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Albin Planinc vs Predrag Ostojic
YUG-ch 20th (1965), Novi Sad YUG, rd 18, Mar-04
Sicilian Defense: Fischer-Sozin Attack. Leonhardt Variation (B88)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-03-08  A.G. Argent: Looks like to me Ostojic shoulda took the hint after 19.h4 and taken his Queen out of offence mode and gone back to defend the old man with something like 19...Qe7 and then maybe 20...Be8. Risky business coming his way on the e and f files, what. Needed seeing to. He didn't really have much going attack-wise anyway.
Feb-06-09  nuwanda:

i think 25.Rxf7 would have been very nice too...

Feb-06-09  arsen387: actually 25.Rxf7 will lose badly to 25..b1=Q+ 26.Kh7 Rh6+ 27.Kg3 Qe1+ with mate soon :)
Feb-06-09  crptone: <arsen387> 25. Rxf7 b1=Q+ 26. Rf1+ and mate next move.

Even in the line you posted, 28. Rf2+ actually wins as well (for white lulz)

Feb-09-09  arsen387: yeah, right, I missed that counter-check by whites completely
Feb-06-16  luftforlife: From 9. . . . Bd7 through 17. . . . Rac8, this game is identical to Nezhmetdinov vs Geller, 1955 (which wound up an agreed draw after White's forty-third move). Before White's eighteenth move, the position in each game was:

click for larger view

Nezhmetdinov chose to double his pawns on c-file with 18. bxc3, to which Geller predictably yet unproductively replied 18. . . . Qxc3. Black's precipitous queen deployment soon proved wasteful, as White's relentless sallies drove Black's harried queen on a restless, wide-ranging chase with staggered attacks by White's queen, rook, bishop, and pawns from White's twentieth through his thirty-sixth moves, whereupon an exchange of queens was finally and mercifully effected.

But in his iteration of the Leonhardt Variation on the Fischer-Sozin Attack upon the Sicilian Defense, Albin the Lionhearted's boldness and grace under pressure won the day for White. This started with White's 18. f5, which likewise led at first to some mild discomfiture for Ostojic's Black queen, but eventually contributed heavily to Black's downfall.

After going down the rook-for-bishop exchange at c3 on move twenty, Planinc (whose original e-file pawn was long gone) translates his f-file pawn to e-file by capturing Ostojic's pawn at e6 and attacking his pawn at f7:

click for larger view

Black forfends capturing White's forward pawn, opting instead for the facile yet jejune 21. . . . Qc3xh4, and this portends disaster for Black.

White attacks Black's rook at f8 with 22. e7, backed for the moment by White's queen at e2. Black's adjacent king at g8 is in critical danger, for his pawn at f7 is under attack both by White's light-squared bishop at b3 and by White's rook at f1. Yet still Black ignores the evergrowing threat with more misplaced, otiose Queen movement, somehow hoping with 22. . . . Qd4+ to prime his pawn at c3 to capture and promote:

click for larger view

Black is in mortal peril.

White blocks check and completes the exchange of queens with 24. Rf2. Does Black realize his untimely play has cost him a critical tempo, and so the game? Apparently not, for his blindly ambitious 24. . . . c3xb2 is fatally undone by White's coup de grāce: 25. bf7+.

Why does this move out? Because Black has no way out. Black has lost his luft for life.

Although both of these games illustrate some of the challenges of queen-deployment facing Black in the Leonhardt Variation, this game alone shows how bold, canny pawn-advancement coupled with substantial tactical prowess can win the day for White. Though Ostojic did overlook the fatality of Planinc's attack, falling short a tempo and failing to provide lifesaving luft, we see here the undeterred forward thrust, the unfolding ingenuity of approach, the combinatory vision, the capitalization upon weakness, and the precision of timing and execution that emerged, among others, as hallmarks of Planinc's bracing style and inspiring genius-in-action in tournament victory.

Best to all. ~ lufty

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