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Sergey Karjakin vs Boris Gelfand
Tata Steel Masters (2014), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 8, Jan-21
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Adams Attack (B90)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-21-14  Ulhumbrus: 6 h3?! moves a pawn in the opening although 5...a6 does that as well.

7...h5? may be a losing mistake, for now Black's king is in danger no mater where he is placed. Instead of this 7...Be6 supports the advance ...d5.

What about the argument that a powerful computer must have generated some analysis which serves to justify such a move?

If so, perhaps some more powerful computer will produce some analysis tomorrow which serves to justify refraining from the move.

Instead of 35...Qa7, 37...Rf7 enables the rook to act in concert with Black's queen by preparing to go to a7.

Jan-21-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: < "The other player in second place, Sergey Karjakin, closed in on Aronian, as he emerged victorious in his game against Boris Gelfand. Karjakin felt he 'got a better position out of the opening' but there was no reason for his opponent to despair. Gelfand tried to develop some play against white’s king but when the Russian found the strong (see diagram) 38.Qe3!, the Israeli was obliged to swap queens, leaving him with an utterly lost rook-ending. Karjakin could have ended the game sooner but in the end his technique sufficed." >

http://www.tatasteelchess.com/tourn...


click for larger view

Jan-21-14  Shams: <Ulhumbrus> <6 h3?! moves a pawn in the opening although 5...a6 does that as well.>

I don't want to pile on, but calling the Adams Attack dubious is ridiculous. Over the past five years it has become perhaps the top anti-Najdorf weapon there is.

Jan-21-14  Conrad93: Here is an interesting line for black that the engines might miss:

11...b4!


click for larger view

12. Nxb4 Qa5 13. Nbd5 Bxd5 14. exd5 Rb8 15. Bc1 Ne4!


click for larger view

White now has no justification for his position.

Jan-21-14  Conrad93: If 13. a3?! is played instead, black can play 13...Nxe4 14. Nxe4 Bxe4


click for larger view

Black has a large pawn majority on the kingside that might prove difficult for white to stop in the endgame.

Jan-21-14  Conrad93: <I don't want to pile on, but calling the Adams Attack dubious is ridiculous. Over the past five years it has become perhaps the top anti-Najdorf weapon there is.>

Fischer played the opening against the creator himself (Fischer vs Najdorf, 1962), and won without much trouble, so calling 6. h6!? dubious is ignorant.

Jan-21-14  csmath: 6. h3!?

[Adams Attack, strange sideline, on the face value looks very slow and outside the spirit of Najdorf but it is played as an "improvement" to Keres Attack by people like Carlsen and Anand and therefore not to be underestimated.]

8. ...b5

[So far Gelfand played the most aggressive setup.]

9. Bg5!?

[This move is probably prepared by Karjakin although it looks very natural.]

16. Bh3!?

[Since all of the previous moves are very very natural I don't really see what white has achieved in this variation.]

17. Rb8?!

[It looks that 16. ...Nfd7!, 17. Nc5 a3, 18. Qf3 Ne6, 19. 0-0-0 0-0, 20. Bf5 g6, 21. Bxe6 fxe6, 22. Qd3 leads to double-edged and dangerous game for both but black is certainly not worse.]

22. ...Kf8?!

[One of the maneuvers in Najdorf that is according to taste of Gelfand but not the best idea here since white will open f-file and there is no hope for king safety on that file nor on g-file.]

28. Qc6

[Start of nice little combination that resolves the position into ending with pawn up. Still very far away from wining but white has the upper hand.]

32. ...Qf2?!

[Obviously Gelfand has concerns for inferior rook ending with runaway b-pawn after 32. ...Qxg3, 33. Qxg3 Rxg3, 34. Kc2 Kf6, 35. b5 Ke7, 36. Ra1! Kd8 and black position looks dangerous. However move in the game is not any better, on the contrary. In either case Galfand will be forced to accept the same type of ending he was trying to avoid.]

34. ...Qg1?!

[Gelfand is clearly trying to find some way into perpetual but there are too many pawns around to make anything out of it. ]

37. ...Ra1?

[37. ...Rxf3 was more resilient although queen ending looks rather lousy.]

38. Qe3!

[This is it and now 39. ...Qa2+, 40. Kc3 is completely hopeless for black. Black is forced into lousy rook's ending.]

One would assume that now black is completely lost but...

44. Kc4?!

[This is really hard to explain when obvious move 44. Re1 wins so easily. Karjakin does have a winning plan but he is making it harder than needed.]

