The Shank Guts Peter Svidler With Pritulina Variation At World Cup

American GM Sam Shankland

took out Russian GM Peter Svidler by thrusting his h-pawn two squares forward on his third move after Svid had moved his g-pawn one square in order to fianchetto his kingside bishop. It is usual to develop pieces prior to jabbing with the wing pawn, as shown by AlphaZero and well illustrated in the excellent book by GM Matthew Sadler ( and Natasha Regan:

Sometime in the 1970s the Great Dane, GM Bent Larsen

came to Atlanta to give a simultaneous exhibition. Another player and I picked him up at the airport and had dinner with the Grandmaster. Part of the conversation was about the book he intended on writing about The Power of Rook Pawns. I looked forward to it for years, but unfortunately the book was never published.

The game features two moves GM Yasser Seirawan

would call “Howlers.” It defies comprehension that a player of the caliber of Sam Shankland would play a beginner type blunder like 18 f4 when the simple 18 b3 would have given him a much better position. Peter returned the favor when playing the howler 24…Qb6. Stockfish says 24…Qb5 is even, Steven. It was to be expected that some players would be “howling” during this event as some had not played over the board Chess in a year or longer. but the Shank had recently sharpened his blade by winning the Prague International Chess Festival 2021 with a score of 5 1/2 out of 7, with a performance rating of 2900.

Sam Shankland (2709)

Sam Shankland will play MVL or Karjakin in the FIDE World Cup quarterfinals | photo: Eric Rosen, official website

vs Peter Svidler (2714)

Peter Svidler is one of the most successful World Cup players out there, but one move and he was out | photo: Anastasia Korolkova, official website

FIDE World Cup 2021 round 05-02

E60 King’s Indian defence, Pritulina variation

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. h4 Bg7 4. Nc3 d6 5. e4 Nc6 6. Nge2 O-O 7. f3 e5 8. d5 Nd4 9. Be3 c5 10. dxc6 bxc6 11. Nxd4 exd4 12. Bxd4 Rb8 13. Qc2 c5 14. Bf2 Be6 15. O-O-O Nd7 16. Rxd6 Qa5 17. Be1 Ne5 18. f4 Nxc4 19. Bxc4 Bxc4 20. e5 Rfd8 21. Rxd8+ Rxd8 22. h5 Bxa2 23. hxg6 hxg6 24. Ne4 Qb6 25. Bh4 Rd4 26. Nf6+ Kf8 27. Bf2 Bxf6 28. exf6 Qxf6 29. Qxc5+ Rd6 30. Qc8+ 1-0

1.d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. h4 (The ChessBaseDataBase contains 63 games in which this move has been played. 365Chess contains only 44 games with this move. Stockfish 13 going way down all the way to depth 62 plays 3 Nf3. GM Alexander Grischuk has recently been playing the move in blitz games. According to the databases the first time it was played was when Svetlana Pritulina. a woman candidate master, played it against Aivi Karu in 1997 in Tallinn, during the Estonian women’s championship. The game can be found below. Therefore, the opening after 3 h4 should be called the E60 King’s Indian defence, Pritulina variation . After all, how many openings are named after a woman?) 3…Bg7 4. Nc3 d6 (SF 13 @depth 56 shows 4…c5) 5. e4 Nc6 (SF 12 @depth 57 castles) 6. Nge2 (Komodo 14 @depth 37 plays the game move, but SF 13 @depth 42 and SF 150421 prefer 6 d5) 6…O-O (TN) (Both the Fish and the Dragon concur with Svid). In the blitz game below MVL played 6…Nh5, which brings up an interesting question. If a move is played in any type of speed game can it still be considered a Theoretical Novelty or must it be played in what is considered “Classical” Chess? Define “Classical Chess.”

Svetlana Pritulina vs Aivi Karu

Event: EST-ch (Women)
Site: Tallinn
Round: 9 Date: 1997
ECO: E60 King’s Indian defence, Pritulina variation

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.h4 h5 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.e4 d6 6.Be2 c5 7.d5 Nbd7 8.Bd2 Ne5 9.Qc2 a6 10.O-O-O Bd7 11.Re1 O-O 12.f4 Neg4 13.Nf3 b5 14.e5 b4 15.Nd1 Bf5 16.Bd3 Bxd3 17.Qxd3 Ne8 18.Nh2 Nxh2 19.Rxh2 dxe5 20.fxe5 Qc8 21.Re4 f5 22.exf6 exf6 23.d6 Qd7 24.Qd5+ Kh7 25.Bf4 Rd8 26.Re7 Qa4 27.g4 f5 28.gxh5 Qxa2 29.hxg6+ Kh8 30.Be5 Nf6 31.Rxg7 Kxg7 32.Qb7+ Kg8 33.b3 Qa1+

Alexander Grischuk (2766) vs Maxime Vachier Lagrave (2775)

Event: Grand Chess Tour Blitz Paris 2019
Site: Paris FRA Date: 07/31/2019
Round: 2.3
ECO: E60 King’s Indian defence

