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John A Curdo vs Peter Kostrzewa
Lawrence, MA (1976)
French Defense: Classical. Steinitz Variation (C11)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-09-03  Bears092: Why the 1-0 here?

I don't see much better than much better than a 3fold from white. Eventually, White might get a queen for a rook and a knight, but it's still a fight

Feb-10-03  pawntificator: The queen is stuck and will be lost if black tries to stop the knight fork on c7 by moving the king. So black loses the exchange. I wouldn't have resigned personally, but it would be tough going. Black would have to play 10...Qb4 dang, even after that the black queen is cut off from her territory and can be chased around so much. It looks pretty hopeless.
Feb-10-03  just4fun: Being from Massachusetts I am very well acquainted with John Curdo and his success in New England. Starting in the early 1950's up through the 80's he was always one of the top 3 rated players in the state - and this was even after Massachusetts became home to many Russian emigrees! I also believe he was a US Senior Champion on several occasions. Check out his book "Forty Years at the Top" for more Curdo gems.
Feb-10-03
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <much better than a 3fold from white> Nc7+ and Black is losing at least the exchange--maybe a whole rook.
Nov-15-03  Lawrence: Junior 8 gives White an advantage of 1.31 after a 15-ply sequence beginning 10.....0-0 11.Bxh7+ Kh8
Nov-15-03  Bears092: Lawrence - CM9000 gives 11. Bxh7 an extrememly slight advantage to black. Would you mind posting those 15 half moves?
Nov-15-03
Premium Chessgames Member
  crafty: 10. ... O-O 11. ♗xh7+ ♔h8 12. ♗d3 ♔g8 13. ♘g5 g6   (eval 1.33; depth 13 ply; 1000M nodes)
Nov-16-03
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Wow, thanks crafty, that's really cool. I thought pawntificator was right at first, that Black was getting his queen in a rut--but I think that's not true now. (Although, that could explain why Black resigned--perhaps he perceived his queen as in a world of trouble.) More to the point is that castling leads to ruination. I forget who said it, but the saying goes "When natural moves lead to disaster, you're position is not good."

But couldn't White try for even more in crafty's line--or does he really have to play the meek 12.♗d3? For example, 10...O-O 11.♗xh7+! ♔h8 12. ♘g5!? g6 13. ♕d3 with dual threats of ♕h3 and ♗xg6 & ♕xg6.

Nov-16-03  DWINS: I don't understand 11.Bxh7+.

How about simply 11.Bd2 How does black respond to the threat of 12.Bc3? If 11...d4 12.Rb1 Qxa2 13.Ra1 Qb2 14.Qe2 and Rfb1 is coming.

I think he has to sell his Queen as dearly as he can with 11...a6 12.Bc3 Qxa1 13.Qxa1 axb5 14.Bxb5 and he's not doing too badly considering.

Nov-17-03  Lawrence: Bears092, Junior agrees with Crafty about 12.Bd3 but then continues with Qb4 13.c4 Nb6 14.Nd2 g6 15.a3 Qb2 16. Rb1 Qa2 17.Nb3 a6 18.Qxe5 Nxc4 19. Bxc4 f6 and 20.Qe1 Qxc4 It took Junior ages to find 11.Bxh7+ whereas Crafty 19.01 found it in a jiffy.

DWINS, your sequence is perfectly good and both Junior and Crafty found it and liked it but then considered that 11.Bxh7+ was even better.

Dec-13-04  EnglishOpeningc4: Curdo has the highest quick rating for anyone over 65 in the us
May-17-07  Trimagna: 9. O-O Qxb2
10. Nb5 Rb8
11. a4 !! Nb4
12. Rb1 Nxd3
13. Rxb2 Nxb2
14. Nc7+ Kf8
15. Qa1
Feb-05-12  bwarnock: <Trimagna> Also winning is 10 Nb5 Rb8 11 Rb1! Qxa2 12 Ra1 Qb2 13 Qe2 trapping the queen. If 13...Nb4 14 Rfb1 Nxd3 15 Qxd3 and the queen is still trapped.
Feb-06-12  bwarnock: This position is fascinating and I think there's an amazing 13 move forced win here - more analysis later.

In the previous posting Black can get his queen out of harm's way by playing 13... Qb4! (rather than 13... Nb4 ?) attacking White's bishop on f4. I'm still working out what follows then.

