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Edward W Formanek vs Anatoly Lein
"Pawn My Word!" (game of the day Apr-27-2013)
Lone Pine (1977), Lone Pine, CA USA, rd 9, Mar-30
Spanish Game: Classical Variation (C64)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-27-13  Abdel Irada: <FSR: I once saw a game (from Lone Pine, I think) where as I recall Black had five pawns against a rook, and the pawns were flooding down the board as in this game. (It could even be this game, if I am misremembering some particulars.) The annotator in Chess Life remarked, "Reminds me of a movie I once saw about Brazilian army ants." Cracked me up.>

In San Francisco many years ago, I played at the chess tables at Fifth and Market near the Powell Street cable car turnaround. One of my fellow locals whom I quickly learned to avoid playing for money (unless I could afford to lose some) was a 2500ish Filipino IM named Omar.

Now, Omar was a blitz wizard. There was another player of close to my strength (~2200), a transplanted New Yorker who did play him with some regularity — taking odds of five minutes to one on the clock. Later, they sped these games to odds of one minute against 10 seconds. I never saw Omar lose one of those games, and time was no worry for someone capable of completing 10 moves in one second, as I saw him do on several occasions.

As it turned out, I played Omar only twice, and he won convincingly both times. My consolations were twofold: (1) at least I was taking no odds and (2) both games were quite good ... at least until they weren't anymore.

I remember no details of the first game, but the second featured my all-out kingside attack against his Scheveningen Sicilian, featuring multiple speculative sacrifices.

When the final explosions of the attack finally died away, I'd won the exchange. Twice over. I now entered the endgame with two rooks against two knights — and four pawns.

For just a sanguine moment, I was happy with my position. Then the game continued. I tried everything to activate my rooks and get them behind the pawns, but Omar closed all the lines and the pawns marched ever closer. A few moves later, my constricted and congested rooks gave up the ghost one by one as the pawns and knights wove webs around my king, and I soon resigned, with a position that looked as if it had been preserved in formaldehyde since the Johnson administration.

Ironically, however, Omar told me after the game that he was relieved that I settled for the two exchanges, because if I'd continued the attack with yet another sacrifice, he would have resigned on the spot.

Meanwhile, I still have occasional nightmares involving a swarm of self-replacing pawns and knights that I pick off with increasing desperation as I run out of pieces and the number of pawns and knights closing in on me remains undiminished.

Apr-27-13  Abdel Irada: <FSR: Considering the matter further, I think this was the "Brazilian army ants" game.>

<Lein>inger and the Ants?

Apr-27-13  vasja: @goodevans

Can not understand your comment, many impossible moves. On 10...c2 11 Q:c2 Q:a1 goes 12 Nc3 with Bb2 trapping black Q.

Apr-27-13  JohnBoy: Boo - <FSR> - my pun was better 6-6-09. ;-)

But I did get CG to put this on Lein's list of cool games.

Apr-27-13  goodevans: <vasja> You forget the B on b4. <12.Nc3?? Qxc3>.
Apr-27-13  hellopolgar: A simple 27.Bf2 would have won the game on the spot.
Apr-27-13  indoknight: so many sacrifice only to catch pawn!
Apr-27-13  Mendrys: Remarkable how blacks brave little pawn e pawn would make 3 out of the first 7 moves ending up on c3 with 7...dxc3, staying there for almost 40 moves afterwards.
Apr-27-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <AylerKupp> Yes, that phrase made quite an impression on me.
Apr-27-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <JohnBoy: ... But I did get CG to put this on Lein's list of cool games.>

No you didn't.

<What are 'Notable Games'?

On some player pages, tournament pages, and opening pages, there is a list of Notable Games. In the case of player pages, this list highlights some important games that the player has won or drawn. On opening pages, you can see some milestone games in its history. If you want to see some interesting games by a player, or of a certain opening, this is usually a good place to start. The lists of notable games are calculated by finding the games which most frequently appear in our users' game collections.

