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Erwin L'Ami vs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
Reykjavik Open (2015), Reykjavik ISL, rd 7, Mar-15
Rat Defense: English Rat (A41)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-15-15  PaulBl: One never wins by resigning. Why not 21...c6, and hope for a draw?

Kind regards,

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: < One never wins by resigning. Why not 21...c6, and hope for a draw? >

Hmm. Good question. Looking at computer analysis on chess24, 21...Nc2 would be the best move. However, if 21...c6, then 22.Ne4 is the followup. White is ready to land in a fork on f6, d6 is hit, and d4 is now hit. The best move would be to give back the exchange with 22...Rxe4, and it's the bishop pair vs. knight pair. I think black can go on. White will probably win a pawn, but it'll take some time before L'Ami gets the clear win, as 2 knights on the board are always tricky.

Mar-15-15  TITIKIZA: i do not understand the 1-0
Mar-15-15  dehanne: "'t Kan verkeren."

- Bredero

Mar-16-15  Marmot PFL: Black resigns rather than face the wrath of the bishop pair.
Mar-17-15  sivaspassky: why was qd2 played by white? It blocks the black bishop and isn't it against opening principles?
Mar-17-15  sivaspassky: Now I understand that it is to fight for d4 and e5 squares but why should black fianchetto in this position? and what happens if black develops normally say Nf6 and Be7?
Mar-17-15  Nerwal: <why was qd2 played by white? It blocks the black bishop and isn't it against opening principles?>

White has to consider :
* the dark-squared bishop has no interesting prospect on the c1/h6 diagonal : the only good square is g5, but this would ultimately lead to trades (which are in Black's favor).

* other squares than d2 for the white queen have drawbacks (e.g. on d3 the queen can be hit by ♘b4 or ♘e5)

* the c4 pawn can be sometimes attacked by ♗e6 or ♘e5; White wants to play ♘d5 only under favourable conditions and would prefer to develop with g3 and ♗g2 rather than e3 and Be2 which is less active, so b3 will have to be played.

All this suggests than the best setup for White is ♕d2, b3, g3, ♗g2 and then either ♗b2 or ♗a3 (after Black has played c6, in order to put pressure on d6)

There are other openings where White plays this odd-looking ♕d2 for similar reasons (e.g. : 1. e4 c5 2. ♘f3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. ♕xd4 ♗d7!? 5. c4 ♘c6 6. ♕d2!).

<and what happens if black develops normally say Nf6 and Be7?>

Nothing special but this setup is passive. White has a space advantage and a very sound pawn structure, similar to some lines of the Philidor or the Budapest gambit. Black would like to exchange some pieces to lessen the problem of lack of space, but fianchettoed bishops make trades harder to achieve. A good positional White player will torture Black endlessly in this type of position.

There is a reason why the Morphy lines of the Spanish have become overwhelmingly popular over the Steinitz lines with d6, ♗e7 and exd4.

Mar-17-15  Whitehat1963: I really don't understand this resignation. Seems premature when you're ahead the exchange. What are white's threats?
Mar-17-15  Illogic: It seems that white will at least be getting the exchange back after Nd5.

Still, it does seem like a premature resignation. I guess the true badness of black's position is lost on most of us, as the computer does indeed give a decisive advantage (+2.3) for L'Ami in the final position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Running the final position on Fritz 14 on cloud search indicates Stockfish 6 at 42 depth gives White a +2.01 advantage after 21...c6 22. Nxe4 Rxe4 while Houdini 3 at 32 depth gives it as a +1.89 advantage after 21...f5 22. Nd5 Ne6 .

Either way, it would seem 21...c6 or 21...f5 might still give White a fighting chance at a draw. However, OTB the slim chance of a draw offered by these options isn't easy to see.

If Black tries the tempting 21...Nc2, White wins after 22. Rd1 Nb4 23. a3 Nc6 24. Nd5 Rec8 25. Nf6+ Kf8 26. Nxh7+ Kg8 27. Nf6+ Kf8 28. f4 (+3.87 @ 24 depth, Fritz 14x64).

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