Queen’s Gambit Declined, Exchange Variation (D36) GM Varuzhan Akobian (FIDE 2626, USA) GM Arkadij Naiditsch (FIDE 2697, GER) Montreal (6), 01.09.2009 Notes by Akobian
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. cxd5!? The reason for the “interesting move”
annotation is because if I play 4. Nc3 dxc4, we would have entered the Vienna Game in which GM Naiditsch is consid- ered an authority; a reputation he proved was earned by, only a few months prior, when drawing versus World Champion GM Viswanathan Anand (who did play 4. Nc3). However, after my next move, we entered a less theoretical position in which the player possessing the better “feel” (intuitive acumen) for the position would likely have the advantage. (Recall the advantages bestowed by having the white pieces regarding starting with the initia- tive and dictation of the direction of the game.)
4. ... exd5 5. Nc3 c6 6. Qc2 The idea behind this move is to prevent
Black from playing ... Bf5 and activating that bishop. If Black is able to activate this bishop and exchange it for White’s light- squared bishop, Black will have achieved an equal position.
6. ... Be7 6. ... g6 7. Bg5 Bf5 8. Qb3 and White
is slightly better as Black is forced to play 8. ... b6 (the best move) which will weaken his queenside.
7. Bg5 0-0 8. e3 Ne4?! Not only does this violate opening prin-
ciples (the tenet against move the same piece twice in the opening), my opponent has become prematurely and overly aggres- sive. Consequently, this game serves as a vivid example for our discussion of the pitfalls of hyper-aggressive play with the black pieces even by a grandmaster own- ing a significant advantage in rating versus an opponent who is also, nevertheless, a grandmaster. 8. ... Nbd7 9. Bd3 Re8 10. 0-0 Nf8 This would have been consistent with theory; typical play for Black.
9. Bf4! This is a good move because exchanging
the dark-squared bishop will strengthen the position of Black’s e4-knight.
9. ... f5 This move is logical after ... Ne4 because
if Black plays 9. ... Nxc3 10. bxc3, White will play 11. Bd3 and will have a nice advantage. However, the move weakens the light squares for Black and Black’s king’s castle.
10. Bd3 Nd7 11. h3 The idea behind this move is to play g2-
g4 and undermine the knight on e4. Since my opponent’s play has been risky thus far, I will endeavor to take full advantage of it.
11. ... g6
A slightly dubious move which further weakens the position of the black king. Better would have been to play 11. ... Ndf6 12. 0-0 when White only has a small edge.
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After 12. g4 I am ready to commence my attack
while still maintaining flexibility that will allow me to castle to the queenside.
12. ... g5 My opponent continues risky, overly
aggressive play that will soon backfire. Better and safer would have been ... 12 ... Ndf6 13. Ne5 and White is clearly bet- ter, possessing the initiative and good attacking chances.
13. Bh2 fxg4 14. Nxe4 Rxf3 If 14. ... dxe4 15. Bc4+ Kg7 16. hxg4!
Rxf3 17. Qxe4 Rh3 (17. ... Rf8 18. Be5+ Nxe5 19. Rxh7+ Kf6 20. dxe5 mate) 18. Be5+ Nxe5 19. Rxh3 Ng6 20. 0-0-0 and White has a big advantage and a prom- ising attack.
15. Nd6! A critical move. Perhaps GM Naiditsch
missed this move or underestimated its strength.
15. ... Nf8? This move sets up a nice tactic for
White. If Black plays 15. ... Bxd6 16. Bxh7+ Kh8 17. Bxd6 gxh3 18. Qg6 Nf6 19. Be5 Qa5+ 20. Kf1 and White is win- ning with a mating attack. Black’s best defense would have been 15. ... Nf6 16. Bxh7+! Kf8 17. Nxc8 Qxc8 18. hxg4 Qxg4 19. 0-0-0 and White still maintains his attacking chances.
16. Bxh7+! (see diagram top of next column)
16. ... Kg7 If 16. ... Nxh7 17. Qg6+ Kf8 (17. ...
Kh8 18. Be5+ Rf6 19. Nf7 mate) 18. Be5! Rf6 19. Bxf6 Qxd6 20. Bxe7+ Qxe7 21. hxg4 and White is winning.
17. Be5+ Bf6 18. hxg4 An important move that recaptures the
pawn and opens the position for the white rook. White is winning because material is equal and he has a winning attack.
18. ... Bxg4 19. Bf5! A strong move. Exchanging the light-
squared bishops will help White to trap the rook on f3.
19. ... Bxe5 20. dxe5 Qa5+ 21. Kf1 Bxf5 If 21. ... Qb4 22. a3! After this strong
“quiet” move, the queen can no longer occupy the fourth rank to defend the bishop on g4.
22. Nxf5+ Kf7 Black is also in bad shape after 22. ...
Kg8 23. Nh6+ Kg7 24. Kg2 g4 25. Rh4! when White wins with the capture on g4 on the next move.
23. Nd4!, Black resigned.
“After I made this move, GM Naiditsch immediately resigned. I was, of course, very pleased to have defeated an opponent of such high caliber in such an exciting battle. As previously indicated, this game serves as a reminder of just how danger- ous overly aggressive play with the black pieces can be even against a lower rated opponent and even if the contest is between grandmasters. Remember, my caveat was against playing over-aggres- sively with the black pieces versus an opponent with a higher rating. However, as the reader can see, engaging in hyper- aggressive play with black against any grandmaster, even one rated much lower, can easily be lethal.” We hope that the foregoing information
has given you greater insight into playing with the black pieces and that it remains with you when you have “the second move.”
. Chess Life — July 2012 39
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After 16. Bxh7+
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