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Jaan Yukhanovich Ehlvest vs Valery Konstantinovich Neverov
Aeroflot Open (2005), Moscow RUS, rd 2, Feb-16
Sicilian Defense: Kramnik Variation (B40)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-20-15  dfcx: saw first three moves starting with 27.Qg6, but did not see 30.Bd5.
Jun-20-15  prashantsk107: <euripides [...] 32.e6 seems to win more quickly.> 32...bxe6 33.bxe6+ kh7 34.bd7 rxb2 35. rc8 rd2 should hold for black.
Jun-20-15  morfishine: I couldn't find a forcing win

*****

Jun-20-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is identical.

A typical idea is 27.Rf6 to weaken the black castle:

A) 27... gxf6 28.Rxf6

A.1) 28... Bf5 29.Rxf5

A.1.a) 29... Rg8 30.Qf4 Rg7 31.Rxf7 Rxf7 (31... Rg8 32.Rh7#) 32.Qxf7 Qg8 33.Qf5

A.1.a.i) 33... Rxb2 34.e6 folowed by e7 loks winning. For example, 34... Rb6 35.Qf6+ Qg7 36.Qd8+ Qg8 37.e7 Re6 38.Qxg8+ Kxg8 39.Bd5.

A.1.a.ii) 33... Ra6 34.Bxb7 gets three pawns for the exchange.

A.1.b) 29... Rg6 30.Qf4 Qe7 31.Rh5 looks good for White. For example, 31... Re6 32.Rxh6+ Kg8 (32... Rxh6 33.Qxh6+ Kg8 34.Qh7#) 33.Qg4+ Rg6 34.Bxg6 fxg6 35.Rxg6+ Kh8 36.Qh5+ Qh7 37.Rh6 wins.

A.2) 28... Bc8 29.Qh4 Rxf6 30.exf6 Qxf6 31.Qxf6+ wins.

A.3) 28... Qxf6 29.exf6 Rg8 30.Qh4 Rg6 31.Bxg6 fxg6 32.Qxh6+ Kg8 33.Qg7#.

B) 27... g6 28.Rxg6 fxg6 (28... Kh7 29.Rg7+ Kh8 30.Rh7#) 29.Qxg6 Qe7 (29... Rf7 30.Rxf7 wins) 30.Rxf8+ Qxf8 31.Qh7#.

C) 27... Rg8 28.Qf4

C.1) 28... gxf6 29.Qxh6#.

C.2) 28... Bc8 29.Rxf7

C.2.a) 29... Rb4 30.Qxh6+ gxh6 31.Rh7#.

C.2.b) 29... Qg5 30.Qxg5 hxg5 31.R2f6 Rxf6 (31... gxf6 32.Rh7#; 31... Be6 32.Rh6+ gxh6 33.Rh7#; 31... Re6 32.Rxe6 Bxe6 33.Rxb7 + - [2P]) 32.exf6 b6 33.Kf2 zugzwang.

D) 27... Bc8 28.Rxf7

D.1) 28... Rxf7 29.Rxf7 Qg8 30.Qf4 and the threat 31.Rf8 wins.

D.2) 28... Rg8 29.Qf4 transposes to C.2.

-----

Another option is 27.Qg6, threatening 28.Qh7# and taking advantage of the rook on f8, only defended by the queen, 27... fxg6 28.Rxf8+ Qxf8 29.Rxf8+ Kh7 (29... Bg8 30.Bd5 wins the bishop) 30.Re8

A) 30... Bd(f)7 31.Re7 followed by 32.Rxb7 wins a pawn with a much better ending.

B) 30... Bg8 31.Bd5 Bxd5 32.cxd5 followed by d6-d7, etc., looks winning.

C) 30... Bf5 31.Bd5

C.1) 31... Bxd3 32.e6 (threatens 33.e7, 34.Rh8+ and 35.e8=Q) 32... g6 33.e7 Bg6 34.Bg8+ Kh8 35.Bf7+ Kh7 36.Rh8+ Kxh8 37.e8=Q+ Kh7 38.Qg8#.

