Chess24 Jan Gustafsson on Alpha Zero

54th Reggio Emilia 2011 (9)

Morozevich, Giri and Nakamura lead Reggio Emilia with a round to go

After a slow start Anish Giri has impressed in joining the leaders with a round to go. Photo ©

After a slow start Anish Giri has impressed in joining the leaders with a round to go. Photo © |

Hikaru Nakamura lost his second game in a row to allow his opponent Anish Giri and Alexander Morozevich to catch him on 15 points with one round to go of the 54th Reggio Emilia tournament in Italy. Giri beat Nakamura on the black side of a Petroff. Nakamura was never better and eventually drifted into a lost position. Vassily Ivanchuk seemed to know the line of the Chebanenko Slav in their game better than his opponent Morozevich and the latter offered a draw before he ended up being worse, Ivanchuk was probably glad to end his four game losing streak. Fabiano Caruana (now a point behind the leaders) ground down Nikitia Vitiugov for whom the event has been a total catastrophe. Round 10 Fri 5th Jan 12pm GMT. Giri-Caruana, Vitiugov-Morozevich and Ivanchuk-Nakamura.

Hikaru Nakamura lost his second game in a row and allowed Morozevich to catch him after losing with white against Anish Giri's Petroff Defence. The game showed why the Petroff went through such a period of popularity a few years ago, black can win if white has ambitions of his own. Here Nakamura was not better, didn't take a firm decision to try and draw and eventually drifted into a lost position which Giri finished securely.

Running out of gas...hoping I can summon something up for the last round and Wijk. Four tournaments in a row is just too much after all!

Hikaru Nakamura on Twitter

Nakamura,Hikaru - Giri,Anish [C42]
54th Reggio Emilia Reggio Emilia ITA (9), 05.01.2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.dxc3 Be7 7.Be3 Nd7 8.Qd2 0-0 9.0-0-0 c6 10.h4 Re8 11.Bd3

[11.h5 Nf6 12.Bd3 Nd5 13.Bg5 Bg4 14.Rdg1 h6 15.Bxh6 gxh6 16.Qxh6 f5 17.Qg6+ Kh8 18.Qh6+ Kg8 19.Qg6+ Kh8 20.Qh6+ 1/2-1/2 Moll,A (2180)-Hopman,P (2304)/Amsterdam NED 2006/The Week in Chess 611]


[11...Nf6 12.Rde1 d5 13.Bd4 c5 14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Qf4 Be6 16.Ng5 g6 17.Bb5 Rf8 18.Nxe6 fxe6 19.Rxe6 Bxc3 20.Qg4 Bg7 21.h5 c4 22.hxg6 h6 23.Rd1 Qa5 24.Rxd5 Qxa2 25.Bxc4 Qxb2+ 26.Kd1 Kh8 27.f3 a5 28.Rd7 Qb1+ 29.Kd2 Qb4+ 30.Kd1 a4 31.Qh4 Qb1+ 32.Kd2 Qb4+ 33.Kd1 1/2-1/2 Nakamura,H (2729)-Kramnik,V (2790)/Moscow 2010/CBM 139; 11...Qa5 12.Kb1 Ne5 13.Nxe5 dxe5 14.Qe2 Be6 15.Bc4 Bxc4 16.Qxc4 Rad8 17.h5 Rxd1+ 18.Rxd1 Rd8 19.Rd3 a6 20.Qg4 Qc7 21.Qe4 g6 22.g4 Rxd3 23.cxd3 Qd7 24.Qxe5 Qxd3+ 25.Kc1 Qd6 26.Qe4 Qe6 27.Qxe6 fxe6 28.Kc2 gxh5 29.gxh5 e5 30.Kd3 Kf7 31.Ke4 1/2-1/2 Caruana,F (2675)-Kramnik,V (2788)/Wijk aan Zee 2010/CBM 135]

12.Ng5 Nf8 13.h5?!

White was not one bit better and now after this he is in danger of beting worse if he isn't careful.

13...Bf6 14.Nf3 Bg4 15.Rde1 Bxf3 16.gxf3 Ne6 17.f4

[17.h6 g6 18.Kb1 b5]

17...h6 18.a3 Qa5 19.Qd1 Nc5 20.Bf5?!

Maybe it was time to start exchanging off pieces and getting a draw.

[20.Bxc5 Qxc5 21.Rxe8+ Rxe8 22.Re1 Rxe1 23.Qxe1]

20...Na4 21.Qd3 Nc5

[21...Nxc3 22.bxc3 (22.Bd2 d4 23.Rhg1) 22...Bxc3 23.Reg1 c5]

22.Qd1 Qb5 23.Qe2 Qa4 24.Qd1 Ne4

Black has at least equalised and white seems to be looking for a way to repeat and draw.

25.Bxe4 Rxe4 26.Rhg1 Rae8 27.Rg3 Kh8 28.Reg1 Qc4 29.Kb1 c5 30.Qd3?!

