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Gyula Sax vs Dragoljub Minic
Rovinj/Zagreb (1975), rd 10, May-??
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Amsterdam Variation (B93)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <pawnwolf> Sometimes you think you're gonna get it/But you don't, and that's just the way it goes ...
Nov-29-05  DeepBlade: White has less pawns, which means open files to control. The rather lousy move Qe1 (not lousy but extremely silent) on move number 10 did win the game (well it had positive effect after 14 moves! pinning the pawn)
Jun-21-06  Xuorarch: I noticed that 23...Kxd7 24.Bf5+ wins the queen. Black must play something like 24...gxf5 25.Rd1 Qxd1, trading in the queen for a rook and bishop. If 24...Ke8, then 25.Rd1 Qc7 (25...Qc6 Bd7+ forces the trade) 26.Bd7+ Kd8?? (he can still trade) 27.Nf6+! exf6 28.Qf8#. If 24...Kc7 then 25.Bb6+ Kb8 26.Rd1 forces Black to trade his queen for the rook (26...Qc6 27.Rd8+ Nc8 28.Qe5+ wins), otherwise 25...Kc6 26.Qc3+ Kb5 27.Qb3+! Kc6 28.Qc4+ loses the queen outright, so he must trade the queen for a bishop.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Solved the puzzle and learned a lesson--never play the Sicilian vs. Gyula Sax.
Jan-19-18  wtpy: So did not anticipate 23..Qd7 instead presumed 23 ...Kd7, which avoids the fork but exposes the king and black's uncoordinated pieces. I would have continued 24 Ne5+ Ke8 followed by 25 Ba7 Ra7 26 Qe3, which is winning per Olga but not as strong as 25 h4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <Wtpy> If 23...Kd7, do you think So was planning 24. Rd1!? If 24...Ke8, Nf6+ If 24...Kd8 it looks easy to pin the Queen. If 24..Kc8 then Qc3+ wins the rook on h8 or Bf5+ wins the Q. If 24...Kc7 25. Bb6+ Kc8 26. Bf4+ or 25...Kc6 26. Qc3+ mates quickly.
Jan-19-18  gofer: I was trying to decide between Ng5 and Nd4, but the benefit of Ng5 is that it lures Ne6 to the edge of the board away from the action, rather than into the middle of it.

<20 Ng5 ...>

The sacrifice is difficult to ignore.

<20 ... Nxg5>
<21 e6 ...>

The queen must find a good escape square and really c5 isn't a good option because all it does is help white to move Bg3 to b6 where it is rock-solid. But all the other alternatives seem as bad if not worse!

<21 ... Qc5+>
<22 Bf2 Qd6>
<23 exd7+ Kxd7>

Okay, the king is out in the open, and we have lots of threats; 1) Ne5+ & h4 or 2) 24 Rd1 or 3) Bxa7 Rxa7 & Qe3.

So many choices... :-)



Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Only two pawns traded.

The DSB x-rays the black queen and f7 looks weak. These details suggest 20.Ng5:

A) 20... Nxg5 21.e6

A.1) 21... Qc5+ 22.Bf2

A.1.a) 22... Qc6 23.exd7+ Kd8 (23... Kxd7 24.Ne5+ or 23... Qxd7 24.Nf6+ + - [Q+B vs 2n+p]) 24.Bb6+ Kxd7 25.Ne5+ + - [Q+B vs 2n+p].

A.1.b) 22... Qc7(8) 23.exd7+ Kxd7 (else as above) 24.Bxa7 Rxa7 25.Qe3 Ra8 26.Qxg5 + - [N vs p].

A.1.c) 22... Qd5 23.exd7+ Kxd7 (or 23... Kd8 24.Bb6+ Kxd7) 24.Rd1

A.1.c.i) 24... Qe6 25.Bf5+ wins decisive material.

A.1.c.ii) 24... Kc8 25.Qc3+ and Qxh8 wins a rook.

A.2) 21... Qc6 22.exd7+ Kd8 (else as above) 23.Qe5

A.2.a) 23... f6 23.Rxf6 looks winning (23... Qxf6 24.Qc7#; 23... exf6 24.Qe8#).

A.2.b) 23... Qf6 23.Qc7#.

A.2.c) 23... Rg8 24.Qxg5 + - [B vs p].

A.3) 21... Qc8 22.exd7+ Kxd7 23.Qe5 f6 24.Rxf6 looks winning (24... exf6 25.Nxf6+ and mate next).

A.4) 21... Qd8 22.exd7+ Kxd7 23.Qd2 Ne6 (23... f6 24.Bf5+ wins) 24.Bb5+ Kc8 25.Qc3+ Nc6 26.Bxc6 wins (26... bxc6 27.Qxh8 or 27.Qxc6+ Nc7 28.Bxc7 Qxc7 29.Qxa8+).

