GM Vassily Ivanchuk - GM Artur Yusupov 

  (FIDE) Candidates Match, (Tie-breaker, Game # 9.)  
  Brussels, Belgium;  1991.   


This is a game I saw and studied right after it was played. (At that time, I got between five and ten chess magazines every month.) Probably the best initial analysis was done in a newspaper column (by Kavalek?) and the "Inside Chess" magazine. (Now defunct.) 

For a long time, (it appeared that) no one seemed interested in taking a serious look at this game. Before Ken Smith died, a friend of mine was going to publish a book through "Chess Digest" out of Dallas, Texas. It was understood that I was to do at least half of the annotations of the games for this book. This was one of the games that I chose for my collection in the half of the book I was to do - the proposed title was something like: 
 "Titanic Chess Struggles." (All this was nixed after Ken Smith passed away.) 

Since I started my many web pages, I have received an almost countless number of requests to annotate this game. (I got over 30 e-mails about this game in one month alone!) Naturally, I wanted to do this game. But for a long time I was unable to come to a conclusion about the worth of certain lines - especially those published by other chess authors. What helped me was the recent giant strides that the computer programs have made. This enabled me - at least, with an investment of a GREAT DEAL of time - to be able to come to relatively positive conclusions over at least a few of the specific sub-variations. But at the same time - this analysis could NOT be conclusive!!  In many cases, the work only raised as many questions as it answered!! 

   Chess is too complicated to be so easily solved!      

I have been working on this game ...  on-and-off  ...  ever since it was played.

This is - without question - one of the greatest and most exciting chess games ever played.

Please!  Respect my copyright, but also ... enjoy this game!


  If you do not understand the many symbols I utilize when annotating a game, HERE  is a fairly detailed explanation.    

  (If you do not have a chess board handy, I have provided a  RE-PLAY page  for your convenience.)   (This game - on the CG website.) 


 

 

****************************************************************************

GM V. Ivanchuk (2680) - GM A. Yusupov (2585) 
[E67]
 (FIDE) Candidates Match 
 Bruxelles, BEL;  (Rd. # 9),  1991. 

[A.J. Goldsby I]

   The CB medal for this great contest. (gcg_iva-yus_c9-br91medal.gif, 02 KB)

*************************

One of the most brilliant games of modern times. The attack Yusupov mounts has been studied 
and admired by countless chess players. 

A side note is that there was a virtual revolution going on back home, (In old "Mother Russia.");  
for both parties. {While this game was being played.} So it was amazing that these players could 
even concentrate on the game. 

The final product is one of the most amazing chess games since Anderssen played his "Immortal" 
and "Ever-Green" games. (GM Y. Seirawan, who was present as a commentator, confessed to 
often feeling like a confused amateur during the creation of this super-brilliancy.) 

This was the ninth game of the match, and a tie-breaker as well ... and was played at the time limit 
of: The first 45 moves / in ONE (1) hour!! (Then 15 minutes for every 20 moves thereafter.) 

*************************

The ratings are very close to exact and come from a CB chart showing the actual FIDE ratings. 

Jeff Sonas gives the following ratings for these two players: GM Vassily Ivanchuk - 2765 
(Informant - 2735)  GM Artur Yusupov - (No rating.)  (Informant - 2625)   

****************************************************************************

1.c4, 
The English Opening is certainly OK for White, and probably leads to a solid edge for the 
first player.

     [ Ivanchuk is an extremely versatile player, who could open with any opening. But the 
        database shows that he currently favors:  1.d4, {Diag?} as his main opening move. ]  

 

Black responds with ...e5. Note how both players consistently develop their pieces 
during the opening. 
1...e5!?;  
This is one of Karpov's favorite lines. 

The only problem with this move is that White can often play a Sicilian ... 
but with an extra tempo because the colors are reversed. 

     [ Black could play the move:  1...Nf6!?{Diagram?} 
       which is also a popular response. 
       (With this move the second player is offering to play one 
         of the many different lines of various "Indian" openings.)  ]   

 

2.g3!?, 
While this is a little unusual, it is not bad. Yusupov has a reputation as being very 
well-versed in opening theory, and Ivanchuk was probably trying to get him out 
of his normal lines. 

  Also - in several modern lines of the English - Black plays a very early ...Bb4; and usually   
   gets a good game. Ivanchuk obviously wishes to avoid this approach by Yusupov.     

*******

     [ The main lines probably are:  2.Nc3 Nf63.Nf3 Nc64.g3, "+/="  {Diagram?}  
        with a good game for White.  

        [ See MCO-14;  page # 666. ] ]    

 

2...d6;   3.Bg2 g6!?;   {See the diagram given - just below.}     
It could be a trifle early for this fianchetto. 

 

*************************

   The position after Black's third move. {...g6}  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos1.gif, 45)

*************************

 

Some authors and writers have criticized this move for Black. But since it does not lose 
by force  ...  and really just amounts to a simple transposition  ...  I don't see what 
the "hub-bub" is all about. 

*******

     [ Another possible line is:  3...Nc64.Nc3 g65.e3 Bg76.Nge2!?, "+/="  {Diag?}  
        when White is only a tiny bit better in this position.  

        According to ChessBase's on-line database, there are over 1000 examples of this position! 
        The first example occurred in the 1930's. (There is also a game of Botvinnik's from that 
        period as well.)  

        The most meaningful (relatively current) example I could find was the encounter:  
        GM M. Krasenkow - GM M. Sadler;  Malmo, (Sweden); 1995.  
        (The game was drawn in under 30 moves - I don't think either player really 
         wanted a fight that day.) ]    

 

Both sides continue to develop sensibly. 
4.d4! Nd7;  5.Nc3 Bg7;  6.Nf3 Ngf6;  7.0-0 0-0;    {See the diagram, below.}      
Both sides have developed fairly consistently and also in a pretty straight-forward manner. 
(White is probably a tad better in this position.)

 

*************************

   Black just castled ... the opening is almost over.  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos2.gif, 45)

*************************

 

To be honest, I think we have transposed out of the English and into the Fianchetto Variation 
of "The King's Indian Defense." (See MCO-14, page # 608.) 

The Mammoth Book says this was (probably) a surprise to Ivanchuk, as Yusupov hardly ever 
uses this particular opening. (Although I found quite a few examples in the database, especially 
from Yusupov's early years.) 

 

8.Qc2!?,  
Certainly respectable, but not the main line anymore. 
(GM A. Soltis recommends that Black now exchange on d4 and he says that the second player 
 has a satisfactory game.)  

Being that this is a "quick" game, Ivanchuk (understandably) wants to get Yusupov out of book 
as quickly possible!  

*******

     [ The main line is:  (>/=)   8.e4 c69.h3 exd4!?{Diagram?}  
        Black can play nearly six different moves here, according to theory.  
         (...Re8; ...Qb6; ...Qa5; ...a6;  etc.)   

       And now - according to MCO - the most often played moves are:  
       10.Nxd4 Re811.Rb1 a512.Re1 Nc513.b3 Nh5!?14.Be3 Qe7; 
       15.Qd2 Qf8!?16.Rbd1 Nf6{Diagram?}  
       The end of the column.

       17.Qc2 Nfd718.f4, "+/="  {Diagram?}  
       White seems to be a fuzz better in this position. 

       "As often happens in this variation, White has a space advantage." 
        - GM Nick de Firmian. (MCO) 

       GM. A. Wojtkiewicz - BjarnssonNew York Open, 1994. 

