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Sergei Vladimirovich Rublevsky vs Julio Becerra Rivero
4th World Team Ch (1997), Lucerne SUI, rd 1, Oct-25
Sicilian Defense: Canal Attack. Main Line (B52)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-28-14  pensiveyaks: But how does white force the win if black plays 31....h6 32 Rh2+ Kg7?Black also has a mate threat that is pinning the white Queen to e2?
Aug-28-14  newzild: I spotted the main line, including the second rook sac, but assessed the position as holding no more than a clear advantage for White (rather than being winning, as shown by <patzer 2>).

31. Rxh6! Kxh6
32. Rh2+ Kg7
33. Rh7+ Kg8
34. Rh8+! Kg7 (or 34... Kxh8? 35. Qh5+)
35. Rxc8

And here I stopped, thinking I must have missed something as White has "only" won a pawn and infiltrated his rook into Black's position.

I would certainly have played this over the board, but in a puzzle position I thought there must have been something better.

Aug-28-14  newzild: <pensiveyaks> the lines given by <patzer 2> and myself demonstrate the win. Basically, White keeps checking and Black does not get time to deliver the mate.
Aug-28-14  Cybe: 31. R:h6? – it’s only draw. 31… Na3+!, 32. Ka1, 32… R:c3! and White has only a perpetual check: 33. Rh7+, 33… Kg8, 34. Rh8+ etc.
Aug-28-14  Nick46: No malingering:

I correctly anticipated white's moves but not black's 31... Rc5.

So, do I get today's point for a "double hat-trick" as it's known in cricket parlance?

Aug-28-14  morfishine: I had such a hard time seeing this one that I didn't see it


Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is identical.

White's heavy pieces and a pawn aim at the black king. This suggests 31.Rxh6:

A) 31... Kxh6 32.Rh2+

A.1) 32... Kg5 33.Qh5+ Kf4 34.Rh4#.

A.2) 32... Kxg6 33.Qg4+ Kf7 34.Rh7+ Ke8 (34... Kf8 35.Qg7+ Ke8 36.Qe7#) 35.Qg8+ Rf8 36.Qxe6+ Kd8 37.Q(R)d7#.

A.3) 32... Kg7 33.Rh7+

A.3.a) 33... Kxg6 34.Qh5#.

A.3.b) 33... Kf8 34.Rh8+ Kg7 (34... Ke7 35.Rxc8 Ne5 36.g7 + -) 35.Rxc8 Ne5 (35... Nb6 36.Rc7+ Kxg6 (36... Kg8 37.Qh5 + -; 36... Kh6 37.Qe3+ also looks winning) 37.Qg4+ Kh6 37.Qg7+ Kh5 38.Qxf6 + -) 36.Rc7+ and White seems to have a dangerous attack. For example, 36... Kxg6 37.Qf1 (37.Qe3 Rf3) threatening 38.Qg2+, f4, etc.

A.3.c) 33... Kg8 34.Rh8+

A.3.c.i) 34... Kxh8 35.Qh5+ Kg7(8) 36.Qh7+ Kf8 37.g7+ Ke8 (37... Kf7 38.g8=Q#; 37... Ke7 38.g8=Q+ Rf7 39.Qhxf7#) 38.g8=Q+ Rf8 39.Qhf7+ Ke8 40.Qgxf8#.

A.3.c.ii) 34... Kg7 35.Rxc8 transposes to A.3.b.

B) 31... Qxb2+ 32.Qxb2 Nxb2 33.Rh7+ Kg8 34.Kxb2 Rxg6 35.Rxg6+ Kxh7 36.Rxe6 + - [N].

C) 31... Nxb2 32.Rh7+ Kg8 33.Rh8+ Kxh8 (33... Kg7 34.Rxc8 + -) 34.Qh5+ as in A.3.c.i.

Aug-28-14  cocker: <Cybe>: I think you would be right if the white king were on b1 (and not a1).
Aug-28-14  Refused: 31.Rxh6 the threat is Rh7+ Kg8 Rgh2 with the idea Rh8+ with destruction. if the rook vacated the 8th rank white could play g7 and the rook on h7 is taboo because of g8Q+

a)31...Kxh6 32.Rh1+ and now
a1)32...Kxg6 33.Qg4+ and black will get mated
a2)32...Kg7 33.Rh7+ Kg8 34.Rh8+
a21) 34...Kxh8 35.Qh6+ Kg8 37.Qh7+ Kf8 38.g7+ etc.
a22)34...Kg7 35.Rxc8 looks good enough
a3) 32...Kg5 33.Qh5+ Kf4 34.Rh4#

b)31...Rff8 32.Rh7+ Kf6 33.Qf3+ this must collapse eventually.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: At first I thought I had messed this one up.

31. Rxh6 seemed very logical, but Like a couple of others I hadn't anticipated black's 31... Rc5. I also couldn't find a clean kill after the more logical 31...Kxh6.

