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Nikolai Vlassov vs Anatoly Terekhin
St Petersburg op2 (1994), St Petersburg RUS
Scandinavian Defense: Modern Variation (B01)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-09-12  Abdel Irada: <Once>: I submit that if Fritz likes 8. ♕d3, it proves that this is the kind of position that engines don't evaluate well. White is already behind in development, and to impair his ability to bring out his queenside pieces by blocking the advance of his d-pawn is not only artificial, but likely to prove costly when he finds himself unable to hold off a counterattack on the kingside.

Because there are no immediate, concrete targets or objectives, engines may tend to evaluate such moves as sound, but most really strong human players would look at them askance. (Granted: Vlassov is rated 2400, which means at least one reasonably strong senior master did consider the idea playable, but I think this makes him the proverbial exception that proves the rule.)

Oct-09-12  zb2cr: 21. ... Qxh2+ and it's mate in four, all forced.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black is a pawn down.

White threatens 22.gxh4.

The rook on e5 and the bishop pair can control a number of squares near the white king. This suggests 21... Qxh2+, opening the h-file for that rook: 22.Kxh2 Rh5+ 23.Kg2 Bh3+ 24.Kh1(2) Bxf1#.

Oct-09-12  James D Flynn: White is a pawn up but the Black pieces are poised to uncover his K. First thoughts: 21…..Re2 forces 22. gxh4 Bh3 threatens Bg2 mate which can be answered by 23.Rg1 or by sacrificing a piece on e3. 23.Rg1 now I thought of Bg2+ 24.Rxg2 Re1+ 25.Rg1 Rxg1# which doesn’t work because the Q on a5 controls the e1 square. I liked this idea so much I spent time trying to make it work by changing the move order and playing Rae8 to no avail. However, this is only a Tuesday puzzle and there is more than one way to sac a Q. Second thoughts after normal morning routine: 21……Qxh2+ 22.Kh2 Rh5+ 23.Kg2 Bh3+ 24.Kh2(or Kh1) Bxf1#. 4forced checks and that is mate. That’s more like the answer to a Tuesday puzzle.
Oct-09-12  Djoker: Qxh2+ and it's over.
Though I looked at Qxg3 also like <xthred>. But in that with material loss I guess white can escape with Nf6+
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The queen sac leads to a quick mate by rook and bishops.
Oct-09-12  BOSTER: Almost all his life <white > tried to <hold> extra pawn on d5.

It is difficult imagine what he did to keep your <treasure>: he misplaced the queen, moved many times by bishop, forgot about the development ,weaked king's position, even he didn't want to exchange it for e6.

When his love disappeared,he understood that all live was a big mistake.

Oct-09-12  Marmot PFL: <BOSTER> Well said. it could also be that one or both players was drinking heavily at the time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Abdel Irada> We must be very wary of playing chess on autopilot. Yes, in the abstract, a move like 8. Qd3 makes little sense. It locks in the queenside, commits the queen too early ... all the good stuff you read in beginner books.

But each position must be judged on its merits rather than assessed on generalities. The idea behind Qe2-Qd3 is to protect the d5 pawn. If it works, white stays a whole pawn ahead. And that is worth a little effort and temporary discomfort, no?

According to opening explorer, the Qe2-Qd3 idea occurs in just three games in the database. Two draws and one black win. So that's not a great showing for the idea (admittedly from not a huge sample). But then let's take a look at the three white players who thought this was worth a try: Vlassov, we already know. Federov, right at the beginning of his career in 1974.

And the latest showing for this move? Ahem. Viktor Korchnoi in 2005 (a draw):

Korchnoi vs V Beim, 2005

I'm not saying that Qe2-Qd3 is a good idea. I would feel distinctly uncomfortable playing it. But my contention is that it is not so odd when you understand why it was played. And if one of the strongest players never to become world champion thought it worth trying, who are we to argue?

Oct-09-12  Abulherar: very cool ♕ sac on tuesday.
White can't do anything to stop the mate after 21...♕xh2+!
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Advantage right at i 21...Qxh2+ heck in bush whack h2 bin jolly pawn

all gold for Terekhin a reel it you in rope re strike at similar to

yesterdays puzzle a tag heuristic in tub thump queen ti ar 22.Kxh2

rh5+ in beckoned he too sacs AI forth eleph Bxf1#.

