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Vadim Zvjaginsev vs Sergey Slugin
"Slugin It Out" (game of the day Feb-10-2008)
Moscow Open (2008), rd 1, Feb-02
Caro-Kann Defense: Maroczy Variation (B12)  ·  1-0


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Given 17 times; par: 46 [what's this?]

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sac: 22.Nxh7 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Wild Bill: <22.Nxh7!!> is one cool sac.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: That's not the sac -- it's just a combo that recovers White's (poisoned) b2-pawn, since 25.g5 regains the piece by force. I agree it's useful to label it a "sac" to help train newbies to look for smiting moves, particularly in trapped-K positions.

27.Rbd1 is another poisoned pawn offer (Bxc2), but Black wisely realizes he's nigh-down 2 pieces in the Q-side corner, and has no time.

29.Bxf7+ is a better "sac", but it's also a sham. The continuation is all forced, and Black loses material.

After Black grubbed the poisoned pawn, White's continuation looked like a lahar sliding down a mountainside, with Black's K-side as the tiny village in the valley below.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Wild Bill: It may be a sham sacrifice, but even sham sacrifices are cool.

<After Black grubbed the poisoned pawn, White's continuation looked like a lahar sliding down a mountainside, with Black's K-side as the tiny village in the valley below.>

I wouldn't go that far. Like most poisoned pawn variations in other openings (especially the Sicilian and the French), Black gets the material advantage and White has better development. The onus is still on White to convert that to development into space and thus compensating for the pawn minus.

In this game, Black helped White by failing to develop his queenside pieces until after the sacrifice, by which time it was way too late. My candidate for the bozo move, that move after which the game is lost unless the other side makes a serious mistake, is <18...Qc7>. Instead, Black should have tried <18...Qd7>. After the sac, it was decided.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <18..Qd7> Trading Qs solves all of Black's problems, so White would decline for that reason alone: 19.Q(f4,c1), and now Black's Q congests his B+N, and is a fork target. White threatens Nf6+ and the Bxf6-Qh6 pattern, with g4 to boot the N out. So 19..Qc7 seems inevitable (to meet Nf6+ with Kh8), after which White has Q(g3,e1) to transfer back to the game line.
Feb-04-08  piteira8: Why can't black play 15. ... Nxe5?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Wild Bill: <piteira8: <Why can't black play 15. ... Nxe5?>>

Indeed, why not? It looks playable to me.

<Gilmoy:> White has a huge advantage in space after <18.Bg5>. Black should challnege White for for that space, which <18...Qd7> does and <18...Qc7> does not.

<18...Qd7! 19.Qf4> (After <19.g4 Qxd2 20.Nfxd2 Bxe5 21.gxf5 Bxf5> White has a piece for three pawns, rendering the position unclear)

<19...b5> (After <19...Ba6? 20.Rbd1 Qc7 21.Bxa6 Nxa6 22.g4 Ne7 23.Nf6+ Kh8 24.Rd7> White still has more than sufficient compensation for the pawn)

After <20.Bd3 a6 21.Nf6+ Bxf6 22.Bxf6 Qa7+ 23.Kh2 Qe3 24.Qb4> it is still a question of who is better, White with his space or Black with his pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <15..Nxe5> Black "wins" a pawn, but White gets to bring the b-Rook into the center with tempo, and Black's Q will be a deer in the headlights. Check the brute-force line (easiest): 16.Nxe5 Bxe5 17.Bxe5 Qxe5 18.Rbe1 Qc7 (Qg3? 19.Rxf7 Rxf7 20.Rf1) 19.Ne4. Looks overwhelming for White -- two pawns won't save Black from a 5-on-1 attack. White's threats include Qh6-N(f6,g5) <weak h7>, Rxf7-Rf1 <dogpile> or Re8+ <weak back rank>, in some lines Q(c3,d4) <weak dark squares> and Nf6-Ne8 fork, or N(eventually)h6#. Black has no good way to stop even the first one of those, e.g. 19..Bf5 fails to an exchange sac: 20.Nf6+ Kg7 21.Rxf5 gxf5 22.Qg5+ Kh8 23.Qh6.

5-on-1 has this danger: even after defender adds one for 5-on-2, the attacker still has sac, sac, 3-on-0, mate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Wild Bill: <Gilmoy:>

Check the commentary for Round 1 on the official site:

According to Dobrov, "Black should play <15...Nxe5 16.Nxe5 Bxe5 17.Rbe1 Bxd4+ 18.Qxd4 Be6 19.Rxe6! fxe6 20.Rxf8+ Kxf8 21.Qh8+ Kf7 22.Ne4> I think this position is also bad, but it is much better than in the text of the game."

Dobrov puts the losing move at <11...exd4>, much earlier than I do. Also I looked at this line through <18...Be6> and judged it unclear, since White had more much space than Black but had lost a second pawn.

