Speed Chess Championship: The Frenchman vs The X-Man

Speed Chess Championship: The Frenchman vs The X-Man

This Wednesday's second-to-last Speed Chess Championship opening-round clash will feature the world's new number-two and the youngest player of the event. GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, fresh off his career's marquee victory at the 2017 Sinquefield Cup, will face off against upstart GM Jeffery Xiong, one of the event's four qualifiers. The match will be August 30 at 9 a.m. Pacific, 12 p.m. Eastern, 6 p.m. Central Europe and will be shown live on Chess.com/TV. Does the X-man have what it takes to be an x-factor in the Speed Chess Championship? No upsets according to seeding have ever occurred in the event's two-year history. While this is a #4 vs. #13 matchup, the rating spread is not the largest of the first round (October's Carlsen-Guisenov matchup is slightly more imbalanced according to current classical ratings).

GM Jeffrey Xiong, the X-man?

When he shows his face, it's to feel sad for his opponents!

Are they really that different, or are they just at different stages in their careers? After all, it's a battle of two world champions. Vachier-Lagrave won the world junior championship in 2009 at the age of 19. Xiong would not be impressed. He's the reigning junior champion, winning last year at 15, before most U.S. states would let him drive a car. Vachier-Lagrave was driving Peugeots; Xiong was climbing podiums. But score one for the world number-two: While both became grandmasters at 14, Vachier-Lagrave earned the title a few weeks quicker. And there's that whole bit about being 2800 and the most feared Najdorf player of the era!

GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, le roi.

Xiong might be hoping that coming of age solely in the internet era will give him the edge online (even though Vachier-Lagrave is online a ton these days!). Xiong, who is exactly 10 years and nine days younger than the Frenchman, never even knew the 1900s. Or the American might just be hoping that a fellow countryman gave an assist, and significantly wore out Vachier-Lagrave, in what has been called the world giant chess championship.

How do you settle a battle of players a decade apart? Let's look at their best tactics. Let us know in the comments who impresses you more from the sample below! GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave  
[Event "Tata Steel"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2011.01.29"] [EventDate "2011.01.14"] [Round "12"] [Result "1-0"] [White "Maxime Vachier-Lagrave"] [Black "Ian Nepomniachtchi"] [ECO "D94"] [WhiteElo "2715"] [BlackElo "2733"] [PlyCount "71"] [CurrentPosition "3qr1k1/pp1r3p/3P1R2/5Q2/4p3/8/P4PP1/4R1K1 w - - 2 34"] 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.e3 O-O 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.Bc4 Nb6 8.Bb3 c5 9.O-O cxd4 10.exd4 Nc6 11.d5 Na5 12.Re1 Bg4 13.h3 Bxf3 14.Qxf3 Re8 15.Be3 Bxc3 16.bxc3 Nxb3 17.Bxb6 Nd2 18.Qd3 Qxb6 19.Qxd2 Qc5 20.Re4 Rad8 21.c4 f5 22.Re5 Qxc4 23.Rc1 Qa6 24.Rce1 Qd6 25.h4 Rd7 26.h5 gxh5 27.Rxf5 e5 28.Qg5+ Rg7 29.Qxh5 Rge7 30.Qf3 Rg7 31.Rf6 Qd8 32.d6 e4 33.Qf5 Rd7 34.Re3! ( 34.Rd1 { Be honest, home many people would content themselves with this stable move? } ) 34...Rxd6 35.Rg3+ Kh8 { OK, so what was the point of the rook lift? } 36.Rg7!! { "Le but" as MVL might say. 37. Qxh7# is coming and after 36...Kxg7 37. Rf7+ leads to mate on the same square next turn. } 1-0

