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Veniamin Sozin vs Peter Romanovsky
"Lazy Sozin" (game of the day Mar-06-2010)
USSR Championship (1925), Leningrad URS, rd 13
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange Variation (D85)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-12-10  RandomVisitor: After 14.d5:

click for larger view

Rybka 3: <19-ply>

[+0.23] 14...Nf6 15.f3 Ne8

Mar-12-10  desiobu: I came up with 17...Qc3 and saw most of the lines there, but didn't anticipate 18. Qd3.
Mar-12-10  KingsPawns: 17... Bxd4
18. Rxd4 Qc3
19 R(d or a)d1 Nc5!

Black Queen gotta go. White Queen takes the Bishop and the match.

Mar-12-10  RandomVisitor: After 13...e5:

click for larger view

Rybka 3: <depth=20>

<[+0.22] 14.d5> Nf6 15.f3 Ne8 16.c4 Nd6 17.Rab1 Qc8 18.Qa4 Bh6 19.Kh1 f6 20.Nc3 Be3 21.Bc1 Bd4 22.Bd2

[+0.00] 14.f4 exf4 15.Nxf4 cxd4 16.Nd5 Qe5 17.Bxf8 Rxf8 18.Qxa7 Nc5 19.Qxb6 Nxe4 20.c4 d3 21.Rad1 d2 22.Kh1 Qg5 23.Nf4 Re8 24.Qc6 Qe5 25.a4 Rd8 26.Ne2 f5 27.Qb6 Rb8 28.Qc6 Rd8 29.Qb6

[+0.00] 14.Rac1 Bh6 15.Rcd1 exd4 16.cxd4 Rfe8 17.e5 cxd4 18.f4 Nc5 19.Qc4 Rac8 20.Nxd4 Ne6 21.Qxc7 Rxc7 22.g3 Nxd4 23.Rxd4 Bg7 24.Rfd1 f6 25.e6 Rxe6 26.Rd8+ Kf7 27.R1d7+ Rxd7 28.Rxd7+ Kg8 29.Rd8+

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: By Jupiter after the 18.Qd3 Qxd3 19.Rxd3 swap he'll drop loot off it, Romanovsky's knight goes loco. Elusive through the variations 19..Ne5 20.Rdd1 Nc4 21.Bb4 Ne3 22.Nc6 invest an exchange.. Bxa1 23.Rxa1 Nc2 24.Rb1 for god's sake he will back us now 24..Nxb4 25.Rxb4 Kf8 and game finishes.
Mar-12-10  ounos: :) Heh. I was about to write "well, in the 10 seconds I alloted, I settled on Qc3 - I missed the X(,etc) variation so that's why I discarded move Y.

I guess it's a different version now!

Mar-12-10  homersheineken: Nice. Struggled with this week, but got Thurs and Fri :)
Mar-12-10  chessdr: JimfromProvidence: You said, after 17...Qc3 18 Qa4 Rad8 19 Nc6, Rybka saw 19 ... Nc5! 20 Bxc5 Qxc5+ 21 Kh1 b5 22 Qa6 Rxd1+ 23 Rxd1 Re6 24 Qc8+ Bf8 25 Nxa7 Qxa7, winning a piece. That only works because the potential defense 25 ... Rd8 loses to 26 Qc1.

So what does Rybka say about 21 Kf1? Then the back-rank threat disappears and, with all the same moves, 25 ... Rd8 seems to guarantee equal material.

Mar-12-10  Marmot PFL: Looked at 17...Qc3 18 Nb3 Qe3+ winning the exchange, which however can be dangerous if it gives up the valuable KB. 17...Nc5 looked like a decent alternative. Didn't really look at the line white played as much as I should have as trading queens robs him of any attacking chances without solving his problems (pinned N and R and misplaced B on a3).
Mar-12-10  YouRang: Sigh. I went with 17...Nc5, kicking the queen. It's fun to kick the queen.

I was hoping for 18.Bxc5? Qxc5 which looks like it wins the knight.

I feel like I haven't been 'in the mood' this week. :-|

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Here's some move-by-move analysis played out with Fritz 8:

<17...Qc3 18. Qd3>

18. Qa4!? As <Jimfromprovidence> observes, this appears to be the move which gives Black the most difficulty.

18..Rad8! Fritz initially gives this as the strongest reply to 18. Qa4!?

However, Black seems to win slow but sure after 18. Qa4!? Qe3+! 19. Kf1 Nc5! when play might continue 20. Bxc5 (20. Qb4 Nd3 21. Qd2 Qxd4 22. Qxd3 Qxd3+ 23. Rxd3 Bxa1 )20... bxc5 21. Nc2 Qf4 22. Rab1 Qxh2 23. Qd7 Rab8 24. Rxb8 Rxb8 25. Qxa7 Bf8 26. Re1 Rb2 27. Re2 Qh1+ 28. Kf2 Qh4+ 29. Kf1 Be7 30. g3 Qh1+ 31. Kf2 Qh2+ 32. Kf1 Rb1+ 33. Ne1 Qxg3 34. Qa8+ Kg7 35. Qa3 Bh4 36. Qe3 Qh3+ 37. Kg1 Bg3 38. f4 Rxe1+ 39. Rxe1 Qh2+ 40. Kf1 Qh1+ 41. Ke2 Qxe1+ 42. Kf3 c4 43. Qxe1 Bxe1 .

