Friday, September 16, 2011


Hari Raya
Hari Raya…in between lemangs, nasi himpit, rendangs and other normal Aidil Fitri routines (and chaos too…after all Aidil Fitri is always about controlling domestic chaos affair…and queeing to take shower… and quarrelling on where is butang baju melayu…and taking pictures…and asking for forgiveness…), I picked up Seirawan’s Winning Chess Brilliancies (published in 1995) and went through Seirawan’s comments on 1991 Ivanchuk vs Yusupov FIDE semifinals candidate match. Game played in Brussels yet at Moscow, there was a political coup to oust Gorbachev. Both players are worried about the fate of their family back home.

The Game
Below is the full game.

Black won the game.

The position
The interesting part of the game reached after black’s played 24. … Qh4.

Which side is better?

White is a piece up and controlling the center while black ( a piece down) got the attack against white’s king.

Seirawan is the eyewitness to this game and he together with his friend (Larry Christiansen, William Watson and John Nunn no less) analysing the position and they just unable to determine which side is better though Seirawan believed that white should be winning.
Some line discussed
25. Nce7 Kh8
26. Nf5 Qh2
27. Kf1 Be5!!
28. Be5 Re5
29.de5 Rg8 threatening a queen sac 30... Qh1 31. Bh1 Nh2 32. Ke1 Rg1 checkmate!

The position haunted Seirawan and he visit and re-visit the position several times before finally he found a defense for white.
25. Nce7 Kh8
26. Nf5 Qh2
27. Kf1 Be5!!
28. de5 Rg8
29. Nde3 fe3
30. e6!

All in all Seirawan devoted 4 pages analysing above position.

Still I wondered, is his analysis accurate? Is white really winning in this game?

Now the position haunted me.

Two weeks after Hari Raya …still in between lemangs, nasi himpit, rendangs of open houses and somewhat less chaotic environment, I consulted my ELO 3000 professor…Mr Fritz agreed that from above position white is winning (eval of 6.3) and gave below convincing line

25. Nce7 Re7
26. Ne7 Kh8
27. Nf4 Qh2
28. Kf1 Rg8
29. Ne3 Bd4
30. Rd4 Ne3
31. Ke1 safe! What a convincing line.

Case closed! Haunt me no more! What Seirawan achieved in few days, i achieved it in few minutes.

The Contemplation
Makes me think how lucky I am today. I have with me, Mr Chess Engine, arguably stronger than even Super GM, that is always ready 24/7 to give me advices , access to millions of games , access to live games, access to thousands and thousands of players all over the world for a quick game between human or some discussion about Caissa, access to maybe million hours of chess videos and training materials, access to tablebase …bet Kasparov and Karpov of early 80's is willing to pay million dollar (or maybe million Ruble) to enjoy what i am enjoying now... what a waste if i did not fully utilized it.

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