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Emil Sutovsky vs Konstantin Sakaev
European Championship (2001), Ohrid MKD, rd 12, Jun-13
French Defense: Classical. Steinitz Variation (C14)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: 32 ♖xe5!, a very nasty move transposition by Sutovsky. Black had been expecting nothing more than 32 ♘xe5+?! fxe5+ 33 ♖xe5 ♖gd8, hanging on to the d5-pawn with an equal material endgame. <But Sutovsky noticed that the piece that he really wanted to put on e5, the piece that would be really dangerous on e5, was the knight and not the rook>. The knight arriving on e5 forks the Black king and the Black d7-rook which defends the d5-pawn. By playing 32 ♘xe5+?!, taking e5 first with the knight, Black can meet the threat of removing the guardian of the d5-pawn (the d7-rook) by simply playing 32 ... fxe5+, as given above. But by taking the e5-square <first> with the rook (32 ♖xe5!) and <then> with the knight (33 ♘xe5+), Black can no longer meet the threat of removal of the guard of the d5-pawn by 34 ♘xd7 because the f6-pawn cannot keep both the White rook <and> the White knight off of the e5-square.

So instead of material equality, Sutovsky ends up with an extra pawn, which he converts into a full point by playing a fine rook and pawn endgame (41 a4!). <This kind of tactical awareness is the difference between a half-point and a win>.

30 ... ♘d7? 31 ♗xd7 ♖xd7 (31 ... ♘xd7?? 32 ♖e7#) 32 ♖xe5! fxe5+ 33 ♘xe5+ ♔e6 34 ♘xd7 ♔xd7 35 ♖xd5+

Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: White to play: 32 ?

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This position features one of the first <RELOADERS> that I encountered. Here White would like to <KNIGHT FORK> the Black d7-rook and Black f7-king with 32 ♘g6xe5+. But the Black f6-pawn keeps the White g6-knight out of e5.

<<>So for White to occupy the e5-square with the White g6-knight, White must -first- occupy this square with a -different- piece, mainly the White e1-rook, -then- White can occupy the e5-square with the piece that he -really- wants on e5, the White g6-knight.>

Sutovsky (White) played the brilliant 32 ♖e1x♘e5!, leaving Sakaev (Black) shocked that he missed this tactic (New In Chess magazine).

Position after 32 ♖e1x♘e5!

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The point is that in contrast to playing the obvious 32 ♘g6x♘e5?!, 32 ♖e1x♘e5! leads to the win of an -additional- pawn after 32 ... f6x♖e5 33 ♘g6xe5+ <reloading on e5> ♔f7-e6 34 ♘e5x♖d7 ♔e6x♘d7 35 ♖d1xd5+, shown below.

Position after 32 ... f6x♖e5 33 ♘g6xe5+ <reloading on e5>

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Position after 33 ... ♔f7-e6 34 ♘e5x♖d7 ♔e6x♘d7 35 ♖d1xd5+

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Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: <CONT'D> Sutovsky then played an excellent rook ending to convert the extra pawn that he stole in broad daylight with his brilliant <RELOADER> 32 ♖e1x♘e5!.
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: 32 ?

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A beautiful tactical shot by Sutovsky, 32 ♖e1x♘e5! <reload>.

32 ♖e1x♘e5!

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Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: 32 ?

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32 ♖e1x♘e5! (not 32 ♘g6x♘e5+?! =) <reload: e5>

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One of my favorite <RELOADERS>, Sutovsky's 32 ♖e1x♘e5!, which was instrumental in Sutovsky winning the 2001 European Individual Chess Championship at Ohrid.

Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: Game Collection: RELOADING EXPLAINED

Sutovsky vs Sakaev, 2001 32 Re1xNe5! g6-knight on e5-base, e1-rook on Black e5-knight

Premium Chessgames Member

Sutovsky vs Sakaev, 2001 Sakaev intended 33 ... Rg8-d8 to hang onto the weak d5-pawn

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Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Played in the 12th round (out of 13) of this Swiss tournament. Sakaev offered a draw with 11..b5 but Sutovsky declined and this win was instrumental in his shared first place with Ponomariov.

Sutovsky on 14 Qf2!?:
"An interesting approach. As I already wrote, the endgame didn't look very promising to me, but... this was a few moves earlier, when his pawn was on h7. Now, after h7-h6, the only black plan (f7-f6) will have the drawback of a weak g6 square, which will serve as an outpost for both White's knight and bishop."

Still, he considered 14 Rh3!? followed by Rg3 as a possibly stronger alternative. Sutovsky was critical of 16 g4? recommending instead 16 Rh4 with the idea of 16..f6 17 exf..gxf 18 Rg4+ and Rg6. 23 Nf5 led to a clear White control of the light squares. White was patient not taking the d-pawn prematurely; 27..d4 28 Bb3..Rfe8 29 Ng6+..Kd6 30 Rxd4+..Kc7 31 Rde4 would have been strong for White. 30..Nbd7? was an error; 30..d4 would have maintained a dynamic equality. Sutovsky thought that Black should have played 35..Kc6 preventing White from playing Kc5.

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