Chess24 Sopiko Scotch

Alekhine Memorial 2013 (4)

Aronian beat Svidler to join Gelfand, Vachier and Adams in the Alekhine Memorial R4 lead

Levon Aronian beat Peter Svidler in Round 4. Photo ©

Levon Aronian beat Peter Svidler in Round 4. Photo © | http://www.alekhine-memorial.com/

Levon Aronian joined the leaders of the Alekhine Memorial after four rounds by winning the only decisive game of the day. Laurent Fressinet almost replaced Michael Adams in the lead but in spite of have several winning positions he eventually allowed the Englishman to escape.

Aronian surprised Peter Svidler with a new idea in the Gruenfeld Defence with 9... b6. 11.Bg5 introduced quite a deep prepared line at least running to 17...h6 by which time Svidler was over an hour behind on the clock and his position was becoming loose. 27...Rg4 caught Aronian out but after 31...b5? Svidler's position disintegrated.

Laurent Fressinet got a slight advantage from the opening against Michael Adams but it was in time pressure where most of the action happened. 37...Nd7 would have equalised for Adams, 38...Qb6 39.g6! should have won for Fressinet but he missed the best and had to try and exploit an extra pawn instead. Fressinet missed a couple more chances but by move 61 Adams won a pawn back and the position was drawn.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave played down a piece of Viswanathan Anand drawing preparation but managed to at least make the World Champion work for his draw.

After his disappointing missed win yesterday Vladimir Kramnik repeated his Semi-Tarrasch with black against Ding Liren and got the draw he was angling for pretty easily.

Nikita Vitiugov didn't get very much against Boris Gelfand and even had to play a forced sequence of moves to draw the game.

Round 4 Standings: Gelfand, Vachier, Aronian, Adams 2.5pts, Fressinet, Ding, Kramnik 2pts. Anand, Vitiugov 1.5pts, Svidler 1pts. Round 5 Pairings Thur 25th Apr 2013: Kramnik-Fressinet, Anand-Ding Liren, Svidler-Vachier-Lagrave, Gelfand-Aronian, Adams-Vitiugov.

Press conference notes below. Round 5 is the final round before the move to St Petersburg.

Aronian,Levon - Svidler,Peter [D85]
Alekhine Mem Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS (4), 24.04.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 c5 8.Rb1 0-0 9.Be2 b6

This position has been investigated in great detail by some very great players. This move is a slightly passive third choice. Aronian has come with something new prepared.

[9...cxd4; 9...Nc6]

10.0-0 Qc7 11.Bg5 e6

[11...Bb7 12.Qd3 h6 13.Bh4 e6 14.d5 exd5 15.exd5 c4 16.Qxc4 Qxc4 17.Bxc4 Rc8 18.Bb3 Bxc3 19.Be7 a5 20.d6 a4 21.Bc2 Nd7 22.Rfd1 Rc5 23.h4 Bd5 24.Rxd5 Rxd5 25.Be4 Raa5 26.Bxd5 Rxd5 27.Rc1 Rc5 28.Ne1 b5 29.Nd3 Rc4 30.Kf1 f6 31.Nf4 Rxf4 32.Rxc3 Kf7 33.g3 Rd4 34.Ke2 Ke6 35.Re3+ Kd5 36.Rf3 Ke5 37.Rc3 Rb4 38.f4+ Kd5 39.h5 gxh5 40.Rc7 Rb2+ 41.Kf3 Nb6 42.Rb7 1-0 Shulman,Y (2549)-Kujovic,M (2360)/Dallas USA 2004/The Week in Chess 530]

12.Qd2 Bb7 13.Qe3 Nd7 14.Bf4

Aronian forces Svidler to change the pawn structure and there doesn't seem much option.

[14.e5 Rac8 15.Rfc1 Rfe8 16.Bf4 Nb8 17.Ng5 Red8 18.Bc4 cxd4 19.cxd4 Qxc4 20.Rxc4 Rxc4 21.Rd1 Nc6 22.Nf3 Ne7 23.Bg5 Nd5 24.Qe4 Rdc8 25.Qh4 Rc2 26.h3 h5 27.Ne1 Rxa2 28.Nd3 Rcc2 29.g4 Nc3 30.Re1 Ne2+ 31.Rxe2 Rxe2 32.gxh5 Ra1+ 33.Bc1 Rxc1+ 34.Nxc1 Re1+ 0-1 Raznikov,D (2162)-Grandelius,N (2371)/Cappelle La Grande FRA 2008/ The Week in Chess 694]

14...e5

[14...Qc8 was Aronian's suggestion as to an alternative "although I have to say it looks rather passive."]

