US Championship 2010 Finals: Gruenfeld Perlexity
Shulman and Kamsky battled to a draw in a topical Gruenfeld Defense, and after game Kamsky said “The whole variation is basically a draw.” Is it? Well, it now appears that it is!
Shulman-Kamsky US Championship 2010 Finals
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Nf3 c5 8. Rb1 O-O 9. Be2 Nc6 10. d5?!
10…Bxc3+ Kamsky is right that this variation offers white nothing (at best a draw). But can black try to win? Yes, let’s see how!
11. Bd2 Bxd2+ 12. Qxd2 Na5 13. h4 This wild thrust is “logical” but at the same time unimpressive.
13…Bg4 14. Ng5 Bxe2 15. Kxe2
Here is where Kamsky can avoid a forced draw. However, it appears too dangerous (see the comments).
15…e6 (?) Probably too risky. Let’s see one prior game in which black could have justified his play: 16. h5 Nc4 17. Qc1 exd5 18. Nxh7 (what else?) Re8! 19. hxg6 Rxe4+ (white is busted) 20. Kf1 Rh4! 21. Rxh4 Qxh4 22. Kg1 Ne5 23. gxf7+ Kxh7 24. Qc5 Kg7 25. Rb3 and here black turned a win into a loss with 25…Qc4??? 26. f8=Q!+ Rxf8 27. Qe7+ and black resigned, E. Bacrot – P. Popovic, Chalkidki 2002. Black could have won with 25…Qe4! and after 26. Rg3+ Kxf7 27. Qc7+ Ke6! there are no more checks and black wins with no problems. Postscript: this try appears to be too risky – see the comments – due to 18. hxg6 fxg6 19. Rxh7! and white won some high-level games with this continuation.
15…h6(?) With the text move, it is indeed dead equal.
16. Nf3 Kh7 17. e5 Nc4 18. Qd3 Nb6 19. h5 Qxd5 20. hxg6+ fxg6 21. Ng5+ Kg7 22. Qxd5 Nxd5 23. Ne6+ Kf7 24. Nxf8 Nc3+ The reciprocal knight forks leave the position dead.
25. Ke3 Nxb1 26. Rxb1 Rxf8 27. Rxb7 Ke6 28. Rxa7 g5 29. Rc7 Ra8 30. Rxc5 Rxa2
An interesting winning try for black!