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Sergey Volkov vs Sergei Movsesian
Groningen Open (1998), Groningen NED, rd 10, Dec-30
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Glek Defense (E94)  ·  0-1


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sac: 24...Bxh3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: I couldn't see the follow-up after the first move and so abandoned the "winning" line in favor of ...Ng5. But after looking at the comments, I can't tell if the game continuation was sound or not. Does Conrad93's analysis refute Movsesian's choice of move and validate mine?!
Dec-02-12  UnsoundHero: On the 26 Qf1 line, after 24...Bxh3 25 gxh3 Ng5 26 Qf1 Nxh3+ 27 Kg2 Rf3 looks strong, relying on 28 Kxf3 Qg4 mate.
Dec-02-12  Conrad93: Yes, Englishman. It seems that the immediate bishop sacrifice is not as effective without the support of the knight.

After 24.Ng5 black has a good attack.

Dec-02-12  goodevans: <barryh1976: I saw this right away, not sure why this is considered insane?>

<RNBQK: <barryh1976> Me too>

Like many here, I saw the potential of the first couple of moves, but didn't have the patience/ability/etc. to do a full analysis. It was enough for me to convince myself that the obvious <26.Bxg5> wasn't an instant refutation. A minor piece for 2 pawns and the attack is usually good enough for a patzer like me.

I wouldn't have said I'd solved it though!


<Conrad93:... 26.Qe2 refutes the sacrifice.>

Certainly <26.Qe2> seems to be a big improvement over the game line, where <26.Qc4 Nxh3+ 27.Kg2 e4 28.Qe2> just hands black an extra move for his attack. After several minutes looking at this, I can's see a convincing continuation for black after <26.Qe2>.

<An Englishman: Good Evening: I couldn't see the follow-up after the first move and so abandoned the "winning" line in favor of ...Ng5>

On reflection <24...Ng5> looks to be best, though it's hardly a "puzzle move". On the balance of all this I'd suggest that today's puzzle is a good old-fashioned <spoiler>!


(P.S. What's "An Englishman" doing spelling "favour" like a yank?)

Dec-02-12  vardeep: <Conrad93: By the way, the puzzle isn't simple. If instead white played 25.g3, most of you would be scratching you head>

well.. 25.g3 is a suicidal move as black replies with Qe4 followed by an unstoppable mate in one or heavy material loss for white...

Dec-02-12  C4gambit: I saw it right away.. by clicking the right arrow !!
Dec-02-12  UnsoundHero: If 26 Qe2 Rf3 looks promising. A sample line is 27 Bxg5 Qxg5+ 28 Kf1 Qf5 29 Ne3 Qxh3+ 30 Ke1 Raf8 31 Nac4 Bh6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  bubuli55: 32...Bh2+ is not necessary. Immediate 32...Qh2+ 33.Kf1 Rxf2+ Just saying
Dec-02-12  adbat: If 26. Qe2/Nh3 27.Kg2/e4 28.Rd2/Rf3 29.Rh1/Raf8 30.Kf1/Bh6 31.Rh2/Be3 32.Ne3/Qg3 33.Rg2/Rf2 34.Qf2/Rf2 35.Rdf2/Qe3 36. Rf7/Kg8 and Black is better. If 27.Kf1/Nf2 28.Qf2/Rf2 29.Bf2/Rf8 30.Rd2/Qh1 31.Ke2/Qa1 black wins
Dec-02-12  sofouuk: is this a trick question? or are we just supposed to realise that after 24...Bxh3 25.gxh3 Ng5 26.Bxg5? Qxg5+ 27.Kh1 Rxf2 black is winning (which is itself far from easy to see, of course - rybka still has it at 0.00 at 17 ply, and the continuation has to be extremely precise; note that <Conrad93>s line continues for another eight[!] moves before the win is clear)

then you have to consider the alternatives if white declines to play 25.gxh3 (possibilities include Nxc7, Qc4, Nb3, and so on and so forth. in this case you could argue that black has won a pawn 'for nothing' and damaged white's kingside, but how on earth do you know who is winning?), or if white does take the Bh3 but doesn't take the Ng5 (there is 26.Qc4, Qf1, and quite possibly more besides)

well OTB you can certainly play such sacrifices on spec, which is obviously what Movsesian did (he was a pawn down, after all, so had to 'do something') but for someone to suggest that they 'solved' this position <as a puzzle> just because they saw that the pawn-h3 could be taken by the Bf5, or that the Nf7 could then move to g5, is pretty laughable imo

Dec-02-12  Patriot: The only move that seems to try to win is 24...Bxh3.


