(GOTM)  Supplementary Game #2 / July, 2004 

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  NOTE:     I don't know if you realize it or not, but this new feature - my  "Game of The Month"  column - is quite popular. It has generated a bare minimum of at least 50 e-mails per month for the last few months. (I would say around 90% or better has been very positive.)

Many of you have complained ... a few, somewhat vociferously ... about the {seemingly} constant diet of KP openings. A small group has said they don't want to see any more Sicilians, at least for a while. To this I can only respond with:  # 1.) I should try to please the largest group possible - something I seem to be managing (to do) currently; and  # 2.) I want to try and make as many of you as happy as I possibly can. (I also want to clearly show that I am listening to ALL of you, and I want to please as many readers and fans as possible.)

In order to show a little (more) balance, I making the main game a Gruenfeld Defence (opening) this month. This particular game is NOT as deeply annotated as the main game, but if you simply cannot bear the thought of studying yet another KP game, this should give you something else to look at. (It is also a VERY interesting struggle with both - curious & amazing - positional and tactical motifs.)  

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For this game, I advise that you NOT study this version first. But instead go to the  "The Week In Chess"  web  page  and  download  the last few issues of  TWIC. Then after you have studied that for at least a few hours, come here and study my analysis of this game. (Just a thought here ... on how to study, and try to improve your game.)  You might also print out a copy of this game, and play  "guess the move."  I.e., cover up the next move that is played, and see if you can correctly guess it. (A VERY good exercise!!)  


This is basically a text-based page. (With just a few diagrams.)  
  I strongly suggest that you use a chess set.  

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   Click  HERE  to FIND this game on a  java-script re-play  board.   (Not my site!)  

     Click  HERE  to see an explanation of the symbols I use.     


  GM Ildar Ibragimov (2556) - GM Jaan Ehlvest (2596)  
[D12]
 National Open 

  Las Vegas, NV / USA,  (Rd # 5)20,06,2004.  

 [A.J.G.] 

Supplementary Game / Bonus Game (# 02)  ...   
for the July (2004) "Game of The Month."
  (From TWIC # 503.)  

One of the most difficult propositions in all of Master chess, is summed up by the simple question:  "What should you do if you want to try and win with the Black pieces?"  
(Any experienced player can tell you that winning as Black - against a really good player - is a MUCH tougher proposition than trying to win with the White pieces!!)  

Here - one of my favorite players - not only wins, but he makes it look almost easy in the process. A great game in a later round of a VERY big-money tournament. 

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***  

The ratings are those of FIDE ... and are completely accurate. 


 1.d4 d5;  2.c4 c6;  3.Nf3!? Nf6;  4.e3!?,   
This is OK, but less testing than the alternative. 
(White was the first to blink here.)

     [ Better is:  >/= 4.Nc3!, "+/=" ]  

 

 4...Bf5!;  5.Nc3 e6;  6.Nh4,  ('!')    
I approve of this, if White can successfully gain the two Bishops, this will confer 
a definite edge later in the game. (The first party should also recognize that there  
is a definite time loss involved with this move.)  

There is not much point in worrying about opening classification here ... 
 we very rapidly move to an original position shortly after move 10.  
(Right now there are over 700 games in the database with this particular position.) 

 

     [ 6.Bd3 Bxd3; 7.Qxd3 Nbd7; "="  ]   

 

 6...Bg4;  7.Qb3 Qc7!?;   
This seems logical, but according to the computer, it confers a definite edge to White. 
(Fritz 8.0 thinks for about 5 minutes and recommends ...b6; but this looks a trifle 
 suspect to me.)  

 8.h3!? Bh5;  9.Bd2!? Nbd7;  10.cxd5! exd5;  11.Bd3 Bg6!?;   
Taking the bull squarely by the horns, Black agrees to the loss of his 
light-squared piece ...  without any further loss of time.  

I searched the ChessBase on-line database for possible matches to the current position. 
(Only one, this is the game.)  

 

     [ Another possibility would be:  11...Nb612.g4 Bg6;  
       13.Nxg6 hxg614.0-0-0, {Diagram?}  
       This is good for an edge.  

