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Thursday, October 21, 2021

USSR Championship Semifinal, Leningrad 1938

     1938...it was the year that saw the first use of a seeing eye dog; the minimum hourly wage was 25 cents per hour, or about $4.86 in today's dollars. Stamps were 3 cents, gas 10 cents a gallon and it cost 25 cents to get into a movie. 
     If you went to Harvard it would cost you $420 a year...not bad because the average wage in those days was $1,732 a year. These days, depending on where you live, the median household income is about $56,000 per year and Harvard cost around $72,000 per year. 

     You didn't want to be living in New England in 1938. A tropical storm near the Cape Verde Islands in early September turned into a hurricane and was expected to hit Florida, but on September 19th it made an unexpected change of course and headed parallel to the Atlantic Coast. 
    Then with little or no warning it made landfall as a Category 3 storm near Long Island, New York at about 2:30pm on September 21st with sustained winds of 120 MPH, 15 ft. storm surges and 40-50 foot waves...waves equal to a three story building! The storm battered New England, southern Connecticut, New York City, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Jersey, dissipating when it reached Canada by September 23rd. 
     Over in Russia they had established a qualification system for its national championship and the semi-final tournaments for the 1939 championship were played in 1938 in Leningrad and Kiev (won by Vasily Panov). 
     In Leningrad the two-time champion Mikhail Botvinnik romped to victory by a two-and-a-half point margin. In 100 Selected Games he explained that the reason he was playing was because he had hardly played in 1937 because he had been pursuing his academic degree, and wanted to get some practice. 
     Igor Bondarevsky challenged him for six rounds or so, but then faded and thereafter Botvinnik lead by at least 1.5 points, finishing with 3.5 points in his last four games. Botvinnik's feat left the real battle for second place. Bondarevsky held it for about 12 rounds, but then lost three of his four games in rounds 13-16. That opened the door for Alexander Tolush and Vladimir Makogonov, but after they lost to Botvinnik in the last two rounds Peter Romanovsky sneaked into second. 
     GM Alexander Tolush (1910-1969) was Spassky’s trainer and it was he who enhanced Spassky’s attacking play. Tolush was the Leningrad Championship in 1937, 1938, 1946, and 1947 and played in the USSR Championship ten times. His best result was second place (+8=6−3 shared with Aronin and Lipnitsky) in 1950. His best international result was first place at Bucharest 1953, where he finished ahead of Petrosian,Smyslov, Boleslavsky and Spassky. 
     Tolush was an imaginative master of attack, but his play was never sound enough to enable him to reach the highest levels. His opponent in the following game was Alexander S. Budo (1909-1982), a Candidate Master who held high posts in management of city buildings and conducted chess classes.

