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Saturday, April 28, 2012

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Gabriel,C - Akopian,V 

Germany vs Armenia match, Baden Baden, 1996

Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation


1 d4  d5  2 c4  c6  3 Nf3  Nf6  4 Nc3  dxc4  5  a4  Bf5  6 e3  e6  7  Bxc4  Bb4  8.  0-0  Nbd7


[8...0–0 9.Qe2 Nbd7 10.e4 Bg6 is the most common move order.] 9.Qe2 Bg6 10.e4 0–0 Transposing back to the main line. 11.Bd3 Bh5 12.e5 Nd5 13.Ne4 Diagram

White uses the e4-square for his knight but allows Black in return to keep control of d5. [The alternative plan 13.Nxd5 cxd5 14.Qe3 leads to a 'French Defence style' centre. Black's light-squared bishop being outside the pawn chain which is a plus for him, but even so Black will need to react to White's space advantage at some point, probably with a timely ...f7-f5. He can implement this almost immediately or redeploy his pieces first, e.g. 14...Be7 (or 14...h6 15.Ne1 f5 16.exf6 Qxf6 , B.Gelfand-J.Lautier, Horgen 1994) 15.Bd2 Nb8 16.Ne1 Bg6 17.f4 Nc6 18.g4 f5 , A.Beliavsky-Z.Ribli, Slovenia 2001, and in both cases Black can look forward to the middlegame with confidence. Another example of this pawn structure can be seen in the nexxt game.] 13...Be7 14.Ng3 Bg6 15.Bxg6 hxg6 Diagram

[The alternative 15...fxg6 would enable Black to have influence on the f-file and keep his king snug behind the pawn mass. However, the e6-pawn would then be weak and the doubled g-pawns will be devalued in the endgame.] 16.Ne4 With the threat of planting a knight on g5 followed by bringing the queen to the h-file. So it's imperative that Black opens the centre to create counterplay. 16...c5! 17.Rd1 [17.Nc3 is probably better, to eliminate the d5-knight, e.g. 17...Qb6 18.Nxd5 exd5 19.dxc5 Nxc5 20.Be3 Qe6 , Xu Jun-V.Akopian, Moscow Olympiad 1994 with chances for both sides. Black has achieved a fair share of the centre.; Instead, Hübner points out that White can't simply play for mate with 17.Nfg5? , because of 17...cxd4 18.Qg4 Nxe5 19.Qh4 Bxg5 20.Nxg5 Nf6 and White's bravado has just cost him two pawns.] 17...cxd4 18.Rxd4 Rc8 Diagram

White's attacking ideas are no longer realistic and he will have to pay for his weaknesses at e5, b3 and b4. 19.Be3 Qc7 20.Rc1 Qb8 The e-pawn cannot be defended. 21.Nc3 Nxc3 22.bxc3 Nxe5 23.Bf4 Nxf3+ 24.Qxf3 Qa8 Black has a clear extra pawn and only needs to play ...Rfd8 and ...b7-b6 to tidy up, so White must try and force the issue. 25.Rd7 Bf6 26.Qxb7 Qxb7 27.Rxb7 Rc4! The long forcing line has left Black on top. 28.Bd6 Diagram

[28.Be3 a5 29.Ra7 Rxa4 30.c4 might be a better chance.] 28...Rd8 29.Bb4 Bxc3! Exploiting the back rank. 30.Bxc3 Rxc3 31.Rcb1 a5 32.Ra7 Rcd3 33.g3 Rd1+ 34.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 35.Kg2 Rd5 36.Ra8+ Diagram

36...Kh7 37.h4 g5 Black exchanges his front g-pawn to improve his structure and free his king. 38.hxg5 Rxg5 39.Kf3 Rf5+ 40.Ke3 g5 41.Ra7? Giving too much ground on the kingside. [41.f3 was better.] 41...g4 42.Rc7 Kg6 43.Rc4 Kg5 44.Rc7 Kg6 45.Ke2 Re5+ 46.Kd3 f6 47.Ra7 f5 48.Kd2 Rc5 49.Ke3 Kf6 50.Kd3 Ke5 51.Ra6 Kd5 52.Ra8 Kd6 53.Ra6+ Ke5 54.Rb6 Kf6 55.Ra6 Rd5+ 56.Ke3 Re5+ 57.Kd3 Ke7 58.Ra7+ Kd6 59.Ra6+ Kd7 Bringing the king over to harass the opposing rook. 60.Kd4 Re4+ 61.Kc5 Rxa4 62.Ra7+ Ke8 63.Kd6 Re4 64.Rxa5 Kf7 Although all the pawns are on one small front, White's king is cut off and cannot help out as Black converts his extra pawn. 65.Ra2 Kf6 66.Rd2 f4 67.gxf4 Kf5 68.Ke7 Rxf4 69.Kd6 e5 70.Re2 Rd4+ 71.Ke7 e4 72.Ra2 e3 0–1