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Alexander Grischuk vs Anish Giri
London Chess Classic (2015), London ENG, rd 3, Dec-06
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. l'Hermet Variation Berlin Wall Defense (C67)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-06-15  kamagong24: draw...
Dec-06-15  Ulhumbrus: After 18 fxg5 White's king side pawn majority seems restrained and after 18 ...Ke7 Black has an extra king in play in the centre. How is White to save himself?

Grischuk gives an initial answer with 19 Nd6 attacking the N on f5 and not giving Black time to develop his rooks. Although Black can advance his king to e6 White's plan will be completed by the move Rfe1! whereupon the capture ...Nxd6 can be answered with exd6 with check.

Instead of 18...Ke7, 18...Rd8! may be more exact. Then after 19 Nd6+ Nxd6 20 Rxd6 Rxd6 becomes possible and on 21 exd6 Kd7 the d pawn becomes a target.

Dec-06-15  alfamikewhiskey: Grischuk spent 66 min on one move (20. f4).

That must be some kind of record?

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: In Larsen vs Tal, 1969, the former champion spent one and one-half hours over 22....Qg2+, according to Cafferty.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: 20.f4 is quite a move deserving a long think.

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Giri can pick up the exchange with Ne3.

Giri believed him. I wonder how long Giri took to play 20...Rad8. If it was pretty quick then he has obviously read his Lasker.

Dec-07-15  rayoflight: What happens if 21....Ne3 forking rooks?
Dec-07-15  Ulhumbrus: <rayoflight: What happens if 21....Ne3 forking rooks?> I assume that you mean 20...Ne3 forking the rooks, as 21 Rfe1 prevents the fork. After 20...Ne3 one way for Black to lose is 21 f5+ Kxe5 22 Nxf7+ Ke4 23 Rxd8 Rxd8 24 Nxd8 Nxf1 25 Kxf1 Kxf5 26 Nxc6 Kxg5 27 Nxa7 with a knight for two pawns
Dec-07-15  Nerwal: Grischuk gave 20... ♘e3 21. f5+ ♔e7 22. f6+ gxf6 23. exf6+ ♔f8 24. ♘f5 ♘xd1 25. ♖xd1 as winning for White, but after 25... h4 avoiding the Polugaevsky vs E Torre, 1981 scenario where Black basically plays without the second rook, it doesn't seem all that clear. White can improve with 24. ♘xf7 anyway. It looked like it wasn't this line which was really bothering him.

When the time control was 2 hours and a half for 40 moves (ie between the mid 20s and the mid 90s) thinking for more than one hour on a move wasn't that rare. In the Life and Games of M.T., Tal recalls that after 12. ♘f5 Uhlmann thought for 1 hour 50 minutes in Tal vs Uhlmann, 1971 and Ivkov 90 minutes after 9... ♖d7!? in Ivkov vs Tal, 1961. Geller also used 90 minutes to play 12. ♘xe6 in Geller vs Polugaevsky, 1973. In those last two games, just like in the Grischuk game, time trouble took a big part in the final result.

Dec-07-15  alfamikewhiskey: Thanks, interesting.

20...Rad8 took Giri 29 sec.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Thanks alfamikewhiskey,

Giri most likely saw the exchange sac idea whilst Grischuk was thinking and perhaps thought. 'If he plays 20.f4 I won't debate it I'll quickly play 20...Rd8.'

Lasker is reported to have done the same when faced with a piece sac after a long swim in the think tank by his opponent. Lasker refused the offer saying you spent so long working it out it must be good. (or words to that effect.)

66 minutes wasted, though Grischuk probably welcomed the chance to get himself into time trouble. He seems to thrive on it, though his coach/trainer must be climbing the walls in frustration.

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