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The Challenge
The World vs Natalia Pogonina
C U R R E N T   P O S I T I O N

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   Chessgames Challenge
Can a group of chess amateurs team up to beat a grandmaster?  Find out in the Chessgames Challenge!  You can vote for the move you think is best, and discuss the game with other members on this page.

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[Natalia Pogonina]

[flip board] GAME OVER: 1/2-1/2 [flip board]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 c6 7.O-O O-O 8.Qc2 b6 9.Rd1 Nbd7 10.Bf4 Ba6 11.Nbd2 Rc8 12.Rac1 Nh5 13.Be3 Nhf6 14.Bg5 h6 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.b4 Bb7 17.Qb3 Ba8 18.c5 a5 19.a3 Rb8 20.Qc2 Bb7 21.e4 Qc7 22.Nf1 dxe4 23.Qxe4 Rfd8 24.Ne3 Ba6 25.Ng4 Bb5 26.Qc2 axb4 27.axb4 Be7 28.Ra1 h5 29.Ne3 Bf6 30.Ra3 bxc5 31.bxc5 Ra8 32.Rxa8 Rxa8 33.Bf1 Bxf1 34.Kxf1 e5 35.dxe5 Nxe5 36.Qe4 Nd7 37.Qf5 Ra7 38.Qxh5 g6 39.Qg4 Nxc5 40.h4 Ra4 41.Nc4 Qb7 42.Kg2 Qb3 43.Qc8+ Kg7 44.Nd6 Qxd1 45.Ne8+ Kf8 46.Nxf6+ Kg7 47.Ne8+ Kf8 48.Nf6+ Kg7 49.Ne8+ Kf8 50.Nc7+ Kg7 51.h5 Ra1 52.h6+ Kf6 53.Qh8+ Ke7 54.Qe8+ Kd6 55.Qd8+ Nd7 56.Ne8+ Kc5 57.Qe7+ Kb6 58.g4 Ra4 59.Qd8+ Ka6 60.Nf6 Rf4 61.Ne5 Rxf2 62.Kxf2 1/2-1/2
GAME OVER thank you for playingit is now 17:45:55

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 332 OF 1069 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-28-10  jmactas: how about Ng4 trying to tie down that knight on f6 and Be4 next move? or is that bad
Sep-28-10  imag: Some people were interested in 16.Bh3 line so I checked it out. Pretty wild but I think Black may be just slightly better in these variations.

10....Ba6 11. Ne5 Rc8 12. Nc3 Bxc4 13. Nxc4 dxc4 14. e4 b5 15. a4 a6 16. Bh3

Black has three options here, all scoring 0.00. Check the Tree for details.

BTW, one of the lines leads to this position:

click for larger view

and after 22.d6 b3 it's a real mess.

Sep-28-10  imag: I currently favor 11.Nbd2 in response to 10...Ba6. I already put some analysis results in the Tree but more work is needed because the resulting variations are not forcing. For example, after

10....Ba6 11. Nbd2 Rc8 12. Rac1 Nh5 13. Be3 Nhf6 14. Bg5 h6 15. Bxf6

15...Nxf6 is also an option (in addition to 15...Bxf6). Currently it seems that White retains a minimal advantage in these lines.

Sep-28-10  kb2ct:

For those new to this type of chess, the games are at a very high level.

It isn't unusual for our strongest players to outthink chess engines.

In the game against Arno Nickel we set a trap that Rybka does not see for 33 ply. He saw it or smelled a rat and drew. This is not unusual.


Sep-28-10  imag: As for 10...Ba6 11.b3, what can I say... Obviously I cannot be 100% sure about it but IMHO already after this move Black has a minimal advantage or easy draw. I'm willing to play this line out to show that at move 17-20 negative evals will appear.
Sep-28-10  whooops: <WAITING FOR NEXT MOVE Voting closes 6 days from now, at 14:00 (EST)>

are we caught in a time wrap. This is getting ridiculous.

Sep-28-10  truefriends: She is just playing in the Olympiad... Calm down please
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: This gives more time to work out the very best line of play. It's a positive.
Sep-28-10  YouRang: <kutztown46: It was I who described a certain position as a monstrosity in this post: kutztown46 chessforum which was also posted on the main page.

