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Ivan Sokolov vs Tiger Hillarp Persson
Koge Open (1997), Koge DEN, rd 7, Jul-25
Modern Defense: Standard Defense (B06)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-01-07  Manic: This was the game that was analysed in one of Monokroussos' chessbase lectures. A wild game indeed. Thanks for uploading it chessgames!
Oct-26-08  Xeroxx: weirdo game
Jan-04-09  Warheart: What a mess!
Oct-08-12  sushijunkie: Very odd positions, but I love how the board just goes up in flames. Going to have to have the Si Monster explain it to me.
Oct-08-12  drunknite: I did not put in on a computer but Im thinking of move 21 and white has a lot of possible moves with the N on e4 but is anyone better than the others? I have some ideas here what do you think?
Jan-10-13  wlg: In Claw of the Tiger
Nov-27-15  st.dvy: As Yasser Seirawan states, repeatedly, in his books and teaching videos, "Chess is a battlefield of ideas." Also, and maybe more importantly, it's a argument of choice or taste. For me, The Modern, or Rabatasch Defense is a juggernaut: it can be played against any and everything. It is the ultimate hypermodern approach and it has it's own rules: delayed castling, to either side, or often, not at all, knights developed often, to d7 and e7, queen's bishop deployed and redeployed, anywhere from b7,d7,a3,e6, or f5, a kingside push, a center push, or no push. For those of us who love the counter attack and the speed of pieces over pawns, this is it!

This game has all of this and more and the weirdness begins at move 9- that's move 9! White has seemingly ideal development in the center and kingside and now aims to dismantle the queenside with 9.a4. Persson, uncharacteristically responds with 9..c6(?!) instead of the usual b4, kicking the knight.

At move 14, why doesn't he grab the dark bishop? Why arrange the knights in this fashion and not claim the bishop pair? He comes after it two moves later but Sokolov retreats it. At 18.Nd5,Qc6 is where all of the fireworks begin. Persson obviously sees that the knight will win the queen by discovery with tempo after 20.QxNd5 , but what costs?

The two piece advantage is real and at the end, it's obvious that a queen and rook cannot compete against 2 rooks, a bishop and knight, even with 3 connected queenside passers! As Seirawan says, "It's not what's off the board, but what's on it." What good is a queen and 3 connected passers if you're getting mated?

Analyse it any way you want' but after 32..Kg7 ( Oh, look, black finally castled?!) the rook will mate him at h8.

It's a startling game. I'm using Persson as my guide in The Modern and am winning in amusing ways. What's kind of ironic for me is that I tried to adopt The Modern back in 2000 for The Oregon Open, due to some problems I was having in The French Defense; yet abandoned it because it didn't seem to fit me; truth is, it fits me better than everything, I just didn't understand it. Oh well, that's chess!

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