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Boris Gelfand vs Viswanathan Anand
Biel Interzonal (1993), Biel SUI, rd 8, Jul-24
Semi-Slav Defense: Meran. Wade Variation (D47)  ·  1-0



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sac: 21.Qxf7 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Black seems to be in big troubles after 17.Qa4. The pin of knight paralysed his development very efficiently. Anand tried to solve the problems by castling, but it had a little tactic hole. Gelfand's winning combination is not difficult, but very instructive. I like it.:-)
May-23-04  WMD: According to the BCM, Anand took the bishop (20...Kxh7) without hesitation. He presumably overlooked 23.g3. The alternative line 20...Kf8 21.Qa4 Rxd2 leaves Black a pawn down but with better defensive prospects.
May-23-04  WMD: In the following Linares (1994) Bareev preferred 17.Qxc5 against Kramnik and they played out a careful draw. Bareev vs Kramnik, 1994.
Jul-03-04  guyk: y (BLA) and not (ISR)
Jul-03-04  acirce: <guyk> Because he is from Belarus, he only moved to Israel some years ago (don't remember exactly when).
Aug-01-04  acirce: <The alternative line 20...Kf8 21.Qa4 Rxd2> and "Black's activity compensates for the pawn" according to Aagaard.
Apr-09-07  acirce: In his very nice and highly recommended game collection ("My Most Memorable Games") Gelfand also mentions 21..Bxg2! instead of the immediate 21..Rxd2?, actually it was Anand who pointed it out the next day: 22.Kxg2 Rxd2 and either

a) 23.Ra4 Rb4! (23..Qc6+ 24.Kh3! Qxa4 25.Rg1 winning) 24.Rxb4 Qxb4 25.Qxe6 Qxb2 or

b) 23.Qxe6 Rbxb2 (23..Rb6 24.Qe4+ Rg6+ 25.Kh1 ; 23..Qg5+ 24.Kh1 ) 24.Qe4+ Kg8 25.Kg1

In both cases, Gelfand estimates the chances of a White win and a draw as 50/50.

Gelfand confirms that Anand - as well as some other top players observing the game and thinking Gelfand was losing - had missed 23.g3!

Apr-09-07  slomarko: <acirce> why 23...Rb4 in your line? isn't 23...Qg5 Kh1 Qf5 better?
Apr-09-07  acirce: What, after <23.Ra4>? That would lose to 25.Rh4+.
May-25-11  somitra: Is this the last classical win for Gelfand over Anand ? Or is CG missing some games ?
Nov-12-11  talisman: yes and 93 was a long time ago...a win by anand will leave a long reign at the top for the history books.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I discarded 20. Bxh7+ with barely a thought -- completely missed the point.
Jun-28-19  pdxjjb: 20. ? is the puzzle for 2019-06-28.

Odd choice of puzzles. "Correct" (game) move is the bishop sac, but engines think 20. Rac1 is about as good.

20 ... Kxh7 is a mistake, and 21 ... Rxd2 is a second mistake. Without the mistakes, black has some compensation, so the R pawn is not worth a full free-and-clear endgame pawn.

Jun-28-19  1stboard: Black on move 20 should play Kf8 , what does white do then ?

After white moves his queen , black can play 21 Rxd2 or 21 g6 trapping the bishop

Jun-28-19  mel gibson: Well - that is difficult.
Stockfish 10 is giving less
than a 1 pawn advantage to White & chooses
a different move which swaps Queens.

(20. Rac1

(♖a1-c1 ♕c5-b4 ♖c1-c4 ♕b4xc4 ♕d7xd8+ ♖b8xd8 ♗e4xh7+ ♔g8xh7 ♘d2xc4 ♗b7-a6 b2-b3 ♖d8-b8 ♖f1-a1 ♖b8xb3 ♘c4-e5 f7-f6 h2-h3 ♗a6-b5 ♘e5-f3 ♗b5-d3 ♖a1xa7 ♖b3-b1+ ♔g1-h2 ♖b1-b2 ♖a7-d7 ♗d3-e4 ♖d7-d2 ♖b2-b6 ♔h2-g3 g7-g5 ♖d2-d4 ♗e4-a8 ♘f3-e1 e6-e5 ♖d4-d8 ♗a8-e4 ♘e1-f3 ♔h7-g7 ♘f3-d2 ♗e4-f5 ♘d2-c4 ♖b6-c6 ♘c4-d6 ♗f5-e6 ♔g3-f3 ♔g7-g6 g2-g4 ♗e6-d5+ ♔f3-g3 ♖c6-c1 f2-f3 ♖c1-g1+ ♔g3-f2 ♖g1-b1 e3-e4 ♗d5-e6 ♘d6-f5) +0.81/45 250)

score for White +0.81 depth 45

Jun-28-19  mel gibson: Just out of interest, when Black resigns
the position is bad.
White has passed pawns & more of them.

