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Ingvar Asmundsson vs Jon T Thor
"Steal his Thunder" (game of the day Mar-05-2010)
ISL-ch (1974), Iceland, rd 9
Spanish Game: Closed. Bogoljubow Variation (C91)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-23-11  gofer: I think this is one of those "stop Pf7 from moving and its really all over" positions. What really a pity is that there is no really good acronym. <SPFSMAIRAL> just doesn't quite roll off the tongue like a <GOOT> does...

<25 Bg5 ...>

25 ... g6 26 Bxd8
25 ... Be7 26 Bxd7
25 ... Rd7 26 Nxg7 Re6 27 Ne8!
25 ... Rd6 26 Nxe6

<25 ... f6>
<26 Bxf6 Rd7>
<27 Rad1 ...>

Hmmm. Maybe not quite so wonderful after all. Perhaps Nxg7 immediately has some teeth?!

<25 Nxg7 Bxg7 26 h5 ...>

It looks interesting, but a little too dangerous, so I cheated and looked and answer - but find there is no answer...

<CG> are you trying to make me do some work on the Friday before Christmas??? I would sincerely hope not!

Dec-23-11  morfishine: While the most forcing move is <25.Bg5> Black's response, the lemon <25...Rd7> misses the point entirely: Since Black must give up an exchange, what is the best way to do so?

Better is <25...Rd6>. After <26.Nxd6 Qxd6 27.Rad1 Nd4 28.Re3 Qe6 29.Rd2 Nc8> at least Black is still playing:

click for larger view

Dec-23-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: White has 2Bs for N+B in this middle-game position where the queen-side is closed, but the king-side, where white has the initiative, is still open. White's obvious target is g7, only defended by K+B. Black threatens 25... Nd4, liquidating white's active knight. The direct continuation 25.Bh6 is comfortably defended by f6. This suggests trying a different attacking angle.

25.Bg5! adds an attacker with gain of tempo, by attacking the rook. Black must lose at least a key pawn:

A) 25... Rd7?? 26.Nxg7! Bxg7 27.Bf6 and mate next.

A.1) 26... Kxg7 27.Bxd8+ wins

A.2) 26... f6 27.Nxe8 Q moves 28.Nxf6+ wins.

A.3) 26... Re6 27.Nxe6 fxe6 28.Bd8+ wins

A.4) 26... R8e7 (or other squares) 27.Bf6 forces mate.

B) 25... Nd4?? 26.Nxg7! force checkmates or substantial material gain, as in A.

C) 25... f6 26.Bxf6 Rd7 holds, but white is a clear pawn up with continuing pressure.

Time for review...

Dec-23-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: Just as I suspected - weak defense against 26.Bg5. A practical test against Crafty is imperative. I'll set it up later if nobody else does.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has the bishop pair for a bishop and a knight.

Black would probably consider ... Nd4 followed by ... Ne6 y White doesn't trade knights.

The obvious maneuver 25.Nxg7 Bxg7 26.Bh6 fails because of 26... f6. This suggests 25.Bg5, trying 26.Nxg7 Bxg7 27.Bf6:

A) 27... Rd7 28.Nxg7

A.1) 28... Bxg7 29.Bf6 and mate next.

A.2) 28... Kxg7 29.Bd8+ Kh8 30.Bf6+ and mate next.

A.3) 28... f6 29.Nxe8 wins.

A.4) 28... Ra(b,c)8 29.Ne8 wins the queen or delivers mate.

B) 27... Be7 28.Bxe7 wins a piece (28... N(Q)xe7 29.Qxg7#).

C) 27... Ne7 28.Nh6+ (28.Bxe7 Rxe7 29.Nxe7+ only wins the exchange) 28... Kh8 29.Nxf7+ Kg8 30.Nxd8 + - [R+B vs 2N].

D) 27... f6 28.Bxf6 Rd7 29.h5 with an extra pawn and a dangerous attack.

Dec-23-11  Stok: The most difficult move to find 25...Rd7?? ;-)
Dec-23-11  Patriot: After reading over the comments, I got the impression in some cases that winning a pawn or the exchange either isn't good enough for a puzzle or it's not enough to be content with a given line. This is a bit surprising because for many puzzles in books or online, this is all that is asked of the solver. It seems at that point you have to trust the board, as long as there is no strong counter-attack.