15.Bg3 Rae8

"Rae8 is one of the options I have considered." but it doesn't seem like it's anywhere near the best.

[15...cxd4 16.cxd4 Qc2 was a Houdini suggestion that no doubt was also investigated by Aronian. Svidler however was eating time just trying to stay on he board.; 15...exd4 16.cxd4 cxd4 17.Nxd4 Qc5 18.Rfd1 Rfe8 19.f3 and white is somewhat better.]

16.d5 f5 17.Bh4

Peter Svidler

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Levon Aronian

Position after 17.Bh4

"In my home analysis somehow I really liked this bishop on h4, it's a fearless piece, you would think it's going to get trapped but before he gets trapped he gets a chance to change things in the game. I thought that in my home analysis I didn't pay much attention to h6, I looked at it but I thought it's not a move of a high quality." - Aronian.

17...h6

Already things are getting terribly difficult for black.

[17...Nf6 "A normal option would be Nf6." Aronian 18.Bxf6 Bxf6 "Close to equality but maybe more pleasant for white" - Aronian.; 17...f4 18.Qd3 Qd6 19.Nd2 and white is in time to play f3 saving his bishop if necessary and also there is the possibility of playing Be7 and d6 in some lines. The night can come to c4 quickly too. 19...Bf6 20.Bxf6 Nxf6 21.a4]

18.exf5

"I thought ef was the right move because he's already threatening to play f4." - Aronian.

18...gxf5

[18...e4 19.d6 In all of the cases I have the idea of Ng5 somewhere so this can never work. 19...Qxd6 20.Rfd1 (20.Bc4+ Kh8) 20...exf3 21.Rxd6 Rxe3 22.Bc4+ Kh8 23.fxe3 Ne5 is a mess but better for white 24.f6 Nxc4 25.fxg7+ Kxg7 26.Rd7+ Rf7 27.Rbd1 Bc6 28.Rxf7+ Kxf7 29.gxf3 Nxe3]

19.Rfd1 Qd6

Black's king's position is too weak to allow d6 and Bc4+.

20.Nd2 Qg6

[20...Bxd5!? Aronian looked at this a bit but "Bxd5 isn't a move anyone would play in such a position, it looks too risky." 21.Nc4 Qe6 22.Rxd5 Qxd5 23.Rd1 "I considered this extremely risky for black but I didn't see a direct refutation but I did think there has to be one." 23...Qc6 24.Nd6 Qa4 25.Bc4+ (25.Nxe8) 25...Kh7]

21.Qg3 Qxg3

"I think he has to take." - Aronian.

22.hxg3 Bf6

"There are some other options but I thought Bf6 was the right move."

[22...Nf6 23.c4 "It's rather passive for black"]

23.Bb5

Peter Svidler

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Levon Aronian

Position after 23.Bb5

"Of course I didn't have to go for take on Nd7 but it's the most natural way to play."

23...Re7 24.Bxd7 Rxd7 25.Bxf6 Rxf6 26.c4 Rg7 27.Rb3?!

"I have to admit I didn't pay much attention to the Rg4 idea so maybe it was more cautious to play Re1. I haven't lost my advantage here."

[27.Re1]

27...Rg4 28.Rc1 Rd4 29.Nf3 Re4 30.Ra3 a6

[30...a5 31.Re3 Rxe3 32.fxe3 e4 33.Ne5 Kg7 (33...Bc8) 34.Rb1 Rd6 (34...Bc8 35.Nc6 (35.Kf2) 35...Ba6) 35.Nc6 was Aronian's pretty idea but it's not any good. (35.g4 Kf6 36.Rf1 Bc8 37.Nc6) 35...Ba6]]

31.Rb3

Peter Svidler

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Levon Aronian

Position after 31.Rb3

Svidler was very short of time here and now he just blunders his entire position away although in the long term he is surely worse.

31...b5? 32.Rb2 Rf7?

This loses quickly in a very bad position.

[32...Rb6 33.cxb5 c4 34.Rd2 Kf8 35.bxa6 Bxa6 36.d6]

33.cxb5 axb5

[33...Bxd5 34.Rxc5 Bb7 35.b6]]

34.Rxc5 b4?

[34...Rd7]

35.d6 Rd7 36.Rd2

Svidler resigns.

