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Jonny Hector vs Parimarjan Negi
Sigeman & Co (2007), Malmo SWE, rd 1, Apr-18
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B96)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-18-07  Ashram64: the simple 0-1 won't do the justice of this game between hector and negi. GoodGame
Premium Chessgames Member
  Wild Bill: Negi played the ending beuatifully. I started looking at this game about move 35 (maybe a little earlier) and thought it headed for a draw, but by move 59 Negi was definitely winning.
Apr-18-07  THE pawn: My god this game is marvelous. The endgame is exciting and the middlegame is a tornado! candy game.
Apr-18-07  Manic: Looked like Hector had a perpetual around moves 49-52 but decided to break it with 52.Bf1. I guess that since his pawns were more advanced than Negi's, he thought he could try and push for a win without much risk.
Apr-18-07  scholes: why 14 nd5 was played negi was a piece up after that move but returned the favour with 29 ..Bc8

besides that game was almost equal till hecter played 71 ka4


click for larger view

24 00:41 -0.17 71.Kb5a5 Rb1c1 72.Bd5e6+ Kc8b7 73.Be6d5+ Kb7a7 74.Ka5a4 Ka7b6 75.Bd5e6 f5f4 76.c7c8Q Rc1xc8

Apr-19-07  Plato: <why 14 nd5 was played negi was a piece up after that move>

Indeed. 14.Nd5? was White throwing caution to the wind only to realize that his name is not Mischa Tal, it's Jonny Hector. I do applaud his courage, but Hector is one of those players (like the stronger Sutovsky) who often lets his fancy get the best of him to the point of recklessness.

For all the praise that the game received here -- and it was an exciting game, to be sure -- the quality was lacking on both sides for a GM game at these good old-fashioned time controls.

Apr-19-07  ColonelCrockett: I couldn't disagree more Nd5 is a common sacrifice in the Sicilian . . . Black always has trouble and here the game is no exception. Also, Bc8 is a necessity (unless I missed something) otherwise to prevent mate Black will have to give up his queen without compensation. In fact I dare say that Bc8 is the resource White missed that equalizes as everything else seems to lose (for example Re8 falls prey to Rf2 and the knight has nowhere to go).

Equally, 34.Rxh3 seems a better preparation for the advance of the White pawns, indeed it would seem to lead to a more favorable version of the game that doesn't include so many threats on the White king (who's precarious circumstances are what tips the game.)

Apr-19-07  Archives: I do not think that the Nd5 sac in this game caused Negi any trouble at all.

I was watching this game live, and at the time I remember thinking that White had little (if any) compensation for the Knight.

Has anyone looked at the sac with an engine?

Apr-19-07  scholes: FEN:

click for larger view

Rybka v2.3.1.w32:

13 +0.86 14. ... e6xd5 15.e4xd5 Nc5d7 16.Rd1e1+ Nd7e5 17.f5f6 Ke8d8 18.Nd4c6+ Qc7xc6 19.Re1xe5 Qc6a4 20.Re5e3 h7h6 21.f6xg7

and evaluation remain at this level it doesn't goes down as you move into the game

and at move nor 29


click for larger view

Rybka v2.3.1.w32:

18 +1.51 29. ... Rf8e8 30.Qd3h3 Bg5h6 31.Rf1g1 Bb7a8 32.Nf5xh6+ Qg6xh6 33.Qh3xh6 g7xh6

Apr-19-07  Plato: <ColonelCrockett: I couldn't disagree more Nd5 is a common sacrifice in the Sicilian . . . Black always has trouble and here the game is no exception.>

I am well aware that it is a typical sacrifice in the open Sicilian (which you could have guessed by my sentence "only to realize that his name is not Mischa Tal" -- Tal was famous for such knight sacrifices against the Sicilian), but that doesn't mean that <"Black always has trouble"> against it. The specifics of the position always need to be taken into account; this seems rather trivial to me.

In this case the sacrifice was simply wrong.

Apr-20-07  ColonelCrockett: That's true, the specifics of the position do need to be taken into account. I have yet to understand the argument against Nd5 here, a good thing to note is that if White wants the initiative he has to play Nd5 in the position. Every other move on the board leads to a passive defense with little hope of a win. I guess what I'm saying is . . . in a human vs. human game (Rybka not present) the sac is in my opinion not only the best option in the position but the only option with hope of a win. Also "Black always has trouble" doesn't necessarily mean that Black automatically loses after it is played . . . or that he is at a disadvantage . . . it simply means that Black must play extremely accurately to avoid White's many threats (the necessary Nd7, etc.)
Apr-20-07  acirce: Well, let's look at an occasion where Nd5 in a similar position is considered good, to the best of my knowledge, for example as in these games:

Kotronias vs Lesiege, 2002

Kotronias vs A Shneider, 2004

click for larger view

Position after 13.Nd5! exd5 14.exd5. White is fully developed. Black is immediately in trouble along the open e-file, 14..Kd8 is forced and White keeps the initiative by playing more forcing moves.

