Foros and the Dortmund Chess Festival are the outstanding tournaments of this issue of ChessBase Magazine. Whereas in Foros in the Ukraine, the young star Magnus Carlsen progressed smoothly from start to finish with his final victory never in danger, in Dortmund the tension was high for a long period and it looked like a sensation was in the making. However, in the last but one round Peter Leko wrested the lead from Jan Gustafsson and held on to it until the end. In the shape of Carlsen, Karjakin, Eljanov, van Wely and Nisipeanu, we have five of the participants from Foros taking a look back at some selected games and explaining to you the decisive ideas and moments. For the first time, Jan Gustafsson has sat in front of the camera and recorded in Fritztrainer format his convincing victory over Arkadij Naiditsch.
The grandmaster from Hamburg Karsten Müller gives you a survey of the contents of the DVD in his introductory video. Click on the highlighted text or on the picture on the right to get a feel for our latest issue. This will give you an easy view of the highlights, the various training articles and the incentive to take a look at one or more of the total of 13 openings articles contained on the DVD.
Furioso in Foros: Magnus Carlsen
Eight games from the super-tournament in Foros are annotated on this DVD by the participants themselves, starting with Carlsen’s first round victory over Ivanchuk. The game between the two favourites for the victor’s laurels started off along unexpected lines. Ivanchuk and perhaps even more so Carlsen are always good for an early surprise in the opening. But this time both of them followed for a relatively long time a topical main line in the Classical King’s Indian. It was eventually the young Norwegian who left the main paths with 13.b5. In his analysis Magnus Carlsen criticises in retrospect this decision and explains how Black could have achieved equality without any problems. The decisive moment for the outcome of this game, however, was a faulty evaluation by Ivanchuk, who after move 30 went in for a plan of opening up the position on the kingside to obtain a decision there. Click here or on the link under the diagram to have the game explained to you by the Norwegian superstar.
Carlsen,M - Ivanchuk,V
Position after 16...Ng7
Karjakin,S - Nisipeanu,L
Position after 24...0-0
After Carlsen in the table, it resembled the Ukrainian Olympiad team with Ivanchuk, Karjakin, Eljanov and Volokitin. Karjakin and Eljanov each annotate two of their best games from Foros on this DVD.
In his second round game against Nisipeanu Sergey Karjakin was confronted with the unorthodox but well thought-out innovation 12...h5 in a known position of the Paulsen Variation. The young Ukrainian presumably did not choose the strongest reply and was lucky that his opponent did not liquidate at once to a comfortable endgame. Instead, Nisipeanu went for an attack against the white king which had castled queenside and even invested a whole piece in it. However, in the position in the diagram he overlooked a good defensive resource which allowed Karjakin to achieve immediately a decisive advantage.
Karjakin was able to rack up another victory with White against Dmitrij Jakovenko. In the Petrov Defence, which has been hard-pressed of late, they both followed up till move 22 the game Anand - Kramnik from Wijk 2008. But the young Ukrainian innovated with 23.Qg1 and a few moves later he reached a splendid attacking position in which Black had no counterplay at all. In his analysis Sergey Karjakin admits that there must be some improvement for Black. Despite that, his conduct of the attack in this game is really worth seeing and very instructive. Click here to play through the games with the comments of the young Ukrainian star.
Eljanov,P - Shirov,A
Final position after 39.¦xb8
In recent years, the 25 year old Ukrainian Pavel Eljanov has been gradually working his way towards the top group in the world rankings. After Wijk, Foros was his second absolutely top tournament this year. In Foros he managed to finish on a result of +1, including wins over Volokitin, Onischuk and Shirov. The latter one is however somewhat curious, As Eljanov points out in his analysis, Shirov’s capitulation came as quite a surprise: from a double rook endgame Eljanov liquidated to a technically won but quite demanding ending. In retrospect, he doubts whether, in view of the little remaining thinking time, he would have found the correct way to win it over the board. In his analysis he examines the variations after 39...b5 and uncovers for us some tricky lines for White.
Eljanov scored a victory over Volokitin with the Berlin Defence, which tends to be notorious for its propensity to end in a draw, The game at first followed a typical course for the opening. Here and there White would set a trap and Black would have to play accurately to maintain equality. When, around move 28, Volokitin thought he spotted an attractive mating attack on the black king, he committed the miscalculation which would cost him the game. Eljanov fended off the mate with a simple pawn move and scored an elegant win with the help of his passed f-pawn. Click here to play through the game with Eljanov’s extensive comments.
Svidler,P - Van Wely,L
Position after 30.Qd1-c1?
