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Pia Cramling vs Alisa Mikhailovna Galliamova
"Let's Call it a Knight" (game of the day Oct-11-2017)
Candidates (Women) (1994), Tilburg NED, rd 17, Sep-29
Semi-Slav Defense: Botvinnik Variation (D44)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  refutor: clever finish for the fans of underpromotion...anything other than 39.f8=♘+ allows 39. ... ♖g5#. also, why not kramnik's 9. ... ♗xe4 that seems stronger than the text
Premium Chessgames Member
  AgentRgent: <Refutor> 39...Rg5+ isn't actually Mate since Kf6 is available.. however the end is near: 39...Rg5+ 40. Kf6 Rg3+ 41. Kf5 Rf3# will finish.
Premium Chessgames Member
  refutor: i'm sorry, is my face red...must've been thinking about something else ;)
Jun-25-03  caseyclyde: In the line 39...Rg5+ 40. Kf6 Rg3+ 41. Kf5 Rf3#, Rf3 is not mate since g4 is available. And after 39...Rg5+ 40. Kf6 Rg3+ white could play Kxf7.
Jun-25-03  huflix: Is she the wife of vasily Ivanchuk?
Jun-25-03  mandar: Is this Semi-Slav?? Yes then which variation?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 39.c8=N+ is the most logical as black has no other move than 39...Rxc8, but 39.c8=Q would have won too as then all alternatives of 39...Rxc8 are even worse.
Premium Chessgames Member
  refutor: <mandar> this is the botwinnik variation of the semi-slav
Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: Alisa Galliamova married Ivanchuk, but I think they are now divorced.
Apr-03-06  prinsallan: Spectacular finish by Swedens first lady ^^
Grattis Pia!
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <paulalbert: Alisa Galliamova married Ivanchuk, but I think they are now divorced.> Their children are semi-Slavs.
Premium Chessgames Member
  aragorn69: LOL <offramp>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Connect the knights. Hehe.
Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: A beautiful finish!
Premium Chessgames Member
  MuzioFan: Although beautiful, the underpromotion seems unneccesary. After for example 39.c8=Q Rg5+ 40.Kf6 the white king can always escape to f7-e8, so black has nothing better than 39..Rxc8.
Oct-11-17  Ratt Boy: <MuzioFan: Although beautiful, the underpromotion seems unneccesary. After for example 39.c8=Q Rg5+ 40.Kf6 the white king can always escape to f7-e8, so black has nothing better than 39..Rxc8.>

True, butt the underpromotion is simpler. It forces immediate toppling of the ♔.

Oct-11-17  Ratt Boy: I second <LOL <offramp>>. You win the comment section.
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: <offramp>'s comment gave me a chuckle as well.

According to Pia Cramling's profile on, she is married to Spanish GM Juan Manuel Bellon Lopez.

Oct-11-17  newzild: 39. c8=N+ is the best move because if forces Black to play 39...Rxc8.

Promoting to Queen gives Black other options unnecessarily.

Oct-11-17  waustad: <catlover> Yes, they are married and have a daughter Anna who played on the Swedish women's team at the last olympiad. Juan Manuel Bellon Lopez has just filed a transfer to the Swedish federation.
Oct-11-17  clement41: 39 c8N+ is the best practical chance but objectively 39 c8Q wins too although white'd have to make sure he does not get mated after 39...Rg5+ 40 Kf6 and no he doesn't. However with a black pawn on e7 this would threaten 39...e6# or 39...Rg5# and thus would force 39 c8N+.

An awesome tactical variation: 16...Qa4 17 cb Qc6 18 Bb5!! +-

Premium Chessgames Member Stockfish says that 39.c8=N+ and 39.c8=Q are equivalent as Black is forced to capture on c8 in either case.

analysis of move 39.?

But from a human perspective, it makes sense to make forcing moves, and nothing's more forcing than check.

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: I think it would have been a better idea to play 7...♕b6 & try to head for a position like this.: Opening Explorer W/ her ♕ on b6 she could've prevented GM Cramling from getting a passed ♙ on the c-file. Cramling played 15.♙d5 which led to a passed ♙ & that helped her win this game. <CG> The last sentence in your kibitz makes a lot of sense in that it's a lot easier for a human to calculate forcing moves than non-forcing moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Although IM Galliamova could've gotten an = position & she possibly could've avoided losing even w/ Cramling's passed ♙ on the board by playing 24...♕xd3 as shown in Stockfish's notes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I like underpromotions!
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