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Grigory Serper vs Ioannis Nikolaidis
"The Usurper" (game of the day Jun-08-04)
St Petersburg Open (1993)  ·  King's Indian Defense: Kramer Variation (E70)  ·  1-0
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Last move:

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Given 11 times; par: 64 [what's this?]

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find similar games 1 more Serper/I Nikolaidis game
sac: 17.Nd5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-17-11  lemaire90: Could black choose a worse opening ?
Jun-17-11  MiCrooks: David2009: your problem is in your 23 move. Many others analyzed lines including an early Qxb4 as well. The pawn on b4 is meaningless in this position and it only distracts White's Queen from what it should really be doing.

First, after Qb7 c6 Qb8 is probably not the best move. Rxa1 cxb7 Rxf1+ looks a bit better. Black has an awful lot for his Queen and White's pawns are no longer connected.

But back to your move tried Rxa8 and b6. Best seems to be Qd5! with a powerful centralization of the Queen. The immediate threat is now c7 with discovered attack on a8. After Rxa1 Rxa1 White is down two pieces but the powerful trio of connected passed pawns more than makes up for this. Most of Black's pieces are doing nothing whereas White's Queen, Rook, and even the Bishop help the pawns to dominate the position.

What is Black to do? Nf6 attacks the Queen but allows Qxe5+ Kf7 Ra7+ where now the Queen is trapped. After either N or Bd7 or Kg8 c7! wins the Queen for the Rook and all three pawns are still there!

How about Bf6 instead? Then simply b6 and the three pawns on the sixth are crushing. One possibility is Nf4 but that simply drops the Knight as Bxf4 exf4 b7! is the end. Rh7 is probably best but still the pawns rule the day. d7+ wins the house. If Bxd7 c7 (not cxd7 giving away most of your advantage) traps the Queen again with more to come. On Rxd7, cxd7 Nxd7 Ra8 Qxa8 Qxa8 Whit has the Queen for two pieces and still has one powerful passed pawn left basically forcing Nxb6 Bxb6. Nxd7 is more of the same but even worse. cxd7+ Rxd7 Qg8+ is a long forced mate after Ke7 Bc5+

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Queens keep appearing and reappearing like Jason Voorhees or Freddie Kruger.

The queen pin was obvious,but I don't think I would get the remaining 28 moves...

Jun-17-11  VincentL: "Difficult".

This looks a complicated position.

I think the start may be 20. Bb5. Then 20....axb5 21. axb5 Qb7 (not 21....Qxb5 22. Rxa8 winning the black rook). 22. c6 Qb8 .

Now I am not sure. One possibility is 23. Rxa8 Qxa8. 24. d7+ Kd8 Then white can continue with Rc8, c7, Bb6+ etc.

Or maybe better is 23. d7+ Kd8 24. Rfc1.

I think the first line is better. Yes - now I cannot see how black can defend against Bb6+, also c7+, etc.

Time is up, other duties call. Letīs check.

Jun-17-11  VincentL: Huh. 21....Qxb5.

Who said "Count the pieces?" <Phony Benoni>I think. I didnīt do that here, and as a result my analysis is redundant.

On to tomorrow.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: I had it up through move 22, the last 25 were difficult to calculate.
Jun-17-11  azax: I've seen good analysis of this game, so I feel a bit like a cheater. Great play, of course.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Phony Benoni: I can't see this as a Friday puzzle. It looks more like a month of Sundays.> That was the case for me. White has already sacrificed a piece earlier with 17. Nd5!

So I figured the only way to justify the attack in the followup is with 20. Bb5! using a pin as a decoy to get a pawn roller going on the Queen side to try and exploit Black's disorganized position.

However, the complications in the side variations were so difficult for me, I wasn't sure White had a winning advantage. Remember White has sacrificed not one but two pieces with 20. Bd5! So his followup needs to be precise. One slip up and Black can get back in the game and possibly win it.

Here's just one example:

If 21...Qb7 22. c6 Qb8 (diagram below), what is White's winning move?

click for larger view

Find White's (23. ?) to win after 21...Qb7 22. c6 Qb8.

P.S.: Because so many tactical themes, such as the pin, deflection, passed pawn, mating threats are involved, I've put this in my combined operations collection.

Premium Chessgames Member
  David2009: Serper vs I Nikolaidis, 1993 postscript: <sevenseaman>,<Ghuzultyy> thanks for finding and posting the win against the EGT - much better than my dodgy ending. <thickhead> you are right - I retract at the end of my post. <VincentL: Who said "Count the pieces?" <Phony Benoni> I think. I didnīt do that here>. We fell into the same pit! I would like to think this is an example of "Great minds run in the same channels". <MiCrooks>: Thanks. Have you tried your line against the EGT? - link in my first post (link above).
Jun-17-11  Terry McCracken: <Phony Benoni: This game makes for a strange POTD, since the puzzle moves start with 17.Nd5 and continue for around 30 moves to the end of the game. 20.Bb5 is only one episode in the saga.>

Yes, this is quite a game! It would make for a beautiful Sunday puzzle starting with 17. Nd5!

Games like this still show the human mind is capable of ideas that computers can't yet emulate OTB.

There are a lot of unsung games and heroes in chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Terry McCracken> Fully agree. This is one of those games where the whole thing is much more beautiful than the puzzle move. Most of spotted 20. Bb5, but to play like that from start to finish? Nope, not me.

A very impressive game.

