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Alexander Grischuk vs Sergei Rublevsky
"Rub the Wrong Way" (game of the day Jun-07-2007)
Candidates Match: Grischuk - Rublevsky (2007), Elista, Kalmykia Russia, Jun-06
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen Variation (B46)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  SwitchingQuylthulg: Nice game, but I think it's a bit overrated. The knight-sac probably doesn't win by force; I believe an improvement on move 19 can be found for Black. It is, furthermore, the only way not to lose material for insufficient (it seems to me) compensation (OK, he could have played 18.a5 Bc5 19.Qd3 Bb4 and only then 20.Nxd5, but sooner or later the sac is necessary; I doubt this is an improved version for White, so he gets no credit for not playing that way - and if it turns out that <would> have been better, it just makes the game move all the worse), so Grischuk didn't really have to make any calculations - or even intuition - to justify it. It's sort of like this position:


click for larger view

1.Nf6+!! is a brilliant move that no normal player would ever think of in such a position and anyone who could find it on the board would be immortalised, right?

Jun-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: A brilliant win. Rublevsky lost his way at the turning point and then Grischuk gave him no chance to come back.

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 d6 7. O-O Nf6 8. Be3 Bd7 9. a4 Be7 10. f4 Nxd4 11. Qxd4 Bc6 12. b4 O-O 13. b5 Be8 14. e5 Qc7 15. b6 Qc6 16. Bf3 <Maybe something new instead of 16.exd6.> d5 17. Rae1 Nd7 <Black threatens Bc5 winning the b pawn.> 18. Nxd5!? exd5 19. Bxd5 Qc5? <19...Qc8 threatening Bc5 winning the b pawn should be considered. With 2 pawns for the minor piece, it is unclear White has enough compensation. It seems that White has to protect his b pawn with 20.a5 and then prepare f5 followed by f6. On the other side, Black must not allow the f pawn to reach f6. So maybe 20...Kh8 to play f6 if White plays f5.> 20. e6! Qxd4 <After 20...fxe6 21.Bxe6+, White wins material too, either after 21...Rf7, either after 21...Kh8 22.Bxd7.> 21. Bxd4 Nf6 <21...Nc5? 22.exf7+ Bxf7 23.Rxe7, White wins a piece.> 22. Bb3! <The more accurate. This move wins some material.> Rd8 <22...fxe6 23.Rxe6, White wins material because of the threat of a discovered check.> 23. Bxf6 Bc5+ 24. Kh1 gxf6 25. e7 Bxe7 26. Rxe7 Bc6 27. Rc7! <Prepared to double Rooks on the 7th rank. Another point is that White can sac the Rook vs the Bishop in some variations.> Rd2 28. Re1 Rf2 <28...Rxg2? 29.Rxc6!, White wins a piece. 28...Bxg2+ 29.Kg1 followed by Ree7, White wins the f7 pawn.> 29. h3 Rxf4 30. Ree7 Rf1+ 31. Kh2 Rf2 32. Rxc6! bxc6 33. Rxf7 Rf4 <33...Rxf7 34.b7, White gets a Queen.> 34. c3! <Impeding Rb4. Black has no defence against b7 followed by b8Q.> 1-0

Jun-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: <SwitchingQuylthulg> Surely you jest. The point is that the knight sacrifice was part of a brilliant plan that started much earlier.
Jun-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  SwitchingQuylthulg: <acirce> Well, of course you're right in that Grischuk had probably planned the knight sac all the way along. Still, the plan is nothing special and the important move Nxd5 is very easy to see. To me, it doesn't make sense to call this a great game - you might as well call Botvinnik vs Capablanca, 1938 a masterpiece.

Another point: blunders do happen. Surely you would imagine that Nf6+!! in my diagram above is the outcome of beautiful long-term calculation if it was played by Grischuk. But as it is, a similar game was played by a 2170-rated Belgian player called Van Leeuwen, and he resigned in a position not too unlike my diagram.

