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Alexander Zakharov vs Anatolij Bannik
URS-ch sf (1963), Moscow
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Knight Variation (B43)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-16-13  Patriot: Either I'm missing something really easy here or this is another tough one. The only thing I can come up with is 25.Rxf5.

25.Rxf5 exf5 26.Qxf5 Qg8 27.Qg5 Qe6 28.Qxg7 and there are too many squares to protect.

I looked at a few other candidates at first:

25.Rf4 Qxc2 26.Qh4 Qxg2+! 27.Kxg2 Nxh4+ and 28...Nxf3

25.Rc3 Qxc3 - a poor attempt at a skewer.

Oct-16-13  Patriot: Some of you thought this was easy but I thought it was a little bit tough to see 27.Qg5 Qe6 28.Qxg7 in the first line.
Oct-16-13  Patriot: I must be too tired because the second line I thought 28...Nxf3 was possible but the rook is on f4! Oh well, maybe I'll do better next time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: In my opinion, the challenge that we have almost - not completely, but almost - overcome was a major challenge and let me say that I am proud of that.
Oct-16-13  M.Hassan: Correction:

On my line 27.Qg5+ is not correct. The game takes longer than I thought and it could be as below:

25.Rxf5 exf5
26,Rxf5+ Qxf1+
27.Qxf1 Rxc2
And I don't see a quick win yet.

Oct-16-13  mccarthpm: Oct-16-13 LoveThatJoker: Kh1 then Rf4 does this work?
Oct-16-13  diagonalley: yep... 25.RxN is obvious, since it is the only move which progresses white's attack... easy for a wednesday
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop for a knight and two pawns.

The knight prevents 25.Rf8+ Rxf8 26.Qxf8#. This suggests 25.Rxf5 (25.h3 h5):

A) 25... exf5 26.Qxf5

A.1) 26... Qg8 27.Qg5 (27.e6 dxe6 (27... Qxe6 28.Qf8+ Rxf8 29.Rxf8#; 27... Rd8 28.Qf7+ Qxf7 29.exf7#) 28.Re1 Kd7)

A.1.a) 27... Qe6 28.Qxg7 Rg8 29.Q(R)f8+ Rxf8 30.R(Q)xf8#.

A.1.b) 27... Qf7 28.Rxf7 Kxf7 29.Qe7+ Kg6 (29... Kg8 30.Qxd7 wins) 30.Qxd7 + - [Q+B vs 2R] (30... Rxc2 31.Qg4+ Kh6 (31... Kf7 32.Qf5+ and 33.Qxc2) 32.Qh4+ Kg6 33.Qe4+ and 34.Qxc2).

A.2) 26... Qxf1+ 27.Qxf1 Rxc2 28.h3 + - [Q+B vs 2R+2P] and several threats (Qf3-Qa8, Qd1-Qh5-Qg5, Qf5-e6, etc.).

B) 25... Qxf1+ transposes to A.2.

Oct-16-13  Nick46: Good POTD, going from very easy to find move #25 to reasonably difficult to work out all the rest exactly as was played, since Anatoly didn't Pannik.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: This seems considerably easier than yesterday. Black's knight is annoying, so take it off: 25.Rxf5 exf5 26.Qxf5 threatening Qf8+ and mate next. Now 26...Qxf1+ might be the best try, though it's ultimately hopeless as long as White avoids back-rank mate. Black can't castle and his king will get rolled on the dark squares. On 26...Qg8, 27.Qg5 Qe6 28.Qxg7 Rg8 29.Qf8+ or 29.Rf8+ mates next move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <An Englishman: Good Evening: Spent much time looking at 26...Qg8 in the game line until I found 27.Qg5,Qe6; 28.Qxg7.> Pretty much describes my difficulty in calculating today's (Wednesday) 25. Rxf5! solution.

The final 32. e6!, with a decisive Queen fork threat, made for a neat finish.

Oct-16-13  gofer: ...

