How to Build IQP Attack


The Smothered Room

Sergey Karjakin joked on twitter after the third round of ETCC in Iceland that Russia may win the event without Alexander Grischuk. Indeed, the top GM did not take part in the first three matches but came in time for the decisive one in round seven against France:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "Open European Team Championship"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015.11.20"]
[Round "7.2"]
[White "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Black "Fressinet, Laurent"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2750"]
[BlackElo "2712"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:22:13"]
[BlackClock "0:28:57"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 {Diagram [#] The Berlin is not as solid as it
used to be on Icelandic soil.} 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5
8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 h6 10. Rd1+ Ke8 11. Nc3 Ne7 12. b3 Bf5 13. Nd4 Bh7 14. Nce2
Rd8 15. Bb2 a6 $146 {[%cal Gc6c5] Diagram [#] To prepare the c6-c5 advance.
Fressinet definitely knew something about the other game in this line:} (15...
Nd5 16. c4 Nb4 17. Nf4 Rg8 18. g4 Na6 19. Nf5 {with pressure for White in
Caruana,F (2805)-Carlsen,M (2876) Stavanger 2015}) 16. c4 c5 17. Nf3 Nc6 18.
Nf4 Bc2 {That forces the capture on d8 to which Black wants to reinforce the
control over the critical e6 square.} ({Worse is} 18... Rxd1+ 19. Rxd1 Nd8 {
Due to} 20. e6 $1 {[%csl Yc7,Re5][%cal Ge5c7] Diagram [#] Anyway!} Nxe6 (20...
fxe6 21. Be5) 21. Nxe6 fxe6 22. Be5 $16) 19. Rxd8+ Nxd8 20. e6 {[%cal Ge1e8]
Diagram [#] The main theme in the Berlin. If this break works, Black can never
finish the development and will play without his kingside rook and bishop.} f6
$2 {This pawn should not be allowed to stay there.} ({For good or for bad
Black should have taken the pawn-} 20... Nxe6 21. Re1 (21. Nxe6 fxe6 22. Re1
Kd7 23. Ne5+ Ke8 {looks OK for the second player.}) 21... Kd7 (21... Rh7 $5 22.
Nxe6 fxe6 23. Rxe6+ Kd8 24. Re1 g5 {may also be fine for Black.}) 22. Ne5+ Ke8
{White can repeat moves if he likes or transpose into the line from above} 23.
Nxe6 fxe6 {when Black is fine.}) 21. Rc1 (21. Re1 $5 {made sense too.}) 21...
Bf5 {One more inaccuracy after which Black can hardly save the game.} (21...
Be4 {was not ideal neither due to} 22. Nh4 Rg8 23. Nh5 {with the threat Bb2xf6
when the bishop on e4 is another target.}) (21... Bh7 {seemed best though,
moving it away from the white pieces and eventually defending the rook on g8.
After} 22. Re1 Nc6 ({But not} 22... Bd6 23. Nh5 Rg8 24. Bxf6 $1) 23. Nh4 (23.
Nh5 Rg8 {and if} 24. Bxf6 Bg6 25. e7 Bxh5 26. exf8=Q+ Kxf8 27. Be5 Bxf3 28.
gxf3 Nxe5 29. Rxe5 $11) 23... Bd6 {White is better, but not winning, say} {Or}
24. Nhg6 (24. Nh5 Rg8 25. Bxf6 gxf6 26. Nxf6+ Kf8 27. Nxg8 (27. Nxh7+ Kg7)
27... Kxg8) 24... Rg8) 22. Re1 Bd6 ({In case of} 22... Nc6 23. Nh5 {Black has
difficulties with the development of the flank as} (23. g4 $5) 23... Rg8 {
runs into} 24. Nh4 ({Not the hasty} 24. Bxf6 Bg6 $1) 24... Bd3 25. Bxf6 $1 gxf6
26. Nxf6+ {and wins.}) 23. Nh4 Bc2 ({Without the bishop pair Black's position
will be a mess} 23... Bxf4 24. Nxf5) 24. Nh5 Rh7 ({Or} 24... Rg8 25. f4) 25. f4
{[%cal Gf4f5,Gg2g4] Diagram [#] Grischuk is building a solid pawn chain on the
kingside to support the e6 pawn.} Nc6 26. g4 Nd4 27. f5 {On a high level, the
game is over. The rook is excluded from the game on h7 and White has decisive
advantage on the other side of the board.} a5 28. Kf2 a4 29. bxa4 {To open a
file for the rook.} (29. Rc1 $1 {Diagram [#] was actualy easier. After} axb3 (
29... Be4 30. Ke3 Bc6 31. Bxd4 cxd4+ 32. Kxd4 {wins without any chances.}) 30.