[30.Qf3 Qb5 31.Qg2 Rg8 32.Bc1]

30...b6 31.Qxc4 Rxc4 32.Rd1 d4 33.cxd4

[33.Bc1 Re2 34.b3 Rxc3 35.Rxc3 dxc3 36.Be3 Might well be holdable.]

33...cxd4 34.b3?

Anish Giri


Hikaru Nakamura

Position after 34.b3

34.Bd2 Re2 35.Rg2 with chances for a draw.

34...dxe3! 35.bxc4 exf2 36.Rf3 Re1 37.Kc1 Bd4

As the game goes it seems black is just winning here.

38.c3 Be3+ 39.Kc2 f5 40.a4 a5 41.c5 Bxc5

and white will run out of moves.

[41...Bxc5 42.Kd2 Be3+ and the white king is forced back. Basically white can't move anything and black will create a passed h-pawn with g6 and queen it.]


Vassily Ivanchuk finally got on the scoreboard again after four consecutive losses. He played the Chebanenko Slav against Alexander Morozevich and the variation he chose seemed to come as a surprise to Morozevich. Black was at least equal by move 15 and there may have been some tactical ideas based on the lack of squares for white's queen that may have been worth more. As it was Morozevich got nothing and offered a draw on move 24, possibly believing he was in danger of being worse and Ivanchuk saw no reaon to decline.

Morozevich,Alexander - Ivanchuk,Vassily [D15]
54th Reggio Emilia Reggio Emilia ITA (9), 05.01.2012

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.e3 b5 6.b3 Bg4 7.Bd2 Nbd7 8.h3 Bxf3 9.Qxf3 b4 10.Ne2

[10.Na4 e5 11.Rc1 Bd6 12.cxd5 cxd5 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Qd1 0-0 15.Be2 a5 16.Rc2 Qe7 17.Bc1 Rad8 18.Bb2 Ng6 19.0-0 Ne4 20.Bd4 Nh4 21.Bd3 Nf5 22.Bb6 Rb8 23.Bxe4 Qxe4 24.Rd2 Rxb6 25.Nxb6 Qe5 26.Re1 Qh2+ 27.Kf1 Qh1+ 28.Ke2 Qxg2 29.Rxd5 Ng3+ 30.Kd3 Bc7 31.fxg3 Bxb6 32.Kc4 Rb8 33.Kb5 Bd4+ 34.Kc4 Bf6 35.Qd3 Qxg3 36.Rd1 Qc7+ 37.Rc5 Qb7 38.Qd6 Qe4+ 39.Rd4 Qc2+ 40.Kd5 Qg2+ 41.e4 Rd8 42.Qxd8+ Bxd8 43.Rc8 g6 44.Rxd8+ Kg7 45.Rd3 Qc2 46.Kd4 a4 47.bxa4 Qxa2 48.Kc5 b3 49.Rb8 b2 50.Rdb3 Qxa4 51.Rxb2 Qxe4 52.R8b3 Kh6 53.Rc3 f5 54.Rbb3 Qe5+ 55.Kc4 Kh5 56.Kd3 Kh4 57.Kd2 f4 58.Rf3 g5 59.Rfd3 Qc5 60.Rbc3 Qf2+ 61.Kd1 Qf1+ 62.Kd2 Qg2+ 63.Kd1 Qe4 64.Kd2 h5 0-1 Carlsen,M (2776)-Wang Yue (2739)/Linares ESP 2009/The Week in Chess 747]

10...e5 11.Ng3 g6 12.cxd5 cxd5 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Qf4 Bd6 15.Qh6

Vassily Ivanchuk


Alexander Morozevich

Position after 15.Qh6

Not too far out of theory and black is doing very well. It is probable that Morozevich was caught by surprise. White's Queen is quite short of squares here and black has a couple of ways to try and exploit this which need looking at.


[15...Nc6 16.h4 Bxg3 17.fxg3 Qd6 18.Qf4 Qe6 19.Bd3 Nh5 20.Qf2; 15...Nf3+ 16.gxf3 Be5 17.Qh4 Bxa1 18.Qxb4 Rb8 19.Qa4+ Nd7 20.Qxa6 Qe7]

16.Rc1 Ned7 17.Qh4 a5 18.Bb5 Kf8 19.0-0 Kg7 20.Bxd7

This is just level.

[20.e4 Nxe4 21.Qh6+ Kh8]

20...Nxd7 21.Qd4+ Nf6 22.Rc6 Re8 23.f4 Bb8 24.Kh1

Black might even be a bit better but having been offered the draw Ivanchuk was probably just happy to stop the rot of four losses in a row.


Fabiano Caruana defeated Nikita Vitiugov in a Sicilian Taimanov. Vitiugov's confidence must be pretty low by now and whilst he emerged from the opening reasonably OK it was Caruana that was probing for weaknesses and playing with purpose. Eventually Caruana found a breakthrough on the queenside which quickly became decisive.

