GOTM; November, 2004.     


  Welcome to my  ...  "Game of The Month,"  for  November, 2004.  

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This is a fairly well-annotated game, from recent GM practice. This is a contest that is  primarily aimed at players rated approximately 1000-to-1650 in (USCF) rating strength. There is lots of repetitive stuff, and explanations; but before you get offended and write me a letter, please remember who I started this feature for.  (Lower-rated players!)  And while this feature is aimed at less experienced players ... and you will often find the simplest idea or variation explained ... it is my sincere hope that even the exalted MASTER class of player would find this work of some value. (At least I truly hope so.)  

I have tried to consult ECO, NCO, MCO, etc. I key this work ... for the most part - to  MCO-14  ... because this is the most popular and current reference work on the market today. (You can still easily find this book on any commercial web site, like Amazon.)  When some other - more popular or more current work - replaces MCO-14, then I will use that work instead. (But I will be the one who decides what reference is used! Not some reader ... or even a GM!!!) 

 ****** 

My methods remain reasonably constant. This game is the work of  MANY  hours of work and analysis.  I also have consulted nearly every book in my library  on this particular opening line ... and I have done literally dozens of database searches. I have also attempted to use the computer to analyze this game every step of the way. (Please read earlier installments of my columns if you wish to know more.) 

  ***  

You can now click  here  to see the games that I looked at - some very closely - that were seriously considered for this month's  "GOTM"  feature. These games are  NOT  annotated ... however I spent many hours looking at this small group of games. (Some were simply too long, others were decided by a simple blunder. In others, the openings were too similar to games I have done previously. I have also tried to avoid doing the games of the same player over and over and over again.) In the end, I chose this one. Good or bad, I thought this had to be one of the best games of the whole month. I thought that many people might be interested to see the games that I had seriously considered. You decide!! Tell me, did I choose the best game? 


  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 see this game on a  java-script re-play  board.   

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

  This game is briefly mentioned in the following  news story  on the CB website.  


  GM Alexander Morozevich (2758) - GM Vassily Ivanchuk (2705)   
[B12]
  36th (FIDE) Olympiad (World Team Championships)  
  Calvia, ESP; (Round # 04);  18/10/2004.  

  [A.J. Goldsby I]  

  The CB medallion for this game ... you can tell the significant features of this contest with just one quick look. (gotm_11-04medal.gif, 02 KB)


   A.J.'s  (Geo-Cities) "Game of The Month"  for  November, 2004.  (From TWIC # 520.)    
  
[My website for this feature is {now} located at: http://www.geocities.com/TheGOTMman/index.html.]  

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I knew when I saw this game ... that I had to annotate it. (Good, bad, ... or just plain ugly?)  

I have ALWAYS been an Ivanchuk fan, I also am a huge fan of Moro! 
When these guys duke it out ... you know the sparks are going to fly ... in every direction!!  

Although I got to watch many of the games, (on the Internet); I am pretty sure that I did not watch this game live ... 
as it happened. But it has all the earmarks of a wild and crazy struggle. The last few moves were probably part of a time scramble.  

The opening starts off as a (slow?) Caro-Kann, but as recent events have clearly shown, this opening is no longer a guarantee of smooth or easy sailing. Black mixes things up very quickly ... and it becomes a massively complicated struggle.  

In the end, Ivanchuk comes out the winner, in one of the most incredible and amazing struggles of the year.  

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

The ratings are those of FIDE ... and are accurate. (They were already assigned to this game when I first downloaded it.)  


The game starts off as a Caro-Kann, an opening that used to guarantee a quick handshake!
 1.e4 c6;  2.d4 d5;  3.e5!?,  (hmmm?)   {See the diagram ... just below.}   
The Advance Variation is making a definite comeback as of late, maybe because the big boys feel that the main lines are too well known. (This is odd for me, I don't have it anymore, but one of my very first books on the Caro-Kann was VERY critical of this whole variation. They were also quick to point out that The Advanced had cost poor Tal his World's Championship title. Apparently, it is not as bad as it has been made out to be!)  