axb3 Bxb3 31. Bxd4 cxd4 32. Ra1 {[%csl Ye8][%cal Ga1a8,Gh4g6] The rook gets
the open file and intends to mate with Ra1-a8+ and Nh4-g6.}) 29... Bxa4 30. Re3
{The point behind White's last move. Re3-a3-a8 is on the agenda.} b6 31. Ng6
Kd8 32. Rd3 Kc8 33. Ke3 {In time trouble Grischuk forces matters. Another win
was} (33. Ra3 Bc6 34. e7 Kb7 35. Re3 Be8 36. Nf8 Rh8 37. Nxg7 $18) 33... Bc2
34. Ra3 {If White had more time he might have chosen the line} (34. Rd2 Nxf5+
35. gxf5 Bxf5 36. Rxd6 $1 Bxg6 37. Nf4 cxd6 38. Nxg6 {[%csl Ge6,Yf6,Gg6,Yg7,
Yh6,Yh7][%cal Re6d7,Re6f7,Rg6e7,Rg6f8,Rg6h8] Diagram [#] with picturesque
position where the rook on h7 is still in a super-secure prison.}) 34... Nxe6
35. fxe6 Bxg6 36. Ra8+ Kb7 37. Rg8 {White regains the pawn with interest and
the passer on e6 decides the game.} f5 ({Or} 37... Kc6 38. Nxg7) 38. Bxg7 Bxh5
39. gxh5 Kc6 40. a4 Kb7 41. Bf6 Kc6 ({The rook endgame leave no hopes for Black
} 41... Be7 42. Bxe7 Rxe7 43. Rg6) 42. Rg7 Rh8 43. Rxc7+ {Diagram [#]
Fressinet resigned due to the line} (43. Rxc7+ Kxc7 44. Bxh8 Kd8 45. Bg7 Ke7
46. Bxh6 Kxe6 47. Bf4 Be7 48. Bc7 {A crucial win for Grischuk and Russia!}) 1-0



Tomashevsky Attacks

After the free day the ETCC in Iceland entered the decisive matches. In the men section Russia managed to score one more important win. The big Man in this match was Evegeny Tomashevsky. Known for his clean positional style, the Russian champion proved that he is also a dangerous attacker.
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "Open European Team Championship"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015.11.19"]
[Round "6.2"]
[White "Tomashevsky, Evgeny"]
[Black "Mchedlishvili, Mikheil"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2743"]
[BlackElo "2618"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:01:08"]
[BlackClock "0:00:34"]

1. c4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 e6 6. e3 c5 7. Bxc4 Nc6 8. O-O
cxd4 9. exd4 Be7 {[%csl Gd4] Diagram [#] From the Slav defense the game went
into a typical QGA position with an extra tempo for White (in the Queens
Gambit the black pawn is on a6). Evgeny Tomashevsky's knowledge in these
positions should be huge thanks to his great coach Yuri Razuvaev.} 10. Qe2 {
A typical regroupment. The rook gets on the d file, ready to be shifted along
the third rank for a kingside attack.} (10. Bg5 O-O 11. Re1 Bd7 12. Qe2 Rc8 13.
Rad1 Nb4 14. Ne5 Nfd5 15. Nxd5 Nxd5 16. Bxd5 Bxg5 17. Bxb7 Bxa4 18. Ra1 Rc7 $11
{Onischuk,A (2662)-Rublevsky,S (2702) Berlin 2015}) 10... O-O 11. Rd1 Nb4 12.
Bg5 h6 {This move prepares the development of the black light-squared bishop.
A famous mistake is the hasty:} (12... Bd7 $2 13. d5 $1 {[%cal Gd1d8] Diagram
[#]} exd5 14. Nxd5 Nbxd5 15. Bxd5 Nxd5 16. Rxd5 Bxg5 17. Nxg5 {with serious
advantage for White. White recent example goes} h6 18. Qd2 hxg5 19. Rxd7 Qf6
20. Rxb7 {with a solid extra pawn for White in Rodshtein,M (2660)-Duda,J (2591)
Jerusalem 2015}) 13. Bxf6 {White decided to trade the bishop. This is
obviously a concession as the first player wants to have as many pieces as he
can for the future attack. But at the same time White gets some important
squares for his knights.} ({In case of} 13. Bh4 {Black can already proceed
with the development} Bd7 14. Ne5 ({As the line} 14. d5 exd5 (14... Nbxd5 {
is also possible.}) 15. Nxd5 Nbxd5 16. Bxd5 Nxd5 17. Rxd5 Bxh4 $11 {is no
longer dangerous for Black.}) 14... Bc6 15. Bg3 Nbd5 16. a5 Rc8 17. Bb3 a6 18.
