Grischuk, A. (2773) - Giri, A. (2686)
73rd Tata Steel GM-A Wijk aan Zee NED (9), 25.01.2011
[Elshan Moradiabadi]

"Though one of the few draws of the day, what a draw it was!"

One of the most exciting games of the round was in fact the draw between Grischuk and Giri in which the only sedate aspect about it was the result. Breathtaking!

1.d4 A very dynamic game with a dramatic final phase! 1...Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Nc6!?

The best continuation in my humble opinion! Though one should have ideas on how to play it. With "simple" moves one can get a bad position here. 4.d5 Ne5 5.e4 d6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.f4 Ned7 8.Nh3 Grischuk's "pet line". The line is quite fresh and will be seen more often at the top, due to the fact that the "f3 Gruenfeld" has not served Black well enough. 8.Nf3 0-0 9.Bd3 e6 10.0-0 exd5 11.exd5 c6 12.dxc6 bxc6 13.Kh1 Nc5 14.Be3 Ng4 15.Bg1 Rb8 16.Na4 Re8 17.Nxc5 dxc5 18.Bxc5 Rxb2 19.Ne5 Bxe5 20.fxe5 Nxe5 21.Bc2 Qxd1 22.Bxd1 Nd3 23.Bd4 Rd2 24.Bxa7 c5 25.Bf3 Be6 26.a4 Bxc4 27.Rfb1 Ne5 28.Re1 f6 29.Bxc5 Rc8 30.Be3 Nxf3 31.gxf3 Rc2 32.Kg1 Bd5 33.Rf1 Re2 34.Rae1 Ra2 35.Ra1 Rcc2 36.Rxa2 Rxa2 37.Bb6 Rxa4 38.Kg2 Ra3 39.h4 Kf7 40.Bc7 Ke6 41.Kg3 Kf5 42.Bd6 Rb3 43.Bc5 h5 44.Kf2 g5 45.hxg5 fxg5 46.Be3 Rb2+ 47.Kg3 h4+ 48.Kh3 Rb3 49.Bd2 Bxf3 50.Be1 Kg6 51.Kh2 Rb2+ 52.Rf2 Rb1 53.Rf1 Kh5 54.Rxf3 Rxe1 0-1 Nikolov,M (2549)-Wang Yue (2732)/Zuerich 2010/CBM 138 Extra

8...0-0 9.Be2 Nc5 10.Nf2 e6. Giri deviates from 10...Re8 11.0-0 e5 12.dxe6 Bxe6 13.Qc2 Bd7 14.Bf3 Bc6 15.Bd2 a5 16.Rfe1 Nfd7 17.Rad1 Qe7 18.b3 Qf8 19.Nb5 Bxb5 20.cxb5 Qe7 21.Be3 Rac8 22.a3 Ne6 23.b4 axb4 24.axb4 Nb6 25.Qb3 Ra8 26.g3 Qf6 27.Rd3 Qb2 28.Qxb2 Bxb2 29.f5 gxf5 30.Bxb6 fxe4 31.Nxe4 cxb6 32.Nxd6 Red8 33.Red1 Ra3 34.Rxa3 Bxa3 35.Nf5 Rxd1+ 36.Bxd1 Bxb4 37.Kg2 Bc5 38.Bb3 Nd4 39.Nxd4 Bxd4 40.Bd5 Kg7 41.Bxb7 1/2-1/2 Grischuk,A (2771)-Kurnosov,I (2676)/Moscow 2010/CB00_2011 11.0-0 exd5 12.cxd5 c6! A radical treatment. The knight on c5 has to leave her post soon. Giri truly understood that he has to take drastic measures, otherwise White's pawn structure superiority will push him "off the board". 13.dxc6 bxc6 14.Bf3 Qe7 15.Be3

15...d5! Home preparation? Or genuine inspiration/calculation? Either way Giri is playing well and energetic. 16.e5 Nfd7 17.b4 Grischuk still thinks that he is much better but... 17.Rc1 Ne6 18.Ne2 Bb7 19.Re1 f6 20.Qb3 Rfb8 and both parties have their bare razors in hand, for a bloody fight! 17...Ne6 18.b5

18...Nb6! A cold shower for Grischuk! At this point White is not worse, however I suspect that the hidden tactics Grischuk had missed to this point, rattled him and affected his play, and he just managed to 'hold' it! 19.f5. 19.bxc6 d4 20.Bxd4 Rd8 21.Nb5 Ba6 22.Nd6 Bxf1 23.Kxf1 Nc8 24.Nfe4 Nxd6 25.exd6 Rxd6 26.Nxd6 Bxd4 27.f5 Bxa1 28.fxe6 Be5 29.exf7+ Kg7 30.c7 Bxd6 31.Bxa8 Qxf7+ 32.Bf3 Qc4+ 33.Qe2 would be a draw. Though it is not a forced line, I have a feeling that after Nb6 the position is dynamically equal. 19...gxf5 20.Bxb6 axb6 21.bxc6 Bxe5 22.Nxd5 Qh4?! A loss of time. Qg5 straightaway was much better. 23.g3 Qg5 24.Bg2! Good prophylaxy! 24...Ba6 Giri does not even think about Ba1? 25.Re1 Bd4 26.Rc1 Bb5?! too optimisitc! 27.c7 Rxa2 28.c8Q Bxf2+ 29.Kh1 Rxc8 30.Rxc8+ Kg7 31.Rxe6. 31.Qb1 Ra5 32.Rd1 would have put a big question mark on Giri's overactive play. 31...fxe6 32.Nf4 Kh6! May have been overlooked by Grischuk. 33.Qb1 Ra5

34.Nxe6?? What?? 34...Qf6 White is losing a piece! 35.Qc1+ f4 36.Rc3 Be3?? Returning the favor! 36...Qxe6! would have created a new "Gloomy" day for Grischuk 37.Qxf4+

37...Kg6! The idea of this provocative move is to bring White's Bishop to e4 in order to make it impossible for him to capture the undefended Bishop on f2. 38.Be4+ Kg7 39.Rc7+ Bd7 40.Kg2 Bd4] 37.Qe1 Bf2 38.Qc1 Be3?? Giri may have been in time trouble...Caissa in on Grischuk's side this time.
39.Qe1 Qxe6 40.gxf4 Qf6 41.Qxe3 Ra1+ 42.Rc1 Bd7 43.h3 Rxc1+ 44.Qxc1 Qd4 45.Qc7 Bf5 46.Qe7 Qxf4 47.Qf6+ Kh5 48.Qxb6 ½-½.