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Alberto Baca vs Ilkka Antero Kanko
"Chew Baca" (game of the day May-21-2019)
Havana ol (Men) qual-G (1966), Havana CUB, rd 4, Oct-29
English Opening: Great Snake Variation (A10)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Looks like a Star Wars week!
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 26. Kf1 looks like the saving move for white. At least it avoids immediate disaster.

If now 26...Qxg3 instead of 26...Nd4, then 27. Qe6+ draws: 27...Kf8 (27...Kh8 28. Rxh3+ Bxh3 29. Qxh3+, Kg8 30. Qg6+ K moves 31. Qxc2) 28. Qd6+ Kf7 29. Qe7+ Kg6 (29...Kf6 30. Ne4+) 30. Qe3+.

May-21-19  newzild: 14. Nde4?? is a beginner's blunder.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OrangeTulip: Do not underestimate the underestimated Alberto who plays in the underestimated league of an underestimated suburb of an underestimated town of an underestimated region
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  Sargon: <HeMateMe: Looks like a Star Wars week!>

Yes. Suggestions welcome...

May-21-19  Mountain1: what does "great snake" mean?
May-21-19  Autoreparaturwerkbau: <al wazir: 26. Kf1 looks like the saving move for white. At least it avoids immediate disaster. If now 26...Qxg3 instead of 26...Nd4, then 27. Qe6+ draws>

I see your point, it prolongs the game indeed. Yet, if 26.♔f1 then natural continuation is 26...♖f8

click for larger view

After few Hail-Mary-moves 27.♕xf8+ ♗xf8 28.♖d1 ♗c5 29.♘g4 comes tricky 29...♕b3 (any other move loses!) with idea Qxc4

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Black then proceeds to bring the ship home after 30.Rd8+ (not Nxh6+/Nf6+) Kg7 31.Rd7+ Kg6 32.Ke2 (taking h6 pawn again loses quicker) Qxc4+ 33.Kd1 Qxg4+ 34.Kxc2 Qxd7

click for larger view

All in all, definitely much trickier than 26.Kd1 as Baca played since black's exposed king with white's dangerous 2R+N combo makes it quite uncomfortable with best play.

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  OhioChessFan: A Franco vs D Forcen Esteban, 2011
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  AylerKupp: <<Mountain1> what does "great snake" mean?>

A "snake" variation is typically one in which one of a player's bishops "slithers" or "snakes around" in an unusual and seemingly bizarre series of moves. The most well-known one is probably the Benoni Snake variation, something like: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 Bd6, followed by ...Bc7. Here is an example:

And a "great snake" is presumably a variation in which the bishop makes even more "slithery" moves than in a plain "snake" variation but that's just conjecture on my part. Which then puzzles me why this variation of the English Opening is called the "Great Snake" variation since, presumably because it's an opening and not a defense, neither of White's bishops slither around. But I found several games labeled as such, yet none of them show that bishop "slithering" behavior. So I'm just as mystified as you are about the "Great Snake" reference.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Mountain1> And I just came across this game as I was flipping through the Recent Kibitzing list: H Rasch vs E Schiller, 2007 labeled "Sicilian Defense: Hyperaccelerated Pterodactyl. Exchange Variation". Presumably because Black's queen flaps around on the q-side like a pterodactyl? And why is it labeled a Sicilian instead of a Robatsch or Modern defense?

No point in trying to make sense of many opening names. And I shudder to think that there are non-accelerated and non-exchange variations of this dubious line.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scutigera: re Great Snake: I remember that the Sicilian Dragon is supposed to have gotten its name when Duz-Khotimirsky wrote that Black's pawn formation reminded him of the constellation Draco; Black's pawns here form the same draconic/snakey configuration, and furthermore the 'snake' is quite active in this variation (particularly in this game), rather than waiting to get battered as the Sicilian dragon often is. Also, the English translations of Hergé's Tintin comics render Tintin's original expletives as "Great Snakes!"

Lastly, this is the first time I've seen the Noah's Ark trap appear on the kingside; anyone know any others?

May-21-19  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 d 24 dpa done

1. = (0.00): 14.0-0 Nb4 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Nde4 Qd8 17.Rc1 Bf5 18.Nxf6+ Qxf6 19.Qf3 Kg7 20.Bxf5 Qxf5 21.Qxf5 gxf5 22.Rcd1 Rad8 23.Rd2 Rd7 24.f3 Rc8 25.dxc6 bxc6 26.Rfd1 Rcd8 27.Kf2 d5 28.cxd5 cxd5 29.Nb5 Rc8 30.Nc3 Rcd8 31.Nb5

2. = (-0.06): 14.h3 g5 15.Bg3 Nb4 16.0-0 Bd7 17.Nde4 Nxe4 18.Bxe4 Rad8 19.Bh2 f5 20.Bf3 Be8 21.Qd2 Bg6 22.Rfd1 Rf7 23.dxc6 bxc6 24.e4 Qc5 25.Qe2 f4 26.Bg4 Rf6 27.Rbc1 Qa7 28.Rd2

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