(3030) Karjakin,Sergey (2723) - Gelfand,Boris (2758) [C55]
World Cup Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (6.1), 06.12.2009

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4
The Petroff does its work.

2...Nf6 3.d3 Nc6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.0-0 0-0 6.Bb3 d5 7.exd5 Nxd5 8.h3
[8.Re1 Bg4 9.h3 Bh5 10.g4 Bg6 11.Nxe5 Nxe5 12.Rxe5 c6 is a good pseudo-Marshall for Black. Here's a high-level example: 13.Qf3 Bf6 14.Re2 Kh8 15.Bxd5 cxd5 16.Nc3 Bxc3 17.bxc3 Rc8 18.Ba3 Re8 19.Rxe8+ Qxe8 20.Qxd5 Rxc3 21.Bb4 Rxc2 22.Re1 Qc8 23.Qxb7 h5 24.Qxc8+ Rxc8 25.d4 hxg4 26.hxg4 f5 27.gxf5 Bxf5 28.Bc5 a5 29.Re7 Rc6 30.Re5 Bb1 31.a3 Kg8 32.f3 a4 33.Kf2 Rf6 34.Re8+ Kf7 35.Re7+ Kg6 36.Ke3 Ba2 37.Ra7 Bd5 38.f4 Kf5 39.Rxg7 Re6+ 40.Kd3 Kxf4 41.Rf7+ Kg4 42.Rd7 Bb3 43.Bb4 Kf3 44.Rf7+ Kg4 45.Rd7 Kf3 46.Rf7+ Kg4 47.Rf8 Rh6 48.Ke4 Re6+ 49.Kd3 Rh6 50.Bc5 Rh3+ 51.Ke4 Rh5 52.Rf4+ Kg3 53.Ke3 Rh6 54.Rf1 Kg4 55.Ke4 Re6+ 56.Kd3 Re8 57.Kc3 Rb8 58.Rf2 1/2-1/2 Kramnik,V (2715)-Kasparov,G (2805)/Novgorod 1995]

8...a5 9.a4 Nd4
[9...Be6 10.Re1 Bf6 11.Nbd2 Nf4 12.Bxe6 Nxe6 13.Nc4 Re8 14.Bd2 Nc5 15.Bc3 e4 16.Bxf6 1/2-1/2 Tiviakov,S (2663)-Onischuk,A (2663)/Sochi 2007]

[10.Nxe5 Nxb3 11.cxb3 isn't what White should head for, and shows the point of Black's first playing 8...a5.]

10...exd4 11.Re1N
[11.Qf3 Be6 occurred in a couple of earlier games, and might be better than Karjakin's choice.]

This is a brilliant idea, a la Drimer's rook in the Budapest Defense. Black wants to swing the rook to g6, where it will help in a kingside attack, and that's just what happens in the game. (Note that this wouldn't make much sense if Black's bishop had already been forced to e6.) White's next move makes sense, but we should figure out what's wrong with the obvious 12.Bxd5 Qxd5 13.Rxe7.

