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Fabiano Caruana vs Francisco Vallejo Pons
18th Pamplona International (2008)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B90)  ·  1-0
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sac: 28.Rf5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I didn't get it. I thought that the knight moves attacking the queen would peter out and that black would win. I never saw that these knight moves were really a set up for Nxe7 with check on move 32. Just brilliant play.

Having said all of that again I'm stuck on a variation of the text, namely 30...Qb5!?

click for larger view

I like this variation because the ...Qxd3+ threat is still there, thereby not allowing Qxh5. I do see 31 Nxe7+ Kg7, below, but now what?

click for larger view

Dec-05-10  goldenbear: I had Nd4 first... does it matter?
Dec-05-10  BOSTER: Looking at the position on diargam it is not difficult to see the attractive idea - to open "g" file. When I began moving the Knight Nb3-d4-f5 I noticed that I can move my Rook on f5. So 28.Rf5-the interposition if gxf5
29.Nd4 -to move the Black Queen from attack d3 pawn and transfer Knight to King's side. Qe5 30.Nc6 and here I stop count all variations, because I thought that Black Queen should move and after Qxh5 game is over. But watching the game I was surprised when Black played nice desperado 30.Nf4.
Dec-05-10  Quentinc: <I like this variation because the ...Qxd3+ threat is still there, thereby not allowing Qxh5. I do see 31 Nxe7+ Kg7, below, but now what? Jim> Doesn't 32.Nxf5+ look awfully good for White? If Black moves his King on the g file, then Qg4+, and rook file Qxh5+ of course. So I'm looking at 32...Kf6 33.Bg5+ Kxg5 34. Qf4+ Kf6 35. Qh4+ Ke5 (...Ke6 36.Nd4+) 36. Qe7+ Kf4 37. Qxd6+ Kf3 38. Rxg3+ Nxg3 39. Qxg3+Ke2 40. Qe3+ and I'm getting of tired of typing :), but it looks like White forces mate. I'm probably missing all sorts of things, but it sure looks like White should be able to force a win.

The problem for me is too many variations, just like in solving the puzzle (I "got" the first two moves but had no real confidence Black didn't have some resource I was missing.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's Sunday puzzle solution, the stunning <28. Rf5!!> combines a defensive combination with a simultaneous attack on Black's weakened castled position.

The capture <28...gxf5!> is practically forced as declining the sacrifice loses a piece without compensation after 29. Rxh5 Bf6 (29... gxh5? 30. Rxg3+ Bg5 31. Rxg5+ Kh7 32. Qxh5#) 30. Rxg3 Rac8 31. Rd5! .

White's in-between move <29. Nd4!> is critical, as White loses after 29. Qxh5?? Qxd3+! 30. Kc1 Qxe3+ .

The best reply for Black is <29... Qe5>

If 29... Qd7, then simply 30. Qxh5 with a mating attack decides.

An interesting defense, trading the Queen for the Rook and a Knight, is 29... Ng7!?, but it still loses after 30. Nxb5 axb5 31. Bd4!, when play might continue 31...f6 32. exf5 Rf7 33. Rxg3 Ra6 34. h4 .

Now White wins with strong technique after <30. Nc6! Nf4>

Not 30... Qe6?? 31. Qxh5 with an overwhelming attack.

<31. Bxf4 Qxf4 32. Nxe7+ Kh7>

If 32... Kg7, then 33. Rxg3+ Qxg3 34. Nxf5+ .

<33. Nxf5 Kg6 34. Ne7+ Kh7>

If 34... Kg5, then 35. Rf1 Qh4 36. Qe3+ Kh5
37. Rf5+ Qg5 38. Qxg5#.

If 34... Kg7, then 35. Rxg3+ Kh7 36. Qh5+ Qh6 37. Rg7+ Kxg7 38. Nf5+ Kf6 39. Qxh6+ Ke5 40. Qxd6#.

<35. Nf5! Kg6 36. Rf1 Qg5 37. h4 Qf6>

If 37... Qd8, then 38. Qg4+ Kf6 39. e5+! dxe5 [39... Kxe5 40. Re1+ Kd5 (40... Kf6 41. Qg5#+) 41. Qc4#] 40. Nd4+ Ke7 41. Nc6+ .

<38. Qg4+ Kh7 39. Qh5+ Kg8 40. Nh6+ 1-0>

Dec-05-10  LIFE Master AJ: Quick check-list ... and about 2-3 minutes.

