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Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs Richard Rapport
"I Max" (game of the day Jan-31-2020)
GCT St. Louis Rapid & Blitz (2019) (rapid), St Louis, MO USA, rd 3, Aug-10
French Defense: Advance Variation. Main Line (C02)  ·  1-0



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sac: 28.Qxd7 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-11-19  myhilarioususername: One of the craziest games I have ever seen
Aug-11-19  hcgflynn: After 29. Rxb3 it is a sure win for black. I guess Rapport blundered some moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: Wow...what a game.

It is hard to believe that someone who is down a Queen for a minor piece could actually win the game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Two pieces defeat a Queen. Amazing to see that outside of an endgame composition. Then again, when you have three connected passed pawns providing an assist--still amazing, but perhaps not surprising.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <An Englishman> Two pieces defeat a Queen. Amazing to see that outside of an endgame composition. Then again, when you have three connected passed pawns providing an assist--still amazing, but perhaps not surprising.

<An Englishman>, Having the Black rooks stuck on g8 and h8 and not doing much certainly helped MVL - did he envisage the Q sacrifice after capturing the e6 pawn?

Aug-12-19  paavoh: I think that 30.- Nxa4 was one critical mistake, losing the only pawn that held the White center pawns back. Black did try to push his g & h pawns to gain some counterplay. In hindsight, he could have relocated his Rooks e.g. Rg8-g7-c7 and Rh8-f8 and only then decided on his Kingside pawns.
Jan-31-20  payan: A strange game with big mistakes for both sides. For example simple winning moves for black are 34-...Bg5 and then..Rd8 and Qd7
Jan-31-20  sfm: In this position Black played 40.-,Rh5??

click for larger view

White instantly demonstrated that Black should have taken better care of a crucial part of his defense. What was that? It is easy to see - afterwards.

- - -

After 28.-,NxQ Stockfish only rates the position as -1.6. Actually, black has a harder game, where the right way require precise tactics.

So the easier plan (here: push the center pawns) triumphs over the advantageous but more demanding position. Many gambit players profited from that fact for decades (or even centuries) before the right defenses were found. "Attack the center and the king, worry about material later"

According to Stockfish, after the Q-sac the battle swings a little, with Black mostly losing his advantage. The decisive mistake is 40.-,Rh5 (+3.6).
The right move is 40.-,Ka8 with an equal game. Black needed to free b8 to keep his black-squared bishop on the b8-h3 diagonal - and the king should not be there. White wastes no time attacking that bishop, game over.

Jan-31-20  Momentum Man: A most amazing game!
Jan-31-20  Petrosianic: <Momentum Man>: <A most amazing game!>

You're sure about that?

Jan-31-20  newzild: The best game of 2019 isn't in the database - Marc Narciso Dublan vs Vitaliy Bernadskiy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MSteen: To come up with something this brilliant in a rapid game?? Mind-boggling.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Plaskett: I am far from convinced that black stands better after the Frenchman┬┤s queen sac, whatever the bloody machines think. I was in the hall next to the game Marc Narciso Dublan Vs Vitaliy Bernardskiy, but watched only its first fifteen moves or so.
Jan-31-20  Cheapo by the Dozen: As so often, I think of SPielmann's book The Art of Sacrifice, in which he argues that sacrifices which are strictly speaking unsound can still be good choices to make in a live game.

And while that may be questionable at slow time controls, it makes a lot of sense at fast ones.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: For the record, if you click on "A COMPUTER ANNOTATED SCORE OF THIS GAME IS AVAILABLE" you will notice that black could have drawn as late as move 47 with 47...Nd7 below, with the idea of 48...Nxf6.

click for larger view

Here is the output for the first few moves of this line.

1) =0.00 (41 ply) 47...Nd7 48.Bxc7+ Kxc7 49.Ng7 Qc5+ 50.Kh1 Nxf6

To obtain this output, highlight the move 47 Nf5 in the text and click on engine.

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