With some free time this weekend, I was looking at the list of live games on the TWIC site and noticed this gem from the Bundesliga. It’s a game between GM Chuchelov (2565) and GM Shirov (2749). Of course Shirov is the favorite in such a matchup, but this game was still very impressive I thought.
2rq1rk1/pb1n1ppp/1ppbpn2/3p4/2PP4/1PN1PN2/PBQ1BPPP/3R1RK1 b - - 0 11)
This is a topical position from the Anti-Meran variations of the Semi-Slav. In fact, I’m pretty sure I had this position a few times over my Fellowship years. Unlike Shirov, though, I was hesitant to open the center up with my queen still on d8 and so I think I would play 11…Qe7 here.
The Melody Amber rapid/blindfold tournament is underway in Monaco, and it’s a pretty stacked field: 11 of the top 15 in the world, plus Anish Giri (no scrub himself), are playing. So far Aronian has proved to be the most slippery player, escaping from worse/lost positions in all 4 of his games to score 3.5 points!
As I tuned into the event yesterday, I saw Kramnik played 38…Bf5 to reach the position in the diagram below:
4rnk1/pp2r1p1/q4p1p/P2p1b2/2pPP3/2P2PB1/2B2QPP/RR5K w - - 0 39)
The move made some sense – Black has to do something about White’s slowly advancing center, and …Bf5 forces a decision with the e-pawn. I didn’t have much time to think about what was going on when Grischuk played 39.exf5!!.
But wait, didn’t Kramnik stop that with the threat of …Re2?