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Dragoljub Velimirovic vs Ljubomir Ljubojevic
Jugoslavija (ch) 13/523 (1972)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Main Line (B99)  ·  1-0
To move:
Last move:

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Given 19 times; par: 30 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-27-03  ZScore: Honza, what about 20...Rg7
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: If 20...Rg7 (instead of 20...Qd8), then 21.Qf6 threatening 22.Re2+ or 22.Qxg7.
Aug-12-04  Eric6312: 15...Qb6 saves Black I think.
May-19-05  aw1988: OK, I'll bite. Qb6 Re1.
Feb-09-06  MorphyMatt: (After 11... Bb7)

"This is the standard position of the Najdorf and at the time this game was played, Qg3 was the most popular move(it is regarded as the strongest today). Rather than follow the conventional line, Velimerovic uncorks an incredible piece sacrifice.

12. Nd5!?

It was years before the correct reply was descovered, so this was certainly an excellent practical bet!

click for larger view

12... Nxd5

One can hardly criticize Ljubojevic for not finding the difficult refutation. Readers should refer to a book on opening theory for full details, but the main line runs 12... exd5 13. Nf5 Kf8 14. Qg3 dxe4 15. Bxe4 Bxe4 16. Rxe4 Qc5! 17. Bh6 Nxe4! 18. Qxg7+ Ke8 19. Qxh8+ Nf8 20. Bxf8 Bxf8 21. Qxh7 Rc8 and Black has the advantage. The move played appears natural, but there is a stunning surprise in store.

13. exd5 Bxg5

More or less orced, as {13... Bxd5 (13... Nf6 14. Bxf6 Bxf6 15. Be4 e5 16. fxe5 Bxe5 17. Nc6 0-0 18. Nxe5 dxe5 19. Qh3 h6 20. d6 is also very good for White) 14. Qxd5! exd5 15. Rxe7+ Kf8 (15... Kd8 16. Rxf7+ Kc8 17. Bf5 wins) 16. Bf5 h6 (or 16... Rd8 17. Be6 f6 18. Rf7+ Ke7 19. Rxg7 fxg5 20. Bf7+ Ke7 21. Bh5+ Kf6 22. Rf7#) (continued onto next post)

Feb-10-06  MorphyMatt: (continued from last post)

17. Rxd7 Qc4 18. Be7+ Kg8 19. Bxd6 Qxa2 20. Nc6 gives white a winning position.

14. Rxe6+!

This further rook sacrifice is the only way to maintain the attack's momentum. After 14. Nxe6 (14. fxg5 Ne5 15. Qh3 Bxd5 16. g6 0-0-0 also favors Black) 14... fxe6 15. Qh5+ Kf8 16. fxg5 Ne5 17 g6 (17. Bxh7 Qc4 18 b3 Qf4+ 19. Kb1 Ke7) 17... h6 18. Rxe5 dxe5 19. Rf1+ Ke8 20. Rf7 Qc5 21. Qxe5 Bxd5 22. Qxg7 Rf8 White runs out of steam.

click for larger view

14... fxe6

Once again Black does not have much choice, e.g.:
1) 14... Be7 15. Nf5! g6 (15... fxe6 16. Nxg7+ Kf7 17. Nxe6 Qa5 18. Qh5+ Kg8 19. Qg4+ Kf7 20. Qg7+ Ke8 21. Bg6+ hxg6 22. Qxg6#) 16. Rxe7+ Kd8 (16... Kf8 17. Rde1 gxf5 18. Qh5 wins) (continued onto next post)

Feb-10-06  MorphyMatt: (continued from last post)

17. Rxf7 gxf5 18. Bxf5 Bc8 19. Qg4 Qa7 20. Qg5+ Kc7 21. Bxd7 Qe3+ 22. Kb1 Bxd7 23. Re7, followed by 24. Rxd7+ and 25. Qg7+, with a winning position. 2) 14... Kd8 15. fxg5 Ne5 16. Rxe5 dxe5 17. Nc6+ Ke8 18. Bf5 with a massive attack in return for a minimal material investment.

15. Nxe6!

Once again White chooses the most dangerous move. After 15. Qh5+ g6 16. Bxg6+ hxg6! (not 16... Ke7 17. Qxg5+ Nf6 18. Nf5+! Kd7 19. dxe6+ Kc6 20. Rxd6+ Qxd6 21. Nxd6 Kxd6 22. Qe5+ Kc6 23. b4 Nd5 24. Be4 and White wins) 17. Qxh8+ Nf8 18. Nxe6 Bxf4+ 19. Nxf4 (19. Kb1 Qf7 20. Rf1 Bxd5 21. Rxf4 Qxe6 22. Qxf8+ Kd7 consolidates the extra piece) 19... 0-0-0 White does not have enough for the piece. After the text-move Black faces a crucial choice: where should he move his queen?

