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Alexander Beliavsky vs Boris Gelfand
Linares (1992), Linares ESP, rd 7, Mar-03
Slav Defense: Winawer Countergambit (D10)  ·  1-0


Annotations by Jeremy Silman.

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I chose 17. Nd4. I still like it. After 17...Bg6 18. c5, white is threatening to trap the ♕ with 19. Ra1. Black's development is amazingly laggard.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <al wazir> I like 17.Nd4 too
May-25-14  goodevans: There's much that I'm unsure of in today's puzzle. Like why <17.Ng5> is supposed to be better than Al Wasir's <17.Nd4> (maybe because of 17...Rd8) or whether <17... Bg6> was black's best defence.

I'd have been inclined to play <17...Qb6+> intending ...Qd8/...Qe7 to shore up the K-side, and I can't immediately see the rebuttal to the obvious <17...Qxc4> (since after 18.Rc1 Qb5 black again has ...Qb6+ to get the Q to a better square).

I shall return later when smarter minds than mine have provided the answers.

May-25-14  diagonalley: ...hmmmmm .... seemed to me too that 17.N-Q4 was the way forward ... not really "insane", unless one takes into account the preceding exchange sacrifice... roll on monday
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <goodevans> 17...Bg6 was Black's only defense. If the Bishop moves, it has to stay on that diagonal, or else White has Qd3 which is immediately winning.

17...Qb6+ 18. Bd4 is back to the game situation, the Bishop still under attack by the f1 Rook and stuck on the same diagonal. If say 18..Qe8, then 19. Rxf5 defends the Knight.

17...Qxc4 18. Rxf5

Just a beautiful combination, so easy to see in retrospect, but something far beyond me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Great combo. Found the first move but went totally wrong after that. Ingenious. Might have solved it at a stretch but probably OTB would have gone wrong here. I thought that 18. Nxf7 was winning but missed Black could check and come back to defend g7. I did think of pushing to e6 but not the ideas and moves that occurred.

Great game by Beliavsky! He was a serious potential contender for the World Champs at one stage, I think he played a match against Karpov. I see in (another) book I have of Karpov's games he annotates his loss to Beliavsky or was it Portish I'm thinking of - it was! But in the games 1975-77 they had two draws.

Beliavsky and Portish were two very strong players in those days as was Gelfand of course.

Maybe Beliavsky played Kasparov.

May-25-14  goodevans: <OhioChessFan> Oops! Yes, the B is en prise. If I'd spotted that I could have saved myself a lot of bother!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: This is a lovely game but it kicked in an awful habit by me. I found myself (again) trying to remember the game rather than trying to play the position.

Head too full of clay this morning to even attempt it. Rf6 popped up somewhere but too chess'd out to even go for it.

The opening brought back a funny memory.

Here me as Black in a 1980's tournament.

click for larger view

My opponent played played 4.e3 and I quick as a dip played 4...e5.

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An Advanced French in reverse and a whole tempo down. I went for the Milner-Barry Gambit (in reverse, so it's the Barry-Milner Gambit) and lost.

The Milner the gambit is dodgy enough without playing it a tempo down. Still these things must be tried, like all (ahem...cough...cough...) good chess players I seem to have a healthy knack for making things very difficult for myself.

OK now off to RHP where I have 14 games waiting for a move and today I just do not feel like looking at a chessboard. 14 blunders coming up.

May-25-14  newzild: I got the move-order wrong - I thought it was 17. e6 first, followed by a bishop sac on g7 and Qg5+ in some lines. Nice game, but.
May-25-14  Patriot: I finally decided 17.Ng5 without being completely clear on anything. On 17...Bg6 18.e6 was my plan. Or 17...Be6 18.Nxe6 fxe6 19.Rxf8+ Kxf8 20.Qd8+ Kf7 but nothing was really clear.
May-25-14  abuzic: 17.Nd4 does not achieve much, it blocks the long black diagonal

