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Jan Timman vs Andrei Sokolov
Interpolis 11th (1987), Tilburg NED, rd 3, Sep-18
Queen's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Nimzowitsch Variation (E15)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-15-09  Patriot: Definitely tough! I didn't consider Rc4 although it should be an easy candidate if you consider the white queen hanging. (24...Qxa4 25.Nxe7+ saves the day)

24.Nxe7+ Qxe7 25.Bd6 doesn't work because of 25...Qb7+.

This is very close to a "removal of the guard" theme or a trapped piece. So I considered Qc4 or Qd4, but neither one looks promising. So I would've just gone with 24.Qxa5 or 24.Nxe7+ Qxe7 25.Qxa5.

May-15-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: Well, it wasn't the game solution, but others mentioned Qb5 and it may be just as good.
May-15-09  cyclon: If, for example 24.-Bb4, then again 25.Qc2, with threats like Bc1 and Ne7+. Quite and nice puzzle, yet difficult. Oh, by the way, there is something `suspicious` with too long analysis, particularly with humans.
May-15-09  hedgeh0g: Wow...a tough one today. I figured it had something to do with the bishop on e7, but didn't see more than that.
May-15-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: <cyclon> wrote <...Oh, by the way, there is something `suspicious` with too long analysis, particularly with humans.>

Not necessarily true - many of the great players became great by learning to organize complex analysis and visualize far ahead. But you are right that very long analysis, even by great players (without engine assistance or checking by some other competent 3rd party), usually contains errors. Fischer's annotation of Botvinnik-Fischer (Game #39 My 60 Memorable Games) is a famous case in point.

May-15-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: <xiko9> wrote <24. Nxe7+ Qxe7 25.Bd6 traps a rook I think...it was my choice...why not?>

You followed "best practice" by considering the most forcing move first and you also caught your own error.

May-15-09  plainsane: i was totally convinced that

24. Qxa5 Qxa5
25. Nxe7+ Kh8
26. Rcxc8 Rxc8
27. Nxc8

wins, but then i checked and it was 14 vs 14 pts :/

May-15-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: A quiet move in a position that must have a dozen candidate moves that all look pretty good. This is the stage of the game that requires subtle accuracy.
May-15-09  TCS: On my way home I realised that my second post was rubbish. Bishop is not lost but as given in my first post the only way out for Black is:

25...Rxc8 26.Rxc6 Qb4

But then what? Well I'm still disturbed by 27...Ne4 so I'd play 27.f3 to limit Blacks counter play.

Black is an exchange down but even at GM level is it time to resign? With such an open position and lots of tactical ploys they maybe a few swindles to be had.

I'll have a cup of tea and let Fritz have a go at this one...

May-15-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I though a sacrifice was in order by Rc3 or Rd3-I missed the queen trap.
May-15-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Trapped, ouch.
May-15-09  jfshade: Hello everyone. I've been following the daily games for a while now and have been learning a lot about analysis from you all. I appreciate the generally collegial and mellow atmosphere here. Very refreshing! Today I jumped at
24. nxe7+ qxe7 25. bd6
and figured that even after ..qb7+, white could hold on and win the bxr exchange. Playing it through with toga, though, looks like white at best wins a pawn while helping mobilize black's pieces. Hmmm.
May-15-09  TheChessGuy: I just settled for the win of the a-pawn. After that, I'd aim for a minor piece endgame, either with the bishops or the knights. One extra pawn should be enough to win a same-colored bishop endgame and having an outside passed pawn is a huge plus in a knight endgame.
May-15-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: <TCS> wrote <24.Qb5 Rxc6 25.Rxc6 Qxa2 26.Rd2 (preventing...Ne4) Qa3 27.Ra6 Rc8 28.Rxa5 In this position White is a clear exchange up.>

In fact, this fixes my flawed line D.3 that fails against 28...Nc3. However, given that the win will be more difficult with the a-pawns off the board, I must agree that Timman's line is best, but 24.Qb5 is probably second best. Too bad I brushed off 24.Rc4 with such shallow analysis.

