GM Melik Annotates an Aeroflot Win
By GM Melikset Khachiyan   
March 2, 2009
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GM Melikset Khachiyan,
Photo Betsy Dynako
GM Melikset Khachiyan of Los Angeles won the A2 section in the Aeroflot Open (February 16-25, Moscow). Khachiyan, who scored 7/9 and posted a 2675 FIDE performance told CLO, "I played most of my games against young and hungry players, so it was a lot like an experience vs. youth event for me." Khachiyan said that he thinks he played very well in Aeroflot because unlike in most American Opens, he was able to play one game, recover and then prepare for the next.

His favorite game of the event was the following win over IM Arseny Kargin, shown below with annotations by "GM Melik" himself.  



1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4

In previous white games vs. Sicilian I preferred 3.Bb5, but faced some trouble in gaining an advantage. Here I'm trying to play another sideline, which also brings some complications.
 3...g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bb5
I believe this bishop move is much more interesting than 5.Bc4.
5...Nd4 6.0–0
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Position after 6.0-0


6...a6
6...Nxb5 7.Nxb5 d5 8.e5 a6 9.Nc3 d4 10.Ne4 is another main line.
7.Bd3 d6 8.Nxd4 cxd4 9.Ne2 Nf6 10.Kh1 Nd7
I think it's still too early to play this move, even though my opponent played it very quickly, and confidently. Black should wait a bit and first play 10...0–0 11.Nxd4 Nxe4 12.Bxe4 Bxd4 with better chances to equalize the game.
11.Bc4
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Position after 11.Bc4


11...b5?!
Too optimistic. Black needed first to complete development with  11...0–0 or 11...e6, to control the d5 square.
12.Bd5 Rb8 13.f5!
Very strong move. Now I'm going to control the e6 square, and create an attack on the kingside.
13...0–0 14.d3 Nb6?
Another bad decision. Black should immediately play 14...Bb7 with the idea to trade the bishop. He completely underestimated the power of the white bishop.
15.Bb3 d5 16.Nf4! Bb7 17.Bd2

Another strong move. White simply stops the a6-a5 march, and also creates the threat of playing Ba5 and pinning the black knight.
17...Qd7 18.Qe1
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Position after 18.Qe1

Pointing to the kingside. White wants to play Qh4 at the right time.
18...Nc4
18...e5 19.fxe6 fxe6 20.exd5 exd5 21.Qe6+ Qxe6 22.Nxe6 was the last chance for Black. He didn't go for this because he thought the endgame would be torture for him, so he chose another way to create  complications, but it didn't work out.
19.fxg6 hxg6 20.exd5 Bxd5
20... Nxd2 was also absolutely hopeless.
21.dxc4 bxc4
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Position after 21.bxc4

22.Ba4! Bxg2+ 23.Kxg2 Qxa4 24.Nd5
It's over now.
 24...Qc6 25.Qe4 Qb7 26.Nxe7+ Kh7 27.Rf4! Bf6 28.Qxb7 Rxb7 29.Rxf6 Rxe7 30.Bb4 Re2+ 31.Kf1 Rxh2 32.Kg1 Rh8 33.Rxf7+ Kg8 34.Rf8+ Kg7 35.Rxh8 Rxh8 36.Rd1 1–0