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Boris Gelfand vs Veselin Topalov
"Can You Top This?" (game of the day Feb-09-2021)
Linares (1997), Linares ESP, rd 7, Feb-11
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Gligoric-Taimanov System (E92)  ·  0-1



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Given 24 times; par: 32 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-05-11  sevenseaman: In this POTD first move is a no-brainer. To be frank 25...Qc4 is where the real action starts and this well may have been the POTD's first.
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: I "guessed" 21...RxB/e2+;

... and I may have even had a vague memory of going over this game right after it was played.

But to calculate this to a forced win? I might have to admit that this would be nearly impossible for me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <David2009> 23. Nc3 is surprising, but not a typo. It is Fritz's suggestion as the strongest move in the position. After 23...dxc3 24. Qxc3 we get to here:

click for larger view

According to Fritz, this is level. White may be material down but his remaining pieces are very well posted.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <Once: <David2009> 23. Nc3 is surprising, but not a typo.>

Yes, Rybka also gave 23 Nc3 as best, going to a draw by rep.

She evalled 23 Ne4 as about 1.9 in favour of B. In the game W gave up the fine N posting on d6 but would have been better to give some material in order to keep it there.

But all in all, a superb fighting game by Topalov.

Feb-18-13  Everett: Gelfand must of a few nightmares of KID games. He seems to take it on the chin a bunch in this opening.
Dec-18-15  SpiritedReposte: <17. ...Bd4!> The kings indian bishop invades, grabs the initiative and whites game crumbles.
Feb-07-21  RandomVisitor: After 22...Qd5 there is a problem because white can counter sacrifice the exchange if black plays Ne5 to bring the knight into the center to attack. White can play any number of moves to draw at this point, except for 23.Ne4, which allows 23...Ne5 without any chance to remove it with Rxe5.

click for larger view


48/43 13:29 0.00 23.Qd2 Ne5 24.Rxe5 Qxe5 25.Rc1 Qd5 26.Qb4 Nf6 27.Qc4 Be6 28.Qxd5 Bxd5 29.b4 a5 30.bxa5 Nd7 31.Nxb7 Ra8 32.Nb2 Ne5 33.c6 Bxc6

48/56 13:29 0.00 23.b4 Ne5 24.Rxe5 Qxe5 25.Nb2 d3 26.Nxd3 Qd4+ 27.Ke2 Bf5 28.Nf2 Qxb4 29.Kf1 Ng7 30.g4 Be6 31.Qe3 b6 32.Nfe4 Qb2 33.Re1 f5

47/52 13:29 0.00 23.Nc3 dxc3 24.Qxc3 Be6 25.Rd2 Qe5 26.Qxe5 Nxe5 27.Rad1 Rb8 28.b4 a6 29.a4 Ng7 30.b5 axb5 31.axb5 h5 32.Re1 Nc4 33.Rxe6 Nxd2

47/55 13:29 0.00 23.b3 Ne5 24.Rxe5 Qxe5 25.Nb2 d3 26.Nxd3 Qd4+ 27.Ke2 Bf5 28.Nf2 Ng7 29.a3 b6 30.Ra2 bxc5 31.Rd2 Qe5+ 32.Nfe4 Bxe4 33.Nxe4 Rxd2+

47/51 13:29 0.00 23.Rb1 b6 24.b4 Ne5 25.Rxe5 Qxe5 26.Nb2 bxc5 27.bxc5 Bf5 28.Nbc4 Qxc5 29.Rb5 Qc7 30.Nxf5 gxf5 31.Rb7 Qc8 32.Qg5+ Ng7 33.Qf6 Rd7

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Could not solve it in 2011, could not solve it today. Still a breathtaking game to study, although one that makes me suspect that any 7th move for White aside from Petrosian's 7.d5 qualifies as a mistake. 6/7 for the week; about as good as this old buzzard can expect.
Feb-07-21  Walter Glattke: I tested A) 21.-Ng4 22.Nxe3 dxe3 23. Qxe3 no 23.-Ng2 24.Qxg5 B) 21.-Rxe2+ 22.Rxe2 Qd5 (in the match) 23.Re8+ Rxe8 24.Nxe8 Kf8 25.Nc7 Qe5 26.Qh6+ Ng7 27.Qxh7 draw B2) CG computer 23.Nc3 draw, no puzzle here.
Feb-07-21  Brenin: I got this all the way to 22 Rxe2, but eventually gave up after failing to find a win for Black. Of course, there isn't one: this is a great example of a positional exchange sacrifice, presenting White with so many problems that even a top GM like Gelfand couldn't solve them. That makes me feel a little better.
Feb-07-21  mel gibson: I saw that but Stockfish 12 saw it too
and calls it a draw - so it's not much of a chess puzzle.

