The Fabulous 10’s: Channeling A Vague Memory of a Friedel Game

A Familiar Schliemann

An ICC Blitz game in which I had to recall a miniature victory by White  where Josh Friedel beat Ray Kaufman convincingly in a Schliemann.   All I “knew” was that I had seen it via the USCL web page.  But, clearly, I had not (see below).

I tried to follow it!

IM Aries 2- GM Mandragoro  Schliemann

Before we start, a little about GM Mandragoro:

1: Account of GM Gerhard Schebler.Greetings from Duisburg Germany to everyone
2: No Takebacks please,i will never ask you too.
3: I am a chessteacher now for about 19 years and new students are always
wellcome :o)
4: I am still looking for a chessclub in France,Austria and maybe in your
country too.
5: Since i saw the film “Money as debt” i got interested in the biggest secret
called “capitalism”
6: No mass media is mentioning the biggest problem of our times.”exponential
7: “We can change”Obama said but can we change the system without seeing
another war?
8: Fur kleinere Einsichten :o)besucht bitte :Liebeangelamerkel de.Es lonht
9: There is much more truth inside of chess than in real life but maybe “we
can change”
10: When the nature strikes back we shouldnt ask why.Development doesnt always
mean progress !G.S.

Postscript Feb. 22, 2011 – curious about some reader comments, I ran Rybka 4 on this game and inserted some Rybka 4 evaluations.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 f5 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. Qe2 fxe4 6. Nxe4 d5 7. Nxf6+
gxf6 8. d4 Bg7 9. dxe5 O-O 10. e6 Ne5 11. Bf4 c6 12. Nxe5!  (?! – Rybka 4)

A Good Idea!

This was the key idea I got from Friedel-R. Kaufman.  White hangs the bishop on b5 (ignoring the threat of Qa5+).  I do not see any reasonable continuation for black.  What has gone wrong?

Rybka 4 is not so optimistic.  It gives 12. Bd3! as the best move, +=, and this sacrifice leading to equality.  The unaesthetic variations backing up 12. Bd3! are not pleasing at all, whereas the enterprising text is great especially in blitz.  Caissic injustice?   So in conclusion this “key idea” I remembered from a prior game is only sufficient for a draw, if black is prepared.


13. Bxe5 cxb5 (!)  It turns out (see below) that Ray Kaufman captured on e5 here with the bishop, but black lost quickly in that game.  Clearly unplayable of course is 13…Qa5? 14. c3 Qxb5 15. Qg4! and wins.

Rybka 4 likes the text move 13…cxb5 and says black is equal here.

14. Bxg7 Kxg7 15. e7 Qa5+ 16. c3 Re8 17. O-O-O

Black’s king is just too exposed.  Something like this happened in the Friedel game. And after checking — indeed it did; the last (winning) move in the Friedel game was a rook lift!

Rybka 4 disagrees with all this.  It says both 17…Qc7 and 17…Qxa2 now are sufficient for equality!   Actually, it’s pretty clear that 17…Qc7! is a good move, since 18. Rhe1 (what else?) is met by 18…Qf4+ and now if 19. Kb1 Qe4+! gets the queens off and all danger disappears!

Qxa2 18. Qe5+ Kf7 19. Rhe1 b4 ? – Rybka 4

As a reader pointed out (see the Comments section), the ingenious 19..Qa1+! 20. Kc2 Qa4+ 21. Kb1 Qg4!! saves black (gives equal chances).  This is a very tough line for a human to find in blitz.

20. Rd4 (?!) {Black resigns} 1-0 As a curiosity, Rybka 4 gives 20. Rd3! as much stronger, although 20. Rd4 does win (takes longer).

I know a rook lift was employed too in the Friedel game.  OK enough vague memories, now I actually look up the Friedel game…

… … …

And … ta-dah!! Found it.  OK it wasn’t the USCL.  It was Foxwoods 2008!