Rdc1 Bb4 19. Bh4 Qd6 20. Qd1 Bb5 21. Nxb5 axb5 22. Rxc8 Rxc8 23. Qf3 Qc7 24. h3
Ra8 25. Qd1 Bd6 {1/2-1/2 (25) Ivanchuk,V (2748)-Tkachiev,V (2639) France 2010})
13... Bxf6 14. Ne4 b6 {The most natural development.} (14... Be7 15. Ne5 Nc6
16. Nxc6 bxc6 17. a5 $14 {Van Wely,L (2654)-Van Foreest,J (2519) Vlissingen
2015}) 15. Ne5 Bh4 {In case of the natural} (15... Bb7 {White has} 16. Nxf6+
Qxf6 17. Nd7 Qg5 18. f4 {winning the exchange.}) 16. Ra3 {The other rook also
does not mind to get shifted on the kingside.} Bb7 17. Rh3 Bd5 $146 {[%csl Yc4,
Yd5][%cal Yd5c4,Yc4d5] Diagram [#] A novelty. Mchedlishvili is happy to trade
a pair of light pieces. I am curious to see what did Tomashevsky prepare
against:} ({Black did well after} 17... Nd5 18. Qg4 Bg5 19. Nxg5 Qxg5 20. Qxg5
hxg5 {in Ikonnikov,V (2527)-Van Foreest,J (2514) Dieren 2015}) 18. Nc3 Bxc4 19.
Qxc4 Be7 {Careful defense. The knight is more valuable than the bishop in the
line:} (19... Nd5 20. Nxd5 exd5 21. Qd3 $14) 20. Qe2 Rc8 (20... Nd5 {can be
met in a similar way} 21. Qg4 Nxc3 22. bxc3 {with pressure for White on the
kingside.}) 21. Qg4 {[%csl Yg8][%cal Gg4g8,Gh3h8] Diagram [#] A common picture
in the isolated pawn positions. Thanks to his extra space White can lift his
heavy pieces in front of the pawn chain to attack. Hoever, since Black's
pawn structure is almost intact his resources should prove sufficient to hold
the attack.} Kh7 22. Rg3 Bf6 ({The weakening moves are punished at once} 22...
g6 $4 23. Nxf7) 23. Ne4 {The threat is to capture on f6 and fork on d7 with
the second knight, thus} Rc7 24. h4 $1 {Razuvaev's trademark. The pawn is
getting ready to worry the black king anytime he goes g7-g6.} Qe7 {It is
somehow strange, but Black lacks good moves. The computer suggestion} (24...
Nd5 25. Kh2 g6 (25... Rc2 $4 26. Nxf6+) 26. h5 g5 {is hardly any human
player's choice.}) 25. Kh2 $3 {[%csl Gh2] Diagram [#] A deep preparatory move.
The king moves away from the possible checks along the first rank and White
ask his opponent-"What are you doing next?"} Nd5 $6 {Probably the first real
mistake that Mchedlishvili committed in the game. The knight is getting closer
to the black king and on a wonderful outpost, but it lets the second white
rook join the attack.} ({The natural} 25... Rfc8 $2 {to trade the rooks with
Rc7-c1 is concretely bad due to} 26. Nxf6+ Qxf6 27. Rf3 $18) ({But Black could
have been equally prophylactic with} 25... Kh8 $1 {Diagram [#]}) 26. Nxf6+
Qxf6 27. Rdd3 {Logically follows the plan of kingside attack. The threat is
Rd3-f3! But I like one other idea that reveals the idea behind the deep Kh2
move:} (27. Rc1 $1 {[%cal Gg1h2] Diagram [#] which will force the black rook
to abandon the open file as} Rxc1 {loses the queen after} (27... Rfc8 {also
loses due to} 28. Rxc7 Rxc7 29. Rf3) 28. Nd7 $16) 27... Ne7 28. Rgf3 Nf5 29. g3
Kg8 ({Nothing changes} 29... Rd8 30. Qe4 Kg8 ({Black loses the knight in the
line} 30... Rd6 31. g4 Qxh4+ 32. Kg2 Kg8 33. Rh3) 31. d5 $1) 30. Qf4 {The
threat is d4-d5 and there is nothing that Black can do to stop it!} Rd8 31. d5
$1 {[%csl Gd5,Rf5][%cal Gd4d5,Yf3f8] Diagram [#] The most typical IQP break
spells trouble for Black.} Rc2 $2 {This hangs material.} ({Naturally, Black
cannot capture the pawn} 31... Rxd5 32. Rxd5 exd5 33. Qxf5) ({Most resilent was
} 31... Rcc8 32. dxe6 fxe6 {Although here too, White has large advantage after
the simple} 33. Qe4 $16 ({Or he may win a pawn with} 33. g4 g5 34. Qe4 Rxd3 35.