       [ See MCO-14, page # 608; column # 61, and note # (b.). ]  ]   

*******

 

8...Re8!?;  {See the diagram, just below.}    
This is one of the main lines here.  (The other main line here is ...c6.)  

 

*************************

   Black just placed a Rook on a center file.  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos3.gif, 45)

*************************

 

Several authors - most notably GM Andrew Soltis - have criticized this move and even awarded 
dubious or question marks. But since this is a theoretical  MAIN LINE ... and is analyzed in about 
a dozen books that I own on the "King's Indian Defence," {opening}  ... it is VERY hard to agree 
with Soltis ... or even understand why he is so critical.  

 

********

     [ Soltis says that Yusupov should play the move:   8...exd4!; "~"  {Diagram?}  
       and Black has already equalized. 
        (BUT ... neither theory, nor computer analysis supports this assessment!)     

       NOTE:  GM Yasser Seirawan also states that  ...exd4!  is the best move 
       in this position for Black. (But statistically speaking, Black's recent results 
       after the exchange in the center, have been dismal. See the note after Black's 
       next move, ...c6.);   

***

       Black could also play ...P-QB3 (...c6); in this position: 
       8...c69.e4!? Qe710.Rd1!? exd4!?11.Nxd4 Re8!?12.b3 Nc5;  
       13.f3 Nfd714.Rb1 Ne515.Nce2!? a5;  "~"  {Diagram?}  
       Black is probably close to equality in this position. 
       (Play has transposed to a well-known line.) 

       See the game:  
       GM V. Salov - GM G. Kasparov;  Super-GM Tournament / 
       Linares, (ESP);  1991.  (The game eventually ended in a draw 
       in around 35 moves.) ]   

*******

{Editorial note: To understand why Rd1 is so good ... you would really have to play 
  through some of the lines and variations in a few of the sources listed in the bibliography. 
  Or ... you can simply take my word for it.} 

 

9.Rd1! c6;  ('!?')   
A common idea in these lines, Black wants to play ...Qe7; but does not want to worry 
about White playing Nd5. The pawn on c6 keeps White's pieces off d5 and also b5. And 
now Black has the option of possibly playing ...Qb6 or ...Qa5. 

GM Yasser Seirawan gives Black's ninth move an exclam here. 

    '!' - GM Yasser Seirawan.    

 

*************************

     [ More often played is:  
        9...e4!?10.Ng5 e3!11.f4!?{Diagram?}  
       Given as FORCED by many books, but ... is it? Really? 
       (MCO does not give any comment at this point.)  

***

           ( After the moves:  (>/=)  = 11.Bxe3!? Rxe3!;  12.fxe3 Ng4!;  13.Nf3!?,    
             13...Nxe3;  14.Qd3 Nxd1;  15.Rxd1 c6;  "="  {Diagram?} 
      
              the game appears to be very finely balanced. )      

***

       11...h612.Nge4 Nxe413.Bxe4!? Nf614.Bg2 Ng415.d5 Nf2;  
       16.Rf1 Bf5{Diagram?}  
       The end of the column.

       17.Qb3 Nh3+18.Kh1 Nf2+19.Kg1 Qc820.Nd1 Nxd1;  
       21.Qxd1 Be4;  "=/+"  {Diagram?}      
        ... "and White found himself seriously cramped by the Black Pawn on e3."  
         -  GM Nick de Firmian.

       Maiwald - KetevanGermany, 1994.     

       [ See MCO-14;  page # 608,  col. # 66, and also note # (n.). ];   

************

       Here ... now that White's Rook is on the d-file, I do not think the exchange in the 
       center is wise:  9...exd4!?; ('?!')  10.Nxd4 a6!?11.b3 Rb812.Bb2, "+/="  {Diag?}  
       White has a very clear advantage in this position, and according to the database - 
       (recently)  the first player has scored close to 75% ...  from this position!!  

       (A nice game is:)  
       S. Mamedyarov (2585) - Zia Rahman (2521)ADCF Masters Tourney/2003.   
       {White won a fairly long game, but there he used 12.h3 instead of Bb2.} ]   

*************************

 

10.b3!?,    {See the diagram, just below.}     
A modern move. More and more,  players are questioning the older and accepted ways of playing 
the position or opening, and looking to strike out on completely new and different paths.

 

*************************

   White opts for a fianchetto ... instead of e4.  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos4.gif, 45)

************************* 

 

Seirawan like this so much, he awards this move both praise - and an exclam.  

   '!' - GM Yasser Seirawan.    

 

     [ More often played is:  10.e4 Qe711.b3 exd412.Nxd4 Nc513.f3 a5; "~"  {D?}    
       and this position is either just a tiny bit better for White ... or Black has come very 
       close to equalizing. 

       See the encounter:   GM Josif Dorfman (2590) - GM Joe Gallagher (2470)   
       (City)  Championship Tournament/Paris, (FRA); 1990.    
       (White won a very long game, but I am sure the opening was not at fault!) ]   

 

10...Qe7;  11.Ba3!?,  {See the diagram, just below.}    
Ivanchuk does not wish to play the main line ... and is obviously trying to draw Black into 
a position where the Bishop on a3 is a significant menace to Black.  

 

*************************

   With the Bishop on a3, White sets up a nasty pin. But will this piece be well-posted ... or simply out of the game?  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos5.gif, 45)

*************************

 

(Was this a prepared weapon?) 

  '?!' - GM Yasser Seirawan.   (I don't agree with this.)  

 

*******

     [ Seirawan says that it is better for White to play:  (>/=)  
       11.e4! exd412.Nxd4,  "+/="  {Diagram?}  
        and White maintains a clear edge. 
        (This is a transposition back to one of the "book" lines ...  
         see the note after Black's eighth move.);  

***

         ECO  recommends:   11.e3!?,  "="  {Diagram?}    
         which leads to equality, and poses no real problems for Black. ]   

*******

 

Now Yusupov realizes that with White's Bishop on a3 and the White Rook on d1, 
he cannot allow the center to be opened. (Play a few lines with your computer, 
and this will quickly become obvious.) 

11...e4!;   
"A double-edged decision."  - Iakov Damsky.  

   '!' - GM Yasser Seirawan.   

 

     [ Black can also exchange here:  11...exd4!?12.Rxd4!? Nc5 
     
  13.Rad1 Bf514.Qc1 Nfe4;  "="  {Diagram?}     
       One author claims that Black is (much) better in this position ...  
        it looks very close to level to me.  {A.J.G.} ]   

 

12.Ng5,   {See the diagram ... just below.}    
This could be forced for White.  

 

*************************

   White plays Knight to g5, placing a tremendous pressure on e4.  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos6.gif, 45)

*************************

 

The position is very rapidly building to a crescendo.  

     [ </=  12.Nd2!? e3; "<=>" ]  

 

12...e3;  {Box.}  
Otherwise it appears that Black will lose this pawn.  

     [ Of course NOT:   </=  12...d5; (????) 13.Bxe7,  ("+/-")  {Diagram?} 
        and Black has dropped his Queen. ]  

 

13.f4!?,   {See the diagram just below.}   
Because of the tactics, this is nearly forced for White.  

 

*************************

   White just played f4 - so what now?  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos7.gif, 45)

*************************

 

Opening theory {also} recommends f3 here, but I am sure no good GM has ever examined 
these lines critically. (The games and analysis are absolutely putrid.)  

