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Sergei Rublevsky vs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
Aerosvit GM Tournament (2006), Foros UKR, rd 1, Jun-17
Four Knights Game: Spanish. Rubinstein Variation (C48)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-18-06  harcee sarmiento: 16...Rxe5!
Jun-18-06  harcee sarmiento: 37...Bc2!
Jun-18-06  Atking: 9. ...0-0 is mutch better than the usual 9. ...b5 (?!). Difficult to critizised Rublesky. His opening was a total mess and Mamedyarov was well prepared. He plaid Black side of this opening almost perfectly. After 12. ...Qh3 Black have already a decisive advantage. A good game from the World junior Champion.
Jun-18-06  euripides: Perhaps White should play 10 Ne2 rather than Ne4 as in a similar position here: Adams vs V Malaniuk, 1994.
Jun-18-06  Atking: <euripides: Perhaps White should play 10 Ne2 rather than Ne4 as in a similar position here: Adams vs V Malaniuk, 1994.> Thanks for that game. But there is a major difference between theses games. Black plaid 9. ...0-0 which is clearly stronger than 9. ...b5. I mean Black king is safe, e file could be easly used, and Ba4 is hanging. For example 10.Ne2 Ng4 11.c3 NxNe2 12.QxNe2 NxNe5 13.fxNe5 Qh4+ xBa4.
Jun-18-06  euripides: <atking> Nice line. It's certainly difficult for White. Is <10 Ne2 Ng4> 11 Nxd4 better than 11 c3 ?
Jun-19-06  Atking: <Is <10 Ne2 Ng4> 11 Nxd4 better than 11 c3 ?> Yes it could be better. My point was just the hanging fact of the Bishop a4. Therefore 11.NxNd4 NxNe5 12.fxNe5 Qh4+ is clearly better for Black. A pretty good opening novelty for Black indeed.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: Brilliant win. To appreciate all his beauties, you have to analyze all the hidden variations (homecooked?) that Magicdyarov could have played, and no doubt he foresaw them. You will find some of them here. The most difficult point is on move 13. There, White did not play the natural move 13.Qd2. At first look, the move actually played was a weird choice. But after 13.Qd2, Black had something brilliant on move 15. Try every variation you want after 15...ef!!, I guess you wont find any way to save White (I didn't). This must be the reason why White did not play the natural 13.Qd2.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb5 Nd4 5. Ba4 c6 6. Nxe5 d5 7. d3 Bd6 8. f4 Bc5 <8...0-0> 9. exd5 O-O 10. Ne4? <This, as the game will show, is not good, athough it was difficult to see at the board. 10.dc is a test variation for all the line> Nxe4 11. dxe4 Qh4+ 12. g3 <12.Kf1? Nb3 13.Nd3 Bg4 14.Qe1 Qe1 15.Ke1 Na1 16.Nc5 b5 is in Black's favour> Qh3 13. Be3 <13.Qd2 avoiding 13...Qg2 seems better. But Black has a beautiful hidden ressource, breaking the wall. 13...f6 14.c3 fe ef!! opening lines in direction of the White King. If 16.dc? fg wins. If 16.Rg1 f3! 17.Rf1 (17.Qf2? Bd4!) Re8! 18.Bc2 (18.dc? Re4 wins. 18.e5 Qg2! 19.Qg2 fg 20.Rg1 Re5! wins) Bf5! 19.Rf3 (19.dc Be4 wins) Be4 20.Re3 Bc2 21.dc Qh2! cuting the road to the White King. The Black Rook comes into play on the f file with devasting effect> Qg2 14. Rg1 Qxe4 15. Kf2 Re8! 16. Qd3 <16.c3 (16.dc Re5!! 17.fe Bg4 18.Qd3 Qf3 19.Ke1 Re8! wins 20.Bd4 Bb4) Re5!! 17.fe Bg4 (18.Qd2 Qf5 wins) Bd1 19.Rgd1 cd!, Black has Queen vs Rook + Bishop with a big advantage> Rxe5!! 17. fxe5 Qf3+ 18. Ke1 Bf5 19. Rf1 <19.Qd2 Qd5! 20.Bd4 Bd4 21.Rf1 (21.Rg2 Re8 22.Bb3 Re5 23.Kd1 Bg4 24.Kc1 Rf5! wins) Bg4! (cutting the road to the King) 22.Qf4 (22.Qd3 Qe5 23.Kd2 Rd8! wins) Re8, no escape, Black wins> Bb4+ 20. c3 Bxd3 21. Rxf3 Nxf3+ 22. Kf2 Nxh2 23. cxb4 Ng4+ 24. Kf3 Nxe5+ 25. Kf4 Ng6+ 26. Kf3 cxd5 <Black won 2 pawns. The rest is easy and of no interest.> 27. Rc1 Ne5+ 28. Kf4 Ng6+ 29. Kf3 b5 30. Bb3 Bc4 31. Bc2 Ne5+ 32. Kf4 f6 33. Rd1 Bxa2 34. b3 Rc8 35. Bc5 a5 36. Bf5 Bxb3! <very nice> 37. Rb1 Bc2 38. Be6+ <38.Bc2 ab> Kh8 39. Ra1 Re8 40. bxa5 Nd3+ 41. Kf3 Nxc5 42. Bxd5 b4 43. a6 Nxa6! 0-1

Jul-01-06  hitman84: <Mateo>Thanks for the analysis! A very surprising opening choice by Rublevsky.
Jul-02-06  Naja: Best game of the tournament?
Jul-07-06  ahmadov: Here is a very interesting annotation of this game by N Short in the Guardian's 22 June issue.

