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Sergey Karjakin vs Anish Giri
Tata Steel Group A (2012), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 3, Jan-16
French Defense: Tarrasch Variation. Chistyakov Defense (C07)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: In the French Tarrasch with 4...Qxd5, Giri chose a very rare move 5...Qxc5 (instead of capturing with the bishop). Karjakin replied by playing a novelty already on the sixth move (6.Ne4; the main move is 6.Ngf3).

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. dxc5 Qxc5 <6.Ne4> Novelty

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7. Nc3 Nf6 8. a3 Qa5 9. Bd3 a6 10. Bf4 Nbd7 11. Nf3 Nh5?! (11...b5) 12. b4 Qd8 13. Be3 Be7 14.O-O O-O 15. Ne4 a5 16. Rb1 axb4 17. axb4 Qc7 18. Nd4 g6 19. Nb5 Qb8 20. c4 <f5?!>

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In Karjakin's opinion, Giri made a mistake by playing 20...f5, weakening his kingside appreciably.

<jussu: If I were chess coach and two pupils of mine were playing the game Karjakin-Giri, I would ask Black "what is your knight doing on h5".>

Premium Chessgames Member

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Here, instead of 20...f5?, Giri should have played

20...Rd8! 21.Qb3 Nhf6

and if 22.Bg5? then Shipov recommends 22...Ng4

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Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Well, at least Karjakin won.

< “It was not an easy game,” >

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: “It was not an easy game. It is never easy to recover from a defeat, especially after losing twice at the start of a tournament. Giri had offered a helping hand by making the very bad move <20...f5> creating a lot of weaknesses and went from bad to worse sacrificing an exchange a few moves later". (Karjakin)

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<24...Qc7> From bad to worse (Giri sacrificed an exchange)!

Jan-16-12  Yafazuda: I think that Giri make a mistake atacking with the queen so early
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: <Yafazuda: I think that Giri make a mistake atacking with the queen so early>

The early queen sortie is not the cause of the defeat. Morozevich played the same line last year and won the game against Timofeev.

"In the opening, I got a playable, maybe a better position, nothing special". (Karjakin)

The decisive mistake was 20...f5 (creating a lot of weaknesses on the kingside, for example on e6).

Jan-16-12  wordfunph: "Finally I'm happy because after two losses it was difficult to recover but I managed to play what was a good game today. It was wasn't an easy win. OK the opening today, I got a playable, maybe a better position, nothing special, but then he played the very bad move f5 and he made a lot of weaknesses, on e6 for example, that was the most decisive moment probably in the game."

- GM Sergey Karjakin

Jan-16-12  kingfu: I think Giri started going downhill at 11...Nh5. Why not finish development with 11...Be7
Jan-17-12  achieve: Play looks a bit naive and childish, ANISH! ... I remember Short being invited a couple years back to come to Holland to play a training match with then 15 yr old Giri, and Giri played in one game so careless and against all principles of sound development, bringing Short almost at a loss for words to explain how a super talent like Giri could treat an Opening with such naivete and in a way disrespect and violate the fundamentals of opening play.

Maybe I can look up that game and comment.

Jan-17-12  achieve: This is the game I reference above:

Short vs A Giri, 2010

I'll never forget Short's utter awkwardness in explaining what the young rising star must have been thinking during the opening; and this game somehow reminds me a bit of that one, Giri optimistically but badly misjudging his position/opening.

Jan-17-12  Ulhumbrus: 27 Qd4! is the refutation of the exchange sacrifice and Giri may have overlooked it. If Black does not exchange queens, he loses the b6 pawn. If it were not for this, Giri would have a pawn and the bishop pair for the exchange.
Jan-17-12  Shams: <achieve> Nigel at a loss for words is a rare sight.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <cro777> Yes, the unusual 5...Qxc5 seems to be the start of Black's problems.

5.dxc5 seems to be gaining traction as an alternative to the main line of the Chistiakov, with 5.Nf3 cxd4 6.Bc4 Qd6 etc. It's been played several times by Tiviakov and Adams, among others.

The novelty 6.Ne4 is interesting - maybe inspired by the variation 5.Nf3 cxd4 6.Bc4 Qd6 7.0-0 a6(?) 8.Ne4, where the White Knight move is so strong that Black almost always prevents it with 7...Nf6.

The pseudo-Winawer with a Queen on b4 is amusing, but can't be good for Black: too many Queen moves, development delayed, along with the usual weaknesses normally seen in the Rubinstein and Burn variations, where Black gives up the centre with 3...dxe4.

