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Alexander Shabalov vs Anthony Saidy
US op 104th (2003), Los Angeles, rd 11, Aug-03
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Modern Steinitz Defense (C73)  ·  1-0


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May-16-10  weary willy: - 18? Monday or Tuesday puzzle
Jun-08-10  zooter: The queens are on the same diagonal c6-f3 and that is the key to this puzzle. Though it looks like there is nothing there, it soon becomes obvious that 18.e5 will lose black a piece

as 18...Bxe5/B-moves 19.Ne7+ picks up the unguarded queen on f3 while saving the queen loses the bishop

Time to check

Jun-08-10  think: 18. e5! wins at least the Bishop due to the threat of Nxf6+ or Ne7+, discovered attacks against the Black Queen.
Jun-08-10  zooter: I forgot to add, 18...dxe5 is also no good with same 19.Ne7+ winning the queen
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Shabalov's 18. e5! combines the clearance and discovered attack tactics to win decisive material with the threat of snaring Black's unprotected Queen, as noted in <zooter>'s two posts.
Jun-08-10  Formula7: 18.e5 wins Black's bishop, for if he moves it he loses his queen after 19.Ne7+ and 20.Qxf3. 18...dxe5 also fails to 19.Ne7+. Time to check.
Jun-08-10  VincentL: "Easy"

It appears that black loses his bishop.

18. e5.

Now if 18....B moves 19. Ne7+ and 20. Qxf3 winning the black queen.

If black didn't resign immediately, I guess he played something like 19....Qxf2 after which 20 exf6.

Time to check.

Jun-08-10  WhenHarryMetSally: quite tricky - for me at least.
Jun-08-10  TheBish: Shabalov vs Saidy, 2003

White to play (18.?) "Easy"

Wow, I noticed this was from the 2003 US Open. I was actually there! This tactic may have actually been in Chess Life, maybe in Soltis' column. Anyway, not too tough.

18. e5!

This wins because of the dual threats of 19. exf6 and 19. Ne7+ (or 19. Nxf6+), thanks to the "partial clearing" of the h1-a8 diagonal, specifically from the White queen on c6 to the undefended Black queen on f3. Black can't save both queen and bishop, i.e.

18...Bxe5 (or 18...dxe5 19. Nxf6+ Qxf6 20. Qxf6, winning the queen) 19. Ne7+ Kh8 20. Qxf3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Yes! 18 e5 is the winning move for the reasons others have explained.

This took me a long time for a Tuesday. I wasted effort on 18 Nxf6+, 18 Rxg7+ and even 18 Rd3.

Good puzzle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: White to move (18?). Material even. "Easy."

Anthony Saidy. There's a name from the past. He was active in southern California chess during the same years I was (as well as before and after me). I played in a couple of opens in which he also competed (I never did face him over the board, however).

Shabalov makes quick work of Saidy in today's position. After

18 e5

black's bishop is under attack. But at the same time, white has opened the h1-a8 diagonal for his queen, and now threatens a knight check that will pick up black's queen. I'm guessing black resigned here. None of the lines are any good for him:

18...Bxe5 19 Ne7+ Kh8 20 Qxf3


18...dxe5 19 Nxf6+ Qxf6 20 Qxf6 g6


18...Qxf2 19 exf6 g6

Time to check.

Premium Chessgames Member
  M.Hassan: material equal. "easy"
18.e5 if Bishop or pawn takes e5,then Knight can give a check and Black unprotected Queen is gone. However, I think that the game could have continued as below: 18.e5 Qxf2
19.exf6 g7
White has given a pawn for a bishop and has material superiority. This could be it!-Time to check Correct, nothing beyond move 18
Jun-08-10  LIFE Master AJ: 18.e5

I went there for a few days. I did not play in the main event, but just went to watch and play in side events. (They had a five or 10-minute tournament, and I won a prize in that.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Why do fools fall in love?

Playing a game of chess is a little like the game of lurve. On each turn we have to make a choice - do we go for the blonde or the brunette, the flashy tactic or the developing positional move?

Today it took me an indecent amount of time to realise that I had fallen for the wrong move. Time for an intimate confession. When I was a teenager, I had a crush on the lead singer of the Bangles. I know, I know, but the hormones, my friend, were blowing in the wind. And I would have walked a thousand miles like an egyptian for her.

