Chess

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IN THE late Sixties, the Yugoslav grandmaster Dragoljub Velimirovic came up with an exciting new way to attack the Sicilian. His basic recipe was simple: castle long, then play g4, g5, Rhg1, Rg3, Qh5, Rh3 and mate on h7. The thrills came with the added ingredients when the attack needed reinforcements: despite the black pawn on e6, he would fearlessly sacrifice a piece with Nf5 or Nd5, for nothing more than an open line or a bigger share of the initiative.

Gradually, the best defensive methods were worked out for Black, the most sober of which involved declining all White's gifts and getting on as quickly as possible with a counter-attack on the other wing. As today's game shows, however, there is still life in the Velimirovic Attack.

Black ignored 13.Nf5, (13...gxf5 14.Nd5 Qd8 15.gxf5 is difficult to defend), and ignored 14.Bd5 (14...exd5 15.Nxd5 leaves White in total control) and after 16...b4 White had three minor pieces under attack.

His 17.Nxg7 was the first move new to theory. In an earlier game White had got nowhere special with 17.Rh3 g6 18.Bxc6 Bxc6 19.Nh6+ Kg7 20.Qf3 Be8. After 17.Nxg7 Kxg7 18.Qh5, however, Black's position was precarious. 18...bxc3 would have been met by 19.Qh6+ Kg8 20.g6! fxg6 21.Rxg6+! Kf7 (hxg6 leads to a quick mate after Qxg6+) 22.Rg7+ Kf8 23.Bxc5.

As the game went, the crucial moment came with 19.Bxe6! Black had to try 19...Nxe6 20.Nd5 Qd8 21.Nf6! Nf8 when he may be able to defend. As the game went, White's attack quickly became too strong. In the final position 24...Nxf7 25.Qxf7+ Kh8 26.Bd4+ forces mate.

White: Alexei Fedorov

Black: Mikhail Kobaliya

Russian Club Cup 1998

1 e4 c5 13 Nf5 b5

2 Nf3 d6 14 Bd5 Bb7

3 d4 cxd4 15 g5 Rfc8

4 Nxd4 Nf6 16 Rg3 b4

5 Nc3 Nc6 17 Nxg7 Kxg7

6 Bc4 e6 18 Qh5 Rg8

7 Be3 a6 19 Bxe6 bxc3

8 Qe2 Qc7 20 Bxf7 Qa5

9 0-0-0 Be7 21 Rh3 Kf8

10 Bb3 0-0 22 Rf3 Ne5

11 Rhg1 Nd7 23 Bd5+ Kg7

12 g4 Nc5 24 Rxf7+ resigns

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