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Maksim Notkin vs Pavel Dvalishvili
Moscow ch op (1995), rd 2
Queen's Indian Defense: Spassky System (E14)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-10-07  statisticsman: Easy for a Thursday!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  cu8sfan: 18.♖xg7+ is the only move that looks so right you've got to play it no matter whether it actually works or not.

After 20...♔h5, instead of the correct 21.♘f3 (mating in 7) I tried to make 21.0-0-0 work. A rare instant of a puzzle where you need to know if castling is still possible.

May-10-07  Tactic101: I got pretty much the same thing as cu8sfan. 0-0-0 was a move I believe is good, along with Nf3. When we sacrifice, we bring ALL of the pieces to the attack. Here, we bring the rook (in two moves) and the knight (in one move). I feel these work.
May-10-07  Chess Classics: <18.Rxg7+ is the only move that looks so right you've got to play it no matter whether it actually works or not.> Well said. I would never have seen this in a real game, but here I just looked for a nutty sac. CG, it might be time for a sleeper, one of those puzzles where there's a good-looking move, but it doesn't work.


May-10-07  MostlyAverageJoe: The biggest hint that helps to solve this puzzle is that this is a puzzle (and hence there is a very good likelihood that it has a solution).

There is just one forcing move (Rxg7), just one sensible followup move (Qg4), and only 2 lines to consider. If the black king runs to h6, move the knight to either f3 or, better yet, e4, so that Bd2 will force a mate in the next couple of moves, and if it runs to f6, the line in the game is straightforward to find.

Overall, a very pleasant puzzle. Probably much harder to find OTB. I was wondering how far ahead was this planned by the white player, but it seems to me that he just took an opportunity to pounce on the black's blunder 17 ... Kg8?

May-10-07  TheWhiteRider: No I didn't get that one.
I missed the potential of the bishop on e7.
May-10-07  Billy Ray Valentine: I also thought this was easy for a Thursday... I thought this was easier than yesterday's puzzle. I agree with <cu8sfan>--18. Rxg7+ is the candidate move that popped into my mind in less than a second--at that point it was just a matter of making sure it worked or not.
May-10-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <Tactic101> Want to reconsider this 0-0-0?

Just like cu8sfan, I also considered it but discarded the idea rather quickly; it loses a tempo that is kinda precious here. What line did you have in mind?

May-10-07  TrueBlue: after missing last two days, this was a breeze :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Everybody claims to have "gotten" this puzzle. At any rate, everyone saw that if there *was* a win, it had to start with 18. Rxg7+. But how many saw the whole combination, including the non-obvious 21. Be7 ? I didn't. I would not have sacrificed a ♖ like that in a serious game unless I could see a mate or an overwhelming advantage. And how does white win after 19...Kh6 ?
May-10-07  Tactic101: <MostlyAverageJoe> Agreed. 0-0-0 is probably also good, but not as good as Nf3. I can't really say.
May-10-07  Gowe: <Al wazir> <And how does white win after 19...Kh6 ?> Take a look at the beautiful 20.Ne4

I agree with you. If you didn't see the whole combination then is nonsense to said that it was too easy and all that stuff. And i guess that i would think about the possibily of the rook sacrifice in a regular game. But i don't know if i would be able over the board to see the whole combination.

May-10-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <al wazir: Everybody claims to have "gotten" this puzzle. At any rate, everyone saw that if there *was* a win, it had to start with 18. Rxg7+> Yeah, that much is clear.

<But how many saw the whole combination, including the non-obvious 21. Be7>

At first, I considered Be7 quite a bit prematurely. The idea behind it was that if the black did not take it, then it would enable white queen to get on the d8-h4 diagonal while preventing white king from escaping to the queenside - and this looked very deadly.

And if black did not take it, then the black queen would be unprotected on e7, so if somehow I could get the king onto f6, then white queen skewer form h4 would win the game. The problem is that the "somehow" part did not work. However, given that initial idea, it was easy to reverse the sequence: first skewer, then Be7.

<I would not have sacrificed a like that in a serious game unless I could see a mate or an overwhelming advantage.> I'm with you on this one.

<And how does white win after 19...Kh6 ?> The king is immobilized after that move. If the white knight was not there, then Bd2 would mate in 2 (allowing for black queen sac). White has to move the knight, which gives the black a tempo to bring reinforcements. However, Ne4 puts extra pressure on the crucial square g5 - now the black can either take the knight, which allows Bd2+ and mate in the next move, or bring over the rook to g8, but this just delays the mate after Bd2+ Rg5 Bxg5+ (followed by Bxd8).

May-10-07  Bingat29: After Be7 the threat is Qh5+ even if black queen goes to g8. <al wazir And how does white win after 19...Kh6 ?> My impulse is Nf1 threatening Bd2+. How can black escape? Maybe I am blind again.
May-10-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <Bingat29: <al wazir And how does white win after 19...Kh6 ?> My impulse is Nf1 threatening Bd2+. How can black escape?>

20. Nf1 Rg8 21. Bd2+ Rg5 22. h4 f5, and white recovers the rook and continues the attack, but black does not get destroyed as soon as in the line I explained in my previous post.

May-10-07  Checker2: Hi everyone. This is the sound of a posting cherry popping.

<al wazir> I for one saw Be7 and my reasoning went as follows. Using MostlyAverageJoe's idea, checkmate would be queen on g7, but there's no easy route. I might play, e.g., 18 Qg4 to load the shotgun, but that is met with a pawn advance, g6.

