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Ruslan Ponomariov vs Boris Gelfand
"The Rushin' Game" (game of the day Jun-10-2011)
Pivdenny Bank Chess Cup (2008) (rapid), Odessa UKR, rd 14, Jun-01
Russian Game: Nimzowitsch Attack (C42)  ·  1-0



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Given 29 times; par: 14 [what's this?]

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sac: 15.Nxg6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-10-11  Abdooss: Gelfand beats Ponomariov in 21 moves >>
Gelfand vs Ponomariov, 2009
Jun-10-11  Garech: Ponomariov makes it look to simple! Can anyone confirm if this was a blitz game? I hope so, for Gelfand's sake.


Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Quick question:When did the Petroff become the Petrov?

Clearly a speed game is played and white comes in quickly with the attack. Black's defense couldn't be up to speed.

Jun-10-11  hedgeh0g: <kevin86> I always wondered why people called it the <Petroff> instead of the <Petrov>...
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: Good pun, shame about the Bplay
Jun-10-11  t4ngl3: It is called Petr-on, in case it is played right. If it is played like this... well... Petr-off.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Petrov/ Petroff - I <think> that the explanation goes something like this...

The opening is named after Alexander Dmitrievich Petrov. Because he is a Russian, he would spell his name in cyrillic letters which do not correspond exactly to the letters that we use. The last character of his name looks a little like a capital B and is pronounced somewhere between "ff" and "v". In english there are two different spellings of his name - either with the ff or v. As far as I can tell, either is right.

More about petroff/ petrov here

Jun-10-11  ProLogik: As soon as White played 9. 0-0-0, Black should have seen the attack coming.

I wonder if 14. ...Bf4 could have stopped White from taking the g pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: From now on it's the Petrov for me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <ProLogik: ... I wonder if 14. ...Bf4 could have stopped White from taking the g pawn.>

If you mean 14...Bf5, White can just withdraw the knight and has an extra piece.

Jun-10-11  dfelix: Great game by Ponomarioff.
Aug-23-13  Conrad93: 14...dxe5?

What would white play then?

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Ponomariov took this one to the bank!

<Gelfand just needed a draw in the last round to be sole winner, but stumbled into a mate before the 20th move.> Tragic.

<Black should avoid cramping moves and prepare to castle on the same side as white. This suggests Nc6 rather than Be7.> A perceptive comment. For these opposite side castling situations, White's attack is much quicker than Black's.

May-30-19  Stale.Mate: That’s what you get for being greedy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop and a knight for the bishop pair.

Black threatens Bxd1 and dxe5.

The weakened black castle suggests 15.Nxg6:

A) 15... Bxd1 16.Qd4 Bf6 (16... f6 17.Qd5+ Qe6 18.Qxe6#) 17.Qxf6 and mate next.

B) 15... fxg6 16.Qxe2 wins a pawn at least.

C) 15... hxg6 16.Qd4 f6 (16... Bf6 17.Qxf6 Kf8 18.h7 wins) 17.Qd5+ (17.Qxe2 is probably better)

C.1) 17... Kh8 18.Qf7 Rg8 19.Qxe7 Qf8 (19... Bxd1 20.Qxf6+ Kh7 21.Qf7+ Kh8 22.Bd4+ Rg7 23.Qxg7#) 20.Qxf8 Raxf8 21.Rde1 wins a pawn.

C.2) 17... Kf8 18.h7 Kg7 19.Bh6+ Kh8 (19... Kxh7 20.Qf7+ Kh8 21.Qg7#) 20.Qf7 Rg8 21.hxg8=Q+ Qxg8 22.Bg7#.

May-30-19  LoveThatJoker: 15. Nxg6+! is winning for White. 15...Bxd1 (15...fxg6 16. Qd5+ Kf8 17. Bd4 is terrific for White; 15...hxg6 16. h7+ Kh8 17. Bd4+ f6 18. Qh6! White is winning) 16. Qd4 f6 17. Qd5+ +- LTJ
May-30-19  stacase: 15.Nxg6 is obvious and the rest just sort of falls in place.
May-30-19  Cheapo by the Dozen: I whiffed. :( I discarded all lines except Nxf7 for fear of the ... f6 interposition, and failed to check that the game line has an easy way to defeat that.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Didn't find today's Thursday puzzle solution 15. Nxg6! with a beautiful demolition of Black's weakened castled position. The best I could see was the second best move 15. Qxe2 ⩲ which I knew provided nothing near a decisive advantage.

What I missed is that after 15. Nxg6! Bxd1, White has mate-in-three with 16. Qd4! f6 17. Qd5+ Qe6 18. Qxe6#.

White also had to calculate the possibilities 15...fxg6 and 15...hxg6, but all he really had to see was that after the simple recapture 16. Qxe2 +- White is most likely winning with a pawn advantage against a weak Black castled position.

Of course the computer will find stronger 16th move replies to 15.Nxg6! fxg6 and 15. Nxg6! hxg6, but from a human perspective all one has to see to pick 15. Nxg6! is that 15. Nxg6! fxg6 16. Qxe2 +- and 15. Nxg6! hxg6 16. Qxe2 +- strongly favor White.

P.S.: So where did Black go wrong? According to the computer, the decisive mistake was 14...Bxe2? allowing 15. Nxg6! +-. Instead, 14...dxe5 15. Bxg4 Qxg4 16. Qd4 c6 17. Qxe5 ± to +- concedes the loss of a pawn for practical drawing chances.

However, against a strong GM the drawing chances in that line don't look good for Black. So an earlier improvement, perhaps in the opening, is needed.

