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Leonid Shamkovich vs Pal Benko
"Sham-Wow" (game of the day Jun-12-2009)
United States Championship (1978), Pasadena, CA USA, rd 10, Jun-??
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen Variation. Keres Attack (B81)  ·  1-0



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sac: 13.Ne6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: The things I miss by not having television! Leaves more time for chess, though.
Jun-12-09  jheiner: 19.Qxe5! Or perhaps Nf6 deserves a ?, but for me Qxe5 was a lovely move. The N sac (for 2 P, a strong initiative, and a pair of deep pawns) that lead up seemed sound. But the visualization of Qxe5 just made my day.
Jun-12-09  310metaltrader: what is so great about qxe5
Jun-12-09  Shams: <So annoying I pray for his death on a daily basis.>

Isn't it enough that he's looking at felony battery?

Jun-12-09  grasser: <Shams> I can't help but hate these people. Billy Mays, Offer et al. They come into our homes yelling and hyping some garbage product that you can get in the stores for half. They even increase your TV volume during the commercial.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: 13.Ne6!

"You gotta take this knight on this move, folks. We can't do this offer all day, you know."

Jun-12-09  Shams: <They even increase your TV volume during the commercial.>

Not exactly, they just use Dynamic Range Compression to maximize all the inputs. Yes it's louder, but not because the volume is higher, if that makes any sense.

Jun-12-09  njchess: The Keres Attack in the Sicilian can be deadly. Black must play alertly or else face a determined attack.

Benko plays himself into an awkward position starting with 9. ... Nb6?. Though not a mistake exactly, this is a less than ideal spot for a knight in the Sicilian. Unless he intends to play d5 soon after, this move has few useful purposes. Still he has some time since White will have to play Rg1, which he does immediately with 10. Rg1. Now, White's intentions are abundantly clear.

13. Ne6 is one of the ideas in this variation and it can hardly be refused; it would just cause Black too many problems. I think where Benko slips up is with 14. ... g6??. He has to play Ke7 at some point anyway so this move just seems to give White two pawns for no compensation.

18. ... Nf6?? is another, though not obvious, blunder. It appears to be a solid, routine type of move that attacks the queen. Clearly, Benko was trying to solidify his position with a gain in tempo to boot. 19. Qxe5!! must have been an unpleasant surprise for Benko.

I give Benko credit for hanging in there. However, Black can't coordinate his pieces well enough to offset White's piece mobility.

Jun-12-09  WhiteRook48: 19 Qxe5!!
Jun-12-09  JG27Pyth: PhonyBenoni<<JG27Pyth> Well, I have a special interest in the concept: Game Collection: DIRP!>

My god, people will collect _anything_!

"Come over here Billingsworth, and peer into this case...yes, those are Finklestine's beetles, yes, perfect specimen's yet each one ALBINO...have you any idea how rare..."

"Oh pfaw Wingate, the display of your pedestrian tastes leaves me unmoved I assure you... now leave me in peace that I may return to contemplating my 19th century Bavarian Doubled _Un-isolated_ Rook's pawn collection... and don't stand there with your jaw hanging open... good day, Wingate."

Jun-12-09  Calli: The shamwow guy was arrested a few months a ago = Parental Guidance suggested.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <YetAnAm> Good idea in principle, but 13...Qc8 is hopeless in practice. Something like 13...Qc8 14.Nxf8 Rxf8 15.Bxb6 Nxb6 16.Qxd6 Nd7 17.Nxb5 and "far from enviable" is an understatement.

There's more tenacity in taking the knight, and varying on the next move with ...Ke7 rather than ...g6, eg 13.Ne6 fxe6 14.Qh5+ Ke7 15.fxe6 Kxe6 16.0-0-0 Ke7 17.g6 Nf6 18.Bg5 Qe8 19.Bh4 -- when white is better, but not to quite the extent as in the game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <JG27Pyth: "...Doubled _Un-isolated_ Rook's pawn..,">

Of course--a DURP! Much better than the terminology I had come up with. Thank you for this valuable contribution to theory!