Nxd3 Nd6 36. Rxf6 Nxe4 37. Rxe6 $16)) 32. Nxf7 $1 {[%csl Rd8,Rf5] Diagram [#]
Small combination a'la Capablanca which crowns the great technical job of
Tomashevsky.} Rf8 (32... Qxf7 33. dxe6 {loses everything.}) (32... Kxf7 33.
dxe6+ Kxe6 34. Rxd8) 33. dxe6 Rc5 ({Or} 33... Qxe6 34. Qxf5 Qxf5 35. Rxf5 Rxf7
36. Rd8+) 34. b4 {Diagram [#] A very important win for Russia!} 1-0



Following Botvinnik

Every match in Reykjavik is a tough one as there are practically no underdogs. The value of a single win is enormous and one can see how solidly some teams play, looking for someone to win and the others to keep the balance.
The French teams had huge psychological pressure after the disastrous 13-th of November. But they showed that they are strong, powerful team. Take a look at one of the games of their leader:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "Open European Team Championship"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015.11.17"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Vallejo Pons, Francisco"]
[Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2684"]
[BlackElo "2765"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "70"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:03:07"]
[BlackClock "0:22:23"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 Ng4 {Diagram [#]
Ever since Rashkovsky revived this line it remains a problem for the first
player in the English Attack.} 7. Bc1 Nf6 8. Be3 Ng4 9. Bg5 h6 10. Bh4 g5 11.
Bg3 Bg7 12. h4 {Diagram [#] Quite a rare line.} ({The main move remains} 12.
Be2 {One recent example went} h5 13. Bxg4 hxg4 14. Nd5 Nc6 15. Nf5 Bxf5 16.
exf5 Bxb2 17. Rb1 Qa5+ {and the impression is that the line is almost
exhausted, Jakovenko,D (2759)-Karjakin,S (2753) Chita 2015}) ({The French GM
has some bitter experience in the second most popular line after} 12. h3 Ne5
13. Be2 Nbc6 14. Nb3 b5 15. a4 $5 $146 {Ivanchuk,V (2715)-Vachier Lagrave,M
(2757), 2015}) 12... Nc6 13. Nxc6 bxc6 14. Bc4 Qa5 15. Qf3 Ne5 $3 $146 {
[%csl Rf7][%cal Rf3f7,Rc4f7] Diagram [#] A novelty in the spirit of Botvinnik!
True, he sacrificed a pawn for bishop pair in an endgame against Suetin,
Vachier Lagrave does it in the middlegame.} ({All the seven predecessors saw}
15... Be6 {which solved Black's problems as well. One example-} 16. Bxe6 fxe6
17. Qxg4 Bxc3+ 18. bxc3 Qxc3+ 19. Ke2 Qc4+ 20. Kd2 Qd4+ {and a draw was agreed
in Ivanchuk,V (2731)-Dominguez Perez,L (2754) Beijing 2013}) 16. Bxe5 Qxe5 17.
Bxf7+ ({The position of the white queen on f7 will only help Black build his
initiative-} 17. Qxf7+ Kd8 18. O-O-O Rf8) 17... Kd8 18. hxg5 {There is no time
to castle due to the pin} (18. O-O-O Rf8 {when White will lose the bishop
sooner or later.}) 18... Rb8 {For the pawn Black has total domination on the
dark squares, diagonals and files for all his pieces.} 19. Bb3 ({King's safety
comes first, but after} 19. O-O-O Qxg5+ 20. Rd2 Rf8 $1 {Diagram [#] Black has
various ways of developing the initiative-} 21. Qh5 Qxg2 ({Either the aggressive
} 21... Be5 22. g3 ({Or else White loses the exchange} 22. Qxg5 hxg5 23. Rh7
Bf4) 22... Bg4 {with similar endgame as in the game.})) ({Believe it or not,
the computer quickly put the 0.00 evaluation. Here is his main line} 19. gxh6
$1 Rxb2 20. hxg7 $3 {[%csl Ra1,Re1,Gg7,Rh1][%cal Gg7g8] Diagram [#]} Rxh1+ 21.
Kd2 Qd4+ 22. Qd3 Qxf2+ 23. Ne2 Qxf7 24. Qg3 $1 (24. Rxh1 $2 Qxg7 {is clearly
better for White.}) 24... Rxa1 25. g8=Q+ Qxg8 26. Qxg8+ Kc7 27. Qg7 Raxa2 28.
Qxe7+ Bd7 29. Nd4 c5 30. Ne6+ Kc6 31. Nd8+ {Yeah, go find this over the board..
.}) 19... Rf8 20. Qe3 Qxg5 $1 {[%csl Yb2,Yb3,Yc2,Yc3,Gc8,Gg7] Diagram [#] So,
it is Botvinnik after all who inspired the sacrifice.} ({The middlegame is
better for White} 20... hxg5 21. O-O-O {as his king is safer.}) 21. Qxg5 hxg5 {
Although White is a clear pawn ahead and has seemingly better pawn structure
it is only Black who can play for a win. The white bishop and knight are
occupied with the defense of the queenside and Black can start advancing his
own "a" and "c" pawns to break the defense there. This is not everything- he
can make use of the kingside too.} 22. f3 g4 $1 23. Ke2 a5 $1 {Diagram [#]} 24.
