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Annotations v.07: World Cup
Compiled by chessmoron
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1. <1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 c6 4 Nf3 dxc4 5 e3 b5 6 a4 Bb4 7 Bd2 a5 8 axb5 Bxc3 9 Bxc3 cxb5 10 b3 Bb7 11 bxc4 b4> What a pawn structure! Black will win on the Queenside unless White breaks through in the center. <12 Bb2 Nf6 13 Bd3 0-0 14 0-0 Nbd7 15 Re1 Ne4> Seizing e4. The alternate plan 15 . . . Qc7 16 e4 e5 invites 17 c5 Ba6 18 Rc1 exd4 19 c6, increasing the tension. <16 Qc2 f5 17 c5> If 17 Rec1 Qc7 18 Ne1, Black can try 18 . . . a4!?, anticipating 19 Rxa4 b3! 20 Qxb3 Ndc5. <17Qc7 18 Bb5 Bd5 19 Qe2 Ndf6> Firmly controlling d5 and e4. White must arrange f2-f3. <20 h3?> Black will pounce on this weakening. Maybe Onischuk disliked 20 Ne5! Ng4!, but 21 f3 Nxe5 22 fxe4 Ng4 23 e5 isn't too bad. <20g5! 21 Ne5 g4! 22 hxg4> After 22 h4 g3 23 f3 Nf2, Black's Queen invades via g7, h6 and h4. <fxg4 23 Nd3?> Also inadequate is 23 Nxg4? Qg7, as Black threatens both f2 and g2. White had to risk 23 f3 gxf3 24 gxf3 Qg7+ 25 Qg2 Ng5 26 e4. <23Qg7 24 Nf4 Qh6 25 Rf1 g3> Winning. <26 Nh3 gxf2+ 27 Rxf2 Nxf2 28 Nxf2> Hoping to push e3-e4, but Black strikes first. <Bxg2! 29 Kxg2 Ra7 30 Rh1> The pinned Knight falls after 30 Kf1 Ne4 31 Qg4+ Qg6. <30Qg6+ 31 Kf1 Ng4> Seeing 32 Rg1 Nh2+. <32 Be8> Clever, but Shirov simplifies. <32Qb1+ 33 Kg2 Rxf2+ 34 Qxf2 Qxh1+ 35 Kxh1 Nxf2+ 36 Kg2 Nd1 37 Bc1 b3 38 e4 b2 39 Bxb2 Nxb2 40 Bb5> Or 40 d5 exd5 41 exd5 Nd3 42 c6 Nf4+ 43 Kf3 Nxd5. <40a4 41 d5 exd5 42 exd5 a3, 0-1.>

