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Boris Gelfand vs Ruslan Ponomariov
Tal Memorial (2006), Moscow RUS, rd 2, Nov-07
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical. Noa Variation (E36)  ·  1/2-1/2
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-07-06  Ulhumbrus: In the final position Gelfand has the bishop pair and the advantage, but agrees to a draw for whatever reason.
Nov-07-06  magerk: both played like cowardly douches.
Nov-07-06  euripides: This line is described by John Cox as a 'rare but very interesting gambit'. At the end if White avoids Rd5 he has to deal with the threat of ...f5 and Nxc5, when the knights get good squares like c5 and b3 and the pawns on c4 and possibly e3 can become targets. This looks like a hard-fought draw to me.
Nov-08-06  mrbasso: [Event "Bundesliga 2005-6"]
[Site "Kreuzberg GER"]
[Date "2006.01.28"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Braun, A."]
[Black "Romanishin, O."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E36"]
[WhiteElo "2491"]
[BlackElo "2552"]
[PlyCount "49"]
[EventDate "2006.01.27"]
[EventType "team"]
[EventRounds "15"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[Source "Mark Crowther"]
[SourceDate "2006.02.06"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 c5 7. dxc5 d4 8. Qg3 O-O 9. Bh6 Ne8 10. O-O-O Nc6 11. e3 Qc7 12. Qxc7 Nxc7 13. Bf4 e5 14. Bg3 dxe3 15. fxe3 a5 16. Nf3 f6 17. e4 Bg4 18. Bf2 Ne6 19. Rd5 a4 20. Kd2 Rfc8 21. Kc3 Ne7 22. Kb4 Nc6+ 23. Kc3 Ne7 24. Kb4 Nc6+ 25. Kc3 1/2-1/2

Does not look "hard-fought" to me.
They just rattle of their preparation and agree to a draw.

Nov-08-06  Ulhumbrus: <euripides> I think that you are right. Black is threatening to win a pawn by ..f5 followed by ..Nxc5 and to avoid losing a pawn, White takes the draw. 15...a5! is the move which saves the game for Black, if White seems to lack time to answer the threat of ...Ne6 and ...Nxc5. On 16 e4 Ne6 17 Bf2 Ned4 18 Ne2 Bg4 19 Rd2 Bxe2 20 Bxe2 Nxe2 21 Rxe2 Nd4 22 Rhd1 Rad8 seems to equalize.
Nov-08-06  Cyphelium: <Ulhumbrus> <16 e4 Ne6 17 Bf2 Ned4 18 Ne2 Bg4 19 Rd2 Bxe2 20 Bxe2 Nxe2 21 Rxe2 Nd4 22 Rhd1 Rad8 seems to equalize.>

Actually, after 19.- ♘b3+ black wins in that variation. Instead, on 18.- ♗g4 white may consider 19. ♘xd4!? exd4 (19.- ♗xd1 20. ♘xc6 is good for white) 20. ♖d3, when the d4 pawn looks weak. Perhaps it's better for black to play 17.- ♘cd4, with the idea to check on b3 and pick up the c5-pawn. If white plays 18. ♔b1 then 18.- ♗d7!? 19. ♘e2 ♗a4 is interesting.

Nov-08-06  Ulhumbrus: <Cyphelium> Yes, White can't play 19 Rd2 as that allows the fork 19 ...Nb3+. As for 17..Ncd4, on 16 e4 Ne6 17 Bf2 Ncd4 releases control of b4 and invites 18 b4. Then Black has 18...axb4 19 axb4 Ra1+ but on 20 Kd2 it is up to Black to find something eg 20...Rxd1 21 Kxd1 Rd8 22 Kc1 Ng5 23 Bh4 f6 24 Bxg5 fxg5 25 Nf3 Nxf3 26 gxf3 g4 27 Be2 gf 28 Bxf3 Rd4 29 Kc2 Rxc4+ 30 Kb3 and White has some lead in development in the ending. Actually on 16 e4 Ne6 17 Nf3! attacking the e5 pawn seems more exact as on 17...f6 White has gained a tempo for 18 Bf2 preventing ..Nd4. This may give White the advantage if Black can't improve on this.
Nov-09-06  Cyphelium: <Ulhumbrus> After 16. e4 ♘e6 17. ♗f2 ♘cd4 18. b4? axb4 19. axb4 ♖a1+ 20. ♔d2 ♖a2+, white is in serious trouble. For example 21. ♔e3 ♘c2+ 22. ♔e2 ♘xb4+ 23. ♖d2 ♘f4+ 24. ♔e1 ♖a1+ 25. ♖d1 ♘bd3+ soon forking on f2 or 22. ♔f3 ♘g5+ 23. ♔e2 ♘xb4+ 24. ♔e3 (24. ♖d2 ♗g4+ is also bad) 24.- ♘c2+ 25. ♔e2 ♘xe4....there are of course other lines, but white is just kicked around.

As for 16. e4 ♘e6 17. ♘f3, I think 17.- ♘xc5 18. ♘xe5 ♘xe4 looks perfectly alright for black.

Nov-09-06  Ulhumbrus: <Cyphelium> On 16 e4 Ne6 17 Bf2 Ncd4 18 b4 axb4 19 axb4 Ra1+ 20 Kd2 Black does have something then , the skewer 20..Ra2+. This suggests that On 16 e4 Ne6 17 Nf3 is much better. On 17...Nxc5 18 Nxe5 Nxe4 19 Nxc6 keeps the bishop pair after 19..bxc6 ( not 19..Nxg3?? 20 Ne7+ and only then 21 hxg3) 20 Bh4, although the well placed N on e4 may enable Black to gain a draw.
Nov-09-06  Cyphelium: <Ulhumbrus> <although the well placed N on e4 may enable Black to gain a draw.>

I agree.

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