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Yasser Seirawan vs Eric Lobron
OHRA (1983), Arnhem NED, rd 5, Jul-20
Tarrasch Defense: Classical. Carlsbad Variation (D34)  ·  0-1


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find similar games 3 more Seirawan/E Lobron games
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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Lobron's sac of Queen was a little bit better than Seirawan's.:-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: of course if 22... ♖xb2 23 ♖a8+ and checkmate in two. Black's own counterthrust not only prevents this-but dooms his opponent to defeat.
Feb-01-04  Dick Brain: Yes! Qxf2+ as per the usual is the winner. This pattern is really helping my self-esteem.
Feb-01-04  Minor Piece Activity: Exactly what I was thinking too, **** Brain! Lol, I think we're going to get spoiled. What would this move be called? An in-between move?
Feb-01-04  Dick Brain: Furthermore let me be the first Captain Obvious who points out that 22 Rxa7 is an extremely bad move!
Feb-01-04  unclewalter: in the mating sense, yes. i wonder if g6 retains the advantage for black...
Feb-01-04  unclewalter: i think maybe 16. Qb2 was the first bad move...maybe trying to hold on to that c3 pawn in the first place with 15. Qc2...
Feb-01-04  Benjamin Lau: I don't like 11. Bxf6?. Most of Yaz's positional problems come after this. Much better is 11. Be3 when white retains a significant advantage and has good pressure on the IQP.

13. Bxd5!? winning the pawn seems good at first but one cannot help but think that Lobron did not simply overlook this and had decided to give Yaz the pawn, but at a large cost. I don't like Seirawan's shattered position after 13...Bxc3. It kills him later in the middlegame when black infiltrates the queenside with the heavy pieces. After 13...Bxc3, no longer does black have an iso- now it's poor Yaz (and he has two if you count rook pawns).

16. Qb2?! allows the deadly queen pin but there isn't much else for Yaz to do at that point, his game is far behind.

17. Bxb7?! doesn't appeal to me. You're supposed to outright die or something if your opponent gives you a b pawn and you accept. I don't know if Lobron's pawn sack is sound, but in all practicality it looks like his attack would be very hard to refute over the board, so maybe Yaz shouldn't have taken the pawn.

18. e3 leaves serious weaknesses on the light squares but again Yaz is in horrible position so there isn't much he can do without making it worse. Still, this doesn't take away the brilliance of Lobron's final combination.

Feb-01-04  Catfriend: As unclewater asked, does 22..g6 work?
Feb-01-04  FryGuy1013: For white, wouldn't 22. Rxc3 be a much better move? Crafty analyzes it to:

22. Rxc3 Rxb2 23. Rxb2 Qxc3 24. Rb8 Bc8 25. Bb7 Qe5 26. Rxc8+ (black up 1.2 pawns), which is how I imagined it to play out. However, white seems to have much more control over the board because the king can get to g2 and the bishop controls the diagnol attack with the pawns defending the horizontal and veritcal. The only problem is the black a pawn, but it can't safely advance with only the queen to protect it. I let crafty self-play from this position and it led to a draw, so there might have been hope from there.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Here's two questions about today's problem (22...?):

1. How would White have refuted 22...Qc6?

2. If there was an extra Black pawn in the position on c4 or c5 or c6 or c7, would 22...Qxf2+ still win? Why or why not?

P.S.: I saw Lobron play in the late 1970's at a few open tournaments in Germany, when he was still playing amateurs. It was obvious even as a mature teen that Eric was an amazing chess talent, demolishing the American and German experts and masters I knew at the time in both blitz and tournament chess. By 1983, when this game this game was played, Lobron was beginning to be recognized as a force to be reckoned with on the international scene. His rating peaked in 1992 at age 32 at 2625. Although GM Lobron's rating has declined a bit in recent years, he remains an active and respected player on the international scene. I have always enjoyed his active and tactical style of play, such as his adoption of the Tarrasch Q.G.D. in this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Benjamin Lau> Good comments about White's opening strategy. The opening explorer seems to confirm your suspicion about 11. Bxf6?! being suspect, with Black winning four and drawing five of the nine games in which it was played. With 34% wins and 52% draws, your recommendation of 11. Be3 is probably the most solid and is certainly the most popular alternative.

However, another interesting alternative is 11. Bf4 as played in Kramnik vs Deep Fritz, 2002 where the super GM got the better of the draw against the computer.

The Tarrasch has certainly declined in popularity in recent years, and that may be due in some degree to the fact that the computers are helping analysts find better lines for White in exploiting the isolated black queen pawn. Black now has to work really hard just to secure drawing chances it seems. Personally, I'm hoping the super GMs or the computers can revive this fun opening that most of the super GMs seem to have given up on for serious play as Black.

At amateur level and club play, I suspect the Tarrasch is still a good try for Black. Certainly it is useful in learning the strategy of how how to play with and against an isolated queen pawn. And as seem in this game, if White does not play precisely or is not aware of opening theory, Black has winning tactical possibilities.

Feb-01-04  aboynamedgeorge: I strongly object to the claim that white "retains a significant advantage and has good pressure on the IQP".

Neither side has finished developing yet! Be3 is the normal move (played zillions of times), and white was probably playing something different to see if he could get an advantage that way. I'd bet that he thought the position would only be equal after Be3 (since they're both GMs who probably prepared for the game, and know the theory quite well).

Kids today, they just don't have any respect for an IQP!

Feb-01-04  Benjamin Lau: <Neither side has finished developing yet! >

You don't have to finish developing in order to already have an advantage against an IQP. Just look at the position. Anyone can tell that after 11. Be3 that white is much, much better. His c3 knight and g2 bishop are both attacking the IQP, reducing black to passivity. The pawn cannot move forward because it is blockaded by a knight, and after 11. Be3, another blockader is added to the lineup, which basically means black is under a semi-paralysis.

<I'd bet that he thought the position would only be equal after Be3 >

Actually, Seirawan was probably just experimenting and knew that Be3 offers an IMMENSE advantage for white. He probably was just wondering if Bxf6, trying to grab the pawn, was correct. Apparent it was not. Anyone who says that the position is "only equal" obviously has not had much experience with the IQP.

<Kids today, they just don't have any respect for an IQP! >

As a 1. d4 player, I have much respect for the IQP, however, it can be either a strength or a weakness, depending on the position, and in this case, it is a weakness.

Here's a nice case where white grinds black into the dust for taking on an IQP:

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1984

White's pressure was so strong in this game it convinced black, who later became world champion, to adopt another d4 defense.

It's also worth noting the statistics:
33.9% for white; 11.5% for black. This position is no where equal, it's practically strategic slaughter.

May-06-15  SpiritedReposte: This game hasn't been commented on in over a decade. Seirwan was on thin ice hoping his back rank threat was worth something but ...Qxf2! shows the lies of it nicely.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Frontal Lobrontomy
May-06-15  john barleycorn: < whiteshark: Frontal Lobrontomy> in the backrangs.
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