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Nadezhda Kosintseva vs Valentina Gunina
"Gunina-Pig" (game of the day Dec-30-2009)
Russian Championship Superfinal (Women) (2009), Moscow RUS, rd 1, Dec-20
Caro-Kann Defense: Advance Variation (B12)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-30-09  sarah wayne: 34d5 looks interesting.
Dec-30-09  ex0duz: <sofouuk: after white plays 31 Qf4 black should probably play just h5 (yes, yes, another pawn move in front of the king, there's nothing so terribly wrong with that - if 32 g4 h4! should be ok)>

After 32. h4!, what does black do after 33.Qh6? Or is 33.Qh6 a (?) move?

Dec-30-09  sarah wayne: Instead of 31...nf5 31...r7d7.
Dec-30-09  WhiteRook48: 34 Rg3 may work
Dec-30-09  Eduardo Leon: <WhiteRook48>, 34.♖g3 ♘g6 lets black close the b1-h7 diagonal (at least, temporarily). That's why Kosintseva played 34.f4 immediately.
Jan-05-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The pieces fly and everything is in danger. the queen threat clinches this one.
Jan-29-10  LoveThatJoker: <sofouuk and Once> Not being dogmatic at all. The best way to conduct the defense is by using the most efficient number of forces and by not moving pawns unnecessarily in front of One's own K.

...g6 was definitely a losting move. Chess is all about the details. Black would have done better in staying patient and shuffling some pieces so as to either create a good escape route for the K or so to see how White intended to create their attack and thusly create a good defense against that. (i.e., the so-called "wait and see" approach).

And you may say, "what a horrible way to play," but Black has no other alternative. They have to remain patient and just try to improve the harmony between their pieces within their own half of the board.

LTJ

Jan-29-10  LoveThatJoker: <sofouuk ... just forget about those silly rules, they are for kids and other beginners, not masters>

Steinitz was certainly not a beginner. He is one of the greatest chess players of all time!

I guarantee you: had you ever played against him for a wager, you would have wound up being his personal manservant for at least four years.

LTJ

Jan-29-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <LoveThatJoker> Yes, chess is all about the details. White's last move before 30...g6 was 30. Bb1, leading to this position:


click for larger view

The threat, of course, is that white will move his Rd3 and then play Qh7+. The natural defender of h7 is a knight on f6, but here that is made impossible by the white e5 pawn.

So how exactly is black going to defend against white's threat? f5, allowing exf6 en passant, is clearly going to lead to fractured kingside pawns. Nf5 allows g4. So sooner or later black is going to have to play g6 or he will get mated on the kingside. He might as well play it now, as he doesn't really have many other options.

Should black have shuffled his pieces to wait and see what would happen? Only if he wanted to lose quickly without a hope of counterplay. White would have transferred his rooks to the kingside and won without much difficulty.

I tend to find that the best way to defend is by stopping my opponent from mating me. And if that means moving a pawn in front of my king, so be it. 30...g6 was not a comfortable move for black to have to play, but it was certainly not the losing move here.

Jan-29-10  LoveThatJoker: <Once: <LoveThatJoker> Yes, chess is all about the details. White's last move before 30...g6 was 30. Bb1, leading to this position:

The threat, of course, is that white will move his Rd3 and then play Qh7+. The natural defender of h7 is a knight on f6, but here that is made impossible by the white e5 pawn.

So how exactly is black going to defend against white's threat? f5, allowing exf6 en passant, is clearly going to lead to fractured kingside pawns. Nf5 allows g4. So sooner or later black is going to have to play g6 or he will get mated on the kingside. He might as well play it now, as he doesn't really have many other options.

Should black have shuffled his pieces to wait and see what would happen? Only if he wanted to lose quickly without a hope of counterplay. White would have transferred his rooks to the kingside and won without much difficulty.

