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Bruce Pandolfini vs NN
? (1970)
Spanish Game: Open. Riga Variation (C80)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-12-06  something1234: This is funny NN seemed to know the line up to 14 Kxh2
Oct-01-06  Bob726: Does black have any chances after 14. b5?
Nov-26-06  ChessDude33: <Bob726> The usual 14th move is Be6 white should win with his two pieces against black's Rook + 2 pawns but its pretty tough.
Feb-04-07  IMDONE4: It seems that after 14... Be6 Black should have good drawing chances if he is able to swap bishops, as whites bishop and knight should not be able to defeat the rook and two pawns.
Aug-12-07  amntony: No, Bob, White would retreat his Bishop to b3 attacking the f7 pawn which Black would play Rf8, then Bruce will double-attack the a8 rook and the e4 pawn by playing Bd5 :-)
Aug-12-07  amntony: A good example of using the King Bishop to force the opponent's king to get to be on the Queen's position, then using the Queen Bishop to finish him off :-)
Dec-19-07  2021: <amntony> your line is flawed. After 15.Bb3 black can play 15... Bb7 and after 16.Bxf7 Rf8.
Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: <14...f5> ?? <"I see only one move ahead - the worst one"> N.N.
Apr-30-10  YoungEd: This would be a Monday or Tuesday puzzle for "Black to play and lose!"
May-23-10  Kasputin: NN was one of Pandolfini's pupils (the kind that sits in a chair, not that kind that sits in your eye).

Anyway, NN was not young like most of Pandolfini's students. Quite the contrary. NN was very old - of indeterminate age. He wore dentures and always had on the same pair of shoes - "soft loafers" as NN would say.

Try as he might NN never seemed to get better at chess. On occasion he would play a simul or casual game and attain some miracle win or draw against a GM, but he would never maintain his good form for the next game. Instead he'd go back to his old woodpusher ways and make the same mistakes again and again and lose again and again.

But he did once write a book - inspired by Pandolfini's tutelage. It was called "Avoiding Bobby Fischer."

Dec-23-11  kasparao: What is Pandolfini's rating? I've looked around a bit and I haven't found it.
Sep-17-12  master of defence: Poor NN... Always play to lose. 14...Be6 threatening exchange bishops was very better.
Jan-05-15  Ke2: nice refutation of a novelty (14...f5)
Jan-07-15  Ke2: this is really the funniest game ever. NN follows theory dutifully for 13 moves, then the second he has to play on his own...
Apr-27-15  Ke2: lol....
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: It may not be that, just one of those impulsive moves that we can all play. Or it is a made up game...interesting in any case.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Actually I think this is instructive for a player of any level as the f5 move is not implausible. It would be VERY easy to overlook the mate, as Black would feel that the tactics and so on were over: and the point here is that many players then relax or find they look at the clock time and make a move. The B on c1 seems far from the action. It would seem absurd that such a mate could happen.

So if Pandolfini was using this game for an example of how players lose vigilance at certain key positions this would be a good one.

I went through this with a computer.
It seems to confirm that the moves played here by both are the right ones once Black plays 6. ... exd4

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: But after 14...Be6 the position is only slightly better for White. Then 15. Nd2 (best according to Komodo at about 17 moves deep) c5! (threatening to trap the B.) 16. c4 (inhibiting b5 of course) f5 17. f3 e3 18, Bb3 and White has only a small advantage but is good enough.

The Riga line has probably been avoided as W can force a draw by taking the B or gain the advantage. But it still has some traps for White.

I faced it the first time in a few 5 minute games and found the right defence. But it was tricky to face for sure.

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