Players are always told that every move counts. That is never more true than in a sharp position. In this game, Black makes one misstep in the opening and then is floored by a series of shots.

This was one of the sexiest games I have ever seen! What do I mean by that? Check out the combination that ripped open the king and then the final position, which looks like it could be included in any book on the best mating attacks. 

Wen Yang vs. Artemiev, V.
Aeroflot Open A 2016 | Moscow RUS | Round 2.4 | 02 Mar 2016 | ECO: B23 | 1-0
1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 White passes up his opponents invitation to contest the mainlines of the open Sicilian. But this does not mean he does not want to go king-hunting!
2... a6 3. g3 b5 4. Bg2 Bb7 5. d3 e6 6. Nh3
6. Nge2 Looks like a more natural development scheme, but I like Yang's move  )
6... d6 7. O-O Nf6 8. f4 Nc6 9. Be3
9. f5!? White could consider striking immediately as well  )
9... Be7?! One mistake and the game just ends. White attacked with unbelievable energy in the following moves
9... Qc7 I prefer White but Black is solid enough. The engines call it equal  )
10. e5! Boom. White goes for it
10... dxe5 11. fxe5 Nd7 12. Qg4 g6?
12... O-O! In light of how the game went, Black definitely should have tried this
13. Bh6 g6 14. Bxf8 Qxf8 Black will take e5, and have one pawn for the exchange. He is worse but can fight on  )
13. Rxf7!! And the punches start coming
13... Kxf7
13... Ndxe5 14. Qxe6 Nxf7 15. Bxc6+  )
13... Ncxe5 14. Qxe6 Bxg2 15. Kxg2 Nxf7 16. Nd5 A gorgeous position. Black is up a rook and completely stalemated, unable to do anything about a simple threat like Rf1  )
14. Rf1+ Ke8 15. Qxe6 Now both mate on f7 and Bxc6 are threatened
15... Ndxe5 It looks like Black is almost to stabilize the position, but White has it all worked out
15... Qc7 This almost holds, but...
16. Nd5! Qxe5 17. Nf6+!! And the queen falls
17... Nxf6 18. Bxc6+ Bxc6 19. Qxe5  )
15... Rf8 16. Ne4! And Nd6 is coming  )
16. Ne4
16. Bxc6+ The computer prefers this move, but I see no problem with the move that was played
16... Nxc6 17. Ne4 and Nf6 is going to hurt  )
16... Qc7 17. Nf4 Bc8? It looks like White is out of steam, but now comes the beautiful finish that I imagine Wen probably saw when he took on f7:
17... Kd8 Might have offered more resistance, but Black's position is still very bad
18. Nxc5  )
18. Nf6+! Kd8 19. Qd5+! Qd6 20. Bxc5!! and Black resigned, since Qxd5 is met with Bb6 mate. A fine miniature over an extremely strong opponent.


Samuel Shankland is a United States grandmaster ranked No. 7 in the country. He is a professional player and recipient of the Samford Fellowship in 2013, the most prestigious award in the United States for young chess players. He is at @GMShanky on Twitter and is also on Facebook.