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Vassily Ivanchuk vs Teimour Radjabov
Bazna Tournament (2009), Bazna ROM, rd 4, Jun-17
Sicilian Defense: Four Knights. Exchange Variation (B45)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-17-09  wanabe2000: I found today's game quite interesting. According to <tarek1> "12.Bd2 is the first new move". While watching the game I thought Ivanchuk, with the pawn sac (12....Qxb2) had winning chances but Radjabov advanced his King side pawns to keep the balance. Rad never moved his Queen rook and Queen bishop and still held a draw. Amazing.
Jun-17-09  chillowack: It's hard to believe White didn't win this game. He has a massive bind on Black's queenside (Black is effectively two pieces down, his rook and bishop stuck on square one).

I can only think time pressure played a part toward the end, otherwise Ivanchuk would have found a path to victory.

Jun-17-09  Marmot PFL: Once the queens were traded the draw seemed more likely than not.
Jun-18-09  alexrawlings: Could black not play 13.. Qxa2 here?
Jun-18-09  chillowack: <alexrawlings: Could black not play 13.. Qxa2 here?> Yes, he could have: and Ivanchuk wanted him to take it. But there's a rule, "don't go pawn-hunting in the opening," which it can be dangerous to violate.

Some possible variations:

13...Qxa2 14.g4 (to regain control of d4) Nh6 15.Be2 Be7 16.0-0 0-0 17.Ra1 Qb2 18.Rfb1 and the queen is trapped (note that d4 is no longer available to the queen as a flight square).

Or 13...Qxa2 14.g4 Nh6 15.Be2 Qa6 16.Nd6+ Bd6 17.Qd6 and White has control of the board and several threats, including Bd2-b4.

While certainly not exhaustive, these variations show that grabbing the a2-pawn could turn out to be dangerous for Black.

Jun-18-09  WhiteRook48: 12 Bd2?!?!
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