1-0

Fressinet,Laurent - Adams,Michael [A07]
Alekhine Mem Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS (4), 24.04.2013

1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Bg4 3.Bg2 c6 4.c4 e6 5.0-0 Nf6 6.d3 Nbd7 7.cxd5 exd5 8.Nc3 Bc5

[8...Be7 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Bxf3 d4 11.Ne4 0-0 12.Nd2 Ne5 13.Bg2 a5 14.b3 Bc5 15.Bb2 Qe7 16.Nc4 Nxc4 17.bxc4 Rfe8 18.Bf3 Qe6 19.Kg2 Nd7 20.Kh2 Ne5 21.Bg2 Ng6 22.Bf3 Ne5 23.Bg2 Ng6 24.Bf3 1/2-1/2 Malakhov,V (2709)-Ehlvest,J (2613)/Jurmala LAT 2013/The Week in Chess 954]

9.Qb3 Bb6 10.Na4 0-0 11.Nxb6 axb6 12.Qc2 Qe7 13.b3 Ne5

[13...b5 14.Bb2 b4 15.Nd4 c5 16.h3 cxd4 17.hxg4 Nxg4 18.Bxd4 Qg5 19.Qc7 Qh5 20.Rfc1 Rad8 21.Qf4 Rfe8 22.Rc7 Nf8 23.Bf3 Qh2+ 24.Kf1 Nh6 25.Rxb7 Ne6 26.Qe5 Ng4 27.Qf5 Nh6 28.Qe5 Ng4 29.Qf5 1/2-1/2 Piket,J (2628)-Kramnik,V (2797)/Zurich SUI 2001]

14.Be3 Bxf3 15.exf3 Qb4 16.a3 Rxa3 17.Rxa3 Qxa3 18.Bxb6 Qa6?!

Michael Adams

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Laurent Fressinet

Position after 18...Qa6?!

Just slightly dubious.

[18...Nfd7 19.Bd4 Re8 20.Ra1 Qd6]

19.Bd4 Ned7 20.f4 c5 21.Bc3 Re8 22.Bf3 Qd6 23.Rc1 b6 24.Bd2 h5 25.b4 h4 26.bxc5 bxc5 27.Be3 Rc8 28.Qb2 Qe6 29.Qe2 Re8 30.Qd1 Rc8 31.g4 Qd6 32.Bg2

Black is more or less OK but things happen in quite bad mutual time trouble.

32...Nb6 33.g5 d4 34.Bd2 Nfd5 35.Qg4 Re8 36.Bf3 Nc3 37.f5

Michael Adams

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Laurent Fressinet

Position after 37.f5

37...Nbd5?!

[37...Nd7]]

38.Ra1 Qb6?

[38...Qd7 39.g6 Nf6 40.gxf7+ Kxf7 41.Qg6+ Kf8 holds on for the moment.]

39.g6!

Completely winning.

39...Nf6

Michael Adams

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Laurent Fressinet

Position after 40...Nf6

40.gxf7+?!

[40.Qxh4 With Bb5 threatened wins. 40...fxg6 41.fxg6 Kf8 42.Kg2 Ng8 43.Qf4+ Nf6 44.Bxc3 dxc3 45.Qc4 Qc7 46.Ra5]

40...Kxf7 41.Qg6+ Kg8

White is still much better if not winning but there is work to do.

42.Bg5 Rf8 43.Bxh4 Ncd5 44.Bg3 Ne7 45.Qg5 c4 46.dxc4 Qc5 47.Re1 Rf7 48.Be5 d3?!

Michael Adams

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Laurent Fressinet

Position after 49...d3

Adams doesn't wait to get ground down but there is a complicated computer win here with:

49.Qf4

[49.Bxf6 Rxf6 50.Bd5+ Nxd5 51.Re8+ Rf8 52.f6 Kf7 53.Re4 Nxf6 54.Qxc5]

49...Nd7 50.Bd6

[50.Bc3 Rxf5 51.Qe4 d2 52.Re3 Qd6 53.Rd3 Qg6+ 54.Kf1 Nc5]

50...Qxf5 51.Qxf5 Nxf5 52.Bb4 Nf6 53.Rd1 Rd7 54.c5

[54.Bc3 Grischuk's suggestion for a technical win.]

54...Nd4 55.Rxd3 Nxf3+ 56.Rxf3 Rd1+ 57.Kg2 Nd5 58.Ba3 Rd4 59.Kg3 Rc4 60.Rd3 Nc3 61.Rd8+ Kh7

Michael Adams

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Laurent Fressinet

Position after 61...Kh7

Now suddenly it seems white is not winning at all anymore. The bishop and pawn are both targets and the pawn will fall.

