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Dana N Mackenzie vs David Pruess
"Hard Pruessed" (game of the day Nov-23-2011)
Western States Open (2006), Reno, NV USA, rd 6, Oct-08
Bird Opening: Dutch Variation. Batavo Gambit (A02)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-23-11  IRONCASTLEVINAY: NO comment for game of the day !!!!thats weird.
Nov-23-11  IRONCASTLEVINAY: OMG silly quine sac on move 6. thats wicked.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Believe it or not, both of the games in the database featuring the Batavo have ended in wins for White. Here is the other:

G Welling vs R Kruithof, 1980

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <An Englishman>: Welling is an IM, while Kruithof is a NN, but David Pruess has a rating of 2400+, while Dana N Mackenzie has one of only 2148. For MacKenzie to play and win with this opening is really unbelievable!
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: As I recall, Mackenzie wrote an article about this game in Chess Life magazine. He had made a deep study of this sacrifice prior to this game, playing many games against chess engines. I believe his conclusion was that if Black accepts the queen sac with 5...Bg4?!, White gets a winning game, notwithstanding first impressions to the contrary.
Premium Chessgames Member
  erniecohen: The Batavo gambit refers to the position after white's 3rd move (usually reached by 1. f4 d4 2. ♘f3 c3 3. e4), i.e. the offer of the e pawn, not the Q sac. The Q sac is not exactly sound, but it's better than it looks, and probably closer to being sound than white's play for the first 5 moves.
Nov-23-11  Ratt Boy: <FSR>: I recall the same article. I believe his theme was that this was one way to beat a computer, which would have no way to assess the advantage that the two pieces would have against the queen in this position.
Nov-23-11  Llawdogg: Ouch!
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Ratt Boy> Yes, that sounds right.
Nov-23-11  pericles of athens: very nice GOTD. nothing like this going on at the Tal Memorial, eh?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: White gives Q for BN+PP (after he recaptures on e4) + exposed Kc6, hence a high-falutin' "pawn sac" for lasting initiative. Black's Q must play defense vs a flock of ducklings, which is her worst role.

White's patience makes a lasting impression. After <9..e6> "returns" a pawn for open lines, White ignores it, resumes development, and creeps inexorably north, 1 or 2 squares at a time. In fact, after <7.Bxf7+>, White doesn't make another (3+)-square move until <31.Rxa7> he feels ready to attack :) It shows the depth of Mackenzie's prep: clearly he knew what the position had, and trusted its positional advantages, regardless of any material deficit.

Black bravely returns an exchange, but it doesn't undo White's 15-move bind.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Is this the only opening with a queen sacrifice? Wow!
Nov-23-11  inotfolia: In fact, there are some openings Queen sac. For example: Rushmere Attack - 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 exf4 4.Nf3 g5 5.d4 g4 6.Bc4 gxf3 7.O-O d5 8.exd5 Bg4 9.dxc6 f2+ 10. Kxf2 ...
Premium Chessgames Member
  erniecohen: <Gilmoy> 9...e6 wasn't offering a pawn at all; 10. ♘xe6? ♕h4+ wins a piece.
Premium Chessgames Member
  knighterrant999: This is exactly the type of opening gambit a 2100 should play against a 2400. The expert has little to lose, and everything to gain. Impressive theoretical preparation here - definitely not an easy position for black to defend OTB.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Snehalshekatkar: Jus foolish!! Doesn't deserve nomination for game of the day!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  erniecohen: BTW, since I complain as much as anyone about bad GOTD choices, I just want to say that this is exactly what a GOTD should be - interesting, nice backstory, not too well-known (though an occaisional classic is fine). Pun quality is less important.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <kevin86>

(1) I played this line a couple of times, with great success: 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bc4 Bg7 5.Qe2 Nc6 6.e5 Nxd4 (I think 6...Nd7! is now considered good for Black) 7.exf6 Nxe2 8.fxg7 Rg8 9.Ngxe2.

(2) In the Saemisch King's Indian, there is a famous queen sacrifice, one example of which is Kasparov vs Seirawan, 1989.

(3) Here's another, by Black in the Robatsch: 1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.e4 Nc6 5.d5 Nd4 6.Be3 c5 7.Nge2 Qb6 8. Nxd4 cxd4 9.Na4 dxe3?! Opening Explorer.

