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Vassily Ivanchuk
Number of games in database: 3,300
Years covered: 1983 to 2015
Last FIDE rating: 2731 (2809 rapid, 2789 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2787
Overall record: +777 -266 =1181 (61.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      1076 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (317) 
    B90 B33 B32 B30 B84
 Ruy Lopez (159) 
    C92 C78 C65 C67 C89
 King's Indian (89) 
    E92 E97 E62 E81 E94
 Slav (83) 
    D11 D15 D12 D19 D17
 French Defense (81) 
    C11 C07 C10 C05 C03
 Sicilian Najdorf (74) 
    B90 B92 B96 B97 B99
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (296) 
    B90 B42 B43 B32 B33
 Ruy Lopez (161) 
    C92 C67 C77 C80 C65
 Grunfeld (94) 
    D85 D97 D73 D80 D86
 French Defense (92) 
    C11 C18 C05 C07 C02
 Queen's Indian (89) 
    E15 E12 E17 E14 E19
 Slav (71) 
    D10 D11 D12 D15 D19
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Ivanchuk vs Shirov, 1996 1-0
   Ivanchuk vs Kasparov, 1991 1-0
   Kasparov vs Ivanchuk, 1995 0-1
   Ivanchuk vs Jobava, 2010 1-0
   Ivanchuk vs Karjakin, 2008 1-0
   Ivanchuk vs Morozevich, 1996 1-0
   Topalov vs Ivanchuk, 1999 0-1
   Ivanchuk vs Topalov, 1996 1-0
   Ivanchuk vs Topalov, 2007 1-0
   Ivanchuk vs Kasparov, 1994 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2001)
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   5th Individual European Chess Championship (2004)
   XVII Torre Memorial Knockout (2004)
   Capablanca Memorial: Elite (2005)
   42nd Capablanca Memorial (2007)
   M-Tel Masters (2008)
   9th Edmonton International (2014)
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2011)
   World Cup (2011)
   Magistral Ciutat de Barcelona - Casino (2006)
   Trophee Anatoly Karpov (2012)
   Canadian Open (2005)
   Cap d'Agde (2008)
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2014)
   36th Olympiad (2004)
   Chess Olympiad (2010)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Ivanchuk! by amadeus
   Vassily Ivanchuk: Selected Games by wanabe2000
   Ivanchuk at the Olympics by amadeus
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1990-1999 (Part 2) by Anatoly21
   Ivanchuk 100 selected games-Kalinichenko's book by Gottschalk
   Ivanchuk is IN by amadeus
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 2000-2010 (Part 2) by Anatoly21
   Hilarity with Ivan C. by ughaibu
   English: Vassily Ivanchuk Collection by chess.master
   Art of War's favorite games by Art of War
   Ivanchuk! by larrewl
   Radjabov vs. Ivanchuk by percyblakeney
   Vassily Ivanchuk's Best Games by KingG
   Melody Amber 1995 by amadeus

   Ivanchuk vs A Graf, 1988

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Vassily Ivanchuk
Search Google for Vassily Ivanchuk
FIDE player card for Vassily Ivanchuk

(born Mar-18-1969, 46 years old) Ukraine
[what is this?]
IM (1987); GM (1988); European Junior Champion (1987); Candidate (1991 & 2013); vice-World Champion (FIDE) (2001-02); European Champion (2004).

Preamble and summary

Vassily Mykhaylovych Ivanchuk was born in Kopychyntsi in Ukraine and has been amongst the world elite players for the last two decades. He has long been a world title aspirant, having twice been a Candidate (in 1990 and 2013), and has won many major tournaments including the annual Capablanca Memorial Tournament (6 times), Linares (4 times) and the Tal Memorial (twice).


Ivanchuk was the European Junior Champion in 1987, the same year he received his IM title. His first major international result was in 1988 when he won the New York Open with 7.5/9. Also in 1988, he came equal first at the World Junior Chess Championship in Adelaide, although Joel Lautier won the title on tiebreak. 1988 also saw him win his GM title. He followed these early breakthroughs with numerous successes in a glittering career, including first place at Biel 1989, Yerevan 1989, Linares in 1989, 1991, 1995 and 2009 (shared with Alexander Grischuk), equal first (with Gata Kamsky) at the Tilburg super-tournament in 1990, then first in Munich 1994, Horgen 1995, Corus at Wijk aan Zee 1996, Belgrade 1997, Tallinn 2000, Montecatini Terme 2000 and Malmö 2003.

