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Alexander Khalifman vs Aleksey Dreev
President's Cup (1998), Elista RUS, rd 4, May-18
Semi-Slav Defense: Anti-Moscow Gambit (D44)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-17-21  mel gibson: <Apr-17-21 stacase: First move was pretty obvious, but I would have castled on the next move.>

Yes - checked that on Stockfish 13.
It's a top move too.

16. O-O

(16. O-O+ Nf6 (♘d7-f6 ♕d1xg4 ♗b7-c8 ♖f1xf6+
♕d8xf6 ♖a1-f1 ♕f6xf1+ ♗c4xf1 ♖h8-h7 ♘a4-c5 ♗f8xc5 d4xc5 ♗c8-d7 ♕g4xb4 ♖a8-g8 ♕b4-f4+ ♔f7-e7 ♕f4-d6+ ♔e7-f6 ♗f1-e2 ♖h7-g7 g3-g4 ♗d7-e8 ♕d6-f4+ ♔f6-e7 ♗e2-f3 a7-a5 ♕f4-c7+ ♔e7-f8 ♕c7-d8 ♔f8-f7 ♕d8-d2 ♖g7xg4 ♗f3xg4 ♖g8xg4 ♕d2xh6 ♖g4xh4 ♕h6xh4 e6-e5 ♕h4-d8 a5-a4 ♕d8-c7+ ♔f7-g8 ♕c7-b8 ♔g8-f7 ♕b8xe5) -6.48/37 59)

score for Black -6.48

Apr-17-21  Walter Glattke: 15.Nxf7 Kxf7 16.0-0+ Ke7 17.Qxg5 Bg7 18.Bxe6 Kd6 (Kxd6 Rae1+) 19.Qf4+ Ne5 20.dxe5+ Kc7 21.Qf7+ Kb8 22.Nc6 Qb6 23.Rac1 Bxe5 24.Kh2 Rd8 25.Nd7+ Rxd7 26.Qxd7 a5 27.Rf7 Ka7 28.Rxc6 Qb5 29.Bc4
Apr-17-21  Walter Glattke: Ah, 16.-Nf6 spoils that, not easy this morning.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I got as far as 15. Nxf7 Kxf7 16. Qxg4 Qe7 17. O-O+ Ke8 18. Bxe6, although I might have played 18. Rae1 instead.

After 18...e5 19. Qg6+ Kd8 20. Rf7 Qe8 21. dxe5 Nxe5 22. Qf6+ Be7 23. Qxe5, black has had the weenie.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop and a knight for the bishop pair and a pawn.

Black threatens Nxe5.

The king is the only defender of f7. This suggests 15.Nxf7 Kxf7 16.Qxg4 Qe7 (16... Qf6 17.Rf1) 17.0-0+ (I assume this move is legal):

A) 17... Nf6 18.Rxf6+ Qxf6 (18... Kxf6 19.Rf1#) 19.Rf1 (threatens 20.Qxe6+)

A.1) 19... Re8 20.Qh5+ Ke7 21.Rxf6 Kxf6 22.Qxe8 wins decisive material.

A.2) 19... Bc8 20.Rxf6+ Kxf6 21.Qf3+ followed by 22.Qxc6 looks winning.

A.3) 19... Qxf1+ 20.Kxf1 Re8 (20... Bc8 21.Qf3+ as above) 21.Qf5+ looks winning.

B) 17... Ke8 18.Bxe6 (threatens 19.Rf7)

B.1) 18... Nf6 19.Qg6+ Kd8 20.Rxf6 is winning.

B.2) 18... Rh7 19.Bxd7+ Qxd7 20.Qg6+ Rf7 (20... Kd8 21.Rxf8+) 21.Rae1+ wins decisive material.

