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Erwin L'Ami vs Daniel Stellwagen
"Can't Erwin 'Em All" (game of the day Jun-25-2007)
Dutch Championship (2007), Hilversum NED, rd 7, Jun-23
Semi-Slav Defense: Meran. Wade Variation Larsen Variation (D47)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-24-07  Open Defence: great complications from 17..Ke7 wonder if there was a safer move...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: After 20...Nxf1 21.Ne4+ Kf8 22.Nxc5 black cannot take back because of 23.Bxb4 or else 23.Nd7+ wins.

22.Ne4+! Rhg8 23.Kh1 Rd8 24.Bxh6+! wins.

26...f6! 27.Qa4+ Ke7 is good for black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MarkThornton: I watched this game live, and it was very exciting. After 26. Qd1, I thought that 26...f5 might be better for Black. But it's hard to be sure of anything in a wild game like this.

After 26...Rfg8, the players trod a narrow path to a draw by perpetual. Any deviation from the moves played seems to lose for the one who deviates.

Jun-25-07  syracrophy: This is what I call a real exciting short draw. An amazing clash!
Jun-25-07  M3ANDROS: This is a fine "tit-for-tat" type of game. I thought Black's 18...Ne3! was going to end the game. Surprisingly enough White had incredible resources as well. This was certainly a swashbuckle for both sides.
Jun-25-07  jmrulez2004: This game is beautiful!!!
White was going all out!! so was black!! If black hadn't played 20.Nxg2 but Nxf1, white would have won the game already! good judgement by black!! white had a back up waiting for him in case his plan of winning wouldnt work. Fine example of how to play chess.always keep a spare idea.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Following the <Stonehenge> line 22 Ne4 Rhg8 23 Kh1 Rd8 24 Bxh6 the position looks rich with counterplay for Black, but White uses his attack on the King to maintain a winning position.

Shredder 8 gives 24...Nf4 25 Bg5+ Ke8 26 Bxd8 Nxh5 27 Bxb6 Bxb6 28 Rg1 Kf8 29 Rxg8+ Kxg8 and White has survived the scary looking pin on the long diagonal to emerge an exchange up.

click for larger view


Jun-25-07  nhat8121: if he didn't sac that black square bishop , I think he could have mated.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: A brilliancy prize for both gentlemen, please.
Jun-25-07  nhat8121: oh nvm, king is pinned.
Jun-25-07  giocle: Another immortal game!!!
Jun-25-07  kellmano: Already in six game collections. And well worth it too.
Jun-25-07  Wilson H. L.: So many sacs... Seems like L'Ami started flinging pieces across the board. Wonderful tactics.
Jun-25-07  Giearth: Indeed a beautiful game! CONSTANT VIGILANCE!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: An ultramodern version of an immortal draw! White paradoxically sacrificed so many pieces that he didn't leave enough for the mate-but he was able to force a perpetual.

At times neither player could save this game!

Jun-25-07  Alphastar: Following annotation copied from the dutch championship site (translated):

22.Rxc5?! The crucial position. The computer says the following move is winning: 22.Ne4! Rhg8 23.Kh1 Rd8 and now both players had missed the strong move 24.Bxh6!. With the following possible continuation: 24...Rxd3 25.Bg5+ Rxg5 (or 25...Ke8 26.Nf6+ Kd8 27.Nxg8+ Kc8 28.Qxf7! Ne1+ 29.f3 and black can’t keep taking on f3; or 25...Kf8 26.Qh6+ Ke8 27.Nf6+ Kd8 28.Nxg8+ Kd7 (28...Kc7 29.Qf8!) and now 29.Kg1! is rather annoying) 26.Qxg5+ Kf8 27.Rxc5 (27.Nxc5 Nh4+ 28.Nxb7 Qxb7+ 29.f3 Nxf3 keeps black alive somewhat longer) 27...Ne3 28.Kg1! and black can’t take on e4 because of mate on c8. L'Ami now forces a position that seems completely won for white, but now Stellwagen’s ‘Houdini-qualities’ enter the game again.

22...Qxc5 23.Rc1 after directly 23.Be4 hxg5 24.Bxg5+ Kd7 25.Qd1+ Kc7 the attack comes to an end.

23...Qb6 24.Be4 Perhaps a better way to continue would’ve been 24.Qg4!? a5 25.Be4 Bxe4 26.Qxe4 Rhg8 27.Kxg2 and white has great compensation for the exchange. But, as has been said, it seems as if white has a won position here. 24...hxg5! 25.Bxg5+ Ke8 26.Qd1 Here 26. Qf3 seems to hand white the win because of the double threat Bxb7 and Qf6 and mate. But both players had seen that after 26...f6! the position is completely unclear, e.g. 27.exf6 Kf7 followed by 28...Rfg8 and it’s black who’s better! 26. Qd1 also looks great, but again Stellwagen has a great answer. In the post mortem he said:’When at a certain point I had spent 40 minutes thinking, my head went a little bit crazy.’ 26…Rfg8 Here black could’ve won with 26...f6! 27. Qa4+ Ke7 and white has no good continuation! Black’s material edge seems decisive. And now the sensational final: 27.Rc8+!! Bxc8 28.Bc6+ Kf8 29.Be7+! The first disappointment for Stellwagen: he can’t take because of Qd6 mate. 29...Kg7 30.Qg4+ Kh6 -- 30...Kh7 31.Qh5+ is an immediate draw. 31.Bf8+!! And that’s the second disappointment! The black king can’t get away by f8 anymore and this ends in a rather curious perpetual. 31...Rxf8 32.Qh3+ Kg5 33.Qxg2+ Kf5 34.Qe4+ Kg5 35.Qg2+ Kf5 draw. What do you think... was this game worthy of a champion? Or two champions?

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Phenomenal game! A shame that it's apparently busted, in theoretical games, by forced wins for both sides.
Jun-25-07  achieve: <Alphastar> Great effort! Translating all that! Sets a good standard for future analysis.

Especially since this was your first post!

Jun-25-07  THE pawn: Wow. Amazing! After 17.Rac1 it's hard to find anything constructive from both sides, I would be lost in all this complexness.
Jun-25-07  gBizzle: woweeeeeeeeeeeee
Jul-09-07  syracrophy: I would call this "The Immortal Draw of the Century"
Jan-23-08  jovack: The game goes from typical to completely crazy.
Jan-16-11  OneArmedScissor: love this game
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Wow! What a game. White sacrificed two rooks of material just for the draw. Now that's good fighting spirit.
Sep-18-12  vinidivici: THIS IS IT.
The guts to do something wild. And finally L'Ami got the draw although lack of materials convincingly.
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