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Rodion Rubenchik vs Maurice Ashley
World Open (2000), Philadelphia, PA USA, rd 8, Jul-04
English Opening: Symmetrical Variation. General (A30)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-19-09  Patriot: Black to play: "Very Easy"

Rf2 would be mate if not for the d1-knight. So let's try removing the guard.

30...Rbxd1

A) 31.Rxd1?? 32.Rf2#

B) 31.Rxd2 Nxd2+ 32.Ke2 Rxe1+ 33.Kxe1

C) 31.Rxe4 fxe4+ 32.Kxe4 Rxe1 is terrible for white.

D) 31.Re2 Rf1+ 32.Rf2 R(any)xf2#

In variation (B), 31...Rxd2 wins as well but I prefer to simplify with 31...Nxd2+ and leave white with no hope of counterplay.

Jan-19-09  Kasputin: What should jump out at anyone looking at this position is how the white king is so boxed in that a move such as ...Rf2+ is nearly mate -- the only thing stopping mate is that white can capture the rook with the d1 knight.

So the question is can black find an alternative first move that still takes advantage of white's perilous king position?

Yes we can (sorry Barack):

30 ...Rbxd1

This removes the white defender, so that the "natural" recapture 31. Rxd1 will be answered with 31...Rf2#. All that white can do (aside from throwing away material by moving the king or a pawn) is to try:

31. Rxd2

But then black can play 31 ...Rxe1 and emerge a whole knight up with an easily won position.

An alternative would be to play 31 ...Nxd2+ when white could play 32. Ke2 Rxe1+ 33. Kxe1 and black has simplified things even more -- all the rooks are gone and black is up by a whole knight. Again an easy win.

Jan-19-09  mworld: very easy monday.

Mr. M

I don't think Rbb2 works - white can simply exchange rooks Rxd2 and while black will certainly be better positionally, it isn't quite as decisive as winning a full minor piece.

Jan-19-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <fyad reject:: Is it possible for me to get good at this game?>

Oh, we've all been there!

For puzzles like this, the key is pattern recognition. As soon as I glanced at the position, I saw the knight, the king and the rook on c2. Instantly I recognized a familiar mating pattern with the rook on f2. Then I saw that the Nd1 stopped the mate, and the solution became obvious.

But the key was recognizing, or rather sensing that mating pattern. If you don't have a natural gift for the game, that recognition has to come through practice and repetition. Hopefully, you can still have fun while acquiring that.

Jan-19-09  YoungEd: Got it right away! Bring on the next one! :)
Jan-19-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <sshhhh> - great handle, BTW!

You're not missing anything - in fact I think your summary is spot on. The game continuation is far and away the best move in the position. But Monday doesn't leave us much to say, so we tend to look for other things to talk about, such as other ways to win or how the losing player might have defended better.

We're just having a bit of fun with the position ....

Jan-19-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <mworld: I don't think Rbb2 works - white can simply exchange rooks Rxd2>

<Mr. M> was talking about 29...Rbb2, not 30... Rbb2.

Playing 29...Rbb2 gives us this position:


click for larger view

Black threatens the reloader 30...Rf2+ 31. Nxf2 Rxf2# In order to defend, white has to jettison lots of material with something like 30. Rxe4. And even then the black rooks on the second rank are almost decisive.

For that matter, I think that 30. Rbb2 also wins. See my post of this morning. Not as decisive as the game continuation, but still puts white in a world of hurt.

Jan-19-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <fyad reject>

Stick at it and I promise you will get there. The key to this position is to strip out the clutter and see that from here ...


click for larger view

Rf2 is mate.

Then you need to notice that by adding the knight on e1, black is defending against this threat ...


click for larger view

Then it's just a short step to notice that the rook on b1 can take away the only defender of the mate ...


click for larger view

That gives you the basic idea. Then you need to add in the other pieces and check that white doesn't have a capture to cross our plan.

Sounds complicated, but trust me it does become a lot easier with practice. Whenever you see a knight and rook close the enemy king, this kind of mating pattern ought to be the one of first things that you are looking for.

<everyone else> Apologies for the triple posting!

Jan-19-09  Patriot: <fyad reject>

You will start to see improvements in your game once you become familiar with basic checkmate patterns and basic tactics. A few good books to help with tactics are "Winning Chess Tactics" by Yasser Sierawan and Jeremy Silman, and "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess" by Fischer. I don't recommend books like "303 Tricky Chess Tactics" until you've become familiar with the basics. Before you know it, these patterns will be jumping off the board at you.

Jan-19-09  Dr. J: <shaqcosteau> and <tobywan>: Welcome to the neighbourhood! You'll find that the natives are very friendly. And there is no such thing as "too ignorant to post". There are always enough readers at any level to be interested in your thoughts, or happy to answer your questions. Take a look at <Once>'s post just above.

<Once>: Don't apologize!. If you have three things worth saying, then you post three times. In general I find your posts among the most interesting.