Rublevsky, S (2687) - Mamedyarov, S (2699), Foros, Ukraine (1), 17/06/2006

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 <The Four Knights Game> 4.Bb5 Nd4 <The sharpest response> 5.Ba4 c6 <An interesting gambit> 6.Nxe5 d5 7.d3 Bd6 8.f4 <8.Nf3!, as favoured by Shirov, is rightly considered to be the safest> Bc5! <Keeping the White king in the centre> 9.exd5 0-0 10.Ne4 <Rublevsky wants to evict the central knight by c3, but his cure may be worse than the illness> Nxe4 11.dxe4 Qh4+! 12.g3 Qh3 13.Be3 Qg2 14.Rg1 Qxe4 15.Kf2 <White has staved off the immediate assault at the cost of a pawn, but more is to come> Re8! 16.Qd3 Rxe5! 17.fxe5 Qf3+ 18.Ke1 Bf5 <The threats are terrible. White tries to bail out> 19.Rf1 Bb4+! <Tactically alert> 20.c3 Bxd3 21.Rxf3 Nxf3+ 22.Kf2 Nxh2 23.cxb4 Ng4+ 24.Kf3 Nxe5+ 25.Kf4 Ng6+ 26.Kf3 cxd5 <The upshot is that White has survived the attack only to reach a lost endgame two pawns adrift. The Azeri's prosecution of the advantage is impressive> 27.Rc1 Ne5+ 28.Kf4 Ng6+ 29.Kf3 b5 30.Bb3 Bc4 31.Bc2 Ne5+ 32.Kf4 f6 33.Rd1 Bxa2! <Not fearing ghosts. This piece will emerge.> 34.b3 Rc8 35.Bc5 a5! 36.Bf5 Bxb3 37.Rb1 Bc2!! <A seemingly neverending series of tactical blows. These are skills that Mamedyarov honed by solving thousands of studies and winning play continuations blindfold> 38.Be6+ <If 38.Bxc2, axb4 regains a piece along the c-file> Kh8 39.Ra1 Re8 40.bxa5 Nd3+ 41.Kf3 Nxc5 42.Bxd5 b4 43.a6 Nxa6 <A brutal finish removing the last vestige of hope. If now 44.Rxa6 Rb8 escorts the b-pawn on its happy march forward.> 0-1

Aug-01-06  notyetagm: This game won the Game Of The Month award for June at the Russian chess site
Aug-01-06  notyetagm: This game is really incredible. It would make great Solitaire Chess material for Danny King or Bruce Pandofini.
Aug-01-06  notyetagm: Anyone think this game might win an upcoming Chess Informant Best Game prize?
Dec-19-06  notyetagm: June Game Of The Month:
Dec-19-06  notyetagm: I like this nickname by <ahmadov>: Magicdyarov(!).
Dec-19-06  nikolajewitsch: And many people still call the Four Knights a calm, even boring opening.....
Dec-21-06  notyetagm: Best game in Chess Informant 97 anyone? That would be May 1 through August 31, 2006.
Jun-23-07  notyetagm: I just love Nigel's comment given above:

<37 ... ♗c2!! A seemingly neverending series of tactical blows.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Comparing this game against Adams vs V Malaniuk, 1994 which went 9 ... b5 10. Bb3 cxd5 11. Ne2 Nxb3 12. axb3 d4, it seemed the Pd4 actually hindered Black's play there, also White was able to castle his King to safety versus this example.

<Anyone want to play this out from 10. dxc6> No. ;>D

I'll bet Black would play 10 ... b5 11. Bb3 (11. Nxb5?! Nxb5 12. Bxb5 Qa5+) Qe7 (12 ... Re8? 13. Bxf7+) followed by 12 ... Bg4 trying to keep White's King in the center, but that line would make for a very interesting game.

Aug-06-09  notyetagm: I still cannot believe that this game did not win a Chess Informant Best Games prize.
Aug-07-09  Albertan: I have Chess Informant 94 in chessbase format (CD). 30 of these games are given in the best games section for number 94. The game in the number one position is this one:Anand vs Adams, 2005

Rublevsky has a game in the thirty best game section (number 14, his game versus Vitiugov)which is in the database): Rublevsky vs N Vitiugov, 2005, however this game versus Mamedyarov is not rated as being one of the top thirty games for Chess Informant 94.

Aug-08-09  notyetagm: <Albertan: I have Chess Informant 94 in chessbase format (CD). 30 of these games are given in the best games section for number 94. The game in the number one position is this one:Anand vs Adams, 2005

Rublevsky has a game in the thirty best game section (number 14, his game versus Vitiugov)which is in the database): Rublevsky vs N Vitiugov, 2005, however this game versus Mamedyarov is not rated as being one of the top thirty games for Chess Informant 94.>

No, this brilliant win by Mamedyarov finished second to the famous Kramnik-Bruzon demolition game from the 2006 Turin Olympiad.

Aug-09-09  Bleepbloop1: @mateo: 13.qd2? re8! is even simpler, it seems to me. After say 14.c3 Rxe5 15.cxd4 rxe4+ white's position looks like a *very* perverse joke-- W probably has to give back the Q to avoid getting mated.

anyways, this is one amazing game, definitely among my top 7 for 2006

Sep-21-16  SpiritedReposte: What an initiative! It's these kinds of games I lose on time, there's just so many viable plans.
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