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Hristos Banikas vs Dragan Kosic
Olympiad (2008), Dresden GER, rd 9, Nov-22
English Opening: Symmetrical. Four Knights Variation (A35)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-05-11  LIFE Master AJ: 61...Rg4+! should win easily.
Jan-05-11  psmith: This seemed easy for a Wednesday.
Jan-05-11  1.e4effort: OK, well, this is a bit tougher than what we've seen this week. Black is looking good with those 2 queens in waiting, but White is one move away from mate. Gotta get either the King or the Bishop off their roost - only thing I see is a a Rook sac with 61...Rg4+. Something's gotta give and if it were me I'd probably lay my King down and set up the board for a new game after that move, becuawse the next thing Black is gonna do is 62...h1=Q and then its pretty much all over but the shouting. And the singing. And the dancing and jumping.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Jimfromprovidence: Black has only two moves to stop himself from being mated and both turn out to win for him. These are 61...Rg4+, or 61...Be3+, seeing 62 Rxe3 Rg4+.

61...Be3+ caught my eye first, even though it's a far inferior move.>

Jim's post is an excellent description of Black's predicament in today's Wednesday puzzle, as 61...Rg4+ and 61...Be3+ are the only two moves to avoid a quick mate.

It turns out both moves win. However 61...Be3+ is inferior because after 62. Rxe3 Black must now play 62...Rg4+! anyway, since 62...h8Q?? results in mate-in-two after 63. Bg6+ Kg8 64. Re8#. It still wins, but 61...Be3+ 62. Rxe3 Rg4+! makes winning more difficult with one less piece.

The best move 62...Rg4+! could be classified as either a defensive combination or a passed pawn combination or an in-between move.

I can hear the public service announcement now: "We interrupt this pawn promotion to defend against the mate threats with an amazing zwischenzug!"

I think I'll put this combination in a new game collection I'm starting, entitled "defense and offense combined." While the move 62...Rg4+! is defensive in preventing mate, it's also offensive in allowing one of the pawns to safely promote for a decisive material advantage.

Premium Chessgames Member
  CHESSTTCAMPS: In this opposite-colored bishops ending, black is up two pawns, both on the verge of promotion, but white has the immediate deadly threat of 62.Bg6#. The defense 61... g6?? loses to 62.Bxg6+ Kg7 63.f6# and 61... Rd6?? loses to 62.Bg6+ Rxg6 63.fxg6#. This leaves two candidates that avoid a quick mate and win if played correctly. The simplest is

61... Rg4+! removes either the king or bishop from white's would-be mating bind and gains a tempo to promote the pawns. This leaves only two lines to be analyzed:

A) 62.Kxg4 d1=Q+ 63.Kg5 Qxh5+ 64.Kxh5 h1=Q+ wins easily.

B) 62.Bxg4 h1=Q 63.f6 Qh6+ 64.Kf5 Qxf6+ wins.

B.1) 63.Re8 (and others) Qh6#

B.2) 63.Bh5 Qxh5+ 64.Kxh5 d1=Q+ wins.

B.3) 63.Kf4 d1=Q 64.Bxd1 Bh2+ wins.

Also winning from the puzzle position is the superfluous 61... Be3+ 62.Rxe3 Rg4+! 63.Bxg4 (Kxg4 d1=Q+ 64.Kg5 Qxh5+ etc) h1=Q 64.Kf4 d1=Q 65.Bxd1 Qxd1.

Jan-05-11  lost in space: White has the mate threat 62. Bg6#. Black has to cover this and a t the same time ensure that at least one of his paws will promote.

61...Rg4+ is doing the trick. Not that complicated.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: Well, this one is reasonably simple, but only because most moves lose immediately...

61 ... h1=Q/d1=Q/a5/a6 62 Bg6#
61 ... Rd6 62 Bg6+ Rxg6 63 fxg6#
61 ... g6 62 Bxg6+ Kg7 63 f6#

So that only leaves two other possible checks that avoid 62 Bg6#; Be3+ and Rg4+.

61 ... Be3+ 62 Rxg4+ and this has only delayed the issue one move and left black another piece down, so I think we will ignore this...

So the answer must be...

<61 ... Rg4+>

62 Kxg4 d1=Q+
63 Kg5 Be3+
64 Rxe3 Qd2! winning

<62 Bxg4 h1=Q>

White has no checks and no way to force checkmate, but black has lots of checks and lots of potential, least of which is promoting Pd2 and becoming a full 2Q v R up! So I think white will retire gracefully as the following looks painful!

