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Ruud Janssen vs Ivan Sokolov
"Ruud Awakening" (game of the day Jul-02-2015)
Essent ch-NED (2002), Leeuwarden NED, rd 6, Jun-26
Slav Defense: Czech Variation. Krause Attack (D17)  ·  0-1


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Given 23 times; par: 24 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-26-09  TheaN: 4/4

Time available: 18 minutes and 8 seconds.
Time taken: 2 minutes and 16 seconds.
Time remaining for <3> puzzles: 15 minutes and 54 seconds.

Nice going here. I do see that I missed some mating combinations after both 24.Kg1 and 24.Rf1, where I simply though these would lose a piece after 24....Bxc3 25.Qxc3 Bxe2, and in the Kg1 variation Black mates after 26.Rxd2 Qf1. So I count that as solved. Rd2, as is the only reasonable key move here, is just crushing.

Mar-26-09  TheaN: Meh, what am I saying? My variations that are posted above are flawed. Main point: after Kg1 and Rf1, White has not done anything against the Black Rook and Black is AT LEAST perfectly fine. The Kg1 Bc5 line with mate is very easy, after Rf1 Black wins in quite some ways as the Rook is no longer attacked.
Mar-26-09  Lightboxes: Funny how I got this one...when you see that ALL other available moves are crappy and that it's a puzzle...then it becomes obvious the winning move is Rd2, putting more pressure on row 2. I didn't bother going through all the variations after Rd2 especially because all the other possible moves were not winning moves.
Mar-26-09  Lightboxes: Also, after looking at the possible checks...the obvious move was the black rook because white would check in one move and puzzles usually don't allow a free move, let alone a check.
Mar-26-09  GreenFacedPatzer: Got it!

My first Thursday in a while. As usual, I tried every wrong sacrifice first. Finally, I decided that the fundamental problem was that both white's rook and bishop were guarding f1, so I couldn't just deflect the bishop with an immediate queen sac, to allow the pretty double-bishop mating pattern that's just begging to be played.

So, how do I get the white rook off the first rank... other than by getting checkmated? Phrased that way, Rd2 leaps out.

Mar-26-09  FSR: It took me a while, but it finally dawned on me that 23...Rd2! (threatening the bishop, but principally threatening 24...Bf3+! and mate next) is crushing. If 24.Rxd2, Bf3+! 25.Bxf3 Qf1#. If 24.Rf1, Qxf1+! 25.Bxf1 Bf3+ 26.Bg2 Bxg2+ 27.Kg1 Bc5#.
Mar-26-09  cyclon: 23.-Rd2!!. Deciphers the game AT ONCE despite this moves rather unpractical appearance, rendering further resistance futile. This kind of moves fascinates in Chess.
Mar-26-09  TheBish: R Janssen vs I Sokolov, 2002

Black to play (23...?) "Medium" (2.5 stars)

Material is even, and with Black's queen in the proximity of White's slightly weakened king, Black is looking for a knockout punch. However, White is threatening 24. Rxd8+, so that needs to be answered. If 24...Rxd1+ 25. Qxd1 and White is slightly better. But Black has much better!

24...Rd2! This threatens 25...Bf3+! followed by mate next move, and there is no satisfactory answer.

a) 25. Rxd2 Bf3+ 26. Bxf3 (or 26. Kg1 Qg2#) Qf1 mate.

b) 25. Nb1 Bxe2 26. Nxd2 Bxd1 27. Qxd1 Bxd2 and Black is up a solid piece, since 28. Qxd2 Qf1 mates, and 28. Kg1 Be3+ 29. Kh1 h6 takes away White's last hope - back row mate.

Mar-26-09  TheBish: I forgot to include the defense 24. Rf1, but 24...Bxe2 is a simple win, and as others have pointed out, the flashy 24...Qxf1+! leads to a quick mate in 4.
Mar-26-09  crazydotaplayer: he i got it in less then a minute
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's Thursday puzzle, Black's 23...Rd2!! offers up the Rook as a poisoned piece in a combination to completely undermine Black's helpless King position.

