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Loek van Wely vs Wesley So
Tata Steel (2017), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 4, Jan-17
Zukertort Opening: Queen Pawn Defense (A06)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-17-17  Transformer: SF says 39. Rxg6+ (instead of ...Bxa3) was the losing move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: sharp. after 20 moves white's DSB is a useless lump of wood. By the time he activates this piece the endgame is lost.
Jan-17-17  Junbalansag: Toward the endgame, LVW has a pawn up and a solid pawn structure, but miles away from homing. WS created two weaknesses by pushing two pawns which are far apart from each other. They are unstoppable home runs!
Jan-17-17  gopi11: This game shows how deep Wesley's built-in engine is. I believe the key move to this game was 19... a5, it wasn't even one of the suggested engine moves for Black. The prelude was his early choice of swapping Queens in just 9 moves, weakening White's Queenside pawn structure with the doubled pawns as the main target.

Even his deathblow (43... Rxd4) that literally broke LVW's spirit, was not in any engines' suggestions, that goes to show that the engines can't "feel" the game. Chess engines will definitely give you the best suggested moves everytime, and in the long run will probably win you games, but that last move by Wesley was a beauty! Loek Van Wely didn't feel a thing, it was swift and painless, surgical like!

Premium Chessgames Member
  dunkenchess: This game will be in the engine to be followed for good. There was none beforehand.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: By move 16, Wesley had his king on e4!

Oh, excuse me, I meant to say, he had a KING KNIGHT on e4.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: After 9 cxd5 Qxb3 10 axb3 White's doubled pawns appeared to become a liability instead of an asset. There may be some positions in which ...Qxb3 is inadvisable but this, it seems, was not one of them.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <gopi11> -- < The prelude was his early choice of swapping Queens in just 9 moves, weakening White's Queenside pawn structure with the doubled pawns as the main target.>

I agree with you about the depth of Wes's engine. But the Qb3/Qb6 exchange is a familiar motif in several openings - I've seen it in the Reti, Slav, and French. A rule of thumb is that the player who initiates the queen exchange will be slightly worse in the resulting position. Partly because the other player gets to use the open a-file, and partly because the doubled b-pawns can often be quickly advanced.

There are, however, a few positions where the energy runs the other way.

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