62.Rc8 Na4

[62...Ne2+ was Grischuk's suggested draw. Adams is very straight forward. 63.Kf3 Nd4+ 64.Kg2 Nc2 65.Bb2 Ne1+ 66.Kg3 Nd3 67.Ba1 Ra4 68.Bc3 Ra3 69.Bd4 Nxc5+]

63.f3 Rc3 64.Bb4 Rc4 65.Ba3 Rc3 66.Bb4 Rc4 67.Bd2 Rxc5 68.Ra8 Nb6 69.Ra7 Nd5 70.h4 Rc7 71.Ra5 Rd7 72.Bg5 Kg6

White could play on for a long time but saw no point.

1/2-1/2

Vachier-Lagrave,Maxime - Anand,Viswanathan [D45]
Alekhine Mem Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS (4), 24.04.2013

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0 e5 9.cxd5 cxd5 10.e4 exd4 11.Nxd5 Nxd5 12.exd5 h6 13.Nxd4 Qh4 14.Nf3 Qh5 15.Bh7+ Kh8 16.Qf5 Qxf5

[16...g5? Is supposed to be very bad according to Vachier although Kramnik got away with it against Karpov in the 1990s. 17.h4 (17.Be3 Kg7 18.Bd4+ f6 19.Qe6 Bf4 20.Qe4 Ne5 21.Bxe5 fxe5 22.Rac1 Rf7 23.Rc3 g4 24.Nh4 Bxh2+ 25.Kxh2 Qxh4+ 26.Kg1 Qg5 27.Qc2 Bd7 28.Be4 Raf8 29.d6 Bb5 30.Bd5 Bxf1 31.Bxf7 Bxg2 32.Rc7 Rxf7 33.Rxf7+ Kxf7 34.Qc4+ Ke8 35.Qc8+ Kf7 36.Kxg2 g3 37.Qd7+ Kf8 38.fxg3 Qd2+ 39.Kh3 Qg5 40.Qc8+ Kf7 41.Qd7+ Kf8 42.Qg4 Ke8 43.Qe6+ Kd8 44.Qf7 1-0 Onischuk,A (2687)-Perez Rodriguez,L (2483)/Monterrey 2010/CBM 135 Extra) 17...Nb6 18.Qf6+ Kxh7 19.Qxd6 Bg4 20.Nh2 Rad8 21.Qb4 Bf5 22.hxg5 Nxd5 23.Qxb7 hxg5 24.Qb3 Rh8 25.Qf3 g4 26.Qg3 Nf6 27.f3 Rd3 28.Nxg4 Bxg4 29.fxg4 Qg6 30.Qc7 Kg8 31.Bf4 Rh4 32.Bg3 Rxg3 33.Qxg3 Qh6 34.Qf3 Rh1+ 35.Kf2 Qd2+ 36.Kg3 Qd6+ 37.Kf2 Qd2+ 38.Kg3 Qd6+ 1/2-1/2 Karpov,A (2775)-Kramnik,V (2765)/Las Palmas 1996/CBM 057]

17.Bxf5 Nf6 18.Bxc8

"More pleasant for white." - Vachier.

[18.Bc2 eventually 1-0 Sokolov,I (2665)-Piket,J (2570)/Nussloch GER 1996 is basically the same as the game with the bishops kept on but Vachier doesn't think it benefits white to keep the light squared bishops on.]

18...Rfxc8 19.Be3 Rd8N

[19...Nxd5 20.Rfd1 Nxe3 21.Rxd6 Nc4 22.Rd7 "Can easily be better for white" Vachier. 22...Nxb2 23.Rxb7 Nd3 24.Rxf7 Nc1 25.h4 a5 26.a4 Rab8 27.Rf5 Rb7 28.h5 Kh7 29.Nh4 Rb4 30.Ng6 Rg4 31.f3 Rd4 32.Kh2 Rdc4 33.Ra3 R8c5 34.Rxc5 Rxc5 35.g4 Rc2+ 36.Kh3 Kg8 37.Re3 Ra2 38.Re5 Kf7 39.Rxa5 Nd3 40.Kg3 Ra1 41.Rd5 Nb2 42.Rd7+ Kf6 43.Nh8 Nxa4 44.Rf7+ 1-0 Huebner,R (2580)-Prescha,F (2195)/Cologne GER 1997; 19...Rc2 20.Rfd1 Rxb2 21.Bd4 Rc2 22.Bxf6 gxf6 23.Nd4 with Nf5 to follow.]

