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Daniel Rensch vs Tatev Abrahamyan
"DR: According To This File, You're Paralyzed" (game of the day May-24-2020)
United States Chess League (2010), ?
French Defense: Winawer. Poisoned Pawn Variation General (C18)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-10-11  swr: Amazing play by White.

This should be GOTD.

Mar-25-15  Alex Schindler: Not a whole lot of people can brag about taking on tatev in the winawer French successfully
May-23-20  NightKnight: True brilliancy. First allowing Black to double her queen and the last move being Rb8!!, not to mention the whole concept of the attack.
May-23-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Not that I wish to complain, but I didn”t submit this pun.
May-23-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Annie K.: Ooops, thank you <MissS> - we'll have to wait for <Sargon> to correct the attribution on the homepage, but meanwhile, credit for this pun goes to <thegoldenband>.
May-23-20  jith1207: a <GOTD> pun from <TGOD>...

OK, that's a stretch.

I can understand why there was a confusion.

It's difficult to comprehend the writing when the pun starts as prescription a Doctor has written (DR: .....).

May-23-20  goodevans: 37...Qa6 38.g5. Oh, I do love a good zugzwang!
May-23-20  Brenin: The finish is very pleasing: White leaves the R on b4, en prise to the N on c6, while he conducts manoeuvres around Black's K, and then the coup de grace is to move the R to another square, b8, where it is also en prise to the N, but again Black dare not capture it. The lockdown position after 37 ... Qd8 (the only defence against mate) 38 Bxd8 Kxd8 39 Ra8 is amusing (though perhaps not for Black).
May-23-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <MissScarlett> truly this will be a pun long remembered. It is very amusing to visualize a doctor explaining to a patient that he or she has become permanently paralyzed. Caution: this pun should not be shown to people who have become permanently paralyzed.
May-23-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Fair point. This one deserves a <PG> rating. My puns are noted for their civility and felicity.
May-23-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: Amazing finish.
Black should have allowed 37...Qa6 38.g5 before he resigned. Producing the mother of all zugzwangs.
May-23-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <A rose by any other name (part 1 of 2)>

A fabulous game. And I agree with <Diademas>, after 37...Qa6 38.g5 (to rub it in) it would be clear that Black was paralyzed, and indeed "the mother of all zugswangs". Too bad this wasn't GOTD two weeks ago on May 10, then it would really have been an appropriate title.

But a minor quibble which, as usual, I will expand beyond all reason. Should this be called the Poison Pawn variation? A Winawer for sure, but the Winawer Poison Pawn proper starts after 6...Ne7 7.Qg4 and either 7...cxd4 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 Qc7 or 7..Qc7 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 cxd4 which is just a transposition. After 7...cxd4 White has other reasonable choices like 8.cxd4 or 8.Bd3 but I don't think that it can then be properly called the Poisoned Pawn variation unless White plays 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7, although I'm not sure whether the poisoned pawn(s) is referring to the Pg7, the Ph7 or both, since Black usually immediately regains one of his pawns after 9...cxd4. Pick your poison. :-)


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A similar situation exists in the Sicilian defense, the Najdorf Poison Pawn variation after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6


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I don't think that this should be called the Najdorf Poison Pawn unless White allows Black to capture the Pb2 by either 8.Qd2, Qd3, 8.Be2, 8.e5, or 8.f5 (8.Bxf6 gxf6 usually transposes after an of the previous moves). Moves such as 8.Nb3, 8.a3, 8.Rb1, 8.b3, 8.Qf3, and 9.Na4 defend the Pb2 directly or indirectly; e.g. Black would lose its queen after 8.a3 Qxb2 9.Na4 or 8.Qf3 Qxb2 9.Na4.

But I digress, also as usual. Viktor Moskalenko in his book "The Wonderful Winawer", 2010 refers to 6...Ne7 8.Qg4 0-0 as the Warsaw variation, which is fitting because it was apparently first seen, at least at the top level, at the Warsaw Olympiad in 1935. He says that "So after a period of extensive study on the subject using many sources and my 'optimistic skills', I became an expert on 7.Qg4 0-0!" So I'm inclined to take his word for it.

Besides, the positions and resulting play after 7.Qg4 0-0 (or even 7...Kf8 as in similar McCutcheon variations) are very different.


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White's attacking approach on the k-side is pretty straightforward, and Black has limited practical chances on the q-side, his best prospects for a win are if White overreaches on his k-side attack. In contrast, the most double-edged positions in the (true) Winawer Poison Pawn is when Black 0-0-0, and then it's a question whether White can consolidate his position in the center (where his king is often stuck) to allow him to advance and queen his extra passed h-pawn.

May-23-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <A rose by any other name (part 2 of 2)>

And, interestingly, after 7.Qg4, 7...0-0 (782 games in Opening Explorer) currently appears to be more popular than either 7...Qc7 (615 games) or 7...cxd4 (196 games), see Opening Explorer,.

Although, since the last two moves typically transpose to the same position, in reality 7...Qc7 / 7...cxd4 (811 games total) is actually more popular.