However, I am very pleased with the arrangement that if I say something controversial, <YouRang> gets blamed for it. ;-)>


The thing is, I mostly agreed with your post. So I'm not sure if I'm falsely taking *blame* or falsely taking *credit*.

Sep-28-10  lost in space: ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzhhhhhhhhhhzzzzzzzz
Sep-28-10  YouRang: <kb2ct:
For those new to this type of chess, the games are at a very high level.>

This is one of the reasons that I think statistics based on historical games should be discounted. Those games were played at a lower level and *very* likely include moves that would be rejected at this level of play.

Sep-28-10  DaringSpeculator: Something which was posted on Sep. 13 (page 200.) Strategically, the game still the same. Nbd2 is the best response to Ba6. If she plays Bb7, c3 is the best square for our Queen Knight, however the development of the Knight can be delayed.

YouRang: <DaringSpeculator> Thanks for the response regarding 7.O-O b6 8.Qc2 Bb7!?

<did you try 9. b3? >

I haven't, although at 23 ply, 9.b3 isn't in the top 5 moves according to my engine.

<By the way 8...Bb7 would be inconsistent with her previous moves because, as I mentioned in an earlier post, the thematic placement of the QN for White is as follows: if Black plays ...Bb7, White responds with Nc3. If Black chooses...Ba6, White selects Nbd2. So playing 8...Bb7 does not take advantage of our misplaced QB, which was the purpose of Black's 4th and 5th moves.>

Interesting. You recommend then <if> we do see 8...Bb7 that we should play 9.Nc3 then? My engine doesn't like that so much after 9...dxc4, but perhaps the logic behind all this is too deep for engines?

<That's why in her previous games she played Ba6.>

I was interested in 8...Ba6 too, since that starts to transpose into the line that <kb2ct> posted earlier [see page 196] as winding down to 0.00 evals.

<hms123> Thanks for the game references. According to my engine @ 24 ply, the evals are as follows:

9.Rd1 is +0.10 (5th best)
9.Bf4 is +0.14 (2nd best)
9.Ne5 is +0.16 (best so far)

DaringSpeculator: <<YouRang: <DaringSpeculator> ... You recommend then <if> we do see 8...Bb7 that we should play 9.Nc3 then?>

I do not recommend playing Nc3 right away after ...Bb7. What I am saying that if ...Bb7 then strategically the White QN should go to c3. In the variation under consideration the c-pawn should be protected first, hence b3 (a possibilty) before Nc3.

Sep-28-10  ajile: <kutztown46: It was I who described a certain position as a monstrosity in this post: kutztown46 chessforum which was also posted on the main page.

However, I am very pleased with the arrangement that if I say something controversial, <YouRang> gets blamed for it. ;-)>

Hilarious. I'm hoping to get chancho to take the blame for my indiscretions.

Sep-28-10  Nightranger: Happy Birthday <blue wave>!

From 1 Libra to another.

<RandomVisitor> You have an excellent singing font.

Sep-28-10  whatthefat: I was wondering whether 11.Nbd2 is also a reasonable response to 10...Bb7, so I went and took a look at the Analysis Tree. There, I found this line:

<10....Bb7 11. Nbd2 Nh5 12. Be3 f5 13. cxd5 cxd5 14. Rdc1 Bd6 15. Bg5 Qe8 16. e3 h6 17. Bf4 Nxf4 18. exf4 Nf6 19. Ne5 Rc8 20. Qb3 Ne4 21. Rxc8 Qxc8 22. Qd1>

The last commented move in this very long variation is 11...Nh5, where it says:

<<bluewave> found Be3 move with his engine (but it is obvious to humans as well :). I have taken it and sandpapered with Deep Shredder 12:

After the line gets to 18.exf4 Nf6 the evaluation is =(+0.11) 25/25, with analysis out to White's 22nd move.



I don't know what to make of this. Is this line any good? What is the assessment in the final position? Visually, Black looks equal to me. Given the variation is totally linear, are there possible improvements along the way that should be flagged?

