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Ruslan Ponomariov vs Vasyl Ivanchuk
Linares (2002), Linares ESP, rd 1, Feb-23
French Defense: Winawer. Poisoned Pawn Variation General (C18)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: It seems to me that 32. ...Qxc2 was the lemon; he should have moved the d6 knight, perhaps Nf5.
Feb-24-02  knight: I agree with sneaky's comment.
Aug-31-05  diegoami: 36 ... Rxf2 was bad, 36... Nxf2 37. Nxf7 Nxh3+ 38. Kg2 g4 39. Nd6 e5 40. Rb1 Kg6 41. Rb7 Be6 was better
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ:

My web page ... on this game.

I will tell you a funny story. I was at a tournament in Birmingham just last year. I was talking to another player, he must be in his 40's. A young whiz kid walked by and joined in the conversation. Somehow - Ponomariov's name came up. I said: "It wasn't that long ago that he was World Champion." The fellow I was chatting with just agreed and nodded his head, but the whiz kid said, "Huh? When?!?!"

I felt really old just then ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Less than two months earlier in Moscow Ponomariov had defeated Ivanchuk 4.5-2.5 in the Finals of the knockout World Championship tournament; this win in the first round was instrumental in Ponomariov finishing clear second a point and a half behind Kasparov. In a couple of earlier games not included in this database 17 a4 had been played; 17 Ne1 was new. The following day Ljubojevic convinced Ivanchuk that 17..g5?! was not best recommending 17..b5 18 f4..a5 19 Nf3..Nf5 with good prospects. 21 a4..Ne4 22 Qe1..Nxc3! 23 Qxc3..Nxd4 24 Kf2..gxf 25 Nxf4 (25 gxf..Nxe2 26 Qxg7..Rxg7) 25..e5 would have been strong for Black. 26..b4 would have been more consistent. After 32..Nf5 33 Qe2..Qg7 34 Bc5 White would have had just a small edge; instead after Ivanchuk's 32..Qxc2? he did not get enough compensation for the piece. 39 Bg2? complicated White's winning efforts; easily winning would have been 39 Bg4..a3 40 Nf8+..Kh6 41 Nxe6..Nb3 42 Rf1. After 40..Kh6? Black was lost; after 40..Kg8 41 Nxe6 Ljubojevic pointed out that 41..Nb4! would have posed White problems: 42 cxb..Rb2 43 Bxd5..a2.

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