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Viktor Korchnoi vs Dragan Solak
4th Hilton Open (2002)  ·  Modern Defense: Averbakh Variation (A42)  ·  1-0
To move:
Last move:

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-04-09  levizki: 15. Rxd6 has caught my eye immediately, but for a while, I couldn't find a suitable continuation. So I started pondering:

"OK, let's be sensible. He must take the Rook, or he'll be just pawn down with bad position. So 15...Kxd6. Now what? It would be beautiful to cut off the retreat at e7. But dark-squared Bishops are gone, and Knights won't do the trick.

Oh, wait. If you cannot go after the King, why won't try it with the Queen? It's so loose at a5... Fine, I'll need 16. Qd2+ to set up the threat with tempo. Now the Knights are dancing:

16...Kc7 or Ke7 17. Nd5+
16...Ke6 17. Ng5+ Ke7 18. Nd5+
16...Kc6 17. Nxe5+ Kc7 (17...Kb6 18. Qd6#) 18. Nd5+
So the Queen falls and... this is it?"

And, as a result, I completely failed to find 15... Ng4. Playing this position, I'd have good answer to it, but under other circumstances, I might be lost with move I judged winning!

Jul-04-09  jakaiden: <Jason Frost: ++ is the same thing as #> In some books ++ is double check and # is checkmate.
Jul-04-09  butilikefur: <15. Rxd6 Kxd6 16. Nb5+ Kc6>

Other possibilities:

16...Ke7 17. Qxc5+ Kd8 18. Rd1+ Bd7 19. Ng5 Rf8 20. Ne6+ Ke8 21. Nxg7+ Kf7 22. Nd6+ Kxg7 23. Qxa5

16...Ke6 17. Ng6+ Kd7 (17...Ke7 18. Qxc5+ Kd8 19. Nf7+ Kd7 20. Rd1+ Ke6 [20...Ke8 21. Nbd6+] 21. Ng5+ mate) 18. Rd1+ Ke8 19. Qxc5 and Black cannot defend against Nc7+

16...Kd7 17. Rd1+ Ke8 18. Qxc5 Qb6 (18...Kf7 19. Ng5+ Kg8 20. Qe7) 19. Nc7+ Kf7 20. Ng5+ Kg8 21. Rd8+

<17. Nxe5+ Kb6 18. a3 Bf8> (18...Ka6 19. Qxc5 Ne8 [19...b6 20. Qc6 Ne8 21. b4 Bd7 22. Nc7+ Nxc7 23. b5+ Nxb5 24. cxb5+ Qxb5 25. Bxb5+ Ka5 26. Nc4+ mate] 20. b4 Qb6 21. Nc7+ Nxc7 [21...Qxc7 22. Qb6+ mate or 22. b5+ Ka5 23. Nc6+ bxc6 24. bxc6+ Ka6 25. Qb5+ mate] 22. b5+ Nxb5 23. cxb5+ Qxb5 24. Qxb5+ mate)

<19. Nf7 Rg8 20. b4 Qa4 21. Rd1 a6 22. Nd6 axb5> (22...Kc6 23. Qxc5+ Kd7 24. Qc7+ Ke8 25. Qf7+ Kd8 26. Nxb7+ mate)

<23. Qxc5+ Ka6 24. cxb5+ Qxb5 25. Bxb5+ mate>

Jul-04-09  butilikefur: I missed 15. Rxd6 Kxd6 16. Nb5+ Kc6 17. Nxe5+ Kb6 18. a3 Bf8 19. Nf7 Rg8 20. b4 Qa4 21. Rd1 (21. Bd1 wins the queen) 21...a6 22. bxc5+ Bxc5 23. Rd6+ Ka5 24. Qxc5 is mating
Jul-04-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I was too lazy to work it out and settled for Qg5
Jul-04-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: Thought that Qg5 was the best move (preparing Nd5).
Jul-04-09  awfulhangover: In was sure it was Rxd6, but simply couldn't calculate far enough. And I didn't for a second think that white would respond Ng4. Ok, I'm too dumb for weekend puzzles anyway.
Jul-04-09  jsheedy: 15. Rxd6, Kxd6, 16. Qd2+, Ke6 (16...Kc6, 17. nxe5+), 17. Ng5+, Ke7, 18. Nd5+ wins the Queen.
Jul-04-09  kurtrichards: Mr. Korchnoi still has his killer chess.
Jul-04-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <dzechiel: So black declined the sacrificed rook. *** >

Not really; Black just played an intermezzo before taking the rook.