From 2004, he won: the 5th Individual European Chess Championship (2004), the Capablanca Memorial: Elite (2005), the Capablanca Memorial (2006) and the 42nd Capablanca Memorial (2007); the XVII Torre Memorial Knockout (2004) in Mexico, Barcelone 2005, joint first in the Canadian Open (2005), and first at the Casino de Barcelona Masters (2005), Tallin 2006, and Mérida 2006. He was runner up at the 7th European Individual Championship (2006), and subsequently won at the Pivdenny Bank Chess Cup (2007), Aerosvit (2007) in Foros, the Montreal International (2007), the M-Tel Masters (2008) with a dominant 8/10 score and a 2959 performance rating, the Tal Memorial (2008) with 6/9, a point ahead of the field, the XXI Magistral Ciudad de Leon (2008) ahead of Viswanathan Anand, and the Bazna Tournament (2009).

His most notable achievement in 2009 was winning the FIDE Jermuk Grand Prix (2009) outright with 8.5/13. In 2010, Ivanchuk won the Capablanca Memorial (2010) ahead of Ian Nepomniachtchi with 7/10 and a 2839 performance and in July, he produced a rating performance of 2911 when he scored 6/7 in the 38th Greek Team Championship A Division. In the category 18 Reggio Emilia (2010) that finished on 6 January 2011, Ivanchuk scored 5/9 (+3 -2 =4) to come =3rd (5th on countback) behind Vugar Gashimov and Francisco Vallejo Pons; TPR was 2729. Ivanchuk returned to his full majestic form during the Tradewise Gibraltar (2011) event, which he won outright with 9/10 (+8 -0 =2) and a 2964 performance rating, ahead of a field that included 55 grandmasters; 9 of his opponents were grandmasters, the other an IM. He followed this up by taking out the 46th Capablanca Memorial (2011), his fifth win in this tournament, with 6.5/10, winning on tiebreak ahead of Le Quang Liem by defeating him in the final round. In October, he came =1st (2nd on blitz tiebreaker) with Magnus Carlsen at the 4th Bilbao Masters (2011), both scoring 15 points under the points system used at Bilbao (3 for the win, 1 for the draw) with 4 wins 3 losses and 3 draws and a TPR of 2818. Then in November, Ivanchuk came 3rd in the Tal Memorial (2011) with 5/9 (+2 -1 =6 and a TPR of 2815) behind Carlsen and Levon Aronian respectively. He started 2012 at the Tata Steel (2012) tournament, placing =5th with 7.5/13 (+3 -1 =9; TPR 2807) and then followed up with a couple of wins - his 6th at the annual Capablanca Memorial - at the Capablanca Memorial (2012) and a clear first with 5/6 in the inaugural (and unrated) ACP Golden Classic (2012) which showcased longer classical time limits and adjournments. He won the quadrangular double round robin Kings' Tournament (2012) held in Bucharest in a tiebreaker with Topalov to round out his 2012 campaign.

Ivanchuk started 2013 with his final warm-up before the World Championship Candidates (2013) at the Tradewise Gibraltar (2013), scoring 7.5/10 to share 5th place, a half point behind the four co-leaders. He led for most of the Tradewise Gibraltar (2014) and was first on normal tiebreak, however, as first place at Gibraltar is decided by blitz when there is more than one leader on points, Ivanchuk came in third behind the winner Ivan Cheparinov and runner up Nikita Vitiugov. His traditional happy hunting ground in Cuba was disastrous at the 49th Capablanca Memorial (2014) when he came in last with 4/10. He bounced back at the 9th Edmonton International (2014) where he won decisively with 8/9, a half point ahead of Filipino wunderkind Wesley So with whom he drew in their individual encounter. In January 2015, he participated in the Tata Steel (2015), and finished a ratings-boosting 6th with a score of 7.5/13 after leading the event in its early stages.


