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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
May-05-03
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... ♗b7)

"This is the standard position of the Najdorf and at the time this game was played, ♕g3 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. ♘d5!?

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


click for larger view

12... ♘xd5

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. ♘f5 ♔f8 14. ♕g3 dxe4 15. ♗xe4 ♗xe4 16. ♖xe4 ♕c5! 17. ♗h6 ♘xe4! 18. ♕xg7+ ♔e8 19. ♕xh8+ ♘f8 20. ♗xf8 ♗xf8 21. ♕xh7 ♖c8 and Black has the advantage. The move played appears natural, but there is a stunning surprise in store.

13. exd5 ♗xg5

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. ♖xd7 ♕c4 18. ♗e7+ ♔g8 19. ♗xd6 ♕xa2 20. ♘c6 gives white a winning position.

14. Rxe6+!

This further rook sacrifice is the only way to maintain the attack's momentum. After 14. ♘xe6 (14. fxg5 ♘e5 15. ♕h3 ♗xd5 16. g6 0-0-0 also favors ♗lack) 14... fxe6 15. ♕h5+ ♔f8 16. fxg5 ♘e5 17 g6 (17. ♗xh7 ♕c4 18 b3 ♕f4+ 19. ♔b1 ♔e7) 17... h6 18. ♖xe5 dxe5 19. ♖f1+ ♔e8 20. ♖f7 ♕c5 21. ♕xe5 ♗xd5 22. ♕xg7 ♖f8 White runs out of steam.


click for larger view

14... fxe6

Once again Black does not have much choice, e.g.:
1) 14... ♗e7 15. ♘f5! g6 (15... fxe6 16. ♘xg7+ ♔f7 17. ♘xe6 ♕a5 18. ♕h5+ ♔g8 19. ♕g4+ ♔f7 20. ♕g7+ ♔e8 21. ♗g6+ hxg6 22. ♕xg6#) 16. ♖xe7+ ♔d8 (16... ♔f8 17. ♖de1 gxf5 18. ♕h5 wins) (continued onto next post)

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

17. ♖xf7 gxf5 18. ♗xf5 ♗c8 19. ♕g4 ♕a7 20. ♕g5+ ♔c7 21. ♗xd7 ♕e3+ 22. ♔b1 ♗xd7 23. ♖e7, followed by 24. ♖xd7+ and 25. ♕g7+, with a winning position. 2) 14... ♔d8 15. fxg5 ♘e5 16. ♖xe5 dxe5 17. ♘c6+ ♔e8 18. ♗f5 with a massive attack in return for a minimal material investment.

15. ♘xe6!

Once again White chooses the most dangerous move. After 15. ♕h5+ g6 16. ♗xg6+ hxg6! (not 16... ♔e7 17. ♕xg5+ ♘f6 18. ♘f5+! ♔d7 19. dxe6+ ♔c6 20. ♖xd6+ ♕xd6 21. ♘xd6 ♔xd6 22. ♕e5+ ♔c6 23. b4 ♘d5 24. ♗e4 and White wins) 17. ♕xh8+ ♘f8 18. ♘xe6 ♗xf4+ 19. ♘xf4 (19. ♔b1 ♕f7 20. ♖f1 ♗xd5 21. ♖xf4 ♕xe6 22. ♕xf8+ ♔d7 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:


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15.... ♕a5?!

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 ♖e1 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... ♕b6! is more accurate. The queen is more actively placed on b6 and a later ... ♕e3+ would prevent ♖e1 with a gain of tempo. In response to this White may try:

1) 16. fxg5? g6 17. ♖f1 ♘e5 18. ♕f6 ♖g8 favors Black - the e5-knight is an excellent defensive piece.

2) 16. ♖e1? ♗f6 17. ♕h5+ g6 18. ♗xg6+ hxg6 19. ♕xg6+ ♔e7 20. ♘g7+ ♗e5 21. fxe5 dxe5 22. d6+ ♔d8 23. ♘e6+ ♔c8 24. ♕g7 ♖d8 25. ♘xd8 ♕xd8 and White has run out of pieces.

3) 16. ♕h5+ g6 and now:

3a) 17. ♗xg6+ ♔e7 18. ♕xg5+ ♘f6 19. ♗h5! (The alternatives all win for Black: 19. ♗f5 ♖ag8, 19. ♘d4 hxg6 20. ♕xg6 ♘e8! 21. ♖e1+ ♔d8 22. ♘e6+ ♔c8 and 19. ♖e1 ♕f2 20. ♔d1 hxg6 21. ♕xg6 ♖ag8 (continued onto next post)

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

22. ♘g7+ ♔d6 23. ♕xf6 ♔c8 24. ♘f5 ♔b8) 19... ♕e3+ 20. ♔b1 ♖ag8 21. ♘g7 ♗c8 22. ♕h4 ♖xg7 23. ♖e1 ♕xe1+ 24. ♕xe1 ♔d8 and black is slightly better in this complex position.

