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Sergey Karjakin vs Sam Shankland
World Cup (2021), Krasnaya Polyana (Sochi) RUS, rd 6, Jul-29
Formation: King's Indian Attack (A07)  ·  1-0



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find similar games 6 more Karjakin/Shankland games
sac: 27.Rxg7+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-29-21  MirrorStalemate: fire on board!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: It's a pity Karjakin is so dull!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Pretty win in a "must-win" situation by Karjakin.
Jul-29-21  Justin Flint: 26.Bf1 a3

Premium Chessgames Member
  0ZeR0: I'm not surprised to see Karjakin fight tenaciously in a must win situation. He's proven he can bare his fangs when push comes to shove, and he's done so even in this very tournament before back when he won it in 2015. I'd love to see a Carlsen - Karjakin "rematch" in the final here. Nice game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Shankland won totally on the queenside.

Events on the queenside were going quick-quick and the kingside was slow-slow-slow.

But then

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26. Bf1!! gives Black a big shock. There was no way out.

The crucial follow-up after Rxg7 was Ng4!+-

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: Classical chess is dead.
Jul-29-21  dehanne: A KIA worthy of Fischer.
Jul-29-21  DirkMcCallahan: The position after 26...a3 makes for a nice puzzle. At the time, Short seemed pretty convinced that 27. Qh6 was a winning move.
Jul-29-21  sanju1996d: I often lose like this with black against KIA while playing online blitz, and get embarrassed at my terrible playing skills. Seeing a top notch GM like shankland going down in such way restored my opinion of KIA being lost for black!
Jul-30-21  Ulhumbrus: The minister of defence becomes the minister for war this time and outplays Shankland.

The computer evaluations and analysis suggest that Shankland's main mistake is to play the pawn advance ...a3 at the wrong moment, more specifically, to over prepare it and so delay it for too long.

Instead of playing it at move 26 the right moment to play it is five moves earlier at move 21.

After 21..a3! Black is able to open the a file before White is able to open the g file.

One point of this is that if the opening of the a file is accompanied by a threat, it comes then with tempo, or with gain of time: It gives White no time to continue his proceedings on the king side but compels him to drop what he is doing there. More on this later.

Instead of 21...a3 Black delays this attack for five moves. According to Lasker a great deal can happen in five moves: Five moves in chess is a long time

What does happen during these five moves is that Karjakin exchanges the black squared bishops and removes all of the remaining obstructions to his rook on the g file after which he is ready to start a winning king side mating attack

After 26...a3 it is too late for Shankland to open the a file and 27 Rxg7+! starts a winning mating attack. On 27...Kxg7 at least one commentator ( GM Short) as well as the computer gave the move 28 Ng4!! This is the first of a pair of moves, a pair of which the second move is Qh6+, and Black has no satisfactory answer to this threat. Moreover after that ( as Short indicated as well, amongst other things) the N may go to f6 to support further the attack of the queen on h6.

This suggests that the move Ng4 counts as a potential winning king side attacking threat. Moreover the evaluation of the attack may depend on whether White has a resource like this. Without it Black's queen side attack may get in first instead.

One point brought out by the right moment for the queen side attack ...a3 is that it not only threatens to break through or win material there but distracts White from his king side attack.

Thus on 21...a3! suppose that White proceeds as in the game. On 22 g5 axb2 White has no time to continue his king side attack but has to delay it. On 23 Rab1( the first delay) 23...hxg5 24 Bxg5 24...Bxg5 25 Nxg5 Ra1 White has no time to play Bf1. On 26 Rxa1 ( the second delay ) 26...bxa1 ( Q) 27 Rxa1 Nxd4! the white queen is overloaded: If she has to defend her knight she cannot also defend the d pawn.

At the risk of repetition Shankland's main mistake was to delay the queen side attack ...a3 for too long. When he did play it, it was too late: Karjakin was ready to start his mating attack.

One example of an explanation is that Shankland saw too late some attacking resource on the part of Karjakin after having made some earlier choice.