Alexander Tolush - Alexander Budo

Result: 1-0

Site: USSR Chp Semi-Finals, Leningrad

Date: 1938


[...] 1.e4 c6 2.♘f3 A rare move that isn't bad, but it's not very flexible. There does not seem to be much analysis on it. 2...d5 3.e5 This is even more rare as white usually plays the Two Knights Variation with 3.Nc3.
3.♘c3 ♗g4 4.h3 ♗xf3 5.♕xf3 e6 and white has a considerable choice of moves.
3...c5 Both 3...Bg4 and 3...Bf5 are more usual in this rare variation. 4.d4 ♘c6 5.dxc5 e6 Black usually plays 5...Bg4, but in practice it has not worked out well at all. In my database white has won nearly half of the games and black is struggling for a draw. 6.♗e3 ♘ge7
6...♘h6 This is somewhat better. 7.c3 ♘f5 8.♗d4 ♗d7 9.a3 a5 10.♗e2 ♗e7 11.O-O With an equal position. In the game Naiditsch,A (2684)-Dragnev,V (2385)/ Baden-Baden 2015 black played the enterprising (and actually the best move here.. 11...g5 with an interesting position.
7.c3 ♘g6 8.♗d4 It's important to keep the e-Pawn!
8.♗b5 ♕c7 9.♕d4 ♗e7 10.O-O O-O 11.♗xc6 bxc6 and now with 12.b4 white would have had a slightl advantage. Jordan Arenas,M (2124)-Fos Santacreu,J (2279)/Valencia 2014
8...f6 It's hard to suggest a really good plan for black seeing that his position is quite cramped, but this move weakens his K. Perhaps 8...Bd7 was best, but how he should continue after that is hard to say. 9.♗b5 fxe5 Probably 9...Be7 followed by castling was his best chance. 10.♗xe5 ♔f7 This can only be described as awful. 10...Bxc5 was obviously correct. 11.♗xc6 bxc6 12.♕d4 Strategically black is already lost, but it's instructive to watch how Tolush mops up. 12...♘xe5 13.♘xe5+
13.♕xe5 would be an awful counter-mistake by white! 13...♗xc5 14.♕f4+ ♕f6 15.♕c7+ ♕e7 16.♘e5+ ♔f6 and white has to take a draw with 17.♘g4+ ♔f7 18.♘e5+ etc.
13...♔g8 Black's position can only be described as miserable! 14.O-O ♕c7 15.♖e1 ♗e7 16.♘d2 ♗f6 17.f4 ♗d7 18.♘df3 ♗e8 19.♕e3 Vacating d4 for the N. 19...♖b8 20.b4 h6 21.♘d4 ♕c8 22.♘g4 ♗h4
22...♗xd4 Eliminates the powerful N, but even then black's position is hopeless in the long run. For example 23.♕xd4 h5 24.♘e5 ♖h6 25.♖e3 a5 26.♖g3 and white holds all the cards.
23.g3 h5 24.♘e5
24.gxh4 hxg4 25.♕xe6+ ♕xe6 26.♖xe6 ♗d7 27.♖e7 leaves white with a won ending.
24...♗f6 25.♖e2 ♖b7 26.♖ae1 ♖e7 At first glance it appears that black has manages to defend himself, but white's position remains too strong. Tolush now concludes the game with a vigorous attack. 27.♕d3 h4 28.g4 h3 29.g5 ♗xe5 30.♖xe5 ♖f7 31.f5 This concludes the game. 31...♖h5 32.♕g3 ♕a6 33.♘xe6 ♗d7 34.♘f4 ♖h8 White has a mate in 9 moves. He missed it, but it doesn't matter because the move he played mates in 11. 35.♘g6
35.♖e8+ ♖f8 36.♖xf8+ ♔xf8 37.♘g6+ ♔g8 38.♖e7 ♗xf5 39.♕c7 ♕f1+ 40.♔xf1 ♗d3+ 41.♔f2 ♗xg6 42.♖xg7+ ♔f8 43.♕e7#
35...♕c8 prolongs the game a bit. 36.♘xh8 ♖xf5 37.♖e7 d4 38.♕h4 ♗e6 39.♘g6 ♖xg5+ 40.♕xg5 ♗f7 41.♕h5 ♕g4+ 42.♕xg4 d3 43.♖e8+ ♗xe8 44.♖xe8+ ♔f7 45.♕e6#
36.♘e7+ Facing mate, Budo resigned.
36.♘e7+ ♔f8 37.♖xf5+ ♗xf5 38.♘xf5 ♕f1+ 39.♖xf1 ♖h5 40.♕d6+ ♔g8 41.♘e7+ ♔h8 42.♖f8+ ♔h7 43.♕g6#
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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Fritz 17 Review

     I want to do a very brief review of Fritz 17. I was recently given a copy of it and was excited because...well, it's a lot newer that my old Fritz 12 which dates back to somewhere around Windows 8 and 2004! I found Ftitz 12 on sale at Office Max for $20 and it's been my "go to" program ever since. 
     For this blog all analysis is done using Fritz 12 with the engines Stockfish and the free Komodo 12. Then Aquarium 2014 is used to post the game in the blog. The two-step posting is necessary because the excellent KnightVision site no longer works and for one reason or another I found other methods of posting the games on this blog unsatisfactory. 
     I don't need any of the engines that come with Fritz 17 because Stockfish 14 and Komodo 12 are free and much stronger. Among the engines included are Fat Fritz and Leela Chess Zero (also known as Lc0, LCZero, and Leela). The latter is an open-source neural network (NN)-based chess engine. 
     Fat Fritz used the Leela engine without functional changes and was marketed as if it were an innovative engine, instead of being just a renamed Leela. The description of Fat Fritz implied it was stronger than Stockfish and Leela, but it's not. The comparison they made used an old version of Stockfish. 
     Then they came out with Fat Fritz 2 which is nothing more than a tweaked version of Stockfish and it got them sued. That's not to say Fat Fritz 2 is a bad engine because on the CCLR 40/15 rating list it is rated number 2 behind Stockfish 14. Against Stockfish Fat Fritz 2 has scored +0 -1 =62. 
     I'm not interested in 3D boards with ray tracing...according to ChessBase this "calculates and shows light reflections from surface to surface in all of the incredibly complex relationships such as sunlight bouncing off a wall, which gives a lighter light, filtered through humid air, and so on. ChessBase has now introduced this added layer of realism to its 3D boards, with full control over every aspect if such is your desire." 
     Playing and training online on Playchess is not something I am interested in either, nor am I interested in all the many features designed to learn openings.
     Despite the fact doing a full analysis returns a tremendous amount of information, it turns out that, for me, it's also Fritz 17's biggest disadvantage! 
     By the way, it gives a nice little report at the end that shows how accurate the play of both sides was. I'm not quite sure how it works, but it looks like this. The snapshot was taken from a recent online game that I won. 

