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Rudolf Maric vs Svetozar Gligoric
Belgrade (1962), Belgrade YUG, rd 9, Oct-??
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Poisoned Pawn Accepted (B97)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-28-06  YouRang: The game referred to by <deefree> is O Bernstein vs Capablanca, 1914. It indeed has a simple, but clever exploitation of back-rank weakness. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: What a showstopper!!! I answered this one in a shot!

Black's queen is under fire from two directions and the rook from three and it is white who is lost!!!

In some ways,this is superior to Marshall's GOLD PIECE game. Here,the rook throws himself into a nest of pawns----while the queen is sacrificed at the same time!!!

One for the Ages!!!

Feb-28-06  Knight13: Took me like 20 seconds to solve this one :(
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <zhentil: <patzer2> I disagree. I believe that the Poisoned Pawn lost its following for two reasons: 1) The finding of forced draws in most of the critical lines. 2) The advent of other sharp lines (namely, the English attack).> Forced draws in the critical lines of the Najdorf Poisoned Pawn? Really! I'm interested. Where can I get a copy of this analysis (book, article etc. by an IM or GM)?
Feb-28-06  euripides: <patzer> I don't know the theory, but one game to look at (with the kibitzes) is Vallejo-Pons vs Kasparov, 2004
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <The Spassky win occurred in the Nb3 variation, which has never been considered critical. Fischer lost that game because he pushed too hard, not because of any defect inherent in the position after Nb3.> Well that's two different (but related) questions (ie. Is the NB3 line critical? Why did Fischer lose against it?).

As to whether the Nb3 line ever has been or remains critical is IMO an open question. Obviously it was critical enough for the Soviet Chess analyst juggernaut to prepare a line for Spassky vs. Fischer in World Championship play in 1972. Also strong GMs continue to play 9. Nb3 (e.g. E Berg vs Sadvakasov, 2006 and Guseinov vs Bu Xiangzhi, 2005), even though 9. Rb1 (e.g. Vallejo-Pons vs Kasparov, 2004 and Radjabov vs Jiangchuan, 2004) has admitedly been the more popular choice at Master level.

Interestingly, the game here (Maric vs. Gilgoric, 1962) follows one of Kasparov's and Keene's recommendations in "Batsford Chess Openings (1986)" for the 9. Rb1 line, suggesting White played accurately through <16. Bxf5> in this game. However, instead of <17. Bf3> Kasparov and Keene recommended 17. Bxa6 Qxa6 18. Rxf5 d5 = to (Matoanovic-Bertok, Yuglslav Ch 1962).

As to the question of whether Fischer misplayed the 9. Nb3 line against Spassky, I think you're correct. The critical error in Spassky vs Fischer, 1972 is cited by Mednis and others as 15...d5?. Indeed Karpov later improved with 15...Ne7 for a win in Qi Jingxuan vs Karpov, 1983.

Feb-28-06  olaf4lena: Happy Shrove Tuesday!
Glad to say, I got it today,
because I am giving up chess for Lent.

(Yes, a harsh Lenten discipline indeed.)

See y'all at Easter!

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Euripides> Thanks for the reference to the Pons vs. Kasparov game. I don't know if that game is enough to prove a forced draw for White, but it's interesting.

I also think it's worthy of note that some Masters avoid the accepted line of the poisoned pawn variation altogether with 8. Nb3 as in Naiditsch vs J Smeets, 2006, but even more Masters seem to think it's better to allow Black to take the gambit pawn and play the strong White attack. Both the accepted and declined lines seem to have a lot of sharp play, and I'd be surprised if anyone could prove a forced draw either way.

Feb-28-06  euripides: <patzer> It probably depends where one starts from and what one counts as 'forced'. I get the - very second-hand ! - impression that in some lines of the poisoned pawn there are fewer appealing alternatives to the standard play than in most lively opening variations. But I don't know how far back in the game these variations go.

Until recently 6 Bg5 had gone into semi-retirement at the top level, suggesting that White was having trouble getting an advantage in some of Black's - whether the PP or elsewhere. But I think there's a revival of interest going on at the moment, so we may see more of this variation. It's interesting to see Radjabov trying it, though we'll only know he means business when he plays it against Topalov.