 

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 gotm_11-04_pos1.gif, 10 KB

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Thanks to GM's like Nigel Short, who has been winning with the this system for years, it has more of a reputation as a line that is dangerous to the second player. (Aside from Short, GM Alexei Shirov and GM Peter Svidler have been the other two main practitioners of this opening system for the last five-to -ten years.)  

     [ The main lines of this opening are usually reached after the following moves:   
        3.Nd2 dxe44.Nxe4, "+/="  4...Nd7{Diagram?}  
        Black usually gets enough play to almost equalize.   

        [ See MCO-14, page # 174; all columns and notes. ]  

        A good, fairly recent example of this continuation would be:   
        GM Sergei Tiviakov (2593) - GM Gabriel Sargissian (2614);  
        FIDE World Chess Championships
(Tournament) / Knock-out 
  
        Tripoli, LBA; (1.6), / 20,06,2004.  (White won, 1-0, in 46 moves.)  ]   

 

Black {now} chooses to activate his Queen's Bishop ... one of the fundamental ideas of this whole opening.   
 3...Bf5;  4.f4!?,   {See the diagram ... just below.}     
When I first saw this, I figured this was an extremely rare continuation, and there would only be a handful of 
games in the database. But after searching the CB on-line database, I found OVER 300 examples of this 
position! (I could not find this particular continuation in MCO. I should also mention that many of the games 
in the database were NOT master-level games!)  

The first example that I could find with this position was:  
E. Schiffers - V. Yurevich;  ICT / Third National Championship /  Kiev, RUSSIA; 1903.  

One of the games that I found, that was reasonably well-played, was relatively recent, and at least 
one of the players had a solid FIDE rating was the contest:  D.A. Ionescu (2255) - C. Nanu;  
ICT / Erkel Memorial Open; / Gyula, Hungary; 2000.  /  (White won, 1-0, in 39 moves.)  

 

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 gotm_11-04_pos2.gif, 10 KB

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GM Alexander Morozevich probably chose this move as a big surprise weapon ... 
 to get Ivanchuk out of his carefully prepared 'book' lines.  

     [ Recent practice has also seen White try the continuation:    
        4.h4 h65.g4 Bd76.Nd2, "~"  (TN) {Diagram?}   
        with a position that I interpret as being wildly unclear.   

        GM V. Kramnik - GM P. LekoWorld Championship Match / Game #14     
        Brissago, SUI; 2004.  (1-0, 41 moves.);  [ See this game. ] 

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

       Another pathway, that is used more frequently than the game continuation, would be:   
        4.Nf3!? e65.Be2 c5{Diagram?}   
        This seems like the correct idea (to me) for Black in this position.   

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

             ( Instead Black can play:  (</=)  5...Nd7!?;  6.0-0 h6; {Diagram?}    
                but White gets a fairly large edge  ("+/=")  in this line.    

                See  "Nunn's Chess Openings,"  page # 145, line/row # 05. )     

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

        6.0-0 Nc67.c3 Bg48.Nbd2 cxd49.cxd4 Nge710.a3!? Nf511.b4 Be7  
        12.h3 Bxf3{Diagram?}    The end of the column.  

        13.Nxf3 0-014.Bb2 a6{Diagram?}    
        This was all played in the game: 
        GM N. Short - GM A. Karpov; (2) / (FIDE) Candidates Match (sf1)   
        Linares, ESP; 1992.  (The game was drawn, 1/2-1/2; in 32 moves.)   

        Now the respected reference work recommends that the first party uses the move:  
        15.Bd3!?,  "+/="  ('!')  {Diagram?}   with a solid edge for White.   

