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Kirill Alekseenko vs Markus Ragger
European Club Cup (2021), Struga MKD, rd 5, Sep-22
Indian Game: West Indian Defense (E61)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-24-21  Gaito:

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Black played here 8...O-O. Maybe capturing a second pawn wasn't too bad, e.g. 8....Nxg4 9.Nb5 Na6 10.Bg2 Rb8 (or 10...O-O 11.a3 Rb8 12.Nh3 b6 =) 10.a3 b6 11.e4 h5 12.Nh3 Bb7 and the postion looks unclear and not easy to assess. See diagram below:

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Sep-24-21  Gaito: After 9.e4 Nc6 10.Qf3! White emerged from the opening with a clear initiative which fully compensated for his sacrificed pawn. White spent more than ten minutes before playing 9.e4, and Black pondered his reply (Nc6) for almost 20 minutes. Careful play was required by both sides because the position arisen was a bit unusual and crazy, to say the least. A typical example of the dynamic and bold opening play that is often seen nowadays especially with the younger grandmasters

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Sep-24-21  Gaito: 10...h5? was a weakening move that only helped White bolster his K-side attack with increased momentum. Maybe Black should have returned the pawn in order to seek some counterplay on the Q-side, for example: 10...b5!? 11.Qh3 (or 11.cxb5 Ne5 12.Qh3 Nexg4) 11...Bb7, but at any rate White's game would have been clearly preferable.
Sep-24-21  Gaito:

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White retreated his attacked queen h3, which is a good move, yet the engines believe that 13.Qg2! would have been even better (computer evaluation by SF14: +6.64).

BTW the engine doesn't like the move 12...Nd4? Black was greedy and wanted to "punish" his opponent eccentric opening play threatening a fork on c2; but Black's King was in danger and his Q-side pieces were still undeveloped.

White wisely didn't care about the threatened fork on c2 but went on with his planned K-side onslaught.

Sep-24-21  Gaito: After 16.Bxh5! Black's game is in ruins. See diagram below:

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There followed 16...gxh5 17.f5!? (17.e5! would have been crushing according to engine Stockfish 14, with a computer evaluation of +19.16, but 17.f5 was good enough to secure a quick win too).

White thought for more than six minutes before playing 17.f5, and Black pondered his reply (Re8) for more than eight minutes. His game was already resignable.

Sep-24-21  Gaito:

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Black resigned in this hopeless position. There might have followed 20...Qd1+ 21.Kf2, and Black's king cannot escape being mated in short order, e.g. 21...Qxh1 (or 21...Qd3 22.Qh7+ Kf8 Bh6 and mate in a few moves more) 22.Qxh1 b6 23.Bh6!, etc.

A curious thing about this game is that none of the queen's bishops ever moved, yet White's queen's bishop proved to be very useful from its home square, whereas Black's queen's bishop and queen's rook were only decorative figures.

Sep-26-21  YetiBlitz: Ragger run ragged!
Sep-26-21  siggemannen: Even after Gaito's explanation, it's hard to believe white is winning. But the h-file threat seems incredibly strong, and black is just stuck

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