[12.Bxd5 Qxd5 13.Rxe7 Rg6 And now we look at four moves. Two are clearly bad, one is interesting but leaves White struggling to prove equality, and one is a quick draw. 14.f3 Best. (14.Re4? f5 15.Qh5 Qc6-+ ; 14.g3? Bxh3 15.f3 (15.Re4 f5 16.Qh5 Qc6 17.Qxh3 fxe4 18.dxe4 Qxe4 19.Nd2 (19.Bd2 Qe2 20.Qg2 Qd1+ 21.Kh2 Rf5-+ ) 19...Qe1+ 20.Qf1 Rxg3+ 21.fxg3 Qe3+ 22.Kg2 Rxf1 23.Nxf1 Qe2+ 24.Kg1 Qxc2-+ ) 15...Rxg3+ 16.Kh2 Rg6 17.Qg1 Rxg1 18.Kxg1 Qxf3-+ ; 14.g4 Qh5 (14...f5 15.Qe2 fxg4 16.h4 g3 17.f3 Qf5 18.Qg2 Qf6 19.Re4! Forced. 19...Bh3! 20.Bg5! (20.Qxh3? Qxf3 with a quick forced mate.) 20...Qxf3 (20...Bxg2 21.Bxf6 Bxf3 22.Be7 Bxe4 (22...Rf5 23.Re1 Bc6 24.Re2 Bf3 25.Re1 Bc6 26.Re2 (26.Nd2 Rf2 27.Ne4 Rxc2 is at least equal for Black.) 26...Bf3= ) 23.Bxf8 Bc6 24.Bc5 Rg4 25.Nd2 Rxh4 26.Ne4 Just in time. 26...Rh2 27.Rf1 h5 28.Rf8+ Kh7 29.Bxd4 Bxe4 30.dxe4 Rxc2 31.Rf7 h4 32.Rxg7+ Kh6 33.Bf6 and only Black can be in trouble here.) 21.Qxf3 Rxf3 22.Nd2 Rf2 23.Re8+ Kf7 24.Re7+ Kf8 25.Rae1 (25.Rxc7?! Rxg5 26.hxg5 Rg2+ 27.Kh1 Rxd2 28.Rc4 Bg2+ 29.Kg1 Bc6 30.Rxd4 Rg2+ 31.Kf1 Rxc2=/+ ) 25...Rg2+ 26.Kh1 Rh2+ 27.Kg1 Rxg5 28.hxg5 Rg2+ (28...Rxd2 29.R7e2+/= is the difference.) 29.Kh1 Rh2+= ) 15.Re4 (15.Qf3? Bxg4 16.hxg4 Rxg4+ 17.Kf1 Rg1+ 18.Kxg1 Qxf3 19.Nd2 Qg4+ 20.Kf1 Qd1+ 21.Kg2 Qxc2-+ ) 15...Qxh3 (15...f5 16.Re5! (16.Rf4? Qxh3 17.Qf1 Rxg4+ 18.Rxg4 Qxg4+ 19.Qg2 Qd1+ 20.Qf1 Qh5 21.Qg2 (21.Bf4 Qg4+ 22.Bg3 f4-+ ) 21...f4 22.c4 (22.Nd2 Rf6-+ ) 22...Re8 23.Bd2 (23.Qd5+ Qxd5 24.cxd5 Re1+-+ ) 23...Re5-+ ) 16...Qxh3 17.g5 f4 18.Qf1 (18.Nd2? f3 19.Qf1 (19.Nxf3 Qg4+! 20.Kf1 Qh5!-+ followed by ...Bg4, with an overwhelming advantage.) 19...Qg4+ 20.Kh2 Qh4+ 21.Kg1 Rxg5+ 22.Rxg5 Qxg5+ 23.Kh1 Qh5+ 24.Kg1 Bh3-+ ) 18...Qh5 19.Qg2 looks like a draw. 19...Bh3 20.Qd5+ Be6 (20...Kh8 21.Bxf4 Qd1+ 22.Kh2 Qh5 23.Kg1= ) 21.Qg2 Bh3= ) 16.g5 (16.Qf1 Rxg4+ 17.Rxg4 Qxg4+ 18.Qg2 Qd1+ 19.Qf1 Qh5 the threat is ...Bh3 followed by ...Qg4+ and mate on g2. 20.Bf4 Qg4+ 21.Bg3 f5 22.Qg2 f4 23.Bh2 Qd1+ 24.Qf1 Qxc2 (24...Qh5 25.f3 Bh3 26.Qf2 Rf6 27.Kh1 Rg6 28.Nd2 Bg2+ 29.Qxg2 Rxg2 30.Kxg2 Qg5+ 31.Kf2 seems equal to me, but if Black can make his kingside pawns meaningful he will have an edge.) 25.Na3 Qxb2 26.Nc4 Qc2 27.Ne5 Be6=/+ White's position isn't so bad, but the unfortunate bishop on h2 and Black's four pawns for the piece give him the advantage.) 16...f5 17.Re5 f4 18.Qf1 Qg4+ 19.Qg2 Qd1+ 20.Qf1 Qxc2 21.Na3 Qxa4=/+ ) 14...Bxh3 15.Re2 Qxf3 16.Qf1 Bxg2 17.Rxg2 Rxg2+ 18.Qxg2 Qd1+ 19.Qf1 Qg4+= ]

