fair compensation for the exchange. <Ba7 11 h3 0-0 12 Be3 exd4!?> Liveliest, although it abandons his strong point at e5. <13 cxd4 d5> Reasonable, but 13Nxe4!? 14 Bd5 Qe8 may improve. Then 15 Qc2? Nb4 16 Qxe4 Qxe4 17 Bxe4 f5 favors Black. Less clear is 15 Re1. <14 e5 Ne4 15 Nc3 Nxc3 16 bxc3 Ne7 17 Bg5 f6?> Underestimating the danger to his King. White's advantage is insignificant after 17Be6. <18 exf6 gxf6 19 Bh6 Rf7> Best. After 19Re8 20 Re1 c6, White creates threats with 21 Nh4!, intending 22 Qf3. <20 Re1 c6 21 Nh4 Ng6> If 21Nf5 22 Qg4+ Ng7, then 23 Qg3 Rbb7 24 Bc2 threatens 25 Bxh7+. <22 Qh5 Nxh4> No better is 22Nf8 23 Re3. <23 Qxh4 Rbb7?!> Hoping to trade all the Rooks. Black lasts longer with 23Bf5, although 24 Re3 Qd7 25 Rae1 is very unpleasant. <24 Bd1!> The refutation. <24Rbe7> Similar is 24Rfe7 25 Bh5, threatening 26 Qxf6 Rxe1+ 27 Rxe1 Qxf6 28 Re8+. If 25Qd6, White infiltrates with 26 Bf4 Qd8 27 Be5! fxe5 28 Qg5+ Kh8 29 Qf6+ Kg8 30 Bf7+ Rxf7 31 Qxd8+. <25 Bh5 Rxe1+ 26 Rxe1 Re7> Black seems on the verge of escaping. <27 Re5!!> A spectacular way to set up 28 Qxf6. Also 27 Re6!! Bxe6 28 Qxf6, intending 29 Bf7+, wins. <27fxe5> Sidestepping the prettier variations 27Qd6 28 Qg3+ Kh8 29 Bg7+! and 27Rxe5 28 dxe5 Kh8 29 Bf7! Qe7 30 Qxf6+ Qxf6 31 exf6 d4 32 Bg7 mate. <28 Qg5+, 1-0.> It's mate after 28Kh8 29 Bf7.

<Asian Individual Championship (2007) >

#8: <1 e4 d6 2 d4 Nf6 3 Nc3 g6 4 f4 Bg7 5 Nf3 0-0 6 Bd3 Na6 7 0-0 c5 8 d5> Now the position resembles a Benoni. White has more space and good chances to attack on the Kingside. <Nc7 9 Qe1 e6> Central counterplay, the approved strategy. If Black aims for b7-b5 with 9Bd7, then 10 a4 a6 11 a5 gives White time for Qe1-h4 and f4-f5. <10 dxe6 fxe6> Not attractive is 10Bxe6 11 f5 Bd7 because 12 Qh4 Bc6 13 Bg5 develops quickly and pins Black's best defender. <11 e5! Nfd5?! > Black must accept a small disadvantage by 11Ne8 12 Be3 b6. <12 Ne4 Nxf4> Black chooses the most aggressive moves and gets clobbered. However, neither 12Ne8 13 Bb5 nor 12dxe5 13 fxe5 b6 14 Bg5 would fare much better. <13 Bxf4 Rxf4 14 Nxd6 Nd5 15 Qg3> Welcoming 15Bxe5? 16 Nxe5 Rxf1+ 17 Rxf1 Qxd6 because 18 Bxg6! will mate. <Qf8 16 Rae1 Ne7?! > White handles the superior 16Bd7 with 17 Ng5!, threatening 18 Nxh7. Then 17Bxe5 18 Rxe5 Rxf1+ 19 Bxf1 Qxd6 looks miserable, as 20 Nxh7! Kg7 (or 20Kxh7 21 Rh5+) 21 Bd3 Ne7 22 Ng5 attacks relentlessly. <17 Ng5! Rxf1+ 18 Rxf1 Nf5> Plausible, until one spots White's devastating reply. <19 Bxf5 gxf5 20 Rxf5!, Black Resigns.> White anticipates 20exf5 21 Qb3+ or 20Qd8 21 Rf7. The winner is 14 years old.

