(1) Tiviakov, Lputian - French with 3...Be7 [C03]

[This game from the 10th round of the tournament was very important to me. It allowed me to move high above the necessary qualification score +3. I am proud with this game, since you don't get a chance to win so conclusively against such a strong player as Lputian in the French Defence, which he is playing during his whole life.]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Be7 4.Bd3
[The whole variation has been prepared by me for the game against A.Morozevich from the Wijk aan Zee tournament in January 2001, although then my opponent opted for the Sicilian. But the old preparation resulted into 2 full points 5 months later.]

4...c5 5.dxc5 Nf6 6.Qe2 Nc6 7.Ngf3 a5
[2 days before, in the 8th round of the tournament the same variation took place in my game against other Armenian player Artashes Minasian. I also managed to win that game very convincingly. The game continued: 7...Bxc5 8.0-0 Qc7 9.a3 a6?! (>=9...0-0 is better.) 10.e5!N (Stronger than 10.b4 Nd4 11.Nxd4 Bxd4 12.Ra2 1/2-1/2 Jaracz Pawel (POL)-Socko Bartosz (POL)/Plock (Poland) 2000 (12)) 10...Nd7 (10...Ng4 is answered by 11.b4 , followed by Bb2 with advantage.) 11.Re1 b5 12.Nb3 Be7 13.Bf4 Nb6 14.Nfd4 Bd7 15.c3 Na4 16.Nxc6 Bxc6 17.Nd4+/- White has a large advantage here. 17...g6 18.Rab1 Bd7 19.Qe3 Bf8 20.Bg5 Bg7 21.Qf4 h6 22.Bf6 Bxf6 23.Qxf6 Rg8 24.Qf4 Rh8 25.Qf6 Rg8 26.Re3 Qd8 27.Qf4 h5 28.Rg3 Qe7 29.Nf3 Bc6 30.Ng5 Rg7 31.Bc2 Nb6 32.h4 Nd7 33.Rf3 Ra7 34.Qd4 Qc5 35.Nxf7 Qxd4 36.Nd6+ Ke7 37.cxd4 Ra8 38.Rc1 Rf8 39.Rg3 Rf4 40.Bxg6 Rxd4 41.Rxc6 1-0 Tiviakov,S-Minasian,A/Ohrid MKD (8th round) 2001]

8.0-0 0-0
[It was not very difficult to predict that this position would appear on the board. Lputian has already played this rare line twice, easily equalising in both of the games. I spent lot of time preparing for the game, since it was not easy to find a line, promising even a slight plus. Finally at 14:00, 1 hour before the start of the game I found it!] [8...a4 9.c4 d4 (9...0-0 10.Rd1+/= ) 10.e5 Nd7 11.Ne4 Ndxe5 12.Nxe5 Nxe5 13.Bf4+/- Nxd3 14.Qxd3 0-0 15.Nd6 Qa5 16.Qxd4 Bf6 17.Be5 Bxe5 18.Qxe5 b6 19.b4 Qxb4 20.cxb6 Qxb6 21.Rab1 Qc6 22.c5 Qd5 23.Qxd5 exd5 24.Rfd1 Be6 25.a3 Rfb8 26.c6 Rxb1 27.Rxb1 Kf8 28.c7 Ke7 29.Rb8 Ra5 30.Nb5 d4 31.Kf1 d3 32.Ke1 Ra6 33.Nd4 Bd7 34.c8Q Bxc8 35.Rxc8 Rb6 36.Rb8 Rg6 37.g3 1-0 Dervishi,E-Drasko,M/Arco 2001/CBM 085 ext]