Apr-17-21  Brenin: As <An Engishman> and others have written, the first few moves are easy, but after that it is unclear, and the sacrifice is a test of courage rather than calculation. Black could have avoided the worst with 14 ... Bd6, so that 15 Nxf7 is answered with Bxg3+ and the resulting K move disrupts White's attack. Instead, 15 Qxg4 Qe7 gives a modest advantage to White.
Apr-17-21  awfulhangover: 16.0-0+ here, and yes, it is winning too, comp says.
Apr-17-21  malt: 15.N:f7 K:f7 16.Q:g5 Qe8 17.0-0+ Ke7 18.Rad1 Kd8 19.B:e6 Be7 (19...Kc7) 20.B:d7 h5 21.Qe6 Q:d7 22.Q:d7+ K:d7 23.Rf7 Rae8 24.Nc5+ picks up a Bishop.
Apr-17-21  goodevans: <An Englishman: [...] the first four moves are easy, but you still can't know if you will win. So the question becomes, would you have the guts to play this in real life?>

With those moves white gets three pawns for the sac'd N, black's K gets stuck in the centre and all white's pieces are poised to take advantage of this so, yes, I'd definitely have the guts to play them.

Apr-17-21  RandomVisitor: 11...b4 was the problem move. After 12.Na4 black has 2 pawns hanging.

Better might be 11...Nbd7

click for larger view


<46/65 16:05 +0.07 11...Nbd7> 12.Nxd7 Qxd7 13.Be5 Qe7 14.b3 cxb3 15.axb3 Bg7 16.0-0 0-0 17.Bxg4 Rfd8 18.Qf3 c5 19.dxc5 b4 20.Ne2 Nxe4 21.Bxg7 Kxg7

Apr-17-21  Walter Glattke: 23.-Bxg4? 24.c7+ Kc8 25.Re8+ Kb7 26.c8Q++#
Apr-17-21  njchess: I agree that the first four moves are pretty obvious, but given the position on the board, I don't find the knight sacrifice to be all that speculative.

Black's position is pretty awful by move 15. Both his Queen AND King side pawn structures are in a shambles (he will need to spend at least two moves to shore that up), his most active piece is his knight... on e7 (!), and, to make matters worse, his king is stuck in the center with no real light square protection, which coincidentally are the squares White is attacking. I think for White it's a case of "If not now, then when?!?".

The immediate payoff for the sacrifice is two pawns, a castled king, more active pieces and Black's king is badly exposed. Granted, White will need to play the attack accurately, but he will always be attacking.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Rage avidus ravers Nxf7 hubbub aileron blubbs rages comes comets avidus dip i dj honour avidus grew iffy black quack quality vest valor zulu its hearts avidius ovids piffle fig coz it won boy mad avidus Nd7 honour about at lo on Bd6 gives against ask aidus tot add had hog enough edit was lute ar Nxf7;
Apr-17-21  transpose: In a tournament situation would I have played this? Probably so, as the first three moves appear best and otherwise black has no problems. But would I have found all the best moves as white did here? Not a chance. Impressive display by Khalifman.
Apr-17-21  mlskdney: missed rook takes f8 here

click for larger view

Apr-17-21  johnnydeep: Love the castling to give check move!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <agb2002> <B) 17... Ke8 18.Bxe6 (threatens 19.Rf7)>

Your B line came true. And after the text 18...Bc8, 19 Rf7 still looks like the best move.

click for larger view

There does not seem to be a safe square for the queen. If 19...Qd6, then 20 Re1, for example, has potential.

click for larger view

Apr-17-21  Hercdon: My favorite move is O-O-O+. O-O+ is my next favorite
Apr-17-21  King.Arthur.Brazil: Somebody said that the first moves are 'easy'. I don't agree. I found 15. ♘xf7 ♔xf7 however I went on 16. O-O+ that I recongnize isn't so good as immediate 16.♕xg4. The following moves, I had succeed too: 17. O-O+, 18. ♗xe6 and 19. ♖ae1 This I think is more unclear position, where white must have to find the way to win. I experimented 20. ♖f7 ♕d6 as well as 20. ♕f4 which threat 21.♗f7 and 22.♖e8. However, it simple 20...♕d6 again, seems that Black will escape. Other move like 20. ♗f7 ♘f6 21. ♕f4 ♕xf7 doesn't seem good. The text move has an advantage: if 20. d5 cxd5 21. ♗xd5 ♘e5 22. ♕d4 and Black is bad. The two following moves are easy 21. dxc6 and 22. ♗xg4 Again, I was in a hurry, played 23.♘xb6 while the text is better first. The rest seem natural and Black faced the famous intermediary check to blow his defence.
Apr-17-21  RandomVisitor: After 7.e4 white has sacrified a pawn with even compensation:

