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Karl Robatsch vs Duncan Suttles
Olympiad Final-B (1974), Nice FRA, rd 9, Jun-23
Modern Defense: General (A41)  ·  0-1



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  vonKrolock: <DP12: I wonder if Duncan Suttles could have played 20...♕h4! h3 ♘g5 instead of his move 20...♘g5!?> Yes, he could - but after 22.♗g4! hg 23.♕g4 white is safe with a sane ♙ to the good

<21.g3> a weak move - well, of course he had some intention playing thus: if there were not wolves, the sheeps would arrive to Mecca...

< I am not sure that ♔arl ♖obatsch was losing "straightforwardly" after 25. ♖h1> The actual line untill 29.♔h1 being practically forced, leaves black with a decisive positional advantage – the ♙ in ‘h2’ is very inconvenient for white, also the ♔ placing in ‘h1’ quite unconfortable: sooner or later those factors will tell – what really happened in the Game

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  vonKrolock: <25.♖h1>? <25.hg ♖h2 26.♔g1 ♖ah8!? (the second piece sac) 27.♗g4 (now forced - ♕h6! was threatened) 27...f5 (best) 28.ef gf 29.♗f3 ♕h6! (a leitmotiv...) 30.♗h5! (way to freedom) ♖h5 31.♕c4> <note:> black can improve this line playing now 31...e4!?, trying to cut the ♔'s escape, thus forcing 32.♘e4 or 32.♕d4 ♔f7 33.♘e4 <the second piece return (!)>, what would, anyway, leave white with a better position plus one or two ♙♙s>

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  vonKrolock: Then <26...♖f2> was a better practical chance (even if 27.♖f2 ♕c1 28.♕f1 ♕c3 29.♗g4 leaves white with a piece too much –for two ♙♙s) : ♗ut the alternative 27.♕e1!? can gives room for some hidden quirks <note: neither 27.♕d3 ♖d2!, nor 27.♕d1 ♕e3! are to be considered>:
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  vonKrolock: Therefore <25.hg ♖h2 26.♔g11 ♖f2 27.♕e1> !? a) 27...♖b2 is dangerous enough for white: (aa) 28.♗g4 (♕h6! was threatened) 28...♕g4 29.♕e3 ♖h8! 30.♖f2 ♖h3! etc; (ab) with 28.♘d1 ♖a2 29.♘f2 ♘f2 <note: 29...♘e3 is also interesting> 30.♖f2 ♕g3 31.♗g2 the compensation for the piece is already satisfactory for black
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  vonKrolock: <25.hg ♖h2 26.♔g1 ♖f2 27.♕e1> 27...♖xf3!!? a wonderful find - black sacrifices further the exchange, and plays from now on a ♖ behind! The point is that if now 28.♖f3 ♖h8! 29.♕f1 (targeting ‘f7’) in order to win a tempo for the defense, then 29...♖h1!! wins sur-le-champ (!) - white must proceed precise and carefully: 29.♘b5! (better than a mere waiting move) ♕h6 30.♖f7 (again the return of a piece!) ♔f7 31.♖c7 (but not 31.♘d6?? ♔e7 32.♘c8 ♔d8! And black wins) 31...♔g8 32.♖c8 ♔g7 – and white have a choice between perpetual check, or a balanced endgame after 33.♖h8 ♔h8 34.♕e2! (not 34.♘d6? ♕h2 35. ♔f1 ♔g8! etc)

Jun-08-05  DP12: I understood that after 20...Qh4 h3 Ng5 white could take a pawn but as far as I could tell this transposes to the case that he refused after Ng5. but maybe not exactly. Rf3 is a nice move so, white probably avoided hg with good reason.
Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: <DP12> Maybe that fantastic exchange sacrifice <27...♖f3!!> was never took into consideration (even in post-play analysis) by both players (partly because the line <27.♖f2 ♕c1 etc> is clear enough for a practical aproach): but it's a nice paradox - and also of difficult aprehension, because no black piece occupies the fatidic 'h' line when it occurs: it's a really wonderful example of an artistic stroke, like those found in composed Studies...

< in the line <27... ♖f3!! 28.♖f3 ♖h8 29.♘b5 ♕h6 30.♖f7! ♔f7> white can continue now with 31.♕f1 too, namely: ♘f6 (forced) 32.♖c7 etc, also with a draw or balanced endgame

Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: <DP12: this transposes to the case that he refused after ♘g5>

<20...♘g5> 21.♗g4 hg 22.♕g4 ♖h4!!, and now: a) 22.♕h4?? ♘f3!;

b) 22.♕e2 ♕h8!, and if 23.h3?, then 23...♖h3!

c) 22.♕g3 (best) ♘e4 - geting the ♙ back with some advantage

<but maybe not exactly.> Exactly - "maybe not exactly" :)

