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ChessBase Magazine 134

Languages: German, English
Level: Tournament player Professional
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ChessBase Magazine starts into 2010 with three very different tournament highlights. The FIDE World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk was once more carried out as a massive KO tournament with 128 participants and saw in Boris Gelfand a victor who threw into the scales against his rivals, who were almost all younger, his experience and strong nerves. The London Chess Classic consisted of an all-play-all with the 3-point rule and saw a neck to neck race between Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik. The world's new number one managed to decide the tournament in his favour. And in Bursa in Turkey, Russia managed, despite an early slip-up, to defend its title as World Team Champions ahead of the USA which had been leading in the meantime.



Introductory videos

To set the tone for this edition, GM Karsten Müller,in his introductory video casts an eye over an important victory each by tournament winners Boris Gelfand (Khanty Mansiysk) and Magnus Carlsen (London). Of the total of 12 openings articles on the DVD, the grandmaster from Hamburg presents three: including   an idea for Black in the Ruy Lopez which can be traced to Aronian and Rogozenco’s repertoire suggestion of 5.Nbd2 against Albin’s Countergambit.

In two video surveys, GM Dorian Rogozenco introduces the top tournaments of the last two months and takes a look at some selected key games. The Romanian grandmaster first presents two impressive wins by 16 year old GM Wesley So from the FIDE World Cup in Khanty Mansyisk; he did after all put the likes of Ivanchuk and Kamsky out of the race. Rogozenco specifically honours the performance of the tournament victor Boris Gelfand in this first video and offers as an example of his ultra-solid style one of the rapid chess games from the final against Ponomariov.

In his second video Rogozenco takes a look back at the London Chess Classic, the Russian Superfinal and the World TCh in Bursa in Turkey. From the London tournament he analyses one win each by the tournament victor Magnus Carlsen and the runner-up, Vladimir Kramnik. From Bursa we have a strong innovation by the Greek GM Hristos Banikas in the Queen’s Indian and a grandiose attacking victory by Hikaru Nakamura over World Cup winner Gelfand.


Boris Gelfand
A victory for solidity  

FIDE World Cup in Khanty Mansiysk

128 players were in the starting blocks for the FIDE World Cup in Khanty Mansiysk in Russia. The tournament was once more played in KO mode and thus promised many surprises and a whole host of exciting games. In every round, two normal games were followed by rapid and, if required, blitz games in order to get a decision. After 24 strength-sapping days, the finalists Boris Gelfandand Ruslam Ponomariov took their places on a large stage in front of a lot of empty seats and went on to decide the tournament finally in the blitz chess games. The happy victor of this duel, Boris Gelfand, thus celebrated in Khanty Mansiysk one of the greatest successes in his long career.

Karjakin,S - Gelfand,B
Position after 11...Ra6

For his colleagues and friends in ChessBase Magazine Gelfand’s success is just as pleasurable. Because the 41 year old has for many years been annotating his own games for CBM. For this DVD Gelfand has selected a game from the semi-final in Khanty Mansiysk. In the first game of the duel Karjakin-Gelfand he had with Black an attacking victory which is well worth seeing and that gave him the lead in the battle to get into the final. In view of Gelfand’s super-solid scores with the Petroff, Karjakin decided on 2.Bc4. But Gelfand soon took the initiative in the centre with 6...d5 and went on to develop his pieces in optimal positions. 8...a5 (already tested by Kasparov against Kramnik) prepares the lovely rook lift Ra8-a6-g6. In the position in the diagram Karjakin should have been able to accept the piece sacrifice on d5 and with correct defence draw the game by perpetual check. Instead, he took the risk of 12.Qh5 – a bold decision which was not rewarded. Click on the link under the diagram and play through the game with the comments of the World Cup winner.

