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Yasser Seirawan vs Alexander G Beliavsky
Brussels World Cup (1988), Brussels BEL, rd 2, Apr-02
Slav Defense: General (D10)  ·  0-1



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Given 36 times; par: 32 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-04-17  Lambda: I spent some time today thinking that the C-file was open for some reason, and trying to sacrifice the bishop on d3 to win the rook on c1.

Bf3 only occurred to me once I'd looked at Qa5 intending Bd3+ and observed that you need to keep the pawn on f2.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: If we can safely get a pawn or a piece onto f3 (as black) or f6 (as white) and our opponent has castled kingside, then we are nearly always doing well.

Today we have also an open h file, connected heavy pieces (around the corner of h8) and a white king with no quick escape route.

So we as look at the position with early morning pre-coffee blurry eyes, we can see that the answer is almost certainly going to be Bf3. Now what's the question?

For maximum comic effect, white should have played on with 22. exf3 gxf3 23. Kg1

click for larger view

With almost all the white pieces on dark squares, we can see where he went wrong. He was playing draughts/ chequers.

In more serious mode, replaying the game is instructive. Seirawan does all the text book "correct" stuff of getting his LSB outside the pawn chain, castling and trying to get pressure on the queenside.

Meanwhile Beliavsky doesn't bother with castling, keeps his king safely in the centre and throws his kingside pawns at the castled white king.

Black has all the fun.

Jan-04-17  WorstPlayerEver: Ha. 11 seconds. Clocked. First looked at Rh1 Ke2 and then bingo! Very easy.
Jan-04-17  cocker: Good puzzle today, and even better, I got it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has the bishop pair for a bishop and a knight.

The white king has the escape square e2. Therefore, 21... Bf3:

A) 22.gxf3 gxf3 23.Kg1 (23.Qd1 Rh8#) 23... Qh8 and mate in two.

B) 22.Kg1 Qh8 as above.

C) 22.Bh2 Rxh2 23.gxf3 gxf3 24.Kg1 Qg8+ and mate next.

Jan-04-17  The Kings Domain: Tough puzzle. Brilliant text move, wish I got it.
Jan-04-17  morfishine: <21...Bf3> Otter do it
Jan-04-17  cunctatorg: Alexander Beliavsky was (and perhaps he still is) a great chess player, a true super-GM who's star had been in the shadow of the stars of Garry, Anatoly and Viktor. Beliavsky was not only an uncompromising super-GM but also a genuine and creative attacking player and I firmly believe that the ambitious amateurs or even ... Grand-masters who are dreaming of conducting impressive attacking games would have to gain a lot by studying not only Garry's games but also Beliavsky's masterpieces!! Even Viktor Korchnoi had spoken with respect for Alexander Beliavsky!...

That said, I would like to state that this very game creates the impression that Yasser Seirawan was a common Grand-master who's fate was to be a regular victim of Alexander Beliavsky; well, this seems true by means of statistics but imho is simply unfair for a GM of the calibre of Seirawan...

Jan-04-17  stacase: Cute! 21...Bf3 threatens mate and 22 PxB followed by 22...PxP again threatens mate with White unable to defend.
Jan-04-17  YetAnotherAmateur: Trying to come up with defenses for 21. ... Bxf3 is a challenge. The best I could manage was something along the lines of:

22. gxf3 gxf3 23. Kg1 Qh8 24. Bh2 Rxh2 and then there's nothing to prevent Rh1#

White appears to me to start going wrong with 12. Na4. I understand the idea: c5 is a very juicy target, but it leaves white effectively a piece down for the rest of the game.

Jan-04-17  Pedro Fernandez: What happened to me was very funny. In a couple minutes I saw the powerful 21...Bb4!!

click for larger view

So it is quite probable I didn't see 21...Bf3!! (-M5 according to SF)for that reason.

Jan-04-17  varishnakov: 21...B-B6

22.PxB PxP 23.K-N1 Q-R1
22.K-N1 Q-R1

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: e-z! The black bishop pins the king to mate on the back row. It is easily replaced by a pawn who can do that same job.White is doomed!
Premium Chessgames Member
  scutigera: Monday and Tuesday took me lots longer than this one did. Strange week.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I thought of 21...Qa5 and 21...Bb4 as well.

It took me a while to realize that these moves are completely unnecessary.

