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Boris Gelfand vs Alexey Shirov
Chalkidiki (1993), Chalkidiki GRE, rd 1
Slav Defense: Chameleon Variation (D15)  ·  1-0



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Given 12 times; par: 59 [what's this?]

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sac: 30.Bxg6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-01-12  wajit: you'll see what?!? i guess am at a loss as to who or what!?
Feb-29-12  Xeroxx: ok...
Mar-04-12  wajit: "30. Bxg6 fxg6 31. Qxg6+ Kh8 32. Rc1 Qh7!? 33. Qe8+ Qg8 34. Qh5 (34... Bb6 35. Bg5+ Qh7 36. Bf6+ Kg8 37. Qg5+ Kf7 38. Rxc5 Bxc5 39. Qxe6+ Kf8 40. Nf5 Rc7 41. Bg7+ Rxg7 42. Qf6+ Kg8 43. Nh6+ Qxh6 44. Qxh6 with an insane endgame but white certainly can't be worse with the exposed black king) ... Qh7 35. Rxc5 Rxc5 36. Nxe6 Rc1+ 37. Kh2 Rc7 38. Nxd8 should be winning. These two lines certainly scared Shirov in this attack. That should be enough to make anyone's head spin... so I don't know how you all matter factually are declaring this sacrifice a draw unless you are turning on an engine and not using your head."

Parametd's orginal quote and analysis above. This analysis is totally wrong since in the main line move number 35 ... Qh7. But black has a better move then that with Bb6. Qh7 is the wrong move Bb6 holds the draw. If Qh7 then yes Rxc5 wins. But Parametd doesnt do his homework very well Next :)

May-18-13  wajit: So I guess no one has found anything else about this position or disproved what I mentioned. Parametd no comments?? No nothing huh? Didn't think so. and for The Focus still not sure what your talking about. But I guess my info will stand as true. Unless someone comes up with something. Otherwise case closed on this one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I got 30. Bxg6 fxg6 31. Qxg6+ Kh8 32. Rc1, and I *thought* about playing 33. f4, and about Qe8+ after ...Qh7. But I didn't get as far as 34...Qg8 35. Bf8.

Nor would I have been likely to play it OTB.

I see that I posted essentially the same thing on page 1. Good to know I haven't lost a step in seven years.

Oct-07-18  Walter Glattke: Refined, 35.Bf8 threatens Bxc5 or Kf2 Rh1 both.
Oct-07-18  Walter Glattke: The first view shows 33.Rxc5 Rxc5 34.Nxe6 Rc1+ 35.Kh2 Bc7 36.Bg7+ Kg8 37.Bf6#, but there must be a defense, or they had played that.
Oct-07-18  Walter Glattke: Trap: 35.Rxc5 Rxc5 36.Nxe6 Rc1+ 37.Kh2 Qh4#
Oct-07-18  Walter Glattke: 36.-Qxf8 instead of Nd3!? brings 37.Qxf8 Rxf8 38.Rxc5 won ending for White.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Computer Chess programs, such as Stockfish 9 (rated 3679 at, have become much stronger in the seven years since today's Sunday puzzle (30. ?) previously appeared here (i.e. Sunday March 27, 2011).

After the initial forcing moves 30. Bxg6 fxg6 31. Qxg6+ Kh8, Stockfish 9 reveals White's strongest follow-up is not 32. Rc1 = (0.00 @ 36 ply) as the Black improvement 32...Qh7! = leads to a forced draw after 32...Qh7! 33. Qe8+ Qg8 34. Qh5 Bb6! = (0.00 @ 44 ply).

Instead, White's strongest follow-up is 32. f4! (+1.01 @ 36 ply), when Stockfish 9 indicates strong play might continue 32. f4! Qh7 33. Qe8+ Qg8 34. Qh5 Qh7 35. Kf2 Be7 36. Rh1 Kg8 37. Rh3 Bf8 38. Qg4+ Bg7 39. Rh4 Kf7 40. Bxg7 Qxg7 41. Qh3 Qg6 42. Rh6 Nd3+ 43. Ke2 Nxf4+ 44. exf4 Qe4+ 45. Qe3 Qxg2+ 46. Ke1 Kg7 47. Rh5 Rc1+ 48. Qxc1 Qg1+ 49. Kd2 Qxd4+ 50. Ke2 Qe4+ 51. Kf2 Bc6!? 52. f5! ± (+2.73 @ 37 ply).

P.S.: I suspect there are improvements to be found for Black in this analysis which might offer drawing chances, but clearly 32. f4! ± gives White a strong initiative with excellent winning chances.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is one pawn down.

Black threatens Qh4.

The weakened black castle suggests 30.Bxg6 fxg6 31.Qxg6+ Kh8 32.Nf3 with the idea Kh2 followed by Rh1. However, Black has several defensive moves like Qh7, Rc7, Bc6-e8, etc.

I don't know. On the board, I'd probably accept the risk of playing 30.Bxg6 instead of settling for 30.Nf3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: It's move 30, and White's entire army is activated except for the idle queen's rook.

It is literally doing nothing, since White doesn't even have an a-pawn to guard anymore. How to activate him, get him in the game?

Well, clearly the bishop needs to move, but to what square? 30. Ba2? is pointless. Black can just play 30...b3 and now you've blown it...

All the other squares just lose the Bishop outright, or leave it vulnerable to Black attack (c2).

So without even calculating a variation, we see that if White wants to win the game, he is forced to sacrifice the bishop on g6.