[Event “Foxwoods Open”]
[Site “Connecticut”]
[Date “2008.03.21”]
[EventDate “2008.??.??”]
[Round “5”]
[Result “1-0”]
[White “Joshua E Friedel”]
[Black “Raymond S Kaufman”]
[ECO “C63”]
[WhiteElo “2531”]
[BlackElo “2369”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 f5 4. Nc3 fxe4 5. Nxe4 Nf6 6. Qe2
d5 7. Nxf6+ gxf6 8. d4 Bg7 9. dxe5 O-O 10. e6 Ne5 11. Bf4 c6
12. Nxe5 fxe5 13. Bxe5 Bxe5 14. Qxe5 Qa5+ 15. c3 Qxb5 16. Qg5+
Kh8 17. e7 Re8 18. O-O-O Qc4 19. Qf6+ Kg8 20. Rhe1 Qxa2
21. Re5 1-0

This pair of games leaves me wondering about the Schliemann, it can’t be this bad for black, can it?

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3 Responses to “The Fabulous 10’s: Channeling A Vague Memory of a Friedel Game”

  1. Peter Sadilek Says:

    “This pair of games leaves me wondering about the Schliemann, it can’t be this bad for black, can it?”

    Ok, black can deviate on move 4 with 4…Nd4 or 4…Nf6, but probably 4…fe4 is best, also according to Brunello in his book “Attacking the Spanish”.

    Very interesting. Looking at Ivan Sokolov’s book “The Ruy Lopez Revisited” he seems have to more faith in 4…Nf6.
    Nobody likes the undeveloping 4…Nd4. I will check Sokolov’s book for white’s best after 4…fxe4. I will also check Ivan for comments on the way the games in this post went. I don’t have Brunello’s book.

    Then it all seems pretty much forced up to 11 Bf4 where black has another option in 11…. Qd6. Brunello gives the obscure idea of then following with …c6 and taking in e6 with the queen, leaving the bishop on c8. After 11…c6 (as in the Friedel and Ginsburg games) 12 Be5 you give also 12…Qa5+ 13 c3 Qb5 14 Qg4 as winning. Unfortunately black has the only defence 14….Re8 followed by …Re7, holding everything together, when the cold blooded Rybka, would one believe it, states an advantage for black and suggests to exchange queens on move 14 instead, with a slight pull for white. In your game with Schebler also the engine tells us black can play 17 0-0-0 Qc7!? when nothing bad happens to him at all. Looking at black’s position one can only feel horrible as black despite the “extra piece”. White is never in danger of losing, and without an implanted Rybka chip black will face tough times over the board. Conclusion: Objectively, black can hold this line (or play something else earlier), but the whole fun is on whites side.

  2. Georg Waldschmidt Says:

    Pretty fine games, but today’s boon and bane is to proof everthing with the engines. And so it seems that 19…b4 is the mistake. 19… Qa1+ 20.Kc2 Qa4+ 21 Kc1 Qa1+ with draw, or if white tries to win 21. Kb1 but then 21….Qf5 and it’s not clear if white’s attack compensates for the material. I played around a little with several engines but could not find anything critical for black.

    I put in some Rybka 4 comments. It also likes as a reliable defense 17…Qc7!. I’m afraid I have to retract the opinion about the piece sacrifice, the computer definitely states it’s second best (preferring 12. Bd3! to 12. Nxe5?!)

  3. Leon Shernoff Says:

    @ “it can’t be this bad for black, can it?”

    If the correct line for white (12.Bd3) is +/= and your flashy line 12.Nxe5 is =, then where does the “bad for black” part come into it?

    You played this because survival is difficult for an unprepared Black in blitz, but if White has to find a whole bunch of “unaesthetic variations” to get any advantage at all, maybe it’s the sort of thing that a prepared Black would want to play! (in blitz or slow)

    Sort of like the Sveshnikov… 🙂

    I think the Sveshnikov is higher-rated theoretically. Try 12. Bd3, it’s actually pleasant for white without too much contortion. Black is hard pressed to find gambit-style counterplay. This renders 12. Nxe5 to be “?!” because the piece sac in a higher sense backfires (makes the game easier to handle for black). But it is true that computers’ dogged defensive skills often resurrect dubious openings. I recently found that the discredited “Pin Variation” (1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Bb4) is much better than its reputation.

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