"Kings" Strike Back In Nutcracker 2nd Round

"Kings" Strike Back In Nutcracker 2nd Round

| 5 | Chess Event Coverage

In the second round of the Nutcracker Match of the Generations, the “Kings” leveled the score as GM Alexander Morozevich defeated GM Vladimir Fedoseev.

The other three games ended in draws. With two points for a win and one for a draw, the score is 8-8 after two rounds.

Let's immediately jump to the decisive moment of the round. It appeared in the game Morozevich vs. Fedoseev, which started as a Nimzo-Indian.

Black has sacrificed two pawns, and has a lot of activity. However, the threat of e3-e4 is nasty. What is the best way to deal with that threat?

Morozevich-Fedoseev, watched by sponsor Oleg Skvortsov in the audience. | Photo Vladimir Barsky.

In the game Black saw the main idea, but responded the wrong way. If you follow general chess principles, you should be able to do better than the young Russian GM!

Below is the full game, which includes the answer to the puzzle.

Looking back at the game with commentator GM Sergei Rublevsky. | Photo Vladimir Barsky.

The other three games were fairly balanced. Artemiev-Shirov was a reversed Schmid Benoni where White won a pawn, but Black always had enough counterplay.

A solid 1.5/2 start for Alexei Shirov. | Photo Vladimir Barsky.

Oparin and Dreev played a very theoretical line in the the Meran variation of the Semi-Slav. White playing b2-b3 after b4xa3, and allowing his h-pawn to be snatched, might look funny but in fact this is quite old, and the first 19 moves were known.

On move 22, Black might have missed a chance for an advantage.

Dreev and Oparin after the game. | Photo Vladimir Barsky.

Dubov played the 5...Ba5 Winawer against Leko and that worked out pretty well.

Before move 20 the players had reached an endgame where White's advantage was minimal. Without the 40-move rule, the players would probably shaken hands earlier.

The start of Leko vs Dubov. | Photo Vladimir Barsky.

Nutcracker 2014

Dubov Fedoseev Oparin Artemiev Kings
Shirov 2 1 3
Leko 1 0 1
Morozevich 2 0 2
Dreev 1 1 2
Princes 3 2 1 2 8

The “Nutcracker” tournament runs December 19-26 in Moscow. A team of experienced GMs, called the “Kings,” plays a team of up-and-coming talents, called “Princes.”

Each player on one team plays each player on the other team.

Four rounds of classical chess (December 20-23) are followed by two days of rapid chess  (December 24-25).

For winning a classical game a player gets two points, for a draw one point and for a loss zero points. In the rapid section the score is normal. Draw offers before move 40 are not allowed.

The classical games start 3 p.m. Moscow time, which is 1 p.m. Amsterdam, 7 a.m. New York and 4 a.m. Los Angeles.

The games are transmitted live online at the Russian Chess Federation website and there's also a live video stream with commentary in Russian.

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