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Simon J B Knott vs Julian M Hodgson
British Championship (2000), Street ENG, rd 7, Jul-31
English Opening: General (A10)  ·  0-1



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Given 23 times; par: 47 [what's this?]

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sac: 26...Nc5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  SwitchingQuylthulg: A very nice, unusual and interesting game. All along the way, Black has some nice finesses (14...Nh4, 16...Qf6, 20...Rae8) that look good but don't bring him an immediate advantage. Better even than that, 22...Qh5!, inviting 23.g4, was a stroke of genius. While 24.Ng3 also fails to 24...Qh3 25.Be1 (25.Nxf5 Rxg4+! 26.Ng3 Bxf3 mating or 26.fxg4 Qg2#) and Black can decide between many moves - 25...Rh6, 25...Nh4 and 25...Rxg4 again are all easy wins for him - it seems White still had a fighting chance in the unlikely computer suggestion of 24.c5!!.

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This move is so crazy that at first I thought the engine was just suggesting a putting-off-the-inevitable move to gain a couple extra plies before death. However, it turns out Black's win isn't so easy at all: 24...Nxc5 25.Bc4+! d5 26.Bg3 Nxg3 27.gxh5 Ne2+ 28.Kh1 Nxc1 29.hxg6 and White's idea becomes clear - the bishop has been evacuated from d3 so Black can't just play 29...Nxd3 winning and fails to gain an immediately winning advantage... The most obvious alternative try, 24...Qh3, isn't an easy win either: 25.c6 Qxf3 (the lines following 25...Bxc6!? are extremely chaotic and take up too much space for one kibitz...) 26.Bc4+ Kh8 27.cxb7 Qxe4 (27...Rxg4+ 28.Bg3 Qxe4 29.Bxa6 Qd4+ is a draw by perpetual; Black must keep g4 for the queen to play for more) 28.Bxa6 Qxg4+ 29.Bg3 Qd4+ 30.Kh1 (not 30.Kg2? Nh4+ and mates, for if 31.Kh3 Qg4#) Nxg3+ (unfortunately, 30...Rxg3? 31.Qc4!! Qxc4 32.Bxc4 Rg5 33.Be6 with the threat of 34.Bc8 and 35.b8Q wins for White!) 31.hxg3 Qd5+ and White's king is completely open, but surprisingly enough, Black still seems to have no better than perpetual.

I refuse to believe Black doesn't have a win somewhere even after 24.c5 but both me and my computer have yet to find it...

Of course, the final demolition with 26...Nc5! and 27...Rxg4!! is also very beautiful.

A wonderful game with deep tactical motifs, among the nicest ever out of 1.c4 b6.

Jan-04-11  alexrawlings: 26.. Nc5! could make a good puzzle someday...
Mar-22-12  The Finisher: What's wrong with 13.Bxc5? My line: 13.Bxc5 bxc5 14.b3. Looks reasonable.

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