The Knight return to c3 is also seen in the line 3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Qd5!? 5.Nc3 ... though here Black has the choice of a 'real' Winawer with 5...Bb4. This is the Katalymov variation -- he played it (as Black) against Keres in 1965, and little was heard of him again until 2001, 36 years later, when he resurfaced along with his pet variation.

Time to move on from the Chistiakov, I suspect. It was fun for a while - long forcing lines, good play for Black while keeping the e6 bastion intact - but lines like this one show how White can make the entire pawn centre vanish. Rarely desirable, if you play the French.

<Niels> Thanks for the Nigeliana. Masochist that I am, I was thinking of playing him again soon, and using the French again. With improvements.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: If this game is the 'Queen's Winawer' ... with a Black Queen doing a Bishop's job on b4 ... then compare the <Queen's Spanish>:

1.e4 e6 2.Qe2 e5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Qb5

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The first three moves by both sides have been played a few times: 2.Qe2 is Chigorin's anti-French device, and 2...e5!? is a particularly French way of saying "Bof! Pfui!" to it.

3.Nf3 Nc6 follows naturally, though the <Queen's King's Gambit> 3.f4 has also been seen.

I don't think anyone has been creative, or daft, enough to play 4.Qb5. Instead, the timorous 4.c3 is most common.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: I was wrong. Alex Wohl -- inveterate opening experimenter, and inventor of something dubbed the <Holey Wohly> by his friend Tony Miles -- has played the Queen's Spanish, against Garcia Santos at Malaga, 1998.

It went 1.e4 e6 2.Qe2 e5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Qb5!? d6 5.Bc4 Bd7 6.Qb3 Qf6 7.0-0 Na5 8.Qc3 Nxc4 9.Qxc4 0-0-0

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... with a surprisingly normal position, which White won in 14 moves, thus:

10.Nc3 Qe6 11.Nd5 Bc6 12.d3 h6 13.Qb3 f5?? 14.Nb6+

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Hmmm. Maybe this has possibilities. It's often useful to get into a "How crazy can you be?" contest with a certain kind of opponent. Ideally, the kind who'll try to outbid your last piece of craziness with a move like 13...f5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: <achieve: Play looks a bit naive and childish, ANISH!> This illustrates your point.

Anish was very much disappointed by his loss to Karjakin. "I was getting too optimistic at some point for just no reason, because I had a good score and he had a bad one (it was difficult to recover after two straight losses).

I just thought I'll push some pawns and everything is going to be fine, instead of just playing normal and basically equalising, so it was very disappointing". (Giri)

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The critical position.

Here, Anish should have continued solidly

20...Rd8! 21.Qb3 Nhf6

striving for equalization first.

Instead, he optimistically (naively?) chose a very committal move <20...f5> (allowing many weaknesses on his kingside). The idea of this move might be to make the pawn roller on the kingside work quite quickly.

20...f5 21.Nec3 f4 22.Bd4 e5 (22...f3 23.g3)

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But here White has 23.Nd5! and the idea backfires on Black.

In the game, after 20...f5 21.Nec3, Anish did not follow this idea and played 21...b6?!

Jan-18-12  achieve: <Dom>: <<Niels> Thanks for the Nigeliana.> I've been looking for the audio-clip, but thusfar haven't been successful... argh

<Masochist that I am, I was thinking of playing him again soon, and using the French again. With improvements.> Sounds tasty, <Dombe la Bombe>, and I mean it, I'd be very excited, but one perhaps silly question: do you already know you're playing Black?

Doh, I at first thought it was in a tourney, but you're talking a Simul, I assume... heh

Jan-18-12  kingfu: hey Dom, I remeber a long time ago you said you preferred 4....Qxd5 in the Tarrasch French . Now I am playing it!

I hate playing with isolated pawns.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <kingfu> - <I hate playing with isolated pawns.> I know exactly what you mean. And I don't much like any line with exd5 exd5, leaving no pawns on the e-file.

It's better to have a nice solid rock at e6. The light square Bishop can look after itself, and is rarely as 'bad' as people think.

I was just looking over the first of Lev Psakhis's *five* books on the French, and found this line in the intro:

"The French is like a proud woman who does not give her heart easily".

Vive la Dame.

Jan-18-12  Pedro Fernandez: <Yafazuda: I think that Giri make a mistake atacking with the queen so early> I think so too. In the first eight plies, the half ones were Queen's movement!

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