23 January 2013

Tata Steel Chess 2013, Round 10

Is it possible to catch Magnus Carlsen? Levon Aronian is 1 1/2 points behind and has the White pieces against a player in the bottom half, Wang Hao. Hikaru Nakamura is tied with Aronian has Black against Fabiano Caruana, struggling in the lower half. Viswanathan Anand trails by one point and has a tough battle with Sergey Karjakin, who is in the middle of the pack. Carlsen has White against Erwin L'Ami, who is half a point above last place.

My game of the day for watching today is Nakamura's King's Indian Defense. I will look in on the other games from time to time. It is an unusual KID, and the novelty came early. This KID started as a Benoni.

Caruana,Fabiano (2781) - Nakamura,Hikaru (2769) [E70]
75th Tata Steel Chess Group A Wijk aan Zee, 23.01.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.e4 d6 6.Bd3 0–0 7.Nge2 Nbd7 8.Bc2 Ne8N

White to move

9.0–0 Nc7 10.a4 Na6 11.f4 Nb4 12.Bd3 e6 13.dxe6 fxe6 14.Qd2 Nf6 15.Rad1

Black to move

15...Ng4 16.Bb1 Nc6

Update 6:47 am PST; 14:47 CET

While beginning to take stock of the position, I am taking a few minutes to go back through the first few moves to examine the transpositions. Classification shifted from Benoni to King's Indian Defense, it seems, with White's 7.Nge2. But that is a superficial point. Both players appear to be attempting move order tricks.

After White's seventh move, the position reached is one that Caruana has played prior.

Caruana,Fabiano (2709) - Grischuk,Alexander (2771) [E70]
Wch Blitz 5th Moscow (32), 18.11.2010

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Bd3 0–0 6.Nge2 c5 7.d5 e6 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 g5 10.Bg3 Nh5 11.0–0 Na6 12.Qd2 Nc7 13.Bc2 exd5 14.exd5 f5 15.f4 Nxg3 16.Nxg3 g4 17.Rae1 Bd7 18.Kh1 Rf7 19.Re2 Bh8 20.Rfe1 Qf6 21.Re3 Re8 22.Rxe8+ Nxe8 23.Bxf5 Bxf5 24.Rxe8+ Rf8 25.Nce4 Bxe4 26.Nxe4 Qf5 27.Nxd6 Qb1+ 28.Re1 Qxa2 29.Nxb7 Qxc4 30.d6 Rxf4 31.Qd1 Rd4 32.Qb1 Qf7 33.Nd8 Qf6 34.Re8+ Kg7 35.Ne6+ Kf7 36.Rf8+ Kxe6 37.Rxf6+ Bxf6 38.h3 g3 39.d7 Kxd7 40.Qf5+ Ke7 41.Qxc5+ Ke6 42.Qc6+ Kf5 43.Qf3+ Rf4 44.Qd3+ Ke6 45.Qe3+ Be5 46.Qe2 Rf2 47.Qc4+ Kf6 48.b4 Rb2 49.Qc6+ Kg5 50.Qc1+ Kf5 51.Qf1+ Ke6 52.b5 Kd6 53.Qd3+ Ke7 54.Kg1 Ra2 55.Kf1 Rf2+ 56.Ke1 Rxg2 57.Qe3 Ke6 58.Qxa7 Rb2 59.Qa6+ Kf5 60.Qc8+ Kf4 61.Qc4+ Kf5 62.Qf7+ Ke4 63.Qg6+ Kd5 64.Qd3+ Ke6 65.Qg6+ Kd5 66.Qc6+ Kd4 67.Qd7+ Ke3 68.Qf5 Bc3+ 69.Kd1 g2 70.Qe6+ Kd3 71.Qd5+ Bd4 72.Qf3+ Kc4 73.Qc6+ Kb4 74.Qd6+ Bc5 75.Qf4+ Ka3 76.Qf3+ Ka2 77.Qd5+ Ka1 78.Qa8+ Ra2 79.Qh8+ Rb2 80.Qa8+ Kb1 81.Qe4+ Ka2 82.Qd5+ Ka1 83.Qa8+ Kb1 84.Qe4+ Ka2 85.Qd5+ Ka1 86.Qa8+ Ra2 ½–½

Nakamura's reply took the position into rare territory. While more than 1000 games exist in the ChessBase Online database after White's seventh move, a mere 88 are there after Black's seventh move. Then, Caruana's eighth move is the fifth most popular choice among these games. Nakamura's reply makes the game unique.

