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Anish Giri vs Jan Smeets
Tata Steel Group A (2011), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 2, Jan-16
Semi-Slav Defense: Botvinnik System (D44)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-16-11  dakgootje: Looks like a very complicated game - very exciting draw!
Jan-16-11  Fanques Fair: After 33-..., Na5, I was watching the game and thought White was lost, but Giri found the only sequence to save it. 35-f3 ! defends the mate threat, since 35-..., Qxf3 falis to 34-Bb5+, and then it is Black who is lost ! Actually, in the final position White could even try to continue the game , after 39- Qxc7, Kxc7, as his 2 pawns up more than compensate the exchange.
Jan-16-11  Eyal: <Looks like a very complicated game> That's pretty much true about any game in this opening...

<35...Qxf3 falis to 34[36]Bb5+, and then it is Black who is lost!> It should be a draw after 36...Bc6 37.Bxc6+ Nxc6 38.Ra7+! Nxa7 39.Qxa7+ and perpetual - the black king can't escape via f7 because of Rf1. 34.Qb8! is the only move to secure the draw.

According to the report on the official site, Smeets was out of preparation (having to figure out otb what to do) only from 30. By this stage he had 90 minutes on his clock vs. Giri's 13 minutes.

Jan-16-11  apexin: I wonder how much of this game is theory.
Jan-16-11  KingG: Absolutely ridiculous that Smeets couldn't win the game(or at least cause Giri far more problems than he did) having a massive time advantage on the clock, and being much more familiar with the position. His future opponents should just avoid playing their obvious choice of opening against him, as he is obviously not that good(comparatively speaking) and often has time trouble porblems, when he isn't in preparation. A good example of this was Kramnik beating him in the Pirc last year, J Smeets vs Kramnik, 2010, or Radjabov's off-beat opening two years ago, Radjabov vs J Smeets, 2009(even if he blew the win due to time trouble).
Jan-16-11  Atking: I remenber Karpov saying that such time handicap is like a piece down. It look like Giri could play a 2 pieces handicap vs Smeets here. So Sweets.
Jan-16-11  Eyal: <His future opponents should just avoid playing their obvious choice of opening against him, as he is obviously not that good(comparatively speaking) and often has time trouble porblems, when he isn't in preparation. A good example of this was Kramnik beating him in the Pirc last year, J Smeets vs Kramnik, 2010, or Radjabov's off-beat opening two years ago, Radjabov vs J Smeets, 2009 (even if he blew the win due to time trouble).>

Even more directly related to the present game is Carlsen vs J Smeets, 2010, also in the Botvinnik line, which I've already mentioned in this context on the tournament page - there, Smeets was also much better prepared than his opponent, but Carlsen managed to figure out good moves otb and once they left Smeets' prep it became clear (both by the quality of the moves played and by the inordinate amount of time Smeets began to spend on them) that Carlsen actually grasped the position much better than him.

Jan-16-11  theagenbiteofinwit: <absolutely ridiculous that Smeets couldn't win the game(or at least cause Giri far more problems than he did) having a massive time advantage on the clock, and being much more familiar with the position.>

They're pals. It's hard to rip your buddy limb from limb, even on a chessboard.

Jan-17-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Why is this game a draw? White has 3 connected passed pawns. He can swap Queens on his next move, and turn his king into a fighting piece.
Jan-17-11  Eyal: An analysis of the game by both players: http://www.chessvibes.com/reports/g...

For ICC members, there's also a good overview by Svidler in Game of the Day.

Jan-18-11  KingG: During the game Smeets spent a huge amount of time on both 30...Qc5 and 31...Kd7, yet in the post-game video he says that he knew 30...Qc5 was good from his preparations, and he seemed to realise that it didn't make much difference whether he played 31...Kd7 or 31...Ke7. Considering Giri was down to blitz tempo by this stage, something tells me Smeets should have just moved instantly(definitely he shouldn't have spent so much time deciding between 30...Qc5 and 30...d4), not only saving his time for the critical moments but also giving Giri the impression he was still in preparation(which he essentially was).
Jan-24-11  Kazzak: I realize I am going to have to sit down with this variation and just learn it to the best of my abilities. Whenever I see games played in this system I fall in love with chess all over again.

And Smeets revisited it in his game against Nakamura. A bonus event!

Feb-19-11  GilesFarnaby: <pexin: I wonder how much of this game is theory.>

Almost sure that this game begins with 23.Qd4: a good novelty because not only centralizes the Q but puts the ball into black´s court, who has to make two "only-moves" (being ...Rh6 one of them, and Smeets played it very quickly showing that he also had studied it at home) to keep track of the game (and even then it would be hard to defend for black) as long as after ...Rh6 white replies with Rfe1, the moment where he will have to find ...Re6 (the 2nd only move) and Bh3 obliges black to give up the exchange and the position, while somewhat unclear, is wonderful for white.

The strange thing is that after ...Rh6 Giri replied with a very inferior move (b3) that could only lead to a draw: you don´t play a winning novelty to spoil it the next move, normally! This makes me think that either he found the novelty on the board or that he couldn´t remember properly his own analysis.

Dec-14-11  Six66timesGenius: Nice game, n0t bad by both!

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