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Pal Benko vs Savielly Tartakower
Budapest (1948), Budapest HUN, rd 7, May-10
Old Indian Defense: General (A53)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-13-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: Tartakower shows that he has grandmasterly insight by proposing an exchange of Queens which seems to offer little more than a dynamically balanced endgame.

Therefore, was Benko's <39.Qxd4> a decisive mistake and <39.Kh3> necessary? Tartakower has an inspired plan to deflect the White King away to the <h> file, and then sacrifice his N for Benko's three central pawns.

Tartakower must have seen that despite his <d> pawns being doubled, Benko's pawns were even more vulnerable and his N left particularly ineffective.

Unfortunately, Tartakower did not comment upon this endgame even as an extract in his collected games.

Aug-23-11  Rama: All your pawns are belong to us!
Feb-01-14  Bidik29AllStar: Benko is losed this match i dont believe it!
Feb-01-14  parisattack: Age won over youth here. Benko was around 20, Tartakower, 60.
Apr-08-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: Another instance of youth and skill being overcome by old age and treachery.
Apr-08-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: What a wondrous ending! Playing through the moves, Black's 43rd and 44th came as complete shocks.

<Chessical> <Unfortunately, Tartakower did not comment upon this endgame even as an extract in his collected games.>

Well, when do I ever get to correct Chessical? :-) This game from Black's 38th move is given as Position XVIII at page 144 of the Dover reprint of Vol. 2 of Tartakower's collected games.

His annotations (which I have not checked against an engine) are below.

After 39.Qxd4, he writes <If he plays the passive 39.Qe2, then 39....a5! 40.Kg1 b4, etc.>

He describes 42....gxh4 as <the start of a Machiavellian plan> and adds <Ill-judged, on the other hand, are exchanges by 42....Nf4+? 43.Nxf4 exf4 44.f3.>

Of 43.f4, he writes <Otherwise, there follows 43....Kg5.>

After 43....h3+!, he says <A diversionary sacrifice preparing another, still more substantial and astounding.>

Of 45....Ke5, he says <The King will make hay of the enemy pawns.>

He notes that 50....d5! prevents Ke4.

Apr-09-15  Granny O Doul: Great game, cool matchup.
May-04-15  Howard: Is there anyone else still alive today who has played Tartakower in a tournament game ?!
May-04-15  Retireborn: Fridrik Olafsson and Matanovic are still with us I think, must be in their 80s now.
May-04-15  Nerwal: <Is there anyone else still alive today who has played Tartakower in a tournament game ?!>

Several players - including Bisguier, Pomar and Ivkov.

Jul-13-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: I was surprised white didn't play 34. Nxf4 because the e pawn is pinned but I guess it was a trap because if 34. Nxf4? Qxf2+ 35. Ng2 Bxc3 with a very strong mating attack (or else Qxc3 to keep the white queen off the back rank, if it's really necessary). Can anybody confirm?
Jul-14-17  Retireborn: <ChessHigherCat> Your variation is correct. After 35.Ng2 Bxf3 White can hold off the mate with 36.Qc8+ Ne8 37.Qh3 but then 37...Qxb2 and more white pawns will fall.
Jul-14-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <Retireborn: <ChessHigherCat> Your variation is correct. After 35.Ng2 Bxf3 White can hold off the mate with 36.Qc8+ Ne8 37.Qh3 but then 37...Qxb2 and more white pawns will fall.>

Thanks a lot, Reti Reborn! I think I found an improvement after 36. Qc8+ to prevent the Q from saving the day: 34. Nxf4 Qxf2+ 35. Ng2 Bxf3 36. Qc8+ Ke7! 37. Qc7+ Nd7 and white just has a few spite checks left.

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