17.Ng5 Qb6+
18.Bd4 Qd8
<18...Qc7 19.Rxf5 h6 20.e6 f6 21.Bxf6 gxf6 <(21...Rxf6 22.Rxf6 gxf6 23.Nf7)> 22.Ne4 Qg7 23.Qd6 and e7 or Nxf6 to follow>

19.Rxf5 h6
<19...Na6 20.e6 f6 <(20...fxe6 21.Rxf8+ Qxf8 22.Be4)> 21.Nxh7 Kxh7 22.Rh5+ Kg8 23.Be4 Re8 <(23...Qc7 24.Bh7+ Kh8 25.Qd3)> 24.Bh7+ Kh8 25.Bg6 Rxe6 26.Rh8+ Ke7 27.Rxd8>; <19...g6 20.Rxf7>

20.Nxf7 Rxf7
21.Rxf7 Kxf7
22.Qf4+ Ke8
<22...Kg8 23.e6 Qf8 <(23...Qe7 24.Qf5 Qf8 25.Qg4 and Be4 to follow)> 24.Qg4 and Be4 to follow>

23.e6 Qe7
24.Bc5 Qxe6
<24...Qf6 25.Qc7 Qxe6 <(25...Qa1+ 26.Bf1 Qf6 27.Bh3)> 26.Bh3>

25. Qf8+ Kd7
26.Qxg7+ Kc8
<26...Kd8 27.Bh3>

27.Qf8+ Kc7
<27...Kd7 28.Qf1 Ke8 29.Bh3 Qf7 30.Qa1 Nd7 31.Qh8+ Nf8 32.Bg4>

28.Bh3 Nd7
<28...Qxh3 29.Bd6+ Kb6 30.Qd8+ Ka6 31.Qa5#>


click for larger view

May-25-14  Dr. J: if 20...Rxe7 21 Qd8+ Re8 22 Be6+ Kh8 (22...Kf8 23 Rxf6+) 23 Qxf6 Rg8 24 Qxg7+ Rxg7 25 Re8#
May-25-14  therevolver17: Couldn't solve it.
May-25-14  cunctatorg: There are many a player who are underrated; something normal because there are many World Champions and World Champion Candidates, so many that you can't study enough games of all of them!!

Anyways, GM Alexander Beliavsky is an underrated strongest GM. Imho Grandmasters like Boris Gulko, Tony Miles, Ivan Sokolov, Dragoljub Velimirovic, Michael Adams, Alexey Dreev, Alexander Khalifman and ... many others are victims of the radiation of some stronger players ... though I doubt that many players can gain more studying Fischer, Korchnoi, Karpov, Kasparov, Anand, Kramnik, Timman etc. than studying the aforementioned players.

May-25-14  jffun1958: 24. ... hxg6 25. Qd4 Nf6 26. Qxf6 gxf6 27. Bxf6#
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Thought that the defense 17...Qxc4 might have some legs but white can proceed with 18 Rxf5, below (as <OCF> indicated.)

click for larger view

Here the problem is the unconnected rooks. White's queen controls the d file and has back rank threats as well. Black has to spend a tempo he does not have to spare, playing 18...Na6. But white can continue with 19 e6.

click for larger view

Now playing either rook to d8 is one tempo too late. Also, 19...fxe6 is met by 20 Qd7.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop for a rook.

Black threatens 17... Qxc4.

My first idea was to find a way of trapping the black queen but it seems it is not possible due to ... b6.

There is a chance of achieving perpetual with 17.e6 Bxe6 18.Bxg7 Kxg7 19.Qg5+. This suggests the possibility of attacking the black king with five pieces and a pawn. There are many candidate moves to start the attack, 17.Nd4, 17.Ng5, 17.Nh4, 17.e6, 17.Qf4, 17.Qg5 and choosing the most suitable one is probably the most difficult part of this puzzle. From all these moves 17.Ng5 has a number of advantages (attacks the black bishop, touches the squares e6, f7 and h7, prepares the advance e6, opens the f-file, etc.):

A) 17... Bg6 18.e6

A.1) 18... fxe6 19.Rxf8+ Kxf8 20.Qd8+ Be8 21.Qd6+ Kg8 22.Qxe6+ and mate in two.