World Cup - Theoretical survey
by Mihail Marin

Chess lovers who are interested in opening theory should not miss Mihail Marin’s summing up of the opening trends in the World Cup. In ChessBase Magazine 133 the Romanian GM had compiled the trends from the Tal Memorial in Moscow and on this DVD he examines the latest ideas from Khanty Mansiysk. In view of the great number of games, Marin has found interesting games in almost all the classical openings. The spectrum covers the Grünfeld, the King’s and Nimzo Indians as well as the Bishop’s Opening, the Scotch and the various Sicilians.

Sergey Karjakin
Eliminated in the semi-final

On his way to the semi-final Sergey Karjakin had his back to the wall when facing the Czech GM David Navara in round 3. He had already lost the first game. In the second game his opponent surprised him with the Rubinstein Variation of the French Defence. Karjakin decided on the more rarely played variation with 7.Be3 and came out of the opening with a slightly advantageous position. In his analysis of the game Karjakin,S - Navara,D the young Ukrainian examines, e.g., the critical moment when his opponent, who apparently had his eyes too firmly fixed on a draw, was over-hasty in aiming to simplify matters by exchanging pieces.  

Karjakin,S - Mamedyarov,S
Position after 49...Rb2

Two rounds later Karjakin faced Shakhriyar Mamdyarov who had been playing brilliantly up until then. In a main line Ruy Lopez, the Ukrainian innovated with 15.b4 – not the sort of novelty that catches one’s eye, but Mamedyarov promptly committed an inaccuracy with the "normal" move 16...Qd5. In his analysis, Karjakin explains how he could immediately have exploited the unfortunate placing of the white queen to obtain a clear advantage with the logical follow-up. But the game was not decided until an exciting moment in the endgame. Mamedyarov had just played 49...Rb2? (diagram) and in doing so had unexpectedly given his young opponent the opportunity to decide the game with the surprising 50.f4 (50...gxf4 is followed by the quiet 51.Re5 with mate). Click on the link under the diagram and play through the game with Karjakin’s comments.

 Wesley So
Favorite killer

One of the greatest surprises of the World Cup was provided by the 16 year old Wesley So. Firstly, the Philippino dismissed the Azerbaijani Gadir Guseinov in round 1. And after that he put out of the running in Ivanchuk and Kamsky two candidates for tournament victory. On this DVD Wesley So annotates for the first time for ChessBase Magazine – on one hand his very first game from Khanty Mansiysk (against Guseinov) and then his spectacular victory over Ivanchuk.

So,W - Guseinov,G
Position after 12.Qe2

Wesley So's preparation for Khanty Mansiysk had concentrated primarily on his first-round opponent Guseinov and the King’s Indian which is very popular among the top players from Azerbaijan. To his surprise the Azeri chose once more in the Classical System with 6.h3 the side line with 9...Qe7+. According to So this is a very dubious continuation. In the game the young GM actually did manage, by means of simple development and after exchanging queens, to reach a slightly superior ending. At first So did not manage to achieve a decisive advantage, but with the help of his strong pieces and space advantage on the queenside, he maintained a constantly high level of pressure on the black position. High enough to cause his opponent to make a decisive mistake on move 40 when he was short of thinking time. Click on the link under the diagram and follow Wesley So's analysis.

Ivanchuk,V - So,W
Position after 14...Ne4

In the following round against Ivanchuk, So had Black in the first game. In a French Defence with 3.Nc3 Bb4 the Ukrainian chose, to the surprise of his opponent, to play 4.exd5 and make the transition to the less turbulent Exchange Variation. The complications started with So's ambitious 12...Qb6. After 14...Ne4 (see diagram) there begins a sharp line, in which all that is left for White at the end, if he plays correctly, is a perpetual check. But Ivanchuk wanted more and despite being under extreme time pressure, bet everything on a single card. In his analysis Wesley So picks his way through the tactical complications and explains his opponent’s decisive mistakes. After losing this game and then being eliminated, the Ukrainian was so dissatisfied with his own play that he spontaneously announced the end of his chess career. Fortunately he withdrew this announcement on the very next day.

