Chess Trigonometry- ALBIN PLANINC!

Chess Trigonometry- ALBIN PLANINC!

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When I look at the games of some players, I feel......well, I feel like a monkey at a Trigonometry class!

I am not kidding! The moves, the ideas, are so surprising, it leaves you come I can't play like that?

I am reminded of the words of David Bronstein, my favorite Grandmaster (and I paraphrase), when he said that at the beginning of the game, first of all he thought of the board as an empty canvas, in which a great work of ART might be created. But also that, before making the first move, the issue that burns in the Master's mind is: how to begin the attack?

Recently I received a notice from New in Chess about a new book by GM Wolfgang Uhlman.


Now, I have to admit that, in my ignorance, I did not have a great regard for GM Uhlman. Why? Well, in my short-lived involvement in chess, all I could remember was how Karpov made him look silly, in such a simple way!

here is the game:

What I did not realize was that, first of all, Karpov was nearing the height of his powers (in 1974 he would crush Spassky in a Candidates' Match), and also that the 3.Nd2 (Tarrasch) system he was using was probably taught to him by Geller, who was an expert in this setup.
I was looking at Ulhman's games, and somehow, exploring a collection of French Defense games in another database, I came across a game by Planinc in the French Defense! And what a game! Oh my God, how Planinc's pieces come alive!
What a game! After seeing this, I could not help but look at some collections of Planinc's games. In the next few days I shall be posting some more of his games.
How would I describe his style? He is like Tal on steroids! I mean, the tactical genius of this man was incredible! NOW you know why I put the monkey on the image for this post.
(There is another reason for this. I remember the day I looked at exponents for the first time. My world crumbled! I could not, for the life of me, understand these little numbers next to the "real" numbers! I tried....I even took some private lessons, but that stuff would not enter my mind, even though my aptitude tests showed I had talent for mathematics, art and music! So yes, I felt like a monkey....what can I say?)
The next game by Planinc made a very strong impression on me. He made Ljubojevic look bad!
The next game is both a work of ART and a Master Class! I am sorry to say, but Planinc makes Vaganian look like a beginner!
In the following game, Planinc, playing from the White side of a Sozin/Velimirovic  Attack, shows us the importance of time in the pursuit of the enemy king!
As in the 1971 game against Ljubojevic (above), Planinc plays the Archangelsk Variation of the Ruy Lopez. The games are similar, but on move 11 White deviates with 11.Qf3, avoiding the exchange of Black's knight for White's bishop. Planinc is undeterred! Another Queen sacrifice shows the strength of a passed pawn!
If someone told us that the next game was played by the great Anderssen, or Morphy, we would believe it! Such is the power of White's attack!
In the mid and late 70's, Walter Browne introduced a new idea for Black in the Sicilian Najdorf. Black would sacrifice a pawn to get a foothold on the e5-square. It was an interesting idea, but as is the case with most Sicilian variations, it requires great tactical skill to execute properly. Here Black tries it against Planinc, and runs against a rainfall of tactics!
Certain openings are wild, and schemes are developed to counter them. From the Averbach and Saemisch Variations against the King's Indian Defense, to the Advance Variation against the French, certain schemes are design to keep Black under control. But good luck in trying to control a player like Planinc!
The next game, what can I say? It looks more like a spanking! he makes GM Donner look silly!
The next game is a work of art, with so many different tactical themes!
The next game in mind-boggling, because what starts out as an Adams Attack against the Sicilian ended up looking like a King's Gambit! And once it entered into King's Gambit territory, Planninc played like he was channeling one of the wizards of the 19th Century! Take a look!
The last game in this post is unique. First of all, it is against one of my favorite players, Eduard Gufeld.
Second of all, it is a complete game- strategically and tactically. Now here I want to make an important (for me) point. As chess lovers and chess fans, we get stuck in  stereotypes which might not necessarily correspond to the truth. Let me explain. When I was reading chess books as a teenager, I always heard that Paul Morphy was a "tactician". Then I saw some of his tactical brilliancies, and believed it. Then I read super-prominent players, like Kasparov, saying that Morphy was a positional player! WIth Petrosian, the opposite happened! I kept hearing that Petrosian was a positional player, but then I read that Spassky regarded Petrosian as a tactician, primarily!
So where is the truth? Then I read a quote by Petrosian:
“In general I consider that in chess everything rests on tactics. If one thinks of strategy as a block of marble, then tactics are the chisel with which a master operates, in creating works of chess art.” – Tigran Petrosian
So Spassky is right! Now, what does this has to do with Planninc? Well, we come back to the last game of this post! It is so complete, it is scary. I thought I knew who Planninc was.....a brilliant tactical player! How can he play a game like this? But he did, and he did so majestically, against Gufeld,. who was an extremely strong GM who had victories over Tal, Smyslov and Bronstein!
And this, my friends, is the last game in this post about Albin Planninc!