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Aleksander Sznapik vs Ovidiu-Doru Foisor
Rubinstein Memorial 20th (1982), Polanica-Zdroj POL, rd 9, Aug-??
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen. Classical Variation General (B83)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-26-07  Counterpoint: I think 17.Rxf5 also wins (analysis to follow)
May-26-07  gBizzle: why cant pawn take knight after Nd5?
May-26-07  Counterpoint: One possible line:

17.Rxf5 ef 18.Qg3+


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1.1) 18...Kg8 19.Nd5! Bxd5 20.ed Qd7 21.Rf1 Rg8 22.Qh4 And black is in trouble:


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1.2) 18...Ng4 19.ef h5 20.f6! Qd8 22.Rf1 (or Qh4!?):


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May-26-07  Counterpoint: <gBizzle: why cant pawn take knight after Nd5?>

I would think:

17...ed 18.ed Bxd5 19.Rxf5 Qc6 (perhaps?) 20.Qg3+ Kh8 21.Rh5 and black can't stop mate:

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Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Morning: I saw both the move played in the game and the move Counterpoint suggests. Now I preferred Sznapik's move because it was simpler and White is better in all lines, but I wonder: what is the *best* refutation of 17.Nd5,Bxd5; 18.exd5,Qd7? 19.Qg3+,Kh8; 20.Qg5 looks bad for Black, but where is the decisive crusher?
May-26-07  NakoSonorense: Not even close. I guessed Rf3 but I'm sure it's not good.
May-26-07  alshatranji: I saw the move and at least how White continues if Black captures with the pawn. But I wonder if one can predict all ther possible variations at all. Isn't it more likely that even players on such level would usually play a move they know is powerful and take it frpm there?
May-26-07  Skylark: I drew the same conclusion as <counterpoint>. Guess I'll look harder tomorrow, 17. Nd5 was faster and more conclusive.
May-26-07  goodevans: I saw that black’s knight on f6 was very weak and that 17 Nd5 was a good way to try to exploit this. Obviously 17 … Nxd5 can’t be played because of 18 Qg3+, whilst 17 … exd5 is no good because it exacerbates (fatally) the weakness of the f5 pawn. What I , like < An Englishman>, couldn’t work out is whether black can hold things together with 17 … Bxd5; 18 exd5 Qd7 or 17 … Bxd5; 18 exd5 Qc8.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: Saw 17.Nd5, and that Black's most likely response was Qd8. (17.. exd5 18.exd5 Bxd5 19.Rxf5 recovers the piece with a huge attack -- but the nimble 18.. Bd7 bogs White down. So <goodevans>'s immediate 18.Qg3+ is better -- then we write off the N as a pure e-deflection sac that weakens f5 and cuts the board in half, leaving White with a decisive 4-on-2 around h7.)

Black's pawns look like the result of a "destruction of pawn wall" sac -- but without the sac. Hence, White is essentially a piece up :) So we must look for a sac, to transpose into a winning attack. (This is not entirely flippant -- a sac is likely to be the sharpest, most forceful move.) Other pattern features leap out: the B-Q pair vs. h7, a liftable R on f (these 3 alone already suggest further sacs on f to open the diagonal), and a bonus Bd4 juggernaut owning the long diagonal, with Black's B badly misplaced on e7 instead of g7 to balance it out.

17.. Bxd5 18.exd5 would leave Black with a two-B dilemma: the QB is paralyzing his K-side, but pushing e5 opens the Q-KB-R trio to h7 -- as in the game. <An Englishman: *best* refutation of 18.exd5 Qd7> Qd8 is safer if Black ever intends e5, otherwise Bxf5 kicks her with tempo. With material even, White would have an overwhelming position -- simple build-up should suffice, e.g. Rf3-h3, Qg3-h4, Raf1. White inevitably sacs again to rip the diagonal open -- after Qd7, consider Qg3-h3 and an immediate Rxf5, as exf5 Bxf5 costs Black the Q to prevent Bxf6 Qxh7#.

May-26-07  Tacticstudent: OMG not even close! I thought that Qh5 would be the hot spot in this puzzle, but guess what?, i'm wrong =(. Guess i'll use Guess The Move tool once more to improve my skills.
May-26-07  Tacitus: After 17..Bxd518.exd5 e5 both of White's bishops are blocked.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: According to the Fritz database this game was played at the 1982 Rubinstein Memorial in Polanica Zdroj.

I found it instructive (even more so than usual) to put this position into a computer program (I use Hiarcs 10) and play out many different variations. This was a good one! It takes the computer a fairly long while to settle upon the puzzle solution 17 Nd5 as the best move, and to reject 17 exf5 which turns out to be not even the second- or third-best move

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <Tacitus: 17.. Bxd5 18.exd5 e5> 19.Rxf5 and Black can pick his flavor of B-poison -- whichever one he doesn't take will probably mate him. 19..exd4 20.Qg3+ Kh8 21.Qh3 and Black must meekly return the Knight, e.g. 21.. Rg8 22.Rxf6 Rg7 23.Rh6 Kg8 24.Raf1 White's still rolling.

