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Leonid Stein vs Vlastimil Hort
Los Angeles Interzonal Playoff (1968), Los Angeles, CA USA, rd 5, Feb-22
Formation: King's Indian Attack (A07)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-18-05  midknightblue: why not 22 ..Rxe5. I checked with fritz, and it says black has the edge with this.
May-18-05  Runemaster: <midnight> Very quickly and without a computer, I think the point of 22.Nxe5 is that once the White knight captures on e5, there will be an attack from the bishop on g2 against the Black bishop on d5. If Black ever recaptures on e5 with his queen, then White can play Nxc6. The upshot of all that is I think that White will win a pawn. In the game, Black tried something else.
May-29-05  midknightblue: Very good points, regarding the position. There are some pieces that could potentially be overworked on black's side if black is not careful. Nevertheless, the question remains, why not 22...Rxe5. There is no mystery to the hidden attack on the Black bishop at d5. In fact the whole point to 22... Rxe5 is to protect that bishop. The line would go something like this 22 Nxe5 Rxe5 23 Rxe5 Bxg2. It gets complicated. But the end result is that I believe black can make white regret his 22nd move, as black gets a nice edge. I studied the game with Fritz earlier, but I am at work now, and it is hard to visualize all the complexities, but I really dont think 22. Nxe5 is a good move. I believe in Dunnington's 3rd edition book on the KIA this move is covered (and even given an exclammation, if i recall correctly). I think the exclammation is unwarranted for the reasons stated above.
Premium Chessgames Member
  samvega: I don't understand: 22.Nxe5 Rxe5 23.Bxd5+ Rxd5 24.Qb3 Ne7 25.Rxe7 Bxe7 26.Qxd5+
Premium Chessgames Member
  samvega: Surely 39..Ne1.
May-31-05  dac1990: <Samvega> Actually, 24. ...Ne7?? is a blunder in your variation, as 26.Qxd5+ picks up the loose a8-rook. Better is 24. ...Nxb4!, where 25.Qxb4 hangs the a5-knight and 25.Ba3 Qxa5 26.Bxb4 Qa2! 27.Qxa2 Rxa2 28.c6 Kf7 29.c7 Nb6 keeps everything intact, analysis by Fritz.

39. ...Ne1 is terrible, and leads to the loss of the queen and checkmate shortly thereafter. 40.Qf6+ Kg8 41.Rg5+ Qg6 and Black can even play 42.Ba3 and the win is pretty forced from there.

Premium Chessgames Member
  samvega: Oops, for a moment 39..Ne5 just looked like an error in the gamescore (why not 40.Rxe5).

Funny, I remember considering 24..Nxb4 in that variation, but didn't like something, I think it was 25.c7.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: I am not sure but I guess that 22.Nxe5 Rxe5 23.Bxd5+ Rxd5 24.Qb3 was the reason why black did not take the Knight and that both GMs missed 24...Nxb4! 25.Ba3 Qxa5 26.Bxb4 Qa2! (covering the pinned Rook) which is quite difficult to find over the board. Of course, if you are not a computer...:-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  samvega: Thanks for that comment -- I thought dac's "24..Ne7?? in your variation is a blunder..." was a tad harsh. Then again, I'd probably say stuff like that too if I had Fritz...
Premium Chessgames Member
  pawn to QB4: There's a fascinating page-long discussion (well, I was fascinated) of 22.Nxe5 in Keene's "Leonid Stein - Master of Attack") which, among much else, goes down Honza's <24...Nxb4! 25.Ba3 Qxa5 26.Bxb4 Qa2!> line (and what a strong player Honza must be to find that IMO), figuring 27.Qxa2 Rxa2 28.c6 Ra8 gives possible advantage to White; but my Fritz (since I'm no Keene or Honza it was straight to the silicon) gives 28...Kf7 with advantage to Black. But Keene also looks at 22...Rxe5 23.Bxd5+ Rxd5 24.Qf3!? the suggestion of Alan Crombleholme, and here after much excitement there may be something for White. In any case, I'm all for taking risks and setting problems beyond the ability of your opponent as a valid way to win games, and Stein brought it off against a great master here. The ideas are such that, had Hort refuted it OTB he could have congratulated himself on a fine defence. It appears he assumed he'd goofed against a relatively simple unsound combination, and a pity that this seems history's verdict. The fate of similar efforts by Tal and others.

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