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Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs Anatoly Vaisser
"Lagrave Consequences" (game of the day Jun-10-2014)
French Team Championship (2014), Saint-Quentin FRA, rd 4, May-27
Zukertort Opening: Dutch Variation (A04)  ·  1-0



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Given 8 times; par: 26 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-10-14  morfishine: Practically any adjective attached to this game would be an understatement


<naresb> 16...g6 17.Nxf6++ crushes (double-check forcing White into a pin & exposed check)

17...Kg7 18.Rxd6 and Black is down 2-pieces with another hanging


Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Phony Benoni> - <Some Zukertort Opening. Instead of a slow queen-pawn game, we get a line resembling the Philidor Counter-Gambit>

Hi, Phony. I agree that the 'Zukertort' tag is inappropriate here. This line is now usually called the Neo-Lisitsyn, due to its similarity to the original Lisitsyn Gambit, 1.Nf3 f5 2.e4.

The 2.d3 line has been around for years, but the big improvement in the last decade or so is 6.d4!, as played by Carlsen among others.

The Neo-Lisitsyn may *look* like a slow-ish King Pawn line, but it has real bite and tends to produce miniature wins.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Dom> Never having seen this variation till now, I wondered what was so wonderful about 6.d4 at first, seeing the obvious 6....Nb4 as a possibility.

A wee bit of exploration turned up Krasenkow vs S Kindermann, 2001, another crushing defeat for Black.

It is curious how Dutch specialists can founder in the Lisitsyn very early on when their trademark aggro is turned back on them.

Jun-10-14  kevin86: The bishops are like attack's king has no chance.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <perf> Here's another one: G McCarthy vs J Joyce, 2010 (with White's d4 delayed for a few moves, plus a delayed form of the Ng5 gambit). Black's resignation is a bit premature - after ...Rf6 he loses the exchange, but is far from lost. And he outranked me by over 300 rating points.
Jul-03-14  LawrenceBernstein: Great pun. f5 is dubious against 1. Nf3
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <LawrenceBernstein: (1....f5) is dubious against 1. Nf3>

Do tell.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: It's Saturday! That means difficult puzzles on <cg>, but also the Sinquefield Cup starts tomorrow. One of the players there will be Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who takes white in this POTD.

Hmm. The queen is hit, so counterattacking move with 16.Bxf6? Hmm, after 16...Bxe5 17.Bxd8 Bxc3 18.Bxd5+ cxd5 19.bxc3 Rxd8 20.fxg4, white is up a pawn, but has a weaker pawn structure. Interesting position, and not a bad line, but there's better.

I should've known there was going to be some exchange sac on d5, but they didn't go for it.

Aug-22-15  patzer2: For my Saturday solution, I picked the game winner 16. Nxd5! where I calculated the continuation 16... Bxe5 17. Nxf6+ Kh8 18. Rxd8 Raxd8 19. Nxg4 . This also just happens to be the Deep Fritz 14 best play line (+2.47 @ 21 depth).

Black's game starts to go down hill with the not-so-obvious weak move 12...Be7?, allowing 13. Rhe1 (+0.81 @ 20 depth) or 13. Qe5! (+1.37 @ 20 depth).

Instead, Fritz finds the surprisingly strong defense 12...Kf7! when play might continue 13. Rhe1 g5 14. Bg3 Bg7 15. Bd3 Bxd3 16. Qxd3 Re8 17. f4 Rxe1 18. Rxe1 Nh5 19. Qf5+ Kg8 20. Qe6+ Kh7 21. f5 Qf6 = (0.00 @ 24 depth, Deep Fritz 14).

Aug-22-15  thegoodanarchist: <notyetagm: M Vachier-Lagrave vs Vaisser, 2014

Another tactical beating...>

Yes indeed, but I cannot figure out where Black went wrong. Yet he was crushed decisively.

Aug-22-15  dfcx: this POTD looks very complicated. White's queen and bishop are en prise, as well as black's bishop.

What should we do? Ignore all of them!


A. 16...Bxe5 17.Nxf6++ Kh8 18.Rxd8 Raxd8 19.Nxg4

B. 16...cxd5 17.Rxd5
B1. 17...Bxe5 18.Rxd8+ Kh8 19.Rxf8+ Rxf8 20.Rxe5 with two extra pawns.

B2. 17...Nxd5 18.Qxd5+ wins a queen

B3. 17...Qc7 18.Rc5+ Kh8 19.Rxc7 Bxe5 20.Rxe5 wins a bishop

Aug-22-15  NeverAgain: <LawrenceBernstein: (1....f5) is dubious against 1. Nf3> Oh rly? According to Opening Explorer, Black scores 40.6%. That's about the same rate of success as 2...c6 in the Reti. Chessbase's Megabase 2012 lists about 6x the number of games, with Black scoring 44% (+4071=3990-5609).