Jun-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: <Surely you would imagine that Nf6+!! in my diagram above is the outcome of beautiful long-term calculation if it was played by Grischuk.>

I don't like the tone of this. Obviously it would depend on the moves leading up to the position rather than who was the player.

And why are you so obsessed with the knight sac? As far as I am concerned it would have been a great game even if the plan had involved no sacrifice at all. Sacs impress the audience, but they don't imply higher quality of play.

Jun-07-07  Ziggurat: <the important move Nxd5 is very easy to see>

Easy to see - difficult to calculate. Would you be able to work out the implications over the board?

Jun-07-07  psmith: <SwitchingQuylthulg> "you might as well call Botvinnik vs Capablanca, 1938 a masterpiece" -- well, that is what I call it. Along with most of the chess world.

What do you call it? And what are your credentials for making such judgments? Perhaps you are a world champion in disguise?

Jun-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  SwitchingQuylthulg: <And why are you so obsessed with the knight sac? As far as I am concerned it would have been a great game even if the plan had involved no sacrifice at all. Sacs impress the audience, but they don't imply higher quality of play.> That's my point, actually - this is the sort of game that impresses the audience (as we have seen) but is not IMO (you can disagree for all you want) of particularly high (if not very low, either) quality of play.

<Easy to see - difficult to calculate. Would you be able to work out the implications over the board?> It's possible, but I gotta admit that 'no' is the likely answer. I'd still make the move, though. It's even possible that I could come up with the right follow-up after 19...Qc5, too. It wouldn't consider it a good attack if I made it that way, yet the moves would be just the same than those played by Grischuk. Is it, then, really the moves played that are of high quality? Can the same move be of different quality depending on who plays it?

<What do you call it? And what are your credentials for making such judgments? Perhaps you are a world champion in disguise?> I picked the game jokingly, of course. I know that most people in the chess world consider it a good game and I respect their opinion. Personally, I call it the 'Most overrated game of all-time' and Botvinnik's 30.Ba3 the 'Most overestimated move ever'. I'm not alone but I know I'm amongst a minority. I respect different opinions on the matter hey, don't take it too seriously!

A case could be made that I'm a world champion, yes. Not at chess though. I once beat a guy in an online blitz game who once beat another guy in a casual club game who once beat yet another guy who once beat Tomi Nybäck who once beat Evgeny Bareev who has beaten Kramnik several times - that's the closest I come to being chess world champion, does that count? :)

Jun-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: An unusual final position! Black has two rooks-one on the eighth rank and STILL cannot stop white's passed pawn. Of course,if Rxf7,the self-pinned rook cannot stop the pawn after b7. If the rook moves along the 8th rank-white's rook opposes it with a discovered check and wins it.
Jun-07-07  mrbasso: This was surely all preparation. It's not that difficult to put the position in Fritz and get 18.Nxd5.

[Event "Moscow Aeroflot op"]
[Site "Moscow"]
[Date "2003.02.10"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Jakovenko, Dmitrij"]
[Black "Rublevsky, Sergei"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B84"]
[WhiteElo "2561"]
[BlackElo "2644"]
[PlyCount "75"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 d6 7. O-O Nf6 8. f4 Bd7 9. a4 Be7 10. Be3 Nxd4 11. Qxd4 Bc6 12. b4 O-O 13. b5 Be8 14. e5 Qc7 15. b6 Qc6 16. exd6 Qxd6 17. Bf3 Qxd4 18. Bxd4 Rd8 19. Rfd1 Rxd4 20. Rxd4 Bc5 21. Ne2 Bxb6 22. Bxb7 a5 23. Kf1 Bxd4 24. Nxd4 Bd7 25. Nb3 Nd5 26. Bxd5 exd5 27. Nxa5 Ra8 28. Nb3 Rxa4 29. Rxa4 Bxa4 30. Ke2 Kf8 31. Kd3 Ke7 32. Nc5 Bb5+ 33. Kd4 Kd6 34. g3 Be2 35. c3 h5 36. Nb3 g6 37. Ke3 Bg4 38. Kd4 1/2-1/2

Jun-07-07  eaglewing: My line I gave before is wrong, because Bxf7+ is not necessary, b7 immediately would win.

