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Konstantin Rufovich Sakaev vs Andrei Vasilyevich Kharlov
EUCup final (1996), Budapest, rd 3, Nov-27
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Bogoljubow Defense (D24)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <psmith> No I actually meant 16. Ng5!!Bb4 17. Bh5 as in the game continuation. Thanks for the catch.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <sevenseaman> How did you reach your diagrammed position? If you go back and check, I think you'll find White can do better.

At best, I find the position unclear and unpleasant for both sides after 16. bxc3 Nxc3 17. Bd1 =, without a clear advantage for either side.

I would use the unclear symbol instead of equal, but I don't have one on my keyboard.

May-29-11  BOSTER: Queen is in disgrace.

"In most of the book lines of the English Opening, white enjoys the advantage" I.Horowitz. Now you can see how it looks. It is not enjoyable. English Opening appeals to player who likes to leave the beaten track. No doubt that Topalov is one of them. Topalov can create ideas in the opening that most players will miss. But if you never think up anything, unusual you should not play chess. It's well known that all the best players choose their Opening in accordance with the main strategical ideas, their own taste and temperament. An attacking specialist like Topalov knows better than anyone that pieces like birds love the freedom of movement,and the "King first commandment to increase the mobility of its pieces as far as possible". This all is a theory,but let's look at reality.
This is the well-known position in the game two WC Candidate Topalov vs Kamsky after 9.0-0-0, <Topalov's improvment" Domdaniel>.

click for larger view

"Topalov quickly steers the game into unconventional lines"- said Caruana. Even the lines are new, it does not mean they are really save and strong. "When pure ideas clash, only a fine line separates success from failure". To play such sharp strategical lines like played Topalov you need the confidence, luck and a belief in the logical strength of a position. Because white position have a breach in the pawn defensive line of the castle Topalov brought his Queen to protect the King. But on the edge of the board the Queen's effectiveness is amazingly low. To castle long, when Black doubled Bishops are aiming at the queen's side direction, and both black Knights are ready to cross the border, is too risky. White's strategy: keep the queen on the defense, take control in the center moving e4, begin action on the king's side and then activate the queen. But unexpected 10...Bh6, when black knight was already on d5, created the break in white's home preparation,and they had to play forced 11.e3, therefore the fighting for the center was delayed. After 13...c6 (see next diagram) white queen is encircled in a net of immobility,and is getting more passive.

click for larger view

White strongest piece the queen is in a bad position. S.Tarrasch claimed that if you have one bad piece, your whole game is bad. The advancing h4-h5 to open "h" file reminds flank attack when the center is opened. Such attack can not be successful.
In the middle of the game white had a chance to make the game more complicated with some counterplay, but this was not happened.


Imagine yourself how would you feel if you had the white queen on a3, who has only one square to play -a4. (if Qb2 Nd3+). How such attacking, agressive player like Topalov created such position, where white queen moved only Qb3 and Qa3? After 31.Be3 Qc3 game was over.

May-29-11  psmith: <patzer2>

Type "unclear" between braces ("", "") and you will get ∞.

See Kibitzing Tricks for lots of neat stuff like this.

May-29-11  psmith: Darn, I can't seem to make the curly braces show up -- they are read by kibitzing as some sort of code. I mean the things you get by typing "[" and "]" with the shift key. See Kibitzing Tricks again.
May-29-11  BOSTER: Part 2.

Somebody can say it is "nerves", and stakes are too high. This is correct, but maybe another reason.
Most top player now are addicted to computer program, and try to play like computer. But computer sometimes can afford play ugly looking move,because they always can find a way to get away from bad position, but human sometimes can not. Certainly, that Kamsky played amazing Game!
My opinion it was the decisive game in the battle for WC title. Super GM F.Caruana said : "in the Opening Topalov had "a powerful new ideas", but if this so , why did not Topalov play this line in game 4? Many years ago, in 1935 y. Spielman came to Moscow and brought the novelty in Caro-Kann to surprise Botvinnik. But very soon he understood, that it would be much better if he had lost this novelty during the trip. What I want to say is: I have such feeling that if Topalov played game 2 with 5.Qc2 (like game 4), maybe he would play in the final. Nothing is strange that even in WC Candidates Matches you can see picture like this. This is another story of the queen in "English". This is the position after White (Gelfand) played 16.a3.

click for larger view

Look at the queen on b3, this super-star piece, which cut-off from his forces, has only one square to move c4. How can you explain that such strong GM can afford such position. Somebody can notice that the black queen (Kamsky) is "stalemated". But the difference is - black now to move and they had time to decide this problem. After 16...c4 White lost the queen for rook and pawn.