B) 20... Bg7 21.Nxf7 Rf8 22.Nf6+ (22.Nfh6 wins a pawn with the better position) 22... exf6 (22... Kxf7 23.Nd5+ and 24.Nxc7 + -) 23.exf6 Qc5+ 24.Bf2 looks very good for White (after fxg7, Rxf7 loses to g8=Q).

Jan-19-18  leRevenant: Here, Sax has made mincemeat (/goulash) out of Dragoljub. (Sorry, it's nearing the end of a hard, hot week.)
Jan-19-18  malt: Have 20.Ng5 f5
(20...N:g5 21.e6 Qc5+ 22.Bf2 Qd5 23.ed7+ K:d7 24.Rd1 Kc8 25.Qc3+ )

21.ef6 Qc5+ 22.Bf2 Q:g5 23.f7+ Kd8
24.Qc3 with a threat of Bb6+ or Q:h8

Jan-19-18  goodevans: <gofer: I was trying to decide between Ng5 and Nd4...>

I went through the same thought process. I started of looking at <20.Ng5> but after <20...Nxg5 21.e6> I started worrying that <21...Qc5+> gives check.

I turned to <20.Nd4> since now <20...Nxd4 21.e6 Qc5> is no longer check. The trouble with <20.Nd4> is that black can simply pin it with <20...Qc5> stymying white's attack.

So back to <20.Ng5 Nxg5 21.e6 21...Qc5+> and I eventually saw I needn't have worried about this check as after <22.Bf2> the Q has nowhere good to go. The only thing black can do to avoid giving up the Bd7 and getting his position busted wide open is to give up his Q instead.

Jan-19-18  mel gibson: I didn't see it - I should have looked for longer. The computer played a much stronger defense.

Stockfish 8 says:

20. Ng5
(20. Ng5 (♘f3-g5 ♗f8-g7 ♘g4-f6+ ♗g7xf6 ♘g5xe6 ♗d7xe6 e5xf6 ♕c7-c8 f6xe7 ♘a7-c6 ♖a1-d1 ♘c6xe7 ♗g3-d6 ♕c8-d7 ♕e1-h4 ♖h8-g8 ♗d3-e4 g6-g5 ♕h4-g3 ♖a8-d8 ♗e4xh7 ♖g8-g7 ♗h7-e4 ♖g7-g8 ♕g3-e5 ♘e7-c8 ♗e4-h7 ♘c8xd6 ♗h7xg8 ♕d7-e7 ♖f1-f6 ♖d8-d7 ♖d1-e1 ♔e8-d8 ♕e5xg5 ♔d8-c8 ♕g5-c5+ ♖d7-c7) +3.97/29 54)

score for White + 3.97.

Black fell for a pretty cheap fork.

Black was right to resign.

24. Nf6+ Kd8 (♔e8-d8
♗f2-b6+ ♔d8-c8 ♘f6xd7 ♔c8xd7 ♕e1-e5 ♔d7-e8 ♕e5xh8 ♖a8-d8 ♗b6xd8 ♘a7-c8 ♗d8-c7 ♔e8-d7 ♗c7-g3 ♔d7-e8 ♕h8-e5 f7-f6 ♕e5-b8 ♔e8-f7 ♕b8xc8 ♔f7-g7 ♕c8xb7 ♔g7-h6 ♗d3xa6 f6-f5 ♗a6-c4 e7-e6 h2-h4 ♘g5-e4 ♗g3-f4+ g6-g5 h4xg5+ ♔h6-g6 ♗c4xe6 ♗f8-c5+ ♔g1-h2 ♘e4xg5) -27.65/31 74

score for Black -27.65 depth 31.

Jan-19-18  morfishine: Really clueless play by Black

The Amsterdam Variation is fitting here as it begs the question: "What was Black smoking?"


Jan-19-18  mel gibson: < morfishine: Really clueless play by Black

The Amsterdam Variation is fitting here as it begs the question: "What was Black smoking?">

Black just had to castle on move 17 -
a normal opening move that most people
would have wanted to make -
a normal fianchetto -
and he would have been only a pawn down
even though he had foolishly lost the center of the board.

