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Andrei Kharlov vs Vassily Ivanchuk
Aeroflot Open (2005), Moscow RUS, rd 4, Feb-18
Queen Pawn Game: Krause Variation (D02)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: An interesting lesson. I saw the # on the edge motif, but not in the winning line (like Kasputin 'just didn't think about 59. Kxf6..').
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's Thursday puzzle solution, White plays 56. Kf4!! to threaten mate and initiate a winning double attack combination, which is well described by <dzechiel> above.

The key to the solution is visualizing the double threat resulting after 59. Kxf6!, when White threatens both 60. KxR and 60. Rh3#. Since Black cannot stop both decisive threats with his next move, he is compelled to resign.

Jul-24-08  dTal: darn, missed the last move :-(
Jul-24-08  JG27Pyth: Good puzzle. The forcing nature of the lines, limiting the variations, brought this one within the limits of my (tea-cup sized) ability to calculate.

Kudo's to CG for picking this as a puzzle. It's not an obvious position to select for puzzle material, no splashy sac's, nor classic fork/skewer/pin tactics... just a nice test of the clear board vision required to see the available mate threats and leverage them into a win.

Jul-24-08  vickeno1: 56.g5 is the only move I found.

It seems mate is inevitable wheter he takes with pawn, king or moves king to h5. (below is after reading comments).
Seeing that Kf4 was the right move feels wierd. g5 is obviously much cooler. And even in chess you need to be cool ;)

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Thursday (Medium): White to play and win.

Material: Up a P, “but all R endgames are drawn”. The Black K has 1 legal move, so mate threats are in the air, if White plugs the flight square at g5. Primary candidates should therefore plug g5. An examination of checks reveals a sacrificial candidate, 56.g5+, which calculation refutes.

Candidates (56.): g5+, Kf4

56.Kf4(threatening 57.Rh3#)

56…g4+ 57.Kf5 (again threatening 58.Rh3#)

57…Ra5+ [or Rc5+] 58.e5 (still threatening 59.Rh3#)

58…Rxe5+ 59.Kxf6

The move 59.Kxf6 maintains the mate in one threat by covering the flight square g7 with both Re7 and Kf6. Black must drop the Re5 to avoid mate!

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <<vickeno1> wrote: [snip] Seeing that Kf4 was the right move feels wierd. g5 is obviously much cooler. And even in chess you need to be cool ;) >

As shown by other kibitzers, 56.g5+ is not decisive. I would rather be right than cool, although I am aware that in present times, that is just a personal opinion ;>)

Jul-24-08  zb2cr: I'm with <JG27Pyth> on this one...this was a good puzzle selection. No immediate captures, checks, sacrifices, but picking the best set of threats makes Black dance to the tune White picks out.

I saw this rather more quickly than yesterday's puzzle. Otherwise, nothing to add other than pointing back to the fine explications by <dzechiel>, <wouldpusher>, and <lost in space>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I missed 56 Kf4.

But I liked 56 Re6?! over the board, so I let the engine (Rybka_v2.1c.demo.w32:) play the position quickly a few times.

It always produced a two-pawn advantage for white. White also was able to avoid doubled pawns, so it was a table base win every time when six pieces were left on the board.

This is not proof of a forced win, however.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: I spent too much time trying to make g5 work. 56.g5+ Kxg5 (fg5 Kg4 wins) f4+ Kh6 Rbb7 Rh8 Rb1 Ra3+ Kg4 but now f5+ seems to draw ef5 gf5+ Kxf8 Rf8+ etc. Fortunately even if you mismanage time like this, there are 2 other moves white can play without much analysis - 56.Rbb7 threatening Rh7 mate, and 56.Kf4 threatening Rh3 mate. Kf4 did win, and I would bet Rb7 does too, as Kg5 Rb5+ wins more material and Rh8 leaves black's king and rook stuck on the h file while white attacks f6 or creates a passed e pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Probably a lot of mives win here. I examined both 56 ♖bb7 and g5 The king advance to f4 is obvious the best and thus,the solution to the problem.

I also found the comical blunderous conclusion of 56 ♖bb7 ♖a3+ 57 ♔h3?? g5 mate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: <kevin86> 56...Ra3+ 57.f3 and white does not have f4 mate after Rh7+, but I think still wins with Rh7+ Kg5 Rb5+, or if Rh8 (to stop Rh7+) Rf7 wins f6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: I found it a bit quicker that I usually do on Thursdays -- probably because the winning line is virtually forced (once you spot the right idea).

The right idea is 56.Kf4, which is very attractive since it immediately threatens Rh3#, so 56...g5+ is practically forced.

Then, what else but 57.Kf5, getting out of check and keeping the mate threat alive? Again, checking with the rook (at a4 or c5, but ...Ra5+ is probably better) is practically forced.

White has nothing besides 58.e5 to block check (58.Kxf6 just exposes our king to checks, like 58...Rf8+, repelling the attack), and black, needing to keep us in check, yet again has no choice but 58...Rxe5+.

