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Boris Gelfand vs Pavel Eljanov
Corus Group A (2008), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 13, Jan-27
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Nimzo-English Opening (A17)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: An excellent game by Gelfand, switching the attack from one wing to the other and wrapping it up neatly. A pity nobody was paying much attention to a last-round game between the players in last position.
Jan-29-08  notyetagm: From GM Marin at

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<<21...h6.> This natural move, preparing the occupation of the e6-square with the queen without fearing Ng5, will eventually lead to troubles. However, the real mistake will come later. <22.Bb2!?> <<White has some sort of plan now. He will induce a new kingside weakness (...f6) after which the g6-square will become available for his pieces.>> The bishop's manoeuvre cannot be considered a loss of time, because, as mentioned above, it was not easy to prove a constructive plan.>

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And then, many moves later, Gelfand focuses like a laser on the weak g6-square that he has created

Position after 29 ♘f3-h4!

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Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: 23...Nf6 might have been playable instead of ...f6, but White still has a distinct advantage and plenty of pressure. 24.h3! also proved very useful for Gelfand, both to prevent a Black piece reaching g4 and to avoid any last-minute back-rank tricks.

34...Qa2 is desperation by Eljanov in a lost position, neatly answered by 35.Rf1. Maybe 34...Nxf2 would have been a better practical try in a time scramble -- although White can take the knight with 35.Kxf2 and survive, or simply play the cool 35.Rd2, also winning.

Gelfand is particularly good at whipping up a lethal attack from a seemingly level position. One defensive slip and he pounces -- there are many examples in his book 'My Most Memorable Games'.

And even though he came joint last at Corus, there was only a 3-point gap between first place and last. He'll be back.

Jan-29-08  notyetagm: Whenever I think of a White kingside attack against the <WEAK LIGHT SQUARES> resulting from Black pawns on f6-g7-h6, I always think of this game:

Petrosian vs Taimanov, 1955

Position after 24 ♘f3-h4! 1-0

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