<European Club Cup (2007) >

#9: <1 Nf3 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 d5 4 cxd5 Nxd5 5 g3 Bg7 6 Bg2 Nb6 7 d4 Nc6 8 e3 e5> Direct. Lately Black has experimented with 8. . . 0-0 9 0-0 Re8, delaying . . . e7-e5. <9 d5 Ne7 10 e4 Bg4 11 h3 Bxf3 12 Qxf3 c6 13 0-0 cxd5> Consistent, but slightly inferior to 13. . . 0-0 14 Rd1 cxd5. Then 15 Nxd5 Nexd5 16 exd5 Qd6 17 Qb3 Rfc8 18 Bd2 Bf8! keeps control of the blockade square d6. <14 Nxd5 Nexd5> Black should vary with 14. . . Nbxd5 15 exd5 Nf5, eyeing d6. <15 exd5 0-0 16 Qb3 Qd6 17 Bd2! Rfc8 18 Bb4 Qd7 19 d6> The d-pawn is isolated but very strong. <19Rc4 20 a4 e4> Black tries to bury White's KB. Not 20. . . a5?! 21 Ba3 Qd8 because either 22 Bd5! Rxa4 23 Bxf7+ Kh8 24 Rac1 or 22 Rad1 Rb8 23 Bd5! wins for White. <21 Rfd1> Avoiding 21 a5? Qb5. <21Rd8 22 Bf1 Rd4> After 22. . . Rcc8 23 a5 Na8 24 Re1 Re8 25 Qa4!, White's Bishops and passed d-pawn will overwhelm Black. <23 a5 Nc8 24 Rxd4 Bxd4 25 Rd1 Be5 26 Qd5! Bxd6> Black accomplishes the hypermodern dream of annihilating White's pawn center, yet lands in a lost position. However, 26. . . Bxb2 fares no better, as 27 Bb5 Qxh3 28 Qxe4 a6 29 d7 axb5 30 Qe8+ leads to mate. <27 Qxe4> The pin on the d-file is decisive. Black cannot survive 27. . . Qc6? 28 Qxc6 bxc6 29 Ba6 or 27. . . Qe7? 28 Rxd6! Qxe4 29 Rxd8+ Kg7 30 Bc3+ Kh6 31 Rxc8. <27Qa4> If 27. . . Qc7, then 28 Bc3 threatens 29 Qd4, invading on the long diagonal. A bit tougher is 27. . . f6!? 28 a6! bxa6 29 Bxa6 Qa4, but 30 Be2 leaves Black's pieces uncoordinated and vulnerable. <28 Qd4 Ne7> Both 28. . . Be7 29 Qxd8+ and 28. . . Qxb4 29 Qxb4 cost too much material. <29 b3!> Not falling for 29 Bxd6? Qxd4 30 Rxd4 Nf5. <29Qxb3 30 Bc3 Kf8 31 Bc4!> Winning the Queen or mating. <31Qa4 32 Qh8+ Ng8 33 Qg7+, 1-0.>

