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Vladimir Dimitrov vs Kevin Spraggett
Ubeda (1996), Ubeda (Spain), rd 4
Scandinavian Defense: Portuguese Variation. Portuguese Gambit (B01)  ·  0-1



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Given 6 times; par: 25 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: 20...Rxd4! is a pretty shot worth remembering.
Mar-26-06  Jonber: Or you could say 20.Kg1? was a bad oversight by White. After all, it's not that difficult to see that 20…Rxd4 21.Qxd4 Rd8 wins material. Pretty much any move that keeps the king away from g1 (like 20.B2, 20.Qd3 or 20.Kf1) and White would keep his nice advantage.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: Fair enough, 20.Kg1 was a blunder, but after, say, 20.Bb2 a5 intending 21...a4 I don't see White, with his awkwardly-placed pieces (his Knight is doubly pinned) maintaining / obtaining any advantage.
Mar-26-06  Jonber: The pin on the knight is only essential to the evaluation of the position if Black can attack it in a meaningful way and, as long as White stays off g1 until his rooks are connected, I can't see how Black can do that.

More pertinent to assessment is White's extra pawn. A possible plan for White is to resolve the pin on the knight and then create a passed pawn on the a-file. For example after 20.Bb2 a5 21.Kg1 a4 22.Qf2 Nd5 (Or 22…axb3 23.Nxb3) 23.bxa4 Rxa4 24.a3 White has a fine game. Not quite winning, but certainly better then Black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: I think that the pin on the knight is relevant even if Black can't hope to win it, relevant because with the Knight unmovable and with other pieces tied down to its defense it becomes difficult for White to defend pawns, prevent a seventh rank invasion, etc. After 20.♗b2 a5 21.♔g1 a4 22.♕f2 axb3 23.♘xb3 ♖xd1+ 24.♖xd1 ♕xf2+ 25.♔xf2 I can't find a way for Black, with his back rank worries, to win back the pawn, although Black's pieces are still so active that I can't imagine White making any progress.

Having said that, perhaps in the above line Black can play 24...♕b8!?, e.g. 25.♗xf6 gxf6 and now 26.♘c1 ♕b1 27.♕d4 ♔g7 28.a4 ♕c2 or 26.♖b1 ♖a3 27.♕b2 ♕a7+. I don't see how White holds on to the extra pawn in these lines.

Mar-27-06  Jonber: The knight is only unmovable for the time it takes White to resolve pin and Black really doesn't have much he can do in the meanwhile. There might even be better moves available for White then Bb2; I haven't looked too closely at it.

I can understand that you have difficult seeing how White can hold on to the pawn, though I would have to say I feel some of the variations you give include unnecessarily weak moves for White. I don't think the life of the pawn is as bleak as you portrays.

But I also believe White is better even if Black should win the pawn. With the pawns all on one side of the board the knight will be just as useful, if not even more useful, than the bishop, and should the rooks come off the board the knight and queen will coordinate better than the bishop and queen. Add to that White's better pawn structure and, at least for now, extra pawn, and it seems clear White has an advantage. As I said, perhaps not a winning advantage, but it's certainly up to Black to prove the draw.

Some lines to consider includes:
26.f4 Ra4 (26...Kh8 27.Rd3 Qg8 28.f5 Bxb3 29.Rxb3 Qg5 30.Qc2 or 26...Qb4 27.f5 Qg4 28.Rf1 Bd5 29.Qd2 Bc6 30.Rf4 Qg5 31.g3) 27.Rd3 Qxf4 28.Qxf4 Rxf4 29.a3 Rc4 30.Nd4

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