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Peter Svidler vs Boris Gelfand
Russian Team Championship (2008), Dagomys RUS, rd 5, Apr-06
Russian Game: Classical Attack. Jaenisch Variation (C42)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-06-08  WarrenHam: Very nice! Svidler got the good d-pawn and gave his useless h-pawn for it.
Apr-06-08  Piti: Svidler killed the Petroff!
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  whiteshark: <WarrenHam>, <Piti>

So where went Gelfand wrong ??

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  Mateo: I guess Anand and Kramnik will study carefully this game. Once again, Svidler didn't play well, just nearly perfect chess. When he feels good, he is not strong, just a chess machine like Capablanca. His play in the ending, although not so difficult, is perfect in my opinion.

To answer <withesahark>, I would say that Gelfand went wrong with 28...Ne7. The ending is clearly lost.

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  whiteshark: Looking again into the position, I think that <24...Nf5>

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is the best line to equalize, e.g. <25.Qb4> (25.Qf4 Qxf4 26.Nxf4 Rxc3 =/ )<...Nxh4 26.d5! a5 27.Qxe4 Bxe4 28.c4 Nf5 29.f3 Bc2 30.Rc1 Bb3=>

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Apr-16-08  euripides: <whiteshark> The 24th move is indeed a critical moment. The Russian link cited by <minasina> gives an earlier game between Topalov and Gelfand where Gelfand drew after 24...Nf5. So both players here had probably analysed that position; Gelfand, it seems, feared an improvement.

In any case, that game went 25.Qh4 Nxh4 26.d5 Bf5 27.Qxe4 Bxe4 28.c4, reaching the following position, which is the same as that in your line except that the pawn is on a7:

click for larger view

This is very like the ending in the current game after move 32, except for the absence of knights and the presence of White's rook on the seventh rank. With a knight, Gelfand was able to impede the invasion of White's king on the black squares and keep White's rook under control. Without knights, White's simple plan of Kf2-e3-d4-c5 is very effective.

Apr-16-08  euripides: ...<whiteshark> and in fact Topalov-Gelfand followed your analysis for the next few moves as well except that with the pawn on a7 Gelfand played Ba4 rather than Bb3.
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  whiteshark: Thanks for pointing out, <euripides>, now I see it, too. It is in the comment after 21.Nh3 in the google-translated <minasina> link. Frankly, when I looked at it, yesterday, I only looked at the two comments on move 24, but didn't understand them.
Apr-16-08  euripides: <whiteshark> What could be clearer than a google translation ?

'today we fight journalism bison, people from the elite'.

'from the primitive instincts of self-man fence is not possible'.

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