 

     [ GM Yasser Seirawan  says White MUST play:  13.f3!?,  "~"  {Diagram?}   
        in this position. I am not arguing with him, or saying that he is right or wrong. 
        BUT f3 LOOKS VERY UGLY TO ME!! {A.J.G.} 

        (Yusupov's analysis seems to indicate that Black will {eventually} get an advantage. 
          Damsky also gives a nice line here for Black.)  

       Now one writer gives the following line:     
       13...Nf814.Nge4!? Bf5!?; (?!)  15.Qc1 Bxe4!?16.Nxe4 Nxe4;    
       17.fxe4 c518.e5 Ne6; ('!?')  19.exd6!? Qxd6{Diagram?}     
       While this is forced, White's next move looks to be very doubtful.   

       20.Bxb7?! Nxd4; "=/+"  {Diagram?}   
        ... "with sufficient counterplay for Black."   -  Iakov Damsky.  
       ( This is Damsky's analysis  ...  I will simply state that  almost ANYONE  with a    
         strong computer program could probably improve upon this line!! {A.J.G.} );     

********

       Of course not:  13.fxe3?? Qxe3+14.Kh1 Qxg5{Diagram?}        
        and Black wins a piece. ("-/+")  ]     

***************

 

Now ... as if by magic - Black's pieces begin to spring to life. 
13...Nf8;  14.b4!? Bf5;  15.Qb3 h6;  16.Nf3 Ng4;  (Maybe - '!')   
This is obviously nice for Black, but he had other very playable options here as well.  

   '!' - GM Yasser Seirawan.   

*******

Just a note for those players who do not have a lot of experience with this line, or have never 
studied the games of this particular opening. (ANY "King's Indian Defence" line!) In this opening, 
White almost always has a pawn on d5 and plays on the Queen-side. And while the structure here 
is a little different, the same principles still apply. (White looks to one side of the board to create 
play, Black will almost always seek his play on the King-side.)  

*******

     [ Maybe (possibly >/=)   16...a6!?{Diagram?}   first? 
       (To open the a-file for Black, especially if White plays the way 
        he does in the game.) ]   

*******

 

GM Yasser Seirawan  considers both White's and Black's next plays to be 
worthy of an exclamation mark.  
17.b5! g5!;   
Black obviously intends to open lines that will eventually lead to a violent attack on 
White's King. (Or at least this is what A. Yusupov is hoping for!) 

GM Larry Christiansen - in his very good book on tactics and attacking the King - lets the 
moves up to this point pass without comment. He then (now) gives a VERY long discussion 
of the 'landscape'  and the general ideas here. Basically he says that White might be better, 
but Black MUST seek his chances on the King-side. 

    '!' - GM Andy Soltis.  '!' - FM Graham Burgess.      

 

*****

     [ Interesting was:  17...Nf2!?; "=/+"  {Diagram?}  
       I think Black has the slightly better chances in this position, but I would      
       also be the first to admit that I could be mistaken! ]      

*****

 

18.bxc6 bxc6;  19.Ne5!?,  (Maybe - '!')   {See the diagram below.}   
It takes nerves of steel to play a move like this one, at least according 
to GM Yasser Seirawan.  

  "There is hardly any other reasonable move." (here) - GM Larry Christiansen.     
    (This is illuminating, because a few annotators criticized this try for White!)   

 

*************************

   White just launched a Knight - spectacularly - into the e5-square ...  but why?  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos8.gif, 45)

*************************

 

  This move, (19.Ne5); is also the FIRST choice of virtually EVERY SINGLE STRONG    
   PROGRAM ...  that I used to test and analyze this game!!!    

**************

     [ Also possible was:  19.Qa4!?,  "+/="  {Diagram?}  
        and maybe White is a little better. 
        (A big emphasis on the word, "maybe" here!);  

                                          *******   

        White could also try:  (>/=)  19.fxg5 hxg520.Rf1, "="  {Diag?}    
         and the position appears pretty close to being level. 
         (Yusupov felt this might have been an improvement over the game.) 

        ( The well-known writer and trainer  (M. Dvoretsky)  has suggested that      
          White instead play Ne5 here.  But this looks like it has not been critically examined:     
           </=  20.Ne5!? Nxe5!;  21.dxe5 Rab8!;  22.Qa4 Bxe5!;  23.Rac1 Bxc3!;     
          24.Rxc3 c5; "~"  ('!')  {Diagram?} and many hours of computer-assisted analysis      
          strongly indicates Black is OK ...  maybe even better. )  ]  

**************

 

Black continues trying to make inroads into White's King-side. 
19...gxf4;  (Maybe - '!')   {See the diagram - just below.}      
This is probably best for Black. 

 

*************************

   Black just captured on f4  ... ... ...  he is trying to expose the White King.  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos9.gif, 45 KB)

*************************

 

Further eroding White's King-side.  
   '!' - GM Larry Christiansen.  ('!' - GM Andrew Soltis.)     

 

*******

     [ Certainly NOT:  </=  19...Nxe5?20.fxe5!, ''   
        and Black will lose his d-pawn.    

***

        Also inadvisable for Black was:  </=  19...Rac8?!;   20.fxg5 Qxg5;      
        21.Nxc6, ''  (Maybe "+/-")  {Diagram?}  and White has a HUGE edge.  ]    

*******

 

20.Nxc6,   
"White collects the harvest."  - GM Yasser Seirawan.  

**************

     [ After the moves:  
        20.Bxc6!? fxg3!21.Bxa8? gxh2+!22.Kg2 Nf2!; "/+"  {Diagram?}  
        Black is clearly better. 
        (Black may have a winning attack against the badly exposed White King!);  

*******

       Seirawan points out the line: (</=)  20.gxf4?! Bxe5!21.fxe5 
        21...Qh4
;  "/+"  {Diagram?}  and Black is close to winning. ]       

**************

 

20...Qg5!;   {See the diagram ... immediately below.}     
Black abandons material concerns ...  and heads for fame and glory.  

 

*************************

   Black's plays  ...Qg5.  I think he has ambitions on the King-side.  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos10.gif, 45 KB)

*************************

 

   I remember when I first went over this heroic struggle ...    
   I had the very clear impression that White was winning here.(!)      

     [ </=  20...Qe6!?21.Nd5, ''  ]     

 

GM Yasser Seirawan says both of the upcoming moves by BOTH of the players 
merit praise.  ('!' - GM Yasser Seirawan.)  
 21.Bxd6! Ng6!;   
This is best says Seirawan. 

   '!' - GM Yasser Seirawan.      

"Yusupov piles up the pressure ..."  (on the King-side) 
   - GM Larry Christiansen.  (Christiansen also awards an exclam to this move.)  

     [ Interesting was:  21...Nxh2!?; "~"  - GM A. Yusupov    
       (The 'Mammoth Book' strongly questions this and gives a line      
        that appears to be winning for White.) ]     

**************

 

22.Nd5!, ''  ("+/")   
White looks to be clearly on top - in this particular position.  

"The only chance. The centralized Knight both attacks and defends."  
  - GM Larry Christiansen.   

(Several different authors award this move an exclam here.)

 

**************

     [ Also interesting was:  22.c5!?,  "+/="  {Diagram?}   
        and White is still better.  

