Thursday, December 22, 2016

Gruenfeld Defence Wesley So Wins

Filipino Grandmaster Wesley So won the strong London Classic and the Grand Chess Tour in December 2016 at age 23. I present his Gruenfeld Defence win over GM Hikaru Nakamura.

Wesley So posted this on Facebook on December 19, 2016:
“Feeling overwhelmed. I give total respect to my opponents because they are the greatest chess players in the world and this win was not easy. I had to focus like crazy to be able to sit across from Giri, Caruana, Kramnik, Anand, Topalov, MVL, Aronian, Adams, Nakamura.... I may have seemed calm but my heart was pounding pretty hard most of the time. Thank you Lord Jesus for seeing me through! I respect everyone's right to believe what they want but still let me wish you all a VERY BLESSED CHRISTMAS! AMDG.”

The Gruenfeld Defence Exchange Variation gives White three major choices 7.Bc4, 7.Nf3, or 7.Be3. Black has to be prepared for all three while White only needs to know the one he plays. Black aims to move White’s pawn off d4 to provide fixed targets. This counterattack from Wesley So came by 7…c5 and 9…e5!? At the end Black was up a pawn on each side of the board.

Nakamura (2779) - So (2794), 8th London Classic 2016 London ENG (1.1), 09.12.2016 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Be3 c5 8.Rc1 0-0 9.Qd2 e5!? [9...Qa5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.cxd4 Qxd2+ 12.Nxd2=] 10.d5 [10.Nf3 cxd4 11.cxd4 exd4 12.Nxd4 Bd7 13.f3 Nc6=; 10.dxe5 Qxd2+ 11.Kxd2 Rd8+ 12.Kc2 Bd7=] 10...Nd7 [10...Qd6 11.f3 (11.c4 f5 12.Qc2 Nd7 13.exf5 gxf5=) 11...f5 12.Bd3 Nd7 13.Ne2 Nf6=] 11.c4 [11.Bd3 f5 12.exf5 gxf5 13.Bg5 Nf6=] 11...f5 12.Bg5 [12.exf5 gxf5 13.Bg5 Qb6 14.Ne2 Rf7=] 12...Nf6 13.Ne2? [13.Bd3 fxe4 14.Bc2 b5 15.Ne2 bxc4 16.Nc3 Rb8=] 13...Nxe4 14.Bxd8 Nxd2 15.Be7 [Or 15.Ba5 Nxf1 16.Rxf1 b6 17.Bc3 f4-/+] 15...Rf7 16.Bxc5 Nxf1 17.Rxf1 b6 18.Bb4 Ba6 19.f4 Rc8 20.fxe5 [If 20.c5 Rd7 21.d6 bxc5 22.Rxc5 Re8 23.Rc6 Bb5 24.Rc2 Bd3 25.Rd2 e4-+] 20...Bxe5 21.Rf3 Bxc4 [21...Rxc4 22.Re3 Rxc1+ 23.Nxc1 Bxh2 24.Re8+ Kg7 25.Bc3+ Kh6-+] 22.Re3 Bg7 23.Nf4 Rd7 24.a4 Bh6 25.g3 Bxf4 26.gxf4 Rxd5 27.Re7 Rd4 28.Bd2 Kf8 29.Bb4 Re8 [29...Re8 30.Rxe8+ Kxe8 31.Bd6 Rxd6 32.Rxc4 Kd7-+] 0-1


You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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