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Alexander Grischuk vs Boris Gelfand
Linares (2010), Linares ESP, rd 2, Feb-14
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal. Gligoric System Bronstein Variation (E55)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-15-10  znsprdx: < Eyal:> thank-you for your exposition regarding the (brilliant)move 19.Bx[N]d5 It makes me think of the first few times I ever looked at a Capablanca game...or something almost counter-intuitive like Alekhine ( the king of <full-board vision> but in the end crystal clear perfection...speaking of which 24.Rc3 allowing Bb4 ...again kudos for pointing out the detail that even 'ChessOk's Rybka' failed to offer.
Feb-15-10  polarmis: Watching GM Shipov's video summary - http://www.crestbook.com/files/Lina... **IN RUSSIAN** - he agreed with <whiteshark> about 26...Bxe5 giving Gelfand good chances. The point was that the Queen can be on e7 and the king can come to f7, making the position hard to break down. After 27...Bxe5 the queen's forced onto f7 and the king's in trouble.

He also mentioned .23(?)...b5 giving good counterplay at one point (in some lines the queen comes to b7 plus black gets play on the 1st and 2nd ranks), or 14...f5 earlier. He was surprised Grischuk took on d5 with the bishop when he did (thinking waiting for black to play ...f5 would be more normal), though obviously it didn't work out too badly - Shipov called it a "song on the black squares".

Perhaps the most interesting thing was that he didn't say anything about 32. a5! except that it showed that Grischuk had absolutely no need to rush. It was a very subtle move.

Feb-15-10  notyetagm: Game Collection: THE POWER OF *EXCHANGE*

19 ?


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19 ♗e4x♘d5! <exchange>


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<Eyal: ... Looking at the game again, 19.Bxd5! is a key move which shows excellent judgment – Grischuk gives up his "strong" bishop and the "bishop pair" because he realizes that the knight on d5 plays a key role in holding together Black's position.>

MONOKROUSSOS -> http://www.thechessmind.net/storage...

<19.Bxd5

<<<A very "academic" approach: White commits completely to play on the dark squares.>>> In many isolani positions, Black's dark squared bishop is on e7, f8 or f6, and so this sort of plan is easily neutralized, but with the bishop on b4 and queen on e7 White gets a head start.>

Feb-15-10  notyetagm: Grischuk vs Gelfand, 2010

26 ... ?


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(VARIATION)
26 ... ♗d6x♘e5!


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<polarmis: Watching GM Shipov's video summary - http://www.crestbook.com/files/Lina... **IN RUSSIAN** - he agreed with <whiteshark> about <<<26...Bxe5 giving Gelfand good chances>>>. The point was that the Queen can be on e7 and the king can come to f7, making the position hard to break down. After 27...Bxe5 the queen's forced onto f7 and the king's in trouble.>

Wow, what a difference that makes, 26 ... ♗d6x♘e5! versus 27 ... ♗d6x♘e5.

<RYBKA 3> eval on the difference, anyone? Please use <RYBKA 3 HUMAN> if you can.

Thanks

Feb-15-10  notyetagm: RYBKA 3 at http://www.chessok.com/broadcast/?k... gives a line beginning with 29 ... b7-b5!? that it evaluates to dead equal (0.07).
Feb-15-10  polarmis: This games seems to be a good example of Shirov's recent comments about needing to look at computer evaluations to know what's really (objectively) going on in chess. Before computers this game might have been written up as simply an unstoppable triumph of a dark square strategy - but Rybka disappointingly says that black is fine until the first real, and fatal, mistake of 29...Kh8.

After the game Vasiliev asked Gelfand if his position was hopeless after 19. Bxd5: http://chesspro.ru/_events/2010/lin...

<Yes. Hopeless, - Boris calmly stated.

As I'd agreed in advance with Grischuk I asked him to say a few words about the game:

- After Boris played the relatively rare move ...a6 we got a position which wasn't dangerous for black, but where he had to play very accurately. And Boris made two mistakes in a row - 16...Bd7 (he had to play 16...f5) and on the very next move 17...Qe7 (instead of the necessary 17...f6). After that black already has a very tough position and, what's more, it's much easier to win than to defend.

- Was 19. Bd5!! the decisive resource?

- Yes, it was a surprise for Boris though I also played it as if grudgingly... After all you don't usually want to swap a bishop for a knight. But my bishop was quite pointless, and his bishop on d5 looks fine, but actually it's not taking part in the game so I practically had an extra piece in attack. But we were in real time trouble and it's by no means certain that the computer will "approve" of all that...>

Lebedev has some more in depth analysis here: http://online.crestbook.com/vasa/20...

A curiosity is that he mentions Grischuk's recommended 17...f6 as being much worse than Gelfand's move. White plays 18. Qg3 and bad things happen on g6!

