SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
THE BRILLIANCY PRIZE GAME
There are not many photos of Isaak Lipnitsky, twice champion of the Ukraine and respected chess theoretician and author. To be fair, in those days he was never a star, even though the list of his victims in tournament play is long and proud: Paul Keres, Tigran Petrosian, Efim Geller, Alexander Kotov, Mark Taimanov, Igor Bondarevsky, Yuri Averback, Seymon Furman just to name a few of the better known stars.
Spartak team championship 1954
Back row: Y. Karajan, Semyon Furman, Vladimir Simagin, Rashid Nezhmetdinov,
Ratmir Holmov, Isaac Lipnitsky.
Seated: Nina Rusinkevich, Tigran Petrosian, N. Voytsik.
Isaac was a boyhood friend of David Bronstein (born 1924) and they were members of the same chess club in Kiev for a while. Both were influenced by the famous coach Konstantinopolsky. When World War II broke out Lipnitsky served in the Soviet Red Army, fought in the Battle of Stalingrad, and was decorated four times, earning 3 medals. Lipnitsky died very young of polycythaemia. He never married.
As a player Lipnitsky was well trained in strategy and tactics, capable of playing all types of positions equally well. However, what he really liked doing was playing complicated positions, a trait that many of the finest Ukraine masters seemed to have inherited.
Witness the following game against Beilin played at Riga in 1950. Lipnitsky provokes his opponent to riskily capture material instead of completing his development. The final moves of the game are so pretty and surprising that the judges could not resist awarding the brilliancy prize to Lipnitsky. The reader will do well to pay careful attention to this little known but instructive miniature!
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 16th MOVE
The White Queen is straying far from her majesty’s side but at least she is attacking the Bishop. Lipnitsky decides, after long thought, that it is better for Black to attack than to defend the Bishop.
How much did Lipnitsky see when playing this clever move? Did he see all of the tactical ideas that follow or was he relying on his intuition? White has nothing better than to accept the gift since trying to play it safe would allow Black to simply build up his initiative without any problems: 17. Qa5 exf3 18. gxf3 Rfe8 19. Bg2? Qg5! winning.
17. Qxd7 e3!!
A very unpleasant move for White! This pawn move divides the board into 2 and keeps the White King in the centre. Notice that Black is also threatening the deadily 18…Qd4!!
White must now be very careful as after 18. Qxb7 Rxc3 19. Qb2 Rfc8 20. Rxc3 Rxc3 21. g3 Black has the amazingly pretty 21… Rb3!!! which wins on the spot! (Diagram,right)
18. Qa4! The only defence 18… Rxc3 19. Rd1 Rfc8
For the moment it seems that White is holding against Black’s threats. If he could only castle….
20. g3!? (preparing to castle in 2 moves) 20… Rc1! 21. Bh3 Rxd1! 22. Qxd1
The Black Rook is under attack and White threatens to castle. It seems as though Black is running out of ideas…. but Lipnitsky had forseen a keen tactic.
22… Qc3! 23. Kf1 Qd2!
24. Kg2 forced
Now it seems as though the worse if over for White: he has (artificially) castled and has defended against the immediate threats. To boot, he is attacking the Black Rook on c8 and has a passed pawn on d5.
Now comes the surprising killer!
A move of rare beauty! If White takes the Rook then Black has mate in 2 starting with Qxe2. And if White exchanges Queens then the Black e-pawn will make a Queen before the White d-pawn even gets close to doing the same. So White resigns! [0:1]
A MAGNIFICENT CONCEPTION!!
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