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Chess

Bête noire

5 September 2015

9:00 AM

5 September 2015

9:00 AM

England’s top grandmaster, Michael Adams, exerts a powerful influence over the elite player David Navara. In rating terms Navara and Adams are about equal, but in practice Adams has a 4-0 record against his Czech opponent.
 
Navara-Adams: Biel 2015; Queen’s Gambit Declined
 
1 c4 e6 2 Nc3 d5 3 d4 Nf6 4 cxd5 exd5 5 Bg5 The well-known Exchange Variation of the Queen’s Gambit Declined. White has a number of strategies in view, one being an advance of the queenside pawns, as favoured by Petrosian. The alternative is to advance in the centre with f3 and eventually e4, as espoused by Botvinnik. Kasparov has even been known to inject a new element by castling queenside for White. 5 … c6 5 … Be7 6 e3 0-0 7 Bd3 Nbd7 8 Qc2 Re8 9 Nge2 Nf8 10 0-0 c6 11 Rab1 Bd6 12 Kh1 Ng6 13 f3 was Botvinnik-Keres, Moscow 1952. 6 e3 6 Qc2 Be7 7 e3 Nbd7 8 Bd3 0-0 9 Nge2 Re8 10 0-0 Nf8 11 f3 was Kasparov-Andersson, Belfort 1988. 6 … h6 7 Bh4 Be7 8 Qc2 Nbd7 9 Bd3 Nh5 10 Bxe7 Qxe7 11 Nge2 Nb6 12 0-0 0-0 13 Rae1 Be6 14 Nc1 A reasonable alternative here is 14 Ng3 when after 14 … Nxg3 15 hxg3 White has completely eliminated any danger on the kingside. The importance of this precaution will become apparent later in the game. 14 … Rad8 15 Nb3 Rfe8 16 Nc5 Bc8 17 b4 Nc4 18 Qe2 Qg5 19 f4 Qh4 20 Bxc4 dxc4
 
21 g3
Here 21 Qxc4 is possible when 21 … Nxf4 22 Rxf4 Qxe1+ or 22 exf4 Rxe1 both win for Black. However after the cold-blooded 22 Kh1 the position is level. White’s ill-advised pawn advance in front of his king is playing with fire. 21 … Nxg3 22 hxg3 Qxg3+ 23 Kh1 If 23 Qg2 Rxe3 also nets three pawns for the piece. 23 … Qh3+ 24 Qh2 If 24 Kg1 Rd6 wins. 24 … Rxe3 25 Nd1 Rxe1 26 Qxh3 Bxh3 27 Rxe1 b6 28 Ne4 Rxd4
 
Black is winning easily. 29 Kh2 Bf5 30 Ndc3 Rd3 31 b5 cxb5 32 Nxb5 Bd7 33 a4 a6 34 Nc7 Bxa4 35 Nxa6 c3 36 Nb4 Rd4 37 Na2 Rd2+ White resigns
 
Final scores from Biel were: Vachier-Lagrave 6½; Wojtasek 6; Adams and Navara 5½; Eljanov 4½ and Rapport 2.


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