           ( Interesting was: 14.g5!?, "+/=" )    

       14...0-0-0!?15.Kb1, "+/="  {Diagram?}   
       with a very solid advantage to White in this position. ]   

 

 12.Nxg6 hxg6;  13.0-0-0 Be7!?;  14.Kb1!?,   
This is OK, in a way it makes sense to bring the King to a slightly safer square.  

     [ More active was: 14.g4!, "+/=" ]  

 

Now several programs recommend that Black castle on the Q-side.  
 14...a5!?;  15.Rc1!? Nb6;  16.Ne2!?, (hmmm)  {Diagram?}    
This seems a tad timid, although White has not done any serious harm 
to his position ... yet.  

     [ Fritz prefers:  16.f3, "+/="  {Diagram?}   
        with a solid edge to White.  
        (Albeit - a very small one.) ]  

 

 16...0-0! {See the diagram - just below.}    
An incredibly brave - - - and even a slightly risky continuation.  

 

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   gotm_july-04b_pos1.gif, 032 KB

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With both sides (now) castled on opposite wings, the indicated course is an all-out 
attack on each of the respective commander(s) for each of the two different armies. 

If Black has judged/guessed correctly, he shall succeed. But if he has not correctly 
added all the sums in the far right-hand column, he will fail ... 
  ... "and all the King's horses, and all the King's men, won't be able to put 
  Humpty-Dumpty back together again." 

 

 17.g4!?,   
White tries to get things rolling on the King-side, but he always {seems} to be ... 
"a day late, and a dollar short;" as the old saying goes.  

 

     [ Maybe  >/= 17.Qc2!, "+/=" - Fritz 8.0 ]   

 

 17...Rfc8;  18.g5 Nc4!?;  {See the diagram ... just below.}    
[Threat =  ...NxB/d2+, and Black wins the White Queen on a fork.]
 *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** 

I was tempted to give this a double-exclam, but prudence, good reason, 
and analysis eventually won out.  
(Of course, if Black had lost, I would be awarding this move two {whole} 
  question marks!)  

 

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   gotm_july-04b_pos2.gif, 033 KB

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Black senses the correct time to try to upset the equilibrium of this game.
(And he is willing to sacrifice a foot-soldier to get it done.)  

     [ Or  18...Nh5!?19.h4 a420.Qc2, "+/="  {D?}    
        but White is still better here. ]  

 

 19.Qc2!?,  ('?!')  (urgh)   {Diagram?}    
Nice - sensible - prudent.
(But in my book, this is way too passive a move to seriously 
threaten Black here.)  

     [ It seems that the critical continuation would be:  
        >/=  19.Bxc4! dxc4{Diagram?}   
        This looks forced ...  

           (Interesting was: 19...Ne4!?)   

       20.Qc2!, {Diagram?}   
       This is nice in-between move here for White.  

           ( Or </= 20.Qxc4!? Ne4; "<=>" )  

       20...Nh5 []21.Qxc4 Bxg522.Rcg1!, ''  {Diag?}    
       Here - all of White's pieces are pointed at Black's King.  

       Several different analysis sessions, all done with the aid of 
       at least one computer program, confirm that White has a 
       very clear edge. ]   

 

Black continues in the vein of allowing White to capture the dreadnought 
horseman - a dare-devil gambit, if you will.   
 19...Nh5!?;  20.Rcg1 Qd7;    
Black appears to be consolidating his iron grip on the light squares here.  

Last chance to capture on c4.  
 21.Bc1?! b5!;  "="   
Now probably dynamite won't get rid of the horseman on the c4-square.  

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 22.Ng3?,   
YUK!! {Another bad decision.}  

In the ensuing endgame, Black's grip on the light squares leaves 
White with almost no counterplay.  

     [ Much better was:  >/=  22.Nf4! Nxf423.exf4, "+/="  {D?}   
        with a slight edge to White. ]   

 

 22...Nxg3;  23.Rxg3 c5!;   
Now it should be clear that White has been outplayed. 
Black is better on both sides of the board.  

