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Evgeny Postny vs Peter Acs
WJun (2001), Athens GRE, rd 8, Aug-24
Queen's Gambit Declined: Cambridge Springs Variation (D52)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: This game is analyzed as Game #16 in <Chess Explained: The Queen’s Gambit Declined>, by RIZZITANO, James, Gambit Publications Ltd., ©2007, at pp. 84-88.

In the position after < 13. … a5>:

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Postny played <14. Rad1>, of which Rizzitano writes as follows: “An alternative strategy is to prevent the further advance of Black’s a-pawn with <14. a4 Qc7 15. Rae1 h6> (15. … b6 16. Re3 ½-½ Marzolo – Perez Candelario Portuguese Team Ch. Evora 2006; of course the game is just beginning!) <16. Bb4 Bd6> with sharp play, [citing Carlsen vs Kasparov, 2004 ]." (Op. cit., at p. 86)

FWIW, in this game played several years later: E Postny vs Navara, 2008, Postny varied much earlier with <8. Qc1>, keeping the Queen on the back rank to defend the a1-Rook.

Apr-14-12  King Death: This isn't something I ever played for either side but I like the looks of 14.a4 instead. In the game Acs got a lot of play on the queen side after he pushed ...a5-a4-a3. White needs to come up with something dynamic to offset the isolated pawn and in this game he never did. By the time Black plays 18...a3 he seems to just have the better position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <King Death>: I agree that <14. a4> seems to be an improvement. Rizzitano (in the book cited in my previous post, at p. 86) comments that Black could have played the ... a3 push earelier (recommending <15. ... a3!>). White seems well-advised to prevent this.

It is also intereting that in the game cited by Rizzitano (in the excerpt quoted in my post above), the 13-year-old Carlsen was prepared with (or possibly found ATB) the improvement, <14. a4>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: BTW (and with reference to <King Death>'s comment that he has not ever played this line for either side), although the Cambridge Springs Defense is not greatly in fashion these days, it has an auspicious place in chess history, among other instances (in addition to the historic – despite rapid - game between Kasparov and Carlsen cited above) being:

(1) the game (#11) that was the turning point in the 1927 WCC Match (referred to by Alekhine himself in his notes as “the crucial point of the match”) (Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1927); and

(2) the game (#47 from the 1984-85 WCC match) that could claim a similar distinction in the entire Kasparov-Karpov rivalry: Karpov vs Kasparov, 1985, in which Karpov varied early from this game with <7. cxd5>.

Apr-14-12  King Death: <Peligroso Patzer> Looking at the game maybe White didn't want to weaken b4 by not playing 14.a4 but Acs got b4 as a strong square anyhow and White was left with the weak pawn at a2. A lot of good that did.

The Alekhine-Capablanca game was a change at least from the never ending battle in the Orthodox. After that match Black players probably gave it up because they were sick of seeing it!

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 14 Rad1 was a new move that has not been repeated; 14 a4 and 14 Ne4 had been played previously, 15..a3 at once would have been more consistent. After 23 Qb2? Black had an edge; better was 23 Bxf6..gxf 24 Re3..Rfe8 25 Bxh7+..Kf8 26 Qxb2..Bd6 and Black's bishops and and the weak White queenside pawns give Black compensation for the pawn. 30 Bc4?! led to the loss of a pawn; better was 30 Re1. Ac's 30..Bxc4! was stronger than 30..b6 31 Bxd5..bxc 32 dxc..Qc7 33 Bf3 when White has good compensation for the exchange. 36 Qxb7?..Qxb7 37 Rxb7..Rxa2 38 Rf4..Re4 would have left Black with a winning endgame. In time pressure Black's inaccuracy 29..Qf5? (29..b5 was better) gave White the opportunity to play 40 Qxb7..Rxa2 41 Rb2 increasing his drawing chances but White did not take advantage of the opportunity. It was a little surprising that Black opted for the rook ending with 47..Nxd3?!. 68 Re2? was too passive, better was 68 Rf8. 70 Kd2 would have put up more resistance but the game was probably already lost by this time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: I prefer 14. a3

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