Stockfish 8 says

17. Ne4 Bh6 (17. .. O-O (O-O
♘e4-f6+ ♔g8-h8 ♘f6xd7 ♕c7xd7 ♖a1-d1 ♕d7-c7 b2-b3 ♘c8-a7 ♗g3-f2 ♘a7-c6 ♗f2-b6 ♕c7-c8 ♗d3-c4 h7-h6 ♕e1-e4 ♘e6-c7 c2-c3 e7-e6 b3-b4 ♔h8-g8 ♗c4-b3 ♘c7-d5 ♗b3xd5 e6xd5 ♕e4xd5 ♕c8-e6 ♕d5xe6 f7xe6 ♗b6-c5 ♖f8-d8 ♖d1xd8+ ♖a8xd8 ♘f3-d4 ♗g7xe5 ♘d4xe6) -1.24/32 100)

score for Black -1.24 depth 32

Jan-19-18  Monocle: I started doing the daily puzzle on here 13 years ago, and lately I've been thinking either they're getting harder or I'm getting worse. Apparently, this one was a Saturday puzzle back in 2005, so hopefully it's the former.
Jan-19-18  njchess: Black inexplicably doesn't castle from after move 9, even though White has a solid attack in the middle. To make matters worse, Black completely misses the pin and fork from White by retaking the bishop with his queen. I saw this game before when it was used as an illustration of the potential perils of delaying castling.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Must have remembered 20. Ng5! from nearly 13 years ago, because I immediately went for it even though I hadn't done a very deep calculation.

According to the computer, grabbing the poisoned piece with 20...Nxg5 21. e6! +- (+7.35 @ 25 ply, Stockfish 8) is not Black's best option. However, Black is still lost after the computer line 20...Bg7 21. Nf6+! Bxf6 22. Nxe6 Bxe6 23. exf6 +- (+4.22 @ 28 ply, Stockfish 8).

Black's first big mistake in the game was 12...Nfd7?, allowing a winning move White overlooked with 13. Nd5! Qd8 14. Bg5 Nxd3 15. cxd3 Nxe5 16. Nxe5 Qx5 17. Rxf7 +- (+2.81 @ 28 ply, Stockfish 8).

Instead, 12...Ng5 13. Bf4 Ne6 14. Bg3 Bd7 ⩲ to = (+0.21 @ 27 ply, Stockfish 8) would have kept Black fully engaged in the fight.

Jan-19-18  wtpy: ChessHigherCat, You are absolutely right Rd1 is crushing.The king can't go back to e8 because of 25 Bb5, can't stay on the d file because he drops his queen for the rook, and if 25.. Kc8 26 Qc3 white picks up the rook on h8.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Side puzzle: (It's based on a variation of a line put forward by <malt>)

20.Ng5 f5 21.exf6 Qc5+ 22.Bf2 Qxg5 (winning a piece) 23.Bb6!(threatening 24 f7#) 23...Bh6.

click for larger view

White to play and win.

Jan-19-18  saturn2: I saw 20 Ng5 and that white gets the bishop on d7 for the knight plus a positional advantage. The queen winning fork in the game is nice but black could have done better.
Jan-19-18  swclark25: I got 20. Ng5 Nxg5 21. e6 Qd8 22. exd7+ Qxd7 23. Nf6+ by stepping thru Olga (without looking at solution). I missed Black delaying with 21...Qc5+ after e6, but noticed that my moves 22 and 23 picked up and then matched the game moves 23 and 24. Maybe half-credit?
Jan-19-18  cormier: patzer2: ... ths .....

Black's first big mistake in the game was 12...Nfd7?, allowing a winning move White overlooked with 13. Nd5! Qd8 14. Bg5 Nxd3 15. cxd3 Nxe5 16. Nxe5 Qx5 17. Rxf7 +- (+2.81 @ 28 ply, Stockfish 8).

Instead, 12...Ng5 13. Bf4 Ne6 14. Bg3 Bd7 (+0.21 @ 27 ply, Stockfish 8) would have kept Black fully engaged in the fight.

Jan-19-18  Patriot: It's funny that most of these can be solved easily just by noting the tactical elements. In this problem, Bg3 x-rays through to Qc7 and Rf1 x-rays to f7. It doesn't take much after that to see 20.Ng5 Nxg5 21.e6 with a double-attack to weaken the black king's position. Of course there was also Qe1 x-raying Ke8, so I looked briefly at 20.Nf6+ exf6 21.exf6 and the bishop again hits the queen but I didn't see much to this.
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < An Englishman: Good Evening: Solved the puzzle and learned a lesson--never play the Sicilian vs. Gyula Sax. >

decades ago i enjoyed many a Sax game. A very fine player. He produced quite a few nice ones

Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < morfishine: Really clueless play by Black The Amsterdam Variation is fitting here as it begs the question: "What was Black smoking?" >

Some pretty dynamite weed! LOL

but i agree with <mel gibson> that he could have played 17. ..0-0 the Bh6 maneuver was a huge lemon.

better yet 10. ..0-0 or
10.b5 11.Kh1 Bb7 12.a3 O-O

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