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Boris Spassky vs Alexander Beliavsky
Reykjavik World Cup (1988), Reykjavik ISL, rd 17, Oct-??
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Tarrasch Variation (C77)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For the recent Nov 18, 2007 puzzle solution, Spassky's demolition sacrifice 25. Nxg6!! appears to give White a decisive advantage, especially after the key followup 27. Bc7!

However, as <Random Visitor>'s deep Rybka analysis indicates, Black might have made a fight of it after the surprise decoy sacrifice 26...Be6! 27. Rd3 Bc1! 28. Qxc1 . Even so it is highly unlikely a human player would have found this potential saving resource over the board.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: I thought this one looked familiar--it was a Puzzle of the Day only a month ago.
Dec-23-07  alshatranji: Is this a puzzle again? Is this a mistake, or does Chessgames do that from time to time?
Dec-23-07  Kings Indian: Got it right away because I have seen it already. It is still a nice puzzle..
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <An Englishman,alshatranji>: You can regard it either as an xmas present from <CG>, or as a test of your retention.
Dec-23-07  krusheto: Xmas present YEEEEEY
Dec-23-07  zooter: well, i did see the Nxg6 followed by Qh6 and then i was looking for a rook lift...but I agree that Bc7 is a very good move..

though i don't know why black was playing even after being a bishop down!

Dec-23-07  Sularus: deja vu...
Dec-23-07  whitebeach: Missed it entirely. My guess was 25. Qg3.
Dec-23-07  Giearth: Darn! I've totally missed 27.♗c7! Sigh... Makes me doubt if I can claim to be a chess enthusiast...
Dec-23-07  UdayanOwen: <jimfromprovidence> do you mean that you want someone to check out your move 15...Qc7? (from the Campora game)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <UdayanOwen> <do you mean that you want someone to check out your move 15...Qc7? (from the Campora game)>

No, that was concerning the November 17 puzzle.

It's funny, but it's disappeared from the CG database somehow.

Dec-23-07  aginis: ok so maybe i'm missing something but
25.Qh6 looks very strong to me.
white is threatening Nxg6, Rd3-Nf5 and Nf3-Ng5-Qxh7 or some combination thereof. how does black defend all three?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <aqinis>
Could you give details of your line? For example, what if Black tries the obvious defenses like 25. Qh6 Be6 26. Bxe6 Qxe6 27. Rd3 Ne7 28. Nf3 Qf6 29. Ng5 Qg7 etc.?
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Here's a a breakout of 25. Nxg6!!:

<25. Nxg6!! hxg6 26. Qh6 Ne7?>

This makes the win easier for White. Putting up more resistance is 26... Be6!? See <RV>'s 25-ply Rybka analysis above for some amazing potential saving resources for Black. Even with this best defense though, Black is just barely holding on and holding the draw OTB under time pressure would be extremely difficult (if not impossible).

<27. Bc7!>

This wins immediately, as Black must surrender the Kngiht to deal with the dual threat of Qxg6+! (if the Knight moves) or Bxd5! (if the Knight stays put).

<27...Nf5 28. exf5 Bxf5 29. g4!>

The threat of Qxg6+ will force the deflection of the Bishop to e4, where White has a winning followup.

Also winning is 29. Re1! Be7 30. g4 Bd3 31. Re3 Bg5 32. Qxg5 Bc4 33. Qf6 Qe6 34. Bxe5 Qxf6 35. Bxf6

<29... Be4 30. Re1! Bc1>

No help for Black is 30... Bd3 31. Bxe5 .

<31. Qxc1 Qc6 32. Qe3!>

Also winning is 32. Qh6! Bh1 (32... Qxc7 33. Rxe4 ; 32... Re8 33. Re3 Bh1 34. f3 Qxc7 35. Qxg6+ Kf8 36. Qh7 Rd8 37. Kxh1 ) 33. f3! Qxf3 34. Qxg6+! Kh8 35. Bxe5+ f6 36. Qh6#

<32... Bh1 33. Qh3>

A winning alternative is 33. f3 Qxc7 (33... Bxf3 34. Bxe5 Re8 35. Qh6 Rxe5 36. Rxe5 ) 34. Kxh1

<33... Qxc7 34. Kxh1 Re8 35. Qh6 Qc6+ 36. Kg1 Qf6 37. Rd1>

Also good for a quick win is 37. f4! .

<37...Qc6 38. Rd3 Qe4 39. Rh3 Qe1+ 40. Kg2 Qe4+ 41. Kg3 > 1-0

Black resigns as he is lost after 41...Qd3+ ( or 41...Qf4+ 42. Qxf4 exf4+ 43. Kxf4 ) 42. f3 , with mate to quickly follow.

Dec-23-07  UdayanOwen: <aginis: ok so maybe i'm missing something but 25.Qh6 looks very strong to me. white is threatening Nxg6, Rd3-Nf5 and Nf3-Ng5-Qxh7 or some combination thereof. how does black defend all three?>

Interesting idea aginis...

Your move threatens the immediate 26.Nxg6 hxg6 27.Qxg6+ Kh8 28.Qh6+ Kg8 29.Rd3, and black gets mated.

So Black has to stop this.

