Wesley So - Abhijeet Gupta

Round 4
Corus 2009
Wijk Aan Zee


(vote here for the round 5 live games) Welcome to the live commentary with me, GM Valentin Iotov! Today's game is GM Wesley So against the newest World Junior Champion – GM Abhijeet Gupta. The tournament was organized in Gaziantep TUR where both players participated. The result so far between the two young players is +2 -1 =0 for Gupta. The last time they played was in 10th open Dubai where Wesley So won, so for sure now Gupta is seeking revenge. In my career so far I have not played Wesley So. I played once against Gupta, in Oropesa del Mar – Wch U12. I didn't opening advantage with the white pieces and later on went to win an interesting pawn ending. Still, it was a very long time ago and now things are much different. Let's just hope for a long and attractive game in which both opponents will do their best…as usual.

1.e4 e5 I expected GM Gupta to play 1...c5 today, escaping from their last game in Dubai where he lost the opening battle.

2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Usually GM Gupta plays 3...Ne7

3... a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.c3 d5 Marshall Attack!Now this is a very playable variation on high level, where black sacrifice a pawn and have a big development advantage.Most of the games usually finish draw if both opponents are well prepared for the game.

9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Re5 c6 12.d4 The other alternative was 12.d3 in which variation most of the games finish with draw. In an endgame with pawn more for white

12... Bd6 13.Re1 Qh4 14.g3 Qh3 15.Qe2 A not so fashionable continuation for white, which only makes the game even more interesting!Other move is 15.Be3.Now the following moves for black are 15...Bd7 and 15...Bg4 (15.Qe2 Bg4 16.Qf1 Rae8 17.Rxe8 Qxf1 18.Kxf1 Rxe8 19.Kg2 Bf5 20.Nd2 Re1 21.a4 b4 22.Nf3 Be4 23.Bc2 Ne3 24.Bxe3 Bxf3 25.Kxf3 Rxa1 26.c4 Ra2 27.c5 Bb8 28.Bc1 Ra1 29.Be3 Ra2 30.Bc1 Ra1 31.Be3 1/2-1/2 Volokitin, Andrei - Svidler, Peter.)

15... Bg4 16.Qf1 Qh5 17.Nd2 Rae8 Other very attractive move was 17...Nf4!? in which black sacrifice a piece for a huge advantage.Like in the game Kurnosov, I - Hebden, M where after intensne play white won the game. (17... Rae8 18.f3 Rxe1 19.Qe1 Bxf3 20.Nxf3 Qxf3 21.Bd2 White gives back the pawn up, but now he has two bishops and he finished his development.)

18.f3 Time 1.29 - 1.12

18... f5 (18... f5 19.Rxe8 Qxe8 20.fxg4 fxg4 21.Qg2 Qe3+ 22.Kh1 Rf2 23.Qg1 Kh8 Getting off the diagonal a2-g8, so the knight may come into play! 24.Bd1 Bg3 25.Nf3 Qd3 26.Qxg3 Qxd1 27.Ng1 Rf8 with an excellent compensation for the piece.)

19.fxg4 fxg4 20.Rxe8 Qxe8 21.Qg2 (21.Qg2 Qe3+ 22.Kh1 Rf2 23.Nf1 Qe2 24.Bxd5+ cxd5 25.Qxd5+ Kh8 26.Be3 Rxf1+ 27.Rxf1 Qxf1+ 28.Bg1 g6 29.Qg2 Qc4 with an equal ending. Despite the fact white are pawn up, their king and white squares are too weak to do anything.Why is black thinking so much, when they have only move?)

21... Qe3 22.Kh1 Rf2 23.Qg1 (23.Qg1 Kf8 24.Bd1 Bxg3 25.Qxg3 Qe1+ 26.Qg1 Rxh2+ 27.Kxh2 Qh4+ 28.Kg2 Nf4+ 29.Kf1 Qh3+ 30.Kf2 Nd3+ 31.Ke2 Nf4+ with draw!)

23... Bxg3 24.Qxg3 Qe2 Amazing, black is for sure playing for win! But isn't this too optimistic? Now white have to play something, and it is not so easy to make a move with two pieces more! Maybe 25.a4!? trying to make active the rook.

25.Qg1 White desperately wants to enter the perpetual check variation which is after 25...Kh8

25... Kh8 (25... Kh8 26.Bd5 cxd5 27.a4 bxa4 28.Rxa4 g3 29.Qg3 Rf1+ 30.Nf1 Qxf1+ 31.Qg1 Qf3+ Draw.It seems like every variation leads to draw.)

26.Bd1 Rxh2+ 27.Qxh2 Qe1+ Draw agreed.Wesley So started eagerly this game with the desire for victory he always shows, however a good opening preparation from black gave the desirable draw without sweating too much on the table. *