28.Rf5!? (Check after chess club.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <Jim> Quentic, you beat me to it - shouldnt have been following the skiing ;-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Quentic> (concerning the variation after 30...Qb5!? 31 Nxe7+ Kg7)

<Doesn't 32.Nxf5+ look awfully good for White? If Black moves his King on the g file, then Qg4+, and rook file Qxh5+ of course. So I'm looking at 32...Kf6 33.Bg5+ Kxg5 34. Qf4+ Kf6 35. Qh4+ Ke5 (...Ke6 36.Nd4+) 36. Qe7+ Kf4 37. Qxd6+ Kf3 38. Rxg3+ Nxg3 39. Qxg3+Ke2 40. Qe3+ and I'm getting of tired of typing :), but it looks like White forces mate.>

I think you got it. I really like your analysis of why the king has to go to the f file after 32 Nxf5+.

For a while I got stuck after 32...Kf6 33 Bg5+ if black responds with 33...Kg6, below, instead of your 33...Kxg5.

click for larger view

But I figured that the bishop has to move to allow the attack to continue, so maybe 33 Bh4! is it.

click for larger view

It looks like Qg4+ is now unstoppable unless black give up his queen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <Jim> You make a good point about ... Qxd3+. From the start it was B's ace in the hole. Even if your ... Qb5 is not technically the best move, maintaining that threat might have been B's best chance, OTB.
Dec-05-10  BOSTER: This is the position after 32.Nxe7+

click for larger view

Here Black played 32...Kh7
The question is : could Black escape if they played 32...Kg7?

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <BOSTER 32 ... Kg7.> There may be a quick win with 33 Nxf5+, but if not then 33 Rxg3+ is surely enough
Premium Chessgames Member
  RandomVisitor: White could have played Rf5 two moves earlier and pulled himself out of an inferior position:

After 26.Rf5!

click for larger view


<[+0.00] d=20 26...Qc7> 27.Rxh5 Bd7 28.Nf5 Bf6 29.Bg5 Qc3 30.Bxf6 Qxf6 31.Rxg3 Rac8 32.Nh6+ Kg7 33.Nf5+ Bxf5 34.Rxf5 Qd4 35.Rd5 Qc3 36.Rg1 Rh8 37.Rxd6 Rxh3 38.Rf1 Rc7 39.e5 Re3 40.Qxe3

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <RV> Wow! I'm sure glad CG didnt give us 26. W to play ;-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <RV> I assume 26. Rf5!= would have helped to avoid 27...Bb6! to , which Black missed in the game.

Instead 27...Qb5? in the game, allowed the 28. Rf5!! Sunday puzzle solution and winning shot.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Once> The disgruntled Rook was right about 36. Rxg3+!, even though 36. Rf1! also works.

After 36. Rxg3+! Kf6 37. Rf3 Qe5 38. d4 Qa5 39. Qe3! Ke6 40. Qh6+ Kd7 41. Qxd6+ Kc8 42. Qxf8+ , White has an easy win.

Dec-05-10  wals: No chance.

Rybka 4 x 64

depth: 20 : 10 min ;
White error
(-0.74):22.Kb1. Best, Rxg3, = 0.00.

depth: 21 : 11 min :
Black blunder
(=0.00):25...Bxa4. Best, Bf6, -1.22.

depth: 20 : 5 min :
White blunder
(-1.37):26.bxa4. Best, Rf5, =0.00.

depth: 19 : 4 min :
White blunder
(-2.28):27.Nb3. Best, Rf5, -1.25.

depth: 19 : 4 min :
Black blunder
(+2.06):27...Qb5. Best, Rfc8, -2.28.

depth: 19 : 3 min :
Black blunder
(+3.60):28...gxf5. Best, Qc6, +2.02.

depth: 19 : 6 min :
Black blunder
(+6.20):30...Nf4. Best, Ng7, +5.62.

depth: 20 : 4 min :
White blunder
(+3.12):34.Ne7+. Best, Rxg3, +7.10.

depth: 24 : 3 min :
White blunder
(=0.00):35.Nf5. Best, Rxg3, +3.20.

depth: 18 : 3 min :
Black blunder
(+5.94):35...Kg6, is the best move.

depth: 21 : 17 min :
Black blunder
(+14.72):37...Qf6. Best, g2, +6.65.

there was no change up to move 40,
and with no chance of White's decease
or a miracle occurance, Black resigned.

