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Francisco Vallejo Pons vs Ian Nepomniachtchi
"Ponsy's Scheme" (game of the day Aug-02-2010)
18th Pamplona International (2008), Pamplona ESP, rd 6, Dec-28
Sicilian Defense: Closed Variation (B23)  ·  1-0


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Given 24 times; par: 45 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-01-14  Conrad93: I got this puzzle without even analyzing the position.

I considered 16. Qa4 as the second candidate move, but 16. Ne6+ was just too obvious.

Premium Chessgames Member
  M.Hassan: "Difficult"
White has a pawn for a Knight.

16.Ne6+ Bxe6
17.dxe6 d5
18.Bxd5 Ra7
19.Bg2 to clear way for Queen to d8
20.Qd4 Rc7
21.Qb6 Kf6
22.exf7+ Rc6
23.f8=Q+ Kg6
White should win beyond doubt
Time to check

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mating Net: I agree with <al wazir> <16. Qe2 and 17. Re3 looks pretty winning to me> especially because Black can't develop his Q side to cover the e8 square without giving back material.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: White is spoilt for choice; Ne6+, f4, h4, Qa4, Qf3. But One move screams out to be played as it causes an immediate mate threat that causes black significant issues...

<16 Rae3 ...>

Creating an escape square gives back black's piece advantage and gives white control of the back rank, not an option...

16 ... f5/f6/g6/g5
17 Re8+ Kg7
18 Rxf8

Defending against Re8+ is difficult!

16 ... Qd8?
17 Nc6! Nxc6
18 dxc6 (19 Qxd6+ is terminal for black)

16 ... Bd7
17 Ne6+ fxe6 (17 ... Bxe6 18 dxe6 is much worse for black)

18 dxe6 (19 Qxd6+ is terminal for black)

<16 ... Nf6>
<17 Ne6+ fxe6>
<18 dxe6 ...>

White gives up yet another piece to open up attacks on Pd6 and Ra8. This is where things become a little confusing; "what is black's defence? and what is white's response". All very interesting, but not exactly clear-cut.

19 ... d5?
20 cxd5!?


Hmmm, so I was meant to play Ne6+ immediately? That was "Difficult"! So what does Fritz say Mr <Once>...

Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonalley: 16.N-K6+ looks to be the most immediate way for white to increase the pressure on black's horrible position... but the continuations appear to be many (too many for yours truly to calculate) ...methinks this is "very difficult"
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <gofer> Your Rae3 seems fine.

After about ten minutes, Fritzie rates four moves as better than plus 2 and several others just below +2.

The best are:

16. Ne6+ (+2.64)
16. c5 (+2.38)
16. Rae3 (+2.24)
16. Qc2 (+2.2)

Then a long long tail of also pretty good moves. 16. Qe2 currently comes in at number 14 (!) with +1.32.

In human mode, I was attracted to 16. Ne6+ fxe6 17. dxe6

click for larger view

Now white threatens Rf3+, Bxa1 and Qxd6+. If 17...Ra7 18. Qxd6+ and the Nb8 falls.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <16.Ne6+> and White wins

Its hard to imagine Black seriously thinking he could defend this position what-with 5 pieces arrayed along the 8th rank.

In any case, White can gain entrance through the front door, back door, side door, sliding door, or just about any door he wants...wait, there aren't any doors at all !? Besides that, there aren't any walls...


Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: When I saw this position, I thought about forking the king and queen on e6. Unfortunately, that square was guarded twice, but if the knight was captured, dxe6 comes with a discovered attack.
Aug-01-14  gerryrulloda: What was 8....b4 for?
Aug-01-14  dfcx: I figured the following moves,
16.Ne6+ fxe6 17.dxe6
threatening both Bxa8 and Qxd6
17...d5 18. Rf3+ Nf6

I did not see 19. h4! followed by Qxd5 winning

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: 10. ...Bc8 is spectacular.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black game crumbles under the pressure!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <gerryrulloda: What was 8....b4 for?>

In the Sicilian (1. e4 c5), white is generally going to attack on the kingside and black is going to grab territory on the queenside.

The plan for white is usually to grab black's king by the throat in the early middlegame. Black usually castles short.

Meanwhile black wants to push on the queenside. If white castles long, black will pursue him on the queenside, often with an exchange sac (rook for Nc3).

If white castles kingside, black may try to win an endgame on the basis that he has marginally better pawns - after white plays d4 and black recaptures with his c pawn, black has two pawns in the centre to white's one.

Or sometimes black attacks on the queenside with the plan of turning through ninety degrees and going after the white king on the kingside.

8...b4 is part of this general black plan of queenside expansion. To be sure it is a pawn move when black ought to be developing pieces, but black argues that the white knight has to move from c3 so black isn't losing a tempo.

