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Anish Giri vs Ian Nepomniachtchi
Tata Steel Masters (2019), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 1, Jan-12
Pirc Defense: General (B07)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-13-19  siggemannen: Not often one sees Giri blow up like this. 16.f4 looks a bit premature
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Giri is clearly hiding his prep.
Jan-13-19  Ulhumbrus: Instead of advancing his h pawn Giri obstructs it with his knight by 9 Nh3 and does so twice. This suggests that something has wrong with his calculations or his analysis. Perhaps he has seen something too late somewhere.
Jan-13-19  Ulhumbrus: After 16...f5 It is possible that Black's queen is placed very well on the blockade square h4. This suggests getting her out of there and lifting the blockade of White's h pawn by 17 Qg3.
Jan-13-19  JimNorCal: <whiteshark>: "Giri is clearly hiding his prep."

Perhaps suffering from a touch of jet lag as well LOL

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: What was giri thinking? There was no attack.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Morning: Played 4...a6 a lot during my Pirc phase in the 70s. Black's treatment of the opening with ...Nb6 followed by ...0-0-0 and never playing ...Bg7 shows how much theory has changed since then.
Jan-15-19  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 <d 23 dpa done

1. = / + (-0.40): 17.Bd3> Nf6 18.Rhg1 Kb8 19.Rg3 fxe4 20.Nfxe4 Bxe4 21.Bxe4 Nxg4 22.Qe2 Nxh2 23.Rg2 d5 24.Bxg6 b4 25.Rxh2 Qxf4+ 26.Qd2 Qxd2+ 27.Rdxd2 bxc3 28.bxc3 Kb7 29.Rde2 Rd6 30.Bd3 h5 31.Rh4 Na4 32.Kd2 Nb2 33.Re5 Nxd3

2. = / + (-0.50): 17.a3 Nf6 18.Rhg1 fxe4 19.Nfxe4 Nxe4 20.Nxe4 Nd5 21.Qg3 g5 22.fxg5 hxg5 23.Qxh4 Rxh4 24.Nxg5 Nf4 25.Bf3 Rg8 26.Rdf1 Bxf3 27.Nxf3 Ne2+ 28.Kd2 Nxg1 29.Nxh4 Rxg4 30.Kd3 Rxh4 31.Rxg1 Rxh2 32.Rg7 Kb7 33.Re7 Rh3+ 34.Ke4 Rh6

Jan-15-19  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 d 23 dpa done

1. = (-0.15): 16.Nd3 f5 17.Kb1 Qg5 18.Qf2 fxe4 19.Nxe4 Qe7 20.Rde1 Rdf8 21.Bd1 g5 22.c3 Nf6 23.Qe2 Nc4 24.Bb3 h5 25.Nxg5 hxg4 26.Bxc4 bxc4 27.Nf2 Rfg8 28.Nxe6 gxf3 29.Qxc4 Qh7+ 30.Kc1 Rg2 31.Rhf1 Rxh2

2. = (-0.15): 16.b3 b4 17.Nb1 f5 18.Nd3 Qg5 19.Qxg5 hxg5 20.Nd2 a5 21.gxf5 gxf5 22.Rdg1 Rdg8 23.Nf2 Rh4 24.Rg2 e5 25.exf5 exd4 26.Nfe4 Nd5 27.Bc4 Rh5 28.Bxd5 Bxd5 29.Rhg1 Rf8 30.Rxg5 Rxh2 31.Kb2

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Turned his position into Swiss cheese like an Amish girl
Mar-10-19  Kirth Gersen: Even though this was a Pirc, I somehow think Nepomniatchi's mastery of the Najdorf was useful here. As in the Najdorf, Black was happy to concede all sorts of things to put an unchallenged knight on c4, which was kind of the hidden theme of this game (otherwise White had no need to throw away a piece).

People used to criticize Giri not only because of the draws, but because of his supposed dependence on prep. I think that's wrong: he has an amazing feel for non-standard positions, it's actually in well-known structures that he does wrong-looking things and gets in trouble. Maybe his reliance on extensive prep isn't because he knows nothing about chess outside of memorization, but the opposite: other players are better at handling routine structures so he tries to memorize his way to positions where both players have to think instead of "knowing where the pieces go".

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