25...Ne7 defends g6 and stops Nf5, but white can play 26.Re8, winning the queen for rook and bishop. Even better is 26.Nf3, when black can't escape... 26...Qc6 27.Ng5 Re8 28.Qxh7+ Kf8 29.Qxf7#.

I think 25...Be6 defends however. It breaks the pin and thus stops Nxg6. In this case it also renders 26.Nf3 harmless due to 26...f6. And if 26.Nf5, I actually think 26...gxf5 might be OK for black:

27.Rd3 f4! 28.Bxe6 fxe6 29.Rh3 Qe7; or 27.Qg5+ Kh8 28.Qf6+ Kg8 29.exf5 (29.Rd3 f4 looks OK for black) 29...Bxb3, and now either 30.Qg5 Kh8 31.f6 Rg8, or 30.Rd3 Ne7 31.Rg3+ Ng6.

I've run out of time, but I have analyzed a loss for black after 26.Qh6 Be6 27.Nf5 Bxf5... check it out, I'll post it later....

I haven't analyzed it yet but I think after 25.Qh6, 25...Kh8 might defend comfortably, so you might want to check that out too.

Dec-24-07  UdayanOwen: <aginis: ok so maybe i'm missing something but 25.Qh6 looks very strong to me. white is threatening Nxg6, Rd3-Nf5 and Nf3-Ng5-Qxh7 or some combination thereof. how does black defend all three?>

Okay I have time after all, so this is a continuation of my previous post...

After 25.Qh6 Be6 26.Nf5, 26...Bxf5 gives white a clear (if not winning advantage:

27.exf5. The threat of f6 and mate on g7 can only be defended in two ways:

27...Ne7 (best) 28.Rd8 (28.f6? Nf5 29.Qh3 Qb8 30.g4 Qxb6 31.gxf5 Qxf6 and black has a pawn, a better pawn structure and a safer king) 28...Qxd8 (28...Nxf5?? 29.Qd2 ) 29.Bxd8 Rxd8 (29...Nxf5?? 30.Qd2 ) and now 30.f6 or fxg6 secure a clear or winning advantage for white.

27...Kh8 28.Rd3 (28.f6? Rg8 29.Rd3 Qf8 and black is OK [30.Qxh7?? Kxh7 31.Rh3+ Qh6 ]) 28...f6 (28...Rg8 29.Rh3 Rg7 f6 ) 30.Rh3, and now black can't defend, eg., 30...Qe7 31.fxg6 .

So after 25.Qh6, I think 25...Be6 26.Nf5 gxf5 defends as analyzed in my previous post... If my analysis is correct, white will have to accept a perpetual here with 27.Qg5+ Kh8 28.Qf6+ etc.

But if black would like a less hairy defence than that, then 26.Qh6 Kh8 is safe:

By unpinning, black rules out 27.Nxg6.

27.Nf3 f6 is fine for black.

27.Nf5 Bxf5 (27...Rg8?? 28.Nd6 followed by 29.Nxf7 ) 28.exf5 f6, when the extra tempo in this line allows black to defend, 29.fxg6 Qxg6, or 29.Rd3 gxf5 30.Rh3 Qd7.

I've been in a bit of a rush, so I might have made some misprints....

Kibitz me if there is any doubt about what I've written and I'll check

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: I suspected that the first two moves for today's puzzle would be 25 Nxg6 and 26 Qh6. I was at a loss about what to do after that; but that's a lot better than how I usually do on Sundays.
Feb-19-17  mel gibson: Too hard for me -
the computer - DR4 64 bit - agrees with the text move but gives little more than a 1 pawn advantage:

25. Nxg6 (25. Nxg6
(♘h4xg6 h7xg6 ♕e3-h6 ♗c8-e6 ♖d1-d3 ♘c6-e7 ♗b6-c7 ♗a3-c1 ♕h6xc1 ♕e8-c6 ♗c7xe5 ♗e6xb3 a2xb3 ♕c6xe4 ♖d3-e3 ♕e4-g4 h2-h3 ♕g4-h4 ♕c1-e1 ♘e7-c6 ♗e5-c7 ♕h4-f6 ♕e1-d1 a6-a5 g2-g4 b5-b4 c3-c4) +1.50/20 95)

score +1.50 depth 20.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: The first two moves aren't hard to find, but that's as far as I got. Then I thought black would play 26...Be6. (Maybe he should have.)

I said the same thing ten years ago: Spassky vs Beliavsky, 1988 (kibitz #8)

Feb-19-17  stacase: I'm happy to have gotten the first two moves.
Feb-19-17  yadasampati: 25. Nxg6 and Qh6 were pretty simple to find, but then it gets complicated. I was thinking of Rd3 (with the idea of Rg3), but i overlooked the possible answer Qc6 (covering the g6-pawn and preventing Bc7), the implications of Nf5 (enabling Ng7 after Qxg6+) and the later Bc1. Not a perfect Sunday this time, but good enough :-)
Feb-19-17  The Kings Domain: Got this one. The knight sacrifice on g6 is sound because of the pin on f7 and white's strong attack on black's kingside. Dazzling victory by Spassky.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: 27. Bc7 is a lovely move. It's hard to see even with the position right in front of you, but Spassky must have foreseen it when he played 25. Nxg6.
Feb-19-17  scormus: <offramp> yes, 27 Bc7 was the quiet assassin. Spassky was the king at finding moves like that
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