In match play he won the Ivanchuk - Leko Match (2009) by 3.5-2.5 (+1 =5). Ivanchuk played a combined rapid/blitz match against Anish Giri at the 26th Leon Masters 2013; he lost both the 45 minute (G45) 2-game match with 1 loss and 1 draw and the 4-game G20 rapid match with 3 losses and 1 draw. However, he decisively won the blitz (G5) portion of the match by 7.5-2.5 (+6 -1 =3). Giri was declared the winner of the match as the slower games were given greater weighting than the blitz games.

Rapid tournaments

One of the foremost rapid players of the age, Ivanchuk has won the World Blitz Cup (2007), the Tal Memorial (Blitz) (2008), the Amber Tournament (Rapid) (2010) (with Carlsen) – also joint 1st with Carlsen overall in Amber 2010; a 3 way tie for first at Keres Memorial Rapid (2006) with Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Anatoly Karpov. In rapid match play he defeated David Navara by 5.5-2.5 (+4 -1 =3) in the Cez Trophy (2009) and Peter Leko in Ivanchuk - Leko Rapid Match (2007) by 7.5-6.5 (+3 -2 =9). Ivanchuk immediately followed up his Olympiad triumph in 2010 by winning the final of the 9th Cap d'Agde in France when he defeated Hikaru Nakamura in the final. At the Bazna King's Tournament (2011), he scored 4/10 but won the Latvian Railway Rapid (2014), spreadeagling the field with an amazing 13/14, 3 points clear of runner-up Vladimir Malakhov. He played in the Mind Games staged in Beijing in December 2014, and scored a strong 17/30 to place =5th and boost his blitz rating by nearly 70 points.

National Teams

Ivanchuk has played in fourteen Olympiads up to and including Chess Olympiad (2014), and won four team gold medals: in 1988 and 1990 playing for the Soviet Union, and in 2004 and 2010, playing for Ukraine. In the 2010 event, he also won individual gold for the top boar, scoring 8/10 with a 2890 rating performance, while in 2012 he helped his team to a bronze medal. He has played in six World Team Championships starting in 1989 and most recently in the FIDE World Team Championship (2013). In total, he has scored 3 individual golds, 1 individual silver and 1 individual bronze, as well as helping his team to 2 golds, a silver and 2 bronzes. His first effort in the World Team Championships was as part of the Soviet team in 1989, but subsequently he has played for Ukraine.

World Championships

Ivanchuk's entry to the World Championship cycle began in grand style when he came equal first with Boris Gelfand, scoring 9/13 at the 1990 Manila Interzonal, a half point ahead of equal third placed Anand and Nigel Short, and qualified for the Candidates cycle. He decisively won the first match, a best-of-eight, against Leonid Yudasin by 4.5-0.5, but lost the second match to Artur Yusupov in the tiebreaker games, 1.5-0.5, after drawing the main match 4-4. Then came the split between FIDE and the Kasparov-led PCA. His next attempt was at the Biel Interzonal (he did not compete in the PCA cycle) where he scored 8/13 to place =10th with five others; unfortunately for him, the only player from this group to qualify for the Candidates was Anand, who came 10th on count back, Ivanchuk coming 14th.

Ivanchuk’s next opportunity came with the 1998 World Championship knockout matches held in Groningen to choose a challenger for Karpov. Ivanchuk was seeded into the second round but lost that match to the US’s Yasser Seirawan. Seeded into the second round of the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (1999), he made a clean sweep of his games against Matthias Wahls and Sergei Shipov but then lost his match against Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu in the fourth round rapid game tiebreaker. He fared even worse the following year at the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2000) in New Delhi and Tehran, where, again seeded into the second round, he lost to Jaan Ehlvest. Then at the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2001), he defeated Baatr Shovunov, Bartlomiej Macieja, Emil Sutovsky, Ye Jiangchuan, Joel Lautier and Viswanathan Anand in the preliminary rounds to reach the final against Ruslan Ponomariov; Ivanchuk lost the first game of this match, drew the next three, before losing the 5th game and drawing the 6th and 7th games to go down by 4.5-2.5. Following this close miss, Ivanchuk competed in the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004), winning in the first two rounds against Adlane Arab and Pentala Harikrishna before losing to the eventual winner Rustam Kasimdzhanov.

