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Fotis Mastichiadis vs Savielly Tartakower
Dubrovnik olm (1950), YUG, rd 8, Aug-30
Semi-Slav Defense: Stonewall Defense (D45)  ·  0-1


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sac: 31...Rxg2+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: Thursday puzzle…three stars. Black to play. Material is even.

White threatens along the b-file and the bishop on g2 is also exerting some pressure on b7. The pawn on d5 threatens to take black’s LSB.

Black has rooks and queen lined up on the h-file. It makes it tempting to check with the rooks. However, if 31…Rh1+ 32. BxR RxB+, 33. Kf2 I don’t see how black can make further progress. For that matter, if 31. Rh1+, 32. Kf2 and now what?

Black’s bishop on c5 would love to take that pawn on e3 but the white bishop on c1 protects it. It would be neat if back’s bishop on e6 could take that d5 pawn with check. Hmmm…maybe 31…RxB+, 32. KxB Bxe5+, 33. Kf2 Rh3, 34. Qg1 Qh4+, 35. Ke2 Rh1 and the queen has nowhere to go. If 36. Qf2 Rh2.

If 31…RxB+ and 32. QxB Bxd5, the white queen is still in trouble. She can’t move to e1 because 33…Rh1+ skewers the poor royal. And 33. Qf2 or any other move along that 2nd row results in 33…Rh1+, 34. King moves Rh2+ with the same result.

Seems like there ought to be a checkmate in the mix, but all I see so far is white losing his queen.

What about 31…Rh3? If 32. Qf2 Rh1+, 33. BxR RxB+, 34. Kg2 Qh3++. If 32. BxR RxB, the options for the queen look a little like the lines above where the queen gets skewered. If 32. BxR g4xR, it also looks like black gets a promising attack.

Oh, well…it’s after midnight. Let’s see what was played…

Good night! I totally forgot to analyze 32. RxR! Duh!

Oct-27-16  diagonalley: the eminent dr t at his most typical!
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Simply because I couldn't find anything better I went for 31...Rxg2+ 32. Rxg2 Rh1+ 33. Bxd5 to for my Thursday puzzle solution.

Wasn't sure if it won, but after 34. Rg1 it's obvious 34...Rh3 is winning for Black.

For a White improvement, ditching 7. cxd5?! in favor of the popular move 7. Ne5 as in Keene vs D Tomic, 1978 looks better for the first player.

Premium Chessgames Member
  sfm: It is not so hard to spot that 'there must be something' in getting rid of Bg2, followed by -,Bxd5 - but somehow 31.-,RxR 32.RxR looks like it is solidifying White's position a bit.

What is harder to figure out is, that after 32.-,Rh1 33.Kf2,Bxd5 White's queen is about to get helplessly mated!

Only way to give her breathing space is 34.Ke2, but at the cost of 34.-,Lxg2 (35.QxB,Rh2)

Oct-27-16  sudoplatov: Cd5 (according Kmoch's "Pawn Power in Chess") is often a mistake in positions like this; the point is that White gets a backward e-Pawn. A counter-stonewall is often a good approach (or a fianchetto).
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is identical.

White threatens dxe6 and exerts pressure on b7.

Black weaken the white castle and bring into attack the lsb with 31... Rxg2+:

A) 32.Kxg2 Bxd5+

A.1) 33.Kf2 Rh2+

A.1.a) 34.Ke(g)1 Rxb2 35.Rxb2 (35.Bxb2 Qh1+ and 36... Qxb1 - + [B+P]) 35... Qh1+ and 36... Qxc1 - + [2B+P vs R].

A.1.b) 34.Kf1 Bc4+ 35.Kg1 (35.Ke1 Rxb2 as in A.1.a) 35... Rh1+ 36.Kg2 (36.Kf2 Rf1+ 37.Kg2 Qh1#) 36... Rh3 37.Qe1 (37.Qf2 Rh2+ wins; 37.Rxb7 Rxg3+ 38.Kxg3 Qh3+ 39.Kf2 Qf1+ 40.Kg3 Qe1+ 41.Kh2 Qf2+ 42.Kh1 Bd5+ 43.e4 Bxe4#) 37... Rh2+ 38.Kg1 (38.Kg3 Qh4#) 38... Rh1+ 39.Kg(f)2 Qh2#.

A.2) 33.Kg1 Rh1+ 34.Kf2 Rh2+ transposes to A.1.

A.3) 33.Kf1

B) 32.Qxg2 Bxd5

B.1) 33.Qc(d,e)2 Rh1+ 34.Kf2 Qh2#.

B.2) 33.Qf2 Rh1#.

B.3) 33.Qg3 Rh1+ 34.Kf2 Rh2+ transposes to A.1.

