GOTM;  (Game # 18)  March, 2005.    


Welcome to my  "Game of The Month"  feature!  (For March, 2005.)  (Games considered, file.) 

This is a game, that is annotated in a <light-to-medium> fashion.  (This month is actually a return to the older format - but just for one month, read the body of the game to see why.)  Hopefully it is done in a way that is both entertaining and also informative. The main purpose {and thrust} of this column is to try and educate the general chess public. 

I have deeply annotated this game on my hard drive, you are welcome to contact me if you would like to try and obtain a copy. (I no longer wish to try and put in the effort to be able to offer a deeply annotated game here.)  [ Read why. ]  

This is a feature where I will try to pick a game that was recently played at the GM level. Then I will annotate it and try to basically explain what happened. ---> This column is aimed primarily at lower-rated players.  (Say 1600 & below.) 

I hope that you enjoy this game  ...  feedback  is both encouraged and welcome. (Please respect my copyright.)  


     Click  HERE  to see an explanation of the symbols I commonly use - when annotating a chess game.     

     Click  HERE  to go to another server ... where you can replay this game ... right there on your computer. (Not my site!)    


GM Sergei Volkov (2612) - GM Emil Sutovsky (2669)
  [D97]  
  ICT / The Aeroflot Open  
  Moscow, RUS; (Round # 09) / 23,02,2005.  

  [A.J. Goldsby I]  

gotm_03-05_medal.gif, 02 KB


"GAME OF THE MONTH,"  March, 2005.  

This struggle was critical for the titanic fight for first place in this tournament.  

I have been to dozens - perhaps even hundreds? - of tournaments. And more times than I can count, I would have loved to see the "big guns" duke it out for all the marbles. Yet time after time, the only thing you get to see is the perfunctory smile and handshake ... and if you blink, you might not even get to see that! (I have witnessed many incidents where the titled players will agree to a draw, and NOT even play a single move on the chess board!!! Yet I once agreed to a draw in the last round of a tournament in only twelve moves. I was a little tired, having defeated two straight masters in very emotionally draining struggles. I also felt I had not slept the night before, I was exhausted. The TD in this event FORFEITED me, citing some arcane rule against short or pre-arranged draws. Normally, I would not complain, but the same TD completely ignored the fact that two titled players agreed to a draw in one of his events, about two months later, ... ... ... WITHOUT EVEN SITTING DOWN AT THE CHESSBOARD!!!!!!!!  Can we say, "Double standard," boys and girls? Of course other words - like 'hypocrite' - also come to mind. And I appealed this decision to the spineless bureaucrat at USCF, and they even sided with the TD!)  

All my complaining and airing of past grievances aside, I am sure I am not the only chess fan who has been disappointed by a fast draw in a key, last round encounter. Here, we get to see a player -- who needed to win against a highly-rated opponent with the BLACK pieces!! -- and he manages to do exactly that. (I can only envy the spectators who were able to see this magnificent struggle in person!) And since this game was so important to the outcome of one of the biggest (open) tournaments on the face of the earth, it became ... ... ...  DE FACTO!  ... ... ...  my game for this month's column. 

 ******* 

(Thanks must go to a gentleman in Texas - who asked not to be named. 

He sent in a donation and told me in his letter: "Make this month special."  
--->  Apparently his son's birthday occurs during the month of March, or maybe soon after. Happy Birthday & Enjoy!!!)  

 ******* 

Editor's note:  At first I was going to make like five extra web pages for this month. (Click here to see one example.) But after much work, I realized that I would never finish the game in time! I then decided to incorporate games like Anand-Kasparov, {see below} into the body of this game, rather than give this encounter its own separate web page. 

There were several other games that I annotated, like Spassky-Fischer; Siegen 1970, {see below}; as part of my preparation for this page. (I still intend to give this game its own separate web page, and I have developed an entire {brief} theoretical survey of The Exchange Variation to go along with it. The game is already {over} 75% annotated, and I am still working on it.)  

