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Larry Melvyn Evans vs Haakon Opsahl
"The World Turned Opsahl Down" (game of the day Jul-06-2008)
Dubrovnik olm (1950), YUG, rd 8, Aug-30
Queen's Gambit Declined: Modern. Knight Defense (D51)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Apparently, 47. Nh7! wins a pawn with decisive advantage. Evan's subsequent play is instructive in demonstrating good Rook and Pawn and King and Pawn endgame technique.
Jul-14-08  notyetagm: <Joshka: <Caissanist> Yes, he also annotates every move of this game in "American Chess Quarterly" Volume 3 Number 3, which I was just able to purchase thru Ebay. First time I have ever been able to get ahold of this chess magazine. It's about the size of Britain's "Chess" Magazine from the 80's. The issue I have also covers The US Championship of 1964.>

Wow, I should try to find this American Chess Quarterly Volume 3, Number 3 as well.

Jan-23-09  WhiteRook48: Nice pun. I'm still laughing
Feb-28-10  Eduardo Leon: In my immense patzerness, I looked at the final position for a few minutes and wondered why Black resigned. I saw 81...♔e7 (evidently not 81...♔g7 82.♔e6 and White snaps Black's queenside ♙s) 82.♔g6 (White should not allow Black to play 82...♔f7) ♔e6, and then only considered 83.e4??.

To redeem myself, I eventually saw the light: 83.f4 (Black can't use the hole in the light squares to get to e4, as he must retreat now) ♔e7 84.f5!, and the Black f ♙ is lost.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: A very instructive game.
Nov-17-10  frogbert: i've beaten one of these two players, with a nice piece sacrifice. :o)
Nov-17-10  frogbert: this game was played 45 years later - it probably was easier to beat opsahl in 1995 than in 1950 :o)

click for larger view

move 18: white moves and wins

ps. opsahl passed away several years ago and was a very old man in 1995.

Nov-17-10  Jim Bartle: Nd5 looks good.
Nov-17-10  Shams: <frog> 1.Nd5<?>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Odd how the c6 pawn, the focus of the "minority attack", wound up surviving to the end.
Nov-17-10  Shams: Hmm, actually 1.Nd5 Qxd5 2.Bxf6 Qc5+ doesn't lead anywhere. I'll keep looking.
Nov-17-10  frogbert: yup. there was no good answer. opsahl tried taking the knight with the queen (Qxd5) but didn't get enough because the bishop on d7 hangs if he takes the rook after 18. Nd5 (threatening Nxf6+) Qxd5 19. Qg4+ Kh8 20. Bxf6+ Bxf6 21. Rxd5

click for larger view

here he tried Rg8 but I can return an exchange with Rg5 too, so he resigned 6 moves later, after my 28th move.

Nov-17-10  frogbert: shams, you forgot an important check, forcing the king to another unfortunate square. sorry for spoiling it, thought you'd seen it all when i posted the line. didn't see your second post.

i was rated around 1500 when i played this game, btw.

Nov-17-10  Shams: Dammit, shams, combine your ideas. Nice stuff <frog>. Way to beat on the geriatrics. :)
Nov-17-10  Shams: <i was rated around 1500 when i played this game, btw.>

So you're saying I should give up chess?

Nov-17-10  frogbert: hehe. well, my rating kept going up - and norwegian ratings under 2000 are known for being way "too low" compared to say fide or uscf ratings - i.e. a norwegian 1500-player is typically 17-1800 fide, a 1700-player often around 1900, and 18-1900-players in norway typically around 1950-2050 fide (or higher). [i'm only just above 1900 in norway and almost 2050 fide, for example.]

only at around 2250 does fide-ratings and norwegian ratings seem to become approximately comparable. i've seen that people with fide-ratings typically get another 100 points added to their "ratings" if they want to participate in uscf rating category tournaments.

Nov-17-10  frogbert: <Way to beat on the geriatrics.>

opsahl appeared to be a very kind, nice man when i played him on his older days. the only trouble i had was during the post-mortem, when i felt that i was disturbing those in the room next door (still playing) the few times i spoke loud enough for opsahl to hear what i was actually saying. ["you must speak louder, i don't hear very well, young man."]

but you're right: i should show more respect towards the elderly.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: i read in CL that this was GM Larry Evans' favorite game..
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: "The World Turned Upside-Down", a famous marching song sung by the British during the American War of Independence. Among the events mentioned in the song is an episode where "horses rode men". So it is a very good pun!
Oct-23-14  ljfyffe: "In his autobiography, Muir called Opsahl 'one of the very strongest players l had ever met in correspondence chess'" - Zehr and MacDonald: History of Correspondence Chess In Canada.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <ljfyffe> The good Mr Muir obviously had not met me yet, for we only played at the very end of his storied career. (wink)

It was a pleasure to play Walter and would have been still more enjoyable had we met at the height of his powers.

Oct-23-14  ljfyffe: Obviously!
Jan-25-17  Howard: A perennial problem with Chernev's books was his failure to explain just where the loser went wrong in a given game, and this one's no exception.

As I recall, one mistake Black made was not keeping his rook on his 7th rank around the 38th move. If he had, then the f-pawn would have been pinned, and this would have given Black's king more wriggle room several moves later.

Jan-25-17  Retireborn: In the first instance Black should certainly keep the queens on with 28...Qg6 (instead of 28...Qxf4) and then aim for some K-side counterplay with moves like ...Re4, ...h4, and (if allowed) ...Nf5.
Sep-01-19  Chesgambit: create weakness strategy
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