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Mario Spinosa vs Ove Kroll
Chicago Chess Center weekend tournament (1978), Chicago, IL USA
Nimzowitsch Defense: Scandinavian. Exchange Variation (B00)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I directed this tournament. This is the biggest upset I have ever seen - over 1,000 rating points! USCF at the time had a big problem with its ratings, which were several months behind reality. Spinosa's published rating at the time of this game was 1272, but his actual rating was probably around 1600. He later became a National Master.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Of course Black could have drawn by perpetual check with 22...Ne2+, but who takes a draw with a player rated 1000 points lower?
May-03-12  erimiro1: Spinosa played here not as 1,272. Even his little combination at the end of the game belongs to a higher level (he could play 44. Ne1 with the same idea, but showed a sense of humor by 44.Ng1!).
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <erimiro1> Yes, no question that Spinosa's true strength was much higher than 1272, especially in very tactical positions.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I have a post about this game at The comments to it have some interesting analysis.
May-06-12  Shams: <FSR> From your link:

<The game features a sharp line of the Nimzowitsch Defense (1.e4 Nc6) that was supposed to be good for Black, namely 2.d4 d5 (2...e5!, favored by Miles and Bisguier, actually gives Black a plus score in the databases, which is why 2.Nf3! is White's most popular move.>

I started playing the King's Gambit as an anti-Spanish device but I finally figured out on my own what you've pointed out here: with Nimzowitsch's 1...Nc6 Black can (sort of) force a Spanish anyway. If I were booked up on the Spanish and didn't want to face 2.f4, this is definitely what I'd play as Black. Surprised we don't see it more.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Shams> Yes, Miles (now dead) and Bisguier (now close to retired, I think) were fond of it, but it doesn't have a lot of exponents these days for some reason. Of course if White is still keen on the King's Gambit, he can play 2.f4 anyway. Then half the time Black responds with 2...e5 and you've got your King's Gambit. But the other half of the time Black responds with 2...d5, when the pawn on f4 looks kinda stupid if you ask me. 1.e4 Nc6 2.f4 e5 3.Nf3 f5!? is a a cool line (I've played it myself in blitz), which gives Black a plus score. Opening Explorer Another virtue of 2...e5 from Black's perspective is that White might always play 3.fxe5?? Believe it or not, Black usually responds to that with 3...Nxe5?? rather than destroying White with 3...Qh4+.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Shams> Marvin Woelk, rated 762, is the leading specialist in 3.fxe5??, which he essayed successfully twice(!) at the Niedersachsen Under-10 Championship.

After 1.e4 Nc6 you could also play 2.Nc3, hoping for 2...e5 3.f4. Black can play other moves, like 2...Nf6 or 2...d6, but at least you're not forced into a Spanish.

May-04-16  Christoforus Polacco: @ FSR
<1.e4 Nc6 2.f4 e5 3.Nf3 f5!? is a a cool line (I've played it myself in blitz), which gives Black a plus score.> I suppose that not bad answer is 4.ef ... and if 4.... e4 so 5.Ng5 d5 6.Qh5+ g6 7.fg Nf6 ? 8.g7 It's one of the simple possibilities :) When I was 1400 or 1600 I played two games a some similar : 1.e4 e5 2.f4 f5 3.ef ef 4.Qh5+ g6 etc. with buried black rook. I advised my one opponent to find that famous game :NN vs Greco, 1625 Classic. Returning to the main line, after symmetrical 4.... ef the game is roughly equal but still white has one tempo more. < But the other half of the time Black responds with 2...d5, when the pawn on f4 looks kinda stupid if you ask me.> I think that Alexander McDonnell liked ''stupid'' positions :) I like too. It's a lot of fun ! Best regards.
May-10-16  Christoforus Polacco: Very unclear puzzles are : 1.e4 Nc6 2.f4 e5 3.Nf3 f5 4.ef e4 5.Ng5 Nf6 6.Nc3 d5 7.g4 g6 (h6) 8.Ne6 B:e6 9.fe d4 10.g5
Dec-17-17  Granny O Doul: In 1979 the ratings computer was down, no updates, for a period of seven months. I remember a few ratings, for instance, Maxim Dlugy, 1539, next update, 1851. Jon Litvinchuk was in, I think, the high 1700's and made master about as soon as the computer was fixed. Bill Goichberg did assign CCA ratings to many players during that period, which happened to be the golden age of big money class tournaments (courtesy largely of Jose Cuchi and Goichberg). Not merely class sections, but, for instance, the U-1200 tournament might be the only real action in town that weekend.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: It was during that period in 1979 that Bill McGrath, who ran all the events in Vermont at the time, decided to pull the state out of USCF events and rate games himself.

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