GM Alexander Onischuk (2625) - GM Gerald Hertneck (2525) 
ICT / Master's / Credis Bank 
 Biel, SUI; (Round # 06) / 20.07.1997 

[A.J. Goldsby I]

This is a text page, I could not find this game on another server.  (But I looked.)  You will probably need a chess board.  

A very entertaining and spritely little game. (A miniature - 25 moves or less.) 

Black gets knocked out of his tree ... almost before he even gets his pieces properly set up. 

Scintillating tactics!! 


The ratings are those of FIDE ... and presumably are accurate for this particular game. {And the players as well.} 

1.e4 e6;  {Diagram?} 
Normally the French Defense is a fairly reliable weapon for Black ... and not as prone as other lines to the quick tactical knock-out. 

2.d4 d5; 3.Nd2 Nf64.e5 Ne4!?;  {See the diagram ... just below.} 
A wild, bizarre variation ... but one that has never been completely refuted.  


sg_diag01.jpg,  23 KB


"An unusual line ... with a poor theoretical reputation." - GM John Nunn 

     [  Far better than the game would have been the continuation: 
         >/=  4...Nfd7; ('!')  5.Bd3, {Diagram?} 
         The classical line here. 


              ( White can also play: 5.c3!? c5;  6.f4!? Nc6;  7.Ndf3! Qb6;  8.g3! cxd4;  9.cxd4, 
                  9...Bb4+!?;  10.Kf2!, "~"   ('+/=')   
                 when the first player retains a definite space advantage from this position. 

                 GM Zahar Efimenko (2546) - IM Nazar Firman (2485); 
                 ICT / Aeroflot Open ('A') Moscow, RUS; 2002. {1-0, in only 22 moves.} 

                 [ See (also) MCO-14, page # 230; column # 67, and all notes, especially note # (g.). ] )   


         (Returning to the main line.)    
         5...c5;  6.c3 Nc6;  7.Ne2 cxd4;  8.cxd4 f6;  9.exf6 Nxf6;  10.0-0 Bd6;  11.Nf3 Qc7;  
         12.Bg5 0-0;  13.Bh4 e5;  14.dxe5 Nxe5{Diagram?}  
         The end of the column. 

         15.Nxe5 Bxe5;  16.Bg3 Bxg3;  17.Nxg3 Qb6;  18.Qd2 Bd7;  19.Rfe1 Rae8;  
         20.h3 Bb5;  21.Bc2, "~"  ("+/=") 
          ... "and White has just a minor edge." - GM Nick de Firmian   

         GM Peter Svidler (2585) - GM Mikhail Gurevich (2605);  ICT / Master's (open?)     
         Haifa, ISR; 1995. (1/2-1/2) {The game was a long one, that was eventually drawn.} 
         [ See MCO-14, page # 227; column # 61, & also note # (g.). ]  ]   

5.Nxe4 dxe46.Bc4!?,   {Diagram below.} 
A rather uncommon way of playing this position. (But not really bad.) 

50meg-sg01_diag01.jpg, 20 KB


     [ Accepted theory is: (>/=)  6.Be3, "+/="  {D?} with a solid edge to White. ]   


6...c57.d5 Qb6!?; (TN)  (hmmm)  {Diagram below.}  
An interesting idea ... with a rather obvious threat. (8...Qb4+; winning the WB on c4. - Ed.)  

(Nunn labels this dubious, {'?!'}  but does not bother to inform us of which line would have been better.)  

50meg-sg01_diag02.jpg, 20 KB


     [  Previously seen has been the following continuation:  7...Nd7!?; ('?!')  8.dxe6 fxe6;  
         9.Nh3!, "+/="  (Probably - '+/')  {Diagram?}  
         GM Aloyzas Kveinys (2485) - IM Colin S. Crouch (2415);  
         ICT / Master's Open / Katowice, Poland; 1992. 
         {White won, 1-0 in 41 moves.}


        Definitely safer  was:  (>/=) 7...a6!8.a4!, "+/=" {Diagram?} 
        when White retains only a small, but solid, plus from this position. ]   


Now White continues to develop, and build on his space advantage as well ... the first player's edge seems to grow with every move. 
8.c3 Nd7
9.f4! exd5!?10.Qxd5!? Qg611.Ne2! Be712.Ng3, ('!')  {Diagram below.}  
A normal move - and certainly good enough for a very sizeable opening advantage for White. 

50meg-sg01_diag03.jpg, 20 KB


     [ GM J. Nunn points out that the sharper move of:   >/=  12.f5!
        was probably a small improvement over the actual game. ]   


12...Bh4!?;  (hmmm)   
Either this,  (or ...Nb6);  looks almost forced here to prevent the loss of a Pawn for Black. 

---> Nunn recommends the (seemingly) inferior ...f7-f5; as an improvement, but I remain more than a little skeptical. 

     [ Worse was: </= 12...f5?!13.Bb5!, "+/"  with a giant edge for White. ]   


13.0-0 Bxg314.hxg3 0-015.f5!(Maybe - '!!')  {Diagram below.}  
White continues in true gambiteer fashion here. 

