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Larry Christiansen vs Lawrence Gilden
"Onward Christiansen Soldiers" (game of the day Dec-23-2009)
USA (1976)
Sicilian Defense: Kan Variation. Wing Attack (B43)  ·  1-0



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sac: 18.Qg4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-23-09  kevin86: Rf7 is a brutal threat and black cannot do thing one to stop it.
Dec-23-09  patzer2: The background and history of the pun (Hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers") at may be of interest.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: As other have pointed out, there are plenty of missed opportunities in this one.

19 Qg5 would have been nice. (seeing Qh6, then Qg7#).

click for larger view

Now, after 19...Nd7 20 fxg6 fxg6 21 Qxd5+, white should pick up a couple of pawns.

click for larger view

Dec-23-09  patzer2: At is an enteresting biography of the writer of the hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers."

As a cleric, prolific writer, scholar and the father of 15 children, the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould apparently sometimes had lapses of memory. < It is also told how, at a children's party he asked a small girl, "And whose little girl are you?" whereon she burst into tears, and said: "I'm yours, Daddy." This story was verified by his daughter, Joan, who said that the little girl had been herself.>

Dec-23-09  Samagonka: <gchristofer> In these daily puzzles, what does it mean if I keep getting the right ideas, but the wrong tactics?

It simply means you sre not a GM. ;)

Dec-23-09  patzer2: This is a game worthy of study for an opening set up against the Sicilian. After 3. Nf3, Christiansen maintains a clear advantage against strong defense. What I like about his opening setup is that it is easy to find strong moves for White, but very difficult for Black.

In the tactical phase, Christainsen's 16. f5! begins a near decisive assault on the weakened castled position. Even though it's a best move, 16. f5! is not likely to show up as a Sunday puzzle choice because Black may be able to survive with precise defense and a little luck after 16...dxe5.

However, the sham piece sacrifice 18. Qg4! appears to win and might be worthy of selection as a future weekend puzzle choice.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <patzer2> He sounds like a fascinating man. With modern ears I winced at the apparent political incorrectness of this bit from your Wikipedia article:

"It was while acting as a curate that he met and fell in love with Grace Taylor, the 16-year-old daughter of a mill hand. He sent Grace to live for two years with a vicar's family in York to learn proper manners, then brought her back and married her in 1868"

... but then I was warmed by the rest of the story ...

"When he buried his wife in 1916 he had carved on her tombstone the Latin motto Dimidium Animae Meae ("Half my Soul")."

Dec-23-09  Julian713: <Once><I have seen seasoned players groan when I meet their 1...c5 with 2. Nc3 and the closed sicilian. It may not be the cutting edge of theory, but it's been a faithful workhorse for me over many years.>

Well the immediate point of playing 1...c5 is to challenge white's dominance of the center in a way that 1...e5 cannot achieve. The goal is to say "you may have the tempo, but I'm going to force you into a center-pawn deficiency." White playing 2.Nc3 says "so what? I'm not going to push my center pawns at first anyway." It's a very strong mindgame because 1...c5 is only effective when the white player has played d5. By developing pieces instead of playing Nf3....d5, white gains the advantage unless Black is somehow able to keep up in development (which i suspect is why the most popular response to 2.Nc3 is 2...Nc6)

That's my two cents, anyway. I have a soft spot for playing c5-d6-e5-Nc6 Sicilians, obviously not necessarily in that order but in the first few moves. Behind on development, yes, but it's surprising how few White players are able to attack the triangle of pawns being used to clog the middle.

Dec-23-09  chillowack: <Jimfromprovidence: As other have pointed out, there are plenty of missed opportunities in this one. 19 Qg5 would have been nice. (seeing Qh6, then Qg7#).

Now, after 19...Nd7 20 fxg6 fxg6 21 Qxd5+, white should pick up a couple of pawns.>

Thank you, Jim! It's refreshing to see someone contributing their own analysis, rather than computer variations.

Human analysis has begun to wane on this site, with more and more players opting to paste Rybka's thoughts instead. But to my mind, the fun and benefit of analyzing chess games really lies in coming up with your own ideas, exercising your own mind and imagination--not letting the computer do your homework for you!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Julian713> Agreed - the c5-d6-e5 formation for black does slow white down in the closed.

What white is really hoping for is for black to adopt a dragon-style kingside fianchetto with d6, g6, Bg7 and 0-0. Then we get to play Fischer's patented anti-dragon attack with Be3/ Qd2/ Bh6 / h4/ h5. Great fun ... for white at least.

More clued-up sicilian players have got wise to the quick white wins with this approach. Now they tend to play for d6 and e5, and often hold off castling to make white's rather telegraphed kingside attack seem a little silly.

