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Alexey Shirov vs Daniel John King
Gausdal Troll Masters (1990), Gausdal NOR, rd 4, Jan-??
Kangaroo Defense: Keres Defense. Transpositional Variation (E00)  ·  1-0


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Given 14 times; par: 51 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-04-11  Creg: I rarely come close on a Sunday puzzle, but that won't stop me from trying. My thoughts are about opening lines for the queen at c2. This brings me too...

32. e5

Black has many options, for example

32...Qh4 33.Nf5+ gxf5 34.Rg3+ followed by 35.Rh3

32...R(a)f8 33.Nf5+ gxf5 34.Rg3+ followed by 35.Qxf5

32...dxe5 33.Nf5+ gxf5 34.Rg3+ and 35.Qxf5

32...dxe5 33.Nf5+ Kf8 and I think 34.Ne3 since 35.Qxg6 is threatened.

Lets see if I'm anywhere near the right path


How do you like that. This must be my third or fourth Sunday puzzle I got correct all year... :-)

As for not going any further with my analysis after 35.Qxf5 is due to the realization that the black king was in big trouble once the queen and rook had open lines on the exposed black king.

Sep-04-11  JohnTal: <Why does Black not win by 32...Rxh2+, followed by Qh4#? What have I missed??> White can interpose with 33 Bh3, winning a R for nothing.
Sep-04-11  hollisga: 34 Bh3 was what I missed.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <sevenseaman> Glad you didn't take Sunday off! Now you can take Monday off!

I was curious, you wrote <...One is likely to err at 3 crucial junctures...> IMO 'err' may itself be an 'error'. By this I mean "What constitutes 'solving' a Puzzle?". For example, If as white you get the right first move(s) but find better moves for black (extending the game), but the result is the same (black loses), are you wrong because you didn't duplicate the game score?" I still think one "solved" the puzzle. The reason is simple: These aren't 'cooks' but are positions from actual games.

Many notable solvers here have demonstrated alternate, winning lines, so in my view, they "solved" the "puzzle" and didn't "err" even though they may have not duplicated the game score exactly.

Sep-04-11  sevenseaman: Of course there will be different solutions from different solvers.

To err here presumes that the game score produced by <Shirov> is optimal (I've said or implied as much)and if anyone expects to match it there is a scope of missing (deviating or varying from) any of these three moves.

Read this <offramp> comment in which old GM is said to have outlined the exact game score in a flash. Here;

< Shirov showed the end of this game to some fellow GMs, who had to think hard to find the continuation after move 31.

But he showed the game to Alexander Koblents, who was about 74, and he got all the moves after move 31 instantly.>

Under the circumstances if <Shirov> had learned of a better solution, he would have been sure to mention it.

I hope you got what I meant by 'erring' in the context.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <morfishine: "What constitutes 'solving' a Puzzle?"> That's of course a matter of opinion. In my opinion, getting the first move isn't enough. A complete solution involves finding the best second, third, etc., move, for every possible reply the opponent might make, up to checkmate or the point at which resignation would be reasonable. (Since many moves will be forcing, "every" is not as daunting a requirement as it may seem.) My justification for using this standard is simple: In a serious game, I wouldn't make a risky or sacrificial move unless I thought it had an overwhelming chance of success.

I give myself one point for completely solving a Monday puzzle, two points for a Tuesday puzzle, three for Wednesday, and so on. Partial solutions earn partial credit, which makes scores somewhat subjective. Very roughly, that works out to one point for each move (move, not ply) that I see into the combination. Since 1 + 2 + ...+ 7 = 28, the maximum possible total score for a week is 28 points. I have never gotten above 20.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Absolutely. Some of these "puzzles" require a strict, ironclad series of moves. While others merely require the first move and the defense collapses. Thats where I get so much enjoyment in reading posts like from <jimfromprovidence> or yourself for that matter.

To see what bears fruit (but was not played) is a delight to me as this cements the winners play up to the point of execution.

For example here, I don't think <32.Nf5+> has been absolutely refuted. It looks like it just takes longer. :)

Sep-04-11  BiteByBits: ahh, the reason why Sundays are hard is because i always have to physically play out the variations. right here black had to take with the e-pawn, but still was still met with Nf5+ opening up the g-file. Unfortunately i could not find Rh3 to deflect the defender on h8 because i was thinking of a push on d6.
Sep-04-11  bachbeet: Like sevenseaman, I thought of Nf5+ as the first move. Never thought of the simple pawn move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I thought that this puzzle was extremely difficult.

