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Vassily Ivanchuk vs Ruslan Ponomariov
FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2001/02), Moscow RUS, rd 4, Jan-19
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Central Variation. Alekhine System (D20)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <Game 4 Saturday January 19 For the public it was an exciting game (though Ponomariov later criticised it for "low quality"). Playing with the black pieces, the 18-year-old castled queenside and threw everything he had at the white king. The spectators discussing the game live on the Fritz7 server certainly expected a win for Ponomariov, but Ivanchuk defended cold-bloodedly and won a pawn. For a while he pressed for a win, but on move 50 the game ended in a draw by repetition.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: In game 2 Ivanchuk had played 6 Bd3 and had missed a win in an exciting, hard fought game that would have tied the match; here he varied with 6 Bb3. The setup that Black uses in this line is similar to what Black uses in the main line of the Four Pawns Attack of the Alekhines Defense. 11 Qc1 was a new move; 11 a3 and 11 Bc2 had been played previously. White got nothing out of the opening and after 14 Qd2?! Black took over the initiative starting a kingside attack. After 26 gxf? White was in trouble; 26 Rxcf3 would have been better. 28 Rg1..Rg2! would have been strong for Black but Ivanchuk's 28 f4 weakened the d5-h1 diagonal. Ponomariov could have played the powerful shot 28..Ne3! (but missed it) when White would have been down material after 29 Qxe3..Nc4 30 Qxd3..Nxd2 31 Bd3..Nxf1 32 Rxf1 and thus would have been resigned to 29 Rf3..Nxc2 30 Bxc2..Rg2 when Black would have been clearly better. Instead after 28..Rg2? 29 Rf3 (Ponomariov overlooked this defense) Black's attacking chances were gone and the h-pawn was a liability. Ivanchuk, in turn, also missed a win: 46 g4..fxg+ 47 Kxg4..Kxb5 48 Kh5..Bxb4 49 Kg6..Bxc3 50 Nxc3+..Kb4 51 Nxd5+..exd 52 f5; instead after 46 Be1? the game quickly ended in a repetition.
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