The breakdown of unification talks, and FIDE’s reorganization of the World Championship cycle saw the cessation of the World Knockout Championships. Ivanchuk was not invited to the first stage in this process, namely the FIDE World Championship Tournament (2005) won by Veselin Topalov, but participated in the FIDE World Cup (2005) where he crashed out in the second round to Ivan Cheparinov after beating Alexander Sibriaev in the first round. He fared only slightly better in the World Chess Cup (2007) where he again lost to Nisipeanu, this time in the third round after winning his earlier rounds against Pedro Aderito and Alexander Galkin. At the World Cup (2009), he easily won his first round game against Alexei Bezgodov, before again crashing and burning in the second round to Filipino prodigy Wesley So. Ivanchuk was beside himself after this loss, and announced his retirement from chess, however he recanted this soon afterwards. The World Cup (2011) has seen his most successful effort since the 2002 event, defeating South African FM Henry Robert Steel, Russian GM Evgeny Alekseev, Israeli GM Emil Sutovsky, Chinese GM Bu Xiangzhi in the first four rounds, Azeri GM Teimour Radjabov in the quarter final 25+10 rapid-game tiebreaker, and then losing to Grischuk in the semi-final 10+10 rapid game tiebreaker. He then met compatriot Ruslan Ponomariov in the playoff for third, defeating him by 2.5-1.5 to win a spot in the World Championship Candidates (2013), the first time he has won a place in the Candidates since his =1st result in the Manila Interzonal of 1990. He proved to be extremely erratic at the Candidates, finishing 7th out of 8 with 6/14 (+3 -5 =6), losing a string of game in zeitnot, and yet defeating both the eventual winner Carlsen and runner-up Kramnik.

His 2014 World championship campaign started sluggishly with a mediocre 5/11 at the first event in the 2012-2013 Grand Prix series, namely the FIDE Grand Prix London (2012), where his 7th placement earned him only 55 GP points. His 2nd event in the series, the FIDE Grand Prix Thessaloniki (2013), was disastrous, placing last with 3.5/11 and only earning the minimum 10 points. His 3rd event in the series, the FIDE Grand Prix Beijing (2013), was also disappointing, as his =9th knocked him out of contention for the top 2 Grand Prix qualifiers to the Candidates Tournament in 2014. (1)

He was, however, still eligible to play in the World Cup (2013) in August where he has defeated Jan-Krzysztof Duda in the first round, US teenager, GM Ray Robson, in the second round and compatriot, GM Yuriy Kryvoruchko, in the third round. He lost to former World Champion, Russian GM Vladimir Kramnik in the Round of 16 (fourth round).

The main obstacle to Ivanchuk winning the World Championship has been considered to be his erratic temperament and the occasional tendency to lose critical games. This can be seen from his results against the super elite: although he has defeated all the World Classical and FIDE champions after Robert James Fischer, his only positive career score against this elite group has been against Alexander Khalifman.

Ratings and rankings

Ivanchuk has been rated as high as second in the world - in July 1991 when he reached 2735 behind Garry Kasparov, in July 1992 at 2720 again behind Kasparov, and in October 2007 when he reached 2787 behind Anand. His ratings card graphically demonstrates the roller coaster ride that has been his game over the last few years:

As of 1 February 2015:

<Standard> Ivanchuk's rating is 2731, making him the #1 player in Ukraine and #23 in the world;

<Rapid> 2809 (world #6); and

<Blitz> 2789 (world #12).