 

For some reason ... 
White refuses to play h3-h4 in this particular game.
{By the time White gets around to it on move 27, the game 
  is close to being over.}  

 24.Qe2?! Bd6;  25.Rgg1 b4!?;   
Black is going for a complete crush ... using simple space on the board as his trump.  

 

     [ Or Black could try:  25...cxd426.exd4 Qa7{Dm?}   
        with constant Queen-side pressure.  ("/\")  ]   

 

Now the pawn-push of h4!, would get White's King-side play back 
on track ... but the first party chooses a completely different route. 
{A suspect one?}  

 26.dxc5!? Rxc5;  27.h4 Ne5!?;  28.h5 a4!;  29.f4 Nxd3;  30.Qxd3 Qe6;  "=/+"   
I would judge this position as just slightly better for Black ... the first player 
has a troubled Bishop, and no real play to speak of.  

 31.Bd2!? Rc4;  32.Rf1!? Re4!;   
The computer fails (completely) to grasp the reasons for this play.
{White is gasping for air, Black's light-square bind has been increased, 
  and the damage done to Black's King-side is completely insignificant.}   

 

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Black continues the pressure.  
 33.hxg6 fxg6;  34.Bc1 b3!;  35.a3!? Bc5;  36.Rd1 Rd8;  37.Qb5 Rc8!;   
 38.Rd3!? Rc4;  39.Rhd1?,  ('??')  {Diagram?}    
A really bad move ... in an already very ugly board-position for White.   
(The box says that Qb7 is forced here for White.)  

     [ Probably forced was:  >/=  39.Qb7 Rd840.Rhd1 Qf5; "/+"  {D?}   
        but Black still clearly  {MUCH}  better here. (And will probably win 
        with correct play ... from both parties.)
  ]   

 

"Pin ... and win," said Reinfeld.  
 39...Qf5!;  40.Qb7,  ('!?')   {See the diagram - - - just below.}      
I don't think it matters any more what move White plays. 

 

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   gotm_july-04b_pos3.gif, 033 KB

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The stage is all set for an extremely nice - but thematic - coup de grace ... 
 by GM Jaan Ehlvest.  

     [ Or   </=  40.Qa6?! Bb6!; "-/+"  {Diagram?}   
       The threat is ...Qxd3+!, to be followed by the very simple ...  
        RxB/c1 mate. (This wins for Black.) 

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       Also unsatisfactory for White was the continuation:   
        </=  40.e4!? Qxe441.Qa5 Bd442.Qd2 Rc2 
        43.Re1 Qf5; "-/+"  {Diagram?}   
        and the first party should signal a surrender ... 
        without any delay! ]   

 

If you were Black, what move would you play in this position?  

 40...Rxc1+!!;  41.Rxc1[],    
This is definitely forced.  

     [ Much worse was:  </=  41.Kxc1?? Bxe3+!; {Diagram?}   
        No capturing ... it's a double check by Black, here.  

       42.Kb1 Qxd3+! ; 43.Rxd3 Rc1#.   Ouchers!!  ]   

 

 41...Qxd3+;  42.Ka1,  ("+/-")  {Diagram?}    
Probably in a time scramble, White realized that Black was not going to   
lose on time. Or he simply noticed how much material he would be down,   
and resigned before Black could play the simple move of ...Qf5; or even  
better, ...Rf8!   

A very impressive win by Ehlvest, but White clearly could have made this 
a much more difficult struggle. (Maybe White used too much time in the  
opening stage? This game has all the earmarks of that type of struggle.)  

 

   Copyright (c) (LM) A.J. Goldsby I.   
  Copyright A.J. Goldsby, 2004.  All rights reserved.  

 

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This page was finished a few days ago ... and was posted on  Monday;  July 12th, 2004.    
Last update: 07/15/2004.   Last edit or save on: 03/17/2015 .  


  Copyright () A.J. Goldsby I  

  Copyright () A.J. Goldsby, 2015.  All rights reserved.