29... Rb5

(♖b6-b5 ♖f1-c1 ♖b5xh5 ♖c1-c7 ♖e6-e5
♔g1-f1 ♖h5-f5 ♕f4-h4+ ♖f5-h5 ♕h4-f6 ♖e5-g5 ♖c7xa7 ♖g5-g4 ♕f6-e6 ♗e4-g2+ ♔f1-e1 ♖g4-g6 ♕e6-f7 ♖h5xh2 ♕f7-f5 ♖h2-h1+ ♔e1-d2 ♔h7-h6 ♕f5-f8 ♔h6-h7 f2-f3 ♖h1-h3 ♖a7-a8 ♖g6-f6 ♕f8-g8+ ♔h7-g6 ♖a8-a7 ♖h3-h7 f3-f4 ♔g6-h6 ♔d2-e2 ♗g2-e4 ♕g8-e8 ♗e4-f5 e3-e4 ♗f5-g4+ ♔e2-f2 ♗g4-h3 f4-f5) -6.38/35 254

score for Black -6.38 depth 35

Jun-28-19  Cheapo by the Dozen: White is up a piece, but Black has a skewer to get it back.

So I tried some lines to try to exploit Black's back rank weakness for a tempo to wind up ahead in material. None of them worked.

20 Qa4 Rxd2
21 Bxb7 Rxb7
22 Qe8+ sadly isn't mate because Black can interpose his queen.

20 Qxb7 Rxb7
21 Bxb7 Rxd2
22 R(either)c1 doesn't work because Black can interpose his rook immediately at c2 or later at d8.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Tough Friday puzzle (20. ?) which doesn't have a clear, best-move winning solution.

Our, Stockfish 9's analysis of move 20.? indicates 20. Rac1 ⩲ to ± (+0.45 @ 23 ply) is slightly stronger than the game move 20. Bxh2+! ⩲ (+0.21 @ 22 ply).

<Mel Gibson>'s deeper analysis with Stockfish 10 indicates 20. Rac1 ± (+0.81 @ 45 depth) gives White nearly a full pawn advantage.

So what should White play? If White is playing a strong computer like Stockfish, then I suppose 20. Rac1 ± is best. If White is playing a human player, even one of the best in the world like former world champion Anand, then 20. Bxh2+! ⩲ probably offers the best chance for White to win as a result of human error.

P.S.: So where did Black go wrong? Black's first mistake, as noted by <pdxjjb>, was 20...Kxh7? capturing the poisoned Bishop.

Instead, as <1st Board> observed, Black could have kept it near level with 20...Kf8 ⩲ (+0.21 @ 22 ply, Stockfish 9 analysis of move 20.?).

Black's second and clearly decisive mistake, also noted by <pdxjjb>, was 21...Rxd2? allowing 22. Ra4! +- (+2.57 @ 25 ply, Stockfish 9 analysis of move 22.?).

Instead, 21...Bxg2! 22.Kxg2 Rxd2 23.Qxe6 Rdxb2 ⩲ (+0.62 @ 23 ply, Stockfish 9 analysis of move 21...?) would have given Black decent drawing chances (see <acirce>'s Apr-09-07 post).

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Yeah donhill blunder red and gold it is.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: No trundle?
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is a knight up.

Black threatens Rxd7 and Rxd2 if the queen moves.

The position of the black queen suggests Nb3 and Rac1 but don't seem to give White any advantage (Black would reply 20... Qb4 in both cases).

On the other hand, the black castle lacks defenders, which leads to 20.Bxh7+ but after 20... Kf8 (20... Kxh7 21.Qxf7 Rxd2 22.Ra4 Qg5 23.b3 looks winning) Black keeps the threats although with a pawn less.

I don't know but I think I'd play 20.Bxh7+.

Premium Chessgames Member
  drollere: i looked at Rac1, but couldn't see how to make headway. ditto with Nb3, which seemed only to lose the QN pawn.

i also looked at Bh7+ followed by Qf7, but again couldn't see how to make headway.

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