Sources and references

(1) Wikipedia article: FIDE Grand Prix 2012%E2%80%932013; live rating:; Part 1 of an interview held on 27 April 2011 with Chess in translation:; Part 2 of the interview is at; Wikipedia article: Vassily Ivanchuk

Latest update 5 Feb 2015

 page 1 of 133; games 1-25 of 3,311  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Ivanchuk vs M Golubev  1-033 1983 Armiansk ch-Ukr jrE98 King's Indian, Orthodox, Taimanov, 9.Ne1
2. Dreev vs Ivanchuk  ½-½52 1984 Champigny sur Marne opA07 King's Indian Attack
3. F Hellers vs Ivanchuk ½-½30 1984 ChampignyB09 Pirc, Austrian Attack
4. Ivanchuk vs Dlugy  0-145 1985 Wch U20B17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
5. Gelfand vs Ivanchuk ½-½19 1985 USSRC05 French, Tarrasch
6. Ivanchuk vs Dreev 1-032 1985 Leningrad (Russia)D31 Queen's Gambit Declined
7. Ivanchuk vs N Dobrev ½-½47 1985 SharjahD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
8. R Zysk vs Ivanchuk  ½-½40 1985 Wch U20D13 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
9. Y Kruppa vs Ivanchuk 0-130 1985 USSR 40/604E04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
10. Ivanchuk vs J Gil Capape 1-041 1985 Wch U20B10 Caro-Kann
11. Serper vs Ivanchuk 0-124 1985 LeningradB77 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
12. Anand vs Ivanchuk ½-½50 1985 Wch U20C78 Ruy Lopez
13. Serper vs Ivanchuk ½-½25 1985 URSC05 French, Tarrasch
14. Ivanchuk vs Blatny 0-142 1985 SharjahC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
15. N Murshed vs Ivanchuk  0-133 1985 Wch U20D44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
16. Ivanchuk vs T Tabatadze 1-036 1985 LeningradB09 Pirc, Austrian Attack
17. Ivanchuk vs Smirin 1-033 1985 URSB64 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack
18. C Michel Yunis vs Ivanchuk 0-133 1985 Wch U20C15 French, Winawer
19. Ivanchuk vs J Borges Mateos  ½-½43 1985 Wch U20C11 French
20. Oll vs Ivanchuk 0-138 1985 KlaipedaD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
21. Ivanchuk vs N K Mishra 1-042 1985 Wch U20B86 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin Attack
22. C Horvath vs Ivanchuk 0-120 1985 Sharjah (United Arab Emirates)C05 French, Tarrasch
23. M Golubev vs Ivanchuk  ½-½21 1985 Klaipeda jr SU-qualC19 French, Winawer, Advance
24. R Kuczynski vs Ivanchuk  ½-½29 1985 Wch U20C05 French, Tarrasch
25. Ivanchuk vs B Moran 1-047 1985 Wch U20D44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
 page 1 of 133; games 1-25 of 3,311  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Ivanchuk wins | Ivanchuk loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 151 OF 151 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-13-15  disasterion: <Conrad93> Did van Wely make any obvious blunders? It seemed to me he just got thoroughly outplayed in a fiercely complicated game.
Jan-13-15  Conrad93: van Wely got completely crushed. Decimated. The worst loss of the tournament.

Liren Ding is a far tougher opponent, and I don't see how Ivanchuk will outplay him in the opening.

Jan-13-15  Poisonpawns: Ivanchuk is streaky;but when he is on form I think he is the best player in the world.I want to clarify; I will take an "on form" Ivanchuk over any player,including Magnus.
Jan-13-15  Conrad93: Ivanchuk in his prime would destroy Carlsen on any day.

Carlsen hasn't produced brilliances anywhere near Ivanchuk's level.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: <Ivanchuk in his prime would destroy Carlsen on any day.>

Well, except on the days when he was playing in qualifying tournament for the world championship, apparently.

Jan-13-15  Conrad93: You mean the day he beat both Kramnik and Carlsen?
Jan-14-15  MoonlitKnight: Ivanchuk in his prime (and even today) could destroy anyone in a single game or even a tournament. But when it comes to consistency, Carlsen is superior by a wide margin.
Jan-14-15  schweigzwang: <You mean the day he beat both Kramnik and Carlsen?> Well, not both the same day.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: Regarding <fisayo123>'s video--was Chucky trying to mess with his opponent's head, or did he genuinely have medical fears, or what? Can any Russian speakers offer a clue as to what he's saying at the end of the video?
Jan-14-15  john barleycorn: "i understand it is difficult to be always lucky"

An unique press conference. vintage Chucky:

Jan-15-15  Conrad93: The game between Ding and Ivanchuk was really uneventful.

