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Herman Pilnik vs Miguel Najdorf
"A Bitter Pilnik to Swallow" (game of the day May-20-2013)
Mar del Plata (1942), Mar del Plata ARG, rd 13, Mar-??
Caro-Kann Defense: Tartakower Variation (B15)  ·  1-0



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Given 30 times; par: 34 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-11-02  drukenknight: 9...Rd1+ looks stronger, that would gain tempo. Pushing c pawn twice also loses tempo. Gee how many tempos did black lose in the opening anyhow?
Oct-11-02  drukenknight: ALERT NOTATION ERROR; 9...Re8+ looks stronger, that would gain tempo. Pushing c pawn twice also loses tempo. Gee how many tempos did black lose in the opening anyhow?
Jan-08-08  sambo: If I was sure that all the moves after white's 23rd were best play or forced, I would say this is the most diabolical Sunday puzzle imaginable. I'm nowhere near good enough to say, but someone else might weigh in.
May-03-11  bengalcat47: This game is featured in Reinfeld's book "Great Brilliancy Prize Games of the Chess Masters."
May-19-13  backrank: This extraordinary game is featured in several books, e.g.

Chernev: The bright side of chess

Fine: Chess marches on

Vukovic: The art of attack

Certainly it deserves to be better known.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Wow. An amazing game, which I'd never seen before. Please make this GOTD ASAP.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Najdorf normally <owned> Pilnik. Not this time, obviously. A beautiful and very impressive game.

Houdini 3 indicates that the game was very well played by both sides. 18...fxe4 looks a little odd, but Najdorf must have played it because he didn't like 18...Qxe4 19.Nxg6! Qxh4 20.Nxh4 when Black's pawn structure is ugly, although Houdini thinks Black has a tenable ending after 20...Be6. After 18...fxe4, Houdini takes a while to see 19.Nxh5! Houdini considers Najdorf's 21...Kf8? the only serious mistake by either player. He should have played 21...e3! 22.Rxd6 exf2+ 23.Kf1 Bg4! 24.Qg5+ Qxg5 25.Bxg5 Ne5 26.Bd5 Nd3 27.Be4 Nc5 28.Bc2 Re8 29.Rd8 Rxd8 30.Bxd8 Kg7 with a tenable ending.

Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: Wow,<FSR> they responded very quickly to your request.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <sleepyirv> Indeed. I had no idea I had such clout. :-)
May-20-13  newzild: What's wrong with 24...Qxc4? To me, it seems to offer Black better chances than he gets in the game. Eg: 25. h3 e3 26. hxg4 exf2+ 27. Qxf2 hxg4, and the White king is exposed to checks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <newzild> 24...Qxc4 25.Qf4 looks crushing.
May-20-13  King Sacrificer: Was this gem hidden since 2002? Congrats <backrank> for finding it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: A great game by Pilnik, all the more so that he won on move 32 against Najdorf who wasn't playing all that badly.

Thanks <FSR> for getting this game posted.

May-20-13  backrank: <King Sacrificer> You're welcome :)

It's been only recently that I've found it in 'Chess marches on' by Reuben Fine. I fell in love with this game instantly. I like

19 Nxh5!
20 Bf6!!
and especially
22 b4!!
as a preparation to
23 Qg3!!
(the black knight had to be deflected from d8 to make this possible)

click for larger view

May-20-13  backrank: And of course, many thanks to <FSR> for liking it and making it GOTD.
May-20-13  RookFile: Najdorf was playing for a win, of course, but Pilnik rose to the occasion and made a feast out of his kingside attack.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: everybody see white's 23rd and black's 27th? Both sides offer the queen at the sting of a mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <FSR: <sleepyirv> Indeed. I had no idea I had such clout. :-)>

Is your uncle named Sir Robert Walpole? ;)

May-20-13  Ezzy: Najdorf won the tournament with 13.5/17, his only loss was this game against Pilnik.

Pilnik was joint second with Stahlburg on 13/17.

May-20-13  Mendrys: For some silly reason I initially thought that the game ended with 31...Rc3+ 0-1 and couldn't for the life of me figure out what black was supposed to do to prevent mate on d8 after 32. f3. After about minutes I rechecked the game score and was a bit relieved to see that I wasn't losing my mind!
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <scormus: <FSR: <sleepyirv> Indeed. I had no idea I had such clout. :-)>

Is your uncle named Sir Robert Walpole? ;) >

No, I'm not <quite> that old. :-)

May-20-13  The silent man: He should have played the Najdorf!
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <The silent man: He should have played the Najdorf!>


Sep-27-21  DouglasGomes: 21... e3 is a good move but not enough
<SF: +2.96 d41> 21...e3 22.Bd5 exf2+ 23.Kf1 Be6 24.Qxh5 Qb5+ 25.Kxf2 Bc5+ 26.Kg3 Bd6+ 27.Kh4 Qa4+ 28.g4 Qxg4+ 29.Qxg4+ Bxg4 30.Kxg4 Be7 31.Kf5 Rd8 32.Bb3 Rxd1 33. Bxd1
May-10-22  Whitehat1963: Wow! What a game! Had not seen it before.
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