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Sergey Borisovich Smagin vs Nikolay Nikolayevich Monin
URS-ch otbor (1986), Pinsk, Aug-??
Semi-Slav Defense: Stoltz Variation (D45)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-20-08  Terry McCracken: This game shouldn't have been used, it's not only flawed, 21..f5?? is a blunder that allows White to win it's all Book up to 18..Bf6. Some books may be longer; I need to check to verify this.

Here's the way the game could have finished, and be considered BOOK!

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. Be2 O-O 8. O-O dxc4 9. Bxc4 e5 10. h3 exd4 11. exd4 Nb6 12. Bb3 h6 13. Bxh6 gxh6 14. Qg6+ Kh8 15. Qxh6+ Nh7 16. Ne4 Be7 17. Nf6 Bf5 18. Nh5 Bf6 19. Ng5 Bxd4 20. Nxh7 Bxh7 21. Rad1 Rg8 22. Bc2 Rg6 23. Bxg6 fxg6 24. Nf4 Qf6 25. Rxd4 Qxd4 26. Nxg6+ Kg8 27. Ne7+ Kh8 28. Ng6+ Kg8 29. Ne7+ Kh8 30. Ng6+ =

Draw by Perpetual.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <13.Bxh6 gxh6 14.Qg6+ Kh8 15.Qxh6+ Nh7 16.Ne4> was obvious. But after <16...Be7> I couldn't find anything decisive, too.

And also 13...Nbd5 shouldn't be that hopeless even with a pawn down.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: To me, this was a fantastic lesson in attacking chess. Black had to play perfectly while under tremendous pressure from move 13 on. He did so until move 21, when he faltered.

Sure, he could have equalized and drawn with 21...Rg8, but that was a difficult move to find.

<whiteshark> <And also 13...Nbd5 shouldn't be that hopeless even with a pawn down.>

13Be6 is another like-move, breaking the pin on the f pawn and probably forcing the white bishop exchange.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <Terry McCracken> (or anyone else), could you enlighten me as to sources that justify the line as "book"? I am aware of some computer databases of chess openings, but a listing of good sources on the opening would be helpful to me. Thanks in anticipation.
Jan-20-08  crazydotaplayer: OMG I cant believe i got it again!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <crazydotaplayer>, many thanks.

I knew I could count on someone :)

Jan-20-08  wals: Noting my inner "think"
13. Qc2-g6...Kh8 14.Bc1xh6 ...g7 x h6
14.Q x h6+ Kg8 15.Qg6+
PM =
Yes of course, that's how its done.

Frits doesnt believe in sacs.
Analysis by Fritz 11: Depth 20/42 992kN/s Time 11 min

1. (0.28): 13.Nf3-e5 Nb6-d5 14.Nc3xd5 Nf6xd5 15.Qc2-d3 Bc8-e6 16.Bb3-c2 f7-f5 17.Bc1-d2 Bd6-b4 18.Rf1-e1 Rf8-e8 19.Ra1-d1 Bb4xd2 20.Qd3xd2 Qd8-b6 21.Bc2-b3 2. (0.33): 13.Qc2-d3 Nb6-d5 14.Nc3xd5 Nf6xd5 15.Nf3-e5 f7-f6 16.Ne5-c4 Rf8-e8 17.Bc1-d2 Bc8-e6 18.Ra1-e1 Bd6-c7 19.Bb3-c2 f6-f5 20.Qd3-b3 Ra8-b8 21.Nc4-e5 Qd8-h4

(, 21.01.2008)

Jan-20-08  wals: Move 22...why did black not play Rg8 ?
The answer is written in the wind.
Jan-20-08  regi sidal: 17. Nf6 seems correct.

I think whites misstep is the next move: 18. Nh5. This allows black to draw with correct defense.

But what about 18. Ng5 ?

If 18Bxf6 19. Nxh7
And if 19Bxh7 20. Bc2. Next move is checkmate.
Other lines seem to lead to serious loss of material for black.

If 18. Ng5 is indeed correct, then we have to go back to blacks last unforced move, which is 13gxh6. A blunder perhaps

13Nb6-d5 seems better.
Black is a pawn down, but a draw is still possible it seems.

I didnt provide very deep analysis. These are merely my amateurish chess instincts. Any correction would be appreciated.

Jan-20-08  dzechiel: White to move. Material even." Insane.

Sorry for the late post, I was out of town last night.

Well, these "insane" positions are always beyond me, do I'm going to see how much progress I can make doing the obvious.

None of black's pieces are even attacked by white, so I'm going to assume that this is an assault on the king. The obvious first move is to use one of our undeveloped pieces:

13 Bxh6 gxh6 14 Qg6+ Kh8

So far, so forced (kinda, black was not obligated to take the initial bishop, and if that's what he played, then I have no idea how to follow up except something like 14 Bg5).

Now white can take the h-pawn with check, or the f-pawn with the bishop. I like the latter

15 Bxf7

Now the threat is 16 Qxh6+ Nh7 17 Bg6 and 18 Ng5 or 18 Ne4 (which I think I like better).

But once again, this is "insane" which means these lines I have identified are the easy branches to the main line, which I'm going to peek at now.

