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Karen Ashotovich Grigorian vs Yuri Balashov
USSR Championship (1974), Leningrad URS, rd 4, Dec-04
Dutch Defense: Rubinstein Variation (A84)  ·  0-1


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sac: 30...Nxe4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Premium Chessgames Member
  Chnebelgrind: ♘ protects ♕! Nice.
Nov-24-05  shaikh123: 30.....Nxe4 was my much coud have played 31.Qxg5 to delay the end but his position was very much lost.
Nov-24-05  Eric Xanthus: I picked 30..Nex4 and saw this continuation, but what happens if white doesn't take the knight? Say, 31.Qe1...I guess the attack will break through, but I don't quite see it (it's kinda late...).
Nov-24-05  chesswonders: wow! I got this one! 31. ... ♖f1+ will also lead to mate on 33rd.
Nov-24-05  black knight c6: yeh, tis a nice attack. In situations like this, i think the key is to think about what is stopping you from mating your opponent or attacking him, and remove it. Its a useful tactic called removing the defender. In this case, its the g4. once that goes, everythings over for white.

I think QxQ is the best option for white, as retreating with her just lets the knight in on g3, causing havoc such as the taking the key defender to f3 pawn away, the bishop (again notice removing the defender!).

But even after QxQ, NxQ theres not terribly much white can do to stop blacks rooks penetrating on f4, then d4, and with the bishop blocked in, its still looks like its game over for white.

Nov-24-05  ataturk: wow, i think this is my first thursday... all the way to the end
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: When your primary attackers are all major pieces, it pays to look at sacrificing a minor that isn't doing much to strip away the defensive pawn cover. This game is also a good example of how Nb1-c3 can be premature in the Dutch. White can even delay c2-c4 whilst he completes his Kinnd side development.
Nov-24-05  prinsallan: Fells great to get this one. Just out of bed from a week on influenza and gets the thursday puzzle easily.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dim Weasel: Didn't get, but this one was very educational, I think, for me at least.
Nov-24-05  peterk007: <black knight c6>: what is stopping you from mating your opponent or attacking him, and remove it. - nice way to put it. here it is the removal of the defender (f3 distracted to e4) of the defender (g4).
Nov-24-05  SamuelS: I had the line: 30...Nxe4 31. fxe4 (White should have tried 31. Qxg5 Nxg5 although yet an other pawn will drop with a winning position for Black) 31...Rf1+?! (little slower although winning) 32. Kh2 (32. Kg2 Qg4+ 33. Kh2 Qg1#) 32...Qg4 and I cannot find a defence to the mate threats: 33. Rg2 Qh3+ 34. Kg1 Qxh1# or 33. Re3 Qg1# or 33. Qe3 R8f2+ 34. Qxf2 (34. Rxf2 Qg1#) Qh3#
Premium Chessgames Member
  benveniste: <Eric Xanthus>, ♕e1 is met by ♘g3, followed by ♘xh1. The pawns on f3 and g4 fall soon thereafter.
Nov-24-05  wolverine199: <An Englishman>, very nice advice. This was exactly how i did it. I almost quitted, but then i tooked one last view of the board and thought: what pieces did white had that werent directly participating in the attack? After that, it was easy to find the knight move.
Nov-24-05  erimiro1: This game is a "handbook" for the Dutch. Balashov played it masterfuly, and very soon, white 2 bishops became passive, and stood sady on f2 and g2. In such close positions the knights feel G-O-O-D and the sac on e4 was a matter of time. The knight on c5 waited for 16 moves to smash the white defence.
Nov-24-05  Georgie Dubb: Can we call it a sac, or even a pseudo-sac, since white is not supposed to take the N (the worst move to play) ?

Nov-24-05  EmperorAtahualpa: For this puzzle, my first (wrong) idea was 30...Qxg4+. Then I saw the better move 30...Nxe4, but was thinking: "ok, 31.Qxg5 Nxg5......then what??". I didn't see how Black would continue after that, so I guess I only got a bit of this puzzle.

So I had a look at the position after 30...Nxe4 31.Qxg5 Nxg5 with Crafty:

First of all, Crafty gives Black at this position already a big advantage (-4.60 / depth = 15 ply), which is quite arguably already decisive. And Crafty gives the following line:

30...Nxe4 31.Qxg5 Nxg5 32.Nf2 Nxf3+ 33.Bxf3 Rxf3 34.Rbe1 h3 35.g5 Rg3+ 36.Kh1 Rxg5 37.Ne4 Rg4 38.Kh2 Rff4 39.a3 Rh4 40.Re3 Kg7, leading to this position:

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Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Today's puzzle solution is the pseudo-sacrifice 30...Nxe4! , which exploits White's weakened castled position for the win.

Declining the sacrifice leaves White a pawn down with a clearly lost position. So White graciously accepts the sacrifice for a neat mating finish. One little finesse is that if 30. Bg2, then the quickest win is the neat two-move mate 30...Rf1+! (the alternative 30...h3 wins slowly) 31. Kh2 Qg3#.

Nov-24-05  Tomtom: Very nice one, a good idea fur future games... :)
Nov-24-05  EmperorAtahualpa: <georgie dubb> I would go for "pseudo-sac".
Nov-24-05  monad: What a surprising position: All that heavy artillery, two Rooks, one Bishop, the Queen and her side kick on h4, all bearing down on the white King. And yet, in spite of all those riches, it takes the fairly distant Knight to set it up. I nearly overlooked it.
Nov-24-05  dakgootje: missed it...
Nov-24-05  TopaLove: I tried ♕xd2, ♕g4+ and only then I saw ♘xe4!
Nov-24-05  blingice: I would have said ♗g4 because it opens up the file, and no other piece could take it. Why couldn't the knight have been taken with the rook after the move? Wouldn't that have ended the combination?
Premium Chessgames Member
  jahhaj: <blingice> Don't forget that the two queens are attacking each other.

30...♘xe4 31.♖xe4? ♕xd2, Black wins

30...♗xg4?? 31.♕xg5, White wins

Nov-24-05  HannibalSchlecter: In this game black played the Dutch but played e6 first. I see this a lot. Does anybody know why they don't just play f5 (Dutch) right off the bat. Why do they often play e6 first?
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