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Alexandra Kosteniuk vs Luke McShane
"Man Smart, Woman Smarter" (game of the day Apr-10-2009)
Hastings (2002/03), Hastings ENG, rd 9, Jan-05
Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan. Sveshnikov Variation (B33)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-10-04  apple head: Heres the beauty of Chess!!
Feb-10-04  clendenon: I think mcshane lost on purpose.
Aug-27-04  Kaspy2: probably Luke Luke was distracted by two "things" while playing this ...
Aug-27-04  siggemannen: Lol <Kaspy2>. Can a kibitz be any deeper than that?
Aug-27-04  percyblakeney: Maybe Kosteniuk wins a game now and then because she is a good chess player, and not just because the opponent is losing on purpose or being distracted? Otherwise most opponents seem to distract McShane lately...
Sep-04-04  Jack Rabbit: We can come up with some better kibitizing than this. Really, people, let's assume that Mr. McShane is familiar enough with both attractive young women and chess as not to be distracted by one when pursuing the other.

I submit my own modest attempts at analysis of this game:

<12 -- Bxd5?!>. More usual is 12 -- Bg7 13 Qh5 f4.

<14 c4!>. This is an improvement over 14 c3 Bg7 15 Qh5 e4 16 Bc2 Qc8 17 Rad1 O-O 18 Bb1 Ng6 19 Kh1 Re8 20 f4 (Almasi-Markowski, Bern 1996; quoted in MCO-14).

<15 Be2!>. This is more flexible than 15 Bc2 as suggested in the Almasi-Markowski game. After 15 Bc2, Black could continue 15 -- Bg7 16 Rb1 Qa5 with some possibilities on the Queenside. The text allows White to protect the b2-Pawn with the next move (16 Qd2).

<16 -- bxc4>. Black cannot maintain the tension much longer. Concern for King safety and building up an attack with 16 -- O-O 17 Rc1 Rc8 18 b3 Qb6 drops a Pawn to 19 cxb5 axb5 20 Bxb5 Rxc1 21 Rxc1 Qd4 22 Rd1.

<17 -- Rb8?>. White's Knight at c4 is preventing Black from launching Queenside counterplay, something that is Black's birthright in the Open Sicilian. The Knight must be dislodged, but a better approach might be 17 -- Ng6 18 f4 exf3 19 Bxf3 Ne5.

<21 Nc2!>. This is even better than 21 Bxb5 fxe3 22 Qxe3 Qxb5 21 Qxe4. <28 -- f4>. Black's position is lost. He has nothing better than to launch a doomed Kingside attack.

<33 -- Bf6>. Of course neither 33 -- Rxd4 34 Rxd4 Bxd4 35 Qxd4# nor 33 -- Bxd4 34 Rxe8+ Kg7 (34 -- Rxe8 35 Qxd4+) 35 Rg8+ Kh6 36 Qd2+ Kh5 37 Qg5# is to Black's liking.

<36 Re6!!>. This is better than 36 Rxd4 Bxd4.

<36 -- Rd2>. Black cannot save himself with either 36 -- Rd6 37 Rxd6 Nxd6 38 Qxf6# or 36 -- Qc1+ 37 Kg2 Ne3+ 38 Rxe3.


Ms. Kosteniuk's <14 c4!>, which was followed by several other good moves, may cause one to wonder whether the <12 -- Bxd5> line of the Pelikan isn't just a little bit dubious. It led to the placement of a Knight at c4 which Black must dislodge before pursuing play on the Queenside. McShane's <17 -- Rb8?> does not appear to be the best way to perform this task.

Dec-22-08  WhiteRook48: Kosteniuk beats the great Skywalker!
Jan-21-09  WhiteRook48: just kidding. Well, it is a Shame Black lost. Argh, I just can't leave the puns...
Apr-10-09  DoubleCheck: If im not mistaken Black should of tried

36... Qc1+
37. Kg2 Qg5
Retaining the Knight

Apr-10-09  cheeseplayer: i think it's both..

distracted and on purpose..

btw, very poor game for GOTD

Apr-10-09  Chicago Chess Man: <doublecheck> I believe your line retains the knight but loses the queen after 38. Re8+ Rg7 39.Rg8+
Apr-10-09  SuperPatzer77: <DoubleCheck: If im not mistaken Black should of tried

36... Qc1+
37. Kg2 Qg5
Retaining the Knight>

Take a look at the White Rook on e6 -- 38. Re8+ Kg7 39. Rg8+ (winning the Black Queen)