        [ See MCO-14, page # 185;  column # 44, & also note # (k.). ]   

        "White's Kingside possibilities put him on top." - GM N. de Firmian  ]    

 

Play now proceeds in a relatively normal manner, at least for the next few moves.   
 4...e6;  5.Nf3 c5!?;     
It seems to make sense to get this break in as soon as possible, although Black had other fairly 
playable options in this position.  

     [ Black can also try:  
       5...Nh6!?6.Be2 Qb67.0-0 c58.c3 Nc69.Kh1 cxd410.Nxd4{D?}    
       This is probably best.   

            ( </= 10.cxd4?! Bg4!;  "=/+" )     

       10...Bc511.Nxf5 Nxf512.Bd3 g6!?;  "~"  {Diagram?}     
       Black has a fully playable game.  
       (GM M. Filip gives the evaluation symbol that means, 
         "Black is better"  here. Fritz 8.0, after about ten minutes, 
         awards a very slight edge to White. My evaluation of 
         unclear falls between these two vastly differing assessments. 
         If 12.a4, then 12...a5; 13.Qe2.)   

       E. Schiffers - V. Jurevic' / 03 RUS Champ, Kiev; 1903.   

       [ See ECO, Volume "B" (II) / Lines for B12, page # 86.   
         Line/row # 06, and all notes. See - especially - note # 21,   
         on page # 88. ]  ]   

 

 6.Be3  
It seems unusual not to protect the base of your pawn chain with another Pawn, (c2-c3).  
However, in this position that might not be a good idea, since White would then have slightly  
weakened the light squares, (even more); and also the first player has used five tempo on 
non-developing, pawn pushes.   

     [ If White were to play:  (</=)  6.c3!?,  then simply:  6...Nc6!;  "="  {D?}   
        with few problems for Black.  

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

       Another possibility would be:  
       6.Nc3 Nc67.Be3 Bg48.Be2 Nh6!?9.dxc5 Bxf310.Bxf3 Nf5  
       11.Bg1 g5!?12.Qd3,  "~"   {Diagram?}    
       A very vague position has arisen, it is very difficult to divine who is better here ... 
       although White did manage to win in just 28 moves.  

       GM Julio Granda Zuniga (2605) - NM Pedro Aderito (2260)   
       36th World Team Championships  /  (FIDE Olympiad in Calvia)   
       Mallorca, ESP; 2004.  (1-0, 28 moves.)  ]   

 

 6...cxd4!?;  (TN?)   
I don't know if it is such a great idea to bring White's Knight to the d4-square here ... 
but this is exactly what Ivanchuk does.  

One of the positive facets of this move is that Black has begun to undermine White's Pawn wedge in the center of the board.  

Another reason that Ivanchuk might have played this particular try, was to get away from known 'book' theory.
(As far as I could tell, there were no other games in the db with  ...cxd4;  that involved MASTERS!)  

     [  Fritz likes the move:  6...c4!?;  "~"   {Diagram?}   
         but I doubt that this move would greatly worry a player of the White pieces,   
         as the first player's center is left completely secure.  

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

       The only other game that I could find in the database - that at least one of the 
       players had a solid FIDE rating - was the following interesting contest:   
       6...Nc6!?7.dxc5!? Qa5+?!8.c3 Bxc59.b4 Nxb4    
       10.cxb4 Bxb4+11.Bd2 Rc812.Nd4!?,  ''   (Maybe "+/-")  {Diag?}     
       and although White seems to be clearly much better here ...   
       the first player - somehow - found a way to lose from this crazy position.   

       Hannes Stefansson (2385) - Per. Johansson (????);  / ICT / Masters (Open?)   
       Gausdal, Norway; 1986.  /  (Black won, 0-1, in 52 moves.)  ]   

 

 7.Nxd4,  "+/="   (radial power)   {See the diagram ... just below.}    
Take a look at White's Knight ... sitting pretty in the middle of the chess board here.  

 

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 gotm_11-04_pos3.gif, 10 KB

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In this position, Fritz awards the first player a solid advantage.  

