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Murray Chandler vs Michael Adams
Hastings (1989/90), Hastings ENG, rd 2
Scandinavian Defense: Panov Transfer (B01)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-09-02
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Is this gambit sound?! It must be, because GM Adams is no slouch.

Amazing how Adams gets a superior position against White in just a few moves!! I love it.

Jun-09-02  refutor: it's not really a gambit, adams wins the pawn back with interest. 3.c4?! trying to hold on to the pawn is not the best way to meet 2. ... Nf6 in my opinion. the line i play is 3.d4 Nxd5 4.c4 gaining a tempo and opening up lines for development
Jun-11-02
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Very interesting. Even after your 3. d4 move (clearly a more sound approach) Black still has some interesting resources. The Sicilian (my current reply to 1.e4) is very difficult to play, and I've been looking for a good 1.e4 defense, and maybe this is it. Time for some home preparation!
Jun-14-02  atripodi: how would you characterize this opening? it seems really defensive. also, i think i like the 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.nc3 Qa5 variation better
Jun-14-02
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: I've heard a good things about the dynamic 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6 line.
Jan-03-03  GregorMendel: By move 18, Black is down materially but nevertheless owns White. All of White's pawns are isolated and/or doubled, and cannot stand.
Jan-04-03  drukenknight: why the exchange of queens here: wouldnt 7 Qe2 be the typical response if you were playing a kings gambit?
Jan-04-03  ughaibu: White also can play 4. d4 transposing to the Panov-Botvinnik Attack.
Jan-04-03  refutor: sneaky...did you ever take up the scandinavian defense? there is a very good book on the ...Qd6 variation and it is a very sharp line.
Oct-14-04  themindset: although adams definitely got the edge out of the opening due to white's dubious handling of the 2...Nf6 scandinavian, i felt that he threw it away with 14...Bc5 a move that not only creates two iso pawns, but also lets white exchange his ineffective dark-squared bishop. so i checked with crafty, and it looks like white *could* have taken the initiative with this fairly straightforward line: depth=16 1/26 +0.81
15. Bxc5 bxc5 16. Rb1 Na5 17. Ng5 Rhe8 18. Rb5 Nb7 19. Be2 a6
Oct-15-04  whithaw: Actually, 3.c4 was fine for white, probably even the best. White went wrong with 4.dc6, where 4.d4 is a much stronger move, and after black plays 4...,cd5, the position has transposed into a panov-botvinnik attack in the caro-kann. I have played the position after 4.d4 several times.

I am not sure what chandler was aiming for with 4.dc6, but I am sure that he realized that he wouldn't be able to hold the pawn.

Oct-27-04  themindset: <withaw> never occured to me that it could transpose like that... very interesting.
Jun-13-07  2021: This game was played in Hastings 1990/1991 not 1989.
Aug-21-08  zluria: Topalov showed a good way to handle this opening vs Kamsky in Topalov vs Kamsky, 2006. Kamsky was just making his comeback, and didn't have his openings down pat yet, so he was trying out some unusual stuff. Toppers ignored the gambit and played simply: 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nxd5 4. d4 with c4 a few moves later, and got a great game without any trouble.
Mar-01-15  saintdufus: <refutor: it's not really a gambit, adams wins the pawn back with interest.>

It's most definitely a gambit. After 4...dc Black has sacrificed a clear pawn. Maybe Black will get the pawn back (which it took Adams almost 20 moves to do), or maybe Black will transform the material minus into some other kind of plus; but it's a bona fide gambit either way, as Bronstein pointed out.

As for whether the gambit is sound, in his book *The Scandinavian* GM John Emms puts it this way:

"Black is bound to have sufficient compensation, particularly as the squares d4 and d3 are so vulnerable. As a result 4...dxc6 is witnessed only very rarely at the highest levels, and I imagine that even this game was simply an attempt by Chandler to get Adams into uncharted territory."

Mar-01-15  Retireborn: I'm sure this game was played in December 1989.

The previous month Adams had used this line to beat Judit Polgar in a rapid game at the Barbican Festival (game not present here.) Judit preferred 4.d4 cxd5 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nf3 Be7 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Bd3 to reach a standard QGD position.

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