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Wesley So vs David Navara
Tata Steel Group B (2011), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 7, Jan-22
Neo-Grünfeld Defense: Delayed Exchange Variation (D76)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-22-11  jerry crus: Oh my gulay,2nd and last moved of the queen is a blunder( 2 moves for the entire game)
Jan-22-11  wordfunph: 31...Qd7 and 1-0 for GM So.
Jan-22-11  notyetagm: Game Collection: ACTS: ALIGNMENTS CREATE THREATENED SQUARES!

W So vs Navara, 2011 31 ... Qc8-d7?? makes alignment with f7-king, makes e5 fork sq

Jan-22-11  notyetagm: Game Collection: HIT DEFENDERS HARD! HIT DEFENDERS HARD!

W So vs Navara, 2011 32 Bh3xNg4 destroys g4-knight, 33 h2-h3 drives off g4-knight

Jan-22-11  jerry crus: The pawn sacrifice 13. d5 is a weak moved according to the computer but after 13...Nxd5 the computer evaluation turn in favor of white,how's that... i don't understand
Jan-22-11  ambongtumbong: Ang galing ni aydol Wes
Jan-23-11  notyetagm: Game Collection: HIT DEFENDERS SO HARD! HIT DEFENDERS SO HARD!
Jan-24-11  crazygorillas: Nice game by GM Wesley I think GM Navarra wanted to give Wesley a Queen for a Christmas present. In fact he offered his Knight too! he he he...
Jan-25-11  iking:

<In round 7, So won an important theoretical game in the Fianchetto Grunfeld. Developed by the Czech players in the 1960s, the variation is a classic confrontation between the white pawn center and the black light pieces. Both grandmasters, Wesley So and David Navara, played it in the past and we could have expected a new twist. It came on move 13, when So uncorked a new pawn sacrifice recommended by a few chess engines.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2 Nb6 7.Nc3 Nc6 (Attacking the center before white castles prevents the advance of the d-pawn. The Czech grandmasters had a lion's share in developing this dynamic variation. The black pieces are holding the white pawn center in check.

8.e3 0-0 9.0-0 Re8 Postponing the e7-e5 strike in the center, black plays a useful, waiting move, discouraging white from developing his dark bishop on the long diagonal. The main idea is 10.b3 e5 11.d5 e4! Kasparov gets lots of credit for playing the rook move.

10.Re1 [10.b3 e5 11.d5? (11.Nxe5 Nxe5 12.dxe5 Qxd1 13.Nxd1 Bxe5 14.Bb2 )

10...a5 11.Qe2 [Carlsen suffered a crushing defeated against Giri, playing 11.Qd2 but the queen was on the wrong spot and the game ended quickly with inexplicable blunders from white: 11...e5 12.d5 Nb4 13.e4 c6 14.a3 cxd5! 15.axb4 axb4 16.Rxa8 bxc3 17.bxc3 Nxa8 18.exd5 Nb6 19.Rd1 e4 20.Ng5 e3 21.Qb2 Qxg5 22.Bxe3 Qg4 0-1 Carlsen,M (2814)-Giri,A (2686)/Wijk aan Zee NED 2011

11...a4 [11...e5 12.Nxe5 Nxe5 13.dxe5 Bxe5 14.e4!? This move gives black more fits:

12.Rd1 Be6?! Diagram [12...Bd7 ]

13.d5! [The computers figured out the dangerous tactics along the d-file and came up with a promising pawn sacrifice. Navara already played 12...Be6 against Laznicka in the Czech Blitz Championship in last December.

13...Nxd5 14.Nb5! [The point! White threatens 15.e4 and because black can't escape from the pin quickly, white gets a bishop pair and creates a double-pawn. White can't utilize the pin immediately with 14.Nxd5 Bxd5 15.e4 since black has 15...Bc4! 16.Qc2 Nb4! winning.]

14...Qc8 15.Ng5 Rd8 16.Nxe6 fxe6 17.Rb1 Preparing to develop the dark bishop, white is slightly better.

17...Kh8 Anticipating a hit from e6, Navara removes his king. The alternatives include some knight moves. [17...Nb6 18.Bd2 Ne5 19.Bc3 Rxd1+ 20.Rxd1 c6 21.Bxe5 Bxe5 22.Nd4 Bxd4 23.exd4 Nd5 24.Bh3 Kf7 25.Re1 Nc7 ; 17...Ne5 18.e4 Nb6 19.Rxd8+ Qxd8 20.Bg5 ; Deep Rybka 4 recommends to retreat 17...Nf6 18.Bd2 Ne5 (18...Ne8 19.f4 Nd6= ) ]

18.Bh3 Interestingly, So refrains from the move e3-e4 that weakens the square d4.

18...Nf6 19.Bd2 Ra6

20.Bc3 Whire's bishop pair has black's position in crossfire.

