A Superb Tactician: Dragoljub Velimirović, 1942–2014

Dragoljub Velimirović v Nona Gaprindashvili

Bela Crkva Open 1984

Notes by Tibor Karolyi

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6

Gaprindashvili also played the Rauzer. In my database I found 13 Najdorfs and 12 Rauzers with Black.

6 Bg5 e6

She followed up with e5 whenever possible.

7 f4 Qc7 8 Qf3 b5 9 f5

Velimirović was a superb tac­tician and true to his style opts for a very sharp line.


The other main move is 9…Nc6 here.

10 Ncb5!?

Two years earlier Tal retreat­ed with the knight to d1 and drew with Bronstein. That game was played in Tbilisi…




Sometimes the sacrifice is refused with 10…Qb7.

11 Bxb5+

Murey had two games with 11 fxe6 in 1991: he drew one and lost one.

11…Bd7 12 fxe6 Bxb5 13 Nxb5 Qc5 14 Bxf6 Qxb5 15 Bxg7

The attack can be pursued with 15 e5, but Black held those games as well.



16 Qxf7+ Kd8 17 Qxg7

The middlegame takes shape.

17…Re8 18 Rf1 b3 19 cxb3 Qb4+

Rashkovsky defended the same position with 19…Qa5 against Hector in Espergaerde 1992, also achieving a draw.

20 Kf2

In this very exciting position White has five pawns for the knight, but his pawns are dis­persed and both kings are not 100% safe. Nona recommends 20 Ke2!? in her Informant analyses with Ubilava.


20…Qc5+ 21 Kg3 Rae7 22 Qf6+ Rae7 23 Rad1

23 h3 or h4 is worth consider­ing.

23…Rg8+ 24 Kh4

This is not the most usual square for the king.


24…Nc6 25 Rd5

After 25 b4 Qxb4 26 Rf4 Qc5 27 b4 Qe5 28 b5 Rg6 Black stays in the game.

25…Qb4 (25…Qe3) 26 Rf4 Rxg2

26…Rg6 is an interesting alternative.


27 e5!?

The position is really wild. Black hangs on after 27 Kh3 Rg8 28 e5 Qe1 29 Rxd6+ Kc7.

27…Qe1+ 28 Kh3



Quite an imaginative check to open up the king.

29 hxg3 Qh1+ 30 Kg4 Qxd5 31 exd6 Ne5+! 32 Kh5



Instead of taking the pawn which attacks the rook, Black puts her knight en prise.

33 Qg5!?

Velimirović  wants to avoid a perpetual.

33…Qh1+ 34 Kg4 h5+

It is probably more practical to force a perpetual with 34…Qd1+ as Black wins after 35 Rf3?? h5+!.

35 Kf5 Qd5+

There is an alternative that also works: 35…Qh3+ 36 Rg4 (36 Kg6 Ne5+ 37 Kh6 Qxe6+ 38 Kxh5 Qxd6=) 36…Qf1+ 37 Ke4 Nf6+ 38 Kd4 with a per­petual.

36 Kg6 Qxd6


37 Qa5+

Now it is White’s turn to give a couple of checks.

37…Nb6 38 Rf8+ Kc7 39 Qc3+ Kb7

Black’s king has found safety.


40 Rf7 Qxe6+ 41 Qf6 Qg4+ 42 Kh6 Rxf7 43 Qxf7+ Nd7 44 Qd5+ Kb6 45 Qd6+ Kb7 46 b4 h4 47 Qd5+ Kc7

There is nothing left to play for, and the players agreed a draw to conclude this fascinating game.



 First published in Kingpin 40 (Autumn 2009)


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