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Ashot Anastasian vs Sergei Tiviakov
"A Shot Anastasian" (game of the day Feb-13-12)
Eu Team Ch (1999)  ·  Trompowsky Attack: General (A45)  ·  1-0
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-14-07  GoldenKnight: Got this within ten seconds, and noticed that it would be an even nicer puzzle if Black's g6 pawn were not there.
May-14-07  GoldenKnight: I should have said "and even nicer mating pattern", as if the g6 pawn were not there, White could have just taken the queen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Because of the positioning of the White Knights, the Black King absolutely cannot move. So all White has to do is put him in check somehow, without moving either of the Knights! Once you realize this, the solution is obvious: take the h Pawn with the Queen, and let the Rook apply the coup de grace.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: To be candid, I was considering Re6 & Nxg6+ etc. but I never thought about the stunning Queen sacrifice, "A bolt from the blue" for Tiviakov as well as for me.
May-14-07  wals: What A Shot Anastasian ! Simply superb.
May-14-07  schnarre: With the Knights positioned as they were, the Queen sac on h7 was one of the most logical of the moves White could try. A nice basic puzzle!
May-14-07  crwynn: Well since Al Wazir and MAJ were not ashamed to admit missing the Queen sac (I thought of it when I realized it was Monday, but somehow didn't see Rh3...odd, I always find that idea in 3-0 games), I'll cop to it also - and like them, I came up with 41.Re6? which also wins, but not so immediately.
May-14-07  sfm: Wow! This is (a variation of) Anastasia's mate which is a part of the standard-combi repertoire. Then it is played by "Anastasian" in 1999?
Some coincidence on a rare name.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <notyetagm: <Anastasia> is when you have a knight on e7 covering g8/g6.> Which we do :)

<notyetagm: <Anastasia> has -nothing- to do with -how- you actually open the h-file to get at the enemy king.> I understand your POV, but I adopt the opposite view: the way you open h is the most important part of the pattern, because that's the key move you must see OTB to incorporate the pattern into your attack plan (and your opponent must overlook it, so the "harder" patterns are more likely to sneak under his radar).

I think we're here not just to solve a puzzle, or gawk at the solution, but to learn how to win games (and maybe even win with elegance :) Brilliant sacs are fun to watch, but they're the pay-off after a build-up -- I study the build-up (hence why my puzzle kibitzes often comment on the opening and middlegame). You classify the mates based on the final (static) position -- I prefer to classify them based on the (dynamic) sequence/plan/key move that achieves them. I find the latter view tends to be more useful as a predictor of future plans. (Which, incidentally, is pretty good at solving any similar puzzles :)

From another perspective, we give names to mate patterns just to chunk them into study elements, because we're very good at memorizing visual patterns, so it's the proper granularity for a newbie-teaching device. I think it's more useful to extract (generalize) out of these mate patterns the key factors and moves. To me, the fact that "my Greco" requires opponent's cooperation, whereas "my Anastasia" does not, is a big difference -- it means even in a position where I have no piece to offer as deflection-bait, there's still another pattern I can plan for. (To a newbie, the fact that Anastasia costs a Q-sac, while Greco costs "only a Knight", is also a big difference :)

Have you actually pulled off Anastasia OTB? I've done it exactly once (in ~20k skittles games) -- canonical Ne7 Qxh7 Rh3. In contrast, I've done Philidor about 30 times, and vanilla weak back rank about 200 times. (I dunno how many Greco-inspired wins -- they don't involve a Q-sac, so they hardly stand out :) Corollary: I always see both patterns now; and I have some data to informally rank them into descending order of difficulty. GM-level stats seem to agree -- everybody sees weak back rank (so it's just a constraint on the guy's next move, he snuffs it); almost everybody sees smothered mate (so it's a constraint several moves in advance); but they can completely overlook Anastasia (as we've seen twice in, what, eight days :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  MostlyAverageJoe: <newton296: al wazir ! u forgot the q can go to a1 or b2 and still defend g7! re6 is no easy win as u point out!>

Dear newton296, please use proper English. Some of us are not native speakers of instant message dialects. I guessed the above was supposed to mean <You forgot the Q can go to a1 or b2 and still defend g7! Re6 is not as easy a win as you represent it to be!>.

