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Milan Matulovic vs Alexandar Tsvetkov
Varna (1965), Varna BUL
French Defense: McCutcheon. Lasker Variation (C12)  ·  1-0


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sac: 35.Qh8+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's Wednesday puzzle, 35. Qh8+! combines the decoy, Knight fork, trapped piece and zugzwang endgame tactical themes for the win and a relatively easy solution.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Immediately,I saw the skewer sac at h8 followed by the fork regaining the queen. The real trick to this one is that after white gains a pawn with the queen loan and replace,black's knight is trapped! Three "friendly" pawns prevent his escape and the knight blocks his foe from two more. Black gets his pawn back,but at the expense of his horsie.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Cute. It takes a microsecond to observe that White can do a Petrosian with 35.Qh8+, but a Knight ending isn't too inviting ... unless ... hey, that Nd4 is *trapped*.

Thank 'eaven for little pawns on a2 and g4. Not to mention the way a white knight on e5 simultaneously covers f3 and c6 and blockades the e6-pawn.

Almost a composed swindle. I suppose black has enough pawns to try playing on, but it looks hopeless.

Jan-12-11  QueenMe: Got this one right away. Saw the queen sac immediately, but hesitated because I realized that White is *two* pawns down, and the fork only recovers one of them. Then I realized that the new white knight position (after taking the black queen @E5) also covers the black knight's escape square @C6 (White pawns and King cover all the other squares)... black's knight is trapped! So it's really a Queen for a Queen + Knight... and White suddenly discovers himself to be fresh-out of pieces. White will win easily; I'm surprised Black continued to play after realizing his knight was doomed.
Jan-12-11  BOSTER: The opening of the game black played very good. I like move 14...b6 to release the "problem" bishop c8. After 27.Qf4 it was necessary to play Qf5. Playing 28...Qh8 black went in deaf defence ,where black queen had no mobility. Move a blunder, because b5 square should be free to retreat black knight. White began very nice combo playing 32.Qc1, sacr. couple pawns, the queen with 36.Nxf7-royal fork in the middle, and trapping black knight. Maybe better for black was playing 33...f6 with drawish chances.
Jan-12-11  TheRavenPK: About half year ago I saw that famous Petrosian game:

Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966

Then, about two months ago I played a 5' game and my opponent is known for not playing so quickly, so I decided to attack 'recklessly'. I managed to get two connected passed pawns, but probably had losing position. After few checks and ..d5 this position was on the board:

click for larger view

I thought for about ten seconds where have I seen this before.. I remembered about that Petrosian's game and played Qxb7. He was not moving for about thirty seconds and then his flag fell..

I was lucky enough to play this combination before, so I think I will never forget it. Btw, I solved this puzzle immediately..

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: I saw the queen-sac/knight fork combination to win a pawn, I counted material and thought we're still in trouble here, so then I looked for a minute and realized, hey, that knight has nowhere to go, game over!
Jan-12-11  starkidaway: <TheRavenPK> Why not play Nd6+ instead and win a queen for free.

1.Nd6+ Kd8
2.NxQ and knight can't be taken.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: <Raven>
For that matter, there's also
1. Nd6+ Kd8
2. e7+ etc.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: I think that white saw the combination on move 31. when he played Ke2 (necessary to trap the knight). Black was lost But there's no way that he lost 2 pawns -- he INVESTED them in order to win the knight and clear off the queens. Black's last chance to avert immediate disaster was 31... when he could have played Qf8 and then Qe8 and held back white's invasion on the c file. After 31...b4? and 32. Qc1! white was winning.
Jan-12-11  Justawoodpusher: I am pretty sure that this was my fastest solution for a Wednesday puzzle, including recognizing that the knight is trapped.
Jan-12-11  dcarlisle: queen check and knight fork and black's knight has no safety square. The rest should be pretty easy.
Jan-12-11  BOSTER: To judge the correctness combo beginning from 32.Qc1 it is necessary to study this position after 33.Kd3 with black to play.

click for larger view

In this position black is not obliged to play Qxe5, they can play f6, and my guess this is only a draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <BOSTER: In this position [after 33.Kd3] black is not obliged to play Qxe5, they can play f6, and my guess this is only a draw.>

No, it's definitely winning for White: 33...f6 34.Qc8+ Qf8 35.Qxf8+ Kxf8 36.Nh7+ Kg7 (or 36...Kg8 37.Nxf6+ followed by 38.Kxd4) 37.exf6+! Kxh7 38.Kxd4 and White easily wins the pawn endgame.

Jan-12-11  WhiteRook48: I tried 35 Qh8+ immediately; the knight fork will get back the queen with interest.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: If 33...f6 then 34.exf6 Qxf6 35.Qc8+ Kg7 36.Qb7+ Kg8 37.Qa8+ Kg7 38.Qxa7+ Kg7 39.Qxd4 .
Jan-12-11  David2009: Matulovic vs A Tsvetkov, 1965 postscript: Hindsight, that wonderful weapon, allied to Crafty End Game Trainer, that wonderful free Internet resource, indicates that 31...b5 was premature. After 32 Qc1 the ever-alert EGT gives up a Pawn with 32...Nd7 33 Qc7 Qf8 34 Qxa7 Qe8 to leave White a Pawn up. Link: Can you beat the EGT from here? As usual you are White in a position with White to play: drag and drop the move you want to make.

