May 22, 2001

chess chess

Sergey Ivanov

ELO 2543, International Grandmaster.
A graduate from the Leningrad Pioneer Palace.
Three times champion of Leningrad-Petersburg (1991, 1992, 1994), the winner of Club championships in Poland (1990), Russia (1992), Sweden (1999, 2000), the winner of the international tournament in Belsko-Byala (1989), Chelyabinsk (1991), Stockholm (2000), the winner of Club championships in Russia (2000).

Ivanov S. (2540) - Mikhalevski V. (2515), D85
St-Petersburg - Beer-Sheva, 1999

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Nf3 c5 8. Rb1 0-0 9. Be2 Nc6 10. d5 Ne5 11. Nxe5 Bxe5 12. Rb3!?

New is well forgotten old! In such a situation the maneuver of the Rook is quite rare, though in comparison with the approved 12. Qd2 a move in the text looks to my mind at least not worse. White will play c3-c4 in the nearest future, and their Rook will get strategical front on the 3rd horizontal. It is also important to notice that now in case of 12...e6 13.f4 the retreat 13... Bc7 becomes senseless - simply 14.c4 will follow with a large overweight.


Most natural and consecutive response - the aim of black is to undermine the centre of white while they have not finished their development. 12... Qc7!? looks also very interesting, temporarily interfering with the white castle. After 13. Qd2 (which looks better than 13.Bh6 c4!; 13.c4 f5 14.exf5 Bxf5 15.h3 Bd7 16.Ra3 Bd4 17.0-0= does not help, Kakageldyev-Mikhalchishin, Ivano-Frankovsk 1982) A)13...c4? 14.Rb4; B)13...Bd7 is too sluggish - 14.f4 Bg7 (or 14...c4 15.Rb4 Bg7 16.Rxc4 Qa5 17.0-0 Bb5 18.Rb4 Bxe2 19.Qxe2 b6 20.Rb3 Rac8 21.Ba3 Rfe8 22.c4 and black has no sufficient compensation for the pawn, Popov V.- Okrugin, Moscow, 1999) 15.c4 e5 16.0-0 exf4 17.Bb2 with the better chances for white; C)13...e6 14.f4 black has an opportunity C1) in case of 14... Bg7 white can choose between 15.c4 (15.d6 Qc6 16.0-0!, and it is unprofitable for black to play 16...Qxe4 17.d7 Bxd7 18.Bf3 Qa4 19.Ra3 Qb5 20.c4! Qxc4 21.Qxd7, and the extra piece of white is stronger than three pawns of black.) 15...exd5 16.cxd5 c4 17.Rc3!? Bxc3 18.Qxc3 b5 with a very sharp combat and 15.d6 - see the bracket; C2) 14...c4!? - at the cost of a pawn they detain the white king at centre. 15.Rb4 Bd6 16.Rxc4 Qb6 (Ivanov S.-Greenfeld A., Bugoino 1999). And nevertheless, continuing by 17.e5 Bc5 (17...exd5 18.Rxc8! Raxc8 19.exd6 Qxd6 20.Bb2) 18.d6 Bd7 19.h4 (or 19.a4 white, to my mind, kept advantage). As one of the possible alternative solutions I can also offer 12...c4!? 13. Bxc4 Qc7 with a definite compensation for the pawn.

13. f4 Bg7 14. c4 Re8

Usually Mikhalevsky V. plays confidently and quickly in a debut. Here after having confronted the unexpected situation, he spent a hole hour for his three last moves.

15. e5!?N

And it is a real novelty. Earlier we could see 15.Qc2 Bd4 16.Be3 exd5 17.cxd5 Bf5! 18.Bxd4 Bxe4 19.Qxc5 Rc8, and for a sacrificed piece black launched a strongest attack on the white king stuck in the centre (Ogaard-Ftacnik, Gyovick, 1983). In case of 15...exd5 16.cxd5 c4 17.Re3 Qa5+ 18.Qd2 Qxd2+ 19.Bxd2 Bd4! is possible with an unclear game.


