Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: Surprised Queen

Hans Moke Niemann is an American GM who had a rapid progression in the game as a teenager. He attracted wide public attention after his game against Magnus Carlsen which happened in the third round of the 2022 Sinquefield Cup. Irritated because Niemann won that game, Carlsen withdrew from the tournament in the next round. As a result, a global discussion started in the chess community about cheating.

Although both players participated in subsequent tournaments, Carlsen consistently avoided playing against the American.

Two weeks after their game in Sinquefield, Carlsen and Niemann were paired in round 6 of the Julius Baer Generation Cup. It was an online competition where players from several generations took part. Boris Gelfand and Vasyl Ivanchuk counted among the veterans.

As a protest, Carlsen resigned after playing his first move. However, both players continued in the tournament which had a format with two parts. The first part with preliminary rapid games (15|10) and the second part with knockouts. Ironically Carlsen won the event while Niemann eliminated in quarterfinals.

Today’s game corresponds to round 5 of the preliminary phase. Niemann playing Black, faced the Indian GM and rising star Arjun Erigaisi. Niemann was the victim of a nasty trap that left him without hope for the rest of the game.

As you can see, the motif is the discovered attack on the queen. As a result, a forcing queen trade follows with winning a pawn. Dear readers, I would like to stress how useful is the training in pattern recognition.

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