Perhaps as difficult as finding this fine move (23...Rd2!!) is trying to categorize it as a tactical theme or combination category. In one sense it's an obstruction sacrifice, closing off the d-file for any kind of saving White attacking and defending maneuver, like 23...b6? 24. Rxd8+ Bf8 25. Qd1 . It also could be classified as a pin, in that it paralyzes the Bishop on e2 because of threats like 24. BxB? Qh2#. It could also be considered a poisoned piece or decoy sacrifice, since 24. RxR?? leads to 24...Bf3+ 25. Bxf3 Qf1#. It can also be classified as a deflection (removing the guard) tactic, due to possibilities like 24.Rf1 Qxf1+! 25. Bxf1 Bf3+ 26. Bg2 Bxg2+ 27. Kg1 Bc5#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Fritz indicates the losing move for White was 21. g3? Instead, 21. Rxb7 =, with the idea of leaving the White pawn on g2 for a while, seems to take the steam out of Black's planned ...Rd2. For example, play could go 21. Rxb7 Bxe2 22. Nxe2 Rd2 23. Ng3 Rfd8 24. Qc4 Rd1 25. Qe2 =.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <23...Rd2> is a truly great move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: Took a while but I got it
Premium Chessgames Member
  SuperPatzer77: <TheBish>: <b) 25. Nb1 Bxe2 26. Nxd2 Bxd1 27. Qxd1 Bxd2 and Black is up a solid piece, since 28. Qxd2 Qf1 mates, and 28. Kg1 Be3+ 29. Kh1 h6 takes away White's last hope - back row mate.>

<TheBish> You've got the wrong move number - 24...Rd2!!. The correct move number is 23...Rd2!!.

After 24. Nb1 (instead of 25. Nb1 - wrong move number), the strong move is 24...Rxe2! (better than 24...Bxe2 and threatening 25...Qxh2#), 25. Rd8+ Bf8, 26. Rxf8+ Kxf8, 27. Qa3+ Kg8

<TheBish> I had to get this confusion straightened out


Dec-14-14  jgubernat: Why 23...,Bf3+ is wrong?
It is winning as well.
Jul-02-15  SpiritedReposte: That is very pretty how ...Rd2! followed by a very similar ...Bf3+! closes the show.
Jul-02-15  Shoukhath007: Ha ha ha watch the video try to solve another funny puzzle about castling.
Jul-02-15  Ratt Boy: <jgubernat: Why 23...,Bf3+ is wrong? It is winning as well.>
I don't think so. 24.♗xf3, and everything holds. (The ♕ protects d1, and the ♖ protects f1.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Whatever piece white moves, he will be checkmated.
Jul-02-15  Ayaend: HUMMM delicious Bf3!!! Inc :-) very nice play
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Fantastic move <23...Rd2> here. One needs to go over and analyze the entire move-sequence to find the error that allowed such a brilliancy
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: I suspect that once Sokolov touched his rook for his 23rd move that Janssen was expecting 23...Rxd1 and that he must have been somewhat disoriented when Janssen's rook stopped a square short.

It would have been even funnier if Sokolov <meant> to play 23...Rxd1 but the rook slipped from his hand and landed on d2. What could he do? He had let go of the piece. So he sat there greatly disgusted with himself when, much to his surprise, Janssen resigned.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <18.Bg5>, overworking Black's Qe7-Nd7 chain, reminded me instantly of Rotlewi vs Rubinstein, 1907 <20..Ng4!> overworking White's Qe2-Bd3 chain. Rubinstein makes us think Rd2 :) And on <18..Qxg5> I paused to think why, and noted that White's cheesy indirect-threat on b7 is countered by Black's R penetration on d, with Rd2 as the most painful outpost.

In fact, after <19.Rxd7 Rad8>, White's Rd7 is subtly <pinned to d2>. Now 20.Rfd1 doubling is normally strong because <rubberband recapture> "wins" d -- but here it's trumped by Q(g5/g4/h3) <sees weak back rank> -- a useful pattern-level lesson! Ergo, White's best move might be the meek 20.R<d>d1.

<AylerKupp: It would have been even funnier if Sokolov <meant> to play 23...Rxd1 but the rook slipped from his hand and landed on d2.> This has happened to me a few times on

- accidentally played 1..e6, said <oh dang I guess I'm in a French> ... and won :)

- Far, far more irritating is that pogo sometimes auto-generates popup windows, e.g. for imminent system shutdowns. If you're in the middle of a drag, such a popup ends your drag wherever your mouse is (and drops the piece thereat, if legal).

If that's f8 in the middle of a castling-drag, then ... you just played Kf8. I said <GRRRRRR oh dang I'll do h5 Rh6 like Naka> ... and won ^_^

Dec-24-15  SpiritedReposte: <23. ...Rd2!!> A bona fide beauty.
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