Caruana,Fabiano - Vitiugov,Nikita [B41]
54th Reggio Emilia Reggio Emilia ITA (9), 05.01.2012

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Be2 Nf6 6.Nc3 Qc7 7.0-0 Bb4 8.Qd3 Nc6 9.Kh1 Nxd4 10.Qxd4 Bc5 11.Qd2 h6 12.f4 d6 13.Qe1

[13.Qd3 Nd7 14.a3 b5 15.b4 Ba7 16.a4 bxa4 17.Bb2 Bb7 18.Rxa4 0-0 19.Qg3 e5 20.Bxa6 Bxa6 21.Rxa6 Bd4 22.Rxa8 Rxa8 23.Qd3 Qb7 24.Nd1 Qxb4 25.Bxd4 exd4 26.Nf2 Nc5 27.Qd1 Qc4 28.e5 dxe5 29.fxe5 Ra2 30.Ng4 Rxc2 31.Qf3 Ne4 0-1 Vukovic,Z (2475)-Ionescu,C (2446)/Bucharest ROM 2000]

13...Bd7 14.Qg3 Bd4 15.Bf3 Qc4 16.Bd2 Bc6 17.Rae1 0-0-0 18.Be2 Qc5 19.Bd3 g5 20.Qf3 Rhg8 21.Na4?!

A move that looks a bit too clever by half.

21...g4 22.Qe2 Qh5

[22...Bxa4 23.c3 Bf2 24.Rxf2 g3 25.Rff1 and black is surely a bit better.]

23.Bc3 Bxc3 24.Nxc3 Qc5 25.e5 Nd7 26.Ne4 Bxe4 27.Bxe4 d5 28.Bd3 Kb8

[28...Qb6 29.c3 Nc5 30.Qe3 Na4 31.Qxb6 Nxb6]

29.Rb1 Rc8 30.b4 Qd4 31.Qe1 Nb6?

Nikita Vitiugov


Fabiano Caruana

Position after 31...Nb6

Black hasn't fixed upon a plan and now allows white a quick breakthrough with b5.


32.b5 axb5 33.Rxb5 Rc7 34.Qa5 Nd7 35.Rfb1

It is suddenly very clear that white has a huge material superiority on the Queenside where black's king is. However black isn't quite lost yet.


[35...Nc5 36.Qb6 Qc3 37.Ra5 Nxd3 38.Qa7+ Kc8 39.Qa8+ Kd7 40.Qxg8 Nf2+ 41.Kg1 Nh3+ 42.gxh3 Qe3+]

36.Qb4 Nc5 37.Bh7

It seems black can't hold out now.


[37...Rd8 had to be tried. 38.Ra5 Na6 39.Qa3 Rc6 40.Bd3 Rb6 41.Bb5 Rc8 42.Rb2 h5 43.Qe7]

38.Ra5 Na6 39.Qd6 Ka8 40.Rb6 Rc6 41.Raxa6 bxa6 42.Rxc6 Rb8 43.c3

Covering the back rank. White is a piece up and with winning threats.


54th Reggio Emilia Reggio Emilia (ITA), 27 xii 2011 - 6 i 2012 cat. XX (2744)
1 2 3 4 5 6
1. Morozevich, Alexander g RUS 2762 * * 1 ½ ½ 1 1 0 0 ½ 1 . 15 2821
2. Giri, Anish g NED 2714 0 ½ * * 0 1 1 . ½ 1 ½ 1 15 2832
3. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2758 ½ 0 1 0 * * ½ ½ 1 . 1 1 15 2817
4. Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2727 0 1 0 . ½ ½ * * 0 1 1 1 14 2794
5. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2775 1 ½ ½ 0 0 . 1 0 * * ½ 0 9 2655
6. Vitiugov, Nikita g RUS 2729 0 . ½ 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 * * 5 2525
Round 9 (January 5, 2012)
Morozevich, Alexander - Ivanchuk, Vassily ½-½ 24 D15 Slav Defence
Nakamura, Hikaru - Giri, Anish 0-1 41 C42 Petroff's Defence
Caruana, Fabiano - Vitiugov, Nikita 1-0 43 B41 Sicilian Paulsen

54th Reggio Emilia w Reggio Emilia (ITA), 27 xii 2011 - 6 i 2012
1 2 3 4 5 6
1. Guramishvili, Sopiko wg GEO 2374 * * 0 . 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ½ 22 2455
2. Sharevich, Anna wg BLR 2267 1 . * * 0 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 18 2360
3. Brunello, Marina wm ITA 2221 0 0 1 ½ * * ½ . ½ 1 1 1 15 2312
4. De Rosa, Mariagrazia wf ITA 2122 0 0 ½ 0 ½ . * * ½ 0 1 ½ 7 2118
5. Videnova, Iva wg BUL 2297 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 * * 0 . 6 2058
6. Chierici, Marianna wf ITA 2048 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 . * * 5 2031

Round 9 (January 5, 2012)
Sharevich, Anna - De Rosa, Mariagrazia 1-0 26 D25 QGA
Brunello, Marina - Chierici, Marianna 1-0 49 B02 Alekhine's Defence
Videnova, Iva - Guramishvili, Sopiko 0-1 60 C59 Two Knights Defence

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