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Yuri Averbakh vs Alexander Kotov
"Think Like a Grandmaster" (game of the day Jan-22-2006)
Zurich Candidates (1953), Zurich SUI, rd 14, Sep-23
Old Indian Defense: Normal Variation (A55)  ·  0-1


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Given 26 times; par: 73 [what's this?]

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sac: 30...Qxh3+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I got it! All 21 moves!

Just kidding.

I saw the obvious first three moves, but I doubt that I would have dared to play this line OTB in a serious game. And I'm pretty sure that black didn't see the whole thing in advance. For one thing, the ♙ capture on move 38 accomplished nothing useful. All it did was make a potential escape passage for the white ♔ (which, however, was destined never to use it).

For another thing, even aside from all the repetitions, which were probably just a way of gaining time, there was a faster mate: 36...Ng8+ 37. Kg4 Bxg5 38. Kxg5 Rf7 39. Bh4 (39. Kg4/Qxa5/Nxf4, etc. Rg7+ 40. Kf5 Ne7#) Rg7+ 40. Kf5 Rxh4 41. Rg1 Rh5+ 42. Ke6 Rh6+ 43. Kf5 Ne7#.

Jun-09-18  Walter Glattke: Wrong continuation: 30.-Rh6 31.Rg4 Nf6 quality win or 32.Rh4!? Nxe4 / 32.Rfg1 Nxg4 33.Rxg4 b5 34.Qxa4 bxc4 -+
Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: Way too famous!
Jun-09-18  mikealando: game number 33 in the mammoth book of the world's greatest chess games
Jun-09-18  goodevans: Opening up the d-file with <38...Nxd5> was a bit of a risk that might have cost the win.

Obviously Kotov was shuffling about while he still worked out the win but there were other squares available to the N that would have kept the d-file closed.

Jun-09-18  talwnbe4: Stockfish 8 x64 says 38..Nxd5+ is correct. Interestingly enough this position caused the engine to error out on move 41... with 3-fold repetition but this isn't three-fold repetition.
Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: <<piltdown man>: Way too famous!>


Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: "Kotov's Immortal"