3b) 17. ♕xg5 ♕e3+ 18. ♔b1 ♔f7
(18... ♘e5 19. ♕f6 ♘f7 20. ♘c7+ ♔d8 ♘e6+ is an immediate draw) with a final branch:

3b1) 19. ♕h6 ♖ag8! (if Black plays 19... ♗xd5 White can at any rate force a draw by 20. ♕g7+ ♔xe6 21. f5+ gxf5 22. ♗xf5+ ♔xf5 23. ♖f1+ ♔e4 24. ♕g4+ ♔e5 25. ♕g7+) 20. ♘g5+ ♔e8 21. ♕h4 ♔d8 22. ♖e1 ♕b6 23. ♘f7+ ♔c8 24. ♘xh8 ♖xh8 25. ♗xg6 ♕d8!, forcing an exchange of queens, after which Black has a large advantage.

3b2) 19. ♕h4! (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... ♖ae8 20. ♖e1 ♕d2 21. ♘d8+ ♖xd8 22. ♕e7+ ♔g8 23. ♕e6+ or playing for a win with the unclear 19... ♗xd5 20. ♘c7 ♕c5 21. ♘xa8 ♘f6 22. f5 gxf5 23. ♖f1 ♗e6 24. ♘c7 ♕xc7 25. ♗xf5 ♗xf5 26. ♖xf5 ♕e7 27. ♕h5+ ♔e6 28. ♕h3.

Previous annotators have dismissed Black's position is lost following 15... ♕a5?!, but I believe that the fatal error only occcurs later. What is clear, however, is that after 15... ♕b6! White is struggling for a draw whereas after 15... ♕a5?! it is black who must play (very) accuratly to save the game.

16. ♕h5+ g6 17. ♕xg5

Not 17. ♗xg6+? ♔e7 18. ♕xg5+ ♘f6 and the attack falters.


click for larger view

17... ♖g8!

Other defenses are inferior:

1) 17... ♖f8 18. f5 ♖f6 (18... ♖g8 19. fxg6 h6 20. ♕xh6 ♗xd5 21. ♗f5 ♗xa2 22. ♕e3 and 18... ♗xd5 19. ♘xf8 ♘xf8 20. fxg6 ♕xa2 21. gxh7 win for White) 19. fxg6 h6 (continued onto next post)

Apr-02-06  MorphyMatt: 20. ♕xh6 ♗xd5 21. ♘g7+ ♔d8 22. ♘h5! ♕xa2 23. ♘xf6 ♘xf6 24. ♕f8+ ♘e8 25. ♖e1 ♗c6 26. g7 and wins.

2) 17... ♘f8 18. ♕f6 ♘xe6 (White also wins after 18... ♗xd5 19. ♗e4 ♗xe4 20. ♕xh8 ♔e7 21. ♘g5) 19. dxe6 ♖f8 20. ♕g7 0-0-0 (20... ♗c6 21. ♕xh7) 21. e7 And White will be up a pawn with a good position.

18. ♖d2!

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.


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18... ♘f8?

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... ♕xa2 19. ♖e2 ♔f7 20. ♕h6 ♗xd5 21. ♕xh7+ ♔f6 22. ♘f8! and White wins.

2) 18... ♖a7 19. ♖e2 ♔f7 20. ♕h6 ♘f8 21. ♘g5+ ♔f6 22. ♘xh7+ ♔f7 23. ♕g5 with a decisive attack.

3) 18... ♘b6 19. ♖e2 ♔d7(19... ♔f7 20. ♘d8+ ♖gxd8 21. ♗xg6+ mates) 20. ♕h6 ♘xd5 21. ♕xh7+ ♔c6 22. ♗e4 ♕b6 23. c4! bxc4 24. ♖d2 ♔b5 25. ♗xd5 ♗xd5 26. ♘c7+ ♔a4 27. ♘xd5 and Black's king is too exposed.

4) 18... ♔f7 (the most obvious move, but it is bad) and now:

4a) 19. ♕h6 with two lines:
(continued on to next post)

Apr-13-06  MorphyMatt: 4a1) 19... ♘f8 20. ♖e2 ♗xd5 21. ♘g5+ ♔f6 22. ♕h4! ♕xa2 (22... ♔g7 23. ♖e7+ leads to a quick mate) 23. ♘xh7+ ♔g7 24. ♖e7+ ♗f7 25. ♕f6+ ♔xh7 (25... ♔h6 26. ♘xf8 ♖axf8 27. ♕g5+ ♔h7 28. ♕h5+ ♔g7 29. ♕xg6+ ♔h8 30. ♕h7#) 26. ♖xf7+ ♕xf7 27. ♕xf7+ ♖g7 28. ♕f6 with a winning position for White.

