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Vladas Mikenas vs Leonids Dreibergs
"A Real Vladas" (game of the day Dec-30-2020)
Kemeri (1939), Kemeri LAT, rd 2, Mar-05
Sicilian Defense: Pin Variation (B40)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Mikenas played brilliantly in this game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: If 10...♕xa4; 11.Nc7#

By move 14. I think Black's game is lost

18.e6 is a nice touch with the threat of 19.e7#

The third sacrifice of 21.♕xc6 shatters Black's resistance.

Feb-14-04  Catfriend: It's nice to see white's rooks sacrificed many times during all the game!
Feb-14-04  marcus13: My friend always play this opening 5.Bb4 and someone said me that it was inferior. Is that teh refutation. It seems like White is giving up the e pawn. Is there a trap.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: The Black player in this game might be Leonid Dreibergs. Can anyone help out on this.
Feb-25-05  Resignation Trap: <Benzol> The Black player in this game might be Leonid Dreibergs. Can anyone help out on this?

Dreibergs was born in Riga, but moved to Michigan after World War II. He won the Michigan championship in 1954 and 1955.

There are games from this Kemeri 1939 event listed as being played by Dreiberg , Dreiburg and Leonid Dreibergs . They were all played by the same person, who continued to spell his name Leonids Dreibergs after coming to the USA. He died in Saginaw in 1969.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Resignation Trap> Thanks mate. It was me that uploaded this game and I didn't make the connection with Leonid Dreibergs immediately.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: What an amazing game, full of surprises. Who would have guessed the Ra8 would survive until the end? Dreibergs seems to have completely misplayed the opening, which made his resourcefulness in defense that much more surprising. Almost don't want to know what the silicon monsters have to say about this game, because they might spoil the fun. But if they say Mikenas' attack was sound, *might* change my mind...
Dec-30-20  ajile: Fun game except 15.Nc7? Nb6 busts White's rook sac. White gets just equality after the more simple 15.Rd1.
Dec-30-20  Brenin: At the end, White threatens 32 Qe7#, and 31 ... Rxc7 32 Qxc7+ Ke8 33 Qe7# is no help. If 31 ... Kd7 then 32 Qe7+ Kc6 33 b5+ Kb7 34 Na6+ leads to mate in a few moves. If 31 ... Qe2 then 32 Ka3 and Black is helpless against the B joining the attack via a4.
Dec-30-20  Ironmanth: WOW! Not seen this one by Mikenas before. Unrelenting queen hunt and checkmate themes initially. Good defense by Black, but just a matter of time. Thanks, chessgames! Y'all stay safe, and have a renewed 2021.
Dec-30-20  offramp: <Ironmanth: ...Unrelenting queen hunt and checkmate themes initially....>

Yes, and what makes tense is that Black's queen is making threats of perpetual/repetition all the time. White had to be very careful.

However, towards the end...

click for larger view

23...Re1+ takes away White's threat of dxe8(Q)#. So that after
24. Rxe1▢ bxc6...

click for larger view

...Black has avoided immediate mate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <A Real Vladas>

Huh? Fail!

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <offramp> ...Black has avoided immediate mate.>

Yes, and not only has Black avoided mate but according to Stockfish 12 the best White could theoretically do is go for the draw by repetition after 25.Re2 Qg1+ 26.Re1 Qf2 etc. Or, Black could try for more after 25.Re2 Qd4 but there isn't anything more there according to Stockfish at d=35 with most moves pretty well forced: 26.Re8+ Kxd7 27.Re7+ (now White will eventually wreck havoc with Black's 7th rank pawns) 27...Kd6 28.Ne8+ Kxd5 29.c4+ Qxc4 30.Bxc4+ Kxc4 31.Nd6+ Kxb4 32.Nxc8 Rxc8 33.Rxf7 a5 34.Rxg7 Rd8+ 35.Kc1 Rf8 36.Rxh7 Rf1+ 37.Kb2 Rf2+ (returning the favor) 38.Kb1 Rxg2 39.Rh4+ Kc3 40.Rh3+ Kc4 41.Rh4+ and most likely also a draw by repetition.

click for larger view

And if White does not go for the draw by repetition he will likely lose. Stockfish evaluates the resulting positions after either 25.Rf1 or 25.Nxa8 at [-3.45] and [-3.78] respectively as theoretical losses for White.