A.2) 18... f6 19.e7 Re8 20.Rxf6

A.2.a) 20... gxf6 21.Bxf6 Rxe7 (21... Bf7 22.Qd3 Bg6 23.Bd5+ and mate in four; 21... Qb6+ 22.c5 Qc7 23.Bd5+ and mate in three) 22.Bxe7 Qb6+ 23.c5 Qc7 24.Bd5+ cxd5 25.Qxd5+ Kg7 (25... Kh8 26.Bf6+ Qg7 27.Qd8+ Be8 28.Qxe8#) 26.Ne6+ Kc7 27.Nxc7+ Kxe7 28.Nxa8, etc.

A.2.b) 20... Rxe7 21.Rxg6 wins a piece (21... hxg6 22.Qd8+ Re8 23.Qxe8#; 21... Qb6+ 22.c5 Qc7 23.Rd6).

A.3) 18... Qc7+ 19.c5 Qc7 20.exf7+

A.3.a) 20... Kh8 21.Ne6 with the triple threat 22.Nxg7#, 22.Nxc7 and 22.Nxf8.

A.3.b) 20... Bxf7 21.Qd3 Bg6 (21... g6 22.Qd4 + -) 22.Rxf8+ Kxf8 23.Ne6+ Ke7 24.Nxc7 Bxd3 25.exd3 followed by Nxa8.

A.3.c) 20... Rxf7 21.Nxf7 Bxf7 22.Qg5 Bg6 23.Be5 Qc8 24.Qe7 Qf8 25.Qxb7 looks good for White.

B) 17... Be6 18.Qd3 g6 19.Nxe6 fxe6 20.Rxf8+ Kxf8 21.Qd8+ with a winning attack. For example, 21... Kf7 22.Qf6+ Ke8 23.Qxe6+ Kd8 24.Qd6+ Ke8 (24... Kc8 25.Bh3+ and mate in two; 24... Nd7 25.e6 + -) 25.e6 followed by Bg7.

C) 17... Qb6+ 18.c5 loses the bishop.

D) 17... g6 18.e6 with many threats 19.exf7+, 19.Qd4-h4 combined with Rxf5, etc.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The text move 20.Bh3 is much stronger than my 20.Rxf6. After 20... gxf6 21.Bxf6 Rxe7 22.Bxe7 I missed 22... Qa1+ 23.Kf2 Na6 and Black doesn't look so bad.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Analyzed Sunday's POTD move-by-move with Fritz 12. Here's the result:

<17. ♘g5!!> This is the strongest move, but 17. Nd4! might also win as, for example, after 17. Nd4! Bg6 18. c5! Re8 19. e6! (+4.55 @ 17/46 depth).

<17... ♗g6> This is as good as any attempt by Black to complicate and swindle a draw, but other tries create unique problems which require precise play by White.

If 17... Be6, White wins after 18. Qd3! g6 19. Nxe6!

(Also strong is 19. Rxf7! Rxf7 (19... Bxf7 20.
e6 Be8 21. Qd4 Qb6 22. c5 Qc7 23. Qh8#) 20. Qd8+ Rf8 21. Qe7 Rf7 22. Qe8+ Rf823. Qxe6+ Kh8 24. Qe7 Qb6+ 25. Kh1 with mate-in-four to follow.)

19... fxe6 20. Rxf8+ Kxf8 21. Qd8+ and play might continue 21...Kf7 22. Qf6+ Ke8 23. Qxe6+ Kf8 24. Qf6+ Ke8 25. e6 Qb6+ 26. c5 Qc7 27. Qh8+ Ke7 28. Qg7+ Ke8 29. Qg8+ Ke7 30. Qf7+ Kd8 31. Qf8#

If 17... h6, then 18. Rxf5! hxg5 19. e6! and play might continue Bxe6 20. Qd8+ Kh7 21. Be4+ Bf5 22. Rxf5 Qb6+ 23. Rf2+ Rf5 24. Bxf5+ g6 25. Qh8#

If 17... Bc8, then 18. Qd3 g6 19. e6! and play might continue 19...Bxe6 20. Qc3 f6 21. Rxf6 Rxf6 22. Qxf6 Qb6+ 23. c5 Qc7 24. Qh8#.

