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Vasily Panov vs Igor Bondarevsky
"Flash in the Panov" (game of the day May-22-2006)
USSR Championship (1937), Tbilisi URS, rd 14, Apr-30
French Defense: Tarrasch Variation. Open System Main Line (C09)  ·  0-1



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Given 34 times; par: 35 [what's this?]

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Nov-26-12  wordfunph: nice shot 16...Bxh3! 20...Bxf2!

"Some of Bondarevsky's ideas are so fine that one feels like turning to some of our masters and saying 'That's the way to play chess!'"

- IM Peter Romanovsky (on Panov-Bondarevsky 1937)

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Panov is too good a player to play silly spite checks like this. He should have resigned much sooner, definitely no later than his 27th move.
Mar-30-18  morfishine:

Pan off

took the day off


Sep-23-18  landshark: In an uncustomary flash of brilliance, I actually chose 17-Rxe2, awarded two exclaims (!!) in the old kibitz of <VonKroloc> in 2007 - so I am Morphy for the day -

However, this was chosen on hunch, not deep calculation, and bolstered by the fact that this is a puzzle - - I highly doubt I'd have gotten to the starting point of all this fireworks in a real game. Let's see how far I can get comparing my guesses against the lines he posted -

Sep-23-18  Walter Glattke: Black threatens 27.-Qh5#, White has 3 pieces more. Mate cannot be stopped: 28.Ng3 Qxf4 29.Bxe4 Qxg3+ 30.Kh1 Rh6+ or 29.Rg1 Rh6+ 30.Qh5 Rxh5+ 31.Kg2 Qf2# several other mate ways.
Sep-23-18  landshark: It's weird - today must be Shark Day. My guesswork led like this: 17...Rxe2 18. Bxc7 Bxf2+ 19. Kh2 Rxe1 20. Qf3 Re3 21. Qd1 and I figured Black is winning here - instead of VK's -Bg3!!, I thought -Ng4+ would be enough, which it surely is after 22. Kh1 Re1+ 23. Qxe1 Bxe1 24. Rxe1 Nf2+ 25. Kh2 Nxd3 26. Rd1 Ndxb2, Finally, if 20. Qc2 Black has - Ne3 21. Rxe1 Nxc2 22. Re2 Bg4 23. Rxf2 Ne3 with a healthy 2-pawn advantage - it's getting late here and there might be better than that in this last line - good enough for me for a Sunday!
Sep-23-18  wtpy: I saw 16..Bh3 17. gh Re2 18.Re2 Qg3+ 19Kf1 Qh3+ 20. Kg1 Ng4 and black is winning handily. In the game continuation I differed in my response to 17 Bf4. I went with Re2 and 18 Bc7 Bf2+ 19. Kh2 Re1 20Qe1 Be1 21Re1 Be6, was my main line. per stock fish it was superior to line that was chosen in the game.
Sep-23-18  hdcc: The name's Bondarevsky - Igor Bondarevsky.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black can attack the white king with many pieces, starting with 16... Bxh3:

A) 17.gxh3 Bxf2+ 18.Kxf2 (else Bxe1 recovers material followed by Ne3 and the white king is still exposed) 18... Qh2+

A.1) 19.Kf1 Re3

A.1.a) 20.Bxe3 Nxe3#.

A.1.b) 20.Ned4 Rg3, with multiple mate threats, wins.

A.1.c) 20.Nf4 Rg3 21.Be3 Nxe3+ 22.Rxe3 Rg1#.

A.1.d) 20.Ng1 Rg3 as above.

A.2) 19.Kf3 Ne5+ (19... Qxh3+ 20.Ng3, unclear) 20.Ke3 Qxh3+

A.2.a) 21.Kd4 Nf3+ 22.Kc5 Nxe1 23.Bxh7+ Qxh7 24.Qxe1 Qd3 with the threats Q(R)xe2 and Qc4+ and Qc6# wins.

A.2.b) 21.Kd2 Qxd3#.

A.2.c) 21.Kf4 Nxd3+ wins.

A.2.d) 21.Ng3 Qxg3+ 22.Kd4(e2) Nf3+ wins.

B) 17.Bxc4 dxc4 18.gxh3 (18.Nbd4 Bg4 wins a pawn with a much better position) 18... cxb3 perhaps followed by Bxf2+ Qh2+ and Ne4 (now possible because White's lsb has been eliminated).