Could White do better then 21.Qxc6 in the following position after 20...Nc6?

click for larger view

Not according to Stockfish. It considers 21.Qxc6 to be White's "best" move although at d=38 it evaluates it at [-6.67], still theoretical losing for White And it evaluates its other top 4 moves as also theoretically losing, with evaluations ranging from [-10.48] to [-13.33] after 21.exd7, 21.Qq5, 21.c3, and 21.Qb3 respectively.

Another position that intrigued me was 14...Qxf2:

click for larger view

Surely with White having a lead in development and Black's king exposed in the middle, Black can't afford to go pawn grabbing, can he?

Well, Stockfish as Black thought it could, evaluating the resulting position at d=35 after 14...Qxf2 as even, [0.00], after 15.Rd1 Nc6 16.Kb1 Qf4 17.Nc7 Qxe5 18.N3d5+ exd5 19.Nxa8 Nf6 20.b5 Ne4 21.Rd3 Bf5 22.bxc6 bxc6 23.Qxa7+ Kf6 24.Nc7 Nc3+ 25.Rxc3 Qxc3 26.Bd3 Qb4+ 27.Kc1 Bxd3 28.cxd3 Qc3+ 29.Kb1 Qxd3+ 30.Kb2 Qd2+ 31.Kb3 Kg6 32.Qb7 Qd3+ 33.Kb2 Qe2+ 34.Ka3 Qd3+ and a likely draw by repetition, although I'm not even going to attempt to determine possible reasonable alternatives to the move sequence above. It just seems too complicated and time consuming to do.

click for larger view

As far as alternatives Stockfish evaluated 15.Rd3 at [-0.53], with Black having a theoretically small advantage. It evaluated other top 3 moves; 15.Rd2, 15.15.Rd6, and 15.Nc7 as all theoretically won for Black at [-2.02], -[2.23], and [-2.28] respectively.

And indeed 14...Qxf2 seems to be Black's best chance. Stockfish at d=35 evaluated Black's other top 4 moves; between [+1.72] (White theoretically having a significant advantage) and [+4.03] (White theoretically having a winning advantage} after 14...Rd8, 14...a6, 14...Nc6, and 14.g5 respectively. From my patzer's perspective it must have taken Dreibergs having nerves of steel, not to mention precise calculation, to play 14...Qxf2.

All in all a fascinating game. Perhaps between 14...Qxf2 and 21.Qxc6 White objectively overreached since after 14...Qxf2 White could have theoretically drawn the game and after 21.Qxc6 he should have theoretically lost it. If I get the chance I'll try to analyze the positions between those 2 moves and see where Mikenas might have gone wrong.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Miss Scarlett> <A Real Vladas> Huh? Fail!>

I'm guessing that "Vladas" is a pun on "Vlad the Impaler", the supposed inspiration for the Dracula character. And, after all, Mikenas did indeed "impale" Dreibergs in this game.

As far as you "Fail" evaluation, that of course is a subjective call, and you may or may not change your assessment after making the connection between "A Real Vladas" and "Vlad the Impaler". If indeed that's what <Phony Benoni> had in mind.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: He ought to change his name to <Phony Punoni>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <A Real Vladas> I thought it was supposed to suggest "a real bad-..." (anatomical reference omitted due to posting guideline #1), common in American English but apparently not on <MissScarlett>'s side of the pond?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: I suppose I could have tried <A Tale of Three Cities>, but that would have fallen afoul of the Jane Austen Rule.

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