Notable games are chosen democratically by Chessgames members, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Chessgames.com staff.

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Apr-27-13  JustAnotherPatzer: "weak GM"? Sounds oxymoronic. Like saying the guy who comes eighth out of eight in an international Strong Man tournament is weak. It's relative though so whatever.

<Abdel> Brilliant anecdote, thanks for taking the time to share, i love such tales.

Apr-27-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: For a really amazing example of how <not> to exploit a humongous material advantage, see J L Burden vs Christiansen, 1992. The white player was rated about 2200, incredibly. The story I've read is that Christiansen was blitzing out his moves, so Burden decided he should blitz too.
Apr-27-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <JustAnotherPatzer: "weak GM"? Sounds oxymoronic.>

Well, there is Herman Suradiradja. Plenty of FIDE Masters are stronger than he is. Lein is getting up in years, but in his prime he was certainly no slouch.

Apr-27-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <Abdel Irada: I remember no details of the first game, but the second featured my all-out kingside attack against his Scheveningen Sicilian, featuring multiple speculative sacrifices. When the final explosions of the attack finally died away, I'd won the exchange. Twice over. I now entered the endgame with two rooks against two knights — and four pawns. For just a sanguine moment, I was happy with my position. Then the game continued. I tried everything to activate my rooks and get them behind the pawns, but Omar closed all the lines and the pawns marched ever closer. A few moves later, my constricted and congested rooks gave up the ghost one by one as the pawns and knights wove webs around my king, and I soon resigned, with a position that looked as if it had been preserved in formaldehyde since the Johnson administration.>

That is a wonderfully evocative account, but it would be even better if you could post the record of the moves. If that is asking too much, maybe you could just display one of the positions you have described so vividly.

Apr-27-13  Strongest Force: Pawns like these I call army ants...elephants run from them.
Apr-28-13  JustAnotherPatzer: <FSR> Blimey yeah, that IS weak by any master standard!

I think the weakest i'd encountered til now was rated around 2370, i ought to have qualified my comment to exclude those in their dotage, but as you pointed out on his page, he was late 2200s in 2000 when he wasn't an 'old' man by any means.

Apr-28-13  Abdel Irada: <That is a wonderfully evocative account, but it would be even better if you could post the record of the moves. If that is asking too much, maybe you could just display one of the positions you have described so vividly.>

Unfortunately, that *would* be extremely difficult. Bear in mind that these were blitz games played a decade and a half ago, and of course no scoresheets were kept.

What you see is what I can remember. :-S

Apr-28-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: GMs retain the title for life, regardless of what happens to their playing strength, so I suppose a master could be a lot stronger and have a higher current Elo rating than a GM.
Apr-28-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Dionysius1> Sure, that is true. Lein is now 82, and is down to 2207 USCF. http://main.uschess.org/msa/MbrDtlT... But I don't think Herman Suradiradja was a "respectable" GM at any time. Read the comments on his page for further illumination.
Apr-28-13  JohnBoy: <FSR: ... No you didn't.> Ouch! Down in flames.

I am still glad I found this game early on - and didn't say "first".

Aug-13-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <FSR>: The kibitz by <BobCrisp> on Suradiradja's page, regarding his GM title, provided a good laugh.
Oct-18-18  Caissanist: Does anyone know of any other games with 5 pawns vs. 2 pieces? I am currently playing a turn-based game with that balance of material, and I really have no idea what I'm doing. It would be nice to spend some time studying similar games, if there are any.
Oct-18-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: <Caissanist> This game is interesting although probably not that relevant to your position;

https://chesstempo.com/gamedb/game/...

Oct-18-18  Caissanist: LOL, "probably not relevant to your position" was a very good guess. Right now all the men are still on the board except for his two pieces and my five pawns. I think I'll concentrate on not getting mated in the next few moves,
Aug-21-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Position after 45...b3:


click for larger view

Reminds me of playing "Space Invaders" many years ago!

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