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Kim Commons vs Andrew Soltis
"Summer Soltice" (game of the day Sep-14-2021)
United States Championship (1974), Chicago, IL USA, rd 12, Jul-30
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-21-07  CapablancaFan: Whoa 13...Rxc3! What an exchange sac. Soltis must have just played through a Petrosian game before to make him this confident. And it worked! Why the Qxg7+ cheap shot at the end?
Feb-26-09  jerseybob: Soltis knows exchange sacs, having done it many times with the Dragon. Maybe 13.Nb3 was better.
Mar-31-12  screwdriver: Yea, I don't know why the QXg7+ cheap shot at the end. He just resigned after that anyways. I like the c3 sack exchange too. I guess that's signature for the Sicilian.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: I have long considered Andtrew Soltis A Man for All Seasons.
Sep-14-21  Granny O Doul: 39. Qxg7+ is an attempt to induce a fatal heart attack. Once it didn't, the only chance was old age, but Soltis wasn't even thirty yet.
Sep-14-21  Brenin: This is every Sicilian player's dream of how the game should go: delayed castling, exchange sac on c3, d5 used to activate minor pieces, developing the DSB delayed until it can contribute to the attack, White's K denuded of Ps while your own stays safe. Was 39 Qxg7+ an attempt stay alive long enough for Black to lose on time? But if so, why resign rather than wait for Black's next two moves?
Sep-14-21  Cheapo by the Dozen: Kim was an incomparably superior player to me when we both were at UCLA. This drubbing reminds me of how inept I really was. ;)
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I think 31. Rd2 was a bad idea. Simply retreating to h1 looks better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: This ...Rxc3 Exchange sacrifice occurs so often in the Sicilian, and so often leads to equality or advantage to Black, perhaps we might stop calling it an Exchange sacrifice and start calling it an "Exchange exchange."
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Spot on <An Englishman> !
Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: <An Englishman> Good point.

For those wondering why 39.Qxg7+ I see only two possibilities:
(A) "Ha ha, I lost but at least bewildered you, the great Soltis." A bit similar to Ivanchuk playing 114.Rd4+ before claiming the 50-move rule (side note: you need guts and confidence about your maths to do this): Ivanchuk vs Kamsky, 2009
(B) Was very short on time, played without looking at the clocks hoping Black could lose on time just before move 40, then looked, realised there was enough time left and resigned.

Anybody understands the pun? Summer Solstice is not on July 30.

Sep-14-21  goodevans: You have to get in quick these days to comment on the game before the seemingly mandatory SF annotations get added. I was about to respond to <An Englishman>'s observation about the ubiquitous Sicilian exchange 'sac' but I thought I'd better do the weekly shop first before it gets too busy. Now I'm back to find SF has had its say.

As SF points out, in this instance the sac would be far less effective if White recaptures with the Q. When Black exchanges Qs (anything else is just terrible) he is left with little protection on the Q-side. If he tries to conjure up pressure with <...d5>, as in the game, then White can take advantage of that with <...a4> and <...Na5> (either order, I think) and his pressure trumps Black's.

Just thought I'd share those thoughts even though SF has already said it so much more eloquently.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: <goodevans> Was wondering why White didn't play 15.Qxc3 instead of bxc3 giving 3 weak Ps and an open column but since I don't know much about openings I didn't comment.

You seem to have an issue with SF annotations but you can turn them off with "THIS IS A COMPUTER ANNOTATED SCORE. [CLICK HERE] FOR ORIGINAL." just above kibitzes. If this doesn't work you might want to clear your history and cookies, maybe your browser is stuck on a CG setting.

Sep-14-21  Ironmanth: Always liked and respected Kim Commons' play in the seventies. A giant killer then. RIP, brother.
Sep-14-21  goodevans: <Teyss> I have not one but two issues with the SF annotations...

My first issue is that they get published without any sort of editorial sense check. I think SF is a fabulous tool but it sometimes gets things wrong. I don't have a problem with it making mistakes (it's only human!) but I do have a problem when these get published.

I refrained from joining in the conversation on Sunday's GOTD, Sax vs Anand, 1986 , when SF awarded a '?' to White's only viable 15th move, but there have been several occasions when I haven't been able to bite my tongue, e.g. in Nunn vs J A Sutton, 1984 where SF awarded Nunn's 25th move brilliancy a '?'.

As I said, I don't have a problem with SF getting things wrong occasionally but with the mistakes getting published as definitive without anyone checking them. If someone of my mediocre calibre can spot them then it wouldn't take long for a decent player to do this.

My second, and bigger, issue with the SF annotations is that adding them to the GOTD stifles personal analysis, or at least it's publication. Even though you can turn the annotations off, why would you kibitz about an improvement you've found if SF has told everyone about it already?

What is the GOTD for if not to be a focus of discussion? And if we're discouraged from discussing the game then that mainly leaves the pun (today's is a bit meh) or the players (at least today these might encourage a comment or two).

I'll get off my high horse now.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: <goodevans> Thanks for sharing your thoughts, regardless of the size of the horse. I thought you had a technical issue whereby unrequested SF annotations where showing but your concern is more philosophical. I understand what you mean but think that kibitzes, especially yours, are always useful:
(a) Not everyone looks at SF annotations, I certainly don't for different reasons;
(b) As you say, SF misjudges moves and in any case doesn't thoroughly evaluate everything;
(c) Some insight cannot be provided by a machine e.g. why did White/Black play this, psychologically this move is better, etc.;
(d) It's always good to have human contact.
(Now it's me getting on a high horse with abcd but it's easier to read that way.)

So if you turn SF off and post, we'll always be happy to read you, even after shopping ;-)

Sep-14-21  goodevans: <Teyss> Much appreciated and some good points, especially (c).

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