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Aleksej Gennadyevich Aleksandrov vs Michael Adams
Bled Olympiad (2002), Bled SLO, rd 9, Nov-04
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal. Gligoric System Bronstein Variation (E55)  ·  0-1


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Given 35 times; par: 53 [what's this?]

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sac: 22...Bxg2 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-18-06  you vs yourself: My pleasure!
Mar-18-06  AniamL: <McCool> I'm wondering the same thing. What's wrong with 24.Qf3?
Mar-18-06  RandomVisitor: <AniamL,McCool>After 22... Bxg2 23. Kxg2 Ng4 24.Qf3 Qxh2+ 25.Kf1 Nxf2 26.Re3 Nxd3 27.Rxd3 e5 28.Qh3 Qxh3+ 29.Rxh3

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__________________Black to Move
Black has 3 passed pawns for the piece: Evaluation -0.67 and can play Nf4 or exd4 from the diagram.

Mar-18-06  McCool: <RandomVisitor> In your line, Why not 26. Qxf2?
Mar-18-06  The17thPawn: <McCool> - After 26...Ng6+ WHITE MUST PART WITH HIS QUEEN. True White has three minors versus the queen but his kingside cover is gone.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: When trying to figure out this problem, I predicted 24.Qh3, in fact I considered it the 'critical line', even though everybody seems to call it a huge blunder. I had considered, perhaps too briefly:

24.Qe2?? is suicide (24...Qxh2+)

24.Qe4?? is also suicide (24...Qxf2+ or 24...Qxh2+ take your pick)

24.Qf3 I thought that 24...Qxh2+ would be very strong, esp. with ideas of a Nxf2 sacrifice threatening the queen-winning Nf3+. There comes a point where it's seems obvious that you've received enough in return for your sacrificed piece.

24.Qxf4 (crafty's pick) I judged as immediately impossible because Nxf4+ and then Nxd3 not only nets a bishop but the exchange as well. I see now that was a little shallow--after all, White gets to snatch one of the knights as well, but then there are all sorts of desperado tactics. It just looked good for Black, what can I say? So I ruled out 24.Qxf4 as being a possible response. So did GM Aleksandrov.

So that leaves only one other possiblity: 24.Qh3. I wouldn't call it a blunder.

Mar-18-06  LIFE Master AJ: I didn't get it.

I looked at ...Bxg2, but missed ...Ng4 as the follow-up.

I also did not think Qh3 was forced. (I am going to check this out with Fritz.)

Mar-18-06  melianis: I'd have to see many lines 14-16 plys deep to play something like this, and my longest combo up to date is about 10-12 plys. Longer combos have happened in my games, but they're probably infiltrated by false moves by both sides... Adams is showing up his genius here.
Mar-18-06  LIFE Master AJ: I just analyzed this game briefly on the computer. I also looked it up in the INFORMANT. 24.Qh3?? was just a blunder ... the whole combo was terribly unsound.

Fritz 9 does NOT (ever) choose 22...Bxg2. (No matter how much time you give the bloody machine.)

Mar-18-06  LIFE Master AJ: Qh3 WAS a blunder.

GM M. Adams gives it one question mark, I give it two.

Before Qh3, White was better by nearly a Pawn, according to some programs. After Qh3, Black is just winning by 3-4 points. (That is a major shift ... any way you slice it.)

Mar-19-06  durnstein: <helanubo> After 23 Bf1, and your 23 ... Bxf1 Rxf1 24 Qg5, Black is up one pawn, but has only a slight positional advantange. I could not find decisive exploitation of that advantage for Black, whereas Aleksandrov's immediate 23 Kxg2 leads to disastrous knight forks. What I was looking for is any indication that White declining to take the sacrificed bishop is at least as bad for him. You haven't offered that, and I still don't see it.
Mar-19-06  RandomVisitor: <McCool>26.Qxf2 fails due to 26...Ng3+ where white must sacrifice the Queen to avoid mate.
Mar-20-06  LIFE Master AJ: <patzer2>
Did you ever look at this game?
Mar-20-06  MrMojoRisin: <FYI
Fritz 9 does NOT (ever) choose 22...Bxg2. (No matter how much time you give the bloody machine.)>

My Fritz8 put ...Bxg2 in its top three choices in 4 seconds. (running on 3.6GHz with 1GB RAM)

Mar-21-06  LIFE Master AJ: BUT ... its NOT the "#1" choice.

AND ... if you run Fritz 9 stand alone, it does NOT choose the capture on g2. (When prompted to choose a move.)

Mar-21-06  MrMojoRisin: <BUT ... its NOT the "#1" choice.

AND ... if you run Fritz 9 stand alone, it does NOT choose the capture on g2. (When prompted to choose a move.)>

Actually ...Bxg2 was the number choice for a bit then it was demoted to number two then went back to number 1 then back to number 2 etc.

And it doesnt really matter if Fritz doesnt choose ...Bxg2, as it isnt some marvellous move that gives Black a forced win or anything.

Mar-22-06  LIFE Master AJ: Exactly the point. Taking on g2 is neither best, forced ... nor does it lead to an absolute forced win.

I have analyzed this game in some detail, anyone who e-mails me can get a copy.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Black's demolition of pawn structure with 22...Bxg2!! proves decisive.
Mar-23-06  hayton3: <patzer2> Thanks for pointing that out
Mar-24-06  LIFE Master AJ: <patzer2> Yet White had to blunder for the sack to work.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: There's no sign because it's a given that everybody's welcome...
Mar-24-06  LIFE Master AJ: The point is about the game. Whether or not the sack on g2 was sound, necessary, or even the best move.

With best play, Black probably will NOT win.

Of course, there is always some yahoo who wants to deflect the attention away from the topic at hand, and try to get some attention.

Its sad, really ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <LIFE Master AJ> My apologies for not reading any of the discussion thread before making my previous post. My post was made quickly while catching up on a week of puzzles in a short amount of time, and was only intended to reference the combination for my game collection and a future inquiry.

The puzzle solution 22...Bxg4!? appears to be a true sacrifice intended to win only if the opponent makes a mistake. Objectively, if White plays 24. Qxf4! it appears White can hold with a slight advantage. Yet OTB, it is the kind of move (leading to the knight fork of two rooks) human players tend to resist. I suspect Adams was counting on it, as his psychology paid off.

From a practical perspective, I suspect Adams would consider the 22...Bxg4!? sacrifice sound if Black can hold the position for a draw with best play, as it would then give him winning chances with a draw in hand.

Apr-06-06  LIFE Master AJ: <patzer2>
If you e-mail me, I will gladly send you my analysis of this game ... its also in the INFORMANT ... if you buy those things. (Most people don't seem to get them anymore.)
May-01-08  positionalgenius: wow. ...Bxg2! A nice combo in this game
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