     By comparison, a quick (5 seconds per move) analysis of the famous Immortal Game between Anderssen and Kieseritzky, London 1851, showed white's accuracy "score" to be 38 percent and black's to be 20 percent. It has long been known that this game, while entertaining, is far from being "Immortal" which explains the low scores.
     After doing an analysis with Fritz 17, saving it (as PGN) and then opening the game up with Aquarium 2014, it turns out that although the game displays fine in Aquarium, it will not work properly when pasted into Blogger.
     Conclusion: The program has a lot of bells and whistles I am not interested in. Some features are useless and some seem designed to steer you towards their website so that you would create an account there. On the other hand, it does have many excellent training and analysis features, but nothing that can't be found in other, cheaper, programs. For full details of all the program can do you can take a gander at the manual HERE.
     For now, my old Fritz 12 and Aquarium 2014 coupled with free engines get the job dome simply and efficiently.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Attacking With Vladimir Vukovic

     Vladimir Vukovic (August 26, 1898 -November 18, 1975) was a Yugoslav (Croatian) chess writer, theoretician, player, arbiter and journalist. Chessmetrics assigns him his highest rating of 2559 on its rating list of August 1926 placing him at number 33 in world. 
     Vukovic edited the monthly chess magazine Sahovski Glasnik (Chess Journal), the official periodical of the Yugoslavian chess federation. Although he authored Razvoj sahovskih ideja (The development of chess ideas) and The Chess Sacrifice, he is best known today as the author of the widely regarded classic The Art of Attack in Chess, which expounds the both the basic principles as well as complex forms of attack on the King. If you've never read the book it's worth the investment even if it does contain analytical errors which are readily pointed out by engines. That doesn't really matter because the book shows you ideas that work against humans. 

     At Debrecen 1925, Hans Kmoch had what was probably his finest result, winning by a margin of 1.5 points. He and Geza Nagy were the leaders at the halfway point with 4.5-1.5 scores, but then both lost in round 7 and Johner took over the lead, but then he ended up falling back after drawing with Gruenfeld and losing to Tartakower. 
     In round 8 Nagy and Kmoch drew against each other giving both of them a score of 5-3. Then something amazing happened! Kmoch won 5 games in a row while Nagy lost 5 in a row! 
     It was an odd tournament in that only five players finished over 50 percent while nine of the players finished with minus scores. 

     In the following game Vukovic demonstrated how to conduct a classic attack using a Rook to control the open h-file.

