Commentary – Round 8

(1) Motylev,Alexander (2656) – Eljanov,Pavel (2723) [B23]

1.e4 c5 Usually Eljanov prefers 1..c6 or 1…e5

2.Nc3 e6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Qc76.Be3 a6 7.Qd2 This is how white tries to fight the Paulsen variation of the Sicilian in recent years.7.Be2 and 8.0-0 is the other plan.

7…Nf6 8.0-0-0 Be7 9.f3 b5 This position is not new for Motylev. [9…b5 10.g4 0-0 11.g5Ne8 12.h4 Bb7 13.h5 Nxd4 14.Qxd4 b4 15.Na4Rc8 16.Bd3 Qa5 17.Qb6 Qxa4 18.Qxb7 Nc719.Bc4 Qa5 20.Rxd7 Bxg5 21.f4 Bh6 22.Kb1Nd5 23.exd5 Rxc4 24.dxe6 Qf5 25.e7 Qxc2+26.Ka1 Re8 27.Rd8 Rc8 28.Qd7 Motylev- Korneev 2007 1-0]

10.Kb1 h5 This is against g4.The problem is that the king has to stay at the center now.

11.Nxc6 dxc6 12.e5 [12.Qf2 e5 13.Bb6 Qb714.Bc5 is a more positional continuation.With 12.e5 white sacrifices a pawn.]

12…Nd5 [12…Qxe5 13.Bd4 Qc7 14.Qg5 Rg815.Be5 with initiative.]

13.Nxd5 cxd5 14.f4 Bd7 15.g3 Rc8 The pawn structure is very close to French Defense, but here black cannot castle to the kingside (pawn on h5).

16.Bg2 a5 17.Bd4 b4 18.f5 exf5 19.e6!?White opens files and diagonals to attack opponents king. [19.Bxd5 Be6 20.c4! is not enough for Motylev, as it allows black to castle.]

19…fxe6 20.Bxg7 Rg8 Maybe it was better to keep the rook on h file to defend the h5 square and the 7th rank.

21.Bd4 a4 It’s not easy for black to defend.White has several active plans. 22.Rhe1 with the idea of 23.B:d5 or simply 22.Bf3 and 23.B:h5. Time check: white 35 minutes,black 17.

22.Bf3 a3 23.Rhe1 Qc6 White has a very strong move now.24.c4! bc ( 24…Q:c4 25 B:h5+ Kd8 26.Bb6+) 25 B:c3 Rg5 26 B:d5!

24.Qe2 Rg4 25.Bxg4 hxg4 Black was able to stop opponent’s attack for a moment, but white can open more files with c3 or h3.

26.b3 Bc5 27.c3 bxc3 28.Bxc3 Bf2 Eljanov is in real time trouble.Basically he depends on 30 second increment now.

29.Qxf2 Qxc3 30.Rxd5 Ke7 31.Qd2 Qxd232.Rxd2 Bc6 33.Rc2! Kd6 34.Rd1+ Ke735.Kc1 e5 36.b4 White is winning.

36…f4 37.b5 Bb7 38.Rxc8 Bxc8 39.Rd3 f340.Kd2 Bd7 41.b6 1-0