Against slow white play, black will develop his pieces and either play for a pawn storm on the queenside or stick a rook on c8 to pressurise c2.

Fritzie doesn't rate the move as the best, but he doesn't laugh into his lagerbeer about it either.

Personally, I would have preferred to develop a piece with 8...Nf6, but then I don't play the black side of the Sicilian.

Aug-01-14  brainzugzwang: Saw at least the opening moves of the puzzle combination, but is there a specific reason Black played 16... fxe6 as opposed to 16...Bxe6? The bishop doesn't seem to be doing anything useful anyway.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <David2009><But after 17...Ra7 18.Qxd6+ Qe7 19.Qxb8 Qc7 and Black probably survives to win. In this line, 18.Rf3+ Nf6 19.Qxd6+ Re7 20.Qxb8 may be stronger, but Black can defend with Qc5>

Ran 17...Ra7 through Fritz 12, and the result indicates 17...Ra7 is no better at saving Black's game than 17...d5.

Move-by-move analysis with Fritz gives 17... Ra7 18. Qxd6+ Qe7 19. Qxb8 Qc7 20. e7+ Nxe7 21. Rf3+ Ke8 22. Qb3 Bb7 23. Rfe3 Bxg2 24. Rxe7+ Qxe7 25. Rxe7+ Rxe7 26. Kxg2 Rf8 27. Qa4+ Kf7 28. Qxa6 (+6.25 @ 22/43 depth on a 2.1GHZ dual core processor) with an easy win for White.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <brainzugzwang: Saw at least the opening moves of the puzzle combination, but is there a specific reason Black played 16... fxe6 as opposed to 16...Bxe6> I think Black saw he was busted after 16. Ne6+! and thought 16...d5 offered more opportunity to survive.

After 16... Bxe6 17. dxe6 d5 18. exf7 Nf6 19. h4 Qg4 20. Re8+ Kxf7 2 1. Qxg4 Nxg4 22. Rxh8 (+11.34 @ 21/44 depth per Fritz 12), Black is still lost.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Loot a e6 mind halt to the hilt man d4 far gain:

chip victor me slink e6 dint bank page for one march e6 feels about right spy on his weakness an uncastled king for alma mater to be pried away in:

effect him dink around dint lovely pins clink in cad afraid riven eg liege nt a ogle 14...Bg5 oh be won key mouse f6 light house more up against the grain f6 provides stiffer opposition have ignoble misshap reign in ar: be a good while f6 develop and give f8 a key retreat square balloons up aropuse it brave in bow giddy on back g5 swop to the hilt bank i'de cuff a ne6 as my temple to pierce the black veil of biblical proportyions at have g5 bad a guess am in da house to danger bill a good while come g5 offer only fane wrack shrine up ride a lion add ok change to step in charge knight up addendum in sight e6 longer to rights again healthy Roi go back g5 to the f6 mountain i would head glean and oh grant permission got good g5 as poor gazooks eg ment quarter a ok bind eg pennies from heave ilk rains down g5 on me bade go ok line g5 low in e6 da da dum a step am gg he as then g5 borough general district off course it is grief in grave under e6 take nip i geed up eg be a glib bide time for d4 saves a free ivory binge e6 et tu brute dipoff forge a path am got blink e6 and you'll miss a flurry to wrap up the game quick although if ive this right a chance 16.Rae3 also wins about nice touch score am a plug light rook as pair efile wheel in cycle gum ever g5 tickle out of the equation an e2 maybe as the third i'd:

go for a wrinkly one d4 up on time a culpa e6 good as ago bishop believe joins later i be proof creak open the door free dead monkey chain e6 hang:

around a hood wink as oomph aim blow away the cobweb first act b4 lets d5 at seated it now in also advance i dance light knight at cor a delve:

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a crane 15...Nf6 dare ok flight in floats fringe benefit old over one two sucker punch an orange boom i e6 after swop g5 remove bishop ballon oust where to go ooh e6 la la nab trounce foot feint i flint frag hoof g5 off bishop ghost rough affable c8 flank you steel a march e6 tight energy under the skin surface a stoker 16.Ne6+ i lane a fondue to daffy oh dilly around find food for thought fane has a8 access and more importantly vow fine free ogle d5 for queen hoof a dared spot try clean a c8 officer an horse g8 plus g5 queen converge staple diet focus e6 an as e7 ment trouble for black good dispatch a line compute affable a nest d5 off i net bet etc heads eg hoof change shuffle in family a7 to free from cutches a g2 safe ghoul as have d5...? fence a flood goof he rise a blood e6 oh range in have lode often fancy shrine a8 temple rub all off ie harass a7 best option thought prevails over d5 feint far high ball have late riff i retake 16...fxe6 17.dxc6 d5 18.Rf3+ go boggle focus am reach for sky a foilable drill re:

