08 August 2014

Commentary: Biel 2014 - round 6

The following game, from round 6 of the Biel GM tournament, finishes off a trifecta of Slow Slav commentary games, following the more classic 4...Bf5 approach of the first one.  Analyzing the game in the context of similar recent GM-level ones was quite helpful to understanding the thematic ideas, especially in looking at the opening to middlegame transition.  This has been a particular weakness of mine and seeing which ideas are common (and why), along with alternatives at certain points, significantly improved my understanding of the variation and both sides' plans.  Specifically, examining the decision by Black to castle early or late, resolving the central tension with ...dxc4 followed by the ...c5 pawn break, and the prophylactic ...a6 yielded useful insights.  All in all, a worthwhile example of a more holistic approach to opening study.

[Event "Hans Suri Mem 2014"] [Site "Biel SUI"] [Date "2014.07.19"] [Round "6.2"] [White "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"] [Black "Motylev, Alexander"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D12"] [WhiteElo "2733"] [BlackElo "2698"] [Annotator "ChessAdmin/Houdini"] [PlyCount "57"] [EventDate "2014.07.14"] [SourceDate "2014.01.04"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bf5 {the traditional approach to the Slow Slav.} 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nh4 Bg6 7. Nxg6 hxg6 8. Bd2 Nbd7 9. Qc2 Be7 {an older move that has given way to ...Bd6, but nonetheless has a better overall score in the database.} 10. h3 a6 11. Be2 Rc8 (11... O-O {seems like a solid choice here, as White has no threats for the moment.}) 12. O-O {a very reasonable move, but now out of the database.} dxc4 {starting a largely forced sequence that simplifies the structure in the center and on the c-file.} 13. Bxc4 b5 14. Be2 c5 15. dxc5 Rxc5 (15... Nxc5 {would be more standard and lead to equality.} ) 16. b4 Rc7 {apparently the idea behind the rook capture on the previous move, in order to leave c8 available for an eventual doubling of heavy pieces on the file. This appears to be a little slow and awkward, however, leaving Black slightly behind in development.} 17. Qb3 Nb6 (17... O-O $5) 18. Rfd1 Nc4 19. Be1 {White correctly keeps the two bishops on the board, as part of his only chance for an advantage in the endgame. Black also now has to be careful.} Qb8 {interestingly, this is the only move that does not lead to a significant White advantage, as the pawn advance a4 threatens to crack open the queenside and win a pawn. Black's failure to castle earlier helps White in that regard.} ({for example:} 19... Qc8 20. a4 Nd6 21. axb5 axb5 22. Nxb5 Nxb5 23. Bxb5+ Kf8 $18) 20. a4 O-O 21. axb5 axb5 22. Ra6 {after this move, which releases the pressure by not making any new threats, Black consolidates his position and both sides head for a draw.} (22. Rd4 Ne5 23. Nxb5 Rb7 24. Qa4 Nd5 25. Rb1 $14 {White may not in the end be able to keep the b-pawn, but Black has no other compensation and will have to struggle to regain the material.}) 22... Rfc8 23. Rda1 Kh7 24. Ra8 Qb6 25. R8a6 Qb8 26. Ra8 Qb6 27. R8a6 Qb8 28. Ra8 Qb6 29. R8a6 1/2-1/2

No comments:

Post a Comment