C.2) 31... Rxb2 32.e6 Re2 33.e7 with the threath Be4 and Rh8+ seems to win.

D) 30... Ra6 31.Bxb7 Rb6 32.Bd5 Bf5 33.e6 followed by e7 looks winning.

-----

I'm not sure. I think I'd try to win by direct attack with 27.Rf6.

Jun-20-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Open the file, clear out the defenders , and then mate.
Jun-20-15  Tiggler: <dfcx: saw first three moves starting with 27.Qg6, but did not see 30.Bd5.>

Same with me. I have trouble seeing the board more than 2-3 moves ahead. I chose 27.Qg6, though, intending to continue with 30.Ra7 . That also seems to win, though it is not so convincing as 30.Bd5 . I hope I would have seen that move when reaching the position.

Jun-20-15  Strongest Force: Elvest has <entered> the building!
Jun-20-15  RandomVisitor: R4 finds no advantage for white after 24.Qg3:


click for larger view

Rybka 4.1 x64:

<[+0.01] d=26 24...Kh8> 25.R1f2 Rb4 26.Qf3 Kg8 27.Bxe6 Qxe6 28.Qd5 Qe7 29.Rf5 Rxa4 30.Rf1 h6 31.e6 f6 32.Re1 Rb4 33.Re2 Rb3 34.Qxc5 Qxc5 35.Rxc5 Rxd3 36.Rxa5 Rd1+ 37.Kf2 Re8 38.Rd5 Kf8

Jun-20-15  wooden nickel: For some reason 30.Bd5 looked harmless at the first sight, but it really hits the nail on the head!
Jun-20-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Like <Sneaky> said, there are a lot of neat tricks in this game.

Here is one I missed. I thought why not 31...Bg4; then after 32 Bg8+ Kh6, below, what does white have? His king can't be checked and two pieces cover e6.


click for larger view

So white goes ahead and wins a piece with 33 e6!


click for larger view

One way to demonstrate why this works is after 33...Bxe6 34 Bxg6.


click for larger view

Black cannot retake because of Rh8#.

And if he does not play 33...Bxe6 he will have to give up his bishop anyway because he cannot stop the pawn's promotion.

Jun-20-15  Tiggler: <Tiggler: <dfcx: saw first three moves starting with 27.Qg6, but did not see 30.Bd5.>

Same with me. I have trouble seeing the board more than 2-3 moves ahead. I chose 27.Qg6, though, intending to continue with 30.Ra7 . That also seems to win, though it is not so convincing as 30.Bd5 >

I meant 30.Ra8, and yes it does win.

Jun-20-15  thickhead: 30.Bd5 Bf5 31.Bg8+ Kh8 32.e6 Bxe6 33.Bxe6+ Kh7 34.Bg8+ Kh8 35.Bd5+ Kh7 and now defensive 36.Rf2 or aggressive 36.Rf7 should win for white.
Jun-20-15  Patriot: <<al wazir> 27. Qg6 is an obvious choice and I would have played it OTB, since it costs white nothing. (He is assured of getting his material back). But I had no continuation in mind and no plan for converting it into a win. I probably would have played 30. Rf2 to defend the b-♙> Exactly! It's a perfectly safe blitz move at no cost. I considered 30.h4 and a few possibilities there plus 30.Re8 but after 30...Bf7 31.Re7 I didn't think about simply winning a pawn as <agb2002> pointed out. But I knew that with more thought if nothing panned out, there is always Rf2.

I don't think a GM would want to use that thought process though because at that level it would be embarrassing to get into a drawn position so easily without thorough analysis. I'm amazed at how they often find best moves with subtle differences in evaluation.

Jun-20-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4> This early alternative in the Sicilian is not bad. Fritz rates it equal, and actual results of Master games seem to support this assessment. Of 641 games played with 3. c4 in the chessgames.com Opening Explorer (OE,) White won 33.4% and black won 31.8%.

Far more popular and slightly more successful is the usual 3. d4. Out of 23,575 games with 3. d4 in the OE, White won 35.7% and Black won 31%.

