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William N Watson vs Eduard Meduna
Prague Chip (1992), Prague CSR, rd 9, Jan-??
Caro-Kann Defense: Karpov. Modern Variation (B17)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: After 11...hxg5 the outcome isn't clear to me.

Also, I think black does better playing 14...Nf8 15. Bxf7+ Kf8 16. Qb3 Nxg4. White is up an exchange, but I don't think he mates.

May-10-08  zooter: I did not get this, but Crafty seems to think

15...Nb6 keeps the black disadvantage to a minimum. After the move played in the game, it all went downhill...

Also black apparently doesn't need to accept the knight sacrifice instead playing Qa5+ followed by Qb6 losing the exchange

May-10-08  dzechiel: White to play. White is down a pawn. "Very Difficult."

OK, this B&B here in Tucson has a public computer (a pretty nice one) that anyone can use, so I'm going to write quickly.

The square e6 kind of jumps out here, what with the white knight and queen both looking in that direction. So, let's try...

12 Ne6

This move forks queen and rook, which also means it's forcing. Black's only reasonable reply is

12...fxe6 13 Qxe6+

Check, so once again this move limits black's replies. Black COULD play 13...Rf7, but after white plays 14 Bxg6 it might get ugly. Let's have black play


If 13...Kh7 white is invited to play 14 Ng5+.

14 Bxh6

OK, I'm losing my turn on this computer, but I think you get the idea. The bishop capture on h6 actually looks good in almost all variations instead of the knight check.

Time to check and see what was really played.

May-10-08  lost in space: This is much easier than other this week:

12. Ne6 fxe6 13. Qxe6 Tf7

(13... Kh8 14. Nh4 Ne5 15. Qxe5 Nd5 16. Nxg6+ Kg8 17. Qe4 and it is time to resign for Black; or 13... Kh7 14. Bxh6 Bxh6 15. g5 Kg7 16. gxh6+ Kh7 17. Ng5+ Kh8 18. Nf7+ Rxf7 19. Qxf7 20. Qf8 21. Qxg6 and White is much better)

14. Bxg6 Ne5! 15. Qxe5 Bxg4 16. Nh2 Nh5 17. Bxf7 Kxf7 18. Nxg4 Bxe5 19. Nxe5+ Kg8 20. Rxh5 and White is up a few pieces.

Not sure if this is the best line and if there are better moves for both, but I'm sure, that this is roughly the way to success for White.

May-10-08  lost in space: <zooter>: here a few variants with 12...Qa5. As far as I can see: all better for white, but complicated (haven't thought deeper than 12...Qa5 Bd2 before reading your comment)

12. Ne6 Qa5+ 13. Bd2 Qb6 14. Nxg7 Qxb2 (14..Kxg7 15. Bxh6 Kg8 16. Bxf6; better for White) 15. Rd1 Nb6 (15... Kxg7 16. Bxh6 Kg8 17. Bxf8 Kxf8 18. g5 Qc3+ 19. Kf1 Nh5 and White is better) 16. Ne5 Nbd5 17. c4 Nc3 18. Qe3 h5; better for White.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Nope: After 14...Nf8, 15. Qxf7+ Kh8 16. Bxh6 wins.

But 14...Ne5 15. Qxe5 Nxg4 16. Bxf7+ Kxf7 17. Qh5+ Kg8 seems to give black some life (though not much).

May-10-08  goodevans: Got the first few moves quickly enough, but thought that 15 Bxh6 was the follow-up. After 15 g5 I think I’d have tried 15 … Ne5 if I’d been black.
May-10-08  Terry McCracken: Is it me or are the puzzles getting easier as the week progresses?

Yesterday, albiet with a clear theme was more complex.

May-10-08  Terry McCracken: < RandomVisitor: white could have played 11.Nxf7 1: William Nicholas Watson - Eduard Meduna, Prague 1992> Quite right, althought the text is probably on par.

