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GM Fressinet - GM Blomqvist annotated by GM Balogh

User Rating: / 4
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 22 May 2014
By GM Csaba Balogh, Hungary
Best FIDE rating: 2672

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The big difference between the two players was telling in this game, but it was still a spectacular win by Fressinet.

View the game or check out the "text + diagrams" version below.

Fressinet,L (2711) - Blomquist,E (2492) [D11]
Malmo, 15.05.2014
[Balogh Csaba]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6

4.g3!? From time to time we meet this surprise weapon against the Slav defence on the highest level. White would like to play a Catalan structure, but of course having played c6 instead of e6 gives Black many extra options. First of all, he can develop his c8 bishop to f5 or g4 followed by e6, with a very solid structure. He can play g6, which transposes to the g3 Gruenfeld, where the c6d5 setup is considered to be the most solid and Black can also take on c4 with the idea to protect the extra pawn with b5.
4...dxc4 5.Bg2 Bf5
There were many games on this move, but strong players play differently. [5...b5!? 6.Ne5 Bb7 7.00 e6 was played by Shirov recently.; To me the most logical development seems to be 5...Nbd7!? 6.Qc2 Nb6 7.Nbd2 g6 8.00 Bg7 9.Nxc4 Bf5 10.Qc3 Nxc4 11.Qxc4 00 which happened in the Grischuk-Aronian 2013 game and in both cases we reach a playable position for both sides.]
After developing the bishop to f5, the plan of b5 makes no sense, because the c6 pawn cannot be supported with Bb7 anymore. White could play Ne5 or a4 with excellent prospects on the h1a8 diagonal.
6...Nbd7 7.Na3!
White wins the pawn back, but it matters a lot under which circumstances. The way Black plays, White just gets a huge advantage...
7...Qa5? This plan of driving the queen to a6 exists and is known from different lines, but in this particular situation it is pointless, as it gives White a tempo and the queen just gets misplaced... [7...Nb6 should definitely have been played. White wins back the c4 pawn anyway and he has some space advantage, but in such situations the trade of the pieces helps to the side who is lacking space. 8.Ne5 e6 9.Naxc4 Nxc4 10.Nxc4 White is slightly better, but of course this is just the beginning of the game. Black might try to exchange the strong bishop on g2 as well with Be4...; 7...b5 was bad in view of 8.Ne5! winning back the c6 pawn and then the b5 pawn also becomes vulnerable. 8...Nxe5 9.dxe5 Nd5 moves into the e4 fork, while 9...Ne4 10.Qc2! Qd5 11.Bf4 followed by Rd1 is also bad for Black.]
8.Nxc4 Qa6 9.b3 g6?
Another unnat ural move, which takes the important g6 square away from the f5 bishop. Black soon faces real problems because of it. [On 9...e6 Black was probably afraid of 10.Bf4 with the threat of Nd6. White grabs the bishop pair and also prevents Black form castling, but he could still play 10...Nb6! 11.Nfe5! White has some advantage, but Black should have played like this anyway.(The tempting 11.Nd6+ is wrong because of 11...Bxd6 12.Bxd6 Ne4! with the double threat on d6 and Nc3. 13.Bb4 Nd5! again with tempo and Nc3 is also threatening.) ]
[10.Ng5!? was a strong alternative, directly showing the misplacement of the f5 bishop by threatening with e4. 10...h6 11.e4! hxg5 (11...Bg4 is even worse. 12.f3 hxg5 13.fxg4 and the g5 is going to fall and e5e6 is also in the air.) 12.exf5 gxf5 13.Bxg5 The change of the pawn formation clearly favors White. The king on e8 becomes vulnerable and the opening of the position strengthens the two bishops.]
[If Black tries to avoid the things that happened in the game with 10...Be4 White gets an advantage anyway with 11.Ncd2 Bd5 12.Re1!
and the threat of e4 forces Black to give up his bishop on d5.]
Simple and strong! White would like to occupy the center with e4.
11...00 [11...Nb6 could have been met by 12.e4 Be6