In my 30 odd years of playing chess, I have seen a strange arms race develop between black and white in the sicilian. First of all, I used to play the Grand Prix attack (1. e5 c5 2.f4). Some nice quick wins followed, but then the black players got wise.

So then I switched to a delayed Grand Prix with 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Bb5 intending a later f4. Some nice quick wins, until .. you guessed it ... black players found the antidote.

Then I discovered the "old" closed sicillian with 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 and f4. And the pattern repeated itself again ... a few quick wins followed by black fighting back.

A few years ago, I graduated to the "new" closed sicilian, with 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 followed by Be3, Qd2. And again, I had my fun for a while but the quick wins have tried up since.

If the pattern repeats itself again, I ought to look for my fifth line against 1...c5. But I think I'll stick with the closed for a while yet.

Dec-23-09  patzer2: <Once> Glad you enjoyed the article about the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould. Sending a 16-year-old girl off to serve in a minister's home to learn manners and then be married is certainly not politically correct.

However, it makes me wonder whether our modern tradition of sending 18-year-olds off to Universities where they often unlearn their parents' values, morals and manners is always an improvement. For example, I can remember a classmate and friend of mine from the sixties who crashed a motorcycle and was paralyzed for life after learning how to expand his conciousness with illegal drugs during his freshman year of College.

In the context of his times, it would appear the Reverend's plan was humane and that he and his wife enjoyed a happy, meaningful and productive life.

Dec-23-09  RandomVisitor: After <19...Nd7> 20.fxg6 fxg6 it appears that black has a playable game, but not without complications:

click for larger view

Rybka 3:

<[+0.33] d=21 21.Bxg6> Nxf6 22.Bxh7+ Kh8 23.Rxf6 Rxf6 24.Bd3 Qa5 25.Qh4+ Kg7 26.Qg5+ Kf7 27.Qxd5+ Qxd5 28.Rxd5 a5 29.b3 a4 30.bxa4 Rxa4 31.g3 Ra1+ 32.Kg2 Re1 33.Rd4 Ke6 34.Rb4 Rh6 35.Rb8 Kf7 36.h4

[+0.26] d=21 21.Qg5 Nxf6 22.Rxf6 Rxf6 23.Qxf6 Rf8 24.Qg5 Bf7 25.Qf4 Qb6 26.b3 Bd5 27.Qe3 Kg7 28.Re4 Qxe3+

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <patzer2> Agreed. Mind you, not all parents are good role models!

Have a good Christmas.

Dec-25-09  patzer2: <RV> It would appear White can avoid giving Black chances with 19...Nd7 by playing 19. fxg6! (instead of 19. Rxd4).
Jun-27-11  nolanryan: what means christiansen soldiers?
Jun-27-11  SimonWebbsTiger: @nolanryan

<Onward Christian soldiers> is an old hymn.

Feb-11-22  Brenin: I had 18 Qe3, with the plan of 19 Qh6 (threatening mate on g7) or 19 Qg5, followed by fxg6 or Rh4 (after the N on d4 moves or is exchanged). I think that after replies like 18 ... Nd7 or 18 ... Qd8, 19 Qg5 transposes to the game line, with a quick win for White.
Premium Chessgames Member
  raymondhow: I too wanted to play 18 Qe3, and see that it can transpose to 18 Qg4 line with best play. Whether I would have found best subsequent moves is debatable. It's a dilemma whether to give myself credit for a solve. Maybe a half credit...
Feb-11-22  mel gibson: I didn't find this one.
Stockfish 14 is giving a strange answer.
It says:

18. c4

(18. c4 (c2-c4 e5xd4 c4xd5
♘b8-d7 f5xg6 f7xg6 ♖a4-c4 ♕c7-d8 ♕e2-e6+ ♖f8-f7 ♕e6xd6 ♘d7-b6 ♕d6xd8+ ♖a8xd8 ♖c4xd4 ♔g8-f8 ♖f1-a1 ♖f7xf6 ♖a1xa6 ♖f6-d6 ♗d3-e2 ♘b6-c8 ♖a6-a8 ♘c8-e7 ♖a8xd8+ ♖d6xd8 ♗e2-g4 ♖d8xd5 ♖d4xd5 ♘e7xd5 ♔g1-f2 ♔f8-e7 ♗g4-f3 ♘d5-b4 ♔f2-e3 ♔e7-d6 ♔e3-d4 ♘b4-c2+ ♔d4-e4 ♘c2-b4 ♗f3-d1 ♔d6-c5 ♗d1-b3 ♔c5-d6 ♗b3-c4 ♘b4-c6 ♔e4-f4 h7-h6 ♗c4-e2 ♘c6-b4 ♔f4-e4 ♘b4-d5 ♗e2-f3 ♘d5-c7 ♗f3-d1 ♘c7-d5 ♗d1-e2 ♘d5-f6+ ♔e4-d4 ♘f6-d5 ♗e2-c4 ♘d5-f6) +3.70/44 56)

score for White +3.70 depth 44.

