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Wesley So vs Varuzhan Eduardovich Akobian
"So Much the Better" (game of the day Oct-05-2016)
US Chess Championship (2016), St Louis, MO USA, rd 5, Apr-18
French Defense: Rubinstein Variation. Kasparov Attack (C10)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-19-16  markz: <JohnBoy: <spazz> - I believe after 23.Rg1+ Bg2 white must prove the correctness of the sac.> 23.Rg1+ Bg2 24.Qg4, white is totally winning.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: I thought for a laugh Wes might open 1.d4

Then we would get:

1. d4 e6 2. c4 d5 3. Nc3 c5 4. cd5 ed5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. dc5

click for larger view

The position a year ago where the arbiter stepped in and gave the game to Black. They could have carried from here.

Hi Perfidious,

Yeah 17...Bxg2 does look ultra risky.

click for larger view

But Black anticipated 18.Bc3 and needed to lift the threat of Nxf7 and Qxe6+.

18.Bc3 Qb6

click for larger view

Now when the Rook goes to g1 the Nxf7 whack is no longer on. (well that was the plan - Wes played it anyway.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: It's hard to believe that a 2600+ GM like Akobian, who stays active in playing, can get mauled like this. To cite the rating deficit of 150 + points is too simple an explanation.

Akobian being in less than best form, and So needing a victory added to the rating difference, not to mention black's grabbing of the g pawn which is probably not even black's biggest mistake, (though thematically it looks bad, even if there is analysis to support it) combines to make the recipe that spells victory for So that has people (or enthusiastic reporters anyway) comparing him to Tal and Kasparov (which may be a bit much).

American commentators (whatever they are covering) so often use extreme enthusiasm which is a double edged sword: joyful but stupid; infectious but galling to non-Americans; needed but hated; positive yet sarcasm inspiring; exciting, but looking like raunchy salesmanship; beautifully and even artistically appropriate when warranted, but specious looking when not.

American enthusiasm wins big and loses big, but never ends itself. That's just how we live here, and I will take it over all-knowing cynicism any day.

Apr-19-16  abstract: I recognize that majority of players who often play French defense do grab pawns no matter what the position is.. there must be a psychological pattern behind this fact. So happy to see akobian crushed this way.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Keyser Soze: Wesley "Immortal"game? He went Tal mode here..Amazing.
Apr-19-16  Transformer: Read about So's revenge:

Not to pile on, but after 3 minutes and 16 seconds of thought, all Akobian comes up with is 22...Qxf2?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Keyser Soze: Maybe not a coincidence about So saving this A-bomb-prep for him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Yeah 22...Qxf2 was a boo! move.

click for larger view

Akobian could have slipped into Dufresne/Kieseritzky mode and given us an 'Immortal Evergreen' with the recommended move.

22.... Re8.

"If 22..Re8 then 23.c5." [shintaro's suggestion] Let's do it.

23.c5 Qc7

(23..Qd8 looks better).

24.Rg1+ Kf8

(No 24...Bg2 defence here that is why 23.c5 was played.)

and now with White to play.

click for larger view

25.Qg8+ Nxg8
25.Bg7+ Kf7
26.Bc4+ mate next move.

click for larger view

That would have been the perfect finish to follow the Knight and Rook sac.

Chessgames would then have simply deleted every other game in it's database because no one would want to look at them anymore. Just this one.

Apr-19-16  sudoplatov: Petrosian did grab a g-Pawn against Spassky.

Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969

Apr-19-16  markz: <Sally Simpson: 23.c5 Qc7

(23..Qd8 looks better). >

Since Qd8 is better, why play Qc7 instead?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Mark,

That is a question you will have to ask Dufresne and Kieseritzky when they set themselves up for the 'Immortal' and the 'Evergreen.'

If you are going to lose then you might as well do it in style.

Would anybody apart from a few historians remember who Jean Dufresne and Lionel Adalbert Bagration Felix Kieseritzky were if they had not teed up Adolf Anderssen to scud them.

Check their bio's on here. Check their Wiki bio's.

Both are games are mentioned on their relevant pages.

Akobian had a chance to join this list of gallant losers and be remembered in other 150 years like these two are.

These immortal losses only come round one or twice in a career, you cannot let them slip away. Now unless he shoots a president or wins an 'America Has Talent' show nobody will know who is in 150 years time.