(4) There's also this line in the Gruenfeld: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Qb3 dxc4 6.Qxc4 O-O 7.e4 Nc6 8.e5 Be6 9.exf6 Bxc4 10.fxg7 Kxg7 11.Bxc4. Opening Explorer

(5) Here's a queen sac Kasparov played in a King's Indian:

(6) Here's one Kavalek played, also in a King's Indian: Portisch vs Kavalek, 1975.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <erniecohen: 9...e6 wasn't offering a pawn at all; 10. Nxe6? Qh4+ wins a piece.>

More deeply, 10.Bxe6? Qf6 leaves White overextended and tied up: Black would happily accept 11.Nf7 and just trade Rh8+P for B+(trapped)N + all of White's developed tempi. If White tries to hold material, Bd6-Nd7 and Black simply attacks first. Hence White still had to know <which> e-pawn he could take safely.

Nov-23-11  Mimchi1: This was a brilliant piece of preparation. Whether it was done with a computer or not detracts nothing from the creativity of the idea. Mackenzie had relentless, unabating pressure for a good 30 moves before Pruess finally gave back the Queen with 35...Kf5!?. This game is reminiscent of Game 3 in the 1990 WC match between Karpov vs Kasparov, 1990. Both had Queens that could not step anywhere, since the minor pieces of the opponent dominated the board ...
Nov-23-11  vajeer: 9....e5 should be much stronger for black
Nov-23-11  oddodddodo: Thanks for all of your comments (even the people who thought the game was silly). It was an amazing experience to play this game, it was like being a GM for a day.

A few comments:
1) IMO the opening should be called the Bryntse Gambit of the Grand Prix Sicilian, as it is in several places on the Web. After 5. ... e6 Black would be fine. (White is fine too, it's just a game and I've played this several times.) 2) I was in home prep up to move 12, after that I was on my own. But I had played this *type* of position on the computer dozens of times and knew exactly what I wanted to do. 3) GM Jesse Kraai thought that the patient move 11. a3! was as mind-blowing as the original sacrifice. 4) GM Victor Mikhalevski wanted White to grab the b-pawn, 17. Bxb7?, thus showing that even a GM does not understand this opening at first glance. White is not playing for pawns. He is playing for a slow steamrollering of the entire Black position. 5) OTOH, IM Pruess said, "You keep talking about slow, slow, slow, but the one time you needed to play a fast move (20. b4!) you did." Guilty as charged! 8-) 6) Believe it or not, taking the exchange (27. Nxf7?!) was probably my worst move of the game. I should just increase my bind with b5, d4, etc. Black could have muddied the waters with 28. ... b5 29. c5 Nd5, although the computer still shows White as much better. 7) Pruess thought after the game that he could have drawn with 33. ... Ng4. But Mikhalevski redeemed himself for his earlier failure by immediately slamming down 34. f5+!!, a marvelous sweeper-sealer that (a) defends g3 and h2, (b) lures a pawn or a queen to f5 so that Rxg7 becomes a checkmate, and (c) if Black plays 34. ... Kh7 then he walks into a fatal discovery after 35. Rxg7+ Kh8 38. Rc7+. This is really the way the game should have ended. 8) Pruess was a perfect gentleman after this game, participating in all the analysis in spite of the fact that he had lost in spectacular fashion to someone rated 300 points below him. I will always be grateful to him for being such a classy opponent.

Dana Mackenzie

Nov-23-11  oddodddodo: Hi all,

Two more things and then I'll turn the discussion over to the rest of you.

9) In response to vajeer, 9. ... e5? just blunders a pawn. After 10. Nf7 Qh4+ 11. g3 Black has to be careful not to fall into the trap 11. ... Qxg4?? 12. Nxe5+ and Black resigns. The infeasibility of 9. ... e5 is the first of many tactical points making this variation playable.

10) IM Emory Tate was playing on the next board. He claimed afterwards that he lost "because I was so distracted by the **** going on in Mackenzie's game"!

Dana Mackenzie

Nov-23-11  vajeer: <oddodddodo:> I was thinking 10.Nf7 Qf6 Then if
11. Nxh8 Qh5+
12. g3 Qxg4 I think it's better for black to sarifice exchange If Nxe5+ Kc7
and then black should be able to hold.
Am I missing something?
Nov-23-11  oddodddodo: Certainly 10. ... Qf6 is better than 10. ... Qh4+. White does not want to take on h8. In general, in this variation, White should not run after material -- he has to first coordinate his pieces and set up a bind, and then the material will come to him.

The trouble with 10. ... Qf6 11. Nxe5+ Kc7, as you suggested, is that Black's queen is a target after 12. Nc3, threatening a fork with Nd5+ (which incidentally defends f4). As in so many variations in this opening I can't really say Black is busted, but it's just incredibly difficult for him to cope with White's octopus-knights and with the fact that he can't find safe squares for his queen and king.

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