I tend to find that the best way to defend is by stopping my opponent from mating me. And if that means moving a pawn in front of my king, so be it. 30...g6 was not a comfortable move for black to have to play, but it was certainly not the losing move here>

lol...

Please refer to my first post for the answer to your verbose reply.

With particular emphasis on:

Gunina, forgot to observe two of Steinitz's defensive "laws", if you will: a) The Defense must be conducted with the most efficient amount of pieces (i.e., THE KNIGHT IN THIS CASE WAS BETTER PLACED DEFINSIVELY AT F8).

LTJ

PS. So as to prevent you from writing me another novel, just pay special attention to

a) The Defense must be conducted with the most efficient amount of pieces (i.e., THE KNIGHT IN THIS CASE WAS BETTER PLACED DEFINSIVELY AT F8).

Enjoy!

Jan-30-10  LoveThatJoker: And I want to clarify something so that you don't think I'm being unreasonable here... I recognize that in this position 30...g6 is a virtual necessity due to the mating battery along the light squared diagonal.

However, that is why I place emphasis on the fact that the Knight was better placed on f8.

Gunina embarked on a deplorable plan of pseudo activity with her 28 and 29th moves.

I don't know about you Once, but it looks to me like Black is definitely hurting on the light squares in particular the critical b1/h7 diagonal.

After 31...g6 the attacking plan is simple to find becaused it is based on undermining - even further - Black's King shelter.

And that's what I was refering to:

Again, that by removing her N from f8 and embarking on some misplaced sense of activity, Gunina put herself in a situation to play a grave positional lemon as was 31...g6.

She forgot Steinitz!

LTJ

PS. I would also like to add that I should have stated that I didn't like Black's plan on move 28 and 29 in plain terms from the very outset.

However, in fairness to myself, it is important to note that by saying that the N was better placed on f8 it is assumed that the reader will understand that I deplore the N manouevre to g6 and e7.

Jan-30-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: And I'm the one being verbose?

You've now gone from saying that g6 is a losing move to saying that it is a virtual necessity.

I think you are relying too much on formulaic rules and not on the needs of the position. And relying on passive strategies like Nf8 and "wait and see" are not sensible ways of making counterplay.

When this debate started, I defended your point of view, in part, from <sofouuk>, who I thought was being unduly harsh to you. Now I am not so sure that I should have bothered.

End of my involvement here.

Jan-30-10  LoveThatJoker: Cool, Once. End your involvement. And if you feel I am being verbose myself than so be it.

And yes I have said that 31...g6 is a loser and then said that it is a necessity only because you failed to understand my underlying idea that keeping the N on f8 is a better plan than dancing to death by moving it about and putting it on a square where it does absolutely nothing (i.e, e7).

And no, I am not relying too much on formulaic rules because I have studied many games of the greats (Steinitz included) and a good defender knows how to keep his position solid without granting too many concessions.

Furthermore, the great defender knows how to do that while improving the coordination between his pieces (while in his/her own half of the board) and this is the course of action that Gunina should have taken.

And definitely NOT flitting the N about to g6 and e7.

If you didn't comprehend that from my first message then part of your reading comprehension abilities are flawed. Although, because I strive to be objective, I recognize that I should have stated it in more plain terms so as to make it easier to understand. However, it is still pretty clear.

LTJ

PS. I just want to add that not every position calls for counterplay. That is what loses many games. People think that they need to fight back for the attacking initiative; but if the position does not call for it, the best thing that one can do is anticipate the attack and put on a sparkling defense to repel the attack. There is nothing wrong with defending. We'll call it an inverse initiative if you will.

These are pearls of wisdom for you. Embrace them.

And here's one more morsel of food for thought for you: Anyway you slice it - even though it blunts a dangerous attacking battery - 31...g6 is a loser. Reconcile that paradox.

Jan-30-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Against my better judgement, I will respond one last time.

Why not post some real analysis - your own or a creditable chess engine? Suggest some lines for black to play: actual moves, not aphorisms and dogma.