Apr-20-16  sambo: Is 22...Be4, giving a piece back, any better? 23 Rg1 is less intimidating now, since the knight is also defended by the queen. I think 23 Qxe4 Kf7 is likely, which is still not at all clear for black; but at least it appears not to end in two moves.
Apr-20-16  GreenLantern: <sambo: Is 22...Be4, giving a piece back, any better?>

<sambo> Stockfish gives [Mate in 6] d=73 23.Qxe7 Kg6 24.Rg1 Kh5 25.Qe5 Bf5 26.Qxf5 Kh4 27.Bxf6 Qxf6 28.Qg4# (0:00:09) 21516kN

click for larger view

Apr-21-16  RookFile: I couldn't believe it when I saw 17....Bxg2. That seems to be really asking for it.
Apr-21-16  castleguy12: +kingfu hey come on there's nothing wrong on Nd7, it is often seen instead of Bd7.
Apr-21-16  castleguy12: +To the Filipinos: Wesley went beast mode XD.
Apr-22-16  kingfu: Go to Opening Explorer. After 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 PxP, it is 30%+ in white's favor.

2 of the best French players are Korchnoi and Uhlmann. Uhlmann never played the Rubinstein.

Korchnoi has almost 400 French games in this database. He played the Rubinstein about a half dozen times. All were draws except a 25 move loss to Jan Timman.

Timman vs Korchnoi, 1991

Botvinnik was pretty good with the French. He played this opening only once in a training game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < kingfu: Go to Opening Explorer. After 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 PxP, it is 30%+ in white's favor. 2 of the best French players are Korchnoi and Uhlmann. Uhlmann never played the Rubinstein.

Korchnoi has almost 400 French games in this database. He played the Rubinstein about a half dozen times. All were draws except a 25 move loss to Jan Timman.

Timman vs Korchnoi, 1991

Botvinnik was pretty good with the French. He played this opening only once in a training game.>

Rubinstein isn't a good enough recommendation for you?

Anyway, I wouldn't read too much into the results percentages. This is a quiet, unambitious, generally passive variation, so it tends to be employed by people who are hoping to draw at best. Strong players who use it tend not to play it that often. I'm sure if you calculated the ratings of everyone who played 3...dxe4 against 3....Bb4 (or 3...c5 or 3...Nf6 against 3.Nd2) the second group would rate higher.

Botvinnik played the Winawer because it led to a strategically unbalanced positions, which he liked, particularly with Black. It gave him scope for aggression. I'm sure Uhlmann and Korchnoi played it for the same reason. People who play 3....dxe4 typically aren't thinking that way.

Apr-22-16  pinoy king: Akobian is a @#$% who should be burned to death. I hope he never forgets this game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <kingfu> -- <Hey Dom! What do you think? 3...Nf6? >

I think I agree with you. I'd been thinking about playing the Rubinstein again (I like to rotate between different French variations every few years, and it's very tempting to have the same reply to 3.Nc3 and 3.Nd2).

But this game put me right off the idea. And in any case I've long suspected that the Rubinstein is just too passive for my liking. It may not be so bad, really, but it is passive.

Apr-22-16  Rama: I played the French a lot, won some great games, some of my favorites. The opening battle is about control of d4 and e5, which black never even attempts here.
Apr-24-16  kingfu: Thanks, as usual, Dom.

I would like to play the variation 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6, but the position is locked after 4. e5. White will attack the Kingside after e5. So, black must be vigorous in the center and not do 0-0 too early.

However, if white plays 4. Bg5 then PxP becomes playable. 4. Bg5 PxP 5. NxP Be7 6. BxN PxB! goes into the Morozevich Variation, which French players should enjoy.

This is preferable to the Rubenstein which is PxP on move 3.

No, I would not recommend the Rubinstein.

Move 3 in the French should be Bb4 or Nf6. A lot of Grandmasters play 3. Nd2. Does that mean they fear the Winawer?

Dom, have you ever played a6 on move 3?

Premium Chessgames Member
  iking: not yet a GOTD? ...
Jul-21-16  Conrad93: It's no wonder 8...Qc7 is more popular.
It's difficult to find a tolerable endgame for black after 8...cxd4 9. Bxd4 even with computer assistance. Bxf6-Qe2-Qe4 is much faster than anything black can muster on the queenside.
Jul-21-16  Conrad93: < Akobian is a @#$% who should be burned to death. I hope he never forgets this game.>

Chess is just a game. You don't know Akobian as a person, so why would you want to see him burned to death? No wonder society mocks chess players.

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