[Event "Biel International Chess Festival"] [Site "Biel SUI"] [Date "2009.07.28"] [EventDate "2009.07.19"] [Round "8"] [Result "0-1"] [White "Alexander Morozevich"] [Black "Maxime Vachier-Lagrave"] [ECO "B80"] [WhiteElo "2751"] [BlackElo "2703"] [PlyCount "152"] [CurrentPosition "b4nkr/6p1/p1N3Pp/2b1p2P/1p2Q3/5P1B/qPP5/2K4R b - - 0 27"] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.f3 e6 7.Be3 b5 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.g4 h6 10.O-O-O b4 11.Nce2 Qc7 12.h4 d5 13.Nf4 e5 14.Nfe6 fxe6 15.Nxe6 Qa5 16.exd5 Qxa2 17.Qd3 Kf7 18.g5 Nxd5 19.Bh3 Nxe3 20.Nd8+ Ke7 21.Nc6+ Kf7 22.g6+ Kg8 23.Qxe3 Bc5 24.Qe4 Nf8 25.Rd8 Bb7 26.Rxa8 Bxa8 27.h5 { It's the worst bughouse position in history for Black, but this is just plain old one-board chess. Still, Vachier-Lagrave plays a move he might have played in bughouse, too! } 27...Rh7!! { The attacks/mates on the a2-g8 diagonal were too scary (possibilities like b3 were in the air). So black offers a whole rook, just for a square! } 28.Re1 { Taking the rook only activates the knight and ruins the chances of back-rank mate. } 28...Bxc6 29.Qxc6 Bd4 30.Kd2 Qxb2 31.Qc4+ Kh8 32.Kd3 a5 33.Qc8 Qa3+ ( 33...Qc3+ 34.Qxc3 Bxc3 35.f4 { is becoming a problem for Black. He cannot let the rook get to the 8th rank, yet he can't move most of his pieces. } ) 34.Ke4 b3 35.cxb3 a4 36.Rb1 Qb4 37.Qc4 Qb7+ 38.Qd5 Qb4 39.Qc4 Qd2 40.Bg4 a3 41.Qf7 Qc2+ 42.Kd5 Qc5+ 43.Ke4 a2 44.Rc1 a1=Q 45.Rxc5 Bxc5 46.Qd5 Qe1+ 47.Kd3 Qd1+ 48.Kc4 Qxd5+ 49.Kxd5 Ba3 50.Bf5 Kg8 51.Kxe5 Rh8 52.Kd5 Nh7 53.gxh7+ Kf7 54.Bg6+ Kf6 55.f4 Bc1 56.f5 Bd2 57.Kd6 Be1 58.Kd7 Bb4 59.Kc7 Ke5 60.Kd7 Ba3 61.Kc6 Kd4 62.Kc7 Kc3 63.Kd7 Kb4 64.Kd6 Kxb3+ 65.Kd5 Bb2 66.Kd6 Bf6 67.Kc5 Kc3 68.Kd6 Kd4 69.Kc6 Rd8 70.Kb6 Kd5 71.Kc7 Kc5 72.Bf7 g5 73.fxg6 Rd6 74.Be8 Be5 75.Kb7 Rb6+ 76.Kc8 Kd6 0-1

[Event "Italian Team Championship"] [Site "Condino ITA"] [Date "2014.04.30"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [Round "1"] [Result "0-1"] [White "Alberto David"] [Black "Maxime Vachier-Lagrave"] [ECO "A15"] [WhiteElo "2579"] [BlackElo "2758"] [PlyCount "54"] [CurrentPosition "2b1r1k1/1p3pb1/1qpp1np1/1P6/2P1p1n1/2B1N1P1/2NPPPB1/Q4RK1 b - - 2 20"] 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.b4 Bg7 4.Bb2 O-O 5.g3 c6 6.Na3 Qb6 7.Nc2 d6 8.Rb1 e5 9.Bg2 e4 10.Nfd4 a5 11.a3 axb4 12.axb4 Nbd7 13.O-O Re8 14.Bc3 Ne5 15.Ne3 h5 16.Ra1 Rxa1 17.Qxa1 h4 18.b5 hxg3 19.hxg3 Neg4 20.Ndc2 Qc5! { Be honest, your first thought was } ( 20...Nxe3 21.Nxe3 Nh5 { wasn't it? Not MVL approved! } ) 21.Nxg4 Nxg4 22.Bxg7 { White is two moves away from mate, but Black has seen more: } 22...Qh5 23.Rb1 Qh2+ 24.Kf1 Ne5! { simultaneously disconnecting White's pieces and preparing ...Bh3 } 25.g4 Nf3!! ( 25...Bxg4 26.Rb3 { is the defensive idea } ) 26.exf3 ( 26.Bxf3 Bxg4 { and the third rank is now cut off! } 27.Bxg4 ( 27.Bg2 Bh3 28.Ne3 ( 28.e3 Qxg2+ 29.Ke2 Bg4+ 30.Ke1 Qg1# ) 28...Qh1# ) 27...Qh1# ) 26...exf3 27.Bxf3 Bxg4 { And Black mates using similar lines as in the previous note. Inspiring attacking! } 0-1

