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Alexander G Beliavsky vs Vladimir Kramnik
Linares (1993), Linares ESP, rd 10, Mar-09
Semi-Slav Defense: Botvinnik System. Lilienthal Variation (D44)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-20-04  acirce: Why not 18. Nxb5?
May-25-04  ConLaMismaMano: <acirce> Here is a game with 18.Nxb5 in the exact same position...Shirov vs Morovic, 1994
May-25-04  acirce: Thank you! And that seems to have turned out well for white...
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: 18.Ba6 looks odd, but it prevents the Nxb5 sacrifice, as the c6-pawn is pinned. Both colors castle long. Black's extra pawn on the queenside is no advantage.

The possible 23.Nxe6? looks like a gimme, but the attacker would be pinned by the reply 23...Qd7. "Can this move be pinned/skewered/forked on it's new square?" is a mighty good question to ask yourself before/after any move is made.

28.Qxc5+ was certainly playable instead of exchanging queens and pawns. A much different game would result w/queens remaining on board. White would have to defend his backward d-pawn instead of the actual 29.dxc5 to open the file. The queenside exchanges that do occur allow White's pieces to breath, but he's down a piece and the ability to deliver a mating net is greatly reduced.

After further piece exchanges, Black's two minor pieces (an advantage initially resulting from the early sacrificial exchanges on g5) prove better than the lone White rook. It is unusual to see Black's dark-squared bishop play guard duty of his pawn after 43...e5 for 17 moves (like a bad bishop), yet turn up on the winning side. Black was already better at that point, having the more advanced king and pawns. Maintaining the e5-pawn is important, as a sacrificial R x c-pawn is a pointless option w/another pawn available.

I probably would have played 40.f4 but I don't see a way for the White pawns to advance safely on the kingside. 46...Nxb3 is a game winner, creating a decisive passed pawn. The Black knight is just right in this ending.

On behalf of his unusual bishop maneuvers, Black has played a good defensive game overall. White's sacrifice 9.Nxg5 has gradually been repulsed via Black's extra knight.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Correction: 18...Ba6 looks odd, but it...
Jul-08-21  Whitehat1963: High-level look at the Opening of the Day.
Jul-08-21  Whitehat1963: With best play (according to Stockfish, analyzed one move at a time) 16. Qxg6+ yields an immediate exchange of queens followed by a long R+2 pawns v. N+B+1 pawn endgame, with some interesting maneuvering along the way.

Kramnik won this because he was simply the better player. I don?t think Beliavsky did anything horribly wrong early on.

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