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Alexander Ostapenko vs S Kurkin
"Kurkin Up a Head of Steam" (game of the day Sep-10-2006)
USSR (1970)
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen. Tal Variation (B82)  ·  1-0


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find similar games 13 more games of S Kurkin
sac: 19.e6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-22-07  Dies Irae: I saw 19.e6 and 21.♖df1 fairly quickly but was not sure what to play after 21...f6 or 21...♗f6 (21...♗g5+ may have the same goal as ♗f6 in clearing the e7 square for the ♔ but I did not even see it).

After 21...♗f6 22.♗xf6 ♖c7 23.♗h5 ♗e8 24.♗g7+ ♔e7 25.♗f6+ ♔f8 I even thought black could hold (but I did not look deeper), while after 21...f6 22.♖g7 (♗e8), 23.♗xf6 looks winning to me. Certainly Ostapenko found an exciting finish!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Takya Kotov: After 18.fxe5, please could someone demonstrate the win after 18....gxh6.

I am sure it's there but I cannot see it at the moment and everyone seems to be proceeding on the assumption that black is lost, without it being mentioned at all.


Apr-22-07  venk98: after 24.exf7+ , why does black not capture the white pawn with his rook???? can anyone explain??????
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <venk98: 24 exf7+ Rxf7?> 25 Bh5 mates: 26 Rxf7 and White simply moves the Bg7 (with check, probably) and Rg8#.
Apr-22-07  melianis: This was fun, tried another sac:

19.Bh5 gxh6 20.gxh6+ Kf8 21.e6 Bh4 22.Rdf1 Qc7 23.exf7 dxe4 24.Rg8+ Ke7 25.f8Q+ Rxf8 26.Rg7+ Ke6 27.Bg4+ Kd5 28.Rd1 Qxg7 29.hxg7 Rg8 30.Bf2+ Ke5 31.Bxh4 Rxg7 32.Bg3+ Kf6 33.Rxd6+ Kg5 34.Bh3 Rg6 35.Be6 Bb7 36.h4+ Kh6 37.Bf4+ Kg7 38. Rd7+ Kf6 39.Bb3

and might hold the draw.

Apr-22-07  GHOST19: e6 seemed obvious to me as a puzzle, but I know I can't see all through a sunday.
Apr-22-07  Demostenes: I was thinking of the following line:
19.exd6 gxh6
20.gxh6+ Kf8
21.Rg8+ Kxf8
22.dxe7 f5 (?!)
23.Bh5 with the mate to follow. Nevertheless I'm afraid I missed something in my evaluation. Any suggestions where the mistake could me?
Apr-22-07  Timex: I saw this move, but I didn't see the whole entire line
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: I saw e6, and saw that it opens a world of hurt for Black--especially if he plays gxh6. As for doping out the whole thing and being letter-perfect on the moves for both sides... well, let's just say that Black has many chances to go wrong.
Apr-22-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <venk98: after 24.exf7+ , why does black not capture the white pawn with his rook???? can anyone explain?> He did not have a computer to consult, and probably fell for the same faulty analysis as presented by <Gilmoy>. Here's the position:

click for larger view

HIARCS says that any move other than Rxf7 results in a forced mate. Rx7 is the only one that lets the black flop around for a while longer before losing.

<Gilmoy: <venk98: 24 exf7+ Rxf7?> 25 Bh5 mates: 26 Rxf7 and White simply moves the Bg7 (with check, probably) and Rg8#>

Your analysis fails thus:

24. exf7+ Rxf7 25. Bh5 Qc7 26. Rxf7 Qxf7

click for larger view

and now the black will lose eventually, but not as quickly. Incidentally, 26. Rxf7 you suggested is not even the best move in the line above; Bd4 or Rf5 are better.