Vladimir Vukovic - Arpad Vajda

Result: 1-0

Site: Debrecen

Date: 1925

Queen's Gambit Declined

[...] 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.♘c3 ♘f6 4.♗g5 ♘bd7 5.e3 ♗e7 6.♘f3 O-O 7.♖c1 c6 8.a3 a6 9.♕c2 dxc4 10.♗xc4 b5 11.♗a2 c5 12.♖d1
12.O-O ♗b7 13.dxc5 ♘xc5 14.♖fd1 ♕b6 15.♗b1 Now black should play 15...Nce4 with equality. Instead he played a natural looking move that turned out to be a losing blunder. 15...g6 16.b4 This is the only move that wins! 16...♘ce4 17.♘xe4 ♗xe4 18.♕b2 ♗xb1 19.♗xf6 ♗xf6 20.♕xf6 ♗f5 21.♘e5 ♖a7 22.♘d7 ♕d8 23.♕xd8 ♖xd8 24.♘f6+ ♔g7 25.♘h5+ gxh5 26.♖xd8 Black resigned. Bitkinin,L (2128) -Yaksin,O (2322)/Kazan 2008
(12.dxc5 ♗xc5 13.♗b1 g6±) 12...c4 Black will come to regret this because it releases the pressure on the center. He had two reasonable moves: 12...b4 and 12...cxd4 13.♗b1 h6 A risky move! Better was 13...Bb7 with approximate equality. (13...♗b7 14.e4 ♘h5 15.♗xe7 ♕xe7 16.O-O ♖ad8 17.♖fe1 with equal chances.) 14.h4 Is it OK for black to take the offered B or is it better to decline it? Komodo doesn't think it matters much evaluating both moves at abour 1.25 Ps in white's favor. 14...♖e8 For a human this is no doubt the best move!
14...hxg5 Stockfish on the other hand soundly condemns this move. After 15.hxg5 Threatening mate on h7 15...g6 16.♘e5 Even better than Vukovic's recommended 16.gxf6 16...♘xe5 17.dxe5 ♘d7 18.♕e4 and black has to surrender the R with 18...Kg7 or else 18...♖b8 19.♕h4 mates next move.
15.♘e5 ♗b7 Black wisely refuses to take the offered B and hopes that eventually it will have to retreat. As it is, as a result of his 12th move black can only play for a Q-side counterattack, but in this position that takes way too much time and white is able to crank up his K-side pressure. 16.♖h3 This is a typical maneuver designed to get the R into play as quickly as possible. From here the R can go to g3 if required. If not, it makes room to double on the h-file if required. 16...♘f8 Black has no good answer to the threat of Bxh6
16...♗xg2 is successfully mey by 17.♖g3 hxg5 18.hxg5 ♗b7 19.g6 ♖f8 20.gxf7+ ♖xf7 21.♘xf7 and white has won the exchange because if 21...♔xf7 22.♕g6+ mates in two.
17.♗xh6 ♘h5
17...gxh6 18.♖g3+ ♘g4 19.♘xg4 wins for white. 19...♘g6 20.♘xh6+ ♔f8 21.♘xf7 etc.
18.♕e2 g6
18...♗xg2 is still unplayable because after 19.♕xh5 ♘g6 (19...♗xh3 20.♕xf7+ mate next move.) 20.♘xf7 ♕c7 (20...♔xf7 21.♕xg6+ mate next move.) 21.♗xg7 and wins.
19.g4 ♘g7 20.h5 ♗f6 Now all that is left is for white to begin mop up operations.
20...f6 doesn't change the outcome of the game 21.♘xg6 ♗d6 22.♗xg7 ♔xg7 23.h6+ ♔g8 24.♕c2 ♘h7 and now the quickest win is 25.♘e5 ♖e7 26.♕g6+ ♔f8 27.g5 and there is no way for black to save the game.
21.hxg6 ♗xe5 22.gxf7+ ♔xf7 (22...♔h8 23.♗f4+ ♘h5 24.♗xe5+ ♕f6 25.♗xf6#) 23.dxe5 ♕a5 24.e4 ♖e7 25.♗g5 ♖d7 26.♕f3+ ♔g8 27.♗f6 b4 28.axb4 ♕xb4 29.♖xd7 ♘xd7 30.♕e3 ♕f8 31.♕g5 ♘c5 32.♕g6 ♖a7
32...♘d7 is met by 33.g5 ♘xe5 34.♗xe5 ♖d8 35.♖h7 ♖d7 36.♘d5 c3 37.♗xg7 ♖xg7 38.♖xg7+ ♕xg7 39.♘f6+ ♔h8 40.♕e8+ ♕f8 41.♕xf8#
33.♖h7 ♗c6
33...♗a8 doesn't improve anything 34.♕h6 ♘d3+ 35.♗xd3 cxd3 36.g5 ♗xe4 37.♘xe4 ♕b4+ 38.♘d2 ♕e4+ 39.♘xe4 d2+ 40.♘xd2 a5 41.♖xg7+ ♖xg7 42.♕xg7#
34.♕h6 Black resigned. A forceful game by Vukovic.
34.♕h6 ♘d3+ 35.♗xd3 cxd3 36.♖h8+ ♔f7 37.♖xf8+ ♔xf8 38.♕h8+ ♔f7 39.♕xg7+ ♔e8 40.♕g8+ ♔d7 41.♕d8#
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Monday, October 18, 2021

