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Boris Gelfand vs Veselin Topalov
Linares (1997), Linares ESP, rd 7, Feb-11
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Gligoric-Taimanov System (E92)  ·  0-1



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Given 18 times; par: 32 [what's this?]

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sac: 21...Rxe2+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-05-11  awfulhangover: Topalov is famous for his exchange sacrifices he loves the bishop pair - , so RxB was no surprice.
Jun-05-11  zaxcvd: Stop trying to be a computer...You can at best be a very INFERIOR computer. This game actually shows why GMs are Gms and patzers are patzers.

You don't calculate anything -- you have to "feel" the position.

Jun-05-11  gofer: <Ghuzultyy:> After 18 Nxe8?? Nxg3 wins easily for black. This is the whole point of 17 Bd5. The correct counter to 17 Bd5 is 18 Qc1 to attack the queen that is about to crucify the king. I see no alternative to 18 Qc1. If only the actual position had been so "easy". For the second day in a row I looked, but could not see. I looked at Nf4 and Ne5, but couldn't make them work. Rxe2 did come across as a possible way forward, but not a very practical one! Roll on Monday!
Jun-05-11  bachbeet: I thought of Rxe2 but didn't see any gain from it so abandoned it. Turned out to be one heck of a continuation.
Jun-05-11  hedgeh0g: Extremely difficult puzzle. It's unclear at first how any of Black's moves create threats.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Topalov demonstrates his mastery of the positional exchange sacrifice with 21...Rxe2!! which combines defense with offense in solving today's Sunday puzzle.

The move is defensive in that other options clearly leave Black much worse. For example, trying to save the rook with 21...Re5? 22. Qxe5 Rxe5 23. f4! gives White a strong and likely winning advantage.

The move is offensive in that it is very difficult for White to find a good defense over the board. Instead of 23. Ne4, White may be able to hold with 23. Qe2, when play might continue 23...Ne5 24. Rxe5! Qxe5 25. b4 b3 26. Rc1 = with good practical drawing chances.

Topalov played the finish brilliantly, but might have ended it sooner with the stronger followup move 25...Ng4+!, since 26. fxg4 Qxe4 yields a mating attack.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Here's the poistion after 22 Rxe2.

click for larger view

22 ...Qd5 makes sense. It's the only safe square for the queen besides f6 as 22...Qf6 allows 23 Ne4, attacking the queen.

Exchanging queens is another option but this invalidates the sacrifice.

I did not "get" 23 Ne4, which blocks the rook and keeps black's threat alive of 23..Ne5 (seeing...Nd3+)

Something like 24 b3 or 24 Qd2, below looks cleaner.

click for larger view

And, if black continues with 23...Ne5 anyway, threatening 24...Qxf3+, white can simply give back the exchange with 24 Rxe5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: This is a rare type of puzzle - one I can't solve even after I've seen the 'answer'!
Jun-05-11  Ghuzultyy: <gofer>
Nxg3 wins indeed but not so easily after 19.Nf6+ in my opinion. Here is the analysis I made earlier this day.

Position after <18.Nxe8?>

click for larger view

This ­uzzle's theme is obvious: Destroy the kingside.

You expect a move like this when a grandmaster exchanges a rook for a knight.

Any other move leads to mate in 2 because white's bishop is pinned.

19...Bxf6? doesn't provide enough attack chances. Black is a rook down. The trade on d5 is needed for black to end up winning.

click for larger view

Here white doesn't seem so bad but actually, white is in big trouble. Let's see why.

A)20.hxg6 Qg5!
White can't stop mate threat without big sacrifices.

B)20.Bxd4 Qg5! 21.Kf2 Nf5 22.Rg1 Qh4+ 23.Rg3 Ncxd4

And you can see that white started to lose here.

C)20.Qd2 Bxf2+! 21.Kxf2 Nxe2 22.Qxe2 Nd4! wins.
C1)23.Qe3 Nc2
C2)23.Qd2 Qh4+ 24.Kg1 Nxf3+
C3)23.Qd3 Qh4+ 24.Kg1 Qg5+ 25.Kf2 Qg2+
Other moves are not any better neither.

D)20.Qd2 Bxf2+! 21.Kxf2 Nxe2 22.Nxe2 Ne5 23.f4 d4 24.Ng3! Nc4

click for larger view

This line doesn't look so clear but you can see that d pawn is a major threath and the kingside is also weak. Black should get something out of this line in an actual game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Hmm. Complexicated. The initial exchange sac is logical, and I thought ...Qd5 was good, for several reasons. I worried about a White Nxf7, but it doesn't seem to be as damaging as I feared. And I did *not* think of getting a second Queen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Topalov to play. "Insane". Says so right there on the homepage.

One of these days some sensitive GM is going to sue CG for casting aspersions at his sanity.

Go for it, Veselin.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: And then there was the Parisien madman who committed suicide by jumping into the river.

The coroner ruled that he was inseine.