*******

       Almost no one - that I am aware of - has pointed out the try:     
        22.Nb8!?,  "+/="  (Maybe - '')  {Diagram?}    
        when White certainly looks to be better. (Now please understand,   
        I am NOT saying this is better;  just a very interesting alternative that   
        no commentator has mentioned.)    

        {My original version of this game gives an extremely detailed analysis  
          line here ...  which ends in a win for White.} ]      

**************

 

22...Qh5;  ('!?')   {See the diagram, just below.}       
The natural move here for Black.  

 

*************************

   Black just played ...Qh5; - - - with just a little threat to White's h2-square.  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos11.gif, 45 KB)

*************************

 

Seirawan harshly criticizes this, but I am not sure his comments are completely justified. 
(It is always easy to come up with improvements when you are not under tension, a time 
 constraint, and can relax and move the pieces in your study. GM Seirawan even concedes 
 this point in his excellent book!)  

Both GM's Yusupov and Christiansen seem to feel that  ...Nxh2;  is much better than ...Qh5
But I have found some (big) holes in both of these GM's analysis. So I would have to say that  
their work does NOT support their conclusions!! But I will also freely admit that in a game as 
complicated as this one, the final word on this decision has yet to be reached!  

   '!?' - GM John Nunn.  (BCM)   

 

**************************************************

    GM Yasser Seirawan  says Black should instead play the line:  (>/=)   
        22...fxg3!23.Bxg3 h5!24.Kh1!? h4!25.Be1[] Nf4!;  "<=>"  {Diag?}       
        and Black has the initiative and appears to making progress on the left-hand 
        side of the board. 
        (Yusupov rejected this because the move ... fxg3;  appears to allow his opponent's 
          Bishop to get back to the King-side and help defend the White King!) 

*******

       BTW - I am not at all 100% convinced this line is best for Black. 
       Days of computer-assisted analysis has yet to find anything even remotely resembling 
       a forced win!!   

       ****************************************************************  

       Black could also (again) try:   
       </=  22...Nxh2!?('!!')  {Diagram?}  
       The main idea of:  - GM Arthur Yusupov.  

       [ GM Larry Christiansen likes this move so much that he awards 
          it an exclam. ('!') ]     

**********

       Now the following is a fairly large improvement over Yusupov's main 
       line of analysis:  

       23.Nxf4!?(Maybe - '?!')  {Diagram?}      
       The only move considered by the analyst in this position.  
       (But taking with the Bishop on f4 seems to win for WHITE! 
        See the variations just below.)  

*******

           ( Or perhaps:  >/=  23.Bxf4!?, ('!')  "+/="  Maybe  -  ''  {A.J.G.} 
             (I think this could be best ...  but most of the annotators virtually      
              ignore this move for White!!);      

***

             White should NOT play:  </=  23.Kxh2? Qxg3+;  24.Kh1 Qh4+;   
             25.Kg1 Qf2+;  26.Kh1 Qxe2;  "~"  {Diagram?}    
             when Black has a very strong (winning?) attack ... despite his material        
             deficit. - GM Larry Christiansen.  (A VERY wild line!);   

***

             Or White could play:  23.gxf4, {unclear?} {Diagram?}  
              with a very unbalanced position. )     

*******

       23...Qxg3{Diagram?}       
       This now looks to be best.   

           ( Or   23...Nxf4!?;  24.Bxf4 Qh5; "~" )     

       24.Nxg6!?>/=  24...Qxg6; ('!')  {Diagram?}      
       This has to be the correct move.      

*******

           ( Instead  GM A. Yusupov  only gives the following continuation:       
              </=  24...Qxd6??25.Nge7+! Rxe7[]26.c5?? Nf3+!27.exf3!?        
              27...Qf6??{Diagram?} and White is (much) better. ('')   ( - ChessBase.)      

              {The VERY simple move of:  27...Qxc6;  wins  ("-/+")  for Black!}     

             This line is  SO BAD ... it looks like the result of a mis-print ...  
             or some kind of foul-up during the translation of GM's A. Yusupov's notes! )     

*******

       25.Kxh2{Box?}  {Diagram?}     
       The computer says this is forced.   

*******

           ( </=  25.Bxh2?? Be4; ("-/+") {Diagram?}     
              and it looks like White will be mated in three or four moves.  

***

             Also of no help to White is: </=  25.Ne7+? Rxe7;  26.Bxe7?? Be4;  ("-/+")       
              and once more, White will be check-mated quickly. )     

*******

       25...Qxd6+26.Kh1 Be4;  "/+"  {Diagram?}       
        and Black appears to be just about winning, ("-/+"); in this position.  {A.J.G.}  

******************

       Now it could be that ...Nxh2 is better than ...Qh5. But as this very detailed 
       analysis demonstrated, there is still much unexplored territory before anyone 
       could say for certain!  

       (NOTE:  In this version, the analysis of ...Nxh2 has been reduced to just a  
        few lines! The original version is MUCH more detailed.)  ]        

**************************************************

 

White's next move is virtually forced. 
(GM Yasser Seirawan gives White's 23rd move an exclam, but that looks to be 
 rather superfluous to me.) 
23.h4,  {See the diagram just below.}     
This is not as bad as it looks  ...  White's strongly centralized pieces may dominate 
the board and the play that ensues. 

   '!' - GM Yasser Seirawan.     

 

*************************

   White just pushed his Pawn to King's-Rook-Four. How does Black proceed from this position?  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos12.gif, 45 KB)

*************************

 

An incredible position has resulted ...  where Black is involved in a ... 
"do-or-die" ... all-out effort on the King-side.  

*******

     [ </=  23.h3?! Nf2!; "/+" ]   

 

23...Nxh4!?;  ('!' / '!!')    
This looks like a tremendously brave and daring sacrifice to me - especially considering the 
situation. (The winner moves on in the WCS Candidate Matches and might eventually face the 
World Champion ... in a BIG-money match! The loser goes home.) Another factor to consider 
was the extremely abbreviated time control this game was played under.  

   '?' - GM Yasser Seirawan.    ('?!' - GM Larry Christiansen.)     

GM Yasser Seirawan criticizes this move and says that >/= 23...fxg3!;  was MUCH better. 
("Black gets a clear advantage without the sacrifice.") Yet analysis does NOT bear this out. 

In fact - my analysis seems to indicate that Black SHOULD try this sack on h4  ...  
I strongly suspect that without this sacrifice, White will find a way to defend ... 
with his surplus of pawns ...  and {eventually} win the game!!  
(The 'Mammoth Book' gives the story that this move was condemned by the group of 
  assembled annotators.  Big deal!  I am reminded of the time about 30-35 TITLED  
  players thought Karpov was winning ...  (a WCM game)  ... until Kasparov finally 
  unleashed a torrent of moves that led - practically by force - to mate.)  

*******

Addendum: I must be a poor potzer who cannot understand anything about chess. 
GM Larry Christiansen covers about the same analytical ground as GM Yasser Seirawan. 
He then seems to conclude that - in the main line after 23...fxg3; - that White is better ...    
refuting what some previous analysts thought about this game. But then he goes on to say    
that he must award Black's twenty- third move a "dubious" appellation.     

   WHAT DID I MISS???!!!????!!?      

****************************

     [  Variation # 23B1.)   

        After the continuation of: (>/=)   = 23...fxg3{Diagram?}      
        Virtually ALL the annotators state that this move was MUCH better 
         than the sacrifice on h4 ... but, as my analysis line will demonstrate, 
         this is far from being an absolute! 