Jul-04-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: I did not really try to solve this one, but having seen the solution, I am trying to learn what I can add to my store of "pattern recognition".

It seems that the key point to understand here is that the essence of Black's blunder in playing 14. ... Qa5 was to have placed his Queen on a square where it would be lost if White could get his Queen to d2 and then play Nd5 with check. If the White Queen had already been on d2, Solak (a 2500 player) almost certainly would not have fallen into this tactic (particularly because a similar pattern is well-known in certain Sicilian lines), but he overlooked that with 15. Rxd6, White could play a sacrifice that, if accepted, would enable the White Queen to get to d2 with tempo.

Jul-04-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Solak, of course, did ultimately have the wit to save his Queen (and cut short his suffering) by playing 18. ... Kf6 (allowing mate on the move) rather than playing 18. ... Ke7, which would have dropped the Queen to 19. Nd5+.
Jul-04-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I noticed that accepting the rook sacrifice traps the queen, so I tried 15...Re8 instead, protecting the e pawn.

After 16 Rhd1 Kf8 even though clearly better, I can't find anything magical for white.


click for larger view

Jul-04-09  remolino: 15. Rxd6 Kxd6, 16. Nb5

Is this enough to win? Anyone with a comp? Thanks.

Jul-04-09  tivrfoa: i got a saturday xD. hopeless queen.
Jul-04-09  vijaymathslpjz: screwing......
Jul-04-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: < <dzechiel> wrote: So black declined the sacrificed rook. Didn't think it was possible, but I should have. <sigh> >

Hi, David. Happy 4th of July! (I am passing it in Canada, as usual at this time of year, enjoying the privileges of PST for two weeks.)

As for your comment: anything is possible :)

A few years back, <UdayanOwen> quoted Kotov on a good practical rule for terminating calculation: the clear win of the equivalent of a P.

Here, if Black declines the R, he does indeed surrender a P without any complications. The game variation shows that White can transpose into one of the main variations of acceptance, but IMHO, it is largely irrelevant to determining the best move from the position. Acceptance of the sacrifice is (as usual) the critical variation, not declining it.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Jul-04-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: I had (I thought) a good idea here - 15 Nb5 Rd8 16 Nxe5 de 17 Qxc5+, followed by a knight check and Qxa5. However the annoying 16...a6 seems to refute it. In this as in the game, black gets in trouble with the doubtful 13...Ke7 (Bf8) followed with Qa5? leaving the king as the only defender of d6. Clever, but the king is too sensitive for such hazardous tasks.
Jul-04-09  WhiteRook48: darn it I was thinking 15 Nxe5
Jul-04-09  wals: Viktor Korchnoi - Dragan Solak, 4th Hilton Open 2002

Analysis by Rybka 3 1-cpu: Ply 16 time 4min19

1. (2.57): 15...Kxd6 16.Qd2+[] Ke7 17.Nd5+[] Nxd5[] 18.Qxa5[] b6 19.Qd2 Nf4 20.Rd1 Nxe2+ 21.Qxe2 Be6 22.b3 Rad8 23.Rxd8 Rxd8 24.Qe3 Re8 25.Qg5+ Kd6 26.Kc2 Bf7 27.Nh4 Kc7 28.Nf5

2. (2.86): 15...Re8 16.Nxe5 Be6 17.Rhd1 Kf8 18.g4 Kg8 19.f4 Re7 20.f5 Ne8 21.Nxg6 hxg6 22.Rxe6[] Rxe6 23.fxe6 Nc7 24.e7 Re8

Jul-04-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has the bishop pair and tries to consolidate his position with ... Rd8, ... Be6, ... Kf8, etc. However, White has the opportunity taking advantage of the uncastled black king with 15.Rxd6:

A) 15... Ng4 (threatens 16... Bh6) 16.Qg5+

A.1) 16... Bf6 17.Rxf6 Nxf6 18.Qxe5+

A.1.a) 18... Be6 19.Ng5 Qa6 (19... Qxa2 20.Qxe6+ Kd8 21.Rd1+) 20.Nd5+ Nxd5 21.exd5 + -.

A.1.b) 18... Kf7 19.Ng5+ Kg7 20.Qe7+ Kh6 21.Qxf6 + -, intending 22.Nf7#.

