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Vugar Gashimov vs Sergey Karjakin
Baku Grand Prix (2008), Baku AZE, rd 10, May-02
Sicilian Defense: Closed Variation (B23)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-02-08  Augalv: Gashimov Vugar - Karjakin Sergey, Grand Prix Baku, 10th Round.

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.Bxc6 Bxc6 7.Bg5 h6 8.Be3 Nf6 9.Nf3 e5 10.Qd3 Be7 ( diagram )

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Pleasant position for Black.He faces a fine choice, to push d5 or b5.Somehow it seems that White need to be careful not to find himself in bad position.


This just can't work.11.0-0 is best thing to do right here.


Nothing to add, another option is 11..Nxe4 12.Nxe4 d5 13.Nf5 dxe4 14.Nxg7+ Kf8 15.Qxd8+ Bxd8 16.Nf5.

12.exd5 Nxd5 ( diagram )

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Black is better, total failure of White's opening strategy.


Not 13.Nxd5 Qxd5 14.Qxd5 Bxd5 with huge edge for Black.

13..Bb4! 14.0-0-0

If 14.Bd2 then 14..Bxc3 15.bxc3 g6 is better for Black.

14..Bxc3 15.bxc3 0-0 16.c4 Nxe3 17.Qxd8 Raxd8 18.Nxe3 f6 19.Rd3 Kf7?!

This is not the most precise.19..Be4! is better.

20.Rhd1 Rxd3 21.cxd3 Rd8 22.f3 ( diagram )

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More or less forced.Black is a bit better, no doubts about this.Better light piece, better pawn structure, majority on Kingside.To access White position Black must start to roll his 4 pawns, f3 pawn is nice target and is helping Black to establish desirable structure like f4+g4 to follow ( supported by h5 pawn ).For start is interesting 22..Ke6 with f5-g5-h5.White plan is to march King to c3 and to push d4.Black must stop this.

Black's dream is to make position like in the next diagram.But how? If 22..Ke6 then 23.Kb2! ( 23.Rd2 is a waste of time, 23..f5! 24.Kc2 f4 25.Ng4 h5 26.Nf2 g5 goes into position from diagram ) with quick d4.

What about 22..h5!? White can't reply with 23.h4? Rd4! is better for Karjakin.If 24.Kd2 h4 25.h3 Kg6 trying to enter via g5-f4 squares.

Karjakin is trying to combine play on both flanks.

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22..b5 23.a3 Ke6 24.Rd2 f5 25.Kc2 f4 26.Ng4 bxc4

If 26..h5 27.Nf2 g5 28.Kc3 bxc4 ( if 28..g4 then 29.cxb5! ) 29.dxc4 Rxd2+ 30.Kxd2 and White is holding.

27.dxc4 Rxd2+ 28.Kxd2 e4 29.fxe4 Bxe4 ( diagram )

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May-02-08  Augalv: 30.g3 Kf5 31.Nf2 fxg3 32.hxg3

Too many pawns went off the board.You will notice that a1 square is not light so White can sacrifice Knight for the future passer.

32..Bb7 33.Ke3 h5 34.Kd4 g5 35.Ke3 a5 36.c5 Bc6 37.Nd3 h4 38.gxh4 gxh4 39.Nf4 Kg4 40.Nd3 Kf5 41.Nf4 Ba8 42.Nh3 Ke5 43.Nf3 Be4 ( diagram )

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Black is trying to make something out of the nothing.

44.c6 Bf5 45.Kf3 Kd6 46.g2 h3 47.Nf4 Bg4+ 48.Kf2 Kxc6 49.Nxh3 Bxh3 50.Ke3 Kb5 51.Kd2 Ka4 52.Kc1 Kxa3 53.Kb1 a4 54.Ka1 Kb3 55.Kb1 a3 56.Ka1 Bf5 draw ( stalemate )

Extracted from blog about Sergey Karjakin.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I like 36 Bg2!? It gives the king more flexibility.

click for larger view

Now, if the match continued as in the text with 37 Nd3 h4 38 gxh4 gxh4 39 Nf4 Bc6, now black is in better shape.

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The king is not forced to commit to either the defense of the h pawn or attacking whites c pawn.

May-03-08  Warheart: Jimfromprovidence, I like your idea, in second diagram we have position from the game but with White to move right?! I have this feeling that Karjakin had a win somewhere but I can't find it where.Even after analysis I have this feeling.40.Nh3 Kg4 41.Ng1! Bh1! ( maybe something else!? ) is best for both sides.What if we follow the game and instead 42..Ke5 play 42..Kg4? Becides, you can always win a tempo with Bishop to enter position from second Jim's diagram.I still find annoying that I can't find win but I still feel there is a win :))
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