Is a standard reaction. Black also had a very interesting tactical resource at their disposal: 15...exd5 16.cxd5 c4!? 17.Bxc4 (17.Re3!?) 17...Bxe5! But after a simple 18.0-0 (18.Bb5 Bc3+! 19.Kf2 Qb6+ 20.Kf3 looks too extravagant) 18...Bg7 (18...Bd6 19.Bb2; 18...Bf6 19.d6 Re4 20.Bxf7+! Kxf7 21.Qd5+ Re6 22.f5 gxf5 23.Rxf5) 19.d6 Be6 (19...Re4 20.Bd5 Rd4 21.Qf3 Qxd6 22.Bxf7+! Kxf7 23.Rxb7+ Bxb7 24.Qxb7+ Qd7 25.Qxa8) 20.Bxe6 Rxe6 21.d7 b6 22.f5 thanks to the far advanced passing pawn white keeps advantage.

16. f5!

Paying no attention to the material costs, white continues to struggle for the initiative. The idea of this break is not new: in its time variant 12. Qd2 e6 13.f4 Bh8 14.c4 Re8 15.e5 f6 was buried just because of 16.f5! On the first sight, according to the diagram white has less grounds for attack: the black bishop is still located on g7, instead of h8, and the queen still keeps its initial position. But the secret of this position is that the white rook has moved on b3, and it appears quite sufficient to create a real danger for the black king.


Obvious, that after 16...exf5 17.e6 Qa5+ 18.Qd2 Qxd2+ 19.Bxd2 b6 20.Kf2 only white seems to have chances; 16...exd5 put harder tasks for them A) If white plays by analogy with the above-stated variant (bishop on h8) - 17.e6, then after 17...d4 (17...dxc4 18.Qxd8 Rxd8 19.Bxc4 Kf8 is also possible) 18.g4 Qa5+ the position is not clear; B) 17.fxg6 is stronger, and in all situations white keeps the initiative: B1) 17...Rxe5 18.gxh7+ Kxh7 19.0-0 d4 20.Bf4 Re7 21.Rg3 (21.Bd3+ Kg8 22.Qh5); B2) 17...hxg6 18.cxd5 Rxe5 (18...fxe5 19.d6!? with compensation) 19.0-0 b6 20.Bc4!? Bf5 (20...Bb7 21.d6+ Kf8 22.Rg3) 21.Bb2 Re4 22.d6+ Rxc4 23.Qd5+ Kf8 (23...Kh7 24.Rxf5!) 24.Qxc4 Qxd6 25.g4 Be6 26.Qe4 Bd5 27.Qxg6.

17. Bh5 Re7

With another retreat of the rook - 17... Rf8 the bishop g7 becomes vulnerable. 18.Rg3 Kh8 19.Bb2 fxe5 (19...exd5 20.Rxg7! Kxg7 21.exf6+ Rxf6 22.cxd5) 20.Rxg7! Kxg7 21.Bxe5+ Kg8 22.0-0 by means of a strongest attack. In general in such position the black squared bishop - is a key piece of the protective procedures of black. White should strive for sacrificing the rook for the bishop g7, black should interfere with it; black also can not pay off with the quality: as with 17...exd5 18.Bxe8 Qxe8 19.Qxd5+ (19.0-0!?) 19...Be6 20.Qxb7 Bxc4 21.Rg3! Qxe5+ 22.Re3 Qd5 (22...Qb8 23.Qxb8+ Rxb8 24.a3+/=) 23.Qxd5+ Bxd5 24.Rf1 Bxa2 25.Rxf5 Rc8 26.Ba3 c4 27.Ra5 c3 28.Bc1 Bf7 29.Rxa7; 17...fxe5 18.Bxe8 Qxe8 19.0-0 f4 (19...exd5 20.Qxd5+ Be6 21.Qxb7+/=; 19...e4 20.Rg3 Kh8 21.Qd2 with initiative; 19...b6 20.Rg3 f4 21.Rxg7+ Kxg7 22.Bb2) 20.Re1!? Bb2 white keeps the best chances.

