Thursday, February 26, 2009


Wesley So - Eltaj Safarli

Round 5
Aeroflot 2009

Welcome to the live commentary of Aeroflot 2009 on! Today we are going to see the game between two juniors that know each other very well. The last encounters between them were the World Junior Chess Championship (draw) and the World U16 Olympiad (Wesley So won). Click here for photo of the two players from the WJCC.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 Ruy Lopez again!

4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Qe2 This is the Worrall attack. The idea is to leave the d1 square free for the rook to support the d1 pawn

6... b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.Rd1 Standard continuation with the idea mentioned, usual continuation here is 9.Rd1 Na5 10.Bb7 c5, giving stable setup to black as well. Thus, Safarli will have space advantage on the queenside, while white will play 11.d4 to open the center and look for dynamic play.

8... Bb7 After long thought GM Sfarli decided to transpose the idea mentioned, trying to provide a further support for the d5 square first, in case of d2-d4-d5 pawn advance by white, or even in case black decides to go first for the d5 move. Speaking of statistics, the current opening is played often by Paul Keres and Nigel Short, with regular odds of success for white.

9.c3 d5 10.d3 Re8 11.Nbd2 h6 A waiting and positional move by Safarli, gaining control of the g5 square

12.a3 Analogical reply by Wesley So, throwing the ball back in Safarli's court.

12... Bf8 13.Nf1 Na5 still equal after Wesley So retreats the bishop, but things will stir up soon.

14.Ba2 c5 White is almost obliged to look for a neutral move like Rb1 in order to avoid complications (b4 as an example) and keep the balance on the board. Black have achieved the space advantage on the queen side, but as mentioned earlier, this is not the key element leading to advantage, the game is completely equal.

15.b4 Brave by Wesley So! 15... Nc6 is the best option for Safarli

15... Nc6 After a possible exchange of the pawns white have to bring the queen to support the pawn structure. Another way to go is Bd2 maintaining the pressure, but that will also give black time black.

16.Ne3 Inviting Safarli for a pawn material advantage in exchange for an open diagonal after 16... d4.

16... d4 17.cxd4 Nxd4 18.Nxd4 exd4 Safarli realized the danger of giving up the control and decided to maintain the status quo

19.Ng4 c4 Safarli explores the space advantage on the queenside, Wesley So allowed the move with Ng4. This will endanger white's center.

20.Qf3 Nxg4 21.Qxg4 Qb6 21... Qf6 was another good option

22.dxc4 Rxe4 23.Qg3 23... Qe6 would be very strong now

23... Qe6 24.Qd3 24... Re8 because 24... Qg6 would allow 25. Qf1

24... Re8 25.Bd2 Now Qg6 is possible

25... Qg6 26.Qh3 decisive mistake

26... Rh4 and Wesley So gave up. The Filipino young GM played risky in the middlegame and GM Safarli jumped on the opportunity to take the full point and the lead among the youngsters. Thank you for following with, we continue with the coverage of Linares and the match Topalov - Kamsky 0-1

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