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Frederick Rhine vs David Sprenkle
Master Challenge III (1981), Forest Park, IL USA, rd 2, Jun-20
Sicilian Defense: Nimzowitsch Variation. Main Line (B29)  ·  1-0



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  FSR: <waustad> <KlingonBorgTatar> Thanks!
Aug-07-13  MarkFinan: Really really good game but has noone seen 27..Bh3 for black? Games still whites with correct play though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <MarkFinan> That is an interesting try, which had never occurred to me - not during the game, nor after the game, nor when I annotated the game for Chess Informant. <Sneaky> mentioned, and analyzed, it in the first comment to this game.
Aug-08-13  MarkFinan: Yeh, i just read sneakys earlier comments from 07 and he's right, its still hopeless fo black.. That's probably why it didn't occur to you during or after the game, its not as good as it originally looked. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ziryab: I just went through the game in Informant 32. Great annotations, FSR!
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Thanks, <Ziryab>! I spent a lot of time on those. It wasn't so easy back in the pre-Houdini days.
Aug-16-13  Conrad93: I didn't bother to check, but did anyone mention 16. Rxf7?

Oh, never mind. Seems a bit drawish.

Aug-16-13  Conrad93: <23.Qf4! is more accurate than my 23.Qf2?! Then if Black trades queens, White gets a favorable endgame with the bishop pair.>

That's not bad, but Houdini prefers 23. Qd5, and, if black plays 23...Be6, white can play 24. Qe5 with a huge advantage for white.

The queen trade would lead to a drawish position, because material-wise both sides are even.

Nov-27-14  alfiepa: All my congratulation to FSR for this great game and for all his post , Always interesting !
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Thanks, <alfiepa>!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 18.Nxd6 is excellent move for sure, and it has become well-known theory after publication of this game in Chess Informant but it was played before this game at least twice by Craig William Pritchett in C W Pritchett vs E Gonzales, 1978 and C W Pritchett vs P Ostermeyer, 1980. Nihil novi sub sole....
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  louispaulsen88888888: Watch on the Rhine
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  FSR: Additional game information: EventDate is 1981.06.19. WhiteElo is 2057. BlackElo is 2332. Correction slip submitted.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: That's one strong rook on a8.
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  FSR: <saffuna> It overprotected the a-pawn the whole game.
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These updated pgn tags are now attached to this game. They display new information on "Event Date" and "ELO." Click "view" to see the new tags:

[Event "Master Challenge III"]
[Site "Forest Park, IL USA"]
[Date "1981.06.20"]
[EventDate "1981.06.19"]
[Round "2"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Frederick Rhine"]
[Black "David Sprenkle"]
[ECO "B29"]
[WhiteElo "2057"]
[BlackElo "2332"]
[PlyCount "73"]


Additional information courtesy of <FSR>

Nov-25-20  qqdos: <Jess> and <FSR> it is interesting to compare the respective ratings in this game with those playing in the 1978 Olympiad game, which anticipated the above game for 22 moves and finished 22.Be3 Rd8; 23.Kd2 Qxg2+; 24. Rf2 Ng5; Qxg7+ (1-0). White (Pritchett's rating was 2410:FSR - 2057) and (Black, Gonzales - 2205:Sprenkle - 2332). Where were Chess Informant, Nunn and Bogdanovich?
Premium Chessgames Member

<qqdos> Interesting.

And quite right. Not only did our man beat the stronger player in the similar game, but in <FSR's> case there was a larger gap in the respective ratings.

This game is deserving of notice in Chess Informant, no doubt about it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <qqdos>, see <FSR>'s remarks from January of '12; I also recall this game from Informator.
Nov-25-20  qqdos: <perfidious>, <jessica> and <FSR> Yes, Informant found this game in 1981 but 3 years earlier failed miserably to discover the Theoretical Novelty that virtually killed off the main line of an entire variation [B29]. Craig Pritchett was a former champion of Scotland, playing in the 1978 Olympiad and produced a splendid miniature of considerable significance! as revealed above by <Honza>. He (Craig) deserves recognition. Full marks to FSR for his game and the "notoriety" he earned and he may be saddened to learn that he has now lost his number one ranking as destroyer in chief of my pet Nimzo-Sicilian. All is forgiven as attention now switches to Craig, who played and won 3 games down this line.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <qqdos> As I mentioned in the commentary to Unzicker vs O Sarapu, 1970, I learned of 18.Nxd6! in David Neil Lawrence Levy 's notes to Gligoric vs Larsen, 1959 in his book <Gligoric's Best Games 1945-1970>. I had also seen it in the pamphlet <Sicilian Defence 4: Unusual Second Moves for Black> by Leonard M Pickett.

I learned of C W Pritchett vs E Gonzales, 1978 and C W Pritchett vs P Ostermeyer, 1980, which also predated my game, from the late GM Edmar J Mednis. I sent Rhine-Sprenkle and and my notes thereto to him, in the hopes that he could help me get the game into Chess Informant. He then sent it to Informant, and sent me a letter telling me of the two Pritchett games, which he informed me had been published in <The New Chess Player>. I had all the Informants at the time, but didn't have <The New Chess Player>, a competitor of <Chess Informant>. I had erroneously assumed that "all the games that were fit to print" would be in Informant, which was one of the preeminent chess publications at the time. Informant apparently felt the same way, since it deemed 18.Nxd6! a novelty (N) and its panel of eminent judges (all GMs except for one IM) later voted it one of the top 10 "novelties" of Volume 32. Bent Larsen voted it No. 1, and Robert Eugene Byrne voted in No. 2. The other judges were less impressed. (Possibly some didn't consider it a "novelty" at all, but rather old hat. I don't know.) I was happily surprised, since I knew it was not a new move, just new to Chess Informant. (The move hadn't even surprised David Sprenkle, who mentions in his November 23, 2011 comment to this game that he'd looked at the position after 21...Rg8 more than once in his home analysis.)

To recap: I didn't invent 18.Nxd6!, which I had seen in Levy's book and Pickett's pamphlet before playing my game against Sprenkle. Pritchett had played it twice before my game, and published his games in two volumes of <The New Chess Player>, which I hadn't seen. But Chess Informant deemed any move not in its pages a <Novelty>, so I in effect ended up, undeservedly, being credited as the inventor of this "novelty."

Nov-26-20  qqdos: <FSR> Many thanks indeed for such an informative (no pun intended) narrative. I don't think Chess Informant would accept your narrow definition of how they "deemed" a "novelty". The impression created was objective, cutting edge, first with the news, which was why so many professionals were avidly scanning its pages. I still cannot understand how Nunn didn't find the reference to Pritchett, who had been Scotland's top board for several years and must have been well known to the English team. BTW I can't trace The New Chess Player - Bill Wall doesn't have it in his very comprehensive list of chess magazines. You certainly drew the world's attention to "that" move and deserve credit for your annotations. Games from the 1978 Olympiad appeared in Chess Informant No.26 with Korchnoi winning the gold medal for board No.1 with the staggering score of 9/11 having been beaten by Karpov in Bagio City the month before.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: As Russians used to say, a novelty is everything what has been already forgotten.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: GOTD Pun:

"Sprenkel's Not On Top."

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Oops, make that "Sprenkle's Not On Top".

Submitted with my misspelling, sorry.

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