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Jan Timman vs Boris Spassky
Linares 4th (1983), Linares ESP, rd 4, Feb-16
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Modern Steinitz Defense (C73)  ·  0-1
Move:
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sac: 24...Nb4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-03-17  RKnight: Pretty simple for a Friday puzzle. I normally have trouble with them. Force open the A file with mate threats and then mate on the file. Nonetheless, this week's puzzles illustrate that Boris had an artistic flare for finishing games.
Feb-03-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Kept looking for White to play e5, e.g., 12.e5 through 15.e5. Why did Timman avoid the move?
Feb-03-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is identical.

Black can threaten mate next with 24... Nb4:

A) 25.axb4 axb4

A.1) 26.Nd5 Ra7+ 27.Qa3 Rxa3#.

A.2) 26.Rbd1 bxc3

A.2.a) 27.b3 Ra8+ 28.Kb1 Rxb3+ 29.cxb3 (29.Kc1 Ra1#) 29... Qxb3+ 30.Kc1 Qb2# (or Ra1#).

A.2.b) 27.Rxd4 Ra7+ 28.Kb1 Rxb2+ 29.Kc1 Ra1#.

A.3) 26.Na2 Ra7 27.Qb3 Qxb3 28.cxb3 Rxa2+ 29.Kxa2 Ra8#.

A.4) 26.exf5 Ra7+ and mate in two.

B) 25.Rbc1 Bxc3 26.axb4 (else 26... Qa2#) 26... axb4

B.1) 27.bxc3 Ra7+ 28.Kb1(2) Qa2#.

B.2) 27.exf5 Ra7+ 28.Kb1 Qa2#.

B.3) 27.Re3 Ra7+ 28.Kb1 Qa2#.

B.4) 27.Kb1 Ra7 28.Rcd1 (28.b3 Ra1#) 28... Qa2+ 29.Kc1 Qa1#.

C) 25.Re2 Bxc3 26.axb4 axb4

C.1) 27.bxc3 Ra7+ 28.Kb2 bxc3+ 29.Kxc3 (29.Kc1 Rxb1+ 30.Kxb1 Qa2+ 31.Kc1 Qa1#) 29... Rxb1 wins decisive material.

C.2) 27.Rh1 Ra7+ 28.Kb1 Qa2+ 29.Kc1 Qa1#.

D) 25.b3 Nxc2+ followed by Nxe1 and Rxb3 is crushing.

Feb-03-17  AlicesKnight: Saw the key sequence of 24....Nb4; 25.axb4 axb4 and the switch to the R file. I wonder how far back Spassky thought of moving the attacking line from the b-file to the a-file.
Feb-03-17  yadasampati: <AlicesKnight> You can still ask Spassky. He reached the age of 80 on the 30th of January. I do not have his email address though :-)
Feb-03-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <An Englishman: Good Evening: Kept looking for White to play e5, e.g., 12.e5 through 15.e5. Why did Timman avoid the move?> Good morning. He must have been afraid of either Bf5 or Nf5 (with the idea of Nd4 followed by Bf5). It seems like black could whip up an attack pretty quickly, e.g., 12. e5 Bf5, 13. Qc4 Be6, with both bishops aimed at the castle plus the open b file. (I was just nodding off to sleep and I thought the open b file, not the g file, so I had to get up and correct it :-)
Feb-03-17  paavoh: 24.- Nb4 was quite an obvious lead move, so I tend to think this puzzle rather belongs to the Wed category.
Feb-03-17  mel gibson: The computer agrees:

24. Rhe1 Nb4 (24. .. Nb4 (♘c6-b4
a3xb4 a5xb4 ♘c3-a4 ♖b8-a8 ♖b1-d1 ♖a8xa4+ ♔a1-b1 ♕e6-a2+ ♔b1-c1 ♕a2xb2+ ♔c1-d2 ♖a4-a3 ♖e1-e3 ♖a3xe3 ♕h3xe3 ♗d4xe3+ ♔d2xe3 b4-b3 c2-c3 ♕b2xc3+ ♔e3-f2 f5xe4 f4-f5 b3-b2 f5xg6 h7xg6 ♗h6-g7 ♕c3xg7 ♖d1-b1 ♕g7-d4+) +30.12/14 135

score +30.12 depth 14

Feb-03-17  clement41: @ <yadasampati> actually the primary threat of 24...Nb4! is ...Nxc2# or a 2-move smothered mate: 25... Qa2+ 26 Nxa2 Nxc2# if he wants to play a bit. But assuming it's still black's turn, out of curiosity, we'd then see ...Bxc3 ab forced and here any move wins (...BxR being the most obvious) e.g. ...ab bc Ra8+ Kb2 Qa2+ Kc1 Qxb1+!
Feb-03-17  gofer: This one was rather simple. The continuation looks to be 100% forced.

<24 ... Nb4+>

White threatens Qa2# and Nxc2#!