[Event "International Championship of Paris"] [Site "Paris FRA"] [Date "2008.07.02"] [EventDate "2008.06.28"] [Round "5"] [Result "1-0"] [White "Maxime Vachier-Lagrave"] [Black "Alexandra Kosteniuk"] [ECO "C89"] [WhiteElo "2632"] [BlackElo "2523"] [PlyCount "169"] [CurrentPosition "r4r1k/5p1p/p1pb4/1p4pq/3PNn2/1BP2PPb/PP5P/R1B1RQK1 w - - 5 21"] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d4 Bd6 13.Re1 Qh4 14.g3 Qh3 15.Re4 g5 16.Qf1 Qh5 17.Nd2 Bf5 18.f3 Kh8 19.Re1 Nf4 20.Ne4 Bh3 21.Bxf4! { In our last SCC preview, we saw many queen sacs by Hou Yifan and Caruana (and in the match itself!). So of course we've got to keep the theme going. MVL's is especially powerful. } 21...Bxf1 22.Bxd6 { and now Be5+ is nearly mating. } 22...Bc4 ( 22...Qxf3 23.Rxf1 Qxe4 24.Be5+ f6 25.Rxf6! { is curtains. } ) 23.Be5+ { still pretty powerful } 23...f6 ( 23...Kg8 24.Nf6+ Kh8 25.Nxh5+ Kg8 26.Nf6+ Kh8 27.Ng4+ Kg8 28.Nh6# { would be a ridiculous but funny windmill } ) 24.Nxf6 Rxf6 25.Bxf6+ Kg8 { Giving back some material doesn't end the attack. } 26.Re5 h6 27.Re7 Bxb3 28.axb3 Kf8 29.Rh7 Re8 30.Bg7+ Kg8 31.Rxh6 Qf7 32.Be5 Qxb3 33.Rxc6 Qxb2 34.Rg6+ Kf7 35.Rf6+ Ke7 36.Raxa6 Qc1+ 37.Kg2 Qd2+ 38.Kh3 g4+ 39.Kxg4 Rg8+ 40.Rg6 Rxg6+ 41.Rxg6 Qxc3 42.h4 b4 43.h5 b3 44.Rg7+ Ke6 45.h6 b2 46.h7 Qc8 47.Rg8 b1=Q 48.Rxc8 Qf5+ 49.Kh4 Qxh7+ 50.Kg5 Qf5+ 51.Kh6 Qxf3 52.Rd8 Ke7 53.Rd6 Qf8+ 54.Kg5 Qg8+ 55.Rg6 Qa2 56.Rf6 Qg8+ 57.Kf4 Qa2 58.g4 Qc4 59.Kg5 Qg8+ 60.Rg6 Qc4 61.Kh6 Kf7 62.Rg7+ Kf8 63.Bd6+ Ke8 64.Re7+ Kd8 65.Bc5 Qg8 66.g5 Qh8+ 67.Rh7 Qg8 68.g6 Qe6 69.Rf7 Qh3+ 70.Kg7 Qg2 71.Re7 Qg4 72.Re5 Kd7 73.Re3 Kc6 74.Re5 Kd7 75.d5 Qc4 76.Be7 Qc8 77.Bf6 Kd6 78.Kf7 Qb7+ 79.Kf8 Qc8+ 80.Re8 Qf5 81.Re6+ Kd7 82.g7 Qxd5 83.Re7+ Kd6 84.g8=Q Qf5 85.Qg3+ 1-0

