King Inside The Square

Время публикации: 11.01.2015 10:03 | Последнее обновление: 24.01.2015 10:12

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Vassily Ivanchuk: 'It was an unexpected final'

The first playing day of the 77th festival in Wijk aan Zee is over. In the main tournament, three players have won their games, while the one to score the most illogical victory was Vassily Ivanchuk.

While leaving the tournament hall, both Ivanchuk and his opponent Baadur Jobava were smiling and shrugging their shoulders. As a matter of fact, the debutant of the A-tournament has made a big present to his experienced opponent in the endgame. 

The lucky winner has shared his impressions with our website: 'It was a difficult game. My 20.c5 was wrong - instead, I had to play 20.Qb3 whereupon my position would have been better. It's hard to say how serious the advantage would have been, but it's more pleasant for White anyway. Yet, I have to admit that it's quite easy to overlook 20...Qa5: I was expecting other replies.

Afterwards, Baadur wasn't obliged to play so concretely. He could put his bishop on e7 instead of d4, just keeping the pair of bishops. (The engines, however, do not agree with Ivanchuk: 24...Bd4 is the first line, while 24...Be7 25.Qf2 allows White to consolidate his position. According to the machine, the real mistake was the next move, 25...b5 - CN).

After some complications, we went to a rook ending which I was evaluating as roughly equal. It can be difficult only if Black tries to play for a win. Had he remained rock-solid there's no way I could win that. By the way, 40.Ke5 was better than my 40.Kd5, but it needs analysis...'


'Of course, 42...Ra4?? is a horrible blunder. I was very lucky: my opponent forgot that the king would be inside the square and approach the pawn on time. So, that's how I got the full point. It was an unexpected final'.

After 43.Rxa4 Black resigned due to 43...bxa4 44.Kc4! Kc6 45.Kd3!, and two white passed pawns would decide the outcome, for instance: 45...Kd5 46.e6 fxe6 47.f6, or 45...a3 46.Kc2. 1-0

If you can understand Russian you can listen to the full commentary by Ivanchuk in the audio player at the top of the page.

* * *

'It's always nice to start with a win', Caruana smiled shortly after having beaten Ding Liren. 'Chances to become 1st? You always have the chances if you're in a good shape and a tournament goes well', he added in his usual laconic manner.

Ding Liren, who was White, has chosen a line of the Grunfeld Defence which he had already played against Gelfand in the recent Petrosian Memorial in Moscow. The Israeli GM opted for 13...Bg4 which could bring him some problems afterwards; 13...Bf5 by the Italian seems to be a novelty.

In the dense positional struggle which followed, Fabiano outplayed his opponent using small nuances. It looks like the Chinese player failed to feel the timely moment for 'winding the game up' (Giri style) or at least starting to be more circumspect. After 26...f6 it has become obvious that it was only Black who played for the win: the game opened up, the white king was quite exposed, while the white pieces were clearly lacking harmony.

In a few more moves, after 30...Be4!, Ding Liren's position became very difficult, as 31.Nxc5 would've been met with 31...Qc6! 32.Nxe4 f5 winning the material. The realisation by Caruana was absolutely relentless, as always happens in his best games.


36...a5! 37.Rxa5 Bc3 38.Rd5 Qa7+ 39.Kh2 Bxd5 40.cxd5 Bxe1. 0-1

* * *

The third triumpher of the 1st round, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, has admitted that he hadn't expected the French Defence from Hou Yifan. Perhaps that's why he decided to surprise her in turn by choosing the Alekhine-Chatard attack (6.h4). Accepting the pawn sacrifice is consireded to be dangerous (6...Bxg5 7.hxg5 Qxg5 8.Nh3 Qe7 9.Qg4, etc.), and the women's world champion played 6...h6 7.Bxe7 Qxe7, which was followed by 8.Nb5!? This rare move is in fact quite poisonous: by the cost of some time, White reinforces his important d4-pawn by c2-c3, hoping to obtain a long-term French-type advantage.

Anyway, the calm 14...Bd7 was an interesting alternative for Black, but it looks like Hou Yifan was afraid of finding herself under stable positional pressure, as she decided to open up the center. My (AD) first impression is that the key moment occurred on the moves 19 and 20.


The sequence found by the Frenchmen isn't obvious at all: 19.Qb3 Qd6 20.Qc2! The idea is that White wants to exchange the queens while keeping the bishops on the board by stopping ...Bf5.

One cannot exclude that the Black's play can be improved; anyhow, after the series of mutual blows - 20...Bd7 21.Qc7 Qf6 22.Qxb7 Rfb8 23.Qc7 Qxb2 24.Qd6! - the Chinese GM had no choice but to agree for a difficult ending: 24...Qf6 25.Qxf6 gxf6, where she eventually failed to protect her multiple weaknesses. (Annotations by GM Andrey Deviatkin)

All the games of round 1 of the A-tournament can be viewed below.

[Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.10"] [Round "1.2"] [White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Black "Jobava, Baadur"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B32"] [Opening "Sicilian"] [Variation "Labourdonnais-Loewenthal (Kalashnikov) variation"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d6 6. c4 g6 7. Be3 Be6 8. N1c3 a6 9. Na3 Nf6 10. Be2 Bg7 11. Nc2 Rc8 12. Rc1 O-O 13. O-O Ne7 14. Na3 Nc6 15. Re1 Nd4 16. f3 Qb6 17. Rb1 Nxe2+ 18. Rxe2 Qb4 19. Rd2 Rfd8 20. c5 Qa5 21. Rxd6 Bf8 22. Rxd8 Rxd8 23. Qe2 Bxc5 24. Nc2 Bd4 25. Qe1 b5 26. Nxd4 exd4 27. Bg5 dxc3 28. Qxc3 Qxc3 29. bxc3 Bxa2 30. Bxf6 Rd6 31. Be5 Re6 32. Ra1 Rxe5 33. Rxa2 Re6 34. Kf2 Kf8 35. Ke3 Ke7 36. g4 Kd7 37. f4 Rc6 38. Kd4 Kc7 39. f5 Rc4+ 40. Kd5 Kb6 41. Ra3 a5 42. e5 Ra4 43. Rxa4 1-0 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.10"] [Round "1"] [White "Vachier Lagrave,M"] [Black "Hou Yifan"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2757"] [BlackElo "2673"] [EventDate "2015.01.09"] [ECO "C13"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e5 Nfd7 6. h4 h6 7. Bxe7 Qxe7 8. Nb5 Nb6 9. c3 a6 10. Na3 c5 11. Nf3 Nc6 12. Bd3 cxd4 13. cxd4 O-O 14. O-O f6 15. exf6 Qxf6 16. Rc1 e5 17. dxe5 Nxe5 18. Nxe5 Qxe5 19. Qb3 Qd6 20. Qc2 Bd7 21. Qc7 Qf6 22. Qxb7 Rfb8 23. Qc7 Qxb2 24. Qd6 Qf6 25. Qxf6 gxf6 26. Rc5 Rc8 27. Ra5 Rc3 28. Rb1 Na4 29. Bb5 Bf5 30. Rb3 Rc1+ 31. Kh2 Nc3 32. Bc6 Rd8 33. Rc5 Nxa2 34. Rxd5 Rf8 35. Rd6 Nc3 36. Nc4 Nb5 37. Bxb5 axb5 38. Ne3 Rc5 39. Nd5 Kh8 40. Nxf6 Re5 41. f3 Re6 42. Ne4 Rb8 43. Rb4 Rxd6 44. Nxd6 Bd7 45. Kg3 Kg7 46. Kf4 Kf6 47. g4 Ra8 48. Rb3 Rb8 49. Ne4+ Ke7 50. Nc5 Bc6 51. Na6 Rf8+ 52. Kg3 Bd5 53. Re3+ Kd6 54. Rd3 Rd8 55. Nb4 Kc5 56. Rxd5+ Rxd5 57. Nxd5 Kxd5 58. Kf2 1-0 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.10"] [Round "1"] [White "Giri,A"] [Black "Carlsen,M"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2784"] [BlackElo "2862"] [EventDate "2015.01.09"] [ECO "A40"] 1. d4 g6 2. c4 Bg7 3. e4 d6 4. Nf3 e5 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 f6 7. Be3 Nh6 8. h3 Nf7 9. c5 dxc5 10. dxe5 Nfxe5 11. Nxe5 fxe5 12. Bb5 Bd7 13. Bxc6 Bxc6 14. Bxc5 Bf8 15. Bxf8 Rxf8 16. O-O Qxd1 17. Rfxd1 Rd8 18. Rxd8+ Kxd8 19. Rd1+ Ke7 20. Nd5+ Bxd5 21. Rxd5 Ke6 22. f3 c6 23. Rd3 Rf7 24. Kf2 Rd7 25. Rxd7 Kxd7 26. h4 c5 27. g3 b5 28. b3 Ke6 29. Ke3 h6 30. f4 h5 1/2-1/2 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.10"] [Round "1"] [White "Ding Liren"] [Black "Caruana,F"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "2732"] [BlackElo "2820"] [EventDate "2015.01.09"] [ECO "D78"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 c6 4. Bg2 d5 5. Nf3 Bg7 6. O-O O-O 7. b3 dxc4 8. bxc4 c5 9. Bb2 Qb6 10. Qc1 cxd4 11. Nxd4 Nc6 12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. Nd2 Bf5 14. Nb3 Rac8 15. e4 Be6 16. e5 Nd7 17. Re1 c5 18. Nd2 Qa6 19. Re3 