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Wesley So vs Sergey Karjakin
Gashimov Memorial (2017), Shamkir AZE, rd 6, Apr-27
Tarrasch Defense: Symmetrical Variation (D32)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-27-17  Marmot PFL: Didn't see any danger here but 27...Rc7 gives the knight the c5 sq. 27...Bd5 looks better all in hindsight of course.
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  bubuli55: A very happy Allan Dinglasan. :)
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  tamar: Karjakin missed a chance to draw after the hasty 48 Kb6 g6 49 Nxh6 Ne3?

He played this within a minute or so, as it looks natural to try to maximize the knight's range between Kside and Qside.

But the miracle draw was there with 49...Nb2 Stockfish does not see the draw until it goes above 40 ply, so it is very hidden. But the point I suspect is that the knight can check from a4 once the pawn reaches b5 and the White KIng cannot trap the knight by going first Kc5 and Kb4 because the knight hops to b6

The other variable is whether Black can eliminate all the Kside pawns, and that might be beyond human calculation over the board.

Here is the line after 49...Nb2

50 h4 Ke6 51 b5 f5 52 Kc5 f4 53 Kd4 Na4 54 g5 f3 55 Ng4 Kf5 56 Nf2 Kf4 57 Ne4 Nb6 58 h5 f2 59 Nxf2 Kxg5 60 Kc5 Na4 61 Kb4 Nb6 62 hzg6 Kg6 with TB draw

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Apr-27-17  Marmot PFL: Good find, wonder if 49...Nc3 also draws. That looks like the most natural move.
Apr-27-17  Ningaskugon: Well well! It seem the loss made So more determine and fiery. All out for a win. Sweep the next three games Wesley!
Apr-27-17  AndrewMD: Cardiac Surgery by Wesley So
Apr-27-17  Toribio3: Mabuhay Kabayan! The Filipino people are watching and praying for your triumph in the tournament.
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  Sally Simpson: Some delicate King and Knight play from Wesley. At the moment Wes is showing great skill in all departments of the game and recovered very well from his loss.

Computer analysis above is showing a draw, fair enough, but you cannot program in a human reaction to the determination to win coming at you from across the board. It was enough to make a fine player like Karjakin to go astray.

If Carlsen has played this as White people would be jumping through hoops of joy.

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  tamar: <MarmotPFL> Extra-ordinary. 49...Nc3 also appears to draw. Similar in some variations, but in the case of a King approach, Black's knight can come to d5.

I agree this looks like the most natural move.

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  AylerKupp: I think this game is a fine example of what is commonly referred to as the “battle of the tempo” in QGD positions; i.e. the desire to capture Bxc4 (or …Bxc5) after dxc5 (or … dxc4) without previously moving the bishop (moves 7 – 14). In fact, probably the most extreme example.

After 12.Bd3 dxc4 13.Bxc4 White has lost his first-move advantage, and one only has to look at Rotlewi vs Rubinstein, 1907 to what can happen to White in a symmetrical position once first one, then two tempos are lost.

Apr-28-17  gokusano: It was a good learning experience. Bawi nalang sa ibang araw. This loss will make you tougher and wiser.
Apr-29-17  Scarborough shoal: I will be your follower< Sally Simpson>
Apr-29-17  Ulhumbrus: After 22 Nb3 White's knight is ready to occupy the c5 square whereas Black's knight is not ready to occupy the c4 square. I am not sure whether it was Kotov who said, speaking of the game Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1927 and commenting on the move 15...Ncd7! heading for the square c4 that in such positions the initiative was gained by the player who was able to establish his knight on the square QB5, or in algebraic notation, c5 for White and c4 for Black.
May-14-17  Junbalansag: A win against Karjakin, the defense minister of chess, by Wesley So is noteworthy!
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