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Walter Shawn Browne vs Abdul-Razzaq Ahmed Taha
"Browne Out" (game of the day Jan-06-2012)
Chess Olympiad Qualifying Group 7 (1972), Skopje MKD, rd 3, Sep-21
French Defense: Classical. Alapin Variation (C14)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: Browne was in very good form at the 1972 Skopje olympiad, but here he is spectacularly felled by an untitled Iraqi player Taha who out-prepared him in an old but very sharp line of the French. Browne's K is driven to h5 and perishes.

<17...c5> has been played by Kortchnoi leading to a draw

<30.Ng3> was possible and he is still in the game. Browne tries for more and blunders.

Mar-01-05  aragorn69: GM Ian Rogers brief comments on this almost comic game (in an article about the current status of chess in Iraq) at :

<Admittedly Iraq has never fought for high honours at the Olympiad, but some performances are well remembered. In 1972, when Iraq finished second last at the Skopje Olympiad, their top player Taha cost Walter Browne the gold medal on board one with an amazing David versus Goliath victory. Taha dropped/sacrificed a piece in the opening against Browne, then at his peak, but somehow generated enough attack to win a spectacular game which is still part of the chess education of all Iraqi players. Taha went on to play five Olympiads for Iraq between 1972 and 1988 and died seven years ago.>

Mar-01-05  notsodeepthought: If the views of influential ayatollah Sistani are any indication, it does not appear that chess in Iraq will be making great strides forward anytime soon:
May-23-11  MaczynskiPratten: This game was featured in Simon Webb's classic "Chess for Tigers" as an example of How to trap Heffalumps. Basically Taha goes for obscure complications and sacrifices a piece for the initiative, which is good tactics against a stronger player ratherthan letting yourself be ground down positionally. And hey presto, the dice roll in his favour and he pulls off an upset.
Premium Chessgames Member
  profK: This sac is worth remembering, as it is an important line in the classical french defence.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: This is the 25th pun I've submitted that has used. Game Collection: Puns I submitted
Jan-06-12  ounos: I'd play 29. Qd6 - put the problem to Black, instead of letting his attack play itself out
Jan-06-12  King Death: < Chessical: ...<30.Ng3> was possible and he is still in the game. Browne tries for more and blunders.>

This doesn't make sense. What more was there for Browne to try for other than playing the only good defense to 30...Rf5+?

Jan-06-12  TheBish: 30. Ng3 looks like the most logical move, defending against 30...Rf5+ and untangling the pieces. I think Browne was defending against 30...Qh4+ and missed 30...Qxb6+ with mate next. After 30. Ng3 Qe3 31. Qe7 Bf5, it's basically even according to Fritz.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I think this one hinges on an optical illusion. Queens can squeeze between the gaps in a pawn chain, but it looks OTB as if they shouldn't be able to.

Here's the position that Browne probably envisaged after 30...Rf5+ 31. Kh6

click for larger view

The move he overlooked was 31...Qxb6+ with only a futile queen interpolation to delay mate by one move. But her majesty is a lady of generous proportions. Wide hipped. Built for comfort rather than speed. There's lots of junk in that trunk, as the colony-borrowers would so colourfully put it.

So you might think that there's no way she can make it to b6 slipping between the two skinny dudes on d5 and c4. But she can.

It can be so easy to miss long backwards moves, especially when a diagonal piece weaves in between a cluster of other bits on a crowded board.

Jan-06-12  shivasuri4: <Once>,Qe3+ does the job as well after white plays Kh6,and that's just one step backwards.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <shivasuri4> It does, but after 31. Kh6 Qe3+ 32. f4 ...

click for larger view

... Black's only way to win is with 32...Qxb6+.

It turns out that the immediate 31...Qxb6+ is mate in two. 31...Qe3+ is mate in three via 32...Qxb6+

Jan-06-12  Snehalshekatkar: There was no middlegame and endgame for this game! After opening game went to "Queengame!!"
Jan-06-12  shivasuri4: <Once>,yes,of course,I suppose i would play Qe3+ first and then Qxb6+ the next move were I in time pressure.

<Skinny dudes on d5 and c4> Now that's funny!Depends on the chess set.

Jan-06-12  RandomVisitor: 14.Kd1 might be an improvement:

click for larger view

Analysis by Deep Rybka 4.1 x64:

<[+0.69] d=26 14.Kd1> Qxd4+ 15.Kc1 Qxf2 16.Nf3 c5 17.Qd6 Qe3+ 18.Kb1 c4 19.Rg1 h6 20.Rh1 f6 21.exf6 Rxf6 22.h4 Rf8 23.b3 cxb3 24.Bd3 bxc2+ 25.Bxc2 Qc3 26.Rc1 b4 27.Bh7+

[+0.00] d=25 14.c3 Qxb2 15.Ne2 b4 16.cxb4 Qxb4+ 17.Kd1 Qxb6 18.Qd6 Qb3+ 19.Ke1 Qb1+ 20.Kd2 Qb2+ 21.Ke3 Qb3+ 22.Kd2 Qb2+ 23.Ke3 Qb3+ 24.Kd2 Qb2+ 25.Ke3 Qb3+ 26.Kd2 Qb2+ 27.Ke3 Qb3+ 28.Kd2 Qb2+ 29.Ke3

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Should Browne have looked a little harder before taking the piece on the 8th rank?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <Once: So you might think that there's no way she can make it to b6 slipping between the two skinny dudes on d5 and c4. But she can.>

The trick is to elevate the back of your cue stick and strike the Q's many-pointed crown at a mild downward angle, <above> her (um) waist, so that she mini-jumps <over> the gap, rather than squeezing through it at felt-level. Add a touch of backspin to stop her on b6 :)

Jan-06-12  drkodos: What can Browne do for you?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Hopefully after playing this game, Browne has learned the lesson of not castling in open positions.
Jan-06-12  Yodaman: Surely white is winning after 13.Qxb8?
Jan-06-12  solskytz: I thought there was still time for 26. Ng3, planning Bxc4 dc Qxc4 and white's totally in the game
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Yodaman> I had Fritz take a quick look at this game. Not an in depth analysis, but he reckoned that white had an advantage of up to a pawn for much of the game. At move 13, the eval was +0.80. This rose to around +2 pawns about move 26. Nice to have but not yet won.

But then Browne lets his advantage slip. 27. h5 (+2.01) would have been much stronger than 27. exf6 (+0.71). 29. Qd6 would have kept a small white advantage of around (+0.66) where 29. dxe5 is dead level (0.00). Finally, 30. Ng3 would have kept a level game instead of 30. Qe7 (-18.68)

I suppose it is never easy converting a material win when your king is caught out on the open. You always have to be on guard for snap mates.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The queen goes piece hunting and costs white valuable tempi.
Jan-06-12  solskytz: on 29. Qd6, Kh8 with the idea ...Rg8 looks interesting for black
Jan-06-12  solskytz: I just love (after Once's post) the idea of 27. h4 - the king steps into the fourth rank (!!) just to clear the space for the pawn to jump a couple squares forward, in its turn preparing the king's retreat into safety at h2 via g3 - a maneouver to remember - can astonish quite a number of blitz adversaries!!
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