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Veselin Topalov vs Evgeny Bareev
"Grin and Bareev It" (game of the day Apr-25-2008)
Linares (1994), Linares ESP, rd 11, Mar-11
French Defense: Classical. Burn Variation (C11)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-29-08  YJGYJ: For me move 13 by Bareev is what separates me from the world of the grand master. i see that potentially sacrificing his knight opens up the king side to some possibilities, but beyond that I probably would never have risked it. Cheers to Bareev's vision! and to Topalov for move 16 putting his Queen on the same file as his king with this guy!
Dec-29-08  sallom89: UnBareevable game!
Jan-14-09  WhiteRook48: I don't Bareev that Topalov lost with such amazing tactics!
Oct-07-10  sevenseaman: Black is unBareevably good in this game. His ploy to distract the White Q with ...18. Re8 and to amuse itself with the Rs on the baseline, and only take out his much needed light-squared B for the mating action is like handing a pesky brat a rattle. He was able to go about the serious business of executing a swift mate undisturbed.

One rarely sees Topalov toppled thus. Cathartic!

Aug-04-11  50movesaheadofyou: oh lord. Startling!
Aug-04-11  50movesaheadofyou: I played one king hunt game in my day. very proud of it.
Oct-17-14  mikealando: My goodness!! Just when you think you've seen it all in chess...I needed to see a game that light's up the day, takes your breath away. I've just seen it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Solved it, but still shocking--no, not Bareev's brilliancy, but the fact that Black won with the Burn Variation of the French.
Mar-01-19  devere: 16...Re8! 17.Qxe8 Bf5! is pretty obvious, but also still quite pretty. But why do the game annotations give a ? to 16...Re8! ?

"Grin and Bareev It" doesn't seem quite right to me. I suggest "Topalov's Bareevment".

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: And it's March. Wow. That was fast.

I don't know if anyone is Welsh, but if you are, Happy St. David's Day.

Mar-01-19  Walter Glattke: The simple 16.-Nd3+ 17.Kf1 Qxe4 18.Bxe4 Nxb2 19.Rb1 Nc4 threatens Nd2+ to K,R, andB or Nxa4
Mar-01-19  Stale.Mate: I was Bareeved
Mar-01-19  patzer2: The word "bare" in this game's pun "grin and bare it" is a homophone and anagram of the word "bear." As such, it appears the pun refers to the popular idiom "grin and bear it."

According to, "grin and bear it" means "to endure an unpleasant situation while remaining somewhat good-natured."

After Black played 16...Re8 -+ (-10.96 @ 37 ply, Stockfish 10), which is today's Friday puzzle solution, it appears White is being good-natured in allowing Black to demonstrate most of his winning King hunt combination.

White resigns after 23...Nb6+ -+ because it's mate-in-four (e.g. 23...Nb6+ 24. Kb5 Qd3+ 25. Ka5 Qd5+ 26. Kb4 Qc4+ 27. Ka5 Qa4#).

As suggested in <PinnedPiece>'s 2008 post, White's decisive mistake was 13. a3?, allowing 13...Nxf4! -+ (-1.82 @ 39 ply, Stockfish 10).

Instead, Stockfish 10 indicates White could have held it level with 13. Ne2 = (0.00 @ 33 ply).

P.S.: Back in the day when online news was not available and print newspapers were popular, "Grin and bare it" was the name of a popular cartoon strip.

According to, "Grin and Bear It is a former daily comic panel created by George Lichtenstein under the pen name George Lichty. Lichty created Grin and Bear it in 1932 and it ran 83 years until 2015, making it the 10th-longest-running comic strip in American history."

More details on the history of the "Grin and Bear it" comic strip, along with a few cartoons, can be found at

Mar-01-19  agb2002: Black has Qxe4 and Re8.

In the case of 16... Qxe4+ 17.Bxe4 Re8 18.gxf4 Rxe4+ 19.Kd2 (19.Ne2 Bg4 wins the knight) 19... Rxf4 Black just wins a pawn.


In the case of 16... Re8 17.Qxe8 Bf5 (threatening Rxe8 and blocking the white bishop) 18.Qxa8 (18.Qe3 Ng2+ followed by 19... Nxe3 seems to win decisive material) 18... Qe4+:

A) 19.Kf1 Qg2+ 20.Ke1 Nd3+ 21.Kd1 Bg4+ and mate next.