Whether or not this was the meaning of your posting, here's a more detailed computer-aided analysis of the best black responses after 41. Re6. I did not run a full depth-search, so some of them may be unnecessarily long. The win indeed is not as easy, but white gains convincing advantage very quickly and black would resign long before getting mated.

After 41. ... Qb2, forced mate in 13, close to what <realbrob> proposed: 41. Re6 Qb2 42. Nxg6+ Kg8 43. Qh4 Qxf2+ 44. Qxf2 Rxe6 45. Ne5 Rf8 46. Qd4 Rxf5 47. gxf5 Rh6+ 48. Kg3 Rf6 49. Qd8+ Rf8 50. Qg5+ Kh8 51. f6 Rxf6 52. Qxf6+ Kg8 53. Qf7+ Kh8 54. Qf8#

After 41 ... Qf7, forced mate in 17: 41. Re6 Qf7 42. Nxg6+ Kg8 43. Nge7+ Rxe7 44. Rxe7 Qxe7 45. Nxe7+ Kf7 46. Nf5 Rd3 47. Qxh7+ Ke6 48. Ng7+ Kd6 49. Qxd3+ Kc5 50. Nf5 b4 51. Qd6+ Kc4 52. Ne3+ Kc3 53. Qc5+ Kb2 54. Qc2+ Ka1 55. Nd5 a3 56. f3 b3 57. axb3 a2 58. Qc1#

Everything else loses much quicker. For example, in addition to the lines already shown by <al wazir> and <siu02jm>, the other responses that attempt to keep the queen on the a1-h8 diagonal also lose.

After 41. ... Qa1, forced mate in 7: 42. Nxg6+ Kg8 43. Ne5 Qh1+ 44. Kxh1 Rd1+ 45. Kh2 Rh1+ 46. Kxh1 Re7 47. Nxe7+ Kh8 48. Qf6#

After 41. ... Qc3, forced mate in 6: 42. Nxg6+ Kg8 43. Ne5 Qg3+ 44. Kxg3 Rd3+ 45. Nxd3 Kf7 46. Qf6+ Kg8 47. Rxe8#

Jan-21-09  WhiteRook48: why isn't this GOTD yet?
"White plays his own mate"
Feb-21-09  WhiteRook48: he played his own checkmate!!
Feb-13-12  xthred: Wow. That was deep.
Feb-13-12  LoveThatJoker: <xthred> Most definitely agreed!


Feb-13-12  rilkefan: Stockfish seems to think 28...Kf8 would have been a lot better. But by move 37 black is ok again - 37...e6 is equal because of counterplay on f2. I wonder if Tiviakov was still hoping to pull out the game, though more likely his clock was hanging.

As one might guess from the subsequent middlegame, sf doesn't love ...Bxb2, preferring ...a3 around move 20 with an equal game, presumably in part due to pressure on c3 after ...Rc8 and on d5 (and driving the white queen around, though of course Tiviakov wasn't [I assume] looking for a draw, as noted above).

Feb-13-12  Xeroxx: Breaking news: Sergei Tiviakov is not committed to winning.
Feb-13-12  abstract: Ashot is an armenian name :)i like it
Feb-13-12  Memethecat: Great finish, seeing the shadows cast by the WNs on g7 & 8, I totally missed that.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: This pun perfectly with the game. The last name of the white player is <Anastasia>n, and he delivers an <Anastasia> mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A real Anastasia's mate-with even the name close to the mate:

Maybe they could have a murder mystery about a victim smothered and a chessboard with a smothered mate position. I would like to see Horatio or Mack solve it.

Feb-13-12  Llawdogg: GM Ashot Anastasian was Armenian Champ many times.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Travis Bickle: What a dynamic game and an awesome mate!
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: But I did not shoot Tiviakov...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <DarthStapler> You played Johannes de Leeuw, and de Leeuw won
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Gilmoy>: I'd much prefer Lisa De Leeuw as an opponent.....
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