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Jan Cervenka vs Jan Volek
Czechia (1996)
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Rio de Janeiro Variation (C67)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-01-04  Saruman: Very nice Honza!
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  Sneaky: When I look at Honza's games I think "this could have been played in 1996, or 1896." Of course I mean that as a complement.
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  Honza Cervenka: 7.Nc3 is an excellent and almost forgotten invention of dr. Tarrasch, which I have found in his "Dreihundert Schachpartien". White gives his Bishop pair for space and fast development. I think that it is much better than 7.Ba4 which was mentioned by Ludek Pachman in his article on Berlin Defence published in Czech chess magazine "Šachinfo" in 1993. I have tried it several times with quite satisfactory result.

Instead of 18.Bxf6 white could have played also 18.Nd5 Bc5 19.Nxf6 Bxe3 20.Nxh7+ Rxh7 21.Qf3+

In final position after 22...Kf7 white can play 23.Qe2 and black is helpless against decisive intrusion of white heavy pieces with mate or huge loss of material. For example, 23...Re8 24.Qh5+ and 25.Rxe8 or 23...h5 24.Re7+ Kg6 (24...Kf8 25.Qe6 ) 25.Qd3+ Kh6 26.Qe3+ Kg6 27.Qg3+ Kf5 28.Rg7 with mate.

Nov-12-04  panigma: Hey Honza: Why doesn't black care about his knight on c6? And why don't you capture it with the pawn?
Nov-12-04  refutor: <panigma> bishops are better than knights ;) after 6. ...Nd6 7.dxc6 Nxb5 Black is at least as good for Black and very comfortable. I can't find a strong continuation for White after that
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  Honza Cervenka: <panigma> To beat on c6 is not very good here. Both possibilities (7.dxc6 or 7.Bxc6) give black a Bishop pair and help him to develop quickly his forces. See for example Chigorin vs Zukertort, 1883 or J Noa vs Max Weiss, 1880
Nov-18-04  panigma: Man, do I stink. Any time I can capture a piece with a pawn early in a game, I go for it. I would never even consider that doing so might put me at a positional disadvantage. Let me ask you this...generally speaking, early in a game (let's say within the first 25 moves) would you rather be down a piece but better positionally, or vice versa?
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  Honza Cervenka: <panigma> <would you rather be down a piece but better positionally, or vice versa?> It depends on concrete situation. But it is not the case here. Taking with Pawn on c6 white would not be a piece up. It only trades a Knight for the unprotected lightsquare Bishop under worse conditions than it occurred in the game after 7.Nc3.
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  Gypsy: <Sneaky> Reading the comments here, it suddenly dawned on me that Honza's play actually quite resembles that of Dr. Tarrasch -- the lively and open piece play, the clean and logical strategic construct of the game ...
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  tamar: This is an amazing variation and very logical. Thanks Honza.

One exercise I like to do with a game is to match the individual pieces to see who is winning the mini-battles.

15 knight moves I count by the 14th move. Black has moved his 8 times and they are gone. White has moved 7 times and still has one on c3. That is quite a gain of time.

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  Gypsy: I like that observation <tamar>. Another good place to take a tally is after <13.Nxd6 Bxd6>. Mechanically counted, White got just one tempo, O-O, for his pawn. But Black's Bd6 blocks his extra Pd7, which in turns locks in his Bc8. Had not been for the Pd7, White 14.Re1+ could have been answered by 14...Be6. But as it is, Black has to play the horrid 14...Kf8; 'more sensible' 14...Be7? just drops a piece to 15.Nd5.
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  tamar: right <gypsy> There is a goldmine of tempi after ...Bd6, the check, and then the problem of the bishop itself. Black sees no other solution except to expend more time with Bb4 and Bxc3, putting all the knights back in the box but with White bringing up the last reserves. In the final position, Black has three major pieces none of which have moved.
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  Honza Cervenka: 17.Nd5! could have been more convincing finish: 17...Bxe1 18.Rxe1 d6 (18...fxg5 19.Qf3+ Kg8 20.Ne7+) 19.Nxf6 Bf5 (19...gxf6 20.Bh6+ Kg8 21.Re8+ Qxe8 22.Qxe8#) 20.Nd5 +-, or 17...fxg5 18.Re3 g6 19.Qh6+ Kg8 20.Nxb4 c6 21.Rae1 +-

Immediate 11.d6 seems to be a bit more precise.

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  Honza Cervenka: 15...h6! avoiding Bg5 was the only chance of black to stay in the game.
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