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Ian Nepomniachtchi vs Li Chao
"Nepo Man" (game of the day Feb-12-2018)
FIDE Grand Prix Sharjah (2017), Sharjah UAE, rd 6, Feb-24
Russian Game: Classical Attack. Staunton Variation (C42)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-24-17  Murky: Fireworks! Great tactical display. One of Nepomniachtchi's best games.
Feb-24-17  Mudphudder: 14.Nh4!!! Great move, that started the show!
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Favorite move was 25.Re7, a quiet little killer threatening 26.Rh1. Took a while to figure why Black resigned, but 29...Kf6; 30.Rhe1,g4; 31.R1e6+ looks decisive.
Feb-25-17  Tiresias: Brilliant game indeed! First, I wondered what would happen after 15 .. gxh6, but then I saw 16 Qg4+ Kh8 17 Nf5 Rg8 18 Re8! Or do I miss something?
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <Tiresias: Brilliant game indeed! First, I wondered what would happen after 15 .. gxh6, but then I saw 16 Qg4+ Kh8 17 Nf5 Rg8 18 Re8! Or do I miss something?>

No this a kind of mainline.

Feb-25-17  BOSTER: 14...h6 was weak move.
Better to develop the knight b8.
Feb-25-17  BOSTER: 14...h6 should be 13...h6
Feb-26-17  mistreaver: Instead of 25... g5, 25... Rf6 was interesting defensive try, forcing White to display some precision: 26 Rh1 g5

click for larger view

Here White has to find
27 f4! in order to win.
One sample variation goes 27... gxf4 28 g4! Rg6 29 Bc2! Rxg4+ 30 Kf2!

click for larger view

And White wins.

Full analysis available at my blog:

May-26-17  Saniyat24: 12.Bg5 by Nepomniachtchi is a novelty in this line...!
Premium Chessgames Member

[Fritz 10]: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Bd6 7. 0-0 0-0 8. c4 c6 9. Nc3 Nxc3 10. bxc3 dxc4 11. Bxc4 Bf5 [last book move] Opening Explorer 12. Bg5 Qc7 13. Re1 h6 14. Nh4 [14. Bh4!? ⩲] Bh7 [14 ... Bxh2+? 15. Kh1 Bh7 14. Re7 +-] 15. Bxh6 [15. Bf6 gxf6 16. Qg4+ Kh8 17. Nf5 Bxf5 18. Qxf5 Bxh2+ 19. Kh1 ±] Bxh2+ [15 ... gxh6!? must definitely be considered 16. Qg4+ Kh8 =] 16. Kh1 [ ⩲] Bf4 17. Bxg7 [17. Bxf4!? Qxf4 18. Nf3 ⩲] Kxg7 [=] 18. Qg4+ Kh8 19. Nf5 [ ±] Bxf5 20. Qxf5 Qd6? [20 ... f6 =] 21. g3 [ ±] Bh6 22. Kg2 b5 [22 ... Qg6!? 23. Qxg6 fxg6 +-] 23. Bb3 [+-] Qg6 [23 ... Nd7 24. Rh1 Kg7 25. Rh4 +-] 24. Qxg6 fxg6 25. Re7 g5 [25 ... Rf6 26. Rh1 g5 27. f4 gxf4 28. g4 +-] 26. Re6 Kg7 27. Rh1 Rh8 [27 ... Rf6 no good, but what else? 28. Rxf6 KXf6 29. Rxh6+ Kg7 +-] 28. Re7+ Kg6 [28 ... Kf8 is not much help 29. Rhe1 Na6 30. Rf7+ +-] 29. Bc2+ 1-0.

Ian Nepomniachtchi is a rising star from Russia with a sharp attacking style. Here he sacrifices a piece to open up Black's Kingside with 15. Bxh6; note Fritz prefers 15. Bf6 with similar themes to the game continuation. Black tried to trade down with 15 ... Bxh2+ 16. Kh1 Bf4 but then 17. Bxg7 was another piece sacrifice. After 21. g3 & 22. Kg2 the open h file leading to Black's King proved valuable, then the nice move 25. Re7 tied Black up. Black's QN & QR never got in the game.

<I wondered what would happen after 15 .. gxh6, but then I saw 16 Qg4+ Kh8 17 Nf5 Rg8 18 Re8!>

click for larger view

Now if 18 ... Bg6 19. Rxg8+ Kxg8 20. Qxg6+.

<mistreaver> Great analysis!

This is the second game already in our Best Games contest (2/2) where White made great sacrifices yet Fritz did not award a single "!" throughout. Computers are mean.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: what's the finish, if black plays 29...K-f6?
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <HeMateMe: what's the finish, if black plays 29...K-f6?>

30.Rh-e1 with mate.

Feb-12-18  rune ohlsson: Obviously 12. --- Qa5 is the right way to handle Whites novelty. Should be tested if someone dare!
Feb-12-18  paavoh: Pretty use of the h- and e-files at the end of the attack. The final could be 29...Kf6 30.Rhe1 g4 31.R1e6+ Kg5 32.Rf7 Kh5 33.Bg6+ Kg5 34.Rf5#
Feb-12-18  morfishine: We see it rarely, but I always ask how does a GM let himself get tied up like this?

Two Black pieces were undeveloped which simply makes no sense to me. I could do that, but a GM? unfathomable

signing out, this station is no longer transmitting...


Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Tpstar,

Stockfish agrees with you that black should play gxh6 on 15; black is still ok after 16... gxh6 also (0.4 for gxh6, 2.38 for Bf4).

However. Stockfish doesn't agree with you 20, and gives the actual move as Qd6 as best (although still lost at 3.67). 20 ...f6 is rated at 4.97:

21 Bd3 Na6 22 Re6 Rf7 23 Rxf6 Rh7ch 24 Qh7ch Qh7ch 25 Bxh7 Bd2. 23 Rh7ch is necessary to stop a mate with 24 Qh5.

Feb-12-18  snakey77: hecking savage
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <Breunor> Thank you very much for the improvements. =)

I use Fritz which goes hand in hand with ChessBase. Stockfish is undoubtedly much stronger.

20 ... f6 21. Bd3 Na6 22. Re6 Rf7 23. Rxf6:

click for larger view

<Two Black pieces were undeveloped> QN & QR, just like W So vs Yifan Hou, 2018

Jul-12-21  Gaito:

click for larger view

Black resigned becuse he will be mated in five moves: 29...Kf6 30.Rhe1! g4 (only move) 31.R1e6+ Kg5 32.Rg6+ Kh5 33.Re5+ Bg5 34.Rexg5 mate.

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