In order to - FINALLY - get this game formatted and finished, I had to forego several of these games. Otherwise it would be June and this page ... and all the associated links that I was planning to create for it ... would never be completed!! (March 23, 2005.) 


The ratings are accurate, and have been checked against the FIDE website

 1.d4 Nf6;  2.c4 g6;  3.Nc3 d5;  {See the diagram - just below.}     
The Grunfeld Defense - a personal favorite of mine. (I played this system as my main defense to the QP opening for nearly 25 years in rated, tournament play. I stopped only on the advice of a GM - and only because I was allowing too many draws against lower-rated players ... the bane of any master.)  

 

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Personal feelings aside, this opening is based on solid ideas - and is very good for any amateur to play.
(Not many top GM's play this opening today, Garry Kasparov used to play it in his youth, but no longer uses it.)
Perhaps the main reason why GM's don't use this system too much at the highest level is that the results tend to  
clearly favor White. And this is not just some personal bias, but is based on about a 10-year study of books,    
The Informant(s), and also statistics pulled from my own db.  

The pawn advance of ...d7-d5 affects many key squares, and has a long-term impact on the game as a whole. 

     [ After the moves:  3...Bg74.e4 d6; {Diagram?}  
        we have ... ... ...  a  "King's Indian Defense." ]   

 

 4.Nf3,    
A very natural developing move that controls the center and gets a Knight off the back row. 
(It covers another opening principle, as it also prepares castling.) 

This move is an inherent part of many different opening branches in the Grunfeld Defense ... 
but, of course, it is not the only move available for White at this point!  


     [ White can also play the following continuation:  
        4.cxd5 Nxd55.e4 Nxc36.bxc3 Bg77.Bc4{Diagram?}   
        The older, time honored way of playing ... "The Exchange Variation."   
        (This move was once considered almost obligatory for White, today  
          there are many different plans ... and variations! ... for White from   
          this particular position.)   

               ( White can also play: 7.Nf3,  {Diagram?}  in this position as well.    
                  (This is actually a relatively newer line. At one time - it was considered     
                    a mistake to play Nf3 here.)     

                  [ See any modern reference work for more information on these interesting lines.] )   

        7...c58.Ne2 Nc69.Be3 0-010.0-0 Qc7{Diagram?}   
        A move that was first played by L. Shamkovich but was refined into a formidable weapon by   
        {former} World Champion, (GM) Vassily Smyslov.  

             ( The other line for Black is:  10...cxd4!?;  11.cxd4 Bg4;  12.f3 Na5!?;  13.Bd3! Be6  "~"  
                with continuing complications. )    

        11.Rc1 Rd8{Diagram?}   
        One of the key positions for this whole line. (All this was/is 'book.')  

        12.h3!?(hmmm)  {Diagram?}   
        This idea had a bad reputation at the time, ever since Gligoric had lost to Vassily Smyslov in this variation.   
        (Today the main 'book' moves - in the position after Black's eleventh move - are Qd2! and also Bf4!?)   
        The idea behind this move is to prevent Black from playing ...Bg4; and continue on with K-side play.  

            ( Also interesting for White would be: 12.Qa4!?,  "+/="  with some advantage. )      

        12...b6!?13.f4! e614.Qe1 Na5!?15.Bd3 f5!16.g4!? fxe4!?17.Bxe4 Bb7;     
        
18.Ng3 Nc419.Bxb7 Qxb720.Bf2, ('!') {Diagram?}    
        The wisest move here.  

            ( Also possible was: 20.dxc5!? )   

        Now White comes up with a very bold plan, that involves a Pawn sacrifice. BOTH sides play to win!  
        20...Qc621.Qe2! cxd422.cxd4 b523.Ne4! Bxd4;  ('!?')  {Diagram?}   
        This move has been criticized by some, but it seems natural to me. 
        Further - it is the first choice of nearly every program that I have tested this game on!  

        24.Ng5 Bxf2+!?25.Rxf2 Rd6!?26.Re1 Qb6!?27.Ne4!? Rd4, "+/="  {Diagram?}    
        Nearly every program that I have utilized to evaluate this contest, shows a fair-size edge for Black   
        ("/+") at this particular point in this historic, over-the-board combat.  