I like this move a lot positionally. White has space advantage, while the black pieces in front of their pawns have no coordination and target, therefore White keeps all his pieces on board.]
12.e4 Bg4 13.Qc2 Ne8
I am not sure about the point of this move, but White has already achieved a pleasant edge. [Even after some more logical move like 13...Nb6 White is better after 14.Ne3 Be2 15.Rfe1 Bd3 16.Qc3 The bishop is nice on d3, but actually it does not do anything and Black only has problems with defending it.]
Improving the pieces.
[Probably the original idea of Ne8 was 14...Nd6 but White wins material after 15.h3 Be6 16.d5! cxd5 (16...Bxb2 17.Qxb2 cxd5 18.exd5 Bf5 19.g4 Bd3 20.Rxe7+) 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.exd5 Bf5 19.Qc3++ and g4 or or Rxe7 wins next move.]
Another strong positional move, which forces Black to make a decisive weakening on the queenside in order to save the queen from the pin. [However White had a nice direct win 15.Ne3! Be6 (15...Be2

16.Nd5!!+ is the point and White wins material!) 16.d5! Using the pin on the c-file, White traps the bishop. 16...Bxb2 17.dxe6! Bxa1 18.exd7 Rd8 19.dxe8Q A nice career for the d-pawn, he took 3 minor pieces in a row... 19...Rfxe8 20.Rxa1+]
15...b5 16.Ne3 Be6

Very well played. White is going to take on b5, luring the c-pawn away and it will lead to even bigger domination in the center.
17...Qb7 18.axb5 cxb5 19.Qb1
White is ready to advance his central pawns. The advantage is growing with each move.
[If Black tries to go to the other direction with his bishop 19...f6 20.d5 Bf7 21.b4! White will play Nb3 next, with a decisive positional advantage. Black is just totally doomed.]
20.d5 Bd7

21.e5 What a very nice position from White's point of view. The entire black army is paralyzed, one of his pieces is worse than the other. [White could also have played 21.Bxg7 Nxg7 22.b4!+ again with the idea of Nb3c5. White is just winning.]
21...e6 22.Bd4!
As we will see, Fressinet wants to occupy the c5 square with his knight, but not with the b4 Nb3 plan as I suggested in the previous moves, but he supports it with the bishop and also wins a tempo by attacking the a7 pawn. [22.d6 f6 gives some small hope for Black, but of course his position is objectively still bad. For instance 23.exf6 Nxf6 24.b4 and Nb3 again next move.]
22...a6 23.dxe6 fxe6
[23...Bxe6 24.Ne4 is equally bad for Black.]
24.Ne4 Bc6
[On 24...Nc6 25.Nc5 wins the a6 pawn with tempo. 25...Qc7 26.Nxa6 Qd8 27.Qb2!+ White was able to save his important e5 pawn.]
[25.Bh3! was actual ly even stronger and it is not easy to protect the e6 pawn. Black is in trouble in all the lines. 25...Bxe4 loses to (25...Qe7 26.Bc5+; 25...Qd7 26.Ng5 Qxd4 27.Bxe6+ Kh8 28.Bxc8+; 25...Qf7 26.f4!+ Threatening Ng5.) 26.Bxe6+ Kh8 27.Bxc8!+ Counterattacking the queen and White has a decisive material advantage.]
[25...Bxe4 26.Bxe4 Qc7 27.Ng4 also looks terrible for Black from a positional point of view.]
26.Bc5 Bxe5
A desperate attempt to confuse the opponent, but Fressinet calculates well and finds the winning continuation. [26...Rf7 loses to 27.Ng5 Bxg2 28.Nxg2+ and the e6 pawn or the exchange falls.; 26...Rf5 could have been the best practical chance to complicate the matters a bit, although after 27.f4!+ White is winning positionally. He just plays b4 next and consolidates the c5 square. Black is paralyzed.(27.Nxf5 exf5 is unclear.) ]
27.Bxf8 Bxa1

The most convincing way to victory. White wins in all the concrete lines:
28...Qf7 29.Ng4!
Not the only way to win, but the most pretty one. Some knight tango at the end of the game.
[29...Kxf8 30.Nxe6+ Kg8 31.Nh6++]
[Black resigned in view of 30.Nxe6 Qa3 (30...Qd6 31.Nh6+ Kh8 32.Qxa1++) 31.Nh6+ Kh8 Black made some wrong decisions in the opening stage of the game and his position just fell apart.


More annotated games, tactics & endgame puzzles, surprise section/study can be found in the weekly Chess Evolution "Top GM Secrets" bulletin. 25 pages total. Subscribe!

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 May 2014 )
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