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David Howell vs Tomi Nyback
Corus Group B (2010), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 7, Jan-23
Scotch Game: Classical Variation (C45)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-23-10  luzhin: The full beauty of Howell's attacking idea is seen in the variation 21...Nxc4 22.Qh5! Nxe3 23.Qg5! winning. A game to be proud of.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <21...g6> was the only playable move to prolong the game. Impressive attacking style by Howell, nonetheless.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <21....g6> loses after <22.Qc1!> anyhow.

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One threat is 23.Bg1 and 24.Qh6

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: So <20...Qh4!> was the only playable move to prolong the game. It attacks the more important Ne4 and thus wins an important tempo. Qh4 also disturbs white to play certain other moves.

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Jan-23-10  zanshin: Not a good game for a player of Nyback's skill. He will need to focus to get over this loss.
Jan-24-10  EdgeFor15: Clap clap Nyb├Ąck. What a performance. Marvellous knight maneuvres Nb8-c6-e5-g4-e5-c6-a5 and Ng8-e7-c6-xd4 letting white take center with cxd4. Impressive queen handling Qd8-f6-g6-f6-d8 as well. Can anyone count how many tempos he lost?
Oct-18-18  Walter Glattke: 21.-g6 22.Qc1 (whiteshark) Nxc4 23.Bh6 Be6 24.Bxf8 Qxf8 parries g7. 23.Qxc4 Be6. 22.h4 h5 threatens Bg4, so only 21.-g6 should be played.
Oct-18-18  Muttley101: <Walter Glattke: 21.-g6 22.Qc1 (whiteshark) Nxc4 23.Bh6 Be6 24.Bxf8 Qxf8 parries g7. 23.Qxc4 Be6. 22.h4 h5 threatens Bg4, so only 21.-g6 should be played.>

I thought whiteshark's idea after Qc1 was Bg1, when it is difficult to defend against Qh6 directly. What is your reply to 23. Bg1 instead of 23. Qh6?

Oct-18-18  Dr Winston OBoogie: I got g6 and I can see it's completely over for black but I don't see the #. Maybe I need to wake up properly :)
Oct-18-18  patzer2: Didn't see David Howell's brilliant 21. f6!! +- (+6.44 @ 31 ply, Stockfish 9) which is apparently the best move solution to today's Thursday (21. ?) puzzle.

Instead, I went for the second best option 21. Bg5! +- (+5.20 @ 31 ply, Stockfish 9) which creates decisive threats after 21. Bg5! Qxd4 22. Qg4 Kh8 23. Be7 +- (+6.16 @ 35 ply, Stockfish 9).

P.S.: So where does Black go wrong in this theoretically important Scotch opening game?

In my opinion, Black starts to run into positional difficulties after 10...0-0 11. Nd2 ⩲ (+0.46 @ 35 ply, Stockfish 9).

Instead, our Opening Explorer indicates Black has had better results holding the balance with 10...Qxe4 11. Nd2 = (0.00 @ 30 ply, Stockfish 9) as in the drawn games Khalifman vs V Fedoseev, 2015 and Kasparov vs Nakamura, 2016.

Oct-18-18  patzer2: <whiteshark: 21....g6 loses after 22.Qc1!>

Also winning after 21...g6 is 22. Qe1 +- (+10.87 @ 32 ply, Stockfish 9).

Oct-18-18  Walter Glattke: Muttley101: I see, 22.Qc1 Nc4 23.Bg1 brings mate or queen lose after 23.-Kh8 24.Qh6 Rg7 25.Ng6 Qf8 26.Qxh7# or 22.Qc1 Nc4? 23.Bg1 Qxf6 24.Nxf6+ Kg7 25.Nh5+ / but I have no clear answer to 22.Qc1 h5 (22.-Kh8? 23.Bg1 Rg7 24.Qh6 Qf8 25.Ng5 Qxh6 26.Nxf7#)23.Ng5+! Kg8 seems to be the correct answer to 22.Qc1 - possibly draw.
Oct-18-18  Walter Glattke: But, so stockfish said, 22.Qe1 is won for white, so 22.Qc1 is not really interesting.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is one pawn down.

Black threatens Nxc4 and B(e)xd4.

White can incorporate the queen into the attack with 21.Qh5:

A) 21... Nxc4 22.f6

A.1) 22... Nxe3 23.Qg5

A.1.a) 23... g6 24.Qh6 and mate in four (24... Nf5 25.Rxf5 Qxf6 26.Nxf6+ Kh8 27.Qxf8(h7)#).

A.1.b) 23... Qxf6 24.Nxf6+ Kh8 25.Nh5 wins decisive material (25... g6 26.Qh6+ Kg8 27.Qg7#; 25... Nf5 26.Rxf5; 25... Rg8 26.Qxe3).

A.1.c) 23... Nf5 24.Rxf5 as above.

A.2) 22... gxf6 23.Nxf6+ Qxf6 (else 24.Qxh7#) 24.Rxf6 Nxe3 25.Qg5+ Kh8 26.Qxe3 wins decisive material.

A.3) 22... g6 23.Qh6 as in A.1.a.

A.4) 22... Re8 23.Qg5 wins.

A.5) 22... h6 23.Bxh6

A.5.a) 23... gxh6 24.Qxh6 wins.

A.5.b) 23... g6 24.Qe2 Nd6 (24... Qxd4 25.Rad1 Qxb2 26.Qxc4 Re8 27.Ng5 Be6 28.Qh4 looks winning) 25.dxe5 Nxe4 26.Qxe4 Re8 27.Bg7 with the threat Qh4-h8# looks winning.

A.6) 22... h6 23.fxg7 Re8 (23... Kxg7 24.Qxh6+ Kg8 25.Nf6+ wins) 24.Qxh6 wins. This seems to be better than 23.Bxh6.

B) 21... Kh8 22.Ng5 h6 23.Nxf7+ wins (23... Rxf7 24.Bxf7 followed by Bxh6 or f6).

C) 21... Bxd4 22.Ng5 h6 23.Bxf7+ Rxf7 (23... Kh8 24.Qg6 hxg5? 25.Qh5#) 24.Qxf7+ Kh8 25.f6 looks winming.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Wrong order: 21.Qh5 fails due to 21... Bxf5!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I did not see a winning continuation after 21 f6 g6.

I thought 22 Qc1 is answered by 22...h6, so if 23 Bxh6, below, so what?

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There are a lot of playable moves for black here but I was thinking 23...Nxc4, not seeing at all 24 Bg7!

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