Jun-12-09  hedgeh0g: What a remarkable game!
Jun-12-09  computer chess guy: <14. ... g6??. He has to play Ke7 at some point anyway so this move just seems to give White two pawns for no compensation.> Yes. 14 .. ♔e7 15. fxe6 ♔xe6 16. ♗h3+ ♔e7 and White doesn't really have anything.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: You could have a steam train (1. e4 c5) if you'd just lay down your tracks (2. Nf3 e6)/You could have an aeroplane flying (3. d4 cxd4) if you bring your blue sky back (4. Nxd4 Nf6)/All you do is call me (5. Nc3 d6), I'll be anything you need (6. g4 a6)/You could have a Big Dipper (7. g5 Nfd7), going up and down (8. Be3 b5), all around the bends (9. a3 Nb6)/You could have a bumper car bumping (10. Rg1 N8d7), this amusement never ends (11. f4 Bb7)/I want to be your sledgehammer (12. f5 e5), why don't you call my name (13. Ne6 fxe6)/Oh let me be your sledgehammer (14. Qh5+ g6), this will be my testimony (15. fxg6 Ke7)/Yeah (16. gxh7 Bg7), YEAH (17. 0-0-0 Qe8)/Show me round your fruitcage [last book move], 'cos I will be your honeybee (18. g6 Nf6)/Open up your fruitcage [18 ... Qf8 19. Qh4+ Ke8 20. Bh3 ], where the fruit is as sweet as can be (19. Qxe5!)/I want to be your sledgehammer (19 ... Qxc6??), why don't you call my name [19 ... dxe5 20. Bc5#]/You'd better call the sledgehammer (20. Rxd6!! Qxd6), put your mind at rest (21. Bc5 Rad8)/I'm going to be the sledgehammer (22. Bh3 Bc8), this can be my testimony (23. Bxd6+ Rxd6)/I'm your sledgehammer (24. Qg5 e5), let there be no doubt about it [24 ... Rc6 no good, but what else 25. e5 Nbd7 ]/Sledge (25. Qxe5+ Be6), sledge (26. Bxe6), sledgehammer [26. Nd5+!? Nbxd5 27. exd5 Ne8 28. Qg5+ Nf6 29. Bxe6 b4 30. axb4 Rf8 ]/I'll get it right (26 ... Rxe6)/I've kicked the habit (27. Qc5+ Ke8), shed my skin (28. Qf5)/This is the new stuff [28. Nd5!? Nxe4 29. Nc7+ Kd7 ], I go dancing in (28 ... Re7)/Oh won't you show for me (29. Rd1 Nfd7), and I will show for you (30. Nd5 Nxd5)/Please show for me (31. Qxd5 Be5), I will show for you (32. Qc6)/Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah I do mean you [32. Qg8+!], only you (32 ... Kd8)/You've been coming through (33. Rd5 Rf8), going to build that power (34. Qa8+)/Build build up that power (1-0) - Peter Gabriel + Fritz 7, "Sledgehammer"

So, Fritz 7 gives 19 ... Qc6?? with no other suggestion to save Black's game besides 18 ... Qf8 ending in [ ]. Note White had quicker wins with 26. Nd5+!? and 32. Qg8+! instead.

<higher rated players> Yes, Shamkovich and Benko are higher rated players.

<Sham Sacrifice> I almost used that instead. ;>D

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <The shamwow guy was arrested a few months a ago > This, of course, refers to the media squeegee merchant guy, not Shamkovich. Grandmasters do their biting with pawns. Mostly.

I'm both fascinated and appalled to discover that there is a category of knowledge -- like, I suppose, *pragmatic philosophy* or *jet engine maintenance* -- called <Breaking Oddball News>.

Is it the news or the oddball which is in the process of being broken?

<The highway was littered with broken oddballs. I switched over to BON - Breaking Oddball News - and learned that the wind from the mountains was smashing them against one another, leaving fragments of broken oddball scattered along route 66 like eccentric tumbleweeds ...>

Jun-16-09  Calli: <Is it the news or the oddball which is in the process of being broken?>

Normally it is just Oddball News, but, apparently, the sham-wow guy got special attention. Today, for instance, Obama kills a fly.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Why wouldn't Obama kill a fly? Isn't the White House in a no-fly zone?
Jun-16-09  MaxxLange:
Jun-16-09  Calli: <no-fly zone>


Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: The first Fly Martyr. There'll be trouble.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Personally, I feel safer with a big game hunter running the show in our best Teddy Roosevelt tradition. It won't be long before we see the slogan: <"Speak softly and carry a big fly swatter.">
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: And this time, there's no *Kermit* Roosevelt. Or every fly in Africa would be in deep doo-doo.
Jun-07-14  Howard: Benko said after the game that at one point in the opening he started to suspect that Shamkovich had "some secret Russian analysis up his sleeve." Shamkovich shot back, "How ? I've not been in Russia in three years."

This was told in Chess Life and Review.

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