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Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs Peter Svidler
Donostia Chess Festival (2009), Donostia ESP, rd 4, Jul-11
Spanish Game: Marshall Attack. Modern Main Line (C89)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-11-09  Karpova: According to Rybka 3 from

19.Bd1 was the novelty (19.Ne4 in <1-0, Almasi Zoltan (HUN) 2664 - Gyimesi Zoltan (HUN) 2616, Hungary 2006.04.09>)

20.Ne4 (20.Bxf3 instead) and 22.Bd2 (22.Be3 instead) were mistakes.

Jul-11-09  kdogphs: What a counterattack by Svidler at the very end!
Jul-12-09  DCP23: What actually happened in this game is that Vachier-Lagrave mixed up his move order. This sometimes happens even to Top-GMs, including Anand.

In this particular case, to his misfortune he was playing Peter Svidler who is one of the World's very best in the Marshall and knows all the nuances and subtleties like the back of his hand.

MVL intended to play 18.Bd1 and 19.Re1 next, like in many games in this line, but instead he moved 18.Re1? first, 19.Bd1 after that.

Svidler was lightning fast in appreciating the difference.

A beautiful combination in the end. White can't stop mate.

Jul-12-09  NewLine: <DCP23> Thanks for your eyes opener explanation.
Jul-12-09  Ron: I haven't spent time analyzing this game yet, I hope to later. It seems that the basic idea of putting bishop at e3 is to assist defense of the kingside, than with the acutal move 22. Bd2. With 22. Be3, 22...Rxe4 might not work for black.
Jul-14-09  Nyctalop: I guess it's because of games like these that many white players avoid the Marshall.
Jul-23-09  xiko9: what are the chances to try after Rh6 Qe5+? Is it black forced to move the rook?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: This is an end of the week puzzle for sure. Moves 22 and 23 for black are simply outstanding.

Having said that, white can survive with the loss of a piece for a pawn after 25 Kh1 (instead of Kxh2?).

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Now, black wins a piece with 25…Rxf3. To minimize material loss, white forces a queen exchange with 26 Qe8+ Qxe8 27 Rxe8+.

Now, after 27…Kf7 28 Kxh2 (for example) 28…Kxe8 29 Bxg5, black has a winning advantage.

click for larger view

Jul-30-09  euripides: <Jim> after <25.Kh1 Rxf3 26.Qe8+ Qxe8 27.Rxe8 Kf7> 28.Re2 might be worth a punt. If 28...Bf4 White should beware of 29.Bxf4 Nxf4 when the threat of Bg2+ and Rh3 is serious, but I don't think he has to take the bishop. 28...Nf4 may be better though the knight is quite good on d5. The ending with two active minor pieces against a rook looks very good for Black anyway, but not totally trivial.

Interesting why Vachier didn't try this. Perhaps he thought he had a saving tactical resource in the game continuation. At the end I suppose 30 Qe5+ Kg8 and exchanging the queens with 31.Qe8+ doesn't help. The transformation of the rook from an obstrucive defender on f6 to a lethal attacking piece on h6 is elegant and would have been easy to miss at move 25.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <euripides> <At the end I suppose 30 Qe5+ Kg8 and exchanging the queens with 31.Qe8+ doesn't help.>

Your latter comment ties in with that of <xiko9. what are the chances to try after Rh6 Qe5+? Is it black forced to move the rook?>

In order to secure the win after 30 Qe5+, black needs to see 30….Nf6 to keep the forced mate at h1 intact.

click for larger view

Now, white has no chance of a perpetual check. If white follows with another check on the 7th rank, say with 31 Qe7+, then either 31…Qf7, below, or 31…Kg6 preserves the forced mate. There is no escape!

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Jul-30-09  euripides: <Jim> I didn't make myself quite clear - what I meant was that 30.Qe5+ Kg8 31.Qe8+ simply wins for Black; 31... Qxe8 32.Rxe8+ Kf7 and mate on h1. But I now notice White also has 31.Qb8+ when 31...Kg7 repeats - though Black can still return to the winning line with 32.Qe5+ Nf6 - unless White tries 32.Qc7+ Qf7 33.Qf5+ Qf6.
Jul-31-09  AdrianP: Apparently Svidler had this all worked out at home

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