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Maria Velcheva vs Heini Puuska
European Team Chess Championship (Women) (2007), Crete GRE, rd 1, Oct-28
French Defense: Tarrasch. Morozevich Variation (C03)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  ZUGZWANG67: W is a whole piece upand back rank mate is threatened. But one has to find the right square for the B.

I think that 26.Qxe4 wins a R, when after 26. ...fxe4 27.Bg5, the BQ doesn' t have access to any square that allows B to save the Q and defend against mate.

Time to check.

That' s right on the spot. In W' s point of view, the black (e4)-pawn is very important. That is so because it prevents it' s own Q to reach heaven at b4.

Aug-26-09  estrick: <karnak64: "What's with black's 11th move? That surely can't be theory in this position, can it?">

Doesn't look like a very sound sac.

Black seems to have nearly left the book on move 4 with . . . Nf6. The CG data base contains only seven games with that move.

By the time 6. Qg4 is played, it's a completely unique game.

Aug-26-09  JManRio: Though not as impressive as the immediate 26 Qxe4, I found this: 26 Bg3 Qf6 (...26 Qxg3 27 Qxe4 fxe4 28 Rxf8#) 27 Qxe4 fxe4 28 Rxf3 ... (white has a bishop and rook Vs Black rook - easy win)
Aug-26-09  mohitm: got that one quick. black wasn't looking good from the start, all with the shaky opening lines...
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: Wow, I saw this line but I completely missed the fact that the pawn on e4 would block off the queen so I dismissed it because I thought black could play Qd4+ or Qb4!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Artar1: This puzzle has elements of double threat and back-rank mate.

After reading "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess," puzzles at this level of difficulty have become much easier for me to solve. I recommend that book to anyone interested in improving their tactical vision. But, don't be put off by the book's seemingly simplistic chess puzzles like I was at first. The book uses systematic program learning for one type of mating patter in order to help us see those patterns quickly and to find the mate, or to know how to defend against it if it's not to late to stop the attack. In Black's case for today's puzzle, there was little that could have been done for Black once the game reached move 26.

This leads me to another interesting question: can programmed learning be applied to all aspects of chess, and if so, how many thousands of pages would it take to adequately teach the subject so that an average, dedicated chess player could reach a rating of at least 2,000?

I apologize if my post is a little off topic.

Aug-26-09  StevieB: Ingenious! That's what's it's all about, smooth playing and an ironclad trap. Also loved that trap of 15.Nxd5, but black didn't fall for it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wals: [Event "European Team Chess Championships (Women"]
[Site "Crete GRE"]
[Date "2007.10.28"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Maria Velcheva"]
[Black "H Puuska"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C03"]
[WhiteElo "2255"]
[BlackElo "2016"]
[Annotator "Rybka 3 1-cpu (30m)"]
[PlyCount "53"]

{C03: French Tarrasch:

25. Qxb7 Re4 ?? BLUNDER the
pressure is too much, ♗lack crumbles (25... Re7 26. Qd5 h6 ) 26. Qxe4 hanging on to the material is worse fxe4 (26... Qh5 doesn't get the cat off the tree 27. Qb7 Rg8 28. Be5 ) 27. Bg5 Clearance: f4 (27. Bg5 Rb8 28. Bxh4 ) 1-0

The above may be of interest to those seeking help.

Aug-26-09  ruzon: Like <zooter> and <DarthStapler>, I too failed to see that the pawn blocks the Black Queen's otherwise saving move to b4, so I went with 27.♗e6? which fails because Black can just slide the rook out of the way.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: 13. Nf4 was nice, to recapture on d3 and advance to e5 if black takes the bishop. But black's sac was totally unsound -- especially against a player with a roughly 250 point rating edge.
Aug-26-09  Everyone: <Chicago Chess Man: Does anyone else get annoyed when EVERYONE must post the solution to a puzzle?>

Oh, is that so? I'm already late, so I must post the solution now 26. Qxe4 fxe4 27. Bg5. Don't get annoyed. <sheepish grin>

Aug-26-09  lzromeu: <JManRio: Though not as impressive as the immediate 26 Qxe4, I found this: 26 Bg3 Qf6 (...26 Qxg3 27 Qxe4 fxe4 28 Rxf8#) 27 Qxe4 fxe4 28 Rxf3 ... (white has a bishop and rook Vs Black rook - easy win>

You mIss 26.Bg3 Qg4

Aug-26-09  WhiteRook48: missed this easy one
Aug-26-09  dumbgai: I think this is one of those problems that's quite easy if you know it's a puzzle, but hard to find over the board. I got this one rather quickly, but in a real game I'm pretty sure I would have played something like 26. Bh2 or Qc7 instead.
Aug-26-09  LIFE Master AJ: <dumbgai> Very honest - I appreciate that.

I "guessed" most of Sunday's solution. Just looked for the most forcing or aggressive move ... I have gotten pretty good at that.

But the meaty question is: "Would I have played that lined in a RATED, tournament game?" The real answer is, probably not. (White was a rook down, and I could not see far enough ahead to GUARANTEE the knock-out punch. I also spent about 15-30 minutes on it, which for me, isn't enough time. And therein lies another kicker ... you DON'T have enough time in modern tournaments for those really "deep thinks" anymore. Surely, "Game in 30 Minutes" often translates to a crap-shoot, which is usually decided in a time scramble.)

Mar-14-17  eyalbd: Solved almost instantly :-)
Mar-15-17  Cheapo by the Dozen: Ditto. Easiest Wednesday in a long time.

The queen turns out to be remarkably blocked, given how open the board generally seems to be.

Mar-15-17  saturn2: 26 QxRe4
If 26..fxQ then 27 Bg5 attacks the queen and threatens RxRf8++ Neiter 27..Qf2 nor 27..RxRf1 helps.
Mar-15-17  TheBish: M Velcheva vs H Puuska, 2007

White to play (26.?) "Medium/Easy"

With White being ahead a bishop for a pawn, you could argue that White is already winning, so what's the point? The point is to finish the game as quickly and accurately as possible. The solution jumped out at me right away.

26. Qxe4! fxe4 27. Bg5!

The point of White's last two moves is to open the f-file, simultaneously threatening mate and winning the queen. Black can trade off his last rook, but still be faced with mate and the loss of his queen. The white bishop effectively prevents Black's queen from defending the back rank via retreat on the h4-d8 diagonal, while Black's own f5 pawn - clumsy oaf! - prevents her lateral movement to b4, which would defend the f8 square.

Mar-15-17  groog: Actually, I found today's puzzle relatively easy. Certainly shorter than yesterdays.
Mar-15-17  TheBish: I see now that many of us have been here before... at least I have! (Posted on Wednesday, Aug-26-09.) It wasn't fresh in my memory bank for sure, as I didn't remember seeing this before, but I guess it was easy enough (as others have expressed) for the solution to be obvious, based on the common theme of the weak back rank.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Very pretty. A hanging white bishop and black's own pawn block the defensive paths.
Mar-15-17  zb2cr: Nice final position after 25. Qxe4, fxe4; 26. Bg5. Black can't stop the back-rank mate because, as <Fusilli> pointed out, White's Bishop prevents ... Qe7, and Black's Pawn blocks ... Qb4. So Black has to give up her Queen to stop mate.
Mar-15-17  ruzon: <ruzon: Like <zooter> and <DarthStapler>, I too failed to see that the pawn blocks the Black Queen's otherwise saving move to b4, so I went with 27.♗e6? which fails because Black can just slide the rook out of the way.>

Eight years later, I saw where the pawn went. Justice has been served!

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Recycled.
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