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Etienne Bacrot vs Ernesto Inarkiev
Baku Grand Prix (2008), Baku AZE, rd 11, May-03
Spanish Game: Exchange. Normal Variation (C69)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-03-08  bumpmobile: So, what's the finish? ;-)
May-03-08  zoat22: NxQ maybe?
May-03-08  VinnyRoo2002: What do you guys think happened? Did he just blunder his queen which all of us amateurs dream about happening when playing a super-GM, or was he disappointed in his position and wanted to sarcastically resign? This whole game is a little suspect to me.
May-03-08  cannibal: <VinnyRoo2002>
His position wasn't great anymore, but no way he'd resign by this kind of harakiri. It was simply another candidate for "blunder of the century" (maybe even sillier than Kramnik's, cause normally the very first thing you subconciously do when thinking about a move is checking if the square is under attack).

When he played that move he was already in quite some time trouble (he took an eternity on his 17th move, when Rybka thought the simple Nxc7 would give an advantage), and probably he was just thinking he'd get a second pawn (d6) for the exchange.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: From the tournament bulletin:

Today we saw what tiredness can do to a man. "The blunder of the tournament," Bacrot described his 23.Qe7+?? that sadly ended the most exciting game of the round, Bacrot-Inarkiev, much too early.

"This is the result of the Sofia rule," Inarkiev said afterwards, "he has used all his energy and in that position he had already spent a lot of time."

It was a pity, because from an Exchange Ruy Lopez (normally with high drawing tendencies) the fight had turned into a real thriller. Bacrot had been searching for a forced win but couldn't find it, and in the final position he was already down to his last five minutes. "10...h6 is not so good; after 10...0-0-0 I would play for a draw," he said. To this, Inarkiev added the moves 11.Ng5 Qxd1 12.Rxd1 Bxg5 13.Bxg5 Re8 and also assessed it as equal.

Later White missed a big chance with 17.Nxc7! Rc8 18.Ne6 Bd6 19.Nc5 fxe5 20.Nxd7 Kg7 21.Ndxe5 Qe6 22.b3! and White keeps on attacking, having two pawns for an exchange and a great advantage in the centre (Shipov).

May-03-08  Marmot PFL: At one game a day they really should not be all that tired. I've played three a day many times without putting pieces en pris.
May-03-08  acirce: Congratulations. And I have been completely exhausted many times after just one. So what?
May-04-08  Aspirador: It was not just exhaustion. It was time shortage and disappointment about the fact that his advantage slipped away.
May-04-08  notyetagm: White to play: 23 ?

click for larger view

Here White (Bacrot) played the unbelievable blunder 23 ♕e2-e7+??,

Position after 23 ♕e2-e7+?? 0-1

click for larger view

simply not noticing that the e7-square was <DEFENDED> by the Black g8-knight, and resigned before Black could play the obvious winning move 23 ... ♘g8x♕e7.

From <Chess Today 2735>, pages 1-2:

<Bacrot (White) blundered away his queen absolutely terribly in a game versus Inarkiev.

I can confess that when I saw this position (which arose after 23.Qe2- e7+??) in live transmission, I could not understand for a while why the result was recorded as 0-1, and why Bacrot resigned. The position of the black pieces is a bit unusual, and this could have provoked somehow Etienne's blunder.

The tournament is anyway difficult and Bacrot is busy reporting for his website; possibly he is very tired. The official website has a video report, showing Bacrot making his 23rd move, and then realising his mistake and resigning. In the opening Bacrot had a big advantage, which makes things even worse.>

May-04-08  Illogic: <Marmot PFL> I don't know your strength but I think it's pretty safe to say these GMs' thought processes during games are a lot more intense and exhausting than yours (and mine!)
May-04-08  Atking: What's wrong with Fischer's advice 8.Re1 ? (e.g 8...Qf5 9.b3! Nf6 10.Ba3 Be6 11.Nf5 dixis Fischer)
May-04-08  Georgie Dubb: <GMs' thought processes during games are a lot more intense and exhausting than yours (and mine!)> That’s not necessarily true. I remember a study proving that, on a given intellectual task, people with a good performance consume LESS energy than the ones performing badly. If you assume that the difficulty of the problems that a player imposes himself to solve during a game increases with his chess level, “exhaustions” could even be equal between low and high ELOs… I think it’s more a question of commitment to the game in progress…
May-04-08  Illogic: I hear you, but I think chess is not quite the same as a intellectual task where there is a question/problem, and then an answer/endpoint. A chess position is more open-ended and quickly branches out into more and more complexity the more you analyze it. GM's enormous talents in calculating make more work for themselves. Surely a GM does far more calculating in a game than a club player.
May-04-08  Hesam7: Poor Bacrot :-(

It seems that 17.Nxc7 Rc8 18.Ne6 would have been a significant improvement for White. If Black continues as in the game: 18...Bd6 19.Nc5 fxe5 20.Nxd7 Qf5 21.Ndxe5+ Kg7 22.Nc4

click for larger view

compared to the game White is doing much better. The c1-bishop will go to the a1-h8 diagonal and then Black is toast.

May-04-08  Atking: <Hesam7> very simple move like 17.Bd2 (~18.Rae1) looks good enough. e.g 17...Bd6 18.Re3 Bf4 19.NxBf4 gxNf4 20.Re4 Bxh3 21.Nh4 Qg4 22.QxQg4 BxQg4 23.Rae1 Without forcing too much White is clearly better. I still don't understand why Etienne went to his mess?
May-04-08  Marmot PFL: <acirce: Congratulations. And I have been completely exhausted many times after just one. So what?>

I see, you were so exhausted (by move 23) that you dropped the queen...

May-04-08  positionalgenius: <marmot> I'm afraid they are playing on a higher level than you were
Jul-24-08  dumbgai: Oh but of course, "tiredness" or "exhaustion" is always the excuse for every blunder. I mean sure, they were probably tired towards the end of this 13-round tournament, but I don't see why GMs always need to use this as a bail-out. He simply made a bad mistake, everyone's human and it happens. But the way they put it, seems to imply that they should all play perfectly during the first few rounds.
Jul-24-08  tomfoolery: <notyetagm> No offense intended, but what was the point of that? It was a simple blunder, and not any interesting move in chess.
Dec-20-08  Bobsterman3000: Maybe Bacrot was tired from winning money in Internet poker until very late the night before...

Jan-11-09  WhiteRook48: it's hard to believe 23. Qe7+?? . This should make a blunder puzzle. 23. ?
May-18-09  JG27Pyth: So tricky those Knights...they hop over other pieces and move in an L shape...

Seriously though, it's hard to fathom this error. Jaw dropping. It's really extraordinary.

Nov-30-11  Tigranny: The blunder's even worse than Kramnik's against Deep Fritz.
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