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Ilia Smirin vs Alexander Grischuk
New York op (2000), rd 9, May-05
Spanish Game: Closed. Pilnik Variation (C90)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Played in the last (9th) round; Smirin's win gave him sole 1st with 7.5-1.5 in the NY Open (201 players). In game 5 of their finals match at the 1999 World Championship at Las Vegas Akopian had played 19 Bf4 against Khalifman and the game had ended in a draw; 19 Be3 was new. White's advantage after 33 h4 lay in Black's weakness on the a1-h8 diagonal; ie. if 33..Bf5? then 34 Nf6+..Kf8 35 Bxf5..Nxf5 36 Nd5 is winning for White. Smirin recommended 33..Nd5 34 Nf6+ (34 Rxd5?..Bxd5 35 Nf6+..Kf8 36 Nxd5..Qc1+ wins for Black)..Nxf6 35 Qxf6..Re8 with just a small White edge; instead after Grischuk's 33..h5?! White had a strong initiative. Perhaps Black should have tried 34..Rd8 although after 35 Re1 White is much better; after Grischuk's 34..Bf5 35 Qf6 Black was losing a pawn without any compendation. 43..Re7 44 Nc4..Qd8 45 Ne3 would not have helped Black. The pin with 40 Rd1 led to winning material and resignation.

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