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Just Played...

  • GM BryanSmith
  • | Feb 2, 2012
  • | 8820 views
  • | 33 comments

If you follow my column, you will notice that I have not often been covering the most recent games from top-level tournaments. I don’t really want to annotate the same game that other commentators (and their computers) have already picked apart. But this time I am making an exception and covering a game that was just played (at the time of writing) in Wijk aan Zee, although in the B-group. It was a very nice game by the 61 year old Dutch grandmaster Jan Timman.

Timman was a member of the world elite for most of his life, even playing a “world championship” match against Karpov in 1993 after Kasparov and Short created the PCA and organized their own match. When chess players get older they tend to get more inconsistent, rather than simply beginning to play worse. Thus a strong player who is no longer so young can be a dangerous opponent, because you never know when he will suddenly play like he did in his youth. In this game, Timman plays beautifully against his younger opponent, GM Sipke Ernst, showing his natural talent. On the surface he plays with a devil-may-care attitude, pushing pawns and sacrificing. Of course, this belies the real calculation behind his play. The game flows so smoothly because of the sound positional basis.

The theme here is the positional sacrifice. Early in the opening he sacrifices a pawn, despite the exchange of queens. To the untrained eye the compensation looks almost invisible, but it turns out that Black can hardly utilize his extra pawn or shake off the pressure. A vigorous advance in the center bottles up the black pieces. Finally there is a breakthrough with a temporary knight sacrifice which looks almost like a middlegame method. Finally a positional exchange sacrifice allows the black pieces to be incarcerated and the activity of the white pieces to reach the extreme. 

It is hard to see where exactly Black made his mistake in this game. Probably instead of 17...Bd5, 17...0-0-0 should have been preferred; however, I prefer White anyway there. 20...g6 led to big problems, but Black is definitely in trouble by that point anyway. Looking at this game, you get the sense that White's play never depended on any one specific variation; rather, it was based on true positional elements. It looked like Black was really facing a tidal wave in this game! 

Comments


  • 2 years ago

    Uatiavi

    Timman you are just great!thnx IM.
  • 2 years ago

    arvinbading

    he he he

  • 2 years ago

    fbo_biker

    nice..

  • 3 years ago

    Archaic71

    Actually, as you watch it, it all makes sense - but to come up with it OTB?  Jeeze, Timman must have been taking his vitamins lately.

  • 3 years ago

    chebf123

    i watch GM games. 

    they're over my head.

    it's like watching pro ball.

    all you can do it say is, "dame."

  • 3 years ago

    Spacefunkrhyme

    beautiful game!

  • 3 years ago

    melvinbluestone

    I don't care how many people have played it, 9...Be6?! has "lemon" written all over it. Great game by Timman.....!

  • 3 years ago

    abcfls

    This kind of dynamic, taking-risk play, it´s unaccesible to me...

    Great Timman.

  • 3 years ago

    loved

    Chess Artistry 101. Thanks for the lessons, IM Smith and GM Timman. Possibly Black would have been better off by letting go of the advanced pawn instead of bringing out the Queen at move 7. Other ways of developing may have been better.

  • 3 years ago

    platoni

    Nice game!!!Thx!

  • 3 years ago

    SuperCourgette

    @ SneakyPawnstar :

    Maybe you can't see it in his games but you have to see it in his rating Tongue out

  • 3 years ago

    thijs69

    Nice one..thanks

  • 3 years ago

    SneakyPawnstar

    I don't quite understand why many people say that a chess player's playing strenght degraded as he/she gets older. I can't see it in GM Timman current's game.Surprised

    Nice article.

  • 3 years ago

    ChessBrutality

    Very enjoyable game and nice commentary from Bryan! Your impression about the game is what matters and I appreciate that! That's what everyone portrays in their article isn't it?

  • 3 years ago

    jittu

    while watching this game i felt M Tal is come back---  love u timman u are simply gr8 !!!?!

  • 3 years ago

    Prooz

    Amazing game and very nice annotations, thank you for sharing!

  • 3 years ago

    Turtlekrieg

    As an IM, you ARE a "top player". This was a great game. Thanks for sharing it.

  • 3 years ago

    abrarsamen

    good

  • 3 years ago

    r_natad23

    sometimes in our life we have gave our masterpeices....in chess even for none grandmasters..of certain moments we have or they have played there best games....this is the beauty of chess...of endless possibilities....mind and emotions co-exist and savagery rekindled like a beatiful poem..............very good ARTICLE!!!

  • 3 years ago

    twoknightsandarook

    [COMMENT DELETED]
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