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Alexander Grischuk vs Vladimir P Malaniuk
TCh-RUS (2001), Tomsk RUS, rd 1, May-13
Italian Game: Two Knights Defense. Polerio Defense Suhle Defense (C59)  ·  0-1



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sac: 24...Nc2 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: realityczech46-tpstar0 (Yahoo 8/12/04): 9. Nh3 g5 10. d3 Bd6 (10 ... Bg7) 11. Nc3 Nd5 12. Bd2 Bxh3 13. gxh3 Nf4 14. Ne4 Nb7 15. 0-0!? Nxh3+ 16. Kh1 Nf4 17. Bf3 Rc8 18. Rg1 f5 19. Nxd6+ Nxd6 20. Bxf4 exf4 21. Qe2+ Kf8 22. Rae1 g4 23. Qe5 Rh7 and Black won (0-1).
Nov-22-14  computer chess guy:

click for larger view

Black went for 25. .. Nxd4, but .. Nxe1 looks like a better move. After 28. Kh1 (instead of Be4?), 29. Bc8 Qxa7, White seems to be able to hold.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: Apparently <ccg> is correct; white erred with 28 Be4. According to Stockfish The Computer, 24..Nc2 is best but not by that much, so maybe this should not be Friday puzzle material.
Jul-26-19  Cheapo by the Dozen: I agree with the previous commenters and the engine regarding the choice of capture with the knight. Black has formidable pawns in the center, one passed and somewhat advanced, while White has no evident offsetting advantages or counterplay.

I'm glad I didn't spend much time on this puzzle looking for more dramatic lines that weren't there.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White threatens Nxd4 and Nxc4.

I've considered Nc2, Nd3, Rxc4, Bxc4, f4 but only 24... Nc2 seems to have some expectancies. After 25.Nxd4 Nxe1 (25... Nxd4 26.Bg2 unclear) 26.Bd2 (26.Nc6 Nf3+ looks too dangerous for White) 26... cxd4 the central pawns should yield a significant advantage.

Jul-26-19  mel gibson: I saw that move.
Stockfish 10 follows the same line for a few moves but calls it a draw:

24... Nc2

(24. .. Nc2 (♘b4-c2
♘b3xd4 ♘c2xe1 ♗c1-d2 c5xd4 ♖a1xe1 ♖f8-c8 b2-b4 ♗a6xc4 ♖e1-c1 ♕g6-e6 ♗f1xc4 ♖c8xc4 ♕a4xa7 ♖c4xc1+ ♗d2xc1 ♕e6-c6 ♕a7-c5 ♕c6xc5 b4xc5 ♔g8-f7 a2-a4 ♔f7-e8 a4-a5 ♔e8-d7 a5-a6 ♔d7-c7 ♗c1-a3 e5-e4 ♔g1-f1 ♗g7-e5 ♗a3-b2 ♔c7-c6 ♔f1-e1 h6-h5 ♔e1-d1 ♔c6-c7 ♔d1-e1 ♔c7-c6) 0.00/38 187)

score 0.00 depth 38

Premium Chessgames Member
  NM JRousselle: My 1st thought was f4, but this is a really complicated position. Black must play well to hold the balance.
Jul-26-19  Damenlaeuferbauer: After long pondering, my old friend Vladimir, who passed away two years ago, finally played 24.-,Nc2!, but after 25.Nxd4 he missed 25.-,Nxe1! 26.Bd2,cxd4 27.Rxe1,Bb7 and black is better (Nigel Davies, Play 1.e4,e5!, Everyman, London 2005, p.114)! I analyzed 9.-,g5! together with Andreas Kuhn back in 1996/97 and still think this is the best answer after Steinitz'/Fischer's move 9.Nh3!? in the Two Knights Defense for black. One of Malaniuk's best games, may he rest in peace after such great games!
Jul-26-19  King.Arthur.Brazil: I didn't see anything better, so 24.♘c2 was mandatory. I confess that I looked at 25.♘xe1 but after 25...♗xh6 ♘f3+ 27.♘xf3 (gxf3? 28.♗xg7 ♔xg7 29. ♕d7+ ♖f7 30.♕d5 ∓) ♕xh6 28.♘h4 the position is not so good. Therefore, 25...♘xd4! and 26...f4! I found easy. After 28.♗e4 I looked for the sacrificy 28...fxg3 29.♗xg6 gxf2+ 30.♔f1 fxe1=♕+ 31.♔xe1 earns nothing! 28...♘f3+ is the best choice. White could tried 30.♕d1 or ♕b3 although this would not make things better. I don't see much difference between his move 30... ♕g4 or mine 30...♕h5 and after 30...fxg3 white can resign. a) 32.hxg3 ♕h3+ 33.♔g1 ♕g2# My move would not allow this possibility. b) 32.fxg3 f2! (33.♖f1 ♕f3#, 33.♖e3 ♗b7#) 33.♔g2 ♕f3+ 34.♔f1 fxe1=♕+ 35.♔xe1
♕f1# or 34.♔h3 ♗c8+ 35.♔h4 ♕g4#.
c) 32.h4 ♕h3#.
d) 33.♕b3 ♗xc4 (34.♕xc4 ♕f3#), 35.♔g2 ♗xb3 and the mate is near. I consider today puzzle as medium level.
Jul-26-19  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 d 24 dpa done

1. + / = (0.61): 21.Nb3 f4 22.Bd2 Rf7 23.c4 Nc7 24.Nc5 Qf5 25.Qe2 Bc8 26.Bc3 Rdf8 27.gxf4 exf4 28.d4 f3 29.Qe3 Rd8 30.Bd3 Qh5 31.Rac1 Qh3 32.Bf1 Qh5

2. + / = (0.57): 21.Bg2 c5 22.Nb3 c4 23.Nc5 e4 24.Rb1 Qb6 25.d4 c3 26.a3 Kh7 27.b4 Bc4 28.Be3 Nxe3 29.fxe3 h5 30.Bf1 Bd5 31.Qe2 h4 32.Qf2 hxg3 33.hxg3 Bh6 34.b5 Rf7 35.Be2 Qd6 36.Rf1 Kg7 37.Rbe1

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: A typically enterprising effort by Malaniuk. While computers may hold this for White, at the board it was doubtless far from easy to defend.

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