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Zygmunt Frankel vs Roger Ambrey Court
"Contempt of Court" (game of the day May-04-2014)
71st New Zealand Championship (1964), Auckland NZL, rd 7
King's Gambit: Accepted. Breyer Gambit (C33)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Zyg got 7.♗b5?! from Keres's book, which comes from Spielmann vs J Moeller, 1920. But RS said he did it throw his opponent on his own resources and because the book continuation was good for Black. 7.♗xf4 g5?! can lead to an interesting parallel game with a more favorable version of this sacrifice Capablanca vs A Chase, 1922 (7...♗e7 is fine for Black though)

If 8...♘g3+?! 9.hxg3 ♕xh1 10.gxf4 For the exchange, White has a strong centre and ♗lack's ♕ is out of play. RS had this variation in mind when he played his 7th.

With 9.♘d2, White is forced to sacrifice his ♕ to have any chance. ZF reports that the other leading players were incredulous that Keres had claimed that White had good attacking chances, which implies that any one of them would have played for this.

But instead of the tempting 9...♗g4, Black had a simpler way of playing that casts doubt on this line for White: 9...♗f5! ZF, following Keres, said this was safer, and RS gave the following line: 10.♗d3 ♘g3+ 11.hxg3 ♗xd3+ 12.♕xd3 ♕xh1 13.gxf4 gxf4 RS hinted that it would be difficult for White since Black plays 0-0-0, but it seems just lost

13.h4! Keres' book hadn't gone this far, and although ZF was unaware of RS's analysis ZF found the correct move over the board that RS played. RS pointed out that White has much compensation in his safer ♔, a solid ♙ structure that offers the B♕ few targets, while ♗lack's ♙s will be shattered and his ♔ and ♕ will be tormented by White's well coordinated minor pieces. E&K noted that this was one rare example where two minor pieces can make life very difficult for the ♕. RS also pointed out the practical advantage of being the attacker, while the defender is likely to go wrong over the board, as Tal also showed. However, Black's position is not so easy to defend even with unlimited time to analyse, as will be seen. It's also significant that Fritz 4.01 judges Black's position in many variations as still winning because of his material advantage, even when it becomes obvious to a human that his game has collapsed.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Instead 13...♘e7 would defend the ♙d5 but ♗d3 would endanger the B♕--RS;;

15.♘xd5! is better than E&K's 15.♗xf4 Δ h5, because they overlooked 15...h6 16.h5 hxg5 17.hxg6 ♖xh1 +) 15...f3 16.gxf3 gxf3 17.♘f4 ♕f5 18.♗c4

16... ♕xg5. Court deviates from Møller's play and plays a move recommended as much stronger by RS and E&K. But after Frankel's convincing play, one must wonder whether it helps much.

19.♗e3 is much better than winning the ♙h7 but exchanging ♖s — ZF

19...♘d8 loses the ♕ by force, but OS pointed out that the recommended ♕d8 would not save Black because his ♕♖ is out of play.

Zyg analyzed 19...♕d8 20.♗f5+ ♔b8 21.♖h6 ♘e7 22.♗e4 ♘g6 23.♘d5 ♔a7 ♘ow there's a mistake, because Zyg's note says ♗e3 where the bishop is already. To be fair, this was decades before computers could automatically check games scores for accuracy.

But the game position after 26.♖ah1 is essentially the same position Zyg reached. While Fritz is unimpressed, I agree with Zyg that Black's in a bad way because of Whites powerful center pawns and active pieces, but with no obvious forced loss. White will probably win both the h7 and f7 pawns, so Black will be reluctant to empty the second rank by ...c5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Continuing:

20.♘d5! ♕g3 (if 20...♕g7 then 21.♗h6), and after 21.♖h3 ♕g4 22.♘e7+ ♔b8 23.♗f5, Black's ♕ was lost.

27.d5! cuts off ♗lack's movements, and after 27...♔b7 28.♗h6!, another piece goes — Black should call it quits here.

41.e6: ZF says he was bewildered why Black was playing on, so made this "meaningless move" to give his opponent the satisfaction of a check, before mating him in a few moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Zyg once analysed Nezhmetdinov vs O Chernikov, 1962 in his chess magazine, which also featured a positional ♕ sac for ♗+♘.
Feb-28-09  WhiteRook48: being taken to Court
May-04-14  TrueFiendish: Jeez, time to resign already, you've been beaten!
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: "Roger, over and out"
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: "Courting Disaster"
May-04-14  Mr Bigz: +1 very nice game
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I object!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Overruled!


Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Zig Frankel was a Polish Jew who edited the NZ Chess Magazine for some time about the late 70s mid 90s. He had a distinctive face when concentrating so if anyone was reporting on chess (which rarely happens in NZ) there would be picture of the deeply concentrating Zig Frankel, hands over his head, an almost Marx brothers (one of them) look: or his bedraggled hair and cigarette would be visible. He was thus passed over as "typical" of a chess player (oldish, slightly mad), and this reinforced the Kiwi view that chess was for strange foreignors and that real Kiwis played or followed rugby.

Roger Court - I have a book he owned 'Petrosian's Best Games of Chess'. Inside, on the f.e.p. is the inscription:

Jan 1965

R. A. Court
(NZ Champ 1964)

It is pretty clearly Court's signature.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I met him once (although I'd seen him at tournaments a few times in the 60s), he moved up to Auckland, and G. Turner and I went to see him in a flat he had in Ellerslie.

I forget exactly when that was I think ca 1966.

There are not enough of his games on here he was a very strong player and he had also won the NZ Correspondence Championships that year. I might be able to find some of his correspondence games as there was a separate bulletin for those games.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: It was a great game by Zyg considering that this was one of those games, informed by knowledge as Jonathan S. above, that relies somewhat on judgement rather than the kind of exhaustive analysis. Playing here at the age he was then one wonders if, had things gone better in his life, Zyg might not have been one of the famous creative players. His "specialty" though I believe were these rather chaotic (yet logical) games a la Tal or Nezmetdinov etc

There was also about 2009 or so a sacrifice of Q for 2 pieces by Ivanchuk in a variation (I think it was) of the Najdorf.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Nice to see one of Zyg's games be Game of the Day. It was probably one of his best, considering that his opponent won the NZ Champs in this tourney.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Yes. Probably. Zyg was a really nice fellow and also if he won it was often with this kind of "asymmetrical" or indeed Nezmehditnov or Tal like stuff.

Looking at your analysis I tracked down the other games. They are interesting also. (My Komodo seems to favour 4. ... Qh4+ and gives and advantage to Black, although I didn't run it very deep, and there is also the factor of "real" versus computer chess...

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: "Launch all Zyg!!"
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: This game received the NZ Chess Association best game prize.
Sep-11-14  newzild: Awesome game by Zyg!

I played him once in my second year of playing chess - in 1996. Frankel was in his 80s. The game was a draw. Obviously, he was past his best by then.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <newzild:> Zyg would have been in his mid-70s since he was born in 1921. Still showed flashes of imagination and strength in those days.
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