        28.Nf6+ Kh8!29.Qxe6 Rd6{Diagram?}  
        Black feels that he cannot exchange Queens in this position.   

             ( The sneaky try of: 29...Rd1!?; ('?!')  fails to the ultra-brilliant 30.Qf7!!,  "+/-"     
               when White will win after all the dust has finally settled. (E. Mednis)     
               {This analysis was confirmed by Kasparov, see "M.G.P. Vol. III."} )   

        30.Qe4 Rf8!?; ('?!')  {Diagram?}   
        Nearly every author who has looked at this game has pointed out that Fischer had a better move here.   

             ( An improvement was:  >/=  30...Rad8!;  31.g5 Rd2!;  "~"  {Diagram?}      
                when Fischer has enough play to hold the fort - he should not lose from      
                this position. (Although it is doubtful if Bobby ever had enough play to      
                win this fight.) )     

        31.g5 Rd232.Ref1 Qc7?{Diagram?}  
        This is the losing move. Black had to play his Rook to c8 here.   
        (So that if White plays Qe7, Black can respond with ...Qc7; to be able to defend his h7-square.)  

        Now Spassky sacrifices an "ox," a truly brilliant and inspired way to win this fantastic conflict.   
        33.Rxd2!! Nxd2{Diagram?}    
        One writer - who was present in the hall when this game was actually played - wrote that a ripple went   
        through the crowd, some thought Spassky was now losing this titanic battle.  

        34.Qd4! Rd8!?35.Nd5+ Kg836.Rf2 Nc4[]37.Re2! Rd6; ('??')  {Diagram?}  
        This is definitely a mistake, that much is very clear. However, it also comes in a position that was already 
        VERY bad (lost) for Black.  

        ( Black had to play:  >/=  37...Qd6!;  {Diagram?}   

          Now White wins by playing:   
          38.Re7! Qb6[];  39.Re8+! Rxe8[];  40.Nxb6 Nxb6;  41.Kf2! , "+/-"  {D?}     
          White's whole Queen is much better than Black's R and N. (But it is a very    
          obvious and a very large improvement over the course of the actual game.) )       

        38.Re8+ Kf739.Rf8+!,  "+/-"  Black Resigns, 1-0   [re-play]

        One of the greatest games of that period, and a truly magnificent struggle. 
        >> A truly epic clash! <<  

        GM Boris Spassky - GM Robert J. ("Bobby") Fischer; (FIDE) World Team Championships   
        ( This tournament is better, more commonly known as the "The Olympiad," which is a biennial event. )   
         Siegen, West Germany; 1970.  {1-0, 39 moves.}   

 ******* 

        This famous game can be found in dozens of books, including all the numerous collections    
         of Boris Spassky's best chess games. (It can also be found in GM Garry Kasparov's book, 
         {2004, Everyman}; "My Great Predecessors, Part III.")   

        Two of my favorites are:  
        # 1.)  "How To Beat Bobby Fischer,"  by {the late} GM Edmar Mednis.  
        {Originally published in 1974.}   

        # 2.)  The book of the tournament that contains many comments by the actual players   
         that was taken from numerous newspaper columns and magazine reports. (In German.)  

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

        {Soon - I hope to have this game annotated on its own web page. This would include a brief    
          theoretical survey of the opening as well.} ]   


 4...Bg7;  5.Qb3!?,    
This is often referred to as  ...  "The Russian System,"  primarily because it was the Soviet-era 
players who first analyzed and used this line. (MCO-14 refers to this line as ... 
"The Classical Variation" of the Grunfeld Defense.)  

The idea behind this continuation is to force Black to give up his hold on the center. (The d5-point.)   
The main drawback is that White loses some time with the Queen.  

