Areshchenko, Alexander(2714) – Rustemov, Alexander(2538)

We will see a game where Black was too greedy and found himself under a heavy attack. What is nice about the current game is that White was not forcing a direct tactical win, but attacked “positionally” until Black’s position practically fell apart.

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Areschenko decides to go for a complicated game. [After 3.Nd2 or 3.Nc3 Rustemov is always taking on e4. 3.Nc3 3…dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bd7 And Rustemov probably played this position over 10.000 times. He has a lot of games in normal chess, but what he especially likes is to play it against computers. On his different ICC accounts he probably has over 100.000 games played against the machines!]

3…c54.c3Qb6 [It is more usual for Black to start with 4…Nc6 here, but Black has another idea: 4…Nc6 ]

5.Nf3Bd7 This is quite a rare move. Of course Black’s idea is to exchange the bishop on b5, but it takes quite some time.

6.Bd3 White has a lot of different options here but 6.Bd3 seems to be the main one. Areschenko played in his previous game again L‘ami here: [6.a3 6…Bb5 7.Bxb5+ Qxb5 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.b4 Bb6 10.a4 Qd7 and Win won after an unclear game.]

6…cxd4 Black tries to first exchange the c-pawn before playing Bb5. [After the immediate 6…Bb5 7.Bxb5+ Qxb5 White has the important 8.a4! Qa6 9.Na3 followed by Nb5 and 0-0, after which he should have a clear advantage.]

7.Nxd4! This is still theory, but a nice move anyway. The idea is simply not to let Black play Bb5.

7…Bc5 Black is chosing a very risky line and going for the d4 pawn.

8.O-O Bxd4 9.cxd4 Qxd4 This is still a theoretical position. White is a pawn down, but a clearly better development, the bishop pair and a chance to dominate on the dark squares are worth it!

10.Nc3 Nb5 is a threat now.

10…a6 This is also a standard move in this position, avoiding the main threat of Nb5.

11.Re1 Bc6

12.Ne2! A strong move which has been played lately in the game Grischuk-Morozevich from the World Cup tiebreak.

12…Qxe5? This move is too risky and Black almost immediately ends up in a lost position. [12…Qg4 13.h3Qh5 14.Bf4 Bb5 15.Qb3 Ne7 16.Bxb5+ axb5 17.Qxb5+ Nbc6 18.Qxb7 O-O 19.Qb3 happened in the game Grischuk-Morozevich with a better position for White, but things are far from clear.]

13.Ng3! Simple andong. White is almost fully developed and starts his initiative by attacking the pawns on the kingside.

13…Qc7 14.Qg4! Weakening the dark squares even further.

14…g6 [14…Kf8 was not any better. 15.Nh5 Black cannot defend the g7 pawn in an appropriate way. 15…g6 16.Qd4 e5 This attempt to win a piece leads to a deadly attack for White: 17.Rxe5 gxh5 18.Qb4+ Kg7 19.Rg5+ Kf6 20.Bf4 With an easily winning position.]

15.Qd4 Winning a pawn back.

15…f6 Black already doesn’t have anything better.

16.Rxe6+ Kf7

17.Bf4! White develops the last piece with tempo.

17…Qc8 18.Re3 [18.Rd6 also looks very strong. 18…Nd7 19.Re1 With a winning attack.]

18…a5 Pretty strange play by Black, who doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to finish his development. [18…Qd7 was needed. 19.Rae1 Bb5 With the idea of playing Nc6 next. White’s position is of course close to winning, but Black is fighting.]

19.Rae1 Qd7 White has a lot of very nice moves here and it is clear that the position should even somehow be tactically winning, but Areschenko finds a very elegant way of not giving his opponent the slightest chance.

20.h4! A great move. White does not hurry to force things and enjoys his postion by creating an extra weakness on the g6 square.

20…Na6 21.h5 The g6 pawn is under attack. It is difficult to say anything else about Black’s position than it just being ugly!

21…Nc7 And finally Areschenko decides that it is time to finish the game:

22.Bxc7 Qxc7 23.Qg4 Black has no way to defend the g6 pawn. To play g5 is of course not a solution because of Nf5.

23…Kf8 24.hxg6 hxg6 25.Bxg6 The material is equal, but White’s attack is deadly…

25…Rd8 26.Qd4 Areschenko continues keeping the black pieces very passively.

26…Rh6 Other moves are not much better.

