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Leinier Dominguez Perez vs Sergey Karjakin
Corus Group A (2009), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 13, Feb-01
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack Anti-English (B90)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-01-09  Warheart: Shipov gives nice lines, true, but how can he claim 21..a4 to be brilliant when Black faces huge problems after it?!

Idea is good but not in that position.

Feb-01-09  AuN1: that B at g6 should have been eliminated long before. it was holding black's kingside, and white never managed to exchange for it. it proved to be a thorn in his side throughout.
Feb-01-09  AuN1: 24. Bxg6 looks prudent. white's attack will arrive before he has to worry about axb2
Feb-01-09  Augalv: Commentary on this great game can be found at:

Feb-01-09  Augalv: Excellent time management by Sergey.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Augalv> from your blog: <<24.O-O-O> is even better and I don't see how can Black resist>

click for larger view

I came to the same conclusion. Additionally to your given lines after <24...axb2+ 25.Kb1 Qa5 26.Bxg6 fxg6 27.Rh4> it looks winning for white, too.

Feb-02-09  Augalv: Thanks for posting your line <witheshark>

Btw, that's not my blog. It's <Warheart>'s. He is the creator.

Feb-02-09  Augalv: There's also commentary by GM Shipov:

Feb-02-09  Caissanist: I heard during the game that Karjakin offered a draw at one point. Does anyone know which move that was?
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Caissanist> The sequence <6... Ng4 7. Bc1 Nf6 8. Be3 Ng4> is offering move repetition.
Feb-02-09  acirce: He just repeated once, that is not a draw offer. And I don't think there was a draw offer at any other stage of the game either. We'd have heard about it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: It was an <invitation> to repeat, not a formal spoken offer, and it was Dominguez who deviated/rejected, also in a nonverbal way. <We'd have heard about it.> Not necessary as described. :D
Feb-02-09  percyblakeney: <Additionally to your given lines after <24...axb2+ 25.Kb1 Qa5 26.Bxg6 fxg6 27.Rh4> it looks winning for white, too>

24. 0-0-0 does seem to be a winner, I couldn't find any saving line for black with engines and there is an even faster win for white than the one Shipov gives with <24. 0-0-0 Qa5 25.Bc4 axb2+ 26.Kb1 e6 27.f4 Nd5 28.Nxd5 cxd5 29.Bxg7 etc.> Instead of 29. Bxg7 there is a pretty queen sacrifice with Qf6 in this position:

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Mate can't be stopped, only delayed with for example 29. ... Bxc2+ 30. Kxc2 b1Q+ 31. Rxb1 Qa4+ 32. Kd2 Qa5 33. Kd1 Qa4+ 34. Rb3.

Feb-02-09  Warheart:
Feb-02-09  Eyal: Yeah, 24.0-0-0 seems to be winning, but it was very far from simple to figure out all the critical lines at the board. For example, Shipov gives 24...axb2+ 25.Kb1 Qa5 26.Bc4 e6 27.f4 Nh7:

click for larger view

And in order to see the win one has to calculate 28.Rxh7! [here Shipov's analysis stops] 28...Kxh7 29.Rh1+ Kg8 30.Bxe6! as well as 28...Bxe5 29.Rxf7!

Btw, 24...axb2+ is necessary so that 25.Kb1 Qa5 26.Bc4 e6 doesn't simply win a piece for White by 27.Bxf6, since after 27...Qxg5 28.Bxg5 the knight on c3 is unprotected.

Feb-02-09  Eyal: Interestingly, when Karjakin reaches in the press conference the position after 28...Kg8:

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He gives the line 29.Bxg6 fxg6 30.Qxg6 Rf6! 31.Bxf6(??) Qf4+! 32.Kd1:

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32...Rd8+(??) 33.Ke1 Qxf6 as a probable draw, missing the winning 32...Qxf3+. Perhaps Dominguez did see this and therefore chose the worse 29.Bxg7...

Feb-02-09  Caissanist: <whiteshark> <acirce>: thanks much.
Feb-02-09  acirce: <It was an <invitation> to repeat, not a formal spoken offer, and it was Dominguez who deviated/rejected, also in a nonverbal way.>

Did you get my point? Even if Dominguez had played 9.Bc1, Karjakin could still have deviated. So it was not a draw offer in any sense - neither explicit nor implicit. Any other move than 9..Nf6 is probably objectively inferior, but I think Karjakin would have played on. He probably felt quite sure, though, that Dominguez would not allow such an early draw anyway (why on earth should he? maybe gambling that Karjakin would not either, but it's pretty risky business :-)

Feb-02-09  unsound: In the video on, I believe Karjakin says he would have deviated, after one more repetition, with ...Nh6 (although he qualifies this with a "ok I'm not sure, but I think so"). See
Feb-02-09  Eyal: Yeah, only it's Nc6.
Feb-02-09  unsound: Well ok, thanks, that move does look a little more sensible now I stop to think about it.
Feb-03-09  znprdx: (as I posted to the CG Corus page:)What a tragic irony that the post mortem shows that 0-0-0 could have been played as early as move 24. This game is a gem as it represents the intangible nuances of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, proving once again that there is an element of “luck” in that winning vs. losing somehow seems momentarily at least, somehow beyond the players themselves....

This game would make for some great <CG> ' insane Sunday' problems -

Feb-04-09  notyetagm: 31 ... ♔f6-e6 (Monokroussos)

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<31.Ne4+ Ke6 Yes, Black's king in the middle of the board. <<<As with all alleged weaknesses, it's only a real weakness if the opponent can get to it.>>> Since almost all avenues of approach are blocked, Black is fine. The e-file is closed, c4 (for the bishop) is unavailable, h3 (for the queen) and g5 (for the knight) do very little, so what really counts is Black's extra exchange and pawn, not to mention (oops) White's own exposed king.>

The allegedly "exposed" Black e6-king in this position that White *cannot* get at is a great example that <A WEAKNESS IS NOT A WEAKNESS UNLESS IT CAN BE EXPLOITED>, as Monokroussos explains.

Feb-08-09  Chessmensch: McClain discusses this game in his Feb 8 NY Times column. It's available on the Web (but I'm reading it in the paper so don't have the link handy).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Here's a link to the NY Times chess column analyzing this game:

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