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Gata Kamsky vs Peter Leko
Tal Memorial (2008), Moscow RUS, rd 7, Aug-25
Torre Attack: Classical Defense (A46)  ·  0-1


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Given 15 times; par: 83 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: Either I'm getting good, or this was easier than the typical Thursday puzzle. I suspect the latter.

We want to promote our a2-pawn, but it's being attacked by white's rook on a8. Obviously, we want to block the white rook's attack by interposing a piece on a3. We have a choice: put the bishop there or the rook.

A moment of calculation shows that putting the rook there is much stronger.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: 48...♖a3!!! what a coy move! Though the rook is twice attacked and once defended-it offers a great block and forces home the pawn.
Dec-03-09  southeuro: took me half a second - is that supposed to be a "hard" Thursday puzzle??
Dec-03-09  princeali123456: Same here, leass than a second! I seldom get Thursday's puzzles but this was easy. I would have played Ba3. It would have won too! Now I think Ra3 is more decisive
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: What says Leko's brain? storm the queenside! I rate the blue sky thinking of Ra3. The rook manages the task in shutting off the light square pawn's path. Consulting the comp perhaps 19.Bxf6 with the idea of dxe5 Ng5 since it might turn around his fortunes.
Dec-03-09  antharis: obviously 48... Ra3.

With the help of the Bf8 This blocks the influence of the white Ra8 on the a-file and the pawn will queening. The white Knight will not be able to cover a1 fast enough.

Saw it after about 5 seconds. Cant consider this really as a thursday puzzle...

Dec-03-09  Prelate: Hee hee! A very amusing (although for kamsky highly annoying!) interference tactic! I couldn't see anything for black in the first few seconds, but then I noticed the sneaky little a pawn just waiting to promote- an the rest was easy! 48...Ra3! ends the game.
49. Rxa3 Bxa3 50.Nxa3 a2-a1Q - the Knight has hamstrung itself! A beautiful finish!
Dec-03-09  MrMelad: This should be a monday puzzle. Took me less then 3 seconds, 48..Ra3 was the first move I considered, if white captures with either piece or doesn't capture at all its queen time.
Dec-03-09  GreenFacedPatzer: Got it! W00t.

That's 4/4 for me so far this week, which is the first time that's happened in over a year. (Most likely, it's just an easy week.)

Actually, I spotted 48 ... Ba3 first, which also wins for similar reasons, (but you lose more material in the process). I weighed it against ... Ra3, and found it prettier (white can choose which pieces to take and even how to take them, but can't stop the pawn queening). The less beautiful ... Ra3 won out, simply because it loses less material on the way.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: With this sort of tactics, I won a game in the National Championship many many years ago. Here, 48...Ra3 brings the curtains down. Of course, 48...Ba3 also wins but not so quick as ...Ra3.
Dec-03-09  SuperPatzer77: << TheaN 48....Ba3 49.Kxf3 a1=Q 50.Rxa3 is no check, there's a White King on f3... >. Anyways, that might actually draw as it wins both Black pieces for the Queen, after 48....Ra3 it's either Q+B vs R+N or Q vs N, winning easily. Weird choice for a puzzle.>

48...Ba3, 49. Kxf3 a1=Q, 50. Rxa3 Qf1+ (winning the White Knight), 51. Ke3 Qxc4 - that leads to the Q vs R endgame.

48...Ra3! is much better than 48...Ba3 because the Q vs N endgame is easier than the Q vs R endgame. It sure as shooting gives Black easy win.

<TheaN> Yeah, it is a weird choice for this puzzle.


Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: I got this easily, I honestly expected a Thursday to be harder
Dec-03-09  VincentL: This puzzle is easy to solve because there are not many pieces on the board. The black king and pawns are not going to contribute anything immediate; there are no forks when the white pieces are on white squares and black has a black-squared bishop; there is no mating net with the white king in the mdidle of an open board - so the only way forward is to queen the pawn.

The pawn is under attack, and so the only reasonable option is to put a piece on a3 to block the threat and enable the pawn to queen. The only choice is between Ra3 and Ba3, and a quick check shows Ra3 to be superior (although Ba3 should also win).

If there had been more pieces on the board, and various other possibilities for black, I just wonder whether I would have seen Ra3 so quickly.

Dec-03-09  Scarecrow: I remembered this game, but I think I would have found the solution anyway.
Dec-03-09  Patriot: With so many complaining about how easy today's puzzle is, tomorrow's will be a doozy!
Dec-03-09  WhiteRook48: had 48...Ba3
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: The strong suprise move in this game is the unusual double attack 22...Qf4!, when after 23. Nh4?! Qh6! it would appear Black's clearly winning.

After 22...Qf4! the best and perhaps only chance of surviving seems to be 23. Bxh7+! Kxh7 24. Bg5 Bxf3 25. Bxf4 Bxd1 26. Rxd1 Be7 , when White has reasonable drawing prospects in spite of Black's extra pawn and dangerous Queenside majority.

P.S.: Although it's not a sure win, 22...Qf4! is the kind of move strong GM's often use to snare a full point. That's because it creates complications leaving the opponent a difficult defense just to draw, while at the same time leaving him many tempting and easy ways to lose.

As such, 22...Qf4! might make for a good Sunday puzzle.

Dec-03-09  BoBBY FISCHEr: That's so easy! Of course Ra3.
Dec-03-09  zealouspawn: probably the easiest thursday I've ever seen.. more like a tuesday puzzle
Dec-03-09  Tubba324: It took me just one second to find the right move and another 3 or so to check its soundness.
Dec-03-09  sleepyirv: How many one-move tactical puzzles have people seen on Thursdays?
Dec-03-09  GaeBulg: I thought it was white's move...saw the rook there and was like "just take it...o.O"

haha, epic fail.

Dec-04-09  desiobu: <Patriot> 48...Ke6 was a joke :) I thought a move which puts a third piece en prise would be seen as one
Premium Chessgames Member
  sethoflagos: Bit of a sledgehammer to crack a walnut but

48 ... Ra3
49 Nxa3 a1=Q


49 Rxa3 Bxa3
50 Nxa3 a1=Q

May-10-10  funkymihir: can kamsky beat leko???? and wat about 39.g6
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