Gurevich M. (2590) - Kazhgaleyev M. (2490)
Cappelle op/Cappelle la Grande 1996
You are about to play through a remarkable game. Using very modest tools, Gurevich fashions a masterpiece, based entirely on the excellence of his technique. You may have wondered why White hasn't developed his king's knight yet. Well, it's nothing profound Gurevich is just tinkering with the moveorder.
This position has always been considered respectable for Black but I have to say that I would prefer to be White. It looks rather difficult to develop the Black queenside..
A prescribed method. Having played ...g6-g5, ...Nh5 had to follow. Hopefully, ... f7-f5 follows that. Gurevich stamps on Black's counterplay.
No loss of face or time. White has to stop ...f7-f5!
TN A novelty, according to Gurevich, although I think putting TN by this move is rather silly- we are already in the middlegame . Having said that 15 dxe5! is excellent. It's important later on that the rook on d1 starts to play.
The move of the game for me-a subtlety which most players would miss. Let's list the advantages of the check: a) In an endgame ,Black's king is further away from the centre (small difference) b) The bishop on g7 loses some power (small but important difference) c) Black's king is more exposed to attack on h8 than on g8, particularly to sacrifices on g5 and then subsequent mating threats on the h file (almost a deciding factor). Gurevich hardly mentions the power of the check in his notes-he is being far too modest.
Another fine move, putting the stopper on f7-f5. Note that White is sacrificing his c pawn.
Black's only alternative leads to an awful endgame e.g.
[Ne4-g3-f5] White's light-squared control is worth far more than a pawn.
23. Rc1 Qe6 24. e4 R5d7 25. Nf5 Nc8 26. g3 Ne7 27. Ne3 Ng8 28. Qe2 Nf6 29. Nf5 Ng8 30. Kg2 Ne7 31. Ne3 Kg8 32. Rc3 Rd4 33. Nf5 R4d7 34. Ne3 Rd4 35. Qc2 R4d7 36. Rh1 Rd4 37. Qb1 R4d7 Sieiro Gonzalez,L (2390)-Rohl Montes,J (2375)/Santa Clara 1998
Just when it looks as though Black is getting back into the game Gurevich makes a fine rook sidestep. Although Black's firepower on the d file looks impressive, where is his penetration point? Meanwhile White threatens Nxg7 and Nxe5, which Black cannot ignore.
The second 'Rook finesse ' Eventually White takes the d file ,in his own good time.
Makes the bishop a non-piece. Better were :
That knight on f5 is a monster. Although White's attack takes time to set up, there's precious little Black can do about it.
The second string to White's bow. A Black can just about defend his king, Gurevich stretches play out to the other flank. As soon as Kazhgaleyev is pressured in this way his position falls apart. Classic strategy.
[a4-a5-a6 35.Qb1, 36.Rcd1]
Nailing the pawn on b7.
A perfect tactical finish to the game, highlighting the beautiful play which went before.
Games of this quality are often overlooked - everyone concentrates on the biggest names. Believe me, Guervich-Kazhgaleyev is a masterpiece.1-0