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Joel Lautier vs Rafael Vaganian
"Vagan Wheel" (game of the day Oct-29-2015)
3rd Aeroflot Festival (2004), Moscow RUS, rd 9, Feb-25
Queen's Gambit Declined: Charousek (Petrosian) Variation (D31)  ·  0-1


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find similar games 2 more Lautier/Vaganian games
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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-02-04  Whitehat1963: A great game!! 17...Rxf3!! is dazzling. 20...Bh5! is also great. Check this one out!
Mar-02-04  Malacha: <Whitehat1963> Your right,this was a brilliant game by Vaganian.If you haven't already,check out Lubomir Kavalek's annotation of this game from his Washington Post column.The link is here on the home page.He does a great job on the game.
Mar-02-04  Whitehat1963: Or you can copy and paste this in to your browser window:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Perhaps they should have invited Vaganian to Linares. Witness this game and the following

Vaganian vs G Forintos, 1975

Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: I hope Vaganian wins the Informant Best Game Prize for this game. This would be for issue 90, covering Feb 1 thru May 31. Can anyone suggest a better game thus far?
May-09-04  ruylopez900: A brilliant attack, but a weird looking set-up by Lautier just before the onslaught was released.
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: Looks like this game and Morozevich vs Bologan, 2004 will be in the running for the Chess Informant Best Game Prize. Vaganian's 17 ... ♖xf3!! and 20 ... ♗h5! are simply dazzling moves, especially the former.

When I first saw the Vaganian game, I was impressed by how much more active all of black's pieces were versus their white counterparts but I could not find a tactical stroke which exploits this dynamic advantage. The electrifying 17 ... ♖xf3!!-+ does the trick.

Sep-22-05  Treadhead57: I just played thru the game and it is brillant. Did this game win the Informant Best Game Prize?
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: No, it didn't. I believe it barely made the Top 10, if that. Funny, because the British Chess Magazine showed a poll of 30 top GMs voting for the best game of 2004 and this game finished like 4th! Go figure. Ask a different group of GMs, get a different answer.
Sep-23-05  Treadhead57: (notyetagm)Thank you for the reply. Even though it didn't win it is still a game to remember.
Jun-24-07  zdigyigy: What an ugly opening system for white.
Sep-03-07  PetrosyanFan: WOOW

what a nice game for Vaganian!!!!!

17...Rxf3 is CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!

Sep-11-07  tpanelas: Paul Hoffman, who accompanied Lautier to the Aeroflot tournament and watched this game, writes about it somewhat grippingly in his new book *King's Gambit* (p. 140 ff):
Nov-02-08  SufferingBruin: A year after the fact, someone should congratulate tpanelas for making the catch. Yes, Hoffman gave a healthy amount of ink to this game. According to Hoffman, Vaganian thought for 25 minutes before move 20 (Bh5). Everyone in the press room saw it, Lautier undoubtedly saw it, and finally so did Vaganian. (p. 142)

Also from the book is this quote from Lautier, much later in the evening: "I knew what defense he was going to play...He always responds the same way to d4. I had two basic choices. I could try to grind him down in a long game in which I try to build up small positional advantages. Or I could go for a quick kill. I chose the quick kill but it backfired. He came up with a quiet, effective move, putting his bishop out of harm's way, so that it wouldn't be a target for my advancing pawns. Then it was my pawns that became his target and I was really ****ed." (p.151)

Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: 16 ... ♖a8-e8

click for larger view

Black's pieces are *so* much better placed than White's that it is downright scary.

Oct-29-15  FairyPromotion: Nice to see Vaganian getting some love this week. This one in particular is my favorite Vaganian game.
Oct-29-15  Ferro: Pyramid close
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The kingside attack is brutal! White is totally incapable of defending.
Oct-29-15  RookFile: Great pun, after a famous country music song.
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