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Lajos Portisch vs Aleksandar Matanovic
Solidarity Tournament 2nd (1968), Skopje / Ohrid YUG, rd 5, Jul-??
English Opening: Agincourt Defense. Neo Catalan Declined (A14)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-18-03  Alchemist: Uhhhh.... well I saw Nb5 was a good line, but calculating it out as a win and to completion? Good lord.

I'm gonna see what Fritz has to say about all this.

Oct-18-03  unclewalter: interesting...so today it's find the move that doesnt lose...
Oct-18-03  Alchemist: Just as I suspected, Chessgames is putting us on. Funny stuff. I hate to say it but Nb5 does not provide a decisive advantage, black is worn down by good play and lost due to a series of blunders later in the play.

This is a joke. You had me trying to calculate for nearly a half hour. You should have saved this for April 1st.

Oct-18-03  Alchemist: <find the move that doesnt lose>

Not in this case. Nd5, while not a great move, leads to equality according to Fritz anaylsis.

Did anyone else just have one of those panic moments where chess no longer made sense?

Oct-18-03  euripides: I don't think White is losing after 13 Qxd8+ Qxd8 14 Rfd1- the small material disadvantage should be outweighed by the massive advantage in piece activity. White could also try 13 Bxe5 Qc5+ 14 e3 Rxd1 15 Rfd1 when Black cannot take the knight because of a back-rank mate, but White's pieces then look very loose.
Oct-18-03
Premium Chessgames Member
  chessgames.com: Oddly, White has an extra piece in today's puzzle. The point of this problem is to find the move that allows White to hang onto this extra piece. 13.♘b5! is the only move, to our knowledge, that does the job.

If anybody has an alternate move, we'll let crafty chew on it.

Oct-18-03  drukenknight: alchemist: if you were worried about jokes being played on you, you should never have taken up chess.
Oct-18-03  crafty: 13. ♕xd8+ ♕xd8 14. ♘xe5 ♕b6+ 15. e3 ♕xb2+ 16. ♔g1 ♘bd7   (eval -1.57; depth 14 ply; 500M nodes)
Oct-18-03  Alchemist: Dk, not sure i understand, but there are so many baseless chess metaphors I disregarded them entirely a long time ago.

Cg, you might want to take off the text that says, "White to play and win", so you save these guys the headache that this one gave me. Maybe change it to "Find the best move" for today.

I'm fairly new to the board so I did not know that you post problems like this. I apologize if I misinterpreted your intent in thinking that it was some sort of joke.

Oct-18-03  Shadout Mapes: This is obvious revenge because SOME PEOPLE (i won't name names) decided to trash yesterday's problem.
Oct-18-03  Woodpusher: In my opinion White has a strong plus after 13.Nb5!, and every other move I look at seems to lose outright. This is a devious problem and I think that "White to play and win" is the perfect caption.

Does somebody have another idea besides 13.Nb5! and if not what's all the fuss about?

Oct-18-03  Woodpusher: 13.Bxe5? Ng4+ looks good for Black
Oct-18-03  Alchemist: 13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.Bxe5 Qxc4 15.Rc1 Qg4 16.Bxd5

(with a slight advantage for white)

The difference between this line and Nb5 is a mere point. Where do we draw the line? What if the difference had been a tenth of a point? Certainly neither line is decisive so it is incredibly confusing when one is looking for a decisive combination. Any analyst looking at the position would say that there are chances on both sides. The fact that white won was only coincidental to the fact that he played Nb5.

I don't want to be a stick in the mud about this but a major virtue of analysis in play is recognizing the truth of a position, and accepting it. This is indeed contrary to the accepted standard for problem composition.

Oct-18-03  mrvertigo: I remember riding down to nationals in 90 and reading a book that well, had bobby fischer's name on it, and it was whites/black's best move. I don't know if that's the best strategy in general; chessgames takes it to the decisive point, and frequently 1500s or so can find the move in 5 seconds. Often the winning moves are before the problem, but it's usefull to know the patterns of a crushing position so you can create them.
Oct-18-03  drukenknight: Shout it out Mapes, that was funny.
Oct-18-03  crafty: 13. ♘d5 ♖xd5 14. ♗xd5 exf4 15. ♗f3 fxg3+ 16. hxg3 ♘bd7 =   (eval 0.16; depth 12 ply; 500M nodes)
Oct-18-03  Alchemist: Indeed, solving a problem and creating a position worthy of a problem are separated by several degrees of magnitude. In this case the game was decided by a series of small blunders, 11...Bxf2 was a small blunder (about a 1.5 pt loss) and black's lack of initiative lead to his position slowly being compromised by solid play, but the largest blunder was 37... Qb1 (almost a 6 point loss)

The decisive blow in this game was actually 38. Rg5, and certainly the position after 37... Qb1?? would have been the appropriate choice for a "White to play and win" problem.

Oct-18-03  Bears092: <chessgames.com>

Looks like you're right.
Nb5 is the only move CM 9000 gives a positive value for

Oct-18-03  ongyj: All I think is that this puzzle isn't very direct to see. Anyone think that 14...Qc5+ is playable(which i doubt so since it isn't played) erm so why not?
Oct-18-03  thesonicvision: that was not "white to play and win."

" interesting...so today it's find the move that doesnt lose... "

^ *nods*

Oct-18-03  mrvertigo: thank you for the challenge chessgames. Throw more of these curveballs in every now and then.
Oct-18-03  skakmiv: ongyj: Qc5 Be3?
Oct-18-03  Alchemist: <Throw more of these curveballs in every now and then>

Please don't, this is a different genre of problem from the great ones that we all know and love, bravo to chessgames for all of the hard work they do in preparing these problems, but in the future a different caption would be more forward.

Oct-31-03  sleepkid: Nb5 isn't an obvious move, but it is the refutation of Black's piece sacrifice, and leads to a lasting advantage for white, which, with correct play, can be converted into a win. Therefore the caption "White to play and win" is perfectly acceptable here. The caption "White to play and achieve a strong advantage" would just be silly.

Don't be bitter just because you didn't see it. Not all of these problems have to lead directly to mate you know.

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