Apr-10-09  SuperPatzer77: < WhiteRook48: Kosteniuk beats the great Skywalker! > LOL LOL

<WhiteRook48> Alexandra Kosteniuk could be Princess Leia - Luke Skywalker's sister. LOL


Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: For fun, I stepped through this game with Fritz 11 giving a quick and dirty analysis of each move. This is what I found:

Up to move 27, Fritz reckoned that the position is somewhere between level and white having a slight edge - around half a pawn. Fritzie doesn't like 27... Ng6 (+1.15), but I suppose black's game is just about tenable. Instead, Fritz recommends 27...Re6 with a small white edge (+0.6)

The real stinker is 30...f3, where the eval jumps to +3.14 as the e4 pawn drops to the game continuation. Instead 30...Qf5 keeps white's advantage down to +0.65.

Black's "threats" against g2 are illusory and he cannot afford to drop more of the little guys. From here on, black capitulates without much of a fight. 36...Rd2 is tantamount to resignation by suicide as it just drops the Bf6.

Not a great game. Black pinned his hopes on a kingside attack that didn't really materialise and white efficiently rolled up the opening advantage to a point where black made a mistake.

Anyone shed light on the pun?

Apr-10-09  DCP23: <percyblakeney: Maybe Kosteniuk wins a game now and then because she is a good chess player, and not just because the opponent is losing on purpose or being distracted?>

Now that Kosteniuk has become the World Champion, we can safely conclude that <percy> was right there in 2004 ;)

Apr-10-09  WhiteRook48: maybe, Weirdos
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Man Smart/Women Smarter-a famous song by Harry Belafonte and others. I especially like the rendition on the I LOVE LUCY-tv show.

A good game,black must lose a full queen as 38...♕xf8 is met by 39 ♕xf8#

Apr-10-09  Steven87: The only alternative to Qxf8 is Kg7, which is met by Qf6#
Premium Chessgames Member
  Arbiter58: <Once> I think the first real blunder was 24.. f5?. From there on it goes down weakening he a2-g8 diagonal and giving initiative to white.

Instead 24.. Ng6! would create lots of problems for white. e.g.

25 Qe3 Qd6 26 b5

26 ..Rh5 27 f4 (27 h3 doesn't work well because of 27.. Nf4 (e.g. 28 Rb1 Rxh3! 29 gxh3 Qg6+ or 28 Kh1 Kh8 29 Rb1 Nxg2! 30 Kxg2 Rg8 31 Qg3 (or 31 Kh1 d4 32 Qg3 Qe6 and 33 Rg1 doesn't work because of Rxh3)Be5 32 Qxg8 Kxg8))

27.. exf3 28 g3 Ne5 29 Rd4 f5 30 Bb7 f4 31 Bxd5+ Kh8 32 Qe4 Qd7 33 Qe1 Qh3 and black should be winning


26 Be2 Rc8 27 Qd2 Nh4 28 Bg4 Rce8 29 Qf4 Qg6 30 Bh3 Nf3+ 31 Kh1 Ng5 32 Rg1 and white is still a bit better, but black has a game.

after 25 Bc4 Kh8 (why not Qd6?) 26 Rfe1 (or maybe a4) Re6 27 Bb3 Rd6 black would also have quite some reasonable game ahead. Instead he played

26.. Qc8 and after 27 Bb3 Ng6 28 Qc1 f4 29 Rxd5 makes another weakling with 29.. Nh4. Instead 29 .. f3 30 Ne3 Qb7 31 g3 Qxb4 (not 31 a3? because of 31..Nf4 and a lot trouble for white) makes at least the two pawns go away although white is already having a substantial advantage.

30 Qd1 and I agree with <Once> - 30.. f3 at that point of time is the suicide. 31 Rxe5 Bxe5 32 Rxe4 Rd8 33 Nd4 and he is a goner. Maybe he might have had some swindling chances after 33 Qc3, but after Bf6 there is nothing any more.

Interesting game I think. He had a dynamic game and it slipped away because of the mistakes early in the game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Arbiter58: ... and by the way: she is really cute as you can see

but ELO 2514, GM title and women's World Champions title don't come from being cute.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Didn't this guy play a red neck cowboy on Deadwood?
Apr-10-09  Dredge Rivers: <HeMateMe>

No, you're thinking of Alan Ladd.

Apr-10-09  PinnedPiece: <once: Anyone shed light on the pun? >


Apr-10-09  PinnedPiece: <once: Anyone shed light on the pun? >

Of course you may prefer the original.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <PinnedPiece> Many thanks! The whole Once family enjoyed the original!
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