[Event "French Championships"] [Site "Aix-les-Bains FRA"] [Date "2007.08.23"] [EventDate "2007.08.13"] [Round "10"] [Result "0-1"] [White "Robert Fontaine"] [Black "Maxime Vachier-Lagrave"] [ECO "A89"] [WhiteElo "2567"] [BlackElo "2595"] [PlyCount "78"] [CurrentPosition "2r5/ppp2kb1/6p1/2qR1b2/2P1pQn1/1P6/P3PPB1/5RK1 b - - 1 23"] 1.Nf3 f5 2.d4 Nf6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.O-O O-O 6.c4 d6 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.b3 e5 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.Ba3 e4 11.Bxf8 Qxf8 12.Nd4 Nxd4 13.Qxd4 Be6 14.Qd2 h5 15.Rad1 h4 16.Qg5 Kf7 17.Qf4 Qc5 18.Nb5 hxg3 19.hxg3 Rc8 20.Nd4 Bd7 21.g4 Nxg4 22.Nxf5 Bxf5 23.Rd5 Qxd5!! { No points for Chess.com originality. We "return to the well" with both another queen sac, but we up the stakes with an underpromotion. In case you haven't seen arguably the most lauded game in MVL's catalogue, click and enjoy. } 24.cxd5 Be5 25.Qc1 Bh2+ 26.Kh1 Rh8 27.Qc4 Bd6+ 28.Kg1 Bh2+ 29.Kh1 b5! { No draw! } 30.Qxb5 e3! 31.Bf3 ( 31.fxe3 Bf4+ 32.Kg1 Bxe3+ ) 31...Nxf2+ 32.Rxf2 exf2 33.Kg2 ( 33.e4 Bg1+ 34.Kg2 Bh3+ 35.Kg3 f1=Q ) 33...Bg1 34.Qc6 Rh2+ ( 34...Bh3+ 35.Kg3 f1=Q 36.Qxc7+ { would now be annoying } ) 35.Kg3 f1=N+! 36.Kf4 Rh4+ 37.Kg5 ( 37.Ke5 Bd4# ) 37...Be3+ 38.Kxh4 g5+ 39.Kh5 Ng3+ { A pity that White resigned. The crowd deserved to see 40. Kh6 g4 mate! } 0-1

Bonus game! We present this without analysis. Just the starting position shows you what kind of creativity Vachier-Lagrave is capable of. As original as GMs Jobava and Rapport are in the first 10 moves, the Frenchman is equally flamboyant in the next 10 moves.
[Event "Alekhine Memorial"] [Site "Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS"] [Date "2013.04.22"] [EventDate "2013.04.21"] [Round "2"] [Result "1-0"] [White "Maxime Vachier-Lagrave"] [Black "Ding Liren"] [ECO "B12"] [WhiteElo "2722"] [BlackElo "2707"] [PlyCount "77"] [CurrentPosition "rn2kbbr/q3ppp1/p1p1Pn1p/1pNpB3/3P2PP/5P2/P1PKN3/1R1Q1B1R b kq - 3 15"] 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.h4 h6 5.g4 Be4 6.f3 Bh7 7.e6 Nf6 8.Bf4 Qb6 9.Nc3 Qxb2 10.Kd2 Qb6 11.Nge2 a6 12.Rb1 Qa7 13.Na4 b5 14.Nc5 Bg8 15.Be5 fxe6 16.Nf4 Nbd7 17.Nxd7 Nxd7 18.Ng6 Nxe5 19.dxe5 Rh7 20.h5 c5 21.f4 Bf7 22.Qf3 O-O-O 23.Be2 c4 24.a4 Kc7 25.axb5 axb5 26.Rxb5 Qd4+ 27.Ke1 Ra8 28.Rb1 Ra2 29.c3 Qd2+ 30.Kf2 Rc2 31.Qe3 Qxe3+ 32.Kxe3 Rxc3+ 33.Kd4 Rc2 34.Rhe1 Kc6 35.Rb8 Bxg6 36.hxg6 Rh8 37.Reb1 Rd2+ 38.Ke3 Ra2 39.R8b6+ 1-0