We just saw that White is willing to sac a piece -- it follows that if Black declines the first sac, White can afford to sac again. Black did try e5 in the game, and White did just ignore it to open the h7-diagonal.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <gBizzle: why can’t pawn take knight [17. … exd5] after [17.] Nd5?>

It does not seem possible to demonstrate a forced winning variation for White after 17. ... exd5, but the diversion of Black's e6-pawn to the d5-square would seriously weaken Black's structure in two respects: (1) by leaving the f5-square undefended, it would allow White to play Rxf5; and (2) by making impossible a future ... e5 (to block the a1-h8 diagonal), it would make White's d4-Bishop extremely strong. I suspect that both Sznapik and Foisor largely relied on their judgment and intuition to discard 17. ... exd5 as losing for Black. The following line is not forced, but it is representative of how play might have continued after 17. ... exd5?:

18.exd5 Bxd5 19.Rxf5 Rfc8 20.Bxf6 Bxf6 21.Rxf6 Re8 22.Qg3+ Kf8 23.Raf1 Re5 24.Qh4 Qc6 25.Qxh7 Bxg2+ 26.Kg1 Ke7 27.Rxf7+ Kd8 28.Rf8+ Re8 29.Bg6 Bxf1 30.Rxe8+ Qxe8 31.Bxe8 .

May-26-07  schnarre: Missed this one (I had looked at the obvious Qg3+), but I think I prefer Counterpoint's 17. Rxf5 analysis...
May-26-07  psmith: I saw 17. Nd5 but saw no decisive follow up to 17... Bxd5 18. exd5 e5. But it does seem that in that line after 19. Rxf5 exd4 20. Qh4 White has a crushing attack.
May-26-07  psmith: <Counterpoint> in your 17. Rxf5 line, why not 17... exf5 18.Qg3+ Kg8 19.Nd5! Bxd5 20.exd5 Rg8! seemingly holding for Black after 21. Qh4 Rg4 22. Bxf6+ Bxf6 23. Qxf6+ Kg8 24. Qxf5 Rg7.
May-26-07  PAWNTOEFOUR: well i had two 'candidate' moves right away..e4xf5 and Qh4...i wouldn't have thought of nd5 in a million years......just being honest
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: Nd5 is a common Sicilian sacrifice so not too hard to find or at least consider. 17...Nxd5? 18.Qg3+ is mate and 17...ed5 18.ed5 Bxd5 19.Rxf5 also looks hopeless. The best defence should be 17...Bxd5 18.ed5 and maybe Qd7, but after 19.Qg3+ or Qh4 white has a strong attack at no cost. 17...Qd8? made it easy for white, but black was losing anyway.
May-26-07  Crowaholic: Saturday already? I got it under five seconds.

(Wrong, unfortunately.)

May-26-07  MaczynskiPratten: If 17.. exd5 how about 18 Rxf5 straight away rather than 18 exd5? White threatens Qg3+ plus prosaically regaining the piece on f6. Bd7 is now an ineffective defence as White has not waated time with exd5; 18 Qg3+ Kh8 19 Rxf6. Qd8 now seems best for Black. Not sure if this move order is better than 18 Qg3+.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: <MaczynskiPratten> 18.Rxf5 is fine, but you have to play exd5 anyway in most lines so it isn't a waste of time. For instane 18.Rxf5 Rfc8 19.Qg3+ Kf8 20.Bxf6 Bxf6 21.Rxf6 de4 and by not taking on d5 white has lost most of his advantage.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: There are at least half a dozen candidate moves. I tried the most obvious first: 17. Qg4+. If 17...Ng5, then 18. h3 wins the ♘. If 17...Kh8, then 18. Qh5. Black can avoid losing the pinned ♘ only by 18...e5 or 18...Qd8.

If 18...e5, then 19. Rxf5 exd4 20. Rxf6 Bxf6 (20...dxc3 21. e5) 21. Qxf6+ Kg8 22. e5, followed by 23. Qh6, and the mate on h7 looks unstoppable.

If 18...Qd8, then 19. e5 dxe5 20. Bxe5, and I think white has enough time to bring the other ♖ into play: 21...Rg8 22. Rf3 Rg7 23. Raf1. White has possible attacks along the h file or by sacrificing a ♖. The continuation isn't clear, but to me it sure looks like a winning position.

Maybe it's not best, but that's what I would have played.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Nice puzzle! The knight chops up black's game like a meat grinder!
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