Keres Memorial (rapid), Tallin 2006

Let me tell you a little prehistory of this commentary. When Maxim Notkin suggested me to comment one of the best games of the month and sent 76 games I was glad because I thought that I would find a game that would suit me in the opening, style, etc.:)

But it turned out that it is not so easy. It looked like somebody else (for example, Sergey Shipov) had already commented six or seven games. It seems to be impossible to vie with the best commentator of our country (without any hints at irony). I invented the heading to one of the games but it turned out that the winner would write about it (I guess this is how it should be). At last, Maxim chose one game himself! When it seemed to me that it was necessary to wait for the next month, I paid attention to this game. And I don`t regret because I got some kind of master class from the ex-world champion. It looks like White made a decisive mistake on about the eighth move. I hope that Vassily Yemelin will forgive me for this wording.

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 ¤f6 5.¤c3 e6. I don`t consider mtself a great specialist of this variation. 5...¤c6 is a more popular move but it is evident that the 12th world champion can have his own views on any opening.

6.c5. If White begins with 6.¤f3, then one can play 6...Ґb4. Perhaps, Vassily didn`t like this continuation.

6...Ґe7 7.¤f3 0–0.

8.Јc2. There are two alternatives:

1) 8.b4!? b6 9.¦b1 bxc5 (9...a5!?) 10.bxc5 ¤e4 11.¤xe4 dxe4 12.¤e5 Јc7 13.Ґf4 ¦d8 14.¤g6! (14.Јa4 g5! 15.Ґd2 Ґd7÷ Morozevich – Bareev, Dortmund 2002; 15.Ґg3!?) 14...Јa5+ 15.Ґd2 Јc7 16.¤xe7+ Јxe7 17.Ґe3 (17.Ґa5 ¦d7 18.Ґb5 ¦d5) 17...¤c6 18.Јa4 Ґb7 19.Ґb5 Јc7 20.0–0І Morozevich.

And there is an older move

2) 8.Ґd3. I managed to find only one grandmaster game in this variation: 8...b6 9.b4 a5 10.¤a4 ¤fd7!

a) 11.b5 bxc5 12.dxc5 e5 13.c6 (13.Ґxh7+? ўxh7 14.Јxd5 ¤xc5! 15.Јxa8 Ґb7 16.Јa7 Ґxf3 17.gxf3 ¤xa4µ) 13...e4 14.cxd7 ¤xd7 15.0–0 ¤f6=;

b) 11.a3 axb4 12.axb4 bxc5 13.bxc5 ¤c6=;

с) 11.h4. This idea is interesting but in general, White`s operation on the kingside is not correct. 11...h6 12.¦h3 e5 13.Ґxh6 Ґf6 (13...gxh6? 14.¦g3+ ўh8 15.Јd2 Ґg5 16.hxg5 e4 17.g6!+-; 13...e4 14.¦g3 Ґf6 – see 13...Ґf6) 14.¦g3 e4 15.¤g5 exd3! (15...¤c6? 16.Јh5! exd3 17.Ґxg7! ¦e8+ 18.¦e3! ¦xe3+ 19.fxe3 Ґxg7 20.Јxf7+ ўh8 21.Јh5+ ўg8 22.Јh7+ ўf8 23.¤e6++-) 16.Јh5! 16.Јxd3 ¦e8+ 17.ўd2 ¤f8 18.¤xb6 axb4!µ)16...g6! (16...Јe8+? 17.¦e3!; 16...¦e8+ 17.ўd1‚)

b1) 17.¤e6 Јe8 18.ўd2 (18.0–0–0 Јxe6 19.¦xg6+ fxg6 20.Јxg6+ ўh8 21.Ґg7+ Ґxg7 22.Јxe6 axb4! 23.¤xb6 ¦xa2! 24.Јxd5 ¦fxf2! 25.Јh5+ ўg8 26.Јd5+ ўh7! 27.Јe4+ ўh8 28.Јe8+ ¤f8 29.Јh5+ ўg8 30.Јd5+ Ґe6–+) 18...Јxe6 (18...ўh7!? 19.¤xf8+ (19.Јxd5 ўxh6 20.Јxa8 Јxe6–+) 19...¤xf8 20.Јf3 Јxa4 21.Ґxf8 Ґf5–+) 19.¦e1 ўh7!–+ Railich – Haba, Germany 2004;

b2) 17.¤xf7 Јe7+ 18.ўd2 Јe2+! 19.Јxe2 dxe2 20.Ґxf8 (20.¦xg6+ ўxf7 21.¦xf6+ ўxf6 22.Ґxf8 axb4! – см. 20.Ґf8; 20.¤d6 axb4! 21.¦xg6+ ўh7 22.Ґxf8 ўxg6–+; 20.¤e5 ¤xe5 21.dxe5 Ґxe5 22.¦xg6+ ўf7 23.Ґxf8 Ґxa1 24.¤xb6 ўxg6 25.b5! ¤c6!! 26.¤xa8 ¤d4!–+) 20...axb4! (20...ўxf7 21.b5! ўxf8 22.cxb6! … ¦c1) 21.¤xb6 ¤xb6 22.¦xg6+ ўxf7 23.¦xf6+ ўxf6 24.cxb6 b3 25.a3 (25.a4 ¤c6µ) 25...Ґf5 26.ўc3 ¤d7 27.Ґb4 (27.Ґc5 ¤xc5 28.dxc5 d4+!) 27...Ґc2µ (I used some comments of Haba).

