Nanjing Pearl Spring chess tournament live commentary
The round 8 game between Peter Svidler and Bu Xiangzhi begins at 8:00 am CET. The commentary will appear below the board.
More about Nanjing chess tournament
54. Bc6! – The final moves were played in mutual time trouble, but Svidler found all the best and allowed no chance after capturing d-pawn. Svidler scores second consecutive win and is already back to 50% score. Bu dropped to the second place tie with Levon Aronian, while Veselin Topalov assumed top position with a full point ahead of the competition. Once again, Topalov surpassed 2800 elo in Live Rating List!
42. h4! – It looks like the immediate 42. b5 Kc5 43. b6 Kb5 44. Bxd5 Bc8! leads only to a draw thanks to the wrong Bishop’s corner on h8. Black King is quick to reach the h8 square.
41…Bxf5 – Still, precise calculation is required. White has to be careful about the possibility of Black’s Bishop sacrifice for “a” and “b” pawns and wrong corner on h8 for the remaining h-pawn.
38…Kd6 – Bu admits the mistake but it is already too late. Svidler’s next 39. Rb7! gives him decisive advantage.
36…Bd7! – Black is holding equal thanks to the good counterplay against b4 and f4.
37…Ke7? – But this is a mistake. It was necessary to gain tempo against the Rook with 37…Kd6 and at the same time stay away from the 7th rank constellation. perhaps Bu wanted to avoid Ra7-a6+ and then g6 is hanging. But now 38. Bxa6 Rxb4 is met with 39. Bc8!
33. g4 – Taking f5 away from Black King
35. a5 – Losing some of the flexibility for future passer creation, but Svidler wants to block the target on a6, which is on the Bishop’s colour.
27…Nf8!? – Interesting decision, Bu is preparing to challenge d4 with Ne6 instead of going for counterplay with Nf6-e4.
28…Ne6 – Maybe slightly rushed as White will now obtain favourable endgame.
32. Rc7! – Better than 32. Bxa6 Bxa6 33. Rc6+ Kf5 34. Rxa6 Rb8, where Black regains the pawn and has equal Rook ending.
26. Ne2 – The follow-up after the exchange on c6 is to place the Knight on dominating d4 square. But on the other hand, Black will get access to equally important e4. Also, the exchange of one pair of Rooks eases Black’s position.
23. a4!? – With idea a5 and Na4, taking control over b6 and c5.
24. f4! – Excellent move which further seizes the dark squares.
25. Nxc6 – But here 25. Ne4! was much stronger, exactly for the reasons mentioned after 22…Kg7. The Knight is taboo as 25…dxe4 26. Nf5+ wins the Queen.
22…Kg7 – Was this really necessary? The King on g7 might provide White with various tactical motifs in the future. Even the prompt 23. Qg5 is unpleasant. Black should try to improve his pieces, for example transfer the Nb6 to some better place.
19. Nd4 – Blocking the d-pawn is one of White’s main strategical aims.
19…g6 – Of course, nobody likes to see enemy Knight on the scary f5 square. Kasparov was quoted as saying that attacking potential of Nf5 is usually worth a whole pawn. But perhaps more urgent was to contest e-file with 19…Nxd3 and 20…Rfe8.
20. Bf1 – Quickly played, but Svidler misses a fine 20. Qe2! which attacks a6 and pins Ne5 for the moment.
17…e5 – Bu Xiangzhi opted for radical clearance in the center. While his pieces will have more operational space, a small problem remains in the view of isolated pawn d5 which is closing Bb7. Nb6 is also in some offside.
14. Re2!? – Original plan for doubling on the c-file while White Queen is still on the starting position. Black can counter this with timely c5-c4 as contact between Ba3 and Be7 will provide the necessary tempo for convenient queenside deployment.
13. Re1 – Nice waiting move, which might prove to be useful later if White wants to push e4.
13…Be7 – Black is ready to finally castle and is close to equalising.
10…Nfd7 – Black wants to fortify c5 until he completes the development. Straightforward 10…cxd4 11. Bxf8 dxc3 12. Bc5 (to prevent d5-d4 and Nd5) gives some edge to White.
9…Nxb6 – Navara continued 9…cxd4, and 9…Qxb6 is also possible.
10. Ba3!? – Svidler is improving upon his own play. In the recent Russian Championship (which he won), he moved 10. 0-0 with Bb2 next.
9. b3!? – Gata Kamsky was the first to use this move, in his game against David Navara in Baku Grand Prix. The “main” continuation is 9. 0-0, as played by Kramnik and Gelfand.
8. Bd3 – Starting immediate fight for c5 square rarely brings fruit, 8. Na4 Nxb6 9. Bd2 Nxa4 10. Qxa4 Bd7 11. Ne5 c5 12. Nxd7 Qxd7, with equal play for Black.
7…Nbd7 – Black is not in rush to recapture the pawn, which won’t run away. It is much more important to attack White center and develop accordingly.
5…a6!? – But Chebanenko Slav is still possible! One difference to the mainstream line is that light-squared won’t reach g4, but on the other hand, Black queenside will be somewhat safer.
3. Nc3!? – A curious move order, designed with idea to avoid some of the lines in the Slav defence. For example, the extremely popular 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc4 dxc4 or 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bf5 will be eliminated. On the other hand, Black gets new options of playing immediate 3…dxc4, which brought success to GM Ivan Sokolov, or the older 3…e5!?
1. d4 – Svidler was a die-hard 1.e4 player, but with expansion of the Ruy Lopez Marshall attack and Petroff, he realised that his repertoire should be more flexible.
Good morning everyone, welcome to the Chessdom LIVE coverage of the Pearl Spring tournament.