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Eero J Raaste vs Bryon Nickoloff
"Strategic Mettle" (game of the day Aug-04-2004)
Chess Olympiad (1986), Dubai UAE, rd 6, Nov-21
Spanish Game: Exchange. Bronstein Variation (C69)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-04-04  Helloween: 18...Nf4! was an amazing move. After it, White loses material and position: he is crushed and has no play. 19.gxf4 was not possible due to 19...exf4 20.Qe2(20.Qxf4 Bd6)20...g3+ and 21...Bxe2.
Aug-04-04  caballos2: Maybe 6.b3 is too slow. 6.d4 looks better and the open position can give white an edge.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ArturoRivera: Think white has always a disadvantage in the exchange variation beacause he gives up the bishop pair in the 4 move, however black must play energical to win and metodicaly equialize the game by using his long range bishops just like this game, and i agree totally with Helloween, 18.-...Nf4!
Aug-04-04  caballos2: The disadvantage of losing the bishop pair is mostly compensated by black's inferior pawn structure and the slight lead in development. however, if black is able to open the position and launch a kingside attack, he can easily get an advantage.
Aug-04-04  lnlver: White's 15th and 16th moves where he abadons the kingside with his pieces don't win any awards.
Premium Chessgames Member
  admiralnemo: why didn't white exchange knights on 16 or at least trade his bishop for the knight on 17 since it is clear that that knight has the potential to be very deadly?
Aug-04-04  Helloween: <admiralnemo> If White had traded with either piece on move 16 or 17, Black would have then undoubled his pawns with cxd4, eliminating the structural weakness White sacrificed the Bishop pair to create on move 4, and Black would have also increased his spacial advantage even more while simultaneously gaining time against the ♕ at e3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White is dead. He is 4 pawns down and has a horrible bishop. Black's domination of the white-colored squares is total. The fact is the white looked like a no-show from the start.
Premium Chessgames Member
  admiralnemo: <helloween> yes, but it seems hardly worse than the alternative, which blows open white's defenses.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tldr3: For those of you that don't know, IM Bryon Nickoloff died at the age of 48 on Aug 3, 04 from complications of Hodgkins disease. IM lawrence Day has a nice post on Benjamin-Nickoloff. I also wrote something on Shirov-Nickoloff. Thank you chessgames .com for having this game as a game of the day. A fitting tribute to a great Canadian chess player.
Premium Chessgames Member
  benveniste: While 18 ...Nf4 is a beautiful move, doesn't 18 ...gxh3 win just as easily? If 19 Kxh3, Bh6 wins the queen (or mates).
Premium Chessgames Member
  tldr3: If 18...gxh3 the king cannot take on h3 because of the double discovered check 19.Kxh3 Nf4+!
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  Nickisimo: As mentioned above, White cannot immediately recapture the pawn, but it'll fall farther down the road. That's not to say the following position isn't winning for Black, it is, but White can generate some decent counterplay, maybe he could try 19. Nef3 and at some point a queenside pawn storm. :|
Aug-04-04  Lawrence: Hi, <Nickisimo>, a warm welcome.
Aug-04-04  Lawrence: <benveniste>, Junior 8 prefers your 18....gxh3 over 18....Nf4, gives it an eval of -2.39 against Nf4's -1.68.
Aug-04-04  mahmoudkubba: Is that game to do with the say that 99 percent of chess is tactics and only one percent is the strategy and what to do when reaching the strategy?????
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: RIP-Mr. Nickoloff. Yes,this was a neat game. Another case where a seemingly meaningless is in fact a crushing winning move.
Aug-05-04  Lawrence: <mahmoudkubba>, yes, I think so, but of course the saying may not be correct. 99 percent sounds too high a figure.

Are you in Fez now? Enjoying it?

Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: I'm up to 1986 in writing Nickoloff's Selected Games and plugged CG in the intro to this game from the Dubai Olympiad. Thanks everybody who commented. The queries made it easier for me to understand how general chess players see the game develop. A book only masters can understand isn't much use eh. In the rough first draft the intro paragraph reads:
~~In the sporting sense that [Milos-Nick] was Bryon's best contribution at Dubai, 1986. For team events winning with Black, especially paired up, is greatly valued. However, looking at chess as art, the popular internet kibitzer's site picked this short game, also a Ruy Lopez, as the Nick's best gem. It was 'Game of the Day' on August 4, 2004: etc~~
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: After research, it looks like 6.Na3!? is White's best chance for an edge.
May-14-12  theodor: Nikoloff is a bulgarian name - was his father bulgarian?
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: 6. b3 & 7. Bb2 is an interesting approach but the Bb2 became a bystander for the entire game. Compare to Black's dsb which enjoyed a brief but useful life on the c1-h6 diagonal. Nice attack by Black, and 18 ... Nf4! is a great shot.
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