Aroshidze 2535 – Sharma 2362 [C11]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bc59.Qd2 0–0 10.0–0–0 a6 11.Qf2 Bxd4 12.Bxd4 b5 13.Be3 Qa5!?
Black wants to restrict Nc3-a4 move in case of b5-b4.
14.Kb1 b4 15.Ne2 Qc7
New interesting idea that was recommended by GM Negi in his book. Actually this continuation already was tried in 2013 By Caruana against Meier, but I believe in that game Caruana did not have deep preparation as he quickly got bad position. Negi offers quite interesting improvements and analysis for white. More popular is: 16.Nd4 Nxd4 17.Bxd4 a5 18.Bb5 Ba6 19.Bxd7 Qxd7 20.g4 a4 21.b3 and white hopes to defend his queenside and only after that start pawn storm on the kingside. In order to understand better this type of positions, I recommend you to see the games: Caruana – Meier, 2014 and Quesada – Kotsenko, 2014. White bishop is much more useful the the black one. Statistics for white are quite good in this line but I wanted to surprise my opponent by rare move 16. Ng3.
This move is the reason of Black’s problems. Negi recommends to fight for the the counterplay more actively by 17… a5-a4
After the game my opponent suggested another interesting alternative: 17…f6!? But I guess after: 18.exf6 Nxf6 19.Nxf6+ Rxf6 20.g3 a4 21.Bc5 Bd7 22.a3+/= white is slightly better.
18.Qg3 g6 19.Nf6+ Nxf6 20.exf6±
Black king has huge problems and there is no serious counterplay.
Rfc8 21.Bxa6 Rxa6
During the game I was choosing between this move and 22. Qh4. After all, both of them look quite good. 22.Qg5!? Qd8 (22…Kh8 23.h4 +- ; 22… Qd6 23.h4+-) 23.Bc5! a4 24.f5 b3 25.cxb3 axb3 26.a3 exf5 27.Rxd5 Qxd5 28.Qh6+-
If 22…Qd6, then white has strong strike: 23.f5! exf5 24.Rxd5! and black can’t take the rook due to Qh6-g7 mate. Qe6 25.Bf4+- should be winning for white;
On 22…Qd8 white has similar answer – 23.f5! for example: Qf8 24.Bh6 Qc5 25.fxg6 fxg6 26.f7+ Kxf7 27.Rdf1+ Ke8 28.Bf8 Qa7 29.Qf6+-
24.h4 was also good. Qd8 25.Qg5+- and h4-h5 is coming
Only move. Otherwise Bb6 was coming, – cleaning the 3rd rank.
During the game I had a feeling that white should be already winning somehow. First I was calculating: 25.Bb6! but after Qxf4 I decided that black queen comes into the defence via b1-h7 diagonal and things are becoming complicated. In truth, now white has a decisive move which I missed: 26.h4! Thanks to the pin white will open h file or eat black’s central pawn chain after: Rg6 27.Qf8+ Rg8 28.Qxf7
28… Ne5 Other moves also can’t save the game: (28…gxh4 29.Rdh3 Ne5 30.Qc7+-; or 28…g4 29.Be3 Qe4 30.Bh6+-) 29.Qe7 Nxd3 (29…Ng6 30.Qxe6 Nf8 31.Qe7 Rxb6 32.f7+-) 30.hxg5 Qf5 31.f7 Rxb6 32.g4 Qg6
33.f8N! this move was suggested by stockfish and it mates for a few moves quicker than promoting the queen. 33… Rxf8 34.Qxf8+ Qg8 35.Rxh7+ Kxh7 36.Qh6#
25…Rg6 26.Qh4 Ra8
Black is still lost of course, but somehow he has stabilized/blocked the position and can continue fighting.
27.Bc1 Rc8 28.Qf2
I decided to consolidate position and prepare the kingside pawn storm.
I was really suffering during the game and could not find out which was the best square for the rook. During home analysis I was nicely surprised when I discovered that my choice is the first like of KOMODO 9.
29… Nc4 30.h4
Now game is really over. I was calculating incredible and probably the only move: 30…h6!! and to be honest I was not sure how exactly white should continue. Probably best reaction is 31.Rg4!? (31.h5? does not work because of – Rxg5! 32.Bxg5 hxg5
and we have absolutely crazy position where white rooks does not have any useful open files and there is no access to the black king. I did not like this line as black takes the initiative.) 31…a4 32.Re1 Qb7 33.Qe2+-
objectively white must win, but in a practical game it is not easy to deal with these complications.
I thought that my opponent had missed something in another line: 31…Na3+ 32.bxa3 bxa3+ 33.Ka1 Rxc2
and maybe now 34.hxg6! has escaped from his attention? (however, 34.Rd2+- is also enough) 34…Rxf2 35.Rxh7+ Kg8 36.Rg7+ Kf8 37.Bxa3+ mating.
32.Bxg5 Na3+ 33.bxa3 bxa3+ 34.Kc1 e5 35.Rh3
35… Qb2+ 36.Kd1 exd4 37.Bc1 Qxa2 38.Rxa3 Qc4 39.Rd3 a4 40.Rxd4 Qc5 41.Rf4 Qc6 42.Bb2 Qb5
43.Qg3 Rg8 44.Rg4 Re8
Here has happened something really strange. I had calculated all these moves and now beautiful 45. Rc4 was prepared, but somehow I forgot it and under the time-pressure, went for another line:
45.Rc4! closing the a6-f1 diagonal, could finish the game immediately: Rg8 46.Qxg8+ Kxg8 47.Rc8+ Qe8 48.Rxe8#
45…d4 46.Rg7 Qb1+ 47.Kd2 Qb4+ 48.Kc1 1–0
So far, thing are going really ok. In the third round I’ll play against very solid Spanish IM Vassallo Barroche Mauricio, FIDE rating 2430.