Gulko - Kaufman (round 1) PDF Print E-mail
Tue, May 13 2008 (17:05)

Round 1- White: GM Boris Gulko (2623) - Black: IM Larry Kaufman (2398)

1. c4 Nf6 2. d4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Bg5

4. cxd5 and Nf3 are more popular, but this move can be dangerous too. Karpov and Kasparov played several incredible games in the exchange variation. According to my database, Gulko never used this move before, so it's likely that Kaufman was caught off-guard.

4. ... Ne4 5. Bh4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 dxc4 7. Qa4+

7. e3 is played 90% of the time here, between GM's, so this may have been yet another surprise for Kaufman.

7. ... Qd7 8. Qxc4 Bg7 9. e3 b6 10. Qb3 Bb7 11. Nf3 O-O 12. Be2 c5

Black begins to put pressure on White's strong center, as he always must in the Gruenfeld defense.

13. O-O Nc6 14. Rfd1 cxd4 15. cxd4 Rac8 16. Rac1 e5?

A rather provocative move, with White's rook aimed right at the enemy queen. The typical 16. ... Na5 was a better choice, intending some helpful trades, and restraining White's center by increasing control of d5 and e4. It's often the case in the Gruenfeld that Black aims for the endgame, when White's central control may decrease in significance, and Black's queenside majority might begin having an influence on the play. Also, from a5 the knight eyes the c4-square, which tends to be hugely important in this pawn structure.

17. dxe5 Qf5 18. Bd3

Boris improves his pieces with gain of time...

18. ... Qh5 19. e6!

... and doesn't allow Black to regain his pawn or even to get his balance.

19. ... Na5 20. exf7+ Kh8

20. ... Rxf7 could be considered better, but Black is essentially losing anyway, so why not complicate? But now Gulko finishes the game in style.

21. Rxc8 Bxc8 22. Qc2 Bg4 23. Be7 Rxf7 24. Bc4!

Opening the d-file with a gain of time. Black's king is defenseless.

24. ... Nxc4 25. Rd8+ Bf8 26. Bxf8 Rxf8 27. Rxf8+ Kg7 28. Rf4 b5 29. Qc3+ Kh6 30. Rf7 Bxf3 31.
Qg7+ Kg5 32. Rxf3

and Black resigned. It seems that probably Kaufman was surprised by Gulko's 4th and 7th moves, and may have just been rattled when he played the unsound 16. ... e5. Black didn't get a second chance. For some history of this opening, I refer you to the fascinating Karpov-Kasparov games from the period 1987 - 1990.


Chess Quotes

And for the chess-player the success which crowns his work, the great dispeller of sorrows, is named "combination."

-Emanuel Lasker (1868-1941)

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