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Peter Romanovsky vs Yakov S Vilner
"I Play the Vilner?" (game of the day Mar-25-2016)
USSR Championship (1927), Moscow URS, rd 10, Oct-07
Zukertort Opening: Queen Pawn Defense (A06)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: A humorously weird game, full of unorthodox situations. This position, after White's 44th move, features Alekhine's Gun and Horwitz Bishops at the same time:

click for larger view

I've got to come up with a pun for it.

Mar-25-16  offramp: I like Black's Headless Chicken plan. He also clearly preferred knights to bishops.
Mar-25-16  Razgriz: Oh my, that was fun. Black castles kingside then migrates the king all the way to the queenside to avoid white barreling down.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: White won the tournament. He must be the same Pyotr that wrote "Encounters with Alekhine". He was about Alekhine's age.
Mar-25-16  faulty: White is the Tal of the first half of the 20th century. This player belonged to the top 10 best players in the world at his prime (which was about these years, 1924 to 1927), and his inclination to play out-of-the-box is impossible to beat. He's got dozens of games like this. Just watch them and get amazed.
Mar-25-16  goodevans: I had a little look at <57...Rxf7> on on the basis that if 58.Qxf7 then black has h4 at his disposal which makes escaping the checks more difficult. Heck, when you're lost anyway then anything's worth a try, isn't it?
Mar-25-16  thickhead: White has 7 pawns till the end. Strange that bishops prevailed in such closed position over Ns.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I confess I don't get the pun - is Vilner supposed to remind one of villain?
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The knights fell to the bishops in a closed position: strange.
Mar-25-16  dougiejfresh: I'd guess the pun is from Othello ("And what's he then that says I play the villain?"). When I first read it, though, I read "Vilner" as "winner" and figured it referred to the standard "I play winner?" request.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <dougiejfresh: I'd guess the pun is from Othello ("And what's he then that says I play the villain?"). When I first read it, though, I read "Vilner" as "winner" and figured it referred to the standard "I play winner?" request.>

That explanation is as good as any other.

Mar-25-16  morfishine: So now we have to be Shakespeare expert to get a "pun" or play-on-word for a chess GOTD?

Don't get me wrong, I actually like Shakespeare's works, who doesn't?, but I'm no expert and I'd guess few are

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: If we Old Fogeys are expected to decipher <"Fo Shizzl my Nissl">, I think the Younger Generation can stand a bit of Shakespeare now and then. But, really, it's silly to expect everybody to appreciate every pun.

This is not a great pun (not that the one I submitted was any better) And you know, I don't care as long as the game itself gets some press. There are so many wonderful games in this database that don't get our attention because they never got a Big Break, like being published by Reinfeld & Chernev or played by Robert Raul Morphy.

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: I'll check his games, <faulty>.
Mar-26-16  offramp: The pun is, I think, based on that standard ☕-shop phrase, I play the winner.
Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

I prefer 25 Bh3 to the move played, 25 f5. After 25 f5, the knights should be better than the bishops. But Stockfish doesn't agree.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <Predrag3141:> The ♘s are not better than the ♗s here, because they have no good outposts. Also, White has a clear plan to break through on the ♔-side, but Black can't do the same on the ♕-side, and the centre is blocked. In stable positions like this, the ♗s have the advantage: they are ready to pounce if the enemy ever tries to open lines, and also ready behind the scenes when their own side breaks through.

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