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Paul Keres vs Alexander Kotov
Parnu (1947), rd 8, Jul-26
Sicilian Defense: Chameleon (B20)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-20-09  TheaN: 2/2

Kotov destroyed himself with his two final moves. Black has difficulties after 18.Nxc4, but 18....Qc6?! puts the Queen in a dangerous position as it semi-opens the d-file, 19.b3 just protects Nc4 and 19....Nc5?? fatally gives away the protection of d8 and the diagonal h3-c8. Strange play there.

Oct-20-09  Patriot: I was thinking 20.Nxe5 right away because it at least wins a pawn due to 20...dxe5 21.Qd8#. But it also has a nice side-effect of attacking black's queen which has nowhere to hide. Resignation is the best move for black.

<<Whitehat1963>: Took me a minute, but I found it. There's no way I would have even considered it in a game, though. Perhaps I play too fast?>

That's hard to say for sure but it is one possibility. Here are some reasons why it may be:

1) You would never consider the move because 20.Nxe5 "drops the knight". This is a quiescence error (stopping analysis too early rather than looking one step further).

2) You lacked board vision in seeing that the queen on d1 x-rays through to the d8-square. If the d6 pawn were not there Qd8 would be mate.

3) Failure to consider forcing moves before considering others (i.e. checks, captures, and threats). Usually considering forcing moves in that order is best. For example, considering 20.Qf3 (threat) before considering 20.Nxe5 (capture) is a waste of time which allows black to regroup with 20...Nfd7.

4) Playing too fast (as you said) and not giving yourself time to figure it out. But this depends on the time control/time remaining. If you are playing a 1 minute game with no increment or delay then there is no "playing too fast". However if you have let's say 40 minutes remaining, then this should not be missed.

These are just some of the top reasons I can think of but there could be others. Hopefully this helps.

Oct-20-09  JG27Pyth: Noticed the pinned d pawn right away and Nxe5 -- then there was that pleasant calculation/realization (calculazation?)-- I'm reprising TheAn here -- After Nxe5 then the Queen moves and then I go...wait a sec, the queen moves...? ...oh my, where does the queen move?

JohnLSpouge<Note to beginners: the pin, skewer, fork, etc., are usually presented as tactics against pieces. As todays puzzle shows, however (with the White Qd1 pinning Pd6 to the mate threat at d8), the tactics also work against squares. This is an excellent example of how generalization of a concept (pinning pieces to pieces => pinning pieces to squares) yields new and interesting possibilities, with very little intellectual effort.> Nice point.

Oct-20-09  jsheedy: Ooh, cruel bishop crossfire! 20. Nxe5! wins the Queen, because if 20...dxe5, 21. Qd8#! The black Queen has nowhere to hide.
Oct-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: This one IMO was about spotting the vulnerable square, which in this case was d8. It's defended only by the black king, but attacked by our bishop and potentially by our queen (with mate) -- if only we could dislodge the pawn on d6.

Knowing thus that Pd6 cannot be moved, it was natural to try 20.Nxe5 to see what would happen. Quite pleasantly, it seems to trap the black queen!

Oct-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: This game from the guy who wrote "How to Think Like a Grand Master"! Maybe he should've concentrated on "How to Play Like a Grand Master."

But no disrespect to Kotov. This game just goes to show that even grand masters aren't grand all the time.

Oct-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The queen is trapped and the knight's capture results in sudden death at d8, dealt by the queen
Oct-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: 20. Nxe5 and Kotov can throw in the towel.
Oct-20-09  VincentL: I have been looking at this position for a couple of minutes and see the possibility of various threats.

But I think the most potent is mate on d8 if we can deflect black's d pawn.

Nxe5 also threatens the queen and leaves it without a flight square. So this is it.

20 Nxe5.

If 20.... dxe5 21. Qd8 mate

If 20.... Any queen move/other move. 21. White captures the queen.

I imagine that black resigned after Nxe5. Let us see.

Oct-20-09  TheChessGuy: Rule #1 of playing Paul Keres: never, ever give him tactical chances. He WILL find them and run his opponent over with them.
Oct-20-09  MiCrooks: This seemed easier to me than yesterday...I liked yesterday's three mover...seemed appropriate for a Monday. This seemed a bit easier, a Monday at best.
Oct-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: Easy puzzle. One thing i keep in mind with black is even if i don't castle its good to be ready when the need arises. With Be7 on move 17 or 18 black would be able to castle and also guard d8.
Oct-20-09  WhiteRook48: 20 Nxe5 too easy
Oct-20-09  ruzon: This is an interesting version of the closed Sicilian. What would White play after 2...d5? 3.e5 overextends, I think, so maybe 3.exd5 Qxd5 4. Nc3 is playable for White? The bishops aren't going anywhere for a little while, though.
Oct-20-09  Chessforeva: 3D sheet: http://chessforeva.appspot.com/C0_w...
Oct-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  David2009: 20 Nxe5 and the attacked Q has no squares, nor can White's Q or K be counter-attacked. Time to check.
Oct-20-09  aazqua: Incredible that the queen is actually trapped here. Baffling that Kotov didn't castle.
Oct-20-09  brainzugzwang: What <dzechiel> said. Saw the Q+B mate on d8 if the d6 pawn wasn't there, saw Nxe5 forced the Black Q to move, then saw it had nowhere to go. Bada bing, bada boom, even for a weakie like me.
Oct-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: Got it
Nov-02-09  LIFE Master AJ: This game was NOT played in Parnu!

It was played in MOSCOW ... (Russia today, the USSR back then.)

It was played in the "Chigorin Memorial Tournament" of 1947. (I used to have a flyer or a Chess Digest pamphlet on this tournament.)

Nov-03-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <LIFE MASTER AJ> All the evidence I have found so far indicates this game was played in the 1947 Parnu tournament.

The databases for Fritz and Chessbase, show this game as being played at the 1947 Parnu tournament.

This game can also be found in the book by E. Varnusz, "Paul Keres' Best Games - Volume 2: Open & Semi-Open Games". The game site is shown as Parnu. This book also includes the game with Kotov, at the 1947 Moscow, "Chigorin Memorial Tournament", Keres vs Kotov, 1947

Chess Review for November 1947 also shows this game as being played in the Parnu tournament.

Nov-06-09  LIFE Master AJ: I also have several books on Paul Keres, including a two or three volume set by Gambit - I think.

They show this game as being played in the "Chigorin Memorial Tournament."

Nov-06-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <LIFE MASTER AJ> The Chigorin Memorial Tournament - 1947, was held from November 25th to December 23rd, 1947. You can read about this tournament in Pachman's book, "Decisive Games In Chess History". You can read from this book, including Pachman's review of the 1947 Chigorin Memorial tournament, on Google Books.

The Parnu 1947 tournament was held from July 14th to August 4th, 1947. A short review of this tournament was given in Chess Review for September 1947.

As I have noted earlier, this 20 move win by Keres over Kotov was published in the November 1947 issue of Chess Review.

Based on the dates of these tournaments, and the publication of this game in the November 1947 issue of Chess Review, this game could not have been played in the 1947 Chigorin Memorial tournament.

May-16-10  shamat1: keres missed 16 Rc7!
and if nxc7 ng7+ gains the queen
May-10-11  arecely63: did Keres miss 1 Rc7 or not want to give up three pieces for the queen. probably the latter as 16... Nc7 17. Ng7 Bg7 18. Bd7 Kd7 and the N is protected N is protected by the K. Sorry that is as far as i looked.
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