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Tony Miles vs Alexander G Beliavsky
"Big Fun" (game of the day Mar-19-2011)
Interpolis 10th (1986), Tilburg NED, rd 1, Oct-19
Queen's Indian Defense: Kasparov Variation (E12)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-19-11  Llawdogg: Phony: Alexander's nickname is "Big Al." So, I'm guessing that beating Big Al is "Big Fun." Maybe this explains the pun.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Llawdogg> Yes, I knew about "Big Al", but didn't see how that justified the pun. Nothing new. Most of my suggested puns fall flat, so my sense of humor must not be in tune.

<Nilsson: What I don´t understand if this was studied at home, why did he not play the killing move 21.d6>

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I don't know if <21.d6> is a killing move.

White is behind in material, but has a large lead in development. In such a situation, the normal strategy is to strike while the iron is hot. The central position is somewhat closed, so White should be considering pawn breaks to open up lines for his active pieces.

This makes <21.d6> look like a logical move, but it doesn't work well toward opening lines due to the response 21...c6. The d-pawn looks strong, but it's in the way. The same situation often occurs when a king will prefer to hide behind an enemy pawn on the seventh rank rather than capture it and risk exposure.

The game continuation <21.c5> does open a line for a possible Qb5+ in some lines. If Black plays 21...Ba6 then <Jim Bartle's> 22.c4 threatens 23.Rf5 and also opens the a1-h8 diagonal.

Another way to think of this is that the ♙d5 is well situated, cramping Black's queenside development. Instead of moving it too soon, it might be better to consider resituating another piece or pawn which is not operating at its maximum.

But positions like these are hard to judge in any event, and even harder to play. If White's 21st move had been presented as a puzzle, I wonder how many of use would have found <21.c5>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: White is pretty active.
Mar-19-11  Jim Bartle: Another reason not to play 21...Ba6 is is because that bishop needs to keep the white rook out of f5. I was fooling around, playing against the computer, and once the rook is on f5 it seems everything breaks in white's favor.
Mar-19-11  David2009: I fed the critical position into Crafty End Game Trainer:

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(Miles vs Beliavsky, 1986 18?) link:

The fun starts with 18.f4 Qxf5 19.e4 Qh5 20.fxe5 dxe5 21.c5 Kd8 22.d6 Qe8. At this point Crafty End Game Trainer diverges: 22...c6. After various false starts when I failed to achieve anything with White, I set the position at move 22 colours-reversed into Crafty EGT and tried to defend. This time the boot was on the other foot, and I lost repeatedly in tactical variations. The tactics are mind-boggling. Respect to both players for this fun game! EGT link (22..? colours reversed):

So is the sacrifice sound or not? Does it matter? Fritz 6 playing Black can beat Crafty EGT colours-reversed, but this proves nothing since Fritz 6 thinks significantly longer / analyses more deeply. The successful defence runs 19.e4 Qh5 20.fxe5 dxe5 21.c5 Kd8 22.d6 (as in the game) d6! 23.Qe3! Nd7 24.cxb6 axb6! (the EGT plays instead 24...c5 25.Rf5 Qe8 26.h5 Bb7 27.Bxe5 Rh7 28.Qg3 Qe6 29.bxa7 Bxe4 30.Rf4 Bf5 but this eventually loses for Black in EGT vs EGT) 25.Rf5 Qg6 26.Bxe5 Rh7 27.Bf6+ Ke8 28.h5 Qg8 29.e5 Nc5 30.Rf2 Be6 31.Rb2 Ra6 32.a3 Rha7 33.Rf1 Bc4 34.Re1 Kd7 35.Reb1 Na4 36.Rf2 Qh7 37.Rb4 Be6 38.Be7 (Fritz 6 recommends 38.Bh4) c5 39.Rbf4 c4! 40.Rf8 Nc5 41.R2f6 Qd3 42.Qxh6 Rxa3 43.Rf1 Qxc3 44.Qh8 Qe3+ 45.Kh1 Ra1 46.Bh4 Qe2 47.Kh2 Rxf1 48.Rxf1 Qxf1 and Black is a full Rook up 0-1).

Mar-19-11  WhiteRook48: simple ownage
Mar-20-11  Nilsson: Answer to Phony Benoni. The problem with 21...c6 is 22.d7! Bd7: 23.Rad1 Rh7 24.Qd6 Rf7 25.Be5: and all black pieces are cramped. /JN
Mar-20-11  joupajou: <Jim Bartle: Another reason not to play 21...Ba6 is is because that bishop needs to keep the white rook out of f5. I was fooling around, playing against the computer, and once the rook is on f5 it seems everything breaks in white's favor.>

Correct. 21. ..Ba4 22.c4 Nd7 23.Rf5 Qg6 24.h5 Qg7 25.c6 Nc5 26.Qc3

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Multiple threats, what to do?

26. ..0-0-0 27. Bxe5

26. ..Nxe4 27. Qxe5+

26. ..Bc8 27. Qxe5+

and so on.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Nilsson: Answer to Phony Benoni. The problem with 21...c6 is 22.d7! Bd7: 23.Rad1 Rh7 24.Qd6 Rf7 25.Be5: and all black pieces are cramped. /JN >

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Upon further review, I'd have to agree with that assessment.

