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Samuel Shankland vs Ian Nepomniachtchi
"The Shankland Redemption" (game of the day Jan-30-2019)
Tata Steel Masters (2019), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 12, Jan-26
Pirc Defense: General (B07)  ·  1-0


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find similar games 1 more S Shankland/I Nepomniachtchi game
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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Years from now, I hope people remember that Shankland played this way the day after this happened: A Giri vs S Shankland, 2019
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <keypusher> The Shankland Redemption.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <Count Wedgemore: <keypusher> The Shankland Redemption.>

That's really good.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: Thanks, <CIO>. I have my moments. Of course, at my age they're mostly senior moments, but still.. :=
Jan-27-19  Ulhumbrus: Two ways of looking at this are that Nepomniachtchi's plans went wrong and that Shankland played well enough to outplay Nepomniachtchi. The latter view warrants congratulations to Shankland.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Count Wedgemore -- agree with <Check It Out>. Hope CG uses it for this game one day.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: 14. Qd2 looks like the obvious choice but then white's pawn structure is kaput because after cxd 15. cxd?? Bb4+!
Jan-30-19  JonathanJ: What's so poisonous about the a2 pawn?
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Why didn't Black play 18...Qxa2?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <JonathanJ: What's so poisonous about the a2 pawn?>

On which move? It's en prise forever.

If 16...Qxa2 17. Bxh6 wins a piece.

If 18...Qxa2, I asked myself the same question and SF says: 1) +0.87 (21 ply) 19.O-O Qa3 20.Ra1 Qe7 21.h4 Rb8 22.h5 gxh5 23.g3 h6 24.Kg2 h4 25.Nxh4 Qg5 26.Qe1 h5 27.Nf3 Qh6 28.Ra2 Kf8 29.Rh1 Kg7 30.Qa1

In the other moves there's always some immediate response required instead of Qxa2

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Count Wedgemore> the pun perfectly fits the game: Shanks must have been very peeved at the unnecessary loss to Giri.

I thought the film was okay.
I like Stephen King, but I don't like seeing short stories turned into very long films.

Premium Chessgames Member
  rogge: It's IMDb's top rated-movie of all time, I liked it.

Jan-30-19  JRothwell: Shankland proved what a fantastic player he is in this game - to come back from resigning in a drawn position the day before and produce this shows incredible strength of character!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: According to Stockfish, 18 Q x a2 is OK but the text move is better.

After 18 B c2:

1) +0.58 (24 ply) 18...Rb8 19.Rxb8 Nxb8 20.Bd1 Nc6 21.h4 Na7 22.Rh3 Nb5 23.Ng1 h6 24.h5 g5 25.Ne2 Qe7 26.Rf3 Kf8 27.a4 Na3 28.Qb2 Kg7 29.Qb4 Re8 30.Rf6 Qxb4 31.cxb4 Re7

After 18 Q x a2:

1) +1.02 (24 ply) 19.O-O Qa3 20.Ra1 Qe7 21.h4 Rb8 22.h5 gxh5 23.Qh6 Qf8 24.Qxh5 Qg7 25.g3 Rb2 26.Rfc1 O-O 27.Ng5 h6 28.Nf3 Kh8 29.Rab1 Ra2 30.Kg2 Rg8

It looks like the point is that after 18 Q x a2 19 0-0, white is threatening to win the queen with Ra1, and it takes black too many moves to get away.

However, the computer does think black should take the pawn on move 20. After 20 h4:

1) +0.33 (21 ply) 20...Qxa2 21.h5 gxh5 22.Rxh5 Nc6 23.Ng5 h6 24.Rh3 Rg8 25.Nh7 Kd8 26.Kf1 Qa1+ 27.Bd1 Rh8 28.Nf6 Kc7 29.g3 Na7 30.g4 Nb5 31.Kg2

The computer thinks black started to go wrong way back with 5 e3, it likes Bg7:

1) +0.18 (20 ply) 5...Bg7 6.f4 O-O 7.Nf3 Nfd7 8.a4 c5 9.d5 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 Nf6 11.Bd3 c4 12.Bxc4 Nxe4 13.O-O Nd7 14.Qe1 Nef6 15.g4 Nb6 16.Bxb6 Qxb6+ 17.Nd4 Qc5 18.Qxe7 Nxg4 19.hxg4 Qxc4

After e6:

1) +0.75 (19 ply) 6.a4 Nc6 7.Nf3 Bg7 8.Be2 O-O 9.O-O Bd7 10.Qc1 e5 11.d5 Ne7 12.Rd1 c6 13.dxc6 Bxc6 14.Bd3 Qc7 15.b4 Rfe8

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: I must say that I don't understand Black's play. Why would Nepomniachtchi by 15...Bh6 and 16....Bxd2+ trade his good bishop for White's bad bishop? The position after 18.Bc2 looks like a French defense gone terribly wrong for Black. And if 18...Qxa2 19.0-0 Black is very behind in development and Black's queen will need to scramble to safety since 20.Ra1 winning the queen is a threat.

click for larger view

White seems to have ample compensation for the pawn. Black must retreat its queen and it has only 2 moves, 20...Qa3 and 20...Qa5. Everything else apparently loses the queen. Here is how 3 engines evaluated 20...Qa3 and 20...Qa5

Black's Houdini 6 Komodo 12.3 Stockfish 10

Move d=28 d=39 d=45 <Avg> <RWAvg> <TrueRank>

---------- ---------- ----------- ---------- ---------- ----------- -----------

20...Qa3 [+0.24] [+1.09] [+1.41] <[+0.91]> <[+0.94]> <1>

20...Qa5 [+0.34] [+1.31] [+1.42] <[+1.02]> <[+1.04]> <1>

True Rank: 1 = [ 20...Qa3, 20...Qa5 ]

And here is a summary of how the 3 engines ranked their top <2> moves, without regard for the value of the evaluation.

Black's Houdini 6 Komodo 12.3 Stockfish 10

Move d=28 d=39 d=45 <AvgRank> <TrueRank>

---------- ---------- ----------- ---------- ---------- -----------

20...Qa3 1 1 1 <1.0> 1

20...Qa5 2 2 2 <2.0> 2

True Rank: 1 = [ 20...Qa3 ]; 2 = [ 20...Qa5 ]

Not much to choose from 20...Qa3 and 20...Qa5, all 3 engines gave the 2 moves similar evaluations. It is interesting that Houdini evaluated both moves as leading to an equal position and both Komodo and Stockfish evaluated both moves as leading to a position where White was significantly better.

FWIW Houdini evaluated what it considered its 3rd best move, 20...Rb8 at [+6.78] and Komodo and Stockfish evaluated what they considered their 3rd best move, 20...0-0 at [+8.74] and [+9.40] respectively, so there is no doubt that any move other than 20...Qa3 or 20...Qa5 loses.

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