     [ White can still play a modified version of ... "The Exchange Variation,"   
        by using the following continuation:  
        5.cxd5 Nxd56.e4 Nxc37.bxc3 c58.Rb1 0-09.Be2 cxd4 
        10.cxd4 Qa5+11.Bd2 Qxa212.0-0,  "~"   {Diagram?}    
        In this position, White has very good play for the sacrificed Pawn. 
        There are literally hundreds of games in the database that have been   
        played from this position. 

        A good example is:  GM Vladimir Kramnik - GM Veselin Topalov 
        ICT / Super-GM XV (Invitational, R9) / Linares, ESP; 1998 (0.5 - 0.5)  
        {This game was an extremely tough battle, but was eventually drawn   
          in over fifty moves. You should be able to find this game here.}  

        Dozens of other top players have debated this position as well. 
        (Including Kramnik and Kasparov.) ]   

 

 5...dxc4;  6.Qxc4 0-0;  7.e4,  ("+/=")    
The normal and natural move ... White dominates the center and gains a small - but very solid edge.  

     [ By playing the (reasonable) moves:   
       7.Bf4!? c68.e4 Nbd7!9.Rd1!? Nb610.Qc5!? Bg4!{Diagram?}  
       we reach a position that is full of tension, with  11.Be2  "+/="    White will   
       probably retain at least a slight advantage. (Instead, IM Donald Byrne played    
       the slightly dubious move of  11.Bg5!?  which was refuted in a really spectacular    
       fashion.  {Click here for more information, and to replay this game.} ]    

 

 7...Na6!?;  (Interesting.)   {See the diagram given - just below here.}     
This is known as  ...  "The Prins System."  [more]  
(Named after a Dutch IM ... who was the first to play and use this move on a regular basis.   
 The Russian GM, V. Ragozin also used this line.)  

 

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For many years this was considered to be a side-system and was frowned upon by theory ... 
or at least it was when I first started playing chess.  

<< Positionally - this whole variation is a little suspect, ... >>   
     - IM William Hartston, in his book.  

<< Popular in some circles, but it is doubtful if this line is sound, or even fully playable for Black. >>   
      - GM Svetozar Gligoric, writing for the U.S. chess magazine over 25 years ago.  

  *******  

Today - in a Yearbook that is less than four years old - the author of a theoretical survey awards 7...Na6;  
an exclam, ('!') and calls this system:  "one of Black's most reliable choices, and one of the richest fields for    
any enterprising player to dig in."  

GM Bogdan Lalic - in his 1997 book on the Grunfeld - has mostly positive things to say about this system,   
and seems to be indicating that this system is both sound and playable.  

What brought about this reversal? One of the biggest changes in the theoretical opinions about this whole   
variation, came after none other than GM Garry Kasparov adopted this move in his 1986 World Championship   
Match against GM Anatoly Karpov. (And although Garry lost that game, his use of the line encouraged others   
to investigate this system even more.) "Since then, this half-forgotten system has become much more popular   
in tournament practice"  - GM L. Shamkovich & Jan Cartier  

The idea of this system is relatively simple, Black develops and prepares the counter-strike of ...c7-c5; on White's   
dominating center. The big question is: "Will the Knight on the edge of the board be out of play?"   

As many authors have noted, the play of this whole (sub) system is extremely complex and difficult. If Black makes   
one mis-step, it is often fatal!  

   *********************   

     [ Another popular line for Black ... from the position after White plays e2-to-e4 ... 
        is the following continuation:   7...a6!?{Diagram?}  
        Some books refer to this as the "Hungarian System," in honor of all those players    
        from that country who pioneered and played this line. 

        8.Be2! b59.Qb3 Bb710.e5 Nd511.0-0 Nxc312.Qxc3,  "+/="  {Diag?}   
        with a small - but solid edge for White in this position.   

        See the contest:  GM Gennadi Sosonko (2602) - GM Gyula Sax (2579)   
        / ICT - Lubljana/Portoroz; 1977.   
        {White won a sharp game in forty-seven total moves.} ]  

 

The next few moves are all book.  
  8.Be2! c5;  9.d5 e6;  10.0-0 exd5;  11.exd5 b6!?;  {See the diagram ... given just below.}       
An interesting move ... Black stops and reinforces the Q-side, especially the c5-square here. However, I am    
not sure what the exact theoretical verdict of this move is. (Most programs award White a fairly large, and rather   
solid edge in this particular position. The CB "Power-Book" awards ...b6; a whole question mark - which looks   
to me to be a tad excessive.)  