Bronstein Was Ordered To Win This Game

Enjoy Grandmaster Daniel King as he looks at Reshevsky vs Bronstein Zurich 1953. 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Pal Benko, An Overcomer

     They are called the Greatest Generation. They were born between 1901 and 1927; they were shaped by the Great Depression and were the primary participants in World War II. 
     The term was popularized by the title of a 1998 book by American journalist Tom Brokaw who wrote that these men and women fought not for fame or recognition, but because it was the "right thing to do." 
     It was the generation my parents belonged to and while I don't know about the term "Greatest", I do know that I could not have survived the things they went through. 
     Brokow was, of course, writing about things from the prospective of an American, but during that time things were far, far worse for other people in the world. 
     Things were unimaginably bad for a lot of people in those days. At one time I had an employee who told me that he had been a policeman in Budapest and he had been a member of various secret organizations and taken taken part in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. For his part in the failed revolution he ended up doing a few years in Siberia. At first I suspected he was pulling my leg, but then I saw his story that had been written up in a Canadian newspaper. All the horror stories Otto told me were true. He passed away at the age of 71 in 1999.
     Pal Benko was one of those that had it bad during the war. His father was an engineer who wanted to be an artist. And because that was his dream, he moved his family all over Europe which is why the Hungarian Pal Benko came to be born in Amiens, France on July 15, 1928. 
     Benko's mother didn't like being a vagabond and insisted the family settle down in back Hungary. Even then, Benko's father continued his wanderings by himself and once was arrested in Germany for trying to cross over the French border without the proper papers. Benko admitted that he turned out to be very much like his father. 
     Benko learned to play chess at the age of ten, but it was just a game though he did occasionally play in the parks. Life wasn't bad, but then in 1940, when Benko was 12, his world, to use his term, "turned to hell" when the war reached Hungary. Food shortages left everyone starving and everyone was issued ration cards. He wrote of the bread lines when thousands of people would begin lining up at midnight for a loaf of bread that was only passed out at 7am. 
     But bread wasn't the only thing scarce. Coal shortages forced people to stay home in the winter. Then there was the outbreak of lice...bad because in those days there wasn't any Nix Lice Control medication or some such. People had to take hot baths and wash their clothes in scalding water. 
     But then after the Germans invaded in 1944 things got even worse thanks to the Americans. In July, as part of the British and American strategy to lay mines in the Danube River by dropping them from the air, they dropped bombs and leaflets on German-occupied Budapest. Along with the incessant bombing, leaflets threatening punishment for those responsible for the deportation of Hungarian Jews to the gas chambers at Auschwitz were also dropped.
     In spite of the bombing and the misery Benko was still able to play a little chess in school tournaments and some offhand tournaments in the local parks. He also studied a book with 350 of Capablanca's games and as a result Capablanca became his hero. 
     There was a strong chess club tournament held in 1943 and Benko, who was quite strong by that time, was leading when the tournament was canceled after most of the players got drafted. 
     When he turned 16 Benko also got drafted. He was assigned to an outfit whose job it was to dig ditches and after four months they shipped out to Austria. That's when Benko deserted and hid out in the homes of peasants and tried to make his way back to Budapest and his family. 
     This was serious (and frightening) business because the standard procedure during war time was to shoot deserters. Everybody did it...shot deserters. During World War II, US Army Private Edward Slovik was the first soldier executed by firing squad for desertion since the Civil War in what was probably a miscarriage of justice given Slovak’s circumstances. I posted about it HERE.  
     In Benko's case, he was trying to avoid the Russian army, the Hungarian army and the police. In the end it was the Russians who nabbed him and put him to work as a laborer working on a bridge. When a bomb threat forced them to go into a blackout, Benko made his escape. 
     He finally made it to Budapest in early 1945 only to find that the Russians had arrived two months earlier. At first the Hungarians were glad to be rid of the Nazis, but soon found out that things were just as bad, if not worse, under the Russians.
     If that wasn't bad enough, Benko discovered that the family's apartment had been bombed out and his father and brother had been shipped to Russia as slave laborers and some relatives had simply vanished. Under the Russians chaos ruled: women were raped and if a Russian soldier demanded a person's coat or shoes, they were either handed over or the person was beaten, possibly even murdered. Benko went into hiding again because his mother feared he'd be shipped off to Russia, too. 
     Benko related how life was somewhat easier if you joined the communist party which is what the great Hungarian player Laszlo Szabo did. But not Benko. He refused because he didn't believe the manure they were spreading and besides, they had enslaved his father and brother. 
     He eventually landed a temporary construction job and accepted an invitation to his first real tournament, an 18-player event that featured ten masters, seven candidate masters and the untitled Benko. He was expected to come in last especially since he had never played a tournament game against a master. He surprised everyone by winning it and as a result was awarded the Master title. 
     Then shortly before he turned 17 his mother died at the age of 42. He blamed it on the lack of shelter, the cold winter, the scarcity of food and the loss of her husband and oldest son which simply proved too much for her. Benko was devastated, but he had to press on because his little sister was depending on him. With no opportunities in Budapest, he left her with a relative and moved to Szeged, Hungary. 
     Arriving in Szeged starving and penniless, he managed to win a small masters tournament and as a prize won some food...flour and bacon. He was also lucky because his success landed him a job teaching six chess aficionados as well as being given a place on the local chess team. 
     At this time Benko's father became ill while in the Russian gulag and they released him along with Benko's brother. Benko rejoined them in Budapest where he was able to begin university studies in economics. During that time Benko recalled how inflation was so rampant that money became so worthless that workers preferred being paid in food! 
     When he played in the 1946 Hungarian Championship the prizes were food which was something more valuable than money. Here's a game from that championship event.

