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FIDE World Cup Khanty Mansiysk 2011 (2.1)

Three Opening Disasters from the World Cup Round 2 Game 1

Nikita Vitiugov demonstrated the perils of lack of precision in the Moscow Variation to his opponent Anton Korobov.

Nikita Vitiugov demonstrated the perils of lack of precision in the Moscow Variation to his opponent Anton Korobov. |

Three games were virtually decided in the opening in the first game of the second round of the FIDE World Cup in Khanty Mansiysk. Vugar Gashimov's preparation against Sergei Azarov's Jaenisch variation of the Ruy Lopez was spot on. Gashimov played the whole game very nicely. Nikita Vitiugov thumped Anton Korobov in a Moscow Variation when he played a known bad move. Alexei Shirov was in difficulties early in a sideline of the Botvinnik Variation and his position went under quickly through nice play from European Champion Vladimir Potkin.

Three Opening Disasters

Sergei Azarov was well beaten by Vugar Gashimov

Sergei Azarov was well beaten by Vugar Gashimov Photo © FIDE World Cup Khanty Mansiysk 2011 Website

Vugar Gashimov crushed his opponent Sergei Azarov in just 23 moves. Gashimov had noted that Azarov had already played the Jaenisch variation of the Ruy Lopez in the first round and he thought this must be his special preparation for the event. So Gashimov prepared the interesting idea with 6.Be3 which had only been played once before. 6...Bb4+ was already new, 8...bxc6 already lost a pawn, although even with the better 8...dxc6 white has a big advantage. Gashimov finished things with a nice sacrifice 17.Ng6+.

Gashimov,Vugar (2760) - Azarov,Sergei (2648) [C63]
FIDE World Cup 2011 Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (2.1), 31.08.2011
Based on brief comments by Gashimov

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 4.d3 fxe4 5.dxe4 Nf6 6.Be3

an extremely rare move. Gashimov prepared this yesterday. For him it is about playing the positions you like to play and not find ones with very long lines.


[6...d6 7.0-0 Bg4 8.h3 Bh5 9.g4 Bg6 10.Nh4 Bxe4 11.Nc3 Nd5 12.Nxe4 Nxe3 13.fxe3 Qxh4 14.Qd5 0-0-0 15.Bxc6 bxc6 16.Qxc6 Be7 17.Rad1 Kb8 18.Qb5+ Ka8 19.Qc6+ Kb8 20.Qb5+ Ka8 21.Qd5+ Kb8 22.Rd3 Rhf8 23.Rxf8 Bxf8 24.Kg2 h5 25.Qb5+ Kc8 26.Nc5 1-0 Bogdanovich,S (2464)-Kutsykh,M (2294)/Odessa UKR 2010/The Week in Chess 825]

7.c3 Be7 8.Bxc6 bxc6?

[8...dxc6 forced. 9.Qxd8+ Bxd8 10.Nbd2 Ng4 11.Bg5 and white is better.]


White is just a pawn up.


[9...Nxe4 10.Qh5+ g6 11.Nxg6]

10.Nd2 Rb8

[10...0-0 11.Qb3+]

11.Qa4 Qc8 12.0-0-0 0-0 13.Bg5

Now threatening to take on d7.


Taking away the check on b3 in some lines.

14.c4 c5 15.h4! Rb6 16.h5 d6 17.Ng6+

Sergei Azarov


Vugar Gashimov

Position after 17.Ng6+

A well calculated sacrifice.

17...hxg6 18.hxg6+ Kg8 19.Qa3! Qg4 20.f4 Rfb8 21.Rh4 Qe6 22.Rdh1 Kf8 23.f5

and black resigns.


Nikita Vitiugov

Nikita Vitiugov exploited Anton Korobov's opening error. Photo © FIDE World Cup Khanty Mansiysk 2011 Website

Nikita Vitiugov played a very straightforward refutation of 13...Bg7 the Moscow Variation of the Semi-Slav. It seems that Anton Korobov probably just mixed up his lines somehow.

Vitiugov,Nikita (2733) - Korobov,Anton (2671) [D43]
FIDE World Cup 2011 Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (2.1), 31.08.2011

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.Qc2 Nbd7 11.Rd1 Nh5 12.d5 Nxg3 13.hxg3 Bg7?

Anton Korobov


Nikita Vitiugov

Position after 13....Bg7?

Korobov forgets the theory. Now white has a crushing position. This analysis was already known and pointed out by Konstantin Landa during commentary as soon as he saw this move.

[13...Qb6 14.dxe6 fxe6 15.Nxg5 Bc5 16.Bh5+ Ke7 17.Nxe6 Ne5 18.Nxc5 Qxc5 19.Be2 Raf8 20.0-0 Rhg8 21.b4 Qxb4 22.Qd2 Qc5 23.Qxh6 Bc8 24.Qh4+ Ke6 25.Qh6+ Ke7 26.Qh5 Kf6 27.Qh4+ Ke6 28.Nd5 cxd5 29.Rxd5 Qb6 30.Qh5 Qb8 31.Rfd1 Rf6 32.Rxe5+ Qxe5 33.Bg4+ Rxg4 34.Qe8# 1-0 Anand, V (2817)-Shirov,A (2709)/Leon ESP 2011/The Week in Chess 865]

14.dxe6 fxe6 15.e5!

Opening the way to the king.

15...Qe7 16.Qg6+ Kf8 17.Ne4 Nxe5 18.Nxe5 Bxe5 19.Rxh6 Rxh6 20.Qxh6+ Bg7 21.Qg6

Black could already resign with a clear concience.

21...c5 22.Nxg5 Bd5 23.Bg4 Re8 24.Kf1 c3 25.bxc3 Bc4+ 26.Kg1 Kg8 27.Re1 Qd7 28.Re4 1-0

European Champion Vladimir Potkin was so preoccupied with his playoffs for round 1 that he didn't realise who he was playing until he had finished. He said "My long tie-break games actually helped me gain energy for today." Today he crushed Alexei Shirov who got into a miserable position early on and Potkin made no mistake.

Potkin,Vladimir (2682) - Shirov,Alexei (2714) [D44]
FIDE World Cup 2011 Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (2.1), 31.08.2011

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.a4 Bb4 7.e4 Qa5 8.Bd2 c5 9.Bxc4 cxd4 10.Nxd4 0-0 11.Nc2 Qc7

[11...Nc6 1-0 Chadaev,N (2577) -Reshetnikov,A (2487)/Moscow RUS 2011/The Week in Chess 864 (68)]

12.Qe2 Be7 13.e5 Nfd7 14.f4 Nc6 15.0-0 b6

Alexei Shirov


Vladimir Potkin

Position after 15...b6

This is a very sharp variation which turns out very badly for black. This move looks like the culprit in this game.


16.Nb5 Qb8 17.Ncd4 Nxd4 18.Nxd4 Bc5 19.Be3 Re8 20.Rad1

It is already hard to come up with a good solution for black.

20...a6 21.b4 Bf8 22.f5 Nxe5 23.Bf4 Bd6 24.Nc6 Nxc6 25.Bxd6 Qa7 26.f6

A nice finish.

26...gxf6 27.Rxf6 Ne7 28.Rxf7 1-0

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