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Anatoly Karpov vs Efim Geller
50th USSR Championship (1983), Moscow URS, rd 9, Apr-14
Spanish Game: Closed Variations (C84)  ·  1-0


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Given 21 times; par: 37 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-09-12  rilkefan: 28.Bh7+ is a sweet tactic.
Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: I love Mondays!

31. Qxc4! and it is over.

31...bxc4? 32. Rxf7#
31...Re7 32. Rxe7 bxc4 33. Nd7+ Rxd7 34. Re8#
31...Qf6 32. Qxf7+ Qxf7 33. Rxf7#

Jul-09-12  Abdel Irada: <The Case of the Overworked Clergyman>

As Brutus and his fellow "honorable men" said of Caesar, Black has certainly been ambitious; and as with Caesar, he will now suffer grievously for it. The bishop that keeps his king alive from c4 is also engaged in battle with White's queen, and White will exploit this with 31. ♕xc4!.

Since the recapture 31. ...bxc4 loses immediately to 32. ♖xf7#, Black must look elsewhere for salvation. Unfortunately, all of his available replies fail as follows:

(1) Trivial is 31. ...♕f6; 32. ♕/♖xf7+, ♕xf7; 33. ♖/♕xf7#.

(2) More seemingly robust, 31. ...♖e7 is met simply by 32. ♖xe7, when Black has three replies:

(2.1) 32. ...bxc4; 33. ♘d7+!, ♖xd7; 34. ♖e8#

(2.2) 32. ...♔xe7; 33. ♕c7+, ♔e6; 34. ♘d7+, ♔d5; 35. ♘b6+!, ♘xb6; 36. ♕c5#

(2.3) 32. ...♕xe7; 33. ♘g6+!, fxg6; 34. ♕g8#

All other "defenses" Black might attempt after the queen sac amount to nothing more than horizon-effect delaying moves; the strongest among them (relatively speaking) being 31. ...♖e6; 32. ♖xf7+, ♔e8; 33. ♕xe6+ with mate to follow.

Jul-09-12  bachbeet: I totally missed it due to my reluctance to sac the Q. I saw that the bishop was a problem and prevented the mate at f7 but didn't consider removing it with my Q.
Jul-09-12  Djoker: 31. Qxc4
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonalley: hmmmm... "very easy" ... well, "very easy for white to win a piece" - yes - but i don't rate visualising the various mates that follow 31... Re7 as "very easy". nice finish though.
Jul-09-12  Limpin Kt: And, its removing the defender theme today- we need to keep in mind that according to the function of the piece, its value is decided- and overlooking this simple principle brings about charming combinations like this one- 31.Q*c4
Jul-09-12  sevenseaman: Very glamorous!

It seems all White has to do is to pack off the Black B at c4. Other than the Black K itself, this B is the lone defender of f7.

<31. Qxc4 bxc4▢ 32. Rxf7#>

Karpov has used a trick that I could have easily associated with the foxy Geller who used 'clever' plays quite often.

Jul-09-12  abuzic: 31.Qxc4 Re7 32.Qd5 Rxd5 33.Ra8+ Re8 34.Nd7+ Rxd7 35.Rxe8#.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Karpov was annihilated by Geller in Geller vs Karpov, 1976 and was determined to get his own back with a queen sacrifice; this is where he got his chance.
Jul-09-12  poszvald: Qxc4, and the lead is enough to win.
Jul-09-12  Manic: <offramp> You made a similar post 7 years ago xD. Of course, Geller obliged with ...Bc4 but it was already a tough position for him.
Jul-09-12  TheaN: Monday 9 July 2012


Material: White up, ♙

Candidates: Rxf7†, Ng6†, Nd7†, <[Qxc4]>

The puzzle had me for a while. Monday have two major characteristics if they follow the main stream of Monday puzzles. A king assault leading to mate is one. In this puzzle I stared blindly on several take-out-the-defender tactics near the Black king, and frankly, neither of these moves really seem to bear fruit. Recalling the second characteristic, a Queen sac, throughout analysing all these moves I was like "but there is no king assault queen sac her.... ooow wait."

<31.Qxc4 1-0> and yes, this is an indirect king assaulting queen sac. The bishop is the spill in the f7-defense. Capturing on c4 allows Rxf7‡, but with the queen in the fray via a side entrance, the Black king is dead as it is. There might be moves to avoid mate in one, but not a mate in the near future.

