Monday, February 10, 2014

Semi-Slav Defense, Stoltz Variation - Shabalov Attack

Bermuda Round Robin, 2004

1. d4, d5
2. c4, c6
3. Nc3, Nf6
4. Nf3, e6
5. e3, Nbd7
6. Qc2, Bd6
7. g4 ....

This innocuous sacrifice is meant to open the g-file.

7. .... dxc4
8. Bxc4, b6
9. e4, Bb7
10. e5, c5
11. exf6, Bxf3
12. fxg7, Rg8
13. Qxh7+, Nf6
14. Bb5+, Ke7
15. Bg5, Bf4

If 15....Bxh1, then 16. Qh6 winning the Knight and the game.

16. Qh3, Bxh1
17. Bxf4, Qxd4
18. Qg3, Ne4
19. Qh4+, Qf6

If 19....f6, then 20. Rd1 Qb4, 21. Rd7+ and White's attack would be overwhelming.

20. g5, Qf5
21. 0-0-0, Rad8
22. Rxd8, Kxd8

Black's King is trying to escape from the tight situation he is in.

23. Bd3, Rxg7
24. Nxe4 ....

White loses after 24. Qh8+ Ke7, 25. Qxg7 Qxf4+, followed by 26.....Nxc3 or 26.....Qd2 depending on White's move.

With the text move, if Black captures the Bishop with 24....Bxe4, then White wins Black's Queen with 25. Bxe4 Qxe4, 26. Bc7+.

24. .... Rh7
25. Bc7+, Resigns

If 25....Kxb7, then 26. Qg3+ and White's attack will be decisive.  Now, if 26....e5, then 27. Nf6 and White wins the Rook.

Now, if Black decides not to capture the Bishop, he loses the Queen by a double-check, or the Rook after 25....Ke7, 26. Qg3 Qd5, 27. Nf6.

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