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David E Vigorito vs Aleksandar Kovacevic
Internet Section 18-A (2003), Dos Hermanas, rd 3, Mar-18
Benoni Defense: Classical. New York Variation (A70)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I couldn't decide between 20. Ngf5 and 20. Nhf5, so I stopped there.
Jan-23-21  Walter Glattke: 20.Nhf5 or Ngf5 wins by following f4 and Re3, while attack with 20.e5 can be stopped. Black must take with 20.-gxf5 opening the defense, see 20.-Bf8 21.Nh6+ Kg7 22.Ngf5+ gxf5 23.Qg5+ Kh8 24.Nxf7# or 24.Bxf6+ Nxf6 25.Qxf6# / 21.-Bxh6 22.Qxh6 Ne5 23.f4 Nfg5 24.hxg4 Nxg4? 25.Qg7# / 20.-Ne5 21.Nxg7 Kxg7 22.f4 Nd3 23.Bxf6+ 24.Kxf6 25.e5+ Kg7 26.Bxd3 cxd3 27.Qxd3 Qc5+ 28.Qd4 / no Qe8, 20.Nhf5 Nb6 21.Nxg7 Kxg7 22.Bxf6+ Kxf6 23.Qf4+ Kg7 24.Re3 Qe8 25.Nh5+ gxh5 (Kg8 Nf6+) 26.Rg3+ Kf8 27.Qf6 Bb7 28.Rg7 Qe7 29.Rg8+ Kxg8 30.Qxe7 Rab8 wins R+N for Q
Jan-23-21  Jambow: 20.Nhf5 was begging to be played in my opinion... every move after that well they sorta play themselves once the Czar is under immense threat and lines of attack need to be open.

Nice puzzle but maybe not as discreet as expected.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <FSR>, we may be sure, however, that White's play did not light up his opponent's life.
Jan-23-21  Brenin: There is almost a moral obligation to sacrifice a N in this position. It's not really necessary to calculate all the variations (though it's great if you have the ability to do so): if the sac is accepted, then the combined power of White's Q, other N, R and central Ps (backed up by that menacing but curiously unused raking B pair) will surely deliver mate or extract ruinous cost in avoiding it. Declining the N by 20 ... Bf8 21 Nh6+ or 20 ... Ne5 21 Nxg7 Kxg7 22 f4 looks equally grim for Black.
Jan-23-21  goodevans: Like <al wazir>, I couldn't decide which N to play. Obviously this only makes a difference if the sac is declined and there are so many ways to do that that I'm still unsure which is best.

Does anyone see any real advantage for one or other move? Maybe one of those who've expressed a preference for 20.Nhf5 could help here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Wasn't easy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Korora: <Wasn't easy.>

I figured there was a sac involved; that was as far as I got.

Jan-23-21  Refused: Nf5 is what the position is screaming for. Quesiton is which one. Nhf5 looks like the more natural, and I thought that Nh5 to up the pressure might be an interesting idea.

a)20...gxf5 21.Nxf5 h6 (black can't really allow Qg5) 22.Re3 (Rg3 being the threat) Ne5 (trying to get another defender in and blocking the diagonal) 23.Nxg7 Kxg7 24.Rg3+ Ng6 25.Qf4 curtains. White regains the piece and the attack continues mercilessly b)20...Bh8 (here I thought 21.Nh5 looked promising, but it looks better than it actually is, the trivial) 21.Nxd6 and it's game over. Those Ben Oni structures are usually close to lost when the pawn on d6 leaves the stage c.) 20...Bf8 21.Nh6+ Bxh6 (Kg7 22.Ngf5+ curtains) 22.Qxh6 should be +-. The dark squares around the king are too weak without the protection of the Bishop. Nf5 Re3-g3 is once again looming over blacks position. there's just too many threats. And it'S the same old story of so many unfortunate Ben Oni's, the counter play on the queen side is just too slow.

Jan-23-21  morfishine: After deciding the attack point was <f5>, the next step was deciding which Knight occupies that square first, and I was again correct in settling on the <Nh4> to initiate the attack
Jan-23-21  goodevans: <morfishine> Could you please elaborate why that’s the right knight.

As per my earlier post, I can't see why either one should be better than the other but you're now the fourth to come down on the side of the Nh4 (with no one preferring the Ng3). I'm still none the wiser as to why.

Jan-23-21  RandomVisitor: Black could equalize as late as move 14. The misguided queen move to a5 when white is clearly setup for a kingside attack is the beginning of the end.

click for larger view


<41/67 04:19 -0.11 14...Nfd7 15.Bd4 a5> 16.Re1 Bb7 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.Qd4+ Qf6 19.e5 dxe5 20.Nxe5 Nxe5 21.Qxc5 Nd3 22.Bxd3 cxd3 23.Rad1 Rfc8 24.Qe3 Bxd5

Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: It’s part of chess culture to appreciate a N on the f5 square.

When the LSB is denied the Bg4-Bxf3 capture in this line, it often struggles to find a good role to play. Here, it doesn’t even help control f5.

A note even to KID players: f5 remains more vulnerable if Black’s LSB is blocked, as it is here by Nd7. Nd7 is often best used as a way-station, not usually a home, for the N.

