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Boris Gulko vs Alexander Shabalov
Curacao Open (2003), Willemstad AHO, rd 6, Oct-31
Slav Defense: Exchange Variation (D10)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-03-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Shabalov, consistent with his style, aimed for an unbalanced position with 6..a6, 7..Ne4 and 9..g6. 13 Ng5? would have been inaccurate as 13..dxe 14 Nxe6!..fxe would have cost White a piece. 17 Bxc6! both closed the c-file making the c-pawn less of a weakness and made it more difficult for Black to achieve the e5 break. 18..Qd5 19 Nxc4..Qxc4 20 Qe2..Qxe2 21 Rcxe2..e6 22 Rb1 would have led to a favorable endgame for White but Shabalov's 18..Bxe5 left Black with a weakened kingside in an opposite-colored bishop middlegame. After 21..a5? Black was in trouble; better was 21..f6! 22 Re2..Ra7 23 Rb4..Qa5 24 Qb2 with some edge for White. After 22..Qa3 Black was lost; 22..f6 was necessary though after 22..Qa3 23 Bg5..f5 White would likely win. 24..Re7 25 Rxd5!..Rxb7 26 Qe5..f6 27 Qxe6+..Kh8 28 Qxf6+..Kg8 29 Qe6+..Kh8 30 Rd7 would have been winning for White.

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