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Alexander Onischuk vs Oleg M Romanishin
"Break Oleg" (game of the day Jul-23-2008)
Montreal 4th (2003), Montreal CAN, rd 6, Jul-28
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical. Noa Variation (E34)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-30-05  aw1988: Romanishin knew that Onischuk had been drinking the night before, so he played Ra6 hoping Onischuk would think he was still drunk.

Seriously, it's probably an attempt to just return material.

Premium Chessgames Member
  samvega: 21..Ra6 defends against Bc4+, a fatal deflection.
Jun-30-05  aw1988: Oh! Good catch.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Some players see one move further, but Onischuk sees one trap further, "walking" into the snare 14.0-0,Nxe3 only to prove that he was the real trap-setter.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: For me, the interesting part of this game is around moves 14-16. Does white deliberately walk into a trap by allowing 14. ... Nxe3? Is the attack starting with 16. Nxh7 clear cut? Could black have defended better than his plan of swinging the c6 knight across to the kingside?

Looking at this cold, I could not get too excited about white's attack. Surely he does not have enough material on the kingside to succeed?

Fritz 11 seems to confirm. It can't find a clear win after 16. Nxh7. Either 16. ... Rd8 or 16. ... Kh7 lead to an equal position, with at most a slight edge to white.

So a crisp finish to the game, but I am not entirely convinced by the middlegame combination that started it all off.

Jul-23-08  Attrubal: In <16... Kxh7 17.Qh3+ Kg8 18.Bxg7> line Rybka suggest 18... Ng3 and it seems good enough for black.
Jul-23-08  eaglewing: <RonB52734: Why 21...a6??> Indeed! <samvega: 21..Ra6 defends against Bc4+, a fatal deflection.> and <aw1988: Oh! Good catch.>

Yes, but it gives away the small material insurance of an exchange. Could not 21. Qg6 b5 be the better defense against the deflection? Ra7 or Ra6 could still follow if the situation allows it. And the move b4 can disturb the Bc3, if Be2 is away.

Lines after 21. Qg6 b5:
22. Qh7 Kf8 23. Qh8 Ng8 (like the game)

A) 24. Nf3 Be6 25. Nxe5 Ra7 (maybe there is something for White) B) 24. Bh5 b4 25. Bf7 bc 26. Qxf8+ Ke7 27. Qxg7 c2 and a deadly check from d1 is not available, but maybe I overlooked something here, too.

Jul-23-08  dTal: This is a high class game by Onischuk with beautiful tactics.
Jul-23-08  patzer2: Fascinating game! The play after 14...Nxe3 15. Qd3! is so deep, I've got to suspect that this was a variation Onischuk might have prepared in advance.

It's interesting that we're finding improvements four years after it was first kibitzed on this site. Could that be because our computers and chess programs are now stronger?

Perhaps 15. Qd3! was intended to give Black a puzzle to solve, where he would have a chance to draw if he could find his way through the maze of variations, but would otherwise lose to Onischuk's tactical onslaught.

Jul-23-08  Another Englishman: Good Morning: A good defensive effort by black after 16.Nxh7! Interesting opening exchanges as well.
Jul-23-08  gandu: <Another Englishman> I am not so sure! Black should have played 16...Rf7. The text move was pretty bad.
Jul-23-08  HannibalSchlecter: Mind-blowing tactics. White played like a genius.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Great play by white! You can almost feel black's position crumbling.
Jul-23-08  Wassily: What is the idea behind 28. Qg5 ?
Jul-23-08  tatarch: 28. Qg5 looks like a quiet move, setting up the threats to follow with Re1. It's a move that you or I would probably not see, unfortunately.

Jul-23-08  guybrush: <What is the idea behind 28. Qg5 ?>

I think to keep the king trapped on the back rank, i.e., preventing Ke7...Kd8 and moving to safety.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: 28 Qg5 does not look like the optimal move. Much better is 28 Re1, seeing 29 Nd7+ with mate to follow.

click for larger view

Black has to play either 28...Kg8 or Be4, both of which lose ample material.

