White:  Johan Eriksson
Black:  Alex Shabalov
Exhibition game, Pittsburgh, August 2003
Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Slav Defense

I missed this event, but thanks to Tom Martinak, Bill Hoppmann, and others, I
have learned some tidbits from the post-mortem discussion.

 1 d4    d5
 2 c4    c6
 3 Nf3   Nf6
 4 Nc3   e6
 5 Bg5

   A gambit.  The main alternative is 5 e3.

 5 ...   dxc4

   Black accepts the gambit.  Instead, 5 ... Be7 transposes to the Orthodox
   variation, with the c-pawn already committed to c6, while 5 ... Nbd7 can
   transpose to the Cambridge Springs variation (6 e3 Qa5, etc.).  Another
   important defense is 5 ... h6.  White can play 6 Bxf6, or he can continue
   to offer a gambit by 6 Bh4.  The gambit variation, after 6 ... dxc4
   7 e4 g5 8 Bg3, was formerly thought not difficult enough for Black, but
   has seen something of a revival in the last few years.

 6 e4    b5
 7 e5    h6
 8 Bh4   g5
 9 Nxg5  hxg5
10 Bxg5

   Who is gambiting to whom?  White will be a pawn ahead.  But everything will
   depend on the tactics for some time to come.  If Black can shelter his
   king, and avoid damage to his queenside pawn mass, he can make dangerous

10 ...   Nbd7
11 exf6  Bb7
12 g3    Qc7

   GM Shabalov finds a good moment to take his opponent off the beaten path.
   The usual line here is 12 ... c5 13 d5 Qb6.  In the post-mortem, Shabalov
   mentioned the upset game Onischuk-Obodchuk, from this year's Poikovsky
   tournament in Siberia.  That was not the first game with this variation,
   but it's the one that set the chess world buzzing.  GM Onischuk, whose name
   may be familiar to some En Passant readers as he immigrated to the U.S.
   several years ago, was leading the tournament, but fell out of first place
   after losing to tail-ender Obodchuk.

   Spectators were amused and impressed when Shabalov quoted one of Eriksson's
   games in the main line, clearly remembering the game better than Johan
   himself.  I don't know what game it was, but I found the following
   interesting game in Chess Assistant, Eriksson-Hultin (Sweden 1997):
   12 ... c5 13 d5 Qb6 14 Bg2 O-O-O 15 O-O b4 16 Rb1 Qa6 17 dxe6 Bxg2
   18 e7 Ba8 19 exd8(Q)+ Kxd8 20 Ne2 Kc8 21 Qc2 Qe6 22 Nf4 Qg4 23 Qe2 Bf3
   24 Qe8+ Kc7 25 Qe3 Kc8 26 h3 Bd6 27 Rfd1 Bxf4 28 Bxf4 Bc6 29 Rd6 Bb7
   30 Rxd7 Qxd7 31 Qe5 Qd5 32 Qc7 mate.

13 Bg2   c5
14 d5

   White took 12 minutes on this move and 19 minutes on the next.  Of course
   not 14 Nxb5? Qa5+ and 15 ... Bxg2.

14 ...   b4
15 Nb5

   Shabalov suggested 15 d6 as the critical test of Black's 12th move.  After
   15 ... Qb8 (or 15 ... Qc8 or 15 ... Qb6) 16 Ne4, the position has
   temporarily stabilized.  Eriksson must have considered 15 dxe6, but after
   15 ... Bxg2 16 exd7+ Qxd7 17 Qxd7+ Kxd7 18 Rg1 Bf3, Black holds all the
   high cards.  15 Ne2 doesn't look adequate after 15 ... O-O-O 16 O-O Nb6.
   But after the text move, White's knight is trapped behind enemy lines.

15 ...   Qb6
16 dxe6  Qxe6+
17 Kf1

   Onischuk played 17 Be3, but fared no better.

17 ...   O-O-O
18 Nxa7+ Kb8
19 Qa4   Bxg2
20 Kxg2  Kb7
21 Rae1  Nb6

   After 22 ... Qd5+ 23 Kg1, White would still have resources:  23 ... Ra8
   24 Rd1, or 23 ... Qxg5 24 Qc6+ Kxa7 (or 24 ... Kb8 25 Nb5) 25 Qc7+.  But
   21 ... Nb6 breaks down all resistance.

22 Rxe6  Nxa4
23 Nc6   Ra8
24 Re7+  Bxe7
25 Nxe7  Nxb2
26 Nf5   Kc6
27 Re1   Rxa2
28 Re7

   White was down to less than 4 minutes.

28 ...   Nd3
29 Be3   b3
30 Rxf7  b2
31 Ne7+  Kd6
32 Nf5+  Ke6
33 Rb7   Kxf5
34 f7    Nb4
White Resigns