“The clock sweats out each minute of what meat is left to us.” ― Joseph Bathanti, This Metal
Nutcracker Classical Moscow 2015.12.20 GM Antipov, M.A.– GM Morozevich, A. Position after 28 moves. A very complicated struggle, and probably both players are running short of time. Morozevich’s last move (28…Qe7) envisioned putting an end to White’s attack, anticpating 29.QxQ BxQ 30.BxR PxB 31.Be6 a5! with a very unclear ending. White’s next move must have come as a very unpleasnt surprise…
WHITE TO PLAY AND WIN!
Everything AND the kitchen sink…
Qatar Masters, Doha, 2015.12.20 GM Giri, Anish–IM (2498) Sunilduth Lyna, Narayanan. Position after White’s 33rd move (33.Rg6+). Black resigned, a correct decision. HOWEVER, why deny the spectators the pleasure of seeing a beautiful finish, a mate in five moves?
33…Kh7 34.Qh4+! KxR 35.Rf6+ Kg7
36…KxQ 37.Rh6+ Kg8 38.Rh8++
Qatar Masters Doha 2015.12.20 WGM Guramishvili, Sopiko–GM Rambaldi, Francesco. Position after White’s 34th move (34.Qf5!)
A curious position! While White is up a good pawn, this position’s theme is not about material, but rather attacking the Kings. Clearly Black has an attack against the White King, while White has chances against the Black King: if she could get in a check on the 7th rank then there will follow a check on b7 and another check on g5 with the Bishop.
At first sight it appears that Black’s attack is stronger, having already tripled o the open h-file. But this is not the case! White’s last move (34.Qf5) sets several traps for Black…
If now 34… Rxh1? 35. Rxh1 Rxh1 White should win after 36. Qf7+ Kc8 37. Qb7+ Kd8 38. Bg5+ Ke8 39. Qxc6+ Kf7 40. Qd7+ Kg6 41. Bh4!; Also insufficient is 34… Ne7?! 35. Qxh3! Rxh3 36. Rxh3 Qa8+ 37. f3 when White’s two Rooks are clearly more formidable than Black’s Queen.
AND there is another bit of poison hidden after 34… R3h5? 35. Rxh5 Rxh5 36. Qf7 Kd8 (See diagram below)
Now 37.Rh1!! wins on the spot (37…RxR 38.Bg5+!)
Getting back to the game…Black played the correctly:
Black has wisely avoided White’s little traps! Now White should continue 35. Rxh2 Rxh2+ 36. Kf3 with the better chances (36. Kf1 is also possible Ne7 (36… Rh1+ 37. Ke2 Qh7 38. Qxh7+ Rxh7 and White still has his g-pawn) 37. Qf7 with pressure) If then Black wants to trade Queens then his ending is simply worse, while 36…Rh1 37.Ke2! maintains all of the advantages of the position. (Note that 37.Rh1 would be a mistake, as the reader can easily verify for himself).
INSTEAD, so much wanting to catch her grandmaster opponent in a trap, Guramishvili momentarily lost her objectivity, pressing her luck:
White is hoping that Black will take the bait: 35…RxR 36.RxR RxR when 37.Qf7+! will transpose into one of the traps previously described above. Unfortunately for her, Rambaldi is not a grandmaster by chance!
At move 34 this move did not work (35.Qxh3!), and it is entirely possible that White just assumed it was still impossible…if now 36.Qg5 then simply 36…Qf8+ (simultaneously defending the Knight) followed by capturing the Rook would leave Black up a Rook for nothing.
36.Qe4!? (what else?) d5!
Black could also take the Rook on h1 immediately, when 37.Qb7+ would not work, but why give White the pleasure of giving some checks? White can now resign, but played on a few more moves
37. cxd5 Rxh1 38. Rxh1 Rxh1 39. Bf4 Kd6 [0:1]
MORAL OF THE STORY: if your opponent does not fall for your trap the first time, he will certainly not fall for the same trap the next time!
Sopiko Guramishvili, age 24, is a very experienced international player and is one of Georgia’s top female grandmasters. She is married to Giri.
Nutcracker Classical Moscow 2015.12.20 Antipov, Mikhail Al.–Morozevich, Alexander: 29.Bxg7+!! Rxg7 30.Rxg7 Qxf7 31.Rxf7 Bg7 32.Rxc7 with a relatively easy ending to win. The game ended: 32…h5 33.Ra7 Kh7 34.Rxa6 Kg6 35.Rb6 Bf8 36.Rxb5 Bd6 37.h4 Bf4 38.Kg2 Nd7 39.Bf7+ Kf6 40.Bxh5 Ne5 41.Bg4 1-0