Magazine article The Spectator

Peter the Great

Magazine article The Spectator

Peter the Great

Article excerpt

Russian Grandmaster Peter Svidler is on a roll. He has won the final of the Russian Championship for the sixth time, defeating former world champion Vladimir Kramnik in the process, and as I write he has qualified for the semi-final of the FI D E World Cup in Khanty Mansiysk.

E n route Svidler won what will doubtless become recognised as the game of the year, a victory which was introduced by one of the most stunning coups ever seen on the chess board. Many expert players have confessed that Svidler's pounce with his rook was so esoteric that they could not for some time fathom its point.

I n that sense it bears comparison with F ischer's famous rook coup which caused Robert Byrne's resignation in the 1963 US Championship - many grandmasters confessed themselves puzzled by Byrne's resignation because they had not seen the stunning thrust at the end.

Byrne-Fischer; US Championship, 1963 White (diagram 1) had already resigned as 1 . . .

Re1+! forces the win.

Kamsky-Svidler; FIDE World Cup, Khanty Mansiysk 2011; Ruy Lopez 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 b5 6 Bb3 Bc5 7 a4 Rb8 8 axb5 axb5 9 c3 d6 10 d4 Bb6 11 Be3 A frequently seen alternative here is 11 Na3 targetting the loose b5-pawn. …

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