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Lawrence Day vs Pal Benko
"Christmas Day" (game of the day Dec-25-2004)
Continental (1980)
Sicilian Defense: McDonnell Attack (B21)  ·  1-0



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find similar games 3 more L Day/Benko games
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Well played. I like how you deferred the KN's development until the 19th move. What would you have done if Black had played 6...e6 or 6...e5? After 6...f5, can White succeed with the sacrifice g4, followed by h3? If yes, when?
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: Probably 6..e6 7. Nd2 or 6..e5 6.Nf3. It is hard to believe that White could be worse. But Wow! after Christianson's experimental 6..f5!? then your 7.g4!? looks like a really strong TN, better than what I played. I wish I'd thought of it at the time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: On second thought 6..e6 7.Nf3 reserving the Na3 option looks best. --ponder ponder..
Dec-25-04  vonKrolock: Excellent victory, <Lday> - i know from own experience how hard was to beat our Pal in those Days (ops, no pun intended) - In a blitz T i lost to him on time a hard fought Game, and in the same T had Benk√∂ kibiting my Game whith Ruth Cardoso - oh, this time i was very not-courteous...

thanks for the deep insights on this Game, surely i'll ponder over...

Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: Before this game I had lost to him twice, Lugano 68 and Lone Pine 75 and had a marathon draw in the last round of the 79 World Open where if either of us won we'd tie for first. That game went til after midnight and frustratingly resolved to K,R + g-pawn vs his K+R, a book draw. But all these GM's who had taken short draws with each other had to wait around to know how much prize money they were going to get (which was sort of amusing in a way). Then Pal fell asleep! A gentleman might have woken him up and proposed the draw, however I very quietly shuffled my Rook one square and gently pressed the clock. However after about ten minutes he awoke with still 15 minutes to go. Sleepiness eh, that was his weakness. This game was on the Sunday morning and the opening is similar to that WO game except no g3. He blitzed off the opening moves, including the dubious 6..Nf6 and 7..0-0 before getting a coffee. Aha! Finally I had him. Wrong coffee timing did him in.
Dec-25-04  Castle In The Sky: Great game. What a fun way to play the Sicilian, if your white that is. I've never seen this before, but I started studying the Sicilian recently and my beginner's mind tells me there is some similarity to the Levenfish Attack in the Dragon. Is there any accuracy in this comment?
Premium Chessgames Member
  mahmoudkubba: Did black starts with Birds opening to answer white first move? i.e. anti or reverse sicilian??

<Castle In The Sky>: why it is a dragon sicilian and how to continue the Levenfish Attack??

Dec-25-04  aw1988: Happy Festivus!
Dec-25-04  KampongBoy: Actually a form of Big Clamp or Pterydactol, both openings that Lawrence specialized in, he even wrote a book on the former! But, he would be best to tell you.
Dec-25-04  Knight13: Merry Christmas!
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: Likewise, Merry Christmas all, and don't let any bozo books tell you 1.e4 c5 2.f4 d5 3.Bb5+ ain't better for White.
Dec-25-04  kevin86: Nice ending-a storm on the kingside is interrupted for an exchange at b8-surprise ,it lures the queen away for the final shewer!!

Merry Christmas-the world was saved because-Mary had a little LAMB.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Mr. Day, I'm glad you like 7.g4, even if it isn't necessary to gambit the pawn in this move order. Of course, I have to give half-credit to this website--thanks to the pervasive and subversive influence of the Grob/Borg vans, it's not hard to imagine using g4/g5 in almost any position.
Dec-27-04  Castle In The Sky: <mahmoudkubba>in the Levenfish version of the dragon Sicilian white begins with a very early "f4" move which leads to an extremely sharp and highly tactical game where the slightest slip by either side,provided the other side knows what they're doing, will cost the game. I saw this game with "f4) being played on the second move as bearing a strong similarity to Levenfish variation games I have studied.
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: I gotta rush, but one big difference is that in the Levenfish there are already some trades in the center making open lines and chances for counter-play. In this game Black wants to open the center but can't effectively. Black's danger in the Clamp is always that he will have no play while White gradually moves in.
Mar-06-05  soberknight: This should be a Game of the Day with the attached pun "Game of the Day."
May-08-05  soberknight: omg, I'm such an idiot, it already WAS Game of the Day! Oops... (must wash egg off my face...)
Mar-06-07  atripodi: I wonder what the longest game is in which the winner doesn't move his king. In this one, Mr.Day moves neither his King nor his King's rook.
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: I castled at move 43 once, but didn't win: D Norwood vs L Day, 1989

Someone later tried to improve on Benko's defence:L Day vs Z Sula, 1984

Mar-06-07  TrueFiendish: <IMlday> Some time ago I saw your avatar, misread your handle to mean "IM one day" and thought: well, you'd better hurray. Now I can see that I've been rather silly... :-|
Premium Chessgames Member
  Willem Wallekers: it is a pun but it's dec 25 2004, not dec 24 2008
Dec-24-09  openingspecialist: sigh - would never have got it.
Feb-21-18  newzild: <soberknight> Another title could be "A Pal by Day".
Jul-18-21  pazzed paun: Sad that Benko never updated his skill set
He could have done well on the Senior Circuit
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Congratulations <IMlday> - sometimes I am feeling insecure by crude attacks in online chess, and this seemingly crude h-file attack seemed to work rather well indeed against a GM in long time control. I think this game is inspirational for the attacking player.
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