I saw 32 e5 dxe5 33 Nf5+ all right, but I missed all three winning knight responses to 33...Kf8, namely, 34 Ne3, 34 Ne6 <morfishine> and the particularly beautiful 34 Nd4!! <Gypsy>.

click for larger view

All of the knight moves clear the way for 35 Qxg6 (threatening 36 Qf7#)or 35 Rxf6. But 34 Nd4 also prevents the counterattacking 34...Qh4. To stop 35 Qxg6 or 35 Rxf6 black has either 34...Kg7, used below, or 34...f5. In either case white follows with 35 d6, trapping the queen.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  RandomVisitor: A great move, 32.e5!. Only one problem, 30.e5! wins two moves earlier.
Sep-04-11  sevenseaman: <morfishine> <For example here, I don't think <32.Nf5+> has been absolutely refuted. It looks like it just takes longer.>

I tried a lot to make 32. Nf5+ line succeed before posting. I tried very hard afterwards (when I had the advantage of knowing that32...gxf5 and 33. exf5 caused a self-block).

I did not succeed. I cannot vouch for an 'absolute refutation' of 32.Nf5+ but I think it is beyond me with the means at my disposal. Perhaps I'll try more tomorrow.

Sep-04-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: In this middlegame attacking position, white has B+N+P for the bishop pair, with white's LSB powerfully placed. Clearly white has the meaningful attack, given that black's bishops and queen control mostly empty real estate and the WK is well-shielded on the h-file. Within a few minutes, I came up with 32.Rxf6, 32.Nf5+, and 32.e5 as reasonable candidates, but I couldn't get Rxf6 to work, so I also looked at 32.Rdf1 (met by 32... Bd4). I finally settled on


This solid prep move hits the f6 target *and* opens lines, providing an efficient way of getting the WQ into the attack. The obvious threats of ef+ and Rxf6 appear serious enough, but there is a key hidden threat. Also, there are a number of possible defenses - starting with the weakest first:

A) 32... fe? 33.Rf7+ Kh6 (Kg8 34.Qxg6#) 34.Qd2+ g5 35.Rf6+ Kg7 (Kh7 36.Bf5+) 36.Qxg5+ Kh7 37.Bf5#

B) 32... f5? 33.Nf5+! gxf5 34.Qxf5 Qh4 35.Qf7+ Kh6 36.Rf6+ wins.

B.1) 33... Kh7 34.Rh3+ forces mate.

B.2) 33... Kf6/f8 34.Nxd6+ wins the BQ

B.3) 34... Rxh2+ 35.Kxh2 Qh4 36.Rh3 wins.

B.4) 34... Ra(/h)f8 35.Qg5+ Kh7 36.Rh3+ Qh4 37.Rxh4#

C) 32... Raf8 33.Nf5+! gxf5 34.Rg3+ Kh6 35.Qxf5! forces an edge mate.

D) 32... Rhf8 33.Nf5+! gxf5 34.Rg3+ Kh8 (Kh6 35.Qxf5 and mate shortly) 35.Qxf5 Qh4 (otherwise 36.Qh5#) 36.Rh3 wins easily.

E) 32... dxe5 33.Nf5+!! Kf8 34.Ne3! (gaining a tempo for queen entry) Qh4 35.Rh3 Qxh3 36.gxh3 Bxd3 37.Qxg6 wins

E.1) 33... gxf5 34.Rg3+! (Qf5? Qh4 35.Rh3 Qg5) Kf8 35.Qxf5 Qh4 (Be7 36.Qg6 wins) 36.Rh3 wins.

E.2) 34... Bxd3 35.Qxg6 Ke7 (Ra7 36.Qxf6+) 36.Qf7+ Kd6 37.Qd7+ Kc5 38.Qc6#

F) 32.. Qh4 33.Nf5+!! (Again! 33.ef+? closes lines and after Kf8 white must play the defensive h3 or Bh3) gf 34.ef6+! Kf8 35.Rh3 Qxh3 36.gh3 wins!

F.1) 34... Kxf6 35.Qxf5+ Kg7 (Ke7 36.Qf7+ Kd8 37.Qd7#) 36.Rf6+ Qxf6 37.Qxf6+ Kh7 38.Bf5+ Kg8 39.Qg6+ Kf8 40.Be6 Ra7 41.Qf6+ ke8 42.Qxh8+ finishes efficiently.

F.2) 34... Kg6 35.Qxf5+ Kh6 36.Rh3 1-0

G) 32... Rxh2+ 33.Kxh2 Qh4+ (or Rh8+) 34.Bh3 and black does not have compensation for a rook.

This should do it. Wish I didn't spin wheels pruning out the inferior/unsound candidates. Finding two or more good reasons for a move (such as those mentioned in preamble to analysis) might be a good criterion for focusing on that move first.

