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Paul L Thompson vs Michael Blechar
USA-ch corr (1996) (correspondence), ?
Semi-Slav Defense: Botvinnik System (D44)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-08-08  mistreaver: I don't understand a thing going on here
Mar-08-08  Gilmoy: This game is theory through 20..Rd7, with 11 games in the database, evenly split +4-4=3. Even the Q sac is well-known, apparently dreamed up over-the-board by Ivanchuk in Ivanchuk vs Shirov, 1996 -- read that page for some good analysis.

White's 21st moves in the database are:

21.Qg7 : +2-2=2
21.Nxc5: +1-1=1
21.Bxc5: +0-1=0
21.Qd4 : +1-0=0

Tactically, Black's advanced Q-side pawn wall cuts both ways: it's closer to queening (which is usually how Black draws or wins), but meanwhile, Black's K is badly exposed on two diagonals. White's 17.a3 rips open the a-file, and 19.Be3 is a hidden double on weak a7.

19..Nc5 throws down the gauntlet, closing the diagonal and daring White to try the Q sac. 22..Bxg7 hangs the N, so White is trading his Q for B+N, with additional threats like Bh3 and Rxa7, plus the two tempi for Black to deal with the g7-pawn.

This is the only Q-sac game where Black didn't continue 23..Rg8. 26..a5?! is a brute-force attempt to "save" his a7-weakness, but after 28.Bf1 the a-pawn falls anyways, and White's R+BB penetrate into Black's quadrant, e.g. Rxa5-Ba6-Bf4. Black's pawns are stuck, and the g7-pawn is paralyzing his back R.

Mar-13-08  mistreaver: I still don't get why black resigned
Mar-15-08  Gilmoy: [A] 28..Qb7? 29.Rxa5 and Black's Q looks trapped: White threatens 30.Ba6, or 29..Qc7 30.Rc5, or 29..Kb8 Rb5. 29..d4 30.Bh3! and White crashes through on the d-file, and probably queens the g-pawn.

[B] 28..Qc6 29.Rxa5 threatens 30.Bg2 or 30.Bh3, with similar queening threats. 29..c2 30.Rda1 d4 31.Bf4 d3 32.Bg2 and even the Q sac doesn't help: 32..Qxg2+ 33.Kxg2 d2 34.Rc5+ .

Other Black plans seem too slow to deal with White's mate threats. Q for BB is normally an advantage to the Q, but in this case it's lone Q vs. a RR+BB mating attack, and she's not that strong.

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