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Garry Kasparov vs Ilya Yulyevich Smirin
"Kasparov Smearin'" (game of the day Jan-04-2014)
55th USSR Championship (1988), Moscow URS, rd 12, Aug-??
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Modern System (E97)  ·  1-0


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Given 30 times; par: 51 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-16-09  WhiteRook48: didn't get it, going for 39 Qxc4 Qxc4 40 Re8+ K moves 41 Bxc8 or Rxc8
Premium Chessgames Member
  Patriot: <Antonius Blok> Can someone telle me what difference it makes (for blacks) to play 37.Kg8 ?

Probably to stop the immediate threat of 38.Qf7 and 39.Re8+.

Jul-16-09  ounos: Anyone with a computer could check whether 39. Kh1 also wins? (Kh1 at 39th move, not 40th)
Jul-16-09  regi sidal: Antonius, how can black take N?

37...QxN 38. Re8+ Bf8 39. RxB+ K moves Qf7#

So should black take N with his R?

37...RxN 38. Qf7!

And now the threat of Re8 and Qf5 are overwelming. The best black can do is to trade his Q for white's R to avoid mate. The R check on c1 leads nowhere.

Jul-16-09  ounos: With a chess program I mean, I have computer myself, duh :P
Premium Chessgames Member
  Patriot: <ounos: Anyone with a computer could check whether 39. Kh1 also wins? (Kh1 at 39th move, not 40th)>

I don't have a chess program at the moment, but consider:

39.Kh1 Rb4 threatening 40...Rb1.

Now 40.Rxh6 fails to 40...Qxf1+ 41.Kxf1 Bxh6 42.Bxc8.

Also, 40.Qxb5 Rxb5 41.Re8+ Bf8 42.Be6+ Kg7 43.Rxc8 is probably equal.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Patriot: In my line above, correct with:

40.Rxh6 Qxf1+ 41.Bxf1 (not Kxf1) Bxh6

Jul-16-09  David2009: Thursday's chess puzzle comes after a long hot day in the garden, Kasparov vs Smirin, 1988 39?

Much harder than the 3 previous puzzles this week. If the R can be activated Be6+ and Qf7 are tactics. Contender moves: 39 Re8?? Qxe8 loses; 39 Rxd6?? Nxd6proects everything; 39 Rg6 and 39 Rxh6. 39 Rg6 threatens 40 Be6+ Kh8 41 Rxg7 and if ...KxR? 42 Qf7+ and mates. But it is too slow: Black defends with 39 ... Rb4 threatening Rb1 as well as QxQ. This leaves 39 Rxh6 which threatens 40 Be6 mate. Main line 39 ...Bxh6 40 Be6+ Kh8 (if 40 ...Kg7 Qf7+ Kh8 Qg8 mate) 41 Qf6+ Bg7 42 Qd8+ Kh7 43 Bf5 mate. If in this line 41 ....Kh7 42 Qf7+ Bg7 43 now what??? White has at least a draw but the win is elusive. {My probem is I can no longer reach the eighth rank for a decisive check]

I have no more time to analyse. We have a severe weather warning: a storm is coming, time to post, unplug my computer and hope for the best ===
Well I got the first two moves right. I have not yet seen over the page (move 41). I am trusting to luck.

All is now clear. White mates by checking on the h-file. Fortune has smiled on me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <Antonius Blok: Ok! I found it instantaly, but I didn't understood!

If Balck's where to take the Knight, why didn't they do it on their 37th move ?? Can someone telle me what difference it makes (for blacks) to play 37.Kg8 ? >

If black takes the knight with 37...Rxc4, then 38.Qf7! [diagram]

click for larger view

White threatens Re8+ (if ...Kh2 then Qf5#).

By playing 37...Kg8, black prevents the queen from coming to f7.

Black's mistake was thinking that it was safe to play ...Rxc4 once the king was on g8, because he didn't see the danger behind Kasparov's sneaky 38.Bh3! :-)

Jul-16-09  muralman: Woohoo 4 in a row! My chess player son and I cracked every move in short order. The first move seemed crazy, but so right. At first trading a rook for a pawn seemed to just get the rook out of the way for the bishop check. The thing is, though, you have to keep the black queen from joining the fray. The rook move promises a quick check mate, so the bishop takes. Now, checking with the bishop keeps up the tempo, not allowing black to regroup, The final move on the board, queen to f6 was the death seal.

My son and I both resounded with we are Kasparov! It was a blast!

Jul-16-09  ruzon: If I could only play 39. ♖e8+ without getting captured, then the Rook and Bishop could mate because of Black's defenders strategically placed on dark squares. So I spent minutes between 39. ♕xc4 to deflect the Queen, but that leaves f7 as an escape, and barreling ahead with ♖e8+, which still doesn't work. I finally saw the threat of 39. ♖xh6, and then failed to see that 40. ♕f6+ forced mate. Argh.
Jul-16-09  Coigach: Pleased to find Rxh6 since I rarely get beyond the Wednesday puzzles. Seems to me that Thursday puzzles onwards require more than a flash of inspiration and some proper calculation of variations. This is where I struggle - for instance today I calculated mating wins with Q&B but forgot the black B was still on h6 (which actually simplifies W's task).

I'd be interested in views about how best to improve the ability to calculate while visualising the board accurately. I have heard about Kotov's method of only examining each variation once, but can't make this work for me because i keep losing the thread of my thinking and have to keep returning to the starting position.

Jul-16-09  ounos: <Patriot: <ounos: Anyone with a computer could check whether 39. Kh1 also wins? (Kh1 at 39th move, not 40th)> I don't have a chess program at the moment, but consider:

39.Kh1 Rb4 threatening 40...Rb1.

