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Roberto Cifuentes Parada vs Vadim Zvjaginsev
"The Pearl of Wijk aan Zee" (game of the day Feb-02-16)
Wik aan Zee Open (1995)  ·  Semi-Slav Defense: Stoltz Variation (D45)  ·  0-1
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Given 26 times; par: 43 [what's this?]

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sac: 25...Rxe3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-02-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <WannaBe> It's not meant to be a pun (except in the very broadest sense), but instead a parody or "take-off". Such constructions are based on Euwe vs Alekhine, 1935, known as <The Pearl of Zandvoort> and the Mother of Pearl games everywhere. They are intended to describe a beautiful game -- perhaps most beautiful -- ever played at that place.
Feb-02-16  FairyPromotion: How I love this game! After 23 moves the position is roughly equal, but after 24. Bg2? the tables turn. The move shouldn't even be given a "?" actually, because it just seems so logical. The king seems safe on the kingside, there are no structural defects, and most of the pieces seem to be on good squares. It takes some diabolical calculation to realize that the bishop on g2 actually steals a very important square from the king. After this one mistake Zvjaginsev goes to phone booth, and the Z Man comes to save the day. The sacrifices start to follow one another, and move after move the kingside gets shredded to pieces, while the white king starts running to his doom.

The final position is also lovely: Had white had an extra move to defend Rh5# (Bf3, Nf4, or g4,) he could have saved himself with Qxc5. After ...Bxc5 d6, there is no Bf8#, and white is up a rook and winning.

Yeah, I really do love this game.

p.s: OOH!

p.p.s: AH!

Feb-02-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  ISeth: Extremly wonderful but this Sac of Nf2 is an Idea of Bobby Fischer's game.Hats off to Vadim for displaying such geniousness once more .
Feb-02-16  Cheapo by the Dozen: Amazing. The initial rook sacrifice was surely speculative.

The closing queen sacrifice, however, was surely calculated out.

Feb-02-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: Yes, but did he really need to take on h2? Seems like a droll interpolation ...
Feb-02-16  GlennOliver: 27. Kg1, accepting the loss of the Bishop by 27. ... Ne3, and the consequent Knight fork still leaves White with a playable game.

Not pretty, but with drawing chances.

Feb-02-16  mrknightly: For those with better analytic ability and/or availability of computer analysis, wonder what happens after 21.BxN RxB 22.Nf5...?
Feb-02-16  JohnBoy: Zvjag has always been a marvelously creative player. Nice to see this brilliancy as GotD.
Feb-02-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  The HeavenSmile: <Phony Benoni> I think <Wannbe> was being sarcastic...
Feb-02-16  Willber G: <WannaBe: an horrible>

a horrible

Feb-02-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A nice finish! The queen is sac-ed and the adverse king chased to his doom!
Feb-02-16  psmith: <gilmoy> Looking at this with a computer, I find that 27.... Nxh2+ does make a difference, though not in the game line. The comparison to make is between:

27....Nxh2+ 28. Kf2 Ng4+ 29. Kf3 Qe6 30. Bc1 h5! (threatening Bxd5+)

and

27... Qe6 28. Bc1 h5 29. h3.

The former is winning for Black. The latter is not so clear.

Feb-02-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <ISeth: Extremly wonderful but this Sac of Nf2 is an Idea of Bobby Fischer's game.>

With all respect to Bobby Fischer, and with all admiration to the gem like Robert E Byrne vs Fischer, 1963, the sac of a Knight on f2 or f7 can be hardly claimed as Bobby's patent. It was played with different tactical motifs in follow-up many times before, like for example in J Bauer vs Harmonist, 1889, Loman vs G Marco, 1906, Flamberg vs Bogoljubov, 1914, Yates vs Marshall, 1925, P F Johner vs M Lowcki, 1912, Unzicker vs Filip, 1955 or with opposite colours Chigorin vs Schlechter, 1899, Burn vs P F Johner, 1906, Tartakower vs Schlechter, 1909, Chigorin vs Przepiorka, 1906 or Botvinnik vs A Batuev, 1930 to show some more or less famous predecessors.

Feb-02-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: It helps, of course, to know all of the above sacs :) This particular game also evokes other sac "themes":

- <skewer follow-up>: After f2/f7 sac, a diagonal skewer (esp. Bc4+/Bc5+) to deny the retreat, forcing the K-hunt:

M Krasenkow vs Nakamura, 2007, <21..Qxf2+ 22.Kxf2 Bc5+ 23.Kf3>

Kupreichik vs A Planinc, 1970, <13.Bxf7+ Kxf7 14.Qb3+ Kg6>

Here, Zvjaginsev's <stage-2 sac 25..Rxe3> used enticement rather than skewer to pull the K forward.

- <moat>: Trapping the enemy K <in front of> a line-mover: Polugaevsky vs Nezhmetdinov, 1958, <24.Rh1 Rxf4!!> a cat who walks through walls <25.RxQh2 Rf3++> also skewering d2 <26.Kd4>. This works (when it does) because your pawns become mate threats, which can replace 2-4 pieces.

