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Zoltan Almasi vs Alexander Khalifman
"Discovery Channel" (game of the day Aug-16-2015)
Ubeda (1997), Ubeda ESP, rd 3, Feb-??
Spanish Game: Marshall Attack. Modern Variation (C89)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-14-12  Marmot PFL: The basic idea here seemed pretty clear - Rf2 & Qh3, and if the rook is taken (Bxf2) then e3+. However I did invert the first 2 moves, giving white the extra defense Rf1. Now Raf8 Kg1 is good for white, so black has only Rxb2, with a good game, but no win unfortunately.
Jan-14-12  James D Flynn: I think either Qh3 or Rf2 win.
25.... Qh3 26.Qxd6 Rf2 27.Bxf2 e3+ 28.Qd5 Bxd5+ 29.cxd5 exf2 30.Rf1 Rf8 31.d6 Qf5 32.Kg2 Qf3+ 33.Kh3 Rf6 34.Kh4 Rh6+ 35.Kg5 Rh5# if white tries to block the long white diagonal by 26.c5 Bxg3 27.Bg1 Bxe1 threat Qf3#. 25.... Rf2 26.Bxf2 e3+ 27.Kg1 Qh3 28.Qd5 Bxd5 29.cxd exf2+ 30.Kxf2 Qh2+ else 26.Rf1 Rxb2 27.Rb1 Qh3 28.Rxb2 Qxf1+ 29.Bg1 e3+ 30. Bxd5+ Qd5. time to look at the game.
Jan-14-12  maxx4.68: very complicated position.IMHO Qh3 best move,but Rf2 is luxurious move.
Jan-14-12  James D Flynn: Given polarx's 26.Qd2 defense to Qh3, I think 25.... Rf2 is best, but I don't have time to recheck my analysis.
Jan-14-12  CHESSTTCAMPS: <Sastre: If 26.Kg1, 26...Rf2 27.Kxf2 (27.Bxf2 e3 28.Qd5 Bxd5) Qxh2+ 28.Kf1 Rf8+ 29.Bf4 Bxf4 wins>

You are right - I got 26... Bxg3 in my head and missed this much simpler line.

Jan-14-12  DarthStapler: Got it
Jan-14-12  tacticalmonster: After 25 Qh3!:

a) b3 bishop is trapped on the queenside and it is out of play and it cannot help defend the light square weakness around White's kingside.

b) e3 bishop is stuck blockade the e4 pawn; f1 rook cannot move off the first rank because of Rf1+. a1 rook is out of play.

c) Black threatens both Rf2 and Bxg3 exploiting the weak h2-g3 complex, the weak a8-h1 diagonal and the uncontested open f-file

a) 26 Qxd6 Rf2 27 Bxf2 e3+ 28 Qd5 Bxd5+ 29 cxd5 exf2

b) 26 Qb6 Bxg3 27 Re2 Rf1+ 28 Rxf1 Qxf1+ 29 Bg1 Qxe2 (30 Qxb7 Qf3#)

c) 26 Qd2 Bxg3 27 Qg2 ( 27 Rg1 Rf2! 28 Qxf2 Bxf2 29 Bxf2 e3+ 30 Rg2 Qxg2#) Qxg2+ 28 Kxg2 Bxe1

Jan-14-12  LoveThatJoker: <morfishine> You wrote this to me:

<it turns out <26.Rf1> is White's best [White doesn't fear 26...Rxb2 since white has <27.Ra2>, a defense not readily seen.]>

I therefore was not refering to the 26. c5 line which I did a great job of analzing. In the line you presented above, 25...Rf2 26.c5 Qh3 27.Bxf2 e3+ 28.Bd5 exf2 <29. cxd6> is better for White. I already included this line in my previous analysis.

I was actually starting to become intrigued by the B-sac involving 25...Rf2 26. Rf1 Rxb2 27. Ra2 Rxb3 28. Raf2. It's clear that you are refering to this when you mentioned 26. Rf1 and 27. Ra2.


Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black is a pawn down.

White threatens 26.c5.

The bishop on e3 stops the pawn that blocks the light square bishop. This suggests 25... Rf2, threatening 26... Qh3:

A) 26.Bxf2 e3+

A.1) 27.Kg1 Qh3 28.Qd5 Bxd5 29.cxd5 exf2+ 30.Kxf2 Qxh2+ - + [Q vs R].

A.2) 27.Qd5 Bxd5+ 28.cxd5 exf2 - +.

B) 26.c5 Qh3 27.Bxf2 e3+ 28.Bd5 exf2

B.1) 29.Rf1 Bxg3 30.Rxf2 Bxf2

B.1.a) 31.Qxf2 Bxd5+ - + [B vs P].

B.1.b) 31.Qe4 Bxd5 31.Qxd5 Rc8 - + [B vs P].

B.1.c) 31.Qd2 Qf3+ 32.Bxf3 Bxf3#.

B.2) 29.Bxb7 Bxg3 - +.

C) 26.Rf1 Raf8

C.1) 27.Bxf2 e3+ looks similar to A.

C.2) 27.Rxf2 Rxf2

C.2.a) 28.Bxf2 e3+ as in A.

