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Parimarjan Negi vs Pontus Carlsson
"Pontus in the Right Direction" (game of the day Jan-14-2008)
Corus Group C (2008), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 1, Jan-12
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Yugoslav Attack Old Line (B78)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-12-08  russian bunny: Why not 16.bxc4 as theory suggests?
Jan-12-08  Ezzy: It's one of those situations in a chess game where you play what you think is a winning move

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26 Nf5 gxf5 27 gxf5 ( Yipeeee I have the full point>

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....and then 27...Bxb3! OMG I'm lost!

And you feel the blood drain out of your head.

Jan-13-08  armtwister: I think white had the plus from the opening but lost the game between the 22nd and 27th move,he shouldve played Nf5 betweeen 12nd and 27th i think! Ananlysis required.
Jan-13-08  scholes: <armtwister> rather if you analyse with an engine you will see pontus was always better after negi refused pontus exchange sacrifice at 15th move . Not only negi spurned the material at that time , but also black pawn at b4 proved very useful at the end .

Jan-13-08  SniperOnG7: Yes, it will be interesting to get a GM's opinion of this...but no one cares about the "lowly" Corus Group C :(
Jan-14-08  D.Observer: It simply ends with an embarrasing 37. ♔g4 ♕f3+ 38. ♔h5 ♕f3#.

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Result: the enemy ♕ traps the ♔.

Jan-14-08  Confuse: unbelievable blow Bxb3! this must have traumatized the poor youngster.
Jan-14-08  nuwanda: Hi <D.Observe>, i'm not quite sure about your solution of the final position...
Jan-14-08  newzild: Another fairly routine game, I would have thought. Bxb3 isn't that great - it's forced.
Jan-14-08  newzild: D.Observer is wrong - the king can't go to h5 because it's still check from the queen. The solution is actually 37.Kg4 Qf3+ 38.Kh4 Rxh2 mate
Jan-14-08  cuendillar: I was more impressed by the calm 25...Be6! cleverly defending against white's attack. When that move appeared onm the live transmission, even I saw the continuation. For a player some 750 points above me it can't have been that hard to see. A very nice combination anyhow, though I was never clear on why Negi declined the exchange sacrifice.
Jan-14-08  enoughsaid05: yikes, the white queen was stuck for almost most of the game! look at the double pawn on g file!
Jan-14-08  UdayanOwen: Very interesting game
Jan-14-08  chopin4525: So beautiful ^^
Jan-14-08  soberknight: Yeah, I don't "buy" the exchange sacrifice on move 14. I'd love to defend with the White pieces, and a shot pawn structure with what amounts to a full piece advantage.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A great attacking game. White attacked first,but black was able to find the key sacrifice to win the day. White almost pulled it out with two rooks behind,but eventually the pocket collapsed and the king went down.
Jan-14-08  UdayanOwen: <cuendillar: A very nice combination anyhow, though I was never clear on why Negi declined the exchange sacrifice.>

I think the decline was based on strategical grounds. An extra exchange doesn't mean a lot in the Dragon. If white had accepted the sacrifce, his king would have been ripped open. Furthermore, he can choose to leave the black wedge pawn on c3 (yuk!) or if he takes it, he could get into serious trouble on the a1-h8 diagonal. The removal of the c3 knight leaves him vulnerable on e4 (the theme of sacing the bishop on g4 and then playing Nxe4, with loads of activity, is common in this type of position).

I'm not saying these strategical pluses automatically give black the advantage... But it is an awkward position for white, and probably leaves black with the stronger inititave. So the character of the game may become more about defending awkwardly, and if successful, then winning the endgame with material advantage.

This may not have been to white's taste, and by declining the sacrifice, he instead gets a position where both sides have plenty of initiative and can race eachother to checkmate. Sure, he lost the race in the end, but that was probably because he was outplayed - I'm not sure that he is already worse after declining the sacrifice. I know <scholes> claims that the 'engine' gives black the advantage after the decline, but that evaluation is fallible.

Jan-14-08  UdayanOwen: <soberknight: Yeah, I don't "buy" the exchange sacrifice on move 14. I'd love to defend with the White pieces, and a shot pawn structure with what amounts to a full piece advantage.>

An exchange ahead does not amount to a full piece advantage, since the piece count is equal. If this material imbalance is to prove an advantage for white, it is by creating conditions in which the rook is superior to the knight. This is not easy to do in this type of position... Kasparov himself says that the knight can often prove stronger than the rook in sicilian's with an exchange sacrifice on the queenside.

