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Jan Timman vs Alexander Morozevich
Corus Group A (2002), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 5, Jan-17
Slav Defense: General (D10)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Timman, always original in the openings, delayed Nf3 attempting to show that Black's system with 4..a6 was flawed. Played in the 5th round; in the 1st round Morozovich responded to M.Gurevich's innovation 6 Bd2 with 6..Nbd7 and the game ended in a draw; here he tried the sharp 6..c5!?. The complications starting with 9 Nb5!? led to a sharp middlegame where Black had a strong initiative for the exchange but could not castle. 11..Kf8? 12 Rc1 would have gained a tempo for White.

Timman after 19 Qb3:
"This is the start of a very difficult stage of the game. White has to try and attack the hanging central pawns in order to prevent the loss of the h8 bishop without him getting enough material compensation in return."

23 g4? was an error; White should have played 23 Bxe5..Bxe5 2and only then 24 g4 when Morozovich offered the line 24..Bg3! 25 gxf..Bxf2+ 26 Kf1..Bxe3 with Black having good compensation for the exchange. Black, in turn, missed an immediate win with 23..Ng5 24 Ng5..Bxd3 25 Qxd3..Qxg5; instead after Morozovich's 23..Nxf2? White had at least some chances to defend. 30..Bd6 first before ..Nc5 would have been an improvement. On the last move of the time control with both players having only seconds left 40 Nxe4 would have been a clever try as the best defense 40..Rf5! would not have been easy to find: ie. 41 Nxd6+..Kf8 42 Rxe7..Rxd5 43 Re8+ with a perpetual.

A terrific fighting game by two creative and aggressive players.

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