click for larger view


<60/85 7:57:52 -0.00 7...g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.h4> g4 10.Ne5 Nbd7 11.Be2 Bg7 12.0-0 Nxe5 13.Bxe5 0-0 14.Re1 a6 15.a4 Bb7 16.axb5 axb5 17.Rxa8 Bxa8

Apr-17-21  1g1yy: <stacase: First move was pretty obvious, but I would have castled on the next move.> That's what I found. I looked at Qxg4 first, but if ...Qf6, now I can't castle. So I also went for that a move earlier.

I'm still happy to find the main line and most of the continuation. :) I tend to agree with those above saying the N sac was obvious.

Apr-17-21  Cheapo by the Dozen: Basically, what the others said, although I made the dumb error of thinking Black could flee by castling long.
Apr-18-21  RandomVisitor: After 15.Nxf7 Kxf7 white has tat least 4 follow-up moves that lead to wins:

click for larger view


<55/83 12:14:10 4 +9.17 16.Qxg4> Qe7 17.0-0+ Ke8 18.Bxe6 h5 19.Qg6+ Kd8 20.Bxd7 Qg7 21.Rxf8+ Qxf8 22.Bxc6 Qh6 23.Qxh6 Rxh6 24.Bxb7 Rb8 25.Nc5 Rg6 26.Kh2 Rf6

55/92 12:14:10 +7.86 16.0-0+ Nf6 17.Rxf6+ Kxf6 18.Qxg4 Bc8 19.Rf1+ Ke7 20.Qf4 Kd7 21.Bxe6+ Kxe6 22.Qe5+ Kd7 23.Rf7+ Be7 24.Nc5+ Ke8 25.Rf4 Qd6 26.Qxh8+ Bf8

55/100 12:14:10 +7.78 16.Qe2 Qf6 17.Rf1 Kg7 18.Rxf6 Nxf6 19.0-0-0 Re8 20.Nc5 Bc8 21.Qe5 Be7 22.Rf1 Rhf8 23.Rf4 Kg8 24.Ne4 Nxe4 25.Qxe4 Rxf4 26.Qg6+ Kf8

54/95 12:14:10 +7.06 16.Bxe6+ Ke7 17.0-0 Kxe6 18.Qxg4+ Kd6 19.Qf4+ Kd5 20.Rae1 Kc4 21.Qf5 c5 22.Rc1+ Kb5 23.Nxc5 Nxc5 24.Rxc5+ Bxc5 25.Qxc5+ Ka6 26.Qc4+ Ka5

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: <Jimfromprovidence: <agb2002> <B) 17... Ke8 18.Bxe6 (threatens 19.Rf7)> Your B line came true. And after the text 18...Bc8, 19 Rf7 still looks like the best move.>

I did consider 18... Bc8 in my line A.2 but not after 17... Ke8 because of Rf7.

<There does not seem to be a safe square for the queen. If 19...Qd6, then 20 Re1, for example, has potential.>

Yes. The threat is 21.Bxd7+ and if 21... Kxf7 then 22.Be8+ Kf6 23.Qg6#.

In the case of 20... Kd8 21.Bxd7 Bxd7 22.Nc5 looks too strong. For example, 22... Bc8 (22... Bxg4 23.Nb7+ Kc8 24.Re8+ Qd8 25.Rxd8#) 23.Qe4 recovers the piece (23... Be7 24.Rxe7) with an overwhelming position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  rodchuck: After 11. ....b4 I tend to agree with <Random Visitor>. The rather standard, but developing move of 11.... Nbd7 seems a good precaution against the knight at e4. No doubt Dreev saw this, but decided on a more adventurous but risky line to inject some dynamism into the game.
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