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Anna Bjorg Thorgrimsdottir vs Maria-Anna Stefanidi
European Club Cup (Women) (2003), Rethymnon, Crete, rd 5, Oct-02
Sicilian Defense: Dragon. Fianchetto Variation (B70)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  EmperorAtahualpa: Nice Monday puzzle to boost our confidence for the rest of the week. :) I spotted 29.Qf8+ almost right away.
Jan-02-06  logo: I missed it!! I thought Qg7 would do the trick...
Premium Chessgames Member
  bribett: I got easy. What is a good software tactics program? Any suggestions
Jan-02-06  ice lemon tea: nice monday puzzle...i like it

<bribett: I got easy. What is a good software tactics program? Any suggestions>

try it urself :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Seraphina: <wzeller> I find that continuous practice is always good. Problem solving, playing through games, focusing on certain openings at a time, etc... And then, at times, stopping for a few days. The actual learning always tends to be in little leaps. This is the famous learning curve, which is well described at

A few years ago in the New Yorker, there was an article by a surgeon describing his grappling with the learning curve...

Jan-02-06  malvolio: Qxh7 does the job as well
Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: Kxh7. Your move!
Premium Chessgames Member
  DanielBryant: Qxh7 Kxh7 Rh4+ Kg8 and Black wins simply.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <Antipholous: I'm dumbfounded> Total agreement here. Maybe all I need to become a chess champion is a sex change.
Jan-02-06  AlexanderMorphy: as easy a puzzle as there will ever be!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I first tried Qg7+ but it fails to a queen capture-so I found Qf8+ which leads to an Arabian style mate. Nice elegant finish!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <<I rushed, and thought g7, and as I clicked on the board on the main page I realized that there was a guarding that square, and I decided to not press back. Hmm.>>

It's actually a good practice to try to survey the position before making any attempt to solve the puzzle. It helps you to note the features of a position during a game, and improves visualization.

Plus, before you try to see how White can win, you really should count the material at the very least. Otherwise you might find a way to win, say, a Rook, only to note afterwards that this isn't the solution because White was down a Rook to begin with.

Jan-02-06  franksp: Finishing with the Xray theme. No more complicated but harder to spot.
Jan-02-06  notyetagm: <When the opponent has a minor piece blocking his backrank, attack those squares on the backrank that are no longer defended by the enemy backrank heavy pieces.>

This tactical idea is critical in many attacks. Here the Black e8-bishop interferes with the line of action of the Black c8-rook along the backrank. As a result of this <self-interference> the f8-square is weakened, since the c8-rook can no longer defend it.

With 28 ♖f4 White adds a third attacker to this weakened f8-square, by <x-ray> through the Black f7-rook defender. Black incredibly plays 28 ... ♕xb2??, not even stopping to ask herself why White just gave away a whole rook. Black then has to resign after the <x-ray> attack on f8 is carried out by 29 ♕f8+! ♖x♕ 29 ♖x♖#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  midknightblue: Cool. Got it. Love these Xray probs. Is it gonna be a whole week of Xray's?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: HO! HO! HO! I disobeyed my own rule and wasted time -NOT looking at all checks captures (I was looking at Qxh7+ and and so on) and suddenly it flashed into me noggin: "Oh - it's mate in 2!" Qf8+ !! was the FIRST move I should have looked at - but I found it!!


Jan-02-06  Chopin: It took me a while to solve this puzzle- I was considering a few other longer variations.
Jan-02-06  notyetagm: Hard to believe that both these players are rated over 2000: 28 ♖f4?? ♕xb2??.
Jan-02-06  snowie1: I figured it out! First resolution is
to ignore about half of the posts, and go from there.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: So I guess black should have played 28...Qe1+ and 29...Qxe6, and white is a knight down and has egg on her face.
Jan-03-06  ice lemon tea: 28. ..Qxb2? i really wonder why stefanidi did that move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Instead of 28. Rf4??, which allows what would have been the winning double attack 28...Qe1+! (in lieu of 28...Qxb2??), White should have played 28. Rdd2 to prevent this possibility.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: It's nearly two years to late for this monday puzzle.

But is it really a <'Notable Game'> for Sicilian, Dragon Variation (B70) ?? I doubt that.

Jul-19-08  The Ninth Pawn: From Game Collection: The Ninth Pawn's Chess Course :

In A Thorgrimsdottir vs M A Stefanidi, 2003 , White plays 29. ♕h6-f8+! The Queen is defended THROUGH the f7-rook by the f4-rook and, if taken, will be recaptured with CHECKMATE (otherwise White would lose material).

Apr-06-09  WhiteRook48: sacrificing like crazy
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