domenica 27 maggio 2018

The Ice Age Challenge

Santosh Gujrathi Vidit – Viorel Antonovich Bologan
19th Karpov International Chess Tournament; Poikovsky, May 27, 2018
Queen’s Indian Defence E17

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Be7 6. 0-0 0-0 7. Re1 Na6 8. Nc3 Ne4 9. Bf4 Nxc3 10. bxc3 Nb8 11. e4 d6 12. e5! Stronger than 12. h4 (which was played in a previous game Loiseau – Bailet, 14th Festival International d’Échecs de Meurthe-et-Moselle, Nancy 2016). 12. ... dxe5 13. Nxe5 Bxg2 14. Kxg2 Bd6 15. Qf3 Nd7 16. Rad1. After the immediate 16. Nc6 Qf6 17. Re4 Black can reply with 17. ... Nb8. 16. ... Qe7. Of course, there would have been good reasons for exchanging the dominating White Knight by 16. ... Bxe5, but after 17. dxe5 Black’s game would have been quite uncomfortable all the same. 17. Nc6 Qf6 18. Re4 Kh8. Now, if 18. ... Nb8 there would follow 19. Ne5 with much more effect. 19. Qe2 Qg6 20. Bc1! Nf6? 20. ... h6(!) seems to offer better opportunities for defence. 21. Rh4 Qf5. Here 21. ... Nd7 might have been a little better, but after 22. Ne5 Nxe5 23. dxe5 Bc5 24. Rd7 White enjoys a great advantage anyway. Whatever it is, after the text White concludes with a crushing squeeze: 22. Rd3! g5. I don’t see anything better than this. 23. Rf3! Qg6 24. Ne5 Qg7


25. Rxf6! gxh4. If 25. ... Qxf6 then 26. Rh5 followed by the capture on g5. 26. Qf3 Bxe5 27. dxe5 hxg3 28. Bh6! Qg8 29. hxg3 Rad8 30. Qf4! 1 : 0. Black is helpless against the threat of Qf4-h4 followed by Rf6-f4. No doubt a remarkable game worth deeper analysis.

Santosh Gujrathi Vidit (right) vs. Viorel Antonovich Bologan (left). Photo: Vasily Viktorovich Papin/ruchess.ru.

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