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Ian Nepomniachtchi vs Anton Korobov
World Team Chess Championship (2017), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 3, Jun-19
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B94)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-19-17  Strelets: Power play by Nepomniachtchi here. 25.Nxe6! blows Black's position up and the sham queen sacrifice 34.Bc5+ is just icing on the cake.
Jun-19-17  fisayo123: Ian shows superior understanding in the Najdorf. 22...d5?? just epitomizes Korobov's poor form in 2017.

Ian then proceeds to dispatch his opponent in fine style.

Jun-20-17  Grbasowski: Why not 12. ... Nxb3?!
Jun-20-17  ChessHigherCat: <Grbasowski: Why not 12. ... Nxb3?!>

It doesn't look so bad but 13. Nxb3 attacking the Q and white has the initiative and superior development. I think the big question is why not 12...Nfxe5?

Jun-20-17  widjaja70: Why Not 11..... Ng4, exchanging White DSB.
Jun-20-17  Stanley Yee: <ChessHigherCat I think the big question is why not 12...Nfxe5?> Drops a piece to 13. Nxe4 because the Queen on a5 is hanging.
Jun-20-17  Stanley Yee: I think 18... g6 is the mistake. After 18...b4 19. hxg7 Nxg7 20. Bd5 exd5 21. Nxd5 and its unclear maybe? Korobov is a Sicilian expert, but it's not showing ... V Abbasov vs A Korobov, 2017 (kibitz #2)
Jun-20-17  Stanley Yee: <fisayo123>Yes, 22...d5? was just rubbish. Why open the position with your king behind the melee? A beginners positional mistake.
Jun-20-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Stanley Yee: <fisayo123>Yes, 22...d5? was just rubbish. Why open the position with your king behind the melee? A beginners positional mistake.>

22....d5 was indeed a mistake in that position, but...


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Anand vs Topalov, 2005

...those kinds of generalizations don't cut it at this level.

Jun-20-17  ChessHigherCat: <Stanley Yee: <ChessHigherCat I think the big question is why not 12...Nfxe5?> Drops a piece to 13. Nxe4 because the Queen on a5 is hanging.> I see, I thought black could always play QxQ+ but white recaptures with NxQ (duuh)
Jun-20-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  wtpy: My question was why not 25..Nb3? I looked first at ed5 which I think is playable but then saw Ng7 when black seems unable to stop the threat of Qg6.
Jun-20-17  ChessHigherCat: Doesn't black have any action on the "a" file on move 22 or 23? For example, if 22. ...Qa6 (threatening Nxb3), then 24. Qxb4 (forced, I think, so if Nxb3 25. Qxb3), now d5, or is it still bad?
Jun-21-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: This is a great game. It goes straight into my collection. It shows how brilliant modern chess can be. Some people sit on the wall and throw their poo and wee at modern chess, saying that it's too ______, but I disagree. And here is an example of why I don't think modern chess is _______.
Jun-21-17  ChessHigherCat: <offramp: This is a great game. It goes straight into my collection. It shows how brilliant modern chess can be. Some people sit on the wall and throw their poo and wee at modern chess, saying that it's too ______, but I disagree. And here is an example of why I don't think modern chess is _______.>

But think of how acrobatic modern critics must be to sit on the wall and simultaneously throw their poo and wee. To each, his special talents. Perhaps I might take this opportunity to ask you if you think black has any action on the "a" file on move 22 or is the position too ineffably ____________ (spelling?)?

Jun-21-17  nok: Not sure how modern it is to get ____ in the sicilian.
Jun-21-17  Sally Simpson: Korobov had a long think before playing the '.. beginners positional mistake.' 22...d5.


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Black of course knew it was against the grain but GM's are GM's because they break the rules and it does have some merit in the ideas behind it.

The attack down the a-file was Black's prime directive.

Black wanted to kick the Knight off d4 to take on b3 but 22...e5 meets 23.Bd5.

Korobov then got embroiled with the 22....d5 23.exd5 e5 idea. Once you see these things it hard to shake off. You start willing it them work and look for justification.

"That Queen on d2 blocks a flight square. There is an attack tempo there."

Things like that. We all do it, the knack is knowing when we are doing it.


