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Boris Gelfand vs Vassily Ivanchuk
Kramatorsk (1989)
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Positional Defense (E94)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: My instincts told me a sac on c5 was what I should look at, but which piece and the correct followup was way beyond my calculating ability.
Premium Chessgames Member
  David2009: Gelfand vs Ivanchuk, 1989 White 31?

White is pressing on both sides of the boardand can try 31.Nxc5 dxc5 (otherwise White is a free Pawn up) 32.d6 Nc8 (otherwise White picks up material) 33.Bxc5 with a powerful Pawn roller for the piece, This is a positional sacrifice meaning it is not worth analysing further, play it and hope. Time to check:
Missed it. My line immobilises my Pawns. Here's the puzzle position:

click for larger view

and a link to Crafty End Game Trainer to test the variations: The prudent robot declines the piece, one continuation is 31...Nc8 32.Bf2 Nxa7 33.Rxa7 Rf7 34.c5 Bb5 35.Rxf7 Qxf7 to reach

click for larger view

and Black is doing well. Finding the win will take silicon which I haven't time for today. Good luck finding the win and feel free to post Crafty-beating lines!

May-05-12  haydn20: Black's position is held together by the Ps on Black sqs., so...attack the base of Pawn chain. I tried 31. Nxc5--no good--so 31. Bxc5 when the N on c5 will pressure the Bd7. Tried several lines--too difficult to see thru to the end. In the end the threat of Ra7 decides ( which I didn't see). Can I take a 1/4 pt?
May-05-12  Elo: If Gelfand plays anywhere near that level against Anand we might see some actual excitement in about 10 days.

Imagine Gelfand winning the very first game of the match. No other single win in recent memory would send such a shock wave rippling.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is equal.

The first idea that comes to mind is 31.Bxc5 dxc5 (else loses a pawn) 32.Nxc5

A) 32... Bc8 33.Nxc8

A.1) 33... Rxc8 34.Ne6 Qf7 35.Bh3 and Black looks very bad (White threatens 36.Nxd8 and 37.Be6).

A.2) 33... Nxc8 34.Ne6 Qd7 (34... Qe7 35.Rh6 wins another pawn) 35.Bh3 Qe7 36.c5 looks advantageous for White.

B) 32... Nc8 33.Nxd7 Qxd7 34.Nc6

B.1) 34... Rb7 35.Bh3 Qc7 36.Ra8 seems to recover the piece.

B.2) 34... Qc7 35.Nxb8 Qxb8 36.Ra6 and Black's defense looks difficult (36... Ne7 37.d6).

Premium Chessgames Member
  numbersguy70: Fritz 12 at depth=24 (half hour of running) has Bxc5 at 3.08 and Nxc5 at 2.38. The latter (which I chose) requires Bh3 to exchange rather than win the invasive h3-c8 diagonal, but still leaves black's minor pieces cramped and ill-equipped to defend either the passed pawns' march or the h-file attack.
May-05-12  engineerX: What a beautiful combination by white.
May-05-12  James D Flynn: Material equal but White has a huge space advantage. Candidates 31.Nxc5, Bxc5, Nb5, Ra6. 31.Nxc5 dxc5 32.d6 Nc6 33.Qd5+ Qf7 34.Nxc6 Bxc6 35.Qxc6 and White has won a pawn and will win the c5 pawn with Bxc5. He then has strong threats against the Black K with Ra7. If Black opts for the Q exchange by 34…. Qxd5 35.cxd5 Bxc6 36.dxc6 and White threatens 37.Bc4+ Kg7 38.Ra7+ Nc7 39.Bxc5 Re8 40.Bd6 Rc8 41.Rb2 and Black pieces are completely tied up, he has no answer to Rbb7 winning a piece on c7. 31.Bxc5 dxc5 32.Nxc5 Bc8 33.Nxc8 Nxc8 34.Ne6 Qe7 35.Rh6 Kf7 36.Rh7+ Kg8 37.Rxe7 wins the Q if 33…..Rxc8 34.Ne6 Qf7 35.Bh3 Nc7 36.Nxf8 Qxf8 37.bxc8 Nxc8 38.c5 and the united passed pawns will be decisive. However after 31.Bxc5 Black is not forced to take he can play Nc8 for instance. Then 32.Nc6 Bxc6 33.dxc6 d6xc5 34.Nxc5 Bc7 35.Nd7 Rb4 36.Qd5+ Rf7 37.Nf6+ Kf8 38.Rh7 wins the Q for a R. Again 33.dxc5 is not forced but after other moves White can play Ba3 followed by c5 and Black will be forced to take and allow the White N to c5 with subsequent threats Nd7 or Ne6. 31.Nb5 Bb6 Black has removed the threats of Nxc5 and Bxc5 and prevented Ra7. Black remains somewhat cramped but there doesn’t seem to be an immediate way for White to break through, 31.Ra6 Bb6 again appears to hold.
May-05-12  voyager39: Kudos to CG for digging out this gem. I couldn't figure out the continuation at all. Its brilliant.

Yet, the Gelfand of 1989 was a beast whose rise can only be compared to Karpov, Kasparov and the man whom he beat in this game.

Let's see how he handles it in 2012.

May-05-12  voyager39: I've given up on the Sunday puzzle already :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: This is so far beyond me. I understood the principle of attacking the Pawn chain base, but the tactics involved are way beyond my pay grade. Kudos to those who got it. I sure hope for an endgame tomorrow.
May-05-12  sp12: Doesn't 37. Qg1 Rf7 work for black?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: "Doesn't 37. Qg1 Rf7 work for black?"

