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Lev Aptekar vs Craig Laird
Labour Weekend Tt (1977), Auckland NZL, rd 5
Nimzowitsch Defense: Scandinavian. Exchange Variation (B00)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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  Jonathan Sarfati: 18. ♕xg6! — if 19... hxg6 then 20. ♖d3 with unstoppable ♖h3#.
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  Benzol: A powerful performance from Lev. Not long after this Craig became NZ Champion IIRC.
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  Richard Taylor: Hi Paul. i.e. <Benzol> and <Jonathan Sarfati> Yes I am looking at the opening which has transposed into a Centre-Counter. Laird went wrong really with 5. ... e5. The most usual move is 5. ... 0-0-0 (and it seems best here.)

But then 6. Nc3 is better than 6. c4 (but there is a game played by Laird where that happened - in that game it went 6. Nc3 Bb4 7. 0-0 Bxc3 8. bxc3 exd4 9. cxd4? etc but White is almost winning after 9. Nxd4! )

But the Q sac on g6 was great to see!

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  fredthebear: Acceptance of the Q sacrifice offer 19...hxQg6 leads to Greco's Mate on the h-file by the rook, as <JS> notes above.

There are various types of Greco's Mates, but the bishop prevents the cornered king from escaping, and the h-file must be opened for mate by a heavy piece. See these examples:

So, the Q offer was rightfully declined.

21.Qg5! is another key move. It pins the Rf6, indirectly protecting the loose Rd3 from 21...RxBe6 as the White d-pawn is pinned. The White Q is no longer en prise.

22.Rh3 is yet another protective pin that also safeguard's the rook. There was no time to grab the pawn 22...Qxc4??

23.Rxh6+ takes advantage of the overloaded g7-pawn and the pinned Rf6. Black is in check and must re-capture, but either re-capture drops both Black rooks and leads to checkmate. Thus, resignation was best.

White's dual-purpose attack and defense moves were impressive.

All of this was made possible by 11.Nge7? and the structural leak 12.f6?!

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  fredthebear: Let's insert the dots for Black... All of this was made possible by 11...Nge7? and the structural leak 12...f6?!

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