A chess set from Uzbekistan

11/8/2003 – The game between grandmaster Saidali Yuldashev and the Uzbek TV audience, assisted by ChessBase.com visitors, is being received with great enthusiasm. People are already talking about a a match between the Uzbekistan and ChessBase audiences. A delighted woodcarver from Tashkent (picture) is even making a special gift for ChessBase.

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Usbek TV audience vs Saidali Yuldashev

By Jamshid Begmatov

This time I would like to start my article with thanking those hundreds of ChessBase readers who responded to our challenge and submitted their moves, and especially those who complemented their suggested moves with interesting comments and even shared their experience of playing Marshall. I also send many thanks to all of you on behalf of Uzbekistan Chess Federation and Grandmaster Yuldashev for joining in.

No surprise, 93% of both ChessBase readers and Uzbek TV audience suggested the move 13.Re5-e1, although there were some different suggestions like Re2, Bxd5, and even Rxd5, all of which are rarely played. The grandmaster has responded 13…Qh4. Here is the game and the current position, with White to move:

TV/ChessBase Audience – S. Yuldashev: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d4 Bd6 13.Re1 Qh4

As we are still well into theory at this stage, there are not many options for White in this position, the obvious move is g3. However, I have no authority to execute the move without receiving your submissions.

I would like to bring to your attention a game of two great players, played in exactly this line of Marshall, nicely won by White:

Ivanchuk,Vassily (2700) - Short,Nigel D (2655) [C89] Tal Memorial, Riga, 1995: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d4 Bd6 13.Re1 Qh4 14.g3 Qh3 15.Be3 Bg4 16.Qd3 Rae8 17.Nd2 Re6 18.a4 bxa4 19.Rxa4 f5 20.Qf1 Qh5 21.Rxa6 f4 22.Bxf4 Bh3

23.Rxe6 Bxf1 24.Nxf1 Bxf4 25.Raxc6 Qf3 26.Bxd5 Qxd5 27.gxf4 Qf3 28.d5 h5 29.Rc4 h4 30.Rg6 Qd3 31.Rgc6 Qxd5 32.Rc8 h3 33.Ne3 Qd2 34.Kf1 Qxb2 35.Rxf8+ Kxf8 36.Rc8+ Kf7 37.Rh8 Qxc3 38.Rxh3 Qd3+ 39.Ke1 Qe4 40.Ke2 Kg8 41.f5 Kf7 42.Rg3 Qh1 43.h3 Qe4 44.Rg4 Qh1 45.h4 Qh2 46.Nf1 Qe5+ 47.Kf3 Qd5+ 48.Re4 Qd1+ 49.Kg2 Qd5 50.Ng3 Qc6 51.Kh3 Qc2 52.f3 Qd1 53.Kg4 Qg1 54.Re6 Qd4+ 55.Ne4 Qd7 56.Ng5+ Kg8 57.Kh5 Qd8 58.Kg6 Qd7 59.h5 Qb5 60.Ne4 1–0.

And from next week on, I hope we will enter the fighting phase of the game and there will be much higher a variety of moves from you. For now, please take some time to submit your moves. I would also strongly encourage you to write a little comment on the position and the event in general, or anything you would like to tell or ask the organizers. In every installment we will quote some of the most interesting comments. Here are some from the last week’s collection (sorry if you don’t find yours here, not possible to publish all). Wherever not otherwise noted the suggested move is 13.Re1.

Wayne Mendryk, Edmonton, Canada
The Marshall attack is always a fun game for both players. However, it has to be noted that even the likes of Kasparov have avoided this variation as White. For those of you interested, in my chessbase file of Marshall Attack games (2105) in total, White wins 32% of all games, Black wins 35% and 33% of the games were draws. From a historical perspective, the first instance of this opening was played by Marshall vs. Capablanca, New York, 1918. In this variation which has been chosen, GM Michael Adams has scored 7/11 playing the Black side of the Marshall, and GM Ivan Sokolov 5/7 as Black. It is interesting that Kasparov has always avoided allowing his opponent to play the Marshall Attack against him when he has played the Ruy Lopez.

Alan Hartley, Portland, Oregon, USA
Re2 is playable but artificial. White's piece coordination is better after the normal Re1.

Carter Pann, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
It appears that any sharp tactical play in the center of the board by white would be premature/refuted at this point (in light of black's ability to check the white king on h2.

David Levine, Bellerose, USA
It’s a shame the Usbek TV audience allowed the Marshall Attack, though, as it's nice for black.

Marek Polakiewicz, Sao Paulo, Brazil
I suggest the move: Rxd5: take advantage of the pawn majority on the queenside and create a passed pawn.

Ian Finnie, Wellington, New Zealand
Bxd5 If 13...Bxe5 then 14.Bxc6 attacking the Rook or if 13...cxd5 then 14.Rxd5 pinning the Bishop (and winning a pawn) As my rating is around 1200 on a good day there are probably dozens of reasons why the above won't work!! I look forward to seeing the next move. [Dear Ian, no matter what your rating is, there is absolutely no reason why one should not play Bxd5. Just this time your suggestion did not match the majority. Thanks for playing and we look forward to receiving your next move – JB]

Brian Moorman, Thunder Bay, Canada
I suggest the move Re1, to remove the rook from immediate danger. There are no other good squares that allow the rook to have any measure of safety, and the position does not support an exchange sacrifice. White cannot allow Black to have the open e file, or else the oncoming attack will be too overwhelming.

Joe,Savona, New York City, USA
13. Re1 is my suggested move. All other white moves allow black to develop and attack the rook. The rook is well placed on the e-file and there's no reason to exchange it. I also liked Bg5 but with a queen move black saves the queen and still attacks white's rook.