        24.Bxg3 Nxh4!?{Diagram?}    
        I guess this is the best move for Black. At least, it is the ONLY move given 
        by several writers here. 

           (Maybe  24...Nf2!?;  instead?)      

        25.Nce7+!?, ('!')  {Diagram?}    
        This might be the best way for White to continue at this point.  

*******

           ( GM Yasser Seirawan instead gives the following line:  (</=)  
              25.Nf4!? Qg5;  26.Nh3 Qf6; ('!')  {Diagram?}     
              and Yaz stops here. But after a simple move like Bh1, White looks  
              to be clearly better. (At least "+/=");    

***

             The try:  25.Qb5!?, ''  ("+/") {Diagram?}       
             also appears to be (very) good for White. )     

*******

       25...Kh8 26.Nf4 Qg527.Bxa8, ''  ("+/")  (best?)  {Diagram?}   
        White is clearly better ... and may be simply winning here. ("+/-")  

           (If Black tries ...Nf2; then QxP/e3.)    

       {Most computers consider this to be a won position for White.};     

**************

       Variation # 23B2.)     

       Extremely interesting was:  23...Nf2!?24.Re1 Qg4; "~"  {Diagram?}     
       when Black has a VERY strong attack/initiative in this position.   

       (But whether or not the assault will be a success is a different story,   
         altogether!)  ]    

************************

 

24.gxh4, ('!')   
While this is nearly forced, once again Ivanchuk is to be applauded for the 
conduct of his defense here.  

   '!' - GM Yasser Seirawan.   

A lesser mortal would have certainly "balked" here ... and lost. {horribly} 
I should point out - as MANY authors have over the years - that it takes 
TWO (2!!!) players ... playing their VERY BEST CHESS!!!  ... to create 
such an immortal game as this one. 

*************************

     [  Not  </=  24.Bxf4?? Nxg2!;  "-/+"  {Diagram?}     
         and Black will win.  

*******

        The continuation of:  24.Nde7+!? Kh825.gxh4, '' ("+/")  {Diag?}    
        seems to CLEARLY favor WHITE.   
        (But is also similar to the game.)  {A transposition?}   

*******

        GM Yasser Seirawan  points out that the following continuation:     
        </=  24.Nxf4!? Nf3+!!25.exf3{Diagram?}     
         This is forced.   

           ( </=  25.Bxf3?? Qh2+; {Diagram?} and mates. )       

        25...Qh2+26.Kf1 e2+!;  ("-/+")  {Diagram?}   
         leads to a winning attack for Black. (Seirawan stops here.)   

*******

            ( After the relatively simple moves:  26...e2+27.Ke1,  
               This is completely forced.  

***

                (Clearly worse is:  </=  27.Nxe2? Rxe2!; {Diagram?}    
                  Surprise!     

                  28.Kxe2!? Qxg2+;  29.Ke1 Qf2#.)      

***

              27...exd1Q+28.Kxd1 Qg1+29.Kd2 Qxa1;  ("-/+")  {Diagram?}     
               Black is way ahead in material ...  and threatens  ...Qe1#  as well.   
               {A.J.G.})   ]     

*************************

 

24...Qxh4;   {See the diagram just below.}     
The only move to continue the assault on Ivanchuk's King. 

('!' - NM Iakov Damsky) 

 

*************************

   Black is getting nearer the White King, (after ...Qxh4); but it is costing him a tremendous amount of material to achieve his goal.  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos13.gif, 45 KB)

*************************

 

The only question is ...  how does Black (correctly) pursue his attack in this position? 

     [ Bad is:  </= 24...Kh8?25.Nce7, "+/-"  {Diagram?}  
       (White is winning.) ]  

 

25.Nde7+?!,  (Really - '?')   {See the diagram just below.}       
This APPEARS to be winning for White ... but may actually lose by force. 
(Thus  many GM's  give this move   {?}     a whole question mark!   And sadly, 
 that is exactly the rating that this move deserves.)  (In the final analysis.)   

This is also the critical moment in this wonderful and exciting contest.  

 

*************************

   White just played his Knight to e7 ... with check. It looks like a great move, but Yusupov finds a nearly infintesimal flaw.  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos14.gif, 45 KB)

*************************

 

Personally I think everyone is a little bit harsh and  'over-reactive'  as to poor 
GM V. Ivanchuk's play here. Everyone seems to forget that GM Vassily Ivanchuk 
was trying ...  very hard ... TO WIN THIS GAME!!! 
(And I don't think the average player would blame him. Even most boxes say White 
  is winning here!)  

   I should also point out that I have tested on chess programs like  ChessMaster X000     
   and 
Fritz X.0
   for close to ten years ... and they ALL think that White is CLEARLY     
   winning at this point!!!!!!!!!! 
    

**************************************************************************
ANOTHER POINT TO CONSIDER ...  
is that the opinions of (and on) this move are VERY different!!! 

For example, one old Dutch magazine gives this move  ...  TWO EXCLAMS! 
Another relatively well-known writer, (Iakov Damsky); gives it a single exclam. ('!') 
One Yugoslav book gives it a DUBIOUS Appellation! ('?!') GM Larry Christiansen, 
in his book on tactics, awards it  ... a WHOLE QUESTION MARK. ('?') And 
lastly, GM Yasser Seirawan gives it ...  TWO whole question marks. ('??') 

With so many VASTLY CONFLICTING OPINIONS ...  
  the poor amateur can only guess who is correct!!     

**************************************************************************  

[Editor: One final note - it has been written about in several places, (see here for one example) ... 
that Ivanchuk picked up the wrong Knight by mistake. Whether or not this is true, I am not    
entirely sure. It certainly is possible, and seems like a reasonable explanation that a player the  
caliber of Ivanchuk would make this kind of mistake. A.J.G. March 1st, 2009.]  

 

     [ Several writers recommended that White (instead) play the line:  (>/=)  
       = 25.Bxf4! Qf2+26.Kh1 Qh4+;  with a draw by perpetual check.  
      ("=")  - GM Colin McNab.    
      (I think this line is wrong. White might have an improvement over this 
       particular variation.);  

      ****************************************************

      The very respected author instead seems to have found a winning line for White:   
      >/=  25.Nce7+!! Kh8!26.Nxf5! Qh2+27.Kf1 Be5!!{Diagram?}    
      An amazing move. The incredible  GM group  of Yasser Seirawan, American 
      Larry Christiansen, and British GM's John Nunn and Willy Watson were all  
      looking at this game. (See Seirawan's book, page # 233.) They came up with 
      some really unbelievable lines. 

      28.dxe5!{Diagram?}  
      This is probably best. 

*******

         (The Masters also looked at:  28.Bxe5+!?, {Diagram?}     
          which leads to complex positions.   
          (Several authors analyze this, GM Larry Christiansen concludes    
          that Black will win - but his analysis is fantastically complicated.);    

***

          GM Yasser Seirawan gives:  28.Qb7!?,  {Diagram?}     
          which also leads to complicated play. Seirawan's line ends in a      
          draw but I am sure I found at least one (!) win - that the GM missed.)      

*******

      28...Rg8!?;  ('!')  {Diagram?}    
      With the same idea as in the game.  

***

         (Or   28...f3!?;   29.exf3 e2+;  30.Kxe2 Qxg2+;   31.Kd3 Qxf3+;      
           32.Nfe3,  ("+/-")  {Diagram?} and the White King literally runs        
           away from Black's attack.)    