Stockfish 14 gives a slightly better result
if forced to follow the game ply 18. Qg4

18. Qg4 Nd7

(18. .. Nd7 (♘b8-d7
♕g4-g5 ♔g8-h8 ♘d4-e2 ♕c7-d8 ♖a4-h4 ♕d8xf6 ♖h4xh7+ ♔h8xh7 f5xg6+ f7xg6 ♖f1xf6 ♖f8xf6 ♘e2-g3 ♖a8-f8 ♕g5-h5+ ♔h7-g7 ♕h5-g4 ♗d5-e6 ♕g4-g5 ♖f8-h8 ♘g3-e4 ♗e6-f7 h2-h3 ♖f6-e6 ♗d3-c4 ♖e6-f6 ♘e4xf6 ♘d7xf6 ♗c4xa6 ♖h8-a8 ♗a6-e2 ♖a8-a1+ ♔g1-h2 ♖a1-a4 ♕g5-c1 ♖a4-e4 ♗e2-f3 ♖e4-f4 ♕c1-e3 ♗f7-d5 ♗f3-e2 ♗d5-c4 ♗e2xc4 ♖f4xc4 ♕e3-a3 ♖c4xc2 ♕a3xd6 ♘f6-h5 b2-b4 ♘h5-f4 ♕d6xe5+ ♔g7-f7 ♕e5xf4+ ♔f7-e7) -4.49/39 152)

score for Black -4.49 depth 39.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: I quash no arrive Qg4 garcon accomodate v i quash no arrive pug flack i ms wobble elbow it i v centre quash its dj july v its gloopy get fictin uvray ran macks its hobble v its wo jz its c gallway gab its goody aged its ooh fight god cia ah v i might hug ha it ear hug dt hi it wa evict met da ply da nt ebullient mc bro v ft he wax floss ada na ro nas flop trent lud hot how it v aim c then it goth hal v it cap c v edible it aflush a v photon beam lecture its chi rant nes v it ceo fad fc nfc otb it oo a x c abluff frazzle its oo a grinch a hucky rac bog tag cc ban he c lars led it cd fig it cane it re haggle on it dean fig sit hi ji v it hr v lick c bray dr c it ale it dre cry ra vin et cc rides it ft i hag claw it wc dr fee cheng lag c v fended it hard tod v gq fa gg ho dt qued it gen carry sir lathe nines it insane starry chi v lorn saint chisel ray rotor now its woo to v gideon it wall rc its energy white v ha checks no go i ja gen draw c v its rare cent it v i sha rise it o lilly gr hi hi o v it jostle kilt its ace it wren lid its v i length sir c snarly a rien it q flu on hi ft trees palm strike u its end og it why press its nill Qg4 bah!
Feb-11-22  saturn2: Today I an in danger of being puffed up because I looked at 18.Qg4 and 18 c4. But it was rather a guess and am rather surprised they are also the Stockfish choice. The third possibility sacrificing the attacked knight did not convince.
Feb-11-22  agb2002: Black threatens exd4.

The weakened black castle, the defenseless black bishop and the split rooks suggest fxg6 combined with Be4. However, after 18.fxg6 fxg6 (18... exd4 19.gxh7+ Kh8 20.Qg4 and mate next; 18... hxg6 19.Nf5 with a winning attack) 19.Be4 Bxe4 20.Qxe4 Qa7 Black wins the knight.

The blood thirsty alternative 18.Ne6 is simply met with 18... Bxe6.

I don't know. I'd probably try to build the attack somewhat more slowly with Nf3 (to allow Rh4) or Qe3 (threatening Qh6).

Feb-11-22  Stanco: it is Qg4 with a plan to reach h6 with tempo i.e.

18...Nd7? 19.fxg6 fxg6 20.Bxg6 Nxf6 21.Qg5 exd4 22.Rxf6... or

18...Qd8? 19.fxg6 fxg6 20.Bxg6...

Feb-11-22  Stanco: It is obvious you don't play 19.Qxd4 (as it was played in the game), you play Qg5
Feb-11-22  Brenin: I didn't seriously consider the SF recommendation 18 c4, assuming that the critical action would be on the K-side. It has the interesting side-line that if 18 ... Bb7 then 19 fxg6 fxg6 (19 ... hxg6 20 Qe3 and 21 Qh6) then 20 Ne6 Qb6+ 21 c5 dxc5 22 Bc4 (not 22 Nxf8 c4+) leaves Black helpless.
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