Gashimov,V - Caruana,F
Position after 21...Rd4

We can also count among the ranks of challengers for the title from the younger generation Fabiano Caruana and Vugar Gashimov. Both of them could look back on a strong year in 2009. But neither of them made it into the final, the Italian going down in their face to face encounter in the last 16, whilst for Gashimov everything was over in the following round. Fabiano Caruana has annotated one of his games against the Azeri, in which we see an interesting opening idea in the main line Ruy Lopez. The move 11.a4 may not be an innovation but had only been played once at the top (Morozevich-Carlsen 2007).  Caruana admits in his analysis that he had never analysed the move and plunged in head-first with his reply 11...b4. However, in the game the Italian managed to keep the position level with accurate and active play.



London Chess Classic

A good month after the Tal Memorial in Moscow Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik met again in the Chess Classic in London. This time the young Norwegian managed to turn the tables and end up a nose in front - not least thanks to his first round victory over Kramnik. The two super-stars set the pace during the tournament and at the end each of them had notched up three wins. English eyes would have been pleased to see the performance of the up and coming talent David Howell. The 19 year old remained undefeated and ended the tournament on +1.


One of the absolute high points on this DVD is the inclusion of excerpts from the press conferences, in which the actors themselves reviewed their games. There is at least one commentary for every day in Fritztrainer format (audio). This amounts to a total of more than 6.5 hours of analysis and commentary. You will find the complete collection here. However, the supremely important one is Magnus Carlsen’s analysis of his victory over Kramnik.In his conversation with the English IM Lawrence Trent we learn more than just a host of things about the key moments in the game. All the way through there are very entertaining moments which show the engaging character of the young Norwegian. Click on the picture on the left to start Magnus Carlsen’s analysis.

Carlsen,M - Kramnik,V
Position after 26...Na5

In addition to this spontaneous live analysis, Carlsen has also annotated the game in depth in classical form. Carlsen came out of the opening (an English Four Knights) with the complex position which he was wanting  and by means of a series of precise positional moves he achieved an advantage. And that although Kramnik, as Carlsen points out in his analysis, actually did not make a mistake. In the position in the diagram Kramnik decided to give up his a-pawn with 26...Na5 apparently in the hope of curbing White’s initiative and achieving some counterplay. However, what decided the game was Kramnik’s unsuccessful attempt to develop any activity on the kingside after his sacrifice. Carlsen easily fended off Black’s attempts and went on to win the game shortly thereafter. Click on the link under the diagram in order to play through the game with Carlsen’s comments. 

Kramnik-Ni Hua

Vladimir Kramnik did not display any shock after his first round defeat and set off to play catch-up right from round 2. Against Ni Hua he made the most of his preparation in a sharp variation against the Slav with 4...a6. Kramnik had already prepared the innovation 13.Qg4 for the match against Topalov in 2006. He was now able to make use of it and his opponent Ni Hua understandably chose the less sharp but probably objectively weaker continuation. In his live analysis in audio format Kramnik turns to the question of the innovation and explains the surprising twists and turns right up till Ni Hua’s final mistake in an endgame at which he was in any case at a clear disadvantage.

Adams,M - McShane,L
Position after 39.e5

In round 7 the spectators were treated to highly tactical mêlée in the all-English duel between Adams and McShane. Michael Adams, who, like his compatriot Howell, was able to finish the London tournament undefeated and on +1, has annotated this game on the DVD. In the Ruy Lopez Breyer Variation Adams prepared his pieces for an attack on the black king, but it was McShane who opened the ball in a highly complex position by means of the knight sacrifice 33...Nxg2. In what followed, a mutual attack developed against extremely exposed kings, and finally Adams’ king turned out to be less vulnerable on h4 than was that of his opponent on h7. 