Time for review...

Sep-04-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: Missed the 35... Qf4 defense and resulting pretty finish, but a better effort than yesterday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop, a knight and a pawn for the bishop pair.

Black threatens to push the a-pawn to promotion.

The first idea that comes to mind is 32.e5 to open the b1-h7 diagonal for the white queen:

A) 32... Rxh2+ 33.Kxh2 Qh4+ 34.Bh3 g5 35.Qf5 + - [R+N vs B].

B) 32... f5 33.Nxf5+

B.1) 33... gxf5 34.Qxf5

B.1.a) 34... Rh6 35.Qg5+ Kh7 36.Rf7+ and mate in two.

B.1.b) 34... Rxh2+ 35.Kxh2 Rh8+ (35... Qh4+ 36.Rh3 Rf8 37.Qxf8+ Kxf8 38.Rxh4 + -) 36.Rh3 Rxh3+ 37.Qxh3 [R+2P vs P] + -.

B.1.c) 34... Ra7 35.Qf6+ Kh7 36.Rh3#.

B.2) 33... Kh7 34.Rh3#.

B.3) 33... Kf6(8) 34.Nxd6+ and 35.Nxc4 + -.

C) 32... fxe5 33.Rf7+ Kh6 (33... Kg8 34.Qxg6#) 34.Qd2+ g5 35.Rf6+ Kh7 (35... Kg7 36.Qxg5+ Kh7 37.Qg6#) 36.Bf5+ Kg7(8) 37.Qxg5#.

D) 32... dxe5 33.Nf5+

D.1) 33... gxf5 34.Rg3+

D.1.a) 34... Kh6 35.Qxf5 with many threats: Qg6#, Qh3+, Qxf6+, etc.

D.1.b) 34... Kf8 35.Qxf5 Rh6 36.Rg6 (36.Rh3 Qe2 but not 36... Rxh3 37.Qxf6+ and mate in two) 36... Rxg6 37.Qxg6 Ra7 38.Qg8+ Ke7 39.d6+ Bxd6 40.Bxc4, etc.

D.2) 33... Kf8 34.Ne3 Bxe3 35.Qxg6 Ra7 (or 35... Qc7) 36.Rxf6+ Ke7 37.d6+ wins.

Another option is 32.Nf5+:

A) 32... gxf5 33.Rg3+

A.1) 33... Kh7 34.Bxf5+ Kh6 35.Qd2+ Kh5 36.Bg6+ Kh4 37.Qf4#.

A.2) 33... Kh6 34.Qd2+ is similar to A.1.

A.3) 33... Kf8 34.Rg6 Ke7 35.Rg7+ Ke8 is unclear.

B) 32... Kf8 33.Nxd6 Bxd6 34.Rxf6+ Ke7 35.h3 is also unclear.

I think that 32.e5 is preferable.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Hot bath for DJ King a Benoni turned inside out arrow ah splish splash I was taking 2.Bb4 not serious but now I well musnt bunble pe5! foiled again it looks risty a sea of complication drops the mother load <pe5 Nf5+ Rg3+> monarch caught in the act queen hop in kf8 Ke7 the hip Shirov CEO maestro preside fountain eternal...
Sep-04-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: < gofer: Crafty EGT finds

35 ... Qh4

and then proceeds to swap its queen for a rook, if white plays 36 Rh3 at which point I am struggling to win... ...have a play!>...

I won this on the first attempt, but it was a tough grind. I believe the key is to play d5-d6-d7, allowing the bishop to contain black's a-pawn and tying down a black rook to defend the d-pawn. Eventually, Crafty traded LSBs and it simplified to Q+3 pawns (b,g, and h-pawns) versus R+B+2Ps. I advanced the king carefully to support the kingside pawns and eventually promoted the g-pawn.

Sep-04-11  erniecohen: Pretty easy for a Saturday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: <CHESSTTCAMPS> A bit through "trial and error" I found the following "simple" solution...

35 Rh3 Kg7
36 Rxh4 Rxh4
37 Qf3 Rah8
38 Qg3+ Kf8
39 h3 R4h7
40 Qg6 Bd6
41 Qxf6+ Ke8
42 c4! ...

Crafty avoids 42 ... Bxc4 allowing the rook into the picture!

42 ... a3
43 c5 Be7
44 Qg6+ Kd8
45 d6 Bh4
46 c6 a2
47 c7+ Rxc7
48 dxc7+ Kxc7
49 Qg7+ mating

49 ... Be7 50 Qxe7+ Kb8 51 Qd6+ Ka7 52 Qc7+ Bb7 53 Bd5 Ka6 54 Bxb7+ Kb5 55 Ba6+! Ka4 56 Qc4+ Ka3 57 Rd3+ Kb1 58 Rb3+ Ka1 59 Qc3#

Sep-04-11  alachabre: The first candidate move that comes to mind is 32. e5, as it is the only move that leads to freeing the White queen for attack into Black's kingside.

