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Gregori Serper vs Ionnadis Nikolaidis

King's Indian Defence, Kramer variation

Grigori Serper plays the Sacrifice immortal and sacrifices all of his pieces and achieves a spectacular victory over Ioannis Nikolaidis in the St Petersburg Open of 1993.

PGN ANALYSIS
Cinematic Video

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jQuery(document).ready(function($) { var selector = '#' + "rpbchessboard-63e0fb6d5adc1-1" + ' .rpbchessboard-chessgameAnchor'; RPBChessboard.renderPGN($(selector), {"pgn":"[Event \"St Petersburg op\"] [Site \"St Petersburg\"] [White \"Serper, Grigory\"] [Black \"Nikolaidis, Ioannis\"] [Result \"1-0\"] [ECO \"E70\"] [WhiteElo \"2575\"] [BlackElo \"2440\"] [Annotator \"Serper\"] [PlyCount \"95\"] [EventDate \"October, 1993\"] [EventType \"swiss\"] [EventRounds \"9\"] [EventCountry \"RUS\"] [SourceTitle \"CBM 039\"] [Source \"ChessBase\"] [SourceDate \"1994.04.01\"] {The Immortal Sacrifice Game! Not many people know about this gem of a game but it’s the only game I’ve ever come across in which one player sacrifices every all of their pieces. A game every chessplayer truly wishes they could play! Not only is this a masterpiece of beauty but there are many valuable attacking principles to see here as well.} 1. c4 g6 2. e4 Bg7 3. d4 d6 4. Nc3 Nf6 {The game transposes into a King’s Indian Defense.} 5. Nge2 Nbd7 (5... O-O {Black could castle here which would be more normal, with a transposition back to regular King’s Indian lines.}) 6. Ng3 {I’m not the biggest fan of this idea of putting the knight on g3 but it’s hard to argue with the results of this game.} c6 7. Be2 a6 8. Be3 h5 9. f3 b5 10. c5 dxc5 11. dxc5 Qc7 12. O-O h4 13. Nh1 Nh5 {[%csl Rf4][%cal Gh5f4] Black has strong control of the dark-squares which leads to a good game for them. Over the next few moves, Black does not manage to castle though and that is going to land them in some trouble.} 14. Qd2 e5 15. Nf2 Nf8 $6 {[%csl Gd4,Gf4][%cal Ge6f4,Ge6d4,Gf8e6] Black is taking too many liberties with this move. Black should have taken the time to immediately castle. They were hoping to reach an ideal setup by bringing the knight to e6 before castling and from there to head into one of the great squares on d4 or f4.} 16. a4 $1 { [#] Absolutely the correct idea! If white does not hurry with their attack, Black will set up a dream position. White must do whatever they can to stop this. From here on out, white conducts his attack with great energy and pace, never allowing black a moment to regroup to defend or reach their ideal position.} b4 {[#][%csl Rc3] Here comes the first sacrifice.. .} (16... bxa4 $6 17. Rxa4 {[%csl Ra6][%cal Gf1a1] The a6-pawn is going to be critically weak.}) (16... Ne6 $2 17. axb5 cxb5 18. Nxb5 {Black cannot recapture due to the pin on the a-file.}) 17. Nd5 $1 {The first of many to come! A brilliant move which completely changes the course of the game. Black will now be put on the defensive, rather than comfortably completing their plan.} cxd5 18. exd5 {Clearly black will not be allowed to put the knight on e6 after white recaptures like this. White threatens the pawn on b4 as well.} f5 {[%cal Rf5f4]} 19. d6 $1 Qc6 {[%csl Re2]} 20. Bb5 $1 axb5 21. axb5 {White forcefully opens more files and lines into the Black position.} Qxb5 $1 (21... Qb7 {This was also a natural idea but it is too defensive.