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Ratmir Kholmov vs David Bronstein
"I Smell a Rat" (game of the day Dec-30-2012)
USSR Championship (1964/65), Kiev URS, rd 17, Jan-23
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Main Line (B99)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-09-19  Count Wedgemore: <..not allowed to be World Champion>

A self-perpetuating myth not backed up with any kind of credible evidence.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Why did black play 19...Bg5+ ? What's wrong with 19...Bxe5 ?
Jul-07-19  kungfufighter888: From move 21st, white queen did not made a move incredible !!!!!!!!!!!
Jul-07-19  yadasampati: I love the deflective move 26. d7
Jul-07-19  yadasampati: <al wazir> If 19. ... Bxe5 then 20. f6 Bf6 21. Bd3
Jul-07-19  Count Wedgemore: <yadasampati: <al wazir> If 19. ... Bxe5 then 20. f6 Bf6 21. Bd3>

21.Bd3 can be met with 21...Bg5+ Rxg5 f6.

I agree with <al wazir>. I see nothing wrong with 19...Bxe5. Perhaps 19...Nxe5 is even better. They're both better alternatives than 19...Bg5+.

Jul-07-19  groog: OrangeTulip, maybe there is a bit more to the pun. The paranoia surrounding the then USSR, Kholmonov being ex navy. So, who was smelling the rat?
Jul-07-19  scholes: 18 Nc6 is where combination starts. Infact 18 Nc6 is the best move and part of many computer chess tactics test suites.
Jul-07-19  JimmyRockHound: Yes. 18. Nc6. It took ,y computer a while to find it and it flickered between being good for white or good for black until it eventually realised it was really good for white.
Jul-07-19  malt: Agree with <al wazir> What's wrong with <19...B:e5>

20.f6 B:f6 21.Bd3 Bg5+ 22.R:g5 f6
also 22...f5

Premium Chessgames Member
  Willem Wallekers: <morfishine: In Wade's book on Fischer, Ratmir's surname is given as 'Holmov', which made it difficult to find the game. Apparently, in some Eastern-bloc countries, the last name could be spelled in a variety of ways.>

In the Western world Russian names can be spelled in a variety of ways.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <morf>, when one reads translations into British English, the 'K' is silent and dropped in the transliteration, same as the 'Y' would be. Hence the Armenian city we generally know as Yerevan is spelt 'Erevan', Khabarovsk is 'Habarovsk' and there are such strong Russian players as Halifman, Hodos, Holmov, et al. Becomes second nature when growing up around this stuff and reading BCM very early on, as well as CL&R.
Jul-07-19  Helloween: 26.d6 is about as good of an example of the tactical theme of interference as I've seen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whittaker: <JimmyRockHound: Yes. 18. Nc6. It took ,y computer a while to find it and it flickered between being good for white or good for black until it eventually realised it was really good for white.>

Ok, after 18 ... Nxc6 19 e5, Crafty says Black is better after 19 ... Bxe5 (-0.80). But Stockfish (in the analysis available here) says Black's best move is 19 ... Nxe5 and White is then better (+0.85). Who's right?

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black threatens fxg5, bxc3, Nxe5, exf5, dxe5 and fxe5.

The first idea that comes to mind is 21.exd6 (saves three threats) 21... Qf7 (21... Qe8 22.Qg7#) 22.Rg3 (saves the fourth threat) 22... bxc3 23.Bg2 (making the most of the defenseless knight) 23... cxb3+ 24.Kb1 Bd7 (24... Bb7 25.fxe6 wins) 25.Bxc6 Bxc6 26.fxe6 Qb7 27.e7 Rf7 28.Rdg1, followed by Rg7, seems to win.

Another idea is 21.Bd3 fxg5 22.f6 Qf7 23.Bxh7 Qxh7 24.Qxf8+ and perpetual but looks too inferior to 21.exd6.

