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Lajos Portisch vs Jan Timman
Hoogovens (1972), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 1, Jan-11
Gruenfeld Defense: Russian. Prins Variation (D97)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-02-09  skromnigrok: it sure doesn't look a killer game but it's very interesting nonetheless. it's the grunfeld russian system, prins variation with 8.Bf4 instead of the more common 8.Be2. In the next move, after black plays 8...c5, white usually plays 9.dxc5, so here we get an interesting idea - 9.Rd1 - what follows is an extremely sharp middlegame, demanding highly accurate play. The first inaccuracy is by black - 16...Nxd5?!, clearly a wrong choice because it should lead to the loss of exchange after 23. Ne4!( 23...Bxf4; 24. Bxf4 Rc4; 25. f3 fxe5 26. Bxe5 Ra4; 27. Ng5+ Ke8; 28. 0-0 Rxa2; 29. Nxh7 with excellent prospects for White)The correct move for Black is 16...Bc8. Portisch, however, fails to take advantage and plays 23.Rf3!?, which is a slight inaccuracy but not a mistake - white still has a good positional advantage and threats against black. Then Black plays 24...Bd4? (instead of, say, 24...Bc1)- this is clearly a mistake since after 25. exf6, Black must recapture with the bishop (as happens in the game, otherwise, if 25...exf6?, then 26. Nd6+ forks the king and the rook)and then white would have 26. g5, which nips a whole bishop: 26...Rc4; 27.Ng3 Rxc3 28. Rf4 Rd8; 29. gxf6 Rc1+ 30. Ke2 Rc2+ 31.Kf3 exf6 32. Rb1 and white should win. Fortunately for black, white plays 26. Ke2?! allowing Black to equalize and draw the game. it must be these sudden shifts of fortune that make the grunfeld so appealing to masters, I think
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: A very interesting game indeed. I would not say for sure that 16...Nxb5 was an inacurracy. The variation given by <skromnigrok> is not forced. For instance, After 23.Ne4 Bxf4 24.Bxf4 Rc4 25.f3, Black could play 25...f5 with counterplay, although White should have an edge. 24...Bd4 was not a mistake in my opinion. After 25.exf6 Bxf6 26.g5, White has the upper hand of course, but I am not sure this is winnng. However, I do agree that 26.Ke2?! allows Black to equalize and draw the game.

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