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Andrew Jonathan Mestel vs Vernon Albert Small
Haifa Olympiad (Men) (1976), Haifa ISR, rd 1, Oct-25
French Defense: Advance. Wade Variation (C02)  ·  0-1


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sac: 35...Rxc6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Great winning technique here from Black, against a formidable opponent - Mestel was rapidly approaching the GM title in '76, even though this game is not a great advertisement for his talent.

Black is the exchange and a pawn ahead, but White's queenside pawns and knight outpost on c6 give him lots of counterplay. But Small snuffs it out neatly, returning the exchange with 35...Rxc6! - destroying both the knight and the pawn wedge - before ending it with the cute tactic 43...Nxf4!, reaching an easily won pawn ending after 44.Kxf4 e5+.

The earlier play has several interesting points, but the game's best point for me is in the fine art of winning a won game (and exchanging one advantage for another). Before 35...Rxc6! Mestel had every chance of a cheapo.

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