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Florian Jenni vs Arnar Gunnarsson
European Team Championship (2005), Gothenburg SWE, rd 3, Aug-01
Spanish Game: Steinitz Defense (C62)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-23-10  YouRang: Final position:

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When you see a final position like this, you wonder how in the world black got his king stuck on h2, having moved his king 6 times from moves 15 to 30.

Interestingly, according to the computer, none of his king moves themselves were particularly bad. But of course there were a few other poor moves that compelled those king moves.

The poorest of those moves happened at this position (black's 18th move):

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Black played <18...c6?>, understandably wanting to kick the annoying knight from d5. However, he neglected to notice that the pawn move weakens the defense of the bishop on d6 since it is now guarded only by the king. Worse, white has a discovered attack against that bishop, and worse still, the king can be deflected from its defensive duties.

A much better move for black's would have been 18...Rhd8 to defend his d-file pieces and develop his other rook.

After <18...c6?>, it continued:

<19.f5!> A deflecting pawn sac <19...Kxf5> which forces the K into the open (...Kf7 is no better, worse even) <20.Nxf6!> recovering pawn with discovered attack on unguarded bishop <20...Nxf6> 20...Kxf6 is worse since white captures the B with check: 21.Rxd6+ Ke7 22.Rxc6 and white will be up 2 pawns after the d-pawn falls shortly <21.Rxd6 Rhe8> black may have tried to save the c-pawn with 21...c5, but then either then 22.Ra7 and the a-pawn falls (or if 22...Rb7 23.Rf1+ and the d-pawn falls).

In any case, white will soon play Rf1+ and send the black king on its death march to h2. Black made some other poor moves along the way, but the 18th move was probably the game-loser.

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