Lawrence, Las Vegas, USA
Retreating back is best as it tries to prevent any attack that black might have. White will be in trouble though no matter what follows: For example: 13...Qh4 (13...Qc714.Qh5 with attacking chances for White) 14.h3 14.Bxh3! 15.Bxd5 and Black is better after 15...cxd5 13.Re2 and 13...Qh4 again with attacking chances. 13. Bg5? 13...Qc7 14.Re4 and Black has Bxh2! So black has compensation for the pawn as white will be in trouble. I guess 13 is really unlucky and Re1 seems to hold a struggling game (a draw at best).

Thang Le, Fairfield, USA
I suggest the move: 13.Rh5 This move is rather speculative, however I hope the potential is worth the risk (of losing the rook, or losing an exchange).

Michael, Hamiota, Canada
I suggest the move: Rook to g5 because White has a chance of starting to check the black king, but he'll need his bishops to help him get there.

Napoleon C. Recososa, Davao City, Philippines
I would like to suggest 13.Re2. I don't much of the current theory, I think 13.Re1 is more popular nowadays. I remembered when I was preparing for a tournament 5-6 years ago, I came across 13.Re2 where white would return a pawn for the advantage of the two bishops. I can't remember the line though. :-)

Pedro, Deus, Barreiro, Portugal
Re1. In my opinion, there's no better way to invest a pawn in the opening. The Marshall Counterattack is very dangerous, black can build up a very strong attack on the kingside. No wonder that on top level many GMs avoid the Marshall.

Rene Davidsen, Oslo, Norway
Re1 looks to me like the most dynamic move. After for instance Rh5, which looks enticing at the first glance, black can easily chase it away, and maybe developing his lightsqare at the same time. White is behind in developement, and needs to get his pieces into the action, not waste time moving his rook back and forth!

Rick Price, Mobile, AL
I would not have allowed black to play the Marshall variation to the Ruy Lopez. Kasparov does not for good reasons!

SHaH_MaT, Buenos Aires, Argentina
I love this game, it’s fantastic

Ian Barnett, Portland Jamaica
Re1, because I played this move in a recently concluded tournament in which I was playing white against Chessmaster 8000. The game ended in a draw by repetition on the 21 move. Therefore I thought this was the best move against a relatively similar opponent.

Yuri Koupenov, Varna, Bulgaria
Re1: the rook is needed back to protect the king as well as the queen which is left unguarded. I don't see any other useful squares for the rook and 13.Bxd5 fails to ...Bxe5 and then ...Bxh2.

Garry Kasparov, Loserville, Russia
13.Qg4!! A powerful theoretical novelty! [Dear chess friend, we admire your sense of humour, but regard this sort of a message as a total disrespect for other players, for the ChessBase team and Mr. Kasparov, and for the game of chess. We would be grateful if you use your own name and submit more serious moves in the future. Thank you – JB]

And here is the most shocking message that came from Japan:

Ian Olsen, Kadena AB, Okinawa Japan
13.Re1 with white to mate in 132!!! [Unfortunatel no further elucidation included]

We also received many messages of gratitude from our Uzbek TV audience. Some of them even asked us to organize a match between them and ChessBase audience. We hope we can do that in the future. A woodcarver from Tashkent (on the picture below) promised to make a very special chess set for the ChessBase team.

I will show a picture of it to all of you and tell you more about this exotic art in one of my future articles, when the chess set is ready (and will of course ship it to ChessBase).

For now, I will translate for you one message that came from the ancient city of Samarkand, from a young man called Khourshid who is getting married after ongoing Ramadan holidays.

Assalom aleykum dear Jamshid! How great it is that players from all over the world are playing with us! Thank you all and please pass my thanks to all ChessBase readers for joining us. The game of chess has really no frontiers! I would be very happy to see them in our beautiful city of Samarkand, and at my forthcoming wedding!..

Khourshid also sent me some great pictures of different historical monuments of his city, and I have the duty of passing them to you.


Registan Square


Sher-Dor Madrassah


Fragment of entrance to Sher-Dor Madrassah


Tilla-Kori Madrassah interior


Tilla-Kori Madrassah – the dome


The Tuman Aka Mausoleum


The Gur Emir mausoleum

A game for Kasparov

Now, as promised, we publish the game between GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Uzbek TV audience played in 2001. I think this could be interested not only for amateurs, but for many many professionals too, including Garry Kasparov! Посмотрите пожалуйста, Гарри Кимович (Russian for "Please have a look, Garry Kimovich").

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.g4 Nc6 7.g5 Nd7 8.Be3 Be7 9.Rg1 Nb6 10.Qh5 g6 11.Qe2 e5 12.Nb3 Be6 13.0–0–0 Nc4 14.Nc5 Nxe3 15.Nxe6 Nxd1 16.Nxd8 Nxc3

The best theory I know ends here. In their book, Kasparov and Nikitin analysed 17.bxc3 and Rxd8. Here is a literal translation from Russian of what they wrote: (After 17…Rxd8) “This is a complicated position, not easy to analyze. It has never been tested in practice. The straightforward play for domination, g5, is not effective. Black has ample compensation for his Queen.” (G. Kasparov, A. Nikitin, The Sicilian Defence, Moscow 1984, p 115).

And Kasimdzhanov sacrificed his Queen because he just trusted Kasparov’s analysis. But in the above position, the TV audience, instead of taking on c3, came up with a fantastic novelty that made things very hard for Black! Can you guess what it was? I will publish the rest of the game, with analysis, in the next installment. You may include your ideas on this game in your comments to TV/ChessBase Audience–S. Yuldashev.

See you next week!
Jamshid

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