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Alexey Shirov vs Jeroen Piket
Amsterdam (1995), Amsterdam NED, rd 6, Aug-18
Queen's Gambit Declined: Cambridge Springs Variation (D52)  ·  1-0


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sac: 24.Bf6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Sep-14-14  Jambow: Saw the initial idea quickly the follow up of course developes as you play. This is one of those games where if in the right mindset you play the first moves intuitively. Of course for me I'm often refuted with sound play but it is fun playing it out regardless.
Sep-14-14  plumbst: Insane. White has a bishop for a knight.

White has the making of a strong kingside attack but needs to open up the position. One move looks very tempting.

24.f5! Black doesn't have many possible responses.

If 24...Ree8 the idea is..

25.Bf6! The bishop is immune due to Qxh6+ and mate next move. White's threat is 26.Bxg7! and curiously Black has no reasonable defence. e.g. 25...a5 26.Bxg7! (Threat: Qxh6+); 26...Kxg7 27.Qxh6+; 26...f6 27.Qxh6+ Kg8 28.Qg6.

The main line is 24...Rxe5 25.Bf6! Rxe4 26. Rxe4 Qxe4 27.Bxg7! (27...Kxg7 28.Qxh6+) [27...f6 transposes to the line below]

27...Kg8 28.Rxh6. (Threat is Rh8+; If 28...Kxg7 29.Qg5+)

28...f6 29.Bxf6 (threatening Qg5+, 29...Kf7 30.Rh7+; 29...Kf8 30...Qd6+)

Finally if 29...Qxf5 then...

30.Qe1! Guarding f1, threatening 31.Qg3+ and 31.Rh8+ Kf7 32.Qe7+

30...Qg4 (best defence)

31.Rh4! The last quiet move, and the Black Queen has nowhere to go. 31...Qg6 and Qf5 get mated after 32.Rh8+

Finally 31...Qd7 32.Rh8+ Kf7 33.Rh7+ wins the queen.

(Additionally White has the option to start an old fashioned king-hunt with 32.Qg3+.. I think it works but it's complicated..)

Okay, deeper line than I thought, hope I didn't miss anything.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: If 24. f5 Rxe5 25. Bg5, then 25...Rxe4 seems OK for Black.

Fritz indicates 24. Bg5!, followed up by 25. f5 or 24...f6 25. exf6 also wins.

Sep-14-14  plumbst: Oh dear, I missed a lot of back rank mates...ugh I'm bad.... At least I had the general idea; I should've thought of swapping the move order.
Sep-14-14  M.Hassan: "Insane"
White to play 24.?
White has a Bishop for a Knight

<if...gxf6 25.f5 Rxe5 26.Qxh6+ Kg8 27.Rg3#>

25.exd5 Qxd5
26.Qc1 Qc4
27.f5 Ree8
28.Bxg7 Kxg7
29.Qxh6+ Kg8
30.Rg3+ Qg4

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: This is either easy or hard, depending on how much we are supposed to see.

The precarious position of the black Re6 suggests that we need to start with 24. Bf6. And if black does nothing, we are going to play f5, Bxg7, Q(or R)xh6 with general carnage.

The best line for black seems to be to walk into the trap with: 24. Bf6 gxf6 25. f5 fxe5 26. fxe6 Qxe6

That gets us to here:

click for larger view

And now we have a decision to make. We can decide that white has enough of an advantage here (the exchange for two rubbish black pawns) or we can carry on analysing.

The usual advice in positions like these is to pick on the loose pawns. So what are we thinking? Moves like Rf1, Rhf3, Rf5, that sort of thing? Maybe double rooks on the f file and play Rf6?

Meanwhile black will have to go passive with grovelly moves like Rf8 and Kg7 to try to hang on to those pawns.

Frankly, I would stop analysing at this point, confident that the position is good for white.

Or are we supposed to find the rook sac that follows the relatively poor 27...Nc4? That would make it a Sunday insane but seems a little too much like hard work to me.