[The point of my idea is that White has to stop Black counter-play on the queen's side, preventing Black pieces from becoming too active.] [The following games demonstrate that Black can easily equalise after both 9.c3 and 9.c4. 9.c4 a4 10.Rd1 Bxc5 11.exd5 exd5 12.cxd5 Nb4� 13.Ne4 Nxd3 14.Nxf6+ (14.Rxd3 Nxe4 15.Qxe4 Re8 16.Qf4 Qb6 17.Be3 Qxb2 18.Re1 Qb4 19.Qxb4 Bxb4 20.Rc1 Bf5 21.Rd4 Bd6 22.h3 f6 23.Nd2 b5 24.Bf4 Ba3 25.Rc7 g5 26.Bg3 h5 27.h4 Bb2 28.Rb4 gxh4 29.Bf4 Re1+ 30.Kh2 Be5 31.Bxe5 Rxe5 32.Rxb5 Rd8 33.Nc4 Rexd5 34.Rxd5 Rxd5 35.Ne3 Re5 36.Ra7 Be6 37.Rxa4 Rb5 38.Rf4 Kg7 39.a4 Ra5 40.Rxh4 Bd7 1/2-1/2 Marinkovic,S-Drasko,M/Vrnjacka Banja 1999/EXT 2000 (40)) 14...Qxf6 15.Qxd3 Bf5 16.Qb5 b6 17.Bg5 Qg6 18.Be3 Bxe3 19.Nh4 Qf6 20.Nxf5 Bxf2+ 21.Kxf2 Qxf5+ 22.Kg1 Rfd8 23.Qxb6 Rxd5 24.Qc6 Rda5 25.Rf1 Qb5 26.Rac1 h5 27.Qxb5 Rxb5 28.Rf2 Rab8 1/2-1/2 Asrian,K-Lputian,S/Yerevan ARM 2000/The Week in Chess 305 (28); 9.c3 Nd7! (9...Re8 10.e5 Nd7 11.Nb3+/= a4 12.Nbd4 Nxc5 13.Bc2 h6 14.Bf4 Bf8 15.Rfe1 Bd7 16.Rad1 Rc8 17.a3 Qb6 18.h4 Na5 19.Nh2 Nc4 20.Bc1 Ne4 1/2-1/2 Brynell Stellan (SWE)-Hillarp Persson Tiger (SWE)/Goteborg (Sweden) 2000 (20)) 10.exd5 exd5 11.Bc2 Nxc5 12.Nb3 Re8= (12...Ne6 13.a4 Bf6 14.Be3 Ne7 15.Rfe1 Re8 16.Rad1 Bd7 17.Nc5 Nxc5 18.Bxc5 Ng6 19.Qd3 Bc6 20.Nd4 Qd7 21.Nxc6 bxc6 22.Rxe8+ Rxe8 23.Be3 Qb7 24.b3 Nf8 25.Rb1 g6 26.b4 axb4 27.cxb4 Nd7 28.Qd1 Bc3 29.h3 Bxb4 30.Qg4 c5 31.Bxc5 Nxc5 32.Rxb4 Re1+ 33.Kh2 Qc7+ 34.g3 Na6 35.Rb6 Qxc2 36.Qf4 Nc7 37.Rb7 Re7 38.Qf6 Qe4 39.Rxc7 Rxc7 40.Qd8+ Kg7 41.Qxc7 d4 42.a5 d3 43.Qc3+ 1/2-1/2 Hansen Sune Berg (DEN)-Hillarp Persson Tiger (SWE)/Sweden 2000 (43)) 13.Nxc5 Bxc5 14.Qd3 g6 15.Bg5 Qb6 16.Bb3 d4 17.cxd4 Nxd4 18.Nxd4 Bxd4 19.Rad1 Bxb2 20.Qf3 Be6 21.Rb1 Qc5 22.Bxe6 Rxe6 23.Be3 Bd4 24.Rxb7 1/2-1/2 Hansen,C-Lputian,S/Istanbul 2000/The Week in Chess 313 (24)]

[After 9...Nb4 White tries to keep the extra pawn on c5 by 10.Nb3! with better chances. (not 10.e5 Nd7 11.Nb3 Nxd3 12.cxd3 Nxc5 13.Nxc5 Bxc5= with equal chances. 14.Be3 d4 15.Bf4 Qd5 16.Ng5 Be7 17.Rfe1 Bxg5 18.Bxg5 f6 19.Bd2 Bd7 20.Qe4 Bc6 21.Qxd5 Bxd5 22.exf6 gxf6 23.Rec1 b6 24.Rc7 Rac8 25.Rac1 Rxc7 26.Rxc7 Rf7 27.Rc8+ Kg7 28.Kf1 Rb7 29.f4 Bb3 30.g4 Bxa4 31.Ke2 Bd7 32.Rd8 e5 33.g5 Bg4+ 34.Kf2 Rd7 35.gxf6+ Kxf6 36.Rb8 exf4 37.Rxb6+ Be6 38.Bxf4 a4 39.Ra6 Kf5 40.Bd2 Bb3 41.Ra5+ Kg4 42.Rg5+ Kh4 43.Kf3 Bd5+ 44.Kf4 Rf7+ 45.Ke5 Rf2 46.Be1 Kxg5 47.Bxf2 Bb3 48.Bxd4 Kg6 49.Bf2 Kf7 50.Kd6 Kf6 1/2-1/2 Xie Jun-Matveeva,S/New Delhi IND 2000/The Week in Chess 317 (50)) For example, 10...b6 (10...dxe4 11.Bxe4 ) 11.e5 Nd7 12.c6 Nc5 (12...Nxc6 13.Rd1 Qc7 (13...Nc5 14.Nfd4 Nxd4 15.Nxd4 Nxd3 16.Qxd3 Ba6 17.Qg3+/= ) 14.Bf4 Nb4 15.Bb5 Qxc2 16.Qxc2 Nxc2 17.Rac1 Nb4 18.Rxc8 Rfxc8 19.Bxd7 Rc2 20.Rd2 Rxd2 21.Bxd2 Nd3 22.Bc3 Bb4 23.Bd4 Nc5 24.Nxc5 bxc5 25.Bc3 Rb8 26.Bb5 Bxc3 27.bxc3 f6 28.Kf1 Kf7 29.c4 Ke7 30.Ke2 Rf8 31.h4 fxe5 32.Nxe5 Kd6 33.Nc6 Ra8 34.f4 g6 35.g3 Kc7 36.Ne5 Kd6 37.Nf7+ Ke7 38.Ng5 Rd8 39.cxd5 exd5 40.Nxh7 c4 41.Ng5 Rc8 42.Kd2 Kd6 43.Kc3 Rc7 44.Nf3 Kc5 45.Ne5 Re7 46.g4 Rh7 47.Nxg6 d4+ 48.Kd2 Kb4 49.h5 d3 50.Ne5 c3+ 51.Kc1 d2+ 52.Kc2 Rh6 53.Nd3+ Ka3 54.Nf2 1-0 Kotronias,V-Drasko,M/Cutro 2004/EXT 2007) 13.Bb5 Nxb3 (13...Qc7 14.Nbd4 Ne4 15.c3 (15.Bf4 f5 16.exf6 Bd6 17.Bxd6 Qxd6 18.fxg7 1/2-1/2 Biti,O-Bukal,V/Pula CRO 2000/The Week in Chess 290 (18)) 15...Na6 16.Nd2+- ) 14.cxb3 Qc7+/= ]

