20 July 2019


Chess Informant 140 arrived yesterday, but I went to a concert after work. On the way home from the concert, we stopped for burgers and brought them home. While eating my burger, I opened Informant to the first page and started trying to "see" the best game from CI 139 in my head. The tactics and imbalances were hard to fathom, so I installed the CD on my computer immediately after dinner and went through the game again.

The fireworks started with this position, which also appears as a diagram in Informant.

White to move

Instead of the obvious 21.Ne4, Aleksey Goganov played 21.Re4, which annotator Branko Tadic gives !?

Obviously, White wants to swing the rook to h4 to make the bishop sacrifice on h6 effective. Abhimanyu Sameer Puranik would not allow such a thing, so 21...f5.

Now what? The rook should go back to e1, perhaps.

Goganov wanted to fight.


My imagination had to work hard to keep the hamburger juice off my chin while contemplating the possibilities. Puranik takes the centralized rook, as the other cannot get away.

22...fxe4 23.Nxe4 Qf8

White to move

Exchanging rooks on d8 seems sensible enough, but White had ambitions for something more.


Tadic deals with Rxd8 in the commentary. The move evaluations are his.


Obviously, Black doesn't want to give up the whole cavalry for a rook.


Well, this was the idea, but does it work now?

25...Ne7 26.Nxe5!

Black to move

I wouldn't touch the bishop on d5, of course, but the other must be executed.

26...gxh6 27.Nf7+ Kh7

In the subsequent battle, both players made errors. Running an engine while playing through the game confirmed Tadic's series of question marks as White was winning, then Black, then White again. White, as they say, made the second to the last error. This game was not the best of Informant 139 for its accuracy of play. But, it is a worthy game for the creativity of White's aggression and the fighting spirit of both players. I think I'll play through it a few more times, and maybe show it to some students.

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