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Lev Aronin vs Ratmir Kholmov
USSR Championship (1962), Yerevan URS , rd 4, Nov-26
Sicilian Defense: Nezhmetdinov-Rossolimo Attack. Fianchetto Variation (B31)  ·  0-1


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sac: 32...Rxf5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-27-08  Tomlinsky: Imagination In Chess, Paata Gaprindashvili - Reciprocal Thinking.

After 32.g3

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It's interesting to acquant ourselves with Kholmov's comments:

"Black's advantage is undeniable. It looks as if 32...Nd4 would be very strong, removing the last obstacle - the knight on f5. But then there could follow 33.Nxd4 Qe3+ 34.Kh1 cxd4 35.Qxa5, and White obtains saving chances based on the threat of perpetual check. This variation didn't satisfy me, so my thoughts took a new direction. What about 32...Qd2? Then White evidently has to play 33.Rf2 to defend against mate. But after that, it's simple: 33...Qd1+ 34.Rf1 f2+! 35.Kxf2 Rxf5+ 36.exf5 Rxf5 37.Ke3 Qxf1 and Black wins."

"That's it! I've found the solution, let's go!"

"And yet just as my hand was reaching out towards the queen, an uneasy feeling came over me. On 32...Qd2 White has 33.Nh4! What then? Black would gain nothing from 33...Nd4 in view of 34.Qxd6. The threats of 35.Qg6+ and 35.Qxc5 would be quite unpleasant. After a little more thought, I came to the conclusion that the knight on f5 had to be eliminated at once."

Jul-24-08  ekw: Cool! Kholmov was the gentle giant. I happened on this game after playing Pavel (Lev's grandson!) on ICC, and loading up some of Aronin's games. Kholmov's winning is usually a lesson I can still digest, although I confess I didn't notice that the key was after 34.♖f2, 34...♕d1+! so that you have after 35.♖f1 f2!+ 36.♔g2, 36...♕f3 mate. Like I say: a nice lesson. And the quote from above really fills it out!

Ratmir died a couple years ago at 80; there is an interesting interview:

Below that are some stats; I suspect a different sort of lesson would be to play through the games he lost to his worst nemesis: who else, Tal.

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