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Jan Timman vs Loek van Wely
Breda m (1998), Breda NED, rd 6, May-13
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-02-17  NightKnight: No comments? Wonderful attack from Timman!
Feb-02-21  Gaito: An extraordinary game by Jan Timman. The first 15 moves or so were very correctly played by both grandmasters, with the result that an equal position was reached. Thereafter Timman came up with a very surprising double sacrifice of the exchange. It is always very nice to witness two consecutive exchange sacrifices (A famous game Maia Chiburdanidze vs. Malianuk, 1982 has just come to my mind, where Maia made two consecutive exchange sacrifices and won brilliantly in 26 moves. But that was a completely different position, of course). Curiously enough, in the actual game the two consecutive exchange sacrifices by Timman only led to equality, according to the most powerful chess engines (SF12, Lc0, Komodo 13x64). Take a look at the following diagram:

click for larger view

Timman came up with the surprising continuation 16.Rxf6!? Bxf6 17.Rxf6 gxf6 18.Qf2! Believe it or not, the engines judge the position to be equal. The only good thing for White is that his game is easier to play than Black's game. A slight mistake by Black could be fatal, and that mistake came just in the next move (see diagram):

click for larger view

Black could have drawn with moves like 18...Rfc8 or 18...Qa5. After either of those moves the computer says that the game is equal, with a draw as a likely result. Nevertheless, Black defended his attacked pawn on f6 with the king, a seemingly logical move that proved fatal, but he can hardly be blamed, as Timman's next move was tremendously strong and difficult to foresee: From the diagram there followed 18...Kg7?? 19.e5!! (A clever pawn sacrifice aimed at vacating the square e4 for the knight or the bishop). After that unexpected shot Black is busted (Computer evaluation: +5.56)

Feb-02-21  Gaito: The cherry of the cake, as it were, came in the following position:

click for larger view

After having sacrificed two exchanges and a central pawn, Timman rounded up his very brilliant performance with a bishop sacrifice: 20.Bxh6+!! (If now 20...Kxh6, then 21. Qf6+ would be mate in four more moves: 21...Kh7 22.Be4+ Kg8 23.Qg5+ Kh8 24.Qh6+ Kg8 25.Qh7 mate). So Black had to play 20...Kg6, and after 21.Qh4 he resigned. A likely continuation might have been 21...f6 (the best move according to the engines) 22.Qh5+ Kh7 23.Bxf8+ Kg8 24.Bh6 Qf7 25.Qh4 d5 26.g5 f5 27.Kh2 f4 28.g6! Qxg6 29.Nxd5 Kf7 30.Qe7+ Kg8 31.Bg5 Rf8 32.Nf6+ Rxf6 33.Qxf6 with an easy win (computer evaluation: +8.13).

Feb-02-21  Gaito: It would be a good hobby to gather a collection of brilliant games where two consecutive (or almost consecutive) exchange sacrifices by the same player took place. I guess it is not something very common. The following position happened in a game Maia Chiburdanidze vs. Vladimir Malaniuk, Odessa, 1982:

click for larger view

White played 22.Rxb6! axb6 23.Bc4 Be6 24.Rxe6! fxe6 25.Qf4 Qd7 26.Bb5! and Black resigned. Fantastic!

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