When in the final round Kramnik had already agreed a draw against Nakamura and when Carlsen only needed a draw for sole lead in the tournament, the young Norwegian continued to play for a win against Nigel Short - typical Carlsen. He had chosen the Dragon Variation against the experienced English player and had temporarily sacrificed an exchange. In the endgame the Norwegian more and more took the initiative and for a while it actually seemed that the number one in the world ranking list was going to win again. Nigel Short has provided together with Chris Ward some very entertaining commentary on this game. "For me, actually, a draw was quite okay" admits Short at the start of the recording. The draw with Carlsen represented for the English player some slight consolation at the end of an otherwise disappointing tournament.


World Champion again:
The Russian team

World Team Championship in Bursa

Whenever favourites measure up to underdogs, sympathies are often clearly divided. In the World Team Championship in Bursa in Turkey things will have been a bit like that. After all such tournaments are made by surprise victories and favourite killers. In this respect, this championship had plenty to offer. The traditional ELO  favourites at the start, Russia, went down in round 2 to the fearless Greeks. And in spite of that they still managed at the end to emerge as victors in one of the major team championships, because their rivals from Armenia and Azerbaijan also displayed unaccustomed weakness.

Gelfand,B - Nakamura,H
Position after 22...Nh4

Occupying second place were the USA, which actually for a time even had genuine chances of taking the title thanks to the brilliant play of Hikaru Nakamura. With his 6 out of 8 Nakamura achieved the best result on board one and defeated amongst others the freshly crowned World Cup victor Gelfand in a fantastic King’s Indian game. The key moments in Gelfand-Nakamura have already been explained in his second introductory video by Rogozenco. In addition GM Ftacnik has also annotated the game in classic format. Gelfand, himself a reputed connoisseur of the King’s Indian, sharpened the position a bit more with 21.d6. But the US-American didn’t let himself be confused and logically continued his attack on the kingside. The move 22...Nh4 (see diagram) sets up the subtle mating threat 23...Bh3 and then 24...g2. Gelfand was able to fend off this mate, but could not find an antidote to the attack which would break over him after the entry of the knight by 23...Nxg2.

Mamedyarov,S - Sutovsky,E
Position after 36.Nxe5

The team from Azerbaijan was not able to follow up on its recent success in the European championship, certainly partly because their top board Vugar Gashimov was off form on this occasion. So this time the Azeris could not even manage the bronze medal. However their team had in Shakhriyar Mamedyarov the most successful player in the tournament (8 out of 9). The Israeli GM Postny has annotated for the DVD his game against Emil Sutovsky. From what is reputed to be a relatively harmless variation of the Grünfeld there gradually developed a high class game, in which White tried his luck in the play against the black king and Black pushed forward to promote his passed a-pawn. Consequently there arose a sharp endgame, which both sides were able to hold level with precise play despite having their backs to the wall. In the position in the diagram Sutovsky found the only defensive move. What would you play here as Black?

Can,E - Shulman,Y
Position after 23.f4

Hosts, Turkey, put out a young team, which as might be expected came in at the bottom of the table. They nevertheless managed a team victory over the experienced Israeli team. In individual games too, the potential of the Turks could be recognised. In the very first round Emre Can defeated the American Yuri Shulman in the French Defence Tarrasch Variation. Can played a variation (3.Nd2 Be7), which Hannes Langrock analysed in depth in ChessBase Magazine, issues 126-129. After the classic bishop move to h7, Can started his attack on the king and after the strong text move 23.f4 Shulman went wrong in the position in the diagram with 23...Qxb2. Can went on to win the black queen and simple technique was sufficient to wrap up the game.

Move by Move
Position after 24...Rh7. How do things continue?

From the opening trap to the endgame study

Training in ChessBase Magazine begins with the very first moves and includes all the phases of a game of chess. The latest 12 openings articles with numerous ideas and suggestions for your repertoire can be found here or above among the links. This time the opening trap comes as early as move 4. Click here, to reach that column (including its Fritztrainer video) by Rainer Knaak. You will also find in video format the openings contributions from Dorian Rogozenco (Trompowsky Attack) und Adrian Mikhalchishin (Ruy Lopez, Archangelsk). These videos and other recordings in Chess Media format can be found in the column Fritztrainer. Peter Wells’ subject in his Strategy column this time is called: "The well-motivated but surprising advance of the h-pawn". In Daniel King’s ever popular Move by Move it is a positional brilliancy on the menu this time (see diagram). And in the Tactics and Endgamecolumns Oliver Reeh and Karsten Müller have once more collected for you all that is best in current tournament practice.

