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Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs Peter Svidler
Sinquefield Cup (2021), St. Louis, MO USA, rd 1, Aug-17
Indian Game: West Indian Defense (E61)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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  An Englishman: Good Evening: Took a while to realize Black's biggest problems consists of his e7 pawn, not the Knight. 31...Kf8; 32.Ba3,Qb7; 33.d6. Who knows? There might exist something even more decisive.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: One justification for 3 h4 is that the after 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 the hypermodern defence has made no attempt to resist White's occupation of the centre. So as Black has broken the classical rules by this omission White breaks the classical rules as well in return by starting what seems a nonsensical attack. It may be that this justification is insufficient and that the attack 3 h4?! is dubious at least and reduces White's opening advantage at the very least.

If one of the commentators was right to say that 3...d5 is not good one alternative is 3...c5 instead aiming for a Benko gambit a move ahead. This is in fact what Svidler transposes into. However he needs to make his move count, even if only later.

If after 11...Bxb5 White's pawn on b5 is difficult to attack one alternative is 11...Nbd7 to be followed by ...Ne8, ...e6 and ..f5

Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: 25.b4!? certainly did not come to mind, but after 25...cxb4 26.Bxb4, the White queen is threatening mate in the far corner.
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  Ulhumbrus: One alternative to 6...c5 is the group of moves 6...Nc6 followed by ...a6 and ...e5 as in the game Beliavsky vs Kasparov, 1981
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  HeMateMe: 3. h4 does seem odd. I would guess Team Max has spent many hours looking over the middle game positions arising from that move. Maybe Svid had to make a prophylactic defensive move on the kingside, earlier?

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