Feb-15-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <RYBKA 3 at http://www.chessok.com/broadcast/?k... gives a line beginning with 29 ... b7-b5!? that it evaluates to dead equal (0.07)>

No, this evaluation is attached to b5 on move 23. Lebedev mentions here in his notes the idea of 23...b5! 24.axb5 axb5 25.Qg3 Qa7! And the need to defend d4 disturbs the coordination of White's attacking forces.

He also mentions that after 26…Bxe5(!), taking with the pawn isn't good because of 27.dxe5 Qe7 28.h5 Rc4!; in case of 27.Rxe5, my own engine suggests that after 27...b5 (again) 28.axb5 axb5 it's difficult for White to keep attacking directly - 29.h5 Kf7! 30.Bg5 Rxc3! 31.Qxc3 Qxg5 32.hxg6+ hxg6 and Black's position is very solid.

<Before computers this game might have been written up as simply an unstoppable triumph of a dark square strategy - but Rybka disappointingly says that black is fine until the first real, and fatal, mistake of 29...Kh8.>

As I've said, I looked into this a bit with the help of my own engine and I get the impression that Rybka's evaluation – at least as presented at chessok – is rather superficial here (writing it off after move 29 as only 0.50+, that is); I think that Black's position is already very difficult objectively once he misses the chance to play 26…Bxe5 on move 26 (as noted by Shipov) at the latest. It's true that Black could put up stiffer resistance than 29…Kh8 – for example, 29…Rc7 as suggested by Lebedev, with the resource 30.Qh4 Qe7 31.Bg5 Qd7 32.hxg6 hxg6 33.Rh3 Qd1+ 34.Kh2 Qh5; but after 30.Kh2! instead Black still has huge problems; something similar goes with regard to chessok's recommended line after 29...b5.

Feb-16-10  polarmis: <Eyal: but after 30.Kh2! instead Black still has huge problems>

Agreed! I tried playing it through with Firebird and although white's advantage starts as only something like 0.1 it soon grows. It looked as though black might escape with what Lebedev mentioned in another line of white needing to exchange queens to win a pawn, which is drawish, but actually there's no need to exchange and it looks like a forced win - plus as Grischuk mentioned Gelfand needs to play very accurately and find various only moves just to drag the game out that long. So perhaps 26...Bxe5 really was the last chance.

Feb-16-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: Does anyone have an evaluation of 20...f5 ?
My analysis would be that it weakened the king side. 20...f6 would have maintained some control on the dark squares as well as removing the knight. Black's dark squared bishop could have then centralized with tempo against the white queen. Black could then advance the backward e-pawn, exchanging it for the IQP (maybe not ideal but exchanging weaknesses). Black's bishop pair and control of the open central file would be a positional plus.
Feb-16-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: 20...f6 loses a pawn to 21.Ng4 Kf7 (21...f5 22.Bg5 & Nf6+ winning the exchange) 22.Bg5 Bd6 23.Qxf6+ Qxf6 24.Bxf6, with White maintaining a good position after 24...Rec8 25.Be5 Be7 26.Rfc1.
Feb-16-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Eyal: A classic Isolated QP attacking game - very instructive play by Grischuk.> The value of the isolated Queen pawn is an ongoing debate in general and in this game in particular.

However, it seems to me that 13...exd5 = would have been a better choice than 13...Nxd5, as Black's positional difficulties leave him unable to exploit the isolated pawn to any advantage. With Black's light squared bishop temporarily locked in and White having free access to the e4 square (as noted by <ezzy>), Black never manages to fully equalize in this game. The accumulation of small advantages White gets from his initiative, center control, space advantage and Black's resulting Kingside pawn weaknesses proves to be overwhelming and decisive.

After the suggested 13...exd5 play might continue 14. Bg5 h6 15. Bh4 Re8 16. Ne5 Qb6 = when Black appears to have a decent position with full counterplay.

Feb-17-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: After Shirov's recommended 26...Bxe5!, White's advantage might not prove to be decisive.

Fritz 10 gives 26... Bxe5 27. Rxe5 b5 28. axb5 axb5 29. Kh2 b4 30. cxb4 Rc4 31. Re4! Qd8 (not 31... Bxe4 ?? 32. Qb8+ ; nor 31... fxe4?? 32. Qb8+ Rc8 33. Qxc8+ Qd8 34. Qxd8+ Kf7 35. Qf8#) 32. Qe5 Qc7 33. Rf4 Qxe5 34. dxe5 Kf7 35. Rxc4 Bxc4 when despite White's extra pawn the opposite color Bishop ending looks like a draw.

Feb-18-10  OneArmedScissor: Overall record: Alexander Grischuk beat Boris Gelfand 12 to 3, with 20 draws.*
Feb-19-10  percyblakeney: <Overall record: Alexander Grischuk beat Boris Gelfand 12 to 3, with 20 draws.*>

Grischuk has won many blitz games, in classical it was 3-3 in wins before this game though.