Way Way too famous!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: Yeah, beyond the first couple of moves it was impossible to see through the fog.
Jun-09-18  Walter Glattke: Really immortal, better than 30.-Rh6 with quality win, so I got a mate after 34.Nxf4 or 34.Rh1 instead of 34.Rg5: 34.Rh1 Rf8+ 35.Kg4 Rg8+ 36.Kf5 Rf6# or
34.Nxf4 Rf8+ 35.Kg4 Nf6+ 36.Kg4 Nh5+
37.Kf5 Rf6# or 37.Ng6+ Rgxg6+ 38.Kf5 Ng7#
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Too famous to be a good puzzle. I studied this when I read the book, IIRC.
Premium Chessgames Member
  takchess: Its nice to have a classic puzzle occasionally. I have seen it but did not recall it. I got the first three moves which for me counts as success. Were these two the Gms in Kotov famous draw?
Jun-09-18  saturn2: I saw it till move 33 and noticed the knight has to move. Othetwise the king escapes via e6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Visage lunks qh3us hucks kh3us hubus rh6us huffold lunks kg4us golds keyin nf6us fluffon links lunks its to 32...Rg6+ vints kestrel douche honks gourdus draws keyas lunks o 51...Rg8 guffs keyin keyus lunksus ghoulhung 6 it lowus links keyin findus wonus keyus wound keyin visage buffs tacks cajole jimmy liner whips dipus diyus yinus yangs yesus eggus garcon quagmire kinks keyon links cinch diffy quoff ouzos it's vasts winum giver flick whens yalus hales it's vasts givin ticks folks wains yellow hasus vivas flavs flack whets vyins facts whelk ventus flyus chalk wefts thwack elfus given whack gyves flint chewy qh3us hucks keyin visage vibes buffs flick knight vints tacks cants jacks moots mulls liner howus keyin whips dipus diyus yinus yangs keyin piddy yesus garcon quagmire keyon links cinch diffy quoff ouzos it's vasts winum giver flick whens yalus hales keyin deous 30...Qxh3+ dones keyin hucks rodeo bodes wells keyon links doles doors keyin qh3us hubus hucks hudus huffs hugus hulls humus hunts hoops keyus hdqus hours howus hoyus hecks hucks chucks huffs flush golfs gulls gulch guffs hoofs goofs cuffs chuff fogus choose hudus hoods chumps chugs ducks docks lunks its a 31.Kxh3 Rh6+ vivas duffs evers keyus huffold lunks its gi 32.Kg4 Nf6+ visage gives douche overs fluffon links keyin lunks its gi 32...Rg6+ visage gives douche honks hokey gourdus draws keyin winus keyas lunks o 51...Rg8 guffs keyus lunksus ghoulhung 6 it lowus links keyin findus wonus keyus wound keyin yanks youll fluffon goods jogon danes hires dinks oksus nipus popus avows keyus query beyond focus keydip keyin baboon keynub lubbly jubbly bouts ittys keyus hoglug keyin bolds borough cubby blubb cubus clubs umsus gucci flush hudus hucks keyin volume fobus dubus blubber bullrushy keyin visage lunks qh3us hucks,
Jun-09-18  eezzell: I didn't get this one, but I would have played Qxh3 and Rh6 OTB without hesitation knowing that it gave at least a perpetual. But, I was unable to see the win.
Jun-09-18  njchess: Fairly famous game... because of the puzzle position! Kotov sacs his queen to prevent White king from retreating. I don't know how much time was on the clock leading up to this move, let alone for this move, but I can't imagine he had a lot. Both sides then play tenaciously, if not accurately right up to Averbakh's resignation. Great game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  messachess: Q sac. is easy. The rest is a scramble.
Jun-09-18  Walter Glattke: Deny the sac: one one piece lost after
30.-Qxh3+ 31.Kg1 Rh6 32.Bg3 fxg3 33.Nxg3
Rg6 34-Nf5!, so the queen guards g2.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <Walter Glattke> Deny the sac: one one piece lost [=Decline the sac,only one piece lost] after 30.-Qxh3+ 31.Kg1 Rh6 32.Bg3 fxg3 33.Nxg3
Rg6 34-Nf5!, so the queen guards g2>.

Nobody even analyzed the declined variation because they had to repeat how veryververy famous it is. I had this:

30...Qxh3+ 31. Kg1 Rh6 32. Bg3 fxg3 33. Nxg3 Rg6 34. Rff2 Bh4 35. Kf1 Bxg3 36. Ke2 Bxf2 37. Rxf2

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <30...Qxh3+!!>, and the rest is history.
Jun-09-18  sfm: The sac is obvious, and Averbakh will of course have seen it too when playing 30.-,Ne2.

Like always, chess is mostly the art of evaluaton. "There must be a mate!"

Then at times, nope, there wasn't.

This is what makes chess exciting. Taking the leap! Calculating something to its conclusion is joyful and satisfactory - but the thrill is in the unknown land we move into.

Jun-09-18  King Harvest: When I sac the Queen in positions like this, where I can't calculate my way to a clear win, well, usually a few moves later I wish I could Averbakh.
Premium Chessgames Member

<King Harvest: When I sac the Queen in positions like this, where I can't calculate my way to a clear win, well, usually a few moves later I wish I could Averbakh.>

LOL. But you can't Averbakh onboard because she's already Kotov.

Jun-10-18  VincitQuiSeVincit: What if White had played 44. Ng3 instead of 44. Kxg5 ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <VincitQuiSeVincit> I think it's a little too late with 44. Ng3 Nf6+ 45. Kxg5 <Rg8+> 46. Kf5 Ne8 47. Nh5 Rgg6.

click for larger view

And then 48. Rh1 <Rxh5+> 49. Rxh5 Ng7#

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