Ivanchuk Dominating Capa Memorial

Monday, 13.06.2016 15:40

After four rounds of the Capablanca Memorial in Havana only three games in all have produced a victor. On two occasion his name was Vassily Ivanchuk and he is now a point ahead of his four closest rivals. 

Our analyst Alexei Yarovinsky was particularly inspired by one of Vassily’s games.

"According to the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer talent hits a target no one else can hit, while genius hits a target no one else can see. Ivanchuk is without doubt a genius and his play needs to be studied. His win in the third round of the memorial of another genius, José Raúl Capablanca, helped Ivanchuk to strengthen pole position.


27.Nc2?! Decentralizing the knight looks unsightly in itself, all the more so as Black can capture a pawn, which is what he did. Retreating his rook with 27.Rgg1 or 27.Rg2 would have kept the h-pawn on the board with somewhat better prospects for White in a complex struggle. The ambitious 27.b3!? Ne5 28.Rg2 Rxc3 29.Bd2 Rcc8 30.Bxa5 is also good.
27...Bxh4 An alternative was 27...d5!? 28.exd5 exd5 29.Rxd5 Bc6. White probably doesn’t have anything better than to repeat moves with: 30.Rc5 (30.Rxh5 Be8) 30...Bd7 31.Rd5 Bc6.
28.Rdg1? It’s wrong to move the rook of the d-file. Winning back the pawn with 28.Rh1? Bf6 29.Rxh5? Be8 loses the exchange. 28.b3?! Ne5 doesn’t work either. However, 28.f4! protects e5 and, thanks to pressure along the d-file, the move 27.Nc2 is then justified; in this case chances are equal.
28...Bf6 29.Bg5 Nor can he solve his problems with 29.Bxc4 bxc4 30.Bg5 Be5 31.f4 Be8! 32.Rxe6 Bxf4 33.Bxf4 Rxf4
29...Ne5 30.Rxf6 gxf6 31.Bh6+ Kf7 32.Bxf8 Rxf8 33.f4 Ng4 34.Bxg4 hxg4 35.Rxg4 Rh8

This ending clearly demonstrates the bishop’s superiority versus the knight.
36.b4 Rh1+?! 36...e5! was more precise. After 37.Rg2 (37.f5 d5! 38.bxa5 dxe4 39.Ne3 Rh3 40.Rxe4 Bc6 is useless) 37...Bc6 38.fxe5 dxe5 39.Re2 a4 40.Na3 Rh4 Black has a decisive advantage.
37.Kb2 axb4 37...e5 38.f5 d5 now isn’t so effective due to the absence of the Black rook from the eighth rank: 39.bxa5 dxe4 40.a6 Bxf5 (40...Rh8 41.Ne3 leads to equality)

41.Rg8!! e3 42.a7 Be4 43.Rg4 with an extremely sharp position, which according to the unbiased computer is totally equal.

