One Game, Two Gems Shamkovich-Stein 1959 1/2-1/2

I was just looking at some games and I came across two nice defensive tactics from Soviet Legend Leonid Stein.

Here’s the first position:

Here Stein plays 51…Rxb4. Shamkovich replies 52.Ra7+, because after 52.Rxb4 Nd3+ 53.Kf5 Nxb4 the position is a draw.  I’ll leave it to you to work out the lines. Trust me, that’s a rewarding exercise.

A few moves later this position is reached:

Here the knowledge of basic endings comes in extremely handy as 60…Nxe6 wins a crucial pawn.  If White were to play 61.dxe6 then a Philidor position is on the board and Stein simply checks with his rook until the handshake.

Here is the entire game.  It’s long, but it’s quite instructive, especially in the endgame.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

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