Jul-07-19  schachfuchs: <@al wazir: Why did black play 19...Bg5+ ? What's wrong with 19...Bxe5 ?>

The game line 19...Bg5+ 20.Rxg5 f6 21.exd6 Qf7 22.Rg3 bxg3 23.Bg2 cxb2+ 24.Kb1 +-(7.6) is only SF10's 4th choice.

#3:+-(5.8): 19...Rg8
#2:+-(2.5): 19...Bxe5 20.f6 Bxf6 21.Bd3 Bg5+ 22.Rxg5 f6 23.Rg3 Rf7

#1:±(1.6): 19...Nxe5 20.Ne4 Ng6 21.Nxf6 Qxf6 22.fxg6 Qg7

btw: I would also strongly plead for another pun!

Jul-07-19  JohnDMaster: I remember the notes to this game and 25. d7! is winning!
Jul-07-19  cormier: 11.Bxf6?
Jul-07-19  Everett: Bronstein came in 2nd this tournament. Here’s a notable win, with a nice finishing sequence Bronstein vs Vasiukov, 1964
Jul-08-19  patzer2: For the Jul 7, 2019 Sunday puzzle (21. ?), White has two pieces under attack and can't save both of them.

My pick was 21. exd6!, thinking I might as well get something in return for the loss of a piece. What I didn't realize is the move (21. exd6!) is actually winning for White.

After 21. exd6! Qf7 22. Rg3 (logically saving the most valuable piece) 22...bxc3 (Black's best), White can improve over the game continuation 23. Bc4 +- (+2.80 @ 22 ply, Stockfish 9 analysis of move 23...?) with 23. Bg2! +- (+4.05 @ 22 ply, Stockfish 9 analysis of move 23.?).

P.S.: So where did Black go wrong? Black missed an opportunity to maintain the advantage with 14...b4 15. gxf6 = to ⩲ (or the possibly stronger 14...b4?! 15. g6! ⩲ to ±).

Instead, the simple pawn capture 14...fxg6 ⩱ (-0.41 @ 22 ply, Stockfish 9 analysis of move 14...? keeps the game in Black's favor.

Jul-10-19  Everett: <S.: So where did Black go wrong? Black missed an opportunity to maintain the advantage with 14...b4 15. gxf6 = to ⩲ (or the possibly stronger 14...b4?! 15. g6! ⩲ to ±).

Instead, the simple pawn capture 14...fxg6 ⩱ (-0.41 @ 22 ply, Stockfish 9 analysis of move 14...? keeps the game in Black's favor.>

Do you means 14..fxg5?

Jul-10-19  dhotts: It appears that Black's 19...Bg5 move lead to his demise. Much better and more challenging for White was 19...Nxe5, then White must find 20.Ne4 to maintain a slight advantage or be destroyed.
Jul-10-19  patzer2: <Everett: <Do you means 14..fxg5?> Yes! thanks for the correction.
Jul-10-19  Everett: <patzer2: <Everett: <Do you means 14..fxg5?> Yes! thanks for the correction.>

No worries! Except Bronstein is definitely lost after 15.gxf6... the hole left of e5 combined with the open g-file is too much. Here's what stockfish says <1) +3.04 (24 ply) 15...Bxf6 16.Rg1+ Kh8 17.Nd5 Qd8 18.Qh6 Ng6 19.Nc6 Bg7 20.Qxg7+ Kxg7 21.Nxd8 Rxd8 22.Nb6 Be6 23.Nxa8 Rxa8 24.exf5 Bxf5 25.Rxd6 Kf8 26.Rg5 Be6 27.Rh5 Ke7 28.Rd4 Rc8 29.b3 Rc3 30.Bg2 Re3 31.Bb7 Re2 >

Feb-17-22  N.O.F. NAJDORF: 20...Rg8 21. Rxg8+ Kxg8 22. Bd3 Nxe5 23. Rg1+ Ng6 24. fxg6 fxg6 25. Bxg6 Kh8 26. Bxh7
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