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Mig on Chess #1. December 12, 1997.
Mig gives an appreciation of Ivanchuk's play against Seirawan in round 2
(Originally appeared at TWIC)

Good old Vassily "Nerves of Fiberglass" Ivanchuk made his debut today against Yasser "This guy's 2700?" Seirawan. Seirawan played a rather rare line against Chukky's KID (5. Bd3) that he played in 1991 against Igor Ivanov in Los Angeles (draw, 51).

Ivanchuk followed Ivanov's play (could he actually have been prepared for this? I think not.) with 8. ... Nd7, but when Seirawan played 9. Be3 instead of 9. 0-0 as in the Ivanov game Ivanchuk, instead of simply transposing into that decent-looking line, tried to make White lose time with the early bishop development by trading it off with 9. ... Bh6. This handed over too many dark squares after 10. Qd2 Bxe3 11. Qxe3 and led to rapid disaster.

Ivanchuk eschewed normal black KID play (castling, playing ...f5, etc.) and instead embarked on an odd plan to exchange dark squared bishops (9. ... Bh6, creating roughly 18 billion weaknesses on his dark squares. Notice the snack on d6) and create queenside counterplay. That's right sports-fans, he gave up his kingside dark squares and decided to play on the queenside WITH BLACK IN A KING'S INDIAN.

Seirawan ignored his opponent's strange play and went about developing his pieces and taking squares with the earnest diligence of any 1800 elo player. He centralized his heavy pieces, prevented Black from castling, and when Ivanchuk just plain refused to save himself (at least a doomed defense by running to the queenside would have been entertaining and maybe he could have made it to move 25...), Seirawan opened up the center (15. f4) and blew him away.

Ivanchuk probably could have resigned around move 16, but perhaps he hoped Seirawan would miss one of the dozens of clear wins, or that maybe something really heavy would fall on him.

Black finally resigned in a when it became clear that he would lose around 13 pieces. This brings back memories of Kasparov crushing Anand with the Dragon, of Ivanchuk's own ugly loss to Kramnik in a miniature this year, and of my father employing the fool's mate on me when I was six.

I'd hate to take anything away from Yaz, but he probably played this entire game in around 10 minutes while eating lunch at the same time. I'm sure GNUChess running on a 386 would find all of White's moves beginning with 10. Qd2. Ivanchuk is going to spend a lot of money on shoes if he keeps shooting himself in the foot like this.

More amazingly, I believe this is Seirawan's first win against Ivanchuk *ever*, including Melody Amber speed and blindfold games! Let's see if Ivanchuk can get his drek together tomorrow and recover.

[Site "Groningen WC KO"]
[Date "1997.12.11"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Seirawan,Yasser"]
[Black "Ivanchuk,Vassily"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E70"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Bd3 e5 6. d5 a5 7. Nge2 Na6 8. f3 Nd7 9. Be3 Bh6 10. Qd2 Bxe3 11. Qxe3 c6 12. Qh6 Ndc5 13. Rd1 Qb6 14. Bb1 Ke7 15. f4 exf4 16. Rf1 Rf8 17. Qxf4 f6 18. dxc6 Qxc6 19. Nd4 Qe8 20. Nd5+ Kd8 21. Qxd6+ Bd7 22. Nb5 1-0



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