(continued onto next post)

Feb-13-06  MorphyMatt:

click for larger view

15.... Qa5?!

White's main threat is to play his rook to the e-file, lining up against the enemy king, which is trapped in the center. Hence this move appears most natural, since it not only prevents Re1 but also attacks the a2-pawn. However, in such a position it is dangerous to rely on such general principles. It turns out that the alternative 15... Qb6! is more accurate. The queen is more actively placed on b6 and a later ... Qe3+ would prevent Re1 with a gain of tempo. In response to this White may try:

1) 16. fxg5? g6 17. Rf1 Ne5 18. Qf6 Rg8 favors Black - the e5-knight is an excellent defensive piece.

2) 16. Re1? Bf6 17. Qh5+ g6 18. Bxg6+ hxg6 19. Qxg6+ Ke7 20. Ng7+ Be5 21. fxe5 dxe5 22. d6+ Kd8 23. Ne6+ Kc8 24. Qg7 Rd8 25. Nxd8 Qxd8 and White has run out of pieces.

3) 16. Qh5+ g6 and now:

3a) 17. Bxg6+ Ke7 18. Qxg5+ Nf6 19. Bh5! (The alternatives all win for Black: 19. Bf5 Rag8, 19. Nd4 hxg6 20. Qxg6 Ne8! 21. Re1+ Kd8 22. Ne6+ Kc8 and 19. Re1 Qf2 20. Kd1 hxg6 21. Qxg6 Rag8 (continued onto next post)

Feb-13-06  MorphyMatt: (continued from last post)

22. Ng7+ Kd6 23. Qxf6 Kc8 24. Nf5 Kb8) 19... Qe3+ 20. Kb1 Rag8 21. Ng7 Bc8 22. Qh4 Rxg7 23. Re1 Qxe1+ 24. Qxe1 Kd8 and black is slightly better in this complex position.

3b) 17. Qxg5 Qe3+ 18. Kb1 Kf7
(18... Ne5 19. Qf6 Nf7 20. Nc7+ Kd8 Ne6+ is an immediate draw) with a final branch:

3b1) 19. Qh6 Rag8! (if Black plays 19... Bxd5 White can at any rate force a draw by 20. Qg7+ Kxe6 21. f5+ gxf5 22. Bxf5+ Kxf5 23. Rf1+ Ke4 24. Qg4+ Ke5 25. Qg7+) 20. Ng5+ Ke8 21. Qh4 Kd8 22. Re1 Qb6 23. Nf7+ Kc8 24. Nxh8 Rxh8 25. Bxg6 Qd8!, forcing an exchange of queens, after which Black has a large advantage.

3b2) 19. Qh4! (the best chance) and now Black has a choice between forcing a draw by (continued onto next post)

Feb-13-06  MorphyMatt: (continued from last post)

19... Rae8 20. Re1 Qd2 21. Nd8+ Rxd8 22. Qe7+ Kg8 23. Qe6+ or playing for a win with the unclear 19... Bxd5 20. Nc7 Qc5 21. Nxa8 Nf6 22. f5 gxf5 23. Rf1 Be6 24. Nc7 Qxc7 25. Bxf5 Bxf5 26. Rxf5 Qe7 27. Qh5+ Ke6 28. Qh3.

Previous annotators have dismissed Black's position is lost following 15... Qa5?!, but I believe that the fatal error only occcurs later. What is clear, however, is that after 15... Qb6! White is struggling for a draw whereas after 15... Qa5?! it is black who must play (very) accuratly to save the game.

16. Qh5+ g6 17. Qxg5

Not 17. Bxg6+? Ke7 18. Qxg5+ Nf6 and the attack falters.

click for larger view

17... Rg8!

Other defenses are inferior:

1) 17... Rf8 18. f5 Rf6 (18... Rg8 19. fxg6 h6 20. Qxh6 Bxd5 21. Bf5 Bxa2 22. Qe3 and 18... Bxd5 19. Nxf8 Nxf8 20. fxg6 Qxa2 21. gxh7 win for White) 19. fxg6 h6 (continued onto next post)

Apr-02-06  MorphyMatt: 20. Qxh6 Bxd5 21. Ng7+ Kd8 22. Nh5! Qxa2 23. Nxf6 Nxf6 24. Qf8+ Ne8 25. Re1 Bc6 26. g7 and wins.