C) 32.Rxg2 Rh1+ 33.Kf2 Bxd5 34.Ke2 (due to 34... Rh3 trapping the queen) 34... Bxg2 - + [B+P] (35.Qxg2 Rh2 wins).

Oct-27-16  AlicesKnight: I saw the game line and was surprised that White took it. <agb2002> In your A.1.a line, am I missing something? If 34.Ke1 Rxb2; 35.Rxb2 Qh1+ then 36.Kd2 defends the B on c1 leaving Black with momentum but the exchange down.
Oct-27-16  morfishine: <31...Rxg2+> followed by <32...Bxd5> oughtta do it


Oct-27-16  clement41: I rather went for 31...Rh3 which seems promising, but obviously the exchange sac intuitively brings -at least- some compensation as it seizes the light squares around white's airy king, hereby transforming black's light-squared bishop into an unopposable, highly valuable piece.
Oct-27-16  Pinkerton: I had instead 31...Rh3 32.Qe1 Rh1+ 33.Kf2 Qh4+ 34.Rg3 Rxe1
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I got 31...Bxd5, below, threatening 32...Rxg2+.

click for larger view

If 32 Bxd5, then 32...R2h3.

click for larger view

Black loses the queen, as if the queen moves to e1 or f2, then 33...Rh1+ starts a forced mate.

Oct-27-16  RookFile: Instead of 10. f3, 10. f4 preserves some advantage for white.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black's dominate of the open the fire lead to quick win!
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: Thursday 31...?

click for larger view

I was sure that I had found the solution with <31...Bxd5>

click for larger view

I am hitting the defender of h3, and threatening to win a bishop and fork K+Q with ...Rxg2.

I expected then <32.Bxd5 Rh3!>

click for larger view

Notice that there is nowhere the queen can move where it escapes being pinned by the rook to white's king.

For example, <33.Qg2 cxd5> eliminates the bishop guarding h1.

click for larger view

What is stopping ...Rh1+ Kf2 Rh2 pinning and winning the Q?


So, I was a bit surprised to see that black found an arguably better move (although 31...Bxd5 is no less winning IMO).

Oct-27-16 Nice queen trap.
Premium Chessgames Member
  swclark25: would 31...Rh1 to start with wind up with the same/similar result?
Oct-27-16  King Harvest: As I see it Tartakower's Rh1+ is just playing with his food. My line and Tartakower's both win Q for R but mine is simpler to calculate... yet I don't see my line mentioned here (not that I've looked exhaustively) ... so *gulp* perhaps I missed something. Here's my way:

1...Rxg2+ 2.Rxg2 Rh3! ... White has nowhere to put the queen. (3.Qf2? Rh1#; 3.Qe1 Rh1+ winning the queen.)

That's sound, isn't it?

Oct-27-16  King Harvest: Ah, nevermind, I see... I leave B-e6 en prise. Tartakower > me. :(
Oct-27-16  mworld: < swclark25: would 31...Rh1 to start with wind up with the same/similar result? >

Kf2 refusing to exchange spoils that one.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <Jimfromprovidence: ... Black loses the queen ...> <YouRang: ... pinning and winning the Q?>

"If you see a combo that pays R+B+P to win Q, sit on hands and look for better!"

"It is sometimes better to not <also> sacrifice the B" -- Tarrasch

Oct-27-16  steinitzfan: So it looks like White has a free move on 34 but can do nothing with it. The only move that gives a flight square to the queen is 34Ke2 but that loses to 34...Bxg2; 35 Q takes; and Black skewers. To see this from a couple of moves back is quite impressive. Maybe one of the other lines is easier to calculate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <Gilmoy: <Jimfromprovidence: ... Black loses the queen ...> <YouRang: ... pinning and winning the Q?> "If you see a combo that pays R+B+P to win Q, sit on hands and look for better!"

"It is sometimes better to not <also> sacrifice the B" -- Tarrasch>

I think you're overlooking the fact that in the aftermath of black's 31...Bxd5 combination, whichever way it goes, white is doomed.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: But you're assuming White's Q must run away. What if White calmly trades you Q for R+B?

31..Bxd5 32.Bxd5 Rh3 33.Qxh3! <I'll take that deal> Rxh3 34.Bg2:

click for larger view

Black is up Q+P for R+B = ~2 pawns. Black's h-attack has evaporated, and e3 isn't worth losing b7, so 34..Rh7 and grind out the endgame. It might take another hour to win that.

That's far less sharp than the text, which scores better in material (QB+P for RR = ~3 pawns) and position (long diagonal denies g2), plus White must lose more material (e.g. after Qh2+) because his back rank is tangled up. That means Black is inevitably up ~8 pawns, with mate threats. Computers surely score it +6 or better, well worth resigning instantly.

See my humble Game Collection: The Right of Refusal Trade for a tiny sampling of this theme. Not every threat forces a retreat.

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