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Bogdan Lalic vs Alexander Khalifman
IV Anibal Open (1997), Linares ESP, Jan-??
Benko Gambit: Accepted. Dlugy Variation (A57)  ·  0-1



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Given 48 times; par: 24 [what's this?]

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sac: 15...Qxc3+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-12-04  athos: 15...QxN!!
Sep-01-05  aw1988: Now THIS is SOME game...
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: This is a really nice counterattack. Not only does Khalifman sacrifice his queen but he never castles and postpones developing several of his pieces in order to persue the attack.

This variation leads to very different positions than the main line of the Benko Gambit. It doesn't look that promising for black but Khalifman shows that the position is quite resilient for black.

Lalic, shortly after this game, improved with 14 Qf2 though he was held to a draw by GM Alterman.

Nov-17-07  Whitehat1963: <Now THIS is SOME game...>

No, I'd say THIS is SOME CONFUSING GAME! I felt lost nearly the entire game when I tried playing this in the Guess-the-Move function.

Nov-17-07  Nasruddin Hodja: Silly <Whitehat>! If you read John Nunn's annotations to this game in _Understanding Chess Move by Move_ you'd learn much more from it than in Guess-the-Move.

The more tactically complicated a game is, the more that ordinary mortals like you or me will blow out spectacularly in Guess-the-Move. Nowadays, I try to use Guess-the-Move only for endgames.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Why not <17.Qe4> here ?

click for larger view

Jul-19-08  Bobsterman3000: <whiteshark> Yes, I think that 17. Qe4 wins almost immediately.

Mar-12-09  dwavechess: 21/27 concur with Rybka 3 W32 D. at 3 min. Q6600 per move for Khalifman
Jan-25-10  Meisner: Actually 17.Qe4 still leads to a close and fascinating game.
Feb-22-10  Roarshack: why not 27:Qc4,white need not resign
Jun-27-10  vonKrolock: <17.♕e4> (analysis) 17...♖h6!? 18.♗e3 (one of the possibilities) ♖xa2!? 19.♘xd5 ▢ !! ♖ha6!? 20.♔d1 !! (or 20.♘c7+!?) 20...♖a1+ 21.♔e2 ▢ ♖8a2+ 22.♗d2

click for larger view

well, white is somewhat tied up, but no immediate decision perceptible

May-19-11  Salaskan: 17.Qe4! Ba3+ 18.Kd2 Nxb6 19.Qxb7 Bc5 20.Nd5 Rxa2+ 21.Kd1 0-0 22.Nxb6 Bxb6 23.Qxb6 Nc6

click for larger view

Here black has only a rook and a pawn for the queen but a large positional advantage and this is analyzed to a draw by Nunn. Awesome.

Mar-17-12  LoveThatJoker: <Jimfromprovidence> As it relates to the puzzle you posted on Vitacek vs Duras, 1900,

I'm liking <25...Rxa2! 26. Rxf5>

[26. Bd3 Bxd3 27. Qxd3 Ra1+ 28. Kc2 Nb4+ 29. Kb3 (29. Kxc3 Ra3+ is even better for Black) 29...Ra3+! 30. Kxa3 (30. Kc4 Nxd3 leaves Black a R up) 30...Nxc3+ 31. Kb3 Nxe5 and Black emerges a piece and two pawns up.]

<26...Nb4 27. Kb1>

(27. Bd3 Ra1+ 28. Bb1 c2! and Black wins)

<27...c2+ 28. Kc1 Ra1+> and 29...c1=Q+ is unstoppable.


Mar-17-12  LoveThatJoker: <Jimfromprovidence> Keeping with the puzzle you posted on Vitacek vs Duras, 1900 (i.e., the position after 25. Rf1 - my solution of which can be found there, yet I have reposted on here for the sake of completeness), I would like to mention that 27. Qa5 came as quite the surprise for me. I wound up going with the straightforward 27...Rxa5 28. Bxa5 Nd5 (forcing 29. Bd3 or 29. Kb1) when Black emerges ahead in the force count - although admittedly there is still play in the position. (This said, I'm still liking Black a lot as he has the ...Ba3 and ...g6 idea, followed by activitating the R).

