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Vasyl Ivanchuk vs Viktor Erdos
"Having Erdos's Number" (game of the day Apr-02-2011)
Gibraltar Masters (2011), La Caleta GIB, rd 4, Jan-28
French Defense: Tarrasch Variation. Modern System (C03)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-02-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: The whole game is amazing, starting with that picturesque tangle of White pieces after 11.Nc2. After move 25, the position looks hopelessly locked up, and yet over the next 14, Ivanchuk slowly, ever so slowly pries open the Black oyster before sacrificing the Rook. Brilliant play.
Apr-02-11  JohnBoy: The whole Bb1, Nc2, f4 set-up looks impossible to untangle. I see more and more of this kind of play by black at blitz boards and if white does not hold things together well they unravel with frightening fury. In any case, Chucky defends f4, guards the b2 bishop and doesn't push b4 until he can grab c5 for himself. By move 39 those two white bishops were like primed dogs baying to get on after the fox. This game merits study.
Apr-02-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: As John Madden would say, "BOOM!" What a shot! Just before the action starts I was thinking that only black has the mobile pawn structure, on the Kings side. So, he will shift his pieces to the kingside, and maybe sac something to break through.

Then 40. Rxd5!

Apr-02-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: Tremendous game but Ivanchuk - a masterclass in judgement, patience and, when the time is right, action. Yes, 40 Rxd5 was a bomb, but the manouvering that up to it was special.

Great pun too. I suppose if the game had been a draw it would have to be "halving Erdos number" ;)

Apr-02-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Witchcraft. It shows the importance of putting your pieces on good squares, even if their path ahead is blocked by pawns.

Compare the black and white positions just before the breakthrough:


click for larger view

Black seems to be doing well with his kingside pawn storm, but white's pieces are on better squares - doubled rooks, bishop pair on adjacent diagonals and centralised queen. By contrast, the black rooks are still on the back rank, the black knight is offside and the black bishop is staring at two pawns' bottoms. The queen is all the way over on the left.

Even so, what self-confidence, what cojones to play 40. Rxd5!

Apr-02-11  chessaddict25: my god...how can this man never have been world champion?
Apr-02-11  SimonWebbsTiger: @chessaddict25

Maybe the problem is his character? One moment he plays sublime chess, the next he cannot be recognised. There was a lovely interview with him recently at the Chess In Translation blog http://www.chessintranslation.com/2...

Apr-02-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  takchess: Great Pun.
Also this is an enjoyable and very readable book about Paul Erdos the mathematician. You don't need a math background to enjoy it.

http://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Loved...

Apr-02-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I wonder if Viktor Erdos was nervous playing Ivanchuk with black.
Apr-02-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Phony Benoni>: It really feels like Black could have defended better by going into lock-down>

I agree. While a magnificent conception, I don't know how Ivanchuk could have broken through had Erdos not played 37...Bb5 or if he had played ...Ne7 or ...Qd7-Qc5 at some point.

Apr-02-11  jullios paras: a great game from chucky!!! great!!!
Apr-02-11  castle dweller: <Phony Benoni>: It really feels like Black could have defended better by going into lock-down> ... and perhaps post lock-down too. It sure seems like he should have been able to play it for more, despite his positional difficulties.

But . . . . chucky was able to use "the initiative" to his distinct advantage, right from the breakthru with 41. e6+! - gaining key ground and pawns at a critical moment.

Apr-02-11  castle dweller: I really like the fact that by forcing black to take the rook, it led to white being able to push his pawn coupled with the discovered check on the black king - setting himself up into a more favorable position whilst grabbing pawns. That inititive, at that moment, seems critical in that it did not allow Erdos the time to reposition his pieces quickly enough to take advantage of his superior force.
Apr-02-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The gang of pawns will promote a queen,perhaps several.
Apr-02-11  dannymay: Is this an all-time record? After move 29, either side has ceded only a single pawn.
Apr-02-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Tim Krabbe cites Nuber vs Keckeisen, 1994 as the longest decisive game without a capture at 31 moves.

He gives Rogoff-Williams (Stockholm, 1969) as having the latest initial trade on Move 94 but the game is not in the database.

Apr-02-11  Yodaman: Computer analysis of the rook sacrifice:
40.Rxd5 exd5 41.Rxd5 Kh7 42.Rd6 Qc7 43.Qd4 Re8 44.Bd1 Qb7 45.Rb6 Qf7 46.e6 Qa7 47.Bc2 Rd8 48.Qe3 Be8 49.b5 Rd5 50.Ra6 Qb8 51.c6 Rg8 52.Qh7+ Qxh7 53.Rxh7+ Kh6 54.Rxa4 Rc5 55.Rb4 Bxc6 56.bxc6 Rxc6 57.Bxf5 Rf8 58.Bb1 Rxe6 59.f5 Rd6 60.Bc2 Nf4 61.Be5 Ne2+ 62.Kf1 Re6 63.Rb5 Rxe5 64.Rxe5 Nd4 65.Be4 Kg5 66.Rd5 Nb3 67.Rd6 Kf4 68.Bc3 Ke5 69.Rc6 Kd4 70.Ke1 Na1 71.Bb1 Rb8 72.Rd6+ Ke3 73.Re6+ Kd4 74.Rd6+ Ke5 75.Re6+ Kd4 76.Rd6+ Ke5 78.Re6+ drawn by repetition.

Also, in response to Vassily Ivanchuk's 40.Rxd5 exd5 41.e6 (instead of the computer's 41.Rxd5 above) the computer replies with 41...d4

Apr-02-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: <Once> I recommend the books The man who loved Only Numbers" zugzwang remedies youve read it?

Non lateral hypothesis hung drawn quatered function tic Vassilyogical v a diminish d5 IP hop Erdos my a b4 c5 look big gibraltar draw two sheep perchence two bream!?

Rice shown chuckies egg e7 dial 6-9-1-8-7-2-4-3-5

Apr-02-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Ivanchuk is an artist.
Superb positional play.
Apr-02-11  WhiteRook48: it's easy to get uneasy and go wrong when you are faced with a move like 40 Rxd5
Apr-02-11  DieHard: Erdos started to go wrong on move 20. What do the moves 20. ... Kf7 21. ... kf8 and 22. ... Kg7 indicate but losing the thread? When did Erdos show he'd rediscovered it?
Apr-03-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <splatty: This is just amazing to sacrifice a whole rook for a long term positional advantage, unbelievable.>

It calls to mind <24. Rxd4!!!> in this famous game by Kasparov: Kasparov vs Topalov, 1999. In the Kasparov game, the rook sacrifice led more obviously to a typical middlegame attacking initiative, but there still was required courage and phenomenol positional judgment because not even GK could have worked out the tactics all the way through. In addition, Kasparov did not get three pawns for the rook (as Ivanchuk did). After 28. ... Qxd5, Kasparov's material compensation for the rook was just one pawn.

Apr-04-11  DieHard: AylerKrupp asks a very good question. My belief is that Ne7 could be met positionally with the idea of Be1 The knight would have to go back to g6 to keep the white bishop from activating outside the pawn chain with Bh4. After a white Be1 and Black Ng6 in reply, there is the idea of h3 forcing the opening of a line. Black might have been keeping the Knight at g6 in order to answer Be1 with h4.
Apr-05-11  tonsillolith: Whoa, did <chessgames> use my pun? Hell yeah!
Jul-30-11  madhatter5: what if 10...cxd4?
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