     [ Possible was: 7.Bxd4!?, ("=") ]   

 

 7...Ne7!?;  (D-fence!)    
While It is probably OK for Black to swap the Bishop on f5 here for a Knight ... it probably is not   
a good idea to allow White to corrupt Black's Pawn skeleton this early in the game.   

     [ The alternative was:  7...Nh6!?{Diagram?}  to defend the f5-square. ]    

 

Now Deep Junior likes Nc3, but Morozevich goes his own way in this position.   
 8.Bb5+!? Nd7;  9.0-0 a6;  10.Be2 g5!;  (Why?)   {See the diagram ... just below.}    
It makes sense - especially in this position to try and break down White's strong pawn chain in the center of the board. 
This move has the added benefit of opening the g-file as well.  

 

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 gotm_11-04_pos4.gif, 10 KB

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The game has gotten incredibly complicated ... in a big hurry. It is also a fairly original arrangement,  
I cannot recall ever seeing a position anything like this in GM practice ... ever!   

     [ Playable was: 10...Qc7!? ]   

 

 11.g4!?,  ('?!')   (urgh)   {See the diagram ... just beneath the paragraph below.}   
Why would White play this move? ... It seems doubly wrong to possibly allow an open g-file in this position! 
(King on g1.)   

{This move also has a negative impact on the scores - by the computer - of this whole position. And although 
  it is not a dramatic shift, it does not bode well for the evaluation of this particular move, here.}   

 

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 gotm_11-04_pos5.gif, 10 KB

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This is as odd as a position as I have ever seen from an opening, especially after only eleven moves. What is really curious is that this is not a clash between two club players, both contestants have 2700+ ratings!   

     [ Much better was:  >/=  11.fxg5 Nxe512.Nd2,  "+/="   {D?}   
        White has a small edge. ]   

 

 11...gxf4!;  (Probably - '!!')    
Black boldly sacrifices a piece for play ... no doubt this was all calculated in advance.   
{A prepared variation?}  

     [ After the plain:  </= 11...Bg6?12.f5,  ''  {Diag?}   White is clearly on top. ]   

 

 12.gxf5 Nxf5!?('!')   
Ivanchuk continues on his very daring path.  

 

     [ After the moves:   
       (</=)  12...Rg8+!?13.Kh1 fxe314.fxe6, "~"  (Maybe "+/=")  {Diag?}    
        ... the open lines and edge in space will tend to favor White, (in the long run).  

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

       Another possibility for Black was: 
        "="  12...fxe3!?13.fxe6 Nxe514.exf7+ Nxf715.Nc3,  "~"   ("+/=")  {D?}  
       White is probably a little better, Black's shattered Pawn skeleton does not   
        inspire confidence. ]  

 

 13.Nxf5 fxe3!;  14.Nc3!?('?!')    
An unfortunate decision ... Nd6+ seems to have been a trifle better here.  
(White seems to be unsure of himself at a critical juncture in the game.)  

This move could easily be awarded the dubious appellation here ... the change in the "scores" of the    
'evals'  of various computer programs is fairly large and significant. (At least half a pawn here.)   

     [  After the moves:  >/=  14.Nd6+ Bxd615.exd6, "+/="  {Diagram?}   
         we have an interesting position and Black has many fascinating  
         tries,  (...Qb6!?; ...Qh4; ...Ne5!;);   but this still appears to be a 
         small, (but solid); improvement over the course of the actual game.   

         I am sure that both players saw this line. My only question is what was   
         the main reason that Morozevich avoided this continuation?   

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

         A mistake for White would be:   </=  14.Nxe3? Bc515.Kh1{Dg?}   
         Apparently White must let the piece go here.   

