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Ilia Beniaminovic Odesskij vs Petr Skacelik
"2001: A Space Odesskij" (game of the day Feb-02-2011)
Czech Open (2001), Pardubice CZE, rd 3, Jul-22
Nimzo-Larsen Attack: Classical Variation (A01)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-02-11  YoungEd: This pun is too good to be true!
Feb-02-11  eykca: Not my favorite game of all time but the opening for white was a bit novel and fun to watch.
Feb-02-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: But the pun is true, and on several levels. White's space advantage was paramount in his victory.

2...Bg4 had an unwanted side effect. Really, why do you play that move except to play ...Bxf3 and double White's kingside pawns? When Black decided against the trade and followed up with ...e6 the bishop was locked out of play.

It's not like the Advance Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5). Black also plays ...e6 in this line, but the ♗f5 has a disconcerting effect on White's game, attacking the c2 pawn. White doesn't particularly want to try for a bishop trade; with his central pawns fixed on dark squares, he needs all the light-square control he can get. Yet he almost have to trade to relieve the pressure.

White has no such problems here, so the bishop continues to fester on g4, until <18.e4>:


click for larger view

Now White is actually threatening to trap it, and Black has to do the one thing he doesn't want to do: open lines for White's better posted pieces, especially the ♗g2.

Perhaps 23...c5 is a mistake, turning the other bishop into an innocent bystander as well. Black keeps scrapping, even picking up a piece, but White's passed pawns grab too much space in the end.

Feb-02-11  Knight13: <Perhaps 23...c5 is a mistake, turning the other bishop into an innocent bystander as well. Black keeps scrapping, even picking up a piece, but White's passed pawns grab too much space in the end.> If Black doesn't play 21...c5, then White would ram him with 22. c5 himself and turn the d6 square into Louis IX. One of the reasons White played 21. Qc3 was to enable the possibily of moving the c-pawn forward. Black doesn't want to play ...Bxe4, either, unless he really wants all of his pieces to get stuck behind the fourth rank. Not to mention the pawn on c6 would be locked into a permanent target practice for White's light-squared bishop.
Feb-02-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Knight13> So perhaps Black was simply out of good choices by that point.
Feb-02-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: One of the best puns CG has unleashed upon an unwitting world in quite some time.
Feb-02-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Morten: Great pun!
Feb-02-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Agreed. And one that cries out for a sequel. I wonder if Odesskij played a good game in 2010? Unfortunately, CG.com only has games up to 2001, when he appears to have disappared off the face of the earth.

Hey, I wonder...

Feb-02-11  Garech: <Knight13> - Could you please explain Louis IX reference? I'm very curious!

<An Englishman> - Do you always open with "Good Evening" - even when it's the morning? Cos I'm in Ireland and it's 0830 am here!

I'm glad to see this game today, having voted for it yesterday in the pun voting booth. Admittedly it was more for the pun itself and less for the play, but I did think the game was interesting too.

Despite the 150 Elo points difference, black manages to keep things just about equal for past the 20 move mark.

Odesskij's creative 15.Ne5!? - accepting doubled pawns for dynamic compensation, and subsequent opening the d file, proves to be a crucial juncture.

Ten moves later white has a comfortable space space advantage and is about to win the bishop pair:


click for larger view

Black has a fairly passive position, and his control of the e file is less relevant than white's control of the a file - the rook activity along which will later decide the game.

Ten moves after the above diagram is this position:


click for larger view

and now white is enjoying a comfortable advantage. By move 40 there is no way for black to avoid the loss of a pawn. If, instead of Nf7 black had played 40...Kf7 next would have come simply 41.Bc8+ and if ...Be7 then 42.Rb7.

44.g5! deserves some punctuation for it's foresight, giving up a piece ultimately for four pawns and resulting in a completely winning endgame.

An interesting struggle anyway, something of an Odyssey one could say. The most decisive and instructive element was white's rook activity, and also the power of his light-squared bishop (the winning of which occured directly as a result of Skacelik's unusual opening choice, as pointed out by <Phony Benoni> above).

