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Victor Markovich Mikhalevski vs Jonathan Speelman
Gibraltar Chess Festival (2008), Gibraltar ENG, rd 6, Jan-27
Semi-Slav Defense: Anti-Moscow Gambit (D44)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-29-08  ounos: Now that was an entertaining game!
Jan-29-08  deletedbymoderator: Great game - good old Speelman - great to see him having a good competition in Gib - soon be back over 2500
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: I know you're supposed to cheer for the guy who sacs his queen, but look at that Speelwolf go. Gibraltar seems to agree with him -- hope he writes this one up in Osservatore Speelmania.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Actually, it's not that complex -- just moderately terrifying over the board. Some of the most interesting play is around moves 15 to 19, before the queen sac.

After the thunderboltish 20.Qxg7+?!? Speelman had to find a whole series of only moves, where any deviation leads to mate or perpetual, eg 22...Kxf7?? 23.Bh5# -- but they're not terribly difficult, and White starts to run out of steam around move 30.

He could have restored approximate material equality with 28.h4 fxe3 29.Rg5+ Qxg5 etc, but the ending is easily won for Black.

I wonder whether White simply overlooked the fact that Speelman could escape via a King walk.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: An interesting moment in this game arose after <12...hxg5> when white could retake in three different ways.

click for larger view

Maybe better than 13.Nxg5 as happened in the game was <13.Bxg5> with <...a4 14.Bh6 Ne8> <(14...Nh5?! 15.Ne5! Nxe5 16. dxe5 Qc7 17.Be2 Kh8 18.Bg5 a3 19. Bxe7 Qxe7 20.Bxh5 )<>> <15.a3 f5 16.Be2=>

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  hedgeh0g: I thought the loss of White's queen was a blunder. I didn't think it was a sac, because it didn't look like a very sound sacrifice to begin with. The sort of thing you'd expect in a blitz game, but not in a game with classical time controls.
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