Both players have spent a lot of time up to this point in the game. The pace must pick up, or time could become a significant factor. Perhaps, time is already applying pressure.

17.Kh1 Nxe3 18.Qxe3 Nd4

White to move

Update 7:15 am PST

Levon Aronian is temporarily a pawn ahead and seems to have a nice position. Carlsen is making L'Ami play chess, and seems to be applying pressure. Anand -- Karjakin has an imbalance in the pawn structure, but looks even.

19.e5 dxe5 20.fxe5

Update 7:37 am PST

The pace of play has increased.

20...Rxf1+ 21.Rxf1 Bd7 22.Nxd4 cxd4 23.Qxd4 Bc6 24.Qg4 Qe7

White to move

White is a pawn ahead, but Black has the bishop pair, and e5 is weak.

25.b3 Bxe5 26.Ne2

The pawn on e6 may prove to be weak as well, although it is well-defended at present. It is not yet mobile.

Levon Aronian defeated Wang Hao. Will he make up 1/2 point on the leader, or will Carlsen log another victory as well?

Peter Leko also won with Black against Ivan Sokolov.

Update 8:05 am PST; 17:05 CET

26...Rd8 27.Be4 Be8 28.Qf3 b6 29.Nf4 Bf7 30.Nd3 Bd6 31.Qe3 Qh4 32.h3 Qg3 33.Qxg3 Bxg3 34.Rf3 Bc7

For a few moves, White seemed to have some initiative as Caruana attacked Nakamura's bishops. Then, Nakamura's queen penetrated and was exchanged off.

White to move

35.Kg1 Rd4 36.Re3 g5 37.Kf2 h5

Update 8:15 am PST

A few more moves have been played, and the time control was reached.

38.Re2 a5 39.Ke3 Rd8 40.Bf3 Kg7

White to move

Update 8:45 am PST 

41.Rb2 Bd6 42.Rb1 Kf6 43.Rf1 Ke7 44.Be4 Rg8 45.Rh1

Nakamura's advantage, if any, is slight. His isolated and passed pawn is double-edged. White's position seems passive, unless he tries b3-b4. But, it is hard to find weaknesses against which Black can play.

Carlsen has a slight advantage, and as in his game against Karjakin on Monday, there are opposite colored bishops with other pieces on the board.

Anand -- Karjakin drew after 46 moves. So, Aronian catches Anand, but are they one or one and one-half behind Carlsen? Will Nakamura join them in second place?

Update 9:15 am PST

Carlsen retains a slight advantage. Nakamura continues to seek an opportunity. Hou Yifan has a nice position with Black against Pentala Harikrishna, and may have some winning chances.

45...h4 46.Bf3 Rf8 47.Rd1 Rd8 48.Rf1 Bg6 49.Be4 Bh5 50.Bf3 Rf8

White to move

Is Nakamura looking to swap pieces and play a bishop vs. knight ending?

Update 9:40 am PST

Not yet.

51.Nf2 Bg6 52.Ne4 Bc5+ 53.Kd3

It is time for me to take one of my puppies for a walk in the park.

Update 11:59 am PST

Upon my return from walking each puppy in turn, I discover that the games have ended.

Rd8+ 54.Kc2 g4 55.hxg4

Black to move

55... h3 56.Rd1 Rf8 57.Kd3 h2 58.Rh1 Bg1 59.Ke2 Bxe4 60.Bxe4 Kf6 61.Bf3 Rd8 0–1

I expect to see Nakamura's winning combination in the back of Chess Informant.

Magnus Carlsen won again. Hou Yifan scored her second of the tournament win with fine play in a rook ending.

Carlsen leads with 8/10, while second place is shared by Anand, Aronian, and Nakamura. None of them expect to catch Carlsen.

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