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Boris Gelfand vs Francisco Vallejo Pons
16th Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2007) (blindfold), Monaco, rd 5, Mar-22
Italian Game: Classical Variation. Giuoco Pianissimo Main line (C53)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-22-07  Per: Blindfold is not Pacos strongest part....
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 13...Be6 was a mistake. After winning a Pawn Gelfand outplayed Paco in quite instructive way. After 29.Re7 Paco could have resigned instead of playing 29...Rxd6.
Jan-22-17  zanzibar: <Honza> 13...Be6 isn't an outright mistake, provided Black plays the stronger, and rather bold, 15...Qg6 instead of 15...Qe7.

Of course this is heavily guided by engine analysis.

<(Black to move after 13.Ng3)>

click for larger view

r1b2rk1 /bpp2pp1/p1np1q1p/4p3/4Pn2/1BPPBNNP/PP3PP1/R2QR1K1 b - - 0 13

As <Honza> says, 13...Be6 is weaker than say, 13...Bxe3 or 13...Na5. But the diff in evals is just ~0.5, not enough to characterize it as an outright mistake.

(Of course, it's the only example of the move in DB's at high levels)

* * * * *

Now comes 14.Bxf4 exf4 (14...Bxb3 is playable) 15.Nh5

<(Black to move after 14...exf4)>

click for larger view

r4rk1 /bpp2pp1/p1npbq1p/7N/4Pp2/1BPP1N1P/PP3PP1/R2QR1K1 b - - 0 15

The next move, 15...Qe7 is natural, but basically loses the pawn. So this is the move I'd characterize as the mistake.

A much trickier line is suggested by Stockfish 8 (at ~30-ply):

15...Qg6 16.Nxf4 Qg3! 17.Nxe6 Bxf2+ 18.Kh1 fxe6

<(White to move after 18...fxe6)>

click for larger view

r4rk1 /1pp3p1/p1npp2p/8/4P3/1BPP1NqP/PP3bP1/R2QR2K w - - 0 19

And now Black has some compensation for the pawn (say after 19.Bxe6+ Kh7 20.Rf1 Ne5).

It's funny to think this last position is a consequence of 13...Be6, but in a sense it's a semi-forced line when the dsb stays on the board.

Would a player find this unexplored line blindfolded? Unlikely.

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