Loek van Wely is going through a difficult phase at the moment. In Foros, his two victories saved him from coming in last, but in Dortmund everything seemed to go wrong which could go wrong. Nevertheless, the Dutch player has chosen from his better tournament in Foros a drawn game which he has annotated. It was indeed instructive and exciting. In the position in the diagram, it takes some time for the correct move to appear among the 10 best ones: 30...Bb4!! – the idea consists of 31.Rxc6 Bxa3 32.bxa3 b2 (whilst after the immediate 30...Bxa3 31.bxa3 b2 32.Qc2 the pawn on a3 is protected). But this lovely move was missed not only by van Wely, but also by both players in their common analysis. Van Wely shares this and other details with us in his entertaining analysis of the game.
It was also all or nothing in the game Nisipeanu,L - Van Wely,L, in which the Najdorf was once more up for discussion. Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu has commented in depth on this game. As suited his temperament and the character of the opening, van Wely went for an attack on the white king which had castled queenside and even invested a pawn in it. However, in his calculations he missed a strong blockading move by the white bishop – the bishop threatens to get from h3 to a4 via d7 - and thus saw himself forced into a passive continuation (21...Ra7). Nisipeanu made the most of his good fortune and obtained a decisive advantage by exchanging queens and advancing the white passed pawn on the d-file.
Nisipeanu,L - Ivanchuk,V
Position after 34...Rc8
In his game against Ivanchuk, it was a surprise weapon in the Sicilian which Nisipeanu had to face. The Ukrainian star turned on move 4 to something unusual for the top level – 4...Qb6 – and sounded the trumpet for an attacking game of the highest level. Nisipeanu was the first to seize the initiative with the advance of the a-pawn. He invested a pawn and achieved a position which at first glance looked very promising. But the Romanian was unable to demonstrate a concrete advantage, neither in the game nor in his analysis and so it was Ivanchuk, who more and more took over the initiative, partly because of a rook manoeuvre which is well worth seeing. In the position on the board, you can almost smell a mate or massive loss of material because of White’s weak back rank and exposed king position. But fortune favoured the brave, and Nisipeanu found in 35.Bb4! the saving move which granted him the draw.
Near sensation in Dortmund
| For German eyes, the Dortmund tournament was above all marked by the pleasantly surprising appearance of Jan Gustafsson. The Hamburg grandmaster, who went into the tournament as an outsider, turned out after five rounds to be the only participant on +2 and thus had a good chance to win the short tournament. Gustafsson has recorded his best performance for us on a Fritztrainer-Video. Click on the highlighted text or on the picture on the right to see the explanations of the 29 year old.|| |
Gustafsson,J - Leko,P
Position after 17.axb3
The fact that the tournament was won by an established grandmaster, Peter Leko, and not by Jan Gustafsson, was decided by their sixth-round game. In the position in the diagram, the German grandmaster had allowed his queen to be exchanged on b3 and was planning to make up for the weaknesses in the pawn structure with e4-e5. But Leko’s innovation, 17...f6! drew a line under all of that and he was from then on at the wheel. b3 soon fell and the Hungarian transformed his advantage into a win. The game has been annotated by Michal Krasenkow.
Leko’s second win was that against Ivanchuk in round two. Igor Stohl has annotated it extensively for us.
| The second German participant, Arkadij Naiditsch, also created a furore. He had two nice games, including a victory over Vladimir Kramnik in the latter’s favourite Petrov. With the innovation 19.Qd2, which leaves the rook on e5, he put the Russian under powerful pressure. Taking on e5 is without any doubt risky – White might then call on deep computer analysis and who knows how things would end? So it is no wonder that Kramnik avoided that by 19...Ng6. But after that, Black is simply worse and Naiditsch managed to completely outplay Kramnik. Looking back at it, the knight retreat must be ranked as a mistake, 19...Qxe5 is required. The analyses Leonid Kritz, who has annotated the game for ChessBase, cannot then find any advantage for White.|| |
Naiditsch,A - Kramnik,V
Position after 19.Qd1-d2!N
Opening training en passant
Friends of the French, pay attention! Daniel King presents an interesting new idea in a highly topical variation (from C11). In conversation with ChessBase colleague Pascal Simon, he looks into Gurevich’s innovation 10...Qe7 in conjunction with the lever f7-f6 – a move which is rather atypical for this line. King goes into detail about the advantages and disadvantages of this idea. In his Fritztrainer video, however, he also considers fundamental questions such as "Should White exchange on f6?" or "Who benefits from the exchange of the black knight on c6?".
As in the previous issue, IM Andrew Martin presents a repertoire suggestion entitled "Structural Damage". This time it is an idea for White and in fact a special plan in the Closed Sicilian (1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Bb5). The central idea behind 3.Bb5 is to exchange the black knight on c6 and thus not inconsiderably damage Black’s pawn structure. Martin’s contribution stretches over 3 lectures with a total running time of over an hour! In the first video, which Martin dedicates to the response 3...g6, he illustrates, e.g. with the game King - Hegarty (2008), various attractive ideas for White. Martin’s conclusion is that the so natural looking move 3...g6 is already a grave inaccuracy and creates very good prospects for White.
