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Vladimir Akopian vs Vladimir Kramnik
Corus (2004)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack Anti-English (B90)  ·  1-0
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Given 23 times; par: 39 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-29-09  5hrsolver: 29.Rh7!! I will take full credit for this one. The first time I can say that for a sunday problem. Kramnik missed it, that is how hard todays problem is. It actually helped that I was not looking too deeply into any variations. I was looking for a knockout punch and I found it.
Mar-29-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: I noticed a few comments about "Kramnik cannot play sicilians." According to the repetoire explorer for Kramnik his winning percentage after 1. e4 c5 with Black is 33.9% versus only 14.7% losses and 51.4% draws. With wins or draws in 85.1% of his games as Black with the sicilian, I'd say this remark about Kramnik's play in the sicilian is a hasty generalization.
Mar-29-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: It almost appears as if Akopian had prepared today's puzzle solution as a trap when he played 27. Nf5! to invite 27...Nc4 28. Qc3 Rc7? 29. Rh7!! .

Or Perhaps he saw that the alternative 27. Bxb7 might fizzle out to near equality after 27. Bxb7 Nc4 28. Qc3 Nb6 29. Bxc8 Na4 30. Ne6! Nxc3 31. Rd8+ Be8 32. Bxc3 Qc4 33. Rxe8+ Kf7 34. Bd4 Rxc8 35. Rxc8 Qxc8 36. Re1 g4 37. f4 = to .

Mar-29-09  ounos: I settled for the correct first move! Disappointed though because I couldn't figure out this mess. Still happy to see Rh7 had potential :)
Mar-29-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: Material is even and both sides are directing force in an attempt to exploit a weakened enemy king position. Black's threats against the white king look serious if he can double rooks on the c-file. An assessment of mobility indicates an advantage to white due to the bad bishop on g7. A focus on this one element reveals a limited-time tactical opportunity, given that black can force an exchange of queens.

29.Rh7!

A direct attack against the immobile bishop is possible because of the deadly battery and the open h-file. A short calculation shows that the rook can't be taken:

A. 29... Kxh7 30.Nxe7+ Kh3 31.Rh1+ Bh5 32.g4 Qxb2+ 33.Qxb2 Nxb2 32.Rxh5#

A.1 30...Kh1 31. Rh1+ Bh6 32.Rxh6+ Kg7 33.Qxf6+ Kf8 34.Kh8#

A.2 30...Bg6 32.Bxg6+ Kh8 (Kh6 33.Rh1#) 33.Rh1+ Bh6 34.Qxf6#

Declining the rook does not appear much more promising:

B. 29...Qxb2+ 30.Qxb2 Nxb2 31.Rxg7+ Kf8 32.Rh1 wins

C. 29...Nxb2 30.Rxg7+ Kf8 31.Qxb2 (Qxc7?? Qa1+ 32.Kd2 Qxd1+ 33.Ke3 (Kc3 Na4#!) Nc4+ wins the queen) Qxb2+ 32.Kxb2 e6

Here white has a choice of favorable endings, but I like 33.Rh7 (Rxf7+ also keeps an advantage, but B+N may not coordinate well against black's K-side pawn mass) exf5 34.Bxf5 (34.Rh8+ Bg8 35.Bd5 Rg7 seems to hold) with an extra pawn, control of c8, and the threat of Bg6 yields a won rook and pawn.

C.1 31...Qe6 or 31....Rac8 are met by 32.Rdh1

D. 29....Bf8 30.Rdh1 Be6 (...Bg6 31.Bd5+) 31.Rh8+ Kf7 32.R1h7+ Ke8 33.Ng7+ Kf7 34.Nxe6+ Kxe6 35.Bd5+ Kf5 36.Qd3+ leads to a quick mate.

Time to see if there's a better defense I missed.

Mar-29-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: <johnlspouge> <wrote Hi, <dzechiel>. Indeed, my analysis was done while sleep deprived.>

Yep, we East Coasters have it tough if we want to post solutions early after the puzzle is posted. I propose that the time when the puzzle is posted should be rotated 8 hours every month or so, so everyone gets a fair shot.

Mar-29-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black threatens ... Rac8 and ... Nxb2 Qxc7? Nc4. However, the Black castle is so weak that White can start a decisive attack with 29.Rh7:

A) 29... Kxh7 30.Nxe7+ Kh6 (30... Kh8 31.Rh1+ and mate soon; 30... f5 31.Qxg7#; 30... Bg6 31.Bxg6+ and mate soon) 31.Rh1+ Bh5 32.g4

A.1) 32... Qxb2+ 33.Qxb2 Nxb2 34.Rxh5#.