27. Rf1 Nc4 28. Rxh6+ Qxh6 29. Rxf7+ Kg6 30. Rf6+ Kxf6 31. Qxh6+ Ke7 32. Qg7+ Kd6 33. Qxb7 Nb6 34. h4 Kc5 35. h5 a5 36. h6 *

Sep-14-14  diagonalley: as several posters have pointed out, 24.B-B6 is not difficult to find, but IMO the full continuation certainly deserves the 'insane' tag. brilliant shirov!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Ah, nuts. The moves at the bottom of my post are a bit of "cut and paste" detritus that I forgot to delete. Now I've noticed it and it's too late to edit.

Kindly ignore the game score at the bottom of my post. It means nothing.

Sep-14-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: Material is roughly even. Black has far superior pawn structure, so White needs to get an attack going if possible. The obvious move is 24 Bf6, in light of

24 Bf6 gxf6
25 f5

with the dual threats of Qh6+ and fxe6.

Against most other Black responses, White can play f5 anyway, followed by Bxg7 to remove the h6 defender. 24 ... Rh8 does defend rather directly, however, raising doubts as to whether a sacrificial attack at g7 and/or h8 can strike quickly enough to win.

Depending on the opposition and the time control, there's a good chance I'd play 24 Bf6 after no more analysis than that.

Sep-14-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: I didn't even bother calculating lines in which Black immediately concedes the exchange. I should have been more careful to check whether White was the one who would be down in material (he was), which sort of required analyzing further ...
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop for a knight.

The first idea that comes to mind is 24.f5 Rxe5 25.Bf6 but it loses to 25... Rxe4 (25... gxf6 26.Qxh6+ Kg8 27.Qh8#) 26.Rxe4 Qxe4 27.Bf6 Qb1+.

This suggests a change in the move order 24.Bf6:

A) 24... gxf6 25.f5 fxe5 (25... Rxe5 26.Qxh6+ Kg8 27.Qh8# or 27.Rg3#) 26.fxe6 Qxe6 27.Rf1

A.1) 27... a5 28.Rxf7+

A.1.a) 28... Kg8 29.Rxb7 Nc4 (29... Nd8 30.Qd8+ wins; 29... Na4 30.Rxh6 + -) 30.Qd3 Nd6 31.Qg3+ and mate in three.

A.1.b) 28... Qxf7 29.Qxh6+ Kg8 30.Qh8#.

A.1.c) 28... Kh8 29.Rxh6+ wins.

A.1.d) 28... Kg6 29.Rf5 Rh8 30.Qf2 and Black doesn't seem to have adequate defense against 31.Rg3+ Kh7 32.Rf7+.

A.2) 27... Nc4 28.Qg5

A.2.a) 28... Rg8 29.Rxf7+ and mate in two.

A.2.b) 28... Nd6 29.Rf6 wins.

B) 24... Rxf6 25.exf6 g6 26.f5 h5 27.Rxh5+ gxh5 (27... Kg8 28.Rh8+ Kxh8 29.Qh6+ Kg8 30.Qg7#) 28.Qg5 Rg8 29.Qxh5#.

C) 24... g6 25.f5 h5 26.Rxh5+ is similar to B.

D) 24... a5 25.f5

D.1) 25... Ree8 26.Qg5 and mate soon.

D.2) 25... Rxf6 26.exf6

D.2.a) 26... a4 27.Qg5 and mate soon.

D.2.b) 26... Nd5 27.fxg7 wins.

D.2.c) 26... Rg8 27.fxg7 wins.

Sep-14-14  goodevans: The first 7/7 for me for absolutely ages, though tainted slightly by the fact that today's puzzle wasn't really up to Sunday standards. In fact I got Friday's and Saturday's rather quickly too, which I'm sure reflects that this has been "easy week" rather than my own solving prowess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: My line A.2.b fails miserably to 29... Qxh3.

Shirov's 28.Rxh6+ is a better practical solution although trying to keep the attack with my 28.Qg5 followed by Qh4 and Rf6 or Rhf3 surely wins.

