ChessBase Magazine #205: Special on Robert Huebner

1/14/2022 – Robert Huebner is considered Germany’s most successful player since Emanuel Lasker. From 1971 to 1988 he constantly belonged to the world’s top 20, achieving his all-time high in 1981 when he was number 3 on the Elo list. Huebner participated in four World Championship candidates cycles and in 1980 advanced to the final where he faced Viktor Kortschnoj. In ChessBase Magazine #205 our authors comment on their personal favourite Huebner game - resulting in an exclusive collection of 16 games from 1970 to 2017. In addition, Karsten Mueller presents a selection from Huebner's best endgames. And Mihail Marin in his strategy check comes to a surprising result for himself! Here we show you an excerpt from Marin's video as well as Karsten Müller's analysis of his favourite game: Huebner-Kasparov (Dortmund 1992). We hope you enjoy it!

ChessBase Magazine 205 ChessBase Magazine 205

"Special" on Robert Huebner with analyses and videos on strategy and endgame. Firouzja, Oparin, Predke, Sevian, Vitiugov and others comment on their games from the Grand Swiss 2021. Opening videos by Kasimdzhanov, Ragger and Marin. 11 Opening articles

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"Deep in his soul he is a concrete player"

From Mihail Marin's article: "Huebner's strategic skills".

How can Robert Huebner's style of play best be described? Mihail Marin has analysed 16 games of Robert Huebner - mainly from the Interzonals from 1970 to 1979 - and in his article he sheds light on various strategic elements of his play. As usual, he precedes the analyses and training exercises with an introductory video, which states at the beginning:

"For many years I have been convinced that Robert Huebner was a strict positional player. I had maybe some subjective reasons for that. He is a science man, he is a specialist in languages, he also looks so serious, so professional over the board, so that his chess should be about something serious, I thought..."

Excerpt from Mihail Marin's video introduction (CBM #205)

Playing time of the full video in ChessBase Magazine #205: 32:34 min.

"My favourite game by Robert Huebner"

Karsten Mueller analyses Robert Huebner - Garry Kasparov (Dortmund 1992)

Defeating a reigning World Champion is always something special. Here, on top of that, Huebner manages a victory in typical Kasparov style. He relies on his chances in the kingside attack and is rewarded.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0–0 5.Nc3 d6 6.Nf3 Nbd7 7.0–0 e5 8.e4 c6 9.h3 Qb6?!

Objectively, this is probably too provocative. However, at the time it was considered well playable.

10.c5! dxc5 11.dxe5 Ne8

12.Na4? However, this is too slow.

Today's main variation 12.e6 fxe6 13.Ng5 Ne5 14.f4 Nf7 15.Nxf7 Bd4+ 16.Kh2 Rxf7 17.e5 is better for White and has discredited the whole play.

12...Qa6 13.Bg5 b5 14.Nc3 Nc7 15.Be7 Re8 16.Bd6 Ne6 17.a4 b4 18.Ne2 Qa5!

Kasparov also plays for a win as usual and wants more than

18...c4 19.Bxb4 Nxe5 20.Nxe5 Bxe5 21.Bc3 Bxc3 22.bxc3 Nc5 (Knaak in CBM 29), which should be fairly even.; Not, however, the rushed 18...Qc4? 19.Re1 Qa6 20.a5 c4 21.Nf4 Nef8 22.Bf1

19.Nd2 Ba6 Kasparov spurns the pawn and goes fully into his counterplay.

19...Nxe5!? was also strongly in question, though, e.g. 20.f4 Nd7 21.e5 Ba6 22.Rf2 Rad8

20.f4 c4 21.Kh2 Rad8 21...Nb6? 22.f5

22.Qc2?

There is no real progress on the queenside.

22.Nf3 was called and the game should balance, e.g. 22...Bf8 23.Ned4 Nxd4 24.Nxd4 Bb7 25.Nc2 b3 26.Ne3 Ba6 27.Rc1 c3 28.Rxc3 Bxf1 29.Qxf1 Qxa4 30.Bxf8 Rxf8 31.Qc1

22...Nb6 23.Rfd1 Bf8? After that Huebner's play on the kingside gets going after all.

After 23...c5! 24.Bf1 Rc8 (Huebner in CBM 29), on the other hand, it is slowed down.

24.Nf3 c3 25.Ned4

Now it's getting really uncomfortable. Huebner strengthens his initiative in the style of Kasparov, who now plays wrong under pressure:

25...Nxd4? This exchange only increases the white attacking harmony.

