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Mark Taimanov vs Herman Steiner
Stockholm Interzonal (1952), Stockholm SWE, rd 1, Sep-15
Semi-Slav Defense: Marshall Gambit. Main Line (D31)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: Black has tried everything possible on move 9 -- although never again 9....Bd7. 10....Nf6 and 10....0-0-0 both look reasonable.

Black can also try 12....Qxc6 13.Bf3 Qd7 (not 13....Qb6 14.Qa4+ Kd8 15.0-0-0) but then 14.Bxb7! Qxb7 (14....Rd8 15.Bxa6 Qxd6 16.Bb5+ Kf8 seems like a losing endgame) 15.Qa4+ Qd7 (if 15....Kd8 16.0-0-0) 16.Qxa6 and white seems to win material one way or another e.g. 16.....Ne7 17.0-0-0 Qc6 18.Qxc6 Nxc6 19.Bxc5.

Horrible game for Steiner.

Apr-15-21  nummerzwei: <zydeco>: You are right, the critical continuation is 12...Qxc6 13.Bf3 Qd7:

click for larger view

Here, 14.Bxb7?! is weaker since Black gets time for 14...Rd8!, e.g. 15.Bxa6 Qxd6 16.Qa4+ Ke7.

Already Isaac Lipnitsky pointed out the stronger 14.Be5! with the double threat of 15.Bxg7 and 15.Qxd7+ followed by 16.Bxb7. Stockfish confirms that Black has no defense here.

It is an open question whether Steiner chose the embarrassing 12...bxc6 because he was not satisfied with this, or because he viewed the queen on e4 as an active piece.

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