Apr-22-07  Silverstrike: The line I had was 19.exd6 gxh6 20.dxe7 f6 21.Bh5 Kh8 22.exf6 . Does that work at all?
Apr-22-07  kapabl: <Takya Kotov: After 18.fxe5, please could someone demonstrate the win after 18....gxh6.> This is what I can make out but I am not sure if it takes care of everything:

19.gxh6+ Kh8 20.exd6+ f6 21.dxe7 Rf7 22.Bh5 Raf8 (22...Rag8 23.Bxf7 Rxg1 24.Rxg1 Qxa2 25.Bxf6+ mates or 22...Rxe7 23.Bxf6+ wins material ending a rook up) 23.Bxf7 Rxf7 24.Rdf1 Qxa2 25.Rxf6 Qa1+ 26.Kd2 Qxg1 27.Rg6+ Rg7 28.Rxg1

If 21...Qxa2 22.Rdf1 Qa1+ 23.Kd2 Qxf1 24.exf8=Q+ Rxf8 25.Bxf1 and White is a piece up (is there anything better?)

If 19...Bg5+ 20.Rxg5+ Kh8 21.e6+ f6 22.e7 leading to similar lines.

Looks like the pawn has to be on e7 to prevent Qd8 and block a sideways defence if Black tries Qc7.

Apr-22-07  independentthinker: Got it - first SUnday puzzle ever - and this time I saw it immediately. It wasn't calculated it was instinctive but very obviously the correct move. Wow - can't believe I got it!
Apr-22-07  Crowaholic: e6 basically jumped out at me, I saw it within seconds. It was the first move I considered at all. However, finding out whether it is actually winning with the queen sac and discovered check was not so easy and I couldn't verify this without engine help. There are just too many lines. Black's counterplay was possibly suboptimal, a quick test of Spike vs Spike showed that the mate may still be over 40 moves away. So I wasn't convinced that the sacrifice pays off, and I'm not sure whether I would have found the right continuation in an actual game. It's a risky line for sure.
Apr-22-07  Crowaholic: <Peligroso Patzer: The most forcing move would have been 30. Bxf7+.>

30. Rxf7 surprised me, too. At first I thought I missed its hidden beauty, but Bxf7+ really turns out to be much better:

30. ..♔d7 31. ♗e6+ ♔xe6 32. ♖e7#
30. ..♔d7 31. ♗e6+ ♔e8 32. ♖g8#
30. ..♔f8 31. ♗e6 (any) 32. ♖g8#

Apr-22-07  outplayer: 19.e6!! is a fantastic move. I thought the game move were 19.exd6 but after seeing the game I know why 19.e6 is the logical one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <MostlyAverageJoe:> I overlooked Qc7 on the basis that Black is trying to hold a draw. Qc7 is tantamount to resigning; if Black wants any other result, he has to show it. Plus, I'll easily find Rgf5 OTB -- the Rook is still pinned, it's not going anywhere.

Qc7 falls into the category of a spite-check. If it's Black's best shot, then exf7+ is sound, and Black didn't take it because "it loses". (Not taking it also loses, hence the only correct move was 24... 0-1 :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A nice bookend. Usually we have a queen sac on Monday---here we have a deeper queen sac as the Sunday puzzle.

Funny, also that this was a former GOTD on another Sunday.

Premium Chessgames Member
  karrs: <Demostenes:> I think your analysis is correct! Much quicker kill!
Apr-23-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <Demostenes> and <karrs> The mistake is:

22 ... f5??

After 22 ... f6 black has an extra tempo it needs to save (and win) the game, e.g., 23. Bh5 Be8.

<Gilmoy: the only correct move was 24... 0-1 > Fair enough. I have to agree with that.

May-05-08  ToTheDeath: Fantastic game. Most likely home preparation.
Jan-03-09  WhiteRook48: why would white resign? Don't you mean 24...1-0? since it's black's move?
Aug-28-10  sevenseaman: An endearing classy game. Courageous and confident Ostapenko.
Apr-14-12  qqdos: <prodigy??> According to the entry, White was 10 years-old when he played this game and 9 when he beat Yartsev. Birth dates for neither Kurkin nor Yartsev are provided. <courageous? confident?> and suspiciously precocious?!? Perhaps the source (if it was a common source) for these games could be invited to comment and Ostapenko (now aged 52) might like to stand up and be counted.
Apr-23-12  qqdos: <Alexander not Dmitry> It now appears that White was not a prodigy but Alexander Ostapenko, senior (possibly the father of Dmitry and his younger brother, another Alexander) and the game played by correspondence.
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