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Daniil Dubov vs Sergey Karjakin
"Dubov's Immortal" (game of the day Dec-29-2020)
Russian Championship Superfinal (2020), Moscow RUS, rd 11, Dec-16
Italian Game: Classical Variation. Center Attack (C53)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Jesus...
Dec-22-20  Timwestlund: Dubov has to be sentenced to life imprisonment for this brutal murder. Karjakin did not stand a chance against Dubov's murderous play.
Dec-24-20  morphynoman2: This is the most awesome game i've ever seen! Something extra-terrestrial!
Dec-25-20  thebully99: Brilliancy of the year? And Dubov's best thus far?
Dec-26-20  goodevans: ''Giuoco Piano"
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: "Doobie is Free!"
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: or "Doobie Surround"
Dec-26-20  areknames: <''Giuoco Piano"> That would be such a brilliant pun, I hope you've submitted it <goodevans> !
Dec-28-20  MarianoFreyre: One of the best games ever.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Let's briefly discuss alternative moves in the (C54) lines.

5.d3 is three times more popular in this Opening Explorer database than 5.d4. Frankly, 5.d4 games are difficult to find among the top GMs. Anand, Carlsen, and Kramnik much prefer 5.d3 lines, nearly always at faster time controls.

The notes by Stockfish say "better is 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 Nxe4 8.Bxb4 Nxb4 9.Bxf7+ Kxf7 = +0.21" However, top GMs rarely play this line.

7.Bd2 is about 1 1/2 times more popular in this database than 7.Nc3. However, 7.Nc3 has a better win percentage due to older games (pre-Soviet era) featuring numerous traps that informed modern defenders no longer fall for.

7...BxBd2+ is three times more popular than 7...Nxe4.

It's also interesting that after 9...KxBf7 going all the way back to Gioachino Greco (c. 1600 – c. 1634), Black wins almost twice as often as White in this database in a fairly small sample size of 85 games. Someone else will have to explain why Stockfish says White is slightly better.

It seems that such 5.d4 White lines are a potent surprise against the unprepared, but not suitable for regular use among top GMs because Black can prepare lines that equalize or better if s/he suspects it will be played against. The computer has changed modern play by helping Black blunt sharp attacks. Still, these Italian Center Attacks are quite useful for Joe Six-Pack against Your Average Bear in over-the-board play.

Dec-28-20  paavoh:
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I think 25. d7 gives black more problems than 25. dxc7. Now Rxg7 and Bxg7 followed by d8=Q are both strong threats.
Dec-29-20  Brenin: GOTY?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: I sincerely hope the assignment of the title "Dubov's Immortal" is premature, although it must be insanely difficult to play a significantly more pleasing game than this one. Daniil is a very good raw material for being a big big future champion - nothing is settled, nothing is guaranteed, we should wait patiently for at most a 10-15 years to see what eventually happens. I think he will never reach the toppest-tightest top for a prolonged time, remaining a Chigorin/Keres/Portisch/Korchnoi/Timman/Ivanchuk- -like evergreen player with an average of 1-5 ultra-excellent games per year.

Go Doobie! Have a huge future!

Dec-29-20  areknames: Like has been pointed out 7...d5 looks normal here and should perhaps have been played but surely Dubov was prepared for that.
Dec-29-20  Ironmanth: Wonderful game; can't wait to see what Daniil might eventually do at the very highest wait, he's already there!
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: There are loads of chess "Immortal" games, but there is one that stands out: Smyslov vs Filip, 1958.

The two tallest players in chess history produce the <I'm More Tall Game>.

Dec-29-20  fisayo123: This is a great great game but its arguable if its even Dubov's best game or the best game of the tournament. Matlakov and Fedoseev played an amazing game as well.

Dubov's hand was all but forced to make the Queen sac. It wasn't a bolt from the blue.

So its gotten a lot of publicity but labelling it as an immortal game is quite excessive.

Dec-29-20  rune ohlsson: Great game ??
12. --- g5
13. Bg3 a5
14. bxa5 Bxa5
15. Bb3 0-0
How could White handle that?
Dec-29-20  goodevans: <fisayo123 > You might well be right about M Matlakov vs V Fedoseev, 2020. Awesome game.
Dec-29-20  RandomVisitor: After 20.Rxe6 black has good drawing chances in a pawn-down ending by returning the material:

click for larger view


<61/89 29:24 +0.16 20...Qc6 21.Re7+ Qxc4 22.Rxg7+ Kh8 23.Rxc7+ Rxf6 24.Rxc4> Rxd6 25.Rxc3 Bd4 26.Nxd4 Rxd4 27.a3 Rad8 28.Kf1 R8d7 29.Ra2 Rd2 30.Rxd2 Rxd2

Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Some say Dubov made the "Move of the Year" in 2019: D Dubov vs A Giri, 2019
Jan-05-21  Everett: Doesn’t 7..d5 solve Black’s opening problems here?
Jan-18-21  Zibbit: I analyzed this fantastic game here:

Also check out Lagarde trying out this idea:

Premium Chessgames Member
  phenstyle: 6. b4 is like the 5th line the engine sees, it's a mistake but really come a pro can't punish it...I would get punished for it lol
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