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Vladimir Akopian vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
Dresden Olympiad (2008), Dresden GER, rd 8, Nov-21
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-21-08  Eyal: Another spectacular win by Akopian in 26 moves (following Akopian vs Mamedyarov, 2008), and possibly another important novelty in a super-sharp Sicilian line (after 21.Qg4 in that game). Vachier Lagrave played this line as Black at the French Championship a few months ago (A Sokolov vs M Vachier Lagrave, 2008), where his opponent replied to 12...e5 with the "natural" 13.Nb3. Akopian came to the conclusion there's no need to retreat with the knight at all...
Nov-21-08  sandmanbrig: wait, what happens if black does take the knight?
Nov-21-08  Eyal: <sandmanbrig> After 13...exd4 14.Bxd4 and e5 coming, White has a very strong attack with all those lines and diagonals opening, and Black would have to give back the piece and more. A move later, though, 14...dxe5 was probably better than Nxe5
Nov-21-08  shintaro go: MVL loses points again..
Nov-21-08  Davolni: what a nice move 18.Bh5.

By playing that Akopian had already everything straightened out till the the final move!!!

Nice game indeed against the highest rated player in France!!!

Nov-21-08  notyetagm: <Davolni: what a nice move 18.Bh5. >

GM Har-Zvi in his ICC Game Of The Day video said that Akopian played this game Rybka-perfectly after I think 18 ♗e2-h5!.

Nov-22-08  arsen387: very beautiful game by Vladimir!
Nov-22-08  veerar: A highly tactical game by Akopian.
Nov-22-08  Eyal: Position after 17...h6:

click for larger view

<18.Bh5!!> is a beautiful way to exploit the placement of the black king on the same file as the white rook. In addition to the obvious threat of Rxf6, it creates another one, which Black cannot really defend against - Bxg6. 18...Nxh5 is met, of course, with 19.Ne6+ forking the queen... or 18...Kg7 19.Bxg6! Kxg6 (fxg6 loses to the same knight fork) 20.Qg3+ Nfg4 21.h3 with White regaining the piece and the attack continuing.

<18...Qe7 19.Bxg6! Nxg6> (19...fxg6 20.Rxf6+ Qxf6 21.Rf1)

<20.Nf5 Qe5 21.Qxb6 [reminiscent of 26.Qa7 in Akopian vs Mamedyarov, 2008 ...] Bxe4 22.Qxd6+ Qxd6 23.Nxd6 Bxc2 24.Rxf6>

click for larger view

It's interesting to note how strong White's attack still is, despite all the exchanges; the white knights are real monsters here. 24...Bxd1 would lose to 25.Rxf7+ Kg8 26.Nd5 (or 26.Nce4) with mate coming. 24...Bb3 also doesn't give Black any hope after, e.g., 25.Rdf1 Ne5 26.R6f5 Ke7 27.Nce4.

<24...Ra7 25.Rd2 Kg7> (or 25...Bb3 26.Nf5! threatening mate on d8 26...Ra8 27.Rxa6!)

<26.Rf3 1-0> 26...Rd7 would lose to 27.Ne8+, 26...Rd8 to 27.Nf5+, 26...Bb3 to 27.Nf5+ Kh7 (or g8) 28.Ne4 (28...Rc8 29.Rh3).

Nov-22-08  notyetagm: <arsen387: very beautiful game by Vladimir!>

<veerar: A highly tactical game by Akopian.>

Yes, you are both right. :-)

Nov-23-08  Xeroxx: Nice game by the chess tourist.
Nov-23-08  ruelas007: why chess tourist?
Nov-27-08  arsen387: after looking at this game again and reading <Eyal>'s comments, this game is simply outstanding! The most beautiful in Dresden's Olimpiad IMO
Nov-27-08  Sacsacmate: Awesome game by Akopian ! He is simply unstoppable in this game.... Bh5!! is a real cracker...
Nov-27-08  notyetagm: <arsen387: after looking at this game again and reading <Eyal>'s comments, this game is simply outstanding! The most beautiful in Dresden's Olimpiad IMO>

Was there a brilliancy prize for the Dresden Olympiad? Did Akopian vs M Vachier Lagrave, 2008 win it if there was one?


Nov-28-08  shortsight: <ruelas007>, chess tourist because Kasparov called Akopian just that, and Akopian would went on to prove otherwise as he beat Kasparov in 25!! moves here: Akopian vs Kasparov, 2002

Kasparov has also named other players other than chess tourist, as coffeeshop players, and the likes.

Nov-28-08  notyetagm: <shortsight: ... Kasparov has also named other players other than chess tourist, as coffeeshop players, and the likes.>

Kasparov said that <Movsesian> was also a "chess tourist" and is believed to be the Russian GM who told <Anand(!)> at Reggio Emilia 1991 that he would never amount to more than a coffee house player since he did not grow up in the vaunted Russian chess system.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Eyal> Typically comprehensive annotations. Thank you.
Nov-30-08  notyetagm: <Domdaniel: <Eyal> Typically comprehensive annotations. Thank you.>

Simply *outstanding* attacking play by Akopian.

I just sent LarryC an ICC message asking him to cover this game in one of his upcoming "Attack With LarryC" ICC online videos.

I recently asked him to look at the beautiful attacking game <Caruana-Berg Dresden 2008> and he is going to analyze that game for Wednesday's show!

Who says <notyetagm> has no pull in the chess world? :-)

Dec-01-08  hovik2003: <notyetagm>
I think you made it, you are already thinking like grandmaster!

As <Eyal> mentioned this was Akopian's secend masterpiece after the game against Mamedyarov. These novelities are definetely the result of Armenian famous teamwork spirit and training together in resort town of Jermuk before olympiad, so by not undermining Akopian's great effort, they could be brainchild of some other thinktanks of Armenian chess school.

<ruleas007>,Kasparov was so wrong as usual (I am talking about his political views and personal comments) to call Vladimir Akopian and Sergei Movsessian as chess tourists meaning they are not consistant enough to be among elite chess players for long time! this was fifteen years ago, we see now who was the real chess tourist!!

Aug-23-09  notyetagm: This attacking masterpiece by Akopian just won the <Best Game Prize> for Chess Informant 104.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <Eyal><sandmanbrig> After 13...exd4 14.Bxd4 and e5 coming, White has a very strong attack with all those lines and diagonals opening, and Black would have to give back the piece and more. <Eyal>,
A sample line is 13...ed4 14.♗d4 0-0-0 15.e5 de5 16.fe5 ♘e8 17.♗b7+ ♔b7 18.♖f7, with the deadly threat of 19.e6
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: "I don't usually play this line. However, during preparation time I accidentally passed the room of our coach Arshak Petrosian and he showed me an interesting idea which I put into practice in this game" - Akopian.
Nov-04-10  Albertan: GM Ian Rogers annotates this game in Chess Informant 104. He gave two of Akopian's moves the Brilliant move annotation in this game (!!). Rogers thinks that Akopian's 13th move in this game is brilliant and he also indicates that the move 18.Bh5!! is brilliant. Rogers also assigns Akopian's 24th and 26th moves the ! (Good move) symbol. I wonder how many annotators have ever given a player two brilliant move marks in a game they have annotated?
Dec-23-15  epistle: If Akopian can do this to the tormentor, he can very well do this also to the tormentee.

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