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Boris Gelfand vs Rustam Kasimdzhanov
World Championship Candidates (2007), Elista RUS, rd 1, May-27
Semi-Slav Defense: General (D43)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-27-07  Microdot: tenacious defence by Rustam!!
May-27-07  Shajmaty: Kasim spent some time after 42. Bd5... and he found a computer-like defence! 46. Kh2?? was not possible due to Rh6#, and the final threat at b1 forces a draw (Px2 vs. N).
May-27-07  notyetagm: 46 ... ♘e2-c3 is a <DOUBLE ATTACK> against the <UNDEFENDED> White d5-bishop and the e2-square. Why the e2-square? Because e2 is the only <LUFT SQUARE> available to the White f1-king. Since the Black c3-knight now controls this square, the White f1-king is trapped on the <BACK RANK>. So after the saving 46 ... ♘e2-c3, Black is threatening both 47 ... ♘c3x♗d5 and 47 ... ♖b6-b1#.

Gelfand cannot save both his bishop and his king and so played 47 ♖g7-b7 to <DEFEND> the b1-mating focal point by <X-RAY>. But after 47 ... ♘c3x♗d5! (not 47 ... ♖b6x♖b7?? 48 ♗d5x♖b7 ) 47 48 ♖b7x♖b6 ♘d5x♖b6 Black has a easily drawn ♘ vs ♙♙ endgame.

May-27-07  notyetagm: From

<Kasim is as tough and sharp as they come. It looked like Gelfand still had some squeezing chances when Kasimjanov pulled the brilliant (Kasparov) 44..Nd4! out of his hat.>

So Kasparov called Kasimdzhanov's drawing idea "brilliant". High praise indeed.

May-27-07  outplayer: I'll never play 4...e6 again.
May-27-07  notyetagm: Comments by IM Pein at

<This looks grim, the knight is bad. Retrieving it and holding g7 might be impossible but appearances can be deceptive, Kasimdzhanov finds a clever resource. 44...Nd4! 45.Rxg7 Ne2+ 46.Kf1 [46.Kh2 Rh6#] 46...Nc3! 47.Rb7 [47.Bc4 Rb1#; 47.Rb7 Nxd5 48.Rxb6 Nxb6 draw] 1/2-1/2>

May-27-07  notyetagm: Very nice for Kasimdzhanov how both 46 ♔g1-h1?? and 46 ♔g1-h2?? allow the <ANASTASIA MATE> 46 ... ♖b6-h6#.

So White must play 46 ♔g1-f1, allowing the saving <DOUBLE ATTACK> 46 ... ♘e2-c3!, attacking the <UNDEFENDED> White d5-bishop while simultaneously covering the e2 <LUFT SQUARE>.

Tremendous tactical play by Kasimdzhanov to save a very difficult position.

Mar-09-08  positionalgenius: Great save by kasimdzhanov here. Gelfand had considerable pressure but ...Nd4! saved it.

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