27.Qc5+! This is the most direct way to put an end to Black’s suffering…

27…Qd6 [27…Kg7 is of course losing: 28.Re7+ Nxe7 29.Rxe7+ Qxe7 30.Qxe7+ Kxg6 31.Qxd8]

28.Re8+ Bxe8 29.Rxe8+ And the game is over because of 29…Kg7 30.Nf5. Avery easy win for White which clearly shows that being under-developed is very risky, even when you’re a pawn up. 1-0

Bobras, Piotr(2518) – Anand, Viswanathan(2775)

It is never easy to beat a Grandmaster who wants to make a draw with White, even if you are an ex World Champion. Clearly, in case of a match of 4 games the outcome would be easy to guess, but at a one game at 10 in the morning anything might happen!

1.e4 c5 Judging from Anand’s latest games, 1…e5 is his main move.

2.Nf3 e6 And of course the Paulsen is a choice for a fighting game. For so many years Anand was the biggest expert on the Najdorf, but the fear of 2…d6 3.Bb5 probably made the ex World Champion choose the Paulsen, where the game quickly gets out of theory.

3.d4cxd44.Nxd  4.a65.Bd3 [5.Nc3 is the other main move.]

5…Bc5 For people who don’t play the Sicilian this move might look strange, but in fact it is very logical. Before developing the bishop on e7 or a7, Black is chasing the white knight from d4 which leads to a win of half a tempo. The knight is clearly better placed on d4 than on b3.

6.Nb3Ba7 A rather rare line. [6…Be7 7.Qg4g6 8.Qe2 would lead us to the main position of the line.]

7.Qe2 [A slightly more popular setup for White is 7.O-O 7…Nc6 8.c4 Nf6 9.Nc3 d6 10.Kh1 with the idea of playing f4 next.]

7…d6 This move is needed anyway.

8.Be3 Nc6 Taking on e3 doesn’t make much sense as the black rook is often taking a quite good position on a7 because of b5-Rd7-Bb7 ideas.

9.Bxa7 Once again White chooses the most solid plan. Nc3 followed by 0-0-0 would have led to a much more complicated position.

9…Rxa7 10.Qe3 White is not playing for an advantage, but just trying to be solid. A very good strategy against a much stronger opponent.

10…Nf6 11.O-O White is also quite tricky here and doesn’t hurry with developing the knight from b1, keeping both options of playing Nc3 or N1d2 in mind.

11…O-O A solid move. [Maybe Black could have tried to bring the game onto sharper territory by playing 11…b5 12.a4 White needs to act against Black’s pawn structure: 12…b4 And this position is a bit more unbalanced.]

12.c4 And again White is not trying to play for “anything”.


12…e5?! This can’t be the right way to go on… [Anand probably didn’t want to play 12…d5 because of 13.exd5 exd5 14.cxd5 Nxd5 15.Qg3 and the position is very close to a draw, but I still think he would have had better chances than in the game here.; another way to go on could be 12…Re8 with the idea of playing next d5]

13.Nc3 Now White’s position just looks more pleasant.

13…Be6 Black has to reactivate the rook.

14.Rfd1 Bobras continues playing solid-safe moves, not even pretending to try and achieve an advantage. [14.Rac1 followed by Nd5 next could have been an attempt to get the upper hand.]

14…Ra8 15.Be2 White wants to double on the d-file.

15…Rc8 In a slightly worse position with no clear play, even such great players like Anand can’t do much…

16.Rd2 And Bobras continues with his safe and logical moves.

16…Qc7 17.Rad1 Rfd8 Black of course managed to defend the d6 pawn, but he is still a bit worse.

18.Nd5 This move is basically fixing the draw for White and this is clearly what Bobras was trying to reach. [18.f3 would keep the game alive with a small edge for White because of the better pawn structure.]

18…Bxd5 This move is forced.

19.cxd5Ne7 The black knight doesn’t have a better square…

20.Rc1 White is winning control back over the c-file.

20…Qd7 21.Rdc2 Bobras doesn’t even leave Anand the smallest hope and by those exchanges on the c-file the game is slowly coming to a peaceful end…


22.Rxc2 Rc8 23.Rxc8+ Many hobby players are often shouting: “How can somebody over 2750 make a quick draw against a 2520GM”, but in fact we all play with the same pieces and yes, lower rated GMs are weaker than the Top 10 players in some areas, but the difference is not that big and simple positions can be handled almost at the same level even by a player who is over 250 ELO points lower. 1/2-1/2