May-15-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: There is a lot more to this position than meets the eye. Everything is connected to everything else.

No, I did not solve it. But I enjoyed seeing the solution 23 Rc4. Subtle.

May-15-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Obviously I meant 24 Rc4.

24 Qb5 is a nice move too and should get a pat on the back. If 24 Qb5 then 24 ...Bb4 is a good reply but 25 Rc2 is winning.

May-15-09  Marmot PFL: Did not spend enough time or examine Rc4. The queen guards Be7 but is too valuable to be a reliable defender and Bc1 is threatened. Then after Qc2 Ne7+ wins material if the bishop retreats or not. Instructive example of piece coordination.
May-15-09  TCS: Fritz gives the following best play lines for the two main contenders (Fritz agreed) of the day after 30 mins of crunching each:

24.Qb5 Rxc6 25.Qxc6 Qxa2 26.Ra1 Qb3 27.Bd6 Qe6 28.Rxa5 Bxd6 29.Rxd6 Qe7 30.Rd4 h6 31.h3 Qe2 32.Qf3 Qe1 +1.63

24.Rc4 R(f)e8 25.Qc2 Rxc6 26.Rxc6 Qb4 27.Qc4 Qb7 29.Kg2-g1 h6 29.Be5 Qb4 30. Qxb4 axb4 31.Rc7 +1.72

So what do you prefer? Black is going to have a struggle but its going to take a little more accurate play for White to finish Black off.

May-15-09  Big Easy: CHESSTTCAMPS -- even though you didn't get the move played I enjoyed reading your analysis. I like how you list each candidate move and give reasoning and lines as to why the move will/won't work. I let Rybka run for 30 minutes and it agrees that 24.Qb5 is not quite as strong as 24.Rc4, but still winning.
May-15-09  MaczynskiPratten: Looks like it is subtle week at CG.com. All the apparent forcing ideas like Nxe7 and flashy sacrifices like Rd3 and Rd8 don't work. Rc4 exploits the coordination of White's pieces and the immobility of Black's Queen to force material loss.
May-15-09  WhiteRook48: Subtle week says it
May-15-09  Confuse: <alshatranji: I think the basic idea is that White should not exchange the queens, but should force Black to do so. This would leave the bishop on e7 without protection and allow White to capture it with tempo (check) then regain the queen. 24.Rc4 simply protects the queen, simultaneously threatening Bc1 and allowing White to double the attack on the c file.> I like this response. Thanks! It helps. : )
May-15-09  newzild: I did examine 24.Rc4 but rejected it in favour of 24.Qc4, with the idea 25.Rc3 Qb2 26.Nxe7+. This is hard for black to meet, and should lead to a winning position as I think black must give up the exchange by 26...Rxc6 27.Qxc6 Qxa2 28.Ra1, when white is a clear exchange ahead with an initiative.

I've just checked with Rybka, and our silicon friend confirms the strength of 24.Qc4, which is perhaps not as strong as 24.Rc4, but still winning. So I'm giving myself the point...

May-16-09  LivBlockade: <Confuse: How do you "find" Rc4? Can you guys explain the decision process?> One of the key features of the position is the White Nc6 attacking the Black Be7. With 24. Rc4, White protects his queen. Now Black cannot trade queens because White would win with Nxe7+. So now Black's Queen and Bishop must keep defending eachother, so the Black Queen can't move at all. Also, after 24. Rc4, White has threats such as 25. Rd3 (...Qxd3; 26. Nxe7+ Kh8; 27. Nxc8, again winning a piece). So White can play as if he's trying to trap Black's Queen. After Black takes time to protect his bishop with 24... Rfe8 (or get away from the check with ...Kh8), White has time for 25. Qc2 with threats such as Bc1 or Ra4. Black's Queen has no safe squares.
Jun-01-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For the Friday, May 15, 2009 puzzle solution, White's 24. Rc4! uses the threat of a discovered attack with check to set up a decisive trapped piece combination.
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