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Mikhail Markovich Umansky vs Hans Berliner
"Hans Down" (game of the day Jan-24-2009)
50th World Champions Jubilee Tournament (2002) (correspondence)
King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto Variation. Uhlmann-Szabo System (E62)  ·  1-0


Annotations by Mikhail Markovich Umansky.

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Umansky, the new world correspondence champion, gives Hans Berliner, a previous champion, a lesson in how to play the end game with knight, rook and pawns against knight, rook and pawns.
Sep-15-03  sleepkid: I hate disputing you like this patzer, but your comments just bring out the worst in me...

first off, why not just say "a lesson in the endgame" and be done with it? It's not neccesary to say "knight, rook, and pawns" twice here. After all, there's also a "rook and pawns vs. knight and pawns" endgame as well. . . plus, everyone here can see what pieces are being used, you don't have to tell us. just say "endgame".

Second, I wouldn't say that anyone gives Hans Berliner a "lesson". He simply was outplayed, and the problem stems more from a miscalculation in the middlegame than anything else. It was difficult (if not impossible) to see on move 12, that the e pawn was going to cause so many problems. And 17. ...f4 was probably the decisive mistake, though there was always the chance of counterplay, Berliner wasn't able to make it happen.

Sep-15-03  ughaibu: What happens if black plays 21....Rc3? If white replies 22.e5 then either Rc4 or Bf5 look okay to me.
Sep-15-03  bishop: FM Alex Dunne in Chess Life magazine analyzed "Black cannot capture the knight, since after 21...Rxc3 22.Qh5 Rxc4 23.Nd1 Rxe4 24.Rf6 Nf5 25.Qg6+ Ng7 26.Rf7 Re1+ 27.Kg2 Re2+ 28.Nf2 White is winning."
Sep-15-03  MrCombo: Maybe the speculative and entertaining 22 Qh5 was in Umansky thoughts setting up 23 Ng4 followed by Rf7. For example, 22 Qh5 22...Kg7 then 23 Ng4 with a double attack on the h6 pawn ( Queen and Knight ) and the f7 square by Rook and queen. Just a thought
Sep-15-03  ughaibu: Okay, looks serious.
Sep-15-03  AdrianP: I am interested in the dispute between <sleepkid> and <patzer2>. It's not obvious to me that W necessarily has a clear winning advantage from move 30 onwards. But what is puzzling me is that W can win the exchange by pushing the e-pawn anytime he wants but he delays doing so for a few moves (fixing the a, g, and h pawns). I am sure there is something instructive in those few moves but I'm not sure what it is...! Perhaps <patzer2> can elucidate?
Sep-15-03  NiceMove: I think 22. e5 is the instructive move here. If the dxe5 is played, black's pawn structure is decimated. And as in the game, if it is not captured, defending against the passed pawn costs black the exchange, and ultimately the game.
Sep-15-03  sleepkid: the pawns are fixed before pushing the e-pawn and winning the exchange to eliminate black's chances for counter play in the endgame. there's no need to rush pushing the e-pawn, and in the meantime white fixes the black pawns and gains an optimal position. It's a little bit more complicated than that, but that's the basics of it.

I'm not "disputing" that White wins here, I'm really just taking issue with the particulary manner in which patzer2 tends to phrase his comments. He's very enthusiastic, but occasionally a little lavish with the praise, and overboard with the preaching.

Mar-18-06  Raskolnikov: The last fineness: 43.♖c2! I think it is an example of zugzwang: the direct 43.♖b1 allows 43...♘d3 e.g. 44.♖b7+ ♔d8 45.♔e6? c3 . After 43.♖c2 Black has either to give up the c4-Pawn or to take up the opposition: 43...♔f7. Thus White can always move his King on the 6th rank with a mate threat winning the decisive time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: As Dr Berliner remarks: <It is amazing that Umansky took only 55!! days to play this wonderful game.. I still do not know where I went wrong in that game.>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Stupendous game. Against an almost unbeatable opponent, Umansky plays at an incredibly high level.

Chess at the outer limits. And in a Fianchetto KID too.

Jan-24-09  AnalyzeThis: This game alone is reason enough for the world team to think twice about using the KID against Umansky.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black is actually ahead in material-but-the knight is useless,the king is cut off from the white pawn,and white's king is KING.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eisenheim: some deep annotations- wow!
Jan-24-09  WhiteRook48: this pun doesn't seem to make much sense
Jan-24-09  HannibalSchlecter: Hans Down, as in the expression "hands down!" Hans goes down in this game, hence Hans Down.
Jan-24-09  PinnedPiece: <WhiteRook48: this pun doesn't seem to make much sense <HannibalSchlecter: Hans Down, as in the expression "hands down!" Hans goes down in this game, hence Hans Down. >>

In horse racing, in a tight race, a jockey may need to bring up his hand and hit the horse with a whip. But if the horse is very far ahead, the jockey can win "hands down".


Premium Chessgames Member
  Ron: The annotations by Umansky are very interesting.

It seems that in high level correspondence chess, amazing variations are not played on the board but exist in some sort of Platonic realm.

Jan-25-09  tivrfoa: 38. e8=Q+ beyond takes the rook forces the king to go back. For me, here white has a clear victory!
Feb-14-09  WhiteRook48: let's put Hans down! He shouldn't be here!
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Game annotations by Umansky and Berliner:
Jul-09-19  rwbean: "I still do not know when I went wrong." - Berliner. The only move that gets "?!" in the annotations is 15... f5 ... perhaps he should have tried 15... ♘g6. By move 30 Black is finished. This is probably deeper than the Kasparov vs the World game.
Jul-21-19  rwbean: There seems to be a fantastic drawing opportunity in there - I doubt that's in the book notes. Stockfish - 20... dxc5 21. ♕d1 ♖xc3 22. ♕h5 ♕d6!! 23. ♕e8+ ♔g7 24. ♘d3 ♗f5!! 25. ♕xa8 ♖xd3 26. exf5 ♖xg3+ 27. ♔h1 ♖h3 28. f6+ ♔h7 29. ♖f2 ♕e5 30. fxe7 ♖xh2+ 31. ♖xh2 ♕xa1+ 32. ♔g2 ♕b2+ 33. ♔f1 ♕c1+ 34. ♔e2 ♕c2+ 35. ♔f1 draw by perpetual check
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