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Alexander G Beliavsky vs Etienne Bacrot
Match (1999), Albert FRA, rd 2, Sep-15
Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav (D43)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-21-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: <Antonius> Thanks Therapist - is there a fee?

Because many of us fell into the 17.Nxc6?? trap, it seems reasonable to determine whether it would cost a full point or a half-point. The quest for chess truth may deepen the misery, but here goes: After 17... Ba6 18.Qxb5 Bxb5, black's "meaningless" c-pawn and white's undeveloped Rh1 (and now vulnerable king) cause major headaches for white.

click for larger view

From this position, I used engine analysis to speed the process of determining whether 19.Nd4 or 19.Be5 was the best continuation. In fact, 19.Nd4 Ba4! forces white to give up the exchange; after 20.Rc1 Ba3 the c-pawn can't be taken. That leaves

19.Be5 Bxc6 (best) 20.Bxf6 c2! and now:

A. 21.Bxh8 Bb4+ 22.Kf1 cxd1+ 23.Bxd1 c3 (not O-O-O 24.Bxg4+) 24.Bxg4 c2 25.Bb2 Rd8 26.g3 (Ke2 Bb5+ 27.Ke3 [Kf3 Rd1 wins] Bd2+ 28.Kf3 Rd3+ 29.Ke2 Bc3 is winning) Rd1+ 28.Kg2 Bxe4+ 29.c3 Bd3 and white can't stop an eventual Bd2, forcing white to give up a piece for the c-pawn.

B. 21.Rc1 Bb4+ 22.Kf1 Rb8! (Chessmaster's move, not mine) 23.Bxh8 Ba3 24.Bxc4 (Rxc2 Rb1+ 25.Bd1 Rxd1+ 26.Ke7 Rxh1 leaves white a piece down without compensation) Bxc1 25.Bb3 Bb5+ 26.Kg1 (Ke1 Rd8 27.Bxc2 Bd2+ 28.Kd1 Bc3+) Rc8 27.h3 Bf4 wins

B.1 23.Bxc4 O-O 24.Rxc2 Bxe4 25.Re2 Rfe8 26.f4 Bc5 27.Rxb2 (Bxb2 Rb4) Rxb2 28.Bxb2 Rd8 29.Bc3 Rd1+ 30.Be1 Ra1 with a winning bind.

Fritz or Rybka may find more, but my conclusion is that the blunder costs the full point.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: At first sight, I spotted the most enticing 17.Nxc6 but soon dicarded as Black could defend himself with 17...Ba6. Then soon I saw the crushing 17.Rd8+ sending the Black King in the coffins.
Jul-21-09  ruzon: I think the allure of 17.♘xc6 is that it appears to win ♕ for ♘♙, while 17.♖d8+ "only" wins ♕ for ♖♘♙. At least that's how my sloppy thinking went.
Jul-21-09  MostlyAverageJoe: <ruzon> it wins quite a bit more... look deeper.
Jul-21-09  akapovsky: You must always check your analysis twice and carefully evaluate the position before making a move.Nxc6 is easily defended with Ba6 with that in mind I went to my next candidate move Rd8+.The golden rule is <take your time> it dosen't help to solve a puzzle in 3 seconds if you don't really know what's going on.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Got it in a second run.
Jul-21-09  lzromeu: I missed this, Nxc6 doesn´t work.
In this puzzle the order of the moves is essential.
Great explanations from kibtizers.
Jul-21-09  Raj Maj: Nxc6 doesn't work. 17. Nxc6 Ba6
removes threat of mate and protects the queen. You'd only gain a pawn
Jul-21-09  ruzon: MAJ: I am capable of sloppy thinking along multiple dimensions.
Jul-21-09  wals: [Event "Match"]
[Site "Albert FRA"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D44"]
[WhiteElo "2618"]
[BlackElo "2592"]
[Annotator "Rybka 3 1-cpu (40m)"]
[PlyCount "39"]

D43: Semi-Slav: 5 ♗g5 h6

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. Bg5 h6 6.
Bh4 dxc4 7. e4 g5 8. Bg3 b5 9. Be2 Nbd7 10. d5 b4 11. dxe6 bxc3 12. exd7+ Qxd7 13. Qc2 g4

(13... cxb2 14. Qxb2 Be7 15. O-O O-O 16. Ne5 c3 17. Qxc3 Nxe4 18. Qc4 Qf5 19. Bd3 Nxg3 20. Bxf5 Nxf5 21. Ng6 Be6 22. Qxc6 Rfc8 23. Nxe7+ Nxe7 24. Qd6 Ng6 25. a3 Nf4 26. Rad1 a5 27. Rfe1 Re8 28. h4 {Borovikov,V (2584) -Romanchuk,V (2284)/Alushta 2007/CBM 118 ext/1-0

14. Rd1 Qb7 15. Ne5
Qxb2 16. Qa4 Qb5 17. Rd8+ 0 Kxd8 0 18. Nxc6+ 15 Qxc6 19. Qxc6 Nd7 20. Bc7+ 1-0

Jul-21-09  zb2cr: Hello <David2009>,

You wrote:

"Let's keep it simple with 17 Rd8+ KxR 18 QxQ winning Q for R with more to follow. ===========
Spot on."