Jun-05-11  BobCrisp: At least, he didn't die in vain.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Once> Didn't David Bowie patent that joke? - "Who'll love a lad in Seine?"
Jun-05-11  Terry McCracken: I think I was asleep?! No, 21..Ne5 loses fast. I don't see better than 31..Rxe2.:-( Looks like a draw.
Jun-05-11  lost in space: This was too high for my small brian. I thought, that "maybe" Rxe2 would be the right approach, but I was not even sure about it.

Waiting for Monday. More my cup of tea.

Jun-05-11  David2009: Gelfand vs Topalov, 1997 Black 21...? Insane

Black is under pressure: how can he save the exchange? Try 21...Re5 and if 22 f4 Qf6! (but not 22...Nxf4 23 Qxf4 Rxe2+ 24 Rxe2 Qxc5 25 Qxf7+ 1-0; nor 22...Nxf4 23 Qxf4 Rxd6 24 Qxg5 Rxg5 25 cxd6 1-0) and Black is clinging on by his fingertips. White also has 22 Qxg5 Rxg5 23 g4 seeing 23...Nf4 24 Kg3 attacking the trapped Bishop. If Black tries 23...Rxc5 (instead of 23...Nf4) 24 Nxb7 forks the Rooks. So the position is grim for Black: nevertheless I can't see better than 21...Re5. Time to check:
Missed it by the proverbial country mile. Here's the pre- puzzle position (just before White plays 21 Nd1)

click for larger view

Gelfand vs Topalov 1997 White 21? and here's a Crafty End Game Trainer link to explore variations interactively: In the game line the EGT goes for the throat varying with 25...Ng4+.

I have had a quick browse of the other kibitzes, and note <Once>'s interesting analysis (spotting 25...Ng4+). But what to do instead of 23 Ne4? <Once>'s suggestion 23 Nc3 seems to be a typo. I have set the problem up in Crafty EGT colours reversed (you are playing White in this colours-reversed position and trying to win with 1. Rxe7+) which finds the line (in normal colours) 23.Qb1 Nf6 24.b4 only to be hit with 24...Ng4+! 25.fxg4 Qh1!

click for larger view

when the game can continue 26.Nb2 Qxh2+ 27.Ke1 Qxg3+ 28.Kd2 Qc3+ 29.Kd1 Nxb4 30.Na4 Qf3 31.Qxb4 Bxg4 32.Qxd4 Qxe2+ 33.Kc1 Bf5 winning for Black. Fritz 6 improves White's play in this variation, finding (against the EGT) 24.Qd3! instead of 24.b4. Now followed 24...Ne5 25.Rxe5 Qxe5 26.b4 b6 27.Rc1 a5 28.a3 axb4 29.axb4 bxc5 30.bxc5 Ra8

click for larger view

(White is still under pressure) 31.Rc2 h6 32.Qe2 Qh5 33.Qd3 Bd7 34.Kg2 (with Black to play it looks all over but...) 34...Ba4 35.Qc4 Ra7 36.c6 Bxc2 37.c7 Rxc7 38.Qxc7 Qd5 39.Qd8+ Kg7 40.Ne8+ Kf8 41.Nd6+ Kg7 42.Ne8+ draw by repetition.

The colours-reversed link also shows that 21...Re5? loses, to the simple 22 Qxg5 Rxg5 23 f4! winning at least the exchange without compensation.

Thanks to all kibitzers too many to name individually - some very instructive lines posted.

Jun-05-11  sevenseaman: <Ghuzultyy> Wonderful deep analysis. Exhilarating experience going through those complex interconnected alleyways.

<Once> Loved your little joke using the Parisien river - a multidimensional think.

Jun-05-11  WhiteRook48: I only got the first move
Jun-05-11  sevenseaman: In this POTD first move is a no-brainer. To be frank 25...Qc4 is where the real action starts and this well may have been the POTD's first.
Jun-05-11  LIFE Master AJ: I "guessed" 21...RxB/e2+;

... and I may have even had a vague memory of going over this game right after it was played.

But to calculate this to a forced win? I might have to admit that this would be nearly impossible for me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <David2009> 23. Nc3 is surprising, but not a typo. It is Fritz's suggestion as the strongest move in the position. After 23...dxc3 24. Qxc3 we get to here:

click for larger view

According to Fritz, this is level. White may be material down but his remaining pieces are very well posted.

Jun-06-11  scormus: <Once: <David2009> 23. Nc3 is surprising, but not a typo.>

Yes, Rybka also gave 23 Nc3 as best, going to a draw by rep.

She evalled 23 Ne4 as about 1.9 in favour of B. In the game W gave up the fine N posting on d6 but would have been better to give some material in order to keep it there.

But all in all, a superb fighting game by Topalov.

Feb-18-13  Everett: Gelfand must of a few nightmares of KID games. He seems to take it on the chin a bunch in this opening.
Dec-18-15  SpiritedReposte: <17. ...Bd4!> The kings indian bishop invades, grabs the initiative and whites game crumbles.
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