The third round of this strong event brought us some interesting battles.
The rook on the third rank.
Here black continued with 12…Nxc3 13.Rxc3 Nb4. Black’s idea is to play b5 followed by Nd5 and Bb7. The game continued 14.a3 b5 15.Bb3 Nd5 16.Rd3! Deja Vu Not long ago we wrote here an article (Rocket Rooks) featuring a game by Sergei Zhigalko in which he played Rd3-Re3-Re5-Rh5-Rh3. He applies the same idea in this position, keeping the rook on the third rank will be useful on the attack against the black king.
The game continued 16…Bb7 17.Re1 Development completed. White’s idea is to play Nd4 followed by Qg4 with great pressure on the kingside, the rook on d3 can join the attack later to h3 or g3. Now black commited a serious mistake 17…Qc7? A typical square for the queen in this type of positions,however here it loses control over the g5 square allowing white to start a decisive attack. 18.Ng5! A very strong move, black is suffering.
Black faces some serious trouble, the game ended quickly after 18…Rad8? (18..g6 / 18..Bxg5 and pray for the best) 19.Qg4 Nb6 20.Rg3 (threatening Nxe6 followed by Qg7#) 20…g6 21.Qh3 h5
Forcing beyong equality. Fortune favors the brave!
GM Eduardo Iturrizaga is facing a perpetual check against his rook by 30…Qc3 31.Rb1 Qc2..etc the ”d” pawn offers black just enough counterplay. What to do? After repeating moves a couple times after 33.Rb1 Qc2 Eduardo went for the win with 34.Rb3!? a4 35.Rb8! d3 36.Bxd3 Qxd3 37.Qc5!
Black’s extra piece is pinned and he will need some extra time to untangle himself out of this. However white does not have enough firepower to win, there are no threats. After the forced 37…Qa6 White went 38.h4!? White wants to open new fronts on black’s king. It’s understandable that white was in ”all or nothing” mode. 38.e5 Re8 39.Qc7 Rf8 with a draw was also possible.
38…Re8 39.h5?! Eduardo keeps on pushing for the win although this now is risky 39…gxh5?! (39…Bd7!) 40.d6 h6 41.Qxh5 the last ”bluff”
In the diagram above black can play 41…Kg7! with a decisive advantage as white does not have any threat, or even check. In the game he blundered with 41…Qxd6?? 42.Rxc8! followed by 43.Qg4+ and Qxc8 with an extra pawn for white that later he converted into a win.
The game Petrosyan, Manuel (2427) – Kovalenko, Igor (2661) was very interesting and we suggest our readers to have a look, it was 140 moves long!
First 10 tables of Round 4: