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Artur Yusupov vs Alexander Khalifman
Ubeda (1997), Ubeda ESP, rd 6, Feb-??
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange Variation (D85)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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May-13-20  tessathedog: Wonderful game worthy of deep study for Jusupov's superb technique. Used by Jusupov in his workbook series under the "weak points" chapter (the weak point after the Rooks come off being the a7 pawn).

Note how Black is forced to reluctantly play 43...g5, providing a target for White's bishop, because if he doesn't White will play g5 himself, and the black knight has absolutely no squares, which will lead to zugszwang with White's King on b5 versus Black's on b7. White has reserve tempi in hand (his "h" pawn) which ensures that zugszwang, and also elegantly wins the pawn ending should Black have tried 47...Kd6 and tried to trap White's King in front of his "a" pawn...a simple h3 would have upended that.

Jusupov hasn't talked about it, but I'm particularly struck by the move 27 g4! It's obvious enough to gain some space on the kingside, but 27 f4 seemed more natural to me. But I think Jusupov has seen Black's h7/g6/f7 pawn set up, and this invites a later g5 so as to end up with "one pawn holding two". So, g4 is the best way to initiate kingside space gaining here. This choice played a key part in producing Black's unhappy dilemma on move 43.

Very impressive technique the whole game. Bravo Jusupov!

May-13-20  SChesshevsky: <...I'm particularly struck by the move 27. g4...>

Think it's really deep. Ultimate idea might be related to eventually getting at blacks qside pawns which king is eyeing.

If white can exchange LSB's, white kside pawn structure pretty much invulnerable. Then as long as can retain dark square bishop and better king, white's going to have pressure against both sides of the board which is going to be a tough defense. White probably being much better if not winning.

You're right, Yusupov does show impressive technique in realizing what I think was his deep plan with 27. g4 as key.

May-30-20  tessathedog: Thanks SChesshevsky for your response to my comment and for your contribution to this fine game.

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