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Vasily Smyslov vs Cenek Kottnauer
"Malicious File" (game of the day May-20-2023)
Groningen (1946), Groningen NED, rd 14, Aug-30
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen. Classical Variation (B84)  ·  1-0



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Given 21 times; par: 22 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-02-10  this is a sign: I came up with <18...dxc5 19.Rxd7 Rxd7 20.Ra8 Qxa8 21.Qxa8+ Ke7 22.Qf3>. Obviously, this is not a winning line (more like draw-ish) but it's the closest I came to solving a difficult Friday puzzle. :)
Apr-02-10  krakukas: Hi I'm new here. Is <18.Nc5 Rc7 19.Nxd7 Qc8> worth considering? Black isn't a piece down since white knight is lost after <20.Nf6++ Ke7 21.Qxd6+ Kxf6>. What do you think?
Apr-02-10  BeautyInChess: Krakukas, yes. I was thinking the same thing, I'm surprised no one else mentioned this line. Given this line <18.Nc5 Rc7 19.Nxd7 Qc8> I think 20. Nf6 looks best then there are two ways to go. And they both lose for black!

First if 20. ... Kd8 21. Rxd6! Ke7 ( Not 21. ... Bxd6 as 22. Qxd6 Rd7 23. Qxd7 Qxd7 24. Nxd7 Kxd7 when white is up a piece) 22. Ra7! and Jordan fades back ... swish and that's the game. So, 20 ... Kd8 is out.

The only other option is 20. ... Ke7
which is immediately answered by Ra7!

Apr-02-10  BeautyInChess: Actually, in the line with 21. ... Bxd6 22.Qxd6 Rd7 23. Nxd7 Qxd7 24. Ra8# Or if not white is up two pieces. At any rate black can't play Bxd6 without losing, and nothing else helps. This is just my analysis over the board without comp help. I'm sure there's a better continuation out there, but the point is black is lost on Rc7, and Qc8.
Apr-02-10  zb2cr: ARRRGHH! I was able to deduce that 18. Nc5 was the initial move, but I didn't find a good follow-up. Isn't it ironic that when I see it demonstrated, it seems so clear--but when I am looking for it myself, I can't find it except in the simpler puzzles?
Apr-02-10  krakukas: 18.Nc5 Rc7 19.Nxd7 Qc8 20.Nf6++ if <20. ...Kd8> there is just <21.Qe8#> with the f6 knight and Rc7 Qc8 blocking the King. <20. ... Ke7> and 21.Ra7 is good indeed. Anyway, it's a part of solution I guess.
Apr-02-10  tacticalmonster: 1) Black king was stuck in the center. Black kingside pieces were totally out of play

2) White had an unpleasant pin on d7 knight. The d1 rook has an indirect influence on the pin as well.

3) White had an open a file at his disposal. The a4 knight currently got in the way

4) Black queen was oddwardly placed. She was vulnerable to tactic on the backrank.

Candidate: 18 Nc5

a) 18 Rc7 19 Nxd7 Rxd7 (19 Rxc6 20 Nxb8 ) 20 Ra8

b) 18 Qc7 19 Qxb7 Qxc5 20 Ra7

c) 18 dxc5 19 Rxd7 Rxd7 (19 Rb6 20 Qa4 Rb4 21 Rb7+ Rxa4 22 Rxb8+ Kd7 23 Rxa4 ) 20 Ra8 Qxa8 (20 Ke7 21 Qxc5+ Kf6 22 Qg5#) 21 Qxa8+ Rd8 22 Qa4+ Ke7 23 Bd2!

Apr-02-10  johnlspouge: < <TheaN> wrote: <zooter>, you must have used a wrong position in that final analysis. I just put the entire Ra8 line in my Rybka, and after 22.Qf3 it is no -4. However, it is incorrect as she's evaluating this as a beautiful <0.00>, if Black overcomes his troubles >

Hi, <TheaN>. Toga also evaluates the variation with 22.Qf3 at about +0.4 P, i.e., "unconvincing", as (with wetware alone, and no computer) I had estimated. My ego has no trouble conceding that Smyslov's chess was (and likely will remain) much better than mine, but I did wonder: am I really still such a cockeyed optimist?

