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Aleksander Wojtkiewicz vs Spyridon Skembris
Chess Olympiad (1990), Novi Sad YUG, rd 12, Nov-30
English Opening: Agincourt Defense. Catalan Defense (A13)  ·  1-0


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sac: 25.Rd7 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-15-09  goodevans: Got 25 Rd7 pretty much instantly, but 27 Be4 (which seems to be the key move) eluded me. No marks for me today.

Does anyone claim to have got this?

Feb-15-09  znprdx: This a superb demolition. It is quite amazing how all of White's pieces come into action. I'm curious how many of today's top 10 would even find this OTB...(given that both Calsen and Dominguez-Perez botched less complex positions). Instinctively I did not think that ...25.Qx[R]was a viable option - and admit I'm blown away by the text - it is as perfect a chess combination I've ever seen. I came up with a finesse of my own (yes I cheated - moving the pieces)a kind of crushing zugswang: After the 'obvious' 25.Rd7 I thought ...g6 was forced. 26. Nxg6 Qx[R]d7 27.Ne5! Qc7 28. Be4!!(not g4?..Bg7) ..Bd6 29. Qg4+
Feb-15-09  znprdx: <Utopian2020: Black's 29...Qe2 is inferior to 29...Nd6> you may have found the spoiler - if time pressure were a factor...a queens ending - but with white up a pawn on each wing Black can't expect much.

<Once: so so 'tweazy' ...> even Urban Dictionary has yet to define this term -- would you care to oblige?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <znprdx> Tweazy = "too easy", the mating call of the lesser-spotted kibitzer.

It's a variation on bus-driver slang for old people. They call them "twirlies", as in "am I too early?". In the UK, free bus passes for old people only work after a certain time in the morning.

Won't be in a dictionary, yet. I made it up!

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Sunday (Insane):

Wojtkiewicz vs Skembris, 1990 (25.?)

White to play and win.

Material: Even. The Black Kg8 has 2 legal moves, both on the h-file. White has 3 pieces directly in the Black K-position: Ne5, Qh5, and Bf6. The White Ne5 and Qh5 both attack Pf7, which is protected by Kh8 and Qc7, suggesting deflection and decoy combinations. The White Bg7 attacks Pg7. The White Rd1 is on an open file and the invasion point d7 (supported by Ne5) permits it to join the attack against Pf7. A blocking combination based on 25.Rd7 must therefore be explored. The White Bg2 requires activation. The White Kg1 is secure.

Candidates (25.): Rd7

25.Rd7 (threatening 26.Qxf7+ 27.Qxe8 winning material)

25Bxd7 26.Qxf7+

The Kg8 has 2 flight squares.

(1) 26Kh7 27.Nxd7 (threatening 28.Nxf8+ 29.Qxc7 or 28.Qxe8)

27Qc8 28.Be4 (threatening 29.Bxf5+ 30.Nxf8+ 31.Qxg7#)

Black has no feasible defense.

(2) 26Kh8

Candidates (27.): Nxd7, Be4

27.Nxd7 (threatening 28.Qxe8 29.Qxf8+)

<[Toga indicates that 27.Nxd7 Nd6 leads to slight advantage for Black and that 27.Be4 is much better.]>

I knew 27.Be4 might be better, but I had insufficient time to compare the candidates thoroughly. I am traveling today and will be in Vancouver, Canada - just in case anyone wants to accuse me of staying up late this week :)

Feb-15-09  njchess: I found 25. Rd7 fairly quickly. Although after 25. Rd7 Bxd7 26. Qxf7+ Kh8, I was stumped for a while. Black has sufficient defense to stop any immediate action though that ties up all his pieces except his queen, limiting his counterplay. Therefore, White need not play forcefully immediately.

Looking at Black's position, the open d-file would prove useful to Black's queen. A back rank check could tie up White's bishop, though that would probably be the extent of the damage. Still, it's one less piece on the attack. After that realization, Be4 came pretty easily.

So, 27. Be4 Qd6 28. Nxd7 Qd1+ 29. Kg2 Qe2 made sense. At this point, White's position is winning. I didn't calculate the rest but 30. Bxg7+ Nxg7 31. Qg6 followed by Nf6 should be enough. Time to check.

