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Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs Ian Nepomniachtchi
Sinquefield Cup (2017), Saint Louis, MO USA, rd 9, Aug-11
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Opocensky Variation (B92)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-11-17  fisayo123: Masterclass in chess from MVL.
Aug-11-17  Strelets: Move 22 is the dream of any player facing the Najdorf: a strong knight on the d5 hole against a bad dark-squared bishop.
Aug-11-17  fisayo123: It seems that allowing 8. Bg5 in this variation is just bad. 7...h6 has to be a priority.
Aug-11-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Afternoon: Does seem astonishing that Black would allow that Knight to happen, but the game did not play itself after move 22. MVL had to find moves like 44.Qc4 and 51.Rf8, as well as resist the temptation to win the Exchange with 48.Nxe5.
Aug-11-17  CountryGirl: MVL seems to have the indian sign over Nepo.
Aug-11-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: 19. c3 was mysterious moof. Maybe the idea was to enable b4 in case of Qc5?
Aug-11-17  CountryGirl: 7...Be7 is almost a blunder, isn't it? The books recommend 7....h6 to prevent Bg5, as fisayo notes. Am really surprised Nepo wouldn't be aware of this (or does he know something we don't?)
Aug-11-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: max and Aronian played great chess this event.
Aug-11-17  ColdSong: The truth is that the Najdorf is tremendously difficult to play when not perfectly prepared and 7.Nf3 is far from being without venom.
Aug-12-17  JPi: Maxime strategy: long term advantage by an absolute control of d5 square, and the way he executed it reminds me Karpov or Carlsen at their best; however I doubt that Najdorf defence is at issue. Black should have open the game before it was too late. 10...d5!? seems convenient for this purpose as on 11.exd5 Nxd5 Black doesn't lost a piece. 12.BxB NxB (12...NxN 13.BxQ NxQ 14.Be7) 13.Nde4 Nf5 White edge should be negotiable.
Aug-12-17  Ulhumbrus: In the games Milner-Barry vs Petrosian, 1954 and Averbakh vs Petrosian, 1959 White played the moves Bg5 and Bxf6 and went on to lose. This suggests the question of what the differences are between this game and those games.
Aug-12-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  cormier: Houdini
[3.92] Komodo
[3.13] Stockfish
[4.90]
3.92 52. ... Kh7 53. Qxe4 Qf7 54. Nd6+ Qg6 55. Qxb7+ Kh8 56. Qxa6 Be7 57. Qc8+ Kh7 58. Nc4 Qe4+ 59. Kg3 Qd3+ 60. Ne3 Qd6+ 61. Kf3 Qxb4 62. a6 Qb6 63. Qb7 Qf6+ 64. Nf5 Qc3+ 65. Kg2

4.01 52. ... Bf6 53. Qxe4 h5 54. Ng3+ Kh6 55. Qf4+ Kh7 56. Nxh5 Bg7 57. Qe4+ Kh8 58. Qxb7 Bd4 59. f4 Qg8 60. Qxa6 Qxg4+ 61. Ng3 Qxf4 62. Qc8+ Kh7 63. Qf5+ Qxf5 64. Nxf5 Be5

1000.00 52. ... Qf6 53. Qg8+ Qg7 54. Qxg7#
depth: 13

Aug-12-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: I'm also surprised that 7...h6 wasn't an automatic reaction. The old books on the Najdorf all give this move, quoting games such as D Drimer vs Bronstein, 1961 and Van der Wiel vs Portisch, 1984. Maybe something has changed, but 7...h6 still looks like a sensible move, and was the move MVL himself chose in order to beat Carlsen in a recent blitz game (Carlsen vs M Vachier-Lagrave, 2017), after having lost a rapid game with the move 7...Be7 (Carlsen vs M Vachier-Lagrave, 2017).
Aug-13-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: 7...Be7 score quite well in the database, but 7...h6 scores even better, and <KingG> found a very good example indeed.
Aug-28-17  Ulhumbrus: An alternative to 8...Nbd7 is 8...Nc6 as in the Boleslavsky system.
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