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Loek van Wely vs Aleksey Dreev
FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2000), New Delhi IND, rd 3, Dec-03
Semi-Slav Defense: Stoltz Variation (D45)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Game 1 of their third round match in the World Championship Tournament; game 2 was drawn to clinch the match for Dreev who was eliminated in the next round by Topalov. 14 h3 had been played in the short draw Dreev-Vyzmanavin Russia 1992; 14 Be3 was new. Taking the pawn with 15..Bxf3 16 Qxf3..Bxh2+ 17 Kh1..Bd6 18 g3 (followed by Kg2 and Rh1) would have been very risky for Black. Dreev thought that 16 Ne4?! gave Black the initiative recommending 16 Rac1 instead. 19 h4?! weakened White's kingside; 19 Ra3 was an alternative. 20..f5 would have been premature due to 21 d5!..Qxd5 22 Bc2..fxe 23 Rxd5..exd 24 Nd4 with advantage to White. Perhaps 25 Be4..Qxe4 26 Qxe4..Bxe4 27 Rxe4 with a slightly worse endgame would have been a better choice for White. 37 Rg8..h6! 38 gxh..gxh 39 f4..Kf6 followed by ..exf or ..Ne7 would not have been an improvement for White. A tougher defense would have been 38 Bb5..Nf3+ 39 Kg2..Nxg5 40 Rxb6..Rxb3 41 Ra6 where the a-pawn would have given White good counterplay. Perhaps Van Wely intended 40 Rb6+..Kc5 41 Ra6 but then realized that White would have been lost after 41..Rxb5 42 axb..Kxb5 43 Ra7..a4 44 f4..Nc6. 46..Nf5?! was imprecise; 46..Rc7 at once was stronger. 56 Ka3? was a losing blunder; Van Wely missed a problem-like draw with 56 fxe..Nxb5 57 e6..Nc7 58 e7..Kd6 59 e8(Q)!..Nxe8 60 Bc4!..Kc5 61 Bg8..Nd6 62 Bxh7..Nc4+ 63 Kc3..Ne5 64 Bg8.

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