20...Rd5 21.Rxd5 Nxd5 22.Bxg7+ [Removing the defender is preferable to keeping the bishop pair. 22.Be1 ]

22...Kxg7 23.Qc4 Threatening to win a piece with 24.Qxd5

23...Nf6 24.Rd1! [24.Bxe6 Ne5 25.Bxc8 Nxc4 eases black's defense.]

24...Kf7 25.Qf4!? [Stronger than going into a slightly better endgame after 25.Bxe6+ Qxe6 26.Qxe6+ Kxe6 27.Nxc7+ Ke5 28.Nxa6 bxa6 ]

25...Rb6 [25...Ra5 26.Qxc7 Qxc7 27.Nxc7 ]

26.Qxa4 Ne5 27.Nd4 c5 28.Qc2! The pin allows white to protect the b-pawn.

28...Rd6 29.f4!? Taking advantage of the unstable black horse.

29...Neg4 [The knight will be vulnerable, but after 29...Ned7 30.Nxe6 white is a healthy pawn up since 30...Rxe6 31.Bxe6+ Kxe6 loses to 32.Qc4+ Kf5 33.e4+! Nxe4 (33...Kg4 34.Qe6+ Kf3 35.Rd3+ Ke2 36.Qb3 Nxe4 37.Qd1# ) 34.Qd5+ ; After 29...Nc6 30.Qxc5 white should win,]

30.Re1 b6 [30...Kg7 31.Nf3 ]

31.Nf3 Qd7? [Stepping into a fork, black loses a piece. After 31...Rd8 32.Qb3 , threatening 33.Ng5+ and 33.Qxb6, white wins a pawn.]

32.Bxg4 Nxg4 33.h3 Winning a piece.

33...Nxe3 [33...Nf6 34.Ne5+ ]

34.Rxe3 1-0

Jan-25-11  freakclub: <iking> It seems to me that Wes has prepared beforehand his 13. d5 thrust. Turns out that both Houdini and Rybka 4 recommend this move.
Jan-25-11  pulsar: <freakclub> I also believe that 13.d5 was prepared beforehand by Wes. However, I think that the preparation entailed not only feeding the moves to an engine (as even Navara could have done that and, logically, find the same continuation) but recognizing the potential of the move with or without the engine. Since we are not privy to the preparation of GM So, we can only make our own assumptions as to how he got convinced that the move is sound and playable.
Jan-25-11  Eyal: In this case he actually referred to it explicitly, didn't he?

<Wesley So: His ...Be6 was a bad move.I know because I also played that as Black. I have many loses in that line. 1.5/4 games I think.> (Wesley So)

Jan-25-11  pulsar: <Eyal: In this case he actually referred to it explicitly, didn't he?> Yes, he mentioned that 12...Be6 was bad. So he lost games with it from the Black side, but it still doesn't directly explain how d5 was 'found'. From that statement, he certainly knows the position after Be6 very well (having played it several times).
Jan-25-11  pulsar: Next time I get the chance to talk with Wesley, I'll ask him about 13.d5. :)
Feb-06-11  wordfunph: as commented by Bobby Ang aka <bang>..

Mar-28-11  ashalpha: 12...Be6 does seem to create a permanent weakness in e6 for black by force after 13.d5! if so it is a very good theoretical novelty.
Apr-25-11  iking:

So, Wesley (2673) -- Navara, David (2708) [D76]

73rd Tata Steel GMB Wijk aan Zee NED (7), 13.01.2011

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 d5

The Gruenfeld is the current hot topic in the chess world and some players, like for example Wesley So, play it with either color.

5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2 Nb6

This prophylactic move is nowadays more popular than kingside castling.

7.Nc3 Nc6

This knight move brings us to what may be called the Czech Variation, for its pioneers are Jan Smejkal and the two Vlastimils -- Hort and Jansa. The latter is Navara’s chess teacher, so it should be no surprise that he has taken this up as well.

8.e3 0-0 9.0-0 Re8

Black can play 9...e5 right away, but prefers to make a useful waiting move to see how White proceeds. Let us take a look at what might happen if Black goes for the committal move: 9...e5 10.d5 Na5 11.e4 c6 12.Bg5 f6 13.Be3 cxd5 14.exd5 Nac4 e.g. 15.Bc5 Rf7 16.b3 Nd6 17.a4 Bg4 18.a5 Nbc8 19.Qd2 Bxf3 20.Bxf3 f5 With chances for both sides. To compensate for white’s bishop pair and passed d-pawn Black has a mobile center and a blockade on d6. Pigusov, E (2525)-Conquest, S. (2445)/ Dordrecht 1988 1/2 (63).


The main alternative is 10.d5 trying to push black Black’s pieces. We don’t have space to go into its variations, but please do not play this line with either side unless you have studied it!

