Skip Navigation Links
MACA Chess Horizons Magazine Article
 Ivanov Annotates
 GM Alexander Ivanov
  April 2011
White: Alexander Shabalov (2658)
Black: GM Alexander Ivanov (2605)
[E30] Nimzo-Indian
Atlantic City International,
Atlantic City NJ (6), 19.12.2010
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Bg5 The so called Leningrad variation of Nimzo-indian. 
4...c5 5.d5 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 d6 7.e3 Qe7 This turns out to be the most common move here [7...e5 8.f3!?] Now 8.f3 is pointless because after 8...h6 White has to exchange his Bg5 
8.Nf3 Another move order is [8.Bd3 Nbd7 and now 9.Nf3 or (9.Ne2)]
8...Nbd7 9.Nd2 0-0 Going for the Pc3 is dubious: [9...exd5?! 10.cxd5 Qe5?! 11.Bf4 Qxc3 (11...Qxd5 12.Nc4 Qxd1+ 13.Rxd1 d5 14.Nd6+ Kf8 15.Nb5+/= and Black can't keep his extra Pawn) 12.Rc1 Qa5 13.Bxd6+/= Ne4 14.Bc7! Qxc7 15.Nxe4+/=]
10.Bh4 Now if [10.Be2 then 10...exd5 11.cxd5 Qe5 is playable 12.Bxf6 Nxf6 13.c4 Bf5= With his last move White avoids the exchange of his dark squared Bishop]
10...b6 11.Be2 Bb7 12.e4 During the game I was more concerned about [12.Ne4 still, Black is OK here 12...exd5 13.Nxf6+ Nxf6 14.cxd5 Bxd5 15.Bf3 (15.Bxf6? Qxf6 16.Qxd5? Qxc3+-+ I didn't see this) 15...Bxf3 16.Qxf3=/+]
12...Rfe8?! It was more logical to try to get rid of the pin by [12...Ne5 13.0-0 Ng6 for example 14.Bg3 e5 15.a4!? Nf4 16.a5 Rfb8!?=]
13.0-0 Ne5 I was planning to win the Pawn [13...exd5 14.cxd5 Bxd5 but then didn't like 15.Bb5 Be6 16.f4!+/=]
14.Re1 Ng6 15.Bg3 e5 16.Bd3 h5 17.h3 [17.Nf3!? Nh7 18.h4 Bc8 19.Bc2 Bg4 20.Qd3 Qf6 21.Ba4 Re7 with counterplay]
17...h4 18.Bh2 Bc8 19.Nf1 Nf4 20.Bc2 Bd7 21.Ne3 If White changes the Pawn structure by [21.Bxf4 exf4 22.Nd2 then according to the computer the position is still about equal after 22...Nh7 23.e5!? dxe5 24.Bxh7+ Kxh7 25.Qh5+ Kg8 26.Ne4 (with compensation for the sacrifced material) 26...Rad8!? 27.Ng5 (27.Rad1 Bc8) 27...Bf5 28.Rxe5 Qxe5 29.Qxf7+ Kh8 30.Qh5+ Kg8= Now with the Knight on f4 Black has no reasons for concern not counting the approaching time trouble ( the time control was 1 hour 55 minutes per game with 5 second delay ). For the next ten moves both sides are maneuvering.]
21...g6 22.Kh1 Nh7 23.Rg1 Kg7 24.Qd2 Nf6 25.Rae1 N6h5 26.Bd1 Rh8 27.Nf1 Raf8 28.Qe3 Qd8 [28...f6=; 28...f5 29.exf5 g5 unclear]
29.Nd2 Rh7 [29...Qe7]
30.Bxh5 Nxh5 31.f4 I don't see any other active play for White who had 19min left on the clock at this point.
31...f6 Black had 11m left here. With the time trouble approaching White's next move allows the following exchange, which is objectively too risky, but who can stay objective with a few minutes left on the clock in a last round game with a sudden death time control?