Worse still, when I went to look at the analogous line after 10...Ba6, I found 11.Nbd2 Nh5 and now 12.Be3 is marked <PROBABLY INFERIOR>, but with no alternative move given!

After this, there are the following two completely linear variations:

<13. Rac1 h6 14. Qa4 Bb7 15. Ne1 Qe7 16. Nd3 > with the final comment <+0.17 23/23 Deep Shredder 12>


<13. Rac1 Qe7 14. Bg5 f6 15. Be3>

with <+0.17 at 23 ply

<thegoodanarchist> & Deep Shredder 12 (sandpapered)> written after 13...Qe7, but no other comments.

It seems the Analysis Tree is raising more questions than it's answering at the moment.

Sep-28-10  DaringSpeculator: By the way, do we have any analysis for 10...a5 or has this move been dismissed?
Sep-28-10  chessjones11: Happy Birthday Blue Wave. Oh, to be going on 40 again. I have to get a burn permit before they light the candles on my cake.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <ajile: Hilarious. I'm hoping to get chancho to take the blame for my indiscretions.>

Hey! :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <kutztown46: It was I who described a certain position as a monstrosity ...>

Quit trying to cover for <YouRang> :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <whatthefat>

Yes, the line 10...Bb7 11.Nbd2 is very drawish. But I am reluctant to make such definitive comments in the AT because even engine analysis cannot cover everything.

But I have mentioned several times on this thread that the line is drawish.

Can you suggest what types of comments you might find more helpful in the AT?

Sep-28-10  LIFE Master AJ: <<<<<<<<Sep-28-10> jusmail:> @LMAJ:> On your website you write:> 11.cxd5.> Although the experts with the engines think that this move promises a little something, I can absolutely tell you that I think that our winning chances after this move are very slim. (As a master, I think that it would virtually guarantee a draw.)> So does this apply to only this game..... or should the cxd5 exd5 maneuvers in many a gambit games be avoided? Thanks!>>

This ONLY applies to the position right now!!!

I am sure that (later!), when we have forced her on defense, created weakenesses, or forced her to put her pieces on passive squares ... we may WANT to play cxd5 (at some point).

Breaking through on the c-file is a big part of our strategy ... if you get a chance, play over a few of the games in this line. (You will see that what I am telling you is true.)

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

BTW, I had no idea of what an Olympiad was like ...

I talked to several coaches (via e-mail) who have actually been there. [One - in particular - was the coach of the Armenian team for a number of years, although he is retired now.] They tell me that (right now) Ms. Pogonina is very busy, and has not probably even thought about this game in some time.

However, they assure me that - when this is over - that N. Pogonina will definitely take up the game again. (The chess Oylmpiad only comes every two years. It is considered a great homor to be asked to play for your national team.)

Just a different outlook on things.

Sep-28-10  LIFE Master AJ: <imag> Did you ever look at any of my analysis of 10...Ba6; (here, in the engine room, or in my forum)?
Sep-28-10  LIFE Master AJ: <Sep-28-10 deathdefier: ad <MasterAJ>: your new page is a perfect summery ... helpful and cool! i absolutely agree ...
first i feared the line Bb7 Nc3 dc4, but now i dont believe she will choose this line, because the positions are a little bit "passiv but solid" (Robert H�bner); we would have the more active position (a very interesting position ... i would learn a lot ...); but i think, she wants to win the game and in this line its more difficult than in the other ones (the other lines are more strategically complex, ...);

until now she played in similar positions Ba6 ... and we can respond with b3 -> QID or Ne5 ... others?; are you ready for a second new page, if she ...? SMILE>

It took many hours of work to make my web page happen.

However, if she surprises me and plays ...Ba6; I will quite happily admit that I was wrong and create a new DB, tree, and web page.

It will also cost me 100 chess bucks.

Sep-28-10  whatthefat: <thegoodanarchist: Can you suggest what types of comments you might find more helpful in the AT?>

Ideally, there should be a comment on every node, unless the reply is completely forced (and even then, "Forced" wouldn't go astray). Once that is achieved, it becomes impossible to completely miss a potential move in any position.

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