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Chouchanik Airapetian vs Vanessa West
US Championship 2006 (2006), San Diego, CA USA, rd 8, Mar-10
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Yugoslav Attack (B78)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-12-06  Jim Bartle: West claims she missed three wins, including two winning rook sacrifices. Any ideas?
Mar-12-06  Petrocephalon: My guesses:

19..Rxb2 20.Bxb2 Nxe4.

22..Rxb3 23.axb3 Qxb3

Mar-12-06  Jim Bartle: I think you're right. 19...Rxb2 looks like a classic use of the "dragon" bishop.

West admits to being very tired and nervous during this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <Petrocephalon> Those are great guesses. =) With all due respect to Black, those might be better termed "promising" than winning.

#1 19 ... Rxb2! 20. Bxb2 Nxe4!

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White must choose 21. Bxg7 Nxd2 22. Bxf8 Nxf3 (22 ... a3? 23. Kxd2) 23. Bxe7 (23. Bh6? a3) and Black has QP for RR.

#2 22 ... Rxb3!? 23. axb3 Qxb3

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This looks scary, but I suspect it's really 22 ... Rxb3?! since 24. Be1 a2 25. Qb2 holds, or 24. Be1 Rb8 25. Qc2 a2 26. Qxb3 a1=Q+ (26 ... Rxb3? 27. Kc2) 27. Kd2 and White escapes with an extra Rook. Note 24 ... Bg5? g5 blocks the diagonal.

Sure White could have improved with 12. Ncxb5 Ne5 13. Be2 instead of 12. Bb3, 14. Bc4 & 15. Be2 and the a Pawn scoots down the board with tempo. But White consolidated nicely at the end. Please post any clearer winning lines along the way.

Mar-15-06  Cyphelium: <tpstar> On 19.- ♖xb2 20. ♗xb2 ♘xe4 21. ♗xg7 ♘xd2 22. ♗xf8, black has 22.- ♘c4 which looks winning; for example 23. ♖dg1 ♕b2+ 24. ♔d1 ♕b1+ 25. ♔e2 ♕xc2+ 24. ♔e1 ♕d2+ 25. ♔f1 ♘e3 mate.

As for the other rook sac, perhaps black should prepare it with 22.- ♘xg4, since after 23. ♗xg4 ♖xb3 24. axb3 ♗h6 25. ♕xh6 ♕xb3 white is lost. Or 25. ♗e3 ♗xe3 26. ♕xe3 ♕xb3 27. ♖d3 ♕b2+ 28. ♔d1 a2, which is rather cruel. I guess white has to give the queen with something like 25. ♔c2, but in that particular case, after 25.- ♗xd2 26. ♖xd2, black has 26.- ♕b4 27. ♗xc8 ♕xe4+ 28. ♔c1 ♕xh1+ 29. ♖d1 (29. ♔c2 a2) 29.- ♕xd1+ 30. ♔xd1 a2. Maybe there's a better way to give the queen?

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <Cyphelium> Thanks for your improvements. For #1, 21. Bxg7 Nxd2 22. Bxf8 Nc4 is too strong, so instead 22. Rxd2 Kxg7 or 21. Qd4!? and White loses QPP for RB.

For #2, I didn't see 22 ... Nxg4! setting up the ... Bh6 pin idea; your lines are very nice indeed. So maybe White can't take the Ng4 and instead tries 23. Kc2 defending b3 and c3 another way. But I don't see a good way for White to grab 23. Bxg4 and then decline the Rook sacrifice after 23 ... Rxb3!, like 24. Qc2 Bh6+ 25. Rd2 Rb2 crashes through. This second possibility was much better than I thought. =)

Mar-30-06  JordanKwiatek: Wow a girl that has an expert rating AND plays the Chinese Dragon??? hook me up!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Taking another look at this Chinese Dragon (10 ... Rb8) after a recent tournament game because it scores surprisingly well for Black = Opening Explorer

1) White used a hide-the-King-in-the-corner technique in Carlsen vs Radjabov, 2008 with 12. Kb1, 15. Ka1 & 16. Rb1 which held the Queenside just fine, meanwhile White had attacking chances against Black's King. But after 15. Ka1 Fritz 7 Deep Position Analysis gives mere equality.

2) After 10 ... Rb8 Fritz 7 DPA prefers 11. Be2 (over 11. Bb3) probably with the intent of grabbing the Pb5 like this game. Except Black gets great play against White's poor King, also like this game. Surely Fritz would capture Bxc4 instead of allowing the Nc4 to live if Black prepares ... b5 with ... a6 and then ... Nc4.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. =)

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