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Shakhriyar Mamedyarov vs Vassily Ivanchuk
Aerosvit GM Tournament (2006), Foros UKR, rd 4, Jun-20
Semi-Slav Defense: Stoltz Variation (D45)  ·  0-1

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-21-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  jahhaj: I really like the way Ivanchuk wins this game, advancing his king and g pawn to drive White's king away from defending his g pawn. Great imagination to conceive a plan that looks so easy when you see it but would be beyond 99% of chess players to originate.
Jun-21-06  Ezzy: <jahhaj - it but would be beyond 99% of chess players to originate.> Whites Queen was tied down to his back rank to prevent black's mating threats, so the king march and g pawn push was the only plan available to black so he could make any progress.

Because that plan was the only plan available, I must with respect disagree that it would be beyond 99% of chess players to originate. I actually think 99% of chessplayers would play that plan.

Jun-21-06  gulliver: GM Mikhail Golubev a chessbase commentator tagged the opening in this game as "Anti meran", while chessgames.com had classified it as QGD Semi-Slav . Can someone make some order in these varied opening names for I am left preplexed.
Jun-21-06  euripides: <Gulliver> After 2...c6, Black has trouble developing the bishop outside the pawn chain unless he captures on c4 first. In the Slav, he typically plays ..dxc4 followed by Bf5. In the semi-Slav, he typically delays dxc4 and keeps his bishop inside the pawn chain. The semi-Slav leads to some of the most complex opening variations in the whole of chess.

If White plays 6 Bd3 Black can enter the Meran, which is one of the most important and sharp variations of the semi-Slav, by 6 dxc4 7 Bxc4 b5. White can avoid this in a number of ways including 5 Bg5 (leading to the absolutely ferocious Botvinnik system) or 6 Qc3, which is typically followed on move 7 by Bd3 or g4!? (the Shabalov-Shirov gambit). All of these systems are somtimes called 'anti-Meran' because they avoid the Meran. The system used by Mamedyarov is relatively quiet but has been used successfully by Karpov and Kramnik, among others.

So this is an anti-Meran system in the semi-Slav.

Jun-21-06  gulliver: < euripides > Thanks for this valuable introduction to the Meran. I still have plenty of question marks in my head, for example : Can black play the meran, that is dxc4 followed by b5 also after white developed 6.Qc2 and 7. Bd3 ? But I guess you only gave me the tip of an iceberg.
Jun-22-06  euripides: <gulliver> 7...dxc4 is fine, but I think that the interposed moves make it less sharp than the Meran. A recent example: Bologan vs Karjakin, 2004
Jun-22-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  jahhaj: <Ezzy> You must move in exalted circles. Most players down my chess club would not have a clue.
Jun-22-06  Libar: Nice penetration of the King. The King won the game.
Jun-23-06  Ezzy: <jahhaj: Most players down my chess club would not have a clue.> Most players down at your club don't have a 2700+ Elo rating. :-)

I agree it was excellent play by Ivanchuk, but after whites 42nd move, what other plan could he possibly adopt if he was to make any progress in his position.

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