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Gyula Sax vs Valery Salov
Rotterdam Grand Prix (1989)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Nezhmetdinov-Rossolimo Attack. Fianchetto Variation (B31)  ·  0-1
To move:
Last move:

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find similar games 3 more Sax/Salov games
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-16-07  amuralid: <inf: WHO are you replying too <amuralid>? i dont see another post?> To <zealouspawn> who seems to have deleted his post sometime after I posted.
Nov-16-07  mrbiggs: Ahhhhh got it up until 34.

Still probably the farthest I've gotten on a Friday.

Nov-16-07  mkrk17: I first saw Rxf2, works perfectly except for the Queen at c4. Then the first thought was, how to kick the queen out, and obvious of R8d4.

Rest i got upto Black's 33rd move. Not knowing what white might have played on his 34th move, it was not worth thinking after that. But basically, after black plays Rxf2, black is won.

Nov-16-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <dzechiel: In a blitz game, black would play 31...Rxa2 followed by 32...Rdd2. But because that's the first thing you think of ... >

Well, the first thing I thought of was for the white to play Rf3, to be followed with Qf7+ and moderate grief to be inflicted on the black thereafter, but nothing flashy.

THEN it dawned on me that the puzzle calls for the black to move first :-)

But, as a result of the initial misunderstanding, 31...Rxa2 did not enter the considerations at all, since the same moves as above are a pretty good counterplay. I started with he idea of Rxf2, noticed the same stuff as <dzechiel> and chased the white Q away from defending f1, finding the same line as played in the game up to move 33, which seemed good enough.

Very pleasant puzzle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I solved this quite quickly - saw all the attacks & defenses this time. f2 is the key square.
Nov-16-07  Rawprawn: Wow I solved a Friday puzzle! Can I get a badge?
Nov-16-07  Eurotrash: Whohooo! I got it too.
Nov-16-07  newzild: Yes, I got it too, which pleased me. However, it took me a full ten minutes. I kept trying to find ways to trap the white queen, eg: black plays Qe5 first to set up R8d4. But this doesn't work because white simply moves the Rc3 or plays c6. Nice puzzle.
Nov-16-07  LKor: Perhaps 33. Rf3 was better, offering black some possibilities to miss the immediate winÖ
Nov-16-07  willyfly: It's Black to move in an endgame with no Bs or Ns while other remaining material is equal. The first thing I notice is a potential for a back rank mate beginning

31...Rd1 then if 32 Rxd1 Rxd1+ now the Q must prevent mate with 33 Qf1 and now the Q is exchaned for the R 33...Rxf1+ 34 Kxf1 and Black retains the Q against the remaining White R

But White can also play 32 Rc1 which prevents the back rank threat and returns to equality. So that's not it.

31...Rxf2 seems to suffer a similar fate and {31...Qxf2 is even worse.

Ahah! - I think I see it.

31...R8d4 and now the Q has only one safe square to escape to.

32 Qe6 allows 32...Rd1 and now 33 Rc1 is met with 33...Qxc1 34 Rxd1 Rxd1+ 35 Kh2 Qf4+ 36 g3 Qxf2#

Time to check.

I think my line still works after the diversion 33 Qxe7+ Kh6 which doesn't accomplish anything.

Nov-16-07  aliboy: All i got is a headache why.This chess stuff is hard
Nov-16-07  skemup: I found all but 33 white move (i expacted 33 Rc1 or 33Rf3 - both were smasched by 33..Rxg2+). so im little disapointed. So far combinations seems to be easy for me. Sorry for my grammar:)
Nov-16-07  zb2cr: First week in a long time that I've gone 5 for 5. Saw this in around 2 minutes. Like several, I did not see the final sacrifice, but 34. ... Rdd2.

Tactical notes: White's KB2 (f2) is the key square, but Black needs to concentrate more force there. 31. ... e3 doesn't work, sacrificing the Rook or Queen on f2 doesn't work. But--we can chase the White Queen with 31. ... R8d4; 32. Qe6, Rxf2 (threatening ... Rxf1#); 33. Qxe7+, Kh6; 34. Rcc1, Rdd2. White can't defend g2. Even the desperate 35. Qex4 fails against 35. ... Rxf1+; 36. Rxf1, Qxe4; 37. Rf2, Qe3 with a quick mate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Sax lost to a similar major piece combination in Sax vs Fedorowicz, 1986
Nov-16-07  Alphastar: Black to move, difficult. The first thing I tried was the rook sacrifice Rxf2? 2. Rxf2 Rd1+ 3. Rf1 and white wins because Qc4 guards f1. So how about: 1. ..R8d4! 2. Qe6 (forced) and only now 2. ..Rxf2!
If 3. Qxe7+ our king is safe on h6. If 3. Rxf2 then ..Rd1+ 4. Rf1 Rxf1#. And (almost) any other move allows 3. ..Rxg2+! 4. Kxg2 Rd2+ with mate to follow.

