Aroshidze (2535) – Petrosyan (2441) [C88]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 8.a4!?
Normally I don’t play this line, but I wanted to surprise my opponent.
8… b4 9.d3 d6 10.Nbd2 Na5 11.Ba2 c5 12.c3
12.Nc4!? is also interesting.
Surprise for me! I was expecting much more popular – 12…Rb8
Result of 15 minutes of thinking. On the top level 13.d4 was more popular. 13… bxc3 14.bxc3 cxd4 (Grischuk played weaker: 14…exd4 15.cxd4 Nb4 and now I suggest a little improvement 16.Bc4!?N (Anand won with 16.Bb1 Bg4 17.h3 Bh5 18.g4 Bg6 19.d5 Anand (2792) – Grischuk (2726), 2007 but here if Grischuk would play 19… Rb8!?, I think he is just fine) 16…cxd4 17.Ba3 Nc6 18.Rc1 Bd7 19.h3 +/=
white has a little, but stable advantage. For example does not work now – 19… d5 20.Bxe7 Nxe7 21.exd5 Nexd5 22.Ne4 Bf5 23.Nxf6+ Nxf6 24.Qxd4 Qxd4 25.Nxd4 Bd7
26.a5! and white keeps pressuring). 15.cxd4 exd4 16.Ba3 d3
17.Nc4!?N (Dominguez played weaker: 17.Nb3 Ne5 18.Nxe5 dxe5 19.Bxe7 Qxe7 20.Qxd3 and Black got nice position in the game Dominguez 2760 – Adams 2740, 2014) 17…d5 18. exd5 Nxd5 19. Qd3 Be6 maybe white keeps some symbolic pressure in a Carlsen’s style, but with accurate play black should equalize.
Better was immediately 13…Be6! 14.Bxe6 fxe6 15.d4 (15.Ng5? is just waste of time as after 15… Qd7 16.Qb3 d5 black takes advantage) 15…bxc3 16.bxc3 exd4 17.cxd4 cxd4 18.Nxd4 Nxd4 19.Qxd4
19… Ng4 20.Ra2 and we have more or less equal position, though, I think it is easier to play it with white.
14.h3 Be6 15.Bxe6 fxe6 16.d4
16…bxc3 17.bxc3 exd4 18.cxd4 cxd4 19.Nxd4 Nxd4 20.Qxd4 already leads to slight advantage of white as including h6 and h3 moves is clearly favorable for white.
17.cxd4 e5 18.dxc5 dxc5
Very natural continuation. I wanted to use holes in black’s pawn structure, but better was more concrete:19.Qb3+!? Kh8 20.Be3 Nd7 (20…Nxe4 21.Qc4!+/=) 21.Ng3!? +/=
Black should play energetically to compensate his strategic weaknesses: 19…Qd6! 20.Nc4 (20.b3? is too passive 20… Rad8 21.Bb2 Nh5 22.Nc4 Qe6 23.Nfd2 Nf4 -/+) 20…Qxd1 21.Rxd1 Nxe4 22.Re1 Nd6 23.Ncxe5 Nxe5 24.Rxe5
24… Bf6 25.Rxc5 Rfc8 26.Rxc8+ Rxc8= with full compensation for the pawn.
This move loses a whole advantage. intuitionally I thought that taking of e4 pawn should not be good for black, but I was wrong. White could fix the advantage by playing: 21.Qb3! Kh7 22.Be3 Nd7 (22…Nd4? 23.Bxd4 exd4 24.Rac1 Nh5 25.g3! Qd7
26.Kg2 Qc6 27.e5 Rf5 28.Ncd2 Raf8 29.Qd3±) 23.Ncd2! +/= nice maneuver. Black pieces are disorganized and knight can go back to open c file for a1 rook. White has clear positional advantage
21…Qxd1 22.Raxd1 Nxe4
Other move also does not give anything: 23.Bc1 Nf6 24.Nfxe5 Nxe5 25.Nxe5 Bxe5 26.Rxe5 c4=; 23.Bxh6 Nxf2 24.Kxf2 gxh6 25.Rd5 Rad8 26.Rxc5 Rf6 with enough counterplay.
Here white could repeat the moves, but I couldn’t believe that advantage is gone. 24.Rd5 Ne7 25.Rdd1 Nc6 26.Rd5=
24…Kxf7 25.Bxh6 Nxf2
I was calculating: 26.Ng5+ but could not make the final conclusion. 26… Kg6 (by the way, 26…Ke7!? is also enough for equality: 27.Bxg7 Nd3 28.Rf1 Nf4 29.g3 Rg8 30.gxf4 Rxg7 31.Re1 Rg6=) 27.Kxf2 gxh6 28.Ne6
28… Na5! (It is funny, but both players were thinking that here black had very strong move 28…Bb8?, but in truth, this move leads to the huge problems after: 29.Rd1! Kf5 (29…Nd4 30.Nxc5 Ba7 31.Nxe5+ Kh7 32.Ncd7+-) 30.Nxc5 Ba7 31.Ne3+ Kg5 32.Ne6+ Kh5 33.Rd6±) 29.Nxc7 Rf8+
30.Ke2 Nxc4 31.Nxa6 Nxb2 32.Nxc5= game will end with a draw.
I thought game goes to the draw and I started to play quickly because of time trouble. 27.Re4!? was the best chance to keep equality. White activate rooks from the 4th rank and starts to attack kingside.
This is what I have missed. I thought black should continue capturing the pieces and after: 28…Bxe5 29.Rxe5 Rc8 30.Ke3 c4 31.Kd4 c3 32.bxc3 Rxc3 33.Re2= Δ a4-a5 we get absolutely equal position.
29.Nd3+ Kd5 30.Rc1 Bd6 is also tough for white but still better way to hold on.
29…Kd5 30.Ne3+ Ke4
31.Ke2 Bf4 32.Ng4 Kd5 -/+ and black king comes to the queenside
31…Be5 32.Ke2 Bd4–+
White is lost.
Does not help beautiful position of knight on c4 as black pieces are dominating in the center: 33.Nc4 Rg8 34.g4 Rf8 35.Nd2+ Kd5 36.b3 Re8+ 37.Kf1 Re3–+
33…Rg8 34.g4 Rf8 35.h4 Rf3 36.Rc4
If 36.g5, then 36… h5!–+ and soon h4 pawn will fall.
37.g5 hxg5 38.hxg5 Rg2+ 39.Ke1 Kd3 0-1