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Vasyl Ivanchuk vs Loek van Wely
16th Amber Tournament (Rapid) (2007) (rapid), Monaco, rd 1, Mar-17
Slav Defense: Quiet Variation (D11)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-17-07  Confuse: Lots of tactical maneuvers! Very exciting. Rapid chess is pretty crazy at this level
Mar-17-07  Shajmaty: He finds 36. Re8 followed by 37. Ne6 with only 10" increment... what a talent, this Chucky!
Mar-17-07  dehanne: This happens with a horribly weak back rank.

Poor Loek.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: 37...fxe6 38.Re7+ and Black's Queen is kaput.
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: Losing the queen is not really the problem. After the queen is down the Knight on b6 is dead meat.
Mar-19-07  Manequinho: 36. Re8+ could be a puzzle for someday...
Mar-26-07  notyetagm: Position after 35 ... ♕d8-c7?:

click for larger view

The key to this puzzle is that the piece configuration White b7-queen, Black c7-queen, Black c8-rook is the basic pattern for the <FORK-OVERLOAD TRICK>: the White queen attacks the Black queen which is defended -only- by the Black rook which is on the <BACK RANK> with the Black g8-king.

So Ivanchuk first plays 36 ♖e1-e8+!, with the idea that 36 ... ♖c8x♖e8? <DEFLECTS> the Black c8-rook from defending the Black c7-queen, and White would then win the now undefended Black queen with 37 ♕b7x♕c7.

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Instead of capturing the checking White rook, the Black g8-king will move to g7. But now the Black g7-king is lined up with the Black c7-queen along the 7th rank. Because the Black queen and king are lined up along the 7th rank, the only thing that is preventing the devastating <ROOK FORK> ♖e8--e7+ is the Black f7-pawn, by <BREAKING THE ALIGNMENT> between the Black royalty. But since <BREAKING AN ALIGNMENT IS A FULL-TIME JOB>, the Black f7-pawn cannot also defend the e6-square. So Ivanchuk next plays 37 ♘g5-e6+!, a <KNIGHT FORK> of the Black king and queen.

click for larger view

Mar-26-07  notyetagm: Black has to meet the <KNIGHT FORK> of his g7-king and c7-queen by capturing the White e6-knight with 37 ... f7x♘e6 but now his king and queen are directly lined up along the 7th rank, i.e., there is no longer A Black f7-pawn between them to <BREAK THEIR ALIGNMENT>.

click for larger view

So now Ivanchuk strikes with 38 ♖e8-e7+!, <FORKING> the Black king and queen with his rook. After Black catpures the White rook with 38 ... ♕c7x♖e7, White wins the Black queen with the <X-RAY> 39 ♕b7x♕e7+.

click for larger view

click for larger view

What Ivanchuk saw and Van Wely missed is that after 36 ... ♔g8-g7 the Black c7-queen and Black g7-king are in not one but -two- alignments: a <PIN/SKEWER/FORK> alignment from both being situated along the 7th rank -and- a <KNIGHT FORK> alignment from occupying the c7- and g7-squares. The Black f7-pawn is then <OVERWORKED> trying to meet both of these threats, meeting the <KNIGHT FORK> by <DEFENDING> the e6-tactical base and meeting the <ROOK FORK> by <BREAKING THE ALIGNMENT>.

A simply -stupendous- petite combination by Ivanchuk, one of the finest I have ever seen. A beautiful combination involving the <FORK-OVERLOAD TRICK>, <DEFLECTION>, and <X-RAY> tactical motifs.

36 ♖e1-e8+! ♔g8-g7 (36 ... ♖c8xe8? <deflection from c7> 37 ♕b7x♕c7) 37 ♘g5-e6+! f7xe6 <deflection from 7th rank> 38 ♖e8-e7+! <x-rays e7> ♕c7x♖e7 39 ♕b7x♕e7+

Mar-26-07  notyetagm: Ivanchuk has now played two -outstanding- <PETITES COMBINATIONS> at Amber, this one to defeat Van Wely and an incredible <DECOY FOR TEMPO> which resulted in a minature win over Anand in their blindfold game.
Mar-28-07  dehanne: <notyetagm> Just a suggestion, it's "petite combinaison".
Mar-28-07  notyetagm: <dehanne: <notyetagm> Just a suggestion, it's "petite combinaison".>

Thanks. I thought that "combination" had the same spelling in English and French.

Nov-10-07  notyetagm: <notyetagm: A simply -stupendous- petite combination by Ivanchuk, one of the finest I have ever seen. A beautiful combination involving the <FORK-OVERLOAD TRICK>, <DEFLECTION>, and <X-RAY> tactical motifs.>

Indeed, the best <petite combinaison> I have seen all year.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Bobsterman3000: Loek seems to be a very unlucky player. He seems to catch all of the other Super-GM's when they are in top form :-)

Aug-13-11  kia0708: Ivanchuk for president !

(of Ukraine, of course)

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