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Sergey Nikolaevich von Freymann vs Alexander Ilyin-Zhenevsky
USSR Championship (1934/35), Leningrad URS, rd 14, Dec-25
Sicilian Defense: Morphy Gambit (B21)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-04-05  TheEyeOfMordor: This is a very interesting draw to look at. First of all Von Freymanns handling of the Sicilian is interesting because it lets the 2 sides set up opposing fortresses. Then he starts to open up the c-file and place his pieces better, allowing a pawn sacrifice for the pin he got out of it. Whites pins and activity are however only enough for the draw.
Feb-04-05  euripides: <Sauron> Thanks for drawing attention to this fascinating game. The Maroczy bind was still generally feared, I think, though it may have been the Russian players who realised that Black had resources.

Here White looks much better after move 27, but Black's manoeuvre with Nd8-e6 changes the complexion of the game. I feel there should have been a way for White to restrain the c and d pawns, perhaps by threatening the c pawn, but I'm not sure.

At the end if 49 Bxd4 Black must play 49...Bxf4 not 49...Bxd4 which loses.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <At the end if 49 Bxd4 Black must play 49...Bxf4 not 49...Bxd4 which loses.>

But does 49. Bxd4 Bxf4 really draw? 50. Bb6 Be5 51. Bd8 and it is still hard to prevent White's king from mopping up the kingside.

Feb-04-05  euripides: <beat> Good question. I think Black might hang on by keeping his bishop on the long diagonal and playing it to c3 and taking the a pawn as soon as White plays Ke3. Alternatively he could aim to put the bishop on the c1-h6 diagonal if the king makes a frontal advance on the pawns. If White sacrifices with a6 Kxa6 Kc4 then Black is only two files behind the White king and will be able to play Kf7 n response to Kxh7. But it's pretty tight.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <euripides>
<keeping his bishop on the long diagonal and playing it to c3 and taking the a pawn as soon as White plays Ke3.>

But 49. Bxd4 Bxf4 50. Bb6 Be5 51. Bd8 Bg7 52. Ke3 Bc3 53. Kf4 Bxa5 54. Bxa5 Kxa5 55. Kg5 doesn't even look close.

<put the bishop on the c3-h6 diagonal if the king makes a frontal advance on the pawns.> You may mean the b8-h2 diagonal, as in 49. Bxd4 Bxf4 50. Bb6 Kc6, but then 51. Kd4 and Black looks overloaded:

51...Kd6 52. a6 Kc6 53. a7 Kb7 54. Bc5 followed by the king march to the kingisde, or 51...Bb8 52. Bd8 Bh2 53. Bh4 Kb5 54. Be1 Kc6 55. Kc4 Be5 56. Bf2 and again the pawn advances to a7 followed by the king march.

I really wonder why White didn't try playing this out.

Feb-04-05  euripides: <beat> yes, for some reason (perhaps the ghost of the departed f pawn) I thought that after Ke3 White would have to come via d4 but clearly the route via f4 is more efficient. The other idea I had was to put the bishop on the c1-h6 diagonal, but then White can penetrate via e5. And the frontal barricade with king on b5 and bishop on e5 will ultimately give way to zugzwang. So I don't see a clear defence for Black.

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