And what a square! The sacrifice nets White two pawns, and leaves the Black king exposed. A handsome payoff indeed.

So by simple qualitative analysis, we see that the path forward for White is either sacrifice on g6 or resign yourself (pun intended) to getting ground down in defeat.

Oct-07-18  Peabody: Could someone please explain black move36 Nc3, capturing the bishop on f8 would have helped.
Oct-07-18  Strelets: <Peabody> I'm not so sure about that. If Black takes the bishop then Gelfand could play 37.Qh4+, which will eventually force a trade of queens. After Black recaptures, White plays Rxc5 leaving him a pawn up in an endgame with a good knight against a bad bishop and another target in the form of Black's backward pawn on e6.
Oct-07-18  messachess: Nice combination against a tactical genius himself, Shirov.
Oct-07-18  wtpy: I vacillated between 32 f3 or f4, finally decided f4, and after I looked at the game was kicking myself because didn't consider Rc1. (White clearly has to look for ways to get his rook in the game and I felt black's pieces were tied up enough to allow Kf2 and Rh1.) Turns out according to Stockfish they all lead to only equality.
Oct-07-18  Walter Glattke: Evidence of the risk 30.Bxg6: 30.-Qh4 31.Bxf7+Kxf7 32.Qg7+ Kd8 e.g. 33.Qxb7 Rc7 34.Qxb4 Qxh6 black wins, Bishop for two pawns.
Oct-07-18  Walter Glattke: 30.-Qh4 31.Qxh4 Bxh4 1 pawn for white, light advantage.
Oct-07-18  Walter Glattke: There is no Risk in 30.Bxg6, so 30.-Qh4?? 31.Bh7++ and 32.Qg7#
Oct-07-18  Patriot: I figured on 30.Bxg6 fxg6 31.Qxg6+ Kh8 32.g3 Qh7 33.Qe8+ Qg8 34.Qh5 to gain a little time to play Kg2 for a later Rh1.
Oct-07-18  Patriot: In my above line,

click for larger view

I thought about playing 34.Bf8 here but thought black could play something like 34...Be7 and gain the initiative.

Oct-07-18  Patriot: But, that line is flawed. 34...Bb6 is winning apparently for black. At least I saw the potential for danger and decided on the very safe and dangerous (for black) 34.Qh5.

click for larger view

Oct-18-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4: d 26 dpa

<1. = (0.00): 32...Qh7> 33.Qe8+ Qg8 34.Qh5 Bb6 35.Rxc5 Bxc5 36.Bg5+ Qh7 37.Bf6+ Kg8 38.Qg4+ Kf7 39.Qxe6+ Kf8 40.Nf5 Rc7 41.Bg7+ Rxg7 42.Qf6+ Kg8 43.Nh6+ Kh8 44.Nf7+ Kg8 45.Nh6+ Kh8

<2. = (0.00): 32...a5> 33.Nb5 Qh7 34.Qe8+ Qg8 35.Qh5 Ne4 36.Rxc8 Bxc8 37.Bg5+ Qh7 38.Qe8+ Qg8 39.Qh5+ Qh7

d 25 dpa 3. + / - (1.07): 32...Rc7 33.f4 Qf7 34.Qxf7 Rxf7 35.Rxc5 Kh7 36.Nxe6 Bb6 37.Bf8 Kg8 38.Bd6 Bxc5 39.Nxc5 Bc8 40.e6 Rf6 41.Be7 Rxe6 42.Nxe6 Bxe6 43.Bxb4 Kf7 44.Kf2 Kg6 45.Ke2 Bf5 46.Kd2 Kh5 47.Kc3 Be4 48.Kd4 Bxg2 49.f5 Kh6 50.Ke5 Kg7 51.Ke6 Bh3 52.Bc3+ Kf8 53.Be5 Bg4 54.Bd6+ Kg7 55.Bf4 Kf8 56.Be5 Ke8 57.b4 Bh3 58.Bb2 Bg4

Oct-18-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 Pro w32: d 27 dpa done

1. = (0.00): 32.Rc1 a5 33.Bf4 Qh7 34.Qe8+ Qg8 35.Qh5+ Qh7 36.Qe8+ Qg8

2. = (0.00): 32.f4 Qh7 33.Qe8+ Qg8 34.Qh5 Qh7 35.Qe8+ Qg8

Oct-19-18  cormier: <<from: <patzer2> 32. f4! Qh7 33. Qe8+ Qg8 34. Qh5 Qh7 35. Kf2 Be7 36. Rh1 Kg8 37. Rh3>

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4

37...Bf8 38.Qg4+ Bg7> 39.Kg1 Kf7 40.f5 Bxh6 41.fxe6+ Ke8 42.Nf5 Nd3 43.Nd6+ Kd8 44.Qh4+ Kc7 45.Qxh6 Qxh6 46.Rxh6 Rb8 47.Rh7+ Kb6 48.Rxb7+ Rxb7 49.Nxb7 Kc7 50.Kf1 Nxe5 51.Nc5 Kd6 52.Nxa6 Nc4 53.Ke2 b3 54.Kf3 Kxe6 55.Nc5+ Kf6 56.Nxb3 Nxb2 57.Nd4 Nd3 58.g4 Kg5 59.Kg3 Nc5 60.Nf3+ Kg6 61.Ne5+ Kg5 62.Nf7+ Kf6 63.Nd6 Kg5 + / = (0.49) Depth: 22 dpa

37...Bf8 38.Qg4+
+ / = (0.57 --) Depth: 23 dpa

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