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Vernon Albert Small vs Oscar Panno
"Winning an Oscar" (game of the day May-21-2013)
Thessaloniki Olympiad (1988), Thessaloniki GRE, rd 5, Nov-18
French Defense: Tarrasch Variation (C03)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <iron maiden> A candidate for your Zugzwang collection. Black is helpless.
Dec-28-06  iron maiden: Nice one, <Benzol>, thanks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Not really a Zugzwang though. It's not that Black is forced to move and fatally weaken his position, but that he is tied up and helpless against the advance of the b pawn. Very good win by Small though.
Jun-09-09  newzild: Vernon beat GM Panno? Way cool.
Feb-22-12  wordfunph: Big win by Small!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Panno has suffered through this before: Keres vs Panno, 1955
Premium Chessgames Member
  profK: Great game by Vernon. Very instructive Rook and Knight configuration to avoid.
May-21-13  The Last Straw: The rook and knight are quite strong.
May-21-13  ounos: Huh. Black's position at 35 can't be losing. Seems he was in a must-win situation for some reason, because he ignored various easy draws there.
May-21-13  RookFile: Should he have tried 35... Nxe3?
May-21-13  PaulLovric: <<The Last Straw <The Last Straw The rook and knight are quite strong.>> is that because g8 is covered by the knight and the black rook can not move from the back rank??
May-21-13  shivasuri4: <PaulLovric>, yes, that's right. Also notice that the black knight is stuck on g7 since moving it would allow Rh7#.
May-21-13  PaulLovric: <shivasuri4:> AAAAAAH, THANKS i did not even look at that pesky square, no wonder my OTB games ARE so bad
May-21-13  ounos: <RookFile> not sure about Nxe3, black shouldn't be in a hurry, white doesn't threaten anything, nor the white bishop is going anywhere.

It is completely mysterious why black gave the g5 pawn. He could just play 35. ...g4, followed by h5, and see the plan of white. Just these little improvements before trying to force things, would make all the difference in the outcome of the game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Good game! I played Vernon once. He was the NZ Champion at one stage.
May-21-13  PaulLovric: <Richard Taylor: Good game! I played Vernon once. He was the NZ Champion at one stage.> Richard, hello from across the ditch, you never mentioned the result against Small
May-21-13  Abdel Irada: This pun is deplorable.

Nothing in this game suggested anything to do with acting or the Academy Awards, or even with misdirection and deception, so the only interpretation seems to be that Small "won" (defeated) *Oscar* Panno.

Already there are far too many children (and some "adults") who misuse "won" in this illiterate manner. Puns such as today's will only encourage them.

May-21-13  newzild: I used to work with Vernon at the New Zealand Herald. We were both reporters there. Vernon still works in journalism in NZ, mostly writing about politics.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: black is in virtual zugzwang;if the knight moves,the Araboian mate at h7 follows;if the rook moves off the back row,the mate is back row-f8. All white needs to do is move pawn to b7-then Nd7-then take the rook or queen the pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: a little change:before Nd7,move the rook to c7 to keep the pawn defended
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <PaulLovric: <Richard Taylor: Good game! I played Vernon once. He was the NZ Champion at one stage.> Richard, hello from across the ditch, you never mentioned the result against Small>

Hi.I lost but it was an interesting game.

On Monday night last, I beat ex (2012) NZ Champion FM Mike Steadman. My second victory (I won a game against him in 2008) and I was about to give up chess! Mind you Mike has been out of form, but then so have I!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Panno lost another game in a similar manner over 30 years previously. Again, it would be incorrect to call it a Zugzwang, because Black was tied up an helpless against threats as opposed to being forced to move and lose. Keres vs Panno, 1955
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: B Harper vs R Zuk, 1971 is a better candidate for Zugzwang, since white will be forced to move Qh3 putting it en prise to a P. Here too, even if White could pass, Black could win by capturing all Q-side Ps with a N, but the inability to pass accelerates the loss considerably.

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