Jul-09-12  Swedish Logician: <offramp>
One can well imagine that Karpov wanted his revenge: the Geller-Karpov 1976 game is superb. At the time it was annotated in the Swedish "Schacknytt" and larded with quotations from Shakespeare(!)... The final one was from Richard III: "My Lord, stand back and let the coffin pass"
Jul-09-12  TomOhio: 31. Qxc4 Re7

I've seen a number of posted White 32. moves, but the best one is 32. Ng6+. Black's only hope is to take the Knight with the Queen and ... nope, no hope.

Jul-09-12  stacase: Took a few seconds to see that Black's Bishop at c4 defended against the Rook saying mate at f7. A few more seconds to see that 31 Qxc4 is a free Bishop as Black has to defend against the mate at f7.
Jul-09-12  Caissas Clown: I saw Qxc4 at once - hey , it IS Monday !

Anyone else also look at Qg6?
Far inferior , but caught my eye and at least worth a look. I took five minutes to reject it as a reasonable alternative. Karpov probably looked at it , but rejected the move a lot quicker than I did !

Jul-09-12  camenes: Difficult Monday for me. I saw 31.Qxc4 bxc4 32.Rxf7# instantly, but I got stumped for a long time with 31...Re7 attacking queen and rook. Now I think I have it: 32.Rxe7 bxc4 33.Nd7+ Rxd7 34.Re8#. Let’s see.
Jul-09-12  LoveThatJoker: Fantastic! Once again, a WC Karpov puzzle!

<31. Qxc4!> wins for White.

A) 31...bxc4 32. Rxf7#

B) 31...Rxe5 32. Qxf7#

C) 31...f6 32. Qf7#

D) 31...Re7 32. Rxe7! Qxe7 [32...bxc4 33. Nd7+ Rxd7 34. Re8#; 32...Kxe7 33. Ng6+! Kf6 (33...Kd7 34. Qxf7+ ; 33...Kd6 34. Re6+ mating) 34. Qc6+ Kf5 (34...Rd6 35. Qxd6+ Kf5 36. Nh4#) 35. Nh4#] 33. Ng6+! fxg6 (33...Ke8 34. Rxe7#) 34. Qg8#


Jul-09-12  camenes: No points for me today. I didn’t consider 32...Qxe7. Too much for a Monday.
Jul-09-12  sevenseaman: <Caissas Clown> <Anyone else also look at Qg6?>

If it is any consolation, I did look at 31. Qg6. much time to dismiss it? Well maybe a few seconds.

To my mind its the kind of vicinity move that everyone must have considered.

Jul-09-12  Abdel Irada: <poszvald>:

I'm afraid that winning the bishop isn't enough to win unless you see how to follow up. Since 31. ...♖e7 attacks the rook on a7, while the queen remains under attack on c4, it is necessary to calculate a response that doesn't leave White down the exchange, as would happen with a timid queen retreat.

Jul-09-12  LoveThatJoker: There is one error in my solution:

31. Qxc4 Re7 32. Rxe7! Kxe7 33. Ng6+ Kd6 <34. Qxf7> is best and not 34. Re6+ fxe6.

0.95 out of 1 today.


Jul-09-12  Abdel Irada: <Caissas Clown, <sevenseaman>>:

Strangely, I didn't even glance at 31. ♕g6 long enough to note that it was possible. In fact, no move other than the text ever crossed my mind.

Chessic intuition can produce some paradoxical effects at times. :-D

Premium Chessgames Member
  Oxspawn: 31. QxB
If… 31 …….bxQ
Then 32. Rf7 is mate
Neither QxN (32.Qf7 ++)
Nor Qf6
(32. Rf7 Qxf7
33. Qf7++) helps.
But what is the answer to:
31. … Re7
32. RxR bxQ
33. Rf7+ Ke8 and I don’t see a good way to continue the attack If instead
32. Ng6+ QxN (not 32. f6xN 33. Qg8++)
33. Qxf7+ (?) RxQ
34. RxR+ Ke1
And I don’t see a good line for white, since the other rook only comes into play if the knight moves and if the knight moves then the king can take the other rook, and the queen sacrifice seems to be in vain. 32. Qxb5 seems very weak. I am missing something obvious (Karpov tunnel syndrome). Will go and look and hope Geller did not resign immediately after 31. QxB which I am sure must be the required move.
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