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Janis Klavins vs Igors Zdanovs
LAT-ch (open) (1961), Riga SSR
Caro-Kann Defense: Two Knights Attack (B15)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Apr-09-12  srag: I quote Andrew Soltis "The Art of Defence in Chess",(George Allen & Unwin, 1980, which seems to me a very good book; his comments begin at 10) ... e6: "It doesn't take long to conclude that White has a very good game. He has developed nearly all of his pieces while Black's only developed piece, his KB, bites on granite. Black's queenside is full of holes on black squares and he has just locked in his QB. A quick mating attack is assured, you might conclude. And you would be right." Then he prints the remaining moves and White is mated. This post is a call for all strong players: please analyse this game! And thanks a lot.
Apr-09-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <10..e6> is a French pawn structure. How does White attack a French? Not easily: the lesson of centuries is that the French is oddly resistant to caveman tactics. In particular, the Qd2-Bf4 (or the more usual Be3) Yugoslav Attack formation finds almost no targets. Actually, it's White's QB that has no diagonals, hemmed in by his own e5. So White's "piece advantage" isn't helping him yet.

f4-f5 might pry open the K-side. <11.g4 12.Bg3 13.Rdf1 15.Ne1> laboriously prepare for that. See, White's pieces are actually so bad that he must <undevelop> two of them just to get them out of his own way.

Meanwhile, White's long-castling invites thematic Q-side storming with <15..b4>. Positionally, Black's mobile pawn mass suggests Tetris: White really should have a clear (and quick!) plan on the K-side to counteract that.

<11..Nd7> is surprisingly flexible (which underlies Black's opening idea): with <12..Bf8> it threatens c5 if Black needs it, or dynamically reroutes to <16..Nc4>. White's final fault was hanging d4: he stubbornly(?) clings to the idea that he's in a left/right race, where you elegantly drop material on one side for tempi to crash through on the other. But he's so far behind in that race that his f2 is still on f2.

Black sees the obvious N-for-PPP trade: materially it's fine. It does give White a 5-to-1 "developed pieces" lead. Actually this hurts White: open d and lack of K safety means he's got too few squares for too many pieces. It's picturesque that his K dies on f3: blocking f2 and Rf1. That's nature's way of telling you that your f5-plan is <really> too slow.

Apr-10-12  srag: <Gilmoy> Thanks a lot! I'll study your analysis as hard as I can, even being the "rabbit" I am.
Jun-17-18  offramp: Black plays 6...Ng8-f6 but immediately goes back with 7...Nf6-g8, and that knight never comes back out. Amazing, especially when Black follows up with 12...Bg7-f8.


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Jun-17-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Back in the day, it was vastly amusing to read Soltis' droll comments on this game in the work mentioned by <srag>, one of his better books.

From a strategical point of view, it is obvious that despite White's advantage in space and development, he has problems in this middlegame because the one break he needs in order to activise his pieces, f4-f5, is impossible, and by the time he finally gets round to playing for it, his opponent's attack on the other wing is well under way.

Jun-17-18  offramp: With hindsight White should have given up a piece for one or two pawns at move 13. Anything to open up the position. Perhaps 13.h4 followed by Ng5. Or Nh4 and Nxg6.
Jun-17-18  WileEColi: Re: srag's comment: After the game, Soltis readdresses the original position (and I am paraphrasing, since I don't have the book in front of me): "How can this be, when White hasn't made a mistake? But White HAS made a mistake: 10. O-O-O?. If White had castled kingside and tried to exploit the queenside holes with a2-a4, Black's positional problems would have come home to roost."

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