For today's puzzle, 25.Bg5 proves to be good for white. As far as what should be calculated (IMHO), 25...f6 drops a pawn for nothing and is to be considered a non-defense. And any move which simply allows white to win the exchange is also a non-defense, proving it's just bad for black. 25...Rd7, although it is probably the worst move black can make, it may be the best try at a defense but quickly loses to a combination starting with 26.Nxg7!. So if a "non-defense" move is the best black has, white should be happy!

This is not to say it is easily winning. I'm sure that Crafty can put up stiff resistance to this and would require more than just good winning technique.

Dec-23-11  Rosbach: 25. Bg5 f6 26. Bxf6 g6 and then 27. h5 and now it looks difficult for Black to avoid loosing lots of material.
Dec-23-11  BOSTER: In such quiet, closed position, where the only weakness in black camp g7 pawn, the only move is worth of considering is 25.Bg5 with development, and with tempo attacking d8 rook, and with the idea to block f7 pawn.

Now if rook d8 moves (for ex. Rd4)
26.Nxg7 Bxg7 27.Bf6 with winnng
if 25...Be7 26.Nxg7 Bxg5 27.Nxe8 and white is better. if 25...Ne7 26.Nh6+ Kh8 27.Nxf7+ Kg8
28.Nxd8 winning the exchange.
<Al Wazir> <25...f6 I don't see how white gets more than a pawn>.

Even one pawn sometimes enough to win a game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Light in pan handle whirl stone in 25.Bg5 scotch one for mist rd7 nxg7! ice man cometh or if f6 27.nxe8 grabbng rook pugnacious terrier it is in central lock of queenside white has his play 24.f6 looks more in keep delving bg5 too far nd4 low ng7 bails black stumped gauge track rich picking various defences but none that work alas it finding f6 gets doomed by h5 eh candy cane green stripe g5 cockahoop.
Dec-23-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: OK, here is your chance to play the puzzle against Crafty.


Crafty played the first few moves as I expected, but I haven't had a chance to play the game to conclusion - will resume later.

<Patriot> <.. 25...f6 drops a pawn for nothing and is to be considered a non-defense. ..>

Come on now - there is very clear purpose to this defense, to defend g7 with tempo, while saving the exchange. Sometimes a pawn sac is not only the best and most active way to defend, here it is likely the only way to defend.

Dec-23-11  Patriot: <CHESSTTCAMPS> Thanks for your response. My point is if black drops a pawn and is only able to defend (i.e. no counter-attack) then white is just better. I'm not saying 25...f6 shouldn't be considered. Notice that we both included that possibility and didn't go much further than that. White should be happy that he won a pawn. And after something like, 25...g6?--26.Bxd8 and "thanks" for the exchange.

So when I called 25...f6 a "non-defense", I was only saying it drops a pawn for nothing. Sure, it could be tactically the best move. The point is as far as calculation goes, white need not be concerned there since black has only managed to hold things together (while dropping material).

I think 25...Rd7 is the best move to consider as far as calculation goes because it has potential to make you wonder what the bishop is doing on g5, but tactically it is lost after 26.Nxg7.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: 25 Bg5 was easy to pick, after deciding 25 Bh6 or Nxg7 dont do the business. But what is B's best defense, and how should W proceed?

I'm not sure if I've got this one, even after seeing the game and posts. I felt that after 25 Bg5 g6 26 Bf6 is tempting. But B can play ... Nd2 so W must be stisfied with winning R for B. I suppose thats enough.

Or 25 ... f6 26 Bxf6. W gets a pawn and retains the pressure.

But definitely not the natural reply 25 ... Rd7?

