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Anish Giri vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
Norway Chess (2016), Stavanger NOR, rd 2, Apr-20
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B96)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-21-16  messachess: I wonder if MVL is just about now recovering his 'progidy-ness' he started out with before the hiatus at college, etc.

One has to wonder if we will ever again see Kasparov-type performance leading to a Kasparov v. Karpov-type rivalry: the superb tactician versus the defensive genius (I guess that's what they were anyway). Maybe MVL v. Carlsen will become something like that--if MVL can achieve consistency. He's steadily rising in the standings. Seems to have come quite a long way in a short period of time. Same with Giri.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <GM Huschenbeth>, a great Najdorf player himself with both colours, analyses this game: ENJOY his presentation of this wild game! ;)
Apr-21-16  Ulhumbrus: 7...h6 disturbs the king side pawns without necessity.

12...b5 exposes the queen side after having already exposed the king side. Now the Black king will be in danger in any part of the board. However it is up to Giri to find a way to take advantage of this.

In stead of 13 g4, 13 Be2 gets the bishop out.

After 13...g5 the move ...gxf4 counts as a threat if White cannot retake on f4 owing to the fork ...e5. This suggests an alternative to 14 h4 eg 14 Bg3, 14 Be3, 14 f5 or 14 fxg5.

If 16 Rdg1 gives Black the advantage, one alternative is g5, opening lines on the king side.

Apr-21-16  truefriends: I really hope this loss doesn't stop Anish from playing sharper chess like he did in the first 2 games. Seems like after his 14 draws in the Candidates he is taking this tourney as an "experiment" to play more adventurous chess...
Apr-21-16  Pulo y Gata: Giri didn't really play dull chess in the Candidates.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: The decisive turning point of the game was on move 16, after <16.Rdg1? (instead of g5!) d5!!>; this reminded me of 13d5!! in Caruana vs M Vachier-Lagrave, 2015 (a very different position, but the central break there also shows MVL's deep understanding of Najdorf positions).

It's interesting how much worse the white rook stands on g1 than on d1. This can be illustrated by looking at what could have happened if Black played 15...d5 a move earlier: 15...d5 16.exd5 Ne5 17.d6! (of course not 17.Qxf4?? Nd3+) 17...Nxf3 18.dxc7

click for larger view

which is good for White; but with the rook on g1 it's unplayable because the rook is attacked by the knight on f3.

Another possibility would be 15...d5 16.exd5 Bb7 17.dxe6!! Bxf3 18.exd7+ Qxd7 19.Bxf3:

click for larger view

At the moment White has only two minor pieces for the queen, but he has huge initiative the attack on Ra8 combined with various threats of discovered attack against the black queen along the d-file. (18... Nxd7 19. Bxf3 isn't better for Black here, in addition to the attack on the rook, there's a very strong threat of Nd5 followed by Rhe1.) In the game, however, 17...Bb7 (instead of Ne5) would be good for Black as well, because with the rook on g1 there aren't any threats along the d-file.

Svidler & Gustafsson's reaction to 16...d5 during the live broadcast:

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Maxime demolition...
Apr-21-16  notyetagm: A Giri vs M Vachier-Lagrave, 2016

<chancho: Maxime demolition...>

Title for this game as Game Of The Day:

"Maximemum Destruction".


Apr-21-16  mprodrigues: Daniel King did a fantastic analysis of this game makes a patzer like me see even better how brilliant was MVL
Apr-21-16  Pedro Fernandez: <<dehanne>: Looks like a patzer losing to Stockfish in blitz.> Yeah! Nonetheless GM Vachier-Lagrave deserves all the worth. Very interesting game! Giri is not that easy to defeat by playing Whites.
Apr-21-16  Pedro Fernandez: Hey <AK>, still you was not born!
Apr-22-16  kellmano: <Shams: Following on <kellmano>'s comment, Giri was also the picture of grace in the post-game press conference. For a guy whose track record suggests a strong dislike of losing Giri was remarkably blithe after getting stomped.>

<shams> I think he's a cocky young guy who says the right side of the line. Like Nakamura. I'm not generally a fan of that persona, but these two are ok.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <<shams> I think he's a cocky young guy who says the right side of the line.>

Just a little cocky?