19. Nb3 (after 18. Qa4! Rad8!)

(a) 19. Ne2 Qe3+ 20. Kf1 Bxa1 21. Rxa1

(b) 19. Rac1 Qe3+ (19... Bxd4+ 20. Rxd4 Qe3+ 21. Kf1 Nc5 22. Rxd8 Rxd8 23. Qb4 Nd3 ) 20. Kf1 Bxd4 21. Rxd4 Nc5! 22. Rxc5 bxc5 23. Rc4 Qd3+ 24. Kf2 Qd2+ 25. Kf1 Qxa2 26. Rxc5 Re6 27. Rc2 Ra6

19... Qe3+ (after 19. Nb3) 20. Kf1 Bxa1 21. Bc1 Qc3 22. Rxd7 Qc8 23. Rd5 Be5 .

<18... Qxd3 19. Rxd3 Ne5 20. Rdd1 Nc4 21. Bb4 Ne3 22. Nc6>

If 22. Rd3, Black springs a winning Knight fork with 22...Bxd4 23. Rxd4 Nc2

<22... Bxa1 23. Rxa1 Nc2 24. Rb1 Nxb4 25. Rxb4 Kf8> 0-1

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <chessdr> <So what does Rybka say about 21 Kf1? Then the back-rank threat disappears and, with all the same moves, 25 ... Rd8 seems to guarantee equal material.>

If 21 Kf1 it looks like black wins material in a different, complicated, but forced manner.

After 19...Nc5! 20 Bxc5 Qxc5+ 21 <Kf1> b5 22 Qa6 Rxd1+ 23 Rxd1, then 23...Qc4+.

click for larger view

After 24 Kg1 (If Ke1, ,then 24…Bc3+) Black now plays 24…Qc2, in order to drive the rook off of the d file. Now, if 25 Re1, then 25…Qc5+! 26 Kf1. Now 26…Re6 wins.

click for larger view

Note that black must play Qc5+ before Re6 in the above continuation. This is because if 25…Re6, then white wins the queen after 26 Qc8+ Bf8 27 Ne7+. 25…Qc5+ gives the queen protection if 26 Qc8+ Bf8 follows.

To make things more interesting, after 24..Qc2 white can play either 25 Rd5 or Rd7 as well. Then 25...Bh6 leads to winning for black (details omitted).

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: I thought I'd got it right away with 17 .... Qc3. But before I worked it through I started worrying about 18 Nb5. Then 18.... Qe3+ 19 Kf1 Bxa1 and if 20 Nc7 and I spent a long time before I saw 20 ... Bd4 21 Rxd4 Qxd4 winning. However, that was all a blind alley which led me astray. A lesson to me not to get a mind-set about a certain line. <Dzechiel> I'm not sure if I'd have seen those neat N manoeuvers anyway.
Mar-12-10  alexrawlings: Nice puzzle, I guessed 17.. Qc3 but didn't see the continuation played in the game. In the game, if 22 Rd2 or Rd3 then 22.. Bxd4 23 Rxd4 Nc2 and black wins the exchange.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is even. White threatens 17.Rac1 with pressure along the c- and d-files.

The pinned knight and the diagonals a1-h8 and a7-g1 seem to be White's main weaknesses. Therefore, use these lines to attack White's pieces with 17... Qc3:

A) 18.Qd3 Qxd3 19.Rxd3 Ne5

A.1) 20.Rb(c,e)3 Nxf3+ wins the exchange and a pawn at least.

A.2) 20.Rd2 Nc4 21.Rd3 Nxa3 - + [B].

A.3) 20.Rd1 Nc4

A.3.a) 21.Bc1 Red8 wins a piece because the knight is double pinned.

A.3.b) 21.Rd3 Nxa3 - + [B].

A.3.c) 21.Bb4 Ne3 22.Rd2(3) Bxd4+ 23.Rxd4 Nc2 24.Rad1 Nxd4 - + [R vs B].

B) 18.Qa4 b5

B.1) 19.Qxb5 Bxd4+ 20.Kh1 Qxa3 21.Rxd4 (21.Qxd7 Bb6 - + [B vs P]) Nb6 - + [N vs P].

B.2) 19.Nxb5 Qe3+ 20.Kh1 Bxa1

B.2.a) 21.Rxa1 Rec8 threatening ... Qd(e,f)2 and ... Rc2.

B.2.b) 21.Nc7 Nb6 22.Qb4 Bg7 23.Nxa(e)8 Rxa(e)8 - + [N vs P].

B.3) 19.Qb4 Qe3+ 20.Kh1 a5

B.3.a) 21.Qxb5 Bxd4 22.Qxd7 (22. Rxd4 Qxd4 23.Bb2 Qb4 - +) Bxa1 - + [R vs B+P].

