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Manfred Homuth vs Arno Nickel
"Thump A Nickel" (game of the day Feb-17-2021)
Schleswig Holstein-ch 43rd (1988), Gluecksburg, rd 5
Caro-Kann Defense: Bronstein-Larsen Variation (B16)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-15-21  Delboy: Quite an amazing sequence starting with 17. Qb7+. The move probably achieves nothing without the follow-up rook sac 19. Rxa7. Thereafter black just cannot seem to deal with white's advanced pawn, with his pieces getting in each other's way. Worth a GOTD or a weekend puzzle?
Feb-17-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Guessing that Black avoided 28...Bd6 because of 29.Ng5+,Kd5; 30.c4. Remarkable sacrifice; even if a defense exists, finding it over the board would challenge even a Petrosian.

Don't overlook the importance of 6.c3. Because of the delayed Ng1-f3, Black needed to play ...Bg4 in two moves, not one. That modest little pawn move still poses a serious threat to the Bronstein-Larsen Variation.

Feb-17-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: In numerous games on the Black side of this line, I never faced the fianchetto, which I consider the most testing try for advantage.

While I am not completely convinced of the soundness of White's play, the complications proved highly entertaining.

Feb-17-21  nalinw: A great game for once - which outweighs the terrible pun :-)
Feb-17-21  Brenin: I feel sorry for Black's LSB: it take five moves to reach a safe square h7, and then misses the chance to come to the aid of its beleaguered monarch with 20 ... Bd3 21 Ra1+ Ba6. True, it sacrifices itself after 22 Bf1, but it dies in the noble cause of allowing Black to survive (with advantage?) by Bh6 and Kxb7.
Feb-17-21  goodevans: By my reckoning, Arno Nickel has now achieved double figures for featuring in the GOTD and for about half of these the pun had nothing to do with his name!

Playing through the game you wouldn't guess which of these two went on to become a pretty strong GM. Nickel was already struggling even before white's bold sac.

I was puzzled by 28...Bh6 and pondered it for a while before deciding it was probably just a desperation move. It was then that it occurred to me that it would have been quite effective played earlier. 23...Bh6 would have joined the two Rs securing b8 after which white's attack loses its potency.

Feb-17-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  louispaulsen88888888: Is that a literal “good evening”? If so, I find it hard to believe you write every single post only in the evenings.
Feb-17-21  morfishine: Jewish pumpernickel rye is by far the best bread to make sandwiches with
Feb-17-21  Cheapo by the Dozen: Shouldn't a pumpernickel pun be attached to a game won by Black? :)
Feb-17-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Scarlett> has some of the best and worst puns. This is one of the latter.
Feb-17-21  AdolfoAugusto: But it is a great GOTD
Feb-17-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Is the rook sac sound? The engine suggested improvements are <20...Bd3> (heading for a6) and <23...Bh6> (deflecting the center attack).

And is it really true the pun is intended to be based on "pumpernickel"? I was thinking it "thump a nickel" must be some kind of obscure British slang.

Feb-17-21  morfishine: <Cheapo by the Dozen> Now thats brilliant!
Feb-17-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Can one buy nickels in a dime store ?
Feb-18-21  Brenin: <beatgiant> has it almost right: "thump an ickle" is old British slang for corporal punishment for small children.
Feb-21-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: I briefly looked into 20...Bd3 and didn't find a win for White, but it's at least probably a draw after 20...Bd3 21. Ra1+ Ba6 22. Bf1 <Bh6> (key idea for breaking the attack) 23. Bxh6 Rxh6 24. Bxa6 Nb8 25. Be2+ Kxb7 26. Bf3+ Kc8 27. dxc5 bxc5 28. b4


click for larger view

Yes that's a long line, but I don't see many alternatives there. In the resulting position, White liquidates Black's last queenside pawn, Black has the weak h-pawn, and White's bishop is the right color for defending on the kingside, so I don't really see how Black can win.

Feb-21-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Which makes me wonder if 19. Rxa7 is best.

For example if White first plays <19. Bf4+> it would avoid the ...Bd3 defense because it comes with check and Black has to reply 19...e5.

And then after 19. Bf4+ e5 20. dxe5 fxe5, White can play <21. Rxa7> and now, amazingly, it looks like all the tactics will work out.


click for larger view

If Black takes the rook, it's 21...Kxa7 22. Ra1+ Kb8 <23. Bxe5+> (Black's pieces are overloaded) ...Nxe5 24. Ra8+ Kc7 25. Rxd8.

If he takes the bishop, it's 21...exf4 22. Ra8+ Kc7 23. Rxd8 Kxd8 24. Rd1, and to stop the b-pawn Black will have to give back the material, and then some.

Feb-21-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: As for 23...Bh6, then 24. Bxh6 fxe5 25. Bg7 Rhe8 26. Bf3. The engine eval claims a big advantage for Black, but to me it looks like White has enough compensation for the exchange with the strong pawn on b7 and Black's weak kingside pawns.


click for larger view

Feb-22-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: If it's true 23...Bh6 wins for Black, then White could have improved with <23. exf6+> which gives a perpetual after 23. exf6+ Bd6 <24. b8=Q+> Nxb8 25. Ra7+ Kc8 26. Bb7+ Kd7 27. Bd5+. Black's king has to go back to c8, because 27...Ke8?? gets mated after 28. Bxf7+ Kf8 29. Bh6#.

The ...Bh6 defense seems to fall into a blind spot, and I'd have a hard time finding it during the game.

Feb-22-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: My first impression of the position given in the last diagram is that it is far from a simple matter for Black to make progress; wonder why the silicon monster thinks this is so wonderful for Black.

This reminds me of poker hands in which solvers recommend lines which, based on my experience and knowledge, seem absolutely potty at first glance.

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