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Petar Popovic vs Slavoljub Marjanovic
"Pop Goes the Weasel" (game of the day Aug-27-2010)
Yugoslav First League (1979), Donji Milanovac YUG, rd 7, Sep-01
Sicilian Defense: Modern Variations (B50)  ·  1-0



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Given 36 times; par: 27 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: White is having a huge advantage but has to be carefull in selecting the right moves & refrain from playing 14.Bf4, Re1 & Qe2 all such moves will bring only misery to White. Therefore, 14.Bxd5 Rd8 any other R place is worse. 15.Bf4 Qc5 [ not ...e5 then 16.Nxe5 ] 16.c4 Bc6 [ ...exd5 looks risky & allows 17.Nb7 fork ] Now, Black is threatening ...Rxd6 therefore, 17.Ne4 Qb4 but it seems that White will have to sweat little more to cash his advantage.
Oct-07-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <patzer2: See <Honza Cervenka>'s posts at page one and two for an explanation>

Honza's analysis of <14...exd5> is incorrect. See the lines shown by myself (or rather by Hiarcs :-) and by <whiteshark>.

Oct-07-07  xrt999: this game is so complex I wouldnt even consider it a puzzle. Lets call it the "Sunday Complex position with infinite variations". Typical for a Sunday; not much of the play is forced. For fun I plugged the position into CM and let it rip.

I played Bxd5, so I guess I got the puzzle according to the rules here, (Lets just forget about the next 10 moves, I got Bxd5!!!). Sacrificing a bishop to open up central play. Blacks king is going to be stuck in the center and come under attack, black may try to block the check with a minor piece, which will then itself be attacked. After Bxd5, CM played exd5 though, the correct move. In the actual game black just sits there and gives the pawn away and shows nothing in return, horrible play by black. 12...d5? is the nail in blacks coffin.

Here is the line if anyone cares:

14.Bxd5 exd5
15.Qxd5 Bc6
16.re1+ Kf8
17.Qc5+ Ne7
18.Bg5 f6
19.Rxe7 Qxe7
20.Qxc6 Qe8
21.Qd6+ Qe7
22.Qxe7+ Kxe7

< fm avari viraf: White is having a huge advantage but has to be carefull in selecting the right moves >

white does not have a huge advantage here. According to CM chess engine the game is actually a draw after Bxd5.

What do you base your opinion on?

Oct-07-07  patzer2: <Mostly Average Joe> Thanks for the insight. <Honza Cervenka>'s analysis is good in considering the human response I would expect, but you and <whiteshark> consider and investigate a stronger response (i.e. 14...exd5 15. Qxd5 Qc6!?).

As always <fm avari viraf>'s comment is interesting and enlightening.

Oct-07-07  acirce: I don't see anything wrong with <Honza>'s posts. Just like he says, Black has no satisfactory way of meeting the double threat after 14..exd5 15.Qxd5. 15..Qc6 only deals with one of them and White is totally winning after 16.Nd6+ Kd8 17.Qxf7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GoldenKnight: Got the first three moves quickly. After that it required a little thought. Easy for a Sunday, I think. If you have to view puzzles as thought out all the way before you make the first move, then this is insane. I suspect that White saw no further than the first four moves. After that it was speculation based on what he thought was at least a strong attack that could at least draw.
Oct-07-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <acirce: I don't see anything wrong with <Honza>'s posts. Just like he says, Black has no satisfactory way of meeting the double threat after 14..exd5 15.Qxd5. 15..Qc6 only deals with one of them and White is totally winning after 16.Nd6+ Kd8 17.Qxf7.>

Please take a look at <whiteshark>'s continuation after 17.Qxf7 and the resulting position.

Yes, white might win thanks to 3 extra pawns and black having no place to hide - this offsets the black's pair of rooks versus white's R+N, but is this a total win? Defintely not, if you compare it to what happened in the game.

Oct-07-07  Rodrigo Gutierrez: Didn't quite get it, but I enjoyed the fireworks! Specially the end, where black resigns on account of 26... ♔xd8 27. ♖xe7 and mate follows.
Oct-08-07  kevin86: Didn't get it,but enjoyed it-the usual Sunday puzzle 4 me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I have a question. Would studying the detailed analysis of this game make me a better player? I appreciate that <MAJ>, <whiteshark>, <dzechiel>, and others have put a lot of careful thought into it, and I acknowledge that there's lots of room for improvement in my play, but face it -- this position will never occur again. What can I take away from this puzzle?

I want to learn to play like a GM, not find out what the GM should have played. The crucial question in my mind is, did white (Popovic) analyze this combination thoroughly in advance, or did he play 14. Bxd5 speculatively, based on his positional intuition. If the former, I'll never be able to do it. If the latter, then there's hope.

Oct-09-07  acirce: <Yes, white might win thanks to 3 extra pawns and black having no place to hide - this offsets the black's pair of rooks versus white's R+N, but is this a total win?> Yes.

<Defintely not, if you compare it to what happened in the game.> What's the need to compare with anything?

May-07-08  laboratory62: Simply brilliant!
Aug-27-10  bubuli55: it seems to me like everybody is looking at Bxd5 as a start of a 10 or 20 move mate. or the move that wins the game. let me roll my eyes!

that d5 pon (hihihi) is free. a recapture leads to positional disadvantage for Black. simply that :)

Aug-27-10  CapablancaFan122: In retrospect, 14. exd5 might have been better for black. Refuting the sacrifice seems to bring all sorts of trouble to Marjanovic.
Aug-27-10  bubuli55: i am more impressed with 17.c4

the control to leave the B at d5 or to hold the Nb7 move is deeper to me than Bxd5.

17...exd5 is like walking out of the room

Aug-27-10  whiteshark: uhhh, hello again...

What does the pun <Pop Goes the Weasel> mean?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Half a pound of tuppeny rice
Half a pound of treacle
That's the way the money goes
Pop goes the weasel.

This is an old nusery rhyme. The Weasel was used in cloth or linen weaving IIRC. Poping the weasel had something to do with selling it to a pawn broker I believe.

Premium Chessgames Member
Aug-27-10  PierreTheLion: xrt999's line has those queenside pawns looking interesting, but this is not a "puzzle" as we're typically used to, wherein forced mates exist.
Aug-27-10  whiteshark: Thanks <Benzol>! :D
Aug-27-10  rapidcitychess: <Benzol>
<Up and down the city road, in and out the Eagle, that's the way the money goes, Pop goes the Weasel!> That's how I heard it, with the Eagle being a <real> pub in England. Nursery rhymes are weird.
Aug-27-10  howlwolf: Nice game. Interesting possibilities both if black refuses the immediate sacrifice or accepts it. The pun would seem to be pejorative of Marjanovic; I am sure he is as nice as the next grandmaster and not really a weasel. So does the pun of the day qualify as a personal attack on this gentleman?
Aug-27-10  rapidcitychess: It's more on the White master's name, Popovic, not calling that guy a weasel.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <rapidcitychess> <Nursery rhymes are weird.>

I found that "Sapphire & Steel - Assignment 1" gave me an entirely new perspective on nusery rhymes.


Aug-28-10  kevin86: pins and needles,needles and pins;it's a happy man that grins...
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