                                                         *****   

              ( No good for White is:      
                15.Rf3?! Qg5+; 16.Rg3 Bxe3+; 17.Kh1 Qxe5;  ("-/+)   {D?}  

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

                Also unsatisfactory would be:   
                15.Qd3? Nxe5;  16.Qc3 Qg5+;  17.Kh1 Bxe3;  ("-/+")  {D?}    
                Black is winning in both cases. )   

                                                         *****   

         15...Bxe316.Bh5 Nxe517.Bxf7+ Nxf718.Qf3 Qd7{D?}  
         Black is clearly much better.  ("/+")  ]    

 

 14...Rg8+;  15.Kh1!? Qg5!;  16.Bf3?!,  (Probably - '?')   {See the diagram ... just below.}     
White decides to return the piece ... why, I have no clue.  
(Morozevich either miscalculated, or tried a wild gambit - that just falls on its face.)  

 

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 gotm_11-04_pos6.gif, 09 KB

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Of course I want to make it very clear that this is an EXTREMELY ('!!!') complicated position and that Morozevich had   
 to analyze the best that he could, and then make a decision. He took a risk ... and it just turned out to be a bad one. 
 (Of course, had he won brilliantly - I would have been singing his praises to the skies ... just like everyone else!)  

It is relatively easy to sit at home, relaxing in your favorite chair, look at a game ... with a chess program busily humming   
away, checking all of your ideas. To sit at the board, and try to play ... this is a very hard and difficult thing to do sometimes.   

To compound White's situation ... he may have been trying hard to win, for the sake of national pride. And almost certainly the chess clock played a role somewhere during the course of events, as this particular contest unfolded.  

     [ Was the continuation ... that began with the move   >/=  16.Ng3,  "~"   {Dm?}     
        an improvement over the game?  (I think it had to be.) ]   

 

 16...Nxe5!;  (Natch!)   {Diagram?}   
"Chucky"  avoids any devious plans that his opponent might have had for his early demise.  

     [ Of course not:  </= 16...Qxf5?17.Bh5!, ''  {Diag?}     
        when White may be just winning from this position. ]   

 

 17.Qe2,   {Box?}   
The program,  {Fritz 8.0};  says that this move is best here.   

 

     [ The Knight move was interesting here ... but after the moves:   
       ("=")  17.Ng3!? 0-0-0!18.Qd4 Kb819.Be2 Bd6;  "/\"  ("=/+")  {Diag?}     
       Black stands well. The second party has three solid buttons for the sacrificed   
       Knight, and also good play as well. ]   

 

 17...Qxf5;  (ouch)   {See the diagram ... just below.}    
Take a good, long look at this position.  

 

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 gotm_11-04_pos7.gif, 09 KB

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Black is three pawns ahead!!!!!  

How is it possible to so completely  outplay a  2750+  opponent with the  BLACK  pieces ... 
in LESS than twenty moves??? (All the GM's I have ever talked to, have told me that Ivanchuk 
is a real chess genius. Here you see the proof of that rather bold statement.)   

 

 

Now White regains at least two of the Pawns ... but it may not be enough.
 18.Bxd5,   {Box?}   
This looks like practically the only move for White.  
(Moro regains at least one of the fallen foot-soldiers.)  

     [ White falls into a hole with:  </=  18.Qxe3?! Qg5!19.Qe2[]{D?}     
        This is probably forced.  

 *** 

             ( After the moves: </= 19.Qxg5? Rxg5;  20.Be2 Rc8;  21.Bd3 Bb4;  22.a4!?,      
               22...Bxc3;  23.bxc3 Rxc3;  24.Rab1 Rc7;  ("-/+")  (3 whole foot soldiers!)      

               White's position is a wreck, and he is just down too many pawns. )    

 *** 

       19...Bc5!20.Rae1 Nxf321.Qxf3 0-0-0;  ("-/+")  {Diagram?}   
       Black is just two Pawns ahead. ]   

 

 18...Qh3;  19.Bxb7 Ra7!;    
Attacking the Bishop ... and also defending his position laterally.   