I toyed around a bit with knight and rook sacs on f6 and f5, but they seem to lead nowhere, e.g.

32. Rxf6 Kxf6
33. Rf8+ Qxf8
34. Nxf8 Bxf8

So back to 32. e5, to which Black's responses are many.

32. ... fxe5 leads to disaster for Black after 33. Rf7+ Kh6;

32. ... dxf5, and back to examining sacs on f6 and f5:

33. Nf6+. This move is critical, for two reasons. It's forcing, and White needs a forcing move right now. It also clears the third rank for defense against a possible Black sac at h2, a sac made possible by White's aggressive 32. e5.

33. ... Kf8; I want to look at this move first, before following the pawn capture. Moving the king to the h file is regicide.

34. Nd6, threatens the queen and Rxf6+

34. ... Qh4; only two moves are possible now, Ra3 and g3:

35. g3 Qh7
36. Rxf6+ Ke7
37. Rf7+

35. ... Qg5
36. Ne4

35. ... Qxh2+
36. Qxh2 Rxh2
37. Kxh2 Bxc6
38. Rxf6+ Kg7 and a favorable endgame, with lots of play for both sides.

35. Ra3 Qf4?
36. Rxh8

35. ... Qxh3
36. Bxh3 Bxd3
37. Qxg6

There are other moves for Black at 36 that seek to defend g6, I don't think too many of them are good. So it looks like Rh3 is much better than g3, and it looks like Black is forced to capture the knight at move 33.

33. Nf6+ gxf6
34. Rg3+, White must continue to find forcing moves because of the weakness on the h file.

35. ... Kf8 (Kh6, Qxf5 and mates)

36. Qxf5 Qh4
37. Rh3 Qxf3?
38. Qxf6+ and mate on d7 soon.

37. ... Kg7
38. Qf3 Rah8
39. Qg3+ Kf8
40. h3; gives Black a break in tempo, but defending f7 is going to be difficult. I'm going to leave it at this, White is solid and I think this position justifies the advance e5.

Sep-04-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: <gofer: <CHESSTTCAMPS> A bit through "trial and error" I found the following "simple" solution... 35 Rh3 Kg7
36 Rxh4 Rxh4
37 Qf3 Rah8
38 Qg3+ Kf8
39 h3 R4h7
40 Qg6 ....>

Yes,I could not recreate what I did on the first attempt and this is much better anyway. After 40.Gg6 the rest is easy. Thanks for sharing the solution.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Shirov's <32. e5!!> initiates the first of two consecutive clearance sham sacrifices to open up a decisive attack on the helpless Black King position to solve today's Sunday puzzle.

After <32...dxe5 33. Nf5+!>, we have the second clearance sham sacrifice, which clears the way for

<33...gxf5 34. Rg3+!>.

This is an essential in-between move or zwichenzug to prepare

<34...Kf8 35. Qxf5>.

Now after <35...Qf4>

If 35... Qh4, then 36. Rh3 Kg7 37. Rxh4 Rxh4 38. Qf3! Rah8 39. h3 a3 40. Qg3+ Kf8 41. Qg6 R4h7 42. Qxf6+ Ke8 43. d6 wins going away.

<36. Qg6 Ra7 37. Rh3!> this clever deflection sham sacrifice forces

<37...Rxh3 38. Qg8+ Ke7 39. d6+!> 1-0.

Black resigns as White's final move 39. d6+ forces mate-in-four after 39...Bxd6 40. Qf7+ Kd8 41. Rxd6+ Rd7 42. Qxd7#.

Sep-05-11  TheoNov: Shirov could have also won with 31.Rxf6!

A) 31... Kxf6 32. Qf2+ Ke5 (forced, otherwise mate follows) 33. Qe3!

click for larger view

and Black must give up his queen with 33... Qd3 to avoid immediate mate.

B) 31... Rxh2+ 32. Kxh2 Rh8+ 33. Bh3 Kxf6 34. Qf2+ Kg7 35. Rf1

click for larger view

and again Black must queen must go with 35... Qxf1, although White's job is a bit more difficult than in A).

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Jimfromprovidence> Excellent find (per <Gypsy>) for <34.Nd4!> It really is beautiful and is better than 34.Nd6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: Shirov's note for 27. Rf3 <Just bringing the pieces into the danger area and hoping that there will be a mate somewhere.>

This just happens to be my entire philosophy to chess.

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