May-10-08  euripides: It looks like a case of castling into it. But 8...h6 seems not to be any better:

Nunn vs Speelman, 1987

May-10-08  234: Friday puzzle <39. ?> May-09-08 Ljubojevic vs Tringov, 1982
May-10-08  RandomVisitor: After 12.Ne6
1: William Nicholas Watson - Eduard Meduna, Prague 1992

click for larger view

Analysis by Rybka 2.3.2a mp : 22-ply

1. (0.93): 12...fxe6 13.Qxe6+ Rf7 14.Bxg6 <Ne5> 15.Qxe5 Bxg4 16.Bxf7+ Kxf7 17.Qe2 Bxf3 18.Qxf3 Qxd4 19.c3

2. (1.60): 12...Qb6 13.Nxg7 Nxg4 14.Nf5 gxf5 15.Bxh6 Qb4+ 16.c3 Qd6 17.Bxf8 Nxf8 18.Nh4 Qf4 19.Nxf5

3. (1.84): 12...Qa5+ 13.Bd2 Qb6 14.Nxg7 Qxb2 15.Rd1 Kxg7 16.Bxh6+ Kg8 17.Bxg6 e5 18.Bxf8 Nxf8 19.Bxf7+

(, 10.05.2008)

May-10-08  sfm: I missed it. Not the puzzle given. No, I always add my own. E.g. "Did the loser of the game resign after first move?" I have a good score here, especially on GM games. Today my puzzle was:
"How many will say: 'Elementary, my dear Watson'...". I guessed at 'Two'. So far nobody! Hmmm...
May-10-08  Jesspatrick: I quit playing the Caro-Kann because of this line and switched back to Sicilian. I got tired of defending against all of the Knight sacs. White often has several playable moves, while Black walks a tightrope.

RV is right. 12. Nxf7 was plenty good, too.

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Here's something I don't understand. I couldn't solve this puzzle analytically; so I switched over to intuition, and the answer came right up. Now how can that be?
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Afternoon: I thought the answer began with 12.Bxg6,hxg5; 13.Nxg5. Better luck tomorrow.

Incidentally, the position after 10.h5 comes up three times in the database, including this game. Believe it or not, in the other two games, Black played 10...gxh5 and won--and that ugly pawn formation proved useful in both games!

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Missed it-played Bxg6 first...
May-10-08  johnlspouge: Saturday (Very Difficult): White to play and win.

Material: Down a P. The White Rh1 has the open h-file, a singular advantage well worth a P in the position. The White Bs are both active, aimed at the Black K-side. Moreover, the White Ns are reinforcing each other near the Black Kg8, with Ng5 able to undermine the Black K-side with Nxf7. The White Qe2 is developed, and only Ra1 cannot contribute directly to an attack. Although Black has no egregious weak points, the Black K-side Ps look shaky enough, and in fact, Ng5 can discover a double attack on Ph6. Moreover, Pf7 is overburdened, defending against Bxg6 and preventing the fork Ne6. Moreover, White's development can support a tactical stroke, e.g., with the move Qe6. Note that along with the obvious capture hxg5, Black has two moves for counterattack, Qa5+ and Nxg4. The move Qa5 is mostly counterproductive, because it abandons defense of the K-side, does not threaten Ng5 because of the protection from Bc1, and permits the developing response Bd2, whereas Nxg4 opens the a1-h8 diagonal for Bg7 and defends Ph6.

Candidates (12.): Nxf7, Bxg6, Ne6

The candidate that denies Black time to develop his Q-side and gives the entry of Qe2 the greatest momentum is likely the correct candidate. If White commits Qe2 with Qe6, Black must not be able to develop his miserable Q-side with the move Nf1. Moreover, Pf7 is the obvious focal point for an attack. I timed out on 12.Bxg6, so I would probably play 12.Nxf7 over the board, particularly because the move g5 can then open the Black K-side.

I am impressed. The move 12.Ne6 was a distant third in my estimation.

May-10-08  johnlspouge: Here, under my usual conditions, are the Mom-and-Pop Toga II 1.3.1 evaluations of the 3 obvious candidates, in order of value.

[ply 15/63, time 07:04, value +1.10]

12.<Ne6> fxe6 13.Qxe6+ Kh7 14.Bxh6 Bxh6 15.g5 Kg7 16.gxh6+ Kh8 17.Nh4 Rg8 18.h7 Rg7 19.Nxg6+ Rxg6 20.Bc4 Nd5 21.Qxg6 Qa5+ 22.c3 N7f6 23.Rg1 Bg4 24.Rxg4 Nxg4 25.Qxg4 Kxh7

[ply 15/54, time 05:01, value -0.39]

12.<Nxf7> Rxf7 13.g5 hxg5 14.Bxg6 Nf8 15.Bxf7+ Kxf7 16.Bxg5 Ng6 17.Rg1 Bf5 18.0-0-0 Qd5 19.Rde1 Ne4 20.Kb1 Rd8 21.Ka1 b5 22.Rd1 Nxg5 23.Nxg5+ Kg8

