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John Emms vs Vladimir Borisovich Tukmakov
Politiken Cup 18th (1996), Copenhagen DEN, rd 5, Jun-??
Sicilian Defense: Alapin Variation. Stoltz Attack (B22)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-20-07  realbrob: <banjo> Maybe 24.Ne4 Bxe4 25.Qxe4 now White can win the b7 pawn but the position doesn't look so winning.
Sep-20-07  mkrk17: I got Ne4, threatening Nf6+ and black is doomed.

What is the line played in the game..? Is it better than Ne4.. ?

Sep-20-07  pawnofdoom: Didn't get it again. I saw playing d7 right away, but that didn't work at all, as white simply gave up a pawn. 24. Ne4 doesn't work because of Bxe4, i think. But the easy move that I missed was Bxb6!
Sep-20-07  mkrk17: OK..i saw the game score. Seems the game score is bit more convincing than my discovery (to start with Ne4).

Nice puzzle.

Sep-20-07  Jesspatrick: This game is worth some study. It is a good example of what can happen in an Alapin middle game. Black has to endure a cramped position and equalize with patience or else...

While you might think that 23... Bc6 was just a mistake that allowed this combination, you really have to trace the trouble back to 16... Na5. I'd say that Black's got to try either 16... Bd7 or 16...Rd8 to maintain a tenable position.

Those moves may not work and maybe we have to go back even earlier and consider 14...Nd5 instead of castling.

Personally, this game causes me to regard 6...g6?! as dubious in view of the alternative 6...c4.

Sep-20-07  goodevans: <banjo: i saw the played line but i decided at last for a "better?" solution: 24.Ne4 Nd7 25.Nf6+ Nf6 26.Qf6> With both queens en prise, is 25 ... Nxf6 forced?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MarkThornton: I thought the answer was 24. Rxa7, expecting 24...Rxa7 25. Bxb6 and 26. Bd4

But Black just gives up a pawn with 24...Nd7!, e.g. 25. Qe3 Rxa7 26. Qxa7 Ra8. White's doubles b-pawns rather negate his pawn advantage, and he will have to work hard to win this position, if it can be done at all.

Sep-20-07  Tariqov: So does my line work? look at my previous post.
Sep-20-07  Mortadulo: Allowing MostlyAverageJoe to play the devil's advocate lets give 24...f6 a go.

Instead of the immediate 25. Qxf6 I wanted to look at the fact that the dark-squared bishop still covers the pawns promotion square and continue with the main theme of the puzzle by simply playing 25. Ne4!

~ 25...fxe5 (anything else aside from Bxe4 allows Nxf6+ with a clear advantage); 26. Nf6+ ...Kf8; 27. Nxe8 ...Kxe8 27...axb6; 28. ♖xa8 ...♖xa8; 29. ♘c7 clear advantage to White.

~ 25...Bxe4; 26. Qxe4 ...axb6; 27. Rxa8 ...Rxa8; 28. Qxb7 again with a clear advantage to White.

Both of these lines lead me to believe that 25. Ne4! is a more clear cut and forced line towards advantage after 24...f6 over the line of 25. Qxf6 taking away the Knights' best square for White.

I must admit. That was a more interesting line than the puzzle itself :P Thanks MAJ

Sep-20-07  handro1104: Please, how does White win after 24 Ne4?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <handro1104: Please, how does White win after 24 Ne4?>

<handro1104> I think you mean 27.Ne4.

White is threatening 28.Nf6+ forking the King and Queen. If Black moves his Queen to say c8 then 28.Nf6+ will pick up the bishop on d7 at least with checks or discovered checks leaving White a piece ahead.

Sep-20-07  euripides: <tariqov> Like you, I thought the solution was 24.Ne4 winning after <24.Bxe4> by the line you gave. I missed 24...Nd7 but <banjo>'s 25.Nf6+ looks good enough (if 25...Kh8 or Kf8 26.Nxd7 wins). I looked mainly at 24...Qf8 and have forgotten what I saw but I think White can crash through somehow.

Emms' line is clearer and more elegant, though.

Sep-20-07  Marmot PFL: I thought it was easier than yesterday, simply a matter of diverting the bishop so the knight reaches e4. Even if for some reason it doesn't win white is only down a pawn and has easy perpetual check, so the risk in the combination is extremely low (one of the ways I measure difficulty).
Sep-20-07  handro1104: <Benzol:> Thank you for your answer. My problem was that I was thinking that after 27 Ne4 Qc8, 28 Nf6+ Kf8 29 Nxd7 Qxd7 White cannot take the Queen because the Black's rook checkmates. But now I see that if 30 Qh8+ Ke2, 31 Rxd7+ and 32 Qxa8 wins. I finally see the puzzle.
Sep-20-07  psmith: <Mortadulo>
Your line isn't so clearly better for White after 25...fxe5 26. Nf6+ Kf8 27. Nxe8 axb6 28. Rxa8 Rxa8 29. Nc7 Rd8 when Black will play Bd5 and then capture the d-pawn.

But simpler is 24...f6 25. d7! Bxd7 26. Qd4 winning a piece.

(I didn't find this; Fritz did. As for myself, I went for the 24. Rxa7 "solution" which doesn't win immediately although it does lead to substantial White advantage after 24... Nd7 25. Qe3.)

Sep-20-07  psmith: <tarigov>, <euripides>

your line 24.Ne4 Bxe4 25.Bxb6 axb6 26. d7 loses for white after the simple reply 26... Qxd7 (the queen can't be taken because of mate on a1).

Sep-20-07  euripides: <psmith> thanks.
Sep-20-07  gnixon: I stared at the final position for awhile before I saw that the white rook could come off the back rank by capturing with check. (Thus I also couldn't see quite how good Nf6+ was.) Must be too early in the morning.

BTW, was there any hope for Na5 at the puzzle position, planning a pawn push? Above disclaimers about the time of day apply here, too.

Sep-20-07  xKinGKooLx: *Sigh*, I missed it. I sort of saw most of the moves involved, but I missed the fact 27. Ne4 wins the bishop due an unavoidable fork winning the queen or bishop. Another theme for me to remember I think. The puzzles ALWAYS seem so simple when you look at them afterwards! However, the puzzles are definitely harder than normal this week. This should have been a Friday or Saturday puzzle, in my opinion. Why is making us work harder? If this is how hard a Thursday puzzle is this week, I am dreading Sunday!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: I was intrigued by this line: 24.♖xa7 ♖xa7 25.♗xb6 ♖aa8 26.♗d4 .

But [after 24.♖xa7] 24. ... ♘d7 25.♕e3 is only .

Sep-20-07  tdubb43: That e4 knight is lethal! What a killer move, never saw it coming.
Sep-20-07  zb2cr: Missed it, never even thought of removing the guard with 24. Bxb6.
Sep-20-07  xrt999: I got the moves, but after 24.Bxb6 axb6, I played Rxa8 first, after black takes on a8 I THEN played d7, moving the bishop off the c6 square allowing the Knight to jump into its beloved e4 square. In the actual game Emms first played d7, and after the bishop is forced to answer the d pawn, played Rxa8. I cant see any problem with exchanging rooks before playing d7?
Sep-20-07  soberknight: I saw the four moves that were needed, but I didn't manage to put together the move order.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I missed this one,because I failed to see that the knight had to be diverted as well as the bishop. I guess 24 ♘e4 does win,but not as fast of clearly as the text
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