24.02.2007 Game of the Round (4)
I would like to call this round "an incomprehensible one". It is incomprehensible why did Topalov, playing against Svidler, digress from repeating the game Gelfand-Svidler, it is incomprehensible, how did Leko manage to slip off, it is incomprehensible how could Ivanchuk lose his positional advantage playing against an opponent inferior to him in positional understanding, and above all – why hadn`t he played a2-a4 on move 45 ?! And, at last, it is incomprehensible why does Morozevich keep soul-searching, and unsuccessfully at that. Let`s see what has happened.

Anand,V (2779) - Morozevich,A (2741) [C95]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (4), 21.02.2007

1.e4 e5 2.¤f3 ¤c6 3.¥b5 a6 4.¥a4 ¤f6 5.0-0 ¥e7 6.¦e1 b5 7.¥b3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 ¤b8 10.d4 ¤bd7 11.¤bd2 ¥b7 12.¥c2 ¦e8 13.¤f1 ¥f8 14.¤g3 c6 An interesting choice. Black wants to prevent d4-d5 and keeps his structure elastic. If in so doing (and this variation is much more popular) he plays с7-с6 after 14...g6: 15.b3 c6, then there is an unpleasant reply 16g5 ¥g7 17.£d2

15.¤f5 £c7 16.dxe5 dxe5 17.¤h2 c5 18.£f3 c4 19.¥g5 [19.¤g4!?] 19...¦e6 20.¦ad1 ¤c5

21.¥xf6 Interesting decision. Black has achieved good play, and so White yields his most important bishop, but acquires a strong knight instead. To struggle against ready-to-swoop cavalry during a practical game would not be pleasant for Black. 21h6+?! ¢h8 gives nothing, but... on the site crestbook.com the move 22f5?! has been analyzed in detail. Such a move would never occur to a human being, but is entirely possible for "Rybka"... On logical 24...¦ae8 White replies 23f3 ¥c8 (as a matter of fact, White creates no threats, and for Black it is well worth thinking over 23...a5!? for example) 24.¤h4 An amazing situation! Black does not succeed in punishing White for SUCH KIND of play!

It looks like the optimal one for Black is the variation shown on the same site: 24...¥e7 25xf7+ ¢g8 26.¥xf6 ¦xf6 27.£xe5 £b6 28.¤g5 ¦xf2 ( 28...¤d3 29.¥xd3 £xf2+ 30.¢h1) 29.¤f5 (on 29.¥b1 material gain is achieved by way of 29... ¦f4!) 29...¥xf5 30.exf5 ¦xc2 31d5+ ¤e6+ 32.¢h1 ¦d8 33.£xd8+!! £xd8!! 34.¦xd8+ ¥xd8 35xe6 ¥f6=/+ and the endgame is better for Black in spite of an extra white pawn. For myself I can also add that in case of 27...£a7 White can choose ( 28.¤d6 ¤d3 29.¥xd3 £xf2+ 30.¢h1 ¦xd6 31.¦f1 £xh4 32.¥xc4+ bxc4 33.¦xd6 and he runs no risk; he can also move according to the main variation 28.¤g5. But in this case after 28...¦xf2 he should digress from the main line and choose 29b1!, for 29.¤f5 ¥xf5 30.exf5 ¦xc2 31.£d5+ ¤e6+ 32.¢h1 won`t work already because of 32...¥xg5 33.¦xe6 ¦xe6 34.fxe6 £e7!  There is also another unsuccessful way to try and win the material:  24...£b6 25.¤g4 ( 25.b4 cxb3 26.¤xf7+ ¢g8 27.axb3 ¦6e7 28.¤h6+ gxh6 29.£xf6 ¦e6) 25...h6 26.¥e3 (26.¥xf6 ¦xf6 27.£h5 ( 27.¤xf6 ¥xf5 28.¤xe8 ¥d7) 27...¥xg4 28.£xg4 ¤d3 with black advantage) 26...g5 A «disgraceful» move, but what if some extra material would "fall from heaven"?  27.b4! Alas, no go! 27...cxb3 28.axb3 with unclear consequences.) Everything is much simpler with 222g4 (22...¤xg4 23.¥d8 £c6! 24xg4 (losing is 24.¤xf7+ ¢g8 25.hxg4 £e8 26.¤g5 ¦g6 27.b4 ¤d7 28.£f7+ £xf7 29.¤xf7 ¥c6-+) 24...¤d3 25.¥xd3 ¦xd8=/+, and the position is in Black`s favor.

