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Vassily Ivanchuk vs Ruslan Ponomariov
FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2001/02), Moscow RUS, rd 2, Jan-17
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Central Variation. Alekhine System (D20)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-24-02  knight: A complicated game.After whites 38th move he has apiece for two pawns and looks to be winning. Ponomariov then uses his king very skillfully to draw the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: After a loss in game 1 of the finals of the World Championship tournament Ivanchuk was hoping to even the match in game 2. His miss in this game was followed by two draws before Ponomariov won game 5 ultimately winning the match 4,5-2.5. White has usually attempted e6 either by 11 e6 or 11 Qb3..Nb6 12 e6. Ivanchuk's 11 0-0 allowing 11..e6 was a relatively fresh approach. 12 f4 had been played in Chow-Shamkovich Chicago 1990 and Black had gone on to win; 12 a3 was new. Had Black tried 19..Nc4 20 Bf2..Bg5 White may have intended 21 Nh5!?..Bxc1 22 Qxc1 with a promising attack. 23..Nd5!? seems like a strategic concession; 23..Qd8 was an alternative. 30..Bf6 31 f4! led to a solid edge for White; 30..Bd8 should have been tried. White missed the chance to win by 36 g3..Qxc4 37 Rxc4..Kf7 38 Rxa4..Kg6 39 Bxg5..Kxg5 40 Rxd4. Stronger would have been 43 Rc4..Re5 44 Nd3..Re2 45 b4..Rg2+ 46 Kf1..Rh2 47 Ne1+..Ke4 48 Bg7..Rd2 49 Rc2. After 46 Kf1? White's winning chances were gone; Kasparov suggested 46 h4..h6 47 Kf1..hxg 48 Rd3+..Kf4 49 Nh3+..Ke4 50 Rc3 with excellent winning chances (eg. 50..g4 51 Nf2+..Kd5 52 Rd3+..Ke5 53 b4..Bb6 54 Kg2.

An excellent fighting game but a missed opportunity for Ivanchuk. Ponomariov's active play in creating counterplay is very instructive.

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