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Boris Gelfand vs Loek van Wely
European Team Championship (2003), Plovdiv BUL, rd 6, Oct-17
Sicilian Defense: Nezhmetdinov-Rossolimo Attack. Fianchetto Variation (B31)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-06-16  tigreton: Nice manoeuvre 38. Ng1-h3 to fight for the f4 square and avoid counterplay.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Gelfand is a lifelong queen pawn player but in 2002-3 he did experiment with 1 e4 a bit. Four months earlier at Enghien Les Bains Radjabov had played 14..Bxc4 against Gelfand and had gone on to win; 14..Rfb8 was new. With 20..Bf8 Van Wely offered a draw underestimating White's potential for making progress with a small positional edge. Gelfand thought that Van Wely should have played more actively (perhaps 22..Nd4) and that he misplaced his king with 27..Kh7? when it would have been better off on f7 so that the rooks could be placed on g8 and h8. Gelfand missed the opportunity to play 30 Nh2! with the idea of Qe3 with a decisive attack. Black would have been better off playing actively with 33..b5! creating counterplay on the queenside. 37..Ra6? was a poor decision taking the rook out of the game; Black had several alternatives including 37..Rb8 (38 Bxa5?!..Ra8 39 Bxb6?..Rxa4 would give Black active play). 48..Kg8 would have been a tougher defense.

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