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Vladimir Makogonov vs Grigory Ravinsky
USSR Championship (1944), Moscow URS, rd 14, Jun-11
Slav Defense: Exchange Variation. Symmetrical Line (D14)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.cxd5 cxd5 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Bf4 Bf5 7.e3 Qb6 8.a3

<8.Bb5 was palyed in E Voellmy vs Hromadka, 1925, F Apsenieks vs Hromadka, 1925, Rauzer vs N Pavlov-Pianov, 1927, 8.Bd3 in Chekhover vs Euwe, 1934 and S Bernstein vs L Levy, 1942 while E Eliskases vs L Laurine, 1935, Pirc vs L Steiner, 1938 and G Lindgren vs L Steiner, 1939 featured 8.Qb3.>


<Whoa, whoa, whoa, easy, sir! We are not fully developed, so hunting a pawn can be painful. 8...e6 is more than enoungh.>

9.Na4 Qc2 10.Qxc2 Bxc2 11.Nc5 Nd7 12.Nxb7 Ba4 13.Ba6 f6 14.O-O

<The immediate 14.Bc7 is not only funny, it is sexy. But not necessarily better than the responsible and possibly more safe castling to short.>

14...e5 15.Bg3 Be7 16.Rfc1 g5 17.h3 O-O 18.Rc3

<18.Rab1 is more violent, and, because of Black's necessity to launch an immediate (and so, premature) invasion on the kingside, even better.>

18...e4 19.Nd2 f5 20.Bd6 Bxd6 21.Nxd6 Rab8 22.Bb7 Ne7 23.Rac1 Rfd8

<If you go for the full point, do not miss 23...f4 ideas.>


<This is super interesting, the sacrifice in the next move would have been even stronger here, as the bishop would capture with a check.>

24...Kf8 25.Nxf5

<Still a sound sacrifice (but sparing an exclamation mark), the activity of White's pieces will increase immediately.>

25...Nxf5 26.Bxd5 a6?

<This is the point where Ravinsky started to lose the focus. This pawn move serves no goal at all. The active 26...Nd6 was the necessity, with complicated continuations: 27.Bxe4 Nf6 (or even 27...h6?! 28.Rxa7 ⩲) 28.Bxh7 Rd7 29.Bd3 Rxc7 30.Rxc7 Bb5 ±, 27.Nxe4 Nb5 =, 27.Rxa7 Nf6 28.Rxa4 Nxd5 ⩲, with all of them most probably heading towards equality in the long term.>

27.Nxe4 h6 28.Ra7?!

<An inaccuracy! 28.Bc6 Bxc6 29.R1xc6 Rb6 30.Rxb6 Nxb6 31.Rc6 unleashes horrors on Black.>


<Maybe 28...Ne7 is more concrete, I have no idea.>

29.Rcc7 Ke8?

<The king ends up on a light square, and even worse, an invaluable little tempo is lost forever. Active play was necessary. I am the first to admit that it is immeasurably difficult to stay calm in this position, probably only a World Champion could continue defending the camp with something like 29...Ne7 30.Nc3 Nxd5 31.Nxd5 Rc6.>

30.Nc3 Rd6

<30...Ne7 31.Bf7+! Kxf7 32.Nxa4 +-, obviously.>


<A nice culmination of the manoeuvres so far. 31.Bc4 Bc6 32.d5 Bb5 is the last hope for Black, with a questionable position.>


<I think White was in a time trouble here, and Grigory Ionovich tried to exploit it. His position is already resignable, though.>

32.exd4 Rxd4

<32...Bb3 won't make any difference, as either 33.Bf5, 33.d5 or 33.Bc6 leads to a tremendous position.>


<Not a zwischenzug, as it doesn't really matter anymore if Black has the luxury of Bb3. The king looks pathetic on e7.>

33...Ke7 34.Nxa4 Rxa4 35.Bf5 Rd4 36.Rxa6 Rf8 37.Rxd7+

<Ravinsky correctly saw that 37...Rxd7 38.Bxd7 Kxd7 39.Rxh6 cannot be held against Vladimir Andreevich. The resignation was the only logical thing to do.>


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