25.g3 Qe4 puts white in a real predicament.

25.gxh3 Qxh3 - I'm not so sure what white does here. He has an interesting defense to 26...e4; 27.Qxg7+ Kxg7 28.Nf4+ although 27...Kxg7 isn't forced. 26.Qd3 e4 27.Qxe4 Ne5 protects g7 and threatens 28...Nf3+. White seems to have run out of defensive options here.

Surely white did not play 26.Nxc7 e4 with a powerful threat of 27...Be5 or 27...Ne5.

Now to see what was played.


Well I missed a very easy defense/refute -- 26.Qf1! I'll have to watch out for this defense next time...

Dec-02-12  1stboard: Nice combination for Black.

Also, black's 27th move ( e4 ) was an excellent ( and nasty ) move .....

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Ahah, quenched my thirst in f5 or door it book in g5 slake great

shaft in bishopf5 column shine on green gauge either bind in general

knight at edge 24...ng5 or in good 24...Bxh3 stands to bear down the

magi (see hatchet in excess I) prefer tile go building almost in f5

takes alive see h3 crumble reverse queen in back up to defend

against one coming threat in h3 at dont forget opening f3 at almost

f5 worth delve in price to pay queen knight rooks and bishop

evermore tangle king after sacrifice h3 foot the bill in feed him

crooks pawn off (epi centre) meal engine feel it ok in white defence

in bishopxg5 muster e2 or c4 and trade e3 for g5 at given moment

rook a8 a ok to join the party it now in he im liking one g5 after

knight faffed in d5 heads upper cafard it sad 23.rfd1 allows in qh4

and draw in elephant omit wrong rook to shuffle ar king is now in

exposed to an assualt queen h4 in wag tail of the tape in monster

hug see heffalump queen combine to mate although knightg5 effected

bye bishop in e3 ko us right no kidding he must believe c4 as good

booting cheerio ja light 25.gxh3 ng5 be goofed 26.Qc4 instead exg

should draw as me a golly it ringer 26.Qc4 then h3+ and black is in

the ascendancy another be5 indeed pe4 rob space in f3 tangle ko

second rookf8 edge again manage to outwit him in ergo g5 and 'alf a

league onwards in h3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: After 24...Bxh3 25 Qf1 Ng5 26 Bxg5 Qxg5 I hit a dead end.

click for larger view

I saw that 25 Qf1 provides additional defense of the key f2 square and seems to force 25...Ng5 to protect the bishop as the queen now also backs up 26 gxh3.

26 Bxg5 then becomes playable.

Dec-02-12  Patriot: <sofouuk> <well OTB you can certainly play such sacrifices on spec, which is obviously what Movsesian did (he was a pawn down, after all, so had to 'do something') but for someone to suggest that they 'solved' this position <as a puzzle> just because they saw that the pawn-h3 could be taken by the Bf5, or that the Nf7 could then move to g5, is pretty laughable imo> OTB this may be a 30 minute "think" if it's a long time control. For the time controls I normally play, it would have to be speculative! You're right that it is laughable to say it is solved after Bxh3. On one hand, as a puzzle it's about the only try to win so it's easy to say "I found the best move". Since it is a puzzle, most of the time they would be right. But this logic does not transfer well OTB. You either have to make sure it works to a reasonable degree or "guess".
Dec-02-12  BOSTER: I guess 24...Bxh3 is correct , not because <black has to do something>,but because all black forces are on the king's side, where white's king, and almost all white pieces including white queen, who is on the other side of the ocean , are on the queen's side. Maybe, the best for white to understand own mistake and play 25.Qf1.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has the bishop pair for a bishop, a knight and a pawn.

