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Yuri Averbakh vs Alexander Kotov
"Think Like a Grandmaster" (game of the day Jan-22-2006)
Zurich Candidates (1953), Zurich SUI, rd 14, Sep-23
Old Indian Defense: Normal Variation (A55)  ·  0-1

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Given 25 times; par: 73 [what's this?]

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sac: 30...Qxh3+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-21-11  Tigranny: <jrbleau> I agree. One of the most overrated games and sacrifices ever along with the Game of the Century and Wagner vs. Schoenmann.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <jrbleau: I don't want to rain on the parade, but this is one of the most overrated combinations in history. It's obvious that Black has an assured draw and a strong chance for a win.

Overlooking the queen sac would, on the other hand, be a blunder.>

Well said. It took no courage to play this sac. "Hmm, should I let White tie up the kingside with Ng1 and draw, or should I play a queen sac that <at least> draws and may well win?" It's a no-brainer. Nor, since Kotov was able to sac the queen and <then> adjourn the game, can you even credit him with great tactical vision. Wow - you play a sac that guarantees at least a draw, then go back to the hotel room and work out the win with your seconds. True genius, that. An 1800 could have done the same thing.

Jan-19-12  Tigranny: Why not 30.Rh1? White can escape with 31.Kg1 if 30...Qxh3+ (not 31.Kxh3 because of 31...Rh6+ 32.Kg4 Rxh1 33.Kf5 Rh6 34.Kg4 Rf8 35.Nb5 Nf6+ 36.Kf5 Nh5+ 37.Kg4 Rg8+ 38.Kf5 [38.Kh3 Ng3#] Rf6#).
Jan-19-12  King Death: < Riverbeast: ..Back then, the players adjourned after move 40 and continued the next day..>

Not always. The player to move after 5 hours of play sealed a move regardless of the number of moves that had been made. Often it was 40 but it didn't have to be. There were also designated days for adjournments in many cases so that a player could be stuck with more than a single one to play in a session.

Mar-09-12  Tigranny: I take back my comment from December 21st. It was a nice and well-thought queen sac, not overrated. :)
Apr-26-12  Llawdogg: Thanks for the video, kingscrusher.
Jul-09-12  jancotianno: One of my favourite games.
Aug-24-12  Tigranny: Actually I change my mind. Sorry.
Feb-03-13  jovack: So many cynics here... if nothing else, this game is quite instructive and I would recommend it to any students interested in breaking free of their 1,3,5,9 rule
Feb-03-13  nummerzwei: <Kinghunt: From January 2006: <MarvinTsai: Maybe this is the kind of games for proving computers can't "think".> Amazing how far computers have come in the past 5 years. Houdini spots Qxh3+ at only 15 ply and decides that it's winning in about a second.>

I don't want to spoil your fun, but my old Fritz 10 has no problems with the finishing combination at all, either.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 9 Rd1 was already a new move; The Old Indian has never achieved much popularity. Not sure what the idea behind 13 h3 was. Perhaps an alternative for White would be 15 b3 with the idea of a3 and b4. Another alternative was 22 Rf1..f5 23 f4; instead 23 g4?! seems awfully weakening. 24 Qe2 would have been preferable to Averbakh's 24 f3?!. 28 exf followed by Ne4 was suggested as an alternative. After the game several of the players thought that 32..Rf8 would have also been winning but Kotov showed that after 33 Nxf4..Nf6+ 34 Kg5..Ng4+ 35 Kxg4..Rg8+ 36 Ng6+..Rxg6+ 37 Kf5..Rh5+ 38 Rg5..Bxg5 39 Kg4 Black's advantage would have been minimal. A nice variation is 44 Rh1..Rxh1 45 Kxg5..Rh6 46 Bh4..Rg6+ 47 Kh5..Rf7! 48 Bg5..Rfg7 49 Bxf4..exf 50 Qxf4..Rg2 51 Nc3..Rg1 52 Qh4..R7g6 and wins.

<Tigranny: Why not 30.Rh1? White can escape with 31.Kg1 if 30...Qxh3+ (not 31.Kxh3 because of 31...Rh6+ 32.Kg4 Rxh1 33.Kf5 Rh6 34.Kg4 Rf8 35.Nb5 Nf6+ 36.Kf5 Nh5+ 37.Kg4 Rg8+ 38.Kf5 [38.Kh3 Ng3#] Rf6#).>

Wood's tournament book gives 30 Rh1..Rh6 31 Rg4..Nf6 as good for Black but 30..Qxh3+ would also still have been good for Black. Yes, if White had forseen the attack he could have given up his h-pawn but this still is very good for Black.

