Wesley So’s creative Sämisch King’s Indian ⎸So vs Liren, 2011 World Cup

Wesley So vs Ding Liren, King’s Indian Defense, Saemisch Variation, Panno E84
2011 World Cup, Round 1

Wesley So started the 2011 World Cup well. He defeated Ding Liren to advance to round two, but he was defeated by Sergey Karjakin and got eliminated (the World Cup is an unforgiving event, and you don’t get to make a single mistake).

This game was played in round 1 and Wesley faced Ding Liren’s King’s Indian Defense. He went for the Sämisch, with the move f3, a variation that gives white extraordinary central control and forces black to seek counter play as soon as possible in order to equalize. The engines give the position as almost winning for white, but they always do if one side has more space.

Both players made several mistakes and gave each other a chance to equalize and even to win, but Wesley’s mistakes were unpunished. He managed to create a passed a pawn (in exchange for giving Ding a passer on c4) and that single threat preoccupied his opponent to such extent that all his attacking plans were aborted and he went on the defense for the rest of the game.

This game is a perfect example of how creating threats can help paralyze your opponent and how, if you are attacked, you should first seek counter play, and only then defend, since that’s the best way to secure both victory and equality.

Game moves:
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f3 O-O 6. Be3 Nc6
7. Nge2 a6 8. Qd2 Rb8 9. Rc1 e6 10. g3 Ne7 11. b4 Nd7 12. Rd1
b5 13. cxb5 axb5 14. Nc1 c6 15. Nb3 Nb6 16. Na5 d5 17. Be2 Nc4
18. Nxc4 bxc4 19. a3 e5 20. dxe5 Bxe5 21. Bd4 Bxd4 22. Qxd4
Be6 23. Kf2 Qc7 24. Qc5 Qe5 25. Rc1 Nc8 26. Rhd1 Nb6 27. f4
Qg7 28. Qd4 Qxd4+ 29. Rxd4 Ra8 30. Ra1 dxe4 31. Nxe4 Bd5
32. Nc3 Be6 33. Ne4 Rfd8 34. Rxd8+ Rxd8 35. Nc5 Bd5 36. a4 Rb8
37. a5 Nc8 38. a6 Na7 39. Nb7 Nb5 40. Na5 Nd6 41. Bf3 Nc8
42. Nxc6 Bxc6 43. Bxc6 Rxb4 44. a7 Rb2+ 45. Ke3 Nxa7 46. Rxa7


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