FM MikeKlein Aug 29, 2017
[Event "St. Louis Spring Classic (Group A)"] [Site "St Louis, MO USA"] [Date "2017.05.18"] [EventDate "2017.05.16"] [Round "3.2"] [Result "1-0"] [White "Jeffery Xiong"] [Black "Giorgi Kacheishvili"] [ECO "E04"] [WhiteElo "2652"] [BlackElo "2590"] [PlyCount "75"] [CurrentPosition "8/2R2ppp/1r3k2/1p1Bn3/bP1N4/P3P1P1/3r1P1P/5RK1 w - - 21 34"] 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 dxc4 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Qa4 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 Bd6 8.Na3 Ne4 9.Nxc4 Nxd2 10.Nfxd2 Bd7 11.e3 O-O 12.Qb3 b5 13.Nxd6 cxd6 14.d5 exd5 15.Qxd5 Rc8 16.O-O Nb4 17.Qxd6 a5 18.Nb3 Be6 19.Qxd8 Rfxd8 20.Nxa5 Rd2 21.a3 Nd3 22.Nc6 Kf8 23.b4 Bb3 24.Nd4 Ba4 25.Bc6 Rb8 26.Be4 Ne5 27.Rfc1 Ng4 28.Rf1 Rb6 29.Rac1 Ne5 30.Rc5 Nc4 31.Rc8+ Ke7 32.Rc7+ Kf6 33.Bd5 Ne5 34.f4 { Sure, a straightforward "remove the guard" tactic, but White's pieces then flow so well afterward. } 34...Ng4 35.Rxf7+ Kg6 36.Rf5! { With the duel threats of Bf7 and Rh5 mate, as well as the prosaic Rg5+ fork. } 36...h6 { Seemingly stopping both ideas, but... } 37.Be4 { A deadly quiet move. } 37...Nxe3 ( 37...Nf6 38.Rxb5+ ( { or } 38.Bb1 { are both good enough } ) ) 38.Rxb5+ 1-0 [Event "World Junior Championship"] [Site "Bhubaneswar IND"] [Date "2016.08.09"] [EventDate "2016.08.08"] [Round "2.2"] [Result "1-0"] [White "Jeffery Xiong"] [Black "Christoph Menezes"] [ECO "E06"] [WhiteElo "2633"] [BlackElo "2408"] [PlyCount "91"] [CurrentPosition "2r5/p4kn1/1p1rpp1p/3p4/b2P1NPP/P2BR3/1P3P1K/4R3 w - - 3 35"] 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.c4 O-O 6.O-O c6 7.Qc2 b6 8.Nbd2 Bb7 9.e4 Na6 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.e5 Ne4 12.a3 Rc8 13.Qd1 Nc7 14.Nb3 Qd7 15.Be3 Ba6 16.Re1 Qa4 17.Nc1 Qxd1 18.Rxd1 f6 19.Nd3 Ng5 20.exf6 Nxf3+ 21.Bxf3 gxf6 22.Bh6 Rfd8 23.Nf4 Bf8 24.Bxf8 Kxf8 25.Re1 Rd6 26.Re3 Kf7 27.Bh5+ Ke7 28.Bg4 Bb5 29.Bf5 h6 30.Rae1 Bd7 31.Bd3 Kf7 32.h4 Ne8 33.g4 Ng7 34.Kh2 Ba4 35.Bg6+ { Black had been doing yeomen's work guarding e6, but slips while fighting for activity with ...Bc2. } 35...Ke7 36.Nxe6! Rxe6 37.Rxe6+ Nxe6 38.Rxe6+! ( 38.Bf5 Bd7 ) 38...Kxe6 39.Bf5+ { With same-color bishops, it's an easy endgame win. A passer on the kingside will drive the black king too far away. } 39...Kd6 40.Bxc8 Be8 41.Bf5 Ke7 42.Kg3 Kf7 43.Kf4 Ke7 44.Bc8 Bc6 45.Kf5 Kf7 46.Be6+ 1-0

