giovedì 5 luglio 2018

The Summer Man

Georg Meier – Vassily Mykhaylovych Ivanchuk
4th Gideon Japhet Cup; Jerusalem, July 4, 2018
Réti Opening A07

German Grandmaster Georg Meier, not a full-time professional, often gives his best during summer. Last year in the United States, and now in Israel. Today he neatly beat Anna Olehivna Muzychuk for 2–0, and moreover after defeating Vassily Mykhaylovych Ivanchuk too in their fifth round game. 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 c6 3. Bg2 Bf5 4. c4 e6 5. cxd5 exd5 6. 0-0 Nf6 7. d3 Bc5 8. Qb3 Bb6 9. Nc3 0-0 10. Na4 Re8 11. Re1. Meier is very familiar with this system and knows very well what to do (and what not to do). Instead, Ivanchuk seems to take the thing lightly.

11. ... Ba5? This will prove to be a very unfortunate novelty. Previously, both 11. ... Nbd7 12. Bd2 h6 13. Nxb6 Qxb6 14. Qc3 a5 15. h3 c5 (Meier – Dreev, World Blitz Chess Championship, Dubai 2014) and 11. ... h6 12. Bd2 c5 13. Qa3 Na6 14. Rac1 Rc8 (Meier – Korneev, Scandic Ariadne Masters, Stockholm 2016) had given Black quite reasonable prospects. 12. Qxb7! Sic et simpliciter. 12. ... Bxe1. Black consistently goes on. On the other hand, if 12. ... Nbd7 then 13. Bd2 with a clear advantage – both material and positional – to White. 13. Qxa8 Bxf2+? Definitely a hallucination. However, Black’s cause was already compromised anyway; for instance: 13. ... Qa5 14. Be3 with a Pawn ahead and the better game. 14. Kxf2 Qd7. That was Ivanchuk’s pointe: Black threatens to trap the Queen by ... Nb8-a6, but... 15. Nd4. After this Black finally realises that 15. ... Na6 would be simply met by 16. Qxc6, so he sadly goes home. 15. ... Bh3 16. Bf4 1 : 0.

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