May-29-11  Marmot PFL: < BOSTER> Sorry, you have the wrong board.
May-29-11  sevenseaman: <Patzer2>

16. bxc3 Nxc3 17. Bd1 Nxd1 18 Rxd1 Qa4 19. Rf1 b4 20. Bh6 Nbd7

to get to this diagram,

click for larger view

This position does not look ∞ to me. You may have some legerdemain.

May-29-11  stst: pretty insane.
try only one line and check later...
16.Bh6 Nd7 (only defense for R)
17.Qxh7 Bxb2
18.BxR NxB
19.Qg8 Nf4 (counter attack first)
20.Bd1 Bb7
21.h3 (better leave one escape sq.first) BxP
22.PxB Nxh3+
23.Kh2 Nf4
24.Rg1 Kd7
25.Rg7 Kc6
26.Qxf7 Nd3
27.Qxc6 Kd5
would re-visit if got time....
May-29-11  sevenseaman: Here is an interesting position from an actual game. The solution follows the diagram. Do not look it up unless you find some difficulty.

Fier vs Saikrishna, India 2010.

click for larger view


<1...Qe6> (but not 1...Nxh4? 2. Qxd4 Re1+ 3.Kh2 Kf7 4. Qf6+ Ke6 5. Qh8+ Kd7 6. Qd4+ with a draw by perpetual)

<2.Kh2?> (Grabbing the N was better but black still forces a win via 2...Qe1+ 3. Qxe1_ Rxe1+ 4. Kg2 Rxd1 5. fxg6 d3 6. Kf3 Rg1 7. Ke3 Rxg6 8. Kxd3 Rh6 etc)

<2... Qd6+ 3. Kg2 Qd5+ 4. Kh2 Nxh4 5. kg3 Qg2+> White resigned in view of 6. Kxh4 Qh2+ 7. Kg5 Re5+ 8. Kf6 Qh8+! 9. Kxg6 Qg7#

May-29-11  psmith: <sevenseaman> The position in your line after 16. bxc3 Nxc3 17. Bd1 Nxd1 18 Rxd1 Qa4 19. Rf1 b4 20. Bh6 Nbd7 sure *looks* pretty for Black. But that may be just a visual illusion. What is Black's plan, exactly -- to queen the queenside pawns? Consider the following continuation (found with the help of Fritz 5.32 -- I don't mean it is just a computer-generated line): 21. Ng5 b3 22. Qxh7 Qb4 23. Bxf8 Qxf8 24. Rc1 Nb6 (24...Ba6 25. d5! b2 26. Rb1 exd5 27. e6!) 25. Ne4 Bb7 26. Nf6+ Kd8 27. Rc3 b2 28. Rg3. White is winning. Black's pawns will not queen.
May-29-11  rilkefan: I'd love to play 16.Qxf8 17.Bh6+ 18.bxc3, which is sort of even on material, but there's no attack, and ...Nxc3 will force even further simplification. I thought about 16.Bh6 straight off, but f8 is just not weak given Nd7 or Bb4. It looks to me like the only weak square is actually f7, so I would play Ng5 with Bh5 to come. Nxh7 is also a threat, but it just wins a pawn and the exchange and lets Black bring up reinforcements. Dunno what happens next.
May-29-11  David2009: Sakaev vs Kharlov, 1996 White 16? Insane

16 Bh6 Nd7 17 bxc3 Nxc3 18 Ng5 Nxe2+ 19 Kh1 Nf4 20 Nxh7 Qxg2+ 21 Qxg2 Nxg2 22 Nxf8 and White has stolen an exchange. Variations: 17 Ng5 immediately is less good because of Bxd4! 18 Nxh7 Bxe5 19 Qxe5 f6 followed by 20...Rf7 and Black has dynamic counter-play. Time to check - is this all a load of rubbish?
Alas yes, it is. The puzzle position is (White to play, 16?)