Sep-23-18  Walter Glattke: Oh, oh, even after 16.Nxe6 is no defense, for example 16.-Bxf2+ 17.Kxf2 Rxe6 18.Rxe6 fxe6 19.Kg1 Ne4 20.Bxe4 dxe4 21.Nxe6 Rf2 22.Qg4 Rxg2+ 23.Kf1 (h1) Qf2# (Qh2#) / 22.Qf1 decisive material. 21.Qg4 Rf6 22.Nxe6!? Qb6+
Sep-23-18  yadasampati: I would have preferred the more spectacular rook offer 30. ... Rh6+ 31. Bxh6 Qxg3+ 32. Kh1 Nf2#
Sep-23-18  groog: I was toying with the idea of bxaf3+, but it didn't seem to go far.
Sep-23-18  pokerplayer: agb2002 A.2 line: After 19. Kf3, instead of an immediate Ne5+, ... Re3+ 20. Be3 Ne5# is much faster
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: This looks like a good game for computer analysis, below by Stockfish.

Its even until 16 Ne2. After 15 .. Rae8 we have:

1) -0.13 (19 ply) 16.a4 Bd7 17.Bxc4 Qxc4 18.Be3 Bxa4 19.Na5 Bxd1 20.Nxc4 dxc4 21.Rexd1 Nd5 22.Nc2 Nxe3 23.Nxe3 Bxe3 24.fxe3 Rxe3 25.Rxa7 b5 26.Rdd7

After 16 Ne2 Bondarevsky finds the punisher:

1) -1.81 (19 ply) 16...Bxh3 17.Nbd4 Bg4 18.Qc2 Bxe2 19.Rxe2 Ne5 20.Qd1 Neg4 21.g3 Rxe2 22.Qxe2 Re8 23.Bf4 Rxe2 24.Bxc7 Rxf2 25.Bxb6 Rd2 26.Bf5 axb6 27.Re1 Kf8 28.Re2 Rxe2 29.Nxe2

We see that Stockfish didn't offer 17 Bf4 but instead 17 Nbd4.

Things get worse for white after he plays 18 gxh3, better was Bxc4, where black is down but still has fight:

1) -1.00 (24 ply) 18.Bxc4 dxc4 19.Qxd7 Bxd7 20.Nd2 Ne4 21.Nd4 Nxd2 22.Bxd2 Rxe1+ 23.Rxe1 f6 24.Be3 Re8 25.Nc2 Kf7 26.Bxb6 Rxe1+ 27.Nxe1 axb6 28.Nc2 Ke6 29.Kf1 b5 30.Nd4+ Kd5 31.Ke1 Ke4 32.Ke2 b4

But after gxh3 black's lead goes to -3:
1) -2.96 (22 ply) 18...Qxh3 19.Bxc4 Qg4+ 20.Kf1 Qf3 21.Nbd4 Bxd4 22.Qxd4 Rxe2 23.Kg1 dxc4 24.Rxe2 Qxe2 25.Be5 Ne4 26.Qe3 Qxe3 27.fxe3 Re8 28.Bd4 b6 29.Kg2 f6 30.Rh1 h6 31.Rg1 Kf7 32.Kf3 g5 33.Rg4

However, black let's white back in after the aggressive 20 .... Bxf2. Best was Qf3

1) -2.86 (22 ply) 20...Qf3 21.Nbd4 Bxd4 22.Qxd4 Rxe2 23.Bh2 Ng4 24.Bg1 Rxe1+ 25.Rxe1 dxc4 26.Re2 Qh3+ 27.Ke1 h5 28.Kd2 b5 29.Re1 a6 30.Kc1 Qf3 31.Qe4 Qxe4 32.Rxe4 Nf6 33.Rd4 Re8 34.Kd1 Ng4 35.f3 Ne5

But after 20 Bxf2, its a fight again:

1) -1.05 (23 ply) 21.Kxf2 Ne4+ 22.Kf1 Re6 23.Ng1 Qxf4+ 24.Qf3 Qh2 25.Rxe4 Rxe4 26.Qg2 Qf4+ 27.Qf2 Rxc4 28.Nd4 Qg4 29.Qf3 Qxf3+ 30.Ngxf3 Ra4 31.Nf5 Rd8 32.Kf2 Ra6 33.Ne3 Rb6 34.Rb1 h5 35.Kg3 g6 36.a4 Kg7 37.Nd4 Rf6 38.Re1

White's needed to play 25 Qd3 to stay in the game:

1) -1.68 (23 ply) 25.Qd3 dxc4 26.Qe3 Qh4+ 27.Kg2 Qg4+ 28.Bg3 Ng5 29.Qf4 Rxe2+ 30.Kf1 Qh5 31.Nd4 Rxb2 32.Qh4 Qg6 33.Re3 f5 34.Bf4 Ne4 35.Re2 Rxe2 36.Nxe2 Qg4 37.Qxg4 fxg4 38.Kg2 Nxc3 39.Nxc3 Rxf4 40.Re1 Rf3 41.Nb5 h5 42.Nd4 Rh3 43.Re7

After 25 Bxd5 black can mate in 8.