Khalifman's immediate 27...g6 is a lot clearer though as, at the very least, Black will emerge the exchange and a pawn ahead.


PS. I would like to add that I just noticed 27...Rxa5 28. Bxa5 Nd5 29. Rxh5 Rxh5 30. Bxh5 Bb4 31. Bxb4 Nxb4 when Black is winning.

Analysis diagram: Position after 31...Nxb4

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <sevenseamen> <Do you have a link to the game with Nunn's annotations, may be video link.>

I don't know of any video link, only the annotations from the book itself.

Mar-17-12  LoveThatJoker: <Jimfromprovidence> I've started analyzing the position with Stockfish. It corrects my 27...Rxa5 28. Bxa5 Nd5 29. Rxh5 Rxh5 30. Bxh5 Bb4 with 31. Bf3! when a draw is indeed most probable.

I'm currently analyzing with Stockfish to see what improvements it comes up with.

I'll post it when it's complete.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <LTJ> yes, you nailed it.

First, 25...Rxa2 threatens mate in two.

Then after 26 Rxf5 to stop that threat, black institutes a mate in one threat with 26...Nb4.

click for larger view

Yes, white surprises with 27 Qa5 instead of 27 Bd3, but black refuses that "offering" and delivers the even nicer 27...g6

click for larger view

That last move opens up ...Bh6 so white is caught between a rock and a hard place.

And notice that the DSB never moved from its original square.

Mar-17-12  LoveThatJoker: <Jimfromprovidence> Stockish has completed its analysis on 27...Rxa5 28. Bxa5. This is what it gives:

(-4.16) 27...Rxa5 28. Bxa5 g6 29. Rf1

[(-3.55) 29. Bxb4 gxf5 30. Bxc3]

29... Bh6+ 30. Kb1 c2+ 31. Kb2 c1=Q+ 32. Rxc1 Bxc1+ 33. Kxc1 Nc6


PS. You're right! It's cool how Black's DSB has never moved from its original square. I just wish I would have found ...g6 myself without having referred either to Khalifman or Stockfish. That said, it is a really instructive move and thank you for posting a really instructive puzzle and game once again!

Mar-17-12  sevenseaman: <jimfromprovidence> Having slept overnight and remembering nada from the game I got this. (I see first few moves happen to be same as in the game, and I am yet to peruse <LTJ>'s solution).

<25...Rxa2 26. Rxf5 Nb4 27. Qa5 g6 28. Rg5 Rxa5 29. Bxa5 Bh6 30. h4 Nd5 31. Kc2 Bxg5 32. hxg5 Ne3+ 33. Kd3 Ng2 34. Bxc3 Nf4+>

And Black has a choice of giving up his N for the LSB to then move his K up, freeing his R or take the N to e6 and bring out his K and R. 50/50 but I will toss for the latter. Here;

click for larger view


No engines with me but Black looks to win. I may have gone wrong somewhere. So what is your solution?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <sevenseamen> <So what is your solution?>

I'm not quite sure what you mean but based on your continuation I would simply play 30...Bxg5+ instead of 30..Nd5.

click for larger view

Then, after 31 hxg5, either 31...Na2+ or 31...Nd5 leaves black comfortably ahead.

Then Black can move his king to e7 to activate his rook.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Ouch. Last move, both of white's heavy pieces are hit.
Mar-18-12  cunctatorg: Victor Korchnoi was also very fond of Alexander Khalifman's chess (and game-style) and he had made his usual tough remarks by means of which he was (is?) expressing his great expectations from Khalifman...

Alas, Alexander Khalifman didn't make too much, some express FIDE WCC and particularly many greatest games aside...

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "I'm especially proud of the positional move h7-h5!, which I found over the board after forty minutes' thought."

- GM Alexander Khalifman

from the book Interview with a Grandmaster, he considered this game as his best ever.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "Decisive. Here my opponent punched the air in triumph, like a footballer."

- GM Bogdan Lalic (after 26...Nb4!)

Source: BCM March 1997

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: A quite incredible game.

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