Now 40.Rxh6 fails to 40...Qxf1+ 41.Kxf1 Bxh6 42.Bxc8.

Also, 40.Qxb5 Rxb5 41.Re8+ Bf8 42.Be6+ Kg7 43.Rxc8 is probably equal.> Oh, yeah, I only saw White wins a piece, but I didn't count at all he is already a piece down, so there it goes. Thanks!

Premium Chessgames Member
  ZUGZWANG67: Thanks, <patriot>. I had to go see what was your analysis in B to understand. Very subtle and not evident to calculate before 39.Bxh6 is played!
Premium Chessgames Member
  ZUGZWANG67: Or rather 39.Rxh6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Patriot: <Coigach: I'd be interested in views about how best to improve the ability to calculate while visualising the board accurately.>

I've been taking lessons with NM Dan Heisman and one of his main suggestions of improving board vision is to play lots of games with long time controls. Because the more you move pieces in your head, the better you will become at it.

For calculation, he recommends doing lots of simple tactics like easy knight forks, skewers, etc. until you can see them on the board instantly without having to "figure it out." Also he recommends taking a complex position and taking up to an hour or so writing down as much as you can calculate and then go over your analysis with a strong player. Doing this every so often can help you get feedback on common problems in your thinking.

Also for calculation, generally you need to focus on forcing moves (i.e. checks, captures, and threats). 39.Rxh6 in this problem created a threat of mate with 40.Be6#, for instance. But before going into a lot of calculation you should generally become aware of what your opponent could do on the next move if you were to make a "pass move". Look at their checks, captures, and threats and any candidate move you come up with must deal with their "threat" either directly or indirectly.

When you stated you forgot the bishop was still on h6, that's called a "retained image" error which is a visualization error.

Jul-16-09  SamAtoms1980: Had a look at this position, tried a few things, then saw 39 Rxh6, and after a couple of minutes I decided, "Yeah, that wins."

If I were Smirin, and running out of time before the control, I would see that 39 ... Bxh6 leads to nothing good, and I just might play 39 ... Rc1(?!?) hoping that I could survive 40 Qxc1 Bxh6. Naturally it would not get by Kasparov that 39 ... Rc1 is answered by 40 Be6 mate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: After 39.Rxh6 Bxh6 40.Be6+ Kh8 41.Qf6+ the finish would be 41...Kh7 (41...Bg7 42.Qh4+ Bh6 43.Qxh6#) 42.Qf7+ Bg7 43.Bf5+ Kh8 44.Qh5+ Kg8 (44...Bh6 45.Qxh6+ Kg8 46.Be6#) 45.Be6+ Kf8 46.Qf7#
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: To be candid, after a cursory glance, I realised that White is down a piece & so there might be a draw. I saw this crazy candidates moves 39.Re8+ Qxe8 40.Qxc4 Ne7 & Black is fine. After, giving a deep thought, I saw 39.Rxh6 since, White is threatening mate next move so 39...Bxh6 40.Be6+ if 40...Kg7 then 41.Qf7+ Kh8 & 42.Qg8 mates, if 40...Kh8 41.Qf6 if ...Bg7 then 42.Qh4+ wins. Now, the only move seems to be after 41.Qf6+ Kh7 42.Qf7+ Bg7 43.Bf5+ Kh8 [not ...Kh6 44.Qg6#]44.Qh5+ Kg8 45.Be6+ Kf8 46.Qf7#. I have taken very long time so it's time see others thoughts. BTW, it is not medium but a tough one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Thursday (Medium):

Kasparov vs Smirin, 1988 (39.?)

White to play and win.

Material: Down N+P. The Black Kg8 has 2 legal moves, both on the h-file. The White Qf1 has an open file, cramping Kg8, and pins Rc4 to Qb5. The Black Qb5 protects Rc5 and bears the absolute burden of preventing a mate [39.Re8+ Kh7 40.Bf5#]. The White Bh3 x-rays Nc8 through Re6. The White Kg8 is secured from checks except 39Qc5+.

Candidates (39.): Qxc4, Re8+, Bf5, Rg6, Rxh6

39.Rxh6 (threatening 40.Be6#)

39Bxh6 [Qe8 40.Be6+ Qxe6 41.Rxe6]


(1) 40...Kh7 41.Qf5+ Kg7 [Kh8 transposes to Variation (2)]

42.Qf7+ Kh8 43.Qg8#

(2) 40...Kh8 41.Qf6+ Kh7 [Bg7 42.Qh4+ Bh6 43.Qxh6#]

42.Qf7+ Bg7 [Kh8 43.Qg8#]

43.Bf5+ Kh8 [Kh6 44.Qg6#]

44.Qh5+ Bh6 [Kg8 45.Be6+ Kf8 46.Qf7#]

45.Qxh6+ Kg8 46.Be6#

In summary, a lone Kh8 and dark-square Bg7 are insufficient defense against light square domination by Q+B.

Jul-16-09  costachess: if Qc5+, kh1 ; Rc1 Be6 mate
Jul-16-09  costachess: look position:

click for larger view

Jul-16-09  jheiner: I took a glance at it and quickly came up with 39.Rf6 with the intention of 40.Be6+ and invasion by the Q.

I looked at 39.Rxh6 but missed that it was threatening the immediate Be6# (again, was just a glance) and felt that the battery was dangerous enough.

Will have to find the refutation later.

Jul-16-09  felixd: So easy...

I love so much Kasparov's play :D

Jul-16-09  outplayer: <fm avari viraf> I also thought it is a tough puzzle. Smirin didn't see the second sacrifice coming. 38...h5 stops the combination and the game is fairly level.
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