It's true that the pawn structure is shot, but it's white's that is shot... his king is open, c4 and c5 are great squares for black pieces (since no white pawns can guard them), and the dark squares around the king are weak (this last factor could be truly problematic given the potential of the g7 bishop).

The dragon sicilian is probably the one opening where an exchange sacrifice on move 14 is not surprising. The positional exchange sacrifice is one of black's main attacking weapons in the dragon, and often happens quite early in the game. Black doesn't expect to quickly regain the material or lose.... He 'sells' the material for strategical gains and a strong initiative, and hopes to eventually prove that these are more valuable than the material invested. It is standard chess strategy.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: What if, after 25...Be6, white sees 26...Bxb3 coming. What should he play on his next move?

It looks like 26 Ne2 may work.

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Jan-14-08  cuendillar: A sample line if white declines the sacrifice 27.f5 Bxb3 28.c4!? bxc3ep 29.f6 c2+ 30.Rdxc2 Bxc2+ 31.Rxc2 Rb8+ 32.Ka1 Qc1+ 33.Rxc1 Rxc1#
Jan-14-08  Amarande: I'm reminded of a game I lost on ICC about a year ago:

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. Nf3 c6 6. e3 Qa5 7. Bxf6 Nxf6 8. Nd2 Be7 9. Bd3 O-O 10. Qc2 dxc4 11. Nxc4 Qc7 12. Ne5 g6 13. g4 Bd6 14. g5 Bxe5 15. dxe5 Ng4 16. f4 Nxe3 17. Qf2 Nd5 18. Ne4 Qa5+ 19. Ke2 b6 20. Qh4 Ba6 21. Rhd1 Kh8 22. Nf6 Nxf6 23. gxf6 Rad8 24. Qh6 Rg8 25. h4 Rxd3 26. Rxd3 Bxd3+ 27. Kxd3 Rd8+ 28. Ke3 Qd2+ 29. Kf3 0-1

One can never be too careful about one's own King safety while on the attack, I guess ...

Jan-14-08  UdayanOwen: <Jimfromprovidence: What if, after 25...Be6, white sees 26...Bxb3 coming. What should he play on his next move?

It looks like 26 Ne2 may work.>

I hate it when you come out with crappy looking defences. I say 'crappy looking' with tongue firmly in cheek, since after nearly every defence you come up with, I feel like the attacking side strategically has way too much, yet the position often ends up holding real resources for the defender.

I do think black will win this one though. 26...Rfc8, a5, Ra6, Rb8 and even Rc3 are all potentially very strong. I've analyzed a fair bit for most of these and they all seem very good for black.

I don't have time to post analyses, nor do I have enough analyzing time to come to clear conclusions about any of these moves. However I'll be very surprised if the 'engines' aren't crunching white somehow.

Having said that, my 'intuition' gets proven wrong often enough on this forum....

Any folks out there want to get their silicon buddies going on this pretty complex position after 26.Ne2?

Jan-14-08  UdayanOwen: <Jimfromprovidence> Having said this Jim, 26.Ne2 certainly does work in the sense that it stops the immediate bishop sacrifice... And whatever 'clear' win for black, if there is one, would be a lot more complex and deep than in the game, I imagine...
Jan-15-08  cuendillar: Another declining attempt , yet it does not work as far as I can judge. Stronger than the other one I posted however. Iwonder how much he saw in the rather though mutual time trouble from before move 30.

27.f5 Bxb3 28.c4!? bxc3ep 29.g6! c2+ 30.Rdxc2 Bxa2+! 31.Rxa2 Rb8+ 32.Ka1 Rxc1+ 33.Qxc1 Qxc1#

I leave it to you to find strong alternate defence for white in these lines.

Dec-29-08  KingG: 22.Nf5 looks very dangerous. 22.Nf5 gxf5 23.gxf5 Kh8 24.Rxd4, and now what for Black? White seems to have a crushing attack.

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Obviously the simple 20...exd4 21.gxf6 Qxf6 would have been much better for Black. But Negi was probably afraid of 21.Rxd4!? Ne8 22.e5! f5(only move to defend against Rh4) 23.exf6 Rf7 24.h4, which does looks very dangerous, although the complications after 24...Rxc2! 25.Kxc2 Qa5! 26.Kb1 Qe5 may be in Black's favour.

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