Opening Surveys

Marin: Alekhine Defence B04

1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 g6 5.Be2 Bg7 6.0-0 0-0 7.c4 Nb6 8.Nc3 Nc6 9.exd6 cxd6


In this line White is not aggressive and develops with standard moves; of course he cannot hold the e5-point either. However, as Marin’s investigations show, Black must play very accurately to hold things level.

Schandorff: Caro-Kann B12

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3 dxe4 4.fxe4 e5 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Bc4 Nd7 7.0-0 Ngf6 8.c3 Bd6

  In CBM 133 Sergey Erenburg introduced the variation with 3...e6, but not every Caro-Kann player wants to have positions which are related to those from the French. Schandorff shows you how to achieve satisfactory play with 3...dxe4.

Grivas: Sicilian B33

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Qb6 5.Nb3 Nf6 6.Nc3 e6 7.Qe2

  The setup with 4...Qb6 is called the Grivas Sicilian – so the author is writing about his own system. He is not only a theoretician but also the greatest practitioner of the move 4...Qb6. Part 1 of his series deals with the Hera Variation.

Kritz: French Defence C10

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nbd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Nxf6+ Nxf6 7.c3

  Since Kasparov’s great game against Ponomariov (Linares 2002) 7.c3 has been considered the most ambitious attempt to demonstrate an opening advantage for White. Kritz shows how, with exact play, Black can more or less achieve equality.

Marin: Bishop's Opening C24

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 Bd6

  The variation with 3...c6 against the Bishop’s Game is a safe choice. As the author shows, White can perhaps achieve a mini advantage, but it should not be enough to win the game.

Stohl: 2 Knights Game C58

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bb5+ c6 7.dxc6 bxc6 8.Bd3

  The move 8.Bd3 immediately sets Black a problem, because the experts are not yet in agreement as to the best reply for Black in this as yet relatively infrequently played variation. Igor Stohl gives you a few answers.

Kuzmin: Ruy Lopez C60

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nge7

  Levon Aronian successfully employed Cozio’s move 3...Nge7 in the World Blitz Championship. This prompted the author to put under the microscope the game played by the Armenian.

Postny: Ruy Lopez C65

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Bc5 5.Ne5

  In 4...Bc5 Black has an excellent alternative to 4...Nxe4 (the Berlin Wall). The critical variations arise after 5.Nxe5, but according to Postny’s analysis Black can hold his own.

Langrock: Ruy Lopez C69

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.0-0 f6 6.d4 exd4 7.Nxd4 c5 8. Ne2 Qxd1 9.Rxd1 Bd7 10.Be3! 0-0-0 11.Nbc3

  Langrock’s investigations demonstrate that Black can perhaps not achieve equality in this main line of the Exchange Variation.

Rogozenco: Albin's Countergambit D08

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Nbd2

  In recent years the usual 5.g3 has very much gone done in the world. On the other hand, Rogozenco’s repertoire suggestion based on 5.Nbd2 is looking good – White gets a safe advantage everywhere.

Karolyi: Queen's Gambit Accepted D20

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 c5 4.Nc3

  It seems that White cannot achieve a superior position in any of the variations examined involving an early transition to an endgame, in spite of appearing to have an initiative.

Krasenkow: King's Indian Defence E90

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.h3 e5 7.d5 a5

  In his third and last contribution on the 6.h3 king’s Indian, Michal Krasenkow examines the main line with 7...a5. Here too, he describes a lot of subtleties which procure for the person who is in the know a clear advantage over his opponent.



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