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Hugh MacGrillen vs Carlos Silva Sanchez
"Couldn't Take the Grillin" (game of the day Mar-17-2012)
Olympiad Final-C (1974), Nice FRA, rd 3, Jun-17
Benoni Defense: Czech Benoni Defense (A56)  ·  1-0


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sac: 22.exf5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: Player of the Day loses in a Wednesday/Thursday puzzle after 23...Nf6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  rilkefan: I don't understand 15...Bd8 (why here?), 16...Rb7 (why not challenge the knight?), 17...Kh8 (why not challenge the knight or rip the rook?), 20...g6 (weakening f6 when you're going to trade on f5 anyway), 25...1-0 (black's up a piece, he can give one back).
Mar-17-12  sevenseaman: Beautiful!

It took me some time for the point of the sac to sink in. The advent of 'e' P on to 'f' file is the fulcrum of this game.

I am still wondering if Black could have done something about it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  rilkefan: 26...f6 is tricky but after 27.Rxh5 black can afford to play Qxe7 because white has two pieces en prise and after exchanges the d pawn isn't hanging because white's back rank is weak.
Mar-17-12  Riverbeast: I think Czech Benoni players are masochists
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <sevenseaman: I am still wondering if Black could have done something about it.>

For one thing, he might not have resigned. In the final position ...

click for larger view

Instead of tipping his king, black could (should) have played 25...Rg8. Black has to weather a bit of a storm but it should fizzle out into a fairly level position.

Fritzie offers this line: 25... Rg8 26. fxe7 f6 27. Rxh5 Qxe7 28. Qxh7+ Qxh7 29. Bxf6+ Rgg7 30. Bxg7+ Kxg7 31. Rxh7+ Kxh7

click for larger view

And it's one of those horribly difficult to win rook and pawn endings. They are all supposed to be drawn but I manage to lose an awful lot of them ;-)

<Riverbeast: I think Czech Benoni players are masochists> Agreed. Did you hear about the masochist who liked a cold bath every morning? So he made himself take a warm shower instead.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kellmano: <once> that was what I thought within 5 seconds of seeing the final position.

I wonder why players do this. Nothing for Black was vaguely tricky to see. In fact the hardest move is probably White's Qxh7+ to avoid difficulties. I can't believe that a 2385 player just thinks - 'well there are a lot of threats so i'll just resign without calculating them'.

I can't even suggest a ghost he may have seen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I suspect that black was afraid of this position: 25...Rg8 26. fxe7

click for larger view

White threatens Rxh5 followed by Bf6+. It all looks pretty horrible and unstoppable. The black queen cannot get to the defence of the kingside, g7 looks terribly weak and the Nh5 is "pinned" against the mate threat on h7.

If it was white to move his attack would indeed be impossible to defend against.

But it's black to move and he has just one move that saves him. 26...f6 blocks the bishop check. At first glance this move looks impossible because the only thing protecting the f6 pawn is the "pinned" Nh5. But the knight is not pinned if it can land on f6 without being captured, because from f6 it protects against Qxh7#

So I think that black looked at these variations and missed 26...f6. He didn't realise that the Nh5 which was pinned in most variations was not pinned in this one.

In situations like this, I tend to apply the patzer principle. Only resign when the mate is so absolutely crystal clear that the rawest patzer in the room can understand why you are resigning.

If I were black I would have played 25...Rg8 as the only move that doesn't lose instantly and then thought about it again after white had moved. And hopefully I might have spotted 26...f6, again as the only move which doesn't lose immediately.

As Sherlock Holmes probably should have said "when you have eliminated all the moves which lose on the spot, the remaining move, no matter how unlikely, is almost certainly your best shot."

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Looks like mate coming up soon (or lose of material).
Mar-17-12  lemaire90: Very nice king side attack.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White traps his own queen-almost FORCING her to mate.

MacGrillen also composed several chess problems-but they were COOKED.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessmensch: Why the rush to resign? Both Deep Fritz 12 and Deep Rybka 4 rate the final position as equal.
Mar-17-12  ephesians: Why not play 17.... Rxb3? White has telegraphed a rook lift, it would be a chance to remove a key attacking piece.
Mar-17-12  HolyAvatar: I really don't see any mate or big material advantage coming for white.

Can someone help me?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <HolyAvatar> If you take a look at the earlier kibitzing, you'll see that we think black resigned in a fairly level position. White's attack might look scary but black can defend against it. He needs to find some "only" moves, which makes it a little tricky.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: Black's Premature (?) Resignation, Part 1 of 2.

Houdini 1.5a agrees with both Fritz 12 and Rybka 4, evaluating the position after 25...Rg8 26.fxe7 f6 as a miniscule advantage for White, [+0.11], d=30.

click for larger view

Houdini agrees with Fritz on the best moves for both sides through 27.Rxh5 Qxe7 28.Qxh7+ Qxh7 29.Bxf6+ Rgg7 30.Bxg7+ Kxg7 31.Rxh7+ Kxh7

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The rest of Houdini's PV goes as follows: 32.h4 Rb6 33.Kh2 Kh6 (I would think that 33...Kf6 centralizing the king would be better, although it probably makes no difference) 34.Kh3 (likewise 34.Kg3) 34...g5 (I don't see why Houdini as Black wants to help White establish a passed pawn on the k-side) 35.Rd3 a5 36.g3 gxh4 (36...a4 immediately seems more to the point) 37.Kxh4 Kg6 38.g4 a4 39.g5 e4 40.Rd2 Kf7 41.Kg4 Rb3 42.Rxd6

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Now I'm no longer sure who stands better; Houdini has managed to unbalance the position so that both sides have winning chances with White's passed g-pawn and Black's soon to be passed a-pawn. Restarting Houdini's analysis from this position results in an eval of [+0.28], d=30 after either 42...Ke7 or 42...Rxa3, and [+0.29] after 42...e3.

