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Mikhail Davidovich Zlotnikov vs Joshua Waitzkin
"The Art of Learning" (game of the day Feb-13-2011)
Open (1998), New York, NY USA
Semi-Slav Defense: Stoltz Variation (D45)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-04-07  ToTheDeath: Waitzkin:

"Relationships between chess players are constantly evolving. The opponent that I played against in this game is named Mikol Zlotnikov. He is a very solid Russian International Master. And, he was actually the first International Master that I ever beat. I think that I was 11 or 12 years old and it happened at the New York Open, a long time ago. And, I beat him in a very interesting game that I was very proud of, and, that many people came to me and told me that it was an amazing thing that such a young boy beat an international Master. And he was, of course, very upset about the game.

But then about 2 weeks before I played this game, which you are about to see, I lost to him in a very difficult struggle in the Marshall chess Club. So when I set down to play against him in Washington DC, in a very large open tournament, I was remembering the game that I had lost only a few weeks before and I was ready to get some serious revenge. It's very important to be able to rise against an opponent who beat you the last game. If you start from a psycological disadvantage, then you are in trouble. But, if you are energized by the loss, if you are ready to rise to the challenge, you have a very good chance.

In this game I did what a romantic might say is a very exciting thing in a chess game; I sacrified both of my rooks. I want you to notice the patience of my play even when I'm very far down in material. While I was worse in a mathematical point of view, the quality of my pieces was much better and I stopped all of his plays despite having very little material to do so."

Aug-24-07  argishti: A not from Waitzkin on this game:

And, now we see that his position is finished. What is my threat?

First of all I want to utilize the idea of the pin to defender. I want to play Bxf2. His B can't take on f2 because of the pin on the K. The only move is Rxf2. And then I would simply play Qxg3+ followed by taking on f2, because my N defends the piece, and the story's over. My other threat is Nxg3. After fxg3, I'll play Qe2+. He loses a R. The K can't move anywhere to defend the R because my B controls the dark squares. And if the R moves to f2, I simply take it and win. Do you think he can defend these threats?

He did defend against both of them but unfortunately he exposed himself to one more. He played Re1. Now, if I play Bxf2, my first plan, he plays Qxe4+ and I lose. His R defends the Q and I've lost a piece and will be down a R. That would be unfortunate. If I play Nxg3, he takes back with his pawn. And we notice that he's defended the e2 square. But, what we do is we take the space he just left. I don't play Bxf2. I don't play Nxg3. I play Nxf2. A final idea and it's all over. My threat is Qh3+, followed by QxBg3. He can't move anything. If his K moves, I'll take his Bg3 Take a moment and make sure you understand there's no way for white to defend against mate. Here he resigned and I won the game. A nice sacrificial game, in which I won, having a lot of patience within the attack when down material.

Feb-13-11  DrChopper: I think white used the wrong rook to go on c1 on move 27. Maybe bh4 was the solution.
Feb-13-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Giving up the c3 square with 26.b3 seemed to cause Zlotnikov lots of problems.

Very cool double exchange sacrifice game.

Feb-13-11  Oceanlake: Looks like White played passively, waiting for Black to self-destruct.
Feb-13-11  SufferingBruin: Helluva nice game by Waitzkin.
Feb-13-11  JTChess: This was incredible. Sacking the exchange twice in such a short time was gutsy.
Feb-13-11  mastermind7994: Nice game. It looked a little risky at first but then Black obtained a nice counterplay.
Feb-13-11  TheaN: I think I have seen this game more than once on CM9000. At that time I was not aware of Josh's potential and famous stature, and even then I enjoyed every single bit of what he said about his games.

I think it can be discussed endlessly whether black is won after 28....Nxe4. In true sense, the answer is simply yes or no. The psychological blow dealt to Zlotnikov decided more, however.

Feb-13-11  Llawdogg: Wow! It's amazing that the double exchange sacrifice was for a long term positional advantage and not for some immediate tactical shot. Impressive and high level chess from the young Josh Waitzkin.
Feb-13-11  Dupin: I just watched this game on my Chessmaster a couple of days ago, funny coincidence. A great game by Waitzkin, a truly great game. There's a lot to learn from this game, I'm going to memorize it.
Feb-13-11  DarthStapler: This game reminds me of a piece of advice John Fedorowicz once gave me - repeat the position twice but then deviate on the third move. It really annoys your opponent.
Feb-13-11  Lil Swine: waitzkin was the inspiration for the movie, searching for Bobby Fischer. of course its real obvious waitzkin will never be at the chess level of fischer who undoubtedly could've crushed kasparov and morphy.booom
Feb-13-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I wonder when Joshua Waitzkin will become a grandmaster.
Feb-13-11  lightbishop c5e6: omg 0_0, i didnt think my name for this game would actually go through
Feb-13-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Runner up was "Thanks Zlotnikov!" (-:
Feb-14-11  Shams: <Penguincw> Most likely never.
Feb-14-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: a good one.
Feb-14-11  Shams: <tamar> I've said it out loud and I still don't get it.
Feb-14-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Shams> I think it's a pun on "Thanks a lot".
Feb-14-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: < Shams: <Penguincw> Most likely never. > Only time will tell.
Feb-14-11  Shams: <Phony Benoni: <Shams> I think it's a pun on "Thanks a lot".>

http://bit.ly/hB0Fva

Jul-04-11  makahajo: I'm no expert but I don't see how black's win is such a sure thing after (instead of resigning) white plays 49.Qxf7 (this sets up threat of perpetual check (draw) along the h5-e1 diagonal. When Black plays 49...Qh3+ White escapes (temporarily) on f3. It looks like black eventually wins if played correctly, but I see an opportunity for white to win a draw if black forgets to protect the h5 pawn.
Sep-17-11  meliihhh: makahajo, after 49.Qxf7, which is a good try, Black can win in two ways. I saw that 49..e4! is winning, simply taking away the f3 square from the king, and threatening checkmate: 50..Qh3+ and 51..Qh1 mate. The only defense is 50.Rh1, after which 50..Nxh1 51.Kxh1 e3! (not 51..Qxg3?? 52.Qxh5+, drawn with perpetual) 52.Qf4 Qxf4, and the endgame is easily won for Black. I asked Fritz to evaluate the position, and it turns out that instead of 49..e4 (which also wins), the best line is 49..Qh3+ 50.Kf3 e4+ 51.Ke2 Qg4+ 52.Kd2 e3+ 53.Kc2 Qe4+ 54.Kc1 Nd3+ 55.Kd1 Nf4!, and White is crushed!
Feb-05-17  Rafaelvleite: 32... Qb7. Who else would play it? So brilliant. Only a genious could have the patience and vision to play 32..: Qb7. Anyone else would try to attack the king
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