Fritzie doesn't find much either. 31...Rc5 is a clear error which leads to mate, so we shouldn't feel too bad about not spotting it.

With best play, Fritzie is throwing out lines already discussed by Patzer2. For example, 31. Rxh6 Kxh6 32. Rh2+ Kg7 33. Rh7+ Kg8 (or Kf8) 34. Rh8+ Kg7 35. Rxc8

click for larger view

White has won a pawn (h6) and the black king is windy. Fritzie says +1.5. Presumably that +1 for the extra prawn plus a half for the windy king.

Not a very satisfying puzzle, perhaps. The double rook sac is fun, but I'd like a little more outcome than just a pawn.

Aug-28-14  Chess Dad: Because it's a puzzle, 31. Rxh6 looks really tempting, though I can't see how it plays out.

But I'm confident enough to play it and see Black's response.

31. Rxh6 Rc5
32. Rh7+

Now the King must move to the back row, either f8 or g8. I don't see f8 as a very safe move, so it's g8.

32... Kg8

The best I see from this position is 33. Rgh2 I'm not as sure that's the move, but I'll try it....

Not so bad. First two moves. g7 was another move I thought of, but didn't see the logical conclusion.

33. g7 Kxh7
34. g8Q+ Kh6
35. Rh2+ Rh5
36. Qxh5#

Aug-28-14  Chess Dad: I see now that others also didn't anticipate Rc5, because it's an error.

So I don't feel bad that I couldn't see a clean kill at the beginning, I'm just more upset that I couldn't see the clean kill after 32... Kg8.

Aug-28-14  awfulhangover: I could only find 31.Rxh6, so now I feel strong :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Of course 31 Rxh6. What else could it be? Apparently I will have to break out the computer engine to sort out all the consequences.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Another opportunity to go wrong with this combination is after 31. Rxh6!! Kxh6 32. Rh6+ Kxg6 (diagram below).

click for larger view

Here the quickest finish is mate-in-four with 33. Qg4+! Kf7 34. Rh7+ Ke8 35. Qg8+ Rf8 36. Qxe6+ Kd8 37. Qd7#.

The opportunity to go wrong is with 33. Qh5+ Kg7 (diagram below).

click for larger view

Here White must find 34. Qg5+! (all others lose), when play according to Fritz could continue 34...Rg6 35. Qe7+ Kg8 36. Qh7+ Kf8 37. Qh8+ Rg8 38. Qf6+ Ke8 39. Qxe6+ .

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Rxh6 because as the lad said earlier it's a puzzle.

Due to the mate n b2 and having sacced a Rook Black can always dive out with Qxb2+ so everything must be with a check.

So keep checking and keep on giving check till they run out or it's mate. If you do this the thing solves itself.

Never bothered looking at what happens if the Rook sac is declined.

Flicked through it. Nice moment here. White to play:

click for larger view

White can trap the Black Queen with 23.Rb5 Yes!....No.

23.Rb5 Na6+ and Nxb5.

So White played 23.Ka1 to take away Na6+. Black played 23...a6 to stop Rb5.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I feel pretty stupid now with 31.Nd5 (trying to give perpetual check or something, but not realizing white has to re-capture).
Aug-28-14  Castleinthesky: Got it, convinced myself out of it, then saw that my counter did not work.

31. Rxh6 Qxb2
32. Qxb2 Rh7+ (the counter to my previous moves) I saw the counter when reading the solution-1/2 credit.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: This was rather easy for Thursday, though I didn't study the other possible moves by black.

It looks like: take the rook and lose or don't take the rook and still lose.

PUN: Take my rook, please!

Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: I solved the problem, but like <newzild>, ended up in one line just a pawn ahead, albeit with a black king that's somewhat exposed. This kept me searching and searching for something more forcing, but I couldn't come up with anything.
Aug-28-14  BOSTER: This is the sharp pos. Black to play 29...

click for larger view

Here Black could play <crazy > Rf3 blocking the diagonal d1-h5 and attacking the knight on c3.

If White play 30.Rxh6, Kxh6 31. g7 Qxb2+ 32.Qxb2 Nxb2 Black is better.

Aug-28-14  BOSTER: But if white play 30.Na4?
Aug-28-14  PJs Studio: This is a no joke GM sac. I looked at Nd5, Rb3 x b7 but couldn't find a clear win. Rxh3 looked like nothing
Aug-28-14  PJs Studio: The heavy pieces in action. This type of visualization is what it takes to be a GM.

Side note! GM Kamsky is coming to my local tournament this weekend! Still a high powered Super GM after all these years

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Boster> Thanks for sharing the <crazy> 29...Rf3 30. Na4! idea (diagram below).

click for larger view

It's as if White says, "I interrupt your poisoned Rook offer 29...Rf3 to threaten your Queen and protect against mate with 30. Na4, and now that it's safe I'll capture your free Rook."

After the Queen moves out of danger (e.g. 30...Qc7), 31. Qxf3 wins easy.

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