A.2) 32... Bf8 33.Qxf6#.

A.3) 32... Bh8 33.Rxh5+ Kg7 34.Qxf6#.

B) 29... Bh8 30.Nxe7+

B.1) 30... Rxe7 31.Rxh8+ Kxh8 32.Qxf6+ and 33.Qg7#

B.2) 30... Kf8 31.Rxh8+ followed by 32.Qxf6+ winning.

B.3) 30... Kg7 31.Qxf6#.

C) 29... Bf8 30.Rdh1

C.1) 30... Be6 31.Rh8+ Kf7 32.R1h7+ Ke8 (32... Kg6 33.Nh4#) 33.Rxe7+ Rxe7 34.Rxf8+ Kd7 (34... Kxf8 35.Qxf6+ and mate soon) 35.Qd4+ Kc7 36.Qc5+ Kd7 37.Qxe7#.

C.2) 30... Bg6 (or Be8) 31.Bd5+ winning.

D) 29... Qxb2+ 30.Qxb2 Nxb2 31.Rxg7+ Kf8 32.Rdh1 Ke8 33.Rh8+ winning.

E) 29... Nxb2 30.Rxg7+ Kf8 31.Qxc7 Nc4 32.Qxe7#.

Time to post, check and have dinner.

Mar-29-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: <agb2002:> wrote <E) 29... Nxb2 30.Rxg7+ Kf8 31.Qxc7 Nc4 32.Qxe7#>

31.Qxc7 loses to 31...Qa1+. I noticed because I nearly fell into this.

Mar-29-09  znprdx: Although 29.Rh7!? certainly gets the adrenalin going - I'd like to know more about the time on the clocks ..However I do not understand why Black can't defend with the simple ...e6 30.Rx[B]g7+ Kf8 Now is 31. Rh1 really playable? After e6x[N]f5 32.R(h)h7 seems a little slow given f5 x[B]d4 but I guess 33.Qxf6 forces Qxb2+ 34.Qx[Q]b2 Nx[Q]b2 35. Kx[N]b2 the best Black has is R(a)c8 which can met with 36.c4! at which point e3 looks interesting 37.Rxg5 Re8! Now this is insane indeed 38.Rh8+ Ke7
39. Re5+ Kd7 40.R(h)x[R]e8 Bx[R]e8 time control 41.c5! but this is no sure win. Perhaps 32.Rx[B]f7+ Rx[R]f7 38. Rh8+ Ke7 39.Rx[R]a8 Rh7! 41 40.Kd1 Nx[B]b2+ 41.Ke2 is more promising
Mar-29-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: <CHESSTTCAMPS: <agb2002:> wrote <E) 29... Nxb2 30.Rxg7+ Kf8 31.Qxc7 Nc4 32.Qxe7#>

31.Qxc7 loses to 31...Qa1+. I noticed because I nearly fell into this.> You're right. For some reason I thought that 32... Qxd1+ was not possible. Krogius should know...

Mar-29-09  WhiteRook48: easy, 29. Qxg7#
I only wish it were legal.
Mar-29-09  Open Defence: <Oliveira> please check my post on the kibitzer's cafe
Mar-29-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Oliveira> D Ciuksyte vs V Golod, 2003


click for larger view

<19...>?

Mar-29-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <Once> upon a time
DarthStapler our zen master
"I didn't get it"

<znprdx> After 29 ... e6 30. Rxg7+ Kf8 31. Rh1 exf5 32. Rh8+! mates as <TheBish> stated, so it truly is 29. Rh7!! here.

Mar-29-09  qjuice14: "znprdx: Although 29.Rh7!? certainly gets the adrenalin going - I'd like to know more about the time on the clocks ..However I do not understand why Black can't defend with the simple ...e6 30.Rx[B]g7+ Kf8 Now is 31. Rh1 really playable? After e6x[N]f5 32.R(h)h7 seems a little slow given f5 x[B]d4 but I guess 33.Qxf6 forces Qxb2+ 34.Qx[Q]b2 Nx[Q]b2 35. Kx[N]b2 the best Black has is R(a)c8 which can met with 36.c4! at which point e3 looks interesting 37.Rxg5 Re8! Now this is insane indeed 38.Rh8+ Ke7 39. Re5+ Kd7 40.R(h)x[R]e8 Bx[R]e8 time control 41.c5! but this is no sure win. Perhaps 32.Rx[B]f7+ Rx[R]f7 38. Rh8+ Ke7 39.Rx[R]a8 Rh7! 41 40.Kd1 Nx[B]b2+ 41.Ke2 is more promising"