Feb-15-09  thegoldenband: <Granny O Doul> Oh dear! Don't quite know how I missed that. I suppose that's what I get for posting whilst half-asleep.
Feb-15-09  Samagonka: <mollyboo>

Have you visited the Kibitzer's Cafe? I think that's the appropriate forum for your request.

I also happen to know exactly what you're talking about. Is there a secret formula? I don't think there's a specific formula about breaking a castled defence but you may find the following tips usefull, as they are to me:

1. Basically, it helps to keep your pawns a step ahead of your opponent, which means you're obviously holding the handle as you advance.

2. The attack becomes easier the earlier one of the king's pawns is eliminated or isolated, most preferably the ones in front of the king or on the edge files.

3. I have found it helpful to advance 3 pawns in the form of an arrow, i.e. with the middle pawn a step ahead of the other two. This makes it easier to keep all 6 squares in command.

I hope this helps.

Feb-15-09  MichaelJHuman: Best I could do is

25. Rd7 Bxd7 (or black loses Q)
26. Qxf7...

And then I am not sure what the continuation is.

I think the hard part is seeing beyond 26. Qxf7

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Once> <For example, 27...Ne7? 28. Ng6+ Nxg6 29. Qxg6 Kg8 30. Qh7+ Kf7 31. Bh4 and black is going to get mated.>

I thought this was the tough part, what happens if black plays 27...Ne7?

The position after 30...Kf7 in the above line is comment-worthy.

click for larger view

Black seals the deal with the clever 31 Bh4, putting the bishop out of harm's way, denying black's king any flight squares and threatening Bg6#.

click for larger view

Black must now give up his queen with 31...Qxg3+ to a avoid a quick mate.

Feb-15-09  carelessfills: <once> your answer to mollyboo is much better advice than that from <samagonka>.

An unsupported pawn advance against an unweakened pawn structure usually takes too long and is usually easily parried by a simple counter advance which locks the position, leaving no more pawn levers, and leaving the defending king safely behind his own pawns. Indeed the attacking pawns may even become a liability since they can't be capture by their own pieces!! And they take away squares for their own pieces later on to get closer to the king or its defending pawns.

Usually for a pawn storm to work, there has to be some weakness in the defenders pawn structure. Then at least the first lever will usually come at the attackers fifth rank, instead of the sixth, saving time, and it might leave the defender with a less suitable blocking advance.

There are many games in the schevenegin sicilian defense where white gets pawns at g5 and h5 against an almost naked castled king and he can't do anything in time while black conducts his own attack against the queenside casted white king using the already semi-opened c file and the often quickly opened b file.

Black's position in the Dragon sicilian with the already advance g6 pawn gives allows white h5 lever to occur faster, but even there a well time h5 by black can bottle things up quick.

See also Black's defensive h4 (and later h5) in the ongoing Arno Nickel vs the world game which rendered whites preparatory h3 and f3 almost useless. And Black's two pawn attack against White's king has led to nothing since it was never supported by Black's awkwardly placed pieces the whole game. Although much remains to be seen in that game, once black got in d5 and survived before white could get in a timely e5, winning chances for either side have very much evaporated since all the pawn advances have left holes in both sides' positions with few useful pawn levers, and with pieces that are mostly just shuffling around trying to find some miniscule advantage (or mistep) than would be obvious to only a Capablanca.

Finally, I've played many skittles games where I succesfully hid my white king at h1 behind a Black pawn at h2, sometimes with not a single other pawn from either side nearby, and sometimes with additional white pawns almost anywhere else near the king. Often Black's h7 pawn was almost as much as a liability as a help since blacks pieces couldn't take it or go through it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: I have considered 25.Rd7 only:

A) 25... Bxd7 26.Qxf7+

A.1) 26... Kh8 27.Ng6+ (27.Nxd7 Nd6 28.Qg6 Qxd7 ) Kh7 28.Be4 (threatening 29.Nxf8+ Rxf8 30.Bxf5+ and 31.Qxg7#)

A.1.a) 28... Nd6 29.Nxf8+ Kh8 30.Qxg7#.