In the opening, I'm not a big fan of 7...Nd7 which temporarily obstructs the development of Black's Queenside Bishop and Rook. In recent years, Gelfand appears to have given up on 7...Nd7 in favor of 7...0-0 (a move also favored by Caruana), as in the interesting drawn game Navara vs Gelfand, 2019.

May-30-19  nalinw: Help - is anyone else having the problem that the game viewer has started making two moves at a time for every click?
May-30-19  mel gibson: There was no quick checkmate.
Black was greedy & took the Rook
which is a blunder.

Stockfish 10 says:

15. Nxg6

(15. Nxg6 (♘e5xg6 ♗e7-f6 ♕d2xe2 h7xg6 ♕e2-f3 ♕c8-e6 ♔c1-b1 c7-c6 g2-g4 ♔g8-h7 ♖d1-e1 ♗f6-h8 ♕f3-d1 ♕e6-d7 ♗e3-d4 ♖e8-e6 f2-f4 ♕d7-e7 f4-f5 ♖e6xe1 ♖h1xe1 ♗h8-e5 ♕d1-f3 ♖a8-f8 ♗d4xa7 g6-g5 ♗a7-d4 f7-f6 ♕f3-d3 ♖f8-e8 c3-c4 ♕e7-f7 ♖e1-d1 d6-d5 c4xd5 ♕f7xd5 ♗d4xe5 ♕d5xd3 ♖d1xd3 ♖e8xe5) +2.49/36 81)

score for White +2.49 depth 36

May-30-19  TheaN: For the first time in a long time I've had a look at a losing move for longer than half a minute: 15.Nxf7? screams to be played, but 15....Bxd1! -+ is simply possible (after 15....Kxf7? 16.Qxe2 +- White basically achieved the same as the game): the key is 16.Qd4 Kxf7! 17.Qg7+ Ke6 -+ and the king escapes.

After <15.Nxg6!> this luxury isn't available to Black: <15....Bxd1?> loses on the spot to <16.Qd4 f6> else Qg7#, Qh8# or 16....Bf6 17.Qxf6 with the same mate <17.Qd5+ Qe6 18.Qxe6#>.

Interestingly, the <alternatives> for Black don't really matter. White's threatening both Nxe7+ and Qxe2. After either f- or hxg6 White can try to push the attack or take on e2 first. If Black retreats Be2 White can at least take on e7. Result, a demolished castle for nil returns.

That said, after 15....fxg6 16.Qd5+ Kf8 17.Qd4! (Bd4? would be a nasty blunder after 17....Qe6!! 18.Qxe6 Bg5+ ∓ which is brilliant in itself) Kf7 18.Qg7+ Ke6 19.Rde1 +- Black has no proper way to defend both bishops. This is a tricky combo but seems to be better for White than after 15....hxg6 16.h7+ Kg7 (Kh8 seems way worse) 17.Qxe2 +- where White has slightly improved the position on the h-file and has an awesome position, but no win just yet.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Very compelling--once you start down the right road with 15 Nxg6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scutigera: Re <Petrov vs. Petroff>: Russian devoices final consonants when possible; the name written "§±§Ö§ä§â§à§Ó" could be transliterated letter-by-letter as "Petrov", but Russians pronounce it something like "Pyetr¨®af". Since English tends to treat the ending "of" like the word "of", as though it were spelled "ov", doubling the f aids proper pronunciation, and simplifying the vowels makes it easier to see the name's connection to English names like "Peter" clearer without doing any more harm to the pronunciation than non-Russians are likely to do anyway. Most Russian words in English, especially names, seem nowadays to be transliterated by people who know no Russian and just follow a chart; I think the older forms are better.

My apologies if this post doesn't render well on your browser.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Patzer2 said:

<However, against a strong GM the drawing chances in that line don't look good for Black. So an earlier improvement, perhaps in the opening, is needed.>

I'm looking at 11.. Bg4 being the culprit here. After Bg4 we have the following score:

1) +0.99 (25 ply) 12.Be2 Nc6 13.h6 g6 14.Bc4 Bf6 15.Bd5 Ne5 16.Nxe5 Rxe5 17.Rde1 c6 18.Bb3 d5 19.f3 a5 20.a4 Bd7 21.Kb1 Qf8 22.Bd4 Bg5 23.Qf2 Rxe1+ 24.Qxe1 Re8 25.Qg3 Qe7 26.c4 Be6 27.cxd5 Bxd5 28.f4 Bxb3 29.fxg5 Bxa4

Best is Ng4 which is essentially even:

) +0.08 (25 ply) 11...Ng4 12.h6 Nxe3 13.Qxe3 g6 14.Qd4 Bf8 15.Qf4 d5 16.Kb1 c6 17.c4 Be6 18.Ng5 Qd6 19.Qxd6 Bxd6 20.cxd5 Bxd5 21.c4 Bf4 22.cxd5 Bxg5 23.d6 Rad8 24.d7

2) +0.40 (25 ply) 11...Be6 12.Nxe5 dxe5 13.Qe1 Qc8 14.h6 g6 15.Kb1 c6 16.c4 Qc7 17.Bd2 a5 18.Bc3 f6 19.Bd3 Kf7 20.f3 Bc5 21.g4 Bd4 22.Bxd4 exd4 23.Qd2 Qg3 24.Rhf1 Qh4 25.Rfe1 Qg3 26.c5 Qxf3 27.g5

So Bg4 costs about a pawn relative to the best move (as interpreted by the computer).

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