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Ruslan Ponomariov vs Boris Gelfand
World Cup (2009) (blitz), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 7, Dec-14
Slav Defense: Modern Line (D11)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-14-09  Bobsterman3000: So, this one clinched the WC for Gelfand?
Dec-15-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: It appears that Pono's problems started with his 23rd move:


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He played <23.b6?>, which is somewhat hard to understand. Gelfand (black) replied with the expected 23...Nxb6, attacking white's Q and supporting the push of the passed pawn, which ultimately won the game.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ponomariov might have been close to winning himself had he found <23.Ba5!> threatening the Q, which is defending the N against white's LSB.

If black defends with 23...Nb6, then 24.Bxc8 wins the exchange.

But if 23...b6, then white would have 24.Bc3! This move gets an exclam simply for getting the bishop to the one square where it can't be exchanged off (24.Bb4 Bxb4) and it doesn't get in the way (24.Bd2 Be4 and now the knight can't go to d2).

Meanwhile, white threatens to bust black's defense with 25.e6, with Be6 and Ne5 in view.

Dec-15-09  zanshin: I agree <YouRang> - <23.b6?> is just baffling. Pono was leading at the time too.

Still very little reaction to these games. It seems to me there was a sudden drop off in interest in this tournament after the London Chess Classic started.

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