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Alberto David vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
"Les Maximes des Hommes" (game of the day Jan-23-2015)
Italian Team Championship (2014), Condino ITA, rd 1, Apr-30
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. King's Indian Formation (A15)  ·  0-1



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Given 17 times; par: 40 [what's this?]

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sac: 21...Nxg4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-30-14  gofer: It looks like black has just given up Bg7 and so we are a whole bishop down. But on the plus side we have an huge attack going against the king and nothing able to defend. In fact one of the few defenders Rf1 has to move to provide an escape square for the white king!

<22 ... Qh5>

A bit of a blunt attack, but still it cannot be ignored, also it has the added benefit of not allowing Bh8 threatening Qg7#.

<23 Rb1 Qh2+>
<24 Kf1 Ne5!>

click for larger view

Ng4 has done his job, he as got the queen to h2 and now he is in the way. Time to fall on his sword and let Bc8 at the party!

Ironically, and I hadn't really realised this at the start Pe4 is already at the party, lining up sambuca shots and taking his lighter out of his back pocket...

The problem for white is that Bh3 is coming and there is no defense, so white cannot play <25 Bxe5> due to <25 ... Bh3> mating

26 Bxh3 Qh1#
26 Ke1 Qg1#
26 Ne3/Ne1 Qh1#

25 e3? Bh3
26 Ne1 Qh1+!
27 Ke2 Bg4+
28 f6 exf6+ (Nf6/Bf6 Bxf6+ 30 Bxf6/Nxf6 exf6#)
29 Kd1 fxg2+ (Nxf6/Bxf6 Bxf6+ 30 Bxf6/Nxf6 Qxf6# 31 Ke1 Nd3#) 30 g1=Q

But as white is about to loose Bg7, so I would guess that white attacks back with f5, attacking Ne5 and provide a little luft for his king.

25 Qa8!? Kxg7

<25 f5? ...>

Now this seems a little dumb, as it opens the e file for the rook, but I can't see anything else...

<25 ... exf6(ep)>

click for larger view

This just gets uglier and uglier. Time to stop...


A real beauty! I missed <25 g4 ...> which in hindsight is obvious. The reply <25 ... Nf3> is just a beutiful move. Relentlously bearing down on the poor white king, nothing is going help...

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black is one bishop down.

It seems possible to attack the white king starting with 22... Qh5 23.Rb1 Qh2+ 24.Kf1 Ne5:

A) 25.Bxe5 Bh3

A.1) 26.Bxh3 Qh1#.

A.2) 26.Ke1 Qg1+ 27.Bf1 Qxf1#.

A.3) 26.f3(4) Qxg2+ 27.Ke1 Qg(f)1#.

A.4) 26.e3 Bxg2+ 27.Ke2 (27.Ke1 Qh(g)1+ 28.Ke2 Bf3#) 27... Bf3+ and mate next.

A.5) 26.Ne3 Qh1#.

B) 25.Ke1 Qxg2 26.Kd1 Kxg7 27.f4 exf3 - + [B+P].

C) 25.Ne3 Bh3

C.1) 26.f3 Bxg2+ 27.Nxg2 (27.Ke1 Qg1+ 28.Nf1 Qxf1#; 27.Kf2 Bxf3+ 28.Ng2 Qxg2+ 29.Ke3 Qxe2+ mates or wins decisive material) 27... exf3 28.exf3 Qh1+ 29.Ke2 (29.Kf2 Nd3#) 29... Qxg2+ 30.Kd1 (30.Ke3 Qxf3+ 31.Kd4 Qd3#; 30.Ke1 Nf3+ 31.Kd1 Qxd2#) 30... Qxf3+ followed by Kxg7 wins a piece at least.

C.2) 26.f4 Bxg2+ 27.Nxg2 Qh1+ 28.Kf2 Ng4#.

C.3) 26.Ke1 Bxg2 27.Kd1 Kxg7 wins a piece.

D) 25.f3(4) exf3

D.1) 26.Bxf3 Nxf3 27.exf3 Bh3#.

D.2) 26.exf3 Nxf3 27.Kf2 (27.Bxf3 Bh3+ 28.Bg2 Qxg2#) 27... Bh3

D.2.a) 28.Kxf3 Qxg2+ 29.Kf4 Qf2+ 30.Kg5 Qf5+ 31.Kh4(6) Qh5#.

D.2.b) 28.Rg1 Nxg1 29.Qxg1 Re2+ 30.Kxe2 Qxg1 31.Bxh3 Qh2+ - + [Q+P vs B+N].

D.2.c) 28.Ne3 Nxd2 with several threats (Ne4+, Nxb1, Nxc4, etc.), unclear.

Nov-30-14  morfishine: I remember this game, beautiful finish!


