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Konstantin Sakaev vs Vladimir Belov
Russian Championship (2003), Krasnoyarsk RUS, rd 5, Sep-08
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange. Classical Variation (D86)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-31-04  notyetagm: This game won the First Brilliancy Prize at the 2003 Russian Championship and finished second in the voting for the Best Game Prize in Chess Informant 88, behind only Anand's stupendous win over Bologan from Dortmund 2003.
Dec-25-07  mistreaver: 20 Kh1!!
Great attacking move. If white played careless 20 Bh6 he would be in trouble after 20... Kxd4! 21 Bxf8 Rxf8 22 Qh6 Ne6 and if now 23 Bc4 the riposte is 23... Qxc5 and wins the bishop. Now white is treathening to win with Bc4!! Great game by Sakaev.
Dec-26-07  mistreaver: Correction :
I mean 20... Nxd4 ofc.
Apr-21-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: What's your next move as white?


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Maybe <16.fxe5 Bxe5 17.Nf3 Bg4 18.h3 Bxf3 19.Qxf3>?

Jun-26-15  SpiritedReposte: <Dearly Beloved> or <As Above, So Beloved>
Mar-08-21  Gaito: The following position was very interesting:


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BLACK TO MOVE
White threatens Bh6 to be followed by Bxf8 and Qh6. In his comments in Chess Informant No. 88, grandmaster Konstantin Sakaev wrote that the only defense (□) for Black against that threat was 20...h5, which was what Black actually played. It is interesting to notice, however, that the very strong chess engine Stockfish 13 suggests the surprising move 20...Nxd4! as Black's best move in the diagrammed position, with equality (computer evaluation: 0.00). With this knight sacrifice the bishop on e3 is temporarily diverted from the dangerous diagonal c1-h6, thereby winning a valuable tempo for the defense. Let us review a likely continuation:
20...Nxd4! 21.Bxd4 (if the knight is not captured, it will move to e6) Rad8 (maybe 21...Bb5 is also worthy of consideration) 22.Bg1 (if 22.Be3 Bc6 23.Bh6 Bxc5! and this bishop couldn't be captured because White's queen would be overloaded) 22...Bc6 (see diagram below):


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According to the engine's evaluation, the position is equal, maybe slightly better for Black.

Mar-08-21  Gaito: After 21.Bf4 the following position was reached:


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Where should Black move his attacked queen? In the actual game Black retreated his queen to d8 and wound up losing. The only alternative analyzed by Sakaev in his comments (Informant 88) was 21...Qa5?? which also loses to 22.Bd6. Black's best move, however, is quickly found by Stockfish 13, namely: 21...Qc8! After 21...Qc8! 22.Bd6 Kh7 23.Qe3 Bxd6 24.cxd6 Qb8 25.e5 Qxd6 26.Rxb7 Nxe5 27.dxe5 Rxe5 with equality (see diagram below):


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Mar-08-21  Gaito: This game received five nines and was considered the second best game in chess Informant 88. In addition it won the first brilliancy prize. But 18 years later, and with the aid of strong computer engines, it is revealed that the game was full of mistakes and oversights by both players, and would hardly have deserved to be called a "good" game, let alone an "excellent" game. Perhaps it is unfair to analyze a game played 18 years ago with the computer tools available in 2021, but some old games can pass the test of computers with flying colors. Certainly not this game!
Mar-08-21  Gaito: The following position is also worthy of some commentary:


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BLACK TO MOVE
White threatens Bxf8 followed by Qh6 and checkmate. Threrefore Black understandably played 22...Kh7, but wasn't there a better move? Yes, there was a better alternative for Black, namely 22...Bxd6!, for example: 23.cxd6 Kh7 24.Qe3 Qb8! (see diagram below), and if then 25.Qg3? Nxd4∓, or else 25.e5 Qxd6 (=) as shown in a comment above)


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WHITE TO MOVE. THE POSITION IS EQUAL.

Mar-08-21  Gaito: After 23.Qe3? (it seems that 23.e5! was better) White allowed his opponent to revert to a position already analyzed in the comments above, but instead of the correct move (24...Qb8!), Black blundered again and played 24...Bc8??, and so, after 25.e5, Black was completely lost again.

In his commentary in Chess Informant, Sakaev gave the following variation: 24...Qb8 25.e5 Qxd6 26.Qf3 Nxe5 27.Qxh5+ Kg8 28.dxe5 Rxe5 29.Qh6 Qf8 30.Qh4 Rh5 31.Qg3 (See diagram below):


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BLACK TO MOVE
Sakaev gave 31...Rh6(?) as Black's only playable move, but he overlooked the stronger 31...Qb8! after which White can't win the game, for example: 31...Qb8! 32.Rf4 Bf5 33.Bxf5 Rxf5 34.Rxf5 Qxg3 35.hxg3 gxf5 36.Rxb7 Rc8 37.Rb6 Kh7 38.Rxa6 Kg6 39.a4 Rc1+ 40.Kh2 Kg5 with a likely draw (see diagram below):


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The computer evaluation of this ending is 0.00.

Jun-08-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 10..Bd7 is an alternative to the main lines 10..Qc7 and 10..Bg4 that was introduced by Romanishin in 1980. 13..Na5 had been played in the short draw Kramnik-I.Sokolov Wijk aan Zee 1999; 13..e6 was new. Sakaev described his piece sacrifice 16 f5! as "intuitive" as it was not possible to calculate all the ensuing variations. He also thought that 17..gxf 18 exf..Bf6 19 Rf3 would have been a better defense though White still would have had a powerful attack. 19 Qd2 would have been inaccurate as after 19..Bb5 20 Bh6..Bxc5! 21 dxe..Red8 it would have been Black with the initiative.

<Gaito: This game received five nines and was considered the second best game in chess Informant 88. In addition it won the first brilliancy prize. But 18 years later, and with the aid of strong computer engines, it is revealed that the game was full of mistakes and oversights by both players, and would hardly have deserved to be called a "good" game, let alone an "excellent" game.>

You have pointed out some interesting defensive improvements. While this does lessen my opinion of Sakaev's analysis of the game it does not lessen my admiration for the game itself which a great creative effort. I do not expect (or seek) "perfection" in a game between human opponents.

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