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Ivan Saric vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
Tata Steel Masters (2015), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 7, Jan-17
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B90)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-17-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: 31.Rd2?? is a huge blunder. 31.Qc1, and white might even be winning.

Saric had over 40 minutes, so time was definitely not a factor. So what was? Perhaps it was mental exhaustion due to complicated variations:

For example, one move black could've played was 23...Qxf3, forking both bishops. White would have to burn a tempo with 24.Bb6. After 24...Rc6, 25.Qxf8+! Kxf8 26.Rxd8+, this is what the position looks like:


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After 26...Ke7, the game can continue 27.Bg2 Rxb6 28.Bxf3 Kxd8, and white has a bishop for knight, but is down a pawn. If white doesn't like that, white can force a perpetual with Rd7+ and Rd8+ If <black> doesn't like that, he'll be forced to play 1...Kg7 2.Bg2 Qxg2 3.Rxg2 Rxb6, and now white is up the exchange for a pawn. More complications...

Jan-17-15  FairyPromotion: <Penguincw: 31.Rd2?? is a huge blunder. 31.Qc1, and white might even be winning.>

I doubt white has any serious advantage here, as the computer evaluations are 0.00. However this blunder is even worse than the usual losing blunders at this level, since it falls immediately to a mate in 5 from a completely equal position.

A weird case of chess blindness.

Jan-17-15  floydAkash: Okay, so it's not time. I was under the impression he missed Qc1 due to time trouble. It took me around 5 minutes to zero in on Qc1.
Jan-17-15  Marmot PFL: Looks like a monday or tuesday quiz.
Jan-18-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: " I was under the impression he missed Qc1 due to time trouble."

Why do we always assume that blunders like 31.Rd2 when played by any good player must be time trouble or offer some other excuse.

These guys are good because they cock up less than weaker players do.

Not often and in some cases very rare, but they all drop clangers.

Jan-27-15  pericles of athens: Nice finish!

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