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An idea that problemists have occasionally exploited effectively is the "Excelsior" theme, involving a pawn rushing from its initial square to the end of the board in five consecutive moves. While such a thing occasionally happens in real-life end-games, a middle-game Excelsior in a tournament must be an extreme rarity.

Jaan Ehlvest almost did it against Boris Gulko in the current "Credit Suisse" tournament. Playing h5, h4, hxg3 and gxh2+ on consecutive moves, he turned a promising position into a win with no waste of time. At the end, the threats of h1=Q+ and Nxd3 cannot both be met.

White: Gulko Black: Ehlvest

1 c4 e6 2 Nc3 b6 3 b3 Bb7 4 Bb2 Nf6 5 e3 Be7 6 Nf3 0-0 7 d4 d5 8 Bd3 Nbd7 9 0-0 Re8 10 Rc1 a6 11 Qe2 c5 12 cxd5 exd5 13 Rfd1 g6 14 Ne5 cxd4 15 exd4 Nh5 16 Nxd7 Qxd7 17 Qf3 b5 18 a4 Bc6 19 axb5 axb5 20 Ra1 Nf6 21 Qe2 Rxa1 22 Rxa1 Bd6 23 Qf1 b4 24 Na4 Qc7 25 g3 Ne4 26 Qc1 h5 27 Qc2 h4 28 Rc1 hxg3 29 Qxc6 gxh2+ 30 Kg2 Qxc6 31 Rxc6 Nxf2 White resigns.

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