Thanks for the reality check: I do enjoy your posts.

Apr-02-10  AnotherNN: Right from the start, I had trouble with 18. ..Rc7. Yes, I also saw 19. Nxd7, etc., but then I considered 19...Qd8 (not 19...Qc8 which allows 20.Nf6++ Ke6 followed by either 21.Qxd6 or 21.Ra7).

Best I could come up with, after 20.Nf6++ Ke6, is 21.Nd5+ Pxe5 followed by 22.Qxd5 (threatening 23.Bg5 f6 24.Re1+ Kc6 25.Ra6+,etc) or 22.Re1+, or 22.Bg5+, etc., etc., ... all leaving Black with a bad position but nothing really indefensible.

Apr-02-10  AnotherNN: On second thought, I think 22.Qxd5 is totally winning. Black can't stop 23.Bg5 with 23... h6 since 23.Bf4 leaves the d6 Pawn indefensible (23... Rd7, simply 24.Bxd6 Rxd6 25.Ra7+).

Various other replies can't fend off moves like Re1+, or Ra8, etc. Try it and see ...

Apr-02-10  TheBish: Smyslov vs C Kottnauer, 1946

White to play (18.?) "Difficult"

There was only one move that jumped out at me, a move that opens several lines at once:

18. Nc5!! What a stunning move! This accomplishes several things: 1) attacks the rook and knight, after which capture of the white knight (virtually forced) opens the d-file for White's rook and 2) opens the a-file for the other rook. Now:

A) 18...dxc5 19. Rxd7 Rb6 (or 19...Rxd7 20. Ra8 Qxa8 21. Qxa8+ Rd8 22. Qc6+) 20. Qa4! with a nasty discovered check coming, since 20...Rb4 21. Rb7+ Rxa4 22. Rxb8+ followed by 23. Rxa4 wins a rook.

B) 18...Rc7 19. Nxd7 Rxc6 (or 19...Rxd7 20. Ra8) 20. Nxb8 Rb6 21. Ra8 (or 21. Na6) and White wins a piece.

Time to see how this went down.

Apr-02-10  TheBish: Wow, totally missed 19. Bf4!. I knew I was missing something, because 19. Rxd7 Rxd7 20. Ra8 didn't seem convincing enough.
Apr-02-10  Shah Mat: @<Krakukas><Black isn't a piece down since white knight is lost after <20.Nf6++ Ke7 21.Qxd6+ Kxf6>. What do you think?>

i liked this until i saw that after 20.Nf6++ Ke7 21.Nd5+! is completely winning. 21...exd5 22. Qxd5 and the d6 pawn to go shortly. black is finished.

Apr-03-10  Dr. J: <BeautyInChess ... 18.Nc5 Rc7 19.Nxd7 Qc8 I think 20. Nf6 looks best then there are two ways to go. And they both lose for black!

First if 20. ... Kd8 21. Rxd6! etc.

The only other option is 20. ... Ke7 21 Ra7!>

In your first line: After 20 ... Kd8 21 Qe8# is a simpler win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: "Occasionally I used to experiment with dubious variations. This one I remembered from some lightning competitions. To try it against a player of Smyslov's calibre was a bit cheeky, to put it mildly" - Kottnauer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: The rare 7..b5 was criticized for being premature though it has actually scored well in the limited times it has been played since this game. 9 Qe2 prevents the response 9..Rd7 due to 10 e5..dxe 11 Nc6..Qc7 12 Nxb8..Qxb8 13 Bc6 winning the exchange. Perhaps 9..Be7 is better than Kottnauer's 9..Rc7?!. <wals: Rybka 3 1-cpu : 3071mb hash: depth 17 : Black's errors. 13...Nxe5 (+ 1.26) was inferior to dxe5 (+0.19).>

Smyslov gives 13..dxe 14 Bxb7..exd 15 Bxa6 with advantage to White.

Sep-06-19  WorstPlayerEver: Nice one. Completely missed 19. Bf4
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The position of the black king invites to play 18.Nc5:

A) 18... dxc5 19.Bf4

A.1) 19... Qxf4 20.Qc8+ Ke7 21.Qxb7 wins decisive material.