<3...Nc6 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. Be2 Qb6> Most often played is 5... d5. Black seems to secure easy equality after 5...d5 6. exd5 exd5 when play might continue 7. d4 Be6 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. O-O Be7 10. dxc5 Bxc5 11. Ng5 = (+0.24 @ 23 depth, Deep Fritz 14) as in the drawn Super GM game D Andreikin vs Jakovenko, 2012.

<6. O-O d6 7. a3 Be7 8. Rb1 a5> This move is OK and should lead to equality. However, another playable try is 8... Nd4 9. b4 Qd8 10. d3 O-O = (+0.23 @ 20 depth) as in the drawn GM game J Smeets vs S Mareco, 2012.

<9. d3 O-O 10. Be3 Ng4 11. Bd2 Nge5 12. Nxe5 dxe5 13. Nb5 Nd4 14. Nxd4 exd4 15. a4 e5 16. f4 exf4 17. Bxf4 Ra6> Though Fritz assesses it equal, 17...Ra6 looks awkward. My preference is 17... Bd6 when play might continue 18. Bg4 Bxg4 19. Qxg4 Bxf4 20. Rxf4 Rad8 21. Rbf1 Rd6 22. Rf5 h6 23. Qf4 Rg6 24. g3 Qb3 25. Rxf7 Rxf7 26. Qxf7+ Kh7 27. Qf3 Rf6 28. Qe2 Rxf1+ 29. Kxf1 Qxa4 30. e5 = (+0.07 @ 24 depth).

<18. e5 Qd8 19. Bf3 Bg5 20. Bd5 Bxf4 21. Rxf4 Qe7 22. Qf3 Rb6 23. Rf1 Be6 24. Qg3 Qd8> Here I like <RV>'s suggestion 24...Kh8, where Fritz concurs with Rybka's assessment of equality after 24...Kh8 25. R1f2 = (+0.10 @ 26 depth).

<25. Be4 Kh8 26. R1f2 h6?> This is the clear losing move. Instead, Black can hold on and make a fight of it with 26... Rb4 when Fritz indicates play might continue 27. Rh4 g6 28. Rf6 Rg8 29. Bxg6 fxg6 30. Rxe6 Rxb2 31. h3 Re2 32. Rf4 Rf8 33. Rd6 Qe7 34. Rff6 Rf7 35. Rde6 Qf8 36. Qf3 Re1+ 37. Kf2 Re3 38. Rxf7 Rxf3+ 39. Rxf3 Qh6 40. Kg3 Qg5+ 41. Kh2 Kg7 42. Rff6 Qe3 43. Re7+ Kh6 44. Rf3 (+0.81 @ 24 depth).

<27. Qg6!> This solves today's Saturday puzzle. In my attempt at solving it, I found 27. Qg6! almost instantly but missed a winning follow-up.

Tempting but not a clear win for White is 27. Rf6 as Black holds on after 26...gxf6 28. Rxf6 Bf5! 29. Rxf5 Qe7 30. Qf4 (+0.64 @ 24 depth).

<27... fxg6 28. Rxf8+ Qxf8 29. Rxf8+ Kh7 30. Bd5> I missed this essential winning follow-up, settling too quickly for the passive 30. Rf2 =.

<30...h5> If 30... Bf5, White wins after 31. Bg8+ Kh8 32. e6! Bxe6 33. Bxe6+ Kh7 34. Bg8+ Kh8 35. Bd5+ Kh7 36. Rc8 Rxb2 37. Rxc5 Rd2 38. Be4 Rd1+ 39. Kf2 Rd2+ 40. Kf3 Ra2 41. Rxa5 (+9.92 @ 22 depth).

<31. h4 g5 32. Be4+ g6 33. Rf6 gxh4 34. Bxg6+ Kg7 1-0> Black resigns in lieu of 35. Bf7! when play might continue 35...Rxb2 36. Bxe6 Re2 37. Rf7+ Kg6 38. Rxb7 Rxe5 39. Bd5 Re1+ 40. Kf2 Ra1 41. Be4+ Kf6 42. Rc7 Rxa4 43. Rxc5 Ra2+ 44. Kf3 Ra1 45. Rxh5 a4 46. Kf4 a3 47. Rh6+ Ke7 48. Ra6 a2 49. Ke5 (+9.74 @ 21 depth).

