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There were many fighting and exciting games is the Round 3 of the World Cup. Sergey Shipov annotates the most interesting fragments.

The main sensation occurred at the first table. Despite all the achievements of Judit Polgar, people still tend to underestimate her. Which, of course, benefits her at the board...

J. Polgar — S. Karjakin



If the Black’s bishop arrives to b7, White’s hopes are gone, so she needs to hurry.

20.e6! Bxe6 21.Bxc7

The White’s bishop breaks to the queenside pawns. In order to defend Black need to solve a tricky study. Sergey did not succeed.


Insufficient is 21...Bd7 22.Bb8 Bc6 23.Nc3 (23.Re1 Kd8 24.Bxa7 Kc7) 23...Bxf3 24.gxf3 a6 25.Nd5 Bd8 26.Bc7!

The only solution is to bring the h8-rook to the 6th rank: 21...Rh6! 22.Bb8 a6 23.Ba7 Bd8 24.Nc3 Bd7 25.Nd5 Re6 with equality.

22.Bb8 a6 23.Ba7

I did not understand why the opponents ignored the following simple line: 23.Bc7!? b5 24.Nxc5! with the idea 24…Bxc5? 25.Rd8+, and Black loses an exchange.

23...Bd8 24.Nc3!



Here Karjakin began to think again, but it was already too late.


Black probably miscalculated the following line: 24...Ne7 25.Na4 Nc8, missing an unexpected blow 26.Bxb6! Nxb6 27.Nxb6 Bxb6 28.Rd6 with a healthy extra pawn for White.

25.Na4 b5 26.Nxc5 Bc8

The magic of the bishop pair could create an impression that Black survives even without a pawn, but Polgar can cast the anti-spell.

27.cxb5 axb5 28.a4!

Simple and strong.

28...bxa4 29.bxa4 Re8 30.Rb1 g5?!

The last inaccuracy. More stubborn is 30...Re2!, and White cannot win by straightforward means: 31.Rb8 Nd6 32.Bb6 (32.Nxh4?! Re1+ 33.Kh2 Bc7!) 32...Bxb6 33.Rxb6 Ne4 34.Nxe4 Rxe4 35.a5 Ra4 — the a5-pawn is stopped.

31.Bb6! Be7 32.a5 Bxc5 33.Bxc5

The opposite-colored bishops don’t affect the evaluation here because of the passed pawn.

33...Re6 34.Rb6 Ng7

Or 34...Rxb6 35.Bxb6 Ke6 36.Bd8!

35.Be3 Nf5 36.Rb8 Re8

Here is a nice line: 36...Nxe3 37.Rxc8 Nd5 38.Rc5 Nf4 39.Rxg5! fxg5 40.Nxg5+ Ke7 41.Nxe6 Nxe6 42.a6 Nc7 43.a7 Kd7 44.g4, and White wins.

37.Ra8 Bb7

Black probably loses after 37...Bd7 38.Rxe8 (38.Ra7!?) 38...Kxe8 39.a6 Nxe3 40.fxe3 as well.

38.Ra7 Re7 39.Bc5 Rd7 40.a6 Bc6 41.Rxd7+ Bxd7


Black easily survives, if we remove the knights from the board, but it is not going to happen.

42.Nd2! Ke6 43.Nc4 Bc6 44.Nb6 Nd6 45.Bxd6 Kxd6 46.a7 Kc7 47.a8Q Bxa8 48.Nxa8+ Kb7 49.f4!

And the king collects Black’s pawns. Black resigns.


V. Ivanchuk — E. Sutovsky


This was a nerve-wrecking match.


White’s positional advantage is undisputed. Emil beings to shake the boat.

24...g5 25.Bg3 (25.Be1! is more accurate) 25...f5! 26.exf5 Nf6 27.Nc3 Bb4! 28.Kd3

Positional nuances justify this daring king maneuver, but it requires very accurate calculation — something that Vassily was unable to provide this time.

28...Rc4 29.Bf2 Rac8 30.Be3 a3?!

This passionate move is objectively wrong, but it won the game! 30...h6! is correct.


Solid central strategy gives White a clear advantage: 31.Ne4! Nxd5 (31...h6 32.bxa3!) 32.Bxg5+ Kf7 33.Rxc4 Rxc4 34.bxa3 Rd4+ 35.Kc2 Bxa3 36.Bd2, etc.

31...axb2 32.Rxc4

No good is 32.Rxb2 Rxc1 33.Bxc1 Rxc1 34.Rxb4 Nxd5 35.Kd2 Rh1, and Black is better.

32...Nxc4 33.Bxg5 e4+! 34.Kd4

34.fxe4 is bad due to 34...Ne5+ 35.Ke3 Rc2 36.Nd4 Bc5!




The last and decisive mistake. After 35.Bxf6+! Kxf6 36.Nxa3 Bxa3 37.Kxe4 White should survive.