Na4 {Now Vallejo's pieces will remain passive till the end of the game.} ({
The best resource was} 24. Rad1 Ba6+ 25. Ke3 {intending to meet} Be5 {with} 26.
Ne2 $1 Bxb2 27. Nd4 $1 {when Black will have to trade the dark-squared bishop
for the knight with approximate equality.}) 24... Ba6+ 25. c4 ({Or} 25. Ke3 c5
26. c3 Bb5 {in either case the white king is quite uncomfortable.}) 25... Rb4
26. Rac1 gxf3+ 27. gxf3 Bd4 28. Rc2 c5 {All the black pieces occupied
commanding positions.} 29. Rh2 Rg8 30. Rc1 Bc8 $1 {[%cal Gc8e6] Diagram [#]
But some can get even better!} 31. Nc3 Be6 32. Kd3 $6 {Makes things easier for
Vachier.} ({An interesting defense was} 32. Nd5 {with the idea} Bxb2 ({However,
Black can improve with} 32... Bxd5 $1 33. cxd5 a4 34. Bd1 Rxb2+ 35. Rc2 a3 $19)
33. Nxb4 Bxc1 34. Nd5 {which should be holdable endgame for White.}) ({Perhaps
the best defense was} 32. Rd1 Bxc4+ 33. Bxc4 Rxc4 34. Kd3 Rb4 {although
Black's advantage is huge here as well.}) 32... Rg3 33. Ke2 {The pawn is
doomed anyway:} (33. Rf1 Bh3 34. Rd1 Bg2 $17) 33... Bxc4+ 34. Kd2 ({This time
White cannot deprive the opponent of the bishop pair} 34. Bxc4 Rxb2+ $1) 34...
Rxf3 35. Bxc4 Rxb2+ {Diagram [#] Hats off to Maxime Vachier Lagrave and the
whole French team!} ({Vallejo resigned due to the line} 35... Rxb2+ 36. Rc2
Rxc2+ 37. Kxc2 Rxc3+) 0-1



The Modern Game of Zugzwang

In Reykjavik everything is expected. More and more excellent games are produced, like the following one:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "Open European Team Championship"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015.11.16"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Jobava, Baadur"]
[Black "Saric, Ivan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2668"]
[BlackElo "2652"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "115"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:38:47"]
[BlackClock "0:29:55"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 {Diagram [#] You did not expect Jobava to play the
Ruy Lopez, did you? Ponziani is so much more fun than 20-25 moves of theory...}
Nf6 {The main move. According to my Megabase Saric had never played against
this opening in official game. But he live-witnessed Carlsen's win against Hou
Yifan in Wijk.} 4. d4 Nxe4 ({Actually, Jobava had a game in Ponziani this year
already, but opponent deviated from the main paths with} 4... d6 5. Bd3 Be7 6.
O-O O-O 7. Re1 Bg4 8. d5 Nb8 9. Nbd2 a5 10. h3 Bh5 11. Nf1 Na6 12. Ng3 Bg6 13.
Nh4 $14 {Diagram [#] Jobava,B (2683)-Benidze,D (2491) Ureki 2015}) ({Carlsen
chose} 4... exd4 5. e5 Nd5 {Hou-Carlsen, Wijk an Zee 2013.}) 5. d5 Ne7 6. Nxe5
Ng6 7. Qe2 Qe7 8. Qxe4 Qxe5 9. Qxe5+ Nxe5 10. Bf4 {This particular line has
the reputation of an ultra solid weapon where White can hardly ever lose (or
win). Jobava has his own way instead of the conventional development:} (10. Be2
Bc5 11. Nd2 d6 12. Nb3 Bb6 13. a4 a6 14. a5 Ba7 15. Nd4 Bxd4 16. cxd4 Nd7 {
with slight advantage for White in Lu,S (2606)-Wang,H (2710) Xinghua 2015})
10... Bd6 11. Bg3 f5 12. Nd2 O-O 13. f4 $146 {[%csl Yf4] Diagram [#] Boom, the
novelty! White sacrifices a pawn! Not a move that the computer will suggest.} (
{All the twelve predecessors saw} 13. f3 {when after} b6 14. O-O-O Bb7 15. Nc4
Nxc4 16. Bxc4 f4 17. Bf2 Rae8 {trades are about to happen along the e file,
and a handshake.}) 13... Ng6 14. O-O-O Bxf4 (14... b6 $1 {was probably better.