click for larger view

Crafty End Game Trainer check: Against 16 Bh6 the intelligent robot defends with Nd7 17 bxc3 Nxc3 18 Ng5 Nxe2+ 19 Kh1 Nf4 20 Nxh7 and now plays 20...Nh5 instead of 20...Qxg2+ and meets my intended 21 Qg5 with 21...Rh8

The game line 16.Ng5 is much better: the EGT follows the game defence 16...Bb4 17.Bh5 Kd7 18.Nxh7 Re8 19.Bxf7 and now varies with 19...Rd8 preparing to meet 20.Bxe6+ Kc6 21.Bxd5+ with 21...Rxd5 instead of 21...Kxd5. It is getting late over here: over to fellow-kibitzers to find the win if you can. As usual against the EGT, you are White in the Internet link given earlier: drag and drop the move you want to make.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: From a Queen's Gambit Accepted, I think.

White is a knight down.

Black threatens ... Bb4.

The black king is tied to the defense of the rook. This suggests 16.bxc3 Nxc3 17.Bh6 Nxe2+ 18.Kh1 Nd7 19.Ng5, threatening 20.Nxh7, but after 19... Nxd4 20.Nxh7 Nf5 White seems to be in serious trouble.

Another option is 16.Ng5 directly, threatening Bh5 and Black would be unable to defend f7:

A) 16... Bb4 17.Bh5

A.1) 17... Bd7 18.Nxf7 and the threats 19.Nd6+ Kd8 20.Qxf8+, 19.Nd6+ Kd8 20.Bg5 and 19.Bg5 look very difficult to stop.

A.2) 17... Nd7 18.Nxf7 looks similar to A.1.

B) 16... Bxd4 17.Bh5

B.1) 17... Bc5 18.Nxf7 Be7 (to protect the rook and close the second rank) 19.Bg5 and White is about to demolish Black's king side. For example, 19... Ba6 (to let the king escape) 20.Bxe7 Nxe7 21.Ng5+ Ng6 22.Qxh7, etc.

B.2) 17... Nd7 18.Nxf7 again looks similar to previosu lines.

May-29-11  psmith: <rilkefan>: no, that is not "sort of even on material": in the original position White is down a piece (Black has just taken the White Knight on c3) and after your sequence White will have lost a Queen for a Rook.
May-29-11  rilkefan: <no, that is not "sort of even on material": in the original position White is down a piece>

Sorry, but it is, since the referent was not the game but the sequence.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Here's a very pretty variation off of the main line that's worth mention.

It's 20...Kd8?!, triggering 21 Qf8+ Re8.

click for larger view

White's under pressure. His queen is double-attacked and his bishop is also at risk.

However, the best way for white to proceed here is not 22 Bg5+ but 22 Bxd5!, leaving his queen and his bishop en prise.

click for larger view

The bishop is perfectly safe because if 22...Qxd5, then 23 Bg5+ Kd7 24 Nf6+ wins beautifully.

click for larger view

Black has to trade queens with 22...Rxf8 instead, and after 29 Bxa8 he ends up down three pawns.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <sevenseaman> After 16. bxc3 Nxc3 17. Bd1 Nxd1 18 Rxd1 Qa4 19. Rf1 b4, Fritz 10 gives 20. Ng5! (+5.43 @ 18 depth).

click for larger view

The idea is White will play 21. Nxh7 next and soon gobble up the Rook on f1 with decisive advantage.

One possible continuation is 20...Nd7 21. Nxh7 b3 22. d5! exd5 23. e6! fxe6 24. Re1! Qa6 25. Qg6+ Ke7 26. Bg5+ Rf6 27. Nxf6 Nxf6 28. Bxf6+ Kd6 29. Qf7 Qb7 30. Qe8 Kc5 31. Ra1 d4 32. Be7+ Kb6 33. Ra4 .

