WC-match: day 4

By MI Wouter Sipma

Sensation! Today again it was not possible to watch the games while having dinner, because there was no evening session. GMI Alexander Georgiev equalized the score in the classical games! In a game in which GMI Alexander Schwarzman evaded risks even more than in the other games, Georgiev got a small advantage in a classical position. In the phase where Schwarzman had to find a secure draw, things definitively went wrong for him. I will comment on the game.

Classical game

Schwarzman,A. (Alexander) – Georgiev,A. (Alexander), Wch match 2013 0-2

1.34-29 19-23 2.40-34 14-19 3.45-40 17-21 4.33-28

So far the game is identical to the one they played in the Russian championship 2010, which Georgiev won, playing with the black pieces. In that game, he continued with  4. … 21-26 after which 5. 38-33 11-17 6. 42-38 20-25?! 7. 35-30?! 19-24?! 8. 30×19 23×14 was played, with an interesting attacking-vs-surrounding game. This time he chooses a different approach. It seems fairly calm for someone who necessarily has to win, but Georgiev probably considered this as the best strategy, after not achieving anything with creative moves in three earlier classical games.

4. … 20-24 5.29×20 15×24 6.38-33 10-14 7.42-38 5-10 8.50-45 10-15 9.31-26

Schwarzman used no less than 36 minutes for this move. The exact reason for this is not known by me. Apparently Schwarzman is very attached to precise play in the opening. In this game Schwarzman eventually doesn’t have enough time to play precise in the endgame. Therefore I don’t think it is recommended to spend so much time in the opening…

9. … 14-20 10.26×17 11×22 11.28×17 12×21 12.34-29 23×34 13.40×29 Diagram (I).

Schwarzman-Georgiev, classical game (I)

In my view Georgiev already has an easier position here. He developed both wings nicely or may do that later and he has a small tempo advantage, which helps also. White has one piece too much on his left wing and lacks a piece on 42, while black has an intact Drenth’s pyramid (2-3-4-8-9-13). Finally, white is a little bit constrained by his piece on 29; black, on the contrary, can choose each moment to change back by 20-25. Such details determine the value of the position which is better for black in this case. However black should guard himself against the 2-for-2 exchange using 28-22 and 29-23, if white goes to 28. Black’s next moves are based on that.

13. … 6-11(!) 14.32-27 21×32 15.37×28 11-17(!) 16.41-37 7-12 17.46-41 17-22 18.28×17 12×21 19.37-32 8-12 20.32-28 Diagram (II).

Schwarzman-Georgiev, classical game (II)

The next important moment in the game is here; white ‘threatens’ by 28-22, 29-23, after which black is left with the ugly 15-20-24 construction. Georgiev can prevent this by playing sharp via 12-17 and 18-22, but white’s position is still too nice for such an assault. Furthermore after 20. … 12-17 white can play the disturbing 21. 36-31!, after which 21. … 21-26(?) is met by 22. 35-30! 26×46 23. 30-25 46×40 24. 25×21 16×27 25. 45×34, favouring white. That’s why Georgiev chooses for what seems a bit passive option; in reality it is the appropriate move to maintain the little pressure on white’s position. After the game move black still has a prettier structure than white and also can use white’s piece on 28 in whichever way he wants.

20. … 20-25 21.29×20 25×14 22.38-32 1-7 23.41-37 12-17 24.43-38 18-22 25.37-31 7-12 26.35-30 15-20 27.30-25 20-24 28.47-42 12-18 29.45-40 18-23 30.31-27 22×31 31.36×27 Diagram (III).

Schwarzman-Georgiev, classical game (III)

The position turned to classics, but still black has more options: no piece on 18 (yet) and a better configuration on his right wing; 16-17-21 is a better arrangement than white’s loose edge piece on 25. It is tempting to play 31. … 14-20 32. 25×14 9×20 but it’s not sure whether black gains wing control this way. It seems white can retake the wing via 40-34, 44-40, 40-35 and 34-30 later on. Black won 4 temps with the 14-20×20 change, while white wins back 2 with the 34-30×30 change; the net change is +2 for black which isn’t advantageous in classics. Hence Georgiev’s move in the game is different.

31. … 13-18 32.40-34 3-8(!) 33.44-40 8-12 34.40-35 21-26 35.42-37 9-13 36.34-30 17-21 (Diagram IV).