A.2) 19... Bd6 20.Rxd6

A.2.a) 20... Rc7 21.Rxe6+ fxe6 (21... Kd8 22.Bxc7+ Qxc7 23.Re8+ Kxe8 24.Qxc7 wins) 22.Bxc7 wins (22... Qxb2 23.Qxe6+ Kf8 24.Bd6#).

A.2.b) 20... 0-0 21.Rxd7 wins decisive material.

A.2.c) 20... Ke7 21.Rxd7+ Rxd7 22.Bxb8 wins.

B) 18... Rc7 19.Nxd7

B.1) 19... Rxc6 20.Nxb8 Rxc2 21.Na6 + - [N vs p].

B.2) 19... Qc8 20.Nf6+ Ke7 (20... Kd8 21.Qe8#) 21.Ra7 wins decisive material.

B.3) 19... Qd8 20.Nf6+ Ke7 21.Nd5+ exd5 22.Ra7 (to play Qc3+; 22.Re1+ Kf6 23.Qxd5 looks also winning but much less forcing) 22... Rxa7 23.Re1+ Kf6 24.Qc3+ and mate soon. For example, 24... Kg6 25.Qg3+ Kh5 26.Qf3+ Kg6 27.Qg4+ Kf6 28.Qg5#.

Sep-06-19  patzer2: Even though today's Friday puzzle (18. ?) is a repeat, I enjoyed seeing it again. It's like meeting an old friend I hadn't seen in a while, but who I immediately recognized.

I immediately recognized the solution 18. Nc5! dxc5 19. Bf4 +- as a tactics problem I'd previously seen here and in several middle game tactics books. Typically it's classified as a pinning tactic, but it also employs the deflection and discovered check tactics.

P.S.: So where did Black go wrong? According to Stockfish 10, Black's decisive error was 13...Nxe5? allowing 14. Bxb7 Rxb7 15. Qxa6 +- (+2.06 @ 28 ply, Stockfish 10).

Instead, 13...Bxf3 14. Nxf3 dxe5 15. Nxe5 Qc8 ± (+0.84 @ 28 ply, Stockfish 10) is a difficult, forcing line which appears to give Black practical drawing chances.

Earlier in the opening, instead of the seldom played 7...b5 ⩲, I prefer development with the popular move 7...Be7 =.

Sep-06-19  mel gibson: Too difficult for me.

Stockfish 10 agrees with the first move:

18. Nc5

(18. Nc5 (♘a4-c5
♖b7-c7 ♘c5xd7 ♖c7xc6 ♘d7xb8 ♖c6xc2 b2-b4 d6-d5 b4-b5 ♗f8-d6 ♘b8-c6 O-O ♗c1-e3 h7-h6 ♖a1-c1 ♖c2xc1 ♖d1xc1 f7-f6 b5-b6 ♖f8-a8 b6-b7 ♖a8-a2 ♖c1-b1 ♖a2-a6 b7-b8♕+ ♗d6xb8 ♘c6xb8 ♖a6-a2 ♘b8-c6 ♖a2-a6 ♘c6-b4 ♖a6-a5 ♔g1-f1 ♖a5-b5 ♔f1-e2 ♔g8-f7 ♗e3-d2 ♖b5-b8 h2-h4 e6-e5 ♔e2-d3 ♔f7-e6 h4-h5 d5-d4) +6.86/40 277)

score for White +6.86 depth 40.

Sep-06-19  MrCarciofo: I love Smyslov...
Sep-06-19  thegoodanarchist: I've seen this puzzle before. IIRC, it was in "The Black Book", aka <The Encyclopedia of Chess Middlegames>

Naturally, I found the first move instantly... in my memory!

May-31-20  Ulhumbrus: After 19 Bf4 Black's queen is overworked. If she has to defend the rook on b7 she cannot then take White's bishop on f4.
Apr-15-22  Mathematicar: Brilliant tactics!
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: First game in the database with 9.Qe2; perhaps not surprising that Black didn't find 9...Be7; 10.Be3,Rd7, which eventually leads to Black sacrificing the Exchange for a pawn (good example: Smeets vs J Berkvens, 2002). Nice example of Smyslov showing his Tal side.
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