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Shakhriyar Mamedyarov vs Ruslan Ponomariov
Tal Memorial (2006), Moscow RUS, rd 4, Nov-10
Queen's Indian Defense: Fianchetto Variation. General (E15)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-10-06  fromoort: Wow! Look at the difference in the quality of the Bishops! Mamedyarov's bishop is a classic "bad Bishop"; Ponomariov's is a classic "good Bishop".

Neither King can advance into the other's territory. Black cannot win White's passed pawn without losing a piece; White cannot promote it without losing it. Fair Draw!! Good effort by both players.

Nov-11-06  Chess Classics: <fromoort> Indeed, that looks more like a composition than a real position.


Jan-31-07  Resignation Trap: <<Chess Classics>: <fromoort> Indeed, that looks more like a composition than a real position.>

Funny you should mention that, for this game score <is> a complete fabrication!

Ruslan was feeling terrible and showed up late, showing severe cerebral suffering and trembling hands. Against Shakh's 1.e4, he played 1...g5! He really intended to play 1...g6, but his hands were uncontrollable. Mamedyarov thought this was a set-up and instead of the obvious 2.d4, he played 2.d3 instead. After more feverish thought, Pono tried to play 2...Bg7, preventing 3.Bxg5, but his hands were shaking like a leaf in the Wijk aan Zee wind and he played 2...f6 instead.

Sensing something fishy, the Azeri hesitated a bit before playing 3.Qh5#

If this were an attempt to throw a game, it surely could have been rehearsed to look like a real game, instead of this infantile farce.

But Pono just sat there, dazed and confused, holding his head in disbelief as to what he had done. And he was still there long after the other players finished their games and went home. This photo is proof of that: .

After the round, the tournament committee called for a meeting with all the players. After protracted negotiation, the decided to compose this long draw as the official game score to the press, in order to avoid controversy. Since so many of the games in this tournament were draws, it was assumed that nobody would notice or know.

Two months later, at Corus 2007, Ponomariov's head was still giving him severe problems, as this photo from round ten attests: .

What could be causing all this? And why is it happening to Ponomariov?

This is clearly a case for our new chess heroine, Xoce Payne!

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