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Lev Psakhis vs Garry Kasparov
Training Match (1990), La Manga ESP, rd 5, Jul-??
English Opening: Great Snake Variation (A10)  ·  0-1


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Given 28 times; par: 44 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-06-05  notyetagm: Garry responds to the English in Dutch Leningrad style. The position after 24 ... ♕h5 is a model of how to attack the enemy king: <attack with all of your pieces>.
Feb-19-09  Aniara: Isn't this a closed sicilian with colors reversed? In any event, the attach on the king is impressive.
Feb-19-09  tonsillolith: <notyetagm>, yes, I would be uncomfortable as White after 24...Qh5.

It's instructive how Kasparov has his pieces placed so that he is able to move them so close to the White king. Notably, he has his queen, knight, and bishop on the weak light squares and has his pawns on the dark squares to combat the strength of the fianchetto on the dark squares.

Feb-19-09  tonsillolith: Could someone please explain 15...exd4 to me? I don't have a good understanding of when to initiate (central) pawn exchanges.
Feb-19-09  laskereshevsky: <tonsillolith:....I don't have a good understanding of when to initiate (central) pawn exchanges.>


by this game the answer could be "sooner as is possible", or "at the first occasion"...

Any pawn was to be changed prior the 15th move here...

looks like the players cant afford to create and maintain the tension between two pawns in the center in this game....

Beside the jokes, <tons..> when U'll able to well understand the dinamics of the centrals pawns exchanges, properly handling the right moment to exchange or not to exchange,..... Compliments!! Without noticing, U reached the strenght of a GrandMaster!....or almost that...

Feb-19-09  Riverbeast: Does coin the names of a lot of these openings?

I've never heard of the 'Great Snake' Variation of the English

And Psakhis' 23. Rxe8 looks like a lemon to me...The position was already getting difficult, but this move only seems to help black transfer his queen to h5

Apr-18-09  PinnedPiece: "Lev Sacs his Knight in Vain"

GTM Score 38 Par 39

The last combination was brilliant (alright I'm easily dazzled), and killed my score as I lost about 6 pts in the last few moves.

Make a good Wed or Thurs puzzle, perhaps, starting at about 28...?

Apr-18-09  Abaduba: <RiverBeast>
The name "Great Snake" refers to the fact that white is essentially playing the Sicilian Dragon with colors reversed. Since there's no chance for Black to choose the super-sharp lines like the Yugoslav Attack, it's a dragon that doesn't breathe fire – in other words, a big snake. I have no idea who invented the term, but ECO also calls A10 "English Opening, Great Snake Variation".
May-02-09  chesswatcher1: Beautiful development on the right side by Kasparov. Simply amazing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  hedgeh0g: <Could someone please explain 15...exd4 to me? I don't have a good understanding of when to initiate (central) pawn exchanges.>

It extends the scope of the black bishop and makes it easier to launch a future attack with ...f4 in the future, as occurred in the game.

I'm no expert by any means, but when deciding whether to advance, exchange or maintain the tension in the centre, you should always consider the possible benefits and repercussions in terms of piece activity, pawn structure and, of course, tactical opportunities.

One brief example is on the Black side of a Slav with pawns on c6, d5 and e6. If White captures the d-pawn in the opening, Black typically recaptures with the e-pawn to free his bishop with the relatively insignificant drawback of having less pawns in the centre.

Typically, the tension is maintained unless one side has good reason not to keep it, since early exchanges leave a side with less central presence, while early advances create weaknesses (the main idea behind hypermodern openings).

Aug-26-11  DrMAL: Psakhis had a nice position but decided to complicate matters, not a good idea against Kasparov. 25.Ne5 right away would have been OK but after 25.Ne4?! and what followed, 27.Ne5?! was a losing move. 29.Bxd6?! (instead of 29.Kg1) lost faster (29...fxg3! even stronger) but 30.Bb8? lost immediately.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Big Pawn: Look at this winning combo,

30. hg Qh3+
31. Kg1 Qxf1+!
32. Kxf1 Nxg3+

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