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Andre Lilienthal vs Miguel Najdorf
"The Emperor Wears No Clothes" (game of the day May-11-2010)
Saltsjobaden Interzonal (1948), Stockholm SWE, rd 5, Jul-22
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Saemisch. Capablanca Variation (E29)  ·  1-0



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Given 27 times; par: 34 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-26-04  patzer2: The move 17. Bxf7+ is the solution to number 1624 in the Batsford Encyclopedia of Middle Games (Demolition of Pawn Structure: Sacrifice on h7).

Note that if 19...Qc7, then White wins with 20. Qg4 with the idea of Rd2 to follow. If 19...Qc8, then 20. Rfe1 Nf6 21. Qg5+ Kf7 22. Rd6 is winning for White.

Oct-04-04  gadfly: Good sacs!!! Love that game.
Jul-20-05  aw1988: How about 19...Nd4 returning material?
Apr-26-06  acirce: Great combination. When playing 15.fxg7! Lilienthal, of course, had to see 17.Bxh7+! in advance because otherwise it's all pointless and Black is at least equal.
Aug-28-06  bleedingpack: <aw1988> According to Vukovic, 19...Nxd4 20.cxd4 cxd4 21.Rfe1! Nf6 22.Qe5 Kf7 23.Rxd4 and White wins.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Amateurs think mostly about things that they can see and touch - the number of pieces on the board, doubled and isolated pawns, the opponent's threats.

Great players think more about things that cannot be seen - open lines, tempi, vulnerable enemy kings, the initiative. Perhaps the space between pieces is as important as the pieces themselves?

Today's game sees Lilienthal sacrifice repeatedly to draw the black king into the open and rip away his pawn cover. In some ways. black's game falls apart because he doesn't have a defensive knight on f6 - the greatest defender against the greek gift sac.

May-11-10  Albertan: According to Deep Rybka 3, Najdorf should have played 14...Nxf6 instead of ...e5:

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And play might have continued:

15.Qc2 e5

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16.Bg5 h6

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17.Bh7+ Kh8

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Deep Rybka gives a bad evaluation to Najdorf's 19th move of 19...Qf6?! instead 19...Qc7 is better:

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Deep Rybka 3 evaluates Najdorf's 20...Kf8 poorly. Better is 20..Kg8: with this continuation possible:
(20... Kg8 21.Rxb7 Rd8 22. Rh7 Ne7 23. Re1 Ng6 24. Rxa7 Ng7 25. Qf3 Kh7 )

23...Rb8? was a mistake.

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Better was 23...Rc8 with this continuation possible: 24.Re1

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26.h3 Ne8

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May-11-10  kevin86: Black's demise is imminent
May-11-10  RandomVisitor: Adding to what <Albertan> has mentioned above, black has better 14th moves:

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Rybka 3:

[+0.23] d=20 14...Nxf6 15.Qc2 e5 16.Bg5 h6 17.Bh7+ Kh8 18.Rad1 Qe7 19.Bxf6 Qxf6 20.Be4

[+0.23] d=19 14...Qxf6 15.Qc2 Kh8 16.Rad1 e5 17.Bc1 h6 18.f4 Qe7 19.Rfe1 Qf6 20.Be4 Nd6 21.Bd5 Rad8

May-11-10  Chessmensch: <Once> Note the parallel with 2 Corinthians 4:18.
May-11-10  Chessmensch: This was a massacre. It's interesting that Deep Fritz 12's preferred ending is exchanging off all the pieces and cruising to victory with white's pawn majority (three unopposed pawns on the kingside).
May-11-10  screwdriver: Nice attack!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: This game won the First Brilliancy Prize.
Jan-14-17  Coutinho: <Once> Top that
May-16-19  Pyrandus: Tempi? (lat.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: The defensive formation with ..Ne8 was first played by Capablanca in his win over Johner at Carlsbad 1929. Three months before the current game at the World Championship tournament Botvinnik had played 10 Be3 against Reshevsky and Black had gone on to win; here Lilienthal tried 10 0-0 (today 10 e5 is considered to be the main line). It is not clear that 10..d6 is necessary; the standard plan is 10..Ba6 followed by ..Na5. Again 11..Ba6 looks like an improvement. 14..e5? allowed Lilienthal's brilliancy; either 14..Qxf6 or 14..Nxf6 would have been playable. 23..Rc8 would have been a tougher defense.
Jul-02-20  N.O.F. NAJDORF: I considered Rybka's suggested move

19 ... Qc7,

but then 20 Qg4 + should win easily.

Mar-31-21  vonKrolock: <19 ... Qc7, but then 20 Qg4 + should win easily.> Stockfish isn't enthusiastic about this possibility: 20...Kf8! 21.Rd7 Qe5! 22.Rxb7 Nd6 etc. On the other hand, it prefers 20.Rd5 etc but not with a killer attack (quick consultation)
Sep-29-21  Gaito:

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Black's Queen is under attack, and Najdorf moved it to f6, allowing a white Rook to invade the seventh rank with check. Of course, Black was already in a bad way and his King very exposed without any shield of pawns, moreover the invasion of a white Rook to the seventh rank was perhaps inevitable, but why allow Lilienthal to get his rook onto the seventh rank with tempo?

Maybe a better defense would have been 19...Qc7, for example: 20.Qg4+ Kf8 21.Rd7 Qe5 22.Rxb7 Nd6 23.Rh7 Re8 putting up a more sturdy defense. See diagram below:

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Sep-29-21  Gaito: In that hypothetical case, after the last diagram of my previous comment, there could have followed something like 24.Rc7 Na5 25.Rxa7 Naxc4 26.Qh4 Nf7 27.h3 Nd2 28.Qh7 Qd5 29.Rc1 Re2, and Black defends well. It is not clear how White could possibly make headway. Maybe White's best chance would be a draw by perpetual check. (See diagram below):

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Mar-30-22  cehertan: Or 19�Qc7 20.Rd5 Kg8 allowing Ng7 and again white is only slightly better. Of course we all should know these lines exist only in engine land�the chances of surviving this attack over the board against a strong GM are slim to nil.

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