Berlin: Grischuk – Ding: 16.a4 a novelty?
Press conference Grischuk - Ding / ©WorldChess

Berlin: Grischuk – Ding: 16.a4 a novelty?

NM HanSchut
Mar 15, 2018, 6:09 PM |

In the game between Grischuk and Ding the following position occurred after black played 15... Ke7:

Most games continued here with 16.Bg4 (e.g. Topalov, Timman and Shirov). Grischuk now played the novelty 16.a4, which is the best move according to the Hiarcs opening book. There is not a single game in the Chessbase MegaDatabase 2018 with 16.a4 but it is the recommendation of a commercially available database! So 16.a4 is the first time this move is played over the board between two players but known theory. That raises the question: "Is this Grischuk's novelty?" If a player follows a recommendation from the NIC Yearbook or an analysis in Chess Informant, then who will get the credit for the novelty?

I am really impressed by the Hiarcs opening book and it showed it's strength again today.  The critical variation according to the Hiarcs-book is: 16. a4 Raf8 17. Bf3 a6 18. Bxd5 cxd5 19. axb5 axb5 20. Kh1 b4 21. f4 Ba6 22. Qc2 c3 with mutual chances. In the game Ding continued with 20… Bc6 instead of the recommended 20… b4  and after 21. f4 gxf4 white could have won on the spot with 22.Bh4+ Bf6 23. Qg4.

Position after 21… gxf4

Grischuk mentioned during the press conference that he missed Qg4 because in his home analysis the queen could   only go to g6 (from c2). So apparently Grischuk home analysis was the same as Hiarcs opening book recommendation.   

Below you see the picture of the Hiarcs opening book under ChessBase 14 with the recommendation 20... b4 instead of the 20... Bc6 (the move that Ding played).

Hiarcs book under ChessBase 14

You can buy the Hiarcs opening book at Hiarcs Opening Book Subscription. The book subscription is currently on sale for $47.20 excuding VAT. For this price you can download the latest opening book every quarter for one year. The book comes in 3 formats: CTG for Chessbase, HBG for the Hiarcs app on the iPhone/iPad and HCS for Hiarcs Explorer for MAC OS X. 

The Hiarcs book is also recommended by Larry Kaufman, author of chess engine Komodo.