Ruy LopezC95

Karjakin S. (2762)
Svidler P. (2727)

FIDE World Chess Cup 2015 (7.2)
Baku, AZE, 2015

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. c3 d6 9. h3 Nb8 The Breyer system. An ultra-solid defense where Black tries to create a position with no weaknesses and that is simply very difficult to penetrate. For a game in which a draw is an excellent result, the Breyer must always be considered. 10. d4 Nbd7 11. Nbd2 Bb7 12. Bc2 Re8 13. a4 13. Nf1 is the main line, but recently a4 has been getting plenty of attnetion. In this tournamnet Radjabov played Nf1 against Svidler, Saric against Radjabov while a4 was played by Dominguez against Adams. 13... Bf8 14. Bd3 c6 15. Qc2 15. b3 is the most popular move, and Qc2 is actually rather rare, but it is the move that is "trending" and Karjakin had used it before against Ponomariov. 15... Rc8 Played after an eight minute think, perhas Svidler was trying to remember his preparation. 16. axb5 axb5 17. b4 c5!? 17... Qc7 18. Bb2 Ra8 was Karjakin-Carlsen from Norway 2013. The World Champ (who wasn't the World Champ just yet back then) won that game. 18. bxc5 exd4! 18... dxc5 19. Bxb5 cxd4 20. Bc4! gives Black just a slight headache with the f7 pawn and some sacrifice ideas on that square. 19. c6 19. cxd4 dxc5 20. Qb1 c4! (20... cxd4 21. e5 Nd5 22. Bxh7+ starts to look dangerous.) 21. Qxb5! Bc6 22. Qxc4 Bxe4 23. Qb3 Nc5 24. dxc5 Qxd3 and this looks close to a draw to me. 19... dxc3 Played after 30 minutes of thinking. Svidler had options, but this looks convincing. 19... Bxc6 20. Nxd4 b4!= was the best alternative. 20. cxb7 cxd2 21. Qxd2 21. bxc8=Q dxe1=Q+ 22. Nxe1 Qxc8 23. Bxb5 is similar to the game, but with less pieces. 23... Qb8= (23... Qxc2=) 21... Rb8 22. Bxb5 Qb6 23. Rb1 23. Bd3 Qxb7 leads to the game. 23... Qxb7 24. Bd3 Qa8 25. Rxb8 Rxb8 26. Bb2 White's pair of bishops and slightly better structure gives him a tiny edge, but with Black's active major pieces and the overly simplified character of the position, winning is going to be very difficult for Karjakin. 26... Qa2 27. Re2 h6 28. Qc1 Qb3 29. Bc4 Qb7 30. Qd1 30. e5 dxe5 31. Nxe5 Nxe5 32. Bxe5 Qb1= seems like nothing to me, despite the computer evaluation of +0.6 30... Re8 31. Bxf6 Nxf6 32. e5 dxe5 33. Nxe5 Trying to force some kind of attack on the f7 square, but Svidler has it covered. 33... Re7 34. Qd4 Nd7 35. Nxf7 Anything else basically leads to a draw, but this also gives no chances. 35... Rxf7 36. Rb2 Qc6 A high percentage of moves here simply lead to a draw, including most random rook moves, taking on f7, etc. 37. Rb5?? A bad blunder. It's not clear what Karjakin missed... it's also not clear what the purpose of this move is. 37... Kh8! Now White is down a piece since the bishop is overloaded. 38. Rd5?? 38. Bxf7 Qxb5 39. Be8 (39. Qd5! Would make Black's task of winning very difficult. Any queen trade goes into an endgame I am not convinced is winning for Black, despite the extra piece (the opposite colored bishops help White in this case as it can cover penetration squares and keep the knight out). It would be an annoying defense, but Karjakin could still realistically hope to hold on.) 39... Qb1+ 40. Kh2 Qb8+ 38... Nb6 Now White loses an exchange (at least) on top of the piece he is already down. Karjakin resigned since the position is completely hopeless. 0-1 [Ramirez Alvarez A.]

Game(s) in PGN