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Alexander Grischuk vs Ruslan Ponomariov
Corus Group A (2005), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 10, Jan-26
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B90)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-26-05  beenthere240: I'd say this is a good example of an overwhelming k-side attack. I had never seen the 6. Be3 7 Bc1 8. fe maneuver before. I wonder if black would have been better on move 20 sacrificing the knight on a3 instead of castling into a horrendous onslaught!
Jan-26-05  Nezhmetdinov: I think Ponomariov resigned at the right time - imagine being faced with that! <beenthere240> Do you think that chess takes the place of music for Nabokov?
Jan-27-05  Stevens: Great game from Grischuk. I can't tell if 20...0-0 is a blunder or if 21.Bf6 is a great move, but it seems as if Supermariov castles straight into the oncoming attack. He then has to immediatly evacuate the king from the danger.
Jan-27-05  admiralnemo: interesting comment by Grischuk about this game. He said that "Pono simply does not understand such positions."
Jan-27-05  notsodeepthought: <admiralnemo> They usually make comments like that about Fritz - of course, it's never clear what "such positions" are, since there's always some comment of this type regardless of the position...
Jan-27-05  admiralnemo: just struck me as a very insulting thing to say. either that or advice for pono to quit playing the najdorf!
Jan-27-05  PinkPanther: <Pono simply does not understand such positions> Apparently, neither does Grischuk.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: "The victim of his wrath was the always cheerful Ruslan Ponomariov, who by his own admission misplayed the opening." I would guess that Grischuk's harsh sounding comments were in response to Pono underplaying the loss, or suggesting he transposed moves or missed something simple. Grischuk is suggesting the problem is deeper, that even without blunders, Black has no counterplay to divert White from a standard mating plan.

An earlier loss to in the B90 variation occurred in roughly the same way- Anand vs Ponomariov, 2005 -uncertainty on the Q-side finally settling on slow counterplay via a knight at c4, castling K-side, and a no-chance defense after a demolition sacrifice.

Jan-27-05  BradMajors: <pinkpanther> umm yes, two games one of which rapid, both four years old, and both against kasparov. Says ALOT.
Jan-27-05  PinkPanther: If he understood the position, as he indirectly claims to by insulting Ponomariov, he should at LEAST be able to handle himself with white, no matter who the opponent is.
Jan-27-05  euripides: Grischuk and Ponomariov are exactly the same age and may well know each other from childhood even though Ukraine is no longer politically united with Russia. I took it to be a semi-affectionate observation about Pono's style. It certainly appears to be accurate, from this game.
Jan-27-05  BradMajors: <pinkpather> again, that's one game - four years ago - when he was a kid, against gazza. Your logic is flawed.
Jan-27-05  acirce: Grischuk vs Kasparov, 2004 is clearly more relevant than bringing up games from before he was close to 2700. Here he got a clear edge against Kasparov.
Jan-27-05  PinkPanther: Do I need to show you more games to prove my point, <BradMajors>?
Jan-27-05  PinkPanther: <euripides>
How exactly do you define Ponomariov's style?
Jan-27-05  csmath: Grischuk does play this type of position more often than Pono, and Pono has not been very lucky with Najdorf in Corus. I don't think Grischuk wanted to insult Ponomariov here. On the other hand, of course the ultimate authority on Najdorf is Kasparov, there is no denying that. I hate black castling in just about any opposite Najdorf, in this particular game Ponomariov also made a lot of useless travel with his knights.
Jan-27-05  Akavall: I wonder if Grischuk commented in English or Russian, it is possible some harshness was added to it with the translation.
Jan-28-05  PinkPanther: Grischuk can speak English rather well, so it's possible he said that in English.
Jan-28-05  euripides: <pp> I don't know his games well enough to judge properly; Grischuk is no doubt better placed. But my impression is that he is most comfortable with positional play and very strong in the ending. He may deliberately have been trying out sharper lines recently - I've seen it commented on that he plays an exceptionally wide range of systems. This is probably a good idea in the long run, but may lead to the odd disaster where he plays a system that he's not completely at home in.
Sep-06-11  computer chess guy: The variations after 20. ♗f6 are complex. White threatens to put Queen and Rook on the h file. 20. .. g6 may be Black's best defense, but White still has advantage. 20. ♕h4 (and then if .. ♗b7, ♗f6) seems to be even better for White:

Analysis by Houdini 1.5a w32 _15a_w32:

1. (2.56): 21.Qh4 Bb7 22.Bf6 Rfc8 23.Rg3 Bxe4 24.Nxe4 Ne3 25.Bc3 Nf5 26.Qh5 d5 27.Rh3 h6 28.gxh6 Qxf4+ 29.Kb1 Qxh6 30.Qxh6 gxh6 31.Nf6+ Bxf6 32.Bxf6 Kh7 33.Be5 Rb7 34.Rg1 Rg8 35.Rxg8 Kxg8 36.Nd4 Nxd4 37.Rg3+ Kf8 38.Bxd4 Ke7 39.Rh3 Kd6 40.Bf6

2. (1.48): 21.Bf6 g6 22.Nd4 h5 23.Bxe7 b4 24.axb4 Qxe7 25.b3 Qc7 26.bxc4 Rxb4 27.Rg3 Rxc4 28.Nde2 d5 29.Rd4 Bb7 30.Rxc4 dxc4 31.h4 Rd8 32.Qa7 Ra8

3. (0.93): 21.Rd3 f6 22.gxf6 Bxf6 23.Bxf6 Rxf6 24.Qh4 Qf7 25.e5 Rxf4 26.Qd8+ Qf8 27.Qxf8+ Rxf8 28.exd6 Rd8 29.Ne4 Bb7 30.Nbc5 Bxe4 31.Nxe4 Rbc8 32.b3 Ne5 33.Rdg3 g6 34.Kb2 Nd7 35.Rd1 Rf8 36.Re1 4. (0.57): 21.f5 f6 22.gxf6 Bxf6 23.Bxf6 Rxf6 24.Qh4 Qf7 25.e5 Rxf5 26.Ne4 Rf4 27.Nf6+ Qxf6 28.Qxf6 Rxf6 29.exf6 g6 30.Nd4 Rb6 31.b3 Ne5 32.Kb2 Kf7 33.Rg3 Kxf6

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