Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Anish Giri at Wijk aan Zee Chess Festival 2010

Daily Express UK
CHESS - 31/1/10
Story Image

Diagram 1

Sunday January 31,2010
By Luke McShane

THE annual chess festival held in the Dutch seaside town of Wijk aan Zee, reached its 72nd edition this year.

Sponsored by the steel company Corus, the event features three fourteen player all-play-all events and the 'A' tournament is, as usual, one of the elite tournaments of the year.

This year Magnus Carlsen, Vishy Anand and Vladimir Kramnik were the top seeds, although Alexei Shirov stormed into an early lead with wins in his first five games. A full report will follow next week.

The 'B' and 'C' tournaments are also very strong, and as usual contain a strong contingent of talented young players.

The young Chinese Grandmaster Li Chao is currently leading the 'C' group.

In the B-group England's David Howell started strongly but has slipped back. The current leader is 15 year old Anish Giri, who qualified for his grandmaster title at last year's 'C' tournament in Wijk.

Giri lives in Holland, but his parents are Russian and Nepalese.

Each day some videos appear on the internet, with players going over their games in the press room.

Giri (in excellent English) happily recounted his victory over Finland's top player Tomi Nyback.

The tournament’s official website is at

Tomi Nyback - Anish Giri
(Wijk aan Zee, 2010)

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bf5 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nh4 Be4 7.f3 Bg6 8.Qb3 Qc7 9.Bd2 Nbd7 10.cxd5 Nxd5 11.Nxd5 exd5 12.Nxg6 hxg6 13.0–0–0 Black has a solid position, but with the bishop pair and an easy chance to advance in the centre with e3-e4, White has an edge.

13...Qb6 14.Qa4 Threatening to trap Black's queen with Bd2-a5 14...a5 15.e4 dxe4 16.fxe4 Bb4 17.Bg5! 17.Bxb4 Qxb4 18.Qxb4 axb4 would give Black a pleasant endgame, with both rooks rather active on their starting squares. 17...Be7 Giri admitted that his position was rather grim. He was tempted to try 17...Nc5!? for the sake of making one nice move in the game!

But after 18.Qc2 (18.dxc5?? Qxc5+ picks up the bishop on g5) 18...Ne6 19.Be3 Black's position is very passive. White can follow up with Bf1–c4 with plenty of pressure. 18.Bxe7 Kxe7 19.Qa3+ Qb4 20.Qe3 c5!? 21.d5? (see diagram 1) A serious positional mistake. 21.Kb1! was probably the best move, when Black's position remains unpleasant.

Giri explained that given the state of his position it wasn't necessary to consider the best moves for White, as he wanted to remain optimistic! The idea is that after 21...cxd4? 22.Rxd4 Qc5 23.Rxd7+! wins the queen. Instead of 21.Kb1!, 21.Qg5+ Ke8 22.a3 Qa4 23.dxc5 Rh5 was one nice line he mentioned, where Black's pieces spring to life.

21...Kd6!! Preventing e4-e5 and d5-d6+ in one stroke. The king becomes safer by advancing to set up the blockade. White's position immediately becomes very difficult, as there is no counterplay and soon it is actually the king on c1 that finds itself in danger. 22.a3 Qa4 23.Rd3 b5! Dealing with the idea of Rd3-b3 and Bf1–b5, but Black has to keep an eye out for Bf1–e2-d1.

24.Rc3 Rhc8 25.Be2 Ne5 26.Kd2 White's position is truly miserable. Not even a queen exchange will alleviate the pressure, as 26.Bd1 Qd4 27.Qxd4 cxd4 gives White a very bad endgame (where Black's centralised king is still an asset!). 26...b4 27.Rc2 bxa3 28.bxa3 Rab8

The immediate queen exchange was also promising. 28...Qd4+!? 29.Rhc1 c4 30.Rc3 30.Bxc4? Rxc4! (30...Nxc4+ 31.Rxc4 Rxc4 32.Rxc4 Qxc4 33.Qf4+ picks up the rook on b8) 31.Rxc4 Qxc4 and the knight fork on c4 will be decisive. 30.Qa7 just sheds a pawn: 30...Qxa3 and Black's king can flee to f8 to escape the checks. 30...Rb2+ 31.R1c2 31.Ke1 might have been tougher.

But Black has a general idea of exchanging a pair of rooks (to reduce the pressure on c4) followed by an exchange of queens, after which the c-pawn becomes mobile and Black's king can advance further. For example, 31...Qb5 32.Kf1 Rb1 33.h4 Rxc1+ 34.Qxc1 Qb6 is horrible for White, as 35.Qe3 Qxe3 36.Rxe3 c3 wins. 31...Qb5 32.Rxb2 Qxb2+ 33.Rc2 Qb1 33...c3+? would be careless as 34.Qxc3! Rxc3 35.Rxb2 Rxa3 gives White drawing chances.

34.Qc3 34.Qa7? c3+ 35.Rxc3 Qb2+ wins. 34...Rc5 35.g3 Once again, the attempt at counterplay leads nowhere: 35.Rb2 Qxe4 36.Rb6+ Kd7 37.Rb7+ Kc8 and d5 is dropping off next. 35...f5 White can no longer hold the position together. 36.Rb2 Qxe4 37.Kc1 Nd3+ White loses the rook on b2, or the queen to a skewer on the c-file. 0–1

Although the flavour was very different, I was reminded of a classic game by former World Champion Tigran Petrosian (see diagram 2).

Garry Kasparov - Tigran Petrosian
(Tilburg, 1981)

Under heavy pressure throughout the game, Petrosian found the amazing move 35...Kc6!! and Kasparov immediately went astray 36.Rba3? 36.Bxc7 was essential, when 36...Kxc7 leaves the position rather unclear (36...bxc4 is also possible - after 37.Rb7 Rxc7 38.Rxa6+ Rxa6 39.Qb5+ Kd6 40.Qxa6+ Ke7 41.Bxd5 Rxb7 42.Bxb7 Qb8 a draw would be likely). 36...bxc4 37.Rxa6+ Rxa6 38.Rxa6+ Bb6 White is a piece down and the attack quickly peters out. 39.Bc5 Qd8 40.Qa1 Nxc5 41.dxc5 Kxc5 42.Ra4 0–1

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