Malcolm Pein on…a Super Sacrifice


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Malcolm Pein’s Daily Telegraph chess column examines two games of Daniil Dubov, the first of which features a super sacrifice.

Dubov is a popular play with and we easily see why.

Malcolm Pein on…a Super Sacrifice

The 73rd Russian Championship Superfinal is being played over the board at the Central Chess Club in Moscow and concludes tomorrow.

The 12-player all-play-all is one of the strongest Classical events of the year. The rate of play is 90 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for all remaining moves and a 30-second increment starting from move one. After six rounds, Sergey Karjakin and Ian Nepomniachtchi were joint leaders on 4.5/6.

Daniil Dubov rarely disappoints. A lovely queen sacrifice leads to a position which is absolutely winning. If you analyse it with a computer, the machine takes a while to catch on, but ultimately there is no way to prevent a white rook getting to c8 or e8 and deciding the game.

Super Sacrifice

Dubov – Esipenko, continued:

25.Qxc5!! Rxc5 26.Nxd7 Qg5 27.Nxf8 Kxf8 28.d7 Qd8 29.Rxf2 Rc7 30.Bh3 g6 31.Rf6 Kg8 (or if 31…Ke7 32.Rf3 f5 33.Re3+ Kf7 34.Re8) 32.Rfd6 Rc2 33.R6d2 Rc7 34.Rd3 f5 35.b6 Rc2 36.Re3 1–0

Dubov had a narrow escape here.

D. Dubov – V. Artemiev
Sicilian Defence

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Be2 d6 7.Be3 Bd7 8.Qd2 a6 9.0–0–0 (The plan of Be2 and Be3 feels odd in conjunction with the sharp 0–0–0, particularly as White does not manage to play g2-g4) 9…b5 10.a3 b4! 11.axb4 Nxb4 12.Kb1 e5 13.Nf5?! d5! (Black is way behind in development but he stands clearly better. If White takes on d5, he loses the knight. Black’s threats include d5–d4 and Rc8 followed by Qa5) 14.Bg5 Be6 15.f4 Qa5 16.Bxf6 gxf6 17.fxe5 fxe5 18.Qg5 (No threats, but now if 18…d4 19.Nxd4) 18…Rc8! 19.Ne3 Rxc3! 20.bxc3

Test Your Strength

Dubov's Narrow EscapeBlack to play and win

The game ended: 20…Bc5? 21.cxb4 Qxb4+ 22.Kc1 Qa3+ 23.Kb1 Qb4+ (23…Bxe3 24.Qxe5 holds or 23…d4 24.Nc4 defends and if 24…Qb4+ 25.Nb2!) 24.Kc1 Qa3+ 25.Kb1 draw.

Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.

20…d4 21.cxd4 Qa2+ 22.Kc1 Qa3+ 23.Kd2 exd4 threatens Qc3+ and if 24.Ke1 Qxe3 (24…dxe3?? 25.Rd8#) 25.Qxe3 Nxc2+; Also 20…d4 21.cxd4 Qa2+ 22.Kc1 Nc6 threat Ba3+ and Bb4+ also wins. If 20…d4 21.cxd4 Qa2+ 22.Kc1 Qa3+ 23.Kb1 Ba2+ 24.Ka1 Qc3#. If 20…d4 21.cxb4 Qxb4+ 22.Kc1 Qa3+ 22.Kd2 Bb4+ 23.c3 Qxc3#. Black could also win with 20…Qa2+ 21.Kc1 d4.

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