[Event "US Chess Championships"] [Site "St Louis, MO USA"] [Date "2016.04.18"] [EventDate "2016.04.13"] [Round "5"] [Result "1-0"] [White "Jeffery Xiong"] [Black "Gata Kamsky"] [ECO "B03"] [WhiteElo "2618"] [BlackElo "2678"] [PlyCount "75"] [CurrentPosition "3r4/1p3pkp/2b2qp1/Pp6/3p4/1P1RnPP1/3Q3P/3BR1K1 b - - 8 35"] 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.exd6 cxd6 6.Nc3 g6 7.Be3 Bg7 8.Rc1 O-O 9.b3 Bf5 10.d5 e5 11.dxe6 Bxe6 12.Nge2 d5 13.c5 Nc6 14.Nd4 Bxd4 15.Bxd4 Re8 16.cxb6 Qh4 17.Ne2 axb6 18.Qd2 Bf5 19.Kd1 Rxe2 20.Bxe2 Nxd4 21.f3 Qf2 22.Re1 Be6 23.Rc3 Nc6 24.Bf1 Qh4 25.Bb5 Nd4 26.Bf1 Nf5 27.Rd3 d4 28.g3 Qf6 29.Ke2 Bd7 30.a4 b5 31.a5 Bc6 32.Kf2 Ne3 33.Be2 Rd8 34.Kg1 Kg7 35.Bd1 { Kamsky has been playing inspired chess and had a complete grip on the position, which he cashes in for material at the wrong time: } 35...Bxf3? 36.Bxf3 Qxf3 37.Rexe3! dxe3 38.Qb2+ { The deadly zwischenzug. Black can't even hope for e-pawn counterplay since after capturing the rook, Qc1 guards everything. } 1-0

[Event "St. Louis Spring Classic (Group A)"] [Site "St Louis, MO USA"] [Date "2017.05.22"] [EventDate "2017.05.16"] [Round "7.2"] [Result "0-1"] [White "Yuniesky Quesada Perez"] [Black "Jeffery Xiong"] [ECO "B91"] [WhiteElo "2630"] [BlackElo "2652"] [PlyCount "68"] [CurrentPosition "1r4k1/5pp1/2r1b2p/4p3/4P2P/1p4P1/4RPB1/1R4K1 b - - 1 34"] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.g3 e5 7.Nde2 Be7 8.Bg2 O-O 9.O-O b5 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.Qxd5 Ra7 12.Be3 Rb7 13.Nc3 b4 14.Nd1 Qc7 15.Qd3 Be6 16.b3 Rc8 17.Rc1 Qa5 18.Bd2 Nc6 19.Ne3 Nd4 20.a3 Qb5 21.Qxb5 axb5 22.Ra1 bxa3 23.Rxa3 Bg5 24.c4 h6 25.h4 Bxe3 26.Bxe3 b4 27.Ra6 Nxb3 28.Rxd6 Na5 29.c5 Nc4 30.c6 Rbb8 31.Rd3 Rxc6 32.Rb1 Nxe3 33.Rxe3 b3 34.Re2 Rc2! { This one-mover is an especially crisp way to get a handshake. White resigned in view of: } 35.Rxc2 ( 35.Ree1 b2 { and now with only the b1 hurdle, the bishop plays on a2. } ) 35...bxc2 36.Rxb8+ Kh7 { and none of White's pieces can help. } 0-1

[Event "St. Louis Spring Classic (Group A)"] [Site "St Louis, MO USA"] [Date "2017.05.22"] [EventDate "2017.05.16"] [Round "7.2"] [Result "0-1"] [White "Yuniesky Quesada Perez"] [Black "Jeffery Xiong"] [ECO "B91"] [WhiteElo "2630"] [BlackElo "2652"] [PlyCount "68"] [CurrentPosition "1r4k1/5pp1/2r1b2p/4p3/4P2P/1p4P1/4RPB1/1R4K1 b - - 1 34"] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.g3 e5 7.Nde2 Be7 8.Bg2 O-O 9.O-O b5 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.Qxd5 Ra7 12.Be3 Rb7 13.Nc3 b4 14.Nd1 Qc7 15.Qd3 Be6 16.b3 Rc8 17.Rc1 Qa5 18.Bd2 Nc6 19.Ne3 Nd4 20.a3 Qb5 21.Qxb5 axb5 22.Ra1 bxa3 23.Rxa3 Bg5 24.c4 h6 25.h4 Bxe3 26.Bxe3 b4 27.Ra6 Nxb3 28.Rxd6 Na5 29.c5 Nc4 30.c6 Rbb8 31.Rd3 Rxc6 32.Rb1 Nxe3 33.Rxe3 b3 34.Re2 Rc2! { This one-mover is an especially crisp way to get a handshake. White resigned in view of: } 35.Rxc2 ( 35.Ree1 b2 { and now with only the b1 hurdle, the bishop plays on a2. } ) 35...bxc2 36.Rxb8+ Kh7 { and none of White's pieces can help. } 0-1

