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Jinshi Bai vs Ding Liren
"Unruly Minors" (game of the day Nov-06-2017)
Chinese Chess League (2017), China CHN, rd 18, Nov-04
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Three Knights Variation (E21)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black's game is strong that he can sacrifice the queen and still win.
Nov-08-17  Imran Iskandar: A king hunt of the highest order.
Nov-08-17  whiteshark: ...and here's Daniel King's enjoyable video-annotation:
Nov-09-17  Moszkowski012273: Why the hell would you even consider 17.Ke2??
Nov-10-17  Kapmigs: What if 19. Qc1 instead of 19. Qc2?
Nov-10-17  Eduardo Bermudez: "The player's greatest art consists in exploring the possibilities of bringing the game to a position in which the normal relative values cease to exist." M. Botvinnik
Nov-12-17  Jambow: The Chinese Morphy!!! Brilliant attacking game pieces hanging and ignored creative attacks with minor pieces, queen thrown to the wind. No doubt the Magnum opus thus far in his brief career. Now for Magnus in St Louis!!! Go Ding!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Game of the century? The decade, at least ... what is most deeply impressive here is not so much the depth of the original Queen sac by Ding, but the sheer amount of complex effort that it took to win after that. A phenomenal performance ... and Ding's little-known opponent put up a good fight too.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Eduardo Bermudez> That's an excellent Botvinnik quote, and a very valuable idea.
Nov-21-17  brooks909: <Eduardo Bermudez> A remarkable Botvinnik quote! Where do I find it?
Dec-20-17  cro777: The Game of the Year (New In Chess Magazine 2017/8)

Ding Liren: "This is the most beautiful game I have played so far in my career!

I felt very excited after this game. During the next days the game and the variations kept popping up in my head all the time. Even when I was lying in bed at night, positions would appear in my mind, and new tries by White that I had to refute. Every time I would try to find a solution and prove that the sacrifice was sound."

Dec-20-17  cro777: <Domdaniel: ... and Ding's little-known opponent put up a good fight too.>

Ding Liren: "My opponent was Bai Jinshi, a talented junior, born in 1999. I know him quite well. He studies very hard and he has many ideas in the opening. It was clear to me that with White he wanted to play for a win."

Dec-20-17  Chess Is More: I get a Chris Matthews tingle up my leg when I see this game.
Jan-07-18  Eduardo Bermudez B.: Chinese chess showtime !
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: [Fritz 10]: 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 0-0 5. Bg5 c5 6. e3 cxd4 [last book move] Opening Explorer 7. Qxd4 Nc6 8. Qd3 h6 9. Bh4 d5 10. Rd1 g5 11. Bg3 [Not 11. cxd5 Nxd5 12. Bg3 Qa5 ∓] Ne4 12. Nd2 Nc5 [12 ... Bxc3 13. bxc3 Qf6 14. cxd5 exd5 15. Nxe4 dxe4 16. Qc2 ⩲] 13. Qc2 d4 14. Nf3 e5 15. Nxe5 [15. Bxe5 Nxe5 16. Nxe5 Qf6 17. exd4 Bf5 ±] dxc3 [ ⩲] 16. Rxd8 cxb2+ 17. Ke2?? [17. Rd2 would allow White to play on Rd8 18. Bd3 Nxe5 19. Bh7+ Kf8 20. Bxe5 Rxd2 21. Qxd2 Bxd2+ 22. Kxd2 ⩲] Rxd8 [ ∓] 18. Qxb2 Na4 19. Qc2 Nc3+ 20. Kf3 Rd4 21. h3 h5 22. Bh2? [22. e4 Rxe4 23. Qxe4 Nxe4 24. Kxe4 f5+ 25. Kf3 Nd4+ 26. Ke3 Nc2+ 27. Kd3 Ne1+ 28. Kd4 -+] g4+ [-+] 23. Kg3 Rd2!! [Decoy: d2] 24. Qb3 [24. Qxd2 Ne4+] Ne4+ 25. Kh4 [25. Kf4 Rxf2+ 26. Nf3 gxf3 27. g4 -+] Be7+ 26. Kxh5 Kg7 [26 ... Rxf2 27. Nf3 Kg7 28. Qc3+ Nxc3 -+] 27. Bf4 Bf5 [27 ... Rxf2 28. Qc3 Rxf4 29. Nd7+ Nxc3 30. exf4 Bxd7 31. f5 Bxf5 32. hxg4 Rh8#] 28. Bh6+ Kh7 29. Qxb7 Rxf2 30. Bg5 [30. Qxe7 Nxe7 31. hxg4 -+] Rh8 31. Nxf7 Bg6+ 32. Kxg4 Ne5+!! 0-1 [33. Nxe5 Bf5+ 34. Kh5 Kg8+ 35. Bh6 Ng3#]

Ding Liren is the top Chinese player and the first man from China to compete in the WC Cycle. He earned a spot by reaching the finals of World Cup (2017) and then Aronian won their match, with both players qualifying for the Candidates Tournament. Here he pulls off a sparkling Queen sacrifice right out of the opening; similar to B Ider vs Yifan Hou, 2017 White had major issues with King safety. Count how many times Black made attacking moves with tempo due to mate threats. Fritz points out quicker wins with 26 ... Rxf2 and 27 ... Rxf2 due to ... Ng3+/# ideas yet there were several ways to close it out with the White King that far up the board.