As usual though, I think even at the super GM level playing the 'best' computer move isn't always the best in a game against a human, where attacking pressure can cause humans to make errors.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: <pokerplayer: agb2002 A.2 line: After 19. Kf3, instead of an immediate Ne5+, ... Re3+ 20. Be3 Ne5# is much faster>

Good point. Thank you!

Sep-23-18  messachess: Nice problem.
Sep-23-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4

16.Nxe6 fxe6 17.Qe2 Rac8 18.a4 a6 19.Nd4 e5 20.Nf5 Qd7 21.Ne3 Nxe3 22.Bxe3 Bxe3 23.Qxe3 e4 24.Bc2 Qd6 25.Rad1 Rc7 26.Re2 Rc5 27.Red2 Rf8 28.Bb3 b6 29.Ba2 = (0.05) Depth: 22 dpa

Sep-23-18  AlicesKnight: Double bishop blow-up of Ks position - nice.
Sep-23-18  rgr459: White's opening play seems weak. I can't find exactly where he went wrong, but he ended up behind in development and allowed black control of too many squares to set up the successful sacrifice.
Sep-23-18  JohnBoy: <cormier> - I presume you are looking at <Glattke>'s analysis. You have the wrong rook at e8.
Sep-23-18  patzer2: For today's Sunday puzzle (16...?) I calculated the demolition 16... Bxh3!! 17.gxh3 Rxe2 18.Qxe2 Qg3+ 19.Kh1 Qxh3+ 20.Kg1 Ng4 21.Bf4 Bxf2+ 22.Qxf2 Nxf2 23.Kxf2 Qxd3 -+ (-9.08 @ 31 ply, Stockfish 9) for my solution.

After 16...Bxh3, I didn't anticipate 17. Bf4 and would likely have responded as Black did in the game with 17...Qd7 ∓ (-1.05 @ 35 ply, Stockfish 9).

However, much stronger than 17...Qd7 ∓ would've been 17...Rxe2! 18. Bxc7 Bxf2+ 19. Kh2 Rxe1 (-2.52 @ 35 ply, Stockfish 9) with a clearly won position.

P.S.: So where did White go wrong?

According to the computer, the losing move was 18. gxh3?, allowing 18...Qxh3 -+ (-3.04 @ 30 ply, Stockfish 9).

Instead, White could have maximized resistance for practical drawing chances with 18. Bxc4 dxc7 19. Qxd7 Bxd7 ∓ (-1.05 @ 35 ply, Stockfish 9).

A few moves earlier, instead of 15. Bd3 Rae8 ⩱ (-0.48 @ 30 ply, Stockfish 9), Black could have maintained a level or slightly better position with 15. a4 = to ⩲ (+0.24 @ 35 ply, Stockfish 9).

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Walter Glattke> <Oh, oh, even after 16.Nxe6 is no defense, for example 16.-Bxf2+> Why wouldn't Black simply recapture the piece? 16. Nxe6 fxe6 and then what?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Walter Glattke> Oh sorry, missed your point. I think you were trying to say <Black> wins with that line, but 16. Nxe6 Bxf2+ 17. Kxf2 Rxe6 <18. Kg1> and I don't see the follow-up.
May-12-20  Predrag3141: <The spectacular 17...♖xe2!!! - perhaps a move that in the past would be at reach of the very few like Morphy, Alekhine or Tal …>. When I reached this point I spent about a minute trying to calculate 17 … Rxe2. So I spotted it and I am no Morphy, Alekhine or Tal!

But, maybe you mean these players could calculate it all out. Kasparov is the one I'd give the best chance of doing that. I have not checked the computer but 18 Bxc7 Bf2+ 19 Kh2 is probably the stiffest resistance. I can't see through the thicket after that.

Jun-16-22  tbontb: The losing move is probably 16.Ne2 (better Qc2), after which Black proceeds to sacrifice 3 pieces to deliver mate in a memorable game, despite missing the spectacular 17....Rxe2. In fact, 20....Bxf2 is pretty but not strictly necessary, as 20....Qf3 21.Nbd4 Bxd4 22.Qxd4 Rxe2 23.Bh2 Ng4 also wins.
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