Nov-30-14  wooden nickel: 23. ... Qh2 then the forced 24. Kf1 is a "maybe something could work" position! It's just not easy to really see the final touch. The link (already posted) really explains it well, thanks a lot!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I got 22...Qh5 23.(something) Qh2+ 24.Kf1 and that's about it. Good thing tomorrow's Monday!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: That's a very impressive combination, especially as Lagrave would need to see it one move sooner than the puzzle, when he played 30. Qc5.

24...Ne5 is the star move

click for larger view

Threatening both Nf3 and Bh3.

I got some of it, but nowhere near enough to claim a solution.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I thought of 25 Nf3?! as a possible defense of g2 but that move loses a piece after 25...Bh3.

click for larger view

White has use two tempi to move his king to d1 to avoid mate, conceding both bishops.

FWIW, it also took me quite a while to see the difference between 24...Ne5 vs. 24...Nf6.

click for larger view

It's worth investigating why this move does not work.

Nov-30-14  M.Hassan: "Insane"
Black to play 22...?
Black is a Bishop down

22........Qh5 threatening mate on h2
23.Rb1 Qh2+
24.Kf1 Ne5 disrupting connection between White's pieces on the long diagonal

25.Qa8 Bh3
26.Qxe8+ Kxg7
27.Ne3 Qh1#

Another variation could be:

25.Bxe5 Bh3
26.e3 making room for King's escape
27.Ke2 Bg4+
28.Ke1 Qh1#

Nov-30-14  BOSTER: <hedgehog: What a brilliant game. The combo beginning with 20...Qc5 is simple exquisite>.

Honestly, I did not find such brilliance.

In many books you can find Alekhine's advice: "Always try to keep the free pawns in front of your castled king on their original squares as long as possible".

But I have never met something like this "Don't touch pawn d2,e2,f2 until move 26",but I found it in this game.

Move 20. It was necessary to play 20.Nb3 to control c5 square.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: A heads right ramble at a free cause it a lyeth gain aloof ash hints at in beset an gel to god good game a co insider might vindicate have c5 ash good too goad as g7 boot h5 ie be 22...Qh5 23.Rb1 or rook as park a c1 hood in both suffer from e5 gamble in f3 pays off accolade accost g7 accroutrements:

again leather bind and whether the set in as a h2 i storm bled the crocodile job at hand h5 to cost in a g4 knight daccord cockles and muslces alight go to catch the old hocus pocus again train clocl ok over queen clown around old one up in concubine at recents wag ash a h2 hot cocoa to sip and sac consider worthy g7 rook cocked his gun at herd in the word h5 cossack at the door tick tock man duck to cover double cow horn etc rook b1 coxswain row over as h2 a hoi polloi too coy heads above heeds helps and hands over the bounty gold teeth queen to be pluck ignoble heeds the cause happy hears the call hints at hills a1 queen far away hippy sway horde in hammer hooks again a length in and g4 erm link have dip an away hoops to jump through in sense saves it light on the run in tonnage c8 wheel in e8 stave c8 stays put kind of bring in the house down around him homes abound the hunts on hulls creak heads above free eh foggy rater patch he goofball king's at pave fold gush effect enough fane flush eg give hoof a g2 caught unaware c8:

from afar set he include prop heel in toe the line at e3 nab g4 bad or be 22.Bxg7 hush in hinch a lift hopscotch an hash head inch hope has heal h5 catch again much hold fire such have rich hint good gare have gangway walks the plank garbage gesture gableing at e3 choose a wave in gash-up lol in rook bow away gaskets cover ground gadzook knight bishop gestapo invade giving g7 glisten good a jog around poor tender g7 spot an gumball gumption cant getaway gallant as ever tickle balck i net a point:

egg knight gush e5 free gash i ply a gog gush try gaining ground have accrued smack;

gg as e4 hero accent in lift smog cog e4 acclimatise cackle much e5 turn 24.Kf1 Ne5 25.g4 Nf3 26.exf3 exf3 27.Bxf3 Bxg4 has to chuck head e5 g7 bishop retreats and rook wins e5 queen in as whilst to hope black queen cheers mops up a c4 man and i f2 gobble in clear lead it light in back foot at f3 and swipes g7 level no never as put kind h5 no ifs no buts slim nab quip pop queen a line no it of in over e5 the hills

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <BOSTER: ... Honestly, I did not find such brilliance.>

Another POTD, another argumentative BOSTER comment.

20... Qc5 sacrifices a piece (the Bg7) for an attack that has to be calculated for more than 10 moves ahead and with white having a number of different defensive tries.

With hindsight white should have prevented this with 20. Nb3, but that would have meant that white would also have to have spotted the piece sacrifice. The players don't have the advantage of computers or kibitzing when they sit down to play.

Alekhine's advice about not moving pawns in front of your castled king? Except in openings which feature fianchettoed bishops, such as the English, the Sicilian Dragon, the modern, the pirc ...

