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Jan Timman vs Kevin Spraggett
"Tie Me Kangaroo Down" (game of the day Jun-20-2010)
Montpellier Candidates (1985), Montpellier FRA, rd 13, Oct-30
Kangaroo Defense: General (E00)  ·  0-1


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sac: 9...Nxe5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-31-10  Dr. J: <bishop55: On 16.Nxc6 black has 16...Qc7 and 17...Bg4. His position is preferable.>

After 16 Nxc6 Qc7 17 Nd4 Bg4 now wouldn't 18 Nxd5 or Ncxb5 or Ndxb5 would still give better play than the text?

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  Phony Benoni: A fine sporting achievement.
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  al wazir: I think white is better off playing 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. c5 Bxd2+ 7. Nxd2 Bd7 7. Bb5
Jun-20-10  Jamboree: It seems to me that White starts falling apart on move 21. Just about every move from there to the end of the game is a blunder. 21. Ne2? is pointless -- he needs to get his bishop out and his rooks in the center ASAP. Something like 21. Bh3 hitting black's rook with tempo and then centralizing his kingside rook seems much better than the game continuation. White wastes six of his last ten moves futilely trying to reposition his knight while leaving his other pieces sitting unused in the hangar. And even after all that, his knight still ends up on the wrong square. Another blunder immediately afterward is 22. Kb1? Why walk into a back-rank mating net? What is gained? If you're going to move the king anywhere, I'd get aggressive with 22. Kd2 and use the king like a second extra piece to force black to cope with annoying little threats which may cause his to go to squares less than ideal. After that it's all downhill as white just moves his knight in a circle while black prepares for the kill.

Going back to move 21, considering how the game eventually went, I'd even prefer 21. Nxd5?! cd 22. Rxd5 a6 23. a4 followed eventually getting the bishop out and Rhd1 and just try to survive a pawn down endgame with B vs. N. Giving yourself a chance to draw is better than sitting on your hands until Dr. Checkmate shows up.

Jun-20-10  twinlark:

The pun of the day also refers to an Aussie song written in 1957 by Rolf Harris called <Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport>.

Here's the great man singing the song at the Royal Albert Hall 52 years later:

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  Once: I love black's last move. 30...Rd2 threatens white's hyperactive knight and his Rd1. If 31. Rxd2 Re1+ 32. Rd1 Rxd1#
Jun-20-10  brettls: What happens if white decides to play 31 Bxc4?
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  ClassZPlaya: <brettls> On 31. Bxc4 R4xd4 (for example) leaves Black two pawns ahead in a winning endgame.
Jun-20-10  brettls: but if 31. Bxc4 R4xd4, then 32. Bxb3 and black has only an advantage of one pawn while white can attack these?
Jun-20-10  LarsenBentYou: canada represent!! spraggett!
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  Eggman: Selected Spraggett annotations:

<By chance, I was slated to play 3 of the top 4 contenders (to qualify for the candidates matches) in the last 3 rounds ... this gave me somewhat of an unfair advantage, as I was not as nervous as my opponents - after all, I had everything to gain and they had everthing to lose!>

3...Qe7?! <... following Keres, but I realize now this move is just weak.>

4.e4! d5? <After this move, Black encounters severe difficulties ... I figured that if Keres suggested a move, then it had to be good! There is , however, a big difference between actually playing a move and suggesting one!>

4.e5 <For the first time in the game, I gave my position some real thought. I was somewhat surprised when I realized I was in real trouble ... Black's problem is that he has no way of adequately attacking White's centre. Both levers (...c5 and ...f6) are out of the question. 5...c5 is just plain bad after 6.Bxb4, and 5...Bxd2+ 6.Qxd2 c5 is not much better after 7.cxd5 exd5 8.Nc3. In the case of the ...f6 lever, after 6.Nf3 I just don't see myself play ...fxe5. Finally, after some deep thought, I conceived a plan that Nimzovitch might have employed: to play with pieces against the White pawn centre. I believe that this is the only reasonable plan available to Black in this position.>

9.d5? <This move can only be explained by saying that Timman did not consider Black's reply, which is forced! (Instead, after) 9.Bxc4 O-O 10.O-O-O, Black is not lost, but he must suffer a great deal!>

9...Nxe5! <Black is at least equal!>

21.Ne2? <A weak move. Also wrong is 21.Bh3 Rh6 22.Bf5 Ne5 23.g4 Rh3! However, after 21.Bg2 a draw would seem the likely result. The idea is that 21...b4? 22.Nxd5! is better for White. Black would have had to reply 21...g5! and ...Kg7. However, 22.Nxd5 cxd5 23.Bxd5 should be enough for a draw, as Black's Q-side is weak and the material is very reduced.>

29.a3? <Both sides are short of time, though Timman's position is much more difficult to play. It is only natural that the end should come quickly.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  watwinc: 31 Bc4: Nc4: 32 Nb3: gets the second pawn, but white looks dead lost in the R+N ending 31 Bc4: Rd1+ 32 Rd1: cd holds the pawn, and the Black knight is looking at d3 ...
Jun-20-10  Ferro: Jan Timman es un spaghetti
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  fm avari viraf: Thank you < twinlark > for the Youtube. It was as refreshing as Spraggett giving a Kangaroo K.O.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Suprised Timman goes down under recoiled in shock absorbing it the usually skipped over Kangaroo defence. Spraggett boxed clever pulling no punch. Cocktail of balanced rooks occupying middle and South pawn pocket facing North strips juice bleeding white's tank. Ardent erasure of Nd4 wipes the floor, back rank threats win a piece. Little spark and a fried out white misses mechanic combination at work and light's out here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Keres got a draw with Alekhine using that opening. I was playing it over from Reinfeld's book of K's best games the other day. But it looks dubious. He abandoned it later.
Jun-20-10  Blunderdome: <falphin: that is the craziest pawn formation, I've seen>

After 16...fxe6 I was hoping Black would get a chance to play ...a6 before moving any other pawns.

For example, if 17. f4 a6:

click for larger view

Jun-20-10  WhiteRook48: ah the back rank tactic
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  kevin86: Kamikaze castle! Black will win soonest...
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  ClassZPlaya: <bishop55> Nice analysis! In my hasty response to <brettls> I overlooked that 32. Bxb3 covers d1. 31. ... Nc4 clearly wins as the lines you give demonstrate.
Feb-21-12  edyedzer: Original chess by the canadian grand master !!
Apr-16-19  cliffordagoodman: 8)...Nh6!?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: After 8...Nh6, why didn't White just grab the c-pawn with 9.Bxc4, I wonder? Looks so obvious.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <CW>, see the post by <Eggman> with excerpts from Spraggett's annotations of this game.

I must say it is far from clear why 9.Bxc4 might be weaker than the continuation, but Timman must have been in a state of psychological shock after his opponent's rejoinder in the actual game.

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  Count Wedgemore: <perfidious> Thanks!
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