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Vladimir Malakhov vs Vasyl Ivanchuk
"Railroaded" (game of the day Apr-25-2014)
Latvian Railway Rapid (2014) (rapid), Riga LAT, rd 4, Mar-28
English Opening: Agincourt Defense. Catalan Defense (A14)  ·  0-1



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Given 7 times; par: 64 [what's this?]

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sac: 37...Nxe5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-01-14  paavoh: What a Knight!
Apr-01-14  williscreek: Such a Knight -
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Very interesting game right through.

My philosophy in positions such as after 23...Nd3 is to immediately take the knight

Apr-01-14  paavoh: Well <offramp>, taking it right away is a mistake as exd3 loses the Queen, but generally, I agree. Ivanchuk made a good job in harassing the White pieces so that the transfer of White N to e1 came to nothing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <paavoh>, LOL, well-spotted! Once again my strategy might be right but the tactics are all wrong.
Apr-01-14  paavoh: <offramp>, my commiserations! Been there, done that myself too. We have the vision alright but lack in detail...
Apr-01-14  aliasniamor: well, if offramp meant 24.Rxd3 then 24... exd3 doesn't lose the queen for white, as 25.Qf3 can interpose. It exchanges the queens thought, and black are obviously better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: That does it. I'm never looking at this game again!
Apr-02-14  Andrew Chapman: White can save the queen in that line, but after king takes queen, e5, knight f5, e4, and it looks to me like black might keep the d3 pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: My thoughts followed the comments right down the line.

Good to see you on CG Andrew, Princess rocks!

Apr-03-14  Garech: Great game indeed; and, as others have mentioned, a true warhorse on the board!


Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Kind of a zuggy finish. White's king and knight can't move, and his rook has to stay on the back rank if it's not delivering check. Meanwhile, Black's king eases on down the road, captures the pawn on g3, and puts a hurtin' on the knight.

As for trying <42.g4> in the final position:

click for larger view

Black doesn't take the pawn, blocking the path of his king, but answers <42...g5!> and can't be stopped from getting a pawn to h3.

Of course, these are probably not the best lines. But in such positions, it's safe to fantasize a bit.

(The "pun" probably relates to the tournament name. Let it go at that.)

Apr-25-14  morfishine: This is a fascinating, powerful game, rapid or not
Apr-25-14  Masterful Artisan: A Knight moves in the shape of an L because a Knight moves in the shape of an L – any protracted pontification and further level of abstraction is a fruitless exercise. Physical laws govern the chessboard, meaning the players are merely actors not architects, they cannot fundamentally change the foundational functionality of the existing playing field. A Nietzschean nihilist conceptualization of this game is appropriate. Both side’s play is representative towards the folly of attaching external values upon a state of existence. With White’s play best demonstrating mankind’s shared flaws of hope, ambition and an inherent tendency to eventually decompose. Whereas, Black’s play is indicative of pain, suffering, and the illusion of success within the ultimate indifference of an uncaring universe. At the end of the day winning and losing is largely irrelevant and objectively meaningless. Therefore such a phantastical pseudo-zugzwang at the crescendo was a piece of grand irony, as all actors on the chessboard of life are neatly packed back into very same ivory box at conclusion regardless of outcome.
Apr-25-14  newzild: Like <Phony Benoni>, I found the final position to be fascinating. I spent quite some time looking at it. Basically, White can do little more than shuffle his rook between a1 and d1, waiting for the inevitable.
Apr-25-14  AnotherNN: I had thought Black at move 39 would play Rxf2! The Black is of course immune to capture and Black threatens 40...RxN!
Apr-25-14  Eusebius: I think with 26.Nc2 the situations starts to become really crampy for white. Better trade the black knight and pawn against white rook. But is there any hope without counterplay?
Apr-25-14  kevin86: White is doomed: his only moves are along the first row by the rook. Black can march the king to g3 and clinch it.
Apr-25-14  JohnBoy: The complete change in the nature of this game from move 20 to 30 is astounding. White totally misunderstood blacks dynamic possibilities.
Apr-25-14  Rookiepawn: <Masterful Artisan>

You forgot to mention that we all will be unpacked from the ivory box (are you sure it's ivory? For the quality of this Universe I think is rather carton) and put again to play (after the Big Crunch I guess...), and kibitz, and talk nonsense, again and again and angain forever as per the Eternal Recurrence.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: The octopus knight returns! For probably the most famous example of this see Karpov vs Kasparov, 1985. If, as <JohnBoy> indicated, White totally misunderstood Black's dynamic possibilities, he has only himself to blame.

And, if you can stomach Kasparov at his bombastic best, see But it does have a lot of analysis, from Kasparov's side, of course.

Apr-25-14  Rookiepawn: I can't say where White went wrong, but I'd say Black strategy was to trade LSBs and then take advantage of the weak light squares.

With 20... Ne4 problems start for White, as Black N needs to be traded, or accept a really cramped position. But with 22... Ne5 a second, worse kNightmare appears, pointing to all of White's vital light squares.

I cannot suggest an improvement, but what about 19. f3? I know White's pawns structure looks weak, but that would prevent the mortal N jump.

I don't see a lot of sense in 24. Ba1 either, since I don't think Black is interested in trading its valuable N in d3.

But of course all this is mere woodpusher's ideas.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Masterful A> -- < A Nietzschean nihilist conceptualization of this game is appropriate.> Um, no, not really. Fond as I am of old Crazy Friedrich, his pontifications are worthless here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Masterful A> ... Why does a knight move in the shape of an L? Obviously, because L is other people...

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