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Varuzhan Eduardovich Akobian vs Pavel Tregubov
World Cup (2009), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 1, Nov-21
Dutch Defense: Raphael Variation (A80)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-21-09  econ1: 27...Bxb7 28 Rxa7+ Kxa7 29. Ra1+ 1-0; nice win for V Akobian.
Nov-21-09  dumbgai: Tregubov tried some weird Dutch and his king got massacred.
Nov-22-09  ajile: Actually Black played a decent answer to White's anti-Dutch 2.Nc3. Although it's considered more accurate for Black to play 2..d5 first. 2..Nf6 allows White to play 3.Bg5 which is annoying.

The point is that if White plays 2.Nc3 he blocks his own c pawn from advancing to c4 which works well against the normal Stonewall Dutch. So after 2.Nc3 Black can get a good game by playing 2..d5 with a Stonewall setup since White can't play c4. The good point of 2.Nc3 for White is that White plays for a very early e4 which if allowed is usually bad for Black.

Nov-24-09  ajile: Opening Explorer

Shows that Black is doing well after 2..d5 3.Bg5 h6

Premium Chessgames Member
  Albertan: According to Chess endgame tablebases,Tregubov should have drawn this game. On move 69 the position is equal:

click for larger view

Akopian made a mistake on move 72.All of these responses would have lead to a draw if played correctly according to endgame tablebases:

click for larger view

Analysis by Rybka 3:

1. = (0.00): 72...Rc2
2. = (0.00): 72...Rb2
3. = (0.00): 72...Ra2
4. = (0.00): 72...Rh3
5. = (0.00): 72...Rh8

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: He resigned on move 27 yet had an equal game on move 72? Sounds like the old Reversed Digits Gambit to me. Or a different game?

<Ajile> Good comments there on Dutch and anti-Dutch strategy. I usually play 1...e6 before ...f5, but ...g6 and ...d6 are also good. The main idea is to bypass some of the more violent anti-Dutch systems, such as the Staunton gambit (2.e4) and stuff like 2.Bg5. It's also possible to start with a Nimzo-Indian and transpose to a Dutch setup after ...Ne4, eg 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 Ne4 5.Qc2 f5 etc.

But I've had a couple of games go 1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 f5 3.h3 Nf6 4.g4 -- a type of Korchnoi Gambit. I took the pawn in the first game and lost; next time I played ...d5 and drew. My opponent said he'd got the idea while playing GM Simon Williams, who is also one of the more interesting exponents of the Dutch. So he knows its weak points: I notice he's been using it less lately.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <He resigned on move 27 yet had an equal game on move 72? Sounds like the old Reversed Digits Gambit to me. Or a different game?>

Yeah, has to be the next game where Tregubov equalized the score: P Tregubov vs V Akobian, 2009 (very nicely played rook endgame, worth a look).

This game is an interesting case of a pair of knights turning out much stronger than a pair of bishops in the middlegame.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Eyal> Interesting. I can't recall the specific games right now, but I know I've seen three or four games lately where the knight pair vanquished a brace of prelates.

Maybe the tide is finally turning, back to the ideas of Nimzowitsch and Chigorin. Saddling one's opponent with the bishop pair ...

Ray Keene observed that in Nimzo's writings 'we' restrain, 'we' blockade, but it is the enemy who has the bishop pair in his oily grasp.

Then again: I have a book called 'Bishop vs Knight: the Verdict' by Steve Meyer. It concludes that Chigorin sometimes played to get the knight pair, but lost more often than not.

I suppose it's really as simple and obvious as pawn structures favouring the different pieces, and open vs closed games. I still think one of the profound mysteries of chess is that two pieces with such utterly different powers should turn out to be roughly equal in value.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Dom> Yeah, it's a mystery... With regard to many commentaries that I've seen in this context, I felt that the commentator's vocabulary was too crude to really explain the full complexity of the judgments that have to be made in order to determine the relative strength of the two minor pieces, or different combinations of them, in different types of positions. The closed/open distinction is certainly useful as a general guideline, but often not quite enough. At any rate, I've noticed another rather interesting specimen of a middlegame with 2 knights vs. 2 prelates from the current world cup in N Vitiugov vs Karjakin, 2009. There, White tries to make something of the bishop pair, including a pawn sac to open up the position, but doesn't really get anywhere; so he decides to swap off all the minor pieces, but makes a tactical slip during the process and loses.
Dec-09-09  nd792001: This game really appeals to me for some reason... the knight tactics used attacking the king position, the heavy pieces behind the advancing pawns, the final tactical shot leading to mate with the rook sac... all making a pleasing combination of elegance and brutality.
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