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Shakhriyar Mamedyarov vs Peter Svidler
European Team Championship (2007), Heraklion GRE, rd 5, Nov-01
Queen's Gambit Declined: Hastings Variation (D30)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-03-07  sanyas: So was 35.Re3 correct?
Nov-03-07  notyetagm: Why does Mamedyarov, who's rating was effectively 2770 when this game was played, lose so easily?

There are 3 dominant positional features in this game:

1) White kingside pawn majority
2) Black queenside pawn majority
3) Open d-file

Svidler's outstanding positional play sees him gaining control of the d-file, restraining the White pawn majority, and ensuring that his Black pawn majority is free to advance.

<<<<That is, Svidler wins the battle of the positional elements 3-0(!).>>>> -That- is why Mamedyarov is so helpless in this game. When you have been outplayed positionally as badly as Mamedyarov was in this game, you are often left in a position in which you have no active plan and can only lash out with some desperation pawn sacrifice (32 e5-e6?!) in order to confuse the issue.

Simply superb positional play by Svidler; the best example of <SIMPLE CHESS> that I have seen all year.

Nov-03-07  notyetagm: <sanyas: So was 35.Re3 correct?>

Well, if you play that to prevent 35 ... ♕d5-b3, Black simply keeps pushing his <QUEENSIDE PAWN MAJORITY>, creating both a <MATING ATTACK> -and- a wicked dangerous <PASSED PAWN>.

The winning move was 28 ... h6-h5!, immobilizing the White kingside pawn majority by constructing a <LIGHT-SQUARED BLOCKADE>. I think I saw this very same idea in an example by Nimzowitsch himself in the chapter on <PROPHYLAXIS> in Watson's "Secrets Of Modern Chess Strategy" book.

White is then dead lost because he can only watch helplessly as the Black queenside pawns move inexorably up the board.

Again, -stupendous- positional play by Svidler. One of my favorite games of the year, even though Mamedyarov lost. :-( It's just so damn instructive!

Nov-03-07  sanyas: How about 19.Rd4 then?
Nov-03-07  notyetagm: This game belongs in Chernev's "Most Instructive Games Of Chess Ever Played" book.
Nov-03-07  notyetagm: The <LIGHT-SQUARED BLOCKADE> that Black institues with 28 ... h6-h5! is just -awesome- to behold.
Nov-03-07  sanyas: <notyetagm: The <LIGHT-SQUARED BLOCKADE> that Black institues with 28 ... h6-h5! is just -awesome- to behold.> Wouldn't 28...g5 have worked too? Black is just totally winning at this point, just visually his domination has been obvious for several moves now.
Nov-03-07  Mameluk: 17. f4 is probably stragetically wrong, simple e4 should lead to dead equality. Then 19. Re1 is another mistake, the rook should not leave the d-file, but Shark probably belived he will play e5, f5 and e6. Instead...

Shak can of course play 36. R5e3, but after b4! his position is not defendable. 37. Rxd3 Rxd3 38. Qxc5 Rd1+ 39. Rxd1 Qxd1+ 40. Ka2 b3 bye.

Nov-03-07  babywizard: 17.f4 f5 looks good for black, imo.
Nov-03-07  blitzkriege: Doesn't 36. R5e3 hold for white?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <notyetagm> <This game is perhaps the best example I have ever seen of <SIMPLE CHESS> played at the 2700 level.> I agree on the principle. This game could be quoted in a new edition of "Simple Chess", Stean wonderful book. Pete Svidler played in these championships some delightful crystal-clear games (see his limpid win against Navara). Of course I agree too about <Svidler's outstanding positional play>. This should be noticed because I am afraid most kibitzers underestimate the strengh and beauty of Svidler play.

Nov-03-07  hitman84: <This should be noticed because I am afraid most kibitzers underestimate the strengh and beauty of Svidler play. >

<Mateo>I agree! The only thing I don't like about him is his poor stamina. You never know when he is going to play weak moves. He has been drawing many games lately; its as though he draws because he is afraid of losing control over the game.

Has 10.0-0-0 been played before ?
I feel Shak wanted to try something different but it turned out real bad. Surrendering of the only open d-file was suicide.

Nov-03-07  solstys: What about <blitzkriege>'s suggestion of R5e3 or R1e3? I guess that's why I don't see the win. Thanks for all the analysis!
Nov-03-07  hitman84: <solstys>Its an almost zugzwang. I'd play c4->b4->c3.

36.R5e3 c4 37.Rd3 Rd3 How are you going to stop the pawn march ?

Nov-04-07  notyetagm: <hitman84: <solstys>Its an almost zugzwang. I'd play c4-b4-c3. 36.R5e3 c4 37.Rd3 Rd3 How are you going to stop the pawn march ?>

Yes, that is what I wrote earlier: if White prevents 35 ... ♕d5-b3, then the advance of the Black queenside pawn majority kills him.

I would leave to see a titled player point out exactly where this game became lost for White.

Nov-04-07  dehanne: This looks like a game from Capablanca. Very impressive by Svidler.
Nov-06-07  notyetagm: <dehanne: This looks like a game from Capablanca. Very impressive by Svidler.>


Nov-17-07  notyetagm: <Comentarios por el IM Alejo de Dovitiis

Alejo de Doviitis (dedo2) es Maestro Internacional FIDE, uno de los más afamados entrenadores argentinos y ampliamente conocido de la comunidad de ICC.>

La amenaza Td1 es durísima. [35...Db3 36.T5e3 c4 y nada quedara por hacer tras un oportuno b4 del segundo bando. Excepcional manejo posicional de Svidler.] 0-1

I totally missed this defensive idea, 36 ♖e5-e3!?, meeting the threat of 36 ... ♖d3-d1 by <PINNING> the Black d3-rook to the b3-queen.

Nov-17-07  notyetagm: What a great game this is by Svidler.
Dec-20-07  notyetagm: <dehanne: This looks like a game from Capablanca.>

More like Nimzowitsch: Nimzowitsch vs J Bernstein, 1923

Jan-13-08  notyetagm: Svidler thinks so highly of this game that he annotates it in New In Chess Magazine 2007/8 (
Jan-29-08  jovack: The win is white stands no chance positionally after the trading off into a king/pawn endgame.

Perhaps it is a premature resignation, but theoretically white is winning.

Mar-23-08  positionalgenius: Great win- a study-worth game from svidler.
Mar-23-08  Ron: <notyetagm: Svidler thinks so highly of this game that he annotates it in New In Chess Magazine 2007/8 (;

New in Chess magazine should put <notyetagm> on their payroll, this post and the other one about Anand's win over Topalov earlier this year might make me want to buy the magazine.

Apr-01-08  acirce: <I am not sure what purpose this move serves. I suspect I simply liked the look of it - it creates the impression that Black is gaining space.> -- Svidler about 24..Rd3.
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