The pawn on f4 has nowhere to go. After} 15. Nc4 Bxf4+ 16. Bxf4 Nxf4 17. d6 {
White has compensation for the pawn, but hardly more.}) (14... Nxf4 $2 {
is bad due to the simple} 15. Nc4 {when White regains the pawn and keeps
pressure for free.}) 15. d6 $1 {[%csl Ya8,Yc8] Diagram [#] The point behind
the sacrifice. Jobava tries to seal the bishop on c8.} cxd6 ({Another way to
defend is} 15... Bxg3 $5 16. hxg3 (16. Bc4+ Kh8 17. hxg3 cxd6 18. Nf3 Ne5 19.
Bd5 {makes sense as well.}) 16... cxd6 17. Nf3 Ne5 18. Rxd6 Rf6 19. Rd4 Nxf3
20. gxf3 ({Black can give back the pawn in case of a need-} 20. Bc4+ d5 21.
Bxd5+ Be6 {with approximate equality.}) 20... d6 {Just like the line above,
White has compensation, but hardly advantage.}) 16. Bxf4 Nxf4 17. g3 Nh5 {
The other retreat seemed more natural} (17... Ne6 18. Nc4 d5 19. Rxd5 f4 20.
Nd6 b6 {although it is not clear how will Black develop his bishop from b7.})
18. Nc4 $1 d5 $1 {A freeing attempt.} (18... b6 19. Nxd6 Rb8 20. Bc4+ Kh8 21.
Rhf1 {is horrendous, while}) (18... Nf6 19. Nxd6 Ne4 20. Bc4+ Kh8 21. Nxe4 fxe4
22. Bd5 $16 {is a solid advantage for White.}) 19. Nd6 $1 {[%csl Gd6] Diagram
[#]} ({Or else Saric will come out of the trouble} 19. Rxd5 Nf6 $1 (19... d6 $5
) 20. Rd6 b5) 19... Nf6 20. Bg2 {Jobava is not interested in the f5 pawn. The
blocked queenside is his mantra.} Ne4 21. Rxd5 Nxd6 22. Rxd6 {A very pleasant
situation for White arose. His four pieces are free in their motion and have
the fun part beating the black king and rook.} Re8 {If Black trades his last
active piece} (22... Rf6 23. Rxf6 gxf6 {his position will get critical after
either} 24. Rd1 (24. Rf1 {is not bad neither.})) 23. Rf1 g6 24. Bd5+ {Diagram
[#]} Kh8 {Or else White will win two pawns after} (24... Kg7 25. Bxb7 Bxb7 26.
Rxd7+ Kh6 27. Rxb7 $16) 25. Kd2 a5 26. Rf4 {Prepares the next maneuver and
discourages the queenside rook sortie.} Re5 (26... Ra6 27. Rxa6 bxa6 28. Ra4 {
regains the pawn for White and keeps stable advantage.}) 27. Rc4 Rb8 28. Rc7 {
Now the bishop is out of the picture for good and White is looking for the
decisive improvement.} b6 29. c4 {[%csl Gd5,Rd6][%cal Gc4d5,Rd6f6,Rf6f7,Rf7f8]
Diagram [#] To free the other rook.} Kg7 30. a4 ({There is absolutely no need
to force matters} 30. Bb7 Rxb7 31. Rxb7 Bxb7 32. Rxd7+ Kh6 33. Rxb7 Re6 {
when White is definitely better but Black has chances to survive.}) (30. Bc6 $6
Rc5) 30... Kf8 (30... Re7 $5 {might have been more stubborn.}) 31. Rf6+ Ke8 32.
Ra7 {[%csl Yb8,Yc8,Re5,Ye8] Diagram [#] Zugzwang # 1! Only the e5 rook can
move.} Re7 (32... Ke7 33. Rf7+ Kd6 34. Rxh7 $18) 33. h4 $1 {Once that the
White pieces have been activated to the maximum, the pawns march forward in
order to create weakneses.} Rg7 ({Or} 33... Re5 34. h5 gxh5 35. Rh6 Re7 36.
Rxh5) 34. Ke3 Ke7 35. Re6+ Kd8 36. Re5 h6 ({Otherwise the king may get in}
36... h5 37. Kf4 {followed by Kf4-g5.}) 37. Kd4 {[%csl Yb8,Yc8,Yd8,Rg7][%cal
Gh4h5] Diagram [#] Zugzwang #2! The white pawn cannot be stopped from breaking
the kingside pawn structure.} Rh7 (37... g5 38. h5 $1 f4 39. gxf4 gxf4 40. Rf5
$18) 38. h5 $1 {The kingside collapses and the white pieces invade the
opponent's camp.} Rg7 39. hxg6 Rxg6 40. Re3 {The last move before the
additional time made the win a bit complicated. The simplest solution was} (40.
