Thursday, 19 April 2007

The Fine Art of (Computer Assisted) Annotation

Long time chess playing friend of mine, Milan Ninchich, sent me a couple of games that he played in the 2007 Doeberl Cup. Now while most players are happy to submit their glorious victories, Milan submitted a lucky draw and an unlucky loss. In his email to me he said "they may prove educational and lowly rated chess players hardly ever get there games published".
So I figured to publish at least one of the games, and decided to add some of my own notes (I hope he doesn't mind). With the aid of Fritz 7 I went to work. When I finished 90 minutes later, I had attached far more analysis than I had intended to. But I guess this is a consequence of Computer Aided Analysis.
In the BC (Before Computers) era, analysis was far more general, and in adding long variations, you ran the risk of having embarrassing holes pointed out. But on the flip-side, the post game analysis matched much more closely what the players were probably capable of seeing during the game. Now anyone with a half decent computer and program can dissect an entire game, pointing out where wins were missed, even if that conclusion might not be clear for 15 or 20 moves.
The following game is a perfect example of this. White misses a Rook sac on move 19 which would have given him a better game, but only after a sequence of "only moves", moves that I for one would not have been able to find. And if I was White I would have only looked so far into the position before confusion over took me, and would have then chosen a much safer reply.

Ninchich,M - Holland,D
Premier (6), 2007
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.a3 c5 6.f4 Nc6 [6...cxd4 7.Qxd4 Nc6 is more assertive than Black's actual choice.] 7.Nf3 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Nxd4 9.Qxd4 Bc5 10.Qd3 f6 11.Be2 0–0 [11...fxe5 turns out to be a little too dangerous for Black. 12.Bh5+ is the obvious idea. 12...g6? (12...Kf8! 13.Qg3 e4 and although his position is uncomfortable, Black still has an extra pawn.) 13.Bxg6+ hxg6 (13...Kf8 14.Qh3 e4 is equal according to Fritz 7) 14.Qxg6+ Ke7 15.fxe5 Nxe5 and now White has to play accurately to justify his sacrifice. 16.Qg7+ Kd6 17.Bf4 Rh5 18.Ne4+! Kc6 (18...dxe4?? 19.Rd1+) 19.Nxc5 Kxc5 20.Bxe5 Rg5 21.Bd4+ Kc6 22.Qf7 Rxg2 23.0–0–0 and White is better.] 12.Qh3 fxe5 13.Qxe6+ Kh8 14.Qxd5 exf4 15.Bd2 Qh4+ 16.g3 Bf2+ A clever tactic, which White rightly avoids. [16...fxg3 17.0–0–0 gxh2 gains material, but leaves White with plenty of opportunity to attack.] 17.Kd1 [17.Kxf2?? fxg3+ 18.Kg1 g2!–+] 17...fxg3 18.hxg3 Qe7 (D) [18...Qxg3?? allows a forced mate, but seeing White missed this move in the game, I'm wondering if he would have spotted it. 19.Rxh7+!! Kxh7 20.Qh5+ Kg8 21.Bc4+ Rf7 22.Qxf7+ Kh8 23.Qh5#]

[Instead the fun starts with 19.Rxh7+!! Kxh7 20.Bd3+ g6 (20...Kh8 21.Qh5+ Kg8 22.Bh7+ Kh8 23.Bg6+ Kg8 24.Qh7#) 21.Qh5+ Kg8 22.Bc4+! (22.Qxg6+?? Qg7 23.Bc4+ Kh8 24.Qh5+ Qh7) 22...Rf7 23.Qxg6+ Kf8 24.Ne4!! (24.Nd5 only appears better, although it does lead to some fantastic variations. 24...Qe5! (24...Rg7 25.Qh6 Qe4 (25...Qe5 26.Qh8+ Kf7 27.Nc7+ Ke7 28.Qe8+ Kd6 29.Bf4+-) 26.Qh8+ Kf7 27.Nb6+ Kf6 28.Bg5+! Kxg5 29.Qxg7+ Qg6 30.Qxg6+ Kxg6 31.Nxa8+-) 25.Nc7! Rf6 26.Bb4+ Now begins an amusing King chase. 26...Bc5 27.Bxc5+ Qxc5 (27...Nxc5?? 28.Qg8+ Ke7 29.Qe8+ Kd6 30.Nb5#) 28.Qe8+ Kg7 29.Qg8+ Kh6 30.Bd3! threatening mate in 2. (30.Qh8+ Kg5 31.Qh4+ Kg6 32.Bd3+ Kg7 33.Qh7+ Kf8 34.Qh8+ Ke7 35.Qe8+ Kd6 36.Nxa8 Now White is two pawns ahead, but ... 36...Rf8! 37.Qg6+ Nf6 and White will have difficulty in developing his rook, as well as saving the knight on a8. Black seems to be winning here.) 30...Qg1+ Black seems to have nothing better than a draw. 31.Kd2 Qg2+ (31...Qxa1?? 32.Qh7+ Kg5 33.Qh4#) 32.Ke1 Qh1+ 33.Ke2 Qf3+ 34.Kd2 Qg2+ 35.Ke1=) 24...Rg7 25.Bh6 Ne5 26.Qh7!! Qd7+ 27.Bd3 Qg4+ 28.Be2 Kf7 (28...Qd7+ 29.Nd2 Qf7 30.Qh8+ Ke7 31.Bxg7 Ng6 32.Qh6+-) 29.Bxg7 Qxg7 30.Qxg7+ Kxg7 31.Nxf2 leaves White two pawns ahead.] 19...Qxe4 20.Nxe4 Bd4 21.Bb4 [21.c3] 21...Rd8 22.Ng5 Ne5 23.Rxh7+ Kg8 24.Ke1 Be3 25.Rh5! g6 (D)
26.Bc4+? [26.Ne6 Only move. 26...gxh5 (26...Bxe6?? drops a piece 27.Rxe5) 27.Nxd8 Bg5 28.Bc3 Bg4 29.Bxe5 Rxd8 30.Bc4+ Kf8 31.Bc3 and White has nothing to fear.] 26...Nxc4 27.Rh8+ Kxh8 28.Nf7+ Kg8 29.Nxd8 Bg4 30.Nxb7 Re8 31.Kf1 Black is a piece ahead, and seems now to be a mopping up operation. 31...Bh3+ [Which probably explains the missed mate after 31...Bd4 Threatening Bh3# 32.Kg2 Re2+ 33.Kf1 Ne3+ 34.Kg1 Nf5+ 35.Kf1 Nxg3#] 32.Ke2 Bg5+ 33.Kf2 Ne5 34.Re1 Ng4+ 35.Kf3 Nh2+ 36.Kf2 Be3+ 37.Ke2 Bc1+ 38.Kd3 Bf1+ 39.Rxf1 Nxf1 40.b3 Re3+ 41.Kd4 Rxg3 42.Nd6 Ne3 43.c4 Nc2+ 44.Kd5 Nxb4+ 45.axb4 Rxb3 46.b5 Bf4 47.Nc8 Bb8 48.Kc6 g5 49.Kb7 a5 50.Kxb8 a4 51.Na7 a3 52.c5 a2 53.c6 a1Q 54.c7 Qe5 0–1

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