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Gyula Sax vs John Fedorowicz
New York Open (1986), New York, NY USA
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Modern Variation (B42)  ·  1-0


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sac: 31.Qxc8+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Most elegant.

Sax had a fearsome reputation with the white pieces and this game showcases his talents.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Hmm. Looks like the take on c6 doesn't work: 31 Rxc6 Rxc6 32.Qxc6 Qxc6 33.d7 Rd4!

So maybe the ake on c8 instead? 31.Qxc8+ Qxc8 32.d7 followed by 33.Rxc6? With black's queen blocked from White's first rank, that might do it.

There are some complications, of course, but that looks like the idea.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Damn it! Almost got this puzzle, as I thought it would be easier than the rest of the week.

I got 31.Rxc6 Rxc6 32.Qxc6 Qxc6 33.d7, but did not see 33...Rd4, as the rook is tied down to the defense of the back rank.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop and two pawns for a knight.

Black threatens 31... hxg3.

The advanced d-pawn suggests 31.Qxc8+ Qxc8 32.d7:

A) 32... Qa8 33.Rxc6

A.1) 33... Qxc6 34.d8=Q+ followed by 35.Bxh4 or 35.Qxh4 + - [B+2P].

A.2) 33... hxg3 34.Rc8+ wins.

B) 32... Qd8 33.Rxc6

B.1) 33... hxg3 34.Rc8 wins.

B.2) 33... Kg7 34.Rc8 wins (34... Qa5 35.d8=Q hxg3 36.Qh8#).

C) 32... Qb7 33.Rxc6 Qxc6 34.d8=Q+ as in A.1.

May-12-16  gofer: I got this far...

<31 Qxc8+ Qxc8>
<32 d7 Qa8>
<33 Rxc6 ...>

click for larger view

But I didn't see (or expect)

<33 ... Re8!?>

click for larger view

So, what next?!

Option 1
34 dxe8+ Qxe8
35 Rcd6 Qe7 (Qe4 36 R6d4 )
36 Be1

Option 2
34 Bxh4 Kh7 (Rd8 35 Bxd8 or Qxc6 35 dxe8+ Qxe8 36 Rd8 ) 35 dxe8+ Qxe8
36 Rcd6

These both seem to be winning, but really not as simple as <34 Rdc1>.

May-12-16  morfishine: If I didn't already see this <31.Qxc8+> I saw a game/position very much like this
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: White's 31. Qxc8+ Qxc8 32. d7 (+5.14 @ 24 depth, Houdini 3x64) is a fairly obvious passed pawn combination solving today's Thursday puzzle.

For a Black improvement, the computer suggestions 9...e5 10. Nf3 b5 11. Qe2 = (0.22 @ 23 depth, Stockfish 7) or 10...e5 11. Nf3 Nc6 = (0.17 @ 21 depth, Deep Fritz 15) look to be worth a try.

May-12-16  not not: giving queen to promote passed pawns seems fairly common idea

but since white is two pawns up, anything wins

32. Bf2 I would play in a blitz game

since what is exactly black going to do about both queenside pawns marching up the board?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: You've got to get 31. Rxc6 out of your head before finding 31. Qxc8.

My first thought was 31. Rxc6 Rxc6 32. Qxc6 Qxc6 33. d7

click for larger view

And at first glance it seems as if white is winning. The pawn promotion d8=Q+ is coming and surely that's handshake time.

Then you spot 33...Rd4 to exploit white's vulnerable back rank:

click for larger view


I tried to put this line into rehab with ideas like 34. d8=Q+ Rxe8 35. Rxe8+ and a later Be5. But it's all pants, and by "pants" I mean the grubby unwashed male variety and not exciting dental floss "it's your birthday" lingerie. Black builds a mini fortress with Kg7 and f6 and there are no clever tricks for white's bishop and rook pair.

So rewind and jiggle with the order a little. The right way is 31. Qxc8+ Qxc8 32. d7!

click for larger view

It's still the same plan as our faulty 31. Rxc6 - take twice on c6 and play d7. The difference is that the busted first line went capture-capture-d7. This improved version goes capture-d7-capture.