Schwarzman-Georgiev, classical game (IV)

The position is symmetrical now, except for the pieces on 48 and 4. However black has a small advantage, because white is to move. Besides, the piece on 4 is placed significantly better than 48; that is because 48 may stay behind in some variations, because white can’t develop well (after the 39-34, 34-29 exchange) via 39-34, 48-43, 43-39. The piece on 4 can still make two moves, to 15. This is also the reason for the exclamation mark after 32. … 3-8; the piece on 2 may always make two moves to 11.

37.39-34 12-17 38.34-29 23×34 39.30×39 17-22 40.28×17 21×12 41.33-28 2-7 42.39-33

Schwarzman-Georgiev, classical game (V)

A remarkable move. Often it’s better to avoid square 33 and to transfer 49 to 34 firstly and then to think again. But maybe this would come down to the variation in the game still. Besides, the same can be said about black’s 37th move; after  37. … 4-10 38. 34-29 23×34 39. 30×39 18-23 black kan avoid square 18 for a longer time, while white keeps a piece on 33. But similarly white can do other things and it might come down to the game variation also.

42. … 18-23 43.48-43 7-11 44.43-39 11-17 45.49-44 17-21 46.44-40 Diagram (V).

The position is close to the ultimate clash. Black has advantage because of the open square 18. Georgiev spots his best chance:

46. … 4-10(!) 47.40-34 12-17(!) 48.34-30 23-29(!) Diagram (VI).

Schwarzman-Georgiev, classical game (VI)

This classical position occured six times before (six draws), but only once one of the main relevant variations appeared on the board. White has two options (however even 39-34 might be a draw also). Besides the game variation also 49. 27-22 10-15 50. 22×11 16×7 51. 28-22 15-20! (this move hasn’t been played by anyone) 52. 32-28 7-12 53. 37-32! (22-17 is very dangerous due to the 2-for-2 using 13-18!, 18-22, 21×3) 26-31 54. 22-17! and black cannot win. This is actually the most secure draw and it is remarkable Schwarzman didn’t choose for this after 6 minutes of thinking. Apparently he wasn’t able to make a totally controlled decision under this small time pressure…

49.28-22(?) 17×28 50.32×34 21×41 51.34-29 14-20!

Using this beautiful maneuver Georgievs keeps chances to win; the position is still a draw. On this moment Presman tried 41-47 and 16-21 against Korchov (Olympiad 1992), but it gave little chances.

52.25×5 41-46 53.5×23 46×19 54.29×20 26-31 Diagram (VII).

Schwarzman-Georgiev, classical game (VII)

So far also the game between Hijken DTC player Domchev and Provoost in the Nijmegen Open 2008 proceeded. The difference with the situation of Schwarzman is that Domchev reached 50 moves after just one move and regained 30 minutes on his clock. Schwarzman didn’t have this luxury and had to try to defend himself here with 1 minute per move. Domchev reached a narrow draw after  55. 30-25 31-36 56. 20-15 19-5 57. 35-30 36-41 58. 33-28! 5×34 59. 30×39 41-46 60. 39-33 13-18 61. 25-20 and black comes just one move short for the motive win after  ’18-27’, 33-28, 46×25, 15-10, 25-9!, 10-4, 9-22! In the game Schwarzman doesn’t make it.

55.39-34(?) (better is Domchev’s defense) 31-36 56.34-29 19-5 57.29-24?

The decisive mistake. Now black gets a second king on the main diagonal and white is without a chance. It’s hard to explain why Schwarzman didn’t play 20-15 and 33-28 after which he will at least get a king; moreover it still is a draw position in that case.

57. … 36-41 58.30-25 41-46! 59.20-15 16-21 60.33-29 21-26 61.24-20 26-31 62.29-24 31-36 and here Schwarzman surrendered. All in all a nice game by Georgiev, who had some little pressure all game, to which Schwarzman eventually succumbed. It should be said, that Schwarzman, especially the position after 48 moves, actually shouldn’t have lost this position, considering his game skill. But this also applies for yesterday’s game, in which Georgiev blunders in a draw position! Apparently the heavy match format takes its toll from the players…

On the site of the match there are some nice videos of interviews with the players. There also are some photos to get a sense of the playing conditions.

After this victory the match is totally open again! Schwarzman still has a small lead because of his blitz victory on the first day, but it will be hard for him to process today’s loss. That’s why the questions for tomorrow are: will Georgiev push trough? Or will Scharzman be able to recover? We will see tomorrow. The games will be viewable at 9 o’clock via http://www.wcmm2013.fmjd.org/.

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