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Julio Pizzi vs Max Euwe
"Who Ordered the Pizzi?" (game of the day Aug-17-2012)
Mar del Plata (1947), Mar del Plata ARG, rd 11
Indian Game: West Indian Defense (E61)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-17-12  sevenseaman: 34...h3 is killing. The K can withdraw to g1 or h1, 35...Qf3 decides.
Aug-17-12  RookFile: Not sure that Ne5 was a good idea. Maybe he should first of all put the rooks on d1 and c1, and hang tough.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 27. Rc1? Rxc1. What am I missing?
Aug-17-12  thomastonk: <al wazir> Maybe 27.. Rxc1 28.Rxc1 Rxc1 29.Qe8+ Bf8 30.Qxf8 mate.
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  FSR: Euwe! This Pizzi is terrible!
Aug-17-12  King Sacrificer: I don't understand 26. Kh3. Am i missing something?
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  FSR: <King Sacrificer: I don't understand 26. Kh3. Am i missing something?>

White too wanted to be a King Sacrificer - and succeeded admirably! My guess is that he anticipated 26.Kg1 Qf3 and would have then liked to play 27.Rc1 to lure Black's rook off c8, thus allowing Qe8+ and mate next. But he saw that with the king on g1 that didn't work because Black's second rook would land on c1 <with check>. So White instead played the "clever" 26.Kh3? Qf3 27.Rc1, failing to appreciate that this left his king very exposed after the simple 27...h5.

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  al wazir: <thomastonk>: Yeah, you're right, black can't win a ♖ that way. But 28...Bc3 looks OK. If 29. Qa3, then 29...Qh5+ 30. Kg2 Qd5+. If 29. Rxc3, then 29...Qxc3 30. Nf6+ Kg7 31. Ne8+ Rxe8 32. Qxe8 Qc2, and black is two ♙s up.

But Euwe's 27...h5 was best -- as might be expected.

Aug-17-12  backrank: 13 c4 had already been a positional lemon, I guess. White does not only end up with hanging pawns, but seems to have to surrender the bishop pair by force. In the position after Black's 17th move, Black has already a clear advantage.

For someone of Euwe's class, the whole game looks like a mere matter of technique.

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  kevin86: The king is returned to his home...soon to be his tomb. Qf3 follows.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SuperPatzer77: <FSR: Euwe! This Pizzi is terrible!>

Yeah, this pizza tastes terrible. Try DiGiorno pizza. It sure tastes delicious!!


Aug-17-12  Chessplayer150X: 20....Qa6 as played by the leader of the Black pieces seems to give Black slightly the better of it.The relative inflexibility of White's central pawn structure works against White's position.
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  Castleinthesky: Euwe ordered it, it wasn't me.
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  Once: An odd game. Pizzi seems to go wrong with a simple counting error. This is the position after 20...Qa6

click for larger view

Now Pizzi thinks he spies a tactic. He sacrifices a pawn for the chance for his knight to fork the two black rooks.

21. c5? bxc5 22. dxc5 Rxc5 23. Nd7

click for larger view

This was the position that Pizzi wanted. There is just one slight problem. The fork doesn't work. With 23... Rc3, one rook escapes the fork. Than with 24...Rfc8, the other is liberated. Not only does white lose a pawn for no compensation, he allows black to double his rooks on an open file.

And the rest can be only pain.

Aug-17-12  backrank: <Once> You're certainly right. But wouldn't it have been a pain, too, to defend the hanging pawns after 20 ... Qa6?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: They would certainly need constant care and attention. But something like 21. Qb5 ought to do the trick. Seems pretty level to me. If 21...Qxa2 22. Ra1 recovers the pawn.

Fritzie also thinks that 21. Re4 and (oddly) 21. a3 give black no more than a tiny advantage.

Hanging pawns are a nuisance, but I think Prizzi's remedy was a tad too premature.

Aug-18-12  backrank: <Once: They would certainly need constant care and attention. But something like 21. Qb5 ought to do the trick. Seems pretty level to me. If 21...Qxa2 22. Ra1 recovers the pawn. Fritzie also thinks that 21. Re4 and (oddly) 21. a3 give black no more than a tiny advantage.>

That's why computer moves will always be an enigma for me ... in my (obviously superficial) view, a3 simply loses the c-pawn after Bxe5. I hadn't considered Qb5 at all, but can't Black invade by QxQ PxQ Rc2 (maybe after Bxe5)?

For a computer, White's position may be not troublesome; but for a human, it definitely is.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Let's explore. First, there's 21. a3, when white temporarily gives up a pawn but gets more active rooks. For example:

21. a3 Bxe5 22. dxe5 Qxc4 23. Qxc4 Rxc4 24. Rd7

click for larger view

How can we call this one? Fritzie says it is around -0.4. In other words, black's material advantage (1 pawn = -1.00) is partially outweighed by white's positional advantages (eg rook on the seventh).

Rooks should be active in an endgame, so I'd tend to agree with Fritzie here. I'd rather be black but there's still a good chance of a draw.

The problem with 21. Qb5 Qxb5 is that it gives white a fabulous knight outpost on c6. One possible line: 21. Qb5 Qxb5 22. cxb5 Rc2

click for larger view

And now what? If black doesn't chop on e5, then I would be keen to play Nc6. The a pawn is easily defended and white's rooks are going to have an easy life. Looks drawish to me.

The bottom line with these particular hanging pawns is not to rush, either as white or black. They could be a source of embarassment for white, but black needs to take his time to build up pressure against them. Exchanges - even if they temporarily win a pawn - probably push us closer and closer to a draw.

Equally the hanging pawns could be a strength for white if he can find a way to advance them safely.

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