     [ Also possible was: 19...Rd8!?, "+/=" ]   

 

White's next move is close to being forced, albeit the play of Bishop-g2 was also a possibility.  
 20.Bf3 Bh6!?;  (Maybe - '!!')    {See the diagram ... just below.}    
Black decides to keep the button on e3 here. This is an important strategical decision, 
and will have a large impact on the long-term plans of both players.  
{The move of ...Be7; also comes under serious consideration here.}  

 

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 gotm_11-04_pos8.gif, 09 KB

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This play is more than good enough for at least a small advantage ... and given the course of the game,   
it could be exceedingly brilliant. (Beyond the scope of the computer to assess things.)  

However, I would be failing you as an annotator of I did not point out a very simple line, that   
guarantees a large edge for Black, (and is - quite possibly - an improvement over the game).    

     [ Maybe a little more accurate was:   >/=  20...Rd7!{Diagram?}    
       Now Black has the obvious threat of ...Rd2; winning the game.   
       Curiously, White has no good way of meeting this incursion.   

       21.Qxa6!?{Diagram?}   
       This is not forced, however it is the first choice of the computer  ...  by a very wide margin.   

 ******* 

            ( Not to be recommended is:  </= 21.Rad1? Nxf3;  ('!')  {Diagram?}   
              The simplest and best.  

              22.Rxf3?! Rxd1+;  23.Nxd1 Qg4;  {Diagram?}     
              Suddenly White cannot defend against a basic threat. ("-/+")     

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

              The simplest defense to the threat of Rd2 fails to a very simple tactic by Black.   
              21.Ne4 Be7!;  22.Qxe3?! Rg2!;  23.Qf4[] Nxf3; 24.Rxf3 Rxh2+; 25.Qxh2,     
              25...Qxf3+;  26.Qg2 Qxg2+;  27.Kxg2 f5;  28.Nc3 Rd2+; 29.Kf3 Rxc2;  "/+"    
              Black is obvious much better - most programs consider the second player to be    
              winning, ("-/+"); from this position. )   

 ******* 

       21...Nxf322.Qa8+ Ke7{Diagram}   
       Now if White plays Qa3+?, Black can run away via f6-g7-h8, etc.  

       Now White's next move is forced.   
       23.Qxf3 Qxf3+24.Rxf3 Bh625.Raf1 f526.Rh3 Rg6   
       27.a4!? Rd2!"=/+"  (Probably - "/+")  {Diagram?}   
       Black is clearly better here.  

        [Black has fantastic play from here, White's Q-side Pawns appear ready to fall.   
         However, this line may have been nearly impossible to calculate (OTB) if Ivanchuk   
         was short of time.]   

       I spent quite some time verifying this line, using several different programs. Additionally,   
       I even did a few "program-vs.-program" tests from the final position, Black easily won    
       all of these. {A.J.G.} ]   

 

 21.Ne4 Ke7[];  {Box.}   
To avoid a Knight fork on f6.  

 

 22.Qe1!,   {See the diagram just below.}    
Morozevich has hardly given up on this position; no, no, not at all. Here White sets a trap for his opponent, 
and offers the Bishop on f3 as bait.   

 

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 gotm_11-04_pos9.gif, 09 KB

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However, just because the box also approves of this move does not mean that it is best, I felt that a more cautious defense (c3 or c4) was in order. The real danger with a move like Qe1 is that if White's attack runs out of gas, he goes down in flames.  (Qe1 is definitely a move that attempts counterplay at any cost. This is known - chessically speaking - as, ... ... ...   "Burning all of your bridges behind you.")   

     [ After a move like:  </=  22.Rad1!?(Probably - '?!')  {Diagram?}  
       White is in a bad way, Black now has a number of ways to gain the advantage,   
        (...f5; or ...Bf4;). ]   

 

 22...f5!?;  (WILD!)    
Things get really hairy after Ivanchuk plays this move.  
(White might be able to force a draw after this move.)  

