Chess Queen Alexandra comments Kosteniuk – Soumya from the Istanbul Olympiads

Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk plays Swaminathan Soumya at the Istanbul Chess OlympiadsToday we are presenting an important game from the 9th round of the women’s Chess Olympiads in Istanbul 2012, between Chess Queen™ Alexandra Kosteniuk and Swaminathan Soumya of India. The game is commented by Alexandra below. This game allowed the Russian team to win that match 3-1 and to go on to win the event. Read Alexandra’s post about the Istanbul Chess Olympiads here. The applet below is automatically generated from the chess software “Chess King” (use code “INTROKING50″ on checkout for a $50 discount).

Kosteniuk, Alexandra – Soumya, Swaminathan

Result: 1-0
Site: Istanbul (Turkey)
Date: 2012.09.06

This game was played in the 9th round of the Chess Olympiad in Istanbul. My team has started with 5 wins but made 3 draws in the rounds 6-8, so this match was crucial for our tournament’s destiny […] 1.e4 c6 “Although my opponent plays the Sicilan Defence as well we considered that she would opt for a more solid Caro-Kann Defence which she also plays pretty often”

2.d4 d5 3.e5 ¥f5 4.¤f3 e6 5.¥e2 c5 “This line has become popular ifor Black in the last years.”


(Usually I opted for a more concrete 6.¥e3 variation, but for this game I had something else in mind.)

6…¤c6 7.O-O cxd4 8.¤xd4

(8.cxd4 is more often played here, but taking with the knight is opening the road for the f-pawn which is about to say some very important words in this game)

8…¤xd4 9.cxd4 ¤e7 10.¤c3 ¤c6

(Vishy Anand in his game with Magnus Carlsen opted for another line for Black here 10…h6 11.¥b5+ ¤c6 12.¥xc6+ bxc6 13.¥e3 ¥e7 14.¤a4 O-O 15.¦c1 £a5 16.¦xc6 ¦ac8 17.£c1 ¦xc6 18.£xc6 ¥d3 19.¦c1 ¥b5 20.£c7 £xa4 21.£xe7 £xa2 22.£b4 ¥c4 23.h3 a5 24.£b6 £b3 25.£xb3 ¥xb3 26.¦c7 ¦b8 27.¥d2 a4 28.¥c3 h5 29.¦a7 ¦c8 30.¢h2 h4 31.g3 hxg3+ 32.fxg3 g5 33.g4 ¢g7 34.¢g3 ¢g6 35.¦a6 ¥d1 36.¦a7 ¥b3 37.¦a6 ¥d1 38.¦a7 ¥b3 1/2-1/2, Carlsen Magnus (NOR) 2772 – Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2788, Nice (France) 2009.03.16)

11.g4 ¥g6 12.f4 With the idea of trapping the bishop on g6

12…£d7 protecting the f5 square 13.f5! nevertheless! 13…exf5 14.h4! The key idea of White. My trainer Alexander Riazantsev and I were ready to play this line for quite a long time. But one has to be patient sometimes to be able to have a chance to apply new ideas in tournament games.

14…fxg4? “Not the best option for Black, hopefully I can show Black what awaits them if they choose other lines in my next games. From this moment on I started to play on my own, it is quite a dangerous moment in modern chess – the transition from home analysis to practical game. There are so many examples where GM’s after reachin a won position according to their analysis were unable to finish their games successfully, even though having a big advantage after their perfectly done homeworks.”

15.¥xg4 £d8 16.h5 £h4 17.¢g2! Of course not (17.hxg6?? £g3+! 18.¢h1 hxg6+) 17…¥e4+ 18.¤xe4 dxe4 here I spent some time hesitating between two moves – Rf4 and Bf4 which both seemed to be so good to me. At last I opted for


(It would have been even stronger to play 19.¦f4 and the following lines show how hopeless Black is

(19…£e7 20.d5! ¤xe5 (20…¦d8 21.d6 £xe5 22.d7+ ¢e7 23.¦f5) 21.£a4+ ¢d8 22.¦xe4 f6 23.¦xe5! (Although simple 23.¥e3 is winning as well) 23…fxe5 24.¥g5)

20.d5 ¤xe5 21.£a4+ ¢e7 (21…¤d7 22.¦xe4+ ¥e7 23.d6) 22.¦xe4 £xd5 23.¥g5+ f6 24.¦d1 b5 25.¦xd5 bxa4 26.¦exe5+ ¢f7 27.¦d7+ ¢g8 28.¥e6#)

19…¦d8 20.¥g3 £g5

(20…£e7 is bad due to 21.d5 £b4 22.d6)

21.£b3 (21.d5!? is strong as well) 21…¦xd4! I missed this defence. Even though Black’s position is still very bad, White needs to be precise here

(21…f6 22.£e6+ ¥e7 23.¦ad1 ¤xd4 24.¦xd4 ¦xd4 25.¥f4 £h4 26.¦h121…f6 22.£e6+ ¥e7 23.¦ad1 ¤xd4 24.¦xd4 ¦xd4 25.¥f4 £h4 26.¦h1 (26.¦c1) )

22.£xf7+ ¢d8 23.£e6

(23.¢h3 was strong as well 23…¥e7 (23…¤xe5 24.¥xe5 £xe5 25.¦ad1) 24.¦ad1 ¢c7 25.¦xd4 ¤xd4 26.£c4+ ¤c6 27.e6+ ¢c8 28.¦d1)

23…¢c7 24.¦ad1

(24.¦f7+ was much stronger, but during the game I didn’t see the strong 26th move in this line

24…¢b6 25.¥f4 ¦d2+ (25…£d8 26.¥e3 ¥c5 27.£b3+ ¤b4 28.¦d7) 26.¢f1!
(I calculated only 26.¥xd2 £xd2+ 27.¦f2 and this position didn’t look so clear to me)

26…£d8 27.£b3+ ¥b4 28.¥e3+ winning)


(More stubborn would have been 24…¦xd1 25.¦xd1 ¥c5 26.¦d7+ ¢b8 but after 27.£f5 £c1 (27…£xf5 28.¥xf5 ¦f8 29.¥xe4) 28.e6+ ¢a8 29.£xe4 £g1+ 30.¢h3 £f1+ 31.£g2 is difficult anyway)

25.¦f7+ ¢b8 26.¦xd4 ¥xd4 27.£d7 £d2+ 28.¢h3 £xb2 29.£c7+ ¢a8 30.¥c8 Mate is unavoidable. Black resigns, 1-0

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4 Responses to “Chess Queen Alexandra comments Kosteniuk – Soumya from the Istanbul Olympiads”

  • alexis cochran, nz says:

    absolutely devastating – loved it!

  • Jason Bourne, Los Angeles says:

    that’s a super new line with white for caro kann i must learn it thanks chess queen

  • Keith Larkins, Manchester says:

    Alexandra when you played 14.h4 my heart was in my mouth. I watched the rest of the game in awe what a splendid show of strength ideas and pure chess. congratulations on a beautiful game and the killer instinct. Keep it up.

  • Terrence, Colorado says:

    it’s obvious that a team that plays like that would get the gold – Smashing chess!

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