Jun-20-15  houtenton: And what about 27.Rf6 gxf6 followed immediate by 28.Qh4? F.i. 28..Kg7 29.exf6+.
Jun-20-15  TheaN: Did get the initial moves but missed 30.Bd5!! which is an amazing zugzwang move. I went for 30.h4?! directly, which keeps some advantage (due to the h5 threat) but surrenders the zugzwang idea.

Typically, some engines have the option to analyze the threat of the opponent (so half ply ahead). A great resource, that makes it much easier to find the idea behind moves that look illogical at first sight. A zugzwang move is an amazing exception; the 'threat' of 31.Ra8 evaluates the same as 30.Bd5, truly showing it's black that's destroying his own position. After 30....h5 31.h4 he's out of any sensible moves.

Jun-20-15  RandomVisitor: <houtenton>28...f5! = is the only weakness in that line.
Jun-20-15  devere: This is a very subtle problem.

After 27. Qg6! fxg6 28. Rxf8+ Qxf8 29. Rxf8+ Kh7 30. Bd5 h5 31. h4 Black is in zugzwang.


click for larger view

My admiration to Ehlvest for actually seeing this over the board.

After 27. Rf6 gxf6 28. Rxf6 Bd5!!


click for larger view

White has no better than a draw with 29. Qf4!

Jun-20-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  CHESSTTCAMPS: Material is even, but white is directing overwhelming force at the black king-side and there is only one defender for the squares adjacent to the king. The first move that occurred to me was 27.Qg6, but I under-analyzed it and set it aside. Thinking there must be a winning attack against the castled position, I looked at 27.Rf6, considering 27...gxf6 28.Rxf6 (exf6 Rg8 29.Qh4 Qf8) Bg4 and black seems to hold, with a material advantage. Then I saw more tactical possibilities in the original idea:

27.Qg6! threatens mate and forces a dangerous passed pawn.

27... fxg6 (f5 exf6 e.p and black can't defend the two mate threats) 28.Rxf8+ Qxf8 29.Rxf8+ Kh7 30.Bd5!!

The point! Black's pieces are tied up and white's pawns more dangerous.

A. 30... Bf5 31.g4! Bxd3 (Bxg4 32.Bg8+! Kh8 33.Bd6+ Kh7 34.Bxg4 and black must spend the rook to stop the e-pawn) 32.e6 g5 33.e7 Bg6 34.Bg8+! Kh8 35.Bf7+ wins.

B. 30... Bd7|g4 31.Bg8+ Kh8 32.Be6+ wins bishop and promotes the e-pawn

C. 30... Bxd5 31.cxd5 c4 32.d6 cd 33.d7 d2 34.Rf1 ends counter-play.

D. 30... g5 31.Bd4+ g6 32.Rf6! (a decisive pin) Ra6 33.Rxg6 Kh8 34.Rxh6+ Kg7 35.Rg6+ Kf7 36.Rf6+ Ke7 37.Bd5 trades off the remaining pieces.

Time for review...

Jun-20-15  Cheapo by the Dozen: Like many, I stopped after failing to find a win starting with Rf6. I saw a couple of defenses I couldn't beat, neither of which was <devere>'s. (One was ... Bf5.)
Jun-20-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  CHESSTTCAMPS: Failed to analyze 30... h5 (the game defense), but it plays out very similarly to my line D.
Jun-20-15  Whitehat1963: Don't know how far I was supposed to see, but I certainly saw the queen sac right away. What I didn't count on was that after the exchange both sides would be left with a rook and a bishop. And for some reason I thought 29. Rxf8+ would be 29. Rxf8# instead.
Jun-21-15  pmukerji: What happens if 30...Bf5 in the game line?
Jun-21-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <pmukerji: What happens if 30...Bf5 in the game line?>

That is answered by 31.Bg8+ Kh8 32.e6.

Jun-22-15  pmukerji: Got it...thank you...such cool tactics...
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