   *********************   

     [ Incredibly naive would be:   
       </=  22...Nxf3?; ('??')  23.Qb4+! Kd724.Rad1+,  ("=")   {Diagram?}    
       and White has at least enough play to draw the game from this particular position.   

       [ I probably spent more than thirty minutes working out all the lines. Then I went 
         back and deleted them. Why?  

         A.)  They are long and tortured;   
         B.)  This is a good position for you to practice your analytical skills. Barring that, 
                fire up your favorite chess program ... and work it out yourself!! ]    

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

       The box (Deep Fritz) prefers the move  ...Rb7  here for Black.   

       For example:   
       >/=  22...Rb7!;  ('!!')  {Diagram?}    
       This stops any thought of Morozevich ever playing the move of Qb4+ for White.  

                                                                   *******     

       The rest of the moves in this line took over an hour to work out, even 
       with the computer's help here! (I was trying to gain an understanding  
       of the ideas and variations. I worked many of the individual sub-lines 
       out, but deleted them in the final version of this contest ... 
       as they are not really necessary.)   
       23.Qe2 Rd7!!24.Nf6! Rg3!25.Nxd7!? Nxf3!26.Nb8 Bf4! 
       27.Nc6+ Kf8!; "~"   ("--->")   {Diagram?}    
       My analysis clearly indicates that despite the second player's slight material
       disadvantage, that the impending assault will completely overwhelm White.  
       (Black is winning, or "-/+")  ]   

   *********************   

 

 23.Qb4+ Kf7[](Of course!)   
Not much choice here.   

       [ It would be insanity to play:  
          </=  23...Kd7??24.Qd4+! Kc8!?25.Nd6+ Kd826.Nxf5+ Nd7[];   
          27.Nxh6 Qxh628.Qxa7,  "+/-"  {Diag?}  and White has an easy win. ]    

 

 24.Qd4!?,  (ugh!)   {See the diagram ... just below here.}     
This is a VERY plausible looking move, but one that is highly doubtful. {Maybe - '?!'}   
(Of course, Morozevich may have been pressed for thinking time when he played this   
 particular move in this position.)    

 

  *********************  

 gotm_11-04_pos10.gif, 09 KB

  *********************  

 

White can now force a draw ... and should probably do so.   
(Any talk of White winning this position is simple foolishness.)   

     [ White can split the point with:  24.Nd6+ Kf625.Ne4+ Kf7{Diag?}   
        This is probably best here.   

             ( NOT </= 25...fxe4??;  as  26.Bg4+, {D?}    
                 will win the White Queen. ("+/-")
    

       26.Nd6+ Kf627.Ne4+,  ("=")  {Diag?}   and it is time to shake hands. ]     

 

 24...Nxf3!!,  (Wow!!)   {See the diagram ... just below.}    
This just looks like a blunder ... I got many e-mails from friends and students asking why 
White could not just grab the Rook.  (What?!? Don't any of you guys own a chess program?)    

 

  *********************  

 gotm_11-04_pos11.gif, 09 KB

  *********************  

 

However - with best play by BOTH parties - I was finally able to determine that the game should 
probably end in a draw from here.  

     [ Was  24...Bf4!?{Dm?}  playable here? ]   

 

 25.Qf6+,   
This looks to be best or forced.   

  **************  

     [ Now White probably saw what he must have missed in his earlier calculations.   

       For example:  </=  25.Qxa7+? Kg6!!{Diagram?}  
       Shocking, wouldn't you agree?   

       (But wait! There is more!!)   
       26.Rg1+!? Kh5!!{Diagram?}   
       and Black's King is (now) completely safe ... and White is unable to defend 
       all of Black's threats.   ("-/+")   {If Ng3+, then simply ...RxN!}   

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

            ( After the following moves:  26...Kh5!!27.Qf7+ Kh4!28.Qe7+ Rg5;   
              29.Qd6 fxe430.Qf4+ Kh531.Rxg5+ Bxg532.Qc7{Box?}  {D?}    
              This is practically forced.   

