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David Navara vs Jan Helbich Sr
"Discovered Czech" (game of the day Aug-01-2006)
Energy Cup (1998), Olomouc CZE, rd 9, Aug-16
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Main Line (B99)  ·  1-0



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Given 27 times; par: 22 [what's this?]

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Premium Chessgames Member
  JointheArmy: Absolutely beautiful. The kid has so much talent and the fact that he deals with autism makes it unbelievable.
Jul-02-09  cuendillar: I'm not convinced that autism, at least if you don't have it too badly, can't be an asset when playing chess.
Aug-30-10  sevenseaman: What a bind! I have never seen anything like this, utter apoplexy. ..24. Qf6? hxg3 does not help.
Sep-19-12  Conrad93: Houini 1.5 found the draw, but it's still a very complex position:

[Event "Energy Cup"]
[Site "Olomouc"]
[Date "1998.??.??"]
[Round "9"]
[White "David Navara"]
[Black "Jan Helbich Sr"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B99"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "

click for larger view

"] [PlyCount "17"]
[EventDate "1998.??.??"]

21. Rf1 Nf8 22. Bf5 g6 23. Nxf8 Qxe7 24. Bxe7 gxf5 25. Rxf5 Re8 26. Bxb4 Bc8 27. Rf4 h5 28. Ng6 Rh7 29. Rh4 1-0

click for larger view

May-13-14  Conrad93: In the game F Hellers vs DeFirmian, 1989 black played 23...Kf7 and managed to draw relatively quickly by perpetual.

I am certain Navara knew of this.

May-31-14  kontoleon: Score: -1.11 22...g6 23.Nxf8 Qxe7 24.Bxe7 gxf5 25.Rxf5 Bc8 26.Rxd5 Kf7 27.Bxb4 Rxf8 28.Bxf8 Kxf8 29.Rh5 Kg7 30.Rc5 (Time = 0:48, Depth = 2/12)

50 sec

Sep-03-20  Walter Glattke: Black has one pawn more, simple changing left black with RN for R: (23.Rxg7 +Qxg7 24.Nxg7 Kg7 25.Bxc8 Rxc8 26.Bf6+ Kg8 27.Bxh8 Kxh8), I tested 23.Nxf8 Qxf5! 24.Rxf5 Bxf5 one piece for black, too. 23.Bxh7+ Nxh7! 24.Re8+ Nf8 25.Rxf8+ Kh7 26.Rh1+ Kg6 27.R8xh8 Bxe6 28.Rxa8 Qxg5+ a piece, too. 23.Re8 is "stockfishly" 0.0 with 34 ply. To say is, that 23.-Bb7 was a mistake.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: An amazing, astonishing, astounding game--until you learn that it's all known theory and a forced draw if Black finds the right moves.
Sep-03-20  Brenin: After 23 Re8, Black has 23 ... Kf7, and White has nothing better than repetition with 24 Re7+ Kg8. I was tempted by 23 Bxh7+ Kxh7 (23 ... Rxh7 24 Rxf8 mate, while 23 ... Nxh7 loses to 24 Re8+) 24 Nxf8+ Rxf8 25 Rh1+ Kg6 26 Rxe5, regaining the Q, but on counting up I found that it leads to material equality, with opposite-coloured bishops.
Sep-03-20  Brenin: <Walter Glattke>:After 23 Bxh7+ Nxh7 24 Re8+ Nf8 in your line, White should play 25 Rfxf8+, not the losing 25 Rexf8+. Then 25 ... Kh7 26 Rxh8+ Kg6 27 Nf8+ Kf5 28 Rxe5+ and White is a piece ahead.
Sep-03-20  mel gibson: I couldn't see any good move.

Stockfish 11 agrees and is calling it a draw:

(23. Re8 (♖e7-e8 ♔g8-f7 ♖e8-e7+ ♔f7-g8) 0.00/58 198)

score 0.00

Sep-03-20  Honey Blend: Despite what it seems, 23. ♗xh7?! looks to be a nice attempt at a swindle especially under time pressure. Black has to see that 23. ... ♔xh7! 24. ♖h1+ ♔g6 25. ♘xf8+ ♖xf8 26. ♖xe5 ♖f5! leads to a winning endgame.

click for larger view

Although he has three pawn islands, his king and pawns are already advanced, and after the forced 27. ♖xf5 ♗xf5, Black has c2 in check and most probably will follow with ♖c8.


I. 23. ... ♖xh7?? 24. ♖xf8#
II. 23. ... ♘xh7? 24. ♖e8+ ♘f8 25. ♖fxf8+ ♔h7 26. ♖xh8+ ♔g6 27. ♘f8+ +-

Sep-03-20  Cellist: I realized that the obvious 23. Rg7:+ wins back the queen but leaves White a piece down. I was then seduced by 23. Bh7:+, not seeing that it is only the second best move and leads to a slight advantage for Black and a draw at best for White. But I am glad I did not miss a compelling win, given that 23. Re8 only draws with best play by Black.
Sep-03-20  Walter Glattke: Thanks to BRENIN to read my comments, I have here 27.-Kxg5 28.Rxe5+ Kf6 29.Rd5 Be6 30.Nxe6 Rxh8 31.Nf4 and white is a piece ahead, too, thanks for your proper temting.
Sep-03-20  TheaN: For the love of anything holy I <could not get this one to work>, and frankly, I'm right!

