Nickel - Hydra

By Arno Nickel



Nickel,Arno (2586) - Hydra Chimera (C) [B48]
Corr. Chess Match Abu Dhabi/Berlin, 16.09.2004

Semi-"live" comments and analysis.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6

See also previous games Hydra vs. GM E. Vladimirov and vs. Shredder.

3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be3 a6 7.Qd2

The so-called "English Attack" which plans to castle queen-side and to push forward the pawns
at the king-side. Hydra's book author GM Christopher Lutz regards this system to be one of the
most challenging against the Taimanov Sizilian, as he said after the game.

7...Nf6 8.0-0-0 Bb4 9.f3 Ne5 10.Nb3 b5 11.Qe1

Other moves like 11.Kb1 or 11.Bd4 would lead to more typical sicilian positions.
The text move does not only intend to put the queen on the king-side, but also includes
the threat Nc3xb5. This is why the bishop usually draws back to e7. The engame after
11...Bxc3 12.Qxc3 Qxc3 13.bxc3 cannot be recommended for Black.
White enjoys the more active play and will be able to get rid of his double pawn.

11...Be7 12.f4 Nc4 13.e5 Ng4 14.Bd4 # 14...0-0!?N

 14...f5 15.h3 Nh6 16.Qf2+/= Rb8 (16...Bb7 17.Bxc4 bxc4 see:
Grischuk-J. Geller, Sotschi 2004, Russ. (tch), 1-0 after 27 moves.

(17...Qxc4 18.Bc5+/-
Ribli) ) 17.Ba7 Rb7 18.Bc5 Bxc5 19.Nxc5 Rb6 20.Bxc4 bxc4
21.N3a4 see: Perez Candelario-B.Damljanovic, Spain, (tch), 1-0 after 76 moves..;

14...Bb7 15.Bd3 d6 (15...f5 16.h3 Nh6 17.Rg1 Rc8 18.g4?! (18.Qf2+/= Ftacnik) 18...b4
19.Na4 Bf3 20.gxf5 Nxf5 21.Bxf5 exf5 22.Nac5 Bxd1 23.Qxd1 see:
Karjakin-Grabliauskas, Dos Hermanos 2004, 1-0 after 55 moves.)
16.Qg3 dxe5 17.fxe5 h5 18.h3 Nh6 19.Kb1 g6 Vokarev-J.Geller, Alutscha
(3.Herbst-Open) 2004, 1-0 nach 35 Zugen.


[15.h3 Nh6 16.g4 Bb7 17.Rg1 d6~~; 15.Qg3 Nh6 16.Bd3 Bb7 17.Ne4 Nf5 18.Qh3~~
(18.Nf6+ Bxf6 19.Bxf5 Be7 20.Bd3~~)
; 15.Bxc4 bxc4 16.Nd2~~]

15...Bb7 16.Qe2

[16.Qg3 see 15.Dg3]



In case of r moves, e.g. with the h1-rook or with the queen, I always expected the freeing
moves d7-d6 or f7-f6. The text move provokes 17...d5, in order to start an attack at the
king-side while the centre is kept close. However Black has a strong knight at c4. The white knight at d2 makes his way from the queen- to the king-side, where he will be more useful.

17...d5 18.g4 Rac8

18...Rfc8 would mean to give up the idea of a counter play in the f-file, but instead
Black could intensify his pressure at the queen-side.

19.Rhg1 b4 20.Ncb1

20.Na4? Bc6 21.Nc5 Bb5 22.Ncb3 a5


20...Qa5!? 21.Nxc4 dxc4 22.Bxc4 Bf3 23.Qxf3 Rxc4 24.b3 Rc7 25.Kb2 Rfc8


The intended manoeuvre, though other moves came into consideration. [21.b3 Stopping
Black's attack at the queen-side.; 21.Rg3 Protecting the third rank and opting for Rh3.;
21.f5?! Bg5=/+ This wouldn't be possible with a white knight on f3.]

21...a4 22.f5

The main idea, intending f5-f6.


22...Kh8?! This is what some other chess engines would play instead. However this
prophylaxis seems to be unnedessary, as in fact Black hasn't to be afraid of 23.fxe6?!.


White wishes to keep control of the square d4 and the diagonale g1/a7. The disadvantage is, that he has to invest an extra tempo in comparison to 23.Bxc5. [23.fxe6?! fxe6 24.Bxh7+ Kxh7 25.Ng5+ Kg8 26.Qd3 Rf5! # 27.gxf5 What else? (27.Nxe6? Bxd4 28.Qxd4 Qc6 29.gxf5 Nxf5-/+) 27...Bxd4 Threatens a mate at b2. 28.Qxd4 Nxf5 29.Qf2 Qxe5 30.c3 a3-/+ (30...Nce3) ; 23.Bxc5!? Qxc5 24.f6 would be playable for White, but at the same time take all pressure from Black.]


