13 December 2007

Sergei Rublevsky

Sergei Rublevsky has cracked into the top 25 on the FIDE list several times, almost earned a berth to the Candidates tournament to qualify for Mexico City 2007 (losing to Grischuk), and has defeated both Karpov and Kasparov in tournament play.

In 2005 he unleashed a beautiful combination against Alexander Riazantsev that chess engines rarely find.

Position from Riazantsev - Rublevsky, 2005
Black to move

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This game was selected as one of the best games published in Informant 94, but placed twelfth in the voting. Hence, it is an easily overlooked brilliancy.


  1. I looked at this earlier today and couldn't really get anything going, now it's starting to come together.

    This is what I've got, with no board and no engine so I don't know how close I really am.

    1...Bc5 (opening the e-file) 2 bc Rd4 (opening the e-file and weakening f3) 3 ed Nf3 (winning the queen, but it's far from over) 4 Qf3 (4 Rf3 Re2 and White's rook is hanging; and if the king moves then Black's Queen comes to h2) Bf3 5 Rf3
    Now Black has a queen and a pawn for White's Rook and two bishops, but he still has good compensation because of the weakness of White's King. I think after 5...Ng4 Black probably has good chances, but that's all I got. I'm eager to see the game continuation.

  2. You have found the game's continuation as far as you have gone. There remain some sharp tactics, but after the fine move 1...Bxc5! everything you've given seems more or less forced.

    My engines (Hiarcs 10 and Fritz 9--I don't have the latest versions of either) settle upon either Bf8 or Rxd4 after several hours. But, if I execute 1...Bxc5, the engines easily find the continuation from there.

    I plan to post more regarding this game at a later date. I think it is a good illustration both of Rublevsky's talent, and of the sort of positions in which human intuition might still match the power of the machines in tactics.

  3. Yeah I looked it up as soon as I got home, I was pretty sure that was right. What I found interesting is that I don't think I could necessarily bring myself to play that in a game or even look at that in a game but when you put the position there and tell me there's something there it's a lot easier.

    True about human intuition, as soon as I realized this was about the e-file the Bishop sac followed very naturally. After 1...Rd4 ed it is clear that you want to move the knight and the bishop at the same time, and 1...Bc5 also threatens to take on d4 so white must react by taking the gift.

  4. I had this position as a training exercise from my coach. At first, I didn't find the idea, but with some help, I hit upon it.

    It was hard to believe that Black can conjure up something with the Q+N duo, as white has so much material. I wonder how far Rublevsky had calculated this one, but it's certainly a brilliancy !