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Alexander Shabalov vs Boris Gelfand
"Bermuda Triangle" (game of the day Jun-13-2018)
Bermuda Round Robin (2004), It, rd 7, Jan-22
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B96)  ·  0-1



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find similar games 2 more Shabalov/Gelfand games
sac: 20...fxe5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-15-04  chessblaster9: the coordination of black's pieces is incredible.
Feb-15-04  talchess2003: Although, Shabalov's play after winning the queen was not so good. I am not being harsh on him, I just understand that his mind probably relaxed after winning the queen... it happens to all chess players, even those at the top of the ladder... and caused him to enter more innovative and complicated lines.. where he should have played more conservatively.

I believe his advantage may have been enough to look for a win.. the queen to three pieces could be taken for even, but he was also up a pawn and and black's pawn structure was ugly. Im impressed that on 23. g3 black did not take the draw here, after 23... Ra1+. For white basically cannot decline, as 24. Kb1 R1a2+ 25. Kc3 R2a3+ 26. Kc4 d5+ 27. Kb5 Be3 does not look so good for white, with solid threats of winning the queen or checkmate.. I would not have been so confident as Gelfand, that I could pull off a win in that position as black. But then again, there may have been some psychological influences on them too.

Apr-06-04  parinda: what an amazingly complex display of chess by two veterans of the royal game....starting from shabalov's bold 12.Nd5 knight sacrifice...down to gelfand's king walk to the 7th rank to win the game!. . .as for psychological influences talchess3000. . i know they played a game recently (i'm not sure if it predates this one) in the (SHABALOV!) slav where gelfand as white took up the gauntlet and in a dangerously complex position won against that openings founder (incidentally, shabalov is known to have said that he thinks g4 in the slav is dubious for white). . .so gelfand was saying basically. .show me YOUR opening is dubious for white. . .you gotta admire the hubris. . of course backed up by 2700 play never hurts the cause either. .but even in that game shabalov had his chances. . .but missed opportunities against top caliber players is a rather common theme among lesser grandmasters. .except this game was more like a roller coaster ride according to fritz.. with white maintaining the edge for the most part of this game. .and i agree with you. i would have bailed as black and taken the draw!
Apr-06-04  parinda: p.s. having just checked on that other game i did find that it predated this game by a whole 6 days . . .so this was the 2nd game played by them at the bermuda open. . .the 1st being the shabalov slav game
Feb-10-05  Open Defence: I think Black was ok after the Queen sac, any thoughts anyone ?
Jul-28-05  patzer2: White's 15. b4! practically forces Black's positional Queen sacrifice 15...Qxb5!? for the three pieces. Fritz 8 rates it slightly in White's favor after 18. Qd3 , but Black's compensation seems sufficient to keep it an unbalanced struggle with chances for both sides.
Jul-28-05  acirce: From John Nunn's "The Complete Najdorf: 6.Bg5":

15.b4 <Taking the queen gives White a theoretical material advantage, but Black's minor pieces are very active. White has a safer (and possibly better) alternative in 15.Nxf6+ Kd8 (15..Ke7 16.Bxd7 Bg7 17.Nh5 Bxb2+ 18.Kxb2 Rab8 19.Kc1 Kxd7 20.f5 e5 21. Qb3 Ke7 22.f6+ Kd7 23.Qxf7+ Kc8 24.Qb3 Lehtinen-Vasiliev, corr 1989) 16.Nxd7 (16.Bxd7 Be7! 17.Qb3 Bxf6 18.Qxb7 Ra7 ) Qxb5 17.Nxf8 Rxf8 18.Qa3! (18.Rxd6+ Kc7).>

18.Qh5 is not mentioned; 18.Qd3 leads to a line where the verdict is "unclear". Nakamura vs Gelfand, 2005 for 15.Nxf6+

Jul-28-05  patzer2: <acirce> Thanks for your research and the insights from a Super GM opening specialist in this line.
Aug-28-08  sicilianhugefun: gelfand played almost like kasparov
May-02-12  Garech: Superb game from Gelfand! Let's hope he can play this way against Anand.


Jun-13-18  ChessHigherCat: Point values, what point values?
Jun-13-18  lost in space: Wow, what a game. The dream of all Najdorf players
Jun-13-18  Cheapo by the Dozen: Amazing game!!!

So what's the pun, other than the game's venue? The fact that pieces kept disappearing?

Jun-13-18  Cheapo by the Dozen: The engine seems rather confused about this one. Before move 42, it sees a draw. Then White make its recommended 42nd move, and now it sees Black as winning.
Jun-13-18  Ironmanth: Agree with many of the comments; an AMAZING game! This will surely repay deeper study! Thanks for this game, chessgames. Keep them coming!
Jun-13-18  morfishine: Game of the Century!

When White played <12.Nd5> I figured White will win in short order, but then...

Jun-13-18  piltdown man: Just beautiful!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Taxman: That's certainly a brilliant game.
Jun-13-18  cormier: 18.Qd3 Ra6 19.Qxb5 Rb6 20.Qd3 Bh6 21.g3 Ra8 book:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4
22.a3 e5 23.Kb2 exf4 24.e5 fxe5 25.gxf4 Bg7 26.Qxh7 Bf6 27.fxe5 Nxe5 28.Re3 Rh8 29.Qd3 Bc8 30.Kb1 Be6 31.Qd4 Nd7 32.Qf4 Be5 33.Qg5+ Bf6 34.Qg2 Be5 35.h3 Rc8 36.Qg5+ Bf6 37.Qg3 Be5 38.Qh4+ Ke8 39.Rf1 Rbc6 40.Rf2 Rc4 41.Qg5 Nb6 42.Rxe5 dxe5 + / = (0.70) Depth: 26

Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: <Cheapo by the Dozen> I suggested this pun a couple days ago more for the value of the game than having a good joke. I hope you can excuse it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 12 Nb3 is, of course, playable for White though it does not seem overly promising for White; Shabalov's 12 Nd5!? leads to messy, unclear complications typical of the 6 Bg5 line. 12..exd 13 Nc6!..Bxc6 14 exd+..Be7 15 dxc..Nc5 16 Bxf6..gxf 17 Bf5 would have been powerful for White. After the game both players thought that 15 Nxf6+ followed by 16 Bxd7 would have been an interesting alternative. 18 Qd3 had twice been played against Kr. Georgiev most recently in Cheparinov-Kr.Georgiev 2003 Bulgarian Ch (won by Black); 18 Qh5 was new.

Shabalov after 19..Rh6!:
"The only move, and a very strong one. The position is about equal at this point. However, White failed to appreciate this fact and pushed for more." (19..Ra7 20 Rxd6!..Kxd6 21 Rd1+..Bd5 22 exd would have clearly favored White).

20 Qxb7..Bxf4+ 21 Kb1..Raa8 22 Qb5..Be5 would have given Black a very promising attack despite the material deficit. Shabalov offered a draw when playing 23 g3 but Gelfand declined believing that he had full compensation for the queen. 26 Re4? misplaced the rook; 26 Rd3 would have been better though after 26..d5 Black would still have had a promising initiative. After 30 h4? White was lost; 30 b5 would have been a tougher defense. 30..Ne4 31 b5..Ra4 32 Rd3..Bd2 would have been immediately decisive. Again, 32..Bf6 would have been stronger. 45 Rxd4+..Kxc2 and White is mated.

An excellent fighting game with a pretty finish by Gelfand!

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