 

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My analysis here is that this move may NOT be completely sound! I am not 100% convinced of this, however.  
If it should it should turn out that I am correct, then maybe this move is an experiment ... that should never be repeated?  


     [ Black can also play: 

       (>/=)  11...Bf5!?; ('!')  12.Rd1{Diagram?}     
       Seemingly a perfectly respectable and a solid move for White.  

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

            ( A respected reference work gives (instead) the following continuation:     
             12.Be3 Re8!?13.Rad1 Qb6!?14.d6!? Be615.Qb5 h6!?; {D?}      
              The end of the column.    
              (Playing the Bishop to the d7-square was definitely better, and is similar      
               to the analysis game being examined.)     

             16.Ne5 Red8!?17.Nc4!? Qxb518.Nxb5 Nd519.Bc1 Ndb4!?;     
             20.a3,  ("+/=")   {Diagram?}  with a solid edge to White.      

             "Whites passed Pawn on d6 is very bothersome."    
                - GM Nick de Firmian in MCO     

             Reference the game:       
             GM Boris Gulko - GM Joszef Horvath;  / Nova Gorica, 1997    

             [ See also MCO-14, page # 626;  column # 14, and also note # (i.). ] )     

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

       (We return here to the actual game that we are analyzing here.)   
        12...Qb6!13.d6 Rad8!14.Na4!? Qc615.Be3!?(hmmm)  (Maybe - '?!')  {Diag?}  
        This natural-looking move turns out to be dubious for White. 
        (Maybe Ne5, Qe8;  f4, was best?)  

             ( >/=  15.Bf4!? Be6;  "<=>" )    

        15...Ne4!;  "=/+"   16.Qb5?!{Diagram?}    
         Since the "scores" or evaluations of the position, (by the computers); change fairly radically here ...    
         and since White loses without any further errors, it could be concluded that this was the losing move   
         for White? (Why would Anand agree to an exchange of Queens when he is losing a Pawn?)  

             ( White had to play:  >/= 16.Rac1!?, no matter what the result. )     

        16...Bd7!; (TN)  17.Qxc6 Bxc618.Bxa6 Bxa4!19.Bxb7 Bxd120.Bxe4 Bxf3 
        21.Bxf3 Bxb2!
{Diagram?}   
        The dust has settled - and Black basically has a win on technique.  

        22.Rd1 Bd4!23.Bxd4 cxd424.Rxd4 Rd7!25.h4{Diagram?}   
        White must make 'luft' for his King, he cannot take advantage of Black's Rook on d7 as long as his   
        first row is vulnerable.   

            ( </= 25.Bc6?;  25...Rc8!;  ("-/+") )    

        25...Rfd826.Ra4 Rb8!,  "-/+"   White Resigns here.  (0-1, 26 moves.)    
        (The move ...R/b8-b6!; wins the White d-Pawn, after which the win is relatively routine for Black.)   

        GM Viswanathan Anand (2781) - GM Garry Kasparov (2812)  
        ICT / Siemens Giants (rapid)  /  Frankfurt, GER; / (Round # 3),  29,06,1999.   

        Although I doubt that anyone would agree with me, White's 16th move was probably the turning 
        point of this whole contest. {A.J.G.} ]  


 12.Qh4! Nxd5;  ('!?')    
Black has won a Pawn, however White keeps a very powerful attack.  
(In the final analysis, this pawn snatch is probably much too risky.)  

     [ After the moves:  (>/=)  12...Ng413.Qxd8{Diagram?}   
       This looks like a good bet ... White heads for a position ...   
       where the first player has a passed Pawn in the endgame.  

