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Peter Jonathan Winston vs Walter Shawn Browne
"Winston's Good Taste" (game of the day Sep-14-2007)
USA (1972)
Benoni Defense: Taimanov Variation (A67)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-14-07  twin phoenix: Almost time to go kick some ---- this weekend in Winston -Salem, NC! 35th annual LPO chess tourney!

boy this game was impossible to understand. 8. --, N(f)-d7? huh?? 12.N-d2? 15. BxN(a6, BxN(c3)
what the heck. i'm just a patzer but these moves are really hard to understand!

Sep-14-07  euripides: <twin> 8...Nfd7 is normal here because if Nbd7 or Bd7 White can cause some problems with e5, though the lines remain sharp and controversial.

Someone posted a link on Winston's player page to an interesting article about him on the USCF site, which contains useful annotations to this game. They suggest 12.Nd2 is unusual but better met (if I remember right) by an immediate b5. Browne's Bd4 commits the bishop too early. As a result after 15.Bxa6 Black is dropping a pawn unless he plays Bxc3, which is positionally costly. From then on White is in control.

Sep-14-07  euripides: <barebeginner> strong players prepare against each other, using their knowledge of each other's play. So they may be able to forsee a position that is likely to occur after 15 moves or so and prepare a new idea. In many strong grandmaster games, the first new move will be an innovation prepared by one side and a surprise for the other.

However, it is unusual for that new idea to be so strong that it actually decides the game. In practice, it will present the opponent with an unexpected problem which will take a lot of their time and which they may or may not solve successfully. The case where preparation actually decides the game, in the sense that the prepared move forces a win or even a draw, is quite unusual.

Another case is where neither player has a new idea and they simply follow standard theory (which may or may not have been played before) to a draw.

Or they may both have prepared the same ideas, so that the play is both new and interesting but fizzles out to a draw quickly.

Sep-14-07  blair45: Reference comments by Bare Beginner, sfm, et al: I think "game is decided before the players get to the board" is pure foolishness, unless the players have agreed to a play a few moves, then draw, because of their standing in a tournament. How often have we heard the surprise winner say, "That's why we play the game"? I think it's a remark like, "The rest is a matter of technique". It's a dodge.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I think black almost WANTED to lose this game. Observe:

Why did he try to force an attack with a blocked position? Why did he abdicate the open file to white's queen and allow his rook to be trapped and lost? Why oh why did he insist on exchanges leading to a dead lost ending?

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: BTW,the old slogan was:"Winston tastes good,like a cigarette should."
Sep-14-07  KOCMOHAYT: nice simplification
Sep-14-07  Maynard5: This game has been published with notes on the USCF website, and was also annotated by Peter Winston in Chess Life in 1972.

White’s 12. Nd2 was a theoretical novelty. The view at the time was that Black’s best response was the counterthrust, 12. … b5. White cannot respond with 13. Bxb5? Bxc3 14. Bxd7 Bd4+. Instead, White’s natural reply is 13. Nxb5, leading to the following possible variations: 13. Nxb5 c4 14. Nxc4 Rxb5 15. Nxd6 Rb4 16. a3 Rd4!? 17. Nb5 Rxe4! 18. Bxe4 Qb6+ 19. Kh1 Qxb5, which was better for Black in Thorbergsson-Tringov, 1974. Or 13. Nxb5 c4 14. Bxc4 Rxb5! 15. Bxb5 Qb6+ 16. Kh1 Qxb5, which is again better for Black. However, in a later game, it was determined that White may be able to gain the advantage with 12. Nd2 b5 13. a4, breaking up Black’s queenside pawn chain.

The key to White’s win is 15. Bxa6. Black cannot reply 15. … Nf2+ 16. Rxf2 Bxf2 17. Bf1, and White has gained two minor pieces for a rook. Similarly, after 15. ... bxa6 16. Nxd4, White wins a pawn. After Black’s 15. ... Bxc3, White rapidly gains a decisive positional advantage. Note Black’s weaknesses on the dark squares.

Sep-14-07  Magic Castle: 31. Re7 appears to be the faster kill than 31. Nxd7.
Sep-14-07  euripides: After <31.Re7> Black could try 31...Qb6 with some tricks e.g. 32.R/Nxd7 Qb1+ and Black checkmates quickly.
Sep-14-07  Billosky: Two of you comment on White's 12.Nd2, one of you saying you don't understand it, and the other that it is a theoretical novelty. Well, I must say I'm in the not understanding camp. What exactly is it supposed to do? Isn't White better off just developing his DSB or Q? I don't get the rationale for 12.Nd2.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Is the idea of 12 Nd2 to play Nc4? For instance, 12 Nd2 Nf6, 13 Nc4. If black plays 13 b5, e4 looks sharp. If black doesn't play 12 Nf6, maybe white can play 13 a4.

