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Vladislav Artemiev vs Nikita Vitiugov
Tata Steel Masters (2020), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 2, Jan-12
Zukertort Opening: Queen Pawn Defense (A06)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-12-20  fisayo123: Smooth win here by Artemiev. He has very many systems he deploys with white unique to him and he knows them better than anyone else.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: the white rooks were lovely. Some people think Artemiev is the guy who beats Carlsen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: This is being 'vilely manipulated' (per a quote from <Pedro Fernandez> at the tourney page)?
Jan-13-20  Carrots and Pizza: I think Nimzovich would like White's play in this game! We see a very clear example of the triumph of his principles first with overextended pawns, weak squares left in their wake, restriction & blockade, invasion squares and finally alternating between two weaknesses! A highly instructive game in my humble opinion.

8. White attacks Black's "overextended" b-pawn. It moves forward to b4 but leaves c4 weak. Isn't this in the hypermodern spirit? You entice the pawns to move forward and try to prove they are overextended? Then you lodge your pieces, particularly knights, in the holes they leave in their wake? I think that's how it goes.

10.d3 restrain

10.a5? Don't know if a computer would think this is weak, but all the same, Black puts a pawn on a square that is easily attacked by a blockading knight on b3 or c4.

13.Nb3 blockading and attacking a5 and c5. White might threaten Be3 and Rc1, which could tie Black down to the c5 pawn.

13...c4. Instead of being tied down to defending the pawn on c5, Black opts to trade this pawn off for White's strong center pawn. But this gives White a passer.

22.Ne5 White just plops a piece down on a great square, and Black is nowhere to be found. White's pieces are placed actively and harmoniously while Black's are passive and not optimally placed. All this time, Black is stuck defending his weak a5 pawn with a rook, while White's knight effortlessly attacks it continually. What would Nimzovich say?

23.Rd6 White places another piece deep into Blacks's position with impunity. Two such moves in a row. Black's rook would have been on d8 safeguarding against invasion like this, but it had to defend the a5 pawn. There's been a lot of trouble on the queenside for Black ever since he played ...b5, ...b4 and ...a5. Nimzo would like this.

After 37.Rxe6, Black has big problems. He's material down, his king is being harassed, White has a dangerous passer on c5 and Black's a5 pawn is under attack. If White uses his superior piece mobility to alternate between these weaknesses, shouldn't Black crack? Alternation was one of Nimzo's favorite principles.

50. Nxa6 - after separating Black's rooks from defending the a-pawn, or even the entire queen side, by harassing the Black king, creating mating nets and threatening to gang up on the knight, White finally wins the a-pawn so Black resigns. It's sort of poetic that it's the capture of this very pawn that leads Black to resign.

Great game!

White showed Blacks' queenside pawns to be overextended, which allowed White to force Black into misplacing his piece, which in turn allowed White to build a deadly initiative. Very clear and logical, Artemiev makes it look easy.

Jan-19-20  Carrots and Pizza: Poor Vitiugov, his main contribution has been to allow his opponents to play brilliantly. Everyone has a game to show their friends, at Vitiugov's expense. At 2751 he's no slouch! Must be frustrating for him to have such a poor showing in such a highly regarded event as Tata.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Things can go very hard for even an elite player in such events when one is off form, whatever the reason, with retribution following swift and sure.
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