20.Rfd1 Be7 21.d6 Rxd6 22.Re1

Viswanathan Anand

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Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Position after 22.Re1

"I had looked at this position after Re1 but couldn't remember all the possibilities." Vachier.

22...Bf8

[22...Rd7; 22...Re6 May be playable. 23.Nd4 Re4 24.f3 Rxe3 (24...Re5 25.Bxh6?! Rxe1+ 26.Rxe1 Bb4) 25.Rxe3 Bc5 26.Rd3 Rd8 27.Rad1 holds the piece.]

23.Rac1 Nd5 24.Bc5

Vachier keeps a small amount of pressure up.

[24.Bxa7 Vachier was thinking of this trick with Bxa7. 24...b6 is already better for black. (24...Rxa7 25.Rc8 Kg8 26.Ree8 wins.; 24...Nf4 also equalises. 25.Bc5 Rc6 26.Bxf8 Rxc1 27.Rxc1 Ne2+) ]

24...Ra6

[24...Rd7 25.Ne5 Rc7 26.Bxf8 Rxf8 27.Rxc7 Nxc7 28.Rd1 still a bit more pleasant for white. 28...Re8 29.Nxf7+ Kg8 30.Nd8 Re2 31.g3 Rxb2 32.Rd7 Ne8 33.a4 Ra2 34.Ne6 a5 35.Rxb7 Rxa4 36.Re7 Rc4 37.Rxe8+ Kf7 38.Ra8 Kxe6 39.Rxa5 with a drawn endgame.]

25.Bxf8

[25.a3 Kg8 26.Bxf8 Kxf8 27.Red1 Rd6 with a draw.]

25...Rxf8 26.Red1 Nf4 27.Rc7 Rxa2 28.g3

An important move.

[28.Rxb7 Nd3 equalises.]

28...Ne6

[28...Ne2+ 29.Kf1 Rxb2 30.Re1 (30.Rdd7 a5 31.Ne5 Kh7 32.Nxf7 a4 33.Nd6 Nxg3+ 34.hxg3 Rfxf2+ 35.Ke1 with a draw.) 30...Re8 31.Nd4 Nxg3+ 32.hxg3 Rxe1+ 33.Kxe1 Kg8 and most probably black will draw.]

29.Rxb7 Kg8

[29...Ng5 30.Nxg5?! hxg5 and black will have to work for the draw with the weak g-pawn.; 29...Nc5 was a clear cut draw. 30.Rb5 Na4! this secures a trading of the queenside pawns and a draw eg: 31.Ne5 Rxb2 32.Rxb2 Nxb2 33.Rb1 Na4 34.Ra1 Nc3 35.Rxa7 Kg8 36.Kg2 Nb5 37.Rd7 Nc3 38.h4 Ne4 39.Kf3 Nf6 40.Rc7 Re8]

30.Ne5 Re8

Viswanathan Anand

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Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Position after 30...Re8

"Surprised me very much." Vachier.

31.Rd5!?

[31.Nxf7 Nc5 32.Rc7 (32.Nd6 Nxb7 33.Nxe8 Rxb2 34.Rd7 a5 35.Nxg7 a4 36.Nh5 a3 37.Nf6+ and white has to take a draw by perpetual check. 37...Kf8 38.Nh7+ Ke8 39.Nf6+ Kf8 40.Nh7+ Kg8 41.Nf6+ Kf8) 32...Ne6 33.Rb7 Nc5 with a repetition.]

31...f6 32.Nc6 Kh7

"I'm clearly better but I couldn't find a win." - Vachier.

33.Kg2 Rc8 34.Nd4 Nxd4 35.Rxd4 a5 36.Rdd7 Rg8

Now it looks like black has reached a draw.

37.Rd6 Kg6 38.Ra6 h5 39.h4

[39.Raa7 Kh6 40.f4 a4]

39...Rc8 40.Raa7 Rc2 41.Rxg7+ Kf5 42.Rgb7 Rcxb2 43.Rxb2 Rxb2 44.Rxa5+ Kg6

This setup is a well known draw.

