May 2015 Grandmaster Spotlight: Emil Sutovsky

GM Emil Sutovsky
GM Emil Sutovsky

This month we are going to peruse the games of GM Emil Sutovsky. Sutovsky has a FIDE rating of 2626 and is the 5th highest rated player from Israel. He earned the IM title in 1993 and earned the GM title in 1996. Like GM Azarov he is still active and plays frequently. In 1996 he won the World Junior Chess Championship. He was the long-time second for GM Gata Kamsky which helped Gata to win the 2007 World Cup. Sutovsky has played on the Israeli Olympiad teams nine times from 1996 – 2014. In 2010 he earned a Gold medal on board two. He earned the highest performance rating of 2895. The best among all competitors in the Olympiad that year.

I found an amusing interview that he did for Kingpin Chess. This particular interview is quite good and is worth checking out. Some highlights include: his favorite chess author, and the most irritating opponent he’s ever played. The first game is one that he mentioned in his interview for Kingpinchess. In this game he weathers an intense attack from Morozevich. After it’s all said and done he’s just up a Rook and Black’s attack has run out of steam.

The next game is a game he played against Ilya Smirin. On they called this game “Emil Fit for a King”. The game ends with a beautiful Queen sacrifice. “The Mammoth Book of the World’s Greatest Chess Games” annotated this game. I will be using their loquacious annotations which are available on google via a simple search:

As I was looking through his games I noticed a theme. At any point in any of his games, it seems like he will find some tactic that can end the game on the spot. Watching him do this time and time again against strong players is impressive. It’s like he sees the board in a way that other strong GM’s don’t. He risks it all and his attacks are incredible. If you wait a move to castle, it could be fatal against Sutovsky. This next game is a classic example of Sutovsky attacking an uncastled king:

This month, the game selection worked a bit different than in previous posts. Sutovsky has close to 30 games that could easily make this list. Aside from the first two games, I chose the rest based on whether I could find annotations. In the future I’m going to be using this criteria to show the games. It’s much more instructive and educational for everyone involved. This next game is another example of Sutovsky’s attacking prowess. Notes by IM Jack Peters for the LA Times.

The final game is a fantastic attacking game against then World Champion Vladimir Kramnik. In the game Sutovsky plays 10. Be3 which was a novelty at that time. After obtaining a good position, he unleashes a piece sacrifice. After Kramnik fails to find the correct continuation Sutovsky wins in good style. I found the annotations on the round coverage on chessbase.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s GM Spotlight, tune in next month!

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