Gideon Barcza - Pal Benko

Result: 0-1

Site: Hungarian Championship, Budapest

Date: 1945

Reti Opening

[...] 1.♘f3 d5 2.b3 At the time this game ws played Larsen was unknown, hence the name Reti Opening. 2...c5 3.♗b2
3.e3 is probably better as then after 3...♘f6 4.♗b2 avoids the pitfall mentioned in the next note.
3...f6 Benko assigned this move a ! based on the reasoning 3.Bb2 was a mistake. When playing a regular Q-Indian ( l .d4 Nf6 2 .c4 e6 3 .Nf3 b6), the strong move 4.f3 isn't available to white because his N is on that square. In this, a Q-Indian reversed, black can take advantage of the fact that his N isn't on f6 and a) build a powerful center and 2) block the B on b2. Such are the nuances of GM chess! 4.d4 cxd4 5.♕xd4 e5 6.♕d2 ♘c6 7.e3 ♗b4 This activates this B and stops white from playing c2 -c4. Another GM opening nuance.
7...♗e6 8.♗e2 ♗b4 9.c3 ♗a5 10.O-O ♘ge7 11.♖d1 O-O is equal. Simonian,H (2520)-Salem,A (2469)/Abu Dhabi 2009
8.c3 ♗a5
8...♗c5 9.♗a3 ♗xa3 10.♘xa3 ♘ge7 11.c4 ♗e6 with an equal position. Meijers,V (2470)-Bailet,P (2474)/Rennes 2013
9.b4 ♗b6 10.a4
10.c4 dxc4 11.♗xc4 ♘xb4 Benko gave this a ! thinking black is better, but actually, after 12.♕c3 ♘e7 13.O-O Now that the N is subject to capture all black has done is lose time so white is actually better.
10...♗e6 This prevents white form playing c3 -c4. 11.a5 ♗c7 12.a6 bxa6 13.♗xa6 ♘ge7 14.♘a3 O-O 15.O-O This natural move loses a P, but black's position was already somewhat better owing to his strong center and white's only good break, c2-c4 is not playable. (15.c4 ♘xb4 16.cxd5 ♗a5 17.O-O ♘xa6 wins) 15...e4 16.♘e1 ♘xb4
16...♘d4 was also playable as after 17.♕xd4 ♕d6 and black is better here, too, but he has not won a P.
17.♘b5 A tactical mistake. (17.cxb4 ♕d6 threatens both ...Qxh2 mate and ...Qxa6)
17.♗e2 would have kept black's advantage to a minimum. 17...♘bc6 leaves black better, but it was white's best hope.
17...♘xa6 18.♖xa6 ♗b6 19.♘d4 ♗c8 20.♖a2 ♘f5 Also very strong was placing the N on e5 with ...Ng6-e5 21.♘ec2
21.♘xf5 ♗xf5 22.♗a3 ♖e8 23.♘c2 ♕c7 24.♘d4 ♗d7 and black is quite well off.
21...♘xd4 Placing the N on e5 via ...Nd6-f7-e5 was still an option. 22.♘xd4 ♕d7 This defends the e6 and f5 squares. Black will eventually to activate his light-squared B by ...a7-a5 followed by ...Ba6. 23.f3 White's position was already bad, but this only makes matters worse. Still, his desire to get some activity in this fashion before black plays ...a7-a5 then activates his B with Bc8-a6-c4, and finally plays ...f6-f5-f4 establishing a winning position is understandable. If he palsy 23.Ba3 and then Bb4 and just waits, in the end he is likely to lose anyway. 