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Aug 17,2002

chess chess

Round 4

Svidler - Gelfand [B81]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. g4

This keen continuation, implying a piece sacrifice, became popular after its successful performances played by Hungarian chess players in the middle of the seventies. The second peak of its popularity in the nineties was connected chiefly with White’s victory in the game Topalov - Kasparov (Moscow (ol),1994). White does not want to waste time for the preparing the move f2-f3 and is going to drive away the knight from f6 as soon as possible in order to begin then an attack on the kingside.

7... e5

The most fundamental way. The bishop on e3 deprives the knight of an important retreat resource which allows Black to move the same pawn again, ignoring his development.

8. Nf5 g6 9. g5

White takes the high road. In the first round Ruslan Ponomariov played 9. Bg2 against Boris Gelfand but without success.

9... gxf5 10. exf5 d5 11. gxf6 d4 12. Bc4 Qc7

Black could not take neither the bishop (12... dxe3) nor the knight (12... dxc3) because of the blow 13. Bxf7+!. 12... Qxf6 was played in the game Shirov - Gelfand (Wijk aan Zee, 1996), followed with 13. Nd5 Qc6 14. Bxd4! Bb4+ 15. c3 Qxc4 16. Be3! Ba5 17. Nf6+ Ke7 18. Nd5+ Ke8 19. Nf6+ Ke7 20. Bg5, Black suffered a strongest attack and lost.

13. Qd3 dxe3 14. O-O-O exf2

Black takes whatever he is allowed to take. Nevertheless, his last move is very reasonable. It will be hard for White to use the might of his rooks maximally as the pawn f2 restricts their opportunities on the first horizontal.

15. Bxf7+!

No novelty, but this move looks good. White sacrifices another piece on order to lure the black king from its shelter. Otherwise Black might have completed his development with a material advantage.

15... Kxf7

No other way. If 15... Qxf7??, then 16.Qd8#.

16. Qd5+ Kxf6

A Y2K production. Since the game Shirov - J. Polgar (Dortmund, 1996) they played 16... Ke8 17. f7+ Ke7 in this position. Let’s suggest our own method how to gain an advantage in this case: 18. f6+!? (instead of 18. Qf3 which was played in the mentioned Shirov’s game) 18... Kxf6 19. Qf3+ Ke6 20. Rhf1! Bh6+ (in case of 20... Bc5 there was 21.b4!) 21. Kb1 Bf4 22. Nd5 Qxf7 23. Rxf2 Nc6 24. Nxf4+ Qxf4 25. Qd5+ Kf6 26. Qd6+ Be6 27. Rxf4+ exf4 28. Qxf4+ Bf5 29. Rd6+ Ke7 30. Rxc6 bxc6 31. Qxf5, and now Black has to defend this forced position, because his king cannot hide on the queenside with 31... Kd6 as there is 32.ñ4!, and Black has no 32... Kc7 33. Qa5+ Kb7 because of 34. c5.

17. Ne4+ Ke7

Black had no other choice. After 17... Kg7? there was a forced mate with 18. Rhg1 fxgQ+ 19. Rxg1+ Kh6 20. Qd2 Kh5 21.Qg5#. If 17... Kxf5, then after 18. Rhf1 Bh6+ 19. Kb1 Bf4 20. Rxf2 Black had no defence from the sacrifice Rf1xf4. So, in case of 20... Nc6 the solution was 21. Rxf4+! Kxf4 22. Rf1+ Kg4 23. Nf6+ Kg5 24. Qg2+ Kh6 25. Rg1 with an inevitable mate.

18. f6+!

Now a very important novelty comes. In case of 18. Nd6 Bh6+ 19. Kb1 Kf6 20. Rhf1 Rf8 21. Rxf2 Nc6 22. Qc4 Kg7! (after 22... Bf4 White won in the game Shirov - Van Wely (Monaco (active), 2000) with 23. Rxf4! exf4 24. Qc3+ Kg5 25. Rg1+ Kh4 26. Qf3) 23. Rg1+ Kh8 24. Rfg2 Bg7 25. Rxg7 Qxg7 26. Rxg7 Kxg7 27. Qg4+ Kh8 28. Qg5 Be6 29. b3 Rad8 Black managed to repulse the attack and keep the material advantage in the game Topalov - Van Wely (Frankfurt (active), 2000).

18... Ke8 19. f7+ Ke7

20. Qd2!!

A fine idea. White’s queen retreats in order to strike a blow then from the square g5.

20... Qc6?

