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Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu vs Vassily Ivanchuk
World Cup (2007) (rapid), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 3, Dec-02
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Given 19 times; par: 49 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-02-07  Jim Bartle: OK, Nisipeanu absolutely needed a win here, right? Win or go home.

Do people think he had 26. Nxf7 worked out, or was it a gamble to give some chance of a win?

In other words, would he likely have made the same sacrifice under a longer time control, or not in a must-win situation?

Dec-02-07  holland oats: Nxf7 looks very logical to me...Nisipeanu immediately obtains 2 pawns for the knight, a passed pawn, and an open file for his 2 rooks. after nisi brings his rook up to g6, magnum VI is in danger of giving back a piece or more due to the pin on his queen, dangerous king checks, etc. Nisi finishes up nicely by taking further advantage of the open g file and exposed king
Dec-02-07  Andrew Chapman: Black seemed to invite it with Rh5
Dec-02-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <<Jim Bartle> ... would he likely have made the same sacrifice under a longer time control>

Yes, I think so, as it offers the most (only) attacking chances, but this opinion will allways be speculative...

Maybe <27...Ke8> with <28. R1g6 Rh7 29. Rxh7 Nxh7 30.Nd5 Bg5 31.Rg8+ Kf7 32.Rxb8 Qxb8 33.Qf1>


click for larger view

would have been a viable alternative for black ...

Dec-02-07  Jim Bartle: Thanks, everyone. What were white's chances to win without the "sacrifice"?
Dec-02-07  Jim Bartle: I glanced through the real-time comments on the "World Cup Chess" page, and they all thought it was desperation on Nisipeanu's part.
Dec-02-07  holland oats: I think Nxf7 was probably his best move. In the line given by whiteshark, I like 31. Qb1, leaving a possibility of Rxd6, and maybe even Qh5 after b4. For example: 31.Qb1 Kf7 32.b4 cxb3+ 33.cxb3 Qc6 34.Qd1 Rg8 Qh5 which probably leads to perpetual check for black. Another line worth looking at is: 31.Qb1 Kf7 32. Rxd6 Nf6? 33. Rb6 Qa7 34. Rxb8 Qxb8 35. Nxf6 and I think white is at least equal
Dec-02-07  Jim Bartle: holland oats: I can't go for that, no can do.
Mar-26-08  Ideefixe: A very interesting game, more important if we want to analyze the psychology of the players during it, than the actual moves,but let's stick to chess. The truth is that Vassily was doing fine, in fact more than fine. Before reaching the critical 25th move and before blundering on move 28 with d5??, he has two chances to get rid of his nemesis piece the knight on b3. The first was at move 13 when Vassily plays Bc4. This isnt a move that can be condemned, especially not from me, but 13...Bxb3 14.cxb3 Qb7 reminds more emphatically to White his weaknesses, that is the e4 pawn and the open c file highway leading directly to the white king's lair. White could continue with Bd3 (Qd3 isnt that good, cos now Black can still play a 14 move alternative, much more effectively now, 15...Nc5 16.Bxc5 dxc5 and even castle in the next couple of moves, safely and comfortably. The last chance to capture the Knight with the Bishop was on move 17...Bxb3 18.cxb3 Kf8 and I can't see how White can make any serious threats. Now, let's move to the critical 25th move. Here Chucky should have played the move that condemned him just 3 moves later, that is d5! Rh5 isn't a losing move, far from that, but it certainly is a move that gives to a desperate opponent a last chance to attack. The line Whiteshark suggests with 28...Rh7 is perfectly playable and Black doesnt have to fear at all the white queen's invasion to the kingside via h5 because that's the furthest she can go. Instead Chucky blunders with d5! Anyways! Let's move back to move 25. As said before, this is the right timing for d5. Then 26.exd5 Nxd5 27.Nxd5 Qxd5 gives us the following position


click for larger view

Once again I see nothing wrong playing the Black side, on the contrary. From this point on Ivanchuk loses control, he isnt playing the best moves anymore and neither does Nisipeanu, but Nisipeanu has the psychological and positional advantage and that's more than enough in this occasion. On move 30 Ivanchuk loses his last realistic chance to strive for a draw, playing Kf7 instead of Bf8 and the rest is history. Very interesting and engrossing game and for once more Ivanchuk fails to get what he really deserves. Pity!

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