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Semyon Abramovich Furman vs Paul Keres
USSR Championship (1948), Moscow URS, rd 7, Nov-21
Queen's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Nimzowitsch Variation Nimzowitsch Attack (E15)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-04-09  ComboKal: <Once> So eloquently said! I don't know if your a writer by trade, but you should be in the business of writing chess books! That was a fun and entertaining read.

<"The Prince Charles pawn"> I love it!

Also, I've had more than my share of <"ouch, very ouch baby"> moments. I think I may be borrowing that expression in the future.

Anyhow, the lesson to be learned this week is the power of a passed pawn. It is such an awesome strategic weapon, worth well more than one point in value.

Dec-04-09  A Karpov Fan: got it (too easy again?)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: I saw the f8=N+ idea, but the complications revolving around the subsequent Rf1+ were tripping me up here. Now I see that this concern was a chimera, due to 46.Qxe6+! and not the dunderheaded 46.Nxe6?

I don't think so much that it's an easy week, it's just that CG is following this obvious promoted-pawn theme, now so any pawn push that might turn into a queen (or something else!) we immediately jump upon.

Dec-04-09  JonathanJ: got it, but i probably only considered promoting to a knight because of yesterday's puzzle.
Dec-04-09  hedgeh0g: Easy. Took me a bit of time to notice the possibility of knight promotion, though! :P
Dec-04-09  zb2cr: Found this one quickly. I have nothing to add to the comments by <SamAtoms1980>, <zooter>, <remolino>, <Fomula7>, <TheBish>, <dzechiel>, <Once>, <Eduardo Leon>, <agb2002>, and <gofer>.
Dec-04-09  Eduardo Leon: <zb2cr>, you should post your solution, even coincides with previously posted solutions. This problem is rather easy for a Friday, we agree, but it is not immediately obvious, since there are some little details white must take care of, mainly, black's mate threats and the ♗xc8?? ♖f1+ idea.
Dec-04-09  ILikeFruits: where is...
Dec-04-09  Eduardo Leon: Moskva or, actually, Москва means Moscow in Russian.
Dec-04-09  randomsac: Got the solution, after I realized why BxQ didn't work.
Dec-04-09  Prelate: Do I see an under-promotion?! I do believe I do see an under-promotion! 44.f8=N+ and the King is forced to g8 where the White Bishop guillotines him and black must surrender his queen. This seems suspiciously easy for a friday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Friday (Difficult)

Furman vs Keres, 1948 (44.?)

White to play and win.

Material: Down P for R. The Black Kh7 is stalemated and vulnerable to 44.f8=N+ and several checks from Qf6. Black has a significant threat in 44Rf8+ skewering Qf6 and Pf7 through Kf2. The White Bh3 must therefore protect f1, preventing 44.Bxf8 winning Qf8. White has a possible interference on the f-file with 44.Bf5. The White Kf2 is vulnerable to 44Qc2+ and several other checks from Qc8 and Rb1.

Candidates (44.): f8=N+

44.f8=N+ Qxf8 45.Qxf8

I missed the game defense 44Kg8 because of faulty pattern recognition that the Kh7 was not stalemated.

Dec-04-09  tivrfoa: again the horse thing... argh!!!
Dec-04-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: White, on the move, is down a rook, but is in position to take black's queen and is also in position to promote to queen. However, a quick calculation shows that both of these possibilities lose because of the vulnerability of his own king:

Candidate #1: 44.f8=Q?? Qb2+ 45.Ke3/f3 Qe2+ 46.Kf4 Qe4#

Candidate #2: 44.Bxc8?? Rf1+ 45.Ke3 Rxf6 46.Kxd3 Rxf7 (Kg7 is a good alternative) 47.Be6 Rf3+ 48.Ke2 Rxa3 and black has a won ending.

Therefore, white must find the forcing underpromotion with check:

44.f8=N+! Kg8 (Qxf8 45.Qxf8 is an easy win) 45.Be6+! Qxe6 46.Qxe6+ Kxf8 47.Qxe5 wins the a-pawn as well (in view of 47... Rb5 48.Qf3+ Bf5 49.g4 winning the bishop), so white whould win easily with Q+2 pawns versus B+R.

Time to see how this played out...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Another easier than expected one. Underpromotion to a knight followed by Be6+ is the only way to reach a won ending with checks. Like dzechiel, I reckoned the position after Qxd5 was sufficient.

I gather from comments earlier in the week that promotion to a knight surprises some people. I'm the opposite: I promote to a queen with a heavy heart, and only after satisfying myself that a knight isn't good enough.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Once> You know how, in some endings, the leading pawn - the one that looked set for promotion - is sacrificed? And another one promotes instead? That'd be a *Prince William*, I suppose.
Dec-04-09  Patriot: This is a good example of being aware of the other player's threats before bashing out candidate moves. Black has two main threats that I see--Qc2+ is a biggie, and Qxh3.