***

       29.Ndxe3!! fxe3!?30.e6!, "+/-"  {Diagram?}    
       and White is clearly winning here. 
       (Analysis by - GM Yasser Seirawan.)  

       Of course it should also be pointed that it took the GM  DAYS  to find this wonderful line ...  
       whereas poor Ivanchuk only had an hour to play the ENTIRE GAME!!  

       (One can only hope that Black can find a way to improve the attack.)  

       (NOTE: In the original version of this game, my analysis {of this line} was incredibly deep  
        and complicated. It was edited out ... for the sake of creating a document that wouldn't 
        take 2 years to complete and format!!) ]  

**************************************************

 

The next few moves appear to be (pretty much) forced. 
25...Kh8;  26.Nxf5 Qh2+;  27.Kf1 Re6!!;  (Maybe - '!!!')  {See the diagram, below.}     
What a move!  

 

*************************

   Black just played his Rook to the e6-square ... what is the point of this move, anyway?  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos15.gif, 45 KB)

*************************

 

"A fantastic Rook lift. The brilliant point of the text is getting the Rook in FRONT of the 
  g7-Bishop, and not behind it."  - GM Yasser <The YAZ > Seirawan.  

   '!!' - GM Yasser Seirawan.   

*******

     [ Interesting was:  27...Nf2!?{Diagram?}     
        when Black has many interesting attacking ideas.  
       (Although to be honest, most of them probably will not work very well!);  

***

       I think GM Vassily Ivanchuk expected:  
        27...Rg8!?28.Nxe3!! Bxd4!?{Diagram?}     
        This might be forced.  

         ( Or   28...Nxe3+!?; - GM Artur Yusupov. )    

        29.Rxd4! Nxe3+30.Ke1! Rxg231.Be5+ Kg832.Qd3!, ''  {Diag?}   
        when White is clearly better ...  if not just winning outright. 
        (Line by - GM Yasser Seirawan.);  

***

       Some have recommended that Black play  ...Bf6!  in this position.  
        27...Bf6!?; {Diagram?}      
       (With the idea of:)  ...Bh4-f2...Rg8...Qh1,  and  ...Nh2. - GM A. Yusupov.  

      Yusupov likes this so much that he awards himself an exclam. 
       ( '!' - GM Artur Yusupov.)   

      The main line of Yusupov's analysis runs as follows:  
       28.Rd3!? Bh4!29.Rxe3 Bf230.Rxe8+ Rxe831.e4?! Qg1+;   
       32.Ke2 Qxg2;  "/\"  {Diagram?}   
      GM Yusupov concludes his analysis of this line with the symbol that means: 
      Black has the initiative. (I agree - Black looks to be better {"/+"}  in this position. 
      {A.J.G.})  

      As an aside - I am NOT sure that this line represents best play! 
      (Especially for White!!) ]   

*******

 

28.Qb7!?,  {See the diagram just below.}    
This move ... criticized by some ...  looks to flat-out win for White. (!)  

(Many programs also choose this move here.) 

 

*************************

   White plays Qb7 ... which looks to be winning for Ivanchuk. (What is the refutation?)  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos16.gif, 45 KB)

*************************

 

Many pundits have attached a whole question mark to this move ...  
without even bothering to inform us what move was better!!  

 [Both Yusupov and Damsky award this move a whole question mark. ('?') 
  But since I have found so many errors in the works of both of these authors 
  - as concerns this game - I can state with full confidence, that their judgment 
  of this move is wrong ... and the question mark is completely UN-justified!!]  

Seirawan states that after this ... (that) Black wins.  
(Albeit - in an extremely brilliant manner!!!) 
He goes on to confess:   ... "does White have a defense?  I can't find one." 
 - GM Yasser Seirawan.   

 

**************

     [ NOTE:  In the original version of this game, the analysis of each of the 
       four following main variations ... is VERY DETAILED!! 
       (Probably each line would constitute a small book!) 

       Variation # 28W1.)  
        Maybe  28.Rab1!?{Diagram?}  for White?  

**********

       Variation # 28W2.)   
        Also possible was:   28.c5!?{Diagram?}     
        which appears - at least, at a first glance - to be better for White.  

**********

       Variation # 28W3.)  
        GM Artur Yusupov also suggests that the move:  28.Rd3!?, ''  {Diag?}   
        might be possible here.  

**********

       Variation # 28W4.)   
        Another interesting line is:   28.Nce7! Rxe7{Diagram?}    
        The only move?  
        (As the analysis below shows,  this is DEFINITELY NOT  
         the only possible move for Black!!)  

*******

            ( Another author gives:  >/=  28...Rg8!!;   ('!!!')   {Diagram?}     
              which might win for Black.     
              {See Larry Christiansen's book for the extremely detailed analysis     
                of this amazing move.} )    

*******

       29.Nxe7!?, {Diagram?}    
       The main move considered here, at this point.  

*****

            ( Or  29.Bxe7 f3;  30.exf3 e2+;  31.Kxe2 Qxg2+;  32.Kd3 Qxf3+;  {Diag?}     
               "--->"   Black has a strong attack.   - GM Artur Yusupov.  

***

              Maybe:  29.c5!?,   {A.J.G.} )     

*****

       29...Qg330.Kg1,  "="  {Diagram?}      
       The game is drawn by Black repeating moves. 

       (Black can now play simply ...Qf2+; and ...Qh4+; {repeatedly}  
        White must play Kh1 and Kg1 ... 
        White cannot deviate upon pain of mate.)  - GM Artur Yusupov. ]   

**************

 

 

 28...Rg6!!!;   (Maybe even - '!!!!')   {See the diagram just below.}       
A truly amazing move, easily one of the most wonderful and surprising moves ... 
ever played on a chess board. 

 

*************************

   Yusupov just played ...Rg6!!! This is one of the single greatest moves ever played on a chessboard.  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos17.gif, 45 KB)

*************************

 

"The audience was in shock ... many were palpably gasping at this point." 
  - GM Yasser Seirawan.    

***

"Simply one of the most fantastic shots in chess history." (!!!) "Black is already TWO pieces 
 down ... and now offers a Rook to set up a mating combination - involving a Queen sacrifice!" 
  - GM Larry Christiansen(my emphasis)  

***

"Like a clap of thunder!!"  - Iakov Damsky. 

***

GM John Emms  ...  in his book,    
"The Most Amazing CHESS MOVES of All Time,"  ...    
 ... considers this to be ...  
one of < THE TEN GREATEST CHESS MOVES EVER PLAYED!! >  
(It's kinda hard to argue with the GM, at least in this particular case!)  

***************

 

     [ I fully expected:   28...Rg8!?;  "~{Diagram?}  
        when I first was going over this game. 
        (I worked nights at a radio station and this game was in a    
         chess magazine. Obviously this was BEFORE the Internet     
         and TWIC!) ]     

 

29.Qxa8+! Kh7;   
Now Black threatens an incredible check-mate. (Believe it or not.)  

30.Qg8+ [],   
And ... believe it or not, this too is completely forced.
("Box" - according to GM A. Yusupov.)  

   '!' - FM G. Burgess.  (weak)     

"A dramatic method of eliminating the attacking Rook." - GM Andy Soltis.   
 (Soltis also gives this move an exclam.) 

