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Alexander Onischuk vs Etienne Bacrot
41st Biel International Chess Festival (2008), Biel SUI, rd 7, Jul-28
Horwitz Defense: General (A40)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-28-08  Xeroxx: Benoni power!
Jul-28-08  Blackreptile: congratulations Etienne, very good coming back after the disastrous start in this tournament.The mark of a strong will.You are not responsible for your opponent's beginner combination Bxd6; good luck for the next games!
Jul-28-08  acirce: Glad for Bacrot's sake that he has recovered so well after a very bad start, but here it almost looks like it was more Onischuk beating himself than Bacrot beating him.
Jul-28-08  messachess: The way I play against d4, I get transitioned into the Benoni occasionally. I like it in principle. If I can get in the move ...b5 as in this game, I feel that my game has been freed and good things may follow. Therefore, after ...a6, I almost always see a4 to prevent this, and that's when trouble starts for me on the black side of the Benoni--so much so that I cannot imagine why any player with white would not do so. And here we see Onischuk play 8.h3. Oh well, I am not the GM.
Jul-28-08  ex0duz: Why the hell did Onischuk give up his queen? Surely that leads to an inferior endgame than being a pawn down?
Jul-28-08  4tmac: Everyone opens with their Knights on KB3. This pieceless opening is somewhat rare. There are 167 games in the database after move 2, 13(!) after move 5, and move 8 is a novelty. (after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 there are 2,272 games)
Jul-28-08  refutor: <move 8 is a novelty>

not by transposition

it transposes into an A70...the game followed Karpov vs H Hamdouchi, 2005 up to move 18 where Karpov played 18.Rb1 instead of to-ing and fro-ing with the perpetual

Jul-29-08  euripides: <refutor> thanks for those very useful links. It seems White's results are good in this line. He has good strategic prospects with b4 followed by either weakening the Black pawns or provoking c4 and then using d4 and maybe the a file (ater a4 and ab ab). But for a quite different approach see

Dreev vs E Moskow, 2007

Jul-29-08  YouRang: Did Onischuk punt too soon?

By "punt", I mean going down the line where he surrendered his queen with 33.Nxc4, allowing 33...Rxd5 (taking the queen), after which he tried in vain to make a fortress with his R+B.

He might have put up more fight by side-stepping the rook with 33.Qc5 (guarding f2). This allows black to recapture his piece with 33...Rxd2 (diagram:white to move)

click for larger view

Now, white can proceed with 34.a4! bxa4 35.Bc6! (note that white can't take the knight: 35.Qxc4? Qxf2+ )

But 35.Bc6! threatens to take the a-pawn, and more importantly, it vacates the e-file, which carries the threat of 36.Re8+ Kg7 37.Qf8#.

To avoid mate, black has no real choice except 35...Kg7 (guarding the back rank with the queen or rook drops the knight at c4).

Then white take the pawn with 36.Bxa4. He is down a pawn, and still has a struggle to keep the draw, but his drawing chances seem much better with his queen, rook & bishop still in play.

Note: Black might have opted for 34...Qd4, forcing a queen exchange: 35.Qxd4 Rxd4 36.axb5 axb5 37.f3, and still a better game that he had after surrendering his queen.

Jul-29-08  Snosko: Why not 38. Re8+ Kg7 39. Bxa6 Qc6. 40. Re3, trying to draw the game?
Jul-29-08  YouRang: <Snosko: Why not 38. Re8+ Kg7 39. Bxa6 Qc6. 40. Re3, trying to draw the game?>

Are you looking ath the right position?

On move 38, black's king is on f8, so 38.Re8+ would be answered by 38...Kxe8 .

Also, 39.Bxa6 drops the bishop to 39...Qxa6.

So, I have to believe you've got the move numbers or the position wrong.

Jul-29-08  YouRang: Oh, you must be thinking of <36>.Re8+ Kg7 37.Bxa6 Qc6 38.Re3.

Then, of course, 38...Qxa6. I'm not sure why this is supposed to draw, though. I guess you're thinking that the white K can shuffle from h1/g2/h2 or the rook can shuffle around from e3 to g3 (protected by pawns)?

But, the f2 and a3 pawns need guarding, and black can advance his pawns to take safe squares away from the rook. I think black still wins.

Aug-03-08  apexin: Bacrot shows us how to play the Benoni . a very instructive game!

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