If continued the game may have progressed,

depth: 16 : 17 min :

1. (28.75): 40...Qxh6 41.Qxh6 Rae8 42.Rg1 Re6[] 43.Rxg3+[] Rg6 44.Rxg6+ fxg6 45.Qxg6+ Kh8 46.Qxd6[] Rf1+ 47.Kb2[] a5 48.Qe5+[] Kg8 49.Qxa5[] Rh1 50.e5 Rf1 51.Qxb4[] Rf2+ 52.Kb3[] Rf1 53.Qg4+ Kf7 54.Qd7+[] Kg6 55.e6 Rb1+

2. (#19): 40...Kg7 41.Rxf6[] Kxf6 42.Qg5+ Ke6 43.Qd5+[] Kd7 44.Nf5 Rae8 45.Qb7+ Ke6 46.Qc7[] Kf6 47.Qxd6+ Re6 48.Qxf8 Rxe4 49.dxe4[] Ke5 50.Qc5+ Kxe4 51.Nd6+ Kf3 52.Qd5+ Ke2 53.Qe4+ Kf2 54.Qf4+ Ke2 55.Nf5 f6

Dec-05-10  Fezzik: I haven't scored brilliantly this week, but I found this to be easier than I expected. It's possible though, that I remembered the game more than solved.

28.Rf5!! gf5 29.Nd4! (an intermezzo to stop Black's Qd3 intermezzo) is more a matter of vision than insanely difficult calculation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  RandomVisitor: As <wals> points out above, 22.Rxg3 is best:

click for larger view

Rybka 4 x64:

<[+0.00] d=25 22.Rxg3> Nh5 23.Rg2 Bxa4 24.bxa4 Bf6 25.Be2 Rac8 26.Kb1 Nc4 27.Bxc4 Rxc4 28.Qe2 Rxd4 29.Rxd4 Nf4 30.Bxf4 Bxd4 31.Bxd6 Re8 32.e5 Re6 33.Rxg7+ Kxg7 34.Qg4+ Kh7 35.Qxd4 Qxa4 36.Be7 Qb5 37.Qh4+

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Once> On second thought the Queen was right about 36. Rf1! as it keeps it simpler for human calculation. After 36 Rf1 Qg5 37. h4, the only reasonable alternative for Black to avoid the game continuation is 37...Qd8 when 38. Qg4+ Kf6 39. Nd4+! Ke7 (39...Ke5 40. Nc6#) 40. Nc6+ wins the Queen with a Knight Fork.
Dec-05-10  knight knight: <wals> Interesting Rybka analysis. I don't understand why 28...Qc6 is a defensive try, nor why 35. Nf5? allows black to draw.
Dec-05-10  prbprb2: Does anybody's chess computer find 28. Rf5 ?
Dec-05-10  TheBish: F Caruana vs Vallejo-Pons, 2008

White to play (28.?) "Insane"

The black knight is a key defender (defending the g3 pawn as well as the king), and that is defended by the g6 pawn and the queen on b5. I found a way to disrupt that defense, and I believe it's the key move.

28. Rf5!! gxf5

Or 28...Qd7 29. Rxh5 gxh5 30. Rxg3+, mating.

29. Nd4!

But not 29. Qxh5? Qxd3+ 30. Ka1 Qxe3 and White is in trouble. White must drive the queen off first.

29...Qe5 30. Qxe5 f4

More logical than 30...fxe4 31. Nf5 Bf6 32. Bd4, winning.

31. Nf5 fxe3

Also losing is 31...Bf6 32. Bd4 Qe6 33. Nh6+ Kh7 (or 33...Kg7 34. Qg5+ Kh7 35. Bxf6) 34. Ng4+ Kg7 35. Qg5+! Kh7 36. Nxf6+ and wins.

32. Rxg3+ Qxg3 33. Nxe7+!

White can be greedy here, getting both the bishop and the queen.

33...Kg7 34. Nf5+ Kf6 35. Nxg3 and White will follow by winning the e3 pawn. Two rooks will be no match for queen and knight.

Dec-05-10  TheBish: White choice a different path on move 30 (Nc6 rather than my Qxh5). I'll have to put on Fritz to see how they compare.
Dec-06-10  TheBish: Close, but no cigar. Also had 30. Qxe5 when I meant 30. Qxh5. I had the right plan, but didn't have the patience (or energy, or time) to calculate the best variations out to the end. Next time need to do this earlier in the day!
Jan-20-13  fisayo123: Caruana's immortal.
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