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Shakhriyar Mamedyarov vs Boris Gelfand
"Don't Cha Wish Your Gelfand..." (game of the day Sep-11-2011)
World Championship Candidates (2011), Kazan RUS, rd 1, May-07
Sicilian Defense: Fischer-Sozin Attack. Flank Variation (B87)  ·  0-1


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Given 17 times; par: 43 [what's this?]

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sac: 20...Rxc3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-17-11  picard: why not 22. Bg5
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <picard> The endings which result after the exchange of queens, where Black has two pawns and a solid position for the exchange, plus White's miserable light-squared bishop, should be clearly better for Black.

The important thing for the side with the extra exchange is to get activity for the rook(s), and this position is of a semi-closed nature and no real pawn breaks, which favours minor pieces, quite apart from Black's slight material advantage.

Mamedyarov's best practical chance was to play for attack, as in the game. No top-class GM will give another (if on form) the chance to play a risk-free, favourable situation such as arises after queens have come off the board.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I've never seen anyone so knackered when they had to resign! Philidor would approve alright!! (as someone said). Great game by Gelfand defending the Sozin.
May-27-11  onlinechesslessons: I recently made a video analyzing this game -

Tambien, hice un video de analisis en castellano -


Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: After a possible 40.Bc1 Rb2 41.Bxb2 axb2 42.Bb1 Be5 43.Rge3 f5 we get the following position:

click for larger view

I think it speaks for itself.

Jun-24-11  LIFE Master AJ: Wild ride, maybe a Sunday puzzle there somewhere, about a year or two from now. Stve Davis and I looked at this game last night at chess club.
Jun-24-11  sevenseaman: Gelfand can be tenacious.
Jun-24-11  LIFE Master AJ: <<Jun-24-11 sevenseaman: Gelfand can be tenacious.>>

To say the least!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: It seems White actually lost on time, though in a completely lost position. According to Gelfand (interview with John Saunders, Chess magazine July 2011):


click for larger view


"And suddenly, all those pawns ... actually the most funny thing was that he lost on time. I don't know if that was reported. He lost on time. He had nine seconds to complete his 40th move and he was looking for a solution and lost on time. But if he should play 40.Bc1 and I think I would have played something like 40...Qc5 to reach the time control and then the position is won. But 40...Rb2! 41.Bxb2 axb2 is really beautiful. A chain of pawns, it's unbelievably beautiful. I don't think I would have found it with a few minutes left..."

What a mensch. Some players get annoyed with opponents who lose on time, for spoiling the purity of the victory, or something. But Gelfand is *amused* and goes on to express his aesthetic delight in a winning line he admits he probably wouldn't have seen.

Exquisite game, wonderful human being. Both are rarer than one might think.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <parmetd: White resigned.>

Gelfand, who should know, stated otherwise, as noted by <Domdaniel> above.

<Domdaniel> One suspects that many players would have given rather a different account of their thoughts, certainly not admitting that they overlooked an idea.

While 40....Rb2 readily suggests itself once Gelfand has noted the possibility, most players would likely play the practical move 40....Qc5 to make the time check, then push the central monster forwards.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <Ghuzultyy: "It's not often that you see a Sicilian Defense where black holds on to every pawn except ..." -- GM Benjamin>

<Domdaniel: "A chain of pawns, it's unbelievably beautiful." -- Gelfand>

Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin, Seven-Pawn Counterattack :)

Sep-11-11  jon01: Epic pun. Never thought that Gelfand can sound like that. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  NARC: Some pervs indicate that 20. Bd4 would have lead to a sustainable advantage for white. I think I saw it on Chessbase.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: Superb pun! Great game also - Gelfand will have to play this way if he hopes to beat Anand. Cheers,


Premium Chessgames Member
  NARC: The same perv, namely me, did not discover 20. ... Bc5 as a reply on 20. Bd4 until I was having coffee some hour ago.
Sep-11-11  Andrijadj: Everybody mentioning Philidor, but this is Petrosian from start to finish, not Philidor...Sicilian defence, exchange sac for centralization, tenacious kingside defending finished with a pawn-storm counterattack. So very Tigran...
Sep-11-11  scormus: Tremendous game, Everything thrown at the B Kingside but Gelfand's defense is like the Rock of Gibralter.

This sort of game is the reason why I like the Najdorf Sicilian so much

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The two passed pawns are crushing to white-even a rook ahead.
May-20-12  zakkzheng: On move 29, Bxf6 looks decicive for white
Sep-24-12  Blunderdome: 29. Bxf6 Bxf6 30. Qxh7+ Kf8 and white has nothing else to do, black's passed pawn army is still worth much more than the exchange.
Mar-22-13  Everett: Gelfand a la Petrosian.
Premium Chessgames Member
  juan31: Un juego realmente complicado , Gelfand demuestra en esté porque fue retador al campeonato mundial.
Mar-14-15  Superjombonbo: Amazing, what Black can do, right? Down a rook, but he had 7 pawns against 1! Now the end could be 40.Bc1 Rb2!! 41. Bxb2 axb2 42. Bb1 Be5 (also good is 42...Bh4) 43. Rge3 f5 -4.51, a potential disaster for White, who has 2 rooks for a bishop, but Black's 2 bishops, queen, and chain of 6(!) extra pawns kill! How can there be any better position than this?
Jul-02-15  SpiritedReposte: Took em to the pawn shop.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: 20...♖x♘c3 should be classified as an <Exchange Sacrifice>. *
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