            ( Or 13.Bg5 f6;  14.Bd2, {D?} White is clearly better. ('') )     

       13...Rxd814.Bg5 f615.Bf4,  "+/="  {Diagram?}    
        White is clearly better. ('') ]   

 

When I was first reviewing this game, (without the help of any chess engine); I spent about ten minutes   
trying to analyze the results of  13.Nxd5!,  to be followed by Ng5. (This could be best.)
{The move 13.Ng5!? could also be better than the move that was actually played in this particular game.}   
 13.Bg5!? Qd6;   
This was forced,  ...f6??; Bc4,  would be a lost cause for Black.  

 14.Rad1!?,  ('?!/?')   
A pity, White misses his one, big chance.  (Maybe an oversight? Or some type of mis-calculation?)  

   *********************   

     [ White should have played:  >/=  14.Nxd5! Qxd515.Rfd1! Qc6!?{Diag?}  
        Seemingly a natural move.  

                                                     *******    

             ( Or  (>/=)  15...Qb7;  16.Bh6,  "--->"  {Diagram?}    
               when White's King-side assault might be too strong     
               for Black to be able to stop.    

                                                      ***     

               Definitely not:  </= 15...Qe6?; ('??')  16.Bc4,  ("+/-") {D?}       
               when the Black Queen quickly runs out of squares. )       

                                                     *******    

       16.Be7 Re8{Diagram?}   
       The alternative is to lose the exchange, (surely a lost cause?).   

            ( After the simple moves:  </= 16...Bb7!?; ('?!') 17.Rd6 Qc7;     
               18.Bxf8 Bxf8;  19.Rd2,  "+/"  {Diagram?}    
               White is up an exchange ... and should eventually win the     
               game - with correct play. )    

       17.Ng5! h6[]{Diagram?}  
       This looks to be forced.   

            ( </= 17...Rxe7?!;  18.Rd8+ Re8;  19.Bf3! Rxd8;  20.Bxc6 Rb8;     
               21.Qxh7+ Kf8;  22.Qh4 Bxb2;  Now 23.Re1,  ("+/-")  {Diag?}   
               should win for White. )     

       18.Nxf7!! Kxf7{Diagram?}   
        This appears to be forced, ...g5; Qh5 is no real improvement.   

            ( 18...Qb7!?;  19.Nxh6+! Bxh6;  20.Bc4+! Kh7;  21.Bg5 Qg7[];  
               22.Re1! Bb7;  23.Bb5, "+/-" )   

       19.Bc4+ Be620.Rd6!,  ''  {Diagram?}  
        should be a winning attack  (Maybe "+/-")  for White from this position. ]    

   *********************   

 

Now Black begins to consolidate.  
 14...Nac7;  15.Nxd5 Nxd5;  16.Bc4 Bb7;  17.Rd2!?,   {See the diagram given - just below here.}    
Understandably, White tries to double on the d-file as quickly as possible in this position.  

 

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White has some play for the Pawn, yet Black does not seem to be in any serious trouble here. 

 

     [ Interesting was: 17.Rfe1!?, "~" ]    

 

Black must be applauded here for his excellent defense of a tough position ... one that looks very bad for him   
at times! (It seems that GM Sutovsky plays this whole encounter in the spirit of Vicktor Korchnoi!)  
 17...f6!;  18.Rfd1!?,  ('?!')    
After this errant play, the pendulum definitely swings to the opposite side of the board and begins to {slightly}    
favor Black from here.   

     [ >/= 18.Bf4 Qe619.Re1 Qf5; "~" ]   

 

 18...fxg5!;  19.Nxg5?,    
Seemingly a very natural move, yet every program that I checked this game against ... 
 brands this particular play as an error.  

     [ After the continuation of:   
        >/=  19.Qxg5[] Qd820.Qe3 Qf621.Qb3 Rad8 22.Bxd5+ Bxd5;  
        23.Rxd5 Kh8;  "~"   ("=/+")   {Diagram?}   
        many programs consider Black to be just a little better  ...  however,   
        at least the material is level. ]    

 

 19...Rf5[];  (Maybe - '!')    
Black had to add support to the piece on d5 and leave the h7-Pawn alone to its own fate.   

