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Naiditsch-Vallejo Annotated by GM Naiditsch

User Rating: / 14
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 19 September 2013

By GM Arkadij Naiditsch, #1 German chess player, FIDE 2710

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Playing against Paco is always very interesting. He is a very creative player with a lot of original ideas. So for this game I was sure I would get a chaotic position on the board and it happened just as expected.

Naiditsch,Arkadij (2710) - Vallejo Pons,Francisco (2706) [C03]

TCh-ESP CECLUB Honor 2013 Linares ESP (6.3), 13.09.2013

[Arkadij Naiditsch]

1.e4 e6 The French is Vallejo's main opening.
2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 I decided to play the safer line 3.Nd2, usually I am going for the main 3.Nc3.
3...Be7 Not the main line, but quite an interesting move. Black is waiting for White's reply before playing Nf6.
[4.Bd3 c5 I played this line a couple of times and maybe Black is just doing fine here.]
4...Nf6 5.e5 Nfd7 Black's idea is now getting clear, White doesn't have the usual setup with Bd3Ne2. Now the knight on d2 is a bit out of play.
6.Bd3 c5 7.c3 Nc6 8.00

8...a5!? And as usual Paco is playing very creatively. [8...g5 This is the main line here, with very sharp play and an unclear position after 9.dxc5]
9.Re1 I am not sure about this move at all. Maybe it is better for White to play 9. a4 but the position is also quite unclear after 9....cxd4 10.cxd4 Nb4.
9...cxd4! A very strong move. Black is immediately going for the d4 pawn.
10.cxd4 Qb6
White has difficulties protecting the d4 pawn. It is not unusual in this line that White sacrifices the pawn, but I think that from Black's point of view it is already an achievement to have a very unclear position on move 10.
11.a4 I probably need to give the d4 pawn anyway, so I thought I should secure the Bb5 move for later on.
11...Nxd4 12.Nxd4 Qxd4
I think this is the first critical position. Black is a clear pawn up but I have a better development, so I was thinking for quite a while whether to play 12. Nb3 or 12. Nf3 here.
I finally went for this move just based on my feeling. [13.Nb3 Qb6 14.Be3 Qd8 15.Qh5 would also lead to very unclear play.]
13...Qb6 14.Be3

14...Nc5! A very strong move. [After 14...Qd8 15.Qc2! attacking the h-pawn and followed by Rac1 would give White very nice play.]
I probably don't have anything better. [15.Rc1 Bd7 followed by Rc8 and it is hard to see where White's compensation for the pawn is.]
15...Bd7 16.Bxd7+ Kxd7 17.Nd4 At least I got the black king to d7 in return of my pawn sacrifice, which is already something.
Another very good move. Of course Black should not let the queen in a passive position on b6. I wanted to play Nb5 next.
I have to act quickly, as in case Black manages to get a stable position I will be doing very bad. It is really hard to break such a strong pawn structure.

A nice move. I am preparing to play Nf5 next, or in many lines a move like Nb5 followed by Rxd5 could also be very dangerous for Black.
19...Nxa4? A clear miscalculation of my opponent. Now things start to look very nice for me.

[During the game I been very afraid of the following move: 19...Rac8! And what to do now for White?! 20.Nf5 doesn't seem to work and it is hard to create a direct threat. The position of course remains unclear, I can go for 20.Qh3 or 20.b3, trying to fix things first, but somehow I didn't feel quite well here. It could all just end with a pawn down for nothing for me...]
An easy to find move, as I didn't really have anything else to play! Now things are getting very forced.
20...Nxb2 If you say A you have to say B!
Of course!
21...exd5 22.Qxd5+ Kc7 Here I had a long think, calculating the move 23.Rc1 of course, but also the move 23.e6.
A good choice. [23.e6 is a possible move, but it leads to a complete messy position. 23...Ra6 And here I was not sure how to evaluate the position. There are so many different options, but one shouldn't forget that White is a full rook down.]

24.Nxe7?! I played this move instantly, because I had already planned it when I played 20. Nf5, but I should have had a second think... [24.Qd7! would end the game on the spot! Black has no decent defence against Qc7. 24...Nc4 25.Nxe7 Ra6 26.Nd5 And White is easily winning.]
[24...Ra6 didn't help as after 25.Qd7 Nc4 26.Nd5 White is winning.]
25.Bc5 White is of course winning here too, but things are not as simple as after 24.Qd7.
The best defence. [25...Qe6 would lead to a nice mate: 26.Bd6+ Ka7 27.Qxa5#]
26.Bd6+ Rxd6 27.exd6 Qd8
[27...Qe6 just loses to 28.Qxe6 fxe6 29.d7 Ka7 30.Rc8]

Probably the most simple way of finishing the game. White still needs to be careful though as Black's a-pawn could become very dangerous.
28...Ra7 29.Qxf7 Simple and strong. I want to play Re7 next and Black has no decent defence against it.
29...Nd3 [After 29...Qxd6 30.Rd7 White is winning.; Not much better is 29...Nc4 30.Qxc4 b6 31.Rc6 And here too only a miracle could save Black.]
Re8 is coming next.
30...Ra6 31.Rxb7+ [31.Re8 Rxd6 would leave Black with some hopes.]
31...Kc8 Here I was down to 5 minutes, so I decided to repeat the moves once in order to win some time and come closer to move 40.
32.Rc7+ Kb8 33.Rb7+ Ka8 Well, it makes no big difference...

[After 33...Kc8 I was planning to play 34.Rb5 Qxd6 35.Qb7+ Kd8 36.Rd5 With an easily winning position.]
The last important move! Now the game is over.
34...Qc8 35.Rc7
White threatens to play Qf3 or Qd5 next. All in all a nice finish of a pretty game! 


Replay the game

More annotated games, tactics & endgame puzzles, surprise section/study can be found in the weekly Chess Evolution newsletter. Subscribe!

Related materials:
Kramnik-Andreikin annotated by GM Naiditsch
Andreikin-Sivlder annotated by GM Naiditsch
Ivanchuk-Kramnik annotated by Chess Evolution GM Team
Kamsky-Mamedyarov annotated by GM Naiditsch

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 September 2013 )
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