A rook sac allows queen on that file with check, so 18 Rxg7 Kxg7 19 Qg4+ Kf6 or Kh6 or 19 ... Kf6. From that position a protected queen on g5 will do the trick and there are a four pieces available to guard that square within a move (N, B, f and h pawn). Unfortunately black's pawns can easily cover the square, too.

But if the bishop covers that square from e7, the simultaneous attack on black's queen might be decisive, given the helpful control of the centre white squares by other white pieces. 19 Qg4+ Kf6 20. Qh4+ (Ke5, Kf5, or Kg6) 21 Be7 is fast but f6 (or QxB) staves mate at the cost of queen for a rook and a bishop, which I wasn't sure was enough of an advantage to be considered a solve.

Moving the A1 rook to the open G file is also hopeful, but requires a move to clear the king, giving black the opportunity to move Rg8. I thought this idea can be combined with a sacrificed B at f7 to remove black's rook's guard, if Ke2 Re8, but that didn't come into it.

I didn't see 19 . . . Kh6 Ne4 BxN BD2++, and for a while even after Gowe pointed out Ne4, I thought it was about winning the rook at A8. Thurdays seem to be about the point in the week I stop getting these.

May-10-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <Tactic101: 0-0-0 is probably also good, but not as good as Nf3>

Please clarify. What are the moves you have in mind? Since Nf3/Ne4 are the moves to consider after 19 ... Kh6, I am guessing you meant this line:

18. Rxg7+ Kxg7 19. Qg4+ Kh6 20. O-O-O

but this would be a disaster after 20 ... Qg5.

<al wazir> More details (omitted from the previous post which I was hurrying to send out before someone scooped me :-) Consider position after 20.Qh4+:

click for larger view

Frankly, I did not consider all possible 4 moves by the black king. However, Be7 wins after each of them. If black takes the bishop and loses the queen, then white has material and positional advantage. Otherwise, black queen is overloaded: it needs to protect the rook, protect the pawn on d4, and protect squares g5 which is where the mate would come if the queen moves anywhere but a5 (and f6 is another good mating square if the bishop survives). And if the queen does not move, then bishop takes it.

May-10-07  MostlyAverageJoe: Minor correction of myself: <And if black did not take it <Be7>, then the black queen would be unprotected on e7>

This was supposed to be: "if black did take it"

May-10-07  chessmoron: If 20...Kg7 21. Be7 Qa5 22. 0-0-0

Ending may go like 21...Qg8 22.Qh5+ Kf4 23.Bd6+ e5 24.Bxe5 mate

May-10-07  PAWNTOEFOUR: boy,it sure feels good!!!.........finally!! was so nice not to have to pull shredder out!!
May-10-07  prinsallan: I missed yesterday but found todays solution painfully easy. ^
May-10-07  mkrk17: can someone give the full solution with the most important variations..


May-10-07  Bingat29: <MostlyAverageJoe:> Oh yeah. Ne4 is the right move since Rg8 would be inutile to the attack of the 3 pieces. For example: 20. Ne4 Rg8 21. Bd2+ Rg5 <if 21...Qg5 22. Qh4+ Kg7 23.QxQ+ if ...Kf1 24. Bb4+ and mate next move. if ...Kh1 24. Qf6+ Rg2 25. Bh6 and mate next move> 22. BxR+ Kg7 <22.... Kg6 23. Bf6+ Kh6 24. Qg5 #> 23. Bf6++ Kf1 24. Qg7+ Ke1 25. Qg8+ Kd2 26 QxQ#. Did I got it right this time, or I was blind again. Thanks.
May-10-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <mkrk17: can someone give the full solution>

I thought I already sort-of did... Here are some forced lines, this time courtesy of HIARCS. Crucial moves bracketed in <>. I did not analyze the variants after Q-B exchange which follows the lines starting 20 ...; the advantage is clear (and the advantage for the white increases with the increasing depth of the analysis).

18. Rxg7+ Kxg7 19. Qg4+ <Kh6?> 20. Ne4 Rg8 21. Bd2+ Rg5 22. Bxg5+ Kg7 23. Bxd8+ Kf8 24. Nf6 h6 25. Qg8# (<Bingat29> you were mostly right, but note improvement on move 23).

18. Rxg7+ Kxg7 19. Qg4+ <Kh6?> 20. Nf3 <Bxf3??> 21. Bd2+ Qg5 22. Qxg5#

Best line for the black:

18. Rxg7+ Kxg7 19. Qg4+ <Kf6> 20. Qh4+

and now 4 possible moves, evaluating thus:

20 ... <Kg6> 21. Be7 (+3.71, 18-ply)

20 ... <Kf5> 21. Be7 (+6.31, 16-ply)

20 ... <Kg7> 21. Be7 (+4.19, 18-ply)

20 ... <Ke5> (sample forced mate in 12 follows) 21. f4+ Kf5 22. Qh5+ Kxf4 23. Qxf7+ Kg5 24. O-O-O Rg8 25. Ne4+ Bxe4 26. Rg1+ Kh4 27. Be1+ Rg3 28. Bxg3+ Kg5 29. Bc7+ Bg2 30. Bxd8+ Kg4 31. Rxg2+ Kh3 32. Qf3#

Hiarcs produced a better win in the last line than what I was thinking about, but that line also wins after 21. Be7 (+7.11, 13-ply).

I'd better take a vacation from chess now. Just noticed another mistake in my previous comment about "white" king (meant to be "black") being prevented from escaping to queenside. I hope my posts made some sense to someone :-).

May-10-07  DexterGordon: Thanks for all the analysis, MAJ. Your posts did make sense, after a little translation. :-)

Interesting how opposite bishops favor the attacking side. Black is horribly weak on the black squares.

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