After that, there were only a few candidates to consider: f8/N+ or Bxc8

A) 44.Bxc8 Rf1+ 45.Ke3 Rxf6 46.Kxd3 Rxf7 A technical win.

B) 44.f8/N+

B1) 44...Qxf8 45.Qxf8 Rb2+ 46.Ke3

B2) 44...Kg8 45.Be6+! Qxe6 46.Qxe6+ Kxg8 47.Qxd5

But I suppose even if you don't look at black's threats and follow the approach of considering in order, first checks, then captures, then threats, f8/N+ would be the first move you would see and following it through would give you the solution. It's usually more efficient, however, to know your opponent's threats before bashing out candidates.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: The knight underpromotion followed by Be6+ was the first thing I looked at. Then checked out promoting to the queen just to make sure that black could draw with rook checks. Seeing it from move 40 Rc8 would have made it much harder, which is probably what Furman had to do.
Dec-04-09  Halldor: The threats Qc2+ and (Rf1+ if Bh3 goes) limit the possible first move for White. I saw 44 f8N+ but discarded the move because of Kg8, didn't see 45 Be6+!!. Arrrg! I was so close... (4:5).
Dec-04-09  David2009: Friday's puzzle Furman vs Keres, 1948 White 44?

White is temporarily a Rook down but can win Q and P for B and P to leave a winning QPPPP vs RBPPP ending: 44 f8=N+ Kg8 45 Be6+ Qxe6 forced 46 Qxe6+ Kxf8 47 Qxd5. Time to check:
Exactly. Black rightly plays the ending out. Yesterday's puzzle should have been a Monday puzzle, today's should have been a Tuesday one.

Crafty link for winning practice:

click for larger view

Furman-Keres 1948, 47?

The game continued 47 Qxd5 Bf5 48 Qxa5 Kf7 49 a4 Ke6 50 Qe5+ Kd7 51 g4 Rb2+ 52 Kg3 Rb3+ 53 Kf4 Be6 54 Qg7+ Kd6 55 Qf8+ Kd7 58 Qxh6 1-0. However, Crafy deviates immediately with 47 Qxd5 Rc2+.

Over to readers wanting to polish their endgame technique.

Dec-04-09  Patriot: <Marmot PFL> Very true! He had to see the sequence before putting his rook on a square where it's defended once and attacked twice.

On move 40, white was threatening 40.Qxd8 Qxd8 41.Rc8 and either 41...Qxc8 42.Rxc8+ Kg7 43.e7 OR 41...Qf8 42.e7. So Keres was faced with how to deal with this threat. Another simple, major threat is 40.e7.

39...Rb1 defuses the first idea but walks into the second threat. 40.Rxb1 Bxb1 41.e7.

39...Re8 40.exf7+ Qxf7 (40...Kh7 41.fxe8/Q ) 41.Be6 Rxe6 42.Qxe6

So I'm not sure black had anything better than 39...Rdb8.

My chess instructor's newest article about tactics says a lot--that they are used far more to check the safety of your own moves (before making them) than using them against your opponent.

Dec-04-09  Weadley: This seemed 10x easier than Monday's puzzle, but I am a noob.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Today's Friday puzzle solution, 44. f8=N+!, is a lesson in being careful to check for traps before promoting pawns or capturing pieces to gain a perceived material advantage.

In this case, White avoids the mate-in-three after 44. f8=Q?? Qc2+ 45. Kf3 Qe2+ 46. Kf4 Qe4# (as noted by <Once> and others) and instead plays the underpromotion 44. f8=N+! for a truly decisive advantgage.

The next trap White sidesteps after 44.f8=N+! Kg8 45. Be6+! is 45. BxQ?? Rf1+ when Black turns the tables and swindles a win (see <agb2002>'s post for analysis).

For novices several lessons can be learned from this one puzzle:

1. Before making a move (especially a beginner's "obvious" move), look for your opponent's threats.

2. Once you see a threat, look for the best way to counter it.

3. When promotion to a Queen won't work, consider the possibility of underpromotion (especially underpromotion to a Knight).

4. Be careful when grabbing material for a perceived advantage, especially against strong opponents.

5. Consider the use of decoys (forcing a piece to a square) when making exchanges, as with 45. Be6+! which forces the Queen to e6 and enables the White Queen to capture with check and get off the dangerous f-file (avoiding 45. BxQ?? Rf1+ ).

6. When faced with threats look for moves that both attack and defend (e.g. like 44. Nf8=Q+! and 45. Be6+! in this game).

7. Be wary of traps, especially when it looks like you can easily gain a material advantage by capture or promotion against a strong opponent (e.g. as with Keres in this game).

Dec-04-09  Patriot: <patzer2> Well said! That is excellent advice.
Dec-04-09  lzromeu: Why not 51...Bxg4?
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