What a pity. Black makes a mistake. It would be very interesting to know what was prepared by Piotr Svidler for 20... Qb6 (Black was bad after 20... h6? because of a mere 21. Qxf2!). Probably we will have luck and see the continuation of this most interesting duel in the ninth round when Svidler will play with Van Wely. Now we can guess only. Let’s try: 21. Qg5+ Kxf7 22. Rhf1 Bh6 (if 22... Bc5, then after 23. Qxe5 Be3+ 24. Kb1 Rd8 (covering d6) White had 25. Rxf2+! Bxf2 26. Qf4+ Kg8 27. Qg5+ Kf7 28. Rxd8, and White’s attack was irresistible despite two extra pieces by Black) 23.Rxf2+ Ke8 (in case of 23... Qxf2 24. Nd6+ Kf8 25. Qxh6+ Ke7 26. Qg7+ Ke6 27. Qg4+ Ke7 28. Nxc8+ Rxc8 29. Qxc8 Qb6 30. Rf1 there was a position in which White would certainly beat the black king despite the lack of a piece) 24. Rd8+ Qxd8 25. Qxh6 Qd4 (25... Qe7!? deserved a serious attention, as after 26. Nd6+ Kd7 27. Rf7 Nc6 28. Rxe7+ it was absolutely unclear whether White’s advantage would be enough to win both in case of 28... Kxe7 29. Qg7+ Kxd6 30. Qxh8 Rb8 31. Qxh7 Be6 32. h4 and after 28... Nxe7 29. Nc4 Ng6 30. Nb6+ Kc6 31. Nxa8 Be6 32. h4) 26. Qg7 Qxe4 27. Qxh8+ Kd7 28. Rd2+ Kc6 (28... Ke7 29. Qxc8 Qe1+ 30. Rd1 Qe3+ 31. Kb1) 29. Qf6+ (nothing would come out of 29. Qxc8+ because of 29... Kb6 30. Rd6+ Nc6! 31. Qxa8 Qe3+ 32. Rd2 Nd4 33. Qd8+ Ka7 34. c3 Nf3 with an equality) 29... Kb5 30. a4+! Kxa4 (30... Kc4? was bad because of 31. b3+ Kc3 32. Rd3+ Qxd3 33. Qxe5+ Kb4 34. Qe7+ Ka5 35. Qc7+ b6 36. cxd3 with White’s win) 31. b3+ Ka3 32. Qe7+ Qb4 33. Qxe5 Qxd2+ 34. Kxd2 Nc6 35. Qd6+ Kb2 (after 35... Ka2 36. Kc1 the future of the black king looked rather dubious, for instance, in case of 36... Rb8 there was 37. Qf4 b5 38. Qf6, winning a piece) 36. Qf6+ Ka3 37. Qf8+ Kb2 (if 37... Ka2, then there was an unpleasant 38. b4 with the fearful threat of 39. Qf7+ Kb2 40.Qb3+ Ka1 41.Kc1 making the mate a sure thing) 38. b4!, and White still kept some winning chances owing to the threat of 39.Qf7 or 39.Qf3.

21. Qg5+ Kxf7 22. Rhf1 Bc5

After 22... Nd7 23. Rxf2+ Ke8 24. Nf6+ Nxf6 25. Rxf6 White’s three heavy pieces would tear to scraps the helpless black king like fierce dogs.

23. Nxf2

If White can take such a liberty then the days (that is the moves) of the black king are numbered.

23... Nd7 24. Ng4+ Ke8 25. Nxe5 Qe6 26. Rfe1 Nf6

26... Rg8 was no better because of 27. Qh5+ Rg6 28. Nxg6 Be3+ 29. Kb1 hxg6 30. Qf3.

27. Nd3

Almost every other retreat of the white knight was winning too (except 27. Nf7 and 27. Ng6).

27... Be7 28. Rxe6 Bxe6 29. Re1 Nd7 1-0 Black resigned.

Milov - Van Wely [D91]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Bg5 Ne4 6. Bf4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 c5 8. e3 O-O 9. cxd5 cxd4 10. cxd4 Qxd5 11. Be2 Qa5+ 12. Qd2 Nc6 13. Qxa5 Nxa5 14. Bc7 Nc6 15. Rb1 b6

A quiet variation of the Gruenfeld Defence. 15... Be6 16. Rxb7 Bxa2 17. Kd2 occurred too, leading to a more keen play.

16. O-O Bb7 17. Rfc1

After 17. d5 Na5 18. Rfd1 Rac8 19. Rbc1 Bb2 20. Rc2 Ba3 21. Ne1 Bc6 22. Bxb6 axb6 23. dxc6 Rxc6 the play was equalised in the game Goldin - Shmuter (Rishon Le Ziyyon, 1995).

17... Rac8 18. Bg3 Na5

In case of 18... Rfd8 19. Bb5 e6 20. h3 Bf8 21. Bh4 Rd5 White managed to get an advantage with 22. Bxc6 Rxc6 23. Rxc6 Bxc6 24. Rc1 Bb5 25. Ne5 h6 26. Bf6 in the game Zvjaginsev - Votava (Stockerau, 1993).