Sep-14-14  Refused: 24.? White to move.

Black's position looks highly suspicious. White's pieces are well placed and ready to attack, and to add insult to injury White has a strong center with a mobile pawn mass. Particularly h6 seems to be the focal point where white threatens to crash in. For now h6 is more or less protected by the rook on e6 and the pawn on g7. So let's take out a few defenders.

24.Bf6! should do the trick:

a)24...gxf6 25.f5 fxe5 26.fxe6 Qxe6 the white attack must crash in.

b)24...g6 25.f5

c)24...Rxf6 25.exf6 g6 26.f5
c1)26...g5 27.Qxg5
c2)26...h5 27.Rxh5 gxh5 28.Qg5
c3)26...c5 27.f5 Rc6 28.Bxg7 Kxg7 29.f6+

That should be it, and for me it was easier than yesterday. All you had to see were the motives against h6 after you play pf5

Sep-14-14  erniecohen: Cooked. ♗g5 is at least as good as (♗f6), and the win is much easier to see.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Yay! Another Sunday puzzle where I correctly guess the first move. :)
Sep-14-14  morfishine: I had <24.Bf6> with a baseline 24...gxf6 25.f5 targeting <h6> and this looks extremely dangerous for Black

Of course, as usual, I didn't foresee the marvelous continuation


Sep-14-14  talwnbe4: Using a quick analysis from Stockfish:
24.Bf6 is best. 24..gxf6 25. f5 fxe5 26.fxe6 Qxe6 27. Rf1 and now black has some alternatives which all lead to white wins.

27.. Kg7 28. Rg3+ Kf8 (28..Kh8? 29. Rxf7! Qxf7? (29...Nc4 30.Qf2 19.0) 30. Qxh6+ Qh7 31. Qf6+ Qg7 32. Qxg7#) 29. Rgf3 Ke7 30. Qf2 Rf8 31. Rf6 7.1 black's position is horrid, i.e, 31..Qc4 32. Qh4 Kd7 33. Qxh6 Rd8 34. Rd1+ Kc7 35. Rxd8 Kxd8 36. Qf8+ Kc7 37. Qd6+ Kc8 38. h4 Nd7 39. Rh6 b6 40. Rh8+ Kb7 41. Qxd7+

after 27.Rf1 if 27..Rf8 28.Rf5 Kg7 29.Qd1 f6 30. Qh5 Rd8 31. Qxh6+ Kf7 32. Qh7+ Ke8 33. Rf1 Nd7 34. Rh6 Nf8 35. Qxb7 6.3

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <diagonalley: as several posters have pointed out, 24.B-B6 is not difficult to find, but IMO the full continuation certainly deserves the 'insane' tag. brilliant shirov!> I would agree! Didn't initially see the follow-up, which Shirov no doubt visualized, is practically forced best play.

One practical chance to deviate with complications is 27...Rf8!? when White's strongest reply is 28. Rf5! (diagram below).

click for larger view

From here (diagram above) Fritz indicates strong play could continue 28...Kg7 29. Qd1! f6 30. Qh5! Rd8 31. Qg4+ Kf7 32. Rxh6 Rd7 33. c4! c5 34. h4 Ke7 35. Rhxf6! Qxf6 36. Rxf6 Kxf6 37. Qf5+ Ke7 38. Qxe5+ Kf7 39. Qxc5 Kg8 40. h5 Rg7 41. e5 Rg5 42. Qc7 Rxh5+ 43. Kg1 Rh7 44. Qb8+ Kg7 45. Qxb7+ Kg6 46. Qc6+ Kf5 47. Qf6+ Ke4 48. Qg6+ .

The main point in all this is Shirov likely saw the strongest continuation(s) and a winning plan (especially after 27. Rf1! Nc4 28. Rxh6+! ) to: (1) Demolish Black's King side pawn cover; (2) Win the exchange; (3) Mop up the demolished pawns by exchanging two Rooks for the Queen and three pawns; (4) Win the race to promote a pawn.