#10: <1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Ba6 5 b3 c6> Instead of 5Bb4+ 6 Bd2 Be7. 6 Bg2 Bb4+ Now 6d5 is more common. <7 Nbd2> The players have conspired to reach a fresh position after only seven moves. <7d5 8 0-0 0-0 9 Qc2 c5 10 dxc5 Bxc5> Correct. After 10bxc5, White secures an edge with either 11 Bb2 or 11 Rd1. <11 Bb2 Nc6 12 a3 Bb7 13 cxd5 exd5?!> Obtaining an inferior version of the isolated d-pawn, as White will seize control of d4. Instead, 13Nxd5 14 b4 Be7 15 e4 Nf6 16 b5 Na5 maintains equality. If 17 Rfd1 Qd7!, White has to watch the pawn at b5. <14 b4 Be7 15 Rac1 Re8 16 Rfd1 Bd6 17 e4!?> Very imaginative. Standard strategy, with 17 e3 or 17 Qd3, suffices for a tangible advantage, but Mamedyarov wants more. <17Rc8> Black would lose a piece by 17dxe4? 18 Nc4! exf3 19 Nxd6 Qe7 20 Nxb7. <18 Qb1 Nxe4 19 Nxe4 dxe4> Forced. After 19Rxe4? 20 Rxd5 Re6, Black could stand 21 Bh3? Ne5!, but 21 Rcd1 is decisive. For example, 21 Rcd1 Qe7 22 Ng5 Rg6 loses to 23 Rxd6! Qxg5 24 Rd7 Ba8 25 Bd5 Nd8 26 Bxa8 Rxa8 27 f4!, chasing the Queen from defending d8. 20 Nh4 g6? This should lose. Black must risk 20Ne7 21 Rxc8 Nxc8 22 Nf5 f6, although White has ample compensation. <21 Bxe4 Qe7 22 Bd5!> Threatening 23 Nxg6. The Bishops are deadly. <22Kf8> White refutes 22Be5 by 23 Nxg6! hxg6 24 Qxg6+ Kf8 25 Qh6+ Kg8 26 Rc4! Nd4 27 Rcxd4 Bxd4 28 Bxd4. <23 Rc2?> Keeping the advantage but missing the crushing 23 Nf5!! gxf5 24 Qxf5. Then 24Be5 25 Bxe5 Nxe5 26 Qxh7 Qf6 27 Bxb7 is simple enough, but 24Ne5 25 Qxh7 Qd7 requires White to find the intricate sequence 26 Qh6+ Kg8 27 Rxc8 Bxc8 28 Be4! Qh3! 29 Bh7+! (Black wins after 29 Qxd6?? Ng4 and 29 Rxd6?? Nf3+) Kh8 30 Rxd6. <23Be5 24 Re2 Qc7 25 Rde1 f6> Ugly, but 25Bxb2 26 Qxb2 Rxe2 lets White send Black's King on a one-way journey by 27 Qh8+! Ke7 28 Rxe2+ Kd6 29 Qf6+! Kxd5 30 Nf3. <26 Nf3 Rcd8 27 Be4?> White must settle for 27 Nxe5 Nxe5 28 Bxb7 Qxb7 29 Bxe5 Rxe5 30 Rxe5 fxe5, when 31 Rxe5?! Qf3 isn't clear but 31 Qb2! Rd5 32 Qc3! soon picks off the e-pawn. <27Nd4!> Alertly equalizing. <28 Bxd4 Bxd4 29 Bxb7 Rxe2 30 Rxe2 Qxb7 31 Qb3 Rd6!> To answer 32 Rd2 solidly by 32Be5 33 Rxd6 Bxd6 34 Nd4 Be5 35 Ne6+ Ke7. <32 h4 b5?!> With 32Qd7 33 h5 Kg7, Black would escape. <33 Rd2 Be5 34 Rxd6 Bxd6 35 Nd4> The Queen and Knight cooperate well, and e6 is a target. Although White's advantage is small, Mamedyarov will outplay his formidable opponent a second time. <35Be5> Probably 35a6 36 Qe6 Be5 improves. <36 Ne6+ Ke7 37 Nc5 Qc8> Only this retreat prevents an invasion at e6 or g8. <38 Qd5 a6 39 h5! gxh5> From this point, it's doubtful if Black can hold. However, after 39Bd6 40 h6, White has the constant threat to get his Queen to h7. <40 Qe4 Qg4 41 Qxh7+ Ke8 42 Qh8+ Kf7 43 Qh7+ Ke8 44 Kg2! Bd6> Hoping for 45 Nxa6?? Bxg3 46 fxg3 Qe2+, drawing. White refutes the immediate 44Bxg3? by 45 f3!, safely winning the Bishop. <45 Ne4 Be7 46 f3 Qe6 47 Qxh5+ Kd7 48 Nf2> Converting the extra pawn will take dozens of precise moves. <48Qb3 49 Qf5+ Kc7 50 Qf4+> Another way is 50 Qh7 Kd8 51 Qd3+. <50Bd6 51 Qc1+ Kd7 52 Ne4 Qa2+ 53 Kh3 Qe6+ 54 Kg2 Qa2+ 55 Kf1 Be5> After 55Qh2 56 Qd1, Black must trade Queens. <56 Nc5+ Ke7 57 Qd1! Qc4+> If 57Bd6, White makes progress with 58 Qe1+ (not 58 Qe2+? Qxe2+ 59 Kxe2, as 59Bxc5 60 bxc5 Ke6 draws) Kf7 59 Ne4 Be5 60 Qe3. <58 Kg2 Bd4 59 Nxa6 Qa2+> Both 59Be3 and 59Bb6 lead to 60 Nc5 Bxc5 61 bxc5 Qxc5 62 Qd3, a Queen ending White can win with patience and care. <60 Kh3 Qe6+ 61 g4 Qe3?!> Also 61Qc4?! 62 Nc7! leaves White two pawns ahead. Black lasts longest with 61Qxa6 62 Qxd4 Qxa3. <62 Nc7 Qh6+ 63 Kg2 Be5 64 Nxb5 Qh2+ 65 Kf1> Welcoming 65Bg3 66 Qe2+. <65Kf8 66 Qe2 Qh1+ 67 Kf2 Qc1> White's King is safe after 67Qh2+ 68 Ke3 Qf4+ 69 Kd3. <68 Qd3 Kg7> Black could set the trap 68Qb2+ 69 Ke3?? Bf4+! 70 Kxf4 Qe5 mate. However, White should evade checks by 69 Kf1 Qa1+ 70 Ke2 Qb2+ 71 Qd2, or 70Qa2+ 71 Ke3. <69 Nd4 Qb2+ 70 Ne2, 1-0.> A very high quality battle, despite a few mistakes.

#1
E Najer vs D Ippolito, 2007
(C48) Four Knights, 24 moves, 1-0

#2
I Krush vs E Vicary, 2007 
(E33) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 35 moves, 1-0

#3
G Jones vs Van Wely, 2007 
(B23) Sicilian, Closed, 25 moves, 1-0

#4
C Bauer vs O Renet, 2007 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 29 moves, 1-0

#5
Degraeve vs I D Dorfman, 2007
(C53) Giuoco Piano, 23 moves, 1-0

#6
E Alekseev vs Wang Yue, 2007 
(D17) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 45 moves, 1-0

#7
I Khairullin vs D Petrukhin, 2007 
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 28 moves, 1-0

#8
W So vs M Mahjoob, 2007 
(B09) Pirc, Austrian Attack, 20 moves, 1-0

#9
Grischuk vs B Avrukh, 2007 
(A15) English, 33 moves, 1-0

#10
Mamedyarov vs Kamsky, 2007 
(E15) Queen's Indian, 70 moves, 1-0

10 games

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