Oct-09-12  master of defence: If I´m not wrong, black wins with 21...Qxh2+ 22.Kxh2 Rh5+ 23.Kg2 Bh3+ 24.Kh2(h1) Bxf1#. Maybe 21.Bf4 was better than 21.g3.
Oct-09-12  db5500: Could someone please explain to me why 10.... c6 is not a good move? Thanks
Oct-09-12  master of defence: <db5500> Maybe because of 11.dxc6 bxc6 12.Qxc6+, winning a pawn.
Oct-09-12  pogotheclown: Qd3? Dafuk?
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: After the Q sac on h2, the Black bishop sitting at home on c8 is going to play a critical role!

What a nice finish.

Oct-09-12  Abdel Irada: <Once>: You can name all the best players in FIDE and say they once tried a move like ♕d3, and you can argue forever that the move fortifies the d-pawn, but you will not convince me that it's wise to stymie one's one development.

Perhaps the results — even granted the limited sample size — should be allowed to speak for themselves.

From my own experience, I know that in playing Slav lines as Black I have sometimes been very successful in taking and holding the pawn on c4, with seemingly minimal positional distortions required to achieve it, but some intangible factor in the resulting positions has almost always led me to a bad outcome.

Granted: computers are changing the way we think about chess, and they sometimes do succeed with moves that human players would find ugly and artificial. But principles exist for a reason, and one day, stronger programs may find reasons why the current ones are on the wrong track.

Time will tell ... being the dirty tattletale it is.

Oct-09-12  Nullifidian: 21... ♕xh2+ 22. ♔xh2 ♖h5+ 23. ♔g2 ♗h3+ 24. ♔h1/h2 ♗xf1#
Oct-09-12  Abdel Irada: In my preceding post, read "own development" for "one development."
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Abdel Irada> Principles and chess understanding evolve. After all, there was a time when the world thought that openings like the sicilian and the kings indian were poor because they went against the chess principles that were current at the time. Now they are accepted and better understood.

We can close our minds and dismisss new ideas or we can at least take a look at them. When I see a move I don't understand played by a strong player, my first reaction is to try to figure out what his reasoning was.

Oct-10-12  Abdel Irada: <Once>: Here I understand the reasoning. I merely disagree with it.

Actually, though, we're not entirely on opposite sides of this question. I, too, think theory will continue to develop; the only difference is that I think eventually we will come to a better appreciation of the "intangibles" that make moves like ♕d3 suspect even when well motivated.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I'm not so sure. The positional disadvantage of Qd3 is temporary. The queen can move again, freeing white's queenside. White's plan is to exchange off the minor pieces (ie one or both of black's pair of knights) and only then to move his queen to a more sensible spot. And in the meantime white enjoys the cramping effect that the d5 pawn has on the black position.

The other intangibles in the position are that black has already taken liberties by playing the scandinavian. He has given up a pawn presence in the centre and, in the "modern" variation, temporarily sacrificed a pawn which he may or may not get back.

Against a more aggressive opening, say a sicilian or open game, a move like Qd3 blocking in a pawn would be highly suspect. But we need to adjust for the more passive nature of the scandinavian. In this context, it makes considerably more sense.

Oct-10-12  Abdel Irada: <Once>: If there's one adjective I would not have applied to the Scandinavian Gambit, it is "passive."

If it is sound (and although this remains inconclusive, it seems probable), Black should be able to recover the pawn. Typically, the modern "best" way to play against such a gambit is to maneuver patiently and return the pawn as advantageously as possible. The worst thing to do, as several of our recent POTDs and GOTDs have illustrated, is to make heroic, positionally distorting (even if only "temporarily" so) attempts to retain the extra pawn. It is then that brilliancies ensue for the gambiteer.

As in times past, so today: "For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own life?" And how many times have we seen this proposition proven over the chessboard?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: So never accept a gambit pawn? You play a very different version of chess to me. Enough. I'm done.
Oct-11-12  Abdel Irada: <Once>: No. I never said not to accept the gambit pawn.

My counsel is to accept it, and then return it at the proper moment to obtain a positional edge in exchange for it.

What I consider suspect is not taking the pawn, but making heroic efforts to hold onto it.

The distinction is what we see between modern variations of the Queen's Gambit Accepted (although, in fairness, they still crave but have not obtained full equality) and the attempts of yesteryear to keep a firm grop on the gambit pawn at any cost.

Of course, there is always room for differing understandings of this principle and how to apply it. In that diversity of interpretation lies much of what makes chess human and interesting, rather than a sawdust-dry recitation of "perfect" play.

In this case, as so often happens on these forums (particularly on the Kenneth Rogoff pages), I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree.

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