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Frode Olav Olsen Urkedal vs Samuel Shankland
Chess Olympiad (2016), Baku AZE, rd 9, Sep-11
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B94)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-11-16  fisayo123: This is not how you play the Sicilian with white.

16. g3? what was white thinking? That's too slow.

Sep-11-16  Marmot PFL: I like white's game if he plays 16 g4. Instead he decides to trade off all his active pieces, and black's game almost plays itself.
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  perfidious: On reviewing this DB, it was surprising really to see that 7.Qe2 has been the most common alternative to 7.Bc4 or 7.f4; seems odd to obstruct the LSB this way.

It is possible that White concluded that, after the natural 16.g4, it is not so easy to organise a pawn break on that side of the board, as he will need to get f4 in, though Black's counterplay on the other wing will come very quickly. Instead, he opted for the plan seen in analogous lines of 6.g3 or 6.Be2, aiming for the exchange of LSBs to wind up with knight at d5 vs a bad BSB; trouble was, the queenside attack brought about retribution against the bare king.

Sep-11-16  SirRuthless: Way too easy for Sam. 16 g3 feels like a waste of time. but even 6.Bg5 with Qe2... I am not a fan of the Bg5-h4-g3 idea against the Qside in the Najdorf. Feels like white is getting all dressed up with nowhere to go while black throws on the tee shirt, jeans and sunglasses and is out the door to see his girl in 5 minutes flat. .
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  HeMateMe: Urkedal's play seemed too passive. He traded off all of his attacking pieces and gave Shank free rein on the queenside.
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  perfidious: <HMM> Urkedal's positional idea was well founded, but the tactical implementation left something to be desired.

If White instead has the move after the game continuation 23.Nc1 and can prevent ....b4, he makes Shankland's queenside play far more difficult, but Black gets there first. It is possible that Urkedal overlooked a tactical finesse in the midst of all this, because Black's attacking plan is obvious.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <SirRuthless: Way too easy for Sam. 16 g3 feels like a waste of time.>

My only guess as to an explanation is that he wanted to play Bh3, in order to trade off light square Bishops.

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