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Daniil Dubov vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
Airthings Masters (2020/21) (rapid), chess24.com INT, rd 3, Dec-26
English Opening: Symmetrical. Anti-Benoni Variation Spielmann Defense (A33)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-05-21  offramp: Black missed one of the strangest mating attacks I have ever seen. It is no wonder MVL missed it because during a game you would <never> guess that the possibility was there.
The important thing is that I believe Dubov <did> see it, and that is why he played 42. g4!

Here is the position. Black's two pieces are on completely the wrong side of the board to attack the white king. Material is dead level.


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Black played 41...Kg6. The winning move is the less-than-stunning 41...Rxa2!
It is not a MAM, that's for sure.


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42. Rxd3 g4+!
43. Kh4 <White can't play 43. Kg2 owing to 43...Ne1+ winning the rook>.


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43... Nb4!!
<Now if 44. Nxb4 Rxf2 (threatening mate in 1, so White could try some checks...) 45. Rd7+ Ke6 (there are no more checks but White could play on the exchange down...) 46. Kh5 Kxd7 47. Kxh6 Rd2!-+ traps the white knight!>.


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44. Rd1 Rxf2 <Δ...♖xh2#.>
45. h3 Nxd5
46. Rxd5.


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<Things might look roughly level now...but>
46...Ke6!
47. Ra5 Rh2!.


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<There is a threat of #1. White can keep checking but Black can move near the white rook while still keeping close to the black pawns, for a pawn ending.>
48. Ra6+ Kd5
49. Ra5+ <an example of the pawn ending : 49. Rxh6 Rxh3+ 50. Kg5 Rxh6 51. Kxh6 Ke4-+>
49... Ke4
50. Ra4+ Ke3
51. Ra3+ Kd4
52. Ra4+ Kd3


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53. Ra3+ Kd4
54. Ra4+ Kc3.


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<Now if 55. Ra3+, Kb2 wins the rook. But White has another possible defence...>
55. Kh5 Rxh3+
56. Kg6 Kb3
57. Rf4.


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57...Rxg3.
<But after...>
58. Kxf5 h5 the pawns are too much.


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It would have been a very surprising mating attack with limited material and from the wrong side of the board. In a rapid game these things are easy to miss.

Jan-05-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: Very nice, <offramp>, thank you! I would find it especially difficult to see the 47. Rh2! threat, with White pawns on the third rank - it turns the board around in me noggin'!
Jan-05-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Korora: Not the first instance of thirty-capture games played through to conclusion at GM level.

V Kovalev vs Kramnik, 2018

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