12...Nb4 13.Na3 Rg6 14.Bf4
The queen on h5 takes care of ...Bxh3 business, so Black now switches to diagonal #2.

Not incidentally also protecting the pawn on a5.

Taking care of that diagonal too.

This looks like a concession, as it allows White to give Black an ugly, backward pawn. The dynamic factor of the f-file is even more importnant, though.

16.Bxe6 fxe6 17.Qe4 Bd6 18.Bxd6 cxd6!
Another small shocker! The e-pawn isn't backward anymore, but Black is just surrendering the d4 pawn.

[The immediate 19.g3 is safer. Black has some advantage after 19...e5 (or 19...Qg5 , but it's probably not yet a winning advantage.) ]

[19...e5 is very strong too: 20.Qc3 (20.Qe3? Nd5-+ followed by ...Nf4.) 20...Kh8 (20...Nd5? 21.Qb3 ) 21.Qd2 Qh4 22.Re3 Qg5 23.g3 Qf5 24.Kg2 Nd5-/+ ]

[20.Qe4 is no solution thanks to 20...d5 ; but what about 20.Qg4 , offering a trade of queens? The answer is that Black will not exchange but play 20...Qf6 21.Qe2 Nd5-+ with a decisive attack.]

20...Qf5 21.g4
[21.Kg2 Qf3+ (21...e5 22.Qxb6 Qf3+ 23.Kh2 Nd5-+ 24.Qa7 Nf4-+ is even better.) 22.Kg1 (22.Kh2 is best, though White is still lost after 22...Nxc2 23.Nxc2 Qxf2+ 24.Qxf2 Rxf2+ 25.Kg1 Rxc2-+ ) 22...Rxg3+ 23.fxg3 Qxg3+ 24.Kh1 Qxh3+ 25.Kg1 Qg3+ 26.Kh1 Rf5-+ ; 21.Rf1 Qxh3 22.Qe4 Nd5 23.Qg2 Qf5 24.f4 (24.Qe4 Qh5 25.Qh1 Qg4-+ followed by the crushing ...Nf4.) 24...Ne3 25.Qf3 Nxf1 26.Rxf1 Qh3 27.Kf2 Qh2+ 28.Qg2 Rxf4+-+ ; 21.h4 e5 22.Qe3 Nd5 23.Qe2 Qh3 24.Qe4 Nf4 25.Re3 d5 26.Qh1 d4 27.Qxh3 (27.Rf3 Ne2# ) 27...Nxh3+ 28.Kh2 dxe3 29.Kxh3 Rxf2-+ ]

[21...Nd5! is even better.]

[22.Kh2 hxg4 23.Rg1 Nc6 24.Qe4 Qxf2+ 25.Rg2 g3+ 26.Kh1 Qf5 27.Qxf5 exf5 28.Nc4 f4-+ and the pawns will destroy everything in their path.]

22...d5 23.Kh2 Qf3 24.Ree1 hxg4 25.Qe3
Desperation. White can't let the attack continue, but now he loses pawn after pawn after pawn.

25...gxh3 26.Qxf3 Rxf3 27.Rg1 Rxf2+ 28.Kxh3 Rxg1 29.Rxg1 Nxc2 30.Nb5 Rf3+ 31.Kg4 Rxd3 32.Nd6 Ne3+ 33.Kf4 Nc4
A great game by Gelfand. 0-1