Jun-08-05  DP12: After 26... Rf2 your claim that white could continue 27.Rf2 and white would stand better after Qc1 etc...but why not simply play 27...Nxf2 threatening g3 and also threatening c1? White would be obligated to reply 28.Rf1 to avoid some embarrassing incident like Re1 Qg3+ Bg2 Rh1! but then black wins very easily by Qxg3+ Bg2 Nh3+ Kh1 Qxc3. Your move 27.Qe1 is another move but in fact black must still be better at least by simply taking on b2 if not in the line Rf3, which goes beyond my powers of analysis without anyway to move the pieces after 25.h:g.
Jun-08-05  DP12: Well I will try anyway. Even though it is nice to try to win with Rh1+! after 27...R:f3 28 R:f3, maybe the more direct 28...Qh6! is better, for example after this move, your interesting defense with 29.Nb5 probably fails to 29... Qh2+ 30.Kf1 Qh1+ 31.Ke2 Qg2+ 32.Rf2 Nxf2 33.Qxf2 Qxe4+ 34.Qe3(looks forced) Qxd5 with alot of pawns and the knight and a2 pawn both hanging with check.
Jun-08-05  DP12: 30...Qb2!? is also a very interesting possibility because the threat is Nh2+ winning the house and seems even stronger. This confirms the strength of your concept Rf3!! and I don't see anyway for white to survive...
Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: <DP12> Your appretiation of this highly inflammable situation <after <25.hg ♖h2 26.♔g1 ♖f2!> and now?!> brings forward new and interesting possibilities:

<27.♖f2> 27...♘f2. now (a) 28.♖f1?? is weak: 28...♕g3 29.♗g2 ♘h3 30.♔h1 ♖h8! and wins - So white must choose between (b) 28.♕f1 or (c) 28.♖c2;

< and after <27.♕e1 ♖f3 28.♖f3> 28...♕h6> A smart attempt! In this situation, only 29.♔f1!? can perhaps make some difference to lines that affords an immediately subsequent 29...♖h8 (of course that 29.♘b5?? can be discarded)

Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: <27...♘f2> (b) 28.♕f1: with (ba) 28...♕g3 29.♕g2 ♘h3 30.♘h3 ♔f8 etc white is safe; so, the beautiful (bb) 28...♘h3! 29.♔g2 (best - if ♔ in the line 'h', then ♖h8! wins) 29...♘f4 30.♔f2 ♘d3! wining the exchange; therefore (c) 28.♖c2 is the only move! 28...♕g3 29.♕g2 ♘h3 30.♔f1 and black's attack fades away
Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: < and after <27.♕e1 ♖f3 28.♖f3> 28...♕h6>

29.♔f1 ♘h2 (or 29...♖h8 30.♔e2 etc - but not 30.♖f2?? ♕c1!) 30.♔e2 or even 30.♔g2 and the perspectives for black are not clearly brilliant...

It seems that 28...♖h8!! is still the best:
(a) 29.♖f2? ♖h1! followed by ♘f2 and ♘d3;

(b) 29.♖d3 ♖h2! etc

(c) 29.♘b5! (best)

28...♖h8!! is, therefore, the only way to force the return of a ♖ (!) in this line - 29.♘b5 ♕h6 30.♖f7 etc - and ensure an even game

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <vonKrolock> I left a question for you at the Kibitzers Cafe but you probably missed it so I'll ask again here.

Have you ever heard of a player named Max Ponimoni? He was originally from Germany moved to New Zealand and played in a New Zealand Chess Championship in the late 1950's and subsequently settled in Brazil.

Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: <Benzol> Oh, sorry - the Caf้ is changing too fast recently - No, i never heard of him - it's already a mystery: nothing can be found on-line, too... Well, i mean that many informations are not yet on-line - if You could precise where exactly in Brazil he settled?!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <vonKrolock> I'm sorry mate the info I've given is all I have. It comes from Ortvin Sarapu's book on the 25 five years of New Zealand Championships. I thought that Max Ponimoni might have played later in Brazilian Chess Circles somewhere. Don't worry about it, I was just curious.
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  vonKrolock: I submitted brief notes to another episode of ultra-violence Kotov vs Lipnitsky, 1951

<Benzol> ok, even so i'll try to verify this point

Jun-11-05  aw1988: I have grown very much attached to these openings played by Keene/Day/Suttles/Robatsch or anyone else like that (there are a few Canadians). Flank openings really have a nature of their own.
Sep-08-05  atripodi: <I have grown very much attached to these openings played by Keene/Day/Suttles/Robatsch or anyone else like that (there are a few Canadians). Flank openings really have a nature of their own.> I'm recently recovering from a similar phase myself (in which, much to the dismay of my friends, I played 1.g3 or 1...g6 in virtually every game). In addition to the names you mentioned, the games of GMs Norwood, Hickl, and Azmaiparashvili are very instructive for the aspiring flank opening master.
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  IMlday: Already in the early 70's Ray Keene had categorized the 'system' as 'climbing up the edges'. Note that after 15..Bh6 (and subsequently) the black pieces are only using the back rank and h-file, yet are well developed.. Periphery chess.. ??
Oct-31-05  lentil: 24. Bxg4? hg+ 25. Kg2 (25. Kxg3 Qf4+ 26. Kg2 Rxh2+ 27. Kg1 Rah8 28. Bf3 Rh1+ 29. Bxh1 Qh2#) ... Rxh1+ 26. Kg1 Rah8 27. Bf3 g2 28. Bxg2 Rh1#
Jun-14-06  mack: I came across a dusty copy of the Batsford Chess Yearbook 1974 today; it describes the state of play after 16...Nxh6 as 'A more-or-less standard position for Suttles or his fellow countryman Day'.
May-01-09  ROO.BOOKAROO: Ray Keene comments on this game in his LONDON TIMES column for May 2, 2009. The first few moves are described by him in a slightly different order, but they develop the same position and the same ensuing game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: i have just put a direct link to my comments to robatsch v suttles on lawrence days page
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