And that subtle change of move order makes all the difference. Compared with our first line, Black is forced to make an additional queen move to get away from the stabby d7 pawn thrust. He doesn't get to park his queen on c6 quite so soon, allowing him back rank tricks. And white keeps his rooks connected, again to keep the back rank safe. Black doesn't have time for his Rd4 trick.

The second line works because it is one tempo faster than the first line. The black queen takes two moves to get to c6 instead of one - if she ever gets to c6.

It's a very good puzzle because it offers us a little tempter of a move that doesn't quite work. Enjoyed that.

May-12-16  AlicesKnight: 31.Qxc8 Qxc8; 32.d7 Q moves 33.Rxc6 looks as if it has potential (coming out a piece ahead at least) - what actually happened? - fairly close!
May-12-16  CHESSTTCAMPS: White is up two pawns, with the advanced, supported passed d-pawn of particularly high value. Black threatens hxg3, but white can play for bigger stakes.

31.Qxc8+! (Basic forcing tactics. Now the passed d-pawn advances with tempo) Qxc8 32.d7 and the queen has no good options:

A. 32... Qxd7 33.Rxd7 hxg3 34.hxg3 (Rxc6?? Rd1#) is winning (R+2 connected passed pawns for N)

B. 32... Qa8/a6 33.Rxc6 Qxc6 34.d8=Q+ wins

C. 32... Qb8/d8/f8 33.Rxc6 Re8 (otherwise 34.Rc8 or 34.d8=Q wins) 34.dxe8=Q Qxe8 35.Bxh4 wins

D. 32... Re1+ 33.Bxe1 Qa6 34.Bxh4 (Rxc6?? Qf1#) Qe2 35.Re1 and black is out of cheapos.

Time for review...

May-12-16  CHESSTTCAMPS: 31.Rxc6 is the other forcing alternative of note and <once> explains well why it fails.
Premium Chessgames Member
  alfiere nero: I saw pretty quickly the first three moves (!), but at my stage I can't analyze past a couple of moves so I didn't even consider black response 33 ... Re8. I had no idea how black would respond, but it seemed to me that white had good opportunities at that point (beginner's view of the world).
May-12-16  stacase: Getting the first three moves on a Thursday works for me (-:
May-12-16  saturn2: Material is almost identical. After QxRc8 QxQ RxNc6 black has to exchange its queen for the passed d pawn.
May-12-16  posoo: Gyolous Sox died in 2014.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Speaking of passed pawn combinations, here's a fun position I recently gave to my Grandsons to solve from Murray Chandler's "Chess Tactics for Kids," Page 113 (3) with Black to move:

click for larger view

Solution: 1...Rd1! 2. Nxd1

(2. Rxd1 cxd1=Q 3. Nxd1 a4 4. Nc3 a3 5. Ke3 e5 6. Kd3 Be6 7. Kc2 Kf8 8. Kb1 Ke7 9. Ka1 Kd7 10. Nd1 Kc6 11. Ne3 Kc5 12. Nc2 Kc4 13. Nxa3+ Kc3 14. Nb5+ Kd3 )

2...f6! .

P.S.: Grandsons are doing great with their Chess. The 7-year-old recently scored three wins and a draw in four rounds to take second place in the under 1200 section of a rated tournament in Central Texas. He's also excelling in Soccer, Taekwando and Gymnastics.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The extreme pressure collapses black's position!
May-12-16  YouRang: White is winning in any case with the two queen-side connected passed pawns, so simply moving the attacked B out of take (e.g. 31.Bf2) would still be winning.

However, 31.Qxc8! is a pretty promotion tactic that should at least win the exchange in addition to simplifying down to a clearly won advantage.

I didn't quite expect some of black's follow-up moves in this game, but they really didn't accomplish anything helpful. I guess 32...Qa8? was supposed to look like the Nc6 was protected (obviously false). Then 33...Re8? was a lost cause -- even 34.dxe8Q+ Qxe8 would be easily winning for white, but 34.Rdc1! was even stronger.