15.Rd8 is a head-scratcher. I’d sure want the c5 N to mosey on to e5.

Jan-23-21  RandomVisitor: <goodevans: <morfishine> Could you please elaborate why that’s the right knight.>

It seems that both knight moves 'work', but the critical lines after 20...Ne5 need to be examined as it is not that obvious. One move is possibly a bit better than the other:

click for larger view


39/48 16:29 +9.01 20.Nhf5 Ne5 21.Nxg7 Kxg7 22.f4 Re8 23.Rf1 Ned7 24.e5 Bb7 25.exf6+ Kh8 26.Rfe1 Qxd5 27.Re7 Nc5 28.Qe2 Rf8 29.f5 g5 30.Be3 Qc6

39/57 16:29 +7.63 20.Ngf5 Ne5 21.Nxg7 Kxg7 22.f4 Re8 23.fxe5 dxe5 24.Be3 Bd7 25.Bh6+ Kg8 26.d6 Rad8 27.Qf2 Re6 28.Bg5 b3 29.axb3 cxb3 30.Bd3 Qb6

39/60 16:29 +6.61 20.a4 Qb8 21.Ngf5 Ne5 22.Nxg7 Kxg7 23.f4 a5 24.fxe5 dxe5 25.Be3 Nd7 26.d6 b3 27.Bh6+ Kh8 28.Bb1 Qa7+ 29.Be3 Qb7 30.Rf1 f6

Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: <which N> seems Ng3 is more flexibly placed at the moment, influencing e4 and h5. For that reason, I’d choose Nhf5 to be the first N, as it has potentially less to do out on the rim like that
Jan-23-21  goodevans: < RV > Thanks. Looking at those lines I'd say "not that obvious" was an understatement.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: U flicks nhf5 horror i key hitching adagio niggle u key i fausts chumps vipers brisks key i kindly wood quotes key i lottery its flosses key chuppa dart i key trend with it gamble it goodhoot ncd7 honour key hackon a blushy key u lunchtime key re8 gobble against aquakong coot moorhen i key finish totadd done i key arrive huffle iota i key nhf5 theign it clucky!
Jan-23-21  goodevans: <Everett> Sound logic and one that many of us would employ in a game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: < goodevans: <Everett> Sound logic and one that many of us would employ in a game>

Yeah, funny that thinking has steered me wrong too smh... cheers!

Jan-23-21  njchess: <RandomVisitor> I agree. 14. ... ♕a5 is the turning point for Black. From then on, he must play very accurately, or hope White doesn't, in order to to prevail. Also, I'm not a Benoni expert, but I don't think making eight pawn moves in your first eleven moves is sound play.

20. ♘f5 does leap out at you. As to which one, I chose the one on the h-file as per the game, only because I thought it was the better choice for the job (i.e. the least useful piece to sac). Turns out, it didn't matter in the game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: <chris Owen> < adagio niggle>


Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Bag of caged tricks no?
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has several weaknesses, in particular, the pawn on d6, the rook on d8 and the difficult defense of the castle. These details suggest 20.Nhf5:

A) 20... Bf8 21.Qg5 h6 22.Nxh6+ looks very good for White.

B) 20... Bh8 21.Nxd6 Qa6 22.Qxb4 wins two pawns.

C) 20... gxf5 21.Nxf5

C.1) 21... Bf8 22.Qg5+ Kh8 23.Bxf6+ Nxf6 24.Qxf6+ Kg8 25.Qxd8 wins decisive material.

C.2) 21... Bh8 22.Qg5+ Kf8 23.Qh6+ Ke8 (23... Kg8 24.Ne7#) 24.Nxd6+ Ke7 25.Nxb5 wins decisive material.

C.3) 21... h6 22.Nxh6+ Kf8 (22... Kh8 23.Nxf7+; 22... Kh7 23.e5+; 22... Bxh6 23.Qxh6 wins decisive material in any case) 23.Nxf5, with several threats -Nxd6, Nxg7 Kxg7 Qg5+, Qg5, etc.-, looks very good for White.

C.4) 21... Kh8 22.Qg5 Rg8 (22... Bf8 23.Bxf6+ transposes to C.1) 23.Nxd6 Rf8 (due to Nxf7#; 23... h6 24.Nxf7+ Kh7 25.Qf5#) 24.Nxb5 wins.

C.5) 21... Kf8 22.Qg5 Bh8 23.Qh6+ transposes to C.2.

C.6) 21... Qa5 (to protect the rook on d8) 22.Qg5 Ne8 23.Bxg7 wins.

C.7) 21... Nf8 (to eliminate the knight) 22.Nxg7 Kxg7 23.Qg5+ Ng6 24.Qxf6+ wins decisive material.

Jan-23-21  cormier: Yes, <RV> thanks .....
Jan-23-21  Ivan Karamazov: The puzzle is "obvious" in the very limited sense that:

1) it's "Very Difficult";

2) 21.(either)Nf5 gives White huge weaknesses to feast upon; and

3) Kotov vs G Barcza, 1952 gives a clear guide to how to do it.

Hence I saw Nf5 right away, but as for finding any of the follow-up variations (whether Black accepts or declines, in this game or the other) well, that's way above my pay grade.

From the comments I see quite a few of us made exactly as much progress as I did, so "congrats all around".

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