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Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu vs Judit Polgar
World Cup (2009), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 2, Nov-26
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B32)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexrawlings: Could black have held on for a draw with 31.. Rd1? I think the sequence after 32 Nb6 will give White the exchange no matter what as Black's rook on c6 has no flight squares.

Could be a nice puzzle with Black to move at move 32 IMO.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Poisonpawns: Is this opening (Kalishnikov-Lowenthal)better or worse than the Lasker-Pelikan variation?
Sep-05-15  NeverAgain: <Poisonpawns>: this is the Lφwenthal Variation. The Kalashnikov is 5...d6, which is like an accelerated Sveshnikov (AKA Lasker-Pelikan). The Loewenthal is pretty rare at GM level, it's considered less sound than the Sveshnikov.

<alexrawlings: Could black have held on for a draw with 31.. Rd1?>

31...Rd1 is not a legal move. Did you mean 31...Rd8, perhaps? That move loses to 32.c5, winning the d6 pawn.

Below are Nisipeanu's annotations from Chessbase Magazine 134, with Komodo 9 evals in square brackets.


• 4...e5 - A big surprise for me, because I was certain that this line was a one-game try and we had already had this in our first rapid encounter.

• 8.Qxf6 - Simple chess! I had already played this way against the specialist of this line Paco Vallejo in Heviz 2008. I took this line seriously after seeing the game Kramnik-Vallejo Amber 2005 (blind) Kramnik vs F Vallejo Pons, 2005 which went <8.Qd1 Qg6 9.Nc3 Nge7 10.h4 h5 11.Rh3 d5 12.Rg3 Bg4 13.f3 dxe4 14.fxg4 Rd8 15.Bd2 f5 16.Re3 hxg4 >

• 10...h6?! [ 0.48/31] - I don't like this move, which in my opinion is just wasting time. Better seems <10...d6 11.Bg5 Be6 12.O-O-O Ng4 13.Bh4 g5 14.Bg3 Nxd3+!> (14...Ke7 was played in the first rapid game by Judit against me, but after 15.Be2! White kept a small but stable advantage due to his bishop pair.) <15.Rxd3 Ke7> [ 0.87/30] and White has only a very small edge.

• 13.a3 [ 0.63/31] - I was aiming to be able to play quickly and strongly in this game, since winning was my only option at this point in the match. Therefore a position with a clear plan and zero tactics suited me well. Another option and possibly a better one was <13.Be2 d5> (13...Rc8 14.Rxd6 Nxa2+ 15.Nxa2 Bxa2 16.Rb6 ) <14.a3 d4 15.axb4 dxe3 16.fxe3 Rc8 > [ 0.50/30]

• 16.Bb6 [ 0.69/32] - White has a very pleasant edge in this endgame and by simply pushing his pawns according to 'the book' will create big practical problems for Black. My ideal pawn configuration on the queenside would be a5, b3, c4 and on the kingside e4, f3, g4, h5 and if White can get it Black will suffocate surely.

• 19...Bc4 [ 0.65/31]- Maybe a better way to fight against White's plan was <19...Nh5 20.R3d2 Nf4> but after <21.h4 f6 22.Kb1> [ 0.73/30] Black is still facing an unpleasant defence.

• 20.Re3 - Just to avoid any ...Ke6 followed by ...d6-d5 ideas.

• 22.g4 [ 1.00/30] - No ...f7-f5 please!

• 26.h5 [ 1.60/35] - First step complete, now White only has to play Na4, c2-c4, Bf2-e1-b4 and Nb6 for a complete squeeze.

• 27.R1d2 [ 1.60/31] - Overprotection never hurts!

• 31.Rd1 [ 1.58/32] - Since Black is in a sort of strange zugzwang, it makes no sense to hurry, especially in a rapid game. Anyway this move opens the way for the bishop to reach b4.

• 31...Nc7? [ 2.77/32] - A blunder, but the position should be lost anyway. ◦ <31...R8c7 32.c5 dxc5 33.Rd8 Rc8 34.Bxc5+ Kf7 35.Rxc8 Rxc8 36.Bb4> [ 1.47/33] followed by Nc5 should be winning. ◦ <31...Bf7 32.c5 dxc5 33.Rd7+ Ke8 34.Rxb7 > [ 2.10/30]

• 39.c5! [ 4.21/36] - The easiest way to break down Black's defences.


Sep-05-15  NeverAgain: The silicon monstar largely agrees with Nisipeanu, except for some sub-variations. Its evals point to a significant deterioration (a full pawn) of Black's position between moves 19 and 26 that the annotations hardly account for.

20...Ne8 - despite Nisipeanu's preventative 20.Re3 K9 prefers playing ...Ke6 all the same, putting the Knight on d7 instead of e8 and playing for ...f5: <20...Ke6 21.Rde1 Rc8 22.b3 Bb5 23.Kb2 Bc6 24.Na2 Re7 25.R3e2 Nd7 26.Bf2 f5 27.exf5+ Kxf5> [ 0.64/30]

22...Rc8 - K9 still thinks playing for ...f5 is the way to go: <22...g6 23.Kb2 f6 24.h4 Kf8 25.Rg1 Rg7 26.Re2 Kg8 27.Reg2 Kh7 28.Na2 f5> [ 1.09/33]

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