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Wesley So vs Rauf Mamedov
Gashimov Memorial (2015), Shamkir AZE, rd 4, Apr-20
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B32)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-20-15  QueentakesKing: This is the 4th Round. So takes the lead with 3.5 points
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Mamedorf played as well as he could, but when you face such So-lid play, you are gonna lose.
Apr-20-15  Marmot PFL: From about move 22 on black is in a strategically losing ending. 18...fg6 looks bad, leaving e6 isolated but black is very cramped in any case.
Apr-20-15  manorchy: tSOnami
Apr-20-15  Marmot PFL: So says the key is to ignore the envious critics, shut out the world and focus only on chess. just like Fischer.
Apr-20-15  shintaro go: Credit to Wesley, he is making his White games count.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <Nina Myers' collected Sogasms>


Someone's got a sense of humor.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: Bad, bad Pirc. After <11.Bxd4 f4> White has the <Four-and-a-Half Pawn Attack>, which inexorably gets <15.f5> vs. the fianchetto.

Accelerated Fianchetto trumped by exaggerated patience. At least Black hid his prep vs. the Maroczy Bind -- we still don't know what he has up his sleeve against it, and neither does he.

Apr-20-15  SirRuthless: Nice clean win. Good game to wes. He exploited his 3/4 games with white very well.
Apr-20-15  Pulo y Gata: The game's as if it's a forced win for White…
Apr-20-15  Ulhumbrus: 9...Nh5 places the knight on the rim. However it threatens to go to f4 and gain perhaps the bishop pair by ...Nxe2+ and so induces the concession 10 g3 disturbing the king side pawns.

10...Nxd4 seems inconsistent. 10...f5 seems consistent, otherwise why has Black spent time on inducing White to weaken his king side?

With 12...Nf6 Black has lost two tempi with this knight

15 f5 appears to begin a sound attack, as White appears to have a considerable positional advantage. If so, White will need to make the right choice of target.

Instead of 18...fxg6, 18...hxg6 keeps the pawn structure intact.

After 20 Bxe5 Black's passed e pawn is blockaded but White's queen side pawn majority is not and Wesley proceeds to win by advancing it.

In the end a successful Maroczy bind on the part of Wesley So.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Mamedov looked like he had lights knocked out, his bell rung and his pocket picked all at once at the post game interview.

So is on some kind of mission, and poor Rauf was the unlucky next guy up.

Apr-20-15  Mr. V: Why not play 36...gxf3?
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: The rook is hanging.
Apr-20-15  Mr. V: Yes, so White captures the rook. Can Black hold for a draw?
Apr-20-15  CountryGirl: N-h5 had the net effect of virtually forcing So go active on the King's side, which is not common so early in a Maroczy bind scenario. But So then smoothly switched over to a neat exploitation of the queenside majority, with excellent tempo gains against the black rook. For a moment I thought that was Carlsen we were watching there...
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: The Black Queen Blues

"The songs say you are the Black Queen. Why aren't you dancing to the music?"

In the game So - Adams, Black's problems started with 26...Qa5. After 27.Bh4 Adams was forced to weaken the white squares around his king.

Mamedov defended with his favorite Accelerated Dragon, a solid but passive opening. The reason for that is 5.c4, the Maroczy bind.

Position after 14.b3

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14...Qa5? Déjà vu. Mamedov's problems started with this move (better was 14...Bh3). After 15.f5! he had to defend passively because any pawn push creates weaknesses in his position. "I just couldn't play today," he said.

Importance of being focused. Wesley So: "In my last tournament I had a lot of losses, I lost almost half of my games. That motivated me to work harder. I was trying to figure out why that happened, what my weaknesses are, and I tried to solve them. I work every day with a board and I analyze some games ... I just decided to completely forget what anybody says. I really focus on my games."

Apr-20-15  Mr. V: Then, how about 38...Rd6?
Apr-20-15  visayanbraindoctor: <cro777: 14...Qa5?> You're right. Later after 18. fg6 fg6 19. e5! de5 20. Be5 IMO So had a positionally won game. Mobile queenside pawn majority, good central control, weak isolated Black e-pawn.

So simplified straight into the winning endgame here when he had the chance. He knew exactly where the game was going, and did not bother with any possible unclear Kingside attack at all. When one has such pawn structures, that's the clearest way to win. Instructive game.

Apr-21-15  MindCtrol9: That is the way to play without complications.Wesley So with the majority of pawns on the Queen side and seeing that his King could be on time to support the passed pawn, he simplified the position winning easily the endgame.I like to play simplifying the game if I see my position equal or with slight advantage, and I do it because I love endgames.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: That big simplification from moves 22-26 reminded me of Fischer's run to the World Championship when he would simplify to won Rook and Minor Piece endings vs. Taimanov and Petrosian.
Apr-21-15  JonathanJ: 20 pawn moves by So
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Video analysis of this game:
Apr-23-15  kamagong24: nice solid game by GM Wes! Mabuhay!
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: "The only game in which I was really beaten rather than losing myself was against Wesley So. At the start the American was playing very well and, you might say, he bulldozed me."

- Rauf Mamedov

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