B.3.b) 21.Qd2 Qxa3 - + [B].

C) 18.Ne2 Qe3+ 19.Kf1 Bxa1 20.Rxa1 Nc5 21.Bxc5 (otherwise 21... Nd3) bxc3 - + [R vs N].

D) 18.Nb3 Qe3+ 19.Kh1 Bxa1 20.Rxa1 Ne5 threatening 21... Nd3 and 22... Nf2+.

Some lines are not very clear (e.g. B.2.a) but I have the impression that White doesn't have time to build a counter attack along a1-h8 if he keeps the bishop.

I also considered 17... Nc5, but this move only seems to work if White plays 18.Bxc5 Qxc5:

A) 19.Rac1 Bxd4+ 20.Kh1 Qe5 - + [B].
B) 19.Qa4 b5 20.Rac1 Qxc1 21.Rxc1 bxa4 - + [R+B vs N].

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: I missed

B.3.c) 21.Qb3 Qxb3 22.axb3 and Black has some advantage but there is a lot to play.

According to <Jimfromprovidence>, <patzer2> and other, 18... Rad8 is a much better reply to 18.Qa4 than 18... b5.

Better luck tomorrow.

Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: I found the game continuation from 17...Qc3 through 22..Ne3, but totally flubbed my analysis of 17...Qc3 18. Qa4.

Also, I didn't notice the complications after 17...Qc3 18. Nb5 Qe3+ 19. Kf1 Bxa1 20. Nc7

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: Now I can look at this position with time to spare, something puzzles me. 18 Qa4 is cited as the best defense, but what happens after 18 ... Nc5 immediately? For example 19 Qb4 Qe3+ 20 Kf1 Nd3 21 Qd2 Qxd4 (not ... Qxd2 and W skewers the N and B) 22 Rab1 Red8 23 Rb3 Nc5 and I dont see how W regains the piece. If instead 20 Kh1 then the line I like best is 20... Nd3 21 Qd2 Nf2+ 22 Kg1 Na3+ 23 Kh1 (or 23 Kf1 Qb1+ 24 Ke2 Qxg2+) Qxa3 24 gxh2 Qxc3+ 25 Kb1 Rxe4
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: BTW, I don't know why some people felt this was not worthy of a Friday GOTD. For a position that looked so easy at first sight it's remarkably rich in possibilities
Mar-12-10  DarthStapler: I forgot this even though it was just GOTD but I saw the Qa4 defense and couldn't find anything for black after that
Mar-12-10  timothee3331: The variation I got was 17...Qc3! 18.Qd3 Qxd3 19. Rxd3 Nc5! 20.Rdd1 (other rook moves also lose) Rad8!! 21.Nc6 Rc8! 22.Nd4 Red8!! 23.Bb2 Na4 and Black wins
Mar-12-10  johnlspouge: Friday (Difficult)

V Sozin vs P Romanovsky, 1925 (17...?)

Black to play and win.

Material: Even. The White Kg1 has 3 legal moves. The Black Bg7 pins Nd4 to Ra1. The candidate Qc7-c3 is attractive: it increases the pressure on Nd4, the weak a7-g1 diagonal leading to Kg1, and Bh3 (which only Qa6 protects). The Black Nd7 and Ra8 require activation. The Black Kg8 is secured from check.

Candidates (17...): Qc6

17…Qc6 18.Qd3

[N any Qe3+ 19.K any Bxa1 wins at least the exchange]

18…Qxd3 19.Rxd3 Ne5

(threatening 20…Nc4 then 21…Nxa3 or 21…Bxd4+)

(1) 20.Rc3 [or Rb3] Nxf3+ 21.Nxf3 [K any Nxd4] [else, Bxd4+]

21…Bxc3 wins at least R+P for N

(2) 20.Rdd1 [else, the threat wins material]


(2.1) 21.Bc1 Rad1 pins and wins Nd4

(2.2) 21.B any other Ne3 (threatening 22…Nxd1, winning R for N)

After Rd1 moves, 22…Bxd4+ 23.Rxd4 Nc2 forks the Rs, winning R for N.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <scormus> <Now I can look at this position with time to spare, something puzzles me. 18 Qa4 is cited as the best defense, but what happens after 18 ... Nc5 immediately?>

By not playing 18...Rad8 first, you are unwittingly releasing the pin on the rook on a1, which wins a pawn for white rather than the exchange.

For example, after 17...Qc3 18 Qa4 Nc5, then white has 19 Bxc5. If black follows with 19..Qxc5, then 20 Rac1 releases the pin.

click for larger view

If black plays the better 19...Qe3+, then after 20 Kf1 bxc5, white has 21 Nc2, below.

click for larger view

After Black plays 21...Qf4, then 22 Rb1 or Rc1 loses a pawn.

Mar-13-10  A Karpov Fan: missed. tht was way hard
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <Jim> Thanks, I missed that way out for W
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