Jan-04-17  johngalt5579: got Bf3 in about 3 seconds. I don't recall but actually might have have witnessed this game.
Jan-04-17  YouRang: <Pedro Fernandez: What happened to me was very funny. In a couple minutes I saw the powerful 21...Bb4!!>

That was actually my first thought too: "21...Bb4 deflects the queen via 22.Qxb4, allowing 22...Bd3+, checking the king and sealing off the e2 escape square."

It all looked pretty good until I noticed that after 23.Kg1 Qa8 (threatening ...Rh1#), white could create another escape square via 24.f4!

I found 21.Bf3! shortly thereafter. :-)

Jan-04-17  Pedro Fernandez: Hi <YouRang>, I put 21...Bb4 in SF8 and yes, my idea was to play 22...Bd3+ after of 22.Qxb4, though if we play 22...Bf3!! still is -M7. That's why SF evaluated 21...Bb4 very high. Indeed I did stop my analysis with 21...Bb4, but you were not convinced. A very clever decision from you my friend. Greetings.
Jan-04-17  mel gibson: With the H file under control
white is in a hopeless position.
Jan-05-17  Abdel Irada: ∞

<<+> File it under "h." <+>>

This was, to me at least, a highly intuitive problem. The key move was the only one I ever looked at, and it came to mind at first glance.

Obviously I'm no GM, but by this point in my chess career, I've seen hundreds of positions like this, many in my own blitz games.

So my thinking went something like this:

"I *could* give check on h1, but that can't be right because the king flees to e2 and escapes. But if I could take control of e2 (and still maintain control of g2), White is staring at mate on the h-file, and not a thing he can do about it."

From there it was all very forthright:

<<+> 21. ...Bf3!
22. gxf3 ... >

Because why not? White has no better option, so he might as well remove the bishop and take his chances.

<22. ...gxf3
23. Kg1 ... <>>

Again, what else?

<23. ...Qh8 <+>>

White has run out of resources. It's only a matter of time before his last-ditch defenses, such as 24. Bh2 or Bh4, are annihilated in futility under the guns of the h-file battery.


(Black has a flashier way to finish:

<23. ...Rh1+
24. Kxh1 ▢, Qh8+
25. Bh2 ... >

There is no hope in <25. Kg1?, Qh3 26. any move, Qg2#>.

<25. ...Qh3
26. Rg1 ▢, Rh8>

Not 26. ...Bd6? Rg3! , when White is winning.

<27. Rg7+, Kxg7 >

White has succumbed to horizon effect. He can delay mate for a couple of moves by means of a "brilliant double-rook sacrifice," but he cannot avoid it.

But "flashier" is not synonymous with "most efficient," and this variation is inferior to the quiet 23. ...Qh8, which therefore remains the main line.)


Now we come to perhaps the more theoretically important question: Where did White go wrong?

The culprit may have come as early as 12. Na4. This move looks like a thematic exploitation of the c-file, so I can see why Seirawan was tempted. But it also has the defect of allowing Black's bishop access to e4, which in turn inhibits any move of the f-pawn (which would otherwise create an escape hatch on f2): on either f2-f3 or f2-f4, Black can now take twice on f3 (in the latter case en passant).

I can't say I've established to my own satisfaction that White could not still have saved himself sometime in the following eight moves, but once Black gets in 20. ...Be4, White begins to bust a move Ronda Rousey-style.

From e4, it was inevitable that the bishop would next move to f3, even if White did give up the f-pawn. And that move would seal the fate of his Pallid Majesty, as shown above.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Abdel Irada....White begins to bust a move Ronda Rousey-style....>

Sounds highly interesting.

Jan-05-17  Abdel Irada: ∞

<Jim Bartle: Seirawan: "Trying to apply one of my standard full nelsons, I was again tripped up by my Achilles heel: I forgot to guard my King. One of my shortest defeats ever.">

He also forgot to remove his metaphors from the blender.

Jan-05-17  Abdel Irada: ∞

<perfidious: <Abdel Irada....White begins to bust a move Ronda Rousey-style....>

Sounds highly interesting.>

About as interesting as a 48-second "championship" fight can be in which one party delivers a blitzkrieg of stunning punches to the face while the other reels defenselessly. ;-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: In the Exchange Slav, White is "playing for two results." Here he gets the third result. Cf. NN vs G Aradhya, 2021.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Abdel Irada....About as interesting as a 48-second "championship" fight can be in which one party delivers a blitzkrieg of stunning punches to the face while the other reels defenselessly. ;-)>

I should hope that a 'bout' with Rousey would last a while longer than that.

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