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Wesley So vs Samuel Sevian
"The Magnificent Sevian" (game of the day Apr-11-2015)
US Championship (2015), St Louis, MO USA, rd 3, Apr-03
Semi-Slav Defense: Stoltz Variation (D45)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Weird. The "find similar games" feature shows 12...c5 as a novelty, although as <keypusher> points out it is not, having been played in the very famous game Aronian vs Anand, 2013.
Apr-11-15  Stanley Yee: <chancho> Must keep checking 42...Ng4+ 43 Kh3 Rh1+ 44 Kg2 Rh2+ 45 Kf1 Ne3+ 46 Kg1 Rg2+ 47 Kh1 Nxg3# or 43 Kg2 Rf2+ 44 Kg1 Rf3+ 45 Kg2 Rxg3+ 46 Kf1 Rg1+ 47 Ke2 Nc3+ 48 Kd3 Rd1+ 49 Kc4 Ne3+ 50 Kb3 Rb1#. I'm sure Wesley didn't see all this, and resigned on gut instinct.
Apr-11-15  SuperPatzer77: <Chancho:What's the rest of the line after 42...Ng4+?>

After 42...Ng4+, White has 2 possible tries below:

1) 43. Kh3 Rh1+, 44. Kg2 Rh2+, (43. Kf3 Nd2#) 43. Kf1 Ne3+, (44. Ke1 Bc3#) 44. Kg1 Rg2+, 45. Kh1 Nxg3# 0-1

2) 43. Kg2 Rf2+, (44. Kh1/h3 Rh2#) 44. Kg1 Re2+ (discovered check), 45. Kf1 Nxg3#

That's all, <Chancho>


Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <chancho> Courtesy of Houdini: 42.Kh2 Ng4+ and now

(A) 43.Kg2 Rf2+ 44.Kg1 (44.Kh1 Rh2#) (44.Kh3 Rh2#) 44...Re2+! 45.Kf1 (or 45.Kh1) Nxg3#;

(B) 43.Kh3 and now either (1) 43...Rh1+ 44.Kg2 Rh2+ 45.Kf1 (45.Kf3 Nd2#) 45...Ne3+ 46.Kg1 (46.Ke1 Bc3#) 46...Rg2+ 47.Kh1 Nf2# (or 47...Nxg3#)

or (2) 43...Nef2+ 44.Kg2 Ne3+ 45.Kf3 (45.Kh2 Rh1#) and now (a) 45...Nh1+ 46.Ke4 (46.Ke2 Nxg3+ 47.Kd3 Rd1#) 46...Nxg3+ 47.Kd3 Rd1# or (b) 45...Nfd1+ 46.Ke4 (46.Ke2 Nc3+ 47.Kd3 Rd1#) 46...Nc3+ 47.Kd3 Rd1#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: Fascinating game, and hard to "see" the outcome without preknowledge. Quick engine analysis suggests So was nearly +1 better up to 24 Bb2?! (The anti-intuitive 24 Nb3 was recommended) However, even after .... Ng4! 25 Qh3! would still retain the edge, despite W being materially down and faced with the prospects of active play by the B pieces.

After 25 Qh5? it shifts to B, W lost a tempo since he played Qh3 next move, but 26 Qxg5 would not have been any better. With Q's off B's advantage is more clear and try as he might, W was not able to get on terms again. But a very tricky path. Hats off to both players.

Apr-11-15  Ratt Boy: < keypusher: <keypusher: Interesting question. I looked up the 1957-58 US championship on chessmetrics. It was definitely not one of the stronger US championships.


Of course Fischer had hardly had a shot at strong opponents before that event (to say nothing of access to a chess engine). I'm leery of comparing a modern 14 y/o to someone getting started in the 1950s.>

If you are going to compare them it makes sense to point out that Fischer <won> that tournament, at +8, and Sevian is not going to win this one.>

I kinda hope that ends the discussion, as there truly is no comparison.