White threatens Nxc7.

The first move that comes to mind is 24... Bxh3:

A) 25.gxh3 Ng5

A.1) 26.Bxg5 Qxg5+ (26... Qxf2+ 27.Kh1 Rf3 28.Qf1 Qg3 29.Qg2)

A.1.a) 27.Kf1 Rxf2+ 28.Kxf2 Rf8+ looks like a winning attack.

A.1.b) 27.Kh1 Rxf2 28.Rg1 Qf5 29.Rg3 h4 again with attack.

A.2) 26.Rd2 Nf3+ and 27... Nxd2 - +.

A.3) 26.Qe2 Rf3 27.Bxg5 Qxg5+ 28.Kf1 Raf1 seems to win.

B) 25.Qc4 e5

B.1) 26.f3 Ne5 27.Qe2 Bxg2 wins.

B.2) 26.gxh3 Ng5 is similar to A.

C) 25.Qe2 Ng5

C.1) 26.Bxg5 Qxg5 27.Ne3 Rf4 and Black has recovered the pawn and keeps the attack.

C.2) 26.gxh3 Nxh3+

C.2.a) 27.Kf1 Rxf2+ 28.Bxf2 Rf8 - +.

C.2.b) 27.Kg2 (threatens Rh1) 27... e4 28.Rh1 Rf3 followed by ... Raf8 looks bad for White.

I don't have the time to go deeper so I'll stop here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jarman: 32...Rg3+ 33. fxg3, Qxg3+ 34. Kh1, Qh2 mate.
Dec-02-12  morfishine: I was on the right track with deferring capturing the h-pawn. My move order went: <24...Bxh3 25.gxh3 e4 26.Ne7 Ne5>

click for larger view

or if White tries <26.Nf4> then <26...Ne5> looks equally deadly:

click for larger view

A real pleasure to see that an immediate <26...Ng5> was so powerful

Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: I at least considered the first move
Dec-02-12  Abdel Irada: <Jimfromprovidence>: In the diagrammed position in your last post, it seems to me that Black can simply continue 26. ...Rf7, maintaining material parity, defending his c-pawn and preparing to double rooks on the f-file while White isn't well placed to defend the f2 pawn.

By declining the sacrifice, White may have escaped the worst of the attack, but he has also taken the burden of proof off Black's shoulders, and thanks to the pin on the g-file, he isn't threatening to take the bishop any time soon.

Dec-03-12  Conrad93: adbat, your line is faulty.
Dec-03-12  stst: Not a puzzle, it's a game!
try just one easy course:
24..... Bxh3
25.gxh3 Qxh3
26.Qe2 Bh6
27.BxB NxB
28.Rd3 Qh4
29.Kf1 Ng4
30.Ke1 Rxf2
31.Qd1 Rg2 dis+
32.Kf1 Qf2#

Difficulty for such kind of "puzzles" rises as variations for the defense side increases, i.e. the hard part if not on the offense, but to find the toughest defense (the response.) Once the defense is clear, the offense is also clear.

Dec-03-12  Conrad93: Do any of you know how to write proper chess notation?
Dec-03-12  Conrad93: stst, that's not a win.

White can just push the queen away and keep the bishop.

[Event "Groningen op"]
[Site "Groningen"]
[Date "1998.??.??"]
[Round "10"]
[White "Sergey Volkov"]
[Black "Sergei Movsesian"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E94"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "

click for larger view

"] [PlyCount "22"]
[EventDate "1998.??.??"]

24... Bxh3 25. gxh3 Qxh3 26. Qf1 Qg4+ 27. Qg2 Qf5 28. Nc6 Nd8 29. Nce7 Qf7 30. Nxc7 Qxe7 31. Nxa8 Nf7 32. Qe4 Ng5 33. Bxg5 Qxg5+ 34. Qg2 Qf5 35. Nc7 0-1

click for larger view

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