Apr-22-16  Rama: What a marvelous game! I like on move 14 how the white hordes are advancing, then by move 23 only wreckage remains with the whole force confined to two ranks. As Wellington said, "They came on in the same old way...".
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Svidler & Gustafsson's reaction to 16...d5 during the live broadcast...> Now it's here -
Apr-24-16  Atking: <Eyal> Yes a very impressive game from Maxime. Still I do not understand such surprise about 16...d5! Isn't this counter attack classical since Smyslov vs Fischer?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I think Fischer played ...d5 in like positions only after ...Bb7.
May-09-16  The Kings Domain: It's games like this that make the Frenchman my favorite among contemporary masters. This proves that technology is moot to simple basic talent and imagination.
Aug-07-16  trandism: I wrote an article in this line that might interest you
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: [Fritz 10]: 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 h6 8. Bh4 Qb6 9. a3 [last book move Opening Explorer ] Be7 10. Bf2 Qc7 Opening Explorer 11. Qf3 [Black has a cramped position] Nbd7 12. 0-0-0 [12. Nb3 b6 =] b5 [=] 13. g4 g5 14. h4 [14. Bg2!? is an interesting alternative Rb8 15. Qh3 =] gxf4 [ ] 15. Be2 Opening Explorer Rg8 [15 ... Ne5 16. Qxf4 Nexg4 17. Bxg4 e5 ] 16. Rdg1?? [Gives the opponent counterplay - 16. Qxf4 Ne5 17. Rdg1 ] d5 [ ] 17. exd5 Ne5 18. Qh3 exd5 19. Re1? [19. Nf5 Bxf5 20. gxf5 Rxg1+ 21. Bxg1 ] Kf8 [19 ... b4 20. axb4 Bxb4 21. Bd1 ] 20. Nf5? [20. Nb3!? Nfxg4 21. Qf1 ] Bxf5 [ ] 21. gxf5 Bc5 [21 ... b4 seems even better 22. axb4 Bxb4 23. Na2 Bxe1 24. Qa3+ Kg7 25. Rxe1 ] 22. Qf1 [22. Bxc5+!? Qxc5 23. Qf1 ] d4 [ ] 23. Nb1 [23. Rh3 Re8 24. Nd1 Ne4 ] Ne4 24. Bf3 [24. Bd1 Ng3 25. Bxg3 fxg3 26. Qg2 ] Nxf2 [24 ... Nxf3?! succumbs to 25. Rxe4 Rc8 26. Qd1 ] 25. Bxa8 [25. Bd5 cannot change what is in store Nxh1 26. Bxa8 d3 ] Ned3+!! 26. Kd2 [26. cxd3 Bb4+ Double attack] Nxe1 27. Qxf2 d3 28. Qxe1 Be3+ 0-1 [29. Qxe3 Qxc2+ 30. Ke1 fxe3 31. Bf3 Qf2+ 32. Kd1 Qxf3+ 33. Kc1 Qxh1#].

Anish Giri is sitting at home right now wondering what have I, what have I, what have I done to deserve this. He has steadily improved to reach the Top Ten in chess, then qualified for World Championship Candidates (2016) by rating where he played so well that he didn't ever lose once. Except he didn't ever win once either, and since then we have heard boatload after boatload of Giri draw jokes. Surely his excellent result there was due to fine play and defensive resources, as he is definitely not a short draw specialist.

These Poison Pawn Sicilian games with ... Qb6 are razor sharp for both sides; note 9 ... Qxb2?? 10. Na4 traps the Black Queen, then note 18. Qxf4?? Nd3+ wins the White Queen.. For full analysis of this line, check out the comprehensive article by <trandism> right above here.

Mar-27-17  ZonszeinP: I understand now
Why the great V.Korchnoi once said that he could have never played chess the way this "Frenchman with the three words name" did
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: "Frenchman with the three words name"? LOL!

Korchnoi must have been quite a character. Somewhere on this site someone posted a video clip in which one of the Polgar sisters (Judith?) beat him and as he got up and walked away from the board he told her, "This is your first AND LAST win against me!"

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Sofia.

Mar-27-17  ZonszeinP: Thank you

Victor Korchnoi was an artist

He never became world champion, true
He had a + score against those of his contemporaries who were WC! Petrosian, Spassky, Tal
And even Fiscehr who was a lot younger couldn't have a + against him!

Premium Chessgames Member
  OrangeTulip: La vache qui rit
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