Rxf5 $1 Rxg3 41. Rf7 {[%csl Rc8][%cal Gf7h7,Gh7h8,Ga7c7,Gc7c8] Diagram [#]
followed by Rf7-h7-h8+ and Ra7-c7xc8.}) 40... Rg7 41. Rf3 Rg6 42. Rxf5 Rxg3 43.
Rf8+ Ke7 44. Rf7+ Kd6 {Or else the game might transpose to the winning line
from above with} (44... Kd8 45. Rh7 Rh3 46. Rh8+ Ke7 47. Rc7 {trapping the
bishop.}) 45. Rf6+ Ke7 46. Rxh6 {Pawns are even, but four white pieces are
still beating two...} Rg4+ 47. Ke5 Rg5+ 48. Kf4 Rg1 49. Be4 Re1 50. b3 $1 {
Diagram [#] The final touch. The hasty} (50. Ke5 Bb7 $1 {would have ruined a
true masterpiece} 51. Rh7+ Kd8 52. Kd6 Rxe4 53. Rxd7+ Ke8 54. Raxb7 Rxb7 55.
Rxb7 Rxc4 56. Rxb6 Rxa4 $11) 50... Re2 51. Ke5 {Now White can.} Kf7 (51... Bb7
{does not help this time as in the line} 52. Rh7+ Kd8 (52... Kf8 53. Rh8+ Ke7
54. Rxb8 Rxe4+ 55. Kf5 Bc6 56. Rxb6 $18) 53. Kd6 Rxe4 54. Rxd7+ Ke8 55. Raxb7 {
the c4 pawn is defended and White wins.}) 52. Kd6 $1 Rxe4 53. Kc7 {[%csl Yb8,
Yc8] Diagram [#] A wonderful finish of a great game!} Rb7+ 54. Rxb7 Bxb7 55.
Kxb7 Re6 56. Rxe6 dxe6 57. Kxb6 e5 58. Kxa5 1-0


Great Chess from Iceland

Reykjavik has is all for a top-level chess event. The history, the passion for chess and even the climate. Since the historical match Spassky-Fischer in 1972 no Icelander is indifferent to the game of chess. The country is a proud owner of a chess record- it has the largest number of GMs per capita of the population. And is currently running another great event- the European Team Championships. Here is a game from round one:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "European Team Championship - Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015.11.13"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Kveinys, Aloyzas"]
[Black "Ivanisevic, Ivan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2510"]
[BlackElo "2662"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:01:17"]
[BlackClock "0:00:54"]

1. Nf3 {Aloyzas Kveinys is a frequent played at the famous Reykjavik open and
good friend of the local chess players. At least one of Iceland's best GMs is
his student and the Lituania's top board feels at home in Reykjavik as this
game shows.} d5 2. d4 Bf5 3. Bg5 f6 {[%csl Yg5][%cal Gg8h6,Gh6f5] Diagram [#]
Black often plays this move without his bishop on f5, the idea being to trade
the white bishop in case it retreats to h4 after the maneuver Ng8-h6-f5.} ({
The alternative} 3... h6 {led to highly interesting position after} 4. Bh4 c6
5. e3 Qb6 6. b3 Qa5+ 7. c3 Bxb1 8. b4 Qa3 9. Rxb1 Qxc3+ 10. Nd2 Qa3 11. Rb3 Qa4
12. Nb1 {in the game Papaioannou,I (2622)-Stevic,H (2607) Khanty-Mansiysk 2010}
) 4. Bf4 ({The bishop has hardly much to do on h4} 4. Bh4 {and Black can still
go for} Nh6 {followed by Bf5-g6 and Nh6-f5.}) 4... Nc6 5. e3 e6 6. Nh4 {
Only six moves were played and the position became extremely unusual and
complex. Original too- according to Megabase there were only three games
played so far.} Be4 {Another interesting try was} (6... g5 $5 {Looks risky as
Black loses the right to castle after} 7. Qh5+ Kd7 8. Nxf5 gxf4 9. Qf7+ Nge7
10. Bd3 $5 {[%csl Yd7,Rf7][%cal Gd8e8] Diagram [#] But the immediate trade of
queens solves all the problems-} Qe8 (10... exf5 $4 11. Bxf5+ Kd6 12. Qe6#) 11.
Qxe8+ Rxe8 12. Nxe7 Bxe7 $11) 7. f3 Bg6 8. Nxg6 hxg6 9. c4 e5 $5 $146 {Diagram
[#] A sharp, rich novelty-Ivanisevic fights for the initiative. Previously
another logical move was tried:} (9... Bd6 10. Bxd6 Qxd6 11. c5 Qd7 12. Bb5
Nge7 {with approximate equality, Rufino Bengoetxea,A-Sion Castro,M (2390)
Mondariz 1995}) 10. cxd5 {The only attempt to get something out of the opening.