Feb-23-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <percyblakeney: 30. Qh4 and 32. a5 are great moves to find in time trouble. (...) it just leaves black without good moves and Grischuk played it quickly, and from that point it was even more over than it already was after 30. Qh4.>

Those are excellent examples of grandmaster moves, keeping a watchful eye not just on one's own plans but on what the opponent may do.

Feb-23-10  goldenbear: 11.Nb6 looks silly to my eye. Isn't 11.b6 (active defence!) much more promising? I think the old masters would immediately reject Nb6 on account of its passivity.
Feb-23-10  goldenbear: Black easily equalizes in this game:

Kraidman vs Ulf Andersson, 1974

Feb-28-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: I am obviously missing something (not for the first time, it need hardly be said), but I cannot understand why the much-praised 32. a5 was stronger than the immediate 32. Rg7.

It seems to me that (after the actual 32. a5), Gelfand’s 32. … f4 was a useful move (not sufficient to hold the position, but useful in putting up the toughest possible defense). Specifically, after 33. Rg7, Gelfand was able to play 33. … Qf5 (keeping the Queen in contact, at least temporarily, with the critical f6-square). If Grischuk had played 32. Rg7, I cannot see anything for Gelfand better than to give up his Queen for White’s Rook and Bishop.

Maybe the point is that in the actual game (after 33. Rg7), if Black had chosen to sac the Queen, then the f-pawn (weakened by 32. … f5-f4) would also have dropped. It must be acknowledged that Gelfand’s decision to hold on to the Queen (with 33. … Qf5) did not enable him to put up a prolonged defense. So maybe the Queen sac is the strongest defensive idea in either case (i.e., better than the defense Gelfand chose with 32. … f4 and 33. … Qf5), but less effective after the f-pawn has been weakened (which would mean that 32. ... f4, notwithstanding that it made 33. ... Qf5 possible, was still a weakening move).

Feb-28-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Hi <Peligroso Patzer>, As <Ezzy> posted earlier: <32.Rg7 Qxg7 33.Bxg7+ Kxg7 And black seems to have everything defended>.

Not only would Black have everything defended, but he would pose defensive problems for White after he plays ...Rc4. Will White want to use his Queen to defend his weak Queenside pawns? Would White give up the a-pawn allowing Black to get an extremely annoying (not to say dangerous) passed a-pawn? Will White be able to create any real danger quick enough by pushing his Kingside pawns (the only way left to try to create problems for Black)? These are too many questions, which make me think that victory for White becomes blurry after being only a few moves away (with 32.a5, that is).

Feb-28-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Peligroso Patzer: I cannot understand why the much-praised 32. a5 was stronger than the immediate 32. Rg7. It seems to me that (after the actual 32. a5), Gelfand’s 32. … f4 was a useful move (not sufficient to hold the position, but useful in putting up the toughest possible defense). Specifically, after 33. Rg7, Gelfand was able to play 33. … Qf5 (keeping the Queen in contact, at least temporarily, with the critical f6-square).>

After 32.Rg7 Qxg7 33.Bxg7+ Kxg7 Black's position is quite solid and it's not so easy for White to win (if he has a win at all). 32...f4 isn't a useful move at all, only weakening - after 33.Rg7 Qxg7 etc. the f-pawn would drop as well, and then White's win with his pawn majority on the K-side would be much easier; Gelfand's choice of 32...Qf5 leads to a forced mate, so being able to play it isn't really such a good thing...

32.a5! is a great move because it puts Black in actual zugzwang, where he has to make a significant concession whatever move he plays (I've explained it in detail in a previous post).

Mar-04-10  muneebktm: oh gelfand should never ever open the pawn on g6
May-16-11  Llawdogg: Can Grischuk beat Gelfand again next week?
May-16-11  hedgeh0g: I think Grischuk's youth coupled with the fact that his match against Kramnik has been far less demanding than Gelfand's should give him some advantage over Gelfand, but Boris has been playing some of the best chess of his career, so I wouldn't rule him out at all.
May-16-11  hedgeh0g: If tabloid-style stories are your thing, you've probably chosen the wrong leisure pursuit.
Jun-15-11  DrMAL: Game is interesting, complicated but extremely close. Perhaps some slight inaccuracies but no mistakes until 29...Kh8 with the (bad) idea of counterattack on the g-file. 30...gxh5 follow-up is a second mistake. Perhaps black was in time trouble?

Simply 31.Rg3 then 33.Rg7 (the in-between move 32.a5 was most accurate) and black has to trade queen for a rook and bishop. Black tries to avoid this with 33...Qf5? and mate in 7 then with 34...Qe4 mate in 3.

Great game by Grischuk. If the complexities he created burned up his opponent's clock the strategy clearly succeeded.

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