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Gideon Stahlberg vs Vladimir Petrov
"A Weaker Shade of Pale" (game of the day Sep-20-2021)
Lodz (1938), Lodz POL, rd 11, Mar-30
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Spielmann Variation (E22)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-02-07  Autoreparaturwerkbau: Tricky in-between move.
Aug-19-07  sanyas: If 27.g4 then 27...fxg4+ 28.hxg4 c5!
Sep-20-21  catlover: Okay, so if 28. Rxe2 g4+ 29. Kf4 Rxe2. It would make a nice Monday puzzle.

I don't know if this line is typical of the Spielmann variation, but white came out of the opening with a cramped position. I wonder where Stahlberg went wrong.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Weaker/Whiter Shade of Pale...I give up. What's the pun?
Sep-20-21  areknames: What <OCF> said.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 26. g4 holds.
Sep-20-21  areknames: < 26. g4 holds.> After 26...fxg4+ 27.hxg4 h5 White is still busted.
Sep-20-21  ajile: White to play after 26.g4 fxg4 27.hxg4 h5

click for larger view

White can't avoid a pawn check on g4.
And if White moves the knight it's mate in one.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: <OCF> <areknames> "Whiter Shade of Pale" would have fit the game if White had won, here Black won so White is "Weaker".
It was a single by Protocol Harum whose name begins with "P", same as the winner's last name.
The lyrics say "One of sixteen vestal virgins", exactly the number of chess pieces. And "Then laughter is its queen", that's obvious enough. It was reported that Petrov laughed after winning.

Focus a bit please else we'll never make it.

Sep-20-21  Jamboree: <OhioChessFan: Weaker/Whiter Shade of Pale...I give up. What's the pun?>

All I can imagine is that the game was played in Lodz, which was on the western edge of the "Pale of Settlement," the area of Eastern Europe to which Jews migrated in the late Middle Ages -- plus that white played pretty weakly -- hence " Weaker Shade of Pale," instead of the Procol Harum lyric, "A Whiter Shade of Pale."

Or maybe I'm over-thinking it, and the explanation is much simpler. <Scratches head.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: <sanyas: If 27.g4 then 27...fxg4+ 28.hxg4 c5!> c5 is a great shot, blocks the WB diagonal allowing Rf8+ winning the WN with a devastating attack. If 29.Bxc5, Nxc5.

Following <areknames>'s and <ajile>'s comments it means White has no good defence after 25...g5. Actually White was lost after the BN settled on e4.

Sep-20-21  Brenin: Surely the pun is obvious: the melody of Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale" was adapted from Bach's "Air on a G String", and Black's win is based replying to the forced recapture 28 Rxe2 with g4+. What could be simpler?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: What a terrible pun.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: Coming back to this game which is quite interesting. Was wondering what <Autoreparaturwerkbau> meant by " Tricky in-between move", of course it's 27...Bxe2+ instead of g4+ winning a N.
After 28.Rxe2 g4+ 29.Kf4 Rxe2 Black is a R up with a strong attack on the Kside which the b8 R can easily join.

click for larger view

The threat is 30...Rf2+ 31.Ke5 Re8+ 32.Be7 Rxe7#
If 30.Kxf5, Kf7 threatening 31...Rf2+ 32.Kxg4 Rg8+ 33.Kh3 (Kh5 Rf5+ 34.Kh6 Rh8#) Rg3+ 34.Kh2 Rfxg2+ 35.Kh1 Nf2#.
If 30.Rf1, Kf7 followed by Kf6 or simply Rxg2 win (31.Kxf5 Ng3+). White is tied up.

Sep-20-21  offramp: Like the words of the song, the pun is meaningless.
Sep-20-21  tinnderbox: Looks like 10. Bxc6 was the root of all white's evil. Giving up your white squared bishop with most of your pawns on black squares just doesn't feel right.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I assume the pun is about nothing more than White's terribly weak light squares. Some very ingenious guesses from kibitzers though -- who knows?

Stahlberg was a great player, but he seemed to have some tendency toward this kind of positional misstep.

click for larger view

Stahlberg vs Taimanov, 1953

Sep-20-21  belgradegambit: Pun more fitting here
Benko vs Suttles, 1964
Sep-21-21  Cheapo by the Dozen: 10 Bxc6 looks doubly bad. <Tinderbox>'s reason is part of the problem. Another part is that led to developmental delays after ... Ba6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: While by no stretch of the imagination was I the calibre of either of these grandmasters in even my palmiest days, hard to imagine how any competent player would seriously consider 10.Bxc6.
Sep-21-21  offramp: <belgradegambit: Pun more fitting here Benko vs Suttles, 1964>

Probably two Suttles.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <areknames: After 26...fxg4+ 27.hxg4 h5 White is still busted.>

<ajile: White to play after 26.g4 fxg4 27.hxg4 h5. White can't avoid a pawn check on g4.>

You're both right. Thanks.

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