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Alexander Khalifman vs Yasser Seirawan
Hoogovens (1991), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 9, Jan-29
Caro-Kann Defense: Tartakower Variation (B15)  ·  1-0


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Given 38 times; par: 28 [what's this?]

Annotations by NN.      [53 more games annotated by NN]

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sac: 21.Rxe8 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Did anybody else try 21.Nxe7+? If ...Bxe7, then White can play Rxe7, followed by Qxf7+, with a mate next move. If... Kh8, then Qxf7 and another mate next move, Qg8. So what's wrong with 21. Nxe7? (Somebody always finds something wrong with it that I didn't see--but I live in hope of someday finding a solution that nobody else saw. All I have to do is live long enough, and keep trying.)
Apr-19-07  DP12: playground player, I don't see anything clear after 21. Ne7!?+ B:e7 22.R:e7 Nd6. My first guess would then be 23. Be5!? f:e5 24.f:e5, with what appears to be a very complicated and possibly advantageous position. e.g. a complete fantasy line is 24...g6!? 25. Qh3!? Nf5 26. R:f5 g:f5 27.Q:f5 Rf8 28.Qg5+ Kh8 29.Qf6+ Kg8 30. Re3 and white wins. But, I am not even eye-balling it because my Java plugin is not working on my computer so this is all probably horse-you-know-what. In any case, while that maybe interesting, white's solution in the game was better.
Apr-19-07  newton296: after nh6+ if kh8 nf7+ wins rook and pawn for knight and white has to be winning and if gxh6 than white uses mating threats at g7 to win the black q ie. 21)nh6+...gxh6 22) rxe8 ... Qb6 forced to stop mate threat after Qg4+..kh8 bxf6++ or bg7 bxf6 threatning mate in 1 with qg7++ So after Qb6 re6... qxr forced to again prevent whites mate threat of Qg4+...kh8 bxf6++. Granted this line is not as strong as games move order And I admit to violating the "find best move" rule to solve the puzzle but for (otb) games Which is what these puzzles are made for it makes sense that once you find a win there is no need to look for something better! So I say 21) nh6+ is a solve! it leads to a white win and as they say "a win is win"!
Apr-19-07  DP12: Yeah going back to the mainpage and looking at the position, I see that indeed that was total rubbish Re3 is an illegal move and Qe1 from black at any moment would spoil the fun. Of course the real problem was not my recollection of the intial position, but my inability to think 1 step ahead correctly. Oh, senility.
Apr-19-07  DP12: Sorry for the third post, but looking at the position I was just discussing one more time, maybe it is better to play 25.Qh4 instead of 25.Qh3 and then if ...Nf5 26.Rf5 g:f5 and then 27.e6 appears to keep it nice and spicy. Ok this blindfold analysis is exhausting and I give up.
Apr-19-07  newton296: JG27pyth!? addressing your argument that mate in 17 is not the best move if there was a mate in 3! Agree with that on technical grounds but who is gonna decides what the " best move " is . You? me? or maybe chessgames? Or maybe a competitive (otb) players who use these puzzles to sharpen his tactics and mate recognition? U see the problem. When you argue a subjective terms like " best ". Best is relative to the person deciding.
Apr-19-07  alshatranji: newton296, with all due repsect "best" is not necessarily a subjective term and in this case it is certainly not "relative to the person deciding". A mate in 3 is better because there are fewer moves: 3 is less than 17, and there's nothing "subjecive" about that.
Apr-19-07  twin phoenix: funny but yesterday reading Chernev's 'Golden Dozen' he says '4.--,N-f6? allows blacks pawn formation to get messed up.' (Tal-Furston continues 4.--,N-d7. and then 5.--,N-f6) Nice to see an example of what happens to you if you let your pawn structure get messed up so quickly! Why couldn't 'Yaz' play like this when i met him in a simul??! (he crushed me in 23 moves...)

p.s. if you can find Chernev's book it is probably the best book i've ever read...

Apr-19-07  PAWNTOEFOUR: i won't say i solved this thing,but i did find the first move pretty fast(at least for me) hahaha
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: Everybody spotted the right move but my analysis is exactly the same as <gawain>. Well done boy.
Apr-19-07  Mendrys: I missed it. Like others I found 21. Nh6+ followed by 22. Rxe8 but I do see that 21. Rxe8 first is much more forcing and as such can be considered the "solution" and not Nh6. I feel good that I found a solid winning line even if it wasn't the correct solution.
Apr-19-07  schnarre: Didn't take long to find this one (especially after Black's 20...Qa5 opened to door to it).
Apr-19-07  Dashingknight: Cracked it! My first Thursday for some considerable time, and I've had a few ciders, maybe that's the key.
Apr-19-07  aazqua: This is a remarkable crush of a grandmaster.
Apr-19-07  THE pawn: It's incredible how I improved doing puzzles here at chessgames over the last years. I got that one fairly quickly!
Apr-19-07  MostlyAverageJoe: Got it exactly despite 3 hours of sleep in last 48. Or maybe I am daydreming :-) Either way, pleasurable puzzle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Why does everyone think that Re8+ first is "much more forcing" than Nh6+ first? After 21 Rxe8 B could have replied 21 ...Qc7 and put off mate for at least ten moves. The black Q at c7 will cover the f7 square. In some variations the Q moves to d8 from which it covers the f6 square.

Either way there is no quick forced mate for white. A conclusive win after either 21 Rxe8 or 21 Nh6+ but no quick force.

Apr-20-07  Marco65: <gawain> <but after Khalifman's actual 21 Rxe8 B could have replied 21 ...Qc7 with the same effect> With the small difference that 21.Rxe8 Qc7 just leaves White a piece ahead so it doesn't really need to be calculated at all. While after 21.Nxh6+ gxh6 22.Rxe8 Qc6 material is still equal so you need to see 23.Re6 to actually solve the puzzle!
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: <Marco65> <With the small difference that 21.Rxe8 Qc7 just leaves White a piece ahead . . . while after 21.Nxh6+ gxh6 22.Rxe8 Qc6 material is still equal so you need to see 23.Re6 to actually solve the puzzle!>

Good point.

Apr-22-07  MostlyAverageJoe: < Why does everyone think that Re8+ first is "much more forcing" than Nh6+ first?>

Both result in a forced mate; in 11 after Re8+ and in 13 after Nh6+.

IMHO, Re8+ is more inviting for the black to make a mistake, just like the one in the game (the 21 ... Rxe8 blunder, changing mate in 11 into mate in 5). After Nh6+, it is nearly impossible to make an immediate mistake (21 Nh6+ Kh8?? results in a mate in 2).

Oct-10-10  sevenseaman: 21. Rxe8! Its like taking out an insurance policy before boarding a flight. You do not exactly contemplate death, but you just wish to remove an irritant.
Premium Chessgames Member
  iking: 21.?

click for larger view

nice R sac ....

May-06-11  gaatab: 20:qa5?? is the losing move,
leaving f6...
better was g6,
and the game is better for white,
but black wouldn't be losing so fast.
Dec-02-12  LIFE Master AJ: Great game ...
Jul-14-15  SpiritedReposte: <Wiz Khalifa>
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