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Michael Adams vs Vladimir Akopian
"Adams Family" (game of the day Jan-11-2006)
Armenia - The Rest of the World (2004), Moscow RUS, rd 2, Jun-11
French Defense: Rubinstein Variation. Kasparov Attack (C10)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Where is <YouRang>????

They’re creepy and they're kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They’re all together ooky,
The Addams Family.

Their house is a museum.
When people come to see 'em
They really are a screa-um.
The Addams Family.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: I never understand why people play 3...dxe4 or 4...dxe4 in the French. It always looks like Black is struggling for a draw. Some of you know that I consider the Albin unsound, but at least Black is *trying* in that opening.
Jan-11-06  khense: I was afraid black was going to get away with the king escapade (I hate those).
Jan-11-06  blingice: Does anyone think that this game is especially instructive? I don't see much fantastic play or awesome combinations (albeit better than me), but this seems like it could be any GM game...
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: How does white answer 25...Bc5 ? If 26. Kd2/e2, then 26...Rxg2+. If 26. Nf7+, then 26...Kxc4 27. Nxh8 (27. Nd6/e5 isn't mate) Rxh8. The best I can see is 26. Rxc5+ Kxc5 27. Ng7+ K moves 28. Nxh8 Rxh8. White is up a pawn or two, so I guess he wins the ending, but it's not a knockout.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Never mind. After 25...Bc5 white just plays 26. b3, and the discovered check is fatal.
Jan-11-06  Hudson Hawk: <An Englishman> In his CM tutorials Waitzkin talked about developing his own French-Counter (or was it English counter) system that he like to use to force French players into tactical situations that they might not be as comfortable with. Damn, now I've got to go back and find one of those games.
Jan-11-06  Granite: <Hudson Hawk> Here is one such game. He worked on it with Maurice Ashley who also uses this against the French from time to time.

Waitzkin vs A Friedman, 1993

The basic idea is to open the position up with c4 and create an isolated d-pawn situation. The CM tutorials explain some of the ideas behind it in case you run into a situation where your opponent has some good ideas of their own.

Jan-11-06  KnightRules: Careful, WannaBe --- you're starting to sound like SNEAKY!!
Jan-11-06  YouRang: <WannaBe> ...You Rang? :)
Jan-11-06  EmperorAtahualpa: Excellent GOTD! Adams makes it look so easy, just like <Tigran Petrosian> kibitzed. I really like 17.Bxb7!

I think today's pun is a bit too easy though. :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White drives the king into the open without a sacrifice-in fact,he will gain material. He is up two pawns with more to follow.
Jan-11-06  chessic eric: I was surprised to see a player of Akopian's strenth play 14...Ne4 and especially 15...Nxg3, developing white's h1 rook without white's having to move it, not to mention enabling 15.Bf3 and the subsequent combination in the game.

It does seem that moving black's f6 knight is a good long-term plan to enable ...f6 and the dislodging of white's e5 knight and the mobilization of black's kingside majority. But, to me it seems that 14...Nd5 or ...Nd7 were better candidates to accomplish that.

Jan-11-06  alexandrovm: I like 17. Bxb7 move by Adams, good game...
Jan-11-06  artemis: <an englishman> The rubinstein variation of the french defense was once called "a needless sacrifice of the center," by black. Aaron Nimzowitszch reversed that idea. In this variation, black tries to gain control of the center with his pieces, as is the common idea in hypermodern openings.

Black has a relatively even game at move 11, and only vigorous play by Adams shows his play to be weak.

I agree that there are more enterprising lines in the french defense, but I think that if Akopian only wanted a draw, or wanted to avoid Adams great knoweldge of the Tarrasch defense, then the rubenstein variation was the way to go.

Jan-11-06  dakgootje: yup very nice and not too hard looking game, not the best pun so far though ;-)
Jan-11-06  DanielBryant: With the pun, I was expecting a "family fork".
Jan-11-06  Timothy Glenn Forney: 16...♔e7? and 20...♔f5? why not 20...♖af8 He must of just had bad day.
Jan-11-06  sciacca khan: So get a witch's shawl on,
A rooster you can fall on,
We're going to make a call on
The Adams Family. [snap snap]

Oh, Michael wen yoo speak zee French (defense).....

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Artemis, I've always been a tad skeptical of the notion of playing for a draw by resoting to such passive play, especially here--7.c3 is by no means the most active move, but still sufficed to keep White's opening initiative. My best means of gaining a half-point was to snatch an advantage out of the opening and then "kindly" offering the draw--thereby creating an unpleasant dilemma for my opponent.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Addams Family theme--is often heard at basketball games as background music.
Sep-10-06  bernardchinshin: Why do they call it the Kasparov attack? I do not see any games with Kasparov playing this variation.
Feb-04-08  KingG: <bernardchinshin> Kasparov vs Ponomariov, 2002
Nov-19-12  Cemoblanca: 'Spiderman' @ work or better said: The Rooks were the (spider's) web in this 1! ;)

15.Bf3! 16...Ke7? was definitely not a good decision. Better was 16...Be7!? or 16...Bb6!? 19.f4! The quiet winning move & the rest was a mere formality! ;)

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 7 c3 had gained popularity after Kasparov's win over Ponomariov at Linares 2002. At the same tournament Adams had played 9 Be3 against Anand and had gone on to win; here he varied with 9 Bg5. In the short draw Robatsch-Geller Havana 1963 Black played 9..Qd5; 9..Be7?! was new but was clearly not an improvement. Perhaps 10..Qc7 should have been tried. Smyslov was critical 12..h6!?; 12..Nd5 was suggested as an improvement. It should also be mentioned that 12..Bxf2+? 13 Kxf2..Ne4+ 14 Ke3..Nxg5 15 h4..f6 16 hxg..fxe 17 g6..h6 18 Rhf1 would have left White with a winning advantage.

< artemis:....Black has a relatively even game at move 11, and only vigorous play by Adams shows his play to be weak.>

There is nothing wrong with the Rubinstein Variation but it was played poorly in this game. After 9..Be7?! all the commentators felt White had an advantageous endgame with Black having little counterplay.

15 Rd8+..Kxd8 16 Nxf7+..Ke7 17 Nxh8..Bd7 18 Ng6+..Kf6 19 Ne5..Bxf2+ 20 Bxf2..Kxe5 21 Bd4+..Kd5 would have been good for White but Adam's 15 Bf3! was even stronger. Black was lost after 16..Ke7?; better would have been 16..Bb6 17 Bh5..Rh7 18 f4..Bc7 19 Kf2 though White would still have been clearly better.

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