Feb-07-12  bwarnock: This leaves us at this critical position (after 10...O-O 11 Rb1 Qxa2 12 Ra1 Qb2 13 Qe2 Qb4!


click for larger view

White has 3 candidate moves: 1-> 14. c4 (staying with theme of trying to trap the queen - this is strong and may win - for instance Black can't play 14...dxc4 because 15 Bxh7+ Kxh7 16 Rfb1 wins the queen):


click for larger view

2> 14. g3 ?! which lets Black out of the trap after 14... Be7 (for instance 15 Rfb1 Qc5 16 Be3 (which looks strong) d4 17 Nfxd4 ?! (17 Nbxd4 (!) is stronger and probably wins the exchange) Qxe5


click for larger view

when Black is uncomfortable but surviving).

and the truly fantastic (but logical) 3> 14. Bd2 (!) which leads by force to this position (after 14... Qg4 15. h3 Qh5 16. g4 (!) Qxh3 17. Ng5 Qg3+ 18. Kh1 Qxe5 ((18... Qh4+ 19 Kg2 Ndxe5 20 Bxh7+ Kh8 21 f3 ! followed by Rh1 should win for White)) 19. Bxh7+ Kh8 20. Qf3


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Here White threatens Nxf7+ Qh3 and Kg2 followed by Rh1. Blacks best is probaby 20... Qxg5 21. Bxg5 Kxh7 with two pieces and three pawns for the queen but after Kg2 - White still has an attack !!.

This kind of attack was (is) Curdo's bread and butter -- The guy was right to resign - no one rated under 2400 could possibly survive it...

BW

Amazing.

Feb-07-12  King Death: <bwarnock> In the variation you give after 10...0-0 11.Rb1 Qa2 12.Ra1 Qb2 13.Qe2 Qb4 14.c4 dc 15.Bh7+ Kh7 16.Rfb1, Black's queen escapes with 16...Bf2+ 17.Kf2 Qe7 but his king doesn't after 18.Ng5+ Kg6 19.Qe4+ f5 20.ef+.

In the ideas you give Black is often ahead in material but he's a long way from getting his pieces out and White's ready to throw everything at the king. Nice analysis.

If I'd gotten myself into this as Black I'd have played it out at least for awhile because many of the variations are unclear. I'm guessing that Black thought that his queen was trapped and gave up on getting it out of there.

Feb-07-12  bwarnock: <In the variation you give after 10...0-0 11.Rb1 Qa2 12.Ra1 Qb2 13.Qe2 Qb4 14.c4 dc 15.Bh7+ Kh7 16.Rfb1, Black's queen escapes with 16...Bf2+ 17.Kf2 Qe7 but his king doesn't after 18.Ng5+ Kg6 19.Qe4+ f5 20.ef+.>

Nice catch - I overlooked that but luckily it still appears to be winning for White. And I think you're right that the opponent here just thought his queen was trapped and gave up becaue of that.

The remarkable thing (especially in the 14.Bd2 line) is how Black's Queen gets knocked all over the board by the better developed White pieces.

Another line I looked at (if White plays 14. c4 rather than 14. Bd2) is

14... Be7 15. cxd5 exd5 16. Rfb1 Qc5 17. Nc7 (threatening both Nxa8 and Rb5, again trapping the queen) 17... Nd4! 18. Nxd4 Qxc7 19. Bxh7+ Kxh7 20. Qh5+ Kg8 21. Nf5 (threatening 22. e6!) with dangerous threats.


click for larger view

However White's attack seems to run out of gas after the calm 21... Nc5 22. e6 Qd8 23 Ra3 when 23.. fxe6 ? loses to 24. Nh6+! but 23... Nxe6 ! probably wins. (No, my mistake - after 24. Rh3 f6 25. Qg6 !! with the unstoppable threat of 26. Nh6+ ... 27 Nf7+ ... 28 Rh8# wins for White - again -- see diagram). Amazing.


click for larger view

Can anyone find a better defense for Black on move 21 or 23 ?

x

Feb-07-12  bwarnock: Note: 4 obvious tries (on move 21) that lose immediately show the danger to Black's position: (From the position after White's move 21. Nf5 - 1st diagram in the prior message)

21... Nf6?? 22. exf6 Qxf4 23. Nxe7 mate.
21... Ne5? 22. Bxe5 Qxe5 23. Nh6+ wins the queen.
21... Re8? 22. e6! Qxf4 23 exf7+ wins
21... g6?? 22. Nxe7+ 23 Kg7 Qh6 mate.

Possibly worthy of more investigation:
21... Nb6, 21... Bd8 and 21... Qc5

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