     [ Maybe Volkov was hoping for:   </=  19...h5? ('??')  20.Rxd5! Bxd521.Rxd5 
        21...Qf622.Rd6+ Kh823.Rxf6,  ("+/-")  {Diag?}   when White should win. ]   

 

Now Rxd5 is worth analyzing ...  
 20.Qxh7+!? Kf8;  21.Ne4!?,    
Perhaps White was trying to be a little tricky here? Regardless, the first party is unable to save   
his game or find meaningful improvements from this position.  

     [ After the continuation:   

       (</=)  21.Qh4!? Re822.Nh7+ Kg823.Ng5 Qf624.f4 Qd6;  "-/+"  
       one button is not enough for the piece that White has lost here. ]  

 

The next series of moves is very close to being forced or best for both sides from this position.  
(</= If 21...Qf4!?;  then  22.Qxg6.)  

 21...Qe6;  22.Ng3 Re5;  23.Rd3 Re1+;  24.Rxe1 Qxe1+;  25.Nf1 Nf6!;     
 26.Qxg6 Qe8!;  {See the diagram given, just below.}     
An offer to exchange Queens, something White cannot do here.  

 

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gotm_03-05_pos5.gif, 09 KB

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This is a good place to try and stop and evaluate the position. White only has two Pawns for the piece, but the    
Black King is under some pressure. My "gut feeling" is that White does not have enough for the piece - this is    
confirmed by all the scores of several different computer programs here. ("-/+" - 1.84, Fritz 8.0, 1231 kN/s)  

 

 27.Qg3!? b5!?;    
Black is trying to activate his Queenside and get his pieces in the game. However, in the ensuing ending,   
the lack of any Black Pawns will become evident.   

     [ An improvement is the natural:  >/=  27...Rd8; "/+"  (Maybe "-/+")  {D?}   
        with a sizeable edge for Black.   

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

       Much better was:   >/= RR 27...Be4!;   28.Re3 Qd8;  "/+"  (Or "-/+")  {Diag?}   
       when Black is clearly on top. ]   

 

 28.Re3?!, (hmmm)   {Diagram?}   
White manages to lose his way amidst all the bizarre complications.  

     [ After the following continuation:  
        >/=  28.Bxb5 Qxb529.Qd6+ Kf7{Diagram?}   
       Could this be forced?  

            ( After the moves:    
              29...Kg8; 30.Qe6+ Kf8;  31.Qd6+ Kg8; {Dm?}    
              it looks like a draw. ("=") )    

       30.Qc7+ Kg831.Rb3 Qc632.Rxb7 Qxc733.Rxc7 Rf8  
       34.g3 Ne435.f4 Bxb236.Rxa7 Bd4+37.Kg2 Rc8!;  "/+"   
       the computer scores greatly favor Black in this position, yet this has   
       got to be many times better than what occurs in the game. ]  

 

 28...Qb8!;  29.Bxb5!?,    
Seemingly the natural response.  

     [ After the sharp  (>/=) 29.Re7! White might have had a better chance of defending this position.   
       (I like this idea - its tricky. White is very close to lost, it might be the correct time to try a swindle.) ]   

 

 29...Qxg3;   
This is OK, but  29...Bd5!;  might have been a little better than this.  

 

 30.Nxg3,    
White seems to be OK ... he has three solid Pawns for the piece here.
(However, a check with any computer program quickly reveals that Black's piece play is too much for 
 White to be able to successfully contend against.)   

     [ Possible was: 30.hxg3!? ]   

 

 30...Ng4!;  31.Rb3!?,  (Probably - '?!')   
This gets the Rook out of play.
(The computer shows a sharp drop or change in its 'scores' of the position after this move.)  

     [ White had to play something like:   
        >/=  31.Re2 Rd832.h3 Rd1+33.Nf1 Nf634.Rd2 Rc1   
        35.b3 Nd536.Bc4 Bd4;  ("/+" or "-/+")  {Diagram?}    
        White is all tied up - but maybe this is still better than the game. ]   

 

 31...Bd5;  32.Rd3,   
At this point, White's game borders on being hopeless.  

