Ivan Bukavshin (RIP)

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Twenty year old Russian star Ivan Bukavshin (May 3,1995–January 12, 2016) died suddenly yesterday, apparently of a stroke. You can find an excellent  over-view of Ivan’s chess career HERE. By all accounts, he seemed destined to superstardom. His games were filled with fight and he hated short draws, very reminiscent of the great Bent Larsen.  Below are a  couple of tactics from  Ivan’s recent games.

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St.Petersburg Summer Rapid  2013.8.31  GM Bukavshin,I– (2200) Utkin,V.  Black had just played 25…h6, politely asking the Knight to leave. The passed pawn on c5 guarantees White a longterm positional advantage, and so White can now continue 26.Nf3 with a good game, but Ivan saw that the activity of his pieces might give him an even better move.

WHITE TO PLAY AND CRUSH!

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Tseshkovsky Mem  Sochi  2014.9.24  GM Shaposhnikov,E–GM Bukavshin,I.  Position before Black’s 22nd move.  The exposed position of the White monarch assures Black the upper hand, but the presence of opposite colour Bishops means that there a lot of hidden defensive resources. For example, if Black now gets fancy with the cute 22…Rxf3 ( the idea is 23.Kxf3  Be4+! 24.Ke3 Qb5 25.Qe2 Rf3+! 26.Qxf3 Qd3+ etc) then White can bail out with 23.Qe5! Qd7 24.Qxg7+!  with very good drawing chances in the ending.  So Black must play with precision…

BLACK TO PLAY AND CRUSH!

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Solutions

St.Petersburg Summer Rapid  2013.8.31 Bukavshin,I–Utkin,V: 26.Rxg6!! hxg5 27.Bxg5 ( The threat is Bf6, which would be the reply against both 27…Rae8 and 27…Nc3. If instead  27…Kh7 28.Qh3+ Kg8 29.Rxg7+! is soon mate. Finally, 27…Be4 goes off to 28.Rxg7+ Kxg7 29.Qg3! Bg6 30.Qf3! etc.) 27… Re6!?  28.Rxe6 fxe6 29.Qxe6+ Kh8 30.Rd3! 1-0

Tseshkovsky Mem  Sochi  2014.9.24  Shaposhnikov,E–Bukavshin,I: 22…Bg4! (22…Be4 should also do the trick) 23.fxg4 ( now 23.Qe5 goes off to 23…Bxf3+ 24.Kg3 Rg4+ 25.Kh3 Rxd4 etc ) 23..Rxg4+ 24.Kh2 (24.Kh3 Qd7!) 24…Re4 (24…Re8 is even faster ) 25.Qg3 Rff4 26.Bf2 Qd6 27.Kh3 Qe6+ 28.Kh2 Qe5 0-1

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