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Vera Menchik vs George Alan Thomas
"How Vera Clever" (game of the day Sep-24-2015)
London (1932), London ENG, rd 4, Feb-04
King's Indian Defense: Saemisch. Orthodox Variation (E85)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-08-02  pawntificator: 18 Nf5!
Nov-23-03
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <18 Nf5!> A common and beautiful motif in the Saemisch Attack.
Nov-23-03
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <18.Nf5!>

Kmoch's so-called "Benoni Jump".

Sep-18-04  morphy234: nice queen sacrifice!
Dec-18-05  Chopin: She is impressive-♕xh7 leads to a beautiful mate.
Feb-26-06  raydot: It was the Indian that caused the problem, no? Black let the weak dark squares around the g-pawn become fodder for the attack. Astute play by Menchik.
Apr-02-06  Halldor: Beautiful ending by Menchik - White to play and win:


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Apr-02-06  Halldor: Not quite as beautiful finish but a bit longer life for Black would be: 23...♖xg6 24.♖xg6 ♖g8 25.♖xg8 ♔xg8 26.♕g7#
Jul-06-07  sanyas: This is what you might call a clockwork attack.
Feb-06-08  Amarande: Actually, Black's mistake, as Hans Kmoch suggested in <Pawn Power in Chess>, seems to have been trading the Knight on move 18. This piece is too important for defense and Black cannot really hold on without it.

Of course if 18 ... Kf6?? 19 g5#. Nor would 18 ... gxf5? do, as there follows 19 gxf5+ Ng6 (or 19 ... Kh8 20 Qh6 Rg8 21 Qf6+ and mate next move) 20 f6+! Kxf6 (else Qh6) 21 Qg5+ Kg7 22 h6+ Kg8 (or Kh8) 23 Qf6 and mates.

But after 18 ... Bxf5! 19 gxf5 Nd7 a continuation of the attack appears to be difficult. White's Bishop is bad, very bad, and is almost impossible to use effectively in the attack, the Knight will be needed on the Q side for defense against Black counteraction, and f6 is too guarded to allow White to secure her Pawn there. White can continue with 20 h6+ and 21 fxg6, with strong attacking chances, but it doesn't look as if she can really penetrate against the defense of the Black Rook and two Knights ...

Mar-14-08  popyseed: may be black could have tried 20...Kxf6
Mar-14-08  Granny O Doul: <popyseed> That leads straight to mate after 21 Qg5+ Kg7 22 h6+ and 23 Qf6.
Oct-27-09  WhiteRook48: If I'm right 24 Rh1 also wins but not as elegantly
Feb-26-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Amarande: Actually, Black's mistake, as Hans Kmoch suggested in <Pawn Power in Chess>, seems to have been trading the Knight on move 18. This piece is too important for defense and Black cannot really hold on without it [...] But after 18 ... Bxf5! 19 gxf5 Nd7 a continuation of the attack appears to be difficult. White's Bishop is bad, very bad, and is almost impossible to use effectively in the attack, the Knight will be needed on the Q side for defense against Black counteraction, and f6 is too guarded to allow White to secure her Pawn there.>

Is this really what Kmoch says? In fact, Black is completely lost after 18... Bxf5 19.gxf5 Nd7 too (a computer gives something like +2.50-3 for White), one important reason being that with White playing Nb5 Black has no Q-side attack to speak of - in fact, he has problems there as well as on the K-side, e.g. 20.Bh3 (a good way to activate the supposedly "very bad" bishop) Nf6 (or 20...Rad8 21.f4) 21.Nb5 Qb8 22.Qg5 h6 23.Qh4 g5 24.Rxg5+! hxg5 25.Qxg5+ Kh7 26.h6 Rg8 27.Qxf6 Qf8 28.Nxc7 etc.

Aug-25-11  sevenseaman: It ought to be called the 'Vera Menchik' mate, so popular these days.
Jun-04-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: It is hard to imagine how the Kings Indian ever became popular after games like this. Of the 419 games included in the database after 7 Nge2 this is the only one where Black played 7..b6?! No one would make a move like that nowadays.
Sep-24-15  paavoh: Yes <plang>, 7.- b6 is the culprit. Black cannot waste time in that way in an aggressive opening like KID.
Sep-24-15  The Kings Domain: Nice pun. :-)

I've always liked Menchik's games. She showed considerable boldness in her style and her best games are quite entertaining.

Sep-24-15  TheTamale: Wow, while Black is pushing pawns on the queen side, his king side is really weak.
Sep-24-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Rook file mate...queen sac. Must be the theme this week.
Sep-24-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: The concluding combination is Vera famous :)
Sep-24-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: The pun, how vera clever. :)

24.? should be Monday's POTD.

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