I don't see it. After 18. QxQ, PxQ just HOW is White winning Q for Rook with his Queen off the board? Please explain, for the benefit of the patzers--myself included.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Here's what I see: 17.Rd8+ Kxd8 18.Nxc6+ and white wins the black queen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: oops,sorry I got MISTER Bacrot's sex wrong,I guess that demotes me to the Z-row. Cold,isn't it?
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: What a chess game!!!

Most of the time, GM's play models of perfect chess. Here the play is almost bizarre, neither player ever castled.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Game 2 of their six game match ; the other games were drawn. Prior to the late 90s the positional 6 Bxf6 had been the standard play; the sharp gambit 6 Bh4!? has become popular in recent years. 7..b5 would have transposed to the "famous" Botvinnik variation but if that was Black's intention then he could have played 5..dxc at once. 9..Nbd7 (rather than 9..Bb7) invites the sharp 10 d5. A month after this game Atalik played 12..Bxd7 against Beliavsky in the Yugoslav Team Championship but White won that game as well after a long struggle (not included in this database). 16..Qxb5? lost at once; two other losing lines were 16..c2 17 Qxc6+..Nd7 18 Rxd7..Qb6 19 Re7+..Ke7 20 Bh4+ and 16..Bb7 17 Nxc6..Qa3 18 Qb5..Ba6 19 Bb8!..Be7 20 Qe5..Kf8 21 Bd6..Bxd6 22 Qxf6. Perhaps 16..Qb7 is playable though after 17 Bxc4 White has a clear advantage.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Level 1.5: 20... ?
J Mieses vs Rubinstein, 1909

click for larger view

Oct-01-19  Walter Glattke: I thought for 17.Nxc6 (17.-Qxb5? 18.Rd8#) Qb6 18.Rd8+ Qxd8 19.Nxd8+ Ke7 20.Qc6 +-
Oct-01-19  AlicesKnight: Found it quickly - Black is lost with or without capture of the R.
Oct-01-19  malt: Have 17.Rd8+ K:d8 18.N:c6+ and Queen takes Queen.

At first I thought it was 17.N:c6 and 18.Rd8#
but 17...Ba6 spoilt it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Black's game goes bad with 13...g4?, allowing 14. Rd1 +- (+1.59 @ 30 ply, Stockfish 10). Instead, 13...cxb2 = (+0.12 @ 33 ply, Stockfish 10) holds it level.

Black's game goes from bad to clearly lost after 15...Qxc2?, allowing 16. Qa4! +- (+4.88 @ 30 ply, Stockfish 10).

Instead, 15...Bg7 16. bxc3 ± to +- (+1.64 @ 30 ply, Stockfish 10) puts up resistance for practical drawing chances.

P.S.: Solving today's Tuesday puzzle is the removing the guard combination 17. Rd8+! Kxd8 18. Nxc6+ +- (+14.01 @ 25 ply, Stockfish 10).

The tempting alternative 17. Nxc6? allows Black to turn the tables and get a good game with 17...Ba6! ∓ (1.30 @ 25 ply, Stockfish 10).

Oct-01-19  saturn2: 17.Rd8+ Kxd8 18. Nxc6+ Qxc6 19. Qxc6. White has Q vs R+N now. But the Ra8 will also fall (or Bb7 Qxb7 Rc8)
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Like a few others, I jumped to the erroneous conclusion that 17 Nxc6 would win.
Oct-01-19  Walter Glattke: 17.Nxc6!? Ba6!!, but then 18.Qa5 Qxa5 19.Nxa5 Rc8 20.e5 Nd7 21.Bxg4 or 19.-c2 20.Rc1 Ne4 21.Rxc2 all little white advantage then, of course, 17.Rd8+! is better.
Oct-01-19  Walter Glattke: No, Qxc6
Oct-01-19  TheaN: Again I seem to be in puzzle regression; where in 2009 I only considered Rd8+ (which in itself is probably also bad, were Nxc6 to be a better move!), today I only considered Nxc6. Move orders and looking for better moves blabla. The fact that I'm not feeling 100% isn't enough of an excuse :>
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