... or the book h3 in the main line of the Ruy Lopez

... or when a player wins by advancing his h pawn ... as in this game?

No, you obviously can't see the brilliance in this game.

Nov-30-14  TheaN: Sunday 30 November 2014 <22....?>

Holy moly why did I stop after visioning three of black's moves? Is it the daunting challenge of a sunday puzzle, the non-existant confindence of my own line, or the fact that I completely underestimated the fourth move in the black combination? I guess it's all three. Together I decided to stop at the moment supreme.

I presumed Black sacced his bishop on g7 for an attack, and although it looks daunting, all of black's pieces are still quite far away. Black needs forced moves to get somewhere.

<22....Qh5 23.Rb1 Qh2+ 24.Kf1> note that if the rook doesn't move on 23 it's mate, and b1 seems like the most logical square.

The third move in black's combination is something Lagrave must have seen when he made his sacrifice. I did see it, but underestimated the potential.

<24....Ne5!> is the only way to reload pieces, and awkwardly enough it happens with a retreat. On g4, the knight serves no purpose any longer, and soon to be kicked out by Ne3 anyway. The simple idea of this move is to attack the bishop on g7 indirectly, but also to allow entrance of black's bishop in the party.

What I missed however, is how strong Bh3 in this position is. White has to immediately prevent this invasion or he will lose quickly. After <25.Bxe5? Bh3!<>> white will soon lose. At least Bg2 now, then Be5 and soon the game. The only move that prevents the bishop from entering is 25.g4, but this I did not see because I stopped after Ne5.

Why, I still cannot answer.

Nov-30-14  arnaud1959: <BOSTER: ... Honestly, I did not find such brilliance.> You're right. I would find this combination in a blindfold blitz game. I'm sure you would do the same.
Nov-30-14  BOSTER: <TheaN: what I missed however, is how strong Bh3 in this pos. is>.

Such coordination the queen plus bishop in the game vs the king in the castled pos. is well known.

The <hole> g2-h3 is too big even for an <emmental cheese>.

So, I want to repeat <mrbasso 20.Ndc2? is a retreat that allows the black Queen to go to h5.

Quite embarrassing for a GM. 20.Nb3 looks much better>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Fascinating!
Nov-30-14  Abdel Irada: I begin to think that <BOSTER> is a <Conrad93> clone.

With his contempt for mere grandmasters, and the implication that *he* could trivially do so much better, perhaps he should have called himself "Boaster."

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: ... decelent leur coeur.

Well this is a surprise. Traditionally each GOTD is tied to one pun and one pun only, whereas this was recycled from "Digging Lagrave" before.

I almost used "Dark Horse" a la Katy Perry, but that was already taken.

Good game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <tpstar> It has happened before. S Levitsky vs Marshall, 1912 was used twice (Jul-04-05 and Jul-04-08) as "American Beauty", presumably in honor of Independence Day in the United States. Then the pun was changed on "The Gold Coin Game" when it was used on the its 100th anniversary. There are probably other instances ad well, but none come to mind at the moment.

I'm just glad it wasn't used twice in the same year. That really screws up my GOTD collections.

Jan-23-15  jrofrano: This game was the 5th best game from 2014:
Jan-23-15  kyg16: As commented above, this game was already GOTD the 28th September 2014.

It is curious now to see that in the Game of the Day Archive which covers the past 365 GOTD now there is a hole between September 27 and September 29.

Dear there are so many amazing games, why reuse one? Even the pun was not so great.

Jan-23-15  FairyPromotion: <Phony Benoni> Kramnik vs Leko, 2004 is a game that was GOTD with 3 different puns:

1. All the Marbles
2. The Caro Can't
3. Last Dance

Premium Chessgames Member <kyg16> <Dear there are so many amazing games, why reuse one?>

The reason is: starting yesterday and continuing for 10 more days we're running through the collection of games voted "best of 2014" by Chessgames members under the guidance of User: tpstar. Several more repeats from 2014 are on the way, along with some games we've never featured.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <> Thanks for the explanation.
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: MVL conducted a great attack in this game! He opened up the a-file early so David probably thought that he was going to attack on the ♕side. However later in the game MVL was really sneaky & *quickly* whipped up a ♔side attack! Great stuff from MVL!!
Apr-02-17  clement41: Astonishing game!
I have rarely seen such an offensive harmony and optimal use of the geometry of the board! The star move, 24...Ne5, is amazing, preparing ...Bh3, attacking the Bg7, eyeing f3 which will help the Re8 get into play in case of a capture! The rook circuit ...Re5/h5 is never remote.
Also I spotted a queen sac that has not been mentioned yet among the kibitz if I'm not wrong: 10 Bd4 ef 11 Bxb6 fg 12 Rg1 ab and the g1 rook is a sorry sight
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