1/2-1/2

Ding Liren - Kramnik,Vladimir [D41]
Alekhine Mem Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS (4), 24.04.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 0-0 11.Bc4 Nd7 12.0-0 b6 13.a4 Bb7 14.Bd3 Rc8 15.a5 Qc7 16.Rfb1 h6 17.h3 Rfd8 18.Ra3 Qd6 19.Rab3 Rc7 20.axb6

[20.Qe3 Rdc8 21.axb6 axb6 22.d5 Rc3 23.e5 Qc5 24.Rxc3 Qxc3 25.dxe6 fxe6 26.Nd4 Bd5 27.Rd1 Kh8 28.Kh2 b5 29.Rd2 Qc1 30.Ne2 Qa1 31.Nf4 Qxe5 32.Qg3 Kg8 33.Bxb5 Rc3 34.f3 Nf6 35.Bd3 Rc1 36.Rc2 Rxc2 37.Bxc2 g5 1/2-1/2 Macieja,B (2617)-Gyimesi,Z (2605)/Maalot-Tarshiha ISR 2008/The Week in Chess 688]

20...Nxb6 21.Ra1

[21.Qe3 f6 22.Ra1 Ba8]

21...f5!

Vladimir Kramnik

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Ding Liren

Position after 21...f5!

seems to liquidate to a drawn position.

22.Qe2 fxe4 23.Bxe4 Bxe4 24.Qxe4 Qd5 25.Qxd5 Nxd5 26.Rba3

[26.Ra6 Nf4 27.Rb2 Kf7 28.Rba2 Kf6 29.Kh2 Nd5 30.Rxa7 Rxa7 31.Rxa7 Nc3]

26...Nc3 27.Rxa7 Ne2+ 28.Kh2 Rxa7 29.Rxa7 Nxd4 30.Nxd4 Rxd4 31.Ra6 Kf7 32.Ra7+ Kg8 33.Ra6 Kf7 34.Ra7+ Kg8 1/2-1/2

Vitiugov,Nikita - Gelfand,Boris [A04]
Alekhine Mem Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS (4), 24.04.2013

1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6 4.e3 Nf6 5.d4 cxd4 6.exd4 d5 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Bc4 Nxc3 9.bxc3

Not really going for a big advantage but just to play.

[9.Qb3 Nd5 10.Bxd5 e6 11.Bxc6+ bxc6 12.0-0 Be7 13.Be3 Qd5 14.Rfc1 Qxb3 15.axb3 Bb7 16.Ne5 0-0 17.Ra4 Rfd8 18.Nc4 Bf6 19.Na5 Rd7 20.Rb4 Ba6 21.Nxc6 Rb7 22.h3 Kg7 23.Rxb7 Bxb7 24.Ne5 Bd8 25.b4 Rc8 26.Bh6+ Kg8 27.Rxc8 Bxc8 28.Nc6 Bf6 29.b5 Bd7 30.g4 g5 31.h4 gxh4 32.g5 Bxc6 33.bxc6 Bd8 34.Kg2 Bc7 35.Kh3 1-0 Aronian,L (2809)-Gelfand,B (2740)/London ENG 2013/The Week in Chess 958]

9...Bg7 10.0-0 0-0 11.Re1 Qa5

[11...b6 12.Ng5 Bb7 13.Qf3 Bf6 14.Qh3 Bxg5 15.Bxg5 Qc8 16.Qh4 Na5 17.Bf1 Nc6 18.d5 1-0 Le Roux,J (2559)-Donchenko,A (2417)/Biel SUI 2012/The Week in Chess 925]

12.Bb2 Bg4 13.h3 Bxf3 14.Qxf3 Rac8

[14...e6 leaving the fate of the a-rook for a move was probably better.]

15.Bb3 e6 16.Rad1 Qa6 17.d5 Ne5 18.Rxe5 Bxe5 19.dxe6 fxe6 20.Qe3 Bg7 21.Bxe6+ Kh8 22.Bxc8 Qxa2!

Boris Gelfand

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Nikita Vitiugov

Position after 22...Qxa2

A very important defensive move.

23.Qd2

[23.Bxb7 was objectively the better move here giving white an extra pawn but only very slight winning chances but he could play on for a very long time. 23...Qxb2 24.Qxa7 Qb3 (24...Qxc3) 25.Rd7 Qb1+ 26.Kh2 Qf5 27.Ba6 Qxf2 28.Qxf2 Rxf2 29.Kg1 Rf6 30.Bb7 Bf8 31.Bf3]

23...Rxc8 24.Qd7 Rf8 25.Qxb7 a5 26.Ra1 Qc4 27.Rxa5 Qe2!

Now white draws with a series of only moves.

28.f4 Qe3+ 29.Kh1 Qxf4 30.c4 Qf1+ 31.Kh2 Qf4+ 32.Kh1 Qf1+ 33.Kh2 Qf4+

A natural equality has been reached.

1/2-1/2

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