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Alexander Kotov vs Enrico Paoli
"Paoli Wolly Doodle" (game of the day Dec-17-2005)
Venice (1950), Venice ITA, rd 6, Oct-??
Semi-Slav Defense: Bogoljubow Variation (D46)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-17-05  nsteinme:


Dec-17-05  es0: Wow. 24...Qe5 swung the game around in an instant.

I toyed with the idea of holding via 25. Be3 but it will fail too. 25...Rxd4 26. Qxd4 Qxd4 27. Bxd4 Rd8. Now how to defend d1 and the bishop, well Rd2 is about it. So now Ne4 and hit the black d2 square twice or move the rook to a white square. Tactics are easy from there.

Now that I see the e5 weakness, how to prevent it? Maybe going all the way back to 19. Bf4 I guess? That requires some seriously good chess vision :)

Dec-17-05  Counterpoint: 25.h3 is surely a blunder!!
Dec-17-05  notsodeepthought: <Counterpoint> h3 is not really a blunder since white is lost anyway. The point is that there are too many threats - Q:Q, Q:c2, and back rank mates such as R:d1. There is no move that saves white from all of the above.
Dec-17-05  Averageguy: In this opening can't white play 4.e4 ?
Dec-17-05  jaymar: Looks to me like Paoli led a very interesting life and achieved a lot before living to a very good age. He seems to have kept his faculties too. Kotov made a big mistake, maybe he just expected to win anyway.
Dec-17-05  dakgootje: It is not really that 26. h3 is such a blunder its more that 25. ...♕e4 is a brilliant move for reasons which were shown already by <notsodeepthought>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For those not familiar with the pun, see
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: After Kotov's error 22. Nxd4? (better was 22...Bg5 with only a slight Black advantage), Paoli does not doodle or dawdle in playing the winning discovered attack and deflection move 22...Nc5!

Note that 22...Nc5! sets up a winning double attack after 24...Qe5! in the game continuation. Or it could result in a winning pin after 23. Qe3 e5! .

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Here's a puzzle for those new to the study of Chess tactics.

click for larger view

If 23. Qe3, find Black's winning reply (23...?).

Dec-17-05  joelsontang: patzer2, is the answer 23...e5 24.Qf3 Rxd4 25.Rxd4 exd4 wins?
Dec-17-05  EnglishOpeningc4: moves 8-13look odd, as if they agreed on a draw and then decided against it
Dec-17-05  Koster: Kotov's big weakness was said to be lack of sense of danger and it seems so here. be very careful of any move that disconnects the rooks and/or weakens the back rank.
Dec-17-05  Resignation Trap: <Averageguy> Yes, 4.e4 is playable, and it was just becoming fashionable at the time of this game. A few monts earlier, Kotov was on the Black side of this gambit: Bronstein vs Kotov, 1950 .
Dec-17-05  Marco65: When I was a kid a played Paoli in a simul. He looked already very old for such a stressing exercise. But back in the 50s, he thought like a grandmaster :-)

<joelsontang> Your variation drops the bishop on f6. The solution should be 23...e5 24.Qf3 Qd6

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: An odd fork by black at move 25. White must lose a rook!! It is rare indeed to see a queen fork a queen and rook!
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <joelsontang> Indeed, you are correct. If 23. Qe3, then 23...e5! wins the pinned piece and the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <It's amazing how much trouble white gets into with the harmless-appearing move 20. Be4.> All white's troubles have arisen from his weak back rank. Kotov did not notice its weakness until it was too late. 22.Nxd4 was the final step on the road into the abyss but better alternatives don't look satisfactory as well. I guess that 20.Be4 can be considered as a decisive mistake here.
Dec-16-07  newtonbag: It struck me in this game that the fairly positional opening became a sharp game when white centralised his queen at move 15. It is fascinating how an individual piece can completely transform the nature of a game
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Great move Qe4 to win by Paoli!
Jan-13-15  Abdel Irada: Interesting. It's been exactly six years since anyone posted here.

Jan-13-15  ndg2: It's amazing to see, how after 24..Qe5 nothing helps white anymore. I thought of 25.Be3, but after the exchanges, black will win a whole minor piece with Rd8, Ne5 and e5 due to white's weak back rank.
Premium Chessgames Member
  John Saunders: "DEFEATED RUSSIANíS ANGER- Venice, Wednesday. ó Russian chess master, Alexander Kotov, beaten by Italyís Enrico Paoli in the international championship here to-day, tried to break off the game, and hurled the pieces from the board in'anger. His defeat was the surprise of the fifth day of the tournament. When he saw himself outmanoeuvred, Kotov refused to continue to play. After an uproar among the spectators, he resumed his place for a few minutes, but swept the pieces from the board. - Associated Press" (The Scotsman newspaper, 5 October 1950)
Nov-07-16  diagonal: Venice 1950 became a great event: Alexander Kotov won before Smyslov, Rossolimo, and Pachman, followed by H.Steiner, Wade, and Letelier on shared fifth to seventh place, Donner finished eight (in total 16 players).

Italian Enrico Paoli, awarded the IM title in the following year 1951, won the brilliancy prize for this famous game he played against Soviet grandmaster (and eventual tournament winner) Kotov.

Nov-08-16  cunctatorg: Kotov was quite right to become very upset: he had committed a very serious -and somehow obvious for any GM- error...
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