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Francisco Vallejo Pons vs Peter Svidler
Morelia-Linares (2006), Morelia MEX, rd 2, Feb-19
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange Variation (D85)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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  al wazir: 41. hxg5+ (41. Nxg5 Nxh5) Kh5 42. Kxg2 Be3, and black has a two-pawn advantage.
Feb-20-06  AdrianP: I think 8. h4?!N must have been Vallejo's preparation for this game. If so, it was pretty dismal, given that black looks better by move 12.

The rest of the game is yet another illustration of how deadly Svidler is in an open position with active pieces.

Feb-20-06  euripides: At move 25, I thought Vallejo was getting some counterplay on the h file and the a2-g8 diagonal. But Black has some important discoveries on the white queen e.g. 26 Bg2 Nc4 27 Qxb8 Qxe3+ 28 Kh2 Be5 mate or 26 Bc6 Nd5 27 Qxb8 Qxe3+ 28 Kg2 Qf2+ 29 Kh3 Nf4 mate. 26 Bf3 alllows Bf6 and Black is threatening to win the bishop as in the game. After 26 Be4 Svidler unleashes a series of one-move threats and Vallejo never recovers. It would be interesting to know what Vallejo missed in his preparation; he was using a lot of time fairly early in the game. Perhaps he had not foreseen that Black would destroy his central pawn mass with 14 ...f6, since after 15 Nf5 fxe5 the knight is pinned.
Feb-20-06  AdrianP: <euripides> Hi. Sorry I haven't made down to Dulwich, yet (I can't this evening either) but I will eventually...
Feb-20-06  euripides: <adrian> good ! did you get an email from Haran about our last match ?
Feb-21-06  notyetagm: Kasparov used the word <pathetic> to describe Vallejo Pons opening "innovation" in this game.
Feb-22-06  shr0pshire: I didn't think that h4 was played before in the opening stages of the grunfeld before, but then I did a little searching and found that it has been played on a very high level before with successs. Berliner vs K Messere, 1965

I think that h6 can be a weapon in the grunfeld, but Vallejo didn't do enough preparation with the opening and wasted too many tempos with his dark colored bishop moves in conjunction with h4.


Feb-22-06  euripides: <shrop> even a higher level, perhaps: one the games Gazza thinks is among his very best: Kasparov vs Svidler, 1999
Feb-22-06  shr0pshire: <euripides> Another fine example of h4 in the grunfeld opening. Btw the Berliner game I referenced the finals of the world correspondence championship, so it is hard to play it at a higher level. And I chose that game because how meticuluos correspondence players are with their openings, able to use databases and books during the game. ;)

But again great reference!

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