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Vladimir Bagirov vs Karen Grigorian
"Cat's Out of the Bagirov" (game of the day Sep-01-2008)
URS (1976)
Nimzo-Larsen Attack: Indian Variation (A01)  ·  1-0



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Given 35 times; par: 51 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Jack Kerouac: Now Karen as a Russian name is male I take it: though I might expect Karin is the more familiar version. And don't forget to read 'The Subterraneans' between training sessions;)
Sep-01-08  CrystalFrost: Bagirov simply blocked each of his choices one by one Seems to be that he foresaw it way before the end
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I'm confused. It seems that the position after 30. c4 was a Saturday puzzle back in May 2004.

But Fritz 11 finds at least four winning lines from that position:

30. bxa4 bxa4 31. g4 Rxf4+ 32. Kg3 Rxg3+ loses a shedload of material or 32. ... Rf6? 33. g5+ Kh5 34. Rh8 and black has no real defence to the threat of Rxh7#.

30. bxc4 bxc4 31. g4 then continue as above.

30. g4 Rxf4+ then continue as above.

30. b4 (as played in the game)

Stunning zugwang, but it seems that it was not the only way to win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <Jack Kerouac: Now Karen as a Russian name is male I take it>

Grigorian is Armenian.

Sep-01-08  apple pi: Beautiful - amongst the most perfect zugzwangs ever - on the level of Saemisch - Nimzowitsch immortal game!
Sep-01-08  Davolni: Bagirov must have been a strong player back then, because Karen Grigorian was doing fine those years I think, draws with Spassky, Petrosian, nice wins over Tal...

interesting zugzwang indeed!!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Rare is it,in an open game that black has ten pieces and ZERO good moves.

Most zugzwang situations happen in endings or very cramped positions.Here is a very rare exception.

Sep-03-08  symmer17: This position is beautiful. That takes amazing ability to see that on the board,
Apr-10-14  Sihlous: Great game...As mentioned above this is up there with the "Immortal Zugzwang Game" of Nimzo's.
Mar-15-15  kamagong24: great game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: No credit for me; already knew this one. Pity—if solved, would have scored 7/7 for the week.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Predrag3141: This was presented as puzzle of the day starting with White's 22nd (Rae1). The first move was obvious. On seeing the defense, 22 ... Qf6, so were White's moves through 27 Ne3 (though the notes prefer 27 Na5). What I didn't realize was just how good this was: complete paralysis.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Predrag3141: An amusing way for Black to lose is 27 Ne3 Kh5 28 Bf3+ Kh6 29 Bg4 Bxg4 30 Nxg4+ Kh5 31 Nxf6+, and White will be up a rook and a piece. Black can do better than 29 ... Bxg4, but the capture on f6 *with check* made me chuckle.
Jul-19-20  Walter Glattke: "And in a deadly race, came from outter space"...Rae1 and Flash Gordon arrives as Re7. Chess Horror Picture Show, "all weapons!"
22.Rae1 bxc4 23.Re7 Qxe7 (Rg8? Bxg8) 24.Rxe7 Flash Gordon approaching. Rg8 25.Bxg8 Kxg8 26.Qxg7# or 26.Rxg7 winning, too. So, 21.-Qf6 or, too late 22.-Qf6 23.Nxd6 Qxc3 24.Rxc3 wins 2 pawns, or 23.-Qxd6 mating.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black threatens bxc4.

The open e-file and the pinned black knight suggests 22.Rae1:

A) 22... bxc4 23.Re7 Rg8 24.Bxg8 Qxg8 (24... Kxg8 25.Qxg7#) 25.Rxg7 Qxg7 26.Re8#.

B) 22... Rb7 23.Bxb7 Bxb7 (23... bxc4 24.Re7 Rg8 25.Bd5 wins) 24.Re7 Rg8 25.Rxb7 bxc4 26.Ree7 Qf8 27.Rf7 wins.

C) 22... Rf6 23.Re8+ Qxe8 (23... Nxe8 24.Rxe8+ Qxe8 25.Qxf6#) 24.Rxe8+ Nxe8 25.Nxd6 wins.

D) 22... Qf6 23.Qxf6 (23.Ne5 dxe5 24.fxe5 Qf2+ 25.Kh1 Bh3 seems to win for Black) 23... Rxf6 24.Na5 followed by Re7 and Nc6-d8 looks very good for White.

Jul-19-20  devere: An amazing game. I don't know which is more exceptional, Black's hogtied position, or the comically bad annotations from Stockfish 9. This might be the very rare game that humans immediately understand but the computer has trouble with.
Jul-19-20  Brenin: After 27 Ne3 (better than SF's suggestion of 27 Na5, which is answered by 27 ... b4, threatening freedom with 28 ... Rb5), Black's only hope is 27 ... c6 28 Bxc6 Rf7, e.g. 29 Bd7 Bxd7 (30 ... Rd7 31 Ng4+ with mate to follow) 30 Rxb8, coming out a pawn down but with some compensation.
Jul-19-20  areknames: <This is an amazing Zugzwang.> After almost 12 years I echo that sentiment, <An Englishman>.
Jul-19-20  areknames: Also a delightful pun for this great game, who is the author?
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Strangled! Wonderful game. white proceeds with 32.kf3 and 33.g4.

horrible opening by black, giving white all of the open files and diagonals.

Jul-19-20  stacase: White's useless Knight is being attacked. So why should White defend the useless? Why not threaten a strong attack? So line up the Rooks and have at it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Predrag3141: <Brenin: After 27 Ne3 (better than SF's suggestion of 27 Na5, which is answered by 27 ... b4, threatening freedom with 28 ... Rb5), Black's only hope is 27 ... c6>

Can you restate this? ... c6 is not a move here.

I do agree that 27 Na5 is not as good as 27 Ne3, just based on what Stockfish suggests would happen after 27 Na5. Zugswang is not easy for computers.

But the suggested defense 27 Na5 b4 runs into 28 Nc6. Then after either 28 ... Be6 or 28 ... Ra8, White wins a piece without allowing counterplay. An attempt at counterplay with 28 Nc6 Ra8 29 Ne7 Bb7 30 Rxa8 Bxa8, expecting 31 Bxa8 Re6, fails to 31 Ng8+.

Jul-19-20  Brenin: <Predrag3141>: Please ignore my posting about 27 Ne3 c6: in playing through the game on a pocket set to see the build-up to the problem position, I forgot to play 20 ... c5, so I was looking the wrong position, where Black had a pawn on c7 rather than c5. What I wrote was nonsense.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Keys wick it was lit in up rae1 rf6 fort no?
Premium Chessgames Member
  cormier: better is 7...Re8 8.d3 Nc6 9.Nbc3 Nd4 10.h3 c5 11.f4 b6 12.f5 = -0.08 (24 ply
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