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Anton Smirnov vs Evandro Amorim Barbosa
Chess Olympiad (2016), Baku AZE, rd 6, Sep-08
Gruenfeld Defense: General (D80)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-09-16  optimal play: 24.b4! 25.e5! 26.d6!

Up to this point, the young Aussie has played exceptionally well against his older and higher ranked opponent, but perhaps youthful enthusiasm caused him to get ahead of himself with 29.Nh5+?

The best continuation is 29.Rxb4 since if 29...axb4? then 30.Qe5+ wins!

Instead, Anton has now let Barbosa off the hook...

... until ... 37...Kh7??

And Barbosa puts himself back on the hook?!

The correct move is 37...Kf8 which draws.

But instead of having to settle for a draw, the 15 year old Smirnov grabs this unexpected opportunity with 38.Rxb4!

A lucky break for Australia on board 4 which won this 6th round by 2-1

Sep-09-16  RainingBen: Hey Optimal Play,

Good on you for commenting on the Australians' games at the Olympiad. Where's an Australian YouTube chess commentator when you need one?

Sorry, but I have a question about your analysis. After 37...Kf8, can't white just play 38.Qh8#? Did I miss something?

Also, I'd be interested in further analysis of the 29.Rxb4 axb4? 30.Qe5+ line you describe. I'm too rubbish to attempt this myself.

Anyway, thanks again. What a phenomenal game by young Smirnov! Maybe it's too early to pick him as a top flight GM in the future, but he's doing amazingly well.

Sep-09-16  optimal play: Thanks RainingBen,

I like to see how the Australians go at the Olympiad and check out their games.

I'm especially impressed with the youngest team member, Anton Smirnov, who thus far has a score of 4/5 [+4/=1/-0]

<I have a question about your analysis. After 37...Kf8, can't white just play 38.Qh8#? Did I miss something?>

No, White can't just play 38.Qh8#. I'm afraid you missed that it's not a legal move from where the Queen is sitting on g5. Nor would it actually be mate anyway.

<I'd be interested in further analysis of the 29.Rxb4 axb4? 30.Qe5+ line you describe.>

29.Rxb4 axb4? 30.Qe5+ Kg8 31.Nd5 followed by 32.Nf6+ and Black's pretty much had it!

To avoid that disaster, Black could ignore capturing the Rook and instead play 29...Qxd6 but that still gives up the Bishop and leaves White with a strong continuation such as 30.Rd4 Qc5 31.Qf2 Be8 32.Rxd8 Qxf2+ 33.Kxf2 Rxd8 34.Rc1

Even allowing for that mistake, I agree this is still a good game by him since he had the wherewithal to snap up that second chance. I don't think it's too early to pick Smirnov as a top flight GM in the future, as long as he sticks at it, he's well on his way.

Sep-09-16  RainingBen: Thanks for the analysis. Sorry wrong position there. For some reason I was looking at the position after 32...Kf8 not 37...Kf8.

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