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Thomas Ernst vs Emil Hermansson
Stockholm International (2002), Stockholm SWE, rd 1, Aug-03
Semi-Slav Defense: Botvinnik System. Lilienthal Variation (D44)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-06-02  refutor: The queen sac 21.Qg7 again, let's see what Hermansson's new idea is.

23. ... Rxg7 24.Bh3 (given by shirov in 'fire on board' and sadler in 'the semi-slav'...an improvement over lalic-wilson 1996 where lalic tried 24.Bd4 first, allowing 24. ... f5 blocking the pin) 24. ... f5! was the big improvement. sure it tosses a pawn but unites the rooks. shirov only gave 24. .. Bc6 in his book. After 25.Bxf5, Hermansson played Rgf7 trying to force Ernst to break the pin right away by capturing the rook with his bishop. An idea I had while looking at the game was 25. ... a6, allowing White to capture the rook with his knight, but denying White's rook access to the 7th rank via the later Rxa7 capture. Maybe 28.Rxa7?! was too hasty. Naturally White doesn't want to trade off all his pieces with the material imbalance the way it is, but why not try 28.Bxd7+ Rxd7 29.Nxd7 Qxd7 30.Rxa7 That looks a lot better then 28.Rxa7 Rxe6 29.Nxe6 doesn't it? especially with 30. ... Qd5!

Aug-06-02  bishop: Refutor your suggestion of taking Black's rooks and then taking on a7 runs into 30....d4! opening up the long diagonal and attacking the bishop. 31.Rd1 is met by d3! and black looks to be winning still.
Aug-06-02
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: bishop, its hard to imagine a position where winning the exchange TWICE could be a bad thing, but I think you're right, and this is no typical position. The bishop liberated becomes so powerful that Rxb7 is forced.

All I can say about 21.Qg7!? is that it's a highly creative idea, but surely there must be an easier way to smash the semi-slav!

Aug-06-02  refutor: maybe it's time for me to throw this anti-meran line in the trash can as black if white can play such a "speculative" sacrifice as 21.Qg7!? (i like your punctuation better than mine) and black still has to claw his way to victory. maybe i'll just play the cambridge springs instead of 5. ... dxc4 ;)
Jun-02-04  Whitehat1963: Interesting game beginning with 9. Nxg5 and especially after 21. Qxg7, of course.

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