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Yasser Seirawan vs Igor Vasilievich Ivanov
"Igordian Knot" (game of the day Jan-03-2013)
US Championship (1991) (rapid), Los Angeles, CA USA, rd 1, Jul-30
Queen's Indian Defense: Kasparov Variation (E12)  ·  0-1



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Given 9 times; par: 48 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-11-10  sevenseaman: One of the best games in 'Mate/combinations' collection of avidfan.
Oct-11-10  Antonius Blok: Fantastic finishing... just great! I can't imagine at what point of the game this brilliant combination appeared to Ivanov...
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  andrewjsacks: Those of us in the greater L.A. area who were privileged to see Igor in action here for years know that he was among the strongest players in history not to have a GM title. Also, we know that his weakness for alcohol resulted in his giving many opponents de facto odds--yet he prevailed time and again against the strongest opposition. Fascinating player and personality.
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  andrewjsacks: And yes, I do realize that much later, shortly before his death, he was granted the GM title he actually deserved many years before...
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  perfidious: <andrew> My first encounter with Ivanov was at the 1982 Greater Boston Open, a few months after his near-miss at qualifying for the Candidates, in a QGD Tartakower which followed Karpov vs Geller, 1981 for fifteen moves, though he deviated from Karpov's 16.Ba6. After this, I got a good position but could not quite come up with a good idea. Ivanov eventually did and won.

Other than failing to become a candidate, the only reason Ivanov did not get his GM title was because he played few invitationals, and weekend swisses by the dozen.

As you surely recall, back then it was tough for anyone to make norms in American swisses, what with the paucity of strong events, plus the three-year requirement. Even players such as Jim Tarjan had to go to Europe to have a legitimate shot.

Jan-03-13  newzild: A very pretty mating attack.

<avidfan> - Your suggestion of 36. gxf3 does look more resistant - although still lost, I think:

36. gxf3 Nxf3+, and now;

a) 37. Rxf3 Rxf3 38. Q(any) Qf7 with an extra pawn and a nasty pin on the f-file for Black.

b) 37. Kg2 Ng5+ 38. Kg1 (best) Nxh3+ 39. Nxh3 (or 39. Qxh3 Qxh3 40. Nxh3 Rxc4) Qg4+ 40. Qg3 Rxc4 with a won ending.

c) 37. Kh1 is the same as b).

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Quite a speculative sacrifice; so speculative that White had too many plans of defense to choose (as Tal proved, that's the whole point of such sacrifices).

From moves 25-28, White placed his Rook and Knight in exposed locations where they became vulnerable to attack. What if White seeks to limit the Bb7's range and simultaneously blockade the central light squares?

I'm thinking of 24.Nd2, intending 25.Re3 and 26.f3. Black can replay 24...Nef6; 25.Re3,e4, but that blocks his own Bishop. If my idea doesn't work, there exist plenty more. What sayeth the monsters of silicon?

Jan-03-13  rilkefan: Stockfish sayeth that black is pretty lost at move 21 because of the hanging e4 knight and the threat of Bg5 - this is worth almost two pawns at a depth of 23. It thinks 21...Rxf3 is the best move. It doesn't like 29.f3. I expected 29...Nh5 30.Rxh5, and that's what it likes, with white up about a pawn. 31.Ng4 kept most of a pawn edge for white - Rf1 was a pawn and a half swing. And 33.Ng4 loses. Presumably the sac resulted in Seirawan burning a lot of time.
Jan-03-13  RookFile: This is a ridiculously brilliant game by Ivanov.
Jan-03-13  DanielBryant: On Black's 25th move, a weakling like me would be automatically looking for the best way to discover an attack onto White's knight. Instead, Black sets his out-of-play knight on c7 on a journey to e2, where it will wreak much havoc along the way.
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  HeMateMe: exciting dynamic, how the attack proceeds. Educational.
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  Check It Out: Great game.
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  morfishine: I never realized Ivanov never earned the GM title through norms. I remember him playing in 1 or 2 Orlando Opens in the middle 1980's or early 1990's. I'd wander over to his board; he was always winning
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  FSR: Cool game. Seirawan must have been very frustrated. After forcing Ivanov into a desperate exchange sac, he gets completely outplayed.
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  andrewjsacks: <perfidious> All well said. Yet I suspect that there were also politics interfering in Igor's not securing the GM title much earlier.
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  kevin86: Queen goes...pawn mates!


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  hansj: Igor the chess artist! There should be a collection of Igor Ivanov artistic games somewhere. So many masterpieces of chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <hansj> Perhaps you will remember one of Igor's fine performances, as we all took part: Toronto International 1984, where he scored an undefeated 8.5/10, winning this game (K Spraggett vs Igor Ivanov, 1984) on the way.

You and I also met at the board-believe that game was a Classical Dutch with Alekhine's 6....Ne4.

Jan-03-13  parmetd: Well we already have the worst pun of 2013.... maybe ever. Truly disgusting.
Jan-03-13  master of defence: <newzild> after 36.gxf3 Nxf3+ 37.Rxf3 Rxf3 38.Qe2 Qf7 39.Nf1 white looks fine.
Jan-03-13  lemaire90: Wow, nice game ! And lol @ the people freaking out on the quality of the pun... #movingrightalong
Jan-03-13 White's house collapses like a house of cards.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The 1991 US Championship was played at the site of the US Open using a knockout format. The opponents first played two games at a classical time limit. If the result of the mini-match was a draw, they then played two games at G/30. If still tied, they played a series of G/15 games with the first win deciding the match.

This game was the first G/30 playoff. Seirawan won the second. They then played four draws at G/15 before Seirawan finally secured a victory and won the match.

This meant that Ivanov, in one day, had played 2 G/30 and 5 G/15 games under pressure, only to get knocked out of the championship. To the surprise of nobody who knew him, he promptly entered the US Open and won a game in that tournament in the evening, defeating a master in 60 moves.

Igor Ivanov vs D Vest, 1991

Jan-06-13  newzild: <master of defence>

He doesn't look fine to me - he's a pawn down. And 39. Nf1 is an illegal move.

Oct-18-14  The17thPawn: Perhaps white could have stymied the attack by sacrificing the exchange at 31.rxh5 and kept that dangerous knight out of f4. Yes he's down a pawn but those doubled h pawns don't look particularly strong.
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