8...b6 9.b4 a5 10.¤a4 axb4 11.¤xb6 ¦a7!N One of the games of the latest Chigorin Memorial continued by 11...¦a5!? This move has some advantages because Black threatens with a piece sacrifice on c5 to regain the b6-knight with material gain. 

а) 12.¤xc8 Јxc8 13.Ґd3 ¤c6 14.Ґf4 Јb7 15.0–0 ¦fa8 16.¦fb1 Јa7 17.¦b2 g6 18.Јe2 Јb7 19.¦d1 ¦8a7 20.h3 ¤d7 21.h4 Ґf6і Kashtanov - Vokarev, SaintPetersburg 2005. To my mind, Black had some advantage though he lost it later on. As a result, White even lost that game;

b) 12.¤e5!? Јc7 13.Јb2 (13.Ґb2 Ґa6! 14.Ґxa6 ¤xa6 15.0–0 Ґxc5!µ) 13...Ґa6 14.Ґf4 (14.Ґxa6?! ¤xa6 15.¤d3 e5! 16.¤xe5 ¤xc5! 17.dxc5 Ґxc5µ)

b1) 14...Ґxf1 15.¤g6! Јd8 16.¤xe7+ (16.¤xf8? Ґxg2 17.¦g1 Ґe4µ) 16...Јxe7 17.Ґd6! Јa7 18.Ґxf8 Ґd3 (18...Ґxg2 19.Ґxg7! ўxg7 20.¦g1+- или19...Ґxh1 20.Ґxf6‚ …Јd2!) 19.Ґd6 ¤c6 20.f3!±;

b2) 14...¤h5÷ …15.Јxb4? ¦xc5!


12...¤fd7! A strong idea!The computer doesn`t understand the sense of the Black`s plan. It gives White an advantage in different variations until the 18th move, but then sees things clearly. White has serious problems and I didn`t manage to find a clear way to equalize the position. Also possible is12...Јc7!?

13.¤bxd7 Ґxd7 14.Ґd3 h6 15.Ґd2 Ґf6 16.f4. 16.Ґxb4 Ґxe5 (16...¤c6 17.¤xc6 Ґxc6 18.Ґc3 ¦a4 19.Јd1І) 17.dxe5 ¤c6 18.Ґd2 (18.Ґc3 d4 19.Ґb2 Јa5+ѓ) 18...¤xe5 19.0–0 Ґa4і

16...¤c6 17.¤xc6 (17.Ґe3 Ґxe5 18.fxe5 f6!і) 17...Ґxc6 18.Јb2 (18.Ґe3 ¦a3!µ) 18...Јa5! 19.ўe2. If 19.Ґxb4, then 19...¦b8 20.Ґxa5 (20.¦b1 Јxa2–+) 20...¦xb2 21.Ґc3 ¦xg2 22.a3µ and it is evident that Black has a big advantage.   

19...Јxc5! 20.¦ac1. It is slightly better to play 20.Ґxb4 Јxd4 21.Јxd4 Ґxd4 22.Ґh7+ (22.Ґxf8 Ґxa1 23.¦xa1 ўxf8–+) 22...ўxh7 23.Ґxf8 Ґxa1 24.¦xa1 ўg6! However, Black has great winning chances. White can hardly save himself, taking into account Karpov`s knack of playing positions with bishops of opposite color. So it is clear that Vassily wished to save more pieces on the board. But...

20...Јd6! 21.Ґxb4 (21.Јxb4 Јxb4 22.Ґxb4 ¦xa2+ 23.ўe3 ¦c8µ).

21...Јxf4! What an excellent finale! Black wins with a frontal attack. Bravo, Anatoly Evgenievich!

22.Ґxf8. 22.¦xc6 Ґxd4 23.Јd2 ¦xa2! 24.¦c2 (24.Јxa2 Јf2+–+) 24...Јg4+! 25.ўf1 ¦a1+ 26.¦c1 ¦fa8!–+.

22...Ґxd4 23.Јd2.

23...¦xa2!–+ 24.¦c2 Јf2+ 25.ўd1 ¦a1+ 26.¦c1 Ґa4+ 27.Ґc2 ¦xc1+ 28.Јxc1 (28.ўxc1 Ґe3–+) 28...Јxg2 29.¦e1 Јf3+. White resigned. A perfect victory of the former champion! As I have already noted above, it is difficult to find Yemelin`s serious mistakes. (By the way, Yemelin shared the first place in the St. Petersburg championship and I am sure that Saint Petersburg is the main chess city in our country!) 

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