35...Bc5+! 36.Kc3 Bxa3+ 37.Bc4

White loses material after 37.Kb3 Rc1.

37...b5 38.Kb3 bxc4+ 39.Kxa3 c3 40.fxe4 Rb8!

The Black’s king goes to f7, and the f6-knight joins the action. If White takes on f6, с3-с2 decides the game. White resigns.


Beating a strong grandmaster on demand with Black pieces is extremely difficult. Ivanchuk managed to make it, but Sutovsky helped him a lot.

E. Sutovsky — V. Ivanchuk


A draw in this game allowed Emil Sutovsky to advance to the next round, but he chose a strange way to play for it, launching an all-out attack from the start.

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.f4 Nf6 5.Nf3 0−0 6.e5 Nfd7 7.h4!?


Perhaps the Israeli grandmaster analyzed this attack at home and found that it either gives good winning chances or leads to a draw by repetition, which was perfect for the situation. However, the game did not develop in accordance with his plans.

7...c5 8.h5 cxd4 9.hxg6

A passionate but logical piece sacrifice.

9...dxc3 10.gxf7+ Rxf7 11.Bc4 e6 12.Ng5 cxb2 13.Bxb2 Qa5+ 14.Ke2

Up to this moment the players repeated Winiwarter-Hager, Austria 1995. Now Ivanchuk deviates.


This novelty is bad in my opinion, but is bad analytically, not practically. Ivanchuk forced his opponent to play on his own, and it gave Black the desired result.

The original game continued 14...d5 15.Bd3 Nf8 16.Nxf7 Kxf7 17.Kf1 Qb4 18.Bc1 h6 19.Rh3 Nc6 20.Rg3 Kg8 21.Qh5 with strong pressure for White.

I think Sutovsky planned to finish the game as follows: 14...Nb6 — the most logical move — 15.Bd3! Qb4 (15...Nd5 loses to 16.Nxf7 Kxf7 17.Rxh7 Qb4 18.Qh1! Nxf4+ 19.Kf3 Nxd3 20.Qh5+ Kf8 21.cxd3 Qxb2 22.Rxg7 Kxg7 23.Rh1) 16.a3 Qxb2 17.Bxh7+ Kf8 18.Qxd6+ Re7 19.Qd8+ Re8 20.Qd6+ Re7 21.Qd8+ with a draw by perpetual.

15.Nxf7 Kxf7



I have hard time explaining this nervous move, which gives the game into Black’s hands.

The banal 16.Qxd6 kept all Black’s pieces at bay and maintained White’s attack — the f4-f5 break would become a real threat.


From here White is in a really bad shape because he lacks material, and his king is not safer at all.

17.Rh5 Ke8

Of course not 17...Bxb2? 18.fxe6+ Bxe6 19.Rxa5.

18.fxe6 Bxe6

18...Qb4! wins on the spot.

19.Bxe6 Qb5+ 20.Qd3 Qxb2 21.Qf5 Qb5+ 22.c4

Or 22.Kd2 Nbd7!

22...Qb2+ 23.Kf3 Nc6 24.Qf7+ Kd8 25.Qxf8+ Kc7 26.Rxh7+ Kb6

The Black king is safe, and his vis-à-vis is being punished.

27.Qxa8 Nd4+ 28.Kg4 Qxg2+ 29.Kh5 Qh2+ 30.Kg6 Qc2+! 31.Kh6 Bf4+ 32.Kg7 Nxe6+ 33.Kf6 Qxh7 34.Kxe6 Qg6+ 35.Ke7 Bg5+ 36.Kf8 Qf6+

And Sutovsky resigned in view of 37.Kg8 Qe6+ 38.Kg7 Bf6+ with a quick mate.


D. Navara — A. Moiseenko


Memories about this match will last for long. The Czech grandmaster looked a bit stronger in the classical two games.

David left himself too little time for converting the advantage. In this position White must prevent the knight sacrifice, and it cannot be done without king’s help.


A strange maneuver. Where goes the king? He must move in the opposite direction — to the queenside. The computer confirms this assessment. According to the Nalimov base, 58.Kg3 mates in 37, and 58.Kg2 mates in 39 moves. One cannot argue with that.


The only saving move. The Black’s king threatens to break through the 7th rank. Alexander defended perfectly in the time trouble.

59.Nc5 Ke5 60.Nb3 Kd6 61.Nb5+ Kc6 62.N5d4+ Kb6 63.Ne6 Nb2 64.a5+ Kb5 65.Ned4+ Ka6 66.Ne6 Nc4 67.Nec5+ Ka7 68.a6 Kb6 69.Kg5 Ne5 70.Na5 Nd7 71.Nc4+ Ka7 72.Nxd7 Game drawn.

