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Alexander Koblents vs Andre Lilienthal
"Scotch on the Rocks" (game of the day May-15-2010)
USSR Championship (1945), Moscow URS, rd 17, Jun-??
Scotch Game: Potter Variation (C45)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-21-09  DWINS: I'm surprised that no one has commented on this fantastic game yet.

I didn't realize what a great attacking player Lilienthal was. Here he wrests the initiative away from White, and then subjects him to a host of vicious mating threats.

This game is well worth playing over.

May-14-10  ounos: White embarked on a very risky defensive plan with 11. Bg5, counting that 13. ...g5 can be countered by the surprizing 14. Ne2. The problem is, white needed such tactics to work for at least 3-4 more moves to untangle himself, and they didn't.
May-15-10  think: I'm missing a lot of tactics here it seems. Why 9. g3? Why 10. Kh1? Those moves just seem suicidal. Next, is there a clear reason why 16. ... g5 is better than Bxf2? Bxf2 looks better to me, winning a pawn and the exchange with the threat of g5 remaining.

Some things that I did see though: 16. Qxf3 loses a Bishop to Rxh4, and 17. ... gxh4 loses the queen for a rook after 18. g4 Bxg4 19. Rg3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Blistering attack ensues after only one weak move; 7.Be2?,Qh4! and Black is already close to winning, if the CG database is to be trusted.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I have mixed emotions about the Scotch - an opening I used to play a lot. On the one hand, white's play is direct and forceful. He swaps off black's key e5 pawn for arguably a less important d4 pawn. White gets lots of open lines for his pieces, if he wants to make believe that he can play like Morphy.

The bad news is that these open lines can be used against white. A skilled player with the black pieces can make the scotch seem very clunky and unsophisticated.

Which is precisely what Lilienthal does today. He makes white regret having misplaced his defensive Nf3 and castling early. Mind you, I have to agree with <think> about some of white's moves.

May-15-10  MaxxLange: wow, Koblents just got smashed
May-15-10  Bodul: Why 12.hxg4? 12.Bxg4 and that's it.
May-15-10  bjessee: What an attack. It seemed like the pressure never let up. There were so many different kinds of mating threats.

<think>, after 16...♗xf2 17. ♘d5 ♗xg1 18. ♕xg1, black cannot respond with g5 immediately as the mate threat on h2 is defended. It still seems strong; can anyone extend it out to see where it goes?

Also, after 17...gxh4 18. g4 ♗xg4, 19. ♖g3 does not work because of 19...hxg3. 19. ♘f4 seems to catch the queen, but black can escape with 19...♕g2+ 20. ♘xg2 fxg2+ 21. ♖xg2 ♗xd1 22. ♖xd1. This leaves black up a piece for a pawn. However, after 19. ♘f6+ ♔e7 20. ♘xg4 ♖g8, 21. ♕f1 forces the exchange of queens, and black gave back the piece.

<Bodul>, what is the continuation after 12...♗xg4 13. f3? The best I saw was 13...f6 14. ♗xf6 gxf6 and now white can try 1) 15. fxg4 hxg4 16. ♕e2 ♕xg3 or 2) 15. ♘d5 ♗c8 16. ♘xf6+. Both seem to be losing, but more than the text?

May-15-10  randomsac: I don't agree with g3 either. That lets black get such a horrible attack on the compromised castled king.
May-15-10  screwdriver: I definately had to play through it a 2nd time to understand some of the nuances that I missed the first time through. Nicely played by black!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessmensch: Nothing short of patzer play (more like hara-kiri) by white at nearly every turn. It's interesting going through this game with Fritz and seeing blunder after blunder that whilte plays (although one scarcely needs Frtiz to see that--just to put numbers on it). This is only GOTD because we're honoring Lilienthal this week.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A great one! White looked DOA in this one. Black's attack was irresesitable.
Jun-20-10  DWINS: <think>, I have no idea why Koblents played 9.g3, but there is a tactical reason that he played 10.Kh1.

He needed to evade the threat of 10... Ng4 11.Bxg4 Bxg4 12.Ne2 Bf3 13.Nf4 Qg4 14.Qd5 (14.h3 Qxg3+) 14...g5, followed by 15...Qh3 and Black wins.

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