Time to check.


Completely got it, as far as I'm aware.

Nov-16-07  TrueBlue: easier than the previous 2 days, JMHO
Nov-16-07  znprdx: 31....Qe5 threatens to trap the queen with Rd4 - as for White's options - I'd respond by just following my nose move by is a wee bit foggy -------Close but----aw shucks ...allowing that queen check just was too frightening - the 7 ply Rxg2+ is just beyond my 5 ply comfort zone:)
Nov-16-07  babakova: Got the entire thing. I guess what you have to realize is the king cannot be checked further on h6 cause the black queen covers everything so this leaves black with enough time to crack the position with Rxf2 and Rxg2-Rc2 followed by mate.
Nov-16-07  ConstantImprovement: First Part:

The whole combination must center around the theme Rf2:.

The problem is that playing Rf2: right away is bad:

31. ... Rf2:? 32. Rf2: Rd1+ 33. Rf1!

The hindrance is the queen on c4 which protects f1 and therefore makes 33. Rf1 possible.

It will be necessary to drive away the queen with tempo. Only 31. ... R8d4 fulfils those criteria since the d2-rook is needed for the attack against f2.

So it has to be

31. ... R8d4

32. Qe6 (Only move, 32. Rf3? ef , the pawn is not pinned anymore)

Now it is interesting:

Can we really play 32. ... Rf2: or will there be a perpetual (or even a win after forks) for White after 33. Qe7:+?

Let's see:

32. ... Rf2: 33. Qe7:+ Kh6 and there is no perpetual:

34. Qf8+? Qf8: 35. Rf2: Rd1+ 36. Kh2 Qf2:

34. Qh4+? Qh4: 35. Rf2: Rd1+ 36. Ke2 Rd2+! 37. Kd2: Qf2:+

Black can not take on f2, either:

34. Rf2:? Rd1+ 35. Rf1 (Only move) Rf1:#

Nov-16-07  ConstantImprovement:

Second Part:

Obviously there is some more to it than that:

White can let e7 untouched, decline the sacrifice (Rcc1 or Rf3 come to mind) and wait for a convenient moment to take on e7 or he can play Qe7:+ right away and decline only after Kh6, which might make a difference in some lines.

Until now we have:

31. ... R8d4 32. Qe6 Rf2:

I. The first branch: Qe7:+ right away

33. Qe7:+ Kh6

1. 34. Rcc1? with the idea to protect f1 is refuted by 34. ... Rg2:+! 35. Kg2: (Kh1 Qh2#) Rd2+ and either

36. Kg1(h1) Qh2# or 36. Rf2 Qf2: + 37. Kh1 Qh2#

2. Any move of the f1-rook along the first rank (with the idea to keep f1 protected this way) is again refuted by 34. ... Rg2:+ with mate according to I.1.

3. The more interesting 34. Rf3? (with the idea 36. ... Rf1:+) is refuted by 34. ... ef 35. Rf2: (What else?) Rd1+ 36. Rf1 (Only move) f2+! 37. Kh1 Rf1:#

II. The second branch: Leaving the queen on e6

After our analysis of I. we see that this will make no difference since the queen on e6 instead of e7 does not help in any line.


If nothing elementary was overlooked in the above analysis an exemplary main line with the most pitfalls for Black could be:

31. ... R8d4 32. Qe6 Rf2: 33. Qe7:+ Kh6 34. Rf3 ef 35. Rf2: Rd1+ 36. Rf1 f2+ 37. Kh1 Rf1:#

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I good combination-I was looking for a possible queen trap. I wonder if anybody even thought of Qg3-total nonsense here,but makes me think of Marshall. In this case,it was the wrong Marshall-the one that went the wrong way-lol
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Excellent puzzle.

Has anyone looked at the continuation after 30 Qf1 instead of Rf1? I canít find white losing any more than a pawn with this line of play.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Has anyone looked at the continuation after 30 Qf1 instead of Rf1? I canít find white losing any more than a pawn with this line of play.>

Sorry. I meant move 31 (not 30) Qf1 instead of Rf1.

Nov-16-07  Marmot PFL: Didn't get yesterday's, yet saw this solution fairly quickly. My first thought was to trap the queen somehow, then realized that just diverting it from guarding f1 was enough.
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: Salov's play with the heavy pieces is inexorable here. First he takes the d-file (14..Rfd8 17..Rd5 19..Rad8 21..Rd3 23..Qd5) then turns the corner after 29..Rd2 and wipes out the 2nd rank with 32..Rxf2 34..Rxg2 and if Sax hadn't resigned ..Rd2 and ..Qh2. All Rooks dream of such happy adventure.
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