The accident in the second classical game between these players created a lot of buzz. In my opinion both players were truly generous to each other, and their actions cannot be praised too much.

I think I could act like Moiseenko under such circumstances… but not like Navara!


V. Gashimov — E. Tomashevsky


Evgeny is a modest man, but sometimes modesty hampers one’s chances to reach the chess summits.


The non-modest 36...Qxh3! gives Black an even game — a pawn is a pawn! On 37.Qxb5 there is a counter-blow 37...Qxf3.


The first step of a glorious journey.


The counter-attacking 37...Rd8!? 38.Qxb5 Bd6! asks too much from a human player. It is hard to keep one’s cool in a time trouble and without two pawns.

38.Qe6+ Qxe6 39.dxe6 Rxb2 40.Rd8+ Kh7 41.Ne3

The time control is passed, and it transpires that the e6-pawn will cost Black a bishop.

41...Ba3 42.Rd3 Bc5 43.Rc3 Bb4 44.Nd5! Bd6

Simpler is 44...Bxc3 45.e7 Re2 46.Ne3!

45.Re3 Rd2 46.e7 Bxe7 47.Nxe7

And White won quickly.


T. Radjabov — E. Bacrot


I think Etienne was punished by chess gods for his unwillingness to fight in the first game, where he had White. In the second game he failed to make a draw as Black.


White has a small edge, but Black carries out a clever simplifying combination.

21...b6! 22.b5 Nd4 23.Nxd4 exd4 24.Qd5

And here chess gods decided to interfere.


A very strange mistake. Black equalizes by 24...Qg5! 25.c6 (or 25.Ra8 bxc5; or 25.Bxd4 bxc5) 25...Bc5 26.Bxd4 Bxd4 27.Qxd4 Qxb5 etc.

25.exd5 Re5 26.d6!

It is hard to understand how the leader of the French national team could overlook such a standard break. The only explanation is given above — the gods’ punishment.

26...Rxc5 27.Bxd4 Bxd6

After 27...Rc4 28.dxc7 Rxc7 29.Bxb6 Rb7 30.Ra6 White wins by marching with his king: 30...Bb4 31.Kf1 Kf8 32.Ke2 Ke8 33.Kd3 Kd7 34.Kc4 Bd6 35.Bd4 with a decisive advantage.

28.Bxc5 Bxc5


A pawn for an exchange is insufficient in this case. Black’s position looks solid, but it is just an illusion — the rook, working on both wings, slowly but surely breaks it.

29.Ra8+ Kh7 30.Kf1 Kg6 31.Re8 h5 32.Ke2 Kf5 33.g3 g6 (33...g5 34.Rh8!) 34.Kf3 g5

The pawn should not be placed on a dark square. More tenacious is 34...Bd6!

35.g4+ hxg4+ 36.hxg4+ Kf6 37.Rg8 Be7 38.Ke4 Ke6 39.Rh8 Bc5 40.Rh6+ f6 41.f4! gxf4 42.g5 and White won.


The players who lost in the first game did not lose their heart and kept fighting on the next day. Three of them managed to even the score: Ivanchuk, Nepomniachtchi and Lysyj.


I. Lysyj L. Dominguez


Black’s center looks solid, but this delusion will not last long.

19.g5 Nh5 20.exd5 cxd5 21.Bxd5!

Playing against the knight.

21...Nb2 22.Bxb2 Rxb2 23.Bg2 Bxg5 24.Rab1 Rfb8 25.Rxb2 Rxb2 26.Ne4 Bf4 27.Qxa6

White won a pawn and eventually won the game.


Below is the main tragedy of the round.


Bu Xiangzhi — A. Gupta



White is clearly worse. Who could think that Bu will win in just four moves?

58.g3!! hxg3

58...Qxg3 59.Qd8+ loses a bishop.


The king helps creating the mating net.


59...Bxb4 fails to win due to 60.h4+! Kf4 61.Qh6+ Ke5 62.Qe3+ Kf6 63.Qg5+ Kf7 64.h5!, but it would at least secure a draw...


Here Black was forced to move his king on h6, g5 and f4 with perpetual: 60...Kh6 61.Qh8+ Kg5 62.Qd8+ Kf4 63.Qc7+, and not 63...Ke3? due to 64.Qe5+.


I am sure the Indian player will often see this terrible blunder in his nightmares.


And there is no adequate defense against mate!

Here Black resigned in view of 61...Qxf4 (61...Bxf4 62.Bd1+ Kh6 63.Qh8+ Kg5 64.h4#!) 62.Bd1+ Kh6 63.Qh8+ Kg5 64.h4+! Qxh4 65.Qd8+, and Black loses a queen. A nice geometrical game!

Well, chess in not only complicated, but also a brutal game. The winners have almost no time to rejoice, because they must prepare for the new battles. And losses put scars that stay there forever...

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