Nevertheless, how to execute a win after 28. ... Bg2+ Kg1 f5 Ree7 Be4? The pawn f7 is lost and the rooks on the 7th terrible, but the rook on the 2nd gives some counteroptions. So, how is it done?

It might go Ree7 Be4 Bxf7+ Kh8 Bg6 Rg2 Kf1 Rxh2 Bxh7 but no mate yet. Maybe Ree7 Be4 Rxf7 Rxf7 Rxf7 or Bxf7+ leads to more.

Jun-07-07  sheaf: <1.Nf6+!! is a brilliant move that no normal player would ever think of in such a position and anyone who could find it on the board would be immortalised > ????? <normal player>? a 1300 computer would play that in such a position because its the only move which doesnt lose immidiately
Jun-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  SwitchingQuylthulg: <sheaf: ????? <normal player>? a 1300 computer would play that in such a position because its the only move which doesnt lose immidiately> Here's a nice link that, hopefully, helps you to understand: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcasm
Jun-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: < you might as well call Botvinnik vs Capablanca, 1938 a masterpiece. >

Wow! Although I never really understood why it was rated quite so highly, Botvinnik vs Capablanca, 1938 was, I believe, selected as the single most outstanding game of the Twentieth Century in a survey of Grandmasters, so I suppose one might be inclined to call it a masterpiece.

For those seeking a better appreciation of Botvinnik vs Capablanca, 1938, it is analyzed by Dzindzichashvili in one of his Roman Forum videos (“Greatest Games of Chess” or something like that) with an explanation of why, in the context of when it was played, this game is so significant.

Jun-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Botvinnik-Capablanca is a 'masterpiece' for a lot of reasons: but the overriding one is that it doesn't hinge on a single attacking movement, however brilliant. Yes, the final sacrificial attack is superb, but so is the positional play leading up to it -- and Capablanca's decision to go for queenside counterplay would be justified in most games. It took enormous vision plus calculation to see that it wouldn't work here. Another masterpiece quality -- which I agree is also present in today's game -- is the number of alternative tactical sequences which lead to just-barely-winning endgame positions.

The idea that a winning move is not merely strong, but is necessary to keep the initiative, is a very common one. Tal and Kasparov demonstrated it repeatedly -- as does every strong player. If you have a choice of good ways to proceed, or if you can afford to dither a bit before attacking (or can make a weak attack instead of a strong maneuver, and get away with it) then it's just not much of a game, is it?

Jun-07-07  percyblakeney: The game is analysed by GM Yakovich in this pdf-file from the official site:

http://globalchess.eu/games/r2g1/r2...

Jun-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: Indeed, a remarkable game! That's the kind of stuff that makes Chess lively & challenging. My pun is "From Rubble to Pebble"
Jun-07-07  veigaman: Wonderful game, well played by grischuk.

Jun-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: It doesn't have to be as good as the AVRO brilliancy to still be a fine game, marred somewhat be black's weak play in time trouble.
Jun-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessmensch: Malcolm Pein discusses this game in his Telegraph chess column dated June 9, 2007. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/mai...
Jun-11-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessmensch: This is a really popular one. Kavalek also discusses this game in his Washington Post chess column on June 11. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy...
Jul-08-07  alexandrovm: Impressive display by Alexander
Jul-12-07  Goofy: I like N-QN5 on 17th move by white. Otherwise if game proceeded as it was there is a very wild kingside attack though risky with p-Kn4 and later p-kn5 white could perform.
Oct-31-12  wildrookie: Wasn't 14 Qc7 a clearly bad move? Rublevsky seems to have sacrificed his knight for no satisfactory compensation. Wouldn't 14 Kd5 have been a better choice?
Jun-05-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheBish: Kavalek (in the above-mentioned Washington Post column) gives the finish as 34...Re4 25. Re7+ Resigns. Why the discrepancy?
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