} 22. c6 {White’s pawns are incredibly menacing and will soon overpower black.} Qb8 23. Qd5 $1 { A tragic position for Black. Their pieces are stranded on the 8th rank and white is ready to roll their pawns down the board like an avalanche. Black will not survive for long.}) 22. Rxa8 Qc6 23. Rfa1 f4 24. R1a7 $1 Nd7 {[%csl Ra8]} (24... fxe3 $2 {This natural move fails to the spectacular response…} 25. Rxc8+ $3 Qxc8 26. Re7+ Kd8 27. Qxb4 {There is nothing Black can do to stop the checkmate coming along the a5-d8 diagonal!}) 25. Rxc8+ $1 {First a knight, then a bishop, now a rook.} Qxc8 26. Qd5 {[#][%csl Re3]} fxe3 {White’s dark-squared bishop is the next one to go, but the cost of each turn for Black in this position is very expensive.} 27. Qe6+ Kf8 28. Rxd7 {[%csl Rf2] It’s time to say goodbye to White’s last knight on f2.} exf2+ 29. Kf1 Qe8 {[%csl Rd7] White’s next move is spectacular. Without it, white would be struggling. Can you find it?} 30. Rf7+ $3 {Giving away the rook for absolutely nothing but setting up a promotion tactic.} Qxf7 31. Qc8+ Qe8 32. d7 {This was white’s idea. Now there is no stopping white from winning the black queen but this has already come at an incredible cost. After winning black’s queen white will still be down material!} Kf7 33. dxe8=Q+ Rxe8 34. Qb7+ Re7 35. c6 $1 $18 { The only piece white has left to sacrifice is the queen. Black’s not ready to capture it here because the c-pawn will promote, so black looks for counterplay elsewhere…} e4 {[#][%cal Rg7e5,Re7b7,Ge4e3]} 36. c7 e3 {Black is quick with their counterplay. White needs to find a remedy to black’s pawn storming down the board.} 37. Qd5+ (37. c8=Q $4 {Would be a collosal mistake, immediately costing white the game.} e2+ 38. Kxf2 e1=Q#) 37... Kf6 38. Qd6+ Kf7 39. Qd5+ Kf6 40. Qd6+ Kf7 {[#][%csl Rd6]} 41. Qxe7+ {Here it is! White’s final starting piece is sacrificed with great effect. Black’s counterplay will quickly come to a standstill and white is ready to promote and get their 3rd queen of the game!} Kxe7 42. c8=Q Bh6 43. Qc5+ Ke8 44. Qb5+ Kd8 45. Qb6+ Kd7 46. Qxg6 e2+ 47. Kxf2 $1 (47. Kxe2 $4 {[%csl Re2,Rg6]} Nf4+ $1 {Ouch.}) 47... Be3+ 48. Ke1 $1 (48. Kxe2 $4 {[%csl Re2,Rg6] Still not good…} Nf4+) 1-0","nboSquareSize":50,"idoSquareSize":50,"nboCoordinateVisible":true,"idoCoordinateVisible":true,"nboColorset":"greenvintage","idoColorset":"greenvintage","nboPieceset":"new-set-mac","idoPieceset":"new-set-mac","nboAnimated":true,"nboMoveArrowVisible":false,"nboMoveArrowColor":"b","pieceSymbols":"native","navigationBoard":"frame","withFlipButton":true,"withDownloadButton":true}); });

Anatoly Karpov vs Viktor Korchnoi

Sicilian Defense, The Dragon Variation

In this chess lessons we analyze a fantastic game between Gregori Serper and Ioannis Nikolaidis playing the Kramer variation of the Kings Indian Defense. Chess books are often deservingly filled to the brim with games played by the world’s best and most famous players. However, in today’s article we are going to be looking at a game played by Grandmaster Gregory Serper. He’s not as well known as some of the world champions but plays like one in the featured game. He sacrifices all of his starting back rank pieces and wins a one of a kind game with this masterpiece.

Immortal Sacrifice Serper Vs Nikolaidis
Gregori Serper
Ioannis Nikolaidis
St Petersburg, Russia
1993
King’s Indian, Kramer Variation

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