Of course, this was not a match made in heaven. We weren't two star-crossed lovers. I was a spotty British teenager and she was a Californian pop goddess with eyes that could melt the polar ice caps. It was not just a question of being out of her league, we weren't even playing the same game. And it was an awfully long way to cycle to see her. But a lad can dream...

And in today's puzzle, the object of my desire was the alignment of Rg1/ g7 / Kg8. The black queen is so very nearly trapped, the Bf6 is so very nearly pinned, Debbie Harry was so very nearly perfect when she sang about a bloke named Denis.

So I conjured up all manner of silly nothings ... I so badly wanted to play 18. Rg3 because Qxe4 or Qh5 run into Nxf6+ and the queen is lost. But 18. Rg3 Qxf2 is annoying and 18. Rg3 Qxd1# is positively humiliating. Love is a losing game, love can be a shame.

So switch my affections to 18. Rd3. But still the nagging doubt that Joanna Lumley wasn't Miss Right either. Okay, so Rxd1 is no longer a threat, but black still has Qxf2.

Eventually you realise that you need to set your sights a little lower. Actresses and popstars are a little ambitious for a first date. And then you spot the local girls who were there all the time. Just 18. e5, with a giggle in her talk and a wiggle in her walk, makes the world go round and round. And that is how I met the woman who was later to become my ex-wife.

It turns out that the Rg1, like the lead singer of the Bangles, was a red herring. Instead, we should have been looking at the unprotected black queen on f3, and the chance to set up a discovered attack with our queen and knight. While we were getting all hot under the collar for a g file attack, we were missing the opportunities for a little diagonal lurve.

Falling in love is an important part of chess. It can make us persevere with a move and force us to overcome its failings. Many a good tactic has happened because we worked at it and looked for ways to tackle each of our opponent's defences.

But it helps if you fall in love with a good one, not a dud.

And if all this comes across as a little bit sexist, feel free to replace the laydeez with Donny Osmond, David Essex ... or whoever floats your boat.

Jun-08-10  scormus: <.... again, KOTD> Just about says it all
Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: at last a quiet move to kill off the game!

18 e5!

the threats are too many!

18 ... dxe5/Bd8/Bh4 19 Nxf6+ winning the queen
18 ... fxe5/Bg4/Be7 19 Ne7+ winning the queen

18 ... Qf5 19 exf6! winning very quickly as the there are still threats of Ne7+ and fxg7!

18 ... Qxf2 19 Nxf6+ Kh8 20 Nd7 Rhd8 21 Qc3 and black is doomed...

Time to check...

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a knight for a bishop.

Black would probably try 18... Be5 followed by 19... Rab8.

The black queen is defenseless and her white colleague can reach her with 18.e5:

A) 18... Bxe5 19.Ne7+ Kh8 20.Qxf3 + - [Q+N vs B+P].

B) 18... dxe5 19.Ne7+ Bxe7 20.Qxf3 + - [Q vs B+P].

C) 18... Qxf2 19.exf6 g6 20.Rdf1 + - [B vs P].

Jun-08-10  tarek1: I first thought that <18.Rd3> would win the f6 bishop but it appears that <18...Qxf2> is good enough although white is still better.

The other try is <18.e5> attacking the bishop AND threatening to win the queen by <19.Ne7+>. Black can't deal with both threats : <18...dxe5 19.Nxf6+> or <18...Bxe5 19.Ne7+> Of course removing the queen from the diagonal results in the loss of the bishop.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: The day brightened, a ♕ vis-a-vis
Jun-08-10  newzild: Took me a minute to get this - I was distracted by sacrificial possibilities, none of which work, of course.
Jun-08-10  aktajha: Wow, that is a beautiful post <ONCE>; thanks for making my day :).
Jun-08-10  nuwanda:

really brilliant <ONCE>, i enjoyed your post much more than the puzzle


Jun-08-10  eblunt: I doubt I would have seen this OTB. Only because it's a puzzle and I knew ther was something there did I find it, because I resorted to the basics : 1) check all checks and 2) look for loose pieces. Then, of course, the loose black Queen and the possible Knight check when combined look interesting if only that e5 pawn wasn't there ... and of course it can be moved with a threat to the Bishop.
Jun-08-10  englishdave250: Too easy, took less than 3 seconds, e5 EITHOUT exclamation mark, pretty obvious
Premium Chessgames Member
  JG27Pyth: Once has discovered and apparently mastered a wholly new (if minor) literary form: the creative chess kibitz! Bravo.
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