Mar-20-11  Jim Bartle: I also think 21. c6 could be followed by 22.d7, but not only because it opens the d-file. As I said above, what wants to play Rf5, and 21. d7 makes that possible.
Nov-28-11  engineerX: 18.f4!! the best theoretical novelty of all time according to sahovski informator
Mar-06-12  thegoldenband: Dennis Monokroussos happened to mention this game recently on his blog. I hadn't seen it before, and all I can say is, wow!

BTW, I think the pun is that "Big Fun" was an album by Miles Davis. Between that and Beliavsky's nickname, there you go.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <engineerX> is correct. The game received a perfect 90 points, 10 points from each of the nine judges - the only game to date ever to do so. Myself, I only got a 10 from Larsen, a 9 from Byrne, and a 1 from Razuvaev for F Rhine vs D Sprenkle, 1981.
May-05-12  I play the Fred: <I only got a 10 from Larsen, a 9 from Byrne, and a 1 from Razuvaev for F Rhine vs D Sprenkle, 1981>

Low score from the Russian judge.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <I play the Fred: <I only got a 10 from Larsen, a 9 from Byrne, and a 1 from Razuvaev for F Rhine vs D Sprenkle, 1981>

Low score from the Russian judge.>

:-) I omitted mention of the other (six? I don't have the book at hand) judges, each of whom gave me a 0.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Incidentally, 13...d5!!, as in Delchev vs Ivanchuk, 2003 and later games, is an extremely important TN (I would think of "perfect 90" proportions) that does <not> appear in "1000 TN!!," Chess Informant's collection of the 1,000 games in Chess Informants 11 through 110 that were voted the 10 most theoretically important in each of those volumes. It was apparently introduced in Rublevsky-Har-Zvi, 1993 (Ivanchuk knew of that game and followed it), which is not in Informant.
May-05-12  King Death: <FSR> Or anywhere else, just like <acirce> I looked and can't find that game.
May-05-12  Shams: <FSR> Why were Larsen and Byrne such outliers? Six donuts and a perfect score in the same group just doesn't make sense. Well, figure skating this is not.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Shams> Edmar J Mednis, to whom I originally sent the game and who sent it on to Chess Informant, remarked in a letter to me that "Chess Informant is an extremely class-conscious publication." (That was by way of explaining that I shouldn't get my hopes up - that there was a good chance that Informant wouldn't publish the game.) If the game had been Karpov-Miles or some such instead of a game between two unknowns, it might well have racked up more points. But I'm not complaining - how many experts (as I was at the time) get a game published in Chess Informant and then have it make the list of the top 10 TNs? (And that now appear in "1000 TN!") Very, very few.
Aug-16-13  Conrad93: Wow, 18. f4!! is just incredible to find over the board.

Miles must have felt like a million bucks.

If only he had played 21. d6!, instead of 21. c5, he would have won much faster.

Sep-12-13  DrGridlock: Some discussion in earlier posts about the merits of 21 d6 vs the game continuation 21 c5. Komodo confirms the superiority of d6 (though both continuations are sufficient for a win):

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Analysis by Komodo32 3 32bit (depth = 20):

1. (2.37): 21.d6 c6 22.d7+ Bxd7 23.Rad1 Rh7 24.Qd6 Rf7 25.Bxe5 a5 26.Rxf7 Qxf7 27.Rf1 Qg8 28.Qf6 Be6 29.Bd6 Ra7 30.Bxb8 Rd7 31.Qxh6 c5 32.Rf6 Bxc4 33.Qh5+ Bf7 34.Qe5+ Re7 35.Qd6 Re6 36.Rxe6+ Bxe6

2. ± (1.15): 21.c5 Kd8 22.c6 Qe8 23.Rf2 Na6 24.Raf1 Nc5 25.Qe2 Rg8 26.c4 a5 27.Rf7 Ra7 28.R1f6 h5 29.Rf1 Ba6 30.R7f5 Kc8 31.Rxe5 Qd8

In John Emms annotations to the game in "The World's Greatest Chess Games," Emms identifies a lesson from this game:

"When one has sacrificed material, but has a lead in development, it's normal to open the position even more before the defender has a chance to consolidate. In this game this was achieved by the very direct 21 c5! and 22 d6!."

The theme of "opening the position even more" is accomplished even more directly by 21 d6 than by 21 c5.

Dec-15-14  TheBish: 18. f4!! was a theoretical novelty (TN). This was the only game to ever receive a perfect rating from Chess Informant's panel of nine judges, 10 out of 10 from each.

Aug-07-17  Howard: Would 18...gxf3 have been worth considering ? Please shed some light on this, someone.
Aug-07-17  Nerwal: <Would 18...gxf3 have been worth considering ? Please shed some light on this, someone.>

18... gxf3 19. ♖xf3! ♗xf5 20. ♖xf5 ♕g7 21. ♗xe5! dxe5 22. d6! +- Miles.

Jan-13-20  Sally Simpson: <" Wow, 18. f4!! is just incredible to find over the board.">

As stated earlier the move 18.f4 was found a few weeks before this game was played in a joint analysis session with John Nunn, (Susan Polgar was also there.) John says it was a joint discovery between him and Miles. (intro to Game 11 in Nunn's Best Games).

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