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Peter Svidler vs Alexander Grischuk
"Ambergris" (game of the day May-31-2015)
Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2010) (blindfold), Nice FRA, rd 6, Mar-19
Semi-Slav Defense: Meran. Wade Variation Kaidanov Gambit (D47)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-19-10  Jazzer32: This is the best queen trap I ever saw in my life.. simply incredible.. and all that blindfolded??? WOW
Mar-19-10  manakin: Impressive indeed. And an interesting game.
Mar-21-10  guikfc: The most beautiful game I have ever seen.
Grischuck rules!
Mar-23-10  donehung: I think this was a great blindfold game. The queen sac seems sound to me but i dont think Svidler should have taken b5 he inturn traps his own Queen ouch!
Mar-23-10  tommy boy: Outstanding game
Mar-27-10  notyetagm: Svidler vs Grischuk, 2010

<Jazzer32: This is the best queen trap I ever saw in my life.. simply incredible.. and all that blindfolded??? WOW>

20 ... ?

click for larger view

20 ... ♗a6-d3!

click for larger view

<The key move of the combination was 20.Bd3, a quiet move that highlights White's problems with his queen.>

Mar-27-10  notyetagm: Grischuk likes to <TRAP QUEENS>. :-)

Jobava vs Grischuk, 2009

16 ... ♖b8-b6 0-1

click for larger view

Svidler vs Grischuk, 2010

22 ... ♖c8-c7

click for larger view

May-03-10  AnotherNN: I simply have to join in the chorus extolling this great game! Normally we treat rapid/blindfold games with disdain, assuming that they are not up to the mark but this gem is incredible. CG please remember to include this as one of your "insane" puzzles.
Jan-17-11  The Chess Express: <<<<<Jazzer32>>>> This is the best queen trap I ever saw in my life.. simply incredible.. and all that blindfolded??? WOW>


May-31-15  FairyPromotion: Once again a very nice choice for GotD. IMO this is the best <blindfold> game of all times.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Amazing game. Trying to find a refutation of 21.Rd1 (instead of Re1), but can only see 21...Nxe5; 22.Qb7,Rxa4. Surely Black has better, but what is it?
May-31-15  hadi706: واقعا زیبا بود گرفتن وزیر توسط سیاه
May-31-15  morfishine: An exciting game; but surely, with benefit of sight, Svidler would've followed 14.Qh5 g6 with <15.Qh3> targeting <e6>; taking the pawn looks risky for Black: 15...Nxe5 16.Bb5+ Nd7 17.Nxe6 fxe6 18.Qxe6

click for larger view


May-31-15  shivasuri4: <An Englishman>, after 21.Rd1 Nxe5 22.Qb7, isn't the prosaic 22...Rdb8 good enough? If 23.Qxb8, 23...Rxb8 24.f4 Bc2 seems good for Black.
May-31-15  shivasuri4: <morfishine>, in your line, I think Black is ahead after 18...Nc7 19.Qe5 0-0.
May-31-15  morfishine: <shivasuri4> Yes, that is much better, thanks for looking
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Yes, this is certainly a magnificent game, and I have no wish to throw cold water on it ... but, really? Best blindfold game? Best Queen sac/trap? I detect a whiff of hyperbolics.

Two of my favourite Queen sac/trap games, well worth playing over, are J Augustin vs Nunn, 1977 (an incredible sac - Nunn playing Black gives up his Queen for two pieces, practically in the opening) and Baburin vs Nunn, 2006 where the boot, so to speak, is on the other foot -- Baburin lets Nunn's Queen penetrate and produces an exquisite trap.

One difference between this and Svidler-Grischuk is that - apart from giving up his Queen, which is not a minor concession - Gris wasn't really risking much. Of course his play was beautiful, and blindfold too ... but he followed theory for something like 16 or 17 moves, and it is entirely possible that he'd seen the sac in computer prep. Which, again, isn't meant to devalue it - just place it in a more rational context.

By contrast, Baburin (vs Nunn) took a real risk by letting the enemy Queen in. And Nunn, vs Augustin, got a great intiative but the result wasn't a given.

If you look at engine evals for this game you'll find that Gris had an advantage of about +2, almost from the opening. That makes the Queen sac more plausible, and explains why Svidler felt he had to return the Queen.

In some ways, the most interesting part of this game comes *after* both Queens are gone. Call it a sac and a counter-sac, or call it an exchange -- it leads to a fascinating position where Black's pieces are active and White's are stuck on the back rank or out on the wing. Despite some minor inaccuracies by both players - possibly time trouble more than blindfold - Gris plays very nicely to wrap the game up.

A classic, sure. But there are more memorable ones out there. Try this one -- Bogoljubov vs Alekhine, 1922 -- immortalized as 'The Triple Queen Sacrifice'.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: black gives up the queen...then traps white's! Nice!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Ambergris (from the French for Grey amber) is, of course, an odoriferous substance found in the guts of sperm whales, formerly in demand as a constituent of perfume.

It's a pretty good pun, too -- a game won by Gris at Amber.

What I don't get is the editorial note saying that the name was changed from 'amber gris' to 'ambergris' for reasons of brevity. Sure, it's shorter -- but one lousy space?

Where no-one can hear you scream...

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This game is type: BLINDFOLD. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

<This page contains Editor Notes. Click here to read them.>

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