38.Nxb4 Re1 39.Rh4 Rxe4 40.Rh7+ Ke8

Sometimes in positions like this analysts write ‘and so on’, but here that would not be very objective.
41.f5? The decisive mistake. He should have played some checks: 41.Rh8+! Ke7 42.Rh7+ Kd8 43.Rh8+. Odd as it may seem I couldn’t find a win for Black here:
1) 43...Kc7 44.Na6+ Kb6 45.Rd8 Kxa6 46.Rxd7 Kb6 (White’s task is easier after 46...d5 47.f5 Kb6 48.Rf7 e5 49.Rxf6+ Kc5 50.Rf8 Rf4 51.Rc8+ Kb6 52.Rb8+ Kc6 53.Rc8+ Kd7 54.Rc5 Kd6 55.Rxb5 Rxf5 56.c4 d4 57.Rd5+=) 47.Rxd6+ Kc5 48.Ra6 Kc4 49.Rc6+ Kd3 50.Rd6+ Ke3 51.Rb6 Kxf4 52.Rxb5 f5 53.Rb4 Kg3 54.a4 Re2+ 55.Kb3 f4 56.a5 Rd2 57.a6 Rd8 58.Re4 and White is saved;
2) 43...Be8 44.Nc6+ Kc7 (after 44...Kd7 45.Nd4 e5 46.Rh7+ Kd8 47.Ne6+ Kc8 48.Rc7+ Kb8 49.Re7 Bc6 50.Rf7 Re2+ 51.Kc1 Black has an academic advantage that he cannot convert into a win) 45.Nd4 Bc6 46.Rh6 e5 47.Nxc6 Kxc6 48.f5 Rf4 49.Rxf6 e4 50.Rf8
     2.1) 51…Kd5 51.Kc2 Rf2+ 52.Kb3 Ke5 53.Re8+ Kf4 54.Kb4! Ke3 55.Rd8 Rxf5 56.Rxd6 Kf2 57.Re6 e3 58.c4 with a draw;
     2.2) 50...Rf2+ 51.Kb3 d5 52.Rf6+!! Kc5 53.a3! Rf3 54.Kc2 Rf1 55.Kd2 Rf2+ 56.Ke1 Ra2 57.Rf8 Rxa3 (57...Kc4 58.Rd8) 58.f6 Ra7 59.Ke2 Kd6 60.Rb8 Rf7 61.Rb6+ Ke5 62.Rxb5 Rxf6 63.c4 with the same outcome.

41...exf5 42.Rh8+ Kf7 43.Rh7+ Ke6 44.Nc2 Be8 45.Nd4+ Ke5

46.Re7+ 46.a3!? was probably more stubborn. Although I expect that most GMs wouldn’t play such a move. Still, that doesn’t save White: 46...Kf4! 47.Kc1 Kg5 (not the most banal of king moves) 48.Rg7+ Bg6 49.Nxb5 f4 50.Nd4 Re3 51.Kd2 Rd3+ 52.Ke2 Rxc3 53.Rd7 Re3+ 54.Kf2 Rxa3 55.Rxd6 Be4, and Black wins.
46...Kd5 47.Rb7 47.Nxf5 loses to 47...Rxe7 48.Nxe7+ Ke6 49.Nc8 d5 50.Kc2 Bd7 51.Nb6 Kd6 52.Kd3 Kc6.
47...f4 The f-pawn will cost White his knight. Ivanchuk carefully converts his advantage.
48.Kc2 Re1 49.Rb8 Bg6+ 50.Kd2 Ra1 51.Rxb5+ Ke4 52.Rb7 Rxa2+ 53.Ke1 f3 54.Re7+ Kf4 55.Nxf3 Kxf3 56.Re6 Ra6 57.Rxf6+ Ke3 0-1

The leader allowed himself a little rest in the fourth round, drawing with Cheparinov as White after 18 moves.

