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   A miniature ... from recent GM practice. 

  (The above was true - at the time that I wrote this.)  


  Click  HERE  to see a detailed explanation of the symbols that I use when annotating a chess game.  

  This is mostly a text-based chess game ... sorry, no java-script replay board. (I think you will need a chess board.)  


  GM Francisco Vallejo Pons (2677) - GM Ivan Sokolov (2662)  
 [D45] 
 German National Team Competition / Bundesliga 2004-5  
  Koelln, GER (15), 10,04,2005.  

[A.J.G.]

How is it possible ... to have a miniature in this day and age?  (Source: TWIC # 544) 

With two Grand-Masters who are BOTH rated over 2650? 

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 1.d4 d5;  2.c4 c6;  3.Nc3 Nf6;  4.e3 a6!?;  
Playing this ... on move four or five ... is all the rage in Master chess. 

 5.Nf3 e6;  6.b3!?,  
An interesting idea. 
(White supports c4, and tries not to lose time ... but it does significantly loosen the dark squares.) 

     [ A different - and perhaps a better plan - would be to play:  
       (>/=)  6.c5!? Nbd77.b4!, "+/="  

       See the contest: GM G. Kasparov - FritzX3D (C) 
       "Man versus Machine" Match 
         New York, NY / USA; 2003.   
        (White won an impressive game, 1-0 in 45 moves.) ]  

 

 6...Bb4;  7.Bd2 0-0;  8.a3!?,   
Not necessarily totally wrong ... but perhaps the beginning of a bad plan - that ignores the overall development of White's pieces.   

     [ 'Power-book' gives:  (>/=)  8.Bd3 b5!?; 9.0-0 bxc4; 10.bxc4 dxc4  
        11.Bxc4 c5;  12.a3! cxd4!?;  13.axb4 dxc3;  14.Bxc3, "+/="  {D?}  
         and White is clearly (a little) better in this position. ]    

 

 8...Bd6;  9.b4!? Nbd7;  10.Qb3 e5!!;   
With Morphy in mind, we know that one of the best ways to exploit a position where our opponent has left his King in the center, is to blow the game wide open. 

 

Now cxd5 looks interesting, but perhaps drawish. Pons goes for more ... and it boomerangs! 
 11.Rd1?! e4!;  "=/+"   12.Ng5 Ng4;  13.Nh3 Nxh2;  14.Be2!? Nf6;     
 15.cxd5 cxd5; 16.Nxd5 Be6;  17.Bc4 Bxh3!;  18.gxh3 Nh5!;     
I like this - its very aggressive.   

     [ Or Black could have played:   
       18...Nf3+!?19.Kf1 Nh2+20.Ke1 Nd7; "/+"  {Dg?}   
        which also clearly favors Black.  (This is the 
        continuation suggested by the strong computer   
        program, Fritz 8.0.) ]   

 

Now basically White has to play a very passive defense with Be2. 
Refusing this, Pons quickly goes down under the pressure. 
 19.Nc3!?, ('?!')  19...Qh4!; 20.Bd5 Rae8!;  21.Bxb7 Qxh3;    
Now several programs show that Black is winning ("-/+"), and by three or more points. 

 

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  pons-soko_bund05.gif, 09 KB

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This position is worth a second look. 

 

 22.Qd5?,  (Maybe - '??')  {Diagram?}   
I hate to kick a man when he is down, but this move is a really bad mistake for White.   

     [ If White insisted on continuing this mess, he had to play:   
       >/=  22.Rxh2[] Qxh223.Bxa6{Diagram?}   
       but Black should win without any real difficulty. ]   

 

 22...Nf3+;  23.Ke2 Ng3+!;  "-/+"  
White resigns ... its a mate after 24.PxN/g3, (forced); and now simply 24...Qg2#.   

A rollicking little game.  

 

  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 2005. All rights reserved. 

 

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This page was first created in April, 2005.   It was last updated on 07/14/12 .  


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