If 17... Qxc4, then 18. Rxf5 Na6 19. e6! and play might continue 19...f6 20. e7 Rfe8 21. Qd7 h6 22. Bd5+ cxd5 23. Qe6+ Kh8 24. Rxf6 Qc6 (24... gxf6 25. Bxf6#) 25. Rxh6#.

If 17...Qb6+, then 18. Bd4 Qd8 19. Rxf5 and with the extra piece and the initiative White should win without much difficulty.

<18. e6 f6 19. e7 ♖e8 20. ♗h3 ♕b6+>

If 20... Rxe7, then 21. Qd8+ Re8 22. Be6+ Kh8 23. Qxf6 Qb6+ 24. c5 Qc7 25. Qf8+ Rxf8 26. Rxf8#.

If 20... fxg5, then 21. Be6+ Bf7 22. Qxg5 Qb6+ 23. Kh1 g6 24. Bxf7#.

<21. c5 ♕c7 22. ♗e6+ ♔h8 23. ♖xf6> 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Black resigns in lieu of <<23...♘d7>>

If 23... gxf6 24. Bxf6#;

If 23... Qxe7, then 24. Rxg6 hxg6 (24... Nd7 25. Rxg7 Qxg7 26. Qxd7 Re7 27. Qxe7 Qxb2 28. Qxh7#) 25. Qd4 Na6 (25... Qxg5 26. Qxg7#) (25... Qxe6 26. Qxg7#) 26. Qh4#

If 23... Rg8, then 24. Rxg6 Qxe7 25. Rh6 Qxg5 26. Qxg5 Na6 27. Rxh7+ Kxh7 28. Qh5#

If 23... Na6, then 24. Rxg6 Rxe7 25. Rxg7 Rxg7 26. Qd3 Qe5 27. Bxe5 h6 28. Qh7#

<<24. ♖xg6 ♖xe7 25. ♖xg7! ♖xg7 26. ♘f7+ ♔g8 27. ♘d6+ ♔f8 28. ♗xg7+ ♔e7 (28... ♔xg7 29. ♕g5+ ♔f8 30. ♕g8+ ♔e7 31. ♕f7+ ♔d8 32. ♕e8#) 29. ♕g5+ ♔xe6 30. ♕f5+ ♔e7 31. ♕f7+ ♔d8 32. ♕e8#>>.

May-26-14  M.Hassan: "Insane"
White to play 17.?
White has a Bishop for a Rook

17.Ng5 attemping to capture undefended Bishop
18.e6 f6
19.e7 isolated pawn making trouble
20.Bh3 Qb6+
21.c5 Qc7
22.Be6+ Kh8
<if...gxf6 24.Bxf6#>

24.Rxg6 hxg6
25.Qd4 to mate on g7
26.Qxf6! Qxe7
27.Qxg6 Qxg5 has to do this to prevent mate
White's win is becoming certain

May-27-14  gars: <cunctatorg> I suggest Lev Psakhis as a candidate to your list.
Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: For all those who are admirers of Belyavsky's chess excellence, and rightly so, if you have not already done so, get his book "Uncompromising Chess", full of sharp struggles with amazing tactics against the world's top players. This game is #51 in his book.
May-27-14  Howard: Two comments...

Beliavsky was, at one point, tied for the lead in this tournament...but then he lost his last four games in a row. Very unfortunate.

Furthermore, he had also beaten Gelfand (with Black) in the previous Linares event, in 1991. That was an especially good game, plus it also took first place in the Informant volume for best novelty. Well worth checking out !

Jun-10-16  jvitray: 24 ...hxg6 25 Qd4 threatening mate at g7 and h4. If 25 ...Nf6 26 Qxf6
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