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Vitaly Chekhover vs Emanuel Lasker
"Vitaly Impotent" (game of the day Jan-06-2021)
Moscow (1935), Moscow URS, rd 4, Feb-18
Queen's Gambit Declined: Vienna Variation (D39)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-31-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <ounos> As longtime New England master John A Curdo has long been wont to say: 'Get 'em while they're young!'
Dec-25-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: "Vitaly Impotent"
Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 4...dxc4.

How can this be called a Queen's Gambit *Declined*?

Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Chess only becomes this easy for the greatest players. Drat it all.

Incidentally, Lasker finished third in this tournament at age 66, only a half-point behind Botvinnik and Flohr, and ahead of Capablanca, whom he defeated. Poor Chekhover could do nothing but say, "Did anyone get the license plate on that steam roller?"

Jan-06-21  Boomie: Taking Lasker to the endgame must be a good idea. (NOT)
Jan-06-21  AlicesKnight: A relevant pun given the nature of the game where the white N is so often restricted in its options (e.g. after move 33). It looks as if Chekhover only saw late that 39.Nxh7 allows ...Be7 and the alternative is passed Black Ps on the wings.
Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Lasker's later career is unbelievable. 66YO and playing chess like this. I think <FSR> might be the only person on the site more impressed with Lasker's longevity than me.

I admit to taking pleasure in submitting a pun and knowing the usual suspects would object to both words being mispronounced.

Jan-06-21  morfishine: Interesting, this game title describes itself
Jan-06-21  Ironmanth: Inspiring play for us older chessplayers! Y'all please stay safe out there today, this week, this year.
Jan-06-21  goodevans: Nice pun <OCF>.

Am I right in thinking that <28.Kd3> would have been a dead draw? Without the aid of the K, black's B and pawns cannot make headway on the K-side and the K's only route there is via c7 or c8 and that seems far too slow.

Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Well, white got exactly what he deserved to get after playing moves like 7.Bxf6?! (7.Bxc4 is normal here), 8.Bxc4 (why not 8.e5?) and 10.Qxf6. Chekhover simply gave up his Bishop pair and then he was just going for the quickest simplification without any ambitions to play for win with white pieces in this game. Thus he went into a N vs B ending, which was clearly favourable for the side with Bishop. Of course, Lasker played the game excellently showing his high class and superb technique but Chekhover with his unambitious approach to the game was rather his aide than opponent.
Jan-06-21  goodevans: <goodevans: [...] Am I right in thinking that <28.Kd3> would have been a dead draw...>

l was thinking that white's N, K and a-pawn could just sit there and do nothing but of course white will soon run out of pawn moves on the other side of the board. I guess I'll never be much good at these kinds of endgames.

Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <goodevans> <Am I right in thinking that <28.Kd3> would have been a dead draw?>

I am not sure, as after 28.Kd3 Be5 29.g3 Kb3 the position looks a bit like a zugzwang with white sooner or later running out of pawn moves forced to make a concession allowing to take the Pawn a4 safely.

Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: But anyway, 27...a6 would have been probably more accurate than 27...a5.
Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I don't know if 28. Kd3 draws, but surely it was better. I'd sure prefer a Knight remain in close quarters than get out on the open board and inevitably get dominated by the Bishop. It strikes me as a strategic mistake to start the Knight tour.
Jan-06-21  Ned Merrill: B vs N on an open board - forget it.
Jan-06-21  LuciusLukjanenko: I don't like 9.Qxd4. The double pawn after 10.Qxf6 is not enough compensation for the development "tempo" expressed by 9. ... Nc6. I also can't understand how forcing all the way into the endgame, against Lasker, who had a Bishop against a Knight and an open board, was a good strategy. Black could keep the pieces on the board with little effor, and try to improve the position, at leat to justify 7.Bxf6. It's not easy - the king side is already open, and the double pawns can work as ice-breakers, but I think it would be the best way to put on a fight.
Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Stockfish evaluates 28 Kd3 at -1.03.

28 Kd3 Be5 29 h3 Bf4 30 Nc3 Bh2 31 g4 Be5 32 Nb1 Bd6. It is the best move available.

Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Not much to add to the summation by <Honza>, but it is curious indeed that a strong master should simply hand his opponent all the chances for free. One might have thought this a game between a second category player and a top GM, so obliging was Chekhover's play.
Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: This looks like it could have come from the Airthings Masters on-line chess tournament that recently wrapped up. It has a very modern style.
Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Modern style; played by a 67 year old! What an amazing player!
Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <Breunor: Modern style; played by a 67 year old! What an amazing player!>

Amazing player, indeed, <Breunor>!

He had the longest reign of any World Chess Champion in history.

Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <perfidious: Not much to add to the summation by <Honza>, but it is curious indeed that a strong master should simply hand his opponent all the chances for free. One might have thought this a game between a second category player and a top GM, so obliging was Chekhover's play.>

Chekhover was not a bad player (though he was better analyst and theoretician) but he was then still quite young and a novice at this level of competition. The game was played in the fourth round, and Chekhover's previous performance was a short but not a dull draw with his peer Ragozin, loss with white pieces with Vasja Pirc in a sharp game, where he was convincingly outplayed, and another draw with Ilya Kan, where Chekhover was quite lucky, as Kan missed a winning combination (though a bit later he could lose too). So it is quite understandable that facing former world champion Chekhover was overcautious and nervous. Anyway, the whole tournament was rather a failure for Chekhover, and he finished second to last (ahead just of hopelessly last Vera Menchik) with only 5.5 points from 19 games (3 wins, 5 draws and 11 losses).

Jan-07-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < Breunor: Stockfish evaluates 28 Kd3 at -1.03. 28 Kd3 Be5 29 h3 Bf4 30 Nc3 Bh2 31 g4 Be5 32 Nb1 Bd6. It is the best move available.>

This is unquestionably right. Out of curiosity I ran the position after 28.Kd3 overnight on SF and got an evaluation of -1.91, 72/133. Here is the main line:

28... Be5 29. g3 Kb3 30. h3 Kb4 31. g4 Kb3 32. Na7 Kxa4 33. Kc4 Bf4 34. Nb5 Bd2 35. f3 Bf4 36. h4 Bg3 37. h5 Be5 38. Na7 Ka3 39. Nc6 a4 40. Nxe5 fxe5 41. Kc3 f6 42. f4 exf4 43. e5 fxe5 44. g5 f3 45. Kd2 f2 46. Ke2 f1=Q+ 47. Kxf1 Kb3 48. g6 hxg6 49. hxg6 a3 50. Kf2 a2 51. g7 a1=Q 52. g8=Q


click for larger view

The position in the diagram is a tablebase draw, although in practice Black would have winning chances.

Jan-20-21  tbontb: 67 year old Lasker surprises his young opponent in thematic fashion. After 28. Nd6? (28. Kd3! as noted by many) there is no way back.
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