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Ruslan Ponomariov vs Vassily Ivanchuk
FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2001/02), Moscow RUS, rd 5, Jan-21
Spanish Game: Closed Variations (C84)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-24-02  knight: A tragedy for "Chucky".39..Bxg4 was one of many wins for black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Doctor Who: You mean 40 ...Bxg4, and yes, you are right.
Jan-05-08  dumbgai: 47...g5 would have also won.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: In Shirov-Adams Wijk aan Zee 1998 White played 14 Nf5 and went on to win; 14 Nh2 was new but Ponomariov admitted after the game that it was not an improvement. Ivanchuk gradually developed an initiative in the center and after 29 bxc?! Black was clearly better; preferable would have been 29 Bxc3..d4 30 Bd2..Rc2 31 Bc1..d5 32 Bb3..Rc5 with just a small Black edge. Giving up the a2-g8 diagonal with 35 Bb1?! had to have been a difficult decision as after 35..Qe6 Black had both a positional as well as a material advantage. 47..Kg7? was an unfortunate blunder overlooking White's clever 48 Qd2! after which the game changed from winning for Black to completely unclear. 48..Qxb1 49 Bxh6+..Kf7 50 Qd5+ would have been favorable for White and Black would likely have taken the perpetual. 51..Qf7 would have been better not giving White connected passed pawns. In a sharp endgame Ponomariov outplayed Ivanchuk and after 59..a4? (59..Bf1 was best) Black was lost. Ivanchuk may have been counting on playing 61..Bd1 62 Ke6?..Bb3 before realizing the White would have had the response 62 Bc4.

This was the key point in the match: a win by Ivanchuk would have evened the match and after he missed the win he was unable to adjust to the changed situation and missed the draw as well.

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