White has a few attempts but fall short due to a variety of defensive moves by Black: 23.Bxh7+?! is the most prominent, but 23....Kxh7 (Rxh7?? 24.Rxf8#; Nxh7 24.Re8+ Nf8 25.Rfxf8+ Kh7 26.Rxh8+ Kg6 27.Nf8+ Kf5 28.Rxe5+ Kxe5 29.Nd7+ +-) 24.Nxf8+ Rxf8 25.Rh1+ Kg6! 26.Rxe5 Rf5! ⩱ and Black's quite a bit better.

23.Bf4 is too slow, because of simply 23....Qf6 ∓ threatening Qxe7; anything else is bad due to the threat on g7.

23.Bg6!? now is interesting but ultimately fails to the 'simple' 23....Bxe6 -+ which holds everything together and wins, if just.

This leaves White's best <23.Re8>. I pictured 23....Bxe6? 24.Bxe6+ Qxe6 25.Rfxf8# and 23....Bd7? 24.Rxa8 +- to be terrible. I hadn't analyzed 23....Bb7 too much as I reckoned White had at least initiative after 24.Rxa8 Bxa8 25.Nxf8 (which is apparently =) but I spend close to an <hour> on <23....Kf7>. And frankly, rightfully so.

Even though it seems like Black is stepping into a minefield, he does so with a sweeper. 24.Bg6+ doublecheck is futile because 24....Kxg6 -+ is exactly the square we were already missing in most lines. 24.Rxf8+ Rxf8 25.Bg4+ Kg6 -+ similar. 24.Rd8 -+ is way too slow. So that leaves <24.Re7+ Kg8 25.Re8 =>

This is a very odd spoiler-esque Thursday. I'm not sure if CG checked this themselves.

Sep-03-20  siggemannen: I saw Re8 Kf7 and gave up dissapointed cause white didn't seem to have anything. Does it count as 1/2 correct?
Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: A rare occurrence where the puzzle of the day feels like a comment on the game of the day: A Dunne vs K Plesset, 1976.

Sometimes the black king survives on g8 after a queen sac. And sometimes it dies.

Sep-03-20  Brenin: It is disappointing that on best play this position fizzles out to a draw by repetition after 23 Re8 Kf7, and that White's win is due more to his opponent's poor defensive play (from move 21 onwards) than to the soundness of his speculative attack. Nevertheless, that was not a bad game for a 13-year-old.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop for the queen and a pawn.

Black threatens Bxe6.

The bishop on f5 blocks the rook on f1. This suggests 23.Bxh7+. However, after 23... Kxh7 (23... Rxh7 24.Rxf8#; 23... Nxh7 24.Re8+ Nf8 25.Rfxf8+ Kh7 26.Rxh8+ Kg6 27.Nf4+ Kxg5 28.Rxe5+ Kxf4 29.Ree8 ends up a rook ahead) 24.Nxf8+ Rxf8 25.Rh1+ Kg6 26.Rxe5 White only has restored the material equality.

Another option is 23.Re8 but after 23... Kf7 (23... Bxe6 24.Bxe6+ Qxe6 25.Rfxf8#; 23... Qxd6 24.Bg4 looks winning) I have been unable to find anything better than repeating moves 24.Re7+ Kg8 25.Re8.

I'd probably play 23.Re8.

Sep-03-20  cormier: 16. e6? 16.Qh4 Bxg5+ 17.Qxg5 g6 18.e6 Nc5 19.exf7+ Kxf7 20.Rf1+ = 0.00 (26 ply) 16... Ng3 ∓ -1.93 (28 ply)
Sep-03-20  RandomVisitor: Better might be:

click for larger view

NNUE evaluation using 20200812-2257.bin enabled.

<50/77 48:03 +0.81 10.g4 b5 11.Bxf6 Nxf6 12.g5> Nd7 13.f5 0-0 14.Rg1 b4 15.Nce2 e5 16.f6 exd4 17.fxe7 Re8 18.Nxd4 Ne5 19.Qb3 Bg4

Sep-03-20  Tiggler: Amazingly, I think I got this right: first I tried Bxh7 and realized it did not work, then I tried Re8 and thought it won, then I realized that ...Kf7 would draw. Can't find anything better so: take the draw.
Sep-03-20  Mendrys: Every bit of this game was already established theory, as noted some time ago by Conrad93, E G F Hellers vs de Firmian, 1989. 23...Bb7? was a mistake. 23...Kg7! draws. The real puzzle position should have been at move 24:

click for larger view

Sep-03-20  RandomVisitor: <Mendrys>Yes, I agree that the position after 23...Bb7 would have been a better puzzle for today.
Sep-04-20  RandomVisitor: A final look after 9...Nd7: 10.g4 seems to keep the most pressure on the black position.

click for larger view

NNUE evaluation using 20200812-2257.bin enabled.

<68/82 9:45:43 +0.46 10.g4 h6 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.h4 Nb6> 13.Be2 Bd7 14.g5 Be7 15.g6 fxg6 16.Qh3 0-0-0 17.Nxe6 Bxe6 18.Qxe6+ Kb8 19.Qxg6 d5

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