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Sergei Vladimirovich Rublevsky vs Zoltan Varga
World Teams (2001), Yerevan ARM, rd 1, Oct-12
Alekhine Defense: Normal Variation (B02)  ·  1-0


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sac: 14.Bf4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Does anyone else feel that 7...g5 might have been the losing move?
Nov-13-13  unferth: is it more embarrassing to lose a miniature cleanly or to flop around for ten pointless moves to avoid the appearance of having done so?
Nov-13-13  Fish55: Looked at 14. c5 first, then realized that 14. Bf4 is a stronger execution of the same idea.
Nov-13-13  LoveThatJoker: <14. Bf4!> 1-0

A) 14...Qxf4 15. Bg6#

B) 14...Qd4 15. Bg6+ and 16. Qxd4

C) 14...Qd7 15. Bxc7 Qxc7? 16. Bg6#

D) 14...e5 (seemingly 'best') 15. Bxe5 Qh6 (15...Qxe5 16. Bg6#; 15...Qd7 16. Bg6+ Kd8 17. Bxh8 ) 16. Bxh8!


Nov-13-13  LoveThatJoker: Oh ok, I see: 14...Qxf4 15. Bg6+ is not mate because of the interposition 15...Qf7.

I still picked the best continuation however. I can just picture myself at the board going, "Not a mate! Oh well, guess I'll just pick up that Q!"


Nov-13-13  M.Hassan: "Medium/Easy"
White to play 14.?
White is a pawn down.

If file d was not occupied by black Queen, then Bg6#. To divert the Queen is one way to approach this puzzle:

<if...Qxf4 15.Bg6#>
<again if...Qxc7 16.Bg6#>

16.Ba5 Bxb2
17.Bc3 Bxa1
18.Bxa1 Rg8
19.Bh7 Rf8
20.Bg6+ Kd8
21.Bxh5 Qxd1
22.Rxd1+ Nd7
White is better.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I found this a little tricky. I spent several minutes looking at 14.Bg6+ Kd8 and now 15.Qe2 (my first thought) or 15.Bf4 (my second). Then the immediate 14.Bf4! dawned on me. Black loses his queen for two bishops after 14...Qxf4 15.Bg6+, and 14...e5? 15.Bxe5 doesn't help. And queen moves that protect the knight, such as 14...Qd7, don't really, since 15.Bxc7 Qxc7 is met by 16.Bg6#.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Black certainly played provocatively, and got duly punished for it.
Nov-13-13  morfishine: It doesn’t get much uglier than this

<14.Bf4> This nice deflection wins the Black Queen for two Bishops.

<14...Qxf4> Forced; after 14...e5 15.Bxe5 Qd7 16.Bg6+ Kd8 17.Bxh8 Black has lost a rook

<15.Bg6+ Qf7 16.Qd3 Rg8 17.Bxf7+ Kxf7 18.Nc3>

click for larger view

White has an easy win

PM: In this line, even better is 18.Qh7+ Rg7 19.Qxh5+ Kg8 20.Nc3


Nov-13-13  Swedish Logician: The method with an early e6 sacrifice often works well. Bogoljubov vs Tarrasch, 1925 is a classic example

<An Englishman> I think you are right about 7. – g5. I was reminded of the game Spielmann vs S Landau, 1933 say at about move 13.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has the bishop pair for a bishop, a knight and a pawn.

Black is probably considering 14... Nd7 followed by ... 0-0-0.

If the black queen were not on the d-file, say on b6 for example, White would deliver mate with 14.Bg6#. Hence, divert the black queen with 14.Bf4:

A) 14... Qxf4 15.Bg6+ Qf7 16.Bxf7+, etc.

B) 14... Qd7(8) 15.Bxc7 and Black loses a piece at least because 15... Qxc7 allows mate 16.Bg6#.

C) 14... e5 15.Bxe5 adds a pawn to Black's losses.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: You Don't Mess with the Zoltan
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: 14.Bf4! Shocking! I had ideas of 14.Bg6.
Nov-13-13  benjamincito: very nice play
Nov-13-13  Patriot: Tricky Wednesday.

After toying with 14.Bg6+ I decided there was nothing to it. But after looking over a few threats I finally noticed 14.Bf4.


14...Qxf4 15.Bg6+ Qf7 16.Bxf7+

14...e5 15.Bxe5 Qd7 16.Bxc7 Qxc7 17.Bg6#

14...Qd7 15.Bxc7 (similar to above)

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I tried Bg6+ and realized that to chase the queen away from the d-file mean total ruin for black-if not checkmate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Gosh, 14.Bf4 would make me so happy to play.

Some very curious opening decisions by Black -- Alekhine's Defense is hard enough to manage as it is.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <unferth> -- < is it more embarrassing to lose a miniature cleanly or to flop around for ten pointless moves to avoid the appearance of having done so?>

Neither. Embarrassment shouldn't really be a factor. If you're lost, you're lost -- and squirming on for a few moves is irrelevant.

I suppose we've all won (and lost) games like this. True, losing in 10 or 12 moves can be embarrassing, and one tends to stumble on for a few moves to lessen the humiliation. Does it make much of a difference? No, not really.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <unferth: is it more embarrassing to lose a miniature cleanly or to flop around for ten pointless moves to avoid the appearance of having done so?>

The former. Especially if your game winds up in a database and gets unearthed by sadists searching for miniatures. You might even wind up in a book as an example of What Not to Do. Far better to flop around.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <unferth: is it more embarrassing to lose a miniature cleanly or to flop around for ten pointless moves to avoid the appearance of having done so?>

Unpleasant as it has been to lose some miniatures-some of which repose here at CG-I have never really thought about it.

We may readily infer Black's attitude in the following game towards your question: Nunn vs Kiril Georgiev, 1988.

See the very first kibitz, which corroborates Nunn's remark that many journals gave that gem as ending at move ten.

Nov-13-13  BOSTER: <keypusher Far better to flop around> At least you have a chance to make a greater number of gross blunders.
Nov-13-13  Shams: Some writers have referred to the act of playing on to avoid being on the wrong end of a miniature as "detonating an anti-publication device".
Nov-13-13  Marmot PFL: Cute problem. Black has to watch out for all sorts of traps in the Alekhine's Defense. h6-g5 looks like a bad plan.
Nov-14-13  Abdel Irada: The first inclination is to play 14. Bg6+, with an eye to pinning the queen with a later Rd1. However, this is not fast enough, and Black seems to escape safely with 14. ...Kd8.

But what if that queen weren't on the d-file? Would that check on g6 perhaps come with greater force?

Nov-14-13  BOSTER: Certainly, in my comment <you> supposed to be<we>.
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