SOS - Secrets of Opening Surprises - November 2012

| 7 | Opening Theory

Every month, the editor of the SOS Secrets of Opening Surprises book series, IM Jeroen Bosch, annotates a game which was recently played with an SOS-variation.

SOS Game of the Month: November 2012
See also SOS 13, Chapter 5, p.48
Last month we featured a nice win by Judit Polgar from the Olympiad. However, with such a wealth of material it makes sense to return once more to Istanbul. This time for developments in a variation from the Scotch (introduced successfully by Magnus Carlsen in 2010). The same line was covered in the Game of the Month of July of this year - the game Giri-Navara. It seems that meanwhile Black has found some new resources.

Here's the complete text of this game analysis:

Scotch C45
Pouria Darini
Lazaro Bruzon
Istanbul Olympiad 2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Nb3 Bb6 6.Nc3



Two set-ups with ...Nge7 were covered in July: 6...d6 7.Qe2 Nge7 and 6...Qf6 7.Qe2 Nge7.

7.Qe2 0-0

The record holder of most Olympiads played (21 out of a possible total of 40!) Eugenio Torre preferred 7...d6. After 8.Be3 Be6 9.0-0-0 Qe7 10.f3 0-0-0 11.Bxb6 axb6 12.Nd4 we reach a critical position.

analysis diagram

Now 12...Nxd4 was played by Torre: 13.Rxd4 Kb8 14.Qe3 Rhe8

analysis diagram

- 15.Bb5 is crucial and if White can preserve an edge it depends on this annoying attack: 15...c6 16.Rhd1!? d5 (16...cxb5 17.Nxb5 is indeed better for White. He obtains a powerful attack and in most lines will win the d6-pawn with considerable positional compensation for the piece; 16...Qc7 is an interesting alternative) 17.Qf4+ Kc8 (17...Qc7 18.Qxc7+ Kxc7 19.exd5 Nxd5 20.Nxd5+ Bxd5 21.Rxd5 transforms into a very pleasant rook ending for White) 18.Ra4 Qc7 19.e5 was better for White in Vajda-Torre, Olympiad Istanbul 2012, White won an exciting game (Torre's penultimate move was wrong and 34...Qe5 would have kept the draw).
- See also 15.g4 h6 16.h4 d5 17.g5 (the correct move order was 17.Bb5! again: 17...c6 18.g5, with a slight edge) 17...Nh5 18.Bb5 c5! 19.Ra4 d4 20.Qd2 hxg5 21.Qh2+ Nf4 22.Bxe8 dxc3 23.hxg5 Qxg5 24.Bb5 Rd2:

analysis diagram

-- 25.Qh4?? 25...Ne2+ 0-1 Demchenko-Zviagintsev, St Petersburg 2012.
-- the game would have continued after the only move 25.Qh8+ Rd8 (25...Bc8 26.Bd7 Ne2+ 27.Kb1 Rxd7 28.Ra8+ Kxa8 29.Qxc8+ Ka7 30.Qxd7 cxb2 31.Qa4+ Kb8 32.Qe8+=) 26.Qh2. Now, to play for a win Black should go 26...cxb2+ 27.Kb1 Qe5, with some advantage.

In my comments to the game of July I indicated that Black seems to equalize with 12...Kb8 13.Qe3 d5! 14.exd5 (14.e5 Nd7 15.f4 Nxd4 16.Qxd4 f6=) 14...Nxd5 15.Nxd5 Rxd5 16.Nxc6+ bxc6 17.Bc4, with a draw as in the game Yu-Malakhov, Ningbo 2011.




8...h6 9.Bh4 a5 Carlsen-Bacrot, Nanjing 2010, was covered in SOS-13.

9.Qd2 Nxb3 10.axb3 h6

10...Re8 11.0-0-0 (11.Bd3 followed by castling kingside must be a better idea here) 11...h6 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.f4 (13.Nd5) 13...d6 14.Kb1 Ba5 was slightly better for Black in Lorenzo de la Riva-Baryshpolets, Badalona 2011.

11.Be3 Bxe3 12.Qxe3


This should be completely equal, which means that White has to go back to the drawing board. At the Olympiad, Fressinet (against Bruzon as White!) and Aronian now preferred 12...Re8 followed by 13...c6, preparing ...d5, while in our main game Bruzon went for the immediate 12...d5. Both methods are of equal merit it seems, although 12...Re8 is safer. I have chosen Darini-Bruzon as our main game mainly because its course is more spectacular.


