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Miguel Najdorf vs Gideon Stahlberg
Zuerich Candidates (1953), Zuerich SUI, rd 10, Sep-15
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Alekhine Variation (D67)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-14-05  Poisonpawns: A truly beautiful game by Najdorf,perhaps his best 55.Bc6+ was a brilliant way to end the game.A nice example of accumulating small advantages,it was obvious stahlbergh was trying to draw but Najdorf would have none of it.This game is a definite jewel.
Nov-17-06  BlueMooner: A marvellous bishop versus knight endgame, and as Poisonpawns points out the winning move 55 Bc6+! was stunning. A gorgeous deflection sacrifice to promote one of Najdorf's doubled f-pawns to win the game. An excellent demonstration of a bishop/knight imbalance which features in Pachman's 'Modern Chess Strategy'.

However, I am sceptical that this is Miguel Najdorf's "best" game; strong for sure but not great. Black played a very tame Queen's Gambit Declined; choosing the Lasker Variation to little effect. And again I would agree with Poisonpawns, that Shalberg seemed very keen; almost desperate for a half yet Najdorf played a strong strategic game capped with some delightful tactics in the endgame.

Jul-21-09  superstoned: Bronstein considered Stahlberg's endgame play 'careless' and inaccurate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Stahlberg's decision to offer the exchange of queens was criticized by several commentators as the bishop will give White the advantage in the endgame. 19..Nfd5 would have been a more active defense. 28..f6? was a completely unnecessary weakening of his position. Despite the weak defense that Black had played Najdorf still felt Stahlberg could have drawn with 30..Ke7 31 Rc5..Kd6 32 Rc1..c5 mobilizing his queenside majority. Najdorf could have played 33 f5 directly; by delaying it a move he gave Stahlberg the opportunity to play 33..f5 34 h4..h5 35 Rg1..Kf6 easing his defense but he missed this chance. 37..c4 38 Be4..Rc5 39 b4 would have been no improvement for Black (this tactical point provides an explanation for Najdorf's 36 a4!). The game was adjourned after 46 Ra1; Najdorf's clever maneuvering had led to him gaining the a-file and he calculated that his game was now winning by force. 48 Rb8..Na4! 49 Rxb5..c3 50 bxc..Nxc3 would have given Black drawing chances (if 51 Rxb7?..Nxd5). If 49..Rc5 Bronstein gives 50 Ra7+..Kf8 51 Rf7+..Ke8 52 Be6..fxe 53 Rxg7..Nd4 54 Kb4..Nxe6 55 fxe and wins.

<superstoned: Bronstein considered Stahlberg's endgame play 'careless' and inaccurate.>

?? This must be phony - it is not in Bronstein's book. His final comment to the game is "A beautiful game by Najdorf!".

Mar-07-13  zoren: <plang>: it's stated after move 28 that he regards Stahlberg's endgame play as careless.

While the finish is pretty, I find moves like 30.Rh5 to be more attractive in its subtlety, inducing an itchy player like Stalhberg with no clear plan to push all his pawns.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jbennett: I'm doing a series of videos on the Zurich 1953 tournament. For round 10 I selected this game to cover:
Jul-11-22  tbontb: An impressive combinative win where after the time-control move 45....Nb7 Black is suddenly lost, as noted above. Surprisingly, 45....Rc8 would limit White to only a small advantage. It seems Black's endgame efforts to defend actively with his Q-side majority largely compensate for his earlier inexact play.
Premium Chessgames Member
  nizmo11: Bronstein to move 45.Rc1: "Najdorf is cautious 45...b4 and 46...c3 was the threat".
But he and Najdorf both fail to mention that Black could have played b4 earlier inthe game (42...b4!) after which his position looks still quite decent.
Jul-12-22  utssb: <plang><28..f6? was a completely unnecessary weakening of his position.>

<zoren>< it's stated after move 28 that he regards Stahlberg's endgame play as careless.>

Yeah, that was a ridiculous positional mistake that completely changed the nature of the game. I really don't see what White does after 28...Nf6 considering there's no g-pawn to push. if 29.e4 then you always have ...Re8.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Reading the section of <Modern Chess Strategy> which featured this snippet beginning with Stahlberg's 28th move was a learning moment for me as a ~1500 player; by no means did I view it as:

<.... a ridiculous positional mistake that completely changed the nature of the game.>

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