If 29...e6 30. Rxg7 Kf8 then 31. Rxf7+ is devesating due to the undefended f6 square and B-Q combo on that diagnol and the knight on f5

Mar-29-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: <qjuice14:> wrote <[snip]However I do not understand why Black can't defend with the simple ...e6 30.Rx[B]g7+ Kf8 Now is 31. Rh1 really playable? [snip]>

After 29...e6 30.Rh1 is not a good idea. Instead 30.Rh7 exf5 31.Rh8+ Bg8 (Kg7 32.Qxf6#) 32.Qf6+ Rf7 33.Rxg8+ mates next move. If instead 30.Rh7 Qxb2+ 31.Qxb2 Nxb2 32.Kxb2 exf5 33.Bxf5 we reach (by transposition) the same position I analyzed in note C of my initial post.


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White has threats of Rd6 and Be6. In fact, another pawn must fall (or worse), e.g. 33...Ke7 34.Rh6 Rc6 (otherwise 35.Re1+ wins the f-pawn) 35.Rd7+

Conclusion - this is an easy win and 29.Rh7! is indeed the winning shot even against best defense.

Mar-29-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: My apologies to <qjuice14>. I was actually responding to the post from <znprdx>.
Mar-29-09  JG27Pyth: Found Rh7 but the supporting analysis was incomplete... I could see Rh7 was the attack I wanted but couldn't calculate the mating net arising from the discovered check if the rook was taken. When I considered the defense beginning with Qxb2+ I had the White king 'automatically' recapturing the black N... a real blunder.

1/8 credit.

Mar-29-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: The text 29 Rh7!, is winning.


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The alternative 28Qxb2+ 29 Qxb2 Nxb2 30 Kxb2 Rc7 31 Rh7??, is losing!


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In the latter case black can simply play 31...Kxh7.

So, how come Rh7 wins in the text and does not in this alternative??

Because, unlike the text, after 32 Nxe7+, black has 32f5+! ruining whites day.


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If instead 28Qxb2+ 29 Qxb2 Nxb2 30 <Rh7>?, then 30Nxd1.


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Since white now lacks the rook support, then after 31 Rxg7 Kg8 black is OK.

Mar-29-09  5hrsolver: to <znprdx> after 29.Rh7!!

29...e6 30.Rxg7+ Kf8 31.Rh1 exf5 32.Rh8+ Kxg7 33.Qxf6#

if 32.Rh8+ Ke7 33.Qxf6+ Kd7 34.Rxf7#

Mar-29-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: <agb2002> wrote <[snip] You're right. For some reason I thought that 32... Qxd1+ was not possible. Krogius should know...> I had problems with Krogius, too. My line against 29...Bf8 30.Rdh1 Be6 involved a phantom rook on Rd1 and was total nonsense, whereas your line was right on target and included the nice crusher 33.Rxe7+! that I missed completely.


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The finish from this position provided by <agb2002> in his first post: 33.Rxe7+ Rxe7 34.Rxf8+ Kd7 (34... Kxf8 35.Qxf6+ and mate soon) 35.Qd4+ Kc7 36.Qc5+ Kd7 37.Qxe7#

Nice work.

Mar-30-09  znprdx: <tpstar: After 29 ... e6 30. Rxg7+ Kf8 31. Rh1 exf5 32. Rh8+! mates as <TheBish> stated...> Really-HOW? simply32... Kx[R]g7

<qjuice14: If 29...e6 30. Rxg7 Kf8 then 31. Rxf7+ is devesating..>Really-HOW? simply31..Rx[R]f7 Now interesting is 32. Nd6 Nx[N]d6 33. Rx[N]d6 f5!? 34. Qh8+ Ke7 and all I see is egg on White's face!

<CHESSTTCAMPS:After 29...e6 30.Rh1 is not a good idea...>.that is what I'd suggested <Instead 30.Rh7> ...HOW? it is already at h7 as the supposed star move...Perhaps try setting up the position...or recheck your notes

Mar-30-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <znprdx> The line is 29. Rh7!! e6 30. Rxg7+ Kf8 31. Rh1 exf5 32. Rh8+!:


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"simply 32 ... Kxg7" loses to 33. Qxf6#, and 32 ... Ke7 loses to 33. Qxf6+ Kd7 34. Rxf7#. These variations were already posted by <TheBish> and <5hrsolver>.