Apr-11-15  chesswar1000: It's also nice to notice that Black has 7 pieces on the board.
Apr-11-15  TheaN: Interesting mating net for Sevian coming from:

click for larger view

is <42.Kh2 Ng4+ 43.Kh3 Rh1+ 44.Kg2 Rh2+ 45.Kf1 Nxg3+ 46.Ke1 Re2+ 47.Kd1 Ne3+ 48.Kc1 Rc2+ 49.Kb1 Rb2+ 50.Ka1 Nc2# 0-1>

click for larger view

Black has a plenty quicker mates in this line from 45.Kf1 on, but this would have been best aesthetically.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <Stanley Yee / SuperPatzer77 / FSR>


Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A ton better than yesterday's game. the kid can really play! The pieces sing!
Apr-11-15  chessbug: Great pun!
Apr-11-15  Pulo y Gata: Not "Beyond Sevian"?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <chessbug: Great pun!>

I agree. Fair pun!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Facile pun. Elsewhere, I have already used the far superior, <Sevian Deadly, Wins>, but I was ruminating on <Sevian Faces Off Fu Manchu> for his game with Nakamura, but I got the film title wrong and <Sevian Faces Off Dr Lao> seemed a bit of a stretch.
Apr-11-15  Pulo y Gata: How about "Savior vs Sevian"? That might ruffle some feathers, yes?
Apr-11-15  Pulo y Gata: This is turning to be quite a treat, so how about: "So, Sam guy beat him"?
Apr-11-15  Pulo y Gata: Win Sam, Lose Some

It's getting worse I know, but it's fun!

Apr-11-15  whiteshark: A new fairy tale: <So White and the Sevian Dwarves>
Apr-11-15  Marmot PFL: This is one of the games So had in mind when he said he played too aggressively in the US ch. This isn't necessary to beat lower rated players with white, when good positional play will usually bring home the bacon.
Apr-11-15  Amarande: Ouch! The final configuration, with the Knight phalanx, BTW immediately reminds me of Steinitz vs Bird, 1895.
Apr-13-15  ex0duz: I couldn't even work out the finish in my head(or at least it took me quite a long time to see all the variations, and even then, i wasn't 100% sure).

Instead, I needed to play out the variations on the board to be sure.. I guess that's the difference between me and a GM :(

Or maybe not, since Wesley So seemed to have missed it too =]

A big thanks to everyone who posted engine analysis of the finish btw, really helped to be 101% sure. heh

Gotta say, the final position is quite interesting for me to play around with. I really do have fun with these kinds of minor piece mates, especially when it comes to using knights/bishops. It didn't help that it was also an open position around the king, with more lines to calculate and making it more confusing to do just purely in your mind without moving the pieces or using a board, but in the end, it's worth it. Quite beautiful positions/variations can be had. It reminds me of Bobby Fischers 'immortal' king hunt from when he was really young..

Jul-29-15  Sally Simpson: June 2015 CHESS (which I have only got just around to reading. I found it under a few other magazines in my work locker few days ago.) say Wesley's 17.Bxh7+

click for larger view

Is a new move but the Kibitzing to:

Aronian vs Anand, 2013

Clearly indicate it was discussed by Anand in later analysis.

Interesting to ponder if both players went here recalling the Anand game and Wes recalled Anand's suggestion but went astray in the complications that followed.

I'm thinking if Wes had studied the lines after Bxh7+ he would have found some of the more exact moves 17.Nxe6 instead of 17.Qxg6? (CHESS) the position demanded. Therefore am following a thought, and it's just that, a thought, that Wes recalled what was best to play and then mixed up pure calculation with trying to remember what was analysed by Anand.

I've heard a few GM/IM's say that such a thing has happened to them during the course of a game.

Indeed Anand himself lost a very short game by recalling a move he spotted in infornator without looking at it properly.

"And thanks to my excellent memory I followed theory and now have a lost game...Tarrsch" (in effect - at work cannot lift the actual quote.).

I've been there in a sac-sac variation of the Sicilian. You reject what turns out to be the best move, not because you have not seen it OTB, but because you cannot remember having seen it in the analysis to an older game, consequently you lose the thread of the entire game.

Jan-14-18  Abdullah Alkhalifi: 42. Kh2 Nf2 43. Rhg8+ Kf5 44. Rbf8+ Ke4 45. Rxf2 Rxf2+ 46. Kh1 Rf1+ 47. Kh2 Ng4+ 48. Kg2 Rg1+ 49. Kh3 Rh1+ 50. Kxg4 Rxh7
Mar-19-18  Saniyat24: 23...Be5 bravo...!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Bum's Immortal.
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