Speelman's Agony #73

by Jonathan Speelman
4/1/2018 – A Two Knights and a Pirc from a Belgian. Sam Azzoug has a pawn sac gone wrong providing the 'agony' and then makes up for it with a nice a central pin breakthrough bit of 'ecstasy'. Fancy Jon taking a look at your games? Send them in! If you appear in the Agony column, not only will you get free detailed commentary of your games by one of chess’s great authors and instructors, and former world no. 4 player, but you also win a free three-month ChessBase Premium Account!

Fritz 16 - He just wants to play! Fritz 16 - He just wants to play!

Fritz 16 is looking forward to playing with you, and you're certain to have a great deal of fun with him too. Tense games and even well-fought victories await you with "Easy play" and "Assisted analysis" modes.


Not enough comp

Sam AzzougThis week's pair of games are by Sam Azzoug a forty-five-year-old Belgian who wrote:

I have chosen these 2 games because I had tried to play two new openings. In the first game the Two Knights defence and the second Pirc defence.

When the game has finished, I always analyse with Fritz and with my brain and try to find some moves I could forget it in the game.

We start with the rather agonising Two Knights, in which he failed ever to get real compensation for the theoretical early pawn sacrifice.

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Click or tap on the second game in the game list below the board to switch

The modern Two Knights

The Two Knights Defence is one of the oldest opening lines in chess history. This DVD is aimed at players of both sides, giving an objective overview of all relevant theoretical lines.


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Tell why you chose them, where or when they were played. Please also include your email address, so Jon can reply, and preferably a photo of yourself for our article.

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See also:

Jonathan Speelman, born in 1956, studied mathematics but became a professional chess player in 1977. He was a member of the English Olympic team from 1980–2006 and three times British Champion. He played twice in Candidates Tournaments, reaching the semi-final in 1989. He twice seconded a World Championship challenger: Nigel Short and then Viswanathan Anand against Garry Kasparov in London 1993 and New York 1995.
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macauley macauley 4/4/2018 02:41
@adbennet Got it corrected. Thanks.
adbennet adbennet 4/4/2018 03:46
Thanks for the reply. Follow the line to the end, after 12.O-O-O it says "=". Yes, no doubt the keys problem is my browser. No keyboard issues in other applications, still broken here. Not to worry, the numeric keypad works:8,9! And I can paste the newline:

There is a way to download the pgn, but it's a bit of a hack so I wouldn't say anything without ChessBase's permission. Let me know.
macauley macauley 4/3/2018 12:49
@adbennet - Unless I'm missing something it doesn't say it's equal. Just given a '!?' Keys not working in this textbox sounds weird, but I haven't seen other reports of this, nor can I reproduce it. Perhaps a local issue? Have you tried another browser? Please write to support if you continue to experience this: https://en.chessbase.com/support-new
adbennet adbennet 4/3/2018 04:46
In the Pirc game Gervais vs. Azzoug, at black's move 7, I have my doubts that the line given with 7...b5 eight.Bd3 is equal. And speaking of bugs, not all of my keys are working in this textbox. The eight key is one, the enter key is another, the back-arrow key, who knows what other keys ...
macauley macauley 4/2/2018 12:16
@Illingworth - There seems to be a bug in this feature. We'll get it fixed ASAP.
Illingworth Illingworth 4/2/2018 07:10
You want real agony? Try to download the games...