Anna Muzychuk wins using Dubov's h4 idea
Photo: Fide / © David Llada

Anna Muzychuk wins using Dubov's h4 idea

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In my blog Same stockfish, same depth, different computer, same-evaluation? I used a novelty from Daniil Dubov to illustrate how processing power influences the evaluation given the same analysis depth.

Position after 6.... 0-0-0
Until recently, most games continued 7.f4. The always creative and inspiring Daniil Dubov introduced 7.h4 at the highest chess level in his game against Boris Gelfand in 2016. After Gelfand’s 7… Na5 8.f4 d6 9.f5 White won in a crushing kingside attack.
But what happens if Black challenges the knight immediately after 7.h4 with 7... h6? This move was played in the game between Sasikiran and Harika at the Isle of Man Grand Swiss 2019. White continued with the strong 8.Nd5! threatening Nxf6, followed by Qh5 and Qg6, utilizing the fact that Bc4 is pinning the pawn on f7.  After 8… Nxd5 9.Bxd5 the following position arises:
Position after 9.Bxd5
In my previous blog, I analyzed that Black can not play 9... hxg5 because of the more or less forced: 10.hxg5 g6 (to prevent Qh5) 11.Qg4 Kg7 12.Rh7+ Kxh7 13.Qh4+ Kg8. 14.Bd2 followed by 0-0-0, and there is no defence against Rh1 and mate. Beautiful!
On Wednesday, Anna Muzychuk played against Marie Sebag in the third round of the Fide Grand Prix in Lausanne. She blitzed out the first eight moves but then thought for 14 minutes and 19 seconds and decided to play 9.exd5 instead of 9.Bxd5! In the video below, Anna Muzychuk explains that she was aware of the Dubov-h4-idea and knew the game between Sasikiran and Harika from the Isle of Man. I was surprised to learn that she dared to play 8.Nd5 without remembering the specific follow-up.  The move 9.exd5 is actually stronger than 9.Bxd5, and Anna Muzychuk won the game in spectacular fashion.
Position after 15.Qe7. How should White continue?
Below you will find the full game, including the comments of Anna Muzychuk during the interview.