A.1.b) 28... Re7 29.Nxf8+ Kh8 30.Ng6+ Kh7 31.Nxe7 and mate soon.

A.1.c) 28... Bc6 29.Nxf8+ Rxf8 30.Qxc7 Bxe4 (30... Rxf6 31.Bxc6 bxc6 32.Qxc6 ) 31.Be5 with Q+P vs. R+N and threatening g4 and Qd7.

A.1.d) 28... Bc8 29.Nxf8+ Rxf8 30.Qxc7 Rxf8 31.g4 with Q vs. R.

A.2) 26... Kh7 27.Nxd7 (threatening Qxe8 and Nxf8+ followed by Qxc7)

A.2.a) 27... Rc8 28.Nxf8+ Kh8 29.Qxc7 Rxc7 30.Nxe6 Rxc4 31.Be5 Rc1+ 32.Bf1 Re1 33.f4 Ne3 34.Kf2 Rxf1+ 35.Kxe3 with B+N+P vs. R.

A.2.b) 27... Qc8 28.Bxb7 Qxc4 (28... Qxb7 29.Nxf8+ and 30.Qxc7; 28... Nd6 29.Nxf8+ and 30.Qxg7#) 29.Qxe8 Qc1+ 30.Kg2 Ne3+ 31.Kf3 (31.fxe3 Qc2+ 32.Kh3 Qf5+ 33.g4 Qd3+ 34.Kh4 g5+ 35.Bxg5 hxg5+) Qd1+ (31... Qh1+ 32.Kxe3 Qxb7 33.Nxf8+) 32.Kxe3 and the king will return to his castle.

B) 25... g6 26.Qxg6+ fxg6 27.Rxc7 threatening Nxg6 and Bxb7. Perhaps 26.Rxc7 gxh5 27.Bxb7 Bxb7 28.Rxb7 is stronger because White has a passed pawn right now.

C) 25... Qb6 26.Qxf7+ and 27.Qxe8 .

Time to post, check and have dinner.

Feb-15-09  redmaninaustin: Mollyboo... get "The Art of Attack in Chess," by Vladmir Vukovic. This book contains excellent discussions on the attack against the castled king (using both pawn storms and piece attacks) and should help with some of your difficulties.
Feb-15-09  Woody Wood Pusher: < Open Defence: the real move to find here seems to be 27.Be4>

I agree <OD>. I only got 4 ply in and got stuck on that one. I'm happy to get the first move on Sundays.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: 27.Ng6+ Kh7 28.Be4 instead of 27.Be4 immediately in my line A.1) is a serious mistake which makes White lose all his advantage. The reason is simple: on g6 the knight poses one threat but on e5 poses two (Nxd7 and Ng6+ followed by Nxf8). Better luck next Sunday.
Feb-15-09  WhiteRook48: so clever I missed it
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Well, I think I couldn't visualize it propper today. :(
Feb-15-09  AuN1: i found most of it
Feb-15-09  drnooo: All of this analysis is fine: but what I went for also works just fine unless somebody can prove me wrong: take the rook down, wham, then queen check, all according to the next move, then check with the knight, then take the bishop, and if black rook takes, take the rook then retreat queen to f7, pawn ahead, black is frozen and easy win...if rook does not take, then queen takes rook, and with a series of knight checks, taking the black bishop first then jumping back to e5, you wind up with the same frozen position ...a lot less brain strain> anybody with a computer say what it says after the knight checks and takes the bishop on f8?
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's Sunday puzzle solution, the obstruction move 25. Rd7!! opens up a decisive attack on Black's King-side castled position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <drnoooo> If you translate your combination into chess notation, I might be interested enough to take a look at it. Your description is, well, too much brain strain.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <drnoooo> If you mean 27.Ng6+ Kh7 28.Nxf8+ Rxf8 29.Qxf8 then it looks drawn after 29 ... gxf6. White is a piece down but has compensation and chances of a perpetual, but no more.

Unless you meant something else.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: Chuckle. Actually, Be4 was the first thing that leaped out at me, because an imp was hopping on my shoulder chattering "It's that Fischer game against the Myongolian for an Anastasia Qxh7!" -- see Fischer vs Myagmarsuren, 1967. I shushed the imp with a bowl of milk, studied the rest of the board, and found <25.Rd7> after about 30 seconds.