Jan-20-08  dzechiel: Nuts. Missed again. This was some brilliant play by Smagin.
Jan-20-08  Terry McCracken: <johnlspouge: <Terry McCracken> (or anyone else), could you enlighten me as to sources that justify the line as "book"? I am aware of some computer databases of chess openings, but a listing of good sources on the opening would be helpful to me. Thanks in anticipation.>

It's in Shredder 8s opening book ending on move 18..Bf6.

I have't checked any other books or databases.

Jan-20-08  DarthStapler: I saw up to Nh7 but missed the nice blocking sacrifice Nf6!
Jan-20-08  jheiner: Wonderful! Thank you <johnlspouge> for your insightful comments. It helped me really appreciate what I was missing here, especially the bridge between "duh" towards "i'm out of my league." I'm annotating my thoughts for the benefit of other beginners like myself. (Note <johnlspouge>'s Bc7 comments should read Bc2)

At first glance, this line (13.Bxh6 gxh6 14.Qxg6+ Kh8 15. Qxh6+ Nh7) seemed obvious, something I would consider OTB. The bishop for two pawns is justified by the exposed king, the well placed white bishop, and the exposed files and diagonals for attacks.

The problem is that the knights aren't close enough to get involved and the attack could run out of steam. So I would try bringing the knights closer long before starting the attack. Imho, this is where the first part of the brilliant play is.

16. Ne4 threatens to win the bishop and brings the knight closer to the action. 16... Be7. 17. Nf5...and the move I didn't understand was why not: 17...Bxf6 and White drops a knight. The answer is 18.Be2 leading to mate.

And where did Be2 come from? Why not 16. Be2 two moves earlier?-because 16...f5 obstructs, removes the white bishops diagonal, and Black gets decent counterplay. But f6 is a weak square for Black because exchanging on f6 obstructs the f-pawn and Be2 threatening mate is irrefutable. Going back to move 16. to see this is one thing, but seeing knowing this motif from 13. is truly scary. I reset the board and stared at it awhile.

Truly stunning play. Smagin follows up a simple bishop sac (that even a beginner could see) with four monstrous leaps of his knights, every one with a winning threat. And even then held the tension and brought rooks through the center to close it out. Out of my league. Thanks CG for this one.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <dzechiel>, the Toga II 1.3.1 analysis of your line is

[ply 16/55, time 04:44, value -0.91]

15.Bxf7 Nh7 16.Ne5 Bxh3 17.Qxh6 Bxe5 18.Bg6 Qe7 19.dxe5 Bf5 20.Bxf5 Rxf5 21.f4 Qb4 22.Rf2 Raf8 23.Raf1 Nc4 24.Ne4 Nxe5 25.Ng5 Rxg5 26.fxg5 Rxf2 27.Rxf2 Qe1+ 28.Rf1 Qe3+ 29.Kh1 Qxg5

I was surprised that 15.Bxf7 was not winning. The Toga analysis above suggests that my alternative line

15.Qxh6+ Kg8 16.Qg6+ Kh8 17.Bxf7

probably gives White a miniscule pull, but is insufficient for a win. Presumably, my alternative line is also book.

<Terry McCracken>, thanks for your response. I will see if I can pull something out of my Arena freeware. (Even if the book there is second-rate, it is better than what I have now: zero.)

Jan-20-08  Slayer772002: What if 17. ... BE7 x Nf6 ?
Jan-20-08  devinjc: Why should black play 16...Be7 at all? Won't Bf5 followed by moves like Qd7 and f5 (e.g. 16...Bf5 17.Nfg5 Qd7 18.Nxh7 Bxh7 19.Bc2 f5) hold?

I don't have a chess program.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <devinjc>, if you click on the <johnlspouge> starting my posts, you arrive at my profile and my chessforum. If you scroll down to my chessforum, I give explicit instructions on how to download freeware that is tactically better than Kasparov. Enjoy!
Jan-20-08  Akuni: 17... 18. Bc2 wins for white.
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <jheiner: Wonderful! Thank you <johnlspouge> for your insightful comments.>

Thanks for the encouragement. Everyone starts at "duh", but I do not accept that you need to end at "out of [your] league". In any case, <jheiner>, I hope you enjoy your youth a second time!

(I was once told I would pass from first to second childhood without an intervening twinkle of maturity, and so far, I am doing fine :)

Jan-20-08  jovack: These "insane" level puzzles are much less puzzles and much more interesting starting positions to play out against your computer or friend (if they are up to your skill). White by no means had a definite win from the sacrifice and when you need to factor in mistakes by black, this is not good. With a solid defense, black should have no problem winning this game after he lets white's attack run out of juice since his pieces can quickly roll over to the help of his king.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Looks like yestereay's Sunday insane puzzle solution involved a true demolition of pawn structure sacrifice with 13. Bxh6!? With a powerful microprocessor and a strong computer program, it's possible to pick the combination apart and find a line to hold for Black. However, as often happens, in the heat of battle over the board it's not quite so easy -- as Monin discovered the hard way in this game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I had the first three moves-but only a master could continue after that.White's persistance along the h-file was the telling factor.
Mar-19-09  WhiteRook48: 13 Bxh6 is perculiar
Premium Chessgames Member
  WTHarvey: Game ends with a White mates in 4.

click for larger view

Solution (in reverse)
29.Rxh7+ 28...Rf7 if or 29.Qxh6 28...Bxh6 if 28.Rh6

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