Jul-23-08  RandomVisitor: After 16.Nxh7
1: Alexander Onischuk - Oleg Romanishin, 4th It Montreal CAN 2003

click for larger view

Analysis by Rybka 2.3.2a mp : <23-ply>

1. (0.00): 16...Kxh7 17.Qh3+ Kg8 18.Bxg7 Ng3 19.Qh8+ Kf7 20.Bh5+ Nxh5 21.Qxh5+ Kxg7 22.Rxc5 Rh8 23.Qe2

2. (0.13): 16...Rf7 17.Ng5 Rf6 18.Rxf1 Rh6 19.Re1 Qe7 20.Qg3 Bd7 21.Bd3 Rf8 22.Bc4 Rd8 23.h4

3. (0.19): 16...Nxh2 17.Nxf8 Qxf8 18.Kxh2 Qe7 19.Qg3 e5 20.Bb5 Bd7 21.Re1 f4 22.Qg6 Qf6 23.Qh5

Jul-23-08  patzer2: <RandomVisitor> Thanks for the deep analysis. The defensive move 16...Kxh7 17.Qh3+ Kg8 18.Bxg7 Ng3!! = is amazing.
Jul-23-08  AccDrag: Jim: 28.Re1 Bd7 seems to defend against the Nd7+/Re8# idea, as 29.Nd7+ Bxd7 protects e8.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <AccDrag> <Jim: 28.Re1 Bd7 seems to defend against the Nd7+/Re8# idea, as 29.Nd7+ Bxd7 protects e8.>

If black defends the d7 square with either 28...Bc6, Bc8 or Qc8, then white should follow with 29...Ng6+, which should do the trick.

Jul-24-08  AccDrag: Jim: Yes, that is indeed what the engine says. Mate in 9. You should have just quoted the whole line rather than leaving us hanging. :-)
Jul-24-08  RedStarRising: <samvega: 21..Ra6 defends against Bc4+, a fatal deflection.> and <aw1988: Oh! Good catch.>

Where's the "fatal deflection" in the Bc4+ threat? No one has clearly demonstrated that. If, indeed, it constitutes such a fatal deflection, why not prevent it simply with 21...b5 rather than a sacrificial Ra6, which only further accentuates Black's material weakness?

Jul-25-08  eaglewing: <RedStarRising: Fatal deflection Bc4> The threat after 21. Qg6 (no move for Black given now) seems to be:

21. Qg6 (nothing) 22. Bc4+ Qxc4 23. Bxe5 (the simple mate threat on g7; now Qc7/f7 loses the Queen; Rd7 loses against Qe8) Kf8 24. Bxg7+ Ke7 25. Qf6+ Ke8 26.Qf8+ Kd7 26. Rd1+ Kc6 27. Qxd8. Now the material is even but Nh6 is attacked and the Black King is, let's say, uncomfortably positioned.

Denying the deflection via 21. Qg6 (nothing) 22. Bc4+ Kf8 Nh7+ Ke7 Qxg7+ Kd6 Rd1+ Kc6 and your choice of Qxh6+ or Rxd8.

Otherwise I agree, it seemed much better to play 21. Qg6 b5 to prevent Bc4. See my former post with two lines following b5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Romanishin is the leading proponent of 5..Qxd5. In a little known 1946 game White had played 10 Bd3; 10 Rc1 was new. The only defense was to accept the knight with 16..Kxh7 but the key follow-up 18..Ng3! (mentioned in a previous post) was not easy to find. 21..Kf8 22 Nh7+..Kg8 23 Bxe5!..Qxe5 24 Bc4+..Kh8 25 Ng5 would have led to mate.

A very powerful and creative effort by Onischuk - I'm surprised that the game got no recognition by the Informant.

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