At move 21 (Black to play)

click for larger view

White has sacrificed a Pawn for faint attacking chances. Tsvetkov gave back a Pawn with 21...0-0. Crafty EGT prefers to hold on to its extra material with 21 Kd7. Can you salvage a draw or better against the robot? Link:

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: The tricky thing about the pawn endgame after the 33...f6 is that black is left in many variations with a protected passed pawn on d5, and if white tries to clean up the queenside, the pawn will run home. I think that BOSTER is certainly right in that 33...f6 is a much better move than 33...Qxe5, which loses immediately.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Let tamper-proofed qh8 yotta gotta six seven blacks all at sea. I Voltaire drip dr of farther " love truth and pardon error " queen reg it in lima task er whisk eyed f7 36th. Enlighten me additional 31..b5 and I analyzing serve you repartee lod neck? Moolah is F4 lands heist.
Jan-12-11  wals: Yes, pegged that one.

Rybka 4 x 64

Black blunder. ply 22 : 8 min :
(+2.62):26...Qh5. Best, Qg4, =0.03.

1. = (0.03): 26...Qg4 27.Qc1 Ne7[] 28.Qc7 Nf5[] 29.Ng5 Nh6[] 30.Qd8+ Kg7[] 31.Qf6+ Kg8 32.g3 Qf5 33.Qxf5 Nxf5 34.Nf3 b5 35.Kf1 Ne7 36.Ke2 Nc6 37.a3 Kf8 38.g4 a5 39.h5 gxh5 40.gxh5 Kg7

2. (0.41): 26...Ne7 27.Ng5 Nc6[] 28.Nh7 Nxe5[] 29.dxe5[] Qxe5 30.h5 Qa1+ 31.Kh2 Qg7 32.Qxg7+ Kxg7[] 33.hxg6 Kxg6 34.Nf8+ Kf6 35.Nd7+ Kf5 36.Nb8 d4 37.Kg1 Ke4 38.Kf1 Kd5 39.Ke2 e5 40.g4 e4 41.Na6 Ke5

White blunder. ply 25 : 8 min :
(+1.01):27.Qf4. Best, Qc1, +2.62.

Black blunder : ply 25 : 5 min :
(+2.37):27...Ne7. Best, Qf5, +0.66.

1. (0.66): 27...Qf5 28.Qc1 Ne7[] 29.Ng5 Kg7 30.Qc7 Ng8 31.f3 Nh6 32.Kf2 a6

Black blunder : ply 22 : 4 min :
(+1.53):31...b5. Best, Qf8, 0.35.

1. (0.35): 31...Qf8 32.Kf3 b5 33.h5 gxh5 34.gxh5 Ne7 35.Qg3 Kh8 36.Kg4 Nf5 37.Qc3 Nh6+ 38.Kf3 a6 39.Qc7 Nf5 40.Nxf7+ Kg8 41.Ng5 Nxd4+ 42.Ke3 Nf5+ 43.Kd3 Qa3+ 44.Qc3 Qxa2 45.Qc8+ Kg7[] 46.Nxe6+ Kh7[]

2. (0.41): 31...a6 32.Qc1 Nxd4+ 33.Kd3[] Qxe5 34.Qc8+ Kg7[] 35.Qh8+[] Kxh8[] 36.Nxf7+[] Kg7 37.Nxe5[] Nb5[] 38.Nd7[] Na7 39.f4 Nc6 40.Kc3 b5 41.Nc5 e5 42.fxe5 a5 43.e6 Kf6 44.h5 Kg5 45.Nd7 gxh5 46.gxh5 b4+

Black blunder : ply 18 : 4 min :
(+5.83):36...Qxe5. Best, Qf8, +2.60.

and 40...Kf6, +10.85, was lights out for Black, due to inferior play.

Jan-12-11  wals: <chrisowen> I knew I'd been missing something. Thank heavens you're back to add some sanity to the proceedings.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <wals> Thanks for the analysis showing the decisive blunder is apparently 31...b5?, allowing 32. Qc8! .

I thought Black might hold after 32...Ne7. However, after 32... Ne7 33. Qc5! Qf8 34. Qxa7 , White is winning as play could continue 34...Qd8 35. h5 gxh5 36. gxh5 Kg7 37. h6+ Kg6 38. f4 Qe8 39. h7 Kg7 40. a3 Nc6 41. Qc5 Ne7 42. Kf3 Nf5 43. Kg2 Nh4+ 44. Kh3 Nf5 45. Qa7 Ne7 46. Qb7 Kh8 47. Kg4 Nf5 48. Qc7 Ne7 49. Qd8! f5+ 50. exf6 Qxd8 51. Nf7+ Kxh7 52. Nxd8 Ng6 53. Nxe6 Kg8 54. Ng5 .

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <beenthere240: The tricky thing about the pawn endgame after the 33...f6 is that black is left in many variations with a protected passed pawn on d5, and if white tries to clean up the queenside, the pawn will run home. I think that BOSTER is certainly right in that 33...f6 is a much better move than 33...Qxe5, which loses immediately.>

In the pawn endgame following 33...f6 34.Qc8+ Qf8 35.Qxf8+ Kxf8 36.Nh7+ Kg7 37.exf6+! Kxh7 38.Kxd4:

click for larger view

White shouldn't have any trouble winning - rather than clean up the queenside, he wins by bringing the king to e5 - it's either queening the f-pawn after Kxe6, or 38...Kg8 39.Ke5 Kf7 40.h5! if Black tries to defend it. The d-pawn will always be too late.

(Besides, as <Sastre> notes in his line, White has an alternative way - forcing the win of a piece - with 34.exf6.)

Jan-12-11  BOSTER: <Sastre> Of course! You are right! Such manoeuvre when you moving the queen all the time with tempo(check) and keeping an eye (contact) on the knight d4 is very useful. I did not see it here.
Jan-12-11  ounos: Bah. All this craziness took place just because 21. ...Kd7 looked too ugly for black to play.
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