Juniors and students, the World Cup result helps illustrate an important difference between place and position. Since Aronian and Liren made the finals, you could claim that they tied for First, therefore So and MVL tied for Second by reaching the semifinals. Note you cannot be "tied" for a place, you are "tied' with a "person" meaning you have the same points as that person. That is why prizes are not awarded separately for same point receivers; they are grouped together and divided equally among players with the same points. For this knockout format, most chess fans would believe that Aronian finished First, Liren placed Second, then So and MVL tied for 3-4. Anyway, only someone with a history of driving name players away would make a fuss about this distinction, so what it is to you?

Some insightful commentary:

<"My opponent was Bai Jinshi, a talented junior, born in 1999. I know him quite well. He studies very hard and he has many ideas in the opening. It was clear to me that with White he wanted to play for a win." "This is the most beautiful game I have played so far in my career! I felt very excited after this game. During the next days the game and the variations kept popping up in my head all the time. Even when I was lying in bed at night, positions would appear in my mind, and new tries by White that I had to refute. Every time I would try to find a solution and prove that the sacrifice was sound.">

<The pin-breaking Q-sac [*] for a minor piece swarm reminds me of V Mikenas vs Kupreichik, 1973 . In both cases, it was a Bb4 and some aggressive central pawn thrusts, kicking the K+Q around without rest. [*] Not really a sac of a full Q, as Black promptly regains two pieces, and the attack surely wins back a 3rd, or mates.>

<Ding creates an immortal, studded with brilliance: 15...dxc3!!, 20...Rd4!!, 23...Rd2!!, 26...Kg7!!, and to crown it all, 32...Ne5+!! If 33.Nxe5 Bf5+ 34.Kh5 Kg7+ and mate next move. But the most beautiful mate is 33.Kh4 Kg8+ 34.Nxh8 Bxg5#. Stunning.>

click for larger view

<whiteshark> Excellent Daniel King video!

This game also finished at #2 in IM Danny Rensch's rundown of 2017's best games over at <>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: amazing, finding all of the quiet moves after the queen sac. Great vision.

Great pun, too!

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Remarkable combinative tour de force, even if Black missed speedier alternatives in closing the show.

Enough debate already about placing; who gives a hairy rodent's fundament?

Feb-26-18  B33 player: I think29. Nxf7
30. Bg5
31. Nxg5+
32. Kxg5
33. Kh4
34. c5
35. Bd3
36. Rg1 is better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Juniors and students, this game finished at #2 in the Game Collection: Best Games of 2017 contest, just like Karjakin vs Caruana, 2016 from yesterday finished at #2 in the Game Collection: Best Games of 2016 contest.

Happy Good News Friday.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: After 21. e4, I don't see anything better for black than 21...Rxe4 22. Qxe4 Nxe4 23. Kxe4 f5+ 24. Ke5 f4 25. Nxc6 bxc6+ 26. Kxc6 fxg3 27. hxg3, with a ♗ for two ♙s.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Already knew this one, but never would have had a chance if I hadn't. Actually a Sunday puzzle; look at all the brilliant moves Ding Liren had to find *after* the first move of the solution.
Mar-23-18  wtpy: So I saw 23 ..Rd2 23 Qb3 Ne4+ and thought if 24 Kf4 Rf2+ 25 Ke4 Bf5+26Kd5 Rd8+ and white was toast. In the game line 24 Kh4 Be7+ 25 Kh5,I was pretty certain Kg7 was right but didn't see all they way to mate. I felt sure that was the right line and think given enough time I would have worked out the rest of the mate but coming home after beers and burgers my bed was calling. I think I saw enough to garner full point.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: A bit famous now.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Took me a while to see the relevance of 29...Rxf2, below.

click for larger view

It only wins a pawn but makes all hell break loose as it threatens 30...Ng3#.

Great game.

Mar-23-18  Mayankk: I tried to make 23 Ne4+ work for black. It looked promising when coupled with 24 Be7+ but just couldn’t see all possible lines.

After seeing the game continuation, it is obvious why it makes sense to play Rd2 first. It pushes White Queen away and gives more freedom to the minor black pieces to co-ordinate and deliver mate.

So while I did later realise the superiority of playing Rd2 before Ne4, the mating lines are just far too many to analyse. Too difficult.

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