 

***************

     [ It almost appears that White can play the very plausible {either} Ne7, 
        threatening a mate ... but this meets with an astounding refutation:  
       30.Nce7!? Qh1+!!31.Bxh1 Nh2+32.Ke1 Rg1#{Diagram?}   
       A truly wonderful and very shocking turn of events!!!  

*******

       White would also lose after:  
       </=  30.Nxe3?! Nxe3+31.Ke1 Nxc4!{Diagram?}    

***

          ( One author gives the grossly inferior line of:  </=  31...Rxg2; ('?') {D?}     
             A natural-looking move, but ... ... ...  not the most alert.      
             32.Kd2 Rxe2+;  33.Kc3 Rc2+;  34.Kb4 Rxc4+;  35.Kb5 Qe2!; {D?}  
             and Black is obviously winning in this position.  ("-/+") {Diagram?}  
             Line by - GM Larry Christiansen. )     

***

       32.Rdb1 Qxg2;  33.Kd1!? Qe4{Diagram?}  
        and Black will administer a mate ...  in very short order. ("-/+") ]   

***************

 

The next few moves ... again ... appear to be best.  
30...Kxg8;  31.Nce7+ Kh7;  32.Nxg6 fxg6;  33.Nxg7,  {See the diagram below.}    
This looks to be forced.  

 

*************************

   Ivanchuk just captured Black's Bishop on g7. If White can quickly get his Rooks into the game, he could be alright.  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos18.gif, 45 KB)

*************************

 

I am not sure what else White could (reasonably) play in this position.  

     [ Or White can play:  </=  33.c5?! gxf534.c6 Nf2!;  ("-/+")  {Diagram?}  
        but Black still wins. ]     

 

Now comes another shocker for White.  (zwischenzug) 
33...Nf2!!;   {See the diagram - - - just below.}      
Yet another jolt for White ... 
who has had MANY nasty surprises in this particular contest. 

   '!!' - GM Yasser Seirawan.  '!!' - GM Larry Christiansen.   
   '!!' - GM Andrew Soltis.
 
    

 

  "Threatening the terrible 34...Nh3!. White must shed more material to avert mate."  
    - GM Larry Christiansen.    

 

*************************

   The second player has just played his Knight to f2  ...  what is Black's threat?  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos19.gif, 45 KB)

*************************

 

Another incredible move that certainly deserves a diagram!  (See just above.) 

*******

      [ Or  33...Kxg734.Rab1, {Diagram?} which is not real clear. ]   

 

Now White must give back material. 
34.Bxf4,   
This appears to be forced.  

 

     [ White can also play:  </=  34.Rdb1?! Ne4!!{Diagram?}    
        Easily the best move.  

          (GM John Emms ONLY gives the VASTLY  inferior  move:  </= 34...Nh3.)      

       35.Ke1{Diagram?}  
       This might be forced.  

          ( Or White could play Rb7:    
             35.Rb7!? Nd2+;  36.Ke1 Qg1+;  37.Bf1 Qxf1#.      

             Not  </=  35.Bxe4? Qf2#.)     

       35...Qg1+36.Bf1 Nc337.Bxf4 Qf2#.  {Diagram?}   
        and Black gives a mate. ]     

 

34...Qxf4;  35.Ne6,   {See the diagram just below.}    
Practically the only move for White.  

 

*************************

   White plays Ne6, attacking Black's marauding Queen. (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos20.gif, 45 KB)

*************************

(Without Ne6, White quickly gets pounded.)  

Actually, White does not stand badly ... at least not from a material point of view. He just 
cannot allow Black to play ...Nh3+; which would win for the second player here. 

 

*******

     [ Probably inferior is:  </=  35.Rdb1!? Nh3+!{Diagram?}  
       Forcing the King towards the center of the chessboard. 

       36.Ke1 Qh4+!{Diagram?}  
       To maintain the threat on d4.  

       37.Kd1 Qxd4+38.Ke1{Diagram?}    
       This could be forced/best.  

***

          ( Inferior is the continuation: </= 38.Kc2?! Qxc4+; {Diagram?}    
            GM Andy Soltis stops here.   

            39.Kb2, {Diagram?}     
            This is forced, as Kd1?? is easily refuted by ...Qc3. ("-/+")     

            39...Qxe2+;  40.Kc3 Qxg2;  41.Ne6 Qc6+;  ("-/+")  {Diagram?}     
            and Black picks off the Knight. )     

***

        38...Qh4+39.Kd1 Nf2+40.Kc2 Qxc4+41.Kb2 Qxe2+;     
        42.Ka3!? Qd3+43.Ka4 Kxg7;  ("-/+")  {Diagram?}      
        Black has an easy win. 
        (White's King is much too exposed to try to defend here.) ]   

*******

 

35...Qh2!;    {See the diagram given, just below.}       
Back to the same threats.  

   '!' - GM Yasser Seirawan.    

 

*************************

   Yusupov just keeps hammering away  ...  the threat is the same as before.  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos21.gif, 45 KB)

*************************

 

Yet another nice play by Black ... 
in a contest simply filled with great, and unusual chess moves.  

 

     [ Interesting was:  35...Qf5!?;  but this is not as clear. ]   

 

Now White is materially better ... but cannot cope with all of Black's threats here.  
36.Rdb1 Nh3!;  37.Rb7+!?,   
White is running out of moves. 

     [ If White plays Ke1:  37.Ke1 Qxg238.Kd1 Qe4!;  "-/+"  {Diagram?}  
       and Black will pick off the White Knight. (N)  - GM John Emms. ]  

 

37...Kh8;  ('!')   {See the diagram just below.}     
To avoid any further checks - - like the one on g7 by the White Rook. 
(If instead ... Kg8?)  

 

*************************

   Black hides his King in the corner ... White is almost out of tricks.  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos22.gif, 45 KB)

*************************

 

I also found an IM - who was there when this game was played - and in his e.mail, he 
assured me - that Black put his King in the corner here.  

     [ Several on-line databases give the move here as:  37...Kg8;  
       Of course this is incorrect, but even some chess books ...  
       like the Emms volume on the most amazing chess moves of all time ...  
       also repeats this error. ]   

 

38.Rb8+,   
White would have probably considered throwing in the towel ... 
but Yusupov was reportedly very short of time here.  

     [ After the moves:   
        38.Ke1 Qg1+39.Bf1 Qf2+40.Kd1 Qxf1+41.Kc2,  
        41...Qxa1;  ("-/+")  {Diagram?}  White is completely lost. ]    

 

38...Qxb8;  39.Bxh3!?,   
This allows a quick mate ...  but White's game was without hope.  

     [ 39.Ke1!? ]   

 

39...Qg3; ('!')  ("-/+")   {See the diagram just below.}      
White Resigns, (0-1)  Ivanchuk has absolutely no defence ...   
 to the mate on f2.  

 

*************************

   The final position of this unbelievable contest. White faces disaster on the f2-square.  (gcg_iva-yus_br91-pos23.gif, 45 KB)

 The final position of this truly wonderful and amazing game. 

*************************

 

A modern classic and one of Yusupov's (Jussupow?) all-time best games. 
(It was also voted as the best game of that year by the Informant panel of judges.) 

After Ivanchuk's resignation ...  "the Belgian audience burst into thunderous applause. 
They had witnessed a modern chess brilliancy and were delighted with the efforts of both 
players. The players quietly retreated to their rooms to follow the military coup that was 
taking place in Moscow."  - GM Yasser Seirawan.  
(His most excellent book, "Winning Chess Brilliancies.")  

