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Pal Benko vs Duncan Suttles
"A Whiter Shade of Pal" (game of the day Jan-10-2010)
65th US Open (1964), Boston, MA USA, rd 11, Aug-27
Modern Defense: Two Knights. Suttles Variation (B06)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-10-10  psmith: <RandomVisitor> Did you mean "10...h6 or 10...Nb6"? (10...b6 seems to make little sense.)
Jan-10-10  ILikeFruits: benko...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <mack: Hmm. It's funny how often King Dunc seems to lose in those games of his selected as Game of the Day.>

2004.07.11 Seirawan vs Suttles, 1981

2006.11.04 Soltis vs Suttles, 1973

2007.08.11 L Day vs Suttles, 1969

2008.08.13 Tal vs Suttles, 1972

2008.08.17 Timman vs Suttles, 1973

2010.01.10 Benko vs Suttles, 1964

Suttles is 1-5 in these games, winning only the first.

Jan-10-10  Chessmensch: <al wazir> is right on regarding 12...Bxd4. The moment I saw it, I winced. I ran that move through Fritz 12 for twenty minutes. ...Bxd4 was fourth among its choices with a score of +1.82. The recommended move is ...Nb6 evaluated at +0.57.
Jan-10-10  zanshin: <Chessmensch: <al wazir> is right on regarding 12...Bxd4.>

Rybka 3 top 5 moves after <12.Nd4>:

click for larger view

[+0.11] d=16 12...Nb6 13.dxc6 f4 14.Bxf4 Bxd4 15.Qxd4 e5 16.Bxe5 dxe5 17.Qc5 Qc7 18.Bd3 Qxc6 19.Bxh7 Kg7 20.Qxc6 bxc6 21.Be4 Bb7 22.Rad1 Rad8 23.Rfe1 (0:33.44) 100415kN

[+0.48] d=16 12...Nc5 13.f3 cxd5 14.Nxd5 Bd7 15.c4 Rc8 16.Rad1 e6 17.Nc3 (0:40.40) 118906kN

[+0.80] d=16 12...Nb8 13.f4 cxd5 14.Nxd5 e6 15.Nc3 Bd7 16.Rf3 Nc6 17.Ndb5 d5 18.Rg3 Kh8 19.Bc5 (0:45.36) 132960kN

[+0.90] d=16 12...Bxd4 13.Qxd4 Nf6 14.dxc6 bxc6 15.Qc4 Qc7 16.Rae1 Bd7 17.a3 e5 18.f4 e4 19.Rd1 Rfb8 (0:52.21) 152111kN

[+1.01] d=16 12...Nde5 13.f4 Ng6 14.dxc6 Bxd4 15.Qxd4 bxc6 16.Qc4 Qd7 17.Rfe1 c5 18.Qb3 (0:54.15) 157384kN

Jan-10-10  sambo: How do you pronounce GM Benko's first name?
Jan-10-10  PaulLovric: <sambo: How do you pronounce GM Benko's first name?>

P A L = Pal

Jan-10-10  I play the Fred: al wazir: IM Lawrence Day wrote excellent notes to this game in the book Learn From The Grandmasters. IM Day has a great deal of experience with these sorts of opening systems, and he thought the trade was worth a "!". I agree with you in principle, but Day shows that in this specific instance, losing the KID bishop was far from an error.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Oginschile: Excellent book by the way. One of my favorites. And Lawrence Day's games and annotations are among the best in the book. I have loved this game for years!
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <sambo: How do you pronounce GM Benko's first name?>

More like "Paul" than "pal." (It's the Hungarian form of Paul.)

The last name is trickier. The 'o' should be written with an umlaut (ő) and be pronounced more or less like German 'รถ'. The sound of the 'e' is in between the 'e' in "bent" and the 'a' in "ban." And the 'n' and the 'k' are separate, as in "uncool," not merged as in "uncle."

Got that?

<I play the Fred>: I'm sure Day saw more deeply into the game than I did, but I stand by what I wrote. Over and over -- especially when playing the Pirc/Robatsch/Modern -- I have gotten in trouble in exactly this way, by giving up a fianchettoed ♗ -- and control of the long diagonal -- for a ♘. Too many times to count. It doesn't pay, because the move ...g6 has weakened the castled ♔ and white's DSB dominates, as we see here in this game.

Jan-10-10  I play the Fred: <white's DSB dominates, as we see here in this game.> I don't understand this comment, as white lost his DSB in a trade on move 18. I've experienced the same sort of anguish myself many times and I agree with the principle, but this game definitely falls into the exception category.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <I play the Fred: <white's DSB dominates, as we see here in this game.> I don't understand this comment.>

The move 17. Nxf4 works because black can't take the ♘. He can't take it because of 18. Qd4, threatening an unstoppable mate.

What part of "dominate" don't you understand? No, I didn't claim that the ♗ stayed on the board until the last move, but while it was there it exerted an unbalanced force.

Anyway, why are we talking about it? I said that it was a "strategic" mistake, meaning that it's usually a bad idea, and you said you agree with the principle.

