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Sergey Karjakin vs Ding Liren
World Championship Candidates (2018), Berlin GER, rd 14, Mar-27
Spanish Game: Closed. Martinez Variation (C78)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Rather an odd duck of a game. Black has two extra pawns and a 5 v. 3 majority on the Queen side, but he can do nothing with it.
Mar-27-18  NBZ: Fascinating: after 17. b3 White looks comfortably better, but then Black plays 17. ... e5! and 18. ... b4! and later 21. ... g5!, seemingly making his bishop bad, but killing all of White's pawn breaks in the process. White had to fight hard for a draw. Of course the classical principles (bad bishop etc.) still hold which is why White can hold despite the two pawn deficit.
Mar-27-18  NBZ: I do wonder if 41. .. c4 was possible, counting on 42. bxc4+ Kc6 with a very dangerous passed a-pawn. But I guess White doesn't have to take on c4 and can just leave the pawn there.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: I was wondering whether 38. Nxf2 was possible, but SF the Omniscient says "No, foolish Carbon Life Form":

1) -1.19 (29 ply) 38...d5 39.exd5+ Kxd5 40.Ke2 Be7 41.Ne4 Kc6 42.Kd2 Kb5 etc.

Mar-27-18  Toribio3: Ding, I want you to be a World Champion in the future. Explore on other openings like Alekhine Defence and Dutch Opening; so that your opponents will be ill-prepared.
Mar-27-18  Petrosianic: On Chess24, the kibitzers believe that a blunder is any non-engine move. A move that changes the eval from 1.20 to 1.13 is a blunder.

But Karjakin's 27. Nd5 really is a blunder. He overlooks a simple two-mover that wins a pawn outright (and the a pawn soon follows). It's a tribute to just how BAD Ding's Bishop is that despite this, Black never has any real winning chances.

The problem is that Ding's Bishop serves a purely defensive role. That means that when Black attacks, he's basically a piece down (for two pawns). Only when he defends, is he up those two pawns. But he can't win a piece down, nor can he change his Pawn structure enough to make his Bishop better.

Mar-28-18  NBZ: Interesting <Petrosianic>! I am guessing he missed that after 27. Nd5 h3+, 28. Kxh3 isn't possible due to 28. ... g4+! Definitely a blunder at the super-GM level, but it takes a bit of effort (at least for patzer me) to see why.
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