Qgd

1 P-Q4 N-KB3 2 P-QB4 P-K3 3 N-KB3 P-Q4 4 N-B3 B-K2 5 B-N5 0-0 6 P-K3 P-KR3 7 B-R4 P-Q?i3 8 BxN B xB 9 P xP PxP 10 B-K2 B N2 11 0-0 R-Kl!? 11 ... Q-K2 12 Q-N3! R-Ql 13 QR-Q1 ± Korchnoi-Geller, game 5, Candidates 1971. 12 P-QN4 P-R3 13 Q-N3 Q-Q3 14 N-Q2?! 14 N-Kl allowing the redeployment B-B3 and N-Q3 is better. 14 . . . N-B3 15 P-QR3 Better 15 B-B3. 15 . . . N-K2 16 B-B3 QR-Q1 17 P-N3 N-B4 18 Q-B2 P-N3 19 N-N3 R-K2 20 QR-Q1 Q-K3 21 N-Bl N-Q3 22 N-Q3 Q-B4 23 B-N2 P-KN4 24 Q-N3 N-K5 25 P-QR4 P-KR4 26 P-R3 B-N2 27 P-R5 Q-K3 28 N-R4 Q Q3 29 R/B1-K1 Rl-Kl?! A better idea is 29 . . . K-Rl to get the K-side pawns moving. 30 N-B3! K-Rl 31P-N5! (206) 31... RP xP If 31 . . . NP x P then 32 N-B5! N xN 33 PxN QxBP 34 N x P is good for White. 32 N X NP Q R3 33 N-B3 NxN 34 QxN PxP 35 QxRP P-QB3 36 R-Nl P-R5 37 P-N4 P-KB4! 38 PxP B-QB1 39 R-N8 BxBP 40 Q-R8 QrN3 41 N-N4 B-Q2 42 RxR+ RxR 43 Q-N7 R-K2 44 R-QB1?

44 P-B3, to avoid Black's next, would be better. 44 . . . P-N5! 45 RxP Q-N8+ 46 B-Bl 46 K-R2 P-N6+ 47 PxP PxP+ 48 KxP R X P + is no improvement. 46 . . . PxP 47 Q-N5 The only way to parry the threat of 47 . . . P-R7+. 47 . . . R-K3 48 Q N8 i R-Kl 49 Q-Q6R-KN1! 0-1

2004 AK-William Hartston

R4: 1 January:

Sicilian

1 P-K4 P-QB4 2 N-KB3 P-K3 3 P-Q4 PxP 4 NxP N-QB3 5 N-N5 P-Q3 6 P-QB4 N-B3 7 N1-B3 P-QR3 8 N-R3 B-K2 9 B-K2 0-0 10 0-0 P-QN3 11 B-K3 B-Q2!? An interesting innovation. This move is sometimes played on move ten, but after 11 B-K3 the theoretical continuations are 11... Q-R4, 11 . . . R-Nl, 11 . . . N-R2 and 11 . . . N-K4 with the aim of making possible the advance . . . P-QN4.

12 R-Bl 12 P-B3 Q-Nl 13 Q-Kl R-R2 14 Q-B2 R-N2 15 KR-Q1 N-QN5 16 R-Q2 R-Ql 17 Rl-Ql B-Kl 18 P-B4± Kapengut-Balashov, 39 USSR Ch 1971.

12... Q-Nl 13 P-KN4J? (207) Fischer, against Taimanov at Palma 1970, played 13 P-B3 but had no more than equality after 13 . . .

33 N-K2 P-Q6 34 PxP PxP Not

34 . . . PxN? 35 PxP+ K-R2 36 P-K5 + ! and White wins. 35 N-KB4 R X P 36 N x QP (208)

R-R2 14 N-B2 R-Ql 15 Q-Kl B-Kl 16 Q-B2 R-N2 17 P-QR4 P-QR4 establishing QB4 for the N/KB3.

13... R-Bl If 13 ... P-QN4 then 14 PxP PxP 15 N/R3 x P N-N5 16 P-QR3 N-R7 17NxNBxN18 P-B3 and the weaknesses in White's K-side do not sufficiently compensate Black for the connected passed pawns.

14 P-N5 N-Kl 15 P-B4 R-R2 16 Q.-K1 R-N2 17 Q R4 P-N3! 18 R-B3 N-N2 19 Rl-Bl 19 R-R3 only wastes time as then 19 . . . P-KR4 leaves the K-side blocked.