After 16. bxc3 Nxc3 17. Bd1 best according to Fritz 10 is 17...Qe4! when the position seems to hold on by a thread for Black after 16. bxc3 Nxc3 17. Bd1 Qe4! 18. Ba3 Nd7 19. Qg5 c5 20. dxc5 Nb8 21. Qc1 Nxd1 22. Re1 Qg4 23. h3 Qg6 24. Qxd1 Rg8 25. g3 Qd3 26. Qxd3 cxd3 27. Rd1

click for larger view

One possible continuation, for which I am sure there are improvements for Black is Ba6 28. Ne1 Nc6 29. Nxd3 Bb7 30. Rb1 Nd4 31. Rb4 Nf3+ 32. Kf1 Be4 33. Ke2 Bxd3+ 34. Kxd3 Nxe5+ 35. Kc3 Kd7 36. Rxb5 Kc7 37. Bc1 Ra8 38. Be3 Nd7 39. Rb4 Kc6 40. Rh4 Nxc5 41. Rxh7 f5 42. h4 Ra2 43. h5 Ne4+ 44. Kd4 Nxf2 45. Bxf2 Rxf2 46. Ke5 Re2+ 47. Kf6 Rg2 48. Kxe6 Rxg3 49. Kxf5 Rh3 50. h6 .

May-29-11  sevenseaman: <Patzer2> Thanks for the detailed hard work. There are lines and lines; I scanned all you gave an enjoyed doing it.

<After 16. bxc3 Nxc3 17. Bd1 Nxd1 18 Rxd1 Qa4 19. Rf1 b4, Fritz 10 gives 20. Ng5! (+5.43 @ 18 depth).>

click for larger view

This is how I reacted to 20. Ng5

20... Bb7 21. Nxh7 Nd7 22. Nxf8 Nxf8 23. d5 Bxd5 and we have

click for larger view

I do not have the best assessment and only rely on my feel. Thus I am in no position to either support or reject the computer lines.

I believe we have done enough on this game but if this feed of mine inspires further analysis, I'll find time to look it up later during the day.

May-29-11  stst: Late but re-visiting...
Agreed that both 16.bxc3 and 16.Ng5 thus releasing the B@e2 deserve consideration. Saw those earlier, but lack of time to continue...
Could it be at least a draw for Bk?
May-30-11  caissafan1963: ∞ <-You can also get this symbol from the character map located on your computer under programs/accessories/system tools
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <sevenseaman> After 16. bxc3 Nxc3 17. Bd1 Nxd1 18 Rxd1 Qa4 19. Rf1 b4, Fritz 10 gives 20. Ng5! Bb7 21. Nxh7 Nd7 22. Nxf8 Nxf8

click for larger view

simply 23. Bh6! is crushing.

May-30-11  psmith: <sevenseaman> What is the reason for 23. d5 in your last line? (20. Ng5 Bb7 21. Nxh7 Nd7 22. Nxf8 Nxf8 23. d5 Bxd5)

Why not instead 23. Bh6? After that Black is going to lose his Knight, since 23. Bh6 Nd7 is met by 24. Qg8+ and if Ke7 then 25. Bg5+, whereas 23. Bh6 Ng6 24. Qg8+ again and if Ke7 then Bg5+ or otherwise Qxf7+.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <David2009> Crafty put up a lot of resistance today, overcoming its deviation from the main line with 19...Rd8

click for larger view

required a bit of help from Fritz 10 with 20. Bg5! Be7 21. Bxe7 Nxe7

click for larger view

22. d5!! exd5 (22... Nxd5 23. Be8+ Kxe8 24. Nf6+ Nxf6 25. exf6 Nc6 26. f7+ Kd7 27. f8=Q+ Ne7 28. Qfxe7+ Kc6 29. Qxc7+ Kd5 30. Qge5#) 23. Qh6 Qa6 24. Nf6+ Kc6

click for larger view

25. Ne4+! Rd6 26. Nxd6 Kc5

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27. b4+! Kxb4 28. Rb1+ Kc5 29. Rxb5+ Qxb5 30. Nxb5 Kxb5 31. Qf8 Nbc6 32. Be8 Kb6 33. Bxc6 Nxc6 34. Qxc8 .

May-30-11  sevenseaman: <psmith> Seen. Over sight may be. You are quite right.
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