Like this:

After 30. Bb1, Fritz 11 rates the position as a slight edge to white of about half a pawn. The engine suggests that there are 9 moves of roughly similar weight:

30...h5 (+0.47)
30...Rcd7 (+0.47)
30...Qa7 (+0.47)
30...Nf5 (+0.47)
30...g6 (+0.52)
30...Rd5 (+0.53)
30...Nd5 (+0.63)
30...Rf8 (+0.63)
30...Rdd7 (+0.67)

In many of these lines, Fritz wants to play g6 shortly afterwards. For example, after around 10 minutes on infinite analysis mode, his "best play" line is 30...h5 31. Nb6 Nd5 32. Rg3 g6, leading to an eval of +0.47.

Rewind to the position after 25. Nd2 (ie the last time that Nf8 was on the board) and all of Fritz's best lines for black involving quickly moving the knight away from f8, either to d7 or g6. His favourite line is 25...c5 26. dc Nd7, with an eval of around +0.52.

Conclusions - either you are a better player than Fritz 11 (ELO of around 2800), or Fritz is right and the position is only slightly in white's favour. Fritz says that 30...g6 is not a losing move and recommends against keeping the knight on f8.

Paradox? Pearls of wisdom? Hardly. It's a roughly level position where g6 helps to blunt a white attack. And there is no call for grubbing around on the back rank with Nf8 just yet.

And let's keep this friendly, hey? I started all this by defending you, so I don't exactly enjoy being told that my reading comprehension abilities are flawed or that you are offering pearls of wisdom that I should embrace. I have been playing and studying this game for over 30 years and have long since worked out the limitations to Steinitiz's prinicples.

That's why I think this thread needs to end from my part.

Jan-30-10  Method B: At move 16 black's g8 knight finally arrives to the d5 outpost after making the long tour of <g8-e7-c8-a7-b5-c7-d5>.

Talking about opening principles.

Jan-30-10  LoveThatJoker: Hi Once. I don't have time to respond in full right now. However I will in about 12 hrs.

In the meantime, all I can say is well I'm glad that you are a strong enough player to work out the limitations of Steinitz's principles.

:D

Good one!

I'll talk to you soon

LTJ

Jan-30-10  KingG: More blindless worship of the old guys I see. I'm pretty sure that someone as strong as Gunina understands a lot more about chess than Steinitz, and certainly doesn't depend on such general rules to decide her moves. That's what lead Steinitz to get those hideous positions in his games with Chigorin, amongst others.
Jan-30-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: According to the chess swami (trance-channelling Steinitz;) 10..0-0? is the bad move. Once Black commits the ♔ White can formulate a direct plan: secure the centre, induce Kingside pawn targets, mash through--all straightforward. But since Black is going to play such moves as ..Na7 ..Qc7 ..h6 anyway, they should come first, the more the better, flexible procrastination required! By retaining the option of king placement Black makes White also retain options of where to attack. Strategic zugzwang should allow Black to hold.
Jan-30-10  LoveThatJoker: <KingG: More blindless worship of the old guys I see. I'm pretty sure that someone as strong as Gunina understands a lot more about chess than Steinitz>

How many games of Steinitz's have you studied, KingG?

LTJ

Jan-30-10  LoveThatJoker: <once> I finally have time to reply to you.

I'm glad that you fired up Fritz 11 for this one as I will do the exact same thing on the same engine but leave it on infinite analysis for a prolonged period of time. Aside from the position value, I will produce for you the 'search depth' seeing as how you did not include that in your last post.

Give me a couple of days and I will give you what you expect: The best.

Talk to you then. (If you don't run away from this discussion that is.)

LTJ

Jan-30-10  KingG: <LTJ> Mainly just the ones in here unfortunately: Game Collection: William Steinitz's Best Games. I hope to study more when I get the chance. Of course, I've also studied some of his losses to Chigorin, Lasker, and various other players. I saw enough to convince me that although Steinitz formulated a number of important general concepts, and even though a lot of his games are very intructive, he is not someone I would want to base my defensive technique on. He was the best defender of his time, no doubt, but he was also probably the first, and defensive technique still had a long way to go.
Jan-31-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <KingG> Well said!