Jun-17-11  MaczynskiPratten: Amazing game! For sheer number of sacrifices this takes the biscuit - although Serper does not quite get round to sacking 3 queens as in Bogoljubov vs Alekhine, 1922 (though the kibitzes show variations where he might have done!)
Jun-18-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: Complex and interesting stuff. I found the key move quickly, as did many others. However, I was unwilling to spend the time/effort to analyze all the defenses I thought plausible. The one I thought might be best was the one played by Crafty EGT. Though I did not win the first attempt against Crafty, this is probably not the best available defense.

I was also interested in the defensive line mentioned by <scormus> and I intend to look at this some more if I have time tomorrow.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: As a solution to my question above, White wins after 21...Qb7 22. c6 Qb8 23. Qd5! The immediate 23. d7+? is a mistake.

By the way, this line of defense is the one the EGT <Crafty> uses at <David2009>'s post on page 4 of the kibitzing here.

An alternative win is 21...Qb7 22. c6 Qb8 23. b6! as given by <Ghuzultyy>, though Fritz 10 rates 23. Qd5! as stronger.

Feb-03-12  mark jc. Garado: The sacrifices i believed is based more on intuition and not all based on pure calcalutaions. Intuitively, the positions present itself for the sacrifices. It reminded us of the great tactician Mikhail Tal whose sacrifices may not all correct but the opponents were hardpressed to find the correct defenses over-the-board play and they succumed to its spell.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "Can you imagine a game in which you sacrifice...all of your pieces? Toss in the promotion of two pawns as well and you have a game to last!"

- GM Yasser Seirawan (on Serper-Ioannis St. Petersburg Open 1993)

Sep-23-12  Llawdogg: Serper's Immortal Game!
Nov-09-12  kontoleon: I done a analyze by chessmaster the grandmaster edition with 25 sec each move.

In moves 9,10,and 11 prefer the move h4(from black and in 9th from white)

Hangs the bishop at b5. Leads to 20...axb5 21.axb5 Qb7 22.c6 Qb8 23.Rxa8 Qxa8 24.Qd5 Qb8 25.d7+ Nxd7 26.Qe6+ Kd8 27.cxd7 Bxd7 28.Bg5+ Kc8, which wins a rook, a knight, and a pawn for a rook, a bishop, and two pawns

Hangs the rook at a8. Leads to 22.Rxa8 Qc6 23.Ra7 Ne6 24.Nd3 f4 25.Bf2 O-O 26.Rc1 e4 27.Nxb4, which wins a pawn for a rook and a pawn. Better is Qb7, leading to 22.c6 Qb8 23.Rxa8 Qxa8 24.Qd5 Qa5 25.d7+ Bxd7 26.cxd7+ Nxd7 27.Rd1 Qc7 28.Qe6+ Kd8 29.Qxg6, which wins a rook and two pawns for a rook, a bishop, and a pawn.

Better is Nd3, leading to 27...e2 28.c6 Nhf6 29.cxd7+ Nxd7 30.Rc7 Qa6 31.Qe6+ Kf8 32.Qe7+ Kg8 33.Qe8+ Kh7 34.Qxd7, (This is maybe an other version off wining white)

Lol The programm is lag...
Leads to 33...Rxe8 34.Qb7+ Re7 35.Qxb4. Better is dxe8=R, leading to 33...Rxe8 34.Qb7+ Kg8 35.c6 e4 36.fxe4 Nf6 37.c7 Nxe4 38.Qd5+ Kf8 39.Qxe4 Rxe4 40.c8=Q+ Re8 41.Qc5+ Kg8 42.Qxf2, which gains a knight and a pawn and loses two pawns by comparison. FAIL... LOL

Leads to 41.Qc5+ Kf7 42.Qc4+ Kg7 43.Qxh4 Kh7 44.g4 Ng7 45.g5 Nf5 46.Qh3 Kg7 47.gxh6+ Nxh6 48.Qe6, which wins a pawn for a bishop and a pawn. Better is Bxb2, leading to 41.Qc5+ Kd7 42.Qxe3 Bc3 43.Kxf2 Nf6 44.Ke2 Kc6 45.Qf4 h3 46.Qc4+ Kd6 47.gxh3, which wins a pawn for three pawns. This was black's key miscue in the game. Black did regain the lost ground, but later resigned.

Leads to 43.Qd3+ Kc7 44.Qxg6 e2+ 45.Kxf2 Be3+ 46.Ke1 Nf4 47.Qc2+ Kd6 48.g3 hxg3 49.hxg3 Ne6 50.Qe4 Bd4 51.Kxe2, which wins a pawn for four pawns. Better is Kf7, leading to 43.Qc4+ Kg7 44.Qxh4 Kh7 45.g4 Ng7 46.g5 Nf5 47.Qh3 Kg7 48.gxh6+ Nxh6 49.Qe6, which wins a pawn for a bishop and a pawn.

Sorry From the big messege i want to put and the opinion of machine...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Christian Hesse's favorite game, see and, for more on Hesse .
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: thanks for the two informative links, <<Karpova>>, the first about this absolutely incredible and immortal game, GM Serper sacrificies all his pieces to win,

..and the one concerning the book "Joys of Chess" by Prof. Hesse, seems to have some plagiarism shadows over Hesse's "chess cabaret" book..

Feb-08-14  Bob Loblaw: Incredible! This is truly an immortal outing. Thanks for posting the link <Karpova>
Feb-08-14  Bob Loblaw: This must hold the record for the most pieces sacrificed by one player in a game.
Jun-08-14  maelith: Brilliant game.
Aug-08-14  yiotta: This is not normal!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Alex Schindler: This is really enjoyable to play through. It sure is cool when a player can sustain an attack that lasts the whole game, tossing out pieces with reckless abandon because there's a bigger prize at the end. Must have been a tough guess the move!
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