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.h4 Bg7 4.Nc3 d6 5.e4 Nc6 6.Nge2 Nh5 7.Bg5 O-O 8.Qd2 f6 9.Be3 f5 10.exf5 Bxf5 11.f3 e5 12.d5 Nd4 13.O-O-O Nxe2+ 14.Nxe2 e4 15.g4 exf3 16.gxf5 fxe2 17.Bxe2 Ng3 18.fxg6 Nxh1 19.Rxh1 Qf6 20.h5 Rae8 21.h6 Qxb2+ 22.Qxb2 Bxb2+ 23.Kd2 hxg6 24.Bg4 b6 25.Be6+ Kh7 26.a4 a5 27.Ke2 Be5 28.Rh4 Bc3 29.Rh3 Bb4 30.Bd4 Bc5 31.Bg7 Rf2+ 32.Kd3 Re7 33.Rg3 Bb4 34.Ke3 Bc5+ 35.Kd3 c6 36.Kc3 cxd5 37.cxd5 Bb4+ 38.Kc4 Bd2 39.Rh3 Rf4+ 40.Kb5 Rb4+ 41.Kc6 Bf4 42.Bg8+ Kxg8 43.h7+ Kf7 44.h8=Q Rc4+ 45.Kb5 Rc5+ 46.Ka6 Re8 47.Qh7 Ke7 48.Be5+ Kd8 49.Bxf4 1-0

Alexander Grischuk (2766) vs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2765)

Event: Grand Chess Tour Blitz Paris 2019
Site: Paris FRA Date: 07/31/2019
Round: 6.5
ECO: E60 King’s Indian defence

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.h4 b6 4.Nc3 Bb7 5.d5 Bg7 6.e4 d6 7.Be2 e6 8.h5 gxh5 9.Nh3 Qe7 10.Nf4 Nbd7 11.Be3 O-O-O 12.f3 Rhg8 13.Qd2 Bh6 14.Bf1 h4 15.O-O-O Bxf4 16.Bxf4 Nh5 17.Rh2 Rg6 18.Be3 Rdg8 19.Kb1 Kb8 20.a3 Qf6 21.Ka2 Ng3 22.Bd3 Ne5 23.Nb5 Nxd3 24.Qxd3 Nh5 25.dxe6 Qxe6 26.Rxh4 Nf6 27.Nd4 Qe8 28.g4 Nd7 29.Rxh7 Rxg4 30.Nf5 Rg2 31.Bd4 Qe6 32.Rdh1 a5 33.R1h6 Ne5 34.Bxe5 Qxe5 35.Qd4 Qxd4 36.Nxd4 Ba6 37.Kb3 Rd2 38.Kc3 Rd1 39.Rh8 Rxh8 40.Rxh8+ Kb7 41.b3 a4 42.b4 Rc1+ 43.Kd2 Rxc4 44.Nf5 d5 45.exd5 Rf4 46.Ne3 Rxf3 47.Rd8 Rf2+ 48.Kc3 Ra2 49.Nc2 Be2 50.Rd7 Bd1 51.Nd4 Rxa3+ 52.Kb2 Rd3 53.Nb5 a3+ 54.Ka2 Bb3+ 55.Kxa3 Bc4+ 56.Ka4 Bxb5+ 57.Kxb5 Rxd5+ 0-1

One of the features I like about the ChessBomb is the chat. Some years ago I was asked, “Why do you read that crap?” The response was, “Because it can be informative, interesting, and hilarious, and it gives older folks insight into the mind of the young.”

“Oh yeah,” came the immediate response, “Those idiots who spend their time ‘chatting’ don’t have a mind.”

Reading the part about, “Chess can be cruel” caused me to consider sharing a little of the chat that went with the Shank vs Svid game:

TomCruise1a: The old fat Russian is gonna lose today
TomCruise1a: Svidler eats too much babka
BoredToDeath: Naka used to be Mr Big Mac but lost a few pounds since
dioda: the fattest is Pankratov
BoredToDeath: Nepo is the fattest though

alexmagnus: by this mentality we should lower the official age of retierement to 25
TurnovdeCompeval: Smyslov play till his deathbed
Abraxas79: Svidler had a senior moment
TurnovdeCompeval: only narcissists like Fischer and Gary retire
Abraxas79: Garry can’t play anymore. We saw that recently
TurnovdeCompeval: the ones that love chess keep playing

BoredToDeath: Svidler is a Patzer. Unbelievable how he made it this far
TurnovdeCompeval: 9 times Ru champion patzer?
TomCruise1a: That was then. Svidler is old now
TomCruise1a: He should switch to golf ⛳
BoredToDeath: Long time ago
TomCruise1a: Pro chess are for young guys.

RookSmasher: If this was online, I would have thought Svidler moussliped meaning to play 24..Qb5
Seneca: Chess can be cruel
Horse: nice game by Shank
DONfan: Shanks wins!

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