Aug-03-21  Albertan: Analysis of this game has been posted here:

Sep-11-21  cormier: SF Depth 30

-0.37 14.N1h2 Re8 15.Ng4 Rb8 16.Bf4 Rc8 17.Be3 d4 18.Bxh6 gxh6 19.Qd2 Rf8 20.Rad1 Ba8 21.Qxh6 Na5 22.Qf4

Sep-11-21  cormier: SF Depth 30

-0.48 15.Ne3 Rfc8 16.Ng4 Bf8 17.Qd2 Nd4 18.Nxd4 cxd4 19.Rec1 b4 20.axb4 Bxb4 21.Qd1 Bc6 22.Rcb1 Bb5 23.Nh2

SF Depth 32

-0.62 15.Ne3 Rfc8 16.Ng4 Bf8 17.Qd2 Kh7 18.Nh4 Qd8 19.Rac1 Kg8 20.Nf3 Nd4 21.Nxd4 cxd4 22.Ra1 Rc6 23.Qd1

Sep-11-21  cormier: SF Depth 37

-0.52 15....Kh7 16.N1h2 Rfc8 17.Rac1 Rh8 18.Ng4 d4 19.Qe2 Na5 20.Nd2 Bxg2 21.Kxg2 Qc6+ 22.Ne4 Qd5 23.f3 b4

Sep-12-21  cormier: SF Depth 40

-0.29 21....a3 22.Bf1 axb2 23.Rb1 Ra1 24.Rxb2 Nh7 25.Bd3 Rxg1+ 26.Kxg1 Ng5 27.Bxg5 hxg5 28.Nf1 Na5 29.Qe2 Nc4

Sep-12-21  cormier: SF Depth 40

-0.32 19.Rg1 bxa3 20.bxa3 Qa5 21.Qc1 Qc7 22.Rb1 Ra7 23.Re1 Re8 24.Kg1 Bc8 25.Qe3 Qd8 26.c4 dxc4 27.dxc4

-0.85 19.Kg1 bxa3 20.bxa3 Rb6 21.Rab1 Rxb1 22.Rxb1 Rb8 23.Re1 c4 24.d4 Ba6 25.g5 hxg5 26.Nxg5 c3 27.Qxc3

-0.91 19.Reb1 bxa3 20.bxa3 Rb8 21.Kg1 Ra7 22.Re1 Ba6 23.g5 hxg5 24.Bxg5 Ndxe5 25.Nxe5 Bxg5 26.f4 Nxe5 27.fxg5

-1.07 19.axb4 cxb4 20.d4 a3 21.Bf1 Rb6 22.bxa3 bxa3 23.Bd3 Bb4 24.c3 Nxd4 25.cxb4 Nb3 26.Qa2 Rxb4 27.Rab1

-1.09 19.Red1 Nf8 20.Kg1 Ra7 21.Re1 Nh7 22.Reb1 Qc7 23.Qd1 Rb8 24.c3 Na5 25.Nd2 bxc3 26.bxc3 Ng5 27.Qc2

Sep-12-21  cormier: SF Depth 40

-0.64 18.Qc1 Rca8 19.Bd2 b4 20.Rb1 Rb6 21.Ra1 Raa6 22.g5 hxg5 23.Ng4 f5 24.exf6 Nxf6 25.Nfe5 b3 26.c3

-1.10 18.Bh3 d4 19.Bg2 Rb6 20.g5 hxg5 21.Nxg5 Ndxe5 22.Nxe6 fxe6 23.Bxe5 Nxe5 24.Rxe5 Bd6 25.Bxb7 Rxb7 26.Rg5

Sep-12-21  cormier: SF Depth 36

-0.12 17.g5 hxg5 18.Nxg5 Nd4 19.Nf3 Ra6 20.N1h2 Nf5 21.Ng4 Rb6 22.h6 Qf8 23.hxg7 Qxg7 24.Nh6+ Nxh6 25.Bxh6

Sep-12-21  cormier: SF Depth 32

-0.34 16....Qd8 17.g5 hxg5 18.Nxg5 Nd4 19.Nf3 Nxf3+ 20.Bxf3 Nb8 21.c3 Ra7 22.Qe2 Nc6 23.Bg2 Bg5 24.Qg4 Bxf4

Sep-12-21  cormier: SF Depth 39

-0.76 14....Qb6 15.N1h2 Rfc8 16.Qd2 Qd8 17.Ng4 Bf8 18.c3 Na5 19.Bxh6 Nb3 20.Qf4 gxh6 21.Rad1 d4 22.Nxh6+ Bxh6

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