Mar-30-09  znprdx: <tpstar:> & <CHESSTTCAMPS:> }et al{ my sincere apologies - some kind of strange brain freeze had set in - (I guess that is what happened to Kramnik - so I guess I need not be too embarassed) One doesn't see a move like Rh7 very often - it is really amazing ...thanx for your patience...
Apr-13-09  butilikefur: After 29. Rh7 Kxh7 30. Nxe7+ Kh6 31. Rh1+ Bh5, instead of 32. g4, as has been suggested, White might simply play 32. Nf5+ and force a win.

32...Kh7 (32...Kg6 33. Nxg7+ Kf7 [33...Kxg7 34. Qxf6+ Kg8 35. Bd5+ Rf7 36. Qxf7+ Bxf7 37. Rh8+ mate] 34. Qxf6+ Kg8 35. Bd5+ Rf7 36. Bxf7+ Bxf7 37. Rh8+ Kxh8, and White moves the knight with checkmate on g7 next move)

33. Rxh5+ (33. Nxg7+ Kg8 34. Bd5+ Bf7 and White is losing)

33...Kg8 34. Bd5+ (34. Ne7+ Kf8 [34...Rxe7 35. Bd5+ Kf8 36. Bxc4 Re8+ <36...Rc8 37. Bxa2 just leaves White up a piece and a pawn> 37. Qxe8 <not 37. Kd2 Qb2 and Black is suddenly looking much better and threatening mate in 1> 37...Qxc4 38. Rh1 followed by Qe4 with a better ending] 35. Nd5 Rd7 [not 35...f5 36. Rh8+ Bxh8 37. Qxh8+ Kf7 38. Qg7+ Ke6 <38...Ke8 39. Nf6+> 39. Bxf5+ Kd6 40. Qf6+ Kxd5 41. Qd4+ Kc6 42. Qc5+ mate] with interesting complications after 36. Nxf6 Rd1+ [36...Qxb2+ 37. Qxb2 Nxb2 38. Nxd7+ Ke8 39. Bxb7 Rd8 40. Bc6 and Black cannot play Rxd7 Bxd7+ Kxd7 given Rh7 pinning the bishop - and the same idea after 39...Ra7] 37. Kxd1 Nxb2+ and 38. Ke2.

Just for fun, as I think this possibility can be refuted, I found a curious variation where instead of 34. Ne7+ Kf8 35. Nd5 White plays 35. Ng6+ Kf7 36. Ne5+ fxe5 [after 36...Kf8 there is probably a perpetual] 37. Bd5+ Kg6 38. Qd3+ Kxh5 [38...Kf6 39. Bxc4 Qxc4 40. Bxe5+ Kxe5 <40...Kf7 41. Qf5+ Ke8 42. Bxc7 Qxc7 43. Rxg5 with a strong attack; if 40...Ke6 41. Qg6+ Kxe5 42. Rxg5+ Kd4 43. Qe4+ Kc3 44. Ke1+ Kd4 45. Qd2+ forces mate> 41. Rxg5+ Ke6 42. Qf5+ Kd6 43. Rg6+ Ke7 44. Rxg7+ Ke8 <44...Kd6 45. Qf6+ wins the queen> 45. Qe5+ Kd8 46. Qd6+ Ke8 47. Rxc7 and White is won] 39. Qh7+ Bh6 40. g4+ Kh4 41. Qxh6+ Kg3 42. Bxe5+ Nxe5 [43...Kf2 44. Qh2+ Ke3 45. Qg1+ Ke2 46. Qd1+ Kf2 47. Bd4+ Kg2 48. Qg1+ Kh3 49. Qf1+ Kg3 <49...Kh2 50. Bg1+ Kg3 51. Qf2+ Kf4 42. Bh2+ mate> 50. Be5+ and Black has to take with the knight] 43. Bxa2 Kxf3 44. Qh3+ and White should win the endgame)

34...Kf8 35. Nxg7 Qxb2+ (35...Ne5 36. Qxc7 Qxd5 37. Rh8+ Qg8 38. Ne6+) 36. Qxb2 Nxb2 37. Ne6+ Ke7 38. Nxc7 Rc8 39. Kxb2 Rxc7 40. Rh7+

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