A.2) 16... Nf6 17.Qxe5+ Kf7 18.Ng5+ + -.

A.3) 16... Kf7 17.Qh4, avoiding 17... Bh6, threatening Ng5+ and Bxg4, and intending Rhd1.

A.4) 16... Kf8 (or 16... Ke8) 17.Qh4 is similar to A.3.

A.5) 16... Kxd6 17.Rd1+ (17.Nb5+ Qxb5 18.cxb5 Bh6)

A.5.a) 17... Ke6 18.Qxg4+

A.5.a.i) 18... Kf7 19.Rd7+ Kf8 (19... Ke8 20.Qe6+; 19... Bxd7 20.Qxd7+ Kg8 (20... Kf6 21.Nd5#; 20... Kf8 21.Ng5) 21.Ng5 Rf8 22.Qe6+ Rf7 23.Qxf7#) 20.Ng5 Qb6 (20... Bh6 21.Qf3+ and 22.Qf7#) 21.Qf3+ Qf6 22.Rf7+ + -.

A.5.a.ii) 18... Kf6 19.Nd5+ Kf7 20.Ng5+ Ke8 (otherwise 21.Qf3) 21.Ne6 looks good for White.

A.5.a.iii) 18... Ke7 19.Qh4+ and probably White has enough compensation.

A.5.b) 17... Kc6 18.Qe7 + -, threatening 19.Rd6#.

A.5.c) 17... Kc7 18.Qe7+ Kb8 (otherwise 19.Qd6#) 19.Qxg7 probably with enough compensation.

B) 15... Kxd6 16.Nb5+

B.1) 16... Kc6 17.Nxe5+ Kb6 18.Rd1

B.1.a) 18... Ne8 19.Qxc5+ Kxc5 20.Rd5+ Kb4 (20... Kb6 21.c5+ Ka6 22.Nc7#) 21.Nd3+ Ka4 (21... Kxc4 22.Rc5#) 22.Bd1#.

B.1.b) 18... Bf8 19.Qg5 Ne8 (19... Be7 20.Qxf6+ Bxf6 21.Rd6#; 19... Nh5 20.Qd8+ Ka6 21.Nc7+) 20.Qd8+ Ka6 21.Qxe8 probably with enough compensation.

B.1.c) 18... Ka6 19.Qxc5 b6 20.Nc7+ Kb7 21.Qc6+ Kb8 22.Nxa8 + -.

B.2) 16... Ke7 17.Qxc5+ Kd7 (17... Ke6(8) 18.Nc7+) 18.Rd1+ winning the black queen.

B.3) 16... Ke6 17.Ng5+ Kd7 (17... Ke7 18.Qxc5+ as in line B.2) 18.Rd1+ Ke8 (18... Kc6 19.Rd6#) 19.Qxc5 + -, threatening Qe7#, Nc7+, Nd6+, Qxe5+.

B.4) 16... Kd7 17.Rd1+ seems to transpose to a previous line.

C) 15... Bh6 16.Qxh6 Kxd6 17.Qg7 + -.

Not quite convinced but it's what I have.

Jul-04-09  gofer: 15 Rxd6!

Now I haven't done much analysis on this, but if black doesn't take back then the rook can simply retreat to d1 and blacks position is crumbling, so I imagine that 15 ... Kxd6 is forced. From that point on the black queen is lost...

15 ... Kxd6
16 Qd2+

16 ... Kc7/Ke7 17 Nd5+ winning the queen
16 ... Ke6 17 Ng5+ Ke7 18 Nd5+ winning the queen
16 ... Kc6 17 Nxe5+ Kc7/Kb6 18 Nd5+ winning the queen

this should be sufficient for the win...

Time to check...

Jul-04-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: I got the first move
Jul-08-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheBish: Marking this game for future reference. Found the winning idea (but not the game line) a day late.
Apr-19-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: That was the puzzle, White to play, move 15: http://www.ajedrezdeataque.com/02%2... ,

nice and nasty (well, it's a question of perspective), last game played as a final in the <4th Hilton Open 2002>, now <Basler Schachfestival>, deciding the tournament for the winner (in the game for 3rd place, Zoltan Varga who had lost his semi-final to Korchnoi, beat Yannick Pelletier, who was previously eliminated by Solak; Vladimir Tukmakov finished fifth as best of the rest in the Open, following a rather obscure system called 'beochess')

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