#2: <1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Nc3> Instead of the customary 3 d4. <3e5 4 Bc4 Be7 5 d3 d6> A common battleground in the Sicilian Defense, popularized by Kramnik. Black controls d4, but White can use d5 and the lever f2-f4. <6 Nd2> Thinking of Nd2-f1-e3-d5. <6Bg5 7 Qh5!?> Less investigated than 7 h4. <7Nh6> Threatening 8 . . . Bg4. Black prefers to accept an offside Knight rather than the weak squares (f6 and h6) of 7 . . . g6 8 Qd1 Nf6. <8 h3 Nd4 9 0-0> Svidler tried 9 Bb5+ Kf8 10 Qd1 and obtained no advantage. Kamsky offers a pawn, expecting compensation from 9 . . . Nxc2 10 Nb3 Bxc1 11 Raxc1 Nb4 (or 11 . . . Nd4 12 Nxd4 exd4 13 Nd5) 12 f4 exf4 13 Rxf4 0-0 14 Rcf1, as Black cannot activate his Knight at h6. <90-0 10 Nb3 Bxc1 11 Raxc1 Ne6> To restrain f2-f4. White gets an edge from 11 . . . Be6 12 Nxd4 Bxc4 13 dxc4 cxd4 14 Nd5, meeting 14 . . . f5 strongly by 15 f4. <12 Ne2 Qf6 13 Nd2 Kh8 14 c3 g5!?> Permanently stifling f2-f4. <15 d4!> White shifts attention to the center. He invites 15 . . . cxd4 16 cxd4 exd4 17 Nf3 Rg8 18 Bxe6! (not clear is 18 Rfd1?! g4 19 hxg4 Ng5!) Bxe6 19 Nfxd4, when Black is hampered by scattered pawns and the misplaced Knight. Rg8! Black insists on a Kingside battle. <16 dxe5 dxe5 17 Nf3> As 17 . . . g4? 18 Qxe5! Qxe5 19 Nxe5 gxh3 20 g3 favors White. <17Rg6!> Threatening 18 . . . Ng7. Shirov has imaginatively and economically launched a Kingside attack. <18 h4!? Qg7 19 Bxe6 Bxe6 20 hxg5 f6!> As 21 gxh6?? Rxh6 costs White his Queen. <21 gxf6 Rxg2+ 22 Kh1 Qxf6?!> Tempting, but Black should settle for 22 . . . Qg4! 23 Qxg4 Rxg4 24 Ng3 Nf7. After picking off the pawn at f6, Black would have a small advantage. <23 Qxe5> Now White has the edge. <24Qxe5> Refraining from 23 . . . Rh2+?! because 24 Kg1! Rg8+ 25 Ng3 Qxe5 26 Nxe5 increases White's advantage. <24 Nxe5 Rg5 25 f4 Rh5+ 26 Kg1 Rg8+ 27 Kf2 Rh2+ 28 Ke3> White's discomfort is an illusion. His King is safe and his central pawns will advance. <28Rgg2 29 Ng1> Not 29 Rce1? Ng4+ 30 Nxg4 Bxg4, and the advantage swings back to Black. <29Rxb2 30 f5 Bxa2 31 Rcd1> Despite Black's extra pawn, White has made progress. <31Rcb2?> Useless. He must rely on his pitiful Knight with 31 . . . Nf7. <32 Rd8+ Ng8 33 Ngf3 Rxc3+ 34 Kf4 Rh6 35 Rg1> One threat is 36 Rgxg8+ Bxg8 37 Nf7+ Kg7 38 Nxh6, gaining a piece. <35Rf6 36 Ng5 h6 37 Ngf7+!, 1-0.> Material falls by 37 . . . Bxf7 38 Nxf7+ Rxf7 39 Rgxg8+ Kh7 40 Rh8+ Kg7 41 Rdg8+ Kf6 42 e5+ Ke7 43 Re8+ Kd7 44 e6+.

#3: <1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 d4 Nxe4 4 Bd3 d5 5 dxe5> Harmless, but less investigated than 5 Nxe5. <5Be7> Sharpest is 5 . . . Nc6 6 0-0 Bg4. <6 0-0 Bg4> Stronger than 6 . . . 0-0 7 c4. <7 h3 Bh5 8 Re1 Nc6 9 Nc3!? Bg6> Solid. Not bad is 9 . . . Nxc3 10 bxc3 0-0 if Black meets 11 Rb1 by 11 . . . b6 12 Rb5 Bc5 rather than 11 . . . Rb8?! 12 Rb5. <10 Bd2 Nxd2 11 Qxd2 d4 12 Ne4 0-0> Black has equalized. <13 a3 Qd5 14 Qf4 Rfe8 15 Re2 Bf8 16 Ng3 Bxd3 17 cxd3 Re6?!> Black has few problems after 17 . . . Qb5 18 Rd1 Rad8. <18 Nh5!> The cramping pawn at e5 and White's Queen and Knights cooperate well. <18Rae8 19 Rae1 a5?> Probably underestimating the reply. An illustration of White's prospects is 19 . . . R6e7? 20 Qg5 Kh8 21 Nf4 Qb3 22 e6!, threatening 23 exf7 and inviting 22 . . . fxe6? 23 Ng6+! hxg6 24 Qh4+ Kg8 25 Ng5. The computer suggests the unnatural 19 . . . R8e7 20 Qg4 Qa5 as Black's best defense. <20 Qg4!> Threatening both 21 Nf6+ and 21 Nf4. Black must lose material. <20Rg6 21 Nf4! Rxg4 22 Nxd5 Rg6 23 g4!?> Also 23 Nxc7 should win. <23Rd8?!> Even the superior 23 . . . f6 24 exf6 Rxe2 25 Rxe2 gxf6 26 Nxc7 is miserable for Black. <24 Nf4! Rh6 25 g5 Re6 26 Nxe6 fxe6 27 Rc1> Kamsky handles the technical phase patiently. First he ties Black to the defense of d4. Later he will open a file and invade with his Rooks. <27Rd5 28 Rc4 Bc5 29 h4 Bb6 30 Kg2 Ne7 31 h5 Rd8 32 Re4 Nf5 33 Nh4 Ne7 34 Kg3 g6> If Black waits, White makes progress with g5-g6 and Re4-f4-f7. <35 Kg4 Rd5 36 hxg6 hxg6 37 a4 Kf7 38 Rc1> Clearly, the Rooks belong on the h-file. <38Rd8 39 Rh1 Kg7 40 Ng2 Nf5 41 Nf4 Re8 42 Ree1 c5 43 Rh3, 1-0.> After 43 . . . Bc7 44 Kf3 b6 45 Ke4, White breaks through with 46 Reh1 and 47 Rh7+.