The runaway train came down the track and she blew,
The runaway train came down the track,
her whistle wide and her throttle back,
And she blew, blew, blew

25 Rxf5 exf5
26 Qxf5 Qxf1+
27 Qxf1 ...

Black has derailed the runaway train by throwing its queen at the last carriage, but is this desperate act pure folly or heroism?

27 ... Rxc7

But the only real question for white should be

"Is there anything better? I have a <gun> pointing at my opponent's head but there is someone in the way..."

Does Qd2 work better? or even the humble h3? The point being that Bd6 is immune from Nxd6, while we still hold the gun.

25 ... Nxd6
26 Rf8+ Ke7 (Rxf8 Qxf8#)
27 Qf7+ Nxf7
28 R1xf7#

So maybe we can threaten to win Nf5 with h3 (and then g4) while secretly planning Qd2 when black replies with h5. I wonder what the metalic brains have to offer on this?

<Is there nothing more cunning than the rather dull Rxf5?>


It seems not!

Oct-16-13  cocker: The people that found it easy have missed the best defence, as set out by <Patriot> et al.
Oct-16-13  morfishine: White wins with <25.Rxf5> After <25...exf5 26.Qxf5> White threatens mate at <f8> with 27.Qf8+ Rxf8 28.Rxf8#

Black has two choices, both losing: If <26...Qg8> to cover f8, then White wins with 27.Qg5 Qe6 28.Qxg7 Rg8 29.Rf8+ Rxf8 30.Qxf8#

or Black could prolong the game with <26...Qxf1> 27.Qxf1 Rxc2 but after 28.h4 White is winning


Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: I voted for 25. Rxf5. For example: 25...exf5 26. Qxf5 Qg8 27. Qg5 Qe6 28. Qxg7 Rg8 29. Rf8+ Rxf8 30. Qxf8#.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black must give up his queen and white wins quickly.
Oct-16-13  MiCrooks: It seems really easy because the first move is obvious and then the continuations play themselves. The game line is the best hope for Black but with the protected Bishop making Black's life dangerous and the pawns no where close to queening it should be obvious that White is clearly winning the Q+B vs 2R position. The "best" defense mentioned with Qg8 does require a few more moves before mate is forced but those moves are obvious. Qg5 to get at e7 where the only move is Qe6 to protect e7. Then Qxg7 still eyes e7 while attacking the Rook and renewing the mate threat on f8. Basically you need to see that this works before playing Rxf5. That is what makes this a Wednesday and not a Monday puzzle. But given all puzzlers here would snap Rxf5 without really thinking it through is what makes it feel like a Monday puzzle, especially given that it IS the right move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: Pretty easy
Oct-16-13  peristilo: I don't think this is an easy problem for those who wants to solve it completely. After all, after black sacs his queen the position is still materially equal. Besides, you must calculate around 7 moves beforehand to consider the problem solved. 7 moves is a pretty hard number for average players!
Oct-16-13  Patriot: <morf> Nicely done. You covered all the critical lines!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I saw the sacrifice and went with it, but I was looking for something more forceful.
Oct-16-13  JG27Pyth: Patriot:<Some of you thought this was easy but I thought it was a little bit tough to see 27.Qg5 Qe6 28.Qxg7 in the first line.>

@Patriot - You are absolutely right. I thought this was on the easy side but I did not see the Qg8 resource followed by this line. I think one needed to find this line to award full credit. It, and the game line, are the critical lines IMO.

Oct-16-13  eyalbd: I thought about 25.♖f4 ♕ moves 26. ♕h4 and the threat ♖x♘ and ♕e7 wins. Black cant play 26... ♘x♕ 27. ♖f8+ mates

But I didn't see a good resource: 25.♖f4 ♕xc2 26.♕h4 ♕xg2+ 27.♔xg2 ♘xh4+ 28.♖xh4 ♖c2+ which is much less convincing than the actual continuation.

Oct-16-13  EboLedder: It seems clear to me that the only decisive gain of material comes from 25. g4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <EboLedder> If 25.g4, Qxg4.
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