But it's White who stands substantially better. Houdini's top 3 lines go as follows:

(1) 42...Ke7 43.Ra6 Rxa3 44.Kf5 Rf3+ 45.Kxe4 Rxf2 46.g6 Rg2 47.Kf5 Rf2+ 48.Kg5 Ra2 (maybe 48...Rg2+?) 49.Ra7+ Kf8 50.Rf7+ Kg8 51.Rb7 (maybe a critical loss of tempo, 52.Ra7 immediately looks better) 51...a3 52.Ra7 Rg2+ 53.Kf6 Rf2+ 54.Ke6 Rd2 (Black must also cut off White's king from capturing his c-pawn) 55.Rxa3 Rd4 56.Rc3 Kg7 57.Kf5 Rd6 58.Rg3 Rd1 (58...Rd4 seems more direct since 59.Rg4 Rxg4 is a draw per the 6-man Nalimov tablebases, but Houdini only has access to 5-man Gaviota tablebases so maybe it couldn't see this) 59.Ra3 Rf1+ 60.Ke4 Kxg6, and this is a mate in 33 for White per the Nalimov tablebases.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: Black's Premature (?) Resignation, Part 2 of 2.

(2) 42....Rxa3 43.Kf5 Rf3+ 44.Kxe4 Rxf2 45.Ra6 Rd2 46.Kf5 (a slight waste of time since Black won't allow White's king to help support the passed g-pawn) 46...Rf2+ 47.Ke5 Rg2 48.Ra7+ Kg6 49.Rxa4 Rxg5+ and this is a mate for White in 44 moves per the Nalimov tablebases.

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(3) 42...e3 43.Rf6+ Kg7 44.f4 (!) Rxa3 45.Re6 Rd3 46.Kf3 e2+ 47.Kxe2 Rc3 48.Ra6 a3 (48...Rxc4 looks hopeless for Black since his rook is then stuck guarding his 2 passed pawns and White's king can support his passed pawns by 49.Kf3 and 50.Kg4) 49.Kf2 (this seems like a waste of time, 49.f5 immediately accomplishes the same thing) 49...Rh3 50.Kg2 Re3 51.f5 Re5 52.Ra7+ Kg8 53.Kf3 Rxf5+ 54.Kg4 Re5 55.Kf4 Re2 56.Rxa3 Rc2 57.Ra8+ (some more waste of time at best, why allow Black an additional move to bring his king closer to the action?) 57...Kg7 58.Ra4 Kg6 59.Ke5 Rf2 (59...Rd2 cutting off White's king from the c-pawn doesn't work since after 60.Ra5 Kxg5 it's a mate for White in 33 moves per the Nalimov tablebases) 60.Ra5 Rf8 61.Rxc5 and this is a mate for White in 29 moves per the Nalimov tablebases.

click for larger view

None of this, of course, is forced, but merely an indication of how the game could go if Black had not resigned after 25.f6, particularly since IMO Houdini is not the best chess engine endgame player. It's clear that there was still a lot of fight left in the position, and Black's resignation was premature as far as practical chances. But perhaps understandable, given that Black had been under attack since 19.Rh3 and who knows what the time control situation was. I suspect, as <Once> said, that Black simply may not have had the time to look at all the consequences of 25...Rg8 26.fxe7, particularly after evaluating many continuations with the knight "pinned" against the mate threat on h7.

Then again, if Houdini's analysis is correct, Black might have been right to resign after 25.f6, particularly if he could properly analyze in a limited amount of time all the main possibilities and alternatives for another 90 moves. Why spend all that effort on a lost cause? ;-)

Mar-17-12  ephesians: Maybe he lost on time?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eisenheim: will 22 Qh6 lead to mate?
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Eisenheim:> will 22 Qh6 lead to mate?>

Very doubtful after 22...Bxh3. I would think that Black has a won game given that he's a rook up and there's no good way that I see for White to continue his attack.

Mar-17-12  bischopper: why dont play ...Bxf6, Bxf6 Nxf6, and protect to h7?
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<bischopper:> why dont play ...Bxf6, Bxf6 Nxf6, and protect to h7?>

Because after 25.f6 Bxf6 White doesn't play 26.Bxf6+ but 26.Rxh5. Then Black has no way to prevent 27.Qxh7# except by 26...gxh5. But this allows 27.Bxf6+ Kg8 (forced) 28.Qg7#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eisenheim: <AylerKupp> - thanks - I overlooked that move
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March 17: Couldn't Take the Grillin
from Game of the Day 2012 by Phony Benoni
by obrit

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