Feb-28-06  Castle In The Sky: Ten seconds, tomorrow's the harder one, enjoy Tuesday!
Feb-28-06  zhentil: <patzer2> The Complete Bg5 Najdorf by Nunn is great (if very, very dense). It demonstrates the forced draws in the PP. I think that this is the main reason that Kasparov explored Qc7 against Bg5. There are just too many forced draws in the PP, and the "main line" (Be7) is suffering heavily due to Perenyi's 16.Rg1! (I believe it's move 16), so much so, in fact, that many theorists have declared it almost a forced win for white. Kasparov, typically, is interested in neither a draw nor a loss, so he explored Qc7. Most GMs are not interested in draws as white, so interest has drifted away from Bg5.
Feb-28-06  euripides: <zhentil> I'm not sure of the date of Nunn's book ? The 2000 MCO gives the line 6 Bg5 e6 7 f4 Be7 8 Qf3 Qc7 9 0-0-0 Nbd7 10 g4 b5 11 Bxf6 Nxf6 12 g5 Nd7 13 f5 Nc5 ?! 14 f6 gxf6 15 gxf6 Bf8 16 Rg1! as very good for White, but says that 13...Bxg5+ is OK for Black. But this may be obsolete by now ...
Feb-28-06  drnooo: Very easy, but also easy to see how white probably was sailing along singing a song with no notion of the lightning bolt awaiting him. A first glance looks very much like Gligo is the one back on his heels awaiting the disaster. The good ole Poisoned Pawn
Feb-28-06  MorphyMatt: 2.4553348822251863 seconds.
Feb-28-06  Saruman: 3.14159265358979323846264 secs with a 38.8977627336°C fever
Feb-28-06  Knight13: <Saruman><MorphyMatt> What the heck...
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <zhentil><Euripides> Thanks for the advanced lessons in the theory of the Najdorf Poisoned Pawn variation. Guess if I want to learn more I'll have to invest in some new opening books or move to Cleveland, Ohio and get a public library card.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <ckr: <Patzer2> if Fritz 8 19.Qd4 Rxc6 20.Nd5 continues Bd8 21.Rxf5 Qxa2 white can draw, I believe, by h3. So, 19.Rbd1 20.Rxc6 21.Nd5 forcing an exchange of queens gives white better chances to win. Maybe??> After 19.Qd4 Rxc6 20.Nd5 Bd8 21.Rxf5 Qxa2, Fritz 8 indicates White plays 22. Re1 Rc5 23. Qd3 = to equalize. Equality here is OK for White who was about to get clobbered by Black.

Here White does not improve with
19. Rbd1? Rxc6 20. Nd5 Qxd2 21. Rxd2 Rxc2 22. Nxe7+ Kh8 23. Rxc2 Bxc2 when it is Black who has a clear advantage with a nearly won endgame.

I probably should mention that after 19. Qd4! Black has a stronger reply in 19...Qe5!, which gives Black a slight advantage after 20. Qxe5 fxe5 21. Nd5 Bh4 22. Rb4 Bd8 23. Rxf5 Rxc6 24. Rg4+ Kh8 25. c4 Rc5 . I think White can hold for the draw, but Black has some winning chances. Still it's better than the devastation White experienced in the game continuation.

So, if White wants better than even chances he has to improve earlier. I think it is best in this game to play Kasparov's and keene's suggestion from BCO of 17. Bxa6! Qxa6 18. Rxf5 = to with clear equality with perhaps some winning chances for White.

Feb-28-06  McCool: I can't believe I missed it, I was thinking 20. ..Qxa2.
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: 15.f5?! missed the mark, in my opinion ... but I have yet to subject this to any kind of computer analysis. (White may have assumed that taking on f5 was simply impossible, normally the last thing that a player who is behind in development wants, is to open up the position.)

And I have just about every book on the Najdorf and Poisoned Pawn ... that was ever printed in English. I also have some limited experience on the Black side of this line.

Mikhail Langer (2325) - A.J. Goldsby I (2254); [B97]
Paul Morphy Open
Airport Hilton / New Orleans, LA; (R5) / 07.01.2001

1.e4 c5; 2.Nf3 d6; 3.d4 cxd4; 4.Nxd4 Nf6; 5.Nc3 a6; 6.Bg5 e6; 7.f4 Qb6; 8.Qd2 Qxb2; 9.Rb1 Qa3; 10.f5 Nc6; 11.fxe6 fxe6; 12.Nxc6 bxc6; 13.e5 dxe5; 14.Bxf6 gxf6; 15.Ne4 Be7; 16.Be2 h5; 17.Rb3 Qa4; 18.c4 f5; 19.Nd6+ Bxd6; 20.Qxd6 Qa5+; 21.Kf2 Ra7; 22.Rd1 Qc7; 23.Qd2 Qe7; 24.Qe3 e4; 25.Rb8 0-0; 26.Rb3 e5; 27.Qh6 Qc5+; 28.Kf1 f4; (1-0, 46 moves.)
Black had a substantial edge here, (two pawns); but time pressure crept up, and in trying too hard to win, I eventually lost the game.

I also have won about a dozen games in various (other) tournaments with this line, (at Game/30 or Game/1 hour); but just about in all of these, my score is incomplete, due to the accelerated time limits.

Feb-28-06  jperr75108: oooo easy birthday puzzle for me. :)
Feb-28-06  dzechiel: <Catenaccio> It's been my experience when playing correspondence chess that you aren't "trying out" ideas the same way you do when approaching a position for the first time. It was rare for a position to occur on the board that I hadn't seen before, usually several moves before (and when that DID happen, it typically meant that I had overlooked an obscure good move for my opponent and was going to lose the game!)

I recall one game where I saw the final position of the game (which was move 41 or so) on move 25. The only difference between what I saw and the actual final position was I had my opponent's bishop on b2 when it ended up on c3. This happened because I had lots of time to examine the position, and I had a good idea of where I wanted to take it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <LIFE MASTER AJ> One alternative is 15. Rf3= as in Parma vs M Bertok, 1962, which was cited by Kasparov and Keene in a foot note to this line in Batsford Chess Openings, 1986.

It equalized easy enough in the game cited, but doesn't appear to improve significantly over the BCO recommendation 15. f5 exf5 16. exf5 Bxf5 17. Bxa6=.

Mar-07-06  who: I thought this was used as a problem just recently.
Sep-04-12  pjanda: A couple of days Gligoric has died. Today I`ve discovered this game.

... at my first glance 17.Bf3 ..., 18. Bxc6 appeared to me as a good move. It was not, I think. Nice tactical attack by Gligoric.

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