25...cxb2! keeps the damage in check, e.g. 26.Qxb2 (26.Nb3? bxa1N 27.Rxa1 Bd3 28.Qxd3 Nc5–+ (Huebner)) 26...Nc4! 27.Qa2 Nxd6 28.Nxc6 Qb6 29.Nxd8 b3 30.Qb1 b2 31.Nxe6 bxa1Q 32.Qxa1 Rxe6 33.exd6 Rxd6 34.Rxd6 Qxd6 35.e5 Qb4

26.Nxd4 cxb2 27.Qxb2 27.Nb3? bxa1N 28.Rxa1 Rxd6 29.Nxa5 Rd3

27...Nc4 28.Qb3?

Surprisingly, this is the wrong square.

After 28.Qa2! Black's back is against the wall: 28...Nxd6 (28...Qb6? 29.a5 Qb7 30.Bxf8 Kxf8 31.e6+–) 29.Nxc6 Qb6 30.Nxd8 b3 31.a5 Qe3 32.Qa4 Bb5 33.Qd4 Qxd4 34.Rxd4 Nc4 35.Rb1 Nxa5 36.Rd5 Bc4 37.Rxa5 Rxd8 38.Rxa7 Rd2 39.Rb7

28...Qb6 The correct parry of the threat Nxc6.

Not, however 28...Rc8? 29.Bxf8 Rxf8 (29...Kxf8 30.Rac1 c5 31.Nf3 Red8 32.Rxd8+ Qxd8 33.Rxc4 Bxc4 34.Qxc4+–) 30.e6 c5 31.Nf3 Nb6 32.e7 Rfe8 33.Qb2 Nc4 34.Qf6 Qb6 35.e5 Bb7 36.Rd6 Qc7 37.Rc1 Ne3 38.e6 fxe6 39.Qxe6+ Kh8 40.Rd7 Qc6 41.Qe5+ Kg8 42.Rxb7 Qxb7 43.Qxe3 Qxe7 44.Ne5+–

29.a5 Qb7 However, this decision by Kasparov can also be seen critically. The passive retreat on the queenside gives Huebner a dangerous initiative.

Presumably 29...Nxa5!? was the better choice from a practical point of view, e.g. 30.Rxa5 (30.Qa4 Bxd6 31.exd6 Rxd6 32.Qxa5 Qxa5 33.Rxa5 Bb5 34.e5 Rd7 35.Rxb5 cxb5 36.Bc6 Red8 37.Bxd7 Rxd7 38.Kg2 b3 39.Kf3 a5 40.Ke4 a4 41.Rb1 Kf8 42.Nxb5 Rb7 43.Na3 b2 44.Nc2 Rb3 45.g4 a3 46.Nxa3 Rxa3 47.Rxb2 Rxh3=) 30...Qxa5 31.Bxf8 Rxd4 32.Rxd4 Rxf8 33.e6 Qc5 34.exf7+ Rxf7 35.Rxb4 Bb5

30.Bxf8 Kxf8 31.e6!?

The consistent continuation of the white attack.

31.Bf1?! c5 32.Bxc4 Bxc4 33.Qxc4 cxd4 34.Rxd4 Rxd4 35.Qxd4 b3 36.e6 Rxe6 (Huebner) 37.Qh8+ Ke7 38.Rd1 Qc7 39.Qd4=

31...c5 31...fxe6?? 32.Nxe6+ Rxe6 33.Rxd8+ Ke7 34.Rad1+–

32.e5 Qc7 33.exf7 Qxf7 34.Nc6

Now a very critical situation has arisen. Presumably Kasparov can still hold on, but on the board the defence is hard to find or conduct:

34...Rxd1? That's the wrong order.

34...Nxe5! was called for, e.g. 35.Qxf7+ Nxf7 36.Nxd8 Rxd8 37.Rxd8+ Nxd8 38.Rc1 c4 (38...Ne6? 39.Bd5 Ke7 (Huebner) 40.g4 Nd4 (40...Nxf4?! 41.Rxc5 Kd6?! 42.Rc6++–) 41.f5 gxf5 (41...b3 42.f6+ Kxf6 43.Rxc5?) 42.gxf5 Bd3 43.f6+ Kxf6 44.Rxc5) 39.Bf1 b3 40.Bxc4 b2 41.Rd1 b1Q 42.Rxb1 Bxc4 (Huebner) 43.Rc1 Bb5 44.Rc8 Ke8 45.Rc7 Nc6 46.Rxh7 a6

35.Rxd1 35.Qxd1? Ne3 36.Qd6+ Kg8 37.Bf3 Qb3 (Huebner) 38.Re1=

35...Nxe5 35...Qc7? 36.Qf3+–

36.Bd5 Bc4! Kasparov had probably relied on this counter-attack.

37.Qc2 Ng4+?

