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Vladimir Bagirov vs Ratmir Kholmov
USSR Championship 1961b (1961), Baku URS, rd 12, Dec-04
Spanish Game: Schliemann Defense. Dyckhoff Variation (C63)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-19-04  NotShee: I found this move in few seconds.

But still I'm not a good player. :(

Jan-19-04  Lawrence: Got this one in 7.02857 and a quarter seconds but it reminds me of the Advanced Drills in Chessmaster 9000, "Mate in Two, Queen to Move" etc., absolutely impossible for a beginner like me.
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  Calli: Loosely translated, Kholmov means "cool move" in English. ;->
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  Resignation Trap: Well, actually, "Kholmov" means "of the hills".
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  Gypsy: Moves like 25...Re2!! should be worth a goldpiece or two.
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  aw1988: Re2 is good, hardly deserving of a double exclam, although I would have resigned several moves earlier.
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  Gypsy: < aw1988 > The beauty, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. I think 25...Re2!! deserves one of its exclamatin marks for its objective strength, second for its surprise value.

As it is, the mate threat to f2 actually diminishes the aesthetic impact of the combination for me. Had the f-pawn been on f3 for instance, then black would have gained only a pawn -- 26.Qa1 Qxa1 27.Rxa1 Rxc2, with a difficult but likely won endgame -- but the true nature of how the White queen is suddenly dominated would realy come into the limelight.

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  keypusher: Harsh, <aw1988>, especially since you recently gave one of your own moves three exclamation points. :-)
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  tpstar: I agree with 25 ... Re2!!, a brilliant shot which wins cleanly in all variations. I have shown this puzzle to other students, who are universally amazed at how the straightforward 24. Rfe1? loses by force, plus how Black wins such a quiet major piece position.
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  Gypsy: <keypusher,tpstar> Thanks for the moral support guys. I am right there with tp* students: What does that timber-folf-in-Shakespeare-clothing know! :-)

<aw1988> Are you sure your avatar isn't Albrecht von Wallenstein; or maybe you are just channeling him? :-)

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  hintza: 25...Re2!!
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  aw1988: Gypsy, the problem is that it's a standard move. I mean to say it has been repeated many times earlier than 1961.

The problem is, while witty, it is just too obvious. A chess player should be able to be alert at all times during a game, barring knight promotions on move 98 of course. Black sees he has an intermuzzo, that's it. I'm terribly sorry for interfering with art, but this is not worthy of a '!!'.

However, it does depend what level the player is. If he is just beginning, of course such a move would be exciting. Common themes are very important in chess, and one should not heap excessive praise on them.

Many moves in chess are not over-rated, but have different opinions. Remember that. I'm not evil, this is just my spin on it, even if I'm beaten 9-1. Take for instance Botvinnik's 30. Ba3 and 31. Nh5+ against Capablanca in AVRO 1938. Oh yes, the game is wonderful. For the time, it was strategically brilliant. However, I must say, for the sake of being booed at, that these were obvious moves. Tim Krabbe on the website agrees (of course not directly) with me. I actually think 30. Ba3! deserves an exclam, because white had to be sure he had perpetual check, and such a pattern never really occured then. It doesn't now! But what is truly absurd is giving 31. Nh5+ one or even two exclams. White has just played Ba3 against the great Capablanca. What else are you going to do, resign on the spot!?

I do of course realize how hard it is to refrain from heaping loads of exclaimation points on every pretty move; certain restraint is in order, even for me.

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  aw1988: re my recent 3 exclams I'm not even sure it wins by force- completely. I tried to check as many lines as I could without a computer, and it seems to be winning.

I'm also pretty sure my avatar is Shakespeare.

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  Gypsy: <I'm not evil, this is just my spin on it, even if I'm beaten 9-1.> I hope you do not perceive that we are giving you hard time -- other than in jest! You are absolutely right to stick to your guns; it would be a scary place indeed if all people had the same opinions!

