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Vadim Zvjaginsev vs Loek van Wely
Tilburg Fontys (1998), Tilburg NED, rd 4, Oct-26
English Opening: King's English. Four Knights Variation (A28)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 4 d4 is no longer the main line (4 g3) but it still shows up from time to time. Many players with White are not comfortable with the doubled, isolated c pawns that White usually gets in this line. Zvjagincev criticized 13..Be6?! recommending 13..Ng6 14 Bf2..Nd7 instead.

Ian Rogers after 17 e4: " Van Wely's play in this game had been so erratic that Korchnoi, watching in the press room after a short draw, was moved to comment 'You can see now why I lost to Van Wely - I couldn't predict a single one of his moves.' However now Van Wely begins a great fight-back, albeit a forced one given that 17..c5 loses to 18 e5."

Zvjagincev missed a clear win with 22 Rf6!..Qf8 23 Raf1..Qg7 24 Nxe6..fxe 25 Qe4. 24 Qh5 would have forced Black to sacrifice the exchange on d4 while White would have maintained a strong attack. The brilliant defense 27..Bf5! saved the day: there is no mate after 28 Rg4+..Bg6 29 Rh4..f6 30 Ne6..Rd2+ 31 Qxd2..fxe 32 Rh8+..Kf7 33 Qd7+..Kf6 34 Rxe8..Qf5+. Perhaps White could have played on with 30 Rxe5..Rxd4 31 cxd..Bg6 with better chances.

Rogers: "The repetition (which could, with great risk, have been avoided by either player) much displeased Korchnoi. 'If you are scared of danger, you should find another profession.' he berasted Zvjagincev. 'Perhaps he wanted me to lose' Zvjagincev said later. 'After all, he will play me tomorrow!'

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