25 b3 Nxc2+ winning a pawn, an exchange and deflecting Rb1

Game Over

<24 axb4 axb4>

25 b3 Bxc3+ mating

25 Na2 Ra7/Ra8

<25 Na4 Ra7/Ra8>

<26 Qb3 c4>

<27 Qa2 Rba8/Rba7>

<28 exf5 Rxa4> mating as Pb2 is pinned!

Feb-03-17  dTal: This is the easiest Friday puzzle I can remember in a long while. Think the whole sequence plays itself after the not-too-difficult-to-find 24. ... Nb4. Let me kid myself for a while that I am improving...
Feb-03-17  Sularus: I failed to get this. I thought Rxb2 is the start of the solution.
Feb-03-17  JohnBoy: Referring to <Percy>'s comment of Feb-05-07, one can understand Spassky's desire to keep the queens on the board. 23...Nb4 may have been best, but it would have been prosaic rather than poetic.
Feb-03-17  saturn2: Nb4. There are two serious threats
1. BxN followed by Qa2++
2. Nxc2+
So white has to take the knight. But then the a file gets open and this is fatal.
Feb-03-17
Premium Chessgames Member
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Feb-03-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: Friday 24...?


click for larger view

Well, I didn't see 24...Nb4! at all. I decided to double the attack on Nc3 with <24...Qc4>


click for larger view

The idea is that I threaten 25...Rxb2 26.Rxb2 and then winning with 26...Bxc3!

The only way I could see for black to parry this threat is with <25.Qd3>, so that ...Rxb2 is met with Qxc4.

Still, I (as black) can exchange queens <25...Qxc3 26.cxd3>


click for larger view

Then force a favorable endgame with the series of exchanges: <26...Rxb2 27.Rxb3 Bxc3> pinning Rb2 <28.Rb1 Rxb2 29.Rxb2>


click for larger view

Here, since black's R isn't going anywhere, I have a free tempo to play <29...a4>, which increases black's space and decreases white's, and also gets the a-pawn out of range of black's DSB.

<29...Ka2> unpinning <30.Bxb2 Kxb2 31.Nd4>


click for larger view

Materially, black is just up a pawn, but black's N is very strong while the white DSB has severe mobility problems. I'd be quite happy with this as black.

Feb-03-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: 24...Nb4
25. ab4 ab4
26. Na4 b3
(27. cb3 Rb3)
27. Rbe1 Ra7
28. Kb1 bc2
29. Kc2 Ra4
Feb-03-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: Good play by Boris, but rather timid middle game play (a3, Kb1, Ka1, Rb1 etc) by Timman after an aggressive opening with 0-0-0 and h4.
Feb-03-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: 21. f4 was begging for f5 on a subsequent move. Qh3 really lost the thread.
Feb-03-17  scormus: <YouRang ... Nb4> if you didn't see it thats because you ar too decent a person. when I was at school and trying to compete against stronger players, I learnt the sneaky trick when I had a pawn on R4, opponent castled that side with N on his B3. I swindled a lot of games that way.

So it was a matter of honour for me to get todays puzzle ;)

Feb-03-17  Conrad93: This puzzle is far more difficult if you think it's White to play.
Feb-03-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <Conrad93: This puzzle is far more difficult if you think it's White to play.>

Indeed. If it were white's 24th move instead of black's, then probably <24.exf5> forcing the queen to flee (and not giving black time for ...Nb4) is best.

At that point, black's best option is probably the line I went for: <24...Qc4 25.Qd3 Qxd3 26.cxd3> etc., leading to a superior endgame that black should win.

But of course, a <white to move and lose not-so-quickly> puzzle is rather untraditional.

Feb-04-17  stst: Late, day gone already...
A number of choices for 24.....(A)BxN, (B)RxP, (C)Qa2+, (D)Nb4, (E)Bf2...

Maybe the Q-sac could break through..
(C)......Qa2+
25.NxQ Bxb2+
26.RxB RxR

see how Spa's magic work...

Feb-04-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Abdel Irada: ∞

<<+> Another log on the fire? <+>>

Black has a lot of pressure on the queenside, but as it is, there's no forced breakthrough because there are no open lines. The only way to change that is to bring even *more* pressure to bear, and for that we need

<<+> 24. ... Nb4! >

This threatens mate two ways: via 25. ...Nxc2# or 25. ...Bxc3 followed by 26. ...Qa2#. This forces White's hand.

<<+> 25. axb4, axb4 >

Now the threat is 26. ...Ra7+/Ra8+, with mate to follow. White must move his knight to either a2 or a4.

(1) < 26. Na2?!, Ra8 >

If 27. Qb3, Qxb3 28. cxb3, Rxa2+! 29. Kxa2, Ra7#.

(2) <<+> 26. Na4, Ra8
27. Qb3, c4
28. Qa2, Rba7 >

If 29. exf5, Rxa4.

If 29. Rbd1, Rxa4 30. Qxa4, Rxa4+.

Black has too many open lines, and White can't defend against all the threats.

May-19-17  Saniyat24: Spassky's sacrifices are deadly...!
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