[Event "World Junior Championship"] [Site "Bhubaneswar"] [Date "2016.08.15"] [Round "8.2"] [White "Xiong, Jeffery"] [Black "Aravindh, Chithambaram Vr"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2633"] [BlackElo "2543"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [Whiteteam "United States"] [Blackteam "India"] [Whiteteamcountry "USA"] [Blackteamcountry "IND"] [Whiteclock "0:09:56"] [Blackclock "0:01:36"] [CurrentPosition "r3r2k/3n1q1p/2p2p1B/p3p1pP/Npp1P3/3P2P1/bPPQ1P2/K4R1R w - - 0 24"] [ECO ""] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.d3 Bg7 6.h3 b6 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.Be3 O-O 9.Qd2 Re8 10.Nh2 ( 10.a3 a5 11.O-O Nd7 12.Nh2 e5 13.f4 exf4 14.Bxf4 Ne5 15.Bg5 f6 16.Bf4 Ra7 { Nozdrachev,L (2410)-Ivanov,O (2513) Moscow 2015 } ) 10...e5 11.O-O-O a5 12.Na4 ( 12.g4 a4 13.Rdg1 Nd7 14.h4 Nf8 15.h5 Ne6 16.hxg6 fxg6 17.g5 Nd4 18.Qd1 b5 { Olcayoz,A (2290)-Secer,A (2177) Kusadasi 2004 } ) 12...Be6 13.Kb1 Nd7 14.Ng4 Qe7 15.Nh6+ Kh8 16.h4 b5 17.Nc3 f6 18.h5 { White has to continue playing actively. His bishop will be 'buried' on h7 for the moment, but Black can't really win it and there's still a pawn break on f4. } 18...Bxh6 19.Bxh6 g5 20.Rdf1 Qf7 21.g3! { White can't afford losing any time. } 21...b4 22.Na4 Bxa2+ 23.Ka1 c4 24.f4! { We pick up the action here, but be sure to play through everything. The game is a delight from start to finish. Included here is the analysis by Peter Doggers from his news report last year. } 24...exf4 25.gxf4 cxd3 ( 25...gxf4!? ) 26.fxg5! dxc2 27.gxf6 { [There's a book by GM Joe Gallagher where he discusses "caveman chess" -- two players bashing each other over the head without regard to personal safety -- and that term seems apt here. M.K.] } 27...Bb1 28.Bg7+ Kg8 29.b3! Nc5? ( 29...Qxb3 30.f7+ ) ( { The computer says } 29...Re5 { is best here, and equal. Rrright. 🙂 } ) 30.Nxc5 a4 31.Kb2 axb3 32.Nxb3? ( { Winning was } 32.Nd3! { e.g. } 32...Ra2+ ( 32...c1=Q+ 33.Nxc1 ) 33.Kc1 b2+ 34.Nxb2 Ra1 35.Qxb4 Ba2+ 36.Kxc2 c5 37.Qc3 ) 32...c1=Q+? ( { After } 32...Red8! { White must go for the draw with something like } 33.Bh6 ( 33.Qg5 Ra2+ 34.Kc1 Rd1+ 35.Rxd1 cxd1=Q+ { leads to mate. } ) 33...Rxd2 34.Rhg1+ Kh8 35.Bg7+ Kg8 36.Bh6+ ) 33.Nxc1 Bxe4 34.Rhg1 Ra5 35.Rg5 c5 36.Rfg1 c4 37.Qxb4 c3+ 38.Qxc3 Rb8+ 39.Nb3 Rxg5 40.Rxg5 Bd5 41.Bh6+ Kh8 42.Rxd5 Rxb3+ 43.Qxb3 1-0

Who will show more tactical prowess Wednesday? Give your predictions in the comments, and tune in to Chess.com/TV to find out. Remember that all the actin starts August 30 at 9 a.m. Pacific, 12 p.m. Eastern, 6 p.m. Central Europe. FM MikeKlein Aug 29, 2017, 1:54 AM
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