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Loek van Wely vs Wesley So
"There's No Business Like So Business" (game of the day Jun-30-2017)
Unive Crown Group (2013), Hoogeveen NED, rd 4, Oct-24
Semi-Slav Defense: Anti-Moscow Gambit (D44)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  gregory2188: First!
Oct-24-13  bubuli55: Perhaps 26. c6 is to keep the Black King from castling.
Oct-24-13  bubuli55: White had a min to make 14 moves. Of course with increment. Still
Oct-24-13  Kinghunt: Why not 15. Bxb4? The bishop keeps preventing white from castling without inducing any miscoordination or misplacement of white's pieces. It seems like a huge improvement over 15. Nb1? I haven't engine-checked this, though, so I could be missing something.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SugarDom: This was a thriller live.
Oct-24-13  Libispusher: <22.Qe1> as the silicon suggested to shore up f2 seems counter-intuitive but maintains the tension.

Prior to this match, you’ll find 26 games from cg’s database stemming from the position after <14.a4>

click for larger view

and the results are quite brutal for black: 14 losses and only 1 win, despite being up a pawn although his king is somewhat stuck in the center.

Oct-24-13  csmath: Nothing extraordinary in the opening.

6. Bh4
[6. Bxf6 is a major alternative and more solid but this is not what Van Wely usually plays.]

10. 0-0
[Van Wely usually plays 10. h4]

13. Bd6
[This is Kramnik's recipe which is not a bad example to follow]

14. a4 b4?!
[Strange move at the first sight but it has been seen before, black intentions here are to draw even though it looks like a beginning of a serious fight.]

15. Nb1!?
[Played before by Topalov in 2011 Amber Rapid against Gelfand. It is not an impressive move but it is playable.]

18. dxc5?!
[Topalov played 18. Ba3 which is better move and keeps the game about as balanced as possible. The idea is:

18. ...cxd4?
19. Bf3! Rc8
20. Nd2! Nxd2
21. Bxb7 Nxf1
22. Ba6!

yet another Topalov's exchange sacrifice with full comp-ensation and a blistering attack.

VW "improvement" is not even remotely as good.]

18. ...Bxe5
[18. ...Qc7 is alternative, 19. Nd2 Nxd2, 20. Qxd2 Bxe5 with very sharp game and chances for both sides.]

19. Na3?

[black is oblivious to position of his king while spending time to get to c4 pawn. If he had any sense of danger he would have opted for 19. Qxd8 Rxd8, 20. Na3 Bxb2, 21. Nxc4 Bxa1, 22. Rxa1 0-0, 23. c6 Bxc6, 24. f3 Nf6, 25. Ne5 Rc8, 26. Bxf8 Kxf8, 27. Ba6 Ra8, 28. Nxc6 with roughly even ending.]

19. ...Qc7
20. Nxc4 Bxh2

[a wake-up call, black is now better.]

21. Kh1 Rd8
[black plays very logical moves, all these moves could have been expected]

22. Qb3?
[white still does not understand the danger to his king! 22. Qe1 was forced (with a threat of Ba5). 22. ...Rd4, 23. Ba5 Qf4, 24. Ra3 g4, 25. Rd3! Rxd3, 26. Bxd3 Nxc5, 27. Qe2 with a difficult game for white.]

22. ...Qf4! [he should now but it could already be too late.]

After 25 moves white is strategically lost position even though he still has tactical chances, assuming he would be able to find forced moves. Black played perfectly natural game.

26. ...c6??

[This is a very strange move that loses outright, it is completely senseless. Clearly 26. Rf1 is forced:

26. ...Qg3
27. Qxg3 Bxg3
28. Bc3 Rf8
29. Na5 Be4
30. Bxa6 f5

and white has bleak chances to try to save the game using his queenside pawns. This is probably lost for white but it offers fighting chance.]

27. Rf1 [A bit too late now since after losing c-pawn white has absolutely nothing to play for.]

The game is here effectively over even though it lasted few more moves.

White has "improved" known game in the way that his "improvement" fails against natural play by black. If this is a home analysis then it is one very poor home analysis.

Van Wely has a reputation of a researcher. His practical play is not as good as his researches are. However in this game, if this is indeed his home analysis, his research failed miserably. While Topalov won his rapid game against Gelfand his opening was not truly exceptional and moreover Van Wely "improvement" was clearly worse than that. On a good note one has to say that So exhibited ability to play natural intelligent moves with ease which testifies to his natural talent.

Topalov's idea is foxy and very tricky, easily to be deceptive and therefore warranted. Van Wely deviation/execution is anything but. If offers quite natural and good moves to black while making it real hard to counter them. Failure to find forced moves during tactical game usually spells doom.

Premium Chessgames Member
  iking: Loek Van Wely vs Wesley So
Unive Crown Group (2013) · Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav (D43) · 0-1

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 dxc4 7. e4 g5 8. Bg3 b5 9. Be2 Bb7 10. O-O Nbd7 11. Ne5 Bg7 12. Nxd7 Nxd7 13. Bd6 a6 14. a4 b4 15. Nb1 Nf6 16. e5 Ne4 17. Bxb4 c5 <a novelty?>
18. dxc5 Bxe5 19. Na3 Qc7 20. Nxc4 Bxh2 21. Kh1 Rd8 22. Qb3 < 22. Qe1 seems good for white

click for larger view

then, 23. Ra3! But under time pressure, Van_Vely blinked ....


Qf4 23. Qf3 Qh4 24. Qg4 Nxf2 25. Rxf2 Qxf2 26. c6 Bxc6 27. Rf1 Qg3

28. Qxg3 Bxg3 29. Bh5 Rd4 30. Bxf7 Kd7 31. Bc3 Rh4

32. Kg1 Bh2 33. Kf2 Rf4 White resigns


Oct-24-13  gcc888: Why can't white have taken the bishop KH2 on move 26
Oct-24-13  lakers4sho: <gcc888> 26.Kxh2 Rd4 picks up the white queen
Oct-24-13  Kikoman: You Look So Good to Van Wely.
Oct-25-13  thedoctor46: What a fantastic strike by sgm so!
Premium Chessgames Member
  ashalpha: Not quite as 26.Kxh2 Rd4 27.Rf1 simply exchanges queens less the exchange. It is a dead lost ending though. The best try is simply 26.Rf1 right away when Black would still have to work to win (26...Qg3 27.Qxg3 Bxg3 28. Nd6 for example). With the best moves probably a draw though Van Wely was in severe time trouble.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: from Bob Ang's Chess Piece..

<Wesley had beaten Loek in the first cycle of the tournament and of course the Dutchman wanted revenge and tries to steer the game into the Anti-Moscow Variation of which he is an acknowledged expert from both sides of the board. Van Wely had even made an instructional DVD with Chessbase on how to play it. Wesley meets the challenge head-on.>

Jan-01-14  prensdepens: Look Wesley Vanquished Wely.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White will go down hard!
Jun-30-17  bubuli55: The fin

34.Ke2 Rf1
35.Kf1 Rf8 wins

If ...

35.Bh8 Rf7 wins

Premium Chessgames Member
  schnarre: ...Couldn't Black have played ...Rf8 on move 33?
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