[It is very important to keep the 'e' line closed. After 10.exd5 exd5 11.Nb3 Nxc5 12.Nxc5 Bxc5= Black has nothing to worry about.]

10...Nxc5 11.Nxc5 Bxc5
[Here I stopped with my preparation, since White has slight but long lasting advantage. White has an easy play, but Black must be very careful not to find himself in a difficult position.]

12.c3+/= Bd7
[After both 12...d4 13.e5+/- ; and 12...dxe4 13.Qxe4+/- White has the upper hand.]

[I am not sure whether I would make this move again. Frankly speaking, the following move - 13...Ne7 was missed by me. White has several alternatives to the text, such as 13.Be3!? ; 13.e5!? ; and 13.Rd1!? all giving White the advantage.]

13...Ne7! 14.e5
[14.Rfd1!?+/= deserves serious attention.]

14...Ng6 15.Bg3 f5?!
[Black loses the patience and opens the position too early. Correct was >=15...Qe8 and if /\16.b3 then 16...f5 17.exf6 gxf6 with counter-play.]

16.exf6 gxf6
[It is always very risky to weaken the pawn's structure, protecting the king. I would have played 16...Qxf6 although still after 17.Ne5+/= White is better. (17.Bxg6 Qxg6 18.Ne5 Qe8 19.b3+/= deserves serious attention as well.) ]

[Opening the center.]

[Black is not able to keep the center closed because 17...d4 loses the pawn after 18.Bxg6 (not 18.Qe4?! Bc8 (18...Qb6 ) ) 18...hxg6 19.Qe4+/- and Black is not able to defend all his pawns: b7, d4, g6, e6.]

18.Bxc4 Qe7 19.h4!?+/-
[I like this move very much. Although don't having any direct threat it increases the pressure on the Black position, setting also a trap which later Black fell in.] [19.Rfd1 and; 19.Rfe1 are the worthy alternatives to the text.]

[19...Rf7!? can be answered by 20.Rfd1 with the ideas: Nf3-Nd4 and Nf3-Nd2-e4]

20.Rfd1 Kh8?
[This moves loses by force, but still after the correct 20...Rac8 ; 20...Bc6 ; or 20...Nf8 Black position would still remain very difficult.]

21.h5 Nf8 22.Ne5!+-
[This move was missed by my opponent.]

[22...Bc6 23.Nxc6 bxc6 24.Qf3+- was, probably, the most stubborn defence.; 22...fxe5 loses to 23.Bxe5+ Kg8 24.Qg4++- ]

[Black is not able to defend himself from the 2 threats: 24.Qf3 and 24.Ng4, winning.]

[Or 23...Qg7 24.h6 Qe7 25.Qf3+- ]

[It was not very difficult to calculate the winning line until the end.]

24...Rxd1+ 25.Rxd1 Nd7 26.Rxd7 Qxd7 27.Bxf6+ Kg8 28.Nh6+ Kf8 29.Qg4
[A nice win!] 1-0 Tiviakov,S-Lputian,S/Ohrid 2001/CBM 084/[Tiviakov] Tiviakov: '[A nice win!]' 1-0