4a2) 19... ♗xd5! 20. ♕xh7+ ♔xe6 21. ♗xg6 ♖xg6 22. ♕xg6+ ♘f6 23. ♖e2+ ♔d7 24. ♕xf6 ♕xa2 and black is slightly better. (continued on to next post)

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

4b) 19. ♖e2! (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... ♘f6} (19... ♕xa2 20. ♕h6 transposes to the winning line "1" above) 20. ♕h6 ♔e7 (20... ♔e8 21. ♕h4! ♔e7 22. ♘c5+ ♔f7 23. ♖e6 wins) 21. ♘d4+ 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... ♔f7 22. ♘f3 ♖g7 23. ♖e7+ ♔xe7 24. ♕xg7+ ♔e8 25. ♕xb7 and Black's position is hopeless.

4b2) 21... ♔d8 22. ♕h4 ♖f8 (or 22... ♕xa2 23. ♕xf6+ ♔c8 24. ♖e7 ♗xd5 25. ♕xd6 ♕a1+ 26. ♔d2 ♕a5+ 27. c3 ♕d8 28. ♕c5+ ♔b8 29. ♗e4 ♗xe4 30. ♕e5+ ♔c8 31. ♕xe4 and black loses) 23. ♘e6+ ♔d7 24. ♕h3! ♖fb8 25. ♘c5+ ♔d8 (25... ♔e7 26. ♖e7+) 26. ♕e6 ♔c7 27. ♕e7+ ♔b6 28. ♕xd6+ ♔a7 29. ♕xf6 wins.

4b3) 21... ♔d7 22. ♕h3+ ♔c7 (after 22... ♔d8 23. ♕e6 ♕xa2 24. ♕xf6+ we transpose to "4b2") 23. ♖e7+ ♔b8 24. ♕e6 ♕d8 (continued on to next post)

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

25. ♕xf6 ♗xd5 26. ♕g5 ♗b7 27. ♗xb5! ♕b6 (27... axb5 28. ♖xb7+ ♔xb7 29. ♕d5+ ♔b6 30. ♕xb5+ wins the queen) and now one very promising line is 28. ♗c6! ♗xc6 29. ♕a5 ♕xa5 30. ♘xc6+ ♔c8 31. ♘xa5 with two pawns and an excellent position for the exchange.

5) 18... ♘c5! (the only move) 19. ♖e2 and now Black probably has two wats to save the game:


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5a) 19... ♔d7? 20. ♗f5!! ♗xd5 (or 20... gxf5 21. ♘xc5+ dxc5 22. ♖e7+ ♔d8 23. ♖g7+ wins) 21. ♘xc5+! (21. ♘d4+ gxf5 is less clear) 21... ♔c6 22. ♗d7+!! (a superb move) 22... ♔xc5 23. ♕e7 (the ♕e7-e3 manoeuvre is reminiscent of a chess problem) 23... ♔b6 24. ♕xd6+ ♔a7 25. ♕xd5 with a large advantage for White.

5b) 19... ♘xd3+! 20. cxd3 ♔f7 21. ♕h6 ♗xd5 22. ♕xh7+ ♔f6 23. ♕h4+ ♔f7 24. ♘g5+ ♔f6 (continued on to next post)

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

(24... ♔f8? 25. ♕h6+ ♖g7 26. ♕h8+ ♗g8 27. ♘e6+ wins) 25. ♘h7+ ♔g7 26. ♖e7+ ♗f7 and now 27. ♖xf7+ ♔xf7 28. ♕f6+ ♔e8 29. ♕e6+ ♔d8 30. ♕xg8+ ♔c7 31. ♕xa8 ♕e1+ 32. ♔c2 ♕e2+ 33. ♔c3 ♕e1+ 34. ♔b3 ♕d1+ 35. ♔b4 ♕d2+ 36. ♔a3 ♕xd3+ 37. b3 b4+ 38. ♔xb4 ♕d2+ unexpectedly leads to prepetual check. The only alternative is 27. ♘g5 ♖h8 28. ♖xf7+ ♔g8 29. ♖h7 ♕c7+! 30. ♖xc7 ♖xh4, but in view of White's poorly placed knight it it doubtful that he can claim any advantage.

5c) 19... ♘xe6! 20. dxe6 (20. ♕f6 ♗xd5 21. ♖xe6+ ♗xe6 22. ♕xe6+ is a draw) with a position so complicated as almost to defy analysis:

5c1) 20... ♖c8?! is probably bad after 21. f5 ♕xa2 22. ♕f6 ♖c7 23. fxg6 ♕a1+ 24. ♔d2 ♕a5+ 25. c3 ♕a2

(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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