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Alexander Kotov vs Enrico Paoli
"Paoli Wolly Doodle" (game of the day Dec-17-2005)
Venice (1950), Venice ITA, rd 6, Oct-??
Semi-Slav Defense: Bogoljubow Variation (D46)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-17-05  Averageguy: In this opening can't white play 4.e4 ?
Dec-17-05  jaymar: Looks to me like Paoli led a very interesting life and achieved a lot before living to a very good age. He seems to have kept his faculties too. Kotov made a big mistake, maybe he just expected to win anyway.
Dec-17-05  dakgootje: It is not really that 26. h3 is such a blunder its more that 25. ...♕e4 is a brilliant move for reasons which were shown already by <notsodeepthought>.
Dec-17-05  patzer2: For those not familiar with the pun, see
Dec-17-05  patzer2: After Kotov's error 22. Nxd4? (better was 22...Bg5 with only a slight Black advantage), Paoli does not doodle or dawdle in playing the winning discovered attack and deflection move 22...Nc5!

Note that 22...Nc5! sets up a winning double attack after 24...Qe5! in the game continuation. Or it could result in a winning pin after 23. Qe3 e5! .

Dec-17-05  patzer2: Here's a puzzle for those new to the study of Chess tactics.

click for larger view

If 23. Qe3, find Black's winning reply (23...?).

Dec-17-05  joelsontang: patzer2, is the answer 23...e5 24.Qf3 Rxd4 25.Rxd4 exd4 wins?
Dec-17-05  EnglishOpeningc4: moves 8-13look odd, as if they agreed on a draw and then decided against it
Dec-17-05  Koster: Kotov's big weakness was said to be lack of sense of danger and it seems so here. be very careful of any move that disconnects the rooks and/or weakens the back rank.
Dec-17-05  Resignation Trap: <Averageguy> Yes, 4.e4 is playable, and it was just becoming fashionable at the time of this game. A few monts earlier, Kotov was on the Black side of this gambit: Bronstein vs Kotov, 1950 .
Dec-17-05  Marco65: When I was a kid a played Paoli in a simul. He looked already very old for such a stressing exercise. But back in the 50s, he thought like a grandmaster :-)

<joelsontang> Your variation drops the bishop on f6. The solution should be 23...e5 24.Qf3 Qd6

Dec-17-05  kevin86: An odd fork by black at move 25. White must lose a rook!! It is rare indeed to see a queen fork a queen and rook!
Dec-17-05  patzer2: <joelsontang> Indeed, you are correct. If 23. Qe3, then 23...e5! wins the pinned piece and the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <It's amazing how much trouble white gets into with the harmless-appearing move 20. Be4.> All white's troubles have arisen from his weak back rank. Kotov did not notice its weakness until it was too late. 22.Nxd4 was the final step on the road into the abyss but better alternatives don't look satisfactory as well. I guess that 20.Be4 can be considered as a decisive mistake here.
Dec-16-07  newtonbag: It struck me in this game that the fairly positional opening became a sharp game when white centralised his queen at move 15. It is fascinating how an individual piece can completely transform the nature of a game
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Great move Qe4 to win by Paoli!
Jan-13-15  Abdel Irada: Interesting. It's been exactly six years since anyone posted here.

Jan-13-15  ndg2: It's amazing to see, how after 24..Qe5 nothing helps white anymore. I thought of 25.Be3, but after the exchanges, black will win a whole minor piece with Rd8, Ne5 and e5 due to white's weak back rank.
Premium Chessgames Member
  John Saunders: "DEFEATED RUSSIAN’S ANGER- Venice, Wednesday. — Russian chess master, Alexander Kotov, beaten by Italy’s Enrico Paoli in the international championship here to-day, tried to break off the game, and hurled the pieces from the board in'anger. His defeat was the surprise of the fifth day of the tournament. When he saw himself outmanoeuvred, Kotov refused to continue to play. After an uproar among the spectators, he resumed his place for a few minutes, but swept the pieces from the board. - Associated Press" (The Scotsman newspaper, 5 October 1950)
Nov-07-16  diagonal: Venice 1950 became a great event: Alexander Kotov won before Smyslov, Rossolimo, and Pachman, followed by H.Steiner, Wade, and Letelier on shared fifth to seventh place, Donner finished eight (in total 16 players).

Italian Enrico Paoli, awarded the IM title in the following year 1951, won the brilliancy prize for this famous game he played against Soviet grandmaster (and eventual tournament winner) Kotov.