In the larger ChessTempo database (3.5M+ games) it's a different situation when player ratings are not considered, with 7...Qc7 (2,925 games) actually more popular than 7...0-0 (2,600 games) with 7...cxd4 (768 games) substantially less popular than either. But when both players are rated 2,400+ 7.0-0 (732 games) is more popular than the combined 7...Qc7 (411 games) and 7...cxd4 (199 games). So I supposed that the stronger the players, the more confident they of their defensive abilities, either of repulsing White's inevitable k-side attack after 7...0-0 or the less confident they are of pushing Black's attack after 7...Qc7 / 7...cxd4 against White's defensive play. So clearly the quality of defensive play is considered to be better the higher the players' ratings.

In terms of results the Warsaw and Poison Pawn variations actually achieve very similar scoring %'s, but they way they achieved them is very different. The Poison Pawn variation is sharper and results in a higher percentage of decisive games and less draws, but it also depends on the strength of the players.. For the Warsaw variation In Opening Explorer after 7...0-0 White won 42.1% of the games, lost 22.9%, and drew 35.0% for a scoring % of 59.6%. In ChessTempo for all games after 7...0-0 White won 40.7% of the games, lost 27.5%, and drew 31.8% for a scoring % of 56.6%. But when both players were rated 2400+, White won 38.8% of the games, lost 18.2%, and drew 43.0% for a scoring % of 60.3%.

In the Poison Pawn variation in Opening Explorer after either 7...Qc7 or 7...cxd4 White won 45.7% of the games, lost 26.3%, and drew 28.0% for a scoring % of 59.7%. In ChessTempo for all games after either 7...Qc7 or 7...cxd4 White won 45.1% of the games, lost 31.1%, and drew 23.9% for a scoring % of 57.0%. And when both players were rated 2400+, White won 44.4% of the games, lost 24.1%, and drew 31.5% for a scoring % of 60.2%. So, while you are likely to get similar results as Black if you play enough games, a lot will depend on your preferences and style of play.

An early proponent of the Warsaw variation was Portisch. This is a game of his with the Warsaw variation, K Honfi vs Portisch, 1958, also erroneously IMO also labeled as a Winawer, Poisoned Pawn. And Honfi's 8.Ng3, while reasonable, is probably not as good (certainly not as sharp) as the 8.Bd3 played in this game. And Moskalenko is of the opinion that the pawn structure after 7. Qg4 O-O 8. Bd3 Nbc6 9. Bg5 Qa5 10. Ne2 Ng6 11. O-O c4 12. Bg6 fg6 is "most appropriate for the Warsaw variation". But I don't know whether Portisch won this game because of his "most appropriate pawn structure" or because he was Portisch and, well, Honfi was Honfi.

So, Winawer Poisoned Pawn or Warsaw, a rose by any other name will smell as sweet.

May-23-20  RandomVisitor: After 23.Qxh5 black has 23...h6 to stop 24.Ng5


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Stockfish_20052313_x64_modern:

<57/49 06:07 0.00 23...h6> 24.Kf2 Be8 25.Qg4 bxa4 26.Nf4 Nxd4 27.cxd4 Rxf4 28.Qxe6+ R4f7 29.c3 Bd7 30.Qd6 Re8 31.Rb7 Re6 32.Qb8+ Kh7 33.Rxa7 Ra6 34.Rxa6 Qxa6 35.Qb1+ Bf5 36.Qa2 Ra7 37.Bc1 Bd3 38.Ba3 Qg6 39.Qd2 Bf5 40.Qe2 Be6 41.Qb2 Rf7 42.Rh1 Qg5

May-23-20  RandomVisitor: After 20...Nf5, maybe 21.Rd1 was better:


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Stockfish_20052313_x64_modern:

<47/79 10:16 +1.06 21.Rd1 Bxa4 22.Nf4 Re7 23.h5> gxh5 24.Nxh5 b5 25.Kf2 Qb6 26.Ra2 Ref7 27.Rh1 Qc6 28.Nf6+ Rxf6 29.exf6 Rxf6 30.Qh3 h6 31.g4 Nd6 32.g5 Ne4+ 33.Ke2 Nxg5 34.Bxg5 hxg5 35.Qh8+ Kf7 36.Qh5+ Kg8 37.Raa1 Qd7 38.Qh8+ Kf7 39.Rag1 Bxc2 40.Rxg5 Rg6

May-23-20  RandomVisitor: After 16...Re8 white might try 17.h5


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Stockfish_20052313_x64_modern:

<42/88 03:26 +1.96 17.h5 gxh5 18.Qxh5> b5 19.Kf2 g6 20.Qh6 bxa4 21.Rh1 Qb6 22.Qe3 Ref8 23.Ba3 Ne7 24.Rh3 Rg7 25.g4 Be8 26.Qh6 Rff7 27.Rhh1 Nc6 28.Qe3 Rb7 29.Rh2 Bd7 30.Rah1 Bc8 31.Nf4 Nd8 32.Nh3 Nf7 33.g5 Qd8 34.Kg2 h6 35.gxh6 Rh7 36.Nf2 Qg5+

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