Translated by Ilan Rubin

[Event "51st Capablanca Mem Elite"] [Site "Varadero CUB"] [Date "2016.06.11"] [Round "3"] [White "Bruzon Batista,L"] [Black "Ivanchuk,V"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "2681"] [BlackElo "2710"] [EventDate "2016.06.08"] [ECO "B66"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 a6 8. O-O-O h6 9. Be3 Qc7 10. f3 Rb8 11. Kb1 Be7 12. g4 Ne5 13. h4 b5 14. Bd3 Nfd7 15. g5 Nb6 16. Qg2 h5 17. g6 fxg6 18. Nce2 O-O 19. Rhg1 Bf6 20. Nf4 Nbc4 21. Bc1 Qf7 22. Be2 Bd7 23. Nxg6 Nxg6 24. Qxg6 Qxg6 25. Rxg6 Rbc8 26. c3 a5 27. Nc2 Bxh4 28. Rdg1 Bf6 29. Bg5 Ne5 30. Rxf6 gxf6 31. Bh6+ Kf7 32. Bxf8 Rxf8 33. f4 Ng4 34. Bxg4 hxg4 35. Rxg4 Rh8 36. b4 Rh1+ 37. Kb2 axb4 38. Nxb4 Re1 39. Rh4 Rxe4 40. Rh7+ Ke8 41. f5 exf5 42. Rh8+ Kf7 43. Rh7+ Ke6 44. Nc2 Be8 45. Nd4+ Ke5 46. Re7+ Kd5 47. Rb7 f4 48. Kc2 Re1 49. Rb8 Bg6+ 50. Kd2 Ra1 51. Rxb5+ Ke4 52. Rb7 Rxa2+ 53. Ke1 f3 54. Re7+ Kf4 55. Nxf3 Kxf3 56. Re6 Ra6 57. Rxf6+ Ke3 0-1 [Event "51st Capablanca Mem Elite"] [Site "Varadero CUB"] [Date "2016.06.09"] [Round "1"] [White "Ivanchuk,V"] [Black "Kryvoruchko,Y"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2710"] [BlackElo "2682"] [EventDate "2016.06.08"] [ECO "E52"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Nf3 b6 7. O-O Bb7 8. Bd2 dxc4 9. Bxc4 Nbd7 10. Qe2 c5 11. Rfd1 cxd4 12. Nxd4 Qe7 13. Ba6 Bxa6 14. Qxa6 Bd6 15. Rac1 Nc5 16. Qe2 Rac8 17. b4 Nce4 18. Nxe4 Nxe4 19. Be1 Qb7 20. Rxc8 Rxc8 21. f3 Nf6 22. Nxe6 Bxh2+ 23. Kxh2 fxe6 24. e4 Nh5 25. Rd6 Qe7 26. Qd2 Qf6 27. Rd7 Qe5+ 28. Kg1 h6 29. Qd6 Qxd6 30. Rxd6 Rc1 31. Kf2 Ra1 32. Rd2 Nf4 33. Kg3 Nh5+ 34. Kh4 Rxe1 35. Kxh5 Kf7 36. Rd7+ Kf6 37. Rxa7 Re2 38. e5+ Rxe5+ 39. Kg4 Re2 40. Kg3 h5 41. a4 Ra2 1/2-1/2 [Event "51st Capablanca Mem Elite"] [Site "Varadero CUB"] [Date "2016.06.10"] [Round "2"] [White "Ivanchuk,V"] [Black "Almasi,Z"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2710"] [BlackElo "2688"] [EventDate "2016.06.08"] [ECO "A46"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. Bg5 h6 4. Bh4 c5 5. c3 d5 6. e3 Nc6 7. Nbd2 cxd4 8. exd4 Be7 9. Bd3 O-O 10. Qe2 Nh5 11. Bxe7 Qxe7 12. Qe3 Rb8 13. O-O Qf6 14. g3 Bd7 15. Ne5 Qe7 16. f4 Nf6 17. Rae1 Rfc8 18. g4 Nxe5 19. fxe5 Nxg4 20. Qg3 h5 21. Re2 f5 22. exf6 Nxf6 23. Ref2 Ng4 24. Rf7 Qg5 25. Rxd7 Rf8 26. h4 Qxd2 27. Rxg7+ Kh8 28. Rxg4 hxg4 29. Qe5+ Kg8 30. Qxe6+ Kh8 31. Qe5+ Kg8 32. Qxd5+ 1-0 [Event "51st Capablanca Mem Elite"] [Site "Varadero CUB"] [Date "2016.06.12"] [Round "4"] [White "Ivanchuk,V"] [Black "Cheparinov,I"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2710"] [BlackElo "2687"] [EventDate "2016.06.08"] [ECO "C48"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. Nc3 Nd4 5. Bc4 Bc5 6. d3 d6 7. Na4 b5 8. Nxd4 bxc4 9. Nf5 Bxf5 10. exf5 cxd3 11. Nxc5 dxc5 12. Bg5 e4 13. cxd3 exd3 14. Bxf6 Qxf6 15. Qxd3 O-O 16. O-O Qxb2 17. Qc4 Qe5 18. Rac1 Qxf5 1/2-1/2 


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