10...a5 11.Qe2

In an earlier round of the "A" tournament Carlsen was massacred by Giri after 11.Qd2?! (could this be a mouseslip? clearly the queen has no future here as it blocks her own bishop) 11...e5 12.d5 Nb4 13.e4 c6 14.a3 cxd5! 15.axb4 axb4 16.Rxa8 bxc3 17.bxc3 Nxa8 18.exd5 Nb6 19.Rd1 e4 20.Ng5 e3 21.Qb2 Qxg5 22.Bxe3 Qg4 0-1 Carlsen, M. (2814)-Giri, A (2686)/ Wijk aan Zee NED 2011.

11...a4 12.Rd1 Be6?! <D>

Position after 12...Be6

Black is restraining White’s center with his pieces and now intends ...Bc4 followed by ...Nb4 and ...c7-c6, which also negates the pressure exerted by White’s fianchettoed bishop. Navara first played this move against Laznicka in the Czech Championship last December. Wesley must have studied the game and now introduces a new move -- a temporary pawn sacrifice.


click for larger view

Apr-25-11  iking:

Continuation ~

13... Nxd5 [13...Bxd5? 14.Nxd5 Nxd5 15.e4 wins the knight]


Of course not 14.Nxd5? Bxd5 15.e4 which is refuted by 15...Bc4! 16.Qc2 Nb4! the tables are turned and it is Black who wins. Now, however, Wesley is threatening 15.e4 and Black’s position is awkward.

14...Qc8 15.Ng5 Rd8 16.Nxe6 fxe6 17.Rb1

Protecting the b2-pawn so that it will not become en prise when he plays Bd2.

17...Kh8 18.Bh3 Nf6 19.Bd2 Ra6 20.Bc3 Rd5 21.Rxd5 Nxd5 22.Bxg7+ Kxg7 23.Qc4. Threatening Qxd5.

23...Nf6 24.Rd1![24.Bxe6 Ne5 25.Bxc8 Nxc4 Black has already survived the worst]

24...Kf7 25.Qf4!?

click for larger view

I am sure that Wesley saw 25.Bxe6+ Qxe6 26.Qxe6+ Kxe6 27.Nxc7+ Ke5 28.Nxa6 bxa6 which is a pretty combination but, when all is said and done, I am not sure that it can be won.

25...Rb6 26.Qxa4 [26.Nxc7? g5! wins the wayward knight on c7]

26...Ne5 27.Nd4 c5 28.Qc2! Rd6 29.f4! Neg4 [After 29...Nc6 30.Qxc5.]

30.Re1 b6 31.Nf3 Qd7?

In this difficult position Navara blunders. The problem is that White is threatening to advance his e-pawn, and should he withdraw the rook 31...Rd8 32.Qb3 wins a pawn, as both Qxb6 and Ng5+ followed by Nxe6 are threatened.

32.Bxg4 Nxg4

click for larger view

33.h3 If the knight withdraws then Ne5+ forks the king and queen.

33...Nxe3 34.Rxe3 1-0

Jul-06-11  herfyriyadh: iking...i think it would better and easy if u make ur commentary and suggestion as a in the youtube...have a nice day
Oct-29-13  iking: W So vs Navara, 2011

see that <FamilyTree>?


No risk you say <FamilyTree>? sowing intrigues again? common, any trick under your sleave?

You must be bluffing ....


Jul-28-14  john barleycorn: John Nunn has this game in his "Understanding Chess Middlegames:

<Positional pawn sacrifices can be very longterm. In the following example a pawn is offered for compensation which is only exploited 20 moves later.>

11.Qe2 a4

<11....Be6 is probably more accurate, as in Leitao vs Caruana, 2010>


<Now this is risky, as it allows White to make a dangerous pawn sacrifice, 12...Bg4 is safer.>

16.Nxe6 fxe6

click for larger view

<In return for the pawn, White has secured the two bishops and inflicted permanent damage on Black's pawn-structure. There is no immediate attack for White, but his positional compensation definitely outweighs the extra material.>


<Playing more slowly by 25.a3! is also good, so that after 25...Rb6 26.Nc3 White can take on a4 with the knight (26....Rxb2? 27.Nxa4 costs Black material).>


<30...Rd5 was the last chance, although after 31.b4 b6 32.Nf3 Black remains under heavy pressure.>

Jan-06-15  iking: <pulsar: Next time I get the chance to talk with Wesley, I'll ask him about 13.d5. :)> .. this mighty <pulsar> is not around anymore ... sad ending
Jan-07-15  SugarDom: <iking: <pulsar: Next time I get the chance to talk with Wesley, I'll ask him about 13.d5. :)> .. this mighty <pulsar> is not around anymore ... sad ending>

Is he?, hehe

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