Sep-15-07  Some call me Tim: In the Benoni White sometimes goes for Nc4 to hit the weak Black d-pawn. But it is double-edged. An example that came at about the same time as Winston-Browne was Spassky-Fischer WCh 1972, game 3 (Fischer's first ever win over Spassky!) which began: 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. d5 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. Nc3 g6 7. Nd2 creating what Gligoric called the "positional threat of Nc4 followed by Bf4." Fischer met it with 7...Nbd7 so that if 8. Nc4 Nb6. Gligoric cited one of his own games against Trifunovic from 1957 that went: 8. Nc4 Nb6 9. e4 Nxc4 10. Bxc4 Bg7 11. O-O O-O 12. Bf4 a6 13. a4 Nh5! "with equal chances." Spassky played 8. e4 Bg7 9. Be2 O-O 10. O-O Re8 and then went awry with 11. Qc2 allowing 11...Nh5! 12. Bxh5 gxh5 13. Nc4 Ne5 14. Ne3 Qh4! 15. Bd2 Ng4 16. Nxg4 hxg4 17. Bf4 Qb3 and Fischer won in 41 moves after further errors from Spassky. This was the infamous game played in a ping pong room behind the main stage in the playing hall to satisfy Fischer's demands to play outside of camera ranges (although he erupted again when he found a closed circuit TV that was broadcasting the game to the spectators in the hall). After his loss Spassky refused to play again in the back room but played horribly in this game and in the next seven games to lose the match. He later said that in agreeing to Fischer's demands for game 3 "I essentially signed my capitulation to the entire match."
Feb-12-10  cehertan: This is a historic game! As I note in my Chess Life article about Peter's mysterious disappearance, it was probably the most memorable American game of the year. Peter was 14 years old, and he just positionally and tactically smashed a 6-time US Champ! I believe that Nd2 had been played a few times before, and Browne got confused and tried to refute it in a bad way, forgetting the recommended ...b5. Browne was probably the strongest player who played consistently in US events at that time (neither R. Byrne, Fischer or Kavalek played actively here) and he very rarely got destroyed in this manner--when he did lose it was usually due to his habitual time pressure. The game was published in the Chess Informant and Winston was briefly considered the top US prospect--he played with an unusually mature positional (yet sharp) style as evidenced here.
Feb-25-10  cehertan: OOps, correction! Before I get blasted for that comment, I will restate it as I did in the article: "The most important american game of the year by anyone whose initials weren't RJF!"
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I don't know whether this game quite deserves the hype. Winston played very well - especially for a 14-year-old - but Browne was unrecognizable.
Jul-02-14  Howard: It was the player whom Browne lost to, that made the game so famous and thus led to the "hype." If the individual playing White had been, say, a FIDE master or IM, then no one would have given this game more than a second glance.
Jul-02-14  Howard: Oh, if Peter Winston ever happens to read that above-posting, I apologize if I might be stepping on his toes, but that viewpoint is objective on my part.

In the meantime, Peter, where the hell have you been for the last 36 years?

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I hope Peter Winston has occasion to read your posting, but alas that seems very unlikely.
May-05-15  Johnnysaysthankyou: I am a student of Matthew Looks. He teaches at my school and also runs the chess club. I have been trained by him for what is approaching five years. Matthew talks very highly and mysteriously about this game as it seems that black is busted. Matthew Looks comes to my house on tuesdays and we usually do schoolwork and then some chess. Since I love this game, tonight I asked to look at the continuation 10...Bxc3 instead of 10...Na6. I believe this continuation offers black better chances at equality. Matthew does not really like this continuation but regardless we looked at it and it at first seemed that after 11.bxc3 b5 12. c4(Mr. Looks thought this continuation was best.) bxc4 12. Bxc4 Nb6 13. Bb7 Nxc4 14. Bxh8, white's chances were good. But just as Looks left I realized I had to play 14. Bxh8! Instead of an immediate Qa5 as I had been doing. After 15. Qa4+ Kf7 16. Qxc4 it once again looks like white has given up too much, but after Qa5+, what happens? The position seems unclear. I don't think Brown could have possibly conceived of this line of play, but perhaps this is the only way to give Winston a game...
May-06-15  RookFile: I have to believe that black plays a Benoni defense for some reason other then exchanging off the g7 bishop.
May-06-15  Johnnysaysthankyou: That's what Matthew said, but it doesn't change the fact that this line gives the best chances of any line I have looked at thus far. All other lines seem to black get rolled, just as happened in the game. Winston understood chess on a deep level and that level goes deeper than opening principles as is evidenced by the fact that he moves the bishop back to d3. If you let white keep his knight on c3 you have problems because you can't get b5 in fast enough, so I don't know, I believe in the line from what I've looked at so far.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Johnnysaysthankyou> It's a book position. Using the "find similar games" link above, I found 35 examples where Black plays 10...Na6, and Black won almost as often as White. So I can't agree that Black is in such desperate straits as to think 10...Bxc3 gives the best chances.
Dec-25-16  cehertan: Only someone who never beat a strong GM in this manner can underestimate white's feat here--especially for a kid prior to the computer age. Shades of Polgar.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Reading some of the kibitzes on this game brings back memories, right enough.

From my junior days, I recall seeing Winston play:

Alan Fraser Truscott

<The tournament which Truscott participated in that summer of 1975 was loaded, by the standards of those days: besides Truscott, we had Steve Spencer (the first master I ever played heads-up; he squashed me in the first round), Danny Kopec, Peter Jonathan Winston and Mike Leman, a ~2050 level player fom Montreal. There were other 2000+ players, but at the moment, I don't remember who they were. Quite a collection of iron to this then ~1600 player-the only time I'd seen anything like that was playing in New York at the old McAlpin Hotel. Any other old-timers remember that venue in the heart of Manhattan?>

Matthew Looks is another name from that long-ago period: we met at the 1976 Vermont championship and I won after he hung an exchange for nil compensation. I recall being astonished when he then proposed a draw.

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Featured in the Following Game Collection[what is this?]
September 14: Winston's Good Taste
from Game of the Day 2007 by Phony Benoni

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