C.2.b) 28.c5 Qh3 27.Bxf2 e3+ 28.Bd5 exf2 29.Bxb7 f1=Q+ 30.Rxf1 Qxf1+ 31.Qg1 Qxg1+ 32.Kxg1 Bxc5+ 33.Kf1 bxa4 34.Bxa6 looks better for White.

D) 26.Rf1 Rxb2

D.1) 27.Rab1 Qh3 28.Rxb2 Qxf1+ 29.Bg1 e3+ wins.

D.2) 27.Rfb1 Rf2 and repeating moves at least.

Jan-14-12  sevenseaman: << BOSTER:> < It's clear that you have <encourage> the white bishop to move from "e3" to open b7-h1 diagonal.

Give him a big <bite> 25...Rf2 if 26.Bxf2 e3+ 27.Kg1 Qh3 and black won.

But if white doesn't want to take the <bite> and 26.Rf1 Raf8 27.Rxf2 Rxf2 28.Kg1 and game is not clear (the pinned bishop on d6 is not very nice).

So, let's change the move order
25...Qh3 (threat Bxg3)
if 26 Qxd6 Rf2-winning
if 26. Rg1 Rf2-winning.>

This is a very lucid way of thinking. Its this correct tactical approach that appeals to me. Give White his best possible options (<26. Qxd6 or 26. Qd2>)and have your plan to meet either eventuality.

<Patriot> is another kibitzer who has shown a similar line of thought and then forthrightly chosen one of the two lines.

There must be some other votaries of this line but I am impressed with the clarity of these two.

Jan-15-12  LIFE Master AJ: 25...Qh3!!; and 26...Rf2!.

The idea to immediately unleash the Black LSB on the long diagonal is most attractive.

Not quite as insane as some other Sunday puzzles, (not many side branches/variations); however, a very attractive problem/game by the former FIDE World Champion.

Jan-15-12  LIFE Master AJ: I was half asleep when I wrote the above (I had just woke up!) ... ha-ha. (This was Saturday's puzzle, of course.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I see this was once a Saturday puzzle. I even posted here before. However, I'm not sure how well I fared (probably missed it).

This pun reminds me of a joke I keep hearing and seeing:

Person 1: Hey, I saw you on TV yesterday!

Person 2: Really, what channel?

Person 1: Discovery Channel (apply cold water to burned area)

(I think it's actually "The Animal Channel")

Aug-16-15  mruknowwho: White went on for a while without resigning. I suppose he thought that he had back rank chances.
Aug-16-15  morfishine: Its a treat to see a win from the Black side of the Marshall
Aug-16-15  Eusebius: A convincing attack by
Aug-16-15  siggemannen: <A convincing attack by Black> Yes, what happened with <this> Khalifman, these days he's all about drawing
Aug-16-15  Abdel Irada: Joltin' Zoltan Meets The Caliph?

Aug-16-15  Imran Iskandar: This is the second game with the pun 'Discovery Channel, the other one being Karpov vs Topalov, 1994.

There is also Chiburdanidze vs Short, 1983 with the pun 'The Discovery Channel'.

Aug-16-15  catlover: I wonder where exactly White began to go astray. Perhaps with 15. Re4?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <catlover: I wonder where exactly White began to go astray. Perhaps with 15. Re4?>

By analogy with one of the main lines of the Marshall, 15.Re4 should not be bad, and is indeed by far the most commonly seen option here (Opening Explorer), but I am not so sure where White went wrong. Was not long before he was forced into abject retreat.

Aug-16-15  Nerwal: As said somewhere in this thread, this game refutes the theory stating back then that after 19. a4 White was clearly better (from Ivanchuk vs I Sokolov, 1996), thanks to the nice and thematic 19... ♘f4.

Now it seems both Black and White avoid this variation (Black has switched to 13... ♗f5 and White to 17. ♖e1), which makes the whole thing difficult to assess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I didn't get the pun, and then I played through the game. Now I get the pun :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Wow! Where do I start w/ this game? I guess I can start by saying GM Khalifman whipped up a very effective attack very quickly. I've created weaknesses in my opponents' positions many times in the past the same way he did in this game. I attacked an h♙ on h2 or h7 w/ a ♗ & the ♕ to provoke g3, g6, h3 or h6 depending on which side of the board I was playing & the scenario on the board. I would start off w/ this to create holes in front of my opponents' ♔ & go from there. Khalifman displayed some great tactics in this game & made GM Almasi who was a strong GM even back in '97 look like an amateur. I've thought of Khalifman as being 1 of the most underrated chess players of all time for a long time now. The pun must refer to the discovered check after 27...♙e3+. In '99 Khalifman achieved his greatest accomplishment when he won the FIDE World Championship knockout tournament. Back then there were 2 World Championships & of course Kasparov the PCA World Champion was the best player in the world back then but winning a knockout tournament w/ that many strong players in it was still undoubtedly a great achievement for Khalifman. This is an excellent compilation by <amadeus> of the whole knockout tourney in case any of u guys would like to play over some of the games from it.: Game Collection: 1999 - FIDE World Championship KO Tournament Here is CG's overview of the final matchup in it.: FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (1999) <morf> I'm in agreement w/ u on that about the Marshall!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Nice game...but not exactly unique in bringing us discovered
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