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GM Karjakin - GM Khenkin annotated by GM Balogh

User Rating: / 5
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 15 December 2013
By GM Csaba Balogh, Hungary, FIDE 2648

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A convincing outplaying of the Berlin defence is a tough challenge nowadays.

Karjakin,Sergey (2756) - Khenkin,Igor (2612) [C65]

World Teams 2013 Antalya TUR (5.3), 30.11.2013

[Balogh Csaba]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3
A logical approach. Karjakin as the stronger player prefers to keep all pieces on the board instead of heading for the Berlin endgame after 4.00.
4...Bc5 5.c3
[On 5.00 Black has the additional option to play 5...Nd4 which is why the text move is considered to be more precise.]
5...00 6.00 d6 [I like the alternative of Black to play 6...Re8 as Carlsen also played against Anand in the WCC match.] 7.h3

7...Ne7 Black is following the latest fashion. He transfers his knight to g6, where it is clearly better placed. Later on he can more easily achieve the central break with d5. Karjakin introduces a novelty here.
8.Ba4!? This typical move was not played yet in this position. The idea is to avoid the trade of the bishops after Bd7. He is now ready to play Bc2 in this case. [8.d4 was mainly played before. 8...Bb6 And here are some concrete problems, for example that after 9.Re1 (9.Nbd2 exd4 10.cxd4 d5 11.e5 Ne4 12.Bd3 Bf5 13.Qe2 Nc6! is also fine for Black as Kramnik pointed out!) 9...d5! Black equalizes.]
8...Ng6 9.d4
As they say, the idea behind playing d2d3 in the Spanish is to play d3d4 in better circumstances. White needs to fight for the center if he wants to get the initiative.
9...Bb6 10.Re1
White protects the e4 pawn and he is ready to execute the standard maneuver of the b1 knight to g3. 10...Bd7 Khenkin tries to invent some unusual handling of the position, which turned out to be not a good idea after all... [It is important that Black cannot solve the opening problems directly by playing 10...d5 because of 11.exd5 exd4 12.c4!
and the d4 pawn is a weakness.; Black should play 10...c6 11.Nbd2 Re8 12.Bc2 White needs to overprotect the e4 pawn in order to continue the journey of the knight. 12...h6 13.Nf1 Nh5 Standard play for both sides with mutual chances.]
11.Bc2 Karjakin manages to directly show the idea of his novelty 8.Ba4. White needs this bishop to keep realistic chances for an advantage.
11...Re8 12.Nbd2 h6 Another move that I don't like.

[It was more circumspect to free a square for the b6 bishop against the Nc4 idea with 12...a6 although White has an easier game anyway after 13.Nf1 and Ng3 next.]
White gets the advantage of the bishop pair. Additionally he has the unpleasant positional idea of playing a4 before taking the bishop. In this case he is threatening with a5, which could only be prevented by playing a6, but then Black is forced to damage his pawn structure by recapturing on b6 with the c-pawn.
Black fights against the a4 move by trying to force the take on b6, but Karjakin finds a clever solution to refresh the same threat!
14.Nfd2! After this excellent positional move, Black ends up in a worse position as he is unable to parry the a4 idea. 14...exd4 This was the only way to force the take on b6, but it has the drawback that Black gives up the center.
15.Nxb6 axb6 16.cxd4
White has achieved what he wanted. He has the bishop pair and a strong center against which Black is unable to create enough pressure.
16...c5 [16...d5 would have been met by 17.e5 and White is also clearly better here.]
[17.Nf3!? was also possible to keep the tension. White can push d5 whenever he wants, but of course the text move is also fine.]
17...Nd7 Black tries to find counterplay on the dark squares, but he really misses his dark squared bishop.
The next step for White is to develop the c1 bishop to the a1h8 diagonal. Black tries to fight against it.

19.Bd2! Another strong move! White reaches the c3 square with the bishop, using the small tactical trick that the b2 pawn cannot be taken because of Rb1 and the b5 bishop is lost.
19...Nf4 20.Kh2! A strong prophylactic move! After the direct Bc3, Black could have played Qg6 with the double threat of Qxg2 and Nxh3. However after getting the king to h2, in the line Bc3 Qg6 White simply plays g3 and Black is forced to retreat as the h3 pawn is protected.
A clear sign of despair... [20...Nd3? would have dropped a piece after 21.Bxd3 Bxd3 22.Bc3 Qf4+ 23.g3+; 20...Bd3!? was the best attempt, although White gets a significant positional advantage after 21.Bc3 Bxc2 22.Qxc2 White is better on both sides. He can either play a4 followed by transferring his knight to c4 or he can initiate a central rush with g3, Nd2, f4 and later on e5.]
21.Rxe2 Nxe2 22.Qxe2 Qxb2
Black is doing fine materially by taking two pawns, but his position now has serious damages.

23.Qd1! Defending both hanging pieces and Bf4 is coming next with strong pressure on the d6 pawn.
23...Rxa2 24.Rxa2 Qxa2 25.Bf4! Nf6 [The black pawns are too slow on the queenside: 25...b5 26.Bxd6 c4 27.e5+ White has a crushing attack.; 25...Ne5 opens the way for the passed d-pawn. The most effective is to play 26.Bxe5 dxe5 27.Bb3! Qxf2 28.d6!+ followed by Qd5. Black cannot hold the multiple threats connected to the d-pawn.] 26.Bxd6 Rxe4 This is equal to resignation. [26...Nxe4 does not change much as White wins after 27.Bxe4 Rxe4 28.Bc7!+ and the d-pawn runs.]
27.Bxe4 Nxe4 28.Bg3
White has an extra piece and he still owns the d-pawn.
28...Nc3 29.Qe1!
[Black resigned in view of 29.Qe1 Nxd5 30.Qe8+ Kh7 31.Qxf7+]  


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Last Updated ( Monday, 30 December 2013 )
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