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The danger of automatic moves:

January 27, 2017

Last night, I watched the excellent masterclass hosted by Stuart Conquest by Veselin Topalov.

Veselin created a talk around one theme: the mistakes which even the World’s top players by making automatic moves which are not automatic.  I heartily recommend the masterclass: in fact, great thanks to Stuart, the organiser, and the the sponsors of the tournament, for always putting on such a great event, which I have been lucky enough to visit once.

Giri v Harikrishna, Tata Steel Chess, 27/1/17

Position after an exchange sequence: Re6*Re1; Rh1*Re1; Re7*Re1.


Giri was not in time trouble, and after a few moments thought, played the automatic 32 Ne1. The game was drawn after various more ups and downs.

However, the non-automatic move 32 Qd6!! seems far stronger. Not an outright win in human terms, since by the best defence Black can struggle on, but the twin threats of Nc7 mate or Nf6 mate cause concessions.

The game, with some very light annotations except for the position I am commenting on, where I go into more detail, is in my Chessbase 14 Cloud database.

The game was another great fight: the engine assessment swings a lot, so doubtless overnight many commentators will put proper analysis up on various aspects of the game. My contribution is only to show the relevance of Veselin’s timely lecture.



From → Chess

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