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Mikhail Umansky vs David Kudischewitsch
"Slav Labor" (game of the day Dec-21-2010)
Yaroslavl (1987)
Slav Defense: Czech. Wiesbaden Variation (D17)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-20-10  NakoSonorense: He will certainly be missed by the community.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: World class correspondence players have no qualms about going in for the wacky atuff. For Umansky, this seems to have been part of his over-the-board makeup as well.

I imagine Black felt fairly secure up to the final moment. After all, the pin assures Black of getting the piece back, doesn't it?

Not so fast, my friend.

I suppose the main question is what happens after 15...Re8:

click for larger view

16.Nxd3 looks like the move, saving the piece (16...Ba5 17.b4) while eliminating a dangerous Black pawn. But there's still a bit of randomness in the position, enough to label 15...Rf8 a clear blunder.

An interesting game, if not a paricularly profound one.

Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: Ouch!
Dec-21-10  Llawdogg: That is one very overworked bishop!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Phony> is right: 15...Re8 would have put up stronger resistance, though White is better after 16.Nxd3.

The game line, 15...Rf8?, offered a 2nd way for White to win with 16.Bg5+ -- and then either ...Kc8 17.Qxf8+ as in the game, or the truly hair-raising 16...Ke8 17.0-0-0!!?! ...

Feeding this to an engine gets something like +9.5, so I'll believe White is winning. Personally, I'd be scared half to death by either side of that position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Pins can be broken with embarrassing results, as our Bronze Age ancestors discovered 9000 years ago, when their clasps broke and their loincloths fell down.
Dec-21-10  goodevans: <Domdaniel> <Phony>

15 ... Re8 16 Nxd3

Yes, but I would suggest 16 Qf6+ first to defend the f3 pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Phony> - <World class correspondence players have no qualms about going in for the wacky stuff>

Very true -- but maybe the "wacky stuff" is really a profound sense that initiative is *everything*. And the kind of point-counting pawn-grubbing stuff most of us go in for is hardly chess at all ...

Dec-21-10  goodevans: Actually the more I look into this, <15 ... Re8> gives white a few problems to solve. As well as the pinned N, black is threatening the <f3> pawn. In many lines black also has <Nd3 Bxc3+ bxc3 Qc4>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: Thanks, CG for featuring Umansky today. Maybe something from his games for POTD this week
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: if black takes the queen,white's knight will be free to recapture the black lady.
Dec-21-10  hstevens129: How about:
15...Re8 16.Nxd3 Qxf3

The queen forks the h8 Rook and the d3 Knight. So if: 17.Nxb4 Qxh8+ 18.Kd2 dxc3+

Black finally captures the once-pinned Knight and is up the exchange after White takes the pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: <hstevens129: How about:
15...Re8 16.Nxd3 Qxf3>
17.Qxd4+ Kc8 18.Rf1 .
Dec-21-10  kingfu: Excellent linguistics!

The term slave came from Slav, who were the original slaves.

I hate those Romans but love The Sicilians!

And I miss Master Umansky.

Too many heroes have been taken from us this year.

The idiots seem to live forever.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <hstevens129: How about: 15...Re8 16.Nxd3 Qxf3. The queen forks the h1 Rook and the d3 Knight. So if: 17.Nxb4 Qxh1+ 18.Kd2 dxc3+.

Black finally captures the once-pinned Knight and is up the exchange after White takes the pawn.>

It's hard to visualize this without a diagram. After <15...Re8 16.Nxd3 Qxf3>

click for larger view

You can see that White has 17.Qxd4+, rescuing both knights, then follows up with 18.Rf1.

By the way, I finally unleashed my Bozo 0.5 computer on this, and it points out an interesting resource in the position after <15...Re8.>

click for larger view

<DomDaniel> suggested that White first play 16.Qf6+, protecting his f-pawn, and then 17.Nxd3. Bozo laughs at this, giving the line 16.Qf6+ Kc8 17.Nxd3 Ba5 18.b4 dxc3!, and Black regains his piece as the Nd3 is unprotected.

White still keeps an advantage in that line, but by avoiding the check and keeping his queen on the seventh rank White can go marauding after 16.Nxd3 Ba5 17.b4 dxc3 18.bxa5 Qxd3 19.Qxb7, which also protects the Pf3 and sets up 20.Bg5+ as a big threat.

I wouldn't have been comfortable in the resulting mess, but Umansky probably would have loved it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Oops, sorry. 15...Re8 16.Nxd3 Qxf3 was suggested by <goodevans>, not by <Domdaniel>.
Dec-21-10  drpoundsign: Castle early castle often. I play better than today's loser.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: I know a lot about this variation but never saw this particular line. Usually White plays 8.e4, but here Umansky assayed 8.g4 with good results. In the mainline (8.e4) it almost always comes to this position with White to move:

click for larger view

Gut chess instinct tells me that Qf3(!) is strong if not winning, and yet it's been analyzed to death: it's a draw after 10...Qxd4 11. Qxf7+. You don't see many openings where Black willingly lets White get a move in like Qxf7+, but it's OK. The seminal game in that variation is Euwe vs Alekhine, 1936 (1/2-1/2). I would still play Qf3 in a tournament, my opponents are not masters and there are plenty of ways they can go wrong.

But for the masters, the winning attempt is 10.Bd2! which usually leads to positions like this one

click for larger view

See for some great examples, especially note the ones with the Qxc5 queen sacrifice like Gelfand vs Hector, 1989 and I Novikov vs Khmelnitsky, 1989.

R.I.P. Mikhail Umansky. His legacy will not go forgotten.

Dec-21-10  WhiteRook48: nice, Bxf8 will break the pin.
R.I.P. GM Umansky. His contributions cannot be erased.

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