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Teimour Radjabov vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
World Cup (2019), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 6, Sep-27
English Opening: Symmetrical. Three Knights Variation (A34)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  OrangeTulip: Great game. Could move 19.Nxe6 have been homeprep of Radjabov?
Sep-27-19  The17thPawn: Reportedly Radjabov is not sure he wants to participate in the upcoming candidates tournament. I guess he never really got over the 2013 debacle at the candidates.
Sep-27-19  pdxjjb: <OrangeTulip> This game followed Svidler-MVL, Grenke 2019 through the first 7 moves. Svidler continued 8. Be3 while Radjabov varied with 8. Bd3, which is unique in the database. So both players were long out of the "book" by move 19.

The computer (SF10) doesn't think much of MVL's bishop development, has Radjabov a conceptual pawn up after both players castle.

Svidler vs M Vachier-Lagrave, 2019

Sep-28-19  Djaz: Radjabov is my new fav
Sep-28-19  utssb: 7...e6 looks flexible and reasonable but it creates the classic problem of having the light-squared bishop behind the e-pawn instead of being in front of it on g4. 7...Nc6 followed by 8...Bg4 stops e5 from being played, at least for a while. Then White has to play f4 to get e5 in, which is the typical idea here. In the game Radja' was able to get e5 in right away for free so to speak. That gives the green-light for the ol' Bc2(or b1), Qd3(or e4), Ng5 attack which will always be relevant against a castled king... when a knight can't come to f6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Maxime’s opening CRASHES & BURNS>

"Despite Vachier Lagrave’s extensive praxis in the opening line that occurred today, the Azerbaijan superstar clearly demonstrated the drawbacks to his pet line and by move 11 Vachier Lagrave must have known that the struggle was already lost.

Radjabov did his homework better than the French superstar. Known for his limited but well worked out opening repetoire, the realization that Vachier Lagrave had been playing an inferior line for so long without ever having being punished for it — and then to lose without a fight today — in perhaps the most important game of his life up to now…what more can one say?

This loss clearly must have been painful for the Frenchman. If there is a lesson to be drawn from this, then it might be this: one should not play in the classic time controls what one can get away with at the faster time controls!?" ...

Article w/ analysis by K. Spraggett:

Sep-28-19  morfishine: <OrangeTulip: Great game. Could move 19.Nxe6 have been homeprep of Radjabov?> I would ask Radjabov
Sep-28-19  Ulhumbrus: 5...Nxc3 moves the knight a third time to exchange it for a knight moved once and strengthens White's centre in addition.

This does not prove that such a move is wrong, but if it is right there will be reasons why and Black will need them to be good reasons.

An alternative way to try to head for a Gruenfeld defence is 5...g6 at once.

Sep-29-19  SChesshevsky: I think there's a chance MVL simply forgot and mixed up his computer analysis of this line. Seems that ...Bd7 idea works best with a quick ...Bc6 followed by ...Nd7 which sort of freezes white and also allows possible ...0-0-0.

Maybe just being tired from a lot of top chess recently or not expecting 6. dxc3 or slightly underestimating Radjabov in this line or some combination explains the mix up. But I'm not sure I'd trash the opening quite yet.

Sep-29-19  luzhin: Maxime must regret not playing 6...Qxd1+! Sometimes it is better to be boring.
Sep-29-19  johnkr: Yes this game really leaves you scratching your head. As SChessvesky said, it seems MVL had an idea of ...Bd7 intending Bc6 but then abandoned it. Otherwise he should have tried ...b6 and ...Bb7 but as it turned out he left his kingside without any defender. I would not say this is a great game at all, because it was positionally lost very early.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: 44...Rf5?? was horrendous.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: 44...R-f5 seemed a sort of joke move, just played for a laugh before resigning. White is winning after 45.h6 and can't be stopped.

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