 21...¦xf6 22.¤g4 ¦e6

23.¤ge3 Here it is well worth for White to choose 23.b4! ¤d7 (to give free range to the light-squared white bishop is risky:  23...cxb3 24.axb3 a5 25.b4 ¤a4 26b3 and variations like 26...h5?! (26...¤xc3 loses: 27.¥xe6 fxe6 28.¤fh6+ gxh6 29.¦d7) 27.¥xe6 hxg4 28.¤h6+ gxh6 29.¦d7 gxf3 30.¥xf7+ ¢h8 31.¦xc7 do not exactly fill me with enthusiasm) 24.¤ge3 ( 24.¦d2 a5) 24...g6 25.¤d5 and the position is unclear – aggressive knights do not allow Black to utilize his advantage, namely the bishop that has no opponent; as for White, he lacks both his bishops to build up the pressure, and I mean both the one that has already left the board and the one that seems still to be in the play...

23...£a5! It won`t work to drive away the knight at once: 23...g6?! 24d5 £a5 25.b4!? ( 25.¤fe3) 25...cxb3 26.axb3 and capture 26...gxf5 27.exf5 ¦h6 ( 27...¦d6 28.£g3+ ¢h8 29.£xe5+ f6 30.¤xf6 ¦xd1 31.¦xd1+-) will be cheerless for Black, to evaluate this will be enough to consider 28.b4 (28.£g4!? ¢h8 29.¦e3 aspires to a forced win) 28...£a2 29b1+/-

24.a3 A concession to Black. Is it possible that Black has been going after 24d5!? to sacrifice an exchange by way of 24...£xa2 (White hopes on 24...g6 25.b4!)? Apparently, 25c7 £xb2 26.¦e2 ¦c8 (interesting is desperate 26...g6 27.¤xa8 gxf5 28.¤c7 ¦g6) 27.¤xe6 fxe6 28.¤g3 ¥e7 is favorable for Black; 24.a4!? g6 25d5, is, in all probability, more precise than the move made during the game.

24...g6 25.¤d5 ¦d8 Of course, there is no way to take: 25...gxf5?? loses forcedly: 26.exf5 ¦h6 ( 26...¦d6 27.£g3+ ¢h8 28.£xe5+ f6 29.¤xf6 ¦xd1 30.¦xd1 ¥g7 31.£e7-+) 27.£g4+ ¢h8 28.¦e3 ¦d6[] 29.f6 ¥c8 ( 29...¦xd5 30.¦xd5 ¥xd5 31.¦g3 ¥h6 32.£h4 and there is a mate in five moves) 30.£h5 e4 ( 30...¤d3 31.¦exd3 cxd3 32.¥xd3) 31.¦xe4+-

