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Boris Gelfand vs Yue Wang
King's Tournament (2010), Medias ROU, rd 1, Jun-14
Slav Defense: General (D10)  ·  1-0



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sac: 44.Rxh7 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-14-10  Little Chest Partner: 15...f5 could perfectly be the losing move;

Also, this is the modern version (and against stronger opposition), of:

Capablanca vs K Treybal, 1929

Jun-14-10  Atking: Very good analogy. Have you another move to 15...f5? Yesterday I was thinking about a slow 15...f6 (Bf7-Rfe8-e5)?
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: looks like someone bought Alekhine's gun to the party!
Jun-15-10  JonathanJ: wang yue as usual has nothing but trouble with his queenside stonewall.
Jun-15-10  Jamboree: The two stand-out moves are 43. Nh4! and then 48. Nh8!! Gelfand purposely allows Yue to trap his rook, as a way of finally breaking through; and then caps of the combination by moving his knight to the most unlikely square imaginable -- hanging two different ways and attacking nothing. But of course it's untouchable, because to take it leads either to mate or a completely lost position. But when the knight re-emerges from the back side of the black hole with 49. Nf7!, suddenly it's a monster knight that blows black's position to smithereens! The final coup 51. Rxh7! must have felt like a punch to the stomach.

This game shows why Gelfand deserves to be in the Top Ten worldwide. He is incredibly patient building up his attack for dozens of subtle moves, waiting for the right moment, and then out of the blue, a dazzling series of counter-intuitive tactical maneuvers in a cramped space where no maneuvering even seemed possible. Wang Yue had been reduced to basically sliding his pieces back and forth, unaware that the slightest misstep would turn his impregnable position into a house of cards.

Hard to believe that, at least momentarily, Yue is actually higher rated than Gelfand. This game proves who really is one of the modern greats and who just plays to try avoid losing. Look at Yue's moves between moves 34 and 42 -- he does absolutely nothing but move his rook back and forth like an automaton, totally out of ideas as to how to improve his position. Meanwhile, Gelfand incrementally repositions his pieces little by little until a combination appears out of the haze. If I was Yue, I'd be embarrassed that I had played like a wind-up toy!

Jun-15-10  parmetd: This game is like an epic masterpiece.
Jun-15-10  luzhin: 48.Nh8! is a lovely 'empty square' sacrifice. But what happens if Yue captures? The prettiest variation is 48.Nh8 Bxh8 49.Bf7+ Kxf7 50.Rxh7+ Bg7 51.g6+! Kf8 52.Rxg7! forcing mate. The best defence is the suicidal-looking 48...Kxh8 49.Bf7 Ndf8 50.Rxh7+ Nxh7 51.g6 and amazingly Black can avoid mate with 51...Bh6! 52.Qxh6 Rxf7 53.gxf7 Rxf7. If then 54.Nxc6 Qf6 and Black is still hanging on.
Jun-15-10  Matsumoto: Gelfand is a half a step closer to victory!
Jun-15-10  sfeuler: <luzhin> I think Black is still losing after 55.Ne5 in your last line...
Jun-15-10  ajile: This is a good version of a White Stonewall setup since Black can't attack the center pawns with ..c5. Gelfand wins the strategic battle in the opening.
Jun-15-10  madlydeeply: feels like gelfand has been tearing it up this year...
Jun-15-10  Ulhumbrus: 11...Be6 obstructs Black's e pawn. An alternative is 11...Ba6 preparing the advance ...b4
Jun-15-10  zdiddy: this game is so far over my head
Jun-15-10  Ulhumbrus: <zdiddy: this game is so far over my head> GM Dorian Rogozenco has annotated this game on the chess base website. Here is a link to the page:
Jun-15-10  howlwolf: luzhin, 55 Qxf6 Rxf6, marginally better than Nxf6, 56 Nd8 looks like the strongest response to me and I think black will eventually have to sac his rook for the c pawn.
Jun-16-10  Jafar219: Beautiful positional masterpiece..just beautiful.Alekhine would proud of Gelfand.
Jun-16-10  luzhin: If Yue was dead set on a draw he ought to have played the ultra-stonewalling 16...h5. Perhaps he was worried about an immediate 17.Bxh5, but this sac does not appear to give White an advantage.
Jun-16-10  GBKnight: I must say I was wondering about h5 for black as well. White would presumably then have to make a long-term sacrifce on h5, perhaps after some regrouping of the pieces. White might follow by advancing the g and h pawns, which seems to give lots of possibilities, maybe more than in the game where he basically had to engineer an entrance on the h-file. It would have been a different game, as they say.
Jun-16-10  ajile: <luzhin: If Yue was dead set on a draw he ought to have played the ultra-stonewalling 16...h5. Perhaps he was worried about an immediate 17.Bxh5, but this sac does not appear to give White an advantage.>

I agree the sac could be dangerous either immediately or sometime in the future after White has prepared. Remember that White has a space and mobility advantage. Black can't do anything and has to wait for White to break through.

What a great game by Gelfand.

Jun-16-10  Riccitensor: I like Gelfands style, solid, logical and stubborn!
Jul-24-10  whiteshark: <Jamboree <But when the knight re-emerges from the back side of the black hole with 49. Nf7!>>

Interesting that you mentioned it, because every <black hole> may hold a hidden universe:

Aug-21-10  notyetagm: Game Collection: Gelfand's Best Games
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: The position with white to play at move 48,

click for larger view

Would make a good Friday puzzle.

Jul-02-16  ChrisWainscott: Gelfand compares this not only to the Capa-Treybal game mentioned above, but also to Alekhine vs O Chajes, 1923
Premium Chessgames Member
  zenwabi: GM Gelfand considers this one of his best games, and he has annotated it extensively in his fine book, POSITIONAL DECISION MAKING IN CHESS.

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