B) 19.Kf2 Nd3+ 20.Kf1 Qe3 21.Qg8+ Kh6 and mate in two.

C) 19.Kd1 Qc2+ 20.Ke1 Nd3+ 21.Kf1 Qf2#.

D) 19.Kd2 Qg2+ 20.Ke3 (20.Kc1 Qc2#; 20.Kd1 Qc2+ as in C; 20.Ke1 Nd3+ 21.Kd1 Bg4+ and mate next) 20... Nd5+ 21.Kd4 Qe4+ 22.Kc5 Ne3 23.b3 (23.Kb5 Bd7+ and mate next) 23... Qd5+ 24.Kb4 Nc2+ 25.Ka4 Bd7#.

Mar-01-19  agb2002: For some reason I overlooked Qf8+ after Qg8+ in a couple of lines, when White achieves a draw at least.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Good side puzzle after 16...f5.

click for larger view

Evaluate the position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Willber G: <Jimfromprovidence: Good side puzzle after 16...f5.>

Funnily enough, that's the line I chose with a view to winning the white B. I didn't have enough time to see if it was sound.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: First time I have seen this version of the double rook sacrifice.

A simply brilliant conception by Bareev.

Mar-01-19  Patzer27: It's amazing how many different mating patterns there are after 22. … Qe3+:

1) 23 Kxd5 Be6#
2) 23 Kb5 Qb6+
a) 24 Kc4 Ne3#
b) 24 Ka4 Bd7#
3) 23 Kc4 Nb6+
a) Kb3 Qe6+ c4 Qxc4#
b) Kb3 Qe6+ Kb4 Qc4+ Ka5 Qa4#
c) Kb5 Qd3+ Kc5 Qc4#
d) Kb4 Qe7+ Kb5 Bd7+ Ka5 Nc4# or Qa5#

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Willber G:> <Jimfromprovidence: Good side puzzle after 16...f5.>

<Funnily enough, that's the line I chose with a view to winning the white B. I didn't have enough time to see if it was sound.>

I thought it won the bishop as well. Stockfish says otherwise if white plays 17 Qxf4. 17 Qxd5 wins for black.

1) =0.00 (28 ply) 17.Qxf4 Qxh1 18.Qg5+ <Kxh7> 19.Qh5+ Kg7 20.Qg5+ Kh7

1) =0.00 (25 ply) 17.Qxf4 Qxh1 18.Qg5+ <Kh8> 19.O-O-O Qxh2 20.Qf6+ Kxh7 21.Nf3 Qh5 22.Rd2 Be6 23.Rh2 Qxh2 24.Nxh2 Rh8 25.Nf3 Kg8 26.Qg5+ Kf8 27.Nh4 Ke8 28.Nxf5 Rh1+ 29.Kc2 Rh2+ 30.Kb1 Rh1+ 31.Kc2

2) -3.83 (27 ply) 17.Qxd5 Re8+ 18.Kf2 Nxd5 19.Bxf5 Bxf5 20.Nf3 Nf6 21.Rhe1 Ne4+ 22.Kg2 Rad8 23.Re3 Bg4 24.Rae1 f5 25.h4 b6 26.b4 Kg6 27.b5 Bxf3+ 28.Rxf3 Rd2+ 29.Kg1 Rh8 30.Ref1 Rh5 31.Ra1 Kf7 32.Re3 Kg6 33.Rae1

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <hedgeh0g> After 14. gxf4 Bh4+ 15. Kf1, what does Black do to compensate the knight?

15...f5, when Topalov loses a rook after 16. Ng3 Bg3 and 17...Qh1 or 16.Nf2 Bf2 and 17...Qh1.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fiercebadger: Morphy was looking over Bareevs shoulder
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Land of the free rook,
Home of the Bareev.
Mar-24-23  stone free or die: That's a good one <tamar>.
Oct-31-23  Gaito: Very curious that such a strong grandmaster as Topalov (who even became World Champion a few years later) could make a move like 13.a3? which seems to be merely a waste of time and creates unnecessary weaknesses. Surely he might have had a reason for that, but I cannot figure out what.

Linares'94 is best remembered because Anatoly Karpov played the most astounding tournament of his life. In the process he also defeated Topalov in a very brilliant game, surely one of Karpov's finest games ever. See link here:

Karpov vs Topalov, 1994

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