Similarly 3...e6 – the subject of the second video. White can play flexibly after the exchange on c6 and either toy with the idea of a late Grand Prix Attack or try to set in concrete Black’s pawn weaknesses on the c-file.
According to Martin, Black’s only correct reply is, on the other hand, 3...Nd4, allowing Black to completely avoid the exchange of the knight. In his third video the English IM presents the relevant variations and explains the motifs to watch out for here. His conclusion: with accurate play on both sides things should remain on a level keel.
In the various sections, there even more training for you, some in video format, e.g. in Dr Karsten Müller’s Endgame column, in the Trap by Rainer Knaak or the Tactics column by Oliver Reeh (see the browser list at the start of this page). The column New DVDs brings you, by means of video clips in Chess Media format, a preview of forthcoming Fritztrainer DVDs from ChessBase.
Stohl: Anti-Grünfeld A16
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Qa4+ Bd7 5.Qb3 dxc4 6.Qxc4 a6
This article is a follow-up to the 1st part in CBM 123, which dealt with alternative 6th moves for Black. In the second part Stohl first of all examines 7.g3 and 7.e4, but with accurate play Black should equalise.
Kogan: Benoni A43
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 c5 3.d5 d6 4.Nc3 Bf5
| || This move order allows White to avoid a few gambits and then Black sets off down unusual paths, which calls on White too to react in non-standard ways.|
Moskalenko: London System A46
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bf4 c5
| || White’s setup is simple – c3, e3 and Bd3 should follow. A lot of players with Black have difficulty against it, but with the repertoire presented by Moskalenko they should be able to solve their problems.|
Breutigam: Benoni A61
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Nf3 g6 7.Bg5
| || The variation with Nf3 and Bg5 has become unfashionable – so many Benoni players go wrong in the opening – but it is very promising and easy to learn, for which task the author’s detailed contribution will be very helpful.|
Marin: Benoni A70
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.Bd3 Bg7 8.h3 0-0 9.Nf3 a6 10.a4 Nbd7 11.0-0 Re8 12.Bf4 Qe7
| || In his article, the author tries to prove that in this critical Benoni variation Black does not have to play 9…b5, but that, with accurate play, the traditional setup can lead to playable positions.|
Kuzmin: Semi-Slav/Dutch Defence A84
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e6 4.e3 Bd6 5.Bd3 f5
| || This hybrid between the Semi-Slav and the Dutch is to some extent important, if White wishes to use the move order indicated to transpose to the Meran Variation, without giving Black the opportunity to turn to the Noteboom Variation (4.Nf3 dxc4).|
Karolyi: Dutch Defence A85
1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f3
| || When using this setup against the Leningrad System, White is aiming to play the advance e2-e4 immediately. The ever creative Viktor Korchnoi first played 4.f3 in 1979 and also from then on repeatedly made use of this move.|
Postny: Ruy Lopez C63
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 4.d3 fxe4 5.dxe4 Nf6 6.0-0 Bc5
| || Surprisingly, 4.d3 has developed into the main weapon used by the very top players against the Jänisch Gambit. The article describes the present state of knowledge about this line and can only see mini-advantages for White.|
Marin: Ruy Lopez C83
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Be7 10.Re1 0-0 11.Nd4 Nxe5 12.f3 Bd6
| || This variation in which Black sacrifices a piece by 11…Nxe5 (otherwise his position would be somewhat worse), goes far into the middlegame. In his thorough analysis Marin comes to the conclusion that Black can hold on.|
Kritz: Slav Defence D11
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 a6 5.Bd3 Bg4 6.Nbd2 e6
| || White’s setup against the Slav with …a6 contains more venom than it might appear and our author has really had to pay his dues with the black pieces. But now he has built up his repertoire against it, a repertoire which also contains a few innovations.|
Schandorff: Semi-Slav D45
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.g4 h6
| || The 2nd part of his repertoire for Black based on the move 7…h6 concerns above all the useful move 8.Bd2, which, e.g., prevents the move 8…e5 which in the first part (with 8.Rg1) was so reasonable - 9.cxd5 cxd5 10.Nb5!. However, Black has another solution, which begins with 8…dxc4.|
Grivas: Queen's Gambit D60
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 0-0 6.e3 Nbd7 7.Bd3
| || This move order is called the Lost Tempo Variation on account of 7…dxc4 8.Bxc4, but Grivas is aiming after that for isolated pawn positions (after 8…c5 9.0-0 cxd4 10.exd4), in which White is well positioned. The article presents a repertoire against the Orthodox Queen’s Gambit.|
Krasenkow: Grünfeld Defence D93
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bf4 0-0
| || This contribution is above all concerned with 6.e3 (with some supplementary comments on 6.Rc1, which was treated by Ftacnik in CBM 114). According to the author, Black need not fear the sometimes quite sharp variations.|