The games mentioned in the previous note, followed the same course for a long time: 12...Re8 13.f3 c6 14.0-0-0 d5 15.Qc5 Qb6 (forcing a completely equal ending) 16.Qxb6 axb6 17.exd5 Ra1+ 18.Kd2 Rxd1+ 19.Kxd1 Rd8 (regaining the pawn in a symmetrical position) 20.Bc4 (20.Bd3 Nxd5 21.Nxd5 Rxd5 and a draw on move 31, Bruzon-Fressinet, Istanbul 2012) 20...b5 21.Bd3 Nxd5 22.Nxd5 Rxd5, and draw after Black's thirtieth move, Wang-Aronian, Istanbul 2012. In case you are wondering, indeed players were only allowed a draw after move 30 at the Olympiad.

13.0-0-0 Ng4


An enterprising move, trying to make something out of nothing.


White could have gained a slight edge (thus taking advantage of Bruzon's 13...Ng4) with 14.Qd4 Qg5+ 15.Kb1 dxe4 16.Nxe4.

14...d4 15.Nb5 c5 16.Be2 Nf6 17.Nd6


Clearly, both sides have their chances now in an exciting position with the kings at opposite wings.

17...Be6 18.e5

18.Nxb7 Nxe4 (18...Qe7! 19.Nd6 Rfd8 with decent compensation) 19.Nxd8 Nxg3 20.Nxe6 Nxe2+ 21.Kd2 fxe6 22.Kxe2, White slightly better.

18...Nd5 19.Bc4 Nb4 20.c3

Suddenly the tactics appear to be in White's favour.



More accurate was 20...Nc6 21.f4 Bxc4 22.Nf5 g6 23.bxc4 Kh7 24.Nd6 dxc3 25.bxc3 Qa5, which is fairly similar to the game.


21.Nf5 Qg5+! 22.Qxg5 hxg5=.

21...dxc3 22.bxc3 Nc6 23.f4

Returning the favour. Almost impossible to calculate behind the board was the stronger 23.Nxf7! Qa5 24.Nxh6+ Kh8 25.Rd7 Ne7! (25...Qa3+ 26.Kd2 Rxf2+ 27.Ke3!+-) 26.Kb2! Qb6+ 27.Kc2 Qxh6 28.Rxe7, White better.

23...Qa5 24.Nf5 Qa3+ 25.Kc2 Qa2+



White is making an ultimate attempt to win. 26.Kc1 is just a draw by perpetual.

26...Rfd8+ 27.Ke3 g6 28.Nxh6+ Kf8



Wow! An interesting sacrifice which opens up the black king.


29...Rxd1 30.Rxd1 Qxc4 (30...Kxf7 31.e6+ Kxe6 32.Qh3+ Kf6 33.Rd6+ Kg7 34.Rd7+ leads to a forced mate, neat is the typical stairway method: 34...Kf6 35.Qh4+ Ke6 36.Qg4+ Kf6 37.Qg5+ Ke6 and now 38.Qd5+ Kf6 39.Rf7 mate.

30.e6+ Kg7 31.f5

Black has to work hard now to avoid a loss.




32.Qc7! Re8 33.f6+! was a better winning chance, Black has to find 33...Kh6! but he still has difficulties after either 34.Qf4+ or 34.fxe7.

32...Kxf6 33.Rhf1+ Kxe6

33...Nf5+ 34.Rxf5+ gxf5 35.Qh4+ Kxe6 36.Qh6+ also draws.

34.Qg4+ Nf5+ 35.Rxf5 gxf5 36.Qg6+

And now the draw is clear.

36...Ke7 37.Qg7+ Ke6 38.Qg6+ Ke7 39.Qg5+ Ke6 40.Qg6+ Ke5

Who said that draws could not be exciting! This game makes a clear case against a soccer scoring system. You certainly cannot accuse the players of a lack of trying in this game...

More from IM JoopDeGroot
SOS - Secrets of Opening Surprises - July 2013

SOS - Secrets of Opening Surprises - July 2013

SOS - Secrets of Opening Surprises - June 2013

SOS - Secrets of Opening Surprises - June 2013