21... Rxe2+

(21. .. Rxe2+ (♖e3xe2+
♖e1xe2 ♕g5-d5 b2-b4 ♘c6-e5 ♖e2xe5 ♕d5xe5 ♘d1-b2 d4-d3 ♘b2xd3 ♕e5-d4+ ♔f2-e2 ♗h3-f5 ♘d3-f2 ♕d4xb4 ♔e2-f1 ♘h5-g7 g3-g4 ♗f5-e6 ♖a1-b1 ♕b4-d4 ♘f2-e4 ♗e6-d5 ♕c1-g5 ♕d4-d3+ ♔f1-g2 ♘g7-e6 ♕g5-h6 ♕d3-d4 ♘d6-f5 ♕d4-e5 ♘f5-e7+ ♔g8-h8 ♘e7xd5 ♕e5xd5 ♖b1-b2 ♕d5-e5 ♖b2xb7 ♘e6-f4+ ♔g2-g3 ♘f4-h5+ ♔g3-g2) 0.00/42 162)

score draw depth 42

Feb-07-21  RandomVisitor: Here is the position after 20...d4. White played 21.Nd1 in the game, but better was 21.Nce4:

click for larger view


<48/97 11:18 +0.79 21.Nce4> Qe7 22.Bb5 Rxe1 23.Qxe1 Ng7 24.Bxc6 bxc6 25.b4 a5 26.bxa5 Bf5 27.Rb1 Bxe4 28.Rb7 Qe5 29.Qxe4 Qxc5 30.Nxf7 Re8 31.Nh6+ Kh8

Feb-07-21  awfulhangover: I could not understand it, so I gave up and looked up the solution. Now I understand even less. This is far beyond my analog brain.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Knight mouth Rxe2+ flinch a dutchy nah aids it kin v knight mouth u vray vpn dappy quibble claws it grief good i vend jaffa its might clung nearly i vol doh wap pitz cab crack comet ebb why nd1?

Caught rebore totup vim flick divot huff jangle Rxe2+ feel?

Premium Chessgames Member
  dorsnikov: Wouldn't have seen that series of moves in a million years!
Premium Chessgames Member
  drollere: i have no idea what was going on here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White threatens Nxe3.

I've considered Re5 and Rxe2+ but haven't found anything decisive.

In the case of 21... Re5 22.Qxg5 (22.f4 Qf6) 22... Rxg5 23.f4 Rd5 24.Bf3 Rxc5 25.Nxb7 loses an exchange.

This suggests 21... Rxe2+ followed by 22... Qd5 and to cross fingers.

Feb-07-21  PJs Studio: This puzzle is quantified insane. I’ve seen nothing here to change that assessment.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Here is the position after 24 Qg5, below.

click for larger view

Maybe what white was thinking about was 25 Qxh5 gxh5 26.Nf6+ Kg7 27.Nxd5 Rxd5, where he keeps his small advantage.

So it looks like 24…Re8 foils that plan. So if 25 Qxh5 now, then 25...gxh5 26.Nf6+ Kg7 27.Nxd5 still follows. But with the rook on the e file, black now has 27…Nd3+.

click for larger view

Black wins after 28.Kg1 (only move) 28…Rxe2 (threatening 29... Re1#) 30 Nf2 Nxf2.

click for larger view

Feb-07-21  CaliWest: drollere: i have no idea what was going on here.

+1 to that

Feb-07-21  dhotts: This is an interesting puzzle that has puzzled a few commenters...The puzzle here is that the only move for Black to keep even is 21...Rxe2, as all other moves causes loss of material without compensation....Then White does Black a favor and misses 24.Nc3 but plays 24.Ne4? which leads to his eventual loss...This is a sophisticated puzzle in that Black has only one move/path for equalization, and if Black gets lucky White will miss similar opportunity to stay even.
Feb-09-21  Brenin: Great game! Just as amazing as it was two days ago as POTD.
Feb-09-21  Ironmanth: Spectacular game! Don't recall seeing this before; where have I been?! Thanks, chessgames. Y'all stay safe out there in chessland today.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Taking a second look at this game, from white's point of view I still believe the moves 23 Ne4 and 24 Qg5 were made to set up 25 Qxh5, with a knight fork to follow. 24...Re8 exposed that plan (as I mentioned in a previous post).

Maybe 25 Rd2, below, tried to realize 26 Qxh5 once more as kind of a last ditch effort.

click for larger view

But that move loses to the text 25...Qc4, threatening mate in one. Even better was 25...Ng4+, winning the queen.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Deja vu?
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