Looks like 38. Qg4 to be followed by Qh4 is deadly, with no black rook able to move to the h-file.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheBish: Gelfand vs Ivanchuk, 1989

White to play (31.?) "Very Difficult", even material.

Quite obviously a King's Indian Defense, looks like a Saemisch. Interesting positioning of Black's minor pieces -- don't think I've seen that formation before.

After not finding any play on the h-file, I believe I found a breakthrough for White.

31. Bxc5! dxc5

Otherwise, White wins methodically by retreating the Bc5 and following with c4-c5.

32. Nxc5 Nc8

Or 32...Bc8 33. d6, winning the piece back with interest.

33. Nxd7 Qxd7 34. Bh3 Qb7 35. Be6+ (seems strong) Kg7 36. Qf1!, so that if 36...Nxa7 37. Qh3 is mating, or if 36...Rh8 37. Rxh8 Kxh8 38. Qh3+ Kg7 39. Qh6#.

Probably a better defense at some point (doing this from the diagram), but I'm sure I'm on the right track... unless I'm not! ~~~~~~~

Pretty darn close (PDC). Forgot that the g5 pawn was being attacked, but would have had time to correct for that in an OTB situation.

May-05-12  sp12: <Jim Bartle> - I guess I am still not clear on how Qg4/Qh4 will work.

39. Qg4 Nd6 etc will create some space for black

May-05-12  Dr. J: After 35 Be6+

click for larger view

no-one seems to have analyzed 35 Rf7 yet. I believe the following wins: 36 Nxc8 Rxc8 37 Qf1 (threatening Qh3 with a deadly double threat against h8 and c8) Kf8 38 Qh3 Rb8 39 Qh8+ Ke7 40 Bxf7 and Black cannot recapture.

May-05-12  M.Hassan: <sevenseaman:M.Hassan: Man you are full of guts and gumption. The first weak assumption in your wonderful construction appears at 36...Rh8. Wishful, its what a blind man would wish for, two eyes>

LOL and to be quite honest, I did'nt understand you because I am away from my practice board. I have to set it up again and go through my line and your statement to fully comprehend it and I'm sure will learn something unless you can let me know faster and more clearly. Regards

Premium Chessgames Member
  Abdel Irada: This is the kind of position that demands immediate exploitation if white is to win: White has more space and controls important open lines (the a- and h-files); black is cramped, but if left to himself will play such moves as ...♘c8 and begin to free himself, when white's spatial advantage will confer no winning chances.

All of this makes a sacrifice to open lines an intuitive solution, and here's what suggests itself: 31. ♗xc5, dxc5; 32. ♘xc5, ♘c8 (...♗c8?; 33. d6 ); 33. ♘xd7, ♕xd7 (...♘xa7?; 34. ♖xa7, ♗xg5; 35. ♗h3 ); 34. ♗h3, ♕c7; 35. ♘xc8, ♖xc8; 36. ♗e6+, ♖f7 (...♔g7?; 37. ♕g1 and white wins because of dual threats of 38. ♖a7 and 38. ♖h7+ followed by 39. ♕h2+ and 40. ♕h6#); 37. ♕f1, ♘d6; 38. ♕h3, ♔f8; 39. ♕h8+, ♔e7; 40. ♗xf7, ♘xf7 (...♔xf7? 41. ♖h7#); 41. ♕f6+, ♔e8 (...♔f8?; 42. ♖h8# or ...♔d7?; 42. ♕e6#); 42. ♕xg6±, when white has a rook, three pawns, pressure and a continuing attack for bishop and knight. I don't see an immediate decisive blow (assuming best defense), but the advantages should add up to an eventual victory.

Now let's see if Gelfand found something more concrete.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Abdel Irada: Good grief. *Again* the defender fails to find the most stubborn defense. Now I'll never get to see how Gelfand would have handled 36. ...♖f7. :-(
May-06-12  sevenseaman: <M.Hassan> I was impressed with your valiant effort. What I meant to say, in your sequence

37.Rxh8 Kxh8
38.Qh2+ Kg7

<38...Kg7> wasn't the best move for Black. Perhaps 38...Qh7. Check it out and it looks lots of fight still left in the position.

I may be wrong and will be quite happy if corrected. I read your posts as I enjoy doing that. Picking holes is never my objective.

May-06-12  sevenseaman: <Abdel Irada> Found some time to study your sequence. Enjoyed it, a very thoughtful engrossing session.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: 36...Rf7 seems vulnerable to 37. Ra7 or 37. d6.

On my computer program 37...Rf7 38. Qg4 Nd6 39. Qh4 wins against anything black tries.

May-09-12  LoveThatJoker: Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Gelfand Week!

<31. Nxc5 dxc5 32. d6 Nc8 33. Qd5+ Rf7>

(33...Qf7 34. Qxe5 Ng7 35. Bxc5 and White has three central passers for the piece, plus a dominating position)

<34. Nxc8! Bxc8>

(34...Rxc8 35. Ra7 Bc6 36. Qe6 looks extremely promising)

<35. Ra7>

looks excellent for White's sacrifice of 2 in the force count as

<35...Nxd6 36. Qxd6 Rxa7>

(36...Rb1 37. Kg2 Rxa7 38. Qxd8+ looks good for WHite as after he takes the B on c8, he has an excellent position and his R will always be available for defensive duty on h1 if need be)

<37. Qxb8> is clearly better for White.


May-09-12  LoveThatJoker: 0.20 out of 1 for this one as 31. Nxc5 still gives White an advantage (albeit a token one according to Stockfish after 35...Kf8, which I missed, yet is still +0.16).


Feb-09-13  Kramnik59: A lovely termination: 36...,Be7 37 Rh7+!! Kxh7 38 Qh2+ Kg7 39 Qh6 mate.
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