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Laszlo Szabo vs Pal Benko
"Pin Pal" (game of the day Jul-26-2014)
Hungarian Championship (1951), Budapest HUN, rd 6, Nov-11
Sicilian Defense: Fischer-Sozin Attack. Leonhardt Variation (B88)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-21-05  MidnightDuffer: Excellent pin performed by Benko in this 1951 Hungarian Championship game to guarantee victory;

In the book, "Winning with Chess Psychology" Pal relates how he was in a friendly argument with Yuri Averbakh about Boleslavsky's book on the Sicilian; Benko says, it does not mention the Najdorf variation at all? How can this be??? "Averbakh insisted that the variation was in the book." The variation was in the book, but not under that name.

Benko writes this anecdote:

"Which reminds me of a joke they tell in Hungary. At a technology exhibition in Moscow, every great invention on display from the telephone to the internal combustion engine is identified as being invented by "Ivan Ivanovich Ivanov." Near the exit is a large portrait. "Is that Ivan Ivanovich Ivanov, the man who invented all these things?" asks a visitor. "No," replies his friend. "That's the man who invented Ivan Ivanovich Ivanov."

Jan-21-05  Saruman: Why not take the draw with 26.♕f6 ♖xd4! 27.cxd4 gxf5 28.♕g5+ ♔h8 29.♕f6+ with perpetual?
Jan-21-05  Saruman: Perhaps Szabo was so interested in winning that he forgot Benko's resources completly!The ♕ manuever with 28.-♕c7 29.g3 ♕c6+ 30.♖5f3 ♖e1! 31.♖xe1(♕h6?? ♕xf3+! ♔g1 ♖xf1#) ♕xf3+ 32.♔g1 ♗a7+ 33.♗d4 ♕xc3!!...Is very instructive.
Jan-25-05  Saruman: Do I miss something or can white play play 23.♕e5? f6 seems to be the only move (-♗f6!? ♖xf6! gxf6?? ♕g3+ ♔h8 ♗xf6#). If black responds with 23.-f6 his pawnstructure would be weaker. And to sac the exchange with 23.-♖xd4 doesnt seem very attractive. Note that after 23.-♖xd4!? 24.♕xd4 ♖d8?? fails to 25.♕xd8+! ♗xd8 26.♖xd8#. Perhaps the most important variation would be;

23.♕e5 ♗f6!? 24.♖xf6! ♖xd4!? 25.♕xd4 gxf6 26.♕xf6 and white remains on top.

Jan-25-05  Saruman: Of course 23.♕e5 <f6> remains to be analyzed. After that black seems to hold on; atleast for the moment.
Jan-04-13  m3ph1st0s: Why not 27.Qh6 forcing winning an exchange? What's the problem with 27...Rxf6 28.Rxf6 I don't see any threat
Jul-26-14  RookFile: 27....Qb6+
Jul-26-14  plumbst: <m3ph1st0s> 27...♕b6+! forks the bishop and king. 28. ♗d4 ♖xd4! wins a piece after 29. cxd4 ♕xd4+ 30. ♔h1 gxf5 and the black queen guards the perpetual.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I don't understand 29. g3 at all. 29. Qh6 would have forced black to give up the exchange or a ♗ for a ♙ to avoid mate.
Jul-26-14  The Last Straw: <al wazir> After 29. ♕h6 black can play 29...♕xh2+! 30. ♕xh2 ♗xh2.

That probably still would have been better than what was played though.

Jul-26-14  sushijunkie: Nasty!
Jul-26-14  morfishine: Interesting game though apparently White missed a lot
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I think this one falls into the category of "hey, I thought I was the one doing all the attacking?".

It's a theme we often see in the Sicilian. White often gets the first attack right from the opening or the early middlegame, but if this doesn't work then he often has to suffer a black counter attack in the late middlegame or ending.

It's a bit like the ancient tale of Sir Gawain and the Green knight, which I am sure you will all remember. It starts ...

SIÞEN þe sege and þe assaut watz sesed at Troye,

Þe borȝ brittened and brent to brondeȝ and askez,

Þe tulk þat þe trammes of tresoun þer wroȝt

Watz tried for his tricherie, þe trewest on erthe:

Hit watz Ennias þe athel, and his highe kynde,

Þat siþen depreced prouinces, and patrounes bicome

Welneȝe of al þe wele in þe west iles.

Okay, maybe it's not a story best told in the original!

Anyhoo, the story is that King Arthur and his knights were dining in Camelot one day ... somewhere between the fish course of salmon cooked three ways and the main of pan-fried suckling pig with a beetroot and balsamic jus ... when into the dining room rides a fabulous knight.

He's a big bloke, this knight, sitting on top of a big 'orse. But the most unusual thing about him is that he is almost totally green. His armour, hair, skin, even the aforementioned 'orse. All green. A bit like the Northern Ireland soccer team. Without the 'orse.

Anyhoo, the green knight challenges the best knight in the room to a game of chess - with the green knight playing the green side of the Sicilian (1...c5). The proposition is that one of the Arthurian knights can pick up his sword and take a free hit on the green knight's unprotected head. In return, the knight playing white must visit the green knight's castle one year later and let the green knight have the same free chop at his noggin.

Only Sir Gawain is brave enough to take up the challenge. He hefts his mighty broadsword and chops the green knight's head clean off. A bit like Dirty Harry's magnum. Only without the magnum.

At which point the green knight calmly picks up his head and says "righto, I'll see you in a year's time for my turn".

And that's the essence of the Sicilian. Black says ... you attack first. I'll take my turn later.

Here white seems to be doing well until black starts to make mate threats. Fritzie finds several slightly inaccurate white moves which progressively shift it from a small white edge to equality to a humungous black advantage.

The errors (if we can call them that) are very subtle - 27. Kh1 (better was 27. Rff1), 28. Ref1 (Rff1) 29. g3 (Qh6 or Qh4). Basically, white has to realise that his attack has stalled and bring his pieces back to the defence of the kingside.

But maybe that's a lesson for us all. One day a green knight will wander into your life and offer you a free sword chop at his head. At that point you have to realise that he wouldn't have made that offer unless he had some devilishly cunning plan.

What's that? You want to know what happens to Sir Gawain? Perhaps that had better be a story for another time.

Jul-26-14  goodevans: This is the tale of 3 pins. Benko's pins first on the ♖f3 and then on the ♗d4 won him the game, but earlier Szabo's pin on the ♙g6 constrained his queen to the g-file and rendered moves like <26.Qf6> and <29-Qh6> unplayable.

Poor Szabo. Even his own pin conspired against him!

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: An extremely exotic sac!!! Queen forking rook and bishop on the bias.
Jul-26-14  rickycota: After 23, 24 White becomes like a first timer trying to mate like if it were a blitz. No vision in those moves
Jul-27-14  Rookiepawn: <m3ph1st0s: Why not 27.Qh6 forcing winning an exchange? What's the problem with 27...Rxf6 28.Rxf6 I don't see any threat>

Watch out:

27. Qh6 Qb6+ followed by Rxf6 and Black swallows the WB.

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