First impressions and second thoughts

The latest issue of The New Winawer Report has now been posted.

The New Winawer Report, issue 20This one concerns the new main line of the Poisoned Pawn, where Black plays … dxc3 instead of … Bd7, and follows with 12. … d4 (diagram). Theory knew of this as far back as 1957, based on the game Kots-Ilivitsky, USSR Championship ½-final, Sverdlovsk 1957, but it did not catch on. But why not? It’s easy to dismiss such anomalies with a shrug and a comment on “the vagaries of fashion”, but I argue it’s worth making a more searching enquiry about what was missed earlier and why.

Apart from such speculations, the issue has a new game that’s missing from all the databases, as far as I can tell, but that pre-dates all known games in this line. It’s even quite a nice win for Black. See Procter-Knibbs, Postal Chess Club All-play-all 1E, 1949.

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