} ({Black is fine after} 10. dxe5 fxe5 11. cxd5 exf4 12. dxc6 Qxd1+ 13. Kxd1
O-O-O+) 10... Qxd5 (10... exf4 11. dxc6 bxc6 12. exf4 $16 {is better for White.
}) 11. Nc3 Bb4 12. dxe5 Qc5 {[%csl Rc3,Ye3,Re5][%cal Rb4c3,Rg6g5,Yc5e3,Rc5e5,
Rc5c3] Diagram [#] The point behind Black's play. Ivanisevic is ready to
sacrifice a pawn but to keep the white king in the center.} 13. Qd3 $1 {
The lines after} (13. exf6 Nxf6 (13... Bxc3+ 14. bxc3 Qxc3+ 15. Kf2 Rd8) 14.
Qd3 g5 15. Bxc7 Rc8 16. Bg3 Rd8 17. Qg6+ Kf8 {are too risky for White.}) 13...
g5 14. exf6 (14. e6 $1 {was objectively stronger as Black cannot take the piece
} gxf4 ({After the correct} 14... Kf8 15. Bxc7 Rc8 16. Qd7 Qxe3+ 17. Be2 Nge7 {
Black has good compensation for the pawn.}) 15. Qd7+ Kf8 16. Qf7#) 14... Nxf6
15. Bxc7 Rc8 16. Bg3 Ke7 {Ivanisevic misses a golden chance. The incredible} (
16... Rd8 17. Qg6+ Ke7 $3 {Diagram [#]} 18. Qxg7+ (18. Qc2 {is objectively
better when Black has rich compensation after} Nd5 ({Or} 18... Ne5)) 18... Ke6
{is a resource that would make any living person proud. The black king laughs
at the efforts of the white queen, while without it around it will be the
white king that will suffer.}) 17. Rc1 a6 18. Be2 {[%cal Ge1g1] Diagram [#]
Now White is in control.} Rhd8 19. Qc2 Qxe3 20. Bf2 Qe5 21. O-O {Kveynis
saveguarded the king and is ready to attack through the center. The extra pawn
and bishop pair would not hurt neither.} Nd4 {Black's only chance is connected
with kingside attack.} 22. Bxd4 Qxd4+ 23. Kh1 Rh8 {Creates a mating threat.}
24. g3 (24. Rfe1 $4 {walks into it} Rxh2+ {Diagram [#]} 25. Kxh2 Rh8+ 26. Kg3
Qh4#) ({Worse is} 24. h3 Qf4 25. Qg6 Bd6 {Diagram [#] when White needs to find
the cute} 26. Qxf6+ $1 ({But not} 26. Qxg7+ Ke6 $1) 26... gxf6 27. Nd5+ Kf7 28.
Nxf4 Bxf4 {although due to the opposite-colored bishops this should wnd
peacefully.}) 24... Bd6 25. f4 $1 {A counter-attacking signal. Kveynis needs
that tempo to get his queen close.} (25. Qg6 $4 {would be answered in another
checky-matie-fashion} Rxh2+ {[%csl Yh1][%cal Rd4h4] Diagram [#]} 26. Kxh2 Qh4+
27. Kg2 Qxg3+ 28. Kh1 Qh2#) 25... gxf4 26. Qg6 Rcg8 27. Rcd1 {Now White has
all the fun.} Qb6 {Black's last chance was} (27... Qc5 28. Nd5+ Nxd5 29. Qe4+
Kd8 30. Rxd5 Re8 31. Qd3 Rxe2 32. Rxd6+ (32. Rxc5 $4 Rhxh2+ 33. Kg1 Reg2#)
32... Kc7 33. Qxe2 Qxd6 34. Qc4+ Kb8 35. Qxf4 {although the extra pawn should
give be sufficient for the full point here as well.}) 28. Bc4 {[%csl Ye7][%cal
Ge1e8,Gd1d8] Diagram [#] Strangely enough, it is the black king that gets in
trouble now in the middle of the board.} fxg3 29. Rfe1+ Kd8 30. Qxg3 $1 Qc6+ (
30... Kc7 31. Re7+ ({Or first} 31. Rxd6)) 31. Kg1 Qc5+ 32. Re3 {Checks are
over, Black loses the bishop and the game.} Kc8 33. Be6+ {Not the hasty} (33.
Rxd6 Qxc4) 33... Kc7 34. Rxd6 $1 {[%csl Rc5,Rc7] Diagram [#] A nice finish of
a beautiful game.} Qxd6 35. Nb5+ {Ivanisevic resigned due to the checkmate} (
35. Nb5+ axb5 36. Rc3+ Kd8 37. Qxd6+ Ke8 38. Rc8#) 1-0



Belgium Chocolate

This sweet game was played in Belgium on Sunday. White sacrificed a pawn in the opening for better development and open files/diagonals and after one single inaccuracy from his opponent managed to convert the initiative into decisive material advantage.
Enjoy the chocolate!