26.£g3 ¦d7 27.¤fe3 £d8 28.£f3

28...¥g7 Trying to punish Black for the computer move 28...f5!? 29.exf5 ¦ed6 by winning a piece will not work! After 30.fxg6 hxg6 31g3 ¥xd5 32.¤xd5 ¦xd5 33.¦xd5 ¦xd5 34.£xg6+ ¥g7 35.¦e3 (35.¥f5 £f6) 35...¤d3 black position is better. Now White should not win back the third pawn by way of 36xa6 £f6 37.£xf6 ¥xf6, and an advantage in the endgame is Black`s. More rational is to prepare the activation of light-squared bishop with the help of b2-b3, and not at once - ( 36.b3 £f6 37.£e8+ £f8 38.£e6+ £f7 39.£c8+ ¢h7 40.¦f3 £d7 is advantageous for Black) – but in a more "florid" way: 36.¦f3!? (or 36.¦g3 £d7 37.£e4 with an idea of b3) 36...¦d6 37.£e4 with an idea of b3. Morozevich`s asset is his dark-squared bishop, and in order to pay dividends assets should work. It seems worthwhile to take aim at the white knight, weakening the d5-knight position as well. It is the first, but not the last time when 28...¥h6!? =/+ does not look bad at all, and if 29g4, then 29...¥g7

29.a4 ¦ed6 30.axb5 axb5 31.g4 £h4 [31...¥h6!] 32.¦a1 ¤e6 Everyone is surely bored with all this, but...32...¥h6. In the final analysis passivity of this bishop has even cost Morozevich a game.

33.£g3 £xg3+ 34.fxg3

34...¤c5 Certain white threats have taken shape, and concrete decisions are required of Black already. Quite fine-looking is 34...¤g5!? 35g2 ¥h6! And Black gets rid of troublesome "leapers", which should have become a matter of principle for him in this game. After 36.¦a5 (36.¦ad1 ¢g7 37.h4 ¤xe4 38.g5 ¤xg5! 39.hxg5 ¥xg5 with a win) 36...¤xe4 37.¥xe4 ¥xe3 38.¦xe3 ¥xd5 39.¦xb5 ¥e6!?=/+ he would even manage to retain some minimal pressure. After simple 34...¤c7=/+ Black has already nothing to worry about. Let us note that nothing is gained by the showy 34...¤d4 35d1

35.h4 h6 36.¦a5 ¥c6 37.¤b4! With this splendid move White seizes the initiative in earnest. Bears no fruit 37xc4 bxc4 38.¦xc5 ¥xd5 39.exd5 ¦xd5 40.¦xc4 ¦d2, and Black has adequate counterplay.

37...¥xe4 38.¥xe4 ¤xe4 39.¦xb5

39...¤d2? Black weaknesses are obvious, and if he does not undertake something in a hurry... But alas, move 39! It looks like the only chance is 39...f5! 40.gxf5 ¤xg3 41.¤xc4 (41.fxg6 ¦xg6 42xc4 ¦f7->seems too risky for White) 41...¦d1 42.¦b8+ ¥f8! ( 42...¢h7 43.fxg6+ ¢xg6 44.¦xd1 ¦xd1+ 45.¢f2 simply with an extra pawn) 43.¦xd1 ¦xd1+ 44.¢f2 ¤xf5 45.¤xe5 ¢g7 (45...¤xh4 46.¤bc6) 46.¢e2 ¦d6 ( 46...¦h1 47.¤d5!) 47.¦b7+ and all I can say about this double-edged endgame is that white chances are better due to the poor position of black king. Another attempt 39...h5 40.gxh5 ¤xg3 41xc4 ¦d1 42.¦b8+ ¢h7 43.hxg6+ ¢xg6 44.¦xd1 ¦xd1+ 45.¢f2 ¤e4+ 46.¢f3 f5 47.¦b6++/- leads to an obvious white advantage.

40g2 e4 41.¦e2+/- Alas, black position is next to hopeless.

41...¥f8 42.¤ed5 e3 43.¤xe3 ¦e6 44.¤bd5 ¤b3 45.¤f4 ¦c6 46.¤xc4 ¦xc4 47.¦xb3 ¢g7 48.¦b5 ¥c5 49.g5 hxg5 50.hxg5 ¥e7 51.¢f3 ¥d8 52.¦e4 ¦c6 53.¢g4 ¦d2 54.¦d5 ¦xd5 55.¤xd5 ¦e6 56.¦xe6 fxe6 57.¤f4 ¢f7 58.¤d3 ¥c7 59.¢f3 1-0

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