Monday, February 7, 2011

A brilliant rook sacrifice

Vassily Ivancuk won the recently concluded Gibraltar Masters with an incredible nine points out of a possible ten and a rating performance of 2968. Read the full Chessbase report here.

One of the best games I saw (see the position below) Ivancuk came up with an unexpected rook sac.

Vassily Ivancuk-Victor Erdos,  2011 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival

40. Rxd5! exd5 41.e6+ Kh6 42. Rxd5

How did Ivancuk come up with the idea of the rook sacrifice? He only has two pawns for the rook.


After this, black is lost as the f5 pawn falls allowing the white squared bishop to come into play

43. Rxd8 Rxd8

44. Bxf5 Qc7 45. g3 Rd1+ 46. Kf2 Qd8 47.Bc2

The threat of 48.f5+ forces black to give back the rook

Rd3 48. Bxd3 Qxd3 49. f5+ Qxe3+ 50. Kxe3 Ne7 51. Ke4 Bc6+ 52. Ke5

The pawns supported by the king is winning for white.

Nd5 53.b5 Nxc3 54. bxc6 Nb5 55. e7 Nc7 56. Kd6 Ne8+ 57. Kd7 Nf6+ 58. Ke6 Ne8 59. Kf7 Nc7 60. e8=Q 1-0

After 60..Nxe8 61 Kxe8 c3 62. c7 c2 63. c8=q c1=q 64. Qe6+ black will be mated soon.


Anonymous said...

I just read this interview:

I really like this Ivanchuk guy!! Eccentric, but great!

Ilham said...

Great sacrifice, yes but is it a correct sacrifice ?

I think Ivanchuk played it in order to avoid a draw. Doubt whether he will played it against the like of Anand or Carlsen...

Yeoh said...

hi dear Jimmy
1 tks for introducing this game

2 i used houdini15 to check (good engine in bad cpu):
after black's 39th moves, houdini took "quite a while" to figure out 40.Rxd5 is the only good move.
So here, engine is just as good as human (or human is just as good as engine?)

3 perhaps it will be interesting to know when Ivanchuk did see the idea of Rxd5.
May be as early as just before he played 30.Nxc4 ?
I believe no engine will see the idea of Rxd5 at this early stage.

So here, engine is not as good as human.


Chess 4 Life said...

Ivanchuk is pure genius. Very unpredictable. He was once 2nd in the world ranking and was also World blitz champion a few years ago. Here's what Anand had to say about him.

"He's someone who is very intelligent ... but you never know which mood he is going to be in. Some days he will treat you like his long-lost brother. The next day he ignores you completely.
The players have a word for him. They say he lives on 'Planet Ivanchuk'. (Laughs) ... I have seen him totally drunk and singing Ukrainian poetry and then the next day I have seen him give an impressive talk."

Collin Madhavan

Jimmy Liew said...

If I were to guess, I'll say he saw it around move 36.

You would need very powerful hardware for an engine to see the sac this early. I think because engines still cannot figure out fortress position which is what black trying to do here (but he overlooked the rook sacrifice)

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