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Frederic Lazard vs Vera Menchik
"From Russia With Love" (game of the day Jun-10-2006)
Paris (1929), Paris FRA, rd 7, Jun-??
Bird Opening: From Gambit (A02)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: White's 25. Rxf7 is the losing blunder. White sees that 25...QxQ and 25...RxR lose for black, but he fails to look for and calculate black's best and most obvious response 25...Qxh4+.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Menchik's gambit treatment of the Bird is good strategy. Typically, Bird players want a positional game in a Dutch reversed. Playing 1. ..e5 in response to 1. f4 changes the dynamic to a black tactical initiative. After 1. f4 e5 2. fxe5 d6, white has the uncomfortable choice of playing 3. exd6 Bxd6 and giving black a strong attack for the pawn or going into the setup in this game, which gives black easy equality. According to the opening explorer black wins 63.9% of the time after this sequence.

After 1. f4 e5, white's best response is 2. e4 transposing into a king's gambit, where white wins 45.4% of the time and black wins only 38% of the time, with 16.6% being draws, according to the Opening Explorer.

Of course with many of those games being historical, and modern masters finding many improvemnts for black since the gambit's heyday of popularity, including Fischer's self-proclaimed "refutation," I suspect the king's Gambit is today about an even gamble for either side.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Black's 18. ..g6! is a good move. Fritz 8 calculated 18. ..g6! 19. cxd4 gxh5 20. Qxh5 Rxd4 21. Rae1 Rxd3 22. Rxe5 Rd5 23. Bf6 Rxe5 24. Qxe5 Re2! Black is winning here as white cannot simultaneously defend the double threat of 25. ..Rxb2 or 25. ..Qxg2#.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jaime gallegos: patzer2 if you remember Spassky vs Fischer, 1961 Bobby lost this game played in Mar del Plata and it was an accepted King Gambit!
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <jaime gallegos> I have seen it in my copy of "Bobby Fischer's Favorite Games." As I recall it was after this loss to Spassky in 1961 that Fischer did his analysis and came up with the "Fischer Defense" in the King's Gambit Accepted, which goes 1. e4 e5 2. f4 ef 3. Nf3 d6 as Fischer's self-proclaimed "refutation" of the King's Gambit. I notice Kasparov and Keene in BCO refer to it with a foot note as "Fischer's Defense or Fischer's Bust," proceeding to declare the line with best play an unclear position.
Sep-28-03  Hoozits: Okay, it's late on a Sun. afternoon, so I could just be seeing things, but doesn't RxR win a rook outright?
Sep-28-03  crafty: 25...♖xf7 26. ♕h8+ ♖f8 27. ♕xf8+ ♕e8 28. ♕xe8+ ♖d8 29. ♕xd8#   (eval Mat04; depth 7 ply; 5M nodes)
Sep-28-03  Sylvester: It's weird to see Crafty's analysis for a game so old.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <jaime qallegos> The game to which we were referring was Spassky vs Fischer, 1960 and the name of the book is Fischer's "My 60 favorite games." See the kibitzing to this game for a link to Fischer's "refutation" of the king's gambit.
Sep-29-03  drukenknight: looking at white's 18th, how does black respond to c4? Dont the B keep harassing R and pawns?
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <drunkenknight> How does black respond to 19. c4? Black plays 19. ..Rd7 and maintains a solid advantage.

Fritz 8's analysis goes 19. c4 Rd7 20. Rf6 Rd6 21. Bf3 Nxf3 22. Qxf3 Qxf3 23. Rxf3 Rd7 24. Bf6 Re8 25. g4 h6 26. b3 Bd4 27. b3 (-1.16 @ 16/44 depth and 740k/Ns).

If the Bishop tries to harass the rook, Fritz gives 19. c4 Rd7 20. Bg4 f5! 21. Bf3 [21. b5 Nf6 22. Bh6 Rfd8 23. Be2 g5 24. b5 qd6 25. Qd2 Nd4 ] Nxf3 22. Qxf3 Qxf3 23.Rxf3 Re8 24. b4 Bd4 25. b5 Kc8 26. Be3 c5 27. Bxd4 Rxd4 28. Re1 Kd7 29. Kg1 and black is winning (-1.59 @ 15/35 depth & 722kNs).

Your suggestion of 19. c4 is not altogether without prospect, but the problem is that white's a pawn down already, in a near lost position. Given white's poor position after 18. ..g6!, your idea of 19. c4 may be as good a chance as any to create complications and hope for an error by black. Yet, against best play, black still has a solid (and probably winning) advantage.

Sep-29-03  drukenknight: well I thank you, pat, for doing the computer work on that. At least I didnt spend much time on it. Then again I guess Fritz probably spent 0.02 seconds on it.

Well a few minutes for me and 0.02 seconds for Fritz, I guess it is all the same.

So where did black mess up? What was the thinking behind 15...Rf8? It seems to me that black must start getting his pawn storm going on the K side, just hit the B w/ a pawn.

But maybe black is like Petrosian he does not like to pawn storm.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <drukenknight> You are welcome. I think white first erred by letting black steal the initiative in this by playing the early gambit offer. If I were white, I would not hesitate to play 2. e4 here and transpose into a King's gambit. If nothing else, it is a good psychological ploy against a back player hoping for an easy initiative against the Bird--and the King's Gambit, although double edged and tactical, does not give black such an easy initiative.
Mar-23-06  halcyonteam: <Hoozits> Beware of backrank mate by Qh8!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Vera was originally from Russia, later became U.K. citizen. Hence the game pun :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I think white gets a decent game after 25. Rae1. The continuation might be 25...Qxe5 26. Rxe5 Rd7 27. Bf6, winning back the ♙. If instead 25...Qxh5+ then 26. Bxh5 Rxh5+ 27. Qh2 Rxh2+ 28. Kxh2, and white has an exchange for two ♙s.
Jun-10-06  dakgootje: Obvious pun, just had to wait when and for what game they would use it
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: You guys missed it!:The opening is called:The From Gambit-1 f4 e5 2 fxe5 d6. It is a highly speculative variation of the Bird's opening.

The game was very good-white captures the queen-only soon after to give it back by force,and end a piece down. The feeble back rank threat was the last straw-white went down quick and hard.

Jun-10-06  CapablancaFan: It's so funny because at first 25.Rxf7 looks like a solid move due to the fact that Ms.Menchik seemed to be tied down due to back rank mate threats which is why I'm sure Mr.Lazrd must have nearly fallen out of his chair after 25...Qxh4+! After the ensuing exchanges and white is "forced" to return the queen it is only then to white's dismay, it is he that is going down a piece! Really, white could have resigned after 28...Rxf7. The remaining moves are pointless.
Jun-10-06  neosystems: I would have liked a pun dealing with "Aloe Vera" better. :P
Jun-10-06  Knight13: Very nice! Nothing else, I guess.
Jun-10-06  Rocafella: After black's fourth move we get to a Petrov, with a weak f-file for white, it was obvious which way this was going.
Mar-11-11  Morphischer: I would've tried 15.Nxh5 and if 16.Bxd8, then 16.Nxg3+!

if 17.hxg3 then 17.Qh6+ 18.Kg1 18.Nf3#
or 17.hxg3 17Qh6+ 18.Qh5 18.Qxh5+ 19.Bh4 19.Qxh4+ 20.Kg1 20.Nf3# or 17.Kg1 17.Nf3#

Although white should play 16.Qxh5 then 16.f6

Feb-20-12  Oceanlake: Welcome to the Club, Frederic.
Feb-16-14  sfm: What a trap. Sly lady! She knew perfectly well what she was doing when she played 24.-,Qe4.
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