In the game at hand, we have, after 14.Nd5 exd5 15.exd5:

click for larger view

White's kingside rook is still locked in. Also, one more pair of minor pieces is already exchanged, which eases the pressure somewhat. Black's knight can place itself steadily on the outpost at e5, and White is not in time to create serious problems (he would be if he got an extra move after 17.Rhe1, say).

Apr-20-07  ColonelCrockett: I don't necessarily disagree with your assessment regarding the game at hand, it is somewhat a more precarious ordeal for White since the f-pawn is far removed from attacking e5 (and the rook not possessing the open file, etc., etc.). However, for the life of me I cannot see an innaccuracy in Black's play after the sac. If it is truly unsound yet might have won after all but forcing Bc8 where did Black go wrong?
Apr-20-07  kellmano: Both Hector's games in this tournament have been real interesting. Here, he loses a really good game through not being willing to settle for a draw.

Also, and more importantly, seriously cool name.

Apr-20-07  ColonelCrockett: it sounds like the fake name for a character in an '80s film. :)
Apr-20-07  nimzo knight: Its interesting that black wins only because he has king on Kc8. Otherwise a queen vs pawn on 7th rank in bishop file is a draw.
May-01-07  Maatalkko: <Plato: 14.Nd5? was White throwing caution to the wind only to realize that his name is not Mischa Tal, it's Jonny Hector.>

I understand what Plato is saying, but the implication that only a big-name player can score brilliant wins bothers me. I believe that any determined, intelligent person can be dangerous at the chessboard, regardless of their rating. I applaud anyone who takes chances to win - that's a bold and entertaining way to play.

Moreover, let's not get too much caught in the "name game"; Negi's famous, but Hector is actually the rating favorite here! I know Negi's a hot young prospect, but as of today any "regular" GM (I use quotes to not degrade a 2500 player, because any of us would love to be at that level) can expect to be equal with him.

May-01-07  Plato: <Maatalkko: I understand what Plato is saying, but the implication that only a big-name player can score brilliant wins bothers me... Moreover, let's not get too much caught in the "name game"; Negi's famous, but Hector is actually the rating favorite here>

This reads too much into my comment. My intention was not to imply that, and I apologize if it was worded in such a way as to give this impression. I did not imply that Hector is weaker than Negi. Nor is he a no-name to me; I was already familiar with some of his games.

My comment was simply in deference to perhaps the most famous player when it came to getting away with intuitive but objectively unsound sacrifices. Moreover, Tal was known for his trademark knight sacrifices in the Sicilian, so this game naturally brought him to mind. But it's much harder for GMs to play in that style nowadays, because the level of defense has increased -- specifically defensive calculation, largely thanks to Tal's efforts on the attack in the late 1950s and early 1960s. I know this opens up a new can of worms, so I'll just say that this is my own strong opinion and I respect the opinions of others who feel differently.

<I applaud anyone who takes chances to win - that's a bold and entertaining way to play.>

And so did I, as you know:

<Plato: I do applaud his courage>

But that doesn't change the fact that the knight sacrifice in this particular case was reckless, and I think most strong players would agree with me.

If you have read my comments on Sutovsky you'll know that he is one of my favorite modern players, so to compare Hector to Sutovsky only indicates that I *appreciate* his style. At the same time, I do think that they both allow their penchant for aesthetic chess to sometimes go overboard, which makes for very exciting chess but often gets in the way of what could be superior practical results.

May-02-07  Maatalkko: <Plato> Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I knew you didn't mean to insult Hector. I am just really sick of people judging games by the name and rating of the player. I guess this is inevitable, since most fans don't have the time/willingness to fully understand a game. Some fans are player-oriented anyway, and would rather follow their favorites than really study master games.

It might be nice if had a feature which selected a good game (but not an obvious famous one) but didn't reveal who the names/ratings of the players. This would remove any bias from studying the game, and then players could guess who was playing and when the game occurred. I bet that would quickly change perceptions of what a "mediocre" player like Dr. Arpad Vajda can do.

Maybe all the comments on the game could be wiped out, and there would be a poll asking what decade the game was played and how strong the players are (in modern Elo terms). The result would be of interest once the "Blackout Day(or maybe week)" is over and the players are revealed.

May-02-07  Plato: <Maatalkko> That is a brilliant idea, truly. You should e-mail them the suggestion or post it on the chessforum (or both).

People who have their own databases might "cheat," of course, but those who take it seriously might learn something about the evolution of chess theory over the decades (which is not properly understood here, IMO) as well as gain appreciation for lesser-known but still impressive Grandmasters who don't get due recognition (and are sometimes even insulted). There are too many of them to count.

Aug-18-07  Pendom: Why is everyone saying this game is so great? Hector made a really unsound sacrifice, after which he is (on a higher level) losing. Negi managed to ruin it all, until it was just drawn. Hector badly misplayed the ending - almost until the end the draw was in sight.

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