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Vasyl Ivanchuk vs Evgeny Alekseev
FIDE Jermuk Grand Prix (2009), Jermuk ARM, rd 4, Aug-12
English Opening: Agincourt Defense. Catalan Defense (A13)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-12-09  orior: This is a great game. You don't see games like that everyday in the 2700+ caliber. reminds me of Tal's games. Great job by Ivanchuk!
Aug-12-09  apple pi: Funny to think that based on ratings, this is an "upset!"
Aug-13-09  arsen387: if 25...fxg5 then 26.Qh6! fantastic
Aug-13-09  messachess: Very nice by Ivanchuk.
Aug-13-09  gorash: Romantic play by Chucky. I like f4-f5 very much and I presume he had this whole Knight sac Qh5 idea in mind by then. Brilliant.
Aug-13-09  tibone: <Marmot PFL: This Ne8-c7-a6 idea looks weird.> FIDE Master Luis Siles who commented this game on video ( also mentions the Nf6-d7-c5 manoeuvre as was played by Konstantinopolsky
Aug-13-09  tibone: after Nh4 Anna-Maria Botsari played g5 twice (against Ioannis Papaioannou in Athens in 1999 and against Ketevan Arakhamia Grant in Jakarta in 1993), maybe because she was afraid of the f4-f5 idea. well, she only scored 0,5 points with it but maybe it´s an idea worth mentioning after this game in which f4-f5 was so strong
Aug-13-09  tibone: g5 was also played in kallio - drenchev, kavala 2005. so maybe 16...g5 17. Nf3 e5 18.h4 h6 is an improvement to 16...Na5

click for larger view

Position after 18..h6

Aug-14-09  denver8: 19...f4 he made a blunder. In my opinion 19...fg!! 20 Qg4 Kh8 21 Ng6 hg 22 Qg6 Rf7!! 23 Qf7 Be8! 0-!
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: "The move of the day was played by Ivanchuk. In a seemingly ordinary position, Ivanchuk played a wonderful sacrifice that caught nearly all spectators, and evidently his opponent Alekseev, off guard.

After some pawn pushes to soften up the kingside, Alekseev played <Na6>, as one black knight joined his stable-mate on the a-file, far away from the ensuing action on the kingside.

Ivanchuk then played <21. Nd5!!>, and after black took the knight <21…exd5 22. Bxd5+ Kg7>, white played the eerily quiet move <Kh1>.

In fact, as was becoming clear, the black king had nowhere to run, and after <31. Qh5+>, black resigned."

fide bulletin

Aug-14-09  muradov: Chucky never ceases to surprise! He's one of the few top GMs who's liked by almost all chess fans - and I believe this is more valuable than any title..
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Btw, what would have happened after <22... Rf7> ?
Aug-14-09  tibone: <denver8: 19...f4 he made a blunder. In my opinion 19...fg!! 20 Qg4 Kh8 21 Ng6 hg 22 Qg6 Rf7!! 23 Qf7 Be8! 0-!> Okay 21.Ng6+ wouldn´t work, but that doesn not mean ..fxg4 is better than ...f4
Aug-14-09  denver8: tibone-What do you propose?
Aug-14-09  Eisenheim: nice game - i'm glad he's not sucking like some of his prior tournies this year
Aug-14-09  tibone: <denver8: tibone-What do you propose?> 21.Qxd4

I think ..f4 is better because it keeps the g-File closed. Furthermore with the pawn g4 the queen has no access to h5

Aug-14-09  tibone: In the position after 9.Re1 Korchnoi delayed castling in Petrosian vs Korchnoi, 1971 to play Nc5 before Nc2 so that he can play ...a5 to stabilize the knight on c5.

After 9...0-0 10.Na3 Nd7 11.Nc2 a5 looks like a mistake, because white is attacking d4 twice but after Nfxd4 Nxd4 Nxd4 Nc5 Black gets the pawn back.

I don´t like 11...e5 because after 12.b4 Nxb4 13. Nxe5 as was played in lisitsin-konstantinopolsky white gets an important central pawn for his b-pawn.

Aug-14-09  tibone: After 17.f4 maybe 17...f5!? 18.Nf3 Nb3 19.Ne5 Rb8 is an alternative for black. At least the the combination Nc6 that was played in Evdokimov - Geller is not possible because the bishop d7 protects that square.
Aug-17-09  kingfu: The principle says, "The knights should go to f6 and c6." Or c3 and f3 if you are playing white. I am amazed that a player rated over 2700 would get BOTH knights to the edge of the queenside. In EAs defense, they were headed for b3 and taking the pawn at c4. That gives him a victory on the queenside IF it lasted.
Aug-17-09  Sularus: seems like alekseev gave queen odds =)
Aug-18-09  Joe Fischer: This was lame. Alekseev played a totally passive game. Broke all the basic rules of development and so he lost. No surprise.
Sep-30-09  percyblakeney: This game won Chesspro's vote on August's top game ahead of Gelfand vs Leko, 2009, and very thorough annotations by Evgeny Gleizerov can be found linked below.

Gleizerov means that Alekseev played well, and gives lots of his moves exclamation marks. He says that Ivanchuk's 21. Nd5!! is a sacrifice in Tal's style, impossible to calculate, of the sort few dare to play today considering how much the defensive qualities have increased since Tal's days:


Nov-30-09  InspiredByMorphy: Was 21. ...e5 playable?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Amazing play by Ivanchuk -- three or four of his moves left me shaking my head in awe and astonishment. Especially 19.g4! - the sac 21.Nd5! is thematic, but 19.g4 is genius.

Alekseev didn't play particularly badly. Comments about him 'breaking the rules of development' (etc) just display an unhealthy regard for these rules, and a basic lack of understanding of the types of position that arise in a Reversed Benoni.

May-02-14  onam: Controversial move, Benoni reverse with two temptis behind, one because is opening reverse and other because e6 pawn
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