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Egon Joppen vs David Bronstein
Belgrade (1954), Belgrade YUG, rd 1, Oct-??
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Poisoned Pawn Variation (B97)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-10-05  Resignation Trap: This looks like the seminal game for the Poison Pawn Najdorf. White chose not to sacrifice his b-Pawn by playing 8. Nb3.
Jan-30-06  McCool: Who won??
Dec-29-06  talisman: i had no idea bronstein played this move (7...Qb6) first.<McCool> bronstein.
Jan-04-07  nescio: <Resignation Trap: This looks like the seminal game for the Poison Pawn Najdorf.>

Another candidate might be this one:

[Event "Riga ch-URS tt"]
[Site ""]
[Date "1954.??.??"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Nezhmetdinov, Rashid Gibiatovich"]
[Black "Sherbakov, Vitaly Sergeevich"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[NIC "SI 8.3"]
[ECO "B97"]
[PlyCount "119"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qb6 8. Qd2 Qxb2 9. Nb3 Nc6 10. Bd3 d5 11. Bxf6 gxf6 12. Na4 Qa3 13. Nb6 Nd4 14. Kf1 Nxb3 15. cxb3 Rb8 16. exd5 Qb4 17. Qxb4 Bxb4 18. Rc1 O-O 19. Kf2 Bd2 20. Rxc8 Rbxc8 21. Nxc8 Rxc8 22. dxe6 fxe6 23. Bc4 Kf8 24. Kf3 Ke7 25. Rd1 Ba5 26. f5 exf5 27. Rd5 b5 28. Bd3 Rc3 29. Ke2 Ke6 30. Rd4 Ke5 31. Rh4 Rc1 32. Rxh7 f4 33. Re7 Kd5 34. Kf3 Rc3 35. Ke2 Rc1 36. Be4 Kd4 37. Kf3 Bc7 38. Rd7 Ke5 39. Rd5 Ke6 40. Rd2 f5 41. Bd3 Be5 42. h3 Kf6 43. Ke2 Rg1 44. Kf2 Bd4 45. Kf3 Be3 46. Rc2 Rc1 47. Rxc1 Bxc1 48. Ke2 Ba3 49. Kd2 Be7 50. Kc2 Kg5 51. Kc3 b4 52. Kd4 a5 53. Ke5 Bf6 54. Ke6 Bd8 55. Bxf5 Bc7 56. Be4 Bd8 57. Kd7 Bb6 58. Kd6 Bd8 59. Bf3 Bb6 60. Ke5 1/2-1/2

Apr-16-08  devioustalfan: why does black expose his queen so early in the poison pawn variation? it violates opening principles and it's virtually trapped by the white knights. please explain.
Jun-04-08  Xeroxx: prinicples are made to be broken.
Mar-09-09  jaimdelg: To your question: Why does Black expose his queen so early in the Poison Pawn Variation? Precisely, that’s why it’s called the “poisoned pawn”. Here, White offers a pawn sacrifice and in exchange White will keep the black queen trapped and “out of the game” for several moves while White hopes to devastate Black’s position before Black can bring its queen back into the game. On the other side, Black is willing to take the “poisoned” pawn hoping to defend well and try to bring its queen back to the fight as soon as possible. In other words, if Black decides to “eat” the poisoned pawn and then can bring its queen back to the game, Black in effect “neutralizes” the poison without any harm, but if Black “eats” the poisoned pawn and then White doesn’t allow him to bring its queen back to the battle on time, then Black has been “poisoned” by the pawn that he took. This variation is not for everyone, who instead plays the line: 7…Be7. I’ve seen many times how White allows the black queen back into action too soon, only to see himself now down a pawn, and with the game in the verge of the endgame. Thank you.
Mar-09-09  chessman95: Actually, a "poisoned pawn" is a pawn that is free to capture because of a two-move sequence. An example is black's pawn on c4 in the QGA, which is "poisoned" because of the sequence Qa4+ and Qxc4. This variation is called the "poisoned pawn" variation because in theory white should let black take the pawn and should not play something like Nb3, as in this game, which theoretically equalizes. So it is "poisened" in the sense that black either goes a pawn up but white has the advantage or black doesn't take the pawn but threatens to equalize.
Mar-10-09  chillowack: Chessman95, that is not correct. A "poisoned" pawn is a pawn which, if you take it, is likely to cause you serious problems. It has nothing to do with how many moves it takes to capture it.

"Poisonous" pawns are not necessarily fatal, but they often are. Do not be too greedy to eat them--especially in the opening!

Mar-10-09  chessman95: Oh, I got my defenition from a few vidoes on youtube that I've watched and also a few books that have mentioned what a 'poisoned pawn' is, but I guess they were all wrong.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: There's more to it than that. By capturing the Pb2 Black also undermines support for the Nc3 and, should the knight move, the Pc2. So, in addition to gaining a pawn, 8...Qxb2 (if allowed) increases the effectiveness of Black's counterplay along the c-file.

So, in addition to the tactics involved, the Poisoned Pawn variation is based on sound strategic principles. If Black can survive White's attacks, of course.

Oct-27-15  zydeco: I guess the continuation is 41.fxe4 Nxe4 42.B moves Nf6 and black can create a passed pawn on the kingside while it's almost impossible for white to get his pieces unstuck. Still, it's early to resign.
Apr-19-21  sudoplatov: Another point of 8...Qxb2 is the weakening of Whites Black Squares. The White QB is off on g5 and has no good way back. (I read somewhere that the line was suggested by Tolush.)

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