P.S.: Insanely difficult follow-up gladly conceded.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Info ok line low good risk a focus mitigate timid:

e6 mask found time c5 raps ar parks the bus a goof ball dim moot it down in domicile a gog rain belt up chin c5 to elevate queen's and wedge ar fag pin:

ever sent skim palm cone c5 at be hot water e6 in band 24.Bf6 gxf6 25.f5 fxe5 26.fxe6 queen e6 take material equal although white has combo f6 after slide in each a f7 along f1 wins a h6 queen's a flap give the case mops rest point ahead h6:

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camp i bail in ever forged a road flop flip in flap c5 poof into then h5 air preference given e6:

stark prefer off to pounce enough to fade c5 rough double fervious flinch trough to h3 feed a h6 as him hoof and goof e6 shuffle fang tooth padre:

fashion of a fog flank f6 to be frank da da dum queen's a flap c5 give whole h6 and f6 pocket furnish a design ferret around h7 grind h6 to bottom f7 out wins a bind xray addendum alive a6 hive reach i spark he fair fane off bash made sees cred i no foot f7 in lair a jostle h7 castle crash h6 i palms houses f7 small pip bishop an quota e6 wins the exchange up ride a mutter minimal fuss dupe i puff an affable f6 etc in drink to your good health at rooks the idea baddy e6 la ship bath recind fag mack lack in sand fed it e6 among do ever deft go be castigated cred off it gush of here give to rode go be light folow a path at band xray bath drive doth at wades cast erm h4 sugar f6 trap is the field f6 mild ar dote mace f5 account accent back slid re dally e6 gap have mutter glide rag path domestic hail free irk c4 out of the frame catch slim man pop in h6 bash fang i red c5 at band man doot chin e6 band a cup see holy in:

light f6 ide plans my curious nature top padre at circus four f5 score f7 a win h6 on the f6 a king's at pave flow in b7 as teed bounced around until roam c5 packs f6 in mind reflex.

Sep-14-14  BOSTER: If black knew the role the e5 pawn in the future of the battle , he'll take it in move 17 (position). Don't cross the border.

At least extra pawn is a good compensation fighting against pair bishops.

click for larger view

But the fear to have the back rank without protection,and the advance e4 pawn and f4 pawn he decided to block the pawn

Sep-14-14  TORRIDON: I agree with patzer2 - it doesn't seem anything like insanely difficult. 28. Rf7:+, Kg8 29. Qf2, Qf7: 20. Rg3+, Kf8 31. Rf3 also wins though not as easily as Shirov's method. patzer2 has posted another contribution, but really without analysing one feels White must be winning here after 27 ... Rf8, which he suggests with analysis by Fritz.
Sep-14-14  JohnBoy: The first couple of moves were natural to me. Cut the black rook off from h6 and then attack it and the rook simultaneously with f4-f5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <Once: This is either easy or hard, depending on how much we are supposed to see.>

LOL that's great! You have just assessed chess completely!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <thegoodanarchist: LOL that's great! You have just assessed chess completely!>

I think there is a bit more to it than that.

Sunday insane puzzles seem to come in several flavours. There are some where the initial move is hard to spot and where the winning theme is buried deeply.

There are others where the first move is pretty obvious but the follow-up is trickier to see.

And some where there are lots of defences to analyse.

Then again we have solutions where the winning side has to invest a lot of material. In those cases, we have to be sure that we are getting enough of an advantage to justify the investment.

This puzzle is something of an oddity. The initial sequence is easy to spot and quickly leads to a gain of material - there is no sensible way for black to prevent the loss of the exchange. Then comes the question - do we stop analysing there or do we work through every defence? This is one of those puzzles where judgement could take over and turn it into a Thursday sort of problem.

We can see this from the responses. Some people have decided that they saw enough to claim they solved it. Others are delving into the complications.

Typical of all chess? I don't think so. It's not even typical of most Sundays.

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