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Nick de Firmian vs Predrag Nikolic
"The Bonfire of Tunis" (game of the day Jul-12-2017)
Tunis Interzonal (1985), Gammarth TUN, rd 1, Apr-27
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Flohr System (C92)  ·  1-0



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Given 34 times; par: 28 [what's this?]

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Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Cardinal Fang: Where did this game get its name?>

It is a play on words with Savonarola's/Tom Wolfe's <Bonfire of the Vanities>.

Predrag Nikolic is Bosnian and pronounces THE VANITIES as T'WANITIES and when he says it very fast it sounds like TUNIS.

Jul-12-17  clement41: Great attack!
Jul-12-17  GlennOliver: <offramp> Thank you for the explanation of today's pun, I would never have worked that out.
Jul-12-17  ColeTrane: We should all read more Tom Wolfe books....
Jul-12-17  daveinsatiable: @<GlennOliver>: Very few of <offramp>'s utterances are intended to be taken seriously and this one certainly wasn't. (Though I'm also at a loss to explain the pun - probably something to do with the Punic wars or something similarly obscure.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Willber G: <offramp: <Cardinal Fang: Where did this game get its name?>

It is a play on words with Savonarola's/Tom Wolfe's <Bonfire of the Vanities>.

Predrag Nikolic is Bosnian and pronounces THE VANITIES as T'WANITIES and when he says it very fast it sounds like TUNIS.>

Ooh, you are awful...

Jul-12-17  Mendrys: A scintillating game by DeFirmian that I've never seen before. It would be interesting to have the clock times at each move for this game as DeFirmian seemed to be a little short on time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < deshad: isolatedpawn, he may have been low on time and repeated those moves to get some extra time. I've done that a few times myself. >

It is also used as a stall tactic while trying to find or decide on the correct attacking idea. One likes to think tank on one's opponent's time. And when the position is such that a repetition is almost forced, and if per chance your opponent takes a long think while you formulate a good plan, well all the better.

Jul-13-17  kevin86: Black's exposed king loses to white's queen and rook.
Feb-28-18  Dionysius1: The vampire of the bonities would make more sense.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Did not know that I had seen this game before. Finished 5/7 for the week; solved Saturday and Sunday, flubbed Thursday and Friday. Here's hoping for a normal 5/7 next week.
Jan-26-20  Granny O Doul: Perhaps the title is in reference to Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor whose self-immolation in December of 2010 hepled spark the Tunisian Revolution and the Arab Spring. Though were it up to me, the title would have been assigned to this game: S Bouaziz vs de Firmian, 1985 , if any.
Jan-26-20  Walter Glattke: 27.-Bxf6!? 28.Nxe6+ gxf6 29.Qg6+ Kf8 30.Bxh6# 27.-Kh8? 28.Qh7# 27.-gxf6 28.Qg6+ Kh8 29.Nf6 Bxf6 30.Rxe8+ Qxe8 31.Qxe8+ Kg7 32.Qd7+ decisive material 27.-Kf7 28.Ne5+ Kxf6 Qg6# 28.-Kf8 Qg6+ quite desperate, that! Hehe.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop and a knight for the bishop pair.

Black threatens Nxd3.

The first move that comes to mind is 27.Nef6+:

A) 27... gxf6 28.Qg6+ Kh8 29.Qxh6+ Kg8 30.Qg6+ Kh8 31.Nxf6 Bxf6 (31... Be4 32.Qh6+ Bh7 33.Qxh7#) 32.Rxe8+ wins decisive material.

B) 27... Bxf6 28.Nxf6+

B.1) 28... gxf6 29.Qg6+ Kh8 (29... Kf8 30.Bxh6#) 30.Rxe8+ wins decisive material.

B.2) 28... Kh8 29.Qh7#.

B.3) 28... Kf7 29.Qd7+ Re7 (29... Kf8 30.Rxe8+ Qxe7 31.Qxe8#; 29... Kxf6 30.Rxe8 Qa2 31.Rf8+ and mate soon) 30.Rxe7+ Kg6 (30... Kf8 31.Rf7#; 30... Kxf6 31.Qe6#) 31.Ng4 and mate soon.

B.4) 28... Kf8 29.Qd6+ Kf7 30.Qd7+ transposes to B.3.

C) 27... Kh8 28.Qh7#.

