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Yuri Balashov vs Zigurds Fridrikhovich Lanka
URS-chT (1988), Naberezhnye Chelny URS, rd 5, Oct-??
Torre Attack: Fianchetto Defense. Euwe Variation (A48)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-21-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <eblunt> <Seems white can avoid losing the exchange with 22. exd5 Bxd3 23. fe1 but then after 23 .... xd5 White is a pawn down and his position is horribly tangled.> Good point! If 22. exd5, 22...Bxf1?? to "win the exchange," Black is actually losing because he's down two pieces for the exchange.

After 22. exd5 Bxd3! (not 22...Bxf1??) 23. Rfe1 f5! 24. h3 f4 25. Bh2 Nxd5 , Black is a decisive pawn up as White's position with uncoordinated pieces and isolated pawns is hopelessly lost

Nov-21-07  TrueBlue: got it 20 seconds, unlike yesterday, which I never got :(
Nov-21-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <znprdx> has hit the nail on the head. "Gee, it would be nice to be able to for the King and Rook by moving my Knight to e2." That is the key to the position. Sure, the White Bishop guards the square; but Black's Be2 takes care of that.
Nov-21-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: Found it pretty quickly: ...Nc3 is an obvious try since our knight buys an extra hop by attacking white's awkwardly placed queen. After the queen moves, the next obvious hop is ...Ne2+, winning the exchange -- EXCEPT that this is prevented by the white bishop on d3.

The solution then became clear: We must do away with that bishop, and this is nicely done with 21...Be2!, threatening white's f1 rook. And if 22. Bxe2, then we proceed with our knight attack as described above, except this time we recover our piece AND win the exchange with back-to-back knight forks.

I see that white took it in a different direction, but black still ended up winning the exchange.

Very nice. :-)

Nov-21-07  MaxxLange: <22. exd5 Bxd3 23. Rfe1 f5! 24. h3>

I think 24. f4 is better for White in this line. But he is still worse.

Nov-21-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A very unusual fork by a bishop! A bishop and rook. Since the bishop is immune due to a second fork at c3-either the rook or bishop is lost.

White ends up dowm an exchange for a doubled pawn-an easy win for black.

Nov-21-07  znprdx: <TrueBlue: got it 20 seconds> you got what? Do please enlighten us - I'm certain this position is far from being exhausted as <patzer 2:> points out to <eblunt>

I for one believe White may still be able to wriggle a draw - with 8 minor pieces on the board there is surely some potential for resourceful counter play. The critical factor here is the time it would take to save the game after the initial shock value of 21...Be2 wears off. For example: 22.Nb4 Bx[f1]R 23.Nx[f1]B Nx[b4]N 24.Qx[b4]N Rc8 25.Rd1 is hardly a forced win for Black once White plays Ne3


click for larger view

Nov-21-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <dzechiel> <MaxxLange:> <My main line was 21...Be2 22. exd5 Bxd3 23. Rfe1 or 23. Rfd1, which seems to keep White from losing the exchange. But he's going to lose one or two pawns. I'm with Maxx on this one. Does anyone see if this is better or worse than the text? MAJ? Just wondering.>

I dont think 22 Ne3 was a bad move if after 22 Bxf1 white played either 23 Bxf1 or Rxf1.

If 22. exd5 Bxd3 23. Rfe1 then 23 Nxd5.

If 24 Qb2 then 24 Qb6. Whites b pawn will definitely be lost. One line that can occur is 25 Ne3 Nxe3 26 fxe3 Rac8 27 h4 gxh4 28 Bxh4 e5 29 Bf2 Qxb5 30 Qxb5 Bxb5. This wins a second pawn.

If 24 Qa2 then its worse for white because of 24Nc3! 25 Qb2 Ne2+ 26 Rxe2 Bxe2 and black is up the exchange and a pawn.

The best white can hope for in this position is either losing the rook for bishop exchange or the loss of two pawns.

Nov-21-07  TiTi: Small question. Would 23. Bxf1 have made a difference for white?
Nov-21-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <TiTi> Both 23. Bxf1 and 23. Nxf1 would have been slightly better than the move played, since White would have the two Bishops and a slightly better pawn structure than in the game continuation.

However, White is still the exchange down against a 2500 rated player with no weaknesses in his position. Realistically, White's chances of holding the draw after 21...Be2 are slim to none.

Nov-21-07  dabearsrock1010: I saw Nc3 and then the first move Be2 came to me like in a flash of great brilliance seen in Old School when Will Ferrel debates James Carville.
Nov-21-07  outsider: i remember this game. it was played in november 1988, the first soviet union team championship, on the 2nd board. zigurds (NOT zigurd) lanka represented the riga chess club, he was playing the best stint of his life, and although the rating of balashov was some 50 points higher, lanka beat him as well as many opponents rated much higher than him; in that competition, lanka might have achieved some 2600 (taking the rating inflation into consideration, now it would be as good as 2700). unfortunately, somewhere after 1990/91, his high spirits disappeared, and now this excellent player's name and games are all but forgotten
Nov-21-07  TrueBlue: <znprdx>, I got the Be2 idea, what else :)
Nov-21-07  MaxxLange: It's really the only tactical idea I can see in the position, yeah.
Nov-21-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: <SwordOfLaban Question: How do you get the little chess shapes in your comments?>

See the Kibitzing Tricks

Nov-21-07  SAINTAMANT: I really love my fellow "kibitzers". There is nothing subtle of Be2. White appears bulletproof. The only weak squares for attack are c3 and e2 is attacked and defended 1X. Black was in the zone here. White can prolong his position by Ne3. Still Black superior pawn structure prevails in the end game!!!