2) 17... Nf8 18. Qf6 Nxe6 (White also wins after 18... Bxd5 19. Be4 Bxe4 20. Qxh8 Ke7 21. Ng5) 19. dxe6 Rf8 20. Qg7 0-0-0 (20... Bc6 21. Qxh7) 21. e7 And White will be up a pawn with a good position.

18. Rd2!

The rook finds an alternative path to the e-file. It is astonishing that White, a full rook down, can afford this relatively leisurly manoeuvre, but Black's king cannot easily flee from the e-file.

click for larger view

18... Nf8?

The key moment of the whole game. Faced with unrelenting pressure, Ljubojevic makes a serious error wich loses by force. The alternatives were: (continued on to next post)

Apr-06-06  Averageguy: <MorphyMatt> Are you fine time wise? It's just you havn't posted a move in a week in our game.
Apr-06-06  MorphyMatt: oh! sorry, forgot. Ur turn.
Apr-06-06  MorphyMatt: (continued from last post)

1) 18... Qxa2 19. Re2 Kf7 20. Qh6 Bxd5 21. Qxh7+ Kf6 22. Nf8! and White wins.

2) 18... Ra7 19. Re2 Kf7 20. Qh6 Nf8 21. Ng5+ Kf6 22. Nxh7+ Kf7 23. Qg5 with a decisive attack.

3) 18... Nb6 19. Re2 Kd7(19... Kf7 20. Nd8+ Rgxd8 21. Bxg6+ mates) 20. Qh6 Nxd5 21. Qxh7+ Kc6 22. Be4 Qb6 23. c4! bxc4 24. Rd2 Kb5 25. Bxd5 Bxd5 26. Nc7+ Ka4 27. Nxd5 and Black's king is too exposed.

4) 18... Kf7 (the most obvious move, but it is bad) and now:

4a) 19. Qh6 with two lines:
(continued on to next post)

Apr-13-06  MorphyMatt: 4a1) 19... Nf8 20. Re2 Bxd5 21. Ng5+ Kf6 22. Qh4! Qxa2 (22... Kg7 23. Re7+ leads to a quick mate) 23. Nxh7+ Kg7 24. Re7+ Bf7 25. Qf6+ Kxh7 (25... Kh6 26. Nxf8 Raxf8 27. Qg5+ Kh7 28. Qh5+ Kg7 29. Qxg6+ Kh8 30. Qh7#) 26. Rxf7+ Qxf7 27. Qxf7+ Rg7 28. Qf6 with a winning position for White.

4a2) 19... Bxd5! 20. Qxh7+ Kxe6 21. Bxg6 Rxg6 22. Qxg6+ Nf6 23. Re2+ Kd7 24. Qxf6 Qxa2 and black is slightly better. (continued on to next post)

Apr-13-06  MorphyMatt: (continued from last post)

4b) 19. Re2! (this is the correct move order; White defends the d5-pawn for one more move and so cuts out the defense of line "4a2") 19... Nf6} (19... Qxa2 20. Qh6 transposes to the winning line "1" above) 20. Qh6 Ke7 (20... Ke8 21. Qh4! Ke7 22. Nc5+ Kf7 23. Re6 wins) 21. Nd4+ does win, but it requires accurate play:

click for larger view

(continued on to next post)

Apr-13-06  MorphyMatt: (continued from last post)

4b1) 21... Kf7 22. Nf3 Rg7 23. Re7+ Kxe7 24. Qxg7+ Ke8 25. Qxb7 and Black's position is hopeless.

4b2) 21... Kd8 22. Qh4 Rf8 (or 22... Qxa2 23. Qxf6+ Kc8 24. Re7 Bxd5 25. Qxd6 Qa1+ 26. Kd2 Qa5+ 27. c3 Qd8 28. Qc5+ Kb8 29. Be4 Bxe4 30. Qe5+ Kc8 31. Qxe4 and black loses) 23. Ne6+ Kd7 24. Qh3! Rfb8 25. Nc5+ Kd8 (25... Ke7 26. Re7+) 26. Qe6 Kc7 27. Qe7+ Kb6 28. Qxd6+ Ka7 29. Qxf6 wins.

4b3) 21... Kd7 22. Qh3+ Kc7 (after 22... Kd8 23. Qe6 Qxa2 24. Qxf6+ we transpose to "4b2") 23. Re7+ Kb8 24. Qe6 Qd8 (continued on to next post)

Apr-13-06  MorphyMatt: (continued from last post)

25. Qxf6 Bxd5 26. Qg5 Bb7 27. Bxb5! Qb6 (27... axb5 28. Rxb7+ Kxb7 29. Qd5+ Kb6 30. Qxb5+ wins the queen) and now one very promising line is 28. Bc6! Bxc6 29. Qa5 Qxa5 30. Nxc6+ Kc8 31. Nxa5 with two pawns and an excellent position for the exchange.

