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Ian Nepomniachtchi vs Wang Hao
World Championship Candidates (2020/21), Yekaterinburg RUS, rd 5, Mar-22
Russian Game: Classical Attack (C42)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: Black is caught in a problematic situation, and ca rely only in his Queen f7-e7-d7. Nepo can turn to sudden leader soon...
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: 37...Qf7.

click for larger view

The winningmove now is 38.Qd8.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Wang Hao is about to get Nepo-sterized.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Yup, it's over...
Premium Chessgames Member
  lostemperor: Did Wang Hao resign in a drawn poition?! He is a piece down but can take all Nepomniatchi'S pawns while moving his own?
Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: Probably not. If he goes after h6, tgan the Knight reaches b7 and c6 quickly. If e goes after c5, then h7 will fall. It's lost like dead
Premium Chessgames Member
  lostemperor: Hao?!
Mar-22-20  fisayo123: Typical Nepo game. And the dark horse keeps on soaring on and on. When he actually thinks and doesn't play blitz, how good is he?
Premium Chessgames Member
  lostemperor: Yes good game of Nepo. Favorite to win the candidates now though it is still a long way to go.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Not the best line but something like this seems to win.

43. Ne3 Kf7 44. Nc4 Kg6 45. Nd6 Kxh6 46. Nxb7 Kg5 47. Nd8 h5 48. Nxc6 Kf5 49. Nd4+ Ke5 50. c6

Of course there are improvements.

Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: <lostemperor> It's a matter of technique, of course Hao could try to fight on, speculating on some practical-sporting chance, but resignation was just an excellent alternative.

* Who's that girl with the hairstyle "à la garçonne' in the press room?!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Hard to believe, but the losing move was 32 ... Qd7, while Qe7 holds! They look very similar, but it appears the key difference is that on Qe7, white cannot play f4 because black plays Qxe3.

Here is the Stockfish analysis:

1) =0.00 (30 ply) 32...Qe7 33.Qh8 Ke6 34.Qg8+ Qf7 35.Qd8 Qd7 36.Qg8+ Qf7

2) =0.00 (29 ply) 32...Nxd4 33.Qxb7+ Qe7 34.Qxa6 Qe4 35.Qa7+ Ke8 36.Qb8+ Kf7 37.Qb7+ Ke8 38.Qxh7 Ne2+ 39.Kf1 Ng3+ 40.fxg3 Qf3+ 41.Kg1 Qxe3+ 42.Kf1 Qf3+ 43.Ke1 Qxg3+ 44.Kd2 Qf2+ 45.Kd3 Qf3+ 46.Kc2 Qe4+ 47.Kc3 Qe3+ 48.Kc4 Qe2+ 49.Kc3 Qe3+

3) +1.90 (29 ply) 32...Qd7 33.Qh8 Ke6 34.f4 Nxd4 35.Qg8+ Qf7 36.Qd8 Qd7 37.f5+ gxf5 38.gxf5+ Nxf5 39.Qxd7+ Kxd7 40.Nxf5 Ke6 41.Ne3 Ke5 42.Nc4+ Kd5 43.Nb6+ Ke4 44.Kf2 f5 45.a4 f4 46.Nd7 Kf5 47.Nf8 Kg5 48.Nxh7+ Kxh6 49.Nf6 Kg5 50.Ne8 Kf5 51.Nd6+ Ke5 52.Nxb7 Ke4 53.Ke2 Kd5 54.Kf3 Kc4 55.a5 Kb5 56.Kxf4

That's an issue with games the computer says are 'even'. Despite the fact the game is 'even', if black makes the tiniest slip up he is lost - its only 'even' for a computer.

Mar-22-20  Eyal: <Breunor: Hard to believe, but the losing move was 32 ... Qd7, while Qe7 holds! They look very similar, but it appears the key difference is that on Qe7, white cannot play f4 because black plays Qxe3.>

Not exactly, because White didn't play immediately f4 in the game either. The difference is that after 32...Qe7 33.Qh8 Ke6 (as in the game), 34.f4 is not such a lethal threat because the king has an escape square on d7 - which in the game the queen took away. That's one of those small-for-man-giant-for-computer differences.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Thanks Eyal!
Mar-22-20  beenthere240: What I find startling is that the cool - and active - 32..Nxd4 also holds.
Mar-22-20  ChemMac: I thought that White should have played 43 Nh4 Then 43.....Kd5 44 Ng6 KXc5 45. Nf8 Kd6 46. Nxh7 Ke7 47. Ng5 Kf8 48.Nd4 and doesn't this win easily? I haven't checked this on a chessboard, let alone with a program...
Premium Chessgames Member
  JointheArmy: <lostemperor: Hao?!> That's a great pun for this game.
Mar-22-20  MordimerChess: 32...Qd7 and 32...Qe7 are different because d7/f7 are important squares for king if it's checked from c8/g8 squares. Also 32...Nxd4 draw the game! Nepo couldn't believe that when it was revealed to him in press conference but it's true. Black can draw by perpetual check.