The level of the problems have been "kicked up a notch"!!!! Damm good job!!!!!!!

Nov-21-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <dzechiel> <MaxxLange:> <My main line was 21...Be2 22. exd5 Bxd3 23. Rfe1 or 23. Rfd1, which seems to keep White from losing the exchange. But he's going to lose one or two pawns. I'm with Maxx on this one. Does anyone see if this is better or worse than the text? MAJ? Just wondering.>

<jimfromprovidence> <I dont think 22 Ne3 was a bad move if after 22 Bxf1 white played either 23 Bxf1 or Rxf1. If 22. exd5 Bxd3 23. Rfe1 then 23 Nxd5.
If 24 Qb2 then 24 Qb6. Whites b pawn will definitely be lost. One line that can occur is 25 Ne3 Nxe3 26 fxe3 Rac8 27 h4 gxh4 28 Bxh4 e5 29 Bf2 Qxb5 30 Qxb5 Bxb5. This wins a second pawn. If 24 Qa2 then its worse for white because of 24Nc3! 25 Qb2 Ne2+ 26 Rxe2 Bxe2 and black is up the exchange and a pawn. The best white can hope for in this position is either losing the rook for bishop exchange or the loss of two pawns.>

I want to sharpen my earlier posting above, concerning the alternative line 21 Be2 22. exd5 Bxd3 23. Rfe1 or 23. Rfd1 as discussed /proposed by many kibitzers.

After 23 Rfe1 black continues with 23 Nxd5, winning a pawn. White must play 24 Qb2 to avoid the threat of 24 Nc3, which attacks the queen and threatens 25 Ne2+ 26 Rxe2 Bxe2. This line would put black ahead the exchange and a pawn.

After 24 Qb2, black follows with 24Ra5! If white plays 25 Ne3 then Rxb5 wins the second pawn. If 25 Nb4 again 25Rxb5 wins the pawn.

In the alternative variation white loses two pawns. (23 Rfd1 loses the same amount of material).

So, in summary, what white played in the game after 21Be2 was as good as anything.

Nov-21-07  znprdx: <TrueBlue:I got the Be2 idea, what else:)> Well that is my point "what else" can you you show us? <Jimfromprovidence:>and my 22.Nb4 line?
Nov-21-07  willyfly: <znprdx> Thanks for your comments - but I am still a little bewildered about the difference between the line I gave

21...♘c3 22 ♕b2 ♗e2 23 ♗xe2 ♘xe2+ 24 ♔h1 ♘xc1 25 ♖xc1 which results in the following position


click for larger view

and the text

21...♗e2 22 ♘e3 ♗xf1 23 exd5 ♗xd3 24 ♕xd3 resulting in a different position


click for larger view

The material loss is the same in each line (White is down a ♖) and I'm not a good enough player to judge which position is better. Maybe if I spend more time with this I'll get it. I agree that 21...♗e2 is a trickier move and harder to see and therefore is probably the point of this puzzle. I'm not stubbornly defending the line I gave - just hoping to understand this better. Seemed like a tough one for a Wednesday. But then I haven't got one right in a week or more.

Nov-21-07  Komapsimnita: Hmmm. I had the Nc3 forcing a Queen move, safest option Qb4. Then you haqve the knight fork,Ne2. If the bishop takes the black knight then the black bishops wins takes and has a possible fork of the knight pawn on d3. Romoving the white knight on c2 could open a possible attack on whites D4 pawn.

Now there is are lot of possibles and maybes in there but Al says ziggys on the blitz and can't calculate, oh boy!

Nov-21-07  Komapsimnita: Ah, yeah after reading through you posts the bishop e2 is better than my knight move. The shame, don't look at me I'm a monster.
Nov-21-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <znprdx> <and my 22.Nb4 line?

22.Nb4 Bx[f1]R 23.Nx[f1]B Nx[b4]N 24.Qx[b4]N Rc8 25.Rd1 is hardly a forced win for Black once White plays Ne3>

I think that it is innovative but it is ultimately not forcing. Black does not have to play 23... NxN. Black can move the knight to three other squares as well, none of which seem to force black to give up his advantage in the long run.

Nov-21-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Nice puzzle--I think winning the exchange is enough of an achievement even if W does struggle on for 15 more moves.

I got this pretty quickly and was congratulating myself until I realized that it is not Friday. Feels like Friday here in the US because tomorrow is a holiday.

Jan-15-08  D.Observer: White was crushed...
Feb-21-13  waustad: Perhaps an etymological pun involving "Serendipity" is in order. He is, after Z Lanka.
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