5) 18... Nc5! (the only move) 19. Re2 and now Black probably has two wats to save the game:

click for larger view

5a) 19... Kd7? 20. Bf5!! Bxd5 (or 20... gxf5 21. Nxc5+ dxc5 22. Re7+ Kd8 23. Rg7+ wins) 21. Nxc5+! (21. Nd4+ gxf5 is less clear) 21... Kc6 22. Bd7+!! (a superb move) 22... Kxc5 23. Qe7 (the Qe7-e3 manoeuvre is reminiscent of a chess problem) 23... Kb6 24. Qxd6+ Ka7 25. Qxd5 with a large advantage for White.

5b) 19... Nxd3+! 20. cxd3 Kf7 21. Qh6 Bxd5 22. Qxh7+ Kf6 23. Qh4+ Kf7 24. Ng5+ Kf6 (continued on to next post)

Apr-13-06  MorphyMatt: (continued from last post)

(24... Kf8? 25. Qh6+ Rg7 26. Qh8+ Bg8 27. Ne6+ wins) 25. Nh7+ Kg7 26. Re7+ Bf7 and now 27. Rxf7+ Kxf7 28. Qf6+ Ke8 29. Qe6+ Kd8 30. Qxg8+ Kc7 31. Qxa8 Qe1+ 32. Kc2 Qe2+ 33. Kc3 Qe1+ 34. Kb3 Qd1+ 35. Kb4 Qd2+ 36. Ka3 Qxd3+ 37. b3 b4+ 38. Kxb4 Qd2+ unexpectedly leads to prepetual check. The only alternative is 27. Ng5 Rh8 28. Rxf7+ Kg8 29. Rh7 Qc7+! 30. Rxc7 Rxh4, but in view of White's poorly placed knight it it doubtful that he can claim any advantage.

5c) 19... Nxe6! 20. dxe6 (20. Qf6 Bxd5 21. Rxe6+ Bxe6 22. Qxe6+ is a draw) with a position so complicated as almost to defy analysis:

5c1) 20... Rc8?! is probably bad after 21. f5 Qxa2 22. Qf6 Rc7 23. fxg6 Qa1+ 24. Kd2 Qa5+ 25. c3 Qa2

(continued onto next post)

Jan-17-07  Themofro: Absolutely brilliant.
Jun-06-07  wolfmaster: The game or MorphyMatt?
Apr-20-09  GreenArrow: In 1972 Nd5 and Rxe6 might have been spectacular, but now it has been proved to be just wrong. Kasparov disagrees with Nunn's analysis, instead praising 12...Nd5! Here white's attack runs out of steam, whereas 12...exd5 gives him a continuing attack. 14. fxg5 is just plain worse, so 14.Rxe6 is more or less forced but the known refutation is ...Qb6 (aiming at e3) instead of Ljubojevic's ...Qa5 and the attack doesn't work. Therefore 12.Nd5? is more or less redundant now in favour of 12.Qg3 when after 12...b4 (forced) you get to play 13.Nd5 anyway, where it is correct.
Apr-20-09  GreenArrow: <wolfmaster> Well MorphyMatt's analysis is entirely plagarised from 'The World's Greatest Chess Games' by Nunn, Emms and Burgess, so presumably the game
Nov-24-10  rwbean: "The World's Great Chess Games" is from 1998 ... they say 18 ... Nc5 is the only move, now any program at all finds 19. Nxc5 dxc5 20. d6 Qd8 21. Re2+ Kf8 22. Qh6+ Rg7 23. Re7 and Black is dead (over +2 in Rybka 4 within seconds)! So it was a waste of time typing out all that analysis, sorry.

18 ... Kf7 seems to draw, contrary to WGCG, after 19. Re2 Nf6 20. Qh6 Ke7 21. Nd4+ Kd8 22. Qh4 Rf8 23. Ne6 Kd7 24. Qh3, then instead of 24... Rfb8 in the book, when White actually has a mate in 11 with 25. Ng5, Rybka suggests 24... Rfe8 25. Ng7+ Kc7 26. Nxe8+ Rxe8 27. Rxe8 Nxe8 28. Qxh7 Kb8 29. b3 (to prevent Qe1#) Bxd5 30. Qxg6 Bc6 and Black seems to get a perpetual check one way or another.

May-12-12  YoungEd: This is an exciting game, to be sure! One thing that strikes me toward the end of the game is how White's g-pawn is so important. It's completely unassailable even though nothing defends it! A piece of chess beauty, in a way.
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