19... R-Kl 20 B-Q3 20 N-B2 !? is an interesting alternative e.g. 20 . . . P-N4 21 N-Q5 PxN 22 BPxN is unclear. But 20 R3-B2, with the idea of N-Q5 is not so good on account of 20 . . . B-KB1 -removing the bishop from attack and strengthening the K-side.

20... P-KR4 21 Q-B2 N-N5! 22 B-Nl B-QB3 23 R-R3 White wants to play P-B5. Minié and Marié in Informator 13 point out the interesting line 23 B-Q4 P-K4 24 PxP PxP 25RxPPxB!26RxN+KxR27 Q-B7 + K-R1 28 Q x NP B-B4 ! T T 23 . . . B-Q2 24 Q. R4 Q-Bl 25 R-Bl N-Q5 is now a threat.

25 . . . Q-Nl 26 R-Bl Q B1 27 R3-B3 P-Q4!= 28 BPxP PxP 29 P-B5I? B-B4 30 BxB QxB +

36... R-N5+?! 36 ... B-R6 was better. 37 R-N2 RxR+38KxR N xN?! And now 38 ... N-Q4! was the right course, though even then White would have some advantage -Black's K-side pawns are probably weaker than White's, and White's pieces are more actively placed. Now Black loses a pawn.

39 B xN N-B4 40 B xP B-B3 +? Here 40 . . . N-K6+ was essential. After 41 K-Nl R-R2 42 B-B4+ N x B 43 N X N B-N4 posing White some problems. 41 K-B2 R-Q2 42 R-Bl! B-K5 43 B-K2 N-Q3? 43 . . . N-Q5!? was the last chance of fighting White's growing advantage.

44 N-B4 N XN If 44 . . . R-QB2 then 45 NxN RxR 46 NxB and White should have no real problems converting his material advantage. 45 R xN B-Q4 46 R-QN4 B xP 47 RxP K-N2 48 R-N4 B-N8 49 P-R4 K-B2 50 K-K3 R-K2+ 51 K-Q2 K-K3 52 R-N5 B-K5 53 P-N4 R-QB2 54 K-K3 B-N8 55 R-QB5 R-K2 Black cannot exchange rooks - White simply marches to the K-side and gobbles up the pawns. 56 B-B3 K-Q3+ 57 K-Q4

2005: Victor Cioc»ltea-AK:

R5: 2 January:

Ruy Lopez

1 P-K4 P-K4 2 N-KB3 N-Q.B3 3 B-N5 P-QR3 4 B-R4 N-B3 5 0-0 B-K2 6 R-Kl P-QN4 7 B-N3 P-Q3 8 P-B3 0-0 9 P-KR3 N-QR4 10 B-B2 P-B4 11 P-Q4 Q-B2 12 Q.N-Q.2 N-B3 13 PxBP PxP 14 N-Bl B-K3 15 N-K3 Q.R Q.1 16 Q-K2 P-B5 17 N-B5 BxN Varying from 17 . . . KR-K1 18 N3-R4! Kavalek-Karpov, Caracas 1970 (1210, p. 115). 18 PxB P-R3 19 N-Q2 If 19 NxP NxN 20 QxN B-Q3 21 Q-K2 KR-K1 with equality. 19 . . . KR-K1 20 N-K4 N-Nl 21 P-QR4 N1-Q2! Much better than 21 . . . NxN?! 22 BxN N-Q2 23 PxP PxP 24 R-R6± -Ciocaltea. 22PxPPxP23 B-K3 N xN 24 B xN N-B4! (209)

25 B xN B xB 26 KR-Q1 B-N3 27 P-KN3 Q B4-

2006: AK-Henrique Mecking:

R6: 4 January:

Sicilian

The notes to this game are Karpov's from the Soviet Central Chess Club Bulletin No. 2 1972.

Mecking introduced a new move in the opening, but I think that he had not foreseen the reply.

Mecking very much wanted to take first place. When I had 3-J-/4 and my next game was with the Romanian master Ciocaltea, Mecking asked him,

'You are going to "get rid" of Karpov?',

'I am going to play,' answered Ciocaltea.

'Make sure you don't lose, otherwise I can't be first.'

Understandably my game with Mecking took on the character of a needle-match.

1P-K4 P-QB4

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