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Boris Gelfand vs Etienne Bacrot
NAO Masters (2002), Cannes FRA, rd 8, Mar-02
Semi-Slav Defense: Stoltz Variation. Shabalov Attack (D45)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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  plang: 7 g4 was introduced by Shabalov in the early 90s and has been played by Gelfand on several occasions. 9..b6?! was a new move that has not been repeated; 9..e5 and 9..dxc are the most popular moves and 9..h6 and 9..Nxg4 have also been played. Perhaps White could have taken the pawn with 14 Bxh7+..Kh8 15 Bd3..e5 16 dxe..Nx5 17 Nxe5..Qxe5 18 Qc3 though Black would have had some compensation. Had Black played 16..Bd7 Gelfand would have played the beautiful 17 g5..Rfc8 18 gxf!..Rxc7 19 Rxc7..Qd6 20 Rg1!..Qxc7 21 Rxg7+..Kh8 22 Rxh7+..Kg8 23 Rg7+..Kh8 24 Ne5!..Rf8 25 Ng4 and mates but Bacrot sidestepped this with 16..Ne4!. 17 Rc2 would have been more precise.

Bacrot's careful defense ultimately neutralized the attack.

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