In this game, it was worth Q+N(!) just to establish the moat. White is up almost 4 bishops' worth in material, but <none of them can block> a pawn mate.

Feb-02-16  schnarre: ...Classic Queen sac, with the opposing King painted into a corner on the opposite side. Fine sacrificial tactics here!
Feb-02-16  morfishine: OOH, AAHH
Feb-02-16  FairyPromotion: <Cheapo by the Dozen: The initial rook sacrifice was surely speculative.>

It might seem so, but it was not. Starting from move 24 all of blacks moves were the best ones in the respective positions.

<Phony Benoni: Such constructions are based on Euwe vs Alekhine, 1935, known as <The Pearl of Zandvoort> and the Mother of Pearl games everywhere. They are intended to describe a beautiful game -- perhaps most beautiful -- ever played at that place.>

Come to think about it, Wijk aan Zee is the ultimate venue for immortals. Being hailed as the pearl of Wijk is a considerably more prestigious feat than being the pearl of Poznan, Zandvoort, Sochi, Sofia, etc. Of the top of my head I can recall at least 10 games that are all-time top 100'ish, and I'm pretty sure that I'm leaving some other brilliancies out: Beliavsky vs Nunn, 1985, R Cifuentes vs V Zvjaginsev, 1995, Ivanchuk vs Shirov, 1996, Kasparov vs Topalov, 1999, Karjakin vs Anand, 2006, Topalov vs Aronian, 2006, Shirov vs Radjabov, 2007, Topalov vs Kramnik, 2008, Caruana vs A Giri, 2012, Aronian vs Anand, 2013.

Feb-02-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < mrknightly: what happens after 21.BxN RxB 22.Nf5...? >


click for larger view

You seem curious about a couple points; first, how does black best answer the mate offer (gxf5?? Qg5+ Kh8 Qg7#) and second, does black still have an attack?

After the initial moves you suggested (21.Bxe4 Rxe4 22.Nf5).. black obviously can't take the knight immediately, but he can try a different tactic to pull the Q off the dark diagonal. One possibility is Rxe2 23. Qxe2 gxf5


click for larger view

If white continues the mate attack, black has sufficient defensive resources.. 24.Qh5 Ne5 (or ..Qd8 +1.5) 25.Qg5+ Ng6 26.Qf6 Be5 (+2.38) 27.Qxf5 Rd8 28.f4 Bg7 (not ..Bd4?? Rxd4 cd Qf6) 29.Bxg7 Kxg7

In this line, the value of ..Ne5 becomes clear. Additionally, if played immediately on move 22 ..Ne5 threatens Nf3+ forking K and Q, which takes priority. After 23.Kg2 black can then play ..gxf5 and if Qg5+ black again has ..Ng6

Here is the Stockfish 6-64 analysis:
36/64 28:54 1,222,437k 705k +3.16
Ne5 23.Kg2 gxf5 24.f3 Nxf3 25.Kxf3 f6 26.Bf4 Rae8 27.Bxd6 Qxd6 28.Nf4 Rd4 29.Qc1 Bxd5+ 30.Kf2 Bb7 31.Qc4+ Rxc4 32.Rxd6 Rc2+ 33.Kg1 Rxb2 34.Rd7 Bf3 35.Rf1 Be4 36.Rfd1 Rb1 37.Nh5 Rxd1+ 38.Rxd1 Kf7 39.Rd7+ Re7 40.Rd6 c4 41.Rxf6+ Ke8 42.Rd6 c3 43.Nf6+ Kf7 44.Nxe4 fxe4 45.Rxa6 the line ends here, but it is more than clear that after 45. ..Rc7 the pawn is unstoppable.

Feb-02-16  thegoodanarchist: IMO 24...Nxf2 is reminiscent of this famous game:

Robert E Byrne vs Fischer, 1963

Feb-02-16  thegoodanarchist: < Honza Cervenka: <ISeth: Extremly wonderful but this Sac of Nf2 is an Idea of Bobby Fischer's game.>

With all respect to Bobby Fischer, and with all admiration to the gem like Robert E Byrne vs Fischer, 1963, the sac of a Knight on f2 or f7 can be hardly claimed as Bobby's patent...>

Most certainly you are correct, sir. However we both remembered the same famous game, which exemplified the tactic.

Feb-03-16  Nova: Love this game!
Feb-03-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  luftforlife: <Phony Benoni>: If you haven't yet read it, perhaps you might enjoy Edward Winter's Chess Note 7059, entitled "Janowsky pearl."

Here's a link:

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

Best wishes. ~ lufty

Feb-03-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <luftforlife> Thanks. Shows I've still got a lot to learn!
Feb-03-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <luftforlife> Welcome to the site. I like your nick. Bit strange seeing that avatar not attached to User: Strongest Force (who I think uploaded it) but I'm sure you'll take good care of it.
Feb-03-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  luftforlife: <Phony Benoni>: So do I! <Shams>: Thank you. I sure will.
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