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Natalia Pogonina vs Valentina Gunina
"La Niña" (game of the day Aug-13-2012)
Russian Championship Superfinal (Women) (2012), Moscow RUS, rd 5, Aug-07
Caro-Kann Defense: Advance. Short Variation (B12)  ·  1-0



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find similar games 24 more N Pogonina/V Gunina games
sac: 37.Nxg5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-07-12  beenthere240: Entertaining, gutsy attack. Congratulations, Natalia!
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: That's quite a leap towards the championship.
Aug-07-12  sofouuk: chess is hard - move 38, black to play

click for larger view

38...Kf8? allows white to leave the queen hanging, with check, in order to initiate the fantastic king hunt with rooks and bishop

instead after 38...Kf7! black not only survives - 39.Qh7+ Ke6 41.Qg8+ Kd7 42.Qxd5+ Kc7

click for larger view

- but ends up having the better chances. there are no perpetuals and white's naked king makes her position very difficult to play

Aug-08-12  LoveThatJoker: This is a tremendous win for and by Natalia!

She kept the balance throughout the game, jumped at her chance when it presented itself, and went with it all the way to secure victory.

An awesome and determined display of winner's mentality!


Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Fun game indeed!

I have video annotated it here:

Aug-10-12  OBIT: In <kingcrusher's> interesting video, his chess engine pretty much barfs all over Pogonina's attack. I think it's time we melted down all these chess engines.
Aug-13-12  Abdel Irada: A very pretty attack, but so far I'm unable to find a win after 40. ...♘d6. This is still a fairly superficial analysis, so I may well be wrong.

Can anyone demonstrate a refutation?

Aug-13-12  xthred: <obit> Agreed. I'm the least knowledgable here but it seems engines have little to do with playing the game.
Aug-13-12  Snehalshekatkar: So.. was that 33rd move by black a blunder?
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: I'd say <1...c6> was a mistake :-)
Aug-13-12  goodevans: <Abdel Irada: ... so far I'm unable to find a win after 40...Nd6. ... Can anyone demonstrate a refutation?>

Black has no good reply to <41.Bxd6+>, although <41...Rxd6 42.R1g7+ Kf6 43.Rf7+! Kxf7 44.Qh7+ Kd6> does at least put up some resistance.

As for demonstrating a refutation, the shear number of variations combined with the fact that I'm already late for work precludes this. Instead I'll provide the following link where you can see how long you can hold out: +Pogonina+%28colours+reversed%29">

Aug-13-12  Abdel Irada: <goodevans>: Point well taken. That's me all over: Analyze every move except the obvious one. :-S

In that last variation, however, I do have one question: How does Black's king move from f7 to d6?

On a more serious note, I don't think 43. ♖f7 is the strongest continuation. Far clearer looks 43. ♖g6, ♔e7; 44. ♕h7, ♕f7; 45. ♖6g7, when White wins the queen as soon as Black runs out of rook checks on the e-file (i.e., when the white king reaches g5), and will mate within a few moves.

Thank you, however, for pointing up the flaw in my thinking.

Aug-13-12  goldenbear: Why not 31.Rxf5? I guess if 31.Nxf5, then 32.Rxg5+, but I don't see anything wrong with 31.Rxf5.
Aug-13-12  vikram2791: Instead of 21... Nf8, Black could have tried the manouver Nb8 to c6.
Aug-13-12  lzromeu: This game is a tribute to the Olympic Games.
Black king take the victory lap on the board.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The pawn is chased to the corner of death.
Aug-13-12  sambo: <goldenbear: Why not 31.Rxf5? I guess if 31.Nxf5, then 32.Rxg5+, but I don't see anything wrong with 31.Rxf5.>

I was wondering the same thing...

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: If 31..Rxf5, then 32. Nf3. After 32... Kf8 33. Nxh4 gxh4, white has a double-barreled shotgun pointing at the black ♔.
Aug-13-12  goldenbear: <al wazir> I was think 32.Ng6 as the reply to 32.Nf3. Is there something I can't see?
Aug-13-12  waustad: Am I imagining things or have people started launching pawns earlier than they used to in pre-machine part 20th century? I see this some in the 2700+ games we see so much and a lot more in 2400-2600 games. I think they are following computer lines.

I didn't start taking chess seriously until I was in my 20s, but I don't recall people being that willing to create weaknesses like that in those days. OK Petrosian was WC so going for the throat wasn't as popular, but I like the aggression I see in women's chess.

Aug-13-12  waustad: Clarification: I was in my teens during Petrosian. Spassky was already champion when I was 20.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Where does the pun come from? El Nino was a hurricanE, I think, which caused devastation in the Caribbean area a few years ago. How does this link with Natalie Pogo.....wait, I think I have it--nice pun! (Heckuva storm, N.P.)
Aug-14-12  Jim Bartle: "El Niño" is an ocean current, when the direction reverses and brings warmer water to the coast of South America, and a lot of devastation. "La Niña" is the cold water version of the change in currents.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<OBIT> I think it's time we melted down all these chess engines.>

Yes, by all means. Let's continue to praise those who played unsound attacks because the defender was not able to see the refutation(s) of the attack.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the game a lot and I am a big fan of Ms. Pogonina. Her attack provided her with good practical winning chances in a game which her opponent, under pressure, failed to find the best defensive/counterattacking moves. But that's what playing OTB is all about, a compromise between consistently finding the best moves and a relatively short time to do so.

And this has nothing to do with engines. I'm sure that strong players analyzing the game, with as much time as they chose to devote to the analysis, would have found better and possibly winning moves for Black without any engine assistance. But that doesn't mean that those same strong players would have found those same moves OTB with the clock ticking. And finding better moves after the fact doesn't detract in any way from Ms. Pogonina's achievement.

Apr-03-19  spazzky: 37 Nxg5! a stunner, leaving the queen hanging with check
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