50meg-sg01_diag04.jpg, 20 KB


     [ Not as convincing was: </= 15.Kh2? Nb6;  "~"  and Black seems to be OK. ]  


Black - according to one old issue of a chess magazine that I found - thought all of the next series of moves ... 
were more-or-less forced. 

15...Qxg316.Bf4! Qg417.e6! fxe6?!18.fxe6 Nb6!?;  {See the diagram ... just below.}   
Black thinks he is defending, but now he is in for a really big shock. 


 sg_diag02.jpg, 20 KB


Do you think you know what White played - from this particular position? 


Now the game has become one of those trite problems that you see in all those puzzle books: 
"White to move and win." 

19.e7+!! Nxd520.exf8Q+! Kxf821.Bd6+!,  
Really the exclam here is totally superfluous ... I did it just to enforce the power of the double-check ... 
to the student who might be trying to learn the game.  

     [ Not Bxd5? Ke7; "/+" ]   


21...Ke822.Bb5+! Bd7;   
It no longer matters which move Black plays in this position ... the second player can only choose his brand of poison at this point. 

     [ Or if: 22...Kd8;  then 23.Rf8#. ]  


23.Rf8#,  (Super!!!)  {See the final diagram - just below.}  

A wonderful game by Onischuk ... one that showed a lot of creativity. It even showed real chess genius, at least in my own NSH opinion. 
(It is also a useful mating pattern to try and remember.)  

50meg-sg01_diag05.jpg, 19 KB




I had seen this game in several different books ... and more than one chess magazine. I also looked at many different opening books - to include ECO. 

But my main source for trying to annotate this game was the book: 
"101 Brilliant Chess Miniatures,"  by DR. and  GM  ...  John Nunn
Copyright () by the author, {and publishers?} in 1999. 
Printed by Gambit Publications, Ltd. Kensington/London, ENG. (UK) 
ISBN: # 1-901983-16-1 

  *** *** *** *** ***  

I also looked at: the  INFORMANT(s) for 1997. (# 68 through # 71.)  (See my links page for their website)  

---> This game is also (now) nicely annotated in the ChessBase "MEGA" database. (2005 version, or later.)  


  Copyright (c) (LM) A.J. Goldsby I  

  Copyright, (c) A.J.G; 2000-2005. 
  Copyright () A.J. Goldsby, 2006.  All rights reserved.   


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  --->  HTML code ... initially generated by the program,  ChessBase 8.0.  

May, 2006:  In honor of the fact that Onischuk won the U.S. Championships, I decided to dig through the database, to see if I could not come up with a few of his {other} interesting short games. (More to come??? Stay tuned ... to find out!)  

  A. Onischuk (2340) - A. Kovacevic (2355)  
  URS-YUG (U20) Leningrad, 1991.  



A little jewel ... that I dug out of the database. (Another "shortie" ...)  

1.c4 e5;  2.Nc3 Nc6;  3.Nf3 g6!?;  4.d4!?,  
Forceful and aggressive.  

     [ The main line is 4.e3, here. ]  


4...exd4;  5.Nd5!? h6!?;  
It looks logical ... but is probably a little too slow. {Dubious?} 

     [ >/=  5...Bg7;  6.Bg5 Nce7;  7.Nxd4 c6, "=" ]   


6.Nxd4 Bg7?; (Really - '??') 
This looks logical - to continue with your development here.  

But the move is an oversight, >/= 6...a6; was crucial, (to prevent White's next move). 


7.Nb5 Kf8;  (hmmm)  Nothing better?   

     [ Or 7...Be5;  8.f4 a6;  9.Qa4, "+/-" ]  


8.Nbxc7 Rb8;  9.Nb5 a6;  10.Nbc3 Nf6!?;   [ (>/=) 10...d611.e4 Nge7;  etc. ]  


11.Bf4! Ra8?!;  (Really - '?')   
One more error to finish things off. 

     [ Better was  >/= 11...Nxd5;  which is nearly forced, or so says Fritz. ]   


12.Bc7,  "+/-"   (A. Kovacevic Resigns.)  
Black throws in the towel ... as after  12...Qe8; 13.Be7+, Kg8; and  14.Nc7,  and White picks off a whole Rook.  

  (This game added, May 2, 2006.)  
Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 2006. All rights reserved.   

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A. Onischuk (2625) - M. Prusikin (2450) 
  BL2-O 9798 / Germany (1.1) / 1997.  


1.e4 c5;  2.Nf3 e6;  3.d4 cxd4;  4.Nxd4 a6;  5.c4 Nf6;  6.Nc3 Qc7;  7.Bd3 Bc5;  8.Nb3 Be7;  9.f4 d6;  10.Be3 b6;  11.Qf3 Nbd7;  12.g4!? g5;  13.Be2 h5!;  14.h3 gxf4;  15.Bxf4 h4!?; 16.Rf1! Nh7?;  

     [ >/= 6...Bb7; "~" ]  

17.e5! dxe5?;  18.Bh6! e4!?;  If 18...f5; then 19.Qxa5. "+/-"   

19.Qxf7+ Kd8;  20.0-0-0,  "+/-"  

 (This game added, May 2, 2006.)  
Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 2006. All rights reserved.   


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  This page was created  -  Friday;  August 27th, 2004.  (Extra diagrams added: April, 2006.)    Page last edited or updated on:  05/02/2006 08:06 PM  

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