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Nikola Padevsky vs Ingvar Asmundsson
WchT U26 04th (1957), Reykjavik ISL, rd 9, Jul-11
French Defense: Winawer. Poisoned Pawn Variation Main Line (C18)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: @lentil there is no refutation as such. The game is very sharp after eg 14..d4 15 Qxf7 Qa5 when White has a pawn but Black has an attack.
Nov-25-19  lost in space: 15. Qxg8 Nxg8 17. h7 and queening 1:0
Premium Chessgames Member
  Oxspawn: Mondays is my level, my peak, my celebration, my weekend... oh happy day... 15. Qxg8, not losing a queen but lending it out short term.
Nov-25-19  WorstPlayerEver: Funny 14... Rg6 locks in White's Queen.

click for larger view

Nov-25-19  5hrsolver: <WorstPlayerEver: Funny 14... Rg6 locks in White's Queen.>

14...Rg6 15. Qxf7 Rh8 16. h7 Be8 17. Qxe8+ Rxe8 18. h8=Q Rxh8 19. Rxh8+ Rg8

looks good for black.

Nov-25-19  zb2cr: White wins a Rook with the straightforward Queening combination 15. Qxg8, Nxg8; 16. h7! Black can try a simple trap, with 16. ... Bd7; but White is not forced to capture the Knight and can simply play 17. h8=Q.
Nov-25-19  cocker: Some consolation for Padevsky after his loss to Szabo last week (though in wrong time order).
Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: @Shrsolver 14..Rg6 does look better than 14..d4 since 15 g4 can be met with 15..Rf8!
Nov-25-19  wtpy: Ingmar looks like a guy who enjoyed a good bar fight which probably means he never got in one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: <wtpy: Ingmar looks like a guy who enjoyed a good bar fight which probably means he never got in one.>

Agreed. From the looks of his bio photo, I wouldn't mess with him.

Nov-25-19  WorstPlayerEver: Better pic here, but not less impressive ;)

Nov-25-19  Damenlaeuferbauer: After long pondering, my old Bulgarian friend Nikola finally found 15.Qxg8!,Nxg8 16.h7 and the pawn queens! Therefore in "Play the French", 4th edition, 2012, p.236, John Watson recommends 14.-,Nf5 (instead of the lemon 14.-,Be8?) with problems for white's queen.
Nov-25-19  TheaN: A very critical game for the Winawer, showing that both colors will have to be wary for quick knockouts in this variation. Twice recently that a White win is featured in a French in PotD; not less interesting.

White had to retreat first with 14.Qd3 ⩲ yet the premature 14.h6?! ∓ paid off after 14....Be8? 15.Qxg8 +-. After 14....Rg6! ∓ Black is allowed the ultimate counter attack you want in this variation, as after 15.Qxf7?! (Rb1 ∓) Rh8 16.h7 Be8 -+ the queen's trapped and the h-pawn isn't coming through.

Nov-25-19  TheaN: That said I do prefer the Classical or Steinitz personally, just because of these very tactical (sometimes TOO tactical) variations.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: FWIW Stockfish 10 at d=41 evaluates Black having a won game after 14.h6

click for larger view

and then either 14...Nf5 or 14...Rg6 as follows:

1. [-4.37]: 14...Nf5 15.Qxf7 Ncd4 16.Nxd4 Nxd4 17.Qh7 Nf5 18.Qf7 Ng3 19.h7 Rh8 20.Rh3 Nxf1 21.Rb1 (Black wins a piece since White loses the queen after 21.Kxf1 Bb5+) 21...d4 22.Rb4 Ne3 23.Bxe3 dxe3 24.Qe7 (now 24.Rxe3 runs into 24...Qc5 25.Ke2 a5 26.Rb4 Bb5+ 27.Rxb5 and Black wins the exchange since otherwise if 27.Ke2 then 27...Rd2 and White loses a lot more) 24...Bc6 25.Qxc7+ Kxc7 (even with the exchange of queens ) 26.Rc4 Rd7 27.g3 Rdxh7 28.Rxh7+ Rxh7 29.Rxc3 Rh2 30.Rxe3 Rxc2 31.Rd3 Be4 32.Re3 Bf5 33.Kd1 Rg2 34.Rc3+ Kb6 35.Ke1 Bg4 36.Rc8 Ra2 37.Rg8 Bf5 38.g4 Be4 39.Rg7 Rxa3 40.Re7

click for larger view

And, a piece up, Black should be able to win this.

2. [-3.68]: 14...Rg6 15.g4 Rf8 16.g5 Qd8 17.Nxc3 Rh8 18.Qxh8 Qxh8 (now Black has a queen against R+P but White's protected passed Ph6 and greater command of space might make a win difficult) 19.Bb2 Rg8 20.0-0-0 Na5 21.Bd3 b6 22.Rdg1 Nc4 23.Rg3 Nxb2 (exchanging a well placed knight in a somewhat closed position for White's bad DSB does not seem like a good idea to me) 24.Kxb2 Kb7 25.Ne2 Rc8 26.Rhh3 Qf8 27.Rf3 Ng6 28.Bxg6 fxg6 29.Rc3 Rd8 30.Rh4 Qf5 31.Ng3 Qf7 32.Ne2 Rh8 33.Nd4 Qe7 34.Kb1 Qh7 35.Nf3 Re8 36.Nd4 Rb8 37.Kb2 Rf8 38.Rf3

click for larger view

Black still has the Q vs. R+P advantage but it's not clear to me how it can make progress with White's command of space and better placed pieces, particularly the Nd4 against Black's bad bishop.

And Stockfish evaluates any moves besides 14...Nf5 or 14...Rg6 at [0.00], so it does not consider that White has any advantage. White's poorly placed pieces and loss of time with its queen compensate, at worst, for Black's material disadvantage. It's apparently harder than it appears for White to force its h-pawn to queen against good play by Black.

Nov-25-19  Cheapo by the Dozen: Technically, it's a queen sac and h-file action. :)
Nov-25-19  agb2002: After 15.Qxg8 Nxg8 16.h7 Black ends up a rook down.
Nov-25-19  abstract: The French defence - black's white bishop syndrome
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: File under "whoops"

Black was slightly better until Be8??

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: An old friend used to play into this morass in the 1970s; while I never took much interest, I recall looking at some positions with him and how he never feared the bayonet charge with h4-h5, etc.
Nov-25-19  drollere: asmundsson went in for rapid development, just like the books advise. meanwhile, white went for the win.
Nov-25-19  drollere: still, Qa5 followed by Nb4 might have been worth a try before resigning. it seems that was black's plan, as white is not without problems of his own.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: After 15 Qxg8 Nxg8 16 h7 Black cannot stop the pawn. Nifty combination.
Nov-28-19  patzer2: Instead of 14. h6?? allowing 14...Nf5 -+ or 14...Rg6 -+ (see <AylerKupp>'s post), White can play 14. Qd3 ⩲ (+0.53 @ 33 ply, Stockfish 9) with a slight advantage.

P.S.: I've been teaching the Winawer Poison Pawn variation in the French to my daughter, who recently reentered competitive Chess as an adult.

My advice to her is to study up on the opening and analyze key games, as the best prepared player in double edged lines like this has a big advantage.

Nov-28-19  SChesshevsky: <patzer2...My advice to her is to study up on the opening...> She might want to take a look at Shirov's games against the Winawer. His results were pretty good and knowing those ideas certainly can't hurt.
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