23...exf3 24.♖xf3 ♖e8 25.♕d3 a5 26.♗a3 ♗a6 27.♕f5 One may wonder why Barcza would trade Qs and enter into an ending where he is a P down. General principles say that in such positions you should keep the pieces and trade the Ps. he reason Barcza trades Qs is because he had faith in his legendary endgame technique...an area in which a young master is not likely to have yet developed technique. Of course, in later years Benko himself was to become a master of endings. 27...♕xf5 28.♘xf5 ♗c4 (28...♗d3 29.g4 ♗xf5 30.♖xf5 ♖xe3 was even better.) 29.♖d2 ♖ad8 30.♔f2 g6 31.♘d6 This is even better than 31.Nd4 because it eliminates back's tweo Bs which could be a huge factor in the ending. 31...♖e6 32.♘xc4 dxc4 33.♖xd8+ ♗xd8 34.♖f4 ♖c6 35.♔f3 f5 This stops the K from reaching an active position and threatens 36...Bg5 37.Rd4 Bf6 winning the c-Pawn. Benko has been very careful not to allow an opposite-colored B ending and his Ps are on the right squares. With his extra, passed P the win is assured...with the right technique, of course! 36.♔e2 ♗g5 37.♖f1 a4
37...♗f6 keeps an even firmer grip after 38.♔d2 ♖b6 and if 39.♔c2 ♗xc3 40.♔xc3 ♖b3+ 41.♔xc4 ♖xa3 42.♔d4 ♖a2 black has a won ending.
38.♔d2 simply worsens the situation
38.♖a1 isn't much better as after 38...♗f6 39.♔d2 ♖b6 40.♗c1 ♖a6 41.♗a3 ♔f7 and with white tied up the approach of black's K will decide the game.
38...♖e6 39.♗c5 ♖e5 This forces the B to give up its blockade of the passed P. 40.♗d4 ♖a5 41.♔c2 a3 42.♔b1 ♔f7 The K is heading for e4. 43.♔a2 ♗e7 The purpose of this move is to use the B to defend a3 thereby giving the R the freedom to move around in an aggressive fashion. 44.♖b1 Otherwise, 44 . . . Rb5 and a black K march will decide the game. 44...♖a6 45.♖b7 ♖c6 46.♗b6 ♔e6 47.♗a5 h5 Now black's K is free to roam since everything is guarded. Notice how Benko is taking his time. Patience is a very important quality in the endgame. 48.♖b1 ♔d5 49.♗b4 With ...Ke4 threatened Barcza makes one last desperate attempt. 49...♗xb4 50.cxb4
50.♖xb4 and it's curtains at once 50...♔e4 51.♔xa3 ♔d3 52.♔b2 ♔xe3
50...c3 51.♔xa3 c2 52.♖c1 ♔e4 53.b5 ♖c8 54.b6 ♔d3 55.♔b3 ♖b8 White resigned.
55...♖b8 56.♔b4 ♖xb6+ 57.♔c5 ♖b1 58.♖xc2 ♔xc2 59.♔d4 ♔d2 60.g3 ♖b2 61.e4 ♖b4+ 62.♔c5 ♖xe4 63.h4 ♖e3 64.♔d5 ♖xg3 65.♔e5 ♔e3 66.♔f6 f4 67.♔e5 f3 68.♔f6 f2 69.♔e5 f1=♕ 70.♔e6 ♖g2 71.♔d6 ♖b2 72.♔c5 ♕a6 73.♔d5 ♖b5+ 74.♔c4 ♕c6#
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