19. Nd2 Rxc1+ 20. Rxc1 Rc8 21. Rxc8+ Bxc8

22. Ne4

Only this move can be considered as a novelty. After 22. Bf3 Bb7 23. Bxb7 Nxb7 which was seen in the game Zvjaginsev - Azmaiparashvili (Portoroz, 1997) the opponents agreed to a draw after some manoeuvres.

22... Bb7 23. Nc3 Kf8 24. Nb5 a6 25. Nc3 b5 26. Bc7 Nc4 27. Bxc4 bxc4

Having lost contact with the main forces, the passed pawn c4 can prove to be both a strong point and a weakness, but two bishops make up a definite plus for Van Wely’s position.

28. f3 Ke8 29. Kf2 Kd7 30. Ba5 f5 31. Bb6 e5 32. dxe5 Bxe5 33. Bd4 Bd6 34. h3 Ke6 35. Na4 Bc6 36. Nc3 g5 37. Ne2 h5 38. Nc3 h4 39. Ne2 Be7 40. Bc3 Bd7 41. Bd4 Kd6 42. Bb2 Bd8 43. Bd4 Be7 44. Bb2 Kc6 45. Nd4+ Kb6 46. Bc3 a5

Probably it made sense to attempt a break-through at once with 46... g4 47. hxg4 fxg4 48. fxg4 Bxg4.

47. Ke1


This Black’s move will introduce interesting technical complications.

48. hxg4 fxg4 49. fxg4 Bxg4 50. Bxa5+!

White had to have calculated everything very precisely to have ventured on this move.

50... Kxa5 51. Nc6+ Ka4 52. Nxe7 Ka3 53. Kd2 Kb2 54. Nd5 Bf3!

This tactical trick looks impressive but it cannot give Black more than a draw.

55. gxf3 h3 56. Nc3 h2 57. Nd1+ Kxa2 58. Nf2 Kb2 59. Nd1+ Kb3 60. Nf2 Kb2 1/2-1/2 Draw.

Gallagher - Ponomariov [B06]

1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. Be3 a6 5. Qd2

There was an alternative of 5. f4 b5 6. Bd3 (after 6. Be2 b4 7. Nb1 Bb7 8. Bf3 Nf6 9. Qd3 Nbd7 10. Nd2 O-O 11. c4 bxc3 12. bxc3 c5 Black equalised in the game Galkin - Ponomariov (Lausanne, 2000)). So, in case of 6... Bb7 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. Qe2 e5 9. dxe5 dxe5 10. O-O exf4 11. Bxf4 Ne7 12. a4 bxa4 13. Bc4 White got a better play in the game Yudasin - Kantsler (Israel, 2000).

5... Nd7 6. a4 b6 7. Nf3 e6 8. Bc4 h6 9. h3 Ne7 10. O-O Bb7

Such positioning of black pieces was very effective in the practice of the legendary blitz master G. Chepukaitis.

11. Rfe1 g5 12. Nh2 Ng6

12... Nf6 13. f3 Ng6 14. Rad1 O-O 15. Ng4 Nh5 16. Bf2 d5 17. exd5 exd5 18. Bd3 Nhf4 was seen with a good play by Black (Gjokaj - Glek, Bad Zwesten,1999).

13. Nf1 Nf6 14. Ng3 O-O 15. Bd3

Black’s next move should have been prevented with 15. d5!?.

15... c5 16. dxc5?!

White should not have yielded the centre. 16. Bf1 was the correct continuation.

16... bxc5 17. Rad1 Qc7 18. Qe2

18... d5!

Black begins an attack in the centre.

19. exd5 exd5 20. Bc1 Rae8 21. Qd2 Nh4 22. Rxe8

After 22. b3 c4 23. Bf1 White still held, as in case of 22... d4 there was 24. Nce2 (but no 24. Qxd4?? because of 24... Ne4).

22... Rxe8 23. Re1 Rxe1+ 24. Qxe1 c4 25. Bf1 d4 26. Nce2

26. Nce4 loses because of 26... Nxe4 27. Nxe4 Qe7 28. f3 f5.

26... Qc5 27. Qd1 Ne4 28. Nxe4 Bxe4 29. Ng3 Bg6 30. Qe2 d3 31. cxd3 cxd3 32. Qe8+ Kh7 33. Be3

White’s position after 33. Qe1 Qc6 was not all sugar, yet he held.

33... Qd5!

Now there is no way to defend from d3-d2 and protect the pawn b2 at the same time.

34. Bd2 Bxb2 35. f3 Be5 36. Ne4 Bxe4 37. fxe4 Qd4+ 38. Kh1 Qf2 0-1 White resigned.

"He who fears an isolated queen's pawn should give up chess". Siegbert Tarrasch

"The most powerful weapon in chess is to have the next move"! David Bronstein.

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