Jan-10-10  patzer2: The first of three tactics to catch my eye in this game is Benko's 17. Nxf4!, which wins a pawn with advantage because of the possibility 17...exf4?? 18. Qd4! with a mating attack which pins Black's e5 pawn and makes the invading Knight a poisoned piece.

The second notable tactic is the in-between move (a.k.a. zwischenzug or intermezzo) 19. Qg3+!, which allows White to capture the Black Knight on c3 while at the same time protecting his Knight on f4 due to the pin created after 19...Kh8 20. Qxc3.

The third is the defensive move 34. Rd3!, which is possible due to Benko's mate threats against Black's weaker King position.

It's unfortunate for Suttles that he didn't play for the draw with 29...Qxd6 30. Rxd6 Rxf3 =. Instead, he pushed too hard and lost after the ill considered 32...Rg8+? and the desperate 33...Qb5+??

Jan-10-10  psmith: <patzer2>
Interesting -- none of the following tactics caught your eye, then:

17...Ne4! A lovely intermezzo allowing Black to eliminate White's black-squared Bishop.

20...Ng5! setting up dire threats on f3 and h3.

21...Rf3! blockading White's f-pawn in creative fashion. (And to <al wazir>'s question what happens after 22. gxf3 I will discuss that in another post, time permitting.)

22...Rxh3! continuing the theme.

27...Nf3! setting up 28...Rxg3.

Suttles had his share of the tactics in this game; he just threw away the game by playing for a win, as you yourself note.

Jan-11-10  psmith: <al wazir> "What happens after 22. gxf3?"

First of all Black has a comfortable draw after 22. gxf3 Nxh3+ 23. Kg2 (23. Kh1 or Kh2 Qh4 is good for Black) 23... Nf4+ 24. Kg1 Nh3+ = or 24. Nxf4 Qg5+ = with perpetual check.

Secondly, Black can try for more with 22. gxf3 Nxh3+ 23. Kg2 Qh4. However I don't think he can get more than a draw in this line either.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <psmith: "What happens after 22. gxf3?">

Thanks. There are some complications in the line 22. gxf3 Nxh3+ 23. Kh2 Qh4 24. f4, but after 24...Nxf4+ 25. Kg1 Qxh5 26. Qg3 Bh3 27. Re1 d5, I think black has the upper hand.

Jan-11-10  I play the Fred: Jeez, al wazir, I ask you to clarify your comment and you claim I lack understanding of the word dominate, responding in a scolding tone? Maybe instead of getting mad at me, you should say "You know, you're right, this wasn't a typical DSB game, I posted hastily before."

Because I obviously haven't heard the word dominate before, I thought I should go to so that my vocabulary might one day reach a level similar to yours.

dominate: v. - to to rule over; govern; control

The fact that the DSB enabled the win of one pawn, then left the board halfway through the game during a complicated struggle suggests to me that it is you, sir, who is unfamiliar with the meaning of the word dominate. I have seen dominating DSBs in other games - Gufeld - Kavalek 1962 comes to mind immediately - but this was not one of them.

I'm sorry you took my questions as some sort of assault on your manhood, but maybe next time you'll have a civil discussion instead of attempting to insult the other party. "What part of "dominate" don't you understand?" is a sinde, insulting, condescending phrase, sir.

Jan-11-10  patzer2: <psmith> Good point! Suttles' play was strong with impressive tactics to counter most of Benko's aggressive moves, until the end when he refused to play for the draw and pushed too hard for the win.
Jan-11-10  kevin86: White interposes with a rook sac-pity,black hasn't the time to take it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <I play the Fred>: There are other shades of meaning of "dominate" besides the ones you cite that fit.

I thought I was being witty. I apologize for sounding snide, condescending, etc. I tried to make peace by saying that we seemed to be in basic agreement. If you have anything else to say, you will have the last word.

Jan-11-10  I play the Fred: I certainly understand how things don't translate well in print, and thanks for that follow-up. Good day to you.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scutigera: On a more practical note, the final position of this game would be a good way to illustrate, for the benefit of curious women, what it's like to get your scrotum caught in a zipper.
Jul-15-14  zanzibar: <scutigera> a simile that makes me laugh and wince at the same time.

It's far from a win for White at Black's move 32:

click for larger view

Even after 32...Rg1+ 33.Kf1 Black had to have seen the interposition 34.Rd3 in answer to 33...Qb5+:

click for larger view

All Black had to do to stay in the game was 32/33...Qxd6 (or even better 32/33...Qxb2).

But Black would face a long haul just to dig out a draw (which isn't even guaranteed).

Perhaps Black actually wanted to just get it over with and go out in style?

Feb-18-15  Garech: Such a shame that Suttles didn't win this one, it would have been a gem!


Nov-16-22  LoveThatJoker: I just discovered this gem via the New In Chess book on the Lasker Method. What a heck of a game!

I have the sensation that GM Suttles' mistaken final tactical conception was due to time-trouble. However, credit where credit is due as Benko demonstrated incredible skill and tenacity throughout this game.

This said, the fact that Suttles uncorked 21...Rf3!! leaves me somewhat agreeing with Garech here! :)


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