mission have since off high level e6 fracus again far call it hind up as no pin f8 or knight veto frames a dual d5 come back bone man h4 up a g6 aint best have position riven acute dance reconcile free for heat ie bump dash d5 queen i think a bodge job fag pin e7 beckon a cycle gap have i a plow he rade wreck exactly one for:

off the old block a g2 eye cost band have stub choose difficult rever mint rooks again action a fraction padre chronic a8 reassert a oomph e6 all plied dive at e7 in sight rook-face crevice swop trades slam pop nash about la bind in f3 as tender a g8 up ply f6 in light i harangue 18...Nf6 19.h4 Qg6 20.Qxd5 Ra7 Ra7 (9.02) I smell a rat heaven a7 bodes more well for black gap have ball d5 and chain i see hail so pop the question quarts up reign sped d5 the bail lance it learn in level it is down in dig red ja ship in jaw bind d5 spot em oomph a e7 lately wins at up alive dish capped off tads rich as me feed it eddy a wave in a 21.e7+ or donkey up a 21.Qd8+ mate arrive.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: With 5 pieces on their home squares, Black is punished for his lack of development
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a pawn for a knight.

The position of Black's royal family and the defenseless rook on a8 invite to play 16.Ne6+ but after 16... fxe6 17.dxe6 Ra7 18.Qxd6+ Qe7 (18... Re7 19.Qd8+ Re8 20.Qxg5 + - [Q+2P vs 2N]; 18... Ne7 19.Qd8#) 19.Qxb8 Qc7 Black has a knight for three pawns and it is not clear how to proceed.

Another option is 16.Nb5, trying 17.Nc7 with the double threat 18.Re8# and 18.Nxa8, 16... Qd8 (16... axb5 17.Rxa8 will win material) 17.c5 and the initiative seems to compensate the material. For example, 17... dxc5 18.d6 axb5 19.Rxa8 Bd7 20.Qd5 Bc6 21.Rxb8 Qxb8 22.Qxc6 looks winning.

I think I'd play 16.Nb5.

That's all I can do today.

Aug-01-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: It's a little late in the day to post this, but anyway:

For a while I thought the move was 16 R(a)e3, because of how the follow-up Qb3 could tie Black in knots. But 16 ... Qd8 seems to shut down the White attack, and 16 ... Nf6 looks like it probably works as well.

Over the board I'd play 16 Nb5, but I haven't calculated that to a better outcome than White being down piece for two pawns, but having an outpost knight on d6 to go with the e-file and other positional advantages.

A key line is

16 Nb5 Qd8
17 c5 dc
18 d6 axb5
19 Rxa8 Nd7
20 Bb7 Nb6
21 Qg4 Bxg4
22 Rxd8#

Some alternatives are:

16 ... axb5 17 Rxa8, and White will soon gain another piece.

16 ... Qf6 17 Nc7, forking the rook and the e8 square.

Aug-01-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: Oh, crumb. It took me quite a while to see the discovered attack on the rook if the d-pawn moved, and after I did I never circled back to reexamine Ne6. Total whiff.
Aug-01-14  David2009: am coming very late to today's POTD:

click for larger view

(Vallejo-Pons vs I Nepomniachtchi, 2008 White, 16?) <agb2002: [snip] 16.Ne6+ fxe6 17.dxe6 Ra7 18.Qxd6+ Qe7 19.Qxb8 Qc7 Black has a knight for three pawns and it is not clear how to proceed.>

Exactly. Here's the position reached with <agb2002>'s defence:

click for larger view

There is a lot of play left in the position. Black presumably unravels with g6 and Kg7.

Aug-01-14  patzeroni: hi Folks,
after 16...fxe6 17.dxe6 Ra7 18. Rf3+ Nf6 19.e7+ Rxe7 20.Qxd6 is a clear win for White imo, or did i overlook something? After 20...Nc6 21.h4 Qa5 22.Rfe3 Black seems lost because 22...Qd8 could even be answered by 23. c5! Thanks in advance!
Aug-01-14  makaveli52: Ian faithfully followed all the rules of the opening: move each piece at least twice, develop the queen, avoid castling. No idea why he got into a position on move 16 where he is up a piece and yet any move by white wins.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <David2009> The position you give in your last post occurs after 17... Ra7 18. Qxd6+ Qe7 19. Qxb8 Rc7 (not 19... Qc7).

The Fritz 12 line refuting 19...Qc7 is in my first post here.

From the posted position after 19...Rc7, White wins with 20. Rd1! when play might continue 20...Nf6 21. Rad3 Ne8 22. Rd8 g6 23. Rxc8 Kg7 24. Rd7 Rxd7 25. exd7 Qxd7 26.Qe5+ Kh6 27. Qxh8 (+17.40 @ 19/46 depth per Fritz 12).

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