in the final position the endgame is still very interesting to play. After

43...Ke5 44. Nc4+ Kd5 45. Nb6+ Kxc5 46. Nd7+ then black can move the king and try to push c-pawn. All variations lose but for different reasons:

48...Kd6 47. Nxf6 c5 48. Nxh7 c4 49. Ng5 c3 50. Ne4+ winning the pawn

48...Kd4 47. Nxf6 c5 48. Nxh7 c4 49. Ng5 c3 50. h7 c2 51. h8=Q+ with check

48...Kb5 47. Nxf6 c5 48. Nxh7 c4 49. Ng5 c3 50. Nf3 c2 51. Nd4+ winning the pawn

But another line is very interesting:
What if:
43...Kf7 44. Ng4 f5 45. Ne5+ Kf6 46. Nc4 Kg6 47. Na5 Kxh6 48. Nxb7 Kg6 49. Na5 Kf6 50. Nxc6 h5 51. Nd4 Ke5 52. c6 Kd6 53. Kf2 h4 it's not so obvious how white can win that.

In this case the winning probably only by taking f pawn first and then going to Queen side. 43...Kf7 44. Kf2 Kg6 45. Ng4 f5 46. Ne3 Kxh6 47. Nxf5+ Kg5 48. Nd6 Kf6 49. Nxb7 Ke6 50. a4 Kd5 51. a5 Ke5 52. Kg3 and black can't defend h pawn and a/c pawns.

And another interesting fact. Do you know that Nepo was angry after b3? He wanted to play Kf1! to prevent Kg8. How?

I explain in the video:

I also explain how to win this "easy" endgame witch Knight up. Maybe easy but Magnus Carlsen couldn't find the way during online analysis. Enjoy!

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Terrific game. But, I think Nepo will also lose a game soon. Somehow it's in his nature to take too many chances, force things.
Mar-22-20  devere: If 29...Nf7 30.Qh2 Qd6 it is White who has to worry about holding a draw. Although 32...Qd7 was the losing move, 29...Kg8, played after 8 seconds of thought, led to Wang's loss.
Mar-23-20  Eyal: <If 29...Nf7 30.Qh2 Qd6 it is White who has to worry about holding a draw. Although 32...Qd7 was the losing move, 29...Kg8, played after 8 seconds of thought, led to Wang's loss.>

Nepo mentioned 29...Nf7 in the press conference - he was intending to play 30.c5, which is much more challenging for Black than Qh2. Interestingly, Wang Hao immediately continued the line with another "automatic" 30...Kg8, and now after 31.Qh2 both agreed that it's very dangerous for Black (which it is). Turns out that in order to equalize after 29...Nf7 30.c5 Black has to be - again - very precise, with 30...Qxa2! 31.Qh2/g3 Qa1+ 32.Kg2 Qxd4 33.Qb8+ Qd8 34.Qxb7 Qe8! (holding on to the important pawn on c6) and now Black is indeed fine. (After e.g. 35.Qxa6 Nxh6 - one point of Nf7 is putting pressure on the h6 pawn - even better.)

Mar-25-20  MordimerChess: Just couple of interesting lines:

21...Rxe1 22. Qxe1 Ne6 was played in 2019 in GM level and black managed to win.

And for white if: 50. Kh2 then Nf3+ 51. Kg2 51. Kh3 Qg4+ 52. Kg2 Nxh4+ so losing the pawn this way or another.

Interesting would be trying to send the knight behind the black lines, example: accuracy. Nd1 was best.
78. Nd1 Ne4 79. Nb2 Nc3 80. Kg2 g5 81. fxg5 fxg5 82. Kf3 Nb1 83. Kg2 Ke3 84.Nc4+Ke485.Nd6+Ke5=86.Ne8

And in critical moment two lines are winning:
89. Nh1+ Kg4 90. Nf2+ Kg3 91. Nh1+ Kg4 92.Nf2 ⩲
89. h5 Nd5+ 90. Kd4 Ne7 91. h6 Kxf2 92. h7 Ng6 93.Kd5 Ke3 94. Ke6 f4 95. Kxf6 Nh8 96. Kg7 f39 7. Kxh8 f2 98. Kg7 f1=Q 99. h8=Q

And funny that Giri almost got heart attack - at least according to interview! Hahha. Congratulations Anish!

And this is youtube analysis: Enjoy!

Aug-02-20  I Like Fish: <Mateo: <What happens after 29...Nxc4?>> I was just wondering the same thing...
Aug-02-20  areknames: <What happens after 29...Nxc4? I was just wondering the same thing...>

30.Nxc4 Qxc4 31.Qh2! (not 31.Qg3 Qc1+ and the h6 pawn falls) and the penetration on b8 is decisive.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: An extremely interesting game! I really like it, and I guess it just found its way to the set of the handful of games that I replay about once a year, attempting to re-analyze with a fresh eye every time.
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