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Michael Francis Stean vs Emil Ungureanu
"Stean Punk" (game of the day Nov-13-2013)
Netanya (1976), Netanya ISR, rd 7, Jun-??
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Polugayevsky Variation Simagin Line (B96)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-12-13  Howard: This game not only landed in the top-10 for the 1976 Informant volume that it appeared in, but it also got itself a spot in Jon Speelman's book Best Chess Games 1970-80.

Speelman explains in the introduction that the year before, in 1975, Stean had played this line of the (ultra-complicated) Polugayevsky variation against Nunn and attained a rather easy draw.....

....except that Stean--who'd been Black in that game--had apparently discovered later that he should have lost this game ! Nunn had missed a strong White move that could have led to Stean's king being placed in great peril, but luckily Stean's British colleague hadn't seen it.

So, in the present 1976 game, Ungureanu decided to repeat the line of that earlier game as BLACK---that is, the same color Stean had had.

And, as Speelman put it, "a nasty surprise awaited him." Stean's 21.Bf4 !! (the move Nunn had missed) enabled him to score a memorable win.

Nov-13-13  hellopolgar:
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: So the first 20 moves are theory...
Nov-13-13  aidanpickering: I played Michael Stean in a simul as a kid. He was a gracious and gifted player, I heard he left chess to pursue a more lucrative career. I don't blame him at all. This game is a masterpiece.
Nov-13-13  morfishine: Stean cleaning
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White will gain another pawn. The two PP's will win quickly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Here's a strange:Teodora Ungureanu was a teammate of Nadia in the 1976 games. Her birthday is today.

I'm guessing :the name UNGUREANU means Hungarian.


Nov-13-13  yadasampati: What if 16) Nxe6 ?

To me it looks like black is devastated after that move. The queen is under attack and there are many checks waiting, including double. Severe loss of material or a quick mate seems unavoidable. Do i miss something?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: <yadasampati: What if 16) Nxe6 ?>

After 16.Nxe6 fxe6 17.Rxe6+ (17.Qf4 e5) Kf7 18.Rde1 Nc6, Black should be able to consolidate. The Black king can also escape to the relative safety of g8.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: One of my all time favourite games which thoroughly deserves its rating as one of the games of the decade. It was something of a landmark in the career of Michael Stean who strove to play superb chess as well as win his games. It was a masterpiece of opening analysis.

If my memory has not been too blunted by the passing years, it was something of a turning pont in the popularity of this line. The Simagin line of the "Polu" had been a successful alternative to the Poison Pawn and to the Main Line of the Najdorf, and was very popular for B.

I still have the cut-out newspaper article on the game by Baruch Woodwhich I keep tucked in among the pages of my copy of the excellent book by Geller et al.

Jul-30-15  Abdel Irada: <kevin86: White will gain another pawn. The two PP's will win quickly.>

Unless I'm overlooking a defense, White gets more than that.

The rook on d5 is under attack, and there's no good place to put it. If it goes to d6, White wins it with a fork by 34. Qa3+. If it goes to c5, White still checks on a3, forcing 34. ...Kb6 to defend it, and then the fork 35. Nd7+ wins it. If it goes elsewhere (say to d8), White wins the knight with 34. Qc6+.

Note that I haven't checked this with an engine. *Am* I overlooking something?

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