Monday, January 6, 2014

Opening Novelties and Witty Annotations

The following game was played between Yisrael Yosef Kniazer and Moshe Czerniak in the Jerusalem - Haifa Match, 1938. The annotations are by Raafi Persitz in his Book, Ha'Derech Le'Nitzachon Be'Sachmat [The way to Chess Victory], a collection of Kniazer's games (Tel Aviv: Torat Ha'Sachmat Press, 1959), pp. 27-30. Persitz's annotations, of which I give only a selection, are very amusing.

The game started following Tarrasch - Alekhine (1926), with: 1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 d4 3.e3 c5 4.b4 g6?! 5.Bb2 Bg7 6.bxc5 e5?! Here Kniazer saw an improvement to Tarrasch's 7. exd4, based on Black's Achilles heel -- the d6 square -- and continued:

 7.Na3! Going to d6! 7...a6 8.Qa4+! Bd7 9.Nb5!

A self-pin of the knight, but the a6 pawn is "even more" pinned. 9...Nc6 [9...Kf8 10.Qa3 followed by Nd6. ] 10.Nd6+

"He doth neither slumber nor sleep" [Psalms 121:4 -- A. P.] 10...Kf8 11.Qa3 Better than  11.Nxb7 Qc7 12.Nd6 Rb8 and Black may fish in troubled water. 11...a5 12.Be2 Again refusing the pawn. 12...g5 13.0–0 h5 Nine pawn moves out of 13 -- such luxury is expensive. 14.Ne1 Nh6 Offering h5 as well! 15.f4! exf4 16.exf4 g4 17.Nd3 Nf5 18.Ne5 Be6 Of course taking on e5 is out of the question. 19.Nexf7!

19. Bd3, increading the pressure, is also good, but apparently White was under doctor's orders to take a pawn every 45 minutes. 19...Bxf7 20.Nxf5 Bf6 21.Nd6 The horse returns to his stable.  21...Nb4 22.Qb3 

From now on both sides, for some reason, start playing "Shatranj", the old game in which the pieces could move only slowly.  22...Qc7 23.a3 Nc6 24.Rab1 Rb8 25.Qd3 Qd7 26.Qe4 Rg8 27.Bd3 Bg6 28.Qe2 Bf7 29.Bf5 Qe7 30.Qd3 Qc7 31.Rfe1 Rg7 32.Nxf7 Kxf7 33.Be6+ Kf8 34.Qf5 Qd8 35.Bd5 h4 36.Re6 Rf7 37.Rd6 1–0 A strange and extraordinary game in all its phases.  

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