22-year-old Russian GM Vladimir Fedoseev took clear first place at the prestigious Aeroflot Open, played from February 22nd to March 1st at the Cosmos Hotel in Moscow. Fedoseev obtained the title thanks to a great performance with White, as he won all four games he played with this color. This important victory also got him a place at the traditional Dortmund supertournament in July.
Vladimir Fedoseev is one of the strongest young GMs from Russia. At 22, he has already been in the 2650-2700 rating gap for three years, and this victory might boost him to cross the 2700 mark. In Moscow, he won thanks to his great positional understanding. Let us see some of the positions from the second half of the event that show the Russian's fine technique.
The position is more or less balanced and Fedoseev, with White against Najer, needs to look for an idea to improve his pieces. The kingside seems to be dominated by Black and there's tension in the center. An idea could be 23.b4 to gain space with c5, but Black counts on the intermediate 23...dxc4!
Something similar would happen if White tries 23.e4, attacking the g5-square. Taking this into account, Fedoseev avoided all the attacks on his d3-bishop and overprotected h3 with 23.Bf1! A fine move that threatens to advance on the queenside. More often than not this move would go unnoticed, as the evaluation does not change much, but it is a detail that show the Russian's great positional understanding. After 23...dxc4 (23...e5 was not possible directly due to 24.e4!) 24.bxc4 e5 Najer thought he was fine... but once again White found a subtlety that deserves another diagram.