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P Lebedev vs Gonak
Tulsk (1938)
Slav Defense: Two Knights Attack (D15)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-18-07  Timothy Glenn Forney: I have never seen a windmill quite like this one,all kinds of tactics going on here.
Apr-11-10  JimmyVermeer: Laszlo Polgar's book has a game like this one, except there are 2 differences: Black's name is given as Goncek instead of Gonak.
White's 5th and 6th moves are transposed.
Anyone know which is correct?
Apr-11-12  backrank: My only source of this game is Chernev's book (The Russians Play Chess) which gives the game score and the names of opponents as above. Chernev is known of occassionally misspelling the players' names, but as a rule, he gives the correct game scores. But I don't think it matters much here. Black was obviously a lesser player (sort of NN guy), while Lebedev seems to have been an unknown master who has produced the brillancy of his life in this game. The game is as instructive as it is stunningly brilliant.

Strategically, it illustrates the fatal consequences of a premature attack and resulting pawn gain in the opening (8. ... Ne4, threatening Qh4+, forces White's pawn sac which, however, turns out really strong), the power of rooks on open files (here: b- and f-files) and especially on the 7th rank etc.

Tactically, it illustrates varous themes and motivs:

-Clearing line and diagonal: 19. Nh6+! (clearing f-file and diagonal b3-g8)

-Deflection: 20. Rf8+! (even more efficient after 19. ... gxh6)

-Mating patterns: Black's threat Rf1# after 20. ... Rxf8 as well as White's threat Bg7# after 21. Bxf8!

-Blocking a line: 22. Nf7+ blocking the f-file stopping Black from mating on f1.

-Back rank mate: 23. Rb8+ after 22. ... Rxf7 (again, NOT 23. Qxe6 because of Rf1#).

Remarkably, White must have caculated till the end even when playing 17. Nxf7, because Nxe3 forks White's bishop c4 and Rook f1, so that 18. Bxe6 Qxe6 (Rxe6 loses immediately to Nd6 - pin and deflection!) is forced, and if no there's no combination, White will lose the initiative and consequently, the game. But, luckily, there is such a combination, consisting of a series of hammer blows! It's remarkable, too, that neither the Rb7 nor the Qb3 make any move once they have occupied those squares, and yet the whole combination is based on the pressure they exert from their positions.

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