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Friday, September 21, 2012

Queen sac!

The names in this game probably won’t mean much to today’s players but they were very prominent in the 1960s and 1970s.
Dragoljub Minic (April 5, 1936, Titograd, Yigoslavia (now Podgorica, Montenegro) was a Yugoslav GM).

      He tied for first in the Yugoslav Championship in 1962 with GM Alexsandar Matanovic. His career was primarily in the 1960s and 1970s. He represented Yugoslavia many time in international tournaments and the chess Olympics. Minic also served as a second to both GM Svetozar Gligoric and Ljubomir Ljubojevic because of his great analytical ability. FIDE awarded him the IM title in 1964 and the Honorary Grandmaster title in 1991.
      Minic was found dead by friends in his Novi Sad apartment on April 9, 2005, after failing to respond to phone and intercom calls for several days. Doctors determined that he died of a heart attack approximately four days earlier, on his 69th birthday.

Albin Planinc (18 April 1944 – 20 December 2008) was a Slovenian GM.  He was born in Brise near Zagorje in what was the German occupied Slovenia.

     His earliest international success occurred was in the Vidmar Memorial in Ljubljana 1969 but the best result he ever achieved was when he shared first place with Petrosian at the IBM Amsterdam tournament in 1973 where he finished ahead of Kavalek, Spassky and Szabo.  Known for extremely imaginative chess, he was capable of spectacular results and often played brilliant attacking games but his play was always too erratic to enable him to make it to the very top levels.
      He was awarded the GM title in 1972, then became a chess trainer when the strain of playing tournament chess was contributing to his poor mental health. Planinc continued to suffer from severe depression for decades, spending the last years of his life at a mental institution in Ljubljana. In 1993, he changed his last name to Planinec.
      The opening in this game is the Archangelsk Variation which is one of the more aggressive, fighting variations against the Ruy Lopez.  The variation was developed in the early sixties by players from the north Russian town of Archangelsk and was intensively analyzed by players from Lvov - among them Mikhalchishin and Beliavsky and in the mid to late seventies gained great popularity for the first time.
      Black defines the position of this Queen's Bishop early on with 6...Bb7 in order to exert pressure against the opponent's center, in particular the point e4. White must decide whether he protects this pawn solidly with 7.d3 or goes for the unfathomable complications after 7.c3 Nxe4.  Another option is 7.Re1 Bc5 8.c3 d6 9.d4 Bb6, which is closely related to the Moller System. In this game White chooses another option with 7.d4.
      The game features bold, imaginative play and explodes when Planinc sacrifices his Q to create threats using his far advanced d-Pawn and when Minic went wrong it allowed Planinc a spectacular win.

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