D) 27... Kf7 28.Ne5+

D.1) 28... Kxf6 29.Qg6#.

D.2) 28... Kf8 29.Qg6 Bd5 30.Ned7#.

D.3) 28... Ke6 29.Neg4+ Kf7 30.Qh7

D.3.a) 30... Bxf6 31.Nxh6+ Kf8 32.Qg8#.

D.3.b) 30... Rh8 31.Nxh6+ Kf8 32.Qxh8#.

D.3.c) 30... Bf8 31.Nxh6+ Kxf6 32.Qf5#.

D.3.d) 30... Be4 31.Rxe6 wins decisive material.

Jan-26-20  Pedro Fernandez: Still anyone have not commented in 2020. Even my great friend <Chris Owen> has not do it. Hope he will do. In a couple minutes I see the following: 27.Nef6+ Bxf6 28.Nxf6+ gxf6 29.Qg6+ Kf8 30.Bxh6#. Of course, for sure this not the solution (I have not yet seen the solution given here).
Jan-26-20  Pedro Fernandez: Now I saw the solution and four of our friends did make their respective comments. Nice combination!
Jan-26-20  Pedro Fernandez: Once I saw the solution and by curiosity I put the puzzle on Stockfish 10 which did make its first announce (mate in 50) in about 7min. (I'm running @ 5GHz, HashTables=4096MB, Deep=32). Next mate in 28, then mate 26, mate in 25, mate in 24, mate in 23, and I stop the searching as CPU temp passed 85C even though it is water cooled. The initial move is correct: 27.Nef6+, recommending 27...Bxf6 (mate in 22) and not 27...Kf7 as it was played.
Jan-26-20  Walter Glattke: Nice, two-knights-mate with 32.-Kf8 33.Nh7#. Pidgeon-tail-mate with 32.-Kxf6 33.Qf5#
Premium Chessgames Member
  master8ch: Based on White's moves 31 and 35, it's clear that de Firmian was making it up as he went along. It seems a bit much, therefore, to ask us CG followers to outdo a grandmaster, by finding his combination at a time before he, himself, had completely worked it out.
Jan-26-20  siggemannen: The movie Bonfire of the Vanities was apparently very popular in former Yugoslavia (at least according to Wikipedia), and Predrag is from there. But yeah, it's a stretch, maybe it's just cause white threw almost all his pieces into the proverbial fire in a Tunis tournament
Jan-26-20  PJs Studio: deFirmian was a super GM back in the day. Hard to think of a stronger natural born American who was stronger than him after Fischer and before Nakamura. Christiansen was a beast also but was he better? Can’t remember offhand
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Christiansen was the first to receive invitations to elite events, and finished first ex aequo at Linares 1981 with Karpov, despite losing their individual encounter. DeFirmian never quite made that leading group, formidable a player as he was on the Swiss circuit from the mid 1970s onwards.

Benjamin and Wolff were also tough, though none of these players we have named ever made the Candidates--I got to play both of the above, though did not meet Wolff as a GM.

One minor point which someone will likely bring up: same as Seirawan was born in Syria, Nakamura was foreign-born. Of course both players learnt the game here in the States.

Since I broached the names of Benjamin and Wolff, my recollection is that they could both be vituperative on the subject of ex-Russians coming to America in the 1990s; that would have made their lives as professionals a whole lot tougher.

Jan-26-20  Pedro Fernandez: Hi <perfidious>, Chris today encrypted language has been very hard to understand for me. Long time ago I knew (conjecturally) that <Winking> and <Tabanus> understood a bit of Chris language, but that is impossible as Owen language is mutant. The certain is that <chrisowen> is, by far, our strongest CG chess player. Unfortunately, he has dedicated to solve the hard CG puzzles. BTW, Chris has had not absolutely any problem with any CG member, all the contrary, Chris is a man very well respected in our community. Anyway, it is quite probable, my great <perfidious>, you know to <chrisowen> much more than I know him. Greetings for both!
Jan-26-20  goldfarbdj: <Pedro Fernandez>: It's possible to find comments by chrisowen that are lucid, or at least very nearly so. He has some sort of progressive aphasia, and it's possible to trace his decline over time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: I have liked <chrisowen's> writing for a while, and I mean it with sincerity and respect when I say it's like having the author of the Voynich Manuscript as a CG member.
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