Vachier-Lagrave himself has essayed <1...f5> against <1.Nf3> twice, both time against GMs, winning the first time and drawing the second: R Fontaine vs M Vachier-Lagrave, 2007
Speelman vs M Vachier-Lagrave, 2009

As for the Neo-Lisitsyn, in the 414 games in MB2012 that reach the position after <1.Nf3 f5 2.d3 d6 3.e4 e5> Black scores even higher - 49% (+143=120-151).

A few notable wins from the Black side:
E Lazarev vs Korchnoi, 1953 - recently annotated by yours truly

N Davies vs Vasiukov, 1990 - an old GM beats an IM half his age

M Roos vs A Graf, 2007 - a Russian German expatriate is impressed with neither the oh-so-fearsome <6.d4> nor the fact that his opponent has been dead for five years

Aug-22-15  NeverAgain: <patzer2: Black's game starts to go down hill with the not-so-obvious weak move 12...Be7?>

That was Black's first big mistake, but not the only one. The losing move was <14...Bg4?>; Black could have put a stiffer fight with <14...Qc8 15.Qxe7 dxc4>

<patzer2: Fritz finds the surprisingly strong defense 12...Kf7! when play might continue [...] 21...Qf6 = (0.00 @ 24 depth, Deep Fritz 14).>

The final eval is confirmed with Stockfish 6 [0.17/33]. However, the first serious improvement may come as early as move eight: <8...c6!?>. How does White get an advantage without a pin on the f6 Knight?

Aug-22-15  Nick46: Ah, la vache !
Aug-22-15  agb2002: The material is identical.

Black threatens 16... Bxe5 (16... dxc4 17.Q(R)xd6).

The bishop on g4 is hanging. The white bishops x-ray Black's royal family and the rook on d1 does the same with the bishop on d6 and the black queen. These details seem to revolve around d5. This suggests 16.Nxd5:

A) 16... Bxe5 17.Nxf6+ Kh8 18.Rxd8

A.1) 18... Raxd8 19.Nxg4 Bf6 (19... g5 20.Nxe5 gxh4 21.Nf7+ Kg7 22.Nxd8 Rxd8 23.Re7+ Kf6 24.Rxb7 + - [B+2P]) 20.Nxf6 (or 20.Bxf6 gxf6 21.Nxh6 + - [B+N+2P vs R]) 20... gxf6 21.Re7 + - [2B+P vs R].

A.2) 18... Rfxd8 is even worse than A.1.

A.3) 18... Bxf6 19.Rxa8 Rxa8 20.Bxf6 Bxf3 (20... gxf6 21.fxg4 + - [B+P]) 21.Bxg7+ Kxg7 22.gxf3 + - [B+P].

B) 16... cxd5 17.Qxd5+ Nxd5 (17... Kh8 18.Qxd6 + - [B+2P vs N]) 18.Bxd5+ Kh8 19.Bxd8 seems to win two pawns. For example, 19... Bxf3 20.Bxf3 Raxd8 21.Bxb7.

C) 16... Kh8 17.Nxf6

C.1) 17... Bxe5 18.Rxd8 transposes to A.

C.2) 17... Rxf6 18.Bxf6 wins decisive material.

C.3) 17... gxf6 18.Qxd6 wins a piece.

D) 16... Qb8 17.Nxf6+ Kh8 18.Q(R)xd6 wins a piece.

Aug-22-15  agb2002: The text 17.Rxd5 is better than my 17.Qxd5+. I missed 21... Bxh2 at the end of B.
Aug-22-15  morfishine: Seen this one <16.Nxd5>, great game
Aug-22-15  patzer2: <Never Again> Enjoyed your informative and amusing posts! <M Roos vs A Graf, 2007 - a Russian German expatriate is impressed with neither the oh-so-fearsome <6.d4> nor the fact that his opponent has been dead for five years> Perhaps should correct that game to reflect the first player as Michael Roos (German IM) and not Michel Roos (French CC Champion 1957 and OTB Champion 1964 who died in 2002).
Aug-22-15  kevin86: The game is dominated by discovered attacks. What a finish!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I noticed that white could have played Nxd5 one move earlier; he had 15 Nxd5, seeing 15...cxd5 16 Rxd5 Nxd5 17 Bxe7.

click for larger view

After the queen moves, white will pick up the knight with check, then the f rook for his bishop.

Aug-22-15  thegoodanarchist: <morfishine: Seen this one <16.Nxd5>, great game>

It is deserving of the <morfishine> GOTD seal of approval, which is not given out lightly, I've noticed ;)

Aug-22-15  Jack Kerouac: Neal always warned me about the secrete
asperity of clerics; or bishops as now
known. Burroughs was always partial to
Aug-22-15  Moszkowski012273: Nxd5 a move earlier was a bit stronger.
Jul-15-16  whiteshark: Too much Bud, Vaisser?
Jul-15-16  zanzibar: Ölder but nöt wiser, wäs Vaisser.
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