                   ( After the moves: </= 32.Qg3?! Qxg3; 33.hxg3 e2;  ("-/+")  {D?}       
                     Black will promote the e-pawn, and be two pieces ahead in the      
                     resulting endgame. )     

              32...e233.Qxh7+ Bh634.Qf7+ Kg535.Qg8+ Kf4;  ("-/+")  {Diag?}      
              And since White cannot check on the f8-square, Black will win easily from this 
              position. (The first party must defend against a mate on the h2-square and also    
              prevent the Black e-pawn from promoting ... all of this is a completely 
              impossible task.) )  ]  

  **************  

 

The next few ply all appears to be either forced or best.   
 25...Ke8;  26.Qxe6+ Kf8;  27.Qf6+??,   (ACK!!!)    {See the diagram ... just below.}     
Probably in time pressure,  'Moro'  blunders and throws away the almost certain half-point.  

 

  *********************  

 gotm_11-04_pos12.gif, 09 KB

  *********************  

 

Of course it is easy to criticize ... to play this game must have been thousands of times more difficult.  
(One Internet source said that this struggle was one of the most watched contests of the whole FIDE  
 Olympiad, and had a truly GLOBAL audience!!)   

     [ After the following continuation:   
        >/=  27.Qc8+! Kf728.Qc4+ Kg729.Qc3+ Kg630.Qc6+ Kh5!{Dm?}   
        The only real try here.   

             ( After: 30...Kf7!?;  31.Qc4+,  {Diagram?}     
               the game is an almost certain draw, White checks       
               until his opponent realizes this as well. )       

       31.Nf6+ Kh432.Qxf3 Qxf3+33.Rxf3 Rf8!?;  "~"  (Probably "=")  {D?}    
       the game appears headed for the land of draws. ]   

 

Now one could split hairs over the next few moves ... but it no longer matters. 
White's game is already beyond salvation here.   
 27...Rf7;  28.Qd6+!? Kg7;  29.Rg1+!? Kh8;  30.Nf6?,   {See the diagram ... just below here.}      
Morozevich must have realized (now) that he was lost, and given up the ship.  (White RESIGNS.)  
{Or perhaps Morozevich simply lost on time in this position.}  

 

  *********************  

 gotm_11-04_pos13.gif, 09 KB {These diagrams were generated with Chess Captor!}

  *********************  

 

White's last move was yet another blunder ... that walked into a certain and unstoppable mate.  

 

      [ White could have avoided mate by playing the moves:   
         >/=  30.Rxg8+ Kxg831.Qb8+ Kg732.Qg3+ Qxg3    
         33.Nxg3 f434.Ne2 Nd2;  ("-/+")   {Diagram?}      
         but still faces certain defeat from the current position, that    
         we now have, on the chess-board.   

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

         After the faulty:  
         </=  30.Nf6? Nxg1!31.Rxg1!? Qf3+;  ("-/+")  {Diag?}    
          ... White will be check-mated on the very next move. ]   

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

 

A monumental struggle ... that was enormously complicated ... and was probably played under extreme 
tension by both parties. It also played a very crucial role in the eventual determination of each team's fate 
and who won medals.  

It wasn't perfectly played ... but this contest had many redeeming qualities for me, at least from the annotator's 
perspective.  (High fighting content, originality, massive complexity. AND ... it was just plain fun!)  

 

 

   0 - 1
   

 

 ******* 

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

 

This game - the HTML code - was originally generated  by the programChessBase 8.0.  


For further study:  Don't forget this  GAME,   which is also a hairy and difficult  Advance Variation  of the  Caro-Kann! 
                                ALSO! - Study this game as well!  (More Caro-Kann games.)  


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  This game was first posted on:  Monday;  November 15th, 2004.    Final format was completed on:  Nov. 21st, 2004.    This page was last updated on 03/18/15 .   


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