All in all a good show.

-Garech

Feb-02-11  Pantagruel: Too bad Odesskij wasn't playing Hal Turaev.
Feb-02-11  Arcturus: Perhaps it didn't matter but black didn't want 40) . . . Rxc4 ?
Feb-02-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: If 40...Rxc4 then 41.Bxe6 Rc3+ 42.Be3 with 43.Bxf5 to come.
Feb-02-11  Wyatt Gwyon: Props for the pun.
Feb-02-11  Julian713: Fantastic pun!!
Feb-02-11  ddaniell: if you'll pardon the pun
Feb-02-11  zealouspawn: This is truly an epic pun. One of the best I've seen
Feb-02-11  Chessmensch: The game was evidently won by a Homer, 1-0.
Feb-02-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  NM JRousselle: Phony, the idea of Bg4 is not a bad one... if followed up correctly. A better set up for Black might have been: pawns on c6, d5 and e6. Nf6,Nd7,Qe7,Bd6. This gives Black a lot of guns on the e5 pawn push, plus it either allows Ba3, exchanging pieces & relieving the cramp a bit, or tying down a White rook to a1 if White avoids the exchange by playing a3.
Feb-02-11  redorc19: Brilliant pun!!!
Feb-02-11  scormus: Fabulous pun!

Hmmm, something about this game gives me a feeling of .... what might have been

Feb-02-11  WhiteRook48: nice demonstration of the powerful pawns
Feb-02-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  takchess: Why not- 2001 Skace(lik) Odesskij ?

8)

Feb-03-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Looks like the pawn is marching home.
Feb-04-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: I thought that I would point out some of the key moves in this game & do some analysis. If I missed anything important, I'd appreciate it if someone would point it out. I'm trying to improve my analytical skills (I can still improve even though I've played for ~32 years.) Key Moves: ---------- 15)Ne5 - This is the first aggressive & first really key move IMO. This is where Odesskij starts getting the initiative & the advantage IMO. I haven't analyzed this on an engine yet to c what the advantage is @ this point though. The purposes r to: 1.exchange w/ the Nd7 2.get a pawn on e5 to increase his control of the center & increase his control of space in the center 3.dislodge the Nf6->d7 18)e4 to exchange w/ Skacelik's d-pawn to: 1.create a central post for the N on e4 2.entice Skacelik to play 25)...Bxe4 - creating a central post for white's light-squared B on e4 & threatening 27)Ra8. -- 27)Qc2 w/ a Q & B battery on the b1-h7 diagonal enticing 28)...f5 weakening the e6 pawn which is captured by the light-squared B later in the game -- 29)Bc6 persuading black to exchange Qs which further weakens the e6 pawn & helps white achieve his goal of creating a favorable endgame -- 37)h4->38)h5 - He figured that the h-pawn was his best chance to get a potential Q & decided to get it closer to the queening square. -- 42)g4!->44)g5 to dislodge the N off of the h6 square thus making the f7 square weaker & further clearing the path for the Kside pawn storm -- 45)Rf7+ forcing the K to move away from the Kside so the R can capture the Kside pawns on the 7th rank. Further notes: -------------- 2...Bg4?! b/c the B didn't do much on the Kside. Also the light-squares were weak on black's Kside later in the game which shows that that B belonged on the Qside. For example, 29)Bc6 led to a Q trade, controlled d7 (preventing the black R from controlling its 2nd rank & led to 41) Bxe6. If Skacelik would have had his light-squared B on b7, this wouldn't have happened. He didn't oppose Odesskij's control of the long central h1-a8 diagonal.
Feb-04-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Btw, this is one of the best puns of all time on cg...a wacky pun for a wacky day like groundhog day!
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by sk.sen
February 2: 2001: A Space Odesskij
from Game of the Day 2011 by Phony Benoni

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