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Vassily Ivanchuk vs Veselin Topalov
Belgrade Investbank (1995), Belgrade SRB, rd 9, Nov-24
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Yugoslav Attack (B77)  ·  0-1


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Given 69 times; par: 20 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Black pawns on the kingside look mighty, but I don't see anything immediately decisive for black. Crafty, what am I missing here?
Nov-26-03  Spitecheck: Well with only about a 6 minute search:

Depth: 13 Nodes: 298171446 (860251 n/s)
Score: +1.24 Time: 346.61 seconds
25. Qg2 Kh7 26. Rg1 Kh8 27. b3 Qc8 28. Ne6 Bxe6 29. dxe6 Qxe6 30. Qxg4 Qxg4 31. Rxg4 Bh6

Of course Crafty is probably giving a significant score for the material present on the board. I think Qg2 is about white's only decent looking move though.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: At first glance 25.Ne6 or 25.Rg1 with idea 25...Qxd5 26.Rxg4 seem to be playable too.
Nov-26-03  Spitecheck: Crafty gives the Qg2 move an exclam which in crafty's terms means the score for this move is significantly higher than those previous (which probably were Ne6 and Rg1). Seems correct conceptually as the queen move aims to preserve the centre for that much longer, while the other two perhaps do not. Either way though it does make the result seem a tad askew does it not?


Mar-12-05  coffee monster: I know Ivanchuk has a reputation for resigning prematurely but this is just ridiculous. I've checked some other sources and the moves seem OK. After googling I found out that this game is supposedly annotated in NIC (1996 issue #1) and "The Complete Dragon" by Eduard Gufeld and Oleg Stetsko. If anyone has either of these and could check whether they offer an explanation I'd be grateful.
Jun-17-06  Topzilla: 18 Rxd5!!! nice move, and Ivanchuk allows black pawns to keep going up and in spite of the danger of those pawns, i dont see the lost lines here,someone has an explanation??

Jun-24-06  MindRotorVia: Well, black seems better, and Ivanchuke has the reputation of resigning very early.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessmensch: Watson discusses this game on page 192 of Vol I of Mastering the Chess Openings.
Jun-19-08  Octal: Maybe his clock ran out?
Jul-03-08  maspur08: This game is included into "It's uncleared why Ivanchuk resigned" ??

This is another Ivanchuk's miracle. :)

Jul-13-11  Hesam7: 1) The line with 14. g4 in the Soltis variation (12. h4 h5) is nowadays considered dubious, 14. Kb1 is the main line. In general the Soltis variation itself is not played that much 12. Kb1! is the most dangerous move for Black.

2) Ivanchuk's main mistake was 23. Rd3?. My engine recommends 23. h6 Kh8 24. Rh5 Bf6 25. c3 with equality. Although it can become very complicated for example: 25. ... f4!? 26. Qe4 Ne3 27. Rdh1 Nc4 28. Kc1 (White has to defend against ... Nd2+. 28. Ka1? b4 29. Bc2 Rf7 is bad and 28. Rhd1 spoils all the fun!) 28. ... f3 29. Bc2 Rf7 30. Ne6 f2 (defending the g4-pawn indirectly) 31. Nf4 (31. Qxg4? Bxe6 32. dxe6 Bxc3 33. bxc3 [33. exf7 Bxb2+ 34. Kb1 Na3+ 35. Kxb2 Qxc2+ 36. Kxa3 Qc3#] f1=Q+ 34. Rxf1 Rxf1+ 35. Bd1 Qf8 36. Qd4+ Ne5 ) 31. ... Ne5 32. Rxe5 Bxe5 33. Ng6+ Kg8 34. Bd3 (by guarding the f1-square h7-Rxh7-Nxe7 becomes a real threat) 34. ... Bf5 35. Qxf5 Qxf5 36. Bxf5 g3 37. Be6 Kh7 38. Bxf7 g2

click for larger view

And White is forced to go for a perpetual check with Nf8-Ng6. Of course Black can also play: 25. ... Bxd4 26. Rxd4 Qe8 27. Rg5 Ne5 28. Bc2 Nf3 29. Rg7 Nxd4 30. Qxg4 fxg4 31. Rh7+ and White gives perpetual check again.

2) In the final position after 24. ... Qxc4 White is considerably worse:

click for larger view

Fo what is worth Stockfish 2.0.1 gives the following:

25. Qg2 Kh8 26. Rhd1 b4 27. b3 Qc8 28. Rg1 Qc5 29. Rf1 Rc8 30. Rdd1 Rg8 31. Rg1 Bf6 32. Qd2 Be5 33. Ne2 Rf8 34. h6 f3 (-1.33 @ depth 26)

3) The two moves suggested by <Honza Cervenka> lose pretty quickly:

A) 25. Ne6 f3 26. Qd1 (26. Qe1 f2!) 26. ... Bxe6 27. dxe6 Qxe6

B) 25. Rg1 f3 26. Qf2 Qc5 27. a3 Rf4! (27. ... Qxd5?? 28. Nxf3 =) 28. Rf1 Bf6 29. Nxf3 Qxf2 30. Rxf2 gxf3 31. Rdxf3 Rxf3 32. Rxf3 Kh7 with an easily won endgame.

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