I think we need to see Steinitz in an historical context. For me, his principles were largely a reaction to the wild attacking chess of the romantic period. With Steinitz, Lasker and Capablanca we have a classical movement which says that defensive chess can be very successful due to the slow accumulation of small advantages.

This was then overtaken by the hypermoderns and the reintroduction of attacking play with Alekhine and Tal. After Steinitz, the world studied Nimzo and "my system". Suddenly the talk was about prophylaxis and the control of the centre from a distance. "After 1. e4 white's game is in its death throes" - not quite, but it's a nice soundbite.

In the 1950s and 1960s we had the start of the professional era, with the Russian school and Fischer turning chess into a full-time career. This merged attack and defence into a more rounded style, with a strong accent on hard work, study and training.

I remember being shocked in the Kasparov-Short world championship match when Short kept allowing his pawns to be doubled. Okay, so he lost quickly, but his point was valid - doubled pawns open lines of attack and provide open or half open files.

As ever chess continues to evolve. We are now in a more modern era, when (love it or loathe it) silicon is finding new approaches to the game. Old openings are being rehabilitated (who would have predicted that Kasparov would play the Scotch?). Variations previously thought played out are being reintroduced, with weird looking moves, such as an early g4 in several systems.

I have a slight hankering for the old days. Today, the games of the masters are being ruthlessly hacked to pieces as everyone with a few pounds, dollars, euros, can buy software with stronger playing strength than a grandmaster.

Steinitz has a lot to teach us, as does Morphy, Capablanca, Bottvinik, Nimzo et al. But the world has moved on, and continues to move on.

Jan-31-10  LoveThatJoker: <once> and <KingG>

I want to say something here. I hope that I haven't come across as someone who judges the content of your messages too harshly. Ultimately, all I'm looking for is the truth. Or something that really is getting quite close to it.

I like the fact that you are both passionate about chess history and from reading your posts I can tell that maybe amongst both of you, you have studied about 10 Steinitz games combined. If more than so be it.

However, I myself am in the process of the studying the man's career from front to back and have studied exactly 42 of his games and am in the middle of a 43rd. So I think that I have a right to speak about Steinitz's play.

I tell you: all these theories that Nimzowitsch spoke about (i.e., open files, the center, prophylaxis, etc.) Steinitz already knew about them.

If you don't believe me, here are some examples for you:

1) Open files (something that even Morphy knew)... Steinitz vs A Schwarz, 1882

Just look at the position before White's 24th move and look at how he proceeds.

2) The center.

This game here is a good example of Steinitz's controls the center to have the better attacking manueverability and eventually confuse his opponent enough so as to win a pawn. (And trust me there are a lot more)

Steinitz vs Blackburne, 1882

3) Prophylaxis

Look at White's 34th move here.

Steinitz vs Zukertort, 1872

As for something that starts resembling the dynamic (Kasparovian) school of chess look at these two

Steinitz vs T W Barnes, 1862

and

Steinitz vs Anderssen, 1866

LTJ

NOW...

Jan-31-10  LoveThatJoker: ...IF you don't feel like looking at these games for whatever reason, then you MUST look at this game:

Steinitz vs Anderssen, 1873

Proof positive that Steinitz was well ahead of his time (and that his master-class opponents had futuristic ideas as well)

LTJ

Feb-03-10  LoveThatJoker: <Once> I'm just writing you this note to tell you that I'm still in the process of analyzing with Fritz and myself this position.

What I thought was going to take me a couple of days is going to take a lot more.

So far things are looking good for my theory...I have validation from Fritz that it pays off for Black to not be too hasty with his K-side N.

However, I need more time. As soon, as I'm done I will post it here.

LTJ

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