European Club Cup / Excellence From Rnd 1


Shakhriyar Mamedyarov


As of this writing we are about to enter Round 5.  There are many/many games being played every day and every round.  I recommend looking at another QuantumGambitz link.

European Club Cup


There was a very well played and/or instructive game played in the very first round that caught my attention. 


European Club Cup 2017
Round “1”
White “Steingrimsson, Hedinn (fjo)”
Black “Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar (glo)”
Result “0-1”
WhiteElo “2576”
BlackElo “2791”
EventDate “2017.10.10”

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6

Generally not thought too well of as it hems in the dark Bishop – but it is rock solid.

3. d4 exd4

Philidor’s original idea was  3… f5  which has all but been abandoned.

4. Nxd4

On occasion Morphy used to play  4. Qxd4 Nc6 5. Bb5 Bd7 6. Bxc6 Bxc6 7. Bg5

Analysis Diagram

4… Nf6 5. Nc3 Be7 6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O Re8 8. f4 Bf8

This is reminiscent of the Steinitz variation of the Ruy Lopez – often played by Lasker.

9. Bf3 c5

Yes – attacks the Knight, but leaves a backward Pawn on the semi-open file and a “hole” on the d5 square. Nevertheless the weaknesses are very hard to exploit.

10. Nde2 Nc6 11. Kh1

I thought the idea behind this was to vacate g1 for the dark Bishop who will get there via the e3 square – however this never materializes.

Bd7 12. Qd3 b5

Although this may not be the best move, it is a nice thrust from the wing which tries to deflect White’s pieces from the center.

13. a3

Probably a good practical choice.  Both  13. Qxb5 Ne5 and  13. Nxb5 Nb4 shows an exposed and/or overworked Queen.

13… b4 14. Nd5 Rb8 15. b3 a5 16. Nxf6+

I don’t like this.  16. Bb2  keeps developing, connects the Rooks and pressures the Kingside.

16… Qxf6

Now White has to do a little scrambling.

17. Rb1 Rbd8 18. h3 Ne7 19. axb4 axb4 20. c4 bxc3 21. Nxc3

A slip.  21. Qxc3  is most likely better.

Black To Play

21… d5

Sharp eyes – Tactics.

22. exd5

22. Nxd5 Nxd5 23. Qxd5 Bb5  is hardly an improvement.

22… Bf5


23. Ne4

23. Be4 Nxd5

23… Qh6

Black is climbing all over this position.

24. d6 Nc8 25. Qd5 Qg6 26. Bh5

A desperate try that backfires.


A Grandmaster being taken out by a Grandmaster – In fine style I might add.



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