[ply 15/49, time 05:40, value -1.85]

12.<Bxg6> hxg5 13.Bf5 Qb6 14.Qxe7 Qa5+ 15.Kf1 Qd5 16.Kg2 Nb6 17.Bxc8 Nxc8 18.Qxb7 Nd6 19.Qb3 Qe4 20.Bxg5 Rab8 21.Qa3 Qxg4+ 22.Kh2 Nfe4

Toga and Rybka (as given by <RandomVisitor>) disagree on whether 12.<Nxf7> favors White. Note: I bought Rybka, but use Toga.

The following is my perception. Today's puzzle displayed an extraordinarily delicate balance between material and time. The most aggressive move 12.<Bxg6> seems to fail because the resulting attack cannot maintain the aggressing B at g6. On the other hand, 12.<Ne6> succeeds, precisely because the Q can be maintained at e6 (which I did not foresee). The key move yielding the tempi to justify 12.<Ne6> and 12.<Nxf7> (as far as the latter can be justified) seems g5, which shifts the K-side attack from the light squares to the dark. I have noticed that defenses based on Ns often have trouble with such a shift.

<<An Englishman> wrote: Good Afternoon [snip :)] Incidentally, the position after 10.h5 comes up three times in the database, including this game. Believe it or not, in the other two games, Black played 10...gxh5 and won--and that ugly pawn formation proved useful in both games!>

Thanks for pointing out the games, A Greet vs H Banikas, 2008 and M Tassopoulos vs I Nikolaidis, 2005. In the latter, to his sorrow, White even thought that the <ugly pawn formation> could be exploited in an endgame.

May-10-08  whiteshark: I missed the idea of 15.g5! :(
May-10-08  DarthStapler: I got the first two moves
May-10-08  wals: Static Evaluation: White is down a pawn, otherwise material is even. White not castled.

Dynamic Evaluation: White is more advanced in its development The bishops are directed towards the kingside. Ng5 should move as its loss by h3 serves no useful purpose. Or does it? No, the h4-d8 diagonal would be well guarded. But allowing the bishop to g5 would mean opening up the h file. ON another track, Nf3-e5, would allow a double dip at f7, unless removed. Then, if Ng5-e6 forking Q & R, would necessitate taking by the f7 pawn.As this also allows the c1 bishop to get into the action I'll give it a go.

Abstract Assessment:12. Ng5-e6 ...fxe6 13.Bc4+ ...Nd5 14.Bxh6 ...Bxh6 15.Rxh6
Candidate move: Ng5-e6


Yes, again the idea was right, the subsequent moves just showing the difference in class. Of course, I couldn't play Bc4+, because of e5. Went blank on that one.

William Nicholas Watson - Eduard Meduna, Prague 1992

Analysis by Fritz 11: depth 19/43 time 4 min

1. (1.28): 13.Qxe6+ Rf7 14.Bxg6 Ne5 15.Qxe5 Bxg4 16.Nh2 Nh5 17.Qe4 Nf6 18.Qd3 Qa5+ 19.Bd2 Qd5 20.Rg1 Qe6+ 21.Be3 Rff8 22.Nxg4 Nxg4 23.Bh7+ Kh8 24.0-0-0

2. (1.18): 13.g5 Nc5 14.dxc5 hxg5 15.Nxg5 e5 16.Bxg6 Qd4 17.Nf3 Qg4 18.Nxe5 Qxe2+ 19.Kxe2 Bg4+ 20.Nxg4 Nxg4 21.Bh7+ Kf7 22.Bf5 Ne5 23.Bf4 Nc4 24.Rh7

(, 11.05.2008)

May-10-08  luzhin: Meduna should have played 11..Ng3! -- or so my silicon friend says.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's difficult Saturday puzzle solution, Watson initiates an advantageous demolition of pawn structure combination with the pseudo sacrifice 12. Ne6!!

A strong line of play is given by <Random Visitor>, when 14. Ne5! improves and puts up more resistance for Black -- though White still retains a clear advantage after 15. Qxe5 Bxg4 16. Nh2 .

May-10-08  znprdx: As for whether finding the key move is essential- this is absolute proof. Before supper - I almost timed out...after supper -I found it in less than 30 seconds...
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