GM Larry Christiansen picks this as his NUMBER TWO favorite attacking game.    
(Behind only the wonderful masterpiece of: G. Kasparov - V. Topalov; 1999.)  
 GM Christiansen goes on to state,  (as his introduction to this game):  
 "Artur Yusupov's Magnum Opus. This is truly one of the most imaginative and     
    beautiful games of the (20th) Century."  - GM Larry Christiansen.
     
(In his book on tactics and attack. See item # 6 in the Bibliography - below.) 

  "A splendid performance - by both players."       
    - GM Andrew Soltis. 
         
   (Soltis ranks this as one of the  '100  Best'  Games of the 20th Century.)     

I personally do not know how to rate such a game. It certainly is one of the most imaginative 
and brilliant games of the whole of the 20th Century. It also has to be - considering the time 
limit that it was played under - simply the finest specimen of "fast chess" that I know of!!!  
 ( << THE RAPID IMMORTAL >> ?)   

******************************************************************

  (I want to point out that nearly ALL of the exclams ... {and even the question marks} ... 
  in this game, come from one of the sources listed below.)  

******************************************************************

BIBLIOGRAPHY:  
I consulted many different books to annotate this game. I looked at ECO, MCO, NCO, and 
many others.  {This game was also in many of my old chess magazines.}  But the following 
books were the main sources that I used - given {mainly} in the order that I looked at them:  

# 1.)  Chess INFORMANT, # 53. {Published out of Yugoslavia.}
          Also Informant # 52/592.  
          (The analysis in CB appears to have been copied directly from the Informant - 
            the analysis there is also credited to GM A. Yusupov.) 

# 2.)  [The Mammoth Book Of:]  "The World's Greatest Chess Games,"  
         by GM John Nunn, GM John Emms, and FM Graham Burgess.  
         [ Game # 85, page # 475. ] 
         An extremely deep look at 100 of the best games of chess ever played!  
         Copyright (c) 1998 by all the authors.   
         Gambit Books, / Carroll & Graf Pub.  ISBN: #  0-7867-0587-6  (paper)  

# 3.)  "The Fianchetto King's Indian,"  by GM Colin McNab. Copyright (c) 1996.  
           Chapter # 8, {Classical} page # 154.  

# 4.)   "The Most Amazing CHESS MOVES of All Time," (The top 200);  
            by GM John Emms. Copyright (c) 2000. Position # 171, page # 158.  
            Published by Gambit Books.  ISBN: # 1-901983-29-3  (flex/paper)  

# 5.)   The MOST excellent book:  "Winning Chess Brilliancies,"  by  IGM Yasser Seirawan. 
           Copyright () 1995.  Published by Microsoft Press.  ISBN: # 1-55615-910-2  
           [His analysis takes up a whole chapter (12), and begins on page number # 219.]  
            (This book went out of print, but now - thankfully - is being brought back by 
             another publisher.)  

# 6.)   Now my favorite book on tactics and attacking and even the midgame:  
          "Storming The Barricades,"  <*****> {A FIVE STAR book.} by  GM L. Christiansen. 
           Copyright (c) 2000.  (Beginning on page # 166.) Published by Gambit Books.  
           ISBN: #  1-901983-25-0  

# 7.)   A book - in German! - on GM Arthur Yusupov's best games.  
          (I DON'T own this book, a student was kind enough to photo-copy the analysis ... 
           and send it to me.)  

# 8.)   "Chess Brilliancy,"  by Iakov Damsky.  (250 games from the Masters.)  
            Copyright (c) 2002 by the author.  Published by Everyman Chess. 
            ISBN: # 1-857744-274-1  
            (Damsky's analysis of this grand contest leaves MUCH to be desired!) 

# 9.)   "Chess Highlights Of The 20th Century," 
          ('The Best Chess 1900-1999 In A Historical Context.')  by FM Graham Burgess. 
           Copyright (c) 1999.  Published by Gambit Books. ISBN:  # 1-901983-21-8  (hard-back)  
           FM Graham Burgess has a very good reputation as an analyst. Here he does a  <definite>  
           sub-standard job. He also awards a fistful of question marks that simply cannot be justified.  

# 10.)   THE ONE HUNDRED BEST 
            "The 100 Best Chess Games Of The 20th Century, Ranked." {Game # 80, page # 206.}  
             By  GM Andrew Soltis.  Copyright (c) 2000 - by the author.  
             Published by McFarland & Co. Books  ISBN: # 0-7864-0926-6  (hard-back) 

*******

         # 2, # 5, and # 6 feature easily the best and the most interesting analysis of this game.  

******************************************************************

   Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby I.   
  Copyright () A.J. Goldsby.  Copyright (c) A.J.G;  2003 - 2005.  
  Copyright () A.J. Goldsby, 2006.  All rights reserved.  

 

   0 - 1   

 

       For this game, the HTML code was initially generated by the program,  ChessBase 8.0     


This is  not  the original version of this page. My original version was lost when I had a big crash in February of 2003. (I did have much analysis saved - on a floppy disk - in a CB format, however.) The original version featured a comment after every move, a long and detailed look at the opening, dozens - if not hundreds - of diagrams - etc. Of course I would not want to make a web page out of that version anyway ... it simply was too long!!  (50-75 printed pages.) 

I have two whole spiral-bound notebooks on this game. This game was looked at in a few chess magazines right after it was played, but no one seemed to want to include this game in a book. (This game found its way into many books, it just took a few years.) I was working on this game to annotate it for a possible book deal I had a few years back. A master friend informed me, (on the telephone), that: "That game is very well done in the new book by Yasser Seirawan." (At that time, Yasser Seirawan's book had just come out.)

In a way, it was good that I lost my original version of this game. I went back and re-annotated this game pretty thoroughly. (This took ... OVER SIX MONTHS!! ---> Actually closer to a year.) Then for publication, (on my website); I decided NOT to try and do all the notes and variations. (Too long ... and too much work. It would take a year to format such a page!)    Instead ... I simply took several afternoons to work on the CB document, and I chopped the original notes down to a much more manageable size.    

I also decided that for this particular version of the game, to concentrate - mostly - on Yusupov's original analysis. 

If you are interested in detail, I suggest you purchase one of the books mentioned in the bibliography.
(At the end of the game.) 


     Return  to my  Directions Page, or  return  to my page for the  "Games List."    

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   Check out  some more annotated games. (Page 1 of my  "Annotated Games"  on my GC website.) 

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   Visit  my big  "Angel-Fire"  website, and take a look at a few of the  annotated games  that are there. 

  *************************************************************************  

  I worked on annotating this game (actively) for several years. For the last year or so, it has been a fairly consistent project.  The formatting took OVER TWO (2) months.  

  Final posting on:  Sunday;  November 16th, 2003.  (Contact me ... about this analysis.)   

   This (web) page was actually created in (early) October, 2003.   This page was last updated on 03/15/14 .     

  ******* 

  During the time period of October through December of 2004  I completely re-did this   entire web page. The diagrams were completely re-done, and many minor errors, (like misspelled words); were corrected. Two or three variations that contained errors in  analysis were replaced or corrected. Additionally, many links were changed or replaced.  


   Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby I   

  Copyright () A.J. Goldsby,  

  Copyright () A.J. Goldsby, 2014.   All rights reserved.  


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