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Alexander Kotov vs Paul Keres
USRR (1950)
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Archangelsk Variation (C78)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Very nice miniature. In final position white threatens to play Ng6+ and if black plays 22...Nce5, then white has after 23.h3 Bxd4 24.hxg4 Qg7 25.Qf5+ Ke7 26.Nxb5 Bb6 27.Nxd6 Kxd6 28.Nf7+ a winning attack.
Feb-25-05  ChessTeacher: I believe that the following line is more effective:

22...Nce5 to stop (23. Ng6+, Kg7; and 24. Ne5+ fork of the queen); 23. dxe5, Bxf2+; 24. Kf1, Bxe1; 25. Kxe1 and the Ng6 threat still looms, Qh7; 26. Ng6+, Kg7; 27. Nh4+, Kf8; 28. Qxg4 and Black's position is collapsing. And if, 22...Nce5; 23. dxe5, Nxe5 to again stop Ng6; 24. Qf6+, Qf7; 25. Ng6+, Nxg6; 26. Qxf7#, or 25...Kg8; 26. Qh8#.

The problem in Honza's line is Black can play 23. h3, Qg7 to immediately offer the trade; 24. Qf5+, Ke7; 25. hxg4, Rf8! to threaten the queen and Black has equalized, or is even possibly in the lead. The rook and dark-square bishop are now perfectly coordinated.

The point is why not just remove the only effective guard that Black has?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <ChessTeacher> Yes, I missed 23.dxe5! which wins outright. In the line 22...Nce5 23.h3 Qg7(!) 24.Qf5+ Ke7 white can play also 25.dxe5, which seems to be better than 25.hxg4 because now 25...Rf8 is not an option for 26.Ng6+ and 25...Bxf2+ 26.Kh1 Bxe1 is bad for 27.Qe6+ Kd8 28.Nf7+ etc. But after 25...Nxe5 the position is not so clear though 26.Ra1 (covering indirectly Nh8, which cannot be taken by the Rook for Qe6+ and Rxa8# nor the Queen for 27.Qe6+ Kf8 28.Qxe8+! Kxe8 29.Rxa8+ ) 26...Rd8 27.Kh2 (unpinning f-Pawn) 27...Qxh8 28.Qe6+ Kf8 29.f4 white should be still better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Not the only time where Kotov played a winning Nh8 against Keres: see Kotov vs Keres, 1950
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