========

It is hard to recognize Gelfand in this tournament that is shaping as a complete debacle for him.

Jan-21-14  parisattack: Note that this is Weaver "White to Play and Win" Adams not Mickey Adams.

Another nice game with it from Fischer:

Fischer vs Julio Bolbochan, 1962

Jan-21-14  dumbgai: <7...h5? may be a losing mistake, for now Black's king is in danger no mater where he is placed.>

I highly doubt that 7...h5 is a losing move, given that GMs have played it numerous times against other GMs and held their own.

Jan-22-14  SChesshevsky: <parisattack: Another nice game with it from Fischer: Fischer vs Julio Bolbochan, 1962>

I'm guessing Karjakin did his homework on this one knowing Gelfand likes to bump the N with ...e5.

It looks like he followed Fischer's 50 year old idea pretty well. Get a Knight well posted on d5, open lines, get position and threaten the weak pawn structure. He got help once Black lost the KB and the King got stranded.

Jan-22-14  fgh: <Ulhumbrus: 6 h3?! moves a pawn in the opening although 5...a6 does that as well. 7...h5? may be a losing mistake, for now Black's king is in danger no mater where he is placed. Instead of this 7...Be6 supports the advance ...d5.>

I can't believe my eyes. What's your rating?

Jan-22-14  KingchecksQueen: [<Condrad93>] Can you teach csmath on how to diagram?
Jan-22-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: But <Ulhumbrus> failed to roundly condemn 5.....a6.

Is there actually hope of penetrating the massive layers of dogmata surrounding that poster's brain?

Jan-22-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Gelfand did come within a hair of winning the world championship a couple of years ago. I for one would be reluctant to claim that his seventh move is a losing blunder. FWIW, Houdini 3 gives White a +0.15 advantage after that move - nothing to write home about. (Houdini gave White a slightly larger advantage than that after 1...c5.)
Jan-22-14  jakaiden: <FSR: Gelfand did come within a hair of winning the world championship a couple of years ago.> Not from the top of his head. LOL
Jan-22-14  parisattack: <SChesshevsky: <parisattack: Another nice game with it from Fischer: Fischer vs Julio Bolbochan, 1962> I'm guessing Karjakin did his homework on this one knowing Gelfand likes to bump the N with ...e5.

It looks like he followed Fischer's 50 year old idea pretty well. Get a Knight well posted on d5, open lines, get position and threaten the weak pawn structure. He got help once Black lost the KB and the King got stranded.>

This was the first game I remember ever seeing with White's stranglehold on d5 in the Sicilian. I think in Chernev's book:

Smyslov vs I Rudakovsky, 1945

Jan-22-14  SChesshevsky: <parisattack: This was the first game I remember ever seeing with White's stranglehold on d5 in the Sicilian.>

Thanks for the link! I took notes on the game from Smylov's annotations in his book "My Best Games" but I forgot about it long ago. But your post jogged my memory. I think I still have the notebook hanging around. I'll have to play through it again.

I'm guessing Fischer knew the game and it explains his comment vs Bolbochan. Quite a pedigree for White control of d5. Also at Tata, I noticed

Caruana vs Gelfand, 2014

where Caruana seemed to restrict Gelfand by d5 control also.

Jan-22-14  parisattack: <SChesshevsky> Interesting. I do not remember it in Smyslov's book - need to look, compare annotations. Thx!

It is games like those which kept the Pelikan under wraps for so long. Larsen's game with Robatsch is what brought it to my attention:

Robatsch vs Larsen, 1963

Note that four years earlier he played what became known as the Sveshnikov against Olafsson:

F Olafsson vs Larsen, 1959

Jan-23-14  SChesshevsky: < parisattack: It is games like those which kept the Pelikan under wraps for so long. Larsen's game with Robatsch is what brought it to my attention>

Thanks for the info. I've never seen these games, very interesting from so early on. Larsen seemed to have the right idea for aggressive counterplay on any sign of White dawdle. Plus fits his style.

Larsen was a very under appreciated. In the mid 70's he did occasional annotated games for CL&R magazine. One short article was a great lesson on master chess thinking, entertaining too. I made a copy back then, I'll post it via the Larsen page if it's of interest, once I find it.

Jan-23-14  parisattack: <SChesshevsky> I do not recall the article and would very much like to see it if you get time to post. Thx!

Larsen made enormous contributions to chess and the vitality of the game.

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