Monday, April 26, 2010


( GM Megaranto vs. GM So in 5th round action of the AIC 2010 )

GM Wesley So played the Sicilian Najdorf Poison pawn variation as black for the first time with relative ease and secured the draw after 32 moves against GM Gopal of India. GM So was obviously well prepared for the game as he blitzed his opening moves. The game followed the game of GM So vs. Wu Xibin played at the 2008 Dubai Open where GM So emerged as Champion. GM So played the white pieces at that time and emerged the winner after 54 moves.

GM Gopal was the first to deviate from that game by playing 26. Nd6 instead of the 26.Nc5 played by GM So. The truce was agreed after 32 moves with the position basically equal but with GM So way ahead in the clock. Next for GM So is GM Ni Hua whom Wesley already defeated during the last Olympiad.

[Event "AIC 2010"]
[Site "Subic"]
[Date "2010.04.26"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Geetha, Narayanan Gopal"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "B97"]

As analyzed by GM Glenn Bordonada with additional inputs by CAISSA'S FATHER

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qb6 8. Qd2 Qxb2

The poison pawn variation of the Sicilian Najdorf. One of the most critical and thoroughly analyzed line of the Sicilian Defense.

9. Rb1 Qa3 10. e5 dxe5 11. fxe5 Nfd7 12. Ne4 12... h6 13. Bh4 Qxa2 14. Rd1 Qd5 15. Qe3 Qxe5 16. Be2 Bc5 17. Bg3 Bxd4 18. Rxd4 Qa5+ 19. Rd2 O-O 20. Bd6 Nc6 21. O-O Nce5 22. Bxf8 Nxf8 23. Nd6 Bd7 24. Nxb7 Qb4 25. Nd6!?

GM Gopal is the first to deviate from the game of GM Wesley So himself (Elo 2540) vs. Wu Xibin (Elo 2351), 10th Dubai Open April 7, 2008 where GM So essayed the move 25. Nc5. The game continued with 25... Bb5 26. c3 Ng4 27. cxb4 Nxe3 28. Ra1 Rb8 29. Nxa6 Bxa6 30. Rxa6 Nd5 31. b5 Nd7 32. Ra7 N7b6 33. Rc2 g6 34. Bf3 Kg7 35. g3 h5 36. Bg2 Nc8 37. Rd7 Ncb6 38. Ra7 Nc8 39. Ra5 Nd6 40. Bf1 Rb7 41. Rb2 Nc8 42. Bg2 Ncb6 43. Ra6 Rc7 44. Bxd5 Nxd5 45. Kf2 Rb7 46. Rc6 Kf6 47. Ke2 Nc7 48. b6 Nd5 49. Kd3 Ke7 50. Kd4 Kd7 51. Kc5 Nc3 52. Rd2+ Ke8 53. Rc8+ Ke7 54. Kc6 1-0


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White has a slight edge because of his material advantage. Nothing to worry about yet. Black's possible counterplay lies in his passed a-pawn. But first he must coordinate his minor pieces.

26. Rd4 Qa5 27. Nc4 Nxc4 28. Rxc4 with two possibilities:

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a) 28... Bb5 29. Rcf4 Bxe2 30. Qxe2 f6 31. Rg4 =.

b) 28... Bd5 29. Rc5 Qb6 30. Rc3 =.

28... Bb5 29. Rcf4 Bxe2 30. Qxe2 f6

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At this point GM So offered a draw which his opponent declined.

Possible continuation: 31. Rg4 Qb6+ 32. Qf2 Qxf2+ 33. Rxf2 Kf7 34. Ra4 Nd7 35. Ra5 Ra7 36. c4

Still equal but not dead equal. Black has a Knight and two pawns vs. White's Rook. Parang gladiators. Magkaiba ang armas. Kaya baka may manalo dito.

31. Rd1 Rc8

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Nothing much is happening. There are no longer any hidden mines. Almost any move, short of giving up material, is possible and the game is still equal. But let us wait and look at the clocks. This may drastically change the character of the game as we go to the first time control.

32. Rf2

This time around GM Gopal offered a draw which GM So readily accepted.

1/2 - 1/2

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