<63 Bh5 Be3+>

64 Kg4 d1=Q+
65 Kg3 Qdg1#

<64 Rxe3 Qg1+>
<65 Kf4 Qf2+>

<66 Rf3 Qd4+ 67 Kg5 d1=Q winning>

<66 Bf3 d1=Q winning>

<66 Ke4 Qh4+ winning>

Time to check.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Another easy one:61...♖g4+ forces white's hand.

Black either queens with check or deflects the mate-threatening piece,depending on white's feeble reply.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Had to be the rook sac on g4. And it is. Interesting position.
Jan-05-11  nevzka: same as YCP.. I thought black pawn is going up.. so my solution is g8=Q+ ROFL...
Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: In the line

<61 ... Rg4+ >
<62 Kxg4 d1=Q+ >
<63 Kg5 ... >

everyone seems to have plumped for

<63 ... Qxh5+ >
<64 Kxh5 h1=Q+ >

ending Q+B v R up. But what about

<63 ... Be3+! >
<64 Rxe3 Qd2!!>

Black only has two options

a) save the rook (which is impossible)

<64 Kf4 h1=Q > ending 2Q v B up

b) try to stop the second promotion

<64 Bf3 Qxe3+>
<65 Kg4 Qxf3+>
<66 Kxf3 h1=Q+> ending Q up

A little more elaborate perhaps, but a bit more clear cut! But it was nice to see that white did go gracefully after Rg4+!

Jan-05-11  BOSTER: For me this ending looks like artificial composition,and only the question is who needs the bishop g1?
Jan-05-11  WhiteRook48: i got it, 61...Rg4+!!
Jan-05-11  Shamot: wow! what a post <Once>! Thanks for a nice reminder to all of us about prioritizing matters in life.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: This is one of those puzzles that conveys only the tiniest, faintest hint of the funambulistic terror -- as in the experience of being balanced on a high wire above a precipice -- which is conveyed by playing such a game over the board.

I wanted to play 1.h4# mate too. Or maybe 1.Be3+ followed by g8Q+. After a while, I worked out which way the pawns were moving and saw Rg4+, though I still wanted to play Be3+ first -- partly to decoy the rook, partly because it's so nearly a mate, and partly to clear the lines between the two potential queens on the first rank.

But if you ever play one of these, you know damn well which way the pawns go.

Jan-05-11  rilkefan: <<patzer2><I think I'll put this combination in a new game collection I'm starting, entitled "defense and offense combined.>

Cool, will check it out.

Jan-05-11  Shamot: I do not understand what you are talking about <Domdaniel>. The moves you are talking about, 1.h4# and g8Q+, don't exist. Do they?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Shamot> - <The moves you are talking about, 1.h4# and g8Q+, don't exist. Do they?> Nope, they don't. But if you read the earlier comments you'll see that the weirdness of the position confused quite a few people. I was just adding my knot to the thread.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <shamot> We've all done it from time to time - looked at a puzzle of the day and found a move for white when actually it is black to play. Or momentarily got confused about which way round the board was.

When I first looked at the puzzle position...

click for larger view

... my first thought was that we were black playing up the board and not down the board. And if that is the case, then the move a7-a5+ (or possibly even h4+ if we are confused enough) seems a perfectly logical and legal thing to do.

Of course, if the board was that way around then h4+ or a7-a5+ wouldn't be mate because the pawn on g7/ b2 couldn't go backwards. But it's been a long day at the office and after a couple (aka three to four) of glasses of claret just about anything is possible...

Jan-05-11  dufferps: Interesting that white can continue so much longer with 62. Kxg4 than with 62.Bxg4.

And (as is so often the case) white was right on the cusp of checkmate. Bg6# would be his next move.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Once> There's an interesting psychological point (or two) here. I suspect that most people, on looking at a new position, scan the 2nd rank for pawns -- since all the pawns start life on the 2nd and 7th ranks, you can usually find a clump of them still there, and use them for orientation.

It's a kind of *priyome* -- one of those mentalese chunks that we break chess down into. And what's confusing here is that black has 2 pawns on both the 2nd and 7th ranks. So, diagram conventions aside, he could be moving either way.

The second point is my automatic identification of the square on the right as h4 ... while, as you point out, it would have to be a5 if black really was moving upwards. This implies some kinda cognitive slippage between the frame that contains the board and the one that holds the pieces ...

And that's without even getting into the topic of notation. I've seen how people who are used to describing the board from their own perspective (as in descriptive) sometimes make mistakes when switching to algebraic. But that's a different meta-problem. I think ...

As is the fact that some players are now so familiar with chess positions on screens that they use them in OTB tournaments, and have trouble with 3-D pieces. Or so I hear ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <dom> my favourite was an old friend of mine who would insist on using descriptive notation but exclusivlely from his own point of view. So his version of the Ruy as white would read:

1. P-K4 P-K5
2. N-KB3 N-QB6

And as the black side of the Ruy he would write:

1. P-K5 P-K4
2. N-KB6 N-QB3

And it all made perfect sense to him, even if it looks distinctly weird to the rest of us.

Jan-05-11  wals: Goodness gracious, I GOT IT, albeit not all the way to #.

WHITE'S major errors.

35.Bc5, -1.58. Best, Bd2, 0.78.
Analysis by Rybka 4 x64: d : 17: 6 min

1. (-0.78): 35.Bd2 Rxe4 36.Rxe4 Rd4 37.f6 Qxf6 38.Nc3[] Rxe4 39.Qxf6[] gxf6 40.Nxe4[] Bxe4+ 41.Kg1[] Nb5 42.Be3 Bg6 43.Bd5 a6 44.Bb7 a5 45.Ra1 Nd6 46.Bd5 f5 47.Rxa5 f4 48.Bd2 Kg7 49.Ra7+ Kh6 50.Ra6

WHITE : d 19 : 3 min :
47.Ke3, -2.47. Best, Ne4, -1.75.

1. (-1.75): 47.Ne4 Rxe4 48.Rxe4 Nxe4 49.Kxe4 Kh6 50.Ke3 Be5 51.b3 Kg5 52.Kxd2 h4 53.Bc2 h3 54.Ke3 h2 55.Be4[] a5 56.Kf2 Kf4 57.Bc6 Kxf5 58.Bd7+ Ke4 59.Bc6+ Kd4 60.Kg2 g5 61.Bd7 Ke4 62.Bg4

WHITE : d 20 : 5 min :
55.Ke5, -4.77. White needs Black to blunder to have any chance.

and Black obliges, leaving White with some hope that there will be another error. d 21 : 4 min :
55...Rd8, -3.41. Best, Rh4, -4.77.

WHITE, however, really puts his foot in it, with,
d 23 : 4 min :
57.Kg5, -11.75. Best, Re2, -2.93.

WHITE'S hope of a miracle or Black's demise, faded with the move- d 18 : 3 min :
59.Re4, -#20.
59...Rd4, -12.45. Best, Bf2, -#14,
was of little help to White.

and played out -
Analysis by Rybka 4 x64: d 16 : 5 min :

1. (-#11): 62.Bxg4 h1Q[] 63.f6 Qh6+ 64.Kf5 Qxf6+[] 65.Ke4 Qd4+[] 66.Kf5 Bh2 67.Rh8+ Kxh8 68.Bd1 Kh7 69.Bc2 d1Q 70.Bxd1 Qe5+ 71.Kg4 Qf4+ 72.Kh5 g6#

2. (-#8): 62.Kxg4 d1Q+[] 63.Kg5 Be3+ 64.Rxe3 Qd8+ 65.Kg4 Qd4+ 66.Kg5 Qxe3+ 67.Kg4 h1Q 68.Bg6+ Kh6 69.b4 Qef3#

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Once> Weird, yes, but strangely compelling.

And more logical, in its way, than some of those old books that tied themselves in knots trying to explain descriptive notation:

"Chess notation is easy! Every square has two names, which change with the players. Now, if you are Black, simply turn the page upside down!"

Or words to that effect...

Jan-05-11  TheBish: H Banikas vs D Kosic, 2008

Black to play (61...?) "Medium/Easy"

White is threatening mate by 62. Bg6#, and of no help is 61...Rd6? 62. Bg6+ Rxg6+ 63. hxg6#, or 61...Be3+? 62. Rxe3 h1=Q 63. Bg6+ Kg8 64. Re8#, or 61...g6 62. Bxg6+ Kg7 63. f6#.

But 61...Rg4+! messes up White's mating plans, and allows Black to safely queen next move.

62. Bxg4 (or 62. Kxg4 d1=Q+) h1=Q 63. Bh5 Qxh5+ 64. Kxh5 d1=Q+ leads to an easy win.

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