18 August 2013

Commentary - Tromso 2013 FIDE World Cup round 3.1

The ongoing FIDE World Cup tournament in Tromso, Norway has produced a number of upsets.  In the first game of round 3, Levon Aronian was defeated in a Dutch Stonewall by Evgeny Tomashevsky.  It is a model game for Stonewall aficionados, in which Black's mastery of the opening's ideas and strategic themes is evident throughout.  I'll have to take a look at Tomashevsky's past games to see if there are some similarly instructive wins as Black.

Some notable elements of this game:
  • Black's use of opening transposition to get a favorable version of the Modern Stonewall as of move 6.
  • The correct strategic decision by Black to transfer the light-squared bishop to the kingside.
  • How the early pawn exchange in the center was favorable for Black.
  • Black's strategic achievement of opening the f-file, set up by the thematic 16...Ne4
  • Black's seizing of the initiative and White's inability to generate any counterplay after move 19.
  • How naturally Black's kingside attack develops and then bursts in a flurry of piece activity targeting the f3 pawn, after temporarily sacrificing the key "stonewall" d5 pawn along the way.

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