Nepomniachtchi played the Queens Knight Attack with 1.Nc3 d5 2.Nf3 in a Napoleon Attack. Play resembled a Philidor Defence. Playing the Black pieces was Murtas Kazhgaleyev. He is a grandmaster from Kazakhstan. Kazhgaleyev was born in 1973. Murtas Kazhgaleyev has represented Kazakhstan in events and coaching for about 20 years in many countries. In addition to chess play, Murtas is known for writing stories about his life.
Ian Nepomniachtchi is a Russian grandmaster born in 1990. In December 2016 FIDE ranked him number 13 in the world with a rating of 2767 and number 3 for rapid chess (behind Carlsen and Nakamura, and just ahead of Karjakin). GM Nepomniachtchi has been mostly a 1.e4 player as White, but not exclusively. He is a universal openings player. About a fourth of the time Nepomniachtchi plays 1.Nf3, 1.d4 or 1.c4.
Nepomniachtchi plays just about every opening variation as long as it is sound if it has a focus directly on the center. It would be hard to predict his opening choices. This game is the first one I have seen where GM Ian Nepomniachtchi played 1.Nc3.
Nepomniachtchi (2719) - Kazhgaleyev (2582), Eurasian Blitz Chess Cup Almaty KAZ (14.8), 18.06.2016 begins 1.Nc3 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.e4 Be7 6.Bc4 [6.Bf4!?+/=] 6...0-0 7.Bb3 Re8 8.0-0 Bf8 [8...Nbd7 9.Re1=] 9.f3 c6 10.Kh1 Nbd7 11.a4 [11.a3!?] 11...Ne5 12.Bg5 h6 13.Bh4 Ng6 14.Bf2 Qc7 15.a5 Bd7 16.Qd2 b5 17.axb6 axb6 18.Rad1 b5 19.Nf5 Bxf5 20.exf5 Ne5 21.Bh4 Nfd7 22.f6 g6 23.f4 Ng4 [23...Nc4 24.Bxc4 bxc4 25.f5=] 24.f5 [24.Qd3+/-] 24...g5 25.Bxg5 Ndxf6 26.Bf4 Ne5 [26...b4-/+] 27.Bxh6 Kh8 28.Bxf8 Rxf8 29.Qh6+ Nh7 30.Ne4 f6 31.Rxd6 Rad8 32.Rxd8 Qxd8 33.Qe3 Qc7 34.h3 Re8 35.Be6 Rd8 36.Ra1 Qb8 37.Qh6 Rf8 38.Ra3 Qc7 [38...Nf7 39.Bxf7 Rxf7 40.Nc5+-] 39.Rg3 Qe7 40.c3 Rd8 41.Kh2 c5 [41...Ra8 42.Nc5+-] 42.Rg6 [42.Nxc5+-] 42...Qc7 43.Rg3 [43.g3+-] 43...Qe7 44.b3 c4 45.bxc4 bxc4 46.Nd2 Qc7 47.Ne4 [47.Nxc4 Ng4+ 48.hxg4+-] 47...Qe7 48.Nf2 Rb8 49.Qf4 Qc7 50.Ne4 Rb2 51.Rg8# 1-0
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