Sutovsky's Nf5 Dominates The Game - Top 10 of the 2000s - Sutovsky vs. Smirin, 2002
Emil Sutovsky is a tremendous attacking player. Is this his finest game?

Sutovsky's Nf5 Dominates The Game - Top 10 of the 2000s - Sutovsky vs. Smirin, 2002

SamCopeland
NM SamCopeland
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2

Many newer chess fans go to know GM Emil Sutovsky for the first time this week due to his off-the-board moves as Director General of FIDE.

His on-the-board moves are some of my favorites as he won many brilliant games in the 2000s. His game against Ilia Smirin is probably his finest, and for me, it ranks as the #6 best chess game of the 2000s.

Top 10 Games of the 2000s

Sutovsky selected a Closed Sicilian in this game. While it may not be the most sophisticated setup, it's certainly lead to many decisive attacks.

Sutovsky plays very creatively, first entombing and sacrificing the light-square bishop to block the center and split the board, and second sacrificing the dark-square bishop to rip things open and attack with his queen and incredible knight on f5.

No perfect meal is complete without dessert, and Sutovsky caps things sweetly here with a gorgeous queen sacrifice and forced mate.

Lessons:

  • An unassailable knight on f5 is to be highly valued.
  • The pieces that matter in an attack are the ones in the attacking sphere. The others are just being hoarded for the endgame IF it can be reached.
  • Always calculate all forcing moves.

My notes are below. Enjoy the game!

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