Nov-08-16  cunctatorg: Kotov was quite right to become very upset: he had committed a very serious -and somehow obvious for any GM- error...
Dec-29-19  RandomVisitor: After 15...g6 white is doing well, if only Kotov thought and played his next few moves "like a grandmaster"...

click for larger view


<48/72 1:26:04 +0.89 16.c5 Nf6 17.Qe1 Nd5 18.b4> Rfd8 19.Rb1 Rc7 20.Bc1 Qc8 21.Bh6 Ba6 22.Bc2 Bf6 23.Ne5 Bh8 24.Bb3 bxc5 25.bxc5 Rb7 26.h3 Qc7 27.Ng4 Rdb8 28.Bxd5 Rxb1 29.Rxb1 Rxb1 30.Qxb1 exd5 31.Qe1 Qd8 32.Qe3 Bc8 33.Bf4 Bxg4 34.hxg4 Qd7 35.f3 Qe6 36.Kf2 Qxe3+ 37.Kxe3 f6 38.Bh2 Bg7 39.Bg3 Bh6+ 40.Kd3 Kf7 41.a4 Ke6

48/66 1:26:04 +0.73 16.Qe2 c5 17.dxc5 Nxc5 18.Bc2 Rfd8 19.Ne5 Qc7 20.Ng4 Rxd1+ 21.Rxd1 Rd8 22.Rxd8+ Bxd8 23.Nf6+ Bxf6 24.Bxf6 Nd7 25.Bb2 Qd6 26.Qd3 Qxd3 27.Bxd3 f6 28.b4 Kf7 29.f3 e5 30.Kf2 Nf8 31.Bc3 Ne6 32.g3 Ng7 33.a4 Ne6 34.Ke3 Ke7 35.f4 exf4+ 36.gxf4 Ng7 37.Be4 Bxe4 38.Kxe4 Ke6 39.a5 bxa5 40.bxa5 Nf5 41.a6 Nd6+ 42.Kd3 Nf5 43.c5

Dec-29-19  RandomVisitor: After 18...c5! black has the momentum... if then 19.Bh6?! black is doing well.

click for larger view


<55/85 1:04:47 -0.43 19.Bf4 e5 20.dxe5> Nxe5 21.Nxe5 Bxe5 22.Bxe5 Qxe5 23.Qg3 Qxg3 24.hxg3 Rd4 25.Be2 Rxd1+ 26.Bxd1 Rd8 27.Be2 Be4 28.Rb2 h5 29.Bf3 Bf5 30.Kf1 Bd3+ 31.Be2 Be4 32.Bf3 Bf5 33.Bd5 Bd3+ 34.Ke1 Kg7 35.Bc6 Kf6 36.Bd5 Rd7 37.Rd2 Re7+ 38.Kd1 Bf5 39.a3 Rc7 40.Ke2 Rd7 41.Ke1 Bg4 42.Bc6 Rxd2 43.Kxd2 Ke7 44.Ke3 Be6 45.Be4 Bd7 46.Kd3 Kf6 47.Ke2 Ke5 48.Ke3 Kd6 49.Bd3 Bc6

<54/78 1:04:47 -1.17 19.Bh6 Rfe8 20.dxc5> Nxc5 21.Rcd2 Bc3 22.Rc2 Bb4 23.Qh4 Rxd3 24.Rxd3 Nxd3 25.Qd4 e5 26.Qxd3 Rd8 27.Qe2 Qd6 28.Rc1 f6 29.Be3 Ba3 30.Ra1 Rd7 31.h3 Kf7 32.Re1 h5 33.Qc2 Rd8 34.Qe2 Qd7 35.Ra1 Be4 36.Nd2 Qd3 37.Qxd3 Bxd3 38.Re1 Rd7 39.Nb1 Bb2 40.Nd2 Bf5 41.Nf1 g5 42.Ng3 Bg6 43.Ne2 h4 44.Bc1 Bxc1 45.Rxc1 Rd2 46.Nc3 Ke6 47.Kf1 Bd3+ 48.Kg1 Rb2 49.Rd1 e4 50.Re1

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Shockingly naive play by Kotov, then one of the world's top players. His behavior, as described in the article cited by <John Saunders>, was extremely unsportsmanlike. Despite this mishap, he won Venice (1950) with the tremendous score of 12.5 out of 15.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: For further misadventures by Kotov, see the kibitzes to Kotov vs G Lambert, 1977, of which appeared an account in CL&R way back then.
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