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Kirill Alekseenko vs Ian Nepomniachtchi
World Championship Candidates (2020/21), Yekaterinburg RUS, rd 3, Mar-19
French Defense: Winawer. Advance Variation (C18)  ·  1/2-1/2



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find similar games 2 more K Alekseenko/Nepomniachtchi games
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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Afternoon: Don't overlook this game! White played an extremely creative Exchange sacrifice with 20.Qe2!?, the result of which left Black with a Ba4 so useless that in effect White had two minor pieces v. a Rook. The game soon descended into mayhem, and the players might have felt grateful for the perpetual check.
Mar-19-20  Eyal: Alekseenko missed a great shot with the thematic <26.Bxg6!!> - he said after the game that he tried to calculate it, but he had only a few minutes remaining to the time control by this stage and he couldn't calculate to the end. It doesn't win by force since Black doesn't have to recapture, but <26...fxg6> does lead to a forced win.

One really fantastic line goes <27.Qxe6+ Qe7 28.Qc6+ Kf7 29.h5!! gxh5 30.Re3> [with the opening of the g-file the rook lift becomes deadly] <30...h4> [to prevent Rg3] <31.Rf3+ Kg7 32. Rf4!> [32.Rf6? Rac8 and there's no more than perpetual after 33.Rg6+ Kf7 34.Rf6+ Kg7 etc.] <32...h5> [to prevent Rg4] <33.Rf5!> and finally there's no defence against Rg5+.

Mar-19-20  MordimerChess: French Defense was played last time in Candidates Tournament in 2007. And more interesting that last time when anybody won with French Defense in Candidates Tournament was 1986, in Riga, in game Sokolov – Yusupov.

Seems like Ian Nepomniachtchi tried to change that statistics. But it was close to get smashed after risky g6. In the interview after the game he said that he didn't worry about Bxg6 and he showed couple of variations, then Kirill showed the variation he was calculating with h5... ooops. Seems like Ian missed that.

Alekseenko didn't play Bxg6 because he was very low on time again (15 minutes for 15 moves left) and some lines were complicated. He could try to play intuitive but he preferred solid continuation.

Still very interesting game for all French Def Lovers and French Def Haters. Some motives are quite fresh.

My analysis:

Enjoy. I like that game.

Mar-19-20  paavoh: IMO, Alekseenko has made a good impression so far, he plays quite actively and fights his ground.
Mar-20-20  Ulhumbrus: If 7 h4 does not do something useful in the next few moves it gives Black a tempo for eg the move ...f6. This suggests Smyslov's move 7 a4 as Fischer played in the game Fischer vs Larsen, 1971
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: A very nice, creative game by GM Alekseenko, trying to punish Nepo's unusual choice of playing the French in 2020. Really enjoyable!

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