Here the consequences of Bxd4 had to be analysed, though there wasn't mcuh time for it
(we played with Fischer time: 20 days for the game and in addition 2 days per move).
The following variations illustrate what could have happen instead of 23...a3?!.

In my opinion Hydra should have followed the idea

f7-f6. 23...Bxd4 24.Qxd4 a3

would only lead do a different move order.a) 24...f6!? 25.exf6 (25.Rde1?! would be too passive.) 25...e5 (25...Rxf6 26.Rde1 Re8 27.Ne5 Nxe5 28.Qxe5 Qxe5 29.Rxe5 Nf7 30.Rxe6 Rexe6 31.fxe6 Rxe6

with slightly better play for White.)

26.Qf2 e4 27.Bxc4 Qxc4 (27...exf3 28.Bd3 b3 29.axb3 axb3 30.fxg7 Rf7 31.c3 Qf4+~~) 28.Nd4 Qxa2 29.Rg3 (29.fxg7 Rf6 30.g5 a3 31.bxa3 bxa3 32.gxf6 Qb2+ 33.Kd2 a2 34.Na3 Qb4+ 35.Ke2 Ba6+

would be a drawback for White.) ;

b) 24...b3 25.axb3 axb3 26.c3 f6 (26...Qa5 would be mor ambitious

 27.Rg2 (27.Qf4?! Nxb2 28.Kxb2 Ba6->) 27...Rc6~~) 27.exf6 Rxf6 28.Rde1 Re8 29.Ne5~~ Nxe5 (29...Nf7!?) 30.Qxe5 Qxe5 31.Rxe5 Nf7 32.Rxe6 Rexe6 33.fxe6 Rxe6

with a similiar endgame as after 24...f6, once again in favour of White..; c) 24...Kh8 also this prophylactical move came into consideration in order to clear the square g8 for the knight.
White should probably overprotect the pawn e5 by 25.Tde1.
After that all ideas would have to be discussed once again.; ]


24.b3? Nb2-/+ cannot be risked by White.


24...Qb6!? with the idea to sacrify the b-pawn for counter play.
This would have been more active, athough White could also reply with
f5-f6: 25.axb4 Qxb4 26.f6 Qb2+ (26...Bxd4?! 27.Qxd4 Ra8 28.Qc3 Qc5 29.Nd4+/-
and Black's counter play at the queen-side is too slow in face of the strong threat g4-g5.)
27.Bxb2 Bxf2 28.Bd4! and Black would not enjoy winning the exchange. In case of trading the bishops on d4 White would also get the better ending.]
25.Qxd4 bxa3 26.f6 Ba6
Re-activating the passive bishop and clearing the b-file.


Necessary in order to get rid of Black's pressure. 27...Qxc4 [27...Bxc4 28.Qe3+/-

28.Qxc4 Bxc4 29.Nd4+/-

This knight guarantees White a superb game. Black cannot expel it from it's central position,
where the knight is useful for both, attack and defence. In comparison Black's minor
pieces make a poor impression.

29...Ra8 30.Rg3 Bxa2 31.Nxa3 Rfb8

Hydra's moves appear logical, but without real pressure. On the other hand
31...Ra4 looks more aggressive, but neglects the development of the f8-rook.


After that the g3-rook is no longer bound the g-pawn and is free for
more active play e.g. in the c-file.


Another powerless move, which costs Black a tempo, as will be shown soon.
White's way to win gets even more easy and impressive after that. Black should have
better tried ...Rb4, perhaps playing first 32...gxf6 33.exf6.

33.Rdd3+- gxf6 34.exf6 Rb6 35.Rc3 Kh8 36.Rc6 Rb4 37.Nab5 e5 38.Nd6

A contribution to the subject "back rank weakness". White sacrifies the knight d4, but
Black has to pay back with compound interest, as otherwise he would be mated.

38...exd4 39.Ra3 Rb1+ 40.Kd2 Rab8 41.Rxa2 Rf1 42.Rb6 Rg8

More tenacious but also hopelessly would have been
42...Rf8 43.Ra5 Rxf6 44.g5 Rf2+ 45.Ke1 Rxc2 46.gxh6+-



and Hydra Chimera resigned after a half year's struggle on 29th March 2005.



Please see the games here :


Main Page  |  Issue 01  |  Issue 0 Issue 03  Issue 04  Issue 05


Copyright 2004,  International  Correspondence  Chess  Federation

    This page is maintained by     Raymond Boger