And here comes the pretty (but not hard to see) part: 59.Rxf6, keeping the Rh3# alive and removing the defender of Re5, so the rook is toast.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jmuller: Ah, I missed the elegant 58.e5 in my cursory analysis. This is one instance, irony of ironies, where I might actually have *gotten* the solution in a game that I missed in the puzzle. I play correspondence (MrJohn on and usually analyze pretty extensively before each move in my games. I'm sure that I would have tried 56.Kf4 g5, 57.Kf5 Ra5+. What else is there? Maybe, then, by the time I got to move 58 (a couple of weeks after 56.Kf4) I would have seen my way through to the end, even if I hadn't seen it when I started out. :-)

It's been a good week for me this week. :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  jmuller: <Jul-24-08
Premium Chessgames Member dzechiel: White to move (56?). White is up a pawn. "Medium.">

BTW, I'd like to chip in my work of thanks for your daily analysis, dzechiel. It's a big help! :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Frustrating!

The key to the position seems fairly clear. White is a pawn up and the black king is semi-trapped on the h file. A mating attack seems to be called for.

I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to make 56. g5+ work.

Then I dived into the murky depths of 56. Rbb7.

Finally I gave up and peeked at the game continuation.

Of course, 56. Kf4! It is actually the most forcing move on the board because it is the only one that threatens mate on the move. It simultaneously stalemates the black king and clears a path for the rook check on the h file.

Fritz 11 confirms it all. 56. Kf4 clearly wins. 56. g5+ and 56. Rbb7 lead to level games with at most a slight edge to white. Not good as we started a pawn up!

Jul-24-08  Oliveira: 56.g5+?, Kxg5; 57.f4+, Kh6; 58.Kg4, f5+; 59.exf5, gxf5+; 60.Kxf5, Rf8+ =

[60...Rc5+??; 61.Kg4, Rc6; 62.Rh3+, Kg6; 63.Reh7 ]

Jul-24-08  Slurpeeman: =)))) it's hilarious how a lot of people can't get the keymove right, look it up, and then try to pass themselves as chess experts when commenting on the solution))

56. g5 is better because it allows to achieve mate 2 moves faster than with Kf4. and it's waay cooler than Kf4. but both moves are roughly equally effective

Jul-24-08  Slurpeeman: on the other hand, black can prolong it's life longivity by escaping to h-file on moves 57-60. But still, white's advanced pawn gives him a considerable advantage
Premium Chessgames Member
  SuperPatzer77: <Slurpeeman> <56. g5 is better because it allows to achieve mate 2 moves faster than with Kf4. and it's waay cooler than Kf4. but both moves are roughly equally effective>

<Slurpeeman>, 56. g5?? is a bad move that leads to a draw. It isn't a winning move, <Slurpeeman>. Just take a look at Zooter's and Oliveira's correct analysis and commentary of 56. g5+??.

56. Kf4!! is the only move for White's win and beautifully sets up the mating net. It can lead to the checkmate or winning the Black rook.

In my opinion, 56. g5+?? could help Black escape from the disaster.

I completely agree with Zooter's, Kevin86's, Dzechiel's and Patzer2's commentary. The simple move for White is 56. Kf4!! .


Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: I got the first move
Jul-24-08  TheaN: 3/4 or 4/4

Not giving myself an adjustment of my week's score. I want a fair analysis of the line I'm about to give, and although it doesn't win as easily as the played line (which I badly enough analised up to 58....Rxe5†..., but I couldn't find the followup and went back), I think it wins.

<56.Kf4> Is forcing almost all the way. White is threatening Rh3‡ all the way, and Black has solarity moves in either the mainline, or giving away a Rook. Those I can leave out.

<56....g5†> Rxe4† just loses a Rook, anything else meets Rh3‡.

<57.Kf5> Keeping the threat, and Black needs to check. Using the backrank Rook loses to:

<57....Rc5† 58.Kxf6 Ra6† (Rc6† 59.Kf7) 59.Kf7> Either a Rook has to fall or mate on h3, as was the last time. But now, there's no other move.

<57....Ra5† 58.Kxf6> Now I know this is not a terminator, but I think it wins easy.

<58....Rf8†> Only move, Ra6† meets Kf7 again as in variation AA. Now White seems to lose both the initiative and the mate threat, but I think not.

<59.Rf7!> Surely, the game's end is way prettier than mine, but I think White can wrap this up simply: the mate threat is STILL there, and the White King has to be moved by Black to avoid it, once again with check. Trading now leads to the line below, so it's unnecessary giving it standalone.

<59....Ra6† 60.Ke7> Trying not to trade but win the f7-Rook, but White can simply step aside and continue to defend it. Now, Rb6‡, Kxf8 and Rxf8 are threatened, and Black must suffice with a trade.

<60....Rxf7† 61.Kxf7> Still the mate threat, even now...

<61....Ra7† 62.Kf6 Ra6† 63.Ke5> All forced, and White can, and SHOULD win this. However, I agree it's not as easy as game line.


I would like a fair analysis of this, as I think it wins pretty easily.

Jul-24-08  TheaN: Actually, the pretty forced line <63.Kf5> (instead of Ke5 threatening Rh3† immediately) <Ra5† 64.e5 Rc5 65.Rh3† Kg7 66.Kxg5 Rxe5† 67.Kf4> leads to a very easy win.
Jul-25-08  johntkucz: I saw kF4, but for different reasons. It's only way to prevent the black king from protecting the f6 pawn, so then you could play 57.Rf7, (without being checked on 56 ..., of course)!
Jul-25-08  TheaN: Counting the point, it just wins easily although not as fast. 4/4.
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