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Peter Svidler vs Boris Gelfand
4th FIDE Grand Prix (2009), Nalchik RUS, rd 5, Apr-19
Semi-Slav Defense: General (D43)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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  whiteshark: It seems as if there wasn't enough advantage for Gelfand to win the ♖endgame.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Gelfand proved more knowledgeable in the Moscow Variation of the Slav Defense. By 16...Nf6! Boris improved Black’s play in Ivanchuk-Karjakin, Nice 2009 [Ivanchuk vs Karjakin, 2009 ], and then delivered a huge blow 18...Bh3! This move wasn't as strong objectively and it was stunning psychologically, but it worked: Svidler didn't manage to equalize the game. Here is one of the possible ways: 19.Qb3! Rad8 20.Qxb7 Rd7 21.Qb3 Bxg2 22.Bxf7+ Rxf7 23.Kxg2, and after exchanging on d4 the game is equal.

In the variation selected by Peter, White can also defend better: 21.Qg4! Qxg4+ 22.hxg4 Bxd4 23.exd4 Rxd4, and now, instead of 24.h3?! Rd2! White plays 25.f3!, and the rook defends the second rank from f2.

Having missed these opportunities, Svidler was forced to suffer. If Gelfand abstained from 32...h5 and played 32...Rf6! with the idea Rf6-a6, it is quite possible that suffering would eventually end in resignation. The point is that in this case Black’s extra pawn would appear on the queenside instead of the kingside, with means a much better promotion prospects.

Boris overlooked it, and the rest was nice and clean. Svidler did not miss his chance to make a draw.> (Shipov,

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