But now he liquidates into a lost endgame under enormous pressure. After 37...b3? 38.Qc1

a) 38.Qc3? Qf5 39.Rd2 (39.Nxe5 Qc2+ 40.Qxc2 bxc2 41.Rc1 Bxd5 42.Rxc2 Rc8 43.Rxc5 Rxc5 44.Nd7+ Ke7 45.Nxc5 Kd6= (Huebner)) 39...b2 40.Nxe5 Rxe5 41.fxe5 b1Q 42.Qxc4 Qb4 43.Qe2 Kg7 44.Qe3 Qb8 45.Rf2 Qbxe5 46.Qxc5 Qxf2+ 47.Qxf2 Qxd5 48.Qxa7+ Kg8 49.Qb8+ Kf7 50.Qc7+ Kg8 51.Qb8+ Kf7 52.Qb4 Qa2+ 53.Kg1 Qe2=;

b) 38.Qf2?? Nxc6 39.Bxf7 Re2–+;

38...Qf5 (38...b2 39.Qxb2 Bxd5 40.Nxe5 Qb7 41.Qc3 (Huebner)) 39.Nxe5 Qc2+ 40.Bg2 Rxe5 41.fxe5 Qxc1 42.Rxc1 the black pawns are surprisingly toothless, e.g. 42...Bd3 43.Rf1+ (43.Rxc5? b2 44.Rc8+ Ke7 45.Rb8 b1Q 46.Rxb1 Bxb1 47.Bd5 Bf5= (Huebner)) 43...Ke7 (43...Bxf1 44.Bxf1 Ke7 45.Kg2 Ke6 46.Kf3 Kxe5 47.Ke3+–) 44.Rf2 Ke6 (Huebner) (44...c4?! 45.Bd5+–) 45.Bf3 c4 (45...Bc2 46.Rd2 Kxe5 47.Bd5+–) 46.Bd1 Be4 47.Rb2 Bd5 48.Kg1 Kxe5 49.Kf2 Kd4 50.Rd2+ Ke5 51.Ke3+–; ?37...Nxc6! was forced. However, White retains a clear advantage after 38.Qxc4 Qc7 39.Qxc5+ Qe7 (Huebner) 40.Qc1!?; 37...Qxd5? 38.Rxd5 Nf3+ 39.Kh1 Re2 40.Rd8+ Kg7 41.Qxe2 Bxe2 42.Kg2+–

38.hxg4 Re2+ 38...Bxd5 39.Qxc5+ Kg8 40.Rxd5 Qe6 41.Ne5+–

39.Qxe2 Bxe2 40.Bxf7 Bxd1 41.Bc4

Huebner controls the black pawns, while his a-pawn will decide the game.

41...b3 42.Nxa7 b2 43.Ba2 43.Bd3?? c4=

43...Be2 43...c4 44.Nb5+– (Huebner); 43...Bxg4 44.Nb5 Be6 45.Bb1 Bf5 46.Bxf5 gxf5 47.Nc3+– (Huebner); 43...Ba4 44.Nc8 c4 45.a6 c3 46.a7 c2 (46...Bc6 47.Bb1+–) 47.a8Q b1Q (47...c1Q 48.Qxa4+–) 48.Nb6+ Be8 (48...Ke7 49.Qe4+ Kd8 50.Bxb1 c1Q 51.Nxa4+–) 49.Qa3+ Kg7 50.Qe7++– (Huebner)

44.Kg2 Bd3 44...Ke7 45.Kf2 Bc4 46.Bb1 Kd7 47.f5 gxf5 48.gxf5 Kc7 49.f6 Kb7 50.Nb5+– (Huebner)

45.Kf3 Ke7 45...b1Q 46.Bxb1 Bxb1 47.Ke3 Ba2 48.Nb5 Bc4 49.Nc7+–

46.Ke3 b1Q 46...Bc4 47.Bb1 Kd7 48.Kd2 Kc7 49.Kc3 Ba6 50.f5 gxf5 51.gxf5 Kb7 52.f6 Kxa7 53.f7+–

47.Bxb1 Bxb1 48.Nb5 Kd7 48...Ba2 49.a6 Bd5 50.Nc7 Bc6 51.a7 Kd7 52.a8Q Bxa8 53.Nxa8 Kc6 54.f5+–

49.a6 Kc6

50.f5! This tactical punch line is the culmination of a sustained attack.

50.,,gxf5 51.gxf5 Bxf5 52.a7 Kb7 53.Nd6+ Kxa7 54.Nxf5 Kb6 55.Ke4 Kc6 56.Ke5 Kb5 57.Kd5 Kb4 58.Nd6 h5 59.Ne4 c4 60.Kd4 Kb3 61.Nd2++–

1–0

This and 15 other brilliant games by Robert Huebner - annotated by Martin Breutigam, Adrien Demuth, Romain Edouard, Michal Krasenkow and Viktor Moskalenko among others - can be found in the "Special" of ChessBase Magazine #205!

ChessBase Magazine #205

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