May-12-16  Castleinthesky: Got the move and the idea in general. Pawns are my favorite seafood.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Longview: Saw this one! (pat-pat-pat) Agree with <Once> and enjoyed <Patzer2's> additional look at the problem type. I would have screwed it up, most likely at the response to 33....Re8. where my only guidance to the answer was forced by Blacks Qa8 unleashing my desire not to loose the R on c6 and suspecting that black would have to same motivation (34....Rd8 or Rf8) leaving me a tempo for Bxh4 when my breathing would start again.

However, further investigation suggests that Rc8 challenging the Q would be the best. Looking something like: 34. Rdc1 Rd8 35. Rc8 Kg7 36. Rxa8 Rxd7 37. Bxh4

click for larger view

May-12-16  dfcx: White can take on c6 with rook and try to promote the pawn,

31.Rxc6 Rxc6 32.Qxc6 Qxc6 33.d7 hxg3 34.d8=Q+ Re8 and black has a very good chance to draw.

Instead, white should play
31.Qxc8+ Qxc8 32.d7 Qb7 33.Rxc6 Qxc6 34.d8=Q+ Re8 35.Qc7! saves the bishop and wins.

May-12-16  leRevenant: Even just finding White's (final) move following 33. Rxc6 Re8 would in itself make a creditable (Wednesday?) POTD.
May-12-16  Moszkowski012273: Went with 34.Ra6... which also wins just not as cleanly.
May-13-16  RandomVisitor: 31.Bf2 works nearly as well

click for larger view


<+5.88/37 31.Qxc8+ Qxc8 32.d7> Qxd7 33.Rxd7 hxg3 34.hxg3 Ne5 35.Rb7 Ra4 36.a3 Ra8 37.Rf1 Kf8 38.Kg1 Kg7 39.Re7 Nc4 40.Rfxf7+ Kh6 41.Rb7 Ne3 42.Rh7+ Kg5 43.Rb5+ Nf5 44.Kh2 Kg4 45.Rb6 Kg5 46.Rb4 Nh6 47.Rc7 Ng4+ 48.Kg1 Ne3 49.Rc5+ Kh6 50.Rh4+ Kg7 51.Rc7+ Kf6 52.Re4 Nd1 53.Rc2 Kg7 54.Rd2 Nxb2 55.Rxb2 Rxa3 56.Rb7+ Kh6 57.Rh4+ Kg5 58.Rb5+ Kf6 59.Rb6+ Kg5 60.Rf4 Kh6 61.Kh2 Ra2 62.Rg4

<+5.29/37 31.Bf2 h3 32.Qxc8+ Qxc8 33.d7> Qa6 34.Rxc6 Qxc6 35.d8Q+ Kh7 36.Qd5 Qxd5 37.Rxd5 Re2 38.Bd4 Re1+ 39.Bg1 hxg2+ 40.Kxg2 Re2+ 41.Kg3 Rxb2 42.a4 Rb3+ 43.Kf4 Rb4+ 44.Rd4 Rb1 45.Be3 Kg7 46.Rc4 Rb3 47.Bd4+ f6 48.Ke4 Ra3 49.Kd5 Ra2 50.h4 Re2 51.Rc6 Kh6 52.Bxf6 Ra2 53.Rc4 Rf2 54.Bg5+ Kh5 55.Kc6 Rf8 56.a5 Rc8+ 57.Kb5 Rb8+ 58.Ka4 Ra8 59.Rc6 Rh8 60.a6 Ra8 61.Bf6 Ra7 62.Ka5

+2.46/37 31.Re1 Rxe1+ 32.Bxe1 h3 33.Bg3 Qg4 34.Re1 hxg2+ 35.Kxg2 Nd4 36.Qd3 Ne6 37.Kg1 Rd8 38.b3 Kf8 39.a4 Qg5 40.b4 Qg4 41.Re4 Qf5 42.Re3 Qg4 43.Qe4 Qxe4 44.Rxe4 Ke8 45.a5 Ra8 46.h4 Kd7 47.Rc4 Ra7 48.Kf2 f5 49.Ke2 Ra8 50.Be5 Rb8 51.Kd3 Rb5 52.Bh2 Rb8 53.Bg3 Rf8 54.Ke3 Ra8 55.Kf3 Rb8 56.Kf2

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