     [ 32.Ra3 Bxb233.Ra4 Ne5;  "-/+" ]   

 

 32...Bd4!?;  (hmmm)   {See the diagram give, just below here.}    
This is good, but 32...Bxa2; might have been better. 
(Black probably feared getting his Bishop trapped, time may have been a factor   
 here as well - for both sides.)  

 

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gotm_03-05_pos6.gif, 08 KB

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Obviously - here - Black is on top. 

Now the computer clearly shows that Ne2 was forced or best, but Volkov defends f2 ...  
a natural reaction for any chess player.   
 33.Rd2!? Bxa2;  34.Nf5 Bxf2+;  35.Rxf2,  ('?!')  (hmmm)    
White's position is so bad here that it was hard to be critical. (Maybe Kf1 was a tad better?)  

      [ 35.Kf1 Rb836.Be2 Be3;  "-/+" ]   

 

 35...Nxf236.Kxf2 Rb837.Bc6 Rb638.Bf3 Rxb2+39.Ke3 a5;   {See the diagram below.}     
Black is obviously winning. Now, however, Sergei Volkov makes things real easy for his opponent.  

 

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gotm_03-05_pos7.gif, 08 KB

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If White really wanted to continue from this particular position, he has to play Bc6 or maybe Nd6.  

 

 40.Kd3?;  (ugh)    
The last move of a time control ... is often a bad one!  
{Irving Chernev and Al Horowitz ... writing for a U.S. chess magazine ... about 70 years ago!}   

     [ After the continuation:  40.h4!? a441.h5 Be642.Kf4 a3;   
        43.h6 Rb4+44.Kg5 a245.h7 a1Q;  ("-/+")  {Diagram?}   
        and Black wins - he not only manages to be the first to promote,   
        but now he also controls the vital h8-square. ]  

 

Now Sutovsky finishes his opponent off ... and does so in real style.   
 40...Bb1+!;  41.Kc3 Rc2+!;  42.Kb3 c4+!;  ("-/+")   {Diagram just below.}      
 
White Resigns, 0-1.   

White (GM S. Volkov) has no desire to continue.  

 

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All the diagrams on this page were done with the program, Chess Captor. Click on the diagram to learn more! (gotm_03-05_pos8.gif, 08 KB)

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(He will lose a piece or be mated.)  

     [ After the continuation:  42...c4+!43.Ka4{Diagram?}  
       This is completely forced.  

            (Of course not: </= 43.Ka3?? Ra2#.)      

       43...Ra2+44.Kb5 Bxf5;  "-/+"  {Diagram?}  
      Black wins easily, (a rook ahead!). ]   

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A very good game - high in fighting content. (The opening may not be one anyone cares to repeat!)  

A very gutsy performance by the talented Sutovsky, who was apparently willing to risk quite a bit in order to try and win ... 
so that he would be able to take at least a share of first place. 

 

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

  Click  HERE  to see a fairly complete list of all the books on the Grunfeld Defense that I used to annotate this game.  

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

 

  Copyright A.J. Goldsby, 2005. All rights reserved.  

 

 

   0 - 1   


This game - and the analytical work - was prepared with the program,  ChessBase 8.0.  
(This page was generated in an HTML program, and then the annotated game - with all notes - was transferred here. 
{As pure text.} However, the text still had to be formatted, this took well over a week's worth of work.) 


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  This page (with the annotated game) was first posted on:  Monday; March 14th, 2005.  The final format was completed on Wednesday; March 23rd, 2005.  
  This page was last edited or updated on 03/18/15 .  


    Colors for this page chosen by  Ailene Goldsby  on  (Tuesday);  January, 27th, 2004. {The day that this page was initially created.}  


  COPYRIGHT (c) A.J. Goldsby I;    

     Copyright () A.J. Goldsby; 1985 - 2014, & 2015.  All rights reserved.