<mollyboo:> There is no trick to pawn storms. It's the slowest possible attack, and the only way it wins is if your opponent is trying an even slower one on the other side of the board. *boomp-chh*

Some openings that regularly feature pawn storms are:

- King's Indian (before 2006?), Black storms the Kingside (note how modern Bayonet Attack is a White counter-storm on the Queenside, targeting d6 with heavy-invasion at c7)

- Sicilian with opposite castling, White storms the Kingside, Black storms the Queenside

- Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack (before 1990?), White mini-storms the Kingside (and did well enough to prompt Fischer's boast of "sac, sac, mate")

Play through lots of those games to get a feel for the pawn storms. The date limits indicate advances in modern theory that has caused some lines to fall out of favor -- e.g. Black's KID pawn storm has scored so well in the past that nowadays everybody plays anti-storm lines.

(Here's a grand puzzle for all readers: On which positional clues should Black <not> try the KID pawn storm, and switch to Q-side Benkish pressure instead?)

The uber-theme behind all pawn storms is your piece strength behind the pawns. Pawns do nothing by themselves. Your goal is always to open one line, and then exploit with your pieces.

Cases in point:

A. A couple of canonical sac patterns involve advanced pawn + piece sac: <Greco> Kh8, Rh1, h5, Nh4: Ng6(+) to open h, <swinging gate> Kh8, Rg1, Rh1, h6: Qg7+!! to open h with double-check and a triangle mate: Capablanca vs T A Carter, 1909, Stanishevsky vs Nikonov, 1981. Mnemonic: <Push that P to 6 or 3!>

B. Yugoslav Attack lines (before everybody and his whipped puppy learned not to let White do this): The point of White's h5-hxg6 is to half-open h for Qh6+: <It's all about the Queen entry.> Be3-Qd2-Bh6 is preparation, Bc4-Bb3 pins f7, and if White gets half-open h, then Black has a <Qh8 dilemma>. This is a classic example of pieces and a pawn storm all working harmoniously. Note how White spends about 6 piece moves to prepare the threat, then pushes with just one pawn, and follows up with piece strength.

C. Sometimes you push a pawn to 5, then sac a piece on 6 just to invite the line-opening condition. Ostapenko in D Ostapenko vs S Kurkin, 1970 gave his Queen!

Feb-15-09  TheBish: Wojtkiewicz vs Skembris, 1990

White to play (25.?) "Insane" (4 stars)

It's nice to see a mini-tribute to Aleks Wojtkiewicz this week; he died much too young.

The only thing that seems worth analyzing is 25. Rd7! Bxd7 (pretty forcing since 25...g6 is answered well by 26. Qxg6+ fxg6 27. Rxc7 with a healthy pawn up and rook on the 7th for a big endgame advantage) 26. Qxf7+ and now:

a) 26...Kh7 27. Nxd7, threatening 28. Qxe8 as well as 28. Nxf8+ winning the queen; if 27...Rc8 28. Be5! (even stronger than Nxf8+) Bd6 (or 28...Qd8 29. Nf6+ gxf6 30. Bxf6+) 29. Nf6+ Kh8 30. Qg6 gxf6 31. Bxf6+ Ng7 (Qg7 lasts longer, but is still losing) 32. Be4 Kg8 33. Qh7+ Kf8 34. Qh8+ Kf7 35. Qxg7+ Ke8 36. Bg6+ and mate next move; if 27...Qc8 28. Be4! and there is no defense to 29. Nxf8+ and 30. Qxg7#.

b) 26...Kh8 27. Be4! With Black's pieces tied up (Bd7 pinned and gxf6 not possible because of Ng6#), White now threatens 28. Ng6+ Kh7 29. Nxf8+, since 28...Rxf8 29. Qxg7 mates. Now if 27...Ne7 28. Ng6+! Nxg6 29. Qxg6 Kg8 30. Qh7+ Kf7 31. Bh4! (threatening Bg6 mate) e5 32. Bg6+! Ke6 33. Qg8+ Kd6 34. Qd5 mate. Time to check!

Nov-30-13  Conrad93: Balls of steel.
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