18. d6 Rd7 19. Rg3 fxe5 20. Bb2 Kh8

Here black had a rich choice, and it is not very easy to determine, which one is the best. White wins effectively in case of 20...Rxd6 21. Rxg7+! Kh8 22. Bxe5! Rxd1+ 23. Bxd1 Qa5+ 24. Kf1 h6 25. Bh5+ -; In reply to 20...e4 a task ma maneuver 21. Qa1! Qf8 leads to a victory. 22. Be8! Qxe8 23. Bxg7 f4 24. Rg5+-; Also after 20...f4 21.Rg4 Qa5+ 22.Kf2 Qxa2 23.Qe2 Qb3 24.Bxe5 Qe3+ 25.Qxe3 fxe3+ 26.Kxe3 black will face a hard end-game; 20...Qh4 seems interesting, but white finds a strong objection - 21. Be8!? (not so clear 21.0-0 Kf8 22.Re1) 21... Qe4+ (21...Rd8 22.Bxe5 Rxe8 23.0-0!) 22. Qe2 Qxe2+ 23. Kxe2 f4 24. Rg4 h5 25. Rg5; Apparently the strongest will be - 20... Kf8 21. Qe2!? (21.0-0 Qh4) 21...e4 (21...Rxd6 22.Rxg7! Kxg7 23.Qxe5+; 21...Qh4 22.Bxe5 Bxe5 23.Qxe5 Qd4 24.Qxe6) 22.Bxg7+ Rxg7 23.Qb2! Rg8 (23...Rxg3? 24.hxg3 Kg8 25.Bf7+!+-) 24.0-0, and each of the parties has its trumps: the position of the black king arouses serious fear, but they have two extra pawns in stock.

21. 0-0

21. Rxg7 Rxg7 22.0-0 Qg5 is premature.


If the bishop leaves the field - 21... Bf6, is very strong 22. Qe1!, for example: A) 22...Rxd6 23.Bxe5 Qf8 (23...Rd7 24.Rxf5!+-) 24.Bxd6 Qxd6 25.Rxf5!; B) 22...Rg7 23.Bxe5 Rxg3 24.Qxg3 Qf8 (24...Bd7 25.Qc3 Kg7 26.Rf3+-) 25.Be8!+-; C) 22...e4 23.Qc3! e5 24.Rxf5+-; a black does not have enough time for introducing pieces of the queen flank into the game: 21...b6 22.Qa1!? (22.Rxg7 Rxg7 23.Bxe5 is also not bad) 22... Ba6 23. Bxe5 Qf8 24. Rxg7 Rxg7 25. Rf3 Rd8 26. Rg3 Rdd7 27. Bxg7+ Rxg7 28. Qxg7+ Qxg7 29. Rxg7 Kxg7 30.d7+-

22. Qe2 Rd4

22... Rd2? 23. Qxe5!+-. Black temporarily "sealed up" the large diagonal, but now a standard destroying impact follows.

23. Rxg7! Kxg7

23... Re4 24. Qxe4 fxe4 25. Bxe5+-.

24. Qxe5 + Kg8?

Up to the present moment white could still follow the home analysis, but black was already in strong time trouble. 24... Kh6 also loses 25. Bc1+ (25.Bf7 Qg5) 25...Kxh5 26. Qg7 f4 27.g4+! Kh4 28. Bxf4+-; 24... Qf6 delayed the resistance 25. Qxc5 e5 26. Bxd4 (26.Re1 Rxc4!? 27.Qxc4 Qb6+) 26...exd4 27.Qc7+ Kh6 (27...Kg8 28.Re1 Be6 29.Qd6+-), though after exact 28. Rf3 black could hardly be rescued: A) 28...Kxh5? 29.Qxh7+ Kg5 30.Qg8++-; B) 28...f4 29.Rxf4 Qe6 30.Be2! Bd7 (30...Qxe2 31.Rf6++-) 31.Rf3! Kg7 32.Qf4+-; C) 28...d3!? 29.Qf4+ (29.Rxd3!? Qb6+ 30.Qxb6+ axb6 31.Bf3! Rxa2 32.Rd8 Ra8 33.h4 Kg6 34.Kh2, and white should gradually win this end-game - as specified by Khalifman) 29...Kg7 30.Rxd3 Be6 31.Qc7+ Kh8 32.Qxb7 Rc8 33.Qxa7+/-.

25. Rf4!+-

The very first move found behind a board, results in a victory. 25.Qxc5 Rd2.

25...Qg5 26. Rxd4

26. Bxd4 cxd4 would also lead to a victory 27. Rg4! Qxg4 28. Bxg4 fxg4 29. Qxd4+-.

26...cxd4 27. Qxd4 Kf8 28. Qh8+ Ke7

28...Qg8 29.Ba3#.

29. Ba3+ Kd7 30. Qd4+

(30...Kc6 31.Qd6#) 1-0


"Before the endgame the gods have placed the middlegame!"

"The essence of chess is thinking about what chess is."
David Bronstein.

Back to Top | Home Page
© 2000-2001 GMChess. All rights reserved.
About | Our Policies | E-Mail | Site Map