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Anh Dung Nguyen vs Joshua Waitzkin
Wch U18 (1994), Szeged HUN, rd 8, Aug-08
Four Knights Game: Spanish. Symmetrical Variation (C49)  ·  0-1



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Given 20 times; par: 82 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-20-03  Plasmatics: I'm no expert, but I 38. ... Qxh1 seems better.

This was in the World Youth Championship match.

Feb-20-03  Bears092: With just a few seconds to analyse, it looks all right.

Mind you, this was just about when time pressure came around.

Feb-21-03  Plasmatics: Actually, Waitzkin himself says he went into a deep think here analysing Qxf2 and that Qxh1 is actually absolutely fine. Just two consecutive huge blunders.
Oct-21-03  Jack21221: This game is analyzed by Waitzken on the Chessmaster 9000 CD. He calls it the "psychological connection." He and his opponent were so involved in thinking about whether or not trading queens was a good idea, and where to trade, that the both overlooked this. He goes on to say that he didn't see Qxh1 until after the game. Nguyen saw it right away. He grabbed his jacket and left.

Waitzkin also says that if he HAD noticed Qxh1 after the fact, he may have ended up drawing, or maybe even losing the game, after that psychological hit.

I think that every one of us has at one point done something similar. We go into such a deep think on one line, that we overlook the obvious win.

Nov-15-04  chessslayer: yes deep thinking can some times get you into a over looking move ?
Oct-29-06  Gbness: I would think after missing something so obvious as Qxh1 that I too would just blunder away the game. Much as I admire Waitzkin's play, though... this really is incredible in the bad kind of way.
Nov-11-07  GameGod123: 38 ... Qg6??? ?. Are you joking? I gave it three exclamation marks, because it's more than just a blunder, it's a disgrace. 39. Kd2 was weak as well: it let Waitzkin back in to the game. After 39. Qf1!, Waitzkin would have no hope.
Nov-11-07  mrsaturdaypants: 39.Qf1...Qxc2+ 40.Ke1...Qxc3+, followed by a queen exchange, and when Black plays Rg5, he's up 3 pawns, with no weaknesses he can't cover. Looks like a win for Black to me.
Jun-15-08  ravel5184: I know how he feels (see instructive game No. 4 on my profile)
Mar-29-09  Eisenheim: just played guess the move on this and was stunned when 38 Qf2 and the reply 38 ...Qxh1 did not occur. Back and foth blunders. 38 Qxh1 leaves no counter-play, white a rook down and having to resolve the king queen pin. he can reconcile it any way he likes and OTB its a lot different than study, but it is an ugly miss
Feb-25-10  Moonwalker: I too just played this on guess-the-move. I went for 37.…♕g2+ intending to exchange queens. When white played 38.♕f2 I spent an unhealthy amount of time looking for a trap that wasn’t there! Finally, bravely, I chose the reply 38.…♕xh1 taking the en prise ♖. Now when Waitzkin played 38.…♕g6 I thought I had fallen for a trap then I realised that guess-the-move’s engine (Toga, I think) rated ♕xh1 at 3 points; as good or better than the game continuation. In this case I think it was definitely better! I’m glad to see top chess players making mistakes which are abundant in my games! I wonder what Nguyen - who saw his blunder straight away, according to <Jack21221> - was thinking when Waitzkin made his 38th move! OTB psychology is a funny thing!
Nov-20-10  jmactas: I think it's safe to say that move 38 was neither of these players best moment.
Feb-12-11  SetNoEscapeOn: <Gbness: I would think after missing something so obvious as Qxh1 that I too would just blunder away the game>

The thing is, Josh didn't realize he missed it until somebody told him after the game!

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