Rb8 20. Ra3 Qb6 21. Rb3 Qc7 22. f4 Nb6 23. Rb1 Rbd8 24. Bc3 Qd7 25. Bf1 Bf5 26. Ra1 f6 27. exf6 exf6 28. Rb5 Na4 29. Nb3 Nxc3 30. Qxc3 Be4 31. f5 Qxf5 32. Re1 Rfe8 33. Rxc5 Qd7 34. Qc1 f5 35. Qf4 Re7 36. h4 a5 37. Rxa5 Bc3 38. Rd5 Qa7+ 39. Kh2 Rxd5 40. cxd5 Bxe1 0-1 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.10"] [Round "1"] [White "Radjabov,T"] [Black "Van Wely,L"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2734"] [BlackElo "2667"] [EventDate "2015.01.09"] [ECO "B09"] 1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. f4 Bg7 5. Nf3 c5 6. d5 O-O 7. Bd3 e6 8. dxe6 Bxe6 9. f5 gxf5 10. exf5 Bd7 11. O-O Bc6 12. Bg5 Nbd7 13. Bc4 h6 14. Bh4 Nb6 15. Bb5 Re8 16. Qd3 d5 17. Rae1 Rxe1 18. Rxe1 Nbd7 19. Bxc6 bxc6 20. b3 Qa5 21. h3 Qb4 22. Bf2 Nh5 23. Na4 Nhf6 24. Qa6 Qb5 25. Qxb5 cxb5 26. Nxc5 Nxc5 27. Bxc5 Rc8 28. Bxa7 Rxc2 29. a4 bxa4 30. bxa4 Ra2 31. Rb1 Rxa4 32. Rb8+ Kh7 33. Rb7 Kg8 34. Rb8+ Kh7 35. Rb7 Kg8 1/2-1/2 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.10"] [Round "1"] [White "Saric,Iv"] [Black "Aronian,L"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2666"] [BlackElo "2797"] [EventDate "2015.01.09"] [ECO "C50"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O d6 5. c3 Nf6 6. d4 Bb6 7. a4 a6 8. dxe5 Nxe5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. Qxd8+ Kxd8 11. a5 Ba7 12. Nd2 Ke7 13. b3 Bc5 14. b4 Bd6 15. Re1 Rd8 16. Bf1 Kf8 17. Nc4 Ne8 18. f4 exf4 19. Nxd6 Nxd6 20. Bxf4 Be6 21. Rad1 Rd7 22. c4 Rad8 23. c5 Nb5 24. Rxd7 Bxd7 25. Rd1 Ke8 26. Bc4 Be6 27. Rxd8+ Kxd8 28. Bxb5 axb5 29. c6 bxc6 30. Be3 Kc8 31. Bc5 Kb7 32. Kf2 1/2-1/2 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.10"] [Round "1"] [White "So,W"] [Black "Wojtaszek,R"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2762"] [BlackElo "2744"] [EventDate "2015.01.09"] [ECO "B90"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. f3 h5 9. Nd5 Bxd5 10. exd5 Nbd7 11. Be2 g6 12. Qd2 Bg7 13. O-O b6 14. Rae1 O-O 15. c4 Rc8 16. h3 Nh7 17. Na1 a5 18. Nc2 Bf6 19. Na3 Bh4 20. Rb1 f5 21. Nb5 f4 22. Bf2 Bxf2+ 23. Rxf2 Nc5 24. Qc2 Qf6 25. b3 Ng5 26. Bd3 Kg7 27. a3 Nf7 28. b4 Nxd3 29. Qxd3 Qf5 30. Qxf5 gxf5 31. Rc2 Kf6 32. bxa5 bxa5 33. Na7 Rb8 34. Rb5 a4 35. Nc6 Rbc8 36. c5 dxc5 37. Rb6 Nd6 38. Na5 Ke7 39. Nc6+ Kf6 40. Na7 Rcd8 41. Rxc5 e4 42. Ra5 Rd7 43. Raa6 Ke5 44. Nc6+ Kxd5 45. Ra5+ Ke6 46. fxe4 fxe4 47. Rxh5 Rf6 48. Nd4+ Ke7 49. Nc6+ Ke6 50. Nd4+ Ke7 51. Re5+ Kf7 52. Rd5 Ke8 53. Rb8+ Kf7 54. Nb5 Ke6 55. Nc3 f3 56. Rb6 Rg6 57. g4 Rh6 58. Kh2 f2 59. Rf5 e3 60. Kg2 Rc7 61. Nd5 Kd7 62. Re5 Rc5 63. Rb1 Nc4 64. Rf5 Kd6 65. Rb8 Re6 66. Rd8+ Kc6 67. Rc8+ Kd6 68. Rd8+ Kc6 69. Rc8+ Kd6 70. Rd8+ 1/2-1/2 

The second round will begin today at the same time (12:30 GMT).

The crosstable, schedule, pairings, and all the other information about the main Wijk aan Zee tournament


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