There was no reason to agree to a draw in the middle of the endgame.

Jan-15-15  Conrad93: Not even the endgame, I meant middle game!
Jan-15-15  john barleycorn: <Caissanist: Regarding <fisayo123>'s video--was Chucky trying to mess with his opponent's head, or did he genuinely have medical fears, or what?>

I think Carlsen was "warned" by Aronian and Svidler as they were giggling all the time.

Jan-15-15  chaturangavallabha: Chucky, Anand and Kramnik have the same win % of 61.5.

What a waste of genius. I have always felt in terms of pure talent

Chucky>Kramnik>Anand>Topalov of their generation.

Only Anand and Kramnik did something with their talent. Kramnik became world #1 overcoming Kaspy and Anand went on to have a overall record which is very impressive.

Topa and Chucky wasted it all.

I wonder what Anand would have gone oon to become if he had trained in the Soviet schools. Even Kaspy asked the same question.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: "Waste of Genius"? Topalov and Ivanchuk have both had great careers. Not everyone can be #1. Why can't people just appreciate good chess? Why so much negativity?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <plang> If this site had existed during Kasparov or Karpov's periods of dominance, we should have been regaled with countless posts as to how boring it was that either player was winning an event yet again, along with celebrations those rare times either titan lost a game.

Plus ca change.......

Jan-19-15  SimonWebbsTiger: A need to update his player page. Chucky wants to be called "Vassil" these days, not "Vassily."
Premium Chessgames Member
  alfamikewhiskey: <called "Vassil">

In the spirit of CG's puns:

Yep, that should be vassilitated.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: Actually it's Vasil (one S), not Vassil, at least according to the Tata Steel participants page. Given recent events, I guess he felt like he needed to Ukrainify his name.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Congrats to Ivanchuk for his performance at the Tata Steel (2015) tournament. He started off with +3 after 4 rounds, and kinda faded after that, but with +15.9 rating points and a +2 score, he still has it!
Jan-29-15  fisayo123: Fascinating article on Ivanchuk from chess24.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Congrats to Ivanchuk for winning the Petrov Memorial (rapid) with a score of 9/11, half a point ahead of Karjakin, Gelfand and Rapport.

His efforts helped him gain 25.6 blitz points (2809 -> 2834.6) and rise to #4 (2 spots), behind only Carlsen, Nakamura and Grischuk.

Mar-08-15  et1: A great victory in Riga !! Congratulations !! 2900 performance ! A true genious, a true champion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: Mamedyarov vs Ivanchuk (7.1)

17 h2-h4?

click for larger view

17 ... ♘g5xf3!

click for larger view

18 ♔e2x♘f3 e5-e4+ 19 ♗d3x♘e4 ♘f6x♗e4 <Stockfish: -1.95>

click for larger view

and now White cannot capture the Black e4-knight with 20 Qc2xNe4?? because then the <UNPROTECTED> White a1-rook will fall to the <QUEEN FORK> 20 ... Qe7-f6+.

Notice how 17 ... Ng5xf3! 18 Ke2xNf3 is a <DECOY> of the White e2-king to the f3-sq for two different reasons:

1) <ALIGNMENT>: dragging the king into the <PAWN FORK> 18 ... e5-e4+

2) <EXPOSURE>: dragging the king out into the open for the <QUEEN FORK> 20 ... Qe7-f6+

Notice also the important role played by the <UNPROTECTED> White a1-rook exposed along the open a1-h8 diagonal.

A superb <PETITE COMBINAISON> by Ivanchuk.

Mar-12-15  Whitehat1963: With his win at the Petrov Memorial, Ivanchuk continues to show he can still play at high levels. Inconsistently one of the world's best players for the past 25 years. Along with Anand, Kramnik, Topalov, and Gelfand.
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