Dec-23-11  Marmot PFL: first plan was 25 Bh6, but seems to lead nowhere after g6

25 Bg5, threatens the Rd8 as well as Nxg7 Bxg7 Bf6. here with black i would try 25...Nd4, with some compensation I believe after 26 Bxd8 Rxd8 and black has either a well placed knight or passed d4 pawn. With the d-file blocked white still has a lot of work to do to win this.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: <Marmot PFL> Tracing along in steep black curve learning knight demolition grabs attention it down in eh white again changling rule g5 stir up and a f6 lower in got I mean days off it number pony c6 in I shed rook lift press in knight g7 roads in bad call hammer it doing a knight vilificate bishop rook it dog in grounds hamper.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <CHESSTTCAMPS> <25.Bg5! adds an attacker with gain of tempo, by attacking the rook. Black must lose at least a key pawn:

B) 25... Nd4?? 26.Nxg7! force checkmates or substantial material gain, as in A.>

Black has reinforcements in this line so after 25 Bg5 Nd4 26.Nxg7, 26...Bxg7 is OK, because if 27 Bf6, then 27...Ne6 protects g7.

click for larger view

Dec-23-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: <<Patriot><I think 25...Rd7 is the best move to consider as far as calculation goes because it has potential to make you wonder what the bishop is doing on g5, but tactically it is lost after 26.Nxg7.>

Now that I'll buy - if you do your analysis on 25...Rd7, it should quickly convince you of the necessity for f6. If you are playing black, the sooner you focus on f6, the likelier it is that you will find active defensive possibilities. If you are playing white, certainly 25... Rd7 is the defense you should consider first.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <al wazir: I found 25. Bg5 all right, but after 25...f6 I don't see how white gets more than a ♙. If 26. Bxf6/Bh6, then 26...Rd7.>

Good point. After <25. ... Rd7>, black was totally busted (but only because of <27. Nxe8!>, capturing a Rook with an attack on the black Queen, a move that Thor probably overlooked), but <al wazir>'s suggestion would have left white with considerable work still to be done to prove the win.

Dec-23-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: <Jimfromprovidence> Ah, you are right. Good catch, I took too little time on this one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: There are a lot of traps in the puzzle position after 25 Bg5. The text 25...Rd7 provides one example.

Another is after 25 Bg5 Nd4 26 Bxd8.

click for larger view

Black cannot take with the queen because if 26...Qxd8??, black loses right away after the forcing 27 Nh6+ Kh8 28 Nxf7+.

click for larger view

Dec-23-11  morfishine: <Jimfromprovidence> Yes, the maneuver for Black <Nd4> - <Ne6> is one of Black's resources provided he doesn't panic right out of the box with <25...Rd7>
Dec-23-11  whiteshark: Friday!!!

Dec-23-11  Patriot: <CHESSTTCAMPS> 25...f6 is the kind of move I would consider first (as either player) since it blocks the attack on the rook and hits the bishop. If there is any move that might refute 25.Bg5, this move is it. But after 26.Bxf6 you have to wonder if it is really the best response (which is why I called it a "non-defense"). As either player, I would then examine moving the rook (like 25...Rd7) or interposing with 25...Ne7. If each defense fails, white's job is done and he can go ahead and play 25.Bg5 unless there is a better candidate. But as black, it would be my job to find the best defense (25...f6) because everything else looks worse.
Dec-23-11  M.Hassan: <newzild: Interesting that 25.Bg5 was the only move to "strike you", given that it was my fourth candidate, after dismissing three moves that I considered to be more obvious tries>

I did try 25.Bh7 and 25.Nh7+ but after realizing I could not get anywhere with them, I did not bother to continue and "mention" them 25.Bg5 attacks the Rook on d8 and if Black wanted to defend with 25...Be7 leaving g7 unprotected, that would have been ideal for White (if it ever had happened!). Threfore 25.Bg5 was the only move that emotionally sat on my heart and I used the word "strike". What was your third other move that you tried?

Dec-23-11  TheBish: I Asmundsson vs J Thor, 1974

White to play (25.?) "Difficult"

25. Bg5! wins at least a pawn:

A) 25...f6 26. Bxf6 and White is up a healthy pawn.

B) 25...Rd7? 26. Nxg7! with a crushing attack:

B1) 26...Kxg7 27. Be7+ (Bd8+) Kh8 28. Bf6+ mates.

B2) 26...Bxg7 27. Bf6 and Black cant stop 28. Qxg7#.

B3) 26...f6 27. Nxe8 wins easily.

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