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Dennis Wagner vs Predrag Nikolic
Bundesliga (2016/17), Solingen GER, rd 9, Mar-18
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Kmoch Variation (E20)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Infohunter: White makes nine of his first eleven moves with Pawns. Not your usual opening method, but clearly it worked.
Feb-22-18  pdxjjb: It was interesting to look at this one with an engine (SF9). The engine likes white's opening play and considers Ra2 strong as soon as the second rank opens up (move 12).

The engine says 13 ... hxg5 was a huge mistake worth about a rook to white even with best play by black. In the ensuing defense, black made other weak moves.

Feb-22-18  Cheapo by the Dozen: I decided to divert the f6 knight.

I looked at 17 Nxd5, but it has a lot of unnecessary complications. The simple 17 h5, however, wins straightforwardly.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: <This game has been voted for as <best game of the Season 2016/17> by readers of>;

Without looking at the other games that's still hard to believe. Black's play was very weak. Three of his fist thirteen moves were given ? marks, quite unusual in an opening as well known as the Nimzo.

Feb-22-18  yadasampati: <<whiteshark> After only 14 moves the second rank is completely free of white pawns.> Isn't that already the case after 11 moves?
Feb-22-18  mel gibson: That was easy - just increase the pressure on Black.

Stockfish 8 says:

17. Qc2

(17. Qc2 (♕d1-c2 g7-g6 ♖h2xh7 ♘f6xh7
♕c2-h2 ♔g8-g7 ♕h2xh7+ ♔g7-f6 e3-e4 ♖f8-h8 e4-e5+ ♘c6xe5 d4xe5+ ♔f6xe5 ♕h7xf7 ♕d8-e8 ♕f7xg6 ♕e8xg6 ♘f4xg6+ ♔e5-d6 ♘g6xh8 d5-d4 c3xd4 b7-b6 ♖h1-h6+ ♔d6-d5 ♗c1-e3 ♖a8-e8 ♔e1-f2 ♖e8-b8 ♘h8-f7 b6-b5 ♗f1-d3 ♖b8-b6 ♖h6-h5+ ♔d5-e6 ♘f7-e5 ♔e6-d6 ♖h5-h6+ ♔d6-e7 ♗e3-g5+ ♔e7-f8 ♘e5-d7+ ♔f8-f7 ♘d7xb6 c7xb6 ♗d3xb5 ♔f7-g8) +16.82/35 161)

score for White +16.82 depth 35

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Got the first four moves of today's Thursday (17. ?) puzzle with the game continuation 17. Qc2! g6 18. Rxh7 Nxh7 19. Qh2 Re8 20. Qxh7+ Kf8 +- almost playing itself.

However, for White's fifth move of the combination I chose 21. Nxg6+ fxg6 22. e4! +- (mate-in-20, Stockfish) over the game move 21. Qh6+ +- (+14.37 @ 28 ply, Stockfish 8). Also winning is 21. e4 +- (+54.35 @ 28 ply, Stockfish 8).

P.S.: Black's decisive mistake was opening up the h-file to win a pawn with 13...hxg5?!, allowing 14. hxg5 Qxg5 15. Ra2 +- (+4.66 @ 33 ply, Stockfish 8). Instead, 13...Ne7 14. Ra2 Qd7 15. Rg2 Kh8 ∓ (-1.03 @ 38 ply, Stockfish 8) maximizes resistance for practical Black drawing chances.

Early in the opening, Stockfish 8 prefer 8...c5 = (0.00 @ 30 ply) over 8...Bf5 9. Ne2 ⩲ (+0.46 @ 30 ply).

Feb-22-18  goodevans: <Cheapo by the Dozen> One of your "N"s has gone missing!

I too spent some time looking at <17.Nh5> before settling on <17.Qc2>. I agree that 17.Nh5 is also good enough for a win.

Feb-22-18  saturn2: I took 17 RxBh7 NxB 18 Qc2
with a possible continuation 18..g6 19 Qh2
Premium Chessgames Member
  malt: Started with 17.Bd3 g6 then found
17.Qc2 g6 18.R:h7 N:h7 19.Qh2 Re8 20.Q:h7+ Kf8

Looked at (21.a4/22.Ba3) but went for
21.N:g6+ fg6 22.Q:g6 Qd6 23.Rh8+ Ke7 24.Qg5+ Kd7 25.Bh3+ Re6 26.R:a8

<ChessHigherCat> welcome back

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has the bishop pair for a bishop, a knight and a pawn.

The black bishop stops Rh8# and White's second rank is open. This suggests 17.Qc2:

A) 17... Bxc2 18.Rh8#.

B) 17... g6 18.Rxh7 Nxh7 19.Qh2

B.1) 19... Kg7 20.Qxh7+ Kf6 21.Qh4+

B.1.a) 21... Kf5 22.Bh3#.

B.1.b) 21... g5 22.Qh6+ Ke7 (22... Kf5 23.Bh3+ g4 24.Bxg4#) 23.Qxg5+ followed by Qxd5, wins decisive material.

B.1.c) 21... Kg7 22.Nh5+ (also 22.Qh6+ Kf6 23.Nh5+ looks winning) 22... Kg8(h6,h7,h8) (22... gxh5 23.Rg1+ Kh6 24.e4+ and mate in two) 23.Nf6+ Kg7 24.Qf4 Rh8 25.Rxh8 Qxh8 (25... Kxh8 26.Qh6#) 26.Nxd5 wins decisive material.

B.2) 19... Re8 20.Qxh7+ Kf8 21.e4

B.2.a) 21... dxe4 22.Nxg6+ fxg6 23.Bh6#.