Of course, Dobrov is a grandmaster and I am a mediocre club player.

Feb-10-08  Funicular: ahahahahahha gosh!!!! that's a very heavily guarded rook...just put in front of theking like that it's like VOILAAAAAAAA!!! even when it's forced to play QxR, white captures with the G pawn, and now the threat of Ng6# is really awful
Feb-10-08  Manic: <Funicular> No, white does not take the queen back with the g pawn because of Rxh8 ;).
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <piteira8: <Why can't black play 15. ... Nxe5?>>

16. Nxe5 Bxe5 17. Bxe5 Qxe5 18. Rxf7 Rxf7 19. Re1.

Feb-10-08  maxxowar: <al wazir: <piteira8: <Why can't black play 15. ... Nxe5?>>

16. Nxe5 Bxe5 17. Bxe5 Qxe5 18. Rxf7 Rxf7 19. Re1.> it's wrong 'cause follows 19...Qc5+. Maybe better 19.Qd8+.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: Poisoned pawn allowed white to get too much of a development lead which he turned into an attack
Feb-10-08  hedgeh0g: What a fierce game! Definitely worthy of game-of-the-day status!
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <maxxowar: Maybe better 19.Qd8+.>

You're right. I'm sure that's what I meant.

Feb-10-08  takchess: The analysis at the site Wild Bill Mentions is very interesting. This is a game I will have to study at length and setup the pieces for. Perhaps even play against Fritz in some of the positions. A worthy goal for me is to work to understand what moves best grab the advantage from a poison pawn sacrifice.
Feb-10-08  JG27Pyth: Qxb2... how long did it take black to regret that move? I'm guessing about two moves later he thought: Ya know, maybe that b pawn isn't going to be decisive here...

Kudos to Zvjaginsevfor seizing the initiative and going straight for the throat.

Use the pawn sac to grab a lead in development which leads to control/space advantage in the center, and then sac to convert the advantages into a winning attack -- Sure looks easy don't it? ;)

Feb-10-08  black knight c6: On the 15. ... Nxe5 matter, what's wrong with white's variation here:

16. Nxe5 Bxe5 17. Bxe5 Qxe5 18. Rbe1 Qc7 (Qg7 19. Re7) (other queen moves may be possible here?) 19. Qg5 Be6 (any others?) 20. Rxe6 fxe6 21. Bxe6+ Kg7 22. Rxf8 Kxf8 23. Qf6+ Ke8 24. Qh8+ Ke7 25. Qg7+ Kd6 (Kd8 26. Qe8#) 26. Ne4+ Winning the queen looks very pretty to me... where are the flaws in this response to 15. ... Nxe5?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Qxb2... how long did it take black to regret that move? I'm guessing about two moves later he thought: Ya know, maybe that b pawn isn't going to be decisive here...>

Many a game has been won by grabbing that pawn and hanging on for dear life. Anyone who has read a chess book can see that ...Qxb2 is risky. But risky isn't the same as bad.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: While these players were good at "sluggin' it out,I prefer the old "bare knuckle" style of chess played by Morphy,Steinitz,
Aug-23-08  just a kid: I got 40 on G-T-M.That's mediocre
Oct-02-10  Whitehat1963: Another amazing game from Z-man.
May-29-13  millert: 27. Nh4 would have won more easily. 27. ... Qxe5 28. Nxf5 gxf 29. g6 Qg7 30. Qh5 Nd7 31. Kh1 Ne5 32. gxf7+

if 27. ... Nd7 . Then, only 28. Nh4 wins. 28. Rd6 is answered by Nxe5 and if 29. Nxe5 Qxd6 30. Rxf5 Qd4+ black is surviving. 28. e6 also fails to Qg6+ 29. Kh1 Ne5 30. exf+ Nxf7

28. Bxf7+ if 28. ... Kxf7+ 29 e6+ Bxe6 30. Ne5+ Ke7 31. Qg7+ Ke8 32. Rxf8+ Nxf8 33. Qxc7 if 28 ... Rxf7 29. e6 Qg3+ 30. Kh1 Rh7 and black survives 30. ... Bxe6? 31. Qxg6+ Kh8 32. Qxe6 Rxf3 33. Qh6+ Kg8 34. Qg6+ and after Kh8 or Kf8 35. Qh5 picks off the rook. If 32. ... Rf7 33. Ng1 Ne5 34. g6 Nxg6 35. Qf6+ Rg7 36. Rd7 Rg8 37. Rf5 Qh4 38. Qxh4 Nxh4 39. Rh5+ and White wins.

So again the only move that wins is 28. Nh4. and if Qxe5 29. Nxf5 gxf 30.g6 Qg3+ 31. Kh1 Nf6 32. Rd3 Qe5 33. g7. 28. ... Bxc2 29. Nxg6 28. ... Nxe5 29. Nxf5 gxf 30. g6.

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