32.Nf3? [32.Rgf1 exf4 33.Bxf4 Nxf4 34.Qxf4 Qe7=]
32...Ng3+ Black could play it safe here [32...exf4 33.Bxf4 Nxf4 34.Qxf4 Qe7 and if 35.Nxh4?! (35.Qe3=) 35...Rfh8 36.Nf3 g5! 37.Qe3 g4 38.Nd2=/+ but being short on time I got carried away too, besides, 32...Ng3+ is the best move in the position!]
33.Bxg3 hxg3 34.Rgf1 Qc8?! [34...Bxh3! 35.gxh3 Qd7 36.Ng1 (36.f5 gxf5 37.Ng1 f4 38.Qe2 Rfh8 39.Qg2-/+) 36...Rxh3+ 37.Kg2 Rfh8 38.f5 Rh2+ 39.Kxg3 I calculated the line up to this point, but didn't have time to see the next move which wins: 39...Kg8!-+ Rybka]
35.Ng1 The following 'computer tactics' are hard to see for a human player in time trouble [35.fxe5 dxe5 (35...Bxh3? 36.exf6+ Rxf6 37.Ng5+-) 36.Kg1 (36.Ng1? Bxh3-+) 36...Bxh3 37.Ng5! fxg5 38.Qxg3! Re8 39.gxh3 Rxh3 40.Qxg5 Qd8-/+] 
35...Rfh8? Black errs on the side of caution [35...Bxh3 36.gxh3 Rxh3+ 37.Kg2 Rh2+ 38.Kxg3 (38.Kf3 Rfh8) 38...Rfh8 39.f5 Qg8!- + and if 40.Rf2 gxf5! To find Black's last 2 moves was beyond me]
36.f5 Now, as they say, all three results are possible [36.Rf3!? Bxh3 37.gxh3 Rxh3+ 38.Kg2 Rh2+ 39.Kf1 Qg4 40.Rxg3 Qxf4+ 41.Qxf4 exf4 42.Rg2 g5 with compensation for the sacrificed material] 
36...gxf5 37.Qxg3+ Kf7 38.exf5 Rg7 [38...Bxf5?! 39.Qf3 Bxh3 40.Qxf6+ Ke8 41.Qg6+ Kd8 42.Qxd6+ Bd7+ 43.Nh3+/=]
39.Qe3 [39.Qf3 Qg8!? 40.Qe2 Rg5=/+]
39...Qa6 [39...Rg4!? 40.Nf3 Rxc4=/+ (40...Bxf5=/+) ] 
40.Qe2 [40.Qe4!? Qxa2 (40...Rg3!? 41.Ne2 Rg5 42.Kh2 Rgh5 43.Qg4 R8h6 44.Ng3 Rh4; 40...Qa3!?) 41.Ra1 Rh4!? 42.Rxa2 Rxe4 43.Rxa7 Kf8=]
40...Rh4 41.Nf3 Rxc4 42.Nd2 Ra4 43.c4 [43.Qh5+ Ke7 44.Ne4? Rxe4-+ This line was one of the few which I saw. Generally, when short on time, you see the lines which work for you first. Otherwise it would be even worse.]
43...Rxa2 44.Qh5+ Ke7
45.Ne4?? White gets down to the last 3 minutes and blunders first, obviously, forgetting about the Black Rook on a2. Strangely, the computer says this highly unbalanced position is about equal [45.Qh6 Rf7 46.Ne4 Qxc4 47.Nxf6 (47.Qg6!?) 47...Qc2! (47...Rxf6? 48.Qg7+ Rf7 49.f6++-) 48.Rg1 (48.Ng8+ Kd8 49.Qg5+ (49.Qg6? Kc7!-+) 49...Kc7 50.Nh6 Rh7 51.Ra1!=/+) 48...Bxf5 49.Ng8+ Kd7 50.Ref1 Ra3 (50...Kc7!? unclear) 51.Nf6+ Kc7 (51...Kc8!?) 52.Ne8+ Kd7 and according to the computer White has no more than a perpetual]
45...Rgxg2 0-1