B.2.b) 21... Ke7 22.Nxg6+ wins decisive material.

C) 17... g5 18.Rxh7 gxf4 19.Qg2+ and mate in two.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Carlos0012358: Nice job <agb2002>

Did you consider the continuation 17... Re8?

Feb-22-18  WDenayer: Really good! Qc2!

15.Ra2! Nice.

Feb-22-18  njchess: An embarrassing effort from Black. White takes full advantage of Black's questionable play. I love 17. ♕c2! It's a quiet, subtle move that effectively ends the game.
Feb-22-18  stst: try visual, several lines plausible.
17.Bd3 g6 (other moves ==> 18.BxB NxB, 19.RxN no escape for K; or if BxB, 18.Rh8#) 18.Bxg6 fxB
19.Ne6 forks Q,R

17.Qc2/d3 (if BxQ, 18.Rh8#) g6
18.Nxg6 fxN
19.RxB NxR
20.Qxg6+ Kh8

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Jamus qc2us cubus jives pg6us guffins its a evervis 17...Re8 yeomens erstwhile 5sums 6sums buildins vimus avows hunkly rh7us harangue hunkly nh7us hunghive qh2us hubus harangue re8us ertswhile its a guvshives 19...Kg7 blotch eggus gunghips 6sums 7sums buildins vimus avows hunkly qh7us harangue kf8us flushhind lunks qh6us huffles its to o 21.e4 hudin egger visage 10sus 11sus buildins vimus vetus avows hunkly ke7us eggshead lunks to it 22.Qg5+ huhus vimus guilds 5sums 6sums buildins vints haves jamus qc2us cubus jimmy masts matin jamus vimus trawl flavs wicks xinas divins nidus vints diyus yinus dugus grips vimus vints puffs frank vamus rubin robus lobus lowus hello vowus vimus helos heads kevaz it's vasts rants hewus toesy it's vasts thorn waves vivas flavs ashen worts neath rowsy hears towns hares wonts earths ownus hearts wonus qc2us cubus vimus haves jamus masts tinvy winch xinas divins nidus vints diyus yinus guppy frank vamus lobus hello vowus vimus helos flavs heads kevaz it's vasts rants hewus toesy vivas vints flavs its a civvyum 17.Qc2 g6 visage yesus guffins flush huffs fifths qc2us cubus chuck cudin cuffs clung cinch clips cluck culls cupus cults clucky clutch cuffs flick flubb buffs biffs bungs bugus bigus grubs uvsus guffs gifts gluvs clubs chugs chips cribs vimus lunks its a evervis 17...Re8 yeomens erstwhile 5sums 6sums buildins vimus avows hunkly its a hivehead 18.Rxh7 Nxh7 19.Qh2 Re8 blusher erstwhile hunkly its a gunghives 19...Kg7 blotch eggus gunghips 6sums 7sums buildins vimus avows hunkly hovis 20.Qxh7+ hocus hunkly harangue hovis 20...Kf8 21.Qh6+ hides huffles to it a 21.e4 hudin egger visage 10sus 11sus buildins vimus vetus avows hunkly lunks to it a 21...Ke7 22.Qg5+ huhus vimus guilds 5sums 6sums buildins vints haves avows winds punts nipus dipus plunk plink biffs buffs winch harangue gluvs rumps glugs butty bunts bints built clods docin ducks flush huffs chump vints chimp hucks hicks clutch crush uvsus umsus fetch flush fines garcon jives haves jamus qc2us cubus;
Feb-22-18  saturn2: Revisiting I see now after<17 RxBh7 NxR 18 Qc2> black has <18..f5> 19 Qh2 Nf6 seems unclear but white can at least get back the exchange by Ne6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Marmot PFL> It was a voting free for everyone to participate - such being the case a grassroots democratic decision. ;)

My guess it that the people simply like the attack on the h-file.

<11> Oops

Feb-22-18  BOSTER: <PB> <I just wanted to see >. Really white need only 8 moves to clean the second rank, and nobody can't stop it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Big Pawn: With mate on h8 by way of xray with the rook, we have some tactics.

17.Qc2 g6
18.Rxh7 Nxh7
19.Qh2 kg7
20.Ne6+ fe

Opens the seventh rank creating a mating net.

21.Qxh7+ Kf6
22.e5 de
23.Bg5+ Kxg5
24.Qh4+ Kf5
25.fe mate

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Very nice game! I only considered the much weaker 17.Bd3. 6...h6 is very rare, and evidently very bad. Opening Explorer
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: I went for Nh5 which still wins big with a score over +5. I also looked at Bd3, but unfortunately I didn't look at Qc2! which is the answer to the puzzle.
Feb-22-18  Mayankk: Same as a few other kibitzers. I settled with Nh5 as it seemed to win easily.

Should the white knight be exchanged, black Bishop will soon fall as well and White has a clear victory. Black Bishop canít move owing to the mate threat on h8. Black can move his knight back to e8, in which case Nxg7 seems to give White a deadly attack as the two Rooks pounce on a hapless Black king.

I didnít see the Qc2 line but am happy as long as I see another line leading to a clear victory.

Feb-22-18  SpamIAm: White's QR used the Mezzanine Level to reach the kingside.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: <Carlos0012358: Nice job <agb2002>>

Thank you!

<Did you consider the continuation 17... Re8?>

I didn't because it doesn't try to stop neither the invasion nor the material loss (18.Rxh7 Nxh7 19.Qxh7+ Kf8 20.Qh8+ Ke7 21.Qxg7 with the threat Ng6+).

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