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The d4 Knight moves say to c6, Black plays Nxb3 and White cannot play cxb3 due to the e7 Bishop suddenly becoming active and playing Bf5+ winning. Black would have looked at what else White plays.


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Black would also have looked at White playing Ne6 which stops Qa6 plans due to Nc7+ but again take on b3 and Bxe6 then 0-0. More time thinking and he started to like (rightly or wrongly) what he saw after 23.exd5.

You do talk yourself into these moves. You go board blind and stubborn. Sometimes they work, sometimes not.

Meanwhile Nepo must have been wondering what Black was thinking about and possibly spotted the d5 break on his time. All good players v the Sicilian look out for this move.

His 23.Qg2! put the finger on the faulty concept and his following play was quite exceptional. So 22...d5 was not too a bad idea, yes it was a blunder but it took some excellent play from Nepo to show it was wrong.

Jun-21-17  ChessHigherCat: Hi <Sally Simpson>, Thanks for the step-by-step analysis for dummies (present company included :-)

<More time thinking and he started to like (rightly or wrongly) what he saw after 23.exd5.

You do talk yourself into these moves. You go board blind and stubborn. Sometimes they work, sometimes not.

Meanwhile Nepo must have been wondering what Black was thinking about and possibly spotted the d5 break on his time.>

It really is very neck-and-neck (to see whose neck reaches the chopping block first). In your last diagram, if the black Q were on a6 and it were black's move, Nxb3 would be absolutely deadly. I can see how black could go into wishful thinking mode there.

I knew there must be some reason why the a-file attack didn't work if these guys didn't find it but it was just too _______ (I hate using zero-letter words in polite society but <Offramp> started it!) for me.

Jun-21-17  Sally Simpson: Hi C.H.C.

I'm not privy to Korobov's private thoughts but I have played some bad moves in my time for some perfectly good reasons.

After a while you get to recognise a few of these things and can recall what made you do it.

Willing a combination on the board which is not there is a definite flaw with me and I doubt if I'll grow out of it.....probably don't want to. I like being me.

Jun-22-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: White to Play and Win after 33 ... Ng3.

<His 23.Qg2! put the finger on the faulty concept and his following play was quite exceptional.> Incisive comment. 23. Qg2! hitting g6 would be very easy to miss, then Black's pieces were stuck on the Kingside. 30. Nxb4! sets up the big finish.

Nepo is fearless!

Jun-25-17  Moszkowski012273: 30.Nxb4... is awesome.
Jun-26-17  crwynn: 22...d5 strikes me as a move Korobov knew was objectively bad, but he had nothing else to do so he did it. Playing a "bad" ...d5 or ...b5 to stir up complications (as indeed he did!) instead of some passive "good" move that offers little practical hope
Jul-13-21  Gaito:


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WHITE TO MOVE

White played 18.gxh6, but maybe a piece sacrifice on d5 deserved attention, because Black's king is still uncastled whereas White is already fully developed. Therefore, 18.Bd5!? would be worthy of considertion, and I believe that Mikhail Tal or Efim Geller would have played 18.Bd5!? in this position. A likely continuation would be 18.Bd5!? exd5 19.Nxd5 Be6 20.Nxe7 Qxe7 21.Rhg1 Bd7 22.gxh6 g6 23.h7!? Nf6 24.h5! Nxh5 25.Nf5! (this bold sacrifice was suggested by engine Stockfish 14). See diagram below:


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Further there might follow 25...Bxf5 26.exf5 O-O-O 27.Bxc5 dxc5 28.Qxa5 Rxd1+ 29.Rxd1 Qb7 30.Rd6, and Black is against the ropes. SF14 evaluates the position with +7.77, i.e. a decisive advantage.

Jul-13-21  Gaito: Even on move 19 Nepo had a second chance to play Bd5!, but he refrained from that continuation and instead played the more conservative move 19.Bg5.
Jul-13-21  Gaito:


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BLACK TO MOVE

In this position Anton Korobov blundered with the move 22...d5?? Before that blunder the positon was about equal according to engine SF14 (evaluation +0.00), but after that blunder the evaluation jumped to +5.09.

Of course, Korobov is a grandmaster and I am a patzer, but didn't Morphy taught us that the opening of the position with your king still uncastled is a suicide if your opponent's pieces are better developed?

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