#4: <1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be3 e5 7 Nb3 Be7 8 f3 Be6 9 Qd2 Nbd7 10 g4 0-0 11 0-0-0 Qc7> Some prefer 11 . . . b5 12 g5 b4. <12 Kb1 b5 13 g5 Nh5> A fascinating position that has endured years of analysis and grandmaster games without revealing all its mysteries. <14 f4> Another common line begins 14 Nd5 Bxd5 15 exd5 Nb6. <14exf4 15 Bxf4 Nxf4 16 Qxf4 Rac8 17 Nd4 Nb6> More natural appears 17 . . . Ne5, but Grischuk obtained a strong attack with 18 h4 Rfe8 19 h5 b4 20 Nd5 Bxd5 21 exd5 Bf8 22 Bh3 Rb8 23 g6!. <18 Bd3 Qc5 19 Nf5> New. Two recent games were drawn quickly by 19 Nd5 Nxd5 20 exd5 Bxd5 21 Nf5 Rce8 22 Nxe7+ Rxe7 23 Bxh7+ Kxh7 24 Qf5+ g6 25 Qxd5 Re2. <19Rce8> In a fast game, it is difficult to react to a sharp novelty. Probably 19 . . . Rfe8 improves. <20 Nxe7+ Rxe7 21 e5!> Too slow is 21 Qh4 Qe5! 22 Nd5 Rb7, when Black will counterattack with 23 . . . Na4. <21d5> Safer than 21 . . . Qxe5 22 Qh4 g6 23 Rhe1 Qh8 24 Ne4. The plausible 21 . . . dxe5 22 Qh4 f5 would lose to 23 gxf6 gxf6 24 Ne4 Qc6 25 Nxf6+ Rxf6 26 Rhg1+! (not 26 Qxf6?? because 26 . . . Bxa2+ wins the Queen) Kf7 27 Qxh7+ Ke8 28 Qh8+ Rf8 29 Bg6+. <22 h4 Nc4 23 h5 d4?> Losing. Necessary is 23 . . . Qe3! 24 Qh4 Rb7, so Black can meet 25 h6 g6 26 Rhe1 Qc5 27 Qf4 by 27 . . . Qb4, threatening mate and a discovery on White's Queen. 24 h6! g6 White refutes 24 . . . Qxe5 by 25 Bxh7+! Kxh7 26 hxg7+ Kxg7 27 Qh4 Rc8 28 Qh6+ Kg8 29 Qf6!, mating. Trickier is 27 . . . Bf5, but 28 Qh6+ Kg8 29 Nd5! Bxc2+ 30 Kc1! f6 31 g6 Bxg6 32 Nxe7+ Qxe7 33 Qxg6+ Qg7 34 Qe4 will cost Black his Queen. <25 Nd5!> The interference theme, a rarity in tournaments. Karjakin avoids 25 Bxc4 Bxc4 26 Qf6?? Qxe5 but renews the threat to invade at f6. <25Qxd5> Only the hopeless 25...f5 26 Nxe7+ delays the end. <26 Bxc4 Qxc4 27 Qf6, 1-0.> It's mate after 27 . . . Qxa2+ 28 Kc1 Qa1+ 29 Kd2 Qa5+ 30 Ke2 Bg4+ 31 Kf2.

#1
Onischuk vs Shirov, 2007 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 42 moves, 0-1

#2
Kamsky vs Shirov, 2007 
(B30) Sicilian, 37 moves, 1-0

#3
Kamsky vs Carlsen, 2007 
(C43) Petrov, Modern Attack, 43 moves, 1-0

#4
Karjakin vs E Alekseev, 2007 
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 27 moves, 1-0

4 games

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