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David Howell vs Jeffery Xiong
Winter Classic (2017)  ·  Queen's Indian Defense: Kasparov-Petrosian. Hedgehog Variation (E17)  ·  1-0
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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-20-17  Andrew Chapman: Why 17... Nf6? It seems to free White's bishop and lose a pawn, without any obvious necessity. Andrew
Mar-20-17  protonchess: White does have the obvious threat (too obvious to mention?) of 18. Qxh7. What else can Black do about it? Maybe 17. .. Rg7, but that just postpones the painful decision after 18. Bh3! and White ends up even more active than in the game.
Mar-22-17  crwynn: You also have to remember black can't castle long after 16.Qd3 unless he brings his kt back to defend d7 (16...Qc7? 17.Nb5).
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: There are several candidate moves to answer the threat of ..Qxh7

1) Rg7
2) h6
3) Nd4
4) Rg6
5) d6

The moves get better as you go down the list. But I agree, the immediate 17. ..Nf6?! looks dubious. In the final analysis tho, i think it will take some number crunching with the engines to get more objective evals with this complicated position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: It may be simply that Jeffrey chose Nf6 because he didn't like the idea of giving white an outside passer that could be pushed quickly. whereas if he drops the f pawn he still has opposition with the e pawn and white will not so quickly advance his e or f pawns and uncover the king.
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