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Milan Mrdja vs Henrique Mecking
"Mrdja Most Foul" (game of the day Feb-06-2013)
Festival (2006), Lodi, rd 2
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B95)  ·  0-1



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Given 14 times; par: 32 [what's this?]

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Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: White can't parry the threat of 26...Rxe4+ & so surrenders. A wonderful game by Mecking!
Nov-21-12  Garech: Now *that's* a Sicilian!


Feb-06-13  ZeejDonnelly: I think this might simply be a case of a really good player being outplayed by a really really good player. If I correctly understand how ratings works, then the almost 200 points separating these two players matters much more than the difference between a 2000 and 2200.

Don't understand Qh3 or a3. To me, it seems that in this variation of the Sicilian you need to ATTACK, rather than sit around.

Feb-06-13  Abdel Irada: Both players had a hand in White's demise.

A case of Mrdja-suicide if ever I saw one.

Feb-06-13  morfishine: Mecking's been around; here's his loss to Fischer in 1970: Fischer vs Mecking, 1970
Feb-06-13  sorokahdeen: Looks like by substituting Qf3 for f4, white tried to apply pressure with his pieces on the kingside but didn't find any such pressure in the center strong enough to make black castle into any of that white side of the najdorf Richter-Rauzer variation's attacking themes.

it looked like white was hoping black would castle into his attack instead of threatening things that would make him castle into it and the result was horror.

Feb-06-13  khanmustafi: don't get the pun. well white's queenside castling gave way in absence of active play.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: The continuation might be 26. Kf3 Rxe4 27. Be3 Nd4+ 28. Bxd4 Rxd3+ (28...Rxe2+ 29. Kxe2 Kxe7 30. Bxc3 Qxc3, and Black has ♕+♘+♙+♙ vs. ♖+♖) 29. Qxd3 Rxe1+ 30. Kf2 Rxd1 31. Qxd1 Qxd4+ 32. Qxd4 exd4 33. Nf5. Black is up a ♗+♙.
Feb-06-13  newzild: <khanmustafi> I also don't get the pun. It's obviously playing on "murder most foul, but although "Mrdja" does sound like "murder", I can't figure out the relevance of "most foul".
Feb-06-13  newzild: If 26. cxb3, 26. Nf5 or 26. Rb1 then Black has a mate:

26...Rxd5+ 27. Kf3 Rxf4+ 28. Kg3 (28. Ke3 Nd5#) Rg4+ 29. Kh3 Bxg2#

Feb-06-13  Sboldm7: Hamlet
Feb-06-13  thendcomes: The ghost says it in Hamlet.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The white king is like the princess and the pee,but under the mattresses.

The Quote"Murder Most Foul" is from Hamlet. Unlike the OSU game last night where Aaron Craft was "fouled and almost murdered" with no call. lol

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Phony Benoni: <kevin86> You mean the Michigan game? I didn't see any foul at all! Now, if the game had been played in Columbus...

As for the pun, it's common to use terms such as "Most Foul" to describe the play of the loser.

Feb-06-13  waustad: Sometimes we forget just how good Mecking was before he got sick. It's nice to see him playing a game like this much later in his career.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <kevin86> yeah, Craft was fouled but Thomas should have been taking the shot anyway.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <waustad> True enough. Mecking was world championship material. As it turned out, his main achievement was being able to survive his illness.
Feb-06-13  sfm: <ZeejDonnelly: Don't understand Qh3 or a3.>

Good or bad, 11.Qh3 is probably played with the natural idea of opening the way for the f-pawn.

But 12.a3 is nothing less than stunning.

It looks like a trap. I'd be really suspicious if a strong player played that against me. "Hehe, you think you can now simply play the obvious 12.-,Rb8 and 13.-,b4 to give you a nice open b-file against my king? Do you think I would make such a beginner's mistake without having something planned?"

Mrdja would of course had known all about the possible implications of 12.a3. He will have played countless games - not the least in the Sicilian - with castling to different sides, and where an unfortunate advanced pawn in front of the king would have allowed the opponent to open files first, deciding the game.


For a Mecking this game would have a rarely offered piece of cake, with not a single move being hard to find.

Feb-06-13  shakespeare: This guy was once No.4 in the world and won amazing games against the world elite. My favourite game is the tactical firework: Mecking vs A Rocha, 1969
Feb-06-13  joe1137: Ghost: If thou didst ever thy dear father love

Hamlet: O God!

Ghost: Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.

Hamlet: Murder!

Ghost: Murder most foul, as in the best it is,
But this most foul, strange, and unnatural.

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Ghost:
12.a3 move most foul, as in the best it is,
But this most foul, strange, and unnatural.
Feb-06-13  Castleinthesky: <sfm> 12.a3 is a fairly standard "Sicilian" move the purpose of which is to prevent ...b4 from driving away the protecting knight on c3. I think white's big blunder occurred 21...e5 22. Nf5. 22. Nb3, while losing a pawn for black, would still give him a fighting chance.
Feb-06-13  Shams: <Castleinthesky> Doesn't 22.Nb3 Nxb3 23.cxb3 Rxc3 win for Black?
Feb-06-13  Abdel Irada: <joe1137: Ghost: If thou didst ever thy dear father love

Hamlet: O God!

Ghost: Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.

Hamlet: Murder!

Ghost: Murder most foul, as in the best it is,
But this most foul, strange, and unnatural.>

Thank you. Apparently, to infer from the comments about the pun, _Hamlet_ is less widely familiar than I might have thought.

Apr-28-16  Al2009: Mecking missed an opportunity to win faster.

He could play 19...Qb6! (instead of 19...Qa5?!) and White could resign, as there was no way to defend b2 and White's castle.

For instance (after 19...Qb6!):

a) 20. Nb3 Nxb3+ 21. cxb3 Qc7! and b3 pawn is lost, for instance

a1) 22. Bc4 Nxe4! 23. Nxe4 Bxe4 24. Qxe4 Rxb3! 25. Rd4 Bf6 etc.

a2) 22.Bc2 (or 22.Kc2) Nxe4!

b) 20. b3 Qc7! and again White's position collapses, for instance

b1) 21. Na2 Nxb3!
b2) 22. Kb2 Nxb3!

19...Qb6! was immediately winning

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