Checkmate Black King on 1st rank (Sicilian Defense, O’Kelly Variation)

Game: https://lichess.org/aX4hTelY

I try to play Sicilian in the “Delayed Alapin” style with c3 followed by d4. The black player, though lower rated, is quite an experienced player with over 11,000 rapid games played on Lichess.

The turning point was 14. d5! I did not fully calculate all the lines, but I thought it was worth giving up the isolated d-pawn for a very active position, with my rook lined up against the black queen. The tactics worked out well in the end, in fact it turns out that white can always regain the pawn.

Lichess seems to have rating deflation: Many players (including myself) who were once rated over 2000 for rapid, are now dropping back to 1900 rating range. It seems due to an influx of good players into Lichess. Also see: Lichess to FIDE Elo Rating Conversion.

Final Position:

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