Friday, March 12, 2021

A Chess Player's Life: Ivanov Part II - Beats the World Champion!

 Read about a true 'grinder' in the chess world in the last post - Igor Ivanov. Here is presented one of his best games. Enjoy.

Here is an example of Igor Ivanov’s moments of fame.

[Bracketed notes are from Igor3000]

Regular notes are from Igor Ivanov!

Spartakiad Tournament, Moscow, Russia 1979, Round 1

White: Igor Ivanov

Black: Anatoly Karpov

Sicilian Defense

Annotations by Igor Ivanov

1.       e4            c5

2.       Nf3          e6

3.       d4           cxd4

4.       Nxd4       a6

5.       Nc3          b5

6.       Bd3          Bb7

7.       O-O          Ne7

8.       Kh1          Nbc6

9.       Nxc6        Nxc6

10.   Qg4          h5

11.   Qe2          Ne5

Otherwise after 12. f4 Black will have no compensation for his weakened kingside.

12.   f4             Ng4

13.   Rf3           Qh4

14.   H3            Bc5

15.   Bd2           g6

I was not filled with optimism. I would have been content if Karpov would have given perpetual check (draw). The world champion’s decision is easily understood, but with his next move White completes his development, while the Black King is not safely placed. [last ‘book’ move is #17 for White]

16.   Raf1         Qe7

17.   A3            f5              my last move is preparing for counterplay on the queenside.

18.   Re1          Qf8

This loosens up coordination between Black’s pieces and therefore I decide to play actively. After 18. O-O White would be wise to limit himself to the more modest 19. Ref1.

19.   B4            Bd4

20.   A4            Rc8

21.   Nd1          Qf6

The f2-square is not safely defended, but the White knight does not stand too well. Unclear was 21. …bxc4. [21. ……bxa4 should have been considered 22. c3, Bf6 =]

22.   C3            Ba7

23.   Axb5        axb5

24.   Exf5         gxf5

The bishop on b7 is very strong and in order to initiate successful maneuvers on the queenside, I decided to sacrifice my rook for it. The decision to sacrifice was made much more easily because White doesn’t really have much else to do.

25.   Bxb5          Bxf3

26.   Qxf3          Rc7

27.   C4              Bd4

28.   Qd5           Kd8            [The backward pawn on d7 becomes a target]

29.   Qd6           Nf2+

Also after 29. ….Rg8 30. C5,Qg7 31. Bf1, Nh6 32. Ne3, Nf7 33. Qb6, White has enough compensation for the pawn.

       30.   Nxf2          Bxf2

       31.   Be3           Bxe3                        If 31.  …Bxe1 32. Bb6 with mating threats.

      32.   Rxe3         Qe7           

      33.   Qd2           Ke8?

      34.   Qd4           Rg8??

Black’s troubles grow. I feel that I this position White, without great risk, can attempt to create bigger threats. First a threat, then a double-threat that cannot be neutralized. For the first time in the game, I felt I might win!

35.   Qb6          Qg7            

36.   Qxe6+?    Kd8

I made a mistake! Everyone knows you must keep your composure until the very end, but not many of us actually do. After 36. Rxe6, Kf7 37. Re2  the rook on c7 is out of play and White wins easily.            

37.   Qd5          Ra7

I realized what I had done and felt just awful. But I calmed myself with the thought that my 36th move was payment for his 33rd move.

38.   Rd3           Ra1+??      

If I had played 38. Re1, then 38. ….Ra1 39. Rxa1, Qxa1+ 40. Kh2, Qg7 draws.

After this I have my win! Correct was 38. …..h4 and White can choose between two paths to a draw.

39.   Kh2           Ra2

40.   Bc6           Ra7

41.   Qc5           Rc7

42.   Qb6           Kc8

43.   Qa6+         Black Resigns

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