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Daniel Semcesen vs Nils Grandelius
Swedish Championship (2009), Kungsör, Sweden, rd 9, Jul-07
Tarrasch Defense: Symmetrical Variation (D32)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: After Black's 18...Ne4??, White exploits the resulting weakening of the castled King position with 19. Qh6!-- offering up the Queen as a sham sacrifice to force mate in two to five moves. See <dzechiel>'s and the <Bish>'s posts for analysis.
Sep-23-09  remolino: Lots of tension on g7 but unclear how to proceed. Looked at all sort of tactics for a couple of minutes until 19. Qh6! revealed itself.

Queen cannot be taken given 20.Nxh6 mate, but otherwise there is no way to prevent Queen from mating on g7.

Black's last move must have been Nf6-e4, trying to simpify the position. What a surprise for him!

Sep-23-09  Patriot: Initial candidates: Nh6+,Qh6

19.Nh6+ doesn't look promising, so moving on to a much stronger looking candidate...


Threatening mate in one, the queen is immune (19...gxh6 20.Nxh6#). The only candidates for black worth considering are checks or protecting g7: Bxb4+,Be5,Qf6

A) 19...Bxb4+ 20.axb4 and the threat is still on.

B) 19...Be5 20.Bxe5 . The threat is still there!

C) 19...Qf6 20.Bxf6 gxh6 21.Nxh6#

Looks like Qh6 is a winner.

<<njchess>: Wasn't it Tal who said that he didn't mind leaving five pieces en prise because his opponent could only take one?!> I don't know who said it but I love it! Great comment!

Sep-23-09  TheChessGuy: Wow, this took me too long to work out.
Sep-23-09  zb2cr: It took me some 45 seconds to see that after 19. Qh6, Black is toast. For the reasons why, see the the excellent commentary by <njchess>, <remolino>, <Dzechiel>, <TheBish>, <johnlspouge>, <TheaN>, <gofer>, <agb2002>, and <zooter>. Between them, they've covered it all.
Sep-23-09  Patriot: <<patzer2>: After Black's 18...Ne4??, White exploits the resulting weakening of the castled King position with 19. Qh6!-- offering up the Queen as a sham sacrifice to force mate in two to five moves. See <dzechiel>'s and the <Bish>'s posts for analysis.>

Yeah I'm not sure why black played 18...Ne4. Maybe he was thinking to trade off the dangerous white queen. That's a positional idea which sounds great in theory but apparently he never tested to see if it was a safe move. So it just looks like another "hope chess" move but played on the IM level.

Before 18...Ne4, was white threatening anything? Making a "pass move", let's investigate 19.Nh6+.

For example:

18...(pass) 19.Nh6+ Kh8 (19...gxh6 20.Bxf6 threatening Bxd8 and if the queen moves Qxh6 with mate next) 20.Nxf7+

A) 20...Bxf7 21.Bxf6 threatens both Bxd8 and Qxh7#.

B) 20...Rxf7 21.Bxg6 hxg6 looks shaky but defensible.

C) 20...Kxf7 21.Bxg6+ hxg6 looks survivable.

Is 19.Nxd6 threatening anything? It may grab the bishop pair if 19...Qxd6 20.Be2. Otherwise 19...Bxd3 20.Nxb7 Qb6 21.Nc5 and white has won a pawn.

So maybe 19...Bc7 becomes a candidate to hold the bishop pair or a developing move like 19...Rc8 should be played instead. The point is that every candidate should be "tested" to see if it fails tactically before playing it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: Got it
Sep-23-09  aktajha: Seen the pattern before, so only the mate threat on h6 was enough to see the queen could remove the defender (g7 pawn) to mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: An immediate Nh6 would be mate if there was no black pawn on g7. So 19. Qh6 suggests itself, and it works.
Sep-23-09  benjinathan: <Good Evening: This is rather more akin to a Monday puzzle; the Queen-Knight-Bishop combination has occurred many, many times.>

This is a Monday puzzle if you know the idea, but much harder if you don't (I didn't). Puzzles which do not involve taking a piece are always more difficult. I need to go study the mating patterns page.

Sep-23-09  YouRang: Got it. :-)
Clearly, threats against g7 had to figure into this, but black is threatening exchanges. For a moment I thought 19.Nh6 worked, but it just loses a knight: 19...gxh6 20.Qxh6 Nf6!

I looked at a few other moves, but they were spoiled by black simply exchanging queens.

When I finally decided that I needed to move my queen, it all became so simple that I had to slap myself for not seeing it earlier.

Sep-23-09  MiCrooks: To me this was very easy...Tuesday caliber at best...really Monday would be fine. For me it was a matter of pattern recognition. I didn't even get around to noticing that the Queen was hanging. When I saw the position of the Queen and the Knight I immediately looked to see if a Bishop controlled the diagonal. Seeing that Qh6 was immediate knowing that no interfernce scheme would work, and that gxh6 would lead to the classic mating pattern with Knight and Bishop.
Premium Chessgames Member
  pittpanther: This would be a very satisfying move to make in a game, great combination!
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: I checked all alternative moves quite hoping it wasnt so obvious. Qh6 cashes it in and looks to control dark squares where black has no suitable response.
Sep-23-09  ZUGZWANG67: Material is even, the Qs are facing off and g7 is under great pressure. I don' t see how B could survive after 19.Qh6 (19. ...gxh6 20.Nxh6+ mate), when 19. ...Be5 20.Bxe5 is nothing, 19. ...Qf6 20.Bxf6 gxf6 20.Qg7+ is still mate, and 19. ...Bxb4+ 20.axb4 only delays. There is just too many ways W can mate for B to defend.

Time to check (GULP)!...



Sep-23-09  Samagonka: The puzzle was easy but my thinking was too complex.
Sep-23-09  jsheedy: Didn't take me long to see 19. Qh6, threatening 20. Qxg7#. If 19...gxh6, 20. Nxh6#. Black can block and defend the g7 square only by 19...Be5 or 19...Qf6, in which case white simply captures the defending piece with the bishop at b2 and mates next move.
Sep-23-09  JG27Pyth: As noted. A very easy puzzle if you know that pattern. Which I'm pretty sure I learned <here> doing chessgames puzzles!

I looked at the N and B and thought immediately, I mate if I can plant the N on h6, anything to sac there? Why lookey, the Queen will do nicely!

In other news:

Nils Grandelius is a superb name. Just superb! And I so hope he has a best friend named Maximus Small.

Sep-23-09  WhiteRook48: took me 20 seconds to get 10Qh6
Sep-23-09  wals: 18....Ne4 in lieu of Be7 or Re8 gave Nils a nil result.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: It looks like after 18...Ne4 Black committed 'hara-kiri' since 19.Qh6 nails Black's coffin.
Sep-23-09  King.Arthur.Brazil: The solution is Qh6!! gxh6 Nxh6#
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheTamale: Arrgh. So easy once you see it. I didn't see it. Would've been 3 for 3, too!
Sep-23-09  lippizan: 19. Qh6 wins. But I wouldn't have found it in a real game (OTB).
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The queen coyly enters the fray to give black two choices:

1 Take me and get mated OR

2 Don't take me and still get mated.

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