BtM 14A: Thunderclap Newman

February 1989, Position D


Black to play
???

Contributions are welcome in the comments box. I’ll reply with what the Masters have to say about their choice to anybody who suggests a move.

Scroll down to see some commentary from me and the Masters’ feedback.

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There’s queen sacrifice in the air today, but I’m not sure it’s right


"... Nxd5. Inspired by Bronstein (or more recently Piket), I feel that this is the best chance for Black. Other moves give White much the better position."
- IM Paul Littlewood


Littlewood is talking about the famous Samisch KID queen sacrifice played by Bronstein against Spassky from the 1956 Candidates’ tournament and resurrected by Piket in the mid 80s. If this Beat the Masters had been published a few months latter he’d have cited Seirawan as an influence, the American GM giving the queen sac a punt against Gazza himself at one of the most important tournaments of 1989. 

Fun times.

It’s a pity Bronstein’s idea doesn’t really work.


Paul Littlewood’s recommendation notwithstanding, I’m not sure I’m hugely convinced by … Nxd5 in today’s position either. It might be fun to analyse but you get even fewer pieces in exchange for the queen than in BtM 3.
My choice was the considerably more prosaic … Qxd2. As it turned out there’s still a tactical point - which I totally missed - even here when you’re heading for an endgame.

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POINTS
10: ... Qa1+
8:  ... Qxd2+
7:  ... Nxd5
2:  ... Qd8

MASTERS
... Qa1+: Conquest, Levitt, Davies, Flear, Howell, Pein, Botterill, S. Arkell
... Qxd2+: Suba, Kasparov Simultano
... Nxd5: Kosten, P. Littlewood

SOURCE
… Nxd5 Wiedenkeller - Hartman, Swedish League 1988


Comments

  1. Yesterday in the comments Jack wanted to sac his queen. Kosten and Paul Littlewood agreed.

    A bit more analysis from Paul:-
    1 ... Nxd5, 2 Qxa5 Nxe3, 3 Rd2 cxd4, 4 Nxd4 Nc5 "with good counterplay"

    the source game actually followed Jack’s suggestion of 3 ... a6 and then continued 4 d5 Rb8, 5 Na3 Rb4, 6 Re2 Bd4, 7 Rxe3 Bxe3+, 8 Kc2 "and in this completely lifeless position the players agreed a draw!" according to the editor.


    Adam FF wanted to go for ... Qa1+ which was the panelists’ top choice.

    Just like Adam, DAVIES gave 1 ... Qa1+, 2 Kc2 Qa4+, 3 Kb1 Nxd5, concluding "looks very dangerous for White."
    FLEAR went a bit further: 4 cxd5 Rb8, 5 Nc3 Qb4 "gives attacking chances"

    FLEAR thought my 1 ... Qxd2 to be "rather timid" on the grounds that the endgame was about equal but the middlegame gave Black chances to get the edge (although SUBA liked it).

    On the queen sac:
    FLEAR: "... looks optimistic ...."
    DAVIES: "... may not be quite as stupid as it looks ...."

    ReplyDelete

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