As to the merits of 26...Re2: I subscribe to the policy that a move deserves second ! if only if it breaks a psychological boundary; ie, if it is a hard-to-see move. The Re2 breaks three such barriers, as I see it: (1) it is, in John Nunn's terminology, a co-lineal move; (2) it is a lingering move and "vastes" something so precious as a tempo, and (3) it lets "everithing" hang. It also requires, (4), an out-of-natural-sequence completion of he combo -- 27.Qxf6 Rxe1+ (the intermezzo) and only now the 28...gxf6. All in all, Re2 deserves the second ! in my book.

These hard-to-see moves interest me; I confessed to it a few times before. George Polya said -- a method is a trick used at least twice. And I think that is the point you are kind of making above: Certain maneuvers, which defy the usual logic of psychological barriers, appear repeatedly -- and thus eventually become a technique, or at least a craft. Over time, these lose their right to the second ! mark. That is a reasonable point. In fact, I pay the extra atention to the !! moves axactly to achieve such a progress in my play.

The Botvinnik-Capablanca game is a stragne bird: It is an overall grand package, where no single component appear that grandiose on its own: Strategy -- out of My System; promotion tactics -- pretty, but out of a coffe shop. Botvinnik simply ambushed Capablanca by home prep: he realized that Capa liked to create Q-side majority by the c5-c4 push, and was likely to play this theme in that, than not unusual, variation of Nimzo-indian. With Ragodzin's help Botvinnik prepared the central ambush. While the central counterplay is right out of My System and its execution is straight forward, the unbelivable part is how it seems so unlikely to succeed ... untill it does. That blindsided Capablanca. The suprise came in low, under the radar, untill the Ba3 appeared on the board -- of several just above agerage components, one grand game overall. A game that has Rubistein-like clarity and simplicity of design and Lasker-like understanding of Capa's temperament.

May-07-05  marekg248: Kholmov himself gave 25...Re2 only one exclamation mark in his annotations, but I think this move is not so obvious, at least I didn't find it, although it was a Monday puzzle. Maybe Wednesday, or even Thursday would've been more appropriate.
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  aw1988: <and (3) it lets "everithing" hang.> Nope. Qf6 is protected.
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  Gypsy: < Kholmov himself gave 25...Re2 only one exclamation mark in his annotations ...> That does not surprise at all. Mr Bagirov may have thought that it was a what-the-hell-is-that move though. :-)
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  Gypsy: <aw1988: <and (3) it lets "everithing" hang.> Nope. Qf6 is protected.> Lol. You could give me the benefit of doubt that I see that. I just tried not to be pedantic once -- do too much of that.

I do submit to you however that even a fair exchange of queens is not wanted by Black. Furthermore, that black queen does hang kind of implicitly, in the connection with the overall situation. Just put the white king on h2; then 26.Re2?? becomes a suicide and 26...Qxf6 is the move that wins.

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  aw1988: <Calli: Loosely translated, Kholmov means "cool move" in English. ;->> LOL!
May-13-05  marekg248: <Gypsy> I cannot agree more, it wasn't quite clear from my previous post - I think 25...Re2!! fully deserves 2 exclams. It's a very strong and surprising move. Kholmov was way too modest.
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  aw1988: By the way, yes, my three exclaimation points were very optimistic. I cringe at my own vanity.
Nov-15-06  GrandPatzerSCL: WOWOWOW!!! The final move should be a puzzle. I was really surprised at that one. Nice move, Kholmov!!
Sep-09-09  DiscoJew: "Silent but Deadly"
Oct-28-11  Everett: This old thread concerning "brilliance becoming technique" is mentioned with much chagrin by Bronstein in Secret Notes, and I'm sure by many others before.

One can say this offers proof that the modern players are better than generations past, but it misses the vital point that Steinitz, Lasker, Capablanca, etc., were implementing these plans and creating these tactics for the very first time. Nothing Lasker read of previous games could prepare him for his wars with Schlecter, in particular his game: Schlechter vs Lasker, 1910

BTW, since I'm still so-so at this game, ..Re2 was an eye-opener, but I agree with <aw1988> that only new <for the time> rare and extraordinary moves get two exclams.

Oct-08-14  m.okun: 25. ... Re2!!
Supermove! Try to find during the game!..
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