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Wesley So vs Anish Giri
Sinquefield Cup (2016), Saint Louis, MO USA, rd 2, Aug-08
Queen Pawn Game: Symmetrical Variation (D02)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-08-16  Knight13: <1971> Understood.
Aug-08-16  frogbert: Anyone who understands why Giri declines So's 34. b4 implicit draw offer?
Aug-08-16  1971: Typical Giri, turn a fighting position to a dead draw, then once it gets there, pretend to fight for another 100 moves to the bore of everyone watching.
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  rogge: it's obviously because of Giri's famous fighting spirit.
Aug-08-16  1971: Although there's still a little tension in this game isn't there?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: Grrrr!
Aug-08-16  frogbert: Ok, Giri has managed to inject some life in a drawish position. Black will get a passer on the kingside. White has one on the queenside.
Aug-08-16  1971: We know passed a & h pawns are the knight's enemies in endgames so can we also add whoever was the furthest passed pawn has the edge? In that case, would black's g pawn be more dangerous than the b pawn since the white king/knight are further away? This endgame looks like it will be decided by a few tempo, should be exciting. In hindsight, Giri allowing the exchanging down into a Knight endgame where he had the advantage over the b1 knight could have been a fine line, high level evaluation. Kind of bold, cocky even to say I don't even need these other advantages, I've seen 40 moves down and I can beat you here. I will eat another hat if he wins this, I have plenty...
Aug-08-16  epistle: Anish is winning!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: <epistle: Anish is winning!!!>--just as Giri and So agree to a draw. Yours powers of prognostication are underwhelming.
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  truepacifism: Five draws today. Five yesterday.
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  Gregor Samsa Mendel: <truepacifism: Five draws today. Five yesterday.> Well, if you really believe in true pacifism, then this a good thing.
Aug-08-16  TheBish: Who would have guessed that Giri would have the last game going?
Aug-08-16  1971: No it wasnt. 19...Rfc8??
Aug-08-16  frogbert: Maybe the position was objectively drawn, but I liked Ne4 instead of f4.
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  truepacifism: <Gregor Samsa Mendel> Good point.
Aug-08-16  1971: I wasnt watching with an engine and I just checked and it agrees with me that 19...Rfc8 (-.35) is precisely where Giri lost his -.96 advantage. Although to be fair, I would have played g5 which is only second best at -.56 and 19...a4 is best which is logical with the Rook still on a8.
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click for larger view

Analysis by Rybka 3 32-bit : 21 ply

1. (-0.31): 19...a4 20.Rc2 a3 21.Qc1 Rac8 22.Ne1 e5 23.f3 Nef6 24.Qd2 e4 25.f4 Rxc2 26.Nxc2 Rb8 27.Rc1 Nf8 28.Bh3 g6 29.Ne1

2. = (-0.24): 19...Rac8 20.Nfd2 Qd6 21.Nxe4 fxe4 22.Bh3 Ra8 23.Qc2 Rfc8 24.Qb2 Re8 25.Qc2 Rac8 26.Qb2 Bd3 27.Nd2 h6 28.Bg2 Nf6

The point of 19..a4 is that White can't take this pawn since 20.bxa4 Nb6! and the knight is headed for c4. As I remember in our World Team game we ended up winning as Black partly due to our domination of the c4 square also. So after 19..a4 White just has to take a further loss of space after 20.Rc2 a3 21.Qc1 but even this line isn't immediately decisive and is only giving Black a slight advantage.

The 2 best moves are on the q-side so it's pretty obvious the idea of a k-side attack at this point of the game is not the best.

Aug-08-16  1971: <ajile> Great explanation of 19...a4. It's logical since Black also has an advantage on that wing with the fixed pawns which I mentioned earlier.

I got my analysis from which had 19...g5 as second best, it's definitely slower and less direct than 19...a4 which I obviously won't argue against. So at that depth it doesn't even consider 19...Rfc8 huh? I won't mention I was against that move live and you liked it, and is Rybka still best? Surely even free engines today have surpassed it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajile: The World Team won many games with the likes of Rybka in versions 2-4. It might not be the top rated now but it isn't worth the slight upgrade in rating points to purchase newer software. It's also very conservative in how it rates positions and is consistent. Anything under (.50) for example will rarely result in a win.

I'm running 19..g5 now and it's only at (-.18) at 19 ply.

I just don't see the justification for Black to move his pieces to the k-side while q-side play is happening with heavy pieces on and the c file open. But as I mentioned previously if White had locked up the q-side then it's totally ON for the k-side attack.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajile: The possible justification might be if Black has a decisive attack that can be generated very quickly. Like in 2-3 moves which would force White to defend. For example if White could play ..Qg5 with an immediate mate threat or winning of material.

But in this case an attack will take too long to develop and White will get counterplay on the q-side.

But if there is no play in the center or q-side then Black has the better attacking chances on the k-side and can take time to build an attack.

This is why White usually gets a long term advantage against the Stonewall Dutch playing the main lines with d4 and c4. Black never wants to exchange his d5 pawn and White can keep the pressure as long as he wants with the pawn stationed on c4. This constant threat of opening the c file waiting for Black to slip up usually is a deterrent to Black's k-side attack dreams.

Aug-08-16  1971: I agree with you on both points, 19...a4 and queenside play is clearly the best choice and it's also not worth paying for an engine when there are free ones likes Stockfish 7, which is what chess24 uses.

at Depth 22, it has

19...a4 at -0.82
19...g5 -0.56
19...Qd6 -0.56

We can check which engine won the match at the engine championships, but it's good to know Rybka is consistently more conservative than the others. It has g5 as .12 less than the top move, so it actually rates it more favorably than stockfish. Anyway, this is not the hill I choose to die on, I agree and I'm glad you pointed out why 19...a4! combined with Nb6 is the best. I hope to find similar ideas in my own games now.

Aug-08-16  1971: I have to look over Kramnik vs Carlsen, 2008 again to see why Carlsen's kingside push in a similar structure was so effective, this is the game I was basing the idea from. The delayed exchange on c4! is also really helpful, I see I was always exchanging too early in these structure and giving black easy play. Thank you for that, do you have any model games for white against the stonewall dutch? You have a talent for explaining these ideas, I look forward to analyzing more games with you!
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajile: <1971: I have to look over Kramnik vs Carlsen, 2008 again to see why Carlsen's kingside push in a similar structure was so effective, this is the game I was basing the idea from. The delayed exchange on c4! is also really helpful, I see I was always exchanging too early in these structure and giving black easy play. Thank you for that, do you have any model games for white against the stonewall dutch? You have a talent for explaining these ideas, I look forward to analyzing more games with you!>

Thanks. I don't really have any recent links to Dutch Stonewalls since it isn't played that much at top levels. When the Dutch is played now it's usually the Leningrad variation played by GMs against weaker opponents playing White. The Leningrad is more dynamic and offers more transpositional and tactical possibilities than the more blocking Stonewalls.

As far as Stockfish it's been known for a long time that it's evals are always higher (or lower) for given positions than Rybka. I would say a Stockfish eval of (.76) is roughly equivalent to a Rybka (.50). But I might be a little off on this math. Others here who are more computer nerds will probably add more information. But the point is when Rybka says (.76) it's virtually winning while the same eval for Stockfish could be drawing.

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  iking: giri last ... strike back giri next time.
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