Oct-09-14  Superjombonbo: 28. f4! is correct. Black would be busted.
30. h4! Rh6 31. Rh1 Bxh4 32. Kg1 with compensation and a safe king. But black missed forced mate! 33...Ng4!! which stops even the rook from defending. a)34. Rxg4 Rf8#
b)34. fxg4 Rf8#
c)34. Kxg4 Rg8+ 35. Kf5 Rf6#
And any other move? 34...Rf8+ 35. Kxg4 Rg8+ 36. Kf5 Rf6#
Premium Chessgames Member
  hoodrobin: Very instructive annotation by John Nunn in 'The Mammoth Book of the World's Greatest Chess Games' (2010 edition).
Premium Chessgames Member
  jbennett: I'm doing a series of videos on the Zurich 1953 tournament. For round 14 I selected this game to cover:
Nov-04-14  Superjombonbo: @blingice: you said first pawn trade is 26 moves in. Any record? Check out this J Mason vs Lasker, 1899 The first pawn trade is move 33. And the first pawn trade was on move 27 in this game.
Nov-04-14  Superjombonbo: Well, 38...Nxd5+ was played so Kotov could have time to figure out what happens next. He needed more time on his clock.
Oct-01-16  altai: What about the game "Herman-Hisong" played in Frankfurt in 1930.

(I'm not sure about spelling)? Herman-Hisong Frankfurt 1930. 1.e4-e5 2.Nf3-Nc6 3.Bb5-a6 4.Bc4-Nf6 5.d3-Bc5 6.Be3-d6 7.Nd2-Be6 8.B:e6-f:e6 9.B:c5-d:c5 10.Nc4-Nd7 11.a4-Qf6 12.c3-o-o 13.o-o-Rad8 14.a5-Ne7 15.Qb3-Ng6 16.Q:b7-Nf4 17.Ne1-g5 18.Kh1-Rf6 19.Ne3-Rdf8 20.Q:c7-R8f7 21.Qc8+ Nf8 22.Q:c5-Qh5 23.Rg1-Q:h2+!! 24.K:h2-Rh6+ 25.Kg3-Ne2' 26.Kg4-Rf4+ 27.Kg5-Rh2 28.Q:f8+ K:f8 29.Nf3-h6+ 30.Kg6-Kg8!! 31.N:h2-Rf5!! 32.N:f5-Nf4#

Dec-07-16  Saniyat24: Could Aberbakh had played Qd5 instead of Bh4 as his 43rd move?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Saniyat24: Could Aberbakh had played Qd5 instead of Bh4 as his 43rd move?>

No, 43....Rg7+ and then mate next move.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Superjombonbo: @blingice: you said first pawn trade is 26 moves in. Any record? Check out this J Mason vs Lasker, 1899 The first pawn trade is move 33. And the first pawn trade was on move 27 in this game.>

First pawn capture occurs at move 94 here. No idea whether that is the record.

K Rogoff vs A H Williams, 1969

Premium Chessgames Member
  Amulet: Wow what a game! I admire white's tenacity here although all odds are against him. He throws in the towel only when he got hogtied. That's the fighting spirit right there.
Dec-08-16  Saniyat24: <keypusher: Thank you for your answer. I enjoyed reading about the Philips & Drew Kings (1982) tournament, in your game collection. Have a nice day and answer many more questions...!
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <saniyat24> Why thank you! You may also like St. Petersburg (1895/96).
Mar-15-17  storminnorman2010: The moves from Black's 41st move do not match what is in Bronstein's book. That one continues: 41...Nf6+ 42.Kf5 Ng8+ 43.Kg4 B:g5 44.K:g5 Rf7 45.Bh4 Rg6+ 46.Kh5 Rg7 47.Bg5 R:g5 48.Kh4 Nf6 49.Ng3 R:g3 50.Q:d6 Rg6 Qb8+ 51.Rg8 WHITE RESIGNS.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Has anyone ever wondered how <CG> knows which rook to move at Black's move 47?

Bizarre, bizarre.

The PGN offered up has 46...Rxg7, which is bizarre if only because there is no piece to capture on g7:

click for larger view

But even the figurine notation just gives Rg7 ( or ♖g7 ), which is also bizarre because if doesn't specify which rook moves to g7.

And yet, miracles of miracles, <CG> can properly play the move here.

So, what move set is <CG> following? It's isn't playing by the same rules as the rest of us it seems.

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