Jan-19-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: I got it
Jan-19-09  SufferingBruin: <<shaqcosteau> and <tobywan>: Welcome to the neighbourhood! You'll find that the natives are very friendly. And there is no such thing as "too ignorant to post". There are always enough readers at any level to be interested in your thoughts, or happy to answer your questions.>

I heartily second Dr. J's thoughts. As one of the "weaker subscribers... who are too ignorant to post analyses in this forum," I have found that the vast majority of the time, posters here are patient, instructive, insightful... you're in a safe area here. The best thing about this forum is that "basic" questions get answered patiently and directly and lower rated folks like me learn a helluva lot about chess. Folks like dzechiel, johnlspouge... the list goes on. Welcome to a great forum.

Jan-19-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: I'm a bit late today for POD, but I suppose others were able to figure this out without my help.

Black threatens ...Rf2#.

What's stopping it? The knight.

Can we get rid of the knight? Yes, 30...Rxd1.

We end up winning a knight, and white can't be blamed for resigning...

Jan-19-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheBish: R Rubenchik vs Ashley, 2000

Black to move (30...?) "Very Easy" (one star)

30...Rbxd1! (threatening Rf2 mate).

If 31. Rxd2 Rxe1! (stronger than 31...Nxd2+ 32. Ke2 Rxe1 33. Kxe1, where Black has an easy endgame a knight up, but must make several more moves) 32. Rf2 (other moves allow either Nxd2+ or Rf1+ with mate to follow) Nxf2 33. Kxf2 Rb1, and the end will be swift with Black a rook ahead.

Jan-19-09  vanytchouck: < TheBish: R Rubenchik vs Ashley, 2000 Black to move (30...?) "Very Easy" (one star)

30...Rbxd1! (threatening Rf2 mate). >

Agreed

< (...) If 31. Rxd2 Rxe1! (stronger than 31...Nxd2+ 32. Ke2 Rxe1 33. Kxe1, where Black has an easy endgame a knight up, but must make several more moves) (...)>

Are you sure ? I think that 31...Nxd2 + is stronger.

< (...) 32. Rf2 (other moves allow either Nxd2+ or Rf1+ with mate to follow) (...)>

How about 32.Rc2 ? There is no mate to come. Of course black is still easily winning and can even still exchange the Rooks, via 32...Rf1 + 33.Ke2 Rf2+ etc

Jan-19-09  MartinChuzzlewit: 24.Nd1? Also, I am trying to grasp 28.Rc4? How is it that white is not feeling the palpable danger of Rd2+, which can only be met by running into a corner on f3?

Jan-19-09  Mr. M: Thanks <Once> You understood the point of my post <29.> ... Rbb2, a move before the puzzle position and defended it.
Jan-19-09  PinnedPiece: My personal requirement for Mondays: Solve in 30 seconds. . Performance: solved in 47.15 seconds.
. Result: Fail.
' .
Jan-19-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  NakoSonorense: <Result: Fail.> Yes, because 47.15 > 30
Jan-19-09  Lord Osiris: Sorry mostly average Joe, but in your analysis of 30...Rbb2, your line involving 32...Nf6 is met easily with h3. this prevents 33...Ng4+ 34.Rxg4 Rd5++. 33...Nd7 is alright but after 34.Rxd7 Rxd7, 35. e4 white is down an exchange, but still alive for the moment which is much better than being down a minor piece. also, in this position if you play it out because i dont know how to put in those picture tags you'll see white in a fairly good position despite being down an exchange. Black can go pawn grabbing but white has lines he can play. 100% inferior to what Ashley played
Jan-20-09  MostlyAverageJoe: <Lord Osiris: Sorry mostly average Joe, but in your analysis of 30...Rbb2, your line involving 32...Nf6 is met easily with h3. this prevents 33...Ng4+>

As I mentioned, the position after <30. Rd4 Rbb2?! 31. Kf4?? g5+ 32. Ke5 Nf6> is a good puzzle on its own merit.

The <h3> response allows a quicker mate (33.Nc3 is better), although the winning move is not that easy to see.

33. h3 Rxb4!


click for larger view

Now white gets checkmated in 3 moves after either 34.Nc3 or 34.e4. Any other move by white, and it is at most 2 moves to checkmate.

<i dont know how to put in those picture tags>

See here: Kibitzing Tricks (section: HOW DO INCLUDE A CHESS POSITION IN MY MESSAGE?)

Bottom line:

(1) You were right that 30...Rbb2 is inferior to 30...Rxd1, but nobody argued otherwise.

(2) 30...Rbb2 still wins for the black, and the line first shown by <Once> is correct (< 30...Rbb2 31.Rxd2 Rxd2>).

(3) Your 31. Kf4 loses by force.

Jan-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: What a pedestrain puzzle for a Monday! No queen sac or anything like that--BOO!!

After the text,white loses on the threat of an Arabian Mate.

Jan-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For the Monday, Jan 19, 2009 puzzle, Black's 30...Rbxd1! initiates a combination to remove the guard and win a piece.
Feb-15-09  WhiteRook48: I would have played on with 31. Rxd2
Mar-20-15  ChessCoachClark: One continuation brings the game to an end with a Hook Mate in the middle of the board: 30. ... Rbxd1 31. Rxd1? Rf2#
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